In the Papers

Mediterranean gull.

Two stories in The Times on Monday; NHS seeks £10bn cash boost from hedge funds and Gulls in danger as thieves steal eggs for restaurant kitchens.

The NHS don’t get as much money as they say they need from the taxpayer. As interest rates are low they are talking to hedge funds about borrowing up to £10bn. Here is what I wrote in a post about structured products.

The best advice I’ve heard is “when you hear someone say structured products, run for the hills”. In the 1980s Hammersmith council didn’t heed this and dipped more than a toe into the complex and opaque world of structured products via interest rate swaps. In theory the council exchanged floating interest rates with a bank, for the “security” of a fixed rate. In fact it was a one-way bet on the direction of interest rates that went very wrong.

Assuredly interest rates are low today and inevitably will rise. It seems to me that the NHS are negotiating to borrow money cheaply today but should read the small print as hedge funds are for-profit businesses. So as not to sound negative I have a proposal. Why doesn’t the NHS issue a bond? It would need to be backed by the government to borrow funds at a low rate and that might be a problem. However, other entities turn to issuing bonds as a cheaper alternative to borrowing money from banks.

Now for the gulls’ eggs. Paul Morton from Birds of Poole Harbour, told The Times: “Mediterranean gulls have the highest level of protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, meaning it is highly illegal to interfere with their nests or eggs. Anyone found in possession of a Mediterranean gull egg could find themselves in hot water.”

Isn’t that splendid; an eye for an eye, the poacher poached.

3 thoughts on “In the Papers”

  1. I expect your wisdom will be ignored. We are already heavily in pawn to infrastructure funds. What a handsome bird the Med. gull is.

  2. With regard to the NHS huge savings can be made with staff wage bills and procurement. Secondly our overly generous foreign aid is being abused and these funds should be directed to our own social problems and that includes the NHS.

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