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What's driving exchanges' urge to merge?

Robert Peston | 09:11 UK time, Thursday, 10 February 2011

When I started in journalism in the early 1980s, few institutions were regarded as being as important as national stock exchanges.

London Stock Exchange sign

 

They were protected monopolies regarded as vital to the functioning of national economies. The chairman of what was then in an imperial way simply called the Stock Exchange (because London's market did not need to bother with any kind of explicit identifier of its nationality) was perceived to be almost as important as the governor of the Bank of England or the chancellor.

In 1982, before I became a hack, I had a short stint as what was then called a Blue Button (a trainee) on the floor of the Exchange, before it all dematerialised into cyberspace. Even then, there were still plenty of top hats, bowlers, eccentric etiquette and a rigid hierarchy on stark display.

The Exchange - which later acquired humility and became the London Stock Exchange - was pretty incompetent and inefficient in a way that is typical of businesses insulated from competition. Owned by its broking and jobbing customers (they were its members), it was also perniciously riddled with conflicts of interest.

Today the London Stock Exchange is just another business listed on its own market and owned by ordinary shareholders (well some of them, like the Dubai Borse and the Qatar Investment Authority, aren't so ordinary in the LSE's case - but you take my point).

What it does - providing a liquid market for investors, and the souk in which companies can raise vital capital by selling new shares to those investors - remains essential to Britain's prosperity. It matters that investment institutions can trade in and out of shares efficiently and cheaply. It matters that global companies think the UK is a decent place to be based, because it is the home of a wide and deep capital market.

But the LSE is not the only operation providing these essential financial services in the UK any longer, because of globalisation, deregulation and technological change.

National barriers insulating the older exchanges have been eroded. And there is also intense competition confronting these older exchanges from new electronic markets, with bizarre names like Chi-X Europe and Bats Europe.

So to survive, the LSE has been frantically trying to improve its own efficiency and drive down its costs. A new trading and information system, Millennium Exchange, goes live for the UK cash market (as opposed to futures and derivatives markets) in just a few weeks.

There is something else that businesses typically do, when confronted with intense competitive pressures in markets that are being progressively enlarged and liberalised: they merge.

In the last 24 hours we have had the extraordinary spectacle of the London Stock Exchange announcing a merger with TMX Group, operator of Canada's largest stock market, and of Deutsche Boerse disclosing it is in advanced merger talks with NYSE Euronext (a business that already combines New York' bourse with assorted European markets).

When I spoke to Chris Gibson-Smith, of the London Stock Exchange, early yesterday, he was hailing the creation of a transatlantic business that would boast more listed companies than any other by a wide margin. And it would have a particular dominance in providing a market for the shares of mining companies.

Within hours that particular advantage no longer looked quite so unimpeachable - as NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse showed their hand. In terms of market value, LSE/TMX may end up looking like something of a tiddler, worth less than a third of NYSE Euronext Deutsche's combined £15bn odd.

Now if you're a customer of these exchanges - either a company listing shares and raising capital or an investor who wants to trade - you might be concerned that this consolidation, these mergers, may not be in your interest. You may fear that new global monopolies are being created, that will have the ability to charge you more than a fair price.

In the shorter term, there may be something to that anxiety, especially as these are network utilities where scale delivers massive advantages.

But barriers to entry do seem so extraordinarily low, and the exchanges' customers - such as the giant investment banks and the trading addicts at hedge funds - do seem extraordinarily price sensitive (one reason why bankers' bonuses and hedge fund managers' rewards remain so high?).

Which means that any attempt by the new merged beasts to extract too much profit would probably be met with the fairly rapid creation of new trading networks.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    But barriers to entry do seem so extraordinarily low, and the exchanges' customers - such as the giant investment banks and the trading addicts at hedge funds - do seem extraordinarily price sensitive (one reason why bankers' bonuses and hedge fund managers' rewards remain so high?).

    ===================================

    Also worth mentioning is that in fact it is usually much cheaper trading through the exchange rather than via an investment bank or the interbank dealer market. The majority of hedge fund traders would rather pay 5bps cost per trade to the sales desk of a bank or broker-dealer than pay 1 or 2bp on exchange, even though the exchange reduces counterparty default risk.

    The reason is that the banks' sales desks and brokers are well known for the largesse of their "entertainment" budget. Yes, we are talking Spearmint Rhino, £800 bottles of wine, dinner at Claredges, chopper to K Club. And that's just my own personal experience. Various forms of kick-backs and bungs abound. One broker friend of mine paid for his client's honeymoon in a game reserve in Kenya.

    As for the greater cost to the bank/broker. That comes out of the management company's cost account and not out of the trading accounts whereas costs levied by the exchanges are usually paid at point of trade. Therefore this boosts the apparent profitability of the trading account even though higher fees have been paid.

  • Comment number 2.

    Urge to merge --- its fear!!! as Robert Peston point out "barriers to entry do seem so extraordinarily low" Dead men clinging together for safety! There is no reason why all of their trading could not be done through Ebay, for example! The exchanges still have some protection from the regulators - but this is steadily eroding. The only unique selling point of any exchange is the efficiency and reliability of its IT.

  • Comment number 3.

    Somewhere over the rainbow (song)…

    Hello… is anybody there?

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Perhaps No1 and Robert could get together (over a modestly priced bottle of wine) and do a thorough analysis and critique of the methods and purpose of stock exchanges that to the outsider seem to be driven by an instinctive heard of gamblers with little to do with the capital needs of industry and the private economy.

  • Comment number 6.

    Within hours that particular advantage no longer looked quite so unimpeachable - as NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse showed their hand. In terms of market value, LSE/TMX may end up looking like something of a tiddler, worth less than a third of NYSE Euronext Deutsche's combined £15bn odd.
    ===================================

    Surely the if Deursche Boerse meged with NYSE Euronext then they would have to dispose of either EUREX or LIFFE (their respective derivatives exchanges) as together would surely contravene EU competition law. These divisions are considered the jewels in the crown for each institution.

    But I guess the LSE has coveted the UK parts of LIFFE for years. Eurex would have to close its Dutch and French listings and LIFFE its German allowing the merger to go ahead.

  • Comment number 7.

    Fear - next!

  • Comment number 8.

    2. At 09:56am on 10th Feb 2011, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "Urge to merge --- its fear!!!"

    Oi! - off my patch John. This blog 'aint big enough for the two of us.....

    Have you read this Monbiot article?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    Apparently this is 'not news' - for the lord giveth with one hand....and taketh with another - the lord in this case being an appointed one by a political party into the upper house - not actually THE lord.

    On the bright side - it's good to see the American political system is starting to realise that honesty might be the best policy...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12408533

    I mean you wouldn't want to get people's hopes up about a recovery when it's a long, long, long, long way off - if it's even going to come at all.

    Now where are all those supply siders who insist a jobless recovery is possible? I mean even David 'dimwit' Cameron admitted that tax breaks would be madness - despite his desire for them. However as we found out this week - David isn't actually in charge is he?

