December 2009 Archive

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Printing money ALWAYS creates inflation....or does it?


The dollar, debt destruction, S&P movements, herding rather than news moves markets, do financial markets move because of economics or is there another reason??? 1st of a 2 parter - 2nd part : As i said before Mr. P is often a little early on his calls. HNY!!!

Posted by techieman @ 11:20 PM 21 Comments

Please go Gordon

Daily Mail: Charles Clarke tells Labour it must ditch Gordon Brown or face election defeat

When Gordon eventually calls the election, how many Labour MPs will turn against him in a bid to save their own reputations? Probably enough to give that group sway should there not be an outright majority. Be careful who you vote for!

Posted by fallingbuzzard @ 11:19 PM 6 Comments

A nicely understated headline...

The Telegraph: Printing money is a game with potentially dangerous results

In just a few weeks, at its meeting in February, the Bank of England's monetary policy committee has to decide whether to continue with QE. It must walk a fine line between continuing the policy and potentially setting off a surge in inflation; and halting it too quickly and plunging us all back into a financial panic. What a difficult act to perform in an election year.

Posted by devo @ 10:49 PM 6 Comments

Exploiting the coal face?

Telegraph: 'Carousel' frauds plague European carbon trading markets

From the article: Just a few weeks ago, Europol, the cross-border police force, said that carbon trading fraudsters may have accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries, with criminals mainly from Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland pocketing an estimated €5bn (£4.5bn). "It is estimated that in some countries, up to 90pc of the whole market volume was caused by fraudulent activities," Europol said.

Posted by dill @ 06:53 PM 2 Comments

Economic model breaking down?

Telegraph: Parents use savings to support adult children

During the past year, they withdrew a fifth of their hard-earned savings to help their adult children with living costs and unexpected expenses. The figures are a fresh blow to parents who are being squeezed financially from all directions as they save for their own retirement, provide care for elderly parents and fund the so-called boomerang generation of children who find themselves unable or unwilling to live away from the family home.

Posted by dill @ 06:06 PM 3 Comments

Review of the year

HousingExpert: How was November and 2009 for you?

A summary of the main numbers for November and for 2009 and comparison with the previous six years. A really helpful guide without the usual 'spin'. The number of houses selling. The number coming on and a great illustration of the gap between asking prices (greed) and sale prices actually achieved.

Posted by charles lister @ 03:26 PM 0 Comments

Government support continues.....

Times: House prices rise 0.9% in November

Let's get this straight: UK taxes are now are keeping this big bubble inflated, as the governement battles to keep interest rates artificially low....what a mess! ''House prices rose for the sixth month in succession in November, taking the average house price in the UK to almost the same level as a year ago. Official Land Registry figures put the monthly rise at 0.9 per cent, to £161,554. That is 0.3 per cent below the average price of £162,023 in November last year.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:35 PM 13 Comments

Will rising gilts yields push up mortgage costs?

This is money: Gilts surge to one-year high

Gilt yields have surged to a one-year high of 4.11% as investors turned their noses up at government debt. The rise could also spell trouble for rates offered to consumers ... The swap rate market, which influences the cost of fixed rate mortgages, has seen a significant move up in recent weeks.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:06 PM 4 Comments

When will the masked magician reveal the secret of this trick?

BBC: House prices up for sixth month, says Land Registry

House prices in England and Wales rose for the sixth month in a row in November, the Land Registry says. Prices rose another 0.9% last month, which means that prices were just 0.3% lower than a year ago. The average home in England and Wales now costs £161,554 - £8,800 higher than at its recent low point in April.

Posted by jack c @ 12:13 PM 20 Comments

Happy New Year!

Times: Repossessions

A picture better than a thousand words

Posted by confused76 @ 10:05 AM 7 Comments

The Prime Minister's New Year Message

The Guardian: Gordon Brown: Recovery will lead to 'decade of shared prosperity'

We are a nation that combines responsibility with fairness, compassion with aspiration – always reaching higher, dreaming bigger, aiming for ever greater things.

Posted by devo @ 12:58 AM 15 Comments

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Subliminal messaging

The Times: Companies begin moving production back to UK

Higher freight, energy and commodity costs have increased the expense of production overseas, while the recession has put pressure on companies to re-evaluate decisions on location.

Posted by devo @ 11:02 PM 24 Comments

Decipher this - is Gordon set to run to the polls?

Times: Recession over, says Gordon Brown, as he attacks ‘privileged few’

Quote; "The recovery is still fragile, and it needs to be nurtured in the interests of those who were hit hardest by the recession, the people on middle and modest incomes who don’t want any special favours. They simply want a bit of help to own their own home, set up their own business and give their children the best start in life."

Posted by enuii @ 10:48 PM 18 Comments

Tax free please for JPMorgan as they need to support to create more intruments like the CDOs...

Businessweek: JPMorgan Assails U.K. Tax, Sparks Canary Wharf Doubt

JPMorgan, the second-largest U.S. lender by assets, may scrap its $ 2.4 billion Canary Wharf project because of the bonus tax, the Financial Times reported. The government cannot allow itself to be blackmailed,” Liberal Democrat Vince Cable said today in an e-mailed statement.

Posted by mander @ 10:06 PM 0 Comments

The cost of our debt is rocketing, 4.1% now!

Guardian: Gilt yields hit year's high as investors move into shares

I believe that our gilts are now worse than Italy (4% iirc!). Where will this lead us and what'll happen to our interest rates, surely can't stay at 0.5% for much longer now!

Posted by pauly_boy @ 09:19 PM 2 Comments

Martin Wolf lays it on the line

FT: The challenges of managing our post-crisis world

" article published in the FT this week...argues that economics has redeemed itself by rescuing the world economy from the crisis. I agree, but only up to a point. Many economists argued that the measures were unnecessary, or even harmful. Moreover, these extraordinary interventions have not returned the patient to health. They have merely prevented him from dying. We now must heal five chronic conditions, instead of survive last year’s brutal heart attack." The guvner of UK financial journalists spells out just how far up the creek we really are. This ain't Greg Pytel.

Posted by tpbeta @ 08:44 PM 49 Comments

They just don't get it, do they.

Halifax Courier: Hundreds are told: Quit now

More proof of how the public sector lives in cloud cuckoo land. Take early retirement folks, Muggins, oops, sorry, the council tax payer will subsidise you.

Posted by mr g @ 06:30 PM 1 Comments

Governemt urges parents to show "tough love" to motivate children to find a job and leave home

BBC News: 'Tough love' advice for parents of university graduates

With graduate unemployment the highest for a decade the government advises parents to show some "tough love" by not doing their washing and ironing.

Posted by enuii @ 05:22 PM 8 Comments

UK next I hope(Im sick of renting)

WSJ: Spanish Banks Start to Unload Property Portfolios

MADRID—Spanish savings banks have begun selling off the large property portfolios they acquired as collateral from loan defaults, in an effort to improve solvency ratios, a move that risks further falls in property values that could impair the value of their asset books. I. As the unemployment rate has soared to more than 19%, residential-property buyers have defaulted on loans in massive numbers, as have property developers, overleveraged in a moribund market. As lenders have assumed the collateral on defaulted loans, local financial institutions—particularly unlisted savings banks—have collected properties valued at about €8.5 billion ($12.2 billion) over the past 12 months.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 05:10 PM 3 Comments

Homeowners continue to shun moving, remortgaging or mewing

Guardian: * Money * Borrowing & debt British homeowners continue to trim mortgage debt

Article reveals that whilst we continue to pay down our aggregate net mortgage debt the amount payed down in the third quarter was less than the first and second and mortgage borrowing for November was 43.7% less than the previous year. Meanwhile as the UK's citizens collectively shun borrowing the Government continues to pile on debt at around £20BN per month.

Posted by enuii @ 04:04 PM 0 Comments

Only in Kensington & Chelsea !

Bloomberg: Kensington Streets Most Costly in U.K. on Pound Lure

"The streets in London’s Kensington and Chelsea district have the most expensive U.K. properties with sterling’s slide helping to lure buyers to an area where the average cost of a house exceeds 1 million pounds ($1.6 million). Wycombe Square, where property values have averaged 5.4 million pounds over the past four years, tops the list, Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Halifax division said today. The top 10 streets are all in London with seven in Kensington and Chelsea". For the rest of the UK, the outlook is not so bright - or even outright dismal!

Posted by alan @ 03:09 PM 0 Comments

The Guardian says down, after saying up, then down, then up

The Guardian: House prices predicted to fall in 2010

On the 10th of November the Guardian published and article titled "House prices rising at fastest rate since 2006", with subtitle "The renewed London boom is spreading around the country thanks to cheap money and a shortage of homes for sale". Now this article reads a little different. Interest rates will remain at 0.5% until 2013 according to some, the era of cheap money for the few who are lucky enough to have large deposits and a job will mean that house prices will remain static as a bogus front to the collapsing economy. 1% basically means no change.

Posted by winston fahrenheit @ 11:54 AM 1 Comments

Banker rhymed with canker

FT: The bankers who wouldn’t say sorry: a cautionary tale

Sound comment in the style of Hilaire Belloc. Would be much funnier but for the subject.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:38 AM 3 Comments

Will the Silver bullet finally arrive in 2010?

Citywire: Expecting a house price collapse? It’s unlikely, think tank says

A house price collapse is unlikely next year, despite the prospects for a weak economic recovery and rising unemployment, the Centre for Economics and Business Research concludes. ‘Pundits expecting house price collapse will look like turkeys by next Christmas, unless the pound really fowls up’, the think tank’s managing economist Ben Read said.

Posted by jack c @ 10:51 AM 28 Comments

Hardly sustainable

Reuters: FTSE recovers to pre-Lehman levels

The FTSE 100 has risen to 5,425, recovering to levels not seen since the collapse of Lehman brothers in 2008. The index has risen by 22% this year, and is up 57% since the low in March 2009.

Posted by little professor @ 10:18 AM 1 Comments

Reality of global influence

Guardian: China's execution of Akmal Shaikh enrages British leaders

China executes British citizen for drug smuggling. As Britain and the US lose influence, decisions will increasingly be made out of a Christian context.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:02 AM 21 Comments

Demand from UK house buyers fell in December for the first time since January 2009, according to the

FT: Demand among UK house buyers drops

fall in demand rise in prices?

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 07:41 AM 1 Comments

Up up and away.....

Times online: Year house prices proved they could defy gravity

Yet the reality took everybody by surprise. The bottom of the market was reached at Easter and in some areas houses were trading at peak 2007 levels by the summer.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 07:30 AM 1 Comments

Legislation to stop one btl repo - legal aid only for homeowners

AP: Repossession loophole to be closed

The problem came to light last year after a buy-to-let lender repossessed a property after the borrower got into arrears. The Government also said more than 33,000 people had been helped during the year to the end of September by a scheme under which homeowners facing repossession hearings at courts are given free advice.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 07:26 AM 6 Comments

Just pay off their bl00dy mortgage


JUST 15 families have been helped by the Government’s flagship repossession prevention scheme – at a staggering cost of £164,226 each.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 07:21 AM 2 Comments

Only another 300,000 job losses to come! Happy New Year!

BBC: Unemployment 'will peak at 2.8m' in 2010

Unemployment will peak at 2.8 million in 2010, according to the latest forecast from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:40 AM 0 Comments

Job seekers

The Times: Mandelson tells parents how to deal with the boomerang generation

This year’s graduates started at university three or four years ago during a buoyant employment market, said Denise Taylor, a career coach and author of the guide, “so everything has been geared up for them getting a graduate job, and in the last year the economic climate has changed”. Boys find it particularly difficult to accept more menial jobs in call centres or as shop assistants.

Posted by devo @ 12:14 AM 5 Comments

Monday, December 28, 2009

Things must be getting bad

Times: Ministers ‘to take control’ of hospital charity cash

Looks like there are one set of rules for one balance sheet and another for the government, how many people are going to think twice about supporting their local Hospital if such a move effectively subsidises the governments own balance sheet rather than the worthy cause it was intended for! Not HPC but it's quiet hours and hearing reports of this sort of thing disturbs me.

Posted by enuii @ 11:08 PM 2 Comments

LOL @ 100% Property Finance

Property Development Advice Blog: The Myth of 100% Property Development Finance

When you are starting out in the property development industry, you will no doubt look online to learn more about the different types of finance available to property developers. In the current climate it is very difficult to find development finance (we will discuss this in another post). Many of the websites belonging to brokers offering this sort of finance have since gone out of business and their websites are least two years out of date.

Posted by theemperorhasnoclothes @ 11:06 PM 0 Comments

Britain was once known as ‘The Workshop of the World'.

The First Post: Open up the factories and get Britain moving again

Britain, since the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979, has been a country where manufacturing industry - and a diverse, mixed economy, has been sacrificed at the altar of free market dogma. We have allowed important industries to close, or be sold overseas - mistakenly pinning our hopes on a burgeoning financial services sector fuelling long-term economic growth What is needed for Britain to achieve long-term sustainable growth is for the Labour Party to once again put industry first and end its disastrous 12-year love-in with the City.

Posted by devo @ 11:04 PM 6 Comments

Term deposits being prepared to drain liquidity from the US

Federal Reserve: Press Release: Term Deposits

Herein is phase 1 of the exit strategy which is needed to keep rates low. Drain the liquidity using term deposits. There are many more options to take money from the system, not least selling treasuries. Hyperinflation just got shot in the heart.

Posted by fallingbuzzard @ 10:25 PM 6 Comments

A good read

The Times: This is what public servants must do to fix Britain — nothing

One of this country’s most serious (and most expensive) problems is that there is too much that doesn’t matter going on. An obsession with what is of little or no importance diverts people’s time and energy and money from what matters most. It stands in the way of people who really do need to do something. This must stop. That’s why my new year’s resolution for many people is to do a lot less.

Posted by devo @ 09:49 PM 3 Comments

This could change Wall St

Bloomberg: War on Wall Street as Congress Sees Returning to Glass-Steagall

US "Lawmakers in both parties, seeking to prevent future financial crises while soothing public anger over bailouts and bonuses, are turning to an approach that’s both simple and transformative: re-imposing sections of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking". This is a one page proposal - so it seems like someone is serious - Citi won't be in favour, that's for sure! Meanwhile, some senators are still looking for someone to blame for the sub-prime mortgage crisis - remember that?

Posted by alan @ 09:12 PM 1 Comments

Chinese whispers

Xinhua: Economic uncertainty clouds prospects for British house prices

There is uncertainty over the likely state of the British housing market in 2010 with experts on Monday making contrary predictions. Hometrack has issued a gloomy prediction of a 1% fall in house prices over 2010. Rising unemployment and pressures on household incomes are expected to outweigh inflationary pressures. Meanwhile the CEBR issued a prediction of a 2-4% rise in house prices for 2010, with a 15% rise by the end of 2012. As long as housebuilding does not keep up with demand, prices will rise, said spokesman Ben Read. The dramatic collapse in housebuilding in the last two years as a result of the financial crisis and the recession that came in its wake will feed through into prices over the next five years, he added.

Posted by little professor @ 08:33 PM 1 Comments

Today the U.S. government, directly or indirectly, underwrites nine of every 10 new residential mort

Wall Street Journal: After the Bailouts, Washington's the Boss

To prevent crumbling housing and credit markets from sinking the broad economy, the Bush and Obama administrations and the Federal Reserve spent, lent and invested more than $2 trillion on one initiative after another.

Posted by devo @ 07:50 PM 9 Comments

FT's Norma Cohen in lying headline

Financial Times: New Mortage numbers return to 2007 levels

Norma Cohen must have a vested interest in talking up the housing market. What a lying misleading headline. Mortage approvals of around 40k pale into insigificance next to the kind 200k plus seen from 2004. June 2006 saw 211k for example. what the headline perhaps should have reported if the FT were interested in accuracy would be something like:" mortgage numbers still 80-90% down on peak.

Posted by behr100 @ 07:43 PM 0 Comments

Forecast for 2010

Are bankers socially useful?

Telegraph: Guy Hands blasts bankers for earning 'wheelbarrows of money'

Not HP material but still a topic that has been discussed on HPC previously.

Posted by mr g @ 04:39 PM 1 Comments

Another of Gordon's achievements

Financial crisis: brace up for more of the same

Greg Pytel: Even more uncomfortable truth

This article, commented by Stephen Herring of BDO Stoy Hayward, is even more up to date now than when it was published back in September. Pytel seems to have a really good grasp on what’s going on. Encourage you to visit his blog: the endorsements of his blog are top-drawer. Don’t be put off that some articles are a bit longish and detailed, but at the end they reveal the mechanism of a pyramid scheme that is the root cause of this crisis and his judgments has been spot-on thus far.

Posted by ant @ 04:16 PM 5 Comments

Ever felt you've been had?

WSJ: U.S. Move to Cover Fannie, Freddie Losses Stirs Controversy

The Obama administration's decision to cover an unlimited amount of losses at the mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the next three years stirred controversy over the holiday. The Treasury announced Thursday it was removing the caps that limited the amount of available capital to the companies to $200 billion each. Unlimited access to bailout funds through 2012 was "necessary for preserving the continued strength and stability of the mortgage market," the Treasury said. Fannie and Freddie purchase or guarantee most U.S. home mortgages and have run up huge losses stemming from the worst wave of defaults since the 1930s.

Posted by devo @ 02:41 PM 3 Comments

Stagnation or fall

Observer: Homeowners braced for unhappy new year

Happy New Year to us.

Posted by letthemfall @ 02:35 PM 1 Comments

I just don't buy it

The Observer: * Business * Green shoots Signs of hope for the economy in 2010

Despite the UK's lingering recession, there are reasons to believe the worst of the crisis is over

Posted by devo @ 11:21 AM 2 Comments

One for Le Crunch

The independent: [Charlie] Sheen 'used weapon during assault'

hmmmm perhaps Crunchie was right all along.... Isnt Charlie Sheen a major celeb advocate for the investigation of 9/11? What better way to discredit him than to run a "story" that he is a good for nothing womaniser / wifebeater. And as for the Nigerian bomber what better way than to keep bomb threats on planes in the news than to have someone "planted" to cause fear even though there was never any real danger??? OR maybe Charlie is a bit unbalanced and threatens his wife (maybe we should ask Denise Richards? - Well any excuse as far as im concerned) OR maybe the Nigerian bloke was a complete nutter. "Go figure" [Apologies to people on this site who want to keep it for HPNews - but can we just get all this stuff out of the way once and for all!!! - And ONLY discuss HPs and the Economy??]

