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Uriah Heap

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Everything posted by Uriah Heap

  1. Hi folks. I don't know if anybody is around who still remembers me but I used to be an avid reader and some time contributor to this site 8-10 years ago. It strongly influenced me to not buy a house back in 2003 when I had a pile of cash that could have been a deposit. Instead I started a business. The business has made me much less than the house would have done. But I wouldn't go back and change anything. Glad to see this site is still around and that my login still works.
  2. Frankly, BTL was such a good way of getting a return that any criminal would have been mad to keep doing crime. Why engage in the risk and hard work of breaking the law when you could make more money buying houses legitimately? Even the Brinks Matts haul looks like hard work compared to buying a 'portfolio'.
  3. Well we'll see. I am old enough to remember predictions that the Soviet Union would overtake the US. Later it was Japan. Extrapolating current trends doesn't always work. In 2000 China had just caught up with India. It is now about 4 times the size of India economically. Can it really keep that up? Maybe it can, but I don't think it is in the bag yet.
  4. http://today.yougov.co.uk/politics/govt-trackers-update-8th-dec The Lib Dems aren't getting much of a dividend for their support of the Tories.
  5. On paper Labour look a good bet to win the next election. They weren't that far away from winning last time. I am not so sure though. I can think of plenty of reasons not to vote Tory, but I am struggling for a positive reason to vote Labour. A swing to the left would be one solution but I am not sure it would be popular.
  6. Hopefully the next election will have AV. In which case my vote would be: 1. Greens 2. Labour 3. Conservative 4. Monster Raving 5. UKIP 6. BNP 7. Lib Dem Compiling that list was a lot more satisfying than tactically picking one choice in a safe seat.
  7. Belgium does have some pretty significant assetts. Tin tin must be a nice little earner, and we all love their chocolate. They've also got royalties on the Jacques Brel back catalogue and at a pinch could sell franchises for the Smurfs. I think they'll be fine.
  8. Belgium does have a government at the moment doesn't it? I was thinking that at least the finance minister won't run up an air fare bill applying for their bail out.
  9. Ha ha ha! They'll go with anyone so long as they are muddy.
  10. I realise this is linked to the Irish bail out thread quite intimately (ooh err!) but as the Irish situation has been dealt with with great maturity and no recourse to obnoxious national stereotyping, I think we should indulge ourselves with a bit of mockery of the Belgians who seem to have a problem with zee little red cells on the financial spreadsheets at the moment.
  11. I'd really like to get away from religion and consumerism, and get back to the true spirit of Christmas.
  12. The analogy between modern America and Ancient Rome is at least imperfect. The Americans aren't surrounded by hordes of barbarians. They do have some pressure from unwanted immigration from Mexico, but they are hardly the Alemanni or the Huns. And they want to work when they get not occupy the place. In Rome under the emperors most of the resources ended up in the hands of the army, who pretty much called all the shots. US military spending is colossal and out of all proportion to its true defence needs, and is no doubt largely for the benefit of private interests. But it is only 4.6% of GDP. That is hardly overstretch. Economic policy was equally reckless in both cases, and in Rome the currency actually did collapse and become worthless under Aurelian. But the empire carried on. Ultimately any state can survive as long as it retains the strength to maintain its authority. Rome finally fell, 200 years after total economic melt down, as a result of external attack not internal decline. The lesson for modern day America is you can get away with just about anything so long as you have military power. And they do. Who is going to stop them?
  13. I think gambling is a perfectly rational thing to do if you have very little money. There isn't much difference between having next to nothing and having nothing. If your weekly disposable income is say £10, putting a couple of quid on the lottery makes very little difference to your standard of living. But if you win your situation could be transformed. And if you do it regularly you will always have some hope in your life that you might one day be rich. Sounds a good buy to me.
  14. Broadcast this story far and wide. Let every surveyor hear it and know the meaning of fear. Let every buy to let investor think their path is clear. Let's face it, with the banks nationalised we have lost our deposit. We might as well trash the place.
  15. Respect to you Eric. Whatever you have achieved, it is sufficiently great.
  16. Well anything is possible, but the soldiers did tend to do pretty well out of the empire. And when the barbarians met head to head with a well led Roman field army, they were usually toast. If the morale of the army was low it was probably because they often weren't well led.
  17. As the paper is copyright it would be completely wrong to suggest googling the authors name and a few key words like complexity and sustainability on the off chance that someone has put an illegal copy on a web service like say Scribd. Whatever you do, don't do that.
  18. I agree entirely. And the Romans did inflate gently for a very long time without problems. I don't know if we can assume that the increase in coinage was directly in proportion to the reduction in silver content, but if it was the period of the 5 good emperors would have roughly matched the Bank of England's inflation target. The other message is that although hyperinflation is a bad thing it didn't actually destroy the empire. It was barbarian invasions that did that.
  19. All very good points. The Roman currency was nominally based on silver but was effectively a fiat one. The point of the debasement wasn't the dilution of the silver. There was still exactly the same amount of silver in circulation. The problem was that there were many more coins. I suppose it is even possible that some of the instability was caused by the troops trying to maintain their standard of living by extracting more money from the emperors and replacing them if they didn't get what they wanted.
  20. Snipping the edges off a coin would be less profitable the less silver it contained. This paper says that the amount of silver declined from the reign of Nero onwards. It would be interesting to see whether the degree of clipping declines as the degree of debasement increases. 250 would be roughly Gallianus or Valerian I think (off top of my head - will google and correct later if I'm wrong) so there shouldn't be much silver in your coins. Are they clipped at all?
  21. It seems to me that coin clipping is analogous to forgery, and debasement is analogous to printing money. Both are inflationary, but the scale of the official debasement would dwarf what even the most determined clipper could achieve.
  22. What a coincidence. I just read a paper on this very subject, wrote a blog post about it and stuck it on here, without realising everyone was already talking about the same subject. Just one point on the earlier discussion - the standard medium of exchange in the Roman Empire was silver not gold. (Remember what Judas got paid in?) Given that the silver content was low to begin with and got lower over time, the Roman currency was probably in effect a fiat currency like ours rather than a true metal one. They did have to use gold for external trade though. Nobody outside the empire accepted their money after a while. http://historybooksreview.blogspot.com/2010/11/quantitative-easing-roman-way.html
  23. I have just read a paper that suggests that the Roman Empire collapsed because they became too complex. One of the ways this manifested itself was fiddling with the currency, much like present day governments are doing. The Romans couldn't print money because they hadn't invented priting. But they managed to achieve the same effect by debasing the silver content in their coins. Nero was the first emperor to hit on the idea, but every succeeding emperor did the same thing. By the reign of Aurelian, the coinage was worthless. I have put more details on my blog http://historybooksreview.blogspot.com/2010/11/quantitative-easing-roman-way.html
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