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  1. The conversation went along the lines of him telling me the valuation price and then asking me to guess what he got for it, i guessed at £250k thinking i was beaing very bearish and was then told the price, so im very confident i heard him correctly.
  2. Numbers posted are correct as i was told them - no typo. I feel really sorry for the guy - he looked like a broken man when i saw him. Thats the down side to all of this, yes lower prices are great but its hurting people, he was just a guy living his life providing etc for the family hes been pretty much wiped out, had to sell the car etc. I didnt charge the guy, hes been a good customer for years and a pretty stand up bloke,
  3. Im more of a lurker than a poster, but interesting anecdotal from this morning. Speaking to a customer of mine, used to be in the North Sea oil industry (up until about 4 months ago) just sold his 3 bed house in Aberdeen. Valued at £320k 7 months ago - as he saw the writing on the wall, has just sold for £162k, exchanged today. The esate agent told him he was lucky as he thinks in a few months he may have only got half that. Also speaking to a guy who used to work for me, and left to work offshore, for his family fabrication business - just layed off all their staff last week and shut their doors as well. Not going to be pretty up there i think.
  4. Ive been through the Uni system and have a PhD, in biomedical/science fields, also Russel Group. Students in undergrad predominantly british >97% in research labs at PhD about 35% brits and then a fair mix of nationalities - similar to the lists already published in this thread - and its has pretty much ever been thus during my time there (1995-2003) and its the same now - having said that lots of my peers also went off to study around the world and can think of at least 17 countries where i know people in who went to uni with. In fact its seen pretty much as the norm in labs and you do become blind to it in all honesty. The only students who dont integrate that well are actually the chinese who form enclaves of self like groups, and you do get some professors who actively recruit them as they will happily work 100 hours a week, but everynone knows who they are. I think that holds pretty much for every science field, for other fields i cant really comment, certainly in my experience in other fields like social sciences it is much more european
  5. I guess it will depend on entirely your group you associate in. Some people i came into contact a few were Firmly Yes and Firmly NO but there was a significant proportion (say 50%) in the middle who have been pushed one way or the other, and i would say about 60% to yes 40% to no (not including the fanatical nutters on either side of the debate, but the more moderate considered ones in the middle) in fact i have been surprised by a few people and their voting intentions. The Yes people are absoltely everywhere and they have been for a while, i have yet to even see a no persion out there!
  6. Im scottish and live in Edinburgh at the moment (have lived on pretty much every continent at sme point in my life so far) and as a business owner would obviously prefer the staus quo (just stating my stance in case of bias etc) and i would have said a few months ago that it was going to be a definate NO vote, however over the last few weeks im not sure thats now going to be the case. This is just my opinion and is based on my conversations with friends and other general punters in the pub etc. The general feeling has changed very much against the No campaign and there very negative tactics - much like any election really. When you get a politicial standing up in a govan ship yard and telling them if they vote for independance they will all be out of a job, they see it as antagonistic bullying and blackmail, this is the type of place where trades unions were formed and still have firebrands coming through their ranks - they very people who form parties like the SNP and it pretty obviously an own goal. Quite frankly saying things like the Barnett Formula would be modified on a No vote creates uncertainty and the Yes campaign have firmly grasped onto that now so if theres going to be uncertainty, we at least may as well be in control of it that someone else - another massive own goal. And this type of event is repeated on an almost daily basis, the No campaign is an utter joke its almost like a sketch show from a channel 4 comedy programme. Its almost as if they really want to get a Yes vote through so the torries can have permenant control over westminster. Thankfully there has been a lot of pretty independant econimic analysis and the general results are that scotland would have been the same, or ever so slightly better off as independant (or slightly less worse off really due to the national debt rise). The momentum at the moment is firmly with the Yes campaign i would say and if the No campaign dont get their act together sooner rather than later - regardless there will be about 2% in in the vote either way, whichever way it goes i cant say for sure now.
  7. Can't say as ive noticed levels as low as the ones above, but i know Bank of Scotland has a limit of £20k per day unless you go to a branch. RBS recently reduced the limit from £25k to £20k so i had to do it over a 2 day period as i couldnt get to a branch. Only had a call from Bank of Scotland once about transfers, firstly to tell me that a large sum had a appeared and did i want to "invest" it and then again to say that it couldnt all go out in a single transfer a few days later.
  8. Sorry to hear that, i was speaking to one of their staff about supplying through them a few months back and was told then not to bother as they were in trouble as far as he was concerend! The problem with that business is there is no inherant value, no one is going to buy it as all of the other players will have absorbed all of their trade within 7 days time, if not already as we had others supplier phoning up to the pub part of our business on monday saying they were in administration and did we want to use them instead!
