Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay
TO the City of London for the Robin Hood Tax Protest. To protest against bankers, the campaigners set up a giant roulette table in a satire on them gambling with our money. Peter Kennard’s gaming board was in front of the Royal Exchange. The bankers could not lose; teachers and nurses lost their jobs. It all looks great. Then we look at the Robin Hood tax website. We learn:
A tax on banks that would give billions to tackle poverty and climate change, here and abroad.
And this is where it goes awry. They want to tax the rich to pay to fight the weather and feed foreigners? And that will be popular how..?
The Guardian concocted this headline – that is not a parody:
How the Robin Hood tax could help fight climate change in the Outer Hebrides
Toby Young put it thus:
The idea is to tax all bank transactions not involving members of the public by approximately 0.05 per cent and use the resulting revenue “to tackle poverty and climate change”… There are several problems with this proposal. First of all, it’s entirely possible that the cost of collecting a tax of 0.05 per cent would be greater than the amount of revenue it raised. Then there’s the issue of who would decide how the money would be spent…
But the real problem with a financial transaction tax — the reason it has never been introduced and never will be — is that no country is going to impose it unilaterally for fear of placing its own banking sector at a competitive disadvantage. If Britain introduced a Robin Hood Tax, for instance, the international banks that are headquartered here would simply relocate to a country in which their transactions aren’t taxed.
Yes, but the main problem is that tax will be passed onto the consumers. Although they say:
The Robin Hood Tax will not impact on personal banking or on retail banking. That’s because it targets a distinct area of bank operations – high-frequency large-volume trading, undertaken by financial institutions in the ‘casino economy’. If you change money to go on holiday, send remittances abroad, invest in a pension fund or take out a mortgage, you will not be affected by this tiny tax.
Anyone who knows anything about banking will scoff at this. It is ridiculous. Tim Worstall sums up:
Here’s this tricky little thing in economics called “tax incidence”. There’s a difference between who hands over the cheque and who actually carries the economic burden of a tax. Your employer hands over the cheque for the income tax taken under PAYE but no one at all thinks that your employer is carrying that economic burden: you are. Same with NI.
The incidence of corporation tax is largely on the workers in the form of lower wages, some on the shareholders in lower returns. The company certainly never pays a penny of it.
And note that this isn’t people “trying” to pass it on, it’s just that the existence of a tax changes behaviour and thus the burden of it can be on a quite different set of people than those it’s presumably aimed at.
The incidence, the economic burden, of the Robin Hood Tax will not be on the banks or the bankers. It will be upon all users of the financial system. Everyone with a bank account for example. Everyone who buys foreign currency to go on hols. Everyone who buys something from a company which has a bank account, makes money transfers, buys foreign currency to import something.
Yup, the tax will actually end up being paid by all of us, the poor bloody civilians.
And to put the tin lid on, why have the Robin Hood tax campaigners solicited the help of rich actors like Bill Nighy and Sam West to front their campaign? Nighy’s video was created by that working stiff Richard Curtis.
The only way you are going to get change – real change – is if the masses actually rise up and smash the Cityand the political elite to bits. But that will not happen. Instead, you get actors and a campaign based on a pipe dream…
LLOYD Scott, the man who took 26 days to travel just over 26 miles dressed as Brian the Snail from The Magic Roundabout, has been sacked. The charity Action for Kids has sacked Lloyd Scott for not raising enough money. He was sacked “due to losses incurred”.
He had hoped to raise £200,000. He raised £19,500. The charity spent £16,000 buying costumes and more on the PR.
“The trustees made their decision just 11 days after I’d finished the marathon. I hadn’t recovered fully and was unable to fulfil the potential of the event. I don’t think it has been handled in an appropriate manner. Anybody would deserve to be treated better.”
But he cost the charity money. Is the aim of a charity to help the poor or itself?
