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Bill Jamieson's blog


When it comes to helping the small business sector, any connection between the world of Margaret Thatcher (RIP) and today’s Conservative Party is entirely coincidental and not to be taken seriously.

North Sea oil revenue forecasting: a cautionary note

Fancy a career in the Scottish government’s economics department? Take a tip. When tempted to forecast the price of oil, go into a darkened room and lie down till the mood passes.

The world of energy price forecasting, like that of predicting the price of gold or the stock market or the behaviour of currencies, is littered with the corpses of the clever, the meretricious and the outright chancers.

Why budgets disappoint

Do budgets really move the economy? Do they leave a permanent impression? This is, after all, what justifies the enormous political attention accorded to them.

So here is a simple question. What were the enduring features of the 2007 budget?

You’ve forgotten? Ok, here’s an easier one. What were the main announcements of the 2011 budget?


Scot-Buzz editor Bill Jamieson says one sure sign of a reviving economy is a rise in business start-ups. But there is little cause for cheer in the latest figures. While last year got off to a promising start, the final three months brought a marked downturn, so that 2012 ended with a fall in new business numbers.


Don’t laugh – this is how it’s supposed to work

A shock £2.4 billion fall in net lending to business through the much-touted Funding for Lending Scheme could tilt the Bank of England to step up monetary stimulus as early as this week.

And it will add to intensifying pressure on chancellor George Osborne to opt for business-boosting measures in his budget on March 20.

How that credit downgrading may have done us all a favour

It’s not the downgrade that surprised but how long we lasted with “Triple A”. The loss last week of that top-notch A credit rating follows hard on the heels of figures showing that the budget deficit is set to turn out higher this financial year than last.  

As for the economy, UK growth since 2008 has been the weakest of any G20 nation – with the exception of Italy.

Beware: don’t let regulation kill responsibility

What’s happening to this country? Have we lost our heads?

It’s not so much the economy that worries me these days – though there’s more than enough to fret about here. It’s not the deficit and debt, or the decline of the high street or the talk of more taxation. It’s the growing evidence that across many areas of public life we seem to have lost all sense of personal responsibility.

Why we look set for growth not ‘triple dip’

After the experience of the past four years it never does to be cheerful about business prospects. But there are growing grounds to believe that consumer confidence is improving, mortgage lending is on the rise – and the UK economy may – at last – be returning to growth.
That’s a brave forecast to make considering that the economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the fourth  quarter, feeding fears of an unprecedented “triple dip” recession.


Scot-Buzz Editor Bill Jamieson on the season of tax hell…

Four positives amid the gloom

from the Editor

Our Scot-Buzz lead story last week setting out the stark truth of the UK’s debt and deficit mess drew a record number of reader responses. Almost all expressed appreciation despite the grim implications – one reader felt he was reading it on the Titanic…


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