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Captain Coma

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Everything posted by Captain Coma

  1. Hah! Unsuspecting, my foot. They knew what they were getting into!
  2. Ah, rats ... I lived for years on a farm and killed several hundreds of them - in fact must have been at least 400-500. They are out and about at night, but aren't particularly nocturnal. This means good sport during the day as well. Best thing is a .25 air rifle (head or lung shot; score the pellets cross-wise on the business end for dum-dum effect) and a .22 Brockock air revolver for fancy shootin'. It takes patience, but spill a little temptation in an open area of floor (I preferred pig food or sheep nuts in the foodstore) and lay silent and hidden high on top of a large bale of hay. Like humans, rats never look upward, so that's your edge right there. They'll come. Let them get confident, then pick one off. They'll still come back after a while. They're smart, but also stupid and greedy. Traps only work if they're the old-fashioned cage kind, like lobster pots where they can climb in but can't climb out. Got ten in one of them once then just pumped pellets in until they stopped moving. Never had another rat climb in a cage after that - they learn fast. And in the end, they'll win.
  3. Of course the DOW is up - post mortem effects. The money deserting bonds floods into equities ... but only for a while until the bad news catches up. Think of it as the tide sucked far out to sea before the tsunami roars in.
  4. Rule 1: The Bank Is Your Enemy Rule 2: Debt Is The Slavery Of The Free Man (Or Woman) Any more rules, folks?
  5. It's true you can live like a king on other peoples' garbage - and I mean cast-offs, not potato peelings! Always been my philosophy, and it's great fun. Even in London, where I live, the paradox is that while it's expensive, the second-hand shops are full of good quality stuff. Never pay more than £5 for a pair of jeans or circa £25 for a suit. Second hand cars are very reliable these days (compared with the rubbish around in the old days) and cost peanuts. I drove BMWs for about 15 years as an impoverished graduate student and after - you could pick up a mildly rusting 2002 for £200 quid and source 2nd hand parts for next to nowt, oh yes ... Brewed me own beer, rolled me own ciggies. What you don't spend, you don't have to earn, etc. Of course, I look like Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins", but that's this season's style.
  6. Thanks Brainclamp - great link. So folk are already refusing to buy mortgage CDOs at 50 cents on the dollar. And that's all three tranches, which puts the AAA-rated stuff in big trouble because it's already having to bail out the riskier defaulters. AND that's before the hedge funds have taken their liabilities to market and been punishingly repriced, so it could (will) be much worse. I'll stick with my 10 cents on the dollar prediction for the equity level (how do you even begin to work out what the bricks and mortar collateral is ultimately worth in a fluid, plunging market, not to mention finding out who owns the front door keys? And even then it's worth zilch without buyers.). Does anybody think the pension funds will go t*ts up?
  7. My prediction is that the lowest (highest yielding, most risky) tier of the mortgage-based CDOs, when tested in the real world, will realise no more than 10%-20% of their currently-assumed value. With the geometric leveraging that's been going on, even the kosher top end stuff will have been degraded to - what? - 60% or 70%. It's Armaf***ing-geddon. And the longer they conspire to leave the margin calls, the worse it'll get.
  8. Yes, perhaps, but won't it put an absolute "freeze" on hedge funds taking on any more CDOs? And if that happens, the business of the hedge funds dries up immediately, and nobody can lay off debt indefinitely any more and it unravels anyway. Or am I wrong?
  9. I am a newbie and far far from being an expert on any of this, so please go gently with me. But using what common sense I possess, it appears that the most important thing from the MPC is this. From the miutes: "by raising [the MLR] now, the peak in interest rates could eventually be lower". Surely that's the key sentence. If 6% is already on the table for the end of 2007, then the "peak", which, had rates been raised in June, could "eventually" have been lower, must "eventually" be more than 6%. Any offers? With 10-year swap rates already at 6.2%-6.3%, won't retail lenders will have to charge a percent. or two more just to stay in business? And that's without any more inflation appearing on the horizon, or subprime debts bundled and used as collateral by other lenders going t*ts up. Anybody for 9% or even 10% by end 2008? I have visions of lenders calling in loans to salvage what they can.
  10. Wow! Who is this masked Magrathea? (And why do I assume she is a woman? The name, perhaps - Margaret something?). I have never read so much condensed sense since Hayek finished all the Babychams and offered Ludwig outside for a fistfight.
  11. My wife is Danish but lived and worked in Germany (Hamburg) for most of her adult life before moving to London - where I snared her, poor girl. My sister married a German from Hanover and has lived in Gottingen, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Munich, outside of which she and her husband have recently built a house (they now have three children and a very nice life there). I ADORE Germany (and Denmark), also Austria and Switzerland and would jump at the chance to live anywhere around there - and I am persisting in trying to persuade my spouse to move back the continent, where we have so many lovely friends and family, and where our little boy would be one thousand percent. better off than in scummy north London. In short, desperate to get out of Nulab horror land before the you-know-what hits the fan under Der Bogey Fuhrer. Anyway, to get to the point ... German house prices have been flat for over a decade, much to the benefit of the society, which has been able to get on with thinking about more interesting things. Now that China is tanking US T-bills and the market is pricing in inflation, sending IRs up, I can't see that changing. And Germans, being a civilised society, are not excited and seduced by the whole property obsession. Cultural reasons. As for East Germany, it is a wonderful prospect, smack bang in the centre of Europe, potentially fat and fertile, but dragged down by the attitude of its post-commie inhabitants. Friends from Hamburg who relocated to (I think it was) Leipzig - not the worst place by far - admitted defeat and returned after two years, citing the abjection and negativity of the people in the East. The most energetic and entrepreneurial of the Osties are in W. Germany and doing well. Those who stay look back wistfully to the good old days when the Stasi kept everyone safe ... There's nothing wrong with buying property in Germany: it's cheap, relatively speaking, especially in the East, but don't expect it to go up wildly. Live there, instead, and find a way to finance yourself. You'll be happier than here.
  12. Here's one from the late and legendary Roy Brooks, that rarity, an honest EA. Could apply perfectly here: "FASHIONABLE CHELSEA, Lamont Rd. Do not be misled by the trim of this modest Period Res. with its dirty broken windows; all is not well with the inside. The decor of the 9 rooms, some of which hangs ineligantly from the walls, is revolting. Not entirely devoid of plumbing, there is a pathetic kitchen and 1 cold tap. No bathrm., of course, but Chelsea has excellent public baths. Rain sadly drips through the ceiling on to the oilcloth. The pock-marked basement flr. indicates a thriving community of woodworm; otherwise there is not much wrong with the property. In the tiny back garden an Anderson shelter squats waiting ... Lse. 40 yrs? G.R. £50. SACRIFICE £6,750." I want to start a Roy Brooks appreciation society. The man was an artist & scholar.
  13. Hello to everyone and thanks for having me. "Captain Coma" derives from my sleeping habits, or rather characteristics. Longtime lurker first time poster - I have been reading the threads here more often of late and I guess it has to do with my incredulity at the state of the housing market. I believe that economic laws are laws of nature, so what goes up must come down, and I'm expecting some sort of reverse. That makes me a bear. But it's only in the last couple of weeks (watching ten year swaps, US T-Bonds and the markets ignoring the BofE), that I have concluded the crash will soon (year to 18 months? Sooner?) be here.
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