MoneyWeek 1050

MoneyWeek is a weekly magazine that enables you to become a better-informed, smarter investor and enjoy the rewards of managing your money with confidence. Week-in, week-out we'll guide you through the financial world as it changes, alerting you to all the opportunities to profit and dangers to avoid, as they appear. Income strategies, rising-star companies, the best funds and trusts, clever ways to preserve your wealth during market turmoil... you will get the best ideas from the sharpest financial minds and investing professionals in Britain.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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3 Min
from the editor-in-chief...

“Ask any estate agent and you will hear endless anecdotal evidence of a frenzied boom” In mid-2020, the Office for Budget Responsibility was getting nervous about UK house prices. It was forecasting that they would fall into the end of 2020 and then fall some more, to end 2021 down by 11% on the year. They weren’t alone in their pessimism (or maybe optimism – how you see this depends on whether you are a buyer or a seller). At the same time, the Centre for Economics and Business Research was forecasting a 14% fall. They were all completely wrong. In April, the Nationwide House Price index showed prices jumping 2.1% in April alone (a 17-year high) and 7.1% over the year (see page 5). The average house price is now at…

1 Min
loser of the week

An Australian mining magnate and populist politician has been ordered to pay Universal Music A$1.5m (£837,000) in damages after losing a two-year copyright case involving the US heavy-metal band Twisted Sister. Clive Palmer had “ripped off” the group’s classic song We’re Not Gonna Take It, says Jackson Langford on Music Feeds, and rewrote it with the lyrics “we’re not gonna cop it”. The judge said Palmer, who founded a tax-cutting party called United Australia, evidently thought he could get away with using the song merely by changing some of the words. It transpired that Palmer had approached Universal Music about featuring the anthem in an advertisement but was reluctant to pay A$150,000 for using it and seek approval from Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider (pictured). Palmer insisted he wrote his…

1 Min
good week for:

Star US divorce lawyers will be busy after Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda (pictured) announced they are ending their 27-year marriage. Bill Gates, worth $130.5bn, is the fourth-richest man in the world and the divorce will be the biggest division of assets since the $150bn split between Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie Scott in 2019. Both spouses have hired lawyers who worked on that case, while Melinda’s team includes Robert Cohen, who has worked for two of Donald Trump’s ex-wives. Fans of sound money have been enjoying the work of a prankster this week. Every night for the past few days an irreverent message has been projected onto the facade of the Bank of England, says fintech site Finextra. These include “Printing money is stealing from the…

1 Min
bad week for:

Residents of the fishing town of Noto in Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture are upset after the local council spent part of its Covid-19 emergency relief funds on a 13-metre long statue of agiant squid instead of medical staff or care facilities, reports Sky News. Officials in Noto hope that the ¥25m (£165,000) statue will lure tourists back to the town, where flying squid is a local delicacy. Rachel Elwell, 50, from the West Midlands, is facing bankruptcy after losing just under £113,000 to a scammer on a dating site, says BBC News. The man, who she had never met, produced documents and pictures to persuade her to send the money, saying he had gone to Ukraine for an engineering contract and that his life was in danger. West Midlands Police said it…

2 Min
inflation has returned – and will get worse

The US government is running “an inflation experiment”, says The Economist. President Joe Biden is pushing for $4trn of new spending on infrastructure and social programmes. On the monetary front, the US Federal Reserve is more relaxed about inflation exceeding its target of around 2% than it used to be. The Fed learns to love inflation America’s consumer price index (CPI) rose by 2.6% on the year in March. The monthly increase of 0.6% was the biggest in nearly a decade. UK inflation has been more subdued but is also heading higher; prices rose by 0.7% in March year-on-year, with inflation forecast to hit or breach the 2% target by the end of the year. The US economy is booming, expanding at an annualised rate of 4% in the first three months of…

1 Min
south korea shrugs off the pandemic

South Korean retail investors have declared war against short sellers, says Youkyung Lee on Bloomberg. The country this week ended the world’s longest pandemic-era ban on short-selling, which had been in place since March last year. The ban helped the local Kospi index soar 27% last year, the strongest showing from any major world market. Retail investors have been piling in, with 95.5trn won (£62bn) in net buying since the ban was introduced. Individual traders now make up more than three-quarters of the Kospi’s daily trading volume. Fearing that short sellers will now destroy their gains, coalitions of investors have said they will inflict a GameStop-style rout on short-sellers if the market takes a tumble. GDP rose by 1.6% in the first quarter to eclipse its level of late 2019, says Robert Carnell…