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

Catching a wave of failures

  • 20 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Pelamis P2 under construction

The Scottish government is not a newcomer to investing in risky businesses.

Through Scottish Enterprise, it has a fund for taking stakes in fledgling companies with high-growth potential, and particularly those at a stage where it's hard to get the funding necessary for development.

Now, through Highlands and Islands Enterprise, it is not the owner of a wave power business, but of its assets, including cutting edge technology and some steel fashioned into a very large sea-snake.

As a business, Pelamis Wave Power has collapsed, its staff gone, the expertise dispersed, having recently been the symbol of Scottish engineering and energy technology. Ministers showed it off to visiting foreign dignitaries, including the Chinese deputy premier.

Administrators found the best option was to sell the assets to the government. That suggests a lack of other options.

Read full article Catching a wave of failures

Douglas added analysis to:

Jobs go after no buyer found for Pelamis wave business

Administrators found the best option was to sell the assets to the government.

That suggests a lack of other options.

Read full article Jobs go after no buyer found for Pelamis wave business

Moving on or moving out

  • 18 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland

Some big Scottish finance firms put in a lot of preparation for moving HQs out of Scotland if voters had backed 'Yes' for independence.

It seems they didn't put those plans away on 19 September.

Read full article Moving on or moving out

Douglas added analysis to:

'Uncertainty' concern for Scottish finance sector, says Jeremy Peat

  • 18 December 2014
  • From the section Scotland

Some big Scottish finance firms put in a lot of preparation for moving HQs out of Scotland if voters had backed 'Yes' for independence.

It seems they didn't put those plans away on 19 September.

Read full article 'Uncertainty' concern for Scottish finance sector, says Jeremy Peat

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.

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
Money

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

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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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