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Everything posted by LeeT

  1. Is there some double counting going on in GDP figures? Prices of new houses are counted as investment and add to GDP.(a largish one time addition). Once built either rent (if rented) or imputed rent (if owner occupied) is added to GDP.(smallish annual additions). Is this correct as It makes no sense to me? Secondly I believe imputed rent is based on house prices. Do they adjust for unoccupied property?.
  2. How hospitals were in the 80's (well, maybe not quite). Between 1988 and 1991 I worked at 4 hospitals, 1 residential drug rehab unit, 1 disabled day care unit and 2 clinics. Of those 2 hospitals and 1 clinic remain.Care in the community meant the closure of one of the hospitals, one of the grand reshuffles closed another. The other closures were of dilapidated buildings or Victorian villas which were sold off for conversion into several flats. There does seem to be a lot of shiny new build clinics appearing over the last 20 years to replace some of the losses. The NHS building stock has become much more modern. The 2 closed hospital sites now have houses built on them.
  3. If we can use a licensed shotgun to shoot robbers entering our houses does that mean we can shoot central bankers on Threadneedle Street in order to prevent a robbery?
  4. Sorry if this has been posted already. Here's a bit more of Flanders interview with Mervyn that we didn't get to see in the programme. My link
  5. From NIESR Monthly GDP Estimates (7th Sept 2012) http://www.niesr.ac.uk/pdf/070912_121136.pdf
  6. I've nothing smart to add, so here's a nice tune for Tom Paine (HAM?). Keep up the good work.
  7. Bankruptcy warning to UK universities “We’re going to see an unravelling of the market over the next five years or so. Low-quality universities charging £9,000 a year will probably go to the wall, as they’ll be charging the same as Oxford and Cambridge.” Professor Dolton warned: “We will lose students to other countries. Watch the next five years and see the unravelling of the fee structure, it’s going to be very interesting indeed.”
  8. I'm not trying to defend bankers but it seems ironic that it's Mervyn's job to manipulate interest rates and he gets upset when bankers stray onto his turf and manipulate rates themselves. Merv isn't too badly paid either. I'm not sure he's the right person to complain about banker's pay. What's he likely to be worth if we pay him by the results of his actions in say 5 or 10 years. Maybe tens of millions if we get a good dose of inflation. 'Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, and his deputies received a 2.5% pay rise in 2010, the Bank's Annual Report, published on Monday, shows. The report said that under the new remuneration package agreed by the Bank's Remuneration Committee, King received a starting salary of between £375,000 ($593,459) to £400,000 in 2010, with automatic increases of 2.5% per annum, and a pension contribution of 30% of salary'. Central Banking.com
  9. The Panama Canal is gridlocked and is to be widened by 2014 to accommodate the new class of 'New Panamax' ships. As these come on stream perhaps we'll see a further glut of empty smaller vessels. Wiki page Edited to add these charts I just stumbled over.
  10. Is this job something like a non exec directorship where you only do one meeting a quarter with free food and drink thrown in? I might just go for that.
  11. I'm considering what happens to Bullionvault if Bank of America or Lloyds blow up. I can't help thinking it would be bad. I'm seriously thinking about pulling the majority of my BV account.
  12. 'Britain is set to announce a mortgage guarantee scheme for first-time home buyers. The Home Builders Federation said it had been talking to the government for months on behalf of the industry to find ways to get lenders to lend at realistic rates.' They're looking to find a way to use defecit increases so FTB'ers with a poor saving history and significant risk of unemployment can leverage up at 19/1 to buy an asset which in all probability will fall significantly in value as we enter the worst recession/depression in living memory. In those circumstances, what is a 'realistic' rate? I just plugged some numbers into Moneyfacts. Single person on £35K with £5k deposit on a £100k house wih a 25 year variable repayment mortgage can get a 3.95% deal for 1st 3 years, reverting to 4.45% thereafter. The same person can get a 3.99% reverting to 5.7% in 2 years for a £150k house with a £7.5k deposit. I'd suggest that banks currently lending at below inflation was already too low, yet housebuilders and government think it's far too high. Who had that most apposite of signatures 'fiscal rectitude not rectal fistitude?' I think we're getting the latter. Edited to add - OK so official inflation is below the 5.7% in the last of my examples but that hits in 2 years time and I don't fully trust our inflation figures anyway.
  13. wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country says Polish min wage is 1,386 Polish złotych (€350) per month and references this as it's source from February 17, 2011 which I've had to translate to English to begin to understand. The second link says that 'Currently, the minimum wage is about 42 percent. the average wage', So minimum = €350pcm, average = €833pcm.
