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So the FTSE100 has finally broken its record – it’s still not doing nearly as well as executive pay

28 March 2015

The FTSE100 index has at last breached 7,000, surpassing its peak of 30 December 1999 and provoking moderate celebration among investors who have enjoyed such poor returns all these years.… Read more

Photo: Getty

Here’s what a real reform of business rates would look like

21 March 2015

Of all the measures talked up ahead of the Budget, the reannouncement of a ‘radical’ review of the business rates was the least concrete in content but the most important… Read more

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Won’t someone please unleash the challenger banks?

14 March 2015

In my Yorkshire town of Helmsley the NatWest branch, originally an outpost of Beckett & Co of Leeds, has closed down — collateral damage of its crippled parent RBS’s continuing… Read more

Standard Chartered new boy: Bill Winters Photo: Getty

Watch out: Standard Chartered is even trickier to manage than credit default swaps

7 March 2015

One day you’re an elder statesman, chairing top committees and pontificating on Question Time, and the next you’re out in the cold, reading terrible headlines about yourself in the newspapers… Read more

Prime Minister David Cameron Visits Manchester

How Labour’s 50p tax trick has ended up helping George Osborne

28 February 2015

Last week’s public borrowing and tax-receipt figures, headlined ‘Chancellor hails biggest monthly surplus in seven years’, received considerably less attention than the employment and wage-growth numbers a week earlier, underlining… Read more

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Bet on a swift Grexit

21 February 2015

‘Will Greece exit the eurozone in 2015?’ Paddy Power was pricing ‘yes’ at 3-to-1 on Tuesday, with 5-to-2 on another Greek general election within the year and 6-to-4 on the… Read more

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Lord Green must answer for HSBC’s sins – but maybe it was always too big to manage

14 February 2015

Stephen Green — the former trade minister Lord Green of Hurstpier-point, who became this week’s political punchbag— was always a rather Olympian, out-of-the-ordinary figure at HSBC. This was a bank… Read more

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Why cheap oil could mean a Labour victory

7 February 2015

BP’s profits are down, and the oil giant is slashing up to $6 billion out of its investment plan for the year. At Shell, the cut could amount to $15… Read more

New Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis Photo: Getty

What’s good about austerity (whatever the Greeks think)

31 January 2015

The only question I remember from my Oxford moral philosophy paper was ‘What is integrity and is it a virtue?’ In the margins of all the politicking that follows the… Read more

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How Switzerland's central bank got it so wrong – and the place that got it right

24 January 2015

The Swiss National Bank usually ticks away as quietly as one of its nation’s more expensive timepieces, but when the cuckoo does occasionally burst out of the clock, all hell… Read more

The RMT's Mick Cash (centre) Photo: PA Images

The RMT’s Mick Cash and Tesco’s Dave Lewis win my prizes for media manipulation

17 January 2015

Mixed results for the Brits at the Golden Globes, but I’m pleased to announce that my Golden Monkey Wrench for media manipulation goes to Mick Cash and his team at… Read more

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Good news! The eurozone is now strong enough to split

10 January 2015

Ever since European Central Bank president Mario Draghi declared himself ready, in July 2012, ‘to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro’, the likely disintegration of the single currency… Read more

The Dance to the Music of Time, 1638, by Nicolas Poussin Photo: Getty

What to expect in business in 2015 (probably not the Triumph of Probity, Honour and Prudence)

3 January 2015

You might recall a column I once wrote about a party at the Wallace Collection. It took place in late 2008, the host was the US investment bank Morgan Stanley,… Read more

Ant and Dec: Two for the price of one? Photo: Getty

How do I ever get speaking gigs? I’m guessing it goes like this…

13 December 2014

To Brighton, to address a conference of property investors. Unusually, I find myself programmed alongside both Gerard Lyons, City economist turned Mayor Boris’s adviser, who is notably upbeat in his… Read more

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Cheap oil has finally arrived – and it looks like being a disaster

6 December 2014

This oil price slump is turning into a ‘black swan’: one of those economic events that seem to come from nowhere with strange and unforeseen effects. As Brent Crude dips… Read more

Forget corporate social responsibility: just do a proper job

29 November 2014

A theme of this autumn has been conversations about corporate reputation and how it is guarded or lost. To name but three, I have kicked this around at a ‘Trust… Read more

Canary Wharf Skyline seen at Night

I worry about Qatar’s bid for Canary Wharf — even if they deserve each other

22 November 2014

I’ve written before of a ‘curse of Qatar’ that might explain misfortunes attending the Gulf state’s UK investments, of which the seven-years-delayed Chelsea Barracks redevelopment is an example. I also… Read more

The Venetian Hotel in Sin City

Why I’m glad there’s no British Las Vegas

15 November 2014

I didn’t realise that the Rialto Bridge has a moving walkway and muzak, that the gondolas beneath it float on a clear blue pool, and that the school of Tiepolo… Read more

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What British start-ups are still missing

8 November 2014

This issue includes the new Spectator Money supplement, in which I hope you’ll find a bouquet of stimulating ideas. The cover piece by the enterprise campaigner Michael Hayman waxes lyrical… Read more

The late Emilio Botín of Banco Santander Photo: Getty

How Italy failed the stress test (and Emilio Botín didn’t)

1 November 2014

Continuing last week’s theme, it was the Italian banks — with nine fails, four still requiring capital injections — that bagged the booby prize in the great EU stress-testing exercise,… Read more

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The one economic indicator that never stops rising: meet the Negroni Index

25 October 2014

This dispatch comes to you from Venice — where I arrived at sunset on the Orient Express. More of that journey on another occasion, I hope. Suffice to say that… Read more

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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

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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

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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