Wednesday, 17 August 2022

‘Nobody Is In Charge’: Tory Peer Hits Out at Ministers over Inflation

THE GUARDIAN: As rate reaches double digits, Stuart Rose calls lack of government action to shield households ‘horrifying’

The veteran retailer Stuart Rose has urged the government to do more to shield the poorest from double-digit inflation, describing the lack of action as “horrifying”, with a prime minister “on shore leave” leaving a situation where “nobody is in charge”.

Responding to July’s 10.1% headline rate, the Conservative peer and Asda chair said: “We have been very, very slow in recognising this train coming down the tunnel and it’s run quite a lot of people over and we now have to deal with the aftermath.”

Attacking a lack of leadership while Boris Johnson is away on holiday, he said: “We’ve got to have some action. The captain of the ship is on shore leave, right, nobody’s in charge at the moment.”

Lord Rose, who is a former boss of Marks & Spencer, said action was needed to kill “pernicious” inflation, which he said “erodes wealth over time”. He dismissed claims by the Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss’s camp that it would be possible for the UK to grow its way out of the crisis. » | Joanna Partridge | Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Das Leben nach der EU – Brexit-Verlierer und Gewinner | Reupload | DW Doku Deutsch

Jul 29, 2022 Niemand hätte 2016 wohl gedacht, dass die Briten für den Brexit stimmen - jetzt tritt er in Kraft. Das britische Referendum hat die Politik in Großbritannien und der EU auf den Kopf gestellt. Vieles ändert sich jetzt - auf beiden Seiten.

Mit dem Austritt aus der Europäischen Union fallen für die Briten viele ungeliebte Einschränkungen und Pflichten, aber auch Vorteile weg, die daraus resultierten, Teil eines größeren Ganzen zu sein. Innerhalb der EU-Staaten ist der ungehinderte Verkehr von Personen, Waren und Dienstleistungen garantiert, aber auch Hunderte gemeinsame Regeln von Menschenrechten bis hin zu Glühbirnenspezifikationen. Die Korrespondenten Birgit Maass in London und Georg Matthes in Brüssel haben den Brexit-Prozess von Anfang an hautnah miterlebt. Sie haben von unzähligen Gipfeltreffen und Verhandlungen berichtet, sind durch Großbritannien und Europa gereist und sogar darüber hinaus. Sie haben Menschen getroffen, deren Leben vom Brexit betroffen sein wird - auf vorhersehbare und nicht vorhersehbarer Weise.

Jetzt blicken Birgit und Georg in die Zukunft und stellen uns Menschen vor, deren Schicksale zeigen, wie bitter der Konkurrenzkampf in der Brexit-Welt sein wird: Fischergemeinschaften, die von verschiedenen Küsten aus in See stechen und in denselben Gewässern ihre Netze auswerfen. Britische Landwirte, deren Einkommen gekürzt wird, je nachdem, wie groß ihre Betriebe sind. Menschen, die ihr Leben in Großbritannien aufgebaut haben, aber nicht mehr willkommen sind. Und natürlich die Menschen auf beiden Seiten der Grenze zwischen Nordirland und der Republik Irland. Unsere beiden DW-Korrespondenten räumen mit dem jahrelangen absichtlichen und unabsichtlichen Chaos auf und stellen Ihnen sechs Brexit-Verlierer vor - und einige Gewinner.

Dokumentation von 2020

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Bank of England under Fire over £23m Bonus Payouts

THE OBSERVER: Anger as thousands of Bank staff enjoy ‘performance awards’ after governor urged other British workers not to demand big rises

The Bank of England, which has been criticised for underestimating the threat of rising inflation, last year paid out bonuses to its staff amounting to more than £23m, the Observer can reveal.

This bonus pot was at its highest level for at least two years, with more than 4,260 employees receiving performance awards. Andrew Bailey, the bank’s governor, was widely criticised earlier this year after telling Britain’s workers that they should not be asking for big pay rises because inflation had to be kept under control.

