Victor Hill

An amicable divorce?

An amicable divorce?

10 mins. to read

Ready. Aim. Fire! The notorious Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon (2007) was “triggered” by the United Kingdom last night when Prime Minister May signed off a historic letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. This was delivered by hand by Sir Tim Barrow, our man in Brussels, at 12:20 BST this afternoon.…

The week when nothing happened

The week when nothing happened

9 mins. to read

Okay, a few things did happen. But my point is that the major government bond markets and the US Dollar-Euro-Sterling exchange rates hardly shifted, and the heavyweight bourses cruised higher in a week when we were all braced for turbulence. Article 50; IndyRef2; the Dutch elections; the indictment of Monsieur Fillon; a new Trump travel…

So long, GM – Bonjour PSA

So long, GM – Bonjour PSA

9 mins. to read

On 06 March, after weeks of speculation, it was confirmed that General Motors of the USA (NYSE:GM) was selling its European operation – Opel – to France’s Peugeot SA (EPA:UG) for €1.3 billion (plus another €900 million for the finance operation). What was behind the deal? And what does it mean for the UK car…

One and a half cheers for “Spreadsheet Phil”

One and a half cheers for “Spreadsheet Phil”

12 mins. to read

Mr Hammond’s first and last spring budget was a cosh delivered to the growing army of the self-employed (white van drivers to barristers) and micro-company directors (interior designers to marketing consultants), concealed in a velvet glove of fiscal reassurance. The good news is that the British economy is still relatively dynamic relative to its peers;…

Oil majors in the age of renewables

Oil majors in the age of renewables

0 mins. to read

The global oil and gas industry is experiencing one of the most severe downturns in 30 years. A perfect storm of overproduction, geopolitical tensions and the long-term move towards alternative energy sources (renewables) has caused oil prices to fall to levels that are often below the long-term break-even cost of production. Although the oil price…

Prepare for wealth taxes in the UK

Prepare for wealth taxes in the UK

11 mins. to read

Governments in future will be obliged to move from taxing income to taxing assets, not least in the UK. Readers with net worth equal to the value of a nice South London semi should prepare themselves for stiff wealth taxes – particularly on property – within the next five years. Especially if the Tories regain…

Pie in the Sky? The Economics of Space Travel

Pie in the Sky? The Economics of Space Travel

11 mins. to read

SpaceX hopes to take paying passengers into deep space next year. Is this a real business or an ego trip? An awfully big adventure Elon Musk announced on Monday (27 February) that his space company SpaceX has been contracted by two private citizens to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth late in 2018. The…

Downfall: Mr Juncker in his Bunker

Downfall: Mr Juncker in his Bunker

5 mins. to read

In his final days as ruthless EU dictator, the Leader made a series of cataclysmic blunders, based largely on a misreading of the strategic situation. These led to his inevitable downfall[i]. “Mein Führer. The Russian delicatessen chain, Azbuka Vkusa, has breached the gates of Berlin. They are bearing down on our Aldi and Lidl divisions.…

“Populism” and the Age of Disruption

“Populism” and the Age of Disruption

13 mins. to read

The future of politics This week I want to talk politics without getting (party) political. Like many others, as an analyst and investor, post-Brexit and Trump, and with Marine Le Pen likely to win the first round in the French presidential election on 23 April, I have been trying to figure out what it all…

Oil majors consider their future

Oil majors consider their future

8 mins. to read

A vertebra in the spinal column of the world economy is causing pain. As I write the price of Brent Crude is at US$59.99. According to the Knoema[i] website, the break-even oil price ranges from US$149.90 in Venezuela to US$60.50 in Qatar. So, on that basis, almost no one is making money in oil right…