December 2008 Archive

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Eurozone is so much better placed - strong fundamentals and diverse economies:O)

Bloomberg: ECB Pressured to Cut Rates by Weaker Sales, Lending

The ECB will have to go further, said Gilles Moec, an economist at Bank of America Corp. in London and a former Bank of France official. The euro region faces a severe and protracted recession........and yet the euro continues its stratospheric climb against sterling and is predicted to break 1.50 against the dollar. Time to short the euro methinks.

Posted by bystander @ 11:52 PM 5 Comments

pound parity - don't you love alliteration

Bloomberg: Pound Breaches 98 Pence per Euro for First Time on Rate Bets

"Bank of England policy makers voted unanimously this month to cut the benchmark rate to 2 percent and refrained from a bigger reduction on concern it may prompt an excessive drop in the pound, according to the minutes of the Dec. 4 decision."......since the 4th December sterling has dropped 17% against the euro. What exactly is the BoE's definition of 'excessive'?

Posted by bystander @ 08:49 PM 13 Comments

We paid top dollar for a house in the desert! What were we thinking?

BBC News: Mood amongst US consumers worsens

House prices in Las Vegas fell 31.7% last year, beating the average for the 20 metropolitan areas surveyed which was a 18.04% fall. Of course we won't get a second year of house price crashes over here as we have sound fundamentals and a well placed economy.

Posted by orcusmaximus @ 08:32 PM 2 Comments

Belt-tightening is required by all, including US government.

WSJ: There's No Pain-Free Cure for Recession

"It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can't be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level" Peter Schiff

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 07:13 PM 0 Comments


Rightmove & RICS make last ditch bid for king of comedy club 2008

FT: 2009 earmarked as best year to get into property

Buying a bigger property in 2009 will be more viable than ever for homeowners already on the property ladder, according to Rightmove. Although first time buyers are largely still unable to enter the market due to the lack of mortgages and the requirement for large deposits, those wishing to upgrade their property will see many opportunities to do so in 2009. David Dalby, residential faculty director, Rics, said: "Because we have slumped so quickly the likelihood is the recovery will be very quick as well and the great danger is people being left behind, waiting that bit too long and suddenly finding prices are starting to move up again and being left behind, particularly first time buyers.

Posted by jack c @ 02:36 PM 17 Comments

Now they say it took everyone by surprise

Telegraph: Definitive proof that the Bank of England saw the financial crisis coming

Looking back in our archives I came across a rather important article. It dates from 2006, when the credit crisis was a mere apple in the financial system's eye and the City was enjoying one of its biggest booms in history. It reports on the BoE's Financial Stability Report, and shows that the Bank of England knew precisely what risk was posed by the dangerous build-up of debt which was brewing in the economy. As we reported that day, "The City could face a financial meltdown if the debt bubble bursts. The Bank is issuing a stark warning about the potential damage a credit crunch and a collapse in asset prices could cause to the economy and financial system.

Posted by little professor @ 02:33 PM 32 Comments

Credit crunch hits Indian house prices

Rediff (India): Wait! Property prices to fall further!

Residential property prices crashed in the mid-1990s, and it took till 2002-03 for them to start rising again. When they did, however, the progress was rapid. Within a short span of time, the prices had risen so much that the budget buyer, who comprises the bulk of the market, was left out in the cold. For homebuyers though, things are getting better. A correction in property prices is already underway. [ALSO: See first comment for bad news about the Indian jobs market too.]

Posted by drewster @ 01:30 PM 3 Comments

Debt awareness kicks in at last

Daily Mail: Borrowers in rush to cut card debts as job security disappears

The next two weeks will be the busiest time of the year for applications for new credit cards, with cash-strapped borrowers keen to shift debts so they can start 2009 on a strong financial footing. A mixture of Christmas overspending, stubbornly high mortgage costs as a result of the credit crunch and the growing number of redundancies are putting households under increasing strain. Half of all workers say job security will be their biggest concern in 2009.

Posted by drewster @ 01:09 PM 2 Comments

Remind me again why the Euro is so strong?

New York Times: Germany Suffers as U.S. Buys Less From China

The United States, with its credit-driven economy, has long ensured that others, notably China, Germany and Japan, have been able to pile up trade surpluses. That dynamic has shifted, with Americans paring purchases at a ferocious rate. As the American consumer now capitulates, the export bubble is the next to go, the chairman of Morgan Stanley in Asia, Stephen Roach, said. Export-led economies around the world are in for a very tough rebalancing. There is a strong correlation between Chinese exports to the United States and German exports to China.

Posted by drewster @ 12:41 PM 7 Comments

Monthly -1.9%, annual -12.2%

Land Registry: November 2008 Results

The data for November shows an annual house price change of -12.2 per cent and a monthly change of -1.9 per cent. This is the teenth month in a row where annual price change has decreased. This month's data continues the strong downward trend in house prices. The average house price in England and Wales now stands at 161,883, similar to February 2006 levels. Sales volumes have continued to decrease, with the number of sales averaging 48,599 per month in the months June to September 2008.

Posted by nopensionnohouse @ 11:22 AM 17 Comments

It May Be A Lagging Index, But It's Catching Up!

BBC News: Housing market sees another fall

House prices fell by a further 1.9% in November as activity in the market dropped again, says the Land Registry.This pushed the annual drop in property prices in England and Wales to 12.2% - the 15th consecutive monthly decrease, the figures show.

Posted by wdbeast @ 11:20 AM 0 Comments

UK Inflation Forecast 2009

The Market Oracle: UK CPI Inflation, RPI Deflation Forecast 2009

UK is heading for deflation during 2009, which gives opportunities to investors to scale into investments.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 11:02 AM 4 Comments


Daily Mail: Sterling's silent devaluation

The scale of the collapse of the pound has barely been recognised. With retailers falling over like ninepins, house prices in freefall and daily warnings of surging unemployment, it has been below the radar. But now it is a matter of when, not if, the pound will reach parity with the euro. Sterling has plummeted 32% against the euro so far this year, and 17% this month alone. It has also fallen 30% against the dollar from a peak of $2.11 to $1.46. In past decades a currency crisis on this scale would have threatened governments. But the latest fall in the currency ought to be helpful for exports to Europe. Euroland economies are fragmenting, and the entry of Slovakia into the euro on Jan 1st will not inspire confidence in the currency [WHO KNEW SLOVAKIA WAS JOINING THE EURO???]

Posted by little professor @ 12:14 AM 41 Comments

Monday, December 29, 2008

Should this be

Reuters: UK retailer USC calls in administrators

Another retailer bites the dust: British designer fashion retailer USC has appointed administrators after falling prey to the consumer downturn. The chain's remaining stores, which employee 300 people, over half of whom work part time, are in the hands of the administrators.

Posted by drewster @ 10:18 PM 2 Comments

Houses not selling

BBC 'News': 'Stagnation' hits property market

One in five properties in some areas of the UK has been on the market for over a year, according to research from property website Globrix. The picture of a stagnated market is most critical in the north of England. Rochdale in Lancashire topped the chart, with 26% of homes for sale remaining on the market for the whole of 2008. Globrix chief executive Daniel Lee said "Property prices are now very tempting and I am sure many buyers, having delayed for so long, will be closer to making their move."

Posted by little professor @ 05:05 PM 8 Comments

December 2008 Comedy Club Classic featured in today's FT

FT: 2009 house price bounce could be as steep as fall: NAEA

House prices could bounce back over the next 12 months just as strongly as the dramatic falls seen in recent months, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has predicted. Chief executive Peter Bolton King said strong market recovery in certain sectors could be seen during 2009, but only if three critical indicators occurred. These include major lenders beginning to make money available to potential buyers, lenders passing cuts in interest rates on to the market and consumers regaining confidence in the state of the housing market if the market is to bounce back.

Posted by jack c @ 02:11 PM 34 Comments

Even though homeowners have been helped by steep interest rate cuts, a total of 77% think they will

Guardian: Nine out of 10 shoppers plan to cut spending in new year

Britain is preparing for a bleak new year of spending cutbacks, job insecurity and prolonged recession, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today. It shows consumer confidence has dropped sharply in the last month as the reality of the economic downturn hits home. The poll, carried out just before Christmas, finds near universal gloom about Britain's economic prospects: 86% say they plan to make cutbacks and live more cheaply in 2009 only 13% expect to spend as much as they did last year.

Posted by troy @ 12:25 PM 7 Comments

Expatriates were lambs to the slaughter

Reuters: Sterling extends losses vs euro, falls beyond 97 pence

LONDON, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Sterling extended losses against the euro on Monday, falling beyond 97 pence to a record low and edging closer to parity with the single European currency. The euro rose as high as 97.10 pence by 0908 GMT, according to Reuters data, hitting its strongest level since the euro zone currency was introduced in 1999.

Posted by plato @ 11:57 AM 24 Comments

Chaos of 2008 causes havoc for predictions - Um, it didn't for HPC'ers but it stumped you eh, David

Times: Chaos of 2008 causes havoc for predictions

'Instead, things turned out gloomier than even the pessimists expected.' - Um, no they didn't we spotted the coming tsunami with unnerving accuracy! 'Forecasters always find it difficult to predict turning points in economic activity but there were other reasons why 2008 was an unusually hard year to pin down.' Mmm, not really if you have a brain! 'So any economist getting it right during 2008 would have required mystical powers of prediction. Small wonder, as I look at my annual forecasting league table, most got it wrong.' Again, we didn't David and I would guess none of us at HPC are professional economists. David Smith really is an embarrasment.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:40 AM 6 Comments

Housing cash machine demands money back

BBC News: Equity 'going back into property'

The net effect is that people are paying back their mortgage debts. Peak to trough so far from 17.1bn borrowed and spent in Q4 2004 to 5.6bn paid back in Q3 this year is a swing of 22.7bn. This reversal has happened far faster than following the '89 crash.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:34 AM 15 Comments

Can you hear that hissing sound of a deflating economy?

Press Association: Store price cuts likely to continue

BRC spokesman Richard Dodd said: "They have to be able to make an acceptable margin on what they sell in order to be able to cover their costs."

Posted by paul @ 09:57 AM 4 Comments

Property finder think -12% for 2009 but "worst is over". ho ho ho

The Times: puts number on 2009 price falls

"House prices will fall by a further 12 per cent next year, according to Britain's longest-established property website, adding to the gloom for the nation's struggling homeowners. " "In spite of its apparently bleak prognosis, based on net mortgage lending to finance purchases reaching 40 billion next year, insisted that the worst was over in terms of the level of home sales. " Lets see - with many more about to be unemployed, commercial market dead, imported inflation, banks with more losses to declare - how do you think it won't be worse?

Posted by growler @ 09:44 AM 2 Comments

Hometrack predicts 12% drop in '09

Hometrack: -8.7%YoY, -0.9%MoM

Reuters: House prices fall 8.7 percent in 2008

House prices will fall by 12% next year, wiping around 20,000 off the average value, it is claimed today. Research by industry analysts Hometrack records a fall of 8.7% this year and warns of a further drop in 2009, with profound effects on families and the wider economy. Consumer confidence will take a hammering from the fall in the 'bricks and mortar' wealth of the nation, which will bring lower spending on the High Street. This year's house sales will be down 45% compared with 2007, with worse expected over the next 12 months.

Posted by little professor @ 01:22 AM 2 Comments

Gordon Brown

Guardian: Next year, Gordon Brown will be on another planet

I foresee a busy time ahead for all our political leaders. Especially the prime minister who, of course, will be saving the universe

Posted by jason @ 12:24 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, December 28, 2008

One for our occasional series on property prices

Telegraph: UK banks face 70bn property bombshell

A fall in commercial property prices could (ie will) lead to more loan writedowns for the banks

Posted by jonb @ 11:47 PM 3 Comments

City traders bet on 46% drop in prices

independent Newspaper: Few signs of light in gloomy house market

Who can you trust in the next year on predictions for house prices? Certainly not those who have vested interest in them going up, stabilising or going down for that matte!. However, when people 'put their money where there mouth is', you should take notice. The Independent newspaper reports that the median average for city traders betting on housing derivatives is a 46% drop peak to trough. Whilst this may seem a staggering amount, this only takes us back to 2002 levels quarter 1/2 (as per the Nationwide price calculator). I remember having talks in 2002 when people thought the market was starting to bubble then, so this may not at all be an unrealistic scenario, given that we wouldn't have factored in the worst recession since the war and a credit crunch at the same time.

Posted by britishblue @ 07:44 PM 2 Comments

State of the Housing Market

BBC 4: Money Box 27/12/08

Too meny VI but worth to hear

Posted by old_traveller @ 06:03 PM 0 Comments

Even the church recognises how Labour has ruined the country by creating the house price bubble

ITN News: Bishops slam 'morally corrupt' Government

Five senior figures from the Church of England warned that the country was suffering from an addiction to debt and a growing gap between rich and poor. Dr Rowan Williams said Gordon Brown's plans to spend more in order to tackle the recession were like an "addict returning to the drug". The Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch criticised Labour for encouraging people to get further into debt. "The Government has acted scandalously. This is not just an economic issue, but a moral one"

Posted by lucas @ 06:01 PM 2 Comments

I have been waiting for this - read if you have a strong stomach

Guardian: Brown: we need Dunkirk spirit in 2009

A few quotes from Mr Brown; 'he and his government will be the "rock of stability" ', 'It will be my unwavering focus to make the right decisions', with 'the failure of British governments in previous downturns was to succumb to political expediency'. Somehow that fact that all this germinated and grew under his watch is lost on the man.

Posted by enuii @ 04:37 PM 32 Comments

10, 9, 8, countdown begin

Times Online: Clothing chain Adams cut down by retail wipeout

THE retail crisis claimed another victim this weekend with childrenswear chain Adams, which has 260 stores in the UK and 116 overseas, poised to go into administration. Adams, which makes clothes for Boots as well as trading through its own outlets, employs about 2,000 staff. It is expected to appoint accountants Price Waterhouse Coopers as administrator this week.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 09:58 AM 15 Comments

David Smith is back

The Times: Chaos of 2008 causes havoc for predictions

What a horrible year that was. A full-blown credit crunch, of the kind I have never witnessed before, alongside a nasty commodity-price shock. Economists, unsurprisingly, found it a tough year to predict. That was partly because of the nature of the crunch itself. Things turned out gloomier than even the pessimists expected. Any economist getting it right during 2008 would have required mystical powers of prediction. A year ago, just about the gloomiest forecast for house prices you could find among economists was for a fall of 5% in 2008. Data from the main lenders, Halifax and Nationwide, point to a fall about three times that. I always argued that you needed a big economic shock to produce a fall in house prices, and I was right.

Posted by little professor @ 05:44 AM 14 Comments

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Slowly the odds are stacking against BTL

the times online: Lenders tighten grip on buy-to-let

Britains biggest lenders are tightening their criteria on buy-to-let mortgages, depriving would-be investors of the chance to take advantage of plummeting prices and record-low interest rates. Nationwide-owned The Mortgage Works, the market-leading buy-to-lender, said this month it will refuse applications from property developers cutting off thousands of landlords from remortgage deals next year.

Posted by dantheman @ 10:21 PM 4 Comments

A Story That Deserves Maximum Exposure

MailOnline: Council official evicted elderly tenants from bungalows... then moved in herself

As a council official with responsibility for helping the homeless, Kristine Reeves knows how much people value their homes. Which makes it difficult to explain how she came to play a key role in evicting frail and elderly tenants from their bungalows - then moved into one with her partner. The 52,000-a-year head of neighbourhood and strategic housing was just one of 18 council employees who took up residence in former sheltered accommodation at the Greyhound Opening site in Norwich. She also benefited from the rent at the one-bedroom bungalow she took over two months ago being reduced from 69 a week to 47. Similar properties in the area cost between 350 and 750 a month.

Posted by plato @ 04:11 PM 14 Comments

Theres just no more justice

Bloomberg: California Crisis May Crunch $3.8 Billion of Jobs in Slowdown

Just $5 million of work is needed to complete a new California Court of Appeals building in Santa Ana. The state may not have the money, and come July judges may be writing opinions in their living rooms.

Posted by crash n burn @ 02:32 PM 0 Comments

got this from rightmove today

Rightmove: buy 75% own 100

more junk to try and get us to buy

Posted by zr_seanie @ 10:53 AM 6 Comments

Anne Ashworth flogging a dead horse

Times: Mortgage supply is key to continuing house price decline

I beg to disagree with Anne Ashworth. The prime cause of falling prices is that houses became massively overpriced compared to rents, earnings or any other yardstick you care to name. It will take BOTH improved mortgage availability AND realistic house prices compared to these measures before the fall abates. We are a long way away from the latter even after a cumulative 20% fall from the peak, and when I see the current predictions for a further 10% fall then a levelling-off, I think, "and the rest". Who in their right mind would want to take a highly leveraged position in a single large illiquid asset that is falling in value 1-2% a month?

Posted by monty032 @ 10:22 AM 24 Comments

Comedy at Christmas

TimesOnline: Mortgage supply is key to continuing house price decline

Homeowners who still have considerable equity in their properties can be relatively sanguine about the housing markets weakness. For them, 2009 will be another year of staying put. For the more adventurous among this group, lower prices will be an opportunity to snap up, say, a second home in the South West, where values are 12.7 per cent down this year. Whatever location these buyers opt for, they will be eager to move before it is generally acknowledged that a recovery has set in. HAHAHAHA!!!!!

Posted by mikeymoo @ 09:58 AM 0 Comments

Here's a wild idea - attract savings deposits to fund lending instead of bailing borrowers

Independent: British banks may face second credit crunch in the New Year

The Governor of the Bank of England has said getting banks lending is the most important task for combating the recession and has not ruled out full nationalisation of the sector.

Posted by paul @ 09:50 AM 3 Comments

See the rewards that value for money can bring!

Scotsman: Mamma Mia, online retailer Amazon defies downturn

ONLINE retail heavyweight Amazon yesterday said that this year's festive season had been its "best ever," with some 6.3 million items ordered and 5.6 million units shipped during its peak day on 15 December.

Posted by paul @ 09:48 AM 3 Comments

Not at thease prices

this is money: House prices: Will your home sell in 2009?

House prices dived in 2008 as the property market had a terrible year, but will 2009 be any better? Each year This is Money's property editor Simon Lambert rounds up the major house price forecasts, takes a look back at who got the past year right and runs the rule over next year's suggestions.

Posted by dantheman @ 03:15 AM 0 Comments

2009 looks far gloomier

FT: Retailers braced for horrible year

Islington is a special case. House prices in the north London borough have fallen more sharply than in most places, while many residents of its ritzier parts make their living in the City.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 01:24 AM 2 Comments

None of the banks provided specific answers

CBS: Where'd The Bailout Money Go? Shhhh, It's A Secret

It's something any bank would demand to know before handing out a loan: Where's the money going? "We've lent some of it. We've not lent some of it. We've not given any accounting of, 'Here's how we're doing it,'" said Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money. "We have not disclosed that to the public. We're declining to."

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 01:03 AM 5 Comments

Then again, they may not


The New Year promises a new dawn for property owners and first-time home buyers, according to estate agents. After a year of gloom for owners with values down by a fifth, 2009 is likely to be the year the recovery begins as interest rates are cut again and the fall in property prices levels out. Mr Bolton King, chairman of the National Association of Estate Agents, said that in some markets, the bounce back could be as dramatic as the fall.

Posted by little professor @ 12:21 AM 19 Comments

Friday, December 26, 2008

Will the last agent out the door please turn off the light

Daily Telegraph: Estate agent numbers plunge

Armageddon days for everyone's favorite villains

Posted by andyh @ 10:53 PM 6 Comments

Seasonal cheer

FT: Brick by brick, the market crumbled

It seems incredible that just 12 months ago experts were predicting that 2008 would bring house price growth of 5 per cent. Amid what now appears to be the worst housing slump for more than 50 years, lenders, brokers and agents say the severity of the decline in house prices has come as a surprise to everyone. The widely-held belief was that the economy would provide sufficient support to prevent a crash. The latest figures from Halifax and Nationwide record an annual average price fall of 17 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. House prices are experiencing their sharpest annual decline for 25 years. No location or sector has emerged unscathed.

Posted by little professor @ 09:57 PM 3 Comments


The Telegraph: Families turning to insurance fraud to beat credit crunch

Insurers have seen an 80 per cent increase since last year in the number of bogus household and vehicle claims, many of which are being made by middle-class families struggling to pay their bills. Typical scams include householders hiding their valuables and staging a burglary in an attempt to claim thousands of pounds in cash, or dropping their old television down the stairs so they can claim for a new flatscreen model.

Posted by landedgentry @ 09:46 PM 3 Comments

UK economy to contract by 2.9% in 2009

BBC: Gloomy prediction for UK economy

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts the economy will shrink by 2.9% in 2009 - more than at any time since the 1940s.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 09:05 AM 20 Comments

Interesting; too light on the important stuff though.

BBC News: Who was to blame for UK slowdown?

"Blame it on the Yanks and the banks." That - according to Westminster watchers - was the way ministers were told to deal with questions about the economic crisis. Dodgy US mortgage lending led to a crisis of confidence in the global banking system and now a savage economic downturn in most highly developed countries.

Posted by beartil2010 @ 07:34 AM 12 Comments

We must refight the battles of the 1970s

Telegraph: We must refight the battles of the 1970s

We are facing a crisis as bad, if not worse, than that of the 1970s. The lights might not be going out and our dead are being buried, but don't be fooled. Our economy and most public institutions are, in Whitehall-speak, not fit for purpose. Unless Britain has a radical change of direction, prepare yourself for an era of decline.

Posted by eagle @ 01:13 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Japan needs to start a "Marshall Plan" to aid America

Bloomberg: Japan Should Scrap U.S. Debt; Dollar May Plummet, Mikuni Says

"Japan should also invest in U.S. roads and bridges to support personal spending and secure demand for its goods as a global recession crimps trade, Mikuni said... Combining debt waivers with infrastructure spending would be similar to the Marshall Plan that helped Europe rebuild after the destruction of World War II, Mikuni said... Japan will also have to accept that a stronger yen is good for the country in order to reduce excessive trade surpluses and deficits, he said...The dollar may lose as much as 40 percent of its value to 50 yen or 60 yen from the current spot rate of 90.40 today in Tokyo unless Japan takes drastic measures to help bail out the U.S. economy, Mikuni said. "

Posted by mountain goat @ 07:41 PM 7 Comments

ERM anyone??

Bloomberg: Pound Falls Versus Euro After Report Says House Prices May Drop

Its a thin market and there are one or two players out there that are trying to chase this move to parity, Yu said. .... perhaps a Mr G Brown and Mr Soros, and please stop telling me the fundamentals are all that is driving this devaluation. Its a case of driving the market down as far as possible for as high a personal gain as possible in as short a time as possible. It would be nice if HMG did something to protect the value of sterling.

Posted by bystander @ 06:04 PM 1 Comments

Some Chrimbo Fun to Cheer Us Up


GORDON Brown sat on the railing of the old iron bridge that takes people in and out of the small town of Bedford Falls and stared at the freezing water.

Posted by mrmickey @ 01:14 PM 2 Comments

Not in the UK, we have "sound fundamentals"

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy: Home Prices Fall Near Depression Pace

"Sales of single-family houses in the U.S. dropped in November by the most in two decades and resale prices collapsed at a pace reminiscent of the Great Depression, dashing speculation the market was close to a bottom. The figures were worse than economists had forecast and signal that the battered housing market that led the economy into a recession may be taking another lurch down".

Posted by alan @ 01:03 PM 0 Comments

City watchdog's fines at record

BBC: Quick, shut that stable door

"The City watchdog handed down fines of 22m in 2008 as it clamped down on cases of mortgage fraud and loan insurance mis-selling. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued a record 48 fines for breaches that also included pressure selling, pension transfers and market abuse. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 12:30 PM 3 Comments

Bleed the World

the independant: Do they know it's Christmas in the City?

For a new take on the Feed the World charity appeal song, have a look at, with its appeal for cash for disadvantaged bankers. The chorus is great: "And there won't be City bonuses this Christmas time, the only thing they'll get this year is fired, no strippers or cocaine, just anger, hate and blame."

Posted by sold out @ 10:29 AM 11 Comments

27% Drop to Date

guardian News Paper: House Prices to Fall by 10% in 2009

The article reports by BAA the actual average loan for a house purcahse during 2007 and November 2008, see below, which suggest a drop of 27% in price to date and not the numbers being reported by other sources. This is the most reliable figure I have seen so far In November, the average loan for a house purchase was 116,700 - a drop of almost 12,000 since October and well below the average of 159,600 last June, when the market was near its peak.

Posted by karim maidan @ 10:29 AM 2 Comments

Financial district in east London STILL GROWING?

Reuters via yahoo: Canary Wharf to pay 150 million towards Crossrail

Canary Wharf Group (CWG) is to contribute 150 million pounds towards Crossrail, a rail line set to link Heathrow airport in west London with the still-growing financial district in east London CWG will design and build a Crossrail station near its office complex on the Isle of Dogs for a fixed price of 500 million pounds, its parent company Songbird Estates Plc said in a statement on Wednesday.

Posted by troy @ 09:11 AM 2 Comments

The lack of confidence is total," Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said in an interview

Associated Free Press Yahoo: World faces "total" financial meltdown: Bank of Spain chef (seasonal quip)

"The inter-bank (lending) market is not functioning and this is generating vicious cycles: consumers are not consuming, businessmen are not taking on workers, investors are not investing and the banks are not lending.

Posted by troy @ 09:05 AM 0 Comments

The 2008 Property Industry Lamest Excuse Award goes to ...

Reuters: Mortgage approvals slump 61 percent

BBA statistics director David Dooks blamed part of the drop on banks and prospective home-buyers pausing to take stock after the Bank slashed interest rates by 1.5 percentage points in November.

Posted by paul @ 09:01 AM 4 Comments

Miracle Economy

Mail: Jobless total 'heading for record 3.5million'

The number of jobless will almost double to 3.5million over the next two years, a leading economist warns today. That would take unemployment to the highest-ever since official records began in 1971. Today's total of 1.86million is already an 11-year high. The prediction by the consultancy Capital Economics is a sign of the dire problems facing the economy over the next two years.

Posted by sovietuk @ 08:45 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

California back to 2002 levels

Bloomberg: California home sales rise 82%, prices fall

House prices in California are now back to 2002 levels. They recorded a 42% drop last year! The reason why sales are up is because sales are being made on repossessed homes: The only market in town. According to Wikipedia if California were an independent economy it would be the 10th largest economy in the World. In the UK we are officially only back to July 2005 levels. Any ideas of how much further house prices would have to drop in the UK to be back to 2002 levels? Remember in 2003 Capital Economics were stating that house prices were 20% overvalued and that a crash was imminent! And the scary thing! House prices in California haven't stopped dropping. They are still crashing.

Posted by britishblue @ 10:44 PM 0 Comments

My patience is wearing thin

The Times: Bailiffs get power to use force on debtors

The government, which wants to crack down on people who evade debts, says the new powers would be overseen by a robust industry watchdog. However, the laws are being criticised as the latest erosion of the rights of the householder in his own home.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 08:49 PM 70 Comments

Cartoon Time for Gordon

Not quite as bearish as Capital Economics

This Is Money: 'House price fall will be 35% before a rise'

George Buckley, chief UK economist of Deutsche Bank, said the slump in prices that began last autumn had only run a third of its course. He warned the property market collapse still has two years to run and will not bottom out until prices are 35% below their peak. By the end of 2010 prices will be back to levels last seen in spring 2003, putting millions of owners into negative equity. His prediction is in contrast to some property market professionals who say that the market will bottom out next summer. Stuart Law of Assetz said prices would only fall 'modestly' in the first half of 2009, hitting bottom after the summer. But Marsh & Parsons estate agents said average completion prices in Kensington and Chelsea were already down 24% in sterling, or 42% in euro terms.

Posted by little professor @ 07:29 PM 17 Comments

Ongoing downturn hammers new builds

mail online: Ongoing downturn hammers new builds

He has told the agent that he is still interested in buying six flats. But his maximum is half the asking price - an average 180,000 for the two-bedroom flats that were originally on offer for 360,000. Still the agent is saying no. But Geoff has been told that the property company is so desperate to offload its unsold apartments it will accept a discount of somewhere north of 40 per cent.

Posted by dantheman @ 06:15 PM 1 Comments

Another -35% prodiction yipee

this is money: House price fall 'will be 35% before rising'

The property market collapse still has two years to run and will not bottom out until prices are 35% below their peak, a leading City forecaster warned today.

Posted by dantheman @ 04:20 PM 6 Comments

"new home prices look almost certain to fall much further"

Mortgage Solutions: New-build prices to fall 40-45%: Capital Economics

Gloomy analyst Capital Economics has predicted the underlying value of new-build properties will experience a peak to trough fall of 40-45%, up to 10% more than the wider market. The firm highlighted that as house-builders operational survival directly depends on their ability to sell their properties, they may be more willing to drop property prices than existing homeowners will be. Capital Economics said it believed the credit squeeze has affected demand for new-build homes more than it has affected demand for second-hand homes as lending criteria have been particularly tightened for first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors, the two buyer groups who have the strongest preference for new properties.

Posted by jack c @ 01:52 PM 2 Comments

Looks like time to turn up the HPI heat again

Evening Standard: Found: flats where prices are actually on the rise

This is the second article in this paper today ramping the market, obviously preparing for the widely expected New Year bounce, bloody great, just when vendors were beginning to see sense. Looks like we all have a little longer to wait before we can actually be allowed to buy an affordable property, especially in the gold paved capital.

Posted by bystander @ 01:51 PM 10 Comments

Comedy club chief in festive spirit

Mortgage Solutions: Assetz forecasts mid-2009 bottom of the market

Assetz has published its 2009 housing market forecast, predicting house prices will continue to fall modestly in the first half of next year with the bottom of the market likely to begin forming after the summer. In a positive set of predictions, the firm suggested there will be substantial increases in property sales compared to figures for the second half of 2008, while interest base rates will continue falling into the early part of next year - to 1% at the January Monetary Policy Committee meeting and possibly to as low as 0% by spring 2009. The firm also predicted bank lending levels will increase in 2009 with a flurry of announcements from banks in the first three months of the year.

Posted by jack c @ 01:47 PM 6 Comments

Another lamb to the slaughter

Evening Standard: How the credit crunch saved me 50k

I was shattered when my offer on a 2-bedroom Ladbroke Grove flat was rejected. Now, a year later, the property has sold for 50k less than I offered. It is clearly time to start ferreting for a property again. Last year I had no problem getting a mortgage for 250,000, despite my low income of 23,000. Now I have a deposit of 60k, and am looking at properties around 300,000. But on my income I can only borrow 130,000,which leaves a big deficit. I have cajoled my father into acting as a guarantor. My mortgage advisor recommends an interest only fixed-rate deal, with monthly payments of 1,000. My take-home pay is 1,463 but if I take in a lodger at 600 a month, my payments will be less than I am paying in rent. I can change to capital repayment when my situation changes - God willing!

Posted by little professor @ 12:41 PM 19 Comments

Oil to surge in late 2009 onwards

Market Oracle: Crude Oil Price Deflation Most Oversold Since the Great Depression

Most financial commentators, even the well-known and respected ones, just don't get it. They don't understand what's happening in macro-conditions because they fail to accept the understanding that sentiment, as measured by speculator betting practices in the various options markets populating the landscape, is the single most important driver of prices in our mature fiat currency based financial markets

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:22 PM 12 Comments

Pound falls as UK economy contracts

Financial Times: Pound falls as UK economy contracts

The pound came under further pressure on Tuesday as data showed the UK economy contracted by more than expected in the third quarter. Final figures from the Office for National Statistics showed UK gross domestic product shrank by 0.6 per cent in the three months to September. This was greater than the 0.5 per cent drop expected and the largest fall since the fourth quarter of 1990. Adding further pressure on sterling were figures showing mortgages approved for UK house purchases mortgage sank to just 17,773 in November from 20,767 in October, the lowest since the series started in 1997.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 11:57 AM 1 Comments

BBC - Mortgage lending 'shrinks again'

BBC: Mortgage lending 'shrinks again'

UK mortgage lending by the major banks has fallen sharply, with approvals for house purchases 60% lower than a year ago, figures show. The number of mortgage approvals for house purchases fell by 14% in November to a new low of 17,773, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA). People remained worried about the effect of the slowing economy on their personal finances, the BBA said. As a result, the amount consumers are borrowing also remained subdued.

Posted by jack c @ 10:06 AM 14 Comments

FT Alphaville - Great (British Pound) Expecations

FT Alphaville: Great (British Pound) Expecations

Is GBP oversold and ready to bounce back? - "A glimmer of light on the horizon for the Great British Krona currently suffering from record lows on a trade-weighted basis? Bank of America seems to think so, at least relative to the USD... The 2-year swap rate differential suggests a GBP/USD rate closer to 1.60 than the current rate under 1.48" GBP may be oversold because there is still uncertainty about whether the BoE goes into Quantitative Easing or not.

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:50 AM 3 Comments

HP's to fall 10% - A rather optimistic assessment from Daily Mail

Mail: House prices set to fall a further 10 per cent and 140,000 families 'will lose their homes'

''Around 140,000 families will be evicted from their homes over the next two years, a grim forecast warned yesterday. It predicts that 70,000 families will be evicted next year - and the same number will lose their homes in 2010. This means the number of repossessions will be close to the highest level recorded in Britain in a 24-month period. The forecast, from the property information firm Hometrack, also raises fears that the housing market meltdown will worsen next year. Its data shows prices have fallen 9 per cent this year, with a further 10 per cent fall expected in 2009. In 2010, they will drop a further 3 per cent.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:57 AM 5 Comments

Monday, December 22, 2008

Throwing out tax money down the drain

MoneyWeek: When stimulus just stifles

Cut our taxes, don't bail out every failing company that bleats loud enough. The article doesn't suggest tax cuts, actually, but if the government is determined to rack up as much debt as possible, at least they could give te cash back to the people and companies that earned it in the first place! How about a tax holiday? Now THAT would create a bit of feel-good-factor! And it would reward work and those companies that are doing ok (i.e showing a profit). At the moment our marvellous rulers are rewarding failure, and those who borrowed recklessly. The argument against this is that people and companies might just use the cash to pay down debt, or save it. But surely need to reduce debt and get the savings ratio in this busted flush of an economy back up above its current Zero??

Posted by matthew johnson @ 08:00 PM 3 Comments

(Citywire) Gordon Brown and the emperor's new clothes

Citywire: Gordon Brown and the emperor's new clothes

Suddenly the Saviour of The World is being criticised by his peers for indiscriminately throwing money (OUR MONEY) at a problem he doesnt understand. Not another emperor without clothes! Perhaps he ought to take a leaf out of the book of one of the Roman emperors who used to have a chap standing behind him and who had to keep reminding said emperor that he was human.'A sound banker, alas, is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him,' said economist John Maynard Keynes.

Posted by jack c @ 07:26 PM 1 Comments

I've got loadsamoney!

Telegraph: Gordon Brown: I'll create extra 100,000 jobs

Government spending programmes brought forward to soften the effects of the economic crisis will provide at least 100,000 jobs, Gordon Brown said.

Posted by alan @ 07:26 PM 9 Comments

Just Some Merriment for the Festive Season

Daily Mash: Economy Not Our Strong Point Admits Bank of England

Ok, so I know I'm not renowned for posting sensible debatable topics relating to the current turbulence in the economy and housing market but I sometimes wonder just how 'on the ball' these Daily Mash folks are! ;o) Oh, and there is the small fact that I just like a good chortle every now and then.

Posted by vindicated @ 05:00 PM 7 Comments

When the dust settles Gordon Brown will face the music

FT Blog: The Brown bubble and Brown bust

Some interesting manipulation regarding the extent of Brown's boom and bust, followed by some interesting comments. A flurry of redundancy announcements in the New Year will see the resurgence of Brown bashing and rightly so IMHO.

Posted by denzil @ 04:33 PM 2 Comments

Very Smart

Housepricecrash Newlook Website

I would just like to congratulate the webmasters on a great looking new site for 2009

Posted by wdbeast @ 04:15 PM 36 Comments

So specultaing on currencies isn't a problem??

bloomberg: Bonuses of Currency Traders Fall Least on Wall Street

To everyone who has had a go at me whenever I have even hinted that the problems with sterling (and others) are due, in part, to traders driving it into the ground for personal gain, please explain these huge bonuses and why it is OK for these guys/ gals to make huge gains while the populations of the countries whose currencies is attacked should lose 30% of their purchasing power?? Happy Christmas everyone.

Posted by bystander @ 02:16 PM 17 Comments

The death of capitalism?

Telegraph: Protectionist dominoes are beginning to tumble across the world

The riots have begun. Civil protest is breaking out in cities across Russia, China, and beyond. Greece has been in turmoil for 11 days. The mood seems to have turned "pre-insurrectionary" in parts of Athens - to borrow from the Marxist handbook. This is a foretaste of what the world may face as the "crisis of capitalism" starts to turn two hundred million lives upside down. We are advancing to the political stage of this global train wreck. Regimes are being tested. Those relying on perma-boom to mask a lack of legitimacy may resort to the usual methods: trade barriers, sabre-rattling, and barbed wire. This crisis has already brought us a monetary revolution as interest rates approach zero across the G10. It may overturn the "New World Order" as well, unless we move with great care.

Posted by little professor @ 02:15 PM 6 Comments

The MPC stooges are the real culprits

Times: Bank failed to spot crisis despite 'crazy borrowing'

Sir John Gieve tells the BBC that the Bank was aware that a bubble was developing in the housing market, as well as in the price of other assets, and that it was being fuelled by crazy borrowing. Sir John also raised questions over whether taxpayers would get back all of the money the government has now invested in the banking sector.

Posted by paul @ 12:48 PM 13 Comments

Margin Call

This is Money: Repossession threat for couple who never missed a payment

A couple have been threatened with repossession even though they have never missed a payment on their mortgage. Peter and Marian Addyman say NatWest has given them a week to repay the 226,000 loan or face losing their home. They bought their home for 250,000 in 2004. Two years ago they took out a second mortgage for another 100,000 to consolidate their debts. They insist they were entirely open with NatWest about this. When their fixed rate deal with NatWest ran out at the beginning of this year, they took out an interest-only tracker at 0.04% above base rate. NatWest has written to them stating after 'reviewing' their arrangement it was withdrawing the mortgage. They had 30 days in which to secure a new loan or it would begin recovery action and inform credit rating agencies.

