Money | Anorak - Part 96

Money Category

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

Family Misfortunes – More TV Phone In Scandal

portraitsgallery7.jpgVERNON Kay, he of the ‘hilarious’ Northern ‘wit’ and the never-changing hair-cut, has joined the likes of Richard and Judy as the latest celeb to be tarnished by a TV phone in scandal.

According to the , staff on Kaye’s hideously naff ‘retro’ and ‘ironic’ Saturday Gameshow Marathon failed to count around 10,000 text entries in a competition with prizes worth £25,000.

Those 10,000 viewers, who texted the correct answer to the question “In which gameshow would you hear the phrase ‘Our survey says?’ (it’s Family Fortunes, by the way) didn’t receive a confirmation text until after the deadline.

ITV have since apologised and is now planning to stage another draw for the people affected, a move which will apparently cost the broadcaster and additional £25,000.

Come back Les Dennis, all is forgiven.

Posted: 18th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Gordon Brown’s Interest Raised

gordontony.jpgGORDON Brown may have dodged a vote of no confidence in the Commons yesterday, but news that the Bank of England is preparing to increase interest rates as soon as next month is sure to embarrass the increasingly fallible Chancellor.

With inflation breaching the Government’s target by over one per cent last month, homeowners already crushed by debt, are set to take another hit with rates possibly even rising to nearly six per cent.

Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England has even been forced to write a letter to the Chancellor explaining the rise in inflation.

Tony Blair has, however, backed Brown, claiming, thought gritted teeth “Name me a better Chancellor since the Second World War in this country”.

One suspects the Prime Minister won’t have trouble paying his mortgage once he leaves No 10.

Posted: 18th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

America’s Two For One Dollar Deal

backscatter-thumb.jpgYOU might have to put up with finger-printing and eye recognition and god knows what kind of profiling upon landing at an airport in America, but get through the Orwellian welcoming party, and you’ll find yourself flush in the US of A.

With the pound breaking through the two dollar mark yesterday for the first time in almost 15 years, airlines and travel agents were bracing themselves for an expected explosion of bargain hunting trips across the Atlantic.

The Times tells us that the likes of Hong Kong and Cuba, who peg their currencies to the dollar, will also provide rich pickings for bargain-crazy Brits.

However, custom officials do warn that travellers should declare any goods bought above £145. A Revenue and Customs official said “We know when flights from the US land. We hope that most people are honest.”

They know when flights from the US land? The clever so and so’s.

Posted: 18th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

The Pocket Money Hit-Man

WHILE City boys continue to earn bonuses big enough to buy a small country, or indeed a peerage, spare a thought for the humble and hard-working hit-man.

According to the Mirror, a teenage assassin was being quizzed after he asked his friend to kill his dad for a total amount of £2.50.

The put-upon Louisiana 16-year-old was apparently tired of being told what to do by his father so decided to hire another teen to shoot the parent in question.

While the cheap-as-chips gunman did indeed turn up at the house, a woman spotted his gun and locked the door, causing the boy to flee. Now the son is being held on charges of solicitation for murder, which could mean life in prison for the youngster.

And to think the £2.50 hit-man thought he’d be fine once he had a trade.

Posted: 17th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Barclaycard Won’t Take No For An Answer

WE all get them, those annoying marketing phone calls that interrupt your dinner or the dramatic climax of EastEnders. Yet despite organisations such as the Telephone Preference Service doing their best to help us dodge these useless calls, companies still persist.

Barclaycard has now taken telemarketing to a new level in cheek, reports the Telegraph, knowingly contacting customers who had previously asked not be phoned.

Finding a loophole in the system, the company has been contacting these customers and listing out all the services that the bank is unable to inform them about.

One such customer, Tig Gooch, received three calls in a week with the caller proceeding to tell her “because you have asked us not to contact you we are unable to inform you of our new and exciting financial services” before then listing all those services.

Best just keep your phone off the hook. All the time.

Posted: 17th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

NatWest Holiday Money

GOT your passport? Check. Swimsuit? Check. Anti-diarrhoea tablets? Check. But what about a suitcase full of cash?

Banking giant NatWest has now decided to squeeze a few more quid out of the humble holidaymaker this summer.

