Money | Anorak - Part 37

Money Category

Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay

“I promise I am not smoking crack” declares Apple lawyer to judge

THIS Apple v Samsung patent fight is actually getting rather interesting at last. The judge asked one of Apple’s lawyers yesterday whether he was smoking crack, leading to distinguished counsel having to deny it.

Judge Lucy Koh has grown increasingly irritated with lawyers on both sides of the ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Samsung, but she hit a new boiling point on Thursday when Apple presented her a 75-page list of potential rebuttal witnesses for the four hours it has remaining in the trial.

“This is ridiculous,” the San Jose Mercury News reports Koh as saying. “Unless you’re smoking crack, you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called.”

The judge has ruled this trial with an iron fist, allowing each side only a limited amount of time to present evidence to the jury. One reason being that if Apple could drag the trial out over months and months then they would have won: Samsung currently isn’t allowed to sell some of its products in the US and won’t unless they win this case.

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Posted: 17th, August 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

If our companies are going bust because of China’s subsidies, what should we do?

A NICE little conundrum: if all our solar panel companies are going bust because of Chinese competition then what should we be doing about it? And our solar companies, the US and the European ones, are all going bust. And they are going bust because of competition from Chinese companies, those slant eyed devils getting lots of support, lots of subsidy, from the Chinese taxpayer.

So, clearly, we must protect our boys by raising tariffs against the dastardly and wily orientals, and subsidise our boys to help then survive, right?

If the Chinese want to subsidize the production of solar panels, far be it from me to stop them. Consumers around the world can benefit from China’s beneficence-and stupidity. There is no reason for us to imitate it.

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Posted: 16th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comments (5)

An entirely astonishing observation on cheap flights from the Daily Mail

DID you read the news in the Daily Mail? No, amazingly it’s not that cancer causing immigrants damage house prices. Nor even that immigrants raising house prices cure cancer. Rather, it’s that markets work:

Holiday money firms are setting sneaky traps as part of a £720 million racket in rip-off fees for families going abroad, Money Mail has found.

The tricks are set to catch out hundreds of thousands jetting off on a post-Olympics break and, in particular, will shock many who took out pre-paid cards in the belief they were a cheaper alternative to expensive bank cards.

Firms are also making bigger profits by charging poorer exchange rates to travellers who live outside London or travel from cheap-flight airports.

The thing about cheap flight airports is that they are small airports. They’re not the vast retail emporiums that Heathrow or Gatwick are. And the thing about not London in this here UK is that they’re all smaller towns. With fewer shops in them.

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Posted: 15th, August 2012 | In: Money, The Consumer | Comments (2)

How not to use Twitter

THIS is how not to use twitter. Let’s say that you’re a very rich person indeed. Billions of $ worth of rich. And in fact you’re so rich that lots and lots of money is spent on your security each year. Maybe, like $2.7 million is spent on keeping you safe from attack and or kidnapping each year.

Or perhaps you’re the teenage daughter in a family like that. So this is how not to use Twitter:

Alexa Dell’s overenthusiastic social networking habits were curbed after she unintentionally disclosed details about her father’s whereabouts. His security team is understoof to have considered the posts compromising.

The 18-year-old was a keen user of Twitter and the photo-sharing website Tumblr, ostensibly using it like any other teenage girl to update her friends and followers on the minutiae of her daily life.

But many of her posts were stamped with a GPS location, showing exactly from where it was sent. Her posts also included the exact dates she and her family were arriving and departing certain cities and the location she was shopping.

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Posted: 14th, August 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Adrian and Gillian Bayford win £148m on the Lottery – Nigeria celebrates

ADRIAN Bayford, 41, and his wife Gillian, 40, of Haverhill in Suffolk , won £148m on the EuroMillions lottery.

Mrs Bayford tells media (and if she want to buy some, she can take her pick of titles):

“I looked up and he [Adrian] was a bit pale.. I checked the numbers on my iPhone, the TV and the internet. We just looked at each other and giggled.”

