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pandora's box

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Everything posted by pandora's box

  1. What a sorry state of affairs. The irony is, we in the UK probably have the ways and means to make the most advanced society on earth.
  2. And because there were proper jobs if you wanted one, there was more hope and optimism than there is now.
  3. So the plan for the UK and the Western economies in general is to 'print' electronic money, along with a few symbolic austerity measures as a sop to the 'markets'. Is this a fair summary?
  4. I'm not a philosopher. I decided to provide you with a response. My dog , though asked, politely declined. What do you want me to say?
  5. When the people start voting with their wallets this year, whether through choice or necessity, the government will have a much longer queue of supplicants at their door. Will they try to bail all of them out?
  6. Doesn't waking up and deciding what you are going to do today prove both?
  7. Please explain how negative interest rates work. Does it mean that saving is penalised? Does it mean being paid to borrow money?
  8. Halligan serves an ace in his final paragraph: Modern capitalism, at its core, relies on the public's trust of fiat money and the sanctity of contract. QE is seriously undermining both those cardinal concepts. We're not supposed to call QE "money printing" because money printing is the last refuge of declining economic empires and banana republics. It also amounts to state-sponsored theft. And against that, yes Professor Congdon, I declare an "implicit prejudice". Game, set and match.
  9. Such mistrust between the banks – "we're lying, so they must be lying" – gums up the wheels of finance and starves even credit-worthy firms of the credit needed to invest and create jobs. The way to break this deadlock isn't to expand narrower measures of money via QE, but to end inter-bank torpor by forcing "full disclosure" of losses – as this column has argued for several years. The numbers will be ghastly, of course, forcing the banking sector to restructure. Some big names will fail, their depositors absorbed by more solvent institutions. But, as history shows, this process can be managed and really is the only way that capitalism can work. Liam Halligan link
  10. That's your problem: you have stopped thinking and learning. I would respectfully suggest you open your mind, to lessen the anguish as we head towards the singularity.
  11. Your first sentence negates the rest of your post - and your posts in general to be honest. This is going to take some time.
  12. But you also said that people aren't stupid. Therefore, once encouraged to think for themselves, people will be able to discern the good ideas.
  13. Most of the population are philosophically and politically naïve, but thanks to the 'humble laptop' this can and will change rapidly.
  14. Too dismissive of a fairly perceptive post. What sceppy describes is actually happening - as this thread demonstrates!
  15. You come across as extraordinarily narrow-minded. Do you do this for effect or does it come naturally?
  16. I have been considering this statement for a few minutes now and I still don't know what it means. I am inclined to think it is erroneous.
  17. Charities have called for bank bonuses to be taxed and the proceeds given straight to good causes to help protect them from Government spending cuts. Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations which represents 2,000 charity leaders, wants a summit with the Chancellor. He claims cuts to local government grants this year will force thousands of charities to slash their services or close entirely. Sir Stephen suggested an extra bank levy would raise billions which could go straight into the coalition's Big Society Bank whose aim is to promote social enterprise. Charities could then bid for funding to help offset the estimated £1billion cuts due to hit local government grants in 2011, the charities' boss told The Times. Daily Mail
  18. Bob Diamond becomes chief executive of Barclays tomorrow after more than a decade running the investment banking arm, Barclays Capital. Another former investment banker, Stuart Gulliver, takes the helm of HSBC tomorrow as well ... Just the sort of talent needed to instil confidence in the beleagured banking industry. Innovative mortgage products, anyone?
  19. Taxpayers were nursing a £12.8bn loss on their stakes in the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group at the end of 2010, dashing hopes that the government will be able to begin selling off its shares early in the new year. Guardian link
  20. We're all in this together mate, haven't you heard? Those who caused it will ultimately pay the highest price. Geddit?
  21. New rules to clamp down on irresponsible mortgage lending must not be drawn so tight as to shut thousands of buyers out of the market and deepen the house price recession, the housing minister is to tell the City watchdog. Grant Shapps will use a meeting next week with Hector Sants, head of the Financial Services Authority, to urge that its review of lending practices not be so severe as to exacerbate an already difficult situation for would-be homebuyers. The FSA launched a consultation last year into “responsible lending”, proposing restrictions on high-risk products such as interest-only and self-certified mortgages. The proposals are designed to stop a repeat of the irresponsible lending during the housing bubble. But they have prompted a political backlash with one member of the Treasury select committee, Labour MP George Mudie, warning that the FSA was unleashing a “reign of fear on mortgages”. The watchdog is considering a ban on self-certification, new caps on loan-to-income or loan-to-value mortgages and restrictions on equity withdrawal. It also wants to take responsibility for buy-to-let mortgages for the first time. Mr Shapps told the Financial Times that he did not want to see banks going back to their old ways and lending indiscriminately. However, it would be a mistake to “bolt the door” when the housing correction had already taken place. Mr Shapps said that the FSA should steer away from “micromanaging” what should be a competitive market. “The problem is that, at the moment, it is not competitive enough.” Banks tightened their lending criteria in the wake of the credit crunch and are now much more careful about lending. Hundreds of products with high loan-to-value ratios or other such generous criteria have been withdrawn from the market. The Council for Mortgage Lenders recently forecast that lending would in 2011 drop to its lowest level for 30 years. In November, gross mortgage lending was an estimated £11.1bn, lower than any November for the past decade. Mr Shapps will tell Mr Sants that the government wants the market to be regulated but not in a “product by product” way. “I don’t want to snuff out innovation in the mortgage market.” Mr Shapps has been under pressure to justify his planning policies, which have seen the withdrawal of centralised targets introduced by the previous Labour government. Some experts have suggested that as many as 100,000 new homes have not been built as a result. But the minister told the FT that the low level of housebuilding in Britain this year was mainly down to the parsimony of bank lenders.“The building figures are the lowest for peacetime since 1924, but if you ask the housebuilders what the main problem is, they say mortgage supply, meaning a lack of people to buy their products, planning is only second or third on their list,” he said. link
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