Around a tenth of Britain's population is in Scotland, and it has a tenth of its economic growth. But it is responsible for more than half of the increase in total annual government borrowing.
US consumer debt — which includes credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and mortgages — now totals over 14 trillion dollars. This massive government and private debts put tremendous pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low or even to “experiment” with negative rates. But, the Fed can only keep interest rates, which are the price of money, artificially low for so long without serious economic consequences.
Freedom House warns that mass social media surveillance is growing. "Governments around the world are increasingly using social media to manipulate elections and monitor their citizens, tilting the technology toward digital authoritarianism." “Many governments are finding that on social media, propaganda works better than censorship,” said Mike Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “Authoritarians and populists around the globe are exploiting both human nature and computer algorithms to conquer the ballot box, running roughshod over rules designed to ensure free and fair elections.” "Governments from across the democratic spectrum are indiscriminately monitoring citizens’ online behavior to identify perceived threats—and in some cases to…
One of the key factors driving stocks higher in the wake of a trade “accommodation” rather than a peace treaty is momentum – markets want to go higher, anticipating growth. But the market is equally driven by the volume of cash ready to be thrown at it. There is no shortage of ready liquidity - in this sense of too much easy money chasing too few assets, rather than liquidity: “who wants to buy this” conundrum.
In a world working towards reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, what will happen to countries that depend on oil wealth when demand begins to dwindle? Countries can no longer assume their oil and gas resources will translate into reliable wealth — instead, it is how you manage what you have now that counts.
To the extent that government can stimulate growth, it’s through structural reforms that improve the investment climate: Cut red tape. Reduce workplace regulation. Fast-track tax cuts. Fix the state-based payroll taxes and stamp duties on property that stifle labour mobility. Make the 30 per cent company tax rate more internationally competitive. Break the construction union’s monopoly power. Restore monetary policy to its appropriate role of maintaining price stability.
The Lib Dems said in May 2016 “…a vote to Leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000”. Well, the economy did not go into recession, unemployment has fallen by over 300,000 since mid-2016 and employment has risen by over 800,000.
There is massive danger is a reeling bond market. If we see rising yields morph into a serious bond market meltdown, the melt-up in stocks could split and go rancid very quickly. Rising rates have massive negative implications for corporate credit and without the juice of further central bank easing – stock markets could well lose heart.
"The Tories may well change the rights of workers but at least we will have the possibility as a Labour Party and trade union movement to put those back, as we have done before. When those rights go in the EU, they are gone for good. They become more or less unalterable.”