Economy

Wealth, the Seattle waySeattle, where the rain never gets in the way of creating wealth

Staggering wealth accrues to the few as tech entrepreneurs follow the money

Just a handful of the world’s cities account for half of global venture capital investment in tech innovation.  No surprises: London is the UK’s only representative in this stellar league table.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver ponders what this means for Britain’s provincial cities scrambling to build and sustain their own tech sectors. Get this: the conurbations of San Francisco, Washington […]

How's that pound in your pocket?

How’s that pound in your pocket?

The good folk of Manchester, Liverpool and Wirral have enjoyed steady wage growth over the last five years – but don’t ask Merrion’s managing director why.  He’d only be guessing. Numeracy isn’t my thing, but as the son of a geography teacher maps, charts and graphs most certainly are.  Whilst pootling around my on-line reading list I came across the graph […]

If a city can rise and fall, then it can rise againGrass. There's a lot of it in downtown Detroit

If a city can rise and fall, then it can rise again

The doctrine of ‘managed decline’ still holds in some American cities, but was given short shrift in the UK by Margaret Thatcher and Michael Heseltine.  Good job, too, suggests Merrion Strategy MD Dougal Paver. ‘Right-sizing’ – the sort of euphemism for which Bullshit Bingo was invented.  And when players in Detroit shout ‘house!’ the irony is painful, for right-sizing is the city’s […]

More proof that high taxes are counter-productiveSouth Wales' biggest export, now under threat from taxes

More proof that high taxes are counter-productive

A while back this blog cited the boom in UK brewing as proof of how low taxes stimulate enterprise.  Now the government has gone and proven the opposite with its stamp duty reforms, as latest figures reveal. Let me recommend a corkingly good read for you – The Panama Papers, which reveals the staggering story behind the leak of millions […]

Which way are you looking after Brexit?The cause of much of the world's ills, apparently

Which way are you looking after Brexit?

Post-brexit the economic signals are mixed, though largely favour those who said the world wouldn’t end.  Let’s take the pulse in six months’ time, suggests Merrion MD Dougal Paver.  Then we’ll really know. The end of the world (yes, they said that); multinationals bolting for the door; an immediate and deep economic crash;  in fact, just about everything short of a plague of […]

Bradford and curry - a pairing whose time has come?Curry and economics could make for a heady mix over in Yorkshire

Bradford and curry – a pairing whose time has come?

Bradford’s latest kick in the economic proverbials has been dealt not by the private sector, but government. The pain is all the greater when it transpires that neighbouring Leeds is the main beneficiary.   What will save Bradford now, asks Dougal Paver. I wrote a while back about how stupendously handsome Bradford is.  Real knock-out good looks, if Victorian architecture is […]

Bulls' testicles: proof of the glorious efficiency of marketsGreat with spuds and gravy

Bulls’ testicles: proof of the glorious efficiency of markets

Capitalism isn’t perfect, but give competition room to flourish and the public are the winners. Just wander around Barcelona’s marvellous Mercat de Sant Josep if you want proof, suggests Dougal Paver. Ask me at any point on any day where I’d like to be if I could be teleported there and then and the answer would be the same: “on a stool […]

The Baltic Creative workspacesNo shortage of enterprise here (Pic credit: Baltic Creative)

First, the wrong type of snow. Now, the wrong type of jobs

We’ve endured the wrong type of leaves on the track and the wrong type of snow.  Now it seems Liverpool is suffering from the wrong type of jobs, finds Dougal Paver. The excellent Centre for Cities this week published an analysis of employment growth among Britain’s SMEs – the engine of job creation in any open economy.  Their findings made for mixed […]

No-one claims the glory for Merseyside's plummeting unemploymentNothing to do with me. Or him...

No-one claims the glory for Merseyside’s plummeting unemployment

Unemployment on Merseyside fell by another 5% in September, yet you’ll find no politicians claiming the credit.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver has a theory why. Civil servants today announced another healthy drop in Merseyside unemployment – down 4.6% in  September and a whole 40% lower than a year ago.  For an area once bedevilled by worklessness that’s a staggering fall. […]

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wakeNow that's what you call a powerhouse

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wake

As research suggests the Northern Powerhouse is anything but, what has the north got to do to close the gap with the thriving south east, asks Dougal Paver. This blog doesn’t do gloom – and it ill-behoves me to start the week with anything but visions of sunlit uplands, much less share caution.  So you will forgive me the premise […]