Insights into the Business Environment
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US on brink of trade war with EU, Canada and Mexico as tit-for-tat tariffs begin | Business | The Guardian

US on brink of trade war with EU, Canada and Mexico as tit-for-tat tariffs begin | Business | The Guardian | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Jean-Claude Juncker pledges retaliation as EU companies face 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminiumTrump imposes tariffs – business live
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UK car production falls for first time since 2009 as Brexit fears hit sales

UK car production falls for first time since 2009 as Brexit fears hit sales | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Total production of 1.67m cars falls below forecast, fuelled by 10% drop in domestic buyers
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Bonuses for Carillion bosses are blocked

Bonuses for Carillion bosses are blocked | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Former executives at the failed construction firm will not get severance payments or bonuses.
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Costa coffee chain's profits go cold

Costa coffee chain's profits go cold | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
The UK's biggest coffee company sees profits fall 10% in the first half of the year.
Westminster Business School's insight:

 

Further reading

 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/market_reports/186028/strong-coffee-needed-to-fuel-whitbread-s-first-half-performance-after-costa-s-first-quarter-dip-186028.html

 

 Questions for discussion

  1. To what extent has the economic environment impacted on  higher costs  for coffee imports?
  2. Could lower coffee sales signal a more worrying longterm social shift away from coffee consumption?
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UK ask regulator to set price cap to mend "broken energy market"

UK ask regulator to set price cap to mend "broken energy market" | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
The British government put some flesh on its plans to cap consumer gas and electricity prices for millions of households, ordering the industry regulator on Thursday to come up with curbs that will initially last until 2020.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Further reading

 

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/10/interview-centrica-ceo-iain-conn-on-theresa-mays-price-cap/

 

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/energypricecaps

 

 

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Amazon ordered to repay €250m by EU over 'illegal tax advantages'

Amazon ordered to repay €250m by EU over 'illegal tax advantages' | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Commission also says it plans to take Irish government to European court of justice over failure to collect €13bn from Apple
Westminster Business School's insight:

Further reading

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41497459

 

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Why Brexit happened -- and what to do next | Alexander Betts

We are embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are, and Brexit grew out of a deep, unexamined divide between those that fear globalization an
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For banks like HSBC, there’s not enough cash in customers like us

For banks like HSBC, there’s not enough cash in customers like us | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
If EJ Thribb was writing a “So farewell” eulogy in Private Eye for HSBC, it might begin like this: “So farewell then, HSBC, Off back to Hong Kong, You were never at home here, Neither did we like you much…”
Westminster Business School's insight:

Please also read


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/hsbc-to-cut-up-to-25000-jobs-worldwide-including-8000-in-the-uk-10306563.html


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/11663777/Has-HSBC-already-decided-to-leave-the-UK.html


Questions for discussion


  1. To what extent is it a good idea to ring fence the retail banking function from the corporate finance function of the major banks?
  2. HSBC is a large bank and a major employer both in the City and in the wider community.  Should regulation be relaxed to encourage them to remain in the UK? 
  3. How important is it to the UK government that major global banks are domiciled in the City of London?
  4. The UK is relatively unique within Europe in the current bank accounts are free.  Is this a sensible business model for the high street banks?
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Tax take from North Sea oil to dry up after global price slump

Tax take from North Sea oil to dry up after global price slump | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
The Treasury’s official forecaster expects the Treasury to receive just £2bn in tax revenues from the North Sea oil industry over the 20 years after 2020 due to the collapse in the global oil price.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Please also read


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-trying-to-fasttrack-fracking-without-public-consent-10314634.html


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/rise-of-us-fracking-causes-seismic-shift-in-north-sea-oil-10312222.html


Questions for discussion


  1. What other businesses benefit from the North Sea oil industry?
  2. Should the government relax the tax regime for the North Sea oil industry to encourage further investment by the incumbent companies?
  3. What would be the impact of energy self-sufficiency on the economy of the UK?
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What David Cameron’s guru doesn’t get

