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Scopulus Business Newsletter - 09-02-09


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Dear Subscriber

In this issue we have:

  • Briefing
  • Tax Tip
  • Business tip
  • Legal Tip
  • Legal News
  • Articles - watch
  • Website Update 
Now that the Royal Bank of  Scotland is about 70%  owned by the government we can definitely expect change.  The question is what does the government  know about banking? We know that the economy is in unchartered waters but can we expect reasonableness’ from our politicians. 

The point in question is all this talk about  bonuses concerning the banks. Bottom line if they talk about breaching peoples  contracts just because of public opinion (which may be justified) they may have  to think again, after all, the whole banking system and our market system is  based on trust, contracts and agreements. Breaching contracts may be negligent  and will send out the wrong message which will mean recovery will be slow. If  someone has earned a bonus (I use the term “earned” loosely) and has fulfilled  their contractual side of the agreement then even if the business does not make  a profit they are still obliged to be paid. Surely these contracts were declared and agreed by the then shareholders.

On the other hand if its not contractual  then there is no obligation and decisions have to be made especially when most  of the banks have in part failed not only themselves, the economy but you and  me.
So let’s get back to reasonableness. What is  reasonable? Yes, there is an out cry about certain individuals getting what is being  called  "bonuses for failure", but any sensible person would be able to work out  that this is simply not the case. There is no way they have been offered a bonus for the business failing. The bonuses would no doubt have been bigger if  mistakes were not made.  But public  opinion does have sway, even if it is based on hysteria. So reasonableness will  have to mean compromise. So what should the compromise be? 1) They can ask the  bosses who’s bonuses are contractual to agree to a delay in the paying of those  bonuses based on the current position of the bank, and agree to pay them the  money when the business picks up and/or maybe over a period of a few years into  recovery. 2) Similarly, they can ask them to take "x" amount of it in the form of shares perhaps even over a number of years  to ease the current cash flow issues in this economic  climate and to share in the fortunes of other investors.

What ever they decide it will make a difference to  all of us now and in the future. Consider, trust and confidence is what makes or  breaks business, markets and economies.

Tax Tip

See below an article about child trust funds  and how you can get an extra £250 and tax free interest for your young children. Quite important and is a basic provision.

Business Tip

Everybody’s first impression is based on how you  look and what you wear. So is it too much of an effort to make an effort, and  does it really matter. Forget that the statistics tell us it is. You already know  it.

Legal Tip

If you are in a business partnership then you must have a  partnership agreement or the law will dictate the terms of the partnership. If  you want to protect what you have, then agree in writing and all parties will be  protected..

Legal News

What is “Personal data”? The Information  Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published guidance to help institutions decide  whether data falls within the ICO’s definition of personal data if you are  not sure. You can see it here.

Articles - watch

If you don’t ask the right questions you wont  get the right answers. Have a read.

Asking the Right Questions

If you have young children or have just had a child then this may be something to consider. Four millionth Child Trust Fund milestone reached

Website Updates

We have added a new heading in the useful  tools section, Dictionary/Translators. Some have sound definitions as well as written translations and pronunciations of the word so you can even learn how to say the word properly. Amazing!  Excellent tools to use if you want to learn the  basics. Click here.

Kind Regards
The Scopulus Articles Team


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-02-10 12:03:59 in Newsletter

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