March 2008 Archive

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Great stuff, well worth a listen

BBC Radio 5Live: Return of the Debt (mp3)

How would you feel if you suddenly found out that you owe tens of thousands of pounds for a debt that you didn't know you had? The 5 Live Report has learned that people whose homes were repossessed over a decade ago are now being pursued by lenders who say they didn't recover enough money from the sale of their property. Reporter Penny Haslam speaks to people who have rebuilt their lives, with new families and new homes, who are now facing court action for debts that have come back to haunt them more than 10 years on.

Posted by little professor @ 11:11 PM 17 Comments

House prices likely to fall by a quarter in two years

Daily Mail: House prices likely to fall by a quarter in two years

House prices in Britain could fall by 25 per cent before mid-2010, forecasters at Capital Economics have warned.

Posted by frustrated gardener @ 10:37 PM 4 Comments

Competing to be the worst deal

Independent: 'Vicious cycle' for borrowers as more mortgages are withdrawn

As mortgage companies compete to avoid business, could the internet be taking a new role? Price comparison sites were not around last time. Now, you can find out the best deal in a few seconds. This will speed the feedback process of banks withdrawing best deals literally to the speed of light. The second a lender pulls the best deal, another lender, who is now the best deal, gets inundated, and pulls their product or puts up rates, and so the cycle continues, until when exactly? The viscious cycle means even more deflation, which makes assets yet more risky, and so the trough should be greater for this and other reasons this time around.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 10:17 PM 9 Comments

THE US Federal Reserve is to give everyone in America a spaniel in a bid to prevent recession in the worlds biggest economy.


It is the largest domestic pet the US central bank has given out, and almost ten times the size of the chinchilla issued to every household in the wake of the dotcom crash of March 2000.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 10:00 PM 1 Comments

How Much Would You Get For Screwing Up Your Company?

Guardian: Ex-Northern Rock boss gets 750,000

Northern Rock will ignite a storm of controversy tomorrow when it reveals that its former boss Adam Applegarth received a 750,000 pay-off when he left last December.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:52 PM 9 Comments

If You've Bought An Apartment In Spain I Hope It Isn't One Of These

Entrepreneur: Buying Property Abroad? Beware Of Fools Gold

Article about Brits buying property in Spain and getting caught out by not using solicitors. I just hope one of those apartments in the picture isn't yours.

Posted by benny king @ 06:44 PM 2 Comments

Have it!

Telegraph: Hedge Fund "Legends" hit by Financial Turmoil

Even when the markets turned last year, the hedge funds' high jinks continued. Stephen Partridge-Hicks, the former Citibank debt guru and head of Gordian Knot, one of the big credit hedge funds and so hit first, tackled the crisis by splurging thousands of pounds on a show-stopping party. In October, as his fund tanked, he chartered a plane to fly 150 mates to Morocco where he had hired Marrakech's upmarket Amanjena hotel for a James Bond-themed party. On top of the usual champagne and haute cuisine, Patridge-Hicks staged a James Bond scene - complete with actors, stunts, a real submarine and a fly-by from two Mig jets - starring himself as 007.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:07 PM 4 Comments

Flat broke at the Waterfront

Evening Star: Flat broke at the Waterfront

Even more evidence that the new-build apartment bubble has already burst - if any was needed. There are still lots of 'luxury' apartments under construction here in Ipswich, will be interesting to see how many they can shift.

Posted by mistert @ 02:34 PM 4 Comments

An Economist's View

san francisco chronicle: asset bubbles

An article from 2005, maybe some one in the banks should of listened? This is a global problem and the only voice i can hear is timber!!

Posted by asset bubble for sale @ 01:51 PM 0 Comments

So much for IVAs being the answer to everything....

BBC News: Debt time bomb over repossessions

As fears grow of another crash in the property market, some of those who had their homes repossessed in the last housing slump are still suffering the consequences.

Posted by wilee @ 12:36 PM 5 Comments

After seven years of plenty,...?

This Is Money: Mortgage famine hits building societies

At the end of a week in which the Bank of England pledged to help ease the credit crisis, homeowners desperate for new mortgage deals were being turned away in even bigger numbers as competitive rates evaporated before their eyes.

Posted by wilee @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

Bear rescue wont end the credit crisis

MoneyWeek: Bear rescue wont end the credit crisis

Market confidence has been bolstered by the Fed overseeing a rescue of Bear Stearns. But that and its various measures to improve liquidity wont solve the credit crisis - note that interbank lending rates have kept rising, showing that banks are still hoarding cash. The worry is that some banks may be forced into insolvency as the value of their securities slide.

Posted by damien @ 11:47 AM 0 Comments

Taking a swipe at

Telegraph: It's not just the property market that's overheated

Phil Spencer, the television property expert, was taken aback by the insults that rained on his head last week. The presenter of Channel 4 programmes, including Location, Location, Location, was described as a "confidence trickster" and a "smarmy snake-oil property-porn merchant". His crime? He had dared to suggest that the property market was not collapsing. Kirstie Allsop, his 36-year-old co-presenter, has also been the target of seemingly orchestrated ambushes when she has taken part in radio phone-ins. The "doomsters", who express their views on a number of "property crash" websites... have a vested interest in talking down the market and spreading fear and uncertainty.

Posted by little professor @ 11:35 AM 68 Comments

The inflation target has become a joke

ThisIsMoney: Pressure for rate cut as house prices fall

"The Bank voted against another rate cut this month on grounds that inflation was running well above the 2% target, driven by rising food and energy costs. But Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's chief economist, said the Bank should act in April to ease lending conditions and breathe life into the housing market" after fudging real inflation data with the CPI, now the CPI too is running away, so what you need to do? cut? in the words of Diana C of Lombard Research, the biggest problem the BoE has is to cool this overheated economy. I hope Mervyn and co make the right choice next week. Look at the 59 comments to the article, all say the same. God Save The Pound!

Posted by confused76 @ 11:21 AM 11 Comments

We are in deep sh*t!

Mail: Queen cancels diamond wedding party in wake of economic gloom

"The Queen has cancelled a party to mark her diamond wedding anniversary because she felt it would be "inappropriate" to hold a lavish celebration with the country on the brink of recession" I thing Gordon is already packing.

Posted by confused76 @ 12:55 AM 16 Comments

Consistency? What's that?


DESPERATE landlords are about to flood the fragile property market with buy-to-let homes. Half a million owners have been badly hit by rising interest rates and are struggling to make a profit on their investment. Experts predict they will want to cash in. The mass dumping that results could send house prices plummeting to levels not seen since the recession of the early Nineties.

Posted by little professor @ 12:51 AM 17 Comments

Very bearish stuff

Observer: House prices likely to fall by 25% in two years

House prices in Britain could crash by 25 per cent before mid-2010, forecasters at Capital Economics have warned. That would wipe 45,000 off the value of an average house. Other UK housing bears include David Miles, chief UK economist at Morgan Stanley. He reckons the market is due a 20 per cent correction. If he and Capital are broadly correct, a significant number of people who bought two years ago will find themselves in negative equity by 2010.

Posted by little professor @ 12:47 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Devil is in the Detail as Northern Rock publishes its 2007 results

Sunday Times: Northern Rock profits dive after huge writedown

Some interesting snippets in this article including the fact that mortgage arrears in the banks mortgage book climbed almost 20% between January and February.

Posted by enuii @ 11:30 PM 1 Comments

Merryn again

Sundat Times: On the home straight

I HAVE been writing here for years now about all the horrors that are finally coming to light the end of the credit bubble, recession in America and so on. But the thing that I have focused on probably the most has been the housing bubble. I called its end rather too early (March, 2004!) but I cant imagine that there are many people left who would still insist as they have for the past five years that the sharp rise in prices across Britain has not actually represented a bubble

Posted by bufferbear @ 10:15 PM 7 Comments

What Blair's bank thinks about 2008

Finance Markets: Vendors lower prices to secure capital gains

Analysts at investment bank, JPMorgan, are forecasting that UK House prices will decline by 6% in 2008, and continue falling next year. At the end of 2007, the bank was predicting that prices would remain stagnant for at least a year, but last week, Malcolm Barr, JPMorgans chief UK economist, described the current situation as pretty bleak. Mr Barr explains: The rapid slowing in prices, the step-up in new supply, and the marked drop in household expectations for house prices suggests the credit crisis has encouraged existing homeowners who were considering a sale to move quickly, and accept a lower price, to realise existing capital gains before they are eroded.

Posted by stevie dee @ 09:26 PM 0 Comments

Listen to Melissa

Telegraph: Fame and Fortune: Melissa Porter

"My worst buy was a Range Rover I bought for 50,000 and later sold for 36,000" but "I've just bought a flat in Holland Park for 600,000 and I think I'll double my money in five months" and "Do you invest in anything else other than property? Yes, I have just started investing in art... I'm spreading my risk in property, art and also I'm thinking about wine. The art dealer I use really knows his onions" Wine and onions on canvas, whatever... I just love her!

Posted by confused76 @ 08:03 PM 29 Comments

Utter tosh and "impartial" advert for Savills International in the FT

FT: Mortgage upheavals and long view of the markets

Listen to the impartial advice and invest in French property! Why? Because mortgages are easier to get abroad and prices continue to grow. Utter tosh but clearly demonstrates that even Savills does not see the point of investing in UK property anymore. Bye bye BTL!

Posted by confused76 @ 07:49 PM 1 Comments

FT reckons HPI is +1.7% not +1.1%?

FT: House prices continue to fall in UK

+1.7% yoy HPI according to the front page of the FT, read the hard copy this morning and couldn't believe they were quoting the wrong figures. NW March report clearly quotes +1.1% yoy. What going on with the standard of journalism in this country? Authors; Chris Giles and Delphine Strauss. Anyone know how to email and's the front page FFS!

Posted by geed @ 04:13 PM 9 Comments

A massive debt pyramid that is teetering on collapse

signs of the times Global Research: Is an International Financial Conspiracy Driving World Events?

The housing bubble has led to a huge inflation of real estate prices in the U.S. Millions of homes are falling into the hands of the bankers through foreclosure. The cost of land and rentals has further decimated family agriculture as well as small business. Rising property taxes based on inflated land assessments have forced millions of lower-and middle-income people and elderly out of their homes. The fact that bankers now control national monetary systems in their entirety, under laws where money is introduced only through lending at interest, has resulted in a massive debt pyramid that is teetering on collapse. Was Alan Greenspan really as dumb as he looks in creating the late housing bubble that threatens to bring the entire Western debt-based economy crashing down?

Posted by malct @ 03:54 PM 39 Comments

Sentiment is on the move Falling house prices become a reality

By Fergal Barry-Murphy. Published On 29 March 2008 Falling house prices become a reality For British homeowners, the key question is no longer whether house prices will fall, but how much they will fall by. Some would argue that we should brace ourselves for a housing crash, while others expect a more subtle adjustment. What is sure is that house prices are falling. There are a number of contributing factors and in this case it is difficult to find a scapegoat for this worrying trend. For the most part, outside factors such as the global credit crunch are to blame. What is more, the rate of growth that we saw through the 1990s and the first half of this decade was unsustainable and had to come to an end at some point.

Posted by bufferbear @ 03:25 PM 0 Comments

Only 10% House prices in Wales expected to fall by 10% as downward trend continues

House prices in Wales expected to fall by 10% as downward trend continues Mar 29 2008 by David Williamson, Western Mail HOUSE prices across the UK fell for the fifth month in a row during March as the market continued its downward trend. New data shows the average cost of a home in the UK dropped by 0.6% during the month to stand at 179,110, according to Nationwide Building Society. Welsh commentators said house prices in the region are expected to fall by up to 10%.

Posted by bufferbear @ 03:21 PM 2 Comments

Now talking about a bust

The Times: Credit crunch: Pinpointing the boom's turn into a nasty bust

At last, a tipping point is looming for Britain's national obsession: the housing market. The long boom in residential property prices has clearly been over for months, with volatile moves up and down in prices pointing to the market's shaky foundations. But with hindsight, it may well be that the past month or so will come to be seen as the decisive turning point when the long housing boom mutated into a nasty bust.

Posted by bufferbear @ 03:18 PM 2 Comments

Nationwide concedes the market has turned!

Nationwide: House prices

Page 2: negative momentum is building, for the first time more people think prices will fall than rise. Page 3: the 2006-2007 mini-bubble is well and over. Footnote 1: but still the (relative) majority of people think prices will be flat... good try Fioanuanallalllalla!

Posted by confused76 @ 12:35 PM 1 Comments

Media Tosh!

TimesOfLies: What's happening in the housing market where you live?

"Experts give their verdicts on the health of the property market around Britain" sure! "Expect to see heavy discounting of those homes that are too close to a road or a pylon" i.e. 90% of UK homes "The prices of those family homes don't move, except to go up" If sellers were to price more realistically at the same time as lenders were able to normalise lending criteria, we could see a speedier harmonisation of seller expectations and buyer affordability"

Posted by confused76 @ 12:12 PM 19 Comments

Spot the EAs on the Newsnight blog

BBC: Housing in Meltdown?

Here's one idiot "I later caught the end of last night's Newsnight edition and heard the presenter, risibly, express astonishment in his review of the front pages that the Express was running a trend-bucking headline, "House prices continue to rise". The Express is right and it's not rocket science so the BBC should be able to get its pretty little head around the idea."

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:58 AM 9 Comments

Want to Know Where Your Tax is Going? 700k bill to tart up Commons Speaker's free home

COMMONS Speaker Michael Martin's London home has had more than 700,000 spent on it since he moved in, it was revealed last night. The cash went on items such as furniture, art and air conditioning for the grace and favour official residence. An additional 992,000 was spent on Speaker's Garden, although most of that went on improving security in the wake of 9/11.(Oh Good ! I was getting concerned for a moment) The spending spree was revealed last night as he faced pressure over his review of MPs' expenses. Martin, Labour MP for Glasgow North East, was elected Speaker in 2000. These are Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act . This Squeaker is doing OK. Is't he ?

Posted by plato @ 11:28 AM 9 Comments

RECORD bad debts in the US home loan market will see bank profits fall from eye-poppingly obscene to unspeakably repulsive, City analysts warned last night.


"The fact is, they control every aspect of your lives - often in ways you dare not imagine - and could, if the notion takes them, snap you in half like a dry twig."

Posted by planning4acrash @ 10:45 AM 4 Comments

What is the Fed up to handing Bear Stearns over to JP Morgan, now accepting bad mortgage debt from other troubled banks?

Seeking Alpha: Bear Stearns Bailout by the Fed, JPM: A Century Old Conspiracy

I found this article in an unlikely mainstream financial blog which shows from the comments which range from anger to gratitude that it was published. "J.P. Morgans chairman, James Dimon holds a board seat at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Fed and U.S. Treasury brokered a deal for J.P. Morgan in haste without question. Usually, such huge deals or mergers would go through committees or FTC oversight, but none of that here a quick weekend jaunt in the park." If the Fed is such a dubious power hungry private bank why does our BoE play along? I don't think I was alone in thinking over the past few years housing bubble what was really going on, letting so much personal debt build up when there was no hope of paying it back?

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:21 AM 1 Comments

Ah Ahhahahhah Ahaha Hah


"HOUSE prices have risen by more than 30 every day over the past five years, it was revealed yesterday" Ah haha hahahhahha Ah haha hahahhahha Ah haha hahahhahha Ah haha hahahhahha. Where is Greenbay?

Posted by confused76 @ 10:11 AM 25 Comments

You Are All Wrong


Well this made me laugh. Not going to be too long before they can't say they're still rising.

Posted by arseburger @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments

"A long drawn-out grinding decline"

FT: John Authers: Contrary to your expectations

"Mortgage lenders, most recently Nationwide, the nations second biggest, are deliberately raising rates to make themselves less competitive. This is the very definition of a credit crunch, and it is only just starting." John Authers, one of the few financial journalists whose analysis carries weight.

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling last night carried out his threat to pile up 100 billion of taxpayers' money and then set fire to it.


Mr Darling has been steadily increasing the mound outside the Treasury since last September, as City analysts debated whether he would torch it or use it to buy Sir Richard Branson a new balloon.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 09:10 AM 0 Comments

One to watch

Newsnight: Housing in meltdown

Here it is if you missed yesterday's Newsnight on BBC2

Posted by yoyo1 @ 08:29 AM 31 Comments

12-18 months

Bloomberg: if only I could get the Fed's help when I am bad

And now, fully qualified, would-be homebuyers looking for low-interest mortgages get turned away by lenders unwilling to pass along rate cuts the Fed gave them specifically to make lending easier and revitalize the economy.

Posted by bystander @ 08:23 AM 1 Comments

"Growth is slowing"... "negative growth"... "inverted inflation"... ehmm PRICES ARE DOWN 7,000!!!

Times: Credit crunch: British house values fall 7,000 since October

First time the headlines say so clear. CRASH!!!! Where is Greenbay and his property mini-empire (now worth thousands less!). What is he gonna tell the chaps at the pub tonight? "Nationwide's economists yesterday abandoned their past insistence that residential property values would at worst be flat this year and gave warning that prices would continue to slide" I am having a laugh

Posted by confused76 @ 08:15 AM 4 Comments

Spot the editor with a crumbling BTL portfolio?


The Express has lost touch with reality. Quote of the article " there is more chance of finding Elvis on the moon than house prices crashing over the next five years." Next Week: Did Elves take Maddie to the Moon?

Posted by ingermany @ 07:49 AM 1 Comments

As lenders keep tightening, the 'boiling frog' analogy increasingly explains the unravelling of the property bubble

The Motley Fool: Beat the Mortgage Rate Rises

Nationwide, for example, has just increased its entire two-year tracker mortgage range by 0.57% This means that if you only have a 5% deposit, you will pay a whopping 7.1% with the Nationwide. And its lifetime tracker range rate is up 0.51%.

Posted by inthedelhi @ 05:26 AM 1 Comments

Friday, March 28, 2008

The New ECB

Bloomberg: German `Super Bank' Is Being Considered, Stern Magazine Says

Isn't this what the ECB is anyway?????

Posted by bystander @ 09:10 PM 0 Comments

Government misses opportunity to help key workers get on the housing ladder

Welsh Liberal Democrats: Government misses opportunity to help key workers get on the housing ladder

The Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Housing, Peter Black, has accused the Labour-Plaid Welsh Government of missing an opportunity to help poorly paid key workers after they revealed that they will no longer fund the HomeBuy scheme for first time buyers on most properties.

Posted by guy @ 08:35 PM 1 Comments

Parachute money = inflation = higher rates to fight inflation???

Bloomberg: ECB lends six-month cash as policy makers warn of higher rates

Anyone see the problem the ECB seem to be missing?

Posted by bystander @ 07:16 PM 4 Comments


bloomberg: pound falls to record low against the euro as consumer confidence slumps

This fact is being hidden from the general public, to save the government and the BoE from being forced to raise interest rates to protect the pound, and fight inflation, as the money men control the purse strings and the puppet strings of the government. They will continue to drop rates, to feed the financials who will hoard and store and covet, but not pass these cuts onto the public, except through cutting saving rates. Then, when inflation is so high that the BoE will have had to write more than one letter to the chancellor, will interest rates rise, and rise and rise until Icelands rate will look like a cheap deal. Two years of pain...closer to the/fifteen years of pain for the British public through pandering to the government masters in the city. IMHO.

Posted by bystander @ 07:06 PM 3 Comments

The cupboard was not completely bare for the Cayne bear....although alot less than if (unlike Adam Applegarth) he had bailed out sooner......!

Financial Times: Cayne sells stake in Bear for $61m

Jimmy Cayne, a one-time travelling salesman who became a paper billionaire last year as chief executive of Bear Stearns, has sold his entire stake in the investment bank for a little more than $61m. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Cayne sold 5.6m Bear shares for $10.84 each on Tuesday, a day after after JPMorgan Chase agreed to raise its bid for the stricken investment bank fivefold to $10 a share. Mr Caynes wife, Patricia, sold 45,669 shares at the same price.

Posted by anne kent @ 06:41 PM 0 Comments

Speculation about huge losses in Germany

Spiegel: German Banks Could Hemorrhage 70 Billion Euros

Subprime losses of 70 Billion Euros mooted at German Banks with exposure to US Toxic Waste. Before we get too happy about this maybe their reporting is more honest or at least at a different stage in revealing the "true" extent of losses. What position are UK Banks really in? The fallout in Germany from exposure to America's subprime crisis may turn out to be far bigger than previously feared. One major newspaper is putting estimated losses at a whopping 70 billion euros, while a prominent politician warns that the US recession has already arrived in Germany.

Posted by mken @ 06:27 PM 1 Comments

Fed now allowing investment banks to borrow from it directly (previously only possible for commercial banks)

BBC: $100bn Fed move over credit fears

The US Federal Reserve will make a further $100bn (50bn) available to major banks in April, trying to ease concerns about a global credit crunch. The sum, offered across two auctions, is in addition to $260bn provided in short-term loans to the end of March.

Posted by jack c @ 06:21 PM 7 Comments

Sterling hits another low against the Euro

Times: Euro hits record high against the pound

Not mentioned at all by the BBC, the Times article again has the emphasis wrong, talking about 'house price data' and 'consumer confidence' rather than the real issue being that the BoE is not following the same line as the ECB in tackling inflation.

Posted by fed up @ 06:12 PM 1 Comments

Says it all...

BBC News: Dead girls rent 'Must be paid'

A County Armagh couple whose daughter died while at university in Liverpool have been told they must pay for her accommodation for the rest of the year.

Posted by cpdillon @ 06:08 PM 2 Comments

BBC Reports the Blindingly Obvious

BBC: Report warns of UK recession risk

Lehmnan Brothers have just noticed that global financial turmoil is increasing mortgage rates and predict that this will reduce consumer spending and have concluded that there is only a 1 in 3 chance of a UK Recession in the next 2 years.

Posted by enuii @ 04:09 PM 8 Comments

Ouch [off topic]

New York Times: Down $900 Million or More, the Chairman of Bear Sells

Only a year ago James E. Caynes stake in Bear Stearns was worth more than $1 billion. But on Thursday, Mr. Cayne, the chairman of Bear, disclosed that he had sold all of his shares in the troubled investment bank this week for just $61 million.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 02:16 PM 13 Comments

If you can get past invincible seven foot-tall Arab Warrior, then yes, you can have a f*cking mortgage.


"From today the Woolwich will position a pair of ravenous Bengal tigers outside its branches, while the Nationwide has rigged a boobytrap consisting of hundreds of small poisoned arrows that will be triggered by a pressure pad under the doormat."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 01:49 PM 5 Comments

Can't believe this is in The Times, Labour supporters no more ?

The Times: Good Bye to Rip-Off Britain

"Brown got away with murder because he was Chancellor in the days when chimps could make money." "If, while waiting for the clampers to arrive, having paid your 100 release fee plus 60 fine plus VAT, you pop into Starbucks for a cup of coffee, you will be charged close on 2. For coffee. Think about it, because so few have."

Posted by andrew @ 01:09 PM 0 Comments

Shift in house prices prediction

BBC News: Shift in house prices prediction

The Nationwide has changed its prediction for property values after UK house price inflation fell to its lowest rate for 12 years

Posted by dada_portal @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

Falling house prices branded as a sale

Estate agents website: The Great Dhalia Sale

In Malta one enterprising estate agent has tried to rebrand the house price crash as a sale! but hurry the sale only lasts until 30th April (seriously) Malta has a population of 400,000 people with 53,000 permanently vacant properties at the last census, many more are in development. There is no tax on owning a house.

Posted by wealthy vagrant @ 12:45 PM 0 Comments

The last optimist fights on for now

MoneyWeek: The last optimist fights on for now

Could last week's panic have been a capitulation, when even the most optimistic of optimists threw in the towel and stocks hit bottom? But UK and European stocks need to fall by another 25% and 15% respectively to hit average peak-to-trough falls of previous bear markets. Now throw in the fact that sentiment is nowhere near as depressed as it is at genuine market bottoms, and this hardly looks like a buying opportunity.

Posted by damien @ 12:02 PM 0 Comments

Stocks and Bonds to Suffer in Coming Inflationary Recession; Invest in Gold and Silver

Bloomberg via Gold and Silver Investments: Bloomberg Video: Jim Grant on the recent actions of the Federal Reserve

Jim Grant, founder and editor of the highly respected Grants Interest Rate Observer and one of the worlds leading experts on US and international interest rates and financial markets appeared on Bloombergs Taking Stock on Tuesday, March 24. He is very bearish on bonds, calling them risk without return and quite bullish on Gold and Silver. "Gold is a Hedge Against Depredations of Our Financial Masters and a Dollar Based Calamity; In Coming Years Stocks to Struggle and Silver is the Silver Lining."

Posted by gold silver @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

No desire to lend by smaller lenders

Firstrung: Credit crunch affects small lenders appetite towards riskier mortgage lending

Over the last few weeks we have seen more changes in the mortgage market time than ever before. Denise Harvey, mortgage analyst from, looks at what has been going on. It seems that there is no stopping it. Over the last two weeks, lenders have been even more ruthless in withdrawing products from the market and/or tightening their criteria. Over the last month alone we have seen the number of mortgage products available across residential and buy-to-let plunge from 7726 to 5700, a staggering drop of 2026 products.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:49 AM 0 Comments

House prices still 47% highre than five years ago

Firstrung: UK house prices slow to lowest level since 1996 - Nationwide

House prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in March. The price of a typical house fell by 0.6% during the month, bringing the annual rate of house price growth down to 1.1% - its lowest rate since March 1996. A clear change in sentiment since the late summer has led to the sharp slowing in house price growth, even in the less volatile 3-month on 3-month series. Prices on this measure are now 1.5% lower than three months ago. The price of a typical house in the UK is now 179,110, only 2,027 more than this time last year. However, prices are still 11% higher than two years ago and 47% higher than five years ago - the equivalent of a price rise of more than 30 per day for the last five years.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:47 AM 33 Comments

What if the Bear wasnt saved?

MoneyWeek: Why Bear Stearns needed to be saved

"...while we might not like the fact that the government bailed Bear Stearns out of the mess (to a certain extent), when that would never be the case with 99% of other businesses, it was an absolutely necessary step. After all, do you really think that the impact would be limited to one country or market? Not a chance. This is one case when 'laissez-faire' economics would have caused Armageddon. Without a backstop, we'd be left to the devices of people. And I don't know about you, but there are certain people whose devices I wouldn't want impacting my financial well-being!"

Posted by damien @ 10:46 AM 3 Comments

Mortgae approvals continue their death spin

Firstrung: Mortgage approvals fall by 33% year on year whilst re-mortgaging frenzy appears to be over

U.K. mortgage approvals fell by a third in February from a year earlier as the higher credit costs have deterred homebuyers, according to a report by the British Bankers' Association... Banks granted 43,870 loans for house purchase, down approx. 33 percent from February 2007, the BBA, which represents the U.K.'s biggest banks, said today in a statement. Approvals for re-mortgaging rose 5.5 percent from a year earlier to 72,193.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:45 AM 1 Comments

Since late 2006 - 243 major U.S. lending operations have "imploded"

The Mortgage Lender: Waiting for that one dumb homebuyer

There are a bunch of houses in our neighborhood that have been on the market since 2006 and the asking price hasn't budged. In some cases the price has been lowered by a tiny amount - for example, from $595,000 to $589,000 - in what seems to be a mini-capitulation for the benefit of either themselves or their real estate agent. They look ridiculously out of place now that bank foreclosures are coming onto the market priced hundreds of thousands of dollars lower.

Posted by malct @ 10:41 AM 3 Comments

John Charcol about to go bust ?

Guardian: Auditor warns John Charcol's future as going concern is in doubt

"The country's best known mortgage broker, John Charcol, has been warned by its auditor that it faces a "material uncertainty" about its ability to keep operating "

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:22 AM 9 Comments

"March"ing on to a full blown HPC

Daily telegraph: UK house prices drop for fifth straight month

"The building society said that the March fall represented a "sharp slowing" and dragged the quartely drop in prices - considered a less volatile gauge of the market - down to 1.5pc. As recently as October prices over three-months had grown 1.5pc, signalling how rapidly the situation has deteriorated." Can't really add to this article. Back to reality with a bump. VIs: Lets not pretend it's a surprise

Posted by growler @ 10:05 AM 12 Comments

Attack on Iceland continues

The Telegraph: Iceland may face rating cut, warns S&P

Iceland may see its credit rating cut if the country's banks are further battered by the global credit crisis, Standard & Poor's warned yesterday.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:21 AM 9 Comments

Soon, very soon we will be over the edge.... House price growth falls to 12 year low

''...House prices fell for a fifth consecutive month in March, taking the annual rate of growth to its lowest in twelve years, a survey showed on Friday. The Nationwide Building Society said house prices fell 0.6 per cent this month, taking annual price inflation to 1.1 per cent - the weakest since March 1996. The lender, which forecast last November that house prices would remain flat over the course of 2008, is now expecting prices to fall modestly during the year...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:50 AM 10 Comments

35pc chance of recession in UK

The Telegraph: Chances of full-blown UK recession risk rising

"The Bank of England may be forced to copy the Federal Reserve's lead and make dramatic interest rate cuts as Britain falls victim to a US-style slump, say experts at Lehman Brothers."

Get out of GBP and into gold. If GBP starts cutting IR then the ECB will be forced to as well as the euro surges even higher.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:50 AM 5 Comments

Euro rate cut - April, May or June

The Telegraph: Euro too strong, Sarkozy tells the City

The French President, who arrived in the UK for a state visit on Wednesday, also used his speech at the Guildhall to praise Britain's economic model, saying France would do well to emulate it.

He is right. The French couldn't emulate our boom. They won't have a chance at emulating our bust.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:46 AM 8 Comments

HPs down and mortgages up..but we knew this already

The Telegraph: UK house prices drop for fifth straight month

House prices fell by 0.6pc in March, the fifth consecutive monthly fall, according to Britain's biggest mortgage lender Nationwide.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:39 AM 0 Comments

Nationwide hints at a HPC

BBC: Further slowdown in house prices

The Nationwide said house prices had now fallen for five months in a row and predicted prices would fall further. Nationwide chief economist Fionnuala Earley admitted that this was a change to its earlier forecast that there would be no overall change in prices by the end of this year. "A clear change in sentiment since the late summer has led to the sharp slowing in house price growth, prices are now 1.5% lower than three months ago," she said.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 07:48 AM 20 Comments

Oh this is nice!

Times: Nationwide and Halifax put up mortgage rate to deter new customers

Two of the biggest mortgage lenders increased their rates sharply yesterday in an attempt to close the door to all but the most creditworthy customers. The move could lead to tens of thousands of borrowers struggling to get any mortgage deal at all. Within hours of Nationwides announcement, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society said that it was increasing its rates by up to half a percentage point. The move came as Britains best-known mortgage broker, John Charcol, was warned by its auditor that it faced a material uncertainty about its ability to keep operating after its investors put in an extra 1.5 million and deferred loans of 820,000. The auditors highlighted concerns that liabilities exceeded assets by 532,000. AHA HHAHAHAHHA HHAHAHAHH

Posted by confused76 @ 01:51 AM 22 Comments

30 % rise ? Hmmm Jump in rice price fuels fears of unrest

I wonder if we will get more "What me gov?" , 'No. I am confused by it myself" comments about certain commodity prices from the central banks.

Posted by whiteknight @ 01:06 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Injustice to savers

Bloomberg: Video Jim Grant on Fed actions

Excellent interview. The desperate actions of the Fed accepting mortgage paper as collateral, when the US is not even in depression yet. The dollar is now a very risky asset because of this, especially if house prices keep falling. He calls the destruction of the dollars value an injustice to savers.

Posted by happyrenterz @ 11:33 PM 0 Comments

THE Financial Services Authority could be stripped of some of its regulatory powers after admitting it didn't know what a bank was.


The regulator said it bought a copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Finance and Banking off Amazon last summer after reading about the problems at Northern Rock, but was still on the introduction.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 11:16 PM 4 Comments

British Pound Could Break 2.0 if Disaster Hits UK Mortgage Lenders

daily fx: According to an article in the UK Times, Nationwide, the countrys second largest mortgage lender is planning to turn away business. We wonder why a mortgage lender would resort to this unless trouble was brewing in house

According to an article in the UK Times, Nationwide, the countrys second largest mortgage lender is planning to turn away business. We wonder why a mortgage lender would resort to this unless trouble was brewing in house. The Times argues that Nationwide is attempting to gain greater control over the amount that it lends and is doing so by increasing the rates on its tracker deals by more than 50bp. Efforts such as these are exactly why central banks including the UK and the US are struggling to contain the credit crisis.

Posted by chris @ 10:31 PM 10 Comments

It's coming our way!

CNN: Glenn Beck The 53 Trillion Asteroid

Artical on what is the real USA state of affairs, it ain't good reading or news either.

Posted by tim miller @ 08:02 PM 2 Comments

The latest UK Banking blues

Mortgagestrategy: Fitch downgrades Alliance & Leicester

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Alliance & Leicester, saying the action reflects the lenders weak access to funding compared with higher rated banks. A&Ls long term issuer default rating was cut to A+ from AA- and the short term IDR to F1 from F1+.

Posted by jack c @ 05:17 PM 0 Comments

Objective evidence of pain in NY

BBC: Job cuts shake Wall Street nerves

The bulls balls look very shiny indeed I am sure many folk on the street think all this Banking malarkey is far removed from their little bubble (oops Freudian slip) they live in. We on HPC know that we are all indirectly going to feel the pain of banks mismanaging their businesses. This proves that people on the street are being laid off and business, cafes, shops and street vendors are feeling the pain. 5000 laid of already in Wall Street and this is coming to a financial sector near you!!

Posted by geed @ 04:36 PM 1 Comments

Mortgages Still Evaporating

Mortgage Solutions: Nottingham to withdraw product range

The Nottingham is to withdraw its current product range from the market to be replaced by a new portfolio of residential and buy-to let mortgage products on Friday.

Posted by fallin-offa-kliff @ 03:01 PM 0 Comments

There is no inflation, Gordon repeat after me again, there is no inflation, the caterpiller said

CNN: Diesel: The truck stops here

The kid who delivers your pizza may be charging you an extra buck for gas, but for the guy that trucked the tomatoes, hauled the dough or milked the cows, passing along the fuel increase isn't as easy as pie. From truckers and farmers to loggers, construction workers and fishermen, skyrocketing diesel prices are pushing what many consider the backbone of the American economy right up to the breaking point. It is the same in the UK now...

Posted by mark @ 02:45 PM 5 Comments

Well that is game over... S Korea pension fund shuns US debt

The worlds fifth-largest pension fund will no longer buy US Treasuries because yields are too low. The move signals what could be a big shift by financial institutions away from US government debt into higher-yielding assets. South Koreas National Pension Service, which has $220bn in assets, said on Wednesday it wanted to broaden its range of overseas investments. Central banks from 16 Asian countries said last weekend at a meeting in Jakarta that they might invest more of their $1,000bn of official reserves in one anothers sovereign bonds instead of US Treasuries, given the dollars volatility. [The Korean decision] is symptomatic of the times and the problems that the US is facing, said David Cohen, head of Asian economic forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:28 PM 2 Comments

Billions Injected with No effect - Libor rate still rising!

BBC News: LIBOR ouch!

Three-month sterling LIBOR, the interest rate off which our mortgages and most other loans are priced, has risen to 6%, its highest level since December 28. It shows that banks are still hoarding cash, still refusing to lend to each other, because of their concern that money is perilously tight for all banks.

Posted by fools paradise @ 01:50 PM 0 Comments

Has Nationwide cooked it's goose ?

Times: Nationwide shuts door on mortgage hunters

Good news for those with resets coming up ... "Nationwide, the UK's largest mortgage lender after Halifax, said today it wanted to turn away business to take greater control over the amount it lends"

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:48 PM 44 Comments

gold over $1,200 in 2008

Safe Haven: Doug Casey: "Gold is Going to the Moon"

Just to reach its previous high in purchasing power, gold will have to go over $2,500 - probably more like $3,000 after you discount the phoniness in the government's CPI numbers. But because this crisis is much more serious than the one in the late 1970s and early '80s and much more far-ranging, $3,000 is actually a fairly conservative number. I'll say it again: gold is not just going through the roof, it's going to the moon.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:33 PM 6 Comments

Inflation: Why agricultural prices hit the developing world hardest

FT Alphaville: When is food not food?

Nice picture of how much processed food we eat compared to the developing world.

Posted by happyrenterz @ 01:27 PM 3 Comments

Gold still a buy around 900

Safe Haven: No Tears for Gold

"Let's face reality: moves by the Fed and GSEs to take bad debt off banks' balance sheets don't improve the quality of the underlying assets. Losses will eventually become the responsibility of taxpayers -- yet another burden for all of us to carry."

"Are we hearing the sounds of more money creation? The eventual sound of the dollar slipping yet further vs. gold and commodities? That's what I hear, despite the earplugs the Fed and the stock market seem to be wearing."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:27 PM 0 Comments

Polaris World Newsletter Newsletter as emailed

Further to the article on the Spanish property market, Property-Abroad have kindly provided proof of what its really like in the market place for new builds. Remember the TV ads?!

Posted by house_of_cards @ 01:06 PM 5 Comments

Gee, do you think this applies to the UK?

New York Times: Be It Ever So Illogical: Homeowners Who Wont Cut the Price

In 2005, Randolph Harrison and his wife, Pamela, decided to move north from Silicon Valley, over the Golden Gate Bridge into wooded Marin County to be closer to her new job. They found a six-bedroom house that seemed ideal except for the price, $1.875 million. The current owner, they knew, had bought the house a year earlier for $1.475 million. Skip to next paragraph Multimedia Home Prices and SalesGraphic Home Prices and Sales So the couple, who both have finance jobs in the technology industry, told their real estate agent that they wanted to offer $1.575 million. He told them that the owner wouldnt even listen to such a low bid. The owners attitude was well just stay here until we sell it for 1.875, the agent said, even if it takes years.

Posted by yt1 @ 12:36 PM 0 Comments

Nice graphs

Market Oracle: Unwinding of the "Yen Carry Trade" is Bearish for Global Stock Markets

Global equity traders had, for many years, a ready source of funds at almost no interest charge. Traders have been shorting the Yen and using the funds to purchase stocks, currencies and high-yielding securities around the world. However, as of mid-2007, that "free bank account" is becoming more and more costly. The Yen carry trade is starting to unwind with very negative results for stocks.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:31 PM 2 Comments

Fractional Reserve Banking - Fractured

Financial Sense Editorials: THE WORLD IS DELEVERAGING

Easy money has disappeared worldwide. This event favors certain classes of investments globally, and penalizes others. FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS: AVOID LEVERAGED ASSET CLASSES 1. Financial stocks, including stock brokers, banks, mortgage lenders, insurance companies, and real estate

Posted by malct @ 12:18 PM 1 Comments

HOW BIG? Does anyone really know?

reuters financial: Goldman sees credit losses totaling $1.2 trillion

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs forecasts global credit losses stemming from the current market turmoil will reach $1.2 trillion, with Wall Street accounting for nearly 40 percent of the losses. Of the cumulative losses expected by these leveraged players, bad residential home loans will represent about half, while poor-performing commercial mortgages will represent 15 percent to 20 percent.

Posted by malct @ 12:14 PM 2 Comments

But don't worry, we've fixed things so it won't affect inflation

BBC "News": Oil above $107 on pipeline attack

A few years ago, to think that oil at $100+ a barrel would not affect inflation would have been labeled idiotic. Nowadays, UK inflation statistics seem impervious to rising commodity prices.

Posted by paul @ 12:10 PM 5 Comments

Down they go

Independent: New home loans down by a third

The number of mortgages approved for people buying a home has dived by more than a third during the past year, figures showed today.

Posted by peter @ 11:56 AM 0 Comments

Another surprise today @ 12:30 GMT?

