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  1. OK I'm sure these may have come from places other than HPC originally...but they all appear within the first 2 pages on a google search on HPC. ZanuLabour Ponzi Brown Liar Loans (excuse lack of colours) Sub-Prime Minister Gordon Brown "Bankrupt of England" Any more?
  2. Not quite as bad a revision as I at first thought " By Timothy R. Homan Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter at an even faster pace than previously estimated as consumer spending plunged, companies cut inventories and exports sank. Gross domestic product contracted at a 6.2 percent annual pace from October through December, more than economists anticipated and the most since 1982, according to revised figures from the Commerce Department today in Washington. Consumer spending, which comprises about 70 percent of the economy, declined at the fastest pace in almost three decades. The recession is forecast to persist at least through the first half of this year as job losses mount and purchases plummet. The Obama administration's attempts to break the grip of the worst financial crisis in 70 years are unlikely to bring immediate relief as companies from General Motors Corp. to JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut payrolls. ``The economy really hit the brakes very hard in the fourth quarter,'' John Herrmann, president of Herrmann Forecasting LLC in Summit, New Jersey, said before the report. ``We're in a pretty severe, protracted recession. The economy could continue to struggle into 2010.'' GDP was projected to contract at a 5.4 percent annual pace last quarter, according to the median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Forecasts ranged from declines of 3.8 percent to 6 percent. The 2.4 percentage-point revision was almost five times as large as the average adjustment, Commerce said. The world's largest economy shrank at a 0.5 percent annual rate from July through September. The back-to-back contraction is the first since 1991. Slowdown Begins For all of 2008, the economy expanded 1.1 percent as exports and government tax rebates in the first six months helped offset the deepening slump in consumer spending that followed. Consumer spending dropped at a 4.3 percent annual rate last quarter, the most since 1980, after falling at a 3.8 percent pace the previous three months. That marks the first time purchases have dropped by more than 3 percent in consecutive quarters since record-keeping began in 1947. Americans may further reduce spending as employers slash payrolls. Companies cut 598,000 workers in January, bringing total job cuts to almost 3.6 million since the recession started in December 2007. More cutbacks are on the way. General Motors, which is seeking $16.6 billion in new federal loans, said this month it is cutting another 47,000 jobs globally. The company reported yesterday it lost $30.9 billion last year. Job Cuts JPMorgan Chase, the second-biggest U.S. bank, may cut headcount in its investment bank by as much as 2,000, Steven Black, co-head of the New York-based company's investment bank said yesterday at an investor conference. The New York-based lender also said it will eliminate 2,800 jobs at Washington Mutual through attrition, bringing to 12,000 the total number of positions lost since the bank purchased the failed thrift in September. Saks Inc. and Macy's Inc. are among retailers also cutting jobs. ``It's going to be a tough start to 2009,'' Scott Davis, chief executive officer of United Parcel Service Inc. said yesterday during a speech in Washington. ``The best case we can see out there is maybe some growth in the second half.'' Companies trimmed inventories at a $19.9 billion annual rate last quarter rather than allowing them to swell at a $6.2 billion pace as previously reported. The updated reading accounted for half of the 2.4 percentage-point reduction in growth. Investment Plunges Purchases of new equipment also plunged last quarter. Business investment dropped at a 21 percent pace, the most since 1980. Spending on equipment and software dropped at a 29 percent pace, the most since 1958. Cutbacks continue this quarter. Orders for durable goods in January fell 5.2 percent, marking a record sixth consecutive drop, Commerce said yesterday. The collapse in global trade subtracted a half percentage point from growth last quarter, compared with the 0.1 point gain projected in the advance report. The International Monetary Fund said last month the global economy will grow 0.5 percent this year, the weakest postwar pace, indicating U.S. exports are likely to remain depressed. The slump in home construction accelerated, contracting at a 22 percent pace last quarter after a 16 percent drop in the previous three months, today's report showed. Housing is likely to remain a drag on growth as Commerce figures last week showed U.S. builders broke ground in January on the fewest houses on record. Obama Initiatives Since taking office last month, President Barack Obama has focused on three initiatives -- a $787 billion stimulus bill, a bank-rescue plan and an effort to limit home foreclosures -- while warning of economic ``catastrophe'' if the government doesn't take aggressive action. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said this week the U.S. economy is in a ``severe'' contraction, and warned the recession may last into 2010 unless policy makers can stabilize the financial system. The GDP report is the second for the quarter and will be revised in March as more information becomes available.
  3. Apparently they're well capitalised, and not majorly exposed to sub-prime or dodgy investments - so what's going on? Yes they did admit some small (comparitively) losses recently, but does anyone know of anything to justify their shocking share price? Is it simply that they're being dragged down by the others, or are there some skeletons in their "wallet"? COF Market Data Currency US Dollars Share Price $10.24 Change Today -$1.87 (-15%) 52 Week High $56.05 52 Week Low $12.11 Volume 23,399,731 Shares Issued 372.85m Market Cap $3,818.03m Beta 1.68 RiskGrade 568
  4. Guardian - Link Why does a checkout assistant have a £1,230 a month mortgage and a £300,000 house? Its unfortunate that she had an accident but if this is the kind of person who is going to be supported by this scheme then it will make my blood boil! Of course, after a 2 year break from interest payments she'll probably have a £1,500 a month mortgage and a £150,000 house so I'm sure she'll be thanking her lucky stars.
