Philip Delves-Broughton

Indolence and experience

 School holidays for the children of the affluent used to be about doing nothing in particular. Tagging along to a sun-baked villa, perhaps, or slouching around Verbier in search of familiar Harrys and Rosies. For the unlucky facing an exam year, there might be a week or two of cramming. But otherwise, these were the

How Hillary can win it – for the Republicans

 New York [audioplayer src=”″ title=”Philip Delves Broughton and Freddy Gray discuss how Hillary can swing it for the Republicans” startat=847] Listen [/audioplayer]Remember the fizz around Gordon Brown’s election campaign in 2010? The excitement he brought to the trail? The eerily intimate connection with the electorate? No, nor can I. But conjure up what you can

The wrong man

For the final three years of his 18-year career at Goldman Sachs, Jim O’Neill, the Treasury’s new commercial secretary with responsibility for developing the Northern Powerhouse, served as chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the company’s least-regarded and most bothersome unit. While two younger executives ran the business, O’Neill was dispatched to faraway conferences to

Running wild | 4 June 2015

 New York It takes a strange bird to run for the White House. To think you’re worth all the fund-raising, the protection, the applause, the haters, the heel-clicking Marines. But with a mere 18 months till the next election, the field is taking shape: Hillary Clinton, still pitching herself as the nation’s benevolent grandma even

How to fight Europe’s demons of deflation

Deflation terrifies economists because once it starts, they have no idea what to do about it. When demand in an economy shrinks, companies cut jobs, and with fewer employed demand shrinks even more. The deflationary spiral is self-reinforcing. Central banks can cut interest rates to near zero and slosh money around like drunken lottery winners,

How to tell a tech bubble from a tech revolution

There are two major schools of technology investing. The first believes that all investments these days are fundamentally technology investments. Every big company relies to a greater or lesser degree on the innovations and efficiencies of technology to replace the high costs and laggardly habits of human beings. The faster they do this, the higher

The American economy vs gravity

The American economy always feels better when the Super Bowl is on. Ads for trucks and beer fill the airwaves. It’s steak and cigar season for the corporate bigwigs, not a time for the calorie conscious. For a few days, they can forget about foreign labour and cratering emerging markets and wallow in the fantasy

The future made Thiel

Turn right along the American political spectrum and you find all kinds of curious species. First there are country club Republicans bemoaning the loss of their party to extremists. Then come Evangelical Christians, trying to reconcile themselves to voting for a Mormon. Further along, you find the Tea Party, crowing over their improbable rise and

Hope? Yes. Change? No

What a long and nasty campaign that was. It is hard to imagine that a political race of such magnitude could be so intellectually and emotionally bunged-up. But it’s over, and we can now ask ourselves what the point was of President Obama clubbing his way to another four years of access to the White

The despair bubble

Economists, we should all have learned by now, are mostly quacks. They practise neither a science nor an art but a bad game of darts. Boozed up on shoddy theory and meaningless statistics, they wobble to the oche of public life, hurl an arrow at the backboard, then blame the flight, the lighting, anything but

Bankers or bust

Last year a single sector of British industry was responsible for generating 12 per cent of government tax receipts, with just 4 per cent of the workforce. You would think the government would be grateful to these hyper-productive worker bees, at a time when it needs every penny of tax. Solicitous even, as it is

Diary – 22 October 2011

I arrived at the Occupy Wall Street protests on Monday morning, their one month anniversary, at 7 a.m. raring to go. That’s when the subway stations of Lower Manhattan are spewing out their banking spawn, when the streets are full of capitalist pillagers swarming off to suck what blood is left in the western economies.

A rich man for all seasons

Multibillionaire Warren Buffett may sound cuddly, but he’s talking from both sides of his mouth August was a typical month for Warren Buffett, America’s second richest man. While the leisure classes lolled, he called for higher tax rates for the rich. If America had a debt problem, he wrote in the New York Times, it

Degrees of optimism

The speeches given to new graduates at American universities are a distinct literary form – and a measure of national mood To understand what is going on in America’s head, it is worth tuning in to the early summer hum of commencement addresses. These secular sermons, delivered by politicians, businesspeople, entertainers and other assorted worthies

Bubble 2.0

There is nothing more maddening to an old-school investor than a bubble. And especially a bubble in which young people are getting outrageously rich. But here we are, 11 years after the last technology bubble popped, in the midst of another of those exuberant moments. Facebook valued at $75 billion. Groupon, a three year old