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy Probably Expanded at Slower Pace in Fourth Quarter

- The deepening housing slump brought U.S. growth to a near standstill in the fourth quarter and has now probably tipped the world's biggest economy into a recession, economists said ahead of a government report today. - Gross domestic product advanced at a 0.6 percent annual rate in the last three months of 2007, matching the weakest pace in five years, according to the median projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 11:53 AM 4 Comments

Is golds bull run over for now?

MoneyWeek: Is golds bull run over for now?

The severity in last week's smackdown in the precious metals market took many by surprise. Should we expect more violent moves to the downside? MoneyWeek's Dominic Frisby thinks it's oversold - and the technical set up now looks rather good...

Posted by damien @ 11:40 AM 5 Comments

The pain in Spain...

Independent: Spain's property market suffers meltdown

"Spain's once-booming property market is in freefall, official statistics have revealed for the first time. The announcement that house sales had plunged has dashed government hopes for a "soft landing" in the sector that has driven the Spanish economy for more than a decade".

Posted by alan @ 11:19 AM 9 Comments

Ah yes - I remember this general management technique: Kingfisher slashes dividend to conserve cash

Its called having to cut costs and make difficult decisions (such as laying off staff , reducing dividends & bonuses and keeping as tight as possible on fixed infrastructure) in order to survive.

Posted by whiteknight @ 11:09 AM 0 Comments

Mortgage figures confirm the continuing slump in the property market

BBC: Mortgage approvals still slumping

Bank mortgage lending to people who are moving home is still down by a third on the same time a year ago, said the British Bankers Association (BBA). The figures confirm the continuing slump in the property market. Banks lent 43,870 mortgages to home movers in February, slightly more than in January, but 33% down on last year. People who do not move, but change their mortgages to more favourable deals, now account for nearly half of all new mortgages granted by banks.

Posted by jack c @ 10:30 AM 3 Comments

Humorous take on growing buy-to-let nightmare

Daily Mash: Buy-to-let investors age 1000 years in four seconds

THOUSANDS of buy-to-let investors are ageing 1,000 years in around four seconds after receiving the latest valuations of their rented properties.

Posted by flash harry @ 09:58 AM 3 Comments

As Iceland goes, so go the Baltics, the Balkans, Hungary, Turkey, and perhaps South Africa

The Telegraph: Iceland contagion may spread far and wide

"There's now a risk of psychological contagion from Iceland. People are starting to look more closely at all these countries. The deficits were easy to fund in times of abundant liquidity, but we think the global credit crunch is going to make it a lot harder," he said. "The history of financial crises suggests that it can be dangerous to think 'it's different this time'."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:44 AM 24 Comments

Slowdown in home decorating ?

Bloomberg: Kingfisher Says Annual Profit Slid 20%, Cuts Dividend

"Kingfisher Plc, the U.K.'s largest home-improvement retailer, said full-year profit dropped 20 percent and cut its dividend as a slumping housing market caused Britons to spend less money redecorating. B&Q, the largest U.K. home improvement chain, have fallen for three straight quarters as consumers rein in spending".

Posted by alan @ 08:32 AM 3 Comments

Express in non-ramping story shocker

Daily Express: More misery looming for homeowners

HOME owners were warned of more mortgage rate misery ahead by the boss of the Bank of England yesterday. Governor Mervyn King feared lenders will continue to refuse to pass on interest rate cuts to borrowers. At the same time, he dropped a big hint that the Bank base rate could be cut again by 0.25 per cent next month. But he admitted mortgage holders were unlikely to see their repayments slashed with banks desperate to recoup cash in the credit crunch. It means homeowners cannot expect any respite amid crippling rises in the cost of living and taxation. And they were warned that house prices are unlikely to rise significantly for years. Meanwhile LIBOR rose to 6%, the highest since December.

Posted by little professor @ 07:27 AM 9 Comments

Dirty dealing in HBOS? - the numbers say no

Guardian: Dirty dealing in HBOS? - the numbers say no

Allegations that speculators had spread malicious rumours to drive down the price of HBOS shares last week do not appear to be supported by the latest figures from Data Explorers, a research firm that monitors short selling. As data emerged yesterday on HBOS stock lending, which is linked to short selling, market professionals said the figures showed little sign of substantially heightened shorting activity....

Posted by pdp @ 12:02 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lawyers circling overhead! - The next wave?

Bloomberg: New Century Bankruptcy Examiner Says KPMG Aided Fraud

New Century Financial Corp.'s bankrupt estate might have cause to sue its former accountant KPMG LLP and some directors and officers for improper accounting leading up to its bankruptcy, a court examiner said in a report. New Century ``engaged in a number of significant improper and imprudent practices related to its loan originations, operations, accounting and financial reporting processes,'' Missal wrote in the report. He said ``KPMG contributed to certain of these accounting and financial reporting deficiencies by enabling them to persist'' and in some cases ``precipitating'' a departure from ``applicable accounting standards.'' ``This is really the embryo of the credit crisis,'' Missal said today in a phone interview.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:26 PM 2 Comments

King admits that cutting the base rate has made no difference to mortgage rates

Torygraph: BoE 'losing the battle' as UK economy slows

What the article omits is that base rate cuts have weakened Sterling thus pushing up inflation, so household incomes are even more squeezed than they would have been had rates been left on hold. He also 'warned that house prices would not rise at all over the next few years', a reality shock for many no doubt.

Posted by fed up @ 09:29 PM 20 Comments

Strange Place to Find this Warning........

M&G investments: Warning over 'UK house price crash'

It has been claimed that the UK's economy could be heading for a sharp consumer slowdown similar to that seen in the United States if house prices continue to fall. According to Capital Economics, the similarities between UK and US consumers are "disturbing", with the UK consumer sector suffering from the same build up of imbalances as in the US. The group added that a key driver of the slump in the US had been falling house prices, which are now being seen in the UK too. And it said that people in the UK are more indebted than those in the US, with total household debt now standing at the equivalent of 175% of household disposable income, compared with only 128% for Americans.................. Bit of a cosmetic ending.

Posted by plato @ 08:31 PM 4 Comments

Shop Till You Drop - More Cuts Under Way

Evening Standard: King hints at April cut

Economists said King's dovish comments suggest he could vote for a rate cut as early as April after resisting such calls this month. The Bank has already reduced rates from 5.75% to 5.25% since December.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 07:41 PM 4 Comments

US treasury tell it like it is.

Times: Paulson warns US house prices must plunge

The US Treasury Secretary gave warning today that there is more pain ahead in the American housing market after he said prices must be allowed to drop before the economy can stabilise. House price investors won't want to hear it, but it's going to happen here.

Posted by davros @ 05:41 PM 0 Comments

Credit Crunch threatens yet another big casualty

Market Watch: Bond insurer FGIC falls below key regulatory capital level

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- After setting aside just over $800 million to pay expected subprime mortgage-related losses, troubled bond insurer FGIC Corp. says it has fallen below legally required statutory capital levels, which means it must come up with a plan to raise money or face stringent consequences, the company said Wednesday.

Posted by blank cheque @ 04:42 PM 0 Comments

Citi: more housing led write-downs ahead

CNN: Citigroup To Post Deeper Than Expected 1Q Loss

"Oppenheimer & Co. tripled its loss estimate for Citigroup Inc.'s (C) first quarter Wednesday, forecasting the bank could write down another $13 billion. And with no end in sight for the credit crisis, Oppenheimer's outlook for the largest U.S. bank by assets remains grim". In addition to Citigroup, Oppenheimer's Whitney predicts $4.3 billion in write-downs for Bank of America Corp., $2.8 billion for JPMorgan and $1.5 billion for Wachovia Corp.

Posted by alan @ 04:36 PM 1 Comments

Merrill (Lynch) is about to commence laying off between 10 - 15% of staff Under Pressure - Another Top Firm In The Spotlight

It was Merrill Lynch's turn in the spotlight Tuesday, as analysts revised their views on the firm's immediate prospects. Merrill's shares closed 1.1% down, after Fox-Pitt Kelton analyst David Drone said that the firm is likely to post a first quarter loss, and may end up writing down another $8bn in assets. There are, however, no liquidity concerns. In the meantime, JPMorgan analysts lowered Merrill's earnings estimates 45%, predicting write-downs of some $5.1bn. UBS analysts are now also predicting that Merrill will post in loss in the first quarter. And Trader Daily reports that Merrill is about to commence laying off between 10 - 15% of staff in its investment banking unit....

Posted by runforestrun @ 03:52 PM 0 Comments

Credit crunch 'at $1.2 trillion' not $120bn as we are led to believe

BBC online: Credit crunch 'at $1.2 trillion'

The credit crunch will globally cost $1.2 trillion (600bn) according to a report from the bank Goldman Sachs. The report says 40%, or $480bn, of those losses will hit US banks, brokerages and other institutions. Goldman estimates that US financial firms have already reported losses of $120bn since the credit crunch began. So where is the remaining 90%? Panic not over till it's over!!

Posted by lloyd @ 03:07 PM 0 Comments

HEDGE funds have overtaken the Big Bang as the most important thing people know nothing about.


As a massive American hedge fund faces imminent collapse, millions of people across the globe have found themselves panicking without the faintest idea why.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 02:15 PM 6 Comments

Should you put your money into gold? Youd be a fool to do so.

goldpricecrash: Should you put your money into gold? Youd be a fool to do so. Heres why

It was no coincidence that the US dollar, already plummeting in value against the euro has plunged to a 12 year low against the Yen recently. One thing we can always be sure of in these uncertain times is a falling dollar means the price of gold rises.

Posted by brett tudor @ 01:32 PM 1 Comments

More gloom from Uncle Sam

Guardian: US has not felt this bad since Watergate

Consumer confidence worse than the 1970s. House prices follow suit.

Posted by cyril @ 01:22 PM 0 Comments

Why you should ignore gold price fluctuations

MoneyWeek: Why you should ignore gold price fluctuations

The price of crude oil in terms of gold hardly changed last week, but in terms of dollars both commodities fluctuated wildly. So stick with the metal rather than volatile paper money.

Posted by damien @ 01:01 PM 1 Comments

Bad news for the Bulls!

Bloomberg: Orders for Durable Goods in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell in February

Orders for U.S. durable goods unexpectedly fell in February, led by the biggest slump ever in demand for machinery that indicates companies are becoming more reluctant to invest as the economy heads into a recession.

Posted by fools paradise @ 12:47 PM 0 Comments

Stand off in the States

NYT: Be It Ever So Illogical: Homeowners Who Wont Cut the Price

Three years ago, when the real estate bubble was still inflating, this sort of standoff was the exception. Its the norm today. Overall home sales have fallen a remarkable 33 percent since the summer of 2005. Home prices, on the other hand, continued to rise until 2006 and are now only 5 to 10 percent below where they were in mid-2005, according to various measures.

Posted by quokka @ 12:35 PM 0 Comments

FSA Northern Rock floating in the English Channel

Myspace News and Politics: Reading the Numbers

We all know Granite is a Northern Rock floating in the English Channel but how about Whinstone or should it be Win Stone. An in depth expose of some not so familiar NR crash background and banking generally by Simon Davies. Helpful on FSA' s open day. Also check Seth's background if you have time, you may be surprised. cybervigilantes your post Feb 28th deserved more attention, hope this works.

Posted by malct @ 11:48 AM 28 Comments

UK's biggest counterfeiter at it again.

BBC News: King pledges further market help

Mr King also predicted that house prices would be "broadly stable" over the next few years, which he welcomed. But... He said that a slowdown in the housing market would eventually make houses more affordable for first-time buyers, as the ratio of wages to house prices returned to more normal levels.

Posted by paul @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

48% Increase in Mortgage Applications

Mortgage Brokers Association: Application Survey

There seems to be some evidence recently that the housing market is on point of turning round in America

Posted by fools @ 11:39 AM 0 Comments

Dont be fooled by the bounce

MoneyWeek: Dont be fooled by the bounce this crisis is far from over

Is it safe to go back in the markets now? Investors seem to think so, if yesterday's triple-digit gains are anything to go by. But we've got some way to go before we hit the bottom of this market, says John Stepek.

Posted by damien @ 11:33 AM 5 Comments

Shocking that these guys are still carrying on, business as usual

IT job board: Senior Java Developer - Derivatives platform, Investment Bank, London

I really love the part of the advert where they say, "Credit derivatives are a fast growing trillion market and have utterly revolutionised credit markets.". Yeah, like single handedly bringing down the entire world economy! Do these guys really still see themselves as "innovators"? Unbelievable. One job I won't be applying for!

Posted by last_days_of_disco @ 11:05 AM 0 Comments

"European banks are in horrible shape"

Citywire: Schroders' Michele expects European interest rates to be slashed

Schroders bond fund manager Bob Michele has predicted rates in Europe will be slashed soon to aid the region's banks, which he says are in horrible shape. Michele, who runs the top-performing Schroder Strategic Bond fund, said although the European Central Bank (ECB) had so far held rates at 4%, it would be forced to cut them as the economic situation in the region continues to deteriorate. He said: Banks at present need capital formation, and although inflation is a concern, the reality is European banks are in horrible shape.

Posted by jack c @ 10:53 AM 9 Comments

Bellway becomes decidedly cautious in its outlook.

Citywire: Bellway predicts even tougher times for first time house buyers

First time buyers are going to find it even harder to get on to the property ladder in the growing liquidity crisis warns housebuilder Bellway. Banks and building societies demands for larger deposits and changes to lending criteria means the housing ladder is being pulled out of the grasp of first time buyers, Bellway said in its interim results.

Posted by jack c @ 10:47 AM 4 Comments

Economic impacts on house prices

Reuters: Bank's King says credit crunch now in new phase

The credit crunch has entered a new and difficult phase but policymakers in Britain still have to balance slowing growth versus rising inflation, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Wednesday.

Posted by alan @ 10:33 AM 15 Comments

A little bit of good news

Experian Global Press Office: Experian releases UK debt figures

Ordinary folks seem to be aware they are in too much debt and have been tightening their belts for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if first time buyers actually hit zero at some point.

Posted by last_days_of_disco @ 09:53 AM 4 Comments

The New Empire

Telegraph: Sainsbury strikes 1.2bn deal with British Land

These are not supermarkets they are empires that control everything from the food on your table, the furniture in your home and garden, the fuel in your car, your bank account and now the land that you stand on. Maybe they even control interest rates so you can keep on shopping.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 09:48 AM 1 Comments

Wasn't everyone at it ? No sub-prime in UK right ?

FT: UK backlash over mortgage fraud probe

"Another problem, according to industry insiders, is how to distinguish between sharp practice and criminality in an overheated market." No sh1t Sherlock.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:23 AM 0 Comments

Banks are so precious

Telegraph: When the going gets tough, banks yelp for nanny

Remarkable, isn't it, just how quickly champions of laissez-faire solutions can become advocates for state intervention. All it takes is for their gravy-train to break down.

Posted by holding out @ 09:22 AM 4 Comments

It's Just Getting Worse Half of Home Loans are History

I have grim news for homeowners and those looking to leap onto the property ladder. The worldwide credit crunch which began last summer has made banks very nervous and wary. Banks are no longer willing to lend to anyone with a pulse or anyone who can fill in a mortgage application, at least.

Posted by renting2 @ 09:13 AM 4 Comments

FSA investigates itself

The Telegraph: FSA admits string of errors over Northern Rock

The Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, has admitted to a catalogue of errors in its handling of the Northern Rock crisis, which saw the first run on a British bank in more than a century.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:04 AM 6 Comments

"Renting is a top option"

Daily Mirror: Goodbye to Good Buys

The housing market is changing. The rungs on the property ladder are snapping because lenders themselves are also suffering from the credit crunch. Prices are likely to stagnate in 2008 and with mortgages more difficult to come by, renting could be a good option. The good thing about renting, according to ARLA, is that you have flexibility. Bills are also cheaper in rented accommodation, as you typically have no buildings insurance to pay and the landlord must pay the cost of any wear-and-tear maintenance. The rent you pay could also be less than the mortgage payments on an equivalent flat.

Posted by little professor @ 08:42 AM 0 Comments

One dissenting voice - guess who?

Citywire: Housing experts predict 20% price falls this year

House prices in the UK are expected to fall between 10% and 20% over the next year, according to a poll of delegates at the recent Great Housing Market Debate conference. Of the 150 lenders, estate agents, economists, brokers and property investors at the London event, just one, Assetz director Stuart Law, said he expected to see price increases in 2007. 'The dire shortage of housing stock in the UK will spike up rents and keep prices afloat, said Law. This lack of confidence within the industry is a clear indication that we have hit rock bottom and things are set to improve.

Posted by little professor @ 08:39 AM 16 Comments

Mortgages evapourate!

Telegraph: Home owners choose expensive 10-year mortgages 'for protection'

Capital Home Loans withdrew its two, three and five-year fixed-rate deals; Chelsea Building Society pulled all of its deals, saying it will "reprice" them later this week; Intelligent Finance withdrew some fixed-rate deals and Abbey increased rates on several mortgages. According to MoneyFacts, the personal finance website, the number of mortgages on the market has fallen by two-thirds since July last year.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:35 AM 1 Comments

FSA 'failed' in Rock supervision

BBC News: FSA 'failed' in Rock supervision

The UK financial watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, has admitted that it failed to adequately regulate Northern Rock.

Posted by becky @ 08:13 AM 2 Comments

Confiscate empty buy to lets?

BBC: Cash boost call for empty homes

Council's should be given more money to implement Empty Dwelling Management Orders. If you know of a buy to let that has been empty for 6 months are more, shop it to your Council.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 08:02 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A leading figure at the St Vincent de Paul Society says homelessness is the worst he has seen it in his 42 years with the charity

ABC news: Australia facing homelessness avalanche: Vinnies

leading figure at the St Vincent de Paul Society says homelessness is the worst he has seen it in his 42 years with the charity

Posted by chris @ 10:07 PM 0 Comments

When we see this crooked lot finally go under ?

Times: Sharp practice?

It is one of Britains highest-profile and most successful estate agents. But Foxtons is facing allegations from disgruntled clients

Posted by doomwatch @ 08:53 PM 1 Comments

How the market was ramped by corrupt agents

Mail on Sunday: Agents of fortune

... and has anything been done since 2002 ?

Posted by doomwatch @ 08:44 PM 0 Comments

I wonder how many more of these stories we shall see over the coming months.

The Sun: Broke mum's debt clearance

A MUMS plan to clear her debts and make money by doing up and selling a house has ended in disaster. Wendy Black is now 32,000 in the red and has been threatened with bankruptcy. The full-time student,who has daughters aged 17 and 19, thought improvements to her four-bedroom property would cost around 30,000 but the final bill soared to 60,000. Wendy, 44, funded most of the project with SIX credit cards. She owes the Halifax 9,500, Citicard 5,000, American Express 3,500, Tesco 5,000, M&S 4,500 and Barclaycard 5,000.

Posted by john kane @ 06:52 PM 0 Comments

Welcome to the crash!

ThisIsMoney: Property market slumps to 20-year low

"Estate agents today called a 'buyer's market' as the number of potential purchasers fell to the lowest level for almost 20 years. The difference between asking and selling prices rose in February to 4.5%. The NAEA said the widening gap highlights the need for homeowners to set realistic prices to ensure properties do not stay on the market any longer than necessary" Funny how the music has changed. Unemployed EAs are now on the side of the buyers? Late realization that it is the buyer (eventually) that pays the EA fee!! No buyer = no fee, AHAH A HHAHHAHHA HA

Posted by confused76 @ 06:47 PM 8 Comments

Reality is here

FunctionPix: UK Property prices must drop 10 - 15% now to avoid a 50% crash later - RICS

The UK residential property sector is facing its toughest dilemma for more than 40 years according to a RICS specialist. Data from property portal Rightmove backs up the speculation that the UK will see a price crash of up to 50% in the coming 12-18 months unless drastic steps are taken now.

Posted by bufferbear @ 06:46 PM 5 Comments

Give your landlord a nice April's Fool: report him to HMRC!!

Telegraph: HMRC targets undeclared buy-to-let income

Onshore, nearshore, offshore, inpat, expat? Who cares? Just report your landlord to HRMC today!

Posted by confused76 @ 05:40 PM 5 Comments

Another subprime bank problem

Bloomberg: Bank of China 2nd-Half Profit Growth Curbed by Subprime Loss

Bank of China Ltd. posted the smallest second-half profit gain among the nation's 14 publicly traded lenders after writing down $1.3 billion of subprime mortgage investments.

Posted by alan @ 03:55 PM 0 Comments

Artemis Derek Stuart has warned that more banks could go bust as a result of the credit crunch

Citywire: Derek Stuart warns more trouble ahead for banks

Stuart said that following the implosion of Bear Stearns there is a likelihood - and even a need - for more banks to go out of business. Some of these banks need to go bust he said. He said fund managers should continue to avoid the banking sector because there is still insufficient transparency about banks' business models. Stuart has been a long-term bear on the banking sector since the launch of his 1 billion UK Special Situations fund. The credit crunch and ongoing liquidity crisis has however crystallised his uncertainties.

Posted by jack c @ 03:14 PM 3 Comments

But it's different over here!

BBC "News": US consumer sentiment down again

US consumer confidence has fallen to a five-year low, according to the closely watched Conference Board report.

Posted by dave the box @ 02:25 PM 0 Comments

Paragon BTL comedy continued

Moneymarketing: Landlords' gearing at lowest level since May 2005

The average gearing across landlords portfolios is at its lowest level since May 2005, according to Paragon. A panel survey of 200 Landlords revealed the average level of borrowing across their portfolios was 36 per cent, down from 38 per cent in the final quarter of 2007. Paragon says that rents are rising rapidly and landlords who are lowly geared are well positioned to expand their portfolios over 2008 as demand rises. In a softer housing market, landlords will be able to make opportunistic purchases of further properties.

Posted by jack c @ 02:12 PM 12 Comments

UK is like this all over, especially up North

Yahoo News!: Cities grapple with surge in abandoned homes

WORCESTER, Massachusetts (Reuters) - On Lagrange Street in New England's second-largest city, two brick apartment buildings stand side-by-side in varying stages of decay -- boarded up, "No Trespassing" signs affixed, paint peeling. Across the street, a condominium complex is on the brink. Three of its eight apartments are in foreclosure. Like many cities in the United States where the home vacancy rate has scaled its highest since records began in 1956, the former textile mill city of Worcester in Massachusetts is turning to the courts to fight back.

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:49 PM 2 Comments

Hard times for estate agents as house sales fall by 40%

MSN News: House-buyer numbers drop to record low

The number of house-buyers on estate agents' books dropped 12 percent last month -- to 243 per agent from 276 in January -- according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). At the same time the gap between asking prices and what properties actually sold for continued to widen to stand at 4.5 percent. The number of homes on the market during February declined almost 11 percent to an average of 74 per estate agent as potential sellers awaited more favourable market conditions. Each agent made an average of eight sales during the month, the same as the previous month, but down from 13 a year ago.

Posted by crashwatcher @ 01:30 PM 0 Comments

This is how you tame inflation and keep your currency strong Iceland unexpectedly raises rates to 15%

Icelands central bank accelerated its effort to combat inflation on Tuesday by raising the main lending rate by 1.25 percentage points to 15 per cent. The Icelandic krona soared by more than 4 per cent against the euro after the unscheduled move by the Central Bank of Iceland.
Mine's another 0.50% cut Mervin. Who needs a strong pound and low inflation anyway?

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:05 PM 13 Comments

Subprime crisis over, bad apple found, housing bubble can resume

MarketWatch: Bove says financial crisis over, buy banks

"The actions taken by the Federal Reserve were innovative, dramatic and, in my view, brilliant because they went right to the problem," Bove wrote in a note to clients. "The actions being taken by the Federal Reserve are being mirrored by the Treasury, which now has finally grasped the scope of the problem.... Bove's advice stands in contrast to that of strategists at Citigroup Inc. who advised clients Wednesday to avoid leveraged financial-services company stocks because the "Great Unwind" has begun." I personally don't think it is over yet but Citigroup usually get it wrong!

Posted by happyrenterz @ 12:52 PM 8 Comments

Banks just taking the cheap cash and hiding it away.

Bloomberg: Euro Money-Market Rates Advance to Highest This Year

The cost of borrowing in euros on money markets rose to the highest level this year, a sign that attempts by policy makers to revive lending are failing to stop banks hoarding cash. The euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor, for three- month cash increased 3 basis points to 4.70 percent, the highest level since Dec. 27 and its 14th straight gain, the European Banking Federation said today. The one-week rate rose 4 basis points to 4.32 percent, also the highest since Dec. 27. ``There's really only a handful of banks that are offering cash,'' said Ronald Tharun, a money-market trader at LRP Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz in Mainz, Germany. ``Everyone is just waiting for the next bank to go down. There is no trust in the market. They're very afraid.''

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 12:51 PM 4 Comments

prices of newbuilds plumeeting also

Firstrung: Nottingham named as burglary capital of Britain

Nottingham has been named in a survey as the riskiest place in the UK for household burglaries. Nottingham had home theft levels 63% above the national average, based on the study of tens of thousands of claims handled by the insurance firm Endsleigh. The city was followed by London, Bristol, Stockport and Leeds, while Guildford was found to be the safest.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:44 PM 3 Comments

Sobering stuff from Rightmove

Firstrung: UK house prices rise by 0.8% (1,799) as new sellers ignore market reality - Rightmove

Despite the fact that asking prices are up, Miles Shipside at RM makes some very good points in relation to seller expectations. However, where is the market gridlock so many expected to emerge by now? The time on market is actually reducing

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:42 PM 5 Comments

Money week mentions Martin Armstrong's PI cycle

Money Week: Why the US rate cut is good news for gold

Moneyweek still bullish on gold (although it has corrected more since the article was written)

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:24 PM 6 Comments

The BBC is getting really really desperate now

Market Oracle: BBC Shows Re-runs of Old Property Shows From the Housing Boom

The property porn orgy is long since finished. However like an over-amorous miniskirted middle aged spinster at reluctant swingers' party, Aunty Beeb is still shamelessly gyrating on the table in the middle of the room, telling the few left to "loosen up!" and hollering "let's keep the love going ...".

This is the end of the road for the BBC property pornographers. Like those cashiers in the Halifax ads, the BBC scheduling editors have no shame and no dignity any more.

Posted by paul @ 12:16 PM 1 Comments

Rubbish piece, but worth a read

Guardian: Does anybody know what went wrong?

"In the past few months things have been going steadily downhill, but the government covered it up. Now everyone knows what's happening, and there's worse to come."

Posted by inbreda @ 11:27 AM 5 Comments

Gold buying opportunity

Market Oracle: Gold Dramatic Correction Back into Buying Territory

Gold is back in buying territory after its dramatic correction back to key intermediate trendline support

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:59 AM 12 Comments

Who's really to blame for the financial crisis?

MoneyWeek: Who's really to blame for the financial crisis?

"...banks created an environment in which it was all too easy to overstretch yourself and if you stayed on the sidelines and saved, you looked like an idiot, and a whole lot poorer than your property-rich compatriots... But who was behind the banks? The truth is that this whole thing comes back to central banks. The worlds key interest rates were set too low for too long..."

Posted by damien @ 10:57 AM 2 Comments

Has the meltdown been delayed?

The Telegraph: Fed's rescue halted a derivatives Chernobyl

"There was the risk of a total meltdown at the beginning of last week. I don't think most people have any idea how bad this chain could have been, and I am still not sure the Fed can maintain the solvency of the US banking system."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:34 AM 5 Comments

A bit of humour under the blanket of gloom

NewsBiscuit: Global 'credit crunch blamed for neighbours refusal to lend lawnmower

A Norfolk man has blamed the global credit crunch and sub-prime debacle as justification for refusing to lend his lawnmower to his 84 year old neighbour. Council worker, Derek Sharp, 48, said he wasnt prepared to compromise his assets during what he described as this period of uncertainty and turbulence.

Posted by george monsoon @ 10:28 AM 2 Comments

If you have a house you're stuck there

BBC: Perils of the Property Ladder

Homeowners face tough decisions on upgrading or relocating amid unpredictable economic conditions. Straight off the BBC web site. Starts off with a dig against Property Ladder etc :-)

Posted by duncan @ 10:15 AM 1 Comments

Inflation is Out-of-Control - Interest Rates Too Low - House Prices Too High

Daily Mail: The REAL cost of inflation: Why family bills 'have gone up by 1,400 in one year'

Inflation is at least 6.1% (Capital Economics) as the government CPI figure is proven to be misleading. Even government spokesperson does not defent published figure. If inflation is too high, interest rates are too low, explaining why house prices inflation is out of control over the last 7 years.

Posted by bill @ 09:59 AM 1 Comments

30,000 jobs to go in City blood bath

City A.M.: City faces loss of 30,000 jobs in a year of bloodletting

Another demand domino keels over.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:44 AM 10 Comments

More wishfull thinking.....

Telegraph: UK house prices will escape America's crash

''...But - I repeat - there is a world of difference between a lower rate of growth and a 30 per cent drop in house prices themselves. And while headline writers often miss this, a fall in the rate of growth is what we're now seeing....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:40 AM 10 Comments

Trouble at Albion Mill

The Guardian: How boom quickly converted to bust

With its double-height living room and views across the Pennines and Manchester's city centre, the two-bedroom apartment in a converted Victorian biscuit factory must have seemed fairly priced to Christopher Williams at 236,500. Now, three years on, Williams's outlay for a slice of the city-living dream looks ridiculous. His flat has been repossessed and will go under the auctioneer's hammer tomorrow with a guide price of 100,000... Knight Frank estate agents estimates there has been a 15%-20% "correction" in Manchester house prices in the last six months.

Posted by timelash @ 04:42 AM 0 Comments

Macqaurie perceived as riskier than most other financial institutions because of the inherent complexity of its products

heraldsun: Macquarie Fortress has gone sour already and it's not unreasonable to think that other bigger pieces associated with the group can unravel.

"Just because people are in a higher likelihood of an event doesn't mean it is going to happen," the fund manager said. "ButBenchmark credit-default swap indexes in Asia rose to record levels last week as speculators bet that other financial institutions were likely to come under stress. According to Bloomberg, the cost of buying protection on Macquarie senior debt is higher than for US banks such as Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. It is also more expensive than for most leading European banks such as Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.

Posted by chris @ 01:14 AM 1 Comments

Job losses in Londons financial services sector could reach as high as 20,000

times: And now the human cost as workers brace for redundancies

Andrew Burrell, an economist at Experian, said: This is different to the dotcom crash the downturn was in a sector not an industry. This is a more deep-rooted, fundamental crisis. Northern Rock seemed like a one-off but [the problem] is more systemic.

Posted by chris @ 01:01 AM 0 Comments

Money market funds, reeling from the subprime crisis, are coming under fresh pressure from falling interest rates as the funds yields shrink to leave little return after management fees have been covered Money market funds face new pressure

Dreyfus and Evergreen, two big money market fund managers, both confirmed that they had waived fees on their funds. Susan Breakefield Fulton, who advises more than $425m in client money, said: Weve been paranoid since December. We had 15-20 per cent of clients money in money market funds and took it all out then moved it into Treasuries . . . the current market is so untransparent, there were risks there that we didnt know about

Posted by chris @ 12:53 AM 0 Comments

Monday, March 24, 2008

Economic Collapse Imminent as Government Proposes Eco Town Speed Limit

BBC: 15mph speed limit for eco-towns

Caroline Flint stated that; "We have a unique opportunity to deliver a programme which will genuinely revolutionise the way people live"; ideal for a failing economy then!

Posted by enuii @ 11:43 PM 7 Comments

By jove he's got it!

BBC News: Cameron attacks big price rises

Tory leader David Cameron said the prices of staples such as bread, butter and eggs had increased by 28-37% since Gordon Brown became prime minister.

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 10:43 PM 11 Comments

Lets see more gazunderers

Idependent: Rise of the gazunderers

Boo hoo. The regulation in England is a sham, so gazunderers are onto a winner.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:03 PM 10 Comments

It's getting desperate out there: Poxtons to go under ?

Reuters: Property sellers need "reality check"

LONDON (Reuters) - Sellers need a "reality check" when pricing their homes for sale, as unsold stock reaches record proportions, Britain's largest property portal said on Monday.

Posted by doomwatch @ 08:57 PM 4 Comments

"Undisclosed Losses !" Gordon Brown's 300bn banking debt fear

Banks worldwide could be as much as 295billion in debt, Gordon Brown will warn this week. In a joint meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the Prime Minister will admit they are getting "increasingly concerned" about the world economy. And the pair will say the black hole of debt, causing the potentially explosive credit crunch, could be far worse than expected. It means more banks will be plunged into difficulty because they cannot get money to keep afloat. Savings could be threatened. Businesses and families will also find it more difficult to get loans and mortgages. And it will mean firms closing, unemployment rising and property prices falling.

Posted by plato @ 08:11 PM 28 Comments

Watch the builders FTSE exit signals tougher time for builders

One year ago, four of the UKs largest 100 companies were housebuilders. When the reviewed FTSE 100 comes into effect on Wednesday, only Persimmon will remain after Taylor Wimpey gets relegated to the mid-cap index.

Posted by ash4781 @ 07:41 PM 1 Comments

USS Housing sinking, keep bailing out.

New York Times: In Speech, Clinton Calls for Action on Housing Crisis

Insubtantial electioneering suggestion to put $30billion into mortgage subsidies. Hopefully NuLab MP's are enjoying a well earned break at their holiday homes so won't see this and get any more silly big ideas.

Posted by baudot @ 06:55 PM 1 Comments

"Buy To Let Demand to Grow" say Sky News

Sky News: DIY Landlords Plan To Do Repairs

Prospective landlords are planning to take a more hands-on approach to their investments, with a majority saying they would manage their properties themselves, a survey shows. At the end of last year there were nearly one million buy-to-let loans in existence, collectively worth 116bn, and accounting for one in 10 of all outstanding mortgages. Tim Hague, managing director of mortgages at Birmingham Midshires, said: "With landlords enjoying an average return of 16.3% in 2007, a buy-to-let remains a sound long-term investment. "We expect firm demand to continue throughout 2008 and beyond."

Posted by buyatthebottom @ 05:15 PM 6 Comments

US house prices & volume stats

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy: Existing-Home Sales Rise, Prices Fall

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in February as prices fell by the most in four decades. Purchases increased 2.9 percent, the first gain in seven months, to an annual rate of 5.03 million, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median home value dropped 8.2 percent from a year earlier, the most since the organization began keeping records in 1968.

Posted by alan @ 03:40 PM 3 Comments

Crash is nigh

Guardian: Where are the first-time buyers? Day of reckoning near for the housing market

Small wonder that experts in the US predict another 10-15% off house prices there in the next year, adding to the 15% drop seen over the past year. A 25-30% house price fall in two years counts as a crash in anyone's book. The question is, of course, how bad can it get in Britain? We've already seen that lending to first-time buyers has slumped by a third since last summer while first-time buyer numbers have dropped to a record low. Lending to buy-to-let landlords is drying up too. After a decade that has seen house prices triple, banks are finally realising that lending up to 100% and more of a property that could soon be worth less than its purchase price is not terribly clever.

Posted by confused76 @ 12:45 PM 0 Comments

If this is true, its a total scandal. We should all march to Hadrians Wall with Crash Gordon IS HBOS RUN BY SCOTSMEN?

FINANCIAL watchdogs are to investigate malicious rumours that HBOS, one of Britain's leading banks, is run by filthy Scotsmen.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 11:58 AM 5 Comments

Nearly 10 per cent of workers expect to pause, reduce or even stop paying into pensions this year.

Daily Express:

BRITONS face a 20billion pension black hole because they are ditching savings plans in a desperate attempt to meet the soaring cost of living, it emerges today.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:40 AM 9 Comments

Rightmove: prices up +0.8% in Feb

Guardian: Sellers remain in denial

Home sellers pushed up asking prices for property last month, despite a significant slowdown in the housing market and a lending squeeze by the major banks, according to Rightmove. People putting their homes on the market for the first time raised their average asking prices last month to 239,655, an increase of 0.8% (1,799) on January. Rightmove said sellers were deluding themselves that buyers were prepared to pay high prices at a time of heightened anxiety. It said sellers were "ignoring market reality" when the credit crunch was already cutting deep into the number of sales and consistently dragging down sale prices. The average number of unsold properties on estate agents books also rose.

Posted by little professor @ 01:41 AM 28 Comments

Why the Banks Should be Allowed to Fail?

Mises Blog: Central Banks to Buy Junk Mortgages...or Not

Interesting commentary on the bad debt problem. Not as easy reading as the mainstream media but well worth a look: "If the banks that holding (sic) paper assets goes bankrupt, society as a whole has no fewer productive factors. Only the ownership of these assets changes. How could this lead to destructive macro-economic effects?"

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:26 AM 5 Comments

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A total nasty meltdown!

JudithHeywood: Asking prices up; homes take longer to sell

"Rightmove said that the number of unsold properties was at its highest level for this time of year since it began to publish its survey in 2002. Each estate agent had an average of 67 homes on its books, up from 56 a month earlier, it said. The website's figures also showed that asking prices had risen 0.8 per cent to 239,655 as homeowners try to push up prices. However, it estimates that actual selling prices have fallen 10 per cent since their peak last year" there is a lot of EA tactics in pushing ludicrous asking price to secure mandate, but then actual sale prices are down 10% !!! FANTASTIXXXX

Posted by confused76 @ 11:22 PM 15 Comments

Screw 'em!!

Times: Ministers act against threat by developers to avoid new business rates

Mr Healey told The Times that his plans amounted to zero tolerance on commercial vandalism and he specifically warned developers against damaging complete but unlet properties. It would be an extreme step for a property owner to go to the lengths of deliberately vandalising their asset. I do not believe this is likely and I expect the property industry to adapt in a responsible manner. This property downturn will be nasty and very long AAKGHAAH HAHHAHHA

Posted by confused76 @ 11:14 PM 6 Comments

Speculation and Monopoly Capitalism have artificially Ramped Asset Prices to Unstable Levels

Independent: Outside View: The end of capitalism as we know it?

Article promulgates that real wages as a per capita percentage of GDP have been falling since 1973 and that the UK's measure of inflation has been massively underestimated since 1970 thus wage earners rather than asset owners have faced a 35-year downward pressure on their standard of living.

Posted by enuii @ 10:29 PM 8 Comments

prices up, values down

times: Housing: Asking prices up; homes take longer to sell

Miles Shipside, the commercial director of Rightmove, said: In the current market, sellers should price below their competition to achieve more interest now and avoid a larger price-drop later in the year.

Posted by mr crabs @ 10:28 PM 0 Comments

Back to the future

The Independent: Homebuyers hit as bank crisis turns the mortgage clock back 15 years

"It's not just the number of mortgage deals being pulled; it's lenders making it harder for people to borrow by insisting on a deposit of at least 10 per cent," said Ray Boulger, technical manager at mortgage broker Charcol. "It's like the clock has been turned back 10 or 15 years."

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 10:27 PM 5 Comments

Loyal MPs are starting to question Brown's judgement

Times: 'Iron fist' Gordon Brown faces revolt

Gordon Brown's authority is being tested by a refreshing show of independent thought by members of the Labour party . In what is a change from the usual stance of, "yes Gordon, no Gordon, three bags full Gordon", senior members of the Labour party are standing up against the wish of Downing Street to deny Labour MP's a free vote on the controversial embryo research legislation.

Posted by denzil @ 08:56 PM 4 Comments

how lunatic risk-taking got us into this mess and why the guilty will get away with it

The Times: Credit crunch: Risk-taking

Great article. The paper edition includes the 100 year debt graph that I have posted many times. The author concludes that individuals must take it on the chin and the bankers will get away with the fraud. Only in the next crisis whenever that happens can things be any different.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 07:26 PM 7 Comments

Light handed relief!

Youtube: Bear Stears Explained!