Posted by little professor @ 11:41 AM 24 Comments

Bail-outs are bad news for investors

MoneyWeek: Bail-outs are bad news for investors

"...the longer we try to resist change, the longer this slump will go on. In the meantime, it will become ever harder for investors to work out where to put their money. When a company's success depends on political whim, rather than demand for its products, it's anyone's guess as to who will stand or fall."

Posted by damien @ 11:27 AM 1 Comments

Dear Bank of England, Resign. Yours Sincerely, The British People

Guardian: Financial crisis: Bank of England 'did not understand problem'

Explaining why the Bank did not raise interest rates to curb the lending and house price boom, Gieve says: "If we'd used interest rates to try and address this asset-price credit growth, we would have been holding down the level of activity elsewhere in the economy, in manufacturing, in other services, holding down the level of employment at a time when consumer price inflation and earnings were stable and reasonably low. And people would have said, you know, 'this is a wilful reduction in the prosperity of the country'."

Posted by paul @ 10:13 AM 13 Comments

Spreadsheet system for calculating whether you should buy or rent Buy Or Rent Calculator

This is a calculator aimed at helping you to make the right financial decision on whether to buy or rent. It allows you to enter your personal circumstances, and assumptions on market price changes, and shows you how your wealth will change over time. FREE to download and use

Posted by nick vivian @ 10:08 AM 6 Comments

MSN aren't afraid of making predictions

MSN UK: Property prices set to fall further in 2009

No good news for the property tycoons here. Half way through he is talking about a 2/3rd drop. His eventual conclusion is a mere 20% drop. The original link to this article is straight from the MSN home page (which is the default for Internet Explorer), so I would expect quite a few people to see it

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:18 AM 5 Comments

The government failed to heed the warnings so this recession could now last 10 years

Telegraph: Japan plans record spending to prevent slump

"This could be the start of a global version of the 'lost decade' that Japan endured in the 1990s," said Professor Hama. "It took us 10 years to recover after our bubble burst and it looks to me as if that 10-year timeline is a benchmark for these crises."

Posted by paul @ 07:56 AM 4 Comments

Back to 3.5x earnings says L&G

Telegraph: UK house prices won't recover for a decade

"It will be at least 10 years before we see prices return to their 2007 peak levels," he said. LGIM, part of the insurance giant Legal & General, has been remarkably accurate with other economic predictions in the past year. and best of all "...Mr Drayson: "Banks will not price off affordability in future. It has been a mistake of the last several years to price off interest rates, which can move monthly. They are more likely to return to more cautious income multiples." ....." "...the market will only recover as incomes rise..."

Posted by voiceofreason @ 07:47 AM 9 Comments

Criticism will lose you your job!

Telegraph: ArchB of Canterbury warns Britain must learn lessons from Nazi Germany

Dr Rowan Williams risks causing a new controversy by inviting a comparison between Gordon Brown's response to the economic downturn and the Third Reich. Williams later quotes Marx. He then denounced Mr Brown's plans to increase debt, saying: "I worry about that because it seems a little bit like the addict returning to the drug.

Posted by alan @ 07:21 AM 13 Comments

Tough new year predicted Britain's job 'bloodbath'

''Cabinet minister issues stark warning of carnage for private and public sectors as employers delay huge redundancies until the new year. Britain faces an unemployment "bloodbath" in the new year with many tens of thousands of jobs axed in the public and private sectors, according to a cabinet minister. ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:40 AM 5 Comments

Bank failed to spot elephant in room

BBC: Bank 'did not understand crisis'

"The Bank of England did not understand the severity of economic problems before the current financial crisis, its deputy governor says. Sir John Gieve told the BBC that the Bank knew "crazy borrowing" was taking place and the price of houses and other assets was rising unsustainably. But the Bank thought this problem was less serious than it turned out to be, he said in an interview for Panorama. The Bank relies too much on interest rates to control the economy, he added."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 06:36 AM 16 Comments

Payment times cut to keep contractors solvent

times: Race to save Olympic firms from crash

Race to save Olympic firms from crash Olympic chiefs are being forced to cut payment times to contractors to avoid small businesses supplying the project going bust.

Posted by chris @ 04:10 AM 0 Comments

The more houses built the more walls that needed our paintings.crash of Western property market

nytimes: China to the Rescue? Not! devastated by the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble

American property owners and hotels were usually the biggest consumers of Dafens works, Zhou Xiaohong, deputy head of the Art Industry Association of Dafen, told Hong Kongs Sunday Morning Post. The more houses built in the United States, the more walls that needed our paintings. Now our business has frozen following the crash of the Western property market. In China, for instance, to buy a home you have to put at least 20 percent down, and the average is 40 percent. If you try to walk away from the mortgage, the bank will come after your personal assets. Moreover, China cant just shift production from the U.S. market to its own consumers.

Posted by chris @ 03:52 AM 0 Comments



BANKERS at four City firms have collected bonuses of more than 6.4billion this year, despite the worst financial crisis since 1929, it emerged yesterday. While the rest of the country struggles under the ravages of the recession, London-based traders at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Kleinwort have been notified of their bumper payouts. They come despite the banks having reported a dramatic fall in profits and the Government bail-out of the banking sector.

Posted by charlie brooker @ 02:16 AM 5 Comments

After 30 Years, Economic Perils on Chinas Path

nytimes: Global demand for Chinese goods has slumped, unrest is on the rise in the industrial heartland, and China is scrambling for a new formula to preserve stability and ensure growth.

The downturn is so swift exports fell last month for the first time in seven years that Beijing is being forced to abruptly shift priorities. Until recently, Mr. Hu had been trying to curb excesses like rampant pollution and income inequality that posed environmental and social challenges to long-term development. Now, those priorities seem eclipsed.

Posted by chris @ 01:47 AM 0 Comments

The surge in bankruptcies and layoffs has led to an increase in labor arbitration cases in Guangzhou

wsj: China Faces Unrest as Economy Falters

As China's economy stalls, rising public unrest has bubbled up in a series of labor strikes across the country. In an unusual response, authorities -- facing a delicate task in tamping down disquiet -- have been allowing the protests and staging high-profile meetings with strike leaders to talk over concessions.

Posted by chris @ 01:45 AM 1 Comments

Millions v billions

FT: Tata agrees to cash boost for Jaguar

Mandelson has appointed KPMG, the accountancy firm, and NM Rothschild, the investment bank, to advise him on the Indian groups complex finances.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 12:41 AM 1 Comments

Sunday, December 21, 2008

TV Anthea's court short

the sun: TV Anthea's court short

CREDIT crunch victim Anthea Turner was reeling last night after losing her fight to keep a 500,000 tennis court built without permission.

Posted by dantheman @ 11:54 PM 0 Comments

Selected quotes

Telegraph: Germany is already collapsing

The German economy is on the "brink of the abyss". We are reaching depression levels here. This is an industrial melt-down.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:23 PM 13 Comments

How to lose all your friends - sell them a BTL...

Sunday Times: Buy-to-let scandal spreads nationwide

"They were so impressed by its apparent professionalism that not only did they engage to buy seven properties over the next few months but Geoff Morris, 62, agreed to become an agent for the company. On top of his investments, he was an agent on the sale of 15 properties and was looking at a paper profit of 50,000 in commission. The scheme looked so attractive he gave up his job as a salesman for a software firm to concentrate on the venture. He even persuaded his two children and four family friends to invest in it." And now he's lost all his money and presumably his friends, like the rest of them, he is trying to blame someone else...

Posted by bidin'matime @ 09:50 PM 3 Comments

LIBOR Set to explode

Bloomberg: Libor Risks Re-Explosion Within 6 Months, ING Says

The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, may suffer a re-explosion by June should the financial crisis worsen. If this happens then armageddon is upon us.

Posted by mrb @ 09:43 PM 0 Comments having an impact -- Times picks up on topic debated here last week

Times: Council pays out 90,000 a year in rent to mother of four

Article looking into Local Housing Allowance, which pays landlords up to 100,000 pounds a year in central London to house families on benefits.

Posted by richc @ 07:49 PM 1 Comments

Outlook for house prices is getting darker by the day IMF head warns of UK's 'disturbing' debt

The IMF chief told BBC Radio 4's World This Weekend: "I'm specially concerned by the fact that our forecast, already very dark... will be even darker if not enough fiscal stimulus is implemented."

Posted by v stor @ 05:50 PM 0 Comments

World Socialists article discussing the UK's brushed under the carpet Pension Crisis

WSWS: Britain: Financial crisis threatens pensions and retirement plans

A little discussed aspect of the global financial crisis is the devastating impact it is having on pensions. This is particularly acute in Britain. State provision is poor and successive governments have forced workers to rely on occupational pensions, on which half of all British workers depend, private pensions and annuities, and the value of their homes to finance their retirement.

Posted by enuii @ 05:08 PM 3 Comments

Never mind the b*****ks, bring in the Garda?

Independent.i.e.: Don't

Gene Kerrigan gives incredibly short shrift to the Irish government's plans to bail out the banks, specifically Anglo Irish and ex boss "gobsh1te" Sean FitzPatrick. I can't see Robert Peston being this direct......

Posted by rubberneck @ 11:36 AM 1 Comments

French ex-pats not doing any better than the Spanish

Guardian: Britons who fled in search of French idyll feel the pain of the pound's fall

The expatriate community has become the latest casualty of recession, with a ruinous exchange rate biting into the rural idylls of the French countryside just as it has in the "Little England" retirement enclaves of Spain and Portugal. "Cheaper" France is vanishing as the pound slips closer to the rising euro, raising food, wine and energy costs, while devaluing the incomes of those getting wages or pensions from the UK. "We're all doomed," said Linda Norton, who lives near Cherbourg in Normandy. "If we can't grow it, we won't be eating it next year."

Posted by little professor @ 11:08 AM 25 Comments makes The Times!

The Times: Website homes in on the crash

FOUND, at last a property business that has had a successful 2008. Its name? When 25-year-old Brendan McLoughlin bought the obscure website three years ago the only visitors were a few doomsayers warning that the end was nigh for the house-price boom. Now, as property values nosedive, the controversial news and discussion website is attracting 50,000 hits a day and revenue of more than 300,000 from advertisers including Sky, Virgin and BT.

Posted by will @ 10:48 AM 12 Comments

Its That Time of Year!

Telegraph: Spenderella: A pantomime for serious times

The cast: Spenderella: a former City high-flyer, now fallen on hard times. Baron Hardup; her father, a depressed estate agent all your favourites...

Posted by alan @ 10:13 AM 5 Comments

US mortgage rates falling, HP dead-cat bounce coming IMO

John Mauldin via Market Oracle: Fed Targeting Long-term Interest Rates to Force Mortgage Rates Lower

John Mauldin "Letters" are always a good read. The relevant part to this is half-way down "Some Good News for Borrowers". "Remember that ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) reset problem I was writing about late last year? Resetting the rates has been a problem up until now. However, that may no longer be a problem in the near future. The large majority of ARMs are linked to either 1-year LIBOR or 1-year Treasuries. 1-year Treasuries are 0.39%, and 1-year LIBOR is 2.09. Both were at 4.5% in 2006. Those going to reset in the near future are actually going to catch a break and see their payments go lower! Mish Shedlock writes that he has an interest-only mortgage tied to 1-month LIBOR, and his annual rate is going to drop to 1.75%" - [Fixing the ARM reset problem would be very significant]

Posted by mountain goat @ 10:04 AM 4 Comments

Its all going wrong for the housing market

TimesOnline: The party's over if deflation grips the economy

The most recent guide to what deflation might mean for UK investors is to look at what happened in Japan in the 1990s, writes Mark Atherton. When Japan's property and stock market bubble burst with a vengeance in the early 1990s, the country experienced a prolonged period of deflation.

Posted by v stor @ 08:35 AM 1 Comments

Are we on HPC fascists ?

David Smith Economics Blog: Transmission mechanism stuck in reverse

David Smith and HPC statements are diametrically opposite. Here on HPC we would like to see an end to reckless borrowing and asset prices return to sensible 3.5 x earnings levels. David Smith would like to see reckless lending and unsustainable asset prices here to stay....

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:15 AM 11 Comments

Buyers' Strike Leads To New Savills Alert

sunday express: Original News Article Title

Upmarket estate agent Savills yesterday sounded its second profits warning in two months after a buyers strike, triggered by the turmoil in financial markets and recession, escalated.

Posted by dantheman @ 04:10 AM 1 Comments

Change the C to an R to make Ireland

Times Online: Banks to get 7bn lifeline

So much for the celtic tiger.

Posted by jackas @ 01:25 AM 4 Comments

Something is rotten....

FT: Hedge funds gain access to $200bn Fed aid

Hedge funds will be allowed to borrow from the Federal Reserve for the first time under a landmark $200bn programme intended to support consumer credit.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 12:09 AM 5 Comments

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Telegraph: Lord Mandelson's spokesmen are curiously silent about Jaguar boss Ratan Tata

As Lord Mandelson decides whether to give taxpayers' money to Jaguar Land Rover, the tycoon who bought the firm with a 2 billion bridging loan will no doubt hope that their personal rapport proves decisive.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 11:17 PM 0 Comments


Times: Taxpayers to stump up Jaguar loan

The SMMT has asked the government to stimulate demand by making cheap loans available to carmakers finance arms. What is really killing demand at the moment is that nobody can borrow money to buy a car the loan companies are simply not interested in doing business because they cant get the funding themselves, the chief executive said. Senior motor-industry sources said yesterday that an outline loan proposal from the government was sent to Tata, headed by Ratan Tata, in recent days, and that a decision to proceed could be reached shortly

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 11:14 PM 0 Comments


Times: Buy-to-let scandal spreads nationwide

Part II of the post below. "more than 1m other British investors". "They were so impressed by its apparent professionalism that not only did they engage to buy seven properties over the next few months but Geoff Morris, 62, agreed to become an agent for the company. On top of his investments, he was an agent on the sale of 15 properties and was looking at a paper profit of 50,000 in commission" Tulips anyone??

Posted by confused76 @ 11:14 PM 8 Comments

Aw diddums

Times: Buy-to-Let fraud hits millions

Detectives are investigating one of Britains biggest buy-to-let schemes in which large numbers of investors have seen their savings wiped out. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is investigating alleged scams that have cost banks such as Northern Rock millions of pounds on loans that should never have been made. At the centre of one of the biggest investigations is Morris Properties. Morris lured investors with promises of substantial discounts on properties that were overvalued, and rental figures that were widely overestimated. Investors, drawn in by the mirage of ever-increasing house prices, were easy prey. With property prices now falling in some areas by as much as 50%, many of those investors are facing ruin.

Posted by little professor @ 10:20 PM 7 Comments

Knowing when to keep your mouth shut

Guardian: Lenders ditch house price predictions

Volatility is the excuse for abandoning their forecasts, but is it because they cannot bear to predict big falls, or that they are always wrong anyway?

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:49 PM 2 Comments

Suprise, suprise. They know how dire it is going to be in 2009 & 2010 Halifax and Nationwide decide not to publish annual house price forecasts

Halifax and Nationwide publish house price surveys every month, which both lenders said they would continue to provide. But neither is going ahead with their annual predictions for next year.

Posted by v stor @ 12:13 PM 14 Comments

Set Your Video

Panorama: The year Britain's bubble burst

The last 12 months have seen house prices tumble and repossessions rise, with banks needing billion-pound bailouts. Such has been the speed of the economic crisis that the notion of the credit crunch has been replaced by the very real prospect of a recession. Throughout this period the country has looked to one man to keep them up to date on what is going on - the BBC's business editor Robert Peston. Now, in The year Britain's bubble burst, Robert looks back across the twists and turns of the past 12 months to tell the untold story of the crisis and just how close we came to financial meltdown.

Posted by luckyjim @ 11:26 AM 11 Comments

The truth of how bad things will get is slowly eaking out Global economy seen sinking into 'severe' 2009 recession: report

Charles Dallara, managing director of the IIF -- which represents more than 375 of the world's major banks and financial institutions -- called it "the most severe, globally synchronised recession in modern economic history".

Posted by v stor @ 10:31 AM 1 Comments

Out of control

MailOnline: Darling's last roll of the dice and the spectre of wheelbarrows of banknotes

This week it became clear that both Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown are beginning to lose control of the British economy. Their attempt to end the crisis by bailing out the banks with 37 billion of taxpayers money in October has failed. Official quarterly unemployment figures have recorded their biggest leap since 1991, and the number looks set to rise well beyond three million

Posted by v stor @ 10:21 AM 3 Comments

Predicting next years bounce

Which Elliott 4th Wave Are We In Currently?:

One for Techieman. "Theres a rather large debate currently brewing among Ellioticians regarding exactly which Elliott 4th Wave we are experiencing - though theres widespread agreement we are in a 4th Wave Counter-rally. Lets look briefly at both sides of the argument, and what it might mean for the near future."

Posted by mountain goat @ 10:16 AM 17 Comments

There is no doubt house prices are crashing Golden Gate to nowhere

Home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States plunged a record 44% in November and the median fell to the lowest since September 2000 as foreclosure sales pushed down values

Posted by v stor @ 09:22 AM 0 Comments

As soon as house prices have dropped

BBC: 'No recovery soon' in bank credit

"As soon as asset prices stabilise, then we will see the financial economy recover. And when will that occur? That will occur some time over the course of the next 18 months," Why not just say 'when house prices have dropped' - it would get the message out to the sheeple more effectively.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:10 AM 8 Comments

Good to see Housepricecrash in there

Times Online: Ten people who preducted the Financial Meltdown

Just found the link to this from the previous post. Nine other people there with some common sense as well.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:32 AM 2 Comments

House prices predicted to fall further

Times: Ten amazing statistics from the credit crunch

See stats #5: "... the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) ..... predicts that average prices will fall by 25 per cent and not return to their peak until 2013. The average home in the UK, which hit 200,000 in August 2007, will fall to 149,000 by 2009 .... Capital Economics, the consultancy, has said that prices could fall by 35 per cent..."

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:08 AM 1 Comments

I'm starting to feel rather sorry for these people

Daily Mail: End of the Eldorado dream: A plunging pound and property crash have left thousands of expat Britons on the breadline

All along the coast, from Alicante on the Costa Blanca to Marbella on the Costa del Sol, a very middle-class dream is crumbling. The aim was to escape a life in Britain where crime was rampant, the weather miserable and the cost of living high. Now, in Spain, a legion of pensioners finds itself trapped by rising prices, a property market that has completely collapsed and a pound that has fallen almost 20 per cent against the euro.

Posted by drewster @ 02:36 AM 18 Comments

"half a million are relying solely on rising property values"

Guardian: Pay-back times for the interest-only mortgage

Next year could be a challenging one for many thousands of people with "interest-only" mortgages. Research by friendly society Liverpool Victoria shows that more than half a million have no specified investment vehicle in place to pay back the loan, and are relying solely on rising property values and cashing in equity to see them through. But for some, this strategy may have been derailed by current and predicted future falls in house prices. Anyone relying solely on an increase in the value of their property to repay their mortgage is taking a risk. Even over the long-term, when it is reasonable to assume house prices will go up sufficiently, this strategy always commits you to trading down price-wise in later life to make it work.

Posted by drewster @ 02:14 AM 13 Comments

Sign of things to come? Part 2

Daily Mail online: Exclusive homeowners will find they paid up to 1m too much for their houses, says Knight Frank

"One in four homes will be worth less than their owners paid for them when the market reaches the bottom next year, research revealed today. The worst hit, those who bought exclusive homes in the South, will find they paid up to 1 million too much for their homes. Liam Bailey, head of residential research, warned the 'peak to trough' house price fall will be 30 per cent.... Mr Bailey said he expects the trough to be in "the second half of next year", but he warned that his forecast may be far too optimistic". Lets hope so. Maybe Knight Frank's predictions can take over from Halifax and Nationwide.

Posted by crashpad4me @ 01:58 AM 9 Comments

Grandson, can you spare me 32,000 ?

Telegraph: The biggest Ponzi scheme: Bernard Madoff's or the British Government's?

Public sector gold-plated pension schemes are either inadequately funded or completely unfunded that is, having insufficient or no money set aside to pay pensions in future children who have not yet been born will have to pay more tax decades hence to deliver promises already made to people on the public payroll now. Just as Bernard Madoff is alleged to have relied on payments in from new investors to pay out returns and promote a $50 billion (33 billion) fund that scarcely existed, our Government continues to issue promises which it hopes future generations will honour. If the whole bill for public sector pension rights already accrued fell on today's taxpayers, it would amount to 32,000 per person.

Posted by drewster @ 12:29 AM 17 Comments

Friday, December 19, 2008

How well-endowed are you?

Telegraph: Endowment mortgages: Red alert for policyholders

Tens of thousands more mortgage endowment policyholders will soon discover that their policy is no longer on target to pay off their home loan. Standard Life, which has more than 800,000 policyholders, said it expected the number of maturing policies that will be insufficient to repay the mortgage to increase in 2009 because of poor investment conditions. [An endowment mortgage is one where, instead of making monthly interest payments, you invest monthly into the stockmarket. After 25 years the returns from the stockmarket should be enough to pay off your mortgage. Except when there's a massive stockmarket crash, in which case you land in negative equity....]

Posted by drewster @ 11:46 PM 6 Comments

Imported inflation here we come

Reuters: Brown says targets inflation, not sterling

Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated today that the country's economic policy was aimed solely at targeting inflation rather than the level of sterling and added that "The day to day movements of the currency and of the pound are not something I think is worth give a running commentary on".

Posted by enuii @ 08:13 PM 14 Comments

Why didn't Gordon think of this to pay our pensioners!

BBC: Worthless assets used for bonuses

About 2,000 investment bankers will have their payouts linked to assets with a notional value of 5bn Swiss francs ($4.6bn; 3.1bn). The leveraged loans and debt based on commercial mortgages in the fund currently have little market value.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 08:11 PM 0 Comments

Quantitative easing - don't be fooled by the marketing hype Quantitative easing: Lessons from Japan

One of the lessons of this episode for policymakers is that while quantitative easing may help to solve the short-run liquidity problems that arise in times of extreme financial duress, it is not a substitute for some of the harder choices governments must make.

Posted by v stor @ 06:37 PM 0 Comments

Trapped Owners find themselves trapped underwater

It's a problem that's only expected to get worse for legions of homeowners across the USA. Nearly one in seven homeowners is underwater, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. That's about 12 million homeowners, nearly double the number underwater at the end of 2007, according to Moody's

Posted by v stor @ 06:06 PM 0 Comments

Celtic Tiger? Yeah, right. put out of its misery

FT: Anglo Irish chiefs quit in loans scandal

David Drumm, chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, followed chairman Sean FitzPatrick out of the door on Friday, leaving the lenders senior ranks severely depleted in the wake of a loans scandal. Shares in the bank lost more than one-fifth of their value after the resignations, which came after the revelation that Mr FitzPatrick had temporarily transferred loans to the Irish Nationwide Building Society prior to the groups year-end over an eight-year period.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:27 PM 1 Comments

Thanks Gordon

Telegraph: Sterling slide is worst since 1931

The fall is sharper than the devaluations in 1992, after leaving the Exchange Rate Mechanism, 1976, when the International Monetary Fund was forced to intervene, and 1949, when a host of countries slumped against the dollar. The devaluation is only matched by the moment in 1931 when, under Ramsay MacDonald, the UK was forced to abandon the gold standard, plunging by more than 24pc against the dollar.

Posted by sovietuk @ 04:59 PM 6 Comments

I guess you wouldn't have to worry about the chocolate cereal bar crunch thing if you got lucky!

Timesonline: Spanish rush for 2.1 billion 'Fat One' lottery

Encarnacion Ramirez spent half an hour queuing on a freezing morning before she got her chance to buy a ticket for Spains biggest lottery, El Gordo (The Fat One). I arrived early because they said people have been queuing up for two hours, said the housewife from Madrid. As Spain gears up for its traditional bid to win one of the biggest lottery jackpots in the world with 2.3 billion (2.1 billion) in prizes - the same scene is being repeated across the country.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 02:31 PM 4 Comments

Sarah says buy, what are these 'experts' worth?

Channel 4 News: Sarah Beeny, House Price Crash

Should I Buy Now? Sarah says: Yes, definitely. If youre looking to move house and if its the right time in your life to move on, you should go for it. If you need a bigger home or need to downsize, move now. Life just isnt long enough to be hanging around five or 10 years waiting for the property market to recover. Although, of course, you must make sure you can afford the mortgage repayments.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 02:17 PM 34 Comments

Anyone else need some dosh? We've got plenty!

CNC: GM and Chrysler to Receive Up to $17.4 Billion in Loans

General Motors and Chrysler will receive up to $17.4 billion in short-term loans from the US government as part of an aid package to the troubled auto industry. President Bush announced the agreement at the White House. Big 3 Bailout -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- According to details of the plan made availabl;e to the package involves $13.4 billion in short-term financing from the TARP, with an additional $4 billion available in Februarycontingent upon drawing down the second tranche of TARP funds.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 02:13 PM 3 Comments

Spring it is then!

Telegraph: A local take on house price predictions

Im not sure what I feel about this article, I would like to think that with a fair wind Winkworths have it right and that we are nearing the bottom. The sooner we do the better, then maybe I will start to earn some money on my savings again and perhaps my son (43) will move out of his single bedroom and take the plunge with the savings he has put by since waiting for this crash in the ninties. Living with his parents has'nt done much for either of our love lives, better not say to much as he is on this site all day every day!!

Posted by basil bell @ 01:42 PM 0 Comments

Thants all it takes, "a can do attitude." Just like we talked ourselves into a recession!

BBC News: Brown promises 'can-do attitude'

Gordon Brown has said a "can-do attitude" will help the British economy get through the current downturn and prepare for future recovery. In his final press conference of 2008, Mr Brown said he regretted the fact that the UK had not been "unaffected" by the global downturn.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 12:43 PM 17 Comments

Nationwide and Halifax refuse to make house price forecasts for 2009

BBC News: Lenders axe house price forecast

I guess they believe fear is going to be dribing the market and that predictions of further big falls may become a self-fulfilling prophecy, undermining the confidence of potential buyers who might be afraid of a fall in the value of their homes.

Posted by addictive @ 12:11 PM 19 Comments

Why Britain is a raging sell

MoneyWeek: Why Britain is a raging sell

Savers in Britain are already suffering. Their stocks have been smashed, their bank interest is being slashed, and they cant even afford to go abroad to get away from it all. But when investors from abroad finally pull the plug, we really are sunk.

Posted by damien @ 11:34 AM 1 Comments

A research group says 344 hedge funds were liquidated in the third quarter - a significant increase

CNN: Hedge fund graveyard: 693 and counting

A record number of hedge funds went bust during the third quarter, a report showed Thursday, as shaky markets and tight credit drove investors away from risky investments. Hedge Fund Research, a Chicago-based information company, said the number of hedge funds liquidated in the third quarter rose to 344, which is more than three times the 105 liquidations in the third quarter of 2007. It's also 77 more than the previous record of 267 liquidations in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Posted by mark @ 10:57 AM 5 Comments

is superdrug the next woolies?

Daily Mail: Superdrug leads discount war with sale cuts of 90 per cent

Extreme sale discounts look set to sweep stores as Superdrug today announced it will slash prices by up to 90 per cent from Boxing Day.

Posted by mark @ 10:54 AM 10 Comments

Utter Bs

bbc: UK consumer confidence 'improves'

people are only buying for xmas, wait until jan then what maxed out cards, no money, no job, full blown recession..........

Posted by mark @ 10:43 AM 5 Comments

Who said rents would rise in a HPC?

Evening Standard: Rents falling faster than house prices as sellers turn landlord

RENTS have plummeted even faster than house prices in central London, a survey shows today. Three- and four-bedroom homes - until recently seen as the safest bet in the market - have been hit particularly hard because of the glut of properties available, as thousands of would-be sellers become "forced landlords" because they cannot find buyers. Houses that would have fetched 1,000 a week are now only making 750 to 800, according to agents.

Posted by little professor @ 10:30 AM 14 Comments

Optimistism from Winkworths - if you are a foreign buyer

Findaproperty: Winkworth's Property Predictions For 2009

"Coupled with this, as interest rates fall and Government borrowing increases, sterling will fall, making already low property prices even more attractive to overseas buyers."........"Secondly, confidence is creeping back as buyers realise that they can get a property 2 per cent cheaper than summer 2007, and at these prices, the future effects of the recession are already 'priced in' to the market.".....Ian Fraser, Franchisee at Winkworth in Islington. Now how will they buy if their own economies are tanking????.....and I hope that is a typo!!!!!!!!!!.......and "already 'priced-in', interesting idea, in the same way that BoE rate cuts are 'already 'priced-in' to the exchange rate!!!!!!!????..'cos that's stopped the fall.

Posted by bystander @ 09:06 AM 9 Comments

AUSTRALIAN households have lost a quarter of their wealth since the global financial crisis began la

smh: Household wealth crashes

Business confidence fell to its lowest level since the 1990 recession. "We believe there is enough information available which points to the need for further interest rate reductions," said the chamber's Greg Evans.

Posted by chris @ 03:22 AM 1 Comments

Russia's oil-fired economic miracle is unraveling as industry shrinks and job losses mount. Now the

wsj: Oil's Crash Stirs Unrest in Russia as Slump Hits Home

Gloom deepened over the outlook for oil-export revenue, Russia's main earner, as prices plunged Thursday despite OPEC's move this week to deeply cut production. Oil hit a 4 year low on anxiety about falling global demand, with crude closing at $36.22 a barrel in New York, down $3.84. This could spell trouble for Russia, which has pegged its 2009 budget on much higher oil prices, meaning it will have to trim spending.

Posted by chris @ 03:19 AM 0 Comments

The world economy will contract next year for the first time in almost half a century, according to

bloomberg: The GE downgrade is another sign the world economy is in big trouble, said Joe Capurso, a currency strategist in Sydney at Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd. For a small, open economy like Australia, our fortunes are tied to what happens overseas.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars dropped as equities fell after General Electric Cos debt-rating outlook was changed to negative, prompting investors to shun higher-yielding assets

Posted by chris @ 02:29 AM 0 Comments

Moral outrage hits the masses

Daily Express: Banks punish savers

Banks are today accused of penalising careful savers by slashing interest rates by up to 4 per cent. They are using Bank of England rate cuts as a smokescreen to chop the interest on savings accounts, said one critic. Retired people who rely on savings growth to top up their pensions are suffering as a result. Some 76 banks and building societies have slashed interest rates on 150 savings products since the start of December. Critics say the banks are hurting pensioners who have worked hard to build up retirement nest eggs. They fear that low savings rates will discourage younger people from putting money aside for a rainy day.

Posted by drewster @ 02:11 AM 49 Comments

And yet they just keep on spending

Telegraph: UK public finances slump to worst state in 15 years as borrowing soars

The Government borrowed 16bn in November, the most since records began 15 years ago, underlining the dire state of the public finances as the economy enters recession. The figure was higher than economists had expected and took borrowing in the first eight months of the year to 56.1bn - almost DOUBLE the level at the same time last year. The November figures do not even take into account the 20bn fiscal stimulus package announced by the Chancellor Alistair Darling at the pre-Budget report last month. The VAT cut, which will cost the Government an estimated 12.4bn, was not introduced until December.

Posted by drewster @ 02:08 AM 0 Comments

"A toxic mix of high debt and deflation. An economy can handle one at a time, but not both."

Telegraph: Federal Reserve is damned either way as it battles debt and deflation

Lombard Street Research have come up with some disturbing figures. US household debt is now $13.9 trillion, down just 1pc from its peak last year. Meanwhile household wealth has fallen 14pc as property crashes, a loss of $6.67 trillion. The debt-to-wealth ratio is rocketing. The obvious conclusion is that the Fed should print money to purchase private sector assets so as to drive up their price. Put bluntly, the Fed is deliberately stoking inflation. At some point it will succeed. Then the risk flips quickly to spiralling inflation as the elastic snaps back. There will be a second point of danger: the bond markets could go into free fall. The Fed is flying by the seat of its pants. It should never have let debt grow to such grotesque levels in the first place.

Posted by drewster @ 02:03 AM 0 Comments

Cutting back spending is easy - cutting back gas usage is harder

The Oil Drum: Will the UK Face a Natural Gas Crisis this Winter?

"In recent years, the UK has become increasingly dependent on natural gas as its primary energy source. This strategy may soon be found to be based upon poor assumptions/perceptions regarding development of domestic and neighbouring natural gas reserves and, in general, regional and global supply capabilities. Here, I present the results of simulations of the UK natural gas supply and demand situation for the remainder of this heating season. The results of these simulations are quite alarming: it appears that there is a significant chance that the UK will run short of natural gas in storage before the end of winter."

Posted by drewster @ 01:57 AM 2 Comments

Dog-house price crash

Times: Seasonal stray-dog crisis comes early as families abandon pets to save cash

Dog charities have reported an unprecedented number of stray animals after the credit crunch, with families forsaking their pets to save money. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home announced yesterday that it had almost reached capacity for the first time because of the high number of strays and lost animals being brought in. The Dogs Trust, the countrys largest dog welfare charity, told The Times that it was experiencing a similar trend.

Posted by drewster @ 01:29 AM 9 Comments

Hedge fund blow-ups hit record levels as firms pushed to the brink

telegraph: Hedge funds are closing down in record numbers as disastrous returns and heavy investor redemptions continue to savage the high-rolling sector.

Liquidations in the third quarter of 2008 soared by 70pc compared to the same period last year, according to the latest figures from Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research.

Posted by chris @ 12:00 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 130+ comments are an equally good read Why such drastic action? The Fed is utterly petrified

When the global financial system seized up in August of 2007, we said there was a risk of an economic pandemic that might plunge the world's economy into a dangerous tailspin. This was greeted with derision. The system was robust, we were told. Economies were well-placed to withstand any problems, we were told. The problem would be contained because policymakers had matters in hand, we were assured. All of which goes to show that Schopenhauer was bang on the money when he said that truth goes through three stages. In the first stage, it is ridiculed. In the second stage, it is violently opposed. And in the third stage, which of course is where we are now, it is accepted as self-evident.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 11:27 PM 9 Comments

Sub Prime mortgage fiasco (part 2)

Bloomberg: Fed Loans Guided by Raters Grading Subprime Debt AAA

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is basing hundreds of billions in emergency lending on credit ratings from companies that gave AAA grades to toxic securities. The Fed has purchased $308.5 billion in commercial paper and lent $631.8 billion under eight credit programs, most of which require appraisals of short-term debt and loan collateral by major nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations. That, in effect, means Moodys Investors Service, Standard & Poors and Fitch Ratings. It is foolhardy to rely on the three New York-based companies, said Keith Allman, chief executive officer of Enstruct Corp.

Posted by jack c @ 10:23 PM 0 Comments

About a boy shot by police? Or breakdown of order in a country with a crumbling economy?

BBC News: New clashes break out in Greece

The headlines cite the police shooting, but the below article by a commentator in Greece paints a picture of social breakdown, with the proleariat ignoring laws, and looting shops and banks. Coming to a city near you?

Posted by doom&gloom @ 08:35 PM 19 Comments

No way out - the crash is well under way

TimesOnline: Lenders fail to pass on cheaper borrowing costs

Mortgage experts accused lenders of boosting profit margins at the expense of borrowers who are struggling to find competitive deals amidst a chronic mortgage drought. The total number of mortgages on the market has fallen by almost three-quarters since the beginning of the year.

Posted by v stor @ 07:37 PM 0 Comments

A bonus according to merit!

BBC News: Worthless assets used for bonuses

Credit Suisse is introducing a new bonus system based on the illiquid assets that were at the heart of the credit crunch. About 2,000 investment bankers will have their payouts linked to assets with a notional value of 5bn Swiss francs ($4.6bn; 3.1bn). The leveraged loans and debt based on commercial mortgages in the fund currently have little market value. The idea is if they develop value in coming years the bankers will get paid.

Posted by eternal sceptic @ 06:36 PM 0 Comments

Savings shafted!!!!

Timesonline: Sterling hits new low of 95p against the euro

"Of course it's not good news for our UK friends but why don't you join the euro? If the markets were certain the merged into the euro soon with the fixing of a rate of 85p /1, the would stop falling and the ECB could help the BoE defend that rate BUT that means dropping the pound .ugh pascal-pierre, Dinan, Brittany, France" ..taken from comments. What is the possibility of HMG actually shafting every prudent person in the UK to the extent this person is suggesting (85p/1euro exchange rate at inclusion into the eurozone)?? If this happens I will have lost 60% of my savings since summer 2007 and 15% from parity, barely bares thinking about, but I must. This is driving me nuts, you try to be sensible and plan for the future of your family and those people "that matter' tear it away.

Posted by bystander @ 06:23 PM 16 Comments

Its only just started folks - into the bunkers Nouriel Roubini: The $700 Billion Bailout Isnt Enough

So there is a risk of something like a Japanese-style, multiyear economic stagnation. I would not rule it out, but it is not my benchmark scenario. I think there is a one-third probability it will end up that way, but a two-thirds probability that we will end up in a severe, two-year-long recession. And that would be by any standard the worst recession that the U.S. has experienced in the last 60 years.

Posted by v stor @ 06:16 PM 0 Comments

How many!!!!!


UP TO three million struggling homeowners are thinking about freezing their mortgage payments or not paying at all while they struggle through the recession. But property experts warn such breaks could push up overall monthly repayment increase total interest once the payments resume, according to research by price comparison website uSwitch. uSwitch said Unfortunately, todays financial climate is pushing three million more consumers down this road just to keep up with the cost of living or to cover holiday costs. However, 1.4 million consumers think the interest is frozen during this holiday and six per cent think its completely free so its unlikely that people fully understand the long-term financial implications.

Posted by little professor @ 05:35 PM 18 Comments

House prices will crash in 2009 for sure Repossessions to reach 75,000 in 2009, says CML

The CML refused to say how many people would avoid reposession because of the Government's mortgage holiday idea, but said it had kept its forecast at 75,000 because the economy had worsened so much in recent weeks.

