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About thisisthisitmaybe

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  1. 10 years down the road and Darling's eyebrows still don't match his hair.
  2. I agree. But not without a struggle. Governments will do their best to regulate and control it, like they are trying to do with the internet. But I think in the long-run, they will fail.
  3. How much of this (f-ing ridiculous) price rise is money-laundering and people trying to shift their money out of China?
  4. I agree the speed of adoption is now speeding up due to technology and in particular the fact the world is more connected than ever. What I like about crypto is the early involvement of crazy non-authoritarian types, the kind of people were were the early innovators and adopters for the internet. I also like the fact that at the moment it isn't really integrated into the wider economy - so if it crashes (as I think it will do), there is no massive knock-on affect to the rest of the economy. But overtime crypto will integrate with the internet economy- the internet is a world in its own right so it makes sense that it will develop its own forms of payment. I think we are still at the playground stage with crypto. Bitcoin has opened up the arena, but I'm not sure it will prevail in the long-run. I will probably just top up on a few crypto currencies over time, but I don't have the instinct to go all in on any one of them.
  5. Agreed. I'd make an analogy with the internet (or worldwideweb as we used to call it). Crypto is just at the beginning of it's journey. The trick is picking the right currency to back; like if you had bought £1k's worth of Amazon shares back in 1997, you will be doing very well in a few years off the back of it. Crypto seems to be experiencing regular sell-offs, whereas the internet goes through a longer boom-bust cycle. Bitcoin could end up like Yahoo or AltVista - massive at the start, but then gradually losing out to new startup currencies in the long-term. There will also be a new industry developed around Crypto, things like new types of E-Commerce stores and applications; it could be safer to invest in the latter for the more conservative investor. Fred Wilson's AVC blog is very good for covering developments in the sector from the perspective of an internet VC. I went to a Bitcoin Meetup in 2013. The young chap behind the meetup took my phone and set me up with some bitcoin; foolishly, I then forgot about the whole sector. I think that young chap is probably very well off now.
  6. Sorry, but the bankers aren't going anywhere. They are just threatening to up-sticks so they can get various legislation revoked, like the cap on bonuses. There's only one way to get rid of bankers, and it ain't pretty.
  7. Wow, that's an incredibly good commentary on the situation. Hats off. The bad news stories coming out of UK HE seem to be multiplying by the week. The size of student loan debt; reports of huge grade inflation; corrupt senior management sitting on remuneration committees to dramatically inflate their salaries; and now massive problems with the pension system. In the early 2000s, the UK had a decent HE sector. It's been trashed, innit?
  8. The reason why this time has been different is due to the power of the central banks, and corrupt political short-termism on a massive scale. It's completely messed up the usual housing cycle. But central banks are running out of options to keep the party going. My next guess is they will try some kind of long-term intergenerational mortgage. Until the central banks are attacked, and ideally dismantled, I wouldn't want to predict the timing of a HPC. But one day - and it might be when I'm on my deadbed - the mother of all HPCs is going to happen.
  9. Although I'm no fan of Carnage Carney, the can had been kicked down the road many times before his appointment. Remember "steady Eddie" George? He was responsible for reducing rates in response to the dot-com crash, and said he expected his successor to sort it out. The issue is central bank interference in the regular boom-bust cycle that is the hallmark of capitalism (as well as a huge amount of crony collusion between the central banks and the wider financial system). Until people rise up against central banks, nothing is going to change. Labour would do well to start attacking the B of E in parliament, it could be an election winner long term.
  10. When I was at uni, a very eminent professor mistakenly replied to an email by cc'ing the original mailing list. He basically implied there was too much emphasis on womens studies in the department. A contemporary, doing her PhD, and without an ounce of the professor's ability, replied, "Naughty Professor". That is how censorship works in England, through nudges and winks. The Prof since took early retirement, but continues to publish; unfortunately he can only access research funding with an emphasis on, ahem, womens studies. My sympathy for him was limited by the fact that his bookshelves were groaning under the weight of various unreadable tomes by the Frankfurt School.
  11. The problem is grade inflation is making a lot of employers weary of degrees in the first place. We look at CVs at work, everybody has a 2.1 or a first from a Russell Group university. Everybody. Even Oxford gives out 3 times as many firsts as it did 25 years ago. So harder to get degrees could be a good thing. We've started employing people at 18/19 now, which would have been unheard of five years ago. And other companies are increasing apprenticeships to try and get the top students fresh out of school rather than university. I think that could be transformative and end the higher ed cartel where people need to attend university just to get an entry-level job. In terms of economising, I think universities should have started doing that after the financial crash, rather than going on a massive spending spree. It may be too late for some of them now. It's a shame as many academics are mid career and it isn't an easy profession to transfer out of.
  12. Yep, inter-generational strife is going to be the major conflict in Western countries for the next 10, maybe 20 years. In relation to higher ed, I think the Tories are very worried about losing the youth vote, and are considering reducing tuition fees (I don't think they will abolish them) to maybe £5k a year. But that leaves a serious hole in the business models of a lot of universities, who were presuming not just £9k a year fees, but gradually increasing fees for a long time to come. The universities will try and force the government to plug the hole. The government in-turn is attacking the sector by isolating the pay of VCs. The best solution would be to return to the early 1990s model - have 25% of students to go university (meaning shutting a third of universities and/or merging them), and re-introduce polytechnics (or turn former polytechnics back into polytechnics). I think that is possible with tuition fees of around £3k a year for all involved.
  13. Recent article by a higher ed insider here. The writer argues that the boom days are over, and a crisis is around the corner. I think that crisis has already arrived. The issue is Value. Is a degree worth the money it costs? In two thirds of cases, I think the answer is no. Higher education has become a monster, and the introduction of 9k tuition fees is responsible for turning the sector into a bubble over the last five years. So the questions your pre-uni kids need to ask: a) is a degree worth it and b( if I choose to go to uni, will that uni still be in business when I'm supposed to graduate.
  14. I think Marc Faber is right when he talks about QE93. People thought the BoE should have done just one round of QE, but they've now done a number of rounds and they jump into action at the first sign of problems. As David Stockman points out, there is huge inflation in the economy in the form of asset bubbles. But as things like HPI aren't taken into account in the inflation calculations, the BoE can get away with pumping more toxic money into the economy. There will have to be the mother of all economic crashes at some point, I just have no idea when that will be.
  15. A common theme on this forum is that we are in the endgame, fall of Rome period. I find it hard to disagree. I think it is important every professional develop links outside of the UK. I've been working quite closely with Singapore and know I have an "out" for the next five years if need be.
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