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dgul

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Everything posted by dgul

  1. So important I had to say it twice. [is there something wrong with the board software or my computer?]
  2. So I see that housing associations in Wales are strongly against even the mildest suggestion that they might be public sector -- their current argument is that they shouldn't be counted as public sector for statistics purposes. I think this change by the Office of Statistics is just so that international comparisons can more readily be made -- social housing in other countries is counted as public sector. And the housing concerned was, until relatively recently, in the public sector, before being handed over in some strange way. But this is just about statistics... Why should they care so strongly about it? Perhaps it is a decent moneyspinner for those in charge -- a quick look shows the CEOs for the housing associations in Gwynedd and Ceredigion are £110k and £97k respectively. Even the CEO of the industry body that represents the HOs (sounds like a made up thing) makes at least £90k. I suppose this isn't a vast amount of money -- but it is an invented post, and surely all this could be run far more efficiently centrally (just MO)? Or perhaps it is empire stuff -- out of thin-air an empire was created, for the CEO to keep safe from harm in the public sector. Whatever -- it appears that it is vitally important that they're not considered anything at all to do with public sector. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38451242
  3. So I see that housing associations in Wales are strongly against even the mildest suggestion that they might be public sector -- their current argument is that they shouldn't be counted as public sector for statistics purposes. I think this change by the Office of Statistics is just so that international comparisons can more readily be made -- social housing in other countries is counted as public sector. And the housing concerned was, until relatively recently, in the public sector, before being handed over in some strange way. But this is just about statistics... Why should they care so strongly about it? Perhaps it is a decent moneyspinner for those in charge -- a quick look shows the CEOs for the housing associations in Gwynedd and Ceredigion are £110k and £97k respectively. Even the CEO of the industry body that represents the HOs (sounds like a made up thing) makes at least £90k. I suppose this isn't a vast amount of money -- but it is an invented post, and surely all this could be run far more efficiently centrally (just MO)? Or perhaps it is empire stuff -- out of thin-air an empire was created, for the CEO to keep safe from harm in the public sector. Whatever -- it appears that it is vitally important that they're not considered anything at all to do with public sector. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-38451242
  4. IMO the next stage is very mild interest rate rises, coupled with tax relief on interest rates - fiscal policy to take out the pain of the necessary monetary policy reset.
  5. We've spent 20 years ensuring that everyone buys on tick. Not sure what the way out is. Well, you transferred 14k around. If you'd bought on credit like everyone else it would have added £10k or so extra money to the economy -- much more potent*. *until it isn't.
  6. Hundreds of years -- gold buying programme. Last couple of decades -- extract the gold and hand it to the insiders.
  7. Because the cars float away, the garden gets filled with sewage and the inhabitants are stranded in their house for the duration of the flood. And it isn't as though there isn't room anywhere else. When I was little our house flooded every couple of years or so. When there was a flood warning we pulled up all the carpets, put then on the tables, then put everything else on top of the carpets and moved out to a relatives for a few days. Post flood it was wash out, couple of days drying then carpets back. Now that was rural, so not so much sewage in the floodwater, etc, and I don't wish it on anybody, but I don't understand how it is necessary to redecorate the whole house after flooding. Funnily enough, a few years ago they sorted out the bridge downstream which was holding back the floodwater -- my parent's house doesn't flood any more. The houses downstream of the bridge, that used to be okay, flood now instead.
  8. That's amazing. It fell down but remained otherwise completely intact. Apparently they can fall down and be pulled back up straight five times.
  9. Free bus passes cost about £1bn. Free TV licence about £500m. Cost of NHS about £100bn. So not a great amount, but not irrelevant either. I think it is madness -- give free bus passes to those who can make most use of it -- the unemployed, students, children, young families, oh, and poor pensioners. But don't just hand them out for free to what is now the most wealthy segment of society for them to use it as some sort of leisure activity. TV licence is a different thing. Get rid of it all together and let pensioners watch commercial TV is they've got no money.
