Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

Some thoughts on the government giving everyone in the country RBS shares

According to The Independent, the government is thinking of solving its RBS problem by giving everyone in the country a chunk of the shares.

On the one hand, I think that handing out free cash to poor people strikes me as an excellent boost to the economy, as they're likely to go out and spend it. On the other hand, I'm not convinced that handing 100 shares in RBS to people is the best way of doing that. And on the third hand, if the government has £2Bn-worth of shares then possibly it should lay out a plan for selling them off in tranches at market price over the next few years, and then use that cash to reduce the deficit/build a couple of hospitals.

From a purely technical point of view, I'd like to know how people are supposed to manage their hundred shares. Is everyone to be given a share-dealing account? I'd be shocked if there were any existing share-dealing companies that could cope with an extra thirty million customers. Plus, of course, I'm wondering what list will be used to hand these shares out.

From a safe distance it sounds like a neat idea - The People bailed out the bank, so give the bank to The People. But I don't think the details stack up at all.



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