Alex Brummer on Business

Smart boys behind payday loans

July 3, 2014

The great financial crisis (2007-09) sparked all manner of new lenders as the high street banks cut back their lending. We have seen the birth and expansion of peer-to-peer organisations which match depositors and lenders on the web; crowd-funding where like-minded investors club together to fund small breweries or films, and most contentiously the payday lender.

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It’s time for the Serious Farce Office to get serious

By Alex Brummer, April 4, 2014

It has not been an easy ride for David Green, who completes his second year as director of the Serious Fraud Office in April. He inherited it at a low ebb. Phillippa Williamson, the former CEO, was caught up in an expenses row and a parliamentary watchdog said it had “been undermined by a catalogue of errors and poor judgement”, hitting staff morale.

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Facebook deal is a sign of technology values gone mad

By Alex Brummer, March 13, 2014

There is a natural cycle faced by financial markets across the globe.

A generation of managers often leave space for successors to repeat their ghastly errors.

One cannot help but feel that many blunders made in the late 1990s — when any enterprise with a website and “dot.com” attached to its name was seen as a sure winner — are being repeated.

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There is much more to Israel’s economy than high-tech

By Alex Brummer, February 28, 2014

The International Monetary Fund’s annual inspection of national economies is a pivotal event that shapes political debate.

Israel’s latest report card, issued in Washington this month, must generally be regarded as favourable.

Output growth is seen as solid, unemployment low, the financial sector in good health and the international trade is strong.

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Independent Scotland must work with Bank of England

By Alex Brummer, February 14, 2014

Before Mark Carney went to Edinburgh last month to meet with leaders to discuss use of the pound sterling in an independent Scotland; debate surrounding the referendum this year was strangely subdued.

The Bank of England governor’s visit marked a pivotal point.

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Recovery, jobs and exports - a 2014 economic forecast

By Alex Brummer, January 17, 2014

Robust economic recovery on both sides of the Atlantic, led by the United States and Britain, will provide the backcloth to the world economy and financial markets in 2014.

The eurozone will continue to be constrained by fiscal adjustment in the periphery, a weak economic outlook in France and the failure to fully confront the underlying weaknesses of the banking system.

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Retail sales changed the way we now shop

By Alex Brummer, January 17, 2014

v Retailing has become a great deal more complicated. Never was this more evident that over the festive season when so much money was spent on the high street. As is the case almost every year, the message in the build-up to the season was dismal.

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Israel’s economy is on top, but relative poverty is dismal

By Alex Brummer, December 20, 2013

Diaspora Jews are rightly proud of Israel’s stellar economy and its renowned science and technology.

The Jewish state was one of the few advanced economies — out of the 34 countries under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — to survive the “Great Panic” and subsequent recession virtually unscathed.

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Actions of Co-op Methodist are back to haunt the bank

By Alex Brummer, December 16, 2013

The melt-down at the Co-operative Bank should not have come as a huge surprise to JC readers.

But serious allegations against the bank’s former chairman, Reverend Paul Flowers, have come as a shock.

His alleged drug-use has disgraced the Co-op Bank and led to his suspension from the Methodist Church and the Labour Party, where until recently he was a respected councillor.

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Top women are now leading the world of high finance

By Alex Brummer, November 22, 2013

The departure of Angela Ahrendts from Burberry and Marjorie Scardino from Pearson has left Britain’s FTSE100 boardrooms woefully short of women chief executives.

But in the world of high finance, it is becoming a very different story.

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