Merryn’s blog

The pensions annual allowance debacle spreads beyond the NHS

Military parade © OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

The annual allowance that has wreaked havoc in the NHS has spread to the armed forces – and is a perfect example of how higher taxes can actually reduce the amount of tax collected.

Why I have decided to stump up for all the travel extras

Saving money while on holiday is all very well. But if you have the cash, paying for all the extras is definitely worth it, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

BlackRock is wrong: nationalising capitalism is a bad idea

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB) © Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asset manager BlackRock thinks the ECB should start buying equities. But that would distort pricing signals; be anti-free markets; and would be almost impossible to unwind, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The demise of Lendy, and why P2P can’t reinvent the basics of finance

Lendy sponsored the Cowes week annual sailing regatta © Steve Hawkins Photography/Alamy Live News

If you are offered a temptingly high return on anything, says Merryn Somerset Webb, it is because it is illiquid and risky. That’s something that investors in peer-to-peer platform Lendy should have realised.

A job for the next chancellor: abolish the pensions annual allowance taper

An NHS doctor secures his face mask © Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The government is consulting on the pensions annual allowance taper that is wreaking havoc in the NHS. Much better would be to simply abolish it, says Merryn Somerset Webb. And not just for the NHS.

How the pension contributions annual allowance is crippling the NHS

Doctor walking away from camera © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

NHS doctors are responding to the perverse financial incentives of the pension contributions annual allowance scheme by just not doing any extra work. The system needs fixing. And not just for doctors.

Scotland's “ethical” stockmarket is a rather neat idea

Edinburgh from Calton Hill © Getty Images

Plans are afoot for a new stockmarket for Scotland, which will only list companies that make a positive impact on society and the environment. It’s a neat idea, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Jeremy Corbyn – a fate worse than Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn © Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Many people claim to be worried about the effects of a no-deal Brexit. But there is a much more serious threat to Britain, says Merryn Somerset Webb: a Jeremy Corbyn government.

Don’t stop at forgiving student debt – forgive everyone’s debt

Students throw their mortarboards in the air during their graduation © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A jubilee for student debt is an attractive idea but not a fair one, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Better to give everyone a hefty lump sum – whether they have debts or not.

Neil Woodford, fund managers, and the systemic risk to the financial system

Andrew Bailey © Getty images

The consequences from the Neil Woodford debacle aren’t limited to his fund’s investors. He and his ilk could pose a systemic risk to the financial system, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Libra, Facebook’s faux cryptocurrency, could really take off

Facebook Libra cryptocurrency © Getty Images

Libra, the proposed new cryptocurrency from Facebook, could be huge, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Not because it is a cryptocurrency. But because it isn’t.

Disappointing employment figures mask a much rosier picture

College graduates © Getty Images

The May employment report in the US was mildly disappointing. But in America, as in the UK and Europe, the labour market is looking super strong, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

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