Big Bang (financial markets)
The phrase Big Bang, used in reference to the sudden deregulation of financial markets, was coined to describe measures, including abolition of fixed commission charges and of the distinction between stockjobbers and stockbrokers on the London Stock Exchange and change from open-outcry to electronic, screen-based trading, effected by Margaret Thatcher in 1986. The Big Bang was the result of an agreement in 1983 by the Thatcher government and the London Stock Exchange to settle a wide-ranging antitrust case, initiated during the previous government by the Office of Fair Trading against the London Stock Exchange under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1956; these restrictive practices included the London Stock Exchange's rules establishing fixed minimum commissions, the "single capacity" rule, the requirement that both brokers and jobbers should be independent and not part of any wider financial group, the stock exchange's exclusion of all foreigners from stock exchange membership. The day the London Stock Exchange's rules changed on 27 October 1986 was dubbed the "Big Bang" because of the increase in market activity expected from an aggregation of measures designed to alter the structure of the financial market.
The effect of the Big Bang led to significant changes to the structure of the financial markets in London. The changes saw many of the old firms being taken over by large banks both foreign and domestic and would lead in the following years to further changes to the regulatory environment that would lead to the creation of the Financial Services Authority. In the UK, Big Bang became one of the cornerstones of the Thatcher government's reform programme. Prior to these reforms, the once-dominant financial institutions of the City of London were failing to compete with foreign banking. While London was still a global centre of finance, it had been surpassed by New York, was in danger of falling still further behind. Thatcher's government claimed that the two problems behind the decline of London banking were over-regulation and the dominance of elitist old boy networks and that the solution lay in the free market doctrines of competition and meritocracy; the changes were implemented by the Financial Services Act 1986.
The effects of Big Bang were dramatic, with London's place as a financial capital decisively strengthened, to the point where it is arguably the world's most important financial centre. The boom resulted in the relocation of institutions into new developments in the nearby Isle of Dogs area that of Canary Wharf. Although the "Big Bang" eased stock market transactions there is a debate in the UK about how far it affected the 2007–2012 global financial crisis. In 2010, Nigel Lawson, Thatcher's Chancellor at the time of the Big Bang, appeared on the radio programme Analysis to discuss the banking reform, he explained that the 2007–2012 global financial crisis was an unintended consequence of the "Big Bang". He said that UK investment banks were very cautious, as they operated with their own money, but after merging with major retail banks, the depositors' savings were put at risk, according to the programme this led U. S. banks to follow suit. In 2011 Gordon Brown said that deregulation of the banking sector by the incoming Labour Government of 1997 had contributed by failing to understand how interdependent the banks were.
Speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking's annual conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA, Chancellor from 1997–2007, reviewed his changes: We know in retrospect what we missed. We set up the Financial Services Authority believing that the problem would come from the failure of an individual institution," he said. "So we created a monitoring system, looking at individual institutions. That was the big mistake. We didn't understand how risk was spread across the system, we didn't understand the entanglements of different institutions with the other and we didn't understand though we talked about it just how global things were, including a shadow banking system as well as a banking system; that was our mistake, but I'm afraid it was a mistake made by just about everybody, in the regulatory business. Subsequent similar actions, such as the deregulation of the Japanese financial markets in 2001, have analogously been tagged with the phrase Big Bang; the Wimbledon Effect
A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. Three types can be distinguished: specie and exchange. In the gold specie standard the monetary unit is associated with the value of circulating gold coins, or the monetary unit has the value of a certain circulating gold coin, but other coins may be made of less valuable metal; the gold bullion standard is a system in which gold coins do not circulate, but the authorities agree to sell gold bullion on demand at a fixed price in exchange for the circulating currency. The gold exchange standard does not involve the circulation of gold coins; the main feature of the gold exchange standard is that the government guarantees a fixed exchange rate to the currency of another country that uses a gold standard, regardless of what type of notes or coins are used as a means of exchange. This creates a de facto gold standard, where the value of the means of exchange has a fixed external value in terms of gold, independent of the inherent value of the means of exchange itself.
Most nations abandoned the gold standard as the basis of their monetary systems at some point in the 20th century, although many hold substantial gold reserves. A 2012 survey of leading economists showed that they unanimously reject that a return to the gold standard would benefit the average American; the gold specie standard arose from the widespread acceptance of gold as currency. Various commodities have been used as money. Chemically, gold is of all major metals the one most resistant to corrosion; the use of gold as money began thousands of years ago in Asia Minor. During the early and high Middle Ages, the Byzantine gold solidus known as the bezant, was used throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. However, as the Byzantine Empire's economic influence declined, so too did the use of the bezant. In its place, European territories chose silver as their currency over gold, leading to the development of silver standards. Silver pennies based on the Roman denarius became the staple coin of Mercia in Great Britain around the time of King Offa, circa 757–796 CE.
