Category: Politics

It is official – Brexit squabbling is damaging the economy

The British economy is slowing. There. I have said it. After repeatedly writing upbeat pieces for CapX to counter the doom and gloom mongers in the last two years, the facts are changing and so is my mind. I would go further and say that the weakness of the economy, much of it Brexit-related, is […]

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How bad will the local elections be for the Conservatives?

An interesting poll of London voters has been published, slightly changing the working assumptions about the Local Elections next Thursday, May 3rd. The results could be the most significant for a local election since 1990, in which a rout in the capital and other major cities prepared the way for Margaret Thatcher being removed from […]

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It is 1956 and all that again in Westminster

The Establishment may be having a wobble, but things could be much worse It hasn’t been this bad since the Suez Crisis. That is what some are saying in Westminster. What we still call the Establishment is divided and demoralised, awaiting “clarity” on Brexit. Britain is arguably involved in another international escapade which is being […]

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Tweaking MiFID II post-Brexit

Today signals the deadline for MiFID II compliance, new regulation that has been causing a sense of disquiet in some areas of the City, especially amongst advisers to and investors in smaller companies below the FTSE 250. A question worth asking is will Brexit allow some of the anticipated consequences of MiFID II to be […]

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Imagine how other people feel

One of the great achievements of the Enlightenment was a sense of other. Instead of thinking only of ourselves, or our tribe or locality, European societies began to think philosophically about other people and their rights and duties. Although religion was a motivator, this respect for others became a doctrine in its own right. Here […]

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Jeremy Corbyn has not peaked, yet

The combination of Theresa May’s surprise Phase One Brexit deal, and a subsequent poll by YouGov putting the Conservatives 1% ahead of Labour on 42%, suggest the tantalising prospect that Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity has peaked. A reasonably competent Budget, so the narrative goes, the fact that Brexit is stumbling on, and the commendable stamina of […]

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800 years of interest rates. Did high interest rates set off the Wars of the Roses or even Game of Thrones?

Here is a light historical distraction, for those who take a long-term view. We are currently in the midst of the third longest secular bull market in bonds ever (at 36 years), beaten only by one from 1441 to 1481 (40 years) and the record of 1605-1672 (67 years). I know this because the Bank […]

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We need more than Caractacus Potts

We cannot take the suspense. Philip Hammond labours like Caractacus Potts in the Treasury shed. Creak, bang, curse, he tinkers away into the night, preparing to unveil his latest Budget contraption on November 23rd. There is a sense of foreboding too. Will it fly beautifully, like Chitty, Chitty Bang? Or send him careering dangerously around […]

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The public finances are in rude health

The public finances are in rude health

I know these are unfashionable things to say, but not only is the British economy in much ruder health than many commentators admit, but we all owe a debt of thanks to George Osborne. The excellent public sector finance figures published today are a dramatic demonstration of these truths. What a pleasant surprise for the […]

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It is not true we are getting poorer or that our incomes are falling

It is not true we are getting poorer or that our incomes are falling

Given the economics profession’s delight in gloom, sifting out the good news from that which is actually bad requires constant vigilance. This week is a classic example, over the average earnings data. The Office for National Statistics said that average earnings grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in August, below inflation. In other words, […]

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