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Everything posted by zugzwang

  1. QE3, Operation Twist, LTRO 2, panic capital flight out of Europe, Greek bank runs. Obama running a perma-deficit of $1.5 trillion. The Japanese national debt-to-gdp of 250+%, a hairsbreadth from catastrophe. Throw enough liquidity around and the debt really doesn't matter, for a time. But none of the Keynesian schemes and accounting cheats is even remotely sustainable. A full-blown sovereign debt crisis is inescapable. Greece is just the precursor. Listen to Kyle Bass:
  2. The Chinese have enjoyed an oil subsidy from the Russians for years, in return for part financing the 3,000 mile Eastern Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline. They're also trying to stiff a discount out of Iran, knowing full well the Iranians are running out of markets to sell anything.
  3. 'Leatherface' should ask the Greeks, Portugese, Spanish and Italians how far from the abyss they feel.
  4. When you look deeply into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
  5. Super charts. Within a year we may be able to declare '07 the Greatest Housing Crash Ever.
  6. Not a snowball's. Having lost some ~$16bn in Europe in the last decade, GM have made abundantly clear their intention to kick the European operations into shape. They're already revising down their sales projections and prices for 2012 from those made at the end of last year. As are Ford. What more incentive do these guys need to cut, and cut deep? Europe-wide consolidation is the order of the day for the next three years. It's all over, bar the plant closures.
  7. It's happened already! Year-on-year, 2nd hand prices are up 4.3%. The downturn in sales in 2008/9 means far fewer cars coming to market in 2012. Supply and demand etc.
  8. Paradoxically, higher fuel prices are deflationary in the absence of higher incomes, since they crush demand. There's simply less to spend on everything else, most notably housing. I believe the disinflation being reported is genuine, and that the on-going risk to the UK continues to be a deflationary spiral, not a hyperinflation. At least until Mervo starts mailing out individual cheques...
  9. Easy to imagine the sh1t weasel extending it to all-comers. He's got a fat pot of cash to spend now courtesy the post office pensions. Anything to get the housing market 'working' again.
  10. He's talking up the already ailing 'FirstBuy' crap-fest, that's all. Ignore. "With the FirstBuy shared equity mortgage scheme the first time buyer only owns all of the property. You would provide a 5% deposit, take out a 75 - 80% shared equity mortgage and also a 15-20% shared equity loan. The equity loan is interest free for the first 5 years and a nominal rate is charged thereafter. The equity loan is payable on the sale of the property at the latest."
  11. Looks like a short-term fix to flatter Wednesday's numbers. Long-term cost to the nation's taxpayers: £9bn, and up. Nautical metaphors ahoy. http://www.guardian....-george-osborne The chancellor, George Osborne, will attempt to disguise the spiralling long-term costs of privatising the Royal Mail with figures in the budget that show a short-term boost to the government's finances.Treasury figures are expected to show that taking the Royal Mail final-salary retirement scheme on to the government's books will add £28bn of pension assets to the exchequer, allowing the chancellor to cut the annual deficit and reduce borrowing costs. The decision to nationalise the postal workers' pension scheme was taken last year by the coalition, and clears the way for private contractors to run the 400-year old institution. Osborne will argue that the savings from the lower bill for interest will be used to pay down debts, strengthening the Treasury's hand in future budgets to reduce taxes or relax cuts in welfare spending. However, the Royal Mail scheme has liabilities of £37bn, leaving a £9bn shortfall in the fund that taxpayers will be forced to pay over the next 30 years as postal workers retire. According to Treasury estimates, the payments will raise annual public sector expenditure and public sector net borrowing over time by between £1.3bn and £1.6bn.
  12. Panic capital flight out of Greece, Italy, Spain etc. The investment banking filth commodifying another year's unearned bonuses. Barmy Barry spending and printing his way back to the Wide Ass. None of these things is even remotely sustainable. Once the Depression gets started in earnest UK house prices will drop like a stone and keep falling forever.
