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thisisthisitmaybe

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Everything posted by thisisthisitmaybe

  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.
  16. My dad is working class (he grew up in East London council flat) and he never really bought into the idea that going to uni was an aspirational dream. He was more worried about things like debt. The situation is reversing. I know people who left school at 16 with basic qualifications but a good work ethic, who have done very well for themselves through learning a trade and building a business around it. I know people who went to uni, are qualified upto their eyeballs, with a mountain of debt, and nothing to show for it. As I said there is no way I would have gone unless I had scholarships, I also did the odd part-time job but I wouldn't attend under current circumstances. The golden age was probably the 90s in terms of going to uni from a working class background if you were bright enough. Lastly, looking back, I think my dad would be horrified to hear about what the "student experience" entails. It is a very hedonistic place for a lot of people, and I probably picked up some unhealthy habits like heavy drinking which I've only recently started knocking on the head. I stayed on a college campus last year on a Thursday night and students were boozing and making noise past 3am. The big difference was the girls were drinking as much as the men. Proper Ladettes. You can understand why some employers are preferring to take young people on at 18 instead!
  17. To be an academic these days undoubtedly you have to be super-dedicated, and willing to put in long hours. That's why I left after the PhD, as I don't have the work ethic (I don't think I've ever truly worked a 50 hour week, let alone a 70 hour one) and I could only see the pressures on academics ramping up, particularly in regards to research funding. My girlfriend at the time was doing a science PhD and she worked twice as hard as I did, although I did have to take it a lot more seriously in the third year when the funding was running out. One of my best friends has stayed in academia, he is a very well organised workaholic, and has done very well for himself, making Professor in his early 40s.
  18. Oxbridge is good for a number of reasons. Oxbridge degrees are highly recognised and respected, it is in good financial shape (some colleges are very wealthy indeed), and it retains excellent links with law firms/accountants/management consultancy firms, meaning it is relatively straightforward to transition from any Oxbridge degree subject into a good job ( I didn't do the traditional milkround, though, and ended up in my current field (digital consultancy) through luck more than choice). My issue with the RG is that it has over-expanded. I know a few lecturers in RG universities and they all agree that quality is going south (management encouraging them to hand out 2.1s to keep students happy, too many international students with poor English, class sizes have increased exponentially). Money that should be channeled into teaching is instead diverted into marketing the RG uni as "world-class", and paying huge salaries for VCs and toxic administrators. There are also plans at many RG unis to start new degree courses for students with lower A-level grades, this will dilute the value of the institution's degrees in employers eyes. In terms of going abroad, I agree it depends how confident your daughter is. I just struggle to see the value in UK higher education at current tuition rates unless it is Oxbridge, or something which is purely vocational with a guaranteed job at the end (which admittedly includes a lot of RG degrees, as well as non-RG institutions).
  19. It's a tough call. If she is bright, then there is no harm applying for Oxbridge. RG can be overrated. There is huge pressure inside universities to give out 2.1s now, if not firsts, and this is devaluing the system to a chronic degree. I did the whole uni thing (Oxbridge, upto phd level). I had scholarships throughout, but I wouldn't have done it otherwise, I think my dad would have killed me as he was so anti-debt. I earn ok money but if I could go back in time, I probably would have left school at 18 and learnt a trade, and then built up my own company. The top student from my old school has just joined Rolls Royce on an apprenticeship and declined going to uni altogether. If I had a daughter who really want to go to uni, I would explore non-UK universities where education is pretty much free, like in Germany or Norway. International experience is then an added bonus.
  20. Agree fully with the first para. On the second para, if we get that kind of inflation, then Interest Rates would have to shoot up, and houses would crash anyway as so many people would be in negative equity. I think we will see a 40percent to 50 percent crash in London and South East, and 20 to 30 percent reductions everywhere else (excepting places like Northern Ireland or the North East where they've had their crash). I'm guessing prices will bottom in 2023.
  21. I recommend this article on the UK higher ed bubble, written last year. The idea we have a world-class university system is laughable. I think the tide turned in the mid-2000s, when academic achievement was sacrificed on the holy alter of political correctness. It's increasingly recognised liberal arts indoctrinates students in cultural marxism, so governments going forward won't be so interested in funding future generations of lefties. I think Trump will make them the focus of his next attack.
  22. When it comes to the B of E look at what they do, not what they say. They may be talking about tightening in order to try and protect the pound. The US Fed has tightened but many people think they will loosen things up again shortly. But your analysis is spot on - the main culprit behind the global housing bubble (and numerous asset bubbles) is central bank policy over the last 15 years.
  23. Brexit is super-charging manufacturing through the depreciation of the pound.
  24. Two signs of decline: people think debt is ok and that women can be funny.
  25. Crispin Odey thinks the FED is already finishing up it's "tightening" and I'm inclined to agree. GFG (good for gold)
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