  10. FTAlphaville - so free to read. (or, at least, free to register for the alphaville site, which is then free to read)
  11. Quite a nice piece on the gig economy from the FT. https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/12/12/2181219/ft-alphaville-exclusive-inside-the-gig-economy/ (FT journo gets job working as a deliveroo driver, etc)
  12. For anyone that wants to read it, Amazon will give away Kindle Unlimited for a month's trial to anyone. You can read the book online, give WICAO the amazing sum of 0.1p per page read for 'free' -- just remember to cancel your membership before the month is out (you can cancel it immediately and it'll keep going for the month anyway). Of course, WICAO would surely prefer for the book to be purchased, but I'd ask on his behalf that if you do read it on a KU-trial you leave a review in return for reading it for free.
  13. I think authors regard Kindle Unlimited as a good way to get reviews, rather than income. It can work out for an author depending on genre, but probably not for this type of specialist book.
  14. It is a complicated calculation, but it works out at around about 0.1p per page read (well, turned. And it is a 'standard' page, which is about the same as a page on a kindle).
  15. Important lesson. If you invest in anything which is completely dependent on government largess, be prepared to move quickly if that largess changes. But don't moan about it - it comes with the territory. His 'success' isn't due to smartness, or a reward for an 'altruistic sympathy for tenants'. It is due to government policy from 1994-2015. This policy has led to all sorts of imbalances in the economy, and his troubles are a trivial consequence of the important job of the imbalances being sorted out. You can't moan that tax breaks being removed are a tax increase. They're not -- they're a removal of generosity. And you really can't moan if your clever method to take everything to the absolute max to take fullest advantage of the way the rules are written comes back to bite you in the ass when the rules are changed. He might think he's smart -- but then again he might just lose it all due to these policy changes. Perhaps the other 99.99% of the population (most BTLs don't have enough properties to be really screwed over by the recent tax changes) weren't dumber than him, but smarter in that they decided not to risk it all on a punt on future government policy.
  16. I'm afraid this is probably about right. Afraid? We're going to have a slow grind which will beat up property prices up to about 2030. As has been said, this is no good for people here who want to buy a nice place to settle down and raise the kids -- they'll have left school before the prices have dipped to something reasonable. IMO we'll have years of people trying to 'time the dip', supporting the slow grind rather than a proper correction back to something sustainable.
  17. The price of housing in the UK isn't dictated by some simple 'cost of land + cost of build + profit = price of house'. Housing is priced on the availability of credit. Only. If you reduce the price/cost of land then the costs of all other elements will expand to fill the newly created space - the end price of the home will remain the same. Increase the cost of credit (interest rates go up, tax perks go down, house purchase incentives are removed, anything) then house prices will change to compensate. The problem we have in this country is that we've not introduced any counter cyclical elements to stabilise house prices. We could have had sensible interest rate policies which raised the interest rate of mortgages as housing got hotter (perhaps as an additional 'risk to the economy' premium charged to banks. Or a land value tax (effectively acting as a constant 'interest rate' factor, which wouldn't turn with as the economy turned). Or housing benefit which rose by <100% as rents increased. But no, we have had crazy policies, where we encourage speculation during the good years but encourage speculation during the bad years. Probably the worst possible mix.
  18. My guess is that at some point they'll reintroduce miras. Not sure if this is the time, though.
  19. It is worth pointing out that these blockbusters were near certain to have a +ve return and make money for their investors. The tax incentive scheme wasn't invented to help this sort of project.
  20. Hmm. That article seems okay, but misses the point at the end... I think that is absolutely wrong. The point about these particular schemes being found as avoidance is that they inhibit money to flow into the sectors which they're designed to help. Money which could be funding UK films (and, seeing as that is a bit risky, supposedly deserves the favourable tax treatment) is instead being pumped into dodgy schemes which don't really fund films (and, particularly, are only interested in the low-risk films already readily being funded). Not that films are special -- there is a much greater problem with people being encouraged to put their money into assets such as property because of favourable tax perks, discouraging investment into new product areas which could do with investment.
  21. No crash, just a long drawn out decline in real prices (relative to wages) over 20 years or so.
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