Money | Anorak - Part 49

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

We Just Knew The Guardian Would Come Up With The Answer!

IT’S quite stunning how the Guardian manages to solve each and every problem for us. If the little scrotes are mis-behaving then it’s Sure Start for them: bankers getting out of hand then tax them more. If there’s evil in the human heart then we must understand, empathise: unless it’s done by white men of course in which case more tax is the answer again.

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Posted: 27th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

So the Economy’s Screwed: So Whatta We Gonna Do?

WE’VE seen the GDP figures, they show 0.2% growth over the past 3 months. When we tot up the last 9 months, we still get 0.2% growth. This means we’re not getting richer very quickly.

So, what are we going to do about this?

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Posted: 26th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

So Who Gets Amy Winehouse’s Money Then?

IT’S not all that much of a surprise that Amy Winehouse is gone: a shock that it’s right now, a sadness of course, but not exactly a surprise.

(Image: Mitch and Janis Winehouse view the shrines to thier daughter.)

Which leaves us with the question of who gets her rumoured £10-£20 million fortune? That one that is increasing by the minute as people buy her albums in remembrance? The one that’s going to soar when they release that third one of demos?

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Posted: 25th, July 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money | Comments (9)

Good Sense On The Euro, Finally

IT’S not been all that fun watching our Lords and Masters running around like headless chickens over this euro crisis.

All along there’s been only a few viable solutions. The first is that those who shouldn’t be in the euro should bugger off out of it. But that would be a retreat from “ever closer union” and so wasn’t going to happen. The second is that pots and pots of money should be taken off Germans and sent the Mediterranean types.

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Posted: 22nd, July 2011 | In: Money | Comments (6)

You’re Surprised by Ignorance From the Green Party Then, Yes?

Aren’t we such lucky little people, we’ve a new think tank founded by Caroline Lucas, the Leader of the Green Party. No, no, don’t all go crazy with applause just yet. For there’s a slight problem with what they’re saying.

No, not the basic thought that a cleaner, greener, world for our children would be a nice idea. Not even that we need to respect ecological limits to growth: these are entirely sensible and mainstream ideas.

No, the problem is that they seem not to understand the basics of their own economics. In this report from the new think tank we find this:

the economy will be stable, not
growing, but also less liable to
cyclical fluctuations. This means
that growing aspirations cannot be
met out from the proceeds of
– the basic structure of the welfare
system will be effectively fixed, and
politicians will no longer be able to
claim that poverty will be solved by
growing the size of the overall cake;

This isn’t some side issue, some aside: this is at the heart of what they’re saying, that there will be no more economic growth. Which is entirely nonsense: no, not just nonsense from my point of view, it’s nonsense from the published work of the Great Guru of Green Economics, Herman Daly himself.

The concept is derived from that of the “steady state economy”. We need to respect those ecological limits, limit how much of the natural world we dig up and process. OK, fine, let’s do that then. But this doesn’t mean the end of economic growth for we humans are pretty inventive little creatures. And we do keep inventing new things: a feature of which is that our new things often allow us to do old things while using fewer of the resources of that natural world. Thus, even if we do have limits on natural resource use we can still have economic growth: as long as we keep inventing new ways to use less of those natural resources.

So, to say that Green Economics means no economic growth, necessarily, is nonsense. It doesn’t even fit with the basic ideas that underlie that very Green Economics.

But then you’re entirely surprised that the Green Party’s new think tank doesn’t have a clue what it’s talking about then, aren’t you?


Posted: 22nd, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Competition In The NHS: David Cameron’s Whizz-Kidz Milk Sick Kidz

DAVID Cameron’s such a bastard, inn’e? Taking services out of the glorious NHS and passing them over to outsiders. I mean, look at what they’re offering out now!

The government will open up more than £1bn of NHS services to competition from private companies and charities, the health secretary announced on Tuesday, raising fears it will lead to the privatisation of the health service.

In the first wave, beginning in April, eight NHS areas – including …. wheelchair services for children,

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Posted: 20th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Ian Millington’s Looking For Work In Sunderland

IAN Millington, has been unable to find a job, so he has resorted to standing next to a busy main road in Sunderland holding a sign advertising himself with his cv details on the placard which he hold’s up to the passing traffic at Sunderland.

