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About BuchairBuchair

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  1. You can useually get about half of it out of the ground so that will last till about wednesday
  2. Looks like the Yanks are at it too. Surely these vultures/business people (chose your adjective) aren't circling without good reason. How America learns from the subprime crisis By Patti Waldmeir in Washington Published: June 15 2007 21:12 | Last updated: June 15 2007 21:12 The US subprime mortgages crisis is threatening banks, investors and homeowners – but some are looking for ways to get rich from it. Across the US, Americans are gathering to learn how to invest in properties threatened with foreclosure. ADVERTISEMENT One such seminar was held recently outside Washington, near Prince George’s County, Maryland, the cradle of America’s black middle class and an area hard hit by mortgage foreclosures as a wave of high-interest lending collided with falling property prices. Several hundred African Americans gathered to listen to “Master Lloyd” and “Queen Vicki” Irvin tell them how to make “life-changing money” from investing in property. The session was long on revivalist and motivational rhetoric – lots of talk about self-esteem, conquering fear and “giving back to the community”. “Your life will be forever changed with the power of real estate investing,” said Mr Irvin. It was sad that so many people in the area had to get out of their homes, he said, but he encouraged the crowd to “put your investor hat on” and turn the misfortune to their advantage. The highlight of the evening consisted of testimonials from graduates of the Irvins’ property “boot camp”: the single mother who bought a customised Porsche within months of her first deal, without investing a cent of her own money, the minister who made $58,000 (€44,000, £29,000) from his first Irvin deal (so much, he said, he could take unpaid leave to build a church), and the policeman who made a fortune buying houses with what Mr Irvin calls “OPM” – other people’s money. The Irvins’ business targets any property that can be bought cheaply – not just those marked for foreclosure. They teach pupils how to pick the right house and use “OPM” to “flip” it and sell at a large profit. “We teach investing that is above board, the right way, under the law,” says “Queen Vicki” Irvin, adding that all transactions are approved by lawyers. “I don’t want to be grouped with people that are unscrupulous, who have people sign over their deed at the kitchen table and you never see them again,” she says, referring to recent scams where homeowners were tricked into signing over their homes, in exchange for an empty promise to keep them out of foreclosure. The Irvins are not alone in offering such advice. Internet sites also list properties in default and offer “how-to” guides on property short sales (deals where investors buy default properties from the lender at a deep discount and resell at a profit). Television adverts promise “win-win” schemes where families keep their homes, and investors get rich helping them. The TV series Flip this House shows how to generate equity from neg­lec­ted homes. Many of the schemes are legal but others have raised serious concerns, and some states have passed laws to combat “foreclosure rescue fraud”. Maryland passed a law in 2005, says Scott Borison of the Legg law firm in Frederick, Maryland. He says the new law makes it harder to perpetrate a traditional foreclosure scam, which involves finding a homeowner in distress, advancing a small amount of money to pay off their arrears and tricking them into signing over the deed. Now there is a “new improved version” of such scams, he says. This uses a straw buyer to insulate the profiteer from liability. The profiteer receives most of the money, but his name is not on the deed. Investors involved in foreclosure rescue schemes in Maryland must comply with strict requirements to ensure homeowners understand what they are getting into, says Phillip Robinson of advice group Civil Justice. “We’ve created a situation where con artists can come in and prey on people,” he says. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
  3. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/38545f12-1b72-11dc...0b5df10621.html Rise in companies buying debt-hit homes By Ellen Kelleher Published: June 15 2007 22:03 | Last updated: June 15 2007 22:03 Dozens of fledgling property companies specialising in buying homes from homeowners struggling with mortgage repayments have started up in recent months in another sign of the growing level of indebtedness in the UK. There are now more than 200 companies that buy houses at discounted prices from distressed homeowners. In some cases, the companies rent them back to the sellers. ADVERTISEMENT Often, these companies agree to buy homes for 70-80 per cent of their market value and pay all relevant fees and costs. In return, sellers can rent their homes for less than their previous monthly mortgage payments. “A year ago, we had about 20-25 competitors in this sector. Now we have more than 200,” said Keith Woodward, a spokesman for Approva Homebuyers. “There’s a growing level of debt in this country. People are using their houses like a blank cheque and we’re at the receiving end.” However, consumer bodies are urging homeowners to view these companies with caution as standards can vary widely and customers have little protection as the sector is unregulated. Analysts warn it is not uncommon for unscrupulous companies to establish a tenancy agreement with a client and then evict him or her if the property can be resold at a gain. “It seems to be yet another indicator that we as a nation are becoming overstretched,” said John Howard, chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel. He recommends that consumers should hire independent solicitors and surveyors and not rely on those supplied by these unregulated companies, which often offer to pay legal fees and surveying costs. The growing popularity of companies targeting homeowners wanting to avoid repossession or bankruptcy underscores how rising interest rates are putting further pressure on people struggling to pay debts. The number of individual insolvencies in England and Wales reached record levels in the first quarter of 2007, topping 30,000 – up 24 per cent year-on-year, according to government figures. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
  4. No I don't think so. The non domicile issue is politically sensitive and I am sure has skewed the London market to an extent (50% of properties over £2m bought by foreigners etc.). However private equity is much bigger and about the low tax liability private backers have on profits generated from increasing company valuations. Simply put (as I understand it) if you have a few million sitting in the bank and want to invest you can put it into shares or funds and have a standard capital gain liability, alternatively you can back companies through the private equity channels with only a 10% liability. I personally believe this has had by far the greatest impact on London's buoyancy even more than the US compliance regulations (Sarbanes Oxley).
