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About jago

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  1. Best thread on HPC. It makes sense to look abroad to get some perspective. A lot of people in the UK think we have it bad. We do. But you only have to look abroad to see that the situation is widespread. Thank you everyone for posting income to price ratios; this makes comparisions a lot simpler. I can't comment since for the past 5 years I have not had my own home as such - too expensive! Of the places I've lived: Buenos Aires, Argentina: It's a very difficult one to calculate. All I can do is quote what I think my girlfriend, (a doctor) earnt: ~$1000/month. House price, maybe $150,000? Norway: Seems to be one of the least bad places out there, probably due to space. Others have posted figures in this thread. Spain: Still crashing. Possible to buy for €20,000 but actually €60,000 is still a minimum I see advertised. Wages <€500/month in these areas (or nothing). Only speculators so it seems. Then there's the places I've considered living... The only places in the world that are not mad prices have rules on borrowing and/or non-residents. These places I know of are muslim: Indonesia, Phillipines, some of the middle east (big contrasts here depending on whether they're still following religious guidance or just let the belt buckle go). It's credit turbo charging speculation not capitalism per sec. Places not aligned with the west don't always have lower 'prices': Cuba, Venezeula, Argentina, Iran, China, Russia, North Korea. Nimibia wasn't cheap either. Can the whole world be using property as a store of wealth? Or speculating? The whole world? In terms of countries there is no cheap place out there I know of with jobs. It's a matter of local areas within those countries. But of course then you have to factor in the local wages vs those prices to find where exactly is a profitable place to live and work and... do we really have that data? It's better to cut that out and just look at who has the disposable income - but you need to map exactly where those people are living, not just which country they are from, making this very difficult. Do you know a better way? Don't forget to look back in time too. My grandfather said he was able to pay his house off in 4 years and he was a farm labourer.
  2. Good point! Those Germans aren't dumb. And they aren't poor either. But were they more wealthy before the ban?
  3. Trying to stop a market is rarely a good idea. If there's a problem it's generally better to improve, grow and enable the market in other areas to counter-act the problem. Trying to stop a market is like trying to dam a river. It can hold back a little of the problem but the rain keeps coming and the rats keep finding a way through. In the case of banning short selling, we can all still short sell. To do this, we just have to do it manually, approach someone who owns shares and borrow to sell. It's similar to pawning a wedding ring. All 'banning' does is raise the bar so that the elite are able to continue but the little guy can no longer participate. Like a form of censorship or prohibition, it forces it underground. Hedging. Let's say I'm employed with a company with an income dependent on the price of platinum. When the price last crashed I lost my job. To insure against this I can short the price of platinum, or companies dependent on the price. This way I can self insure against the price going up. If I am prevented from hedging this way then I then have to infer what prices of things tend to go up as the price of platinum goes down. So I can still 'short sell' - it's just happening now in a distorted market. By distorting the market this way the problem has been moved elsewhere. In the case of HFT what we have here is an uneven playing field. It's all about whoever is closest to the exchange computers to react quickest. Instead of banning it, how's about providing that level playing field? There's a company I forget the name of trying to establish this right now for London. We are going to see a lot more of these petitions as we get poorer. Having lived in poor and rich countries I see a pattern. The poor countries go against trade and the rich countries support it. The only other pattern so strong as this is that poor countries print their money into oblivion and richer countries are blessed with a privately elected bank that is a little more generous. The market does boom and bust but it's an efficient tool that can't be bullied.
