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Your money is safe...

Sequin | 10:15 UK time, Thursday, 9 October 2008

.... in a safe. Apparently. Saving at home is the new banking out.

DI_Wyman might still have the right idea after all. A new mattress.


We've now got this extra element of the finance story to look at - the fact that some local councils invested in Icelandic banks, and could lose millions. Should the Government offer financial help to them as well? How far should the "bailing out" go? Do you know if your local authority is affected?


By the way, Perky, Operation "Give Up Chocolate in November" is on schedule. As always. Boo.

Comments

  • 1. At 10:36am on 09 Oct 2008, Anne P. wrote:

    Since the local authorities seem to have been following Treasury advice in spreading their investments and picking from an A rated list, there must be a moral imperative to bail them out. Not that morality and high finance have ever been bedfellows.

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  • 2. At 10:37am on 09 Oct 2008, Anne P. wrote:

    PS - Why November? I thought it was usually a Lenten fast.

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  • 3. At 10:37am on 09 Oct 2008, annasee wrote:

    But, Carolyn, why, oh why, oh why???

    Why give up chocolate in November I mean? Isn't life depressing enough already? Or is it so you can get that extra high, when you finally break the fast and indulge again?

    I think we should be told...

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  • 4. At 10:47am on 09 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Whatever you do, Sequin, don't be tempted to stash your chocolate under your mattress.

    Saving at home. Hm. Shades of 1930s Germany?

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  • 5. At 10:48am on 09 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    I just heard somebody on Woman's Hour saying

    "Blah Blah Blahblahblahblahblah.

    This is microphone ....."

    A technical hitch, perhaps?

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  • 6. At 10:49am on 09 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    And now they're doing an item on 'playing bricks', as in playing a tune on bricks.

    Whatever is the world coming to?

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  • 7. At 11:25am on 09 Oct 2008, RachelG wrote:

    Our friends chirping blah blah into the ether really cheered up my morning.

    As for the local authorities - haven't we been here before with BCCI? Even if these banks were AAA rated, didn't the LA's risk assessments consider the implications of investing offshore?

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  • 8. At 11:26am on 09 Oct 2008, RachelG wrote:

    Oh - and chocolate. I repeat my advice to you last year, Sequin, don't do it!

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  • 9. At 11:28am on 09 Oct 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    Apparently a lot of people are buying safes and then buying gold.

    It's a thought.

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  • 10. At 11:29am on 09 Oct 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    Re (5) You just can't get the staff ;o)

    My favourite is,
    "Is this thing on?"

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  • 11. At 11:35am on 09 Oct 2008, Fifi wrote:

    ... in the meantime, here is some music...

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  • 12. At 11:37am on 09 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Bring back the potter's wheel, say I ;o)

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  • 13. At 11:49am on 09 Oct 2008, tug wrote:

    The Councils spread they money over several banks. This is a bad thing in that it increases the risk that they will have lent to a failing bank but a good thing in that they will not lose a large proportion of their money if one bank fails. So, on balance, it's a prudent thing to do.

    There appears to be no urgency in resolving this. Councils will only have lost a proportion of their cash and will be able to continue their day to day operations.

    I think the Government needs to allow the details of the Council losses to emerge. I'm really very interested to see if my Council has lost money and how much they have lost.

    I get the distinct impression that some Councils have screwed up quite badly over this and are looking for Government money so that the people who elected them don't notice.

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  • 14. At 12:02pm on 09 Oct 2008, cattquinn wrote:

    Sequin here -
    I know it sounds crazy to give up chocolate in November. But...my hubby in particular is a chocoholic and likes to give up for one or two months a year - he can't cut down, but has to cut it out completely or he's too tempted. So I always join him.

    It does make December even better!!

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  • 15. At 12:43pm on 09 Oct 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    The council financial advisors should be named, shamed and prevented from working in the public sector for life.

    At the most basic level, they should have known that investing abroad was not covered by the UK's protection schemes and so carried an unacceptable risk. I haven't seem the government guidelines that specify that councils must maximise return, but I'd bet heavily that there's mention of balancing return with risk. If not of course, the government should be liable as then (but only then) would they have forced the councils into untenable investments.

