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Market Bulletin

Market Bulletin (08/11/2016)

Washington worries   “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power,” said Abraham Lincoln. Last week, however, as US election polls signalled a shift in sentiment, markets made clear that they would prefer not to put this

Market Bulletin (01/11/2016)

Quarterly signals   Last week came the release of the first round of headline UK economic growth data since the referendum vote – and it made for happy reading. Growth in the third quarter reached 0.5%. Dour IMF and Treasury economic forecasts for the aftermath of

Market Bulletin (25/10/2016)

Going up   “When I was a boy, the most trusted man in America was the newscaster, Walter Cronkite, who once said, ‘If you’re not confused, you don’t know what’s going on.’ I would apply that to the current monetary picture – we’ve never had an experience

Market Bulletin (18/10/2016)

Sterling work   ‘You either love it or you hate it,’ goes the Marmite advert. Last week Tesco apparently chose to do the latter, temporarily ending web-based sales following a price dispute with its supplier, Unilever. The dispute (dubbed ‘Marmageddon’) was merely the proximate cause – behind

Market Bulletin (11/10/2016)

Workshop of the world   Politicians like to deal in symbols, and last week Theresa May appeared to bid for a particularly large one: the city of Birmingham. The prime minister is known to admire Joseph Chamberlain, whose late-19th century reforms as Mayor of Birmingham helped to

Market Bulletin (04/10/2016)

Market leaders   The first televised debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was the most-watched presidential debate in US history. Leaving out those who watched it at parties, offices and bars, the audience was estimated at 84 million, not far off a third of the country’s

Market Bulletin (27/09/2016)

Political fractures   “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” wrote W. B. Yeats in 1919, describing a Europe that was turning away from old beliefs, and taking new and radical turns. The line has often been quoted by commentators in recent months, as the centrist

Market Bulletin (20/09/2016)

Blue Danube   Johann Strauss II’s father wanted his musical son to be a banker – and beat him for secretly practising the violin – but the ‘Waltz King’ had his way in the end. Last Friday the eponymous subject of his most famous waltz, Blue Danube,

Market Bulletin (13/09/2016)

Zero sum   In 1484 a French mathematician called Nicolas Chuquet made the earliest surviving written reference to the word ‘tryllion’ (as he spelt it). Chuquet wrote that one followed by six zeros could be called “million, the second mark byllion, the third mark tryllion, the fourth

Market Bulletin (06/09/2016)

Alien territory   A report published by the Center for American Progress last week showed that the US economy is 13% smaller today than economists had forecast before the financial crisis. As of last Friday, more than $13 trillion of government debt around the world paid a

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