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Category: Economy

  • September 27, 2012

    The Road to Fiscal Union in the Eurozone?

    KAS European Roundtable, Wilton House, 21 September 2012 In spite of the annual August lull, September – with the Dutch election, the troika’s verdict on Greece and the German constitutional court ruling on the legality of the European Stability Mechanism – always promised to snap the continent’s politicians out of their sun and sangria-induced stupor. […]
  • September 27, 2012

    The great aviation debate

    London and the UK desperately require a new airport fit for the twenty-first century to serve the fast developing global market. For several years, I have favoured the Thames Estuary solution – also known as ‘Boris Island’ (click here to read my past speeches) – but we also need to face the fact that this option will take at least fifteen years before it is up and running. In the meantime we need to add additional capacity at either Gatwick or Heathrow. In light of my Party’s manifesto commitment not to expand Heathrow, the latter option comes with enormous political difficulties. However, I would suggest that any commitment to a third runway at Heathrow should come as part of a package ...
  • September 12, 2012

    The Fee Pool – London’s Essential Export

    The following article appeared in this morning’s Daily Telegraph. You can read it on the Telegraph’s website by clicking here The City of London has a proud reputation as a bastion of commercial certainty able to attract investment from every corner of the globe. Indeed it is for this reason that the recent LIBOR, money-laundering, and […]
  • August 8, 2012

    Standard Chartered Case Represents Fresh Challenge for City

    Operating within an international banking system, inevitably financial institutions will find themselves subject to regulators from across the global. No one can dispute the fact that the investigations by the New York Department of Financial Services into Standard Chartered and the US Senate’s Permanent Committee on Investigation’s probe into HSBC have been credible and forensically thorough. Clearly there are serious cases to answer at both banks which cannot be swept under the carpet. It is unnerving to reflect that some four years on from the start of the financial crisis, British...
  • July 26, 2012

    Mark writes for the Telegraph’s Britain Unleashed Series

    For all the talk of an existential crisis of capitalism, free enterprise and the market remain the only games in town. As the financial crash of 2008 plays itself out (and it has barely begun to do so), the real calamity to which the minds of the political class will soon be forced to turn is the unaffordability of our ever-growing welfare state. For all the talk of unprecedented austerity and savage public sector cuts the government is still borrowing £1 in every £5 we collectively spend. This current generation of Britons continues to consume recklessly beyond its means. Those of our children and grandchildren who decide not to leave these shores will in due course foot the bill for our ...
  • July 26, 2012

    Mark reacts to latest GDP figures

    The ONS figures released yesterday revealing that our economy shrank 0.7% in the last quarter are hugely disappointing. But Chancellor George Osborne is absolutely right in his steadfast determination to reduce the deficit. For all the talk of unprecedented austerity and savage public sector cuts, the government is still borrowing £1 in every £5 we collectively spend. We are in the midst of a crisis not of capitalism but of welfarism. The expansion of the European welfare model has for years served to make our continent less economically competitive. It is the sheer size and cost of the state that is smothering this nation’s wealth creators...
  • July 19, 2012

    The Role and Changing Powers of CEOs in the Spotlight

    When historians look back upon the first decade or so of the twenty-first century, I suspect they will analyse just how and why every one of Britain’s institutions (bar the Monarchy) came to be discredited. They will also ponder the demise of leaders in the worlds of politics, finance and business. The end of the Noughties witnessed a breathtaking financial collapse which swept away trust in banking. Simultaneously, a scandal broke over the misuse of MPs’ expenses that deepened an historical distrust of politicians....
  • July 9, 2012

    MF Global’s bankruptcy highlights perilous faults in UK finance rules

    An abridged version of an article Mark has written on MF Global appeared in today's City AM - http://www.cityam.com/forum/mf-global-s-bankruptcy-highlights-perilous-faults-uk-finance-rules The full piece is below:‘Lessons have been learned’ – the contemporary platitude of choice for repentant organisations and governments alike in their communications strategy. All too frequently was it employed when bankers and politicians accounted for the gross regulatory and commercial failings that precipitated the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Lehman was meant to be the event that changed everything. The lesson of all lessons. So it was with disbelief that I heard a blow-by-blow account of the travails ...
  • July 2, 2012

    The Latest Scandal to Beset British Banks

    Mark has appeared on BBC News Channel, Sky TV, Radio 4 and Radio 5 over the past few days as the LIBOR banking has unfolded. This sets out his views on this fast moving story: I suspect that today’s resignation of Barclays’ Chairman, Marcus Agius, will be the first of several high profile departures in the weeks ahead. For those who wistfully hoped that Barclays alone was implicated in this LIBOR scandal, the news that RBS had fired four traders following irregularities and that the Bank of England may also...
  • July 1, 2012

    Will London survive as the world’s financial capital?

    As the world’s most powerful leaders gathered in Mexico last month for the latest G20 ‘last chance saloon’, each turned to their domestic media to declare that ‘something must be done’ to stem the descent of the global economy into chaos. Surely no one disagreed. But what and by whom? When politicians concur only on the gravity of a situation, the seemingly endless rounds of summitry achieve precisely the opposite to their goal – the unnerving impression of impotence. Precious wonder that investors now seek security. With the Eurozone’s problems deepening, many find...