Dec 072011

This animated film explain how fractional banking works , the history of  banking and how its making the vast majority of us poorer for the sake of a privileged elite.  Its very well explained and if you have ever asked yourself the following questions this is where you will find the answers

What is money?
Where does the debt go?
Who do we owe it to?
Where do governments get money from?

After watching this and you want to find out more you should really watch Bill Still’s excellent documentary  The Money Masters  Its pretty long but very enlightening and offers some very interesting conclusions to solve the present debt crisis the world is in. If after watching that you still haven’t had enough of banking then he’s also made a further film called The Secret of Oz  which is also very worthwhile viewing although some will be repetition in particular the history lesson.


 Posted by at 10:02 am
Dec 052011

Fantastic documentary explaining the evils of central banking by Bill Still. This film is a essentially an update to his earlier award winning documentary The Money Masters.

Watch this and you’ll never think the same way about money, banks and governments again.

But before you watch this I suggest you watch the following first in the order I suggest,

1.Money as Debt – an animated film thats reasonably short but really explains how money and banking works and screws up the world.

2.The Money Masters – Bill Still’s earlier lengthy but masterful documentary

Dont forget to comment – I really want to hear people’s views on these really important films


4 alternative investments for savers

 Investing  Comments Off on 4 alternative investments for savers
Dec 052011

Alternative investments for saversSavers and investors are having a rough time at the moment with interest rates being at historically low rates and inflation creeping up to over 5%. (Though we should of course be thankful that we are fortunate enough to be savers rather than borrowers)

I’ve spent far too long on the internet looking at moneysupermarket thinking somehow I’m going to suddenly find a bank or building society that will pay over the odds. It ain’t going to happen.

However I have found 4 very interesting sites that may help the saver and help borrowers and businesses too. Thats because none of them are banks and all of them offer an alternative to using the banksters. Ive started investing with all of them and I will be giving my views and updates on how they are performing in future posts.

Market Invoice

My favourite at the moment as I think it offers the best risk to reward at the moment. It basically allows you buy a businesses’ invoices thus advancing them cash and  charging a fee (typically 1.5% per 30 days). It’s very much like factoring except that businesses can offer single invoices and theres a lot less hassle involved.

Pros: Annualised returns 15%+

 Cons: Its very new and only folks with £50k + are currently accepted.


Probably the best known, Zopa brings ordinary borrowers and savers together in an online peer to peer marketplace. Borrowers are classified according to a risk score and lenders make informed choices about what returns they want from lending to different classes of borrower. Risk is minimised by dividing up your loaned amount into lots of small loans so you could be lending to a hundred people, the idea being that you are less likely to get get significantly hurt by the inevitable few that default on their loans

Pros: Slick website with complete transparency of information about default risk, start with very small amounts

 Cons: Lower rates (6-9% p.a.) although still potentially much higher than the traditional bank.

Funding Circle

Funding Circle is like very much like Zopa except that its for lending to businesses. Theres a wealth of information about the companies you can lend to or you can set up automatic lending (like Zopa) based on interest rate criteria you choose

Pros: Slick and transparent website, one feels more in control of risk than on Zopa

Cons: Theres not much filtering of businesses and the rates reflect that theres probably too many investors and not enough companies on board yet


Thin cats is like funding circle but is much smaller with fewer opportunities however the filtering of companies is stricter hopefully meaning the likelihood of default is less plus the rates are quite a bit higher. This site feels a bit more ‘grown up’ than Funding Circle and would perhaps suit larger investments.

Pros: Greater due diligence, higher rates being achieved

Cons: Less opportunities and the site is not as slick as the competition

Anyway all the above have the potential for being business heroes in the brave new world of post financial crisis we all live in so I hope they will all thrive and provide us all with the liquidity and income that the banks (and governments) have so cruelly denied us.

Review of Market Invoice

 Investing  Comments Off on Review of Market Invoice
Dec 022011

Market Invoice is a marketplace for investors to lend money to established small and medium sized businesses. The lending is done by  buying unpaid invoices from businesses. This gives the business in question immediate access to funds and provides them with the cash flow they need to run their business. Banks are not lending even to great businesses and they are not paying investors a great return either so Market Invoice has spotted a niche thats come about since the credit crunch. I like this a lot because its proper capitalism at work. An industry thats blown up gets replaced by new operators coming into the arena.

Market Invoice checks out the companies selling invoices for you and rejects any that don’t pass their credit-worthyness tests. They also only accept invoices that are payable by blue chip companies. They make sure the debtor is happy with the invoice and all the information they have about the invoice and the companies in question is made available online to the auction bidders.

