Money Category

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

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.


Image 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…


Image 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)

Libya’s Millions Seized In Britain – Where Gaddafi’s Cash Is Printed And Stored

AT Harwich docks, officials have seized a ship packed with £100 million worth of the Libyan currency, the dinar. The exact value of the haul has not been made public yet. It was on its from the UK to Libya.

Where did the money come from? Answer: a warehouse in Gateshead, where the currency is printed and stored by a firm called De La Rue.

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Posted: 4th, March 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money | Comment

New Motor Insurance Policies Place Equality Over Fairness

MOTOR insurance policies are not longer about fairness, writes Cramer.

THE latest diktat from the EU is that insurance companies may no longer offer cheaper car insurance to women. It is estimated that their premiums will rise by about 25 per cent, to be equalised with the charges incurred by men. At least, that’s the headline grabber. The impact of this ruling on pensions and annuities will be far greater for men (a reduction of around 10 per cent per annum). But the media are only concerned with the problems of the day and with propagating the most alarmist headline: annuities are future things, and consideration of them is ever so slightly soporific.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that unequal insurance premiums amount to sex discrimination. It is, of course, an inviolable human right, according to the European Convention, not to be discriminated against because of one’s gender. Ergo, women drivers may not be shown favour or granted benefit because they happen, on average, to be more careful behind the wheel.

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Posted: 3rd, March 2011 | In: Money | Comments (2)

The BT Phone Scam: Nigeria’s Latest Wheeze

PLEASE see below details of a scam being done at the moment, don’t get caught out!!

I received a call from a ‘representative’ of BT, informing me that he was
dis-connecting me because of an unpaid bill.

He demanded payment immediately of £31.00 or it would be £ 118.00 to
re-connect at a later date.

The guy wasn’t even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media,
allegedly VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!

I asked the guy’s name – he gave me the very ‘English’ John Peacock with a
very ‘African’ accent – & phone number – 0800 0800 152.

Obviously the fellow realized I didn’t believe his story, so offered to
demonstrate that he was from BT. I asked how & he told me to hang up & try
phoning someone – he would dis-connect my phone to prevent this.
My phone was dead – no engaged tone, nothing – until he phoned me again.

Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was
with BT. I asked how the payment was to be made & he said credit card, there
& then.

I said that I didn’t know how he’d done it, but I had absolutely no
intention of paying him, I didn’t believe his name or that he worked for BT..

He hung up.

I dialed 1471 – number withheld

I phoned his fictitious 0800 number – not recognized.
So I phoned the police to let them know. I wasn’t the first! It’s only just
started apparently, but it is escalating.

Their advice was to let as many people as possible know of this scam.
The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people
it’s real, so please make as many friends & family aware of this.

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

How To Make Money From The New Zealand Earthquake With Ethical Forex Trading

THE New Zealand earthquake has claimed 98 bodies so far. But, on a more positive note, your life goes on and here’s a chance to make money from disaster and all that seismic volatility. Daniel Wright tells readers of

Good morning readers,

Terrible news over in New Zealand has led to an extremely volatile market this morning, especially regarding GBP – NZD – Rates had touched 2.16 at one point however right this second appear to have stabled out.

Overnight we saw a shift of 1.6% – A difference of nearly NZD7000 on a £200,000 purchase which is huge.

Should you have NZD to purchase and want to take full advantage of this, contact us today – you can even secure a rate on a forward basis for just a small deposit should you not have full acess to your funds.

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Posted: 24th, February 2011 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Saudi Arabia Can’t Solve Libya: The Myth Of Spare Oil Capacity

THE talk in the news is that if Libya’s oil stays offline – it’s the world’s 12th largest producer – Saudi Arabia can make up for any short fall. But it’s not that easy. Barclays Capital’s Amrita Sen explains:

Firstly, the grades and quality of crude available from Saudi Arabia [are] likely to be different from Libya. For instance, the volume-weighted average of Libyan grades would have an API of around 37-38, while the current shut in Saudi production is biased towards medium crude. Moreover, Libyan crude is sweeter…

Prompt Brent markets have also flipped into slight backwardation, a trend we expect to continue in the short term, if sourcing immediate supplies is the concern. Moreover, the time taken to bring those Saudi barrels to the market is likely to be significantly longer compared to the ongoing Libyan production. Thus, the concept of a barrel for barrel replacement is not a correct one.

Gregor MacDonald explains spare capacity theory:

Of course, “everyone knows” that OPEC is sitting on lots of oil. However, as has been discussed here, at The Oil Drum, and elsewhere it remains decidedly unclear whether Saudi Arabia can indeed turn on extra taps at will. But the problems for world supply of oil do not merely end with production capacity. Even if OPEC is indeed sitting on 1-3 mbpd of spare capacity, it’s not clear for how long they can both increase production, and export that production to the world. Not only has Saudi Arabia’s production not increased in the past five years, but, Saudi is increasingly using its own oil for its own population. The result? Flat, to declining exports of oil from Saudi Arabia.

Spare Capacity Theory, therefore, looks alot like an unproven consensus reality. I’d like to define it as follows:

Spare Capacity Theorythe assumption among western bankers, policy makers, economists, and stock markets that OPEC producers can lift oil production at will, and, export all of that spare production to world consumers.

Graphic: Brent crude prices rise.

Spotter: FT

Posted: 24th, February 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)

London University Paper Wants Wealthy Students To Steal: Muggers Are Delighted

THE crash course at Queen Mary College, University of London, teaches students how to shoplift, A paper called The Art Of Shoplifting features step-by-step stealing techniques.

The tips are great:

“If possible, you should always have some money on you when intending to shoplift because if you’ve got none, its rather hard to argue that to steal the item was a spontaneous decision.”

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Posted: 23rd, February 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Libya: BP Exposed As Gaddafi Mistakes Own People For Yvonne Fletcher

LIBYA: Is it a good time to invest? BP secured a £900m deal with Gaddafi in 2007. BP has now suspended drilling.

Wonder how BP’s deal with the Russians will fare? The trouble with doing deals with despots is that they might one day need to leave the area quickly. Right now Gadaffi is shooting at his countrymen, just as his countrymen once murdered Yvonne Fletcher and 270 people on a plane flying over Lockerbie.

READ: British Government Helps Gaddafi Murder His People: Blood On The Sand

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Posted: 21st, February 2011 | In: Money | Comments (3)

Royal Mail Uses 2 Million Rubber Bands A Day: UK’s Space Programme On Track

HOW many of those little red rubber bands that lie on the pavement does the Royal Mail postal service use every day?

Answer: 2 million.

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Posted: 20th, February 2011 | In: Money | Comments (12)

UK Uncut Protest At Barclays Bank Greed: The Rich Are Elsewhere (Photos)

IN London’s Soho, supporters of UK Uncut are inside the local branch of Barclays Bank to protest over claims of tax avoidance by blocking the entrance to the building.

The group says their plan is to “open them [banks] up“, occupy them and transform them into “something people need, but will be cut“. One banner says “We’re not all in this together”.

But Bob Diamond, head of Barclays, and the bankers are sorry – sorry their bonuses aren’t bigger.

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Posted: 19th, February 2011 | In: Money | Comment (1)