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needsleep

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Everything posted by needsleep

  1. The Chartered Insurance Institue says we need to save more. How lovely of it to think of us, and not its members. I feel quite emotional.
  2. ooooohhhh, look Mabel it's backed up by a study The study was by a bunch of right-wing free marketeers: http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/about/ About us 'We are particularly interested in free market and localist solutions to public policy questions. ' 'Using centre-right means to progressive ends' Non-partisan they say? They have pictures of Osborne and Gove on the 'about us' page. So where is this copius evidence? Let's have it.
  3. Public sector bad. Private sector good. Public sector bad. Private sector good. Public sector bad. Private sector good. Public sector bad. Private sector good. Rinse and repeat. This right wing obsession with a mythical public-private sector pay divide is pretty unsophisticated mock outrage designed to shore up attacks on public services. Politics of envy some might say.
  4. So the Scots have been spending some of the oil money, on themselves.
  5. Exactly. I love this idea that the Scots can blast off in some kind of escape pod, leaving all the poop behind. Very twee. Very stupid.
  6. The SNP seem to fancy themselves as some kind of Scandanavian socialist party and believe they can deliver that kind of economy and society to Scotland. Economically, let them try it. Scotland has the same structural issues with their economy as the rest of the UK. It's post-industrial and very imbalanced. Most of the oil has gone. Europe is not in a position to fund the Scots in their restructuring any more than it is to fund the restructuring of the Baltic states who also fancied themselves as proto-Scandinavians. Ten years ago that money might have been there. Not now. Society-wise the Scandanavian outlook is the preserve of small numbers of well off Scots. Anybody who has ever spent time in the less desirable areas of the central belt in Scotland will know that a lot of people there do not have a Scandanavian-style outlook on life. They have a very British outlook, infused with Buckfast and Tennants, topped up with benefits. So, let me know when it is going to happen. I'll stock up on popcorn. They've missed the boat economically. Socially the SNP are in some kind of warped dreamland.
  7. Same here. AV is the 'miserable little compromise', just 'a little bit better' than the existing system. The 'stepping stone' to further reform that has never ever acted as a stepping stone to further reform. The trojan horse for boundary changes. The referendum for which was the result of a LibDem drive to gain party political advantage. Just a ******ing stupid idea. And if it's true that Labour offered the LibDems a PR referendum what a terrible miscalculation by the LibDems.
  8. He's right but he's using the wrong language. They need to manage trade with China, before it's too late. Better to bring in gradual change now than knee jerk ad hoc changes later. Glad Trump has brought this to the fore.
  9. How about a referendum to decide where? The Big Society can build the rocket.
  10. This is the second post-Easter Thorntons profits warning in a decade IIRC. I remember considering their shares about ten years ago but then they issued a profits warning having over-manufactured on the eggs by a few hundred thousand. You could buy the things for £1. Then I took a look at Whittards shares. And then I decided I would never invest in a niche high street store. The idea that they have made a massive structural mistake by selling their own branded products in supermarkets is spot on IMO. All downhill from here. Once they become dependent on the supermarket sales the supermarkets will drive up their own margins considerably. Couple of interesting facts: 1. Thorntons used to use cadburys chocolate in their recipes. They switched to a continental supplier when that became too expensive. The chocolate used to be driven from europe in liquid form in warmed tankers. 2. Their attempt to expand in America was an ill-judged disaster. On of the flagship products was the chocolate casket. Some fool never realised that casket is the word yanks use for coffins.
  11. No, it's the way they achieve higher profits. The margins are so huge on Apple products anyway they could afford to manufacture at higher cost base locations. But now they're locked into cheap Chinese labour - shareholders seem to like it while Apple consumers couldn't give a stuff about the people that make the gadgets.
  12. They are't Apple's people in China. They are Foxconn's. Export earnings in dollars for Foxconn have to be exchanged at the Chinese central bank for (devalued) yuan. The yuan are used to pay the wages of the workers. The dollars exchanged at the central bank are used by the central bank to buy dollar-backed assets, treasuries etc... Foxconn have now festooned their worker dormitory blocks with anti-suicide netting.
  13. On NHK news today Tepco vice president admitted this is a man made disaster that could have been protected against. Then the next news item said that a woman office worker at Fukushima had received in excess of the legal radiation dose just by working in her office. No women now allowed on site. They followed that up with an item about new problems in reactor 6.
  14. Maybe this is indicative of the increasing realisation that US trade needs to be managed. They've sold the idea that they operate in a free market. They don't. That illusion is only bought into by the US public. The US government, the banks, the Chinese all know the free trade concept is just one way. The Chinese already overtly manage their external trade to their own advantage and the currency manipulation is just one facet of it. My hope is that gradual mutually agreed changes to the way trade is managed are introduced. Otherwise we end up with sudden populist knee-jerk tariffs and at best a new cold war and at worst some kind of conflict.
  15. I'm thinking of buying a load of memory chips and other bits and pieces to sell on later. I think they will be going up in price pretty soon.
  16. And this was all because of profligate spending on public services was it? Osborne pledges end to PFI Osborne backs 61 PFI projects FFS wake up. It doesn't matter what party is in power. We would be exactly where we are now whether it was Osborne, Brown, Darling or Hannah Montana in No. 11 Edit: I spelt the name of one of my all-time heroes wrong
  17. Cuts have to be better targeted, better thought out, joined-up across departments and not, in the absence of any credible plan for growth, cause an arrest or significant slowing down of the recovery. LibCons have failed on all counts. It's a simple message really. Really very simple.
  18. Maybe Osborne would have done better. Remember all those lessons we can learn from the Irish?
  19. On the subject of the BBC best not to get too worked up. As for the cuts, they are coming. .
  20. One thing that surprised me was how little is owed to households. We see overseas borrowing as bad but there is huge pent-up domestic demand for NS&I products, particularly the index linked certs. If the ceiling was lifted on NS&I how much could that help? How much extra slack could households take up? Perhaps some of the NS&I products are structured badly - why not 10 year certs because many people simply roll their investment into the next issue anyway. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying borrowing from households would be massively significant but surely anything that prevented increasing forays into short term gilts would have to be welcomed. I guess we all know why it wouldn't happen though - the banks would stop it because of the impact on their deposits.
  21. Wonder what the next set of deficit figures will look like. Hopefully will have narrowed a bit but the timing of the public sector cuts kicking in couldn't be worse. The deficit is already holding back growth and we're about to see a lot of job losses and increased benefit spend - more borrowing to offset declining tax receipts. No signs of the private sector being in a position to take up any of the slack either. The magical growth has not happened.
  22. Actually the 35.1% owed overseas in the second link is incorrect. However there is an important point about the amount we overseas increasing rapidly over the past few years especially in 2010. I see Osborne's confusion now. He jumped the gun - we're not like Portugal and Greece yet. Poor thing. It's all jumbled up in his head - maybe his friends dropped him on it too many times.
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