The bank is tasked by the government with hitting an inflation target of 2%, but the current rate stands at 9.4%. Lord Sikka, emeritus professor of accounting at Sheffield University, said: “Bonuses should only be paid for extraordinary performance, but there is no evidence the bank has delivered even an ordinary performance. They are unjustified.” » Jon Ungoed-Thomas | Sarurday, August 13, 2022

Thursday, 11 August 2022

UK Energy Bills 'to Top £5,000 in January'

Aug 11, 2022 British households face average energy bills surging above £5,000 next year, according to the latest forecast by the energy consultancy Auxilione.

The warning follows a steep rise in wholesale gas prices - and came as the Prime Minister attended a meeting with the electricity sector in Downing Street. That meeting failed to produce any immediate concrete help for struggling households.

This USELESS government needs to be kicked out of office as soon as possible. Brexit has been a disaster. BoJo has been a disaster. Liz Truss will/would be a disaster. As will/would Rishi Sunak. This country is falling apart. – © Mark

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Worst Economic Prediction for a Generation - as UK Heads for Recession

Lebanon: An Economic Crisis and the Aftermath of the Beirut Port Explosion | DW Documentary

Aug 4, 2022 Lebanon is now going through the worst economic crisis in its history. 80 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. In one year, food prices have jumped 500 per cent due to galloping inflation.

Lebanon was long regarded as the Switzerland of the Middle East. But those days are gone. A series of crises have plunged the nation into the abyss. And its people are suffering.

For Riad, who runs a grocery store in the suburbs of Beirut, business has become hellish. Every morning, calculator in hand, he changes the labels of his products according to the day’s exchange rate. An operation made all the more complex by the fact that his store is plunged into darkness, due to a lack of electricity. The Lebanese government no longer provides more than two hours of electricity per day in the country. It is impossible for the population to heat, light or use their refrigerators. Taking advantage of the situation, a network of private generators has emerged.

The Lebanese pound, the local currency, has lost 90 per cent of its value. The only people unaffected are those paid in dollars. The greenback, which can be exchanged for a small fortune against the local currency, has created a new privileged social class in the country. A salesman in an international pharmaceutical company, Joseph lives like a king in a ruined Lebanon. Thanks to his new purchasing power, he repaid his mortgage in two months, instead of... twenty years!

In a bankrupt state, plagued by corruption, six out of ten Lebanese now dream of leaving the country. In Tripoli, in northern Lebanon, Mohammed and his son set out for Germany by sea. Even though the trip was cut short off the Turkish coast, the young father is still ready to take all possible risks to reach the European Eldorado.

Bank of England Raises Interest Rates to 1.75% in Biggest Hike in 27 Years

THE GUARDIAN: Policymakers increase base rate by 0.5 percentage points, the sixth rise in a row as the cost of living soars

The Bank of England has raised interest rates by 0.5 percentage points to tackle the soaring cost of living, despite concerns that the economy is heading for a recession. » | Phillip Inman | Thursday, August 4, 2022


Bank of England warns the UK will fall into recession this year: The Bank of England has warned that the UK will fall into recession this year as it raised interest rates from 1.25% 1.75% in a bid to curb soaring prices. »

Bank of England hikes interest rates and says inflation will hit 13%: Base rate raised by 0.5 percentage points to 1.75%, as Bank predicts prolonged recession starting later this year »

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

UK Inflation Will Soar to ‘Astronomical’ Levels over Next Year, Thinktank Warns

THE GUARDIAN: The rise will force the Bank of England to hike interest rates higher and for longer than previously expected, says NIESR

Inflation will soar to “astronomical” levels over the next year forcing the Bank of England to raise interest rates higher and for longer than previously expected, according to a leading thinktank.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research also forecast a long recession that would last into next year and hit millions of the most vulnerable households, especially in the worst-off parts of the country.

NIESR said gas price rises and the escalating cost of food would send inflation to 11% before the end of the year while the retail prices index (RPI), which is used to set rail fares and student loans repayments, is expected to hit 17.7%.

Stephen Millard, the institute’s deputy director, said the economy would contract for three consecutive quarters, shrinking the 1% by the spring of next year.

He added there will be “no respite” for British households and businesses from “astronomical inflation” in the short term and “we will need interest rates up at the 3% mark if we are to bring it down”. » | Philip Inman | Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Monday, 1 August 2022

UK Businesses Slash Investments due to Soaring Prices and Brexit

THE GUARDIAN: As many firms are now planning to cut investment as to increase it, latest polls find

UK business leaders are slashing investment plans as soaring prices, Brexit trading difficulties and political uncertainty all leave bosses pessimistic about the economic outlook.

