BBC BLOGS - Peston's Picks
« Previous | Main | Next »

How Sky News could be sold

Robert Peston | 09:19 UK time, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I am going to write a bit more about News Corps' plan to buy Sky this morning, as I wait to board my plane to Zurich, the first step of the meandering journey to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

But I will digress at the start by quoting from the end of Mervyn King's speech of yesterday. What caught my eye was this resonant phrase:

"The Bank of England cannot prevent the squeeze on real take-home pay that so many families are now beginning to realise is the legacy of the banking crisis and the need to rebalance our economy."

You can guess what the governor thinks of banks paying huge bonuses in these circumstances.

But on to Sky - and the view in the City of London of yesterday's decision by Jeremy Hunt to give News Corp some time to propose remedies to the harm that Ofcom sees arising from its proposed takeover of all of British Sky Broadcasting.

Investors have concluded - as I mentioned yesterday - that News Corp will put forward a plan to spin off Sky News, since it is the independence and distinctiveness of Sky News that Ofcom fears is most in jeopardy.

This is more easily do-able than I may have initially thought. British Sky Broadcasting would - I am told - simply have to guarantee to buy Sky News's output for a very long time, probably a minimum of 10 years.

With that guaranteed income stream, which would have to be sufficient to cover Sky News's costs, there would probably be quite a few potential buyers of Sky News, both media industry buyers and financial buyers.

But there is an important wrinkle here about the timetable for such a disposal or spin-off of Sky News that the culture secretary might demand.

News Corp will almost certainly promise to separate Sky News just as soon as the takeover of BSkyB is completed. And News Corp would undoubtedly give legal undertakings that would satisfy Mr Hunt, his lawyers, and the regulators at the Office of Fair Trading and Ofcom.

But if Mr Hunt were to agree this post-deal cure, he would potentially pull the rug from under BSkyB's board and from BSkyB's unaligned shareholders.

Because in those circumstance, News Corp could simply slap its lowest credible takeover bid on the table, perhaps just 50p more than the 700p offer which BSkyB has already rejected - and News Corp would dare BSkyB's independent directors and investors to reject it.

But if Mr Hunt were to insist that the Sky News problem was fixed before completion of the takeover - a fix-it first process which is frequently employed in similar circumstances in the US - then the entire power relationship between News Corp and BSkyB would be altered.

Because News Corp would need the co-operation of BSkyB's current board to sell Sky News. And the undoubted price that the BSkyB board would extract for their help would be a significantly higher takeover price, something no lower than 800p a share and possibly higher than that

How much money is at stake? Well for those who own the 61% of BSkyB shares not already owned by News Corp, a requirement from Mr Hunt that Sky News is fixed first rather than later could mean they receive around £1bn extra for their shares (so perhaps £8.5bn to £9bn for their stake, versus News Corp's original offer of £7.5bn).

Here's what Mr Hunt should perhaps consider - that the small print of how News Corp plans to solve the Sky News issue may determine whether investors (looking after our savings) see him as a hero or something else.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Re Mervyn's speech...

    The Tory ideology of "trickle-down" prosperity looks like it's rapidly turning into "trickle-up" poverty!

  • Comment number 2.

    Robert, you are not going to be popular in government circles this morning.

    Firstly, drawing attention to Merv's speech which blamed our current problems on the banks and an unbalanced British economy. (No mention of the previous government.)

    Secondly by suggesting that Mr Hunt should put the interests of UK savers and investors before those the Tories' foreign friend and backer, Mr Murdoch. The next step would be to ensure that News Corp paid a proper amount of tax!

    Well, at least Mr Osborne's new preferred economic indicator looks a bit better today (some sunshine and no snow):

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/se/london_forecast_weather.html

  • Comment number 3.

    So let me try to understand. For the £10 billion in bank bonuses not to be inflationary, the rest of us have to receive £10 billion less in pay this year. Maybe we are all in this together!

  • Comment number 4.

    If there is a timing issue with selling Sky News and the resulting price, this can be overcome by fixing the price before Mr Hunt agrees the sale; and the sale takes place afterwards.

    Selling Sky News may not be enough though. If Sky is the only substantial customer for "Sky news" for some time, that's not really independent. Will Mr Hunt feel obliged to find "Sky News" new customers so that the power of BSkyB is lessened? The thought of a minister having a part time sales job is intriguing.

  • Comment number 5.

    Rock and hard place comes to mind. Some will no doubt prefer to use Mr Hunt's R4 Today name when the deal finally comes out. One safe bet is that Murdoch will at least win on points.

  • Comment number 6.

    King's statement quoted above is obviously the first step to dodge any responsibility on his, the BoE and the MPC's part in the banking crisis. It is also helpfully provocative if the government continue to go soft on the sector and its scandalous remuneration levels.

  • Comment number 7.

    Robert,

    'But I will digress at the start by quoting from the end of Mervyn King's speech of yesterday. What caught my eye was this resonant phrase:
    "The Bank of England cannot prevent the squeeze on real take-home pay that so many families are now beginning to realise is the legacy of the banking crisis and the need to rebalance our economy."