  • Comment number 9.

    What drives the urge to merge?

    Competition!
    It drives down corporate profits so therefore the market has to consolidate.

    In the exchanges case though, I think they are trying to position themselves globally.

    Nice comment in #1 though. Now I know another reason why fund management costs are so high.

  • Comment number 10.

    Greed!?

    We are many they are few! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zycI_4NJaM

    Roll on the 26th March, so i can have my voice.

  • Comment number 11.

    LSE and TMX is "perhaps a match made in the face of stiff competition from new entrants rather than a match made in heaven"
    http://www.mindfulmoney.co.uk/3168/investing-strategy/london-stock-exchange-is-in-talks-to-buy-canadian-exchange-tmx-for-32bn.html
    - and that sentiment appear definatly the case now the news of deutsch borse and nyse

  • Comment number 12.

    8. At 10:50am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    On the bright side - it's good to see the American political system is starting to realise that honesty might be the best policy...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12408533
    =====================================

    Funny you say that because the unemployment rate is the one thing they're always honest about. Remember a couple of weeks back it was reported (on BBC) that various economists said that we had to get used to a higher "natural rate of unemployment" than previously. I believe from 4 to 6%. Why?

    Well, the key tenet of the monetarist supply side economic system that we have been operating under since the 70s is that full employment is not only impossible, it is in fact undesirable. By having a natural rate of permanently unemployed people (also known as the underclass) it keeps wage demands down as fearful employees are too afraid to push their luck less they should fall into this lump of human misery.

    With inflation now slain it allows the money lenders to create new supply without eroding capital. Guess where the monetised profits accrue to?

    This is in fact the "Thatcher settlement", carried on by Blair-Brown, that replaced the post war settlement of full employment and welfare state. Basically that the permanent underclass would receive basic substinence in return for giving up their right to employment. The extra costs in taxes for all was more than saved by savings to businesses from lower wage demands.

    However, in the economic times we now live in, even this settlement is unacceptable to the hard earning middle classes of middle England. Back to the poor houses with these scroungers.

    The system is like musical chairs. Twenty people and nineteen chairs. And that person who falls off is morally reprehensible for wanting to claim some substinence in a system that does not permit full employment?

  • Comment number 13.

    Robert - if you're bored today (and lets face it there's not much going on if you can only report on another merger - something which always happens in economic crises - think 2 drowning men clinging together for safety)

    Why don't you look into the Monbiot article?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    At least discredit it - if nothing else.

    I mean after watching John Prescott point out on the TV this morning that while the greatest media scandal to hit us - ever - is being roundly ignored by the papers - the last thing we need is for 'puncher Prescott' to be proven right in citing a media conspiracy....but at the moment he's looking quite accurate.

    If you won't do the Monbiot article...
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    ....then how about you put an economic spin on the phone tapping - let's say an estimate on "what the scandal will cost the media" - if you bring 'taxpayer' and 'murdoch' into the story - we will have a winner.

    Come on Robert - I always had you down for a rebel, join us in the outcasts of mainstream society - it's much more fun than being a plebian slave...

  • Comment number 14.

    It is interesting to recall that, after a vote by its members, LSE backed out of a merger deal with Deutsche Boerse a few years ago. This might have created a group strong enough to stand up to the NYSE.

    If DB merges with part of NYSE, this would create a very powerful group, with which the LSE, even when merged with the Canadian exchange, would have difficulty to compete. Stock Exchanges rely on a hinterland of ordinary businesses. It would be the businesses of Europe and the US combined against those of the UK. Not a very good match.

    Let us hope that the EU comes to the rescue. If DB were told to give up Eurex, as Reticent_Trader (6) suggests, it might change its mind.

    It would be better for the LSE to revive the plan to merge with DB. This would create a group more equally matched with NYSE and improve competition.

  • Comment number 15.

    13. At 11:23am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    Come on Robert - I always had you down for a rebel, join us in the outcasts of mainstream society - it's much more fun than being a plebian slave...
    ======================================

    I suspect he is.

    You'd be surprised at the number of sleeper cells out there.

  • Comment number 16.

    14. At 11:25am on 10th Feb 2011, stanblogger wrote:
    If DB merges with part of NYSE, this would create a very powerful group, with which the LSE, even when merged with the Canadian exchange, would have difficulty to compete. Stock Exchanges rely on a hinterland of ordinary businesses. It would be the businesses of Europe and the US combined against those of the UK. Not a very good match.
    ====================================

    I think DB is the larger of the two, and they will never give up Eurex as that is the larger part of DB.

  • Comment number 17.

    10. At 10:59am on 10th Feb 2011, Bim Sherman wrote:

    Roll on the 26th March, so i can have my voice.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ditto

  • Comment number 18.

    13. At 11:23am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    I read this article with horror (although little surprise) on Monday, but am shocked how little coverage it has received elsewhere.

    I wonder why.....?

  • Comment number 19.

    18. At 11:35am on 10th Feb 2011, Bim Sherman wrote:
    13. At 11:23am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    I read this article with horror (although little surprise) on Monday, but am shocked how little coverage it has received elsewhere.

    I wonder why.....?

    =======================================

    Oh, it's because the Grauniad is biased, I believe.

  • Comment number 20.

    12. At 11:14am on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader

    ...so the 'army of ready replacements' (the unemployed) which Marx identified as being undesireable, the moneterists think this is advantageous?....which I suppose it is for those who hold all the capital and want their workers to work for pork scratchings and rotten fruit.

    Do the workers of this blog realise this is their eventual fate? - that the desire of the capitalist is to pay them the bare minimum they need to survive on?

    Seems like a disaster waiting to happen....

  • Comment number 21.

    13. At 11:23am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall

    Here’s one for you WOTW:

    Who are more ‘Capitalist’; Labour or Conservative?

    Remembering that a Labour Government bailed out the ‘Banks’ the price for which has now firmly landed on our door in the form of increased v.a.t. stagnant wages, job losses, and inflation.

    In addition the Labour Government also introduced empty commercial property rate relief for properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000.00. This concession allowed commercial property landlords (assumed capitalist) to avoid having to suffer a tax on unoccupied property. Which on the face of it at least, rather puts them in the capitalist as opposed to socialist camp.

    However the Conservatives in league with the Liberal Democrats are proposing to reduce the exemption from empty rate relief for commercial properties from £18,000 to £2,600 on 1st April 2011.

    Which in turn means that commercial property landlords are going to have to pay a full occupied rate on empty commercial properties if the rateable value is in excess of £2,600 (which most do).

    There are a lot of empty commercial properties with a rateable value higher than £2,600 and as a consequence a lot of very disgruntled landlords (assumed capitalist). They see it as a ‘capital or asset tax’, for in holding onto their ‘asset’ they are paying the same level of taxation as if the asset was producing a rent (yield), which of course it isn’t because it’s empty.

