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tastingstars

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  1. I'm not sure if we've covered this one, and it's clearly "talking their own book" as they're trying to flog strategy reports to deal with the crisis (also all graphs are produced in nominal not real terms) but even so... http://www.moneyweek.com/endofbritain
  2. As an anecdotal aside, our kids attend our local primary which is good enough to attract the usual hordes of bubble-fuelled property developers, financial advisers, marketing consultants and homoeopaths now able to buy locally. The school has a fund for people who can't afford the cost of trips and although the catchment extends across into one of our hometown's most deprived areas, it's never been used that much and has always remained in the black. Suddenly the subsidised tickets for every single trip are being used up, presumably by the mass of parents who still drive their kids to school in new cars but are in secret financial distress. There's a particular street of period cottages near the school and my other half was unimpressed when I suggested that financial distress would hit them all and it would lead to an outbreak of partner-swapping and broken marriages
  3. Pre strike coal production the UK was give or or take 110 million tonnes and fell to around 50mT during the strike. By 1986 production was back up to over 100mT and peaked at around 115mT. Employment in mining yes you're right, it wasn't down by two third but it was by more than half
  4. Nope, they were uneconomic because the NUM (which at the time had what, 150,000 members?) was intent on using its power to preserve Spanish practices; it had already essentially deposed one democratically elected government (Heath) and had given notice of its intention to repeat the exercise with Thatcher. Breaking the union stranglehold on the economy with the brothers' demands that dying industries be propped up was vital. Two other points - one, I am qualified to talk on this subject and have worked for British Coal and two, within two years coal output in this country was back up to pre-strike levels but this was being done at a fraction of the cost using a third as much labour.
  5. I took a wander round Bath town centre this week and was surprised at the number of shops that have gone or are going all of a sudden. Granary Pine, next to Rossiters, the second hand bookshop and the clock repairers just along from there, the newish jewellers further up opposite Ask Pizza - and this is on one street. Every street I strolled down seemed to have another For Sale or To Let sign in a window.
  6. The majority of Forestry Commission land is working forest on land which is privately owned and rented to the FC under restrictive leases; these preclude public access and recreational use anyway - if the lease is sold to a third party or back to the landowner then a) planning permission would be required for a change of use and bodies like Natural England would object, b ) any trees cut down would have to be replanted under the terms of a felling licence from the Govt and c) rights of way would be unaffected because they have legal protection. The chances of any major change in the usage and access patterns are fairly slim, tbh. It baffles me that people think we still need the Government to intervene in the timber market and make sure that we have enough for pit props and wartime trenches, which is why the FC was set up in the first place.
  7. I'll tell you where the buggers all were yesterday - at the tiny Mulberry factory shop in Shepton Mallet. It's a small converted school house that can probably take thirty or so shoppers comfortably. As we live not far away and my wife had some money from her godmother to spend we went along, only to find two security men overseeing the heaving car park and about 100 people rammed into the shop. An interesting mix of people, ranging from old-money long time customers to a few orange women in fur coats (and probably no knickers, to use the old phrase) who made it look like Mulberry might be following Tiffany downmarket. Nobody seemed to emerge carrying more then one bag though, whereas in previous years people have waddled out with five or six large carrier bags.
  8. A translation of that article is "people who are better at serious macroeconomics than me disagree with me politically so they must be silenced - we all know that the solution to a debt problem is more debt, but the fools wouldn't listen to me"
  9. Nothing, but nothing, has been actually cut yet - like Connaught plc it's much more likely to be a combination of bad management, poor cost control and a wider downturn in the housing market that's done for them.
  10. Was talking to the owner of a local chauffeur car firm the other day; in the last year he's seen business decline by 30% and has reduced his workforce from ten people to two. Many of the local firms that used to give him regular trade have either stopped travelling (the run to the airport was a steady earner for him) or gone out of business. A sideline has always been guided chauffeur tours of the town and bookings have fallen from two or three per week to maybe one a month. Everyone is seeking cheaper alternatives or just not spending money and in a very discreet way pain is starting to set it out there.
  11. I've been keeping an eye on the Bath market all this time - there's a house near us up for sale that was bought and left empty by what seems to be a speculator. After a couple of years it's back on the market at less than 90% of what he paid for it and while people are going round, no-one seems yet to have made an offer. A lot of overpriced stuff at the top end (£1m+) just isn't shifting at all and has been kicking around the various property websites for a year or more.
  12. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article6937612.ece So much for "the government is behind it and governments never walk away from their debts..."
  13. Accrued Interest Blog "with this tiny nod to doing something about the dollar, the euro plummets. Just think about what's going to happen when the Fed actually hikes rates. There are so many dollar shorts out there. We will be looking at the mother of all short covering rallies. And the carry trade crowd is going to get absolutely crushed."
  14. Given that it's stull unrented, I think you must be right.
  15. Bath is phenomenally expensive as a result of having lots of well-preserved Georgian architecture - lots of London refugees move out here and bring their money with them, plus lots of family money. On the main subject of this thread, the top end of Bath seems to have frozen solid - the most expensive BA1 properties on Rightmove have all been on for weeks/months and one tarted-up Georgian rectory is now for rent at £5k/month after attracting no interest at all after a year on the market. My personal favourite is The Residence, a former hotel/members' club that's up for sale for £3.5m - who the hell do they think is going to buy something with a bar like that as a private house?
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