Douglas Fraser, Business and economy editor, Scotland

Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

Come here for my take on money matters from a Scottish perspective

Oil's corroding pipeline

  • 1 October 2014
  • From the section Scotland
oil platform

Oil and gas burned furiously through the independence referendum campaign. Quite a lot was said by people on both sides who should have known better.

It's now the subject of a conspiracy theory suggesting vast reservoirs were being hidden from voters.

Oil and Gas UK, the industry body, has just published its annual economic report, which seeks to do several things. One of them appears to be an attempt to calm things down a bit, with a sober assessment of what's left and what it will take to extract it.

It's also very keen to impress on the UK government that more tax breaks will be required if oil and gas are to keep flowing.

No change there, then. The industry is adept at lobbying, particularly on tax. And it's got quite a strong story to tell about the challenges it faces.


Read full article Oil's corroding pipeline

Back to the future squeeze

  • 21 September 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Flags for sale

So it's back to austerity. The battling over future projections for an independent Scotland's budget can be binned.

It's time to focus on the budgets which Holyrood will have, rather than the ones it might have had.

Read full article Back to the future squeeze

Neverendum: 'Not at this stage'

  • 19 September 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Ballot boxes arriving for referendum count

So when is the next independence referendum? No, hang on. Stop whimpering like that. Bear with me. You may soon have withdrawal symptoms from the campaign, so why not plan for the next one?

After all, 1.6 million people wanted Scotland to be independent - the nationalists among them irreconcilable to UK citizenship, some of them newly and passionately mobilised to the cause.

Read full article Neverendum: 'Not at this stage'

Scotland Decides: Headquarters - Who needs 'em?

  • 13 September 2014
  • From the section Scotland
RBS sign

We're told the only threat from Scottish banks taking their registrations south of the border is that the nation's stock of brass plaques will be diminished.

The first minister said this week that Scots are interested in jobs and company operations rather than corporate name plates.

Read full article Scotland Decides: Headquarters - Who needs 'em?

Scotland Decides: Profit or loss?

  • 28 August 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Businessmen in an office

One side has a letter with 130 signatories, who together employ 50,000 people. The other responds with 200 names, and they employ, well, quite a few as well.

One side says the case for independence has not been made. The other says "oh yes it has".

Read full article Scotland Decides: Profit or loss?

Scotland Decides: Mandate with destiny

  • 26 August 2014
  • From the section Scotland

Picking up my dictionary and looking for the definition of the word "mandate", I found this sentence: "Political authority supposed to be given by electors to [a party in] parliament".

It also gave an alternative legal definition that "someone given a mandate does so with indemnity against loss".

Read full article Scotland Decides: Mandate with destiny

Who speaks for Scottish business?

  • 25 April 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Union and Scottish flags
The CBI's U-turn has delighted the pro-independence group Business for Scotland

The distinction between lobbying and political campaigning can be a fine line.

The Confederation of British Industry hasn't just stepped over it. In doing so, it's tripped over itself, and fallen on its face.

Read full article Who speaks for Scottish business?

The Shetland Dividend

  • 24 April 2014
  • From the section Scotland
Gas terminal near house at Sullom Voe
There are a number of jobs linked to the Total and BP developments at Sullom Vie

Shetland has no intention of playing its oil card and pushing for its own independence, the council leader has told me.

Gary Robinson says that would be too greedy. It would mean far more wealth than Shetland could possibly use.

Read full article The Shetland Dividend

Growth, insecurity and change

  • 16 April 2014
  • From the section Scotland
The Grangemouth shutdown is said to have caused an 0.2% hit to Scotland's economic growth

For most of these downturn years, the Scottish economy has behaved rather like that of the UK as a whole.

As I've noted before, Scotland may be the outlier in its geography and constitution, but it's far more like the UK average than, say, London.

Read full article Growth, insecurity and change

Douglas added analysis to:

Sanpower buys House of Fraser in £480m deal

  • 13 April 2014
  • From the section Business

From Mohamed al Fayed to Iceland's business buccaneers, the House of Fraser portfolio has secured its owners many of Britain's most prestigious retail locations.

And at a time of unprecedented change for the industry, that is testament to the vision of the Fraser family, and to the endurance of the department store format.

Read full article Sanpower buys House of Fraser in £480m deal

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About Douglas

Douglas joined BBC Scotland at the moment the financial crisis struck in 2008, reporting on the meltdown at RBS and the collapse of Dunfermline Building Society.

His beat also includes close attention to the offshore oil and renewable energy sectors, and he takes a mostly professional interest in whisky.

Working in Scottish journalism since 1989, he previously worked for The Herald and The Scotsman, among other newspapers.

He has covered politics from the Holyrood parliament, as well as education, the arts and the Highlands and Islands.

He is co-author of the Political Guide to Modern Scotland.

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