    In fact they are so disgruntled that many are substantially reducing asking rents thereby endeavouring to attract tenants and avoid the rate liability. The reduction in rent ultimately leads to a reduction in capital value (capital value being equal to rent x YP). Consequently the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats whether wilfully or not, are now proposing a ‘Capitalist tax’.

    Thought you might like that one.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Interesting article on the policy of 'kicking the can further down the road' http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeremy-warner/8314423/Housing-is-in-need-of-some-shock-therapy.html

  • Comment number 24.

    19. At 11:43am on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader wrote:

    "Oh, it's because the Grauniad is biased, I believe."

    yes - we need to learn some new language.

    1) Passionately pointing out the abject failures of Government econommic policy = 'Ranting'

    2) Calling capitalism a failed system = 'Communist'

    3) Not allowing prejudice to cloud your judgement that 'everyone on the dole is a scrounger' and not calling for the re-opening of workhouses = 'Wet liberal'

    4) Reporting to the public a bank requiring emergency funds from the BoE as a journalist = 'lefty intent on bringing down capitalism'

    5) Any report which identifies (yet another) contradiction of capitalism = "left wing propoganda sheet"

    As you can see - the people with no argument always resort to childish insults. My favourite is blaming Robert for bringing down the banking system - whereas he was merely the 'child' who pointed out "that king has no clothes on" - at which point everyone realised he was right!

  • Comment number 25.

    21. At 11:51am on 10th Feb 2011, Dempster wrote:

    "Who are more ‘Capitalist’; Labour or Conservative?"

    Tricky...very tricky...

    I'd say Labour had good intentions (to begin with) but allowed capitalism to run rife, whereas the Tories feel by fuelling it - you will 'make it beter'.

    If there is a difference, it doesn't matter - they both have committed our childrens futures to a life of debt in order to 'save capitalism' at a cost which people can't even imagine.

    I look at it this way, with 1 Trillion dollars you could have 'bought peace in the middle east' - which would have been far more beneficial to the world than propping up banks who are going to fail anyway....

    it looks like interest rates stay at 0.5% - so clearly the nearly 4% inflation is not a concern.
    Lets hope the pensioners wake up and realise they're being totally screwed with their fixed incomes - we need the Grey army to join up because kettling grannies who are protesting peacefully always undermines the claim we live in a free and democratic society....even for the x-factor watchers!

    Come on folks - you didn't live through 2 world wars to see it all end like this. You fought the external fascists - now it's time to fight the internal ones.

  • Comment number 26.

    Did anyone see that Mary Queen of shops doing estate agents last night?

    Classic - is that what the free market fools think isn't Coercion?

    My favourite line was "houses sell themselves" - so what are they getting paid £7,000 for? (when selling a london flat)

    Where is the competition to replace these fraudsters? - I mean I can understand the banks because they have a cartel and barriers to entry - but estate agents are as open a market as you can get!

    Free market failure - you cannot blame the Government for this one, they didn't interfere and still the overwhelming number of successful estate agents are 'bent'.

  • Comment number 27.

    Re 1
    I'm intrigued by the comments regarding off-accounts jollies being bandied around. In my industry (Pharma) we are activiley prevented from soliciting or receiving such and have been repeatedly heavily fined in US for such activities which tend to lead to inappropriate behaviour by the recipient. Aren't such activities covered by the new UK Bribery laws if not the equivalent US ones?

  • Comment number 28.

    Why merge? Well the old'e cynic in me suggests that the bigger they are the harder its is to unravel the quagmire, well at least cause enough delays to permit flight!

  • Comment number 29.

    24. At 12:10pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    i may not always agree with you but atleast you can make me smile (genuine amusement but not in a mocking way as this is all very true). im sure one of the capitalists could probably come up with a similar list to your one.

    would it be soo difficult for both sides of this problem (crazy comunists and condemned capitalists) to work together to get a better system. i mean neither of the sides here has a perfect working plan which would work in real life and yet if you took the best parts of both system (capitalist economic growth/prosperity (bare with me) and centralised controlled stability) if politicians and bankers alike opened their eyes and realised that everyone can be happy if theyre just willing to get off their high horses.

    but then again im very naiive

  • Comment number 30.

    This is what markets do, its called futures fleecing.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12416813

  • Comment number 31.

    What's driving the urge for exchanges' to merge?

    Consolidation of an area that global banking speculators have had a consistent problem with?

    The stock exchanges, across the world will continue to be sold off in the face of individual, or government scrutiny. It is also costly, irritating and too slow between time zones when your fortunes depend upon when a stock market offering a particular stock option is open or closed?

    Companies will be bought and sold, overnight, under your nose in whatever country you live - or whatever job you have.

    Increasingly. investment funds, and fund managers are being circumvented by emerging economy billionaires who deal direct - this is will be the death knell of opportunity when you have less than a million to invest in shares in stock markets that will, ultimately belong to a few - who will own the stock markets they trade in?

  • Comment number 32.

    23. At 12:01pm on 10th Feb 2011, Bim Sherman

    Nice article Bim - look at this.

    "Much more concerning is the way ultra low interest rates have become a life sustaining prop for Britain's over indebted households. At the trough of the banking crisis, nobody either in or outside the Bank of England would have dreamt that nearly two years later bank rate would still be close to zero, still less would they have imagined that with the inflation rate bounding away towards 5pc, there might be a perceived need for yet more quantitative easing. What was intended as emergency therapy has become the new normality. "

    Well, what do you expect from a 'left wing rag' which is always spouting it's communist tendencies!
    If there was one observation in this whole crisis which should ring alarm bells as to how bad this crisis is.....then this is the observation.

    The Government can talk of recovery all it wants, but the BoE is still in the 'brace position' ready for the next crash.

    Don't judge them by their words....judge them by their actions....

  • Comment number 33.

    21. At 11:51am on 10th Feb 2011, Dempster wrote:

    A bit more info:

    This was done to reduce the amount lost to the treasury in empty property rates relief.

    Amount of money handed out by Govt in empty property rate relief before this tax became payable - £1.1bn.

    Amount handed out last year under the new regime where there's no rate relief after 3 or 6 months depending on the property - £1.1bn

    Ahowing that avoidance of this tax is easy.

  • Comment number 34.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century many thanks to the posters who pointed this out i nearly missed it.

    It lets us know just how the Government is really thinking.
    The time is indeed right for a change in our language left wing and right wing are as meaningless as communism and captalism or any other ism's . There are a group of people who are raping our planet and if we dont change it quickly we will never change it at all, they may as well be an alien lifeform, because they only serve themselves.

  • Comment number 35.

    23. At 12:01pm on 10th Feb 2011, Bim Sherman wrote:
    Interesting article on the policy of 'kicking the can further down the road' http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeremy-warner/8314423/Housing-is-in-need-of-some-shock-therapy.html
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Bring back MIRAS"

    Interesting idea, would ceratinly aid cash strapped households against rate rises. Creates a bit of a hole in the nations income though and something of an administrative burden for lenders. In a previous life I was a "MIRAS Expert" (at least that's what they called me) and I'd be quite happy to take up that mantle again given my civil service future is bleak.