  9. AZ are pulling out of CNS and Pain supression research. They are closing Montreal (150 people) and closing Sodertalje (sweden, 1650 people) also scaling back on cardio and gastroinstetinal research with 200 job loses in Molndal (sweden) and 300 Jobs at alderley park (cheshire) to go, macclesfields pretty much untouched. There are other sites in the Uk in london and Luton as well as the NW (runcorn/liverpool i think) as well as cambridge, some other cuts in the UK will be over those sites but small in number. They annouced more job losses in supply chain and delivery, don't know anyone on that side so dont know what the implications are at the moment. If your mates just been taken on he will not be getting much, if anything.After a year you only get 2 weeks per years service now, rather than the gold plated 0.75-1.5 times your annual sallary which stopped in 2006. Anyone thinking of going into the industry is an idiot imho. The only reason for doing any biology/chemistry at uni these days is for academic research (and funding is harder than ever to get) pharmaceuticals as we know them is a dying area. What amuses me is that AZ and all the other companies say they are going to "buy in" new drugs rather than research them themselves! now the data that i saw working on the industry, the stuff they were buying in was worse than the stuff getting canned by in house research. Gene therapy, biologics, RNAi all the "miracle cures" of the pharmaceutial industry of the last few years have been epic failures, they are all pinning their hopes on regenerative medicine now, cant be long till the next great saviour is due along. (for clarity i have a VI, i used to work for AZ among others, but took my gold plated redundancy a few years ago)
  10. I should also say i do know people who started at the salaries mentioned in the article, but they were very few and far between, and alway in London for investment banks or management consultants, and out of my graduating class of 85 that was 2 people.
  11. From my personal experience/knowledge in the scientific (chem/bio etc) in pharmaceutical companies you can expect (BSc/MSc) top end of £25k (average about £23k) or top end of £29k for a PhD (£27 average), i used to be a graduate recruiter for big pharma and thats the numbers we offered and that was at the same level as competitors. For the US is average $80k for BSc up to $100k for PhD start, with the same company, go to switzerland and you are at £90k to £120k equiv.
  12. All drug companies will be suffering more, with "solvent" countries putting more and more pressure on the price of medication with the costs of R&D only increasing as treatments become harder to find. I have worked in both Pfizer(wyeth) and Astrazeneca and from my experiences in them they will be suffering massively in the next 12-24 months more than most as they constantly kill off the research arms. Both company pipelines are empty and almost every comapny out there is dependant on being able to buy in good projects to bolster their pipelines. Before i left i had involvement with evaluating these potential buy ins and can tell you they were pretty dire, in 99% of cases the drugs were worse than the in house compounds we had already shelved. They are becoming more wary of it now, as the ones bought in over the last few years are failing to meet milestones or giving so little benefit over existing medication they are not being bought! All the big pharams have already been through all of their compound libraries in candidate drug (CD) reprofiling studies with some new drugs coming out of them (most have since failed milestones), so there is no "easy" money to be had that isnt already realised. Why do you see more and more drug combinations hitting the markets like NSAID's with gastric reflux supressors etc, they are grasping at straws. I can only see one way these comapnies are going at the moment, and its down. The "increase" in profitibility is only coming from decreasing costs i.e. staff whilst revenues continue to slide. I personaly sold all of my shares in these companies over the last 12 months as i dont see the future in the current strategies. Analysts are starting to wake up to this now, so you will see more stories along these lines from Feb 2012 onwards. McKinsey has a lot to answer for with their strategies directing these companies down blind alleys imho.
  13. Well im going to add to the chorus of "don't bother doing a science subject" people! I did a chemistry masters (straight masters, no BSc) followed by a biochemistry PhD (Bioinformatics [self taught] as well as molecular biology etc etc to prove my theory) all done at a Russell group uni and went into science, not for the money but becuase i loved the challenge and creativity etc. Having worked in the Pharma insustry for 8 years i can say it was the worst decision ive ever made in my life so far. Creativity and individualism which is the lifeblood of most science is killed and suffocated at every opportunity, usualy by managers who have no grasp of what science is or is about. I am about to be made redundant for the second time so far (no im not Pfizer, but it was announced last year and just coming to fuitition now). Of the people i know only about 10% are staying in science in the UK (purely becuase of commitments rather than choice in the main) at least 50% are going to science in other countries. The others are doing anything but science and a few (myself included) are going to start our own companies (not totaly science related, but it will come in useful at least) What the UK actually needs is people to engage their brains now and again and generaly just become more aware and "smart" (not necessaryaly intellectual) rather than wanna be wags and chavs! I will be advising my kids to not go to uni at all, but will encorage self learning and expanding their experiences and minds.
  14. Pfizer have announced that they are closing their remaining UK site by the end of next year, there goes another 2400 jobs, appearing on sky just now: Sky News Link U.S. drugs giant, Pfizer, has announced plans to close its operations in Kent with the loss of up to 2,400 jobs.The decision will affect the firm's research and development centre in Sandwich, which will shut down over the next two years. The company said the move was part of a global restructuring programme "to create a more focused and sustainable R&D engine for innovation", including an exit from the 'allergies and respiratory' market. Dr Ruth McKernan the company's head at Sandwich said: "It is with a deep sense of sadness that we announce our proposal to exit our site in Sandwich, Kent. "It has played an important role in the discovery and development of medicines and has brought many life-saving treatments to patients." Pfizer said it is working actively to find partnership opportunities to use the facilities and preserve jobs.
  15. The main problem with the lease arrangment is the multiple layers of middle men and management comapnies that are filtering off cash along the way - most pubs make about 3-7p per pint depending on the beer etc. There is no way that you would be able to survive on the income from wet trade alone on a lease. My family is involved in the trade and the pubs are all doing well - but thats mainly due to diversity and offering what punters really want in a pub (and that will be different depending on the area). The pubcos are in a financial mess as well the number having to offload assets or going bust is phenomenal. Freehouses going bust is another thing entirely - the ones that are going to the wall are the ones that you just wouldnt want to drink in, the ones that are doing a good job are flourishing!
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