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TheJudge

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About TheJudge

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  1. I don't know why you are all so worried. I mean the President of the USA is an intelligent guy and I am sure he understands all this derivatives stuff. Oh shit.....
  2. How to protect yourself in a hyperinflationary depression/recession? Have a job in a countercyclical industry (something people buy or do more of when there isn't a boom). Keep your skills and CV up-to-date etc. Buy shares? Probably not. Although I notice NSI are doing one of those equity bond things where your capital is protected. Buy gold? Please no. Surely the speculative frenzy (including all the bigging up you see on this forum) makes this a dodgy option. Keep cash? Hyperinflation will destroy cash. But then cash could be very handy if you can quickly move to buy assets at a knockdown price when everyone else is either too scared or can't raise the funds. Ironically (given that house price crash is what this forum is about) having an affordable mortgage might not be so bad because the value of that debt will plummet. Aware that house prices may fall (and the one day rise again), and to avoid the risk of interest rates going up, we went for a 10-year fixed rate mortgage (I can't remember what rate, four point something, and you can make additional lump sum repayments). So in summary, if there is a hyperinflationary depression then we are all stuffed except for the banks (and their mates) who clear up.
  3. I am not getting this thread. I have done low paid work in my time, and I would do it again. I have done pot-washing in kitchens and working in call centres before they had even invented the minimum wage. Didn't occur to me to sign on. Am in a good job now, but I'm not cocky. I know that at some point work will chew me up and spit me out. Then I will do something else. Shop work, stacking shelves, or cleaning would not be a disaster. Whatever - it's a job. I know someone who has had a very serious illness recently and is now disabled and still having problems. Despite his bad luck he has fought tooth and nail to get himself back into a job. Good on him is what I say.
  4. The whole big car status symbol thing is so last century. My partner cycles to work. He is well fit (no middle aged spread) and loaded (not pissing money down the drain on some waste of money flash car). Every time I see someone try to park one of those 4X4s it is hilarious. Smashing into fences, mounting the kerb, passengers getting out to try and talk the driver into the space inch by inch (even better when they start arguing), or parking slap bang in the middle of two spaces (very stylish). I now drive a low emissions car and most of the time the petrol station is a dim and distant memory. Car tax, what car tax?
  5. As I vaguely recall from seeing a snippet on telly... He was being questions by the Commons Select Committee (or something) and he was at pains to state that the directors had not been negligent or careless in terms of the risks that they had taken. I was annoyed because he said that they had even tested their business model under the scenario of a 40% drop in house prices and it was still robust. Annoyed because wasn't that a test that was required of them by the Financial Services Authority (there was a thread on this requirement by the FSA on this forum several months ago). If so then it is a bit cheeky to try to get brownie points for a sensitivity test which they had to do as a requirement anyway. And no they could not have possibly foreseen the risk of a credit crunch, apparently. (If you want to get really picky then you could ask the question as to whether a 40% drop in house prices might result in a little bit of credit tightening and whether that might appear in the senstivity test, or not.) Watching it I thought that in his shoes your number one priority would be to protect personal/family assets from later being sued for negligence as a Director (answering questions re NR call on the Bank of England would be secondary). Then there was all the guff in the news about him blaming the BBC, and the Bank of England, and the depositers who had understandibly panicked about loosing their life savings/or having them frozen, and just about everyone else except himself for the eventual outcome. Very quick google: http://www.pwclegal.co.uk/Newsletter/artic..._corp_art6.html At present, directors owe a combination of common law and statutory duties of care to the companies for which they act. ...Whilst it is clear that the Company Law Reform Bill does not seek to completely overhaul the regime, it does seek to clarify matters for directors. Duty to promote the business for the benefit of its members as a whole- Directors should be aware, that once codified, this duty will require them to have regard (so far as reasonably practicable) to: the potential long-term consequences of their decisions; the interests of the employees of the company; etc. So far as is reasonably practicable........