Posted by v stor @ 04:44 PM 0 Comments

How many !!!!!!

mortgagestrategy: Two million planning mortgage payment holiday

Research from reveals more than two million borrowers are considering taking a mortgage payment believes collectively this could push their monthly repayments up by 54m and increase their total interest by 7.2bn. Despite the government's recent announcement to offer cash strapped mortgage customers a two-year freeze on interest repayments, 729,054 people claim they are considering or have already taken a holiday because they are expecting to be made redundant.

Posted by jack c @ 03:41 PM 14 Comments

Banks will lend to anyone, but only the most reckless would borrow in this environment

Times: Alistair Darling aims to guarantee business lending

The Chancellor is considering a national lending scheme under which the Government would guarantee new lending to businesses of all sizes as one of his leading options. If past loan schemes are followed, the Government would cover most of the risk on each loan, possibly up to 80 per cent, and the bank would bear the rest. The taxpayer could be faced with a big bill if companies defaulted, as some certainly would. The default rate of firms involved in government loan schemes since 1981 is 28 per cent. [CalculatedRisk says: The problem is partially that banks have tightened standards, but also that loan demand has fallen sharply (not many companies are looking to expand or invest right now). Guaranteeing lending might loosen standards, but I fail to see how it encourages companies to borrow]

Posted by drewster @ 02:27 PM 5 Comments

Anatole again, getting desperate, printing money and forcing people to spend it.

Times Online: Forget hard choices. We need pampering

Can it get any worse than this ? "If there were doubts over whether private citizens would spend the newly-minted dollars, the Fed could agree with the Government on a programme of direct public spending financed by free electronic money, instead of taxes or bond issues. The Fed can literally guarantee that any new money created by this ultra- Keynesian approach will increase economic activity and employment. But such certainty comes at a cost."

Posted by andrew @ 02:04 PM 21 Comments

Why 0% interest rates are dangerous

MoneyWeek: 0% interest rates are dangerous. Here's why

With US interest rates as low as they can go, the Fed has little more room to manoeuvre. Plan B is to print more money. But that's a dangerous game, and we will all be paying for it for a long time.

Posted by damien @ 01:48 PM 0 Comments

Fed unleashes greatest bubble of all

Reuters: Fed unleashes greatest bubble of all

"..the Fed's decision to cut interest rates to between zero and 0.25 percent, coupled with a promise to keep them there for an extended period, and the threat to conduct even more unconventional operations in the longer-dated Treasury market risks the biggest bubble of all, this time in the U.S. government debt"

Posted by chandellina @ 01:20 PM 0 Comments

Can't say it better than Dr Williams

Telegraph: Gordon Brown's spending plan like 'drug addiction'

"Rowan Williams also said the credit crunch was a welcome "reality check" for a society that has become driven by unsustainable greed". Not just Germany thinking we're "crass"...

Posted by growler @ 01:08 PM 33 Comments

Surveys by home sellers Return of the Home Condition report (HCR)?

After the press release by Magaret Beckett on HIPs. Most focussed on the property questionnaire, however there is reference in the statement to a home survey returning to the table. Could this be the case?

Posted by kaz @ 01:07 PM 0 Comments

Woe betide those greedy enough to invest in hedge funds when times were booming...

Private Equity Wire: Barbarians at the hedge fund gates

The 'Barbarians beseigeing the hedge fund gates' are hedge fund investors who simply want their own money back. But of course if that happens then hedgies will be out of jobs. So to avoid 'having to liquidate assets in a declining market', this article details all manner of schemes to prevent investors taking their money back. Of course, the fund values could just continue to decline further, in which case hedge fund investors will lose everything, having to watch their wealth disappear. Choosing to put my cash in an HSBC instant access current account looks like a more inspired move by the day.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:03 PM 9 Comments

It's not all bad news.This will make you feel better

Mail: Recession? Not in the public sector where state workers are unscathed

Private sector workers are losing their jobs in record numbers but the public sector is still booming, official figures revealed yesterday. The number of private sector workers plunged 128,000 in just three months, the biggest fall ever recorded. But workers in the public sector emerged unscathed from the worst economic meltdown since the First World War.

Posted by plato @ 12:01 PM 26 Comments


Timesonline: Retail sales unexpectedly rise 1.5% in November

Official figures this morning showed an unexpected rise of 1.5 per cent in retail sales in the UK last month. British retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in November, and are up 1.5 per cent on last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. A 3.9 per cent rise in sales of household goods, the biggest monthly increase since July 2007, fuelled the growth. Food sales were up 0.2 per cent, but clothing and footwear sales dropped 0.5 per cent.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 11:01 AM 11 Comments

More repossession porn

BBC: Mortgage arrears to reach 500,000

Mortgage lenders predict the recession will lead to a huge rise in arrears among their borrowers in 2009. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said the number of households more than three months behind with their repayments would reach 500,000. That will be more than double this year's expected figure of 210,000. The CML said 2009 would be "very tough" because the recession would drive up unemployment and lead to 75,000 repossessions among borrowers.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:20 AM 7 Comments

But retail sales rose in November

Bloomberg: U.K. Pound Sinks to Record 94 Pence per Euro Before Retail Data

"The pound fell to 94 pence per euro for the first time on speculation a report forecast to show a drop in retail sales",........and yet the retail figures rose 0.3% and the pound still drops and the IFO in Germany drops to the lowest level since the 1980's. Speculation, as with commodities earlier in the year, is controlling the pace of the sterling fall rather than the widely touted 'fundamentals'. Banks, traders and HMG (IMHO) etc. are building positions and forcing sterling lower, Happy Christmas Forex. Most economists say that the downside is already 'priced-in', what does this mean when sterling continues to drop? To those of you out there who defend these violent moves down please explain this so that I can begin to understand the thinking in the Forex game.

Posted by bystander @ 10:20 AM 8 Comments

How Madoff ripped off the Elite

Wall Street Journal: The Impressionable Elites Get Snookered

For most of this century, con men and hucksters preyed on the uneducated and the elderly who couldn't read the fine print. But now we learn that the real mother lode for con artists is the Impressionable Elites* of country clubs, and the rarefied hedge fund managers of Wall Street and Greenwich. Bernard Madoff proves the point. no one questioned his numbers. He sold himself to people on the basis of brand. Historically, elites have behaved like this. They follow a path from being the founders of new nations to the dupes who stand by as their piece of civilization is sacked and pillaged.

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:57 AM 1 Comments

Why doesn't the BoE try this?? rather than cutting rates???

Bloomberg: ECB May Cut Deposit Rate to Revive Bank Lending, Economists Say

"The European Central Bank may cut its deposit rate as soon as today in an effort to jolt banks into lending more to each other, economists said." answer to my alternative headline...."because they don't have Danny "slash and burn' Blanchflower calling the shots." Its no wonder the ECB have a stronger currency.

Posted by bystander @ 08:09 AM 3 Comments

The Very Very Great Depression........................... est arriv

Leap 2020: Global systemic crisis New tipping point in March 2009

LEAP/E2020 anticipates that the unfolding global systemic crisis will experience in March 2009 a new tipping point of similar magnitude to the September 2008 one. The crisis will continue, in particular in the US and UK, and in all the countries depending on their economy, were the duration could approximate a decade. In fact these countries should not expect any real return to growth before 2018.

Posted by jim @ 06:50 AM 30 Comments

Where are your "sound fundamentals" now, Crash Gordon?

BBC News: Unemployment increases by 137,000 [in three months]

The number of people out of work in the UK rose by 137,000 to 1.86 million in the three months to October - the highest level since 1997. "I think what's interesting is the scale of job losses this early in the cycle," said George Buckley, an economist at Deutsche Bank. "Unemployment is normally a lagging indicator so to see so many job losses this early in the cycle is extremely worrying." "The latest unemployment figures are bleak and herald a return to the dark days of mass joblessness we hoped had gone forever." Managers are expected to be hit hard by job cuts, with the Management Consultancies Association forecasting up to 360,000 will lose their jobs by 2010. The Prince's Trust has also warned that young people have so far borne the brunt of job losses.

Posted by drewster @ 12:40 AM 27 Comments

Hitting the mainstream

Telegraph: Free money coming your way!

The financial crisis is so bad that governments are ready to print money to stop the economy seizing up. Not only did the Fed cut interest rates to as low as zero, it indicated that it would hold them there and that it will pull out the big guns in other words ready the printing presses to fight the worsening crisis. A day later the Bank of England minutes revealed the committee had considered cutting by more than one per cent this month. The Western world is now in recession, at a scale few of us have experienced. Even so, the fact that Bernanke and the Fed are advocating helicopter drops of cash is startling. This has alarming precedents: it was the printing presses that did for Weimar Germany, and sparked Zimbabwean hyperinflation.

Posted by little professor @ 12:35 AM 24 Comments

Bit by bit, the world's great economic engine shuts down

Sky News: Chrysler Shuts Down All Factories

Chrysler said Wednesday that it will idle all of its manufacturing operations starting this Friday through at least January 19 in an effort to keep inventories more aligned with plunging U.S. demand for new cars and trucks. "As a result of the financial crisis, the automotive market remains depressed due to the continued lack of consumer credit for potential buyers," the firm said in a statement. "Last week several automakers announced significant downward adjustments in production for the first quarter of 2009," it said. "To make sure our inventory remains aligned with market demand, Chrysler will also extend the holiday shutdown already in place." All operations "will be idled at the end of the shift on Friday", said the statement. [Nothing to do with house prices, sorry.]

Posted by drewster @ 12:26 AM 6 Comments

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here we go again, or do we???? The Return Of The 95 Per Cent Mortgage

Louise Cuming, head of mortgages at, said:"However, the dangers of high loan to value mortgages remain. With projections of further falls in house prices, a 95 per cent mortgage could easily land borrowers in negative equity. As such those looking for high LTV mortgages must go into these deals with their eyes open and be comfortable with the idea of potentially living in negative equity." .....some sense at least, but what are the income multiples and will these be available to the BTL brigade. Although it says this LTV is only available to existing customers, for how long????

Posted by bystander @ 10:55 PM 3 Comments

Oh dear what a mess, the bank cannot pay its debt

Daily Telegraph: Fresh credit strains in Europe as Deutsche Bank shocks markets

Deutsche Bank has refused to redeem a bond issue in an unprecedented move that has rattled Europe's credit markets. The news set off a fresh flight from European bank debt. Credit default swaps (CDS) on the iTraxx Financial index measuring stress in the sector saw the biggest jump since the Lehman Brothers crisis. Deutsche Bank, Germany's top lender, said it had chosen not to exercise a "call option" on a subordinated bond worth 1bn (930bn), breaking an iron-fast code in the credit markets. The bank's share price fell 7pc in Frankfurt, and the default insurance on the company's debt surged. "This has never happened before," said Willem Sels, a credit strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 08:30 PM 11 Comments

That sinking feeling The growing threat of deflation

"I think the Fed's statement clearly reflected some alarm that there is a greater risk of not just deflation, but of depression," said Bernard Baumohl, executive director of The Economic Outlook Group, a Princeton, N.J. research firm.

Posted by v stor @ 08:27 PM 0 Comments

Short summary of 2008

Daily Telegraph: Personal finance review 2008

I am surprised that they managed to keep the summary so short. They missed the bit about Flash Gordon claiming to have saved the world. Perhaps we ought to start our own summary of 2008 on the HPC Wiki and have a forecast for 2009. Will Flash save the universe?

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 08:13 PM 0 Comments

"Intensifying solvency concerns about a number of the largest US-based and European financial instit

bbc: IMF in global 'meltdown' warning

The world financial system is teetering on the "brink of systemic meltdown", the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned in Washington.

Posted by chris @ 08:09 PM 3 Comments

Bank to charge savers?

Daily Telegraph: UK needs negative interest rates, L&G warns

Negative interest rates? How does this work? Will the bank charge savers for the privilege of losing their money? The rest of the article seems rubbish, predicting that the recession will end in Q3 2009 with the FTSE at 4800! More likely we will still be getting deeper in to this mess with the FTSE at 2000. Still what does a mere mortal like me know.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 08:03 PM 5 Comments

Searches for HPC are up 40% year on year

Hitwise Blogs - Robin Goad: Property websites and the online house price crash

This blog post from Hitwise Intelligence shows how web users searching for "house price crash" have increased by 43% in the year to November, whereas searches for "house prices" are down 20%.

Posted by paulm @ 07:49 PM 12 Comments

What will this do to property prices in South Kensington?

Telegraph: Sterling's slide may turn foreign bankers off 'la vie anglaise'

The French, Italians and Germans who have thronged to London's banks and bars over the past decade may look back on December 2008 as the month their love affair with "la vie anglaise" died. Sterling's slide to as little as 92p against the euro has had many of them thinking it may be time to go home. London's attractions during the boom years were manifold. It was the world's leading financial centre offering the greatest opportunities and financial rewards. What's more, those rewards were generally paid in sterling - a currency that at its height was worth 1.50. The trend was self-perpetuating. The more foreigners arrived, the more the city changed to fulfil their needs, and the more they felt at home. Even the French learned to like the UK capital.

Posted by drewster @ 07:38 PM 2 Comments

Call from NLA for BTL investors to be included in the proposed mortgage support scheme

Citywire: Property: Dangers lie ahead for buy-to-let investors

The National Landlords Association is highlighting the plight of buy-to-let landlords whose investments face the double threat of oversupply in a fragile market and tenants losing their jobs. The call from the National Landlords Association (NLA) for buy-to-let investors to be included in the proposed mortgage support scheme is probably no more than a cheeky attempt to highlight the fact that buy-to-let landlords are struggling, too.

Posted by jack c @ 06:50 PM 9 Comments

Beccy desperately wants the price falls to stop so calls the bottom of the market

Times Online: Dry rot at Savills

"These buyers are quietly calling the bottom of the market, even if the official figures and Savills' profit forecasts do not give any indication that it is anywhere within sight." - in other words ... the bottom of the market is, well, nowhere in sight then? "... the industry is pinning its hopes for recovery on cash-rich buyers. " Good luck with that one, love.

Posted by paul @ 06:08 PM 13 Comments

Stray That Broke The Camels Back

The Times: Opec makes largest ever cut to oil production

Over the past few weeks i have looked for the Catylst that will trigger the final nail in the UK economic coffin, i feel sorry we are there but Gordon, Badger and Mandy are amatures at the game ( if they have experienced life before maybe i missed it ), this single event will push oil towards $80 a barrel which is Opecs target, the feed through to UK inflation will be in my view collosal.

Posted by rimmer @ 05:58 PM 2 Comments

British Pound Weakens to 93 Pence per Euro for First Time

Bloomberg: British Pound Weakens to 93 Pence per Euro for First Time

By Justin Carrigan Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The British pound weakened to 93 pence per euro for the first time and traded at 93.07 pence as of 5:31 p.m. in London. To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Carrigan in London at Last Updated: December 17, 2008 12:32 EST

Posted by frenchie @ 05:57 PM 1 Comments

Fatal economics will soon take down world economy Fed unleashes greatest bubble of all

Like the sorcerers apprentice, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his predecessor Alan Greenspan have unleashed a series of ever-larger asset bubbles they cannot control. Now the Feds decision to cut interest rates to between zero and 0.25 percent, coupled with a promise to keep them there for an extended period, and the threat to conduct even more unconventional operations in the longer-dated Treasury market risks the biggest bubble of all, this time in U.S. government debt.

Posted by v stor @ 05:31 PM 0 Comments

Just for fun (mainly)

Nestoholic: UK asking prices

This site does not show any new data, but it is an incredibly quick and easy way of comparing asking prices in two different areas of the UK. Well worth a visit.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:40 PM 3 Comments

RBS predict that people will continue to eat.

istockanalyst: We Still See Farmers As Sound Risk - RBS

McLean said RBS had actually increased its lending to agriculture during the past 12 months and farmers were still regarded as a sound risk. But he did concede that these were volatile times, even though farming and fishing were the only sectors of the economy that had not slipped into recession.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 02:58 PM 9 Comments

a bit too much me thinks

bbc: Brookside Close sold for 735,000

The infamous Brookside cul-de-sac that once saw its residents murdered, taken hostage and buried under a patio has sold for 735,000 at auction. An unnamed Liverpool-based buyer has snapped up all 13 properties of Brookside Close, in Liverpool's West Derby estate.

Posted by mark @ 02:57 PM 8 Comments

close all 807 Woolworths stores in the UK by January 5 with the loss of 27,000 jobs.

yahoo: All Woolies Stores To Be Closed

Administrators are to close all 807 Woolworths stores in the UK by January 5 with the loss of 27,000 jobs. Some 207 are to close on December 27 followed by another 200 on December 30.

Posted by mark @ 02:24 PM 7 Comments

2 days old, but interesting..

manchester evening news: Property investors launch legal action

A PROPERTY management and development company is facing legal action from 30 customers who fear they may lose more than 320,000 worth of deposits on apartments between them. The potential legal action against Salford-based Dylan Harvey Group is being led on the behalf of the investors by Manchester law firm Pannone.

Posted by mark @ 01:55 PM 2 Comments

Race to the bottom. Interesting times indeed.

Timesonline: Pound dives on prospect of steep UK rate cut

Sterling tumbled to a new low against the euro today after it emerged the Bank of England discussed making a steeper interest rate cut while analysts suggested the UK will follow the US Federal Reserve by making a sharp reduction to borrowing costs. Minutes from December's meeting between the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) revealed that members considered a larger rate cut than the eventual 1 per cent but held off for fear of causing an excessive fall in the exchange rate.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 01:46 PM 4 Comments

more bad news daily

bloomberg: World Confidence Drops as Slump Deepens,

Its bad news on top of bad news, said Lindsey Piegza, an economist at FTN Financial in New York. People are wondering whos going to fail next, whos going to lie to us, and theres just a lot of mistrust and skepticism. Confidence in the banking and financial system has been eroded. The global crisis has cost banks almost $1 trillion so far in writedowns and losses. Citigroup Inc. announced plans to eliminate 52,000 jobs and accepted a $45 billion bailout from the U.S. government. Bernard Madoff was arrested last week for allegedly defrauding investors of $50 billion in a Ponzi scheme.

Posted by mark @ 01:40 PM 0 Comments

here we go again!

bloomberg: AIG Writedowns May Rise $30 Billion on Swaps Not in U.S. Rescue

Every time I look at their statements I find something new, said Donn Vickrey, executive vice president of Gradient Analytics in Scottsdale, Arizona. He estimated that AIG may need to take at least $28 billion in additional writedowns on swaps covering European corporate loans and prime residential mortgages, as well as collateralized loan and debt obligations.

Posted by mark @ 01:36 PM 1 Comments

The end of Fiat Money

Market Oracle: U.S. Federal Reserve Sets Stage for Weimar Style Hyper-inflation

The Federal Reserve has bluntly refused a request by a major US financial news service to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from US taxpayers and to reveal the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Their lawyers resorted to the bizarre argument that they did so to protect trade secrets.' Is the secret that the US financial system is de facto bankrupt? The latest Fed move is further indication of the degree of panic and lack of clear strategy within the highest ranks of the US financial institutions. Unprecedented Federal Reserve expansion of the Monetary Base in recent weeks sets the stage for a future Weimar-style hyperinflation perhaps before 2010

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:12 PM 65 Comments

One more reflation before the collapse

Market Oracle: Government Bailouts the Ultimate Ponzi Scheme Heading for Financial Collapse

Notwithstanding the success of a 2nd American Revolution - Politicians, Bankers, Power Brokers, Lobbyists, Wall Street, and Huge Trans-National Corporate Conglomerates have collectively succeeded in delivering their subtle-monopoly deathblows to American Free Market Capitalism. In doing so, they have destroyed the constitutional fortress which once protected and kept shining the beacon of American ideals and free enterprise.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:00 PM 2 Comments

Economists discuss

FT: Central banks need a helicopter

The most direct and efficient solution to the economic and financial problems is for central banks to transfer cash directly to the household sector.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 11:37 AM 2 Comments

anyone know anything about this company? is it large/small etc

contract Journal: PC Harrington workers ordered to take 15% pay cut

One worker said: "I've been hereyears and resent thistreatment. Theytalked about redundancies a few weeks ago and now have come up with this pay cut. They think we're grateful still to have a job and will put up with anything."

Posted by mark @ 11:15 AM 6 Comments

dear jimmy your father is out of work, xmas is cancelled we have to give house to bank!

bbc: National Express to cut 750 jobs

Rail and bus firm National Express says it plans to cut up to 750 jobs to save costs over the next year.

Posted by mark @ 10:45 AM 1 Comments

Bank considered bigger rate cut

0% here we come: BBC:

The Bank of England's rate-setting body voted 9-0 to cut rates to 2% this month and considered a bigger move, minutes from its meeting have shown. The monetary policy committee (MPC) agreed that a cut in the Bank rate from 3% to 2% was the minimum needed. However, it avoided a deeper cut on concerns it could hit the pound and undermine confidence in the economy. The minutes are likely to reinforce expectations that UK rates will fall further in the months ahead.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:38 AM 3 Comments

Summer Election? - I bet he's already placed orders for ticker-tape, jelly and ice-cream!

Times: Brown sets summer date for British troop pullout from Iraq during Baghdad visit

"All but a handful of British troops will be home from Iraq by next summer, Gordon Brown announced on a surprise visit to Baghdad today. Mr Brown and his Iraqi counterpart, Nouri al-Maliki, said that UK forces will have "completed their tasks" in the first half of 2009 and will then leave the country." Surely this is it?

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:19 AM 1 Comments

Is the dollar likely to remain the worlds reserve currenc?

Bloomberg: Dollar Declines to 13-Year Low Against Yen After Fed Rate Cut

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar fell to a 13-year low against the yen and the weakest versus the euro in 11 weeks after the Federal Reserve cut its target interest rate to the lowest among the worlds industrialized nations.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:48 AM 10 Comments

But I thought Gordon Brown had saved the world with his economic genius?

Telegraph: Taxpayers face new pain as Gordon Brown's bank bail-out fails to stop credit crunch

In comments which raise the ultimate prospect of wholesale nationalisation of the British banking system, Mervyn King said that "additional measures" are now needed to solve the crisis. The 500bn rescue plan unveiled by the Prime Minister in October and since copied throughout the world is not encouraging banks to lend more to families and businesses, he said.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:17 AM 0 Comments

It is deflation! The central bankers are very worried about it.

Telegraph: US interest rates: Mr Bernanke correctly judged the risk of deflation

The sort of deflation now spreading across North America, Japan, and parts of Europe is not the benign variety of the late 19th century when prices slid gently for year after year. Debt levels are much higher today, so the deflation effect is that much more dangerous. The danger is a self-feeding downward spiral as the `real burden of debt keeps rising into the slump, as Irving Fisher dissected in his great opus The Debt-Deflation Theory of Great Depressions. US inflation was minus 1.7pc in November, and minus 1pc in October. This entirely vindicates the brave decision by Ben Bernanke at the US Federal Reserve -- and our our own Mervyn King at the Bank of England -- to look through the oil spike earlier this year and keep his focus on the underlying forces at work in the global ecnomy

Posted by drewster @ 12:19 AM 39 Comments

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crass Keynesianism?

Telegraph: ECB rebels defy Bundesbank

There is a risk that policy makers run out of ammunition too early and remain without a means of escape." He likened it to a spaghetti western. The good guys in the cavalry lose if they empty their revolvers too early, and are then surrounded

Posted by bellwether @ 11:51 PM 0 Comments

The Return Of Credit - Not Exactly Cheap Though.

The Times: Nationwide brings back 95% mortgage

A Times run article to show 95% mortgages are returning, sad to see they will ever return personally as its one of the reasons that has the UK in the mess thats makes it what it is today with people working 50 years to fund a shoe box. Interesting to note you can have it fixed at 7.2% APR though.

Posted by rimmer @ 11:20 PM 12 Comments

Mervyn gives up the pretence of trying to meet the inflation target - Quite incredible!

Telegraph: Mervyn King warns on inflation

"In a letter to Alistair Darling, Mr King said that the Bank is effectively suspending its efforts to meet the 2pc CPI target until 2011 as a combination of the recession and the temporary VAT cut make inflation far more volatile than usual. The admission that the Bank will not aim to meet the target over the next year and a half will cause some consternation in the City, where inflation stability is viewed as one of the most important precepts of the central bank." And here was I thinking the inflation target has been missed for well over a year - hardly a 'temporary disturbance'!!! What a fraudster. We're in this mess BECAUSE he failed to more accurately track inflation.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:51 PM 3 Comments

What's that creaking sound?

Telegraph: Six housing associations placed on 'watch list' over finance fears

Concerns are growing about the financial security of housing associations because of falling prices of private homes whose developers are often partners in social housing projects plus a lack of debt financing and mortgage availability.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:46 PM 0 Comments

Getting squeezed from all sides

Telegraph: Will 2008 be a watershed for the buy-to-let sector?

2008 has been a grim year for most people who invested in the housing market. The freezing up of credit has sent property prices tumbling, and made it virtually impossible to get a decent buy-to-let mortgage without a deposit of at least 25%. And while rents initially appeared to be compensating for the falling capital values, it now seems that a flood of extra supply into the rental market has sent rents downwards in many areas. On top of the worries over the economy, landlords have also had to cope with new legislation, including energy performance certificates and reforms to the housing benefit system. Falling rents and a glut of homes to let in some areas mean many landlords have not been able to find tenants or cover the mortgage costs.

Posted by little professor @ 10:13 PM 1 Comments

The Fed isn't a branch of government, Barry!

FT: Fed slashes rates to near zero

President-elect Barack Obama told reporters "Although the Fed is still going to have more tools available to it, it is critical that the other branches of government step up.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 09:30 PM 7 Comments

Monopoly economy - faith in USA has evapourated Fed Cuts Rate to Zero-0.25%, Will Use All Tools

The Fed is sending a message that it will print money to an unlimited extent until it starts to see the economy expanding,

Posted by v stor @ 07:56 PM 4 Comments

Only .25% to go!

BBC News: US rate cut to zero - 0.25% range

The US Federal Reserve has slashed its key interest rate from 1% to a range of between zero and 0.25% as it battles the country's recession. In its statement, the Federal Reserve warned that "the outlook for economic activity has weakened further". It predicted that rates would stay at the current exceptionally low levels "for some time".

Posted by flintster1994 @ 07:45 PM 30 Comments

Data revealing the scale of the world house price falls

Busuness World: World House price Slump

In 2008, the crash of the worlds housing markets, which began in the US in 2007, precipitated the worlds most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression. Inflation-adjusted house prices fell in more than 21 countries out of the 29 for which Q3 figures are available. In no country is there cause for strong optimism. The latest quarterly figures bring grim news, even in countries which recently saw price rises.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 06:07 PM 2 Comments

It ain't working is it? Securitization was a scam that created a housing bubble thats popped Bank of England warns more needed to rescue UK economy as bail-out falters

Despite a blizzard of interest rate cuts from the Bank and a dramatic increase in borrowing by the Government, the economic picture for the UK continues to deteriorates. Manufacturing is contracting faster than expected and figures tomorrow are poised to show a rise in unemployment.

Posted by v stor @ 06:02 PM 1 Comments

Now you can't even hedge your bets Third of Hedge Funds Face Wipe Out After Slump, Godden Says

The failure rate is going to go up, the closure rate is going up, and the merger rate is going up,

Posted by v stor @ 05:56 PM 0 Comments

Exposing the myth behind deflation predictions

Telegraph: Price of fresh food rises again, figures show

The annual rate of food inflation rose from 10.1 per cent to 10.8 per cent. Howard Archer, chief UK and European Economist at Global Insight, said: "Sterling is having an impact as most of our fruits are imported. This is not something that is going to disappear." As an aside, Mervyn King's chief role has always been to shape expectations in his announcements, and today's missive that deflation could happen 'soon' is no exception. Meanwhile inflation is still 110% above target.

Posted by paul @ 05:16 PM 8 Comments

Fair dinkum Aussie bloke chokes up three quarters of a million dollars when he fails to complete

The Australian: High-end homes fall in a hole as crisis hits rich

A SYDNEY house-hunter reportedly had to pull out of a recent deal to buy a multi-million- dollar house and forfeited his $750,000 deposit to the vendor in the process.

Posted by hubbers @ 05:04 PM 2 Comments

Interest rate cuts and firt time home buyer bribes aren't working in Australia

The Australian: Fears of debt push auction rate lower

INTEREST rate cuts and the increase to the first-home buyers grant appear to have failed to restore confidence to the property market with auction clearance rates dropping sharply over the month.

Posted by hubbers @ 04:53 PM 1 Comments

US inflation falls still further

BBC: Disinflation!

"US inflation has dropped by a record amount for the second month in succession, as petrol prices and other energy costs continued to fall."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 02:04 PM 3 Comments


Mortgage Introducer: Extra cash help for first-timers

Margaret Beckett has revealed the government has added an extra 100 million to its scheme to help up to 18,000 first-time buyers get on to the property ladder. Beckett also announced that more than 130 developers have agreed to take part in the scheme whereby households with incomes below 60,000 will be able to buy a new home with the help of a shared equity loan. The loan will be partly funded by the government and the developer and will be free of charge for five years. First-time buyers can use it as a deposit and it can cover up to 30 per cent of the purchase price.

Posted by renting2 @ 01:54 PM 17 Comments

Cost to insure government debt default soars again

FT Alphaville: The mystery meaning of sovereign CDS

Interestingly the article points out the limitations of insuring against government default. Faced with default, it is more likely that the government would print money to repay, thereby inflating its way out of the issue. And if the goverment did decide to default rather than inflate, it would be inlikely that the insurer would/could pay out anyway.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:41 PM 1 Comments


Times: Bargainhunter: tenants' revenge

The "woman who phoned up the pet shop to order 100 cockroaches. What do you want them for, asked the shopkeeper? Because, she replied, Im moving today and my lease says I must leave the place exactly as I found it. "

Posted by confused76 @ 01:16 PM 2 Comments

Mortgage lenders say house prices are continuing to crash House prices to continue to fall

Following bank bails outs, record rate cuts and mortgage misery, the majority of us will be glad to see the back of 2008, yet one question remains: are we stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire?

Posted by ben @ 01:12 PM 0 Comments

Should we blame the pensions ?

ITN: Pension Apprehension

Pension budgeting is tricky. Here, public service pensions may be miscalculated for some people. It seems to me that the public's uncertainty about their pension future motivated them to invest in property and to accept that a property of their own should have a high asset value. And it seems to me that the government, faced with a pensions crisis, wanted house prices to succeed as investments too. We talk about tracking inflation, etc.. Perhaps the overriding motive of policy is a perceived pensions deficit. [my first article post - look at me all back of the bus]

Posted by mdmick @ 11:56 AM 2 Comments

The biggest scam of all: Governments saving us from the bust

MoneyWeek: The biggest scam of all: Governments saving us from the bust

Never mind dodgy hedge funds swindling billions out of investors, Governments are doing the same to taxpayers. But all their misguided efforts at 'fiscal stimulus' will be in vain. In fact, they may even make things worse...

Posted by damien @ 11:20 AM 6 Comments

EWI ask the question

EWI: Will the U.K. Housing Market Bottom In 2009?

Bearish momentum divergence and classic 5 waves up with a 3 wave down move to come. Have we had the A yet? For the folks that dont know the textbook form of the downmove is a 3 waves. An "A" wave against the prior trend, a "B" wave retracing that primary downward move (the sucker move) and then the "C" which results in new lows.

Posted by techieman @ 10:29 AM 17 Comments

Is deflation a red herring?

BBC News: UK inflation declines once again

UK inflation fell in November to 4.1%, official figures have shown, less of a decline than analysts had expected. The drop in the government's preferred Consumer Prices Index rate compares with 4.5% in October. Some economists had tipped a fall to 3.9% in November.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:43 AM 42 Comments

The golden age of cheao holidays is over Holidaymakers get less than 1 euro per pound at airports

Holidaymakers are receiving less than one euro to the pound as sterling slumped to a new record low against the single European currency.

Posted by ben @ 09:06 AM 0 Comments

How can the end result of all of this "quantative easing" be anything other than hyperinflation?

CNBC: Fed May Signal Other Steps Besides Interest-Rate Cut

The Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates to close to zero on Tuesday and may point to further unconventional steps to battle a year-old recession. Economists expect the US central bank to lower its target for benchmark overnight rates by at least a half-percentage point to 0.5 percent and clearly state it will deploy so-called quantitative easing measures to restore growth. The Fed on Monday said US industrial production fell 0.6 percent in November, with manufacturing output shrinking 1.4 percent to put it 7.3 percent below its year-ago level. A separate index of manufacturing activity in New York state hit a record low in December.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 07:25 AM 23 Comments

The economy in the current quarter could contract 1.25% to 1.75%, the newspaper added.

faz: The German government expects the country's economy to contract 3% or more next year, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in its Tuesday edition, citing internal economy ministry figures.

The German government expects the country's economy to contract 3% or more next year, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in its Tuesday edition, citing internal economy ministry figures.

Posted by chris @ 06:24 AM 0 Comments

Just how much dirty money entered Spain in the boom years is impossible to say. But annecdotal evi

times: How Spain built on the boom in dirty money

Police seized 200,000 (178,000) in cash, 23 luxury cars and a Dal painting. Bank accounts containing 414 million were frozen. Mr Petrov and 17 others were charged with a variety of offences including money-laundering, murder, extortion, drug dealing, illicit association, falsification of documents and tax fraud.

Posted by chris @ 06:03 AM 0 Comments

Unemployment is up and tenants are more likely to default

Independent: Rent arrears haunt landlords

After seeing at least 15 per cent wiped off the value of their property investments in the past year, it seemed that landlords on variable-rate mortgages could at last breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the recent dramatic cuts in the base rate. But already they are faced with a still graver problem: the growing prospect of rent arrears. 71 per cent of landlords expect tenants to fall behind on their rent during the course of next year as unemployment shoots up and the credit crunch bites harder. "If you have two buy-to-let places and one tenant doesn't cough up, that's half your rental income." [Wow, what an insight. Do they get paid to write that? Here's another insight:] "The bedsit end of the market is usually considered high risk when it comes to defaults on rental payments."

Posted by drewster @ 02:40 AM 14 Comments

Violent protests could break out if the elite are seen to benefit too much

Times: Head of IMF fears unrest without action on economy

Violent unrest may be sparked around the world by a prolonged global slump unless governments act with greater urgency to jump-start stalled economies, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. Dominique Strauss-Kahn sounded a stark warning over the consequences of weak and uncertain government reaction to the economic crisis. The IMF has called for governments in leading economies to spend a combined 2 per cent of global GDP, or $1.2 trillion, to try to fend off the danger from global recession.If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may happen in many countries - including advanced economies. He also claimed that violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not reordered to benefit everyone rather than a small elite.

Posted by drewster @ 02:32 AM 3 Comments

Reliance on City makes UK more vulnerable

Guardian: Chancellor admits Britain is facing more severe downturn

Britain will be more severely affected [than other countries] by the global downturn because of its dependence on the City of London, the chancellor, Alistair Darling, warned yesterday. Darling, who gave the government's first warning of the depths of the downturn when he told the Guardian in August that the world was facing "arguably its worst" economic conditions in 60 years, returned to the theme yesterday in a debate on the economy. Darling added: "We're also affected by the downturn in the housing market." [Affected by? These goons caused it in the first place!]

Posted by drewster @ 02:25 AM 5 Comments

6,400 building firms to fail by middle of next year

Guardian: Housing starts lowest since 1924 as construction bears brunt of recession

A report out today from the Construction Products Association (CPA) and Ernst & Young reveals there have been just 135,000 housing starts this year, compared to 203,500 in 2007. This figure, excluding the second world war when few houses were built, is the lowest since 1924, when there were 87,000 housing starts during a period of severe deflation. Many projects date from before the worst of the financial crisis hit and there are fears that homebuilding will grind to a virtual standstill in the new year - leading to tens of thousands of job losses in the building trades. Commercial property is also being hit hard, with the CPA expecting falls in office construction alone of 24% next year and 19% in 2010.

Posted by drewster @ 02:11 AM 2 Comments

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's only a recession until the government sticks its nose in

Prudent Bear: How recessions become Great Depressions

The preconditions for recession in 1921, 1929, 1947 and 1981 were similar to today. In each case, a large percentage of U.S. assets, built up over the preceding few years, had become obsolete and needed to be scrapped. All of these downturns involved an "overhang" of assets that were no longer worth their cost, and the associated debt defaulted. This is similar to the housing overhang of 2008. Only in 1929-30 was the overhang less obvious initially, but an overhang was produced during the downturn by the insane political imposition of the Smoot-Hawley act [heavy trade tariffs], decimating world trade. By contrast in 1921, the treasury secretary believed in allowing the private sector to liquidate its way out of recession. He therefore organized no bailouts, but instead cut public spending.

Posted by drewster @ 10:59 PM 17 Comments

Taxpayers money at work

Metro: A 100% mortgage from the taxman

The 100 per cent mortgage is on the way back as taxpayers' money is used to tempt first-time buyers to move into empty new homes. The loans will be backed with 400million pledged by ministers to a scheme to help the less-well-off get on to the property ladder. It could mean up to 18,000 new homes sitting empty after the housing bubble burst are finally occupied. But critics said that the government risked driving thousands of young home-buyers into negative equity. Lib Dem spokeswoman Sarah Teather said ''First-time buyers are being bribed into a falling market, putting them at serious risk of negative equity."

Posted by little professor @ 10:53 PM 15 Comments

Housing market is now taking one almighty hit - how can the UK escape whats coming? Why home values may take decades to recover

Rick Wallick moved into a new, three-bedroom $200,000 home in Maricopa, Ariz., in October 2005. Today, the home is worth $80,000.

Posted by v stor @ 06:24 PM 4 Comments

This adds up to worst house price crash in UK history in 2009 - 2010 Britain faces worst recession in history, Cabinet minister Tessa Jowell admits

Tessa Jowell, the Olympics Minister, said the forthcoming downturn was expected to be "deeper than any that we have known".

Posted by v stor @ 06:10 PM 4 Comments

A look back on how brown discovered the housing bubble in

FT.Com: Asleep at the wheel

It is often wrongly claimed that Gordon Brown failed to spot the housing bubble. In fact, he called the bubble as early as 2005. The trouble was he believed he had addressed it. Brown thought he had successfully managed a boom without a bust.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 06:07 PM 35 Comments

BTL investor states his rents are now back to 1993 levels

BBC Working Lunch (Today): Housing market

People who are unable to sell their properties because of the collapse of the residential sales market are now flooding the lettings sector as reluctant landlords. Simon meets a Working Lunch viewer who is concerned about his rental properties and Richard Price, Director of the National Landlords Association, talks to Naga and Declan.