  • Comment number 36.

    "The Office for National Statistics has only recently published its estimate of the size of the bailout. The non-bank debt caused by the recession was £889bn – still below the Maastricht treaty limit of 60% of GDP. But the debt incurred by the bailouts is a staggering £1,434bn, close to 100% of GDP. This is equivalent to £25,000 for every person in Britain. Reassurances that a sale of the nationalised banks will eventually yield a profit ring hollow – their share prices remain well below the government's purchase price."

    Capitalists? - care to comment on your 'bailout estimates'?

    ...no, wait, let me answer for you - it's a left wing conspiracy from a 'socialist rag' - right?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/10/project-merlin-state-owned-banks-lending

    ...so we're never getting a profit - but Stephen Hester and Eric Daniels get a bonus?

    Is this a new paradigm? - a reverse meritocracy - where all the 'gaseous objects' float to the top?

    Why did the BoE keep interest rates low when faced with a 4% inflation rate? Is it because they value the bonuses of bank employees more than the food budgets of UK households?

    Maybe the BoE haven't done the maths, I mean they have just committed themselves to annoying an awful lot of people out there....an awful lot...

  • Comment number 37.

    #12. At 11:14am on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader wrote:


    Genius at work, I doff my hat to you mate.

  • Comment number 38.

    21. At 11:51am on 10th Feb 2011, Dempster wrote:
    13. At 11:23am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall

    Here’s one for you WOTW:

    Who are more ‘Capitalist’; Labour or Conservative?

    =====================================

    The Tories believe in redistribution: upwards. And are happy to shaft small businesses and property owners as long as benefits the corporations. They're confident that they can always depend on the votes of the ordinary business owner and the outrage of the lower middle classes, so they're not afraid to fleece them for all their worth.

    Likewise, Labour believe in redistribution: upwards. And are confident that they can always depend on the vote of the working man and woman, and as such are not afraid to fleece them for all their worth.

  • Comment number 39.

    22. At 11:55am on 10th Feb 2011, You wrote:

    "Your comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain"

    Was it because I mentioned this?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    Come come moderators - we all know the truth don't we? If Monbiot has said it, you cannot be sued for repeating it.

  • Comment number 40.

    ...has anyone noticed that the (now regular) decision of the BoE not to raise rates is hardly even making the stock market rise anymore?
    In the early days this was seen as a sign of 'cheap money' and 'easy profits' - and always caused a good end to the day.....now....not so much.

    Now those of you with logical brains - see if you can guess what the market reaction will be when the BoE finally does decide to raise rates?

  • Comment number 41.

    13. At 11:23am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    Robert - if you're bored today (and lets face it there's not much going on if you can only report on another merger - something which always happens in economic crises - think 2 drowning men clinging together for safety)

    Why don't you look into the Monbiot article?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    At least discredit it - if nothing else.

    I mean after watching John Prescott point out on the TV this morning that while the greatest media scandal to hit us - ever - is being roundly ignored by the papers - the last thing we need is for 'puncher Prescott' to be proven right in citing a media conspiracy....but at the moment he's looking quite accurate.

    If you won't do the Monbiot article...
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    ....then how about you put an economic spin on the phone tapping - let's say an estimate on "what the scandal will cost the media" - if you bring 'taxpayer' and 'murdoch' into the story - we will have a winner.

    Come on Robert - I always had you down for a rebel, join us in the outcasts of mainstream society - it's much more fun than being a plebian slave...

    ...................
    Off on paternity leave for a few weeks (a proper job with a real purpose), but managed to find a few minutes to read THAT article. I guess thats what you call corporate facisms, I prefer to view it another example of how our society is ruled by the acquistors, and circumstances are becoming more extreme as every day passes. The internet will always allow the truth to come out despite the professional PR (propoganda) that is employed by the ruling class.

  • Comment number 42.

    I happen to like ' pork scratchings ' probebly more useful than some share options!

  • Comment number 43.

    20. At 11:49am on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    ...............Do the workers of this blog realise this is their eventual fate? - that the desire of the capitalist is to pay them the bare minimum they need to survive on?.........

    The desire? Just a symptom surely? The desire is to grab as big a slice of the pie for oneself as possible? The crumbs that are left for everyone else to feed off is merely an end result?

  • Comment number 44.

    Amusing as ever WOTW # 24 posted "As you can see - the people with no argument always resort to childish insults"

    Absolutely correct! See his post #253 on 8th February re the additional bank levy: "....... a lot less stinky bacon bankers porking up the joint".

    Does prove his own point completely.

  • Comment number 45.

    Are other people seeing it take 1 hour for comments to be moderated?

    It'll be 2 hours until I see a reply to this question.

    C'mon mods let the people speak.

  • Comment number 46.

    17. At 11:32am on 10th Feb 2011, NorthSeaHalibut
    10. At 10:59am on 10th Feb 2011, Bim Sherman
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Well well:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/markdarcy/2011/02/getting_ahead_of_problems.html

  • Comment number 47.

    27. At 12:32pm on 10th Feb 2011, SpannermanPete wrote:
    Re 1
    I'm intrigued by the comments regarding off-accounts jollies being bandied around. In my industry (Pharma) we are activiley prevented from soliciting or receiving such and have been repeatedly heavily fined in US for such activities which tend to lead to inappropriate behaviour by the recipient. Aren't such activities covered by the new UK Bribery laws if not the equivalent US ones?

    ====================================

    It is completely unpoliced and unenforced and is considered one of the perks of the job.

  • Comment number 48.

    For the last 60-65 years the single biggest failing of globalisation has been the systematic detruction of industries and jobs as the greedy few plunder the masses what makes anyone think this is any different.
    The fact that the LSE has Dubai & Qatar investors already proves the point that foriegn investors dont think local at all the UK continues to sell anything and everything why dont we just invite the Romans back in again and submit to slavery.

  • Comment number 49.

    29. At 12:37pm on 10th Feb 2011, avalanche_invesmtents wrote:
    This comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.

    ==================================

    It's 13:50 now. This is a joke, moderators. 1:13 lag.

  • Comment number 50.

    29. At 12:37pm on 10th Feb 2011, avalanche_invesmtents wrote:
    would it be soo difficult for both sides of this problem (crazy comunists and condemned capitalists) to work together to get a better system. i mean neither of the sides here has a perfect working plan which would work in real life and yet if you took the best parts of both system (capitalist economic growth/prosperity (bare with me) and centralised controlled stability) if politicians and bankers alike opened their eyes and realised that everyone can be happy if theyre just willing to get off their high horses.

    but then again im very naiive
    =====================================

    We had a system like that once upon a time. It was called Keynesian social democracy. It worked reasonably well from 1945 to 1970. It struggled from inflation caused by the Oil shock, Barber "boom" and removal of Bretton Woods by Nixon due to the costs of Vietnam war. It was then trashed completely by Thatcher and Reagan on ideological grounds because it was not redistributional enough.

