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Everything posted by Wad

  1. Thanks for that. Looks like the same story as the shipping industry. This is bad - cannot see a way out of this crash in world trade for at least the next 2 years. Ships and planes will be repossessed and sold off to be bought up by entrepreneurs at dirt cheap prices and of course the shipping industry will survive and revive and live on but with a much lower capital base and cost structure than before an dtrade wil get going again.
  2. The world dry cargo and container shipping industry is going to go bankrupt. The world dry cargo and container ship building industry is going to go bankrupt. Almost all ships are bought with a larg amounts of leverage finance. There is no way out of the inevitable defaults. Bansk will lose yet another fortune on loans thay should never have made. I expect the world oil tanker market will crash too once the oil in floatng storage is offloaded. Anyone know how the world airfreight industry is doing?
  3. Not risk averse. Indeed, I fully intend to buy a house and gear up on it to act as hedge against future inflation that will surely come with the massive splurge of quantitative easing that is being planned. Not borrowing will be very risky in the future if inflation takes off. Getting stuck in nominal assets (i.e fixed income bonds) wil destroy your wealth for ever.
  4. Wad


    Agreed. Thats why the students are queuing. They want first dibs on the best property. The rubbish will be left over.
  5. So thats 2100 at Barclays Capital, 700 from a construction site and 500 from Corus and I just read all those in 5 minutes on HPC. Good grief! That means there were probably 10,000 people put out of work today in the UK across the whole economy. Thats a rate of 200,000 per month. Easily 3 million unemployed by autumn when all the grads come out and unable to get a job. This is getting serious and I do not care how cheap people think houses are or whether it is cheaper to buy than rent or even if Bank Rate drops to zero - no one will buy when they fear losing their job or cannot get a job.
  6. My Dad's farm where I lived as kid was just round the corner from the place that is now Queen Ethelburgers College. It was not a college back then it was just a big country house that was the offices to an insurance company. Indeed, where the kids now ride horses was owned by a local farmer and my Dad and his friends used to go and train sheep dogs in the field. The old Queen Ethelburgers was an old girl's school in Harrogate when I was at school and was nothing like it is today. http://www.queenethelburgas.edu/
  7. Had the same experience about 15 years ago. I was only jobless for a few months but I went down the job centre just because I thought it was worth getting the NI credits. A quite decent older guy behind the desk looked at my CV (BA, MBA, City Finance experience, etc) and said we will not have anything for you EVER. I just had to keep going back and tell them I was still looking fror work and took in letters I had sent to employers etc. I do sometimes wonder why the Govt does not just set up a website where ALL jobs have to be advertised by law. At least they would get a clear picture of what jobs were really available and at what wage.
  8. The general conclusion I draw from reading through all the comments at the back of the RICS report is that prices are off 25% already and have 10 - 15% to go. Overall most sales that are being done are in the repossession professional investor category at 40% off. A lot of the agents commented that they had more buyers registering and looking (i.e positve) but most private vendors of send hand homes were not willing to accept buyers offers 20 - 25% under asking (i.e. negative). The net result is very few sales were going through. The lack of mortgagae availability and the fear of further price falls are the two key factors driving both prices and transaction levels down. A few EAs commented in the report that they thought the market had bottomed but I conclude that only when transactions pick up then we will know the market has bottomed because it is only then that we know we have mortgage finance readly available and that real buyers are willing to step in a take the risk of buying at a price that sellers are finally willing to sell at. I suspect the rate of increase in registration of new buyers will abate in Q1 2009 quite quickly if vendors continue to be are unwilling to drop their prices. There are undoubtedly motivated buyers out there - I am one - but there few motivated sellers. The RICS survey comments in general reflect my own experience of making offers. No real interest from vendors at 20 - 25% under asking but they are cutting their asking prices a little and EAs are increasingly desperate to get sales or they know they will go out of business.
