Coronavirus: Recession? This is deeper and more challenging

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Image caption The streets of Scotland's biggest city are all but deserted

There's a quaint notion that the economy might be heading for recession. Let's get real: we're in one.

Unless it's unusually long, we don't get confirmation of a recession until after it's over. Such is the nature of data gathering. With luck, this one won't last long. But it is deep.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter if it's technically a recession or not. What we're currently experiencing deserves a new word to describe it - something that reflects the suddenness and sharpness of the shock. It's more like a coronary or stroke than merely a cyclical, temporary reversal of economic output.

It comes with parallel crises of a health fear and huge social dislocation, and it does so with a global spread. There have been pandemics before, but not in an era of a highly integrated economy, financially leveraged and geared to continue at or close to full tilt. The economy is not designed to cope with lockdown.

Nor has there been such a rampant infection in an era when medical science can track its course, and mobilise the resources and know-how to stamp it out. That knowledge gives the justification for lockdown. The economy and society are being forced to bend and buckle under the weight of medical statistics, so as to change the shape of a graphicised bell curve. It's a funny old world.

Read full article Coronavirus: Recession? This is deeper and more challenging

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £330bn financial package

Image caption Chancellor Rishi Sunak told a press conference: "Never in peacetime have we faced an economic fight like this one."

There's a lot about the current crisis that challenges the wirings of the brain. For many of us, the scale of the global challenge and the changes to life, work and family just don't compute.

The £330bn, announced on Tuesday by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, fits that same pattern of incomprehensibly big numbers. In the US, they're going for over a trillion dollars. That much moola surely ought to overwhelm a mere microbe?

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Coronavirus effects on the markets - the week of economic contagion

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There are health fears, of course, and concerns about care for the old, the young and the unwell.

We're all gaining expertise in epidemiology.

Read full article Coronavirus effects on the markets - the week of economic contagion

Scotland must act fast to answer virus Budget

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Holyrood is to get a down-payment of about £360m to help Scotland through the coronavirus pandemic.

That's the ballpark figure for the share of funding that will head to Holyrood in lieu of measures being introduced in England, much of that for business.

Read full article Scotland must act fast to answer virus Budget

The economic ravages of coronavirus

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Image caption The release of No Time To Die, starring Daniel Craig, has been delayed

If 007 is taking cover for the next few months, what hope is there for those left exposed to the economic ravages of spreading coronavirus?

The release of the next film in the James Bond franchise, No Time To Die, has been postponed until November. There will be better profits to be made then. And film distributors can afford to wait.

Read full article The economic ravages of coronavirus

Buckle up for more turbulence in the airline industry

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Image caption Flybe flights were grounded after the firm collapsed into administration

Running an airline has always been more about the glamour than profit. There are good years, but they come with a lot of risk, and with bad years.

There are high fixed costs, but passenger demand is fickle. So is the oil price, and currency hedging is a big challenge.

Read full article Buckle up for more turbulence in the airline industry

Battle lines being drawn over fishing rights

  • 27 February 2020
  • From the section Scotland
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Image caption Fishing is a concern for the inshore fleet as well as the larger boats

Fish have been served up among the main bones of contention between the UK government and the European Union.

The negotiating mandate published on Thursday at Westminster is a long way from the vision for a future relationship for managing wild fish stocks in the European Commission's proposals.

Read full article Battle lines being drawn over fishing rights

Green shoots of tourist growth

  • 27 February 2020
  • From the section Scotland
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Image caption More tourists are choosing to travel by rail

Prince Harry was in Edinburgh this week. You may have missed his "just call me Harry" visit.

You're more likely to have missed the reason for it. His semi-Royal non-Highness has chosen green tourism and travel as a cause he wishes to champion, his name atop the list of big travel firms - including Edinburgh's Skyscanner - signed up to the Travelyst organisation.

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The battle for readers and viewers

  • 25 February 2020
  • From the section Scotland

If you haven't yet been "engaged in a key vertical", brace yourself.

The Daily Record stable of newspapers, which is Britain's biggest, currently provide access to online content for free, are about to demand your data.

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The Brexit trade-off with the economy is under way

  • 21 February 2020
  • From the section Scotland
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The history books will record 31 January as the day Britain exited the European Union.

But historians should give at least as much status to 19 February - the day the Brexit rubber hit the road.

Read full article The Brexit trade-off with the economy is under way