Merryn’s blog

Why companies aren’t cutting dividends

Shareholders meeting © Getty Images

Investors treating shares like bonds makes it much harder for companies to cut dividends – another unintended consequence of bad monetary policy.

Student loans: why cancelling them is the next frontier of modern monetary policy

Student loans © Getty Images

We’ve already seen money printing and negative interest rates. Could writing off student debt be the next economic stimulus?

London house prices: more problems in the new-build sector


The London new-build property sector is facing big problems, says Merryn Somerset Webb. We’ll soon be seeing real price falls.

Have fund managers ruined capitalism?

Google offices © Getty Images

Fund managers need to start looking more to the long term, says Merryn Somerset Webb. And it appears that some are now starting to.

Osborne: why he’s coming for more of your pension

George Osborne © Getty Images

George Osborne has been tinkering with the pension system for a while now. But if he’s doing what we think he’s doing, says Merryn Somerset Webb, he’s not done by a long chalk.

Nicola Sturgeon is in a bind over taxing the rich in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon © Getty images

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure to raise taxes on the rich, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But if she does, she may well live to regret it.

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Bad news for fund managers; good news for investors

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Fund managers’ pay is falling. That’s got to be good news for investors, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The one thing governments are clear winners in

Welcome to Scotland sign in Gaelic © Getty Images

Governments are world class spenders of other people’s money. Often on nutty schemes – such as Scotland’s plans for promoting the Gaelic language in areas with no Gaelic heritage.

The public/private pension gap is about to get wider still

George Osborne © Getty Images

New rules on how much the well-off can put into their pension free of tax will hit private sector employees this April. But public sector employees expect compensation from the government.

Pension administrators take fund managers on at their own game

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More and more pension funds are turning away from expensive fund managers and are bringing asset management in-house.

Britons just won’t give up on buy-to-let (but they really should)

Property to let signs © Getty Images

George Osborne’s plans for buy-to-let property make the sector look decidedly dodgy. But that’s not stopped people thinking it can solve all their financial problems.

Time to say thank you to the world’s commodity investors

Comodity investors - BHP Billiton shareholder meeting © Getty Images

The commodity bust has brought us cheap petrol and continuing low interest rates. We should be grateful to those who financed the monumental misallocation of capital that made it all possible.

Three things that could curb the high pay of executive fat cats

Fat cat Mike Farley, ex-CEO of Persimmon © Getty Images

By 5 January – ‘fat cat Tuesday’ – FTSE 100 CEOs had already been paid the average worker’s salary for the year. Merryn Somerset Webb looks at what might bring this kind of financial nonsense to an end.

Using a company to avoid paying income tax? Not for much longer you won't be


HMRC is to clamp down on people exploiting the gap between corporation tax and income tax – and not paying their fair share.

Cut this ludicrous state-funded do-goodery

Donkey sanctuary © Getty Images

It’s time to cut the size of the charitable sector, abolish gift aid and take a good hard look at what we think should be funded by the taxpayer at all, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

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