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mrphil

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About mrphil

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  1. Not sure if these media reports about record sales etc etc are just media ramping, but in West Quay (Southampton) today it was at lot less busy than a typical Saturday. Mostly teenagers wandering about in shoe shops, very little actual shopping going on, and the "bargains" were crap as well. 20% off? Oooh, what a discount!! All I can say is, record breaking my ass! The only interesting points seemed to be that who was open/not open seems to be an indicator of who is/isn't worried about their imminent future. So, I would say based on indications today: M&S, John Lewis, Next, all closed so probably doing ok for now. Debenhams, Accessorise, numerous "overpriced shoe and bag chain shops" that I can't remember what thay are all called but always have more staff than customers, all open and maybe worried. Especially Debenhams, with The Pier concession gone the whole second floor looks like a wasteland!
  2. Just had my Halifax (Amazon) card increased from £4.5k to £9k, because "of the way I manage the account". Didn't ask for it, letter just arrived saying Good News or something like that. Seperately, have just been knocked back for a HSBC card with 13 months 0% on balance transfers because "they did not feel it appropriate to lend to me at this time" - they didn't even ask my income before coming to this conclusion!
  3. The one thing that really sticks out in my mind over the last 5 years as a clear indicator the country was in big trouble was hearing through a friend about a milkman in their street that still lived at home with parents and had just bought a Porche Boxter on credit. What do milkmen earn, £18k? Madness.
  4. Whats interesting is those things bought in the boom, like 4x4s, are starting to look a bit shoddy now. How many Pajero's do you see on a daily basis, the roads are awash with these things but they are now looking dated, they have lost their shine, and their appeal. But the price will be paid probably longer than these things stay on the road. If there is any good in all this, then maybe these symbols of the boom will long serve as a reminder of the mistakes that were made, that MEWing your house to buy a constantly depreciating asset is a bad decision. I fully expect that in 10 years time when the historic films that look back on this era of bust, 4x4s will feature heavily as a symbol of the madness.
  5. Interest rate is meaningless. Banks don't want to lend, so houses won't be bought. A 1% drop will do nothing to change this.
  6. One of the large banks will be making huge numbers of redundancies in the next 18 months. To date, around 250 jobs have been lost and the local media have run stories on how terrible that is but at least 1500 remain in employment locally with this bank. What those still working for the bank don't yet know is the plan is already in place for them to go also, with set timescales, and building ready to be sold. Obviously Im being sketchy with details, but based on direct experience Id be very surprised if there are not huge numbers of staff in other banks that think they have survived that actually already have an x marked against them.
  7. Is it possible that Brown is some sort of genius and we have it all wrong? I mean, during the boom developers went out and built all these flats that now lay unsold. Brown has already talked about buying these up for social housing - wait till the bottom and buy them all up, solve social housing crisis, in 10 years time housing becomes fashionable and tenants use their right to buy to buy ther crappy flats at inflated prices. Government make a profit and get rid of crap in the process. Bank shares are all but worthless, the government own what 60% of RBS? One day banks will be in vogue again, if they then sell shares at new levels, government makes a profit. Or, maybe it just is all completely out of control.
  8. LOL, £20k? Try £50k - £60k as an average, these cuts are in the investment part of the business. I can tell you first hand that the wages in the finance sector are double that of a similar-skilled job outside in the general working population. Bizarrely even now in this financial mess, the excessive salaries continue. Some common sense really should kick into the banks soon, maybe.
  9. I have enough experience of Carr to know this isn't the end, he'll probably just buy Future 3000 back from the administrators on the cheap. Interestingly though, there aren't that many houses for sale at Sandbanks currently. We walked along the sea front last night and IIRC only one house with a board (To Let) and a development where a block of flats has been demolished but no work has started on the build yet.
  10. Obviously you did miss something. Its been controlled, everything is fine again, credit crunch is over and everybody survived. Sorry, got taken over by Nu Labour/Bush spin machine there for a second.
  11. The main reason everyone has disappeared is the state of the mortgage market. I currently have a mortgage with C&G. 5% of the outstanding is interest only, so we asked C&G to switch this small bit to repayment like the rest of the mortgage. Had the reply yesterday; no they won't do this as that would be 90.8% of LTV and they will only allow a maximum of 90%. So for the sake of .8% they refused us to allow paying more of our mortgage off which would give them MORE security! We have a joint income of £95k and the loan amount is £200k. Ok, so there wasn't much common sense in the market during the bubble, but theres even less now. Lenders are being driven by fear alone.
  12. Not sure that this is surprising news to be honest. 10 years of easy credit meaning people spending more money than they have on overpriced goods, and lets face it M&S is prime overpriced goods territory. Do a weekly shop in the food halls and see for yourself. Its all been about pretending to earn footballers wages, and M&S has been a keystone in that faux-lifestyle.
  13. Government may call for wage restraint, they may even try and enforce it in public sector. But it won't work, hence: The important bit here is the unions have already knocked back 2%, then 2.5%, and now the offer is 3.2%. Expect this to be knocked back also, since the pay claim is for 6% in further & higher education. So, likely outcome of 4% increase across the board this year, hardly what you'd call wage restraint.
  14. Colleges are already cutting back, I know first hand because I work for one and we are expecting the employee count to shrink by around 10%. Having witnessed some internal departments endlessly recruit to obesity-level bloatness over the last few years, now money is tigher those who thought they had an easy deal coming to work and doing very little are now being shown the door faster than mortages are being withdrawn. Put it another way, demands for cuts are being made against public sector now, and people will go.
  15. Not afraid to name and shame, Asda in Poole was an absolute joke yesterday - queues of more than 1 hour to pay at a till, and they still had the cheek to not have all cashier lanes open. Even worse, the scan rate of some of the (obviously temporary) cashiers was very, very poor, they obviously needed far more training. Having been an operations manager for a large retailer in my younger days, I look at these things through habit!
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