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SMAC67

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  1. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    Not really, if you are a marginal borrower, then "yes", if I go bust then the entire financial system has collapsed. And that is what every government and central bank is trying to avoid. A vox pop over the years made me realise no-one cares anymore, debt is a way of life and most aren't too bothered about paying it off!! In fact, it's a very good way to get wealthy IMHO, take out debt, move it somewhere safe, renege on said debt, rinse and repeat. It's a business model that works!! in other news, the final stages of collapse continue apace, pictures at ten! Bong!!
  2. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    Swiss money stopped three years ago!!
  3. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    Buy a house and get a great big expensive millstone around your neck more like. Can't say I enjoy it, home ownership is always a pain AND I still spend too much time on DIY!! Power tools maketh the man ?
  4. SMAC67

    Monarch...again.

    The company lasted about 50 years, which is a good age, most don't survive this long. Like people, they are born, they live, they die, some of natural causes, others by dark deeds.
  5. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    PS: where have I been the last few years, travelling the globe, it's a big, scary, interesting place, full of a diverse mix of people and culture, my advice still stands, see it whilst you still can!
  6. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    One last thought re education and training. The main reason for the change in most industries, and I include aviation, is the fact that from the mid 90's people could borrow a lot of money at low low rates. By doing that educational institutions and companies could shift the cost to students and employees. Now young people pay large sums to get an education and indeed go to work. And people wonder why our economy is dying, debt, and lots of it, low interest rates continue to prove that we are still on our knees. Fortunately we have a cracking war around the corner to reset our economy and our civilisation!!
  7. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    Can't believe this thread is still going, I just popped into HPC out of curiosity!! The aviation industry is still a complete basket case. In a nutshell, everyone is still trying to get to the stage where they are too big to fail! Unless of course they are Government owned!! It's just financial sleight of hand and subsidies that keep it all going a bit longer, and of course debt (Norwegian anyone?!) Just dined with my mate who owns his own financial services company, it's all about flight to safety at the moment. We all know where we are headed, we just need to guarantee access to the limited lifeboats. In other news, I am now the proud owner of a mortgage again, as my cousin, a business owner pointed out. Borrow a small amount of money, your problem, borrow lots, their problem!! And now my pension is under attack, again, you gotta laugh. Not that I am hopeful any of us will see much of our pensions. Everything will be liquidated to keep the Global Ponzi alive another day! Oh, and before I go, the problems you see in the aviation industry: accidents; incidents; computer failures, staff shortages, equipment failures; industrial action, flight cancellations; are all the result of one underlying factor, cost cutting!! It's an expensive business that is ever only temporarily profitable. I wonder who will go next?!
  8. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    I was just having this conversation yesterday about how life was too important and valuable to be spent playing with gadgets and trolling the interweb. And yet here I sit merrily typing away as if what I say matters. It doesn't ultimately, as what is happening is happening. I simply turned up yesterday after a couple of years away from HPC to see if this thread was still alive, and it is! Wow, I'm impressed. I think it works as a pretty good gauge of the wider economy as aviation is the proverbial canary in the coalmine. It exists because of cheap oil and an era of relative peace. Both are interconnected, and both will decide the exactly how the future pans out. We have lived through an era of unbelievably cheap energy and now we are coming out the other side. We have an incredible amount of inertia and we simply do not want to believe that anything will change for the worse. We do believe we will live forever and things can only get better. If you have ever lived with people (friends, family) who have serious debilitating conditions such as Parkinsons and Motor Neuron Disease then you will appreciate that you have good days, and you have bad days, but untimately the trend remains in one direction. Life is not linear and things do not move in a straight line, indeed that very volatility can not make it interesting but can also make you wealthy. One of the main reasons that things continue in a sort of "Twilight Zone" is the existence throughout the population of thinking along the line of CV. I'm not here to criticize, I understand it, and thank them for it, as it means that I can personally benefit. If you spend time in the world of investor relations you realise that you are selling a dream, an idea, and building optimism. If you know the work of Edward Bernays you will know how powerful it can be. At the moment sufficient belief can be generated for things to continue, much as they did before, but it is all an illusion. The financial world is a giant game of Jenga, and the tower is tottering as the foundation blocks are removed and placed ever so gently on the top! I agree, the Middle East is enjoying a boom in aviation due to its oil revenues, however it is not the tax free golden sandpit that it once was and the spectre of war looms large on the horizon. China's