Explanation of the hedge funds operated by Bear Stearns see also:

Posted by fools @ 05:51 PM 0 Comments

This is the Truth: I heard someone say it so it's True City rumours: Idle chat or dangerous talk?

It was the biggest ever attempt to undermine a blue chip British company. Careless talk: City gossip is the daily bread of traders and journalists - and generally harmless. False rumours about emergency meeting with the Bank of England briefly wiped 3bn off the value of HBoS and turned a City rumour into a national crisis as financiers feared a fresh banking crash which would dwarf the collapse of the Northern Rock. The run on HBOS shares last Wednesday and the City probe now underway has thrown the spotlight on the City's rumour-mongers as never before. To stock market reporters and City traders this is the bread and butter of the day. The phone rings and a distant voice comes on the line:

Posted by plato @ 04:29 PM 0 Comments

Oh dear shall, I shan't I?

Telegraph: Iceland shows cracks as the krona crashes

As with HBOS, Kaupthing, Iceland's biggest bank, has been besieged by rumours that it could be nationalised, although the government and management deny any liquidity issues. Even so, traders in credit default swaps (CDS) have pushed the cost of protecting the country's three main banks' debt against default to stratospheric levels, leaving the banks facing prohibitively high funding costs.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 03:19 PM 0 Comments

title says it all - total VI garbage

timesonline: Will the global credit crunch will dampen housing demand in spring?

"Lenders are either turning down applicants or applying much more cautious valuations to properties." this I guess David Smith means "applying more realistic valuations to properties". Read between the lines David, read between the lines.

Posted by bystander @ 03:04 PM 6 Comments

Banks Want Anything Except a Free Market Correction

The Times: Mervyn King bows to Fed-style rescue deal

BRITAINs banks believe they have secured a deal under which the Bank of England will provide the kind of support Americas Federal Reserve has given to its beleaguered financial institutions in recent months.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:07 PM 6 Comments

"Pity the plight of the first-time buyer? Not a chance"

Times: No pity for first-time buyers

Rosie Millard, what a b|tch! Hope she is having nice Easter weekend!

Posted by confused76 @ 01:04 PM 17 Comments

B&B attracts 1.3bn savers money while BTLetters fall back with repayments

Times: B&B hit by rating cut from Moodys

Do we live in cokoo-land? Moodys praised B&B for continuing to access funding through the tough market conditions, and for attracting an additional 1.3 billion of savers money in the first two months of the year. the bank has seen customer arrears jump by between 40% and 50% since December. B&Bs bank financial strength rating (BFSR) has been cut by the agency from C+ to C, with warnings of further downgrades to come. This is deep junk!

Posted by confused76 @ 10:29 AM 0 Comments

BTL offload unrented properties thank to CGT changes

Guardian: Tax changes fuel great escape from buy-to-let

It is a self fulfilling prophecy. These b@stards know that they have to beat the Buy-to-Loser next door. Sell quick! "Buy-to-let investors across the UK are telling estate agents to offload their properties to take advantage of new tax rules. They are deciding to offload properties that are perhaps not in the right locations or those that are the wrong type and don't fit any longer within their portfolios.' Basically they are offloading the lemons bought at the peak of the market, before banks start repossessing. AH HAHAHAHAH HHAH. Enjoy the benefit of LLEVVERAGE in an illiquid market: meet your margin calls and Happy Easter, BTL!

Posted by confused76 @ 09:48 AM 7 Comments

Rigging the Game to favour the Elite

The Market Oracle: Bear Stearns Bailout Proves US Fed is Merely an Extension of the Financial Industry

"The Bear bailout was engineered to serve the needs of the banking establishment; nothing more. The Federal Reserve and the US Treasury are merely an extension of the financial industry. The Bear bailout proves it. "

Posted by layers @ 09:19 AM 0 Comments

House Price Correction Inevitable - Nationwide BS.

Times: Freeze on mortgage lending to hit house prices

Even the banks are saying property is heavily overvalued. The Natiowwide says there will be falls of 10% nationally this year and next - 5% each year. So the truth is probably closer to 20% falls nationally over the same period. In the Southeast and London overvaluation is much higher - house prices are probably 50% overvalued. Surveyors are now adjusting down their valuations, which means many people are having to find huge 'second deposits' in order to re-mortgage when their fixed rate period ends. This is one factor causing house prices to fall. These falls make for a healthier and safer economy.

Posted by bill @ 07:48 AM 4 Comments

It's different here

Telegraph: UK house prices will escape America's crash

Blah blah blah blah it's different here blah blah blah strong fundamentals blah blah blah annual rate of HPI is still positive blah blah blah correction not a crash blah blah blah.

Posted by little professor @ 12:50 AM 14 Comments

Great article for the Easter Sunday hope it's not in the Property Supplement

Sunday Times: How to survive the big credit crunch

Sitting on the fence sort of article with the interesting bits right at the end with interesting snippets on Gordon Browns latest recruits as advisers, plus Jenna and Bradley from Romfords Mortgage.

Posted by enuii @ 12:08 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Reckless borrower may pay for reckless lending afterall.

The Times: Homeowners to pick up 1.3bn bank bill of reckless mortgage lenders

This is a bit of circular argument by the Sunday Times. Shock homeowners to pay 1.3bn for reckless lending. Think not - just credit risk pricing returning to normal.

Posted by mike livingstone @ 11:20 PM 1 Comments

Housing shortage, house prices always go up, undamned lies in our post-fact society

BigPicture: Investing in a Post-Fact Society (a/k/a, Were the Good Times a Mirage?)

First they denied what was happening, then "it is contained", then they blamed Bears. Now, they have embraced Marx, successfully pleading for the central planners to rescue them from their own stupidity. What does the future holds if we turn our back on the facts? "One of the world's great cautionary lessons are the significant contributions made towards mathematics by the Islamic Arab Empire, circa 8th century to 15th century. While European intellectual progress had ceased -- blame the rise of church extremism -- enormous gains were being had elsewhere. Sometime around 18th or 19th centuries, the cultural roles seem to reverse. After the Age of Enlightenment, the Europeans rejected religious extremism, and prospered, while the Arab Empire embraced extremism, and suffered"

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:17 PM 3 Comments

House price crash gathering steam nicely

BBC: Mortgage criteria getting tighter

If things continue at this rate, soon there won't be any first time buyers left ...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:00 PM 3 Comments

Analyst believes in turnaround at BofA

bloomberg: Bank of America May Take $6.5 Billion Loss Provision

-Bank of America Corp., the second biggest U.S. bank by "assets", may take a record $6.5 billion provision in the first quarter. -Bank of America plans to buy Countrywide Financial Corp.Bank of America may try to cancel or modify the accord because the housing market has continued to deteriorate. Analyst Bove covers all bases ``At the moment, I do not foresee the economy plunging to a level that will substantiate this reserve build,'' wrote Bove, clinging onto the belief that Fed "action" will be effective. Houses are becoming affordable. This is the turning point. Wild guess or analysis? Who can tell. Bloomberg prints it.

Posted by mken @ 09:43 PM 0 Comments

Bail out what bail out - not me governor

bloomberg: Bank of England Seeks to Ease `Strains' in Markets (Update2)

Britain's central bank said it is ``not among'' those that the Financial Times reported earlier today were contemplating the purchase of mortgage-backed securities to smooth lending to consumers after a worldwide surge in borrowing costs. The Federal Reserve also denied it's in discussions to buy such debt. Time will tell.

Posted by bystander @ 07:41 PM 0 Comments

THE ULTIMATE BAILOUT COMING? The baby boomers on the verge of crushing future generations for decades.

FT: Central banks float rescue ideas

Central banks on both sides of the Atlantic are actively engaged in discussions about the feasibility of mass purchases of mortgage-backed securities as a possible solution to the credit crisis. Such a move would involve the use of public funds to shore up the market in a key financial instrument and restore confidence by ending the current vicious circle of forced sales, falling prices and weakening balance sheets.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 07:27 PM 20 Comments

Save our bankers

Telegraph: Days of cheap loans and mortgages are over

How about this quote for conceit: "David Buik, a partner in City brokers BGC Partners, says: "The City is absolutely essential for the simple reason that it creates work. It provides industry, commerce and funds we need to live our lives." " We are also totally reliant on refuse collectors. Interesting article about the importance of bankers against the need for regulation, which, surprisingly, bankers tend not to agree with, and are creative in their reasons for not doing so.

Posted by letthemfall @ 06:23 PM 0 Comments

About Turn

Dow Jones: Fed soon could raise rates as aggressively as it has cut them

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is well aware of the risks involved with the Fed falling too behind the curve. That is why, Seiver believes, Bernanke is likely, once he starts to raise rates to counter the inflationary threat, he "will raise rates just as aggressively" as he has recently cut them.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 04:53 PM 3 Comments

The London house prices will never go down! Yeah you wish :))

Times: London flotations set to stay low

"Nine floats managed to get away in London in the first quarter of this year raising a dismal $330.3m (166m) in proceeds, according to data from Thomson Financial. These figures cut a startling contrast to the same period last year when more than $11 billion was raised from a pool of 44 new issues and to the $9.5 billion garnered from 71 IPOs in the same period of 2006" Ooops sounds just a 97% drop... never seen anything like that... my crystal ball shows big layoffs in the City. But of course, Savills said for every American who leaves there is a Russian and an Indian who arrive (but do they have to share the flat?)

Posted by confused76 @ 03:32 PM 0 Comments

Worse than the US ?

Negative Equity has arrived with a vengence - and so soon

The Guardian: The families who bear the brunt

I must admit, I did not expect to read about real life negative equity stories just jet, I thought this would be a story by September. These poor people have suffered quite significant falls in the value of their modest properties and thus cannot renegociate new mortgage deals. I think the collapse in property has 3 years to run. This is going to get messy.

Posted by iskandar @ 12:39 PM 9 Comments

House of Cards

New York Times: Debt-Gorged British Start to Worry That the Party Is Ending

LONDON At one point, Alexis Hall had more than 50 pairs of designer shoes and handbags. It never occurred to the 39-year-old media relations executive from Glasgow that her 31,500 in debt ($63,000) would be a problem. Skip to next paragraph Luke Wolagiewicz for The New York Times Jason Butler of Bloomsbury Financial Planning says loans were too easy to take out. It was so easy to get the loans and the credit that you almost think the goods are a gift from the shop, she said. You dont fully realize that its real money you are spending until you actually sit down and consolidate your bills and then its a shock.

Posted by yt1 @ 11:51 AM 0 Comments

Absolute must-read - great bear food!

Guardian: BTL investors who fear they may be homeless

For many investors, it's game over and personal ruin.They have already lost the properties they believed would provide them with riches. Now they also risk their own homes Chris Miller, 52, bought 31 new-build 2-bed flats, which he was told were worth 7.5m. Through the use of gifted deposits from the developers, he did not have to put any of his own money down. Optimistic valuers told him to expect 850 rental income (exactly the amount of an interest-only mortgage) for a flat that only ever made 4-500."My monthly interest was 29,252 but all I ever cleared a month was 15,000." Now 2 of the flats have been sold and the remaining 29 have been repossessed.He still owes 3.5m. Geoff Morris, 62, now has a repossession order on his own home and is living on 157 a week benefits.

Posted by little professor @ 11:15 AM 54 Comments

Who's crying Now ?

Timesonline: Governor must do more to help banks, says Burt

The former deputy chairman of HBOS accused the Bank of England yesterday of failing to support British banks through the global credit crisis. Sir Peter Burt, who was chief executive of Bank of Scotland before its merger with Halifax to create HBOS, told the BBCs Today programme that the Bank risked sending Britain into a depression because of its worries over moral hazard. Speaking two days after the Bank was forced to make an unprecedented statement denying that any bank had sought emergency state funding, Sir Peter said that Mervyn King, its Governor, should go the extra mile by offering more cash and accepting a wider range of collateral, as had the US Federal Reserve. The Claws seem to be Out

Posted by plato @ 10:46 AM 16 Comments

Gentle return to normality?... what a difference 10 days can make!

DavidSmith: Home economics: a solution to the problems in the mortgage market?

David Smith's vintage piece of just 10 days ago was preaching cautious optimism and all will be fine. With the confidence of an insider, David was boasting the 100bn liquidity injection by the central banks... oops a banana peel, the obscure institution formerly known as Bear Sterns brought us all back to the seriousness of the current credit crisis. And the City job losses (now estimated at 10,000 and counting) project gloom on the London housing market. Sorry, David, try to write a piece which can last more than a weekend!

Posted by confused76 @ 09:43 AM 5 Comments

No mercy!

Guardian: Sympathy for the BTL devils?

Should we shed tears for the buy-to-letters who are losing a fortune as property prices start to nosedive? Compare this with first-time buyers. They have to stump up a deposit. They have to prove their income. They have to make monthly mortgage payments from a taxed salary. There could only be one winner in such a one-sided game. With access to easy finance, the buy-to-letter could outbid the first-timer and push prices up to ever more ludicrous levels

Posted by confused76 @ 09:28 AM 13 Comments

Gotta love the optimism

timesonline: Credit crisis: Experts assess how bad it is

"London house prices are unlikely to dip for long. The 1.5 million unaccounted for Eastern Europeans will surely underpin the rental market." - David Buik, partner, BGC Partners ...surely when you take into account the demise of sterl;ing against every major currency, especially the Euro, these hidden numbers will remain hidden, back in their country of origin. "Conditions are unprecedented. The interconnected and complex financial system may itself fail catastrophically - if so, all bets are off. Consider accumulating a stock of barter goods. Rice is especially good - it stores well." - Jon Moulton, managing partner, Alchemy Partners ...ANYONE GOT A STORE OF RICE - I'VE GOT A COUPLE OF BAGS OF SUGAR.

Posted by bystander @ 07:22 AM 5 Comments

Stand and Deliver

Ask Lyrics: Was this written about Greenspan and Bernanke?

"So what's the point of robbery when nothing is worth taking?"

Posted by daringsneakybeaver @ 03:08 AM 0 Comments

Friday, March 21, 2008

Essential Tips for Estate Agents

Video Jug: How To Get The Most Out Of A Viewing

Here's a video offering essential advice on how to sell a property. Top quality tips are provided such as "arrive before the viewer" and "remove any underpants from the floor", who knows maybe we'll avert this HPC after all!

Posted by fallin-offa-kliff @ 10:46 PM 0 Comments

I See Dead Clowns

YouTube: Man Stroke Woman - Estate Agent

There's been a lot of doomism this week so I hope you'll forgive me for posting a little Friday light-hearted humour. For some reason, that chap in the windows makes me think of Bernanke.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:16 PM 3 Comments

Information war - terrorists caused the subprime meltdown

Bloomberg: U.S. Weighing Criminal Response to Mortgage Crisis (Update1)

S2R1 - Vindication perhaps - maybe these terrorists will have been trained as mortgage lenders in Iran???? 'Terrorists wanting to harm the U.S. ``have a very long attention span, their fatwas and other directives do not have an expiration date,'' he said. ``The only weapon we have is intelligence, and a large part of that is electronic intelligence.'' (from article)

Posted by bystander @ 09:39 PM 4 Comments

Recession & HPC for UK

Daily Mail: America is ALREADY in recession, say top economic global experts - and that spells trouble for the UK

''...Experts have accused the International Monetary Fund of "driving the car using the rear view mirror" after the global body warned the U.S. was on the verge of a recession. The world's biggest economy is already in a recession, they claim, as a draft version of the IMF's World Economic Outlook declared the U.S. economy is "very weak". Nigel Gault, chief US economist at Global Insight, a worldwide economic forecasting and consultancy firm, said he believed the US was in recession already - and that spelt problems for other countries, including the UK....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:45 PM 1 Comments

Who would've thunk it? Flipping still going on.

Times: Investors ignore risks over flipping

It may be difficult to believe but speculators are shrugging off the bleak outlook for the housing market by continuing to invest in new-build developments in the hope of turning a quick profit. Many of them are lured by stories of the substantial gains made at the height of the boom. But today, despite falling house prices and warnings about the growing risks of buying off-plan, investors are still buying flats and houses with the aim of flipping them on to another investor before the building is complete. According to Beers, the surge in flipping is being fuelled by a lack of property for sale.

Posted by little professor @ 07:31 PM 2 Comments

How a small brazilian family are getting it right and not the highly paid big banks

BBC iplayer: Working lunch

This is 20 March 2008 episode of working lunch. Around 23 minutes in Gillian looks at a brazilian family on 495 a month with both parents working. They have fully paid up house. They made changes to their house when they had money. Live within their needs, save up for things before they spend. The wife is planning on retiring within 5 years when she will be 48 years. I also feel they look so young for their age the calm, the composure I have never seen in the UK. Would be nice to see what you think about this simple life. PS. In Brazil you until a couple of years ago, you could not get a loan for a house. You needed 100% of proceeds to buy one.Hence they do not have any sub prime mortgages debacle on their hands. People who work for a house can have one.

Posted by deepak @ 07:18 PM 7 Comments

Baltic Exchange Dry Index, which is a strong leading indicator for global inflationary pressures and commodity demand, has recently started to plummetleading indicator for shifts in price action for gold and oil, and over the past week, we have already se

dailyfx: The recent drop in the BDI is our first indication that commodity hungry countries like China and India are no longer immune to the slowdown

There are strong correlations to keep in mind when it comes to the commodity dollars. The New Zealand dollar has a very high correlation with the Australian dollar, and the Australian dollar shows strong links with gold prices. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar is well known for its correlation with oil prices (though the strength of this relationship can vary). However, did you know that gold and oil are correlated with the BDI? The relationship between the Baltic Dry Index and these commodities can be seen in the chart below, courtesy of

Posted by chris @ 07:00 PM 0 Comments

Insight into a property 'seminar'

The Times: Property seminars 'play on the ignorance of buy-to-let investors'

Have you ever wondered what goes on at the property seminars you see advertised in all types of publications? I went along to one recently hosted by the George Wimpey Property Investor Club at the Britannia International Hotel, in the London Docklands, to find out.

Posted by landedgentry @ 06:48 PM 0 Comments

Slow news day...

Marketwatch: US is making cents, but for far more than a peny

Who else but the government would shell out almost two cents for a penny? In fiscal 2007, it cost the U.S. Mint 1.7 cents to make and distribute a one-cent coin, due to rising metal prices. "With each new penny and nickel we issue, we also increase the national debt by almost as much as the coin is worth, and these losses are rapidly mounting," Edmund Moy, director of the Mint, told House lawmakers. Baker added that producing coins that are worth more than their face value could lead to hoarding.

Posted by little professor @ 06:24 PM 2 Comments

The abysmal ignorance of Anne Ashworth

Times: Can the Bank of Mum and Dad rescue first-time buyers?

She is the inventor and leader of the Brick Chicks. She writes: "After the collapse of Bear Stearns, a previously obscure institution that became a household name over a weekend..." AH AHHAHHA AHHAHAHAHA... but read the entire piece, it s a load of rubbish. Her BTL portfolio will unfold... AHHHHA HAHAH

Posted by confused76 @ 05:11 PM 12 Comments

profit from the Citys best-kept secret

MoneyWeek: profit from the Citys best-kept secret

For years they remained one of the Citys best-kept secrets, used mainly by professional traders and fund managers, but over the last five years their popularity has exploded.

Posted by world citizen @ 12:50 PM 0 Comments

HBOS and others ask B of E for Extra Cash

Independent: High street banks ask for extra cash

Cash strapped UK banks asked for extra financial support from the Bank of England yesterday. HBOS sticks out amongst the others especially after their bleating during the week about their ample liquid resources!

Posted by enuii @ 10:22 AM 20 Comments

This man should be running the world

Timesonline: UN's poverty chief turns on greedy 'super-bankers'

"He added that herd-minded financiers profit hugely from the inflation of asset bubbles, but pay very little personal penalty when the bubble bursts. Instead, ordinary people bear the costs through government bailouts and higher inflation stoked by aggressive cuts to interest rates." I know this has little to do with HPC, but the causes of the problems we, the public, face are clear and Kemal Dervis seems to understand the root cause, and isn't afraid to speak out....there should be more like him.

Posted by bystander @ 10:17 AM 8 Comments

Noisy bulls on the street

Reuters: Wall St Week Ahead: Stocks may rally anew on Fed's acts

Is there a change of sentiment in America?

Posted by fools @ 01:11 AM 6 Comments

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Job losses at Citigroup

Bloomberg: Citigroup cuts 2,000 jobs: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc is cutting about 2,000 more investment banking and trading jobs, a person briefed on the matter said, as the largest U.S. bank moves to lower costs after subprime mortgage and credit problems led to a record quarterly loss.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 09:15 PM 1 Comments

Crisis Over! - What the hell is going on here?

Bloomberg: U.S. Stocks Rally; Fannie Mae, GE Advance on Analyst Upgrades

Other banks and brokerage firms also advanced after Punk Ziegel & Co. analyst Richard Bove wrote in a research note that ``the financial crisis is over'' and it is a ``once in a generation opportunity to buy.'' Citigroup Inc., the largest U.S. lender by assets, climbed $2.09 to $22.50. Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest, increased $3.30 to $41.86. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the largest U.S. securities firm, rose $13.14 to $179.63. Only a few days ago Bear Stearns collapsed and now apparently the crisis is over!!!

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:47 PM 12 Comments

Housing market not looking good

Daily Mail: Triple whammy for homebuyers as three experts deliver devastating verdict on housing market

A series of leading experts have delivered dire warnings on Britain's housing market as the credit crisis takes its toll on lenders and leaves first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder.

Posted by fools @ 04:58 PM 16 Comments

Financial lies of our time

FT Alphaville: Sixteen of the biggest, fattest porkies

My favourite at number "10. The UK is suffering a housing shortage"

Posted by happyrenterz @ 03:21 PM 5 Comments

Yes we are!

BBC Evanomics: Are we stupid

As we sit in the midst of what seems like an historic episode I find myself struck by one question: how can we have let ourselves get into this again? Theres a Homer Simpson quality to the analysis that led us hereyou can picture Homer attempting to grab a donut well out of his reach, banging his head, and then repeating the mistake time after time. Thats where we appear to be in the housing market. One colleague suggested to me today rather acutely - that housing market cycles last eleven years, while our memories last nine.

Posted by dam1an @ 03:11 PM 15 Comments

Lib Dem Nick Clegg talks about serious risk of a house price collapse

Moneymarketing: Lib Dems call on immediate action to stave off recession

Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg says the Bank of England and Treasury must act decisively to head off a recession. He says a combination of stricter lending and rising mortgage rates poses a serious risk of a house price collapse and the City of London is seeing not only speculation about the viability of some financial institutions but genuine concerns based upon an unprecedented breakdown of the money and credit markets. Clegg says: The Government and the Bank of England must stop dithering"

Posted by jack c @ 02:23 PM 22 Comments

More squealing for BOE assistance - nice looking graphs though !

BBC: Call for action to help mortgages

Action is needed from the Bank of England otherwise the mortgage market will face "ongoing problems", says the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). CML director general Michael Coogan said the Bank must improve levels of liquidity as strong demand for mortgages could not be met by lenders. His comments came as the CML reported gross mortgage lending was 24bn in February, a 7% fall from January. The drop had been predicted as the housing market has slowed.

Posted by jack c @ 02:04 PM 3 Comments

gold down to 918

Reuters: UPDATE 3-Gold falls to 1-month lows as funds cash in

Looks like gold has good support at 900. It may still go slightly lower than 900.

This is excellent news. The Elliott wave 4 correction is in. Wave 5 surge should take off either next week or the week after.

GBP is set to crumble. A superb buying opportunity

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 02:03 PM 15 Comments

Can't improve on this headline Credit Suisse Crumbles

LONDON - Credit Suisse plummeted on Thursday as details of write-downs it warned of in February proved to be worse than feared, and a profit warning suggested it would book a loss in the first quarter. Credit Suisse (nyse: CS - news - people ) fell 8.5%, or 4.42 Swiss francs ($4.36), to 47.38 Swiss francs ($46.75), on Thursday morning in Zurich, after it warned that it no longer expected to make a profit in the first quarter of 2008. "In the binary world that I work for that amounts to a loss," Last month Credit Suisse stunned the market by announcing that it expected to post further write-downs of $2.85 billion, but gave little detail on where they had come from, except to say that they were in part due to "mismarkings and pricing errors" by a "handful" of traders.

Posted by plato @ 01:46 PM 3 Comments

Oh, but we did see it coming....

Interactive Investor: Why didnt we see the credit crunch coming?

'Chuck Prince, then chief executive of Citigroup, told the FT last summer...."At some point, the disruptive event will be so significant that instead of liquidity filling in, the liquidity will go the other way. I dont think were at that point." Mr Prince ignored his own warning!' Quite...

Posted by bidin'matime @ 01:22 PM 4 Comments

small building societies halt fresh mortgage lending

BBC: Small societies restrict lending

"The Bath and the Earl Shilton have withdrawn all their deals, except those at their standard variable rates." The first of many as we go into the great UK property unwind?

Posted by happyrenterz @ 01:02 PM 1 Comments

Here's a new fun site.

The Second Great Depression: The Second Great Depression

Doom and gloom tv :-) Competition or kindred spirits? Maybe we should join forces?

Posted by hardlanding @ 01:01 PM 20 Comments

The last stand of the property-boom optimists

MoneyWeek: The last stand of the property-boom optimists

The latest horrible numbers from the property market seem to have cleared out the last of the buy-to-let optimists. A good idea would be to sell out now, despite one paper's suggestion of turning your city centre buy-to-let into a holiday let.

Posted by damien @ 12:19 PM 7 Comments

Shocker: Bank of England say "house prices will fall" !!

Telegraph: House prices fall 'won't help first-time buyers'

Homeowners and those hoping to step onto the property ladder have both been dealt a blow after a senior Bank of England policymaker warned that house prices will fall but the impact of the credit crunch means affordability won't improve.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:36 AM 29 Comments

UK Banking System Looks a bit Wobbly

Guardian: Bank chiefs to meet King

Bank of England governor Mervyn King is today meeting the heads of the country's five biggest banks - including HBOS, whose shares slumped yesterday after a series of false rumours spread by speculators swept through the stock market. HBOS will be joined at the meeting in Threadneedle Street by the other "Big Five" banks - HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds TSB. The bank chiefs are expected to call on King to pump more money into the financial system to ensure that banks cannot be brought down by a liquidity crisis.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:31 AM 8 Comments

Richard Bacon discusses the economy

BBC Five Live: Richard Bacon discusses the economy

Richard Bacon, who bought his London pad last summer at the top of the market, uses his phone in to talk to people struggling with mortgage debt.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:31 AM 0 Comments

Bernanke feeling the crunch

Bloomberg: Bernanke's Own Home on Capitol Hill Shows Housing Boom and Bust

The U.S. housing recession has arrived literally on the doorstep of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. Bernanke lives in Washington's Capitol Hill area in a four- bedroom, 2,600-square-foot house he bought new in May 2004 for $839,000. Almost four years later, it may not be worth any more, according to real estate records and local agents. Bernanke's timing wasn't the best -- values in the area peaked a year later -- and he is hardly alone among Americans living in an investment that's turned cold. His situation shows that the slump that began with distress in the subprime market is now engulfing wealthier neighborhoods, including some in the nation's capital.

Posted by john kane @ 11:03 AM 1 Comments

You wouldn't touch them with a bargepole

MoneyWeek: Why you should keep avoiding banking shares

Just a year ago, the idea that you could spark a double-digit fall in the shares of one of the UKs biggest banks simply by sending an anonymous email round a few trading desks would have been ridiculous. But then, a year ago, the idea of a run on a British bank even a jumped-up bit player like Northern Rock would have been laughable. Now weve seen the demise of a venerable Wall Street institution too, no one seems safe...

Posted by damien @ 10:51 AM 4 Comments

Add some more confusion

BBC News: Surprise rise in UK sales

UK retail sales unexpectedly rose strongly in February, driven by higher food sales at the supermarkets, official figures have shown.

Posted by afrobaggie @ 10:49 AM 16 Comments

"We have entered a substantially slower phase in the housing market" - CML director general Michael Coogan

CML: Gross lending declines in February

Gross lending declined to an estimated 24 billion in February, down 7% from 25.9 billion in January and 6% from 25.6 billion February 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The Bank of England approvals data for January showed subdued levels of house purchase activity and a sharp rise in remortgage approvals, which is likely to be supporting current lending volumes.

Posted by jack c @ 10:43 AM 2 Comments

... and the role of BTL in accelerating the crash is clear

Mail: The middle-class 'property tycoons' now burned by buy-to-let

What a disaster! I a way I feel sorry for those who have put lifetime savings into property. The nasty side of "leverage" in a down market is going to erode the gains of the past few years very quickly. It ll end up in tears! They will soon realized they are subsidizing tenants and have lined the pockets of bank managers.

Posted by confused76 @ 09:43 AM 23 Comments

UK housing on bring of recession

Mail: UK could be on brink of a house price crash more severe than in the US, economists warn

House prices in Britain could be facing a crash more severe than the one in the United States, economists warned today

Posted by confused76 @ 09:39 AM 9 Comments

Make a cheeky offer (and then see your property worth less in the near near future...)

Daily Telegraph: Will house prices fall?

The "great and the good" of the mortgage industry give their views on the housing market.

Posted by steve g @ 09:31 AM 1 Comments

Banks now pleading for BOE funding help "if needed" - how reassuring is this?

BBC: Bank bosses to meet governor King

The bosses of major UK banks will be meeting Bank of England governor Mervyn King later. They are likely to tell Mr King that he needs to do more to reassure their creditors that the central bank will provide help if it is needed. It comes a day after the Financial Services Authority launched an inquiry into whether false rumours were spread in the City to undermine bank shares. The Bank of England reassured investors that the rumours were untrue.

Posted by jack c @ 08:51 AM 0 Comments

Is the pound the new dollar? There are obvious parallels between the UK and the US economies: several years of rapid growth, financed in part by a housing bubble, but a deteriorating current account, weakening public finances and a large overhang of house

.independent: After a decade riding high, the pound may have a long way to fall

Most of us have hardly noticed what has been happening, largely because we think of the external value of the pound in dollar terms.

Posted by chris @ 08:23 AM 1 Comments

Beginning of the end of the denial phase....

London Metro: Britain faces worse housing crash than US

''...Britain could follow the US into severe economic slowdown and see an even worse house price crash, experts have warned. Parallels between consumer spending in the two countries are 'disturbing', said the respected financial forecaster Capital Economics. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:33 AM 22 Comments

THE economy is headed for recession next year, with a 50 per cent plunge in share values and a double-digit drop in house prices - that's what one analyst says. AUSTRALIA ON VERGE OF RECESSION

While the Reserve Bank takes a largely benign view of the unfolding credit crisis, believing China's growth will insulate us from its worst consequences, others are less sanguine.

Posted by chris @ 02:30 AM 0 Comments

One of London's leading brokers has demanded that clients put up significantly more cash to cover derivative positions - a move which traders fear could result in millions of shares being dumped on the market today.

TELEGRAPH UK: Traders fear huge shares sell-off MF Global warning sparks fears of sell-off

One of London's leading brokers has demanded that clients put up significantly more cash to cover derivative positions - a move which traders fear could result in millions of shares being dumped on the market today. MF Global informed clients yesterday that the "margin" on contract for differences (CFDs) was increasing on certain stocks from 25pc to 90pc. The clients have been given until this morning to put up the extra cash or close positions.

Posted by chris @ 01:50 AM 0 Comments

The danger for UBS is that such losses eventually scare off clients and cause private bankers to move to competitors. Bear Stearns Shock Crosses the Atlantic

Bear Stearns Shock Crosses the Atlantic The question UBS must wrestle with is whether its vaunted private banking and wealth management arms, which probably constitute nearly all of its market value at present, and its investment banking and trading arms, which are responsible for its disastrous losses in the U.S. mortgage market, belong under the same roof. The danger for UBS is that such losses eventually scare off clients and cause private bankers to move to competitors.

Posted by chris @ 12:21 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rogue trade ten o'clock - tally ho chaps

telegraph online: Hunt for 100m rogue trader after attack on HBOS share price

"Malicious rumours circulated by speculators were blamed for the run, which saw more than 3 billion wiped off the value of housing stock in the UK" - said a distraught Alsop (wishful re-writing)

Posted by bystander @ 10:47 PM 18 Comments

Dennis Gartman Sold Out 95% Of His Gold Stocks And See It Plummeting Down Below $800 Cut Back 95% Of Holdings

CNBC: Tomorrow's Trades: Gold

The Fast Money traders discuss whether the gold run is over or not. They're joined by Dennis Gartman, founder of the Gartman Letter.

Posted by chris @ 10:00 PM 0 Comments

Mortgage famine.

Indyblogs: Cash Crusader: Mortgage market turns back the clock

Be careful what you wish for. When Chancellor Darling mused in the aftermath of Northern Rock that he would like a return to old fashioned banking values he was derided by many. Well, now, as the credit crunch is getting worse rather than better it seems that it really is back to the future for the UK mortgage market.

Posted by ash4781 @ 09:03 PM 0 Comments

BOE takes unusal step of refuting rumours surrounding UK Bank

Citywire: Bank of England denies HBOS approach for funding

The Bank of England (BoE) has issued a statement denying rumours that it has met with HBOS to discuss emergency funding.The BoE was forced to make the statement amid mounting speculation it had sought emergency funding from the Bank. A BoE spokesman said the highly unusual decision to refute the rumour was taken after HBOS own denial failed to satisfy the market and support its share price. The statement said: 'The BoE has not been approached by any UK financial institution or is aware of any British bank facing liquidity problems.'

Posted by jack c @ 07:34 PM 3 Comments

The Bank of England is poised to cut interest rates as soon as next month, experts have predicted after it emerged that two Monetary Policy Committee members voted for lower borrowing costs a fortnight ago.

times: Interest rates set to be cut, experts suggest

Sir John Gieve joined external member David Blanchflower in calling for rates to be reduced to 5pc this month, according to the minutes of the meeting.

Posted by chris @ 07:32 PM 0 Comments


BBC News: July 7 inquests 'could be secret'

Relatives of those who died in the 7 July bombings fear the inquests into their deaths could be heard in secret.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 07:13 PM 19 Comments

GORDON Brown today gives Britain his personal guarantee he will save the nation from financial meltdown.

sun: brown makes crisis promise

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now im worried

Posted by worried @ 05:11 PM 0 Comments

Print Print Print

Bloomberg: Fannie, Freddie Surplus Capital Requirement Is Eased

The goal is to ``help restart the housing engine that powers our economy,'' Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mudd said. There you have it. Housing, which produces NOTHING, is supposedly an engine for the economy. He couldn't have had it more wrong. Nations do well when money is borrowed to invest in products and ideas that produce profit in the future, not when the money just chases up the price of houses.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:40 PM 3 Comments

No smoke without fire

Evening Standard: Bank of England rescues HBOS...

Whether the rumours were true or not is neither here nor there, the simple fact that a lot a people were prepared to believe them speaks volumes.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:28 PM 24 Comments

An Estate Agent actually predicting property price falls

Timesonline Money Bulletin: Savills fears City bonus impact on property

Savills, the property agency, has given warning of sharp price falls for multi-million-pound Central London flats and houses this year and next, reversing a forecast made last autumn. Fears that City banking bonuses for the coming year will be a fraction of the last 7.4 billion annual payout is expected to put a further chill on demand for central London housing in the 1 million to 5 million bracket. House prices in this price bracket have already fallen on average 1.5 per cent during the first three months of this year. Those price falls come after a decline of 2 per cent during the last three months of 2007, according to Savills. The property agency expects prices to continue falling quarter-on-quarter for the whole of 2008, ending down 4 per cent for the year.

Posted by britonia @ 03:57 PM 2 Comments

A Wake Up Call for us All

Signs of the Times: Don Harrold on The Fed, Bear Stearns and Jim Cramer

Don Harrold on Bear Stearns, Jim Cramer, Mainstream TV and the unelected, unaccountable Federal Reserve and Bear Stearns - a short dramatic video.

Posted by malcolm @ 03:27 PM 3 Comments

Martin Armstrong's PI cycle

Money Week: The strange case of the jailed market genius

Posted last March after the Feb 27 2007 banking index top

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 03:17 PM 4 Comments

Doom dies

Times: Tony Dye

Successful City fund manager famed for his predictions, not always correct, of financial doom.....

Posted by oh dear @ 02:12 PM 2 Comments

Halafix in a Fix, is it the next Northern Crock? FSA to launch probe as rumours hit UK banks

"We will not tolerate market participants taking advantage of the current market conditions to commit abuse by spreading false rumours and dealing on the back of them." The FSA and BOE are the only ones allowed to commit these abuses!

Posted by lloyd @ 02:00 PM 8 Comments

People looking for alternative answers as things go pear shaped

Telegragh: City looks to the heavens for answers

"Can astrology really help predict the direction of financial markets? Danny Penman talks to two business people who believe the answer is yes"

Posted by happyrenterz @ 01:04 PM 19 Comments

Gieve us a break.

timesonline: Bank of England's Sir John Gieve calls for rate cut

Only one word in this man's vocabulary - CUT.

Posted by bystander @ 12:19 PM 4 Comments

ADVICE: Sellers - Cut your prices!!!

FT: The credit crunch and the housing market: questions and answers

What should I do? It is probably a good idea to avoid selling unless absolutely necessary. If you have to sell, market the property at about 10 per cent below its value to attract interest. This way, you may spark a bidding war.

Posted by inbreda @ 11:35 AM 20 Comments

London house prices to plummet on City cuts

Money Week: Britain realises you can go wrong with property

"I was on BBC London the other day talking about all this and for the first time I can remember I was not interrupted by anyone saying yeah but you cant go wrong with property can you? It is gradually dawning that you can." "When they fall, they fall quite fast."

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:18 AM 5 Comments

Ambrose is good but not good enough.

The Telegraph: Sooner Fed bail-outs than the 1930s revisited

The depression can only be delayed now. It will come - but not until 2011

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:14 AM 1 Comments

Why the US rate cut is good news for gold

MoneyWeek: Why the US rate cut is good news for gold

The US central bank cut rates by .75 yesterday - and, oddly, gold then fell $25 whilst the dollar rose. The markets may be a little calmer for now, but the fear will return, says Dominic Frisby.

Posted by damien @ 11:02 AM 4 Comments

House prices predicted to be 20% lower by the end of 2009

This Is Money: House prices to fall 20%, economist warns

House prices could fall by up to 20% over the next two years, a senior economist warned yesterday. The prediction from Professor David Miles, chief UK economist at Morgan Stanley, will dismay millions of homeowner (and delight many others).

Posted by steve g @ 10:21 AM 1 Comments

Guess who voted for a rate cut?

BBC News: Bank voted 7-2 not to cut rates

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 7-2 to keep interest rates on hold at 5.25% this month, released minutes have shown.

Posted by welshie @ 09:51 AM 1 Comments

They've tried to isolate this to Scotland, but the rot is undeniable

BBC "News": Warning over house prices plunge

Janey Milligan, chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, predicted a surge of properties for sale in the summer and autumn. This means a flood of properties on the market in the summer and autumn, pushing prices down as buyers have more flats and houses to choose from.

Posted by paul @ 09:50 AM 1 Comments

Gold correcting in Elliott wave 4 style

Market Oracle: Gold to Sell off to $940 on US Interest Rate Cut Decision

920 is the 50 dma and should offer good support. Anywhere in the 900-950 range should be a good buying oppotunity as Elliott wave 5 (from last August) blasts off.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:45 AM 3 Comments

Stuart Law "sole dissenting voice"

Home Move: Article

At its third annual Great Housing Market Debate, Wriglesworth Consultancy asked 150 industry representatives their views on the future of the property market. The poll established that just one said average prices would increase this year. The majority of the representatives said they believe that property prices will decline in the next 12 months but a recession is extremely unlikely. The one dissenting voice at the Great Housing Market Debate was from Stuart Law, Assetz chief executive, who said "the mere fact everyone said that house prices will fall this year reaffirms my belief that house prices will now in fact modestly increase." Why on earth did they invite this dishonest clown?

