Is the FSA for real?

The FSA, that long discredited regulator is coming up with farcical ideas as they reach the end of their lifespan.

We have had a suggestion that bankers bonuses should be regulated, which is highly fashionable at present, but based on little reality. We have the FSA championed by the Darling, suggesting that if the banks went back to pre-1985 Big Bang, then there would never be another bail-out needed and we have the FSA once

City of LondonImage via Wikipedia

again supported by Brown, supporting loan regulation.

I am no fan of bankers, but it would be nice to have a little reality.

Bankers bonuses: The bonuses are approved by shareholders. If the shareholders do not wish to take the risk profile suggested by the Directors, there is a simple way to achieve change. Vote against the Directors resolutions at theAGM . But of course the Shareholders have historically been the pension fund managers who sit as non-execs of the banks. However there have been numerous proposals put forward regarding shareholder revisions, but theFSA choose to ignore this reality. In today's climate, the banks who are causing the greatest concern are the banks in which the tax-payer holds a significant shareholding, so the answer is to ensure the tax-payers vote No. But dear old Darling doesn't like simple answers as it clears the decks to easily and the mainstream media just love to hate anyone, so tarnish all bankers with the same brush. The banks who took no funding do not deserve any cut back on bonuses, but that doesn't suit the climate.

Dividing the banks, so that there will be no further bail-out: What trite rubbish, where do Governments and the largest businesses secure complex financing? Funnily enough it isn't from a retail bank. However Darling, Brown and Myners would have us all myopically walk in to a situation that the banks are split as per pre-1985 and all is hunky dory. Let's run that one again, A.N. Investment bank fails, on which the US Government, China, the UK Government and Unilever are reliant on a syndicated finance agreement and the Government would just let it fall like a ton of bricks? How stupid is Darling, or how stupid does he think the population is? Failing retail banks are a problem for the general public, but failing Investment banks are the death knell to capitalism.

Tightening credit, there are a myriad of examples here, but let's take a simple one:

Joe Bloggs earns £100 000 a year and wishes to purchase a property, which is a little run down for £250 000 but he also want to spend £50 000 on refurbishment. Under the proposed FSA rules he could borrow a loan for a house valued at £300 000 on his salary, but borrowing £250 000 plus £50 000 to refurbish the place is an unacceptable Loan to Value, so is a no go: absolute madness. He therefore needs to borrow the additional £50 000 as a personal loan over perhaps 10 years at a far higher rate of interest and monthly repayment than borrowing that money as part of his mortgage.

One more example: Jane Smith has a house valued at £140 000 which is mortgaged at 100%, she also has credit card debts of £10 000 and a personal loan for £5 000. Is the FSA suggesting that LTV is the absolute measure of credit worthiness? What about Andy Pandy, who has no house but want to borrow £2 000, should his personal loan be asset backed?

It is all good knock about media stuff, but the crew running the regulators really need to join up their thinking a little.
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The FTC endorsement guidelines

It has been a while, since I was here, life has been a little busy.

I thought it may help readers of this blog and other bloggers, to put up the ftc guidelines on advertising and endorsement. Unfortunately they are yet another example of yet more red tape in a world full of red tape.

Each video is different

Here is the link for the pdf of the text to the guidelines in detail

happy reading.

Oh and by the way, I get a small commission if adverts on this site are clicked, but I was not paid by the ftc, or even sent a thank you note or any sort of acknowledgement. No coffee was offered, Green card, free flights, visitors visa, luxury hotel, or even dingy hotel stay. No meetings with any individual, corporate or governmental agency were promised as a result of posting this article. I was offered no inducement, no pork barrel legislation or even primary legislation was discussed, promised or offered. In fact I have had no contact with the FTC in relation to this article and have received nor been promised anything at all in fact in return for this public service announcement. (I think that just about covers it).

Come to think of it, why haven't I been paid for writing about an alien Governments legislation?

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Has google become too clever?

Less an irritation than my usual posts, rather a simple question. Has google lost sight of the user?

Personally I am a google fan and welcome areas such as Wave, Android, Squared, Analytics, [show options], gmail, pages, wheel, blogger, maps, earth, etc. etc, etc. but there is a not so glamorous side, which includes the cookie which sits on your computer unless you opt-out, the new google 'wiki'. Neither the glamour nor the darkness are really the purpose of the post. Who uses al

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

l this stuff and why is Google constantly releasing more and more?

While I don't consider myself a geek (well perhaps I am a bit geeky as I live on the computer and am an alpha tester by 'index finger reflex' - that well known medical condition) I like to try out all this stuff, I work with most of it and I use a lot of it, which is great for me as a user of google services. Google docs, makes my life easy, igoogle makes my home page useful, google reader keeps me up to date, but really who uses this.

In conversation with 'normal' users of the web, there is little comprehension or interest that a google search can be in "" with a +, with a -, with a square 10 page view 100 page view, news, blogs etc. etc. etc.

Google works because it retrieves what people want easily, their little 'darkside' moves are hidden, their added value is hidden. I am of the opinion that those who support Google are those of a Geek disposition, each process adds revenue to Google for sure, as we the geeks find ways to optimise, utilise, advertise the medium of communication we select, but does the average user really know that Google Earth and Google Maps are different products showing different things? The answer is by a short straw poll, absolutely not. I had a recent conversation with someone who constantly talked of google earrth, but was referring to google maps.

Does that confusion matter? No, of course it doesn't, Google was mentioned and from the Google perspective, that is all that mattered.

Who actually subscribes to the Google blog? Lonely hand raised over here.

I am not whinging about google as I like much of what they do, but on speaking to casual internet users, google remains the box you type in your search term and perhaps a gmail account, but not much else. Google marketing needs to get its ass in gear, there is a whole world aside from the geeks.

Nowun Till, brought to you by another Google product - Blogspot

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Some songs are just so complete

Kate Miller sums it up with a great parody of friends on facebook

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