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Posts posted by dunderhead

  1. King will do HIS utmost to keep interest rates from rising. Brown has virtually promised no more boom and bust. The only way to keep HIS promise it to keep interest rates low and not let them rise.

    Most of my family believe Brown will not let house prices crash by keep rates low, and lowering them further if they start to look wobbly as in '05.

    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..

  2. And I'm sorry to say that a lot of those Brits who live there permanently are the tattooed, boozy types that won't learn the local language

    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?

  3. I was just searching google news for some car info and was VERY surprised to see reports that UK new car sales were up in May.

    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

  4. East Germany as a region is now being stripped bare of people, infrastructure and meaningful (market driven) investment capital due to this, and west Germany suffers a huge burden inflicting this crazyness of artifically raising the prices of everything in east Germany upon itself.

    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.

  5. The Chinese did not con them, the directors all but gave it away because they were probably drunk. In fact they may as well handed the Chinese a tub of vaseline and bent over, the way the Chinese acquired the designs from Rover was a shining example of how utterly incompetent they were at running the place.

    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 ;)

  6. Better at generating ideas huh?

    "In Europe seven countries account for almost 90% of biotech patents filed and granted in Europe 2004. Among these Big Biotech 7 Germany ranks first in PAs (39% EP total) and an even larger share of PGs (45% EU total). Next come with quite a spread other countries with substantial life science industries which include commercial academia.."

    Patent applicants in Germany are rewarded much better than many other countries: mentioned at the foot of this article about the 'blue LED' patent dispute in Japan

    "In the West, companies and researchers commonly sign a reward contract under which the researchers are rewarded with stock option plans, promotions or pay rises but not with a specific remuneration even if they invent an innovative technology that rakes in stupendous profits. (my italics)

    Germany is an exception to the rule. The German employee invention law provides a precise reward calculation method.."

    So if you're working in Germany and dream up a money-spinner, you apply for a patent and claim your fair share of the spoils.

    If you're working in Britain and dream up a money-spinner.. er.. "Thank you for your valuable contribution. That's what we pay you for. Now get your nose back to that grindstone and come up with another winner.. " :rolleyes:

  7. Well, something strange is happening this weekend for sure.

    This has got to be the FIRST time ever, that I have seen supermarkets running out of easter eggs the saturday before Easter.

    This is normally when I buy all my easter eggs. But this year, Tesco's in town and Waitrose all had run out. We had to go to the large out of town Tesco's, and then we only had a choice of a couple of £6 eggs with toys in.

    Very strange indeed. Anyone else have this experience?

    Maybe the shops had simply ordered fewer eggs to avoid a price war. BBC News reports how this strategy has worked in previous years

  8. 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.

  9. 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" ?

  10. If IR's drop 0.5% or more a lot of people are going to jump in and sustain the madness, and that's all that needs to happen to postpone a crash. Brown's reiteration of "no more boom or bust" yesterday also suggests this is what he's thinking - keep the party going another few years till after the election.

    Exactly the same thought crossed my mind when I heard him say that.

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