    You can guess what the governor thinks of banks paying huge bonuses in these circumstances.'

    I think what Mervyn is trying to say is

    'if the Government don't rebalance the economy soon and make life in this sceptic isle a little fairer for everybody then the hard working ordinary families will do it for them'

  • Comment number 8.

    I think Cameron, Clegg, Osbourne and Cable will regret not firing King immediately in light of King's speech last night.

    All King has done is rub the noses of the people in it last night.

    He has basically admitted that his economic policies have failed and continue to fail.

    He has basically admitted that all he has done is make life incredibly harder for hard-working people and small businesses whilst allowing the banksters to give themselves huge bonuses yet again.

    I am not surprised by the angry reaction I am hearing online this morning, on the radio and in the work-place to what King said.

    I think it will be a very naive politician who does not realise the growing anger in the UK over King's policies.

    King has basically stuck 2 fingers up to the electorate IMPO - but what does he care I guess as he, unlike Cameron and Clegg, is not dependent upon being voted into office by the people.

    Even worse, although King's policies have now clearly failed he seems intent on trying the same thing again. If at first you mess up then keep on making the same mistake appears to be his mantra?

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    When did Sky first tell the government they were considering buying BSkyB. Before they backed them in the election?

  • Comment number 11.

    Did i just hear inflation may go out to 5% but BOE needn't panic as it'll fall back, as no one will be spending by year end?

    Given our growth especially over last 10 years has already been fueled by individuals and businesses taking on debt - which is no longer an option and now compounded by falling house prices, general belt tightening, job losses, price rises because increased production costs and a projected rise in interest rates. It seems that unless wages increase there is no slack in the system!

    As wages have been fairly stagnant across many sectors for most workers and now confirmed as being in retreat for last 6 years, it seems that because we've been taking on personal debt against anticipated perpetual house price rises etc to supplement income, companies have been able to mask their true profitability - how many could afford a 10-20% rise in wage bills at the moment and survive?

    Added to this looking at the broader picture, with a growing global population (both physical and in terms of aspiration), dwindling resources, because of depletion and natural disaster, surely there will be greater competition for those resources, meaning costs for everything will rise further for both public and private consumption.

    Whilst some take comfort that we recovered from previous crashes, the difference then was that we were on the upward curve for energy finds and had a far smaller global population. Now we are on the downward carbon curve and have at least twice the global population! The carbon problem is best evidenced by the number of previously unviable wells and mines that are now re-opening as energy prices sky-rocket and how much deeper we are having to go to get oil such as with the recent BP oil-rig incident and the cost that such exploration costs. At one time it used to take in energy terms, one barrel of oil to extract 100, now that ratio is down to 1-5 or even 1-3 according to some sources. This of course impacts on all sectors and prices as all are reliant on energy.

    What are your thoughts on Jevons Paradox and energy efficiency?

    So are we being slightly mislead in the UK when commentators talk about 3 - 5 or even 10 year timeframes for 'recovery' when perhaps 20 - 30 years seems more likely, when set against the debt and global clamour for resources, especially as wages will inevitably be sat on as a way of maintaining British businesses being competitive in a global marketplace?

  • Comment number 12.

    Maybe Andy Coulson or Rebekah Brooks could head up the newly independennt Sky News.

  • Comment number 13.

    This means they could spin it off, buy its output and then set up Fox News UK with entirely different content, buying in Sky News' output for the bulletins.

    Plus ca change...

  • Comment number 14.

    @5 Mr Jeremy Naughtie-Word has been craven in his attempts to appease Mr Murdoch. But Murdoch has never really been more than a fair-weather friend to anyone. The evidence is also that he does not care about freedom and democracy - his kowtowing to Beijing over Tienanmen Square and other matters has proved that. His strategy is to appease those more powerful than he is, whilst bullying leaders when he can in a democracy.

    Fox News' support for the "looney right" has polarised the US and made it almost ungovernable. Indeed, as the US descends toward political paralysis if not outright civil war, one might ask oneself who benefits? Perhaps one day Mr M will collect the equivalent of 30 pieces of silver in reminmbi?

  • Comment number 15.

    Now I've seen the full footage - I think there might be a 'culture of sexism' within SKY.

    Not only were sexist comments made, but you can see by the reaction (or lack of it) by the female presenter in the Andy Gray case that these sorts of comments are commonplace.

    I am not surprised at this, I mean after all, what do you expect with a male dominated industry paranoid about it's own inferiority.

    What is encouraging is this is further evidence of the prospect of "the collapsed beginning from within" - where these lying organisations, whether they be media channels, Governments, Banks or anything else - are being exposed by the employees within them who cannot contain their morailty any longer. (I mean how do you think these videos are being leaked?)

    This may play into the hands of Murdoch as scandals about sexism may bring the share price down for him.
    However this would be in line with a conspiracy - and I don't think Rupert's that organised!

    I'd also like to point out that in nearly every revolution in modern history - it's the TV stations which are occupied first.

