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 […]

MIPIM review: who can fathom those crazy French?This is what a water taxi looks like at MIPIM

MIPIM review: who can fathom those crazy French?

Tens of thousands of high-spending property folk descended on Cannes this week for the MIPIM real estate shin-dig and Merrion managing director Dougal Paver braved the warm Mediterranean sunshine and endless champagne and canapes to bring readers the inside track.  His conclusion?  The French are bonkers. Convention cities the world over would give their eye teeth to host a conference like […]

Has Birmingham been knocked off its perch as the UK's second city?Manchester. Is this now the UK's second city?

Has Birmingham been knocked off its perch as the UK’s second city?

A much-publicised suggestion by The Economist magazine that the government should move to Manchester whilst the Houses of Parliament are refurbished has given Birmingham’s cheerleaders a fit of the vapours.  Is it no longer the UK’s second city?  Merrion MD Dougal Paver investigates. In Britain’s Victorian hey-day at least four cities could make a credible claim to be the nation’s […]

Bank of Liverpool porticoWe need to look to the powerhouses of old to find the ones of the future

How to fire up the Northern Powerhouse

Want to fire up the Northern Powerhouse, Chancellor?  Bung £25m into a kitty and task Merseyside’s private sector with matching it, then re-launch the Bank of Liverpool.  Shareholders will make a fortune, says Dougal Paver. Since the onset of the industrial age, 95% of the world’s trade by volume has been conducted by sea.  In my grandfather’s lifetime, Liverpool owned one […]

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 […]

Population growth: housing's elephant in the roomIt's busy down in dat der London.

Population growth: housing’s elephant in the room

New housing starts can’t keep pace with population growth in the UK, and the social and economic consequences are now being felt broadly across our cities.  Surprisingly, argues Dougal Paver, the public aren’t joining the dots. This blog doesn’t do politics.  Shoot me, in fact, if it ever does. Rather, it likes to cast its eye over the quirks and […]

If your city isn't being destroyed, then it's dead alreadyRipping things up and starting again

If your city isn’t being destroyed, then it’s dead already

The creative destruction of technology and capitalism – allied with mankind’s inventiveness – is re-casting cities across the globe. If these forces are passing your city by then you should ask your leaders why, suggests Dougal Paver. French restaurateurs are up in arms about a new app that allows tourists to have meals in locals’ homes.  Barricades are being manned, government […]

Entrepreneurship largely eludes the frenchHeading for London, double-quick

Entrepreneurship? The French don’t even have a word for that

George W Bush’s famous quip about the root cause of France’s sluggish economy may have made him sound a bit foolish, but did he have a point?  Merrion Strategy founder Dougal Paver investigates. Over in France’s sixth largest city a workforce of 400,000 highly qualified Frenchmen run a vast array of enterprises, building one of the world’s great commercial entrepôts as they go.  Tell them that […]