Infrastructure dream grounded by Heathrow reality

October 25, 2016

Britain has finally agreed to add a runway to London’s main airport. Even now, the plan may yet founder. Western democracies face challenges when launching big projects. The benefits of a renewed splurge of infrastructure spending will take decades to materialise.

Free trade can survive its Wallonian wobble

October 25, 2016

The tiny Belgian region is holding up a trade pact between Europe and Canada. That doesn’t mean such deals are impossible, though - they just need even more time and creative thinking. The messy process also undermines the notion that ordinary people have no say in globalisation.

Defiant losers are becoming a costly problem

October 20, 2016

Pro-EU campaigners and Britons who live near airports have challenged the will of the majority. Donald Trump may not accept U.S. election results. In finance, companies regularly face and resolve such insurrections. Solutions are similar in politics, but harder to implement.

Inflation shows up at wrong time for Mark Carney

October 18, 2016

UK consumer prices are rising at their fastest pace in nearly two years. It should be a proud moment for the Bank of England chief, who has been struggling to achieve exactly this. Unfortunately, the pound’s fall is going to give him a bit too much of what he wanted.

UK property didn’t get the “hard Brexit” memo

October 17, 2016

Real estate funds that froze after the UK vote are opening, and prices have stabilised. Yet rents could collapse if Britain makes a clean break with the EU, and foreign investors may not ride to the rescue. Property stocks pricing in 20-percent price falls aren't cheap.

from Viewsroom:

Viewsroom: Samsung’s fiery future

October 13, 2016

Cancelling production of its self-combusting Note 7 smartphone puts the company's reputation as well as $17 bln or more at risk. Cities, businesses and investors are putting Trump and Clinton to shame on climate change. Plus: Brexit politics get shaken up by the pound's decline.

British retailers have leverage over Unilever

October 13, 2016

The maker of Dove soap wants supermarkets like Tesco to pay more for its goods as the pound weakens. They can’t easily pass that cost on to shoppers. Grocers have two reasons to play tough: Unilever's 15 pct operating margin, and their access to the consumer.

Sliding sterling is a long way from a crisis

October 4, 2016

The pound has fallen to 31-year lows below $1.28. That’s hardly a disaster. Buoyant UK bonds and stocks suggest there are few concerns about Britain’s hefty budget and current account deficits. It would take a much steeper drop to worry Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Britain starts Brexit; now so might banks

October 3, 2016

The UK's two-year process to leave the European Union will kick off by the end of March. Financial groups wondering whether to move operations now have the same uncertainty as before, only with a hard 2019 deadline. That could prompt the start of the big relocation.

Corbyn is global symbol not of rage but confusion

September 23, 2016

The UK Labour Party leader, facing re-election this weekend, has split the left in two. Divisive figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump reflect a new difficulty in identifying heroes and villains. An old foe, globalisation, is in retreat, yet perceived inequality persists.