    ....now what does that say about the importance of communication to people? A concept which News corp are desperately trying to deny exists - citing that people have the 'choice' not to watch or read it.
    However in order to have 'choice' - you need unbiased options, and I don't call packaging SKY news with SKY Sports anything like this.

    If there is any truth in the ideal of choice on SKY - then why can't you subscribe to JUST the sports channels?

    If they want to PROVE the quality of SKY news - then make it subscription only and see how many people bother to sign up.

    Choice is but an illusion.

  • Comment number 16.

    An alternative for News Corp would be to divest itself of some or all of its UK newspapers. Despite Mr Murdoch's affection for the Sun, Times etc they no longer make anything like the sort of profits that they did in the 1990s; profits that allowed him to create Sky in the first place. And if the News of the World phone-hacking saga gets significantly worse, selling the whole lot may make sense.

  • Comment number 17.

    "The Bank of England cannot prevent the squeeze on real take-home pay that so many families are now beginning to realise is the legacy of the banking crisis and the need to rebalance our economy."

    Add to that outgoing CBI chief Richard Lambert's summation of the government's actions so far and their contempt for the British public becomes clear. He said :

    "Rather than a big picture of the kind of economic eco-system that the government wants to champion we are left with a few rather vague ideas for supporting a number of predictable sectors...Its taken a series of policy initiatives for political reasons, apparently careless of the damage they might do to business and job creation"

    The Murdoch deal is a political move. Small businesses have been identified as the prime growth area for the British economy and they are being bled dry by banks. Cameron and Co. (P.R. Agency) are dragging their feet over banks reform too. It becomes clear that small government means handing over the reigns to big business and the government has no intention of really doing anything to promote private sector growth to repair the damage it does to the public sector and everyone. Meanwhile the cash-rich corporations sit on their hands waiting to see how it all pans out. They are loyal to shareholders (but mostly their own boardrooms) and have no sense of social responsibility. The Condems have no vision whatsoever other than staying in power which it intends to do by passing the buck at every conceivable opportunity. I wouldn't expect "The recovery" to be recovered any time soon.
    The flat growth rates we are experiencing look set to continue for a very long time. The government are gambling on the idea that the economic cycle will magically swing up by the time the next election comes by which point we will have all forgotten about it. Meanwhile : chaos.

  • Comment number 18.

    Small wonder that David Blanchflower threw the towel in and resigned from the MPC a while back!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8173048/WikiLeaks-Mervyn-King-urged-to-resign-after-admitting-Cameron-concerns.html

    'David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, claimed that Mervyn King's "thirst for power and influence" had "clouded his judgement one too many times". '

  • Comment number 19.

    #10. DenseSingularity wrote:
    "When did Sky first tell the government they were considering buying BSkyB. Before they backed them in the election?"

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Did they back both horses then?

    I don't care who buys it as I no longer watch Sky News. I got sick of the ads. I feel I should not stand idly by and let anything happen to it but we do have a Watchdog.

    I am more concerned by the inevitable next derivative collapse.

  • Comment number 20.

    Has it occured to anyone else that perhaps Fox News's views might reflect those of its viewers rather than the other way round. After all, they watch it voluntarily; there are plenty of alternative news channels over there including the fairly lefty CNN.

  • Comment number 21.

    Robert, thanks for focusing on the discrepancy between Mervin King's statement that average pay had to be squeezed and the obvious expectancy of CEO's and top bankers that they should not share in the pain of having lower real incomes. Spephanie Flanders somehow forgot to highlight this point in her blog on King's speech. Whilst you are networking in Davos, maybe you can convince some of the conference attendees at the World Economic Forum to share in the pain of average employees, that these CEO's and 'world leaders' should pay back any undeserved mega bonuses, empty their accounts in tax havens (Switzerland, Cayman Islands and Jersey included), and pay back the tax they or their companies have evaded or avoided, and generally be good and respectable citizens.
    You can find some helpful arguments to present your case here:
    http://globalinsights.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 22.

    15. At 10:54am on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "If they want to PROVE the quality of SKY news - then make it subscription only and see how many people bother to sign up.

    Choice is but an illusion."

    Perhaps the BBC could prove their quality by making it subscription only and then seeing how many people bother to sign up rather than forcing everyong with TV receivers pay a fee to fund them. That is most definitely not choice

    #20

    No, you are being too sensible again. It will make some people on here really angry you know

  • Comment number 23.

    Mr King is not easy to like (thus he didn't choose a career as a politician) but he does tell the country some uneasy truths. Our growth pre-crisis was based on a large injection of debt (which the govt encouraged, the banks facilitated, the people happily hoovered up). Debt is like a method of increasing the stake on a bet, so mortgages are leveraged bets that house prices will go higher, if the bet wins then great, if it doesn't it leaves a liability thats difficult to absorb (by assumption the person or company probably doesn't have the funds to cover it) and that is exactly where we find ourselves. We have to absorb bad leveraged bets and until most are absorbed by real growth (invention/creation/innovation etc - not short term achievables) we will all get poorer and have less, anyone saying differently is simply not being honest.

    The chain is {person/company lose}-{bank lose]-{country lose}, thus most of the bad bets, which originate from the people (or people running companies) sit with either the banks or the govt or both.