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Posted: 14th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment

Now we get the bollocks about the Olympics being a blueprint for the economy

NOW that the actual Olympics Games themselves are over all we’ve got left are the vacuous claiming them as support for their fat headed plans. Will Hutton, of course, did this in yesterday’s Observer. But a much more interesting example was in the Telegraph, from the head of the CBI.

We all revelled in outstanding performances where selection and nurturing of identified talent in specific sectors ensured a small country could more than punch its weight when pitted against competition that measures population in billions of people and growing wealth in trillions of dollars.

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Posted: 13th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment

Is The Daily Mail insane?

IS the Daily Mail insane? This headline is simply unbelievable:

Record number of buy-to-let mortgages worth more than £160bn drives up rent bills

In what universe does an increase in the number of houses for rent push up the rent of houses?

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Posted: 10th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment

Forget that rooftop windmill: David Cameron and New Yorkers should

I THINK we all remember that David Cameron put a nice little windmill on his roof just to show that he really was green? And that there was a little bit of controversy about whether it would ever in fact generate any electricity at all? After you’d subtracted the energy needed to make it in the first place?

We’ve now got some real numbers from an experiment in the US.

In the 15 months since the turbine was installed, though, it has delivered less than 4 kWh—enough only to power a 12,000 btu window air conditioner for one afternoon.

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Posted: 9th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Covent Garden booms and busts as London 2012 fever takes hold

HOW the media works: Covent Garden booms and busts as London 2012 fever takes hold:

Oh no!

In an ominously quiet West End, businesses said they were angered by the “scaremongering” over public transport in central London. Teacher Anja Gottschalk, 27, right, came to London from Berlin to cash in on the Games by offering rickshaw rides to tourists but is now considering going back home.

She said: “Everyone has been scared off coming into the centre by all the warnings about public transport, car parking and the greedy hotels putting their rates up three or four times.

“I worked as a rickshaw rider in London before moving to Berlin, and I’ve never known it this quiet. I’m thinking of baling and going back home. But there’s only so much you can do in Stratford once you’ve been to Westfield so I’m hoping people will start coming back into town.” – London Evening Standard, July 31, 2012

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Posted: 9th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment

How to lose $440 million in an hour – Knight Capital advise

THE American company, Knight Capital, managed to lose $440 million in an hour last week on the New York Stock Exchange. Even bankers aren’t normally that stupid so what in buggery happened?

Real, outright, total, stupidity happened.

They believe that Knight was testing to make sure that a new market maker software package (Retail Liquidity Provider – RLP) would integrate with the NYSE live trading system.

In addition to the RLP code, there’s a testing routine that fires off buy and sell orders at RLP in order to ensure that it properly records all of the trades. It’s like a load generator for a commercial application, and it’s used in an isolated lab to simulate live trading.

It looks like that package was mistakenly included in the RLP deployment package, and the whole thing was fired up on Wednesday morning and linked to the NYSE live system.

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Posted: 8th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Let’s beat climate change: get fracking in Blackpool!

YOU may have noticed that one company claims to have found large amounts of shale gas underneath Blackpool. Cuadrilla Resources says that there’s untold trillions of cubic feet of gas down there. Enough to keep us all warm and toasty and lit for decades at the top end of their estimations.

You might also have noticed the screaming hordes of hippies demanding that such must be left in the ground. Which is odd really:

“Natural-gas generation is becoming the preferred generation of choice since it’s cheaper and more efficient, more flexible and environmentally cleaner than coal,” Jack Fusco, chief executive officer of Houston-based Calpine, said during a July 27 conference call with analysts. “Coal-fired generation is in a secular decline, facing pressure from both environmental regulations and lower natural-gas prices.”

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Posted: 8th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comments (9)

Your Eurozone crisis data point of the day – uncertainty kills us all

IF the euro were to fall apart the longer term repercussions would almost certainly be positive. The Southern countries would be free of the straitjacket of being forced to try and act like Germans.

However, the getting from here to there is the difficult part. And as an example of quite how difficult it would be, here’s what Shell is doing right now:

Mr Henry is cited as saying that the Anglo-Dutch oil major would rather deposit $15bn of cash in non-European assets, such as US Treasuries and US bank accounts.

