Retail vs Investment Banking

I’ve no idea what long term this change will make, but was delighted to receive this notification from my UK Bank, first direct, and HSBC subsidiary. Something we are (very) unlikely to see here in the US in the near future. What is says is We wanted to let you know that in line with new regulations introduced after the global financial crisis, later this year HSBC will be changing the way it’s structured in the United Kingdom (UK). The new rules mean all banks with deposits of UKP 25bn or more will have to keep their “retail banking” business seperate … Continue reading Retail vs Investment Banking

FCC and Net Neutrality – Fraud in your name?

After this weeks hugely disappointing repeal of the net neutrality. The ACLU has their take on the repeal, here. I’m more concerned though with the claim that up to 2-million comments supporting the repeal were submitted to the FCC using fraudulent identities. I actually don’t don’t think it would have made any difference given what we know about the commission members who voted in favor of repeal. Still, I wanted to be sure my comment was actually the comment I submitted, and no one else had submitted a comment using my identity. You can check here. Simply add your name … Continue reading FCC and Net Neutrality – Fraud in your name?

Ripping off customers

I saw the following tweet and literally laughed-out-loud. In the past two years I’ve got to the checkout confirmation step on music and theatre events and cancelled out and closed the browser window more times than I care to remember. Ticket “fees” and “convenience” charges are rampant. The airline industry over the past year has gone the complete opposite direction, some forced by legislation, some by marketplace competition. They nickel and dime you for charges for everything. The Trump administration has rescinded a rule requiring Airlines to disclose baggage fees upfront. This rule previously made it easier to compare airfare prices … Continue reading Ripping off customers

Fear of Automation

ZDNet has a good summary of a few recent reports on automation, a subject I’ve covered here more than once. The more interesting survey report is from a Harris Poll for ZipRecruiter, an online employment marketplace. ZipRecruiter’s nationwide data shows 60% of job seekers believe fears around robots taking away jobs are overhyped while 2 in 5 employed job seekers (41%) believe their current job will be automated within their lifetime. This is more than likely because workers asked, don’t see the big picture. They don’t get involved with decisions and discussions about how to cut cost and risk from … Continue reading Fear of Automation

Bringing Jobs Back to the USA

As the GOP push through their tax bill, without any transparency, one of the big ticket items is corporate tax breaks. My opinion is the government are really wasting their time, and our money giving tax breaks, especially to companies to repatriate their overseas earnings, in some kind of swap for jobs. No such thing will happen, sure there will be a few winners here and there, but nothing substantial and certainly nothing overtime. If the government wanted to do this, they’d have been better creating an incentive program, which gave them tax deductions for each net new job they … Continue reading Bringing Jobs Back to the USA

From Tax to Pariah – Colorado’s TABOR history

One mans crusade to limit Government, what he wanted, how he did it, and what happened. At least Bruce was principled. A great listen, especially on the consequences for the State and Bruce(The Pariah?) Great @serial style podcast from @ColoradoMatters from @restabro with @cprwarner On the Colorado TABOR history, tax, and some guy called Bruce. Not from Colorado? Epsiodes 2/3 still worth a listen https://t.co/7AcB6ja7vY — Mark Cathcart (@cathcam) November 29, 2017 The Taxman Episode 1 The Taxman Episode 2 The Taxman Episode 3 Continue reading From Tax to Pariah – Colorado’s TABOR history

You get what you want in Texas

The Austin American Statesman today published a frank review of the Texas rules on disclosure of chemical storage “Information scarce on chemical plant blasts — just like Texas wanted“. I wrote about this issue precisely back in “The Texas Freedom Illusion” and after the “West Disaster” report. In essence, under the veil of “security”, Governor Abbott has effectively just stopped individual Texans from finding out about these storage facilities, and in the same way as you are much more likely to be shot by a gun owning family member, than a jihadi; you are much more likely to get killed, … Continue reading You get what you want in Texas

Trains, horns and taxes

I’ve been  frustrated that my blog has been withering but I just didn’t want to be an endless stream of rants about the #potus45 administration. So this isn’t about them, at all. While I have in mind a summery I’ll steer clear for now. So, meanwhile back in beautiful Colorado, the natives are getting worked up over a plan to install “quiet zones”  for all the railroad crossings in town. As much as I can’t envisage enjoying the horn blowing, and we can barely hear them in the night, apparently many can and do like them and have a nostalgia … Continue reading Trains, horns and taxes

Ahh Austin…

When Texas Governor Abbott took time out of his busy schedule of subjugating his authority, to call a special session for the “part-time” Texas Legislators(1) to pass a bathroom bill and other discriminatory acts, his statements eloquently tried to trash the Capital of Texas, Austin. As Caleb points out, there are plenty of examples where Austin is screwed by Texas arbitrary regulation, and certainly some of those to be considered in the special session are also aimed at Austin. Naturally, the state-protected view of the dome under which so much anti-regulatory legislation is concocted by worthy statesman from such cultural … Continue reading Ahh Austin…

Mixed legacy and cultural appropriation

[3/22/17 Edit to add audio from soundcloud] On Friday I had a half-hearted attempt to explain to our 8-year old why I wouldn’t wear green, and why I could NOT celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It’s really quite staggering the level of cultural appropriation St Patrick’s Day has achieved. A celebration of the worst caricatures of the Irish, drunk, leprechauns, and four leaf clovers Then today, on reporting the death of Martin McGuinness, former deputy first minister, and A former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader. I was listening to BBC Radio, and among the people to be quoted was former … Continue reading Mixed legacy and cultural appropriation