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Jake Z

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Everything posted by Jake Z

  1. Funny you should mention cars. I was amused to receive the following text message on my mobile last friday:- THIS WEEKEND ONLY ON NEW KA, FIESTA & FOCUS NO VAT & 0% FINANCE AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL EVANS HALSHAW FORD DEALER CONTACT 077XXXXXXX ...and after all the talk recently that the scrappage scheme had given the motor industry a much needed boost. Methinks all is not healthy. Plus there's also the recent reports that secondhand cars are holding their value much better than usual, because of a shortage of supply. All annectodal grist to the mill.
  2. Saw this and couldn't help thinking of the conspiracy nut goldbugs who live on HPC. If this report is to be believed, you were right all along... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8126671.stm from the BBC website AUDIT FAILS TO FIND MISSING GOLD About 15.3m Canadian dollars' worth of gold is "missing" An external audit of the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) has failed to find millions of dollars' worth of "missing" gold. Auditors Deloitte were asked in May to investigate a discrepancy between the amount of precious metals on the mint's inventory and in its actual stockpile. Deloitte concluded that the unaccounted for difference "does not appear to be an accounting error" and identified security as an area for consideration. The RCM said it was not yet clear whether any gold was actually missing. "All customer holdings and metal deposits entrusted with the Royal Canadian Mint are secure and have been fully accounted for," it said in a statement. The RCM provides storage for RCM-branded precious metals, as well as producing coins for Canada and dozens of other countries. Criminal activity? Deloitte found that there was a difference of approximately 17,500 troy ounces of gold, or 0.32% of the mint's production in the 2008 fiscal year, that was unaccounted for. It said that there was also an unaccounted-for difference related to silver. The RCM said the total amount of unreconciled precious metals was worth about 15.3m Canadian dollars (US$13.2m; £8m). It intends to file an insurance claim to cover the amount. The mint has already requested the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to assist them with the matter - a move which has prompted speculation that the mint may have been the victim of a gold heist. "You don't call in the federal police if you've got an accounting problem," said New Democrat MP Thomas Mulcair. The auditors recommended that the mint review its security, in addition to reviewing its technical operations and accounting of prior periods.
  3. They might find it difficult to claim some benefits as they own a home abroad, and the value of that "asset" would be taken into account when means testing was applied. They would probably not qualify for housing benefit either, as the local authority would quite rightly point out that they have a perfectly good house they could be living in already!!!
  4. You just wouldn't belive what *****s all the big supermarkets are to their suppliers. I was talking to a farmer before Christmas, and he told me that 5 local wholesalers were called into a meeting with one very big supermarket (you can guess which) and told they'd have make a large cash payment in the next week, or be dropped as suppliers. And I mean LARGE cash payment. One managed to bargain them DOWN to half a miliion. My guess is that the supermarket wanted to make its trading position look healthier in advance of reporting its year end results. Suppliers are also regulary informed that they'll be funding BOGOF offers by cuting their prices in half...or else. None of them dare complain or go public with these stories because they'd be dropped like a shot, which would mean the end of their businesses. Leaves a nasty tase in your mouth when you think how the *****s fund their special offers (even worse than the taste of the economy ready meals!)
  5. And as for the OP who spent thousands on a Rolex on ebay, sight-unseen and hasn't even taken the back off!!!! Seriously... unless you've seen inside, and more importantly you actually know what to look for when you've opened it up, you're taking a massive risk. Just remember, where there's easy money to be made you'll be swimming in a pool full of sharks.
  6. Seriously people! For a second there I thought I'd logged onto my favourite watch discussion board, timezone.com by mistake.....Can't believe how many fellow watch-nerds are also HPCers. Don't get me wrong, I've got an extensive collection of vintage Omegas, Zeniths, IWCs, Longines etc but I wouldn't touch Rolexes with a barge pole. IMHO there are just too many damn fakes out there, and the prices are absolutely crazy - when a little bit of red writing on the dial adds £25k to the value of a watch, you know you're in a massive bubble. In fact, I might just bag the domain name watchpricecrash.co.uk before someone else gets there. It's not just the out and out chinese knock-offs, it's all the "improved" watches, with refinished dials created to immitate rarer versions of the same watch. Actually, that jewel-encrusted obscenity that someone posted earlier is a perfect case in point. The website as good as admitted that the bezel wasn't an original Rolex issue, in which case, it's actually devaluing the watch to a purist collector. My collecting area is probably the most undervalued, and hence affordable to a true enthusiast. I concentrate on big name watches from the very early years of the wrist watch (1900-1920ish). I often buy them stopped, and repair them myself and it's got to be something absolutely unique for me to part with more than £50. The watches I collect still keep v accurate time and are robust enough to be worn on a night out, and look far more exotic than any sub or sea-dweller.