    This is why its always interesting to hear people saying 'we need to get the banks lending again' - will the bets be winners this time? I would argue thats exactly what they shouldn't do unless the debtors can easily cover the bets if they go wrong (thus 100% mortgages are gone).

    Mr King is unpleasant but right, we are going to get poorer because we all bet that we would keep getting richer.....

  • Comment number 24.

    @20 "Has it occured to anyone else that perhaps Fox News's views might reflect those of its viewers rather than the other way round."

    It's an incestuous fantasy feedback loop. Ignorance is glorified. They may or may not believe their own untruths, but Fox pundidts certainly use a Goebbels-like strategy for propagating them. I'm sure that Mr Murdoch himself doesn't believe half of the hogwash he disseminates, but as is clear from the Sun, education of his customers to understand the world's complexities has never been part of his agenda.

  • Comment number 25.

    If as Robert Peston is saying Jeremy Hunt adopts the "fix-it-first" routine, then why not extend the comparative analysis and examine all the issues which News Corp had to manage when they 'acquired' FOX in the US and controlling stakes in media companies in all other countries including Australia. I am all for pro-choice as most comments here seem to reflect - there is more than enough sensibility left with us in Britain to choose wisely. Surely Mr Murdoch must realise that he can't buy us all - or has senility really crept in early to think otherwise, Cameron-Hunt subservient follies notwithstanding.

  • Comment number 26.

    Fix News...Lye News...and BBC Nus (as in Nu-Labour)...we have a surfeit of Gnus : all are 'consolidatable' under the rubric Distorting Mirrors' News.

    As for the papers , I read the News of the World last Sunday. I found it hard to find the Noos therein. I only wanted independent unbiased global news.

    Perhaps after all No News is good News....but were does one go to find No News ?

  • Comment number 27.

    What alot of you don't realise is this, the government who ever they are do not have any control over the banks, yes they could tax them more but I suspect that as much as they make huge profits, they also pay huge taxes into the treasury too.

    The banks are business's and no one has the right to tell them what to do, if people don't like it then go & join them we all have a choice of where we work.

    As for the BOE & Mr king, too many people criticising him, if rates go up it will cripple the country so the BOE has a very difficult balancing act to do.

    I beleive that they have done a good job for our country & in fact if everyone understood the wider economy then you would have seen this coming when to Tories came to pwer & announced the huge cuts.

    We are facing very tough times & if we carry on doing what the government intend to do then we are in serious trouble, the problem is we are all being robbed of our earnings, it's been going on for years & like the previous government did this government have no problem in robbing the poor & especialy the middle class working man/women.

    I dread to think what will happen to the pensioners etc in another 2-3 decades as no one can afford to save any more, this country is on it's knees & will be taken even further into trouble by this government because they don't have a clue how to run the economy & frankly they don't care.

    They need to seriously consider cutting fuel duty now by at least 10p, that will help us all out.

  • Comment number 28.

    #23 Reykjavik-on-Thames wrote:

    'Debt is like a method of increasing the stake on a bet, so mortgages are leveraged bets that house prices will go higher, if the bet wins then great...'

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

    NO!

    A mortgage is obtained to buy a house to live in and possibly raise a family in.

    It's just your sort of thinking that has got us into this mess.

    Speculation should be removed from the necessities of life i.e. food, shelter and energy.

  • Comment number 29.

    Looking at the posts from the past few days, it seems that virtually no-one believes that the government will block the SKY deal, despite the serious problems which Ofcom highlighted. Not to mention the morality of allowing one private company a near monopoly on news coverage.

    This is sad, but it is typical of today's broken society. It's about time we got rid of corrupt politicians and replaced them with something that is fit for purpose.

    Bye the way, we are still waiting to hear what the government's proposals are for ending banker's bonuses. (Currently £7bn, or to put it another way, £100 for every man, woman and child in the UK)

  • Comment number 30.

    26. At 13:11pm on 26th Jan 2011, Amused2Death wrote:
    Fix News...Lye News...and BBC Nus (as in Nu-Labour)...we have a surfeit of Gnus : all are 'consolidatable' under the rubric Distorting Mirrors' News.
    As for the papers , I read the News of the World last Sunday. I found it hard to find the Noos therein. I only wanted independent unbiased global news.
    Perhaps after all No News is good News....but were does one go to find No News ?
    =======================
    I find the Economist gives an unbiased view, but perhaps their bias matches mine, and only weekly but it takes the whole week to read.

  • Comment number 31.

    Despite what Mr. King and the outgoing head of the CBI say it still won't stop the Condems going ahead with their proposed cuts.I also find it frightening that there might not be a Plan B if their proposals don't work.
    If our Rup does end up buying Newscorps then whats to stop him introducing the same right wing news broadcasts a la Fox in this country and encouraging it's even further polarisation. I don't reckon Hunt will put up all that much of a fight as regards the takeover anyway. Maybe the guy who had a Freudian slip when mispronouncing his name wasn't far off the mark after all, pity he didn't put useless in front of it.

  • Comment number 32.