  • Comment number 51.

    29. At 12:37pm on 10th Feb 2011, avalanche_invesmtents

    I don't disagree - but I don't see Capitalism as producing growth - for centrally planned nations grow....and at comparable rates. The 'trick' with capitalism is you get rampant growth (boom) followed by retracted growth (bust) - but if you level it out over time the actual long term growth is fairly similar (people often get confused because the US grows fast - and it's capitalist - but then it's also the biggest economy and operates a 'economic colonialism' - which benefits it's growth measure.

    I think the combination needs to be a democratically directed centrally planned economy. It's what we're supposed to have in the UK, but the 'direction' which was democratically given last May is being ignored - and the party donors are favoured instead. This is not unique to this coalition either.

    The turnaround of Government is also a factor - it takes 5 years to get rid of a useless Government, but sometimes we need to get rid of them after 5 minutes! The lack of fear of being ousted leads Governments to employ the 'Tony Bliar election fiddle' - where you get the 'hard stuff' out of the way in the first few months and then butter up the electorate before the next vote with free giveaways.

    This is not a constructive model for either party (voters or Government)

    The most revealing aspect of all this is that the Communists, Anarchists and Free Market(ists) all want the same thing - no Government.....the debate is simply about the best way to achieve it.

    Only the corporate fascists want more Government, that's because they can control it from their minority position, whereas in a democratic society they would lose that power.

  • Comment number 52.

    30. At 12:38pm on 10th Feb 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    "This is what markets do, its called futures fleecing.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12416813"

    Would these be the 'cheap mortgages' I'm always being told about...but can never find any evidence of?

  • Comment number 53.

    What's driving exchanges urge to merge? is still the title of Robert Peston's blog.

    Stand by my post on the actual question - and laugh at those posters who are intent on avoiding it?

  • Comment number 54.

    35. At 12:53pm on 10th Feb 2011, NorthSeaHalibut

    I hear that it was the withdrawl of MIRAS tax relief that lead to the boom...and then the bust of the 80's.
    Would you agree?

  • Comment number 55.

    42. At 13:17pm on 10th Feb 2011, DaggaRooker wrote:

    "I happen to like ' pork scratchings ' probebly more useful than some share options!"

    Then you sire - shall be employable in the future! (although I didn't specify which ones they were - you might be thinking nice butchers ones....but maybe you'll get paid with those horrible 'pork crunch' things....you know the ones I mean....you always regret buying them once you start eating them..)

  • Comment number 56.

    43. At 13:19pm on 10th Feb 2011, Bubbles wrote:

    "The desire? Just a symptom surely? The desire is to grab as big a slice of the pie for oneself as possible? The crumbs that are left for everyone else to feed off is merely an end result?"

    You are of course correct - it's another one of those 'unintended consequences' - although how far do we carry 'unintention' - is running someone over because you drive with your eyes shut 'unintended'? - The capitalist must know that by grabbing large pieces of pie (or the biggest pork scratchings from the bag) - that what is left for the rest is less and less and less?

  • Comment number 57.

    228. At 10:05am on 10th Feb 2011, Giselle wrote:
    212. At 08:49am on 10th Feb 2011, kit peel wrote:
    Robert, why does it appear nobody on the BBC is reporting this astonishing planned change to the tax laws? Is it incorrect, or just too complex? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century
    -----------

    Kit, I hope you don't mind me copying your post - but it's only because I want Robert to answer your question too!

    ----------------------------

    Mr. Peston replied on twitter saying quote "For those looking for a view on the monbiot tax article, this is by no means a simple issue. its going to take a long while."

    Read your own blog Mr. Peston. You'll get the answer in minutes!

    I still have a feeling its to avoid the Transaction tax proposed by the EU.

  • Comment number 58.

    44. At 13:22pm on 10th Feb 2011, lookingforit35 wrote:

    "Amusing as ever WOTW # 24 posted "As you can see - the people with no argument always resort to childish insults"

    Absolutely correct! See his post #253 on 8th February re the additional bank levy: "....... a lot less stinky bacon bankers porking up the joint".

    Does prove his own point completely."

    I work in the city and it does stink of bacon - care to disagree with this fact? Maybe it's because you're a banker and cannot smell your own odour.

    Nice to see you have opened up an account especially to inform me of this - will you ever come back? I doubt it, most attacks are 'hit and run' from those with very little to contribute.

    Note to self - stop insulting the bankers - they cry like babies when the tables are turned and nobody likes to see a pig cry - it reminds everyone of that Babe movie..

  • Comment number 59.

    12. At 11:14am on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader:

    Seen the news lately? ... inflation hasn't been slain.

    Inconvenient that.

  • Comment number 60.

    53. At 14:18pm on 10th Feb 2011, corum-populo-2010 wrote:

    "Stand by my post on the actual question - and laugh at those posters who are intent on avoiding it? "

    it's not avoidance - it's EVASION - very different (apparently)

    ...but seriously, I think even Robert knows the answer to this question - I think John_from_Hendon answered it within 3 posts.

  • Comment number 61.

    57. At 14:26pm on 10th Feb 2011, Christian wrote:

    "Mr. Peston replied on twitter saying quote "For those looking for a view on the monbiot tax article, this is by no means a simple issue. its going to take a long while.""

    is this true? - does Robert use Twitter??

    ...which article are you referring to? - this one?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century

    I can't believe Robert is on twitter - one thing I will never engage in is something which begins with the word 'twit'.

    Is Robert on facebook? - what about Beebo? Does he have a 'web presence'?

    This is not the man I see on my TV, he doesn't sound like he's moved from quill pen and parchment paper yet!
    (I'm only joking Robert, we all know you've moved on to that 'clackity clack' typewriter and abacus ages ago)

  • Comment number 62.

    56. At 14:25pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    The capitalist must know that by grabbing large pieces of pie (or the biggest pork scratchings from the bag) - that what is left for the rest is less and less and less?

    ============================================================

    But surely they are also trying to make the cake grow so that that piece which they took becomes bigger, in theory this means more for the rest but sadly theory is just that, theory

  • Comment number 63.

    44 Days to Go. 26th March 2010 and I'm not talking about the Boat Race.

    With powerful voices of reason like George Monbiot directly supporting our group now and other peaceful protest groups like our's, UK Uncut are now growing at an exponential rate.

    Those coming on the 26th to London do not have to wait until then. Why not start your own event near you. There is support offered via twitter by UK Uncut to help get your event going. They are becoming an unlikely but important agent of change.

