February 2010 Archive

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Roger Bootle: Even worse than the Great Depression

The Telegraph: Fiscal tightening - to cut or not to cut, that is the question

The Bank of England should be standing ready to deliver more quantitative easing.

Posted by devo @ 11:06 PM 8 Comments

Printy Printy Watch

The Telegraph: Don't go wobbly on us now, Ben Bernanke

This is not to pick on America. Belt-tightening is the oppressive fact of 2010-2012 for half the world. Latvia's economy may contract by 30pc from peak to trough as it carries out an "internal devaluation", ie wage cuts, to hold its euro peg. The eurozone's fiscal squeeze is well advanced in Ireland. Brussels has told Greece to cut by 10pc of GDP in three years, Spain by 8pc, Portugal by 6pc. Britain must slash soon, or face a gilts strike. The Bank for International Settlements says Britain needs a primary surplus of 5.8pc of GDP for a decade to stabilise debt at pre-crisis levels, given the ageing crunch as well. The figure is 6.4pc for Japan, 4.3pc for the US and France. It warns of "unstable dynamics", posh talk for a debt spiral. "Action is needed now."

Posted by devo @ 10:11 PM 8 Comments

Bernanke's epiphany?

Washington Times: Bernanke delivers blunt warning on U.S. debt

Bernanke recently indicated to Congress that the Federal Reserve will not monetise the US debt and that Congress must start taking hard fiscal decisions to reassure creditors that the US will pay its debts. I'm not sure what to make of this. Perhaps Bernanke is just trying to reassure the treasury markets. Alternatively, see the first comment by me for a very different view from Karl Denninger.

Posted by quiet guy @ 03:48 PM 13 Comments

The vampire squid

Observer: Greek deal puts Goldman Sachs in the firing line – again

The legal dishonesty over Greek debt calls into question once again whether investment banks like Goldman are creating value or merely transferring it into their coffers.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

Tell Us Something We (on this site) Don't Know Already Roger!

Citywire Weekend: House price falls have been delayed, not prevented

House prices are still too high and will eventually fall back to more appropriate levels, says economist Roger Bootle.

Posted by magnaman @ 11:03 AM 18 Comments

Look to Swiss Freedom not Anglo Saxon Slavery

Pravda: Why The Failing US and EU Should Follow the Swiss Government Model

The European Union and the United States should consider the successful freedom model of Swiss confederation government rather than the failed top down examples of other nations and empires. Few would question that Switzerland is the most secure, stable, and freedom-oriented nation in the world but it is time to ask what is so unique about the Swiss. The answer is there is nothing particularly different about the nation or its people. They like to work hard, play hard and provide a good life for their families. So do the citizens of most other nations when given the opportunity.

Posted by postle @ 10:21 AM 0 Comments

The British people are not ready for the medicine!

The Times: Gordon Brown on course to win election

GORDON BROWN is on course to remain prime minister after the general election as a new Sunday Times poll reveals that Labour is now just two points behind the Tories. The YouGov survey places David Cameron’s Conservatives on 37%, as against 35% for Labour — the closest gap between the parties in more than two years.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:53 AM 0 Comments

Finally some justice?

Mail on sunday: Bankrupt grant bovey

Finally someone gets to feel the pain... imagine homes never ever made a profit despite a housing boom to end all housing booms and they took huge salaries and loans later waived by the company... looks like it's the second time as well, so why did hbos lend him tens or hundreds of millions? I imagine (no pun intended) he put the house in his wife's name.

Posted by taffee @ 08:36 AM 18 Comments

Markets unsettled amid Greek saga

Investment Postcards: Words from the (investment) wise for the week that was (February 22–28, 2010)

As investors vacillated about the impact of developments in Greece, together with the uncertainty of strong fourth-quarter economic data possibly not carrying over to the first quarter, stock markets experienced two sharp sell-offs and two rebound rallies, limping to small gains on Friday but ending the week modestly down. Renewed fears over Greece’s debt woes and disappointing economic statistics tempered investor optimism for risky assts, triggering haven demand for government bonds and the Japanese yen. Read all about this, together with some thought-provoking news items and quotes from market commentators during the past week, in the weekly “Words from the Wise” review.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 08:00 AM 0 Comments

Spring is in the air and everything is coming into bloom

Independent: Mortgage market blooms

"February marked the first fall in house prices for nine months which could tempt more borrowers to consider moving or buying a home. The 1 per cent decline in prices over the previous month's figures was due to special factors, such as the bad weather and the expiry of the holiday on stamp duty, according to the Nationwide." Fill your boots whilst you can at this rate. Looks cheap on paper, but wait till lift-off.

Posted by daveyk1975 @ 01:28 AM 0 Comments

Slip, Sliding Away!!!

Citywire: House price falls have been delayed, not prevented

House prices are still too high and will eventually fall back to more appropriate levels, says economist Roger Bootle.

Posted by daveyk1975 @ 01:23 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lloyds Liar Loans

The Times: Bewildering flights of fancy

British people and firms were defaulting, welching and plain embezzling on an industrial scale last year, it seems. The standout figure in the Lloyds Banking Group results yesterday was the £24,000 million of loans the bank judged it will never get back from customers. Every second of every day in 2009, Lloyds was writing off another £760 as clients queued up to say they could not honour their debts. Even lending at Royal Bank of Scotland was souring at the rate of only £441 a second. It’s jaw-dropping. You physically couldn’t destroy banknotes at the pace Lloyds was flushing money away. It points to earlier lending judgments of extraordinary recklessness or incompetence.

Posted by devo @ 11:01 PM 3 Comments

Like a choir of Angels to my weary ears

Sunday Times: House price slide could be start of longer downturn

Not new but still nice to hear: “New buyer inquiries dropped sharply in the new year and there was also an associated drop in the number of new mortgages taken out by homebuyers in January. At this stage, it is difficult to gauge how much of the drop in housing activity is attributable to one-off factors.”

Posted by tpbeta @ 09:50 PM 6 Comments

'Bad Credit OK!'

