I'm trying to sell some of my Bitcoin, and the whole process is so terrible, it's almost hilarious.— Ted (@TedOnPrivacy) December 12, 2017
Loans and Finance
Friday, December 22, 2017
The Downside of Bitcoin - Trying To Covert It To Real Cash
The Great Crypto Crash!
Almost all cryptocurrencies lost 30% last night. #Translated: $120 billion market cap loss over ONE ☝️ night! pic.twitter.com/6Xo2BbbUEs— Russian Market (@russian_market) December 22, 2017
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Hence Bitcoin will be a roller-coaster, and is not for the faint-hearted!
Friday, December 15, 2017
The City Takes a Break
Judging by the current (lack of) price action and newsflow, it appears most of the City must have had their Christmas parties last night!— RANsquawk (@RANsquawk) December 15, 2017
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
October Unemployment 4.3% - Lowest Since 1975
The UK unemployment rate for August to October 2017 remained at 4.3%. This is down from 4.8% from the previous year, and is the joint lowest rate since 1975: https://t.co/yBGyWFrAdw pic.twitter.com/4xsiaRlcwU— ONS (@ONS) December 13, 2017
Monday, December 11, 2017
Labour's Tokenistic Gesture To Move The Bank of England To Birmingham
Seemingly Labour is considering relocating most of the Bank of England (The Old lady of Threadneedle Street) to Birmingham if it wins power at the next general election.
The FT reports that consultants commissioned by John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, have concluded that the central bank’s base in Threadneedle Street is “unsatisfactory and leads to the regions being underweighted in policy decisions.”
They have recommended moving “some functions” to Birmingham, to be located “next door or close to” the National Investment Bank and Strategic Investment Board, organisations that Labour plans to create on entering government. Labour’s policy review will include whether the governor should also be based in Birmingham.
“All three, side-by-side, would constitute a new ‘economic policy’ hub,” said an interim report by consultants GFC Economics and Clearpoint Corporation Management. The report suggested moving the BoE’s premises “close to” Birmingham’s main train station, saying a relocation would “provide a clear, visible example of a new government’s determination to promote growth and a rebalancing of the economy”.
Well this is all very well and tokenistic. However, given that McDonnell's first act (if Labour gain power) would be to take over the Bank and remove its independence, moving it away from its main stakeholders (ie the Labour government) seems a tad stupid.
Whilst we are on the subject, given that Unite's head office is in Holborn, whilst Unison, TSSA and the RMT are all headquartered in Euston; will Labour ask them to relocate as well?
Friday, December 01, 2017
RBS/NatWest Closing 259 Branches
RBS/NatWest closing 259 branches. Is one in your town? Check list here https://t.co/W4R6kPQVUb and Lloyds/Halifax/Bank of Scotland announced 49 more closures on top of 100 earlier this year. Email your thoughts to email@example.com or tweet me.— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) December 1, 2017
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Xavier Rolet Falls On His Sword
Mr Rolet had been due to remain in his job until December 2018 but today said he had agreed to leave straight away, just one day after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated that he did not back calls by one of the LSE’s biggest investors for him to stay on until 2021.
"We can’t envisage a situation where a CEO stays beyond the agreed period," Mr Carney said at a conference on yesterday, adding that he was “mystified” by the row.
The news follows weeks of acrimony between the board and Sir Christopher Hohn, founder of the Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), who accused the LSE’s chairman Donald Brydon of forcing Mr Rolet out against his will.
Mr Rolet said he was leaving amid “a great deal of unwelcome publicity” and would not be returning to the board or the job “under any circumstances”.
I will leave the final word to Francis Urquhart:
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
London Property Market Booming - Or Is It?
This is up from last year's high of 14 times average income, despite house price growth having slumped in London over the last 12 months. This year's level is 42% higher than the long-term average over the last 15 years.
The question is, how are people paying for these?
-Non resident investors
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
NatWest Online Banking Problems - Update
We’re aware of some issues with our online banking service and are working hard to fix this. Apologies and thank you for your patience. SR— NatWest (@NatWest_Help) November 21, 2017
NatWest Online Banking Down
Thus far mobile banking appears to be working.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Unemployment Falls By 59,000
The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.3%, down from 4.8% for a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975.
Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.2% both including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.
Friday, November 10, 2017
National Savings Rates Increased By 0.25%
National Savings: All interest rates raised by 0.25% points from 1 December so ISA 1%, income bonds 1%, Direct Saver 0.95%; Invvest account 0.7%; junior ISA 2.25%. NB ISAs only useful for savers over £1000/£500 savings tax allowance.— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) November 10, 2017
Friday, October 27, 2017
The Curate's Egg That Is RBS
RBS posted £392m in profits for the three months to September and £1.33bn for the year to date.
