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Tiger Woods?

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Everything posted by Tiger Woods?

  1. Yes. There have been rumours about people going to certain institutions that supposedly held their allocated gold (for which they had paid a significantly larger annual storage premium than for unallocated) and then being fobbed off for weeks. Moreover, one just has to look at the precedent of MFI to see that even if you have allocated gold and it is in the vaults, whether you get it back or not when the company goes bust may be at the discretion of those handling the insolvency.
  2. But they still need lots of people to terrorize and kill, otherwise the drones are pointless. Btw, fewer people. Fewer, fewer, bloody fewer! Now that I have the grammar Nazi out of me, it is interesting to note that "fewer" is a relatively recent linguistic innovation. Only a couple of hundred years ago, "less" was perfectly respectable. In the 20 years I was away from Australia, "fewer" seems to have disappeared from the language. TV presenters, academics, and other sorts who never would have used "less" for where "fewer" is generally deemed to be correct, now seem to use "less" exclusively. I find it incredibly jarring.
  3. To shape the way they think. This was made explicit by said Germans. From Wikipedia:
  4. Germany's a great place. You'll find German rentals very high quality. I've had many extended stays there, and have quite a few German friends. Mrs Woods was offered a job in Bonn a few years ago. We were both heartbroken when it fell through due to the UN HR deciding she was not of the right race. ffs! I've always found (educated) Germans extremely welcoming. If you make an effort with their language and don't jaywalk in front of children, you will go far. Whether you like it or not really depends on your personality. Some people have difficulty adjusting to a different culture. I've only visited Frankfurt once, so don't have any strong opinions on it per se.
  5. They can't afford it now, so what difference would it make? http://www.usdebtclock.org/
  6. Surely the real value is £179,995, and the agent has made 2 mistakes in a row?!
  7. Nice find. Surely one can argue that if you get into financial difficulty because a bank/broker altered your mortgage application so that they could "lend you more" they should be responsible for any portion of the loan and interest above and beyond what their stated lending rules would have allowed you to borrow had they not done so? (Yes, I know it takes 2 to tango.) Some criminal prosecutions for fraud would also go down nicely.
  8. I don't have time to respond fully; I am sure someone else will. However, always remember "Rule Number 1": estate agents are professional liars. They know how to manipulate you. They are acting on behalf of the seller, but their agenda is not the same as the seller's. It is certainly not the same as the buyers.
  9. You've been dropping acid again, haven't you?!
  10. Step 1: Use prisoners to undercut wages, leading to Step 2: Increase in unemployment, leading to Step 3: More crime, leading to Step 4: More prisoners, leading to Step1
  11. What I am doing is not something I want to do for the long term, but our current circumstances do highlight that there is a threshold where the incentive to work is basically destroyed by the benefits structure, especially if you have kids. If China blows up, we will be in a right mess. I suspect we will end up with quite bit of debt as the assumptions behind government revenues fail - won't be as bad as Ireland or Spain, but the same sort of transfer of debt onto the public will occur. A lower dollar will help the rest of the export economy though. We've been importing people hand over fist the past couple of decades, but not doing much for our infrastructure. The cities have gone from being pleasant, to not so nice. I left Australia for the UK in 1992. What I came back to in 2009 was a step down from what I left. About the only thing that has improved is the food in cafes and restaurants. Hardly a fair trade. Having said that, regardless what happens with China in the near future, in the long run Australia will do well this century because of its natural resources. We will waste the opportunity though.
  12. No kids? Nothing much then. It is once you have kids that mana rains from heaven. Starving urchins don't look good on telly. If you are single with no kids, you are tough out of luck. If you were too ill to work then probably it would be the Disability Support Pension. It is about $695 a fortnight, i.e. $18000 per year, but then there is also the possibility of rental assistance etc. I think. Single people get shafted as always. However, note that there is a more stringent residency requirement for this, to wit: It was different when I was a kid. The widows pension paid enough that, with my mum doing a bit of part time work, she managed to pay off a 3 bedroom house near the centre of Brisbane in 10 years, as well as feeding and clothing me to a high standard. What visa are you on btw?