Similar coins, including Italian denari, French deniers, Spanish dineros, circulated in Europe. Spanish explorers discovered silver deposits in Mexico in 1522 and at Potosí in Bolivia in 1545. International trade came to depend on coins such as the Spanish dollar, the Maria Theresa thaler, the United States trade dollar. In modern times, the British West Indies was one of the first regions to adopt a gold specie standard. Following Queen Anne's proclamation of 1704, the British West Indies gold standard was a de facto gold standard based on the Spanish gold doubloon. In 1717, Sir Isaac Newton, the master of the Royal Mint, established a new mint ratio between silver and gold that had the effect of driving silver out of circulation and putting Britain on a gold standard. A formal gold specie standard was first established in 1821, when Britain adopted it following the introduction of the gold sovereign by the new Royal Mint at Tower Hill in 1816; the United Province of Canada in 1854, Newfoundland in 1865, the United States and Germany in 1873 adopted gold.
The United States used the eagle as its unit, Germany introduced the new gold mark, while Canada adopted a dual system based on both the American gold eagle and the British gold sovereign. Australia and New Zealand adopted the British gold standard, as did the British West Indies, while Newfoundland was the only British Empire territory to introduce its own gold coin. Royal Mint branches were established in Sydney and Perth for the purpose of minting gold sovereigns from Australia's rich gold deposits; the gold specie standard came to an end in the United Kingdom and the rest of the British Empire with the outbreak of World War I. From 1750 to 1870, wars within Europe as well as an ongoing trade deficit with China drained silver from the economies of Western Europe and the United States. Coins were struck in smaller and smaller numbers, there was a proliferation of bank and stock notes used as money. In the 1790s, the United Kingdom suffered a silver shortage, it ceased to mint larger silver coins and instead issued "token" silver coins and overstruck foreign coins.
With the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Bank of England began the massive recoinage programme that created standard gold sovereigns, circulating crowns, half-crowns and copper farthings in 1821. The recoinage of silver after a long drought produced a burst of coins; the United Kingdom struck nearly 40 million shillings between 1816 and 1820, 17 million half crowns and 1.3 million silver crowns. The 1819 Act for the Resumption of Cash Payments set 1823 as the date for resumption of convertibility, reached by 1821. Throughout the 1820s, small notes were issued by regional banks; this was restricted in 1826. In 1833 however, Bank of England notes were made legal tender and redemption by other banks was discouraged. In 1844, the Bank Charter Act established that Bank of England notes were backed by gold and they became the legal standard. According to the strict interpretation of the gold standard, this 1844 act marked the establishment of a full gold standard for British money. In the 1780s, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Morris and Alexander Hamilton recommended to Congress the value of a decimal system.
This system would apply to monies in the United States. The question was what type of standard: silver or both; the United States adopted a silver standard based on the Spanish milled dollar i
In historical contexts, New Imperialism characterizes a period of colonial expansion by European powers, the United States, Japan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The period featured an unprecedented pursuit of overseas territorial acquisitions. At the time, states focused on building their empires with new technological advances and developments, making their territory bigger through conquest, exploiting the resources of the subjugated countries. During the era of New Imperialism, the Western powers individually conquered all of Africa and parts of Asia; the new wave of imperialism reflected ongoing rivalries among the great powers, the economic desire for new resources and markets, a "civilizing mission" ethos. Many of the colonies established during this era gained independence during the era of decolonization that followed World War II; the qualifier "new" is used to differentiate modern imperialism from earlier imperial activity, such as the so-called first wave of European colonization between the 15th and early-19th centuries.
In the First wave of colonization, European powers colonized the Americas and Siberia. The American Revolution and the collapse of the Spanish Empire in Latin America around 1820 ended the first era of European imperialism. In Great Britain these revolutions helped show the deficiencies of mercantilism, the doctrine of economic competition for finite wealth which had supported earlier imperial expansion. In 1846, the Corn Laws were repealed and manufacturers gained, as the regulations enforced by the Corn Laws had slowed their businesses. With the repeal in place, the manufacturers were able to trade more freely. Thus, Britain began to adopt the concept of free trade. During this period, between the 1815 Congress of Vienna after the defeat of Napoleonic France and the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, Britain reaped the benefits of being the world's sole modern, industrial power; as the "workshop of the world", Britain could produce finished goods so efficiently that they could undersell comparable, locally manufactured goods in foreign markets supplying a large share of the manufactured goods consumed by such nations as the German states, France and the United States.
