Money | Anorak - Part 51

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

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)

Reuters Staff Say They Are As Powerless As Egyptians Under Mubarak

HOSNI Mubarak is ousted in Egypt. The Egyptian Army rejoices that someone else from their ranks gets the keys to vaults and Thompson Reuters uses the moment of history to attack the Newspaper Guild of America:

In a letter circulated Friday shortly after Egyptian protesters succeeded in ousting Hosni Mubarak from his 30-year autocratic rule, the Guild, which represents 420 U.S. Reuters employees (mostly editorial staffers, of which there are 2,900 globally), circulated a letter that seized on the timing of the revolution, which Reuters journalists have been covering.

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Posted: 17th, February 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Property Developers Say Deptford Is In West Greenwich

IN Deptford, the property gurus are rebranding the place as West Greenwich.

The Theatro development is not a tarted up old school in Deptford, rather it is a place of “pioneering design” in the heart of “Greenwich cultural quarter”.

Anyone in the area looking for Greenwich can cross the creek and ask for directions…

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

The Seacoalers Of Hartlepool: The Moon Miners

FOLLOWING the recent stormy weather the North Sea, a thick layer of coal from former mine workings and undersea coal seams has formed on the beaches of Hartlepool.

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

Reggie Krays Rubbish Paintings Bought At Auction

REGGIE Kray painted pictures. They are not all that good. He also wrote letters. They too as not all that good. But the creator makes them salable. At Gorringes auction house in Lewes, East Sussex, Carol-Ann Kelly was flogging pictures and letters, the gangster gangster. And someone bought them for £1,360. Who?

no images were found

Posted: 9th, February 2011 | In: Money | Comments (8)

Save The Libraries By Charging By The Hour

LIBRARIES are closing. Philip Pullman looks at how they can be saved in a world where everything is about profit:

That branch – how much money did it make last year? Why aren’t you charging higher fines? Why don’t you charge for library cards? Why don’t you charge for every catalogue search? Reserving books – you should charge a lot more for that. Those bookshelves over there – what’s on them? Philosophy? And how many people looked at them last week? Three? Empty those shelves and fill them up with celebrity memoirs.

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

Fat Cat Mervyn King Says Tighten Your Belts

MERVYN King, head of the Bank of England, has secured for himself a £1.4 million top-up to his pension pot. It now stands at £5.36m.

Mervyn King advises us totighten our belts“.

Come the revolutions, comrades…

Posted: 1st, February 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Anarchists For More Control: United Against Cuts To Public Services Hit RBS In Glasgow

THERE’S a protest by United Against Cuts to Public Services inside a Royal Bank of Scotland building in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s all good stuff. And the best bit is that the world is now so demented that the rebels are demanding more taxes and more state control. The anarchists have been routed!


Picture 1 of 7

Members of protest group Citizens United Against Cuts to Public Services, during a protest calling for banks to be regulated and bonuses eliminated, inside a Royal Bank of Scotland building in Glasgow, Scotland.

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

Unemployed Students Get £20.999 Wage Promise*

THE big news is that one in five of the country’s 16- to 24-year-olds are out of work. On a brighter note, it means that all the college leavers fearing they need to pay back that debt once their earning reach £21,000. Employers should be able to negotiate a wage of £20.999* with any number of desperate youth.

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

Goldman Sachs Partners Just Keep Getting Richer

GOLDMAN Sachs is in the money. And until we have suitable system to better investment banks growing the economy, the bankers will get to take home the company’s product. Lots of it.

Because bankers are despised – they bet against their own clients to win – we can reveal that the story of Goldman Sachs’s hostile take over of Haitian blood bank reserves are wide of the mark. One experts assures us that the bank just doesn’t have the money since it opened a book on piracy in Somalia and the company’s golf arm shorted rain.

So. The bankers are still making lots of money.

Average pay per 35,700 of the bank’s workers was £269,000 for 2010. That includes bonuses.

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

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints Nazi

THE company Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Nazi to its Quality Assurance and Customer Care team.

Not A Nazi. This is G. Nazi – George Nazi. Says the press release:

Reporting to Janet Davidson, executive vice president of Alcatel-Lucent and president of Quality Assurance and Customer Care, Nazi will be based in Paris, France.

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

Banks Want Cambridge Student’s Chip-And-PIN Expose Censored: University Replies

THE letter to Cambridge University came from the UK Cards Association – a UK card payments industry body whose chief aims is to Promote best practice across the card payment industry“. It has read a student’s master’s thesis that comments on a flaw in the Chip-and-PIN system. It wants the thesis censored.

The UKCA received a reply from the Cambridge’s Ross Anderson sent a reply.