LendGo: Cheap Mortgage Payments

Found the link to this on HPC website (Avg' house price graph). Thought it very interesting that they felt the need to put the 'Bad Credit OK!' comment on. And in RED too.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 07:20 PM 0 Comments

Ronnie Wood reduces price of home by 20% from peak value to sell

The Sun: Ron sells home to split

Ronnie Wood has put his house up for sale for an asking price of £5.8m. He bought it less than 2 years ago for £7.25m. The house is in Chelsea - one of the premier locations in the UK. Over the past few weeks we have seen reporters, posters on the forum etc claiming that properties in sought after areas are selling at peak prices again. I would treat some of this information with extreme caution. None of the major indices indicate that this is the case - at the most prices are 10 -15% below peak (see below). Some houses may sell at 2007 prices for a lucky few. Remember houses are still selling for 9.5% or so below asking price, so if you see something go SSTC on Rightmove at a seemingly high price, you can on average take 9.5% off the price shown.

Posted by analysis @ 06:10 PM 0 Comments

Finding the real enemies of the people

AlterNet: Exposing the Great American Bubble Barons: Join Us in the Investigation

We need a British version of this

Posted by the number cruncher @ 12:12 PM 4 Comments

Tell me something I didn't know already?!

Pravda: London Becomes Large Laundry House

“It seems that London, being a large financial center of the world, is becoming a large laundry house"

Posted by freemanphil @ 10:50 AM 3 Comments

Not what I expected!

Guardian: UK'e escape from recession stronger than first thought

Official GDP figures for fourth quarter of 2009 revised up to 0.3% from 0.1%

Posted by open minded @ 08:54 AM 0 Comments

Oh boy!

One for FreeManPhil

Yahoo Finance: Death of American Capitalism

Significantly, Munger says 2012 is the turning point, a signal, the moment setting up the final crisis scene. We've often made a similar timing prediction, one tied to the 2012 election, and a reminder of the warning made by Jared Diamond in "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed." In the late stages of a nation's cycle: A crisis hits. Everyone, leaders and citizens, act surprised. But it's too late: "Civilizations share a sharp curve of decline. Indeed, a society's demise may begin only a decade or two after it reaches its peak population, wealth and power." Just 20 short years to ruin?

Posted by james stephenson @ 01:01 AM 3 Comments

Now that's what I call inflation!

Zero Hedge: Is Ben Bernanke The Second Coming Of Rudolf von Havenstein, The Central Banker Responsible For Germany's Hyperinflationary Collapse (And Ostensibly WWII)?

Dylan Grice provides a gripping account of Germany's hyperinflationary episode, in which he charts the extended parallels between not just the precursor economy that lead to a 16,579,999% inflation in 1923 Weimar Germany, and modern day developed (and highly leveraged) countries, but between Germany's then central banker Rudolf von Havenstein, and the Greenspan-Bernanke duo.

Posted by devo @ 12:04 AM 2 Comments

Friday, February 26, 2010

Schwarzenegger "Our economy is well-positioned to take advantage of the future." Sound Familiar?

The Sacramento Bee: Dan Walters: California economy still waiting for recovery

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared this week that "the worst is over for California's economy" and predicted happy days ahead, saying, "Our economy is well-positioned to take advantage of the future." Not so fast. Schwarzenegger once again has allowed his characteristic optimism – or hubris – to cloud what should be his better judgment.

Posted by novice pete @ 11:49 PM 1 Comments

This sucker's going down

FT: Lloyds in £42bn bill from toxic HBOS

The combined £42bn of charges dwarfs the £8bn purchase price for HBOS, damaging Lloyds’ long-held reputation for prudence following one of the most toxic bank takeovers in history. Tim Tookey, Lloyds’ finance director, played down market concerns over the bank’s re­financing needs when £157bn of government and central bank funding falls due over the next two years.

Posted by devo @ 11:39 PM 2 Comments

Nah they dont.... do they???

REAL Stock Market News and Insight: VIDEO: Federal Reserve Manipulating Stock Prices?

Well the Chilcot enquiry it aint.... Mildly amusing to have an attorney on the rack! Have a great weekend chaps.

Posted by techieman @ 09:21 PM 1 Comments

Friday night entertainment

FT: Shock! Jim Rogers didn’t say sterling shall collapse!

On Thursday the outspoken bow-tied investor was quoted in a press release for something called the Global Financial Trading Day Seminar. The release, for those who’ve forgotten already, went like this: Pound Could Collapse Within Weeks, Predicts Billionaire Financier Jim Rogers February 25, 2010 – Press Dispensary – The UK Pound is on the brink of a collapse which will herald a downturn worse than 2008/9, it could well happen within weeks and the British government is powerless to prevent it.

Posted by devo @ 08:59 PM 7 Comments

Financier Jim Rogers denies saying pound will collapse

Market Watch - Wall Street Journal: Says quotes in press release falsely attributed to him

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Financier Jim Rogers Friday denied making remarks attributed to him in a press release this week saying the pound sterling is at risk of imminent collapse. "I did not know about this press release. I didn't say those things," Rogers told MarketWatch.com in a phone interview from Singapore Friday. "I am on record as saying the U.K. has serious problems over the next few years and the pound sterling has serious problems over the next few years as well," Rogers said in the interview. "I would say the same about a lot of currencies. All paper money is suspect these days." "I think the euro PROBABLY will survive this bout with the Greeks," Rogers said. (I commented in the previous article that I didn't see a Sterling crisis until after the General Election)

Posted by freemanphil @ 08:39 PM 3 Comments

Oh dear, if only she had Brown to bail her out.

