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High pay equals low growth.

 The High Pay Commission has told us what we already knew: that the very rich have turned the economy into a personal wealth-generating machine.  Earnings for CEOs have risen thousandfold over the least thirty years as average earnings have only tripled.   There is no conceivable economic justification for their extravagant wealth, which has arisen largely through … Continue reading

UK Government launches sub-prime mortgage scheme

   How will using taxpayer’s money to subsidise inflated house prices make home ownership more affordable?  The UK housing minister, Grant Shapps has announced a “get Britain building” programme (inspired I fear by similar moves in Scotland)  in which the state will lend most of the deposit on first time home buyers’ mortgages.  They say … Continue reading

Sovereign debt crisis? The answer’s in Frozen Planet.

  Think of the european nations as a herd of bison pursued by a pack of wolves. For long periods nothing seems to happen. Until, one of the bison gets separated from the herd and the wolves descend in a lightning coordinated assault. However, if the herd regroups and charges, the wolves have no chance and … Continue reading

The Clarity Act is as clear as mud.

  There is an air of quiet desperation in Whitehall as civil servants and UK government ministers try to out-manouevre Alex Salmond over the referendum.  They feel he’s been getting away with murder, insisting on holding it at the time of his choosing and with an unspecified number of questions.      Westminster has finally realised … Continue reading

Of course Scotland would be admitted to the EU. Look at Latvia, Estonia etc etc.

  I’ve been in this game too long.   I remember being taken by the Tories nearly twenty years ago to Brussels to hear Baroness Ellis  warn that Scotland would not be allowed to join the EU.  Don’t even think about it!  France and Spain would block an independent Scotland to discourage their own separatist … Continue reading

Hollywood and the arms trade.

“The Shadow World – Inside the Global Arms Trade” by Andrew Feinstein Hamish Hamilton £25      There’s a memorable sequence at the start of the 2005 Hollywood blockbustrer, “Lord of War” which shows a bullet’s eye view of a bullet’s life cycle, from a manufacturing plant through various intermediaries till it ends up in … Continue reading

Greek referendum? Bring it on.

   Referendums and markets don’t mix. A referendum on Scottish independence is coming, and already the markets, or at least analysts from Citigroup, are saying it “will create huge uncertainty” and advising investors to shun Scotland. The trouble is, democracy is all about uncertainty. Democracy is inconvenient. But in times of constitutional uncertainty, it is … Continue reading

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