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Money | Anorak - Part 40

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How To Completely F*ck An Economy By Outlawing Babysitting

NOW, OK, this is a trivial little thing on its own. But it is symptomatic. Indicative if you like, of how you go about completely and entirely fucking an economy over.

The nanny state impulse runs strong in the Golden State, where the State Assembly has passed a bill that would virtually regulate babysitting out of business. After 2 hours of babysitting, a mandatory 15 minute break must be give, meaning that a stand-by babysitter must be present. Then there are the paperwork requirements, and the severe penalties that kick in for any parents who fail to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

Yes, I agree, babysitting is a fairly trivial part of the whole thing. But both here and in the US we’ve been making these sorts of rules for well on a century now. The idea that we don’t send the kiddies down the mines is easy enough to accept: the idea that a 19 year old looking after the kids while you go for dinner and a movie requires a rest break every two hours is insane.

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Posted: 12th, September 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


George Monbiot Completely Misunderstands the Housing Market

GEORGE Monbiot completely misunderstands the housing market isn’t all that much of a surprise of course: the list of matters economical that George can misunderstand is fairly long.

But what’s getting him today is that there’s a reform of the planning system in the air. This, according to him, means that the bastard plutocrats will be able to build all over this green and pleasant land and once again the bastard plutocrats will make pots of money.

Strong planning is one of many factors, but it is symptomatic of a political culture that puts the national interest above the self-interest of the rich and the long view above the quick buck. Pickles and Osborne are seeking to rip up England’s planning system for the same reasons that they want to drop the proposed new banking rules: corporate power, cronyism and plutocracy, the forces that got us into this mess.

Erm, no, not really, In fact entirely the other way around.

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Posted: 6th, September 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How Can You Plan In The Face of Uncertainty?

THERE is more illogic in political economy than you think.

I’ve been having an extended shouting match with a bloke called Richard Murphy for years now. He’s set himself up as the arbiter of all things economics and tax and would now like to tell us all how to run the country. It’s not a bad ambition for a retired accountant from Wandsworth.

However, the problem he’s got is that he cannot in fact follow logic. Try this for example:

And I know markets are full of people who are as clueless about what will happen next and who are as willing to fly by the seat of their pants as the person setting out to climb a mountain without a map or guide. They’re not wrong to do that – it’s just what has to happen in a world of uncertainty. But in that same world of uncertainty (which neoliberals do not think exists) there has also to be firm government action under the direction of politicians who know they have been elected to make decisions.

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Posted: 6th, September 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Glencore And Sino Forest: Make Paper Money From Hard To Find Trees

THIS  is really a rather interesting little story.

You know how everyone likes to go on about how the banks are all thieving bastards, corrupt to the core, hang them all and close ’em down?

Even, why haven’t there been more prosecutions?

Well, the answer to that last question is because while they were all very silly there wasn’t in fact much going on that was illegal.

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Posted: 5th, September 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lottery Loser Sues Winning Syndicate For Share Of $99Million Jackpot

EDWARD Hairston, 39, of Youngstown, Ohio, did not win the lottery. For eight years he contributed to a syndicate run at the KraftMaid logistics centre where he works. Then, while he was on medical leave over June, July and August, the rest of the office syndicate won $99 million. So. Did he get a share? No. He never paid his subs while he was off sick.

He wants $2 million. The Lottery Commission is uncertain. It’s retained his share while the parties argue.

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Posted: 5th, September 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


August Riots Drive Britisher People To Emigrate To Albania

CAN the riots in the UK last month trigger an exodus of cash and Britishers? The website Shelteroffshore conjures up this hideous piece of marketing:

If you thought the rioting and rampaging, the mindless hooliganism, theft, violence and arson that has swept across parts of the UK over the last few days was bad enough, did you know that British taxpayers may actually have to foot the bill for all the damage? It’s true! Thanks to the Riots (Damages) Act of 1886 the police authorities may be forced to foot the bill…and the police authorities are of course funded by the public purse.

This won’t have any bearing on the lawless, feral mobs who tore up Britain – they don’t work or pay tax anyway. But for the rest of Great Britain its reason enough to think about leaving! And if you are thinking about moving abroad, you might like to look and see where you will pay less tax and be less likely to encounter the underclass that the UK has bred over recent generations.

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Posted: 1st, September 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Banks Really Are To Blame For The Economy

THE banks really are to blame for the economy.  Although not in quite the manner many seem to think.

The UK economy is currently 4pc smaller than its peak in March 2008 and 2.8pc smaller than in September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed and Britain’s banking industry began its long decline.

Of the 2.8pc fall, the contraction in banking activity has accounted for one percentage point, analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures shows.

The impact banks have had on the economy is completely disproportionate to the industry’s size. Banks account for just 5.1pc of national output, but are to blame for around 35pc of the national decline even excluding the knock-on effect of tighter credit on businesses and households.

We’re used enough to people telling us it was all the banks’ fault: and they’re right! It is, at least in part, all hte banks’ fault.