Posted by john @ 09:43 AM 0 Comments

Let's keep the fear levels rising

BBC News: Brown unveils security strategy

Heard on the radio this morning that the strategy even covers the threat of nuclear attack.
2 points

Nicely timed with the starting of the Iraq war (in some kind of deflection plan and even justification for the war)

As I said earlier, March 19 is the day that the "information war" starts to go from passive and un-noticed by the masses to active and noticed. This is a gradual process that will increase as the weeks go by.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:38 AM 22 Comments

The helicopter propellers are whirring.

The Telegraph: All aboard the Federal Reserve cash express

Yet that is already soaring. According to Capital Economics, M3 - the broadest measure of the money supply - grew at an annual rate of 15.3pc in February, almost double the long term average and the highest rate of growth in 37 years.
Economists debate the relative wisdom of such a move. Many are concerned that such rapid growth will lead to rampant inflation
However Paul Ashworth, senior US economist at Capital Economics, said: "This is not necessarily inflationary. The increase has to be measured against the rising precautionary demand for relatively liquid balances in the current period of financial market distress. Indeed, there is a risk that even after the latest acceleration, the supply of money is still not increasing quickly enough.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:26 AM 0 Comments

Credit crisis: the cracks are opening in UK's debt mountain

time: But has that tomorrow, and a grim day of reckoning, finally arrived?

Since at least the turn of the century, the twin booms in the housing market and the high street have seen Britain's seemingly unstoppable army of consumers spending with abandon. In a What the censored? culture of Buy today and worry tomorrow that has gripped the nation, households have run up mountainous debts that now total 1.4 trillion.

Posted by chris @ 09:19 AM 0 Comments

Interview with Jim Rogers

UK Gold reserves sold off, inflation rising at +++2.5%, economic slowdown well underway

Press Assoc, Yahoo News: Brown vows to fight off recession

Gordon Brown ''...High levels of home ownership, low national debt, and relatively low inflation would all help to cushion the blow of the latest period of uncertainty...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:15 AM 6 Comments

Vodafone delete 10% of workforce

Newbury News: Telecoms giant announces 450 redundancies as senior management is slashed by 20 per cent

Newbury MP Richard Benyon today said "we cannot hide the fact that a 10 per cent reduction of personnel at the Newbury headquarters is a blow to the local community, but its one that we will survive.In the next twelve months we may be having this conversation about other companies in West Berkshire, including a lot of smaller companies, and we really have to worry about that.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 09:12 AM 0 Comments

Why the dollar will strengthen and Euro will Collapse

cncb: Fed's Impact on the Dollar

Fed's Impact on the Dollar Discussing the dollar direction following the Fed cut, with Meg Browne, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & David Kotok, CIO at Cumberland Advisers, speaking with CNBC's Amanda Drury & Sri Jegarajah

Posted by chris @ 08:41 AM 2 Comments

In Sydney, the clearance rate dropped below the psychologically important 50 per cent mark, with only 48.3 per cent selling, a drop of 11 per cent on the same time last year.

AUSTRALIAN: Party's over as auctions take a hammering

Volumes were markedly higher than last year in all states, partly because of the coming Easter weekend but also because mortgage stress is forcing a large number of people to put their homes up for sale. Experts said the falling clearance rates reflected the dramatic drop in consumer confidence.

Posted by chris @ 07:41 AM 1 Comments

This was all predicted

Chosun Ilbo, South Korea: '12-Step Scenario' Forecasts Meltdown of US Economy

Is the U.S. economy heading for a total meltdown? A Samsung Securities report released on Tuesday that cites a hypothesis by economist Nouriel Roubini suggests it may be. "A 12-step scenario for descent to financial disaster presented in 2006 by Nouriel Roubini, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, is turning into reality," the report said. Ultra-pessimist Roubini outlined his 12-step scenario for U.S. economic and financial meltdown in July 2006. In the first step to financial disaster, he cites the housing recession -- the worst in U.S. history.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 07:14 AM 1 Comments

After the massive subprime crisis in the U.S., John Symond, CEO of Aussie Home Loans says the Australian housing market is likely to get worse. He explains why with CNBC's Jeffrey James & Sri Jegarajah.

cnbc: Subprime to Bite Aussie Housing

After the massive subprime crisis in the U.S., John Symond, CEO of Aussie Home Loans says the Australian housing market is likely to get worse. He explains why with CNBC's Jeffrey James & Sri Jegarajah.

Posted by chris @ 07:05 AM 0 Comments

Review of HBOS postion

Guardian: Double jeopardy: why the Halifax lost a little extra capitalisation

In a little over a year HBOS's stockmarket capitalisation has fallen from 40bn to under 18bn, HBOS, the largest liquid savings institution in Britain, still relies on the wholesale market. Alex Potter, banks analyst at Collins Stewart, believes this has contributed to the dent to sentiment. "They have wholesale funding pressures and a surprisingly large amount of this sub-prime exposure." Still directors bonus are now linked to short term gains rather than long term stability. Still filing their boots.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 05:45 AM 2 Comments

The yen carry trade is a cheap money gambit that exploits the extraordinarily low borrowing rates available in Japan. It is notoriously hard to quantify but is understood to have supported a series of the asset bubbles around the world in the past few y

times: Deepening misery on Wall Street, prophesies of recession and the recent freefall of the dollar could set off a $300 billion (148 billion) time bomb in the global yen carry trade, dealers are giving warning.

Japan's low interest rates, an anomaly in the financial world, result from Japanese central bank monetary policy, which has, Richard Jerram, the Macquarie economist, said, defied orthodox economic thinking for more than 20 years

Posted by chris @ 04:09 AM 2 Comments

NEW Zealand could slip into a recession over the next year, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said, conceding to the prospect of two consecutive quarters of negative growth over the next year.

AUSTRALIAN: NZ may face recession: Minister

NEW Zealand could slip into a recession over the next year, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said, conceding to the prospect of two consecutive quarters of negative growth over the next year. Analysts nevertheless believe the country's central bank won't need to follow the US Federal Reserve into cutting interest rates any time soon.

Posted by chris @ 01:09 AM 1 Comments

A SURVEY points to Australia's growth slowing and is another sign that official interest rates are unlikely to rise later this year.

AUSTRALIAN: Australia's growth to slow: survey

A SURVEY points to Australia's growth slowing and is another sign that official interest rates are unlikely to rise later this year. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index of economic activity, which indicates the likely pace of activity three to nine months into the future, was 4.1 per cent in January.

Posted by chris @ 01:08 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

If people stop lending this will be bad says CML

Money Marketing: Lender action will cause worst market outcome, says CML

Selfish mortgage lenders looking after their own interests, rather than stoke HPI, will cause a crash says CML

Posted by reggieperrin @ 11:55 PM 1 Comments

180 price drops in a single postcode: NW6

PropertySnake: NW6

The W. Hampstead area (W means wannabe and not West) is going to suffer the most spectacular price fall in North London. Close to the amenities of the real Hampstead, and conveniently linked to Central London via the highly reliable Tube, W Hampstead is one of those fringe areas which shot up in price for almost no reasons: no schools, traffic is a bi*ch, no parking whatsoever. As it went up for no reason, it will crash with a vengeance. 180 price drops, some down 20% after almost a year on the market. AGHAHAHHAHHA AHAHHA HA

Posted by confused76 @ 11:52 PM 8 Comments

On which drug is Ztuart Law?

Azzetz: Thank you Darling

"Our research shows that there is a desire amongst this group to have available a product such as stand-alone interest rate insurance, which will give them payment stability without tying them to lenders or products." And the final ray of sunshine for property investors is that more and more people who may once have been on the house-buying market are now opting for a rented property. This has led to growing optimism about the potential for success in the UK's buy-to-let market. So the moral of the story? With the help of insurance innovation and perhaps even some changes by the Treasury, homeowners will be able to cope in the face of adversity and have their happy ending. AH HHAHAHAHAHAHHA

Posted by confused76 @ 11:28 PM 10 Comments

Prime BTL, scum of the earth, thou shall receive no credit

MortgageBusiness: Mortgages Plc to withdraw from BTL market

We have seen both an increase in the number of new buy to let applications and a deterioration in credit quality, as other lenders have tightened criteria and pulled out of the market. Given the continuing difficulties in the capital markets, we have decided to pull out of the prime buy to let market for the time being and focus our resources on residential lending. However, we will continue to monitor developments carefully and, as when the mortgage market starts to return to normal, we will review our position with regard to prime buy to let lending.

Posted by confused76 @ 11:21 PM 1 Comments

RETIRED workers are being forced to borrow against the value of their homes to cover the higher cost of living in Australia.

AUSTRALIAN: Retirees fast-forward to reverse mortgages

There are now 33,700 reverse mortgages in Australia totalling more than $2 billion in value - a rise of 34 per cent in the past year. Deloitte partner James Hickey said that during the past year $466 million was borrowed - the majority in a lump sum, rather than an income stream.

Posted by chris @ 10:11 PM 0 Comments

Poor Krusty

DailyGoss: Kirsty throws a hissy fit

Just a bit of light relief - here's Krusty throwing a strop when she doesn't get thing her own way on Sport Relief's Celebrity Apprentice. What will she be like when her beloved housing market is in tatters?

Posted by little professor @ 09:58 PM 12 Comments

Got money in Icesave or Kaupthing? Read and think again! I have!

This is money: Iceland's banks top 'riskiness league'

In the days and hours before the crisis hit Bear Stearns, its CDS price hit 720 points. The message being sent out by the credit markets was clear - the bank's debt is very high risk. Credit insurance for debts at Iceland's biggest bank, Landsbanki, is priced at 610 points while that for Kaupthing is priced at a hair-raising 856. Given that these two have taken billions in UK retail deposits, it may be a sobering thought for savers to consider where they are putting their cash. These banks are now seen as the most unsafe in the developed world.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:17 PM 0 Comments

House prices have lost 12% since February 2006, just due to the currency

ThisIsMoney: Sterling's big slide may not be over yet

Sheltering behind the dollar is another troubled currency, the pound, and the fall in sterling, though largely unnoticed by the man in the street, is in many ways as dramatic as anything that is happening to the dollar

Posted by confused76 @ 08:36 PM 3 Comments

Great name for a blog!

The Mess that Greenspan Made: Beware the housing bottom-callers

Other posts on here: - A shocking new concept - living within your means - More gloom and doom from Martin Feldstein - Another favorable gold article in the mainstream media

Posted by happyrenterz @ 08:23 PM 4 Comments

Perhaps the Amero is coming

WorldNetDaily: U.S. loses No. 1 ranking as dollar drops

The European Union has overtaken the U.S. as the world's No. 1 economy due to the continued dramatic fall of the dollar, according to a Reuters report. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, for 2007 is officially estimated at $13,843,800 billion. The 2007 GDP for the 15 EU countries is estimated at 8,847,889 billion euros, the report said. That means when the euro yesterday topped $1.56, the EU officially became the largest economy in the world.

Posted by plato @ 06:52 PM 5 Comments

Fed cuts rates by 3/4%

FT: Fed cuts rates by 75 basis points

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday cut interest rates by 75 basis points - slightly less than the 100 basis points many in the market had been expecting. The smaller move reflects the Feds continuing concern about inflation, and its fear that too large a cut might trigger an adverse reaction from the bond market.

Posted by jack c @ 06:24 PM 14 Comments

Cheerleaders start singing the swansong

LandlordExpert: Buy to let unlikely to 'boom' or 'shrink'

Evan Davis believes rental incomes will remain stable, but also questioned the longer-term demand for rented property. Demographic change has underpinned demand for rented property in the UK, he says. However, the pound has been depreciating against the zloty and other Eastern European currencies, which might reduce the economic incentives for recent migrants to remain in the UK. Ive already heard anecdotal evidence of Poles buying one way coach tickets back to Poland and we may be looking at a cyclical phenomenon in terms of immigration, which will lessen demand for rented accommodation. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Posted by confused76 @ 04:05 PM 14 Comments


IndiaDaily: Gold ready to crash to $600 an ounce with Indian gold import down 80%

I know some of you out there have some gold. This article seems to imply that the peak is coming. Good luck.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:46 PM 21 Comments

How bad is the US recession?

MoneyWeek: Just how bad is the US recession?

The US government has been fudging its economic statistics in order to convince the public that conditions are rosier than they look - and to implement secret tax increases.

Posted by damien @ 02:18 PM 1 Comments

Consumer price inflation shot up to a nine-month high of 2.5%

Guardian: Inflation soars in February

Cheese, milk and bread prices rose by 17.6% on an annual basis last month - the largest rise since records began in 1997.

Posted by happyrenterz @ 01:54 PM 9 Comments


Times: Find the silver lining during the downturn

This has to be the worst list of "how to profit from the downturn" ever conceived by man. Highlights include: * Buy shares in banks * Spread bet on the stock markets * Buy a house at auction Read the comments for a bit of sanity.

Posted by night @ 01:23 PM 2 Comments

BTL fundamentals still as sound as ever?

FT Adviser: Market squeezes Paragon into streamlining

"These changes are being made to ensure we can adjust our business to the current environment and to position ourselves to take advantage of improved conditions in the future." The last paragraph says it all, who's normal are we talking about here?

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 01:06 PM 5 Comments


A RANGE of typical household goods including monocle grease and penny farthing oil have been removed form the basket of items used to measure inflation. The new basket will include a range of modern, everyday purchases including spats, violin cases and sheet music for Dixieland jazz. Officials say they want to bring the consumer price index up to date without going so far as to include things that people actually buy. A Treasury spokesman said: "There are two kinds of inflation. There's the inflation we talk about on the news, which generally hovers around the 2% mark.

Posted by doomwatch @ 12:43 PM 7 Comments

The Wreck Heads for the Ocean Floor

Times Online: Northern Rock cuts mortgages and axes 2,000 jobs

Mortgage holders thrown to the wolves unlike City Bankers who get bailouts on demand!

Posted by brian2 @ 12:21 PM 5 Comments

Ambrose tells it how it is

The Telegraph: Europe idle as US battles meltdown

The US Federal Reserve has resorted to the nuclear option in its ever-more depleted arsenal, invoking a Depression-era clause to shoulder the risk of losses stemming from the collapse of Bear Stearns, and to lend money directly to broker dealers.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:58 AM 4 Comments

A third of the shares of Bear were owned by Bear employees

Market Oracle: The Real Bear Stearns Story and the Risks of Systemic Collapse

This is not a bailout. The shareholders at Bear have been essentially wiped out. Note that a third of the shares of Bear were owned by Bear employees. Many of them have seen a lifetime of work and savings wiped out, and their jobs may be at risk, even if they had no connection with the actual events which caused the crisis at Bear. Don't tell them there was no moral hazard.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:33 AM 9 Comments

Misuse of Patriot Act powers by the FBI

Time Magazine: Do Americans Care About Big Brother?

"A quick tally of the record of civil liberties erosion in the United States since 9/11 suggests that the majority of Americans are ready to trade diminished privacy, and protection from search and seizure, in exchange for the promise of increased protection of their physical security"

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:26 AM 8 Comments

Bear Stearns' collapse means you can't get a mortgage

MoneyWeek: Why Bear Stearns' collapse means you can't get a mortgage

The collapse of Bear Stearns had a predictable impact on stock markets across the world yesterday. But few suffered as badly as the UK market - British banks took a pounding once again. The Bank of England auctioned off 5bn of short-term loans yesterday, but banks requested almost five times that amount. The move came as the inter-bank lending rate spiked up to 5.59%, in the largest rise in three months. Meanwhile, mortgage rate increases and product withdrawals make a mockery of all the feeble articles being printed in the weekend property supplements about a spring recovery in the property market. Banks in the UK are already suffering. What will happen when the UK housing crash gets fully underway?

Posted by damien @ 10:54 AM 6 Comments

Oh dear - Lehman to be next

The Telegraph: Wall Street rallies to aid Lehman

"By yesterday morning, the banks' prime brokerage departments - which service hedge fund clients - were under strict instructions not to do or say anything in the market that could damage Lehman"

It is full steam ahead into the Armstrong low this Easter.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:48 AM 3 Comments

Bye bye Dolalr as the international currency of choice

Reuters News: Dollars tough to sell on the streets of Amsterdam

The U.S. dollar's value is dropping so fast against the euro that small currency outlets in Amsterdam are turning away tourists seeking to sell their dollars for local money while on vacation in the Netherlands.

Posted by afrobaggie @ 10:04 AM 4 Comments

Not deflation, not inflation but deflation, at least in the USA

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Now Presenting: Deflation!

Nice chart of declining yield curves, which he says argues against stagflation. His other point is if assets are marked to market (like Bear Stearns just has been) then we are talking about deflation now, not inflation.

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:01 AM 1 Comments

CPI up RPI static

BBC: UK consumer inflation hits 2.5%

UK consumer inflation reached its highest level in nine months last month, spurred by rising energy bills. The Office for National Statistics said the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) hit 2.5% on an annual basis in February, up from 2.2% in January. A key reason for the rise was the change in the method used to calculate energy bills. Retail Prices Index inflation, which includes mortgage interest payments, remained the same at 4.1% last month.

Posted by jack c @ 09:48 AM 10 Comments

Rats - Sinking Ship & Official Vindication

Telegraph: A sobering spectacle for a market optimist

"I have a confession to make.I seriously underestimated the depth of the current crisis." "The collapse of America's fifth largest investment bank is a sign that the world has gone a bit mad in recent years. We have forgotten the simple truth that ultimately you can only spend what you earn." "This is my last column here for a while. I'm taking my fascination for the great game of investment to Fidelity. Thank you for reading."

Posted by andrew @ 09:10 AM 8 Comments

Round like a spiral in a spiral like a wheel within a wheel.....

Economic Indicator Services: Boom / Bust why did Gordon Refuse to Listen?

Just a title from Fred. What amuses me is this. A posting from Greenbay said "yes there are business cycles but i dont believe there is a cycle in property". This is what i find strange about these BTLrs. They Invest in a market that for 400 years (per Fred) has had reliable (excluding the war periods) booms and busts in Land values which have dragged up HP with them (note Fred suggests that HP depreciate - its the land that they are built on which suffers the boom/ bust). Now i have personally not done the work but Fred has, so why oh why would the Bulls insist that they are right and 400 years of history is wrong? Now it may be that "this time" they are right - but its always different "this time", or more likely they have no idea about this research. Baffling!

Posted by techieman @ 08:26 AM 13 Comments

Anyone offering lessons in Dollar swimming? "Bernanke May Cut Benchmark Rate by Most Since Volcker"

"The severity of the crisis was underscored by the Fed's emergency action on the evening of March 16, the first weekend policy shift since 1979. A week ago, the debate among economists was whether the Fed would cut by 50 basis points or 75 basis points. Now, a reduction of 1 percentage point is seen as a sure bet among futures traders and some anticipate a move of as much as 1.25 percentage points. Either would be the deepest since Volcker's Fed lowered the federal funds rate to 10 percent from 11.75 percent in October 1984." Uh oh - this is gonna be a heck of a wave of money...

Posted by trough2010 @ 07:27 AM 2 Comments

Greenbay will be pleased

Findaproperty: Merthyr Tydfil Rockets Up In Value

Prices in the Surrey town rose from 1,988 per sq m in 2002 to 2,577 per sq m in 2007, a 30 per cent rise. I will be looking for a 30% fall, once the air clears.

Posted by bystander @ 07:10 AM 11 Comments

Even Aunty cannot ignore the mess in the housing market!

BBC: Rising numbers seek debt advice

A survey of more than 300 Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) offices found a 35% rise in mortgage queries. The combination of big increases in household bills, especially fuel, and rising housing costs is putting additional pressure on people's finances when they are already stretched to the limit," said Ms Perchard.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 05:38 AM 0 Comments

Apocalyptic Financial News

Telegraph: UK facing worst financial crisis 'in decades'

"On a chaotic day in the City, the pound suffered its worst one-day fall since Black Wednesday in 1992 amidst fears of a growing global recession."

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:25 AM 2 Comments

All going in one direction

Guardian: House prices and mortgage deals down

For anyone trying to sell a house at the moment, the latest bout of financial gloom from Wall Street could not have come at a worse time. Estate agents across the country were reporting "grim times ahead" yesterday, with buyers "virtually non-existent" in many areas. Prices are falling by 5-10% in some cities. "It's flatter than a flat pancake - properties that sold for 180,000 last year are struggling to make 150,000 now" says estate agent David Potter. "Buyers are frankly afraid to buy a house right now because they fear it will be worth 50,000 less in six months time, and you can't blame them." he said.

Posted by little professor @ 01:13 AM 10 Comments

The Times not ramping for a change

Times: FTBs hit as lenders pull the plug

Harsh new conditions set by banks may leave many borrowers unable to get a mortgage, after the sudden demise of Bear Stearns fuelled concerns that the credit crunch will prove deeper and more enduring than was first thought. Even "prime" mortgage borrowers may be hit with higher interest rates in months to come as banks become increasingly jittery and attempt to shield themselves. Borrowers who have secured pre-approval for a mortgage are finding offers suddenly withdrawn. On a 150,000 Nationwide home loan, a borrower now needs a 37,500 deposit to get its most competitive rate of 5.68%. A month ago the same borrower would have required a deposit of only 15,000 (10%) to obtain the same rate.

Posted by little professor @ 01:09 AM 3 Comments

As far as the BBC is concerned this is not News

Bloomberg: Pound Falls Most in Six Years Against Euro, Reaches Record Low

Pound falls 2% against Euro, falls to 3 year low against the Yen, and even falls against the Dollar!

Overseas holidays now getting expensive, are they in the ONS shopping basket?

Posted by enuii @ 12:09 AM 3 Comments

Monday, March 17, 2008

That's what we need!

Money News: CML calls for rethink on equity release

A new study from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has suggested that there is potential for the UK equity release market to be growing at a much faster rate. Pardon, did I read that right?

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 11:24 PM 4 Comments

Our money to prop up the market and Gibbs Gillespie

Hillingdon Council Website: First time buyers' scheme

Grants for fully employed people ... worth 15 750 on a 210k property ... their recommendations include not borrowing more than 3.5 x your income (after outgoings) which means you can be earning over 50k .Please have a word with your MP.

Posted by hillingdon bob @ 10:09 PM 8 Comments


"NEW YORK New York March 16, 2008 In light of entering into an agreement to merge with JPMorgan Chase, The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. (NYSE: BSC) will not be announcing its first quarter 2008 financial results on Monday, March 17, 2008, as previously scheduled."

Posted by trough2010 @ 09:48 PM 7 Comments

People don't trust you Labour

Times: Support for Labour hits 25-year low

Gordon Brown is not quite as ugly as Michael Foot but there are interesting parallels between the two men. To name just a couple, Labour's popularity hit the basement when Foot was made leader. Foot lasted as leader of the Labour party for just 3 years before Labour got thumped by the Conservatives in a Landslide. If the yougov polls are anything to go by then if an election was tomorrow Cameron's Tories would give Brown's Labour a hammering of Landslide proportions. It would also seem that the public are extremely unimpressed with the leader of the Labour party. Brown's popularity has taken a hammering and is at its lowest rating since the Labour party gave him the job as PM. As for Darling nearly half of voters say, "he is not up to the job". Interesting times ahead for Labour!

Posted by denzil @ 09:46 PM 3 Comments

non-biased property opinion ? Phil Spencer

"Phil also provides non-biased property opinion for several leading property publications, national newspapers and TV programs."

Posted by doomwatch @ 04:57 PM 2 Comments

Hey, relax. It's all fixed!

BBC: UK will fight turbulence - Brown

He told MPs that an EU summit at the weekend had agreed "co-ordinated action at a European and global level".

Posted by alan @ 04:15 PM 21 Comments

Lehman could be in a similar position to Bear Stearns

Citywire: AA-rated Tom Walker says crisis worst since 1974, Lehmans also vulnerable

Martin Currie's AA-rated North American manager Tom Walker said the current US liquidity crisis following JP Morgan Chase's knockdown purchase of Bear Stearns is as bad as the Opec oil crisis of 1974. Head of private client research at Charles Stanley Stockbrokers Jeremy Batstone said the central banks had yet to grasp the full extent of the financial crisis and said the UK economic scenario was the wost for 17 years.

Posted by jack c @ 03:28 PM 4 Comments

What planet are these fools living on?

Telegraph: Property market: A spring recovery

Flogging a dead horse....... "There's been a small but important change in direction," says Richard Donnell, research director at the consultancy Hometrack and an adviser on housing markets to local authorities and government bodies. "After eight months of falling demand, our latest survey saw a clear pick up with an eight per cent increase in buyers. This is a smaller rise than we'd normally see but with interest rates coming down it seems buyers are coming back to the market."

Posted by hpwatcher @ 03:07 PM 23 Comments

The BBC resorts to direct scaremongering of the public to support the housing market

BBC "News": Mortgage brokers 'act fast' tip

This is a new low in journalism. There really should be an investigation into how the BBC has portrayed the housing market as a one-way bet. Whether its from editors' private interests or government pressure, its corruption.

Posted by paul @ 02:47 PM 10 Comments

Putting an end to boom-and-bust

Conservative Home: Time to look at Land Value Tax?

In which I explain to them how to end ridiculous boom and bust cycle in housing market once and for all. And get roundly booed for doing so.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:05 PM 14 Comments

UK's property downturn will be worse than America's

MoneyWeek: Why the UK's property downturn will be worse than America's

Negative equity is an unpleasant - but very real - prospect for those who bought near the peak of the housing boom. And the pain could be much more drawn-out for defaulting homeowners on this side of the Atlantic.

Posted by damien @ 12:14 PM 15 Comments

Let's fudge the inflation figures

BBC News: Muffins enter UK Basket

Fruit smoothies, muffins and portable digital storage devices have all been added to a typical basket of UK goods, used to measure inflation.

Posted by afrobaggie @ 12:01 PM 31 Comments

Tarred with the same brush as the Fed?

Bloomberg: BOE Offers Banks Emergency Cash to Ease Money Markets

"The Bank of England said it will offer extra cash to banks in the first such emergency operation in six months to alleviate tensions in money markets".

Posted by alan @ 11:36 AM 16 Comments

A rescue for Bear Stearns, but the Fed is destroying the dollar

MoneyWeek: A rescue for Bear Stearns, but the Fed is destroying the dollar

Markets have tumbled on news that US investment bank Bear Stearns had to be bailed out by the Federal Reserve. From rate cuts to bailouts, the central bank's attempts to cushion the falling financial sector are actually making things worse...

Posted by damien @ 11:07 AM 2 Comments

Overall credit conditions could tighten into a slump (like 1930). It's the stuff of bad dreams

The Telegraph: Foreign investors veto Fed rescue

"The imminent risk is that global flight from US Treasury and agency debt drives up long-term rates, the key funding instrument for mortgages and corporations. The effect could outweigh Fed easing."

The Fed has ran out of ammo.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:44 AM 1 Comments

2001 Daily Mail Headline - boom and bust in the housing market

OneStopView Blog: How long has an Housing Price Crash been on the cards for?

Its usually a topic that from one day to the next sways from prices on the surge to prices are on a free fall. So, what should we beleive in 2008? Ok, prices have been rising since around 1997 under the labour government and despite a few panics on growth stopping, prices have week in and week out increased with new average house prices going up and up. Today, nearly all young first time buyers are priced totally out of the market and usually are taking on mortgages that are tying them into 50 years on figures that if their circumstances change they could find themselves in a serious situation financially. So, is a price crash on the cards? I believe so as

Posted by eve green @ 10:09 AM 1 Comments

Explosion of mega bearish articles

Market Oracle: Derivatives Dominos Start Falling Threatening Collapse of the Shadow Banking System

Other titles posted on market oracle

Gold: The Leading Indicator of Systemic Financial Collapse
US Banking System in a Vicious Circle Ending In Systemic Financial Meltdown
Over Leveraged Hedge Funds Dancing with the Devil
The Road to Hyperinflation- Vive La France!
Central Banks $2.5 Trillion Money Supply Fails to Stop Global Deleveraging -
Beware a Parabolic Rise Culminates in Market Crash

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:30 AM 41 Comments

How Wall Street Fleeced The Sheeple

Guardian: America was conned - who will pay?

"... a way had to be found to persuade households to do their patriotic duty. The method chosen was simple. Whip up a colossal housing bubble, convince consumers that it makes sense to borrow money against the rising value of their homes to supplement their meagre real wage growth and watch the profits roll in."

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:18 AM 6 Comments


Bloomberg: Pound Falls Most in Six Years Against Euro, Reaches Record Low

Britain's currency also dropped versus the dollar and fell to a three-year low against the yen after the Fed cut the rate a quarter-percentage point to 3.25 percent in its first weekend emergency action since 1979 ...........WHY???????????????????

Posted by bystander @ 09:08 AM 17 Comments

Property Price Crash on the Cards?

OneStopView Blog: Will the UK Property market Crash, Part II ?

I have now just read on the BBC news website that Polish people are now leaving the UK in their thousands cause pay is now better in their home country. This could prove to be another fatal nail in the coffin of house prices in the UK.

Posted by eve green @ 09:06 AM 3 Comments

The sliding pound affecting purchaser of homes abroad?

OneStopView Blog: The sliding value of the pound has affected purchasing property abroad?

The value of the pound has been sinking like a stone in water. I remember the sterling against the Euro was 1.49 in September 2007, but we now see in March 2008 it at 1.29 which may not seem a lot, but figures here will prove otherwise: House of 300,000 costs 201,342 in September 2007 House of 300,000 costs 232,558 in March 2008 That is a 31,000 difference in just over 6 months which has persuaded some potential UK purchasers of property in Europe to sit and wait.

Posted by chris walker @ 09:03 AM 0 Comments

Dollar slides badly

Bloomberg: Dollar Doomsayers Draw Signs From Bernanke Rate Cuts

"Ben Bernanke's interest-rate cuts have touched off a vicious circle of doom for the dollar".

Posted by alan @ 07:47 AM 2 Comments

Fed cuts discount rate by 0.25%

Reuters: Fed takes emergency steps to help financial system

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Sunday announced emergency measures to stem a fast-spreading global financial crisis, tapping tools last used in the Great Depression to pour funds into cash-starved Wall Street firms. The Fed cut the discount rate it charges on direct loans to banks to 3.25 percent from 3.50 percent and set up a new program to provide cash to a wider range of big financial firms previously unable to borrow directly from the central bank. I doubt this move will work.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 05:56 AM 10 Comments


Guardian: Sold for just $2 a share - the bank worth $140bn last week

A suitable end for one of the banks that caused this mess! 98% down in just a week. Similar to the depreciation on those Manchester 2 bed flats.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 05:47 AM 15 Comments

The 85 year old Bear Stearns collapses.

Marketwatch: J.P. Morgan to buy Bear Stearns for $2 a share

Apparently Bear Stearns, which was trading at $160 last year, is worth but $2 today. Mind you, it's a stock deal and I can see JP Morgan's getting crushed on this news, so maybe it isn't even worth that. What price Lehmans, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch??? The dollar is crumbling, gold is up $20. Maybe we should be careful what we wish for?

Posted by jackas @ 12:47 AM 1 Comments

Surprise Suprise Deal Struck!

Bloomberg: JPMorgan Buys Bear Stearns for $2 a Share After Clients Flee

If a deal was ever in doubt more manipulation to calm the markets.

Posted by keith_1 @ 12:00 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fed is really moving...

Bloomberg: Fed Cuts Discount Rate, Says Dealers May Borrow

The Federal Reserve reduced the rate on direct loans to commercial banks by a quarter-point and said it will allow primary dealers to borrow at the rate in exchange for a ``broad range'' of investment-grade collateral.

Posted by stevie dee @ 11:56 PM 0 Comments

Nikkei opens at Midnight - Will they do it?

Bloomberg: Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Strive for Sale, People Say

Bear Stearns Cos. executives were striving today to strike an agreement to sell the crippled securities firm to JPMorgan Chase & Co. before financial markets open in Asia, people with knowledge of the talks said.

Posted by stevie dee @ 10:32 PM 0 Comments

crisis - what crisis???

findaproperty: Studio flat for sale in London W11 - 100000GBP

100000 GBP for a garage (studio flat) reminds me of 1989 all over again

Posted by bystander @ 10:16 PM 6 Comments

Thought we could all do with a laugh

independent online: Secret Agent: 'People would rather pull their own teeth than put their house on the market now'

"Even he is capable of working out that sales figures can only be improved if there's something there to sell, yet when people are about as keen to put their house on the market as they are to remove their own wisdom teeth, it's not easy."

Posted by bystander @ 10:11 PM 3 Comments

What will Kirsty say?

Times Online: Phil Spencer: How to fight your way out of a housing market slowdown

Phill Location Location advocates S2R and suggests that houses are 20% overvalued in this article.

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 10:08 PM 0 Comments

Teresa knows whats what at another Barclay Brothers Paper

Scotland on Sunday: Teresa Hunter: We're all going to end up sharing Wall Street's pain

Teresa has seen it all before and reminds us of a few lessons from recent history. After the 1980's property crash in the states when the entire US mortgage industry went bankrupt many learned to make as much money as possible while the music is playing and get out with their pile before the government calls in the taxpayer to bail it all out.

Posted by enuii @ 09:00 PM 0 Comments

The understatement of 2008 - ``Right now it's a very potent short-term problem,''

Bloomberg: Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Aim to Strike Sale Agreement, People Say

Bear Stearns Cos. executives were striving today to strike an agreement to sell the crippled securities firm to JPMorgan Chase & Co. before trading resumes tomorrow, people with knowledge of the talks said.

Posted by jack c @ 08:50 PM 1 Comments

Govt may fall foul of EU Law for NR Nationalisation

Reuters: Danish banks reportedly criticise govt support for N. Rock

LONDON (Reuters) - Danish banks have written to the European Commission to complain about the "unfair competitive advantage" which they say government support gives nationalised UK lender Northern Rock, the Sunday Times reported. The company offers savings accounts to Danish investors through Northern Rock Denmark.

Posted by landedgentry @ 08:46 PM 0 Comments

"We have all been talking about a 1970s-style crisis but as each day goes by this looks more like the 1930s. No one has any clue as to where this is going to end; it's a self-feeding disaster."

Independent: Wall Street fears for next Great Depression

You heard it here long ago. Great depressions are a natural result of debt fuelled fiat currency. They happen every 80yrs or so to re-set the debt levels once they get too high. Protect your assets, batten down the hatches. Difference this time is that people have access to information beyond the vested interest media and can understand that the financial system itself is the issue. This has nothing to do with politics, economics, anything of any tangible value. It is a design fault of the system. Expect the establishment to react violently to lie their way out of this. But there is nobody to blame except for them, and they have known this would happen all along.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 07:58 PM 16 Comments

Doomed with debt

Telegraph: A world addicted to easy credit must go cold turkey

Alistair Darling's Budget-day boast that Britain is well placed to cope with this turmoil was irrefutable proof of his intellectual bankruptcy. I'm afraid so. Here in the United Kingdom we have been living a similar dream. Unable to fund all spending ambitions from income, too many Britons have cashed in part of their bricks and mortar for a blast of instant gratification.

Posted by doomwatch @ 06:43 PM 7 Comments

Trust no one

BigPicture Blog: 'Remain Calm! All Is Well!'

As today's Times disgusting housing market ramping and last week's BS bank collapse shows, one needs to be very careful about what one believes. "Within a couple of days after Bear Stearns Cos. (BSC) swore up and down that it didn't have any liquidity problems, it admitted Friday morning that it had a liquidity problem. This despite the fact that Bear had insisted all week that its liquidity wasn't at risk, persistent market rumors notwithstanding. The company said Monday there was "absolutely no truth" to the rumors. On Wednesday, Chief Executive Alan Schwartz said, "Our liquidity position has not changed at all. Our balance sheet has not weakened at all." As they used to say on "The X-Files': Trust no one." "

Posted by happyrenterz @ 06:26 PM 2 Comments

When choosing to flirt with moral hasard... Paulson Says He'll `Do What It Takes' to Calm Markets

``Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, defending the bailout of Bear Stearns Cos., said policy makers will do whatever is needed to prevent disruptions in financial markets from hurting the economy.'' ``The government is prepared to do what it takes to maintain the stability of our financial system,'' Paulson told the ``Fox News Sunday'' television program in Washington today. ``Our focus, our No. 1 priority, is the stability of our financial system.''

Posted by trough2010 @ 05:26 PM 7 Comments

Summary of muppets being turned over by property investment club.

thisismoney: Investors suffer as buy-to-let backfires

All 49 flats in this block in Manchester are owned by amateur investors - 37 of them thanks to one property club. Now it is feared that their value has slumped by HALF - or worse - in four years. "two-bedroom flats it said were worth 140,000 and likely to attract up to 650 a month in rent. It is not known what the properties are worth today, but a two-bedroom flat in the development failed to sell at auction in December for a guide price of 70,000. The flat is now let for 425 a month."

Posted by housing carbuncle @ 03:46 PM 14 Comments

Historians what do they know? USA or USSR

Bloomberg: Bear Stearns Bailout Was `Finger in the Dike,' Historians Say

Ever since Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo shut the New York Stock Exchange for four months in 1914, to prevent foreign investors from cashing out and throwing the U.S. into financial chaos at the outset of World War I, American policy makers routinely have suspended their support for free markets when confronted by economic peril.

Posted by stevie dee @ 03:21 PM 0 Comments

Wakey Wakey Chancellor Caution: Crumbling Wall Street earnings ahead

Far from winding down, as some of the optimistic had predicted last year, the credit crisis has engulfed even more sectors of the financial services industry since the start of 2008. Investors now are second-guessing the value of debt backed by student loans, municipal bonds, commercial real estate and even mortgages issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. On top of this, the trading of leveraged loans, a popular way for companies with weak credit ratings to finance the high-flying corporate buyouts of recent years, has lost its appeal. "Clearly the business has deteriorated pretty significantly in just the last couple of months," Lucky we've got such Strong Fundamentals in the UK then !

Posted by plato @ 03:20 PM 0 Comments

Times offensive to save the BTL

Times: Costs and red tape take the shine off investing in property the UK

Not seen so many badly disguised advertisement pieces in a long time. we are nearing the market collapse. I am posting more links in a comment. They say "The buy-to-let market is thriving, but too risky for most newcomers" but what does that really mean?

Posted by confused76 @ 11:30 AM 15 Comments

Guess what their answer is

Times: Is it still possible to make money from property?

If you believe the headlines, now does not seem the most obvious time to be investing in property. Try telling that to Eric Potts. Since 2002 he has amassed an 8m portfolio of 41 properties, and is considering a 42nd. There is always money in property, he says. You just have to feel in your stomach that its a good deal." Stuart Law, managing director of Assetz says Britain's long-term inability to build enough houses to satisfy demand will, over time, push prices back up. He would still consider buying in cities such as Manchester. All new schemes in Manchester have ceased, he says. At some point in the future, there will be a dire shortage of city-centre flats.

Posted by little professor @ 11:28 AM 13 Comments

US debts, wrap up so far

Wall Street Journal: Debt Reckoning: U.S. Receives a Margin Call

Nothing new here, just an excellent piece of journalism of where we are now in the bad debt problem. Rather than be surprised about the dollar's fall this is just payback for more than a decade of trade and budget deficits. I know some contributors to this site expect a $ rebound but seen in this light that seems unlikely. "Many U.S. hedge funds and financial institutions were speculating in mortgage-related securities with money that was ultimately borrowed in Japan, where interest rates have been low for years... As investments bought with money borrowed in Japan get sold and converted back into yen, we see both a fall in asset prices and a fall in the dollar."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 11:27 AM 1 Comments

Personal assets falling in value

BBC News: Car depreciation rates worsening

This article points out that resale value of cars has dropped substantially. Cars, normally being sellable in an emergency, are a -main asset- for many(probably the only big family asset). Posted because the small things give the game away i.e. there is a flight to cash not just by hedge funds. The accompanying video shows a Saab which lost two thirds of value in a year, one third of sale price being an additional drop since last year. Evidence of Japanese style deflation coming in the UK after the inflationary blip.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:24 AM 1 Comments

How government interference contributed to the US mortgage crisis

Burning Our Money: Anti-discrimination blow-back

Political correctness led to weakening of lending standards

Posted by david boycottt @ 11:23 AM 0 Comments

The contagion is spreading!!

