The Great Debate UK

Financing must improve if UK auto sector is to thrive

–Guy Walsh is Regional Director at ABN AMRO Commercial Finance PLC. The opinion expressed are his own.–

The automotive industry is the UK’s largest sector in terms of exports, generating around £30 billion of annual revenue, but many smaller players in the sector languish due to a lack of funding.

Government officials, accustomed to dealing with large PLCs, have often failed to appreciate the particular needs of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), especially with regard to issues such as tooling finance, which requires a considerable capital outlay at a time when many SMEs are struggling to maintain their cash flow.

Where funding is available, access to information about it is in many cases opaque and difficult to find on government websites.

from The Great Debate:

Three principles for a new Wall Street

By Don Tapscott
The view expressed here are his own.

Protesters set up the “Occupy Wall Street” base camp in New York a month ago because the location epitomizes the economic forces that control the U.S. and global economies. As one sign read: “This is not a recession. It’s a robbery.” To many it feels like just that. The financial services industry is in desperate need of reform. Many bankers have behaved as secretive corporate titans serving only their own interests, and insist the devastating consequences are not their fault. They are failing to fulfill their obligations to society—in some cases, even to shareholders--and a growing number of critics view the day-to-day behavior of the financial services industry as unacceptable. If the industry doesn’t initiate reform from within then it will eventually have more extreme reform imposed from outside.

In 2008, the routine gambles of Wall Street almost brought down global capitalism and yet, so far, nothing fundamentally has changed. Restoring long-term confidence in the financial services industry requires more than individual banks changing their behavior or even governments intervening with new rules. The industry needs a new modus operandi, where all of the key players (banks, insurers, investment brokers, rating agencies and regulators) adopt the three facets of collaboration: integrity, transparency, and embracing the commons.

We’ve come a long way, baby – but we have far to go

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FINANCIAL-MARKETS/

Lara Pingue is a Personal Finance producer for Reuters.com.  The opinions expressed are her own. Thomson Reuters will host an International Women’s Day follow-the-sun live blog on March 8, 2011.

A coworker recently sent me a YouTube video of a 5-year-old girl declaring to the world her intention to get a job before she gets married. It’s a funny clip, filled with the kind of urgency and drama only a pre-teen girl can muster.  But something about it made me uneasy:  Isn’t getting a job before marriage a given? Since when is this decision worth broadcasting on the Internet?

from Reuters Investigates:

An economic giant’s Achilles heel

A year ago, Nick Carey went on a road trip around America for a project called "Route to Recovery" that took him to places hit hardest by the recession. Nick went to Saginaw, Michigan, this time for a follow-up special report on the manufacturing sector and structural unemployment: "Is America the sick man of the globe?"

One of the characters he met was Olen Ham, a retired GM worker and UAW member who is among the last of those who took part in the historic "Sitdown Strike" in 1936 that he says helped create America's middle class. You can hear from Olen in this video:

Why UK financial blogging lags behind the U.S.

Edward Croft is CEO of Stockopedia, a UK-based website which aggregates research, commentary and analysis for investors, and offers social networking opportunities. The opinions expressed are his own.

In the U.S., online financial information and investing media has exploded in recent years. Where once there were just online replicas of offline newspaper/TV commentary and anonymous spam-ridden bulletin boards, there is now a proliferation of stimulating and diverse financial content written by both professional and amateur investors.

Punishing investment bankers: the nanny-state goes global

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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. -

In a previous blog, I expressed the fear that in the aftermath of the financial crisis we were going to see either the innocent punished or guilty men convicted of the wrong crimes, or maybe both.

Women make better investors, if only more of them had a go

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Claer Barrett- Claer Barrett is associate editor of the Investors Chronicle. The opinions expressed are her own.Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.–

“I’m sorry to tell you that my husband has died, so I want a full refund on his Investors Chronicle subscription.”

Ending the disconnect between politics and business

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manwaring- Tony Manwaring is Chief Executive of Tomorrow’s Company. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Britain will soon be voting for a new government.  It should be time to discuss the big issues which will define the years ahead, notably how are we, as a nation, going to pay our way in the years ahead? Our confidence that financial services and Cool Britannia will replace manufacturing and heavy industries now looks sadly misplaced.

Battle for key professional roles ongoing for women

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AngelaEagle

-Angela Eagle is Minister of State for Pensions and Ageing Society. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.-

International Women’s Day is still as relevant today as it was almost a century ago when it was first established. In Britain, when the suffragettes won the right to vote on equal terms with men in 1928, there was a feeling that there would be an inevitable journey towards full equality with men. But we now know that there are other battles that still need to be won.

from Breakingviews:

Recovery leaves too many big problems unsolved

ed hadas.jpgThe economic worst is past. But there are many issues left to worry about.

Start with the good news. GDP is now growing almost everywhere, while the unemployment rate is hardly rising anywhere. Businesses and consumers are less fearful. As much as half of the 20 percent decline in international trade has been erased.

Perhaps the best news is what has not happened. There have been no national defaults, countries dragged into political chaos, bitter divisions among the great powers or, with a few tiny exceptions, massive declines in consumption. The global political-economic-financial system is still in business.

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