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Toto deVeer

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Everything posted by Toto deVeer

  1. Agreed. It is a lot more complicated. Maybe the Yen and the Yuan. I've recently read that the Chinese rotating out of Yuan is leading the entire US real estate market to a modest recovery. It's hard to verify this, but there are reliable sources saying so. IMO, if things kick off between China and Japan, one does not want to be invested in their currencies. Sorry - a little off topic - but it is having an impact on real estate,it seems.
  2. Theoretically, and mathematically, if the financing cost of an asset goes to zero the asset should go to infinity - hence rising house prices (and gilt prices - although this is based upon the coupon - not the financing cost) when interest rates fall. I believe that Singapore and Hong Kong have introduced large capital requirements to put a brake on this phenomenon, but even so prices there have shot up.
  3. I don't know what this term 'rent seekers' means, in reality. If it means entities that siphon money off for no productive returns, then you could categorize most modern business activity under this heading. This would include most of the City, Wall Street and many internet businesses. Google makes profits of about 40 billion or so a year, I think, just linking to stuff that other people produce - are they rent seekers too? Then you could include USwitch.com, Confused.com, RatedPeople.com and so on. Most of these business models are designed to be nothing more than gateways between customers and producers. They produce nothing.
  4. And: 1. Zero (negative real) interest rate environment, 2. Gilt prices at the highest since the Bank of England was formed in 1694 (320 years). In such an environment one would expect asset values to go to infinity - that's roughly what has happened in Hong Kong and Singapore (and why severe restraints have been put in place for property purchases there). What's going to happen when interest rates begin to rise?
  5. GDP is so misleading. Right now the US is spending about 1 trillion more than it takes in taxes - and this is counted toward GDP. If you consider this effect on the numerator and the denominator of percentage of GDP, then the number 15.5 is clearly misleading. If the US were to balance the books, I believe that the number would be much closer to the UK. Roosevelt is the one who introduced GDP, I understand, and he included government spending. It's been downhill ever since then. I personally don't like personal income tax - as we don't have a personal income - instead we exchange our labour for cash - this is a barter - not a gain. But if we must have an 'income tax', then let it be a simple flat rate with no exemptions for anybody.
  6. Historical perspective - USA Source: Wikipedia and The Tax Foundation When taxes were first introduced, they were applied to the rich only. 1913 First Permanent Income Tax: First Bracket: 1% (on 100K I believe - equiv to about $2.2M in 2011) Top Bracket: 7% on $500K (equiv to $11.3M in 2011) Just one generation later - they became confiscatory: 1944 (Historical Maximum Top Bracket): First Bracket: 23% Top Bracket: 94% on $200K (equiv to $2.54M in 2011) In my opinion, income tax in the USA prior to the 1960's was used to keep the balance of power between wealthy individuals and the government in the favour of the government. The balance today is in favour of the wealthy individuals. 2011 First Bracket: 10% Top Bracket: 35% on $379K. Relative terms - Country by Country: Source The Economist.
  7. Agreed 100%. But take Oman, for example. Their tax system is very close to the American system prior to 1913. No tax on labour, instead high tariffs on imports and taxes on corporate profits. They have oil, but they are not an oil rich country. And government expenditure there is being invested in critical infrastructure - ports, roads, bridges. It can be done.
  8. Wouldn't it foster employment to just eliminate taxes on labour and increase taxes on business profits much more? Why are taxes on capital gains and business profits so low? How is tinkering with taxes on labour going to increase employment? I don't get the connection. Humans are not economic entities, businesses are.
  9. But you get my thinking...he's proposing that people who are entrepreneurial, who have nothing but want to take on personal risk for possible future reward, be taxed more. This type of thing removes incentives. It simply won't work. Why not eliminate taxes on labour altogether - and cut wasteful government redistribution programmes at the same time? Instead he wants to punish future entrepreneurs. Not good. Hence my statement ... 'Hi! I'm Nick - I've got my $billions - too bad to the rest of you...'
  10. Why is the solution to employment to be more government intrusion with more taxation? This core theme of his presentation defies logic. Employment - meet Baxter. (Edit: This is the way I read it - Hi! I'm Nick - I've got my $billions - too bad to the rest of you...)
  11. From the Nationwide chart of the first page, it 's time for a little rebound. Maybe this is what they are detecting. But the overall trend is down, and will continue for some time yet, in my view. There is every chance that interest rates will start to rise later this year. That should bring on the next decline. Maybe even London this time. Don't think that it is anything to do with FLS - just normal bear market behaviour. As I heard one talking head on TV say, "it (the FLS) is like giving a drowning man a glass of water".
  12. How do you define 'socialism?' There is no escaping that the state needs to be involved in healthcare in some way. The problem is that the customers (patients) really have no say in this process, as far as the NHS is concerned - it is instead dominated by politicians trying to buy votes (and sound bites) and faceless beancounters making day to day decisions. Effective healthcare can be obtained when a 'sweet-spot' is found between government regulation (as accepted by the people) and free market principles.
