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montyduke

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About montyduke

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  1. Why? Why should my friends and family give a rotting figleaf whether Georgie and his cohorts replace their own fiat currency with another? If Mexico and Canada are stupid enough to link their economies with that of the USA then so be it. Why should I stand in their way? The slave labour argument has go to be one of the more tenuous I've heard to date. Most of the other objections seem to be based around the same old nationalist rubbish that was spouted here in favour of the pound. There are sound reasons for maintaining one's own currency, control over interest rates and money supply being one, but please spare me from the Star Spangled Banner/God save the Queen.
  2. There's good and bad deflation just the same way there's good and bad inflation. Cheaper widgets because we've found a better, more efficient way of producing widgets is a good thing. Cheaper widgets because we've built too many and there is now a glut is a bad thing (for us widget producers.) I've never heard anyone b*tch about inflation when they're given a salary increase as I guess they always assume it's because "they're worth it", have 12 months more experience and are therefore more productive. Same ways no-one complains about deflation when iPods get cheaper.
  3. Err, yes they are. I'll conceed that there may be a class of vintage cars which, if properly looked after, will appreciate over a number of years and pay back their owners more than they have spent on their upkeep and more than the cash would get in a savings account. That, by definition, would be a good investment albeit somewhat risky. You could say the same of fine wines or art. Most cars, including your series 1 Elise, will cost you more in maintenance, insurance and storage over their lifetime than will ever be gained from their resale. That is obviously a bad investment. They may be one of modern life's many necessities but are never a good investment. It's even possible that you could make it pay for itself by delivering pizzas but to your accountant it'll always be a depreciating asset with running expenses. You can justify buying an Elise on the grounds that it may depreciate less than a RS Clio 182 over a number of years. You can try to quantify the joy of driving it, showing it off to your mates or impressing a better class of lady but the payback is only ever going to be in mental health terms.
  4. So where do you think gold will go from here? Nice question but bad advice. Gold's value reflects the market's concern over inflation and the declining dollar. Even the most bullish of gold-bugs will advise you that a balanced investment portfolio is what you need with only 10% invested in the shiney stuff. It's a hedge against inflation and is currently overbought just as is every other asset class. If deflation takes hold? What then?
  5. Well done in paying it off but the fact that you bought a new car in the first place and are considering buying yet another new car just three years later is ample evidence that you need to focus on your financial education and less on your street cred. If there really is any "resale value" I suggest you sell it, buy a cheaper, used car which is where you find real value and get hold of a decent financial adviser to help you invest the remainder of your equity. Losing £2k per year through a depreciating asset just isn't clever.
  6. Err, no. Peak oil is very, very important. We depend too much on the stuff. As you mentioned in a previous posting peak oil doesn't mean no oil, it means expensive oil. World wide consumption is going up, production is going down. It doesn't matter how many small oil producing countries you invade (ships, tanks and jets need fuel too) the price will not come down. Peak oil means no more cheap imports, on which our current economy relies sooo heavily, and no more cheap holidays too. Exports (yes, we do still) obviously become more expensive too. It will make more sense for China to import their high tech medical equipment from Japan rather than us simply because they're closer. It will affect our quality of life and standard of living because we are too dependent on the stuff being cheap. It makes sense strategically to generate our own electricity which is why I'm a huge fan of nuclear. It makes us less dependent on Russia for gas and reduces our C02 emissions at the same time. Win, win. Newer technologies create less radioactive waste too. When the Russians turn off the gas taps we will become a de-facto nuclear nation anyway as we'll be importing electricity from France - at huge expense too. Obviously solar is not an option in this country. Wind, aside from the space factor, still requires gas power plants to be built when it isn't around so doesn't do anything about reducing our dependency there. As for bio fuels - these are a complete waste of time, space and energy and do very little to reduce emissions. We can use electricity for cars. Ships can obviously be powered by nuke but it is way too expensive for it to become common place. I think electric aircraft may be a little way off and nuclear just doesn't work for me there (no matter how well it seemed to worked on Thunderbirds!!) Long term, we will be able to develop alternatives. Short term - we're scr*w*d. To return to topic - house pricies will follow the economy wherever it goes.
  7. I look forward to being able to send my kids out to work as chimneysweeps. It's about time they earned their keep. This education mularky is much overrated. I have already traded in my Prius for a horse and cart and make my own candles. Any news yet about them revoking the women's right to vote? Morons.
  8. No it doesn't stand up. Ministry of (dis)information at work. Here's what the Daily Mail has to say about it. It couldn't be any clearer. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/mortgages/art...mp;in_page_id=8
  9. It's their job to spin on behalf of government. They're about as independent as Pravda.
  10. Posts like this terrify me. Me too. This forum is rife with wishful thinking being bandied around as fact and both bulls and bears are guilty of this. I've found some real gems but had to sift through mountainloads of cr@p to find them.
  11. Good to see that the debate rages on. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6444373.stm "Coal power station plan unveiled" So, this government is committed to going green is it? I get it now. We ride our bicycles, pay our green taxes and they subsidise the re-opening of coal mines and build more coal fired power stations. Oh, but it's all right because the coal fired power stations will produce 20% less CO2 than current power stations. It's all very, very wrong.
  12. Now that's a provocative title which bears some thought! (pun intended) You're right in saying the BoE lost control some years ago. The two instruments they have to reign in lending are interest rates and money supply. If money supply doesn't matter any more because the lenders are using Mortgage Backed Securities to borrow from the hedge funds (again and again and again) which are effectively borrowing from the BoJ via the carry trade then how can the BoE be expected to keep a lid on things? Raising UK interest rates is just increasing the profits of the hedge funds which are effectively trading the difference between BoE and BoJ !! The BoJ don't want to stop this credit merry go round and the lenders seem quite happy to extend their lending multiples onwards and upwards. Defaults are an issue but it remains to be seen if they are going to be as big a problem here as they are in the US. My reason for saying this is insurance. Not only has the mortgage debt been sold off into the MBS markets but it has also been insured using CDSs and CDOs, both of which I understand very little about but AFAIK are used to insure MBSs and thus reduce the impact of defaults. I'm sure that's why HBOS pretty much laughed off their subprime problem. We all thought the blip on the 28th Feb was the trigger but if you look at what's happening to GBP/JPY in the last few days you'd be forgiven for thinking that the carry trade was still alive and kicking. So, it's the borrowers, the lenders, the hedge funds and the BoJ. Who is going to blink first?
  13. That would depend on the terms of the Bob's original mortgage agreement surely? Most variables I've seen are say, 0.5% above the base rate for the first two years and then revert to something like 1% above base for the remaining term. As the new lender you'd be hard pressed to change those terms arbitrarily, wouldn't you? It is a contract after all. Sub-prime lenders going bust is an indication that they've got their sums wrong when assessing the extent of the risk of defaults. It may also be a symptom of the Mortgage Backed Securities market is finally losing its previously voracious appetite for these 21st century junk bonds and the sub-prime lenders are struggling to sell off their debts. This, in turn, will affect their cash flow - no more money to lend out means no more comissions and the margins on existing business are very tight, no doubt. The net result is a credit squeeze with fewer sub-prime borrowers being able to borrow. As for how far this "infects" the rest of the market, we shall have to wait and see. The result may well be a tightening up of credit in the "normal" market with lenders reverting to real-life lending multiples of 3.5x salary on a 25 year repayment mortage.
  14. Inflation is dead. Long live inflation!!
  15. Or go even further back and try the classics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra Here is a particularly funny picture showing Cassandra tearing here hair out.
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