Monday, September 22, 2008

Done Over

Markets were everything. They were the Gods. Everything was about making the markets efficient.

But when you have derivatives markets aren’t efficient. They are being skewed against the common interest. Middlemen are taking huge slices away from the buyers and the sellers. And the people who rule us, to their shame (especially after dreadful laws such as Sabarnes Oxley) let this go on unabated.

The debts built up by Bush (in budget deficit) and by Blair and Brown (in PFI) are horrible legacies for our futures. Our children will be paying for this legacy for the rest of their lives. There is little doubt that tax in the US and UK will need to rise by 10 – 15% before long at the same time as the value of our key assets – pensions and houses – are falling precipitously.

Don’t think this money disappeared into thin air - this went to the hedge fund and investment bank managers who made obscene money in the naughties. A lovely Thatcherite/Blairite legacy.
Unbelievably, these are the very people that all of the national newspaper took sides with when the current UK Chancellor proposed a small flat rate tax. So read their newspapers online and stop giving their apologists money. We are the turkeys who voted for Christmas.

I'm not very well off, but I still pay well over 65% of everything I earn in tax, between income, NI, VAT, duty and council tax. There are few places for us to go.

We’re entering a regressive market. This will have huge implications on the media world. People will be, for the first time, giving up their Sky subscriptions for Freeview. I am about to cancel my 8Mbps web connection for a 2Mbps web connection and drop Sky Sports and various other services to save £50 a month. The utility of these services is, frankly, marginal to me, especially as Virgin cap my service and Sky put games I want to watch on a service I cannot receive.

I’m also considering doing away with a landline – we get very few genuine calls that are not from family, who can be taught to use free VoIP.

I can’t really change my water or council tax bills, which have gone up at twice the rate of inflation and more for as long as I can remember, no matter who I vote for, but I can change my TMT bills. So, I predict that Sky will be in trouble and the clueless Virgin will become terminal. Mobile companies will reap their failure – like our current prime minister – to get their act together whilst the sun was shinning.

Like most of us, the UK TV industry is badly placed to weather this coming storm. In the past, the entertainment industry has been a haven from the storm, but that was before the huge choice we have today.

No comments: