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Could the UK have its own digital currency?

At a seminar in March, Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of the Bank of Japan, suggested that the central bank should immediately start “preparing thoroughly” for a future with its own cryptocurrency. While there were no immediate plans to introduce a cryptocurrency Kuroda stressed the importance of being ‘thoroughly prepared’ should the need arise. In April it […]

April Market Commentary

Introduction  This market commentary has been produced for some time now but March 2021 was the first month when a ship made the headlines. Anyone who watched a news bulletin will have seen the mega-container ship the Ever Green firmly wedged across the Suez Canal. The ship, which is 400m long, was finally re-floated having […]

Does an increase to capital gains tax look likely?

While Rishi Sunak’s spring budget introduced a variety of new initiatives and updates to multiple taxes, one suspected change was missing from the big red book. Analysts had posited that a capital gains tax hike would be a likely inclusion in Sunak’s budget, expecting it to be brought more in line with income tax and […]

What is Bitcoin? And Could it Replace Cash?

Last month Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and boss of carmaker Tesla, announced that his firm had bought $1.5bn (£1.1bn) of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and expects to start accepting it as payment in the future. The announcement caused the price of Bitcoin to jump to $44,220 (£32,072) –  a rise of 17% and a […]

Is your Online Data Safe?

The last twelve months have been notable for many things: one of them, sadly, has been the rapid increase in cybercrime as criminals look to prey on the lonely and vulnerable. To take one very simple example, the BBC reported last month that romance fraud – cheating someone out of money by pretending to want […]

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Budget Overview 2021

Introduction It is interesting to look back 12 months to Rishi Sunak’s first Budget: it was followed by a year none of us could have predicted or imagined. The Conservatives had won a comfortable majority in the December 2019 General Election. As expected, Sajid Javid became Chancellor and, in January, announced that the Budget would […]

March Market Commentary

Introduction  Welcome to the March Market Commentary: as you will see below, February was a good month for world stock markets with virtually all the major markets moving in the right direction. It was also the month which saw the rollouts of various vaccines accelerate in many countries. As we write on the morning of […]

Is Wearable Tech set to Turn us into our own Doctors?

Many people reading this article will have a Fitbit, assiduously clocking up their 10,000 steps a day. Others will have taken it further, maybe checking their heart rate on an Apple watch, logging their workouts and maybe even going so far as using the watch’s ECG (electrocardiogram) functions. Maybe when you have finished your workout […]

Can the British High Street be Saved?

Back in 2018 Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct and other high street brands, famously declared that ‘the British high street will be dead by 2030.’ The targets of his anger were MPs in general and the then-Chancellor Philip Hammond in particular. Any more taxes on the high street, Ashley argued, and it would collapse […]

February Market Commentary

Introduction  It might be appropriate to start January 2021 by looking back at last year. At the start of January 2020, we were fairly sure what we would be writing about, which included the run-up to Brexit on the 31st and a gradual thawing of US/China relations with a long-awaited trade deal due to be signed. […]

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