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Hmmmm

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    Looking to hook up with other like minded HPCers! PM me!

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  1. There are indeed many conspiracy type theories on why the second world war happened but it is generally agreed that the economies of many countries were not in a good way at the time, and discontent was on the rise. I do not doubt that there were parts of the establishment that would have happily chosen war over the masses seriously revolting. Countries also on the whole, do not want to overstretch themselves in peacetime by getting too far into debt, however, they are usually more than happy to pile it on if war kicks off. Hence the banks likely wouldn't have been against it and there is ample evidence to suggest they did happily fund/supply both sides of the war either directly or indirectly, gifting them healthy returns in the process. I do not doubt there were other geopolitical motives, and festering concerns from WWI and even earlier that didn't really get resolved until after the second one, but war only really happens if the populace are conditioned into it and that takes time and a coordinated will. I have trouble believing it just happened "by accident".
  2. Thanks for reading it and posting back your thoughts! For me, I liked the articulate way he managed to address the big question when it comes to governance. ie How do you balance the needs of the individual, with the needs of the group. I felt for a long time that cooperation and sacrifice of the individual, for the betterment of the group, was the way to go (so quite socialist/communist almost), but having read up on socialism and worked in large companies, I've come to the conclusion it is far too easily corrupted and it always seems to lead to things NOT being as good as they could be, but more like as bad as they can get away with. I feel that basically, things had to be more bottom up if they are really going to work for the individual, and all the main political movements whether left or right now, seem to advocate more government, more centralisation and ultimately more regulation of absolutely everything into the hands of fewer and fewer people. This I think is just human nature though, if people have power, they usually want more and this is the beauty of things being small, and more importantly, being kept small. If things eventually get corrupted, the amount of damage they can do is somewhat limited and you don't need to go too far hopefully to get away from it. It also makes any transitions much less likely to lead to revolution and heads rolling, because let's be honest, no-one really wins if fighting breaks out (no matter how easy it might seem to wipe the slate clean). At the moment, I feel no matter where I go, the evil hand of the globalists will still be coming for me, in one way or another. The author seems to think that countries and individuals are a good place to draw some lines and seems to have some decent practical tips for how the relationship between individuals and their communities, as well as countries and the world, would look in his ideal society and for me it seems to work. I think the biggest issue with what he writes, is elegantly captured in his own words (actually in the bits you quoted), which essentially equate to a much reduced ability for those with wealth or power or whatever it might be, to increase their power and reach. No wonder it's gained no traction! The other big issue, which isn't covered is that most people don't want a meritocracy, which this basically is. They want to skive off the system and when it comes to the crunch, many will choose the free lunch of socialism. Regardless of where it will likely take them eventually. The other is the timing. We all know what happened soon after this article was written. The similarities for me are striking and I feel we are being manipulated towards war again, by the same combination of factors that prevailed then. Namely that the economic situation has become untenable in many ways, the long established institutions are all rotten to the core and that the populace were getting wise to this and had had enough, and unless they were given a pretty large distraction that would help those in power do a reset of sorts, then their hold on power would soon be gone. As ever, the people are too stupid to realise that their masters are the true enemy and will happily go along with whatever propagandised narrative that's thrown at them. The problem with backing the establishment into a corner, is that they will usually overreact and whether or not we are genuinely being led into war as a deliberate act, many of those in power seem not to even be hiding the fact they want war any more. This also has nothing to do with Trump, it's been something that I feel has been planned for a long time, although I'm only seeing an urgency to put it into action recently. The whole fake news thing also couldn't have come at a more opportune time for those in power. Accountability was turning into a massive joke anyway, and those who had their eyes open would long have realised that on the topics that really matter, the MSM was not to be trusted. On lesser matters, they would happily do their jobs and gain that much needed credibility, but when it came to war, or subversion of democracy, or anything where a lot of money was involved, they were happy to wave those through unquestioned, even ferociously attacking any dissent. Advocates of free speech my ar*e! Anyway, here at last was an ideology I felt I could sand behind. I have to admit, (like you?) I can't see how we could move anything like this forward, but for what it's worth, I forwarded this essay to my local councillor (Lib Dem) and noted that there are a lot of people who would go along with this, if there was someone who dared to hold up this particular banner.
