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Everything posted by DrBob

  1. I predict a riot, I predict a riot I predict a riot, I predict a riot And if there's anybody left in here That doesn't want to be out there Watching the people get lairy Is not very pretty I tell thee Walking through town is quite scary And not very sensible La-ah-ah, la la lalala la Ah-ah-ah, la la lalala la
  2. Darling is the fall-guy. Brown knew the game was up so pushed harder than ever to get Blair out and get himself out of number 11.
  3. Fair enough! Looks like it will indeed be the tallest in the UK since these two towers (with residential apartments) have had their plans changed: - The Shard tower (310m) was due to start construction in 2005 - funding issues still outstanding - The Blackfriars Road Tower (170m) has been shortened by 10m and a couple of stories to speed up planning permission Record-breaking skyscrapers being built just as commercial and residential real estate prices fall. Now where have I seen that before?
  4. Just one other thing: Northern Rock has 6000 employees, many of whom would find themselves looking for jobs in an industry which isn't exactly on a recruitment drive...
  5. Not quite! It's going to be "the tallest UK building outside London".
  6. Absolutely. It's all about sentiment.
  7. I don't think you should count the Abbey 8.1% rate in with the rest - it's got a major proviso. You have to put an equal amount into one of their sh*tty 'Guaranteed Growth Plans'. Rubbish!
  8. My gut feeling is that Sainsbury's bank would be safe. It carries the name of the UK's 3rd largest supermarket chain (and a profitable one at that), and supermarkets should be less vulnerable in a recession than financial institutions. I don't know what the effect of a 'Delta Two' takeover would have on Sainsbury's risk level. The level of debt in the deal is a worry, but Delta Two are backed by Qatari oil money, which should help!
  9. I've given up on Unit Trusts for exactly this reason - it can take a week or more to buy or sell your holdings. In future, set up a share-dealing account (you can use a self-select ISA) and buy investment trusts instead. You can buy and sell them like shares, in 'real-time'! And what kind of 'business man' puts his entire £1m into a single subprime-lending building society which had put out a profit warning several months ago?
  10. http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=551229 http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=551116 http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=546967
  11. Today, for the first time, my Mum thinks the housing market is going to fall. So yes, it will! One thing, though - it's important to make it clear that a housing market 'crash' means small percentage real (and sometimes nominal) annual falls for 5 to 10 years. We'll have our work cut out in six months' time trying to persuade people that 'the crash' isn't over yet!
  12. In case those image links are no longer there in a couple of days, allow me to preserve the headlines of Saturday 15th Sept 2007 for HPC history. Here's my collage:
  13. From today's FT article about Northern Rock customers queuing outside branches (link): Own up now: who was it?
  14. The CDOs held by your pension fund should be fine. AAA-rated CDOs are already being traded at face value again (http://www.markit.com/information/affiliations/abx). The whole point of CDOs is that any losses will fall on the lower-rated tranches. Your pension fund should be fine because: (1) unlike a hedge fund, it presumably isn't leveraged, (2) it probably won't be forced to sell the CDOs early in a 'fire-sale' and (3) it presumably holds a range of other assets too. The main risks are if some of your pension fund's AAA holdings are downgraded (and the pension fund is forced to sell them quickly, possibly at knock-down price) or if your pension fund holds more of the lower-grade tranches than they are letting on (which are trading at 50-70% of face value). Of course, your pension fund might have invested lots of money into hedge funds or funds of hedge funds (which may in turn have invested in CDOs) or Northern Rock shares, in which it would lose out indirectly! You should ask them about this!
  15. Yes, the Railton/Mayall Road area was particularly vibrant in the heady days of 1981: Still, the conditions that prompted the Brixton Riots couldn't arise again, could they? What with booming oil prices, police 'stop and search' powers, high local rates of knife crime and inadequate council housing stock, 1981 was very different to now, wasn't it?
  16. Oh, and why would it matter whether the fund is dollar or sterling denominated? If you buy and sell a physical gold ETF using sterling, the currency in which the day-to-day valuation is quoted is irrelevant. Isn't it?
  17. As far as I know, these are your three sterling gold ETF options: ETF Securities physical gold (LSE: PHAU) ETF Securities gold (LSE: BULL) Lyxor Gold Bullion Securities (LSE: GBS) Cheap and easy to trade, but no good if you subscribe to the total financial meltdown scenario! I'd go for GBS and PHAU, both of which supposedly hold the physical stuff.
  18. Northern Rock's move does seem odd - increasing the rate by just 0.10% barely seems worth the bother.
  19. That's 47% of the internet-literate individuals who seek out and can be bothered to do online polls. I doubt a survey on the street would give such a high proportion. Still encouraging to see that crash mentality is going mainstream, though!
  20. And the mortgage resets begin. This hapless fellow from MSE has just seen his subprime interest rate rise by 0.85% "because of the LIBOR rate". Ouch!
  21. Don't be ashamed of protecting your savings! Hold your head up high and act supremely confident. Tell them you have friends 'high-up' in the banking world and that you've heard that certain banks might go bust. They might shake their heads at you, but secretly they'll be taking you seriously. It's worth the minor inconvenience and a couple of basis points less of interest to protect your assets. Diversifying is simple common sense, especially at a time like this.
  22. I'm ashamed to say that this news has really cheered my day! Does this make me a sick b**tard? By the way, the US Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter now stands at 151 ! We've a long way to go...
  23. The 'Jumbo' loan issue is very specific to the US market. Basically it arises because mortgages below $417,000 can be sold onto one of two large US government-founded companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These companies aren't allowed to buy mortgages above this value, so such 'Jumbo' mortgages have to be kept on the banks' books or securitised. Since the market for securitised mortgages has all but dried up, Jumbo mortgages have become difficult to come by, and are attracting interest rates of 1% above smaller mortgages. I doubt this specific situation would last. In many cases, 'Jumbo' mortgages might be safer than non-Jumbo ones.
  24. So far, the obvious mugs have been investors in certain hedge and investment funds, and those who hold shares in the affected banks. But no doubt the brunt of the losses will be borne by: - holders of private pensions (who will see the value of their pension pots fall) - recent home buyers (who will enter negative equity at the same time as lending tightens) - taxpayers (who will ultimately fund whatever BoE or government schemes are used to bail out the banks)
  25. Another fraudulent scheme to manipulate house price indices?
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