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Stephen Smith: Boost supply, not demand

As the last weeks of the general election campaign grind on, at least we seem to have some emerging consensus about what needs to be done in the housing market (although little consensus about how). For the first time in many years housing features strongly in the manifestos of all parties and there is something […]

Bank of England error wipes £13bn off gilt sales

An error by the Bank of England overstated the amount of government bonds it sold by £13.4bn. A notice of error was posted on the bank’s website explaining that a clerical error led to it stating that £28.2bn of British government bonds had been bought by foreign buyers in February when the actual figure was […]

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Invesco Perpetual: Woodford leaving was a good thing

When Neil Woodford announced he was leaving Invesco Perpetual to set up his own fund management business, the industry oscillated between eagerly anticipating his next venture and questioning how Invesco Perpetual would cope without arguably its biggest asset. After all, the top dog of equity income, Woodford had spent the bulk of his career at […]

SimplyBiz ditches sale and IPO plans

Support services and compliance firm SimplyBiz has shelved plans to sell the business or launch an IPO and is instead exploring alternative funding options to remain independent. In January, SimplyBiz confirmed it was considering floating the business on the Alternative Investment Market or selling a stake in the firm to a trade buyer or private […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

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