The firm is forced to keep some money in Europe to fund its operations, but is keeping the bulk of its reserve liquidity out of the eurozone to avoid growing macroeconomic risk, the report said.

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Posted: 7th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment

Why we really do want to decentralise the NHS – national does not work

SO. What do we think is the best system then? Taking all the people to dim to go into banking, sticking them in the Department of Health and giving them 10% of GDP, one tenth of all the gelt that the nation produces each year, to buy our health care for us?

Or perhas a slightly more decentalised system in which the tax money is still spent on scraping us up off the roads after an accident but we don’t rely on all those really celver people or the way that it’s spent? You know, perhas we allow people who actually know what they’re doing to spend it instead?

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Posted: 6th, August 2012 | In: Money | Comments (4)

Dai Teatime has a an email scam for you

DAI Teatime has an email scam. In the missive Your Life is in Danger, Dai writes:

“As I sit here sipping a martini it is my regretful duty to inform you that you have been selected for assassination.” 

He adds:

“SMERSH have contacted me to assassinate you and have specifically paid extra for a particularly nasty death which makes it look like you died in a particularly bizarre sex game gone wrong….Get back to me if you value your life with all due speed or else I regret I will have to carry out my original contract to assassinate you and, although he is quite charming for a horse, I don’t think Henry is the most sensitive of lovers.”

In full:

Posted: 2nd, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment

Apple doesn’t do it for the money – oh no, Jonathan Ive!

APPLE does not do it for the money. This is a nice claim but I wouldn’t want to run too far with it.

Sir Jonathan Ive, the man credited with shaping the iPad and iPhone and whose personal fortune is estimated at $130m, said today that Apple’s guiding principal was nothing to do with its balance sheet, instead it simply wanted to make “great products”.

“Our goal isn’t to make money. Our goal absolutely at Apple is not to make money. This may sound a little flippant, but it’s the truth,” said the British designer. “Our goal and what gets us excited is to try to make great products. We trust that if we are successful people will like them, and if we are operationally competent we will make revenue, but we are very clear about our goal.”

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Posted: 1st, August 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Where in hell do you want the Greenland mining pollution then, Greenpeace?

FROM the annals of really pig ignorant stupid environmentalism, we bring you a Greenpeace expert:

Jon Burgwald, an Arctic expert at Greenpeace, said that mining operations can bring pollution and destruction: “There could be some very harsh environmental consequences.”

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Posted: 1st, August 2012 | In: Money | Comment (1)

The best Big Four accountancy firm theme songs

THE Big Four accountancy firms are locked in battle for popper supremacy.

KPMG Theme Song – Global Strategy or Power and Energy

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Posted: 31st, July 2012 | In: Money, Music | Comment

Solving the industrial problem: raise your bloody wages

YET another of these bloody attempts to define what is wrong with British manufacturing industry. As ever, calling for the picking of winners and government support for them. Bloody stupid, as ever:

“At Airbus we have a shortage, in just one company, of 2,500 professional engineers across Europe and in the UK. There is tremendous demand for quality professional engineers and technicians,” he says.

To combat this shortage and to grow British engineering, Sir John believes the UK needs a fully-fledged industrial blueprint.

“I have travelled around with business and seen how other nations organise themselves and tilt policy in favour of their industrial base. At the highest level, an industrial strategy, in my view, is about giving the right signals to society that industrial activity is very important.”

According to Sir John, this strategy does not even have to be complex. Indeed, it should be confined to a single piece of paper.

“You should keep it as simple as you can,” he states. “I have always been brought up to believe that the clear industrial strategies within a company like Anglo American can be put on a single piece of paper, because it is about the big issues.

Well, here’s the solution and it’s a lot shorter than a single page.

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Posted: 30th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Rich Kids of Instagram: Tumblr legends are spawned

TUMBLR of the day –  Rich Kids Of Instagram. “They have more money than you and this is what they do”….


Picture 1 of 10


Posted: 29th, July 2012 | In: Key Posts, Money, Technology | Comment (1)

Apple pays $60 million and still doesn’t get iPad trademark in China

I DO like this story. It appears that Apple has handed over $60 million in China to buy the Chinese rights to the “iPad” trademark and yet it still doesn’t actually own those rights.