    We have events in Liverpool, Norfolk, Devon & Cambridgeshire this weekend with the protest being against Philip Green's Top Shop. There are people of all ages and backgrounds taking part, not just young people and it is completely peaceful, well at least by us. Its also a fantastic way to meet really clever interesting people. Who knows boys you might even fall in love, if your not already sorted.

    www.ukuncut.org.uk



  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    51. At 14:15pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    29. At 12:37pm on 10th Feb 2011, avalanche_invesmtents

    =====================================

    I don't have a problem with markets per se, as my sign-in implies, but I think it needs to be more widely understood that markets, while natural human phenomena, have their bounds. Unfettered free markets will always fall into monopoly, cartel or oligopoly and defeat their own ideological purpose. Plus the market does not work well when replaced by a oligopoly/monopoly in providing real societal needs, such as railways, health service, water services, energy. These needs, I believe, are better served by centrally planned non-profit organisations with a vigorous democratic oversight, and remember cooperation is also a naturally occuring human phenomena.

    For me the real elephant in the room causing the current system's failings is the extreme and increasing inequalities in outcome (property) and opportunity (capital and education). An economy that does not incentivise the majority of its citezens is doomed to fail. This needs to be reversed and is why I am in favour of heavy redistributive property taxes in spite of the fact that I am myself in the top 10% or 20% of this group.

    The core of the argument really does come down to how you ascribe property rights. Do you believe that they are absolute, like a libertarian, in which case then eternal acquisition is the state of nature and historical thefts are legitamised. Or do you think, as I do, that property ownership is indeed shared by the common-wealth and that any private usage of a property (i.e. your own home) should require the payment of a compensation to the common-wealth for its private use, i.e. property is vested in the state. That is why I support property taxes.

  • Comment number 66.

    So, the lesson now. as always, is to never, ever buy an investment 'vehicle' you don't understand - you are not stupid - the product is designed not to be understood. Yes, this still happens in the UK.

    Never trust a pension - there is little or no protection in England.

    Buy only basic legal insurance for your car and No claims insurance. Always insure your home if you own it.

  • Comment number 67.

    @1. Reticent_Trader:

    Every revelation of the extent of corruption, greed, mendacity and moral degeneracy which apparently abounds in that polluted millieu adds to one's disgust.

    I don't suppose that as a group they're any worse than the rest of us. Fiddling expenses is hardly limited to MP's after all. What I do suggest is that the system has hopelessly corrupted them and that it was bound to do so. When you inhabit a world in which all normal values have become totally distorted by the ready availability of hugely-disproportionate earnings while all around you normal people are losing jobs, homes, opportunities, savings..., (which you've contributed towards causing) anyone apart from a saint is going to have his/her values corrupted and is going to behave accordingly - "because everyone is doing it".

    What a sad state of affairs for our country!

  • Comment number 68.

    It is clear that the word has gone around the journalistic fraternity about the monbiot article, however i suspect they all ran to their "inside sources" in parliament to get the "truth (ahem) from the horses mouth." The problem is that the condems have no idea how to paint this in a good light hence causing a delay in a response. Heaven forbid a journalist one day does his own work and doesn't take the soundbites given to them!

  • Comment number 69.

    62. At 14:52pm on 10th Feb 2011, avalanche_invesmtents wrote:

    "But surely they are also trying to make the cake grow so that that piece which they took becomes bigger, in theory this means more for the rest but sadly theory is just that, theory"

    It's a cake remember - cakes don't grow!

    You're right, but the growth doesn't come from Captialism, it comes from man, invention and technological advances (increased productivity). This is why we have always grown economically before (and will after) capitalism.

    The motive of profit is not a good one, it panders to the lowest common denominators of man's weaknesses - greed and selfishness.

    It's got so bad that now some people think this is 'natural' and an unavoidable part of 'human nature'....or is that just a way of justifying their own greed?

    maybe if the pie was made of pork scratchings then there would be less clambouring for a larger piece! I'd let you have my share for starters.

  • Comment number 70.

    59. At 14:40pm on 10th Feb 2011, TonyH wrote:
    12. At 11:14am on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader:

    Seen the news lately? ... inflation hasn't been slain.

    Inconvenient that.

    =====================================

    I was talking about the period 1987 - 2007.

    But yes it will inconvenient as higher inflation allows less room for credit supply dumping unless you are the BoE doing QE and dont give a flying

  • Comment number 71.

    58. At 14:30pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    44. At 13:22pm on 10th Feb 2011, lookingforit35 wrote:

    "Amusing as ever WOTW # 24 posted "As you can see - the people with no argument always resort to childish insults"

    Absolutely correct! See his post #253 on 8th February re the additional bank levy: "....... a lot less stinky bacon bankers porking up the joint".

    Does prove his own point completely."

    I work in the city and it does stink of bacon - care to disagree with this fact? Maybe it's because you're a banker and cannot smell your own odour.

    Nice to see you have opened up an account especially to inform me of this - will you ever come back? I doubt it, most attacks are 'hit and run' from those with very little to contribute.

    Note to self - stop insulting the bankers - they cry like babies when the tables are turned and nobody likes to see a pig cry - it reminds everyone of that Babe movie..

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes indeed I opened an account. I did so to post a comment which I thought was actually the point of this blog. But I guess if I'm not an "established name" then I am fair game to WOTW to have some assumptions made about my motives, employment etc etc.

    Anyway, to the point. I have not said anything about my beliefs, politics or indeed anything else. I simply wanted to point out the rather contradictory tone of one post. Nothing more, nothing less. But there's no acknowledgement on WOTW's part that actually I have perhaps hit a raw nerve in that insulting others is the for those with no argument, unless it's done by WOTW!! I'm not criticising, just pointing out a rather absurd contradiction which I found amusing.

    No, I dont work in finance, far from it. I read these blogs for amusement and enlightenment. I'll no doubt point out contradictions in other posters' comments too if I feel it adds something. But hopefully I wont be invoke so many assumptions and slightly barbed comments.

    By the way, I have no experience of the City but unless you ARE indeed being quite rude and childish, then I imagine you are claiming that one part of London quite literally does smell of bacon and that pigs cry like babies. I think I may have proved my point!

  • Comment number 72.

    63. At 14:54pm on 10th Feb 2011, RedHairedGirl wrote:

    "44 Days to Go. 26th March 2010 and I'm not talking about the Boat Race. "

    Did I tell you it's my birthday? - 100% honestly it is, I think I share it with Diana Ross and James Caan....but also with Pacal II of the Mayan.

    Do you think it's a sign? I mean nothing significant has ever happened on my birthday before that I can recall....

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    63. At 14:54pm on 10th Feb 2011, RedHairedGirl:

    What are you protesting about?

    Why Top Shop?

  • Comment number 75.

    65. At 14:59pm on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader wrote:

    "while natural human phenomena, have their bounds. Unfettered free markets will always fall into monopoly, cartel or oligopoly and defeat their own ideological purpose"

    What? - a system which has it's goals of 'accumulating capital' results in those who 'accumulate the most capital' being given an unfair advantage in 'accumulating capital' going forward to the point where only those who have previously 'accumulated capital' end up 'accumulating all the capital' - reducing the capital left over for everyone else?

    How can this be?

  • Comment number 76.