Anyway, I thought I would give it a try. Before I did I popped into see them and I met co-founders Anil Stocker and partner and director Ilya Kondrashov two young and very smart guys. My main question to them was how were they going ensure that the world of commerce became aware of them as I could see that investors with cash looking for a home would be an easy target. They agreed that getting a balance between investors and sellers of invoices would be key to their growth.

Since our meeting back in the beginning of November 2011 I have seen how they are utilising several business and social platforms for example by inviting along Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna  to one of their events. I reckon these guys will soon be very well known indeed. I certainly wish I had thought of the idea.

Anyway my experience so far is that every time a new auction came up before I had any time to consider the facts the auction would be over in a matter of minutes. This happened several times and they were pretty hefty invoices at that. Obviously there are some big hitters on the site. Anyway I finally got a look in yesterday and am partly funding an invoice with another investor. To be honest that was what I was looking for , its always nice to be in the same boat as someone else!  So lets see how it goes , I’ll be earning 1.5% a month which is a pretty tasty return but that shouldnt be for more than 60 days if all goes to plan.

Update on 21st Dec 2011.

Bought a number of invoices mostly fractions of invoices, all auctions over within minutes so you have to be quick. First 2 invoices have been paid back early which is nice but means I need to turn the money over faster to get the return. One bit of the website thats not very slick (yet) is the updating of the payment of invoices is not live.




 Posted by at 12:21 pm

Has the Frankfurt group signalled the end of democracy?

 Politics  Comments Off on Has the Frankfurt group signalled the end of democracy?
Nov 222011

Maybe its time for change? Maybe democracy has had its day, is this a new beginning or a return to the dark?

So  now that the Frankfurt group , a bunch of unelected Germans and French have effectively managed to oust both the elected Italian and the Greek  Prime Ministers and replaced them with their own Technocrats, is this another nail in the coffin for democracy?

While the so-called Arab spring states are fighting for it, the birthplace is rejecting and corrupting it. We lecture other countries and fight wars for it yet it seems back at home its now longer working. What kind of message is that sending?

Maybe the average chap on the street chucking bricks at the police is not aware of the subtle shift thats seems to be happening amongst the democratic countries? Or are they? Things happen so fast these days because of the internet. Lets not forget its the web that is the fuel and inspiration for much of the unrest and turmoil in rapidly changing regimes. Information and news is now universal to almost everyone except those states like China where its filtered through the states self serving sieve. In many ways this is the ideal time for these nations to be seeing the problems that democratic countries face, after all nows the time they need to be questioning what system they need to follow or indeed develop for themselves. Who knows maybe they will emerge with a solution for the rest of us.

But it seems doubtful that it will be anytime soon, from here in my Ivory tower the world seems to think like lighting but act at the speed of an overweight slug on valium. The anthill of humanity is vast after all and the 7 billionth member is only a few days old.

So whats wrong with democracy? Well how about the fact that if you have elections then any elected person is going to be worried about keeping his job as soon as he or she is in it. The promises and dreams of what they are going to do to progress society to the next level of nirvana quickly become second place to making sure you or your particular gang dont get ousted at the next round of the ballot box. The same holds true for corporations, the executives dont work for the company, they work for themselves. They are interested in their paychecks, their careers and their next job. The culmination of this folly is all too evident in the obscene compensation of the banking industry, but the principle is rotten across the corporate world in general.

If that wasn’t enough, how about the idea that we elect people who represent us and our views. How can a couple of hundred men and women truly represent the needs aspirations and dreams of millions. Especially as these few hundred themselves have to represent a handful of political factions. The fact that the public is so apathetic about elections, government and politics isn’t because they aren’t interested its because they don’t have any real power. Real democracy would mean the people could change things quickly and smoothly in line with the mass of feelings of the populace. They would be able to be a involved as they like and make a real difference if they were backed by the majority of feeling, free to make their own mistakes even. Isnt this what we allow our children to do once they have come of age? Isnt it a duty to the future generation. Do our politicians treat us like children? Uhhh yes , yes they do! Are we destined to suffer a type of patriarchy rather than democracy? Are we going to children until the day we die? Is that why I feel so bad when I see politicians younger than me telling me what I can and cant do?

So the state of Europe is fascinating to watch , is it the start of a new more autocratic ‘hyper non democratic benign dictatorship’  Which would certainly have its supporters, or is it to fail and disintegrate with some new order arising from the ashes. Cant wait to find out.



 Posted by at 9:00 am

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