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Methinkshe

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Everything posted by Methinkshe

  1. Until you realise that house prices are dependent upon a multitude of interacting forces you will forever be one of the lemmings that will follow the herd off the edge of the cliff. House prices are dictated by MULTIPLE interactions, so either wake up and listen, or shut up about threads that to your narrow mind appear extraneous but in the greater scheme of things have a bearing.
  2. Exactly so! Why, for instance do we need a NEW law to criminalise using a mobile phone when driving? Dangerous driving law if properly applied should suffice. Better still, thou shalt not kill will do even better!
  3. Don't I just LURVE professional fund-raisers! If I get even a sniff of a professional fundraiser in any charity I instantly stop ALL contributions. Bloody parasites! Who do you think is paying your wages? Those numbskulls who think their money is going to the casue, not the admin thereof.
  4. Unfortunately, along with the masses, you fail to understand what gun ownership allows in terms of individual defence against any potentially dictatorial government. BTW, you ARE aware, aren't you that the Swiss, having served their compulsory time in the Armed Forces, retain their weapons. I don't ever hear anyone bleating about Swiss gun laws.
  5. Personally I have a lot of sympathy with Injin's POV. He stands for personal freedom unlike the liberal intelligentia who have been busily giving away what is left of an Englishman's personal freedom. I don't like it, there ought to be a law against it, I hear them bleat every day of the week. A pity that they and our legislator's don't understand that they CANNOT LEGISLATE GOODNESS. All that adding law and statute does is to criminalise a greater and greater percentage of the population until even the most law-abiding could not hope to live a life without inadvertently breaking a law. Laws do not make people good! They have the reverse effect, they make people bad! Anyway, it would take the world's greatest memory man to remember and practice every law on our current statute book, never mind common law. A return to 10 all-encompassing laws (I seem to remember that such a code has existed for 4000 odd years) that every individual could remember would be a very good thing, imo.
  6. Absolutely! If 50% are graduates instead of, say, 20%, then the premium salaries that are promised to graduates will decline proportionally. Or is Gordon Bean's government trying to convince our GCSE Maths students that 100% of graduates can command the same premium? Wouldn't surprise me if they fell for it - that's about the level that GCSE Maths gets you to. My 11 plus was harder than today's GCSE Maths. As for the scholarship exam to a public school that I took when I was 10 years plus a few months old in 1964, it was about the same difficulty as today's A levels. Edited for typos.
  7. Okay, so say I own a shotgun without a licence and one day MR Plod turns up on my doorstep and asks to see my licence. Am I innocent (according to the law) or will I be prosecuted? BTW I firmly believe in an armed citizenship as the final bastion against overweening government which is why I support the USA gun laws. I only wish we had same.
  8. Only that I know shotguns are SUPPOSED to be licensed. Do you have any evidence that this is not the case? Or do you ignore such laws? Not berating you if you do....just wondering.
  9. Where I live (Cornwall/Devon border, the average wage is not much more than the minimum wage. Therefore it the national average wage is 32K there must be one helluva lot of people earning obscene multi-millionK salaries - at least, that's all I can think of such figures. Round here, even the highest qualified tradesmen don't get more than £20../hr compared to the £40 or £50/hr that I think their London counterparts can demand. Yet, house prices in the West Country are pretty much consistent with those in London and the South East. No wonder all the locals are being priced out of their villages.
  10. Good man, yerself! Do high powered airguns need a licence these days? For shooting rats, yer know. Can't keep up with all this new rule making. I know shotguns should be licensed but what about airguns?
  11. Yup, as Gordon Bean keeps telling us, he has created a "stable" economy - all straw and horse-shit. Are we surprised by these figures? Not in the slightest. They've been in plain view for months for anyone who cared to take off their NuLab Rose tinted specs.
  12. I think you missed one of my posts: Yup, that's about it. A microchip implant that verifies ID, contains a barcode or similar that allows financial transactions, state benefits, tax allowances, healthcare, etc, etc, and without which no-one will be able to buy or sell. Now where have I heard that before......? Was it by any chance prophesied 2000 years ago? The only way a cashless society could truly work would be via microchip implants for every individual on the face of the globe. Impossible? I wouldn't bet against it......
  13. Yup, that's about it. A microchip implant that verifies ID, contains a barcode or similar that allows financial transactions, state benefits, tax allowances, healthcare, etc, etc, and without which no-one will be able to buy or sell. Now where have I heard that before......? Was it by any chance prophesied 2000 years ago?