    Sequin, rather than cut out chocolate (I'd never be able to do it) why not just add a two mile walk at lunchtime? Apart from burning off the calories encased in that lovely chocolate bar, you'll probably get the same buzz from a smaller bar, thanks to all the un-dolphins or (whatever they are) from the exercise. The chocolate will taste all the sweeter, trust me!

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  • 16. At 12:47pm on 09 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:

    I can't remember who it was said something to the effect " Bad things happen when good people do nothing"

    Wonderful to hear of an official of integrity who's prepared to put his "authority" where his mouth is...

    He's a fight on his hands but has my support for sure

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/08/chicago.evictions/index.html

    "CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said Wednesday he is suspending foreclosure evictions in Cook County, which had been on track to reach a record number of evictions, many because of mortgage foreclosures.

    Sheriff Thomas J. Dart of Cook County, Illinois, says proper eviction procedures aren't always been followed.

    He said many of the evictions involve renters who are paying their rent on time but are being thrown out because the landlord has fallen behind on mortgage payments...

    Mortgage companies are supposed to identify a building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but sheriff's deputies routinely find that the mortgage companies have not done so, he said.

    "These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way.

    "On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today.""

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  • 17. At 12:56pm on 09 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:

    Oh Dear, it appears time really is running-out...

    U.S. debt overpowers National Debt Clock

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/10/09/national.debt.clock.ap/index.html

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  • 18. At 1:25pm on 09 Oct 2008, Perky wrote:

    I do admire your commitment Sequin. My husband's losing weight at the moment, and I'm trying to give him some support by joining in - but I have no willpower!

    However, I did do the no-chocolate thing last November after you mentioned it, so I might give it another go this year...

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  • 19. At 1:35pm on 09 Oct 2008, thenicecatlady wrote:

    Giving up chocolate would be like my cats giving up sleeping - it just cannot be done.

    I will move it from under the mattress though, thank you for reminding me who ever it was.

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  • 20. At 1:39pm on 09 Oct 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    I wonder in the frozen food emporium will change its name, now we know it is named after a bunch of Muppets.

    Other volcanic breakwaters are available.

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  • 21. At 2:01pm on 09 Oct 2008, vainly_here wrote:

    Today's newsletter:
    "And we talk to the woman who's got a criminal record for selling fruit and veg by the pound."

    Surely the solution to this problem is for us, the great British public, always to ask the vendor for "3 lbs of potatoes, please," or similar. When I was young, potatoes were sold by the gallon in Cornwall. "Half a gallon of blues, please!"

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  • 22. At 2:05pm on 09 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    How do they make the inside of Lindt Lindor's so gourgeously gooey?

    Anyway - local councils investing in Icelandic banks. What happens if the council loses the money without recompense?

    It also sounds like a no win situation.

    Now another Lindor is called for!

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  • 23. At 2:05pm on 09 Oct 2008, vainly_here wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 2:07pm on 09 Oct 2008, CarolineOfBrunswick wrote:

    Why not pay the councils in fish?

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  • 25. At 2:09pm on 09 Oct 2008, vanvon wrote:

    my local authority lost all its current account (£25million) in the 1980's with BCCI when it crashed.

    these local authorities are acting like bankers, they have learned nothing and should be fired at once!

    many staff get fired for much more minor things than this, so why should senior financial managers be treated any different?

    no bail out...make them retourn their fat bonuses and forfeit their pensions for their incompetence, we should not pay for mis-management that was well warned about months before...

    cut out chocolate...no way...its time to party as the country crashes into a badder than 1980's hell...

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  • 26. At 2:18pm on 09 Oct 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 27. At 2:20pm on 09 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh Sequin (14), that is hard! But extremely loyal.

    So, perhaps we'd better put on hold that crateful of white toblerone we had ordered (or alternatively we could eat it for you instead).

    I rather agree with vanvon - Now is not the time to give up chocolate ;o)

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  • 28. At 2:30pm on 09 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:


    "Your money is safe..."

    Truly Sequin, I don't think it is and please, do not get me started on it's likely value...

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/08/news/companies/aig/index.htm?postversion=2008100818

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  • 29. At 2:46pm on 09 Oct 2008, RachelG wrote:

    You're definitely bucking the trend, Sequin. Chocolate sales always rise in a recession and I find that Selfridges has recently launched a special Credit Crunch chocolate:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1070131/Beat-gloom-credit-crunch-chocolate.html (if you can bring yourselves to read the Daily Wail)

    As for me - husband being made redundant; house value falling; savings and pension pot collapsing - chocolate has never seemed more important!