Posted by techieman @ 10:52 AM 7 Comments

While the value of the pound plunges house prices will rise 2-4% according to CEBR

Telegraph: Pound could soon be worth less than euro, warns CEBR

The parlous state of Britain's finances and the uncertainty over UK fiscal policy could push the pound below parity with the euro in the next few months while UK house prices will continue to grow in 2010!

Posted by enuii @ 10:41 AM 6 Comments

JD without interuption

BBC 5 Live: Johnathan Davies (FP) potificates

in at 2:37:28. Maybe its me or maybe its too much Christmas pud or maybe its an overload of Christmas cheer, but a fair few contradictions by JD to my mind in his analysis. No others to get his goat either. Still in conclusion Message is same - more falls to come..

Posted by techieman @ 10:12 AM 9 Comments

BBC explains why "slowdown" won't last

BBC: House price increase 'slows down' in December

"Growth in house prices in England and Wales slowed in December, according to property website Hometrack. It said the average cost of a home rose by just 0.1% to £156,900, as the number of house-hunters fell by 2.2%. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:27 AM 3 Comments

UK Inflation Forecast 2010

The Market Oracle: UK CPI Inflation Forecast 2010, Imminent and Sustained Spike Above 3%

The UK Inflation forecast for 2010 seeks to replicate the accurate forecast of 2009 (30 Dec 2008 - UK CPI Inflation, RPI Deflation Forecast 2009) proved remarkably accurate with the road map contributing towards the generation of many accurate projections for subsequent trends throughout 2009 and not least for UK savers that for those that followed my cue of fixing savings at rates of above 5% for 1 - 2 years would not have been burned by the subsequent crash in UK interest rates to pittance of as low as 0.1% on savings accounts across the bailed out banking sector and later for stock market investors that monetized on the stealth bull market that began in March 2009 the genesis for which was in the preceding inflation analysis forecast.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 04:31 AM 2 Comments

Commentary from the Financial Times

FT: Corporate optimism highest in six years

Britain’s business leaders are more optimistic about the UK economy improving than at any point in the past six years, according to an annual survey of captains of industry.

Posted by devo @ 01:14 AM 17 Comments

Now what would they want to do that for?

The Telegraph: Property firms draw up 'living wills' to survive market crash

Some of Britain's biggest commercial property companies have drawn up contingency plans – effectively "living wills" – to try to ensure they can survive any future crash in the market without turning to shareholders or banks for help.

Posted by devo @ 12:59 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Scarcity of buyers breaks the back of Britain’s housing market recovery

The Times: Scarcity of buyers breaks the back of Britain’s housing market recovery

Nothing wrong with house prices, by the end of 2012 they'll be 15% higher with people moving roughly every 31 years. Bizarre contradictory article rescued only by the unitentional humour of the title.

Posted by baudot @ 10:23 PM 0 Comments

Nothing new here

Telegraph: Buyers priced out of the UK housing market

House price affordability has started falling for the first time since the slump in property values, meaning that prices are now once again moving out of reach of the average buyer. The affordability of UK property market has been falling since the middle of 2009, according to exclusive new research produced for The Sunday Telegraph by Lombard Street Research (LSR). The survey shows that house prices have once again started outpacing the increase in the average family's disposable income, meaning that the best opportunities for good value property have passed. "We are unlikely to see the scale of house price declines we did recently for some time."

Posted by drewster @ 04:39 PM 15 Comments

Add IR rise, and there will be a lot of people struggling with their mortgage

Telegraph: Millions face new pay freeze in 2010

Millions of people face a second year of pay freezes or salary cuts next year, dashing hopes that the end of the recession will ease the squeeze on family budgets. Up to two-thirds of companies in the private sector plan to freeze or cut pay next year — a substantial increase compared with this year. The grim forecast, at a time when prices are expected to rise significantly during the new year, has enraged union leaders and brought threats of a series of strikes if workers see their spending power slashed for the second year running. It also brings home how the pain of the recession will continue to be felt with households facing higher taxes as well as higher prices.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 11:50 AM 5 Comments

It’s already bad. But it is going to get worse.

Greg Pytel: Is the pyramid collapse about to resume?

… in the meantime best of luck for 2010. We really need one. (Not really for fainthearted or high-spirited during this festive season. Those should spare the reading till the first week of January to mix it with clinical hangover and general post-Christmas depression. It will make an easier reading:-)

Posted by ant @ 10:20 AM 34 Comments

UK House Prices to Rise into General Election

The Market Oracle: UK House Prices Continue 2010 Debt Fuelled Election Bounce

On going research suggests that the debt fuelled economic recovery is expected to continue into mid 2010 that could see house prices up by as much as 10% year on year and therefore contrary to the widespread view of flat house prices during 2010,

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 05:36 AM 0 Comments

A tale of two halves

Times: The recovery of the housing market

This time last year, the headlines were full of doom for the housing market. Prices had already dropped sharply and all the indications were that they were poised to fall even further — with the gloomier analysts expecting double-digit declines. Well, what a difference a year makes. The latest surveys by Halifax and the Nationwide show that house prices have, in fact, surged for the past five months in a row, reversing most of the losses for 2009. What happened? Lucian puts it down to pent-up demand from cash-rich buyers, combined with low stock levels. “It’s become a supply-and- demand situation,” he says. Speedy action by the Bank of England also helped. Cutting interest rates had a huge impact.

Posted by little professor @ 12:16 AM 15 Comments

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gearing up for the Election - Let's tell the truth

Mail Online: Hard hats on, here comes the Rotten Election

Vince Cable "We need to do away with the misguided notion that wealth is created by sitting in a house watching its price go up."

Posted by thirdeye @ 08:33 PM 0 Comments

Lend us £247 million mate

Timesonline: Ross fights to save 'empire'

how many of these deals were done on the golf course? many grant bovey 'entrepreneurs' are there. How many way ott lending deals are there and who benefitted?

Posted by taffee @ 09:39 AM 3 Comments

A little realism goes a long way.

Times: UK house price gap continues to widen

As 2009 comes to a surprisingly upbeat close, some homeowners are struggling to feel the joy. House price surveys might universally be showing recovery in the property market, but a new report hints at what many observers have suspected to be true: the gains are being felt only for some types of homes in some areas.

Posted by dill @ 06:38 AM 50 Comments

Telegraph backs up its bear stance with articles of substance.

Daily telelegraph: Noughties:the lies that saw in a decade of debt.

Excellent article on the decade of spin and loose spending credit, particularly like theliving beyond ones means, although thats been foisted on us (site members and their associated kin) by the greedy and stupid. Merry Christmas !! Hopefully my 4 week old will inherit a corrected Britain (if she ever sleeps that is. LOL)

Posted by don @ 12:49 AM 0 Comments

Does Mervyn King talk to Ben Bernanke?

Zero Hedge: Brace For Impact: In 2010, Demand For US Fixed Income Has To Increase Elevenfold... Or Else

If someone asks you what happened in 2009, the answer is simple - two things. There was a huge credit and liquidity crunch, and then there was Quantitative Easing. The last is the Fed's equivalent of band-aiding a zombied and ponzied corpse, better known as the US economy.

Posted by devo @ 12:05 AM 13 Comments

Friday, December 25, 2009

Fun parlour game for Christmas: count the logical fallacies in the Daily Express

Express: Christmas Cheer in Short Supply for UK Homeowners

BELEAGURED UK homeowners were given little Christmas cheer today as experts predicted further chaos in the property market throughout 2010. While many property experts agree the time is right to buy due to historically low interest rates, the mortgage market is expected to remain stale well into 2010 spelling further turmoil for stricken first time buyers and families looking to upsize. Andrew Montlake of mortgage broker Coreco told "This year has been carnage for people desperate to buy. Lenders have made it extremely difficult for the majority of people to take advantage of low rates and low prices. As a mortgage broker we've had seen massive demand with people wanting to know if interests rates will stay low."

Posted by drewster @ 07:18 PM 7 Comments

Obama kicks the housing foreclosure can down the road

Bloomberg: U.S. Treasury Ends Cap on Fannie, Freddie Lifeline for 3 Years

"The U.S. Treasury Department will remove the caps on aid to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the next three years, to allay investor concerns that the companies will exhaust the available government assistance. The two companies, the largest sources of mortgage financing in the U.S., are currently under government conservatorship and have caps of $200 billion each on backstop capital from the Treasury". "Foreclosure filings exceeded 300,000 in November for a ninth consecutive month", no doubt prompting this action.

Posted by alan @ 12:17 PM 10 Comments

Barclays’ CEO on banks liquidity and the current crisis

Greg Pytel: Will extra tax levy on the bankers' bonuses really "damage" the City?

Pytel published an exchange of arguments with John Varley, Barclays’ CEO. Mr Varley appears not to understand the basics of money multiplication (e.g. fractional reserve banking v depleting reserve banking) and ensuing liquidity risk levels. His current defence of bankers’ remuneration is not really credible. Bankers should go back to school to learn the basics not even of finance but rudimentary maths first before they ask for bonuses or any salary. The lack of basic competence is mind-boggling and truly dengerous. A possible loss of so-called “talent” from the City (resulting from high taxes on bonuses) will only bring benefits to the UK economy. The sooner the better.

Posted by ant @ 12:17 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gordon was right then - we are best placed to weather the storm?

BBC News: Is UK government debt really that high?

At 69% of GDP the UK still has the lowest debt of all the 'leading' developed economies, and although it is continuously increasing, even by 2014 it will still be at a similar fraction to that of France, as predicted by the IMF. Happy Christmas.

Posted by millaise @ 09:58 PM 0 Comments

Where next? UK?

The National: Consturction Workers in Dubai Strike

These guys work in some of the hardest conditions imaginable. If you have ever been to Dubai in the middle of summer, you will know that being fully overalled in 49 degree heat is not pleasant. £100 a month - this is why Dubai may not struggle quite as much as everyone thinks! Or maybe, more, if you take the view that if they van't pay £100 a month, times must really be bad!

Posted by brickormortis @ 03:01 PM 4 Comments

Hey, the secret is out!

WSJ: Britain’s Cost of Borrowing Rises

"Investors are demanding more these days in return for lending to the U.K. government. That’s bad news for Britain, which has a lot of borrowing to do — in the form of selling bonds". "Some worry that government bond yields could rise sharply next year, or even spike, hiking up Britain’s borrowing costs. Here’s why: For months now, the U.K.’s central bank has been buying mostly government bonds in a bid to pump up the economy. That is keeping bond prices artificially high and yields relatively low. The fear is that once Bank officials withdraw their hand from the market — which could possibly happen next year — yields may jump up".

Posted by alan @ 02:42 PM 8 Comments

Even the "experts" are catching on

Mail online: Labour's borrowing 'to drive up loan rates' say experts

Massive Government borrowing will push interest rates up next year, say experts. Average mortgage payments could increase by more than £200 a month, it is feared. Analysts at Credit Suisse, which has been hired to advise the Treasury on the financial crisis, have warned that interest rates on government debt will start to rise early next year. The bank's experts expect the difference between interest rates on gilts - bonds issued by Britain to finance its debts - and those on German debt, regarded as a benchmark, to rise dramatically

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 11:09 AM 7 Comments

Interesting exercise in doublespeak

The Telegraph: I'm dreaming of a cashless Christmas

Edmund Conway says that we should have nothing to fear about giving up those grubby notes and coins.

Posted by devo @ 10:13 AM 19 Comments

Vampire squid of the EAs fights back

Times: Foxton's spurred by bank victory

More bad news for the BTL sector. I am surprised anyone still thinks of residential property as an "investment".

Posted by chrisch @ 09:41 AM 9 Comments

London: December price fall shock!

Hounslow Chronicle: House prices down 6.2% in Hounslow borough

House prices down 6.2% in Hounslow borough / Dec 23 2009 Homeowners in Hounslow suffered a blow last week as nearly £30,000 was wiped from the average house price during a single month, according to new figures. House prices in Hounslow fell by 6.2 per cent compared to November, the biggest drop in London, statistics from the property website Rightmove show. The huge fall means the average house in the borough is now worth £434,250, down 1.7 per cent from this time last year.Across London, asking prices fell by an average of 1.2 per cent, with just eight out of 32 boroughs showing any growth. Kingston was one of the few winners, with prices up by 2.6 per cent to just over £540,000, while at the other end of the scale prices in Kensington & Chelsea fell five per cent to £1.87 million.

Posted by charlie white @ 08:47 AM 5 Comments

If you read it out loud it sounds like "UK"

FT: Ukraine's plea for $2bn loan refused by IMF

The International Monetary Fund has turned down recession-battered Ukraine's plea for a $2bn emergency loan before next year, a senior Ukrainian official said yesterday, citing his country's failure to adopt a fiscally prudent 2010 budget and muster political consensus before the presidential election. But officials said the financially stretched government had other options that might allow it to get through the coming months, to help pay energy import bills as well as pensions and public-sector wages. Officials have warned that Kiev's financial woes could "spill over" into Europe, whose banks hold a 40 per cent market share in Ukraine.

Posted by drewster @ 08:39 AM 4 Comments

And so it begins ...

Telegraph: Gilts sell-off as Britain joins Italy in debt house

The cost of borrowing for the British Government has surged to within a whisker of Italian levels as global markets issue their punishing verdict on the Government’s spending plans. The yield on 10-year gilts spiked Wednesday to 3.97pc, 46 basis points higher than costs on French bonds. Britain and France were neck and neck as recently as last month, before Labour’s pre-Budget report raised deep concerns among Chinese, Arab, and Russian investors. Julian Callow, Barclays Capital, said “The Bank has bought more gilts over the last nine months than the Government has issued. It has magically eradicated the cost of financing the deficits, but this is going twist dramatically the other way in early 2010. Markets know this. They are demanding a risk premium on sterling.”

Posted by wanderinman @ 12:24 AM 31 Comments

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Housebuilder LEGO pulls Denmark out of Recession!

MAIL: Why Britain is still in recession

"The Bank of England can't keep rates at 0.5 per cent forever, and the Treasury will have to start hiking taxes and slashing public spending to tackle its £178bn deficit. For households, the process of rebuilding savings and paying off debt will take longer than just one quarter. It seems hard to imagine we will see a consumer rebound any time soon". (I think UK house prices will dip accordingly in 2010). Keep buying those LEGO kits, kids!

Posted by alan @ 09:17 PM 12 Comments

But interest payments down 30.6%(my savings paying their mortgage)

Mail online: Families hit by the worst wages crash in 50 years

Families have suffered the biggest crash in wages on record, official figures showed yesterday. They slumped by 1.3 per cent during the July-September quarter compared with the same period of 2008. The Office for National Statistics said this was the biggest annual slump since it began collecting wages data in 1955

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 06:58 PM 5 Comments

Unexpectedly...not for me.

BBC News: US new home sales plunge in November

Sales of new homes in the US plunged in November, casting fresh doubts on the recovery in the housing market. The Commerce Department said sales fell by 11.3% ... The phrase....dropped off a cliff springs to mind. You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can get everyone to believe house prices are always going to go up. Now stop giving the banks our money and let the real recovery begin here too.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 04:21 PM 0 Comments

Meanwhile in the US...

Happy new year......

Reuters uk: Unrest risks seen rising in 2010 as stimulus ends

LONDON (Reuters) - Civil unrest and attacks on minorities did not rise sharply during the economic crisis in 2009 as many predicted, but with unemployment still high and stimulus packages being withdrawn the risk could rise next year.

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:06 PM 6 Comments

Fewer people can afford to buy a house

BBC: Long-term unemployment has doubled, TUC says

"The number of people on Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for more than a year has nearly doubled, the TUC has said. Those claiming JSA for more than 12 months rose to 201,015 in November 2009, up from 103,930 in December 2008".

Posted by alan @ 01:12 PM 1 Comments

Not Para-gone yet :(

Wall Street Journal: UK Lender Paragon Still Standing As Rivals Fade

Investors have bet on the demise of U.K. buy-to-let lender Paragon twice. Both times, they were proved wrong. And, far from disappearing, after a rough ride and near-panic by investors in the past two years, the Midlands-based company just reported a profit for 2009 and hiked its dividend, helping to push its once-freefalling share price upward and restoring some optimism in the market. It iseven thinking about ending its freeze on new lending, as confidence in the U.K. housing and funding markets slowly is restored.

Posted by little professor @ 12:44 PM 4 Comments

Rates on hold + no more QE

Guardian: UK still vulnerable

Happy New Year

Posted by chrisch @ 11:49 AM 0 Comments

Buyer and cash are flooding the market the next housing boom is upon us.

Guardian: Mortgage approvals reach two-year high

Number of approvals up by 150% in 12 months, but the BBA says comparisons do not reflect a strong market. Buyer and cash are flooding the market the next housing boom is upon us.

Posted by wiston fahrenheit @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

This wasn't in the script

BBC: Consumers look to pay off debts

High Street banks have provided more evidence of consumers concentrating on savings and paying off debts in the downturn. Figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) showed that total consumer credit has contracted by 2.2% over the last year. But the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases has reached the same level as two years ago. There were 44,713 mortgages approved, up 2,161 on the previous month.

Posted by jack c @ 11:21 AM 2 Comments

One last QE push for 2009

Citywire: Bank of England ponders further boost to quantitative easing

The Bank of England is considering pumping a further £25 billion into the economy despite the recent surge in inflation, it emerged today. An increase in the central bank’s quantitative easing (QE) program from the current £200 billion budget ‘could still be justified’, according to newly-published minutes from the Monetary Policy Committee’s latest meeting held two weeks ago.

Posted by jack c @ 11:04 AM 20 Comments

Wonky moral compass

CNN: Priest: Thou shalt not steal (unless it's from big business)

A UK priest has defended his comments that it is acceptable to steal from large companies. Tim Jones, parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda, told his congregation in York, northern England: "My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift."

Posted by devo @ 08:06 AM 54 Comments

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Would you adam and eve it!

Times: Thrifty families accused of prolonging the recession

Lovely confused and contradictory article that in one sentence bangs on about the virtues of Keynes and how bad saving is for the economy and in the next reveals that the UK consumer on average carries debts of 180% of net disposable income, a figure that is the highest in Western countries!

Posted by enuii @ 10:54 PM 45 Comments

Expect this for another ten years. Seriously.

BBC 'News': House sales fall in November

I thought the media were telling us that it was all over ... this time last year!

Posted by paul @ 09:26 PM 3 Comments

Up to 10% is that all

Daily mail: House prices will FALL by up to 10% in 2010, top economists warn

Capital Economics has one of the most pessimistic forecast, expecting house prices to drop by ten per cent during 2010, followed by a further ten per cent slide during 2011 or 2011 and 2012.

