The interest rates on Zopa are slowly creeping up again and are just about inflation beating after tax (4.3/4.7 for 3/5 years respectively), not quite sure why since the funding for lending initiative is still in force and BoE also made it very clear there were no intentions of increasing interest rates until there's significant improvement in the employment market (I think 2015 was bandied about).
Back on topic though, what are people's thoughts on the possible Royal Mail flotation? I had thought it was a done deal but talking to our postman yesterday he said that if enough postal workers voted against the £2k share / bribe (they each stand to get £2k in shares if privatisation goes ahead), then the privatisation won't go ahead.
Initial feeling is it would be a sound investment, deliveries are on the increase what with online shopping, privatisation allows them to invest in development more cheaply than the government could (which I was suprised at, must be to do with uk losing it's AAA rating), they have a massive head start on the competition (similar to BT <=> local loop unbundling / ISPs in many ways) and generally they will probably end up cutting back on all the fat they can (unfortunately for those in remote locations and generally us as users as the price of services creeps up in a similar way to utility prices).
That final reason though is a bit of a dilemma, I do feel that privatisation is the wrong thing for the Royal Mail given that it's such an important part of our social fabric. To some extent I think government subsidisation of the Royal Mail is the right thing (so we all subsidise deliveries for people in remote places for example), but then again I can see the government's urge to get the responsibility / debt 'off the books' (even though in the short term it means nationalizing the RM's debt so it can float easier). Very much doubt that it will mean increased benefits for us as consumers though, mail related prices will just go up and up like the utilities have over the years without any decent competition.
So... I might invest perhaps. I was too young to take part in the 'Tell Sid' thing back in the 80s(?) / British Gas / BT etc... they appear to have done OK for themselves (ahem, well to put it another way 'they've done alright for their shareholders' ). If you can't beat em, invest in em (or should that be if you can't rely on decent governance to 'do the right thing', give in and invest in the companies anyway).