  5. Chancellor pledges justice on tax rates By Andrew Taylor and James Blitz Published: June 5 2007 22:39 | Last updated: June 5 2007 22:39 Gordon Brown raised union hopes on Tuesday that the government might make tax changes affecting the private equity industry later this year by pledging to “make sure there is justice and equity in the treatment of tax arrangements in that area”. Amid a growing public debate over the rates of tax which companies and people involved in private equity should pay, Mr Brown said a government review established three months ago was designed to “find out what loopholes were being used and then to take action to deal with it”. ADVERTISEMENT The chancellor, at the GMB annual conference in Brighton, was responding to remarks earlier this week by Nicholas Ferguson, a leading figure in the private equity industry. He told the FT: “Any common sense person would say that a highly paid private equity executive paying less tax than a cleaning lady can’t be right.” Treasury officials said on Tuesday the chancellor had not expressly intended to signal a shift in government policy towards higher taxation of the sector. However, it would be surprising if ministers did not begin to take note of the growing media criticism of the sector’s tax treatment. If the outcry continues, Gordon Brown’s successor as chancellor could be forced to look seriously at the issue in this autumn’s pre-Budget report. “You may well see something significant emerging from this, given the way the media debate has been going recently,“ said one Labour MP. Ahead of the pre-Budget report, two separate reviews have been launched by the government. One, set up last year, is examining personal tax rules which allow executives to enjoy tax rates as low as 10 per cent. The other, launched in March, is into the tax treatment of equity-style debt instruments. Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, welcomed the chancellor’s comments, suggesting Mr Brown had adopted a new tone. He said: “From what Gordon Brown told conference, the GMB concludes that the fat cats are losing the argument on tax and it was very noticeable that he did not leap to the defence of the industry which he has done before.” The union has demanded the removal of tax advantages and the imposition of a windfall tax on private equity companies, which they accuse of cutting jobs and destroying pension benefits. But in his speech Mr Brown swept aside union complaints over public sector pay, private investment in hospitals and schools and nuclear weapons. Mr Brown has insisted that public sector pay rises should be in line with the Treasury’s inflation target of 2 per cent as measured by the consumer price index. He said: “Everything that we have done over the last 10 years to keep inflation and interest rates low is the best protection against people seeing their standards of living fall and I will continue to pursue that policy.”
  6. Who knows watch the news tonight and you might get lucky. The "Blair is a *****" might be a bit of s tretch though.
  7. If that emerged, it would imply that some of our recent economic success had been built on shaky foundations: it would mean that interest rates had perhaps been "too low", that the borrowing we have done on the back of low interest rates was less affordable than we thought, that the house prices we have paid on the back of easy borrowing are unsustainably high, and that any sense of consumer wealth deriving from higher house prices is a mere illusion.
  8. I think that is what happens when you get lots of cheap money. The problem is people become risk averse, borrow more and more, and businesses can sustain losses for much longer. At some point it has to stop when they realise the emperor is in fact stark B*llock naked.
  9. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...&refer=news
  10. My first though was’ surely they can't do that, but of course they can do whatever they want to do. Oh dear.
  11. I think what is fascinating about the article is it highlights an increase in the weighting for fuel due to the increase in the amount spent , while pointing out that nearly a quarter of costs (Housing) are not even accounted for in the CPI. I suspect there will continue to be a growing divergence between the two, until the CPI catches the RPI disease due to wider economic factors. Then you will have the inverse where it is very difficult to reduce inflation because falling housing costs will not be factored in to the equation.
  12. http://biz.yahoo.com/brn/070208/21029.html....pf=real-estate
  13. I suspect the German market will be better insulated than most primarily because they have never been as stretched as other western economies and while unemployment is still quite high their trends look good. I also suspect a strongly growing Polish economy to the east will help a great deal. I remember David Smith in the Sunday times saying a while back that he would rather have the UK’s than Germany’s economic problems. If he still thinks that next year I would be surprised.
  14. nasty What actually scares me (for the economic health of the nation) is that at least he US has a fighting chance of pulling out of this at some point, if they keep growing and continue reducing their fiscal deficit through. What on earth we are going to do I have no idea.
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