Chancellor Hammond’s £10bn of green shoots

  • 21 February 2017
  • From the section Business
Philip Hammond Image copyright Getty Images

Philip Hammond is not a man known for political surprises.

Spreadsheet Phil, as he probably doesn't like to be called, prefers to keep any rabbits that might be hopping around Whitehall stuffed deep in the Treasury's public spending hat.

So, anyone thinking that today's better news on the state of government's finances will lead to any Budget largesse is likely to be disappointed.

The public sector net borrowing numbers showed a surplus in January, a month when the government receives a significant proportion of its tax receipts.

With those receipts higher than expected and economic growth stronger than expected, the government earned more than it spent to the tune of £9.4bn.

Read full article Chancellor Hammond’s £10bn of green shoots

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg lays out his vision

  • 16 February 2017
  • From the section Business
Mark Zuckerberg Image copyright Getty Images

When I first read Mark Zuckerberg's 5,500-word letter to the Facebook community, I was struck by two things.

How far it ranged - over subjects as diverse as globalisation, the people who feel left behind, our spiritual and communitarian well-being - as well as the rather more obvious social media issues of fake news, polarisation and sensationalism.

Read full article Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg lays out his vision

Self-employment 'reduces tax take' as firms avoid responsibilities

  • 14 February 2017
  • From the section Business
Matthew Taylor, RSA chief executive
Image caption Matthew Taylor, RSA chief executive, is leading a review into new employment practices

The head of Theresa May's inquiry into the way millions of people work has said there is evidence businesses are using self-employment laws to avoid tax.

Matthew Taylor told the BBC that he wanted to see a new standard of "fair and decent" work which the public and private sector could sign up to.

Read full article Self-employment 'reduces tax take' as firms avoid responsibilities

Germany warns the City over Brexit risk

  • 10 February 2017
  • From the section Business
City of London sign Image copyright Getty Images

One of Germany's most senior banking regulators has warned London that it is likely to lose its role as "the gateway to Europe" for vital financial services.

Dr Andreas Dombret, executive board member for the German central bank, the Bundesbank, said that even if banking rules were "equivalent" between the UK and the rest of the European Union, that was "miles away from access to the single market".

Read full article Germany warns the City over Brexit risk

Bank warns 'lax financial rules' are a route to failure

  • 8 February 2017
  • From the section Business
Media captionSir Jon Cunliffe: "The UK, in order to be a successful financial centre, needs robust regulation"

The man responsible for financial stability at the Bank of England has warned against relaxing banking regulation, saying that such a move could damage the global economy.

Sir Jon Cunliffe told the BBC that "lax controls" risked undoing progress that had been made since the financial crisis.

Read full article Bank warns 'lax financial rules' are a route to failure

Public finances and the shadow of Osborne

  • 7 February 2017
  • From the section Business

Philip Hammond knows all about the government's attempts to "get the public finances in order" following the financial crisis of 2008.

He was the man, as shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, credited by many for the tough detail of the austerity plan laid before voters in the run up to the 2010 election.

Read full article Public finances and the shadow of Osborne

Has the 'Brexit effect' disappeared?

  • 2 February 2017
  • From the section Business
Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney might have stashed a couple of party poppers in his pocket

Hang out the bunting - well, at least buy a couple of party poppers.

Another upgrade like today's and the Bank of England will be more positive than it was about the British economy in May last year - its final Inflation Report before the referendum.

Read full article Has the 'Brexit effect' disappeared?

Housebuilder L&G wants 'reassessment' of green belt

  • 1 February 2017
  • From the section Business

One of the UK's largest housebuilders has called for a "critical reassessment" of green belt land to help solve Britain's housing shortage.

Legal & General chief executive Nigel Wilson said that if 1% of green belt was released for building, it would be enough for up to one million new homes.

Read full article Housebuilder L&G wants 'reassessment' of green belt

The economy - pain cancelled or delayed?

  • 26 January 2017
  • From the section Business
Media captionEU no longer wants to "chastise" the UK, says Philip Hammond

It is the big question swirling around government.

After another set of economic figures stronger than expected, is this economic pain cancelled, or simply postponed?

Read full article The economy - pain cancelled or delayed?

Euro 'could fail', says man tipped as US ambassador to EU

  • 25 January 2017
  • From the section Business
Media captionProfessor Ted Malloch is gloomy about the euro's future

The man tipped to be Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union has told the BBC the single currency "could collapse" in the next 18 months.

Professor Ted Malloch said he would "short the euro" - taking a market position which bets on the value of the currency falling.

Read full article Euro 'could fail', says man tipped as US ambassador to EU