The erosion of British hegemony after the Franco-Prussian War, in which a coalition of German states led by Prussia defeated France, was occasioned by changes in the European and world economies and in the continental balance of power following the breakdown of the Concert of Europe, established by the Congress of Vienna. The establishment of nation-states in Germany and Italy resolved territorial issues that had kept potential rivals embroiled in internal affairs at the heart of Europe, to Britain's advantage; the years from 1871 to 1914 would be marked by an unstable peace. France’s determination to recover Alsace-Lorraine, annexed by Germany as a result of the Franco-Prussian War, Germany’s mounting imperialist ambitions would keep the two nations poised for conflict; this competition was sharpened by the Long Depression of 1873–1896, a prolonged period of price deflation punctuated by severe business downturns, which put pressure on governments to promote home industry, leading to the widespread abandonment of free trade among Europe's powers.
The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 sought to destroy the competition between the powers by defining "effective occupation" as the criterion for international recognition of a territory claim in Africa. The imposition of direct rule in terms of "effective occupation" necessitated routine recourse to armed force against indigenous states and peoples. Uprisings against imperial rule were put down ruthlessly, most spectacularly in the Herero Wars in German South-West Africa from 1904 to 1907 and the Maji Maji Rebellion in German East Africa from 1905 to 1907. One of the goals of the conference was to reach agreements over trade and boundaries of Central Africa. However, of all of the 15 nations in attendance of the Berlin Conference, none of the countries represented were African; the main dominating powers of the conference were France, Great Britain and Portugal. They remapped Africa without considering the cultural and linguistic borders that were established. At the end of the conference, Africa was divided into 50 different colonies.
The attendants established, in control of each of these newly divided colonies. They planned, noncommittally, to end the slave trade in Africa. In Britain, the age of new imperialism marked a time for significant economic changes; because the country was the first to industrialize, Britain was technologically ahead of many other countries throughout the majority of the nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century, other countries such as Germany, the United States and Italy soon matched Britain in technological and economic power. After several decades of monopoly, the country was battling to maintain a dominant economic position while other powers became more involved in international markets. In 1870, Britain contained 31.8% of the world's manufacturing capacity while the United States contained 23.3% and Germany contained 13.2%. By 1910, Britain's manufacturing capacity had dropped to 14.7%, while that of the United States had risen to 35.3% and that of Germany to 15.9%. As countries like Germany and America became more economically successful, they began to become more involved with imperialism, resulting in the British struggling to maintain the volume of British trade and investment overseas.
Britain further faced strained international relations with three expansionist powers (Japan, Ger
Blackpool is a seaside resort on the Lancashire coast in North West England. The town is on the Irish Sea, between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, 15 miles northwest of Preston, 27 miles north of Liverpool, 28 miles northwest of Bolton and 40 miles northwest of Manchester, it had an estimated population of 139,720 at the 2011 Census, making it the most populous town in Lancashire. Throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, Blackpool was a coastal hamlet in Lancashire's Hundred of Amounderness, remained such until the mid-18th century when it became fashionable in England to travel to the coast in the summer to improve well-being. In 1781, visitors attracted to Blackpool's 7-mile sandy beach were able to use a new private road, built by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton. Stagecoaches began running to Blackpool from Manchester in the same year, from Halifax in 1782. In the early 19th century, Henry Banks and his son-in-law John Cocker erected new buildings in Blackpool such that its population grew from less than 500 in 1801 to over 2,500 in 1851.
St John's Church in Blackpool was consecrated in 1821. Blackpool rose to prominence and as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in the 1840s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England; the railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool, triggering an influx of settlers, such that in 1876 Blackpool was incorporated as a borough, governed by its own town council and aldermen. In 1881, Blackpool was a booming resort with a population of 14,000 and a promenade complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres. By 1901 the population of Blackpool was 47,000, by which time its place was cemented as "the archetypal British seaside resort". By 1951 it had grown to 147,000. Shifts in tastes, combined with opportunities for Britons to travel overseas, affected Blackpool's status as a leading resort in the late 20th century. Blackpool's urban fabric and economy remains undiversified, rooted in the tourism sector, the borough's seafront continues to attract millions of visitors every year.
