Credit Crisis Diary 10/01/2009

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Get ready to storm the barricades

If you're not busy at noon on Tuesday, why not get yourself down to the High Court at The Strand in central London? The UK Shareholders Association is planning a noisy demo to mark the start of a legal challenge by investors to the nationalisation of Northern Rock. This could be your chance to rub shoulders with those poor old hedgies, who lost a packet on the Rock, as well as other assorted rabble-rousers.

Danger money for handing out the P45s

It's never pleasant making people redundant. But spare a thought for the bosses of World Wrestling Entertainment, which unveiled plans yesterday to shed 10 per cent of its workforce. WWE has yet to say who'll be going, but you wouldn't want to be the one telling grappler Jeff Hardy, left, and friends they're out of a job. A spokesman says some cuts will come from "attrition". You're telling us.

So that's where the banks' cash is going

What do pensioners know that the rest of Britain doesn't? Ros Altmann, the independent pensions expert, points out that people claiming pension credit have to declare what savings they have when their entitlement to the means-tested benefit is assessed. The Government then assumes that those greedy old folk are earning 10 per cent annual interest on their savings, Altmann adds. It is inconceivable that the Department for Work and Pensions would be unfair – so come on OAPs, tell us all.

Lloyds prepares to pay its borrowers

More bad news for Lloyds TSB. It could become the first lender in history to pay homeowners for having one of its mortgages. Two years ago, its market-leading tracker deal was priced at Bank of England base rate minus 1.01 percentage points. It will thus be the first home loan provider to be caught out by falling base rates – just one more 0.5 percentage point cut, to 1.0 per cent, would leave the black horse in the red.

Poking fun at an easy target

Michael Lewis's famous book, Liar's Poker, charts the excesses and misbehaviour of bond traders in London and America. And if the latest gag doing the rounds is anything to go by, bond traders still haven't grown up. What's the difference between a bond and a bond trader? A bond matures.