According to the Guardian, from June 5, holidaymakers who bank with Natwest will be charged a minimum of £1.25 for every debit card transaction abroad, up from 75p.

Withdrawing £100 from an ATM abroad will now be cheaper, although still at a staggeringly high £4.75 per transaction. However, using a card to pay for a £1 Metro ticket in Paris will cost £1.27 in bank charges alone.

A NatWest spokesperson tried to defend the move, saying “An average withdrawal is £100, and these new charges make it cheaper to withdraw that money.”

Expect another national campaign on this issue in the coming months.

Posted: 17th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)

No Show Without Richard & Judy

SOME two months after the outing of Richard and Judy’s phone-in quiz scam, the Mirror reports that not a single viewer “ripped-off” in the debacle has been reimbursed.

While a hotline was set up and arrangements made for claimants to receive a pre-paid barcoded envelope and form, said barcodes were printed incorrectly leading to the massive delay.

“We’ve had to have them reprinted”, explained a TV executive.

You will, however, be happy to know that Richard and Judy will be back on our screens in June with “their unique blend of celebrity interviews, sharp discussion and topical features”.

Like fraud…

Here’s that Richard & Judy video again…

Posted: 16th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

The Green Ming – LibDems And Green Shield Stamp Duty

ming.jpgRAISING their voices to let us know that they are still alive, yet alone still around, the Lib Dems are proposing that homeowners face a retrospective rise in stamp duty if they fail to install green measures within a year of moving into their home.

The Guardian tells us that a £2,000 subsidy would be available to introduce the energy saving package, which would cover home insulation, draught-proofing and heating renewal.

Lib Dem environment spokesman Chris Huhne is unimpressed by the government’s commitment to cut carbon emissions from homes by 60% by 2050, claiming that there aren’t the policies in place to meet this target.

Expect to see the ageing Menzies Campbell travelling to Westminster on his penny-farthing in the coming months.

Posted: 16th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Taxing Adults On School Uniforms

krankies.jpgHOW many adults do you know who don school uniforms on a day-to-day basis?

(This question is open to everyone save for members of Her Majesty’s Navy, Krankies enthusiasts and Old Mr Anorak’s Thai ping-pong team.)

Well, according to the Government, there are vast armies of “petite adults” taking advantage of larger sizes in children’s schoolwear. So, to scupper the plans, the Government has been taxing children’s clothes that are larger than certain sizes.

But now, according to the Telegraph, a campaign is underway to abolish the tax which costs parents £200 million a year.

Graham Minelli, a member of the Schoolwear Association, says: “It does seem a nonsense. The Government argues that school uniforms stop brand wars and stop bullying, and yet they tax secondary school uniform.”

The tax is also become increasingly redundant as Britain’s teens continue to eat their way to obesity with some shops now selling boys’ blazers with a 52in chest and trousers with a 42in waist.

God help the gym teachers.

Posted: 16th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Homeless Public Service – Key Workers Priced Out

WHERE would we be without the property boom?

Answer: Far less in debt with hideous mortgages for one thing, and we wouldn’t have the likes of Kirsty and Phil, Sarah Bennie and a whole army of smug property ‘experts’ lighting up our TV screens every evening.

Still, for some people, the whole ‘boom’ has passed them by, with public sector workers struggling to get even a toe on the first rung of the property ladder.

A new report by the Halifax reveals that teachers, nurses, police and firefighters can’t afford to buy homes in seven out of ten UK towns.

The bank, not surprisingly, found London and south-east to be the least affordable areas of the country with Gerrards Cross, Kensington and Chelsea and Weybridge topping the list.

With wage increases for the public sector failing to keep pace with the growth in house prices, Anne Mitchell of Unison explains: “Health workers are effectively being given a pay cut and the idea that they can get on the property ladder is a non-starter for many.”

Scottish towns of Lochgelly, Bellshill and Clydebank are ranked as the most afforable places to live.

Anyone want to bet they have the best-staffed hospitals, police stations, fire stations and schools in the country?

Posted: 15th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Top Ten Celebrity Divorces

Forbes Magazine has compiled a list of the 10 most expensive celebrity divorces in history.