Mail on line: Scarlett Johansson loses over £1M on her Hollywood Hills home

The Lost In Translation actress has put her stunning Los Angeles home on the market at a cool £3million. But having purchased it for £4.5million in 2007 it will mean a loss of over £1million pounds on the Spanish style estate in the Hollywood Hills.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 06:47 PM 4 Comments

Keeping it real

Telegraph: Don't be fooled: GDP was actually revised down

I’m going to say something which might come as a surprise, given all the positive coverage this morning of the GDP figures. The Office for National Statistics has actually revised GDP down today – not up. The size of the British economy – in other words the total amount of cash generated by its companies and spent by its people – was actually £133m smaller in the fourth quarter than the ONS previously thought. Before today’s revisions, it thought the economy pumped out £315,845m worth of output in those three months. Now, it thinks the actual figure was more like £315,712m.

Posted by dill @ 06:36 PM 5 Comments

Short Rightmove

Fleet Street Invest: Estate Agents are a Dying Breed: Time to Short Rightmove (Ticker: RMV)

Time to short Rightmove.... Giants Tesco and Google are muscling in on their industry and are about to change it for good. Rightmove (Ticker: RMV) is trading at its all time high. Results out today were better than expected as they achieved some profit growth through cost cutting. Interestingly, revenue fell 6% - they’re going to have to do a whole lot more to cut costs in the future!

Posted by william @ 05:24 PM 0 Comments

Its OK, prices are still rising after all!

Land Registry: House Price Index January 2010

The January data shows an annual house price movement of 5.2 per cent, which is the second month in a row in which the figure has been positive. While not all regions are recovering at the same rate, it is clear that overall prices are increasing. Monthly house price change is also positive this month at 2.1 per cent. This is the eighth consecutive month that the figure has been above zero. The average house price in England and Wales now stands at £165,088, which is an increase from last month's figure.

Posted by greenmind @ 02:24 PM 5 Comments

About time

Times: House prices fall 1% in first drop for 10 months

House prices in the UK went into reverse in February, bringing to an end nine consecutive months of price rises, Nationwide said in the building society's monthly survey of the market.

Posted by geoff vader @ 02:16 PM 0 Comments

Damn that snow!

XE.COM: Pound falls

Any ideas why the markets didn't take too positively to this mornigns news. I had presumed yesterdays fall was anticipating worse news but would have corrected. My money still on 1.50 as it has been for a while but I wasn't sure that sterling would fall today! Here are a nice few pictures for anyone not following the story: http://www.advfn.com/p.php?pid=qkquote&symbol=FX^GBPUSD

Posted by brickormortis @ 01:30 PM 8 Comments

De-mystifying God's work

Bloomberg: Secret AIG document shows that G Sachs minted most toxic CDOs

A document has come to light showing a list of the mortgage CDOs on which GS and others were paid $62bn on their CDS insurance with AIG. Turns out (1) banks mostly owned, or had ties with, mortgage lenders/originators of the bad loans (2) the CDOs created on these mortgages fell sharply in value almost immediately and (3) the banks buying the CDSs from AIG were the ones underwriting the CDSs. The authorities also told AIG to pay GS et al in full when the former tried to negotiate to pay out at a discount. Then AIG was bailed out. The authorities kept the aforementioned list of CDOs secret (to protect GS or the financial system?). One thing's sure - the banks made money at the front end from buyers of the CDOs and then made more at the back end when the CDOs imploded.

Posted by icarus @ 01:25 PM 6 Comments

NAEA scramble defence of members

HIP Consultant: NAEA reconciliation with HIPs as OFT report is questioned?

A different slant on NAEA stance to the recent OFT report which is causing waves for sure. Do we really want to lose local estate agents to Tescos?

Posted by kaz @ 12:38 PM 2 Comments

Back to fundamentals

Telegraph: House prices to suffer "significant correction" in 2010

House prices are expected to suffer a “significant correction” this year as figures show recent rises are beginning to lose momentum.

Posted by dill @ 11:48 AM 11 Comments

You want a recovery? "Your" leaders have other priorities

Fox News: Bali-Hoo: U.N Still Pushing for Global Environmental Control

Leaked policy documents reveal that the United Nations plans to create a “green world order” by 2012 which will be enforced by a structure of global governance and funded by a gargantuan $45 trillion transfer of wealth from richer countries, as the globalists’ insidious plan to centralize power, crush sovereignty while devastating the economy is exposed once again. Leaked planning documents (PDF) obtained by Fox News lift the lid on the UN’s plan to impose global governance by the time of their 2012 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio, which will mark the 20th anniversary since the notorious “Earth Summit” held in the same city. This shows that the £1bn given to TATA to ship jobs overseas was part of an agenda. It was not a mistake. RIP Magna Carta.

Posted by freemanphil @ 11:28 AM 12 Comments

The Office for National Mis-information?

Telegraph: Britain emerged from recession quicker than first thought

'The Office for National Statistics said that the UK's gross domestic product - the broadest measure of overall economic performance - increased by 0.3pc in the final three months of 2009, rather than the 0.1pc expansion it had previously estimated.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:06 AM 14 Comments

No surprises here

BBC "News": UK economic growth revised up to 0.3%

They'd hardly revise it down with an election coming would they?

Posted by davethebox @ 11:03 AM 0 Comments

It's the snow, stupid!

Nationwide February House Prices: House prices slip in the winter snow during February

House prices slip in the winter snow during February • House prices fell by 1.0% month-on-month in February • Price decline may be explained by snowy weather and expiry of stamp duty holiday • Too early to say whether February’s drop is start of a new trend

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:43 AM 31 Comments

Here we go again!

BBC: UK house prices 'lose momentum', says Nationwide

UK house prices fell for the first time in 10 months in February as icy weather put off house hunters, the Nationwide building society has said. Average property values dropped by 1% compared with January, with the average home worth £161,320. But the annual rate of increase accelerated to 9.2% because prices dropped faster a year ago. Mortgage lending also slowed at the start of the year owing to the hangover from the stamp duty holiday.The three-month on three-month comparison is generally regarded as a smoother indication of house price trends. This showed a 1.6% increase in the three months to February, having slowed from 2% in January and from the peak of 3.7% in September. Prices surprised many commentators by remaining relatively buoyant throughout the second half of 2009.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:40 AM 10 Comments

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Should taxpayers pay for bankers' mistakes?

