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Everything posted by dgul

  1. A (much) older car would have just kept on going and passed its MoT because the electrics aren't anything to do with the fuelling...
  2. It is funny isn't it. 4G integration seems to be the in-thing - when a 4G modem is free (at similar monthly data costs as offered by the car companies)! I don't see how this is at all beneficial! [i suppose there are advantages in the telemetry side, but I'm not convinced (over integrated telemetry over bluetooth or even cable, say, which would be quite sufficient for most people most of the time). And what does the telemetry do for you - gets the dealer to ring you when an error turns up, rather than forcing you to pop into your local garage - seems like it is only beneficial for the car company / dealer... Anyway, the adverts all say that it is the integrated 4g which is the good thing, not the telemetry.]
  3. Sounds a bit early. I'd say it's possible for Christmas 2017. Gove as Chancellor? [Cameron has already said he's out for 2020, and there will have to be some for the new PM before the 2020 elections - I'd say at least 2 years. So the next PM really should be in no. 10 for May 2018, and that is without any mucking about in the 2nd 1/2 of this year]. Also, he doesn't need to win the EU vote to challenge DC - even a tight vote to stay in would probably make DCs position untenable. Of course, it might be Osborne in no. 10...
  4. Strange to have an article on currency and inflation in the Roman Empire without mentioning Diocletian (who reigned following the 'crisis of the 3rd century'). If you go to the British Museum there is a section on money (amusingly sponsored by some bank or another - amusing given that banks hate currency so...) - last time I went there there was a 'hands on' of currency - nice to hold the actual coins... from a Roman Aes Signatum from the republic (heavy) through to a late empire denarius.
  5. To be frank I think the UK was exceptional in its lack of government sponsored house buyer support in the years 2000-2007. But of course, their lack of oversight of the banking system during this period could be regarded as de-facto support, particularly to BTL.
  6. Nice (short) analysis in the FT: http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/02/15/2153308/ft-opening-quote-hsbc-stays-in-london/
  7. Hj - I value your input here as it is good to have a view from the coalface - thanks. But be careful with the above sentiment. For a large % of the population, when things get bad they blame the direct source of the 'badness' - in the case of strikes they blame the strikers. Every death will be blamed at 'those militant doctors that have destroyed the system', not those whose changes have brought about the strikes. This might sound like nonsense to you (with your knowledge of the impact of the proposed changes), but it is an emotional, rather than logical response. Going down the route of absolute unconditional strikes is a dangerous path (from the point of your public support).
  8. That is a useless article. 3% planning to shut in the next 3 years - how many usually shut in that time-scale? how many new ones usually open in that time-scale (not mentioned at all)? 17% have not ruled out shutting down in the next 3 years - what sort of talk is that? - which organisations plan to not shut down? - meaningless. Relying increasingly on temporary locum GP - isn't that the modern NHS? - work as a locum for increased £ This just looks like all the surveys that come from all sorts of public sector workers - they're always planning to leave and get a new job elsewhere but amazingly when the time comes they decide that actually they'll just stay anyway. That isn't to say that there isn't a problem - but this kind of research is really weak and just looks biased.
  9. Ah, of course. Tell him he's understood it perfectly and that he's clearly much cleverer/luckier than those other stupid BTL investors who are going to get shafted. Well done.
  10. The trouble with all this 'gender pay gap' stuff is that it is really divisive, even if there is actually a pay gap. Pretty much everyone I know thinks they're not paid enough. They're kind of okay, and they appreciate what they get, but they think that they should be on more money. The neutral position is/should be 'I'm not paid enough - what can I do to sort it out'... Perhaps get a new job, or negotiate, or perhaps stay still, but that is at least a decision. But as soon as you start suggesting that there are other factors this makes it someone else's fault - so you blame them rather than trying to do something about it. You get similar effects with race and religion. Now I don't want anyone to be discriminated against, but this kind of talk makes people think that they're always being discriminated against, where in reality it is largely just the way of things - as I said at the beginning everyone thinks they're not paid enough. You're much better off thinking that you're empowered to sort out your life, and be proactive to do something about it. And it isn't so bad to accept your lot and put up with things - in the understanding that it is your choice to be passive. But thinking that it is all society's fault that you're in the position you're in - that just leads to bitterness and resentment.