All the money is going from the man to the woman. Discuss. And why isn’t Princess Diana on the list?

1. Neil Diamond & Marcia Murphey – $150 Million
2. Michael & Juanita Jordan – $150 Million
3. Steven Spielberg & Amy Irving – $100 Million
4. Harrison Ford & Melissa Mathison – $85 Million
5. Kevin Costner & Cindy Silva – $80 Million
6. Paul McCartney & Heather Mills – $60 Million
7. James Cameron & Linda Hamilton – $50 Million
8. Michael & Diandra Douglas – $45 Million
9. Lionel & Diane Richie – $20 Million
10. Mick Jagger & Jerry Hall – $15 Million

Mick Jagger & Jerry Hall
Estimated settlement: $15-$25 million
The Rolling Stones rocker and Texas supermodel met in 1977 and had two children together before marrying in a traditional Hindi wedding ceremony in Bali in 1990. Hall filed for divorce in 1999 after learning that Jagger had fathered another woman’s child. Jagger, worth an estimated $325 million at the time, successfully challenged the legality of the Balinese wedding and received an annulment. Hall walked away with between $15 and $25 million, a fraction of Jagger’s estate.

Lionel & Diane Richie
Estimated settlement: $20 million
Richie, then 36 and married, met the 18-year old backup dancer at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Richie, divorced from his first wife in 1993, married Diane by 1996. The Richies became tabloid favorites when Diane filed for divorce in 2004 and detailed their lavish lifestyle in her alimony petition. Among her claims: a monthly clothing allowance of $15,000, $50,000 a month for manicures, massages and other personal services, and a plastic surgery budget of $20,000 a year.

Michael & Diandra Douglas
Estimated settlement: $45 million
Douglas met 19-year old Georgetown co-ed Diandra Luker in 1977 at a Jimmy Carter inauguration party. They married six weeks later. During the course of the marriage, Douglass became one of Hollywood’s top earning actors, starring in classics like Fatal Attraction, Wall Street and Basic Instinct. Amidst rumors of the actor’s infidelities and alcohol abuse, the couple split in 1998. Diandra was awarded an estimated $45 million, plus homes in Beverly Hills and Majorca.

James Cameron & Linda Hamilton
Estimated settlement: $50 million
The Titanic director married the Terminator actress in July 1997. They had one daughter together before the marriage tanked 18 months later. Cameron received some $100 million from Paramount for Titanic (which grossed the studio $1.8 billion). Hamilton received half that, an estimated $50 million, in the divorce settlement.

Paul McCartney & Heather Mills
Settlement pending: Possibly more than $60 million
In 2002, the former Beatle wed Mills, a model-activist 30 years his junior. McCartney reportedly shunned Mills’ offer of a prenup. By 2006 the pair, who have one child together, split acrimoniously. She accused him of assault; he locked her out of their London home. Rumors of a settlement suggest Mills may get in excess of $60 million—McCartney’s is worth an estimated $700 million.

Kevin Costner & Cindy Silva
Estimated settlement: $80 million
The pair, who met at California State University, wed in 1978. During their 16-year marriage, Costner became one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors, scoring 7 Oscars for Dances with Wolves, and starring in iconic films like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. Costner pocketed $50 million in 1991 alone. Because Silva was married to Costner during his peak earning years, she was awarded $80 million, a substantial piece of his net worth.

Harrison Ford & Melissa Mathison
Estimated settlement: $85 million
The couple met in 1977 at a dinner with casting director Fred Roos (American Graffiti) and wed in 1983. Six years later Ford was one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors when he banked $7 million for Presumed Innocent. By 1995, he was making $20 million a film. The couple divorced in 2004. In addition to her divorce settlement, Mathison negotiated a piece of Ford’s future earnings from films he made while married, including DVD sales of the Indiana Jones trilogy and The Fugitive.

Steven Spielberg & Amy Irving
Estimated settlement: $100 million
The couple met when Irving auditioned for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). They married in 1985, after Spielberg had already struck it big with his first Indiana Jones flick and ET. Divorced after nearly four years of marriage. Irving successfully contested their prenup (reportedly scribbled on a napkin) because she did not have legal representation and was awarded $100 million, roughly half of Spielberg’s fortune at the time. Today he is worth $3 billion.