Posted by jack c @ 04:56 PM 4 Comments

We don't even need sub-prime any more for HPC

Telegraph: Prime mortgage borrowers struggle with payments, report says

"The study by ratings agency Standard & Poor's showed that the percentage of so-called "prime borrowers" the most low risk borrowers who were finding it difficult to repay their loan was at its highest level since 2000, when its records began. "

Posted by voiceofreason @ 04:11 PM 3 Comments

Somebody loves us, :-D, even though we suck

Telegraph: Britain, ich liebe dich

This summer, I discovered that my fellow countrymen's fascination with the British can also enter the realm of the obsessive. For a Radio 4 documentary, I travelled around the fatherland to investigate the phenomenon of anglomania. For instance: every year at the end of August, thousands of Germans gather at the Polo Club in Hamburg to celebrate British Day. I think its great to see their attitude. Maybe we could take on their conservative home loan policies.

Posted by last_days_of_disco @ 04:07 PM 10 Comments

Money creation finally here

Kitco: Why You Must Immediately Bet on Inflation

Last week, the Fed took a "quantum leap," according to George Goncalves, the chief Treasury and agency strategist at Morgan Stanley. Instead of swapping assets in the banking system, the Fed started buying them. The Fed bought $5 billion of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Federal Home Loan Bank corporate debt. The New York Fed's website says the purchases are being "financed through the creation of additional bank reserves." The Fed has finally started to create money out of thin air. The market didn't flip out. And the strategy worked. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 5.97% to 5.53%... the largest weekly drop in 27 years. Now that the Fed sees how successful this strategy was, we can expect the government to continue with it.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 02:04 PM 27 Comments

Struggling householders face another hike in council tax as the money councils collect for services

dailymail: Council tax hike warning for householders as town hall income dives

Up to 30 are refusing to pass on the 2.5 per cent cut in VAT, saying it is too expensive to adjust charges for services such as car parking. Wirral Council, in Merseyside, said it would make 110,000 this way.

Posted by mark @ 01:07 PM 4 Comments

Crystal ball or simply an idiot?

yahoo: IMF Boss On Global Recovery Date

The International Monetary Fund chief has warned the world economy will not start recovering until late 2009 or early 2010.

Posted by mark @ 12:57 PM 1 Comments

Consultation with unions and staff at the pressings and panels factory started on Monday morning.

bbc: 106 jobs to go at car parts firm

Stadco, which acquired its factory in Powys 10 years ago, has other plants in Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, Coventry, Shrewsbury and Saarlouis, Germany. A company spokesman said a review was also taking place across all of Stadco's plants.

Posted by mark @ 12:54 PM 5 Comments

sounds painful

bloomberg: Annus Horribilis Peaks in Anxiety for Global Economy

The world economy has suffered a cardiac arrest, says Mohammed El-Erian, co-chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., the Newport Beach, California-based manager of the world's biggest bond fund. The damage is so immense and widespread, the most central banks and governments can hope for next year may be to stop the deterioration and set the stage for recovery in 2010. Failure may heighten the danger of deflation and near-depression

Posted by mark @ 12:17 PM 1 Comments

The bonds were always structured for the benefit of the creditors, trampling on the national intere

bloomberg: Ecuador Default May Hit True Monsters Harder Than Argentina

Ecuador may saddle investors with the biggest losses in a government bond restructuring since at least World War II after President Rafael Correa fulfilled a two-year pledge to default on debt he calls illegitimate. The countrys three dollar-denominated bonds, with a total face value of $3.9 billion, fell below 25 cents on the dollar on Dec. 12 following Correas announcement that he wouldnt make a $30.6 million interest payment due today, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Posted by mark @ 12:16 PM 2 Comments

A 30% fall in house prices? That looks optimistic

MoneyWeek: A 30% fall in house prices? That looks optimistic

Barclays head John Varley's prediction of house price falls is unusually candid for a bank executive. But the signs are that it's still hopelessly optimistic. Prices could drop further and for longer than most people realise...

Posted by damien @ 12:12 PM 44 Comments

Secured debt relating to BTL mortgages grew from under 2% in 2000 to over 10% this year

mortgagestrategy: Debt spirals in midst of financial crisis

Around 40% of home owners owe more than 90,000 in secured debt, reveals a survey carried out for the Bank of England. NMG Research carried out a survey of nearly 2,500 households on behalf of the BoE looking at the financial position of British households. It found that the number of home owners who owed more than 90,000 in secured debt has risen 35% since the mid-1990s.The survey also recorded a further 15% of home owners owed over 150,000 in secured debt.The total amount of debt owed by UK households reached almost 1.6trillion by Q2 2008, which works out at 60,000 per household.

Posted by jack c @ 12:10 PM 0 Comments

No, David Smith. No.

Times: Are there signs of a thaw in the housing market?

Economists have been poring over the latest survey from RICS, which showed the first increase in new buyer inquiries since October 2006. Normally, as Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Rics, points out, such a rise is a prelude to a strengthening in housing demand. The report "gave some hope that house-purchase activity has finally troughed and that the most intense phase of the downward price spiral is behind us." Karen Ward of HSBC described the findings as tentative green shoots. Some people (not me) thought that when prices were rising, they could only carry on doing so. Now some think they can only ever fall. It does not work like that.

Posted by little professor @ 11:39 AM 10 Comments

They're raiding their pension pot for this bailout - shocking stuff

Irish Independent: Irish government in 10billion bank recapitalization plan

The Government last night announced a 10bn rescue fund for the banking sector. The surprise announcement came after intense weekend talks involving senior government members and banking advisers. In a statement last night, the Government said it may use some of the 18bn in the National Pension Reserve Fund to pump money into the ailing banking sector

Posted by little professor @ 11:12 AM 2 Comments

The pound could fall further this week on the back of a raft of gloomy data as analysts warn that

telegraph: Sterling: fears increase as economic woes deepen

The pound is heading closer to parity against the euro, after closing at just 1.11 on Friday the lowest it has been since the single currency was launched in 1999 and 17pc down on the beginning of the year when it was worth 1.34. It also fell to a record low against a basket of currencies

Posted by chris @ 10:18 AM 0 Comments

Barclays CEO joins HPC debate with 30% price drop prediction

Citywire: House prices already 25% lower, say estate agents

Estate agents are reporting actual house sale prices to be around 25% below their peak, making predictions of a 30% fall seem increasingly within reach. Online property search business Rightmove reported the figure alongside its report of a 10% drop in initial asking prices since their May peak.The agents suggestion of a 25% fall comes as Barclays chief executive John Varley told the Telegraph that Britain is only mid way through the house price slump. Varley was basing his comment on indices showing that house prices are down around 15% meaning the total fall could be near 30%.

Posted by jack c @ 10:16 AM 23 Comments

Its OK, a bit of quantitative easing to sort this out

reuters: Barclays sees house prices falling further

"House prices are likely to fall between 10-15 percent next year and the unemployment rate may top 7 percent, the chief executive of banking group Barclays said on Monday. Barclays had expected property prices to slide about 25-30 percent between 2007 and the end of 2009"

Posted by kernow @ 09:26 AM 0 Comments

Anthea Turner: We may lose our mansion

News of the world: Anthea Turner: We may lose our mansion

FORMER TV golden girl Anthea Turner last night sobbed as she revealed shes lost an astonishing 100 MILLION in the credit crunch. The Perfect Housewife presenter told how her husband Grant Boveys buy-to-let empire had collapsed, and wept: Our backs are against the wallwe may even lose our mansion.

Posted by housebear @ 09:23 AM 16 Comments

The Ostriches Have Left The Building

The Guardian: When Will The Oil Run Out?

Every newspaper report you've ever read denying the impending Peak Oil crisis, has had its roots, somewhere, in the forecasts of the IEA. Guess what? They were working without data. They were making it up.Just like the Saudis have been doing with their oil reserve figures, until Matt Simmons went through the books and discovered the alarming discrepancies. Better still, Monbiot here reminds us of the US government's own Hirsch Report, with all the grim prognoses Monbiot mentions here. By the way, forget 2020. The real crunch is in about 4-5 years time, when the implications of what's coming filter right through business, investment and on down to the public.

Posted by lierbag @ 08:58 AM 16 Comments

2009 is pay back year

Financial nightmare: BBC

$1000bn of "old world" companies' borrowings in the form of tradeable debt has to be paid back during the next 12 months. That would be a colossal sum to pay off at the best of times, and is equal to about five times what's been repaid in 2008.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 07:42 AM 4 Comments

Barclays boss predicts 30% fall in house prizes

BBC News: UK house prices 'to fall by 30%'

The head of Barclays bank has predicted that economic gloom will deepen, with property prices falling by up to 30%.

Posted by dave @ 07:22 AM 0 Comments

Coming out of the woodwork

FT: HSBC joins victims of Madoffs alleged fraud

HSBC has emerged as one the largest victims of Bernard Madoffs alleged fraud with potential exposure of about $1bn to the investment managers collapsed venture, according to people close to the situation

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 07:12 AM 8 Comments

House prices 'to fall by 30%'

bbc news: House prices 'to fall by 30%'

Mr Varley says unemployment is set to rise further The head of Barclays bank has predicted that economic gloom will deepen, with property prices falling by up to 30%. John Varley's warning comes ahead of the latest UK unemployment figures on Wednesday, where the number of jobless is expected to rise sharply

Posted by mouth @ 06:51 AM 0 Comments

Rightmove: Prices down 2.3% MoM, 6.3% YoY

FXStreet: UK house prices down 6.3 pct y/y in Dec

Rightmove's latest index shows asking prices in mid-December fell 2.3% on the month and 6.3% on the year. Both measures fell at record rates last month with prices down 2.9% on the month and 7.1% on the year. Asking prices are now down 10.2% from the peak in May this year, but Rightmove said feedback from estate agents suggested actual sale prices had dropped by 25% from their peak. Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "On the basis that prices actually being achieved have fallen by a quarter, we predict that overall prices are now within 10% of bottoming out." Shipside also said the current low level of housing transactions can't be maintained, and predicted a recovery in 2009

Posted by little professor @ 12:30 AM 7 Comments

Oil could well be a thing of the past

Telegraph: Car of the Century

This I think is relevant to alot of conversations that have gone on. S2R1 was certainly on to something Check out last night Top Gear if you missed it.

Posted by str 2007 @ 12:18 AM 3 Comments

And the only bi-product is water

This was on Top Gear in case you missed it.: Hondas new answer to Oil running out

I know this has nothing to do with houses, but thought a few of you would be interested in this. If you don't like it 'Move On' as Clarkson would say. This car was featured on Top Gear last night. I don't know why they make them look so daft. But make this look like a normal car and it will become very popular. And Oil this may well make hit $10 a barrel quite soon. Only available in Califoria at present but I believe Honda are OK at mass production.

Posted by str 2007 @ 12:14 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, December 14, 2008

But what about overshoot!

The Telegraph: House prices to crash 30 per cent, Barclays chief executive John Varley warns

Mr Varley said: "Our view was that from the top to the bottom, you would see a fall of something like 25 to 30 per cent. I suspect we're about halfway through that at the moment. I mean that slowdown, the negative house price inflation started in 2007, it's accelerated in 2008. "We're probably about halfway through that period, so in other words we've got another 10 to 15 per cent to fall between now and the end of next year. That would be our assessment."

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 11:16 PM 0 Comments

Gordo, why don't we just join the euro? You know it makes sense.

BBC: Pound 'buying less than a Euro'

The falling value of sterling means some people are getting less than a euro for every pound when changing money, The Observer suggests. After commission and handling fees were charged, customers at some airports got just 197.13 euros for 200 on Saturday.

Posted by harold @ 10:03 PM 20 Comments

It will intervene to prop up reckless borrowers and an overvalued housing market!!!

The Times: Britain 'will not intervene to prop up pound'

Yvette Cooper, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said that attempts by previous administrations to target exchange rates had been unsuccessful. The Government will continue to plot a course aimed at keeping inflation under control and supporting the economy, she said. Officials say that with inflation falling sharply the kind of interest hikes that might bolster sterling would be completely inappropriate at a time when the Government is intervening to support the economy.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:28 PM 8 Comments

Mortgage rescue scheme at work

Guardian: how a housing association stepped in to prevent a repossession

Arthur Stone is believed to be the first person in Britain to have been rescued by a housing association from having his home repossessed. The 53 year old postman, who has mild mental retardation, bought his council house with a 17,000 mortgage and a 10,000 loan for renovations. But his debts have spiralled out of control, and he now owes GE Money 75,000, as well as 25,000 in unsecured debt. Trent and Dove Housing Association has paid 76,000 for the property out of its own funds. They now rent it out to Arthur, for just 70 a week - a far cry from the 708 per month he had to pay his mortgage lender. David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, says: 'The mortgage rescue scheme is a charter for saving thousands of households from the nightmare of repossession.'

Posted by little professor @ 08:53 PM 12 Comments

What a different view from a few months ago!

Scotsman: Scots homeowners warned that few will escape negative equity next year

As the housing market north of the border continues to rack up double-digit declines, property experts say Scotland will almost certainly fall victim to widespread negative equity despite avoiding it during the last downturn in the early 1990s.

Posted by boombuster @ 08:23 PM 3 Comments

Predicatable - fanning the flames of the house price inferno LANDLORDS FACE THE SPECTRE OF REPOSSESSION

THOUSANDS of buy-to-let investors face repossession in 2009, according to experts who warn that huge numbers of amateur landlords have bought properties with unrealistic expectations. Many will have been stung because they bought at the top of the market in the past few years at inflated prices and these properties have plummeted in value.

Posted by v stor @ 06:53 PM 1 Comments

Country by country investigation of the house price crash

MENA FM.COM: The world House price Crash

House prices also fell in Austria, Japan, Luxembourg, Israel, Norway, Malta, New Zealand, and Portugal. Although the latest figures are not yet available, house price falls are also expected in economic powerhouses such as France, Italy, Germany

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 05:14 PM 9 Comments

No Suprise There Then

MSN: Government 'will not support pound'

The Government is not planning to step in to support the pound as it sinks towards parity with the euro, a senior Treasury minister has indicated. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Yvette Cooper said that attempts by previous administrations to target exchange rates had been unsuccessful.

Posted by themekon101 @ 04:52 PM 1 Comments

The Unretired - sounds like a horror movie

BusinessWeek: Unretired: Retirees are Back, Looking for Work

They saved. They planned. Then housing tanked and the markets melted. Now they need jobs, and there aren't any. These are The Unretired. Seniors who thought they were set for life just a year ago now face the prospect of going back to work for two, five, even 10 years. They're sprucing up their rsums, calling old work contacts, and flocking to employment sites. These aren't just the spendthrifts or sloppy planners you would expect to run into trouble in retirement. Interviews with 35 of The Unretired show that many are people who did everything they were supposed to doworking for decades and regularly socking money away. [Sadly baby boomers are going to find life tougher than they have ever known it]

Posted by mountain goat @ 03:26 PM 17 Comments

Housing glut continues

Observer: Estate agents fear collapse in rents as 'reluctant landlords' flood the market

Can't sell for an inflated price: can't let for an inflated price. How the cards are tumbling. I would really like to meet Zaza Patterson in Winchester though. Mind you, I wouldn't know whether to say "Good morning, could you tell me the state of the rental market at the moment," or "Darling, I love you".

Posted by letthemfall @ 03:01 PM 24 Comments

Release the Keynes

Observer: Tories' economic medicine would sink Brown's patched-up life raft

Here is one to provoke discussion/angry rebuttals. Some interesting points and comparisons with the 80s, also figures on national debt, notably the size of Germany's, an acutely relevant figure apropos Steinbruch's opinion.

Posted by letthemfall @ 02:32 PM 3 Comments

Has anyone seen my equity?

Times: 10 years of house price gains could be wiped out

Millions of homeowners who have been climbing the property ladder since 1998 could find themselves unable to trade up by the end of this downturn, new figures show. Exclusive research for The Sunday Times shows that those who bought ten years ago will be perilously close to the mortgage danger zone, which brokers say applies to anyone with less than 25% equity in their home. Mortgage deals have become more scarce for those with a deposit of under 25%. Those who bought at the top of the market in 2003 will be deep in negative equity, owing 115% of the value of their home a huge fall from the 17% equity they hold now.

Posted by little professor @ 02:03 PM 9 Comments

Nice cut-and-paste

YouTube - aluntube: Crash Gordon Saves The World From Boom & Bust

A quick reminder of the extent of Gordon "Canute" Brown's self-belief

Posted by sneaker @ 01:29 PM 1 Comments

Major talks some sense

BBC: Ministers 'over-cooking' downturn

Sir John said: "If we continue borrowing like this, the world will be coming out of recession and we will have a huge amount of borrowing that will force up interest rates. "In three years' time, as the world comes out of recession, in the United Kingdom we will have higher interest rates, we will have higher national insurance contributions because the government have already implemented that, and we will have higher taxes."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 12:30 PM 4 Comments

Brown's economic plans are not working

Guardian: Pound slips below euro on Britain's high streets

The government is facing a growing backlash over its rescue package for the economy after the pound slumped in value. Tories and Lib Dems laid the blame for the pound's collapse at the door of Brown. Philip Hammond, shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the Brown's decision in the pre-Budget report to let borrowing soar had severely damaged - rather than boosted economic confidence. Vince Cable, the Lib DemTreasury spokesman, said that while the immediate cause of sterling's fall had been the rapid drop in interest rates and the expectation they would drop further the reason the cuts had been necessary was the result of the government's failure. 'Behind it all is a sense that we are a weak economy with a much bigger housing bubble than other countries".

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 10:47 AM 2 Comments

The popular tax-free schemes have borne the brunt of cuts

Times: Isa savers hit hard by rates squeeze

Britain's biggest banks and building societies have punished Isa savers more than ordinary accountholders since interest rates started to fall, according to new research. The research comes as the government is coming under growing pressure to do more to help hard-pressed savers, having pumped billions into the banks only to watch them fail to play fair by passing on rate cuts. With rates on cash Isas as low as 0.2% in one instance it makes sense to check that your current deal is still competitive but make sure that you dont lose the tax-free status if you decide to transfer to a new provider.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

The rental market MUST be fine.

West Lothian Herald & Post: 50% Discount On Your First Month Rent

"Tenants! 50% discount on your first months rent, free contents insurance, and a free bottle of wine to celebrate!" How could anyone refuse such an offer? I'll take two please.

Posted by mikeymoo @ 09:15 AM 0 Comments

When the oil & money runs out ...the best "short history of Peak Oil" that I have seen anywhere!

Not seen this film but it looks intriguing. Off-topic but makes you wonder why we worry so much about a recession. "In the early 1990's Cuba experienced a sudden and dramatic loss of petroleum and trade... What happened? People would have starved were it not for quick action by the government to ration food (calorie amounts were established based on United Nations research). The government encouraged food to be planted anywhere there was vacant land. Havana now produces over 50% of their food from within the city. Less densely populated towns are producing from 80-100% of their own food. Since chemical fertilizers were no longer used, Cuba sought guidance from organic farming experts from Australia.. People are much healthier now from all of the walking and biking that is now the norm."

Posted by mountain goat @ 08:33 AM 4 Comments

US Auto Bailout Dead?

cnbc: US Auto Bailout Dead?

US Auto Bailout Dead? The $14 billion bailout deal for the Big Three US automakers failed to pass the Senate Friday. Howard Wheeldon from BGC Partners considers the state of the deal.

Posted by chris @ 04:57 AM 0 Comments

The global stock market could be stuck in its current bear-market trend until 2012 and beyond, but n

cnbc: Charts: Bear Market Until 2012 - How to Trade It

The global stock market could be stuck in its current bear-market trend until 2012 and beyond, but next year could give investors a strong bear-market rally to trade, Sandy Jadeja, chief market strategist at ODL Securities, told

Posted by chris @ 04:39 AM 0 Comments

The global stock market could be stuck in its current bear-market trend until 2012 and beyond, but n

cnbc: Charts: Bear Market Until 2012 - How to Trade It

The global stock market could be stuck in its current bear-market trend until 2012 and beyond, but next year could give investors a strong bear-market rally to trade, Sandy Jadeja, chief market strategist at ODL Securities, told

Posted by chris @ 04:36 AM 0 Comments

Sterling's torrid run against the euro continued today, with the currency sinking to another record

telegraph: Sterling's torrid run against the euro goes on

The pound slipped to as low as 89.40p against the euro and is now down 21pc from the start of the year, when you needed 73p to buy a euro. Analysts reckon the news coming from the UK economy, reinforced today by a grim trading update from HBOS, remains worse than that from Europe. Figures earlier this week revealed that industrial production slumped far more than expected in October, and news from the high street has been dominated by a closing down sale from veteran retailer Woolworths.

Posted by chris @ 04:29 AM 0 Comments

Oil prices plummeted Friday as concerns increased over energy demand in the slowing global economy.

cnbc: What the Pros Say: Oil Plunging to $10

If Russia announces a bigger-than-expected joint production cut with OPEC next week, it may cause oil prices to fall,

Posted by chris @ 04:28 AM 0 Comments

Goldman, Once Warning of $200 Oil, Sees $45 in 2009

cnbc: Goldman Sachs' energy equity research team, which predicted a crude oil spike to $200 a barrel earlier this year, slashed on Friday its 2009 forecast to just $45 as demand deteriorates.

We expect that an additional 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of OPEC supply cuts will be required in 2009, along with a 600,000 bpd reduction in Non-OPEC production, in order to rebalance the market," the team led by Jeffrey Currie wrote

Posted by chris @ 04:25 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, December 13, 2008

33% house price reductions to try and attract buyers - make it 50% Estate agents stage knockdown sale

Estate agents are taking lessons from the retail sector with a Christmas sale that has seen as much as a third knocked off some homes to stimulate transactions in the stalling market.

Posted by v stor @ 07:25 PM 6 Comments

Brick wall dead ahead Global car crisis far from over, executives say

PARIS (Reuters) - Top European car makers warned of a bleak 2009 as signs grew the deep crisis in the auto sector went far beyond the U.S. industry's life-or-death struggle.

Posted by v stor @ 06:28 PM 0 Comments

The first credit-crunch riots

Independent: Are the Greek riots a taste of things to come?

Bringing together youths in their early twenties struggling to survive amid mass youth unemployment and schoolchildren swotting for highly competitive university exams that may not ultimately help them in a treacherous jobs market, the events of the past week could be called the first credit-crunch riots. Greece's riots are a sign of the economic times. Other countries should beware.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 05:49 PM 22 Comments

Who done it?

FT: Four strong contenders for mistake of the year

Thoughts from John Authers, a serious player in the financial journalism world, on who is responsible for the current world crisis. US Govt 3 - ECB 1. (If you can't read the article, delete all the FT cookies from your computer.)

Posted by letthemfall @ 05:19 PM 2 Comments

Big brother goverment are panicking - communism is back Angry banks resist Darling's demands for release of lending information

"Banks say they are increasing lending but the anecdotal evidence from people and firms is that loans are hard to come by," said a Treasury source.

Posted by v stor @ 04:28 PM 0 Comments

Job cuts continue to mount in December as recession deepens.

CNN: December layoffs exceed 100k

In terms of job losses, 2008 is on pace to be the worst since 1982, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But if Baumohl's 600,000+ prediction is accurate, 2008 could show the greatest number of layoffs since 1945, when the economy shed 2.75 million jobs.

Posted by mark @ 02:57 PM 0 Comments

"It's not all work, work, work here! In fact ... "

Scotsman: HBOS rewards 100 branch managers with New York trip

STRICKEN bank HBOS is to fly 100 branch managers and their partners to New York to reward their performance during a year that has seen it plunge to the brink of collapse, it emerged today.

Posted by paul @ 01:30 PM 2 Comments

Why ?

Daily Mail: 4bn aircraft carriers delayed by two years as MoD cuts costs amid funding shortfall

Why is this labour intensive public project being cancelled if the UK needs a fiscal stimulus which will be provided by government borrowing? Also, just to mention a quick point, all of the losses written down by banks come out of future taxation. Essentially every write-down ends up as a reduced tax bill. A suspicious thought occurs, that the "fiscal stimulus" will in fact only maintain current government spending in the face of declining tax revenue. And just to repeat myself, the banks will not be providing any revenue to the government for decades in the future, their losses are offset against tax not just this year, but onwards. Cancelling these ships is in contradiction to stated government policy and is very suspicious.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:56 AM 13 Comments

Queue here for sound investment advice

Dilbet: Dogbert: Financial adviser

Posted by montesquieu @ 10:56 AM 2 Comments

Trade secrets

ChrisMartenson: Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion in Lending

Today the Federal Reserve effectively freaked out in the foxhole and declared the spirit of democracy, if not the rule of law, to be disposable conveniences of better times. In response to a freedom of information act request by Bloomberg News for the names of the institutions receiving public money, the Fed invoked an obscure rule to block the release of this information.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:36 AM 4 Comments

I think this is the preferred option

Forbes: Dollar Devaluation To Fix The Great Recession

World currencies should be devalued overnight. It can be done on a country-by-country basis, but a coordinated devaluation would work best. A devaluation of 30% would raise the dollar value of all assets by 43%. A $200,000 home with a $230,000 mortgage would become a $286,000 home with the same mortgage. Presto! The homeowner who was $30,000 upside-down now has $56,000 equity and a good reason to make his payments. Both the homeowner and the bank are immediately better-off.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:20 AM 83 Comments

House prices are too high - dumbos

MailOnline: HBOS loses $3bn in past two months as property market implodes

The turmoil in the financial and property markets has cost the stricken Halifax Bank of Scotland a mammoth 3billion over the past two months, the institution revealed yesterday.

Posted by v stor @ 09:20 AM 0 Comments

House of cars is coming down just like the housing market Auto Bailout Fails, GM Hires Bankruptcy Lawyers

General Motors Corp. has hired bankruptcy counsel and restructuring advisers." Chrysler took a similar step last week

Posted by v stor @ 09:15 AM 2 Comments

[theirs] Who, exactly, was crazy enough to purchase securities with a yield of zero (or less)?

EWI: T-Bills Are Telling You What The Media Won't

Leading on from MGs post yesterday :"Was the $32 billion supply of ZERO-YIELD securities available at today's Treasury auction enough to meet the demand?"

Posted by techieman @ 09:03 AM 5 Comments

'nuff said - 1

EWI: A Picture Of Treasury Yields Is Worth One Word: DEFLATION

Leading on from MGs post yesterday, this is one of two on Treasuries that i am posting. This deals with the 30-year bond.

Posted by techieman @ 09:01 AM 4 Comments

Don't worry they wont invoke it!!!

BBC News: Abbey explains mortgage warning

Abbey sent a letter telling mortgagors if their home's value had fallen so the amount borrowed was more than 90% of its value they could have to pay a lump sum to reduce it. "After it sent the letters the Abbey said it had no plans to invoke the clause forcing borrowers to do that." - er then why send it?

Posted by techieman @ 08:56 AM 15 Comments

Fantasy Island

Telegraph: Britain leads the world... at peddling fantasies

In one respect, the PM measures up to his claim to be leading the world: he has been the principal peddler of the prevailing fashion for fantasy over hard truth. According to his fantasy, ever more of the borrowing that got us into this mess will get us out of it, and loading the economy with future higher taxes will not inhibit the forces of private enterprise as they pull us to recovery. This fairy tale is the true threat to prospects of future recovery.

Posted by sovietuk @ 08:23 AM 3 Comments

The reality on the ground

TimesOnline: Grim holidays loom with spread of redundancy

A survey undertaken by the Recruitment and Employment Federation, a leading trade body, indicates that almost half of its client companies are delaying redundancies until the new year

Posted by v stor @ 08:02 AM 0 Comments

Debt Nation UK

Telegraph: More than four million still paying their credit card debt from last Christmas

Ahead of one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, figures showed that one in 10 adults the equivalent of 4.5 million had still not paid off their credit card debts from a year ago despite the looming recession. Experts warned that a further spending spree over the Christmas period would bring misery to thousands of borrowers in the New Year as they faced the task of paying off their credit cards while family finances are stretched by the economic crisis. The figures show an extra 250,000 people aged between 25 and 34 are still trying to clear their credit cards from last Christmas, compared to the number who were a year earlier.

Posted by drewster @ 02:44 AM 1 Comments

Handbags at Dawn

Deep Glamour: Fashion Recession

"It's not just the luxury stores. Judging from these auction results, the economic contraction is hitting the market for vintage fashion, including such supposedly sure investments as Herms bags. This wine-red crocodile Kelly bag from 1990 was expected to go for 8,000 - 12,000. It sold for 4,000, with a single bid. Surely the much less classic It bags of recent years will find their prices crashing even further." (Don't ask why I was surfing on at 2am....)

Posted by drewster @ 02:26 AM 0 Comments

Even in perfect lab conditions, markets tend towards bubbles

Atlantic Monthly: Pop Psychology: Why asset bubbles are a part of the human condition that regulation can't cure

For more than two decades economists have been running this experiment. They take a bunch of volunteers and give each person money and bonds to trade with. The bonds have a risk-free dividend and a clear fundamental value. All participants are given the same information, but they cant talk to one another and they interact only through their trading screens. Then the researchers watch what happens. Because the bond has a clear dividend, the trading price should stick close to the expected value. But thats not what happens. Again and again, in experiment after experiment, the trading price runs up way above fundamental value. Then it crashes. Bubbles happen, even in the most controlled conditions.

Posted by drewster @ 02:15 AM 2 Comments

one man and his ego

bbc i player: house trader

Is this the David Brent of Northern Ireland real estate? It is an hour long but well worth the watch and it is about houses. I have been stalking your site here for years and this is my first thing to post. When I say stalking, I have no photos of you; too indolent. Please enjoy the bit about his car...

Posted by marshall_plan @ 01:34 AM 2 Comments

$1,000 per WEEK for the Nanny?!!**?!

Wall Street Journal: When the Going Gets Tough, Some People Lay Off the Nanny

Her employers, she explains, "have busy lives" that include volunteering at school, going to the gym, visiting the chiropractor and getting various beauty treatments, like facials, manicures and pedicures. Later this month, however, this household chief operating officer will fall victim to downsizing. She says her employers tearfully informed her that her $1,000-a-week position is being eliminated. "They told me they had to cut expenses 75%," says Ms. Jacobo, whose employer declined to be interviewed. "I am heartbroken." People unaccustomed to doing their own housework are dealing with dirty laundry and mowing their own lawns

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:01 AM 2 Comments

It's that ole Devil called Synthetic CDO again....

NYTimes: From Midwest to M.T.A., Pain From Global Gamble

Every three months youre going to get a payment, he promised, according to a tape of the meeting. But would it be risky? There would need to be 15 Enrons for the district to lose money, he said. The board and four other nearby districts ultimately invested $200 million in the deal, most of it borrowed from an Irish bank. Without realizing it, the schools were imitating hedge funds. Half a continent away, New York subway officials were also being wooed by bankers. Officials were told that just as home buyers had embraced adjustable-rate loans, New York could save money by borrowing at lower interest rates that changed every day.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:59 AM 0 Comments

Will this stop HPC?

Reuter: UBS to freeze $6 bln property fund

Swiss bank UBS said on Friday it had frozen a $6 billion real estate fund as it could not keep up with redemption requests from wealth management clients.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 12:54 AM 1 Comments

there's one (re)born every minute...

Guardian: Failed buy-to-let guru back with new scheme

Buy-to-let evangelist Jim Moore - whose Inside Track Seminars (ITS) and Instant Access Properties (IAP) firms went bust earlier this year, leaving wannabe "millionaires" as creditors - is back with a new "minimum investment and maximum return" property deal.

Posted by crashpope @ 12:46 AM 0 Comments

OPEC member default on its foreign debt

The Associated Press: President says Ecuador will default on debt

Another blow to the US & European banks who gambled and lost. Decoupling, decoupling, did I hear decoupling????..............silence..............

Posted by fjcruiser @ 12:00 AM 2 Comments

Friday, December 12, 2008

More of the same

Acadametrics: FT House Price Index

Nice to see "negative growth" in all regions!

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 09:27 PM 1 Comments

First Houseprices, now US gov Bonds, Bubble alert

TheBigPicture: The Zero Yield Economy

At auction, Treasury sold $27 billion of three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.005%. This is the lowest yield since it starting auctioning the securities in 1929. Just as astounding, the U.S. sold $30 billion of four-week T-bills, at zero percent for the first time ever (4 week treasuries have been around only since 2001).

Posted by mountain goat @ 08:02 PM 5 Comments

Global slump continues Russians Buy Jewelry, Hoard Dollars as Ruble Plunges

Russians are shifting their cash into foreign currencies and buying things they dont need as the economy stalls

Posted by v stor @ 07:37 PM 0 Comments

Get any deposits back now if you can!

reuters: Fads owner puts trading units in administration

Strategic Retail Plc, the AIM-listed owner of the Fads home improvement chain, said it would appoint administrators to three of its trading subsidiaries and has requested the suspension of its shares. The three units concerned are Fads (Trading) Limited, Leveys (Fads) Limited and Texstyle World (Fads) Limited.

Posted by mark @ 06:42 PM 6 Comments

council layoffs, hmmm

BBC wales: Council to cut staff costs by 10%

A local authority says it needs to reduce staffing costs by 10% - with some of its 4,500 workforce to be offered voluntary redundancy. Denbighshire council is consulting on plans to save an estimated 5.7m over the next two financial years. It says council office accommodation could also be cut back.

Posted by mark @ 06:37 PM 5 Comments

Slowdown deepening - Still Chinas Economic Slowdown Is Deepening, Officials Say

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Chinas economic slowdown is deepening, with overcapacity in almost all industries

Posted by v stor @ 06:32 PM 0 Comments

Is Britain the next Iceland?

Economist: Lessons from Iceland | Cracks in the crust

"Relative to Icelands size, the debt to IceSave depositors is bigger than the reparations demanded of Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. Iceland was uniquely overextended, but other countries, too, have big banking industries relative to the size of their economies supported by lots of borrowing. Britain is one. The balance-sheet of Britains banking system, at 450% of GDP, was half the (relative) size of Icelands at the end of last year. But that is still high. Like Iceland, Britain does not have a global reserve currency, such as the dollar or the euro, to draw on if it needs to act as lender of last resort. Among larger European countries, the British governments exposure to its banking sector is by far the highest."

Posted by drewster @ 06:29 PM 2 Comments

Auto Bailout lifeline from Bush?

Bloomberg: Bush Willing to Use TARP for Auto Aid, Perino Says

A disorderly bankruptcy by the automakers would be a body blow to the U.S. economy, Perino said.The Bush administration will consider using money from the fund intended to rescue U.S. financial markets to prevent the collapse of the nations auto companies, the White House spokeswoman said. The Bush administration had warned of a million lost jobs if the industry imploded. (Collapse really would precipitate a HPC in Chicargo).

Posted by alan @ 06:08 PM 0 Comments

Your weekly dose of schadenfreude

This Is Money: Buy To Let collapse

One man has seen his buy-to-let empire vanish months after he could have sold it for a 500k profit. Former factory worker Rajnikant Raja took just three years to amass a buy-to-let property empire of 40 flats and houses, remortgaging each one to get the deposit for the next. The properties were worth 5.4m at their peak two years ago . But he could lose them all within a matter of weeks. Their value is falling like a stone. Raja cannot afford to keep up the mortgage payments and so far his bank has repossessed five properties. The rest are in negative equity. His 19,000 arrears is expanding by 2,500 a month, as homebuilders flood the market with rental properties, driving rents down. Raja also has unsecured debt (credit cards, loans and overdrafts) amounting to 120,000.

Posted by little professor @ 06:03 PM 25 Comments

Sell, sell, sell....... Dubai's housing market 'reaching tipping point'

Dubais housing market could be approaching tipping point as investors continue to exit the market and the availability of debt dries up, according to HSBC.

Posted by v stor @ 05:58 PM 0 Comments


FT: FT index adds to house price gloom

House prices in England and Wales fell by 1.7 per cent in November, according to the FT House Price Index, registering the ninth consecutive monthly drop and wiping out all housing equity earned for the past two years. Meanwhile, prices in London, which earlier this year appeared to be relatively resilient, appear to be dropping more rapidly. In the three months through to October, prices fell at an annualised rate of 4.6 per cent.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 04:58 PM 4 Comments

Financing Britain is an issue.

Spectator: The true extent of Britain's debt

How much is Britains true national debt? Gordon Brown says 37% of GDP, the ONS says 43% of GDP but this is just government debt. The reason Britain is in so much trouble is that our corporate and household debts are huge. It is the combination that makes us such a credit liability but no one has ever put together a combination. Until now...

Posted by cornishman @ 04:09 PM 8 Comments

Santander cuts 1,900 UK bank jobs

BBC: Santander cuts 1,900 UK bank jobs

Spanish bank Santander has said it will cut 1,900 jobs in its three UK businesses - Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.

Posted by mark @ 03:30 PM 9 Comments

This gets worse by the minute

Telegraph: US car bail-out: General Motors calls for UK Government rescue

General Motors, which employs 5,500 people around the UK, is in talks with the British government to secure cash to allow it to continue operating in what the car maker admits are "critical" conditions.

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:19 PM 24 Comments

this is a lot like GBs ponzi scheme

bloomberg: Madoff Confessed $50 Billion Fraud Before FBI Arrest (Update1)

Bernard Madoff confessed to employees this week that his investment advisory business was a giant Ponzi scheme that cost clients $50 billion before two FBI agents showed up yesterday morning at his Manhattan apartment.

Posted by mark @ 01:18 PM 3 Comments

700 jobs go at Woolworths distribution company

liverpool echo: 700 jobs go at Woolworths distribution company

Hundreds of workers at Woolworths distribution division were made redundant today after administrators failed to find a buyer for the business.

Posted by mark @ 01:11 PM 0 Comments

Eight month break deal for Vauxhall workers

liverpool echo: Eight month break deal for Vauxhall workers

VAUXHALL is offering workers an eight-month career break because of falling sales. Workers opting for the sabbatical will be paid 30% of their salary.

