Turned out I had. And so had you.
Turned out the government has invested your money on your behalf.
About $28,000 each promised to each of Mascot's 2558 "investors."
Good on us, eh. :-/
PS: Turns out Mascot stopped taking deposits in September. Turns out Treasury okayed its inclusion in the Government's Guarantee Scheme in October. Turns out Treasury still reckons that "based on the indications at the time, there was no reason to decline Mascot Finance's application."
Which means this won't be the only "investment" you never made that you're going to have to pay for.
UPDATE: In the latest report from the Sage of Omaha,Warren Buffett confirms the inherent destructiveness of government guarantee schemes:
Funders that have access to any sort of government guarantee – banks with FDIC-insured deposits, large entities with commercial paper now backed by the Federal Reserve, and others who are using imaginative methods (or lobbying skills) to come under the government’s umbrella – have money costs that are minimal.Download Buffett's wisdom from the mountains here [pdf].
Conversely, highly-rated companies, such as Berkshire, are experiencing borrowing costs that, in relation to Treasury rates, are at record levels. Moreover, funds are abundant for the government-guaranteed borrower but often scarce for others, no matter how creditworthy they may be.
This unprecedented “spread” in the cost of money makes it unprofitable for any lender who doesn’t enjoy government-guaranteed funds to go up against those with a favored status. Government is determining the “haves” and “have-nots.” That is why companies are rushing to convert to bank holding companies, not a course feasible for Berkshire.
Though Berkshire’s credit is pristine – we are one of only seven AAA corporations in the country – our cost of borrowing is now far higher than competitors with shaky balance sheets but government backing. At the moment, it is much better to be a financial cripple with a government guarantee than a Gibraltar without one.