Posts belonging to Category UK



Northern Ireland Peace at risk

Gerry Adams to Theresa May:  you are “in breach” of the Good Friday Agreement — the peace treaty

Speaking in London Thursday after a meeting with May, prominent Northern Irish politician and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said he had told May she was “in breach” of the Good Friday Agreement — the peace treaty which ended 30 years of deadly sectarian violence known as “The Troubles.”
http://www.cnn.com…   Fri.,  16  June 2017

The globalisation counter-reaction

Globalisation is a highly disruptive force

WHEN the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, there were few initial indications that world war would follow. In retrospect, many people have argued that the killing was a freak event that should not have resulted in the folly of war.

But was the subsequent war really an exogenous event? Or was it the near-inevitable consequence of the tensions resulting from the first great era of globalisation? If Franz Ferdinand had survived, maybe something else would have triggered the conflict. If the latter possibility is right, that may be a warning sign for the current era.

http://www.economist.com…   Thu.,  15  June 2017

“Soft Brexit” looks more likely

Britain’s political outlook seems toxic to investors

The combination of a weak Conservative prime minister and the potential for a Corbyn government does not look attractive. Suddenly Britain looks a lot less attractive as a home for international investors. The Conservative party under Theresa May gambled on a snap election to deliver a “mandate for Brexit”. It unveiled a muddled manifesto that alienated voters and was out-campaigned by the veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn. The party lost its overall majority and will now be propped up by the very odd ducks in Ulster’s Democratic Unionist party.

The markets reacted less severely than might have been expected. That seems to be based on the view that a “soft Brexit” looks more likely. But it is far from clear that this is the case. David Davis, Britain’s Brexit minister, seems to be ploughing ahead with plans to leave the single market and the and the Labour leadership is unlikely to oppose this.

http://www.economist.com…   Tue.,  13  June 2017

How will the General Election result affect Brexit?

Hung Parliament

The prospect of a hung Parliament would throw serious doubt over Brexit negotiations, due to begin in earnest in just 10 days.

The BBC/Sky/ITV poll put the Conservatives on 314 seats, Labour on 266, the Scottish National Party on 34, Liberal Democrats on 14, Plaid Cymru on three and Greens on one.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has set June 19 as his favoured date for the start of talks, due to last around 14-18 months.

http://www.thetelegraph.co.uk…  Fri.,  09  June 2017

The Pound weakness

It’s ‘time to get bearish’ on the pound again

Deutsche Bank has turned bearish on the pound once again, saying that any possible upside for the currency from next week’s election has already been priced into the market.
Writing on Tuesday, Deutsche Bank strategists Alan Ruskin and George Saravelos used their latest FX Blueprint note to warn investors it is “time to get bearish on GBP again,” after just over one and a half months of a positive outlook on the UK’s currency.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Wed.,  31  May 2017

Quant Hedge Funds

A new sort of hedge fund relies on crowd-sourcing

“QUANT” hedge funds have long been seen as the nerdy vanguard of finance. Firms such as Renaissance Technologies, Two Sigma and Man AHL, each of which manages tens of billions of dollars, hire talented mathematicians and physicists to sit in their airy offices and develop trading algorithms. But what if such talent could be harnessed without the hassle of an expensive and time-consuming recruitment process? That is the proposition Quantopian, a hedge fund and online crowd-sourcing platform founded in 2011, is testing. Anyone can learn to build trading algorithms on its platform. The most successful are then picked to manage money. Last month the firm announced it had made its first allocations of funds to 15 algorithms it had selected.

http://www.economist.com …  Thu.,  18  May 2017

Cyber attack

Hacking group threatens to sell code

Governments turned their attention to a possible new wave of cyber threats on Tuesday after the group that leaked U.S. hacking tools used to launch the global WannaCry “ransomware” attack warned it would release more malicious code. The fast-spreading cyber extortion campaign, which has infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide since Friday, eased for second day on Tuesday, but the identity and motive of its creators remain unknown. The attack includes elements that belong to the U.S. National Security Agency and were leaked online last month.

Shadow Brokers, the group that has taken credit for that leak, threatened on Tuesday to release more recent code to enable hackers to break into the world’s most widely used computers, software and phones. A blog post written by the group promised from June to release tools every month to anyone willing to pay for access to some of the tech world’s biggest commercial secrets. It also threatened to dump data from banks using the SWIFT international money transfer network and from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean nuclear and missile programs. “More details in June,” it promised.

http://www.reuters.com …  Wed.,  17  May 2017

Half of European businesses to reduce their use of UK suppliers

UK/Europe: how to avoid Brexit tariffs

 

  • 32% of UK businesses who use EU suppliers are looking for British replacements
  • Nearly half (46%) of European businesses expect to reduce their use of UK suppliers
  • 36% of UK businesses plan to respond to Brexit by beating down supplier prices
  • The UK’s “weak negotiating position” is seen as the biggest hurdle in trade talks

Businesses either side of the English Channel are preparing contingency plans which could sever supply chains between the UK and EU, according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS).
A survey of 2,111 supply chain managers found that 32% of UK businesses who work with suppliers on the continent are actively looking for alternative suppliers based in the UK as a response to the referendum.
Businesses within the EU are even more advanced in their preparations. Almost half (45%) of EU businesses who work with UK suppliers are in the process of finding local replacements.

http://www.cips.org …  Tue.,  16  May 2017

BREXIT: JPMorgan to move massively staff out of London

Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, new destinations for bankers

JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to move hundreds of London-based bankers to expanded offices in Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg as it prepares for the U.K. to lose easy access to the European Union’s single market after Brexit, the firm’s head of investment banking said.

“We are going to use the three banks we already have in Europe as the anchors for our operations,” Daniel Pinto said in an interview Tuesday in Riyadh, referring to the New York-based firm’s local entities. “We will have to move hundreds of people in the short term to be ready for day one, when negotiations finish, and then we will look at the longer-term numbers.”

http://www.bloomberg.com…  Wed.,  03 May 2017

Insurance fintech offers diabetes life & disability cover

Insurance tech company help ‘uninsurable’ diabetics

A South African insurance technology company supported by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is launching a life insurance product for diabetics in the UK. AllLife has partnered with Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual insurer, to offer a new product to diabetics previously regarded as “uninsurable” because of their condition. AllLife uses an algorithmic pricing platform called Kaliber to deliver a cost-effective life insurance product.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Tue.,  25 April 2017