Alex Brummer

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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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A toast to the bosses who deserve high pay

By Alex Brummer, August 30, 2013

Critics of high pay in the boardroom have rounded on the former chief executive of Diageo, Paul Walsh.

Walsh, who led the spirits and beer giant for more than a decade, parted this year with a package of £14.8 m — the larger part of which was represented by bonuses in shares.

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Ocado bid for online supermarket sweep

By Alex Brummer, August 16, 2013

Britain has been a laggard in the the global battle to establish a leading internet company.

Shopping group Ocado, launched by three former executives at Goldman Sachs, is our only player.

But the company’s share prices have been on a roller coaster ride.

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Co-op overhaul could change political view

By Alex Brummer, August 4, 2013

Months after the Co-operative Bank’s financial difficulties were brought to our attention, the actual scale of the damage has been revealed to the public. As well as affecting the Bank, issues are likely to impact the whole Co-operative Group.

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A central element in the road to recovery

By Alex Brummer, July 21, 2013

Before the recession, central bankers were seldom seen and rarely heard.

But now they are taken on by governments to sort out the economic mess.

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Good books and bad boycotts

By Alex Brummer, July 8, 2013

Paul Theroux has long been among my favourite writers. I enjoyed his early African novels, have admired his travelogues, and was immensely excited to read of the publication of his new book, Last Train to Zona Verde.

Then I remembered an interview with Theroux published in the Guardian in May.

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Top job roles should be filled internally

By Alex Brummer, July 8, 2013

The appointment of Ian Livingston as the new trade minister at the House of Lords was a surprise.

Livingston, the former chief executive of the BT Group, has been credited with increasing the telecom giant’s fortune by cleaning-up services to global corporations and entering the pay TV market as a potential rival to BSkyB.

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Spread the wealth around the eurozone

By Alex Brummer, June 25, 2013

The German-led austerity programme for the peripheral eurozone states is patently failing.

The European Central Bank (ECB) may have stabilised markets by keeping the single currency afloat, but the credibility of the policy steps are seriously damaged by increasing debt and hardship faced by many countries.

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Spread the wealth around the eurozone

By Alex Brummer, June 23, 2013

The German-led austerity programme for the peripheral eurozone states is patently failing.

The European Central Bank (ECB) may have stabilised markets by keeping the single currency afloat, but the credibility of the policy steps are seriously damaged by increasing debt and hardship faced by many countries.

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Peace dividends of economic relations between Israelis and Palestinians

By Alex Brummer, June 12, 2013

Vstrained business affairs between Israel and the Palestinian territories have been highlighted by boycotts of Israeli companies — like West Bank-based drinks group, SodaStream.

Yet peace negotiators still believe that closer economic ties promote the goal of a two-state solution.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Harding’s battle for balance

By Alex Brummer, April 18, 2013

The re-emergence of James Harding, former editor of The Times, as the BBC's director of news, will be watched with interest in the Jewish community. He inherits a news culture that remains under siege and needs to re-establish the integrity that was badly damaged by the Jimmy Savile affair.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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