Monthly Archives: September 2011

Gold: A Precious Thermometer

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Paul Volcker, ex-Chairman of the Federal Reserve, once famously referred to gold as ‘the enemy’ of central banks and policy makers. In this article, I will explain the recent large swings in gold prices and, by doing so, explain why gold continues to be a precious thermometer for economic sentiment and the enemy of policy makers.

At a basic level, there are two opposing forces which drive gold price movements. The first is inflation. The second, and perhaps the more topical, is the general fear of economic collapse. I will now explain these two opposing forces and which is principally responsible for driving the current movements in gold prices. Click here to keep reading

Why doing the right thing is no easy task for Nick Clegg

‘Doctor’, urges a much-maligned figure to a less than receptive audience, ‘always do the right thing’.

Spike Lee’s controversial social commentary may seem an unlikely source of inspiration for today’s British politicians, but in truth it is only the minor detail of ‘Da Mayor’ telling a doctor how to act that seems out of place. Boris Johnson wouldn’t dare wade in to the debate on NHS reform.

Last week, though, was not about Government cuts, an eccentric London mayor or, to any significant level, the summer’s riots. It was Nick Clegg’s news cycle to convince his party, as well as the nation, that in entering into the Coalition the Lib Dems had made a choice that was “not easy, but right”. Read the rest of this entry

Ed Miliband confronts the vested interests in society and promises a new bargain for Britain

It was a bit disjointed in places. It contained the odd dig at Nick Clegg that added nothing to the overall theme and the pronouncement that he was not Tony Blair was surely not designed to instigate wild cheers amongst some delegates. Yet even a five minute blackout caused by a power cut couldn’t prevent Ed Miliband from offering up a bold, comprehensive evaluation of how the vested interests of big business, political elites and media barons have left us in a fragmented and deeply unequal society, and a slightly sketchier vision of how we might escape to a more prosperous and principled one. Read the rest of this entry

Saudi Women Get the Vote but the UK Should Keep Praise to a Minimum

The United Kingdom takes pride in its commitment to global gender equality making it fair to concede that it has done a respectable job of being at the forefront of many gender development decisions.  Most recently, it made clear its dedication to the new UN Women which I have previously discussed in a separate article.  Therefore, when King Abdullah announced that women in Saudi Arabia have been given the right to vote and to run in future municipal elections, it was inevitably welcomed by the UK.  

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Capping fees at £6,000 is not a fairer alternative

Keen to prove that an idea or two has been jotted down on their infamous blank piece of paper, the Labour party heads into conference with a new announcement on their approach to tuition fees. Gone is the commitment to a graduate tax and in its place is a pledge to cap fees at £6,000 with top earners paying a higher rate of interest on their loans. Not wishing to be penned in on the issue though, the party refused to rule out a further change in their stance come the next election, although what the nature of such change might entail is not made clear. Read the rest of this entry

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