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About LVM

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  1. I've worked as an IT consultant at a number of banks, both retail and investment, and can confirm that this happens at most of them. I'm currently working at a continental European investment bank on a £40m capital project that will deliver very little business benefit. It is a box-ticking exercise for a reasonably senior individual so that he can have a shot at the board. I have monthly meetings where I challenge the dates pencilled in by a previous programme manager and explain to senior management that the next release will be crap, but it all falls on deaf ears. In fact the release in June caused the bank to be out of the FX market for three days, yet because something was delivered, even though it was an utter disaster due to lack of testing (no time!), senior managers were slapping IT on the back. These "businesses" deserve to be destroyed by the challenger banks. They are rotten.
  2. https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/44218238
  3. Newton hasn't been winning since Einstein formulated his theory of general relativity 🙂 </physics_nerdishness>
  4. In years to come, an economist who is currently in nappies will win a Nobel prize for linking phenomena like Brexit, Trump and Corbyn directly to the GFC and QE.
  5. Do you live in Crouch End by any chance? Mrs LVM was born and raised there and your description is very familiar. Even if you're not... it's not a well-known area, primarily because it doesn't appear on the tube or overground maps. New arrivals have to search it out because they can't afford where they really wanted to live. Those new arrivals support gentrification, but as they age, they stop using the trendy bars and independent shops. They have kids, then they don't go out as much and use Amazon and Ocado. The newly-expensive area is now unaffordable for the next generation of young people, so those new businesses become unsustainable and the chains move in. None of this alters the fact that you have a nice area surrounded on all sides by shitholes. Nice middle-class victims live just around the corner and will give up their iPhone X without a fight. Houses are unoccupied during the day as two wage earners are required to pay the mortgage. Easy pickings. We moved further out when we started a family. I'm still within cycling distance of work in either City or Wharf (just), but the further out you get, the more slowly the character of an area seems to change, both in terms of time and distance. Zones 1 and 2 are lost. Living in them requires too much outlay and too many compromises for very little gain. Once the chains win, you may as well be anywhere.
  6. Depends where your savings are. Popular equity funds are up 10% YTD despite poor performance during spring.
  7. I went short in mid-June. Probably time to take some profits, although going to zero isn't out of the question...
  8. But the economy isn't flatlining. Tax receipts are up. The FTSE is at an all-time high. The Q1 GDP figures will end up being revised upwards. The City is hiring again. Anecdotally, I know of banks giving 20% pay rises, and my new firm is hiring like there's no tomorrow. This stuff just doesn't happen in a "flatlining" economy.
  9. Wow, just wow. Can't believe how much bile was spewed in one page (that's as far as I got).
  10. HL allowed me to use my entire annual ISA allowance, then open a LISA and add £4k of funds. That's not supposed to be allowed, but as I merely a simple retail investor, it's on their heads.
  11. They all rattle or squeak from somewhere at some point. Modern cars are mostly fitted with "sports" (i.e. stupidly stiffly sprung and under-damped) suspension that transmits all of the road buzz and knocks from potholes straight into the (usually floppy) chassis, where it then causes bits of trim and wiring loom to come loose, screws and bolts to work free etc. Get yourself a mechanic's stethoscope, some silicone grease and a roll of foam and you'll be able to fix all of that annoying squeaking and rattling for pennies.
  12. Long-time lurker... I think that the UK has entered recession. My inbox is full of spam for sales at various large retailers, with discounts of anything up to 50%. Car dealers are openly advertising a couple of grand off a new car as a starting point for negotiation before the haggling has even begun. Even the pound shop I cycle past on my way to work has started an "everything 90p" promotion. GDP figures, being next to useless, may not show the UK entering de facto recession this year, but it certainly feels like we're there to me. Have to confess I am hunkered down purely in GBP at the moment, having sold off my foreign currency, UK equities and p2p loans a few months ago. I have no idea what's coming next now that the QE experiment has demonstrably failed. FWIW I see GBP strengthening a little further, therefore no immediate need to take positions, but the only trade I see allowing me to sleep soundly when I do will be to switch half of it into USD and a small allocation to physical gold - and a tin foil hat to go with that view!
  13. House prices fall, people who are currently renting buy, demand for rental properties falls, rents fall.
  14. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that "The Government" will be better/worse off. Government is funded by taxation, i.e. you and I. You and I will be better off after HPC, for two reason: 1. We'll be able to buy a house without saddling ourselves with a huge unrepayable debt. 2. Our tax burden will be lighter due to a decrease in spending on housing benefit. Based on income from stamp duty of £7bn and expenditure on housing benefit of £25bn.
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