Archive for the 'Videos' Category

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PB Video Analysis: Demographics, First They Lift You Up…

Thursday, September 13th, 2018


Economically speaking, the last two centuries have been pretty good for much of Europe, North America and Asia. People live longer, are healthier, and are richer than ever before.

Before about 1850, economies grew slowly, barely more than a percent a year on a per capita basis. Since 1850, they’ve powered ahead.

This spurt is usually attributed to technology – you know, the industrial revolution, electricity, Angry Birds, that kind of thing. But something else also matters: demographics. In short, much of the world has benefited from a two hundred year rise in the proportion of people who work. Good news, no? But first they lift you up…

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’




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PB Video Analysis: Five Questions

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

So, I started doing these videos a couple of months ago, and some of them have been very successful. And others are about the Italian economy.

In doing so, I discovered something: if you put video content out onto the web, you will get deluged in comments. So, I’ve been accused of being a racist, and of being soft on illegal immigrants. I’ve also received a ton of emails asking me questions, some of which were not (metaphorically) written in green ink.

Here then are answers – in an informal, unedited and unscripted style – to five of the questions I’ve been asked:

Do cryptocurrencies have a future?
Where’s the US Dollar going?
What happens if there’s a US-China trade war?
Which way did I vote in the Brexit referendum?
Who am I to put these opinions out on the Internet???

ps, sorry about the lighting…

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’




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PB Video Analysis: What Chance a US-UK Free Trade Deal

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

Brexit is approaching. And with it – in President Trump’s mind – comes an opportunity for a transatlantic free trade deal, bringing together the World’s two largest English speaking democracies. Atlantacists in Britain are excited, those who believe we should be supping with the Europeans are scared.

But before the trigger is pulled, what are the compromises that would be needed to put together a US-UK free trade deal? Could Dr Liam Fox get something in place before the 2020 election?

Unfortunately, a deal will not be simple. There are at least four major stumbling points: Dispute Settlement, Local Content Rules, Agriculture and Intellectual Property. How willing will the government be to make the compromises needed to get a deal moving quickly? And is it worth doing so?

All this and more in… What Chance a US-UK Free Trade Deal…

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’




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PB Video Analysis: How To End Illegal Immigration

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

OK, call me Amerocentric, but this video is really all about the US and illegal immigration. Specifically, in the US more than 3% of people are illegal immigrants, more than twice the level of the UK, four times that of Switzerland, and something absurd relative to Norway. Now, the US has poor people on its Southern border – but probably fewer than Europe has on its. Mexico is as rich as Turkey, and a lot richer than – for example – Ukraine. So why do so many people head to the US? And what can the government do about it?

The wall is one answer, an attempt to choke off the supply. But how effective can it be? It won’t stop people overstaying their visa, or hiding at the back of 40 foot containers, or claiming asylum. It will probably help, but there may be better ways.

And so this video looks at why the US system doesn’t work, and what things from around the world do work. You see, it is possible to end illegal immigration, and to do it efficiently. Only the things that work don’t fit neatly into 260 characters.

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’




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PB Video Analysis: How Bad Is The US-China Trade Deficit?

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

The US runs a trade deficit with China of $375bn. It’s a staggering number, larger than the economies of Ireland or Israel. Little wonder than Donald Trump frets that the US is being taken advantage of.

But how meaningful are bilateral trade numbers anyway? Should governments aim to balance volumes of trade with other countries, or is it all a bit irrelevant? And if you impose tariffs on countries with whom you have deficits, will your overall balance of trade improve?

With the help of Tom, Dick and Ludovic, I’m answering that question.

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’




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PB Video Analysis: The Future’s Bright. The Future’s Not Coal.

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

You flick a switch, and there’s light.

Few of us think about how electricity is generated, and how strange and wonderful ubiquitous power is. But beneath that steady service, changes are happening. Coal, which used to dominate electricity production worldwide, is now in retreat almost anywhere, replaced by renewables and natural gas. Some blame overzealous environmental legislation. Others blame subsidies for solar and wind.

The truth is… shocking…

(And please click the funny YouTube button above to subscribe!)

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’




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PB Video Analysis: Brexit – What Does “No Deal”Actually Mean?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29th 2019. With Mrs May’s Chequers deal rejected by the Commons, and no obvious alternative on the table, leaving the EU with No Deal and previous little preparation is looking increasingly likely.

In this video, I ask ask what the consequences would be. Would food become scarce? Would the economy collapse? Or is this just another example of Project Fear?

(And please click the funny YouTube button above to subscribe!)

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’




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PB Video Analysis. Brexit: How We Got Here & What We Want

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

So: Brexit.

I’ve artfully avoided addressing it in my videos so far, but the time has come. Today’s video is about Brexit. Specifically, it addresses the process through which Britain joined the EEC, and then asks what the UK government actually wants from negotiations. Why have there been all these gyrations, when the EU has proposed a CETA/South Korea type relationship already?

Be warned: this video will be equally annoying to Remainers and Leavers.

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’