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About james.cole

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  1. From some of my readings on the economic blogs today, there are rumors that China is offering the capital investment in the newly nationalized Argentinian oil company. No doubt China has all the capital needed to keep this a going concern and expand it's development going forward. If so, this is another big win for China. Seriously, in this world it pays to be a large manufacturer with a huge budget surplus and enormous FX reserves. If you were Argentina in the year 2012, who would you want most as an allied nation and business partner. Bankrupt Spain, heading for insolvency and default along with social unrest due to mass unemployment and austerity with a very sick EU standing behind them, or China? The USA is moving aggressively in the Far East to strengthen it's military position and forces. China is the declared target of this military build up and shifting of resources from the Mid East to the Far East. This Argentinian deal, if true, shows that the USA is choosing military force to try and counter an economic powerhouse, flush with FX and flush with trade surpluses. Everywhere you look today you see more and more military tension moving into the realm of economic competition. The USA clearly can't compete with China in industry, China moves to cement allies like Argentina by using economic strength. Tensions are on the rise, all it would take is for China to decide to back Iran's independence against NATO and Israeli threats and the world could be heading for serious trouble. Argentina, if cut off from European trade and put under sanctions, will run to China and Russia for help. And nobody can more easily afford that help that cash rich China.
  2. A really excellent post and a good summation of what fakes these institutes like CATO are. They claim to be independent thinkers yet are just apologists for the elite oligarcy of corporate and military interests. The whole city of Washington DC is chock full of institutes that carry the ball for an elite neo-liberal and neo-con agenda.
  3. It's a way for Iran to put the best face on it. Why not embargo the UK/France? Beat them to the punch and all! Does it matter? Maybe, Saudi Arabia is always saying how they can cover any shortfalls, well now they can step up and do it. NATO has secured Iraqi production and now Libyan production. This move is either a prelude to a war which secures Iranian oil or it is an opening for China to step in an seriously back Iran. Where I Chinese, I would say "Step in with 100% backing of Iran". With NATO roaming the world attacking at will, China would be mad not to call NATO's hand on Iran sooner rather than later. As for Russia, they have caved in to NATO at every step for years now. Somehow the west has been ably to bully Russia on Iran as well. Like the failure to deliver S-300 anti aircraft missiles under contract. NATO complained and Russia backed down. As for oil, the tensions can cause price rises, even if the supply remains constant. After all, markets work on sentiment, and any fears about Iran's status as a major producer going forward will spike prices. On a side note, a major US military figure was on American CNN today and he threw cold water on any US attack on Iran. He also said USA was pushing Israel not to attack either. If this general is to be believed, the US administration has deep reservations about plowing into Iran with military attacks. I can only conclude that Iran has more defense ability than most people realize ,or more backing from Russia and China than we know of, or they already hold several nuclear weapons. After all, it is 2012, once you got the enriched material, making a bomb is easy. NK has done it, Pakistan has done it and I would argue Iran is better equipped and more modern of a power than wither of those two.
  4. Brilliant video. Can't think why I am just catching this post of yours now, but better late than never. Of course something had to be driving the insane price increases, and it was to a large degree liar loans. My simple question is though "How do these 30K per year blokes ever manage to make their mortgage payments once they got the liars loan?" A pay package quite simply can only be divided so many ways and to keep up a 230K mortgage with interest must have bee a feat. Why didn't prices collapse due to people being unable to keep paying their mortgages.
  5. One of my daughter's close friends is a young "Project Manager" at RBS he went there from UBS several years ago. Straight out of University he was hired as an investment banker by UBS then secured a higher paying position at RBS. All this took place between 2005 and the present. He is 28 now and owns a condo flat near his work and two farms one near the city he works in and another in America near where he grew up. The farm in the UK is where he keeps his horses for dressage competitions. He admits to being rather rich and bonus season the last three years has been very good to him. Now, I do not begrudge anyone their due, but the fact that RBS is insolvent and a ward of the state while it hands out money to it's employees like there is no tomorrow at a time when average people are entering income declines, unemployment, benefits cuts and plenty more economic pain etc. etc. just seems unjust. But of course free market capitalism is not about just distribution of incomes, it is about who can grab the most. And the bankers are grabbing fortunes even as their institutions are insolvent and rely on taxpayer support to even exist. Banking is one good profession to be in. Frankly, I hope lots of these greedy useless, feckless buggers lose their jobs!
  6. This is so true and often overlooked. The degree to which government spending flows into the private sector via contracting is massive. A good deal of private enterprise feeds off the government. Especially true in the defense sphere. It should be clear to all that Britain's government spending had been a major driver of the economy both in direct employment and private sector contractors. The absolute need to control government spending will push employment further down, with the hopes that eventually lower government spending will all MORE private sector spending. The process could involve a major depression in Britain before the hoped for revival of private sector economic activity. But clearly LESS money in government hands ought to leave more money for private sector growth. Yet the world competition is red hot and it will be no simple matter for British industry to out compete Asian manufacturers and high tech service providers. Government spending, education spending and health care spending seem to be the major domestic economic activities in both Britain and the USA.
  7. UBS must be saved by the Swiss taxpayer. Priceless! And the arguments as to why the Swiss taxpayer should gladly come up with the cash to rescue the UBS bonus pool is compelling argument. The USA set the standard with the great AIG / Goldman CDS bailout deal that ensured AIG and Goldman bonus pools came through with large bonus payouts to the failed capitalists employed at these institutions. The US model obviously is being used in the UBS case. The TBTF banks have political power and use this to compel taxpayers to underwrite the banker's failed business models. A sorry state of affairs, but the average person refuses to demand change and demand their political representatives operate in the people's interests, so they deserve to be ripped off by the banks and their bought and paid for political hacks!
  8. Been reading for several years from here in the USA. As a frequent visitor to the UK over the last few decades I have always been interested in the UK's economy and housing situation. I find a lot of good posts on both subjects and by registering I hope to be able to take part in the discussions from here on in. Must say I saw the housing boom first hand in 2005-6 during a long stay in the UK, I felt the boom was going to burst. But I had no idea the first blow would fall in Ireland and the UK is still waiting for a similar house price crash.
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