BBC: Iceland repayment talks collapse

Talks to agree how Iceland will repay more than $5bn of debt it owes to the UK and the Netherlands have broken down without agreement. In a statement, the UK and Dutch governments said they were "very disappointed that despite all the efforts over the past year and a half, Iceland is still unable to accept our best offer on the Icesave loan". Iceland plans to hold a referendum on the Icesave repayment on 6 March, but the government was hopeful it could reach a different deal ahead of that.

Posted by devo @ 09:53 PM 6 Comments

When are the figures to confirm our "Recovery" due?

Reuters: Sterling hits 9-mth low vs dollar on weak UK data

"Sterling hit a nine-month low against the dollar on Thursday on weak UK data and concerns the Bank of England could expand quantitative easing. Sterling was hit in tandem with other perceived riskier currencies as worries about Greece's high indebtedness and weak U.S. jobless claims data encouraged investors to cut risk exposure, prompting flows into the dollar and the yen".

Posted by alan @ 09:32 PM 2 Comments

One of the more level-headed Cabinet members

The Telegraph: Alistair Darling is a dead man talking, and he’s taking sweet revenge

Mr Darling does not escape blame for Britain’s woes. He has, for 13 years, been part of a Government that has run our finances into the ground and shares some responsibility for that disgrace. What’s more, his penchant for “flipping” houses, making four separate second-home designations, covering three different properties in as many years, put him in the front line of the expenses scandal, not a place one expects to find the minister in charge of our till.

Posted by devo @ 09:25 PM 4 Comments

I guess this means our rates won't go up either?

Reuters: Rates to stay very low

Against a background of weak housing demand and high unemployment, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Fed will keep rates at very low levels for a long time - Video

Posted by alan @ 09:17 PM 0 Comments

Comedy club classic - "People seem to have forgotten how much it snowed,"

Telegraph: Morgan laughs off double dip concerns

SteveMorgan has sought to disperse fears of a double dip in the housing market by insisting that sales at Redrow, the housebuilder he founded, have risen sharply so far this year. Figures on Monday showed a sharp fall in the number of UK housing transactions and mortgages granted during January, sparking concerns about the health of the market. However, Mr Morgan said these concerns were "complete --------".

Posted by jack c @ 07:22 PM 4 Comments

Anything learnt?

Reuters: Bank's King warns of bigger crisis

"My fear would be, we have had this debate and we will set out possible alternative models for the structure of banking, but not very much will happen," King said. "It won't actually prevent the next crisis -- the next crisis will be even bigger."

Posted by rumble @ 07:07 PM 0 Comments

So it begins

BBC: 270,000 civil servants to strike next month

Up to 270,000 civil servants are to stage a 48-hour strike on 8 and 9 March in a dispute over cuts to public sector redundancy terms. The walkout will involve Jobcentre staff, tax workers, coastguards, border agency officials, courts staff and driving test examiners.

Posted by cat and canary @ 05:12 PM 9 Comments

Time to rein in the "Investment" Banks or let UK be next

NYT: Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide

Bets by some of the same banks that helped Greece shroud its mounting debts may actually now be pushing the nation closer to the brink of financial ruin.

Posted by mken @ 04:08 PM 11 Comments

Numbers revised tomorrow

Guardian: UK may not have emerged from recession after all

Official figures on investment could mean the feeble 0.1% growth in the UK economy at the end of last year could turn out to have been negative when the number is revised tomorrow

Posted by mken @ 02:47 PM 1 Comments

Failed US bank car boot sale

FT Alphaville: Failed-bank assets, in pics

"About 200 banks have failed in the US since 2007, leaving FDIC with a number of... financial assets to sell. What we hadn’t realised is that the organisation auctions literally everything from failed banks – right down to the furniture and fittings." Click through to auction site, literally telephones, computers, art etc for sale!

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:05 PM 0 Comments

Shapps challenges housebuilders to commit corporate suicide

Housebuilder: Shapps challenges housebuilders to embrace free market ideals

"Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps has challenged housebuilders to embrace his new planning proposals and shake off the restraints of a "planned system". Speaking at the NHBC's General Election Lecture series, Shapps confirmed his plans to give local communities more power over new development in their area, an idea that the industry fears could cut off new homes supply. But Shapps told the audience: "I can't believe that big housebuilders, instead of relying on their own wit and knowhow, want a planned system rather than a free market system." Surely, the "free market" is between those who want to buy new houses and those who want to build them? The more local the power to restrict planning, the more likely it is that it will be restricted.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:25 PM 9 Comments

The International Monetary Fund operates primarily as a banker bailout machine

Huffington Post: The IMF Destroys Iceland and Latvia

They cajole and threaten the leaders of governments worldwide to pay off the failed bets of the big bankers using the taxpayer funds of their countries. To those who think austerity is the smart, cute thing to do, just look at how the third world has been held back since WWII by these bankers. Imagine how much better the world would have been had the third world been busy producing things and inventing better mouse traps. In this game of debt and servitude, we all loose.

Posted by freemanphil @ 10:01 AM 31 Comments

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hung Parliament Watch

The Telegraph: George Osborne: cut debt now or face economic disaster

In a stark warning the shadow chancellor said that unless cuts were made imminently to public spending budgets the financial markets will lose confidence in Britain, with catastrophic consequences. Interest rates would soar and spending cuts would ultimately have to go even deeper to maintain even a minimum level of confidence. The emergency cuts that would be needed would be “swingeing and savage,” if international confidence was lost. Mr Osborne said. In a major speech to a City audience Mr Osborne said: “In the most extreme cases, countries that lose the confidence of markets effectively lose their sovereignty.”

Posted by devo @ 10:57 PM 43 Comments

Opening old wounds

The Telegraph: Greek rescue in danger as deputy prime minister attacks 'Nazi' Germany

Chants of "burn the banks" are a foretaste of tensions once austerity measures bite in earnest later this year. Theodoros Pangalos, deputy prime minister, said Germany had no right to reproach Greece for anything after it devastated the country under the Nazi occupation, which left 300,000 dead. "They took away the gold that was in the Bank of Greece, and they never gave it back. One banker said the situation was surreal. "How can they call the Germans incompetent Nazis and still expect a bail-out?"

