How civil servants got the West Coast bid wrong

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.

The X Factor cultural rot continues

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.

The Spanish budget will not be enough

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.

MTV ‘The Valleys’ filled with negative stereotyping

‎’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?

When Is A Terrorist No Longer A Terrorist?

Question: When is a terrorist a terrorist?

Answer: When the US government says so.

Mervyn King, Conservative party spokesman?

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.

The cruelty of Alzheimer’s eased with love

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.

The Fed and ECB make Mervyn King squirm

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.

Is the UK labour market really puzzling?

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.

Draghi makes his play

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.

Summer lull was only false security

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.

Can the War Israel Wants With Iran Be Averted?

For more than a year now, the drums of war emanating from Israel have become louder and louder with weekly news leaks and threats, including the disclosure of alleged attack plans. The whole exercise seems designed to create a sense of alarm and inevitability.