A friend of mine has a wonderful job for a political addict - a global bank pays him to write reports analysing politics in countries around the world. If he thinks it's relevant, he can write about it, and since the bank operates everywhere, virtually all markets are relevant. My friend is as knowledgeable discussing Thailand's palace intrigues as he is discussing the nuances of the New Hampshire primaries.
The scenario which now looks plausible is this: the UK heads for a hard Brexit completely cutting ties with the EU, and turns itself into a low-tax, low-standards economy, destroying decades of law building up environmental protection. This is done by a deregulatory government unhindered by Parliament, yet without a mandate from either a General Election or, in any meaningful way, the EU referendum. There was a clear 'leave' vote on 23 June, but it's also clear people weren't voting in favour of diluted environmental standards. Theresa May called for Britain to 'come together' to make a success of Brexit. But that would mean supporting a process that, in its most extreme version, would require degrading and debasing environmental standards
Most Britons - whether they voted Leave or Remain - will be the losers in this scenario; the top 1% of earners and tax-avoiding multinationals will be the winners. So the Prime Minister needs to stop betting the house on the most unpredictable US president in history, and embrace the safe option of staying in the Single Market.
Why is The Equality Trust supporting the Women's March on London? Well that's a no-brainer if you know your economics. We may have a female prime minister, but we still have a gender pay gap. Many women's refuges are being lost and young women and girls are suffering sexism in school corridors. None of this is conducive to equality or being economically brutal, female productivity.
You've managed to scale your business from startup to a profitable venture with employees, cashflow, a thorough understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, a solid business structure, flexibility and an established brand. What now? The next step to crystallising your value is almost always finding and securing additional investment.
The cost to the state is huge. Mental health problems account for over £10billion of spending on incapacity benefits and housing benefit. There is a cost for employers too; mental health also makes up a large part of the £9billion a year costs employers pay in sick pay and the associated costs. But there is of course an incalculable cost for individuals whose lives are blighted and whose needs go unmet.
I do wish Jeremy Corbyn would engage his brain before talking... A wages cap not only could not work, but also misses the target. That makes it very poor policy indeed.
The Labour leadership now needs to build on this position and give small businesses reassurance early in the New Year that it will fight for their cause.
Fintech is undoubtedly one of the major growth sectors for Leeds City Region. Indeed, as an existing centre of excellence for both finance (as the UK's second centre for banking, home to over 30 national and international banks) and technology, we are primed and ready to capitalise on the opportunity.
There is a strange predictability to news in the social care sector. First, the Care Quality Commission, or some other reputable body, publishes figures that show the black hole in social care finances is increasing. Then the government reheats one of its tired ideas and attempts to put a glossy new spin on it. This routine is then repeated ad nauseam.
With the dust having settled a bit, what should we make of the inaugural fiscal event of the May premiership, the Autumn Statement? From one level it...
The current Home Secretary and her predecessor act as if international students are a drain on the British economy and British society. It has been argued that there were large numbers of international students who overstayed their visas and so contributed to the breach of their immigration target. Both these claims are false.
Reform of the Buy to Let market needs to go hand in hand with a bigger strategy for Build to Rent so that secure, stable, good quality homes are available to those who need stable, comfortable, affordable homes.
Those who (like me) believe that open economies remain the best way of securing broadly-based prosperity need to take these wider questions of policy design and public consent seriously. Far more so than has been the case over the last generation, and in ways that will upset aspects of conventional thinking.
As the work begins and the dust starts to settle on this year's Autumn Statement, I think we can see it as a real shot in the arm for infrastructure, R&D and innovation. These measures should see a real return in terms of productivity and growth. They should, too, help the UK keep up in telecomms developments. And they present a great opportunity to push even harder on urban innovation, so our companies can continue to develop and sell world-beating products and services that help cities thrive.
Growing up, I remember faulty appliances being fixed by either my grandad or at a local repair shop - where a man with a never-ending array of tools would get the job done. We bought when we needed, not when we wanted. We wasted nothing. And I'm not talking about the middle of the 20th Century; I grew up in the late 90's.