  14. Oh, yes, I see your point. I also wonder whether any government can maintain global credibility if it has to bail out two or three or four Northern Wrecks..... In the second line banking crisis of the late 70s, other banks came to the rescue and floated a lifeboat. This time we're likely talking about the major banks as well as the second line banks.. Is there a lifeboat to rescue the lifeboat kind of thing?
  15. Don't you believe it! If the global finacial system is as rocky as it would appear, a cashless society could be the only solution to saving a bankrupt world (that is, if there is not a return to the gold standard, and I have my doubts about whether that would ever happen because the politicians wouldn't like the inbuilt restraints involved). No, a cashless society (global, at that) could be the ONLY answer to the present crisis. I wouldn't write it off. However, I would fight against it, though probably to no avail.
  16. Another instance where my brain turns to scrambled egg! As far as I am able to discern, the Yen carry trade is already unwinding - how far, I don't know. I think that fear has already got the better of greed in this instance. If that means the repatriation of Yen, coloquially speaking, then won't that be deflationary (relative to those doing the repatriation, i.e. most of the western world) and therefore, yes, the Yen would rise in value? Having said that, isn't a lot of the Yen carry trade home grown in Japan? Scrambled eggs - sorry - I'm just not able to work it through. The old mind is growing dull.....
  17. Good for them. Maybe, as ever, it will be the Paddy or the Tommy or others from the ranks of ordinary working men who will defend the individual freedom that the liberal (pseudo) intelligentia has so carelessly thrown away.
  18. Thanks for your previous help in trying to alleviate my ignorance. Just come across the following. It was the bit I have highlighted in red that was confusing me.....about the blank piece of paper....because that's what it seemed like to me. I couldn't see any intrinsic value. Market Ticker One investor's view of the financial markets with a focus on both current headlines and longer-term analysis of economic trends Having just come back from a funeral of my only nephew, it seems appropriate to write about this (by the way, rest in peace Bryan.....) ACA was downgraded from "A" to "CCC". In one move. This also caused a cascade of downgrades on other bonds and in related actions, S&P also put MBIA and Ambac on "negative" watch. This is extremely serious, and has come much more quickly than I expected. The short version of what this means is: You have to wonder why the markets would be rallying the last couple of days when there are nuclear weapons ticking out there. Indeed, you have to wonder why we're not already under 10,000 on the DOW. Well, tonight you got a hint of what is to come. Few will understand the significance of this move, at least initially. Soon, everyone will, and not in a good way. There will of course be people who will claim that these guys will be "bailed out." The problem is, they can't be. These insurers wrote tens of billions of dollars in swaps - insurance contracts basically - guaranteeing that bonds would not default. Unfortunately, a large number of the bonds they wrote these contracts on are subprime mortgage related - either directly, or CDOs that are comprised of them. Like most of the other "insurers", these firms have exposure that makes their market cap and cash position look at a bad joke. For example, MBI has a market cap of $3.39 billion and cash of $3.92 billion. Yet it, along with the other "monolines", have insured hundreds of billions worth of bond issues. Needless to say they can't possibly hope to pay off on any more than a tiny percentage of those issues. Now the defaults are starting, and so are the downgrades. The downgrades mean that these issuers can no longer write any more swap contracts. Their income stream will be cut off, at the same time that radically more defaults than planned for will occur. I'm sure you've heard that Goldman has "hedged" off their risk, and this is why they made so much money while the other folks in the room lost. What you didn't probably understand is that so far this is all accounting fiction - nobody has actually given anyone any money on those hedges. But now, those hedges are worthless. The risk, which was believed to have been laid off, was not really laid off. These companies never had a prayer in hell of actually performing on their obligations. Never. Yet in the world of derivatives, if one person wins, the other lose. So let's say that I have a $1 million dollar bond and I buy a swap guaranteeing it. Let's also say that the bond pays 7%, and I pay 1% (face) to insure it to maturity. Cool - I have 6% risk free, right? Uh, not exactly. What if the person I bought the swap from doesn't have the money when the bond defaults? Now I not only didn't make 6% risk free, I take the capital loss on the bond! This is where we are today. These investment banks have booked "earnings" and "revenues" that are based on the concept of the risk being "laid off" on these insurers. But these insurers can't actually pay on the hedges; in effect, the investment banks (and others) bought a blank piece of paper for their premium instead of actual insurance! How did this happen? It happened because all of these swaps are written over the counter and there is no regulation of capital ratios, nor are these swaps traded on a public exchange, nor is there any supervision of margin requirements! When YOU buy a stock on margin you are only allowed to buy twice as much stock as you have CASH. That's 50% margin. If you trade futures, you can be levered up 20:1, but only an idiot gets close to that line, because the smallest move the wrong way generates