  7. Goddamit! :angry: Just checked my wallet and found a fake!!!
  8. Don't worry about any so-called relaunch or Multi-Million pound bailout. Haven't you guys and girls sussed out this useless new labour bunch's Modus Operandi yet? This relaunch will turn out to be the usual load of New Labollox - long on promises, short on substance. Which local council in its right mind will want to buy distressed housing stock at above market prices, as long as "Right To Buy" still exists? Five years down the line they'd have to sell it back to the feckless waster they'd just bailed out, and at a considerable discount. But if you think about it, what a cunning relaunch it is. Giving councils the powers to do something about housing looks like a radical intervention from Brown, but because they won't want to take up the opportunity, it'll actually cost the government very little. And lets not forget, the government doesn't have wads of cash to throw around anyway. I reckon that when you look at the small print of tomorrows announcement, you'll find all the big headline-grabbing initiatives have get-out clauses which mean they don't apply to the majority of homeowners. WAKE UP PEOPLE - IT'S ALL JUST A SMOKESCREEN DESIGNED TO MAKE BROWN LOOK GOOD (THe crash is back on! Phew!)
  9. I bet those auctioneers will be sitting there with their heads in their hands wondering what the fook has happened, and where the money to pay the staff this month is going to come from!! It must take a fair amount of time and effort to put together the paperwork etc for 116 properties, and to see all of that work go to waste must be a real kick in the balls. Not to mention the impact this will have on their reputation, customer's goodwill etc. Anyone care to offer an interpretation for what we've just seen play out in real time? Even some of the lots where bids were at or above guide price failed to sell. Is that just down to greedy sellers do you think? Or maybe most of them just couldn't AFFORD to sell at the sort of prices on offer because of MEW etc. One other thing I noticed - there were a fair few houses up for auction that only changed hands in the last year or so, and even though the sellers were desperate enough to sell at auction, reserves were significantly higher than last year's price tag. Perhaps it's would-be developers, who have to sell in a hurry and need to recoup their refurb costs on top of what they paid for the houses? Certainly a tasty serving of bear-food, whatever the cause!!!! Yum yum yum, keep on serving it up.... EDIT> Also seems a lot bleaker than some of the other auctions that have been posted here previously. Good work M21
  10. Being reported now.... on Thisismoney website http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/mortgages/buy...p;in_page_id=56
  11. The website makes very interesting reading. Looking at several different local courts I keep on seeing GE Money and other secondary lenders cropping up, so I guess quite a few repos are being initiated by secured loans companies. Nice to see this little reminder on the GE Money homepage... THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. ....I guess they weren't kidding!!!!!
  12. I think I'm right in saying that automated telemarketing is illegal in the UK, in which case you should report this...
  13. Sorry - I'd love to, but it's so hot off the wires it's not online yet (or at least, if it is I can't find it!). It's direct from a Unison press release, but I was sent the story by a friend who gets Press Association wires where he works. It's on their wires service this afternoon, it should be quite interesting to see which papers go big on it tomorrow! EDIT: Found a shorter version hidden away on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7187869.stm
  14. So GB thinks he can nip wage inflation in the bud? Not if Unison has anything to do with it! 14 JANUARY, 2008 COUNCIL WORKERS GO FOR 6% PAY CLAIM UNISON, GMB and TGWU-Unite have agreed an annual pay claim of 6% or 50p an hour - whichever is the greater - for more than one million local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The claim would give a minimum wage of £6.50 an hour - a step towards the £6.75 that poverty experts say is the minimum needed to provide the lowest paid members with a living wage. It is a "catch up and match up" claim to recoup losses from below inflation pay awards since 2004 and to keep up with inflation over the coming year. UNISON National Secretary, Heather Wakefield, said: "Despite the headline figure, this is a modest claim. No-one could argue that an increase of 50p an hour fuels inflation. Over the past three years local government workers' pay has increased by less than the rate of inflation, so we are starting from a low base. We need to make sure that they catch up with the rest of the public sector and that they are cushioned against inflation over the coming year. "The Government's 2% limit is just not on. It is half the rate of inflation and represents a real pay cut for loyal, hard-working public sector workers, two-thirds of whom are women. They are struggling to make ends meet with the ever-increasing spiral of housing and fuel price rises." UNISON is working with other public sector unions, through the TUC, to campaign for a fair deal for all public sector workers. The 2004-2007 pay agreements gave an increase of 11.4% over three years, during which inflation rose by 12.5% and average earnings by 13.4%. The 2007-2008 award was for 2.475% and 3% for the lowest paid - inflation was more than 4% over that period. The claim covers all grades of workers in local government, including binmen, school meals, social workers, administrators, cleaners, teaching assistants, parks and leisure, librarians.
