Money | Anorak - Part 37

Money Category

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

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)

Message to women: No love, sorry, you cannot have it all. Marissa Mayer Edition

YOU women cannot have it all. Marissa Mayer cannot have it all. Nor can men, of course, but today’s example of the harsh realities of life comes from Marissa Mayer. Now we might think that she’s the perfect poster child for a woman who can hand indeed does have it all. One of the early Google engineers, thus worth squillions from stock options. Just appointed CEO of Yahoo, thus with the opportunity to make more squillions.

Most certainly a looker (let’s face it, she was most unlikely to have ever been short of a date now, was she?) and, get this, she gets chosen as that CEO while 6 months pregnant!

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Posted: 18th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comment

The Guardian really doesn’t get this economics stuff

THE Guardian newspaper has not a clue when it comes to economics. They claim the following:

How much is a fair price for a pint of milk? The answer is: whatever price allows everyone in the supply chain – farmer, dairy, supermarket – to turn an honest profit.

Dear God, that’s just insane.

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Posted: 17th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Plants lap up carbon dioxide in record levels – carbon tax is a scam

IN Australia, taxpayers pay for producing carbon. In the UK, plans are afoot for a unilateral carbon tax. Only, plants love the stuff. In fact, plants are lapping it up, reversing any effect of global warming:

The earth would have warmed faster in the last two decades had there not been an unexplained rise in the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed on land, scientists believe.

Scientists have discovered an “abrupt increase’’ since 1988 in the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the land biosphere, which comprises all of the planet’s plant and animal ecosystems.

Wellington-based scientist Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher, from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, was part of the global research team investigating the distribution of CO2 emissions.

Ms Mikaloff-Fletcher said … “We were completely taken by surprise (by the findings). It’s opened up a whole new series of questions.’’

So. Why are you being taxed, then..?

Posted: 14th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comments (2)

We can all donate to Wikileaks again! Visa Iceland saves the world

WELL, according to the Icelandic courts we can all donate to Wikileaks again. For they’ve insisted that Visa Iceland must process the payments:

WikiLeaks could be seeing an influx of funds after an Icelandic court ruled that Valitor, the local agent for Visa, broke the law when it stopped taking donations for the website.

The court found that Valitor had broken contract laws when it stopped accepting payments sent to WikiLeaks by Visa customers in July 2011. WikiLeaks estimates that move cut its funding by 95 per cent and cost it around $20m in lost donations, leaving it chronically short of cash.

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

What the McDonald’s Olympics tells us about shyster-friendly Government

YOU’LL have heard of this no chips but McDonald’s chips at the Olympic sites, yes? Because Mickey D’s is the official fast food sponsor of the Games. If people are going to be fed chip butties then they’re going to be from Mickey D’s.

One particular site is complaining in a slightly more sophisticated manner:

Companies like McDonald’s do sponsorship deals all the time. They’re very good at negotiating them. But this isn’t just any old sponsorship deal. It’s a massively important public event, in which it’s a privilege – for spectators, athletes and sponsors – to participate. Every potential sponsor should have been made very strongly aware of that from the outset.

In other words, if LOCOG had been stronger negotiators – if they had been more confident in what they had to offer to sponsors – the Olympics, for God’s sake – then the balance of power would be more even and we would be reading fewer of these depressing stories.

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Posted: 13th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comments (3)

Apple’s not so green any more

ONE could take this as a storm in a teacup or one could take it as the destruction of a great iconic brand. But Apple’s computer kit is now officially not green. In fact it’s now so not green that it’s probably illegal for any part of the UK government to buy it:

The city authorities of San Francisco have banned departmental purchases of Apple hardware after Cupertino dropped out of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) green-standards scheme.

“We are disappointed that Apple chose to withdraw from EPEAT,” Melanie Nutter, director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment, told The Wall Street Journal, “and we hope that the city saying it will not buy Apple products will make Apple reconsider its participation.”

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Posted: 12th, July 2012 | In: Money, Technology | Comment

You want to bash the bankers? Move your bloody bank account you fool!

I’LL admit to being a little confused about this campaign:

Angry bank customers have been voting with their wallets and bombarding co-ops, building societies and credit unions with applications for current accounts over the past week, after the NatWest computer meltdown and the Barclays rate-rigging scandal.

Data compiled by the campaign group Move Your Money UK shows an explosion in requests to switch from large high street banks to smaller alternatives that consumers hope will take a more ethical approach. Charity Bank, which lends its savers’ money to charities, has seen a 200% increase in depositors; the Ecology Bank has had a 266% jump in applications; and Triodos, a Bristol-based “sustainable bank”, a 51% increase.

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Posted: 11th, July 2012 | In: Money | Comments (2)