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Kinky John

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Everything posted by Kinky John

  1. Used to work in a hedge fund and I never saw a single "client funds segregation" agreement that I would trust. Even having US treasuries lodged with a 3rd party was rarely good enough unless you could negotiate mutual agreement required on all movements of capital (forget it if you haven't got soverign wealth fund sizes of money to invest). Read about MF Global to see what happens when client funds are segregated and you have a lord of the universe in charge. It's no different for any bank in any country and the banks are so complex unwinding the mess is almost impossible. It's great to see Barclay's get fined for it but every investment bank should be fined a hell of a lot more than 38M for mixing of client funds (or preferably broken up). As a retail client you have less risk because the government is likely to at least bump you up the list of creditors for pay outs and make you good reasonably quickly. This is very likely because the real insiders will take their money out before the bank goes down so politicians would likely have nobody left to grease except the angry mob outside their gates.
  2. You may genuinely be a dodgy prospect due to (e.g. new job as previous poster suggested), but I've been denied credit more than once for normal broadly marketed credit products when I have stable employment (>5 years in same job) with a monthly salary in excess of the credit as well. I've clearly been flagged as using "special offers," as "special offers," instead of "potential gateway to debt servitude." If you question it they will find the mistake very quickly and probably claim some unusual element of your request (i.e. size of deposit) flumoxed their automated systems. It's not a conspiracy, just the by-product of very tough target setting by some absolute ******* upper management type combined with ruthless efficiency by some middle management type. Ultimately, although nobody will ever admit this you are abusing taster products designed to lure unsuspecting financial illiterate types into a cycle of ever expanding debt servitude that results ultimately in bankruptcy that leaves the bank well up on the deal. Frankly, you should push the point as they are probably in breach of consumer financial product marketing laws if they use debt profiling for profitability and not repayability purposes (never got that far myself; they cave instantly).
  3. Personally, I'm not a huge fan because it's just unknown territory. Since the big bang back in the 80s and the rise of the monetarist priesthood, economies have been run with a bias toward cheap money and with a tendency to decrease the cost of money (debt) whenever there is even a slight hiccup. This tends to make it far too easy for those who have made mal-investments (e.g. overpriced housing, inefficient businesses) to keep afloat. The ultimate result is that the economy seems to be becoming more and more clogged. Now we're at the zero bound and it's impossible to decrease the cost of money through the front of the interest rate curve, they have to intervene directly to cause it but there is now such a huge backlog of mal-investment that it's not going anywhere. Add to the fact that free money completely skews the incentives to invest and produce and it just seems like a bad idea all around. Better to admit that about 20% of the "growth, " that occurred over the last 20 years was fictious ponzy crap, reset it and get back to business. To be fair, it's not like I'd know what to do in their place though.... that approach would lead to civil unrest.
  4. I heard a brilliant description of this "part of europe but not in the euro effect" somewhere (can't quite remember where) ..... Sometimes it pays to be the best looking horse in the glue factory :-)
  5. It's a cliche I know ... but if your in a transaction and your not sure who the patsy is - it's you! In practice, that may not always be true but it makes for a sound investment philosophy.
  6. Well, I guess a deterioration in the job market (reducing pay, widespread layoffs) would naturally lead to a bounce in the number who are self employed. That means strengthened tax receipts from self employment will be offset against a PAYE take that is down by much more than the self employed tax receipts are up.
  7. Can't give you any actual facts because by definition this area is opaque, but I would be amazed if retail spreadbetting investors had any effect on any major markets. Maybe in some of the tiny commodity markets it may be possible, but even then very unlikely. Of course, some of the non-retail spread bets may have effects. In practice there are vast other the counter markets (OTC) between institutions and large entities such as hedge funds which are arguably more significant in setting prices than the values you see published on exchanges. This is often referred to as dark liquidity (go look it up somewhere like wikipedia). The emergence of this dark liquidity is a wonder of the laissez faire approach to regulation and is a wonderful innovation that enables large institutions to capture more information and trading profits than smaller investors. Ahhh ... we have so much to thank Greenspan for.
  8. The UK is effectively a tax haven due to it's non-domicile rules. Hence why you see the upper end of the market rushing away, but the lower end stagnating. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/apr/22/theobserver.observerbusiness1 That article is old, but it's still true only now it's worth using the UK as a tax haven if your stupid rich and the 30 grand a year non-dom fee is penuts. Can kind of see why those types stay out of the home counties and concentrate in London. It will remain this way until the global economy settles down and there aren't as many rich refugees seeking to get their ill gotten gains out of their home countries and/or the tax laws change. Since MPs generally own London homes there's not much chance of that!
