Muck and Brass

Osbourne announced that shares would be sold in Lloyds bank to the general public, overlooking the fact that the general public own those shares in any case.

An article in the Guardian today: http://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2015/oct/05/lloyds-share-sale-is-grubby-and-indefensible  calls the deal ‘grubby’ and correctly states:

Why should some citizens – those with a grand or two in cash and an appetite for filling in forms – receive a discount at the expense of other taxpayers?

I felt the same when they sold the utility companies off, they were national assets, so why should people with a few thousand spare be allowed to have an advantage over another member of the population?

As important, the treasury will lose £200 million in doing so: that could have helped stop some of the impending cuts, but no, it’s of course far better that the ‘haves’ take a bit more.

What is startling is that not a few months ago, we were told that the government didn’t need to sell the shares:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/epic/lloy/11750163/George-Osborne-no-longer-needs-a-public-sale-at-Lloyds.html

Less that 2 months ago, we were told that the sale was going to be suspended due to the poor performance of the shares, that wouldn’t even have left the government breaking even:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/epic/lloy/11819991/George-Osborne-creeps-closer-to-full-Lloyds-privatisation-with-550m-sale.html

Oh dear, it seems that whoever buys the shares may well rue the day that they spent their spare cash; it doesn’t seem a solid investment to me. Well, you know the old addage, but I would say, that in this case there is more muck than brass…

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