However, there is a down side. RBS is still waiting to see if it will be fined by the DoJ for selling subprime mortgages. The fine is expected to be around £6BN.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Chickens Come Home To Roost At Barclays
Barclays CEO Jes Staley said he wouldn’t panic after one bad quarter. Now he’s had three https://t.co/5SAsk58Fo5 via @business— Richard Partington (@RJPartington) October 26, 2017
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Manufacturing Growth Rises To 1%
Additionally manufacturing returned to growth after a weak Quarter 2 2017, increasing by 1.0% in Quarter 3 2017.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Happy T Day!
As from today, owners of older, dirtier cars will be charged an extra £10 if they want to drive into London.
Saddiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced the "Toxicity charge" in February as part of a package of measures to clean up the capital’s "filthy air".
The "T-charge" will be in operation Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 6pm.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
UK Unemployment Falls - Lowest Level Since 1975
As per the ONS:
- There were 32.10 million people in work, 94,000 more than for March to May 2017 and 317,000 more than for a year earlier.
- The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.1%, up from 74.5% for a year earlier.
- There were 1.44 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 52,000 fewer than for March to May 2017 and 215,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Inflation Edges Up To 3%
UK inflation hit 3% last month for the first time since April 2012 - up from 2.9% in August, the ONS reports https://t.co/DzgFctnMCH— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) October 17, 2017
It should be remembered that the figures are provided by the same ONS that lost £490BN in Britain's balance of payments!
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The Round Pound Coin Days Are Nigh
Rules coming into force on that date will prevent shops handing out old £1 coins as change and will give shops the right to refuse them as payment.
However, there is no rule preventing shops (which are able to bank old £1 coins long after this date) accepting the coins after 15 October.
Friday, October 06, 2017
Don't Trust Banks With Your Money
How customers of Lloyds Bank suffered from fraud committed by bank employees and weren't believed. - https://t.co/1vea3m7Wph— Rebecca Cave (@TaxwriterLtd) October 6, 2017
Tuesday, October 03, 2017
The King Is Dead - Monarch Collapses
The collapse of the 50-year old company is the largest ever for a UK airline.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Toys Rn't Us
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Britain Leads The Employment Stats
UK on course to have the highest rate of employment in the western world. pic.twitter.com/MlXBkqoUpg— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) September 14, 2017
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
J.P. Morgan Compares Bitcoin To Tulip Bulbs
We shall see!Bitcoin will eventually blow up, says JPM's Dimon at Barclays conference. "It's a fraud." It's "worse than tulip bulbs."— Lisa Abramowicz (@lisaabramowicz1) September 12, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
British Investors Remain Optimistic
UK investors stay positive https://t.co/PmmBmIYYvw— Fabrizio Goria (@FGoria) September 11, 2017
Friday, September 08, 2017
Massive Equifax Security Breach
Some UK and Canadian customers were also affected.
The firm's core consumer and commercial credit databases were not accessed.
Equifax said hackers accessed the information between mid-May and the end of July, when the company discovered the breach.
Malicious hackers won access to its systems by exploiting a "website application vulnerability", it said but provided no further details.
The hackers accessed credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers, among other information.
Equifax said it had set up a website - www.equifaxsecurity2017.com - through which consumers can check if their data has been caught up in the breach. Many people trying to visit the site reported via social media that they had problems reaching it and that security software flagged it as potentially dangerous.
Unsurprisingly shares in Equifax took a hit.
#Equifax shares plunge after #databreach potentially impacting 143 million #Americans - https://t.co/WR95l5QsIr #equifaxhack #privacy— Marc R Gagné MAPP 🌐 (@OttLegalRebels) September 8, 2017
Monday, September 04, 2017
Estonia To Launch Digital Estcoin
One of the most digitally advanced nations- #Estonia is planning to launch first #digital national #currency. Source @wef pic.twitter.com/6U9XUTXNuk— Saurabh Kumar IRS (@SaurabhKumar1) September 4, 2017
An excellent idea, and well within keeping with Estonia's desire to be at the cutting edge of IT.
However, I do hope that the Estcoin is impervious to the inevitable attempts by Russia to hack it!
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
FCA PPI Campaign Deadline Advert
Without a doubt, this is the most ridiculous financial advert I have ever seen.
No wonder the FCA disabled the comments section!
Thursday, August 17, 2017
US Launches $400BN Libor Case
US launches $400bn Libor case— fiatcurrency (@fiatcurrency) August 17, 2017
Rate-rigging by British lenders ‘fuelled failure of American banks’ https://t.co/KAS3DhQQu1
This will run and run!
