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Everything posted by kzb

  1. IF employment continues at much the same level, with much the same salaries in real terms, IMHO there should not be any problem in paying final-salary pensions at somewhere near the promised levels. The problems come when you have a contracting work-force and contracting median real income.
  2. I still think amongst all the predictions of doom we're missing something. (1) The government debt is sky-rocketing, but the establishment says our debt is still no worse than our competitor nations. In fact our debt position is said to be better than either Japan or Germany (for example). (2) All governments have taken on debt for the bank bail-outs. (3) Money is made up out of thin air. However currency relative values is determined by "the markets", whose valuation is said to depend on interest rates and some woolly definition of "confidence" in the currency. Question: if all major governments are in a similar position, proportionately, to each other, why is anything changed? If government X has increased its debts by 100%, and government Y has done the same, why has the relative value of currency X changed relative to currency Y ?
  3. I find it unbelievable that insurance is allowed to discriminate by gender. You are an individual, the statistics do not matter. If they publicly discriminated by race there would be an uproar.
  4. Confounded, do you have a reference or link for your statement: The second was the decision to work with the media on staging a green shoots recovery out of thin air timed for the Western Economies spring where it was most likely to take hold. If true, this is an explosive revelation in itself ! I think a note of caution is advised. LEAP/2020 seem to take themselves extremely seriously. A few months back they predicted that pension schemes would collapse in May this year. This has apparently not happened yet. Another thing, if the US and the UK defaulted, how would we know? Would they tell us, "we're defaulting" ?
  5. Willie Walsh will more than make up for his 1 month lost salary with the giant bonus he'll award himself for cutting costs
  6. Stocks down, commodities down, oil down, gold down. This is very worrying. WHY is it "very worrying" that commodities and oil are down? That's good news to me at least.
  7. I agree with most others on here: if her employment and national insurance record is as we are told, she should be able to get non-means tested unemployment benefit for 6 months, irrespective of savings. She should get the interest on the mortgage paid after 9 months (not the capital part of the payment though), provided her savings are low enough by then. Someone made a good point above: how can paying off debt be counted as disposing of assets? I'd seek (independent) advice on this point. I'd be interested in the answer.
  8. The BOE has printed £125B of new money and injected it into the economy (about 10% of GDP). In response to this growth of 0.1 - 0.2 % month seems scarily weak. That's what I was thinking ! Remember GDP is simply a measure of the amount of money changing hands. I don't think £125bn is as much as 10% of GDP, but then add all the Govnt borrowing -where's all the money actually gone ? The true facts behind the spin of growth is actually that tons of money have been thrown down the drain.
  9. Depends what the manufacturers want as well though. They may not want their product sitting on a shelf until it's way past it's best so may keep the sell by date. Possibly, but the big supermarkets are all-powerful as we know. There could be a compromise, stop the "Best Before" date being so explicit to the consumer -put it on in some form of code known only to the producers. That way if a customer brings a claim against the supermarket the producer is protected. But it will still stop food being sold off cheap to the chavs, that is what they want to stop.
  10. Quote from link: Best-before and sell-by dates "muddy the waters" and products should only have use-before dates to clarify the system, a Food Standards Agency spokeswoman said. The FSA said best-before and use-by dates were still required under European law but it wanted to clarify the food labelling system for consumers. I don't agree with removing "best before" dates. I bet the big supermarkets are behind this move. They want to be able to leave non-perishable foods on the shelves at full price indefinitely. This is not for the benefit of consumers, as currently short-dated stock is auctioned off and ends up in Home and Bargain et al for poor people and pensioners (and me) to buy at more reasonable price. This proposal would stop this.
  11. I wouldn't feel guilty, I'd guess the vast majority of UK babies are born to renters. That's because couples of prime child-bearing age who work for a living AND own a mortgage cannot afford children. They both need to work like dogs to pay the mortgage. You need to be on benefits to afford children.