growth has ceased to be organic and is now in that dangerous phase just before a collapse. The US is a basket case but it does have one very powerful military and the ability to retain reserve currency status. The UK similarly is the original pirate nation and continues to benefit from it's financial institutions, or at least, a diminishing cadre of individuals. Companies in general and airlines in particular have only TWO business trick up their sleeves, one is, cut costs, the other is, expand. Hence the resurgence of the third runway and LHR and Boris Island. Much like the motor manufacturing industry, there is too much capacity, and with costs spiralling out of control, the fat has long been removed, and now the bone is being hacked into. The industry does not need growth as the only way to get seats on bums these days is at discount rates. You can either sell one widget with a 1000 pound margin, or a 1000 widgets with a one pound margin. The industry has transformed from the former to the latter. Even Stelios is alarmed at Easy's growth as he knows it will put them in a Thomas Cook style position. Who incidently are being propped up by money from RBS. But BA cannot talk, their biggest client is the very same RBS, and without RBS both would have ceased to be. Now that BA is part of IAG they have an even bigger problem. The down side is not linear, there will still be success and profit in short bursts, but the overall picture is one of decline. Speaking to an Easyjet pilot yesterday he indicated that he was not entirely happy with his lot due to the fact that he had paid a lot of money, financed partly by the bank of mum and dad and was now working on a flexi contract. Now, a flexi contract means that you are essentially at the behest of your employer, if they want you then you will get paid, which is fine when you are busy in the summer, but once the winter arrives you will be unemployed. So, how do you get a mortgage? Liar lone anyone? The only young person I know who has managed to get a mortgage off their own back lately did so as both partners were in well paid full time employment and the term was 40 years. Sounds like the end of an investment cycle to me. As for investment cycles, they have now been disrupted to such an extent that by delaying the downside, the government will simply destroy business completely. APD is an example of an easy cash grab. Safety has also peaked but is a moot point as to whether people actually bothered. It all comes down to price, and as long as the credit card isn't maxed out, people will continue to do what they are used to. Read "When Money Dies" by Adam Fergusson. The main point is that on the downslope it is one hell of a party! Which is what we have today. I slightly frenetic and frenzied world which has a slightly unreal quality. My advice remains the same, travel whilst you can, it's only going to get more expensive and more difficult. The extremities will be sacrificed for the core. Sorry Ayatollah but that means the regions for London. The airlines are scrambling madly for any potential revenue making and cost saving avenue. It reeks of desperation but is interpreted as innovation and entering new markets. Wrong I'm afraid. But I salute those that keep the party going a little bit longer, particularly the young, who seem quite niaive, but do keep providing those pay rises, thanks guys. That's it for now, see you all in a few years, when I'm sure the demise of Thomas Cook, Jet 2, Monarch, and Virgin will be viewed from a micro economic standpoint. Please note that BA, Easy, and Ryanair are not immune, Lehman Bros anyone? Keep flying.
  9. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    Thanks Bob, I don't like to think of myself as a doom-monger, merely someone who is observing a trend. Unfortunately the trend is going in the wrong direction. In 2007 I was concerned, now I am scared. Things are starting to get too close to home now. I now observe the same realisation is practically everyone I speak to, especially those heading for the dole Q. Some were sensible enough to pay off their mortgage and stay out of debt, others however, are up to their eyeballs and are very worried. Jobs are few and far between and your best option (or quite possibly ONLY option) is to head for the desert. Whilst they have oil they will have a reasonable aviation industry. Life in the UK (and Europe) just gets more interesting as the days go by. More and more people now accept that their pension has gone, the downside is that they now dream of being BTL kings and queens. Of course, finance is very difficult to get hold of and the ONLY people I know who have purchased property have done so via money passed down through the generations. And the only people I know who are starting in the industry (at any level) are financed by parents and grand-parents. Jobs and houses are becoming the preserve of the fortunate few (and I'm not the only person to spot this). Meanwhile the management are running scared, the solution (much like our Eurocrat masters) is for consolidation and monopoly. The bigger the better. That may buy some time but will also force those that don't consolidate, out of business. The remainder will continue to get larger, whilst shedding jobs, until the too big to fail do just that. In addition, fewer people will do more work with less resources, as fuel prices continue to rise, and revenue continues to decline, meaning that the product on offer will continue to deteriorate. People used to "cheap" travel are about to find out what is was like living in the 60's and 70's. Travel is returning to the preserve of the rich and famous, although even Warren Buffets NetJets isn't doing too well. So, in a nutshell, it's bad, much worse than most people know. But then, aviation is all about illusion, the biggest being that it is simply like being on a bus and therefore "safe". As we all know "safety" is relative, and expensive. Keep flying whilst you can.
  10. SMAC67