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Unemployment Lowest Since 1975
"The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.4%, down from 4.9% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975."Additionally, the employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.1%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
Wrt "zero hours" see this from James Cleverly:
And before the flood of "it's all zero hours contracts" tweets come in, it's worth having a quick look at this. pic.twitter.com/yNm26ZvfQW— James Cleverly (@JamesCleverly) August 16, 2017
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Greed Of The Railway Franchises Exposed
Though CPI holds at 2.6%, retail price index rose to 3.6%. Rail fare rises linked to outdated RPI. Why?— Andrew Neil (@afneil) August 15, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Meaty High Protein Notes
Bank of England says has decided polymer banknotes will continue to have traces of animal products— Simon Gompertz (@gompertz) August 10, 2017
Tuesday, August 01, 2017
British Gas Hikes Electricity Prices By 12.5%
Centrica said the rise was a result of transmission and distribution costs and the costs of government policy.
Methinks that British gas will continue to lose customers!
Monday, July 31, 2017
UK Property Market Stable
65k mortgage approvals for house purchase in June, pretty much unchanged from May. Sign the UK housing market continues to tread water. pic.twitter.com/RgPyEpcCVK— Rupert Seggins (@Rupert_Seggins) July 31, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Happy 323rd Birthday To The Bank of England
It’s our 323rd birthday, we made a dancing cake to celebrate. #whynot pic.twitter.com/SxLzCQr4rD— Bank of England (@bankofengland) July 27, 2017
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
UK Q2 Growth 0.3%
GDP Would Need to Collapse 5% in Next 12 Months to Meet Osborne's Treasury Predictions: https://t.co/LJHB69DlHw pic.twitter.com/vaFYABQvPw— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) July 26, 2017
- The growth in Quarter 2 2017 was driven by services, which grew by 0.5% compared with 0.1% growth in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017.
- The largest contributors to growth in services were retail trade, which improved after a fall in the first quarter, and film production and distribution.
A Lesson In Economics
Lord Reed even gives Govt a stern rebuke over economic literacy. You can almost hear him saying "this won't do, rewrite it by tomorrow." pic.twitter.com/xnaBOE9Ukm— Matthew Scott (@Barristerblog) July 26, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
IMF Cuts UK Growth Forecast From 2% To 1.7%
However, it should be borne in mind that IMF forecasts are invariably shite (the fact that they revised the forecast is a clue) as this chart from 2014 shows:IMF cuts 2017 UK growth forecast to 1.7% from 2%, the biggest downward revision this year of all major economies. pic.twitter.com/48gEFXGwUo— Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) July 24, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Card Surcharges To Be Banned
This follows a directive from the European Union, which bans surcharges on Visa and Mastercard payments.
However, the government has gone further than the directive, by also banning charges on American Express and Paypal too.
This covers all companies and organisations that add a surcharge, including HMRC!
You can bet your bottom dollar that companies will find another way to pass on the charges.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Inflation Falls To 2.6%
This is the first fall in the CPIH inflation rate since April 2016, and was caused primarily by falling prices for motor fuels and certain recreational and cultural goods and services.
This means that there will be no increase in interest rates in the foreseeable future.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Piss Pathetic Pensions
Wow. 8 million with 1.56% of their average earnings going into a pension. About a tenth what's needed for even an adequate retirement! https://t.co/LZ4bNDDtR4— Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) July 11, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
Bank of England Wants People To Sniff Out Regulation Busting
"Firms should expect supervisors who have their 'eyes peeled', their 'ears to the ground' – and who 'can smell when something is off'." https://t.co/Bj0BjStp9W— Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) July 10, 2017
G20 Minus 1
Monday, July 03, 2017
Bank of England To Go On Strike
Unite says Bank of England workers are to stage a four-day strike from 31 July in a dispute over pay— Sky News Newsdesk (@SkyNewsBreak) July 3, 2017
Does this mean that all debts held during this period will be interest free?
Thursday, June 29, 2017
George "Six Jobs" Osborne
George Osborne picks up his sixth job: as a professor at the University of Manchester - The Telegraph Growl!! https://t.co/y0p3wuUl0X— Sue Christensen (@taxqueen49) June 29, 2017
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.A pension is meant to cover you from retirement through to death, which may be 30 years or so from the date of retirement.
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."
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.EC fines Google record 2.4bn euros for giving illegal prominence to its shopping service— Rory Cellan-Jones (@BBCRoryCJ) June 27, 2017
Monday, June 26, 2017
Deutsche Bank Way Offbeam!
"We expect political paralysis - a 'zombie Brexit' - to be the dominant theme for the UK over coming months" - Deutsche Bank— Jamie McGeever (@ReutersJamie) June 26, 2017
This analysis couldn't be more wrong wrt "paralysis", there will be black swans aplenty coming!