  13. Q: What's the difference between a capitalist fairy tale and a Marxist fairy tale? A: The capitalist fairy tale starts out; "once upon a time there was....", The Marxist fairy tale starts out; "some day there will be...." Meanwhile, in the real world, Kyle Bass gives the US 'til 2014, or thereabouts, before it blows up completely. The US, Japan, UK, Europe all utterly fornicated. "I only get paid to be a realist." Confessions of a dangerous mind
  14. Not only are US house prices off 42% since 2006 in real terms, Americans today have less equity (38%) in their homes than at any time since records began. With a shadow inventory of 9 million units waiting to be foreclosed and/or bulldozed additional falls of 10-20% are likely to be seen in much of the country over the next three years. Down and down.
  15. But with the majority out of work where does the demand for factory goods come from? Perhaps the robots can start consuming too. Wearing shoes and taking driving lessons. Hang on, we're back to The Midas Plague...
  16. Or alternatively, keep printing and see how the US economy does then.
  17. It's not just regional pay, they intend to introduce 'zones' and municipalities too. Surely the cost administering it will outweigh any saving?
  18. Flanders is the BBC's resident sunshine propagandist and counter-weight to Robert Peston. Her glass is always half full. I guess having spent your formative years climbing on and off the likes of Ed Balls everything else life throws at you must seem like eating foie gras to the sound of trumpets. Broadbent is a Vampire Squidster. Nothing more needs to be said, really.
  19. Fred Pohl's 'The Midas Plague' (1954). Consume your quotas, or you'll get MORE!
  20. In old Detroit you can buy a house for a dollar.
  21. European car production capacity: 15-20m. European car sales (2011): 12m. European car sales (2012): 10m. Everybody is losing $millions and will continue to do so until we see multiple plant closures. GM will start by shuttering Vauxhall Ellesmere and the rest of the industry will follow.
  22. Bungle and Barry agree to plunder their respective strategic oil reserves in a joint campaign to get Barry re-elected. You thought that stuff was there just for times of war and national emergency? Wrong! Now the USA can act as 'swing' producer once again and party like it's 1969! http://uk.finance.ya...-161837128.html LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has decided to cooperate with the United States in a bilateral agreement to release strategic oil stocks, two British sources said, in an effort to prevent high fuel prices derailing economic growth in a U.S. election year. A formal request from the United States to the UK to join forces in a release of oil from government-controlled reserves is expected "shortly" following a meeting on Wednesday in Washington between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, who discussed the issue, one source said. Britain would respond positively, the two sources said. "We regularly consult with the British on energy issues and any discussion that we had was in that context. We will continue to monitor the situation and consult with them and others," an Obama administration official said. Rising world oil prices, up to $125 a barrel for Brent crude, have pushed U.S gasoline prices up sharply this year and threaten to choke U.S. economic recovery ahead of Obama's bid for re-election in November. Details of the timing, volume and duration of the emergency drawdown have yet to be settled but a detailed agreement is expected by the summer, one of the sources said. Other countries may also be approached by Washington to contribute, a further source said, Japan among them.
  23. These guys have shorter career expectancies than Premier League football managers! In related news, Argos/Homebase continues to justify its place on the Deathwatch list this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk...siness-17378405 Weak demand for electronics has been blamed for another fall in sales at retailer Argos. For the eight weeks to 25 February, the company's owner, Home Retail Group (HRG), said sales fell 7.7% to £480m. Argos, which brings in 80% of HRG's overall sales, shut 12 stores during the period, reducing its total number of shops to 748. Internet sales now account for 40% of revenue. Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "It is difficult to envisage an end to the company's current woes, as economic hardship intensifies and the competition shows no sign of slowing."
  24. The UK will still exist as a functioning political and economic entity in 2031? I'd bet against it.
  25. Squeaky bum time, Osborne? http://www.telegraph...-statement.html Fitch Ratings has warned it could downgrade the United Kingdom's AAA rating in the next couple of years if the government fails to contain the expansion of its public debt. The credit ratings agency revised the outlook on the UK's rating to negative from stable, warning that the Government has "very limited fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic shocks". The decision is a warning to those calling for deficit-funded giveways in next week's budget, the finance ministry said. The Fitch decision came just a week before finance minister George Osborne presents his annual Budget to parliament. Only last month, Moody's also put Britain's top-notch rating on a negative outlook, implying a one-in-three chance of a downgrade.
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