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Posts posted by Rave

  1. 19 minutes ago, honkydonkey said:

    In pretty much every W.European country there would be a big hole above the drain for the exact purpose of campervans to pour their piss buckets into it, what's stopping the council in providing one? the drains are already there, all they need to do is create access to it. These motorhomes aren't staying there for free, at least provide bins and drainage if that's what's required.


    There are two types of drains- those that go into the sewerage system, and 'storm drains' which are designed to channel rainwater directly into a watercourse or the sea without treating it in any way. I would imagine the roadside drains in a seaside town would be the latter...

    Edit: that's not to say that I'm in favour of persecuting van dwellers, indeed I came close to buying a van and clearing off for a bit myself, I'm just saying.

  2. 1 hour ago, Riedquat said:

    The continued aesthetic degradation in the name of progress is one of the worst things happening to the UK, there's something utterly messed up with people indifferent to it.

    I'm not indifferent- I think wind turbines are lovely and add interest to some otherwise fairly unremarkable bits of countryside.

    Anyway, regarding coal stations running out of coal / the UK running out of power- I daresay we are in the clear for the rest of this winter, I doubt one more cold snap will result in any brownouts. From next winter we could be in trouble though I think- Eggborough didn't win a new capacity contract and will close in September (which in reality means it shuts down in the next month or two, it's highly unlikely to be needed over the summer). We can't just import lots more power from the continent- we only have a total of 4GW of interconnectors coming in to Britain- 2GW from france, 1GW from The Netherlands, 500MW to NI and 500MW to Eire, and they've often been flat out recently.

    My feeling is that we only got away with it this time because there was a strong wind blowing throughout the cold snaps we had, and wind consistently generated 8-10GW the whole time. We came fairly close to running out of gas at one point, and often had all the remaining coal plants running at close to full capacity, which I guess was to save gas, although an old coal plant probably runs very efficiently with low ambient temperatures anyway. Without that wind our gas plants would have been close to flat out as well.

    Just for the benefit of anyone who hasn't taken an interest in this before, the Gridwatch site is very interesting and informative:


  3. 3 hours ago, adarmo said:

    Interesting article but IIRC the USA has very different rules on property debt (born out of the Great Depression) whereby an underwater property owner can literally post the keys to the bank and walk away (in the GFC they referred to this as 'Jingle Mail'). In the UK this is not an option. If you sell your property for less than the outstanding balance you're required to make up that difference or go down the road of personal insolvency.

    To play Devil's advocate - if someone were in that position what wold the scenario have to be for them to walk away from their shiny new (or a few years old) property that they're slowly but surely clearing the debt on, sell it for less than they owe and move into rented accommodation which would likely be crap and less secure, and still have the balance of the debt to clear or try to walk away from it and trash their credit ratings?

    I'm in agreement that HTB is a fricking abomination but it's smart because it's so simple and apparently quite effective in doing its job (obviously to jack up house prices). 

    It's right there in the article- some US states are Recourse, some are not, and defaults are lower in states where the lender can come after you for the outstanding balance.

    From Neverwhere's post on the previous page:

    16 In the event that the proceeds of the sale of your property (after sums due to the first standard mortgage lender – excluding any redemption penalties - have been repaid) are not enough to pay the amount repayable for the equity mortgage, then (provided you have complied with the terms of the equity mortgage) the HCA will accept the balance of the sale proceeds as full repayment of the equity mortgage. In doing this they will agree to release the charge over your property and will not take action to recover any further monies from you. Please note that the HCA (or their agent) will need to approve the sale before the charges can be released.

    So, if, to use their own sums, a buyer bought a house for £200k with a 95% mortgage from a bank, they would put down a £10k deposit of their own and borrow £190k. If they then sold the house for £150k (without having repaid any of the principal), they would lose their £10k deposit and still be on the hook for the £40k shortfall.

    If however they bought the same £200k house using Help To Buy, they would put down £10k, the bank lends £150k, and the taxpayer lends £40k. If they then sell the house for £150k they still lose their £10k, but the HCA writes off the £40k of taxpayer's money and they walk away free of any further obligation.

    At least that's how I understand it. Sorry if I'm being dim somehow.

