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Ben Madigan

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Everything posted by Ben Madigan

  1. The US can only support its national debt because so many well-off foreigners in perceived soft currency states - China, the Gulf States, Latin America - hold significant amounts American debt. What happens if they decide en masse that American paper is about to devalue significantly relative to their own currencies or another hard currency option - Euro, Yen or Swiss Francs, say? What happens if they start stampeding out of US paper and the currency markets are flooded with people trying to ditch US currency? I'm not economist enough to make a stab at the effects of a crash in the dollar combined with the US suddenly being unable to service its debt. But that scenario must be flat out scary.
  2. From the Antrim Road rumour mill... ...the Church of Ireland Bishop of Connor wants to sell his modern trophy mansion in Greenisland and move the Bishop's House back to the Antrim Road (where the other Bishop's House is!!!) so he can cycle to work. The existing See House is big and has a few acres off the Top Road in Greenisland, so an upmarket area. A developer offered them £2.3M for it a month or so ago. Assured them he had finance and things for it sorted out. They signed subject to finance. And then the deal fell through when no bank would touch it with a barge pole.
  3. Remember it well! I also had several aunts who worked there - both sides of my family are originally from places around York Street that were demolished to make way for dual carriageways. Gallaghers is now the pictures and Big W - although Big W is going now, obviously. Kind of a symbol for the rest of our economy!!!
  4. It was indeed - come up and say hello next time! I was wondering that too - it's a decent sized property. Could it be that property prices in Inner City Belfast are returning to some sort of sanity? Even then, it seems cheap, or have even we been deceived as to what counts as normality given the frenzy of the past few years?
  5. Just because I'm living in a derelict cottage in the Sperrins, filching my electricity and internet with tricks learned from The Anarchist's Cookbook, getting my water from a well, heating the house with turf I cut myself, and have a large stockpile of assault rifles ready for Judgement Day when the collapse of the world's financial system sends the hoi polloi of Draperstown and Desertmartin into the hills to raid my hidden concrete bunker with its factory sized stockpile of Pot Noodle and Heinz Baked Beanz, doesn't mean I'm a loony. OK?
  6. 70k for a bricked up terrace in North Belfast: http://www.propertynews.com/brochure.php?r...=1&sort=h2l This is hysterical: "with a little imagination or hard work this once fine period home will make a superb 2 bedroom family home. The accommodation comprises 2 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, kitchen and bathroom. The property is sold as seen with all contents remaining." Oh, yes, the house is on Queen Victoria Gardens - why was that in the news recently? http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/communit...s-13891883.html What's worse is, you can by a small but perfectly servicable 2 bedroom terrace for the same price in what's probably a slightly more expensive area: http://www.propertynews.com/brochure.php?r...=1&sort=h2l And it's been on the market for a couple of months and hasn't budged in price!!!
  7. What about "L'économie britannique, c'est dans la merde"?
  8. ...and sorry about the salty comments in the margins.
  9. Sent through now. I got confused with the City Centre flat (I refuse to use the word 'apartment') - it actually went for only 90k.
  10. Well, I suppose this has fecked the idea of spending a few days between Christmas and New Year in Donegal!
  11. Absolutely none, as long as you don't ever plan on leaving the country ever again.
  12. After all, Britain's dynamic and flexible service-based economy has put an end to boom and bust.
  13. Then you were born less than a mile from where I live now. And less than mile, the other direction from where I grew up. York Road is still reeeeeaaaaaaallllllly depressing. Everytime the news or press would come off with a "Belfast is booming with trendy apartments for hip young professionals" story, I would gaze out at the bleakness of commuting along York Road and think, with this less than a mile from Belfast City Centre, you must be kidding me. The only major private sector investments in the area are the hideously ugly Horizon Building with its paper thin walls, and the grossly overpriced 'townhouses' at the back of the Crues. At least the new HA housing in the Grove is a major improvement, although it's depressing to think that social housing has by and large been vastly better constructed than private sector housing in NI over the past decade.
