Why $100 isn’t the same everywhere
How much bang are you getting for your buck this year? Well, it pretty much depends on where you live, according to the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy research organisation which regularly collates data from The Bureau of Economic Analysis to demonstrate how much $100 buys you on a state-by-state basis. It may come as little surprise to discover that the same goods are often much cheaper in states like Missouri than they are in New York, but there are some interesting discrepancies outside the obvious.
RBS sell-off underway
In a move that’s not without controversy, chancellor George Osborne has begun the process of transferring beleaguered bank RBS back to private ownership in the first sale of shares since the bank was rescued in 2008. The sale of shares is estimated to result in a likely loss of around £1bn to the UK taxpayer, amid criticism from opposition politicians that Osborne should have waited for the bank to achieve more fundamental reforms before launching his privatisation operation.
The sale of £2bn-worth of shares – a 5% stake – to City investors is designed to reduce the taxpayers’ shareholding to around 73%. Investment banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS have been appointed to act as ‘bookrunners’, responsible for placing the shares with investors.
Athens stock market takes a hit
Greece’s stock market plummeted by more than 20% on the first day of trading following a five-week closure prompted by fears that the country was about to exit the eurozone. The Athens stock index experienced its worst-ever performance in the opening few minutes of trading, with banking shares, which make up about a fifth of the index, taking a beating. The overall banking index fell to its 30% volatility limit.
The first to fall
The seven-year investigation of the rate-rigging scandal that caused global outrage has resulted in its inaugural conviction. A jail sentence of 14 years has been handed down to former City trader Tom Hayes after becoming the first to be found guilty by a jury of rigging the Libor interest rate.