The National Living Wage experiment

The National Living Wage (NLW) was introduced in April 2016, hiking the minimum wage for those aged 25 and over from £6.70 to £7.20 an hour. At the time, many warnings were heard about the potential negative consequences for employment. However, a report by the Resolution Foundation published last week showed that the minimum wage hike has led to the [...]

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Robots and local elections: difficult to predict

Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson is concerned. The rise of robots, he says, poses a danger which needs to be addressed. Low-skilled jobs will be threatened and will lead to [...]

The EU’s mad fight against Google

Last Wednesday, the EU charged Google with using its dominant Android operating system to hinder competition. The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, is [...]

UK unemployment: the Living Wage in action

The National Living Wage of £7.20/ hour is now law. UK unemployment rose for the first time in 7 months. Is there a connection? Too early to tell, some might say – but we [...]

Fiscal dominance: how central banks will wipe out your savings

We already wrote about the threat of an outright war on cash, motivated by the central banks’ need to make a zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) effective by forcing money to [...]

Abenomics’ predictable failure

When it was announced that in Q4 2015 Japan’s GDP was shrinking by a whopping 1.4% on an annualised basis it confirmed that the land of the rising sun is still sinking, as [...]

The real minimum wage is still zero

The UK labour market has a persistent malaise: low productivity and the resulting anaemic wage growth. This has been a feature of the British economy since the Great Recession [...]

The great steel robbery

UK industry has been in decline for decades, and for the very good reason that production costs are simply too high to compete with Asia and other low-wage/cost economies. The [...]

Does the trade deficit matter?

The trade balance is getting a lot of attention in the US presidential primaries, due to Donald Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric. Trump wants trade barriers to “protect” US [...]

Chinese recession is coming

For the last couple of years the talk has been of a Chinese ‘hard landing’, meaning growth dropping below the 6-8% we have witnessed the last few years. But that’s not [...]

Iain Duncan Smith: politics, not economics

The resignation of Iain Duncan Smith dominates headlines, and for good reasons: the narrative that the Bullingdon Club boys in the Conservative government are looking after [...]