Alex Brummer

This is how to put the spark back into M&S

By Alex Brummer, January 17, 2016

More than three decades have passed since Marks & Spencer relinquished family and Jewish leadership with the retirement of Lord Sieff. The traditions of the founding Marks and Sieff dynasties lingered in the shape of the non-Jewish leadership of Sir Richard Greenbury. He was so steeped in the values that his son went on to head Polack House, the Jewish presence, at Clifton College.


Why we’re all now living on Janet’s planet

By Alex Brummer, December 16, 2015

It is not a very seasonal gift. But, after months of meticulous planning and some hesitation, arguably the most powerful woman in the world set us all on a new course this week with a widely predicted raise in interest rates.


Did Ben Bernanke's Torah lessons help to save the world?

By Alex Brummer, November 12, 2015

Book tours bring all kinds of people to Britain but few can be considered more important than Ben Bernanke the former chairman of America's central bank, the Federal Reserve.


Glasenberg the hunter becomes the hunted

By Alex Brummer, October 3, 2015

At lunchtime on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, a man arrived at our front door loaded down with a magnificent bunch of white flowers from a fashionable Knightsbridge florist. The present, replete with New Year greetings, was from billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive of the global commodity trading and mining concern, Glencore.


The big football clubs have more money than they know what to do with

By Alex Brummer, September 24, 2015

Premier League football has never been richer than it is at present. In the 2013-14 season (the last for which there are complete numbers) it generated income of £3.26 billion, some 29 per cent up on the year before. And we know it is only going to get even more wealthy.


Can Israel's oligarchs cope with the dotcom boom?

By Alex Brummer, August 6, 2015

As a "start-up" nation praised for its tech genius Israel, more often than not, has been the prey rather than the predator in the rarefied world of global takeovers. Going right back to 1998, when US digital pioneer AOL snaffled the Israeli-invented instant messaging service ICQ for £25m, there have been rich pickings for global buyers.


Is the BBC really still our Guardian of the truth?

By Alex Brummer, July 23, 2015

Once in a while, I am invited to do a short interview about finance on the BBC4 Today programme or Radio 5. Obligingly, they send round the radio car (actually a large van with a mast) along with an engineer, and on the counter inside sits the Guardian. In fact, the BBC buys more copies of the Guardian than any other national newspaper.


Villains, scapegoats and the real bank-breakers

By Alex Brummer, July 2, 2015

Scarcely a week passes without disclosure of fresh scandal for Britain's banks. The image of the lenders has been battered and the reputation of those that ran them tarnished. The current management of Britain's largest bank, HSBC, was seriously damaged by disclosures of tax avoidance and evasion on a grand scale at its Geneva private bank.


A boycott fightback that we should copy

By Alex Brummer, June 4, 2015

In recent years, the annual general meetings of the British security firm G4S have become a tense battleground between genuine investors and supporters of the Palestinian boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) campaign. The latter demand that G4S immediately cease all operations in Israel, where it runs prisons on behalf of the Israeli government.


Should we fear Qatar's buying spree?

By Alex Brummer, May 28, 2015

As the summer season reaches its height at Royal Ascot next month, one of the sights to behold will be the billboards on the enclosures at this most exclusive of events, sponsored by the gas-rich state of Qatar.


Who will save your savings?

By Alex Brummer, April 24, 2015

Bill Clinton's famous election adage ''it's the economy, stupid,'' that carried him to two terms at the White House, remains highly relevant in Britain's general election.


M&S may just have done it

By Alex Brummer, April 8, 2015

Of all the great British companies including Shell, Tesco and Land Securities founded by remarkable Jewish entrepreneurs only one - Marks & Spencer - truly retains the loyalty and affection of the community.


Herzog reform agenda still crucial

By Alex Brummer, March 26, 2015

In voting for another Netanyahu-led government, Israelis once again chose guns over butter. Progress made in the polls made by Zionist Union leader Isaac "Buji" Herzog, who tapped into dissatisfaction over economic inequality in Israel, was in the final analysis overwhelmed by fears over national security.

In many ways, Israel has an economy to be proud of.


Waving goodbye? Blair had lost them at 'hello'

By Alex Brummer, March 19, 2015

When Tony Blair was parachuted in as representative of the Middle East Quartet in 2007 he seemed an odd choice.

The unpaid job appeared too low-key for a former British Prime Minister, especially one who carried with him the baggage of the unauthorised invasion of Iraq and engagement in Afghanistan.

My own experience of the role of the Quartet dates back to 2005 when the late Ariel Sharon un


Obama's empty legacy

By Alex Brummer, February 26, 2015

Some years ago, as Washington correspondent of the Guardian, I found myself covering a bitterly fought Congressional race in South Dakota. It is a vast state of prairies, cornfields and grain silos. It is a state with a modest population of less than 900,000 of which 10 per cent are Native Americans.


Question Time fallout: we're meant to debate, not hate

By Alex Brummer, February 12, 2015

Respect MP George Galloway is one of the most controversial figures in British public life. Some of his comments, such as declaring his constituency of Bradford an ‘‘Israel free-zone’’ during Operation Protective Edge in August 2014, can only be regarded as incendiary.


The store that defeated Mr Retail

By Alex Brummer, January 29, 2015

More than a decade has passed since retailing entrepreneur Sir Philip Green made the boldest move of his career in the shape of a £9.1 billion bid for Marks & Spencer, financed by the Bank of Scotland.

Mr Green reckoned he had the fashion knowledge to turn around the nation's favourite store chain but was seen off the field of battle by regiments of loyal private investors.


The hypocrisy of an irresponsible media now defending Jews

By Alex Brummer, January 22, 2015

On the wall of my office is a Life magazine cover dated July 10 1967 showing a smiling IDF soldier cooling off in the Suez Canal under the heading: "The Astounding War and its Aftermath." It is a constant remainder of the way global media used to cover Israel.


2015: Our economic crossroads

By Alex Brummer, December 23, 2014

The unexpected fall in the Brent crude oil price to below $60 a barrel is the biggest known unknown as we enter the next secular New Year. It will shape events in the global economy, the British economy and the Middle East. The world enters 2015 at a crossroads.


The plummeting oil prices reveal why Saudi Arabia fears for the wealth and stability of the Gulf

By Alex Brummer, December 4, 2014

No-one who runs a car or business can be unaware of the hefty fall in the price of fuel at the pumps.