  4. jago

    Fixing Marxism

    Great link. I'm sorry it took so long to reply! The link to land monopoly needs to be clearer for the lay person. I don't understand why Winston Church wasn't able to enact the land tax from Georgism that would fix the problem in his speech:http://www.progress.org/banneker/chur.html Consider these experiences:- When my grandmother fell pregnant with my father the landlord didn't want a baby in their house so they had to find somewhere new to live. - When renting I meet friends and of course women. But then I find I cannot have them at home because the contract is not designed with flexibility to cover higher utility bills and other costs. You'd think that the market would adapt to this as only nuns and monks are likely to not be having company over from time to time but no... and so it's the same situation at her place too. - Planning. We are all aware that planning permission is the UK's most corrupt and baffling aspect of government. I don't need to bore youwith examples of the problems we've seen in this bureaucratic process. There is no market incentive for house builders to build infrastructure such as schools and roads. [b]"Roads are made, streets are made, services are improved, electric light turns night into day, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains -- and all the while the landlord sits still"[/b] - Winston Churchill. Rest of speech here: http://www.progress.org/banneker/chur.html. I think it important to note that a massiveworld war didn't really change this problem much for him. This is because change is brought through dreams and when war happens progress isn't guaranteed in the aftermath. Those illuminati schemers seem to think that smashing everything down guarantees progress... in reality it [i]offers[/i] the potential but it's rarely used much. After a war or an earthquake there just isn't the money available to do things properly - it's often a crappy rush job.One way or another these problems are the same thing. The land market is not efficient. It's not just a case of the UK not having enough houses because I have lived abroad and the same problems are still there - just usually less extreme. Through a lot of sacrifice I now finally have enough money to buy a house - in cash in some extreme examples (!party!)... but I am not interested in any of the possibilities on offer. It is so strange to me to finally have this money, finally have the cash that should be able to talk...but to my incredulity the deals just aren't there - not here and as far as I can see, not anywhere in the world. All I have been able to find are a few cohousing projects in areas that aren't right for me. [i]Is this it?[/i]. So I'm staying in hostels and halfway homes... it's bizarre. But enough of all that. What's the answer? How can this market be improved? That's the debate I'm asking you about. I don't expect any ideas straight away. I've been thinking about this for a while. But I remain hopeful. I think the first thing that tends to come up in these debates is communism. The argument is that this is not better than what we have and therefore not of interest. That's fine... but pushing a double bind choice where land is monopolised either by private interests or by bureaucrats is really crappy and negative. The year is coming into 2014 - we have new technology now. It is already possible to bind money with democracy to form direct democracyas a counter-balance to oligarchy. In a perfect world, how would you arrange things?
  5. My gut feeling is that this isn't enough to help kick off a crash in London but could help along price movements already in motion. Thoughts?
  6. The recent price bubble has been due to China discovering Bitcoin. Go to a casino sometime and you'll learn a lot about the Chinese. Crashing back down today but it'll probably go down to $350 and then up to $2000... or maybe not... no, wait! All on black, double down! Slightly more difficult to buy in the UK. Bittylicious, Bitbargain and local bitcoins for <£1000 purchases.
  7. On the one hand the higher end of the market is a better bet I suppose. Well said. They are taxing solar panels and recently banned rents shorter than 3 months under pressure from hotels. So "that you rent out maximum 5-8 weeks a year" doesn't work any more. With studies showing how NY has boosted it's own economy through increased competition in the hotels sector (http://www.businessinsider.com/airbnb-632-million-economic-activity-new-york-2013-10) this is a good example of how when things go bad a self fulfilling cycle generates, increasing economic problems. Take note because this is something the kind of thing we are going to see next year in the UK - restricting trade and competition in some form or another, designed to help people when in fact it just damages the economy further and makes people worse off. So far the properties at reduced cost and from banks have all been holiday homes. This is pie in the sky living from an earlier age complete with €100/month swimming pool community fees. If you find property that is at the right price (within the very long term 50x monthly rent price), which a real spanish family can call their home, please let me know. In my opinion prices outside of repossessed holiday homes are still high.