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Armed Forces and Emergency Service charities can now apply for the next round of LIBOR funding. MORE INFO: https://t.co/opUiTbuspG pic.twitter.com/riHajku7Gk— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) June 22, 2017
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
Google Goes Feudal
Google begins beta testing "feudalism" pic.twitter.com/koRSlUHRLU— WFLS (@leemkuilschu) June 14, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Unemployment 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
- 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%
The squeeze is on!
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
House Price Rises Cooling
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
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
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
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.This of course means that Fred Goodwin will not be appearing in court.
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."
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Moody's Downgrades China
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!
Friday, May 19, 2017
Fred GoodwinTo Appear In Court
He will become the first senior banker in Britain to be challenged in court over his role in the financial crisis.
A civil trial brought by thousands of RBS investors opens on Monday, alleging the banks' shareholders were misled by Goodwin and other former executives over the bank's financial health ahead of a £12BN cash call in 2008.
Don't expect any dramatic revelations though!
HSBC's "Secure" Voice Recognition System Sucks
The BBC have managed to shoot holes in HSBC's claims that their voice recognition system is secure.
BBC Click reporter Dan Simmons set up an HSBC account and signed up to the bank's voice ID authentication service.
HSBC says the system is secure because each person's voice is "unique".
However, HSBC let Dan Simmons' non-identical twin, Joe, access the account via the telephone after he mimicked his brother's voice.
The bank said it would "review" ways to make the ID system more sensitive following the BBC investigation.
HSBC introduced the voice-based security in 2016, saying it measured 100 different characteristics of the human voice to verify a user's identity.
Customers simply give their account details and date of birth and then say: "My voice is my password".
Although the breach did not allow Joe Simmons to withdraw money, he was able to access balances and recent transactions, and was offered the chance to transfer money between accounts.
To add insult to inury, HSBC allowed him seven attempts to mimic his brother's voiceprint and get it wrong, before he got in at the eighth time of trying!
Thursday, May 18, 2017
What Goes Down Must Go Up - Sterling at $1.30
From zero to hero? The pound’s journey back above $1.30 https://t.co/916UYrTmk8— Fabrizio Goria (@FGoria) May 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
UK Unemployment Lowest In 42 Years
The ONS reports that the number of people unemployed fell by 53,000 to 1.54 million in the three months to March.
Average weekly earnings excluding bonuses increased by 2.1%.
There were 31.95 million people in work, 122,000 more than for October to December 2016 and 381,000 more than for a year earlier.
The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.8%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
So much for Project Fear!
Trump's Solution For A Strong Dollar - Himself!
Quality shade from Commerzbank in its note titled 'The Trump dollar - an obituary' pic.twitter.com/KWb9Sxrvx5— Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) May 17, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Inflation Hits 2.7% - Easter Blamed
Higher air fares were the main reason, which rose because of the later date of Easter this year compared with 2016.
This is not yet a major concern, as the Bank of England are expecting inflation to peak at around 3% this year.
Monday, May 15, 2017
JPMorgan Buys 1,000 Staff Office In Dublin
Reuters reports that JPMorgan Chase has agreed to buy a Dublin building with room for 1,000 staff in the first sign of a financial services firm expanding significantly in Ireland since the government began a major campaign to attract firms in the wake of Brexit.
JPMorgan will acquire a 130,000 square foot (12,000 square meter) building at the Capital Dock development in Dublin's docklands.
"This new building gives us room to grow and some flexibility within the European Union," senior country officer for J.P. Morgan in Ireland Carin Bryans said.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Greek Bailout Deal Delayed Again
The IMF is dragging its heels. The Fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, said that she expects eurozone lenders to be “far more specific” in their commitment to a debt-relief package for Greece.
Quoted by Keep Talking Greece, she said:
“We will carry on working on this debt relief package.In other words, the Quadriga and Greece are still nowhere near a deal.
There is not enough clarity yet but I hope that the European partners will continue to progress in that.
We have two issues, policies which are being voted on now, I hope, by the Greek authorities. Much progress has been made and we certainly hope that the Europeans will be far more specific in terms of debt relief, which is also an imperative.”
No surprises there then!
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Buy-To-Let Rates Rise
The average two-year fixed term loan was 2.9pc in April, up from 2.86pc in March. Three-year deals rose from 3.53pc to 3.56pc, while the average five-year buy-to-let mortgage went from 3.74pc to 3.76pc.
It is the first time buy-to-let rates have increased this year, and the first time three-year fixed mortgages have risen since April 2016.
However, the average tracker mortgage fell, from 4.85pc to 4.74pc in April.
It would appear that mortgage providers are using the increases in buy-to-let rates to offset reductions in rates offered to residential customers.
Monday, May 08, 2017
House Prices Rise 3.8% Year on Year
However, for the year to April, prices rose by 3.8%, the same figure as in March. The average cost of a house or flat at £219,649.
