UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from MacroScope:

How uncertain exactly is the uncertain BoE?

king-inflation.jpgFor a central bank that looks certain to bust its 2 percent inflation target for most of the time between now and the London 2012 Olympics, there is still a lot of uncertainty out there.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King referred to "uncertain" or "uncertainty" about the outlook five times at the May quarterly Inflation Report press conference according to the bank's transcript, and the latest one didn't seem much more confident in tone.

"There is great uncertainty about the outlook for both the United States and our most important trading partner, the euro area," King said in his opening remarks before taking questions from reporters.

Later on, he proclaimed that the recovery period "will take several years before we adjust back to anything we can call remotely normal."

from The Great Debate UK:

Sluggish U.S. economy may threaten UK business development

- Paddy Earnshaw is the Director of Customer Relations at Travelex Global Business Payments. The opinions expressed are his own.-

British importers and exporters’ confidence in the economy leapt in July, as positive economic data fuelled hopes for a return to strong economic growth. According to the Travelex Confidence Index (TCI), which jumped 12 points in July to 116, from 104 in June, strong gains were driven by quarter 2's GDP figure, as it showed the UK grew at its fastest pace in four years.

from The Great Debate UK:

Rubbish rates – what is a saver to do?

-Rachel Mason is PR manager at Fair Investment Company. The opinions expressed are her own.-

The base rate is going to be stuck at 0.5 percent for years to come, according to experts, so where does that leave savers?

from The Great Debate UK:

EU stress tests: for banks or governments?

- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Worries about Europe’s banking system go back at least to 2007, but whereas the U.S. (and UK) banks appear to have weathered the storm, there are fears that for European banks the worst may lie ahead.  Concerns centre on four areas.

from MacroScope:

The octopus and the economists

What do an eight-legged creature in an aquarium in Germany and 74 economists have in common? The consensus view that Spain would claim the World Cup -- until the economists, as they so often do, changed their minds.

worldcup.jpgIf World Cup 2010 goes down as one of the most unpredictable and exciting competitions in recent history, bringing underdogs Holland and Spain to the final showdown, what was hopelessly routine was watching so-called expert opinion converge around the safest bet. At least among financial professionals, who have done so well of late predicting the future.

from The Great Debate UK:

Is it safe to make cuts in the current economic climate?

BRITAIN-ELECTION/

-Ian Ellis is executive chairman of Telereal Trillium. The opinions expressed are his own. Join Reuters for a live discussion with guests as Chancellor George Osborne makes  an emergency budget statement at 12:30 p.m. British time on Tuesday, June 22, 2010.-

The government is clear that reducing the public sector budget deficit is top priority and Tuesday’s budget will give us our first real indication of how and where public spending cuts are going to occur.

Newsmaker with David Cameron, George Osborne and Ken Clarke

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BRITAIN-CONSERVATIVES/Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Shadow Secretary of State for Business Ken Clarke will join us on Tuesday March 2 to give speeches and take part in a Q&A session on the economy.

With a recent newspaper poll showing Labour could hold on to power after an election due in the next few months, Cameron has admitted that the Tories now have a “fight on their hands” to prevent a fourth successive election win for Labour.

Has Alistair Darling done enough to revive Labour’s electoral hopes?

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So how was it for you?

Chancellor Alistair Darling threw the dice in his pre-budget report in an attempt to bolster Labour’s chances of winning the general election in 2010.

From hitting bankers with a one-off bonus tax to lowering bingo duty, Darling played to the Labour heartlands, while hoping to win back voters who have been telling pollsters that they are done with Gordon Brown.

from The Great Debate UK:

David Willetts on the Anglo-Saxon finance model

Demography is the most powerful single structural explanation of changes in the economy in society around us, David Willetts, Conservative Shadow Minister for Universities and Skills told Reuters ahead of a talk about European policy options on Wednesday at the London School of Economics.

Population changes in Europe and Britain will contribute to the UK becoming Europe's largest economy in the 2040s, he said.

Tony Travers on challenges the parties face

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tony_traverspmAlthough the Queen’s speech on Wednesday is a formal occasion to outline the government’s agenda for the new parliamentary session, with less than six months to go before a general election, commentators are viewing it as the unofficial launch of Labour’s campaign.

Tony Travers, director of the Greater London Group at the London School of Economics, outlines some of the challenges the parties face before elections, which must be held no later than June 2010.

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