  8. jago

    Fixing Marxism

    The problem with communism is that it just doesn't work. Often quoted by capitalist pigs. Other than the laziness of the statement there are 2 annoying things about this statement. 1) There is no reasoning as to why 2) There is an underlying unsaid insinuation that unfairness is a fact of life. Here's the reason why. Let me state it: Communism is highly inefficient. Turning your back on the market is like turning your back on speech because speech often results in problems. For all it's faults the market is an efficient tool, balancing problems, aiding group decisions. You can't turn your back on it. At the very least you risk a country made more powerful by it's benefit invading. Yet despite what capitalists say there are examples of communism in the world and despite what you may hear while they may be a mess they're not a complete failure. For a start Cuba has fought off hassle from the USA for years and survived despite it all. Then of course there's Russia and China, both not really very communist but they certainly have a history of it. Then of course there's the more reserved populist socialism of south america from Brazil to Ecuador. If you think this is a subject for other countries, something that happens elsewhere, think again. After travelling south america in particular I can see that there are many in europe sounding just like they are there. Take Argentina. They have a dream there... Peronismo. They're not giving up on that dream. Things may be getting bad but they won't give up. To be fair, for a majority life has improved as things have gone more and more Kafka. My point is that the UK, Europe... people are sounding a lot like people do in Argentina. In the UK people haven't experienced extremism or occupation so I hear a lot of talk along the lines of "Ban this" "Ban that". We had Occupy. London riots. People have had enough and economic downturn hasn't even started yet. I would prefer this time to be one of development rather than destruction. If this isn't addressed it's looking a lot like people will be turning to right wing extremism mixed with communism. That's basically the nazis. If this is to be avoided there has to be a better way. The people need to be satisfied without losing the efficiency of the market. The market gets blamed for many things. In my experience most of the problems of things being expensive is not a fault of the market but a situation of the market being prevented from working. Examples include: - qualifications for professionals preventing competition for jobs - greenbelt land, beaurocracy raising housing costs - beaurocracy in general actually is a massive one - patents on phones, copyright on books, trademarks on clothes Positive examples include: - p2p lending - crowdsourcing - ebay - forums like moneysavingexpert informing the market - bazaar style software development These things should be recognised for the benefit that bring to us all. The EU shouldn't need to bring in a directive forcing mobile phone companies to bring in fair pricing across the union. Governments shouldn't be forced by tax havens to recognise that tax is a market too. Fair energy pricing shouldn't even be an issue. We have to accommodate people's desire for fairness or everything's going to blow up in our face. So, hive mind. How do we do this? What are your thoughts?
  9. I think it's important to note that the system isn't a concious conspiracy in one go. It is important to avoid this kind of paranoia. It can lead to illusions that aren't there. The closest we had to conspiracy was the tragedy of the commons. Mostly it's been a slow ratchet effect eroding the individual ever since. "An Englishmen's home is his castle" There are times when things appear like they are manipulated by a single entity. In times past that was called the devil? Are we that paranoid? Better to dodge the debate and start to act united accordingly. The home is the cornerstone of Englishness. It's not simply an invention of control. It's in all of us. I know this because I've resisted buying a home. For a while I lived in a campervan. I was careful where I parked. I never made a mess. I was low key. I never got in any one's way or caused any trouble. Yet... people just honked in the middle of the night. Bashed on the side of my van. Let fireworks off underneath. Smashed my wing mirrors off. I saved a lot of money and in moments I felt truely free. The difference in how the homeless are treated in the UK compared to abroad was astounding. In the end I gave up. I've sold the van and left the UK only returning when I have to. The thing is that it taught me that the force enslaving us is within ourselves. If I look into myself with true honesty I hate gypsies too. I would probably honk my horn too. As written in The White Tiger, it's the other Chickens in the Coop that you need to worry about, not the cage. Those are the ones you need to fool. I've found my way round some of it for the moment. But I can't share my secret I'm afraid. All I can say is, keep trying and remember what I said. It seems like a home is essential, an essential lock-in to the system, but there are ways around it.
  10. Yes that's a good idea. It doesn't sound as long term as owning a storage area would be though. And I don't know if I can trust a setup like this anymore than what I currently do, which is leaving things with friends. I've also tried buying and selling things everytime I visit but it's a real PITA. Last time I ended up just giving away a £100 surfboard because I couldn't get rid of it in time.
