MarketLine Blog

Posts written in May 2016

Fracking approval: In spite of public opinion

MarketLine

The decision to approve Third Energy’s application to begin exploratory drilling for shale gas outside of Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire has been hailed as a landmark decision for the UK fracking industry. Many believe that it will open the door to a swathe of further approvals, while setting a precedent which could help rival firm Cuadrilla in their appeal against the decision not to allow them to frack up on the Fylde coast. However, industry chiefs would do well to keep their champagne on ice, as public opposition is… Read more

The dichotomy between H&M’s fast fashion business model and sustainable cotton

MarketLine

H&M is a fashion retailer with over 4,000 stores in 61 markets worldwide. The adoption of the fast fashion business model has been key to the company’s huge expansion since 2000. Fast fashion has a four to six week turnaround, much quicker than traditional collections which were released two to four times per year. As a result, clothing is more on-trend but it also more throwaway. The production of clothing has a huge environmental impact, particularly in the case of cotton. Cotton uses a huge amount of fertilizers and pesticides… Read more

Brexit – Taking a positive approach

MarketLine

Should the British citizen choose to leave the EU structures, the whole process will take place gradually as per Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Over the next two years parties will have to reach agreements on the conditions for the exit, otherwise the UK would return to the default position, when it comes to trade with the EU, as defined by the rules of the WTO The possible savings of not having to contribute towards EU structures for 2016 are expected to reach about £9.6bn (about $14.7bn). This amount… Read more

Youth unemployment in Germany: Low rates disguise true picture of growing Hartz-IV dependency

MarketLine

Compared to many neighboring European countries, of both similar and lesser levels of economic development, Germany’s youth unemployment rate is healthy. It is the lowest of any country in Europe except Iceland and is way below both the Euro Area and EU average. Whereas many European countries encourage their people to pursue academic studies at university to further themselves, Germany has long had a policy of creating and offering vocational training places for those who either do not want to attend or who are not suited to university and this… Read more

Self-driving to the future

MarketLine

The line between the auto and tech industries is rapidly blurring, with the pursuit of autonomous driving and a shift from car ownership towards car sharing and ride sharing. China is widely viewed as the next frontier for growth and many market players are looking to establish a foothold in this country, which requires significant investment. To keep up with changing market trends, most major auto makers are investing in their own driverless-car technology, which is less costly if done in cooperation with high-tech companies, like Google or Apple. The… Read more

WWE Inc: the NXT big thing?

MarketLine

WWE is the largest wrestling promotion globally, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Its recent financial performance has seen revenue and net income grow, with growth across most segments. In physical figures however the company’s TV ratings and live event attendance is down, with its key demographic of older males alienated by the company’s ham-fisted approach to mainstream appeal. One way the company has won back some wayward fans is the NXT brand, available exclusively on the WWE network. The successor to the Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory,… Read more

Negative Interest rates: Desperate times, desperate measures

MarketLine

Central banks across the developed world have taken to Negative Interest Rate Policies (NIRP) in a radical attempt to stimulate demand- the idea being that those sitting on assets will be penalized in an attempt to either lend the capital or spend it. The UK’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has not ruled out the idea, but Japan, the European Central Bank, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland have enacted NIRP already for a variety of reasons; Japan and the ECB in last ditch efforts to stimulate demand, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland in… Read more

VR: Virtual insanity is what we’re living in

MarketLine

In June 2012, Oculus VR, LLC was founded. Based in California, US, it was formed as a virtual reality technology company, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of their proposed virtual reality headset device. The company announced that backers who pledged $300 or more would be “rewarded” with the first development release of the headset, which was shipped to them in March 2013 (although the original date was December 2012). The intended amount Oculus wanted to raise was $250,000, but ended up raising over $2.4 million. Thus began… Read more

Better the devil EU know?

MarketLine

Thursday 23rd June is set to be one of the most hotly-anticipated and controversial days in British political history, as UK citizens vote in a referendum to decide whether or not they wish to remain a member of the European Union. The referendum – promised by Prime Minister David Cameron in his 2015 election manifesto – has now entered the final stages of campaigning. As both the ‘in’ camp, led by Britain Stronger in Europe, and their opponents Vote Leave ramp up the pressure it is still almost impossible to… Read more

Billions of test miles to prove driverless tech

MarketLine

As of April 2016, Google is running 23 converted Lexus SUVs and 34 prototype vehicles in autonomous mode on public roads across Kirkland, Mountain View, Phoenix and Austin in the US. It has driven its vehicles a total of 1,564,981 miles in autonomous mode to date, averaging weekly miles of between 10 and 15 thousand. On May 3rd 2016, it was announced that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google will be joining forces to integrate autonomous driving technology into 100 Chrysler Pacifica Minivans, marking the first time that Google has partnered… Read more

Top entrepreneurial cities: 21st century UK incorporations

MarketLine

Companies House data demonstrates that more companies have been incorporated in the Greater Manchester region in the 21st Century than anywhere else outside of London. This appears to provide some evidence for the Chancellor’s siren calls of Northern England and particularly the North West becoming a power house of the UK economy, able to compete not only with London but internationally as well. Figure 1 shows the concentration of incorporations across the UK in recent years, it can be seen that Birmingham is also a hub of activity. On further… Read more

The Olympic Stadium and West Ham’s deal of the century

MarketLine

The Olympic Games was held in London in 2012 much to the joy of the majority of the British public. After an arduous bidding process, the London delegates overcame the bid from Paris and scenes of jubilation from famous sports personalities and members of the royal family were filtered around the world. The Olympics is viewed as a festival of sporting accomplishment and it requires a huge investment from the government, and in turn, the people of the nation in which the event is being hosted. Once the bid was… Read more

BT Sport and UEFA: Poor European football viewing figures continue to cause concern

MarketLine

BT turned up the pressure on its rival Sky in November 2013 when it announced that it had acquired the rights to become the exclusive UK broadcaster of the UEFA Champions League from 2015. The Champions League is the pinnacle of European club football and the presence of clubs such as FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and Real Madrid ensures that there is great global interest. The competitions final is now the worlds most-watched sporting event, attracting a global TV audience of around 180 million in 2015. By way… Read more