  13. Ms Woods is English, but as she is married to me and has been in country for 2 years, so is effectively Australia as far as benefits go. They are means tested, which is why the marginal tax rate gets so high. Once she earns more than $1500 per annum, or I earn more than about $22k we lose 60 cents in the dollar. Combine this with other taxes, medicare levy etc., and we hit a marginal rate of up to 94.5% as stated above. Housing benefit isn't so generous here, so if we didn't own a home we would be struggling (but surviving). At one point work was looking pretty thin on the ground and social security suggested I shut up shop and go on the dole. My jaw nearly hit the floor! (I haven't stooped that low yet, but there are some advantages. You can get social security here for starting a business provided you are already in receipt of social security in some form or another...so I could close up shop, go on the dole, earning more or less what I do now, then apply for the new business scheme and get a decent qualification as well as financial support.) On a positive note, asset testing in Australia is reasonable. You are allowed $273,000 in assets if you own a home or circa $420,000 if you don't own a home before your benefits are affected...certainly better than the £6000 in the UK. Having said that for some benefits (unemployment) you may be expected to keep yourself with your assets for a period of time (up to 13 week iirc, depending on how much you have). This doesn't apply to parenting payment which my wife is in receipt of.
  14. +100 I never understood this at a visceral level until I found myself in the position. (This is the Australian circumstances; from what I recall of the UK the sums there are likely ot be very similar.) Presently, Mrs Woods and I have paid for housing. Once we had a child, the benefits kicked in. As I'm concentrating on a project that should turn into a profitable business within a few years, I have been bringing in (circa) $21,000p.a. doing some consulting and through investments. Mrs Woods gets over $18,000 per year for a single child. It's not a fortune, but with a little frugality one can live well and last year we saved about $10,000. The interesting bit follows: if either of us earn more than an extra $1500 p.a. from where we are now, the family as a whole (taxes plus loss of benefits) has a marginal tax rate of 82%, rising to 94.5% if I were to earn an extra $16000. If I was to double the amount of consulting I did (bringing in say $42k instead of $21k) I would get to see less than $3000...and this does not include the opportunity cost or the expenses of working or the need to run a second car. Mrs Woods has some time on her hands, and could easily earn a fair bit of money by working from home...but what is the point when she keeps no more than 18% of what she earns for the next $20k. The huge stretch of earnings where one has to pay 82% to 94.5% effective tax that one has to cross before you get to keep 60 cents in the dollar is hugely demotivating. The only reason the whole country isn't doing what we are doing is because they are struggling with a mortgage/the rent, have some victim like work ethic, or are too innumerate to do the sums. So, in summary, we are now scrounging on the state (i.e. other taxpayers), not working when we could, because it would cost us (and the well being of our children) to do otherwise. I hate that the system is set up like this; when we had no children and were earning £100,000 p.a. we paid tax through the nose and all we got from the government for it was a ramping of house prices and rampant inflation. F*** them, I don't care anymore, especially when I see the cushy deal my friends in the public service get. My understanding from what others have posted on HPC is that family tax credits in the UK lead to a similar scenario for household incomes between £14k and £40k. I was offered a job in Melbourne not so long ago, paying over $100k. We did the sums; after we took into consideration rent, and the cost of working we would be no better off than sitting where we are on benefits (except I would have to go to commute and work all day) unless my wife also went out to work and dumped the little'un in child care (which we don't want to do.) Of course things would be different if we didn't own our own housing. The whole system is completely and utterly f***ed. It cannot go on like this. What cannot go on forever must eventually stop.
  15. With a packet of matches and a fire-lighter, so could XYY. "Sorry luv, I thoughts theys was meant for kindling..."
  16. But then they didn't have £20k racked up on credit either.
  17. Assuming you live in the UK, there is no good reason to buy physical gold for personal possession in any form other than Britannias or sovs, as these are (currently) capital gains free, whilst capital gains tax is due on all other forms of gold. If you want lower spreads and aren't fussed about physically holding gold, then bullionvault.com isn't bad. The costs of transactions and holding are about as low as you can get and (at least ostensibly) the gold is yours, held in bailment, rather than you being a creditor, as is the case for most other pm investment funds/banks etc. As for silver, I'd just buy it and hold it at bullionvault - it is VAT free there, the spreads are very low and the holding costs are low. VAT on silver just makes it untenable to buy and hold physical in Europe. (In Australia there is no GST (i.e. VAT) on silver, so we have quite a few kilos of the stuff, but in Europe it just made no sense to hold it that way.)
  18. Everyone chasing the good life like milk sloshing around in a pail. Don't be surprised if some of it gets spilt.
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