  11. This isn't being quite straight with the numbers. Your are quoting starting salary post graduation, then saying £43k after 9 years - but I think you must be including taking the (5 year) degree itself in that 9 years. Starting salary might be £22k, but this rises rapidly, and in the case of a GP they should be fully qualified after about 5 years post graduation and on £50k+. Specialist roles might take a bit longer, but the end pay would probably exceed that of a GP. Also remember that medics make more money than basic - average income for a GP in the UK is about £100k - and while junior doctors won't be on that, they might think that they could well be on that while still youngish (and really have a likelihood of being on that, not some 'you might get promoted to team leader' where most aren't promoted to that level in their career). The thing about medics is that it is a long process of investment, but they get the salary at the end. In comparison doing a degree + PGCE (say) might get you a salary more quickly, but the medic would overtake after a few years. I think the main problem in the UK isn't medics salaries and conditions, which are probably about right - but rather the fact that people in FIRE have massive salaries given then capability and what they offer to society - and you end up with GPs only being able to afford tiny houses. Until this is sorted out just about everyone (else) will be paid too little in the UK.
  12. It isn't like the miners at all. They were tough people who were prepared to risk everything to fight for their jobs. The doctors wouldn't survive a month without salary, and they'd never have the solidarity - plenty of doctors would just keep on working. Anyway, this is a complicated story - just how much is a doctor worth? It is easy with a painter, or mechanic or even an accountant - if you don't pay them enough they'll retrain and do something else. But doctors - they're completely wedded to their career. And, has been noted previously, some actually do it because they love being a doctor. There is one main employer in the UK (the NHS, or at least 'provider of money' in the case of independent practice), and what they are prepared to pay defines how much they're paid. Teachers are similar - it is difficult to know how much they are actually worth as there is pretty much only one employer. The story of medics going offshore is a bit of a non-story - UK medic salaries are pretty good on an international level, and I'm not sure that going abroad would give any increase in income at all, let alone something significant. There is a theory that the wage you should pay people is exactly the amount that makes everyone complain about how little they're paid, but doesn't result in anyone actually leaving. Sounds like the UK gov is trying this out. Probably best not to get ill for the next few months four years, though.
  13. Nothing really, but as always it depends how you do it. eg, tax relief on interest payments only applies to people in debt, so would be the same as helicopter money only to those in debt. But it does look different to the voters - helicopter money wouldn't be so palatable for tory voters, but reintroduction of miras might be a 'reasonable stimulus'... I do agree with this - so the question isn't so much about 'will they stimulate' but how - HTB is definitely a stimulus, but it only impacts on people currently undertaking a transaction - it is only a small % of the population (although it does support asset prices for a larger %). People's QE, on the other hand, would be quite universal. They are probably looking for a stimulus which would both support prices and increase economic activity. What about reducing vat to 5% on all house renovation work? Put primary household into a pension wrapper? etc etc. These are all much more likely than outright gifts of money - that is not so likely to be seen (without a catastrophe to bring it about). Quite - inflating assets, etc. Which is what they want.
  14. Indeed. I'd add that it couldn't be a 'writing off of debt' as that would punish the banks, and they don't want that. So I'd go with people's QE from labour (everyone gets some cash) vs tax breaks from conservatives.
  15. Or they could at least of extended the life of Harrier until F35 was ready.
  16. Oh - that's an interesting one. I could see that happening.
  17. Miras. Tax relief on any debt interest for private individuals
  18. Especially if an international recession deters foreign students - the London Russell group universities have about 1/3 of students from overseas...
