Category UK

UK Banks – Digital Dinosaurs

As UK bank reporting season kicks off, the dull, boring, predictable UK banks should look good. But the reality is they are dinosaurs – their failure to digitise and evolve leaves them vulnerable to tech-savy FinTechs and Challenger filling their niche. If the future of modern finance is a Tech hypersonic missile… British Banks are still building steam trains. 

Boris’ Economics Plan scores an E-

Boris whipped the Tory faithful into a frenzy with his “wizard” economic plans, but it was empty, hollow and doomed bluster full of soundbites and repeating policy mistakes like austerity and higher taxes. It’s time for Government to get radical and retro-build the economy from top to bottom – all of which is imminently possible if they learn the lessons of the pandemic.

The Silly, the Uncertain and The Time to Look Elsewhere moments around us..

It’s silly season in the UK as the queues lengthen at petrol stations, raising fascinating questions about how the pandemic has changed behaviours, the pricing of corporate credit and equity fundamentals. In Europe the power vacuum left by the last days of Merkel is set to deepen. China’s property meltdown should be making investors look elsewhere and into new Emerging Markets for future growth.

Where are the Equinoxal Gales? They are coming…

Stock markets look to have shrugged off this week’s dip despite the likelihood of rising interest rates and the end of QE programmes – the dreaded “Taper” – next year. Markets look calm, but the equinoxal gales are coming as traders focus increasingly on the inflation vs stagflation outlook. There is increasing uncertainty on everything from China, German Elections, to Supply Chains.

The UK’s Green Gilt is Marketing Puff and a Pointless Distraction

The UK attracted a record £137 bln order book for its £10 bln Green Gilt. But what does the Green Gilt achieve? Its marketing puff. It may disguise how ill-considered and ultimately self-defeating the Government’s rush to looking green has been. No matter how well intentioned a Green Gilt is – its style over substance, papering over the cracks in a confused and contradictory long-term climate-change mitigation strategy.  

Stock Momentum, Covid and Big Tech

Stock markets feel like they are running out of momentum – but that should not lead to fears of a no-see-um crash, rather a more fundamental assessment of the reasons why? In the UK, Plan B – National Economic Suicide by winter Lockdowns – looks on the cards. And, despite all the wonders of Big Tech and promises about how much better it makes our lives – most of it is pretty pants.

Debt, Governments and Money Pits

The UK’s decision to hike taxes and put a sticking plaster on the cash-haemorrhaging NHS highlights serious issues for Soveriegn Debt Investors. Expectations on interest rates and currency markets are one issue, but the competency of governments to manage the quantum of debt raised through the pandemic and avoid rising uncertainty will be increasingly under the microscope.