Posted by devo @ 09:44 PM 21 Comments

Release some land and the housing crisis can be solved

BBC: House of the future is plastic

Interesting feature especially at 1:15 when he quotes the price. Personally I have always suspected (based on 1995 buiders prices) that a bricks and mortar house wouldn't be much more.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 09:37 PM 19 Comments

Zero Hedge has RBS rattled

FT: A Greek bank run smackdown

Some potentially positive news for Greek banks, for once, and some possible embarrassment for financial blog Zero Hedge on Wednesday. Harvinder Sian, head of European rates at RBS, is taking the excitable blog to task for its Tuesday story about Greek nationals pulling money out of local banks.

Posted by devo @ 06:32 PM 3 Comments

The recovery in British house prices is built on sand

The Economist: Shaky foundations

"In short, British house prices are still far too high." 'nuff said.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 06:17 PM 11 Comments

Here we go again...

London Evening Standard: Barratt appeals for easier mortgages to buy new homes

Housebuilder Barratt Developments today called on lenders to make mortgages more readily available to buyers of newly built homes and thus drive a recovery in the sector. Banks and building societies traditionally demand higher deposits for new-build homes than second-hand homes. Santander, the UK's second largest mortgage lender, today raised the amount it will lend to first-time buyers who want new houses from 80 per cent of the property's value to 90 per cent - cutting the size of the deposit in half.

Posted by jack c @ 03:28 PM 14 Comments

More supply in central London? 2nd homes coming into play

FT.com: Investors rush to sell ahead of possible CGT rise

Slightly old article (Feb 23rd) in FT saying that many investors might sell before the end of the tax year to avoid potential increases in capital gains tax. Perhaps a non-story if these tax rises fail to materialise, but interesting scenario. Also, I wouldn't have thought that 60% of central London are 2nd homes!

Posted by notyethomeless @ 02:05 PM 7 Comments

Insane NIMBY of the week

Yorkshire Post: Tory pledge of farmland protection and a review of the bureaucracy

Yup. Tory agriculture spokesman seriously wants to double the size of The Hallowed Greenbelt. Don't forget that The Hallowed Greenbelt and developed areas each cover about 11% of the UK by surface area. Why not just announce that under a Tory government there will be a blanket ban on the construction of anything whatsoever? That would be honest at least.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:43 PM 15 Comments

Is this why the UK is supporting house prices?

FT: US housing market hit by 'walkaways'

In the US it's much easier to walk away from a mortgage. Many there who can afford payments walk away if they're in nequity. Those in nequity and close to retirement may walk away because they don't want to keep paying after they retire - especially since the lender is not the local bank manager but is somewhere in the ether. The mortgage is no longer the last debt on which you would default This generates a downward spiral - whole neighborhoods can deteriorate, and who will lend knowing that (a) even people with good credit histories can default if in nequity and (b) the foreclosure / walkaway pipeline means prices have further to fall? Take away Fannie and Freddie and there's no mortgage market. And how does all this affect world economic recovery?

Posted by icarus @ 01:38 PM 11 Comments

Greece paralysed by strike against austerity plan

BBC: Greece paralysed by strike against austerity plan

Hundreds of thousands of Greeks are on strike to protest at the imposition of austerity measures to save the economy. Greece's airspace will be closed to all flights, trains and ferries will stand idle, and archaeological sites shut. It is the second general strike in two weeks and coincides with growing anger at the EU's response to the crisis. Commuters will be left without most forms of public transport, while public schools, ministries, and municipal offices will be closed. Many hospitals will operate only with emergency staffing

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:46 PM 6 Comments

Live in it. Don't depend on it.

Independant: Bank warns on house prices as QE anxiety hits sterling

Stark warnings about the prospects for the economy and the housing market have come from the Governor, Mervyn King, and other policymakers at the Bank of England. Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, Kate Barker, a member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee and the author of two government-sponsored reports on the property market, said that "there are still adjustments to come in the housing market". She added: "It seems more likely than not to me that mortgage finance is clearly not going to be available going forward on the terms it used to be... I was rather surprised by the strength of prices in the housing market through last year and it's possible some people delayed decisions to move or put houses on the market. In some sense that can't continue."

Posted by dill @ 10:41 AM 2 Comments

Double dip is coming...

Times: Time to crank up QE

This recovery thing is doing well don't you think?

Posted by chrisch @ 10:25 AM 5 Comments

Worth the read

The Independant: House prices face double dip

A second credit crunch could send property values into a tailspin

Posted by will @ 10:18 AM 5 Comments

Phew!!...So all is OK in the UK Banking Sector

The Wall Street Journal: U.K. to End Northern Rock Blanket Guarantee

LONDON—The U.K. government on Wednesday confirmed it will end its blanket guarantee on savings deposits at state-owned Northern Rock PLC on May 24, in what it called an "important milestone" toward the bank eventually regaining independence.

Posted by magnaman @ 10:06 AM 2 Comments

Martin Wolf on the economic future

FT: The world economy has no easy way out of the mire

His thoughts on the way out

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:42 AM 3 Comments

Where do I start trying to pick apart this fools theories?

Telegraph: How increased tax and regulation hurts young homebuyers

'One of the best financial decisions I ever took was a 100pc mortgage for about five times my salary 25 years ago. No such loans are available today. Without such ‘irresponsible lending’, I might still be renting a bedsit in Kilburn rather than owning a home in Highgate.'

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:25 AM 21 Comments

More Printy, Printy?

