Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

Latest from Mr Conway

Telegraph: Not out of the woods yet

Last Saturdays comment from the Telegraph's economics correspondent writing in the Property section is the usual mix of points of concern to note coupled with a verbal crossing of the fingers.

Posted by markd @ 08:55 PM (1001 views)
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1. Sambino said...

Interesting article, keep an eye over the pond to see what happens

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 09:19PM Report Comment

2. Bubbles. . . said...

Hello...What does the U.K make that gets sent over to America??? Manufacturing in the U.k is at an all time low...All we do is the service sector would u like me to wash u r car??? would u like me to hoover u r carpet with my china built hoover.... what do we make???At least USA have manufacturing we dont have anything if it happens here ....I dont wnt to even say..

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 09:52PM Report Comment

3. Shedders said...

Property is 40% overvalued in the UK.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 01:05AM Report Comment

4. kpjcomp said...

> Furthermore, the current account deficit in the US is far bigger than in the UK -
> a clear sign that Americans are having to borrow much more to keep spending than we do over here.

Is that right?..
A quick calculation aprox., I may be wrong but see it differently.

The US has consumer debt of $10 trillion, average wage $47k, population 300 million, aprox 150 million in work.
The Uk has consumer debt of 1.2 trillion, average wage 20k, population 60 million, aprox 30 million in work.

So average working mans salary
US=10,000,000,000,000 / 150,000,000 = $66,666 eeks, that's an evil no.
UK=1,200,000,000,000 / 30,000,000 = 40,000 ok, that no. not as evil as the US,.

But now compare that to a percentage of the average salary->

US: 180%
UK: 200%

So the way I see, were allready worse off that the US..

Thursday, August 31, 2006 01:12AM Report Comment

5. kpjcomp said...

Sorry that I meant $37K for average wage for US.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 01:14AM Report Comment

6. kpjcomp said...

> So average working mans salary

damm, that was meant to say "So average working mans debt."

Thursday, August 31, 2006 01:17AM Report Comment

7. Jl said...

The market is not regional, it is global fuelled by loose credit, toxic loans, speculation and greed. The UK has by far exceeded the US house price inflation and for longer. The UK will follow the US into a crash landing. As with the stockmarkets the US will take the lead. Start taking out put options on UK housebuilders.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 09:49AM Report Comment

8. uncle tom said...

Making UK/US comparisons is always difficult - they pay less tax, but have a much smaller welfare state. They also gather and present their national statistics in different ways, which makes comparison very difficult.

As a ball park, looking at their economic deficits (correctly) on a per capita basis, I tend to the view that the two countries are pretty much on a par.

BUT the US has got used to a lower currency value - spending/earning equilibrium suggests the exchange rate should be closer to 1.30/1.40 than 1.80/1.90 - so we may suffer a greater currency shock against the developing world's currencies over the next few years.

The Americans also have more space, and are generally better prepared to resume the domestic manufacture of goods that are currently imported, having much better resources of the relevant skills.

Our education system turned it's nose up at industrial skills forty years ago - this is going to come home to roost in the next decade, with critical shortages of essential manufacturing skills - where will we find the skilled toolmakers to equip factories in ten years time?

Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:01AM Report Comment

9. kpjcomp said...

Yeah, that's true.
I soppose to get a more accurate comparison we'd need to compare using (Take-Home-Pay)-(Cost-of-Living excluding Debt), but finding these numbers is the hard bit.. :)

Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:11AM Report Comment

10. Surfgatinho said...

Well done BOE - seems that sitting on their hands and not upsetting anyone was the right thing to do. We'll wait and see about that!

Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:17AM Report Comment

11. waitingfor hpc said...

I work in manufacturing and we have been dying for years! And yes it will take years to bring it back especially when people like me with the skills are looking to move abroad where we are valued. If we ever can as the quality of the 'british worker' is very very poor. Take from me as i employ poles over british any day. - they work , respect the company and the job and have been educated.

As for Uk versus US, we are on a par with each other. The debt over here is comparable with the US but our attitude to inflation has been very different. The US has faced it and we have buried our heads in the sand. We are suffering huge inflation, 70% on metal, 50% on foam etc etc. In under 12 months.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 11:46AM Report Comment

12. tyrellcorporation said...

Forget manufacturing that's SO last century...

Just think, thanks to Tony, we'll be able to supply all the World's Media Studies and Psychology requirements... I'm sure that market is going to be huge!

Thursday, August 31, 2006 03:04PM Report Comment

13. inbreda said...

Waiting - I understand why you would employ Poles over brits, and I don't deny the fact that Brits are very poor in comparison, but I would suggest that they have every reason to be that way.

Your average Pole can get a job, work hard, and make enough money to return home a comparitively wealthy man.

A Brit can work hard, compete with a Pole, and barely earn enough to cover his mortgage. Where's the incentive?

Thursday, August 31, 2006 03:14PM Report Comment

14. Northern Lad said...


Thursday, August 31, 2006 06:04PM Report Comment

15. uncle chris said...

If you think about it, getting immigrants in to do the jobs we don't want to is counter-productive. These are jobs we all used to do as a nation, but after finding others to do them we suddenly decided we were above all that. Now the first wave of immigrants have decided they are rising above the so-called menial tasks and we have to bring in another wave of immigrants - one big viscious circle. It doesn't help that the government (yes its all their fault) are trying to send 50% of young people to University, only to come out 3 years later, heavily in debt, unable to find a graduate job and reluctant to "lower" themselves to anything else. If the baby-boomers are thinking the younger generation are going to be looking after them in later years then I fear they are sadly mistaken. They shouldn't have been such a bunch of flower-power softies and instilled a little discipline when they had the chance.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 06:20PM Report Comment

16. indiablue19 said...

