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Everything posted by MississippiJohnHurt

  1. This view of "they can't leave because of their exports" is too simplistic I think. Germany are screwed either way, and they know this very well, so it's just a case now of how to be the least screwed for the least amount of time. When you think it through, it's not easy to come to the conclusion that it is more expensive to have an immediate (large) GDP hit and bank recap programme, against years of open ended guarantees (and calls on those guarantees) whilst inflicting severe austerity pain extraterritorially with all the political fun that would bring. For some reason people are overlooking the effect on German's export market - economically and politically - of imposing extreme pain over a generation or so, on the same people they're also trying to have as customers! I'd say a "north" euro might be a bit more likely than a return to the DM though - might cushion a bit of the currency appreciation blow ? Where does France go in that scenario though? (if they were clever, probably to the South Euro. So they'll probably want to go to the north Euro)
  2. It's exactly that, double or quits....it's the choice that was always going to present itself since monetary union was adopted without fiscal union. I'd say that some kind of Eurobond has to be quite possible, even probable now, given where we are. But....those that think it would solve the problem (ahem, Munchau) are making an automatic assumption that a eurobond would be issued at an economic rate. I can't see that this is necessarily a given. Let's say the equivalent US Treasury is 3%. The political risk premium for a Eurobond issued in emergency circumstances would be worth a couple of percentage points over the UST at least? And given that a Eurobond alone doesn't solve the core problem of too much debt and member states' inability to rebalance their economies to suit individual needs, the Eurobond would still essentially be an option on very strong economic growth (but with added complicating feature around the ability to manage the region's imbalances effectively within a growth cycle). That's surely worth another percent or two? Just thoughts, but I think it's a dangerous assumption to think that simply by issuing a Eurobond, the problems disappear overnight and everyone goes back to funding themselves at reasonable rates. Just as likely, IMO, that it makes the strong weaker. And there aren't even many strong ones at the table in the first place.
  3. "Japanese authorities have detected a concentration of a radioactive substance 1,600 times higher than normal in soil at a village, 40 kilometers away from the troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The results announced on Wednesday show that 163,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium-137 per kilogram of soil has been detected in Iitate Village, about 40 kilometers northwest of the plant. Gakushuin University Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu, an expert on radiation in the environment, says that normal levels of radioactive cesium-137 in soil are around 100 becquerels at most. The professor says he was surprised at the extremely high reading, which is 1,630 times higher than normal levels. He warns that since radioactive cesium remains in the environment for about 30 years it could affect agricultural products for a long time. He is calling on the government to collect detailed data and come up with ways to deal with the situation." Source: NHK World "The radiation dose received by one-year-old infants outside of a 30-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since Saturday's explosion at the plant may have exceeded 100 millisieverts, a computer simulation conducted by the government showed Wednesday. ''There are some cases in which they could have received more than 100 millisieverts of radiation, even if they're outside the 30-kilometer radius and in the event that they spent every day outdoors since the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear plant,'' Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference. Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, told reporters, ''The figure represents the level that one-year-old infants would have received and accumulated in their thyroids by midnight Wednesday since the explosion.'' Madarame said the radiation dose accumulated by adults outside the 30-km zone in their thyroids would be lower. People exposed to a radiation dose of 100 millisieverts are required to take potassium iodide, Madarame said. An annual radiation dose of 100 millisieverts is believed to be associated with an increased risk of cancer. But Edano said, ''Our analysis shows that people outside the 30-km radius would not be in a situation where they would have to evacuate immediately or remain indoors.'' ''As a precautionary measure, I would like to recommend that if people (outside the 30-km radius) are on the leeward of the nuclear power plant, they close their windows and stay indoors inside sealed buildings as far as possible'' he said." Source: Kyodo News If I was in Japan and read the 2nd article in particular, I would think that if radiation continued to be released at the current rate, my child would potentially be exposed to 52x the "safe" dose of iodine radiation within a year (ie - yearly safety rate appears to have been reached in 7 days). Then I would think whether there was any clear reason that I should not assume this will go on for a year. And then I would conclude that my children should be sent as far away as possible. Anyone in this thread want to tell me why that would be a hysterical conclusion?