It seems that the reason for the "stagnation" is the fact that prices (when compared to salaries and mortgages) are hitting the ceiling of affordability.
Friday, May 05, 2017
Greece Failing To Hit Targets
140 prior actions #Greece has to complete for 2nd review, 80 involve legislation, 40 have been completed,100 are left- EU Official— Eleni Varvitsiotis (@Elbarbie) May 5, 2017
EU official : #Greece 2017 growth forecast will be revised down to about 2% from 2,7% original forecast— Eleni Varvitsiotis (@Elbarbie) May 5, 2017
Given the poor performance of Greece wrt meeting targets and forecasts, why are people deluding themselves about the chances of a bailout deal being agreed?
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Forgery Proof £1 Coin Falls Apart
Oh dear it appears that the new £1 coins, that are allegedly forgery proof, have one small defect.
They fall apart!
It seems that thousands of new £1 coins have been produced with major flaws that have seen the centres fall out.
Owners of £1 coins with centres missing have been putting them up for sale on eBay, with some reportedly selling for almost £2,500.
Tuesday, May 02, 2017
UK April Manufacturing PMI Beats Forecasts
*U.K. APRIL MANUFACTURING PMI RISES TO 57.3; FORECAST 54— World First (@World_First) May 2, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
NatWest Now Admits To Online Problems
Having first stated that the online system was still working, Nat West now admit that there are problems wrt transfers.
We are aware of some issues with completing transfers on accounts, we are working hard to fix this. Sorry and thank you for your patience.— NatWest (@NatWest_Help) April 28, 2017
NatWest App Crashes and Online Systems Stumbles
NatWest have stated that they are working on the issue, and claim that the online system is working.
However, having had several unsuccessful attempts to login and access the payments section, I tried to transfer money from one account to another and whilst the money was debited from one it has not been credited to another.@muppetwho Hi, we are currently investigating reports of this issue. Online Banking is still available. Thanks for your patience. LB— NatWest (@NatWest_Help) April 28, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Southern Rail Emulates United Airlines' Approach To Customers
A Southern Rail staff member lobbed a bucket of water over a protesting vegan who had written on the ground in chalk at Polegate station.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Tsipras Demands Debt Relief
However, no legislation will be passed until a deal on debt relief was in place.
Notwithstanding this, Tsipras is confident that a deal to be wrapped up by May 22.
How many times have people expressed "confidence" that a deal for Greece would be "wrapped up"?
Delusion at the very height of government!
Paper Fivers Expire 6 May
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Government Borrowing Falls
The fall in the deficit is bigger than analysts forecast a year ago by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
For why are the figures better than forecast?
Strong economic growth, unexpected by the fear mongers!
Monday, April 24, 2017
Don't Dither wrt Financial Matters
Should you wait until after the UK Election to buy or sell a home? Here's what the experts say...https://t.co/0YCyqlVAyK pic.twitter.com/JDEkGL0Cui— Myra Butterworth (@MyraButterworth) April 24, 2017
Whatever the outcome of the election, and whoever ends up trying to "manage" events, nature will take its course and the politicians will prove powerless to stop it.
Thus make your financial decisions without delay and procrastination.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Quarterly Retail Sales Fall - Monthly Sales Rise
In March 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.7% compared with March 2016 and decreased by 1.8% compared with February 2017; decreases are seen across the four main store types.
Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 3.3% on the year, the largest growth since March 2012; the largest contribution came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices rose by 16.4%.
Online sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased year-on-year by 19.5% and by 0.5% on the month, accounting for approximately 15.5% of all retail spending.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
US Currency Monitoring
BREAKING: US has put China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Switzerland on currency 'monitoring list'— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) April 14, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Facebook Down For Virgin Media Customers In UK
Why the hell would Facebook not be accessible for Virgin Media customers? Weird. @virginmedia— William Stewart (@tynie18744) April 12, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Toshiba's Unapproved Finances
Advice To The Board of United Airlines
Monday, April 10, 2017
Piecing together explosive new evidence, which calls into question the safety of other convictions, Panorama reporter Andy Verity reveals that manipulation of the world's most important interest rate, Libor, was allowed and even ordered by people at the highest levels of the financial establishment.
In the recording, a senior Barclays manager, Mark Dearlove, instructs Libor submitter Peter Johnson, to lower his Libor rates.
He tells him: "The bottom line is you're going to absolutely hate this... but we've had some very serious pressure from the UK government and the Bank of England about pushing our Libors lower."
Mr Johnson objects, saying that this would mean breaking the rules for setting Libor, which required him to put in rates based only on the cost of borrowing cash.
Mr Johnson says: "So I'll push them below a realistic level of where I think I can get money?"
His boss Mr Dearlove replies: "The fact of the matter is we've got the Bank of England, all sorts of people involved in the whole thing... I am as reluctant as you are... these guys have just turned around and said just do it."