As many firms are now planning to cut investment as to increase it, according to the Institute of Directors’ latest poll of business chiefs. That is the weakest reading since October 2020, as nervous firms rein in spending.

UK businesses’ investment intentions have been falling steadily since the start of the year, as input costs have soared and the economy has slowed, undermining efforts to lift productivity.

Business leaders are also less upbeat about their own prospects, with over half saying economic conditions in the UK are having a negative impact on their organisation, along with soaring energy costs and skills shortages. » | Graeme Wearden | Monday, August 1, 2022

Brexit is the poison that keeps on poisoning! Brexit is going to turn this once prosperous country into a basket case. I hate to say that ‘I told you so’; but I actually did.

We will now get all the pain and suffering we will deserve. No patriot would have walked away from a single market of 500,000,000 plus consumers. Who can call himself an economist who advocates such a stupid move?

Fact is, we Brits have been led up the primrose path by a bunch of ideologues, by a bunch of people who are nostalgic for our once glorious past and who refuse to come to terms with present-day reality.

The Conservative Party was once the party favorable to business and commerce; it no longer deserves that reputation.

The stark reality is that Brexiteers have been stupid in their pursuit of independence. From the very start, Brexit was a dream that could never come true with a favorable outcome. Fact is, we live in an increasingly interconnected world. It is stupid to think otherwise. Brexiteers have thought otherwise. They were stupid to think so. And as Americans often say: You can’t fix stupid! – © Mark Alexander

Thursday, 28 July 2022

British Exporters Report Stagnating Trade as Post-Brexit Delays Blamed

THE GUARDIAN: Customs checks and border queues cited as leading barriers, as only 29% of firms say sales increased in Q2

Lorries queue in Dover, south-east England, on 16 February 2022. A survey of 2,600 exporters found Brexit ‘red tape’ had had a chilling effect on trade. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty

Britain’s exporters have seen their overseas trade stagnate over the past year despite strong growth in domestic demand for their products and booming export markets, according to a survey.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that a survey of 2,600 exporters found a quarter had suffered a fall in exports and another 46% reported no change.

Only 29% reported an increase in sales in the second quarter, down from the 40% that reported an increase in the first quarter.

Firms said Brexit was one of the main barriers to exports, after the introduction of customs checks and delays at the border.

William Bain, the BCC’s head of trade policy, said that since last summer UK exports have stalled to the EU and the rest of the world while many other leading exporting countries have enjoyed a boom. » | Phillip Inman | Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thursday, 21 July 2022

The Guardian View on the UK Economy: What an Almighty Mess

THE GUARDIAN – EDITORIAL: An unprecedented number will spend this winter choosing between freezing and starving. Britain needs an active state to help

What an almighty mess the British economy is in. To quote just a few of the stories from this week alone: inflation surged on Wednesday to a fresh 40-year high, and the Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, warned that it faced its “largest challenge” in keeping prices under control, and interest rates could rise next month by half a percentage point. Meanwhile, economists at UBS Investment Bank believe 99% of British workers are getting worse off, their pay not keeping pace with the price of food, energy and petrol.

The seriousness of this moment cannot be overstated. By the end of August, the energy watchdog Ofgem will set its new price cap for fuel bills. On current market trends, it is likely to push the yearly limit for the average household energy bill to a whopping £3,244. That is a 65% rise on the current cap, so a family paying £100 a month will pay £165. Market analysts believe it could easily keep rising into the new year. This will more than swallow up the government’s planned energy grant of £400. And where energy prices go, so too do food prices and the cost of other goods and services. For a government that has spent most of this year in crisis management and that will emerge in September with a new prime minister and cabinet, dealing with a policy agenda so urgent and all-encompassing will be as overwhelming as bailing out a dinghy in a hurricane. The most likely outcome must be that it will sink. » | Editorial | Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Interest rates: the three central banks facing one tricky balancing act: In the fight against inflation the ECB, Bank of England and Federal Reserve risk either doing too much too soon, or too little too late »