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BigBang

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  1. I actually think it isn't a bad policy. Sure, there are all sorts of ways you achieve cheaper housing, but one clear way is to build more houses, increasing the overall housing supply. The government has no way of funding this at the moment with the massive public debt and the annual deficit so selling social housing and using this to fund building new social housing achieves the objective without costing the tax payer any additional cash (assuming the discounted price they achieve covers 100% of the cost of building a new council house). Whether the sellers end up renting again is a mute point, as they will always need a house to live in (either rented or bought), but now there should be one additional house built to house another family as well. It's easy to critise government policy but much harder to put forward serious (and simple) policies that will increase the housing stock in this country without adding significant extra debt to the taxpayer and future generations. Unlike Libour, at least this government is promising to use the funds raised from the sale of council houses only to build new housing, and not just as another way to raise cash so they can make more big spending election promises on pet projects or Quango initiatives that fritter away this nations resoures and add to the nations debt burden. You may argue it is unfair to those who effectively get free cash from taxpayer funded council housing stock and you can argue about the details of how the policy has been setup but the core substance of the policy is good and it will have a long term effect on house prices as supply increases in the long term. Give credit where it is due - it is the first real (not hot air) positive step in regards to helping address the lack of new houses being that we've seen from a government in this country for over 15 years.
  2. This plunge on the Dow just goes to show that the market thought they could swindle the taxpayers out of more free money by getting the banks to dump their toxic assets at a higher price on the taxpayer than what they are worth. That's what has been keeping the market up the last few weeks - the chance to rip-off the taxpayer. Now that the details of the US plan have been released and it includes a private partnership in order to ensure a fair price is paid for the toxic assets the market drops like a rock because they don't get to rip-off the taxpayers in the way that they had expected to. The whole market / government intervention stinks of corruption, and big drops like this when taxpayer money is being pumped in but under conditions that make the scheme fairer than was expected just shows you that the market is still quite happy to be on the take at the expense of the taxpayers. Even in tough times like this there is no ethics in the market why is why bailing the banks was such a bad idea - they should have been left to fail and then the whole system would have been cleared out properly (with government guarentees of retail and small business deposits only). Instead we are all being taken for a ride.
  3. While all of this is terribly interesting and official sounding I want to understand one basic thingy...what is the point of the Treasury Select Committee? They ask for these apologies, call witnesses etc but they have no teeth! What is their objective in this line of questioning? What powers to they have to prosecute or punish those responsible? Seems to me like a big talk-fest to be forgotten about once it's all over. ...and why don't the shareholders of HBOS launch a class action lawsuit against all of the directors of HBOS who ignored and then sacked the senior risk executive after he made his concerns known to the board? If I made such a decision to ignore qualified advice in my job that cost the company billions then sure as night follows day, I would have my a*se sued off for negligence! Those directors shouldn't be left with the shirt on their backs after those decisions and coverups.
  4. Yep - finally he's gone from the MPC! After getting his way with lower rates he bails before the blame game begins...and to the US??? Why was a US based expert influencing rate decisions in the UK anyway? I for one am not sad to see him go! http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/David-Bla...olicy_Committee
  5. I'm completely dumbfounded. Wakefield council is giving interest free loans to help people pay for their mortgages. Not just that, they are offering interest free loans so home owners can 'do up their house'. I can't believe they are getting away with doing this and I want to complain on a number of grounds: 1. Wakefield council are not a bank and therefore not a regulated financial institution. Are they even allowed to offer loans - what is the law on this? Will they repossess if the loans aren't repaid? 2. Isn't there discrimation laws that should be invoked as they are only offering this interest free benefit to people who own a home yet all residents are paying for it. Surely, if they are offering interest free loans then all residents should be eligible to apply? 3. Is it even in their charter to spend council tax payers money in this way? Who authorised this? 4. Aren't there anti-competition laws that prevent public authorities from offering deals that the "free" market is unable to compete with. Doesn't this completely undercut all other loan providers, not to mention insurance providers in the market - why aren't they complaining like crazy? 