Money | Anorak - Part 50

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

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

Bilderberg Group Profiles: Mustapha Koc – Of Koc Holdings

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

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Posted: 10th, June 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Leeds Grandma Wins Lotto Jackpot: Grandkids Burst With Love

GREAT-grandmother Helen Walker, from Kippax, Leeds, was with her husband Stan at a press conference in Garforth, near Leeds today after she won £1.466,667 on the Lotto jackpot on Saturday.

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Posted: 7th, June 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Independent Forgets HSBC In News That UK Is A Nation Of Renters

THE front page of the Independent says “Britain to become nation of renters”.

And what is below that news? Why, it’s an adverts for HSBC mortgages.

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Posted: 31st, May 2011 | In: Money | Comment

German Insurance Company Munch Re Held Budapest Orgy For Sales Saff

WHEN German re-insurance company Munich Re, Ergo chapter, rewarded its sales staff with prostates and an orgy, we know it would not be long before the story leaked out.

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.”

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

Sexy Fred Goodwin’s Grubby Secret: Shagging On The Glass Ceiling

SIR Fred Goodwin, aka “Shagger”, has had to give up the fight and had his super injunction partially overturned.

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!

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Posted: 19th, May 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money | Comments (17)

Cliveden For Sale: Tea For Two And A Sex Story To Chew On

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.

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Posted: 21st, April 2011 | In: Money | Comment

RBS, Simon Hester And A Refined Form Of Theft

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.

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

The RBS AGM: Oily Cameron And Pigs In Muck

WE looked on as protester Kit Fraser got his kit off outside the Royal Bank of Scotland AGM in Edinburgh.

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.

Says Hester:

“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”

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

The Richest Characters In Fiction (Bible Not Included)

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)

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

How Long Will You Live After Retirement? This Graph Answers

HOW long will you live after you retire? Well, in the UK, the men live, on average, for 13 years after they retire; the women live for 20 years.

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Posted: 11th, April 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

RIP Eddie Stobart: Gordon Brown Knew You

RIP Edward Stobart. You were only 56. Spotting your trucks made many journey on the motorway slightly less boring.

You sold the company to your brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler in 2004. But the bottle green trucks still carried your name.

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Posted: 31st, March 2011 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Why Did Anti-Cuts Rioters Attack Charitable Fortnum & Mason’s?

WHY was Fortnum & Mason’s attacked during yesterday’s the anti-cut protest? Fortnum’s is owned by a charity:

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.

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Posted: 27th, March 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money | Comments (5)

TUC March For The Alternative In Photos: The Banners

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:

The violence is this way.


Picture 1 of 16

Demonstrators on the TUC March For The Alternative in Haymarket, London, to protest against Government spending cuts.

Posted: 26th, March 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money | Comments (2)