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ClunkingFist

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About ClunkingFist

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  1. Yes indeed. Basic principles of accounting include the accruals concept (match costs to benefits) and prudence (don't recognise profit until sale is made). These, together with the going concern principle, give rise to the concept of a fixed asset: an asset providing benefits for the long term. You can revalue your fixed asset (house) in line with the market, but you can't recognise the gain as profit. It becomes a reserve; only usable to offset the depreciation you've charged on the revalued asset. But of course, the reserve is used to borrow against, effectively subverting what is a reasonable and sensible accounting principle. Proves once again that our crazy system equates debt with wealth.
  2. The same Jeff Randall who share-tipped RBS at the end of 2006? I think he described it as a "quality business"...
  3. Because many people remember the destruction of heavy industry and the feting of the yuppies; the preference for regressive taxation; and because we get regular anecdotal evidence of Tory contempt, or at best misunderstanding, for and of people not born into privilege. Next question?
  4. Agreed. I'd group politicians and regulators together. They have something in common with bankers in that they cannot conceive of giving voters/customers a less easy option of home truths/more difficult credit when there is nothing stopping them continuing to propagate an illusion of prosperity. How to stop this though? Restricting the franchise has an appeal, but would have to be done with a bill of rights. Longer parliaments. Reining in a media which promotes a dumb and greedy common denominator which focus groups obsess over. I particularly hate "voluntary codes"; it should be enshrined in law that if these don't work, and they never do, then legislation comes in pronto with no further debate. What worries me is that if we really are that stupid then there is no hope and we're on the road to dictatorship. Things like how we all apparently went gaga for a mooted Tory inheritance tax cut in 2008 and how we're all supposedly skint but Sky keeps growing, deeply bother me. We need a new political party or the Greens to develop a hard edge. I like Ed Miliband's thinking as he's tentatively floating some good ideas, but I've no confidence they'll ever develop into Labour policy let alone government. In any case we prefer our PMs posh and pretty public school types because we lap up X-Factor tosh.
  5. To the OP: it's most definitely doable if you dive in. I'm 33 and recently came back from 2 months in South America; didn't know any Spanish before going. We did two weeks of private lessons at a language school in Lima before heading out: well worth doing as you need both real world experience mixed with some proper tuition. In Peru and Bolivia, and to some extent Chile, they speak Spanish quite clearly and rather slower than your typical Spaniard. Argentina is different; bit more flamboyant and different pronunciation. But the point is, you absolutely have to immerse yourself, read all the signs, newspapers, listen to the radio, talk to people, and you'll surprise yourself with how much you learn. By the time we left I was understanding airport announcements, for example, without really noticing they were in Spanish. Obviously that's a long way from work standard but half the battle I think is having the confidence to give it a whirl and stick with it. We'd have a better country if people did vote with their feet more often. Enough people leaving, citing housing costs, might impact policy eventually. Failing that, we'd leave the country impoverished enough to hurt the greedy who remain and wonder why they have no NHS or pension.
  6. The common themes of the powder keg as listed here are self-determination (do you think what you do makes a difference) and outcomes (if you make a difference for yourself, what does that amount to). It's becoming ever more apparent that one's own effort makes little difference to outcome, at a time when the more impressionable are baited by images of success. The more interesting question is how the frustration manifests itself - as it certainly isn't doing through people voting to the left.
  7. Interesting, reminding me how little I remember of the Communist Manifesto. Problem with such a sunny-side-of-human-nature view is that it doesn't really acknowledge that we're a rapacious and insecure species. We can probably exist in the way described in a village or tribe but we cannot help but socialise into larger groups which are anonymous, through an abstract social contract. That body develops rules, and by extension high finance, to facilitate their schemes of individual self-advancement which are driven by our insecurity. The other side of sunny-side cooperation through trade is turf war and genocide! Meanwhile, eventually, we screw up the planet. But hey, we're all in together...
  8. Well, hello all. I've been an increasingly avid reader of this forum for a couple of months now and I hope to channel my anger into some constructive commentary. I returned to the UK in June after six months of travelling the world, during which I was hoping the crash would arrive. Sadly not. Having had time to think I'm convinced we are a deeply disturbed country. We are systematically screwing our under 30s and our future to protect the profligate and the already wealthy; and I'm coming to the view that it's actually democracy, in this form, which is failing us on a criminal scale. The western model relies on the electorate knowing what is best for the planet, and since this is demonstrably a forlorn hope, we need a benign, time-limited dictatorship. Only then can we challenge the insane orthodoxies which distribute rewards unaligned with morality, which encourage the herd mentality and which can no longer offer hope of any positive change. Oh, and I'm a corporate finance manager; which probably makes me part of the problem... Looking forward to the debate!
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