Government Intervention

Archive for February, 2011

Government Intervention

On 5th January of this year John Lewis reported a 9% increase in sales for the Christmas period compared to last year. Now just two months later the store reported a fifth consecutive week of stagnant or declining sales. The reasons are unclear: were sales pulled into December because of the VAT hike or was…

Banking Reform

There are a number of forces driving change in the banking system. The first force comes from the new internationally binding Basel rules designed to increase the capital and liquid reserves of key banks. The banks are already responding to this pressure by widening their margins to increase profit and build capital, plus they are…

Interest Rates

Interest rate increases: does it really matter? The balance of opinion seems to be that interest rates will start to increase very soon. The stock market is back at 6000 (well 5997.38 as of Friday 4 February 2011) and the recent “post snow” economic statistics are pretty good so it is probably time to start…