  14. Here's Nouriel Roubini's latest on the subject of what to do next. It's a lot longer and better analysed than Hugh Hendry's 'I suggest you panic' but amounts to pretty much the same thing. Below I've attempted to condense it, but much better by far to read the whole long piece. Four Options to Address the Stock and Flow Problems of the EZ Option 1. Growth and Competiveness Are Restored. Option 2. The Deflationary/Depressionary Route to the Restoration of Competitiveness. Option 3. The Core Permanently Subsidizes the Periphery. Option 4. The EZ Experiences Widespread Debt Restructurings. An Assessment of the Likelihood of the Four Options Option 1: Most Desirable But Quite Unlikely as Contrary to the Goals and Constraints of Germany/the ECB. Option 2: Socially-Politically Unacceptable as Implies a Persistent Recession-Depression in Most of the Periphery. Option 3: Not Acceptable to the EZ Core as it Implies Permanent Subsidies to a Large Part of the Periphery, I.e. a Transfer Union Rather Than a Fiscal Union. Option 4: Widespread Debt Reductions and Eventual EZ Break-Up—Becomes the More Likely Outcome as the Other Three Options Are Not Likely or They Are Not Desirable or Sustainable. Options and Scenarios for the EZ Scenario 1, the current EZ plan somehow works and Italy and Spain are successfully ring-fenced via the levered EFSF and exogenous factors that restore growth after a 2012 recession. Then Greece and/or Portugal/Cyprus experience debt reductions and possibly exit the EZ, but the EZ survives if Italy and Spain survive and thrive. Scenario 2, Plan A does not work and, once the levered EFSF bazooka has run out of money and pressure on Italian and Spanish spreads has not abated as recession becomes entrenched, Italy and Spain may have to experience debt restructuring and eventually even exit the EZ. Scenario 3, things unravel for the EZ inside 12 months as a disorderly collapse of Greece prevents Plan A (buy time on Greece by keeping it on life support until Italy and Spain are successfully ring-fenced and then pull the plug) from even being tried, before it is given a chance to succeed (Scenario 1) or fail (Scenario 2). Conclusion Our point is that we cannot rule out Option 4 becoming more likely: i.e. Scenarios 2 and/or 3 materialize, so the next steps of these scenarios are widespread debt restructuring and eventual exit from the EZ of enough member states such that a break-up of the EZ turns out to be necessary and unavoidable. In terms of this non-linear set of scenarios, the periphery will push for Options 1 or 3 as a way to avoid Option 4; but if Germany/the core/the ECB stick with Option 2, Scenarios 2 or 3 rather than 1 will materialize and the EZ will eventually end up with Option 4, i.e. debt reductions, exit from the monetary union and the break-up of the monetary union.
  15. This is the first article I picked having Googled ' Singapore drugs.' The following is from the last page. Emerging trends and concerns Heroin has recently reemerged as the most commonly used drug and its use has increased for four consecutive years, as reflected in the increasing proportion of heroin users entering drug treatment and the increase in the number of heroin users arrested for four consecutive years. The number of people arrested for drug use has doubled in the past six years. ATS use in the country is increasing. In 2009, use of methamphetamine increased for the third consecutive year. Use of inhalants has stabilized but remains relatively high, particularly among young drug us- ers under the age of 20. Due to Singapore being a major regional financial and transportation centre, drug syndicates continue attempts to supply drugs to the country. I'm sure there are cultural differences to consider and I doubt Singapore has the level of users we have in the West, but I'm not at all sure more rigorous enforcement has a positive effect on the social problems caused by drug use. I agree though that the lives of a few smack heads may be saved by such measures. The problem is that those who do still access the diminished supply of drugs must pay more for them and will commit more crime to obtain that cash.
  16. Whilst the doley getting a 5.2% rise in his/her giro may seem obscene when average wage rises are far less than this, there are other important factors. I thought Council tax was to be frozen for another year. As most doleys get Council Tax benefit they have seen no rise in that portion of their (notional) income. Similarly Housing Benefit caps are likely to reduce the income of many claimants. Whilst pay from employers may not be keeping up with CPI, let alone RPI, I thought we were promised more generous tax free allowances as the coalition slowly move to make income of less than £10,000 free of tax. That should help net pay move ahead of gross pay rises.
  17. I've long held the view that drugs should be legalised. Here Prof. Kenneth Train of UC Berkeley uses supply and demand to demonstrate why attempts at tackling the costs of drugs to society through arrest and punishment of dealers (as in the above article) just make the situation worse. His discussion of drugs starts around 40:35 into the video.
  18. Have they concealed the door from the lounge to the kitchen? Other than that it looked pretty standard.
  19. Bloomberg's 1 year Greek Gov't Bond Chart Default anybody?
  20. I'd suspect when we get to that state many other places would be similarly hampered. The list of countries which would make attractive alternatives would be pretty short. I think those with skills and motivation who saw the writing on the wall would make good their escape or have perhaps already done so. As for the rest of us, I guess we'd try to muddle through the chaos. I wonder the British government in exile would be located. Brussels, Switzerland? I'm going to stay behind to loot the properties of those who fled the country. I'll sell my ill gotten gains on EBay. Once I've accumulated enough cash to not worry about trying to get a job in a foreign language I'll emigrate for my retirement. @TMT, Ken linked to this a while ago. As we know human flesh is reputed to taste of pork. I'd be wary of any offer he may make of beefburgers to go with that Chianti. Thanks to Ken's site I became instantly bilingual. Maybe I could get a job in China now. @Ken, thanks for the link in your sig. You've provided me with light relief on numerous occasions.
  21. This chart from May 2011 gives a fairly long term view. This Billionvault article from last year provides additional insight. I'm far too ignorant to provide insight and interpretation beyond what is readily available from any number of sources. I'll leave that to you folk except to say that the correlation from 1996ish is readily apparent. My view is that we're mostly shafted and I'm glad to have a fair slice of my modest wealth in metals. I'm expecting both gold and silver to be higher by year end and higher still at the end of 2012. That'll do for me. Time to go and see how UPS are doing getting those 13 sovereigns to me that I bought last weekend.
  22. Why? Here From the auction ad 'how it works: Click buy it now and I'll post out a physical paper contract like the one below to you 1st class. To use the terms used in the financial markets, whenever you wish, you can 'call' this 'option' - and I will fulfil the contract. This means you then pay the London Gold Fix price for that morning plus my small premium. You're welcome to either collect in person, or pay minimal postage costs. As soon as the money has cleared I'll post them out'. Maybe I'm being simple but I don't see the point from the buyer's perspective. The buyer pays £1.68 (inc postage) to have the option to pay 15% above spot for a sovereign at a time of his/her choosing some time in the next 90 days. Edited to clarify - it appears that the price is 15% above spot on the day you exercise the call, not 15% above spot on the day you take out the option. That may be just my poor interpretation of the sellers intentions.
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