  9. I read in the Times the other day that at least 25 private schools in the Uk are up for sale at the moment - on a very quiet basis so as not to frighten parents into moving their kids to other schools. The article is here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_...icle5469651.ece Brokers acting as intermediaries for such sales say that they expect more schools to come on to the market over the next term, as parents decide that they can no longer afford to pay fees. They are advising schools against making their financial difficulties public for fear of a a mass desertion by parents. One school in the Midlands had to close within six months of the news of its possible sale leaking out. Private schools are going through the ringer and many will just close - others will do all sorts of deals to stay open.
  10. Right now on cue we have the Unite union and Peter Mandleson on Sky talking about the Nissan plant.
  11. A really top end safe about 45 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm is big enough to fit a laptop in and can be bolted to the floor. They weigh about 25 kilos and take two men to lift and shift. Thats if they can detach it from the floor. They cost about £450 fitted. Do not buy the cheap ones you see in some DIY outlets unless its just to stop casual theft - better to bury your valuables in the garden in plastic containers.
  12. Just been thinking. If Tata got a bailout loan - why would Nissan not ask for the same thing? I am sure that threatening to sack 25% of the workers in a major car factory in a Labour seat just before an election would be a way of foccussing Ministerial minds on the issue.
  13. My wife is from round the corner and she says that they were always going to struggle with the Monk Seaton Sainsbury nearby. Also we cannot understand why they do not do an internet delivery service for food. Surely they must be losing custom by not doing deliveries. We buy a lot of fresh foods in M&S but are limited to what we can physically carry out of the shop. We get all our other stuff delivered by Sainsbury and Majestic (wine) in a truck.
  14. Gazprom has a problem because the Ukraine is extracting a near monopoly transit fee for the flow of gas through its territory. In economic terms this is exactly what you would expect Ukraine to do. Gazprom needs to build more transit routes and has not done so. There is no 'fair' transit fee here. Gazprom has to pay Ukraine the fee demanded as it has few other options and at the moment Ukraine takes that transit fee by way of off take of a quantity of gas at a far cheaper price than the European open market price. Gazprom does not like being held to ransom by Ukraine over its gas supply but that is life. I am sure Russia would like to bully Ukraine into accepting a lower transit fee but it cannot do so because Ukraine has the support of the West. As for Western Europe - well maybe now we will stop talking rubbish about renewables and get on with building LNG regasification terminals on the Atlantic / Med coast and start importing from a far wider range of suppliers. Russia and West Europe are not being sensible here but Ukraine is being economically rational.
  15. You are thinking of Vimura wall paper - it was popular in the 1970s. Showing your age there.. and mine.
  16. Wow! Viyella was formed in 1784. http://www.viyella.co.uk/
  17. Good God Almighty! If China was your best market - and that has really cratered in the past 6 months - it really is very bad. I assume this is engines for trucks, agriculture, marine, power generation and contruction so I can believe this really is an authentic set of numbers you quote.
  18. Just want to be clear - are we talking about a UK firm here or is it based in another country? I am sure this is happening in the US as car sales have tanked - but is this true everywhere in the world or just high cost manufacturing centres? Sounds very bad all the same.
  19. A very good interesting post. We are in a similar situation looking for a large period family home in town (without land but a decent garden ) but certainly in the upper end of the price range and are talking to a variety of 'county house agents' but not Savills. These types of houses tend to be occupied by older fairly well off sellers who were in no hurry to sell over the last few years and could more or less name their price and then just wait for somebody who was desperate to come along and pay up. However, now these older sellers must be a lot more motivated as they have seen savings interest rates collapse along with pensions and the value of their property. I suspect a fair few have mewed to buy their kids a house, pay grand children school fees, buy a little place in France etc and are now feeling the pinch in their cashflows. I have offered on a few of these types of houses over the last year at 30 - 35% under the original asking price after watching them sit on the market for 2 - 3 years. No luck so far but in each case they sold for about 20-25% off the original asking price only a few months later. My wife has been suggesting that we now just go in and make multiple offers exactly as WantHousewithLand suggests to see if we can shift anyone. My feeling up to now is that this strategy might just be a waste of time and also annoy the relatively small group of agents who tend to market these 'country properties'. After all, how many really low offers can you make to the same agent over the space of a year and expect then to take you seriously? I know they have to make commission but there is a point that human nature kicks in if they think there is no point in talking to you. Still does not mean I think we should pay up though! However, after reading this post and knowing how desperate all agents must now be perhaps it might not be a bad strategy to adopt on a judicious basis. I agree that most EAs are still struggling to talk sellers down and would welcome some ammo to at least start the conversation.
