Money | Anorak - Part 50

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

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)

Sky News Thrilled By Prospect Of Anti-Cuts Demo Violence

HOW is Sky News reporting on the Anti-Cuts demo in London. Here’s Anna Jones:

Will London see another day of violence or can police handle the massive demonstration prepared for today?

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Posted: 26th, March 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Ministry Of Justice Publishes Shocking Research Into Gangs

YOUR taxes at work at the Ministry of Justice:

Research into gang violence has found that the main reasons why people join gangs include the desire for money or respect and a way to seek protection or a sense of belonging.

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Posted: 24th, March 2011 | In: Money | Comment

The Budget: Motorists Need Petrol For Bombs

THE stupid headline of the week surely has to be from the Financial Times which declares: “Cut in fuel duty placates motorists.” I haven’t spoken to anyone since the budget speech who hasn’t treated little Georgie’s “penny off” with derision. But then the FT actually tells you why that should be, in the very article that has such a daft headline:

For a two-car family, the monthly cost of filling up petrol tanks has risen by £34.40 to £283.47 over the past year, according to the AA. Motorist groups said that the cut in fuel duty would provide relief for drivers, but the average savings for families would equal just £14 a year.

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Posted: 24th, March 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Lancaster University Strikers Lose Death Benefits

ANY striking Lancaster University staff taking part in the national strike action on Tuesday (22 March) and Thursday (24 March) will lose, for the strike period, pay, pension and death in service benefits.

Well, yes.

Strike, by all means-  but do it with care…

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Posted: 21st, March 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Daily Mail Insults Japan With City Traders’ ‘Perfect Storm’

ALEX Brummer, the Mail’s City Editor, is showing readers that the death and destruction in Japan might hurt the British. To compare the risk felt by a loss of cash to the loss of life and home is disrespectful to the Japanese. The City pages have no place amid photos of massive destruction. They only serve to make British readers part of the story. But they are not.

But worse than that is the sub-editor who has headlined Brummer’s words with:

ALEX BRUMMER: Tsunami adds a new wave of global risk

MONDAY VIEW: Global economies will be rocked by Japan aftershock

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Posted: 16th, March 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Tesco Recruits Slovakians For UK Jobs: Staff’s Huge Carbon Footprint

TESCO says it can’t fill vacancies in Britain with British staff so it’s recruiting in Slovakia. Says a wonk for the firm (in English):

“At Tesco we always try to recruit staff from local communities.”

How very noble.

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

Superinjunction Law Bans Media From Calling Fred Goodwin A Banker

SIR FRED Goodwin, aka Fred The Shred, is the holder of a superinjunction – the legal device that prevents the press from reporting that an injunction has been imposed.

You think the press is intrusive? Life without it wold be intolerable.

We know about the superinjunction because  Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, John Hemming, mentioned it in the Commons. Parliamentary privilege means he can say the unsayable. And he said:

“In a secret hearing this week Fred Goodwin has obtained a superinjunction preventing him being identified as a banker… Will the government have a debate or a statement on freedom of speech and whether there’s one rule for the rich like Fred Goodwin and one rule for the poor?”

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Posted: 10th, March 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

The NSPCC Gherkin Step Challenge In Photos: With Pickled Stockbrokers

THEY came in their little shorts to run up London’s Gherkin building, in aid of the NSPCC Step Change event. The winner was George Green, who climbed 1037 steps in 5 minutes 27 seconds. This might be of interest to the seven pickled stockbrokers who got trapped in a lift after a night out eating wining and dining at the Roka Japanese eatery in Canary Wharf, east London. There are few toilets in a lift. Next time take the stairs…


Picture 1 of 9

George Green is the first person to reach the finish line in 5 minutes 27 seconds, as over 500 people race up 1037 steps to the top of London's Gherkin building, in aid of the NSPCC Step Change event.

Posted: 6th, March 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)