Times: Sterling sinks as King talks of releasing more money

Sterling fell sharply on foreign exchanges yesterday after Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, warned again that it may be necessary to extend the Bank’s asset purchase programme. The pound lost more than a cent against the US dollar in only ten minutes after Mr King told the Treasury Select Committee that the Bank was “ready to do whatever seems appropriate”.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:57 AM 5 Comments

NAEA wants regulation

HIP Consultant: Estate Agents – Damned if you do and if you don’t

NAEA say they want regulation in response to an OFT report, though article makes some good points on areas where they are being selective to say the least. Can you ask for external regulation and then formulate the type of regulation. Why did NAEA not praise their members improvements?

Posted by kaz @ 08:32 AM 0 Comments

Another nail in the dollar coffin

24/7 Wall St: Underwater Mortgages Hit 11.3 Million

New data from First American CoreLogic shows why the solution to the problem banks face is so difficult to find. Eleven million, three hundreds thousand homes had underwater mortgages as of the fourth quarter of last year. That number represent 24% of all residential homes loans in America.The mortgage numbers are much worse when homes with equity of less than 5% are included. First American reports that ”an additional 2.3 million mortgages were approaching negative equity at the end of last year, meaning they had less than five percent equity.” That means that three out of ten homes have virtually no financial value to their owners.

Posted by debtfree @ 08:04 AM 0 Comments

Extending and pretending

Zero Hedge: Is The Federal Reserve Buying Greek Bonds?

We hope that some enterprising congressman will find the courage to ask Bernanke on the record tomorrow whether the Fed has at any time in both the far and recent past, purchased Greek Government Bonds in order to artificially inflate their prices. Because if the Fed has the ability to do something, it usually does, especially if it means extending the bankrupt global status quo by at least one more day. And, after all, with only about 200 people understanding the mechanics of every lie involving CDS, the opportunity cost for yet more acts of treason are ever so low.

Posted by devo @ 06:42 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I didn't use that phrase, it is copied and pasted from the article.

This is Money: 'UK economy must face new world order'

As discussed previously, the New World Order is a catch all phrase for global legalization and regulation of fraudulent financial instruments designed to fund government and corporate monopolies. It includes mechanisms to bailout institutions that go bankrupt and to bail out sovereign nations that are about to default on debt. "The British economy will never be the same again and boardrooms are refusing to accept the reality: that is the stark warning that came from a panel of experts today." (What experts, who elected them to rule the world?). "It accused business leaders of being 'blinkered' and complacent in the face of what promises to be a new economic order." (i.e. some managers actually believe in a rule of law and like free markets, these are the Clingons, apparently).

Posted by freemanphil @ 11:30 PM 23 Comments

"China is Dubai times a thousand"

The First Post: Fears for China economy as property goes sky high

And back in Hong Kong, the government says it is prepared to adjust land policies if necessary. "Hong Kong property buyers have been in a prolonged low-interest-rate environment, and now they're behaving like drunken drivers on the road - they don't think about consequences," says Nicole Wong, a property analyst.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 09:09 PM 10 Comments

Ex IMF chief predicts more turbulance ahead

Fundstrategy: Former IMF chief says sovereign defaults will happen

Kenneth Rogoff, the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist, says numerous nations will default on their debts in the coming years. According to Bloomberg, Rogoff told delegates at a forum in Tokyo today that financial markets will continue to drive up bond yields meaning indebted European nations such as Greece and Portugal will “have a lot of troubles”. Rogoff, who is now a Harvard professor, said: “We usually see a bunch of sovereign defaults following bank crises, say in a few years. I predict we will again. It’s very very hard to call the timing, but it will happen.”

Posted by jack c @ 06:16 PM 0 Comments

Time to try something different?

Bloomberg: Deathbed of Keynesian Economics Will Be in U.K.

Britain has cut interest rates, pumped up government spending, printed money like crazy, and nationalized almost half the banking industry. Just about everything possible has been done to encourage consumption. The results have been miserable. The economy is flat on its back, unemployment is rising, the pound is sinking, and the bond markets are bracketing the country with Greece and Portugal in the category marked “bankruptcy imminent.” What’s needed is a total change of direction. Get the deficit under control. Raise interest rates to restore confidence in the pound, and reward saving. Cut taxes to stimulate enterprise and investment.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 05:27 PM 28 Comments

Decline and Fall

Telegraph: Rental figures soar as home owners decrease

Around 3.1 million people in England rented a property privately during 2008/09, up from 2.1 million in 2001, according to the English Housing Survey..... ....But despite the fall, owner-occupation was still the most common form of housing tenure, accounting for 67.9pc of all households, although this was down from a high of 70.9pc in 2003. Renting a home from a social landlord was the second most popular option, accounting for 17.8pc of households, while 14.2pc rented a home from a private landlord, up from only 10pc in 2001.

Posted by dill @ 04:44 PM 5 Comments

Here Comes The Crash

Mail online: No wonder they got it cheap:

I think they need some airbags in there somewhere. Note the previous owners wouldn't live there, they thought it too dangerous.

Posted by nomad @ 04:04 PM 1 Comments

Mervyn King: Quantitative easing may have to restart •

The Guardian: Mervyn King: Quantitative easing may have to restart •

Nothing to see here...move on, move on

Posted by magnaman @ 11:24 AM 56 Comments

Is the UK masking it's borrowing?

Moneymarketing: Goldman Sachs admits currency swaps role in Greek crisis

Goldman Sachs USA chairman Gerald Corrigan told MPs that its currency swap deals entered into with Greece could have added to the country’s debt crisis - and said it was possible that the UK was involved in similar deals with other banks. When asked if it was possible that the UK had entered into similar deals, he replied “it is possible”, but that he did not know specifically if others had similar deals in place.

Posted by jack c @ 11:02 AM 5 Comments

Rising Pound, if only...

Bloomberg: U.K. Economy Faces ‘Grave Stage’ on Deflation Risk, Bootle Says

The bank “should keep a close look on the exchange rate and if the pound looks like rising quite significantly, which is a real danger, that it should do even more quantitative easing, and then do even more,” Bootle said.

