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House Price Crash Forum


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About A.steve

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  1. Being "better" is a subjective judgement - and, I guess it also depends what you think the default is. When I hear phrases like "better" or "better for the economy" or "better for the country" - I tend to find myself wondering: Better for whom? Who experiences a preferable economic environment? How should we judge the preferences we deem a country to have?
  2. While I am a pedant, I note that there are many other options - including this one: Implement the outcome of the referendum as the government clearly explained it would before the public voted - i.e. issue article 50 immediately and explore viable trade-deals as a non-EU member over the 2-year period provisioned in existing treaties. At the end of the two year period, if no deal could be reached - for whatever reason - the UK would no longer be a member of the EU and EU member states would be free to trade with it under WTO rules... the UK would be free to agree trade-deals with any sovereign nation that wanted to pursue mutually beneficial arrangements. Sure, no-one knows the long term consequences of this strategy - but, then again, no-one knew the long term consequences of remaining in the EU. The referendum, in my lifetime, was a unique opportunity for a direct democratic influence on policy - and it is revolting that the political class - who unequivocally supported the basis for the referendum before the votes were counted - were only ready to accept one of the two potential outcomes. Perhaps we need to see an entirely different demographic take charge in the political domain? Neither Cameron nor May have a deal - because they have not negotiated a mutually beneficial arrangement. Perhaps there is no mutually beneficial arrangement that is better than the default?
  3. Looks more like it. Silly me... I'd imagined that the document would be published from an official source.
  4. Ta... but that one isn't 500 pages long...
  5. 4) Reckless elected politicians who saw fit to submit sovereign states to the political agenda of a non-government organisation? 5) The misrepresentation of European economics as logically separate from the politics of the relationship between legal tender, authority and democratic accountability? 6) The spectacular lack of engagement by the electorate in relevant issues - perhaps precipitated by media misrepresentation; social tribalism; lacklustre leadership, in general, and pervasive laziness of thought? Or, perhaps, it doesn't make much sense to try to blame someone else? Perhaps the present is as it is because we've all behaved as we have in the past?
  6. Interesting stuff reported via Jerome Powell... https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed/fed-lifts-rates-amid-stronger-inflation-drops-crisis-era-guidance-idUKKBN1J92NM Is this the publication of a change in direction for the Fed - coming roughly a quarter after Powell took over from Janet Yellen?
  7. More interesting would be a comparison with nominal growth. If we're seeing below-par real growth, that demonstrates that interest rates are too low - and that is a problem that could easily be solved.
  8. A.steve

    March mortgage lending fell 21%

    Are they now called "Welsh principaliityists"?
  9. A.steve


    It should be 'per attempt' - in line with the sort of charges that are made for bank letters... which are charged per letter, not per initial problem. The article says "Mr Pester, said he would take direct control of the issue, and had drafted in experts from IBM, who would report "directly" to him." One presumes that he's heard that "No-one was ever fired for hiring IBM."
  10. A.steve

    Sex for rent

    It takes two to tango - in this context, at least. Symmetry in all things - and all that jive.
  11. A.steve

    Sex for rent

    I don't think you should underestimate the unfounded optimism of the hopelessly lazy... Neither do I think you should underestimate the creativity of motivated people to try to maximize any opportunity they think they can exploit.
  12. In the pictured flat, there's no space for a fridge.
  13. I'm actively looking at the moment... I've made a few (anecdotal) observations: Staff at my bank were beyond ridiculously keen to quote for a mortgage... they even let slip that I could have any day/time I wanted to discuss options, because there was nothing, whatsoever, in their diary. I found a house that ticked every single box from my (VERY long and demanding) list of needs/wants. It came in at an asking price 10% below my maximum budget, but I rejected it before arranging a formal viewing because, while I couldn't put my finger on exactly why (or explain my thinking) I didn't get a positive gut-feeling about the neighbourhood being somewhere I wanted to be. [It is currently "under-offer"] I found a house - asking price at the limit of my budget, in an area that might have given the right vibe, ticking most of my list of needs/wants - and, before I got a chance to pursue it further, it disappeared from the listings - one site saying 'withdrawn' - another 'sold'. I am more inclined to think 'withdrawn' - because the floor plan was wrong, as as the count of the number of bedrooms. My finding is the majority of the houses on offer are uninhabitable worthless crap (at pretty-much every price-point). Any property that a sane person might want to own, offered for sale, seems exceptionally rare. From my perspective, this is the problem with the market. If it can be fixed by tinkering with interest rates, they need to go up - lots.
  14. Perhaps Corbyn is a leader for Momentum? I'm less convinced that he's leading Labour - despite having acquired a that apparent role. It looks, to me, as if some less obvious influencers are leading Labour - and Corbyn is being led - as a Manchurian candidate, perhaps? Maybe Labour, like the Conservatives, are entities that can't be led? I am no authority on Corbyn - I didn't follow him during his ascent. I am ready to accept the claim that he voted 'rebelliously' in line with his conscience when on the back benches. My perception of him, on the front benches, is that he is evasive about (some) contentious issues... he's happy for one fraction to believe he stands for one side of an argument - while another fraction believes he supports the opposite. Devious and pragmatic - perhaps... demonstrating leadership: not by my definitions. I intended my post to be more general than just criticizing Corbyn. Overwhelmingly, I think that these serious problems are both systemic and endemic - they aren't tackled by our implicitly bi-partisan political infrastructure. From a more philosophical perspective, I think Thomas Carlyle (and, more generally, Hegelian thinking) is relevant. Carlyle was scathing about both hereditary authority and democracy - but believed in heroes... and promoted the idea of extraordinary individuals whose exceptional charisma and strength direct mankind's progress - without whom we'd be lost. Obviously, hereditary primacy is problematic; clearly democracy is inherently limited by the intellect and capacity of the demos to make sensible choices (a fact that I see as being exploited ruthlessly by "politicians") - but I reject the idea that there are rare individuals that deserve to be put on a pedestal and revered. In fact, I find this (common) practise both wrong-headed and, likely, arises as a result of malevolent intent. Genuine leadership isn't about acting as a mascot or figurehead - it is about communicating a credible unifying vision that facilitates others to achieve shared objectives. Strong leadership, of any group, may be either good or bad for you/society/civilization - but weak leadership is always detrimental - except to those in a position to exploit corruption that will, inevitably, arise during the ensuing shambles. I don't think it sensible to think of a King as the model for a leader - a single person with unchecked authority is definitely not necessary - it might even be universally undesirable. I don't think success at leadership can (or should be) demonstrated by democratic means. Leadership is about establishing trust; it is about being able to command genuine commitment... we need to consider not only the number of people who are willing to "go-along" (while there is no personal cost to them) but also the extent to which those who are led are invested in the vision - the extent to which they are willing to go out of their way in the pursuit of a shared success. I don't think it is easy to measure... or dishonestly manipulate... perhaps that's why today's politicians appear to ignore it?

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