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Everything posted by CokeSnortingTory

  1. German industry was hit hard in the 2008 downturn, and recovered in short order, so it seems sensitive to economic turbulence, but has a high level of resilience. I think the main effect of the threat of a downgrade will be to increase the likelihood of us seeing some of that famous ruthlessness as Germany gets deeper into a them-or-us relationship with the PIIGS.
  2. This might amaze you, but I think North Korea is actually a country with a golden future. If you look at them carefully, they've actually got everything going for them. As for the UK and Switzerland, two bagfuls of decadent crooks preserved by quirks of geography - not so much.
  3. Although we never quite dropped to the level of dealing in the gold fillings of holocaust victims. So we probably will never be like Switzerland.
  4. Football isn't a sport though. It's a ritual drama decided by one-off arbitrary refereeing decisions, in which teams spend millions on expensive players to ensure that the arbitrary decisions are executed as close to the opposition penalty area as possible, as often as possible. Can't see European football being much of a long-term draw though. It's OK as a kind of cherry-on-the-cake with big financial rewards, but it takes a lot of the all important irrational dramatic needle out of the game due to the lack of local rivalries and difficulty and expense of attending away games.
  5. This is an example of what is called ruthless extrapolation, kidz. Read about it here: http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/06/ruthless-extrapolation/
  6. Monbiot is just hopeless. He's actually capable of having two contradictory opinions on the same issue, and being wrong on both of them. There's an excellent takedown of his latest nonsense here: http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2012/07/i-explain-a-few-things.html
  7. It's a shame that ZH/Keiser/Denninger ruin their analyses with their Chicken Licken sky-is-falling-in febrile panic-mongering, because you can never take them entirely seriously. I put it down to the individualism-fetish of the Austrian-Libertarian school, meaning they can never organise themselves to effect real change, and can only pile up the gold and beans and watch from the sidelines as the future they think will emerge fails to manifest itself. It's why the Lefties are the only ones who might make a difference in the end. At least they can organise themselves to attend meetings and plan concrete action in the real world.
  8. It's a good job I read Gurdjieff, and therefore understand that human beings are hopelessly automatic and predictable in their behaviour. Otherwise, things like this would make me angry.
  9. Looks like this has been going on for quite a while though, and it's taken a long time after the start of the financial crisis for this to suddenly come to light. It all seems a bit suspicious to me that the classic American hucksterama of MF Global and the ongoing Euromess are both, at the same time, leading to fingers pointing at the City Of London. You'd think this has all been co-ordinated or something.
  10. Well, if the latest EU treaty attempt is a guide, what will happen is that German workers will end up resenting that a good portion of their wages goes to supporting peripheral European workers at a lower standard of living than they currently enjoy, and will thus also resent.
  11. Thanks gents, I was just interested why this would be particularly apocalyptical (according to ZH, who regularly predict the apocalypse) in comparison to other FRB scams. Theoretically this can be leveraged to the moon, but has this actually happened? I'm only aware of MF Global so far, who seem to have just wiped out other leveraged positions - not sure what the damage is in the real world. Also the perpetual puzzle as to why it only ever seems to be U.S. and Canadian companies that get embroiled in these "lax regulatory" London-based schemes.
  12. Have to say I've got one eye on this, but I'm not sure if there's any real substance here, or whether it's just more Max Keiser/Zero Hedge 2+2=5 kill the bankers buy physical gold cobblers-hype that will evaporate in, ooooh, a couple of weeks' time. Does anyone have any information on this from a sane source?
  13. EN standards are basically harmonised versions of BSI or DIN standards dependent on which is the most convenient for the particular application - there's nothing particularly competitive about this, it's just that both BSI and DIN had a backlog of standards that could be cherry-picked for the EN version. If the standard can be harmonised with the ANSI or the JIS, so much the better. And again, if the whole lot can be rolled into an ISO, this makes global standardisation easier, which is what all multinational corporations favour. There's no particular disadvantage in say a German company having to meet BSI or vice-versa.
  14. Well, there's a fascinating intellectual debate to be had over the EU's metaphysical role as a revitalisation movement (think Native American ghost dances), but it's over the head of most of the people who visit this site, sadly.
  15. Some good analysis in The Guardian. First Larry Eliot: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/09/eurozone-crisis-blundering-into-blind-alley Then Ian Traynor: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/09/dust-settles-cold-europe-germany My take on this quite simple really - UK politics has always been fairly ambivalent (in aggregate) about Europe. While the EU was economically doing well, the Europhiles were ultimately going to win the arguments, and now that the EU is doing badly, the Eurosceptics will tend to dominate. As for Cameron's performance at the summit, I think the whole thing was simply a cluster****** on all sides - there was no clever maneouvring going on by anyone on any side. Who will come out of this best? Totally impossible to predict.
  16. No economic theory really works, though. They all fail for the same reason, a reason that goes right back to Adam Smith - they all assume that Nature provides a constant, inexhaustable supply of resources. As E.F. Schumacher pointed out, the human economy is just a puny addendum to the vast economy of Nature. We would be better off throwing the text books away, and basing economic decisions on questions like "well, how long will it take to re-grow Indonesia's hardwood forests?" But we won't, so the Western economies will fail no matter what course they pursue.
  17. One way this kind of problem could will be overcome is by people living with their parents for much longer. Probably inheriting their houses while they're still living in them. Just like the old days, in fact. Those old days we thought were long, long gone.... Also, less people getting divorced and needing their own home. Social conservatism reinforced by economic circumstances. It'll be corporal punishment for petty thieving before too long.
  18. Now why do I get the funny feeling that within five years they'll be bought second-hand at a discount price by the French Navy?
  19. Obviously the solution to the Eurozone crisis is simply to stop compiling statistics. No statistics = no problems.
  20. The average for this year will probably be around 5%. As it will be next year. And the year after that. And the year after that.....
  21. Declining in real terms much more than in nominal ones, I suspect. So the pain appears to be much less than it really is. That said, people will be poorer, so they still won't be able to afford to buy them. The difference will be that they won't be able to afford anything else, either.
  22. Depends what you mean by "work" - their priorities are not the same as ours. It "works" if it allows the populace to become impoverished over a sufficiently long time line to prevent organised social unrest. My guess is that, barring any sudden shocks from overseas, it will work.
  23. Well, the obvious answer is a miracle. I think they don't have any real idea. Well, that's as may be, but I was saying when I first joined that they would aim for 5% inflation and keep IR's as low as possible, and I'll predict now that this will be a minimum for at least a decade. But here's another prediction that you can validate fairly soon - the BoE's MPC meetings will slowly disappear from the news, as ZIRP becomes normalised.
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