Ok, forget the Royal Commission into the Banks. The big financial news comes courtesy of Finder.com (at least if you are in NSW) : which Easter showbag to buy!

According to Finder.com, this year’s show promises to be a showbag-extravaganza, with over 400 of them on offer ranging from just $2 to $30 (yes, you got that right!).

According to Finder, the best value showbags are without a doubt those offered by the magazines. They awarded the top spot to The Australian Women’s Weekly showbag.

At $18, it apparently contains over $600 worth of goodies. “That’s a return on investment of more than 3000%”, says Finder.

ELLE’s showbag has $700 worth of products in return for $25. The Better Homes & Gardens showbag costs just $16 for $168 worth of items.

Sadly, the worst value for money showbags are those targeted at the children.

The Killer Python bag, selling for $5 and containing $4.75 worth of product, for instance.

Does Bill’s plan come up shorten

A couple of points to ponder from The Australian’s Adam Creighton as we watch the attacks on Labor’s tax plans:

“A retired couple living in a $2m house, with $3.2m in super, are classified as ‘‘low income’’. They have no income tax liability. They could also have an investment property and still wouldn’t have a tax liability because of the bizarre “senior and pensioners’ tax offset”, which lifts their effective tax-free threshold to about $58,000.

“Another couple living in an $800,000 home, with a mortgage, earning $100,000 a year combined income will be classed as ‘‘high income’’. Being in the second-highest tax bracket, they will pay a 37 per cent marginal tax rate on every extra dollar earned.

Makes you think…

Sleeze and the banks

Each morning, Wrap steps into a lift after watching a screen which claims the big banks are actually owned by some little old lady, and that getting them to abide by the law somehow hurts her.

Pass the sick bag!

This week really couldn’t go by without mentioned the hearing into the banks.  And as Wrap looks at the ads in the lift foyer, we can’t help but remember the banks are already spending $60 million each on teams working to counter the commission’s fallout.

So what have we learned in week one?

Well, the NAB took the stand first – which could be their luck, because their evidence could be forgotten.

What did we learn?

NAB branch managers were part of an alleged bribery ring and used unqualified people to flog its mortgage products – paying them off with cash-stashed envelopes handed out by cashiers. You really couldn’t make this stuff up!

Of the 2000-plus suspect loans, more than $50 million were deemed to be potentially unserviceable

The NAB’s “introducer” referral program used members of the public to push loan products. A gym owner and three other “introducers” were together responsible for $139 million in loans.

Six branch managers and up to 33 other staff drew up thousands of loans that were underpinned by false information including fake IDs and payslips.

The Big Four slash rates

Meanwhile, business life goes on. The Big Four are in a mortgage war, desperately trying to keep the property market alive and knock out rival smaller operators offering better deals.

ANZ, NAB and the Commonwealth Bank have cut lending rates by up to 50 basis points.

And there is plenty of room for them to do it, since their rates are still pretty high.

“It’s war,” says RateCity.com.au’s  Sally Tindell.

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