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The Aptly Named Mr Bean

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Peter Hargreaves is co-founder and long-time chief executive of Hargreaves Lansdown, one of our biggest and most successful fund managers and stockbrokers. In other words, a big name in the world of money.

He's recently retired from his high-powered job, and doesn't appear so often on the company website. So it's gratifying to see him laying into Charlie "spend, spend" Bean in terms that would not be out of place in this forum.


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I cannot deny it, I hated Rowan Atkinson’s TV character Mr Bean. I cannot abide watching someone so stupid and inept. Similarly I cannot abide the members of the so called team of wise men who are in charge of our interest rate policies and make ludicrous statements such as those made by the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. I refer to Charles Richard Bean who, in my view, has made a proper Charlie of himself suggesting that people spend their savings.

Mr Bean said "What we're trying to do by our policy [low interest rates] is encourage more spending. Ideally we'd like to see that in the form of more business spending, but part of the mechanism that might encourage that is having more household spending; so in the short-term, we want to see households not saving more but spending more."

Let’s recap. The mismanagement of the economy has resulted in the worst returns on investors’ savings for decades. The poor old savers have already suffered immense pain because of poor governance and now Mr Bean wants savers to bail him out by spending their hard-earned savings. If you don’t he’ll make sure they won’t be worth anything. In other words as in all such cases the other solution is inflation.

In my view, it's the spend and borrow mentality that has our citizens, and the country in general, in such trouble. Yes it will be painful if people stop spending. In the short term Mr Bean wants us to spend. In the long term he ought to be telling the citizens of this country that if they don’t save the one organisation that won’t look after them in retirement is the government. In my opinion you are a right Charlie if you make crackpot suggestions like the one about spending our savings.

We know what he's saying, could have slated him a bit more heavily though

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  • 441 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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