    28. At 13:23pm on 26th Jan 2011, DebtJuggler wrote:
    "NO!

    A mortgage is obtained to buy a house to live in and possibly raise a family in."

    It is the buyers of the houses that introduced the speculation, with the aid of various media articles/shows about how easy it was to make money out of a house, hence the average mortgage life was around 2-3 years during the past 10 years or so.

    I agree, ideally a house should be a long term purchase, hence a 25 year mortgage term, but that was something else that fot forgotten

  • Comment number 33.

    20. At 12:08pm on 26th Jan 2011, AnotherEngineer wrote:

    "Has it occured to anyone else that perhaps Fox News's views might reflect those of its viewers rather than the other way round. After all, they watch it voluntarily; there are plenty of alternative news channels over there including the fairly lefty CNN."

    ...not on basic cable - in the US, the minimum you always get is Fox news. Even I had to watch it in a hotel room as there was no other news channel.

    Also, FOX claim the rating demonstrate their popularity - but as any statistician knows, the collection of the ratings is an incorrect premise.

    If FOX was subscription - do you believe they would have the same viewing figures?

    Unfortunately there is a (acceptable) assumption by viewers that any news programme is FACTUAL....and therefore what is said must be heeded. However the news is becoming less and less factual and more and more opinionated - but nobody has updated the viewer on this change.

    Don't forget, the whole media - failed to scrutinise the lies told by Government about the Iraq war and WMD's. Why should the viewer have to sift through what is fact and what is not to make an 'informed decision' on what is supposed to be a factual programme.

    The truth of the matter is most of those FOX viewers have no idea what they're being told - they presume it's fact because it's on the news.

    We've seen how accurate the Murdoch media is - remember the landlord in Bristol arrested recently for the murder of Joanna Yeates? - well the Murdoch press had him all 'fitted up' for the crime - in one paper actually quoting the schoolkids from his old school who apparently described him as a pervert (not the most reliable source)

    ...and look, it turns out it wasn't him - but that doesn't mean his life hasn't been ruined by the ravenous Murdoch empire in the process of "a good story".

    This is the news format you currently support.

  • Comment number 34.

    Did someone mention that News Corp could sell the UK papers instead of Sky news?
    Would that make commercial sense? After all with numbers of all newspapers being sold going down is it not good sense to get rid of money pits? At least that is what industrialists have done these last 30 odd years. No major industry, no major production happens in this country, it has all gone abroad to 'cheaper' places.
    Maybe Sky news should be sold off to the Chinese to make the news cheaper? And then News Corp could buy up Sky.....

    Problem solved.. Politicians and Mr Murdoch again can have meals and fun without looking as if a deal is been done. .......

  • Comment number 35.

    22. At 12:40pm on 26th Jan 2011, yam yzf wrote:

    "Perhaps the BBC could prove their quality by making it subscription only and then seeing how many people bother to sign up rather than forcing everyong with TV receivers pay a fee to fund them. That is most definitely not choice"

    .........you can CHOOSE not to pay your license fee and have no TV - so the idea there is no choice seems to be the same as the choice for subscription channels you have presented previously. (you pay and have, or you don't and not have)

    Clearly the dumbing down of TV is affecting you.

  • Comment number 36.

    I posted a while ago about the business logic of the purchase for News International, but another point thats bothering me, is why are Ofcom (and many of the posters on here) so concerned?

    In the Uk we have a wide range of 'free at the point of use' news services - BBC, ITV and Channel 4 on TV (plus Sky News if you have freeview)
    BBC, Guardian and Telegraph (plus some less 'newsy' ones) online
    And in most major cities the Metro in print (plus the Evening Standard in London)

    At present Murdoch directly controls 0% of this market - with Sky News he would have a tiny percentage.

    What I would be interested in is - what percentage of people actually pay for news?
    True, in this paid for arena Murdoch is pay far the largest player - but he is nowhere near a monopoly - the Mirror, Mail, Telegraph and Gaurdian are all still pretty important, at least

    I'm no fan of Murdoch - I think Fox News is abhorant, but I do think his importance is slightly overplayed at times...

  • Comment number 37.

    A news organisation with impeccible credentials for unbiased reporting, could aquire sky news, and the suggested longterm contract, and do us all a favour and silence the shouty bigotry that eminates from every rolling hour of Sky news Output. Unless of course that contract might specify a political bias to the news output ??

  • Comment number 38.

    22. At 12:40pm on 26th Jan 2011, yam yzf wrote:

    "#20

    No, you are being too sensible again. It will make some people on here really angry you know"

    So what are you complaining about the BBC for? - I mean maybe the BBC exists because of the intelligence of it's viewers and not because of an enforced license fee.
    Do I like to pay my license fee? - of course not.
    Do I want to watch drivel and american dramas which all follow the same format? - of course I don't.

    Then I pay my license fee.

    However if I want to watch sport legally, lets say Premiership football - then I am FORCED to contribute towards SKY news and all the other drivel on SKY.

    As I have said before - if this wasn't the same supermarket milk scam (which you claim you don't fall for) - then why can't you subscribe to Sky sports ONLY and not have the other 4000 crappy channels?