It is of course convenient for banks to blame others (eg the Bank of England).
Wednesday, April 05, 2017
The End of The Paper Fiver
Meanwhile in Sweden:BoE: "The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of the paper £5 note on 5 May 2017"— Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) April 5, 2017
Gör dig av med de gamla mynten innan de blir ogiltiga (30 juni). Ingen vill trängas för evigt i en liten burk... pic.twitter.com/ipcG9iYfgU— Sveriges riksbank (@riksbanken) March 20, 2017
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Greek Bailout Talks Grind To a Halt
'Greek bailout talks stumble on politically sensitive issues' -- my take → https://t.co/2XvV4guqxB #Eurogroup #Greece 🇪🇺 🇬🇷 💶— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) April 4, 2017
Last week I warned people not to believe the hype over the alleged progress and agreement on the Greek bailout talks.
As can be seen, I was right to issue that warning.
Greece is unwilling and incapable of implementing the reforms that the Quadriga are demanding.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Greek Creditors Allegedly Reach Preliminary Agreement
GREECE, INTERNATIONAL LENDERS REACH PRELIMINARY DEAL ON KEY LABOUR REFORMS, PENSION CUTS IN BAILOUT REVIEW TALKS - SOURCES— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 29, 2017
How many times have we heard this before?
Don't believe the hype!
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
#Grexit Looms Large Again - Greek Banks Haemorrhaging Cash
The FT reports that the latest figures from the European Central Bank showed households and businesses pulled €1.1bn from the country’s lenders last month, moderating from the €1.7bn withdrawn at the start of the year but marking the worst two-monthly outflow since the country was bought to the brink of a eurozone exit nearly two years ago.
There is no sign of agreement between Greece and the Quadriga wrt the bailout. Indeed there is no sign of agreement between the IMF and other members of the Quadriga over the terms of the bailout!
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Europe Isn't Working
Greece Youth Unemployment— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) March 26, 2017
March, 2007: 24%
March: 2017: 45% pic.twitter.com/lYuBxjZgua
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Retail Sales Rise
However, many in the media are looking at the three month data and reporting a decline of 1.4%.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Inflation Hits 2.3%
Right on cue the siren sound of people calling for an increase in rates. Not so fast though, any rise in rates will adversely hit economic activity and increase unemployment.
There will be no rush to raise rates anytime soon!
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Toyota To Invest £240M in UK
Toyota to invest £240m in UK operations https://t.co/wZaLyfUBKA— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 16, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Unemployment Lowest Since 1975
Joblessness dropped to 4.7pc, down from 4.8pc a month earlier and from 5.1pc in January 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Bank of England Response To The Resignation of Charlotte Hogg
This morning, Court has accepted her resignation with deep regret.
“The Bank of England today is stronger, more diverse, secure and effective in large part because of Charlotte Hogg. We will do everything we can to honour her work for the people of the United Kingdom by building on her contributions.”
- Senior Management Responsibility for Bank-wide risk management moving from the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation Sam Woods in his capacity as Chair of the Executive Risk Committee. Mr Woods in turn reports to Court’s Audit and Risk Committee (ARCO) on risk matters.
- The Head of Compliance reporting to the General Counsel (who in turn reports to the Governor) and the Chair of ARCO, who is tasked with ensuring the independence of the Bank’s compliance function.
- Senior Management Responsibility for the Code of Conduct will rest with the General Counsel who will ensure the policies under the Code are fully understood and adhered to, and will report on that to the Chair of ARCO.
- The lessons from Ms Hogg’s case,
- The extent to which the changes to reporting lines and internal structures outlined above are adequate, and
- What the Bank should do to ensure full and timely compliance now and in future, especially amongst senior members of the Bank.
Letter from Charlotte Hogg
Charlotte Hogg Resigns As Deputy Governor of The Bank of England
Charlotte Hogg "voluntarily offered resignation," Bank of England says https://t.co/P9EPG20zOx— Bloomberg (@business) March 14, 2017
Instant reaction: pic.twitter.com/K2Q3uQy3J7
Unsurprising given that she has lost support of MPs, who stated that her "professional competence falls short" for the role of Deputy Governor of The Bank of England.
Monday, March 13, 2017
The fall is due to an increase in supply of properties, because some landlords were in a hurry to buy properties last year before a three per cent stamp duty surcharge came about.
The average new tenancy in England, Scotland and Wales fell by 0.6 per cent in the year to February, to £921 a month.
As ever, when the state tinkers with taxes there are consequences.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Greece Unemployment Stuck at 23%
Following revisions, #Greece #unemployment rate remains stable for the 3rd straight month at 23.1% in Dec. #economy https://t.co/8umztV9LB3— Manos Giakoumis (@ManosGiakoumis) March 9, 2017
"Stable" implies something to be happy about. A 23% unemployment rate is nothing to be happy about, most especially as it shows no sign of improving!
