Professor Tim Evans of Middlesex University looks at the state of the UK economy in the wake of the Spring Statement. He looks at taxes, tariffs and debt, pointing out that despite the perceptions of many, the UK is a high-tax economy. He explains why the Conservatives are reluctant to get rid of the deficit entirely. And, as a new book is published, he looks at Chernobyl and the way in which - it now appears - the Soviet Union minimised and covered up the extraordinary extent of the disaster.
James Cameron-Wilson looks at the box office phenomenon that is Captain Marvel, taking nearly £13m in its first weekend and disproving, as with Wonder Woman, the traditional Hollywood studio view that films with female leads do not succeed with the general public. With no other new film making the top ten (Everybody Knows with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz made only #13), James's DVD of the week was Sink The Bismarck, the 1960 film starring Kenneth More.
Steve Caplin salivates over a jet-powered flying motorbike as well as a 5-seat flying car with massive range and speed - if it works. Shark denticles could help us improve aerodynamics. Citymapper is offering discounted London travel passes. Ikea is to sell pollutant-resistant curtains. There's an exploding Kalashnikov drone, mice that can see in the dark and a camping torch which would make a Swiss Army Knife envious. And Steve explains why using his Swiss Army Knife meant he couldn't use is Swiss Army Knife for some time afterwards!
What can we learn from Philip Hammond's Spring Statement? In conversation with Simon Rose, Ed Bowsher examines the runes. The Statement concentrated on the OBR's latest predictions for the UK economy, all predicated on an orderly Brexit. Although saying that tax or spending plans would be kept for the Budget, now in the Autumn, the Chancellor did have announcements relating to housing, digital advertising, climate change and the police and knife crime. With the Statement coming in the midst of extraordinary Parliamentary upheaval over Brexit, Ed gives his views on the likely direction of Brexit and what all this might mean for markets.
Want to keep up with the latest earnings updates from the States? Well join Chris Hill and the Motley Fool Radio Show team here on Share Radio, direct from Washington DC, for news, views and analysis of the US stocks that matter. In this week's show: The government reports surprisingly low jobs growth; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lays out a new vision that doubles down on privacy; And Costco produces some bulky earnings. Analysts Andy Cross, Ron Gross, and Jason Moser discuss those stories and dig into the latest from Big Lots, Eventbrite, Okta, National Beverage, and Salesforce.com. Plus, Andy talks with Q2 CEO Matt Flake about the future of banking.
Political commentator Mike Indian, author of The Groucho Tendency blog, gives us a snapshot of where we are with Brexit in the wake of Geoffrey Cox's return from Brussels and with the Government all but certain to lost Tuesday's second meaningful vote. He also looks at the record of Chris Grayling in the wake of the Eurotunnel settlement and examines the issue of racism in both main political parties.
Steve Caplin looks at a phone that folds, another that has six cameras and one (a weighty one) with batteries that last for weeks. There's an electric 2-seater car with built-in 5G, another electric car that charges 80% in less than 5 minutes. After the ice bucket and mannequin challenge, there's now the cheese challenge. There are self-aware fish and dolls resembling dead partners for the bereaved.
James Cameron-Wilson lavishes praise on Stephen Merchant's #1 entry at the box office, Fighting With My Family, which pushes the new Lego Movie into second place. Another British entry, The Aftermath, with Keira Knightly, entes at #6. What They Had with Hilary Swank only makes #38. He explains why nobody knows the true figures for turkey Serenity with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. His DVD of the week is the controversial Lars von Trier film The House That Jack Built.
Are there business lessons to be learnt from the way musicians interact with their fans? Mark Jennings, CEO of Subba Media believes so. Talking to Simon Rose, he explains how to have an open conversation which leads to better engagement with your customer base. Authenticity, he says, is the key to building a supportive community. He also passes on a business tip divulged to him by Midge Ure.