    Never fear, I shall be proven right in the end, because despite the popularity of SKY, when the choice becomes between SKY and heating - then SKY will end up 'unsubscribed'.

    ...and besides, most people I know still on SKY actually called to cancel it but were offered '6 months free' to stay. Eventually giving it away will become too much.

  • Comment number 39.

    32. At 13:46pm on 26th Jan 2011, yam yzf wrote:

    "It is the buyers of the houses that introduced the speculation, with the aid of various media articles/shows about how easy it was to make money out of a house, hence the average mortgage life was around 2-3 years during the past 10 years or so. "

    You're still peddling the same old lies I see.

    Can you explain to us all, when you ask for a mortgage at the bank, and they say "sorry, you're not really in a financial position to be able to support it" - then how do you get a mortgage?

    Your game of 'blame the borrower' ignores the fact that the lender is the responsible one and the onus is on them (for they directly profit from the transaction).
    It was the BANKS who encouraged lending through leafleting and advertising.
    it was the BANKS who invented 125% mortgages
    it was the BANKS who lent money to those who didn't even demonstrate their income
    it was the BANKS who thought that house prices would rise forever

    Clearly the banks can do no wrong in your eyes - none of it was their fault - it was the stupid people who tried to supplement their income with debt.

    This is the inevitable result of inequality - I mean if Jordan can own a horse and a nice house with zero talent - then wouldn't you expect the aspirations of the people are to do the same?

    ...or is it simply one rule for the rich, and another for the rest?

  • Comment number 40.

    22. At 12:40pm on 26th Jan 2011, yam yzf

    ...and how do you explain this?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12285628

    Do the people want credit? - YES
    Do the banks want to lend? - NO

    The result is less lending, but surely, by your argument there should be more lending, and more reckless lending as the people demand it.

    Your claim doesn't handle the lightest scrutiny - please stop repeating it until you can prove otherwise.

  • Comment number 41.

    I'm probably be a bit simple, but how would selling Sky News prevent Murdoch (should he take over the rest of BSkyB) starting up a (probably Fox News-type) news channel straightaway and aggressively edging the old Sky News out?

  • Comment number 42.

    "You can guess what the governor thinks of banks paying huge bonuses in these circumstances"

    Sorry Robert but I can't guess. I guess he might be feeling a bit uncomfortable, and that's all.

    Given that he is at the heart of the unholy alliance between the Gov. and the banks, and that many people believe that central banking is the cause of most of the problems we face, I might deduce that his thinking is self-protective above all.
    That is, he's trying to deflect the blame

    King, Bernanke, Paulson, all devoid of credibility imo..Mere go-betweens.

    “it's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation. Hank Paulson 2008

  • Comment number 43.

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

  • Comment number 44.


    Dear WOTW

    Thanks for your endeavours to liven up Mr P's blog. No sarcasm intended. Even though we are probably poles apart politically I admire your tenacity and intellectual prowess. Both are much in advance of my own.

    But please would you note that in the UK we spell licence as LICENCE, not as you are doing : 'license'. [Apologies if you are American.]

    Secondly, the possessive form of 'it' is 'its'. Not " it's ".

    I would have written to you privately on such trivial matters, but alas it's not possible on here.

  • Comment number 45.

    35. At 13:58pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    ".........you can CHOOSE not to pay your license fee and have no TV - so the idea there is no choice seems to be the same as the choice for subscription channels you have presented previously. (you pay and have, or you don't and not have)"

    Yes, but I am unable to have a TV and not BBC and not pay a fee that goes to the BBC, so perhaps the dumbing down is not on my side :-) Indeed even if you subscribed to Sky News, you would still have to subscribe to the BBC. Ergo, no choice whatsoever

  • Comment number 46.

    39. At 14:18pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    Your game of 'blame the borrower' ignores the fact that the lender is the responsible one and the onus is on them (for they directly profit from the transaction).

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

    While yes there is a level of responsiblity of the lender to ensure that the borrower is able to repay back the debt, the borrower themselves also has a level of responsibility to themselves. Afterall the bank is not forcing them to agree to any mortgage or loan, the final decision to sign on the dotted line comes from the person borrowing the money. the bank doesnt worry about whether or not the repayments will come as they know that they are going to securitise the debt and sell it on to someone else who then has to worry about the borrower defaulting.
    Yes this kind of debt securitisation is wrong as it leads to lax levels of defence to those who cant repay but the borrower must also realise that they cannot pay and must be honest about the level of debt that they can take on.

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

    39. At 14:18pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    It was the BANKS who encouraged lending through leafleting and advertising.
    it was the BANKS who lent money to those who didn't even demonstrate their income

    40. At 14:21pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    ...and how do you explain this?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12285628

    Do the people want credit? - YES
    Do the banks want to lend? - NO

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

    I dont really understand your argument here, previously you have been complaining (rightfully so) that the banks are lending too much and to the wrong people but now your compaining about them lending less?? surely they are just being more sensible about who they lend to (as in what they should have been doing all along).
    please explain for me.

