Matthew Lynn

Matthew Lynn

Matthew Lynn is a financial columnist and author of ‘Bust: Greece, The Euro and The Sovereign Debt Crisis’ and ‘The Long Depression: The Slump of 2008 to 2031’

There’s a reason the market is rejecting electric cars

They are cheap to run. They rarely break down. And perhaps most of all they are far better for the environment. For the last decade we have been endlessly lectured about how electric cars are so completely superior to the petrol variety that they would quickly dominate the market. But hold on. Now that some

Is climate change really to blame for rising food costs?

Everything in the shops is getting more expensive and restaurant bills have become prohibitive. We are all aware that food price inflation is a major factor in the overall cost-of-living crisis. It might seem plausible, as claimed today, that climate change is a major factor driving this. After all, weird weather, wildfires and droughts make

Is Javier Milei already defying his critics?

Critics of Argentina’s president Javier Milei have already made up their minds: he is a lunatic and his plans will collapse on first contact with the real world. Argentina’s money will run out and the economy will grind to a halt. To some commentators, he is a ‘hard-right’ ideologue who will crash the economy within

Don’t be deceived by Jeremy Hunt’s tax ‘giveaways’

When Jeremy Hunt takes to his feet in the Commons this afternoon to deliver his Autumn Statement, he’ll be trying to woo voters with some tax ‘giveaways’: VAT thresholds might be raised to help small businesses and the basic rate of National Insurance could be reduced for the rest of us. But hold on. Before

Biden and Xi’s meeting is a boost to the global economy

At least there will be some pandas. At his summit with President Biden this week, China’s President Xi pledged to send more cuddly bears to the US, the traditional Chinese way of cementing good relations with other countries. More importantly, there was a significant easing of tensions between the two largest economies in the world.

In defence of ‘rip-off’ airline charges

The Conservative party is 25 points behind in the polls. Its backbenchers are scrambling around to find new jobs, and the opposition is already making its plans for government. Rishi Sunak’s grip on the premiership is growing more tenuous with every passing day. But, heck, never mind. It turns out the PM has a cunning

Will Elon Musk end up humiliating Rishi Sunak?

Bill Gates was probably otherwise engaged. Mark Zuckerberg was busy in the metaverse. And Jeff Bezos was tied up on his next rocket trip. When the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was looking for a major technology tycoon to host a conversation with at his Artificial Intelligence summit later this week those were probably the names

What Rachel Reeves’s book blunder reveals

Shadow chancellor’s Rachel Reeves’s new book, The Women Who Made Modern Economics, was meant to put the spotlight on unsung female economists. Instead, the focus has fallen back on Reeves herself – and not for the reason she hoped. Reeves has denied plagiarism after it emerged that the book is littered with passages from other

Who would lend money to Humza Yousaf?

It runs a vast budget deficit. It keeps raising taxes way above its neighbour. It spends wildly, it is at war with its major industry, and its former leader has been arrested over an investigation into missing party funds. But, heck, never mind about that. Humza Yousaf, the leader of the Scottish National Party, has

Mark Carney is wrong to endorse Rachel Reeves

The timing could hardly have been better. Other Labour leaders and shadow chancellors have had to make do with endorsements from the drummer in a 90s Britpop band, or a runner up for the Booker Prize. Rachel Reeves, however, rounded off her speech to the Labour party conference today with no one other than the

Why Dame Sharon White failed at John Lewis

There are lots of plausible explanations for Dame Sharon White’s failure at the department store and grocery chain John Lewis. The retail environment was too tough. Her predecessor expanded too quickly. During a cost–of-living crisis and with the shift to online shopping it was always going to be a very tough gig. Yet once you

The eurozone isn’t looking healthy

Bond yields are soaring. The cost of debt, and very soon mortgages, is rising. And the government is getting nervous about how it is going to borrow the next ten or twenty billion. This might sound like the opening of a one-year-on post-mortem of Liz Truss’s ill-fated mini-Budget (we have all been treated to those

Labour will regret handing more power to the OBR

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will have to sign off on any changes to taxation. It will need to run its slide rule over any spending plans. And it will be mandated to commission an independent panel of experts to approve the Chancellor’s lunch, checking it for nutritional standards, and competitive pricing.  Okay, it

Why is the EU forcing Apple to change its charger?

When the iPhone 15 is unveiled later today it will no doubt come with an array of flashy tweaks and upgrades. It may be slightly lighter, the camera might be better, and it could even have a slightly better battery life. But the really big change will be something mundane: its charging port. The European

One year on, Truss’s case for growth is stronger than ever

There won’t be any fireworks. No one is blowing up the balloons, and there isn’t going to be a cake. The first anniversary of Liz Truss’s unfortunate and quickly terminated premiership today won’t be marked by anything other than a few snarky comments on the site formerly known as Twitter. And yet, as the tumultuous

Can private schools survive Labour’s tax grab?

The latest headmaster of Eton has been recruited from a major private equity firm to help drive the brand’s growth in China. The consortium of hedge funds that own Winchester has been involved in a bitter takeover battle with Rugby, centred mainly on the redevelopment value of its playing fields. Westminster has been acquired by

It’s time to get on with the Indian trade deal

The trade secretary Kemi Badenoch will be in India this week for a meeting of G20 trade ministers. The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be visiting the country in September. With so many ministers on hand, it might seem the perfect moment to unveil the long-awaited UK-India trade deal. After all, the former PM Boris

Working from home is the new British disease

Over mighty trade unions. Short-termist management that prioritises profits over investment. And an education system that doesn’t produce enough scientists or engineers. There have been many different versions of the ‘British disease’ over the years to explain the consistent under-performance of our economy compared to some of our main rivals. But right now there is