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Everything posted by Andy_K

  1. Indirectly, the banks are essential at the moment. Without the financial sector - even if they're leeches - our GDP would plummet. With a much worse GDP to debt ratio, the bond markets would panic and put our interest rates through the roof. With our interest rates through the roof, we'd reach the endgame very quickly. What remains of our assets would be hoovered up by other nations still pretending to be solvent. It's a game of last man standing. That we're broke is less important than that we default *after* everyone else is in the sh*t too. For that, alas, we need the finance services to stay for the time being.
  2. My friends reckon I should be selling. However, they reckon RBS shares are a good investment, so...
  3. EA are the spawn of the devil, and a blight on the games industry. I'd wish things on them that I wouldn't on my worst enemy. They're reputedly pretty much the worst games company to work for, release yearly 'updates' with little to no new content, and chop games up into their component pieces and sell them a bit at a time to massively up the price. Buying new licence keys for second hand games is the mark of a shameless and confused giant trying to impose it's will on the people, instead of adapting to provide a better service. Game are not far off. They actually make most of their money from second hand games - because they knock barely a fiver off the RRP, pay a pittance for them, and therefore have huge margins. I'm dead against this because it's gouging the customer at the expense of the developers & publishers. I wouldn't mind so much if second hand games were reasonably priced, or a cut had to go to the developer. Games are increasingly moving towards digital distribution. Even consoles are heading in this direction. The developers get a bigger share, the customer pays less, and the margins are still better. Steam is already taking huge chunks of the PC gaming market, and OnLive is a very exciting prospect indeed. Could potentially eliminate home consoles altogether within a decade or two. Game losing money is a sign of progress, and means we're heading in the right direction
  4. If all the western currencies are about to become toast, perhaps we should all be taking out massive mortgages in soon-to-be extinct currency to get a houses out of it...
  5. VAT is a consumption tax. In a world of finite resources, to me that makes sense.
  6. You can't default until your deficit is gone, otherwise nobody will lend you money to keep overspending. And if you don't have a deficit, you probably don't really need to default anyway...
  7. I'd rather be unemployed than work in telesales Bill Hicks on Sales & Marketing
  8. Can someone tell me the reason we're subsiding Welsh and Scottish students, whilst paying full whack ourselves? On the face of it, it sounds so ridiculously unfair that there I can only assume there must be some obvious reason I'm ignorant of, otherwise we'd surely have an uproar.
  9. Old system does the same... but with a lower earnings threshold. They are extremely keen on adding an early repayment penalty of some sort, but it'll still be possible.
  10. Indeed it is. But the loan that you would take out to pay it off isn't. Just don't tell the bank on your loan application form that you'll be using it to pay off your student loan... pretend it's something admirable like a house deposit
  11. You have compared apples with oranges. You have not taken into account that the real value of the gold changes in the deflationary environment. In real terms, your net gain margin should be: Year 1 = 0, Year 2 = 1140/0.95, Year 3 = 1083/0.95^2, Year 4 = 1028/0.95^3 Which is: Year 1 = 0, Year 2 = 1200, Year 3 = 1200, Year 4 = 1200 Exactly the same as the stable environment.
  12. This works better with some competition. Suppose we have two farmers and two bakers. Baker 1 saves a gold coin, as above. Each of the farmers sells only 11 pints that day. In return, only 5 loaves of bread are purchased from the bakers. For simplicity, lets assume no further saving takes place. What happens next? Farmer 1 cuts his milk price to 0.45 gold coins each and sells all 6 pints instead of 5, for 0.45*6 = 2.7g instead of the 0.5*5 = 2.5g he got the day before. The other farmer loses out! One of the bakers takes a similar approach with his bread. The cycle continues and eventually the prices settle at a new level, where the same amount of bread and milk is consumed and produced, but prices are lower. Baker 1 has caused deflation by removing a gold coin from circulation, but he has not reduced the output of the economy. When he spends the gold coin, he will introduce inflation to the economy, but overall output will again settle to the same level. This is pretty much the same thing as will happen with an inflationary debt based economy. Money is not real savings. It's a claim on production & resources. Your bank balance represents what share of the available production at that time you are able to lay claim to. Saving don't exist because of debt. They exist because you've reduced your slice of the pie now in order to have a bigger slice of the pie later. The size of the pie is unaffected. It will all be consumed whatever you do. If bread didn't go off and the baker started building up a massive stockpile of it, that would be a *real* saving. But currency just represents your share of everyone else's stuff.
  13. Here is one. Debt interest does not have to be positive! If deflation is running at 5%, and you make someone a loan at -3%, you'll still get back your capital plus a small profit, in real terms. Debt is therefore still viable with a deflating currency.
  14. I said a stable currency, not a stable economy. Not the same thing! Although it's true that the two are closely linked with modern fiat currencies, it needn't always be so.
  15. My understanding is that it basically says the more stable (and less interfered with by government) the currency, the more easily and accurately price signals can be read, and the more efficient the market becomes at allocating capital. You'll never get a perfect system, but the closer the better. Of course all currencies at present are highly manipulated and unstable, therefore it's very difficult to reliably read any price signals, and as a result the economy will not rebalance correctly, wasting energy and resources. As for what would make a good stable currency? I think energy might not be a bad bet. Perhaps a currency 100% backed by energy. Fundamentally, energy is what enables production, feeds us, and all resources and products require to exist. Available energy is probably the single most accurate indicator of human 'wealth' and living standards. If you increase the energy available, everyone becomes better off. If you decrease it, everyone becomes poorer. Quite how it would be logistically possible to create such a currency is another matter, but the idea is nice
  16. In 6.5 years since I left university, I've been unemployed a total of less than three weeks and not had a single day off sick in that time. Who's using all my share?
  17. I don't feel I even need to put a punchline on this one
  18. More like 5 billion barrels of recoverable oil, maximum. http://www.snopes.com/politics/gasoline/bakken.asp http://www.green-planet-solar-energy.com/bakken-oil.html
  19. How is supply disruption going to help? What exactly do you hope to achieve? You aren't going to get lower prices. Profit margins are in the order of a few pence per litre. You'll get NO petrol instead. If you want lower prices, you need to be bullying the government, not the oil companies.They have a much bigger slice.
  20. Surely with an MP being a temporary job, their 'second homes' should be RENTED accomodation paid for by the public for the duration of their term in power? If they want to *buy* a second home, they should get squat towards it.
  21. China isn't hoarding US debt, it's reducing its exposure. It's doing so by using those dollars to hoover up land, mines, metals, companies, oil contracts, and everything else it can lay its hands on. It's thinking long-term. Seems rather smarter than accumulating mass produced plastic crap by the freightload to me.
  22. Calling Brown 'Brilliant' is Blair's lip-service excuse as to why he wasn't sacked. Just words he uses to get himself off the hook. Again. I'm fairly sure I remember reading somewhere that Blair actually questioned the sustainability of house prices in the run up to the peak, but was shouted down by Gordon's camp. I am fairly certain that Blair is a very smart man and knew exactly what was going on. However, he's also extremely selfish and totally deceiptful. Brown on the other hand is a well-meaning politician, who unfortunately is incompetent beyond words.
  23. Yes, I rather suspect he 'got it' before he lost his seat, but upon leaving politics suddenly realised he could start telling the truth...
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