In addition to its grime music scene, Blackpool's major attractions and landmarks include Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Illuminations, the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, Sandcastle Water Park, the Winter Gardens, the UK's only surviving first-generation tramway. Blackpool gets its name from a historic drainage channel that ran over a peat bog, discharging discoloured water into the Irish Sea, which formed a black pool. Another explanation is that the local dialect for stream was "pul" or "poole", hence "Black poole". People originating from Blackpool are called Blackpudlians although Sandgrownians or Sandgrown'uns is sometimes used or Seasiders. A 13,500-year-old elk skeleton was found with man-made barbed bone points on Blackpool Old Road in Carleton in 1970. Now displayed in the Harris Museum this provided the first evidence of humans living on the Fylde as far back as the Palaeolithic era; the Fylde was home to a British tribe, the Setantii a sub-tribe of the Brigantes, who from about AD80 were controlled by Romans from their fort at Dowbridge, Kirkham.
During the Roman occupation the area was covered by bog land. Some of the earliest villages on the Fylde, which were to become part of Blackpool town, were named in the Domesday Book in 1086. Many of them were Anglo-Saxon settlements; some though had 10th century Viking place names. The Vikings and Anglo-Saxons seem to have co-existed peacefully, with some Anglo-Saxon and Viking placenames being joined together – such as Layton-with-Warbreck and Bispham-with-Norbreck. Layton was controlled by Barons of Warrington from the 12th century. In medieval times Blackpool emerged as a few farmsteads on the coast within Layton-with-Warbreck, the name coming from "le pull", a stream that drained Marton Mere and Marton Moss into the sea close to what is now Manchester Square; the stream ran through peatlands that discoloured the water, so the name for the area became "Black Poole". In the 15th century the area was just called Pul, a 1532 map calls the area "the pole howsys alias the north howsys". In 1602, entries in Bispham Parish Church baptismal register include both Poole and for the first time blackpoole.
The first house of any substance, was built toward the end of the 17th century by Edward Tyldesley, the Squire of Myerscough and son of the Royalist Sir Thomas Tyldesley. An Act of Parliament in 1767 enclosed a common sand hills on the coast, that stretched from Spen Dyke southwards. Plots of the land were allocated to landowners in Bispham, Great Marton and Little Marton; the same act provided for the layout of a number of long straight roads that would be built in the areas south of the town centre, such as Lytham Road, St. Annes Road, Watson Road and Highfield Road. By the middle of the 18th century, the practice of sea bathing to cure diseases was becoming fashionable among the wealthier classes, visitors began making the arduous trek to Blackpool for that purpose. In 1781, Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton built a private road to Blackpool, a regular stagecoach service from Manchester and Halifax was established. A few amenities, including four hotels, an archery stall and bowling greens, were developed, the town grew slowly.
The 1801 census records the town's population at 473. The growth was acce
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The Department for Business and Industrial Strategy is a department of the government of the United Kingdom, created by Theresa May on 14 July 2016 following her appointment as Prime Minister, through a merger between the Department for Business and Skills and Department of Energy and Climate Change. BEIS brought together responsibility for business, industrial strategy, science and innovation with energy and climate change policy, merging the functions of the former BIS and DECC; the Ministers in the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy are as follows: In October 2016, Archie Norman was appointed as Lead Non Executive Board Member for the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy. The department is responsible for government policy in the following areas: Some policies apply to England alone due to devolution, while others are not devolved and therefore apply to other nations of the United Kingdom; some economic policies are devolved but many aspects of several important policy areas are reserved to Westminster.
Reserved and excepted matters are outlined below. Scotland Reserved matters: The Economy Directorate of the Scottish Government handles devolved economic policy. Northern Ireland Reserved matters: Business regulation and support Climate change policy Company law Competition Consumer protection Corporate governance Import and export control Employment relations Energy Export licensing Insolvency Intellectual property Nuclear energy Outer space Postal services Product standards and liability Research councils Science and research Telecommunications Time Trade associations Units of measurementExcepted matter: Outer space Nuclear powerThe department's main counterpart is: Department for the Economy
Banknotes of the pound sterling
Sterling banknotes are the banknotes in circulation in the United Kingdom and its related territories, denominated in pounds sterling. Sterling banknotes are official currency in the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Tristan da Cunha in St Helena and Tristan da Cunha. One pound is equivalent to 100 pence. Three British Overseas Territories have currencies called pounds which are at par with the pound sterling. In most countries of the world the issue of banknotes is handled by a single central bank or government, but in the United Kingdom seven retail banks have the right to print their own banknotes in addition to the Bank of England; the arrangements in the UK are unusual, but comparable systems are used in Hong Kong and Macao, where three and two banks issue their own banknotes in addition to their respective governments. The Bank of England does act as a central bank in that it has a monopoly on issuing banknotes in England and Wales, regulates the issues of banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Versions of the pound sterling issued by Crown Dependencies and other areas are regulated only by local governments and not the Bank of England. Until the middle of the 19th century owned banks in Great Britain and Ireland were free to issue their own banknotes. Paper currency issued by a wide range of provincial and town banking companies in England, Wales and Ireland circulated as a means of payment; as gold shortages affected the supply of money, note-issuing powers of the banks were restricted by various Acts of Parliament, until the Bank Charter Act 1844 gave exclusive note-issuing powers to the central Bank of England. Under the Act, no new banks could start issuing notes; the last private English banknotes were issued in 1921 by Fox and Company, a Somerset bank. However, some of the monopoly provisions of the Bank Charter Act only applied to Wales; the Bank Notes Act was passed the following year, to this day, three retail banks retain the right to issue their own sterling banknotes in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland.
