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the wizard

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Everything posted by the wizard

  1. Did you ever wonder why it is acceptable to call IT staff nerds, but it isn't acceptable to call the HR staff bimbos? Funny that. Still I can't imagine it is related in anyway to the deliberate destruction of the UK IT industry by the current government, and the complete lack of any opposition to their policies. Luckily, the systematic denigration of skilled professional sofware engineers and computer scientists not only makes it much easier to replace them with unskilled third world labour, it also helps equally unskilled IT managers sleep at night. After all, no skilled IT nerd has their awesome interpersonal skills. They 'understand the needs of the business' and can 'talk to senior management'. Abilities that are so rare as to be virtually priceless. Or maybe valueless, I can't remember which. Let me sum up with this: anyone can be a manager. Some are good, some are bad, most are average, but anyone can do it and you need no special skills or knowledge. To be a programmer you have to actually know something. Not much, but something. Managers know this, and it scares them.
  2. First of all, let me make it clear that I do not believe that the banking system should be allowed to continue in the manner that it has. Banking is parasitical. However, you are wrong about 1, which is very naive. By this standard your brave grandfather who fought in WWII is a brutal murderer. The NHS nurse treating your cancer is a violent extortionist. In addition you are complicit in third world slave labour, and all sorts of exploitation, through the purchase of cheap manufactured goods. You might also eat meat. These things are socially acceptable now, but one day we may view things very differently. I have argued the same thing before about landlords - which is a similarly destructive profession - and how some of them are good people caught up in an evil that has been made acceptable, even promoted, by society. Your second point, that banking is run for bankers is true, at least in the current set up. However, government is run for and by landlords (they are in fact the same thing). They have been significant beneficiaries - in the UK - of government interference, and were beneficiaries of the boom. Whilst we could argue about who benefited most, bankers are now demonised, whereas housing speculators are being put in the House of Lords. People don't like to hear this because almost everyone is a property speculator now.
  3. Yes I haven't lost my job either. ****** those guys.
  4. You said we were going to crash into a massive iceberg, and we didn't have enough lifeboats. Idiot! We had several days of great sailing before we crashed! Think of all those poor saps who didn't come aboard because of you. They missed out on the soirees and the dancing, and they're as far from America as they ever were! And look, the ship is still afloat, the band is still playing!
  5. It is garbage of course, but there are two elements of truth. 1. Most bankers are not evil. Most people who work in banks are just regular people who chose the job with the best salary. There is a similarity between bankers and people working for the local council. Both of these jobs are immoral in principle, but given the current rules that most people operate under, its wrong to blame individuals for doing either. Do you blame every German soldier for the deaths in WWI? In fact most of the people running banks are stupid, not evil. I really don't think that is appreciated as much as it should be. We are so brainwashed, and want to believe, in some kind of a meritocracy, and so many people still equate wealth with some kind of talent, intelligence, or hard work. How can they be stupid when they are so rich? They would rather see bankers as evil geniuses, rather than lucky, well connected dunces. 2. Bankers are not the most significant beneficiaries of either the boom or the government bailouts. That would be landowners. All landlords should now be penniless, but they have been bailed out. Silently. They aren't going to be paying a bonus tax. They also earned far more than many bankers during the last decade, for doing 'work' of even less value.
  6. All land should be taxed according to its value, empty or not. Landlords and by extension all landowners are a layer of government, and rent is a tax. They are a layer that cannot be held to account democratically, and who spend their rent on holidays in Spain and cosmetic surgery. Land value tax achieves a marginal improvement, since the tax goes directly to a democratically accountable layer of government, where at least some of it is spent on the NHS and disability benefits. Best of all is a ban on land ownership that will eliminate of the largest, lowest, most invasive level of government. This will also, through market forces, result in a redistribution of the rent amongst all interested parties. I can't see many people voting for this, not until the IQ fairy decides to play another visit to those monkeys he hung out with a couple of million years ago.
  7. Not quite. These people run the country because the government allow them to. The ultimate power still rests there, because they have control over the police (and ultimately the army). Whilst it is quite true that the country is run by landlords (and to a lesser extent investment bankers) we have absolutely no control over them. We do have some small amount of control over the elected government. Being cynical achieves nothing. Personally, I will be voting Lib-Dem as long as they continue to argue for more democracy and basic property taxes. Not much, but it is a start, and we might get a hung parliament.
  8. So do I, however I cannot install software at work, nor can I rely on anything other than the default configuration of any website, since I don't have control of cookies.
  9. All this talk about downgrades is interesting, but are there really any consequences? I was under the impression that credit spreads were a leading indicator of rating changes and not the other way around. Does anyone know what the implied credit rating of the UK government is?
  10. People won't stop spending until they go broke, so I'm not surprised at all. Why anyone would ever want to go to Oxford street, I don't know. It's horrible. More people on Oxford street is more likely to be a sign of increasing mental health problems than anything economic.
