Letters to the Editor - 06/01 - Gold speculation, Payday lending, Best of Twitter

Gold speculation

[Re: Here’s why Capital Economics thinks gold will bounce back this year, Thursday]
Buying gold at current prices is speculation, and not just over the potential removal of Indian import restrictions. Its price tells you about fear in an economy at any given point – and there just isn’t that fear around that the Fed will stoke inflation, that it will make a mess of its withdrawal from quantitative easing, that interest rates will remain at record lows forever, or even that another crash is just around the corner. We may be lulling ourselves into a false sense of security, but I just don’t see any reason why gold will gain in 2014.

Name withheld

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Payday lending

[Re: MPs call for ban on payday loan ads on kids’ TV, 20 December]
The solution is not more regulation or the capping of interest rates for payday lenders. The majority of borrowers pay back their loans. Over-regulation risks throttling competition and makes the responsible majority of borrowers pay for the irresponsible minority. The solution is to automate the lending process as much as technically possible, as the leading payday lenders are doing, and thus drive down the operational costs. Then competition can drive down interest rates.

Greg Grimer

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BEST OF TWITTER

UK mortgage approvals in December 2013: £11.1bn. Up 37 per cent on December 2012’s £8.09bn.
@notayesmansecon

A record rise in sales has put John Lewis in the front-running of the Christmas high-street battle.
@NeilRetail

UK heads global manufacturing PMI for seventh month. Only France, Greece and Russia in decline.
@WilliamsonChris

Japan’s population declined by a record 244,000 people in 2013.
@ianbremmer