Alex Brummer on Business

Co-op crises shows regulator weakness

By Alex Brummer, May 27, 2013

Six million customers are likely to worry as the Co-operative Bank is struggling for independent survival.

The estimated £1.8 billion hole in the Co-op Bank’s balance sheet will test the City’s new, post-crisis regulatory regime.

But earlier this year the Co-op planned to expand by absorbing 631 branches discarded by the Lloyds Banking Group.


Israeli technology a safe bet for gaming

By Alex Brummer, May 20, 2013

A childhood memory is ever present.

Watching a breed of burly “bookies” in loud plaid suits arrive at our Brighton synagogue on High Holy Days.

The involvement of Jewish figures in horse racing — otherwise known as the “sport of kings” — is a given.


British tax benefits attract foreign wealth

By Alex Brummer, April 26, 2013

Britain is once again a magnet for big businesses and the super rich because of its favourable tax scheme.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s attempt to lower the corporation tax rate to 20 per cent has encouraged offshore enterprises to return to Britain — including Sir Martin Sorrell’s leading advertising group WPP.


Insurers’ excessive pay must be curbed

By Alex Brummer, April 12, 2013

Prudential Plc is one of the most respected names in financial services — trusted with billions of the people’s savings in ISAs, pension products and insurance.

So it came as a surprise when the company was fined up to £30 million last month for its failure to deal with the Financial Services Authority in “an open and co-operative manner”.


Courting Qatar could harm British interests

By Alex Brummer, March 29, 2013

Qatar’s credentials as one of Britain’s biggest inward investors are rarely questioned, and the economic friendship is growing.


Osborne must take axe to tax

By Alex Brummer, March 14, 2013

There are two big misrepresentations about the current state of the British economy.
The first is that the present government has engaged in savage cuts in public spending that are shrinking the size of the state in the most painful way. The second is that the size of the economy is shrinking and as a result, the nation is heading into a “triple dip” recession.


Watch out Sky, the rivals are coming

By Alex Brummer, February 28, 2013

The domination of Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB in Britain’s pay television space looks set to face its greatest challenge since the launch of satellite broadcasting more than two decades ago. Changes in technology, delivery systems and ownership structures threaten to undermine Sky’s market leadership, under which it has gained more than 10 million UK subscribers.


Tough task for Israel's new banking boss

By Alex Brummer, February 14, 2013

Central bankers used to be grey anonymous figures that operated largely behind the scenes to set interest rates and stabilise currency markets. The great recession of 2008-10, followed by the crisis in euroland, changed all that.


Battle is on for Bolland's M&S

By Alex Brummer, January 31, 2013

Among the bigger retail losers in the January reporting season was the private shareholders’ favourite, Marks & Spencer.


Iran sanctions are stepped up

By Alex Brummer, January 17, 2013

There is no better time to bury news than when newspapers are not published or when the attention of those who report the news is elsewhere. Traditionally, the most dodgy companies hold their annual general meeting on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day.