Posted by mrflibble @ 10:55 AM 34 Comments

Approvals 35,083, down 23% on December

BBA: January figures for the main high street banks

BBA statistics director, David Dooks, said of the latest data: "It was no surprise to see the January mortgage figures falling back from December, when transactions were being pushed through to beat the end of stamp duty relief. There was a natural reaction in the January figures and the bad weather further suppressed market activity. After the Christmas period, demand for consumer credit was weaker in January, as people shied away, or were discouraged by the weather, from retail spending and held on to their deposits. The total amount lent to non-financial companies of £340bn continues to contract, as demand for finance remains subdued and trading conditions are still adversely impacting on business sentiment."

Posted by dill @ 09:52 AM 11 Comments

Monday, February 22, 2010

Is it just me or are the media + readers really so dumb?

Southern Daily Echo: Southampton homes too expensive for young families

"Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead said one of the key ways of increasing affordable housing stock was by increasing the availability of properties that could be part-bought and part-rented, from housing associations." Noooooo. Increase IRs to where they should be, thereby increasing supply of stock on the market.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:51 PM 29 Comments

De-bunked: London and SE does not fare well when prices crash

LoveMoney.com: The biggest house price myth

I've frequently heard this: London is largely immune to house price crashes because foreign buyers and City bonuses will keep up demand. It seems to make sense, and possibly it has been partly true in the last couple of years, but the evidence refutes this myth. In the 1990s, London and the South East fell further than the average, and the same has happened again this time. That said, these same areas seem to rebound faster. I guess there's just more variable demand - they have more volatile prices.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 05:34 PM 2 Comments


BBC: Grants to rent empty Somerset homes as social housing

Imagine you are a council with a long waiting list for social housing. What do you do (a) build more social housing to cater for them, which will bring down rent levels, and then charge a rent sufficient to cover your running costs (so there's no real cost to the taxpayer) or (b) give owners of vacant properties massive grants (out of taxpayers' money) to help them renovate their properties (thus pushing up rents)? On Planet Home-Owner-Ist, the answer is (b) of course.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:07 PM 8 Comments

No surprise

Guardian: Lloyds set to reveal that Halifax market share in mortgages has plummeted

Lloyds Banking Group is expected to reveal this week that the market share of Halifax, traditionally Britain's biggest mortgage lender, has fallen significantly in the wake of its rescue takeover. Mortgage brokers said that Halifax has virtually disappeared from the "best buy" tables for loans, overtaken by its long-time rival Abbey, which under Santander has become Britain's top lender.

Posted by dill @ 12:18 PM 4 Comments

Don't blame it on the sunshine,Don't blame it on the moonlight, blame it on the Boomers...

Times online: Crisis? Blame the baby-boomers, not the bankers

In a persuasive book called The Pinch, Mr Willetts redefines many of the key public policy issues of our lifetimes in terms of the self-interest and electoral dominance of the huge generation of baby-boomers. His argument is well summarised by the book’s sub-title: “How the baby- boomers took their children’s future — and why they should give it back.”

Posted by sold out @ 11:04 AM 24 Comments

Can pay: won't pay

FT: Last-minute rush to beat 50p tax deadline

HMRC: Dear High Earner, Your revised tax bill is enclosed. Please forward payment by the date indicated. High Earner: Shan't!

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:29 AM 9 Comments

A coalition could be interesting

Telegraph: Vince Cable, the 'people's choice for chancellor', explains his plans for reform

Before I go, I ask for just one more prediction: where's the bubble? Cable doesn't blink: "There's something very strange going on with property prices. The big correction in overvalued prices hasn't happened. There's been a partial correction about six months after the crash. But not a proper one. This is worrying." Let's never forget, Mr Cable has been right before.

Posted by dill @ 07:19 AM 16 Comments

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This used to be the norm

Business Insider: Citigroup Warns Customers It May Refuse To Allow Withdrawals

When banks were banks, and they actually lend money they had on deposit, then of course, you had to give noticed to withdraw money. The longer notice, the higher the interest rate. But banks stopped being banks and became money producers when they began printing money from thin air, using deposits as collateral for money production, and, for the lending of money borrowed at artificially low rates via interbank lending, using the central bank manipulated LIBOR. This of course is what has caused inflationary booms, leading to deflationary busts. It has devalued our currency to the point where only slave labor in China is willing to work for it. Expect more of this. Eventually, you will need to give 1year notice, as before, and then bank accounts become, as they were, corporate bonds.

Posted by freemanphil @ 08:31 PM 8 Comments

Dave's losing the plot

Reuters: Tories woo voters with "people's bank bonus"

Opposition Conservatives announced plans on Sunday to encourage taxpayers to buy shares in banks that were part-nationalised during the credit crunch, presenting this as a "people's bank bonus."

Posted by mr g @ 07:01 PM 16 Comments

Calamari and other Greek toxic debt recipes

Market Oracle: Eight Financial Fault Lines Appear In The Euro Experiment!

Alphabet soup of squid inventions designed to keep Greece spending through the bubble years and who holds the toxic stuff. This looks so much like the subprime CDOs jiggery-pokery when applied to profligate government spending.

Posted by mountain goat @ 06:31 PM 0 Comments

Economic indicators in the UK and the rest of Europe

Mish blog: UK Business lending Falls At Record Pace; UK Mortgage Lending Drops 32% to 10 Year Low; Bundesbank Fears Second Wave of Credit Crisis; Party's Over

Mike Shedlock makes some observations about lending to UK businesses, UK mortgage lending, UK government borrowing in January and European credit markets. The final sentence reads "The European recovery is on its last legs. The global recovery will soon follow. Prepare for an economic relapse. One is highly likely."

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:00 PM 4 Comments

Why European banks hold so much Greek government debt

FT blogs: The Basel II concept leads to a false sense of security

European financial institutions have $235 billion worth of claims on Greek debt, most of which is thought to be in government bonds. Why do they hold so much Greek government debt? Because the only category of bank asset treated more kindly by the Basel rules than asset-backed securities is government debt, which has a zero risk weight. i.e., no bank capital need be used to buy a government bond. This appears to be the reason that the possibility of Greek default has led to fears of another banking crisis. Digging deeper, the Basel rules rank debt according to the issuer's credit rating. Yet again the big ratings agencies are to blame. It's time to remove their regulatory role.