Posted by mark @ 01:09 PM 0 Comments

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse

Dailymail: Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse

British jobs at risk as GM fails to secure bailout Bank shares plunge as HBOS writes off 2.8bn Sterling slumps to a new all-time low of 1.1211

Posted by mark @ 01:01 PM 0 Comments

The Noose Tightens

Times Online: Connells to offload its stake in Rightmove

Connells, Britain's second-biggest estate agency chain, is poised to sell its 21 million shares in Rightmove, the website, amid fresh signs of faltering confidence in the property market.

Posted by renting2 @ 12:42 PM 2 Comments

MJ Gleeson: chief exec quits and 70% of staff axed

Contract Journal: MJ Gleeson: chief exec quits and 70% of staff axed

MJ Gleeson continues to seriously implode with the news that its work force is being cut from 224 to just 50 while chief executive Paul Wallwork finds himself out of a job.

Posted by mark @ 12:40 PM 0 Comments

What the sterling crisis means for you

MoneyWeek: What the sterling crisis means for you

"Our so-called government may think it can solve Britain's economic problems via borrowing like crazy, and letting sterling collapse into the bargain. But it's quite wrong. As the Germans are now telling Gordon Brown, his mistaken approach is actually storing up a lot more trouble for the future... "

Posted by damien @ 10:51 AM 38 Comments

Capitulation? Sellers Race to Cut Prices

The UK house price correction is gathering pace on the open market. Vendors are cutting market house prices more aggressively in all parts of England and Wales in the knowledge that buyers with cash or mortgage finance are still in very short supply and may be so for a long time.

Posted by tinecu @ 10:15 AM 2 Comments

Horses make a comeback!

REUTERS: Auto bailout fails

"GM has probably got until January and I would suspect the next step would be that GM will provide a date and say that at this date we will file," Merkle said. The White House called congressional inaction a breakdown and said it would evaluate its options. "It has now fallen to the president to take action," said Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who has spearheaded efforts for a month to get help for Detroit. Bush should "move now," said Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, adding, "The dominoes are already falling" throughout the United States." Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Bush to immediately explore short-term financial help, including tapping a $700 billion fund created in October for the Treasury Department to assist the financial services industy

Posted by ckw @ 09:29 AM 0 Comments

Bankrupt Banks

Reuters: Jim Rogers calls most big U.S. banks "bankrupt"

"What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent," he said. "What's happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics."

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 08:21 AM 10 Comments

Ramping the market up for the sheople.

daily mail: Buyers tempted back into the property market as house prices continue to fall and mortgage lending bounces back

The first signs of a recovery in the property market were confirmed by mortgage lenders yesterday. The number of first-time buyers and 'homemovers', or those selling one home to buy another, rose between September and October. The news comes after figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors this week showed the number of househunters has also risen for the first time in two years.

Posted by eternal sceptic @ 08:14 AM 6 Comments

Speculating in currencies is so much fun - NOT!!

Timesonline: Airport passengers suffer a pounding as euro surges

"Thousands of private investors in Britain are joining institutional investors in betting that sterling has further to fall. Spread-betting companies are reporting a surge in the practice as clients, now banned from taking down bets on banks, switch their attention to the currency." ...nice to see those pesky 'short' sellers have found somewhere new to ply their trade. It still amazes me that this practice is allowed, when it affects everyone in the long-term, for short term gains for the few. My mistake it's the pinnacle of socialist capitalism.

Posted by bystander @ 06:44 AM 59 Comments

I think they call it synergy.

BBC: Bank of America cuts 30,000 jobs

Bank of America has said it plans to cut between 30,000 and 35,000 jobs over three years following the completion of its takeover of Merrill Lynch. The reduction could affect about 11% of the combined firms' 308,000 workforce. Bank of America said the move would reflect both post-merger efficiency savings, and "the weak economic environment" which had hit business.

Posted by charlie brooker @ 04:29 AM 0 Comments

Down the U-bend

Telegraph: Buy on the 'U' to profit from commercial property

"Another interesting income opportunity is emerging in commercial property. There are at least three reasons why 2009 could lay the foundations for a decent commercial property revival. The first is the 7.5pc yield. The second is timing entering the market while prices are still falling is the favoured approach of seasoned investors because that is when the best properties become available. The third is the way in which the collapse in sterling has made UK commercial real estate a bargain for buyers with dollars, euros or yen. In each of these currencies UK property has fallen by 50pc since June 2007." That all sounds nice, but where is the money going to come from?!?

Posted by drewster @ 01:19 AM 6 Comments

The safest banks in Europe? Maybe not....

Telegraph: Switzerland may have to print money to stave off deflation

The Swiss National Bank has cut interest rates to 0.5pc and opened the door for emergency stimulus, becoming the first country in Europe to flirt with zero policy rates. The banking sector makes up 20pc of Swiss GDP, leaving the country extremely exposed to the credit crisis. The liabilities of Credit Suisse and UBS are equal to seven times national GDP. This has echoes of the situation in Iceland before the country collapsed, although Swiss banks have a much better mix of assets. "The crucial difference is that the Swiss own half a trillion dollars of external assets. They have a current account surplus of 16pc of GDP. This is their ace in the hole. If push ever comes to shove, the Swiss taxpayers have the money to pay."

Posted by drewster @ 01:10 AM 5 Comments

More NuLab ideals come unstuck

Times: Council ghettos may return as recession kills mixed estates

Housing associations are to stop building mixed estates of privately owned and social rented homes, prompting fears of a return to Sixties-style council ghettos. For the first time in 20 years, new affordable estates of hundreds or even thousands of homes will no longer include houses for private sale because of the credit crunch. Housing associations already had 10,000 homes for private sale or shared ownership that they were unable to shift because of the credit crunch. These will now be turned into rented homes for those on council waiting lists and those on low incomes such as key workers and would-be first-time buyers. In addition, thousands more social homes will be built.

Posted by drewster @ 01:04 AM 1 Comments

Germany resolves to tell it how it is,

The Herald: Economic rift with Germany escalates

Despite Berlin's attempts at calming troubled waters, Mr Kampeter last night simply fuelled the international row. He said: "After years of lecturing us on how we need to share in the gains of the uncontrolled financial markets, the Labour Party can't now expect us to share in their losses." Sounds familiar. I almost wish I was German. Almost.

Posted by jackas @ 12:34 AM 12 Comments

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Recovery is always 6 months away... Global growth 'to hit 60-year low'

The Barclays Wealth Signpost report said that the first half of 2009 is going to be "a long, hard slog". Recovery will start in the second half of the year but will vary geographically.

Posted by v stor @ 09:15 PM 1 Comments

Job anyone?

CNN: 'Wanted: Bank failure specialist.' Pays $156K

Hardly a day goes by without an announcement from a big company taking an axe to its payroll. But guess who won't be laying off people anytime soon? The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Faced with what the likelihood of even more bank failures in 2009, the nation's top banking regulator has ramped up its hiring in recent weeks.

Posted by mark @ 08:38 PM 1 Comments

The bottom is reached, again! Banking in New York.

The last bastion of the U.S. economy has collapsed. The U.S. economy will contract by 4.5 percent in the current quarter. The ugly recession accompanies us into the next year," said Harm Bandholz, an economist at UniCredit Markets & Investment

Posted by v stor @ 07:52 PM 3 Comments

A little Optimistic, one hopes. Market Will Bottom Out In Spring: Hamptons

No recovery until 2010, we'd all better rush in now to secure the bargains. What are these people on, do they not understand the coming recession, unless ofcourse they are waiting for buyers from the eurozone to take up all these lovely "cheap" bargains. (in euro terms, properties are around 40-50% cheaper than 2007, for dollar purchasers 50-60% and for the British saver 20% - rip-off britain continues apace).

Posted by bystander @ 06:28 PM 11 Comments

Damian Green's arrest was nothing - Latvia shows Gordon how it's done

Wall Street Journal: How to Combat a Banking Crisis: First, Round Up the Pessimists

Hammered by economic woe, this former Soviet republic recently took a novel step to contain the crisis. Its counterespionage agency busted an economist for being too downbeat. "All I did was say what everyone knows," says Dmitrijs Smirnovs, a 32-year-old university lecturer detained by Latvia's Security Police. The force is responsible for hunting down spies, terrorists and other threats to this Baltic nation of 2.3 million people and 26 banks. Now free after two days of questioning, Mr. Smirnovs hasn't been charged. But he is still under investigation for bad-mouthing the stability of Latvia's banks and the national currency, the lat. Investigators suspect him of spreading "untruthful information." They've ordered him not to leave the country and seized his computer.

Posted by drewster @ 05:50 PM 7 Comments

A must watch (4 mins) for all HPC regulars

youtube: Real Estate Downfall

Hopefully the link will take this time - if not see - (I presume this one has not already been posted)

Posted by jack c @ 04:59 PM 8 Comments

BREAKING NEWS: Insane buyer found for brooky close.

liverpool echo: Jimmy Corkhill actor: I'll buy Brookside

The 53-year-old today told of his plans to raise around 600,000 for the available houses. The actor who played bad boy Jimmy Corkhill said he might transform the 13-house close into a tourist attraction. Because of the credit crunch the asking price for Brookside Close in West Derby has fallen from 2.4m to 600,000.

Posted by mark @ 04:14 PM 3 Comments

goes from bad to worse every day

liverpool echo: Getrag Ford transmission plant at Halewood shuts for a month

The Halewood plant, which makes gear boxes for Ford Transit vans, employs about 1,200 staff, including up to 800 production staff. They will start their traditional Christmas break a week earlier and not return until later then normal on January 12. A worker at the site, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were also told by management today that on their return the whole site will work a four-day week.

Posted by mark @ 04:10 PM 0 Comments

daily job loss news from Me...

bbc: Engineering firm 'lays off' staff

Three hundred of the company's 485-strong workforce will be laid-off for a week on Monday 15 December. This will be followed by another four weeks without pay in January and February. The Easter holiday week is also being brought forward to January.

Posted by mark @ 04:03 PM 4 Comments

The Euro Bubble

Telegraph: The eurozones weakest link starts to crack

Been refusing to buy Euros with Sterling for 3 months now. Looks like a bubble that will never bust.

Posted by bellwether @ 03:40 PM 11 Comments

yet another contest to win a house!!! cant sell then raffle

home raffle via fox news: Family Raffling $1M California Home

There are two ways to enter the Tracy Home Giveaway Contest either Online or By Mail In either case a complete Contest Entry must include the following: Completed Entry Form $150 Entry Fee Completed the Skill Question

Posted by mark @ 02:38 PM 1 Comments

Casinos were always seen as recession proof!! just goes to show

review journal: Gaming revenue dives again

It just went from bad to worse. Nevada gaming revenues tumbled 22.3 percent in October, the single largest monthly drop in state history

Posted by mark @ 02:17 PM 1 Comments

Out of fying pan into deep fat fryer with slippy burning hot sides

reuters: Recession to worsen, deflation a risk

The "nasty" U.S. recession will tighten its grip next year as unemployment rises and weak home and stock prices imperil consumers, finance firms and debt-laden businesses, a UCLA Anderson Forecast report released on Thursday said. Additionally, a sustained retreat in prices for goods and services is a very real possibility that would further drag on the economy, according to the forecasting unit's report. "Where only last quarter we were worried about inflation, we are now worried about its very rare opposite: deflation," the report said. Falling prices would cut demand and discourage employers from hiring.

Posted by mark @ 01:16 PM 0 Comments

How can we expect anything but inflation in the future

Telegraph: Value of pound falls to 28-year low

"Mr Darling has refused to tell MPs how much further sterling would have to fall before he became worried about the value of the British currency. " ...I imagine he ,GB and Lord Mandy will keep it under their hats until it is so low, perhaps 1pound buying 80euro cents, before they bring it up. Making a case that joining the euro is the only possible option, by which time GB will have bought sterling with all his euros bought from selling the countries gold in 2000, and sell himself as a financial wizard for making the country so much money. Then the real pain will hit the UK, as all fiscal control is removed. Even though, and I hate myself for saying this, as I still have savings in sterling, removing control of interest rates from vote obsessed politicians may not be all that bad.

Posted by bystander @ 12:40 PM 19 Comments

spreads like a virus all because of a housing boom!!! They said it would never happen!!

bloomberg: Swiss Central Bank Cuts Rate to 0.5%, Recession Looms

The Swiss central bank cut its interest rate to a four-year low of 0.5 percent and said further measures are possible as the economy faces a recession that may be the worst since 1982.

Posted by mark @ 11:55 AM 3 Comments

Stock markets might not bottom until 2014

MoneyWeek: Stock markets might not bottom out until 2014

Obama's 'New Deal II' may well result in a long bear-market rally. But his efforts will ultimately come to nought. Ballooning government debt will hit the dollar and prompt a massive share sell-off on both sides of the Atlantic.

Posted by damien @ 11:38 AM 1 Comments

Consumer Survey Shows Lower Inflation Expectations

Bloomberg: U.K. Inflation Expectations Drop the Most Since 1999, BOE Says

U.K. consumers' predictions for inflation in the next year recorded the biggest drop since at least 1999 in November as the recession intensified, a survey for the Bank of England showed. The median forecast on increases in consumer prices for the coming 12 months fell to 2.8 percent, compared with 4.4 percent in August, the central bank said today in London. That's the biggest drop since the quarterly survey began nine years ago. GfK NOP surveyed 2,065 people from Nov. 13 to Nov 18.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 11:12 AM 4 Comments

Irwin Stelzer nails it!

Telegraph: Gordon Brown must blame himself, not the USA

Enough! It's time to put an end to Gordon Brown's ridiculous blame game. As the Prime Minister tells it, Britain's woes started in America. Like some strain of flu, America's problems found their way across the ocean to London, and from there to the rest of the British economy. Cheers from the Left, eager to rubbish America and to resurrect their leader's reputation. It is beyond question that Britain's problems stem in part from its fractured regulatory system, with responsibility split between the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority, and the Treasury. A close study of the relevant documents fails to reveal that this system was forced upon Brown by the US authorities. No, it sprang full blown from the brains of Chancellor Gordon Brown and his sidekick, Ed Balls

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:22 AM 8 Comments

'Novel' is good, right?

Bloomberg: Treasury Studying Novel Approaches to Sell Debt

Treasuries are in such high demand that investors are lending cash for next to nothing to obtain the securities as collateral through so-called repos, which dealers use to finance their holdings. The problem is many parties involved in the repurchase agreements arent delivering the bonds because there is no penalty for not doing so, causing fails to exceed $5 trillion in the week ended Oct. 22, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:03 AM 1 Comments

Sounds like good sense

Times: Germany attacks 'depressing' UK economic rescue

Mr Steinbruck appealed for calm, warnging that there was no silver bullet for the downturn: "It is the yearning for the Great Rescue Plan. It doesn't exist. It doesn't exist! Dealing with an unprecedented crisis is a puzzle, a trial-and-error. Honestly, I don't know. Good article, I think this is crunch time and Germany is under pressure to prevent the Euro experiment from coming apart and rescue the Southern States, eg. Greece, Italy, Spain.

Posted by andrew @ 09:18 AM 5 Comments

MEWing for living expenses

Guardian: Homeowners use remortgaging for day-to-day cash, says study

Most homeowners who remortgaged while house prices were going up did not blow the cash they raised but used it for the necessities of life, according to new research. Housing expert Prof Susan Smith said the credit crunch will now affect similar families who will not be able to use any equity in their homes to raise finance. The Durham University expert said remortgaging was even more popular than previously thought, and acted as a safety net for struggling families, rather than a way of funding big holidays or a new car. "The credit crunch is a welfare disaster for struggling households who have previously relied on the option to borrow up against the value of their home," said Ms Smith

Posted by little professor @ 12:46 AM 42 Comments

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Banks are filling their boots! Greece here we come!

The Times: Cost of personal loans soars!

The cheapest loan available is now 8.2 per cent that is more than four times the base rate at 2 per cent. Experts say that providers may actually be trying to price themselves out of the market as the availability of credit continues to be squeezed

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 11:58 PM 2 Comments

Unemployment will shoot up after Christmas!

MoneyWeek: The silver lining to bad employment news

"Andy Miller, a major commercial real estate player with several million square feet of retail space, says that many of his retail tenants have told him they're going to shut down their stores after Christmas. Christmas is the most profitable time of the year for retailers. If Miller's right, they'll sell as much as they can leading up to Christmas, then they'll fire their staff and vacate their properties in the new year. It's not just retail properties closing down and firing employees. Miller says there's a crisis coming in all commercial real estate. He says it feels like a slow-motion car wreck. If a crisis in commercial real estate develops, you should anticipate some of the worst unemployment data since the Great Depression."

Posted by drewster @ 11:27 PM 7 Comments

We're a laughing stock :(

BBC: German ridicule for UK policies

The German finance minister has launched an outspoken attack on the UK government's plans to help pull Britain out of the economic downturn. In an unusual breach of standard diplomacy, Peer Steinbruck attacked the UK's decision to cut VAT and raise the national debt to record levels. Mr Steinbruck said the UK's switch from financial prudence to heavy borrowing was both "crass" and "breathtaking". "All this will do is raise Britain's debt to a level that will take a whole generation to work off."

Posted by little professor @ 10:30 PM 19 Comments

Infinite losses create quandary for government

MarketWatch: A bottomless pit of losses at AIG

Another layer to the onion that is American International Group Inc. has been peeled away, and again, what's underneath is not pretty.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 08:04 PM 1 Comments

Genetically modified animal feed for the UK

NFU: EU authorises GM soya imports

The European Union decision to allow imports of GM Roundup Ready 2 soybean is 'a very welcome step', the NFU has said. The Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs gave its approval last week, ensuring the continued availability of an important product for the UK animal feed industry.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 07:43 PM 3 Comments

Tin hats 8 really, really scary predictions

Things are going to be awful for everyday people. U.S. GDP growth is going to be negative through the end of 2009. And the recovery in 2010 and 2011, if there is one, is going to be so weak - with a growth rate of 1% to 1.5% - that it's going to feel like a recession.

Posted by v stor @ 06:29 PM 0 Comments

2009 will be a downer for the housing market

MailOnline: 'Unemployment landslide' looms as 40% of small businesses consider closing down

Workers must brace themselves for an 'insolvency epidemic' as British businesses go bust next year, according to a shocking new report.

Posted by v stor @ 05:43 PM 2 Comments

Misplaced optimism will not change the downward spiral Worsening Spending Slump Paces Scary U.S. Recession

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The biggest slump in U.S. consumer spending since 1942 will extend the recession and push the jobless rate to the highest level in a quarter century, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Posted by v stor @ 05:31 PM 0 Comments

There's going to be a recession!

BBC: Darling says recession now likely

Alistair Darling has admitted that the UK economy is likely to enter a recession, but expects growth to return "in the second half of next year". Describing the current economic situation as "difficult", the chancellor said continuing low interest rates would help the economy recover. Speaking to a key Commons committee, he added that deflation was not a risk.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 05:31 PM 20 Comments

The unionised wage - Detroit

New York Times: $73 an Hour: Adding It Up

[not directly hpc related] That figure repeated on television and in newspapers as the average pay of a Big Three autoworker has become a big symbol in the fight over what should happen to Detroit. To critics, it is a neat encapsulation of everything thats wrong with bloated car companies and their entitled workers.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 05:22 PM 11 Comments

Guess what!? - Lenders are making it worse! How could it be worse?

The Mortgage Warehouse: Lenders make house price crash worse

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, it is the banks and mortgage lenders who are making the house price crash worse than it need be. In particular, the sale of repossessed properties at knock down prices has contributed to the claim by estate agents that their average sales have dropped to less than one a week. This is the lowest figure in thirty years and hints at further job losses in the sector. But I thought that this was just the market finding its own floor, enlighten me please!

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 04:56 PM 0 Comments

Arm those presses!

Bloomberg: U.K. May Expand Toolkit to Halt Recession Slide

The U.K. government and the Bank of England are considering plans to pump billions of pounds into the economy as the bank rescue package and the lowest interest rates since 1951 fail to halt a slide into recession. ... The comments are the clearest sign yet that he is frustrated that banks are rationing credit even after a 50 billion pound ($74 billion) program to rescue HBOS Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds TSB Group Plc.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 04:06 PM 7 Comments

Mortgage deferal not for BTL, second home or those with savings

This Is Money (Daily Mail and General Trust): No mortgage help for 16,000 savers

People with savings above 16,000 or second homes will not be allowed help from the Government's new safety net for homeowners, it emerged today. Buy-to-let properties and homes with a mortgage of more than 400,000 will be excluded from the scheme. Details of the plan were released by Chancellor Alistair Darling this afternoon as he appeared before the Treasury Committee in the Commons.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 03:10 PM 36 Comments

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. And the Duke too!

ThisIsMoney: Credit-crunched Candy Brothers slash yacht price

The Candy brothers are the latest yacht owners to vouch for the old maxim that yachting is like standing under a cold shower tearing up 20 notes. The pair are trying to sell their 146-foot boat Candyscape (below) at a massive discount. The brothers have spent millions refurbishing the vessel to their own design. One of the lavatories is lined in leather taken from antique Louis Vuitton suitcases. It is moored in Monaco, from where they chartered it at around 100,000 a week. The Candys aren't the first property magnates to suffer such problems with devaluing yachts. Earlier this year I reported that the Duke of Westminster had also put his elegant Edwardian motor yacht on the market for 2.5m - after he had spent more than 6m refurbishing it.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:48 PM 9 Comments

Blanchflower writes, Darling I'm leaving...

Guardian: David Blanchflower to step down from Bank of England next year

Professor David Blanchflower has decided not to renew his tenure on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee when his current three-year term expires next May, the chancellor, Alistair Darling, announced today. His departure will come as blow to the City and financial markets who think Blanchflower is the only MPC member who saw the recession coming and spent all this year urging his reluctant colleagues to make big cuts to interest rates. Blanchflower, a British-born academic who also teaches economics at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, said in a letter released by Darling today that he thought external members should only serve one three-year term on the committee.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 02:45 PM 10 Comments

Times have gotta be tough when this stuff happens

Wall Street Journal: Modeling's Eileen Ford Cuts Price of Estate by 19%

Ford Models founder Eileen Ford, whose agency represented some of the biggest modeling names for decades, this week cut the price of her New Jersey mansion by 19% to $6.5 million, after it went unsold at $8 million for two years. Ms. Ford's husband and business partner, Jerry Ford, died in August at age 83. Their agency represented Lauren Hutton, Veronica Webb and Christie Brinkley, and some credit the Fords with key roles in establishing the modern modeling industry. The house is about 45 miles west of New York City, in Hunterdon County. The classic colonial estate, on a hill with views of the countryside, has seven bedrooms and six bathrooms on 20 acres.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:36 PM 0 Comments


Mail: Jan Moir gets an insight into a credit crunch hit Anthea Turner

'Oh, come on, you didn't really think I did all the housework, did you?' No, we didn't, Anthea. However, now that your husband Grant Bovey's buy-to-let empire and furnishing company have been repossessed by the banks, there seems to be a strong possibility that you'll soon have to 'We have huge profits that have yet to materialise,' he said recently.

Posted by confused76 @ 02:28 PM 1 Comments

And we not only saved the World...

Times: Gordon Brown left red-faced in Commons after world saviour gaffe

Faced by David Cameron's first question, on why his multi-billion-pound banks bailout had failed to filter down to the taxpayer, the PM replied: "We not only saved the world..." When Mr Cameron rose to his feet again, he couldn't resist the first of several gibes. "Well, it's now on the record..." he said, causing more hysteria. "He is so busy talking about saving the world, he has forgotten about the businesses in the country that he's meant to be governing."

Posted by confused76 @ 02:19 PM 8 Comments

First National Express, now General Growth Properties

Wall Street Journal: Dark Days for Mall Dynasty Built on Debt

Two board members of General Growth Properties Inc. marched into CEO John Bucksbaum's office to deliver a blunt message: It was time for him to resign. An internal investigation showed that Mr. Bucksbaum's family trust had violated company policy by making private loans to two company officers and failing to inform the board. The departure of Mr. Bucksbaum -- whose father and uncle founded the giant mall owner 54 years ago -- would mark an end to the family's management control of the company. General Growth's stock has plunged more than 97% in the past year, dragging down the Bucksbaum family fortunes with it. The Bucksbaums' 25% ownership stake, worth $3.2 billion just six months ago, is now worth $116 million.

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:58 PM 0 Comments

Forget the MORI, etc polls, businesses up and down the country are voting "Sack the Government"

Property Week: Lord Oakeshott says banks have virtually gone on strike

Oakeshott said he first became concerned about the Icelandic banking situation six months ago. Credit agencies were slow to pick up the problem, but the credit default swap prices were shouting from the rooftops that Icelandic banks were in trouble. 'They were signalling a 40% chance that they would go bust.

Posted by fahrenheit451 @ 01:46 PM 1 Comments

How far will oil rise?

Market Oracle: Crude Oil Forecast 2009 - Time to buy

"No one could have imagined a little over 4 months ago with crude oil trading at $147, that crude oil would have crashed by 70% and be threatening to break below $40 so soon. Therefore this analysis seeks to to evaluate the prospects for crude oils future trend over the next 12months in determining whether crude oil today is a good buy or not."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:34 PM 58 Comments

Treasuries bubble danger

FT Alphaville: Treasuries bubble danger

Because foreign holdings represent a significant proportion of the stock of Treasuries outstanding, a collapse in Treasuries prices might soon be reflected in a collapse of the US dollar, with the accompanying threat of hyper-inflation in the USA and depression elsewhere. At that point, many investors might wish they still enjoyed the comparative calm of the credit crunch.

Posted by frenchie @ 01:22 PM 0 Comments

Gordon Brown saves the world at PMQs

Crown Blog: Gordon Brown saves the world at PMQs

If you like watching Gordon Brown tripping over his words - then this is for you

Posted by crown @ 01:22 PM 0 Comments

Back to 2000

Property Week: UKs direct property investment down 55% on 2007

I thought it might be nice to post a news article about property prices. Apparently they went down.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:55 PM 2 Comments

Cheaper bills, now please: It's cold.

Telegraph: Energy firms 'could afford 20pc price cut'

British Gas wont cut its prices until the spring despite new analysis showing that energy suppliers could afford to cut prices by almost 20pc within weeks.

Posted by ben @ 12:52 PM 0 Comments

Prices to continue falling

Telegraph: Home owners fail to benefit from rate cuts

'Seema Shah, a property economist at Capital Economics, said: "With the recession now taking hold, unemployment rising, and lending criteria still tight, new buyers will be searching for bargains. As such, they are more likely to add downward pressure to house prices rather than bid them up." '

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:44 PM 2 Comments

Study identifies mortgage holiday proposals as "political manoeuvre"

mortgagestrategy: 2-year mortgage holiday could lead to debt nightmare

The governments 2-year mortgage holiday could leave cash strapped consumers in a worse financial situation, mortgage services provider Exact warns today. The firm has done a study of the governments plan to defer mortgage interest payments for two years and has slammed it as badly thought out and little more than political spin. With property prices nose-diving it says that deferring mortgage interest payments could mean that cash strapped borrowers just run up more debt against a property that is rapidly losing capital value.

Posted by jack c @ 11:29 AM 10 Comments

4 phases to monetary collapse

Market Oracle: Financial System in Collapse, Credit Crisis Worst Yet to Come

The Initial Phase Financial Crisis --- The Second Phase Economic Crisis --- The Third Phase Hyperinflation --- Final Phase Monetary Collapse

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:03 AM 41 Comments

Oh Great!!!!

Timesonline: Pound sinks to record low as euro nears parity

"One London-based trader told Reuters this morning that some traders expected the euro to rise to 93p against the pound. Technically, sterling is looking very heavy and the product of that is euro-sterling going higher, the trader said. " When Sterling reaches parity with the euro does anyone think English companies will be able to match the pay of their European, didn't think so.....deflation becomes hyperinflation very soon, cost of living goes through the roof, standard of living goes through the floor.

Posted by bystander @ 10:38 AM 13 Comments

Bank Aid - A fundraising concert for banks? Or just more empty promises

Telegraph: Chancellor Alistair Darling considers new guarantees to get banks lending

Chancellor Alistair Darling is considering extending government guarantees to mortgages and business loans, in a further bid to get banks lending again.

Posted by ben @ 10:13 AM 0 Comments

Darling considers underwrtiting ALL commercial loans - Pure desperation!

Bloomberg: Darling Said to Consider Credit Guarantees to Spur U.K. Lending

'The measures would mark an unprecedented step by U.K. authorities to underwrite commercial loans after a rescue that gave the government stakes in HBOS Plc, Lloyds TSB Group Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc failed to restart bank lending. The economy is sinking into its first recession since 1991.' Holy c*ap what's going to happen to Sterling now?

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:11 AM 5 Comments

BOE expected to cut by another 1% as early as next month

Times: 0% interest rate on the horizon as economy shrinks twice as fast

Alistair Darlings hopes that growth would resume in the second half of next year were hit yesterday by predictions that the recession could turn into a slump worse than that of the early 1980s. Experts said that the economy would shrink by 1 per cent or more this winter as it emerged that British industry is contracting at the fastest pace since 1991. Output from factories, power stations, mines and the North Sea plummeted in October by 1.7 per cent, leaving it 5.2 per cent down from levels a year earlier. The speed at which the economy is shrinking has doubled to at least 1 per cent in the past three months, from an already severe 0.5 per cent officially reported for the third quarter, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Posted by jack c @ 09:01 AM 5 Comments


Robin Ellis Construction, the company known as "London's poshest builder", has gone into administration as the economic downturn hits the once-thriving market for construction work at the capital's prime residences. The company, established in 1984, had earned a reputation among the super-rich as specialists in conversions of listed period homes. Robin Ellis said the collapse was a "dreadful shock" and was brought about by a "climate of non-payment and slow payment by clients". The company, which turned over about 15 million pound a year, has made all 35 staff of Robin Ellis Construction and Robin Ellis Projects redundant.

Posted by spidermug @ 08:03 AM 0 Comments

Roll up! Roll up! get your bargains here

Times: Estate agents offer bargains in Christmas sale

"The owners of more than 7,500 properties have been encouraged to slash their prices by as much as 30 per cent although some have trimmed by as little as 3 per cent. " "Countrywide says that the Christmas bargain scheme, which it has been planning for several months, was intended to kick-start local property markets and was not prompted by Standard & Poors recent down-grading of the groups credit rating. S&P asserted that Countrywide would run out of cash by the end of 2009." Sure - we believe you

Posted by growler @ 07:17 AM 4 Comments

Gordon Brown 0-- Ronald Mcdonald 1

the independant: Britain worse credit risk than McDonald's

Britain has become a worse credit risk than McDonald's and a host of other large companies, figures produced for The Independent reveal. The collapse in Britain's credit rating has taken place over the past two and a half months, since the Government underwrote the banking system and decided to spend its way out of recession. Investing in UK government debt is now almost twice as risky as buying McDonald's corporate bonds, according to the market in credit default swaps (CDS), which provides insurance for the buyers of such debt.

Posted by sold out @ 07:08 AM 11 Comments

Half of 'rescued' borrowers still default

CNN Money: Half of 'rescued' borrowers still default

Another thing for Gordon to think about before he introduces any more hairbrained schemes! "Many modified mortgages in 2008 defaulted in 6 months, a top federal regulator says. A new study raises concerns over the quality of such loan adjustments."

Posted by becky @ 12:52 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That tough talking to the banks went well then....NOT!!!

Times Online: Abbey hikes mortgage rates and pushes up fees

Spanish owned Abby laughs in the face of Calamity Brown and shows a couple of well honed fingers to Darling, and oh while we're at it, if anyone thinks they can mess them around errming and arrhhing about borrowing their money, then they'd better be prepaid to pay for the privilege.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 11:31 PM 1 Comments

Ouch! That's got to hurt

Telegraph: Buy-to-let investors losing 6 million an hour

Landlords lost 52.8 billion of equity in the 12 months to October this year, according to the research by fund manager Managing Partners Limited. This equates to 144.77 million a day or 6 million an hour. London landlords have seen the biggest loss in equity from their properties, followed by the South-East and South-West. The shocking figures come after the Council of Mortgage Lenders warned that repossessions on buy-to-let properties are expected to rise amid falling rents and an oversupply of rental properties. It said the number of landlords falling behind on mortgage payments had risen by 50 per cent and that landlords were finding it more difficult to use selling as an exit strategy.

Posted by little professor @ 08:32 PM 9 Comments

Sound Familiar: heads I win, tails you lose

Times: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bosses blame Congress for failure

"In written testimony submitted to a hearing of the House of Representatives' Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the four former chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said that the lenders were pressured by Congress to ensure that lower-income families could buy homes. At the same time, their regulator, the Office of Housing Enterprise Oversight, which later became the Federal Housing Finance Agency, did little or nothing to curb their increasing exposure to riskier loans, the former chief executives claimed. " Now where am I hearing this now ??

Posted by growler @ 08:30 PM 5 Comments

Decline in US and UK commercial demand

The Move Channel: commercial woes continue

Demand for commercial property in America has been severely impacted by the loss of thousands of jobs all across the country, with more losses predicted by the end of the year... Things aren't looking much healthier in the UK commercial property market sector. Commercial property capital values in the UK dropped by 6.6 per cent in November compared to figures from the previous month, according to new research. Hardly news to us but this acts as further punctuation in the course of the crash.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 07:29 PM 0 Comments

Property Information Questionnaire Property Information Questionnaire (P.I.Q.)

The news with HIPs mentions this new PIQ. There does seem to be some more useful information which may help HIPS or put the final nail in their coffin.

Posted by kaz @ 06:23 PM 1 Comments

Turnover and profitability is down on my business should I write to Gordon Brown?

BBC: Steel firm seeks aid from Brown

The chief executive of Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus has asked UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for government funding amid the global downturn. Corus head Philippe Varin said state help was needed to allow firms to avoid redundancies amid falling output. The scheme could be similar to the plan recently introduced in the Netherlands to pay up to 70% of workers' basic pay to allow retraining and paid down-time.

Posted by jack c @ 06:01 PM 8 Comments

If Japan gets -1.8% growth, how much will GB get?

BBC: Japan sinks deeper into recession

Japan economy, the second largest in the world after the US, shrank by 0.5% in the quarter, for an annualised rate of 1.8%, significantly greater than expected.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 05:51 PM 0 Comments

Any other blow to BLT?

Telegraph: Buy-to-let investors face tax crackdown

Middle class buy-to-let investors who are failing to declare their earnings from rent payments should end up with a criminal record under recommendations from senior MPs.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 05:48 PM 1 Comments

Quick everyone - cheap houses to be had

Daily Tripe: Buyers tempted back into the property market as house prices continue to fall and mortgage lending b

One estate agent from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, said: 'Bargain hunters are in the market making cheeky bids.' Another estate agent, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, said: 'November was our best month of the year for new sales so perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is still glowing.' Another agent said that 'realistically priced property' is attracting interest. He said 'realistic' means '20 per cent less than last year.'

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 05:35 PM 3 Comments

Slump in the sun Spains Best Generation Hit as Boom Turns to Bust

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Roberto Frenedoso, a 23-year-old construction worker, has little to do these days except loiter around a square with his unemployed friends in Madrids Getafe suburb.

Posted by v stor @ 05:24 PM 0 Comments

Basically a duplicate post, but he's hit the nail like other Times economics writers don't

Times Online: A crash as historic as the end of communism

Peter posted the original article link earlier today, but I think most missed it. Robert Peston (for it is he etc.) blames the Bank of England, banks, the media and us, in that order more or less.

Posted by paul @ 05:12 PM 26 Comments

Some sense from the CML - honest ... read it

Times: Mortgage lenders attack Labour on bank policies

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has launched an attack against the Government's "conflicting and incoherent" policies toward British banks as home loan lending fell by nearly 60 per cent in October. Michael Coogan, director general of the CML, today listed a litany of issues facing banks in the current climate.

Posted by uncle chris @ 04:12 PM 1 Comments

Expose them for what they are

Telegraph: Labour is 'hypocritical' on credit card interest

The Government has been called a bunch of hypocrites for threatening regulation to cut credit card rates while the Labour party receives more than 1m from a card that charges 10 times the Bank of England base rate. Worse still for old-fashioned socialists, the Co-op offers preferential terms on a Labour Advantage Platinum card, which charges 13.9pc for purchases but this is available only to people earning more than 25,000 a year and who are aged over 25.

Posted by uncle chris @ 04:04 PM 0 Comments

Landlords see big decline in the value of property portfolios

mortgagestrategy: Landlords lose 52.8bn in equity year-on-year

Landlords have lost 52.8bn in equity from their property portfolios this year, reveals Managing Partners Limited The fund manager compared the portfolios of English and Welsh landlords between October 2007 and October 2008 and found the loss that equates to 144.77m a day or 6.03m an hour.

Posted by jack c @ 03:46 PM 3 Comments

Cut-price repossessions 'force house prices lower'

telegraph: Cut-price repossessions 'force house prices lower'

Banks are reinforcing the house price crash by selling repossessed properties at knock-down prices, estate agents claim, as their rate of sales drops to less than one a week, their lowest in 30 years. Stuart Auckland, of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, based in County Durham, said: "Repossessions are selling for competitive prices at considerable discounts over neighbouring properties." Banks sell repossessions through a restricted number of estate agents, who may not even be local. The property may then be sold through the agents window or at auction.

Posted by mark @ 02:27 PM 5 Comments

can anyone shed light on why or how the ONS can alter old figures?

reuters: Bleak winter ahead as economy gloom grows

The ONS also revised down output in previous months. Other things being equal, that would mean gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.6 percent in the third quarter instead of the 0.5 percent fall initially reported, it said. Manufacturing output fell much faster than expected -- 1.4 percent on the month -- and for the eighth month running. This was the biggest drop since March 2005 and marked the longest stretch of declines since 1980.

Posted by mark @ 02:16 PM 1 Comments

this is getting more severe by the day!!

yahoo: New recession warnings hit leading economies

"The data suggests that the economy is contracting faster than previously thought, and the depth of the recession will be more severe," said Glenn Maguire

Posted by mark @ 01:18 PM 0 Comments

reading it , sales look down, but not hugely

smmt: Used car sales - UK quarter three figures issued

Used car sales - UK quarter three figures issued

Posted by mark @ 12:53 PM 1 Comments

Postman Pat owner axes jobs

manchester evening news: Postman Pat owner axes jobs

POSTMAN Pat owner Entertainment Rights is cutting a third of its workforce after revealing the collapse of Woolworths has left it around 800,000 out of pocket. The kids' TV programme company, which also owns rights to Basil Brush and Rupert Bear, said Christmas sales were likely to be lower than expected and is cutting 50 of its 150 staff by the end of the year under plans to save 5m.

