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Tiger Woods?

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  1. I agree whole heartedly with this comment. Credit availability is a social good, but the city goes far beyond that. It is a drain on productivity - siphoning off the best and brightest to move numbers around a spreadsheet instead of producing something. The city may add to GDP, but GDP is a poor measure of social wealth. Repairing the damage from the floods adds to GDP, but one couldn't argue that somehow the wealth of the nation has increased because of the flood.
  2. About to see red... Erm, apart from the public sector, few people have much more job security than those in the city, but few earn more than those in the city. Just ask anyone who has worked for small companies exactly how many times they have been looking for a new job over the past 10 years because the company has run into trouble - usually from credit drying up for one reason or another. In fact, none of the people I know who have worked for banks (and I know quite a few) over the past 10 years have lost their job. All this bravado about job insecurity and "if you can't handle the heat, get out of the fire" just doesn't play with me. Yes, people lose jobs by the 100s in the city when times get tough, but it is the same everywhere. Erm...yes...it is almost entirely a couple of thousand city folk responsible for this...together with the FSA etc. They are the ones who decided to allow the credit spigots to be turned on and created the derivatives that that allowed/exacerbated BTL speculation. Whilst I agree that BTL idiots had to decide to take the loans on offer, all the clever people working in and for the banks should know the history of what happens when credit is too cheap...but they have a vested short term interest in leaving everyone else up the creek in a barbed wire canoe. And before you say that what has happened could not have been foreseen and is somehow unique, go and read Panics, Manias and Crashes by Charles Kindelberger. This has been going on for centuries, dozens and dozens of times in all countries, and it has been invariably fuelled by cheap credit. When someone gets paid 100s of thousands per year in salary and bonuses, one expects them to have knowledge and to use that knowledge responsibly (e.g. doctor, lawyer). Anything else is professional misconduct. Banking seems to be different. The knowledge is used to line the pockets of the banks and bankers at the expense of society as a whole.
  3. Interesting. Given that you checked the account and it said it was in positive balance, I cannot see how they could reasonably charge you. I'd give them a call and (in the most pleasant way possible) threaten to move accounts unless they refund the £50. It generally works. Generally cheques and money transfers take 3 days to clear, but I have noticed the past couple of months that they have begun taking 4.
  4. I think you'll find that undertakers aren't affected too much by recessions.
  5. The people I know in banking IT have all told me that hiring is more or lest frozen across most areas and that contractors aren't going to have their contracts renewed.
  6. Fair enough - obviously the sums are based on assumptions that "aren't quite right". But, it does show how far we have come from the time when one person worked and the other stayed at home to take care of the kids (and childcare for more than one child will, more or less, eat the better part of a whole low end salary.) It also shows exactly how risky a situation a couple would be in if, say, one lost their job, or there was an unexpected pregnancy. This isn't healthy. A similar calculation obviously pertains for lower multiples at higher interest rates...and I certainly remember a time when one of my university lecturers in Australia (about 1989/1990) was very very happy that his mortgage was fixed at 13% - he was the sole breadwinner as his wife was ill. If you think house prices to salaries are mad here, have a look at a lot of Oz these days.
  7. What makes you believe this? The US did this in the 1930s. In any case, value is erroded if you can't sell something easily - so one can confiscate without actually removing possession.
  8. Hmm, let me do a few simple calculations for her: interest on loan: 9xgross salaryx7% interest=63% gross salary net salary =(approx) 0.67 gross salary. money after interest on loan = net salary - interest on loan=67% gross salary - 63% gross salary = 4% gross salary council tax = (approx) 4% gross salary heating etc = (approx) 3% gross salary minimum (i.e. sitting in dark) money after unavoidable expenses = money after interest on loan - council tax - heating etc = -3% gross salary calories required to maintain basal metabolism = 1800/day = loaf of bread/day = 1.5% gross salary (2% if it is that really nice posh stuff, 1% if you can handle value bread) This set of equations has only one solution - photosynthesis. I would suggest that anyone on an average salary buying an average house should seriously consider subcutaneously injecting pureed spinach (*) in the vain home that some miraculous mutation causes a symbiotic strain of chloroplasts to "take" to your epidermis...no longer will you have to stand out from those who are green with envy of your 2 up - 2 down...and your holidays in the sun will pay for themselves by all the money you save on your food bills. (*) this will most likely cause serious harm to your health, but hey, that's the price you have to pay to get your foot on that first rung...I suggest starting with your left arm and then your right leg...as this will put a limit on your costs.
  9. The crazy thing is that, in software, experience accounts for a lot. All the best and most efficient developers I know are well over 35, many about your age. They've been there, seen the mistakes a dozen times over and generally have a lot to offer. I reckon part of the problem is that people don't like hiring people with more experience than them. Mind you, I can remember being told by I was too old at the age of 27, and again at the age of 32 (banking ofc in the latter case). Given that both jobs required Ph.D.s, this is utter madness.
  10. My concern is that this is exactly what they will do - better to inflate away the debt of the masses (and empty their pension funds without them realising it) than have riots in the street. The 6 of us with positive net savings aren't really going to be able to kick up much of a fuss are we?
  11. How much does it cost to rent a similar property in your area?
  12. Try and contact the original seller and see if the offer was passed on and, if so, whether the initial sale did fall through. If so, go to town on the EA as thye would have acted illegally. Does seem rather fishy given that the developer bought it for less than your parents' offer.
