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jareth

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Everything posted by jareth

  1. Only if our betters stop trying to tax energy and energy use so heavily. I expect the government will exploit any fall in wholesale gas prices by using taxes to ensure household bills continue to rise (to encourage us to use less). Successful recovery of shale gas = big source of revenue for the government.
  2. Scientists can easily fool themselves with confirmation bias. They can also be fooled if the topic is outside of their expertise if the con presents evidence that is superficially sound but not true. An analytical mind is no less susceptible to being tricked but the reason for it is different.
  3. If the device is making use of some previously undocumented low energy nuclear reaction then it isn't a free-energy device and should have no problem being patented.
  4. Lukewarm warnings, yes. BBC 2004: House prices may fall, says King EDIT: From the Guardian itself: Mervyn King delivers some home truths
  5. As well as manufacturing output recovering there are two other things that happened. Firstly individual productivity increased as output rose while numbers employed in manufacturing fell. The second and much more important thing is that businesses and industries which were uncompetitive made themselves more competitive or left the economy and were replaced with people making things people wanted.(Coal mines out, Japanese car factories in, as an example) Just looking at manufacturing output as a whole doesn't tell the entire story.
  6. I agree with that idea. People should put their money were their mouth is. I think Cameron's message is sending the wrong signal about why these changes are not bad. He's talking about people holding up developments after planning has been passed should be more limited in their options. He'd be much better telling people that it is in *their* interests to take note of planning applications for their area so they can provide input *before* the planning decision is made. Too many houses? Say so. Roofline too high? Say so. etc. Planning departments won't necessarily agree with you but they can't know of concerns if we don't tell them. All too often a planning application ticks all the boxes, meets all the requirements and gets approved and only then do people start kicking up a fuss. We've got to stop outsourcing taking part in society and limiting the post-decision options is one way of nudging us in that direction. With a cable would come a small rent but also an easement allowing the utility company a right to access it for maintenance. I don't think it is unreasonable for a person to not want the latter.
  7. If you proclaim to have abolished boom and bust would that make any deficit structural?
  8. Krugman rightly points out that government borrowing and spending redistributes money rather than making the nation as a whole poorer. That's why the people who are worried about the debt burden are concerned not about 'future generations' as such but about future generations *of taxpayers*. That subset of society *will* be made poorer to pay for the unfunded promises of today.
  9. On what planet have we had price stability? The basket of goods for CPI purposes is always being fiddled with. And if you target a fiddled metric that excludes a major component of the economy (house prices) the economy *will always* shift in that direction because you aren't setting rates to deal with the whole of the economy.
  10. This is just a variation on a theme of dimwitted politicians meddling in our lives and employments. If businesses and employees thought such a setup was beneficial they would already do it as it amounts to the 'employees' being personal services companies and shareholders. I'm struggling to think who could have lobbied for this or if it was plucked from the government's own ****. Could it be a means to prevent an avalanche of workers setting themselves up as personal services companies and paying less tax? Or is it a sly means to try and tempt people presently working as a personal services company to become employed? There is a steady trickle of stories in the papers about the BBC, Public Sector and Civil Servants doing it so maybe they fear the practice percolating down to the rest of us.
  11. Not for no real reason. To fiddle unemployment figures and to improve the UK position in OECD league tables, and it didn't even work.
  12. May: Mysterious hole appears near homes in Newburn News video here. June: Newburn residents' fury after flooding wrecks homes 3rd July: Newburn families flooded for a second time + flood VIDEO 13th July: Newcastle residents evacuated in flood scare + VIDEO Maybe filling in the sink hole blocked the culvert.
  13. Which part of the deal was a scam? It's not a scam to pay over the odds for something. It's not a scam to sign up to a bad contract. I would hope that media stories about rip-off merchants supplying a naive or disinterested public sector made it hard for DTS and LTM to get new schools to sign up, which in turn made their business relationship with Clydesdale Bank untenable. Doesn't look like scamming to me, just bad decisions all round and the bank taking a hit in their pocket rather than generate bad pr exercising the contracts to their fullest.
  14. Welwyn Hatfield council have budgeted for this sale raising £2.4million.(pdf, look at page 19) They have also budgeted for the sale of other properties this year and more flats in a few of years time.