Neil Diamond & Marcia Murphey
Estimated settlement: $150 million
The crooner married Murphey, a television production assistant, in 1969, before he released his first gold record, Touching You, Touching Me. By the late ’70s, Diamond was one of the most successful musicians in showbiz, grossing upwards of $14 million annually. After 25 years of marriage, Murphey filed for divorce in 1994 citing irreconcilable differences. She walked away with half of Diamond’s fortune—she’s “worth every penny” he later said.

Michael & Juanita Jordan
Settlement pending: Possibly more than $150 million
The legendary basketballer married Juanita Vanoy, a Chicago bank officer, in 1989. He had already signed an 8-year $25 million contract with the Bulls. He also was earning another $30 million a year from Nike and other endorsement deals. She filed for divorce last year. Over the course of the marriage, Jordan earned over $350 million. Should Juanita press for half of his assets, she could get more than $150 million in the settlement, making the Jordan divorce the most expensive in entertainment history.

Posted: 14th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Landlords Brought To Book

WITH most public sectors workers unable to buy a house, rental is the only option.

However, in one rare piece of good news for tenants, landlords will now not be able to withhold deposits to pay for ‘broken furniture’ or ‘cleaning’. According to the Mirror, dodgy landlords were unfairly pocketing over £50 million a year in deposits.

Landlords hold around £1billion in tenant’s cash in lieu of possible damage. But from now on all new deposits will be given to, or covered by, Government-approved deposit or insurance schemes.

This new protection was won following a decade-long campaign by Shelter and Citizens Advice.

Posted: 13th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comments (2)

A Load Of Rubbish Tax In Birmingham

rubbish.jpgNOT content with bombarding us with high council tax bills and ridiculous parking fines, local councils have now found another way to squeeze every last hard-earned penny out of us.

According to a report in the Times, fixed penalties of over £185,000 have been issued to people who have put their rubbish out too early for the binmen.

While another heinous crime of leaving your wheelie bin on the street, surely up there with child trafficking and arson, has also led to hefty fines.

Birmingham tops the list for these rubbish fines, with the city’s council issuing 592 penalty notices in the past 12 months.

Christine Melsom, founder of IsItFair said “Councils must be a little bit more forgiving. This is too stringent. A lot of people find it difficult to stick to a deadline if they are rushing out to work or they do not have a bin provided by the council”.

However, local Tory councillor Robert Alden is having none of it. Says he: “The bags attract rats and they can start to smell if they have food in them. These are the kind of measures we have to take to deal with these problems”.

So how should we deal with odious councillors then?

Posted: 13th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Taxman Wins Lottery

FOR one lottery winner, Lady Luck was only out the door when the Grim Reaper popped in for a visit and now his family will have to pay the price.

The good news is that £3.5 million lottery winner Bob Bradley won the jackpot on his 83rd birthday in March of last year.

The less good news is that on Sunday morning the D-Day veteran died, leaving his family with the added inconvenience of a 40% tax bill on his winnings.

While lottery winnings are not taxed, gifts above a certain amount are treated by the taxman as earnings. Under Treasury rules, the maximum someone can receive as a single gift is £3,000 a year and anything above the first £300,00 of Mr Bradley’s winnings is taxed at 40%.

According to the Telegraph, Wales’ oldest jackpot winner spent his last months living large, splashing out on £70,000 cars, motor homes and businesses.

Posted: 12th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Shop Scan Save – Schlep Drone Poor

IN a valiant effort to fight back against the supermarkets’ popular special-offer and loyalty card campaigns, a new mobile phone-based scheme is set to be launched across 17,000 local grocers.

The programme, called Shop Scan Save, is a modern twist on the coupon culture, with consumers receiving special offers, in barcode form, on their mobiles which they can then scan in from handheld displays in the shops.

With the likes of Unilever, Proctor & Gamble and Nestlé all signed up, the scheme is set to be rolled out in July and according to Marc Lewis, chairman of the The Light Agency, the company that will manage the data collected, the aim is to appeal to a new market.