  14. I have never voted Labour, I do not support Labour and I will never vote Labour. I can handle a bit of internet banter any time, but Labour Sympathiser - please! That ought to ******ed out as a swear word. Let's go back to 2001, when the housing bubble was just starting to get seriously going, and play a little thought experiment where the Tories actually won the 2001 General Election and remained in power sense. What actions would the Tories have taken to rein in the expansion of credit beyond the limits of common sense? What steps would the Tories have taken to prevent a housing bubble, and force an early soft landing before things got out of hand? "The Tories are equally useless but cost me less" arguments I can handle. Not agree with, but I can see the logic. It's the idea that the Tories would have done anything of any material consequence differently that strikes me as naked, and self-deluding, partisan rhetoric.
  15. Oh, that flat was one of the few things do go at well above guide price. I think £125k but will post when I have the other laptop on.
  16. All the data is on my work laptop, but in a word - the property market is fecked!!!!! Still a few things selling at or above the guide price, which themselves reflected a property market in decline - most of these were biggish houses in nice areas of Greater Belfast. Then there were the sharp investments in grimy little ex-industrial towns in the West of Scotland and East of Germany* - some of these quite literally could not be given away. * What do West Scotland and East Germany have in common? They're both tips, both of them had glory days about a century ago and both are haemhorraging people faster than Irish banks can haemhorrage capital!
  17. I grew up in inner-city Belfast in the 1980s and although one has the same nostalgic memories as anyone else, I remember being quite aware that there was no work about and very aware of paramilitary violence, and with hindsight it was really bloody awful.
  18. Bad things: 1. Iraq 2. Putting the country into hock. 3. Encouraging the population to go into hock themselves, and punishing the prudent in a million and one ways from care for the elderly to the house price bubble. 4. Putting generations unborn into hock through PFI. 5. The war on individual liberty from ID cards and the panopticon state through to the fox hunting ban (I detest fox hunting, but...), through to the health and safety obsession, spearheaded by the smoking ban and able to be broadened into unparallelled levels of interference by any future government through the War on Alcohol and Obesity . 6. Destroying the UK's global reputation by acting as a sockpuppet for Dubya. 7. Fostering a culture of calculated and deliberate lying in politics and the media. 8. Presiding over and at times revelling in the worst aspects of starf***ing, celeb worshipping, materialism-obsessed, thuggish, chav kultcha. 9. Not joinging the € when they had the chance. 10. Neglecting the UK' road infrastructure. 11. At the same time, seeing public transport march backwards in effectiveness and patronage, while rising in cost, almost everywhere outside London. Good things: 1. Genuine improvements in the NHS - vastly more expensive than they needed to be, but generally necessary and real. 2. Real and needed capital investment in public services. 3. Working with the grain of, rather than trying to retard, social progress in areas like gay rights and race and gender equality. 4. Er. That's it.
  19. As inflation is a little over 4%, real interests are already negative, quite strongly so. More self-deluding VI twaddle.
  20. Wages are going down in the RoI - and to be fair to the Dublin political class, much as doing that sticks in the craw, TDs voted themselves a pay cut as soon as people started losing their jobs in a serious way. I'd expect rents to fall fairly dramatically as well, especially on retail premises near the border. The whole of the Irish economy does not consist of retail; although effectively the Republic is exporting wealth north it can ill afford, this isn't in and of itself an armageddon scenario. Although I think Huw and I are coming at this I think from different sides of the Euro debate, I agree with his last point. While there's an argument that says that the Euro can't withstand the stresses between member states unleashed over the past few years, there's also an argument that Sterling has been so badly prostituted by New Liar and the BoE and the British people have lept on every available credit line with such abandon, that Sterling is well set up to 'do a Kronur'. At this stage, nobody has a clue, and arguments on the Euro are essentially political rather than economic ones. A lot of political sacred cows are currently eyeing up the slaughterhouse nervously. Over the next two years, we'll learn who is right.
  21. I hadn't been to one of these before. What a fascinating evening!
  22. Nope, but then Brown is no more or less a free marketeer than Dubya and his crony capitalist mates in Washington. Why is brown nationalising banks? To create state socialism by stealth or bail out New Liar cronies in the city? Accurately targeted criticism is always better than scattergun insults.
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