Daily Mail: Spurs fears as US bank shares dive

"The club's British owner Joe Lewis lost more than 1bn (500m) when the value of the investment bank crashed last week. Mr Lewis last year bought 11m of the bank's shares for a total of $1.1bn (550m)." Now all of those shrewd deals are looking stupid.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 10:53 AM 0 Comments

The Times wants the gov to give the housing market a springtime boost!

Times: Opening bids: the Government is in a fix - one of 25 years

This housing bubble has already brought down some international banks and threatens the world economy, but the Times is still talking it up. This housing bubble forces first time buyers into a life-time of debt, but the Times is still talking it up. Do they have no sense of journalistic responsiblity?

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:17 AM 8 Comments

This will help too!

The Observer: 10,000 face axe as City panic spreads

Good news for London Property prices then....

Posted by brian2 @ 09:38 AM 0 Comments

Have you say on the article!

The Telegraph: Property market: A spring recovery

This is a slighy cheesy upbeat article, saying yes, things are down a bit, but its ok because some buyers are coming back. I have posted a comment on the have you says bit saying it is over optimistic and that prices are actually down 10% already. I also know some agents and mortgage brokers covering prime properties, and actually all is not well. There dare not say this to clients for fear of frightening the sheep, but after a few beers the real concerns do come out.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 09:28 AM 0 Comments

EA in trouble.

Telegraph: Countrywide in a state over distressed debt

Apollo Management, could be forced to pump millions of pounds of cash into Countrywide, Britain's biggest chain of estate agents, in a bid to shore up its investment in the group. One trader said: "Countrywide's senior debt is trading at 67p in the pound and the bonds are 51p in the pound. The big discount is because traders believe the company will need more cash from the sponsor if the housing market continues to deteriorate. There are also concerns in the market over the performance of Foxtons. Oh dear, oh dear! What a shame, let them share in the misery that they have sown.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:12 AM 9 Comments

CPI holds at 2.3% confounding everyone - BoE lower rates by 100bps

timesonline: UK tycoon Joe Lewis loses $800m on Wall Street

In Britain, nerves could be set on edge if the February inflation figures also due out on Tuesday show a decisive rise above 2.5%, from 2.2% in January. While Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, has primed the markets to expect a significant rise in inflation in the coming months, any sign that it was moving higher at an unacceptable pace would be seen as limiting the Banks room for manoeuvre on interest rates. .anyone honestly believe Crash and Darling are going to allow the release of the true rate of inflation?????

Posted by bystander @ 01:47 AM 18 Comments

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Do you think I should sink my money into this Bank? UNITED TRUST BANK - 6 Months Fixed Deposit Account 6.87%

Our Company United Trust Bank (UTB) specialises in providing a wide range of funding facilities to property developers. As an owner managed business with specialist expertise in the property sector, United Trust Bank can take an entrepreneurial and pragmatic approach, providing quick and flexible funding for property developments in the form of senior debt, mezzanine and equity to support sound development projects. No? I thought not.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:35 PM 4 Comments

Not everybody is bearish just yet

Fool: The Buy-To-Let Boom Isn't Over Yet

Here's a counter-argument to the usual HPC news that we post here. Anybody care to demolish these arguments? "In January Paragon reported that rents were rising at their fastest rate on record - up 19% in 2007 and 8% in the last quarter alone. --- Demand from students and immigrants remains strong, and first-time buyers who fear a crash (or are no longer eligible for a competitive mortgage deal) are renting instead. --- Due to the credit crunch, repossessions are on the up, which means there is greater potential to snap up a bargain, especially at a property auction. --- The buy-to-let boom is probably not quite over yet. In a few years' time, I expect some investors will still be wringing their hands with glee, rather than despair."

Posted by drewster @ 09:08 PM 27 Comments

Oo bugger thats why their share price is sinking!!

The Times: HBOS raises 750m of new capital in a bid to beat credit crunch

HBOS has raised 750m of new capital at a staggering interest rate of almost 9.5%, in a clear sign of the funding crisis facing the worlds banks

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:05 PM 3 Comments

BoE need to ignore the bleating and keep down the heating

timesonline: Inflation fears could keep interest rates on hold

The question I have is haw low will the pound be allowed to go.When I moved to France the exchange rate was about 1.5 Euros to the pound,now its about 1.25.Does anyone think it will be allowed to fall below the Euro.Also,interest rates in the UK are higher and the BOE havn't reduced them much so why is the pound falling? .......anyone with any realistic and backed-up predictions??????

Posted by bystander @ 07:56 PM 7 Comments

Bush says accept house price crash

Yahoo Biz: Avoid Overcorrecting Economy, Bush Warns

"Many young couples trying to buy their first home have been priced out of the market because of inflated prices," the president said. "The market now is in the process of correcting itself, and delaying that correction would only prolong the problem."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 07:31 PM 10 Comments

Some more BS on BS

Telegraph: Ambrose's take on Bear Stearns

Bear Stearns exposed as a bank saddled with toxic sub-prime debt

Posted by holding out @ 03:50 PM 2 Comments

Give us the money - now

FT: Few Welcome home signs

"Property experts and mortgage brokers condemned the lack of action to re-establish stability in the housing market" The latest wave of fatuous nonsense emanating from the credit crunch. It's a bit like when children wonder why everything can't be free. The VIs just want central banks or govt to bail out everyone. Maybe this financial crisis will be noteworthy for a record number of stupid pontifications.

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:25 PM 1 Comments

Sqeeze on BTL finances (period)

Guardian: Squeeze is on, but deals are still out there

"Life is undoubtedly getting harder for the army of amateur landlords who have turned to bricks and mortar as an alternative to investing in a pension. Falling property prices and a clampdown on mortgage lending have dealt a blow to the buy-to-let market, with some landlords now finding it increasingly difficult to make the numbers add up. But this ill wind is blowing some good their way. The very factors buffeting them are also putting the squeeze on wannabe first-time buyers, forcing many of them to continue renting." This is called "race to the bottom" and I cannot logically understand how a general liquidity squeeze (affecting disposable incone) can benefit landlords

Posted by confused76 @ 01:18 PM 4 Comments

Living on credit is like being on drugs. When one fix has worn off, the search starts for the next.

Council of Mortgage lenders: CML Research identifies opportunities for UK equity release market

The current credit bubble is like a drug. The addicts are now searching for other ways to get their next fix. I have maintained constantly that the mechanism of money does not work with interest being charged. This is another way in which money can be borrowed and bring about a collapse in the workings of money finally.

Posted by glen @ 09:19 AM 1 Comments

Darling's stable budget not so stable!

Telegraph: Budget 2008: Alistair Darling's optimism under fire after Bear Stearns bailout

On Wednesday Alistair Darling took a very optimistic view about how well Britain was prepared for the economic slowdown. Now, just two days later you see how difficult things are likely to become and we see what a mistake Gordon Brown make in not putting anything aside for a rainy day

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:09 AM 0 Comments

Fed may cut IR by 1%

Telegraph: Bear Stearns crisis may force US Fed to slash rates again

The Federal Reserve could cut interest rates by more than one percentage point in a bid to stabilise financial markets in the wake of Bear Stearns' collapse. At its scheduled meeting next Tuesday the Federal Open Markets Committee is expected to slash its base lending rate in order to lift the economy out of recession and alleviate the problems of the credit crisis

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:53 AM 5 Comments

The city would like tax payers to pay for its bonus, cigars, lap dancers etc!

FT: Financial system must tap the taxpayer

US could suffer a deep and protracted recession like Japan. House prices are in free-fall, spreading losses through mortgage-backed securities and making it difficult for financial markets to stabilise. The US labour market is cracking, with three consecutive months of job losses in the private sector. Consumer spending is faltering. Financial markets have taken another lurch downward triggering Fed emergency responses. A financial accelerator is taking hold as banks react to losses by pulling back on their capital at risk, intensifying the credit crunch and aggravating the economic downturn. Interest rate cuts have been largely offset by the rise in risk spreads. The challenge is to stop the financial accelerator. This requires additional capital from the tax man

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:24 AM 7 Comments

Retired Teacher is fleeced

Guardian: Where does buy-to-let go from here?

A flat was to be this woman's pension. Now she is trapped by negative equity and soaring costs. It was never a get-rich-quick scheme - I accepted I would have to wait before gaining," she says. Connells would not comment on the gap between its valuation and Judith's experience but stated: "The valuation was by a qualified chartered surveyor and would have been supported by appropriate market evidence."

Posted by mken @ 04:22 AM 17 Comments

More bear food from Edmund Conway

Telegraph: Property Market - the word on the street

The prospects for the housing market are as bad as they have been for almost two decades. What's to prevent us following in America's wake? Very little, as it happens. Our house prices are, in fact, even more overvalued; we are more highly indebted; our interest rates are even higher than in the US. One section of the market - new-build buy-to-let in places like Manchester and Leeds - is already facing a price crash. I don't buy the argument that the chronic shortage of new housing will stop prices from plummeting. Even taking this into account, our property market is significantly overvalued. Prices will continue to fall, and it won't be pretty.

Posted by little professor @ 03:30 AM 0 Comments

The wave of bank failures is just getting started...

Telegraph Online: Bear Stearns crisis could hit UK banks

Funding costs for British banks are expected to soar in the wake of Bear Stearns' near-collapse, worsening the credit crunch and potentially pushing up the cost of lending. Credit spreads for UK banks widened yesterday, providing clear evidence that they are now judged to be higher risk.

Posted by inthedelhi @ 01:26 AM 17 Comments

Friday, March 14, 2008

Banks are running for cover

FT: Lenders Pull Out of Mortgage Deals

No one wants to lend money. Top of the mortgage best buy table - forget it - the battle for mid table obscurity is on.

Posted by earplug @ 11:31 PM 0 Comments

Don't think - just jump into the abyss! Doors slam on mortgage deals

Great quote from this article: Borrowers need to understand . . . they need to move quickly to secure a rate. If they dither even by only a few hours they should be prepared to be disappointed.

Posted by bopster @ 10:51 PM 0 Comments

Why is it always Fridays?

Telegraph: Stearns crisis sparks UK recession fears

Millions of British households face soaring mortgage rates and tumbling house prices after the global financial crisis triggered the near-collapse of one of the world's biggest banks.

Posted by enuii @ 10:16 PM 9 Comments

We've definitely found reverse gear now!!

Bloomberg: Money-Market Rates May Rise After Bear Stearns Rescue

``This is going to increase the reluctance of banks to lend to each other,'' said Nick Stamenkovic, a strategist at RIA Capital Markets in Edinburgh. ``It means that the funding crisis in money markets is going to intensify. The fact that Bear Stearns has had to be bailed out by the Fed clearly increases concern about which other banks are in serious trouble.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:16 PM 0 Comments

"The nation has entered a recession that could be the worst since World War II. "

Bloomberg: Harvard's Feldstein Says U.S. Economy in Recession

``I believe the U.S. economy is now in recession,'' Feldstein, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, told the Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Florida. ``Could this become the worst recession we have seen in the post-war period? I think the answer is yes.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 08:48 PM 0 Comments

Tangible implications of Credit Crunch.

Bloomberg: Borrowers Find What Citigroup Says Isn't What It Does

Real estate developer John Wimmer paid Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. almost $1 million last year to lock in a 5.6 percent mortgage rate on the refinancing of six commercial properties. At the November closings, Citigroup, citing plummeting demand for mortgage bonds, boosted the rate to 7.123 percent. ``I was very upset,'' Wimmer said in a phone interview from his office in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. ``We had many proposals to lock the rate with other financial institutions and we picked Citigroup because of their reputation and strength.'' Wimmer sued. So did a developer in Kentucky after Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. invoked the ``material adverse change'' clause in their loan agreement to raise his rate.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 07:54 PM 0 Comments

Fed runs low on ammo

reuters: Cash converter won't mark bottom

The list of things that haven't changed is long, and includes the fact that house prices in the United States are still falling, will keep falling for a long time and will destroy much more capital in the process. Richard Syron, who as chief executive of Freddie Mac is at the epicentre of the housing and debt bust, was truly pessimistic in an appearance before investors and analysts on Wednesday. It is an "extraordinary environment in housing finance ... really about the worst housing market in about a century," Syron said. "It's not incorrect to say we are in a 100-year storm in the housing industry and we have to treat it as such."

Posted by ao @ 07:33 PM 0 Comments

If only we did learn from history!!

bbc news: Financial crises: Lessons from history

A brief reprise of financial crashes from to 1866 to the crash

Posted by randomkevlar @ 07:22 PM 0 Comments

Will this be the US equivalent of Northern Rock

Telegraph: Bear Stearns shares crash as credit crisis snares biggest US victim

Bear Stearns one of the most venerable names on wall street has run out of the liquid stuff (cash) and anybody with funds held in Bear Stearns will be clamouring to transfer them out ala Northern Rock.

Posted by enuii @ 06:35 PM 2 Comments

Sub-Prime football: Half time scores

Bloomberg: Subprime Losses Reach $195 Billion; German Banks Get Hit: (Table)

The following table shows the $195 billion in asset writedowns and credit losses since the beginning of 2007, including reserves set aside for bad loans, at more than 45 of the world's biggest banks and securities firms. German banks reporting earnings this week said they had further losses.

Posted by alan @ 04:40 PM 5 Comments

Try get planning permission for this!

Scathing comments from Europes most consistent US equity manager

Citywire: Fed policy is 'hopeless says top US equity manager Mout

As the US dollar hit an all time low against the euro one of the best performing US equity managers available in Europe, AAA-rated Franois Mout, has laid into the US authorities. The way Bernanke is running the countrys economy is disappointing, he says. What is happening to the US dollar is a testimony to how wrong Bernanke has been.

Posted by jack c @ 03:40 PM 2 Comments

Or as zilly would Ohh dear Oh my!!

BBC News: Bear Stearns gets emergency funds

A big hitter goes running to the fed to stay solvent, and still people in the UK don't understand whats about to happen, they're still trying to work out how we'll all be saved by our chancellors plastic bag trick.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 02:47 PM 0 Comments

Bank bailouts: helping or hindering?

MoneyWeek: Bank bailouts: helping or hindering?

If only the G7 would sit back and let the failed banks fail. A report from the World Bank suggests that the Fed, the ECB and the Bank of England are all prolonging the current crisis with their intervention.

Posted by damien @ 02:27 PM 4 Comments

Denials they in trouble all week now this

Yahoo Biz: JPMorgan Chase, With Federal Reserve Bank of NY, to Provide Funding to Bear Stearns

"The federal government and JPMorgan Chase & Co. teamed up on a bailout of Bear Stearns Cos. on Friday, a last-ditch move to save the investment bank, which acknowledged its dire financial straits after a week of firm denials."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 02:14 PM 4 Comments

A street in West Yorkshire has been named as the cheapest place to buy a house in England and Wales.

BBC: Ex-pit town 'has cheapest homes'

The average house price in Oxford Street in the former coal mining town of South Elmsall is 25,600, according a property website. Tower Green in the St Hilda's area of Middlesbrough, which is being demolished, came in second place, with the average home worth 27,400. In third place is Warwick Street, South Bank, Middlesbrough, at 28,000. based its research on Land Registry house prices.

Posted by jack c @ 02:10 PM 0 Comments

Subprime hits Japan Subprime hits Japan

Finally something funny is this whole subprime mess.

Posted by hubbers @ 01:41 PM 0 Comments

Socialism for the rich

CNBC: Jim Rogers: 'Abolish the Fed'

"Asked what he would do if he were in Bernanke's shoes, Rogers, who slammed the Fed for pouring liquidity in the system and accepting mortgage-backed securities as guarantees, said: "I would abolish the Federal Reserve and I would resign." "No country in the world has ever succeeded by debasing its currency," he said. "That's what this man is trying to do. He's trying to debase the currency as a way to revive America. It has never worked in the long term or the medium term." "Listen, investment banks have been going bankrupt since the beginning of time. If people make mistakes -- if you bail out every investment bank that gets in trouble, that's not capitalism, that's socialism for the rich," he said."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 01:29 PM 13 Comments

The gold price has further to go

MoneyWeek: Why $1,000 an ounce isn't the peak for gold

Gold touched a nominal record high of $1,000 an ounce yesterday, and crude oil hit a high of $111. So why the ongoing surge? It's all down to the dollar, which has been setting some records of its own this week.

Posted by damien @ 11:18 AM 1 Comments

Tony Dye a bear until the end - predicting that house prices could fall by up to 30% by 2009

Citywire: City loses ardent bear as Tony Dye, prophet of the tech collapse, dies

Tony Dye, who as chief investment officer at Phillips & Drew in the 1990's, bucked the herd to predict the collapse of technology stocks, has died from cancer aged 60. He remained a bear until the end predicting in letters to newspapers from retirement that house prices could fall by up to 30% by 2009. The recent turmoil in the US housing market may again show that his predictions ultimately come true. One of his final predictions will stick in the throats of many investors: 'We don't have soft landings in things like this, ever,' he said.

Posted by jack c @ 11:07 AM 5 Comments

Debt needs to expand to infinity to keep the system going

The Telegraph: Hank Paulson urges banks 'raise more cash' as credit crisis deepens

Mr Paulson told the National Press Club. "We need those institutions to continue to lend and facilitate economic growth."

This says that growth is entirely dependent on ever expanding debt.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:05 AM 1 Comments

Housing Slump discussion in NZ

NZ Herald: Housing Slump in NZ

Thought this blog would be interesting. NZ house prices have fallen significantly (3-5%) over the past 6 months, now virtually flat year on year (-ve in Auckland). Quite heated debate in the blog, I was doing my best to spread the reality that yes indeed the most overpriced housing market in the world is going down the gurgler. Logic v brainwashed rhetoric best sums up the discussion.

Posted by squirrell @ 10:53 AM 1 Comments

Major financial turning point coming up

The Telegraph: Dollar plunge sets off global alarm bells

USD touched a record $1.5620 against the euro. In the US, crude oil reached a record $111 a barrel despite rising inventories

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:51 AM 19 Comments

.........but, but Mr. Darling said the UK didn't have any subprime???? Sub-Prime Lending: The Beginning Of The End?

"Rising energy, petrol and food costs are forcing consumers to tighten their belts, while reliance on increasingly expensive unsecured credit as a safety net is becoming more common. "Although growing numbers of borrowers are set to slip into sub-prime borrower status, the market shows no signs of being able to satisfy this heightened demand."

Posted by bystander @ 07:01 AM 4 Comments

BBC talks history of gold and how many chose to "protect themselves" from inflation (sound familiar? )

BBC online: 30 years of gold highs and lows

Gold goes more and more mainstream the more new highs are reached, causing more awareness in the general public and in fund manager circles causing further purchasing and further increases in the price. George Soros calls it "reflexivity"; price increases leading to further price increases in a self-reinforcing feedback loop, these don't go on forever however. I expect more and more columns of print will be devoted to the precious metals story then at x point in the future it will dive, not before all the subprime dross is cleared out of the system and confidence returns to the credit markets and the world economy, then the first shoots of the next property boom will commence.

Posted by perishabull @ 06:07 AM 0 Comments

Casino Capitalism

The Times: Carlyle Capital Corporation: commentary

'No one can complain that they werent warned. The implosion of Carlyle Capital Corporation is a spectacular failure, probably the most damaging to sentiment in credit markets since Northern Rock. But this time all those closely involved were consenting adults. Those who read the prospectus for the company had no doubt about its potentially precarious nature. You lose count of the number of references to leverage without limit. Never mind the eye-popping 32 times gearing CCC opted for. There was nothing in the company rules to prevent it leveraging up 320 times.'

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:18 AM 1 Comments

When even the shoe-shine boy is piling in, it's time to SELL!

CNN: Getting in on the gold rush

CNN joins in the gold-ramping by telling people how to join in the latest craze. This is just another speculative bubble - the money went from tech stocks into real estate and now on to metals. The current gold price is being driven up by investors purely on the expectation that prices will rise even further. This is the hallmark of a mania-driven bubble. The goldbugs deserve to get burnt every bit as much as the greedy BTLers who fell for the Inside Track "prices only ever go up" nonsense. Now let's hear what s2r has to say :p

Posted by little professor @ 01:04 AM 29 Comments

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bernanke keeps to his 2002 script on how to avoid deflation

Bloomberg: Bernanke Playbook Gives Hints on Fed's Next Moves

"So, brace yourself for a Fed funds rate close to zero, interest-rate-free loans in exchange for a much wider range of debt collateral, and further dollar weakness. And, if Helicopter Ben sticks to the script, the Fed might even guarantee the value of two-year Treasury notes. Strange days indeed."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:43 PM 1 Comments

70% unsatisfied with BoE about not controlling inflation

Bloomberg: U.K. Inflation Outlook Highest Since at Least 1999

"Today's report also showed waning approval for the central bank among consumers. A net 30 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the way the bank is ``doing its job to set interest rates to control inflation,'' the lowest result since May 2000." Economy to grow less than rate of inflation this year.

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:36 PM 5 Comments

Barnstaple house prices set to tank!

Telegraph: Michael Jackson's family seek Devon hideaway

The family of Michael Jackson, the pop star, may move to Devon to escape the media spotlight. The singer's older brother Tito, a judge in the BBC One duet contest Just The Two Of Us, has spent the weekend house hunting in the town of Barnstaple in the West Country. "We hope it will be a family hideaway where my brothers and sisters can escape the media attention when we need to," the actor told the North Devon Gazette newspaper.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 06:49 PM 8 Comments

"household rises, migration, immigration and housing supply shortages will help demand in the buy-to-let sector"

Mortgagestrategy: BUY-TO-LET SUMMIT 2008: Optimistic outlook for B2L

Speaking at the Four Seasons Hotel in Fleet, Hampshire, Michael Ball, professor of urban and property economics at Reading University, outlined a raft of figures and reports that give cause for optimism for buy-to-let landlords and lenders. He says: The long term prospects for the buy-to-let sector are extremely good. Buy-to-let investors are in a good position. Rental demand tends to do well in a market slowdown. There are no signs of this much vaunted meltdown of buy-to-let.

Posted by jack c @ 06:26 PM 17 Comments

Base IR's at 7.25% Mortgage rates circa 9%+

The Australian: Mortgage pain spreading to affluent

Got to love the last line "Mortgage broker numbers are tipped to halve from 10,000 to 5000 in the next two years. " For each 0.25% hike in base IR's the banks are upping by 0.35%. The banks are also raising rates independantly.

Posted by geed @ 05:56 PM 0 Comments

Inflation 5%? This is what most people (except Darling) think!

FT: Inflation expectations reach record levels

Public expectations of future inflation have reached the highest level on record according to a BoE survey; this will make the BoE reluctant to cut interest rates. People thought prices had risen 3.9 per cent over the last year and nearly a third thought the current inflation rate was higher than 5 per cent. Opps does nobody believe Darling's CPI figure of 2.1%? Despite market expectations that the BoE will lower interest rates over the next year, 43 per cent of respondents thought interest rates would rise.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 05:34 PM 5 Comments

Welcome to the brick and shit chicks

timesonline: How to refresh your garden and add 50,000 to your home

As house prices wobble, how can you add value to yours? George Franks, the head of estate agents Douglas and Gordon in Clapham, South London, says: A cracking south-facing garden can increase a property's value by between 2 and 10 per cent. If you have two houses worth 800,000, the one with a garden will cost 50,000 more. .........................flobba lob a lob, little weed: said Gordon .........................flobba lob a lob, replied Darling

Posted by bystander @ 04:35 PM 12 Comments

Down the plughole

Independent: Dollar falls to record low against euro

"Fears that stresses in credit markets and the world economy as a whole are deteriorating despite central bank help hit financial markets today, sinking global stocks and sending the dollar tumbling. The dollar hit another record low against the euro and fell below 100 Japanese yen for the first time in 12 years", Gold rose.

Posted by alan @ 03:37 PM 2 Comments

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Bloomberg: Oil Rises to a Record $111 on Weak Dollar,

Crude oil rose to a record $111 a barrel in New York as the sinking value of the dollar attracted investors to commodity markets and a government report showed that U.S. natural-gas supplies fell. The dollar dropped below 100 yen earlier today for the first time since 1995 and declined to a record low against the euro after a Carlyle Group fund moved closer to collapse. Supplies of natural gas, a competing fuel, fell 86 billion cubic feet to 1.398 trillion cubic feet last week, the Energy Department said.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 03:27 PM 6 Comments

One U.K. homebuilder has been winning - why?...

Bloomberg: Berkeley Forecasts Profit at the Top End of Estimates

Berkeley Group Holdings Plc, the U.K.'s fourth-largest homebuilder, said annual results will be at the top end of analyst estimates, helped by sustained demand in the London market. Berkeley exited high-volume homebuilding, betting that high levels of employment and a vibrant London economy would sustain demand for its apartment blocks that typically sport cafes and gyms. - So what's the plan now Berkeley?

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 02:39 PM 1 Comments

1 in 557 U.S. homes in some stage of default

Bloomberg: U.S. Home Defaults, Foreclosures Rise 60% in February

U.S. home foreclosure filings jumped 60 percent and bank seizures more than doubled in February as rates on adjustable mortgages rose and property owners were unable to sell or refinance amid falling prices.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 02:31 PM 1 Comments

Amazing spoof article.... It can't be for real.....


Property prices in Cornwall look set to withstand the effects of a global credit crunch with a two-bedroom semi-detached house in St Ives valued at a cool 1 million.But Russian oligarchs with a few spare rubles and City whiz-kids whose end-of-year bonuses are burning a hole in their pocket will need to be quick.The house next door has already been sold for a six-figure sum - a quarter of a million above its original asking price. With a balcony overlooking Porthmeor beach and a private entrance to its own beach-level shower and toilet, the lucky owners will be able to walk straight from the beach into their own home. And once the sand has been washed out of their hair they can sit on the balcony, cocktail in hand, and take in the breathtaking view across the golden sands....

Posted by british exile @ 01:41 PM 3 Comments

It's Here.. Not really unexpected.

Bloomberg: Gold Trades at $1,000 an Ounce in New York on Demand for Haven

Gold traded at $1,000 an ounce in New York and rose to a record in London on speculation credit- market turmoil will spur demand for the metal as a haven from declines in stocks and the dollar. Silver, platinum and palladium also advanced as the dollar fell below 100 yen for the first time since 1995 and to a record low against the euro after a Carlyle Group fund moved closer to collapse. Gold climbed 19 percent this year as the dollar fell and world equity markets declined.

Posted by stevie dee @ 01:24 PM 1 Comments

BoE Impotent. Rate cuts have no effect

guardian: Borrowing costs rise despite base rate cuts

The cost of borrowing 1,000 through a personal loan has risen by 4.5% since last March, as the credit crunch has forced lenders to increase interest rates, latest figures show.

Posted by inbreda @ 01:21 PM 0 Comments

Here We Go

TIMESONLINE: Carlyle Capital banks to seize $16bn in assets

Carlyle Capital Corporation (CCC), the Dutch-listed affiliate of US private equity firm Carlyle, admitted today it is likely to be liquidated after failing to reach an agreement with its lenders. Talks between the Guernsey-based company and its bankers fell apart yesterday and the company announced last night the failure to rescue the firm. Efforts to rescue the company, which has defaulted on $16 billion of debt, have failed and the company has been unable to prevent its bankers from seizing the assets. "The company expects that its lenders will promptly take possession of substantially all of the Companys remaining assets,"

Posted by plato @ 12:00 PM 1 Comments

The Human cost of HPC!!

BBC News: The "new" homeless in the US

Globolisation of the third world?

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 11:37 AM 0 Comments

The shocking truth about buy-to-let investment clubs

MoneyWeek: The truth about buy-to-let investment clubs

Over the past few years, as UK property prices have soared, buy-to-let investment groups such as Inside Track have proliferated. But are they helping investors as much as they say they are? No...

Posted by damien @ 11:14 AM 3 Comments

Why Britain cant weather a global recession

MoneyWeek: Why Britain cant weather a global recession

If you had watched the Budget yesterday without knowing anything else about life in Britain, you might have been convinced that this is the place to be if global recession hits. Sadly, it isn't, says John Stepek.

Posted by damien @ 11:09 AM 6 Comments

There goes another demand component

BBC: Soaring pay lures Poles back home

The long hours and low wages eventually took their toll, and she decided to head home.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:59 AM 27 Comments

Bernanke: "I dont know how to fix it."

Money Morning: Dear Ben: To Save the U.S. Economy, Here Are the Moves You Need to Make Now

"The fruit picker in Southern California making $17,500 a year who reportedly "qualified" for a $700,000 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) should receive a "stupidity premium" on his next tax return and the mortgage representatives who handled and processed the paperwork should be prosecuted in criminal court for predatory lending - if not for "credit-rating homicide.""

Posted by cornishman @ 09:56 AM 5 Comments

Coming to a city near you

BBC "News": France's sordid housing crisis

Well, Dithering Darling has done absolutely nothing for first time buyers, and insists that their broken statistics are valid. This kind of thing is therefore inevitable. I'm quite sure the Labour government will make this kind of thing a requirement in fact as part of some initiative to get low income workers accommodated.

Posted by paul @ 09:40 AM 3 Comments

Not "Good Tidings" - And it's only Spring!!!

Bloomberg: Dollar Falls to 12-Year Low of 100 Yen on Carlyle Fund Failure

The dollar fell to the weakest since 1995 against the yen, to below 100 yen, and a record low versus the euro after a Carlyle Group fund moved closer to collapse, triggering concern of more turmoil in financial markets. The dollar was close to parity with the Swiss franc and slumped against the British pound after Carlyle said lenders will take over the assets of its mortgage-bond fund and President George W. Bush acknowledged the U.S. currency's decline was not ``good tidings.'' ``Investors are getting out of dollar assets and this is going to lead to a dollar crash,'' said Tetsuhisa Hayashi, chief currency manager of foreign-exchange trading in Tokyo at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., a unit of Japan's largest publicly traded lender. ``The U.S. economy is getting worse.''

Posted by stevie dee @ 09:33 AM 1 Comments

Will gold be confiscated again?

The Telegraph: US mortgage implosion set to blow Darling's Budget to pieces

Washington is exploring - and now invoking - measures that have not been on the agenda since the Great Depression, and for a good reason. House prices fell 9.1pc last year. Goldman Sachs fears a 25pc fall from peak to trough, others go as far as 40pc. Some 8.8m US homeowners already face negative equity on their houses, yet the crash is still gathering pace.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:56 AM 59 Comments

"equity loan" I'm confused

Guardian: Revamped scheme will allow key workers and first-time buyers to get on property ladder by taking out 50% mortgages

"the government has launched an initiative allowing teachers, nurses and others to take out a mortgage for as little as 50% of the cost of the property they are buying. The remainder of the purchase would be funded via an "equity loan" of up to 50% of the price, with half of the money for this coming from the government and the other half coming from a consortium of eight housing associations. The individual will have to pay interest on the equity loan from day one, though this "rent" will initially be set at only 1.75% per annum, rising to RPI inflation plus 1%. " Does anyone understand this crazy scheme? Who owns the house in the end?

Posted by happyrenterz @ 08:46 AM 19 Comments

How much further can the central banks go to support a system that is so obviously broken?

The Telegraph: The Fed's in a desperate race with spectre of collapse

We have not seen anything like it since the decade of the Great Depression. Melodramatic as that might sound, it is a fact but a fact that markets seem unwilling to accept. While the Fed is willing to slash rates and hope, and pump liquidity into the system, markets will remain optimistic. But it is a race to the bottom. The Fed hoping it reaches the finishing line first and restores confidence returns before a bank goes bust. But the spectre of a collapse is neck and neck with Bernanke and it's still anyone's guess which will win.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:36 AM 4 Comments

House prices set to fall but don't worry Darling, the economy's sound!

Daily Telegraph: Budget 2008: An economic storm will hit the UK whatever Alistair Darling says

It seems that buried in the Treasury's budget report is a prediction that houses prices will fall in real terms in 2008, thus reducing Stamp Duty revenues for the Government. They talk the market up while predicting it's downfall. Anybody surprised?

Posted by othello @ 07:35 AM 0 Comments

Several hedge funds with assets of more than $4 billion (2 billion) were on the brink of collapse last night or had halted withdrawals

times: Hedge funds on the brink as US Federal Reserve cash fails to ease crisis

The potential closure of six funds came as a leading private equity executive, who declined to be named, said that such funds were snapping like twigs, with one failing every day.

Posted by chris @ 06:44 AM 0 Comments

U.K. Government forced in to fire sale!

Government Auctions On-Line: Home page for government auctions

A bit of track. The is the place to look when the Government needs to raise cash! This is where the U.K. government auctions all its junk. Expect to see Darling appear soon!

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:29 AM 5 Comments

Don't worry we have a "stable" economy!!

FT: Credit squeeze hits three more hedge funds

Another three big hedge funds have been forced to close down or to suspend investor withdrawals as the credit squeeze persists. These are very tough times, said Angelos Metaxa, a director of CM Advisors, a Geneva-based fund of hedge funds. Anyone with significant amounts of leverage is going to be in trouble.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:16 AM 4 Comments

How likely is "if"?

The Wall Street Journal: The Fed May Run Low on Unconventional Ammo

David Greenlaw of Morgan Stanley notes: If the situation were to become sufficiently dire, the Fed has unlimited power to monetize the economys debt . They could finance the entire $10 trillion US mortgage market and then some via some combination of outright purchases (of the GSE-backed securities) and repo transactions (for the private debt). Of course, that would quickly send the federal-funds rate to zero and, with a lag, inflation to the moon. Hello, Zimbabwe (inflation: 100,500%).

Posted by bopster @ 01:58 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ING subprime problems with CDOs

Bloomberg: ING Suspends Withdrawals From Two Funds

ING (NZ) Ltd. suspended withdrawals from two funds that own collateralized debt obligations, saying they are being affected by the global ``credit crunch.'' Withdrawals from the ING Diversified Yield Fund and the ING Regular Income Fund were "halted to protect investors" the CEO said.

Posted by alan @ 10:45 PM 1 Comments

Greedy Estate Agents Still Trying It On!

Gower Coast Properties: Overland Road, Mumbles, Swansea

Absolutlety unbelievable! This property was sold back in July for 395,000 ( and has just been brought to the market again with an asking price of 575,000, a massive 46% increase in just 8 months - no additional works to property either. I challenge anyone out there to find a more blatant example of rip off estate agents at work.

Posted by dead money @ 09:50 PM 0 Comments

Still in peak oil denial

CNN: Oil crosses record $110, despite supply rise

If we are just entering the fear stage on houses, we have not even got close to it with peak oil. But prices have breached $110, as I predicted this summer. They will rise towards 150, 200 +, remember that, at $80 a barrel, it is about 22cents a cup, NOTHING sells for that cheap, not even water. The truth that most do not want to know is that oil at $110 is ridiculously cheap. We will see that peak oil will become common knowledge this year, probably when prices spike above $125, which could occur before next month, as banks hoard liquidity injections within assets such as oil. What will this mean for house prices? Our economy? Well, interest rates below 10% may well become a distant memory in a very short time as oil feeds through over the space of a couple of years into CPI and RPI.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 09:18 PM 12 Comments

Darling Buds of Dismay

Citywire: Budget Speech: Long on claims, short on contents

Darling cited stability 23 times and responsible five times as he warned the UK growth forecast for this year had been downgraded 0.25% to between 1.75% and 2.25%. Fairness also got four mentions as he re-iterated the governments commitments on poverty targets, home building and greater access to shared home ownership programmes. Access to shared-equity programmes for key workers will be extended and stamp duty on shared-ownership homes will not be levied until homeowners own 80% of the equity.

Posted by jack c @ 07:21 PM 3 Comments

The dominoes topple....

Bloomberg: Billionaire Blixseth Misses $20 Million Payment to LeMond Group

Blixseth, 57, has told the group he can't pay them until he closes the sale of the club. In January, he was in talks with CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC, the Boston-based private- equity firm founded by Yellowstone member Sam Byrne. Blixseth agreed to sell ``significant assets'' of the club on Jan. 15, for $455.7 million, according to an affidavit from Robert Sumpter, the Yellowstone Club's vice president of development. ``I'm mystified as to why this so-called billionaire can't provide $1 out of $20 million to my clients,'' said Christopher Madel, a Minneapolis-based lawyer at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, who's representing LeMond and the other plaintiffs. Blixseth ranked 380th on Forbes magazine's list of the wealthiest Americans last year, at $1.3 billion.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:39 PM 0 Comments

Connells joins Stuatz comedy club - VI squealing like a piglet in a pen

Mortgagestrategy: BUDGET 2008: Smoke and mirrors from Darling

Connells Survey & Valuation has slammed todays Budget as nothing more than smoke and mirrors, and is calling for the government to take considered action to rebuild the housing market. The government is ignoring the perilous situation in the housing market completely. We needed to see decisive action in this budget to address the lack of confidence in the market - what a wasted opportunity.

Posted by jack c @ 05:34 PM 12 Comments

Merrill Lynch: it's back to the future for the US economy

WSJ Economics Blog: Recession To Be Worst Since 1970s

"Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg, one of the most bearish Wall Street economists, says to look past the 1990-91 recession as a guide to the current downturn. The key difference: the depth of home-price declines." I wouldn't be surprised if the recession is even worse than the 1970s personally but this article brings home the reality that it's not just a 1990 situation.

Posted by an bearin bui @ 03:51 PM 0 Comments

look at graph at bottom of page

BBC wales: weakening houseing market

look at the steep drop in houseprices on this graph..........

Posted by mark @ 03:40 PM 10 Comments

Here's your severance pay guys

timesonline: Savills says non-dom tax could harm 2008 housing market

Savills' caution for the current year is coming off the back of a bumper 2007, which will see Savills 5,000 staff share a bonus pool of 152 million, 20 per cent higher than last year. .so we should ignore any bleating about interest rate cuts to aid the hard hit homeowner, as it will be self serving shite.

Posted by bystander @ 02:59 PM 3 Comments

Buzz-word-tastic! 'Sustainable' mentioned 108 times

BBC: Darling puts car and drink tax up

As far as I can make out, no tax attack on Second Homes. Big increases in duty on alcohol and high-polluting cars have been announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling. In his first Budget he put 4p on a pint of beer, 14p on a bottle of wine and 55p on a bottle of spirits. Duty on a packet of cigarettes is up 11p.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 02:08 PM 18 Comments

How to avoid paying 18% on your gains sell now

MoneyWeek: How to avoid paying 18% on your gains sell now

Controversial changes to capital gains tax come into force next month. Find out what the new rules mean for you, and whether you should take action now to avoid paying more. Also, the new rules mean a glut of buy-to-lets may hit the market, as landlords seek to offload before the change.

Posted by damien @ 12:44 PM 5 Comments

That RICS report in full

RICS: That RICS report in full

PDF with all the surveyors comments.

Posted by camem' @ 12:06 PM 4 Comments

Wanna job at a rating agency?

Bloomberg: 74 0f 80 bonds fail the test (interactive)

The bonds which are not investment grade show clearly. Soon the Fed will get these.....

Posted by alan @ 11:31 AM 1 Comments

Our survey said... UH-UH!