  6. Please be very careful. I looked into this first half of last year. We had sold to rent and for complex reasons (rental place a nightmare, market crash clearly still some way off, partner keen to buy, found a do-er upper) we were going to buy again. I thought we could make a reasonable sized bet that house prices would fall and that way partially offset the fact that we had bought again. Think it was IG index, but whichever one it was it tracked the Halifax price index. I looked at what the Halifax index had done in the past (maximum drop in a period, minumum drop in a period, average drop in a period, etc etc etc), and then worked out the maximum I could win and or loose, and also likely scenarios. (Interestingly the Halifax index seemed to show a smaller percentage drop during the last crash than the Nationwide index did, the Nationwide index is the one I normally pay attention to.) To cut a long story short the amount I could possibly loose was truly terrifying, and you have to hand the cash over there and then. As it so happens if I had placed such a bet then the timing would have been off (understatement) as the crash still hasn't arrived. While we may all feel that current house prices are unsustainable it is not easy to say with certainty when significant nominal falls will turn up in the hpi indices (which is what you are betting on). This board can make you feel a bit over-confident that it is going to crash soon - it might, or it might not. I think it is entirely sensible to be cautious about buying a house in this type of market, and waiting might turn out to be the right decision. But spreadbetting is a different ball game - the way it was set up you were more likely to loose than gain, and the losses could be colossal, really really scary.
  7. I think the whole "improvement (while spending lots of money)" game is overcooked. In our first house we spent most of our time ripping out the so-called improvements that previous owners had made. Hardly spent any money but the place looked alot better afterwards. The next house didn't need as much doing to it. But because we maintained the original windows and replaced the gutters when we had to with like-for-like (no upvc) it was and still is the prettiest house on the street. There was a also really nice house a few doors down but they 'improved' it and turned it into a hacienda. By coincidence both houses went for sale in the same month, but despite the fact they'd spent all that money ours sold faster and for a better price.
  8. I am inclined to agree. If something has increased by 300% then it is worth 4 times the original price. Think sometimes people use 300% to refer to a factor of 3, but the wording is different: They would say that something has increased to 300% (of its original value). Feel sorry for the farmers whose fields are under water at the moment. Saw a programme about farming recently where the opinion was expressed that current government policy on funding/subsidies means landowners are better off under the system than farmers. Don't know if this is true, but wouldn't be surprised. Was quite an interesting programme (sorry have forgotten the name of it, only caught the last half) - it implied that pressures within the food industry have 'forced' farmers to make changes they would not have chosen, and that these have affected sustainability and animal welfare.
  9. If you don't believe that climate change caused by carbon emissions is practically inevitable then you will be able to offer insurance to people living on low-lying islands for cheaper than anyone who bases their assessment of this risk on the groundswell of scientific opinion. If your view of the risk is different (climate change caused by man is nonsense, only 'natural' variations have an effect) then you will be able to underwrite the risk more cheaply.
  10. I have just had an idea. Round up all the climate change deniers and ask them to underwrite the risk that the inhabitants of the Maldives (and any other low-lying islands/coastal regions) will have to be rehoused if sea levels rise. (It's called put your money where your mouth is.) If they believe the science is all hokum then in theory they would be underwriting this risk at no risk to themselves, and could therefore offer this insurance quite cheaply. They may in theory profit from this arrangement (underwriting risk that doesn't exist) but would have to provide some proof that they have sufficient and suitable assets in place to cover the risk. The inhabitants of the low-lying islands on the other hand would be able to buy cheap insurance, which is better than no insurance. Any volunteers?
  11. This is very, very sad. Laughing at someone elses misfortune- maybe someone will laugh at you some day? Maybe they already are? Errr....the fact remains that there will be no crash. Keep looking at *that* graph- it won't come down. True there are some people who make bad judgements- like the 000's of you lot who even now (after *years* of waiting and paying money down the drain) think there will be a crash. The world has changed- the UK has changed. There are millions more who are making BTL pay. They will continue to do so (unless interest rates hit the roof 12%+?). Want some friendly advice- stop spending money on cr@p you are *told* to buy- sell your *rip-off* mobile phones... unsubscribe from *Sky* and Broadband tighten your belts, get a mortgage and get on that property ladder. I can't believe you folks waste your time on this forum when it is blatantly obvious that there isn't going to be a crash (I have returned to have a look at this forum having not been on here for a year). Do you ever think who may be controlling this forum? Think about it. Do you think they have a vested interest in keeping some people off the property ladder? Why do they do it? For free...or not? Do you think they own a house? Do you think they rent out houses? I'll come back in a year and see if you have worked that one out? Sad...very sad....