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

    39. At 14:18pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    Can you explain to us all, when you ask for a mortgage at the bank, and they say "sorry, you're not really in a financial position to be able to support it" - then how do you get a mortgage?

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

    if your not in the financial position to get a mortgage then you "shouldnt get a mortgage", instead you should look to rent or lease a property. Seems pretty obvious and sensible really.





  • Comment number 47.

    39. At 14:18pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    32. At 13:46pm on 26th Jan 2011, yam yzf wrote:

    "Can you explain to us all, when you ask for a mortgage at the bank, and they say "sorry, you're not really in a financial position to be able to support it" - then how do you get a mortgage?"

    You don't

    "This is the inevitable result of inequality - I mean if Jordan can own a horse and a nice house with zero talent - then wouldn't you expect the aspirations of the people are to do the same?"

    No, I would credit people to have more sense or accept responsibility for their actions

    40. At 14:21pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "Do the people want credit? - YES
    Do the banks want to lend? - NO

    The result is less lending, but surely, by your argument there should be more lending, and more reckless lending as the people demand it.

    Your claim doesn't handle the lightest scrutiny - please stop repeating it until you can prove otherwise."

    The article answers the question itself ""Mortgage demand was weak throughout the year," the BBA said."

    My argument has never been for more lending has it?

    My argument has always been that no one held a gun to anyones head and that they should, therefore, accept responsibility for their own actions.

  • Comment number 48.


    39. At 14:18pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    This is the inevitable result of inequality - I mean if Jordan can own a horse and a nice house with zero talent - then wouldn't you expect the aspirations of the people are to do the same?

    A couple of blogs ago I made this same point in regard to the bank bonuses, suggesting that senior bankers might be expecting to attain a simoilar lifestyle to someone like Jordan. You disagreed I recall.

    So is it understandable that someone working on the checkout at Tesco may aspire to a Jordan-like life, but not understandable that a banker might want the same?

  • Comment number 49.

    47. At 15:09pm on 26th Jan 2011, yam yzf wrote:

    Clearly great minds do think alike as i seem to have said pretty much exactly the same things in my comment.......but of course we are going to be wrong , i mean we cant win against WOTW

  • Comment number 50.

    Rupert Murdoch should be made to sell off all his news media - The Sun, The Times News of the World and Sky News - he must also undertake not to enter the UK or European market with a competing product for 50 years.

    Further BSykB must not be allowed to sell bundles of media channels - individual channel subscriptions only must be sold with no price bundling.

    Sky must also withdraw from all subscription on-line content delivery into Europe and make open all content it does provide.

    Fox News must not be transmitted to Europe.

    Further Rupert Murdoch and no organisation connected with him, must agree not to seek to buy any other deliver media channel in Europe (including the UK) - The ITV bid must die forever.

    BSkyB must off fair and competitive terms to all media channels - as a common carrier - including the carrying of non-subscription open (unencrypted) channels and to present these is a fair position in the on-scree media guide without discrimination or preference (none of this hiding free channels at the far end of the guide and moving them around continually)

    We must drive the hardest of bargains!

  • Comment number 51.

    The question should not be what does Murdoch have to do in order to get full control of Sky.

    The question should be "Why is Murdoch allowed to own any UK media whatsoever."

  • Comment number 52.



    39. At 14:18pm on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:

    ' It was the BANKS who encouraged lending through leafleting and advertising.
    it was the BANKS who lent money to those who didn't even demonstrate their income...'

    And yes, it was the Treasury, the FSA, the BoE, and the Parliamentary Treasury Select Committee, Auditors et al who let the banks do so.

    And (some) borrowers who were financially incontinent allowed themselves to extend their credit . Not everyone responded to the exhortations by banks to increase credit on such a reckless basis : many put their glossy publicity immediately into file thirteen.

    Moral hazard is almost systemic. Those who borrowed to finance higher lifestyles than necessary are also guilty.

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm less interested in Murdoch owning the 'News' than in owning our sporting viewing.
    His total ownership of BSKYB will put him in an even greater position to dicatate our sporting viewing and charge us the earth for it.

    Whether you are a fan of King or not, we and our offspring will be worse off for the forseeable future.
    Inflation will increase.
    Real wages and salaries will fall. More people in the world are competing for the same or fewer resources, which will become less readily available to us and will be at higher prices.
    More students are taking irrelevant degrees and are out of work and being doled out by the state.
    Nobody wants to do low paid, 'beneath us', work, so we import workers from wherever we can legally get them and they send their money 'home'.
    Mainly those who can 'manipulate' the system thrive. Bankers in ivory towers, anyone in the 'black economy', the offshore monied.
    There are exceptions of course, entertainers, top entrepreneurs, management consultants, lawyers etc. but as a proportion of the population of the country, not many.

    So, let's get used to it and start to do something about it. To start:
    Live within our means.
    More relevant schooling.
    Better parenting.
    Fewer benefits.

    Almost sounds like a Condems manifesto!!

  • Comment number 54.

    @15

    "are being exposed by the employees within them who cannot contain their morailty any longer. (I mean how do you think these videos are being leaked?)"