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Posted: 19th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Why We Need Competition In The NHS

WHY we need comepetition for the NHS – or at least one reason why we do:

THE NHS is spending more than £20 for a loaf of gluten-free bread, 10 times more than the £2 charged for a standard small (400g) gluten-free loaf in Sainsbury’s.

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Posted: 19th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Let’s Fire Murdoch And Make Him Richer!

ALL this phone tapping, bribery of coppers, peeps being arrested and resigning: isn’t it all so much fun?

That our Lords and Masters are, were and always have been rapacious scoundrels we know.

However, there’s one part of this that certain people seem to be pushing too hard. That Murdoch needs to be forced to sell his businesses: perhaps all the newspapers, perhaps BSkyB. There are even those who insist he should have to sell the whole shooting match, just get out of News Corporation altogether.

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Posted: 18th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comments (3)

Colin And Chris Weir Win £161Million: They Used To Look Like This

COLIN (64) and Chris Weir (55), from Largs in Ayrshire have won £161 million in the EuroMillions draw. This is what the couple married for 30 years with two children  used to look like:


Picture 1 of 7

Posted: 15th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

No, Borrowing More Won’t Work

IF only we could borrow more, spend lashings of cash on expanding the economy, then all our troubles would go away! As I pointed out yesterday, in our situation this just won’t work. But there are other reasons why it won’t, not just the problems with the basic theory.

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Posted: 15th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Why Increasing Government Spending Won’t Work

OK, yes, so we know the economy’s screwed. At the very best we’ve got high debt, low growth, high unemployment when what we’d really like is, in order, low, high, low.

So, the big question is, what should we do about this? You’re not surprised, of course, that the various answers to this come strictly along party political lines. Labour say that we should be spending lots more lovely government money because Labour’s support largely comes from those who receive lots of lovely government money. The Tories want to spend less of the taxpayers’ money because their support comes largely from those who have to pay the tax bills.

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Posted: 14th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Infrastructure

THE government is proposing to spend squiddely £ billions  on a new high speed train line to connect the North with the South. This has its good parts, it’ll cut through the back gardens of lots of rich people and piss them off for example.

It also has its bad, like allowing Scousers greater access to London, people in Salford might even discover the civilisation we have in the South.

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Posted: 13th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

That Light Bulb Ban Helps The Rich Get Richer

OK, so this is about the US but the same point applies over here with the EU ban on the incandescent light bulbs.

The initiative also had the support of lighting manufacturers.

Yes, the ban did have the backing of the major light bulb manufacturers so obviously it’s a really good law, right?

You friggin’ kiddin’ me?

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Posted: 12th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Why Newspapers Are Screwed: Indy And Guardian In Fight To The Death

NO, it’s not just this latest News of The World stuff. Nor is it that the world has a limit to the number of earnest left wing screeds it can stomach: meaning that either the Guardian or Indy is going to have to go.

It’s not even that we all read the newspapers online now, meaning that there’s getting to be no point at all in printing them.

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Posted: 12th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comments (45)

My Life In An Indian Call Centre: Thick Australians, Sarcastic British And Smart Mouthed Americans

ANDREW Marantz has worked at an Indian call centre. He’s been to Delhi waiting for an Indian “culture trainer” to teach me how to act like an Australian to better empathise with the callers. He is an American.

He attends a seminar:

I forked over the 500 rupees, which was nearly a week’s pay for the average Indian worker—but which was, on the other hand, $11.

The “skills course” consisted of a woman reading from a photocopied pamphlet while 100 of us took notes. “What is call center to you?” she bellowed. Without waiting for a response, she intoned the correct answer. “Call center is a place where” — she motioned for us to transcribe — “we render the services to the customers and”—pause, more scribbling—”queries are made out by customer-care executive.

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Posted: 8th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

The Trillion Dollar Coin

SO this is how we should solve those pesky government debt problems: the trillion $ coin.

No, Tsy isn’t authorized to just “print” money, the Federal Reserve Act gives that power to the Fed, However, the Coinage Act grants the Secretary of the Treasury rather broad coin seigniorage authority. Geithner could sidestep the debt ceiling this afternoon by ordering the West Point Mint to coin a 1 oz. $ 1 trillion coin. Tsy can then present the jumbo coins at the NY Fed to buy back $1 trillion in Fed-held debt (the Fed has to accept it, a creditor can’t refuse legal tender paid in to settle a debt).