Says he: “In the UK, coupons are seen as fairly tacky. There is the sense that people who use them are middle-aged women, earning less than £30,000 a year. We want to attract a more attractive demographic — in particular, men”.

Men who like to dress up as middle-aged women who earn less then 30,000?

Posted: 12th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comments (2)

No Poor Service At HSBC

hsbc_000.JPGIT seems that in the eyes of HSBC, the self-proclaimed “world’s local bank”, some customers just aren’t worth the bother.

The Guardian reports that the HSBC branch in the salubrious Canford Cliffs in Dorset has decided to offer face-to-face services only to its wealthier clients, with the great-unwashed having to make do with the cash withdrawal and automated paying-in machines.

The branch’s policy to only speak to customers with £50,000 or more in savings, a big mortgage or a salary of at least £75,000 has not surprisingly irked residents of the wealthy area, which includes the ‘millionaires’ row’ of Sandbanks, home to the likes of Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp and computer millionaire Sir Peter Ogden.

Indeed, even the church are peeved with local vicar Reverend Jeremy Oakes proclaiming “Our church banks there and we have a collection on a Sunday but I don’t know what we’re going to do if they won’t accept it.”

“BANK BANS THE POOR,” announces the Mirror’s front page. “GREEDY BANKERS.” The bank made profits of £11billion last year, says the paper.
A HSBC spokesperson said “We are trying to treat everyone fairly – not everybody in the world is equal”.

Of course they are – it’s just that some are more equal than others…

Posted: 12th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)

Sun, Shopping And Sales

NOTHING improves your mood like a bit of good weather, particularly if you are a retailer.

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium, the good weather in March helped to boost sales by 3.9% compared to March 2006.

Clothing, DIY and gardening equipment (that will be used once before being dumped in the shed) drove the sales rise.

Food sales also strengthened in March although according to BRC director Kevin Hawkins, “Discounting and competition generally show no signs of easing off and many consumers are increasingly wary of making big purchases”.

While Global Insight economist Howard Archer warns that the growth in retail sales could make a rise in interest rates more likely in May.

Make debt while the sun shines, as the saying goes…

Posted: 11th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Rung up Debt – The Sixfold Mortgage

THE sea of debt threatening to submerge the whole of the country continues to rise with news that lenders are now offering mortgages equal to six times the salary to first-time buyers desperate to get their a foot on the property ladder.

Major mortgage lenders Halifax have revealed that the average price of a house hit £194,000 last year, over eight times the average wage of £23,600 a year.

According to the charmingly named Ron Stout of Northern Rock “As a result of more sophisticated credit assessment we can be more flexible to the specific circumstances of the borrowers, enabling more people to climb on to the housing ladder or climb up a rung.”

Welcome to the new phenomenon of the mortgage you will never be able to pay off.

Posted: 11th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Sickness Benefits – Back To Work

FEELING a bit hungover? Can’t seem to get out of bed? Considering taking the day off? Well think again you lazy selfish oaf, and hop in that shower. Your economy just can’t take it anymore.

Sickies” taken by the nation’s work-shy ingrates are apparently costing the UK economy a whopping £1.6bn a year according to a poll conducted by the CBI and insurers AXA.

The poll of employers also revealed that the humble employee took, on average, seven days off sick in 2006, adding up to a total loss of 175 million working days.

Think of all the internet surfing and aimless staring into space which could have been achieved in that time?

The survey also showed that employers attributed around 12% of short-term absences to “sickies”, around 21m days lost at a cost of £1.6bn.

Colds, flu and back pain are among the top five most common causes of short-term sickness, so if you are planning to skip a day or two, use your imagination, as your boss is on to you.

And his back is starting to spasm.

Posted: 11th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Britons Love Soft Pawn

FACED with high-interest credit cards, greedy banks and high-risk loan sharks, large sections of the public are returning to the traditional pawnbroker to give them a helping hand with their finances.According to the Guardian, this ancient system of personal banking, famous for its three-balls logo, is making a major comeback thanks to internal reforms and the continuing rise in the value of gold. And – shock horror – it’s not only the riff-raff that are swapping their sovereign rings for a bit of extra cash, but the uber-sophisticated Guardian reading middle-classes themselves.