  3. You're right!? Maybe it was a glitch or something but I managed to see the whole thing yesterday... Signing up does let you see one article a month free though so I recommend it, but I suspect most won't bother! Thanks for the heads up!
  4. I can't remember the last time I posted anything here, but thought I'd share this as it was one of the most intriguing things I'd read in a very long time. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-kingdom/1933-01-01/prospect-british-liberalism The link kind of gives it away, but if you can read it without seeing the original publication date, then I think you can see why it left such an impression on me. It could have been written yesterday. It is also the first time I think I have read something I can genuinely get behind, that resonated with me so strongly. I never felt I could get behind any political figure, as they just didn't want what I wanted. Worse, I'm not sure I could have articulated what I wanted properly if I tried. This essay is that piece I could never hope to write. If this is what a truly liberal leader can bring to the country, then they will have my unwavering support. I can but dream...
  5. Lot's of lurking, very occasional posting, until I gave up caring about this s**t a few years back and stopped visiting this site (still kept an eye on Rightmove though and was on here again just before the '16 stamp duty change), it's done wonders for my sanity ;), but recent moves have got me looking at houses seriously again (and got me back on here, sigh). I'm looking in Oxford and for the last 6 months at least it seems, the market is dead. Anything nice used to shift almost immediately and would be bid up by developers. Some solid properties needing redevelopment, that would have lasted all of a few days on the market a year ago, are languishing with reductions. A couple of the properties I saw recently were still overpriced, but were on my radar and after they disappeared from Rightmove, I enquired about them. One went on to the rental market with the original owner and is still not let a few months later and the other got an unannounced reduction and is now waiting for a buyer that needs to sell theirs to pay for it, but it won't be for a while apparently so they took it off the market for now. This is literally unheard of in Oxford! The nice north part as well!!! I don't usually bother, as it depresses me, but went here https://www.hometrack.com/uk/insight/uk-cities-house-price-index/ and here (I selected Feb 16-17), March numbers have just come in but due to stamp duty changes mentioned above, volume is insane in March '16 and distorts the view so I chose Feb http://www.home.co.uk/guides/house_prices_report.htm?location=oxford&startmonth=02&startyear=2016&endmonth=02&endyear=2017 March 15-17 shows clearly that the drop in volume is here to stay, but prices are basically flat for 2 years (apart from with detached houses). http://www.home.co.uk/guides/house_prices_report.htm?location=oxford&startmonth=03&startyear=2015&endmonth=03&endyear=2017 Will hold out for a bit longer, but I think our time may be coming!
  6. Not sure why this was posted, but this is not even in Japan. It's a VW factory where you collect your new car...
  7. I couldn't agree more but since Keynesian views came to rule the roost, this has been the unfortunate reality. Their whole model is based on the assumption that governments will run a deficit. It only makes it ok in the end because the imposed inflation (that they also assume is required for investment) will "ensure" constant growth. Therefore "ensuring" that the next generation is richer than the last, and will pay for it. I naively thought that if things get rocky in an economy, things could just contract a little and we would be done with it, but that is not and never has been the case, since it breaks the whole economic model for Keynesians. It's all just a massive pyramid, as long as you keep expanding, everyone's a winner! Of course, it is always those closest to the source of the funny money who benefit and the general populace who get screwed... so maybe everyones' not a winner... There was a time when even American presidents espoused the view that the foundations of money should be sound and that future generations should never be burdened with the debt of previous generations. It seems obvious, but unfortunately, the exact opposite has been designed into the system and is now so deeply ingrained that it will probably take nothing short of world war III to change. Let's hope the world has enough sense to find another way.