    You've taken a bit of a step to assume it was impeccable morals that caused these leaks. It could easily be a detractor of these men wanting to get one over on them.

    "I'd also like to point out that in nearly every revolution in modern history - it's the TV stations which are occupied first."

    Good shoe-horning! Viva la Revolution!

    "However if I want to watch sport legally, lets say Premiership football - then I am FORCED to contribute towards SKY news and all the other drivel on SKY."

    If I want to watch Strictly Dancing, I am forced to contribute towards Snog, Marry, Avoid. What a world...



  • Comment number 55.

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

  • Comment number 56.

    #49

    No, but it is great fun to see how his rants contradict ie banks are wrong to lend and banks are wrong not to lend... :-)

  • Comment number 57.

    54. At 16:05pm on 26th Jan 2011, marky_makry wrote:
    ...If I want to watch Strictly Dancing, I am forced to contribute towards Snog, Marry, Avoid. What a world...
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    And if I want to eat cornflakes, fast food or chocolate etc etc I am forced to contribute towards Coronation Street.

  • Comment number 58.

    #52 Amused2Death wrote:

    'And (some) borrowers who were financially incontinent allowed themselves to extend their credit . Not everyone responded to the exhortations by banks to increase credit on such a reckless basis : many put their glossy publicity immediately into file thirteen.

    Moral hazard is almost systemic. Those who borrowed to finance higher lifestyles than necessary are also guilty.'

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

    Is that not just the banks simply taking advantage of the cognitively challenged?

    Is this morally right?

    Remember when all of the banks started laying off ALL of their highly experienced branch bank managers during the 'Great Period of Deregulation' and the bringing in new CEO's with only retail experience with absolutely no bank qualifications whatsoever?

    All of these actions were implemented in order to get around what's called the "Originate and Hold" bank lending model (i.e. NO SECURITISATION! The arguments for restoring this are compelling btw).

    All of this was done in order to sell as many loans as possible to anyone/thing with a pulse.

    Would you offer a child you knew, say 10 quid to buy sweets with, and then tell them that they could only have the money as long as they pay you back 20 quid in a weeks time. Would you take advantage of that (dis-advantaged) person?
    People with low IQ's (the cognitively challenged) are like children.

    Do you remember the case on Monty Slater?
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmtreasy/125/3101603.htm

  • Comment number 59.

    58. At 16:34pm on 26th Jan 2011, DebtJuggler wrote:

    Do you remember the case on Monty Slater?
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmtreasy/125/3101603.htm

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

    the case of monty the dog doesnt really have anything to do with the case at hand, montys owner had used the dogs name to apply for something else and that information was then bought legally by the bank. for all the world it would have looked like monty was a real person (as im guessing most of the information except for the name was that of the owners). You cannot really blame the bank for being reckless in this case as it was not their fault that they were unaware that they were sending the credit card forms to a dog

  • Comment number 60.

    "The Bank of England cannot prevent the squeeze on real take-home pay that so many families are now beginning to realise is the legacy of the banking crisis and the need to rebalance our economy."
    Just a little thank you to the current goverment for making Trade Unions so much more popular in the future.

    News Corp will almost certainly promise to separate Sky News just as soon as the takeover of BSkyB is completed. And News Corp would undoubtedly give legal undertakings that would satisfy Mr Hunt, his lawyers, and the regulators at the Office of Fair Trading and Ofcom.
    Remind me; this is the same group that gave legal undertakings about phone tapping- is this a particually good idea?

  • Comment number 61.

    15. At 10:54am on 26th Jan 2011, writingsonthewall wrote:
    If there is any truth in the ideal of choice on SKY - then why can't you subscribe to JUST the sports channels?

    If they want to PROVE the quality of SKY news - then make it subscription only and see how many people bother to sign up.

    Should point out that the Times web site is pay per view!

  • Comment number 62.

    avalanche_invesmtents , yam yzf

    Assuming you are actually different people. WOTW's point can ONLY be taken to mean that any idiot can ask for a mortgage, the banks were under no obligation to lend to them. You're blaming the people or asking not the banks for lending recklessly. There is no equivalence. If you can't see that you won't be able to see how silly your snickering now looks

  • Comment number 63.

    62. At 19:35pm on 26th Jan 2011, FauxGeordie wrote:

    Assuming you are actually different people. WOTW's point can ONLY be taken to mean that any idiot can ask for a mortgage, the banks were under no obligation to lend to them. You're blaming the people or asking not the banks for lending recklessly. There is no equivalence. If you can't see that you won't be able to see how silly your snickering now looks

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

    Firstly we are in fact different people, its just that the point that we have is a valid one. We are not putting the blame completely on the shoulders of either side but instead stating that both parties has an amount of due care that they are BOTH responsible for during the whole transaction. Yes the banks should be more careful about who they lend which they are now doing. WOTW complaining about the drop in mortgages being from the banks not allowing anyone to lend is wrong. instead they are doing what they should have been doing all along and being more careful with their approval process.

    and i snicker. instead i choose to laugh heartily

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.