  5. Sorry to hear your news. I was made redundant in August, and fortunately managed to secure an I.T. consultancy role shortly afterwards. However I can see large clouds on the horizon and I wouldn't be surprised to be made redundant again shortly after xmas.
  6. Just to back up what paulokes says - Experian / Equifax provide a score to the lender, the lender then decides what to do with it. Each lender also has access to different amounts of information depending on what they pay for from the reference agencies. Its important to know that each lender has their own sets of rules which will accept / decline / refer to underwriter depending on your circumstances. What may be an automatic decline to one lender may make you a good customer to another. In my experience being on the voters roll is pretty much mandatory to get a credit card, however for loans and mortgages they'll usually do a bit more research and realise you do actually live at the address from your CAIS records (credit card payments, loan payments etc.).
  7. Thought this was worthwhile posting on here for comment... " We are entering rthe second and more dangerous phase of this financial melt down. As corporations begin to go down the CDS and CDO's written on their debt will blow up. When they do, the holders lose massive amounts of money. They are losing often 90 cents in every dollar. Most of the institutions making these losses are also still highly leveraged. This means a small loss is enough to force them to have to raise more real cash to cover their losses and replace their capital holdings. To raise the cash they have to sell assets, call in debts or seek yet more help from the governments. Selling assets is depressing the value of those asset types on the market making all the other holders of that kind of asset a little bit poorer. Bringing them, in turn, a little closer to having to sell themselves. Calling in debts forces those from whom you call in the debts closer to bankruptcy. This is the situation with Gmac the finance arm of GM. It is virtually bankrupt and may file very soon. To stave that off, Gmac is forcing the GM dealers to whom it has loaned money to pay up. They are starting to go bust. They default on loans and round we go. Sovereign nations have been offering themselves as the backstop to every bad debt brought to them. If they don't stop NOW they will find their own debt, sovereign national debt, is down graded. This may happen to US national debt quite soon. Once that happens we are facing a Bond market dislocation. After that I won't be writing any more as there will be no point. This is NOT a liquidity crisis it is a Solvency crisis. The banks are insolvent. They know it. It is why they won't lend. The only lending they are doing is on the basis of the real cash the governments have injected. The governments have essentially created little banks inside the carcasses of the banks who are still poisoning the financial stream with all the worthless and toxic debt backed paper they refuse to admit is worthless. The banks and governments have refused to admit thee assets are worthless. Refused to force them out and to take the losses and begin to rebuild. All that is happening is the real worthlessness of the paper is leaking out slowly as one entity after another 9s poisoned and goes under. Basically the stuff is putrefying and leaking out. This isn't rocket science. Even though the bankers would like you to think it is. Imagine a group of men walking across an ice sheet. They are roped together for safety. Or as the financial world characterizes it - to spread the risk. Great in theory. But each man is carrying an anvil of debt. One man, lets call him Lehman, falls through. The ropes tighten, everybody stops still. No one can move. Lending stops. What they should do is collectively put down their anvils and let them slip down the hole Lehman made. Huge losses but the ice is safe, then hole doesn't widen. But none of them will do this. Each is convinced that one day their anvil of debt will turn to gold and they'll be rich once more. So they stand there slowly dragging each other towards the hole. As they get pulled closer together, their combined weight threatens to crash the entire ice sheet. The bad news is WE are all living on that sheet. " Linky
  8. I'm working away during the week at the moment but it seems no matter which hotel I'm staying in, or which pub/restaurant/workplace/cafe I'm visiting - people are discussing the economy, finance, government and even simple survival. The news is often on the TV screens, they're reporting on the financial crisis and people are actually sat watching it. It reminds me of the start of the film 'threads' about an equally? serious subject where everything starts slowly in the background, normal people start to show an interest in things they're usually not bothered about, and then everything snowballs. I hope things don't get as comparatively serious as that! Anybody else noticed this?
  9. Wasn't one of the reasons this happened because the customers had seen it coming and they'd withdrawn shedloads of deposits in September already?
  10. I'm not in a position to know really, but I'm fairly certain there would have been far less redundancies if it were not for the current slump. That said, maybe it was the kick in the teeth they needed to make it a profitable business again. Or maybe it's just the initial stages of getting the UK business ready to sell off.......
  11. Capital One are in the middle of outsourcing 750 operations and I.T. jobs, this should be complete by the end of the year. I am one of the casualties.
  12. An interesting article in the Evening Post today headlined "IS NOTTINGHAM FLATS BOOM OVER?". The article discusses a decision to abandon a 'luxury development' of flats and change the use to offices instead. I think we've discussed already that there are far too many apartments in the city centre, however there are still loads of developments going up and I wouldn't be surprised to see many more cancelled or amended. IS NOTTINGHAM FLATS BOOM OVER ?
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