THE Bilderberg Group has been meeting at the Svretta House Hotel by St. Moritz resort, Switzerland. It’s all shadowy stuff. Among the rich, powerful, dark and mysterious was Mustafa Koç, billionaire heir to Turkish corporation… Koç Holdings…
And what is below that news? Why, it’s an adverts for HSBC mortgages.
The 2007 do in Budapest, Hungary, featured 100 workers and 20 prostitutes. German news organ Handelsblatt hears from a w****leblower, who tells us:
“After each such encounter the women were stamped on the lower arm in order to keep track of how often each woman was frequented. The women wore red and yellow wrist bands. One lot were hostesses, the others would fulfil your every wish.
“There were also women with white wrist bands. They were reserved for board members and the very best sales reps.”
It had been in place to prevent us calling him a banker and hide the fact that along with Adam Applegarth (former Northern Rock CEO who was, allegedly, shagging Amanda Smithson from the company’s buy-to-let division) Sir Fred was bumping the uglies with a woman on his senior staff instead of stopping the world’s worst banking melt down.
If you are going to shaft the country, what’s an old colleague for? After all, as every RBS financier knows and brags churlishly while chuckling over the RBS sponsored Rugby match after dinner port, they are women burnishing the glass ceiling with their backsides!
ANY historian looking for a sign of how economic times have changed could do worse than look the von Essen Hotels group, which has collapsed into administration. The group includes the country house venue of braying media types, hob knobs and Surrey-based brokers, Cliveden House in Berkshire.
Earlier this month, Cliveden, once home to Nancy Astor and venue for the Profumo scandal, (oh for a super injunction, eh readers) introduced the world’s most expensive afternoon tea – £550 per couple.
Created by executive head chef Carlos Martinez, the tea includes white truffles at a £2,500 per kg, beluga caviar at a £4,000 per kg and Da Hong Pao tea, which is harvested from 1,000-year-old plants and costs over £2,000 per kg.
ROYAL Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester has seen his controversial £7.7 million pay package rubber-stamped by the Government as the bank insisted it had to pay staff “fairly”. And I don’t really give a damn. No-one is worth that amount of money, and especially if he is an employee of a bank that has been bailed out by the taxpayer and we are still paying £5 billion in interest charges for loans to keep his and other banks afloat.
This raiding of the public purse is a refined and sophisticated form of theft. The fact that it is legal makes not one whit of difference. It redefines public morals, and our relationship with state institutions. There is no moral obligation on us fund a state which is so reckless in its guardianship of public finances, or so careless about its approval of state-funded institutions which indulge in larceny. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
The bank’s boss, Stephen Hester, has been awarded £7.7 million pay package (a potential bonus of £4.5m shares; £2m annual bonus; £1.2m annual salary). RBS is 83% owned by the taxpayer.
Also, 323 RBS staff earned £375 million last year.
In 2010, the bank still posted loses of £1.1 billion.
“Bonuses are a cost of doing business. I don’t know a way you can run any business while paying people much less than competitors”
THE Richests Fictional characters are (not including the Bible and aliens):
1. Scrooge McDuck, estimated net worth $44.1 billion (Source: Mining, treasure hunting)
2. Carlisle Cullen, $36.2 billion (Source: Compound interest, investments)
3. Artemis Fowl II, $36.2 billion (Source: Theft, forgery, Facebook)
4. Richie Rich, $9.7 billion (Source: Inheritance, conglomerates)
5. Jed Clampett, $9.5 billion (Source: Oil and gas)
6. Tony Stark, $9.4 billion (Source: Defense)
You sold the company to your brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler in 2004. But the bottle green trucks still carried your name.
The Trustees would therefore be looking to make grants
of around £40 million as usual during the next financial year.
The grants made, as usual, support a wide range of
charitable activities, but the largest overall grants in
terms of value were made in the Art (total £5,680,500)
and Education (total £11,985,166) categories. These
included a lead grant of £3 million to the British
Museum for the new Research Institute for Science
and Conversation and a grant of £1 million to the Royal
Opera House towards core costs. A grant of £1 million
was also made to the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign
and a further pledge for that sum was made to English
Heritage towards the redevelopment of Stonehenge.