Posted by mark @ 12:41 PM 4 Comments

Number of state-licensed agents is down nearly 70 percent in only two years

las Vegas Sun: States mortgage industry dramatically contracts amid home foreclosure crisis

Nevadas housing recession is taking a stunning toll on the states mortgage banking and brokerage industry. The state reported a drop of more than 55 percent among mortgage agents, brokers and bankers in the past two years. It is simply a function of the marketplace that as credit has been constricted and loans are not as available there is less of a market for people who make or broker loans, said Joe Waltuch, Nevada Mortgage Lending Division commissioner. The biggest drop came among mortgage agents, whose ranks have thinned almost 70 percent. The division reported last week that the state had 3,589 active licensed mortgage agents as of Dec. 1, a decline from 11,686 in October 2006 and 8,295 at the end of October 2007.

Posted by mark @ 12:35 PM 0 Comments

Spains Best Generation Stung by First Slump in Its Memory

bloomberg: Spains Best Generation Stung by First Slump in Its Memory

Roberto Frenedoso, a 23-year construction worker, has little to do these days except loiter around a square with his unemployed friends in Madrids Getafe suburb.

Posted by mark @ 12:05 PM 0 Comments

only last week they were bragging how good things were!!

yahoo: Sony says to cut 8,000 jobs, shut plants

"These initiatives are in response to the sudden and rapid changes in the global economic environment," it said in a statement.

Posted by mark @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

Finally the banks speak

BBC: Lenders slam government policies

The government's priorities for lenders are "conflicting and incoherent", a banking group has said.

Posted by holding out @ 11:36 AM 1 Comments

can anyone explain this twilight zone article?

yahoo: Big Rise In Number Buying Homes

The number of mortgages taken out by people buying a new home jumped by 14% in October, new figures show. A total of 39,900 mortgages worth 5.5 billion were advanced for house purchases during the month.

Posted by mark @ 11:10 AM 11 Comments

Why sterling looks set to fall even further

MoneyWeek: Why sterling looks set to fall even further

It's little wonder that investors are betting against sterling. The pound hit a fresh all-time low against the euro at one point yesterday, with one euro costing 87.38p at one point. The slide is becoming so bad that it threatens to shove Britain right down the pecking order of global economic powers.

Posted by damien @ 11:06 AM 4 Comments

Everything must go soon! Massive discounts!

Citywire: Chartered surveyors report 30 year house sale low

Vendors still have to accept the inevitable fact that house prices are falling and re-price their property to suit current market conditions, said Jeremy Leaf, Rics spokesman.

Posted by paul @ 10:38 AM 0 Comments

As long as we keep shopping it'll all be OK

BBC: UK manufacturing in sharp decline

UK manufacturing output fell in October by the biggest amount in more than six years official data showed, underlining the weak state of the economy

Posted by holding out @ 10:38 AM 0 Comments

Estate agencies closing at a rate of 150 per month.

Citywire: Estate agents face another investigation

Estate agents will come under scrutiny as part of a sweeping investigation into the house buying and selling process announced by the Office of Fair Trading. The body will consider the competition between price and quality between estate agents and the extent of consumer protection. It will also scrutinise the relationships between estate agents, mortgage brokers, surveyors and solicitors. The news comes as estate agents fight for survival. The housing downturn has seen business slow to a trickle some are said to be shifting just one house a week with recent stats suggesting estate agencies closing at a rate of 150 a month.

Posted by jack c @ 10:04 AM 5 Comments

The latest RICS report [pdf]

RICS: Price balance improves but remains severely depressed

The net balance of surveyors reporting price falls improved from 81% last month to 76.5% in November, However, the number of sales per estate agent fell to the lowest level since records began in 1978. The EA quotes are always good entertainment: W2008 was the year a soft landing turned into a crash and next year will depend upon what can be salvaged from the wreckage."

Posted by little professor @ 09:26 AM 1 Comments

The New Economic Reality

BBC News Blog from Robert Preston: The New Capitalism

If you think house prices are going to bounce back in the next few years you should read this background article.

Posted by peter @ 09:24 AM 6 Comments

Ramping rubbish from estate agents...

Times Online: House hunting hits two-year high

''The number of people seeking to buy a home surged to a two-year high last month as bargain-seekers searched for repossessed and forced-sale properties at bargain-basement prices, new figures suggest''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:11 AM 20 Comments

For the Jeremy Clarkson fans

Times: Vauxhall Insignia 2.8 V6

I was in Dublin last weekend, and had a very real sense Id been invited to the last days of the Roman empire. Everyone appeared to be drunk on naked hedonism. And all I could think was: Jesus. Cant they see whats coming? Ireland has a tiny population, so how could the Irish ever have generated the cash for their flashy lifestyles? And how, as they become the first country in Europe to go officially into recession, can they not see the financial meteorite coming? I have spoken to a couple of pretty senior bankers in the past couple of weeks and their story is rather different. They dont refer to the looming problems as being like 1992 or even 1929. They talk about a total financial meltdown. They talk about the End of Days.

Posted by little professor @ 12:58 AM 47 Comments

Green shoots?

BBC News: House sales still falling - RICS

Property sales fell even further in November, according to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). The number of sales per estate agency fell during the three months to November to 10.6, the lowest since records began in 1976. However, the balance of surveyors reporting price falls improved to 76.5%, from 81% in October. RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf said: "Many are starting to see the current market as an opportunity to purchase a previously unaffordable property." The survey comes a day after Rics forecast that the value of commercial property would drop by 50% from peak to trough.

Posted by little professor @ 12:47 AM 2 Comments

Monday, December 8, 2008

State-owned bank only passing on half the cut

Times: Northern Rock snubs government

Northern Rock, the Government-owned lender, has defied the demands of Gordon Brown and announced that it is cutting its SVR by just half a point. Last week the Bank of England reduced the base interest rate by 1%. The following day the Prime Minister demanded that banks and building societies pass on the full cut. Melanie Bien, of Savills, says: "Other lenders may question why they should bow to government pressure to pass on the full 1 percenta. Northern Rock needs to lead by example if the government is going to have any joy in persuading other lenders to play ball." RBS, which is 57% owned by the government, and Bradford and Bingley, which was nationalized in September, have only passed on 0.75% of the cut. HBOS is only cutting by 0.25%

Posted by little professor @ 11:12 PM 0 Comments

The Notorious B.I.G.

B.I.G.: Country Default Risk Rises Across the Board

Ireland, Austria, Greece, and the UK have seen default risk rise the most over the last month. All have risen close to or more than 100%. US default risk has risen the 8th most at 68%.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:53 PM 0 Comments

Inside the influential new world of econo-bloggers

Boston Globe: So, you want to save the economy?

The blogs offer a rolling crash course in economics as authoritative as any textbook, but far more accessible. It's a conversation that's simultaneously esoteric and irreverent, combining technical discussions of liquidity traps and yield curves with profane putdowns and heckling headlines. In the process, the bloggers have helped to democratize policy making, throwing open the doors on the messy business of everything from declaring a recession to structuring the most expensive government bailout in history. The bloggers included some of the nation's top academic economists, such as Paul Krugman, Nouriel Roubini, and Tyler Cowen, along with a host of financial-industry insiders who actually knew a great deal about credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, and all the other...

Posted by drewster @ 10:42 PM 5 Comments

Fresh blow for homeowners as Government tightens rules on Hips... in the midst of worst property slu

Daily Mail: Fresh blow for homeowners as Government tightens rules on Hips... in the midst of worst property slump for years

"Homeowners will be forced to compile home information packs before they can put their property on the market, the Government revealed today. In a move that will infuriate those desperately trying to sell their homes, people will no longer be able to put up a for sale sign by simply commissioning one of the controversial packs, knows as a Hip."

Posted by becky @ 10:20 PM 1 Comments

HIP burden ramped up by Government

mortgagestrategy: Government announces HIP shake-up

Housing minister Margaret Beckett has announced an overhaul of home information packs which will force buyers to compile a HIP before the property is marketed. Sellers can currently commission and pay for a HIP and then start marketing their property for up to 28 days before the pack is available, but from April 6 2009 they will no longer be allowed to market the property without the HIP. A new Property Information Questionnaire will also be introduced.

Posted by jack c @ 09:02 PM 7 Comments

Deflation risk

TimesOnline: Falling factory costs raise deflation threat

Paul Dales, UK economist at Capital Economics, said: The further fall in UK producer prices in November provides more evidence that deflation is now becoming the greatest policy concern.

Posted by v stor @ 08:18 PM 2 Comments

Newspapers going bust now!!!

cnn: Tribune Co. files for bankruptcy

"Factors beyond our control have created a perfect storm - a precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy coupled with a credit crisis that makes it extremely difficult to support our debt," said Sam Zell, chief executive of Tribune

Posted by mark @ 07:35 PM 2 Comments

US mortgage bailouts fail

AP: Homeowners who modified loans are in trouble again

More than half of all homeowners who had their loans modified to make the payments more affordable in the first half of the year are already in default again, banking regulators said Monday. The new data raise questions about whether government money may be better spent on creating jobs, rather than averting foreclosures, said John Reich, director of the federal Office of Thrift Supervision office at a housing industry forum sponsored by his agency. "I do have concerns about allocating federal resources" Reich said.

Posted by mountain goat @ 06:58 PM 2 Comments

Housing needs a stable economy, right? Nobel winner Krugman fears damage to economy

The simple mechanics of producing a rescue for the world economy are very hard. The pace at which things are getting worse is so great that it's difficult to see how rescue measures can come," the economics professor at Princeton University and columnist for The New York Times told a news conference. "Even with the best of understanding it can't come fast enough to prevent a great deal of damage... I'm very worried what next year will look like."

Posted by v stor @ 06:06 PM 1 Comments

Time for some jobs news

bbc: Bank cuts jobs in outsource move

More than 100 banking jobs are to be axed from offices in Cardiff. Barclays is to outsource its department which deals with deceased customers' accounts leading to 109 job losses to a third-party supplier in Warwickshire.

Posted by mark @ 04:50 PM 3 Comments

Nassim Taleb Interview

Charlie Rose: A conversation about economics with Nassim Taleb

An interview with Nassim Taleb, author of "The Black Swan"

Posted by forestfire @ 03:12 PM 0 Comments

Thousands hit with CCJs

manchester evening news: Thousands hit with CCJs

YOUNG professionals financing Christmas and lavish lifestyles on credit cards and loans are facing a backlash from lenders as thousands are dragged before the courts. More than 120 people a day have been hit with a County Court Judgement in Greater Manchester over the past three months for failing to repay debts - a rise of 34 per cent.

Posted by mark @ 01:56 PM 7 Comments

Estate agents come under scrutiny

bbc: Estate agents come under scrutiny

The housing industry is back under scrutiny after a watchdog said it would review estate agent competition. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) last studied the fairness of estate agents' work four years ago and said it would launch a fresh market study in 2009.

Posted by mark @ 01:49 PM 0 Comments

using dropping property prices to avoid fines!!!! incredible

bbc: Extra jail for millionaire 'thug'

However, he was also warned by the trial judge that he would have to repay 2.6m or face spending more time in prison. John Gizzi was jailed two and a half years ago That figure was imposed when Gizzi's main asset, Bronwylfa Hall, was valued at about 1.8m. Since then, the home has failed to sell despite its price being lowered to 900,000. But later this month Gizzi's lawyers will ask the court to consider reducing the original proceeds of crime bill faced by the criminal - a moved prompted by the collapse in property prices.

Posted by mark @ 01:46 PM 0 Comments

Paniced markets lead to Contango in oil and Backwardation in gold

Bloomberg: Contango Pays Most in Decade as Shell Stores Crude

I had hardly heard of these terms contango and backwardation till yesterday. With contango the price of a commodity for future delivery is higher than the spot price, backwardation is the opposite. The oil contango is big enough to make it profitable to buy oil now and hold it for future delivery. The current backwardation of gold is very rare and is possibly an indication of a lack of confidence in the COMEX futures market according to this article Apart from anything else it appears the markets are moving beyond panic and looking for ways of making money apart from shorting.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:40 PM 9 Comments

interesting article about overproduction

japantimes: Japan, Germany set to pounce on seismic shifts in auto industry

For several years, there's been significant overcapacity in car production. In 2006, 70 million cars were made worldwide but only 65 million found buyers. In fact, according to CSM Worldwide, an automotive research firm, the average production ratio for all the world's auto plants was only 68 percent in 2000, far below the 80 percent needed to achieve a sustainable profit. By 2005, output efficiency had risen to 76 percent but was still below sustainable levels. Thus, the need for an industrywide revamp has been brewing for sometime especially in developed markets like the United States. Another structural reason behind the slowdown is the combination of high ownership rates and rising quality

Posted by mark @ 11:55 AM 0 Comments

Middle-class jobs bloodbath as unemployment 'hits 3.5m within two years'

daily mail: Middle-class jobs bloodbath as unemployment 'hits 3.5m within two years'

The middle classes are facing a jobs bloodbath as the recession hits service industries, business leaders say. Their warning comes after a leading economist predicted that around 3.5million people could be out of work by the end of 2010. The Confederation of British Industry says hotels, restaurants, shops and travel firms are all predicted to slash their staff as consumers tighten their belts. A record four in ten professional services firms - including banks, law firms and advertising agencies - are also set to cut jobs in the first three months of 2009

Posted by mark @ 11:34 AM 11 Comments

GM's Bust Turns Detroit Into Urban Prairie of Vacant-Lot Farms

bloomberg: GM's Bust Turns Detroit Into Urban Prairie of Vacant-Lot Farms

How do you downsize to the right level when there doesn't seem to be a bottom?'' asked developer Fred Beal of J.C. Beal Construction Inc., which wants to do a $50 million conversion of the vacant 34-story David Broderick Tower near the city center into offices, shops, restaurants and lofts. Detroit has seen decades of fruitless renewal efforts as successive mayors built sports stadiums, welcomed casinos and renovated the riverfront. That endeavor included the Renaissance Center, a downtown office-and-hotel complex that began as a Ford project in the 1970s and switched to GM ownership two decades later after failing to spur long-term development. Move Away From Cars

Posted by mark @ 11:20 AM 0 Comments

Birmingham-based Wagon employs over 4,000 workers across Europe, and has struggled due to the car ma

bbc: UK car parts firm Wagon collapses

The UK arm of leading European car parts business, Wagon Automotive, is to go into administration after talks on a new funding deal with its banks failed. Wagon Automotive employs 500 workers in the West Midlands and supplies parts to Ford, Honda, General Motors and Nissan.

Posted by mark @ 10:58 AM 0 Comments

Start your engines

RGE: Printing money like mad to ward off deflation

Printing money is effective because it has the effect of putting more high-powered money into circulation. The aim is to increase bank reserves enough so as to increase lending that results from those reserves.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:47 AM 15 Comments

Globrix data shows asking prices are still falling

Globrix: Globrix data shows asking prices are still falling

Article detailing which towns saw the highest pecentages of asking price drops in the week beginning 28th of November. Southend-on-Sea had the highest percentage4 of price drops and in London 278 properties were reduced over the week, at a staggering average drop of 58,446

Posted by gordo @ 10:11 AM 0 Comments

HSBC wants to start lending again

Telegraph: HSBC to increase mortgage lending

HSBC, the UK's largest bank, has provided a boost to homeowners after announcing it is to increase its mortgage lending by a fifth next year. HSBC is enlarging its planned mortgage fund in Britain to 15bn, a 20% increase on this year and almost double the amount it lent in 2007. Paul Thurston, HSBC's UK managing director, said: "By some estimates, net mortgage lending in the UK will fall next year, but HSBC has no intention of closing its doors to customers, nor will we compromise our reputation for responsible lending. We remain open for business to the tune of 15bn." [Smart business move or just talk?]

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:40 AM 5 Comments

The problem summed up in 2 sentences

The Times: Banks angry at Gordon Brown's call for retail rate cut

Gordon Brown faces a showdown with banks this week after they accused him of deliberately distorting the arguments over interest rates. The banks say that they cannot pass on the full cut because the cost of borrowing has not fallen on the wholesale money markets, where they borrow.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 09:29 AM 0 Comments

What's the best way to make the most of your money - a savings account or paying off your mortgage?

Yahoo Finance: Save More Or Pay Off Your Mortgage?

How do you make the most of a cut in interest rates? The idea is simple: when mortgage interest rates fall, you benefit from lower monthly repayments. So, why not put this extra cash to work by overpaying your mortgage and accelerating its demise? By shortening the life of your loan, you could save yourself a small fortune in interest. While overpaying your mortgage is a great idea, you may be able to make your money work even harder. Rather than lowering your mortgage and the amount of interest charged, it may be possible to earn better returns by sticking your spare cash in a savings account.

Posted by malct @ 09:24 AM 1 Comments

Money Go-round

John Redwood: Whats the point of this round trip?

Short and to the point article on how the banks borrow from the government at 12% only to lend it back to the government at 4% thus loosing money. Well with Flash Gordon, Darling & Mandy at the top what do you expect.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 03:47 AM 2 Comments

Commercial property slump "dwarfs any other in recent memory"

Telegraph: Office space set to halve in value

The value of Britain's offices and factories will more than halve by the end of next year, making this an even worse commercial property crash than in the 1970s, surveyors have predicted. [Did they predict correctly before?] In the latest sign of the severity of the economic slump, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) warned that the scale of the commercial property slump now dwarfed any other in recent memory. The RICS said that the commercial property downturn will stretch into 2011 and will exceed the slump experienced in both the 1970 and 1990 recessions. Despite the slide in capital values and rents, commercial property yields in Britain are now among the highest in the developed world and are providing a magnet for foreign investors. [A magnet yet prices to fall more?]

Posted by drewster @ 01:07 AM 8 Comments

More crticism of Brown's desperate attempts to buy votes from homeowners

MSN Money: Can the government save the housing market?

Only just noticed this article from Friday, but I don't think anyone's posted it yet (apologies if they have). Usually ardent property rampers, I was surprised to see this article posted on MSN.

Posted by eyeoftheweasel @ 12:46 AM 2 Comments

The peculiar case of middle-class benefits

The peculiar case of middle-class benefits: Sunday Times

"When is a scrounger not a scrounger? Answer: when his state benefits are helping to keep him in a nice house with a 400,000 mortgage." It's getting late so apologies if this has been posted already.

Posted by becky @ 12:03 AM 14 Comments

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Conditions have deteriorated on a scale and with a speed that no one could have predicted just a few

Market Oracle: Fed Deploys Every Trick in the Book to Avert Another Great Depression

Bernanke may be dabbling in the stock market already. This forces anyone who is planning to short the market to reconsider his strategy because Bernanke could be secretly betting against him by dumping billions in the futures market to keep stocks artificially high. It just goes to show that all the bloviating about the virtues of "free market" is just empty rhetoric. When push comes to shove this is "their" system and they'll do whatever they can to preserve it. If that means direct intervention; so be it. Principles mean nothing.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:49 PM 0 Comments

Who is copying who here as Moscow's government mimics Brown/Darling virtually word for word

Moscow Times: Mortgage Agency Gets $7.3Bln

Moscow is to provide 200 billion rubles in support of the Russian mortgage market and plans to place its own mortgage-backed securities by swapping them for a pool of mortgages from commercial banks. They also working on criteria by which people who have lost jobs or received a substantial cut in their salaries can get a mortgage extension of up to several years.

Posted by enuii @ 10:39 PM 0 Comments

Consumer spending, the backbone of the U.S. economy, has been battered, if not broken.

MarketWatch: Retail sales dropping like a rock

The worsening recession is now in a self-reinforcing downward spiral, as the weak economy leads to reduced spending and tighter credit, leading to further job losses and even less spending. "Weakness has spread from housing to Wall Street to Main Street," wrote economists for UBS. "It is now effectively feeding on itself." "The sharp slide in economic activity that began in October looks to have deepened in November," wrote Seamus Smyth, an economist for Goldman Sachs.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:25 PM 2 Comments

UK Government panicking - Why? Darling on war footing with banks

City analysts have become increasingly concerned that the Bank of England's rate cuts are failing to feed through to the wider economy, potentially exacerbating the downturn.

Posted by v stor @ 07:38 PM 0 Comments


Market Oracle: The Velocity of Money and Economic Deflation

Good summary. Explains why the collapse in velocity/transactions/consumer strike is at the heart of the problem. Or why the problem is actually the savers, although you could argue that the debtors created the savings. Anyway, worth a read, quite lengthy.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:58 PM 7 Comments

Employee in a bit of "bovey"

ThisIsMoney: Bovey sued for 7,800 in unpaid wages

A property company that the husband of TV presenter Anthea Turner once boasted would enjoy a 1bn turnover is being sued by its cleaners for failing to pay their wages. Dawn Shields, 43, has filed a 7,800 claim against Grant Bovey's Imagine Prestige, a firm that was once part of the country's biggest buy-to-let empire. It is the latest embarrassing blow to Mr Bovey and his wife, a delightful national treasure [i made that last bit up]

Posted by gusset @ 05:19 PM 0 Comments

More about the "Pump Money In" Brigade

BBC: Obama: We Can't Allow Collapse

"A short-term loan package of at least $15bn (10.2bn) could be a lifeline to keep the so-called Big Three car companies afloat. This is despite it being half of what the firms originally sought to prevent bankruptcy". says the BBC. But surely, it would only cost $4bn to buy ALL the GM stock and start making fuel efficient cars !

Posted by alan @ 05:19 PM 3 Comments

Aye, It's Different In Scotland

The Sunday Times: Strike while those prices are hot

Waiting for the housing market to bottom out might mean you miss that dream bargain - The Scots can really ramp with the best!!!!

Posted by pundit @ 04:21 PM 0 Comments

At last people are saying it. Mervyn King remains pollyannaish on inflation though.

thisismoney: Savers must get help if inflation rips

Inflation coupled with a 0% interest rate would represent the biggest treachery yet to those who set aside something for their old age, their children's education or simply the odd treat - and it would cement Gordon Brown's reputation as the man who has done more than anyone else to undermine good financial housekeeping.

Posted by paul @ 04:19 PM 1 Comments

Where has the Star gone ?

The Telegraph: New Star is rapidly becoming a Death Star

How to define a fund manager :"[a fund manager is a man who] has prospered in good times and floundered in difficult times. The real test of the man will be how he will progress at this point."

Posted by fjcruiser @ 03:53 PM 1 Comments

remember this being sold?

FTimes: HSBC finds tidy profit in property slump

remember this being sold?

Posted by abcde @ 03:28 PM 0 Comments

Spanish property bust

TimesOnline: Economic clouds gather as Spain faces recession

After a decade in which per capita income doubled - and household debt tripled - the Spanish economic fiesta is well and truly over.

Posted by v stor @ 12:47 PM 5 Comments

Cold winter in Scotland

Scotsman: House prices down by 12%

Business analyst at the Edinburgh Solicitors' Property Centre said house price values in the Edinburgh and Lothians area will have fallen by at least 12% by the end of the year. "Prices were continuing to rise until July, but since then there has been a sharp downward shift in the market. Transactions are down by up to 60% and the average price of a property will have fallen by 12% over the year." Prices have slipped by up to 15% even in former hotspots such as St Andrews. "Local surveyors are valuing properties at 2006 prices," said spokeswoman Linda Black. "If they (homeowners] put them on at the April price, they will not sell. It is as simple as that."

Posted by crashonitsway @ 11:59 AM 7 Comments

Where Now?

Telegraph: Deflation virus is moving the policy test beyond the 1930s extremes

We are beyond the extremes of the 1930s. The frontiers of monetary policy are being pushed to limits that may now test viability of paper currencies and modern central banking.

Posted by renting2 @ 11:57 AM 12 Comments

Long Overdue

BBC News: Change due for buy-to-let tenants

The government is considering forcing mortgage lenders to give more notice to tenants who could be evicted when their buy-to-let landlord faces repossession. Currently lenders must send a letter to tenants at least two weeks in advance of a repossession hearing involving their landlord. If approved, lenders would have to inform tenants seven weeks before.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:19 AM 15 Comments

Will this fix the small business problem in UK?

BBC: HSBC makes 1bn credit available

Banking group HSBC says it is making 1bn ($1.4bn) in extra credit available to support small British businesses. The government has been demanding for weeks that banks resume lending to firms struggling as credit dries up.

Posted by alan @ 10:34 AM 11 Comments

The Good Life

daily mail: Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps... The bestselling book returns for the credit crunch

A book that helped keep hunger at bay for thousands of wartime civilians is back by popular demand in recession-hit Britain, the book makes gruesome reading for a generation of supermarket shoppers cut off from the uncomfortable realities of rural life. Yet it is full of valuable advice for those who have now started keeping their own animals in an attempt to save money and stave off the credit crunch.

Posted by sold out @ 10:30 AM 3 Comments

More heroin won't help the addict

Telegraph: Financial medicine of lower interest rates will only make us all sicker

Liam Halligan exposes the flawed thinking behind the BoEs interest rate cuts.More of the medicine that made us sick won't make us better. Personally I think the current policy is a recipe for deflation - we are taking zombie medicine and the Government is engaged in voodoo economics.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 08:32 AM 2 Comments

Biggest banks keep going only by borrowing increasingly vast sums on the overnight market

The Times: The bankers will die a thousand deaths

Britains bankers know what is seldom stated openly: that all banks borrow short and lend long, and are therefore technically insolvent. It is only the confidence of depositors that ensures that they and the financial system remain in business.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 01:22 AM 25 Comments

Who does he think he is?

The Times: Lord Mandelson warns: No blank cheque for UK plc

Mandelson warned: We will not be supporting companies with flawed business plans and companies with no prospect of recovery, apart from the banks."

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 12:41 AM 12 Comments

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crime of the century - selling cheap homes

Daily Mail: Northern Rock accused of selling repossessed properties at bargain prices

Northern Rock has been accused of selling off job lots of repossessed homes at knockdown prices. The shocking findings of a Mail on Sunday investigation show Northern Rock was offering the homes at discounts of nearly 50 per cent because its overriding aim was to get its mortgage money back - not to get the best price for the previous owner. Todays disclosures reinforce claims that some banks are willing to sell the homes at way below their market value because their only concern is to recover the value of the mortgage. They also raise fresh questions about the conduct of Northern Rock, which was rescued by the government after it collapsed in February.

Posted by little professor @ 11:24 PM 11 Comments

Kicked in the teeth for being a careful saver

The Times: I earn virtually no interest, but inflation is 4.5%'s a lot like being kicked in the face by someone whose job you've propped up for a decade. Mortgage interest deferrals for two years, interest rates cut to a 57-year low, a promise of help for second mortgages in the Pre-Budget Report are all being underwritten by the taxpayer.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 11:23 PM 14 Comments

Bank will pay YOU money on your mortgage

Telegraph: Thousands of homeowners could have their mortgages paid by banks

The bizarre situation - where banks actually end up paying customers for having a mortgage could emerge as a result of plunging interest rates. It affects borrowers with tracker mortgages, who have seen their monthly mortgage repayments shrink after the Bank of England cut interest rate by three percent. The majority of borrowers with a tracker deal pay the bank rate, plus a percentage on top. But some deals available just over a year ago allowed borrowers to pay the bank rate minus a percentage. If the bank rate falls much further - and there are widespread predictions of a zero rate - these borrowers could be paying 'negative interest' on their mortgage. There are a lot of worried lenders at the moment as they would have never have anticipated this situation.

Posted by little professor @ 11:10 PM 0 Comments

a very large student loan...and how to get it..

BBC: how to rob a bank

i feel sorry for the banks.....not

Posted by fun 4 now @ 11:05 PM 0 Comments

The Real Cost Of Borrowing

Zopa: Zopa blog

In the blog, posted on 13 november is a link to a working lunch article. Watch it and you will notice that a big Zopa lender states that interest rates have gone from 6% to over 10% since the credit crunch. As far as I can see this is a free market calculation of where interest rates should be. Still not sure I would ever use Zopa myself, but I am fascinated at how the government can keep IRs so massively different to "reality"

Posted by inbreda @ 10:47 PM 3 Comments

Doesn't that mean house prices have fallen about 50%?

Sunday Herald: Caution Falling Pound

If house prices in the UK are already down 25%, then factor this in and it's far more than that. By the time prices bottom out, the average UK home won't be worth the price of a holiday on the Costas - or perhaps we would have moved to the Peso.

Posted by mikey @ 08:22 PM 0 Comments

The age of thrift hits the masses

Times: Travel: Alors! A fresh-faced France is back

(Bit off-topic, but weekends are slow for financial news) "Before we all got sucked in by boutique hotels and fancy villas in the sun, we simply went camping in France. Mum and Dad packed everyone and everything into the car and off we went. And, it seems, that is exactly what car-loads of families are planning to do next year. Despite the gloom and doom in the media, bookings with companies such as Siblu, Keycamp and Thomson Alfresco are reportedly looking healthy for next year. Another silver lining to the credit crunch cloud is that tighter purse strings might inspire families into being more original in their choice of holiday accommodation. Yurts arent only found in Mongolia these days, you can also find them in Languedoc. Treehouses are the relatively new trend for France."

Posted by drewster @ 06:40 PM 2 Comments

So the Eurozone is better placed to weather the down turn??? ECB's Bonello sees inflation well below price stability

"Bonello urged banks to pass on the ECB's rate cuts, which total 175 basis points in less than two months, to customers and said banks had to live up to their responsibilities." ....just replace Bonello with Brown and it could be the UK.

Posted by bystander @ 04:28 PM 4 Comments

Why? To prevent savers removing their money from the UK of course!

Reuters: More "world coordination" on rates needed

The Bank of England is clearly worried about currency flight. The problem with this idea - that everyone should cut rates in synch, is that this is a classic prisoners dilemma. As soon as one bank, building society or Internet savings bank breaks ranks to offer slightly more interest, they get everything, leaving everyone else with nothing. Perhaps the Bank of England shouldn't have underpriced risk, then they wouldn't be in this silly fix.

Posted by paul @ 12:33 PM 26 Comments

We have had recessions before but nothing like this, with massive layoffs, hundreds of foreclosures

HEARST NEWSPAPERS via Seattle PI: It's a depression

We have had recessions before but nothing like this, with massive layoffs, hundreds of foreclosures, retail stores closing, stock market losses, and widespread fears about the future. WASHINGTON -- Few prominent economists will say it, but to me it looks and feels like we are in another Great Depression or a reasonable facsimile. The current meltdown is dubbed a "financial crisis." But a rose by any other name would still inflict the same hardship and suffering on most people and businesses. Clearly, the lessons have not been learned from the Herbert Hoover era. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times, says the current banking crisis is "functionally similar to that of the Great Depression." "Many of the symptoms" are the same, cont.

Posted by malct @ 11:30 AM 1 Comments

Desperate situation will get worse Foreclosures threat rises amid arrears crisis

The number of US borrowers behind on their mortgage payments or facing foreclosure rose to record highs in the third quarter and threatened to escalate as job losses mount, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Friday.

Posted by v stor @ 10:50 AM 0 Comments

Interest rate cut mean more capital erosion at the banks. Before you cheer too loudly ...

The rate cut and anti-repossession measures are a huge gift to people who took on large loans during the boom, and to those who can no longer afford them. Banks are making huge losses from their past lending errors. To function properly, they now need to make a margin. Yet they are saddled with tracker mortgages giving them 1.5%-3% interest, while having to pay out more than that to savers. Result: misery. The banks are supposed to be lending more, this move may, perversely, result in them lending less.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 10:08 AM 18 Comments

A success for the BoE rate cuts?

Money News: Nationwide tracker mortgages rates 'will go through the floor'

This is a contrarian posting: "Nationwide Building Society has announced that it will reduce the rates of interest on its tracker mortgages scrapping the interest rate 'floor' it had previously put in place. The building society's tracker mortgages had included the condition that the interest rate would not fall below an artificial floor of 2.75 per cent, whatever the base rate of interest might be. However, following the Bank of England's reduction in the base rate to two per cent yesterday, Nationwide have decided to scrap the floor, passing on the benefits of the cut to its tracker mortgage customers." Similar report at

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:00 AM 2 Comments

We're not the only ones fed up with bailouts

BBC News: Mortgage rates 'not reduced'

Surprisingly harsh comments from a successful mutual society about the government requests for cheaper mortgage loans.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:44 AM 10 Comments

Demand destruction

SpiegelOnline: Global Crisis Hits Shipping Industry Hard

Many ships are now sailing half-empty, if they are sailing at all. In fact, shipping companies are pulling more and more ships out of circulation, due to a lack of demand, and placing them at anchor indefinitely. Experts estimate that one-fourth of all ships used to transport raw materials in the Pacific are now idle

Posted by v stor @ 08:09 AM 0 Comments

Friday, December 5, 2008

Devastated construction leaves UK brick mountain

Times: Britain awash with spanking new bricks

Britains devastated brick industry is sitting on a stockpile of 1.2 billion bricks, enough to build more than 133,000 three-bedroom properties, industry insiders estimate that only 50,000 new homes will be started in 2009 and it could take more than 2 years to clear the brick mountain after which production will go to eastern europe.

Posted by enuii @ 11:48 PM 9 Comments

Jaguar have also contacted Mandy

TIMES: Vauxhall in secret cash plea to save 5,000 jobs

The Times has learnt that the vehicle manufacturer, which employs around 5,000 workers at plants in Merseyside and Luton, approached Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, last week. Vauxhall has held secret talks with Downing Street to seek financial guarantees that could save thousands of jobs in Britain as the carmakers American parent teeters on the brink of collapse.

Posted by alan @ 11:11 PM 1 Comments

Jeremy is on board!!

BBC Video: Jeremy Clarkson on the economy

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has said the government cannot ''bail out'' every single ailing industry, as figures show that sales of new cars in the UK fell in November by 36.8%.

Posted by wdbeast @ 08:24 PM 19 Comments

did anyone ntoice this hidden on bbc

BBC wales: 300 jobs to go at 118 118 centre

Up to 300 Cardiff call centre jobs are to go with the 118 118 directory inquiries service.

Posted by mark @ 07:37 PM 0 Comments

Bad news from the stars...

Citywire: The tax man cometh for buy to let investors

You can run but you cannot hide: the tax man is mounting a big investigation into unpaid tax on buy to lets. Her Majestys Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has mounted a campaign to track down buy-to-let investors whom it has reason to believe have not declared income from properties or have under-declared the true amount. HMRC has launched 7,371 investigations into BTL landlords in the last 4 months. HMRC has a ready-made list of owners of the estimated 1.5 million buy-to-let properties, so those who have not declared income will be easy to track down. Since April 6 2007 all landlords who take deposits from their tenants have been obliged to join a statutory tenancy deposit scheme. They can also cross check with the Land Registry to see if a property has been sold to track CGT

Posted by little professor @ 07:20 PM 8 Comments

Turnaround soon - forget it American economy is in freefall

America does not have the generous welfare nets enjoyed by those laid off in Europe, so unless those made jobless can quickly find work the result will be hardship, poverty and the threat of disorder. Its flexible labour market will be tested to the full over the coming months as the survival instincts of companies generate further big cuts in the workforce.

Posted by v stor @ 06:27 PM 0 Comments

The Titanic

Yahoo:tech-ticker: 'Massive Destruction of Capital': Roubini Sees $3T in Bank Losses, More Bailouts

"There is a global deflationary risk," says Nouriel Roubini, economics professor at NYU Stern School and chairman of RGE Monitor. "That's what central bankers are worried about.

Posted by v stor @ 06:21 PM 0 Comments

Liquidity and credit implications of Gordon's mortgage aid

Moneymarketing: Government mortgage aid could destabilise RMBS, says Moodys

The proposed Government-backed mortgage aid for those out of work could severely affect the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities market, according to Moodys. The eight largest banks in the UK have agreed to be a part of the scheme, which could allow those not earning up to two years reprieve from mortgage payments. But the credit reference agency says this could have major repercussions on the workings on the RMBS market. Although the plans are in their preliminary stages, the basic tenets of the proposal will allow households that experience a significant and temporary loss of income to defer a proportion of their mortgage payments. Moody's says there are possible liquidity and credit implications to RMBS if the scheme goes ahead.

Posted by jack c @ 04:29 PM 6 Comments

California to pay construction firms and carpet cleaners with IOUs

Bloomberg: California May Pay With IOUs for Second Time Since Depression

California, the worlds eighth largest economy, may pay vendors with IOUs for only the second time since the Great Depression, State Finance Director Mike Genest said. The warrants would be given to landscapers, carpet cleaners, construction firms, food services companies and other state vendors. They would pay an interest rate of as much as 5 percent, based on state law. California last issued the IOUs in 1992 when lawmakers and then-Governor Pete Wilson deadlocked on a budget for 61 days past the start of the fiscal year.

Posted by mountain goat @ 04:15 PM 1 Comments


BBC: Sir Evelyn de Rothschild calls for action

Ethics - we have lost sight of an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 04:11 PM 36 Comments

Guess what, the mortgage payment scheme is a crock!

Times Online: UK mortgage holiday 'could help only 9,000'

Unsurprisingly, the mortgage scheme turns out to be a load of hot-air...

Posted by mervyn @ 04:11 PM 0 Comments

Good news: rents in my area are down about 40%

Times: Landlords must get smart to attract tenants

Article arguing that flood of rentals onto the market is forcing landlords to update properties and lower prices. The estate agent that rented out the house I live in is quoted as saying that rental prices have fallen about 40% over the past year. Wonder if I should email this article to my landlord?

Posted by richc @ 03:51 PM 4 Comments

Worries over 208 car plant jobs

BBC wales: Worries over 208 car plant jobs

Linamar, which employs 358 people on the outskirts of Swansea, took over the site just five months ago. It has not yet commented on the claim.

Posted by mark @ 03:32 PM 0 Comments

In the same month it closed its factory in Limavady with the loss of almost 1,000 jobs.

bbc: Seagate to cut production: union

Workers' hours will be reduced for a period of one month from 12 January and they have been asked to take holidays or unpaid leave during that time.

