THE CITY GRUMP “Current existing systems massively reward high status well connected people” As usual Dominic Cummings hit the nail on the head when answering a question on checks and balances in front of the Science and Technology Committee last week (I sometimes fantasise over what could have been achieved if the Blessed Margaret had worked with Cummings instead of our current dissembling PM). I … Continue reading What’s Eating British Capitalism?
THE CITY GRUMP Why do the leaders of our same old political parties remain clueless when it comes to understanding what enterprise is all about? Last week, the lawyer who now runs Her Majesty’s Opposition provided an epic display of this ineptitude when he laid out his vision for our post pandemic economy. What is even more dotty is the Tories, who used to have … Continue reading Enterprise Oil up against Politicians’ Water
THE CITY GRUMP In 2008, the central bankers grew the Magic Money Tree, technically known as Quantitative Easing (QE). It is their opioid “gift” to all of us and most of the Western World has been hooked on it ever since. For a while it looked as if we could kick the habit but then along came the pain of the pandemic, brought to us … Continue reading Cutting Down The Magic Money Tree
THE CITY GRUMP General reaction to the last minute Brexit deal has been along the lines of “Bless my soul. They all said Boris would fail but, lo and behold, he has pulled it off”. No more ECJ rulings, no more customs union and free trade here we come. Unfurl the Union Jack, we have taken back control. Not so fast. By now, courtesy of … Continue reading Smoke & Mirrors Mask the Brexit Deal
THE CITY GRUMP Some years ago* I sat down to a Christmas lunch at London’s most excellent Bleeding Heart Restaurant with work colleagues and, as is traditional, we kicked off proceedings with a mass cracker pulling. Out popped the usual paper hats and splendidly silly mottos, which as ever is a great way to get all of us into the festive mood. I particularly liked … Continue reading The Christmas Story – Brussels Style
THE CITY GRUMP As government debt skyrockets, thanks to Covid19 lockdowns, naturally the Treasury’s thoughts turn to increasing taxes. Some think the holy grail is to seek out tax, which will be worth collecting and somehow be seen to make life fairer for us citizens. To this end the Treasury commissioned the Orwellian sounding Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) to come up with ways of reforming … Continue reading A Political CGT Blueprint
CITY GRUMP I think the time has come to add a new word to the Oxford English Dictionary and that is Whittycism: The art of bamboozling the public with misleading statistics. The most recent example is the notorious solo graph that Whitty and Valance put up to suggest that by the middle of October we could be running at 50,000 new Covid cases a day. … Continue reading UnValanced by Whittycisms
CITY GRUMP I suppose all Dishi Rishi has to do for the time being, given that he has been squirting huge amounts of cash around in an effort to put out the Covid fires, is to stand and deliver platitudes and boy did he do that at the Conservative Party Conference. Take the following sentiments that could come from the lips of any politician from Albania … Continue reading Rishi – A Summary
CITY GRUMP I see Richard Branson is not done with the investing public yet as “VG Acquisition Corp intends to sell 40 million units at an individual price of $10. The company said it plans to “search for targets that operate in consumer-facing industries in the U.S. and Western Europe.” It added it will focus on “businesses that provide consumer experiences in the sectors in which Virgin … Continue reading Time for Branson to Step Out of the Spotlight?
CITY GRUMP “This was a golden age for snitchers. One offence in particular relied heavily on tip-offs from the public: listening to foreign radio broadcasts, particularly those of the BBC. Peter Holdenberg, a 64-year-old disabled bookseller, who lived in Essen, was accused by his neighbour Helen Stuffel of this offence, which carried a prison sentence of up to 18 months. She had listened at the … Continue reading Tories Turn Totalitarian
THE CITY GRUMP There is a huge hullaballoo over how to award exam grades to our school children since the government decreed they aren’t allowed to actually sit exams in 2020. Understandably nobody likes uncertainty but let’s take a moment to examine the worth of the education system that so many are getting worked up about. Firstly there is an argument to be made that … Continue reading Facts Not Wokery
THE CITY GRUMP With apologies to Lewis Carroll. An adaptation of his classic tale to suit our times. The Cast: Alice –The City Grump The White Rabbit – The Sage Committee The Cheshire Cat – Professor Chris Whitty The Mad Hatter – Boris The March Hare – Dominic Cummings The Dormouse – The British Public in Lockdown and onwards The Queen – Professor Neil Ferguson … Continue reading Alice in Covid 19 Wonderland
THE CITY GRUMP Last week the Financial Times reported that Zoom now has the same market capitalisation as the combined market caps of Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Unicredit. The downward progress of the banks won’t come as much of a surprise to the City Grump who, in an article from 2011, warned investors never to go anywhere near bank stocks, and indeed airlines and textile … Continue reading Blowing Bubbles
THE CITY GRUMP 24 hours before Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill was fired, Michael Gove gave the annual Ditchley lecture. Much of the first 70% covered the standard political mantra of “the London bubble means the Elite is no longer trusted” so we must base more decision makers in Middlesborough, Merthyr Tydfil and so on. But the final 30% was a no holds barred analysis of what … Continue reading Gove’s Revolutionary Ditchley Lecture