Bloomberg: Money-Market Rate for Euros Climbs a Day After Fed's Measures

The cost of borrowing euros for three months rose for a seventh day, signaling central bank measures to combat the credit squeeze aren't succeeding.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:03 AM 4 Comments

Massive rush to sell before the serious falls start Property Numbers Surge as Sellers Panic

"..surge in premium property listings predominantly in Greater London." Asking Prices in England & Wales have fallen 0.4% over Q1 2008. ..increased supply of premium properties is unusual and may signify more property market turmoil as investors and City workers move to liquidate prime UK property market assets. The number of properties for sale in central London has soared by 22.5% in just the last 14 days. Most of these new listings are flats, which dominate the London housing market.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:50 AM 13 Comments

Going, going, gone: a rising auction of scary scenarios

FT: Going, going, gone: a rising auction of scary scenarios

There are two ways of adjusting the prices of housing to incomes: allow nominal prices to fall or raise nominal incomes. The former means mass bankruptcy and a huge fiscal bail out; the latter imposes the inflation tax. In extreme circumstances inflation must be attractive. Even if it is not the Feds choice, it is what a reasonable outsider might fear, with obvious consequences for all asset prices.

Posted by wojtek @ 10:33 AM 1 Comments

Voice of reason

Bloomberg: Dollar Declines on Speculation Fed Rescue Package Won't Succeed

The dollar fell on speculation the Federal Reserve's plan to provide funds to banks won't be enough to break the gridlock in interbank lending and stem credit losses.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 10:10 AM 1 Comments

Should we worry about inflation after all?

MoneyWeek: Inflation: don't worry too much

This article offers a suggestion that maybe inflation isn't as much of a threat as we think. We could just leave it up to the market to solve the problem. A slightly different, but interesting view...

Posted by damien @ 10:04 AM 3 Comments

Lower costs 'unlikely to revive housing market'

Guardian: Property ladder harder to grasp than ever

More gloomy news for the housing market emerged yesterday as figures showed that the number of first-time buyers has fallen to a record low while rates on popular two-year fixed mortgages for them have risen to their highest since 2000.Ed Stansfield at Capital Economics said it was unlikely an easing in borrowing costs would help revive the housing market given the nature of the credit crunch and marked slowing of the economy. "We expect a protracted period of weakness, with house prices falling this year and next," he said. Most analysts think prices will remain steady this year, but a growing number are expecting a fall.

Posted by jack c @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

Rotten to the core

Bloomberg: Moody's, S&P Defer Cuts on AAA Subprime, Hiding Loss

"Even after downgrading almost 10,000 subprime-mortgage bonds, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service haven't cut the ones that matter most: AAA securities that are the mainstays of bank and insurance company investments". "A bond sold by Deutsche Bank AG in May 2006 is AAA at both companies even though 43 percent of the underlying mortgages are delinquent".

Posted by alan @ 09:28 AM 2 Comments

Visions of the future

Kitco: Stagflation Today Hyperinflation - Depression Tomorrow

"The federal government will install martial law, capital controls, and close banks for a spell while the armed forces are overrun with applicants by those needing food and a bed. Many cities become uninhabitable due to crime, disease and neglect. Large parts of Detroit have already returned to the wild with coyotes and other unusual birds and critters living in burned out homes and huge vacant land parcels where stately homes once stood. In lieu of valueless dollars, rural people in particular will use trading and goods barter instead of paper cash. There are two million guns in the United States and they are going to be used on criminals, to settle old grudges and the cops who will not be able to cope."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:04 AM 29 Comments

Fund manager ING New Zealand has suspended withdrawals from two of its funds after 400 investors demanded their money back, fearing they could become victims of the global financial crisis. ING suspends withdrawals from two funds

More than 8000 investors have $400 million in the two funds. No other funds were affected.

Posted by chris @ 01:01 AM 1 Comments

Time to get Depressed

Telegraph: Fed takes boldest action since the Depression to rescue US mortgage industry

"The US Federal Reserve has taken the boldest action since the 1930s, accepting $200bn of housing debt as collateral to prevent an implosion of the mortgage finance industry and head off a full-blown economic crisis."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:45 AM 20 Comments

Desperate to get CPI under control

BBC News: Darling to delay fuel duty rise

Alistair Darling will delay a 2p rise in fuel duty for six months in the Budget, the BBC has learned. The rise, announced in last year's Budget, had been due to come into effect on 1 April but will be postponed due to soaring crude oil prices. According to the Office of National Statistics, fuel inflation is the highest since records began in January 1997.

Posted by little professor @ 12:39 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Buffett and Gross warn: $516 trillion bubble is a disaster waiting to happen

MarketWatch: Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb'

Let's put that $516 trillion in context of some other monetary data: *U.S. annual gross domestic product is about $15 trillion. *World's GDPs for all nations is approximately $50 trillion. This cascading "domino effect" was brilliantly described in "The $300 Trillion Time Bomb: If Buffett can't figure out derivatives, can anybody?" published early last year in Portfolio magazine, a couple months before the subprime meltdown. Columnist Jesse Eisinger's $300 trillion figure came from an earlier study of the derivatives market as it was growing from $100 trillion to $516 trillion over five years. Eisinger concluded: "There's nothing intrinsically scary about derivatives, except when the bad 2% blow up." Unfortunately, that "bad 2%" did blow up ...subprime mess"

Posted by happyrenterz @ 09:40 PM 8 Comments

Moral Blizzard

The Times: Time to save the picket fence, not sit on it

Absolute twaddle from The Times as usual .... think what this would do to the once mighty US$.
"Some kind of more direct bailout is now going to be necessary. The Government could, for example, offer to lend the necessary sums at very low rates of interest to those millions of borrowers in danger of defaulting on their loans. ....."
"... It will be ugly. It involves all kinds of moral hazard and it could end up costing a fortune, further clouding an already murky fiscal outlook for the economy. In fact, the only thing it has to recommend it is that all the alternatives are catastrophically worse."

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:35 PM 3 Comments

Mortgages for new homes at record low

Times on Line: Mortgages for new homes at record low

The number of mortgages taken out by home buyers fell by 19 per cent in January to a new low. Figures released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that 50,300 buyers were granted a home loan in January, 34 per cent lower than January last year, and the lowest figure recorded since CML began collecting monthly information in 2002.

Posted by phil @ 09:17 PM 1 Comments

This quote says it all really...

Bloomberg: Treasuries Fall as Fed to Accept Mortgage Debt as Collateral

``In effect, the Fed has gotten into the mortgage business, which ultimately is going to be quite stimulative to the economy,'' said Michael Aronstein, chief investment strategist in New York at Oscar Gruss & Son Inc. The risk of losses on U.S. Treasury notes exceeded German bunds for the first time ever on concern the subprime mortgage crisis is sapping government reserves, credit-default swaps prices show. Contracts on 10-year Treasuries traded at a record 16 basis points earlier today, compared with 15 basis points on German government notes, according to data compiled by BNP Paribas SA.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:54 PM 7 Comments

8,7pc inflation in China

NY Times: Chinas Rate of Inflation Is Highest in 11 Years

Consumer prices in China surged to a 8.7 percent annual rate in February from a 7.1 percent rate in January, the fastest pace of increase in more than 11 years, Chinas National Bureau of Statistics announced on Tuesday morning.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:13 PM 11 Comments

DOW up 415 points or almost 4% on FED handout - Is it now business as usual?

Bloomberg: U.S. Stocks Rally on Fed's Plan to Lend Up to $200 Billion

U.S. stocks rallied the most in five years after the Federal Reserve said it will pump $200 billion into the financial system to shore up banks battered by mortgage- related losses.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:11 PM 14 Comments

Feb panic: The bigger the mess, the more urgent the calls for a government solution

Bloomingberg: John Galt Plan Might Save U.S. Financial System: Caroline Baum

"Galt, the hero of Ayn Rand's magnum opus ``Atlas Shrugged,'' stops the world by going on strike. He and the ``men of the mind'' literally withdraw from the world after watching their wealth confiscated by the looters (the government). Toward the end of Rand's 1,000-plus page novel (or polemic), the economy is in shambles. Desperate, the looters kidnap Galt and prod him to ``tell us what to do.'' Galt refuses, or rather tells them ``to get out of the way.'' "

Posted by happyrenterz @ 07:59 PM 2 Comments

Reality dawns

The Mirror: Dire news for Darling's budget debut

Britain has so far avoided a year-on-year house price fall like the one that has brought financial crisis to the United States, but many economists say it is just a matter of time. "Our forecast that house prices will only fall 5 percent year-on-year this year is beginning to look quite optimistic," Citigroup economist Michael Saunders said. "The mortgage market remains an unfriendly place," said George Buckley, chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank.

Posted by blank cheque @ 06:20 PM 0 Comments

David Smiths Lost his Mojo (and his marbles)

times online: Can Alistair Darling bury the bad news?

TIES say a lot about a man. If you are feeling down you pick out the dullest one from the wardrobe, hoping nobody notices you. When you are bursting with confidence, on the other hand, the more garish and flamboyant the better. David Smiths Bizarre ramblings about the economy and the budget.See the comments at the end.

Posted by sold out @ 06:15 PM 3 Comments

Housing gloom nears 90s' recession depths

Property week: Housing gloom nears 90s' recession depths

Sentiment in the residential market is fast approaching its worse point since the lows of the 90s recession, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said today.

Posted by andrew bird @ 06:02 PM 1 Comments

hahah, please stop, my sides are splitting!!

MortgageIntroducer: Hamptons reports boost in confidence

New buy-to-let lending suffered a dramatic 16 per cent drop, with a further tailing off in buy-to-let remortgage products albeit far less pronounced. This has been put down to the Chancellor's CGT announcement concerning the removal of taper relief once an investor has owned a property for more than ten years, coupled with affordability issues and attitude to risk preventing amateur investors from entering the market. AHHHAHAHHAHH

Posted by confused76 @ 04:05 PM 6 Comments

5 year anniversary of Iraq war

CNN Political ticker: Students Attempt Citizens Arrest on Karl Rove at University of Iowa

Former top Bush aide Karl Rove didn't get the friendliest of receptions at the University of Iowa Sunday. Police also were forced to remove two people after they tried to perform a citizens arrest on Rove for what they said were his crimes while a member of the Bush Administration. Toward the end of the speech a member of the crowd yelled, "Can we have our $40,000 back?" Rove replied, No, you can't.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 03:56 PM 2 Comments

Looks like I am not the only one talking about Martin Armstrong's Pi Cycle

Safe Haven: Definitive Proof The Bear Is Alive And Well

What's more, if they are successful in preventing fifth-wave extensions in the larger bearish sequence running into our anticipated Martin Armstrong Pi Cycle low in and around March 21st, they are attempting to make it appear a relatively robust bounce into summer should be considered likely.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 03:33 PM 0 Comments

Nice graph

The Telegraph: Stock Markets To Follow Housing and Unemployment Sharply Lower

Just as Julius Caesar met his demise in the upcoming week in 44 BC, the Wolf wave rips into the income streams of everyone and everything in the G7 (see 2008 Outlook in Ted bits Archives at for more about the Wolf Wave) Hoarding of cash is the order of the day by frightened risk managers within the financial and banking sectors, and their actions are dominoing to consumers, businesses and governments who are trying to gather cash for the unfolding rainy day on their doorsteps. Entities that are highly indebted and savings short are revealing, as Warren Buffet so aptly put it, who has been swimming naked!

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 03:18 PM 2 Comments

It won't happen though

The Telegraph: Plan to Save the US Financial System From Collapse

Today's economic and financial crisis would resolve itself more quickly and efficiently if the government got out of the way. Yes, there would be pain. Some banks would fail. Others would clamp down on credit to atone for the years of lax lending standards. Homeowners-in-name-only would become renters. Housing prices would fall until speculators found value. That's not going to happen. The bigger the mess, the more urgent the calls for a government solution, the more willing government is to oblige. We want laissez-faire capitalism in good times and a government backstop against losses in bad times. It's a tough way to run an economy.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 03:13 PM 0 Comments


Telegraph: 'Good citizens' to get tax cuts under Lord Goldsmith's plans

People could be given financial incentives to be good citizens by saving money on their council tax and student loans, a report to the Prime Minister has proposed. Youngsters volunteering for community work before they go to university would get help paying off their tuition fees. And a "small" council tax rebate would be available to those who help out in their local neighbourhood. The discount could be earned by organising recycling projects, helping children learn to read in schools, or setting up a residents' association. The ideas were set out by Lord Goldsmith, the former Attorney-General, in a wide-ranging review of British nationality and citizenship.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:24 PM 4 Comments

Oh, really? Whodda thunk it?

Telegraph: Irish banks may need life-support as property prices crash

The Dublin government appears to be almost powerless to prevent a severe downturn. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports The Irish banking system faces acute strains and may require a phase of temporary nationalisation as the property slump leads to a wave of defaults, according to a leading Irish economist.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:18 PM 0 Comments

The worm has turned...

The Market Oracle: RICS Data Confirms UK Housing Market Heading for 1990's Style Crash

The RICS data shows that only 4% of surveyors reported a price rise against 57% reporting price falls, thus resulting in a net negative reading of 53%, which seasonally adjusts to a 64% negative reading, the worst since June 1990. Stocks of unsold inventory continue to build up on surveyors books to levels not seen in a decade and up more than 50% over the last 12 months.

Posted by inthedelhi @ 02:14 PM 3 Comments

More free money

BBC: Central banks plan emergency cash

Central banks, including the Bank of England, have announced a latest round of co-ordinated auctions to provide extra liquidity to financial markets.

Posted by holding out @ 01:58 PM 11 Comments

Decade-long house price boom is over

Daily Mail: House prices are falling at record rate confirming the end of 10-year boom

The decade-long house prices boom is over, house prices are falling in many parts of the country at their fastest pace since records began in 1978, a report has warned. Across England and Wales, prices are dropping in every region. And the speed of the decline is at record levels in East Anglia, the South-West, Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands. The report, from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, is the latest to confirm that the decade-long house price boom is over.

Posted by jack c @ 01:34 PM 3 Comments

Strip out re-mortgaging (up 43%) and the mortgage industry is dead

Firstrung: Re-mortgaging the only game in town as mortgage approvals for house purchases continue to crash

Data released by the CML today clearly shows the impact that ongoing financial turmoil is having on the mortgage market. First time buyers typically took out loans for 88% of the property's value in January, down from 90% in December and January 2007. Home movers typically borrowed 70% of the property's value, down from 73% in December and 72% in January 2007. The average first time buyer borrowed 3.32 times their income, down from 3.38 in December and 3.31 in January last year. Home movers typically borrowed 2.97 times their income, down from 3.04 in December and 3.0 in January 2007.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:19 PM 0 Comments

Household inflation running at 9%

Firstrung: Cost of living increases of 9% make a mockery of govt. claims that inflation is currently running at 2.2%

Before the budget, a new report by independent price comparison and switching service,, reveals the average pay rise in the UK this year is only 3.4% against a 9% rise in bills. The average net monthly increase to UK salaries from 2007 to 2008 is 61 for the private sector, 31 for the public sector and 44 overall - against a 148 a month increase in essential living costs.A shocking 9 million of us are not getting a pay rise this year, a further 13 million will receive a pay rise below the RPI (4.2%) and over 5 million people will get a pay rise falling short of the CPI (2.2%). The gap between the public and private sectors is growing, with pay rises so far this year showing a 66% pay gap between the two groups. In the meantime, soaring household costs have created a burden f

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:15 PM 4 Comments

Under pressure

Reuters: U.S. Fed takes steps to boost market liquidity

"The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Tuesday that with pressure mounting again in financial markets, it was expanding a securities lending program and will accept a broader range of securities as collateral".

Posted by alan @ 01:12 PM 1 Comments

Spin or Incompetence?

The Telegraph: Stock market history puts 2008 into relief

"That is why George Blakey's A History of the London Stock Market 1945-2007 is an invaluable guide to anyone trying to use the past to make sense of the present and apply the lessons learned to make profitable predictions about the future."

Is this an attempt to divert the masses from the striking parallels of 1929 and subsequent 1930s depression?

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:12 PM 1 Comments

More City jobs to go Fears For Jobs As Top Firm Said To Lay Off 1,400

The news that Lehman Brothers is likely to lay-off another 1,400 staff, or around 5% of its workforce, will send shivers down the spine of any professionals who currently work in investment banking. ... an unnamed person 'close to Lehman' who said that they thought that the total layoff number there could be double the 1,400 figure rumoured.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:51 AM 0 Comments

Sorry To Rub It In

London Stock Exchange: House price slump continued in February

New figures indicate the downturn in the housing market has deepened last month, with near record price drops reported by surveyors. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) monthly housing market survey shows that 64.1 per cent more of its members reported a fall in prices rather than a rise during February. This is up from January's figure of 54.8 per cent and is close to the record low noted in June 1990, when 64.5 per cent more of Rics members reported a rise rather than a fall. Further indication that the slowdown is continuing was provided by the fact that the net balance of surveyors reporting a drop in the number of new buyer enquiries rose from 35 per cent to 37 per cent. NOTHING ANYBODY HERE DIDN'T KNOW

Posted by plato @ 11:45 AM 1 Comments

It's not the crunch, it's the recession stupid!

BBC News: Mortgage lending is contracting

''...The mortgage market is shrinking under the impact of the continuing problems in the banking system, say lenders. Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that new loans for home buyers fell to 50,300 in January, the lowest level for nine years...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:37 AM 3 Comments

Peak oil - Anybody familiar with this?

Matt Savinar: Life after the oil crash

"Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon. This is not the wacky proclamation of a doomsday cult, apocalypse bible prophecy sect, or conspiracy theory society. Rather, it is the scientific conclusion of the best paid, most widely-respected geologists, physicists, bankers, and investors in the world. These are rational, professional, conservative individuals who are absolutely terrified by a phenomenon known as global 'Peak Oil.'"... Still worth saving up a deposit on a house, or should I stock up on tinned goods?

Posted by jeremy @ 11:33 AM 0 Comments

Is now a good time to buy?

Daily Mail: New mortgages plummet by a third in 12 months as credit crunch takes its toll

The number of mortgages given to people moving home fell to a new low during January as the credit crunch continued to take its toll on the market, figures showed today. Just 50,300 home loans were taken out by people moving during the month, the lowest level since the Council of Mortgage Lenders first began to collect data in this format in 2002. The figure also showed the rate at which the market is contracting, with 19 per cent fewer mortgages taken out during January by people moving home than in December - and more than a third fewer than in January 2007.

Posted by blank cheque @ 11:21 AM 0 Comments

US recession: the end of the argument

MoneyWeek: US recession: the end of the argument

The US is in recession. Theres simply no pretending otherwise unless of course you're the chairman of the Fed, or one of the many fund managers with your future mortgaged to the US stock market. And the decoupling theory has been completely debunked. As the US slows, so slows the world...

Posted by damien @ 11:03 AM 1 Comments

Where do the statistics come from?

Telegraph: Property market: How much is your house really worth?

Since we will probably get even more statistics than usual about house prices falling or not it is worth understanding what the statistics mean and where they come from. "Land Registry is based on a large sample of completed sales so is regarded as the best. But as house purchases routinely take three months to complete, it is slow to appear so is not helpful if the market is volatile or just on the turn. Rightmove is new and based on asking prices, so pushy estate agents and greedy vendors can make the market appear more bullish than it is. But it gives a thorough snapshot of what sellers hope to get- even if they fail."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:46 AM 2 Comments

Denial: It's not just a river in Egypt Economy weak but not enough for recession: report

"The data don't yet add up to a recession and there is nothing here to challenge the basic story of sluggishness that we have had for two years," the forecasting unit's report said, adding: "Our no-recession forecast remains nervously intact." Lol - I think this is more about a forecaster's basic story of incompetence.

Posted by trough2010 @ 10:46 AM 5 Comments

Even BTL evangelists lose hope

This is Money: Inside track axes property seminars

Britain's biggest buy-to-let property investment company, which persuaded thousands of people to jump into buy-to-let, has suspended all seminars when its current run draw to an end. Surely a significant landmark in the decline on buy-to-let - the new fast track to bankruptcy.

Posted by v. idiot @ 10:14 AM 1 Comments

Another one bites the dust!

Telegraph: Irish banks may need life-support as property prices crash

The Dublin government appears to be almost powerless to prevent a severe downturn. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports The Irish banking system faces acute strains and may require a phase of temporary nationalisation as the property slump leads to a wave of defaults, according to a leading Irish economist.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:24 AM 10 Comments

Fears of insolvency crunch at both the US investment bank Bear Stearns and the mortgage giant Fannie Mae

Telegraph: Market panic after Bear Stearns reports

Panic swept the credit markets on reports of an insolvency crunch at both the US investment bank Bear Stearns and the mortgage giant Fannie Mae, triggering a dramatic surge in default insurance and rumours of yet another emergency rate cut by the US Federal Reserve. Financial shares plummeted on Wall Street in another day of wild trading as the markets began to fear that the $200bn (100bn) life-line pledged by the Fed last Friday would not be enough to halt a vicious downward spiral.

Posted by jack c @ 09:07 AM 3 Comments

You ain't seen nothin' yet

BBC: Surveyor gloom close to a record

Nothing to add to this, except to point out that surveyor gloom is nowhere near it's al time highs that will be reached in 2009.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:27 AM 4 Comments

The bank has committed to injecting $1 billion across six highly leveraged municipal bond funds with $15 billion in assets, which were sold to wealthy customers under the names ASTA and MAT. About $600 million had been provided as of last week, according

newyork times: Citigroup Acts to Bolster Hedge Funds

Citigroup, the banking giant, moved Monday to shore up six of its hedge funds pressured by a tightening in the municipal bond market, the newest problem to entangle the struggling company.

Posted by chris @ 05:40 AM 1 Comments

Who am I kidding? As another hedge fund disappears thanks to mishandling of complex derivatives, I predict that things are going to get even worse. This is No Longer Funny

When it was just a few hundred million dollars here and there that banks were losing we could all have a good laugh at the those who had forgotten about convexity or whatever. But now the man in the street has been affected by these fancy financial instruments. Its no longer a laughing matter.

Posted by chris @ 05:05 AM 0 Comments

Joaqun Almunia, the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, gave warning that the world economy was in a precarious balance, and suggested that the risks of a runaway collapse in the dollar as part of a disorderly unwinding of global economic imbal

times: Joaquin Almunia calls for concerted action to halt collapse of US currency

Joaqun Almunia, the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, gave warning that the world economy was in a precarious balance, and suggested that the risks of a runaway collapse in the dollar as part of a disorderly unwinding of global economic imbalances had risen markedly. Mr Almunia, in a speech in Brussels, also voiced European concern that the euro was bearing the impact of the dollars steep losses virtually alone, as key Asian economies such as China maintained their controversial currency pegs to the dollar

Posted by chris @ 02:01 AM 0 Comments

Can't say it better than this

Evening Standard: House prices are falling at record rate, confirming the end of the boom

House prices are falling in many parts of the country at their fastest pace since records began in 1978, a report has warned. Across England and Wales, prices are dropping in every region. And the speed of the decline is at record levels in East Anglia, the South-West, Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands. The report, from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, is the latest to confirm that the decade-long house price boom is over.

Posted by little professor @ 12:53 AM 26 Comments

Monday, March 10, 2008

Nicely Timed for Darlings Budget Day

Times: House price downturn worst since slump of 1990s, surveyors report

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reveal that the housing market has just experienced its most severe downturn since the housing slump of the 1990s. More surveyors saw house prices fall in February than any other time since June 1990 with RICS gauge of house price trends falling to minus 64.1 per cent, down from minus 54.8 per cent in January. In June 1990, the balance was minus 64.5 per cent.

Posted by enuii @ 10:48 PM 3 Comments

Rising commodity prices must affect inflation soon

Bloomberg: Crude Oil Rises Above $108 to Record

"Crude oil rose above $108 a barrel in New York . Gold, platinum, wheat and soybeans have all been pushed to records over the past month as a falling dollar and rising demand spurred investor purchases".

Posted by alan @ 09:24 PM 8 Comments

A big mess

Times: Five FSA officials who oversaw Northern Rock have resigned

The seven unnamed officials worked on Northern Rock in the 19 months before its disaster. Some are thought to have left the FSA before the catastrophe, and high turnover of FSA staff may have been one of the reasons for the failings. Northern Rock had not been the subject of a full supervisory health check for 18 months when it imploded, the FSA admitted to MPs

Posted by confused76 @ 09:23 PM 0 Comments

Inside Trash: an ominous choice of countries

Inside Track: Contact us

With offices in UK, Spain, Florida, Hong Kong and Ireland, Inside Trash has had a 100% correlation with bubble forming and bursting! Well done!

Posted by confused76 @ 07:47 PM 5 Comments

Spain to Boost Economy with vast programme of Public Works

Reuters: Spain's victorious Socialists turn to economy

The wheels have fallen off Spain's construction industry which has for years relied on ballooning private debt, with unemployment rising by 50,000 in February alone the new socialist government labour spokesman Jesus Caldera (I didn't make it up) stated that, "We have the confidence that comes from a budget surplus"; Hmmmm

Posted by enuii @ 07:14 PM 6 Comments

abiotic theory or orthodox geology

Market Oracle: Peak Oil - True or False?

It now comes down to this. Western technology is built around fossil fuel development. If the future is abiotic, as Engdahl and Russian scientists believe, "Moscow holds a massive energy trump card." It also faces a hostile US and possible new Cold War confrontation for its advantage and unwillingness to be accommodative the way Boris Yeltsin was in the 1990s.

If abiotic theory proves false or overrated, however, and orthodox geology is right, then controlling world oil reserves is even more important. It means peak oil is real, cheap oil is running out, heavier oils are more important, and cornering what's left will be Priority One for all major world powers.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 06:04 PM 19 Comments

Pensions - as safe as houses?

BBC: Company pension deficits deepen

More bad news as pension fund values go from a 3 billion surplus 12 months ago to a 98 billion deficit now!

'However the PPF stressed that monthly changes in pension scheme finances are extremely volatile, depending on the rise and fall in the price of shares and bonds on the international financial markets.'

Posted by enuii @ 05:41 PM 3 Comments

It Begins Civil Service blogger sparks online crackdown

The emergence of Civil Service blogger who used the internet to lampoon her employers and cabinet ministers has forced the Government to set out new guidance for its staff covering blogging and online social networks. Blogger lifts lid on Whitehall failings Sir Gus ODonnell, the Cabinet Secretary, is planning to issue rules telling officials whether they can start blogs, use social networking websites such as Facebook and YouTube and change details on Wikipedia. How Long Before This Applies To All ?

Posted by plato @ 05:22 PM 14 Comments

New Labour finally move beyond satire or parody

BBC News: Labour's General Secretary named

'City fund manager David Pitt-Watson is to be Labour's new general secretary ... expected to step down as chairman of Hermes Equity Ownership Services. Hermes is a Northern Rock shareholder ... Mr Pitt-Watson, understood to have been Gordon Brown's favoured candidate, will replace Peter Watt, who quit in the row over Labour's donations by proxy.' Crash Gordon does it again, it's staggering just how far Labour has strayed from its egaliataian principles, the Blairite kleptocracy (sorry that would be 'meritocracy') lives on ...

Posted by montesquieu @ 05:20 PM 2 Comments

Bit late now that no-one can get a mortgage

Finance Markets: Law Society acts on mortgage fraud

The Law Society is the latest organisation to announce its intention to tackle mortgage fraud, and will be issuing new guidance to solicitors to raise awareness of fraudulent applications. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is already working with the police to stamp out the activity, which involves both individuals and organised gangs.

Posted by landedgentry @ 04:59 PM 0 Comments

Not quite Para-gone - but they are on the slippery slopest thought

Moneymarketing: Paragon to cut 93 jobs

Paragon has confirmed it will be cutting 93 jobs out of its 650 staff as it restructures its Paragon and Mortgage Trust lending divisions. It says that 38 of the staff cut are specifically in the mortgage business and affected staff have entered a formal 30-day consultation period. Director of mortgages John Heron says: Our borrowers and business partners remain bullish about the future of buy-to-let and the private rented sector more generally - this guy must be the warm up act at Stuatz comedy club !

Posted by jack c @ 04:36 PM 6 Comments

A dream come true!!!!!!!!

ThisIsMoney: Inside Track axes property seminars

"The company built a business model on claiming buy-to-let investors could make large profits with its expertise and deals with developers on mainly new-build one and two bedroom city centre flats"... tulips, tulips, tulips... 'Our seminar company has seen a fall in the number of people who want to invest in the property market for the first time and that is understandable in the current climate' are there still people on this site who think BTL isn't dead??

Posted by confused76 @ 04:29 PM 6 Comments

Another move to keep the sheeple from noticing the truth

Telegraph: Treasury to take the shame out of bankruptcy

Measures to remove the stigma of bankruptcy will be announced in next week's Budget in an attempt to encourage more entrepreneurs to start businesses, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. It will no longer be necessary to advertise in local newspapers that you have gone bankrupt, ministers will say. At a time when the Treasury has been warning of profligate lending and "easy money" the move will be seen by some as encouraging recklessness.

Posted by cornishman @ 03:20 PM 16 Comments

But you do still need the land, and planning permission

BBC News: How to build a house for 4,000

A 24m funding package was put together earlier this year to help first-time buyers in Scotland get a foot on the property ladder. But just how much would they have to spend to build their own home? The answer could be as little as 4,000. That is the estimated price tag attached to a property which has been built in southern Scotland over the past four years.

Posted by sacred contracts @ 01:32 PM 11 Comments

Tumbleweed blownig down a high street near you soon...

Firstrung: Commercial property transactions for Q1 2008 on target for a 50% crash compared with Q4 2007

"Deal volumes continued to wane in the commercial property sector in the first two months of the year with transactions for Q1 2008 on target for a 50% dip compared to an already weak Q4 2007. Whilst most investors continued to divest (most notably institutions) so far in 2008, a notable exception has been overseas investors who have pumped a net 1.3 Bn into the market since the turn of the year. European investors buoyed by a strong Euro may have sensed a strategic opportunity to diversify into the UK arena.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:27 PM 1 Comments

40 per cent drop is huge

Firstrung: Mortgage approvals have dropped by 40.5 per cent since February 2007

Mortgage approvals have dropped to a record low for February (since Bank of England records began), according to Connells Survey & Valuation. The increase in mortgage approvals in January is not indicative of a wider trend within the mortgage market, the number of applications being accepted by lenders fell by a further 3.5 per cent in February. With only 71,400 (seasonally adjusted) approvals in February, this figure is the lowest that has been recorded for the month since Bank of England records began in 1993. It is second only to June 2005 as the lowest level on record. Experiencing a decline in the ten out of the last twelve months, approvals have dropped by 40.5 per cent since February 2007.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:25 PM 0 Comments

Well, whodda thunk it?

National Expositor: 100 Dollar Bill Worth Nothing In 2 Years: Economist on CNN

Earlier this week, Economist John Williams from gave a brief interview on CNN. In a more in-depth interview Williams states that in two years, a 100 dollar bill will be worth less than toilet paper. The combination of the housing bubble along with immense government spending will lead to a massive devaluation of the dollar. Protect your assets from hyper-inflation before it's too late. Listen to the interview below.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:53 PM 8 Comments

Dorothy, Iceland, Bye Bye

FT: Moodys poised to downgrade Iceland


A full downgrade to Icelands sovereign rating moved a step closer on Wednesday after Moodys Investors Service cut its outlook for the countrys triple-A rating to negative. The downgrade is the latest in a series of moves by Moodys that indicate it is gradually losing confidence in the ability of the nation to avoid a banking crisis.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:16 PM 12 Comments

... how about autions then?

Bloomberg: Money Markets May Force BOE to Revive Auctions, Barclays Says

The Bank of England may be forced to follow the Federal Reserve in stepping up efforts to ease strains in the money markets after the cost of borrowing pounds rose to a two-month high, according to Barclays Capital. "Confidence just isn't there, liquidity is tightening"

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 11:49 AM 5 Comments

BOE rate cut unlikely... (& the above)

Bloomberg: U.K. Producer Prices Match Fastest Annual Gain Since 1991

Manufacturing output prices climbed 5.7 percent from a year earlier, the same as in January, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. Raw material costs rose an annual 19.4 percent in February, the most since records began in 1986, and factory production rebounded in January, rising 0.4 percent, the government said. Inflation may exceed 3 percent later this year after food and energy costs reached a record, the Bank of England predicts.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 11:49 AM 1 Comments

BTL is dead!

MyFinances: Buy-to-let: House rents up 4%

One of the last BTL lies is also crumbling "data from the Association of Retail Letting Agents (ARLA) reveal in the south-east rents for houses were down two per cent to 1,361 and down five per cent for flats to 882" AHHHA HAHAHHA "The rise in immigration is causing one particular headache for buy-to-let landlords as it is harder to obtain references" AHAHHA HAHHAH

Posted by confused76 @ 11:38 AM 18 Comments

Still on for 1.57 to 1.62 blow off target

The Telegraph: UBS warns euro will be pushed close to breaking point

Europe's monetary union may be tested to near breaking point as the economic downturn engulfs the bloc's southern tier, and German investors cut off a crucial source of foreign funding, according a hard-hitting report by the Swiss bank UBS.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:44 AM 7 Comments

What will Alistair Darling's first Budget bring?

MoneyWeek: What will Alistair Darling's first Budget bring?

"...luckily for Mr Brown, Mr Darlings the one in the firing line now, and thats where hell stay, despite constant rumours hell be reshuffled. He might not be a great Chancellor, but hes a dab hand at taking bullets for the Prime Minister"

Posted by damien @ 10:39 AM 2 Comments

or... our profits are falling, please lower interest rates!

BBC News: Bovis warns on market conditions

'Housebuilder Bovis Homes warned that it will sell significantly fewer houses in 2008 than in 2007, if current market conditions continue. And it called for "decisive action" to be taken now to reduce interest rates.' So, at the risk of fueling inflation Bovis is requesting the BOE to lower interest rates to protect their profits! What a sociopathic attitude, housebuilders have benefited hugely during the boom and now the gravy train is coming to an end they are now suggesting a lowering of interest rates to protect their greedy shareholders. Welcome to reality home builders, what goes around comes around........

Posted by loneranger @ 09:33 AM 15 Comments

Public demand 'decisive' house price cuts to stimulate demand

guardian online: Bovis demands 'decisive' interest rate cuts as house sales slide

"Unless decisive action is taken now to reduce interest rates and more normal conditions return to the mortgage market, it is likely that volumes [in 2008] will be well below those achieved in 2007." ......try to sort out your business model/ PRICING and stop expecting someone else to get you out of your own mess. The banks and lenders won't drop rates even is the BoE do. OPEN YOUR EYES.

Posted by bystander @ 08:36 AM 10 Comments


Reuters: Banks Face 'Systemic Margin Call,' $325 Bln Hit-JPM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street banks are facing a "systemic margin call" that may deplete banks of $325 billion of capital due to deteriorating subprime U.S. mortgages, JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said in a report late on Friday. JPMorgan, which sent a default notice to Thornburg Mortgage Inc. (TMA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) after the lender missed a $28 million margin call, said more default notices and margin calls were likely. The Carlyle Group's mortgage fund also failed to meet $37 million in margin calls this week. "A systemic credit crunch is underway, driven primarily by bank writedowns for subprime mortgages," according to the report co-authored by analyst Christopher Flanagan. "We would characterize this situation as a systemic margin call."

Posted by blank cheque @ 07:54 AM 1 Comments

Mission Impossible

msn: Can Alistair Darling save us from recession?

Let's make no mistake about it. The UK economy is in trouble. Our prosperity of the last five to 10 years has been built on a housing bubble, which in turn has been built on banks being willing to offer cheap debt to anyone with a pulse.Falling house prices mean people feel poorer and can't borrow money against their home to spend on flat-screen TVs. That means no more consumer boom and no more good times for retailers. Then it's just a matter of time before the job losses start to clock up.

Posted by sold out @ 07:47 AM 8 Comments

I've heard about this happening to a few...

Daily Mail: Landlord finds 100,000 worth of cannabis plants in buy-to-let drug factory

''...When buy-to-let landlord John Leaver went to do a spot of maintenance at one of his properties, he expected the garden to be a bit untidy. But it was the inside of the three-bedroom detached house that was overgrown and Mr Leaver, 64, discovered his retirement investment had been turned into a cannabis factory...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:44 AM 11 Comments

Meddling with the free market

Telegraph: Darling to introduce 25-year fixed mortgages

Home owners will be able to take out mortgages at interest rates fixed for as long as 25 years under Budget plans to restore stability to a housing market plunged into crisis by the recent global credit crunch. The most reliable customers will also get access to "gold standard" loans at much cheaper rates. Ministers are concerned that the "boom-and-bust" nature of British house prices risks economic stability. Mr Darling's answer is a new system of "kite-marking" that will effectively give every mortgage deal a quality rating. That would allow mortgage firms to raise money on wholesale markets by offering bonds secured against the home and repayments of their most reliable customers.

Posted by little professor @ 02:52 AM 15 Comments

Sunday, March 9, 2008

House prices, going, going, gone

Independent: If homes are shunned at auction, is that a hammer blow for all of us?

Laura Howard asks if house prices in general are going, going, gone as the bids dry up for bricks and mortar. With house values down and mortgage profits escaping through the back door, banks must recoup losses from somewhere and fears are mounting that this will be in the form of higher rates and stricter lending criteria. Ultimately, it may be the average homeowner who has probably never been to an auction who will be hit in the pocket when they try either to switch their mortgage deal or take out a new home loan when moving.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:54 PM 3 Comments

Property Slump!? What Property Slump.....?

ABCNews: Expensive NYC Homes (Slideshow)


This Upper East Side mansion once belonged to Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione. The 22,000-square- foot home, the New York Post reports, was recently sold for $49 million to Wall Street financier Philip Falcone.

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:11 PM 3 Comments

No more building of empty apartments shock

Observer: Trouble up north as apartment prices slump

With a planned 400ft skyscraper and six blocks housing 800 apartments, Green Bank was hailed as 'one of the most influential and trendsetting developments Leeds has seen' when it was launched in 2005. Its large piazza, accommodating shops and restaurants, was to bring the metropolitan lifestyle to a derelict site beside the once-polluted river Aire.

Posted by mken @ 06:44 PM 0 Comments

Barratts etc. teetering on the brink?

Observer: Housebuilders in a hole as prices go through the floor

Are British housebuilders heading for the abyss? As mortgage approvals dry up, house prices fall and repossessions rise, many of the country's biggest builders appear more vulnerable than at any time in the past 15 years

Posted by mken @ 06:25 PM 0 Comments

At the very least....

Intelligencier: International experts foresee collapse of U.S. economy

And you thought that I had a gloomy outlook on the economy. Now the bad news pops up everywhere. Harry Koza in the Globe and Mail quotes Bernard Connelly, the global strategist at Banque AIG in London, who claims that the likelihood of a Great Depression is growing by the day. Martin Wolf, celebrated columnist of the U.K.-based Financial Times, cites Dr. Nouriel Roubini of the New York University's Stern School of Business, who, in 12 steps, outlines how the losses of the American financial system will grow to more than $1 trillion - that's one million times $1 million. That amount is equal to all the assets of all American banks. Every day now, thousands of people all over the U.S. and Great Britain are walking away from their homes - simply mailing their house keys to the banks.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:02 PM 3 Comments

"Even if interest rates remain low there is only one result from this - a further collapse in prices"

FT: The turn of the screw(ed)

So the number of buy-to-let mortgages has passed the 1m mark. That is not really much of a surprise. Brits love their property and the continued desire to get rich from house price growth has driven this sector through the roof. We are talking an increase from about 20,000 loans less than a decade ago to the more than 1m we have now. This growth has only helped to perpetuate the myth that residential property is a suitable place to bank your pension. Lenders are increasingly showing off about how robust buy-to-let has been in the credit crunch............READ ON

Posted by jack c @ 05:22 PM 0 Comments

Well, well, well - this WILL be interesting

MarketWatch: New 'super-spike' might mean $200 a barrel oil

With $100-a-barrel here for now, Goldman Sachs says $200 a barrel could be a reality in the not-too-distant future in the case of a "major disruption." Goldman on Friday also boosted by $10 the low end of its 2008-2012 projected range for crude to $60 a barrel -- significantly lower than current prices, to be sure, but a possible mark for oil if "normalized" trends return to the marketplace. With the dollar's fall continuing and financial markets roiled by the credit crunch, commodities like oil have been drawing the fancy of increasing numbers of investors. Accordingly, Wall Street firms have been eager to adjust forecasts to incorporate fresh data on the global economy and energy supplies.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:18 PM 12 Comments

Delicious. Exquisite. Just.

