Monday, 21 September 2009

Scam After Scam

The reason we put up with it is because we have no say in how our own money is spent.

What the hell am I referring too? Of course, it is our 'investments' in UK banks amongst other things - the sort of investment that needs to be managed by some cerebral high-brow who can watch when the cursor gets above the value 'bought' and press the button to 'sell'. For that, one of the top headhunters have snaffled a former RBS banker to lead the intrepid search for the person who has the right sized digit so that they don't press 'buy' - the same headhunters who the TCCB paid a fortune for in order to select the acting coach of England's cricket team to be the coach - the one and only Odgers. Money well spent, indeed.

Well, you may be happy to know that as the banks gear themselves up to do ever more risky deals with our cheap money and then pay themselves massive bonuses like the one I reported on at Barclays on Friday, the scam works equally well with our money at the opposite end.

Let me explain. You see we bailed out the likes of Lloyds and RBS, the former having bought HBOS, has 28% of the UK mortage market. Now we injected some £70bn into them in new capital, guaranteed a load of debt, ring-fenced a load of toxic debt, gave them loans at virtually no cost and walloped a load of Quantitative Easing money down their gullets too. You might possibly think that might be good for us. Well, if you want a mortgage, it isn't.

Last week, the Bank of England voted to keep interest rates at an historic low of 0.5% for the fifth consecutive month. The cheapest mortgage you can get today, even with 40% deposit is 4.95% - that's nearly 10 times the base interest rate. If you wanted a five year deal with RBS or Lloyds, then you are looking at shelling out on their new, 'highly competitive' deals of 7.49% at Lloyds or 7.25% at RBS - some 15 times the base rate. The shrewd people amongst us would note that the current superb mortgage rates are now higher than prior to the credit crunch. The best rate you will get on a 10% deposit mortgage in the UK is 6.19%, a whopping 12 times the base rate.

There aren't many industries where you can charge such rates. And this is at the time when the public owns a share in at least 5 High Street banks, two of which who offer mortgages we own outright (the Rock and Bradford & Bingley). For all the blustering and piffle from Cabinet Ministers and Gordon Brown himself, we are being racketeered by the very companies we so very generously were proxied to bail out.

If you sat down and tried to try to write the worst case scenario for a financial mess, you could never have got to within a million light years of the khazi we are in. You could also never dream of writing some of the guff we are told about how well off Britain is in this scenario by the idiots who run this country.

As taxpayers were are being royally shafted at all ends - and the shafting has only started as the cuts in public services and the higher levels of tax to pay for our own largess has not yet kicked in.

You couldn't dream it up - we bailed out our banks so that they could absolutely shaft us to make massive profits on their lending while they continue to take mega-high risks to pay themselves huge bonuses. And it's our own money they are using.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - we must be stark raving bonkers.

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