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Back To The Future - EU May Revert To Single Market
"THE EUROPEAN UNION IS GRADUALLY RE - CENTRED ON THE SINGLE MARKET.This revelation on the road to Damascus comes in whitepaper on the future of Europe, published by the European Commission and signed off by Juncker.
Why and how?
In a scenario where the EU27 cannot agree to do more in many policy areas, it increasingly focuses on deepening certain key aspects of the single market. There is no shared resolve to work more together in areas such as migration, security or defence.
As a result, the EU27 does not step up its work in most policy domains. Cooperation on new issues of common concern is often managed bilaterally. The EU27 also significantly reduces regulatory burden by withdrawing two existing pieces of legislation for every new initiative proposed.
By 2025, this means:
The functioning of the single market becomes the main "raison d'être" of the EU27. Further progress depends on the capacity to agree related policies and standards. This proves easier for the free movement of capital and of goods, which continues tariff - free, than it does in other areas."
Needless to say, Juncker and his ilk want full steam ahead to full political and monetary union. However, that simply won't happen.
In reality, the EU will be lucky to survive even as a "Common Market"!
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Samsung Buries Its Corporate Head in The Sand
Five top Samsung execs, including the boss, have just been indicted; major shake-up announced. Yet this is what Samsung is sending out pic.twitter.com/CWfePDseAS— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
The Ides of March - "Everything Will Grind To a Halt"
“I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th 2017. That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015. That holiday expires. The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion. It will then be law. It will be a hard stop. The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash.
We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate. By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises.
Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”
Friday, February 24, 2017
The Self Delusion of Tsipras
That is wishful thinking in the extreme. The Quadriga will move heaven and earth, and allow Greece to suffer whatever it takes, in order to safeguard the loans made to Greece to date.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
How To Destroy The High Street
1 Encourage supermarkets to open out of town.
2 Impose greedy business rate increases.
3 Impose parking enforcement zones.
Kudos to councils and the government for following this above steps to the letter!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Greece Will Sink The Euro Ship of State
However, what the Europhiles are ignoring in their celebration is the fact that the creditors are in no rush and don't expect any meaningful conclusion (one way or another) before summer.
One way or another Greece will sink the euro ship of state.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Unilver Falls 7%
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Employment at Record High of 74.6%
UK unemployment fell by 7,000 to 1.6m in three months to December, while average earnings rose 2.6%, figures show https://t.co/oENv9nKU7q— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) February 15, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
IMF and Eurozone Agree Common Stance on Greece
A meeting between the lenders and Greek officials is scheduled for later today, the head of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in The Hague.
"There is agreement to present a united front to the Greeks," the eurozone official said, adding that the outcome of Friday's meeting with the Greeks was still unclear and it was unclear if Athens would accept the proposals.
I think it fair to say that if the IMF and Eurozone really have come to a common stance, then Greece will not like it!
Whither The Prophesied Brexit Armageddon?
Manufacturing grew strongly Q4, up 1.2% from the previous Q3 -- stronger than poll of economists suggested.— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
Industrial output rose 1.1% in Dec, stronger than expected 0.2% increase in Reuters poll. Year-on-year growth 4.3%, best since Jan '11— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
Construction grew by more than expected 1.8% in Dec (v Nov), helped by building of houses/commercial property. ONS keeps Q4 GDP at +0.6%— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
British exports to non-EU countries rose 17.3% in Q4. Exports to EU rose 3.5%. Trade balance has narrowed.— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
So much for Project Fear!
Thursday, February 09, 2017
Malloch Predicts Grexit and Euro Demise
As per Zerohedge:
“If the [IMF] will not participate in a new bailout that does not include substantial debt relief, and that’s what they are saying, then that, more or less, ensures a collision course with eurozone creditors.Suffice to say the EU doesn't want to hear defeatist talk like this, and is collectively whining at full pitch about Malloch's appointment!
Now we all know that primarily [puts pressure on] Germany, which remains opposed to any such actions, so I think it suggests that Greece might have to sever ties and do Grexit and exit the euro."
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Greece's Oncoming Explosion
This oncoming explosion existentially threatens the eurozone itself.
The solution according to the IMF is debt forgiveness.
However, as noted many times before on this site, neither Germany nor the other members of the Quadriga (sans IMF) have forgiveness in their hearts.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Eurogroup President repeated the mantra saying there would be no Greek debt forgiveness and dismissing the IMF assessment of Greece’s growth prospects as overly pessimistic.
This will not end well!
