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Everything posted by frankvw

  1. The headline inflation rates are bullcrap anyway. Ignoring the removal of housing costs over the past couple of decades (to allow asset speculation and debt expansion), my grocery bills over the past year have ranged from 10-50% markup on everything. I was just checking my receipts recently. I buy a similar shop each week and compare a number of receipts from previous years. I mostly shop at Sainsbury's and Waitrose, some stuff at Aldi. There isn't one item equal or less than last year, about a quarter of the lower priced items such as bottled water, soups, juice, have gone up 50%! Even my favourite coffee machine capsules, that have only risen 10%, have cut the pack from 20 items to 15. These kind of food stats are not shown anywhere near the same in official figures. Factor in fuel and the imminent increases in council taxes in the pipleline, I don't think the government and BoE will be able to make folk swallow this bullcrap for much longer.
  2. My leanings are towards liberterian economics but I do think the government has some role in basic provision of human needs such as shelter, since markets can always be corrupted in the very basic survival needs in a way that is unacceptable in a first world nation. There's also automation around the corner that could throw millions into unemployment in a looming 'third' industrial revolution. I think a universal income, such as that experimented with in Finland and Sweden, will probably be necessary in a consumer driven economy, during the imminent automation. But, paradoxically against my natural feelings, I think a very basic shelter provision should be available to anyone. It isn't at the moment. It's the churches and charities that are stepping in at the moment, the government has almost completely stepped aside in the last decade, despite collecting more tax than ever before. Where's it going? Don't know but the Qataris, Malaysians, etc., will provide a target for groups like the one above, in the absence of anything else. And it will get worse since we learnt not only Northamptonshire but now Surrey (wealthiest county in the UK) has also run into emergency funding situations and emergency cessation of many services. The current government and the previous ones have sown the seeds of huge social unrest and really need to act now to fix the mess. I would compulsary purchase unoccupied office blocks, if I were the government, or at least encourage charities to do so, so as to provide some form of emergency shelter provision similar to universal income concept. Just a basic, small room with shower, toilet and bed, with strict antisocial byelaws. No person should be homeless (homelessness is huge in the UK now - it isn't just the rough sleepers but the sofa surfers, lodging with parents, sleeping in sheds, bnb's, etc.,). It has to be cheaper than giving huge sums of money in Housing benefit to buy-to-let landlords, as it is the present system. Also, this IS a full blown housing crisis. Give park homes a residential status NOW. Allow pop-up campervan and trailer parks to be given temporary residential services and status NOW, like the U.S. No political party wants to do that since it admits the problem openly and then their friends at Persimmon, Galliard, Redrow, Wimpey, and the Banks no longer have a rigged system to milk. We can dream though. Fix the tax system and housing market and I think it will be very rare for people to want to stay longterm in these basic shelters, with proper incentives to earn a wage and buy a home. It's the 21st century, we're meant to be moving on as a species but unfortunately, characters like Blair and Cameron and the people pulling their strings behind the scenes don't have the smarts to come up with anything other than 'rentier' economics, Rachmanism and money laundering.
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/07/ian-bone-idol-shard-provocateur-anarchist-protester-qatari-royals Meant to be happening today but not sure if he will join his followers as the qataris have taken him to court this morning. The media are all concentrating on his anarchist profile during his younger years and the shard itself. His bigger point is not so much the shard, other than as a symbol of the Qatari Royals. His main issue was the wholesale purchase of Stratford and surrounding areas by them and subsequent jacking up of prices in the area for blocks and blocks of unsold flats or flats used for speculation by foreign buyers while former housing association tenants were shipped off to southend or hastings. Some of those that were compulsary purchase bought received sums that would never buy a similar property anywhere in London. He has also been very vocal about the Malaysians buying up Battersea for similar motives and Chinese/Singaporeans in Croydon and west london. Including Grenfell. But... like I say, the Qataris, Malaysians, etc., need not be an issue as such and most of those protestors won't march down to the Bank of England, the treasury or camp out in their local council planning offices, where more of of the real damage is done that causes such a cronic 'credit-debt' driven housing crisis, provding the conditions for foreign money laundering and property speculation, delivering ready made rental-debt UK slaves as an investment return to them or hitching them with ever increasing debt levels to participate in the casino of a basic human need like shelter. Fix the festering boil that is the BoE and political system and the rest will fix itself in a functioning market.