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Posted: 31st, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


German Prostitutes Buy Sex Tax Discs From Vending Machine

PROSTITUTES in Bonn, Germany , are being invited to buy a €euro daily tax ticket from a vending machine. Prostitutes in German brothels already pay taxes so this is attempt to make things fair. You might own your body, but you do not own the tarmac on which you stand. And you place of work is only open between 8:15 pm to 6:00 am.

Also those who pick up the men and women who sell their bodies for sex are encouraged to do so in a car and drive to designated shagging zone.

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Posted: 31st, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Things Can Only Get Better: The Internet Will Save The Economy

QUITE rightly, there’s doom and gloom about the short term prospects for the economy. However, in the long term there’s blue skies, optimism and unicorns pooping rainbows. The reason is this:

The second factor is the nature of the latest great technological leap by mankind, namely the internet. My suspicion has long been that although its initial benefits were over-hyped, its real contribution will only be seen in the spread and development of the next technological advance.

For the internet is a knowledge storage, retrieval, dissemination and discovery machine. Its effect should be to speed up technological progress.

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Posted: 30th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


We Demand To Pay More Tax Say Rich French People

A SLIGHTLY surprising letter turned up in a French newspaper today. Coming from a bunch of rich French people they demanded that they be taxed more.

We, chairmen of companies and business leaders, business men and women, finance professionals or wealthy citizens, call for an exceptional levy that would target France’s richest taxpayers.

Well, yes, except there’s a number of teenie problems with this whole idea. One of which is that one of the signatories Liliane Betencourt, the L’Oreal heir, has been getting tax rebates for the past few years. If she really wanted to pay more tax then she could have just not cashed those checks.

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Posted: 25th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Rich People Are Bastards, Aren’t They? We Have Proof!

RICH people are bastards, aren’t they? And look, here we have it, absolute proof!

Increasing a person’s wage can cause a significant drop in the amount of time they spend helping their parents with household chores, errands and transport.

For every ten per cent rise in their salary women will spend 36 per cent less time providing care and men will reduce their input by 18 per cent.

The more people get paid the less they are willing to take care of those aged parents who sacrificed the best eyars of their lives to have and educate them.

Bastards, eh?

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Posted: 24th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hidden Messages In The US Dollar Bill: A Gallery Of Meaning

IS there a hidden message on the US dollar bill? Do you see symbols for the Illuminati, the Masons and more? He does. There are messages everywhere. You just need to twist the paper to reveal the truth…

dollar_bill_01

Posted: 24th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


George Monbiot’s Plan to Kill Economic Growth

WE get George Monbiot’s plan in his column in The Guardian today. And a very good plan it is too.

So Jackson has begun developing a macroeconomic model which would allow economic output to be stabilised. He experiments with raising the ratio of investment to consumption, changing the nature and conditions of investment and shifting the balance from private to public spending, while staying within tight constraints on the use of resources. He finds that the redistribution of both income and employment (through shorter working hours) is essential to the project. So is re-regulation of the banks, enhanced taxation of resources and pollution and measures to discourage manic consumption, such as tighter restrictions on advertising.His system is not wholly different to today’s: people will still spend and save, companies will still produce goods and services, governments will still raise taxes and spend money. It requires more government intervention than we’re used to;

No, I don’t mean excellent in the sense of desirable, I mean excellent in the sense that it will do just as George wants, kill economic growth stone dead.

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Posted: 23rd, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why Spain Is Going To Go Bust

SURE, we’d all prefer that Spain doesn’t go bust. That the euro survives in some form or other, that we don’t get the cataclysm of an entire continent seeing its monetary and banking system swirling round the U-bend. But that’s probably not the way it’s going to turn out.

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Posted: 22nd, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


World Bank’s ICTD Project Is A Monumental F*ck Up

THIS is a strange little headline from the depths of the policy wonks’ part of the internet:

A Great Success: World Bank has a 70% failure rate with ICT4D projects to increase universal access

To unpick it for a moment: ICT4D is when the World Bank tries to get computers into the hands of poor people (why it doesn’t just given them a smart phone is another matter). And the rest of the headline is stating that 70% of all the money it spends is just pissed away on nothing useful and that this is a great success.

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Posted: 19th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Allister Heath Is Beyond Parody: City Am Editor Blames Greed And Arrogance For London Riots (City Boys Carry On)

ALLISTER Heath is the editor of London’s City A.M. It’s a free news sheet that’s handed out to bankers and baking types. His views on the London Riots are beyond parody:

FEAR. Debilitating, widespread fear. The country held to ransom by feckless youths. Thousands of shocked Londoners cowering in their homes, with many shops, banks and offices shutting early. I cannot remember anything like it; the atrocities of the 7/7 terror attacks, the shock from 9/11 and the IRA’s repeated terrorist attacks had a chilling, devastating effect on the capital but it felt different this time…

The cause of the riots is the looters; opportunistic, greedy, arrogant and amoral young criminals who believe that they have the right to steal, burn and destroy other people’s property… There were no extenuating circumstances, no excuses…

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Posted: 19th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Are Women Being Unfairly Denied Jobs?

