Merryn’s blog

Jeremy Corbyn is what you get when you mess with capitalism

Jeremy Corbyn © Getty images

A delayed reaction to the bank bailouts is behind the surge in popular support for protest politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The rising cost of charitable tax relief

Charity sculpture © Getty images

The more money given to charities in the form of tax relief, the less there is to spend on schools and hospitals.

If George Osborne doesn't kill buy-to-let, Jeremy Corbyn will

Jeremy Corbyn © Getty Images

I didn’t think there was a politician out there stupid enough to take right-to-buy to its ridiculous logical extreme, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But there is: Jeremy Corbyn.

Spanish galleons, treasure hunters and speculators: how bubbles never change

Spanish galleons © Getty Images

From 17th-century treasure hunting to prime London property, the bubbles of 400 years ago are no different to the ones we blow today, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Why bankers can’t afford boats any more

Luxury boats © Getty Images

Bankers might still be getting bonuses, but it’s not like the old days. They and their industry are being eclipsed by a whole new breed of entrepreneur.

London property: if secrecy goes, will prices go too?

Newbuild London property © Getty Images

Proposed new rules to make public who owns what in London could flush out a lot of dirty money. And that could put a dent in sky-high London property prices, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Why we should stop paying dividends to short-term investors

Hillary Clinton © Getty Images

Short-termism is damaging growth and productivity. Good news, then, that Hillary Clinton wants to do something about it. But her plan doesn’t go far enough, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Three good reasons to get out of buy-to-let now

To let signs on a street © Getty images

Alarm bells should be ringing for buy-to-let investors, says Merryn Somerset Webb. It won’t take much to tip the market over, dotcom-style.

What the Siege of Mafeking and the European bond market have in common

Siege of Mafeking © Getty images

It isn’t the European bond market itself that determines the price, says Merryn Somerset Webb. It’s what’s going on around it.

How tiny satellites could change the way we invest

Planet Labs cubesat © NASA

A new fleet of shoe-box sized satellites could soon be providing investors with proper, real-time economic data, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Why Greece has a better chance of a deal than you might think

Greek beach © Getty Images

A Greek collapse would have more than just financial and economic consequences. A failed state on Europe’s southern flank is in nobody’s interests.

How to reduce the reliance on benefits: cut welfare or raise the minimum wage?

Queue outside a job centre © Getty Images

Lower benefits in the form of tax credits might mean greater productivity and higher wages. But would a rise in the minimum wage be better?

Amazon loans will really shake up the banking industry

Amazon warehouse © Getty Images

Amazon is moving in to the banking industry, making loans available to sellers in its market place. That’s very scary news if you’re a banker, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Demand for prime London property is tumbling – it’s just too expensive

Prime London property © Getty Images

The number of rich foreigners who are willing and able to buy top-end London property is falling fast. London house prices are just too high, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Why productivity in the UK is so low: in-work benefits

Benefits poster on a London street © Getty Images

Since the financial crisis, the number of people working part-time in Britain has risen enormously. And with it, the in-work benefits bill. It can’t go on, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

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