Posted by sold out @ 05:45 PM 9 Comments

Taxpayers: Happy New Year 2010 and brace up for coughing up more money

Greg Pytel: Banks are behaving like loan sharks

Bankers bonuses story is diverting our attention from a larger problem that is brewing up in the financial system. It looks increasingly likely that next year we, the taxpayers, will be rescuing banks with even more money. In the meantime we may well have a Marry Christmas.

Posted by ant @ 03:06 PM 7 Comments

Deep structural problems

Guardian: The global economy's decade of debt-fuelled boom and bust

Good analysis of the world's economic problems. Looks like the bust is coming.

Posted by letthemfall @ 02:22 PM 2 Comments

S&P says "We no longer consider the UK to rank among the most stable and low-risk banking systems"

Telegraph: Britain's banks to hold back recovery, warns S&P

Standard & Poor's on Monday lowered the collective rating of Britain's banks in anticipation of "high credit losses". By slashing the "banking industry country risk assessment" (BICRA) from group two to group three, the UK's financial system is now considered less secure than those of Italy and Belgium, and on a par with Chile, Portugal and Austria. It added that UK banks had no option but to reduce their debt, which "will lead to an elevated rate of loan losses for the next two years [and] will weigh on the growth prospects for the UK relative to many other large mature market economies" The agency is particularly concerned about debt levels in "households and in the property and construction related sector". It expects banks to rack up loan losses of between £150bn and £250bn to 2011"

Posted by cat and canary @ 02:18 PM 1 Comments

Remember this ol' Brown chestnut?...

Telegraph: Cost of Government scheme to avoid repossession is £165,000 per household

"The Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme was announced in a big fanfare a year ago to help struggling borrowers stay in their homes, but has ended up helping just 15 families so far. The Government confirmed today that the scheme has cost the taxpayer £2.5 million. With the average price of home £165,000, experts suggested the Government may have just have bought the homes outright for the 15 families it had helped. Housing minister Grant Shapps said: “These figures will be a slap in the face for the 1,000 families who are being repossessed every week.Increasing numbers of home owners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, with almost 270,000 at least three months in arrears at the end of September this year, compared to 166,000 during the same period a year earlier"

Posted by cat and canary @ 02:14 PM 2 Comments

Oops - no recovery then?

But But... RICS Said Everthing Was Fine.

Findaproperty: Rental Index December 2009

Rents fell by 1.3% in December taking levels back to the beginning of the upturn in May. Rents are 3% (£25pcm) lower than a year ago. The supply of properties available to rent increased in December by 1.7% following a period of falling stock levels. Gross yields fall to low of 4.52%

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:57 AM 7 Comments

No more accidental landlords?

RICS: Rents set to start rising

Surveyors expect to see rent rises in the New Year as the number of rental properties coming onto the market fell for the first time since January 2008, says the latest RICS Lettings Survey. The recent pick up in the housing market seems to have led to a drop off in the number of rental properties, particularly houses, being made available and as a result surveyor optimism has increased for the first time since July 2008. 22 percent more surveyors expect rents to rise rather than fall in the next three months. The drop off in supply is the main driver for the more positive sentiment, with new instructions reaching their lowest levels in the surveys history (since 1998).

Posted by drewster @ 07:13 AM 12 Comments

Green shoots aplenty

Independent: House prices to keep rising next year

House prices will continue to defy predictions of reverses, rising by 1 to 2 per cent over the course of next year, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) forecast yesterday. The body said that despite warnings that the housing market recovery might prove temporary, it believed that continued shortages of supply and rising demand would push prices up. The prediction is in contrast to warnings from economists such as the former Monetary Policy Committee member Kate Barker, who has said that the recovery might not be sustainable. Organisations such as the National Association of Estate Agents and the Council of Mortgage Lenders have said that a shortage of first-time buyers might act as a natural brake on the market. Stamp duty rises in January may also be a problem.

Posted by drewster @ 07:11 AM 3 Comments

Monday, December 21, 2009

The sooner the better

Reuters: Rates set to rise early next year

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain faces a long road to recovery and growth will be modest in 2010, but that will not prevent the Bank of England from raising interest rates early next year, according to the Confederation of British Industry. In its latest quarterly economic forecast, the lobby group said it reckoned the BoE will start raising interest rates from their record low of 0.5 percent from next spring to reach 2 percent by the end of the year.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 09:30 PM 44 Comments

After Osborne's article, here's what business thinks

Citywire: CBI predicts early interest rate hikes despite subdued economic recovery

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said it expects the first rate increase - from the current record low of 0.5% - in the spring and for the rate to hit 2% by the end of the year.

Posted by lukeskywalker @ 05:57 PM 0 Comments

Festive Cheer and Finance....

The Renegade Economist: Christmas Special with Max Keiser

Not much on house prices just a light hearted take during these frothy festive times...

Posted by neo-serf @ 03:42 PM 0 Comments

The start of the HIP U-Turn ?

HIP Consultant: Conservatives to consult on Home Information Packs (HIPs)

Is this the start of the Conservative U turn on HIPs. It does seem as their policy of scrapping HIPs has big pitfalls and we could see thew property market stall again. Interesting to read they are now saying it will go to consultation.

Posted by kaz @ 12:57 PM 9 Comments

Proxy bet on IRs rising

William Hill: 8/1 Government To Apply For I M F Loan

William Hill are offering odds of 8/1 that the Government will have to go to the IMF for a loan before the Gweneral Election takes place. 'Having to go cap in hand to the IMF would be the ultimate humiliation for Messrs Brown and Darling, but there are plenty of punters prepared to bet that it will happen.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 11:24 AM 9 Comments

George Osborne on Tory policy

Telegraph: Rising IR Must be avoided

He promises cuts to appease foreign investors and prevent IR from taking off, thus helping the home owner. However, this will impact just as strongly on HP as public sector jobs are lost and salaries across the board are restrained. Still the right way to go.

Posted by nomad @ 10:51 AM 14 Comments

House price rises predicted.....

Times: Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come has cheer on houses

''Against most economists’ expectations, almost every housing market indicator has turned up. Mortgage approvals have more than doubled from the low point (though net mortgage borrowing remains very subdued) and prices have recouped about a third of their previous losses. On the Halifax and the Nationwide measures, prices are set to rise by about 5 per cent this year (December/December).''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:09 AM 4 Comments

Economy in 2010 - by the CBI

Independent: British economy faces long hard slog to real recovery

"Next year, the business group is forecasting growth of 1.2 per cent – near the bottom end of the range of 1 to 1.5 per cent that Mr Darling forsees. Thereafter, the CBI is forecasting growth of 2.5 per cent in 2011, which would be insufficient to return Britain to its pre-recession growth rate by the end of the year. The Chancellor, by contrast, expects the British economy to grow by 3.5 per cent in both 2011 and 2012". "Mr Cridland said the Government will come under further sustained pressure to offer a clear roadmap of the return to health of the public finances, with international credit rating agencies continuing to monitor UK borrowing levels very closely".

Posted by alan @ 02:02 AM 0 Comments

Xmas ramping

Times: Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come has cheer on houses

The consensus was for a 10% fall in 2009. Since then, against most economists’ expectations, almost every housing market indicator has turned up. House prices have risen 5% year-on-year.Why, in defiance of economists’ expectations, has the housing market recovered? Unlike the 1990s, it was a lack of mortgage financing, rather than surging unemployment and rising interest rates, which caused the dip. Demand did not disappear, but was constrained by lack of lending. The British have a longstanding love-affair with housing. As a vehicle for saving, it has served us well over a long period of time. In a small, crowded, island it is likely to continue to do so. Prices are likely to rise by 5-10% in 2010. So, like Dickens’s story of Scrooge, this one has a happy ending.

Posted by little professor @ 01:04 AM 11 Comments

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Goodbye to 'Extend and pretend.'

Telegraph: UK property black hole threatens banks' lending

"Britain is at risk of a mass sell-off of distressed properties that would send values into a double dip and impair the lending ability of banks. " Well zip-a-dee-do-dah. Al-right they're talking about commercial property but don't imagine residential would escape this gravity well if indeed this speculation were true.

Posted by tpbeta @ 10:07 PM 6 Comments

Now if we can get the masses to think along these lines, when it come's to housing !

Yahoo: Christmas number 1 revealed

OK then, only teasing. We'll confine ourselves here to the facts of what has been a quite extraordinary week. 'Killing In The Name' by Rage Against The Machine scores a sensational berth at Number One for Christmas with a total sale of 502,000 leaving X Factor 2009 winner Joe McElderry trailing with a still impressive total of 451,000 copies.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:04 PM 16 Comments

Another one for the gold bugs

Telegraph: Patients selling their braces as price of gold rises

It s about to pop... after the taxi driver and the owner of the corner shop tell you about gold... now you get the chance to be offered dental braces too... this raises the bubble to a new level of poetry

Posted by confused76 @ 07:54 PM 11 Comments

Wish you weren't here

Independent: Goldman Sachs threatens Spanish move

Goldman Sachs has threatened the UK Treasury with plans to move up to 20 per cent of its London-based staff to Spain in a stand-off over tax and bonuses. It's believed that the Wall Street investment bank, which paid more than £2bn to the Exchequer's ailing coffers in corporation tax alone last year, has fired a warning shot across the Government's bows in response to the tax measures unveiled in the pre-Budget report earlier this month. Barclays' chief executive, John Varley, waded into the bonus debate on Friday, warning that talent was likely to flee London because of the tax. "This is a global industry and talent is mobile. We need a level playing field to make sure that we can compete with the best companies in the world," he said.

Posted by drewster @ 06:44 PM 9 Comments

Pleading for more bailouts

Irish Independent: Government can defuse negative equity time bomb

Irish house prices may be down 50% from their peak by the end of 2010, leaving one in five homeowners in negative equity. To say that someone should just sit tight and love their home does not take into account the Irish way of buying houses - the so-called property ladder. The property ladder philosophy is that people started out by buying a small apartment or starter home and then traded their way up. It was a system that worked well for us for many years. But negative equity threatens to destroy that system by destroying mobility. Various options that could help. Creative 125% or 50-year mortgages would allow more people to hang on to their homes. The Government should abolish stamp duty for one year, or at least allow owners to write off their losses against stamp duty.

Posted by little professor @ 01:50 PM 14 Comments

Of course if you rent, this isn't an issue

BBC news: High cost of living proves costly for flat buyers

Best line here: "Once the market picks up, we want to move". Best get settled then - you'll have a looong wait.

Posted by paul @ 10:34 AM 6 Comments

Interest rates going up, prices coming down.

Independent: Remortgaging is now the best time?

Some rather bearish tones from the IoS.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:01 AM 3 Comments

Brown sets course fpr 30% econonmic collapse


Gordo has been accused of signing a £500bn death warrant for the UK economy by pledging to cut CO2 levels to 42% below where they were in the 1990s. He also thought it was timely to hand over £7.5bn in taxpayers cash. And all because he wants to be able to say he saved the world

Posted by mikelvingstone @ 08:58 AM 0 Comments

Banks eager to take the bonus but risk is still high! (See closing paragraph)

Guardian - Business Comment: Bank of England expert calls the bankers' bluff

It's fortunate for a number of reasons that the BA cabin crew strike has been averted – not least because disenchanted bankers can head for Heathrow right now, if that's what they really want. The argument that banks and bankers are highly mobile and would leave London if provoked is endlessly deployed to defend bonuses, but it is not interrogated nearly enough. Now Andy Haldane, the Bank of England's head of financial stability, has called the bankers' bluff. He is on safe ground to suppose there will not be overspill in the departure lounge.

Posted by tim lozinski @ 07:59 AM 0 Comments

And another 2 bite the dust!

Bloomberg: Seven U.S. Banks Are Seized, Raising Year’s Failure Toll to 140

Seven U.S. banks were seized by regulators, bringing this year’s total of failed lenders to 140... Federal Bank was the biggest lender seized yesterday... U.S. lenders are buckling under the weight of loans tied to commercial real estate, which is plummeting in value. Prices have dropped 43 percent from their peak in October 2007, Moody’s Investors Service said last month. Biggest lender seized to date. Still more to come.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 01:05 AM 0 Comments

Let it snow Let it snow Let it snow

News of the World: Boom goes the gloom

The weather outside may be frightful, but the economic news is delightful, with figures set to show we're pulling out of the longest SLUMP in history. Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at leading forecasters IHS Global Insight, said: "Latest data and survey evidence suggest overall that the economy will finally return to growth in the fourth quarter, although it is still hardly racing ahead." And while the government will cling to the green shoots, it is by no means out of the woods. At £20.3billion, last month's UK budget deficit was the highest ever and heading for £185billion next year.

Posted by devo @ 12:17 AM 15 Comments

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Wall Street Journal: CO2 Pact Leaves Businesses Feeling Up in the Air

"It's very frustrating at this stage that we haven't got a more-comprehensive agreement," said Richard Gledhill, head of carbon markets at PricewaterhouseCoopers

Posted by devo @ 11:26 PM 9 Comments

2010 financial hangover

Telegraph: Deflationary myth is poor excuse for irresponsible policy excesses

New figures show that UK inflation was 1.9pc during the 12 months to the end of November, up from 1.5pc the month before. That was "above consensus estimates". Having said that, British inflation, to use investment bank parlance, has "surprised on the upside" pretty much every month for the past two years. Ever since this crisis began, economists in the City of London have underestimated UK inflation and warned, instead, that "deflation" looms. As a result of this threat, policymakers have had "no choice" but to take "bold action".

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:49 PM 4 Comments

Banker bashing by the b.o.e.

Times on line: When bamboozling spins out of control

A financial plumbing system that should be as small as possible, simply channelling money from savers to borrowers as cheaply and unobtrusively as possible, has instead transformed and furred up into a vast, Byzantine system of gold-plated pipes and valves of ludicrous complexity.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 06:53 PM 1 Comments

Time to review those ratings!

Bloomberg: Moody’s Reviews $143 Billion of Jumbo-Mortgage Bonds

"Moody’s Investors Service placed $143 billion of US jumbo-mortgage bonds under review for downgrades because of higher loss projections as stock-market losses and pay cuts squeeze wealthy borrowers. It now expects losses of 3.8 percent on loans underlying 2005 prime- jumbo bonds, with estimates of 8 percent for 2006 securitizations, 10.9 percent for 2007 debt and 12.3 percent for 2008 securities". The revisions were prompted by “the rapidly deteriorating performance of jumbo pools in conjunction with macroeconomic conditions that remain under duress,” Moody’s said.

Posted by alan @ 03:13 PM 0 Comments

Thar she blows!

FT: UK lending continues to fall

Who'd a thunk it that demand might fall when prices are too high? In other news, economics still baffles economists.

Posted by paul @ 11:05 AM 4 Comments

No worries

Times Online: Worry over housing market as lending falls

The property perma-bull's paper says that its worried. i think its more worried about it's editors' "portfolios".

Posted by paul @ 11:02 AM 0 Comments

''Britain best placed etc''


''The unprecedented sum means the Treasury needed to borrow roughly £800 for every British household last month just to keep the Government ticking over, the new Office for National Statistics figures showed yesterday.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:02 AM 0 Comments

Friday, December 18, 2009

One for the gold bugs

Motley Fool: The Great Gold Bubble

No doubt some smart ar*es will say that Motley Fool is rubbish but then again they would , wouldn't they?!

Posted by mr g @ 09:48 PM 49 Comments

Tip of the iceberg

Yahoo: Six charged in mortgage fraud scam

ONDON (Reuters) - Six people have been charged in a 50 million-pound mortgage fraud scam, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Friday. The SFO said the individuals are alleged to have dishonestly obtained loans from banks or building societies secured on commercial properties that were transferred amongst companies controlled by one of the defendants and his associates at inflated prices. After obtaining advances totalling nearly 50 million pounds, the defendants then quickly defaulted on the mortgages, causing significant losses to the lenders, the SFO said in a statement.

Posted by mikelvingstone @ 07:58 PM 0 Comments

More bubble economics from the govt

Homes and Communities Agency: HCA consults on proposals to directly recover grant linked to value

Bizarre idea by the govt's affordable housing quango to profit from rising house prices - so they can re-invest it in more affordable houses. Uh?

Posted by cyril @ 05:44 PM 1 Comments

Bankers cost society £7 for every £1 they "earn"

BBC: Cleaners 'worth more to society' than bankers - study

What about "bad" hospital cleaners. They must save even more for society by stopping people living as long and costing a fortune in care and pensions. Ethically questionable though !

Posted by voiceofreason @ 04:27 PM 2 Comments

Perfectly timed so Israel can bomb Iran over Xmas so no one notices.

Yahoo News: Iraq official confirms Iran incursion in oil area

Blatant propaganda and lies, but you might want to buy some oil.

Posted by general congreve @ 03:38 PM 11 Comments

New Tax - Inbound

Sydney Morning Herald: Final Copenhagen Text Includes Global Transaction Tax

"The text also proposes a range of innovative mechanisms for raising the money, ranging from a tax on air and sea transports fuels to a tax on financial transfers". Could see new taxes on Housing and Comercial property...Darling's repayment cash must come from somewhere!

Posted by alan @ 01:22 PM 17 Comments

3,000 victims a year

Mail: Record numbers of elderly are forced to sell their homes to pay for care

"The scale of Labour’s betrayal of pensioners was laid bare as it emerged that every year at least 3,000 elderly people are forced to sell their homes to pay for residential care"... and still house prices went up in November !

Posted by alan @ 10:45 AM 31 Comments

Basal Reforms

BBC: New ice age for bankers

The Basel reforms would make it prohibitively expensive for banks to do all that wheeling and dealing in securities and derivatives that yielded bumper profits and bonuses in the boom years and brought the world to the brink of depression last autumn. The consequences would be profound not only for the banking industry but also for the economy - which is why they will be phased in over years.They are likely to mean that far less credit to households and non-financial businesses will be provided by conventional banks, because the cost to banks of providing credit in any form will rise.

Posted by cat and canary @ 10:41 AM 8 Comments

£20.3bn in November

BBC: Public sector borrowing hits record high

"The figure was the highest for any month since records began in 1993", "but was less than economists had expected" - good old BBC!.

Posted by alan @ 10:10 AM 7 Comments

Anyone for a dip

BBC: Mortgage Lending Falls by 10%

"Mortgage lending in the UK fell by 10% in November compared with the previous month - its lowest level since May, according to lenders. Gross mortgage lending totalled £12bn during the month, down 14% on November 2008, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. The group said the month-on-month fall could not be solely explained by seasonal factors. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:00 AM 7 Comments

The banks are facing a much bigger property problem than housing

Guardian: Commercial property values may plummet, Bank warns

"The Bank of England has warned of a vicious circle of panic-selling of commercial property by banks, potentially triggering a ruinous double dip in values. There is also a risk that worsening economic conditions will lead to widespread loan defaults by UK real-estate companies. Commercial property prices have already fallen 50% from the market's peak in July 2007." WIll the banks react by speeding up residential repossessions while prices are still high or will they carry on with 'extend and pretend?'

