Cox: Amsterdam has first-world financial dilemma

By Rob Cox
October 13, 2016

The city that invented the stock exchange and multinational may be Europe's ideal post-Brexit banking hub. Beyond fears about traders' Ferraris clogging bike lanes, however, Amsterdammers will need to overcome a bonus cap. This is where populism may win out over Dutch pragmatism.

London’s divorce from wider UK can only go so far

July 1, 2016

The capital's new mayor is right to seek greater tax autonomy. But after a divisive vote in which Londoners wanted to stay in the EU, the trick is to do so without increasing divisions with the rest of the UK. Offsetting devolution with lower grants is a good place to start.

Time Out IPO more fringe than West End

June 10, 2016

The loss-making events magazine is raising 90 mln pounds on London’s junior market. Its revamp depends on convincing visitors to book tickets on its site, though its track record hasn’t been great so far. Online booking is a crowded field and the price it is asking looks high.

UK Faustian pact with banks has a grim logic

February 15, 2016

HSBC’s unsurprising decision to stay domiciled in London rounds off nine months of the UK softening its approach to banks. There are reasons to find this new tone uncomfortable. But that is a moot point so long as the banking sector supplies 7 pct of UK income tax revenue.

EU helps New York beat London in hot art market

November 14, 2014

Works by Warhol, Koons and Twombly helped Christie’s sell a record $853 mln at its latest contemporary art sale in New York. Sotheby’s traded a less spectacular $344 mln a day earlier. London, though, is far behind in the sizzling sector. European regulations are partly to blame.

London real estate at an inflection point

July 17, 2014

Property values in the UK capital are up 20 pct in a year. But leading indicators – buyer enquiries, new mortgages and volumes – have stalled. For prices to hold, foreign buyers will have to spend more in spite of a stronger pound and punitive taxation.

Review: Fictional financiers remain elusive

March 30, 2012

Despite the crash, recent novels have produced few memorable investment bankers. Roger Yount, the anti-hero of John Lanchester’s “Capital”, might have been an exception. Sadly, his tale is lost in the sprawling novel’s attempt to capture a cross-section of London.

Olympics feel good value, even if they aren’t

July 27, 2012

The world may gloat at London’s mishaps. And for the over-extended UK, the economic wisdom of spending $14 billion on the Games is uncertain at best. Yet British spirits are high. Olympic investment is paying dividends, even if they aren’t strictly financial.

Olympics a bad metaphor for economic rivalry

August 2, 2012

China breaks the rules, the U.S. loses its edge, Britain barely registers at all. It’s easy to see the Games as a mirror for reality. But economics is different. Co-operation is rewarded, the prizes keep growing, and there are many ways to win, provided the competitors play fair.

Urban real estate may not be such a safe haven

September 4, 2012

Urban real estate may prove a deceptive safe haven. Investors seeking refuge from economic turmoil in the euro zone and mainland China are snapping up prime houses and apartments in the likes of London and Hong Kong. That risks crowding out locals. If the onslaught continues, cities may start to raise defenses.