I just read this article in BBC news about negative interest rates:
If the Bank of England cuts interest rates on Thursday could the interest paid on our savings fall below zero?
Negative interest rates, where the bank charges us to look after our savings, have been seen before.
In the 1970s Swiss banks charged foreign customers rather than paying them interest to hold their money.
I don’t think we’ll see negative interest rates in the UK, although it is technically possible, and has happened before. To use the hypothetical example offered by the BBC: if you place £10,000 in the bank, and the negative interest rate is at -1%, then at the end of the year you’d get a return of just £9,900 — essentially a £100 charge for the pleasure of banking. Great.
A word of warning if this does happen: Northern Rock will, to quote one comment from the Guardian website, look like “a 6 year old emptying his piggy bank“.
If you’re part of science blogging community, then you’ll probably know that my festive title relates to the Yellowstone Caldera; and how it’s going to cause our impending doom (date tbc). Basically, earthquake activity around Yellowstone has increased, as you can see for yourself, which may or may not be indicative of your death. After all, if we’re to believe the BBC docudrama of the aforementioned caldera, dramatically dubbed a supervolcano, things won’t be so rosy if the lava starts flowing and the dust begins to rise. Still, it would be slightly ironic, and even poetic, if there are still some of us around to appreciate things, that our end comes from something unrelated to greedy bankers and global warming.
Continue reading “Happy New Year (and get ready to die)”
I was planning quite a lengthy post about schizophrenia to kick-start my latest attempt at blogging. Then I read this:
Website age ratings ‘an option’
The option comes from culture secretary, Andy Burnhman, who envisions a future in which the Internet meets the high standards of decency embodied by British television – i.e. [feel free to insert your own witty remark equating some aspect of the BBC with this future internet]. Basically, the whole furore is over children (you know, that demographic unable to protect themselves) and their ability to use this internet thingy to view beheadings; and other material deemed not suitable for children. Burnhumans himself, had this to say:
This isn’t about turning back the clock. The internet has been empowering and democratising in many ways, but we haven’t yet got the stakes in the ground to help people navigate their way safely around it.
Look, we can all see the good intentions behind these proposals. But we don’t need the government to help us navigate – googlemaps is quite capable of this task. Seriously though, it doesn’t take much imagination to see how we can go from protecting children to full net censorship. Television and radio are already hotspots for such intense adherence to authoritarian rules, even if channel four believes itself to be the rebellious child of British television. The great thing about the net is that it allows us to roam freely in these information fields, consisting of porn, search engines (for porn) and everything else. Good times.