Posted by tpbeta @ 09:29 AM 4 Comments

Lambs to the slaughter... or do the majority know something we don't?

Telegraph: A mortgage rate timebomb is in the making

According to new figures from the mortgage broker John Charcol, fixed rate mortgages have never been less popular. When remortgaging or taking out a new mortgage, householders are instead en masse opting for tracker or variable rate deals. In November, barely more than a fifth of John Charcol clients chose a fixed rate deal, against more than 80 per cent just six months ago. The reason? Exceptionally low short term interest rates mean that trackers are a whole lot cheaper that fixed rate deals. But for how long? Most analysts anticipate that short term rates will stay low for a long time. If they are right, then a good tracker ought to cost less over a two to three year period than a comparable fixed rate deal. But it is what happens thereafter which is the interesting thing.

Posted by drewster @ 01:08 AM 24 Comments

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh my, how very surprising!

Yahoo News: Retail sales in surprise fall

Retail sales fell unexpectedly in November, dropping at their fastest pace since May after department stores and clothing retailers failed to repeat October's strong sales, official data showed on Thursday.

Posted by general congreve @ 09:37 PM 0 Comments

Irish recover

BBC: Irish Republic out of recession as GDP grows

The Irish, who have done pretty much the opposite fiscal response to the UK, have started to recover.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:31 PM 1 Comments

Off topic but the follow up to an article I published a couple of weeks ago.

Guardian: Mystery of Tony Blair's money solved

The winner of the Guardian's online contest to solve the mystery of Blair's finances is Richard Murphy, a crusading accountant from Tax Research UK. His entry unearthed the small print of the Partnership (Accounts) Regulations 2008 to reveal that Blair has found an unusual method to keep his wealth secret from the rest of us. Murphy wins an original cartoon by Steve Bell.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 04:13 PM 8 Comments

"Unemploment not as high as expected", hers why!


Yet close study of the figures ­suggested the full depth of the jobs crisis was being masked by the boom in taxpayer-funded employment. Only 29,000 jobs were created in private firms over the three-month period, showing that nearly half of all new jobs created in Britain are currently in Government service.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 02:59 PM 16 Comments

Looks like most FTB's have now been sucked in

BBC: First-time house buyers 'at year low'

The proportion of home buyers who are purchasing a house for the first time has dropped to its lowest level this year, figures show. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said that 19% were first-time buyers in November. This was down 3% on the previous month and the smallest proportion since November 2008, the NAEA said.

Posted by jack c @ 02:37 PM 11 Comments

Scumbag spendthrift...

Mail: Revealed: The £3 rent cheque Gordon Brown bounced when he was at university

''He claims to be the man who can lead Britain out of the current financial crisis. But it appears Gordon Brown has at times even had trouble keeping track of his own bank account. Bill Paterson, a warden at Edinburgh University when Brown studied there, said the future prime minister was the only student whose rent cheque ever bounced.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:13 PM 8 Comments

Forecasters scratching ytheir heads again

Bloomberg: U.K. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Dropped in November

U.K. retail sales unexpectedly fell in November for the first time in six months as the recession prompted consumers to spend less at clothing and department stores in the approach to Christmas. Sales dropped 0.3 percent on the month after rising 0.6 percent in October, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The median forecast was for a 0.5 percent gain, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 28 economists. The U.K. faces a “bumpy and uneven” path out of recession as unemployment keeps increasing..........

Posted by jack c @ 12:16 PM 11 Comments

UK debt

Telegraph: There's only one escape from our debt trap

Article suggests that inflating our way out of debt is impossible as 4/5ths of government debt/obligations is inflation-linked. So we have to reduce the debt and here is a kind of novel suggestion, by genuinely paying it down.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:16 PM 10 Comments

Time Magazine calls the top of Ponzi Central Banking

Mish: Time Magazine's Kiss of Death: "You!"

Appearing on the cover of Time as person of the year is like a bell ringing. It almost always is akin to a figurative death sentence for the person involved, and sometimes even a literal one. * Jeff Bezos made the cover in 1999 - the year the internet portion of the tech stock bubble topped out. * GW Bush made the cover as his popularity rating had just begun to slide, ending at the worst such rating since Nixon, concurrent with a stock market crash. * Hitler made the cover in 1938. * General Chiang Kai Chek in 1937. It turned out to be an ill omen, career-wise. * Stalin made the cover in 1939 and again in 1942. * Kennedy made the cover the year before he was assassinated, as did Martin Luther King - a literal death sentence in both cases....

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:54 AM 12 Comments

Bankers "ring up their mates in No. 10"

BBC: Banks try to deal away bonus tax

Peston says "A number of banks do not apparently believe that the super-tax on bonuses is real. I have it from impeccable sources that several of them have rung up their mates and contacts in 10 Downing Street, the Treasury and BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), to ask if they can be let off the 50% one-off bonus tax. In return they would make a one-off contribution to some worthy project or other, or just pay over a wodge of money unconnected to the value of bonuses they actually want to pay.....What's going on is not quite the same as offering a bag of cash to the tax collector in a democratically challenged fledgling state - but it's not far off

Posted by cat and canary @ 11:40 AM 1 Comments

Property booming on wednesday then stagnating on thursday

Times online: House price rally began to slow in October

British house prices rose by another half a per cent in October from the previous month, bringing the UK average price to £198,450 - just 2.2 per cent below where they were a year ago, according to the latest official figures.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 10:14 AM 1 Comments

New figures from a leading property website show value of UK homes has grown £39 billion in 2009

Times online: House prices rising £4 a day

The value of UK homes has risen by £39 billion this year, after slumping £811 billion in 2008, figures from Zoopla, a leading property website, show.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 10:12 AM 3 Comments

Blistering recovery in the London property marke

Oh no, the green shoots are withering (again)...

Independent: Confidence falls on fears of 'double-dip' recession

A ComRes survey of 257 business leaders for The Independent found that the proportion detecting "green shoots" in their sector had dropped from 49 per cent in November to 36 per cent this month. For the first time since July, a majority (53 per cent) of businessmen now detect no signs of economic recovery, while 11 per cent are "don't knows".

Posted by mrflibble @ 08:15 AM 6 Comments

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Looking in, from the outside!

Telegraph: House price rises may stall next year, says MPC's Kate Barker

"I would be pretty surprised if we saw the strength of house prices sustained into next year," said Kate Barker, an external member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee and former housing adviser to the Government.

Posted by dill @ 08:13 PM 7 Comments

Debt figures don't look good

TIMES: Darling accused of 'hiding' debt interest bill of £60bn

"Michael Fallon, the most senior Tory on the panel, asked Alistair Darling why he had not admitted that annual interest on the debt is forecast to hit £60 billion within four years. The cost of servicing the country’s £178 billion budget deficit represents just under double the annual budget for the Ministry of Defence. The figure is roughly double the current interest charges". These charges will go back and forth till the election...

Posted by alan @ 07:40 PM 9 Comments

Rising house prices a problem not a solution

FTAdviser: Rising house prices a problem not a solution, Treasury warned

Current rising house prices represent an economic problem for the UK and not a solution, Martin Weale, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), has warned. Fuelled by the government's quantitative easing programme, Mr Weale said he was concerned that people viewed the increasing house prices as a way out of the country's economic difficulties. However, he said that when the government stimulus is stopped, the bubble could pop once again and trigger the second dip in the recovery. Instead Mr Weale said it would be good for the economy to have a period of stagnation in the housing market.

Posted by wanderinman @ 06:44 PM 3 Comments

Wonder if they include property in this

Reuters: Schroders says move out of sterling assets

Investing in non-sterling assets will protect UK-based investors from a potentially destabilising fall in the pound next year and possible future inflation, Schroders said on Wednesday. "We have benefited from gaining a competitive advantage from weaker sterling but we could get out of control. If we do end up getting a hung parliament, the market will give up on having a financial discipline to get out of the debt problems," Alan Brown, chief investment officer at Schroders, told a briefing. "If inflation is substantially local than global, investing out of home markets will give you an inflation hedge as the currency will come under pressure. That argues for non-sterling investment."

Posted by wanderinman @ 06:36 PM 14 Comments

Sad when you have to go to the Daily Mail to get less biased financial reporting..

Daily Mail: Record 6.6million 'half-timers' now working reduced hours as bosses struggle to pay full wage

Record numbers of workers are being forced to go part-time because their bosses cannot afford to pay full-time salaries, official figures revealed today. There are now 6.6million employees working part-time in Britain, the highest number since records began. Many are being given an ultimatum by their bosses that they must forfeit their full-time jobs and go part-time, or be made redundant.In other cases, people are desperately looking for full-time work, but can only find a part-time job which they have no choice but to accept despite the lower salary. The ballooning numbers of part-time workers is 'disguising' the jobs crisis because it makes the unemployment numbers seem less dramatic.

Posted by cat and canary @ 06:30 PM 3 Comments

The Illusion of Price Deflation

The Market Oracle: The Inflation Mega-trend and the Illusion of Price Deflation

The UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) clearly illustrates that all we saw from mid 2008 and into early 2009 was a minor deflationary corrective wave amidst an ocean of year on year inflation. Subsequent inflation has far surpassed the in-consequential deflation seen during 2008 and into early 2009. Therefore the facts are completely contrary to the headline grabbing mainstream press and blogosphere scare mongering of price deflation.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 04:30 PM 0 Comments

Some of them even did their 'homework'.

The Independent: Dubai: Empty eastern promises

There is a definite hint of schadenfreude about Dubai's financial turmoil. All those investors buying into a glittering desert city, that crumbled to dust – more fool them many will think. Where else in the world would you see plans for an air-conditioned beach or a glut of six and seven star hotels? However, the situation is no joke for investors who aimed to make a small fortune selling off-plan properties or those who simply wanted to live or retire in the sun. Property prices have fallen 50 per cent from their peak, leaving the developments they bought into left unfinished, and the companies they trusted their life savings with nowhere to be seen.

Posted by landedgentry @ 03:26 PM 6 Comments

A bit premature?

Reuters: Bernanke named Time magazine's Person of the Year

Surprised no-ones posted this yet. "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who helped steer the U.S. economy through its darkest days since the Great Depression, was named Time magazine's 2009 Person of the Year on Wednesday."

Posted by shipbuilder @ 02:54 PM 16 Comments

Keep spending guys, your country needs you

Daily Telegraph: Middle-class savers told no point in saving

A painful combination of desperately low interest rates and the erosive effects of rising inflation mean almost all higher rate tax payers miss out on a return on their savings once tax is taken into account.

Posted by tudorian @ 01:46 PM 14 Comments

10 000 job cuts..

Financial Times: MoD makes cuts to plug budget hole

The Ministry of Defence laid bare the human and military cost of living beyond its means on Tuesday as ministers unveiled 10,000 job cuts, an air force base closure and a big reduction in the fighter jet fleet. Bob Ainsworth, defence secretary, said the “hard decisions” would fill part of the hole in the defence budget ahead of the strategic defence review next year and provide room for £900m of additional spending on kit for Afghanistan.

Posted by rob @ 01:26 PM 0 Comments

Things are going to get nasty!

MoneyWeek: What housebuilders' share prices say about the property market

Housebuilders' share prices - and several other leading indicators - suggest that Britain's housing rally is petering out. The next leg down is just around the corner. And things are going to get nasty!

Posted by damien @ 11:32 AM 1 Comments

Trying to make a bad thing look good as usual!

BBC: UK Jobless total continues to increase!

Best bit: "It's noticeable that the rise in employment was due to an increase in part-time jobs outweighing full-time employment, " he continued. So lets say if a million people are unemployed in full time work it counts the same as if a million people are employed in part time work, although clearly these are not the same "degree" of employment!????

Posted by brickormortis @ 11:01 AM 9 Comments

Property pair Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer set to leave Channel 4 for the BBC

Why buying what you can't afford (yet) is always a mistake

BBC News: Mortgage lenders 'too fast to repossess' homes

Back to my point re jobs and unabated "homeownerism" "The loss of a job or a drop in income were the most common reasons given for mortgage arrears, and low-income households were the most likely to lose their homes, the charities said." So if you rent, have your savings elsewhere, you could tap into them for a while to pay the rent. It would help you a lot more than a forced sale, all the hassle of the public humilitation, paperwork changes, the poor credit record of a defaulted mortgage, thus future higher interest charges.... In a rented house, less or lost income means your savings reduce to pay the rent. Your long-term credit rating is not influenced. You don't have all the stigma and family issues caused by the stress. Tax is the answer for a change (however you read it!)

Posted by growler @ 09:52 AM 18 Comments

Why only just one? in fact, why a model?

Dailymash: Britain deciding wgich souvenir to hurl at Brown

Britain was last night pondering which model of a famous building it would throw at Gordon Brown's head.

Posted by tim miller @ 01:03 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dollar takes another bashing

Telegraph: Gulf petro-powers to launch currency in latest threat to dollar hegemony

The Arab states of the Gulf region have agreed to launch a single currency modelled on the euro [does that make Dubai the new Greece?], hoping to blaze a trail towards a pan-Arab monetary union. The move will give the hyper-rich club of oil exporters a petro-currency of their own, greatly increasing their influence in the global exchange and capital markets and potentially displacing the US dollar as the pricing currency for oil contracts. Between them they have financial clout equal to that of China. The Gulf currency – dubbed “Gulfo” – is likely to track a global exchange basket and may ultimately float as a regional reserve currency in its own right. “The US dollar has failed. We need to delink," said the chief executive of Bahrain’s Gulf One Investment Bank.

Posted by drewster @ 11:53 PM 10 Comments

I'll believe it when I see it

Telegraph: Moody’s warns of 'social unrest’ as sovereign debt spirals

Britain and other countries with fast-rising government debts must steel themselves for a year in which “social and political cohesiveness” is tested, Moody’s warned. In a sombre report on the outlook for next year, the credit rating agency raised the prospect that future tax rises and spending cuts could trigger social unrest in a range of countries from the developing to the developed world. Even if countries reached agreement on the depth of the cuts necessary to their budgets, they could face difficulties in carrying out the cuts. The report, which comes amid growing worries about Britain’s credit rating, said: "In those countries whose debt has become unaffordable, the need to rein in deficits will test social cohesiveness." Greece has suffered riots over the past year.

Posted by drewster @ 11:41 PM 17 Comments

What house price recovery? Market Price Erosion Erases Recovery

It's all going badly for the recovery. Especially in the North and Scotland.

Posted by tinecu @ 06:05 PM 0 Comments

UK already downgraded - in real terms.

BBC News: There's been a lot of talk about UK losing its AAA rating. But guess what?, we already have...

'I've been taking a look at what's happened to the interest rate (yield) on UK government debt relative to other highly rated countries. The answer is highly instructive, if not a little depressing. UK gilts traded very close to the average of other AAA-rated countries for most of 2007 and 2008, as you'd expect. But this year a gap has opened up between us and the others.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:02 PM 13 Comments

Where did they misplace them? bit big to hide!!

Sky via yahoo: Nearly 14,000 Homes Lost In Three Months

Nearly 14,000 Britons had their homes repossessed in the three months to the end of September, newly-released figures show. A total of 13,987 properties were taken back by lenders in the third quarter of the year, a rise of 3%, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said.

Posted by mark @ 01:29 PM 23 Comments

Don't Blame Greenspan

Forbes: The housing bubble was driven by a weak dollar, not low rates.

Article also uses UK data, makes the case that a weak currency NOT low IR drives up house prices. Can explain a few things. Consider that today the US dollar is exactly where it was 2 years ago, they have had a 30% hpc because of the credit crunch. Whereas during the same credit crunch UK's GBP has fallen 20% but we have had only a 15% hpc. So perhaps because of the weak pound we still have sustained interest in home ownership.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:48 PM 16 Comments

Long time to wait?

Cnn: Fed will hike rates - in 2011

But leaving rates at such levels is not without significant risks. Low rates can sow the seeds of inflation, which can eat into workers' earnings and squeeze budgets. It also has been blamed for the fall in the value of the dollar versus other major currencies, such as the euro, which in itself can limit Americans' buying power. Beyond that there are concerns that cheap rates can feed asset bubbles. Many blame the Fed's decision to leave rates at its previous record low of 1% for 12 months from June 2003 to June 2004 as a major factor in feeding the housing bubble.

Posted by mark @ 11:59 AM 1 Comments

So what? House prices are rising, keep interest rates down!

BBC News: Petrol prices push up inflation

UK inflation picked up pace in November, driven largely by higher petrol prices, official figures show. The consumer prices index (CPI) rose faster than expected to an annual rate of 1.9%, compared with 1.5% in October.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 10:52 AM 22 Comments

Oh joy, the word 'crash' has been mentioned.........

MSN: Second House Price Crash coming

Simply put, why property is a particularly bad idea at the moment.

Posted by mimi @ 10:43 AM 3 Comments

First stocks now auction prices point to slow down

Thisismoney: Property auction dip points to slowdown

Andrew Brigden, senior economist at Fathom Consulting, said: 'The discount available on properties sold at auction, relative to prices charged on the conventional market, has been on a rising trend since the spring. 'At a little over 20%, this discount is significantly above its long-term average. And yet the lenders' indices continue to record monthly gains in the average price of property sold on the conventional market.

Posted by krishna @ 08:49 AM 0 Comments

Well, what do you expect? The government are preventing reposessions!

BBC News: House prices rise as property shortage persists

''House prices are still being driven up by a relative shortage of properties for sale, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). Its latest monthly survey, for November, suggests that prices have risen for the fourth month in a row.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:24 AM 2 Comments

Still plenty of bulls out there!

The Times: House prices continue rise, defying expectations

The title says it all really so I'm not going to bother with detailed analysis. The BBC has a similair report based upon RICS recent proclamations: So is this a logical way to protect your wealth by securing hard assets or just another sign of the UK's unquestioning faith in property?

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:48 AM 14 Comments

Bond prices crash -> yields rise -> interest rates up across the board -> house price crash!