Cancer Research UK received a £500,000 grant for its
Clinical Trials Unit in Manchester and there were eight
other grants for this amount. The remaining grants
were mostly for £250,000 or less, thus enabling the
Trustees to provide core support for as wide a range of
projects as possible.
THE TUC March For The Alternative Photos: We spotted some good banners on the TUC March For The Alternative in London to protest against Government spending cuts in London. We’ve put them together for a gallery:
Will London see another day of violence or can police handle the massive demonstration prepared for today?
Research into gang violence has found that the main reasons why people join gangs include the desire for money or respect and a way to seek protection or a sense of belonging.
THE stupid headline of the week surely has to be from the Financial Times which declares: “Cut in fuel duty placates motorists.” I haven’t spoken to anyone since the budget speech who hasn’t treated little Georgie’s “penny off” with derision. But then the FT actually tells you why that should be, in the very article that has such a daft headline:
For a two-car family, the monthly cost of filling up petrol tanks has risen by £34.40 to £283.47 over the past year, according to the AA. Motorist groups said that the cut in fuel duty would provide relief for drivers, but the average savings for families would equal just £14 a year.
ANY striking Lancaster University staff taking part in the national strike action on Tuesday (22 March) and Thursday (24 March) will lose, for the strike period, pay, pension and death in service benefits.
Strike, by all means- but do it with care…
ALEX Brummer, the Mail’s City Editor, is showing readers that the death and destruction in Japan might hurt the British. To compare the risk felt by a loss of cash to the loss of life and home is disrespectful to the Japanese. The City pages have no place amid photos of massive destruction. They only serve to make British readers part of the story. But they are not.
But worse than that is the sub-editor who has headlined Brummer’s words with:
ALEX BRUMMER: Tsunami adds a new wave of global risk
MONDAY VIEW: Global economies will be rocked by Japan aftershock
“At Tesco we always try to recruit staff from local communities.”
How very noble.
You think the press is intrusive? Life without it wold be intolerable.
We know about the superinjunction because Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, John Hemming, mentioned it in the Commons. Parliamentary privilege means he can say the unsayable. And he said:
“In a secret hearing this week Fred Goodwin has obtained a superinjunction preventing him being identified as a banker… Will the government have a debate or a statement on freedom of speech and whether there’s one rule for the rich like Fred Goodwin and one rule for the poor?”
THEY came in their little shorts to run up London’s Gherkin building, in aid of the NSPCC Step Change event. The winner was George Green, who climbed 1037 steps in 5 minutes 27 seconds. This might be of interest to the seven pickled stockbrokers who got trapped in a lift after a night out eating wining and dining at the Roka Japanese eatery in Canary Wharf, east London. There are few toilets in a lift. Next time take the stairs…
AT Harwich docks, officials have seized a ship packed with £100 million worth of the Libyan currency, the dinar. The exact value of the haul has not been made public yet. It was on its from the UK to Libya.
Where did the money come from? Answer: a warehouse in Gateshead, where the currency is printed and stored by a firm called De La Rue.
MOTOR insurance policies are not longer about fairness, writes Cramer.
THE latest diktat from the EU is that insurance companies may no longer offer cheaper car insurance to women. It is estimated that their premiums will rise by about 25 per cent, to be equalised with the charges incurred by men. At least, that’s the headline grabber. The impact of this ruling on pensions and annuities will be far greater for men (a reduction of around 10 per cent per annum). But the media are only concerned with the problems of the day and with propagating the most alarmist headline: annuities are future things, and consideration of them is ever so slightly soporific.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that unequal insurance premiums amount to sex discrimination. It is, of course, an inviolable human right, according to the European Convention, not to be discriminated against because of one’s gender. Ergo, women drivers may not be shown favour or granted benefit because they happen, on average, to be more careful behind the wheel.