Victor Hill

Government finances – the mint with the hole

Government finances – the mint with the hole

3 mins. to read

Five days before Mr Osborne gave his Autumn Statement the UK Government released its latest borrowing figures. They should have got more attention than they did. Public sector net borrowing rose by £1.1 billion in October 2015 as compared with October 2014 to £8.2 billion for the month – the highest October level since 2009.…

War on Terror II: How the Markets will Respond

War on Terror II: How the Markets will Respond

5 mins. to read

Tomorrow (Wednesday, 02 December 2015) the United Kingdom, barring some unforeseen upset, will formally enter War on Terror II. Given Jeremy Corbyn’s reluctant decision to give Labour MPs a free vote, it now seems certain that the Prime Minister will get what he wants: Parliamentary approval for RAF bombing attacks on IS positions in the…

Mr Osborne’s Conjuring Trick

Mr Osborne’s Conjuring Trick

5 mins. to read

Back in July I wrote a piece on Mr Osborne’s budget (Mr Osborne’s Brave New World) in which I praised him for his courage and vision in taking an axe to our out-of-control welfare state. He was a man with a plan. He was going to make structural reforms that would raise wages and reduce…

War on Terror II: End of Days

War on Terror II: End of Days

5 mins. to read

Wednesday’s headline in The Sun was a classic: SHOT DOWN…AND WORLD HOLDS BREATH. I love The Sun. For its honesty, its clarity, its steadfast solidarity with the old English working class; its directness and, very often, its sheer vulgarity. I had heard the BBC that morning and I’d read The Times. But the most detailed…

War on Terror II

War on Terror II

4 mins. to read

Since the Paris terror attacks of 13 November it is as if we have awoken from an all too peaceful sleep to find ourselves in the plot of a James Bond novel. Except that if this were offered by the James Bond franchise it would be dismissed as too improbable – and too violent. A…

Europe Under Siege

Europe Under Siege

3 mins. to read

The appalling attacks in Paris in the late evening of Friday, 13 November 2015 will linger in the annals of infamy for many years to come. About 130 innocent people lost their lives and many more were seriously injured. No doubt the number of fatalities will rise in the days to come. On 31 October…

Cheap Money’s Toxic Legacy

Cheap Money’s Toxic Legacy

5 mins. to read

The September edition of the Master Investor magazine was largely dedicated to an examination of how likely interest rates were to rise, and what would be the consequences of a rate hike for your portfolio. I argued in my contribution that waiting for interest rates to rise was like Waiting for Godot. We might wait…

Outsourcing Means Fewer Jobs in Manufacturing

Outsourcing Means Fewer Jobs in Manufacturing

6 mins. to read

Barely a week goes by in the USA, the UK and elsewhere, without news of job layoffs in the manufacturing sector. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, recently announced 5,000 job cuts by the end of 2016. In mid-October Tata Steel (BOM:500470) announced that it was axing…

Post Card from Cyprus

Post Card from Cyprus

6 mins. to read

When Swen asked me to get down to Cyprus to cover the olive harvest I thought this would be a dull assignment. But since arriving on Aphrodite’s enchanted island, I now understand that this country is a living case study in Eurozone post-bailout recovery. Let me explain. Cyprus is the most Easterly country in Europe.…

The Secret History of the Euro’s Birth

The Secret History of the Euro’s Birth

10 mins. to read

A few days ago I tried to sketch out how the upcoming UK-EU In-Out Referendum actually boils down to an argument over whether it is possible to have a European Union with most members in a currency union, and a few of them resolutely outside it. When we Brits look across the Channel, we tend…