Loans and Finance

Loans and Finance


News and information about loans, money, debt, finance and business issues.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

George "Six Jobs" Osborne

Osborne doing his bit to maintain full employment.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Beware Zombie Pension Companies

A prescient warning in the Telegraph wrt pension schemes that might go bust:
"There are 10 million people in 6,000 “defined benefit” pension schemes in Britain. Most of them will get the pensions they expect in full – but not all.

If the companies behind these schemes are financially strong enough still to be in business when the pensions come to get paid, then all is well. However, around 1,000 schemes, possibly with as many as 1.7 million members, are in a very precarious position with financially weak companies behind them or large deficits - sometimes both.

Their members face a real and current risk that their companies will go bust. If this happens their scheme will almost certainly fall into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). This will ensure that they still get a pension, but it will be lower, at around 90pc of what they were expecting."
A pension is meant to cover you from retirement through to death, which may be 30 years or so from the date of retirement.

How the hell can anyone predict what the world will look like 30 years from now?

Scary isn't it?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The ATM's Fiftieth Birthday

50 years ago today the world's first ATM was unveiled at a Barclays branch in Enfield, London.

Reg Varney, a celebrity of the time, made the first withdrawal.

EU Stiffs Google for 2.4bn Euros

The EU said Google had broken EU competition law by exploiting the power of its search engine to promote its online shopping service, at the expense of other price comparison sites.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Deutsche Bank Way Offbeam!

This analysis couldn't be more wrong wrt "paralysis", there will be black swans aplenty coming!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

LIBOR Funding

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Carney's Cake and Consumption Doubts Nixes Rate Rise

The time is not right for an interest rate rise, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said.

Citing falling wage growth and Brexit uncertainty.
"Before long, we will all begin to find out the extent to which Brexit is a gentle stroll along a smooth path to a land of cake and consumption."
A wee barb there methinks!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Unemployment Lowest Since 1975

As per the ONS the unemployment rate for people for the latest time period, February to April 2017, at 4.6%, was the joint lowest since 1975.

For February to April 2017:
  • the unemployment rate for people was 4.6%; it has not been lower since May to July 1975
  • the unemployment rate for men was 4.7%, it has not been lower since September to November 1975
  • the unemployment rate for women was 4.4%; it has not been lower since July to September 2005
For February to April 2017, there were:
  • 1.53 million unemployed people, 50,000 fewer than for November 2016 to January 2017 and 145,000 fewer than for a year earlier
  • 840,000 unemployed men, 26,000 fewer than for November 2016 to January 2017 and 58,000 fewer than for a year earlier
  • 690,000 unemployed women, 24,000 fewer than for November 2016 to January 2017 and 87,000 fewer than for a year earlier

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Inflation Hits 2.9%

Inflation as measured by CPI is ow 2.9%, expectations were around 2.7% (which was the previous month's level).

The squeeze is on!

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

House Price Rises Cooling

The Halifax report that the annual rate of house price growth is continuing to slow.

In the year to May house price inflation fell to 3.3%, down from 3.8% in the year to April.

Over the last three months there has been virtually no change in prices, the Halifax said.

Since March property prices have fallen by 0.2%. This was only the second quarterly drop since November 2012.

However between April and May, prices actually rose by 0.4%.

Exuberant property bubbles always burst, a gradual slowing is far better than a sudden collapse. 

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

RBS Shareholders Want Goodwin In The Dock

It seems that reports last week of a settlement being agreed between RBS and shareholders, thus negating the expected court appearance of a.o. Fred Goodwin, were premature.

The FT reports that the RBS Shareholders Action Group, which represents thousands of individual investors, secured a £2m deal with high net worth funders on Monday night, taking their total funding pot to about £7m to cover the cost of the trial, according to shareholder Neil Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell said that the claim is “now fully funded” and that “claimants are willing to proceed to trial”, which is set to begin on Wednesday.

It seems the desire to see Goodwin take the stand outweighs mere monetary gain.   A number of investors recently told the Financial Times they were unwilling to settle because they wanted to see Goodwin, who was stripped of his knighthood in 2012, held to account and for the “truth” to emerge.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Europe's Moral Obligation To Greece

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos has said that Europe has a moral obligation to grant Greece some form of debt relief, and the International Monetary Fund needs to make up its mind whether it will join the country's bailout.

All very true, maybe. 

However, the fact that Greece has gone through financial hell as a result of its dishonesty/stupidity and the stubbornness of the EU/IMF, I wouldn't bet any money on the IMF or Europe coming round to Mr Tsakalotos's viewpoint any time soon!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

RBS Reaches £200M Settlement

RBS has reached a last-minute deal worth about £200 million with thousands of investors who claim they were misled during the bank's 2008 rights issue shortly before a government bailout wiped out its share price.

In a letter to shareholders released Monday, the RBoS Shareholders Action Group recommended accepting the deal for 82 pence per share, below its previous damages range of 92 pence per share to 234 pence per share.

The group is the last of five sets of shareholders still pursuing claims that the bank misled investors with its £12 billion rights issue during the 2008 financial crisis, before the £45 billion government bailout wiped out RBS' share price. A trial had been set to begin in late May but was repeatedly postponed after RBS made the 82 pence per share offer on May 20.

Law360UK quotes the shareholder group's letter:
"Until this offer was made, we were not satisfied that previous offers proposed by the bank were close enough to what may be considered an acceptable amount, bearing in mind our legal team's advice as to the true merits of the case.

In contrast, we did consider that the offer of 82p per share, being almost double that of the bank's previous offer, to be worth serious consideration."
This of course means that Fred Goodwin will not be appearing in court.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Moody's Downgrades China

Moody's has downgraded China's long-term local currency and foreign currency issuer ratings by one notch to A1 from Aa3, with the outlook falling from stable to negative.

The downgrade will lead to increased borrowing costs. As such, it is not surprising that China's finance ministry said Moody's was exaggerating the mainland's economic difficulties and underestimating reform efforts.

Moody's said in a statement that the downgrade reflected expectations that China's financial strength would "erode somewhat over the coming years, with the economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows".

Ironically, the Chinese economy expanded by 6.7% in 2016 compared with 6.9% the previous year, the slowest growth since 1990. Other countries would kill for that level of growth!