The Sunday Ramble: Thoughts of time
It’s Sunday and so my day for a Sunday ramble through my thoughts, before I cook lunch. I’ve had time on my mind just lately. The next General Election in the UK is on the 7th of May 2015. We already have some of the parties starting to prepare or should I say panic?
Life was probably so much simpler before we had calendars and clocks. Get up when it gets light and go to bed when it gets dark!
The stock market
I follow the forums on the stock market and this weeks someone said that if someone is selling shares, someone else has to be buying. The truth is, we sell to market makers who have a stock of shares. Computers have changed how big that stock is. Shares can be bought and sold in a fraction of a second now and so they don’t need such a big stock; particularly in times of recession. If people suddenly start buying and buying a lot over a very short period of time, they increase the price quickly to maintain their stock of shares. I saw that happen a couple of time this week with the shares price of Lloyds shooting up one day and RBS the next. Once the panic was over they drop back a little as the market makers, cut prices. I’m sure some hedge funds make a fortune out of this phenomenon; speculating on the highs and lows.
These funds have traders on million pound bonuses and the City of London makes lots of lovely money. But who gets the money in the end? The traders? Do they all pay lots of tax to the government or do they manage to avoid a lot of tax with off-shore accounts. Financial transactions in the city are complex these days and the computers do millions a second. Maybe we need a regulatory way of monitoring them? How about a small financial transaction tax? We already have stamp duty on many financial transactions, but a financial transaction tax would be more widespread and at a much lower rate. Many people in Europe think it’s a good idea. But George Osborne has tried to challenge such a Europe wide tax in the courts. Is he trying to protect his rich and aristocratic friends? Time will tell whether we get this new tax or not, but it seems much fairer to have a financial transactions tax on those that can afford it than a ‘bedroom tax’ on people who can’t afford it.
As you have probably guessed from today’s picture; I’m hoping to take some photos today. Unless you live in the middle of the desert, where everything tends to look the same, there are always interesting things to photograph. I like to wander around on a Sunday when there’s less traffic on the roads and see what I can photograph. Traffic here has become a nightmare, partly because there are too many people driving too many cars. The councils make it worse, trying to slow traffic down. In West Bromwich they have made the town centre difficult for motorists on purpose. They want people to go there on the Metro or by bus. They have forced all the traffic on to A roads and some people just don’t know how to drive. They hog the outside lane on dual carriageways and traffic builds up behind them. Then there are those newer drivers who have been taught to ‘signal’ just before the turn. Which is a bloody waste of time to people watching for the ‘signals’. I think we need drastic action now. All the immigrants coming to Britain should be banned from coming to the West Midlands because our hospitals, school and roads are already overcrowded. I’m not racist, but I think they should all be sent to Chipping Norton; they’ll like it better there. They’ll have so much nicer neighbours in the Chipping Norton Set…
At least the weather forecast is good for today. At the moment I have a white cloudy sky, that’s not too bad for photography. If local readers see me out and about, please say hello. Someone spoke to me a few weeks ago and I took his photo with his smart phone. I have no idea how it turned out. I couldn’t see the screen with the sun on it… You can follow this blog by filling in your details in the sidebar. You can also comment and tick a box to follow too. You can also follow me on Twitter for updates. You can email me at the address in the side bar. I welcome emails from local people telling me about events. I think there might be one at the West Bromwich Manor House today; I’ll take a look…