Merryn’s blog

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 that 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.

Student loans: yet another reason they won’t ever be repaid

Students graduating © Getty Images

So few student loans are now being paid off that the government would have been better off not reforming the system at all. It’s all down to ‘salary sacrifice’, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

When it comes to good fund management, size does matter

Invstor looking at a screen © Getty Images

Being a good fund manager isn’t that hard, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Have the courage of your convictions, stick to them – and work for a smaller firm.

Why Europe is much more fragile than anyone thinks

Flags outside the European Parliament buidling © Getty Images

Economists are spending too much time concentrating on things they can count. Meanwhile, says Merryn Somerset Webb Europe is starting to crumble.

Help to Buy: a terrible policy doing exactly what we thought it would

Help to buy signs on new housing development © Getty Images

The government’s Help to Buy scheme has done exactly what we thought it would, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Subsidised one group of house-buyers at the expense of everyone coming after them.

Who will take a stand on executive pay?

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell © Getty Images

FTSE 100 directors saw their incomes rise by 21% last year to an average of nearly £3m each. It’s time ordinary investors had a champion to take a stand on these crazy pay packages.

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