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Tired of Waiting

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Posts posted by Tired of Waiting

  1. Thanks, hehe - US satire so much better than UK, worth watching from the start.

    Greenspan does admit all those points - but the video doesn't have the question, "So why the **** did you do it, dickweed?"

    Surprisingly Evan Davis did ask that question, basically. Greenspan answer was kind of "I was just a powerless central banker!". It's in the R4 Today Programme linked to the OP.

  2. Greenie wanted housing bubble dissent kept secret.


    (...) "We run the risk, by laying out the pros and cons of a particular argument, of inducing people to join in on the debate, and in this regard it is possible to lose control of a process that only we fully understand," Greenspan said (...)

    Yep, he got high on hubris.

    Another puzzle:

    In 1977, Greenspan obtained a PhD degree in economics from New York University. His dissertation is not available from the university[15] since it was removed at Greenspan's request in 1987, when he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. However, in April 2008, Barron's obtained a copy, and notes that it includes "a discussion of soaring housing prices and their effect on consumer spending; it even anticipates a bursting housing bubble".


  3. Having read the age of turbulence I do feel he has a good grasp of economic reality, however whilst being Fed chairman he simply ignored reality and just did everyone possible to keep the punchbowl flowing. In his book he admits his charts which he's followed for years screamed there was a major problem in the late 90's he just ignored it.

    His actions over LTCM/Asian crisis speak volumes he bailed out the bankers and slashed rates and created the problem that finally started to blow in 2007.

    Why did he ignore it? Why?! FFS, why?!

    I don't get it.

  4. The odd thing about Greenspan is that he more or less subscribed to the view that everyone should act in their own self interest and was then surprised when the bankers did exactly this and brought down the banking system.

    He seems to have assumed that the interests of the individuals working in the system would align perfectly with those of the system itself- clearly he had never come across the acronym; IBGYBG*

    *(finance) I'll be gone, you'll be gone. (I'll have gotten my commission; you'll have sold out to the next guy; neither of us will be held accountable).


    So this acolyte of Ayn Rand made the interesting error of assuming that bankers et al. would place the long term interests of the institutions that employed them above their own short term personal gain- a most 'unrandian' assumption to make.

    Very good post.

  5. I'd say it's more the case that he saw it not coming and so took action to make it come. Then when it came he said it was a surprise.

    Every time the casino economy threatened to implode the Maestro cut rates and drove up debt further still rather than question the sustainability of the model. He then tried to cover his tracks by claiming that bubbles are detectable only in hindsight, a position somewhat at odds with his longstanding espousal of efficient markets. Given the centrality of the role he played it's inconceivable that Greenspan was unaware of the accounting and security fraud at the heart of Wall Street's lending boom.

    Yes, I know, he's been blowing bubbles / or stopping them from bursting, for many years, I agree. BUT, I really don't think he understood the DIMENSION of the problem he was sowing.

    I don't know how, or why, but somehow he managed to not see what was coming - if you know what I mean (hopefully you do, coz, to be honest, I am not sure I do.)

    It just doesn't make sense. I can't believe he didn't see it coming, but I also can't believe he saw it and did nothing.



  6. In the council planning document linked to on that site, there are new proposals for no less than 54, 351 houses detailed, all within about ten miles of Cambridge. It simply isn't supportable, the town could not cope with such a huge increase in population nearby, and I've no idea where they expect the jobs to come from. Not all of them will come to fruition, of course, but South Cambridgeshire has already seen massive building projects approved/built in the last few years (Cambourne 4,200, Trumpington Meadows 1200 houses, Northstowe 10,000 houses and several other large developments.)

    These do not seem to have dented prices at all, rather it appears that people can sell up in London and march north and price the locals out. I'm not suprised by the "nimby" phenomenon, people don't want their surroundings turned into a new megalopolis of rabbit hutches interconnected by pay-to-use roads and sparse public transport (misguided bus/A14 proposals).

    54,351 new houses within 10 miles of Cambridge, but within what time frame? 1 year? 5 years? 15?

    And how many dwellings are there now? (Just to calculate what kind of increase these 54k new houses mean.)