  15. LIBOR an average and Northern Rock wasn't involved in the setting of it. If you've got 10 minutes have a listen to this BBC clip about it from 2008: Calculating LIBOR. "Presenter of Radio 4's More or Less, Tim Harford, went to Canary Wharf to find out how LIBOR is calculated" When I heard it explained on that clip I could not fathom why so much financial business would consider it an acceptable yardstick. All it is is an average of several bank's own sentiment about themselves and that will always be prone to being meddled with in order to save face. The most correct response from regulators imo would be to leave it exactly as it is with all the problems it has. They didn't create LIBOR, they haven't been regulating it and they really should be prepared to leave well alone and let LIBOR and the British Banking Association lose whatever credibility they still have. If lenders and borrowers want to continue to use LIBOR they can and if they want to use other benchmarks they can.
  16. The Euro is *presently* not associated with a nation but that is the point - the difficulties at the moment are caused by the member states of the Eurozone and private interests spending and investing as if it was already linked to a nation state able to enforce redistribution of wealth with a nation of taxpayers and a fully formed central bank backing it up. The difficulties caused by putting the cart before the politically unacceptable horse for the last decade are now being used to put pressure on member states to give up the sovereignty their leaders couldn't or wouldn't do when times were good.
  17. I expect little actual fixing for gains went on. The way Libor is calculated does guard against it to some degree but what is often overlooked is that libor is not a measure of actual borrowihg rates those banks are seeing but a hypothetical figure based on their own assessment of their standing in the market and the market conditions. What I wouldn't be surprised about is if it turns out Barclays wondered why, at a time when there was little inter-bank lending going on the rates other banks were reporting were lower than theirs and saught advice from the BoE and others about how they might change the way they calculate their submissions. If there is evidence of political involvement or BoE, FSA involvement in actually fiddling libor it probably will be to do with what figures do you submit when there is no lending going on and no lending needed because of bank bailouts? Do you go sky high because you can't get inter-bank money? Do you go low because there is no demand for inter-bank money? Or do you submit figures that wiggle around whatever the base rate is for reasons of market stability and because the conditions at the time were exceptional?
  18. I wonder if the FSA have been particularly thorough given the Government's past unhappiness that Barclays borrowed money from Abu Dhabi rather than taxpayers.
  19. I agree. It would be fantastic and it would be reasonable. Take it further: Offer those under 25s a lower tax rate in return for fewer free at the point of use public services Make it optional - so that those who know what they are doing can take advantage of it and those who aren't certain can continue with the more onerous tax regime in return for the usual slew of benefits and services. It could be a shot in the arm for private education and private hospitals and let the NHS charge as well. It would be a start at cutting unfunded obligations down to size.
  20. At a guess, the government (both Labour and coalition) has shown it is prepared to sacrifice taxpayers and public services of the present and future to prevent defaults and bankruptcies.
  21. Those kinds of people who are keen to try their plans again and again believe it didn't work before because it wasn't done properly. That their idea might just be a shit one isn't fit for their consideration.
  22. The problem isn't the quality of person running the country but that they are trying to do it in the first place. Far too many things to juggle and micromanage. They can't leave the tax system alone for five minutes and seem convinced from backbench to backbench that it is the job of the Government to act as a time machine to pick our pockets in the future to be spent now to prop up bad banks and failing businesses. Central government is too distant from the needs of the public and moods of markets to ever do a good job. The feedback it gets is filtered by confirmation bias, it has the pick of causes and lobby groups that it can produce to support almost any policy and it is simply too broad a brush to be cost effective.
  23. Which is how he behaved as Chancellor and while PM as well. The man dithered on all kinds of matters until decisions could only go one way. I thought it quite shameful and pathetic his leaving Downing Street with three human shields. As is this: He is shirking his responsibility to his constituents and also to the country by failing to be a part of the system that is there to restrain the Government.
  24. From the article: "The lawsuits are looking at allegations banks failed to conduct proper due diligence in the sale of mortgage securities to the giant US mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." Why would Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been *buying* securitised mortgages? They were helping to create the toxic crap that went into them. Unless there has been some very obvious fraud going on by the banks (as opposed to mortgage brokers and liar loans) it is surely going to come back to the ratings of these investments. If so the excuse is easily determined - at the time the rating was given it was correct but the circumstances that achieved that rating no longer apply so the rating must be lower. The notion that a AAA rated product is without risk for the life of the investment was a mania that took hold in too many minds.
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