  19. Indeed. 27% seems too high (for a single move anyway). We could easily get 22%-24% though.
  20. Hmm. Cyprus has low fuel duty (45%?) and similar VAT (19%), so presumably the only reason for having one of the higher fuel costs in the EU is because of transportation and retailer. Perhaps the cuts are similar in magnitude but because of high prices the % cut is lower than usual in southern med? Anyway, sounds like the retailers and transportation side is getting what is can from the consumer - absolutely free market.
  21. I do find it an interesting question. I think we have a cultural 'understanding' of what happens when you print money... But to ignore that for the minute... Consider two simple states, trying to pay for their public services. Keeping it simple for now, ignoring bonds and banks: State A uses taxation. They take 30% out of earnings, whether corporate or individual. State B uses money printing. They don't tax anyone at all. So, for state A: earnings are hit - but once you've received your earnings after tax you can save up this money for the future, and it will broadly keep it's value. So wages/profits are lower, but savings keep their value. And for state B: savings are hit. You get to keep all of your wages/profits, but because the amount of money in circulation is constantly increasing the value of money to buy things decreases - state B has inflation. So you keep all your wages, but savings loose value over time. On the other hand, because you don't want to hold money, you might be biased towards investing the money in private industry, so at least there might be wealth creation by making new and better things. (in state A you might as well just keep a casket of coins under the bed, as they'll not loose value). So, in this simplistic scenario, the only difference between taxation and printing money is whether you want to 'punish' earnings or savings, and whether you want to force people to save 'cash' or invest in productive industry. Perhaps a better solution is to use a mix. Invent an organisation responsible for managing the economy. Start with economy B. As the economy speeds up (perhaps due to an innovation from private industry because of all of the investment) you start introducing taxation to slow things down a bit. If you get into a slump decrease taxation and print the money (forcing investment while you're at it). Now, the massive difference between A and B is the size of the state vs private companies: In A the government can't increase taxes beyond a certain point, because that will suppress private industry, and ultimately that is where the new wealth creation comes from. So the size of the state is naturally suppressed to a balance point. This might even be lower than that which provides most benefit, but the state can't just grow. While in B the government can just keep on spending, presumably each progressive increase in the state is justified in some way, but they'll keep on inventing wonderful projects which will increase the size of the state relative to private industry, until you get substantial inflation. So if you can't trust your government (and you can't) then you want A, even if this lowers wages but keeps people with lots of money rich. The other problem is that as soon as you invent bonds and banks all that goes out the window.
  22. If it is a non-recourse loan then this is the important point. take a punt on a flat in London. Prices go up 40%? I get the benefit. Prices go down 40%? I walk away. No risk. The fact that they are non-recourse will encourage price growth. Until it doesn't. [i'd add that IMO part of the crazy growth in London is due to it being such an international city - there are plenty of people who can risk a 5%-10% deposit on a play that prices will go up. If prices crash the UK economy will be toast - so they just disappear out of the country, leaving the loan behind.]
  23. So - is it going to be $1.60 (HSBC) or $1.27 (Deutsche) by the end of the year - place your bets... http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-23/hsbc-and-deutsche-bank-are-33-cents-apart-on-pound-s-16-outlook-ijqrnx10
  24. See, this sort of analysis makes me cross. They're not simpletons, they are the people tasked with managing the world economies. So instead of: The markets are irrational. We would get very scared if they got out of control and then if there was a crash it would be self fulfilling. Therefore we have to intervene when markets get to bubbly, because there is always a serious risk that the bubble is due to a self-fulfilling bubble, with people chasing momentum. So, sorry, we will have to break up the party just as it gets going. we get: Markets are the best mechanism for price discovery. They are nearly perfect. If prices go up it is because of the additional value seen in growth. Anyway, we can't possibly intervene in an asset bubble, no matter what the asset, as that isn't the responsibility of the central banks. Oh, except when prices go down.
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