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okonu

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Everything posted by okonu

  1. Inferior goods theory. Prices of cheap to run, reliable used cars are increasing as recession hits.
  2. I think the modern mini/fiat 500/ Renault 5 is the Aygo/C1/107 range. No retro styling, just designed to do a job. Modern crash regs mean you can't be as light and small as before, but these make a good go of it.
  3. http://nctimes.com/articles/2009/02/15/bus...55c0073667e.txt Summary: Sold in 1979 for 45,900 In 2006 for 191,000 (100% finance) In late 2008 for 52,000 (0% finance, all cash) Drop of 73% in 2-3 years. More impressively, only a 13% increase in 30 years! PS - just do add. That works out as a 0.4% return over 30 years. Before inflation... :0
  4. Interesting report from an auction, supporting what people have been saying here Auction report from Pistonheads
  5. Amadeus I happen to know are still recruiting. A few jobs in UK, but bulk of the development staff are in South France.
  6. Worse things can happen at sea, so let's not go overboard. The swell of opinion seems to be that the tide has now gone out, and we can see who was swimming naked.
  7. Meh, it is just the way of things. I am English working for a Chinese company running a large IT project. We are using Chinese/ French/ Icelandic/ US vendors (all in IT space). Some then have operations in India, some don't. The bulk of the work though will be done in France and China. Got to say that French developers are extremely arrogant, but they do deliver.
  8. Essexgirl. Just to say - respect. No hugs, we don't do hugs and karma here, but, yeah, respect.
  9. Oh absolutely. That's why I don't mind paying taxes for things like Trident. Nothing says "don't cut off my sanitation" than a nuclear missile. Somewhat more effective than a homemade rocket.
  10. Nice doesn't win wars. There was once a country of religious fanatics, ready to be suicide bombers. After the firebombing of Tokyo, destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and occupation of their country (with still some US bases there, 60 years later, just to be on the safe side) the number of Japanese suicide bombers is nil. Hamas decided to go to the logic of violence. The logic of violence is "chicago rules" (he brings a knife, you bring a gun) Where Israel fails is the "be nice to defeated enemy" bit. Once you have crushed them, then is the time for Marshall plans, inviting them round for dinner with the Queen, etc. Top tip for politicians. If you have assault rifles and unguided rockets, and the enemy has gunships and laser guided bombs, and there is a ceasefire offer. Take it.
  11. Hamas decided not to continue with the ceasefire. Then started firing rockets. Looks like they hoped for an Israeli over-reaction, to gain sympathy at the expense of palestinian lives. Fvck them.
  12. Have been very lucky this year - promotion and a 13.5% payrise. Plus if you include the devaluation in the pound (i am paid in dollars) in UKP terms it works out as about 50% on what I was getting last January. Still not going to buy property yet though
  13. Miss Madam, Yep, I came here (from UK) in 1993, just as Guangdong was industrialising. The difference to now in air quality is shocking. But for a real shock, see photos from 60's early 70's. There's a famous quote (from 1995 ISTR) by a British govt official touring Dong Guan "There'll be two fortunes made here. Building it, then cleaning it up"
  14. Heh, we are almost certainly one of those firms in HK paying your bonus Miss Madam! It has never figured highly out here, all that green stuff. But much of the EU and US regulation looks like it will cost us real green, so we will be forced to catch up, and it is worth paying money to find out what the hell is going on/ going to happen/ how to mitigate.
  15. On a must do IT project. So will be one of the last out turning off the lights. But some lights are already being switched off... All staff getting 2% payrise, except senior management who are getting 0%. I'm senior... Bonuses were all halved except senior management who got no bonus. Fair enough, we are the ones meant to be running the company, and we aren't making a good fist of it at the moment! (will be some serious losses this year and next)
  16. True, but given the nature of our business the maths works out it is better not to sell to someone who isn't guaranteed to pay. It is an airline, we sell seats A to B. Those seats are perishable, and have a fixed and variable cost. They can be, and are, sold worldwide through a mix of direct to customer and indirect (travel agents) At any one time, we have a good guess of the expected marginal value of a seat (i.e. the probability it will be sold, and at what price) There are significant costs in chasing up and writing off bad debt. Once a preceding manager sold a group of seats on credit - over-riding usual policy. It took time to recover, and we only got back 75%. It would have been better to get 10% less for those same seats, but for (say) a sale from Japan. We even have over-rides in our systems now that if agent has sold more than x in a sales period, we can cut them off automatically. In most countries we have decent credit guarantee/ insurance systems in place, so don't get worried unless an agent surges in an obviously problematic way (small agent suddenly sells large amout of first class tickets, you call up to find out what is going on, just to check they are not planning on doing a runner). However, these credit insurance systems are lacking/ weak in the UK, so we insist on bank guarantee. Adding on another layer of credit risk, just ain't worth it, and besides, data isn't there to calculate. I.e. do I sell that seat at higher price to agent A in Milan with a 5% default risk, or agent C in Sydney with 0.01% risk at lower price? Or to Joe Bloggs on the internet using his credit card? For direct sales, this (credit risk) is outsourced to credit cards
  17. In the UK we have only been selling up to bank guarantee level for some time for business to business, cash if over the BG. Yes, it lost us sales, but it is better not to sell, than to sell and not get paid.
  18. Your examples are part of the problem... I worked as an engineer for a bit in the UK, then stopped. My observations (I was at GEC and at P&G) was that British engineers & scientists were most interested in cutting edge, "cool", high budget, high cost niche products & projects. Defence work, F1 cars, etc. Wanted to make big changes & breakthroughs. But very little interest in "ordinary" engineering, of making a "normal" product just that little bit better, little bit more reliable, on a tight budget. So, yes, Cosworth DFW was an amazing engine, but incredibly niche. Honda CVCC on the other hand... P&G had poor process & quality control - and at the time I was seen as odd for trying to improve the quality & consistency of the line - only washing powder innit? Who cares if the variability of the end product is high? It's good enough... and besides, the marketing people will come up with clever ads to sell it anyway. I quit engineering after that
  19. You cheddar believe the cheese industry is in trouble. It has been milked of all profits
  20. Heh, I went engineering -> city (for couple of years) and then a graduate management training scheme! It was odd taking such a big paycut, and going to a graduate scheme, but that was the only way into what looked to be a very interesting career. Still here 15 years later. The scheme though could cope - also has history of recruiting ex forces, so wasn't just fresh grads.
  21. My sister is a very senior in house lawyer at a big IB. She's recently written a paper for the board on the legality of, and legal ways to, cut base pay in the UK. Let alone bonus! She has already fired majority of specialist banking lawyers. Is now laying off 25% of the litigation team. Given that volume of litigation is actually up - shows how bad things are.
  22. Here in HK many investors in PHP have been burned by land problems in Boracay. Caveat Emptor!
  23. Well, another firm goes down the crapper.
  24. Go out and take a look - what have you got to lose? I left UK 15 years ago, and am happy I did. But I hates Dubai, I hates it - not that I have ever lived there, just passed through and stayed with friends. So check it out first.
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