ARE women being unfairly denied jobs? No, I don’t mean the usual feminist whinge that women are discriminated against because none of them have been hired as FTSE chief executives immediately after 15 years of raising sproglets. No, rather, the general difference in unemployment rates that we’re seeing:

The latest figures also confirm an unusual feature of this recovery – fewer jobs for women and more jobs for men. In previous recoveries, the recovery in employment favoured women. In this recovery, job growth has been strongly male dominated. It remains to be seen whether the reversed gender bias in job growth will continue.

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Posted: 18th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Don’t Bother With University: Get A Job Instead

DON’T go to University – get a job instead. Yes, everyone says you’ve got to go to uni if you’re going to get ahead. But this isn’t actually true as a number of employers are now pointing out:

A poll of employers has revealed a surprising degree of scepticism about the value of a degree. The finding may encourage students who miss the A-level grades they need for university on Thursday to abandon the idea of re-applying next year.

The majority of the more than 400 UK firms surveyed said they would hire a school-leaver with two years’ work experience over a graduate. Two-thirds of firms said so. This rose to almost three-quarters when just businesses that employ 50 people or fewer were surveyed.

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Posted: 17th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Numbers Are Just So Important When You’re Making A Point On Rough Sleepers

NUMBERS are so important – especially when people are blithely throwing them around to make some political point or other.

Usually, the political point being that we should all send more tax money their way.

In fact, numbers are so important that it’s often necessary to try and work out where they come from. To, umm, see whether they make sense or whether they’re just yet another example of people blowing smoke.

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Posted: 17th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Can We Fire the TUC Please?

CAN we fire the TUC? No, no, not the whole union movement thing: all in favour of that. Freedom of association is as important to a free society as free speech is.

No, I mean can we fire all the people who work at the TUC at the moment please?

The cause of my demand is their latest nonsense on the Robin Hood Tax. You know the one, that Richard Curtis thing where if we just took pennies off every financial transaction then we’d have hundreds of billions to make kittens fart rainbows stuff?

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Posted: 16th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Google Buys Motorola In Biggest Gamble To Date

GOOGLE buys Motorola… Or at least, Google buys the mobile phones division of Motorola.

Google has made its largest-ever acquisition, and biggest corporate gamble, by splashing out $12.5bn for Motorola’s phone division, Motorola Mobility. The deal puts Google into the hardware business in a serious way – and into direct competition with licensees of its Android operating system, who woke up this morning thinking they were Google’s business partners.

There’s two bits to this: the first is exactly what is mentioned there. That all those companies that were basing phones on the Android operating system now have the originator of that operating system competing directly with them.

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Posted: 15th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Solving the Riots Without Spending Any Money

HOW do we stop the riots? No, we don’t have to go an buy 50 inch plasmas and a change of running shoes for the little scrotes so that they won’t plunder them.

No, we don’t have to pay more policement either. Thankfully, given that the Met employs 32,000 of them but when they get an all staff to action stations call they can only manage to find 16,000….and many of those from other forces…..so we’re probably already paying more to pass the donut plates in the offices than we need to be already.

No, there’s actually an excellent source of exactly what we need out there, a source we can tap into for free.

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Posted: 10th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Gender Pay Gap Will Always Be With Us

YES, yes, we know, women earn on average 18% less than men. Or 12 %, 38%, even 1% more, depending upon who you believe and which number they’re lying about. The first is the mean average between men and women working full time: but we should use mean averages here (you shouldn’t when there’s a lower bound but no upper as with wages) we should use median which is the second.

The third is the likes of Harriet Harman lying through their teeth (it compares female part time wages with male full time) and the last is one that is true in two ways. Part time women earn 1% more than part time men and never married, no children women in their 40s and above earn 1% more than their male compatriots.

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Posted: 8th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Let’s Have a Cash Market in Kidneys: Trading In Human Organs Like The Sensible Iranians

LETS have a cash market in kidneys. No, not the sort you devil for breakfast, but the human sort that get stitched into people.

Yes, really, we ought to start paying people who agree to give up a kidney so that someone else can live. That at least was the suggestion of one academic when writing in the BMJ.

Sue Rabbitt Roff believes making it legal to sell the body part would boost the number of organs available to save lives and help students struggling with money.

She argues that donors should be paid the average UK annual income of around £28,000.

It is currently illegal to sell organs and tissues in the UK under the Human Tissue Act (2004) and across the world apart from in Iran.

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Posted: 5th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why Is Car Insurance So Expensive?

WHY is car insurance so expensive? There are reasonable ways of asking that question: reasonable answers to such reasonable queries too. Perhaps there’s not enough competition so monopoly profits are being earned. Perhaps interest rates are too low?

No, seriously, in a competitive insurance market the insurance companies don’t make a profit writing insurance. They almost always make an underwriting loss in fact. However, they get your money early on and only pay out later if an accident happens. So they’re got pots and pots of money lying around waiting for a claim: and they can invest this and make a profit on investing it. Which is what they do and which is the real secret of Warren Buffett’s wealth.

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Posted: 4th, August 2011 | In: Money | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0