Money Talks with Liam Halligan
Episode 55: Gordon Kerr | Finance and debt markets specialist
Welcome to Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News.
In this episode, Liam talks to Gordon Kerr, a finance and debt markets specialist who has advised several European governments on the future of the eurozone.
With the European Central Bank now raising interest rates for the first time in over a decade, there are fears higher borrowing costs could tip the eurozone into recession – a region which remains of huge importance to UK trade.
Russian threats to cut off gas to Germany, and political crisis in Italy has in fact raised concerns the eurozone could once again experience the kind of turbulence when Greece was almost forced out back in 2011/12.
In this wide-ranging interview, seasoned financial markets practitioner and leading authority on the structure of the single currency, Gordon Kerr explains the tensions at the heart of monetary union and discusses future scenarios.
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66. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Ian Ward slams Hunt's budget and says it will not create regionally-balanced economy13:54Welcome to Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode, Liam talks to Ian Ward, the Labour leader of Birmingham City Council. Having entered local government in the mid-1990s, Ward has led Birmingham City Council since 2017. Keen to promote Birmingham’s both nationally and overseas, he spearheaded the successful 2022 Commonwealth Games bid, having already helped bring a number of high-profile international sporting events to Birmingham. In this interview, conducted in Birmingham Council Headquarters, Ward discusses the importance of “levelling up” the UK economy, particularly the Midlands – and argues that the government’s recent Budget measures will do little to bring about a more regionally-balanced economy.
65. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Andy Street defends levelling up scheme and the importance of enterprise zones08:02Welcome to Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode Liam speaks to Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands since 2017, representing the Conservatives. Raised in Birmingham, Street started his career as a John Lewis trainee in 1985, rising through the ranks to become Managing Director in 2007.Under his leadership, the iconic chain saw a 50 per cent increase in sales, a doubling in the number of stores and the growth of the company's online sales department. In this interview, Street defends the government’s “levelling-up” policies, highlighting the importance of the enterprise zones outlined in Jeremy Hunt’s March 2023 budget. But Street also urges Hunt to “think again” about the removal of assistance for businesses with “sky-high energy bills”. He says some manufacturers and hospitality companies have been “locked-in to contracts with artificially high prices” – and calls on the government to “force” energy providers to renegotiate such agreements in light of recent falls in wholesale energy prices.
64. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Suella Braverman on her childhood, small boats policy and UK's future in ECHR24:01Welcome to Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode, Liam talks to Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Braverman was born and raised in London. Her parents emigrated to the UK from Kenya and Mauritius respectively. After studying law at Cambridge, Braverman was a barrister before entering Parliament as MP for the Conservative stronghold of Fareham, Hampshire in 2015. Braverman moved swiftly through the ministerial ranks, becoming Brexit Minister in 2018 then Attorney General in 2020. And now, as Home Secretary, she holds one of the four Great Offices of State. In this detailed interview, recorded in the Home Office in late February 2023, Braverman outlines why her childhood made her a Conservative, defends the government’s “small boats” policy and explains why the UK may eventually need to leave the European Convention on Human Rights – while reflecting on why she attracts so many negative headlines.“I see my job as telling the truth and fixing problems,” she says. “And sometimes, when the truth is uncomfortable, people get upset”.
63. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Lorraine Bliss MBC24:31Welcome to Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode, Liam talks to Lorraine Bliss, who runs St Edmunds, in Norwich. An award-winning charity, St Eds – as it’s known – provides vocational training to some 250 teenagers from across East Anglia – some of regular school age, others who are 16-plus. There are over a million young people in the UK not in education, employment or training for work - so-called NEETS. Their numbers have soared since Covid lockdown.Students at St Ed’s have often been excluded from school, leaving with no qualifications.But despite receiving no direct government funding, and relying heavily on contributions from local business, Lorraine and her staff teach teenagers hands-on skills – from bricklaying to hair and beauty, from motor-mechanics to carpentry – that can help them earn a decent living.
62. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Asher Bennett, Founder and CEO of Tevva20:59Welcome to Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode, Liam talks to Asher Bennett, Founder and CEO of Tevva – a company based in Tilbury, Essex, that makes dual-fuel hydrogen/battery trucks. Tevva opened its Tilbury factory in January 2022, and already employs 300 workers. Its dual-fuel trucks, which combine both a lithium-ion battery and a hydrogen fuel cell, have a range of hundreds of miles and can be refuelled with hydrogen in just 10 minutes, making carbon-free truck fleets commercially viable.With around a fifth of all carbon-emissions worldwide caused by the road haulage industry, Bennett says that the use of dual-fuel hydrogen/battery eco-trucks could make a major contribution to meeting “net zero” targets.He also explains why, in his view, “the UK is an amazing place to do business”.
61. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: John Penrose, the government’s competition Tsar18:21In this episode, Liam talks to John Penrose, the government’s competition Tsar. Penrose has been the Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare since 2005, having previously worked for JP Morgan and McKinsey. He has also served as a minister in several government departments, including the Northern Ireland Office. In 2021, John wrote the “Power to the People”, a government-commissioned independent report on competition policy, designed to shape new laws to “make capitalism work for all” as the British economy develops outside the European Union. In this detailed interview, and ahead of the publication of an updated Penrose report later this year, John discusses his views on the Autumn statement, ways to improve consumer protection and the need to “reclaim supply-side economics”.
60. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Former Brexit Secretary Lord David Frost.19:53Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode, recorded during the COP-27 summit, Liam talks to Former Brexit Secretary Lord David Frost. Until early 2020, Frost was known only to Whitehall and Westminster insiders. But after then Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed him as the UK’s Chief Brexit negotiator, he became a household name. In December 2021, Frost resigned from government. He admired Johnson but said he couldn’t support what was then called “Plan B” - the tightening of anti-Covid restrictions. Since then, Frost has written a weekly Daily Telegraph column and plied his trade in the Upper House, remaining a man of considerable political influence. In this interview, Frost casts doubt on the government’s Net Zero 2050 target, while accuses Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of “hypocrisy” for cutting a deal to import huge amounts of fracked gas from the US, while not allowing UK fracking. He also warns against raising taxes into the teeth of recession and tighter monetary policy, which he says risks throwing the UK economy into a “vicious spiral”.
59. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Steve Scrimshaw, Vice-President of Siemens UK21:45Welcome to Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode, ahead of the COP-27 summit in Egypt, Liam talks to Steve Scrimshaw, Vice-President of Siemens UK.Companies like Siemens UK have been at the heart of efforts to develop renewable power sources like wind and solar, helping to reduce carbon emissions, with renewables now helping to generate up to 40pc of the UK’s electricity – themes developed during this interview.A member of the Hydrogen Advisory Council, Scrimshaw also explains why hydrogen is such an important future fuel source, while calling for “a national endeavour” to deliver UK energy security and a net zero electricity system.
58. Money Talks with Liam Halligan: Stephen Morley, President of the Confederation of British Metal Forming15:18Money Talks – a series of interviews with Liam Halligan, Economics and Business Editor of GB News. In this episode, Liam talks to Stephen Morley, President of Confederation of British Metalforming, a trade body comprising hundreds of companies, employing tens of thousands of workers. These are firms at the heart of the UK’s manufacturing sector – and they use a lot of energy.Returning to Money Talks, Stephen responds to the government's new energy support package for business, praising ministers for providing assistance to firms trying to cope with spiraling bills. But he suggests the help needs to last for longer than six months - while pointing out that headlines suggesting commercial energy bills are being "cut by half" overstate reality.