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Tipping Point


Who to tip and in what circumstances?  It’s a social minefield where you’re constantly torn between not wanting to be mean or offensive (which I can easily be) and not wanting to be ripped-off (where again, I carry the scars!).  All the more tricky in a foreign land where different customs prevail as I recently found out on holiday in America. In the US, the price that you’re shown can often b…

In Economy

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Not if but when...?


Even as the banking system was approaching the rocks in 2007-8 there were very few of us in the banking and Building Society world that could have imagined that the Bank of England would bring down its Base Rate to a record low of 0.5% to support the economy. And even when it did you’d have got very long odds on that Base Rate being sustained for five years.  But here we are nearly six years o…

In Economy

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London Bubble, Toil and Trouble


After considering their options for a while, the Bank of England has proposed a measure to stop the housing market bubbling away. If it is indeed “bubbling”, of course. London is going through surge in house prices; by no means the first in its stop-start history, and doubtless this won’t be the last.  Prices have risen by18% or so in the last year, and for many potential buyers, even on go…

In Economy

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Are we there yet?


Now that we have notched up the sixth anniversary of the queues outside the Northern Rock, it would be nice to think that the end of this recession is in sight. After all, the world and his wife are pointing to all sorts of , economic indicators to suggest that whilst we might not be quite out of the woods yet, we are finally getting there. The government is telling us that things are improving, …

In Economy

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Mind your language


I’m not talking about swearing here. I’m talking about hype. I have just read an article penned by the Daily Mail in which it is claimed that house prices are “soaring”. Compared with the rather sluggish movement of house prices in recent times, the 4% growth that we have seen since the start of the year is indeed newsworthy. But is a 4% uplift “soaring”? I think not. If that were sustai…

In Current Affairs | Economy

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