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  • 30. At 3:00pm on 09 Oct 2008, invincibleoldandwise wrote:

    These councils don’t seem to understand the principles of risk assessment. Just checking someone else’s assessment of risk (as in the ABC rating) is not enough. That’s just ticking a procedural box, you have to run any proposal through a “reality check”.

    Say to yourself the following sentences “Iceland - famous throughout the world as a centre of investment excellence! It’s their centuries of strategic commercial pre-eminence that give those canny Icelanders the edge!”

    Now, does that sound real to you?

    Councils and private investors should most definitely NOT be bailed out.

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  • 31. At 3:05pm on 09 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:

    A very interesting article, by The Sunday Times' John-Paul Flintoff...

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/environment/2008/10/money-versus-ki.html

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  • 32. At 3:33pm on 09 Oct 2008, Trevor Mansell wrote:

    To all those who suggest that the councils who have invested in the Icelandic Banks should not be bailed out, I suppose they will not complain when their council taxes rise as a result. We'll all pay in the end anyway.

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  • 33. At 3:58pm on 09 Oct 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (6) Big Sis: I heard the brick orchestra this morning too. Surely there must have been something else they could have played eg. Fifi's suggestion, music. Anything would have been more interesting than that. It was so bad, it was nearly (not quite) funny.

    Re. chocolate: life's too short. Just eat it and be damned, or fat. Or, do as a slender friend of mine customarily did - only eat it on Saturday but on Saturday you can eat as much as you like. There's only so much you can stomach and it works well psychologically because you aren't denying yourself the treat, you are merely "saving it until Saturday".

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  • 34. At 4:00pm on 09 Oct 2008, tug wrote:

    Mansayo (32)

    The money will come from the public either way.

    If councils are forced to raise the money from council tax payers then they can be held accountable by those people the next time they stand for election.

    This whole thing seems serious but not urgent. I hope the Government does not try to resolve this until it's quite clear which public organisations, if any, have acted irresponsibly (just losing money in one of these banks is not evidence of irresponsibility, it's a perfectly good strategy to spread deposits across banks)

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  • 35. At 4:00pm on 09 Oct 2008, Piper wrote:

    I'd say having to bail-out UK Councils involved in this scandal is effectively a given.

    However, I'm having difficulty understanding how, in the first instance, Councils were allowed to deposit "Taxpayers" funds in financial institutions other than the Bank of England.

    Are we now, heavens forbid, about to find out that other quasi-governmental fund holders, not to mention UK governmental departments themselves have deposited funds in a similarly foolish manner?

    I say "foolish" because Bank-risk, as we know, revolves largely around confidence and liquidity.

    Iceland has a population of around 300,000 and a relatively modest economy.

    I hear UK Councils have deposited something like £500+million (maybe more) with Icelandic Banks. Hello..! Is anyone out there breathing, let alone thinking?

    Who really understood the true risk factors and more importantly, authorised this kind of irresponsible depositing. And I do regard it as irresponsible. All done for a few more basis-points?!

    What ever happened to the UK Treasury Auditor etc etc?

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  • 36. At 4:04pm on 09 Oct 2008, RachelG wrote:

    Mansaylo - you have a point, in that the taxpayer will pay in the end. The question is, however, which taxpayers? If the councils are bailed out by the Treasury, then what happens to accountability? If the councils have to raise their Council Tax then they will have to account for it to their electors.

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  • 37. At 4:22pm on 09 Oct 2008, vainly_here wrote:

    It was generally reckoned that money was safe in Swiss banks. Maybe with Iceland being another country with large cold areas, people thought the chances of their money evaporating were equally small.

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  • 38. At 4:23pm on 09 Oct 2008, tug wrote:

    This report http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/northamptonshire/7661242.stm says that there are at least two District Councils who have over three quarters of their annual budget in one of these banks.

    A couple of points occur to me:

    1/ The LGA says that this collapse does not affect the day to day operations of Councils. Is this true if a Council loses access to 75% of its budget?

    2/ I can see that the Government will have to do something to help in these situations. They should do so rapidly, just after the leader of the council and the senior staff responsible for financial planning are dismissed.

