Merryn’s blog

Votes for women and the rise of the welfare state

Women's social and political union © Getty Images

Since women got the vote a century ago, we have developed a more progressive tax system and a transferred more wealth to the less well-off. That’s no coincidence, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

How to build new houses and satisfy the Nimbys at the same time

New housing development © Getty Images

People objecting to new housing developments in their neighbourhoods are acting perfectly rationally, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But there’s an easy solution: divert some of the landowners’ profits and buy them off.

Britain’s wages are rising – and about time too

Demontstration for higher pay © Getty Images

Wages in Britain have been low for a long time. But they’re finally on the rise. That’s good for workers, good for productivity and good for our public finances.

Help to Buy: the cap is going to hurt

Help-to-buy signs © Getty Images

The cap on the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme, introduced in the latest Budget, could leave an awful lot of people feeling duped, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

How not to fall victim to cold-calling fraudsters

Man with headset and a computer © Getty Images

Anyone can be taken in by fraudsters promising the world. Merryn Somerset Webb looks at how we can fight financial crime, and how to safely invest in unlisted companies.

Pensions are for your retirement, not for a rainy day

Broken piggy bank © Getty Images

The point of saving into a pension is that you can’t get the money until you retire. The chancellor should resist the temptation to relax the rules on early access.

With the magic gone from the stockmarkets, investors must focus on reality

Infinity mirrors © Getty Images

The magic pixie dust behind the stockmarkets’ massive bull run – loose monetary policy – has vanished. Investors must now focus on what really matters: cash and valuations.

Good news for everyone as housebuilding finally enters the 21st century

Housebuilding factory © Getty Images

Until now, there has been precious little sign of automation in the housebuilding sector. But that’s now changing, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Art, tech stocks and the financial canary’s last gasp

Banksy's girl with a balloon © Getty Images

From art to tech stocks, things are changing fast in the financial world, says Merryn Somerset Webb. And it’s all down to rising bond yields.

Some good news at last for landlords?

Philip Hammond © Getty Images

It doesn’t happen often these days, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But there might be something in the next Budget that MoneyWeek readers will like.

Unilever and the erosion of shareholder democracy

Unilever boss Paul . Polman © Getty Images

The way Unilever went about planning the vote on moving its head office out of the UK wasn’t normal and it wasn’t right, says Merry Somerset Webb.

Warning to employees: the value of your employer can fall as well as rise

Royal Mail employee © Getty Images

If we are to make employee share ownership more widely available – as we should – we have to educate workers on how equity markets behave, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

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