5. Surely if you can get free money for a house, then aren't there 100s of other people and groups who should be equally or more deserving of these public handouts - eg. struggling small businesses, people who need a loan for their rent, people who need help paying for petrol for their car so they can get to work, etc? I think there needs to be a major outcry and investigation of the points above by the FSA, and the Competition Commission. Shouldn't non-home owners raise a legal class action against the council for discrimination? What do you people think? Am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous? -------------------------------------- Here's the links to the council's website. http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/Housing/Housin...tingdefault.htm House Proud Loans If you own your home and there are essential repair works needed you may qualify for an interest free loan. Your income is taken into account, but all circumstances are considered. Contact the Private Sector Housing Office for your area to discuss this. You can also obtain independent advice for Care and Repair on 01924 290949. http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/AdviceAndBenef...age/default.htm Mortgage Assistance Loan Scheme This new Council scheme has been set up to help local residents who are struggling with mortgage payments. The programme is specifically aimed at homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes through repossession. It is a stop gap measure to help with temporary changes in circumstances such as illness and redundancy. Help can be provided through an interest free loan to pay off any mortgage arrears. The loan can also be used to pay mortgage instalments for up to 12 months, dependent upon circumstances. The loan runs for a period 3 years, and is secured on your home. The amount made available is between £2000 to a maximum ceiling of £15,000. Loan support can also help with arrears and instalments on secured loans, as well as supporting the first mortgage. Payment is made directly to the mortgage lender. Borrowers are not required to repay any instalments, during the loan period, although this is an option. The loan amount is repayable in full by the end of the three years. The scheme can’t help everyone, particularly if people leave it too late. We would encourage people facing difficulties to contact us early. More information and details of how to apply can be found in the attached leaflet (see 'Downloads').
  6. I didn't realise that they actually outlawed people owning gold during the Great Depression. What a totalitarian regime the US government must have been when under pressure. By forcing people to sell their Gold holdings to the Fed Reserve at a fixed price, they effectively robbed people of their protection against government devalution of cash. I was interested to read that many people ignored the law and hid their gold to maintain their wealth in secret. When the US passed this law it effectively forced everyone into Serdem to serve the Fed and government with no way of protecting their autonomous wealth that they earnt previously. Unbelievable stuff really to think that this sort of thing happened in the biggest capitalist economy in the world! It just goes to show that Gold is not the same as any other commodity. It is historically a store of value and a way for people to protect themselves from government economic manipulation. Reading the history of how gold was used during the great depression makes me want to buy gold even more now as it shows that in times of great economic upheaval like the great depression, the power of the economy and the value of wealth falls back to the gold standard. I will worry about the authorities trying to take this power from me later when it actually happens, first I need to get the gold in order to maintain my wealth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102
  7. With the US Government bailout this week I'm getting concerned that things are going to come to a head very soon. Like many other people on this site, I have almost all of my funds in GBP cash at the moment. I resisted buying Gold becuase I didn't understand it so I've been watching it over the last couple of years rise from $500 to over $1000 an ounce and then drop again back to $730. It's now at $870. I've also had a keen eye on the USD and I've been expecting it to fall off a cliff for a while now as the global economy explodes. The timing of these things occuring is impossible to predict accurately but I'm getting a very bad feeling about things after Friday's massive US Government bad debt bailout. IMO what we've seen so far in this turmoil over the last year has only been the prelude to THE BIG ONE. What I mean by the BIG ONE is the rest of the world finally giving up on the USD and getting out on mass. At what point will America's creditors decide that US Government debt is no good anymore? When that happens that will be the end of the US economy and the global economy for a long while. There was rumours last week of US Treasuries losing their AAA rating. For me, when this point comes and US Government debt is no longer prime investment grade you are going to see a lot of USD creditors (China, middle east, etc) bailing out of the USD at the same time. When this happens then there will be nothing the US Government can do to prevent it. No government intervention will be able to save the US and the World economy from the Big Bang because people will have stopped believing that the US Government bailouts are worth anything to the people and nations who have lent the US all of that debt. The question is, what will USD Creditors buy instead of USD at that point? My guess is that they will buy a basket of other currencies (GBP, EUR, JPY, etc) and GOLD. Gold was traditionally the Global Reserve Currency and my feeling is that when the BIG ONE happens then Central Banks and large creditors around the world will start to convert their cash assets into GOLD once more for safety. History repeats itself, and since the global banking system got rid of their GOLD reserves, the fiat currency model and fractional reserve banking systems have effectively run on confidence alone with nothing solid to back it. When the BIG ONE happens and confidence disappears completely from the global economy (this will start with the almighty fall of the USD), then I believe everyone will go back to the traditional universal currency of GOLD as the international safe store of value. Can you imagine what would happen if China and the Middle East starting converting their trillions of USD into GOLD? With this in mind I think I will start to put a small percentage of my cash assets in Gold (probably using http://www.bullionvault.com). I don't want to lose money if I'm wrong and Gold drops but at the same time I don't feel comfortable holding paper promises in the form of cash if I'm right and the BIG ONE happens soon. What does everyone else think? Are we getting close to the point of complete loss of confidence in US Government debt and the US economy in general?
