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Xil

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About Xil

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  1. The day the Latvian story broke, the SEK strengthened against Sterling. I think it was already factored in to some extent. There was a lot of press about Eastern European meltdown during 2008 and before. I'll be keeping my few SEK for the time being!
  2. 7 months on..... Pound at new lows against Norwegian and Swedish currencies (and falling against Dollar and Euro). Currently 8.89 NOK to the Pound: http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/fds/hi/business/market_data/currency/11/11666/twelve_month.stm And 11.09 SEK to the Pound: http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/fds/hi/business/market_data/currency/11/11675/twelve_month.stm Where is this heading?
  3. Norwegian Kroner at 12 month high versus the pound. Currently 9.32 NOK to the pound. Last October's highs are now a long way off. Looks like the markets aren't taking too kindly to the news of the US printing $1.2 Trillion into existence.
  4. Thanks for the links, I'll have a look through them later. Apologies to the Original Poster for hijacking the thread! Everything I've done could easily be replicated for NOK but it appears to have been stubbornly strong against Sterling for a while now. Otherwise I would have opened a NOK currency account from the start. I still might be tempted if we get anywhere near 11 NOK to the Pound. In current circumstances, this appears unlikely.
  5. I went for a straight foreign currency account - generally used by people who travel a lot (typically with Euros) or receive payments in the overseas currency. As such, there is no interest payable on the money in the account. http://www.personal.barclays.co.uk/BRC1/js...amp;value=12870 If you maintain an average balance of $2000 (US Dollar) equivalent then there should be no quarterly charge. That said, I've just received an invoice for £7 from Barclays for presumably not meeting this criteria......I'll be ringing them tomorrow. I couldn't find any info for opening a Swedish bank account for a non-resident. If you have a link, I would appreciate it. My main concern is that for whatever reason, Barclays fail to give me my money back when I decide I want it!! I would happily open an account with a Swedish bank. With regard to what happens in the future for the SEK vs Sterling, I genuinely don't know. I looked back two years at the exchange rate and the most recent peak was in Septemer 2007. At that time, one pound would have bought you 13.9 SEK. In the intervening period, the pound has fallen far more significantly against the Euro and Dollar. You could assume that the markets believe Sweden are as deeply in the muck as we are and therefore the currencies have fallen together. Or (as I hope is correct) the pound has been over-valued against the SEK resulting in a recent high of 13 SEK to the pound. If I lose 20% or gain 20% when I exchange back to Sterling then I won't be overly concerned. The reason I'm holding SEK is to give me some protection against the "never been tried before" policies of this clueless Government. If the QE gamble backfires then I'll be cashing in my SEK and getting the best rowing-boat I can buy! Sweden here I come!! Xil.
  6. Jon Stewart is my only reason to watch More4. The Daily Show was one of very few mainstream US media mouthpieces that actually admitted to the world that they had elected a dick in George Bush. With regard to contrarian views and the value of sites such as Housepricecrash, can you believe we had a pinned topic on this very forum for over a year with the title "Signs of Credit Tightening - Let's Keep Track"?!!! The topic was started by Dr Bubb and ran to hundreds of posts. Where else (in the world) were any of the mainstream media highlighting the absurd levels of credit being swallowed by the UK and US? Why didn't our press and television ask the difficult questions? They were silent. They were complacent and complicit. As for financial analyists, don't get me started........ Xil.
  7. I took the plunge and decided to open a Foreign Currency account with Barclays. As an existing Sterling customer it was easier than being a complete stranger to the bank. It still took several weeks and there were c*ck-ups along the way (mostly to do with me receiving incorrect information from the bank). Anyway, it actually worked out in my favour as the rate of my chosen currency was better after the enforced delay. I actually chose to open a Swedish Kroner (SEK) account as the Norwegian NOK has looked pretty strong against the pound since last November. Sweden has enough financial problems of its own (eg the GM/Saab shambles). Also, the main Swedesh banks have considerable exposure to bad debts from housing bubbles in Eastern Europe. However I feel it has a stronger manufacturing base than the UK and the banks have already been part nationalised and re-privatised as recently as 1992. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/business...ss/23krona.html I'm effectively making a bet with myself that the Swedish economy will cope better in the coming months/years than the UK. Sweden and Norway are also two countries that I would consider leaving these shores for if life in the UK became unbearable. Assuming the borders aren't already closed. Please don't take any of the above as advice to do similar. I made my decision based on my research and my gut feeling. I might be wrong. The other downside risk that I must accept is that I am still relying on Barclays remaining afloat with my Sterling and SEK. According to the smallprint for the Foreign Currency account, the full amount of my money held with the bank is protected by the FSA scheme to the maximum £50,000. Not that I have any faith in that scheme paying out. Time will tell if it was a good call. Xil.
