The probability of a hard Brexit is very much higher now than it was immediately after the referendum, despite a rumoured eleventh hour softening of May's tone ahead of Wednesday's invocation of Article 50.
Keeping his promise to position all major announcements in the autumn so there is sufficient time to implement any changes, the Chancellor tinkered rather than tackled in Wednesday’s Budget. But he also hinted at wider reforms to come.
The machinations of central banks were once conducted in near-anonymity and of interest only to a small band of finance specialists. Now they are both political and highly public. With ultra-low interest rates representative of the “new normal”, what are the chances of a return to the low-key status quo that endured for so long?
The High Pay Centre think tank has dubbed today ‘Fat Cat Wednesday’, having calculated that by lunchtime leading executives will already have earned the average UK salary of £28,200.
With the EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump, 2016 has been an interesting year. Neither result was predicted by the experts or pollsters who get paid so well to know ‘what people think’. And, in both cases, the victors made campaign commitments that were outright nonsense.
Populist pledges to protect domestic jobs by restricting free trade proved a key feature of both the Brexit campaign in the UK and the presidential election race in the US. Although such rhetoric can seem very appealing, history suggests protectionist policies ultimately do far more harm than good.
Despite widespread calls for fiscal stimulus, the Chancellor confirmed the government will continue with austerity, albeit a little less aggressively.
Following the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States, investors should take note of the hidden costs of protectionism.