More bread and circuses 25/03/2014 First, pedantry corner: lower government borrowing and a smaller deficit do not mean less debt, they merely imply that the rate at which the government’s vast debt pile grows is slowing. It is still growing. But in a triumph of Orwellian doublespeak, the UK coalition government has managed to handily conflate ‘debt’ (the overall mountain of government borrowing) and ‘deficit’ (the shortfall between government revenues and expenditure in a given year), in much the same way that it has contrived to conflate tax ‘avoidance’ (which is entirely legal) with tax ‘evasion’ (which isn’t).
Investments, China and an obsessive compulsive disorder 19/03/2014 The two subjects discussed most in my blogs over the last year have been China and my obsessive compulsive disorder. For those few still sticking with us, you will be somewhat dismayed that I am returning to both in this blog.
Qatar –investors should not take fright 13/03/2014 Should investors be surprised by the latest diplomatic spat between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, cranked up another notch by talk of a blockade by Saudi Arabia?
The future of the global smartphone market 07/03/2014 The rapid increase in demand for mobile data is driving strong interest in advanced smartphones and tablets. According to Cisco, the global data carried over smartphones will surpass that delivered via laptops and netbooks in 2013. At the same time, a shift from mobile phones to smartphones is taking place. The share of smartphones in percentage of total mobile phone sales increased from 9.6 percent in Q1 2007 to 54.9 percent in Q3 2013.
Luxury brands benefit from the world's 'new economy' 04/03/2014 Growth in the luxury sector continues to outpace global GDP, with expected growth of seven to nine percent in 2014. In January, luxury stocks corrected on emerging market fears, and despite partial recovery in February, valuations are below historic averages. Importantly, fundamentals remain strong and the long-term growth story will continue.
New players in wealth management face a make-or-break choice 07/02/2014 It now seems very likely that one consequence of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) will be that the wealth management sector will be shaken up significantly in 2014 by a number of new entrants. We expect to see around 20 new wealth management/consumer-facing propositions launched by the end of this year. They will come in many different shapes and sizes, although most will fall into one of three categories: spin-offs from existing industry players, US firms seeking to expand into Europe, and some completely new players. But all will have one thing in common: the success of their journey towards a healthy market share will depend to a huge extent on the strengths and capabilities of the technology platforms they choose to use.