    68. At 15:03pm on 10th Feb 2011, Christian wrote:

    "It is clear that the word has gone around the journalistic fraternity about the monbiot article, however i suspect they all ran to their "inside sources" in parliament to get the "truth (ahem) from the horses mouth." The problem is that the condems have no idea how to paint this in a good light hence causing a delay in a response. Heaven forbid a journalist one day does his own work and doesn't take the soundbites given to them!"


    To which article do you refer to?

  • Comment number 77.

    I think the main issue is still who is in charge of the creation of the money supply. It is madness to let a few private profiteers create cash to line their own pockets. the money supply should be in the hands of the state. Created debt free and only ever expanded to 1) create full emloyment 2) to match population growth. Under a strict constitutional framework it would mean politicians could not use it to their advantage come election time. I would also go one further and re-nationalise all industries that are a SOCIAL benefit and ignore the profit factor (this can be achieved with debt free money.)

    Water is subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    Buses are subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    trains are subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    electricity is subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    gas is subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    Banking is subsidised, the corporations make a disgusting profit


    Subsidised by the taxpayer so a corporation can then make further profits from the taxpayer. A very strange situation to me. inefficient and very punishing on us the lowly taxpayer.

    There will be many detractors from these statements however I think without a socialist agenda when the next financial bubble bursts. and peak energy is reached the only other alternative is slavery or chaos.

    www.positivemoney.org.uk

  • Comment number 78.

    65. At 14:59pm on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader:

    Oh, that's rich!

    Because you can afford it, you want to lumber everyone else with more expense.

    Tell you what, you donate your spare cash to charity and leave the rest of us alone.

  • Comment number 79.

    71. At 15:06pm on 10th Feb 2011, lookingforit35 wrote:

    "Yes indeed I opened an account. I did so to post a comment which I thought was actually the point of this blog. But I guess if I'm not an "established name" then I am fair game to WOTW to have some assumptions made about my motives, employment etc etc."

    ...no fair play - you came back, you've already gone up in my estimation.

    "Anyway, to the point. I have not said anything about my beliefs, politics or indeed anything else. I simply wanted to point out the rather contradictory tone of one post."

    Show me a man who claims he is not a hypocrite and I shall show you a liar. Of course I was hypocritical - but I'm afraid my insult was out of boredom, not some ideological belief which has failed.....and the city does stink of bacon - I'm not lying! Maybe it's the coffee van outside RBS - perhaps he's branching out..

    "Nothing more, nothing less. But there's no acknowledgement on WOTW's part that actually I have perhaps hit a raw nerve in that insulting others is the for those with no argument, unless it's done by WOTW!! I'm not criticising, just pointing out a rather absurd contradiction which I found amusing."

    I have no nerves - you cannot hit a raw one.

    "No, I dont work in finance, far from it. I read these blogs for amusement and enlightenment. I'll no doubt point out contradictions in other posters' comments too if I feel it adds something. But hopefully I wont be invoke so many assumptions and slightly barbed comments."

    Whatever makes you feel good - well that's what the utilitarians say.

    "By the way, I have no experience of the City but unless you ARE indeed being quite rude and childish, then I imagine you are claiming that one part of London quite literally does smell of bacon and that pigs cry like babies. I think I may have proved my point!"

    Come to the city - I can show you the miles and miles of bacon literally hanging from every lampost. Dick Whittington came because he was told the streets were paved with gold - I came from the Black country because I heard bacon and black pudding adorned the streets......and it's all true...every last word of it.

    Just this morning I fell over a side of pork coming to work. He wasn't too concerned as he was on his blackberry, so I stuck an apple (ipod) in his mouth and moved on.

    ...there are some very curly tails in the city of Londinium.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    "What's driving exchanges' urge to merge" is still the title of Mr Preston's blog.

    Still stand by my posts on this issue. Post 60 @ 14:45pm on 10 Feb 2011 - 'writingsonthewall' referring me to another BBC registered poster whose regular intent is to comment on others' posts to flood various BBC sites- yet little original content of their own?

  • Comment number 82.

    74. At 15:11pm on 10th Feb 2011, TonyH wrote:

    "What are you protesting about?

    Why Top Shop?"

    I'm guessing you're over 40?
    You need to get daaan with de yoof man. Top shop and vodafone are not paying dare taxis while students is loosing their EMA and paying stink fees - and it is well wrong. So a lot of youngsters block up their shop and show their anger - just like their muvva's and favvers used to at Aldermarston and stuff back in der day.....but which they haz fogottin since they became part of der corporote machines.

    Even I've participated on one, and I am an old geezer of 36. You're never to old to fight injustice - although I did have to be helped back onto my feet by a policeman - the old sit down protests are murder on your back. Next time I'll take a fold out chair.....

  • Comment number 83.

    67. At 15:02pm on 10th Feb 2011, torpare wrote:
    @1. Reticent_Trader:
    ====================================================

    Indeed, it is a sad state of affairs and I lay most blame on the Thatcher generation of "I'm alright, Jack", "Loadsa Money", "No such thing as society" etc.

    To the people who (reluctantly) advocate capitalism because it is more in tune with natural human nature like greed, I say that is the very reason we need social institutions that mitigate the effects of greed.

    Other advocates have a more pervasive argument that the pursuit of greed causes a benefit to all through innovation etc. This argument began with Smith's invisible hand and has led to current neo-liberal system. I have some doubts to its overall validity but can see how it could work in theory. However if the pursuit of hapiness is only open to a select few, and the game is rigged in their behaviour, then it will to the moral and economic degeneration we face today.

  • Comment number 84.

    78. At 15:18pm on 10th Feb 2011, TonyH wrote:

    "Tell you what, you donate your spare cash to charity and leave the rest of us alone."

    Charity is fraud - it masks the Governments reponsibility to society. It's only because people give to charity that the Government is able to perpetuate such social injustice.
    Volunteering is a much better idea - because it cannot be absorbed into 'administration costs' - see how much the execs of many large charities get 'paid'.

    ...what do you mean you thought they were volunteers...?

    http://society.guardian.co.uk/salarysurvey/table/0,12406,1042677,00.html

  • Comment number 85.

    80. At 15:20pm on 10th Feb 2011, You wrote:

    "73. At 15:09pm on 10th Feb 2011, You wrote:

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

    Did I go and mention the article again?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/tax-city-heist-of-century"

    maybe not.

  • Comment number 86.

    82. At 15:29pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewal:


    Oh!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    78. At 15:18pm on 10th Feb 2011, TonyH wrote:
    65. At 14:59pm on 10th Feb 2011, Reticent_Trader:

    Oh, that's rich!

    Because you can afford it, you want to lumber everyone else with more expense.

    Tell you what, you donate your spare cash to charity and leave the rest of us alone.

    ====================================

    You are a good debater. I like your ideas and contribution to the discussion.

    "Because you can afford it, you want to lumber everyone else with more expense."

    Actually, I advocate abolishing most income taxes (except maybe until a high maximum wage level - not sure), consumption taxes and indirect taxes and replaced by say a 1% tax on the value of property for normal joes rising to say 5% on a multiple landlords, to a 10% property value tax on the owners of large estates.