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  • 39. At 4:36pm on 09 Oct 2008, pegsy1944 wrote:

    It's surreal that local councils with professional advice have invested in Icelandic banks. Who are these numpties? I sold all my shares 3 months ago and resisted putting my cash in Icelandic banks because even then I had got the impression from the financial press that Icelandic banks were dodgy. If I knew, then why not the so-called professionals.

    If these councils lose their money they should be hung out to dry and the councillors held to account because they have failed in their fiduciary responsibility, and should be barred from standing at the next election.

    If they followed consultants' advice then sue the consultants.

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  • 40. At 4:53pm on 09 Oct 2008, Gillianian wrote:

    Who do you council-bashers bank with? Piper(35) - did you put your money in the Bank of England? If not, why not?
    I presume you all saw this coming, so took your money out of any financial institution six months ago.
    Your wasted in your current professions - our councils evidently need you to advise them.

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  • 41. At 4:54pm on 09 Oct 2008, Stewart_M wrote:

    vyle, you have a point. Have any swiss banks gone to the wall/ been taken over by Santander, HSBC, or Lloyds ?

    Probably no

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  • 42. At 5:08pm on 09 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (41) Stewart - They have got all the bonuses hidden in them.

    As for seeing ahead look at housepricecrash for around March 31 this year. We did know.

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  • 43. At 5:14pm on 09 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    Look on the "Cash ISA's and Savings Accounts" thread.

    Telegraph 23 March 2008 also

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  • 44. At 5:26pm on 09 Oct 2008, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Swiss banks benefit from the Swiss central bank's large gold and foreign currency reserves. Iceland on the other hand has acted like a hedge fund with high interest rates and little reserve backing the currency. What the Icesave savers and the councils have been doing in effect is somewhat like a sterling vs. Icelandic krona carry trade - the .is banks borrow from British savers and investors at sterling interest rates and lend to Icelandic investors at krona rates. Since UK interest rates were around 5% and Is ones around 10% this gave the banks plenty of room to offer competitive rates at both ends and still make a large margin.

    As with any carry trade, if the high-yielding currency (in this case the ISK) falls in value, the carry trade can unwind rapidly as the banks are forced to pay back their investors. This has the effect of causing the ISK to fall further in a vicious cycle - this is indeed what has happened.

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  • 45. At 5:27pm on 09 Oct 2008, RachelG wrote:

    Well, Stuart, UBS may not have gone to the wall but it has suffered big losses in the last year and recently announced a couple of thousand more redundancies on top of the 4500 it sacked this time last year. So, not immune.

    Gillianian - I'm not really a council basher, but I am concerned that lessons have not been learned from BCCI about the dangers of investing in institutions where the regulatory regime does not protect them from bank failures. As for the Icelandic banks - as others have said, the signs were there that these banks were running at unsustainable levels. When I was looking for somewhere to invest some cash earlier this year, I looked at the Icesave accounts and concluded that since they appeared too good to be true, they probably were. And I know almost nothing about investing.

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  • 46. At 5:27pm on 09 Oct 2008, Screamingmuldoon wrote:

    The poor man goes whistling through the woods. I've never been so glad to be skint

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  • 47. At 5:43pm on 09 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    22 February 2008:

    "Morgan Stanley reveals Kaupthing Edge's borrowing costs have increased 400% in the past year, leading analysts to conclude that the bank is 7.5 times more likely to default than any other European bank"

    (Quote from thisismoney)

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  • 48. At 6:26pm on 09 Oct 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    26.

    Oh dear. apparently the original was defamatory. (See below at end)

    Apologies, here's the amended version:




    The financial system is like a dangerous air line****.

    Its planes breaks down from flying too high, endangering all our lives. Then they fail to get off the ground at all.

    So we cough up a trillion quid to repaint the fuselages.

    When it finally sort-of flies again, its private owners, who have stashed most of the value away, declare it a success, built on sound business principles.

    Just because the FTSE is up 50 points (at that/this moment) doesn't mean we shouldn't take the financial sector into public ownership.

    We should.

    It needs replacing, its principles redefined.

    Do we have the courage to do what we should, and take the whole darned shooting match into public ownership, or, after handing them a trillion pounds, are we going to genuflect to market money again?

