Economics & Markets

The only 2 words you need to know in 2018

The only 2 words you need to know in 2018

7 mins. to read

To Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman in Mike Nichols’ film The Graduate), the well-meant one-word piece of advice was “plastics”. To the godfather of value investing, Benjamin Graham, the well-meant three word piece of financial advice was “margin of safety” – and that one happens to have lasted the test of time. Faced with the challenge…

Unemployment in Emerging Markets should not spook investors

Unemployment in Emerging Markets should not spook investors

13 mins. to read

Developing countries like Kenya tend to have shockingly high rates of unemployment. But that should not deter investors – rather it is a sign of potential. Worrying numbers When I wrote last week that Kenya has an unemployment rate of 38 percent, a number of colleagues questioned that figure. How could it possibly be so…

Is this market the best way to tap into African potential?

Is this market the best way to tap into African potential?

9 mins. to read

Kenya is once again politically stable and is fast becoming the most mature emerging market in Africa. Jambo!* When you go through customs control on entering Kenya you are supposed to surrender all your plastic bags. Last year, plastic bags were banned in Kenya outright. This impressed me for two reasons. Firstly, it shows Kenya’s…

Were we wrong to rescue the banks?
Joe Tabacca / Shutterstock.com

Were we wrong to rescue the banks?

8 mins. to read

There are times when certain decisions have an unusual impact on subsequent events. We reach, in other words, a ‘fork in the road’, and the choices taken – or not taken – have an incalculable impact on the future. The weekend of 13/14 September 2008 represented precisely one of those forks in the road. At…

Forget productivity – the most important thing is wages

Forget productivity – the most important thing is wages

15 mins. to read

The most important problem facing the UK government in 2018 is that wage growth has stalled. Mrs May needs to give ordinary people hope of a wage rise in the New Year. The Productivity conundrum revisited Productivity is the output recorded per hour worked by the workforce. Successful manufacturing nations like Germany boast high levels…

Mellon on the Markets: How to make money in 2018

Mellon on the Markets: How to make money in 2018

7 mins. to read

It’s that time of the year again: when the pundits look back and either tell you “I told you so”, or “mea culpa”, or some variant in between. I don’t really like looking back – except where the past holds some lessons for the future – but it sure has been an “interesting” year. Bond…

What Donald could teach Theresa
a katz / Shutterstock.com; Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

What Donald could teach Theresa

13 mins. to read

A massive reform of the US tax code is underway. Britain could learn lessons from our American friends. Mr Trump’s corporate tax cut clears the Senate In the wee hours of Saturday 2nd December the US Senate passed a bill to cut corporate income taxes (taxes on company profits – what the British call corporation…

The Future of Money: Cash, Crypto or Gold?

The Future of Money: Cash, Crypto or Gold?

26 mins. to read

We think of money as an objective reality – but in fact it is just a conceptual construction of the human mind. It does not exist in nature; animals have no notion of it; even humans managed to live for countless millennia without it. The history of money is the history of civilisation. It has…

Brexit, the Tory Ultras and the Corbyn Threat
Ms Jane Campbell / Shutterstock.com

Brexit, the Tory Ultras and the Corbyn Threat

13 mins. to read

This morning a deal has been struck in Brussels. But will the Tory ultras buy it? And will Labour gain ground if they don’t? Sufficient progress? The breakthrough deal that was supposed to happen on Monday (04 December) was supposedly scuppered by the Ulster Unionists. In fact, much opposition to Mrs May’s original deal was…