How Resilient Is The British Economy?

With an un-unified government and a Prime Minister who lacks authority, Britain have embarked on a voyage to cut ties with their biggest trading partners: The European Union.

Grappling to make progress with blunt tools and on shaky feet, it is unsurprising Britain have made little strides in divorce proceedings, and instead the tethered seems holding the government together are quickly fraying.

Perhaps the failings of the British government could be cushioned by a robust economic backdrop. But alas, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Despite financial autonomy from the single market, and the ability to mould and create a bespoke monetary policy, free from the one-size-fits-all constraint of the European Central Bank, Britain’s recovery from the financial crisis has been weak. Stagnant real wages growth, lack of affordable housing and regional divide have plagued the UK economy since the global economic downturn.

Meanwhile, even headline figures, which at the surface could illustrate a beacon of light, are much more subdue as you dissect the data. For example, employment figures have high, however those on zero-hours contracts have increased from 0.6% in 2007 to 2.8% in 2017.

A monologue that has echoed though the globe: the rich are getting richer, while the poor are betting poorer, has not escaped the UK’s shores, where top executives are paid 150 times more than the average worker, 30 years ago the ratio laid at about 20 times.

Buybacks, where companies fuel stock prices by purchasing stocks in their own companies, instead of reinvesting this money into research and development. The result is less innovation as well as swollen equity prices. While this is not unequally British problem, the perils of this will be amplified once the divorce is finalised.

When the foundations are unstable, and an earthquake comes, the house will likely fall.