  7. I live in an area that is one of the first to formulate a Local Plan - it should be passed into law next year. It's nothing more than an opportunity for people with lots of spare time (over 60's) to dictate to everyone else - not good!

    The plan will destroy any opportunity to build or extend properties and any new development will have to look like a scaled down Georgian house - possible sites for new housing have all been earmarked for protection - no new houses can be built even though these sites are ideal for new houses.

    We will not be allowed to plant trees that are not native - despite the area already having some wonderful examples of Lebanesse Cedars planted around the now gone large houses of the industrialists.

    The plan will not allow any extensions to properties - the only work that can be done will be property maintenance that does not alter the 'character' of the property.

    The area has been designated as 'Georgian' in character even though it has some fantastic modern architecture from the 60's alongside Georgian houses - about a 50/50 mix but all new properties must be mock Georgian!!

    What a Nimby joke this plan is! I have done my bit and protested against nearly all of the proposals but because people in their 20-40's are busy raising kids and earning money we do not have the time to get involved with an expensive and hijacked process :-(

    Great post.

  8. (...) although the success with which a Local Plan achieves is largely dependent on the assessment of needs. (...)

    + 1

    A couple of weeks ago I tried to find the definition or methodology of this "Need Assessment", but I couldn't find it. I had the impression that it hasn't been well defined yet.

    Then a friend told me about a very strong reaction from the CPRE against the inclusion of any affordability criteria in this Need Assessment...

    You can always trust the [email protected] from the CPRE to point to key aspects of lobbying.

  9. Surprisingly, Evan Davies does grill Greenspan a little about the bubble, but far from enough. It is still a painful listening, and may even be dangerous for some! Health warning here!

    On BBC Radio 4 Today Programme yesterday: 2h48min in (7 minutes long) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dfc82

    Full interview, 17min long: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01jq25r/Business_Daily_Alan_Greenspan_on_Past_Crises_and_Future_Challenges/

    Other edited versions and news about it:

    Alan Greenspan: Financial crisis probability was small

    21 October 2013 Last updated at 10:35 BST


    Ex-Fed Reserve Chairman Greenspan says eurozone crisis far from over

    21 October 2013 Last updated at 00:55 BST


    Greenspan fears US government set for more debt stalemate

    21 October 2013 Last updated at 00:53


  10. I'll offer up a case study for discussion. I'm considering H2B2 despite the punitive rates when i have other (albeit limited) options.

    There's a house i want to buy, it needs a bit of work to be what i want it to be. I've been waiting for a good time to buy for about 2 years now. Assume i'm going for a 2 year fix with the intention of remortgaging after that. (...)

    2015 Q4, most probable scenario: It is almost certain that interest rates will be higher than now, and with higher rates house prices will probably be lower than now. If so, by then you'll have very little equity (if at all), and be in serious trouble having to re-mortgage. IMHO a 2 year fix is a gamble with odds against you, and your family. You and your family will be much, much safer as tenants - with large savings. We have been renting for many years, have more savings than you, and we've even stopped calling it "a deposit", as we are not planning to buy any time soon - as we are in the SE, and prices here are still stupid. Sounds like you are in the SW, and IMHO prices there are bubbly too. The safest option is to stay out of these huge, gigantic leveraged bets.

  11. and look how much house prices rose between 1996 to 2012. So much for the higher prices = increased supply argument.

    The number of new flats went up, new terraced houses are similar, but the number of larger family homes fell from 106,800 in 1996 to 47,400 in 2012! (If I added correctly the number of detached + bungalows + semi-detached above.)

    And I bet the sizes of these new "detached" and "semi-detached" are much smaller than in 1996, and on much smaller plots too! Even the streets are narrower, and without parking space.

  12. Good data, thanks.



    Detached 61,700

    Bungalows 11,000

    Semi-detached houses 34,100

    Terraced houses 25,900

    Flats/maisonettes 23,600


    Detached 24,100

    Bungalows 1,700

    Semi-detached 21,600

    Terraced houses 24,200

    Flats/Maisonettes 33,900

    Depressing too.


  13. My god.

    It's this kind of bigoted ignorance (shown by your insertion of the words "white English middle class" into the article) that is part of the problem. You think that because you are white and middle class that you deserve more than anyone else. You have a sense of entitlement and are part of the problem. You are entitled to nothing, just like everyone else.

