Fraser Nelson

Politics | 18 October 2008

Few would dispute that, in the last fortnight, Gordon Brown has shown why he has been a fixture for so long at the very apex of British politics. His economic model has imploded and his debt pyramid collapsed. The taxpayer is up to his neck to the tune of half a trillion pounds to clear

Shared Opinion | 18 October 2008

The grimmest assessment of the world economic meltdown that I have seen came not from a banker or a politician or a pundit, but from Kristian, a 53-year-old Icelandic fisherman quoted in the Times. ‘The priorities went askew,’ he sighed. ‘We thought we could have jam on our bread every day of the week.’ God.

The Spectator's Notes

The Spectator’s Notes | 18 October 2008

Nearly 20 years ago, after the Tiananmen Square massacres, The Spectator campaigned for all Hong Kong people to be given British passports. Part of our argument was that, if they all had the passports, very few of them would want to come here: they would have the confidence to stay. That, in essence, is the

Any other business

Any Other Business | 18 October 2008

The ticking parcel I failed to spot and the oil-price prediction I got spot on Last week’s global stock market panic, the overture to this week’s astonishing round of state interventions, was in part provoked by fear of humongous losses in something called ‘credit default swaps’. These arcane inventions by Wall Street rocket-scientists are a

Socialism seizes the City

To anyone born before 1980, the idea that the state would own a large part of the economy was normal. The ‘mixed economy’ was a typically British compromise between American cut-throat capitalism and the incompetent communism beyond the Iron Curtain — or at least a compromise between the socialist leanings of the Labour Left and

The unravelling of the great buy-to-let scam

Ross Clark says speculators and fraudsters saw easy money in buying city-centre flats with borrowed money — but investors and lenders now face huge losses as prices crash I have developed a rather ghoulish pastime. It involves thumbing through auction results for repossessed apartments in city centres, then checking what those same properties sold for

And Another Thing | 18 October 2008

My attitude to money is simple. I want to think about it as little as possible. So I have arranged my life with this end in view. I work hard and spend less than I earn. I put aside sums for tax and VAT and do the returns promptly. I pay bills by return of

Global Warning | 18 October 2008

All old Africa hands have a story of their narrow escape from charging elephants to tell. I have one myself, but I know from experience that such stories are usually more interesting to the teller than to the told. They are not quite as bad as big game hunting stories, however: they are the real