  11. Lifetime rental. While I still don't want to sink money into a full property per-sec I'm spending quite a bit of time in the Canaries and I need somewhere to store things. I'd like to buy some small storage area because the thought of constantly paying rental for this I don't like. I don't want to get an NIE and go on the radar with the Spanish tax system & government. Can I lease / rent a space for 99+ years instead to avoid the ownership and therefore the NIE? Alternatively can I do some kind of loan setup? Where or who would be the exact people to ask about this when I go back there? Would it be ok to just propose it to a seller?
  12. Although this thread is (very) old, I think it's OK to bump because it only has one post that was never answered, especially as I can't PM the OP. The NAB has some shady history. I also heard about customers not being to access funds in a "technical problem" (run on the bank?) but I couldn't find much info on this. The NAB has aquired the bank I use too. I'm not sure what this means. If the NAB goes bankrupt I suppose the banks it has bought go bankrupt too? It's basically the same question.
  13. I lost my life savings supposedly to a ponzi scheme a couple of years ago. That is the official explanation from the FSA (FCA) who quote that funds were lost due to conspiquous consumption of the company owner. The 15 other employees have been unaffected while the main guy is expected to go to jail next year. However: - the lavish lifestyle of the company owner was £100,000's and the missing funds are £millions. - the trading history of the investment accounts has been censored from the liquidator who has been unable to check activity on the brokerage accounts. Is it possible that funds may have been moved via brokerage accounts? Perhaps assets could have been transferred by microcap mispricing or transfer mispricing? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_mispricing ) How else could these brokerage accounts have been misused? I appear to be the only investor to have noticed this massive hole in the criminal investigation. Perhaps they were distracted by the reports of wild personal spending of this guy who is expected to be going to jail next year. I have also been prevented from contacting other investors who got burnt. It all doesn't sound quite right to me. I've seen ponzi schemes but it seems like we're not getting the full picture here. I am waiting for the criminal court case to conclude. At that point I will start to try to find out why the other people involved have been left unharmed and try to find out more on those brokerage accounts. Where can I get more info and help? How can I contact other investors? Bring on the conspiracy theories?
  14. Silver coins: That would be great! But how do I get my company contributions to pay for such a thing? And how do we prevent me from selling them on before retirement? SIPP: So I can transfer what I have already paid in to a SIPP and then continue to have both employers contributions and my own contribute further to this "If the fund value exceeds the 'Lifetime Allowance' of £1.25 million at retirement, then the amount above £1.8 million will be taxed at 55%" ^ hmm... another risk... that the lifetime allowance of £1.25mil becomes worth what £5,000 is worth now via inflation and is barely enough to survive on... ^ next risk, the SIPP ("broker"?) is the trustee, so counterparty risk on them going bankrupt to think about: http://boards.fool.co.uk/with-the-sippdeal-e-sipp-the-trustee-of-the-scheme-12062431.aspx ...will need to search more to get self trustee... Too much risk to put in more than the minimum for me but it's better than the company pension. The fees for funds don't look too bad at first... until you notice there are more than 1 type of fee; custodian etc. Interesting stuff
  15. I was offered a pension at work a couple of years ago. Even though I am one of the tinfoil hat brigade who can envisiage government pilfering of pension pots (like in Australia via double taxation)... I said yes and started making the mimimum payments. What interested me was screwing my employer out of a little bit more cash. Er, I mean, making most of the kindly provided benefit. However, in flicking through the myiad of investment funds available (Aviva) I noticed that every single fund is strongly linked to the economy where I earn my wages; the UK. The Asian Pacific fund was a case in point. The investment made by this fund is not so much asian companies but western companies operating in Asia and at worst, Australia and New Zealand. This is no hedge. I searched as best as I could and nothing antagonistic to my income could be found. After 2 years the fund has appreciated at 0.35% - a loss after the high inflation we've had. My question is... is there a way to plan for one's retirement in a more hands on way? Can I trade my own fund? Can I choose my own stocks and commodities without being taxed? Can I find a way to invest in African economies for example?
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