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News & Politics

MoneyWeek Issue 1020

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
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from the editor-in-chief...

“Instead of guaranteeing deposits, why doesn’t the government abolish stamp duty?” UK house prices rose by 7.3% year-on-year last month, reports Halifax. That’s not enough for Boris Johnson. He’d like them to go higher. How do we know? Because this week he announced a new plan to raise demand for them – and barring a sudden explosion in supply, a sudden rise in demand will push up prices. The idea – to introduce a state-sponsored scheme of long-term, fixed-rate, low-deposit mortgages – isn’t all bad. There is no reason why we shouldn’t have long-term fixes in the UK. It isn’t how our system currently works. Our banks tend to borrow and hence lend out over much shorter cycles; and we have a dug-in system of using mortgage brokers to find products…

1 min.
japan’s elderly crime wave

A Japanese octogenarian ran a £14m life insurance scam, “an extreme example of the wave of geriatric crime sweeping the ageing nation”, says Richard Lloyd Parry in The Times. Police in the town of Shunan in western Japan are investigating the pensioner for selling non-existent cover worth ¥1.9bn (£13.95m) over the past ten years. It is thought that at least 21 people fell for the scam, paying the woman ¥280m (£2.1m). The octogenarian worked for Japan’s third-largest life insurance firm and met her targets through legitimate work, but began offering customers a “special plan” with unusually high interest rates ten years ago. The plan did not exist. The woman did pay “interest” to her clients on their fraudulent payments, “but she paid far less than she had received”. Juvenile crime…

1 min.
good week for

Bicycle and car parts chain Halfords lifted its profit outlook for the second time in a month as lockdown boosted bike sales. First half pre-tax profits will now top £55m, double the £27.5m made at the same time last year and up on the earlier forecast of £35m-£40m. It appears that the world’s billionaires “did extremely well” during the coronavirus pandemic, says Rupert Neate in The Guardian. A report by Swiss bank UBS found that the super rich collectively increased their wealth by 27.5%, to a record high of $10.2trn, between April and July. The number of billionaires around the world has also hit a new high of 2,189, up from 2,158 in 2017.…

1 min.
bad week for

The Tokyo Stock Exchange was forced to suspend share trading for a full day last Thursday, as a glitch in its electronic trading system caused its “worst-ever outage”, says Reuters. The exchange blamed the shutdown on ahardware problem but said that it had found no evidence of unauthorised access. Footballers for FC Barcelona face another pay cut after the club announced losses of £88m this week due to the coronavirus pandemic, says Nathan Salt on MailOnline. The players took a 70% pay cut in March to ensure non-playing staff received their wages as the pandemic shut down the sport. Reports now reveal the club is looking for another cut from both players and non-players. Lionel Messi (pictured) was key in handling the first round of cuts. However, he is currently away…

2 min.
stocks shrug off covid but want stimulus

Stockmarkets don’t care about the president’s health – just don’t take away their stimulus drip. US stock indices shrugged off news of Donald Trump’s hospitalisation over the weekend. The S&P 500 hit a one-month high as Trump was discharged on Monday. Yet the early optimism was undone when Trump ordered an end to talks with Democrats on a second stimulus bill. The S&P 500 finished Tuesday down by 1.4%. The first stimulus bill lapsed over the summer, leaving unemployed Americans to depend on a patchwork of measures rolled out by the White House and individual states. The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives had initially called for $3.4trn in new support measures before reducing its demand to $2.2trn last week, while the Republican-controlled Senate favoured a figure closer to $1.6trn. Would equities prefer Biden? Trump’s…

1 min.
china’s market bounces as recovery quickens

Almost half a billion people are going on holiday, says Bloomberg News. China’s October Golden Week saw 425 million people travelling during the first four days alone, according to official figures. That is almost 80% of last year’s level. China has gone six weeks without a reported Covid-19 case and the holiday is a key test of what life will look like beyond the pandemic. China’s economy could do with a boost from consumers, Françoise Huang of Euler Hermes told the Nikkei Asian Review. Its strong recovery in the second and third quarters has been led by construction and infrastructure, with consumption “somewhat sluggish”. The OECD forecasts that China will grow 1.8% for 2020 as a whole, the only G-20 nation to expand this year. Economists polled by Nikkei agreed that if…