LATEST NEWS FROM PARTNER CAP X
17 February 2017
Theresa May’s Britain is starting to look like a safe haven - Brands make the economic world go round - How the market is taking on climate change - It's time to cut Greece loose
With the FTSE reaching record highs, manufacturing on the up and even the volatile pound settling down, Britain is looking in much better shape than many predicted after the Brexit vote. Instead, the markets are worried about the United States, France, Holland and of course Greece. While there is still a long way to travel, Britain's surprising stability reflects well on both its politics and its Prime Minister.
Capitalism depends on trust. As we sit in a cafe sipping a cup of tea, we know we can trust that we will get a decent cuppa; that the money we pay with will not have lost its value; and that if we are scalded by a careless barista we can get compensation. In the modern world, brands are a proxy for this trust - helping ensure that society does not disintegrate into self-interested barter economies.
The leading lights in carbon policy are no longer left-wing environmentalists, but the Chinese Politburo and the hard-headed capitalists of Republican America. China is due to launch the world's largest emissions trading scheme, while leading US politicians are proposing a revenue-neutral carbon tax. As falling renewable prices make coal extraction unviable, it looks like the market is driving energy policy in a new direction.
After years of austerity and billions spent on bailout funds, Greece's economy is actually more sclerotic than it was before the financial crisis - except now it has even more debt to pay off. The EU might not want to let Greece go, but it may find its fellow creditors less accommodating. In the absence of the growth and reform that were promised, it is surely time for the IMF to stop throwing good money after bad.
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