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
IMF Unreasonable Demands Upon Greece
Greek govt spox Tzanakopoulos Says IMF Asking Greece for Unreasonable Measures— zerohedge (@zerohedge) February 7, 2017
Deutsche Bank Israel CEO Arrested
*DEUTSCHE BANK ISRAEL CEO ARRESTED, FREED ON BAIL: COURT— fiatcurrency (@fiatcurrency) February 7, 2017
Thursday, February 02, 2017
Bank of England Backtracks on Brexit
Story on the @skynews website: https://t.co/sQApiqZ6UJ
So much for Project Fear!
Greece - The Crisis That Refuses To Go Away
One such issue being the ongoing Greek financial crisis, which has not gone away and is not likely to be solved.
Those who are optimistic for the chances of a solution should bear in mind that the IMF doesn't think that Greek debt is sustainable and that a write down is required. Germany, however, won't countenance a write down.
In short, there are no signs of a solution.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Deutsche Bank Fined £500m
Friday, January 27, 2017
Short The Euro!
#Trump's potential next ambassador to EU says he would "short the euro" since it "could collapse" in next 18 months. https://t.co/uciIZLdwQK— Maxime Sbaihi (@MxSba) January 26, 2017
VW In Prosecutor's Crosshairs
*BRAUSNSCHWEIG PROSECUTOR EXPANDS VW INVESTIGATIONS:HANDELSBLATT— Arne Petimezas (@APetimezas) January 27, 2017
RBS Increases Provisions For Fines
RBS’s total package for provisions related to the mortgage-selling misconduct now stands at $8.3 billion.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Going For Growth
UK GDP grew 2.4% on annualised basis. In comparison US is coming in at 2.2%. 16 consecutive quarters of growth. All #DespiteBrexit— Euro Guido (@EuroGuido) January 26, 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Bernie Ecclestone - A Perfect Example of Thinking Outside of The Box
In today's @FT: Analysis of why new US owners of #F1 moved against #BernieEcclestone plus stories like this: https://t.co/rLKa3Ue7Vl pic.twitter.com/GY2xUD9uow— Murad Ahmed (@muradahmed) January 25, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
The Robots Aren't Coming
Adoption of #robots per 10,000 workers by country, leaders:— Adam Bates (@AdamBates_D6) January 24, 2017
1. South Korea
UK near bottom ☹️ pic.twitter.com/VZqXxctTau
Monday, January 23, 2017
Samsung Confirms Dual Battery Fault
Samsung confirmed what everyone knew, namely that it was a battery fault. Internal and independent investigations had “concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Note 7 incidents”.
In the case of the original battery, the casing was too small, causing it to short-circuit and ignite. It was replaced with a battery that had a different manufacturing defect but led to the same result.
Koh Dong-jin, the head of Samsung’s mobile business, is quoted by the Guardian:
“We sincerely apologise for the discomfort and concern we have caused to our customers.”The company said there would be no fire risk involving future devices.
Meanwhile the heir to the Samsung throne, Lee Jae-yong, faces the prospect of arrest as prosecutors have accused him of making bribes worth millions of pounds to a close friend of South Korea’s president.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Schaeuble Positive On Brexit Trade Deal
Pretty positive statement from Schauble at @wef on ability to do new trade deal to minimise damage to both EU and U.K.— Lawrence Freedman (@LawDavF) January 20, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Momentous Change - Tax Rates
Hearing talk top rate of incomeTax to be reduced to 40% + new city of Ldn corporation Tax zone established 15% rate #GoingGlobal #brexit— Purpleline (@purpleline) January 19, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
UK Unemployment Falls
In the three months to November, unemployment continued to decrease after hitting a 10-year low in October last year.
The UK now has one of the lowest jobless rates in Europe at 4.8%. The employment rate is now 74.5%, up from 74% in the previous year.
Average earnings increased by 2.8% in the year to November, a 0.2% increase on the previous month.
Where is the much vaunted post Brexit apocalypse?
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
China Makes Play to Replace Dollar With Yuan As Reserve Currency
China offers to world AIIB, BRICs bank, Silk Road, 1 Belt 1Road, RCEP, FTAAP. US had only TPP to balance that. Now gone with Trump #WEF17— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) January 17, 2017
Xi is making a skilful pitch at Davos #WEF17 to make China the champion of free trade and globalisation, and to replace the Dollar with the Yuan as the global reserve currency.
Monday, January 16, 2017
IMF Revises UK Growth Forecast Upwards To 1.5%
"A stronger-than-expected performance during the latter part of 2016"
So much for the post Brexit financial apocalypse predicted by the Remainders!
Trump Promises "Fair" Deal for UK
Donald Trump promises UK “fair” trade deal @economiamag | https://t.co/1ZpeXb4Iiy pic.twitter.com/LypVz5NANU— ICAEW Talk (@ICAEW_talk) January 16, 2017