  9. True ... and when you add to that houses are incredibly illiquid, hard to value, and potentially subject to significant tax/regulatory changes in the future it's a ridiculous place to put money for safety. Given all asset classes are significantly overvalued relative to consumer goods we're either going to have a collapse or we're going to have inflation. In that environment, liquidity and transparent market pricing will be useful so you can "get away, " from subsequent government actions and market segments that break down.
  10. As soon as there is the slightest scent of slowdown we'll hear the rallying call for QE3 ... that will really help! For those less well versed in the money dynamics, most of the QE money flows from UK/US to the developing world & China. Since most of these countries have either formal or informal currency pegs this translates to huge inflation. Not that the US gives a ****
  11. Most e-books can be downloaded for free if you look around ... until the pricing structures are sorted out then it's your moral obligation to buy the paperback and steal the e-book. This approach has finally seemed to work in music where the major distributors have finally allowed fixed price subscription services like napster and spotify. Yesm you don't own it but you have access to pretty much everything. Fair trade...
  12. That saxobank one is pretty comprehensive. Always liked the yahoo one myself - it's only really got the impact data and provides descriptions of most of the releases. http://biz.yahoo.com/c/e.html
  13. I can second that ... had one roll literally a month ago. Rolled onto an RPI +1% and this is after they withdrew the bonds from offer on their website.
  14. Presumably it's the quality of food, living space, status, free time and stress (not all is bad) that determines susceptibility to illness. It's pretty straightforward to see how wealth can affect access to that. I've covered a fair proportion of the wealth spectrum in my life and I got a hell of a lot more colds when I lived on 5 grand/year as a student (15 years ago granted) compared to 50 grand. And I live in London so get the tube everywhere which means I'm constantly exposed to all that ****. hardly a double blind trial, but it hardly seems like it'd need that to prove it.
  15. Having been up and down that scale I'd say that wealth is the basics of a place to live with no serious flaws (rented or bought who cares), a partner you are seriously attracted to and enough spare time to pursue some independent interests. Of course money can buy those things, but it won't give them to you without any effort, and it certainly won't guarantee them for life. Go figure....
  16. The straight answer is that no party is even vaguely aligned with sane policies such as lowering house prices because it is electoral suicide. People want their bread and circuses even when the barbarian's are at the gates. That said, a good second place would be to vote liberal democrats in the hope that it brings an ineffectual hung parliment and some sort of bond rout/currency crisis. That won't be nice, but it would be good to get it out of the way because it's gonna happen sooner or later. Of course, there is no guarantee a hung parliment would be negative if the subsequent co-alition could show some cost cutting credentials. This could wipe out a lot of your sterling assets though.
  17. I use them for that very same reason .. found them very reliable. Don't keep cash, just buy LSE listed gilts through this broker, and your "safer than houses. " (i.e. exposed to very significant soverign risk)
  18. Don't mean to be an obvious bore .. but I reckon there's little chance capital gains tax will be 18% for much longer. Hard to justify it when top rate tax is over 50%
  19. Oh man ... that made me laugh! But we have tried Keynsian economics - does that count? It's similar but it's delayed by a generation.
  20. Well .. I've never bought a house over a shop, but I have lived in one. It was an estate agent so there was a general sense of evilness permeating through the floor, not to mention the big window trapped a tonne of heat in summer and turned the flat into an oven. This isn't a problem if the window doesn't get much direct light though. The other issues I had were access and noise, since the constant too'ing and fro'ing can be a pain and if the shop rennovates it's a nightmare. I'll let somebody more knowledgeable comment on the potential structural and legal problems.
  21. 1200pcm; 1 bed flat in Hampstead. No central heating or double glazing (double glazing not allowed due to conservation area), but best place I've ever lived in London. Obviously I can afford to heat it.... and I love being on a leafy street next to loads of green. Would have moved, but know I'll get sucked up to the next level of price (around 2000pcm).
  22. Yeah .. round my way - you can just about get a garage for that.
  23. The great utopian achievement of automation has put payed to the idea of a surplus of labour. The ideal preached in the 70s that we'd all be working a 3 day week because our labour is no longer needed has been shown up for the naive absurdity it obviously was. Gains go to the owners of capital and to the elites of government not to the workers. Sharpen the guillotines; there's only one solution to this much corruption.
  24. To be realistic it's probably worth remembering that the advertised salaries are usually for more entry level positions and are often negotiated higher either at application or after a while on the job. It's definitely the case in a lot of jobs that your salary will increase after you've worked in the same business for a while even if your job doesn't change because you have learned specific and valuable skills and proved your worth. It makes sense to pay more for a known performer with specific knowledge than it does for a highly qualified but unproved candidate. That and the public sector workers are all on 200k + porsche. *edited to add extra public sector vitriol*
  25. I've come across this before in north london. I always refuse to have anything to do with holding deposits and pre-lets; lost a few this way - but it's a killer indicator of a scum agent (well ... slightly more scummy might be a more accurate way to put it).
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