WEEKLY COMMENT 7-03-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 7-03-2013

By Barry Edwards

You will probably have seen a lot of mention about the USA budget control referred to as ‘The Sequester’ in the last week. This actually came into effect on the 1st of March without much comment from the general media in the UK. Amazingly, the only reaction has been that the American Dow Jones index and the British FT 100 index reached new record highs on Tuesday.

Before I comment any further, it is best to explain what it is all about and the following was taken from ‘Wikipedia’ since it gives all the basic facts without going on too much. If you know what it is all about skip the next four paragraphs in italics. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 28-02-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 28-02-2013

By Barry Edwards

There has been a lot of talk about the loss of the AAA rating for UK government bonds from Moody’s in the last week. The politicians are trying to score points off each other over this without having much effect on the markets or convincing anyone else that it actually has any effect on the cost of borrowing. Does any of this make a difference to future economic growth? That’s our topic for this week.

Other countries that have lost their AAA ratings recently are the USA and France which had no effect on their government bond prices and yields remain unchanged. In fact, there are only a few countries that still retain their AAA rating. The markets have taken the view that a sovereign country able to print money is never going to default. Although France is a Euro zone member, the European Central Bank (ECB) has made it clear that it will do whatever it takes to prevent a market collapse in any members’ government bonds. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 21-02-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 21-02-2013

By Barry Edwards

Since David Cameron made his statement on the European Union (EU), the Swedish finance minister, Anders Borg, a highly respected commentator on all matters financial has given his views this week on where we are with the dilemma of the Euro zone and the other 10 members of the EU.

To highlight what he said, here are the main points:-

‘I would strongly argue that the euro countries should be more hesitant when they are talking about moving towards a fiscal union. They might create something that solves very little but undermines the whole fundamental structure of the European Union’ read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 14-02-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 14-02-2013

By Barry Edwards

There are three subjects that I would like to make a comment on this week. They are the statement by Anthony Jenkins of Barclays Bank, Cyprus and Barrack Obama’s State of the Union address.

They seem to summarise how the official world is looking at the next few years of our economic development and the rhetoric of political opinion.

In the case of Barclays Bank, the most telling statement of the announcement was:-

‘The behaviours which made headlines during the year stemmed from a period of 20 years in banking in which the sector became too aggressive, too focused on the short term and too disconnected from the needs of customers and clients and the wider society’. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 7-02-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 7-02-2013

By Barry Edwards

The Chancellor’s speech about the legislation parliament is preparing to improve the regulations to control banks, which is due to be finalised in 2015, was centred around the intention to enforce the ‘ringfencing’ plan put forward by John Vickers in his report.

Many people and politicians feel that the banks must be made to separate their investment banking from the personal and smaller business activities to prevent another financial crisis occurring again. Creating two distinct businesses within the same bank is the proposal agreed upon by government and a reluctant banking industry which is referred to as ‘ringfencing’. This should make sure the investment banking side does not utilise funding from the retail business to carry out its ‘casino’ style functions, as it has become known. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 31.01.2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 31-01-2013

 By Chris Penniston

In the absence of anything of great interest concerning the matters normally discussed in the weekly comment. We thought that it might be useful to remind clients and visitors to the web-site what the Txtreme business is all about.

The SMS (Short Message Service) concept was developed in the Franco-German GSM cooperation in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert. The innovation in SMS is Short. The GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is optimized for telephony, since this was identified as its main application. The key idea for SMS was to use this telephone-optimized system, and to transport messages on the signaling paths needed to control the telephone traffic during time periods when no signaling traffic existed. In this way, unused resources in the system could be used to transport messages at minimal cost. However, it was necessary to limit the length of the messages to 128 bytes (later improved to 140 bytes, or 160 seven-bit characters) so that the messages could fit into the existing signaling formats. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 24-01-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 24-01-2013

By Barry Edwards

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/eu-speech-at-bloomberg/

If you would like to read David Cameron’s entire speech, right click on the link above and click on ‘Open Hyperlink’. This should work for most browsers, otherwise copy the link and paste it into your email address box at the top of your screen and click enter. It takes about 20 minutes to read the paper.

=====

The European Union Debate

The speech by David Cameron has reawakened the debate about the EU and had an enormous impact worldwide as soon as the script was released. It has stimulated reaction from many politicians, businessmen, commentators and reporters. This is the first time that a major political figure has set out a framework for discussion about the concept of the EU since the financial crisis threatened the very existence of the Eurozone and the currency it has created. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 17-01-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 17-01-2013

By Barry Edwards

 

The news that HMV and Blockbuster have called in the administrators are the latest casualties in the UK high street that is a direct result of the gradual shift by many consumers buying product on line. Other companies selling electrical and photographic merchandise have met the same problems clearly demonstrating that this trend is gaining momentum.

Recent statistics for the Christmas period show that 20% of all purchases were made over the Internet which must surely be a trend that will only increase. In reality there has to be some kind of level where the equilibrium between the Internet and the high street will settle and in my view this is likely to be around 40-50% of all purchases. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 10-01-2013

WEEKLY COMMENT 10-01-2013

By Barry Edwards

 A Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone from the Txtreme team.

As we moved into the New Year we stepped back from the fiscal cliff and started the year with unenthusiastic acceptance of the political agreement from the markets and financial commentators. The result, surprisingly, was a boost to stock markets around the world and a general air of confidence prevailed for a few days. This seems to be dissipating fairly quickly as the forecasts for 2013 are becoming gloomier. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 20-12-2012

WEEKLY COMMENT 20-12-2012

By Barry Edwards

In the UK the year of 2012 has not turned out to be as bad as many of us thought it was going to be even though we have gone through another official recession of two quarters of shrinking gross domestic product (GDP).

The Olympics transformed everyone’s doom and gloom into outright enthusiasm especially in London and the south east. Things are clearly not that rosy in the north but in general there is an air of confidence beginning to flourish although it is still very tenuous. Any major economic disaster story could wreck that feeling but at the moment there does not appear to be anything on the horizon that could be that threatening. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 13-12-2012

WEEKLY COMMENT 13-12-2012

By Barry Edwards

 

There has been a lot of discussion concerning the UK status within the EU in the last few weeks. It seems that The Conservative Party is splitting itself into three representing;

  1. Definitely remain in the EU.
  2. Come out of the EU.
  3. Repatriate some of the powers but remain a member mainly for trade purposes as originally decided in the last referendum.

It appears that The Prime Minister and Boris Johnson, who has become a lead spokesman on this matter, are both seeking to promote option 3 and then ask the nation in a referendum whether they agree with that or come out altogether.

The debate is attempting to finally resolve the EU question so that the politicians and business can be certain how to plan ahead with full support from the nation.  If the UK was a large company this would be a very reasonable approach and makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, we are a diverse nation of people who have very strong views not all of them based on the actual facts of the situation. read more

WEEKLY COMMENT 6-12-2012

WEEKLY COMMENT 6-12-2012

By Barry Edwards

There was a vast amount of information released connected with the Autumn Statement which has taken some time to skim through and check for relevance to business.

The Autumn Statement was not the grand economic growth plan that we were lead to believe was going to be unveiled by the Chancellor. In previous weekly comments; Lord Heseltine’s report and infrastructure were discussed which were referred to in the statement but not as a cohesive plan to really make a difference. read more