A pick-up in consumer spending has been forecast consistently for more than a year but has yet to appear.

Some time ago, economist and columnist John Kay examined the record of 34 British forecasters over a seven-year period. His analysis revealed two thin(...)

No one buys a lottery ticket to trade it. You cannot sensibly value an asset at £2, or £1.20, when you are certain that on Sunday its value will be quite different. Photograph: Getty

You have spent £2 or €3 on a lottery ticket. On Saturday evening you may be a millionaire. Or, more likely, not. But in the meantime, the auditors arr(...)

“There is at once too little and too much competition in personal current account banking in Britain.” Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has chosen personal current account backing as one of its first subjects of major inquiry. Well, not(...)

Money is differentiated from other commodities in one important way: the government can print it, whereas it cannot produce food or fuel or generate electricity.

The need for liquidity is a mantra among those who organise and regulate the financial system. To say that a proposal will damage liquidity more or le(...)

A shale gas rig at Banks, near Southport, Merseyside. Demands for power can only be met by gas-fired and nuclear generation.  The shale gas revolution suggests that gas will be the main element in the mixture.

The origins of Britain’s impending energy crisis go back half a century. The Beatles were in their heyday, the young Harold Wilson was a freshly elect(...)