    Thousands Of Airline Job Losses

    Really? The industry is completely "forked". Even a hardened cynic like myself is surprised at how quickly the situation is deteriorating. Where to start, the UK, Europe, andthe US is toast, the Middle East survives because of oil revenues and the Far East because of China. I'll exclude the latter because they have there own date with doom, the US carriers will consolidate until they end up with USAeroflot. So, meanwhile back in Europe. The Eurozone is finished and even the so-called low cost carriers have noticed that travellers are very price sensitive now. They all rely on growth, which is over, hence the reason MOL wants to put prices up but can't, and Stelios wants the Easyjet board thrown out. The charter market is shrinking, and the national carriers are completely reliant on the banks and government. Both sectors are the main users, both are insolvent. So, we may some more consolidation (see the demise of BMi), as the industry canabalises itself in order to survive. Everyone is struggling to raise finance, any carrier with a final salary scheme is in deep trouble (BA's pension deficit is bigger than the company), the only solution is the one taken by Lufthansa (namely, dump the scheme on the government). Fuel prices, behind the volatilty, continue to rise (oops Ryanair, got that wrong). There are no more cheap aircraft to purchase and flip, the manufacturers have got wise and now work in a cartel. The terms and conditions continue to decrease, those entering the industry now are the offspring of the wealthy who view it as a hobby. Which is just as well because you won't get a living wage. The redundancies continue apace, BA, BMI, etc with more to come (are you watching in Spain?) Maintenance has been defered or simply ignored, the infrastructure, aircraft, and equipment is getting old and knackered and everyone is simply muddling through hoping that the corner will be turned. Extend and pretend is the mantra. I notice some complaints reference the product that is on offer from the airlines. Well guess what, it is deteriorating because airlines simply do not have any money to do any better, they cannot raise the prices (although the government sees them as a cash cow through APD etc). The staff are all being down sized or right sized if you prefer. The only solution is to jam as many people in to your aeroplane, sell them stuff now that they are a captive audience, or give them nothing, reduce turn around times, and time spent on the ground (cheerio maintenance), and sweat the assets. Aviation is the most expensive business on the planet, it is very capital intensive, that capital has virtually disappeared. The end is nigh for some of the more recognisable carriers, and that may buy a little bit of time for the remainder. But once the Olympics are over things are about to get very interesting indeed. Did you take my earlier advice, see the world whilst you still can, it's about to get a whole load bigger..................... p.s. I think this thread will outlive the airlines p.s. to the p.s. Flying is nothing like getting a bus, it may seem that way, but I guarantee that many people wandering around the planet today have no idea how close they were to NOT. The accident stats are getting worse, it is not a coincidence, expect more unpleasant news headlines. Still, as long as it was cheap!!!
  11. Those in charge don't seem to be very bright. The police are a private army to protect the small amount of rich people from the large amount of poor (and about to be poorer) people. Reducing their protection seems tantamount to them accepting their fate. The events at Millbank last week are but a small taste of what is to come. Maybe they will have to hire private mercenaries when the army is closed down. I reckon we will go back to our roots and like Somalia we will once again be the pirate nation. For the average man and woman the existence of the police force is an irrelevance.
  12. I guess you have never read a newspaper or magazine, watched TV or listened to the radio, walked down the street or been on the internet. The average person is now exposed to the same amount of advertising in 24 hours that they were once exposed to in an entire year (that year being 1950). I suppose the multi-billion dollar advertising industry exists for no other reason than to advise people to be sensible with their money. I guess you do not live in a community with other heirarchical creatures known as humans. Beings who are innately social animals who make individual decisions based on what the herd is doing. Beings who judge themselves through the eyes of others. Banks didn't care if the money they loaned was ever repaid as all loans are front loaded which means you get you bonus "now" for selling something that will take an age to repay. They knew that they would be bailed out, so why be responsible. People want the good life, it's something they are exposed to every day, and something to which they are supposed to aspire. At the same time they have less opportunity to earn money to achieve the aforementioned as wages continue to decline. Debt fills the gap. A bank lending someone money isn't the same as an individual lending someone money. If I lend you a £100, that is a £100 I cannot use. If a bank lends you a £100 it just waves a wand and with a puff of typing, the £100 suddenly exists. They can do this ad infinitum despite the alleged fractional reserve requirements. You live in a bubble economy which is entirely predicated on selling each other debt. And you thought we were talking about property. Au contraire, what we are actually doing is moving debt around via the conduit of houses. It's all an illusion, we could easily remove houses from the equation and just sell the debt. It's a pyramid scheme writ large. Why don't you go out into the street and start lending people money, anyone will do. Obviously they will all pay you back, and if they don't, it their fault for taking the money. Personally I am still inundated with phone calls and letters offering me loans and credit. The credit card limits just keep increasing and my bank practically holds me hostage every time I see them. Borrow money now, and loads of it, is the message. I would suggest the banks become responsible for once, but they simply cannot help themselves, greed is good. I don't have any debt because I don't have the void in my soul that requires filling with meaningless consumption, so that makes me a bit of an oddball in the world today. I don't blame people for trying to anethsatise themselves with easy credit. The modern world is s**t.
  13. The solution Charlie, and it's only a temporary one is, WAR, and lots of it.
  14. My street now back at 2003 levels. Neighbours just withdrew their property from the market after two years and no satisfactory offers. Location, a popular commuter town in the South East. p.s. According to the C.A.B. the denizens of our town also have the highest levels of debt in the SE, cool or what?
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