  13. No she's not. You are mistaken. The cc debt is the 13th strike of the clock.
  14. Fixing the money supply does not preclude wealth increase - all it means is that as production become more efficient, items become cheaper ... sort of like the tat we get from China. Wealth is not how much money you have per se, but what you can purchase with it.
  15. But someone will have to translate the what banana counter says to the boss... Seriously though, no one said he was expecting hi daughter to become the head of one of China's top ten businesses. In this century, it will be better to be able to speak Mandarin than not...anyone who can interface with Chinese business will be in a better position than anyone who cannot...even if that means working in the slums of NY or London. Seems a sensible thing to do if you can afford it. In any case, bilinguality is always a positive advantage regardless of whether one uses it directly in business.
  16. Sounds like a very free market if you ask me - clearly there is a market for someone to assassinate this bearer of bad tidings, and a couple have stepped up to the plate. Sheesh!
  17. I had precisely the same set of experiences, except when I was walking back from the shops I was stalked by a police car (they slowed down about 10 yards behind me and followed me for another 50 or so...very disconcerting...but not as disconcerting as having police hold a gun on you whilst opening the book of your car to get your passport...) I think they thought anyone walking with their shopping (albeit 200 yards) must be criminally deranged / high on drugs.
  18. Good point RK. Will bring it up in the next local council meeting - these layabout squirrels must be stopped. Put them in hamster wheels I say, and make them earn their living. Nuts don't grow on trees you know....yeah....right...I'm sure we can arrest them on breaching some vagrancy law or something.
  19. I would count what the Romans did as a prime example of the problem of fiat money (in fact I initially put it in as an example when I wrote my post.) England had similar trouble in the 17th century. However, I doubt we are going to discover South America again and have the boom that Spain and Portugal had in the 16th century. Backing money with gold just provides us with one more mechanism to try to keep politicians' accounting honest. If gold reserves are being seriously depleted due to trade imbalances then there is pressure for the government to do something about the problem rather than ignore it or print their way out of it. (Though admittedly in the past the general response of powerful nations has been to go off a gold standard when things got too tough.) I'm not saying that gold backed money doesn't have problems, but fiat money IS broken. Always has been and always will be. The temptation for governments to inflate continuously is just too much. I would opt for a single standard, as bimetallism is asking for trouble - the value of silver to gold seems to have high variance historically.
  20. This is precisely the problem with fiat money. Things can, and historically always have, gotten out of hand very quickly as politicians cannot be trusted to behave in a fiscally responsible manner. Fiat monetary systems have historically always collapsed due to mismanagement and demagoguery. Voters do not seem to realise that consumption today beyond production growth will have to be paid for in the future...with interest....but then how could they as they are continually lied to about inflation and growth with spurious or just plain downright misleading measures such as the CPI and GDP. These are the fantasies that make people believe that a "service" economy is possible or even desirable.
  21. The US functioned and prospered greatly for 100 years in a deflationary economy, until the early part of last century when the fed came into being. The simple fact of the matter is that Keynes' view of money supply being expanded and contracted to soften the bumps is not what happens. Politicians always want to increase money supply regardless as it allows them to invisibly tax (i.e. steal) wealth so they can make promises that get them re-elected. How has the recent derivative fuelled liquidity in credit markets done anything positive for our economy? Sure we've had a boom in asset prices and consumption, but that is hardly a good thing in the long run as it has to be paid for eventually - generally by human misery. The world and financial markets would adjust to the new paradigm. They always do. Super liquidity and easy credit just allows bad business and bad investments to prosper. This is why the whole Keynesian theory of preventing recessions is misguided. Without contraction and a little pain, inefficient businesses are allowed to survive.
  22. ID - £5000 in one transaction, £10000 in one year. Why not use bullionvault (.com) instead - gold is held in bailement for you in Zurich, London or New York (your choice - 3 markets) and the margins are much lower than buying coins. If you must buy coins, then consider atsbullion (website is .co.uk) in London - good margins for a coin dealer - they'll even post them to you! Krugerrands are well accepted and have the lowest margin, but if you have capital gains tax issues (e.g. expect going over £9200 capital gains in anyone year) then gains are not exempt. Pound denominated coins Brittanias etc, whilst priced at a slightly higher margin, but my understanding is that they are exempt from CGT.
  23. I think we haven't come to appreciate the advances in new technology and mathematics and how they relate to the feasibility of hyperinflation as sound economic policy. Once upon a time hyperinflation was disastrous as people had to carry notes around in wheelbarrows. Mints had to keep reprinting and distributing huge numbers of bank notes, and sometimes there just wasn't enough room on the paper to print all the zeros. Now, no matter how fast the currency inflates, by the use of credit and debit cards, zeros can be added overnight with only the press of a button. Moreover, rescaling the currency can be done just as easily. Finally, with the advent of scientific notation (and up arrow notation for those familiar with it) we no longer have to write £1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 but can write 10^57 instead. I think the OP has a brilliant plan and should call in at his local Northern Rock branch for a 200% business loan to get started.
  24. Erm, no a growing economy would just have decreasing prices. Peter Schiff argues quite nicely in his recent book that deflation is actually a good thing.
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