Seb Beloe

Politics playing catch-up on climate change


The current General Election campaign in the UK is unusual in many ways. It is the first general election to happen during December since 1923. Many constituencies that were considered ‘safe’ seats are now thought to be ‘marginal’. Most remarkable of all is the emergence of climate change in the political mainstream. Read more …

George Latham

Lessons from Woodford


And now the lawsuits are rolling in. The crisis which has destroyed Woodford Investment Management is shocking. It is also immensely damaging to confidence in the investment industry. It is tempting to suggest that the circumstances which have engulfed Woodford are unique. But we would all do well to look at what steps we can take to avoid anything like this ever happening on our own watch. This whole experience is particularly harmful at a time when trust in financial services is at a low ebb anyway. Read more …

Ted Franks

Varian and the changing nature of cancer care


Sadly, it is now a rare person who hasn’t felt the shock and sadness of a loved one fighting cancer. This single term for a family of diseases is now the second largest cause of death globally.  It accounts for about one sixth of all deaths.  And the incidence is rising[1].  In 1990 around 0.70% of the world’s population were suffering from the disease.  That proportion was 0.87% in 2017.  By 2040 it is forecast to rise to nearer to 1.5%[2]. Read more …

Seb Beloe

The bigger picture; declaring a climate emergency


It is a truism of course to say that it is impossible to predict the future. And typically, the further into the future you go, the harder it is to predict what is going to happen. But in some cases, forecasting what is likely to happen in the long term can be done with reasonable confidence.

Read more …

Ted Franks

Better out of it: the price of oil politics


In January 2017 Mikhail Gorbachev wrote an article for Time magazine. In it, the former head of Soviet Union painted a bleak picture. “It all looks as if the world is preparing for war” he said[1].

Read more …

Ted Franks

Greta gets clean away


August is the peak holiday season here in the northern hemisphere. Part of your correspondent’s holidays were spent sailing on the coasts of France and England.

Read more …

Ted Franks

Impossible whoppers and impossible valuations


Your correspondent isn’t a regular visitor to Burger King. I’m not sure I’ve been into one in this millennium. But there is one on London’s Tottenham Court Road, about 500 yards from our office. And I’m hoping to go soon.

The reason? Read more …

Seb Beloe

The social determinants of health


Inequalities in health and consequent life expectancy are clearly visible between countries. As of 2015, average life expectancy in Japan was just under 84 years, while in Sierra Leone it was just over 50. But there are also massive differences in life expectancy within countries and even within cities. There is, for example, a 14-year gap in male life expectancy between the richest and poorest areas of Glasgow[1]. Read more …

Ted Franks

Bringing buildings out of the background


Buildings are a big deal for climate change. The International Energy Agency (IEA) thinks they are responsible for up to 40% of global emissions. That number includes both the construction and use of buildings.

The situation may get worse before it gets better. The pace of global urbanisation is staggering. The IEA forecasts that we will add 230 billion square metres of new construction in the next 40 years. That’s the same as adding a whole new Paris every week. Read more …

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