Category Archives: Finance

The World Is Running Out Of Money – But Who Do We Owe It To?

The World Is Running Out Of MoneyAll you hear about in the news these days is how much the major countries of the world are in debt.

The USA is in deep debt.  The UK just went £1 Trillion into debt.  Most of Europe is in deep debt, Italy and Greece in particular, and the whole Eurozone financial crisis is putting the economic recovery plans of not only the UK but the USA at risk too.

In mid January the credit rating for France was dropped, which added yet another factor, threatening the Eurozone bailout plan.

It just seems to be a never ending downhill spiral, and yet if you step back and think about it, this is just crazy.

The once wealthiest countries in the world are deep in debt.  They are also trying to help the poorer countries in Europe who are in even worse debt, which is dragging them down further in turn.

What I would like to know though is who is all this debt owed to?  If the USA and UK owe vast sums of money and most of Europe too, then who is the creditor?

It can’t be the Russians, because they are deep in their own debt crisis.  Maybe it’s the Chinese and a master plan to control the world.

Actually a lot of the US debt is in Treasury Securities, which are funded by wealthy investors, as well as corporations, retirement funds and governments around the world.  Surprisingly enough, about 25% of the national debt in the USA is held by foreign governments, the largest being Japan, then China, the UK and then the major oil producing nations.

In the UK, about 40% of the national debt is owed to insurance companies and pension funds, and a whopping 35% to foreign investors,and then next in line comes the Bank Of England.

Another big question comes to mind, “Who are these foreign investors who have such a big stake in the UK?”.

Is it Middle Eastern individuals, companies or governments? Is it private investors like Bill Gates? Is it the Russian Mafia maybe?

The interesting thing is that no amount of Googling seems to throw up any documents with information on how this is made up.

It’s a little worrying don’t you think, that all of our countries are fast going downhill financially, and a siezable chunk of the debt is owed to foreigners.  So what happens if there is ever a “crunch day” when the debt is called on?  Could our countries then come under the thumb of foreign powers?  It would probably make a good fiction story, but I hope it never comes true…

Sources:

The Bond Market Explained

UK National Debt

Who Owns The US National Debt

Car Insurance Blues

Whatever Happened To Loyalty?

My car insurance was due to expire and because I didn’t have time to look into other options before we went on holiday to Florida, I ended up just leaving it, even though I could see that the amount had increased by a significant amount.  Now I have the Car Insurance Blues.

I was reconciling my bank accounts last night, when I saw that there were 2 separate charges on my credit card for the insurance company, so I totalled them up, checked that they agreed in total with the quotation, which they did, and then out of curiosity I checked how much they had increased.

THIRTY FOUR PERCENT!

How can an insurance company justify putting up their charges by 34% when I haven’t as much as called them since I took out the policy a year ago, let alone had an accident or driving offence.

It was then that I noticed they had the model of my car wrong, it was listed as a Rover 75 instead of a Rover 45, which is a lower model.

How they managed that I don’t know, since when you get a quote you enter the vehicle registration, and they look up the model on the central database.

Well I thought, it must be worth calling them to see is I can at least get a lower price, seeing as how my model is a cheaper one than the one they have listed.

BIG MISTAKE!

So I called them, and it seems that not only can they not offer a lower price, this is the best that they can do, but my model of car actually costs £45 ($70) more to insure than the more expensive model.  Go figure…

The operator did say that as this was within the 14 day cancellation period (actually the last day, just my luck), that they would waive the £40 amendment fee, but in order to have the car legally insured with the correct model, I need to now pay the extra £45 so that I am insured for the correct model.

I asked about cancellation, since this is now going to be costing me more like a 50% increase, but it’s going to cost me £50 to cancel the policy.

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

I really really hate being used and abused like this, but an rather between a rock and a hard place, not knowing whether to just pay even more and stick with them, or say “STUFF IT” and look for another policy.

If I do stick with them I will have to pay an extra £45.  If I can find a cheaper policy elsewhere, I will have to pay an extra £50 to cancel, but then I can hopefully save £50 on what they are trying to charge me, so I will be better off.

So whatever happened to loyalty these days? 

It seems that with car insurance in particular you are better switching companies every year rather than sticking with the same company, which is the general consensus, which costs these companies a lot of time and effort in continually updating records.

It really doesn’t make sense does it.

I will update this to let you know how things work out, but for now I have the Car Insurance Blues.