Why is the FTSE breaking records?

  • 11 January 2017
  • From the section Business
traders on london stock exchange react to 0.5% cut in interest rates Image copyright Getty Images

Records tumbled as waves of euphoria crashed over the markets once again.

For the ninth time in a row, the FTSE 100 ended at a record close on Tuesday - the first time that has ever happened since the index was compiled in 1984.

The pat answer for soaring share prices has been the falling pound.

The FTSE 100 is stuffed full of miners, oil companies and banks who earn most of their money in dollars.

As the pound falls (which it has in the last couple of weeks, on the perceived increased likelihood of a "hard" Brexit), so those foreign earnings are worth more in sterling terms. Ergo, share prices rise.

Read full article Why is the FTSE breaking records?

RBS braces for a monster fine

  • 10 January 2017
  • From the section Business
RBS sign Image copyright Reuters

"Bank faces big fine" is a story so worn out it would almost struggle to make the headlines after years of bad bank behaviour and big misconduct penalties.

But there are big fines, and BIG fines, and RBS is about to be hit by the biggest one in its troubled history.

Read full article RBS braces for a monster fine

Why RBS's recovery is lagging Lloyds'

  • 9 January 2017
  • From the section Business
Lloyds' black horse logo Image copyright Getty Images

Eight years ago the government rescued Lloyds by taking a 43% stake for just over £20bn.

The fact that the government is no longer even the biggest shareholder marks an important return to near normality.

Read full article Why RBS's recovery is lagging Lloyds'

Has the government got a clue? The business view.

  • 4 January 2017
  • From the section Business
Sir Ivan Rogers Image copyright Getty Images

There is a lot at stake for business in the upcoming Brexit negotiations so when there is a crack between government and the civil service it's perhaps not surprising that businesses express concern.

I don't know exactly why Sir Ivan Rogers resigned but what I do know is that his recent warning that a trade deal with the EU could take 10 years to thrash out is not seen as outlandish in some sectors.

Read full article Has the government got a clue? The business view.

Trump v the car industry

  • 3 January 2017
  • From the section Business
Ford Focus on assembly line Image copyright Getty Images

Ford's decision to cancel a $1.6bn investment in Mexico and invest an extra $700m in Michigan will be widely seen as concrete evidence that Donald Trump's economic nationalism is having the intended effect.

Coincidentally, Ford's decision comes on the same day that the new President-elect launched an attack on General Motors for producing cars in Mexico bound for the US market.

Read full article Trump v the car industry

Why the CBI thinks finance and farming are equal

  • 21 December 2016
  • From the section Business
Dairy cows Image copyright Getty Images

What is more important: farming, or finance?

On paper it is easy: agriculture employs less than half a million people; financial services more than a million. Farming adds £8.5bn to the value of the UK economy, financial services £120bn.

Read full article Why the CBI thinks finance and farming are equal

Ireland reveals hand in Apple tax row

  • 19 December 2016
  • From the section Business
Apple logo Image copyright Getty Images

It's worth remembering that the European's Commission case that Apple should pay €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes against is primarily a case against Ireland - not the global technology giant.

Apple is obviously involved in a pretty major way and is also allowed to appeal as an affected third party but the argument is that Ireland used its tax system to give two Apple subsidiaries illegal state aid.

Read full article Ireland reveals hand in Apple tax row

Murdoch strikes during a changing media landscape

  • 15 December 2016
  • From the section Business
Sky Sports broadcasting cabin Image copyright Getty Images

Sky's independent directors have recommended a takeover offer from 21st Century Fox valuing the company at £18.5bn.

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox already owns 39% and he first tried to buy the remainder five years ago before abandoning the attempt in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

Read full article Murdoch strikes during a changing media landscape

Transition, transition, transition

  • 14 December 2016
  • From the section Business
David Davis speaks to MPs on the Commons Exiting the EU committee Image copyright AFP
Image caption David Davis tells MPs on the Commons Exiting the EU committee that he would be prepared to accept a transitional deal with the EU if it is necessary, and only if it is necessary.

It is the word of the week.

Just about anyone who is anyone in business or politics is now gathering around the "transitional deal" camp fire.

Read full article Transition, transition, transition

Abandon net migration target, says CBI

  • 14 December 2016
  • From the section Business
A United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) poster is displayed on April 26, 2014 in Luton, England Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A UKIP poster on display in April 2014 in Luton, England

The employers group, the CBI, is calling on the government to abandon an immigration target which was set by David Cameron and which then proved part of his undoing.

Net migration measures the number of people coming to Britain, minus the number of people leaving.

Read full article Abandon net migration target, says CBI