  4. Re latest TEPCO press release (http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11031704-e.html), I know it was translated rather roughly but after it lists the various reactor specific events, it has a section called "Others" which says: "We are currently coordinating with the relevant authorities and departments as to how to secure the cooling water to cool down the water in the spent nuclear fuel pool of the plant. " Does this mean there is another pool at the plant - perhaps an overflow or something (bigger? But maybe older fuel?) Also did anyone see the Alphaville post? The Americans are panicking now: "The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo informs U.S. citizens in Japan who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Asia."
  5. And depending on the worst case outcome, that might be need to be considered - clearly it's too early to tell, but it seems that nobody really knows the worst possible outcome, everyone is guessing aren't they. You're an example - you've seemed very confident in this thread regarding the safety of the reactors, but don't seem to have an idea of what happens if the the spent fuel goes up Not a single expert had even mentioned the fuel, until it started heating up uncontrollably, causing fires and releasing radiation. It seems nobody really knows what the worst case outcome is. If that's the case, it's not credible to be making arguments about a safety measure being an overkill. I mean, one of the most advanced countries in the world is having to stand far away from a nuclear reactor firing water cannons at it - not the best advert for the industry's disaster planning is it.
  6. yes, or if a giant alien dog swallows the earth. But not the same as building something in an area prone to a natural event, which couldn't withstand that natural event.
  7. Sure - can see there are clear reasons to keep it and reprocess. But I think if you asked the average man on street (who pay for this stuff don't forget) if they're comfortable with it being stored in such a way that that a broken pipes/explosions in neighbouring reactors/leaks in the tank could risk the fuel causing an environmental disaster (and that there is no clear way of repairing damage in an emergency situation), they would say no. Of course if alternative measures are going to be required ie further separation of the fuel, new/more backup cooling systems/a plausible way of repairing broken storage systems, the cost benefit ratio changes. In an earlier reply you said 100m walls could be built around the reactor but it would be too expensive. I take it you meant too expensive relative to the risks - I guess this situation may answer the question one way or the other and I hope you're right.
  8. Which, depending on how this turns out, might turn out to be the most compelling anti-nuclear argument of all, ie that the cost/risk ratio has been badly misread. As a layman I find the whole spent fuel thing astonishing - from what I can understand, it seems to have similar cooling requirements and pose similar health risks to the fuel within the reactor, but is potentially more dangerous because there's far more of it. Yet it's designed with a lot less protection, and is situated very near something which might, in a really bad situation, heat up to 4000 degrees and explode. Hopefully I have misunderstood all this because if not, isn't that a problem that a f-cking 5 year old could foresee?
  9. yep and added to this i've read that the new generation of reactors are very different in terms of both system and human requirements to cool down. So if all this doesn't kill nuclear off, perhaps it will speed up replacement of the older designs around the world.
  10. Sure - I'm just saying it's probably best to reserve judgement because even the people trying to control it seem to have no idea what's going on or how to stop it. In fact I am pro-nuclear….obviously something like this leads one to re-test that view, and quite legitimately too, esp if like me, you're one of the 99% of people who have no real idea how a reactor works and no clear sense of the worst case scenario. However it seems to me that even the experts don't know the worst case scenario - the casing wasn't going to crack, until it did, then there wasn't going to be a meltdown, until there was, and nobody had even mentioned the large pile of nuclear waste sitting next to the melting down reaction….until it caught fire and started spreading radioactive material around. I take the point that these things might not be a real threat in the scheme of things, but I find it hard to get any clear sense that people even know what the worst can be. BTW, thanks to the people above who took the time to explain all this stuff to a rank amateur! And PPS: "It's similar to a house being able to withstand hurricane force winds, but not withstand the tree that might've been blown down onto it by those winds". A house hasn't got the capacity to kill thousands if it falls down though? (And if it did, you'd want it to be designed to withstand that tree, or 20 trees - esp if you're building in an area noted for its high winds.....)
