Robert Peston, economics editor

Robert Peston Economics editor

Welcome to Peston's Picks - for my latest thoughts on the big economic events around the world making us richer or poorer

Which budget will matter?

19 September 2014
Raspberry sponge cake with slice taken out

As and when decisions on income taxes, welfare and public spending are devolved to the nations, what will be the status of the budget and autumn statement for the whole UK?

Will they, for example, be more or less important than the budget for the biggest nation, England?

Is what matters determining how much the whole UK can borrow - which will still be the preserve of the UK budget?

Or will it be more important to decide the funding of individual departments and welfare spending , the future preserve of the respective budgets for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland?

This will depend in part on where the UK is in its economic cycle.

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Tax and spending devolution: for richer or poorer?

19 September 2014
Four knights battle for advantage

The big question about the Prime Minister's plan to hand more control over taxes, spending and welfare to the four nations is how far this would end the subsidy of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by England, and especially by London and the South East.

For all that it may sound attractive to the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish to have greater influence over their respective economic destinies, presumably that would be less desirable if at a stroke they became poorer.

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Economists can't tell Scots how to vote

16 September 2014
Scotland border sign with flag in background

Here is the bad news if you haven't made up your mind whether to vote for Scotland to become independent - economic analysis cannot give you the answer.

That is partly because this dismal science is not capable of giving wholly (and sometimes even partly) accurate forecasts about the future prosperity of nations.

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How Scotland can avoid a credit crunch

15 September 2014

So is Deutsche Bank right that Scotland seceding would have a depressive impact comparable to Britain returning to the Gold Standard in 1925 or the US Federal Reserve failing to pump cash into US banks on the eve of the Great Depression?

No, according to senior bankers - whose institutions will have a decisive influence on the immediate economic and financial costs of Scottish separation.

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What is really driving capital from the UK?

13 September 2014
Mark Carney, Bank of England governor
Mark Carney says the interest rate cycle is on the turn in the UK, which is partly behind capital flowing out

There is something slightly odd about the links being widely made between the large capital outflows from the UK in July and August to fears that Scotland would vote for independence.

At the time, opinion polls and bookies' odds were showing a very high probability of Scots voting to stay in the union. There was no evidence of investors being anxious about Scottish independence then.

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Treasury briefed RBS move before board decision

12 September 2014
RBS cash machines

The Treasury briefed journalists about RBS's intention to relocate to London if Scotland were to go for independence, before RBS's board had formally made the decision to announce the move, I have learned.

In a related development, the First Minister of Scotland has accused the Treasury in a new letter to the Cabinet Secretary of a "politically motivated breach of all accepted protocols on market sensitive information", in the way that it disclosed to the media on Wednesday evening that Royal Bank of Scotland was planning to move its legal home across the border.

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What price Scottish independence?

12 September 2014
Scotch beef with price tag

Some of the fuss and furore about whether prices in an independent Scotland would be higher than in the rest of the UK is bonkers.

When retailers - food and non food - say they might have to push up their prices if Scotland were to introduce higher taxes or rates or if it were to change employment and planning laws, this is simply to remind Scots why they are voting for or against independence.

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Does the Anglicisation of banks matter?

11 September 2014
RBS old HQ in Edinburgh

You might be interested in why so many banks - Lloyds, RBS, Clydesdale, TSB and Tesco Bank - have all said in the past 24 hours that in the event of Scotland voting for independence they would move their legal homes south of the border or create new English companies for some of their operations.

Why have they moved in a sheep-like way in collectively making these disclosures?

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Could the Bank of England become a huge Scottish creditor?

10 September 2014
Mark Carney, Bank of England governor
Mark Carney says that in the period between a vote for independence and Scotland actually becoming an independent nation, the Bank of England will not let any bank get into trouble.

Rather like the Queen, the Governor of the Bank of England does not want to stray into the debate over whether Scotland should opt for independence.

But Mark Carney is not doing quite as good a job of by-standing as Her Majesty.

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Standard Life reacts to possible Scottish independence

10 September 2014
Yes placard, Scottish borders
Standard Life has fleshed out how it will react in the event of a 'Yes' vote for Scottish independence

Standard Life's chief executive, David Nish, has written to the Scottish money manager's customers explaining how it will protect their interests in the event of Scots voting for independence.

He says that it could transfer pensions, investments and other long-term savings held by UK customers to new regulated companies set up in England.

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  • Peter Day Peter Day Global business correspondent

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  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics

About Robert

Robert has won numerous awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year, Specialist Journalist of the Year and Scoop of the Year (twice) from the Royal Television Society, Performer of the Year from the Broadcasting Press Guild, and Broadcaster of the Year and Journalist of the Year from the Wincott Foundation.

Prior to joining the BBC, he was political editor and financial editor of the Financial Times, City Editor of the Sunday Telegraph and a columnist for the New Statesman and Sunday Times.

He broadcast and published a series of influential reports about the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis.

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