  4. Don't think I've ever seen a market chart flatline from longterm median lines. Maybe if huge North sea oil reserves had just been discovered again or the UK government built a working Nuclear fusion reactor, instead of printing money and exponentially increasing public and private debt. But maybe "it's different this time".
  5. The last decade has been interesting to watch since the central banks have coordinated policy and colluded with each other worldwide to not provide capital much alternatives, apart from fluctuations in gold, crypto-currencies and assets (particularly property). If one of America or China breaks out of line too far with the others (maybe the EU but less so), then things do get interesting. The Chinese mis-reporting and debt situations are gaining increasing scrutiny but the US is looking volatile now. I have personally been expecting a sterling currency run or social disorder to kick in at some point in the next couple of years here in the UK, simply due to debt levels, but if the US carries on in the same vein for the rest of the year, then maybe it goes before the UK and then that becomes the black swan to expose the incredible inbalances in the UK economy. The FED doesn't have much ammo left and if it loses control now it will be interesting to see the FED's response this time. Guess we'll see over the next month whether 10yrs make a meaningful breakout from this point.
  6. Ever remember the stagflation of the 70's? When the economy was tanking and inflation and interest rates still surged? Or the big bust in the late 80's/early 90's, when the economy was on the floor and rates were quadrupled to fight currency flight? If things do turn, it doesn't matter what the economy does or what the government or BoE would prefer, they are dwarfed by the markets when sentiment turns. There is definitely a lot of commentary now, after yesterday, that markets are expecting an inflation uptick in the US now in a stagflation cycle. The UK has always been dragged along by the US economy, they are our largest trading partner and the City/Sterling has always been intimately linked with Wall Street. But, we've been here before a few times over the past decade. Interesting to keep more than an eye on at the moment.
  7. I was surprised the thread was quiet today. Quite a busy market this morning with expectations the BoE will be forced into earlier rises, possibly starting March or April, possibly more than the two 0.5% earlier signaled.
  8. And don't forget, everytime a 3 bed semi is converted into four studio flats or an HMO, or a block of new flats is built or a larger number of smaller houses, more people are added to the demand on existing services. The developers or local authorities never seem to have any burden of adding to local infrastructure or services, the local councilors, planning folk and MPs are all profiting from it and don't want to raise that question either. Since they will be living in areas with plenty of Nimby and planning restrictions, good immediate services and infrastructure, probably with state funded private provision of their own needs (fee paying school, BUPA, paid taxis, etc.,) so don't have to face the squeeze themselves. It's OK to have a privatised housing system but that is not what we have. Instead, there is a state crony sponsored ponzi scheme that uses public money to subvert market forces. And the people getting shafted by it are the ones paying for it through their own taxes for increasingly diminished returns. Economic activity in the 70's ground to a halt because of state subsidy of industry and unions ability to hold the government of the day to blackmail. In our glorious service industry 40 years later, it's the same old crap except this time it's the property and banking industry that have their tentacles wrapped around the political system with creatures like Blair and Cameron enthusiastic enablers. Just the same old crap a generation later.
  9. And you don't have to listen to your neighbours rowing/peeing/watching TV/playing grime music full blast at 2.a.m., as can be common in London flatlets.
  10. Headline doesn't make sense. For the past few years, Nothamptonshire has consistently been in the top 5 nationwide for houseprice growth, buy-to-let investment and inward EU migration. The coffers should be overflowing with new tax revenue. Unless folk flipping property and letting aren't paying much tax and the migration is mostly low-skilled, low income, using services and maybe claiming HB and income support, possibly earning below the tax threshold. Very odd, doesn't make much sense in the middle of a regional economic boom.
  11. Errrmm .... come after buy-to-let landlords to claw back unpaid tax revenue, increase council tax further on second properties and empty properties, increase council tax band rates on larger homes, go after AirBnB landlords more aggressively? But more likely, as councilors and MPs don't like to interfer in their own housing interests, increase parking restrictions and fines, increase local business rates, cut local services... rinse, lather, repeat, till Northampton resembles in a third world nation but hey! Everyone has a million pound valuation on their property!
