The Great Debate UK

Budget not as generous as it first appears

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Julie Meyer-Julie Meyer is CEO of Ariadne Capital, a technology investment and advisory firm backing entrepreneurs in media, moble Internet and communications. The opinions expressed are her own.-

I recently spoke at an IBM event alongside former chancellor Norman Lamont about the issues that face entrepreneurs and how we can turbo-charge these value creators to help rebuild the country’s wealth.

As I digest Wednesday’s budget and what it holds for entrepreneurs, I’m thinking back to that night and it convinced me not to be too impressed with what at first looks like it could be a generous budget.

At a simplistic level, it splits down into taxes and funding. It doesn’t get talked about much, possibly because it’s so dull, but employers’ National Insurance is one of the most onerous taxes on business. It’s ironic that entrepreneurs are taxed for paying salaries when you think about it.

How will the budget play out?

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Julia-Whittle-Julia Whittle is principal and head of international, Punter Southall Financial Management. The opinions expressed are her own. She will participate in a Reuters Budget live blog at noon GMT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Please tune in and join the discussion.

We would certainly expect Chancellor Alistair Darling to use this budget to make a strong statement ahead of the general election to try to repair public confidence, but this may be difficult without making the situation worse.

Unified funding required to stimulate innovation

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Danny-Wootton-226x300-Danny Wootton is UK Innovation Director at Logica. The opinions expressed are his own. He will participate in a Reuters Budget live blog at noon GMT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Please tune in and join the discussion. -

It is pretty well accepted that budget cuts in public spending are inevitable, but it is important that a plan to effectively use the funding that will be available to stimulate the economy and drive innovation forward is developed.

Budget should pave way for businesses to hire

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joewhite

- Joe White is chief operating officer at gandi.net. The opinions expressed are his own. He will participate in a in a Reuters Budget live blog at noon GMT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Please tune in and join the discussion.-

With the general election just around the corner, chances are that this will be a very safe budget from Chancellor Alistair Darling.

The Budget: What’s it got to do with economics?

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Laurence_Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. He might participate in a Reuters Budget live blog at noon GMT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Please tune in and join the discussion.-

The UK media have a long-established tradition of investing Budgets with a theatrical level of tension far in excess of their economic importance. It remains to be seen whether they will consider next week’s budget worth the effort of building up, because it is likely to be a complete non-event.

Is Hyde Park for sale?

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Laurence_Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

So Bundestag members have been suggesting Greece sell an island or two, or maybe even the Acropolis, in order to pay off its mountainous debts?

Budget 2010: How to thaw the economy

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Anthony_Evans- Anthony J. Evans is assistant professor at ESCP Europe Business School. He will participate in a Reuters Budget live blog at noon GMT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Please tune in and join the discussion.-

We’re used to hearing how credit markets “froze” in the summer of 2008, and how the subsequent policy responses have been aimed at economic recovery. Indeed politicians often use terms such as “stimulate” or “kick start” to give the impression that intervention is a necessary prelude to growth.

from The Great Debate:

Goodbye America, Hello China? Think again

For the growing number of Americans who see China heading for inevitable global dominance, nudging aside the United States, a brief walk down memory lane helps put long-term predictions into perspective.

Not so long ago, Japan was seen as the next (economic) number 1. American executives studied the 14 management principles of The Toyota Way, developed by the automobile manufacturer that grew into the world's biggest car maker and is now recalling millions of defective vehicles.

from MacroScope:

Brit shock horror: euro to survive

Euro brezinys_EC1

Britons have never really got the euro zone. "Its not really going to happen, is it?" was a typical question from a City analyst to Reuters back in the mid-90s. The political drive behind the creation of the monetary union was beyond many in eurosceptic Britain.

So the results of a straw poll at an event sponsored by independent City advisers Lombard Street Research were somewhat suprising.  A hundred or so mainly British investors were asked whether the euro would be around in five years with its current membership. Response was about 80 percent saying yes to 20 percent saying no.

from Breakingviews:

Stock market rally celebrates bittersweet birthday

Birthdays are a good time to look back. The first anniversary of the global stock market rally -- the lows were hit on March 9, 2009 -- certainly brings back memories. It's easy to see why the MSCI World Index  is 71 percent higher now than then.

Then there was a steep recession, now there is GDP growth. Then it was realistic to worry about such horrors as rapid deflation, serial banking crises and a competitive protectionism. All of those menaces have now receded. And stock market investors can be cheered to see companies sufficiently in control of their short-term destiny for most of them to meet or beat analyst expectations of reported profits.

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