Telegraph: Bond price crash is the surest bet in town

Explosive growth in government debt around the advanced world is leading investors to fear for the safety of their capital. Never mind sovereign risk, many government bond prices give virtually no protection against a pick-up in price inflation either, the risks of which would seem to be quite a bit higher than at any stage in the past 10 years. For many governments, the temptation to inflate away burgeoning fiscal deficits will be hard to resist. At present, government debt markets are being artificially supported by exceptionally loose monetary conditions. Furthermore new regulations are forcing banks to stash money in safer assets such as government bonds. As if all this wasn't bearish enough for government bond markets, there are also the unfunded liabilities of ageing populations...

Posted by drewster @ 12:30 AM 11 Comments

France decides now is a good time to copy the Anglo-Saxon finance model

Telegraph: Sarkozy reveals 'grand loan' to secure France's future

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has outlined a €35bn (£31.6bn) "grand loan" France will take out to invest in universities and fields such as renewable energy and the digital economy. He denied it was a stimulus package. However, critics argue it will further damage the country's stretched public finances.

Posted by drewster @ 12:17 AM 0 Comments

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gordon's ready for the election

Daily express: Be prepared

Well of topic, but I couldn't resist it.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 06:58 PM 7 Comments

Quite a drop.

FT: Fall in short positions bodes well for dollar

Investors have cut their bets against the dollar drastically amid growing speculation that the currency’s downward trend might have run its course. Figures from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, often used as a proxy of hedge fund activity, showed investors cut their net short positions in the dollar from 172,367 contracts on December 1 to 107,284 contracts on December 8.

Posted by dill @ 06:32 PM 0 Comments

This is how you do it Darling

Mail online: Slash spending - Ireland shows us how it's done

First, we know from the 1980s how large deficits, left unchecked, can lead to a dangerous spiral of mounting debt and ever increasing interest payments. Never again should we return to a position where all of our income taxes go to pay interest on the national debt. Lenihan added: ‘In our everyday lives we do not borrow to pay for our household bills. We cut back and seek to live within our means. The same strictures apply at national level. Borrowing hundreds of millions a week to pay for day to day spending is just not on. Stabilising the deficit is the next key milestone in our plan to deliver economic recovery for this country.’

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 06:12 PM 8 Comments

Suckers never give themselves an even break

Counterpunch: Madoff's verdant suckers

A look, a year after they pinched Madoff, at how his victims conned themselves. "The confidence man is not really a thief at all. The trusting victim thrusts a fat bankroll into his hands."

Posted by icarus @ 05:39 PM 0 Comments

Low Supply Causes Prices To Fall!

Telegraph: House prices fall for the second month

Houses are worth less in winter... have to remember that.

Posted by fred--------brissal @ 05:21 PM 0 Comments

Another Interesting Study

Daily Mash: Hospital cleaners help kill off greedy pensioners

Hospital cleaners create £10 of value for every £1 they are paid because they help kill off thousands of people who would otherwise be claiming a state pension, according to new research.

Posted by mrmickey @ 03:27 PM 1 Comments

Dearth of recent investment = supply shortages

Bloomberg: Fastest Food Inflation Since 08

On top of tax rises, interest rates, oil and gas, staple foodstuffs are to rise considerably over the next three years, and that's before future weather events are factored in. Good link to food prices chart within article.

Posted by lukeskywalker @ 01:10 PM 60 Comments

Happy new year !

Money week: Two stocks set to profit from retailers’ woes

“The worst insolvencies in the UK are yet to come”.

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:49 PM 0 Comments

Here Comes The Winter

Rightmove: December Asking Prices Report

I thought shortage of stock meant rising prices according to press wisdom? "In spite of the lowest average stock for sale for 21 months, new sellers have dropped their asking prices by 2.2% this month (-£4,977). This follows November’s fall of 1.6%. We expect a further drop next month, meaning the final quarter of 2009 will see 3 consecutive monthly price falls as the motivation of winter sellers outweighs the growing lack of choice for potential buyers."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:18 PM 2 Comments

Export pricing

FT: Exporters raise profit margins as pound declines

Devaluation of sterling has not led to expansion of the export sector as manufacturers have increased their profit margin instead. This is relevant to the UK inflation debate, because the BoE use the output gap to determine interest rates. Should domestic companies, when faced with increasing demand (whenever that is), borrow and expand using cheap surplus labour (the output gap) then we expand and recover. However, the alternative is to reject the expensive financing costs of expansion and instead raise prices, in which case inflation. Thus far, UK companies focused on exports have chosen price increases (maintaining euro prices despite 20% off) over expanding market share through expansion. Given the uncertainty around debt servicing costs Labour borrowing make this trend more likely.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

Cleaners 'worth more to society' than bankers

BBC: Cleaners 'worth more to society' than bankers

The research, carried out by think tank the New Economics Foundation, says hospital cleaners create £10 of value for every £1 they are paid. It claims bankers are a drain on the country because of the damage they caused to the global economy. They reportedly destroy £7 of value for every £1 they earn.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:18 AM 29 Comments

UK mortgage holders 'now £200 a month better off’

Daily Telegraph: UK mortgage holders 'now £200 a month better off’

"Falling interest rates and lower mortgage payments mean a quarter of UK homeowners are at least £200 a month better off than this time last year, according to the Bank of England."

Posted by becky @ 08:50 AM 8 Comments

Interest rates up sooner than expected?

The Daily Mail: World 'losing faith in debt-laden UK': Bank's warning over the nation's credit rating

Brown and Merv have blown it all on house price props and bankers' bungs.

Posted by paul @ 08:11 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sounds like a great game....

BBC News: Bankers 'whacked' in arcade game

"An arcade game that allows people to vent their anger at bankers has proved so popular the owner keeps having to replace worn out mallets." "Players, who are promised a "truly rewarding banking experience", pay 40p to hit as many bankers as they can in 30 seconds. "

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 07:33 PM 1 Comments

"Euroland's revolt has begun. "

Telegraph: Greece defies Europe as EMU crisis turns deadly serious

The Greeks, it claims here, are about to make one huge mess of European Monetary Union. Given the strength of the Euro is a big driver of UK HPI at the moment, I certainly hope it's true.

Posted by tpbeta @ 06:31 PM 16 Comments

How to make your home even more unaffordable

MSN Money: How to add £70,000 to the value of your home

Despite the recent bounce, house prices are still down more than £25,000 from their peak in October 2007. But with a bit of hard work, you can make most of that back. These eight improvements will add £69,265 to your home's value according to a survey by Halifax, £20,000 of which is profit.

Posted by novice pete @ 04:45 PM 15 Comments

Postcard from China

Yahoo: Young Chinese groan at skyrocketing property costs

A textbook description of a housing bubble in China: "concerns are rising that property bubbles are building due to speculative investors, amid rumours that a large portion of the government's 586-billion-dollar stimulus package has been channelled into asset markets." The symptoms and the causes will be instantly recognisable to regular blog readers.

Posted by quiet guy @ 03:19 PM 1 Comments

Struggling to sell your house? Try raising the price.

Times: Playing hard to get

This might make you very cross indeed. Don't read with a mouthful of food as you might make a mess of your screen.

Posted by tpbeta @ 12:18 PM 10 Comments

Unconvenient truth

Telegraph: Labour's dishonesty is leading us down the road to sovereign default

Beware of those who have nothing to lose... or are in big debt! The Labours!

Posted by confused76 @ 12:11 PM 8 Comments


David Smith: Thanks for nothing, Alistair Darling

This is stupid nonsense. The housing market has being gifted by a year long stay of execution (the base rate at 0.5%, the stamp duty reduction). IMO there are several things that will precipitate the crash in 2010: govt has already used all its bullets, base rate rise (every 0.5% is a 100% increase on mortgage interests for trackers), new mortgage rates creeping up to 7% and even 10% as inflation takes hold and pound crashes, property taxes on buy to let (you can leave these shores but can't take bricks and mortar with you), stamp duty hike, greater tenant protection, btl sell off

Posted by confused76 @ 11:54 AM 0 Comments

As Attitudes Change, A Price Crash Becomes Inevitable

Telegraph: Desire to own a home in decline

"The era in which all Britons aspire to own their own home may soon be coming to an end as people turn to renting instead."

Posted by wdbeast @ 10:51 AM 5 Comments

The 50% tax has really hit them

Times: Rival cities target banks over tax hit

Commotion in the Sunday Times, several articles on the banker exodus. but one reader got it right ---"I suggest they check the governments of these countries will bail them out if they go "knockers vertical" before they make the move."

Posted by confused76 @ 09:29 AM 6 Comments

Saturday, December 12, 2009

At last someone talks sense, shame he is not in the UK

Las vegas sun: Recession in Nevada: Expect it to hang on a while

The current recession will wind up eclipsing the Depression of 80 years ago in Nevada, the state’s longtime former archivist and preeminent historian predicts. “I believe emphatically that before the Great Recession runs its course, it will be worse than the Great Depression in Nevada,” Guy Rocha says.

Posted by mark @ 05:06 PM 0 Comments

Go buy houses, the economys fine

Office for National Statistics: Employment Rate falls to 72.5 per cent

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (the claimant count) in October 2009 increased by 12,900 on the month to reach 1.64 million, the highest number of claimants since April 1997. The number of vacancies in the three months to October 2009 was 428,000, the lowest figure since records began. Average earnings were 1.8 per cent higher than a year previously, the lowest annual growth rate since records began.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 04:56 PM 0 Comments

Summary of sorts

Telegraph: Property: Big money, big dreams

"From boom to bust, it's been a roller-coaster decade for the property market"

Posted by rumble @ 03:37 PM 9 Comments

Mathematical deficiency or careless mistake? LMAO!

Rightmove: Quick sale reductions!

"REDUCED BY £133,000 FOR A QUICK SALE!" Oh dear, I think this sums up the mathematical deficiency of our estate agents and, perhaps, wider population!

Posted by brickormortis @ 07:53 AM 25 Comments

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ukaraine appeals for emergency loan

BBC: Ukraine wants $2bn loan from IMF

"The country has received $11bn of a $16.4bn IMF loan. The rest of the money was suspended by the IMF after it said Ukraine needed to implement economic reforms before it would hand over any more. Ukraine says it desperately needs the money. It has hinted that if it does not get extra funds soon, the consequences could be serious. At risk could be its ability to pay salaries, foreign debt and, crucially for its neighbours, its gas bill - notoriously supplied by Gazprom."

Posted by burt @ 06:26 PM 0 Comments

Some ministers think it's all over..........

Moneymarketing: Housing minister says homeownership dream may be over

Housing minister John Healey says the era of Britons aspiring to own their own home may be coming to an end as people find it increasingly difficult to get onto the housing ladder. In a speech to the Fabian Society earlier this week, Healey said homeownership had declined for the first time ever from 70.9 per cent of all households in 2003 to 68.3 per cent today but that this was not “such a bad thing.” He also said that Labour should tackle the culture of parents helping their children onto the housing ladder because it compounds inequality over the generations and is unfair.

Posted by jack c @ 03:12 PM 24 Comments

2 coats of magnolia, laminate flooring and fluffy cushions no longer good enough

Times: What gives properties the X-factor?

This year, exceptional houses continued to sell for well over their asking prices. This in the teeth of a recession that, by April, had seen average house prices plummet 17 per cent. So what sort of houses defeated the doom-mongers? What lessons can we learn for 2010? To sell well in a recession, your house needs a special something. 'X' factor features include - A dog-drying room. A flower-arranging room, with potential to double as a present-wrapping room.

Posted by jack c @ 02:22 PM 4 Comments

More scorched earth?

Mail: Copenhagen climate change summit: Brown pledges £1.5billion towards EU fund to tackle global warming

'Gordon Brown has pledged at least £1.5 billion of public money towards an EU fund to combat global warming, he confirmed today. Despite the UK’s staggering levels of national debt, the money will form part of a £10billion European fund to fast track efforts to help poorer nations tackle climate change. Mr Brown said Europe was ready to promise firm action next week at the climate change talks in Copenhagen.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:58 PM 5 Comments

Housing shortage easing!

City AM: British construction orders fall in third quarter but private house builds rising

Remember that housing shortage? "...private housing orders rose by five per cent in the three month period..." Well now we know prices are going down.

Posted by rumble @ 12:10 PM 0 Comments

Following recent China Chit Chat

China Post: China real estate faces bubble fears

"Property prices in Chinese cities rose at the fastest pace in 16 months in November, the government said Thursday, amid growing concerns about bubbles building in real estate. Property prices in 70 medium and large cities rose 5.7 percent in November from a year ago, the biggest jump since July 2008... It was the sixth successive year-on-year increase..."

Posted by rumble @ 12:01 PM 4 Comments


Telegraph: Pre Budget report: owners of holiday homes hit

"People who own holiday homes that they rent out will lose tax breaks worth an an average of £4,000 a year."

Posted by rumble @ 11:54 AM 2 Comments

Spin this record

Bloomberg: U.S. Foreclosures to Reach Record 3.9 Million in 2009

"This year’s filings will surpass 2008’s total of 3.2 million as record unemployment and price erosion batter the housing market, the Irvine, California-based company said.... “We are a long way from a recovery"..."

Posted by rumble @ 11:45 AM 1 Comments

More fun in the sun Are sickly Brits asking too much of Spain?

About 200 disgruntled British expats have just taken to the streets of Alicante in protest at the Valencia regional government’s plan to withdraw free healthcare to British early retirees. There are now an estimated one million Brits living in Spain although fewer than 400,000 have declared residency and if we’re to believe the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) the exodus of Brits since 2007, numbering about 250,000 per annum, is the largest UK emigration since the sixties. It seems that a job lot ended up in Spain.

Posted by landedgentry @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

House prices still defying gravity

FT: House prices higher than year ago

mortgage lending for 2009 to be about £140bn, compared with £360bn at the peak in 2007

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 11:39 AM 0 Comments

Grim stats

FT: Poorest half of UK owns just 9% of wealth

Shows a shocking disparity in wealth in this so-called developed country. Of particular interest here is the figure of 6% of households who own a second home.

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:38 AM 86 Comments

We haven't managed to completely price out the FTBs yet

The Times: Not everyone is enjoying a house price bounce

A celebration of high house prices by Anne Ashworth. One of the more notable comments: 'This week’s Pre-Budget Report did not provide a boost to development in Swindon, or anywhere else. Alistair Darling seemed satisfied that house prices were “stabilising” and did nothing to ensure that this process continues.'

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:35 AM 5 Comments

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Demand for Oil is slipping

Bbc News: Oil price drops to two-month low

The oil price slips to a two month low. Does this indicate the begining of a second dip in demand as government stimulus packages are withdrawn?

Posted by mazza @ 10:58 PM 1 Comments

Curiously bearish article Property asking prices fall for 2nd month discuss recent trend finding by, allegedly the "UK's second largest property listings website." The article goes on to make a fairly bearish case for UK property prices.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:37 PM 1 Comments

Propped up, or what??

Telegraph: Just 15 families helped by Government's home owners mortgage support scheme

Increasing numbers of home owners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, with almost 270,000 at least three months in arrears at the end of September this year, compared to 166,000 during the same period a year earlier, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. And the number of repossessions stands at one household in every 1,000. Housing Minister John Healey said: ““Although repossessions and arrears are currently running at half the rate of the early 1990s the risk of repossession will stay high throughout next year. That’s why I have said I will step up Government efforts so families struggling with their mortgages have access to the practical, impartial help and advice they need to take control of their finances.”

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:32 PM 3 Comments

BBC polishes up a good story and leaves the punchline to second half of the article

BBC News: Household wealth hit £9 trillion in 2008, the ONS says

Apparently by the end of June 2008 the average UK household wealth was worth £204500 with this little sum being composed of 39% property, 39% pension, 11% financial assets and 11% physical goods. The survey has some hidden gems including while 59% of people surveyed expected to receive a personal or company pension when they retired, only 40% of men and 32% of women were actively contributing to such a scheme. Well worth a look at especially the last paragraphs.

Posted by enuii @ 07:34 PM 12 Comments

Out of rope

Spectator: The markets' verdict on the PBR

Darling's fudge didn't go down very well. People have started selling off their 10 year gilts.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:56 PM 4 Comments

General Electric sees the light

FT: GE chief attacks executive ‘greed’

"Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric’s chief executive, said on Wednesday his generation of business leaders had succumbed to “meanness and greed” that had harmed the US economy and increased the gap between the rich and the poor... “The bottom 25 per cent of the American population is poorer than they were 25 years ago. That is just wrong,” he said

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:41 PM 1 Comments

S'not fair, scream bankers

FT: Bankers furious at UK bonus supertax

I'll leave here, no I really will. I mean it. Snivel.

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:26 PM 19 Comments

No change to Base rate or QE programme

BBC: UK interest rate remains at 0.5%

The Bank of England has held UK interest rates at the record low of 0.5% in a widely-expected move. It also announced no changes to its programme of pumping newly-created money into the economy - so-called quantitative easing (QE).

Posted by jack c @ 12:12 PM 10 Comments

Up, down,Up,down etc...etc...

Telegraph: House prices 'to fall by 10pc in 2010'

Ed Stansfield of Capital Economics, the consultancy, cast doubt on the sustainability of this year's rises and said any bad news on the economy or unemployment could send the market into reverse.

Posted by estrader @ 11:31 AM 2 Comments

Finally someone spoke the truth about the UK

Financial times: Alistair-in-wonderland believes in santa claus bnp paribas says

This is a total demolition of Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown. Enjoy

Posted by janky @ 11:16 AM 2 Comments

Exports weak

Telegraph: UK trade deficit widens in October

A buoyant financial sector making profits abroad and repatriating those profits into sterling, holds the value of sterling up. The financial industry is the same as the Dutch disease, ie repatriating profits from oil sales maintains an uncompetitively high level for sterling. Given that we are supporting and will support the financial sector, we cannot expect manufacturing growth also. This comes down to a national choice about what industries we as a nation wish to have, and in that context, the government has chosen high tax revenue low employment finance over low taxation high employment manufacturing. Arguably, the boost to exports from devaluation is equivalent to decamping by the financial sector.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:11 AM 2 Comments

Big shift to tracker mortgages

CML: Loans for house purchase at their highest for nearly two years

55,300 mortgages were granted to buyers, the highest number since December 2007

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 10:37 AM 2 Comments

CML latest

FT: House purchases reach two-year high, says CML

The number of loans for house purchases reached 55,300 in October, the highest level since December 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The amount of buyers has increased by nearly 100 per cent since hitting a trough in January when only 23,000 loans were advanced, the CML reported. However, it is not the same story for the remortgage sector where the level of loans has stayed static for two months at 33,000. Apart from a total of 30,000 in August 2009, remortgaging is at its lowest level for seven years, since the CML's records began in 2002.

