Briefings

How long will it be before the world is vaccinated?
Global Economy

How long will it be before the world is vaccinated?

The vaccine rollout is going well in the UK, and in some other countries. But ultimately, this is a global problem, and the situation worldwide is not…
6 Feb 2021
The looming global battle over semiconductor supply
Tech stocks

The looming global battle over semiconductor supply

A shortage of semiconductors – essential components in electronic devices – has spooked businesses and governments. It could even spark future geopoli…
30 Jan 2021
The Arab Spring ten years on: a revolution that failed to blossom
Global Economy

The Arab Spring ten years on: a revolution that failed to blossom

Ten years ago, the Arab world was rocked by mass protests and popular uprisings that ousted long-reviled dictators. For the most part, the end result …
23 Jan 2021
Leasehold reforms promise the end of a nightmare for many homeowners
Property

Leasehold reforms promise the end of a nightmare for many homeowners

Horror stories about unscrupulous landlords profiting from a legal relic of the feudal era are about to get a happy ending, says Simon Wilson.
16 Jan 2021
Brexit deal: what's changed between Britain and the the EU
UK Economy

Brexit deal: what's changed between Britain and the the EU

After years of wrangling and political scraps, Britain is now outside the EU and has secured a free-trade agreement with the bloc. So what’s changed?
9 Jan 2021
How Asia's RCEP deal has brought the return of free trade
Global Economy

How Asia's RCEP deal has brought the return of free trade

While Britain and the EU struggle to come to terms, 15 Asia-Pacific countries quietly signed the biggest free-trade deal in history. That’s a welcome …
25 Dec 2020
Britain mulls a wealth tax again – can it ever work?
Tax

Britain mulls a wealth tax again – can it ever work?

A Covid-19-ravaged government needs to raise more revenue and some propose that a wealth tax could fit the bill. It’s unlikely to happen, but one way …
19 Dec 2020
Britain’s chaotic post-Brexit agricultural revolution
UK Economy

Britain’s chaotic post-Brexit agricultural revolution

The government is making huge changes to how farm subsidies operate after Brexit. Farmers say that the details of what will replace them are still far…
12 Dec 2020
Should Britain really be cutting foreign aid now?
UK Economy

Should Britain really be cutting foreign aid now?

Faced with a black hole in the public finances, chancellor Rishi Sunak has targeted the foreign aid budget. Is he right to do so? And will it save us …
5 Dec 2020
Donald Trump’s next moves
Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s next moves

The outgoing US president is deep in debt and he will need new sources of income now that he is out of a job. Don’t expect him to go quietly, says Sim…
28 Nov 2020
US states declare a ceasefire in the war on drugs
Global Economy

US states declare a ceasefire in the war on drugs

With US states decriminalising the use even of hard drugs, and legalising the recreational use of cannabis, this could be the beginning of the end for…
21 Nov 2020
Is the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine the big Covid-19 breakthrough?
Biotech stocks

Is the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine the big Covid-19 breakthrough?

A vaccine that appears so far to be safe and effective is making its way through the final trials before commercialisation. There are reasons to be ch…
12 Nov 2020
Britain’s green revolution: can we become carbon neutral by 2050?
Renewables

Britain’s green revolution: can we become carbon neutral by 2050?

The prime minister is laying out plans that will see carbon emissions reduced to net zero by 2050. Do they make sense?
7 Nov 2020
Trump’s economic legacy
US election

Trump’s economic legacy

If the polls are right, Donald Trump will not be president of the United States for much longer. But right or not, what did he manage to achieve in th…
29 Oct 2020
The US clampdown on firms “spoofing” the markets
US stockmarkets

The US clampdown on firms “spoofing” the markets

American regulators are slapping record fines on firms that cheat the markets using techniques such as “spoofing”. Even tougher action looks to be on …
24 Oct 2020
Will fintech change the face of banking?
Alternative finance

Will fintech change the face of banking?

Fancy new apps have become popular for everything from making a payment to buying insurance and shares. Should the big banks be worried? Simon Wilson …
17 Oct 2020
The riskiest election in US history
US election

The riskiest election in US history

Donald Trump’s illness has rattled markets as investors try to understand the implications of an incapacitated American president or a bitterly contes…
8 Oct 2020
What's behind Britain's coronavirus testing disaster?
UK Economy

What's behind Britain's coronavirus testing disaster?

Britain’s system of testing for the virus that causes Covid-19 collapsed just when we needed it most. What went wrong?
26 Sep 2020
Universal Credit comes good
UK Economy

Universal Credit comes good

The government’s benefit reforms have been plagued with disasters since their introduction in 2013. The Covid-19 crisis, however, has revealed a posit…
21 Sep 2020
Covid: were the lockdowns worth it?
UK Economy

Covid: were the lockdowns worth it?

Governments around the world followed the authoritarian example of China in dealing with the emergence of Covid-19. Was that a wise choice?
12 Sep 2020
The case for a flat tax
Income tax

The case for a flat tax

Simplifying the tax system promises to cut incentives for evasion and avoidance, and boost work and entrepreneurship. Could it give post-Covid-19 Brit…
29 Aug 2020
How Lebanon crashed into chaos
Global Economy

How Lebanon crashed into chaos

The recent explosion in Beirut was the latest episode in a sorry saga of political and economic mismanagement that has led to hyperinflation and impen…
22 Aug 2020
Planning reform: rip it up and start again
UK Economy

Planning reform: rip it up and start again

Boris Johnson says the time has come to be brave and shake up the rules over what is built and where. Reform would indeed be welcome, but has the PM g…
15 Aug 2020
Should Big Tech be broken up?
Tech stocks

Should Big Tech be broken up?

The dominance of the big four technology giants has attracted the attention of politicians determined to humble them. But what real harm are they doin…
8 Aug 2020