  8. It's still on the market now at £430,000: http://www.savills.co.uk/quickSearchDetail.aspx?ID=216374# and they've used photos from before the makeover - the dining room is still vile pink
  9. Birmingham City Council has admitted sending out leaflets which showed its US namesake's skyline instead. About 720,000 pamphlets praising Brummies for their recycling were sent around the city at a cost of £15,000. But instead of showing landmarks such as the Rotunda and the new Selfridges building, it showed downtown Birmingham, Alabama, instead. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/7560392.stm
  10. I completely agree. Of all the entries - this one takes the cake. Well done Intercounty.co.uk - winner of the coverted fun-house-mirror award.
  11. I reckon David Smith of the The Sunday Times has been petitioning his economics buddies at The Times to get articles like this printed. He's lost his own credibility as an economics journalist a long time ago and no one listens to him anymore with his house price ramping and consistent calling for lower rates over the last few years so he needs to get others to spread his gospel now! I wonder how his BTL portfolio is going at the moment?
  12. ...but everyone said there was a shortage of houses for people in this country - why are they all vacant, whose been telling naughtly lies?
  13. Looks like the boss is struggling to get his product to the punters who are desperately suffering withdrawal symptoms. The banking middlemen keep on taking their cut before it reaches the users... ``The housing market is an issue that we have got to focus on,'' Brown told National Public Radio in Washington today. ``To get the credit through to the housing market is something that is not easy to do. There is going to have to be greater examination of how we can make that possible. '' .... ``They have to unlock the credit markets to prevent a full- blown recession from coming out of the credit market crisis,'' Robin Marshall, director of fixed income at Smith & Williamson, Investment Management, which oversees about $20 billion in assets, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ``However you dress this up, the banks can't borrow all their money from the Bank of England.'' Brown knows that getting people hooked is good for staying in power, but it's no good if they get too desperate - then it gets dangerous! http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...id=aibN_Zt8kwJo
  14. I don't have a link to the thread, but here are the properties that were mentioned if you are interested... http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-167...=1&tr_t=buy I think this is the Bishops Waltham house: From 192.com: GREEN ACRES THE DEAN DEAN LANE BISHOPS WALTHAM SOUTHAMPTON SO321FW From Our Property: 2006-10-12 Greenacres, Dean Lane, Bishops Waltham, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 1FW £600,000 Yes that's the place. It can be seen here on Google Maps pre-care home makeover. http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=e...mp;t=h&z=19 Some other previous successes from PL http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-173...=1&tr_t=buy Coalbrookdale http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-205...=1&tr_t=buy Greenwich http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-202...=5&tr_t=buy Almshouse Dunstable http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-956...=2&tr_t=buy Lady in poole 1 http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-186...=7&tr_t=buy Lady in Poole 2-shouldnt have given up her day job.Told National TV she was desperate to sell. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-174...=1&tr_t=buy Thatch in Cambs http://www.fletcherestates.com/details.dtx...C2-FBAD33EDBECE THAT house in Chiswick with the really annoying Saffer
  15. I agree - he seems to be one of the only politicians in parliament at the moment (of all party persuasions) that has any idea about how to run the economy. Pity the Lib Dems didn't elect him as party leader.
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