What David Cameron’s guru doesn’t get | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s former chief strategist, recently published a new book, More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Please also read


http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/09/what-is-the-role-of-the-state.html


Questions for discussion


  1. Do you believe that the state should be larger or smaller than it is today?
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Get set for the Olympicopolis: what to expect from the future Olympic Park

Get set for the Olympicopolis: what to expect from the future Olympic Park | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Walking past the Olympic Aquatics Centre on a grey, drizzly December day it is hard to envisage the future of the surrounding spaces. Where the giant bouncy castle-like water polo arena stood on the other side of the bridge from Westfield, there is just a long, empty strip of land.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Questions for discussion


  1. What advantages do you believe the creation of a cultural quarter will provide for the general population of London?
  2. Do you believe that businesses, other than those directly involved in art and fashion, will benefit from the creation of such an area?
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Chris Blackhurst: How the SFO acts like a law unto itself… and why it has to see sense

Chris Blackhurst: How the SFO acts like a law unto itself… and why it has to see sense | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
In July 2012 the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, delivered an excoriating judgment against the Serious Fraud Office, and set aside search warrants which had been issued against the Tchenguiz brothers, Robbie and Vincent.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Questions for discussion


  1. What is the role of the SFO?
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Eurozone: We are on the road to recovery

Eurozone: We are on the road to recovery | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
The ECB's landmark €1.1 trillion (£800bn) debt-buying programme will kick off on Sunday and boost Eurozone growth throughout 2015 and 2016, Mario Draghi announced yesterday.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Questions for discussion


  1. What is the role of the European Central Bank?
  2. What is meant by the term quantitative easing?
  3. Why should the proposed purchase of the debts outlined in the articles promote growth?
  4. How sustainable do you believe the approach being taken by Mr. Draghi to be?
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The bitcoin party is over. The blockchain party has just begun

The bitcoin party is over. The blockchain party has just begun | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
As South Korea cracks down on bitcoin, countries including Singapore and Malaysia are backing the technology behind it to drive technological change in areas as far afield as electoral rolls and health care records
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Lloyds to support Carillion victims

Lloyds to support Carillion victims | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Lloyds will provide £50m for struggling small firms as Nationwide takes on Carillion staff.
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Five ways to fix our ailing High Streets

Five ways to fix our ailing High Streets | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
As retailers continue to leave the High Street, experts offer their visions for town centres of the future.
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Energy price cap is riddled with breezy assertions and lazy assumptions | Nils Pratley

Energy price cap is riddled with breezy assertions and lazy assumptions | Nils Pratley | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Theresa May’s bill is a populist move based on suspect notions – but there is little doubt suppliers brought it on themselves
Westminster Business School's insight:

Further information

Pod cast Business Secretary Greg Clark 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-39857316/tories-energy-cap-will-protect-vulnerable-people

 

BBC Who are the Big 6 companies?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24670741

 

 

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What brought down Monarch, the UK's biggest ever airline collapse

What brought down Monarch, the UK's biggest ever airline collapse | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
The combination of a weak pound since the Brexit referendum, an increase in terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Europe, and Brexit uncertainty killed it.
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Gender pay gap widens for managers

Gender pay gap widens for managers | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
For the UK's 3.3 million managers, men earn more than a quarter more on average than women.
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TTIP deal set to be agreed in 'the next six months'

TTIP deal set to be agreed in 'the next six months' | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Broad agreement on a controversial trade deal between Europe and the United States should be completed by the end of this year, the G7 leaders have announced as they outlined a string of initiatives designed to boost growth, tackle climate change and check Russian ambitions in Ukraine.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Please also read


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/ttip-heres-why-meps-have-been-protesting-it-and-why-you-should-too-10313239.html?origin=internalSearch


http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-is-ttip-and-six-reasons-why-the-answer-should-scare-you-9779688.html