Chris Brown of pawnbrokers Herbert Brown points to the rise in prosperous families who wonder what to do with their valuable jewellery when going on holiday. “You can hide it in a sock or risk taking it with you”, he says. “But why not bring it to us as a pledge?”

What next, Hampstead liberals flocking to the high-street amusement arcade?

Posted: 10th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Meet The NEETs

hoody_1.jpgWHAT with the education system in disarray, and young people, demonised and always in danger of a copping an ASBO, should it really come as a surprise that a “lost generation” of young people are destined to spend a lifetime living on government “hand-outs”?

The Telegraph says these hoodlums are costing the economy “billions of pounds a year in benefits, youth crime and educational under-achievement”.

All this comes from a new report by the London School of Economics for the Prince’s Trust Charity. The report claims that £3.65 billion a year is being spent on these so-called NEETS (people Not in Education, Employment or Training).

According to Martina Milburn of the Prince’s Trust, “There is also a major cost to young people in terms of their lives. If a young person gets on to benefits and stays there they are always going to be a drain on the economy.”

If only the young could be more like, well, princes. Anyone seen Prince Eddie recently?

Posted: 10th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Open Your Old Bank Accounts

CLEVERLY linking Easter with the idea of a ‘nest-egg’, the Mirror urges us all to “dig around your old bank books” in order to find sums of money that you may have forgotten about.

British Bankers’ Association chief executive Angel Knight tells us: “If you have an old bank account that you haven’t used for several years, look for it over Easter.”

Helpfully, the BBA will even help you track down your dusty account even if you can’t track it down.

And you should hurry. The paper says the Government has announced plans to rake in cash in “dormant” accounts and give it to “good causes”.

Posted: 10th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

Shares In The Halifax’s Money

IN a story that is sure to warm the heart of, well, basically everyone, the Daily Mail reports that the Halifax has been on the receiving end of an embarrassing visit from the bailiffs as the bank charge crisis continues.

The bailiffs paid a visit to the bank’s West Yorkshire HQ carrying a court order for repayments of £1,900 to two customers ruled to have been charged unfair overdraft charges by the bank.

The rather aptly-named Paul and Darren Share, from Lancashire, had already been paid £3,000 of a £4,900 claim against the Halifax, but with the bank refusing to defend its claim before a county court judge, it was automatically ordered to pay in full.

Unless the dispute is resolved, the bailiffs could return to seize assets such as chairs, computers and maybe even more of the bank’s dignity.

Posted: 5th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

The Great Easter Egg Race

WHAT does Easter mean to you?

A period of religious reflection? An opportunity to spend quality time with the family?

The key weekend in the Premiership?

Well, for the retail trade, the holiday has become nothing less than a battleground as stores slash the price of their chocolate eggs to entice shoppers.

According to the Guardian, ballooning British consumers will fork out around £220 million on 80 million Easter eggs over the holidays and the big supermarkets, eager to attract these chocoholic shoppers, are slashing the prices of the traditional chocolate egg.

With the likes of Tesco now selling two eggs at £1.49 in a buy-one-get-one-free promotion, it has never been a better time for the consumer to pig out.

Woolworths director Tony Page admitted Easter eggs are now “as near as dammit loss leaders. There is a lot of testosterone circulating inside the big grocers to get the best headline prices”.

Ah, the ‘testosterone’ fuelled world of Easter eggs, surely it must be the setting for the next Andy McNabb book or maybe another Die Hard movie?

Posted: 5th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comment

A Grey Pound Saga

IT seems that it’s Club 50-90 rather than Club 18-30 where the real money is.

Saga, the company who organise holidays for the over-50s, has decided to land its staff a whopping £500 million windfall as its love-affair with the aged continues.

The company, according to the Telegraph, has appointed investment bank Close Brothers to advise them with its “future ownership options”, which may signal a stock market float in the near future, a deal which would value the grey-pound grabbing company at around £2.5 billion.

Saga, which started in 1948 by opening a seaside hotel in Folkstone, has gone on to add share trading and insurance to its holiday business and even runs an over-50s MySpace site called Saga Zone.

Like the sadly-departed Anna Nicole Smith, Saga know where they big money is.

Posted: 5th, April 2007 | In: Money | Comments (2)