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Where to Throw Your Dosh

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Hollande, “threating 75% income tax, if elected

After having lived in London for many years, from the late 1980s through to 2009, it’s interesting to try to gauge how the city has morphed in those decades. It’s always been a desirable capital, but the property prices were stratospheric until 2007. Not much has changed, it seems. No longer living there, I watch, slightly bemused, from the sidelines as friends scamper to ever-more obscure postal codes – trying to live in one of the most expensive spots on earth. An interesting CNN business article showed that with the way the upcoming French elections are going, it seems that the anti-wealth socialist Hollande will be on the warpath for rich Parisians – threating 75% income tax, if elected. Those French with cash are eager for a ‘stable investment,’ which, ironically, given the current climate, is in posh flats in London.

What this shows, is that no matter how bad a nation’s finances are, London is a brand empire unto itself – no mind that the country is back in recession and the potholed streets are rife with 13-year-old knife gangs. A potent brand is just that: potent. And according to the article, the French aren’t alone in their exodus, with many wealthy Greeks pouring into the capital. But the French hold the biggest numbers in London, almost 300,000, “Property brokers Knight Frank say French investors were the second biggest group after British buyers in the first quarter, accounting for 8% of real estate purchases…So far this year they say inquiries from French clients have soared 19%,” says CNN.

What, one wonders, will this influx of French make of beans on toast, Tetley’s, and overpriced high street sandwiches? I guess it won’t matter if Harrods is your neighbor. Money talks.

 
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William R. Feins , freelance journalist from London, UK; he received his B.A. degree in Economics and his Masters in Sociology. William has always been interested in the mechanics of business and the inspiration of original thinkers, and firmly believes that the former can’t succeed without the latter. In his spare time, he enjoys the ridiculous spectacle of watching table tennis on a big screen (preferably at a pub) and reading weighty tomes about World War II.

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