    I suspect 80% of people would pay far less tax in this regards. It will redistribute, it will force the large property owners and landlords to sell. And if they want to leave then bye, bye.
    Remember most capital is ultimately based on property and land.

  • Comment number 89.

    36. At 12:55pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    Capitalists? - care to comment on your 'bailout estimates'?


    Don't regard meself as a capitalist but I am willing to wager that the govt does post a paper profit on the deals when they hand back control to private shareholders (that last bit's a joke)


  • Comment number 90.

    for those of you interested in the Monibot article (aren't we all!) this one is even more informative - (thanks to StuartReader for finding it)

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmtreasy/memo/taxpolicy/m46.htm

  • Comment number 91.

    17. At 11:32am on 10th Feb 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    10. At 10:59am on 10th Feb 2011, Bim Sherman wrote:
    Roll on the 26th March, so i can have my voice.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ditto
    -----
    And ditto,
    Robin Gitte (nee PacketRat)

  • Comment number 92.

    82. At 15:29pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall:

    Thinking about your post - what with the price of petrol and everything, would it be morally acceptable if I did it on the living room carpet?

    Careful! ... careful! ...


    On a serious note, would it not be more democratic to simply stop buying their products? Surely loss of revenue would better make the point.

    Money may be mute, but it does talk.

  • Comment number 93.

    76. At 15:13pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    68. At 15:03pm on 10th Feb 2011, Christian wrote:

    "It is clear that the word has gone around the journalistic fraternity about the monbiot article, however i suspect they all ran to their "inside sources" in parliament to get the "truth (ahem) from the horses mouth." The problem is that the condems have no idea how to paint this in a good light hence causing a delay in a response. Heaven forbid a journalist one day does his own work and doesn't take the soundbites given to them!"


    To which article do you refer to?

    ...........
    http://twitter.com/peston
    Finger almost on the pulse. The pulse can be found on the blog of course.

  • Comment number 94.

    Writings, for the last time, bailout cost = £7bn, show me the maths that say otherwise.

    Although I would argue that the recent moves have been similar to a capital raising in that the govt have essentially taken 1bn out, possibly more, plus 2bn last year. And given the UK public were already senior debt providers (savers) and dependant customers - the bailout was actually a transfer of risk from UK public to UK govt but either way the bailout is less than other historical bailouts for many other industries notably farming and the auto's.

    Tax revenue is published by the way and broken down by sector, so the problem with your article is that if its true then it will be obvious for all to see.....

  • Comment number 95.

    62. At 14:52pm on 10th Feb 2011, avalanche_invesmtents wrote:
    56. At 14:25pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    The capitalist must know that by grabbing large pieces of pie (or the biggest pork scratchings from the bag) - that what is left for the rest is less and less and less?

    ============================================================

    But surely they are also trying to make the cake grow so that that piece which they took becomes bigger, in theory this means more for the rest but sadly theory is just that, theory

    ..................
    The cake only grows by taking it from others. So really its just that the disrtibution of cake is being accumulated by fewer hands. Our share is nothing more than crumbs handed back, for if they distributed the cake evenly their proportion would stay the same.



  • Comment number 96.

    82. At 15:29pm on 10th Feb 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    74. At 15:11pm on 10th Feb 2011, TonyH wrote:

    "What are you protesting about?

    Why Top Shop?"


    The lefties want to close these places down, so more people lose their jobs. They hate anyone who creates jobs and make a profit. Have you ever met a socialist worker who works ? I have not, they are very rare.

  • Comment number 97.

    77. At 15:15pm on 10th Feb 2011, Christian wrote:
    I think the main issue is still who is in charge of the creation of the money supply. It is madness to let a few private profiteers create cash to line their own pockets. the money supply should be in the hands of the state. Created debt free and only ever expanded to 1) create full emloyment 2) to match population growth. Under a strict constitutional framework it would mean politicians could not use it to their advantage come election time. I would also go one further and re-nationalise all industries that are a SOCIAL benefit and ignore the profit factor (this can be achieved with debt free money.)

    Water is subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    Buses are subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    trains are subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    electricity is subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    gas is subsidised, the corporations make a profit
    Banking is subsidised, the corporations make a disgusting profit


    Subsidised by the taxpayer so a corporation can then make further profits from the taxpayer. A very strange situation to me. inefficient and very punishing on us the lowly taxpayer.

    There will be many detractors from these statements however I think without a socialist agenda when the next financial bubble bursts. and peak energy is reached the only other alternative is slavery or chaos.

    www.positivemoney.org.uk
    ...................
    If Ravi Batra is correct when the financial bubble bursts we will enter the "age of warriors" and the current ruling elite will be thrown out. That will be the perfect time for monetary reform.

  • Comment number 98.

    @51. writingsonthewall wrote:

    "The most revealing aspect of all this is that the Communists, Anarchists and Free Market(ists) all want the same thing - no Government.....the debate is simply about the best way to achieve it."

    Can't entirely go along with that analysis. "Anarchists and Free Marketists" -yes (I assume you're referring to the libertarians). But communists - surely not. Marx angrily parted company with anarchism (Proudhon et al) on just those grounds. Marx believed fervently in the use of state power - once the proletariat had captured it of course. Yes I know you're going to refer me to the ultimate Marxian/communist utopia in which the state has "withered away". I wonder if anyone has ever believed in that dream? As you're so fond of saying: Don't look at what they say. look at what they do."

  • Comment number 99.

    27. At 12:32pm on 10th Feb 2011, SpannermanPete wrote:

    Re 1
    I'm intrigued by the comments regarding off-accounts jollies being bandied around. In my industry (Pharma) we are activiley prevented from soliciting or receiving such and have been repeatedly heavily fined in US for such activities which tend to lead to inappropriate behaviour by the recipient. Aren't such activities covered by the new UK Bribery laws if not the equivalent US ones?

    ===================================================

    I seem to remember a spate of fines in the investment banking industry a few years ago.
    Apparently, the sales traders where flogging investments to their clients as a good deal. They were having a laugh with there own analysts who thought it was a bad deal.
    A lot of legislation was brought in that monitored communications.
    The result: do not write it down and make sure nobody is listening in to inside information.
    It's (un)surprising how the markets seem to pre-emptively react to news.

    If an individual breaks the law, they face jail. If a company breaks the regulations, they face a fine. Just factor it in to your profits and see if you get away with it.

  • Comment number 100.

    On a brighter note i have now managed to move my accounts over to leeds credit union (thank you creditunionhero.) I now have piece of mind regards the handling of my money. I think everybody who fears the big institutions, dont believe them, or think (rightly) they are as safe as a straw house in the wind, i urge you to chose these for savings and maybe a building society for current account. many credit unions dont do current accounts but i think they willl head in that direction as loathing for banks increases.

    I also put together a Bug Out Bag for a rainy day.
    Better hiding in a bush that a slave to corporatism.

 

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