Apple may be waiting some time yet before it gets the rights to use the IPAD name in China after reports from the region suggested that lawyers of its court room opponent Proview are requesting temporary seizure of the trademark until they are paid.

A report on technology news portal Sina Tech (via Marbridge Daily) claimed that Grandall Law Firm has submitted an “asset protection application” to Shenzhen’s Yantian District People’s court.

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Posted: 28th, July 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

Corporate song of the day: when Burnley Building Society gave savings a disco soundtrack

CORPORATE song of the day – It’s the late 1970s and Burnley Building Society are advertising their wares with a free 45 for customers.

With lyrics by Ronnie Bond and Salman Rushdie, and vocals from George Chandler, the dancing only ended in 1984, when Burnley BS and Provincial Building Society merged to become National & Provincial Building Society.

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Posted: 27th, July 2012 | In: Flashback, Money | Comments (3)

The amazing success of public transport system – not the Edinburgh tram

I’M always a little surprised by the people who shout that we’ve got to spend much more on rail. On trams. On properly integrated public transport systems.  For they ever so rarely bother to look at the actual numbers.

This has been tried before, of course, most notably in Portland. How well did it work there? In 1980, under the old bus-transit model, transit carried 9.8 percent of Portland-area commuters to work. By 2010, with seven different rail lines and scores of transit-oriented developments, transit carried just 7.1 percent of the region’s commuters to work.

OK, sure, that’s an American city. But who thinks that Edinburgh’s tram system is going to do any better?

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Posted: 26th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comment

Note to egalitarian socialists on kibbutz: even among volunteers egalitarian socialism doesn’t work

THERE’S one place in the world that has had a proper experiment with voluntary egalitarian socialism. That is, it really has been tried without anyone being whipped in to it by Stalin, Pol Pot or some other bloodthirsty monster. And the thing is, even among said volunteers, it doesn’t actually work very well:

After decades of declining numbers, bankruptcies and privatisation, Israel’s kibbutz movement is undergoing a remarkable revival, with rising numbers wanting to join the unique form of collective living.

The population of about 143,000 is the highest in its 102-year history, after growth of 20% between 2005 and 2010, according to the official Kibbutz Movement. More people are now joining kibbutzim than leaving – a reversal of the crisis years – and the influx of working-age adults and young children is helping to redress the balance of an ageing population.

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Posted: 24th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comments (4)

Oh yes, the financial sector can be too large

YES, yes, any number of mouthbreathing lefties insist that the UK is “too reliant” upon finance. That we’ve got to cut the banksters down to size. That we should concentrate more on the production of real things.

The sad thing is, given how rarely said mouthbreathers are actually right about anything, they do have a point. It is actually possible for the financial sector to grow too large. There’s a lot of very good (ie, not lefty) research showing this. Try here if you’re into the geeky side of economics.

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Posted: 23rd, July 2012 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Dear God I hate Statists – that’s you Stephen Timms, Mary Creagh and Kate Green

AN interesting and long piece in The Guardian about the rise of charity food banks in the UK. And here’s the bit that truly pisses me off:

Stephen Timms, shadow work and pensions secretary, says it is a “pretty worrying reflection of what’s going on in the country, when people are dependent on these charitable handouts. My worry is that we are really just at the start of cutting back the benefits system and already a large number of people are not able to buy food for their families. This shouldn’t be happening on the scale that it is now happening.”

Manchester Labour MP, and former head of the Child Poverty Action Group, Kate Green describes the growth of food banks as a disgrace. “I feel a real burning anger about them,” she says. “People are very distressed at having to ask for food; it’s humiliating and distressing.”


Mary Creagh, shadow environment minister, who has responsibility for food and was brought up in Coventry, is ambivalent about the rise in food banks. “There’s something about feeling that you are asking for charity rather than getting something from the state … it’s humiliating; it involves swallowing your dignity, travelling distances to the centres and walking home with plastic bags,” she says.

The pissing off comes from the howlingly sad insistence that if something needs doing then it has to be the State doing it.

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Posted: 20th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comments (3)