Posted by: WealthIFA | November 18, 2011

Financial News Update we 18/11/2011

Hope you have had a good week?

Not sure about you but we seem to be very much in the “it will soon be Christmas” mode in our house…

Don’t get me wrong we haven’t got the tree yet but the wish lists are in full swing and it is already a time of bargaining with the children over what they would like with requests ranging from a rabbit (haven’t we got one, as well as guinea pigs, already?!), a horse (£’s and ouch spring to mind!) and a quad bike… hmm but perhaps that is more for my entertainment than my sons?…

Like most households, it’s a time of planning and consideration of funds available etc and, of course, this is something we should all be doing anyway but the exercise is exaggerated somewhat in the festive season isn’t it (similar to when planning for our summer holidays?)

You could argue that this is what should be happening in the wider economic world too but the announcement of the sale of Northern Rock to the Virgin Money group, which results in losses to the tax payer of between £400m and £650m, begs the question of what were they thinking?

Maybe I am being too simplistic but would it not have made more sense to hold on to it until it could recoup what was paid?

The sale was only a partial sale of what was purchased, the best bit being that we, as taxpayers, have been left with the “bad part” of the bank and the potential losses there are uncertain – it still owes the treasury £21bn!

Whilst I appreciate there are problems of a greater magnitude in places like the Eurozone, and the figures involved could be described as a drop in the ocean compared to the sovereign debt crisis, I can’t help but think it would have made more sense to crunch these numbers a bit more? (Sorry Mr Branson, much as I admire you for your business acumen, you don’t need NR do you?!)

Is anyone actually thinking of the long term here or is it another case of political terms influencing decisions that are made?

Losses like this will only exasperate the problems faced by anything that relies on the state purse and, with local authority budgets already slashed to the core, they face further financial austerity themselves (having been told this week their freezing of funding to care homes was illegal) so where does the government intend on finding more money to cope with this?… I wonder?!

Oh well, I had better get down from this soap box and see what else has made it onto the lists for Christmas… have a good weekend!

This Week …

Estate Planning

Tips to leaving a financial gift in a will http://bbc.in/t6IaDQ
Consumers are being mis-sold asset protection trusts, says Law Society http://bit.ly/w0FKIn

Long Term Care

Council cuts to elderly care fees ruled illegal: http://bit.ly/vriX16
Elderly care economist suggests ministers lack ‘guts’ http://tgr.ph/uEB185
Staffordshire County Council avoids court over care home fees: http://bit.ly/uD8gzp
Councils ‘in parallel universe over care home fees’: http://bit.ly/sGvmq7

Retirement

Using your property to fund your retirement: http://bit.ly/urxALI
Inflation costs over 55s more than general population http://bit.ly/tso1V1

Investments

Do Italy’s woes mean that bonds are to be avoided?: http://bit.ly/t1JLm6
Use your allowances before going offshore: http://bit.ly/t9RJU6
£40m unclaimed Premium Bond prizes: http://bit.ly/srRTrU
Northern Rock sold to Virgin Money http://bbc.in/s2guhi
Which? reports banks to FSA for giving customers poor investment advice http://bit.ly/tIuG1t
Warning to investors as land-banking scams top £200m http://tgr.ph/sfdtN8

Regards
Kieron

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