Times: Property chief Martin Barber faces axe

THE chief executive of Capital & Regional, one of Britains biggest shopping-centre and retail-park owners, is to be ousted after a boardroom bust-up. Martin Barber, one of the best-known figures in the commercial-property industry, is expected to leave the business soon an announcement could come in the next few weeks. City sources said the group was this weekend putting the finishing touches to an agreement with Barber under which he will leave the company with a compensation package. The news comes after the firm revealed in December that Barber would retire from the company in August 2009 when he turns 65. It seems that his departure will now come much earlier.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:12 PM 1 Comments

Excellent article by John Mauldin

The Market Oracle: Deflating Housing and Credit Bubbles Will Lead to DisInflation

Take the time to read this article if you want to understand why banks are reluctant to write new mortages. First he looks at US jobs, the figure is a lot worse than reported. Next he looks at the huge deleveraging going on and how even the least risky hedge funds are going bust because banks are desperate to get cash. Then he looks at the Fed's monetary policy, contrary to what everyone is screaming about, there is not a huge increase in the supply of money happening. Deflation of the monster housing and "shadow banking system" is what's really happening. "It would be a strange recession indeed to produce inflation in an environment of two major bubbles deflating along with a bear market in stocks." These are the wider financial world issues causing the UK hpc.

Posted by happyrenterz @ 05:10 PM 0 Comments

Scrummy Bear Food

Grauniad: Housebuilders in a hole as prices go through the floor

Are British housebuilders heading for the abyss? As mortgage approvals dry up, house prices fall and repossessions rise, many of the country's biggest builders appear more vulnerable than at any time in the past 15 years. Private equity sources indicate that some firms are going cap in hand to them, hoping for a financial injection to see them through difficult economic conditions.

Posted by blank cheque @ 03:25 PM 0 Comments

Guess Who's Next ? Countrywide reportedly under FBI investigation

NEW YORK ( -- The FBI has launched an investigation into the lending practices of battered home lender Countrywide Financial Corp., according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The mortgage company is suspected of widespread fraud, the paper said, which may have contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis that has rocked the U.S. economy. The probe will examine underwriting and mortgage origination practices, and whether the company misrepresented losses related to subprime loans.

Posted by plato @ 02:15 PM 4 Comments

Stamp duty has again become an issue for first-time buyers because the stamp duty thresholds have not kept pace with house price inflation,"

BBC: First timers' stamp-duty up 82%

The average stamp duty bill for first-time buyers has almost doubled over the last five years, says a report from mortgage lender Halifax. The average bill in 2007 was 1,751 compared with 960 in 2002. In the South East, South West and East almost all first-time buyers paid stamp duty, while in Northern regions only 42% were liable, the report said.

Posted by jack c @ 11:12 AM 9 Comments

Market looking shaky - but we already knew that

Observer: Housing market outlook

"All these factors, plus a general mood of pessimism about the economic outlook, is likely to lead to falls in house prices this year, though few analysts are predicting a full-blown crash like that of the early Nineties." Few are predicting - but I wonder what they're thinking. If the law of reversion to mean holds - perhaps the only robust rule in economics - this is surely going to be the most full-blown of all housing crashes.

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:42 AM 1 Comments

Trichet & the Boys (the Movie)

Bloomberg: Fisher, Trichet, Rogoff Discuss Globalization, Inflation: Video

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard W. Fisher speak on globalization and the effects on inflation and monetary policy. Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University, John Lipsky, the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and Philippe Martin, professor of the University of Paris, also speak. They speak at a Bank of France conference in Paris. Popcorn Required: 1hr 30mins (18)

Posted by stevie dee @ 10:23 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A feast of technical charts !!

Oracle: UK House Prices Fall in February- Home Owners have Lost 7,600 in 6 months!

"The UK economy and Housing market has entered a downward spiral, similar to which the US market has been experiencing, which is approximately a year ahead of the UK in terms of house prices trend. During 2008 some 1.4 million UK home owners are to experience their fixed interest rate mortgages taken out under easy credit terms and at low interest rates during the housing boom, reset at higher interest rate levels and find themselves unable to fix again at favorable rates due to the mortgage banks being decimated by credit and debt market losses and in most cases unable to offer anything other than the high standard variable rates"

Posted by confused76 @ 07:55 PM 19 Comments

A load of trash

FT: Buy-to-let market heads right back to its foundations

I see more oversupply coming, which is great news for us all!!

Posted by confused76 @ 07:51 PM 7 Comments

Crash 20% In 2 Years

Bloomberg: Fed May Delay Reversal of Cuts

Home prices fell 9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline in 20 years of record-keeping (S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index). Lehman Brothers forecast prices will decline another 10 percent. Prices are more overvalued in the UK then at the height of its housing bubble in US, implying the UK crash will be much bigger - expect a real terms fall of 40% or more on existing prices, with much bigger falls in London and the South. Cities such as Leed, Birmingham, Manchester and Leciester have already experienced falls of 20% for city centre flats. This is just the beginning of the crash. House prices could fall more then 50% in central London.

Posted by bill @ 06:38 PM 0 Comments

Inside **ck!

Guardian: No more takers for dream of becoming property millionaire

Britain's biggest property investment company, which boasted in newspaper ads that investors could "give up work and be a property millionaire instead", said yesterday it would suspend seminars and cut 40 jobs - in the latest sign that the buy-to-let fuelled property boom is over. MWA UAH HAHA HHAHAHHAHA HAH

Posted by confused76 @ 04:52 PM 14 Comments

The credit crunch takes hold

MoneyWeek: The credit crunch settles in

Investors are beginning to realise that the credit crisis isn't going anywhere. Meanwhile, as the housing market weakens further and defaults rise, losses are spreading beyond subprime, to car, credit card, student and commercial property loans.

Posted by damien @ 04:19 PM 0 Comments

Statement from the Other US presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Forbes: A Word From Ron Paul

"All Federal Reserve meetings should be televised just like the proceedings of Congress, and they should once again make all information on the money supply available. I also favor legalizing competing currencies. History is replete with examples of the inevitable failure of paper money systems, from our own founding days, to inter-war Germany, to the monetary crisis of 1970s Latin America. However, I believe that for our economy to be secure in the long term, Congress must reassert its authority and end the unconstitutional Federal Reserve. Finally, we must be willing to undertake regulatory reform. It would serve us well to revisit the myriad federal regulations that have stymied the innovative spirit of the American people. "

Posted by happyrenterz @ 03:45 PM 8 Comments

Credit market has collapsed

Boomberg: Agency Mortgage-Bond Spreads Rise; Markets `Utterly Unhinged'

``Everything is telling you the financial system is broken,'' Simon, whose Newport Beach, California-based unit of Allianz SE manages the world's largest bond fund, said in a telephone interview today. ``Everybody's in de-levering mode.'' ``The single biggest concern right now is who's the next hedge fund to blow up, and how big are they,'' ``Traders are putting their phones down and backing slowly away from their desks,'' O'Donnell said today in a telephone interview. "

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:21 AM 5 Comments

Last chance to buy PUT options and cheap gold

The Telegraph: US Fed pins economic hopes on $200bn liquidity boost

"This will prompt the Fed to slash rates rapidly to 1pc. One thing that history teaches us is that when an economy stalls and drops into recession, things get very bad very quickly. There is no going back now: we are well past the tipping point," he said.

I said 1 month ago sub 1pc US rates by the summer

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:24 AM 14 Comments

A grim backdrop for Darlings first budget

MoneyWeek: A grim backdrop for Darlings first budget

Chancellors often see their first budget as a chance to show off. But who'd want to flaunt an economy hampered by a credit crunch, falling consumer confidence, rising inflation and slowing growth?

Posted by damien @ 08:26 AM 2 Comments

Prices up by 3.1% - sold prices down by 0.3% - This hasn't even started yet

timesonline: As the crunch bites, cracking deals are starting to emerge

Primelocation yesterday reported that asking prices for the property on its website rose on average 3.1 per cent in London, 2.6 per cent in Scotland and 2.3 per cent in the South East last month. This is despite the latest Hali-fax house price index showing that eventual sales prices achieved were on average down 0.3 per cent. - ........EA's really are a sneaky bunch - encourage greedy vendors to raise prices and then accept a below asking offer. Everyones happy, except the buyer who is still getting shafted. There needs to be a total countrywide veto on buying any properties, until this scam stops and prices become truly realistic

Posted by bystander @ 08:14 AM 12 Comments

The Crash Has Already Started

Times Online: Housing market similar to last price crash

Pressure on homebuyers similar to price crash 19 years ago. While all total US property is valued at 5 trillion ($9.95 trillion), all UK property is currently at 4 trillion, but the US economy is more then five times the size of the UK economy. UK property may be overvalued by more than 100% (prices are more than double what they should be) and are therefore heading for a big fall, particularly in London.

Posted by bill @ 04:25 AM 7 Comments

Game's up for Inside Track

Guardian Unlimited: No more takers for dream of becoming property millionaire

Britain's biggest property investment company, which boasted in newspaper ads that investors could "give up work and be a property millionaire instead", said yesterday it would suspend seminars and cut 40 jobs - in the latest sign that the buy-to-let fuelled property boom is over.

Posted by nutsohazenuts @ 12:58 AM 2 Comments

Friday, March 7, 2008

Blood of 1000's & 1,000's on his hands

BBC: Blair to teach in the US on faith

Not really related, but he's an exceptional guy. I mean any normal person with that much blood on their hands would have comitted suicide a long time ago.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:30 PM 21 Comments

A lagging indicator of a recession kicks in

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy: Payrolls Unexpectedly Decline for Second Month

Payrolls fell by 63,000, the most in five years. Economists had projected payrolls would rise by 23,000 following a previously reported 17,000 drop in January, according to the median of 76 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 04:16 PM 1 Comments

Fed pumps in another $140bn

Bloomberg: Fed Boosts Lending to Banks as Credit Rout Continues

The Federal Reserve plans to increase its loans to banks this month to offset a deepening credit crisis threatening to tip the U.S. economy into a recession. The central bank increased to $50 billion each from $30 billion the amount intended for auctions of funds planned for March 10 and March 24. The Fed also said in a statement in Washington today that it will make $100 billion available through weekly 28-day repurchase agreements, where the central bank lends cash in return for assets such as Treasuries.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 03:28 PM 14 Comments

The Housing Market is heading down the toilet - it's unanimous

Investment and Business News Daily: House prices fall in February its unanimous

It is not often that the three major housing reports we monitor agree, but just for once, it appears thats what happened in February. House prices were down. It is not the first time all three recorded falls in any particular month, but its an unusual occurrence In the 52 months we have been monitoring the three indices, there have been only two other occasions that this has happened, in October 2004 and November 2007. The Halifax had prices down 0.3 per cent over the month, the Nationwide by 0.5 per cent and Hometrack by 0.2 per cent. They all have house prices at a similar level now to where they were last April.

Posted by notlongnow @ 02:47 PM 1 Comments

now it is prime properties

CNN: Million dollar foreclosures

Foreclosures can be bargains for budget-minded house hunters, even when they're in the market for seven-figure homes. These homes are deeply discounted.

Posted by mark @ 02:47 PM 4 Comments

UK house prices down 0.3% again in Feb, house sales cancellation rates at 30%, Taylor Wimpey shares down 19%

The Herald: Sterling moves above $2 as MPC holds UK rates steady

It seems that the VI spin from the likes of Assetz and the Brick Chicks is foundering on the rocks. A tidal wave of bad news was delivered yesterday.
They haven't even started talking about soaring UK subprime and "non-conforming" mortgages yet.

Posted by paul @ 02:19 PM 1 Comments

Now it's repo cars

The Boston Globe: Default rate soars on auto loans in pattern likened to mortgage crisis

"It is also an increasingly common story as more Americans, under growing economic pressure, are deciding to surrender their rides rather than the roofs over their heads: The rate of auto-loan defaults recently reached a 10-year high of 3.4 percent. And one local auction company saw repossessions nearly triple last month compared with a year ago."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 02:16 PM 2 Comments

The next wave of sub-prime losses is about to hit

MoneyWeek: The next wave of sub-prime losses is about to hit

US markets fell sharply yesterday as more subprime-related woes came to light. John Stepek explains what the latest developments mean - and why you should watch out for the British banks with exposure to dodgy debt...

Posted by damien @ 01:45 PM 0 Comments

451 takers for for a 100mil first time buyer scheme

Firstrung: First time buyers' HomeBuy scheme ridiculed as a failure by the Lib Dems

The Government's 100 million scheme to help first-time buyers has sold only 451 homes since it started in 2006, according to figures obtained from the Liberal Democrats. In a housing policy paper to be debated at the Party's Spring Conference this weekend, the Liberal Democrats will argue for the multi-million pound scheme to be replaced with Government-backed equity mortgages...

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:19 PM 0 Comments

'Ghost' Officers to sniff out BTL tax cheats Taxman studies to let ads

Ghost officers are being employed by the Revenue to check advertising cards in shops and supermarkets in order to find individuals who are letting out their properties and failing to declare it on their tax returns.

Posted by jonathan @ 01:16 PM 1 Comments

Oh Noes!

FT Acadametrics House Price Index: Feb prices +0.5%, YoY +6.1%

UK house prices saw a modest pick-up in February after three months of stagnation, but the overall trend is towards a slowing housing market, according to the latest data from Acadametrics, producer of the FT House Price Index. The Index showed a 0.5% rise in house prices, with year-on-year inflation totalling 6.1%, down from 6.8% in January. Februarys rise in house prices was slightly stronger than the 0.2% rise seen in January and the dip in house prices of 0.1 and 0.1 per cent seen in December and November

Posted by little professor @ 12:50 PM 14 Comments

Mortgage approvals for house purchase have now fallen in ten of the last 12 months

Mortgage Solutions: Mortgage approvals dip in February

Mortgage approvals for house purchase were down in February, reversing Januarys slight recovery. They fell 3.5% to 71,400, down from 74,000 in January, according to the latest data from Connells' survey & valuation mortgage approvals tracker. February 2008 was the weakest February since Bank of England records began in 1993. Only June 2005 was a weaker month for homebuyers taking out mortgages. Compared to February 2007, the decline in approvals is 40.5%. Mortgage approvals for house purchase have now fallen in ten of the last 12 months.

Posted by jack c @ 12:20 PM 6 Comments

It will only get worse

tampabays10: US Home debt greater than equity for first time since 1945

WASHINGTON (AP) In a troubling report, the Federal Reserve said Americans' equity in their homes has fallen below 50% for the first time since 1945. Home equity is the percentage of a home's market value minus mortgage-related debt.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:00 PM 0 Comments

Something has to give in this unsustainable situaton

.foreignpolicy: Can the World Afford A Middle Class?

"The middle class in poor countries is the fastest-growing segment of the worlds population. While the total population of the planet will increase by about 1 billion people in the next 12 years, the ranks of the middle class will swell by as many as 1.8 billion. Of these new members of the middle class, 600 million will be in China. Homi Kharas, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, estimates that by 2020 the worlds middle class will grow to include a staggering 52 percent of the global population, up from 30 percent now. The middle class will almost double in the poor countries where sustained economic growth is lifting people above the poverty line fast."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:54 AM 8 Comments

Martin Roberts a "mindless optimist"

BBC 5 Live: Wake Up to Money: Friday 15 mins in

... author of "Making Money from Property", and self proclaimed property expert on "Homes Under the Hammer" accused of "...relentless and mindless optimism ..". Brilliant Stuff 15 mins in to Fridays show. "Did you sell many books ?..." at the start cracked me up. Didn't really have a convincing answer for "how do you make money in a falling market ?" Apparently auction prices and sales are diving. Made my day.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:10 AM 4 Comments

Perfect Storm Develops

Market Oracle: US Dollar-Gold: A Perfect Hyper-Stagflationary Storm

"Numerous vicious cycles have begun to strike at the core of the US system, both the economy and the banking system. They are each powerful. They will not relent. They will inflict horrendous damage. They will rip apart the ramparts of the US Economy, then the fabric of American life. My colleague Roger Wiegand has been vocal in his dire warnings, one of few who see the upcoming carnage, disruption, and chaos. When people ask whether the US Dollar has hit bottom, a simple question goes out as my reply."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:06 AM 13 Comments

Just what I've been looking for!

Daily Mail: Britain's first 100% carbon neutral home unveiled - and it's a flat-pack

It is the ultimate flat-pack product - your very own house and not only that, but Britain's first affordable, super-eco friendly home. The timber-frame house was unveiled in London for the first time today, with its designers proclaiming it the beginning of a revolution in property design. Starting off as a flat-pack collection of frames, the houses can be built in three weeks in the same way as putting together a product from Ikea - albeit a bit more involved. They are also designed to be carbon neutral and meet the Government's strictest energy efficiency code. Rural Zed, the consortium behind "the homes of the future", are taking orders for the 150,000, three-bedroom house now. (Sorry if this is a repeat - its from a week and a half ago. )

Posted by sacred contracts @ 10:48 AM 8 Comments

Weather correlations - will Monday be Black Monday II?

The Press Association: Storm set to batter Britain

Trees will be uprooted and buildings suffer structural damage, but at this stage forecasters are not predicting the storm will be as severe as the devastating storm of October 1987. In 1987 Michael Fish famously stated that the worst would not hit Britain.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 10:17 AM 3 Comments

Market is confident of another 75bp cut over the pond.

Bloomberg: Treasuries Gain After Traders Add to Bets for Fed Rate Cuts

Treasury notes gained, pushing two- year yields to the lowest since 2003, on speculation rising unemployment and widening credit-market losses will prompt the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by 75 basis points.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 09:19 AM 13 Comments

BoE: Out of touch and losing control...

Daily Mail: Mortgage bills rising at the 'fastest pace in living memory' despite Bank of England holding rates

''Mortgage costs are rising at the fastest pace in living memory, a financial expert said yesterday. Ray Boulger warned it was becoming much more expensive to take out a loan, on the day the Bank of England decided to hold interest rates at their current level. Abbey, the second-biggest mortgage lender, yesterday announced its second rate rise in eight days. Halifax, the industry leader, and Chelsea Building Society have also hiked the rates on some of their mortgages.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:57 AM 13 Comments

Blair President - Brown Prime minister - Russian vodka anyone

Bloomberg: President Blair prompts Europ to say anyone but him

I know this is a bit off topic, but no wonder Brown doen't want a referendum on Europe, if there is the slightest possibility that Blair might reign supreme as president of the Nulibor improved European Onion (not a spelling mistake 'cos its bound to make you cry)

Posted by bystander @ 08:41 AM 1 Comments

How to maintain a consecutive bubble economy

Banks look cheap - Yep, and for good reason.

BBC: UBS sued on sub-prime mis-selling

A couple of weeks old but we missed this one I think. Germany's HSH Nordbank is to sue the Swiss banking giant UBS for mis-selling millions of dollars of investments linked to US sub-prime mortgages. It wants to recover "significant" losses on a $500m (253m) portfolio it bought in 2002. HSH Nordbank alleges that UBS did not manage the assets in line with its "prudent investment objectives".

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 07:57 AM 0 Comments

Well it's won't happen here as AD says our housing market is strong!

Telegraph: Carlyle Group default sparks panic selling in New York

Property investment trusts shares have crashed on panic selling in New York after an affiliate of the private equity giant Carlyle Group fell into default on mortgage losses. The news sent shockwaves through the financial markets. Carlyle Capital has leveraged itself to the hilt, taking out debt at a ratio of 32:1 to invest in the US mortgage assets. It held securities worth a $21.7bn (10.8bn) last month, raising the spectre of distress sales on a scale large enough to trigger a cascade of liquidations by other funds. Thornburg Mortgage crashed 60pc after revealing an SEC-filing in New York that it had missed a $28m margin call to JP Morgan Chase.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 05:58 AM 2 Comments

Zoopla your neighbours....

Telegraph: What next door's house is really worth

A new website gives the value of every home in the UK - whether it's for sale or not. Judith Woods fears it will bring out the worst in us. Depending on who you ask, we either live in an empowering age of information, or a paradise for nosy parkers. Never before has so much of our personal information been freely available - for good or ill. If the Inland Revenue isn't magnanimously sharing our bank account details with identity fraudsters, then we're Googling old flames or poring competitively over our friends' Facebook profiles. We're a veritable army of internet curtain-twitchers.

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:11 AM 20 Comments

Thursday, March 6, 2008

US negative equity - banks now own more housing equity than homeowners

The Big Picture: Federal Reserve: Household Equity at all time lows

"In other words, for the first time ever, banks/lender own more of the houses in America than the folks who live there do." Is this the inevitable conclusion of this debt crisis? A tranfer of more wealth to the banks? Remember UK will follow this pattern too.

Posted by happyrenterz @ 10:44 PM 6 Comments

Dorothy, California, Bye Bye California sells $1.75bn uninsured debt

This is like going swinging without using protection! It could end badly.

California, the largest borrower in the US municipal bond market, on Tuesday forged ahead with plans to issue debt without paying for bond insurance, completing a $1.75bn bond issue sold largely to retail investors. The decision comes amid uncertainty over the fate of bond insurers, which have suffered losses from mortgage-related bonds they have guaranteed. Their problems have roiled the $2,600bn municipal bond market, about half of which holds guarantees from them.

Posted by lvmreader @ 10:23 PM 1 Comments

Good news: Alistair Darling confirms house prices won't collapse!

Reuters: Darling says housing market to slow further

Alistair Darling stated today that the housing market is fundamentally sound! Excellent news! With a track record like Darling's a HPC must be just around the corner!

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 08:34 PM 16 Comments

Housing Crash In Spain

cnbc: Spanish Economy in Trouble

Spanish Economy in Trouble The outlook for the Spanish economy and its housing sector is not good, Dominic Bryant from BNP Paribas told CNBC Thursday

Posted by chris @ 07:59 PM 0 Comments

Credit Cancer Spreading...

Bloomberg: Carlyle Fund Gets Default Notice After Margin Calls (Update8)

Carlyle Group's publicly traded mortgage bond fund failed to pay margin calls, prompting creditors to seek immediate repayment, as the burning subprime mortgage market scorches investors in even the highest-rated debt. Other juicy quotes include: "1987, Carlyle expanded its mortgage investments last year, selling $300 million of shares in Carlyle Capital. The fund used loans to buy about $22 billion of AAA rated mortgage debt" "Widening Spreads : The agency mortgage-bond market has about $4.5 trillion of securities" "I don't think anyone has a recollection of a total disappearance in liquidity. I just cannot remember a time when for six months there are billion of dollars worth of assets out there for which there is just no market.''

Posted by layers @ 07:33 PM 0 Comments

The euro's problem is that European Central Bank is overly powerful: there is no political counter-weight in the form of a real European finance minister in charge of growth," he told Le Monde.

TELEGRAPH UK: Hawkish ECB risks central bank fight on rates

Peter Bofinger, a top adviser to the German government, called on the ECB to intervene directly in the exchange markets, warning that the euro has already reached levels that are inflicting lasting damage on European industry. "Currency intervention to stop a further rise of the euro would not endanger price stability and is perfectly do-able," he said.

Posted by chris @ 07:24 PM 0 Comments

Recession fears rise on weakness in the US housing sector

BBC: Fresh gloom for US housing market

The number of US home foreclosures, and the rate of homes entering the process, reached record highs in the fourth quarter of 2007, new figures show. The Mortgage Bankers Association data showed the failing loans rate was led by an increasing number of sub-prime borrowers unable to make payments. A record 0.83% of loans entered the foreclosure process. The delinquency rate, of missed payments, was 5.82%.

Posted by jack c @ 06:23 PM 1 Comments

BOE hold rates and in response UK's second biggest lender increases rates by 0.3% !!

Mortgage Solutions: Abbey to push rates up 0.3%

Abbey has confirmed it is to increase rates on all of its products by 0.3% on Monday. The lender has contacted a number of brokers today to warn them of the changes, and encourage them to get all applications in as soon as possible. A spokesperson said: "We are making these changes in response to competitor movements and we firmly believe that Abbey's mortgage products continue to offer exceptional value.

Posted by jack c @ 06:03 PM 1 Comments

Mortgage fraud complaints sparks investigation

Times Online: 60 lawyers caught up in mortgage fraud crackdown

"The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA), the body that regulates the legal profession in England and Wales, is investigating up to 60 lawyers on suspicion of mortgage fraud. The crackdown comes after the regulator saw a substantial rise in the number of reports concerning specific solicitors suspected of mortgage fraud. Last year the SRA received 293 such reports, up from 85 in 2004." I hope this puts an end to the false valuation scams that speculators have been getting away with for so long.

Posted by an bearin bui @ 05:23 PM 0 Comments

POP! ...and another one on the way too.

BBC: High-profile hedge fund collapses

A 1bn hedge fund run by Peloton Partners has collapsed and a second fund, worth 800m, is in doubt as the company sells off its assets. Peloton co-founder Ron Beller last week wrote to investors saying he "deeply regretted" the situation.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 04:50 PM 2 Comments

Stuartz most desperate and comical Assetz plea yet

Citywire: Rate decision ignores homeowner distress warns property industry

The Bank of Englands decision to leave rates unchanged offers little relief to homebuyers, housing commentators have warned. The decision to leave rates at 5.25% during March was delivered on the same day as Halifax figures showing that house prices fell a further 0.3% in February. Stuart Law of property investment company Assetz said that the banks monetary policy committee (MPC) failed to appreciate the depth of homeowners financial difficulties.

Posted by jack c @ 04:46 PM 22 Comments

SYDNEY'S acute housing shortage is about to get worse, with new figures showing just 407 free-standing homes were approved in January

smh: Home approvals plummet as apartments take over

"The onerous interest rate burden will make 2008 a difficult year for new-home building and will delay the closing of the yawning gap between housing supply and demand," Mr Dale predicted

Posted by chris @ 02:19 PM 0 Comments

Landlord Crunch - Gillian asks if the credit crunch is hitting the buy-to-let property market

BBC: Thursday's Working Lunch

Well worth watching todays BBC working lunch - full feature on BTL - they even interview someone who specifically states prices are "crashing"

Posted by jack c @ 01:18 PM 12 Comments

is it the low prices?

CNN: Wal-Mart's sales top forecasts

This is interesting considering we have a friend in the USA who is a manager of a versace shop and claims sales are dead, maybe people are buying cheaper now??? however this might not be the same in the UK considering places like Aldi buy most of the food from Europe, if the EU goes the wrong way!!!

Posted by mark @ 01:14 PM 0 Comments

Running from debt maybe?

Yahoo: Man takes car on six-day test drive

this one is just for fun and make the day a better one... when will we see landlords taking long test

Posted by mark @ 01:10 PM 1 Comments

MPC hold firm !

BBC: Bank keeps interest rates on hold

The Bank of England's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep interest rates on hold at 5.25%. The decision was in line with expectations. Analysts have highlighted that the Bank faces the threat of a slowing economy at a time when inflationary pressures are rising.

Posted by jack c @ 12:15 PM 19 Comments


BBC: Credit crunch hits Carlyle unit

Carlyle Capital Corporation, the fund manager backed by the giant private equity firm Carlyle Group, has not been able to meet several payment demands.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:56 AM 2 Comments

Why we can't avoid a recession

MoneyWeek: Why the UK cant avoid falling into recession

UK consumer confidence is at a four-year low. And sterling is at an all-time low against the euro - effectively a vote of no confidence in our economy. So why have investors and consumers alike lost faith in UK plc? The simple truth is that as each new piece of economic data comes out, the reality of the recession ahead becomes clearer...

Posted by damien @ 11:06 AM 16 Comments

Insane advice

MSN Money: How to buy a house with no deposit

A reader asks: As a 20-year old first-time buyer, can you still get onto the property ladder without a deposit? MSN Money property expert Ajay Ahuja replies:The short answer to your question is Yes! Absolutely crazy advice.. even putting saying putting the deposit on your credit card is a good idea.

Posted by phil tc @ 10:25 AM 2 Comments

First time buyers mortgage applications 'bounced back' in February - Charcol

Firstrung: FTBs now 10% of market - woopeedoo

First time buyers bounced back, and made up 10% of mortgage applicants this month, as they took advantage of the last of the high loan-to-value deals. This more than doubled the 4.5% of buyers that were first-timers in January. Remortgages for Buy-to-lets were up in February compared to January, but new purchases for Buy-to-lets remained low. Fewer than 1% of borrowers took mortgages above 100% in February, and they will be the last.

Posted by uncle chris @ 10:08 AM 18 Comments

As sure as eggs is eggs ...

Independent: First it was the US. Then Britain. Now the holiday-home price boom may be over

When the property rush to the costas began, it seemed like a win-win bet for thousands of Britons: a low-cost investment promising great returns and a place to escape the British gloom. But the attraction of owning a holiday home in Europe has lost its allure, with continental property now heading into freefall. The value of property across Europe is set to take a dramatic downturn in 2008, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which claims the Continent's long-running housing boom is collapsing. In 2007, many European countries experienced either a dramatic drop in house price inflation or actual falls, the RICS annual European housing markets survey said.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:59 AM 3 Comments

Interesting reading for BTL "entrepreneurs"!!

Guardian: Cold wind blows in buy-to-let market as cheap loans disappear

Britain's controversial buy-to-let property boom looks to have become the latest victim of the global credit crunch ....

Posted by inbreda @ 09:35 AM 18 Comments

It's estimated that 300,000 Australians risk losing their homes if the cost of loans continues to spiral upwards

bbc: Mortgage woes hit Sydney suburbs

Many more are suffering from mortgage stress where at least 30% of their income is spent paying off the debt.

Posted by chris @ 09:05 AM 0 Comments

Halifax prices down 0.3% in Jan, up 4.2% YoY

BBC News: House prices continue to slow

House prices are continuing to slow down, according to the Halifax, the UK's biggest mortgage lender. According to its latest monthly survey, prices across the UK fell by 0.3% in February, taking the annual rate of inflation down from 4.5% to 4.2%. That meant the average UK home now costs 196,649

Posted by little professor @ 08:28 AM 26 Comments

Wilsons about to get lesson of their own.

BBC: Buy-to-let boom may be stalling

The buy-to-let housing boom may be about to stall, according to a survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). Its survey of residential lettings says the number of new instructions from landlords fell towards the end of 2007, for the first time since 1998. Rics blamed recent restrictions on mortgage lending to would-be landlords.

Posted by blank cheque @ 07:02 AM 0 Comments

Natural resource markets are delivering a supply shock of 1970s dimensions, while the financial system is delivering a shock comparable to the bank and thrift crises of the 1988-1993 period. The magnitude of each shock is very different. The financial mar The global economy is facing twin shocks.

By contrast, prospective capital requirements in the resource markets dwarf the current needs of the banking system. According to the International Energy Agency, the global energy sector alone needs a real $22,000bn over the next two decades to meet the anticipated rise in primary energy demand. There is also the unavoidable necessity to reduce the CO2 intensity of energy production, a good 80 per cent of which is derived from the dirtiest of fossil fuels. While an accurate quantification of the size of the required green energy investment is not possible, it is likely to be of a similar scale to the expansion of energy supply.

Posted by chris @ 03:20 AM 0 Comments

I wonder how much of Mr Gates' worth was real-estate. :)

ABC News: Buffett Ousts Gates as World's Richest Man

It is certainly a dawning of a new era. But not just because of Gates' fall. The 22nd annual rankings of the World's Billionaires reflects all sorts of upheavals in the list's makeup. Two years ago, half of the world's 20 richest were from the U.S. Now only four are. India wins bragging rights for having four among the top 10, more than any other country.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:37 AM 9 Comments

report in Italy's financial paper Il Sole said the sudden surge in spreads recalled the dramatic events of 1998 when the US hedge fund Long Term Capital Management was forced to liquidate huge positions in Italy and Spain, setting off a systemic chain rea

cartmanist: The European high-yield bond market remains frozen, as spreads at the widest levels in nearly five years fail to draw investors worried that prices may fall further due to the global credit turmoil.

The Italian treasury has taken the highly unusual step of intervening in the debt markets to prevent a further surge in government bond yields as hedge funds with heavy exposure to the region scramble to raise liquidity. A similar pattern has emerged across the southern belt of the eurozone, with spreads hitting post-EMU highs of 53 versus Greece, 44 for Portugal, 38 for Belgium and 36 for Spain.

Posted by chris @ 01:46 AM 1 Comments

.Mr Rennie said a disturbing feature of the current account was Australia's growing reliance on debt funding.

AUSTRALIANa: Current account worst in 50 years

POOR exports and tumbling returns from Australia's overseas investments have dragged the current account deficit to 7 per cent of GDP, its worst level in at least 50 years. The deficit topped $20 billion in the December quarter. The trade deficit rose by $2billion to $6.9 billion because of poor sales of both rural and mineral commodities. aSome recovery in exports is expected in coming months, but the continuing blow-out in Australia's deficit resulting from dividend and interest payments is likely to get worse.

Posted by chris @ 12:22 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

74% of White UK Citizens believe they are unable to afford homes in their home town!

BBC: White working class 'voiceless'

Shock survey commissioned by Newsnight reveals that 80% of the white working classes say that people like them can no longer afford to buy homes in the area they live along with 68% (another significant majority) of middle class people who also believe they have been priced out of their local housing market.

Posted by enuii @ 11:17 PM 21 Comments

Tenants Face Eviction

Peterborough Evening Telegraph: 723 Tenants Face Eviction

For those people that think there is no housing shortage in the UK, wake-up and smell the coffee. Cross Keys Homes are evicting rent dodgers with rental debts as low as 500 because they have a waiting list of 9000 people! The association took over 10,000 former council houses in the 90's, but the demand for housing is so great, they are willing to throw families onto the street for a 500 rental debt!

Posted by chris @ 10:48 PM 0 Comments

2007 - A year of insane borrowing

Times: UK ranks in Europe's top six for house prices

[comment at foot of page] ''If politicians hadn't been irresponsible enough to allow the economy to become overdependent on house price growth then we could happily allow prices to fall back and focus on the real economy. Instead we now face a situation where the wider economy might be weakened on a long-term basis in favour of the short-term goal of maintaining house values.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:38 PM 2 Comments

With no Gordon Brown to tell him to shut up Eddie tells it as it is!

Ex-BoE chief says too soon to call end to liquidity crisis: Reuters

It is still too soon to call an end to the liquidity crisis that has gripped global capital markets says Eddie George. We may see further shocks as year-end financial results are published and the prospect of first quarter accounts get closer. We're already seeing a renewed tightening in the wholesale money markets," George also warned that deep interest rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve -- and a readiness to cut rates again -- could mean short-term gains but long-term consequences, undermining long-term economic health.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 08:36 PM 0 Comments

This week, Kirstie & Phil are once again shamelessly encouraging rookie's to enter the BTL market ZZZzz


Kirsty & Phil have got a lot to answer for, especially the way they have helped the greed and abandon of these times to flourish. This weeks loosers, opps I mean, contestants are called Howard & Joanna - and are keen to enter the BTL market as a pension strategy. Why do these people always seem to talk like estate agents? They want to buy 2 houses - nothing simpler - and they haven't even lived together yet....well, at least if it doesn't work out that take have a house each Ouch! Now who wears the trousers? ''Hmm now what could they do to that shack that could give them a 15 grand return. Hmm let me see...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:21 PM 11 Comments

This is so dumb. Leave it be Italy!

Telegraph: Italy supports bond market as spreads soar

The Italian treasury has taken the highly unusual step of intervening in the debt markets to prevent a further surge in government bond yields as hedge funds with heavy exposure to the region scramble to raise liquidity. A flight to safety has pushed the yield spread between 10-year Italian bonds and equivalent German Bunds to 55 basis points, the highest since the launch of the euro. A similar pattern has emerged across the southern belt of the eurozone, with spreads hitting post-EMU highs of 53 versus Greece, 44 for Portugal, 38 for Belgium and 36 for Spain.

Posted by lvmreader @ 07:33 PM 9 Comments

Ambac to basics

Marketwatch: Ambac to raise $1.5 bln selling common stock, equity units

Ambac, one on the largest bond insurers in the US pulls out of the structured product market and returns to the basics of guaranteeing bonds. Interestingly, the rating agency Fitch responds immediately by saying that Ambac is still on negative watch until uncertainties have abated. Sounds to me like Ambac is runnning as fast as it can to stand still, and is very close to stopping completely. Another major step in the return to normality from the credit bubble years.

Posted by jackas @ 06:53 PM 0 Comments

Can central banks really influence this? I seriously doubt it...

Bloomberg: Money-Market Rates Rise, Signal Return of Gridlock

oney-market rates for euros and pounds climbed to the highest since mid-January, signaling the global squeeze on short-term bank lending may be returning.

Posted by inthedelhi @ 06:37 PM 2 Comments

A glance across the pond... Thieves taking advantage of abandoned rural homes

A rural mansion that has been gutted by thieves is used to illustrate wider problems caused by the US housing slump.

Posted by prices only go up @ 05:45 PM 0 Comments

Now the VI's are magicians Property price drops 50%

Lisa continues: We are experts at creating a market where a market doesnt exist.

Posted by landedgentry @ 05:39 PM 0 Comments

Oh great! Just great!!

Daily Telegraph: Russians being kidnapped for their flats

RUSSIAN police have arrested an organised criminal group suspected of kidnapping Moscow flat owners to gain control over valuable real estate. Police swooped on members of the gang in three different regions, said Marina Kostikova, spokeswoman for police in the Orlov region, south of the capital. Two of those arrested had used various schemes to gain ownership of 300 flats in the centre of Moscow. In one case, a 30-year-old man was kidnapped in Moscow, falsely diagnosed as mentally ill and hospitalised, leaving his apartment to the criminals, a police statement said. He was freed from his captors last month.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:12 PM 4 Comments

History and Future of the Sub-Prime


A long but enjoyable article which examines the history of the sub-prime crisis. Happy birthday to sub-prime crisis, happy birthday to sub-prime crisis etc etc. It shows just how long this debacle will take to play out.

Posted by talking rot @ 04:57 PM 0 Comments

Hold tomorrow?

Firstrung: Soaring service costs puts interest rate cut in doubt

Services output rose by 0.6 per cent in the quarter to December compared with the quarter to September. This was driven by increases in business services and finance, transport storage and communication and government and other services.Distribution output rose by 0.2 per cent in the quarter to December. The most significant increase was in wholesale. Output from retail also increased but there was a fall in output from the motor trades.

Posted by converted lurker @ 03:15 PM 6 Comments

First time buyers put property search on hold

Times: First time buyers put property search on hold

THE worsening economic gloom has put two thirds of first time homebuyers off going through with a purchase, according to new figures published today. At the start of 2008, 14 per cent of non-homeowners were considering investing in their first property. Now just over a third of those are planning to proceed with their purchase 64 per cent have put their property search on hold, according to the research by Abbey Mortgages.

Posted by tehlam3 @ 01:53 PM 1 Comments

Overstretch yourself then let the govt bail you out!

New York Times: Bush and Fed Step Toward a Mortgage Rescue

''...The Bush administration and the Federal Reserve are inching closer toward a government rescue of distressed homeowners and mortgage lenders....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:41 PM 15 Comments

False valuations by corrupt surveyors, especially on newly-built properties, allowing fraudsters to obtain loans much higher than the value of the house or flat

BBC: Mortgage fraud 'is funding crime'

High profits and low risk are attracting organised criminals to mortgage fraud, police have warned. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says property sales are also being used launder money made from drugs, trafficking and prostitution. UK mortgage fraud losses have reached 700m a year and the figure is growing. False valuations and bogus applications were among the methods used, said the intelligence report being sent to the financial industry and police forces.

