Blog Profile / Douglas Fraser

Filed Under:Politics / UK Politics
Posts on Regator:438
Posts / Week:1.7
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Bright flare amid North Sea gloom

Not dead yet: the North Sea still has the capacity to spring a pleasant surprise for the oil and gas industry. And the news from Statoil this week is that there's still the confidence to invest, even with the price of Brent crude being...Show More Summary

Magazines misfire online

While newspapers face declining sales, at least they can point to the shift to some big readership numbers online. The free and the international, such as the Daily Mail and the Guardian, may not be turning much of a profit from well...Show More Summary

Sturgeon: 'The deficit is hugely important'

Nicola Sturgeon seems to be doing much of her election campaigning in London. She's a new leader, with a message about progressive priorities, and she has an attentive audience. One such gathering was at University College on Wednesday. Show More Summary

Tax, spend, borrow and squeeze

It's Budget Day, and two government ledgers are being weighed. In one, this is the point at which John Swinney sails his 2015-16 budget through Holyrood, with the fair wind of an SNP majority. It's given some extra help with a few million...Show More Summary

The world's biggest scrapyard

The upside of the downturn in the oil industry is a gigantic business opportunity to break up all that equipment in the North Sea. Shell is today setting out plans to break up its Brent field platforms, after nearly 40 years of being...Show More Summary

Scotch's emerging and disappearing markets

If Scotch whisky is as important as its industry body was saying this week, then we all ought to worry about the scale of problems facing Diageo in some of its export markets. The Scotch Whisky Association trumpeted a new economic assessment,...Show More Summary

Uneven gains from lower pump prices

We all know that oil-users win from the price of Brent crude falling below $50, and that oil-producers lose. Those with an eye to climate change would like to remind you that we all lose, longer term. But did you know that it is better-off...Show More Summary

Shared tax powers: a tricky balancing act

The arrival in Edinburgh of the men from the International Monetary Fund was one of the scary prospects offered up last year by critics of independence. The 'no' majority hasn't kept them at bay. I met one of them at Edinburgh University...Show More Summary

Dispute and danger down the Dog and Duck

Do you go for a "drinking occasion" without a meal? We're told it's a disappearing habit across Britain - other than affluent areas - and that disappearance is accelerating. That's not good for pubs. Perhaps the projection of an oldShow More Summary

Trimming the hedge, without a power cut

"Why isn't my energy bill going down?" I asked, in the headline of my previous contemplations. This one has a slight variation: "Now that my energy bill is going down, why is it not going down further and faster?" Such is the power of...Show More Summary

Why aren't my energy bills coming down?

Behind the headlines about the oil price crash, here are three bits of the story I picked up in recording the Business Scotland programme this week. One: if you think lower energy prices should be feeding through to lower bills for home...Show More Summary

Downbeat drumbeats for upstream

If you want a barrel of Brent crude for delivery next month (an idea for the birthday boy/girl who has everything), it'll currently set you back just under $48. Three days ago, it was nearly three dollars cheaper. Convert that into the...Show More Summary

Oil turmoil amid Scotland's big players

We're told SMEs - small and medium-sized enterprises - are the backbone of the Scottish economy. And they are. There are lots of them. According to the rhetoric, we should support and cherish them, giving the Scottish economy a warmShow More Summary

Stormy times ahead in the North Sea

Remember: the oil price can go up as well as down. Falling through $50 per barrel is being given the sense of a historic low. Yet only seven years ago, Brent crude peaked above $145, and sank below $40 in one tumultuous year. So we've been here before. Show More Summary

Share options at Ibrox

Followers of the long saga of financial mayhem at Rangers Football Club have probably worked their way through a significant portion of a master's degree in business. They can quote the intricacies of administration and liquidation under insolvency law. Show More Summary

A bumpy year ahead

It's a busy time for clairvoyants. I've been having a look at some of the predictions for 2015, and thought I'd save you the effort of doing likewise, by offering up a few themes. The new year looks bumpy, in economic and political terms. Show More Summary

Hark! The discount sales ker-chingg

So, is it a selfie-stick, some Disney Frozen merchandise or one of the four Minecraft titles in this year's top 10 selling books? If you're holding out for a drone as one of this year's could-have/don't-need gadgets, be aware that it...Show More Summary

Catching a wave of failures

The Scottish government is not a newcomer to investing in risky businesses. Through Scottish Enterprise, it has a fund for taking stakes in fledgling companies with high-growth potential, and particularly those at a stage where it'sShow More Summary

Jobs go as Pelamis sale bid fails

Administrators found the best option was to sell the assets to the government. That suggests a lack of other options. Now, the challenge taken on by the Scottish government, its agencies, and the Wave Power Forum it set up when Pelamis...Show More Summary

Finance sector still 'uncertain'

Some big Scottish finance firms put in a lot of preparation for moving HQs out of Scotland if voters had backed 'Yes' for independence. It seems they didn't put those plans away on 19 September. Jeremy Peat, former chief economist at...Show More Summary

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