  12. Before the Romans arrived, Britain was temperate rain forest that covered 90% of the islands here. Bloody Romans.
  13. Very pertinent to now, the impact of perceived future inflation has traditionally had a big impact on the second hand bond market prices. And since bond yields will vary for the purchaser of old bonds as the market price rises or falls in response, the government will be forced to into higher yields for new bond issues, if bond prices are rising, i.e., raising interest rates (if people think inflation will erode the future value of new bonds by significant amounts). BoE inflation targeting was a policy introduced after the last crash to appease the bond vigilantes then. If you remember, interest rates quadrupled in a very short space of time as the treasury tried to battle bond traders turning their back on the UK. Situation is complicated nowadays since effectively, the BoE money printing policies and Brown's tax attack on traditional bond holders has hit one of the biggest buyers - Pension firms (who need some spread of investment in low-yield, safe, long term investments such as government bonds). Forcing such entities into alternative, often riskier, investments. Property being one, hence one of the 'corporate' level fuses of the property market over the past couple of decades. This is also one of the big backdrop stories behind 'quantative easing'. BoE always fails in the long run. There has never been a way to beat the market decisions of millions of different investors. The level of money printing by BoE over the past decade is unprecedented in history. It isn't going to end well. Bond and currency runs always bring down inept governments and central banks in the long run.
  14. That's something I've noticed in my lifetime. 'Young' meant teens to mid twenties, when I were t'nipper. After that, buying a house and starting a family put the big '30' as the gateway to middle age, even if you might live another 50-60 years. I think people get the idea under 50 is young nowadays, even though human longevity hasn't changed much in thousands of years. I laugh when I hear certain TV and Radio presenters talking about the 'young' (including themselves) and using buzzwords millenials, X'ers, etc., when they are pushing mid thirtees. Really odd. I read that Edward Bernaise book 'Propaganda', since he is largely credited as the farther of modern advertising and PR and from whom all these highly segmented, generational descriptors originated within the advertising world and opened the door to the consumer society (in order to increase debt and sales). Of course, the neo-liberal expansion of debt probably needs these age-generational memes for people to swallow the debt expansion of the past couple of decades.
  15. And if Cornish Separatists ever got their way, bye-bye international data communication, fibre-optic and high speed internet. Canary Wharf and the city won't work quite as well after that.
  16. Just print it off and hand it to your favourite BTL entrepeneur or bloke down the pub.
  17. Chicken and egg? For instance, could London (concrete desert) survive very well without regional food, fish, water or links to deep sea ports? Does the government really encourage regional growth or even more regional autonomy? Does parliment and civil service need to be in London? When Birmingham is more central? Many other countries choose to have government function outside the capital city.
  18. As ludicrous as that sounds, it may actually not be far from the truth. That is why we always seem to get unforseen consequences from government and central bank policies. It's all based on assumptions and people are about as easy to herd as cats. Even if you get broad changes for a while, it never lasts. Now, you could say BoE inflation targeting, that switched from money supply targeting after the 1990's crash, is creating a future social and economic change right now (I personally believe that its a crony bank heist between the BoE and City but heyho, let's go with 'unitended' consequences). The Thatcher thing was a reaction to the perceived malaises of the 1960's-70's. Where aspiration, due to moribund entreperneurship and social class structures, were stagnating the performance of the UK. So now we have the same aspirational issues again, four decades later. If you are young, or fall into unexpected circumstances or maybe emmigrate to the UK without money or high-end skills, there is no point working other than low level survival. Humans don't thrive on that and it starts manifesting itself. So, earning a basic living in the black economy and having most of your day free otherwise is probably preferable to paying a BTL mortgage for someone while working 60 hours a week and commuting. If there is no hope whatsoever. Which there probably isn't for most folk. I think you will see that, maybe a remergence of hippy culture and new ageism in remote corners of Cumbria, Cornwall, North Wales. I remember in the late eightees/early ninetees, at the height of that boom and bust, lots of folk I knew took off travelling for a while or living in remote parts of the UK or Ireland. The difficulty is that a consumerist society declines, economically, very quickly if consumers aren't consuming. Now, the Daily Mail response will be 'cut benefits!' Welfare benefits are a way for government to keep some kind of social order. That's the big difference between third world economies and first world economies. No infrastructure or social provision is one of the big reasons third world nations get caught in a trap. Also, unchecked poverty and homelessness affects everyone in one way or another. Los Angeles Skid Row (city center homeless community around 12-18 thousand people, depending on time of year) has resulted in regular outbreaks now of hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis around Los Angeles county, not just skid row. And these are highly contagious in public places via touch or discarded body fluid. Not to be too graphic, if you just throw people out onto the streets, every bush and grass area becomes open sewers. It's how the black plague spread so quickly across the UK during the Great Plague. Also, why should tax payers in Cornwall or Cumbria pay for HS2, DLR, etc? That is then used to inflate house prices for bankers and foreign investors in property speculation? People aren't as stupid as policy makers seem to think, even if it's just an unconscious, general angst about the environment around them. I think you will see people drop out in increasing numbers, given these circumstances, and the Tories are pretty much handing Corbyn the next election (any change will probably better than no change for increasing numbers going forward).