an instant margin call. But in the real world these guys wrote an essentially unlimited amount in swaps, even though they couldn't pay out on anything other than a tiny fraction. The ratings agencies claimed these were "AAA" securities, with a minuscule odds of default. They were wrong. There was no supervision of the margin capacity of these firms, so they're geared at 100 or even 200:1, or perhaps more. Nobody knows for sure. But what we do know for sure is that they won't be able to pay off on the defaults. This will cascade through the banking, pension and other fund systems. It will totally screw municipalities who need to issue debt, as they won't be able to get the insurance any longer (not that its worth anything anyway.) It will cause restatements on investment bank and pension fund balance sheets (along with others), as they find that the "insurance" they bought that supposedly "guaranteed" their investments is worthless. It will impact capital ratios. Exactly how far the cascade will go is indeterminate, but what is certain is that it is real, it will be bad, and it will hit in places where you don't expect it, along with the places you do. In point of fact a large amount of the "earnings" in the S&P financials over the last couple of years have been due to the fact that these swaps stood "behind" this debt, and thus made it "good" where it might not otherwise be. This restatement means that not only will the S&Ps earnings fall precipitously over the next couple of years but the previous couple of years "earnings" were fictitious in part as well! Nice eh? If you're long stocks, bail now. The true degree of trouble that this will bring is unlikely to find immediate appreciation, but in the fullness of time (and not much of it either) it will be understood, likely with very violent downside results in the markets.
  19. Coinage, and even notes,when paid as wages, are still representative of real wealth in the form of gold or silver earned in respect of labour, even though convertability is long since gone. Even so, the wealth resides with the individual who physically holds the medium of wealth. Not so with money in a bank account. The banks hold that wealth in the form of a liability in a double-entry book keeping system entirely within its control - NOT YOURS!
  20. In a cashless society all purchasing power resides with the banks - they go bust, you've had it, they move the goal-posts in any respect, you're stuffed. All you have a is temporary access to your heard earned wages AT THE DISCRETION OF THE BANKS. Moreover, money under the mattress, or even a weekly wage paid in LSD is money kept out of the rapacious hands of bankers, money they cannot use to make profit on. Cash is the last bastion of freedom in a country that has all but forgotten how to defend same.
  21. Not as easy to set booby traps within the confines of a village, though....... Now, surrounded by fields and ditches and hedges.....who knows. Which reminds me of our annual Easter Egg Hunt. My ex R.E. son is very keen on making his younger siblings work to find their Easter Eggs. One year, he had an Easter Egg hanging tantalisingly from a telegraph pole - just at head height, with his 16 yr old sister's name visible from yards away. Of course, she rushed in and...whoops - trip wire....Easter egg shot up to top of telegraph pole! Guess that was better than his 15 yr old brother fared the following year when he'd complained that his egg had been too easy to find. Next year's egg ended up shooting off 300 yards into the next door field - in very small pieces! Don't even think of asking me the means of propulsion.....
  22. But in our local village there are spoke roads emanating outwards in 5 directions which could feasibly be developed along the frontage for,say, a quarter of a mile. There is really no need to cram ALL the new development IN the village as infill, taking up large gardens etc. And development along those spoke roads would still be near enough to be a part of the community. Goodness - I live 2 miles outside of the village and yet I am still a part of the village community. And mains water is available although we are all on septic tanks both within and without the village boundaries. Personally, I would prefer the village to keep its character (i.e. not be crammed full of new-builds in every available space at some ridiculous density) and have the development occur on the village outskirts, thus enlarging the village instead of increasing its density. Wasn't this the way that villages came into existence in the first instance - add a house on the end of a row here and there.....? edited for careless typing
  23. Not exactly so; my father bought 2 building plots and built 2 houses with cash in the late 1940's at the age of 42 having saved for the previous 20 odd years. Perhaps the difference we should be examining is between instant or deferred gratification not between cash-rich and cash-poor per se.
  24. As a tenant, I agree with that......BUT.... My father let a house in Farncombe, Surrey, for years. That was when the law was stacked in the tenants' favour and it was next to impossible to remove filthy or non-paying tenants. He ended up letting to students because although they destroyed the place during their one year tenure, at least he could be sure that he could get rid of them at the end of the year. I don't know how the balance can be fairly drawn between landlord and tenant except, maybe, to make 6 month shortholds available only for one or two years (so as to weed out the bad'uns) and then require that longer, assured tenancies are offfered. But even that could have a detrimental backlash such that landlords evicted all or any tenant after two years just to keep a shorthold control.....it's not an easy one to solve.
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