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dunderhead

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Everything posted by dunderhead

  1. Taking this idea further: what's to stop Gordon Brown from 'tapping-up' Vince Cable to come across to the Government benches?
  2. I understand these points of view. However I can imagine homeowners in the US expressing similar confidence.. while the Federal Reserve ratcheted-up IRs, time after time.. despite the risk that they could be turning the US housing boom into bust. Think: did the FED have any choice? If you were a Prime minister, a finance minister, a central bank governor: wouldn't you always prefer low IRs? Happy voters, all that lovely borrowing and spending, helping you get re-elected? Now put yourself in the position of hapless former Chancellor Norman Lamont - who was forced to try raising rates by a shock 2% in a desperate attempt to beat the markets. Think: did HE have any choice? Please remember who won that contest - and note how high mortgage IRs went after that..
  3. Languages may not be the chav's strong suit, but they have their own branch of economics. How many of these hard-drinking, chain-smoking Brits do you think would have upped sticks and moved to Cyprus or Spain.. if booze and fags had been the SAME price there as back home in Blighty?
  4. Read this Telegraph article about Gordon Brown's "pensions tax grab"
  5. BB, BoD: your employers must be following the motivational teachings of Dr. E. L. Kersten. Check out his 'Art of Demotivation' on www.despair.com Scroll down to the bottom of the page and watch his 'Principles of Organisational Storytelling' video.
  6. It's an old trick. The data records the number of vehicle registrations, the press release presents them as sales. All the car companies have to do is register a shed load of cars. Hey presto, the 'sales' figures are great.. regardless of whether there are any buyers or not. Check out the subtle spin in this article from autoindustry.co.uk. Slender recovery in new car sales for May 7th June 2006 The society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has recorded a small improvement in car sales for May. Overall new car sales have risen by 1.1 per cent compared to last year, buoyed by a 13.4 per cent rise in superminis. An increasing proportion of new cars are powered by diesel, the market share for such vehicles now reaching 37.9 per cent. Despite this, year to date figures reveal a fall of 4.3 per cent. Commenting on the May 2006 new car registration data, SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan said, 'In what is proving to be a competitive market, the rise in May figures reflects a small upturn in consumer confidence. We hope that easing fuel prices, a burst of better weather and a strong England performance in Germany will be reflected in new car sales in the coming weeks. 'It has been a tough year so far but the industry is proving to be resilient. More manufacturers have announced world debuts for this summer's British International Motor Show at ExCeL London, so car buyers will be able to see for themselves, just how many options there are.' The latest upturn is unlikely to reverse the long term trend. The SMMT is forecasting a fall in sales for this year of 3.7 per cent and a further fall of 1.5% for 2007. Source: SMMT
  7. So do I. I suspect someone in Government thinks the same.. how convenient it'll be to "re-establish the link between State pensions and average earnings" if average earnings are poised for a fall.
  8. Yes, that final statistic is rubbish. The figure was actually 98% according to this article from Timesonline
  9. Yep. There's a reason for those 'bargain' six-bedroomed German farmhouses advertised on the net. Large parts of the rural East are, economically speaking, dying. When wages in the East achieved parity with the West, but without the requisite high productivity, the East's fate was sealed. Imagine yourself as a West German entrepreneur, considering building a new factory or warehouse to serve the East. Do you site it in what was East Germany, and pay Western wages and taxes? Or do you go just a few more miles East, and build it in Poland or the Czech Republic? A no-brainer.
  10. Wouldn't that increase demand for property in the more desirable areas, eg the Lake District? Demand may collapse in many areas, but not all.
  11. "China’s hold on the title of low-wage manufacturing giant may be in jeopardy" according to a recent article from the Wharton business school, University of Pennsylvania, here.
  12. Tipping the playing field to suit the immigrant hordes of European electricians. Who, unhindered by stocks of obsolete red-and-black cable, are poised to ruthlessly undercut indigenous British tradesmen and steal their jobs/houses/women. Despicable.
  13. Honda produces US-spec Civics at several different plants. As Rachmann has posted, most Civics sold in the US are assembled in the US: read this article from Carpages.co.uk for more details.
  14. I won't argue that the directors were probably drunk. But they probably realised the Chinese wouldn't pay a lot for the designs. There's more than one way to 'acquire' a design.. vehicle piracy in China
  15. I came here looking for predictions of what would happen to the price of my house. Self-interest has now given way to an appreciation of the havoc HPI has wreaked on the younger generation: no longer do I look at them and think "you lucky lot". Some posts from young FTBs describing their frustrations have been truly moving.
  16. Maybe the shops had simply ordered fewer eggs to avoid a price war. BBC News reports how this strategy has worked in previous years
  17. JCB. One of the UK's largest privately-owned manufacturing companies, their yellow diggers can be seen all over the world.
  18. Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - how different countries have reacted when banks have collapsed
  19. rb, I think you've mistaken Michael Moore ("Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 911") for David Moore.
  20. Being at secondary school in the 70s, I remember having a serious classroom discussion about inflation. This would have been around 1976-77, I think. Our teacher's take on the latest inflation figures, which were umpteen%, was that it was all rather a tiresome business, because inflation was simply a measure of how much wages and salaries would 'have to' go up to compensate. Such confidence - that his generation would be insulated against the destructive effects of inflation - struck me as odd, even then. Today, the link between earnings and real inflation has been severed. Who has any confidence that their earnings will keep pace with even the 'headline' rate of inflation? Another reason why today's generation have it harder, IMO.
  21. Moisturiser or no moisturiser, the Seventies were a grim chapter in British history. Just thinking of what must have happened to those poor defenceless donkeys makes my blood boil. And did Laing's ever donate to animal charities or donkey sanctuaries ? I don't think so.
  22. If utility bills, energy costs, taxation, travel fares, etc continue to rise.. and we refuse to consider that house prices may fall.. then it's easy to make straight-line projections and say "this is the future". It's an interesting talking point, nothing more IMO. Newspapers love things like this. Does anyone else think the papers will now be considering features like "Generation gap: could you live together as a family? Read how I fared when I moved back in with my folks for a month" ?
  23. Exactly the same thought crossed my mind when I heard him say that.
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