  8. Everyone's got to do what they have to do, but if you think the crash isn't coming, then think again. They said it couldn't happen in Japan, then the US, then Europe, then the UK, then the SE. Frankly, the only place where house prices are still rising is London and I haven't checked recently, but that's probably not doing that "well" any more either. The UK has set itself up in a very precarious situation. It has done everything it can to prop up the market and it's pretty much run out of things it can do. Since everyone's default assumption is that house prices can't fall in the longer term, this has also influenced peoples behaviour. What I'm basically saying is that houses are considered an investment, when people start to cotton on that it isn't, there will be a mad rush to get out. The tide has almost fully turned, pretty much every major prediction of future house prices shows no growth or a drop. I'm going to stick my neck out and say I feel the next few months will be the real turning point. The end of the Olympics and no spring bounce will probably ensure that this year will be the end of house price rises in London, which have been masking massive falls elsewhere in the country. Once the national average starts to go seriously negative, there is no stopping it then. I suppose we'll find out soon enough...
  9. Hmmmm

    Oxford

    I am in almost exactly the same situation as you and frankly, you have come this far, don't risk it now. Look at the trends, Prices are falling everywhere now and the tide might be slow to turn but it is turning. Once it gains momentum it will really become more affordable. I am renting at the moment and a nice place at that. Used to pay almost the same as you for a place near the shell station. Live a bit further away now and the money goes a lot further. Don't get suckered into it, everything is pointing to disaster in the economy and anyone who says it won't happen just aren't seeing the facts. 20 years ago they said it could never happen in Japan, then the US more recently, then Europe, Ireland and now pretty much everywhere but the South East, although frankly it's only prime London now that is holding up (and barely at that). My calculations show that prices in the bracket I am looking at are falling faster than what I would nominally be losing if combining everything into a net worth calculation (ie interest on my fairly substantial savings - rent compared to mortgage - depreciation in the value of house. At least wait it out for this year. The UK will officially enter a recession this year and then we'll get a clearer idea of where things are going.
  10. I think I possibly didn't make my position clear. Just to clarify, I think all investment in the essentials is morally objectionable. These are in my mind, food, power, healthcare and housing. Of course this is completely unenforceable, not least because these are the things that are deemed to be the best investments, as people will always need them just to survive. The thing is though, the government should recognise this and try to prevent it through legislation, not bl**dy encourage it!!! As regards the post from the person saying I think renting is morally objectionable, he is missing the point. All I am saying is that if you don't have the money, you shouldn't be allowed to borrow it and then turn a profit on something as fundamental as housing, with massive endorsement and help from the government to boot. Like I said, if you've got the money to outright buy, although I'd like you not to, I think you should be allowed to do as you please with it, as if you take this away, you're getting into very dangerous legislative territory. Frankly, this boom could never have sustained itself to the degree it did without BTL and because housing is linked to mobility and the price of everything else, it makes the whole country uncompetitive and a real turn-off for "real" companies that want to invest or set up here. Unfortunately, the banks operate on exactly this principle of borrowing money from wherever (central banks, other governments, investors) and lending it out at a higher rate. All they are doing is extending this to the lay-person in order to shield themselves from the risk and create even more of that nice inflation and debt (sorry maybe that should be profit!). All this time, investment in anything tangible that is actually going to create jobs and real value (that we can crucially export) is happening less and less. With easy money like this in asset inflation though, why would anyone bother... Oh well, I'm getting off the point now. Whatever happens we are going to get creamed. Minimising your exposure to the whole banking system is your best bet, the days of debt being cheap will come to an end soon and the less you are exposed to it the better.
