European Scenario

WEEKLY COMMENT 23-02-2017

By Barry Edwards

European Scenario

The Conservative win at the Copeland by-election is a stunning victory for the Theresa May government and their political management of the Brexit policies they have outlined. Admittedly, there are other issues that worked heavily in their favour especially the nuclear energy policy but however it is analysed winning an opposition held constituency mid-term is a rare event.  It clearly sends a signal that if a general election were to be held in the next few months the possibility of a massive swing to the Tories is almost certain. In fact, it actually indicates that it is not necessary to do that and cements the strong position the government has politically. read more

2017 Reality Check

WEEKLY COMMENT 16-02-2017

By Barry Edwards

2017 Reality Check

 

The first six weeks of 2017 has produced abundant comment about the potential or looming disaster of the world economy that we have seen for some time. Those people who analyse financial and economic events have been prolific in their pronouncements and it is difficult to gather a general consensus for the direction or trend of what the future holds. Events such as Brexit and the election of Donald trump with the rise of populism throughout the developed world have created an environment that presents so many possibilities that accurate prediction is unfathomable. read more

The Cost of Brexit

WEEKLY COMMENT 9-02-2017

By Barry Edwards

The Cost of Brexit

 

Now the government is properly authorised by parliament to activate article 50 of the EU treaty, the reality of the cost of exiting is the main subject under discussion by economists, journalists and commentators. What this really entails has been described in a paper from the Centre for Economic Reform (CER) written by Alex Barker, the Brussels bureau chief for the Financial Times. It is an easy to read well written document explaining the fundamental financial commitments that the UK is committed to with the EU and how it all might be finalised. If you click on the link below you can read the paper (15 pages); read more

BofE Inflation Report

WEEKLY COMMENT 2-02-2017

By Barry Edwards

BofE Inflation Report

The Bank of England’s inflation report is a very different document from the previous ones since the referendum. It is strikingly positive compared to the pessimistic outlook that was the theme of the others. Despite all the warnings the British economy refuses to react in the way predicted by many economists and commentators and consequently the BofE has forecast a much more encouraging future for the UK over the next two years. If you click on the link below you can read the report (45 pages); read more

Industrial Strategy

WEEKLY COMMENT 26-01-2017

By Barry Edwards

Industrial Strategy

The paper published by the government earlier this week setting out the plan for an industrial strategy was a big step in the right direction but it was a small step in preparing the country for the potential there is to make a real difference. The paper did say that this is the first stage and that further discussion and contributions will be listened to before the final draft is presented in the summer for comment by everyone. read more

Outlook for 2017

 

WEEKLY COMMENT 19-01-2017

By Barry Edwards

Outlook for 2017

Apologies for no comment last week, the computer gave up the ghost the night before I was about to write it with no alternative to hand. Now have a brand new Dell Vostro which is working out fine.

At this moment everything I read or hear is mostly predictions about the Trump administration or comment on the Brexit plan announced by Theresa May on Tuesday. It seems that investors and asset managers have confidence that Trump’s policies will be advantageous in the short term at least, while leaders of major countries and diplomats everywhere are very cautious and mainly pessimistic about the potential of his presidency. read more

Brexit and Trump

WEEKLY COMMENT 5-01-2017

By Barry Edwards

Brexit and Trump

The Christmas and New Year period has given people time to reflect on the prospects for 2017. There seems to be a lot of doubt that the British politicians can achieve the ideal arrangement for Brexit and the impending inauguration of Donald Trump could have long lasting implications for the balance of world power. Although many people are quietly hoping for a real improvement in economic growth and world peace, the commentators and economists are still pessimistic about that scenario being achieved. read more

The Potential of QE

WEEKLY COMMENT 8-12-2016

By Barry Edwards

The Potential of QE

An article in the Financial Times caught my attention yesterday headed ‘Blackrock calls for QE boost to infrastructure’ which is summarised below;

“The European Central Bank should retool its asset-purchase programme to fund a wave of new infrastructure spending across the continent, according to one of the world’s most powerful bond managers. Rick Rieder, global chief investment officer of BlackRock’s $1.6tn fixed income business, says the ECB has the opportunity to unleash hundreds of billions of dollars in new economic activity by shifting more of its purchases towards bonds issued by the various national and supranational organisations, such as the European Investment Bank, that fund infrastructure and provide trade finance.” read more

Looking Ahead to 2017

WEEKLY COMMENT 1-12-2016

By Barry Edwards

Looking Ahead to 2017

Big changes are about to happen in America and Europe in the way governments respond to the reactions of voters in the elections and referenda that have been held or about to be decided. There are many ideas and proposals out there from commentators and economists suggesting ways to proceed which may be considered by the new administrations that are about to control the affairs of government. There has not been a time of political turmoil for decades creating an atmosphere of expectation and foreboding at the same time. read more

Autumn Statement

WEEKLY COMMENT 24-11-2016

By Barry Edwards

Autumn Statement

 

Almost every detail in the autumn statement was previously announced or predicted accurately by the media. Consequently, there were no surprises and it was a mundane affair which did not generate much inspiration or excitement. The really interesting  plan in the statement is the revelation of the Industrial Strategy that will be published in a green paper early next year which will be the first time for ages that a British government has set out its long-term objectives to grow the economy. If you would like to read the full details of the autumn statement click on the link below; read more

The Trump Phenomenon

WEEKLY COMMENT 17-11-2016

By Barry Edwards

The Trump Phenomenon

Every article or comment about the world economy since the election of Donald Trump predicts a mixture of positive, negative and no change future for the USA and the world with the negative view just dominating the mix. Those who believe there will not be much change base their arguments on the fact that Congress will water down any proposals for big increases in expenditure that are presented to them and refuse to pass anything outrageous. Where the President has much more control over foreign policy and defence, they have confidence that the people who eventually advise and work closely with him will tame any exuberance. read more

BofE Inflation Report

WEEKLY COMMENT 3-11-2016

By Barry Edwards

BofE Inflation Report

The Bank of England (BofE) has published its quarterly inflation report which is less pessimistic in the short term than the earlier August report. The strength of the economy since the referendum has surprised most forecasters although the ultimate longer term view is that growth will recede once the UK actually leaves the EU. Inflation is expected to rise and reach 2.8% in 2019 according to the BofE but other forecasters predict that it will reach 4% mainly due to the fall in sterling since the vote. read more