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from The Great Debate UK:

You could not make this stuff up

-David Kuo is director at the financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

You could not make this up if you tried.

Britain gets its knickers in a twist over a hung parliament, Europe has been unceremoniously skewered by a Greek debt crisis, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee sits idly by as the rate of inflation climbs.

Welcome to the month of May when investors are supposed to sell and return again on St Leger’s day.

If truth be known, a hung parliament was always on the cards. It was always likely that no single political party would win enough seats in the May general election to form the next government.

from The Great Debate UK:

Whither UK economic policy?

David Kuo-David Kuo is director at the Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The day of reckoning is looming ever closer.

Political leaders are jockeying for position with ad-hoc appearances here and a flesh-pressing engagements there to curry favour with voters ahead of the general election. How long will it be before we get our first baby-kissing photo opportunity?

But as yet, none of the main parties has told the electorate exactly how bad things are with the UK economy. Instead, they pussyfoot around difficult economic issues in the hope that if they don’t say anything, then maybe we won’t ask.

from The Great Debate UK:

A year of austerity looms in 2010

david-kuo_motley-foolthumbnail-David Kuo is director at the Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

If you thought 2009 was as bad as things will get, then think again: 2010 could be worse. It is likely to be a year of enforced austerity with both the government and households making obligatory cuts to their budgets.

High on the government’s agenda will be reducing the Budget deficit, if the UK is to avoid the embarrassment of having its sovereign debt rating cut by rating agencies. This will have a knock-on effect on households, which could see their disposable incomes slashed by hikes in both direct and indirect taxes.

from The Great Debate UK:

You never know when rates will rise

David Kuo-David Kuo, Director at the financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Go on. Admit it. You didn’t see it coming, did you? You never thought a member of the G20 nations would dare to break ranks and raise interest rates this soon.

from The Great Debate UK:

Things just got a lot worse for inflation

David Kuo- David Kuo is director at The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

What is the collective name for a crossing of fingers?

Because that seems to be what the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee members are doing. They are collectively crossing their digits in the hope that they have done enough to steer the UK economy out of recession.

They have pumped billions into the UK economy and it doesn’t seem to be having much effect – yet. That is unless you are a banker looking to bolster your balance sheet with freshly minted notes. Banks are happy to swap their assets for the Bank of England’s cash but remain unwilling to lend. Additionally, there is still uncertaintyabout the ability of the economy to grow unaided if the central bank should stop printing money.

from The Great Debate UK:

Where Next For The Stock Market?

david Kuo-David Kuo, Director at the financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

It wasn’t supposed to happen. Shares were not supposed to rise between May and September. That is if you believe the old stock market adage that says you should sell in May and go away, and don’t come back until St Legers Day.

from The Great Debate UK:

Enjoy low inflation while it lasts

david Kuo- David Kuo is director at the Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

If you are not confused you are not paying attention. Those sage words from management guru Tom Peters can be applied to a wide number of economic issues today, but none more so that to the latest inflation figures.

Question is: do we have inflation, deflation or some mixture of the two?

The answer lies in which index you are looking at?

Inflation as measure by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) has held firm at 1.8 percent. But according to the Retail Prices Index (RPI), which excludes mortgage costs, inflation for July came in at minus 1.4 percent - that’s up from minus 1.6 percent in June.

from The Great Debate UK:

The end of free banking

david Kuo-David Kuo is director at the Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Banks insist on the right to charge customers who go overdrawn on their current accounts. They also say they have a right to set the amount charged.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), on the other hand, claims that the fees banks levy on customers who exceed agreed overdraft limits are unfair. This is according to their interpretation of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations.

from The Great Debate UK:

The truth about house prices

david-kuo_motley-foolthumbnail- David Kuo is director of financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

The housing market is probably one of the most keenly followed markets in Britain. Every month we are hit between the eyes with no fewer than eight separate indices that provide pointers to the state of play in the property market. These include supply side figures from Rightmove, demand side numbers from Nationwide and mixed-adjusted indices from the Department of Communities and Local Government.

from The Great Debate UK:

BT must be more efficient

david-kuo_motley-foolthumbnail- David Kuo is director at The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

BT’s annual results were expected to be bad. It turns out that they weren’t just bad – they were awful.

Now, many of us were expecting massive losses, a slashing of dividends, the axing of jobs and a gaping hole in the company’s pension fund. And BT duly delivered on all fronts.

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