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Sour Mash

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  1. I doubt used car prices will hold up as fuel prices go higher and stay high and disposable cash dries up. Then comes the economic crash .. also not good for prices. OTOH, supply of new cars is likely to be constrained for some time, so that might support prices somewhat with people prepared to pay to get something today rather than wait 6-12 months for a new car. My guess is that used prices will still drop back towards what we would consider the 'normal' zone over the next year but be higher than you would expect given the other factors (poor economy, costly fuel). The paradigm of depreciation certainly hasn't gone away for good, we're just in an anomalous situation where things have transitioned ... ie economy gone nuts with higher money supply coupled with supply chain shortages.
  2. Great piece on how Monkeypox is basically overhyped fear-porn here:
  3. Despite its shortcomings, the US is by far looking in the best shape. It can print as much of its currency as it likes and the rest of the World shares the inflationary burden, all it's (massive) debts are denominated in said printable currency and it actually has very good natural resources (Energy, Food and many commodities) if it puts effort into developing them. Plus a very well developed economic infrastructure. Give it a few years and it will be fine .. .. unlike the EU which is hosed (and Britain not far behind despite thinking it is remote from those problems). Still, as Washington Warhawk Victoria Nuland said 'F**k the EU' 😄
  4. Which has long been the stupdity of the single currency. You CAN'T set a single appropriate interest rate for everywhere in the Eurozone. The 'weaker' EZ countries have been racking up huge negative balances on TARGET2 to compensate but that can't go on for ever. And shortly, Germany isn't going to be a position to foot the bill any more as it continues in its headlong rush towards de-industrialisation with its horribly misguided energy boycotts.
  5. Maybe you should tell Poland, Bulgaria and Finland that they are still paying in Euros as they have refused to pay in that way (deposit Euros in a Gazprombank account to be converted to Rubles for payment) on the grounds that they don't want to pay in Rubles. Instead they prefer to pay Germany a premium to get their Russian Gas that way instead. 🤪 One of the main reasons that the Ruble didn't in fact crater after sanctions as the dummies running policy in the West thought it would, was the switch to Ruble payments. Instead, it's shooting up and the Russians now have scope to cut their interest rates. It's almost as if sitting on huge reserves of energy, food and commodities with low debt-to-GDP means you are sitting pretty - especially since you have the military force (and nukes) to ensure that the West can't just come in and 'kick ass and steal the gas' as it usually does. You can't print energy and you can't print food. Something our 'leaders' are going to learn. Of course, the general population will be the ones going cold and hungry but those at the top will still be fine.
  6. Modern economies need a large supply of stable energy .. and wind/solar are not going to replace existing sources that can provide high continuous baseloads and (preferably) ramp up/down on demand. At best they can augment them and may be suitable for some individual consumers - but not the economy as a whole.
  7. The lesson of the last couple of decades is that price is largely irrelevent if mortgage credit is available, somewhat affordable to service, and people are willing to take it on. Expect the government to explicitly underwrite cheap mortgage loans as some point.
  8. The German energy Cos have already set up accounts with Gazprombank. They're on-board with pretending to pay in Euros as even their moronic government understands just how catastrophic losing access to Russian natural gas would be for their economy (and citizenry next Winter). Expect full the reality of excluding a major source of your energy and raw materials to set in as Summer pgoresses, European economies get progressively worse and the prospect of people not being able to keep warm/the lights on in Winter approaches..
  9. I'm gonna be rich! To be fair, they have been pretty much as good (ie. bad) as regular savings accounts since I transferred a load of my savings over to them. And zero counterparty risk as you would have with a bank. I didn't see why I should expose myself to any risk for pitiful, near-zero rates of interest.
  10. Health service in NI is the same as anywhere in the UK - pretty good for emergency/acute issues but not great for chronic ones. And worse now with the deferment of almost every kind of non-emergency procedure for two years 'because Covid'. As many employers these days offer private plans as an option, many choose to jump the NHS queues to go private and no-one can blame them.
  11. The US also just started easing back sanctions on Venezuela (who they've been hostile against for years, even having gone so far as to try to depose the government) ... what a coincidence😁 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Geopolitics-Takes-A-Back-Seat-As-Biden-Drops-Sanctions-On-Venezuela.html Apparently, the Venezuelan people 'suffering under the yoke of an oppressive government' (as the US was framing it) no longer matter either...
  12. Let's boycott Saudi Oil too so as to stop that horrible war in Yemen ... or don't they matter?
  13. The resistance from some to going back to the office is likely to crumble once the economy tanks and jobs become scarce and something you want to hold on to. Ultimately, the employers will have the say. They might see advantages to having some or all of their workforce WfH but if they do want you in the office, you are going to have to come in if you want a job.
  14. Unsurprisingly, you are misrepresenting my point. I'm not saying that buying Russian Oil and Gas is going to make the inflationary problem go away, I'm saying that making some hypocritical point about Ukraine by refusing to do so is going to make it a lot worse than it otherwise would have been. As for Ukraine, the hypocrisy is utterly incredible. Decades of US-led wars and conflicts all over the globe - no problems! But it's suddently the most horrible thing ever when Russia makes war upon a neighbouring country.
  15. This should help fuel affordability nicely: https://www.aol.co.uk/sainsbury-commits-remove-russian-diesel-165526327.html I'm sure the motorists will be proudly proclaiming "Take THAT, Putin!" as they pay even more for their diesel. Honestly, the amount of raw stupidity out there is reaching unprecedented levels.
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