  19. Don't know, He seems to be going into great details about his own circumstance. Also, they run live twitter and facebook feeds, pretty sure he would get bombarded with abuse if he was just playing devils advocate (there's always people who know your real circumstances if you are in the media spotlight and I'm pretty sure backroom bank staff are very gossipy, in general. Just look at the LBC twitter feeds of James O'Brien and Nigel Farage!
  20. Iain Dale is a pretty well known TV and radio show host. He is often on Sky and has a regular slot on CBC from the states. He once ran as a Tory MP. I quite like his shows, he is usually quite impartial and a difficult interview for politicians. Lots of callers also starting to mention that house price falls or rises will be a trap for them. Rising house prices will mean they will be unable to fund a new house purchase from the equity gain they have or, if prices fall, they may have nearly nothing left. Also complaining about renting charges in their areas, if they have to rent. Two decades of government and BoE sponsored HPI suddenly not seeming such a great thing to these 'home owners' now.
  21. oooh. Nice. Iain Dale on LBC now, saying that he is one of those who has no means to meet the interest only mortgage capital demand (in his case, 6 years away - LBC hosts earn around £250-1M per annum). Usual call from experts and callers for borrowers to be given government assistance, reduced mortgage expenses and discounted conversion to extended repayment mortgages due to 'mis-selling'. Your tax money, their fecklessness. More government and bank moral hazard. My blood is pretty much boiling after R4 Bank of England show yesterday and now the LBC show this afternoon. Enjoy!
  22. Sometimes easier just to look at an image. Supply my a***hole. The housing market IS BoE printed money and government intervention. Every time market forces started to assert gravity, more policy petrol was poured onto the fire. So now we are living in a casino of politicians making yet they will face no consequences for the misery they are inflicting on the nation.
  23. But this is what I don't get. Bank of England "Independence" (if you believe that fairy tale - funny how it coincided with the FED independence and several other central banks around the world..... ) was meant to remove political interference and produce a neutral, enhanced performance of the economy. They directly manipulate economic growth, inflation, your savings, mortgages and cash in your wallet. Everything they do affects your quality of life directly and is open to massive corruption and collusion, potentially. Yet nobody cares what they are up to right in front of your face. So, since their 1997 remit, they triggered the largest crash in economic activity since the great depression, printed billions per year with economic policy straight out of the Mugabe 101 text book of sound money, allowed the worst housing bubble in recorded history and placed future generations in eye watering debt. They utterly failed on every aspect of their remit. So why isn't Susana Reid or Kate Garraway dragging them over the hot coals each morning? Why is their no calls for their remit to be reconsidered in the face of unacceptable performance? Maybe Mike Judge was right, maybe Idiocracy wasn't set in the future.
  24. Uuugh. Just look at Carney in this Mogg-Mauling. Flickering eyes, looking down, long pauses trying to think of an answer, stuttering in the face of awkward questioning. That is the body language of someone lying. I've seen enough of it in my life to know when someone is lying and that is it. I don't think Carney would be a good poker player but I guess he seldom gets faced with aggressive questioning. The bank of England is 100% behind the housing crisis post Brown/Blair. No matter how many charts you produce that show directly how every action they have taken in the past decade (well, really, since 1997) has blighted the lives of the majority, while enriching bankers, the usual media guff you get is about iphones, avocado toast, coffee, housing supply, immigration, TOWIE, blah, blah, But the Bank of England's role? Nada. Tumble weed.
  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2fYguIX17Q&list=RDD2fYguIX17Q&t=230 The only Woody Allen film I thought was really good.
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