Martin Vander Weyer rssVander-Weyer-NEW

Martin Vander Weyer is business editor of The Spectator. He writes the weekly Any Other Business column.


Storm warning: the world economy’s October troubles aren’t over yet

18 October 2014

October is always a turbulent month, and I’m feeling uneasy about this one. The FTSE100 index, which looked set to break through 7,000 in September, has lost more than 500… Read more

Money Lending Firm Wonga Report Profits Of Over £1m Per Week

Yes, Wonga lent at shocking rates – but it was customers who lied

11 October 2014

‘Payday Lady is not trading at this time,’ says her website, sounding a little like La Dame aux camélias. Indeed (since I could not find her anywhere) the message may indicate… Read more


Why the real winner from George Osborne’s ‘Google tax’ could be Nigel Farage

4 October 2014

George Osborne’s promise to crack down on multinational companies’ avoidance of UK taxes by the use of impenetrable devices such as the ‘Double Irish’ and the ‘Dutch Sandwich’ certainly has… Read more


Is the US using bank fines to bring allies into line against Russia?

27 September 2014

Here’s one for all you conspiracy nuts out there, prompted by readers’ comments on my recent item about whether BP has been unjustly targeted by the US political and judicial… Read more


Santander’s secret: to conquer the world, stay like a small-town bank

20 September 2014

Four years ago, I wrote that I knew no dark rumours about Santander, the rising force in UK high street banking, but that history taught me banks which expand rapidly… Read more

Closed beaches due to the   Deepwater Horizon disaster off the Gulf Coast, 2011

BP's been punished enough – but not because Americans hate the Brits

13 September 2014

I should declare two connections before I start offering opinions about the latest US judgment against BP relating to the ‘Macondo’ disaster — the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig… Read more

Head of the French Socialist party Jean-Christophe Cambadelis Photo: Getty

Rona Fairhead will be good for the BBC – but who was so keen to nobble her rival?

6 September 2014

Hats off to Rona Fairhead, the former Financial Times executive who will succeed Lord Patten as chairman of the BBC Trust. It requires a brave spirit to take on this… Read more

Mario Draghi Photo: Getty

Europe's leaders worship Mario Draghi. They should listen to him instead

30 August 2014

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi secured a place in history by his demonstration, on 26 July 2012, of the power of words in a financial crisis. Not long in… Read more


This time, the lefties are right: we really do pay our bosses too much

23 August 2014

The FTSE100 index stands precisely where it did in the first week of December 1999. Whichever way you look at it, shareholders — including pension funds — have had a… Read more


Fine, get a job in the City. But reach for your dreams first

16 August 2014

August is the season for conversation about career choices. Every holiday party seems to include new graduates or next year’s graduands in need of grown-up advice. Many yearn to be… Read more

Centricas new boss: Iain Conn Photo: Getty

The man who could sell the British public on fracking

9 August 2014

Iain Conn, who will succeed Sam Laidlaw as chief executive of Centrica, would have been a dead cert for the top job at his current employer, BP, were it not… Read more

Vladimir Putin talks to Rosneft President Igor Sechin Photo: AFP/Getty

I know how ineffective sanctions are – but these ones just might work

2 August 2014

‘Sanctions,’ said Kofi Annan, ‘are a necessary middle ground between war and words.’ Neither the EU nor the US will deploy troops or missiles to defend Ukraine against Russian-backed separatists,… Read more

Day 35 of the Queen's Baton Relay in Scotland

Forecasting is a mug’s game – but I was right about the economic revival

26 July 2014

‘Perhaps I should shift my prediction to 23 July 2014,’ I wrote in April 2012. ‘That’s the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and we must all start thinking… Read more


Any other business: trouble spots in European banking

19 July 2014

‘1914: Day by Day’, the Radio 4 series by the historian Margaret MacMillan, is a gripping reminder that significant global events often arrive not in a single eruption but in… Read more


Room for improvement

12 July 2014

‘The most creative country on earth, at the forefront of the latest industry, making things and selling them to the world.’ That was the vision David Cameron conjured up for… Read more


Gold-fixing is the last ghost of the old City. It won't be around much longer

12 July 2014

In a season obsessed with sport and personal misbehaviour — separately or in combination — the word ‘fixing’ immediately brings to mind ‘match-fixing’, as in ‘Two World Cup referees suspected’… Read more

Damp, green and beguiling: Killarney

Damp, green and beguiling – the joys of Killarney

12 July 2014

Here’s a question for a Guinness-sponsored pub quiz: who or what is a ‘jarvie’? The answer is the gypsy driver of a ‘jaunting car’ — or pony and trap —… Read more


Ryedale Festival: a beacon of survival without subsidy

12 July 2014

There are festivals of everything, everywhere. So why get excited about the Ryedale Festival (11–27 July) apart from the fact that it happens on my Yorkshire home ground — and… Read more


‘Dark pools’ are just another conspiracy of bankers against the public

5 July 2014

It was at the Mansion House dinner last year that a City gent two seats away announced himself to be the custodian of one of London’s ‘dark pools’. The phrase… Read more

Chancellor George Osborne And Prime Minster David Cameron Visit Manchester

George Osborne’s cynical grab for northern votes (and why I’m for it)

28 June 2014

When John Prescott used to wax garrulous about a ‘superhighway’ from Hull to Liverpool, everyone assumed it was a wheeze to spray southern taxpayers’ money across the region he saw… Read more


The return of oil price anxiety is a timely reminder to get fracking

21 June 2014

‘Iraq turmoil sends crude oil prices to nine-month high’ is the sort of headline that used to send shivers down economists’ spines, especially if it appeared on the same page… Read more


The internet is broken – and we can no longer do without it

14 June 2014

‘The internet is broken,’ a corporate chieftain told me last week. It was an arresting remark, but he did not mean that his home Wi-Fi hub had gone down and… Read more

England And Scotland Fans Arrive To Renew The Oldest Rivalry In Football

I salute the wisdom of young Scots on independence (they're voting no, by the way)

7 June 2014

It’s a constant theme of this column that today’s young need to stop whingeing about their prospects and get on with making their own future. But a quick north-of-the-border tour… Read more

Thomas Piketty Photo: Getty

Fight Thomas Piketty or face a mansion tax

31 May 2014

The postman at the door is stooped by his burden like an allegorical statue of Labour Oppressed by Capital. His wearisome, low-waged task is to deliver a copy of Thomas… Read more

American Pharmaceutical Company Pfizer Propose To Takeover British AstraZeneca

Forget about saving British big pharma – it's little pharma we should be helping

24 May 2014

Readers in all sorts of places — at the club bar, over a birthday lunch, even along the church pew — had been telling me I was wrong not to… Read more