  15. Yes, but to get any points on that show you have to be INTERESTING!..... I don't think you get many points for endlessly repeating yourself.
  16. This beggars belief! Report from the BBC News site suggests that Goldman Sachs is trying to save the government's bacon, by securitising NR's debt to the BOE and selling it on to institutional investors. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7180565.stm But really, who is going to buy this cr*p! I can hear the desperate sound of hands clutching straws!
  17. This month I 'ave mostly been eating...... Ipods!
  18. I like the image! Message to Gordon - "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"
  19. Oh the irony, first we drop the bombs on them and then give them an asprin to make it better!!!
  20. I do see what you're saying pimperne1 and while I agree with the above point, I think this will still affect the wider market. What will actually happen is that it will divert buyers from roughly comparable properties that may be overpriced and drive their asking prices down.
  21. I have long thought that the practice of remortgaging the family home to provide a deposit on property overseas is the straw that will break the HPI camel's back. It's all down to the doubling up of the leveraging that occurs, and the fact that effectively one property is secured against another. In many ways this strikes me as being similar to the situation many US share speculators found themselves in in 1929, when a mixture of highly geared margin trading and the structure of the holding company consipred to magnify the effect of that gearing. In this situation, when prices rise, gains are astronomical, but when they fall........! Ouch!
  22. I just re-read Galbraith's fantastic book on the 1929 crash this weekend. I'd recommend it to anyone who's a regular visitor to HPC. There are so many parallels that can be draw between the risky behaviour in the stock market in 1928-29, and the highly leveraged BTL phenomenon the UK has seen in the last few years. Let's just hope the UK's inevitable day of reckoning doesn't drag the whole economy into a similar 10 year depression, along with the 25% unemployment that America enjoyed in the mid 30's!!!
  23. That's exactly what Darling hopes. Make no mistake, this is not a government making policy - what we're seeing is a whopping, balls-flapping-in-the-wind game of call my bluff. Darling is making a very risky bet that his promise on its own will be enough to calm sentiment so that he'll never have make good that promise. But then, I don't think he had an option. If things had carried on the way they were going, you would have been seeing queues outside A&L and B&B by tomorrow morning. In the short term I think it's a gambit that's paid off, but when the scale of mortgage defaults in the pipeline becomes apparent, we'll end up back here again (only the name of the bank will be different!). Anyway you look at it, savers would be very unwise to take Darling's guarrantee at face value. As several posters have already mentioned, the solvency/insolvency grey area gives the government ample room to wriggle out of its supposed commitment if things get too hot. If we're arguing about what it exaclty means on HPC, then you can be sure the only ones who are guarranteed to get a payout are the lawyers! :angry: When politicians "make policy" on the fly, they're always careful to leave themselves a get-out clause.
  24. "Move along, nothing to see here", says the BoE! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6996136.stm Move to quell Northern Rock fears Mortgage lender Northern Rock says it has not yet had to borrow the money granted by the Bank of England as an emergency lending facility. Experts reassured customers the bank would not go bust as many queued to withdraw their savings on Friday. Shares in the group fell by 32% after it emerged it had approached the Bank of England for help. The bank has struggled to raise money to finance its lending ever since money markets seized up over the summer. The Newcastle-based bank warned it could have £150m shaved off its profits due to the money market turmoil. On Friday thousands of customers visited Northern Rock bank branches across the country to withdraw savings, fearful the business could collapse. Several customers showed BBC reporters slips that suggest they withdrew sums of £100,000 and more. Reports estimate that savers took £1bn out of their accounts on Friday, but Northern Rock has not confirmed this figure. Tony Looch, a 68-year-old customer, who queued for nearly two hours at Northern Rock's Moorgate branch in central London, said: "My confidence has been shattered. I would not put a penny into that company again." Another lender outside a branch in Newcastle city centre asked: "If they are short of funds, what happens to our funds?" But a number of officials and experts tried to reassure the bank's 1.5 million savers their money was safe. Michael Coogan, of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, said he felt customers had over-reacted....
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