  8. I'm not sure I can fully subscribe to Oliver James' future economic model but it was fantastic viewing. Theresa May looked absolutely stunned - completely petrified that Paxo would turn to her for a response. We need more people like this, prepared to speak from the heart with passion. Politicians need to understand the pain they have unleashed with their stupidity, recklessness and duplicity. I really don't want Gordenron to call an election, I want the cameras on him when he gets his 'Oliver James' moment. Xil.
  9. A cucumber is currently £1.50 in my local Co-op. And I know it is February and therefore imported from the other side of the world but £1.50!!!! I wish my kids were allergic to salad.
  10. Much credit to you for coming back and being prepared to describe your last 18 months. There is nothing for anyone to gloat about here but listening to first hand experience is valuable and interesting. Xil.
  11. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle5692506.ece Applying the same principle to his Chancellorship and time as Prime Minister, I reckon he should personally pay back the £1,000,000,000,000 that he has been pouring down the pan.......
  12. I'm broken-hearted for poor Michael. I await with interest the next trick that Ryanair will use to extract money from passengers....... "You want a seat? That's £25 please. You can avoid this charge by clinging to the airplane's undercarriage at take-off......" The antithesis of transparent pricing.
  13. Bansko is going to be one of those words forever associated with the pitfalls of foreign investment. When all other reasonable investment opportunities (UK 2 bed flats, Spanish villas, French Chateaus) had dried up there was always the great Bulgarian skiing resort hope still in its infancy. Sadly, the OP and this couple from Bristol were probably given promises that the Bulgarian developers have failed to come through with. "Bansko is one of Bulgaria's premier ski resorts" - there are only two others that Brits have ever heard of and they are a long way down the league of European skiing destinations. Bansko suffers disproportiontely more than Borovets and Pomporova for having the ski area accessed by cable car. Does anyone want to join a queue of potentially hundreds of people before the first snow is reached? None of the main tour operators take people to Bansko - there would be way too many complaints. If I had a contract for a Bansko property, I would try my best to reach a settlement with the developer to get out of the deal legally asap. If it costs £50,000 to walk away that might be less than the amount lost between original purchase price and a potential resale. Bansko came to the property boom late but left very early.
  14. That's a reasonable shout and I think I've seen spread betting options for currencies such as NOK. This would certainly prove or disprove my conviction that Sterling is going to be systematically devalued in the coming weeks and months. The problem for me is that in circumstances where I am proved correct (ie Sterling crashes), I'm not sure how I would "take my winnings". Simplistically, you either get out on the way down and take exposure as the £ continues to weaken, or you stay in the game and risk everything because the chance of a default becomes more likely. At times like these, I wish I had family overseas in a country with relatively stable economic prospects (there are still some that haven't p*ssed the next generation's taxes up the wall) and I could deposit a sum of money with them as a hedge against a run on the pound. Many people might not give a damn what happens if Sterling devalues. The problem is that we are completely dependent on imports in this country. Yes we produce cereal, milk and meat but we import fertilizer. A crippled pound will see people starving on the streets. It makes me want to emigrate for no other reason than to preserve the savings that I have before Gordon blows the lot on another round of bail-outs to stimulate borrowing to offset the damage that he has already done by allowing too much borrowing. If this was a sit-com, people would switch it off because it wouldn't be believable. Xil. Edited for spelling.
  15. To broaden the question slightly (as nobody seems to have any Norwegian experience and I can't find anything useful on t'internet), does anyone out there have a foreign currency holding that isn't Euro or Dollar?
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