Alex Brummer on Business

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Stamp of disapproval for Royal Mail bonanza deal

By Alex Brummer, November 7, 2013

The widely criticised Royal Mail flotation of shares has broad significance.

It has reflected an appetite for new equity from private investors in the UK.

Yet, negotiators of the Royal Mail deal are guilty of under-pricing. They have cost the taxpayer in excess of £1 billion as the shares soared to a 50 per cent-plus premium.


Middle East economy slumps in face of Syrian refugees

By Alex Brummer, November 4, 2013

Hope for economic prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring have been dashed by successive crises in the region.

Global disappointment at the situation was palpable at the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meeting in Washington this month.


‘Mick the Miner’ is back with a multi-million pound bang

By Alex Brummer, October 17, 2013

Mick Davis, the former chief executive of Xstrata, has lost no time getting back into the corporate swim following the takeover of the mining group by its biggest investor Glencore in May.


Slash business rates to save out high street

By Alex Brummer, September 26, 2013

Outside of Britain’s biggest city centres, the high street is dying on its feet.

Governments, both national and local, do not seem to recognise that we are still a “nation of shopkeepers”. Indeed, the sector comprises around 95,000 firms, uses £326bn of gross assets and borrows £65bn each year.


Carney leads the way on banking changes

By Alex Brummer, September 13, 2013

New Bank of England governor Mark Carney has made a positive impact on the UK economy.

The Canadian-born banker and chairman of the G20 Financial Stability Board has shifted the focus from inflation to growth.

When I interviewed Carney he made it clear that interest rates would remain at record low levels for ordinary households and smaller businesses.