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About stormymonday_2011

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  1. stormymonday_2011

    Another Russian Spy?

    Getting the public on side for what ? And will you be first to volunteer for it ? If these two jokers are GRU agents then allowing them to waltz into the UK on Russian passports presumably stamped with visa by the UK authorities, travel around holding hands on public transport ignoring all the rules of spycraft, come within an ace of killing a former British intelligence asset and then waltzing out of the country again suggests our border security and intelligence is ' inadequate' to say the least. But then the Manchester bombings already proved that fact. Clearly Russian intelligence dont believe in wasting any of their top talent on as pathetic a target as the UK anymore.
  2. stormymonday_2011

    London - terminal decline?

    Arthur Conan Doyle has Dr Watson in A Study In Scarlett summing up London as follows "London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained." or maybe “Go to London! I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Catch the train to London, stopping at Rejection, Disappointment, Backstabbing Central and Shattered Dreams Parkway.” - Alan Partridge (AKA Steve Coogan), 2002 Reactions to the city are never done by half either way
  3. stormymonday_2011

    Male life expectancy in Stockton is 64

    Weekly death rates in the UK have been running above the 5 year moving average consistently for a number of years now. That does not suggest we are all going to be living longer no matter what the government claim.
  4. Charming. What have elderly Americans done to you. Reading the ZH article it looks like quite a few of the bankruptcy filers are on the hook for underwriting their kids borrowings, student loans etc
  5. stormymonday_2011

    Birth rate drops due to austerity

    Odd as it may seem I think the expansion of higher education has something to do with it. Many women are now at University during their peak fertility years of the early 20s. They have not even started work let alone thought about having a family. By the time they are in their 30s their chances of conceiving are already in decline. It starts to plummet from 35. It is a lagging trend whose impact is only starting to be felt now.
  6. stormymonday_2011

    DIY is dead ?

    I can see the slogans for the next set of election manifestos "Creating Tomorrow's Slums Today"
  7. stormymonday_2011

    What a load of rubbish

    Strange how the end consumer rather than the producer is deemed to be the problem here. I dont remember shoppers demonstrating on the streets demanding that items that previously came in glass containers, paper bags, cardboard and grease proof paper be wrapped in layers of plastic often more impenetrable than tank armour.
  8. stormymonday_2011

    Male life expectancy in Stockton is 64

    As always the BBC chose the most extreme example but there is definitely a change in life expectancy trends in the UK It is odd that despite the two World Wars, the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression, widespread absolute poverty and the prevalence of slum housing average life expectancy in the UK rose steadily throughout the 20th century both before and after the introduction of the welfare state and under governments of all political colours be they Lloyd George's Liberals, Baldwin's Conservatives or Attlee's Labour. Now it has ground to a halt in the 21st century when there are no major wars or serious outbreaks of infectious disease. As a consequence there is distinct possibility that on average people born today may not live as long as their parents something that was not the case when the Battle of the Somme or the Battle of Britain were being fought. I don't find any of the pat explanations convincing but clearly something has gone seriously wrong in the UK because few other European countries are showing this trend.
  9. stormymonday_2011

