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Market Bulletin

Market Bulletin (28/02/2017)

Coining happiness Happiness, according to Charles Dickens’ character Wilkins Micawber, is to be found in achieving a surplus. Or, as the fictional debtor himself put it: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds], nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual

Market Bulletin (21/02/2017)

Upward momentum Inflation in the UK reached a 31-month high of 1.8% last week, on rising fuel prices and a sharp slowdown in the fall in food prices. Meanwhile, prices paid by UK manufacturers for imported raw materials and fuel rose 20% in January year-on-year. The

Market Bulletin (14/02/2017)

Drachma drama   In 1972 German television aired a sketch by Monty Python, in which the leading lights of Greek philosophy face off in a football match against a team of Germany’s leading thinkers. In the end, the Greeks win 1–0, even though the only goal

Market Bulletin (07/02/2017)

Mirror image   Once upon a time, investors in the developed world used to worry about economics and leave politics well alone. Last week offered another reminder that much has changed in recent months, as a raft of positive economic indicators across the developed world contrasted with

Market Bulletin (31/01/2017)

Mood music Figures for the fourth quarter published last week showed that the UK had the fastest-growing economy among G7 countries in 2016. Fourth-quarter growth was particularly pronounced in the services sector, which accounts for around four fifths of the UK economy – not bad for

Market Bulletin (24/01/2017)

Trading places   In 1793 Emperor Qianlong of China wrote a letter to George III to respond to the British king’s request to send a trade representative to China. After the usual pleasantries, the letter famously stated: “As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all

Market Bulletin (17/01/2017)

Retail therapy The old saw that England is “a nation of shopkeepers” looked apt last week, as a slew of retail earnings figures showed shoppers taking High Street sales to new levels in the fourth quarter.   Among the risers was Marks & Spencer, which reported a 2.3% annualised

Market Bulletin (10/01/2017)

Contested connections       A keynote of the campaigns for Brexit and for Donald Trump was opposition to globalisation and, at its extreme, a desire to recreate the ‘national economy’ that predated the open borders and global supply chains of today. Last week, despite signs that those

Market Bulletin (03/01/2017)

Swansong   When the Roman poet Juvenal used black swans as a metaphor for the impossible, it was because he thought they didn’t exist, leading to the phrase: a black swan event. But Juvenal had not been to Australia, where Europeans would encounter them for the first

Market Bulletin (20/12/2016)

The odd couple   Janet Yellen was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York, just two months after Donald Trump, whose first encounter with the world came in the neighbouring borough of Queens. As of 20 January, the two New Yorkers will be closer still – the

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