    So, I suggest giving up behaving like ostriches in November (now, even better), pretending the financial sector can be reformed at all,

    ('Oh, it put 15 billion back during today on the value of business and industrial enterprises.'

    Yes, but it will always be a greedy dinosaur whilst private greed and fear and market forces drive it.

    ps It lost another 12 billion altogether by the close))



    PS

    I was hearing Gordon B in the car yesterday.

    He said
    'Up and down the countryside,..'

    In Unison we chimed in

    'In and out of the Eagle
    That's the way the money goes
    Pop goes the weasel.

    'The people of Britain want to know..' (don't ya just love that when they tell us the QUESTION we want the ANSWER to) '...hard working families up and down the country, wont to know, whether the plans for their schools, hospitals and homes for their grandchildren, their plans to help the poor of the world, are affected by the one trillion bribe (coughs) sweetener (coughs again) investment we made yesterday.' (He didn't say that, it's my sarcasm)

    Answers on a postcard from the Opposition benches after the next election, Gordon.

    You've sold out, given the capitalists our money, our seed corn.


    **** Scalawag Airlines. We fly by night at your expense.

    I still suggest giving all those CEOs a grilling if they can be found today, having not surfaced from the champagne and caviar parties of last night. 'Expense account? No, even better government money! Tax payers money'

    I tell you, as soon as the dust settles, the right wing will be screaming about excessive government spending, And it won't be the money propping up the financial services industries that they'll want cut.

    PPS I see an editor has broken cover on the Glass Box. Thank you Roger, very brave and very proper. No answer. however, to my quessy about Robert Peston (who seems to know of a bank about to go under, but is not telling us which one), though. Is he acting as a policy maker or a reporter?



    Hope this version doesn't offend. I realise now the old one might. Many apologies if it had.

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  • 49. At 7:31pm on 09 Oct 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    It's time to invade Iceland. Bring out the Royal Navy. Oh, wait a minute, didn't the RN lose the cod war. Perhaps we had better freeze their assets instead.

    Iceland, freeze their assets, boom boom!

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  • 50. At 9:37pm on 09 Oct 2008, Piper wrote:

    G@40

    I stand fully by what I've said.

    And, as you ask, until the 1970's, my parents maintained their Bank accounts with the B of E, as did many who worked in the City of London. Such banking facilities, if I remember correctly, were withdrawn from general public availability in the early 1970's.

    So, my father opened a Bank account for me with, and I remain with, Lloyds (now of course Lloyds TSB). Lloyds were then and continue to be, widely recognised as a highly conservative bank. Past and recent events have, so far at least, indicated that assessment is correct.

    We shall see.

    Did I forsee recent financial developments? No.

    However, at least one person did. Warren Buffett. He voiced his concerns about derivative packages some years ago and was, as one might expect, widely quoted by the world's media. That, is a matter of record.

    Having said what he did, Mr Buffett cleared the investment vehicles he heads of all such products.

    Maybe that's one of the reason's why he's such a successful and highly regarded businessman. And, why he's been able to spend some $10 Billion (?) in recent days on what are now seen as heavily discounted "prime" investments.

    The more I consider the deposits made by Councils in Icelandic Banks, the more concerned I become about the reasons why so many of them have done so.

    What, or maybe even, Who triggered such a Lemming-like move? What were the mechanics behind such wide-spread unwise investment decisions?

    "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it." What did the councils and other UK depositors learn from say, the B.C.C.I. affair?

    Frankly, I think some serious accountability is now required from Bank staff, Local Authority staff and the staff of numerous overseer and regulatory bodies - and not just in the UK.

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  • 51. At 10:02pm on 09 Oct 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    50

    That's funny, I thought he'd lost a billion as of a week ago.

    By,tonight, he must have lost a billion more.

    Hey, let's bash the councils. They may have lost us a billion.

    By trusting a system that has lost us trillions.

    I assure you Piper, this crisis is policy for the hard nosed Contractionists.

    You may find some avoiding the crunch, but if everyone did the crunch would track them down. If everyone had moved in to cash like Buffet, the world economy would have ground to a halt 5 years ago.

    The crisis is a policy. It is a particular mode, a state of play, of the capitalist system.