Posted by jack c @ 10:23 AM 11 Comments

PBR and the housing market

Citywire: What the Pre-Budget Report means for the housing market

The most obvious effect of the tax on City bankers’ bonuses is that the top end of the property market, which has seen a spectacular revival in prime central London areas, will suffer a setback – albeit temporary if the banks simply delay paying bonuses. The prime London market has been particularly buoyant recently in anticipation of a return of big bonuses and so this attack on high value bonuses has the potential to hit that sector of the market hard, at least in the short term

Posted by jack c @ 09:52 AM 0 Comments

Gordo=Robert Maxwell on Steroids

Daily Telegraph: Taxpayers face £2 trillion unfunded pensions liability

Staggering. Time for Gordo to go sailing methinks.

Posted by brian2 @ 09:51 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is This What We Should Expect After The Election

BBC News: Tough 2010 Irish budget unveiled

"Public servants will face pay cuts, ranging from 5% on those earning 30,000 euros to 15% on those earning more than 200,000 euros"

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:00 PM 22 Comments

Was $280m in 2006 Trendy US hotel sells for $US2m as Dubai empire unravels

Dubai World’s investment arm, Istithmar, lost control of a flash Manhattan hotel and bonds in six state-controlled companies tumbled to record lows as the emirate's debt crisis continues. The trendy W Hotel Union Square was one of Dubai World’s prize properties – other hotels in New York are the Knickerbocker and Mandarin Oriental, while another is the new W in Washington DC. The heavily indebted New York W sold for a bid of just $US2 million at a foreclosure auction, though it cost Istithmar more than $US280 million in 2006 at the height of the property cycle.

Posted by landedgentry @ 07:25 PM 0 Comments

No more holiday

MoneySupermarket: Pre-Budget Report 2009 at a glance

"..confirmed that the stamp duty holiday will finish at the end of the month..."

Posted by rumble @ 06:24 PM 2 Comments

Flippin' 'ell.

Bloomberg: U.S. Homeowners Lost $5.9 Trillion Since 2006 Peak

"U.S. homeowners have lost about $5.9 trillion in value since the housing market’s peak in March 2006 as mounting foreclosures and the recession weighed on prices... Almost half a trillion dollars was wiped out this year through November as housing headed for a third straight annual decline. New foreclosures and higher mortgage rates in 2010 may hinder a rebound"

Posted by rumble @ 05:55 PM 8 Comments

Stamp Duty holiday to end - means lower prices!

Your Mortage: Stamp Duty holiday to end

Despite calls from the industry and backbench MPs, Alistair Darling confirmed in today's Pre-Budget Report that the Stamp Duty ‘holiday' will not be extended.

Posted by john h @ 01:52 PM 0 Comments

Bankers bonus bleat

FT: Banks hit by 50% tax on bonus payouts

The 50% is on top of the marginal rate, so pretty hefty as it should be. But the banks already trying to wangle things, pleading how hard they work, etc etc

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:31 PM 10 Comments

Pre-Budget report 2009: Key points at a glance Pre-Budget report 2009: Key points at a glance

Alistair Darling's third pre-Budget report comes amid the worst recession in decades and within months of a General Election. Here are the key points at a glance.

Posted by ben @ 01:24 PM 0 Comments

Bye bye - but please come back after the election

Bloomberg: Darling Levies 50% Tax on U.K. Bank Bonuses Above 25,000 Pounds

What is involved in a banker relocating (moving heavy machinery?)

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 01:13 PM 24 Comments

Here it comes

Telegraph: News article

One the usual posters have missed

Posted by boss @ 12:13 PM 10 Comments

Does the Public sector want the burden?

Shelter: Over 10 years to clear lists

One in four English local authorities would take more than 10 years to house everyone on their council housing waiting list, it was revealed today. Shelter says a total of 82 authorities would take between a decade and 33 years to clear their waiting lists, or until 2019 to 2042. With the national waiting list reaching almost 1.8 million households, but only just over 270,000 homes let nationally last year, the average time for all councils to end their lists would be almost seven years. Of the 355 local authorities, Barnet, in North West London, would take the longest to house everyone on its waiting list at more than 33 years, followed by Redbridge in East London at more than 32 years, and Brent on 25 years. Shelter has blamed the severe shortage of affordable homes.

Posted by dill @ 11:36 AM 3 Comments

Trashed Pound still not helping exporters

BBC: UK trade gap widens unexpectedly

It's pretty depressing," said Alan Clarke from BNP Paribas. "We were hoping part of the recovery would come from [export] trade, but so far it's just not happening."

Posted by cat and canary @ 11:34 AM 3 Comments

Interesting graph (especially last five days)

National: Dubai Stock Market Update

Any comments about this?

Posted by brickormortis @ 11:08 AM 11 Comments

Property is Property, right?

Bloomberg: Houses Make Comeback as British Reject ‘Little Box’ Apartments

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Houses are making a comeback in the U.K. as buyers reject “little box” apartments and investor demand for rentals evaporates.

Posted by estrader @ 08:32 AM 15 Comments


The Independent: Exodus of the bankers

The president of Britain's second largest bank has issued a veiled threat that the country's elite financiers could join a mass exodus from the City of London if the Government pushes ahead with a bonus supertax today

Posted by devo @ 06:34 AM 58 Comments

'Extend and pretend' to keep the system afloat

Bloomberg: Geithner Said to Be Seeking TARP Extension Until Next October

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans to tell Congress that the Obama administration will extend the $700 billion financial-rescue program until next October. “There has rarely been a less loved or more necessary emergency program than TARP,” President Barack Obama said yesterday in a speech in Washington. “I’m asking my Treasury secretary to continue mobilizing the remaining TARP funds to facilitate lending to small businesses.” In public comments about the program over the past several weeks, Geithner has cautioned that shutting it down too soon could hurt the economic recovery.

Posted by devo @ 06:18 AM 2 Comments

We're all Italians now

Independent: Student debt creates generation of mummy's boys

Student debt, unaffordable house prices and rising unemployment is helping create a generation of mummy’s boys. One in four young men aged 25-29 still live with their parents, compared to one in eight young women. High house prices and student debt mean young adults find it more difficult to move out. Rising joblessness in the recession is also making it harder for young people to live independently. Parents living in outer London are also more likely to have their grown up offspring living with them because these young adults could save by living at home while commuting into central London to work.

Posted by drewster @ 01:02 AM 3 Comments

Tough choices

FT: Schools, health and police spared in PBR

Alistair Darling will flesh out the biggest squeeze in public spending for a generation in his pre-Budget report, with only schools, hospitals and the police being spared average cuts of about 14 per cent over three years. Mr Darling’s pledge to protect “frontline services” sets out Labour’s election battlelines, but implies three years of pain for all other areas of spending, including defence, housing and business support.

Posted by devo @ 12:25 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Forget Greece these are the real basket cases

BusinessInsider: The 10 Countries Most Likely To Default

Worth looking at just for the pic of Arnie in his office in Calfornia !

Posted by mountain goat @ 10:26 PM 3 Comments

Who is next?

BBC News: Greek stocks fall 6% on fears over the country's debt

did dubai start the domino for the sovereign? Other countries seen as weak include the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Portugal.

Posted by sharkbait @ 09:00 PM 0 Comments

There may be trouble ahead..........

Citywire: House price tumble could be next bombshell for banks

A double dip in the property market runs the risk of forcing banks to pump extra cash into their residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) portfolios to ensure investors in the asset class get paid on time. Many banks’ RMBS’s were trading as low as 20p in the pound at the height of the credit crisis, prompting a wave of opportunistic buying that has made many funds a lot of money in the subsequent recovery. However, there are fears that the residential property market could face a double dip in 2010, which would spark a fresh wave of concern among banks and investors.

Posted by jack c @ 04:13 PM 1 Comments

Good News, House prices are up!

Bloomberg: Moody’s Says U.K., U.S. AAA Ratings Relatively Weaker

“The U.K.’s fundamentals are dismal and don’t support the ratings,” said Mark Schofield, head of interest-rate strategy in London at Citigroup Inc. “Only if some pretty draconian fiscal measures are in place will the U.K. keep hold of its Aaa rating.”

Posted by estrader @ 03:25 PM 4 Comments

Down at heel in Dubai

Bloomberg: Nakheel Has Loss of $3.65 Billion in First Half

"Nakheel PJSC, the Dubai World-owned property developer seeking to renegotiate debt, had a first-half loss of 13.4 billion dirhams ($3.65 billion) as revenue fell and it wrote down the value of land and property, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg. The loss for the company, which is building palm tree- shaped islands off the emirate’s coast, compared with a year- earlier profit of 2.65 billion dirhams, the company’s financial statement for the six months through June showed. Revenue fell 78 percent to 1.97 billion dirhams. A spokesman for Dubai World, Nakheel’s parent, declined to comment".

Posted by alan @ 02:16 PM 3 Comments

FT backs supertax

FT: Bonus points

At last the reality of high pay is spelled out. "Characteristic of such sectors is economic “rent” that springs from legally-sanctioned market power. Rent corrodes the market’s fairness and efficiency by rewarding those lucky or powerful enough to capture it, not those whose effort, initiative or talent benefit society. To make markets work, which the FT believes is the right aim for economic policy, the state may, and sometimes must, tax high-rent activities aggressively."

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:50 PM 0 Comments

House Price Do Not Affect a Nation's Wealth

Mises Economic Blog: "Nobody" Wants More Foreclosures?

"The real estate lobby seems to have won a permanent propaganda victory over economics journalists on the dangers of falling prices in real estate." As a nation, if we borrow money on the liabilty side of our balance sheet, and house prices rise on the asset side as a result, no wealth has been created.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:33 PM 0 Comments

House prices drops only half-way there...

About Property: Barclays chief: House prices "could fall by 30%"

House prices could fall by as much as 30 per cent from their peak, according to the head of Barclays. John Varley, the head of high street lender Barclays, warned that Britain is only halfway through the housing slump. As house prices have already fallen by around 15 per cent, the total fall could wipe almost a third off the average house price.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:02 PM 17 Comments

Will 2010 be the year of the big HPC?

BBC NEWS: Will house prices keep rising or fall again in 2010?

Following yesterday's stunning forecast by Crunchy, what about 2010? Come on Smugdog, even you could have a go, or maybe just do a CML, not make any forecast and then claim you were right!

Posted by wdbeast @ 12:13 PM 14 Comments

Iron mixed with clay

Telegraph: Greece put on standby for debt downgrade

"Fears over the solvency of Greece reached a new level on Monday night as Standard & Poors put the country's debt on notice for an imminent downgrade..... It must either deflate and accept slow and painful economic stagnation, or default on its debts, calling the wider euro project into question....with others warning that the UK is similarly exposed.....S&P also revised its outlook on Portugal’s sovereign-credit rating to “negative” from “stable”, blaming a deterioration in public finances."

Posted by cat and canary @ 11:51 AM 2 Comments

Gamblers lose - shock horror

Guardian: Northern Rock Shareholders not to get dosh

OK so some "poor old ladies" had their life savings in NR shares. They should have listened to their mother's advice about eggs and baskets....

Posted by chrisch @ 10:46 AM 1 Comments

Buy-to-let club Passive Investments folds

Guardian: Buy-to-let investors fret as property firm fails

Amateur property investors fear they have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in a buy-to-let club which is going into liquidation. Sussex-based Passive Investments sold "portfolio builder contracts" for up to £59,995 each. It promised to use the money to purchase buy-to-let properties which it would rent out and manage, but also asked clients to periodically pay up to £7,000 extra into a "purchasing fund" to cover stamp duty and legal fees.

Posted by whatever @ 09:54 AM 1 Comments

November Index

Halifax: +1.4 % MoM -1.6 % YoY

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices increased by 1.4% in November. This was the fifth successive monthly rise with prices more than 4% higher over the first eleven months of the year. The recovery in house prices since the spring has been driven by increased demand for property, largely due to the improvement in affordability for existing homeowners and first-time buyers who can raise the necessary deposit. Somewhat higher demand has combined with a low level of properties available for sale to push up prices. Further ahead, the prospects for the market will depend on how the UK economy evolves and whether there is a significant increase in the supply of properties for sale. Overall, our view is that house prices will be flat during 2010."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:15 AM 65 Comments

Our investment portfolio

Telegraph: UK backs £167bn of overseas bad debt

British taxpayers stand behind more than £167bn of toxic assets in the US, Ireland, the Middle East and beyond, it has emerged as the Treasury disclosed details of what Royal Bank of Scotland has dumped in the state insurance scheme for bad debts. Most of the £281.9bn of assets RBS has placed under taxpayer protection are based outside the UK, with loans secured against everything from negative equity properties in Dublin to hedge fund assets in Caribbean tax havens and container ships docked in ports around the world.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:32 AM 18 Comments

Mixed expectations

BBC News: Will house prices keep rising or fall again in 2010?

For close observers of the UK's property market, 2009 was a big surprise. So what about 2010? Will prices continue their upward path, slow down, or even fall again?

Posted by kate @ 07:47 AM 0 Comments

Foreclosures in US to Soar in2010

Real Estate Pro Articles: Foreclosure Lists Will Soar Again, Economist Zandi Says

Foreclosures stalled by underpropping from US bailout and loan term changes. But expect more next year, as many forclosures still not sold. by John Cutts reporting Moodys Economist Mark Zandi.

Posted by hyrax @ 01:48 AM 0 Comments

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another "green shoot" withering

Times online: False dawn for Christmas spending spree hopes

Stephen Robertson, BRC director-general, said: “We would have expected a much stronger growth because the comparison is with very poor results in 2008 when November was the second-worst-performing month of the year. Consumer confidence is fragile and has taken a turn for the worse.”

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 11:13 PM 0 Comments

I say neighbour are you a Banker?

Times: Darling challenges bankers: Can you look neighbours in the eye?

“You have to pass the next-door neighbour test,” Mr Darling told an audience of some of Britain’s most highly paid bankers, including Bob Diamond, president of Barclays, and Richard Gnodde, co-head of Goldman Sachs in London. “You have to be able to look at your next-door neighbour and justify what you are doing.” Trouble is that their neighbours are probably bankers too - so the test is passed!

Posted by enuii @ 11:11 PM 23 Comments

"I thought I was rich,but I was only dreaming"

Mail online: 'Scrooge' RBS hits homeowners with Christmas crackdown on borrowing

Mr Mason, 58, from Hockley, Essex, said: 'It is a completely miserly act at the worst possible time of year. They are acting like Scrooge for no reason and have announced this completely out of the blue so that all of a sudden £90,000 of money I thought I had available has been taken away.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:41 PM 2 Comments

China looking risky

FT: Unsustainable? China’s investment boom

Article looking at a few of the risks(!) for China. Namely, GDP growth is from investment, debt no longer generating sustainable GDP. Have China fallen into a trap of building additional steel works because of additional demand for steel from building steel works? Or, are they expanding production purely for the requirements of expanding production? In which case POP at some point.

Posted by stillthinking @ 08:45 PM 0 Comments

Up or down?

Interactive Investor: Halfax hpi

Out tomorrow( 8 dec ),I think it will be -0.5%

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 06:45 PM 20 Comments

New twist on quantitative easing?

MSN: Fiver set for a comeback

Will these be freshly printed fivers?

Posted by mr g @ 02:10 PM 10 Comments

Dubai shows what we can expect to happen in China

FT: Why Dubai's debacle does matter

"Many commentators initially dismissed losses on subprime mortgages because of their relatively small share of the US mortgage market. Yet the subprime fiasco turned out to be significant because the irresponsible practices it revealed turned out to be commonplace. Likewise, minuscule Iceland, with its outsized foreign liabilities and giant current account deficits, revealed the worst excesses of international finance. Despite its diminutive size, Dubai provides another cautionary tale." - Goes on to point out that China looks very similar to Dubai.

Posted by mountain goat @ 02:02 PM 15 Comments

V shaped housing and stock market recovery unlikely

MoneyWeek: A warning from the bond markets

"We have long said that inflation is unlikely unless economic recovery gains momentum. In our view there are serious reasons to doubt the validity of a V-shaped recovery."

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:24 PM 5 Comments

Little Britain

Telegraph: Britain risks falling out of world's top 10 economies

... But I thought we had all these talented bankers working for the UK? Surely, their elite, super-human, oxfordodian, fox-shooting masterful talents will save the UK?

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:35 PM 13 Comments

Mainstream Media talks Double Dip!

Telegraph: Will Dubai's problem's affact property 'recovery'?

Estate agents are preparing for some of London's finest properties to be put up for sale because of Dubai's financial troubles. Research last week by property agents CBRE claimed that £79bn of UK property debt is "poor quality", while HSBC said roughly 85pc of loans made to the sector in the last five years are breaching covenants and £132bn of new equity needs to be found. Property values, they warned, will fall by up to 16pc in 2010. Matthew Grefsheim, director of special servicing at restructuring specialist Hatfield Philips, said: "The skeletons in the closet present the risk of a double dip"

Posted by matt @ 11:41 AM 0 Comments

British house prices are heading for long-term decline

MoneyWeek: British house prices are heading for long-term decline

The four reasons why British house prices are heading for long-term decline...

Posted by geoff @ 11:27 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Form an orderly queue

Daily Mail: Britons are keeping £50 notes under the bed because they have 'lost confidence in banks' says UK's chief cashier

Panicked bank customers are hoarding £50 notes because they have 'lost confidence' in the system. His remarks highlight the dramatic loss of confidence in the banking system which has resulted from the extraordinary events of the last few years. Before Northern Rock, which lead to shocking scenes of savers queueing round the block to withdraw money, most people believed their money was safer in a bank than it was anywhere else. Today, many people believe that it is safer under their mattress

Posted by devo @ 11:03 PM 29 Comments

Can't buy the house anyway!

TIMES: Flawed credit report meant we lost our dream home

"Borrowers with good credit histories are having their mortgage applications declined or delayed because of mistakes on credit files, with banks accused of “laziness” for merely relying on data from the agencies".

Posted by alan @ 09:15 PM 7 Comments

Ohh dear, nothing sell, it's all the bad news to blame....


"Results at the November property sale at the Agricultural Business Centre were disappointing but unfortunately followed an announcement in the press over the previous weekend that indicated that house prices were likely to fall over the coming months." Nothing to do with the prices being asked then then and the fact the whole country is bust ?

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 08:49 PM 2 Comments

More pressure building

Times online: High risk and on the shelf

"For borrowers already in the mortgage market who may be paying their mortgages perfectly well, but whose combined risk factors look high, the ability to get a new mortgage will be significantly reduced in the future,” says Wyles. “There will be a group of existing borrowers who will be prevented from taking out a new mortgage with a different lender, or possibly even with their existing lender, in the future.”