  11. I'm obviously in a minority here, but I thought I'd put in my 2 pennies on the morality angle. I feel BTL is inherently a really bad idea. If you've got the money to buy a place outright, fine, do with it as you please. If you lived in it and want to rent it out later, fine, although I'd prefer you sold it. Borrowing money, so you can rent it out to make a profit... WTF! If the landlord doesn't even have the money to buy the place, all the landlord is doing is making people who could afford their house pay the landlord and the bank instead of paying the bank only to live in the same damned house! It also increases the number of people competing for the same pool of (frankly s***) houses and makes house prices go through the roof. The banks couldn't have engineered the situation better. They must have been laughing until the current crisis hit. Anybody who get's into it now though, is going to get seriously burned. If you can wait, at least wait six months to see what will happen in the wider economy. This year will probably be quite pivotal. The UK going into recession (which will happen this year) should show the UK for what it is in the eyes of investors and the country's response to that will probably be the best indicator of where you want to go next with your "investments". I personally am just looking to preserve my wealth. I think trying to do any more in this climate is too risky. Good luck
  12. OK I'm ready for a slamming! Basically, this is just me thinking aloud and just so you know, on balance I've decided not to buy. - The government don't have any for the first time in it's history. Not sure what that means though. Do they have any incentive to therefore make sure that after a crash, gold can be converted into lots of pounds? - It is considered a safe haven for all the money that has nowhere to go. If something more attractive comes along as an investment, you can bet your @rse that it's going to bomb. - It's physical so could be hard to protect and eventually to convert into cash when you need to spend it, if it does start to bomb. - More and more of it is being found. Recently saw somewhere that they could extract massive amounts from the sea (both the sea bed and even the water?!). Can't really see this making much difference in this climate though, unless they suddenly find a really easy way to extract it. But you could argue that the calculation that was done in the past didn't make it viable (ie cost of extraction, exceeded cost of sale), that margin is rapidly diminishing and if it is crossed significantly, it could all change very quickly. - There is lots of paper gold around, not really sure what that means though, but it could potentially cause issues. I'm really scraping the barrel with some of those... Anyway, I think the biggest threat as far as I'm concerned is that gold in itself has no inherent value (it's just that there has historically been a relatively finite amount of it and a very small amount at that) and that meant it could never be debased by any significant amount. It was easy to store and was accepted everywhere. The situation now though is that you can't really use gold to buy anything directly and many of the people making the decisions on how much it should be worth when converted into a currency you can actually spend, no longer own any, or don't seem too interested in owning any. There's also paper versions of it (although like I said, not sure it's any better than FIAT and might not be an issue). So basically, that all important step where you turn that gold into something you can spend is where I see the biggest potential upset. Time it wrong and it could cost you dear, but to say the truth, a lot of people on here are well ahead of the curve so as long as you keep an eye on things, I can't really see you making anything other than a gain, never mind a loss.
  13. That is true, but is much further down the line than the bit I am talking about, when "money" as we know it was first created, just as a medium of exchange. You are getting onto the fractional reserve banking bit, which is relatively speaking, a much more recent development. It's all a complete joke as far as I'm concerned, and although I say the people with the money have got more powerful, it's possibly not really true. The people with the money have always held a lot of power, but now they are also almost completely unaccountable for their actions. How depressing...
  14. Interesting thread. Here's my two pennies... I read a book recommended by someone on this forum, it was called "the mystery of banking" and you can find pdf's of it on the web. It really cleared things up for me and although it is a bit repetitive in places, it drives the point home that you can have money without debt, as originally, all it was was a medium of exchange, you just had to have enough of it at the time to pay for what you bought in full immediately. One of the major problems though, comes about when the "value" of the money is messed around with, either by inflation, devaluation of the currency, debasement or the myriad other things it is called nowadays, which are just different ways of saying someone, somewhere has just "made" a load more of it somehow. This is the bit that essentially is the root cause of most of the problems we have now, as then you need interest and inflation targets etc etc just to make sure people have the "same" PROPORTION of the money circulating in the economy, just by sticking it in the bank, as the interest makes sure your money keeps up with inflation. It's been happening for hundreds of years, causing bust after boom and never worked, but it's nothing new. Obviously, the introduction of debt that could be paid back far into the future, along with the ability to lend out money you don't even have, were always only going to make things worse, but I think the real root of the problem lies in the fact that gradually, the money printers have gained more and more power and got into a position where essentially, they can take almost limitless risks and not suffer any of the consequences. Any reasonable system can work, as long as people who make the decisions that lose people money, then have to pay for the consequences. Only then does it become self regulating and truly becomes a free market. I probably don't need to stress this, but we are about as far from a free market that we can possibly be at the moment. I've made lots of speculative comments on here, but I feel this is about as close to the "truth" of the situation as you can get. I highly recommend the book either way, this is just a brief summary concentrating on the main points.
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