Second, you seem to think that we might censor a student’s thesis, which is lawful and already in the public domain, simply because a powerful interest finds it inconvenient. This shows a deep misconception of what universities are and how we work. Cambridge is the University of Erasmus, of Newton, and of Darwin; censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values. Thus even though the decision to put the thesis online was Omar’s, we have no choice but to back him. That would hold even if we did not agree with the material! Accordingly I have authorised the thesis to be issued as a Computer Laboratory Technical Report. This will make it easier for people to find and to cite, and will ensure that its presence on our web site is permanent…

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Posted: 27th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Santa Claus Glues Himself To Dorothy Perkins In Brighton: Photos

BEFORE our gallery of Father Christmas’s being arrested, news from Brighton, where a Santa has glued himself to a branch of BHS. It’s the National Day of Action Against Tax Avoidance protests.

Sir Philip Green’s business empire is being targeted again. His company is owned by his wife – a South African who, lives in Monaco. Her cunning ploy is to avoid paying tax in the UK by not being British nor living here. Shop assistants at BHS and Top Shop may care to try it.

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Posted: 20th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comment

Wikileaks Fight With Bank Of America Is One It Can Only Lose

WIKILEAKS is now persona non grata at Bank of America Corp. This might be a badge of honour given the reputation of banks. But it can only damage Wikileaks’s ability to raise funds.

Says BOA:

“This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments.”

Of course, there will no small irony in any bank refusing a client on the strength of their moral compass. But, still, odd behaviour and inconsistency is rife on all sides. Michael Moore bought into the Wikileaks story and then in a matter of days managed to reveal just how flawed the US cable leaks are. Julian Assange was reluctant to reveal his home address.

Wikileaks responds to the BOA move with this doomed piece of polemic:

“We ask that all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America.”

Egads! Now Wikileaks is asking people to join its cause with their cash. Will they? We think not. Closing a bank account is never easy. It’s a lot harder than clicking a button to create a denial of service.

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Posted: 18th, December 2010 | In: Key Posts, Money | Comment

Julian Assange’s New Target Is Desperate Stock Trader John Bell

WIKILEAKS is a sanitary towel and a condom. But can it be an aide to tip-top stock market trading by man of the moment John Bell?

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Posted: 17th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comment

That Irish Bailout Joke: A German Tourist Arrives

IT is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted.

Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

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Posted: 13th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comments (2)

Kiwi Death Blast Mine Goes Bust – None Recovered

THE worst possible news has come for the grieving families of 29 coal miners killed in explosions last month. The firm which ran the Kiwi coal mine where the 29 including two Britons died, has gone under.

The still blazing mine’s ventilation shaft, above, was sealed and capped off yesterday and today, Pike River Coal chairman John Dow said NZ Oil & Gas, the company’s largest shareholder, has appointed accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers as receivers. Mass redundancies are expected later today, December 13, 2010.

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Posted: 13th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comment

Manchester Arndale Centre Tax Protest: Top Shop And Vodafone Are The Wrong Targets

TO Manchester’s Arndale Centre where Saturday shoppers have been infiltrated by anti-tax avoidance campaigners. Ire is directed at Vodafone and Top Shop. The campaign has been organised by University of Manchester Students’ Union and UK uncut:

But the man of the moment is Tom Mason, 25, whose photos occupies the BBC and Manchester Evening News. Says he:

I saw a crowd surrounding a Topshop store. It looked like they were hanging on to the shutters and some were trying to get in. Police arrived after about a minute and peace was restored relatively easily.”

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Posted: 11th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Did Bernie Madoff’s Son Mark Commit Suicide?

MARK Madoff was Bernie Madoff’s son. The elder Madoff is doing 150 years bird for a massive swindle.

Mark Madoff was found hanged in his Manhattan apartment. Was it suicide?

(And is Mark Madoff a victim of nominative determinism?)

Spotter: Cheryl, via Fox

Posted: 11th, December 2010 | In: Money | Comment

Somali Pirates Secure Biggest Ransom To Date: Piracy Bucks Recession?

SOMALI Pirates have bucked the recession and earned an impressive £7.5m in mooring fees for Samho Dream, a South Korean oil tanker carrying $170m of crude and 24 crew (5.8m) and Golden a Singaporean flagged ship with 23 Chinese crew (£1.7m).

Says Hussain, spokesman for Pirates Inc.:

We are now counting our cash. Soon we shall get down from the ship.”

Pirates are currently storing around 25 vessels.

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Posted: 6th, November 2010 | In: Money | Comment

The Google Security Email Scam Is Admirably Deceitful

THE 419 scam is old hat. We all know more Nigerian gazillionaires than is seemly and the head of the Cotonou Chamber of Commerce Mines and Agriculture is on speed dial. We need a new angle. So. here’s the Google security scam. (It is a scam, isn’t it?)


The Google Corporate Services & Tools Team has recently launched Google webmail software to protect and secure all Google Accounts. This system also enhanced efficient networking and fully supported browser system. To upgrade your Account with this fully supported browser system, you must provide the full details below for validation purpose and to confirm your registration details on the new webmail central system. User’s Name: Password: Present Country: Note: Your Account will be deleted permanently if you failed to provide the details below. Gmail will not be heard responsible for your negligence. Thanks for your Co-operation.

So. We sign up?

Spotter: Tim Worstall

Posted: 5th, November 2010 | In: Money | Comment