  13. It will be the dollar that is at risk in my view. It seems to me that the EU is prepared to do anything to protect the Euro and as long as Germany and her satellites are prepared to hold firm then the Euro will survive. Back in the USA the Obama administration is going for broke and they have an 18 month window to introduce a sweeping leftist agenda - by executive order (bypassing congress). The mid term elections are coming in two years - and they may lose the support of the Senate. This will make the next 12 to 18 months the most volatile period of American politics since the years leading to the American civil war. 37 of 50 states are controlled by the Republicans - these states are banding together to create a power block - one that constitutionally can nullify and will try to nullify many of Obama's policies. On top of that the Obama administration (including the treasury) abandoned (in 2010) the 'King Dollar' policy set by Volker. All of these are going to create a maelstrom around the dollar - and lead to extensive development of bilateral trade agreements that are not dollar denominated. In addition, as you may recall Germany demanded that the UK return it's gold reserves in the early 2000's - just this week I believe that they have asked the USA to return the German gold. Anti-globalization is in full swing - and the dollar is going to pay the price.
  14. Eyes on the Netherlands now...could be an interesting election; the German announcement is exquisitely timed...
  15. Got to wade in on this discussion... Volker's policies hollowed out the industrial sector of America, led to the crash of '87, and led to the financialization of everything that could be nailed down... The only positive thing that happened in the US finance sector in the 1980's was that hundreds of bankers were prosecuted and went to jail...this had nothing to do with Volker... (I'll just add that he did manage to save the Federal Reserve Note, but not the dollar, that hasn't been in use since 1913 or thereabouts.)
  16. I don't get it. Why doesn't Europe just split in two, line between France and Germany? Seems the obvious solution.
  17. Hell, they paid back their IMF loan early. That should be good for an upgrade. Arresting and prosecuting bankers should also put the fear into the ratings agencies.
  18. From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York web site: "Scam Involving Yohannes Riyadi and/or Wilfredo Saurin November 2007 The Federal Reserve is aware of a fraudulent scam involving individuals using the names Yohannes Riyadi and/or Wilfredo Saurin, or persons claiming to be representatives of these two men. In a typical version of this scam, Mr. Riyadi and/or his delegates falsely claim that they have on deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York several U.S. Treasury Checks issued to Mr. Riyadi amounting to billions of dollars. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been contacted by several brokers and financial institutions worldwide inquiring about the validity of this fraudulent account documentation, which is being offered as collateral for lines of credit or other types of asset based financing. The fraudulent scheme includes multiple documents which purport to have the signatures of various Federal Reserve officials, including Chairman Ben Bernanke. In some instances, individuals involved in this fraudulent scheme claim to have met with Federal Reserve officials and claim to have verified that the alleged account is in order. We have also learned that the fraud may include the purchase of certain documents by the introducing brokers. If you have information regarding this fraud please contact either Robert Amenta, Special Investigator at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or Erik Rosenblatt, Senior Special Agent at the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement." I can't find out if there is a real, super-rich Yohannes Riyadi. Anyone have any information on this?
  19. Interesting that the Sassoon name pops up here. In the 1800's it has been reported that they were considered the wealthiest Asian dynasty, based in Baghdad, a counterpart to the Rothschilds who were in a similar position in Europe (and the US). The Sasoons were reported to control the drugs trade throughout most of Asia. These two families were to have joined by marriage in the late 1800s. Riyadi however, is new to me. I shall look them up with great interest. Nothing would surprise me any more with regard to the Federal Reserve Bank.
  20. Q. What would interest rates be if they were permitted to reach true market level (hint: see Greece, Portugal, Ireland for indications). Q. What would happen to UK house prices if interest rates were to reach true market market values (hint: think UK 1993-1995). You have every right to challenge. Please do.
  21. Could you please elaborate? Which banks and how are they attacking it?
  22. Muhammad Ali, my favorites: "If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize." "I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark." "Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer." Other goodies: A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he'll never crow. I have seen the light and I'm crowing. At home I am a nice guy: but I don't want the world to know. Humble people, I've found, don't get very far. Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up. Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life. Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything. Hating people because of their colour is wrong. And it doesn't matter which colour does the hating. It's just plain wrong. He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was. I hated every minute of training, but I said, "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin' hell, but as long as they ain't free, I ain't free. I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want. I never thought of losing, but now that it' s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That's my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life. I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world. "Now you see me, now you don't. George thinks he will, but I know he won't!" "You may talk about Sweden, you may talk about Rome, but Rockville Center's Floyd Patterson's home. A lot of people said that Floyd couldn't fight, but you should have seen him on the comeback night." "Old age is just a record of one's whole life." "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." "We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last." "Wisdom is knowing when you can't be wise." "To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich." "It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe." "Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee. Your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see." "My way of joking is to tell the truth. That's the funniest joke in the world." "Love is a net that catches hearts like a fish." "Prejudice comes from being in the dark; sunlight disinfects it." "It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself." "Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill." "I am America. I am the part you won't recognize, but get used to me. Black, confident, cocky -- my name, not yours. My religion, not yours. My goals, my own. Get used to me." "If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you." "It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I just beat people up." "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." "The man who has no imagination has no wings." "Be loud, be pretty and keep their black-hatin' asses in their chairs."
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