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  • 52. At 02:47am on 10 Oct 2008, olive oil wrote:

    I am quite new to blogging, so I am not sure this will be seen by those I wish to reach - either the Today programme or any of the news team, or the You and Yours ......
    I am one of the unfortunate people with savings both in Icesave and Kaupthing. So is my husband. We understand that Icesave money is 'frozen' until such time as the compensation will be sorted.

    HOWEVER, with regard to Kaupthing, I (we) arew getting very worried indeed. We have requested withdrawals at the beginning of this week and both my account and that of my husband have been debited with the amount, but NO MONEY has yet reached our linked accounts (which both happen to be with HSBC). Calls to Kaupthing have been a waste of time (it's in the pipeline or words to that effect), we have no idea who to turn to : I have not even been able to post a message on the 'secure messaging' of their website, which is showing an 'error' at every attempt. Apparently ING have taken over the savings, but can they deal with this matter ? I called the FSA and they have been utterly useless (in fact the person I spoke to spoke barely understandable English!). Given that the Icesave accounts are now frozen, we are dependant on the money from Kaupthing for any expenditure. we don't know who to turn to. If anyone from any of the news programme would like to know more, we'd be pleased to hear from them. I do hope someone can give us some concrete information/guidance. Thanks. Luciana

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  • 53. At 09:29am on 10 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (52) Olive oil - Hope PM pick up on your post. You are the reason the Government have given private investors the 100% guarantee. (As opposed to the Councils that should have known as they are trained in finance)

    The FSA is useless, they missed their chance to help you by stopping the banking fraud.

    The FSCS is were you should be looking: http://www.fscs.org.uk/

    If however you are in dire straits (food heating etc), I suggest you go to the most local Building Society with all the proof you have of the money and bow your head. Building societies should if they are sensible have sorted out a way to encourage this FSCS money back into long term bonds in their organizations.

    If not, they are knowledgeable about the system and might just help you with advice. You might find a friendly face that is not on bonuses related directly to your decisions. Ask them directly.

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  • 54. At 09:31am on 10 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (53) here is the missing "h".

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  • 55. At 1:39pm on 10 Oct 2008, virtualPalindrome wrote:

    Olive oils - you said in your post I called the FSA and they have been utterly useless (in fact the person I spoke to spoke barely understandable English!)." - no doubt this is that same as the bank your chose to invest your money with - Thank your luck stars that the UK government has underwritten your money, even though it has no real obligation to do so. How do you think UK tax payers who have kept their saving in the UK feel about having to cover you for your mistakes.

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  • 56. At 4:30pm on 10 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    A normal member of the public should not be criticised for getting the best return. What is wrong is the government has forgotten why it is there. They have been so caught up in the craze of criminalizing everyone and micro manipulating the people they have missed the real crimes.

    Why have an FSA, if it can not put a stop to well known problems. Yes they were known. The reason is, they really believed it was the new economy and were swept along in the rush. The moaners were just the dinosaurs unable to change. I seem to know a lot of dinosaurs.

    Maybe Olive oil is an expert in detergents and has made their money from deep research in the chemical industry. Why should they be experts in finance and banking. It would only distract them from their real progress in their business world.

    It is the governments job to protect us not to criminalise us all. However for a council to get it wrong is irresponsible as they ARE qualified.

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  • 57. At 5:53pm on 10 Oct 2008, jollydickwhittington wrote:

    It looks like it's iceland for the holidays.
    The pavements must now be paved with gold.

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  • 58. At 6:57pm on 10 Oct 2008, big_conversation wrote:

    Test posting.

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  • 59. At 7:14pm on 10 Oct 2008, big_conversation wrote:

    Can anyone help me with one aspect of the current financial crisis?
    Given the unimaginably large sums of money being poured into the United Kingdom banks, it would seem reasonable to me to ask the government experts how they would intend to measure the success of their strategy. An answer in term of both specific outcomes and timescales would seem appropriate.
    Lower level managers regularly have to provide predicted outcomes, against which their newly launched strategies and projects will be able to be evaluated, in due course.
    I am sure that the government would encourage this practice in its managers in the public sector so why should it not apply to them?
    Nevertheless, I have not noticed interviewers asking any such questions.

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  • 60. At 8:51pm on 10 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (59) - BC

    Timescale: Next general election

    Test: Are we so happy we have forgotten this week ever happened.

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