Monday 23 February 2009

Interest Rates are the Real 'Good News' Story

If you're looking for good news these days, you don't actually have to look that far. You could be forgiven for thinking that the bottom was falling out of absolutely everything if you spent your days listening to the radio or watching news bulletins on the TV - oh boy is it depressing. Job losses, falling stock markets, turmoil in the banks, the financial services sector in a terrible state, imminent strikes, pension pilfering ... the list just goes on and on.

But if you want a real 'Good News' story then all you have to do is drop over to the very happily named House Price Crash website and take a look at their sector outlining current base rates. Notice anything? Yes - they're all very low. In fact, you should take a copy of that photo, because we may never see rates so low across the world again. Every country listed has dropped rates drastically such has been the depth of the current economic downturn. This means that it has never been cheaper to borrow money. Now - if only we could get the banks to actually give us some.

Of course low base rates don't ensure low loan rates, the bank adds a (very often substantial) chunk to cover all those plus offices. When you think about it, there should be a law against having a 12% plus credit rate on a credit card when the bank can pick up money for little more than 2%. I guess if people are silly enough to not pay off those credit cards every month then they deserve to be done up like kippers, but it is a bit rich (only if you're a banker of course).

Ah well, you know what they say - "You can't have your cake and eat it too" (although heaven knows why not, if you've got cake surely you should be allowed to eat it, otherwise what's the point?).

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