Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 495

Ringing up profits

16 July 2010 / Issue 495

Telecoms stocks look cheap


  • The best way to cash in on the 3D craze
  • How to protect your portfolio against a crash
  • Germany’s roadmap to ruin


Lloyds – too bad for words?

I’m reading Guy Deutscher’s new book, Through The Language Glass. A beautifully written wander through linguistic history, it asks a central question: can you think of something for which you have no word? If Homer had no word for blue, so described the sea as “wine-dark”, does that mean he couldn’t see blue?

I know this sounds entirely irrelevant. But I’ve been thinking about the way UK-based retail banks treat their clients, and wondering if there’s a single word to describe their attitude. “Contempt” comes close, as do “disdain” and “disrespect”. But they won’t quite do, simply because none of these words contains the sense of tacked-on avarice that the retail banks give you.

Nonetheless, I suspect that, just as Homer could mentally if not verbally discern the difference between various colours, there is barely a UK bank customer who doesn’t know exactly what I am talking about.

• Read the full editor’s letter here:
Lloyds – too bad for words?