On Monday George Osborne tried to repair his shattered reputation with a carefully-scripted piece at the Conservative Party conference. After the omnishambles of the Budget and the widespread acceptance that his fiscal plan has failed, the Tories’ answer to Lord Mandelson has been battered from all sides, not least since his friend and ally Andrew Mitchell allegedly started calling police officers ‘plebs’.
With Spain still denying the need for an immediate bailout – in part, according to some sources, due to German instructions to do so – the past week has been largely uneventful on the macroeconomic front, with financial markets generally in ‘wait and see’ mode.
Yet again millions of adoring Brits tune into watch X Factor, the talent show to end all talent shows whilst being blissfully unaware of the implications.
Yesterday’s big market event was the latest budget from the Spanish government, which set out its plans for fiscal policy over the next few years. With Spain still firmly in the market spotlight, despite ECB President Draghi’s efforts, Prime Minister Rajoy had to put together a package that would convince investors that his country could get its debt dynamics under control.
â€Ž’The Valleys’ MTV program is as far from quality entertainment as the north pole is to the south, but is it what valleys life is actually like in South Wales?
Question: When is a terrorist a terrorist?
Answer: When the US government says so.
While everyone waits for next week’s Spanish budget – and crosses their fingers that Prime Minister Rajoy will at least open discussions about getting a precautionary credit line – we had an unusual distraction last night, in the shape of Mervyn King on Channel 4 News.
World Alzheimer’s Day will resonate with many people across the globe as they struggle to cope with watching their loved ones suffer with this cruel illness.
It has now been more than five years since the financial and banking crisis first broke, and many developed economies are still struggling with high unemployment, weak or negative growth, and precious little hope that things will get better. After experimenting with a range of ‘non-standard’ measures, the world’s two largest central banks have now signalled that they are prepared to go even further. In the UK, the Old Lady of Threadneedle St is definitely lagging behind.
Today’s UK data showed further positive signs from the UK labour market. Unemployment fell by 7,000 in the three months to July, but still left the total number at 2.59mn. That was enough to nudge the unemployment rate down to 8.1%, from 8.2% in the previous three-month period. It was not all good news though – the number of people taking temporary or part-time work, because no full positions were available, increased by 73,000, taking it further above 2mn.
There was only one game in town today. After managing to calm markets with his promise to do ‘whatever it takes’ in July, this afternoon ECB President Draghi set out the latest plan to rescue the euro.
Unlike previous years, I managed to escape for a proper holiday this summer. Taking almost three weeks to explore exotic climes and wildlife was a great tonic for the manic events that unfolded in the first part of the year.