The Money Shot – 20th January 2012

Covered mag, presented by Gocompare.com
  • | by Kristian Dando

GOING, GOING, GONG?

‘Banker bashing’ has become something of a national pastime over the past few years, so it came as little surprise this week when politicians of all stripes queued up to demand that former Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Sir Fred Goodwin be stripped of the knighthood he was awarded in 2004.

The disgraced former RBS boss was was at the helm of the bank when it required a £45.5 billion bailout from the taxpayer. Fred then trousered millions for his efforts through a so-called ‘Golden Handshake’, to the disdain of, well, pretty much everyone. "There is a widespread recognition of the damage Fred Goodwin caused – and I think the privilege of a knighthood is a privilege you should only continue to enjoy if you haven’t done such damage to the British economy," raged Labour leader Ed Miliband to the Daily Mail.

Whether or not Fred will keep his gong remains to be seen (he needs to have been convicted of a crime or struck off his professional body for it to happen), but you can be sure that if it is revoked, public sympathy is likely to be thin on the ground.

Quote of the week

“If you are working you are a grown-up. If you can't see saving for your old age is a good thing to do then you are a muppet. You can only do so much for people.” (SIC)

Cash Questions money expert Annie Shaw refuses to pull any punches in the great pensions debate.

Snow joke

As anybody who’s ridden the infamous snow train from Calais to the French Alps would testify, ingesting vast quantities of booze is often as much of a part of a ski or board as hurtling down a mountain propelled by your own weight, decked head to toe in eye-bleeding manmade fabrics.

But despite received wisdom, the drink isn’t entirely conducive with moving downhill at a fast pace on a frozen surface, what with its’ pesky knack of slowing down reaction times, messing with balance, filling one with a sense of inflated confidence and a sudden desire to show off.

According to research from Santander which landed this week, the majority of ski and snowboard accidents are drink-related, and that 23 pre per cent of the skiers and boarders which they surveyed had headed out on the slopes still sozzled from the night before.Your travel insurance provider might well take a dim view of your boozing antics, should you have to claim.

The costs of getting rescued are – if you excuse the turn of phrase – sobering. An air ambulance can cost upwards of £30,000, which you might well have to foot the bill for if you’ve been boozing, and that's before you've added the cost of getting yourself fixed and flown home.

If you ask us, you’ll get the most out of a winter sports holiday if you go easy on the après ski action. There’s more than enough scope to get heavily refreshed back home of a weekend, but unless you live in the Highlands, the chance to go and hurtle around mountains doesn’t come along quite so often. You don’t have join the temperance movement for a week, but try not to let the former affect the latter too much.

News in brief

Estate agents across the country were left trudging sombrely in the direction of the bus stop when Mini recalled nearly 30,000 cars which were at risk of combusting because of a manufacturing fault.

Eagle-eyed shoppers managed to get one over on Marks & Spencer when they managed to bag massive 3D tellies at a knockdown price of £199 after a mistake on the retailer’s website.

The nation was left thinking ‘pull the other one’ when David Cameron and Ed Milliband exchanged bold counter claims that their respective political parties were best placed to reign in irresponsible capitalism.

On Gocompare.com News this week

This week was Big Energy Week so Keith Kendrick wrote this piece about him finding out that he could save nearly half a grand a year on his gas and electricity...

Speaking of gas and electricity, Kristian Dando asked why customers of smaller energy companies are so much more satisfied than those of the 'big six.'

A minister ‘threw his weight’ behind telematics car insurance. Consumer group Which? wants the new Financial Conduct Authority to be more like a watchdog, and less like a lap dog

And finally…

TV gardener David Domoney revealed the secrets to the staying power of his plants. He’s been feeding his own blooms with infamous men’s sexual performance enhancer Viagra, and claims that the tablets help his plants stay upright for a week longer than those left just in water.

“Viagra contains nitric oxide, which slows down the dying process in plants,” he claimed. “The same chemical relaxes the muscles in a man’s penis, allowing the blood rush which is how Viagra perks things up,” he explained, possibly with a cheeky wink.

Join us next week for another thrilling instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.