  11. Many thanks Steve. So if my reading is correct it's essentially an expense and convenience thing, supported by a risk assessment that the sort of things that are now happening in Fukushima won't happen.
  12. Spot on. Clearly these plants were not earthquake and tsunami proof. I find the pro nuclear stuff on this thread baffling - if you're pro nuclear, now is the time to keep quiet until things are clearer ?! I'm still confused regarding the spent fuel rods which are now supposedly even more of a risk than the reactors. Why would they not be removed in the event of an integrity threat to the reactors, or if they can't be removed quickly, then why are they housed right next to reactors and why don't they have the same level of containment. Grateful for any views on here and I'll try and find out from other sources and post answers here if I find any…..
  13. Probably a stupid question but when there is a risk of a nuclear power station suffering an integrity failure, is not an emergency protocol triggered where old fuel is moved off site, very quickly? Or is this not possible (and if it isn't possible to move quickly, why is it left in giant swimming pools really close to the reactor, with no significant containment?) I am clueless when it comes to the science of all this, but given the way this has developed, and the PR responses, it's very clear that it's not under control. Anyone want to estimate what burning 600,000 spent fuel rods would do to the environment? (Presumably there was a similar problem in Chernobyl so there may be some precedent?)
  14. To be fair, they've probably not slept since thursday and have survived an earthquake and tsunami in the meantime.... Seems clear they've lost control now - 'experts' on the TV have been going on for days about how it's unlikely to breach the containment vessel therefore unlikely to get serious, and suddenly it does, just like that. So for those on this thread who know what they're talking about, what's the (new) worst case scenario and what can they do - didn't the Russians bomb chernobyl with shitloads of lime and sand and stuff? Is it that time at Fukushima?
  15. Haven’t read all the thread but I've always wondered why, if supply was a genuine factor in house price rises, rents did not follow the same trajectory? Clearly , credit assisted demand was the real driver for house price bubble in the last 10 years, and is the reason why prices are going to go south for a long time yet. Bardon, any thoughts?
  16. The happy pills have started working? I always expect his articles to end with the tagline "Ambrose is writing from a secure institution". Love his TFH outlook though, he's one of us really :]
  17. I've been keeping some basic data for my area - west essex / e london way and within certain size/price parameters. Have been doing it just over a year now so am starting to see the yoy data. So far in 2011 supply is well up on 2010, with % sold stc well down, at 15% which is a historic low in the series. In the last 2 weeks 58 new properties in my search range, 39 of them added this week. Asking prices look to be similar to late 2008 - mostly way too high, but some notable outliers emerging.
  18. That's how it shd be, in any sensible world, with the fundamentals how they are....just can't quite bring myself to trust fundamentals though if last 2 years are any guide. Which they're probably not. Anyway, hope you're right and i'm wrong
  19. what are they now - 160 odd? My crystal ball, employing top of the range back of fag packet technology, says 148k
  20. Well, they don't, but anyway... You haven't answered the key (and only interesting) question on this thread: Are you Merryn Somerset Webb, or one of her friends or professional acquaintances? It seems the only credible reason for your ludicrous overreaction to Hotairmail's post.
  21. have been keeping data round my way (west essex) for about a year, supply is up and sold STC dramatically down since this time last yr. Offered prices look to be coming down too, but slowly (and still pretty laughable).
  22. He's panicking. If you're a true friend I guess you haven't have asked him at what stage in history a conservatory cost / added value of £150k?
  23. can see the possibility, but can't see it happening to any great extent. So much has happened in the last 2 years and it's surreal that housing has held on, but I guess in context with the big moves in equities and sovereigns it's a really illiquid asset and should naturally take longer to adjust. Just an instinct but I think the housing bubble is all done with from here, for at least half a generation (ha. brave statement. pull me up on that in a year when they've gone up 5%!)
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