Posted by mark @ 03:30 PM 5 Comments

10% of American mortgages are now delinquent

Bloomberg: Mortgage Delinquencies, Foreclosure Rise to Record in Recession

"One in 10 Americans fell behind on their mortgage payments or were in foreclosure during the third quarter as the worlds largest economy shed jobs and real estate prices tumbled." Let's be clear, the US market is no where near being in recovery.

Posted by richc @ 03:25 PM 0 Comments

Heretic! Burn them for their free market views! Bail us feckless borrowers out!

Telegraph: Banks shouldn't be forced to pass rate cuts to customers

After the Bank of England's latest swingeing interest-rate cut - which takes the base borrowing rate to its lowest in over half a century - politicians are calling on banks to mirror the reduction in loans to their customers, especially homeowners with variable-rate or base-rate tracking mortgages. HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays have all agreed. But some banks - notably HBOS - aren't fully playing the game. And they shouldn't have to.

Posted by paul @ 03:08 PM 4 Comments

China wants weaker remnimbi and stronger dollar

Moneyweek: Trade war may be brewing between China and the US

"How times change. Just last year, China was being hailed as this decade's economic miracle. Growth was in double-digits, the stock market had morphed into a cash machine, and just about the only cloud on the horizon was inflation caused by the soaring price of pigs. But a short 14 months later, property prices are plunging, stocks have plummeted by two-thirds from their peak and all that growth's grinding to a halt. The Chinese authorities are getting more and more jittery. And their reactions to the downturn could deliver the next big hit to a crumbling world economy... "

Posted by doom&gloom @ 03:07 PM 1 Comments

Economists from a leading consultancy firm have painted a very bleak picture of the housing market a

The Thrifty Scot: Economists expecting massive house price crash

Economists from a leading consultancy firm have painted a very bleak picture of the housing market a year from now, having predicted that house prices are set to continue plummeting, and that in a years time house prices could be around 35 percent lower. This, said the economists from Capital Economic, would make this the worse housing crash in the history of the nation.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 02:56 PM 5 Comments

Housing market recovery - forget it.

Bloomberg: Employers in U.S. Cut 533,000 Jobs; Jobless Rate Rises to 6.7%

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. employers eliminated jobs in November at the fastest pace in 34 years and the unemployment rate jumped as the year-long recession engulfing the world's largest economy deepened. Payrolls shrank by 533,000 workers last month, the biggest loss since December 1974, after decreasing a revised 320,000 the prior month, the Labor Department said today in Washington. November's job losses exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of 73 economists. The jobless rate rose to 6.7 percent, the highest level since 1993.

Posted by jack c @ 01:40 PM 4 Comments

US Non-Farm payrolls much, much worse than expected

MarketWatch: Payrolls plunge by stunning 533,000 in November

U.S. nonfarm payrolls plunged by an astonishing 533,000 in November, the worst job loss in 34 years, the Labor Department reported Friday. It's only the fourth time in the past 58 years that payrolls have fallen by more than 500,000 in a month. Since the recession began 11 months ago, a total of 1.9 million jobs have been lost. The unemployment rate rose from 6.5% in October to 6.7% in November, the highest jobless rate since October 1993.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 01:33 PM 1 Comments

Borrow more now! re-mortgaging loans, debt consolidation loans, home owner loans

FT Alphaville: AIGs Ocean TV

In September Ocean Finance launched a dedicated television channel named Ocean TV on channel 888 on Sky. FT Alphaville spent some time watching said channel last night, and was errr a little shocked. The programming is stacked with Changing Rooms style programming talking up equity release, personal loan programmes to encourage home improvements, new cars etc as if Changing Rooms and Property Ladder themselves didnt contribute enough to the respective UK property bubble. Theres more though, products range from re-mortgaging loans, debt consolidation loans, home owner loans, etc.

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:06 PM 4 Comments

an odd one, just shows how easy it was to get credit from northern rock

bbc: Bigamist jailed for three years

He was also convicted in his absence of forging Ms Pollard's signature to obtain a 10,000 loan from Northern Rock.

Posted by mark @ 01:01 PM 3 Comments

and the depression deepens everyday....

japantimes: Honda cuts more jobs; Toyota to halt output

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will lay off another 490 temporary employees by the end of January to cope with faltering sales worldwide.

Posted by mark @ 12:53 PM 2 Comments

Bailout focus

Guardian: Repossession: Case Study

Jassette Donaldson, 53, a checkout assisstant from east London, has fought for months to keep her three-bedroom house. She has been given 56 days to sell her house after falling behind with her 1,230-a-month mortgage repayments in 2005. She is not sure if the government's repossession scheme will help her. Donaldson was unable to keep up with her mortgage after she was hit by a car and had to take six months off work. She then returned part-time. Her house is valued at 300,000, but is on the market for 250,000. The court has given her 56 days to sell or face repossession

Posted by little professor @ 12:42 PM 7 Comments

Apparently Japan did print money in 2003

Gold Eagle: How Japan financed global reflation

Japan printed the equivalent of 1% GDP between 2003-2004. This article has a look at the consequences and ideas behind it. Although this is from Gold Eagle it has nothing to do with gold ramping and just talks about a prior reflationary attempt. Also, kind of interesting because at least I was under the impression that Japan had never tried the old printing cash trick.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:18 PM 6 Comments

The couple, who live in Sale, Greater Manchester, say the bank phoned them 762 times in pursuit of o

daily mail: Cancer sufferer takes Halifax to court after the bank 'harassed' him with 762 phone calls

The bank also levied charges. Mrs Edwards said she owes the bank around 762 but said it is pursuing her for 4,000. She claimed she has never been given a final balance of what she owes. She said they asked the bank to deal directly with their solicitor and have made a harassment claim, in the civil courts, under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Posted by mark @ 11:58 AM 1 Comments

Tough talking

The Times: Brown will force banks to pass on full rate cut

The Prime Minister said this morning: "I think banks should really pass on the interest rate cut. We are talking to the banks. Remember last time there was a cut, we had to speak to them before it was passed on and we will be speaking to them again.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 11:56 AM 20 Comments

What happened to being better placed to deal with any downturn?

FT: UK recession will be worst in the world

The UK recession will be "one of the worse around the world" and will be deeper than that seen in the early 1990s due to the banking crisis, a leading industry member has warned. Speaking at Schroders annual funds briefing in New York, head of Schroders multi-manager investment team, Anthony Yeadon however stressed that it would only "be a recession, not a depression", partly due to the governments quick intervention in the banking crisis having so far avoided any UK banks failing.

Posted by jack c @ 11:36 AM 4 Comments

Taking bets, Land of leather? DSG?

this is money: Retailers in crisis: Who will go bust next?

Banks who have already identified a corporate client that is heading for the morgue rather than the recovery ward will wait until Christmas takings are safely in the till; they will move in before rents are actually handed over; they will also want to act before the end-of-January VAT bill is settled; and they will try to move in before a retailer starts spending money on restocking for the New Year.

Posted by mark @ 11:33 AM 3 Comments

this is someone to listen to

this is money: Insolvencies 'will run into next decade'

Veteran insolvency accountant Ric Traynor, executive chairman of Begbies Traynor, said: 'We do not expect a let up in work for several years. 'The evidence from the early 1990s' recession was that insolvencies continued to be high for another four to five years.'

Posted by mark @ 11:29 AM 0 Comments

How NOT to repay your debt and blame it on somebody else.

BBC: How to Rob a Bank?

Documentary telling the story of Lee Barnes, a student who took the banks at their word and helped himself to 40,000 pounds of their credit in just over a year. Lee shows how he got away with it, how he went on the run and how finally he decided to give himself up. The big question now is whether he does or does not go bankrupt.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 10:52 AM 6 Comments


contract Journal: Berkeley: average house prices rise by 155,000

Berkeleys average house price in the latest six-month period soared to 399,000, far higher than the previous figure of 245,000 in the comparable period last year.

Posted by mark @ 10:50 AM 11 Comments

Savers caught in the blast zone - everyone annihilated in the fall out

telegraph: Bank of England mulls "nuclear option" of cash injection

the Bank is considering pressing the button on printing presses by engaging in a so-called policy of quantitative easing

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 10:34 AM 13 Comments

More from Mugabe

FT: UK banks to be required to buy government bonds

Britains banks face being forced to buy hundreds of billions of pounds in government bonds, under proposed rules designed to make them less vulnerable to market shocks. In efforts to boost banks liquidity reserves, the FSA regulator on Thursday said a proportion of their assets should be in the form of highly liquid government bonds. The FSA assumed banks would be required to hold 6-10% of assets in government bonds. Among Britains 10 largest banks, the average is 5%.

Posted by little professor @ 07:44 AM 5 Comments

Mugabe to visit UK soon

REUTERS: Bank of England looks at injecting cash

The Daily Telegraph said the Bank was "working on radical plans to inject cash directly into the economy -- the nuclear option to be used only when interest rates approach zero." The report said the Bank was considering engaging in "quantitative easing" -- printing more money to reflate the economy The report said the proposals could be put into action within weeks, although it said they would have to be vetted by the Treasury, which was thought to remain sceptical.

Posted by sold out @ 05:51 AM 54 Comments

"Those who run into trouble next year will be the newly redundant"

Telegraph: Only determined optimists think housing market has hit bottom

It's help-the-housing-market week. First, the Government launched a scheme to allow homeowners who can't pay their mortgage interest to stay in their homes for up to two years. Then the Bank of England cut interest rates by a third, from 3pc to 2pc. Even the Financial Services Authority pitched in with a warning to banks that "collars" minimum interest rates on some tracker mortgages could prove unenforceable, if customers were not given clear information at the time of purchase. Housing market forecasts for the next few years are all over the place the reality is it is pure guesswork but only the most determined optimists think the market is bottoming out. Those who run into trouble next year will be the newly redundant. Now, the issue is jobs, and it is a big issue.

Posted by drewster @ 02:12 AM 1 Comments

What happened to moral hazard? Politicians bail out the home-owning swing voters

Telegraph: Bank has little option but to ready the printing presses

At times like this - with central banks dropping interest rates to unprecedented levels - it is tempting to say the textbooks are being dusted down for a hint about what to do next. But the truth is that there are no textbooks for this kind of situation. The Bank of England has never before cut interest rates below 2pc, but this is precisely what it now looks set to do. "Quantitative easing" - printing money, getting it into peoples' hands and ensuring that they go out and spend it. If the government started to [print money], we would all find ourselves tending to hold money rather than gilts - and money burns a holes in peoples' pockets.

Posted by drewster @ 02:09 AM 2 Comments

All those rich Russians will keep London prices high, right?

Telegraph: Londons Russian 'minigarchs are feeling the chill of recession

For years, Russias elite viewed Britain as the Promised Land. Now it is fast becoming Paradise Lost. "It's terribly sad,'' one aristocratic woman was heard to lament at a London cocktail party recently. "This Russian oligarch we know has been devastated. Devastated! He's lost everything in the space of two months." Oligarchs borrowed lots of their money from Western banks, usually offering up as collateral 20 per cent of the capital price of their property. Now that 80 to 90 per cent of that has been lost [eh?], banks are demanding returns on the loans. That means that in a matter of minutes, days or months, some of the smaller oligarchs, the minigarchs, have been completely ruined. Bearing in mind that most don't live in the UK and just own houses there......

Posted by drewster @ 02:02 AM 1 Comments

20,000 at Merrill Lynch / Bank of America merger, 10,000 elsewhere

Telegraph: Investment banks set to cut 30,000 jobs

Another day, another slew of job losses for bankers. 'Nuff said.

Posted by drewster @ 01:59 AM 5 Comments

Shouldn't that say "Banks defy Mervyn King"?

Telegraph: Banks defy Gordon Brown by failing to pass on lowest interest rates in 50 years

Halifax, the country's biggest mortgage lender, said it was passing on just a fraction of the Bank of England's one percentage point cut to its customers, despite having recently received 11.5 billion in taxpayers' money in a Government bail-out. Nationwide meanwhile, the biggest building society, said it would only pass on two-thirds of the cut, which took base rates from 3 per cent to 2 per cent. This is a level not seen since 1951 and matches the lowest rate in the Bank's 314-year history. Of Britain's eight biggest banks, just three promised to pass on the cut in full to their customers. Many also withdrew their most competitive deals. Halifax, along with Lloyds TSB which has received 5.5 billion in taxpayers' money pulled all of their tracker mortgages for new customers.

Posted by drewster @ 01:51 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well I never so that coming!

BBC News: Pound hits new low against euro

The British pound has fallen to a historic low against the euro after a 1% cut in UK interest rates. After a volatile day on the currency markets, the pound fell to 1.148 euros. The UK currency also dropped against the dollar, to $1.447, the lowest level in almost seven years, before recovering to $1.465.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 10:22 PM 15 Comments

No Subprime in the UK!

BBC News: A British subprime mess

Most of these higher-risk lenders are writing no new business. In 2007, there were 37 subprime lenders happy to lend to customers perceived as less than blue chip. Today there are almost none - and there's also been a collapse in the number of lenders offering self-certified mortgages

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:26 PM 0 Comments

What does GB expect? Interest free mortgages? If so, expect 100,000 arrangment fees +

Telegraph: Banks pull most generous mortgage deals, despite pleas from Gordon Brown

Britain's biggest banks have pulled their most generous mortgage deals for new customers, as tensions mounted between the Treasury and the lenders about passing on the benefit of the lowest interest rates for more than 50 years.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:19 PM 2 Comments

The 'D' word again.. Corporate Debt Protection Costs Climb Amid Depression Concern

The cost of protecting corporate debt from default jumped to a record in Europe and neared a high in the U.S. amid concern that the global recession will sink into a depression.

Posted by v stor @ 08:56 PM 0 Comments

Commercial property down 30-35%

Times: The mechanisms broken, rate cuts won't fix it

Buried at the end of the article: "Some [banks] are facing a sharp rise in bad debts, particularly those, such as HBOS, that have a big exposure to commercial property. It is widely reported that commercial property values have fallen by 20 per cent over the past year, but NB Real Estate, the property agency, says that, based on recent deals, the figure is nearer 30 to 35 per cent. This makes banks concerned about new lending because they fear that they will find themselves falling below the level of capital required [by the government]. The banks are arguing that capital levels should be allowed to fall at this stage of the cycle." --- Commercial property prices are ahead of residential, so we can soon expect house price falls of *at least* 30-35%.

Posted by drewster @ 07:36 PM 10 Comments

Back on track to what? Interest rates cuts: Interest rates need to fall to 1pc to kick-start housing market

Housing experts today warned that The Bank of England needs to cut interest rates further to 1pc in order to get the housing and mortgage markets back on track.

Posted by v stor @ 07:28 PM 4 Comments

And after mumbling for a minute or two, he explained about this Blondes for Bankers scheme

Newsbiscuit: Government to provide fund-managers with attractive girlfriends to boost confidence

Alistair Darling has unveiled a radical new package to boost investor confidence in which all the men working in senior positions in the stock market will be provided with beautiful women who pretend to really fancy them. Confidence amongst City Bankers is at an all time low explained the Chancellor. But our research shows that when attractive young blondes laugh at their jokes and tell them how clever they are, traders begin to feel better and share prices rise. sorry, thought we all needed a laugh after the train story

Posted by malct @ 06:07 PM 6 Comments

Where's yer hat.


SOME of Britain's top property experts reveal their key plans to kick-start the housing market... THE TV HOMES GURU Krustie Allstropp: "I really wish that in the pre-Budget report Alistair Darling had done something dramatic for the property industry. Instead of reducing VAT by 2.5 per cent across the board, he should have removed it completely from certain key trades relating to property on builders, electricians and plumbers, for example. People dont realise that the housing market is at the core of our economy our houses are everything to us. We have 70 per cent home ownership in this country."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 04:57 PM 7 Comments

the height of stupidity from Bellway or is it panic?

contract journal: House builders themselves driving prices down, says Bellway

Bellway has slammed rival house builders for driving prices down with the excessive use of sales incentives.

Posted by mark @ 04:57 PM 5 Comments

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Right move: 3 Day End of Year Clearance Sale

3 Day End of Year Clearance Sale 11th - 13th December *******wonder if they will sell anything before they go bust*********

Posted by mark @ 04:17 PM 9 Comments

Interest rates cut by one third - but will that help?

MoneyWeek: Interest rates cut by one third - but will that help?

The bottom line is that despite the dramatic nature of these cuts, the actual impact they'll have won't be that great. Sure, some mortgage borrowers will find their monthly payments coming down. But for new lending, most of the government's public pressure on the banks is just showboating. Banks will carry on the way that they always have. Lower base rates aren't going to increase the amount of credit available.

Posted by damien @ 03:56 PM 9 Comments

Know your History of financial Crises

University of Maryland: This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of. Financial Crises

"Unprecedented" and "historic" seem to crop up everywhere in the media. But is this really the case? This study shows the opposite. "We find that serial default is a nearly universal phenomenon as countries transform themselves from emerging markets to advanced economies. Major default episodes are typically spaced some years (or decades) apart, creating an illusion that "this time is different". A recent example of this is the false belief that domestic debt is a novel feature of the modern financial landscape. We also confirm that crises frequently emanate from financial centres with transmission through interest rate shocks and commodity price collapses. Thus, the recent US sub-prime financial crisis is hardly unique."

Posted by mountain goat @ 03:36 PM 0 Comments

2% Base rate not enough is the cry

mortgagestrategy: Pundits call for rate to be slashed even further

The Bank of England needs to go one step further and slash rates to 1% to get the housing and mortgage markets back on track, argues The online mortgage company says todays decision from the BoE to cut base rate to 2% is just a temporary staging post on the way to a record low base rate of 1% in 2009. Eamonn Rice, chief executive of, says: The BoE has accepted the case for a dramatic step change in interest rates and now has to go the extra mile.

Posted by jack c @ 02:57 PM 18 Comments

ECB delivers record rate cut

BBC: ECB cuts eurozone rates to 2.5%

The European Central Bank has delivered a record rate cut, lowering the key interest rate for the 15 countries that use the euro to 2.5% from 3.25%. The cost of borrowing was cut for a third consecutive month as the central bank tries to bolster the eurozone's faltering economies. Central banks worldwide are cutting interest rates dramatically to stave off a protracted recession. Earlier, the Bank of England reduced interest rates to 2% from 3%. And Sweden's central bank cut its key interest rate by a record 1.75 percentage points to 2%.

Posted by jack c @ 02:53 PM 5 Comments

Worse than 1990's crash!!!

Timesonline: House prices fall at fastest rate in 25 years

The worst property crash of all time

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 02:04 PM 12 Comments

It's your Durty

Sun: Britain Humps Through Slump

if your in the red your in the pink

Posted by bellwether @ 01:46 PM 10 Comments

More on the Halifax figures

Daily Mail: Average house loses 100 A DAY as prices plummet

The value of the average home in Britain has plunged 100 every day since 1 January, shocking research revealed today. At the start of the year, it was worth nearly 200,000 but it has fallen off a cliff as a result of the economic downturn, and is now worth just 163,605. That's a steep drop of 33,558 in just 335 days, equal to exactly 100 a day. The Halifax figures showed that prices fell by 2.6% in November, the biggest monthly drop since September 1992. Prices are now 16.1% lower than a year ago - the sharpest annual fall since records began. The steep fall means that prices are now back to levels not seen since July 2005.

Posted by little professor @ 01:45 PM 12 Comments

400 jobs at risk as The Pier fails

the SUN: 400 jobs at risk as The Pier fails

ANOTHER 400 high street jobs are at risk after The Pier became the latest high street retailer to collapse today. Administrators were appointed to try and find a buyer for the home furnishings business, which runs 31 stores and 17 concessions across the UK.

Posted by mark @ 01:06 PM 2 Comments


daily mail: Sir Alex Ferguson and Grant Bovey hit as 3bn property fund collapses

A 3billion property fund backed by a host of wealthy celebrities including Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir David Frost has collapsed into administration.

Posted by mark @ 12:57 PM 9 Comments

Why bond markets are right about the economy

MoneyWeek: Why bond markets are right about the economy

Some analysts say there is plenty of potential in equities at the moment. But the reality is that the recession is turning into a depression. And, barring a few rare bargains, shares are dangerous things to be buying right now, as the bond markets show.

Posted by damien @ 12:40 PM 1 Comments

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to close a total of 20 offices at locations across Scotland.

bbc: Revenue office closures confirmed

The PCS union said the closures could mean 3,400 job losses across the UK, with about going 400 in Scotland.

Posted by mark @ 12:39 PM 3 Comments

Truck registrations drop and vans drop further

smmt: Truck registrations drop and vans drop further

Registrations: down 42.3% in November and 8.9% to 352,597 for the rolling year. Trucks: down 19.1% in November, up 14.6% to 57,195 for the rolling year. Vans: down 46.9% for the month and down 12.3% to 295,402 for the rolling year.

Posted by mark @ 12:36 PM 0 Comments

more jobs go....

contract Journal: Bovis Homes trimming staff by a further 200

Bovis Homes has lined up a further 200 job losses in a second round of streamlining. A review back in June resulted in: restructuring the company from five regions to four; 400 job losses A spokeswoman commented today: In light of the current market conditions Bovis Homes is currently undertaking a staff consultation to rationalise further.

Posted by mark @ 12:33 PM 0 Comments

BoE Cuts Base Rate 100bps to 2%

Sky News: Bank of Engand policymakers have cut the cost of borrowing again - by a full 1%.

Two of the 12 members had urged an even bigger reduction of 1.5%, the same as last month. Britain's biggest lender has said it will pass on any future rates cuts in full to existing customers with tracker mortgages. Halifax Bank of Scotland said it would not exercise an option in its tracker deals not to pass on all or any reduction once the base rate fell below 3%.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 12:06 PM 17 Comments

Surprise - more cuts.

BBC: Interest Rates Cut to 2%

The Bank of England has cut interest rates by one percentage point, from 3% to 2% - their lowest level in more than half a century. The move has been welcomed by many commentators who said the cut would help the slowing economy.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 12:03 PM 12 Comments


reuters: Australians told to take a break for the economy

As Australia fights to head off recession, the national government on Thursday urged workers to take a holiday to help stimulate the economy.

Posted by mark @ 11:26 AM 1 Comments

The Joker in the Inflation / Deflation pack - China

Telegraph: 1930s beggar-thy-neighbour fears as China devalues

China showed restraint during the Asian crisis in 1998, holding the line against domino devaluations across the region. It may yet hold the line this time. However, this crisis is more serious. The manufacturing sector has seen the steepest decline since the records began, with devastation sweeping the textile, furniture and toy sectors. Civil unrest has begun to rock the Guangdong and Longnan regions.

Posted by andrew @ 11:23 AM 14 Comments

Just as houses start to look affordable - Johnnie foreigner arrives!

Findaproperty: Falling Pound Tempts Foreign Buyers

Research from Hamptons International reveals that when you add recent price cuts to the fall in the value of the pound you get property at very enticing prices for overseas buyers.

Posted by whostolemyendowment @ 11:01 AM 9 Comments

Interesting how the VI's all talk of a recovery when the meltdown has just started

Citywire: Bellway says people visiting show homes has halved

House builder Bellway said the number of people going to see its show homes has fallen 50% but the group is still selling an average of 50-60 houses per week in-line with its target, although more than 50% below last year's levels. The order book at the end of November was 340 million, down from 677 million and the group has secured 75% of its current annual target of orders, of which 86% is either contracted or legally completed. But the group said cancellation rates are soaring and sales incentives are used on virtually every private sale. Other than cash discounts, part exchange has been the most commonly used incentive, it said.

Posted by jack c @ 10:14 AM 1 Comments

You can tell when there's going to be a BoE MPC announcement ...

FT: UK house prices fall 2.6% in November

... they always wait until a few hours after Halifax publish their monthly house price index..

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:04 AM 1 Comments

UK Interest Rate Forecast 2009

The Market Oracle: UK Interest Rates Forecast to Crash to 1%

Gordon Browns government having abandoned all of the fiscal rules that it once prided itself on religiously following, is now hell bent on kick starting the UK economy in advance of the looming May 2010 general election deadline. The steady as she goes economic policy has been replaced by the panicking 'unprecedented action's' economic policy and in that having rested away control of UK interest setting from the Bank of England in all but name, UK interest rates are now set to be the latest to take a crash course towards an unprecedented level of just 1%.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 09:27 AM 0 Comments

Halifax - November House Price Index

Halifax: November -2.6%

Martin Ellis: "There was a 2.6% decline in average UK house prices in November. The combination of high house prices in relation to earnings, constraints on householders' incomes and spending power and the decline in the availability of mortgage finance since the summer of 2007 has curbed housing demand. These factors are major contributors to lower house prices and activity"

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:12 AM 40 Comments

Finally, a voice for savers from mainstream media

BBC: Why punish savers?

As a group, small businesses actually save more than they borrow. So although most of the banks are committed to passing on the Bank Rate cut to small businesses in the form of lower rates on loans, arguably small businesses would be more out-of-pocket if the meagre amounts they earn on their deposits were to evaporate completely. In the scale of alleged bank boo-boos, what's worse? Failing to pass on all the interest rate cut to hard-pressed families, or slashing the retirement income of elderly couples who live off the interest on their bank and building-society savings?

Posted by peter_2008 @ 08:53 AM 5 Comments

Pound/Euro = 86p

independenonline: Big Question: Should Britain now consider joining the European single currency?

"Can we manage outside the euro?Probably, as we have before now. Britain has seen many economic crises before, and no one ever suggested that abolishing the pound would solve anything.".....until now.

Posted by bystander @ 08:15 AM 6 Comments

What will they invest their money in now??

Timesonline: Celebrity crunch: property firm to the stars, aAim, goes bust

"AAim spent billions of pounds on properties in Britain and mainland Europe, before the market fell last summer. Property prices in Britain have dropped by as much as 35 per cent since then. "........Halifax, Nationwide and the Land Registry appear to be behind the curve here, while auctions appear to be infront.

Posted by bystander @ 06:54 AM 2 Comments

Big Three car workers lounge around on super-dole

BusinessWeek: Auto Workers Give Up Notorious Featherbed

(Slightly off-topic, but here's yet another reason why big companies should be refused bailouts and pushed towards bankruptcy and enforced restructuring instead.) "The union is suspending its most ridiculed perk, called the JOBS bank. That program pays auto workers 85% of their pay while furloughed. Some workers reported for years to meeting rooms where they would sit and wait for an assignment or be sent to clean public parks. All the while, they would get paid most of their wages. The JOBS bank was costly in more ways than one. By making labor a fixed cost, it altered their manufacturing strategy. For most of the past 10 years, the car companies preferred to discount models with big rebates rather than cut production, because they had to pay workers no matter what."

Posted by drewster @ 02:10 AM 2 Comments

Can China save the world economy from the financial tsunami?

The Standard: We aren't Moses in tsunami, China warns world

China is not the promised land as far as saving the world economy from the financial tsunami goes. Beijing said yesterday in no uncertain terms that developed countries should not expect it to swoop in and rescue them from their economic problems.

Posted by dotlink @ 01:51 AM 0 Comments

Meanwhile, across the pond...

Wall Street Journal: US eyes plans to lift home sales

The Treasury Department is considering a plan to revitalize the U.S. home market that would push down mortgage rates for home loans, according to people familiar with the matter. The plan would use the clout of government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to encourage banks to lend at rates as low as 4.5%, a full percentage point below the current average. Treasury views this plan as potentially halting the slide in home prices by enabling borrowers to afford bigger mortgages, thus increasing demand for homes and pushing up home values. That, in turn, could boost the economy and improve the weak outlook for other consumer loans, such as credit cards.

Posted by little professor @ 01:13 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do these so called experts really have a clue?

Times: State of economy demands rate cut to historic low of 2%

Martin Weale, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, summed it up nicely by saying; A 1 per cent cut is likely to have more impact than sacrificing a goat".

Posted by enuii @ 11:04 PM 9 Comments

Perfect end to a truly awful day for uk plc

Telegraph: Stricken New Star staff could pocket 10m bonus

A group of employees at stricken fund manager New Star Asset Management could pocket more than 10m in incentives as part of a rescue deal agreed yesterday with its banks. The taxpayer is on the hook for some of those payments, as the Government will be the ultimate owner of about one third of New Star. A syndicate of banks including HBOS and Lloyds TSB yesterday agreed to swap 240m of loans they have made to New Star for equity in the business, which will be de-listed from the stock market.

Posted by despondent @ 10:07 PM 0 Comments

The Govt's Mortgage Support Scheme; the full details

Firstrung: The Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme - the official government press release

The Government today announced a new scheme to help people who suffer a temporary loss of income stay in their home. The new Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme will enable households that experience a significant and temporary loss of income as a result of the economic downturn to defer a proportion of the interest payments on their mortgage for up to two years. The Government will guarantee the deferred interests payments in return for banks' participation in the scheme...

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:44 PM 13 Comments

Economist's views of the latest bailouts

Fox/CNBC: US in Denial of Debt/Economic crisis

Posted in the past few days, an analysis of the current state of America. Is our service economy any better? Tom Sawyer got his friends to paint his fence and pay for the priviledge. Is the story being re-enacted in Brown's economics? Today its throwing money at mortgages, how will the story end?

Posted by alan @ 09:41 PM 0 Comments

I can't wait for house prices to recover

Bromley Times: Property prices plummet

HOUSE prices across the borough are falling faster than the national and London average.

Posted by jamil ahmed @ 07:33 PM 0 Comments

Slump How to avoid the horrors of 'stag- deflation'

The worst is not behind us: 2009 will be a painful year of a global recession, deflation and bankruptcies.

Posted by v stor @ 07:23 PM 0 Comments

Something serious going on out there Metal prices fall further than during Great Depression

moves in credit spreads that suggest investors are anticipating depression-era levels of economic contraction

Posted by v stor @ 07:17 PM 0 Comments

'Clever scheme'.How much is that gonna cost

BBC News: Brown unveils mortgage help plan

No wonder the banks quickly signed for it.

Posted by fjcruiser @ 07:10 PM 20 Comments

GB - A lunatic running the asylum?

Mail: Homeowners to get two-year mortgage interest 'holiday' if their income is cut by credit crunch

''Homeowners will be spared the threat of repossession under a new government-backed scheme to guarantee mortgages, Gordon Brown announced this afternoon. ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:09 PM 6 Comments

Latvia - Boom to Bust

BBC: Latvia's economic boom turns sour

Having seen its economy grow at a rate 11% in 2007, Latvia's GDP is now shrinking by more than 4%. After a property boom, house prices are now falling at a faster rate than any other country in the world - down 24% in the last 3 months.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 06:37 PM 6 Comments

House prices 2009 = :(

MailOnline: Mortgages 'are being rationed'... and it will only get worse in 2009, warns lenders' group

Mortgages are having to be 'rationed' and the situation will get even worse next year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has warned. In an explosive speech, director general Michael Coogan said that the 11.7million with a mortgage are being forced to cope with a 'dysfunctional' market.

Posted by v stor @ 05:53 PM 0 Comments

Survey shows that Americans think federal aid for the Big Three is unfair and won't help the economy

CNN: Poll: 61% oppose auto bailout

A majority of Americans oppose a bailout of the troubled U.S. auto industry, according to a poll released Wednesday. The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, conducted by telephone on Dec. 1-2 with nearly 1,100 people, showed that 61% of those surveyed oppose government assistance for the major U.S. automakers.

Posted by mark @ 05:45 PM 0 Comments

Stockmarkets bounce in 2009

FT Alphaville: S&P 500 to rise 55% in 2009, says UBS

The Panic of 2008 created a confidence vacuum that policy is rushing to fill [bailouts, handouts, stimulus packages, tax breaks, payment holidays]. Filling the void is a challenge, but we take comfort in that now every policy maker in the world is trying to jump-start confidence in the system. Once this happens, powerful positive underlying economic forces such as the worldwide proliferation of technology and globalization should make confidence shine again. An opportunity to buy the big-cap global growth stocks of the S&P 500.

Posted by mountain goat @ 04:47 PM 21 Comments

Property Bee no longer works - it seems!

Rightmove: Whats changed at rightmove

Rightmove have changed their web site, it seems that the property bee attachment no longer works. Any comments?

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 04:37 PM 10 Comments

a new property website looks set to breathe much needed life into the housing market.

UKPRWire: Housebid21 Stimulates the property market in UK allows buyers to bid for property online but with one huge difference unlike a traditional auction the site stimulates activity rather than having a finite point of no return. Its a bit like an auction but without the drawbacks, said chief executive, Michelle Sheppard. Really ?

Posted by fjcruiser @ 04:32 PM 3 Comments

Some are still in denial

The Australian: House prices unlikely to fall 30pc

Well, Australia is a different story, there is no oversupply, banks an't lending but who cares, prices wont come down bla bla bla......

Posted by fjcruiser @ 04:22 PM 3 Comments

GB rabbit out of the hat mortgage holiday plan

FT: Homeowners granted mortgage holiday

Gordon Brown is to grant homeowners in financial difficulty the right to demand a two-year mortgage holiday, guaranteed by taxpayers, in a dramatic bid to underpin the housing market. Britains eight biggest banks are understood to be supporting the programme. Mr Brown is expected to announce the broad principles to the Commons on Wednesday afternoon. The scheme, which requires no new primary legislation, represents a gamble with taxpayers money on the length and severity of the housing downturn. Officials estimate the measures will amount to a 1bn contingent liability but cost about 100m. Mr Brown expects the scheme to make a big difference to repossession rates by addressing the cycle of fear undermining the housing market.

Posted by mountain goat @ 04:06 PM 55 Comments

And the rest

BBC: Repossessions 'to reach 75,000'

The number of homes being repossessed will rise sharply to 75,000 next year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has estimated. That would be almost as many as during the peak of the last recession in 1991.

Posted by holding out @ 03:56 PM 1 Comments

This recession will lead to the break up of the Pound

Scotland On Sunday: Only way forward for Scotland is the break up of the Pound

Alex Salmond 'We need to make sure our economy is given the best chance to ride out the tough times and emerge on the other side in as robust good health as possible.' To do this they need fiscal and monetary independance from England. I.e. the only way forward for Scotland is to have control of its own finances.

Posted by crashwatcher @ 03:43 PM 0 Comments

Credit data firm to cut 300 posts

bbc: Credit data firm to cut 300 posts

Nottingham-based credit information firm Experian is to slash 300 jobs across the UK and Irish Republic in the New Year.

Posted by mark @ 03:24 PM 3 Comments

Understating figures again!

BBC News: Repossessions 'to rise to 75,000'

"This would take repossessions very close to the peak of 75,500 reached in 1991, during the last British recession. It compares with the Council of Mortgage Lenders' current forecast that 45,000 homes will be repossessed in the current year.. The bulk of repossessed homes are owner-occupied. So far this year, just 2,700 buy-to-let properties have been repossessed.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 03:15 PM 0 Comments

How much to cut tomorrow?

CityWire: Base rate tipped to match all-time low on Thursday

Some views on tomorrow's M.P.C. decision on the UK base rate.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 02:28 PM 21 Comments

Mortgage applications up 112.1% last week

MarketWatch: US borrowers rush to refinance

Mortgage applications filed last week rose a seasonally adjusted 112.1%, compared with the week before, as borrowers rushed to lock in lower rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey, released on Wednesday.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 02:10 PM 2 Comments

Hotel group in administration

property week: Hotel group in administration

Based in Swindon it employs 2,000 people, runs 34 three and four-star properties, including the Richmond Hill and Richmond Gate hotels in southwest London, Hall Garth Hotel in Darlington and Etrop Grange at Manchester Airport. The company, which leases rather than owns its hotels, had been in negotiations with its landlords for several weeks with the aim of securing a rent holiday. According to the Times, the administration was precipitated when the owner of nine of its hotels - believed to be the Landesberg and Rosenberg families, who also own Admiral Taverns - pulled out of the negotiations.

Posted by mark @ 01:51 PM 0 Comments

Perhaps we ought to sign this one...

Number 10 petitions online: Tackle RICS valuers undervaluing property - lol

Petition calling for RICS to ramp up values....

Posted by voodoo @ 01:25 PM 0 Comments

something for the BOE to think about......

japantimes: BOJ finds that manipulating rates is packing little punch

Lower borrowing costs are usually believed to improve liquidity in the financial system and boost economic activity. However, given the global credit turmoil, banks and other financial institutions are increasingly cautious about extending fresh loans to companies for fear of defaults.

Posted by mark @ 01:13 PM 5 Comments

I thought I strength was the lack of industry in the UK

bbc: Mood Darkens in Service Sector

So I seem to remember GB being proud of our service sector as it was more dynamic than stuffy manufacturing and more flexible. I also seem to remember Fatty Declan on BBC Breakfast saying the same thing. The reality is no-one needs these services that can come from cheaper elsewhere. Goodbye GBP, hello Euro. Just as the glorious leader wanted.

Posted by symo @ 12:54 PM 1 Comments

Crock does some window dressing

BBC: Rock delays moves on repossession

The bank said repossession was always a last resort, and that at the moment only 1% of its cases involved people who were less than six months behind with their mortgage payments.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 12:45 PM 0 Comments

Our very own RBS Chief, Fred Goodwin, Is the Worst Banker in the World

Newsweek: The World's Worst Banker

Newsweek has designated RBS' Fred Goodwin (sorry, I mean 'Sir Fred') the worst banker in the world. Yes, it's official, the worst banker in the world is the head of one of Britain's largest banks, now state-owned. But of course, as we know, this banking crisis started in America through subprime loans and it's actually all the fault of stoopid Americans...

Posted by an bearin bui @ 12:13 PM 4 Comments

Oh no, not another gold article

Telegraph: Ten ways to invest in gold

Thought I'd post this because a number of interesting points arise. One is the huge spread on buying bars and coins. Buying gold for investment would seem best done by holding it indirectly. However, holding physical gold in case of economic collapse appears to raise other problems. If you own allocated gold, can you be sure of liquidating it when needed? Using physical gold, assuming you can get your hands on it, as currency does not seem practicable given the value of the smallest coins. Maybe have physical gold stashed safely away until the economic maelstrom passes is the only logical point of holding it. What do the gold aficionados here think?