    You probably walk down the street in London looking at non whites and assume that they are all migrants, and have in some way had a role in making you unhappy with your life.

    I myself am mixed race. Because I'm not white I'll bet that you would assume that I was a recent migrant to the country, here to inflate property prices and generally make your life worse.

    Think again. I was born in London and am also a victim of this property balls up. I left the city I grew up in years ago because I was priced out. Skin colour has nothing to do with it.

    And even if I was a recent migrant to the country. Do you think I'd be driving up property prices and generally screwing you over because I was buying up £500k rabbit hutches?

    Do you think Marek the Polish plasterer (bad example as he's probaby white) is buying 3 bedroom houses in middle class areas and keeping the "indigenous" English out?

    Are you pro whites or pro English? Or is your argument just b0llocks?

    You should do some research you ignorant misguided lightweight.

    Good post.

  14. It depends on the standard of living that CHF2500 per adult buys you in Switzerland. Might not be that high. There's not much point in a CI which isn't high enough for the unemployed and sick/elderly to survive on as it would still be necessary to provide other benefits.

    I've found this:

    Switzerland, as a country, actually does not have a minimum wage written into law. It does have collective bargaining agreements between its workers and management and almost the entire population is covered by it. The minimum salary of skilled workers ranges from 2,800 to 5,300 Swiss francs, while that of unskilled workers may be anywhere between 2,200 to 4,200 Swiss francs.


    I think CI should be just enough to provide for a very basic, simple, minimum standard of life. Remember that people will still be allowed to work, to top up this basic income. Besides, trying to start at such high level will also make it much more difficult, politically, to win this referendum.

  15. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/2-800-month-every-adult-it-could-happen-switzerland-8C11354757

    There have been a lot of Negative Income Tax / Citizen's Income threads on this site. It seems that the Swiss are going to vote on implementing the idea.

    Milton Friedman is my favourite economist. I think that Switzerland is the most democratic nation on earth. It will be interesting to see what happens here.

    Very interesting.

    But I agree with durhamborn, IMHO 2500CHF/mo is way too much. It's actually £1,718 now BTW.

    Besides, the main point of a CI is to remove perverse incentives, but at this level CI becomes itself a perverse incentive, and much broader than means-tested benefits.

  16. IMO we definitely do need more housing supply, big relaxation of the planning laws etc. And the good news is that there is substantial building going on right now to the extent that there are brick, tile shortages whilst the suppliers desperately try to crank up their factories to meet the demand. Continued pressure to relax the planning laws will mean even more supply, the two individual councils on which I have the inside line have extremly ambitious house-builiding aims for their counties and are sencouraging developers and releasing land cheaply in order to achieve this (they're not just building their own council houses, though they are doing this too).

    Now we just we need to wait for the US to start their central rate rises (forget the fraudulent waste of space that is the BoE, this is outside their control) and we have the HPC dream of loads of houses with plummeting nominal prices.

    The big question is when these falls start, well again IMO two year mini-bubble followed by massive crash 2015/16 when the high supply and rising mortgage rates collide in one massive and perfect storm for house prices. But DYOR of course.

    Good news for anybody who wants to live in a decent home (whether owned or rented) but can't currently afford to do so.

    Bad news for BTLers, the "My house is my pension" brigade, and the Wilsons.

    I do hope you are right FH, but construction data has not showed yet such a significant increase in the number of starts. I think we are still around the 200k/year, no? I read recently that France builds 3 times more than us. We are far far away from those levels. And the market is still being monopolised by big companies.

    Re these 2 councils you mentioned, are they in the SE?


  17. There are nearly 1 million empty houses in the country, there is no shortage of houses. I wish people would stop with this housing shortage nonsense!

    The problem is the low rates have decimated jobs outside of London's financial industry.

    Not sure if you missed the 2 posts copied below, or if you don't agree with the data in them:

    The myth of the "million empty properties": http://spatial-economics.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/empty-homes-and-housing-crisis.html

    Only around 100k empty for over 6 months in the SE + London + East.

    Actually his solution is to work on both sides, stop over-inflating demand, and allow a supply increase, much needed in Britain. See below:



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