Douglas Fraser, Business and economy editor, Scotland

Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

Come here for my take on money matters from a Scottish perspective

That currency question, again

  • 16 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Coins and Saltire flag

History, as we know, is written by the victors - though that doesn't mean it ceases to be fought over.

As Scotland's independence referendum moves into the history books, there is a flurry of publication to frame how the story is told.

The instant framing is from the politicians and their social media fans. Books have been hurriedly compiled too.

It is journalists from The Guardian who have gone into most detail - so far - in seeking out revelations as to what really happened behind the scenes on both sides of the debate.

They've got some very interesting insights, though they're still getting quite a sanitised version, as I'm told that being inside both Yes Scotland and Better Together was either brutal or dispiriting.

Read full article That currency question, again

Tipping point for TTIP?

  • 12 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
US and EU flags

The idea that Americans know how to run Britain's health service more efficiently seems laughable. The US health system is in the global super-league for inefficiency.

But that threat is for real, if you listen to critics of trade talks between the US and the European Union.

Read full article Tipping point for TTIP?

Peril or paradise by the dashboard lights

  • 8 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland

The warning lights are flashing on the dashboard of the global economy. So goes the new message from the prime minister and chancellor.

But the latest evidence about the Scottish economy suggests they are being a bit alarmist.

Read full article Peril or paradise by the dashboard lights

Autumn Statement: Questions for Scotland

  • 3 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
George Osborne

It's the "sincerest form of flattery," says Scotland's financial secretary, John Swinney. With the devolution of stamp duty, he devised a system that ironed out the property transaction tax's dafter anomalies.

And now, George Osborne has adopted a very similar reform.

Read full article Autumn Statement: Questions for Scotland

Osborne's choice: Oil industry at the crossroads

  • 2 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
George Osborne on The Andrew Marr Show

In his Autumn Statement 2014, George Osborne gets to set out the battlefield for the election next May. It's not the battlefield he would wish. The public finance numbers look grim, and point to tight budget constraints on the next Westminster government.

That reflects poor income tax receipts, but also a sharp decline in what the Treasury can expect to rake in from offshore oil and gas. With a barrel of Brent crude trading around $72, down for five successive months from $115, there's a lot less profit on which to levy tax.

Read full article Osborne's choice: Oil industry at the crossroads

Sturgeon: Harnessing the power of London

  • 2 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
London skyline

When you've just become first minister of Scotland, everything you do is likely to be weighed for significance.

Nicola Sturgeon's first speeches were, significantly, to the people she needs to keep on side; MSPs, the vastly enlarged Scottish National Party, and Scotland's business community.

Read full article Sturgeon: Harnessing the power of London

Smith Commission: A deal doesn't make it happen

  • 27 November 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament has had 15 years of spending power with very little taxation accountability.

That's about to change, a lot, if the Smith Commission "heads of agreement" translate into workable new devolution legislation.

Read full article Smith Commission: A deal doesn't make it happen

Sturgeon's Business Pledge

Construction worker

Nicola Sturgeon is setting out her own stall on her relationship with business.

Whereas her predecessor was comfortable with boardroom types, that's not the background of the new first minister. As a lawyer, her area of interest was clients at the disadvantaged margins, rather than corporate deal-making.

Read full article Sturgeon's Business Pledge

Devo More: What does business want?

driverless car
Driverless cars. Could new powers help Scotland become a world leader?

Scotland could become a world leader in driverless cars, urban drones and animaloid robots. Yes, animaloid. We're already leaders in subsea robots, so why not?

This could be the first country to develop a fridge which orders your milk for you, using 'blockchain' technology, by which machines use sensors, control the supply chain, and trade with each other. What this needs, of course, are the necessary regulatory powers at Holyrood.

Read full article Devo More: What does business want?

Living wage: What about jobs?

Coins and notes

It's Living Wage week. The cause has been well aired, with companies signing up. It's been well debated too, except that there isn't much of a debate.

A wage based on what people need in order to live a decent life is hard to argue against. And at £7.85 (£9.15) it's not for fat cats.

Read full article Living wage: What about jobs?

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About Douglas

Douglas joined BBC Scotland at the moment the financial crisis struck in 2008, reporting on the meltdown at RBS and the collapse of Dunfermline Building Society.

His beat also includes close attention to the offshore oil and renewable energy sectors, and he takes a mostly professional interest in whisky.

Working in Scottish journalism since 1989, he previously worked for The Herald and The Scotsman, among other newspapers.

He has covered politics from the Holyrood parliament, as well as education, the arts and the Highlands and Islands.

He is co-author of the Political Guide to Modern Scotland.

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