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:12 PM 12 Comments

City jobs axe spells end of line for great trains boom

daily mail: City jobs axe spells end of line for great trains boom

The three employ 11,000 staff. Even if the Stagecoach cutbacks are as little as 5 per cent, that will mean more than 500 jobs face the chop.

Posted by mark @ 12:09 PM 1 Comments

but inflation in GB fantasy land is dropping..

daily mail: UK food and energy prices are rising twice as fast as those in Europe, report finds

Power and food bills in the UK are rising at twice the rate they are in the European Union. A report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development yesterday showed that British bills surged at the fastest rate of any EU nation in October. Energy costs rose by 24.2 per cent compared with the same time last year, the OECD said.

Posted by mark @ 12:04 PM 4 Comments

More of the to Euro chat we are loving today

telegraph: Best to leave the Euro to its own devices

Our sympathies to well-heeled Britons in Aquitaine or Umbria living off sterling rents, but policy is not set for their needs.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:58 AM 5 Comments

so in reality the bailout will only money will only last a couple of months!!

bloomberg: General Motors, Chrysler Seek Emergency $15 Billion

General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC told Congress they need $15 billion just to survive until next month

Posted by mark @ 10:32 AM 3 Comments

Drugs firm Glaxo to cut 200 jobs

bbc: Drugs firm Glaxo to cut 200 jobs

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced 200 jobs will be axed at its factory in County Durham

Posted by mark @ 10:29 AM 1 Comments

Public fear financial meltdown

Citywire: Savers pulling record amounts out of banks

Savers are shunning banks in favour of ever more secure assets in what commentators said was a 'flight to safety'. Money supply figures released this week by the Bank of England showed that households had poured record amounts into government backed investments in October, with 4.7 billion going into National Savings products and a further 12.3 billion being placed in Treasury bills. Meanwhile, with the well-documented problems affecting former stalwarts within the banking industry including Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS, money held in banks and building societies has fallen by 5.2 billion in the last month, compared to an average inflow of 5.6 billion in the previous 12 months.

Posted by jack c @ 09:52 AM 21 Comments

US automakers issue a dire warning if help isn't forthcoming

BusinessWeek: Detroit's New Bill: $39 Billion

The automakers' recovery plans were delivered the same day the companies reported a dark picture for November auto sales. GM said its sales last month fell a stunning 41%, apparently made all the worse by recent talk of a possible bankruptcy filing. But other car companies reported results nearly as bad: Ford's sales tumbled 31%, Toyota's plunged 34%, and Honda's dropped 32%. Chrysler's sales for the month were down 47%. The combined cost of the Detroit Three's requested bailout represents a big hike from the $25 billion Congress had been considering.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 09:41 AM 0 Comments

Here we go China reluctant to invest in foreign banks

China's sovereign wealth fund, which last year poured $5 billion into Morgan Stanley, is reluctant to plow more money into foreign financial institutions until governments hash out coherent policies to cope with the global economic and financial turmoil, the fund's head said Wednesday. The remarks by Lou Jiwei, chairman of the $200 billion China Investment Corp., represent a new blow for ailing banks that were hoping the Chinese government investment fund would use its deep pool of cash to bail them out. Lou said that he was unwilling to invest in foreign banks amid so much turbulence and uncertainty. Confidence in financial institutions is lacking because foreign governments seem to be changing their policies every week.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 09:20 AM 1 Comments

Repossession Repossession Repossession

BBC: UK job market weakening rapidly

Oh yes ! Whole streets of ultra cheap housing coming our way in about ..... 6 month's time. Funnily enough, there are still plenty of "real" jobs around, I mean engineering etc. etc.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:18 AM 8 Comments

UK close to the Edge

Evening Standard: My warning to Gordon and his friend Alistair

Economics is not a game. Bad decisions blight the future for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. It's hard to imagine a discipline less suited to the febrile world of politics, where the influence of tomorrow's headlines has become an obsession. But the more I look at the misleadingly named pre-Budget report, the less I like it - and I wasn't much of a fan a week ago.

Posted by sold out @ 07:40 AM 3 Comments

Gordon Brown = national liability


''Gordon Brown was last night facing embarrassing new questions about his involvement in secret talks to scrap the pound. Senior Tories yesterday received reports that the Prime Minister has held private talks on the economic crisis with the President of the European Commission at Downing Street.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:20 AM 47 Comments

Brown imposes huge fines on lenders who overcharge their customers

Independent: Hit the banks where it hurts

Banks will face huge fines if they do not treat their customers fairly, under a crackdown to be announced by the Government today. Ministers have decided to turn the voluntary code of practice operated by the banks into a legally-binding one, amid mounting concern that they are flouting their own rules during the credit crunch. The move follows claims that small businesses and individual customers have had the terms and conditions of their loans and overdrafts changed overnight by their banks.

Posted by drewster @ 02:39 AM 5 Comments

Collars invalid if not included in "Key Facts" box

Times: Financial Services Authority says Halifax tracker loans must fall in line with bank rate cuts

The Financial Services Authority said yesterday that more than half a million Halifax customers on tracker mortgages should benefit from further interest rate cuts even though the small print on their loans supposedly prevents them from doing so. An estimated 550,000 Halifax borrowers with tracker mortgages, which move up and down in line with the base rate, appeared set to miss out on future rate cuts because the small print on their loans allowed Halifax to stop reducing rates once the base rate falls below 3 per cent. Jon Pain, the FSA's retail market manager, said yesterday that this 3 per cent threshold, or collar, could be unenforceable.

Posted by drewster @ 02:34 AM 9 Comments

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

desperate borrowing

logbook loans: website

A worring sign of the times. APR 437.4% If you own or nearly own your car you can use it as security on loans. The quoted figure on their site is on a loan of 1500. You would pay 53.60 for 78 weeks paying back a total of 4180.80. And i assume that if you missed a payment the car is no longer yours! Whilst this beggars belief i almost feel guilty posting this as this is obviously popular!!

Posted by robin @ 10:16 PM 0 Comments

Take that little professor

bbc: Toy firm collapse costs 200 jobs

A North Yorkshire toy and stationery company has gone into administration, with the loss of 200 jobs.

Posted by mark @ 09:14 PM 7 Comments

Take that, Mark!

Times: Bowie Castlebank goes into administration

Bowie Castlebank, which owns the Klick Photopoint and Max Spielmann chains as well as the William Munro Cleaners group, has gone into administration, with the loss of 817 jobs. KPMG, the administrator, said that Bowie Castlebank's photoprocessing unit had become significantly loss-making because of the advance of digital photography, while the cleaning business had been hit by reduced use of clothing requiring dry cleaning. The family-owned Bowie Castlebank dates back to 1865. Mike Stevens, partner and head of business at KPMG, said there was no doubt that the UK jobs market is now heading downhill at breakneck speed.

Posted by little professor @ 08:36 PM 5 Comments

79,000 For a 3 bed flat in London

Evening Standard: Return of the 100,000 homes

The return of the 100,000 property will be welcomed by first-time buyers and key workers who have found themselves priced out of the capital. It is 12 years since the average price for homes in London burst through the 100,000 barrier. But the recent surge in unemployment and the return of negative equity are likely to see repossession figures return to the record levels of the early Nineties.

Posted by sold out @ 08:05 PM 12 Comments

Understatement GM November sales drop 41 percent

General Motors Corp (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a 41 percent drop in overall U.S. sales for November, saying continued economic uncertainty was hurting consumer confidence.

Posted by v stor @ 07:45 PM 0 Comments

Collars getting tighter.....?

Mortgage Strategy: FSA calls for clarity on collars

Addressing delegates at the Council of Mortgage Lenders annual conference today, Jon Pain, retail markets managing director at the FSA, says: Tracker interest floors can be a legitimate term of a mortgage.

Posted by whostolemyendowment @ 07:13 PM 2 Comments

USA Sneezes UK catches a cold

Wall Street Journal: Delinquent Mortgages Set to Nearly Double in 2009

Wall street may have bottomed (although unlikely) The real economy soon follows, defaults on mortgages and credit cards set to rise. Seems the resets on fixed/teaser rates don't obey the command of the fed. There is more pain to come, defaults, write downs and unemployment incoming.

Posted by yoss @ 07:04 PM 0 Comments

California broke! Schwarzenegger Calls Fiscal Emergency in California

Without immediate action, our state is heading for fiscal disaster,

Posted by v stor @ 05:55 PM 0 Comments

How long before Mr Darling goes cap in hand to the IMF?

Moneymarketing: Tories say markets view UK as high risk investment

Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says credit default spreads show the markets feel there is a high risk of the UK defaulting on its national debts. Osborne says that CDS spreads show the market view of the UK Government defaulting on its debts has reached a record high, above that of Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Finland, Germany and Norway. He says: Just a week after the pre-Budget report, the markets are delivering their own verdict on Gordon Browns plans to double the national debt to over 1trn. Thanks to the Government, many European countries, including Portugal and Belgium, are seen as safer investments than the UK.

Posted by jack c @ 05:44 PM 10 Comments

6,400 construction firms will fail by mid-2009

contract journal: 6,400 construction firms will fail by mid-2009

More than 6,000 construction firms will fail by the middle of 2009, collapsing at a rate of 250 a week, according to a report by accountants BDO Stoy Hayward.

Posted by mark @ 05:37 PM 3 Comments

The bailout in "immune" Scotland.

BBC website: What 2.94 million will get you on tayside

Councils are helping the hard pressed - NOT, the hard pressed developers of Tayside that is by buying unsold stock. The 'free' market in action.

Posted by fubar @ 05:22 PM 7 Comments

Bernake is in denial

MailOnline: U.S. plunges into the longest, deepest recession since World War II... and it's going to get worse, analysts predict

The bracing impact of the Fed's aggressive rate reductions, however, has been somewhat stymied by the credit and financial crises, Bernanke said.

Posted by v stor @ 04:58 PM 0 Comments

One about house prices...

Daily Mail: Thousands of homes worth 250,000 a year ago now up for sale for under 100,000

Thousands of homes are being sold for knockdown prices at auction as banks desperately try to offload repossessed flats. Properties worth a quarter of a million pounds last year are going for under 100,000 after families who failed to meet their mortgage were kicked out. It comes after a dramatic rise in repossession orders, with 26,200 homeowners losing their property last year alone. Lot 738, a two-bedroom flat with two bathrooms and two balconies in a gated development with communal gardens in Abbey Wood in east London fell for just 96,000. In April 2004 the flat was sold for 187,495 and the unlucky former owner could easily have expected it to be worth at least 300,000 last summer.

Posted by penguin @ 04:21 PM 0 Comments

"In other words, we expect available consumer liquidity in the form of credit-card lines to decline

Reuters: Credit-card industry may cut $2 trillion lines:

(Reuters) - The U.S. credit-card industry may pull back well over $2 trillion of lines over the next 18 months due to risk aversion and regulatory changes, leading to sharp declines in consumer spending, prominent banking analyst Meredith Whitney said. The credit card is the second key source of consumer liquidity, the first being jobs, the Oppenheimer & Co analyst noted. "In other words, we expect available consumer liquidity in the form of credit-card lines to decline by 45 percent." Closing millions of accounts, cutting credit lines and raising interest rates are just some of the moves credit card issuers are using to try to inoculate themselves from a tsunami of expected consumer defaults.

Posted by malct @ 03:44 PM 9 Comments

Government solution to problem - more of what went before please

Moneymarketing: Bank chief admitted its lending was foolish and dangerous two years ago, says Cable

Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable says one of the UKs top bank chiefs admitted to him two years ago that his banks lending practices were foolish and dangerous. Speaking at this years Council of Mortgage Lenders annual conference in London today, Cable said the admission came after a dinner two years ago from the chief executive of one of the banks which is now part-nationalised. He said: I had dinner with a chief executive of one of the now recently part-nationalised banks and we argued for an hour about his lending practices. Finally he accepted his banks lending was foolish and dangerous, but he would have been sacked by his board if he didnt lend these mortgages.

Posted by jack c @ 03:41 PM 1 Comments

crashing China...

bloomberg: China Property Slump Threatens Global Economy as Growth Slows

House prices in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are plunging, and the global economy may grind almost to a halt next year because of it. Construction of homes, offices and factories fell at least 16.6 percent in October after rising 32.5 percent a year earlier, according to Macquarie Securities Ltd. That's squeezing an economy already slowed by recessions in the U.S., Japan and Europe that have cut demand for exports.

Posted by mark @ 03:28 PM 0 Comments

Not a news article, but was from a google ad on the HPC home page...

Investors Assetz: Online Property Auction

How the 'Name Your Price' online property auction service works - it's easy! (Another business from AssetZ ! )

Posted by whostolemyendowment @ 03:06 PM 4 Comments

US States are heading for big budget problems...

BBC News: California 'faces budget crisis'

"Without immediate action, our state is headed for a fiscal disaster," Mr Schwarzenegger said."I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle" he reportedly said. $7.5bn deficit just for California. So far. The Fed will need to bale out each State - maybe big financial and politicial strains on the US of A to come next year.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:49 PM 3 Comments

We're very lucky - Bernanke

AFP: Bernanke says crisis 'no comparison' to Great Depression

"Well, you hear a lot of loose talk on, but let me just ... say, as a scholar of the Great Depression -- and I've written books about the Depression and been very interested in this since I was in graduate school, there's no comparison," Bernanke said in a question period after an address in Austin, Texas... the big mistake that policymakers made in the early '30s was they essentially allowed the financial system to collapse and they didn't do anything about it. The Federal Reserve did no action as the banks failed by the hundreds and the thousands. He added, "We're very lucky to live in a country as rich and diversified as the one we have. And I hope that we will have a quick and rapid recovery from the current slowdown."

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:28 PM 6 Comments

Don't come to the UK, no jobs here...

bloomberg: Iceland Crisis Sends Viking Descendants Back to Norway for Jobs

About half of Icelanders aged between 18 and 24 are considering leaving the country, Reykjavik-based newspaper Morgunbladid said, citing a survey of 1,117 people between Oct. 27 and Oct. 29.

Posted by mark @ 12:28 PM 0 Comments

This is going to get much worse in the UK and EU too

bloomberg: Recession in U.S. May Be Just Beginning as Job Losses Mount

The U.S. economy, now officially in recession, may be in the midst of the longest slump in the post- World War II era as job losses mount and credit dries up. The economic slump began in December 2007 when payrolls reached a peak, the business cycle dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit group of economists based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said yesterday. The last time the U.S. was in a recession was from March through November 2001, according to NBER.

Posted by mark @ 12:23 PM 0 Comments

A European-style tax? Get ready for it.

CNN: A European-style tax? Get ready for it.

Like it or not, there's only one way we're going to be able to pay for our ballooning deficit: a value-added tax..

Posted by mark @ 12:20 PM 4 Comments

If BoE cut further - will Nationwide offer 0% interest !

Banking Business: Nationwide Building Society announces new savings and banking rates

Nationwide Building Society has announced details of its new savings and banking rates. See:

Posted by whostolemyendowment @ 11:56 AM 5 Comments

How money lost its true purpose

MoneyWeek: How money lost its true purpose

Central bank meddling led to money losing its power. Now they think the answer is to print more of the stuff. But we got in this mess because the world was awash with money, and we wont make things better by flooding it with more.

Posted by damien @ 11:47 AM 0 Comments

Wastrels - send 'em to the workhouse

BBC: 'No-one in our house works'

Elizabeth Malcolm, 43 has never had a job. She lives with her three children (none of whom work) and grandchild in a council property in Glasgow. The family survive on a combination of Income Support and Child Tax Credits, claimed by both Elizabeth and Danielle, 17. Both also receive the universal Child Benefit for one child each. As no one in the house is actively seeking work, they don't count as 'unemployed' and none claims Jobseeker's Allowance. Danielle fell pregnant at age 16. She has kept the two pregnancy tests in a memory box for her baby Rhys. Day-to-day she spends her time going to the shops for her mum, collecting her money, or visiting friends. "It's not that easy to get a job, you've got to write out your CV and everything and then hand it in to places."

Posted by little professor @ 11:39 AM 55 Comments

Mandelson Outed Again

Daily Express: Secret Plot To Join Euro

"The President of the European Commission admitted holding talks with the people who matter in Britain about the country joining the European single currency." This was widely reported yesterday - the suggestion in the Express is that Mandy is one of 'the people who matter'. We will join the Euro sooner or later anyway. I wonder if The Prince of Darkness is just bringing it up as a way of dividing the Tory party.

Posted by luckyjim @ 11:14 AM 26 Comments

"Distressed investments" lead to 5 USD loss per share

WSJ: Goldman Faces $2 Billion Loss (this quarter)

Goldman Sachs, known for avoiding many of the blowups that have battered its Wall Street rivals, now is likely to report a loss of as much as $2 billion as it faces write-downs in several areas.

Posted by mken @ 11:00 AM 0 Comments

which would you bailout Scary Arnie or feeble GM?

cnn: Schwarzenegger declares emergency

The state's governor calls for quick legislative action to help ease the $11.2 billion deficit.

Posted by mark @ 10:00 AM 5 Comments

RBS's six month stay-of-execution will cause a backlog of repossessions later

Independent: Housing market adjustment cannot so easily be halted

"One of the reasons RBS can afford to give six months breathing space to delinquent borrowers is that it was never a particularly big mortgage lender in the first place, with only 7 per cent of the market, and has in any case largely managed to avoid buy-to-let and other distress areas of the mortgage market. As unemployment rises, ever more mortgage holders will find themselves in arrears. Yet the problem is hardly going to be solved by a six-month stay of execution. Indeed, it might make it even worse, as a backlog of eventual repossessions builds up in the system. A period of necessary adjustment is under way, in the housing market and elsewhere. Politicians still like to think they can buck the market by ordering the system around. They are likely to be cruelly disappointed."

Posted by drewster @ 02:09 AM 23 Comments

All indicators point firmly downward

Independent: US entered recession a year ago, says NBER

"The news came as surveys of business confidence across continents displayed further catastrophic declines. The US economy decreased at an annualised rate of 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2008, having grown by an annualised 2.8 per cent in the second quarter. Manufacturing in the US contracted in November at the fastest pace in 26 years, putting American factories at the sharp end of a global industrial slump, according to the Arizona-based Institute for Supply Management's factory index. At 36.2, the reading is at its lowest level since 1982. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction. Similar measures from China, the UK, the Euro area, and Russia also all dropped to record lows."

Posted by drewster @ 02:03 AM 3 Comments

Government statistical lies, I mean errors. 12 months out?!

CNBC: Recession Is Officially Here And May Last for Awhile

A new report by the National Bureau of Economic Research has concluded that the US economy slipped into recession in December 2007, a full year ago. The NBER's business cycle dating committee, considered the arbiter of US recessions, said its members met by conference call on Friday and concluded that the 73-month economic expansion had ended, CNBC reports. December 2007 saw a sharp increase in unemployment. In the following months payrolls and consumer spending have continued to fall, followed by a contraction in gross domestic product in the third quarter.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 01:49 AM 4 Comments

"Debt was like a drug: bigger doses were needed to get the same buzz."

Guardian: Darling needs to cure a nation hooked on debt

"Episodes of severe dislocation go through five distinct phases: bubble years, when everybody assumes the good times go on for ever; the denial stage, when it is assumed any problem from the bursting bubble will be localised; the acceptance phase, when policymakers finally realise they have a real problem on their hands; the panic stage, where nothing seems to work; and the recovery phase, when the cycle eventually starts to turn. We entered the panic phase in mid-September and, to be frank, the recovery phase still looks a long way off." [It's a week old article, but still very relevant.]

Posted by drewster @ 01:45 AM 0 Comments

Former wealthy encounter real world... it's hilarious!

Torygraph: On the dole in Henley-on-Thames, part IV

"Our tumble-dryer broke. We spent six weeks hanging soggy clothes on radiators. Sheer misery! Selling barely worn designer jumpers has helped to pay towards the weekly clubs and classes we still want our children to attend." [The misery of not having a tumble dryer? Diddums. Barely-worn designer jumpers? It's like an episode of Spendaholics!]

Posted by drewster @ 12:15 AM 19 Comments

Monday, December 1, 2008

One, single Communist body to save the day.

Socialist Government Quango: Delighted?

I am delighted to inform you that today sees the launch of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as England's single housing and regeneration body. Our remit is simple; to create opportunity for people to live, work and enjoy life in places that they desire and that they can afford. The HCA brings together all the activities of English Partnerships and the Academy for Sustainable Communities, the investment functions of the Housing Corporation and the delivery responsibility of most of CLG's growth and renewal programmes. More on the fold (I got this via e-mail).

Posted by planning4acrash @ 11:16 PM 11 Comments

But the high end is immune

Evening Standard (This is London): 20m Mayfair home up for sale after bank calls in loan

So if foreign investors and bankers were propping up the market London, now the props are taken away, the next prop will be be the floor. Eastern European housebuyer loses 20m home as loans called in,meanwhile a banker forgoes his 500k deoposit when he didn't receive a bonus as large as expected and his stock options fell 70%.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 10:22 PM 2 Comments

"No more Boom and Bust"?

BBC: Sterling plunges against dollar

"Sterling has fallen sharply against the dollar as yet more bad economic data points towards a prolonged recession and further interest rate cuts. The pound was down 5.2 cents to $1.486, its largest one day fall in percentage terms since sterling crashed out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) in 1992".

Posted by alan @ 10:21 PM 28 Comments

House slump worst in London

London Evening Standard: House slump worst in London

London house prices are now falling faster than anywhere else in the country, figures reveal today. "Buyer confidence is almost certain to be depressed further as the economic downturn gathers pace and we expect house prices to fall a further 20 per cent in 2009."

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:48 PM 3 Comments

Brother's plea after debt suicide

BBC wales: Brother's plea after debt suicide

A grieving brother has called for tighter controls on money lending after his twin committed suicide when his debts spiralled out of control.

Posted by mark @ 08:41 PM 7 Comments

It's official: Recession since Dec. '07

CNN: It's official: Recession since Dec. '07

The NBER is a private group of leading economists charged with dating the start and end of economic downturns. It typically takes a long time after the start of a recession to declare its start because of the need to look at final readings of various economic measures.

Posted by mark @ 08:37 PM 0 Comments

A little Tiddler but it is nontheless a Bank

BBC: Bank forced into administration

London Scottish Bank has gone into administration after the Financial Services Authority stepped in to stop it accepting deposits, the bank specialised in council right-to-buy mortgages and those for high-rise flats, the Treasury Treasury statement says that all retail depositors will get their money back, even those with more than 50,000 in their accounts.

Posted by enuii @ 08:07 PM 0 Comments

Credit bubble trouble World economy 'weakest since 30s'

The United Nations says the world economy faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Posted by v stor @ 07:36 PM 1 Comments

Whats 3 months extra for the house of your dreams ?

Telegraph: RBS six-month repossession delay pledge will have limited impact, say analysts

A pledge by Royal Bank of Scotland to give mortgage customers more breathing space before it begins repossession proceedings will have only a limited impact on the market, analysts believe. Alex Potter at Collins Stewart said: "RBS is not big in the UK mortgage market, so it can do something like this and get great headlines but it will not have much impact on its profit and loss account". RBS, which owns NatWest, is number seven in the market, with 5.7pc. The bank has said it will not begin the repossession process until customers are six months or more in arrears, up from three months.

Posted by landedgentry @ 06:14 PM 3 Comments

Not a cliff a 'large cliff' UK manufacturing 'falls off a cliff'

"UK manufacturing activity has fallen off a large cliff," said Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, who dubbed the data "absolutely terrible".

Posted by v stor @ 06:03 PM 1 Comments

Sadly, this is real, not a spoof

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe commends the US and UK for following its lead

Banks, including those in the USA and the UK, are now implementing flexible and pragmatic central bank support programmes where these are deemed necessary in their National interests. That is precisely the path that we began over 4 years ago in pursuit of our own national interest and we have not wavered on that critical path despite the untold misunderstanding, vilification and demonization we have endured. The US government has stepped in and injected lifeboat schemes in which billions of dollars have been printed and pumped into the economy. In Zimbabwe our Troubled Bank Fund set up a few years ago was criticized by multinational institutions which are now silent while the US and UK are following the same path.

Posted by little professor @ 05:56 PM 4 Comments

A lot further to go (down) UK mortgage approvals down 72pc from peak, Bank of England figures show

Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "Housing market activity is exceptionally low compared to long-term norms. Ongoing very tight credit conditions, still relatively stretched housing affordability on a number of measures, recession, faster rising unemployment and widespread expectations that house prices are likely to fall a lot further

Posted by v stor @ 05:50 PM 0 Comments

Aston Martin Axes 600 Jobs

Sky News: Car Maker Aston Martin Axes Jobs

Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin is cutting 600 jobs, the company has said.

Posted by doomwatch @ 05:45 PM 1 Comments

Another one bites the dust....

Crains Manchester Business: EA - Main & Main in administration

The real estate side of Macclesfield-based estate agents Main & Main has gone into administration.

Posted by whostolemyendowment @ 05:44 PM 1 Comments

Suzuki to cut 1,200 jobs in Hungary

Japan Times Online: Suzuki to cut 1,200 jobs in Hungary

Suzuki also plans to shorten daily production line hours at the factory in mid-December to bring its annual output to 210,000 units, down 90,000 from the current level, they said.

Posted by mark @ 04:36 PM 0 Comments

1.9 million fewer cars, 14,000 jobs lost in this business year

Japan Times Online: Major automakers slashing production

Twelve major Japanese automakers have cut their global output for fiscal 2008 by a total of 1.9 million units from their initial plans and slashed more than 14,000 factory jobs in Japan due to sluggish sales in major markets such as the U.S. The reduced output amid the global financial crisis as well as the yen's rise represents about 7 percent to 8 percent of the overall levels of their original plans.

Posted by mark @ 04:33 PM 0 Comments

HSBC confirms 500 UK jobs to go

bbc: HSBC confirms 500 UK jobs to go

The announcement comes after HSBC said in September that it was cutting 1,100 jobs worldwide because of the continuing global financial turmoil. Trade union Unite accused HSBC of "using the economic downturn as an excuse to make job losses".

Posted by mark @ 04:21 PM 5 Comments

Staring into a Yawning Chasm

FT: UK manufacturing orders fall at record pace

"UK manufacturing fell at a record pace in November as new orders collapsed, according to the latest purchasing managers survey complied by Markit/CIPS. The headline PMI index fell to 34.4 from Octobers downwardly revised 40.7, the lowest level since the series began in 1992. Moreover, new orders fell to a record low of 29.7 from 37.0." And the FTSEs taking a pounding today.

Posted by renting2 @ 04:18 PM 2 Comments

No surprises

BBC: Mortgage approvals still falling

Mortgage approvals dropped again in October, suggesting that house sales and prices have further to fall. ........ No Sh** Sherlock!

Posted by george monsoon @ 02:44 PM 13 Comments

Bottom in US housing in 3-5 years; UK slightly later

Mish's: Housing Update - How Far To The Bottom?

Some excellent graphs and easy-to-follow technical analysis in this article. Lots of comparisons with Japan's bubble. "My model suggests there is another 3-5 years before housing bottoms in the US. I also expect the UK, Canada, and Australia to follow similar paths, offset only by the start of their respective housing busts."

Posted by drewster @ 02:10 PM 3 Comments

Anyone recommend gilts?

MoneyWeek: How gilts could see you through

Trying to protect savings is a problem. Bank savings accounts IR are being slashed. "As we pointed out a long time ago, interest rates are going to historic lows as central banks everywhere try to stave off the depression and stem the deflationary force. ..We are quietly confident that the gilt holdings in the model portfolio, over the next year or so, will pay off handsomely." They say that gilts will do well in a deflationary environment. But their chart shown suggests to me that the yields might go back up to historical levels rather than drop even further, which means you lose money if you buy gilts now doesn't it?

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:53 PM 32 Comments

German bank BayernLB unveils 5,600 job cuts

yahoo: German bank BayernLB unveils 5,600 job cuts

A statement said BayernLB would eliminate 5,600 posts of a total 19,200 in a bid to save 670 million euros (850 million dollars) over the next five years.

Posted by mark @ 01:05 PM 7 Comments

Taxpayers support Irish Property market

Halifax: Taxpayers support Irish Property market

2 year Fixed Rates Available to First Time Buyers only. Competitor comparison table of 2 year fixed rates (apr) Halifax AIB Bank of Ireland EBS NIB Permanent TSB Ulster Bank 4.22% 4.75% 5.35% 5.47% 5.35% 5.65% 5.58%

Posted by neiloxford @ 12:53 PM 0 Comments

Do we really want interest rates bouncing around like this ...

Fresh Business Thinking: MPC Must Cut Interest Rates By A Full One Per Cent On Thursday

Following the disappointing reaction to the PBR it is critical for the MPC to persevere with aggressive interest rate cuts. To alleviate the worse consequences of the recession, we urge the MPC to cut rates by a full one per cent on Thursday, to two per cent. Additional cuts will be needed in the early months of the New Year, probably to one per cent."

Posted by fahrenheit451 @ 12:38 PM 16 Comments

loads of jobs gone or going...

express and star: Factory will axe 200 jobs

It brings the total number to lose their jobs at the Cannock firm over recent months to 380

Posted by mark @ 11:59 AM 2 Comments

Uk Jobs To Go As Ford Moves Work To Turkey


John Fleming, chief executive and chairman of Ford of Europe, has drawn up a new business plan for the plant which will see it manufacture the chassis for the next generation of Transit vans, rather than producing complete vehicles.

Posted by mark @ 11:49 AM 2 Comments

Latvian Arrested For Talking the Market Down

Wall Street Journal: How to Combat a Banking Crisis: First, Round Up the Pessimists

If only Brown and Darling had thought of this tactic in time, it would have kept HPC and other dissidents in line: Hammered by economic woe, (Latvia) recently took a novel step to contain the crisis. Its counterespionage agency busted an economist for being too downbeat.Now free after two days of questioning, Mr. Smirnovs hasn't been charged. But he is still under investigation for bad-mouthing the stability of Latvia's banks and the national currency, the lat. Investigators suspect him of spreading "untruthful information." They've ordered him not to leave the country and seized his computer. Quick, stop talking the market down, everyone!

Posted by an bearin bui @ 11:43 AM 3 Comments

Another desperate attempt to prop up house prices using taxpayers' money

FT: RBS promises mortgage respite

"The political and public campaign to force Britains banks to do more to help customers weather the economic downturn will gain impetus on Monday with a promise from Royal Bank of Scotland to give at least six months breathing space to homeowners who fall behind with mortgage payments. The promise, which will put pressure on other banks to make similar commitments, comes as ministers prepare to outline plans that could see voluntary codes of practice for the banking industry placed on a statutory footing.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:22 AM 11 Comments

Forcing banks to lend: the Government could well make our problems worse

MONEY WEEK: Forcing banks to lend: the Government could well make our problems worse

Banks nationalised, an opposition politician arrested for dissent you might be forgiven for thinking you'd gone to sleep and woken up in Venezuela.

Posted by c'mon correction @ 11:21 AM 7 Comments

Here we go ...

FT: London Scottish Bank files for administration

"London Scottish Bank is to go into administration after failing to make up a shortfall in its capital ratio* or secure a takeover. In a statement on Monday morning the bank, which provides loans to people with poor credit records, said: Whilst a number of parties remain interested in acquiring the group, there can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the group on a viable basis or that the regulatory capital shortfall can be remedied in the short to medium term." * A debt for equity swap would have sorted this out of course *sigh*.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:19 AM 1 Comments

another bankrupt country???

bloomberg: Switzerland Feels Icelands Pain With Banks Teetering

An isolated European country with an economy geared toward finance and winter sports is no longer a monetary bastion as credit evaporates around the globe. Banks teeter, the once-impregnable currency depreciates and a proudly independent people question whether a centuries-old go-it-alone strategy can survive. Even Switzerland is wondering if its immune to the forces ravaging Iceland.

Posted by mark @ 10:46 AM 3 Comments

ticking time bomb

sky news: One In Six Brits Can't Repay Debt

Meanwhile almost 30% of UK credit customers doubt their ability to meet debt repayments in the future

Posted by mark @ 10:43 AM 12 Comments

a few days old, but interesting all the same...

sky news: Aussies Abandon Credit Crunch UK

But not any more. Earls Court is changing as more and more Australians leave Britain to escape the effects of the credit crunch. At the Walkabout bar just up the road in Shepherds Bush, 22-year-old Kasey Rushton is dreaming of home - and she has come to a decision. In March she will quit her bar job and head back to Queensland in the hope of finding work as a photographer

Posted by mark @ 10:40 AM 5 Comments

A Clear Reason For the State We're In...

The Renegade Economist: Economists Occupy a Parallel Universe

The voice of reason again speaks clearly and enlightens us to why we are here... Though the title is 'Messing With Our Minds' there is no conspiracy theory here. So apologies in advance to the increasing numbers who feast on such fodder. Structurally determined behaviour is what we are victims of and this is the reason....

Posted by neo-serf @ 10:38 AM 0 Comments

UK is "closer than ever before" to joining the Euro

BBC: UK 'closer' to adopting the euro

"The UK is "closer than ever before" to joining the euro, according to the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. I'm not going to break the confidentiality of certain conversations, but some British politicians have already told me, 'If we had the euro, we would have been better off'." We are Europeans, not Americans. It is about time we put 'little Englander' attitudes to one side and joined the single currency for the good of our economy. Save your breath UKIP/BNP - it is only a matter of time.

Posted by luckyjim @ 10:33 AM 7 Comments

Off topic, but this just shows the state of britain....the crooks get away with it, like bankers

contract Journal: Flooring boss charged after 'arresting' thieving employee

Cremer, from Little Maplestead, Essex, told the Metro: Im pretty gutted. Its ironic hes the thief and he has got off.

Posted by mark @ 10:31 AM 4 Comments

Latest mortgage lending news

ITV: Mortgage lending dives to 459m

Net mortgage lending dived by nearly 70 per cent during October to just 459 million, the Bank of England has said. The figure is well down on September's 1.49 billion and only 6 per cent of the level for October 2007. The steep fall was driven by the ongoing shortage of capital banks have to lend.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 10:18 AM 12 Comments

Robert Peston on the 6 month repossession delay

BBC: RBS, repossessions and recovery

Stephen Hester, the new chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, is perhaps showing unusual common sense for a banker. It was his initiative - rather than an instruction by ministers - that Royal Bank will delay the start of proceedings to repossess the homes of those falling behind on mortgage payments.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 09:14 AM 13 Comments

BTL losing the plot, totally and finally

RLA: Fewer people seek buy-to-let mortgages

"a prominent lender, called Pink Home Loans. The decline in interest in terms of buy-to-let mortgages can be attributed to the fact that property prices have decreases significantly. landlords are even finding themselves hindered by negative equity, which makes it difficult for them to make payments on their current properties, let alone fund the purchase of new ones." Negative equity = difficult to make payments?? this must have been written under the influence. BTL is gone forever!!

Posted by confused76 @ 09:06 AM 4 Comments

Another one bites the dust

Sky News: London Scottish Bank goes bust

London Scottish Bank has been forced into administration. The Manchester-based firm, which employs over 2000 people, specialises in debt purchase, debt collection and unsecured lending. LSB, which agreed a rescue plan with the Financial Services Authority to reduce its lending earlier this year, proved unable to resolve a shortfall in its capital reserves. The Treasury says no savers will lose money as a result of LSB's collapse, even if their savings exceed the 50,000 cap set by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Posted by little professor @ 08:52 AM 1 Comments

"the slump is continuing apace"

Telegraph: House sellers forced to knock 11 per cent off asking price, Hometrack claims

House sellers are having to knock at least 11 per cent off asking prices before they can attract buyers, according to the latest gloomy survey that suggests the slump is continuing apace.

Posted by paul @ 08:08 AM 2 Comments

Double trouble for homeowners - what was that about 'bottoming out'?

BBC 'News': Double-digit house price drop

Prices dropped by 1.5% compared with September - the 14th consecutive monthly fall, the figures show. This could lead to a continued downward spiral in house prices and sales that would have a significant effect on the depth of a recession.

Posted by paul @ 07:00 AM 3 Comments

A brave new world.

Telegraph: World stability hangs by a thread as economies continue to unravel

Whether it is the Indian rupee, the Shanghai bourse, or Kremlin debt, the stars of the credit boom have fallen to earth. Investors are retreating into 3-month US Treasury bills the ultimate safe-haven. The yield has fallen to 0.02pc, less than zero after costs. You pay Washington to guard your money.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 06:46 AM 1 Comments

Crisis almost over! Solution found! Print unlimited money and bail everyone out!

Timesonline: The Henry Paulson eclipse could be the global turning point

You may not have noticed it if you get most of your economic information from media headlines, but there were some pretty important events in the world economy last week - certainly more important than the Pre-Budget Report and fatuous arguments about public borrowing and taxes under the next-government-but-one in post-2015 Britain.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 06:39 AM 2 Comments

Gordon Browns Downfall - the Video - Genius Script A 'vision' of the future under GB ... ?

Heres another in the same vein, but about House Prices :- Its the last few seconds that had me in fits of laughter. But if the sheeple dont actually wake up and start reacting to Britains headlong plumment into hell, these videos might hint at what could just happen, again ...

Posted by brownout @ 12:47 AM 0 Comments

Hometrack: -1.1% MoM, -8.1% YoY

Press Association: Slump in sales may be bottoming out

House prices continued to fall during November but the slump in sales looks close to bottoming out, says Hometrack. The cost of a home in England and Wales dropped by 1.1% during the month, to give an average house price of 161,400. The annual rate of decline continued to increase to reach 8.1%, up from 7.3% in October.

Posted by little professor @ 12:28 AM 6 Comments

The Pound Sterling may be a little nearer to retirement

BBC News: UK 'closer' to adopting the euro

"The current poor economic situation had emphasised the importance of the euro." Britain will, sooner or later, be forced to adopt the euro as the UK economy (even with its significant financial services sector -- FSS) goes down the pan. Or is this prediction precisely because of the greed in the the FSS undermining the strength of GBP?

Posted by dude @ 12:15 AM 16 Comments

Happy Advent

Times: Struggling families given six-month reprieve as RBS delays repossessions

Borrowers who fail to keep up with their mortgage repayments will be given a six-month breathing space under a plan due to be announced today by Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS, which owns NatWest, is expected to promise not to repossess homes from any customers for 6 months from the date when they first admit that they have a problem, The Times has learnt.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 12:04 AM 9 Comments

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