  12. Folks, I have just come back onto this site (after about a year off). The Crash didn't happen. The Crash won't happen (unless interest rates hit 10%+...which just ain't gonna happen). The world...the UK... has changed. Forget looking at that graph waiting to plummet. It won't. It may wobble a bit- but house prices aren't gonna drop 50%. 'Someone' is having a laugh at your expense- one could think of several groups of 'vested interests' who would like to keep you good folks out of the market. if I were you I would get onto the housing ladder now before it's too late- if you don't there are *many*...and an increasing *many*... ready to do so in your place. Plus, the rental market is as strong (getting stronger?) than ever. If you are happy renting and being free- then fine- I think there is something to be said for that. However, most folks can afford a mortgage- if you tighten your belts (get a grip of your budgets- get rid of those 'must-have' rip-off mobiles, jack-in the broadband and Sky etc. etc.). Find a nice pad and go for it and spend your time doing something constructive rather than wasting it on here. Life is too short. Sorry if that sounds harsh- I just can't believe people are still talking of 'The Crash'. Please don't see this as a 'told you so' post- but more of an encouragement to you good folks to cut your losses and not lose out any further. Good luck to you all!
  13. In both China and USA's interest for the disparity between the dollar and yuan to unwind with minimum pain, I think. (Because if the US economy gets hit hard then this also hurts China's exports.) So some deal is cut whereby Greenspan says something to take the steam out of chinese share prices/level of speculation over there. This helps China because it reduces the need to use interest rates to stem (unsustainable?) growth (and also rising interest rates in China would put pressure on the yuan/dollar exchange rate). But 'dramatic drop' - isn't that going a bit far??? Have just read to the bottom of the article. Greenspan is publishing a book called "The Age of Turbulence". What a pr!ck.
  14. Important note: People who are crap with money are annoying. My sister had bloke living with her, he had no rent or mortgage to pay but was always 'broke'. When she sold the house they split up. Friend at Uni had a boyfriend living in her flat, she went to see him every weekend for three years, at the end of her degree he dumped her and she was absolutely devasted. Sad but true. The bottom line is you have tell them to grow up. If you let them walk all over you then you pay the price for that. Do you want to live with someone who can't stand on their own two feet? Some people do. My dad lives with a woman who is hopeless but I think it suits him (power trip). Some people love to moan about their partner but it is just a cover. Some one I know married a woman who was very materialistic (against good advice), and he would moan about her (they are now divorced). But he is actually pretty materialistic himself and it is not a coincidence that he married her. Be honest. Instead of blaming the opposite sex why don't you blame yourself for being such a pushover? Treat the other person as your equal and expect them to act like your equal, it should be a partnership. That doesn't mean you both have to contribute exactly the same amount but there should be shared responsibility. Otherwise ditch them.
  15. Lot's of scepticism on this thread. Just to give a bit of balance to the debate... We are currently restoring an old cottage doing most of the work ourselves and are looking to minimise our impact on the environment (and create a house which will be cheaper to run in years to come). Some of this does involve upfront capital investment so we will only get a net saving if we live in the house for several years. - improved roof insulation using recycled materials - have used lime mortar and plaster in doing repair works, and if we go for an extension (some similarites to new build) then we will probably carry on in the same vein - seriously looking at using a ground source heatpump which will cut energy consumption (costs about double a normal central heating system to install, but you can get a grant and then save up to 70% of heating costs), note that you do not need a large garden to do this - down the line we may go for a wind turbine, but the upfront capital costs are quite scary so we'd have to be really committed to staying put. The wind turbine combined with the ground source heatpump means our net energy consumption would be very low (some people nearby have done something similar so we are going to get some advice from them) - my partner cycles to work which keeps him fit (yes he does shave, and no he doesn't wear a beard) - I do have a car, but have chosen a very efficient one (pleased that I will now be paying even less car tax) Some of this energy efficiency stuff is new technology for the UK, but I expect it will become the norm in a few years.
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