Whatever happened to bitcoin? After the mania at the end of last year when the price spiked to almost $20,000, the cryptocurrency took a tumble but more noticeably attention has drained away. You need no greater sign of that than figures showing bitcoin Google searches are down 90 per cent. That adds weight to the argument that much of the late 2017 big leg-up was driven by mainstream punters jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
On this week’s podcast we take a look at who’s buying, who’s holding and who might be waiting for the price to rise again and greater fool theory to deliver someone who will take their bitcoin off their hands. Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost also take a look at gold – and why people aren’t buying this traditional form of investment portfolio insurance – and the most consistent investment trusts of the past decade.
Here in the UK, we hear a great deal about the Donald Trump administration – but how do we get past the hyperbole and hysteria to figure out what’s really going on across the pond. Today we’re joined by Dr Tom Palmer, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Network. Interviewed by the IEA’s News Editor Kate Andrews, Tom discusses the President’s modus operandi, his top priorities – and the internal workings of the White House. They also evaluate the success of Donald Trump’s tax reforms – and whether his reluctance to find common cause with Democrats may make it more likely that these reforms could ultimately be overturned.
Interest rates and bond yields are slowly starting to rise in 2018, so it’s a good time to ask what investors should do with their money as we begin to return to a world of monetary normality. Is it time to get out of bonds? Or stay in shares? Ed Bowsher asks James Butterfill, investment strategist, Sean Corrigan of Cantillon Consulting and Russ Mould of AJ Bell.
Adam talks to Iain Hunter, CEO of iDE Global, a charity that doesn’t believe in giving charity. Iain discusses why instead of giving donations, it’s better to sell products to communities that can help them establish their own businesses and learn their own skills. They discuss how pride and dignity can flourish when entrepreneurs are empowered in the poorest regions. For more information, go to www.ideglobal.org.
Adam talks to cyber security expert Pete Turner from Avast on why, 1 year on from the infamous WannaCry cyber-attack, 1 in 5 of us have passwords that could be guessed simply by looking at our social media feeds. How do we improve our passwords and what can happen if we don’t? For more information, go to www.avast.com.
The herd mentality that assumes university is the only path to reaching one’s full potential has come under fire in recent years. Student loan debt – and the interest on that debt – is rising, and yet a university degree certainly seems to be no guarantee of securing decent, highly-skilled jobs. Today we’re joined by Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial Fellow at the IEA. Interviewed by Digital Officer Madeline Grant, the pair discuss whether Britain’s love affair with higher education is sustainable, and whether students are getting a raw deal from their time at university. They also examine ways in which the university funding model could be reformed to create better outcomes for students and the wider economy.
The Chancellor recently pledged to boost Britain's broadband network, though pledged no money to do so. Dave Millett of communications consultancy Equinox, laments the way the UK is falling behind every European country in broadband provision and speed. In fact, he says, we're doing so badly we don't even register in the league table of fibre provision to the home. We need desperately, he says, to stop relying on the technology of previous centuries such as railways and copper wiring, abandon HS2 and switch the money into creating a proper fibre broadband network.
Joining Sue Dougan in the hot seat is Sarah Kelly, CEO of Stagecoach Performing Arts, for Stagecoach’s 30th anniversary since its inception in 1988. She discusses the importance of performing arts in helping children to develop well-rounded life skills for adulthood, as well as providing a safe space for self-expression and creativity – especially in the wake of a huge drop in Government funding for the creative arts in mainstream education. Sarah shares her earliest memories of visiting her father at his chain of butcher shops, and how she developed her strong work ethic from him – as well as never forgetting her mother’s saying, “Choose what you enjoy and you’ll always be good at it”. Plus, she talks about how her own experience of amateur dramatics as a teenager feeds into the way she approaches her CEO role now; why she thinks pushing boundaries and moving with the times is so central to successful business; and how failure is important for future success.
Helal Miah of The Share Centre discusses recent statements from packaging group RPC, W H Smith and Auto Trader and looks ahead to what we might expect from Tesco, still losing market share, and BAT, feeling the impact of declining tobacco sales.
Professor Tim Evans of Middlesex University examines the virtually-unreported battle in Syria earlier this year between US commandos and Russian mercenaries. He also discusses recent statements from Michael Gove and Priti Patel and asks what the Conservative Party actually stands for and poses the question everyone wants the answer to, what IS going to happen with Brexit.