Notes issued in excess of the value of notes outstanding in 1844 must be backed up by an equivalent value of Bank of England notes. Following the partition of Ireland, the Irish Free State created an Irish pound in 1928; the issue of banknotes for the Irish pound fell under the authority of the Currency Commission of the Republic of Ireland, which set about replacing the private banknotes with a single Consolidated Banknote Issue in 1928. In 1928 a Westminster Act of Parliament reduced the fiduciary limit for Irish banknotes circulating in Northern Ireland to take account of the reduced size of the territory concerned. Elizabeth II was not the first British monarch to have her face on UK banknotes. George II, George III and George IV appeared on early Royal Bank of Scotland notes and George V appeared on 10 shilling and 1 pound notes issued by the British Treasury between 1914 and 1928. However, prior to the issue of its Series C banknotes in 1960, Bank of England banknotes did not depict the monarch.
Today, notes issued by Northern Irish banks do not depict the monarch. The monarch is depicted on banknotes issued by the Crown dependencies and on some of those issued by overseas territories; the following events and Acts of Parliament affected the course of banknote history in Great Britain and Ireland: The wide variety of sterling notes in circulation means that acceptance of different pound sterling banknotes varies. Their acceptance may depend on the experience and understanding of individual retailers, it is important to understand the idea of "legal tender", misunderstood; the assumption that all sterling notes are legitimate and of equal value, are accepted by merchants anywhere, has become a tourism headache in some parts of the UK. In summary, the various banknotes are used as follows: Bank of England banknotes Most sterling notes are issued by the Bank of England; these are legal tender in England and Wales, are always accepted by traders throughout the UK. Bank of England notes are accepted in the Overseas Territories which are at parity with sterling.
In Gibraltar, there are examples of pairs of automatic cash dispensers placed together, one stocked with Bank of England notes, the other with local ones. Scottish banknotes These are the recognised currency in Scotland, although they are not legal tender, they are always accepted by traders in Scotland, are accepted in other parts of the United Kingdom. However, some outside Scotland are unfamiliar with the notes and they are sometimes refused. Institutions such as clearing banks, building societies and the Post Office will accept Scottish bank notes. Branches of the Scottish note-issuing banks situated in England dispense Bank of England notes and are not permitted to dispense their own notes from those branches. Modern Scottish banknotes are denominated in pounds sterling, have the same value as Bank of England notes. Northern Irish banknotes Banknotes issued by Northern Irish banks have the same legal status as Scottish banknotes in that they are promissory notes issued in pounds sterling and may be used for cash transactions anywhere in the United Kingdom.
UK Trade & Investment
UK Trade & Investment was a UK Government department working with businesses based in the United Kingdom to assist their success in international markets, with overseas investors looking to the UK as an investment destination. In July 2016 it was replaced by the Department for International Trade. UKTI was formed in May 1999 as British Trade International, comprising two parts: Trade Partners UK and Invest UK. In October 2003, the former department name and two inner departments merged and became UK Trade & Investment to simplify the outward recognition of the organisation, to reduce confusion with the two departments. To support its aim to "enhance the competitiveness of companies in Britain through overseas trade and investments. UK Trade & Investment is an international organisation with headquarters in London and Glasgow in Scotland. Across its network UK Trade & Investment employs around 2,400 staff and advisers, including overseas in British Embassies, High Commissions and trade offices, regional offices in the nine English regions The delivery of many UKTI regional services within the United Kingdom is contracted out to other organisations.
In Devon and Somerset, UKTI regional services are now delivered by Serco, In China, the China Britain Business Council, another private body, is the provider. Business and university leaders work with UKTI as "business ambassadors", they highlight trade and investment opportunities. They focus on helping medium-sized enterprises. UK Trade & Investment brings together the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy; the UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment works as part of UKTI to promote British business and produce. UK Trade & Investment has public-private partnership agreements with the Federation of International Trade Associations under which they contribute market research and other reports on GlobalTrade.net. UK Trade & Investment has an arms-trade branch called UKTI DSO headed by Sir Richard Paniguian. Official website