    How will history remember Trump? - Poll

    How will history remember Trump ? Much too soon to say as it rather depends on when it is written and by whom. I doubt the view in 5 years will match that in a 100 years. Distance I suspect will lend perspective which will show Trump is a product of existing historical trends and that his impact will play out as part of the process of them unravelling Personally I think one factor that will be identified is the key role of the existing political, economic and media establishment - who clearly loath him - in bringing him to power. In particular the way the Democratic Party alienated a small but important set of its own voters in 2016 causing them to abstain from voting in the Presidential campaign or casting their ballot for third party candidates will be seen as crucial as enabling Trump to enter White House. Policy wise it is far too early to judge him. Trump treats political negotiations as if they were business deals so his tactics jar with conventional political practice and he is inclined to make policy statements on the hoof. In so far as one can discern his foreign policy his regimes dealings with the likes of Israel,Saudi Arabia and Iran are not a million miles from what I would have expected from Hillary Clinton who was likely to have been much more hawkish President than Obama. Getting NK to the negotiating table was a coup for Trump which I doubt a more conventional political President would have achieved but whether any deals struck will stick long term is open to doubt. On the domestic front the US economy seems to have done rather well under Trump though that may simply because he got elected at a sweet spot on the economic cycle. As for the rest I expect the biggest long term impact will be his conservative Supreme Court appointments rather than things like the much mooted wall with Mexico and immigration policy which in truth are more or less continuations of existing trends in US policy. I think the big risk with Trump is that he has not yet had to face a significant crisis either domestically or in the foreign policy field. When that happens things may well get bumpy for the world. That said if Clinton had been elected my own view is that we would be seeing far more US military intervention around the world than we have seen from Trump so far. Whether that is a good thing rather depends on what one thinks are the biggest dangers to world peace
  10. stormymonday_2011

    Norwegian wealth fund v UK North Sea oil

    The UK also consumed more of the oil and gas from the North Sea internally rather than exporting it The net surplus that Norway enjoys comes in part from this fact Its exports were worth $15 billion dollars more than those for the UK in 2017 which is quite a large sum for a relatively small country like Norway. Norway is the worlds 11th biggest exporter of oil and gas while the UK is 20th on the list.
  11. stormymonday_2011

    Norwegian wealth fund v UK North Sea oil

    The figures on the historical amount of tax raised directly on North Sea production can be found here http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140508003900/https:/www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/306222/140424_UK_oil_and_gas_document_update_for_publication_in_April_2014.pdf The peak was £12 billion in 1984-85 and during the oil price bubble pre the 2008 financial crash. The yield was significant but nowhere near as huge as most laymen outside of the oil industry assume. The huge extraction costs of operating in the North Sea that could be offset against things like PRT meant it was never going to be the tax bonanza some imagined. In truth the UK government probably raised more tax money on the activities associated with the oil extraction industry (VAT, Income Tax on employment, Corporation Tax) than it did from the oil itself. What is significant about the North Sea now is the fact that the oil companies can still reclaim their decommissioning costs against past tax from the UK government once production has ceased. These are likely to be substantial and a net drain on the Treasury for years to come. As a consequence whatever windfall the UK received in the past is likely to have to be paid back in the future
  12. stormymonday_2011

    Trade Wars

    I see the figure of a 20% tariff on European car imports being bandied about in the press. That will hurt Trade Wars hit everyone but presumably those countries running current account surpluses have most to lose. I am not a fan of Trump's trade policy but the EU does not have clean hands on this issue. The whole concept of the EU membership and Customs Union is that members enjoy trade privileges that outsiders do not so it is explicitly uses protectionism to advance is political and economic agenda. Neither the US or EU policies on trade are not exactly friendly to third world countries in Africa and elsewhere either.
  13. They will be trotting out the Zinoviev letter next. This sort of stuff about Russia has a pedigree so long it can be traced back to the Napoleonic era. Can't MI6 change the record occasionally.
  14. stormymonday_2011


    It is the old adage. Your IT Project can be On Time, Cheap, Reliable. Choose two out of three. TSB were clearly more worried about cost and the implementation date than whether it worked properly. That might be fine with a new system with marginal impact on the business. It is an absolutely bonkers strategy with a data and systems migration of this type. No project of this sort should have been implemented without fully tested DR. As for the software I think too much is made about old programming languages etc ( particularly when a lot of new programming languages are actually written in old programming languages under the bonnet). It should be remembers that computerised bank systems have been around for decades and certainly longer than modern internet banking. They used to be so reliable and boring no one noticed them. Now banking IT disasters are regular front page news. So what gives ? How could banks provide generally reliable systems in the era of reel to reel tapes, punch cards but not in the 21at century ? Answers on a post card to the CEO TSB.
  15. stormymonday_2011

    The War In Syria

    I won't spoil it for you by describing how the film ends

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