    Edit: of course in reality the buyer will have repaid at least a small amount of the principal as I don't think you can get HTB with an IO mortgage, but the point that the non-recourse nature of the HTB part of the loan will assist the process of price discovery in a falling market stands...

  4. 11 hours ago, EmmaRoid said:

    Did @Rave ever make the move?

    No...I went and passed my truck test so that I can drive as big a van as I please, but then got cold feet. Have spent the last year drying out and trying to do more shop arbing, for which living in London is a major advantage! I'd really like to be able to buy the van without dipping into my house deposit fund, but perhaps I'm missing the point there...

  5. 1 hour ago, Mrs Bear said:

    Sorry.  The family were perfectly nice, well educated and very anxious to work rather than be dependent   on benefits (hence the mother wanting to improve her already pretty good English) but I did find it a bit galling too, when I knew how many working UK nationals would be delighted with such a flat at an 'affordable' rent. 

    This was a one off (unpaid) for me, BTW - I was asked by a mutual acquaintance to help, since I used  to teach EFL.

    A kind and noble thing to do Mrs B! No need for any justifications, especially since they sound like people keen to integrate and participate in the economy rather than people keen to sponge.

    One can be against the current system without disliking the people who have taken advantage of it to improve their own lot in life, and that of their children.

  6. Thanks for your very readable refresher on Futures :) . What led me to ask the question was this section of the Shaun Richards blog post (that I linked to originally):

    "Next is that one of the benefits of futures trading may not actually apply and h/t to @chigrl for raising the issue. Remember I said that allowing short selling was one of the key points of a futures contract? Well here are the rules of Interactive Brokers and the emphasis is mine.

    Due to the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies, clients will be unable to assume a short position including as part of a spread. The only time a short order will be allowed will be in the case of a roll trade that results in a long position. In addition, market orders will not be accepted.

    If this is in any way widespread the whole concept of a futures contract on Bitcoin may be holed below the waterline. As I pointed out earlier the ability to sell short is if not the modus operandi a big point of having a futures market. Added to that is that there are of course plenty of risks in being long Bitcoin at current levels. Are market prices supposed to bring a balance between the risk of buying and selling?"

    This is the second result when you google "bitcoin futures short position":


    ..and so, while I'm undoubtedly still being dim, I'm none the wiser as to how anyone could- at this point in time- profit from shorting bitcoin. 


  7. 2 hours ago, dgul said:

    How do you think futures contracts actually work?

    Do you think that the issuer is taking a gamble on the other side of the contract?  If the contract is long, then Cboe is fundamentally short (ie, if it goes up they have to pay out real money)?

    No.  All futures are balanced.  For every contract betting on a higher price there is a short betting on a lower price.  The issuer doesn't take any real gamble on the future price.

    The issuer makes money on the transaction fee. 

    Brokers make money on the spread, that is, a small difference in pricing comparing buying a long with a short from them.

    The current future price reflects the demand asymmetry -- the price moves until the long/short demand becomes symmetric.

    OK well that's fine, but if by definition someone has to be taking a short position, who is it? If it's not the punters, then it must be the CBOE?

    Please don't think I'm trying to be argumentative (easy to get that impression on this thread! :P ) , I'm almost certainly just being dim- but i don't get it.

  8. PCP deals are being pushed for bikes pretty much as hard as they are for cars now. The number of people using bikes for day to day transport has been in decline for many years now, albeit that scooters are more popular than they were in, say, the 90s (though I suspect people are being put off buying them now because of the likelihood of them being stolen and used for robberies). You can buy a commuter bike for a £1k deposit and £79 quid a month or similar, I think.

    The majority of bikes are (I would say) are sold as 'toys' and used purely for leisure. I reckon the state of the market is probably a pretty good leading indicator of economic confidence (or just the health of the economy in general). Sales of posh bikes absolutely went off a cliff in 2008; and an arbitrage opportunity arose when the pound tanked- lots of desirable used bikes got bought up here and exported to Europe, which kept used values quite high here for a while afterwards. It's anyone's guess whether the Brexit fallout will cause that to happen again, or whether there'll be a glut of used bikes on the market here- I'm certainly hoping for the latter, but not getting my hopes up too much!

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