  11. The mere possibility that this would get displayed on my work computer means I can't visit the site at work. Thanks. Actually, there are some other avatars that are almost as bad. This is a housing and politics website, if I want to look at tits then I can simply go the the other 99% of sites on the internet.
  12. In the UK, you are rich if you own property. If you do not own property then you are poor. There are a few exceptions, but its a much more accurate predictor than your income. Also, you should probably put in your after tax income (including any rent, which is a tax).
  13. Deep down, I think Labour will win. Think maybe isn't the right word, perhaps believe is better. There are too many people who still don't get it because the damage has happened so slowly that they really can't see the change, and they certainly don't see the inevitable consequences that are almost guaranteed, but won't be apparent for a decade. Many people loathe the conservatives, and with good reason. Will they actually be able to bring themselves to vote Tory? A lot won't. Add to that Labour's populism, much of their 'ideology' is driven by focus groups after all, so is bound to be popular. Finally they have created an enormous client state. It isn't just the underclass - they don't vote much. Its also the entitlement generation of wealthy homeowners, slumlords and scumlords, welfare state entrepreneurs (which includes massive companies like Capita, but also many smaller companies providing, for example, consulting advice to the NHS parasite-ocracy or helping get the unemployed 'back-to-work'.) and the priests and priestesses of identity politics (who can be found in almost any HR department throughout the country). These are now a massive demographic.
  14. Land ownership only exists because of the government you don't wish to fund, it's a government granted monopoly just like a patent. You have to choose - taxes and government, or no land ownership. Without the threat of government violence I could use the land. Now I can't. In a proper free market economy you would need to pay me in order for me to agree to this.
  15. In Capitalism, everything smells of roses and honey In Socialism, everything smells of turds and decomposing rat. In Fascism, everything smells of rust and pebbles. In Communism, everything smells of flies, rotten cheese and lice. So profound. I love internet political science:- Obama/Blair/Debt Based Money/X-Factor/Plague/Zombies are Bad Socialism is Bad Therefore Obama/Blair/Debt Based Money/X-Factor/Plague/Zombies are socialist. Or even better:- Since capitalism can never fail, any economy that fails must be communist. America is communist. Britian is communist. Iceland is communist. Genius.
  16. C.I.A. payments for services rendered. (Tony Blair a communist! That's so funny...)
  17. I know it probably wasn't aimed at me, but I just want to make it clear that I wasn't giving "...advice to invest in ETFs...". ETFs are one way of investing - directly or indirectly - in foreign currencies, commodities and the like. Personally, I find them very useful, but partly for non-financial reasons. There are downsides. Counterpary risk, management fees, spreads, and tracking errors are the ones that spring to mind. However, taking my trading tips is about as risky as asking me to perform your open heart surgery.
  18. True, but I think the single currency ETFs do trade in GBP, although they don't seem to be tradeable on selftrade (they are viewable, under warrants for some reason). Anyway, I think for currency trading/hedging the only real advantage of ETFs is their convenience for people who already have stock-market trading accounts.
  19. I agree 100%, except I think that announcing anything more than this would be electoral suicide. Even this 'radical' idea has been presented by the media as a massive lib-dem mistake ever since it was announced. This and PR have guaranteed my vote for the lib-dems.
  20. For diversified currency exposure, iShares have an ETF that tracks the Citi G7 index - IGLO.L. This invests in government bonds from all G7 countries - including the UK and the US. There are other ETFs that track either US or EU government bonds, and EU, US or JPY corporate bonds at various maturities. Short dated government bonds are close to pure currency instruments (currencies are effectively government bonds that mature 'now'), high grade corporate bonds are less similar because of the default risk, but may be close enough. Individual currency ETFs recently started trading in the UK. These are basically shares that are supposed to track a particular G7 exchange rate. Personally, I can't trade these for some reason, so I don't know a lot about them. There are also various gold ETFs. The advantage of ETFs (there are disadvantages of course, do your own research) is that it is very easy to hold them in a self-select ISA, or any online share dealing account. If you already have one of these, they're very convenient. One thing I should say is that you cannot gain exposure to a foreign currency by trading in stock denominated in that currency. If the company earns revenue in a single currency, then there is an indirect link, but the value of a stock is the value of the company regardless of how that value is measured. There is no FX risk on foreign stocks. You are not, for example, exposed to USD risk if you buy gold or oil. Its the same thing. Of course, you shouldn't take my advice on any investment. Ever.
  21. In the extant political system, money printed by private banks led to malinvestment and an economic collapse. Now the central bank wishes to cure this by printing its money, which we are required to use. The only effect of this will be to perpetuate the problem, and force everyone to participate.
  22. When all this is over, the Arabs will still have their luxury hotels and golf courses. What did get into debt for? Keeping people unemployed for a decade, and magnolia paint.
  23. Or you could buy a big tin foil hat for your house, to stop the signal from leaking out.
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