  12. I was talking to an EA at the weekend, basically said the pickup in sales noted for Feb-April has gone dead again. What you have seen is a tiny bit of pent-up demand resulting in an apparent spring bounce. We had some unseasonal nice weather in February if you remember and this got people out and about. The volume of sales in Feb and April was still only about 30% of the same time last year. Given also that prices have gone down I bet the poor old EA's are having to scrape by on less than one-quarter of their previous incomes. Certainly come Autumn I bet we are in crash mode again.
  13. I live in Lancashire and there was no-one else standing. The voting paper choice was Lab, Con, LibDem, BNP and that's all. 19% for BNP -wow, if that is repeated on the Euro election papers, I guess the north-west will be sending some BNP MEPs to Strasbourg ?
  14. When it says sales volumes are 59% down, that does not sound as bad as saying the sales volume is less than 1/3 of what it was the same time last year (both statements are arithmetically the same though). Statistically, there is now a huge sampling bias, because if you aren't going to make money on your house you don't sell.
  15. Do you think it would be wrong of the Govt to try and get people to save for retirement? No, but there are a couple of points: (1) this is supposed to be news, not a tool of the government to try and get us to do anything, whether it is desirable thing or not. (2) They are not saving for retirement. They are putting forward part of their earnings for later robbery by the state and the financial sector. So the answer is, ideally no it would not be wrong, but the fact is that is not what they were doing on the BBC last night. BTW, I fully accept other news media are as bad. It's just, I don't know, I expect the BBC to be independent.
  16. Last night on 10pm BBC news, there was state-planted story on half the population not "saving for retirement". No real analysis of why this should be so of course (although one of the guilty people featured was a professional accountant which might tell you something). Just another story to get the people to pay for the political/financial elites's excesses without any debate, pure propaganda.
  17. I think the agriculture industry has a get-out clause from the national minimum wage. There's a quango committee that sets farm-worker wages. It may be the law in respect of prosecution is not the same as flouting the national minimum wage in industries to which it applies.
  18. This expenses scam has been going on for years, and everyone in the Westminster circle would have known about it, including BBC journalists. So why kick up a fuss about it NOW? It can only be a diversion. A diversion from the real issues of debt and the trashing of our real economy and freedom over the last several decades. Public anger is now diverted to a group of inconsequential fall guys. That is the function of governments, to take the blame. As soon as you realise this it all starts to make sense....
  19. <<The question resolves into "What has Europe got that China and India want and Europe can keep providing better than China and India can provide for themselves?" >> How about an endlessly-inflating property speculation bubble for them to "invest" in ?
  20. Do we know for a fact the cheque was made out to HMRC? If so, seems odd, as she has avoided being liable for the tax by perfectly legal means.
  21. It's also the exchange rate. And specifically the buying power of that 3p an hour in Bangladesh. If the wage of 90% of the population is between 2p and 4p an hour, you are not doing too bad on 3p an hour.
  22. Am I interpreting the plot correctly: Nationwide are expecting further falls of 50-60% ?!
  23. I hate to say it, but this time I've every sympathy with the banker. Patients at my local GPs' practice are treated with utter contempt. We do pay the wages of these people but you wouldn't think so the way you are dealt with. We are paying about 24% of our salary in NICS when you include the employers' contribution. Yet you cannot even make an appointment with your doctor more than one day in advance. You have to phone up at 8.00 a.m on the day, and of course they never even answer the phone.
  24. Interestingly, this article says Antarctic ice is growing, not shrinking. Towards the end it says the findings will be published in an academic journal: -be interesting to see if that appears: http://www.rense.com/general85/antart.htm
  25. What would have been clever is if he'd made this programme 3 years ago. But at the time I'm sure he was one of the main cheerleaders of Gordon Brown's miracle economy. What is it with people called "Will"? Will Self there's another one. Being called Will seems to open all kinds of dooors.
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