Can the Bank of England inspire confidence?

It has dawned on the government that last week’s mini-Budget might have been a bit too one-sided: £70 billion worth of extra borrowing and not a single mention of spending cuts or efficiency gains has seen borrowing costs spike (up by 0.3 per cent just today). As James Forsyth reports on Coffee House, this afternoon’s announcement that a ‘medium term fiscal plan’ will be announced next month is an attempt by the Treasury to reassure markets – and convince them that fiscal responsibility has not totally disappeared from this government’s agenda. Emphasis is being placed on previous promises to make sure debt falls as a percentage of GDP in the

How worrying is the falling pound?

How are markets responding to Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget? A sharp fall in the pound today has plenty of critics arguing that the tax-slashing announcements have already proved a failure. Sterling fell this afternoon to $1.09, bringing the currency to another 37-year low against the dollar. This is more than a 3 per cent dip in just one day. The euro took a hit too, but a smaller one at 1.5 per cent. It’s difficult to separate this new record low from today’s announcements – but also near impossible to draw direct correlation, as the pound and euro have both been in freefall against the dollar for weeks now. With the

Has Salmond just shattered Sturgeon’s currency delusion?

The war of the Salmondites versus the Sturgeonites is just getting started. Who knows how nasty it will get or what the longer term ramifications will be? Already apparent though is how Salmond’s pantomime villain shimmy back into the political arena is forcing Nicola Sturgeon onto ground she would rather avoid during an election campaign. The usual SNP tactic around elections is to downplay separation talk and reach out to risk averse moderate voters, safe in the knowledge the party’s most zealous supporters will stay in line. But with Salmond on the scene demanding to know how exactly Sturgeon will achieve independence, that is not an option. Sturgeon will have