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 07:54 PM 1 Comments

"We are not going to be held to ransom"

BBC: Banks 'face windfall bonuses tax'

The Treasury is preparing to levy a £1bn a year temporary windfall tax on British-based banks, BBC business editor Robert Peston has learned.

Posted by devo @ 07:43 PM 7 Comments

UK Banks face windfall tax - will the rest of the world follow?

BBC News - Peston's picks: Banks face windfall tax

The Treasury is preparing to levy a windfall tax or super tax on British based banks, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday in the pre-budget report and would raise considerably more than £1bn a year for two or three years.

Posted by dothemaths @ 05:20 PM 0 Comments

Parody singularity

Times: The Frugalista

"If I could do one thing this year it would be to persuade people that second-hand and home-made presents are not in any way second-rate. I have no concept that there is anything shameful about them. This may be because I was brought up seeing the worth in second-hand pieces because my father worked for Christie’s..." It gets better: "My other half, Ben, and I live in a huge house in East Devon that we couldn’t possibly afford to furnish unless we used recycled goods..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:48 PM 8 Comments

Lloyds cash call

Times: To buy or not to buy, that is the question

Article discussion on the merits of putting more cash into Lloyds. The positive slant is that Lloyds has been given fast-track permission to establish a near monopoly in the UK market, with cost savings due to eliminating the duplicate workforce of the former competitor HBOS. In other words, the merits of Lloyds come entirely from the new monopolistic ability to squeeze the pips out of the UK. From the comments this isn't regarded as a good deal.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:44 PM 1 Comments

Rubbing our noses in it

True/slant: The Ultimate Personilised Plate

The ultimate F-U from Wall Street to all of us: "2BG2FAIL" is the personalised number plate that the Vice-Chairman of Morgan Stanley has on his Porsche Pitchfork and torches time....

Posted by the number cruncher @ 08:37 AM 10 Comments

Big bonuses are only the symptom

Sunday Times: The great RBS exodus: 1,000 bankers quit over bonus row

Adam Smith said something like "If the price of something remains inordinately high then it is not operating in a completely free market". In other words big bonuses for banks are not the problem they are the symptom. As the article says: " Investment banks' [staff], however, are enjoying a boom in profits due to the loss of competition in the sector after the demise of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns ".

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:26 AM 20 Comments

Anglo-Saxon economies are the problem

Sydney Morning Herald: Property prices on way down, warns bank

Is there a correlation between massive property price to income ratios and the level of "Anglo-Saxon-ness" of a country ? I guess it also holds true to Anglo Saxon economies are too soft on their exploitative banks.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:21 AM 6 Comments

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Class War

The Telegraph: Why Lord Snooty is the ideal role model for David Cameron

The current, desperate Labour strategy is not to inspire new voters, but to shore up old ones. There are, perhaps, 25 per cent of the population whose atavistic dislike of posh people can be exploited. Labour figures like Harriet Harman, the privately educated niece of an earl, or Lord Mandelson of Hartlepool and Foy, who likes to join Lord Rothschild’s shooting weekends, must be kept away from them. They want John Prescott – red and rude and ignorant. Their votes are useful, but their attitudes mean almost nothing to people under 40. They cannot win an election for Labour.

Posted by devo @ 10:56 PM 14 Comments

George Osborne:

The Telegraph: For confidence to return, Britain needs a credible plan

We bailed out the banks so they could lend out to other businesses. Back then, we said that the test of success would be whether credit flowed and we avoided money going into large bonuses. Gordon Brown promised us "binding" lending targets and that "the age of the big bonus is over". Both promises lie in tatters. Weeks ago I proposed that banks should not pay out large cash bonuses this winter, and use the money instead to get lending going. They should have implemented my proposal already.

Posted by devo @ 10:30 PM 12 Comments

Public sector pay freezes and big job cuts

The Times: Chancellor Alistair Darling’s £40bn cut in public spending

Alistair Darling will this week tell government departments that the money has run out and they face a three-year cash freeze on spending. Darling is said to believe that public sector workers will have to match the sacrifices made by private sector employees during the recession.

Posted by devo @ 10:03 PM 4 Comments

Game's up Gordon

Daily mail: U.S. Federal Reserve chief blames Brown for Britain's economic woes

Gordon Brown's decision to strip the Bank of England of its supervisory role caused 'major problems' for the British economy, the head of the American Federal Reserve said yesterday. Read more:

Posted by diboss @ 08:53 PM 0 Comments

Why didn't the UK's housing market go bust either?

Cleveland Fed: Why Didn’t Canada’s Housing Market Go Bust?

Despite their many points of similarity, housing markets in the United States and Canada have fared quite differently since the onset of the financial crisis. Unlike the U.S., Canada has not experienced a dramatic increase in mortgage defaults, nor has any Canadian bank required a government bailout. Both countries had similar interest rates. Conclusions: Canada was “lucky” to be a late adopter of U.S. innovations rather than an innovator in mortgage finance [Question: was the UK an innovator or a follower?] Subprime was much bigger in the US (22% of mortgages) versus Canada (5%); this includes borrowers with poor credit histories and difficult-to-document income sources. Surprisingly, Loan-to-Value ratios didn't differ much between the two countries; but Loan-to-Income ratios did.

Posted by drewster @ 08:17 PM 5 Comments

It's not over until Darling sings

Telegraph: Pay cut for two million Britons causes collapse in tax revenue

According to treasury figures between April and October, the amount the Treasury received in income tax fell by over 16 per cent compared with the same period in 2008. Apparently this totaled a £17 billion loss with 1.7 million people who might have been made redundant in the recession being saved from the dole queue by taking a pay cut or shorter hours. While Mr Darling will cite next week that the shift to "more flexible working" and the Government's policies have helped prevent unemployment the Treasury still expects unemployment levels to rise further next year.

Posted by enuii @ 01:21 PM 19 Comments

Stable house prices depend oon a stable economy!

TELEGRAPH: PBR will be 'less ambitious' than Budget

"The Chancellor will not attempt to cut his borrowing target for four years from now, despite widespread calls to bring the deficit down faster. The Treasury will also project that it will borrow "slightly" more this year than the £175bn it forecast in April, meaning Britain's total net debt may be higher in four years' time than the 76pc of GDP projection contained in the Budget".

Posted by alan @ 12:55 PM 2 Comments

Another celebrity property 'investor'

Telegraph: Peter Andre talks money

"My dad owned 17 properties in England, including Notting Hill and Paddington, before I was born. My parents came to the UK [from Cyprus] with nothing. He started investing in property so he always told me to do the same. I invested in properties in Australia and I bought a bit of land in Cyprus; my dad told me I should invest in the UK as well. I built my house in Cyprus, I started investing in England and bought a couple of apartments. Dad said that when you invest in property, you are setting up a future for your children. When you are young you don't really understand that, but it's true. Everything you build is for them. I think that investing in property has been my best business decision to date. I rent out my properties, which brings in income. I don't invest in stocks and shares."

Posted by drewster @ 11:44 AM 5 Comments

John Hunt sold this business for £370m in May 2007

ThisIsMoney: Foxtons' late accounts spark fears of instability

It seems that the dreamland over ever-rising house prices which estate agents and sellers have been living in is coming to an abrupt end. Perhaps they could employ me as a wizzo TV celebrity troubleshooter - I'd go in, chat to some of their dim but snappily dressed 'sales consultants', completely ignore what any of them have to say and glibly trumpet "TELL YOUR SELLERS TO DROP THEIR PRICES!" as I saunter towards the door, collecting my cheque on the way out.

Posted by paul @ 11:34 AM 14 Comments

The next phase.

The Times: Glazer family hit the wall over refinancing of Manchester United

"The Times understands that the Americans have been trying unsuccessfully to secure a refinancing package for part of the club’s £699 million debt for months, having failed in 2007 and last year, because of the bleak global economic climate." Off topic but evidence the double dip is just around the corner.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 11:13 AM 0 Comments

Now we know where the Fokker is exposed

Times: The Dubai dilemma

Stuart Law, from Assetz, says: “If you’ve got the money and the product is finished now is actually a great time for investors to buy in Dubai because the rental demand is there.” He does warn, however, that you will be swimming against the current. “But of course most people are panicking and trying to get out.” ... I predict this Stuart Azzetz will go under by Xmas

Posted by confused76 @ 10:55 AM 5 Comments

Consume, dammit!

Guardian: VAT could rise to 20%

"Consumption is 70% of the UK economy and confidence is crucial." |Says it all, really. Problem is, the country have been spending their equity and credit card balances, overdrafts and loans for the last 15 years and now the taps are off - as they should be!

Posted by brickormortis @ 07:42 AM 14 Comments

Friday, December 4, 2009

Land tax

Times: It’s time to increase tax on property

Property taxes, do it to Julia.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:39 PM 2 Comments

More proof of Land Value Tax suppresion?

FT: Try land value tax to squeeze bubble

The head of the world bank avoids mention of LVT (I should imagine he would swiftly become the ex head of the world bank if he did)

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:31 PM 4 Comments

One for all the gold bug rampers

BBC News: Gold price slumps

Gold fell more than $76, or 6%, to $1,150 an ounce, down from a record high of $1,226.56 in early trading. After figures showed the US jobless rate falling, the dollar gained 2% on the Japanese yen and 1.3% on the euro. Gold has hit a number of record highs in recent weeks as the dollar weakened due to low interest rates in the US.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:01 PM 17 Comments

Has Mr Shapps thought about this?

HIP Consultant: Conservative Home Information Pack policy to stall property market?

It does sound as if this policy has quite severe potential consequences if not controlled properly. Certainly, i would consider delaying my house sale if i thought it would be beneficial to me. The problem is can we trust politicians to manage the housing market? based upon historic information one must question this. Anyone for the property market halting even further?

Posted by kaz @ 01:20 PM 26 Comments

Why the next banking crisis could be even worse

MoneyWeek: Why the next banking crisis could be even worse

We have learnt nothing from the financial crisis. The banking system is more fragile than ever before and there is much more scope for things to go wrong. And the consequences will be far worse.

Posted by damien @ 11:55 AM 5 Comments

While UK House Prices are going up and up!

Reuters: U.S. housing market meltdown not over yet: Zandi

"The meltdown of the U.S. housing market is not over yet, and home prices will soon start trekking downward again as a flood of foreclosures looms, a well-known economist said on Wednesday. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in an interview with Reuters home prices will resume their decline by early next year as foreclosure sales pick up again He said "The housing crash is not over,"".

Posted by alan @ 11:36 AM 3 Comments

Another winter warmer!

Guardian: Corus to cut 1,700 jobs!

My thoughts are with you guys.

Posted by brickormortis @ 11:35 AM 6 Comments

Oh dear!

Guardian: Green Shoots and Leaves winter pudding!

"The value of loans in breach of financial agreements doubled to £30bn in the first half of this year". Mmm, that's a lot of money. IN fact about half as much as Dubai world owes!

Posted by brickormortis @ 11:29 AM 3 Comments

Cash Rich avail of generous government incentives!

Guardian: UK car sales race ahead 60%

Those with money are able to keep up with the latest trends as government incentives look after them!

Posted by brickormortis @ 11:25 AM 0 Comments

May reduce mortgage affordability and house prices?

Mail: £40,000 a family: Taxpayers' cash funds the £850billion bailout

"The extent of taxpayer support for Britain’s banks is revealed today to be £40,000 for every family in the country. An official report concludes that bailouts, guarantees, insurance and loans offered by the Government and the Bank of England reached £850billion. Not all the cash has actually been spent, and ministers insist that taxpayers will see a return when the banks get back to profitability and the public stakes are sold off to the private sector".....maybe!

Posted by alan @ 10:33 AM 9 Comments

They would be better off adjusting to the new reality, and getting on with it.

Manchester evening news: City landlords ring the changes

Experts estimate total office lettings in the city centre will be around 600,000 sq ft by the end of the month - around 40 per cent down on 2006 and 2007.

Posted by mark @ 10:30 AM 0 Comments

2,000 jobs to go in Corus closure

BBC: 2,000 jobs to go in Corus closure

Steelmaker Corus has confirmed it will close its Teesside Cast Products factory, putting 2,000 people out of work.

Posted by mark @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

No words...

Telegraph: Treasury's City advisers in line for £5.8 million bonus from taxpayers

City bankers working for the Treasury are in line for bonuses worth millions of pounds, it has been revealed.The National Audit Office found that Treasury advisers could also get “success fees” of up to £5.8 million.

Posted by cat and canary @ 10:06 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Today's weather forecast, cold winds of reality spreading from the west.

Irish Times: The lost decade: prices now back to 2001 level

Tell it like it really is from the Irish Times. Couldn't possibly happen in New Britain.

Posted by baudot @ 10:23 PM 0 Comments

Do what's best for the country Darling

The Telegraph: As we head for the rocks, will Captain Darling change course?

Next week's pre-Budget report will be the defining moment of Alistair Darling's time at the Treasury. As he picks through the debris of Britain's financial and industrial wreckage, much of it caused by the ineptitude of his predecessor, the Chancellor has a choice: he can do what is right for the country's long-term interests, or he can pander to the short-term needs of his party.

Posted by devo @ 09:26 PM 59 Comments

Britain's Inflationary Debt Spiral

The Market Oracle: Britain's Inflationary Debt Spiral as Bank of England Keeps Expanding Quantitative Easing

Over the coming years we will witness the systematic destruction of the British currency as witnessed through the inflation and commodity / asset price data as the Inflation Mega-trend starts to unfold following the asset price destruction induced Deflation of 2008 into early 2009.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 09:07 PM 0 Comments

Down we go - wheeeeeeeee

City Wire: Fitch predict possible double dip

Hope you haven't just bought a house :D

Posted by chrisch @ 05:55 PM 8 Comments

More workers available for tescos

Machester evening news: GMP to lose 300 officers in budget cuts

GREATER Manchester Police is to lose 300 officers after overspending by £5m. The force will also order a freeze on civilian recruitment and crack down on overtime, training and travel as it seeks to balance the books. Accountants have forecast the force will overreach its £560m annual budget by around £5m when the financial year ends in March.

Posted by mark @ 05:11 PM 3 Comments

Bank loss reminder

Spectator: Risky business

"Bank of England data shows that UK bank exposure to the US increased increased by over half a trillion dollars between 2004 and 2007 to 1.2 trillion." Although the losses can be delayed, perhaps inflated away, or temporarily bubbled over, the losses are a so far unknown addition to the UK budget deficit. Whether the gov. takes shares in the banks, or ring-fences through bad/good banks, the losses will still sit on the UK taxpayer. Japan's avoidance of bank repair and subsequent zombie bank induced deflation isn't mentioned, but the reasoning is very clear for both the UK and Japan, essentially the losses are clearly too heavy to face without social upheaval.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:51 PM 1 Comments

Almost amusing... Fury as EU creates watchdogs for London

Fears are growing over Britain's future as a world financial centre after the Government agreed to sweeping new European controls over banks, finance houses and insurance firms. Chancellor Alistair Darling was accused of a 'sell out' after signing up to a deal that will mean the creation of three powerful new EU regulators.

Posted by contrails are not a conspiracy (formerly npnh) @ 12:31 PM 20 Comments

New podcast series, starring our very own FP

Guardian: Money Guides: House prices

House prices continue to confound expectations, but the next 12 months bring predictions of further falls. So when exactly is the right time to buy or sell? In the first of our series of Money Guide podcasts, Clare Catford is joined by the Guardian's money website editor, Hilary Osborne, chartered financial planner Jonathan Davis from Armstrong Davis, and Oliver Gilmartin, a senior economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, to try and unwrap the house prices riddle.

Posted by propertyquant @ 11:26 AM 6 Comments

Higher interest rates on their way

FT: UK bank borrowing costs to rise

"Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK banks, are facing £6bn ($10bn) in extra interest rate costs over the next four years as the Bank of England withdraws cheap emergency loans from the market. The cost of replacing this cheap funding combined with new liquidity rules, which will require banks to invest more of their reserves in risk-free government debt paying lower interest rates, will hit the UK institutions hard, according to research by Credit Suisse." I guess the banks will have to raise their own interest rates irrespective of what Threadneedle Street does.

Posted by tpbeta @ 10:06 AM 6 Comments

I wouldn’t bother talking to the agents myself... Google set to enter UK property market

Google is in talks with British estate agents to launch an online property portal, which experts say could pose a serious threat to existing property websites and local newspapers. The US internet search company launched a property portal in Australia last August through which estate agents list properties for free, showing both pictures taken from its Street View service and details on a map.

Posted by nopensionnohouse @ 07:44 AM 13 Comments

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Too many lawyers in the City

The Times: Axe may fall on 5,000 more City lawyers in fresh round of job cuts

Royal Bank of Scotland, which handles the corporate bank accounts of 80 of Britain’s top 100 law firms, believes that the slump in demand for legal services will continue through next year, leading to further drastic cutbacks.

Posted by devo @ 10:53 PM 13 Comments

How to Earn Money in 2010

The Telegraph: Top Tips for 2010, courtesy of Goldman Sachs

Long Russian Equities, Long Sterling (against the Kiwi dollar), Short Turkish credit, Short Spain, Long Ireland, Long Polish zloty (against the Japanese yen).

Posted by devo @ 10:37 PM 19 Comments

Why not agree on £1.25 billion?

Sky News: RBS Board Threatens To Quit Over Bonuses

The RBS board has threatened to resign en masse if the Government vetoes bonus payments approved by its directors. RBS is looking to make bonus payments in 2009 of roughly £1.5bn. The Treasury would be comfortable with around £1bn.

Posted by devo @ 09:55 PM 29 Comments

The case for government deficits and debt jubilees

Counterpunch: The path to full employment

QE won't work. That's not how money and credit work. Loans create deposits and not vice-versa. Bank lending is not constrained by lack of reserves. As for expansion of central-bank balance sheets, the debate as to whether this is inflationary (bad) or credit-creating (good) is not what it's about. In the US the Fed has simply brought the wholesale money market onto its balance sheet in order to restore a destructive status quo ante. Budget deficits are the way forward. The private sector is deleveraging (and private debt is much bigger than public debt) and this cannot happen without gov't deficit spending) and/or (unlikely) a trade surplus. (And budget surpluses are not good.) Debts that can't be paid won't be, and bailing out debtors is much better for the economy than bailing out banks.

Posted by icarus @ 07:42 PM 3 Comments

Banks set to run the world.

