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CokeSnortingTory

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Everything posted by CokeSnortingTory

  1. Manufacturing companies building villages for their workers is not the same as supermarkets building villages for their consumers.
  2. No, that's completely different. As is Saltaire and Bourneville.
  3. I think what Tesco are attempting here is quite new. Unless you're going to tell me that Athens was founded by Sainsbury's.
  4. There's a maintenance issue as well though - you need to have good roads for the heavy equipment to travel on to pull up and re-lay the cables. It would be funny to see people laying internet cable by horse though. That said, if they could make all internet wireless and low-energy it may have a future. I'm dubious it's possible, and even more dubious that we'll all still be interested. We'll all have to ***** over paper, like we did in the old days.
  5. Does anyone know how serious/advanced these schemes are? I'm tempted to put them in the "memorable delusions in the final blow-out phase of neoliberalism" part of my mind (along with the Heathrow 3rd runway, the entire written works of Ray Kurzweil etc.) but I have a creepy feeling they might actually get built.
  6. I do wish people would stop going on about prices when talking about deflation.
  7. The problem is that the virtual world will require vast energy-munching server farms. Also there is the issue that even if the internet were still viable, people will be more occupied doing stuff like cooking, planing wood, making their own clothes etc. that used to be done by vast distribution networks. That said, I would agree that the yearning to maintain the fantasy of expansion to infinity will be very strong indeed - in a devolving world it could yield some rich comedy.
  8. The real danger here is that peak oil will end our addiction to infinity (given the codeword "progress" in daily life), which will be extremely traumatic for all Westerners regardless of their political orientation. The plus side is that as this is essentially a death-instinct we're much better off without it, regardless of the short-term disruptions it will entail.
  9. Detroit has a very bright future. I'm talking in the 50-100 year timescale, though.
  10. It's not so much that the regions have declined over the last 50-60 years, it's rather that the SE has experienced an anomalous hypertrophied growth (most recently largely Ponzi) based on cheap fossil fuels and cave-of-wealth-and-death infinity-seeking credit. The politicians, not understanding that the regions represent the norm and London + the SE the anomaly, have saddled themselves with the impossible task of bringing the regions up to the level of the SE, which is rather like attempting to raise the level of the oceans so that you don't have to dig deeper canals. Once the hypertrophy of the SE blows itself out, which it will do, strategically important economic cities like Liverpool, Hull, Glasgow and Cardiff will regain their former importance not because they will continue to grow, but because they will decline relatively less than illogical car-dependent non-places like Milton Keynes or Basingstoke. Keep an eye out for plans to turn places like Salford Quays back into docks. That will tell you the process has begun.
  11. "Productivity", like "GDP" is one of those hopeless ******** figures that economists use that is more distortional than informative. Japan makes semi-conductors. The USA makes fried chicken wings. At what point is relative "productivity" relevant?
  12. It's interesting that Matt Taibbi, who coined the "Vampire Squid" soubriquet, has been saying for some time that GS, and many other members of the financial oligopoly were living on borrowed time. His opinion is that GS, JPM etc. were given the opportunity to demonstrate humility and repentence after the bailouts, and spectacularly blew it. He also stated that he thought Blankfein, Dimon etc. were only a few false moves away from handcuffs.
  13. The only interesting thing about this thread so far is the assumption by everyone that further automation is inevitable as this is the only way to increase "productivity". "Productivity" being shorthand for labour productivity. But what if energy becomes more expensive than labour? Does productivity then become energy productivity? Will we then need all those craftsmens'/craftwomens' skills? Worth reading the Archdruid on this: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2010/04/twilight-of-machine.html (At least those of you who don't immediately dismiss him as a hippie.)
  14. That wasn't my understanding of the bond strike principle at all. My understanding was that the whole point of a bond strike was to selectively hit single undisciplined sovereigns pour encourager les autres. I don't think sovereign states are any more rational in their reaction to foreign events than markets tbh. Whether the dynamics are different is less important than how alarmed the politicians may get. Again, I think the "bond strike" scenario is more a balance-of-terror strategy than a maintain-nominal-rates one.
  15. I assume then that the initiatives like this: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brics-call-for-emerging-nations-to-have-more-say-2010-04-16 ....are the counter-play to this emerging scenario.
  16. Goldman's advice is bound to be in the best interests of their own investors, the wider financial community and ordinary members of the public. I see no reason to doubt their considered analysis.
  17. I'm not sure the money leaves the sovereign bond market, but switches to different denominations of sovereign debt (Bunds, Treasuries etc.) which is why the spread is so critical. Well, this is surely dependent on how many sovereigns are deemed to be at risk, how big they are, perceived risk of contagion etc. Of course, none of this may have a rational basis. This assumes that all sovereigns can QE - which Greece obviously can't. I'm assuming you're using the term "sterilisation" here in it's broadest sense (i.e. not just neutralising capital inflows). Also, I'm unsure how QE can be sterilised "immediately" by interest payments (I assume from retail banks to the central bank). My view is that investors will take a haircut, but in effect they're jockying to avoid taking the biggest haircut.
  18. It's the diminishing marginal returns of complexity, dude: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collapse-Complex-Societies-Studies-Archaeology/dp/052138673X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271946310&sr=1-1
  19. Yes, I think that we will return to Butskellism/One-nationism (really it's buggering-alongism), but that's always been inherent in my return to the '70's meme. As for immigration, I think we will see that fall with a general fall in employment opportunities and benefits - the marginal benefits of coming here will decline precipitously. As for the immigration we've had over the last 10 years or so, I think there will be a bit of argy-bargy, but people will blend in and mix over time. I don't see any huge issue over this tbh.
  20. I'm surprised you're even entertaining this nonsense, scepticus. The UK has basically had only two economic policies since 1945. Butskellism from 1945-1978(-ish) then neoliberalism from 1979(-ish) to present. The most prominent item of interest in both "regimes" is how similar Tory and Labour policies were for these two periods (although you could debate relative competence I suppose). That the public persist in believing there to be clear ideological differences between the two parties would be a fascinating area of study, but I think ultimately it comes down to the simple self-identification that i.e. seperates Liverpool and Everton fans.
  21. Well as I've said on a couple of threads now - a coalition government is the worst thing that these people can expect - coalitions can be tougher on spending as the parties can hide behind each other. I honestly think a Lab/Lib coalition will cut deeper than the Tories would on their own, who know that they will be basically consigning themselves to historical oblivion. This is the tragedy of people who see politics as a team sport (Tories! Boooo!) - they just can't see the real changes that are about to hit them are from unstoppable historical/economical forces.
  22. I used to comment on The Guardian's CiF a couple of years ago (under a different pseudonym, natch), but I had to give it up - the levels of delusion are truly incredible. The Mail/Telegraph readership may be swivel-eyed, but at least they have a basic comprehension of how life in the real world works.
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