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Society of fools

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  1. Appreciate the tip. Truth is I am so disgusted at the real estate bubbles blown up in half a dozen locations around the (mostly English speaking) world and the constant lies and deception from TPTB that supports them that there is a vast psychological distance between my contemplating a real estate purchase and actually doing it. I actually have a fair bit of Gold, the real metal ( don't trust ETFs) but the fact that it is presently soaring is making me more nervous than just about any other financial development out there. Gold only soars rapidly when there is something seriously wrong with the foundations of the global economy.
  2. The exact same thought has occurred to me. I have several hundred thousand pounds in British banks. And my wife also has substantial cash savings in the UK. We are now seriously considering buying a property just to potentially cover our arses. But let's take this thinking one step further. If some of the banks collapse on a very large scale in the massive recession to come, how much will your property be valued at then ? You might have saved 60% of your cash value sitting on Real Estate, but its better to keep 100%. There has to be a better way to preserve wealth than taking a leap and buying a massively over-valued tangible asset.
  3. I do remember at the time of the Skripal poisoning there was a discussion on the BBC World Service where the BBC journalist was asking a City of London financial expert if there was any way that Russia could be "punished" for its egregious behaviour. The BBC journalist suggested that one way to get the message through to Moscow might be to prohibit Russians citizens or their connected corporations from buying British real estate. The instant, almost panicky rejoinder from the financial expert was to respond "That would be just cutting off our nose to spite our face". I laughed out loud.
  4. Unfortunately no. The British ruling class have developed the present social security system over a long period of time and have no wish for it to change. And brits themselves seem to prefer it, along with never-ending HPI. When I lived in France- about 15 years ago- there was a law that said that a French banker who approved a mortgage loan for more than a three times a French worker's salary could go to prison. I think a lot of British people would react to that sort of law with horror. How could house prices ever rise if that sort of legislation was in place ?
  5. Excellent observation. The difference between the French social security system and the British system is complete night and day. I worked professionally in France for some years before moving to the United Kingdom, and if I had wished- upon completing my four year contract there- I would have had close to 12 months of government payments in France at more than 75% of my previous executive salary. I thought it was a marvellous scheme not simply because it was so generous but also because it allows French workers who are being unfairly treated by their employers to tell their bosses to go ****** themselves. British workers are much more at the mercy of their employers, especially if they have heavy debts.
  6. There was an Australian Prime Minister named Paul Keating who reputedly said " If you're living in Australia and you're not in Sydney, you're camping". This is BS as concerns Australia, any one of the big five mainland capitals + the Gold Coast present an excellent lifestyle. However, in the case of Auckland compared to the rest of New Zealand it would actually be true. As for the rest, agree totally. 20% of the NZ economy is tourism, and that's going to be shredded for 2020 and probably a chunk of 2021 as well. Real estate prices are going to diiiiiiiiiive......😄😄
  7. Hopefully nowhere near to Auckland. New Zealand has blown a property bubble in some parts of the country that is bigger than anything that could be found in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Oxford or Cambridge. A little of the froth has come off since Ardern banned foreigners from buying Kiwi real estate but it still has to come down a loooooooong way to be reasonable value.
  8. A hundred upvotes to your post Mr Dorkins. I think for many people HPI has become some sort of substitute life that compensates for all kinds of other inadequacies such as a lousy marriage, high blood sugar, social interactions that consist mainly of grunting to a neighbor and wondering how the ****** the family can ever move to another location for a better job. I've seen how people react to their house falling catastrophically in value before, back in Perth, in Western Australia about 10 years ago ( incidentally house prices in Perth have not yet recovered and are now falling even further) and it was like Margaret Mitchell described the southern plantation owners after the American Civil War. Their entire world had just fallen apart, so they were walking around like the ******ing living dead. ( Not her words of course)
  9. And I would suspect the next Winter of 2021/2022 also. These things historically speaking tend to play out slowly, with the 2007/2008 falls being an exception. I remember reading about Hurricane Katrina, and one author pointed out that the previous Hurricane to hit New Orleans from some years before was mooted to be a massive people killer but in the end did ****** all damage and killed nobody. That first hurricane, he said, killed more people through Katrina because people had the living memory that "Hurricane warnings are BS. Its going to be fine." In retrospect it was a massive missed opportunity not to let the housing market fall significantly- and I mean down 35%-45% rather than 15%- in 2007/2008, followed by a rapid bounce back. Many millions of people have now been utterly convinced that the government has it within its gift to avert House Price falls. Its simply not true.
  10. I am too. It is touching in a way just how deep the psychosis of HPI is baked into the British Psyche, as is the general notion that "the government will protect my housing investment". Nobody has felt much pain yet. Too much of the country is on a heroin drip of cash handouts and funny money. Isn't the first step to resolving a problem recognizing that there is a problem in the first place ? No pain ? Means no problem. We have created a Society of Fools.
  11. Wasn't it Einstein who said that the only two things that were truly infinite were the Universe and Human Stupidity, and that he wasn't actually sure about the Universe ?
  12. I wish the so-called Bond Vigilantes were real. So far they seem more like a Staffordshire Terrier rolling on its back presenting its soft belly to be lovingly scratched, and that seems to apply to basket case economies like Italy just as much as better credit risk countries like Australia. I am, however, watching with more interest what will be taxed here in the UK a little way down the line. I simply will not believe that you can borrow half a trillion GBP without making at least some semblance of a notion that it will be repaid. Sure, you can trash the pound, but I think the UK has historically speaking/politically speaking resisted that course more than some other countries. Australia, for example, doesn't have the slightest problem in crushing the AUD in order to save its bacon in times of trouble. I well remember the Sydney Olympics, back then, one US dollar would buy you two Aussie dollars, straight out. And Canberra embarked on this deliberate policy of smashing its own currency without the slightest trace of embarrassment. ( I expect them to do the same thing in the next 12 months as well)
  13. Why are you guys so impatient ? I don't know the UK housing market as well as you, but in past Australian recessions, house prices didn't bottom until more than 2 years after the recession started. I think you've all been spooked by the V shaped HP recovery after the recession of 2007/8, but the UK government had many more tools at its disposal then, and interest rates were far higher to start with. The government locker now is pretty well bare. I will admit that the public sentiment has not changed. I am utterly amazed at how brainwashed the British populace is about house prices, its like a form of mass psychosis. ( Australians are similar incidentally, at least in Sydney and Melbourne) and that is the greatest barrier to a HPC. But once the dam wall breaks , that psychology will take a battering. But this HPC is not going to happen overnight.
  14. I think the most telling quote I have heard reported about Trump is what he said when was landing in Air Force One in Baghdad and all the lights in the plane had to be dimmed so nobody would try and blow it out of the sky. Trump's reaction was to ask one of his advisors how much the USA had spent on Iraq related affairs, both War and Peace, since 2003, and heard the response: "$5 trillion USD" To which his response was " We spend $5 trillion USD on a country and we still have to fly in in complete darkness because they hate us so much" Trump is indeed a clown, but he knows a lousy foreign policy deal when he sees a cost benefit analysis presented in such obvious terms. GW Bush would have simply brushed that kind of thing aside as no consequence. I'll bet that Hilary would have as well.
  15. Actually, with a 20% HPC, by 2025 or so, there will be the 1 in 25 which has fallen 40-50%, from the 2017/19 highs. I would expect it to be considerably more than 1 in 25, especially in non-GBP £ terms. I get paid in a very hard currency, fortunately.
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