Bloomberg: European Banks Growing Bigger ‘Sowing the Seeds’ of Next Crisis

European banks are emerging from the credit crisis bigger than before, posing more risk to their national economies. BNP Paribas SA, Barclays Plc and Banco Santander SA are among at least 353 European lenders that have increased in size since the beginning of 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Fifteen European banks now have assets larger than their home economies, compared with 10 lenders three years ago.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 05:44 PM 6 Comments

Adam Posen the new (USA) boy on the MPC

Citywire: Is a hike in stamp duty and CGT the way to curb house price bubbles?

Bank of England newcomer Adam Posen believes governments should intervene directly in housing markets by taxing excessive house price rises. The US economist Adam Posen is the new boy on the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) who obviously hasn’t learnt the golden PR rules of that august institution quite yet. The first rule is to ignore unsustainable house price bubbles completely on the way up, but then fret about them obsessively on the way down, because of their effect on consumer confidence and spending. The second is.....

Posted by jack c @ 05:42 PM 4 Comments

I couldn't wait till hell freezes over!

Telegraph: Climategate: it's all unravelling now

So many new developments: which story do we pick? Maybe best to summarise, instead. After all, it’s not like you’re going to find much of this reported in the MSM. crunchy, or BBC come to that. The biggest taxation scam in history? or we really must save those poor little fluffy polar bears Al Gore! So much agenda hangs on this getting forced through. It's make your mind up time! YES, this could effect house prices and beyond.

Posted by crunchy @ 03:40 PM 0 Comments

Inflation/Deflation is not the real issue - it's DEBT

Money Week: Two more reasons why investors shouldn't trust governments

Unlike paper money, gold’s value isn’t dependent on a government promise. Gold’s rising price is largely because investors are concerned, not about inflation or deflation as such, but about the undermining of paper currencies.

Posted by general congreve @ 03:07 PM 5 Comments

Central Bankers read this - There is nothing more dangerous than a bad theory

Steve Keen’s Debtwatch: Debtwatch no-41 december2009 4-years of calling the gfc

"I first realised that the world faced a serious financial crisis in the very near future in December 2005, as I prepared an Expert Witness Report for the NSW Legal Aid Commission on the subject of predatory lending." He goes on to point out where we are and why Central Bankers models are wrong, seeing the economy in equilibrium not as dynamic, meaning the Global Financial Crisis is not over. "It will also require the breaking of the hegemony of neoclassical economics over economic thinking, but I doubt that the academic profession, or economists in Central Banks and Treasuries, are up to the task of changing their spots. Change in economics will have to come from the rebels, and from outsiders taking over a discipline that economists themselves have failed."

Posted by mountain goat @ 02:36 PM 3 Comments

Gilts being covered

Wall Street Journal: Solid Demand At UK GBP2.25B 4.25% 2039 Gilt Auction

Government borrowing still OK. I have a comment on this with reference to pensions.

Posted by stillthinking @ 01:40 PM 10 Comments

Ca va chier...

The Times: We are in charge now, Sarkozy tells the City

Alistair Darling has delivered a blunt warning to the EU’s new French finance chief against meddling with the City of London. As Nicolas Sarkozy gloated over impending curbs on the City, the Chancellor said that such moves would drive financial services out of Europe. The French President’s glee at the appointment of Michel Barnier as Commissioner for the Single Market took on an edge of menace yesterday when he said that unfettered City practices must end. “Do you know what it means for me to see for the first time in 50 years a French European commissioner in charge of the internal market, including financial services, including the City [of London]?" he said yesterday.

Posted by happyrenting @ 01:28 PM 6 Comments

Britain On on brink Financial Meltdown

Mailonline: Is Britain on the brink of financial armageddon?

He's one of our top entrepreneurs who recently put all his investments into cash. The reason: He believes Britain faces bankruptcy. You may disagree with his bleak analysis but you can't afford NOT to read it

Posted by robin gormley @ 01:13 PM 0 Comments

The latest on the proposed Yorkshire and Chelsea BS merger

FT: Yorkshire reveals plan to access government coffers

Yorkshire Building Society plans to access liquidity facilities from the Bank of England and HM Treasury's credit guarantee scheme to ensure its capital and funding remains strong as it merges with Chelsea. The mutual said it will make use of the funds following due diligence on Chelsea Building Society and moves to improve the quality of Chelsea's capital base, which it agreed to merge with today (2 December).The takeover of Chelsea Building Society by Yorkshire underscores the difficulties faced by mutuals during the recession.

Posted by jack c @ 01:11 PM 3 Comments

Dummy Spitting Backlash Imminent

Guardian: Royal Bank of Scotland bonus pool now under government control

"RBS has revealed that it has reluctantly surrendered the right to decide how any bonuses should be paid for the current financial year, warning that it could harm the bank's ability to recruit and retain (greedy and ruthless) staff." (bracketed comments added by C&C!) In a circular to shareholders, RBS said it has granted the Treasury the right to "consent to the quantum and shape of the 2009 bonus pool", as part of the terms of joining the government's asset protection scheme (APS).

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:54 PM 2 Comments

Fed suddenly concerned about the impact of low rates on market practices?

FT: Fears grow about overheated US debt market

Some of the most controversial financing practices of the credit-bubble years – from cov lite loans to Pik toggle notes and dividend recap exercises – have returned to Wall Street, stoking fears that debt markets are growing overheated. “We have had a huge rally in debt,” said Dino Kos, a former New York Federal Reserve Bank official. In the minutes of its November meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee noted “the possibility that some negative side effects might result from the maintenance of very low short-term interest rates including the possibility of excessive risk-taking”.

Posted by cat and canary @ 11:23 AM 6 Comments

The economy appears to have turned

Reuters: BoE's Dale says UK economy appears to have turned

Britain appears to be emerging from recession and, although headwinds remain, policymakers need to be wary of driving up asset prices with loose policy, Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale said on Wednesday.

Posted by mrflibble @ 10:13 AM 23 Comments

One more straw on the camels back

Guardian: Darling warns EU financial regulations could be 'recipe for confusion'

Correct me if I'm wrong but the city is only a small percentage of our economy (

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 09:45 AM 9 Comments

Labour's student production line: It creates demand for BTL and creates an army of new debtors!

Bloomberg: Blackstone Builds City of London Tower for Students Not Bankers

The tallest tower in London’s main financial district to open next year won’t house bankers or office workers -- it’ll be a student dormitory. The 33-story building’s owner is Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest private-equity company. Blackstone entered the U.K.’s student-housing market four years ago and has so far invested more than 400 million pounds ($665 million). Rents have risen even as Britain endured its worst property slump in more than three decades.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:43 AM 2 Comments

RICS - "oversupply is reversing, with new instructions at the lowest we have ever seen"

Times: Rental market shrinks as landlords sell up

Residential rents are set to rise next year as the number of properties put up to let dwindles to levels not seen since 1998. According to the latest survey of the lettings market from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, rents are expected to rise for the first time since July last year. The drop-off in properties coming on to the rental market was cited as the main reason for the change. Accidental landlords, who found themselves renting out their homes because they could not sell, have been rushing to take advantage of the recovering housing market

Posted by jack c @ 09:12 AM 5 Comments

Only 7 million!!

Daily mail: Estate agent tricked client out of £7million

One of Britain's biggest estate agents has admitted cheating a client into selling his £10 million home for a third of its true worth. Savills issued a grovelling apology in the High Court to company director Barry McKay as it admitted tricking him into selling the home for £2.9 million.

Posted by mark @ 08:52 AM 4 Comments

Last our of recession - well done Gordon!

The Guardian: MAnufacturing SLowdown Confounds City

"Coming a day after a return to growth in Canada left Britain as the last G20 economy still in recession" Does anyone else remember Flash Gordon telling the world that the UK was the best placed nation to recover from recession? Can anyone find the quote anywhere. I cannot remember it ad verbatum but I am sure he said it. Or maybe it was all a big dream?

Posted by brickormortis @ 07:58 AM 10 Comments

Explain why this won't happen in the UK

Washington Post: North Korea revalues currency, destroying personal savings

The government of Kim Jong Il revalued the country's currency, sharply restricting the amount of old bills that could be traded for new and wiping out personal savings.The revaluation replaces 1,000-won notes with 10-won notes but strictly limits the amount of old currency that can be exchanged. Imagine if yesterday you had £100,000, today you have £1,000.

Posted by devo @ 06:45 AM 6 Comments

"a little humility and contrition are probably the better route"

Bloomberg: Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public

Senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

Posted by devo @ 06:32 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

MPC member suggest new taxation wheeze

Telegraph: Posen calls for 'bubble tax' on homes

Adam Posen, the newest member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, said on Tuesday that the Government should consider taxing homeowners if the value of their home rises too fast and also indicated that this may mean imposing capital gains taxes on first homes and raising stamp duty.

Posted by enuii @ 11:36 PM 6 Comments

Uh oh.

Spectator: Labour's free for all

There was some concern about UK banks exposure to Dubai, which fortunately seems like sauce on a side dish. The money lent is "$1.2 trillion in the United States, $125 billion in Spain, $183 billion in Ireland, $50 billion to the UAE/Dubai.", all of which have spectacular losses on property speculation. Before we forget, irrespective of how many empty offices Dubai has, Spain managed to build a million properties (yes really, half mill in 2004 alone), more than all of the rest of Europe put together. RBS managed to lend out 2.5 trillion off the back of their Edinburgh offices like a hugely successful Del boy. If we aren't busted, then what exactly do you need to do to manage it, it must be impossible.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:46 PM 3 Comments

Trouble brewing?

This Is Money: Foxton's late accounts spark fears of instability

Upmarket estate agent Foxtons is nearly a month behind in filing its yearly accounts at Companies House, leaving its directors open to prosecution and raising fears about its financial health. Failure to file accounts on time is a criminal offence and directors could be fined up to £5,000 and disqualified. The accounts were due to be filed on October 31, but so far nothing has been lodged, leading to an 'overdue' notice.

Posted by happyrenting @ 10:30 PM 0 Comments

I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel

Bloomberg: The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names.

Posted by chris @ 10:06 PM 0 Comments

Worth a jolly good read!!!

Cnn: Junk mortgages: It just gets worse

The final lesson is, Beware of the dangers of bottom fishing. It would have been tempting to buy this security when the original AAA paper traded down to the low two-digits -- but any buyer that did that is sitting on big losses. Just as things often rise further than you think they will and stay there longer, they can also fall further than you think and keep on falling. Remember that when someone tells you that something is so cheap that it has nowhere to go but up

Posted by mark @ 07:12 PM 0 Comments

Take your profits and run?

Telegraph: Home buyers paying £15000 more

Time for a quick exit perhaps?

Posted by smugdog @ 06:55 PM 8 Comments

You guys don't understand

The national: You guys don't understand

No comment.

Posted by brickormortis @ 06:53 PM 1 Comments

Cockroaches are back

GrowthStockWire: The Cockroach That Ate Manhattan

As Americans celebrated Thanksgiving by stuffing themselves with turkey, cranberries, and sweet potatoes, and watching the Detroit Lions lose another football game, Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai noticed a cockroach scurrying across the gold inlaid floor of his palace dining room. "This isn't good," he must have thought to himself. "I must call the best exterminator in Abu Dhabi to take care of this." The best exterminator in Abu Dhabi saw the success Chairman Bernanke had here in the United States, so he threw a couple of pastrami sandwiches into the cupboard and duct-taped the cabinet doors shut.

Posted by mountain goat @ 06:53 PM 1 Comments

Democracy and finance

Bloomberg: U.K. Heading for ‘Hung Parliament,’ Third Poll in a Month Shows

Currently polls indicate that no party will have a majority. If the UK voters don't fall into line pretty quick they will literallly pay the consequences. Expect more of this as the election draws closer. I think the Tories, quiet as they are, must realise that this allows them a certain lassitude on not coming clear with their plans.

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:40 PM 1 Comments

Interesting Kite...

Times: Bank's Posen calls for housing bubble taxes

Let's see where this goes. I've always thought capital gains for ALL houses should be applied. It is everywhere else. It's a crazy state of affairs (no pun intended) that we tax all sorts of income, but leave the one that earns people the most money untaxed!

Posted by growler @ 05:02 PM 13 Comments

Off topic, but does any accountants out there fancy a bash at this?

Guardian: The mystery of Tony Blair's finances

Since Tony Blair stepped down, he has received millions of pounds from an unusual mixture of income streams. His financial affairs have been described as 'Byzantine' and 'opaque'. Can you shed any light on them?

Posted by flintster1994 @ 03:10 PM 21 Comments

Summary of the market in October.

HousingExpert: How was October for you?

A useful summary of the main house price surveys from last month broken down to give a helpful insight into what's really going on. Provided by one of the BBC's regular housing market commentators, this is raw data leaving interpretation to others. The gap between asking prices and the average sale prices is still nearly 100% above the long term average. A triumph of optimism over reality?

Posted by charles lister @ 02:08 PM 0 Comments

The Silver Bullett

BBC: Australia raises rates for third straight month

Australia's central bank has raised interest rates for a third month in a row. In a widely expected move, the cost of borrowing increased to 3.75% from 3.5%. Analysts said further rate rises were on the cards. "The level of interest rates is still historically very low," said Craig James at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He predicted rates would hit 4.25% by February or March next year.

Posted by jack c @ 01:08 PM 9 Comments

Quantitative easing must stop now

FT: Insight: Deflating the bubble

Central banks need to check their proclivity for generating a further bubble to overcome the effects of the previous bust. Certainly, we can never get the timing exactly right, but now does seem the moment to declare victory for QE and withdraw.

Posted by pebble @ 12:36 PM 1 Comments

Everything is OK.

Telegraph: Angela Merkel alarmed by worsening credit crisis

"We are in a very critical situation," said Chancellor Angela Merkel in her weekly radio address. "We are going to discuss with leaders of the financial institutions what can be done to head off a credit crunch." The move comes days after the Bundesbank revealed that German banks face a further €90bn (£82bn) of likely write-downs over the next year.

Posted by charlie brooker @ 11:35 AM 1 Comments

Expectations on the rise

BBC: Homes 'used for pension top-ups'

Many people are still relying on cashing in on the rising value of their property to fund their retirement, according to a survey. Some 12% of the over-50s have consciously saved less into pension schemes because they expect property values to rise, says insurer LV. However, they have seen an average of £27,250 wiped off their property values in the past two years. Those approaching retirement said they had been worst hit, the poll found.

Posted by jack c @ 11:17 AM 6 Comments

Watch the road ahead

FT: Short View: More debt shocks

"With debt blow-ups inevitable in the coming months, the big question is whether the world can grow fast enough to limit the losses and make banks more able to absorb the pain, some of which has been pushed down the road."

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:08 AM 0 Comments

Fears of credit card crisis as bank write-offs double

Telegraph: Fears of credit card crisis as bank write-offs double

Fears that the banking system is facing a credit card timebomb were underlined as official figures showed that the amount of card debt banks have written off has unexpectedly doubled. In a sign that Britons are facing increasing difficulties keeping their finances under control, bad debts from credit cards leapt from £812m to £1.6bn in the third quarter, said the Bank of England.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:46 AM 4 Comments

Could the UK's very own debt crisis hit in January?

Telegraph: Where Dubai leads, Britain could soon follow

First, if it looks like a bubble, it probably is a bubble. As Jim Krane, author of City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism, noted last week: "When you start building a third island shaped like a palm tree, intending it to be as big and crowded as Manhattan, you are crying out for a sober voice to bark: Stop." ...Interesting comment at the bottom suggesting that the UK is not only next to default on its debts, but SOON, citing JANUARY... could it the case?

Posted by mick rupert @ 09:38 AM 0 Comments

Double dip anyone?

BBC News: House prices continue to rise, says Nationwide

Bet they wouldn't have posted that graph 12 months ago

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 09:06 AM 4 Comments

Respected internatrional propertry firm's research shows house price fall in 2010

Property Week: UK house prices to fall in 2010 says Jones Lang LaSalle

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s end of year UK Residential Market Forecast, published yesterday there are already signs of this growth slowing and average house prices across the UK are expected to fall by 7% in 2010. It said that during 2010 unemployment is expected to continue rising, and other factors such as the rise in VAT in January, the general election, the diminishing impact of the quantitative easing programme and further government fiscal tightening will all weaken the demand for housing over the next 12-18 months while also forcing more homes into the marketplace.

Posted by peter whelp @ 08:17 AM 0 Comments

+0.5% MoM +2.7% YoY

Nationwide: November Index

Commenting on the figures Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “The monthly rate of house price inflation was unchanged in November at a seasonally adjusted 0.5%, leaving the average price of a typical property 2.7% higher than a year earlier. At £162,764, the average house price is at a similar level to where it was in early 2006. The 3 month on 3 month rate of change – generally a smoother indicator of the near term trend – dropped to 2.8% from 3.5% in October and 3.8% in September. This suggests that house prices are now rising at a more moderate pace than in the spring and summer months, when they experienced a very strong bounce from the early 2009 lows."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:25 AM 46 Comments

Charlie Brooker on Dubai

Guardian: Remember those dreamlike images of Dubai? Guess what. You were dreaming

I'm not sure even he realised that there are currently two palm islands, or what the eventual expansion plans were.

Posted by paul @ 07:04 AM 2 Comments

More "closing down" sales

Standard: HSBC warning of more pain to come for UK landlords

Britain's biggest landlords will suffer a nasty hangover next year. That's the verdict of HSBC which warned today that the commercial property sector will suffer a “double-dip correction”, with rents falling further as the number of empty shops and offices climbs, business rates rise and demand from new occupants remains weak. The bank's boffins believe shares in the sector are “grossly over valued” and that the value of their portfolios will fall by 10% on average in 2010.

Posted by alan @ 01:55 AM 11 Comments

Mrs Saiedi, 35, received £170,000 a year in benefits. Some £150,000 of that is paid to a private lan

Telegraph: Taxpayers pay £1,600-a-week for family of ex-asylum seekers to live in luxury five-storey home

A Somali family are living in a luxury £1.8million five- storey house in central London funded by the taxpayer. Nasra Warsame, 40, has lived with seven of her children and her elderly mother in the six-bedroom house since October. Westminster council pays the £1,600-a-week rent for the former asylum seeker.

Posted by ellen @ 01:10 AM 0 Comments

A FORMER asylum seeker is living in a luxurious £1.8million home fitted out with the latest mod-cons

The sun: Taxpayers are forking out £1,600 a week so Somali mum Nasra Warsame, seven of her kids and her pensioner mum can lord it in central London for free

Luxury touches include leather sofas and other designer furniture, a flat-screen TV and huge wall-length wardrobes. The home, like something out of Channel 4's Grand Designs, costs £83,000 a year to rent. Nasra, 40, and husband Bashir Eden, 50, are jobless.

Posted by chris @ 01:07 AM 0 Comments

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