  20. True. However, I don't know how much Kero/Diesel could realistically be shipped to a gas turbine power plant. Are they on pipelines from refineries? I am sure that it could not all be trucked. A big CCGT runnng at 300 - 500 MW rating is very very very thirsty.
  21. Good find. I have had a feeling for a while that the next big shoe to drop in the world financial system will be a default by Russia and other emerging economies, followed swiftly by another Asian Crisis as they cannot sell goods to the USA/Europe. The shock waves of this financial crisis have only just hit the real economy in many of these developing economies although their stock markets are well down already. As posted on the other thread about Russia cutting off gas supplies - I truely believe we are seeing the beginnng of the economic collapse of Russia and it wil suffer in the long run from its behaviour and failure to honour gas supply contracts.
  22. Found myself having to be very very careful when discussing the economy/housing and indeed what I do for a living and my lifestyle (i.e no debt and 2 kids in private school) with anyone who I do not know really really well. Indeed, I find myself lying to avoid confrontation. A lot of close friends have a big mortgage, struggling to pay school fees and looking down the barrel of a gun with no bonus and possibly no job in financial services over the next 12 months. It is horrible seeing people suffer that I know and like as friends. It never bothered me they had overpriced houses and loads of debt before but it does now. Indeed, one friend I am so worried about I have not heard from for six months. I am going to have to contact him but dreading the conversation as he is a hedge fund manager who bought a big house on a very stretched mortgege multiple with a lot of extra building work and renovation on top of that. He bought in August 2007. I like him and now the HPC has drven us apart !
  23. What we are seeing is the beginning of the collapse of the Ruussian economy. I am not totally convinced that Rusia has enough gas supply available to meet its contractual commitments to its neigbours, especially in very cold weather so it stokes up the Ukraine issue to cover up the fact that it could not supply anyway. What you have to realise is that Russia is struggling to maintain production at many of its oil and gas fields and the public gas system in Russia is desperately inefficient, wasteful, poorly maintained, and gas is not properly costed and charged for. In effect, energy in Russia is basically free/subsidised to ordinary consumers and industry alike as it is used to keep the population quiet. Imagine what would have happened if Russia had told its people to economise on gas use so they could keep on mantaining export flows abroad. Not popular. In the end Russia will suffer for this action and eventually be treated as paria state with a poor record of honouring contracts. Once sufficient LNG terminals are built in Western Europe (and that will only increase in pace if Russia keeps cutting the gas off) then Russia wil have a very big job trying to export its gas to Western Europe through its very long pipelines. This is a very short term crisis for Western Europe but a long run disaster for Russia.
  24. Wow! Just been watching Eamonn Holmes on Sky and read out a litany of disaster. Not one piece of good news. Next sales down 7%, M&S down 7%, Debenhams down 3.5%, the last Woolworths stores to close today, Nationwide house prices down 2.5%, Russian gas to be cut off, temperatures -9 degrees. I conclude this is not going to be 'V shaped recession' is it?
  25. I like the look of this for £160k. You could live nicely on that although obviously not cross oceans. You might get laughed at in Monte Carlo as well. http://commercial.apolloduck.com/feature.phtml?id=69959 Obviously this one would probably mean you could park wherever you wanted and no one would laugh at you. http://commercial.apolloduck.com/display.phtml?aid=90738
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