LIBOR – The Stables are still Filthy

If you borrow money at an interest rate that is linked to something, then you have to understand the thing to which it is linked. If you were to borrow money linked to the base rate of a major bank (or one of the base rates of a major bank) you will know that the rate you pay will rise and fall. You rather put yourself into the hands of the bank and the market. If the bank’s base rate to which your interest rate is linked, is also a base rate that is used to attract deposits to the bank, then your interest will fluctuate more or less in line with the market.
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Poverty is not a Statistic

It is very hard to measure poverty. Poverty is not a statistic. It is a state of being. Figures are misleading but it is clear that some people are poorer than others and some places have many more poor people than others. Continue reading

Energy Prices Will Rise but the Problem is More than Rising Prices

The British consumers of energy, both domestic and industrial, face the inevitability of even higher energy prices over the next few years. At the moment electricity prices are about the same in the United Kingdom as they are in continental Europe, but natural gas prices are just over half the price of natural gas. All that is going to change and if you feel that you are paying far more than you envisaged for energy now, then you will have to budget more carefully in several years’ time. Continue reading

Prisoner Assange and Prisoner Manning

In different ways and with different conditions Julian Assange and Bradley Manning are prisoners. Each of them may have their flaws as human beings (which human has no flaws?) but both of them claimed to have acted in the public interest, which is a motive that appears irrelevant to their prosecutors and would be judges. Continue reading

Here Comes the Sun

It has been so nice for the past few days to see the sum emerge after such a dark and rainy winter, In Friday from my office window at five o’clock I saw the sun, which had for months set in the early afternoon. On Saturday the sun was warm but watery. Today, the seventeenth day of February, the sun shone brightly and kindly over London. It was good.

Our Desires and Wants

Do we have enough? We all seem to desire so many material things; we want so much without suffering from want. Our desires do us much harm; the accumulation of possessions harm us and harm our environment. One way of getting enough is to accumulate more and more. Continue reading

Horse meat – Whose fault is it?

The usual stance adopted by big businesses when something goes wrong is to lay low and say nothing. I think that they do this because (a) saying something particularly when being aggressively interviewed will simply make the public perception of the big business worse than it is already (b) hoping that shortly the media attention will die down and saying anything will simply serve to keep up the media attention and (c) eventually the matter may be disposed of my an insincere apology.

The big supermarkets (with the notable exception of Morrisons) have laid low and said nothing Continue reading