Posted by jack c @ 01:18 PM 6 Comments

Government Tampering to Underpin HPI?

Sky News: Call For Stronger Mortgage 'Safety Net'

Better safeguards need to be put in place to help protect the growing number of people who are at risk of having their homes repossessed, a charity believes. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is calling for a new insurance scheme to be set up to help people who are unable to keep up with their mortgage repayments. Thousands at risk of losing home. The group is proposing a Sustainable Home Ownership Partnership (SHOP) to cover total mortgage repayments for 10 months if homeowners are unable to work. Will this be announced the next budget?

Posted by buyatthebottom @ 12:51 PM 3 Comments

Is gold's bull run over?

MoneyWeek: Is this the end of gold's great bull run?

Gold mounted a grand assault on the important $1,000 mark this week, only to suffer from a nasty correction. Will the precious metal manage to break through the four-figure mark next time?

Posted by damien @ 12:44 PM 8 Comments

More of them sound fundamentals

Times: Soaring service sector puts new rate cut in doubt

Prices in the British service sector rose to a record high in February, reducing the likelihood a further cut to the UK interest rate when the Bank of England announces its decision tomorrow.

Posted by holding out @ 12:41 PM 4 Comments

They think it's all over

Firstrung: Consumer confidence falls to record lows as house price expectations fall

"The continued downward trend in consumer confidence is to be expected given the effect of higher food and fuel costs on people's pockets and the tightening of the availability of credit. In addition, growing uncertainty about future economic conditions is also likely to have affected consumers' overall sentiment. Despite this consumers remain relatively positive about their employment situation both now and in six months time. It is perhaps too early for the base rate reduction at the beginning of February to have had any effect, but it is unlikely in current conditions that consumer confidence will return to the highs of 2007." - Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's senior economist:

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:32 PM 1 Comments

.... and the hangover were having now

BullionVault: Consequences & Cures

After the greatest credit bubble in history, hope for the best but plan for the worst... OSCAR WILDE's phrase "the triumph of hope over experience" could be applied to any investor assuming that equities will always prove sound in the long-term

Posted by landedgentry @ 12:01 PM 0 Comments

UK property is a house of cards

MoneyWeek: The UK property market is a house of cards

With house prices weakening rapidly, sellers seem to be willing to do anything to close a deal. But the sweeteners thrown in by increasingly desperate housebuilders and property developers have damaging ramifications for the property market.

Posted by damien @ 10:54 AM 4 Comments

Ambrose's blog

The Telegraph: In defence of scaremongers

Yes, one could call for a liquidation purge to clear the excesses. That would be ideologically purist. But we might ruin our democracies in the process. So first we must right the ship, even if that means moral hazard and a despicable bail-out for the credit villains. We must hold our noses. We settle scores later.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:18 AM 4 Comments

"UK better placed than most for prices to stabilise"

BBC: Housing market slowing in Europe

House price growth across Europe slowed sharply in the second half of 2007, according to a report. A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said rising interest rates, not the credit crunch, were the prime reason for the slowdown. It predicted a further downturn in markets across the continent in 2008 but said that the UK was better placed than most for prices to stabilise. House prices rose fastest in Poland in 2007, but fell the most in Ireland.

Posted by jack c @ 09:39 AM 14 Comments

Gold down to 964

The Telegraph: Fears of a commodity crash grow

In summary, the commodity secular bull will live on, but we may be in for a commodities correction soon.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:28 AM 11 Comments

"Anyone who is trying to juggle five or more credit cards and owes money on all of them is in real trouble."

Daily Mail: 3.2million are juggling their finances across five or more credit cards

More than 3million Britons are juggling five or more credit cards and despite concerns about the credit crunch, many are still spending way beyond their means and racking up crippling debts, research shows. The report, from the price comparison website, warns that many consumers are now in "real financial trouble" trying to keep up with mortgage repayments or to make the minimum payments on other debts.

Posted by jack c @ 09:28 AM 2 Comments

The U.S. muni credit market really has turned rotten.

Bloomberg: Auction-Rate Bond Failures Approach 70%, Show No Sign of Easing

Yields on the debt averaged 6.52 percent as of Feb. 28, up from 3.63 percent before demand evaporated in January. There were 521 failed auctions in the market for the floating-rate securities yesterday, amounting to a rate of 66 percent. From 1984 through 2006, only 13 auctions failed as brokers stepped in to buy the bonds when demand was weak. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, joined a growing list of lawmakers this week urging regulators to let borrowers bid on their own bonds.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 09:17 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Forget sub-prime mortgages: the fear has now moved the next step up

Times: Alt A mortgages add to pressure on banks

More skeletons coming out of the cupboards. Lending criteria is getting back to what it ought to have been - with the result that there isn't going to be anywhere near the money sloshing in the system that there was. My point is: when will the irresponsible lending come under scrutiny and see some claims from mislead end-users who are now well and truly exposed? Sure, some went in with thier eyes open, but a lot didn't - or the brokers didn't tell them too much about risks.

Posted by growler @ 11:13 PM 3 Comments

More comedy Estate agents confident about housing market

UK estate agents remain upbeat about the outlook for the housing market in 2008. That is according to new research from Hot Property, which revealed that 73 per cent of estate agents were more confident about the housing market in February than they were in January.

Posted by landedgentry @ 11:05 PM 5 Comments

Rules are made to be broken so the Northern Rock is 'Special'

Times: Chancellor Alistair Darling condemned over plan to exclude Northern Rock from Budget

Another dodgy fiddle to add to the catalogue of fiddled items on New Liebors governmental books.

Posted by enuii @ 10:56 PM 8 Comments

It's all about the housing market, nothing else matters obviously

Firstrung: NAEA pleads with BoE to cut interest rates on Thursday

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is calling on the Bank of England to reduce interest rates to 5% on Thursday. Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive at the NAEA, comments: "There is an ongoing lack of confidence in the housing market and the Bank of England needs to act fast to stop it stalling

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:21 PM 37 Comments

FSA worried about 1.4 million mortgage re-sets

Firstrung: One in five mortgage holders are concerned about meeting their repayments in the next 12 months

New figures published by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) today show that one in five mortgage holders are concerned about meeting their repayments in the next 12 months. When asked how they would meet these costs, a quarter of them said they had no plans. FSA is now launching a 2 million advertising campaign to help consumers make informed financial decisions and find the right mortgage for them. It is especially focusing on people whose fixed rate or discount deals are coming to an end this year - 1.4 million short-term fixed rate mortgages are due to end in 2008*.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:18 PM 0 Comments

"quick consultation" to provide new credit ratings system Darling to push gold standard mortgages

One of the key components of current problems; great to see the finest minds have analysed the system, identified its problems, systematically modelled how it will work in the limit conditions of human greed and implemented the best possible solution ... well either that or the PR agent called and said they needed a good news story yesterday.

Posted by whiteknight @ 10:14 PM 6 Comments

Buffett sums it up very well

Investment Postcards from Cape Town: Buffetts Annual Shareholders Letter A Mine of Wisdom

"You may recall a 2003 Silicon Valley bumper sticker that implored, "Please, God, Just One More Bubble." Unfortunately, this wish was promptly granted, as just about all Americans came to believe that house prices would forever rise. That conviction made a borrower's income and cash equity seem unimportant to lenders, who shoveled out money, confident that HPA - house price appreciation - would cure all problems. Today, our country is experiencing widespread pain because of that erroneous belief. As house prices fall, a huge amount of financial folly is being exposed. You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out - and what we are witnessing at some of our largest financial institutions is an ugly sight."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 09:51 PM 0 Comments

Squatters in their $3million Florida homes

The Big Picture: Foreclosure-proof Homeowners

" I have followed several of the homes that my wife and I were interested in a few years back, they are all on the market now. What is shocking, that in each and every case, I have been told by brokers and banks that the owners, have ceased paying their mortgages in some cases for nearly 2 years and have continued to occupy these homes."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 09:18 PM 1 Comments

Could something similar to this explain the Oil and Gas selloffs today? Focus Capital forced to liquidate portfolio

Focus Capital, a $1bn New York hedge fund, has been forced to liquidate its portfolio after missing margin calls from banks, it told investors on Tuesday. The fund, which had produced strong returns by investing in Swiss mid-cap stocks since starting in 2005, is now expected to shut down after losing about 80 per cent of its value. The collapse is the latest to hit leveraged hedge funds, following the failure of Peloton Partners $2bn ABS fund last week, and comes as worries are rising that forced sales by hedge funds could drive down prices.

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:07 PM 2 Comments

Fears of a commodity crash are growing as speculation continues to outstrip demand. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports

TELEGRAPH UK: Fears of a commodity crash grow

The "Commodity Supercycle" has many more years to run. The Earth is being stretched to the limit as India and China join the affluent society. But that does not preclude a jagged upward path with violent dips along the way. Is China really big enough to offset construction slumps now engulfing the US, UK, Japan and much of the Eurozone? One cannot ignore 60pc of the world's economy.

Posted by chris @ 08:32 PM 0 Comments

Nothing to see here! Storm in a teacup. It will all blow over....

ABCNews: Hard times are on the menu at restaurants

Starbucks, Applebee's and the Cheesecake Factory Are Feeling the Pinch

Worse, 49% of restaurants surveyed by the National Restaurant Association reported same-store sales fell in January, and 54% said customer traffic fell in January, the fifth month in a row. "In the lifespan of casual dining, we haven't seen economic times like this," says Marc Buehler, CEO of Lone Star Steakhouse, which just closed 27 of 179 stores.

Posted by lvmreader @ 07:05 PM 0 Comments

NZ housing situation looking shaky

New Zealand Herald: Dramatic drop in loans for housing

Unsettling news for home owners in NZ. Applications for mortgages were down by 27% in 2007. The median sale price dropped to $340,000 in January from the peak price of $352,000 in November. And building consents for new houses fell last year to their lowest level in six years. It seems high interest rates are taking their toll.

Posted by hubbers @ 06:34 PM 0 Comments

Forgive us lord, for we have sinned

Bloomberg: Bernanke Urges Banks to Forgive Portion of Mortgages

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, battling the worst housing recession in a quarter century, urged lenders to forgive portions of mortgages held by homeowners at risk of defaulting. ``Efforts by both government and private-sector entities to reduce unnecessary foreclosures are helping, but more can, and should, be done,'' Bernanke said in a speech to bankers in Orlando, Florida, today. ``Reductions of principal that restore some equity for the homeowner may be a relatively more effective means of avoiding delinquency and foreclosure.''

Posted by little professor @ 06:07 PM 8 Comments

James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable

The Guardian: 'Enjoy life while you can'

"Humanity is in a period exactly like 1938-9, he explains, when "we all knew something terrible was going to happen, but didn't know what to do about it". But once the second world war was under way, "everyone got excited, they loved the things they could do, it was one long holiday ... so when I think of the impending crisis now, I think in those terms. A sense of purpose - that's what people want.""

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 05:56 PM 10 Comments

Sharks and Repos come out to play

Times online: Cash-strapped borrowers rush to Provident

Peter Crook, Provident Financial's chief executive, said he expected customers of the firm's consumer credit division, which specialises in home visits, to increase by about 5 per cent over the coming year, in part as a consequence of the retrenchment by high street banks. - you gotta love the guy's name.

Posted by bystander @ 03:30 PM 6 Comments

Sorry - cutting rates isn't working.

Reuters: Bernanke sees more house price drops

"ORLANDO, - Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday warned mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures were likely to rise and that more house price declines could be expected, and called for active measures to stabilize housing markets".

Posted by alan @ 03:28 PM 1 Comments

citigroup finished?

Reuters: Citigroup may need more capital, Dubai says

Hmm, I would consider changing banks..... doesnt look too safe

Posted by mark @ 03:18 PM 3 Comments

Crumbling community

cnn: Crumbling community

Crumbling community Residents of Cleveland, Ohio, ground zero for the mortgage meltdown, will bring their woes to the polls on primary day.

Posted by mark @ 03:13 PM 1 Comments

OFT delays estate agent crackdown

BBC: OFT delays estate agent crackdown

Maybe they are waiting for Poxtons to go bust, to reduce the work load ?

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:57 PM 3 Comments

Twelve steps to financial disaster

MoneyWeek: Twelve steps to financial disaster

Economist Nouriel Roubini recently detailed the inevitable consequences of the mad credit expansion. And the US central bank's latest hints of further monetary easing makes his list even more frightening.

Posted by damien @ 01:53 PM 0 Comments

Will prices go as low in the UK ? Houses at bargain prices

Following never ending news of the sub prime crash etc in the US, have a look at this web site link which i believe is the US equivalent of "Right move" Some house prices in Detriot are now the equivalent to the average US families weekly shopping bill !

Posted by jack c @ 11:58 AM 19 Comments

How to tell when the bear market is over

MoneyWeek: How to tell when the bear market is over

Most people are acknowledging that times are hard, but they are still expecting an imminent recovery. Yet asset prices can fall, and simply keep on falling. So how do you know when they've hit a bottom? John Stepek explains.

Posted by damien @ 11:57 AM 4 Comments

Former Citigroup banker Peter Haan tells it like it is

Sky News: Jeff Randall Live Transcript: 3/03/2008

"Well first thing you have to remember is that the numbers that we are seeing now are from last year and housing prices in the UK have only started to go down in the last few months so next year is likely to be very, very different." "Yes, we need a cyclical downturn ... so we need really to get house prices back in line with income " "Free easy credit in a way helped pump up housing prices ... probably housing prices continue to go down and that will create more and more problems through the UK economy." "I think 10,000 [City job losses] is a very modest number ... and it probably will affect housing prices in London. Big changes."

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:35 AM 2 Comments

2008 will be a tough year - but there's a silver lining

MoneyWeek: 2008 will be a tough year - but there's a silver lining

This time last year, house prices were still rising fast and estate agents in London were swearing that 40% annual rises were both acceptable and sustainable. Agents everywhere were boasting that the UKs famous housing shortage would keep prices up for ever. But it turns out house prices have been based not on the limited supply of housing at all, but on the excess supply of capital.

Posted by damien @ 11:05 AM 0 Comments

Shouldn't Mervyn raise rates too?

Bloomberg: Australia increases benchmark rate to 12-Year high

"Australia's central bank increased its benchmark interest rate for the second time in four weeks and said there are signs the highest borrowing costs in 12 years are prompting consumers and companies to temper spending". "Core inflation, which excludes the most volatile items in the consumer price index, accelerated to 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter".

Posted by alan @ 08:45 AM 9 Comments

Answers: cut taxes, stop wasting money?

BBC: One in five 'have mortgage fears'

"... the FSA is sufficiently concerned about the situation that it is launching a 2m advertising campaign and an advice guide for homeowners. The FSA is concentrating its campaign on householders whose fixed-rate deals are coming to an end this year".

Posted by alan @ 08:40 AM 10 Comments

Ten years too late

Accountancy Age: MPs deliver damning credit crunch report card

Following the loss of billions of pounds in the global credit crisis, a damning report by Britains MPs urges the countrys financial regulator and its central bank to develop a better way of warning banks and investors of high risks.

Posted by blank cheque @ 08:02 AM 4 Comments

What was that thing about prudence?

Ananova: Credit Crunch: 'The Worst Is Still To Come'

The Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, John McFall, has told Sky News he thinks the worst is still to come in the global credit crunch. Speaking on the Jeff Randall Live programme, he said a spell of "collective madness" had seen the banking industry ignoring risks and making investments they simply did not understand. Mr McFall said: "We've been consumed by greed. The banks have been investing in things they don't understand. "They've had young whizz kids to devise these complex products. "The investor has also thrown caution to the wind. The result is that we could be talking about one trillion dollars in writedowns because of this."

Posted by blank cheque @ 07:58 AM 2 Comments

Consumer spending plateaus There has been a worse-than-expected deterioration in Australia's current account deficit, while foreign debt has topped $600 billion for the first time.

ABC news: Foreign debt leaps $24b

Higher interest payments on top of that have blown out the current account deficit to $19.3 billion. Net foreign debt has come in at a record $610 billion - a jump of $24 billion.

Posted by chris @ 06:46 AM 6 Comments

MORE than 75 NSW homeowners every week are being served with repossession notices and face losing their properties. Grim repo man calls on 75 homes a week

MORE than 75 NSW homeowners every week are being served with repossession notices and face losing their properties. Stricken by rising interest rates and unable to meet mortgage payments, the state's struggling residents are watching their homes lost in fire sales for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than what they paid.

Posted by chris @ 03:53 AM 1 Comments

HOMEOWNERS in Sydney's outer suburbs have been losing as much as $450 a week every week since early 2004 on the value of their properties as the real story of mortgage belt misery begins to emerge. Landslide: Sydney house values drop

HOMEOWNERS in Sydney's outer suburbs have been losing as much as $450 a week every week since early 2004 on the value of their properties as the real story of mortgage belt misery begins to emerge.,22049,23307117-5001021,00.html

Posted by chris @ 03:50 AM 3 Comments

What if all houses were free?

Wired: Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business

Between digital economics and the wholesale embrace of King's Gillette's experiment in price shifting, we are entering an era when free will be seen as the norm, not an anomaly. How big a deal is that? Well, consider this analogy: In 1954, at the dawn of nuclear power, Lewis Strauss, head of the Atomic Energy Commission, promised that we were entering an age when electricity would be "too cheap to meter." Needless to say, that didn't happen, mostly because the risks of nuclear energy hugely increased its costs. But what if he'd been right? What if electricity had in fact become virtually free?The answer is that everything electricity touched which is to say just about everything would have been transformed.

Now how about if houses were "free"

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:22 AM 4 Comments

Monday, March 3, 2008

Same could be said for GBP

Yen carry trade continues to unwind ...

Telegraph: Japan may move to support tumbling dollar

Pressure is building in Japan for official intervention to cap the surging yen before it triggers a sharp industrial slowdown and tips the country back into slump. The currency has appreciated by 19pc against the dollar since July as Japanese investors retreat from global markets. Foreign hedge funds that borrowed at near zero-rates in Tokyo to chase higher yields abroad are scrambling to unwind "carry trade" positions, estimated at $1.4 trillion in its varied forms.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:42 PM 6 Comments

Can valuations be independent? Fannie, Freddie to Overhaul Appraisals in Cuomo Deal

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the biggest sources of financing for U.S. home loans, reached an agreement with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to buy mortgages only from lenders that adopt new standards intended to ensure independent home appraisals." [...] ``The goal of the office is to find out what went wrong and how to fix the problem,'' Cuomo said today at a news conference. ``What we identified as the common denominator, if you will, was appraisal valuation.''

Posted by trough2010 @ 09:18 PM 2 Comments

WTF is happening to the UK??? - Windfall tax on companies who operate in a highly competitive industry and who actually don't make that much money from domestic consumers.

BBC: UK mulling fuel poverty voucher

I can't help thinking this place is doomed and we're witnessing a full-scale return to a 70's style Labour administration. Just this quote from an idiot from Unite makes me want to pack my bags... 'Unless energy companies are prepared to take genuine action...the government must take tough action and levy a windfall tax' Dougie Rooney, Unite union. and... National Energy Action, which helps people on low incomes, said it was keen to see further details. "We would welcome proposals to extend financial help to vulnerable groups such as families with young children and people with disabilities, " communications director Maria Wardrobe said (Derek Chair and Franny Sideboard refused to comment!).

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:17 PM 10 Comments

Whats holding up your bank?

Channel 4 news: How safe are your savings?

Not sure if this is propaganda to chase billions in UK savings back to Blighty or a real concern of overseas bank meltdown. "The FSA has told Channel 4 News that consumers should consider other factors, including protection for their deposits in the extremely unlikely event that a bank gets into trouble. Foreign banks are chasing British cash, including two Icelandic institutions. Although they're profitable, how should British people who are investing 6bn in more than 170,000 Icelandic accounts, decide where to put their money?" On the other hand 6 months ago certain bloggers on this site were calling us deluded paranoids for considering bank failures and the 35,000 guarantee by the FSA. How's laughing now!?

Posted by hyrax @ 08:38 PM 4 Comments

Interesting article from Jewson Associates

moneymarketing: House prices will fall 15 per cent but no crash, says Jewson

Independent investment consultant Jewson Associates has predicted a 10-15 per cent fall in house prices over the next two years. Head of strategy Tim Brown says it does not believe the UK will see a crash in the housing market nor a recession on the scale of that seen between 1990 and 1992. Brown says: To put this into perspective, even in house prices fell 20 per cent tomorrow, the average house would still have doubled in value since the end of 1999.

Posted by jack c @ 06:29 PM 18 Comments

Comical comments completely at odds with true market conditions

Mortgagestrategy: Financial pressures lift on BTL investors

Financial pressures on property investors are lifting, with a record 64% of people saying they no longer feel the pinch of interest rates. Property for Life which specialises in property investment, says its monthly investor confidence tracker shows the amount of people who believe financial pressures are lifting increased by 16% since January. The proportion of investors surveyed, who believe that now is a good time to invest in the property market, has also risen to its highest level of 80%.

Posted by jack c @ 06:12 PM 8 Comments

Darling's Fundamentals.... ( which no doubt he'll be kicked in some time soon )

Moneyweek: Why Darling is losing on three fronts

When politicians start delivering assurances that "economic fundamentals are sound", it's time to be concerned.

Posted by it_is_going_with_a_bang @ 06:00 PM 2 Comments

Will nothing go right for Darling!

BBC: UK manufacturers push up prices

The price of UK manufacturers' products rose at the fastest pace for more than eight years in February, a survey says, adding to worries over inflation

Posted by holding out @ 04:55 PM 2 Comments

Someone has to pay for all this...

Telegraph: 'Ninja' loans explode on sub-prime frontline

"One family - the husband is a janitor, the wife a cleaner - bought their two bedroom bungalow in Oakland for $420,000 in 2005. Now their mortgage rate has reset and it is on the market for $119,000. It probably won't fetch the list price".

Posted by alan @ 04:53 PM 2 Comments

10,000 City Jobs To Go 10,000 City Jobs Likely To Go This Year

Only 10,000. And the rest !!

Posted by doomwatch @ 03:29 PM 12 Comments

Dont bank on a market rebound just yet

MoneyWeek: Dont bank on a rebound just yet

In rough times, optimists like to visualise a v-shaped chart, with a sharp drop followed by a rapid rebound. But with lower growth, wildly optimistic earnings and more credit upsets in the pipeline, this bear market looks far from over.

Posted by damien @ 11:55 AM 1 Comments

Warren Buffett withdraws bond re-insurance plan

International Herald Tribune: Warren Buffett withdraws bond re-insurance plan

"Warren Buffett said Monday that he was no longer offering to guarantee $800 million of municipal bonds backed by the monoline bond insurers MBIA, Ambac Financial Group and FGIC." Muni bonds are a falling knife why would Buffett buy now anyway. Bloomberg: Auction Supply `Tsunami' Foreshadows Deeper Municipal Losses

Britain's pensions crisis is "worse than originally feared."

Daily Mail: Three in four private sector workers facing poverty in retirement

Many private sector workers face poverty when they retire. Nearly three-quarters of private sector workers are facing poverty in retirement, a report has warned. They do not have a company pension or any other type of pension savings apart the state pension, which is only 87.30 a week. The report, from the Policy Exchange think-tank, says the scale of Britain's pensions crisis is "worse than originally feared."

Posted by jack c @ 10:15 AM 13 Comments

This could well spark a big sell off.......

Sky News: 'Don't Count On Your Home As A Pension'

''Homeowners are being warned they face an impoverished retirement if they rely on their property as their sole pension. Increasing numbers of people claim to be planning to use their home to fund their retirement rather than saving into a fund. But research by insurer Standard Life shows that, on average, downsizing from the family home to a smaller property during retirement would provide a pension worth just 16% of average earnings.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:57 AM 3 Comments

Will Merv cut or raise?

Bloomberg: Australia May Raise Interest Rate to 12-Year High

"Australia's central bank will probably increase interest rates to a 12-year high to cool an economic expansion stoking the fastest inflation in almost two decades".

Posted by alan @ 09:47 AM 3 Comments

Hmmmm not sure I believe any of this....

About property: New-build property prices in London up 21.6%

''....The price of a new-build property in central London increased by some 21.6 per cent during the previous three months according to new research from Although prices dropped slightly during January down 2.1 per cent on the level recorded in December 2007 prices have shown robust growth over the longer term. According to the SmartNewHomes monthly index, the average price of a new home in the capital in December was 411,981....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:35 AM 5 Comments

Shut out of the housing market? Thank your lucky stars

MoneyWeek: Shut out of the housing market? Thank your lucky stars

"...first-time buyers should be glad to have their options cut off. It means you can stop fretting about whether you should be buying a home. Instead find a nice rental property, strike a deal with a desperate landlord, and sit tight and save for a couple of years. Youll build up a nice tasty deposit and prices will just keep falling in the meantime."

Posted by damien @ 09:32 AM 11 Comments

What Happens When?

About Property: Property Auction Sales Take a Nosedive

Ok, so what happens to a property when it fails to sell at auction. It is obviously a dog, so do they just give it away or something? It looks from this article that there are more and more unsaleable properties...

Posted by bingo @ 08:45 AM 13 Comments

HSBC writes off 8.7bn but still makes 12.2bn profit!

BBC News: HSBC in $17bn credit crisis loss

HSBC, the UK's largest bank, has said it has made a $17.2bn (8.7bn) loss on investments linked to the credit crisis, higher than expected. But its annual profits still rose 10% to $24.2bn (12.2bn), up from $22.08bn the year before.

Posted by webmaster @ 08:01 AM 1 Comments

Many families on the brink of financial ruin as they struggle to meet the rising costs.

Daily Mail: Why your family will spend 41 even before having breakfast today

Families are having to spend more than 40 a day before even getting out of bed, figures show. Soaring energy, mortgage and council tax bills mean households have less and less to spend on groceries and other day-to-day expenses. In total, the average household is paying 14,800 in bills a year - 6,000 more than five years ago.

Posted by jack c @ 07:50 AM 10 Comments

Next in line is the $45trillion derivatives market for credit default swaps (CDS).

The Telegraph: The Federal Reserve's rescue has failed

The verdict is in. The Fed's emergency rate cuts in January have failed to halt the downward spiral towards a full-blown debt deflation. Much more drastic action will be needed.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 07:31 AM 14 Comments

Crikey! Things are soooo bad in the States.

Telegraph: 'Ninja' loans explode on sub-prime frontline

"This guy used to be paying $1,500 a month," says Mueller. "Then three years later it went up to $6,000." "This year is the vintage of 2005," she says. "Last year everyone that came in had bought in 2004. Just like clockwork: three years go by, then the teaser rates go and," she gestures towards the door of her real estate office, "in they come."

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 07:01 AM 2 Comments

No room for cuts?

Telegraph: Rate cut unlikely as inflation fears rise

''The Bank of England is facing one of the biggest dilemmas in its history as it meets this week to consider whether to cut rates to shore up Britain's rapidly slowing economy. With almost all sectors of industry showing alarming signs of weakness as the fall-out from the US sub-prime crisis and credit crunch continues to spread, the Bank has hinted that it is prepared to cut the cost of borrowing further from the current 5pc....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:00 AM 2 Comments

This will be the case for most, if not all, US, UK and Australian cities

Mish's Global Economics: Grim News in Arizona State Budget and Sacramento City Budget

The city of Sacramento announced Friday it is trimming its work force by more than 9 percent and, in an effort to avoid massive layoffs, it is offering buyouts to as many as 200 employees. Assistant City Manager Gus Vina said the city has eliminated 204 jobs through a hiring freeze, attrition, layoffs and other measures. But to stanch its fiscal hemorrhaging, the city intends to eliminate about 300 more jobs and make cuts in service. Now, with the potential of more layoffs looming, the city and labor unions have proposed an employee buyout plan, hoping up to 200 workers will voluntarily give up their jobs. In the fiscal year beginning July 1, the capital city is facing a $58 million budget shortfall in its $450 million general fund, Vina said.

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:34 AM 0 Comments

Housing Market Reverse Gear

Independent: Repossessions to rise by 50 per cent in 2008

The number of home repossession is expected to rise by 50 per cent this year, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:14 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, March 2, 2008


bbc news: FSA warning on risk 'deficient'

The warnings given by UK regulators about potential risks in the financial markets are deficient, a report by a key parliamentary committee has said.

Posted by ohdear @ 11:54 PM 0 Comments

Iceland is a giant hedge fund...about to report losses Iceland seeks to curb its banks

Iceland realises it is finished possibly.

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:59 PM 6 Comments

Have some KKR Kravis asks fund investors to show patience

Henry Kravis, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, on Friday pleaded with investors in his private equity firms listed Euronext fund to be patient after it reported a negative return for 2007 and took $259.4m of write-offs on investments. KKR Private Equity Investors (KPE), which floated two years ago raising $5bn for KKR, wrote down its exposure to seven companies owned by the US private equity firm, including NXP, the Dutch semiconductor maker, and ProSiebenSat1, the German media group.The fund also cut the book value of its share of KKRs investment in ATU, the German auto repair company, which came close to breaching its covenants, forcing the private equity firm to invest 140m ($212m) more equity under pressure from banks.Private equity has been hit by contracting credit markets.

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:48 PM 2 Comments

Ooooh, yer b*stard!

CNN Money: Mortgage mess socks ex-Goldman Sachs stars

A smart bet on the collapse of the subprime housing market comes back to bite Geoff Grant and Ron Beller. Not long ago, Goldman Sachs alums Geoff Grant and Ron Beller looked like superstars. A prescient wager on the collapse of the subprime mortgage bond market generated last year a whopping 87 percent return for one of their hedge funds. The twosome, who run London-based Peloton Partners, aren't looking so shrewd these days. They've been forced to liquidate their once high-flying ABS fund after gambling big on a mortgage bond rebound that didn't materialize. The $1.8 billion fund's collapse comes after a series of recent trades dropped sharply in value, leading to margin calls from creditors that the firm was unable to meet.

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:41 PM 6 Comments

Obama hires shady banking queen to spice up his campaign

Loanworkout: Is Obama for the People or the Banks?

"Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama says hell crack down on fraudulent sub-prime lenders. If he really means it he can start by firing his campaign finance chair, Penny Pritzker. Before taking over Obamas campaign finances, she headed up the borderline shady and failed Superior Bank. It collapsed in 2002. The banks sordid story......"

Posted by alan @ 07:33 PM 0 Comments

Brown hires lingerie queen to spice up his policies

Times: Lingerie boss to pep up No 10 briefs

I had to check the date was not April fools day before posting this. Gordon Brown has hired American Jennifer Moses, the former Director of Agent Provocateur to spice his policies. Moses whose raunchy lingerie firm use the slogan less M&S, more S&M has interestingly enough spent the last two years as chief executive of CentreForum, the think tank that specialises in attacking the sacred cows of Labours social policy. More recently CentreForum issued a report stating the gap between the have and the have nots has widened during Labours 10 years of government. One can only scratch one's head in completely confusion at the current management and decision making within the Laboutr party.

Posted by denzil @ 07:27 PM 2 Comments

This 8.1bn in losses is more than all of the other UK banks' losses put together

BBC "News": HSBC to unveil $16bn writedown

Hmmm. I wonder why this was put out on a Sunday rather than a weekday?

Posted by paul @ 04:43 PM 5 Comments

Inflation threat will keep interest rates on hold

The Telegraph: Inflation threat will keep interest rates on hold

The Bank of England won't cut interest rates on Thursday. Why? Because last week yet more compelling evidence emerged that, while UK growth remains quite strong, inflationary pressures are still rising.

Posted by randomkevlar @ 04:18 PM 3 Comments

R.I.P. buy to let mortgages

Firstrung: Firstrung, first time buyers, the week in focus

We keep hearing industry rumours (which we're more than happy to fan and flame) that lenders will soon close the door on buy to let, once they've squeezed the 'deposit dollars' out of those newbie investors (last five years) too foolish to see the writing on the wall. In effect buy to let will revert to 'old school' commercial lending; if you want to be a landlord you'll need 25% deposit and a business plan to back up your request. In truth it's been impossible to obtain a decent buy to let rate, (or indeed mortgage), without 15% deposits during recent months, which has slowly strangled that sector. We won't hold our breath for the media at large to proclaim what good news the demise of the BTL industry will be for first time buyers - leopards, spots ...too busy licking wounds?

Posted by converted lurker @ 03:21 PM 1 Comments

AIG drops on recods loses...OMG!

Bloomberg: AIG Drops on Biggest Loss in Firm's 89-Year History

American International Group Inc., the world's largest insurer, fell in New York trading after reporting the biggest quarterly loss in its 89-year history. It has to be pretty bad if they post bigger loses than during Great Recession!

Posted by assurbanipal @ 09:25 AM 3 Comments

Wrong end of the stick again Gordy !

Times: Gordon Brown to curb second home ownership

Gordon Brown is looking to give councils in rural second home hotspots the powers to refuse sales of houses to second home owners.
This is firstly completely unworkable - see comments after the article.
Also it is treating the symptoms, not the cause. The cause being that all the flipping jobs and cash are concentrated in London.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 06:52 AM 31 Comments

A new plan from the Office of Thrift Supervision would have lenders reduce mortgage balances, but let them collect the difference later.

CNN Money: Mortgage crisis: Don't forgive debt, just postpone repayment

Like "Tunes" - help you breatge more easily

A plan that would help troubled mortgage borrowers today - and might make lenders whole later on - was unveiled Wednesday in Washington. The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) is urging the federal savings and loans lenders under its authority to refinance loans by reducing mortgage balances to the current market values of the homes. Thanks to falling home prices, many homeowners are now stuck with mortgages that are actually worth more than the houses themselves.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:06 AM 6 Comments

It turns out that massive interest rate spikes aren't the problem.........

CNN Money: Subprime loans defaulting even before resets

.......many borrowers couldn't afford these mortgages even at the low, introductory interest rates.

Well, Duh

Actually, subprime encompasses "rich" borrowers as well as poor ones. Loans over $417,000 are classed as Jumbo Loans and do not qualify for federal insurance or some such bailout protection. Thus many banker types and other white collar overreachers borrowed far more than they should have and bonus season / job-keeping season has not been as many expected. Thus they are defaulting. They cannot even sellup for profit.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:05 AM 0 Comments

Muhuhahahahaha HA Ha ha Heee Haw

CNN Money: Say good-bye to granite countertops

Have some of that!

High-end kitchen and bath renovations just aren't boosting a home's value the way they used to. Sellers who succumbed to home over-improvement syndrome are feeling the pain.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:02 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ah, so THAT'S why he's so desperate

Assetz: Housing Shortages Are Going To Get A Lot Worse, Pushing Rents Up Dramatically

I'm happy to stick my neck on the block and be held accountable for my projections - I've got a lot of property in Manchester. Two bed flats rented four years ago for 800-850 - this dropped to 650-750 for the last three years but is now starting to rise. We reckon two bed flat typical rentals will reach 775-825 by January 2009 and are likely to continue upwards to 875 to 925 by the end of 2009 due to the severe exceeding of supply by demand during this period. Don't worry if you own property elsewhere in the country, I do too, and rents there are going to be rising substantially too. If you're interpreting the data any differently to myself then I'd love to hear from you. Stuart Law xxx

Posted by little professor @ 05:08 PM 44 Comments

Storm of bankruptcies brewing

Reuters: Junk sales mirror '91 recession and bankruptcies

"Globally, less than $2 billion in junk bonds have been sold so far this year, all in North America. That marks the slowest start since the 1991 recession, when no junk bonds were sold in the first two months, according to Thomson Financial data. "Historically, high yield sales and defaults rates have always been a precursor to corporate bankruptcies," Gerdano said. "We see atmospheric conditions that are troubling."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 04:55 PM 1 Comments

Banks trying to conceal their mistakes

A real House Crash

Guardian:: Crane smashes through roof of luxury home

A construction crane smashed through the roof of a newly-built luxury home in Broadstairs, Kent, after toppling over, police said yesterday. Onlookers saw the cab fall on its side and the crane arm crash through the house's tiled roof and lean over a road. A Kent police spokeswoman said the crane driver was treated at the scene for shock, but was not injured. No one else was hurt in the accident. Thanet district council building control officers were called out and the incident was being dealt with by the Health and Safety Executive. Two further cranes have been requested to lift the toppled crane away from the road and house. -------- And that's the whole article so no need to click through!

Posted by sacred contracts @ 02:55 PM 2 Comments

No, BTL it is already dead in the water

ThisIsMoney: Is buy-to-let on the brink of collapse?...

"Tim Hague, managing director of buy-to-let giant Birmingham Midshires mortgages, said: 'From November 2006 to the middle of last year there was strong competition in the market place and some lenders relaxed criteria to where some of us didn't want to go these are lenders that no longer exist." ...and soon their customers too... AHA HAHHAHA HAH HAHA HAHAH H AHA

Posted by confused76 @ 02:12 PM 5 Comments

any minute now!!

times: Housing market is on the brink of a slump as prices drop again

The average home has lost 6,000 in value over the past six months in the latest sign that the housing market is on the brink of a major decline.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 01:34 PM 1 Comments

Anybody Know a Cure for a Debt Hangover?

Telegraph: UK banks write off record 6.8bn in household debt

Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec said: "This confirms the weakness of the housing market. It's a message we'll have to get used to because the market is likely to deteriorate further."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:14 PM 1 Comments

Credit Tightening Continues

Independent: House prices fall as another lender tightens its rules

House prices fell last month at their longest sustained rate since 2000, according to the Nationwide Building Society, which declared the decade-long boom in house prices was officially over.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:59 AM 2 Comments

The IMF and Its Phantom Gold Sales

Safe Haven: Paper Tiger Preying on Gold Bugs

To open the U.S. Mint to gold and silver is the only way to avert the coming of Armageddon.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:54 AM 28 Comments

Thoughtful weekend reading Banking regulation and credit bubble

FT: True impact of mark-to-market accounting in the credit crisis

1993 regulation after the the US savings and loan crisis led to our situation "that an industry buoyed by rising asset prices would pursue increasingly aggressive lending growth. This pushed credit upon ever more risky clients and loan structures, which then fed into asset price growth. This of course added more fuel to the fire - or created "positive feedback loops". The most disturbing conclusion is that this system should behave in exactly the same way in reverse, creating "negative feedback loops" with a destructive impact on all kinds of asset values - from structured finance to house prices and equities. In a way this is nothing new - the old adage about a banker is that he gives you an umbrella when it is sunny and asks for it back when it starts to rain."

Posted by happyrenterz @ 09:49 AM 2 Comments

Not a great article, but at least it's actually in the rag

The Sun: House prices still tumbling

HOUSE prices fell for the fourth month in a row, Britains biggest building society has revealed.

Posted by francis @ 07:59 AM 0 Comments

How things change

Daily Mail: Housing boom 'a thing of the past' as house prices fall for the fourth month in a row

The average cost of a home is now 179,358, and experts warned yesterday that prices will keep on falling. Top economists have been warning of price falls as steep as five per cent this year, and next year too. This would mean a home bought today will be worth about 18,000 less by the end of 2009. For homeowners who took out 100 per cent mortgages, this means they will already be in negative equity.

Posted by francis @ 07:46 AM 0 Comments

Firesale at Mortgage back hedge fund - founders lose $120m

The Times: Peloton investors set to take $2bn hit from fund firesale

The heart bleeds. Founders of the firm, Peloton, were former Goldman Sachs partners Ron Beller and Geoff Grant, alongside David Watson. The will pesonally lose $120m between them.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 06:38 AM 0 Comments

They are all beginning to say it now......

Daily Mail: Home sales 'to plunge by 20 per cent this year'

''....About 200,000 fewer homes could be sold this year because of fears about the housing market, a property expert warned yesterday. Richard Donnell, a director of the property information firm Hometrack, believes sales will plunge nearly 20 per cent....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:30 AM 9 Comments

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