Robo-Taxes, Expensive Tweets And Equations For Art-Lovers

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Afternoon all, So Parliament’s off. The Speaker is too (rather more permanently). This is clearly a crisis. With millions of Brits addicted to the nightly Commons meltdowns, dark times are ahead. Where we once had soaps, all that’s left these days is psephology. Now the addicts out there may get some relief from prorogation cold-turkey … Continued

Torsten Bell

Is the UK recession ready?


The good news is we’ve now managed a recession free decade since the financial crisis. The bad news is that history teaches us this is quite unusual – booms and bust haven’t been abolished. This matters – downturns have very high costs, even when they’re not of the global financial crisis earth-shattering sort. On average … Continued

Battling inequality, one tattoo and traffic jam at a time

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Afternoon all, I’m slightly lost for words after the vote-losing, whip-stripping, police-fainting, brother-resigning week we’ve had. But beneath all the madness has anyone else noticed a strange pattern emerging from British politics? In the olden days one lot wanted X (eg tax cuts) and the other lot wanted Y (eg tax rises). They had a … Continued

Flush Geordies and flustered bankers

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Afternoon all, All quiet on the Westminster front. Or at least it will go quiet in the very near future – hence the current outrage being very loud as the week comes to a close. Which is a shame because the week started so well with (part of) the country pulling off a million to … Continued

Loaded Americans, smart Russians and dying Brits

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Afternoon all, We’re back. I know this will be a big relief to you all – it’s equally good news for my bank balance. Turns out it’s not a good idea to combine the family preference for too many croissants with our national preference for devaluing the pound. Obviously the real lesson here is to … Continued

Weekend reading for the new Cabinet

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Sign up for our weekly Top of the Charts email here   Afternoon all, It’s been a brutal week in Britain – whether you’re trying to commute in near 40 degree heat, or trying to keep your job at the Cabinet table. But I’ve got zero sympathy for the whinging – you want to try spending … Continued

Blowing the Budget and how to train your Dictator

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Sign up for our weekly Top of the Charts email here Afternoon all, I’m afraid a rather serious mood is dominating at RF towers today. It’s Theresa May’s last weekend as Prime Minister. It’s (probably) Boris Johnson’s last weekend for a while without that responsibility sitting on his shoulders. She should, and I’m sure will be, sad … Continued

Navigating the messy world of modern politics

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Afternoon all, This week the plucky Kiwis beat a nation, India, with a population 280 TIMES AS LARGE in a classic David overcomes Goliath match to reach Sunday’s Cricket World Cup final. But obviously we’ve had quite enough of the little guy standing up to the real power – partly because England are clear favourites … Continued

Rock star Eurocrats, takeover attacks and tax spats

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Afternoon all, Christine Lagarde is a very talented woman, but she’s also a very lucky one. Her current role running the IMF came up rather err…unexpectedly and she now gets to head to Frankfurt to take over as the new head of the European Central Bank, despite saying many times that she had no interest in … Continued

Roasting, rocking and roaring across Britain

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Afternoon all, The country’s roasting, Glastonbury’s rocking, and the Lionesses are roaring into the World Cup semi-final. The only people letting the side down are our cricket team. Now I’m no expert on bat/ball games, but I fear they’ve been paying just a bit too much attention to Boris. Surely the point of being the … Continued

Saving the world, one research paper at time

Afternoon all, Yesterday we learnt that it’s Johnson vs Hunt. Gung ho vs reluctant no dealing. Everyone’s understandably focused on the odds of no deal rising. But they are missing the real risk to our international reputation – an outside chance that PMQs descends into a weekly row between two blokes called Jeremy. Some things … Continued

Rising floors and tumbling walls

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Afternoon all, It’s time for a break from the rain and the ludicrous tax cut promises the Tory leadership election has given us (on which more below). So not only does this week’s Top of the Charts come to you from (ludicrously hot) Vienna but we’ve gone all international in our reads. From big moves … Continued

Making our children and grandchildren proud

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Afternoon all, There’s been a lot to think about this week – how politics can really matter, and about how the big decisions we take can shape the future for generations to come. Theresa May might be standing down as Tory leader today, but she had a good week representing the country in D-Day commemorations on … Continued

No, you can’t always get what you want

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Afternoon all, Donald Trump is coming. Obviously this isn’t about us getting what we want, but maybe it’s exactly what our divided country needs. For the same reason he’s such a deeply divisive figure in the US (due to the whole misogyny/stoking racial divides schtick) maybe he’ll provide us with some much-needed unity via an … Continued

The Ides of May

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Afternoon all, It’s all a bit last days of Caesar in Westminster – we’re definitely in the Ides of May. There was no going back once the PM crossed the Rubicon broke bread with Corbyn.  Andrea Leadsom struck the first blow, and it finally ended today with the immortal words ‘et tu Brute Brady?’ The bad omen news for … Continued

Respite From A Week Of Shocking Shocks

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Afternoon all, It’s been a week of BIG shocks. Theresa’s off. Who knew. Boris is running. Gosh. Labour’s said it won’t do a deal on Brexit. Well knock me down with a WAB. We’re too unequal a country. Quelle surprise. And the climax to Game of Thrones involves a lot of people dying. Who saw that coming. Then again maybe … Continued

Let’s Get Digging…

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Afternoon all, I know it’s tough. Not only is a global trade war heating up, but it’s been pissing down all week. But it’s definitely time to perk up. We’re winning in Europe, football-wise at least. To an almost socially awkward degree. We’ve got a ROYAL baby of mixed race, and (apart from a few losers) we … Continued

Cheaper cars, clothes, cabs and catheters

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Afternoon all, Hope all your houses are enjoying their (electoral) plague today. It probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The public’s opinion of our politics is at its lowest ebb on record, while just this week one MP managed to get himself sacked for (allegedly) telling the truth when the rules are he shouldn’t … Continued

Top tips to be the next Guvnor

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Afternoon all, Refreshed from your Easter break? Want a new challenge? How about stewarding the UK economy as the Bank of England’s next Governor. You’ll probably get to steer us through Brexit, and more definitely through the next recession (see this week’s Chart of the Week). All yours for £480k. If you’re up for it, … Continued

Bridging Divides

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Afternoon all, Nothing Lasts Forever these days. In the end the whale spits you out, or the Ecuadorians kick you out. That might be good news for Brexit-fatigued Brits. But then again Assange was stashed in the embassy for seven years, so maybe we’re not even half way there…. Because holidays are calling, and it’s important for art … Continued

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