Monthly Archives: September 2017

Can Theresa May survive?

On March 29th, Theresa May – having long repeated the mantra that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ – triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and gave two years’ notice of Britain’s intention to leave the EU. At the time, her approval ratings could not have been higher and the temptation to call a General Election – and to have her own mandate – eventually proved too much. The contrast between May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could not have been greater and Conservative strategists framed the election as a personality contest: Theresa May’s cabinet and Theresa May’s local candidates against Corbyn and his hopelessly outdated plans to tour the country speaking to people. Continue reading

World Stock Markets

Given all the uncertainty, how have the world’s major stock markets performed in the first eight months of the year? By and large, the answer is ‘well’. The UK’s FTSE-100 index of leading shares opened the year at 7,143 and closed August at 7,431: that is a modest gain of 4% but given all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, a gain nevertheless. The two major European indices, Germany and France, are both up by 5%, whilst in America the Dow Jones index is up by 11% at 21,948. The Dow clearly likes what it sees of President Trump’s economic policies. Continue reading

North Korea

The tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world continue to escalate, with Pyongyang conducting its most powerful nuclear test yet over the first weekend in September and – at the time of writing – apparently readying another missile firing. In recent weeks, North Korea has threatened the US territory of Guam and fired a rocket over Japan’s Hokkaido Island (roughly 800 miles north of Tokyo). Continue reading