Questions for discussion


  1. Why are trade agreements necessary between nation states?
  2. What is the purpose of the World Trade Organisation?
  3. How much influence should businesses have on the contents of trade agreements?
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Embracing equity finance is key to Britain’s Mittelstand

Embracing equity finance is key to Britain’s Mittelstand | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
The column inches dedicated to the FTSE 100 recently reaching all-time highs are a disappointing reminder of the imbalance between the perception and
Westminster Business School's insight:

Please also read


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/stuttgart-the-city-that-means-business-10311192.html 


http://www.economist.com/news/business/21606834-many-countries-want-mittelstand-germanys-it-not-so-easy-copy-german-lessons


Questions for discussion


  1. How should the UK government encourage the formation and success of SMEs?
  2. What advantages do SMEs have over larger companies?
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Anthony Hilton: Free markets aren’t the success we’re led to think

Anthony Hilton: Free markets aren’t the success we’re led to think | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Lord (Adair) Turner once explained when he was still the head of the City’s regulator, the then Financial Services Authority, how in the preceding 30 years global economic thought had been hijacked by free-market dogma.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Please also read


http://www.cityam.com/217670/we-can-have-sustainable-debt-without-osborne-s-inflexible-new-surplus-rule


http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/james-ashton-the-tories-must-just-stick-to-their-promises-and-run-the-economy-10313318.html


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/hamish-mcrae/hamish-mcrae-george-osbornes-fiscal-handcuffs-are-political-but-he-does-have-a-point-10311894.html


http://www.cityam.com/212589/we-can-live-zero-inflation-two-cent-target-must-not-be-set-stone


Questions for discussion


  1. To what extent do you believe that the suggestion that the economy should run a surplus at all times is a sensible one?
  2. Andrew Hilton’s article suggests that free markets are not a good idea.  Please provide discussion for and against free market economies and justify your decision which, on balance, is correct 
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IMF quits Greece talks as EU warns Tsipras there is 'no more time for gambling'

IMF quits Greece talks as EU warns Tsipras there is 'no more time for gambling' | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
The International Monetary Fund dramatically raised the stakes after its delegation broke off negotiations and flew home because of major differences with Greece
Westminster Business School's insight:

Please also read


http://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/greek-debt-talks-europe-tells-greece-theres-no-more-time-for-gambling-10315248.html


http://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/greek-debt-talks-europe-tells-greece-theres-no-more-time-for-gambling-10315248.html


http://www.cityam.com/217506/how-lose-friends-and-alienate-people


Questions for discussion


  1. What do you believe will be the likely impact of a Greek exit from the Euro?
  2. The principal lenders to the Greek Government are the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund(IMF).  What is the role of a Central Bank?
  3. What is the purpose of the IMF?
  4. It is argued that the control and regulation of banking systems in a country should be free of political control.  Do you believe that this is sensible?
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Dancing all the way to the bank: the rise of City boss Tidjane Thiam

Dancing all the way to the bank: the rise of City boss Tidjane Thiam | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
A little after midnight and the Cossack band showed no sign of letting up. The blue-lit marquee thumped with music and singing that echoed across the icy Davos night.
Westminster Business School's insight:

Questions for discussion


  1. To what do you credit the success of Tidjane Thiam?
  2. To what extent do you think the increase in the share price of the Pru is due to the influence of Mr. Thiam?
  3. The article suggests that Mr. Thiam will not enjoy his time in Zurich with Credit Suiss as much as he has his time in London.  What can cities / countries do to make themselves attractive to organisations?
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Ofcom faces calls to break up BT

Ofcom faces calls to break up BT | Insights into the Business Environment | Scoop.it
Sky and TalkTalk demand Openreach is split from telco giant
Westminster Business School's insight:

Questions for discussion


  1. To what extent is it the role of OfCom to regulate the market? 
  2. Is it the role of Ofcom to protect consumers or the members of the industry?
  3. How are consumers likely to be affected if BT is allowed to operate a minority at the expense of other companies in the industry?
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