I have a rather fundamental suggestion from my observation as a relative, but much interested and concerned, "foreigner," and that is to get people here to stop drinking and start thinking. I've never seen so many people inebriated on a round-the-clock basis in my life. They are literally laying in the roads here and nobody gives a.....And now the government's bringing in Super Casinoes to waste more intelligence and money so they can collect taxes. It's about ruined the livers on half the young people. How will they even live to support an older generation. They can barely stand up now. It's going to take a little "nose to the grindstone" to get kids doing anything sensible. I remember a phase like this in the USA some time ago when everybody was studying advance basket weaving, pottery, or some archaic nonsense and spending all their time nancing around feeling wonderful. Drink and casinoes strikes me the same way. Time to get real. Like UT says, the US has a capacity to rebound and retool -- and has to a certain extent. The UK needs to think about this now and avoid waiting on the world with twenty years of education a piece.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 06:52PM Report Comment

17. paul said...

India, haha, you should see Japan. I'm sure JU will tell us about that (or even about his own shady past in the land of the rising sun!).

Thursday, August 31, 2006 08:49PM Report Comment

18. Ticktock said...


Perhaps young people feel that they have no future (or house, job, education etc.) and are trying to ignore the fact that they will probably soon be drafted to fight a war in which we (i fear) are the bad guys?

Unfortunately, we Brits only have one way to forget things...and get over things...and celebrate things... and pass the time.... and....come to think of it, you may have a point!

Thursday, August 31, 2006 09:33PM Report Comment

19. indiablue19 said...

Paul, I think the difference is that Japan doesn't seem to have such a problem with productivity and competitiveness, nor civility. People who are drunk night after day become a snotty lot and there is a vast "hangover" mentality of those who don't make it into work.

I know what you mean about Japanese morays. I've met businessmen from Japan who do get socko-ed and act stupid. It's a recognized way to blow off steam and deal with stress and people in the streets look the other way. But they don't take their wives drinking. The next day they're back at work in suit and tie. In the UK, I see young women passed out on the sidewalk with others around them laughing and taking pictures on their mobiles. These kids wake up the next morning who know's where and straggle into the office looking like something the cat dragged in. It's a tragedy. If they can afford to have children they shouldn't. Who needs more babies with fetal alcohol syndrome? Have you noticed the massive infertility rate here? The UK has the largest need for invitro fertilization in the world.

More to the point of this Blog, Japan doesn't appear to face an equivalent competitive tide of cheap labour that is headed this direction from the EU. To hold its ground the UK youth needs to regain the seriousness and determination it seems to have lost in its economic disappointments -- there seems a real lack of direction and national pride. You've got people with barrels of education here, but it they can't see straight, what will it achieve?

Friday, September 1, 2006 12:52AM Report Comment

20. waitingfor hpc said...

In my experience the poles work harder, are smarter and do not complain. And as a result your british workers are overlooked. Not to mention the Muslims that now demand prayer rooms and a work to rule culture so they can pray at 12 every day!

I have had enough of this govt and their stupid ideas and rules. Why do we allow all these people to come here and change our way of life?

I would prefer proper education for the young and some protection so my children will have jobs in years to come!

Friday, September 1, 2006 09:33AM Report Comment

21. d'oh said...

The education in this country is, with some exceptions, a joke. I taught at Oxford for quite a few years, and one not particularly unusual memory I have is that of teaching the student who eventually got the 2nd highest marks in her year (in a science subject) how to add fractions!

In interview for a UG position in English Literature at my college, a student who was predicted to be heading for 3 As at A-levels when asked what his favorite novel was could not respond. Further probing discovered that he had never actually read a complete novel, having gone through school using the internet and study notes. The sum total of work in some "good" universities in English Lit/History involves one essay a term plus associated reading (not Oxbridge...the arts there is still hard is a joke though).

The mathematics tests given to candidates for physics places at Oxford were always a very good least until the point you cried.

A friend of mine who runs a software company will no longer invite computer science graduates from certain universities for interview even if the have a "first class degree" as he says from past experience it has been a complete waste of time.

I was lucky in that I caught the tail end of Australia's once excellent education system. However, this has been completely destroyed in the past 15 years. All bar one of my friends who started out as academics have, over the past 10 years, left the universities in disgust. The internal market as applied in Australian universities has destroyed standards. I can remember sitting in a departmental meeting in 1990 discussing how much the department should lower the pass mark of it's second year mathematical analysis course so we could retain our students and pay the photocopying bill. Through slightly different mechanisms, the same thing has happened in the UK.

On the whole, the UK is not educating its young people, just starting them off in debt. If we aren't going to manufacture, then this country needs a highly educated and motivated workforce, and the education system is not providing it.

Friday, September 1, 2006 09:56AM Report Comment

22. indiablue19 said...

Dear d'oh said...Well, I am even more sad to read what d'oh said. At the risk of completely overstaying my welcome on the HPC website, shall I tell you what keeps my own kids motivated and high-achieving? The believe in God. They have a standard because they know they're ultimately accountable. Whether their professors are or not. They read on their own and try to find the answers. They care how they act and what they say to other people and how they treat them. They try to be encouraging and find the best in everybody. My daughter recently took her A levels, one in Religion and Moral Philosophy. She was the only one in a class of 45 who believed in God at all. In fact she was regularly ridiculed. No wonder most of the others were on drugs, including several who ranked high on entry to Oxbridge. The one thing about the life my own children lead here is that they are extremely "lonely" in the sense that they can't "hang out" with people who aren't halfway sober and responsible. But I still think they're better off. Wherever they end up, they will be accountable and other people will be able to depend on them and trust them.

Friday, September 1, 2006 12:00PM Report Comment

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