Well, that’s simple for the septics then, just make up a coin, hand it over and the debt disappears.

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Posted: 8th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Bermuda Sun Needs Chief Reporter: Reformed Phone Hackers Apply Within

THE News of The World might soon be looking for some new blood. (Don’t bother with the CV – they and their mates in the police, big business and the State know all about you.)
But why not look beyond the British press and take a job at the Bermuda Sun? The paper is looking for a senior reporter. You get loadsa sun, loadsa shorts and a salary not split by income tax. Bermuda is a tax haven. You might even get to live among the bankers – you know, the ones who, unlike the NoTW and journalists, were not the subject of an emergency Commons debate; the ones who cheated and then got paid.

Apply with CV and one hell of a covering letter to the editor-in-chief, Tony McWilliam, at Deadline this Friday 8 July.

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Posted: 6th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

European Parliament Goes Bonkers Trying To Rid EU Of Speculators Betting On Greece Going Bankrupt

IT’S bad enough that we’re being ruled by foreigners but why do they also have to be either ignorant or bonkers?

The European Parliament is attempting to rid the EU of speculators betting on Greece going bankrupt, voting for a ban on the practice of naked short-selling of credit default swaps.

You what? Is it just because it’s all about money in offices that our lawmakers are so horribly ignorant?

A credit default swap is insurance. Just like house insurance: you own a house, it might burn down, so you pay an insurance company money and on the off chance that your house does burn down they will then give you lots of cash.

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Posted: 6th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Joseph Rowntree Peeps Go Stark Staring Bonkers: You’re Poor If You Can’t Afford Sky TV

THIS is the time of year that living wage campaigners, economics geeks and other assorted fools look forward to: for it’s when the Joseph Rowntree Foundation releases its estimates of how much you need to live in the UK.

The basic idea’s not bad: what do people think you ought to be able to afford if you’re not to be poor? Right, so, you need to earn (or get in benefits) enough to be able to do that or you are poor.

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Posted: 5th, July 2011 | In: Money | Comments (3)

Burton Woman Banned From Working At Iceland Because Tattoo Makes Her Look Like A Customer

SARAH Garton of – get this – Occupation Road, Albert Village, Burton, Derbyshire, did not get the job as a part-time cleaner at the branch of Iceland Foods in Swadlincote because she has the tattoo of a lily and vine on her left hand.

Says Sarah:

“It made me feel upset and angry because he did not explain why… Iceland ought to think about the person and the personality and whether they can do the job — not what they look like.”

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Posted: 3rd, July 2011 | In: Money | Comment

The Teenage Girl Economic Indicator: Ra-Ra (Skirts) For Professor Bernard Fortin

AT a time when family finances are under stress and forecasts remain resolutely bleak, Professor Bernard Fortin brings news of a new economic indicator – the teenage girl.

The Mail has studied his work, which is based on National Statistics records of family spending during the 1980s and 1990s.

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Posted: 29th, June 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Nick Clegg Wants RBS And Lloyds To Take Huge Risks To Make Us All Rich Bastards

EXCITING times indeed, as we thrill to the news that every adult in the country will be given RBS and Lloyds shares worth hundreds of pounds. This is Nick Clegg’s “people’s banking system”.

Like you, we can’t wait to buy and sell our shares and make a fast buck. Forget scratch cards and the National Lottery – that’s money down the pan. With City Gent, you get to gamble big and when it all goes tits up ask yourself for more cash. With People’s Bank YOU are the banker AND the mark. The only thing we ask is: Hey, bankers, please take huge risks with our cash so that we can get rich. Please. Do. The. Right. Thing.

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Posted: 23rd, June 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money | Comment

The Robin Hood Tax Is Unworkable, Ridiculous And Supported By The Elite

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…

Posted: 15th, June 2011 | In: Money | Comments (3)

Charity Sacks London Marathon Snail For Slow Sales

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.

Says Scott:

“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?

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Posted: 13th, June 2011 | In: Money | Comment