Still Don’t Know Who to Vote For Tomorrow? Just Make Sure It’s Not for Murdoch

It’s been described as the election that economics forgot. Outlandish proposals put forward by the country’s major parties on everything from tax evasion to inheritance tax seem, to be blunt, to be taking UK voters for fools. And well they might; after all, they can get away with it.
Just ask the Tories, who have successfully conned the country about economic growth for the past five years, without anyone seeming to notice.
The combination of a Prime Minister with a far better grasp of PR than macroeconomics, a woefully complicit media and a bewildered population that needs someone to blame has seen British people hoodwinked by made-up numbers since the Coalition took control.

Continue reading →

How the Wealth Gap Will Screw Small Business… and Democracy

This article was originally published in SME Insider

Do you have $3650 (£2285) in savings or equity? Congratulations: you’re richer than 50% of people on the planet. If that doesn’t sound like a fortune, it’s because there isn’t all that much to go around. Not when half of the world’s wealth is owned by just 1% of people.

According to the latest global wealth report published by Credit Suisse, even though overall wealth has increased dramatically from $117 trillion in 2000 to $263 trillion today, this is mostly the property of a tiny minority, which owns 48.5% of the globe’s resources. The issue is particularly stark in the UK, which is the only country in the G7 to have seen inequality rise during this century. Continue reading →

Economic Armageddon or Business as Usual? Scottish Small Businesses Talk Independence

This article was initially published in SME Insider.

Kat Heathcote is not a nationalist. In fact, she’s not even Scottish – she’s a Labour-voting Welsh woman whose publishing business exports mainly to Singapore. But in Thursday’s referendum, she’s voting yes.

Directly, it doesn’t affect my business,” she says, “[but] a country that has 60% of Europe’s oil and 20% of the world’s fish stocks should be a wealthy and successful country.”

Continue reading →

Want to Make the World a Better Place? Become a Banker

If you’ve ventured outdoors just about anywhere in Britain over the past few weeks, the chances are you’ve seen some familiar signs of the season. Hollow-eyed undergrads bulk-buying Red Bull. Cafés full of teenage girls clutching gel pens like talismans. Parks crowded with library refugees, huddled together among blankets and books. It’s that time of year again: the exams are here.

In the coming months, 350,000 UK graduates will take their first, intrepid steps into the job market. Compared with the past six years, things are looking up for the Class of 2014; many graduate jobs, killed off by the economic downturn, have been resuscitated, along with a record number of paid internships. Perhaps for the first time since the crash, bright young grads choosing a career path can afford to feel optimistic about their prospects.

But how to choose this path? For those primarily interested in money or prestige, this might be a comparatively easy question; a plethora of high-profile career-fair-botherers from the legal, accounting, financial and management consultancy sectors offer attractive packages for graduates. But for the growing number of young idealists that want to make the world a better place – or at least not to make it any worse – it’s a trickier one to answer.

Continue reading →