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A stock market recovery in the New Year?

The media is often accused of accentuating the negative, of spreading doom and gloom, but this is not actually true. In fact it tends to be over-optimistic about the economy and failed to foresee the 2008 Crash. And if you look at the range of predictions for 2009, you find many forecasters are expecting a … Continue reading

Here they are: my predictions for 2009

Forecasting is a mug’s game, but here’s mine: there will be a general election in May/June 2009. Gordon Brown will lose his majority in the House of Commons, but will return to power as leader of a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition government. This will be called a National Government of Reconstruction and David Cameron will be … Continue reading

Happy New Angioplasty

Coronary heart disease is nature’s way of telling you to slow down – or so the old joke goes. Thing is, heart trouble is the one thing I never thought I would have. I’ve got low blood pressure, no family history, I don’t smoke and I’m fitter than I was twenty years ago. Even as … Continue reading

2008: Year of the Great Crunch

In the first fortnight of October 2008, Britain went slightly mad. Perfectly rational people were pulling their money out of British banks and sending it across the Irish sea to banks in a country in even greater financial difficulty than ours. You could almost feel the panic in the air. Friends who had never shown … Continue reading

Gordon’s Broonzi scheme beats Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi

What does Gordon Brown have in common with the world’s greatest financial fraudster, Bernie Madoff, author of the £50bn hedge fund scam? Well, they are both running versions of a Ponzi scheme – a pyramid fraud named after Charles Ponzi, an Italin American confidence trickster from the 1920’s Only Gordon’s “Broonzi” scam is bigger. A … Continue reading

Santa is credit crunched

Brring, briing. Hello. Is that Mr Cringle? Mr Chris Cringle? Royal Bank of Lapland here. I was wondering if I could talk to your about your business expansion account. Yes. We’re downsizing your overdraft facility…. Well, to zero actually….Sorry, but we at RBL Corporate believe this is the best way to help your business at … Continue reading

Holyrood lost it in 2008

It was a rather ragged end to the year in Holyrood. Political staff seemed tetchy, MSPs grumpy, hacks bored. The last sessions of First Minister’s Questions were pretty dire as even Alex Salmond’s wit deserted him. There’s a general feeling that, well, the action is elsewhere. Holyrood has fallen off the map. Labour insist this … Continue reading

When is the recovery coming?

Since the economic crisis broke earlier this year this column has never knowingly understated its severity. But I make no apologies for having dwelt on doom and gloom. For most of 2008 government, regulators and monetary authorities were in denial about the severity of the crisis. We were repeatedly told that the end was in … Continue reading

We are drowing in debt

It’s not bad being a banker, really. All you have to do is borrow money at a low interest rate from the government and then lend it at a higher interest rate to businesses and mortgagees. Doesn’t take a lot of genius to do that. Even I could make money out of it. So, why … Continue reading

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