Posted by drewster @ 02:41 PM 4 Comments

Welcome to basic land - a modern fairy tale

Slate: Basically, It's Over - A parable about how one nation came to financial ruin

This grim fairytale will make good bed time reading

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:03 AM 3 Comments

This will ship jobs overseas, thus increasing pollution.

Sunday Times: Firms not ready for name-and-shame carbon table

After seeing one of our greatest steel mills lost, funded partly by almost £1bn tax payer "carbon credits" for ceasing production, sending our jobs overseas, up comes a further assault on British manufacturing. Government admit that carbon monitoring is not possible, that systems are not in place, but all firms using more than £500k of electricity, i.e. the ones that matter, must, in just 40 days, provide details of consumption. "About two-thirds of businesses are totally unprepared”. Fines of up to £250,000 will be suffered and the most productive businesses that use most energy will be forced to pay companies that do not produce, & consume less energy.

Posted by freemanphil @ 10:59 AM 24 Comments

Tax dodgers inc

Observer: Time everyone paid their fair share of tax

"The contempt for taxpaying of the past few decades has gone hand in hand with greater inequality, strained public services and an unthinking faith in the market, ideas that are now discredited."

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:36 AM 5 Comments

Updated look at earlier predictions

City Wire: H P Predictions for 2010

Still a mixed bag from the "experts".

Posted by chrisch @ 10:29 AM 7 Comments

Is the Debt and House Price Bubble an accident?

SKY: Hague - PM 'Poisoning The Wells' For Tories

"William Hague has accused Gordon Brown of pushing the UK into "as much debt as possible" in an effort to make life tough for a Tory government". The de facto deputy Tory leader compared the Prime Minister and his Labour administration to a retreating army "poisoning the wells". "For the 10 months of the financial year so far, public sector net borrowing has reached £122.4bn with the UK's net debt now £848.5bn, which is equivalent to 59.9% of the country's annual output - the highest proportion for a January since the 1974 financial year" ( and what about the new housing bubble?)

Posted by alan @ 09:42 AM 8 Comments

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What happens if everybody tries

Telegraph: Households tighten belts as they pay off debts earlier

The indebted in the UK cannot all pay off their loans, some yes, all no. To do that would require net exports, which are so far out of sight as to be not worth considering. I see this as good for those that manage to get out of debt, bad overall. The UK financial system being credit fiat based relies on people holding debt. High house prices stop people from holding debt. This is symptom that the government will find hard to stop. Overall we benefit if we are relaxed about debt, but individually we profit if we don't accept (or are refused) debt. I feel very gloomy because I think the UK has no way out now, just Hitler in a bunker style ravings. If society refuses debt then our financial system doesn't work.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:24 PM 0 Comments

Gordon Brown praising the New World Order, Again.

BBC TV: Brown Economy Speech to Liberal think tank

In a speech thanking the progressive politics ‘believers’ of the world, Gordon Brown gives his election speech were he praises the New World Order, urging a new global financial constitution, and heralding a new global age. Presumably, like Blair, he has little interest in Common Law and the Magna Carta. This speech clearly shows that Gordon Brown is mad, and New Labour should be kicked out of power, as fast as possible, before the UK is totally destroyed as a nation, with our wealth, amongst other things, being spent to bailout failed nations like Greece. See the link and first comment for the speech. Recorded from BBC News Channel, 19 February 2010.

Posted by freemanphil @ 06:57 PM 25 Comments

Now it Makes Sense....& It Is Scary!

Rollingstone.com: Wall Street's Bailout Hustle

"Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren't just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy - they're re-creating the conditions for another crash" This is a long read but worthy of your time!

Posted by magnaman @ 03:39 PM 1 Comments


Washington Post: Up to 25 billion euros in aid mulled for Greece: report

Germany's finance ministry has sketched out a plan in which countries using the euro currency will provide aid worth between 20 billion and 25 billion euros ($27-$33.7 billion) for Greece, a magazine reported on Saturday. Citing "initial considerations" by the ministry, German weekly Der Spiegel said the share of financial aid for Greece would be calculated according to the proportion of capital each country holds in the European Central Bank.

Posted by devo @ 03:04 PM 0 Comments

"Let's Spend our way out of Recession?"

Telegraph: Britain's deficit third worst in the world, table

"Britain has one of the worst deficits as a percentage of GDP in the world, according to OECD figures. Only Iceland and Greece have higher deficits and experts fear it could overtake Greece. Here is a table of how the UK compares with other nations". Ross Walker, RBS chief economist, said "there were grounds for concern about Britain's public finances. He said he fell in the camp urging a credible policy in the medium term". "The Government needs to deliver something upfront," he said, "such as raising VAT to possibly as high as 20pc".

Posted by alan @ 02:56 PM 3 Comments

No way back

FT: Mortgage lending at 10-year low

For reasons touched on in the article, there can be no return to a normal transaction level at current prices. Finito.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:09 PM 10 Comments

A sterling collapse could be on the cards

FT: Vulnerable sterling loses ground to fragile peers

Currency markets like things to be black or white, and the prospect that an incoming government will not have the strength to make hard fiscal decisions is likely to be punished. This prospect will test the patience of investors and ratings agencies. Indeed the pound faces huge downside risks if agencies reassess the UK’s AAA credit rating, which would undoubtedly raise the likelihood of an aggressive UK sovereign debt sell off. In other words, the absence of any positive adjustment to the UK fiscal position runs the real risk of a run on the pound.

Posted by devo @ 10:55 AM 13 Comments

A 'future fair for all' or a 'future FREE-for-all'?

BBC: Brown speech aims to inspire Labour fightback

'Gordon Brown will speak of "a future fair for all" later as he unveils Labour's election campaign themes.Mr Brown will use a West Midlands rally of Labour activists to launch what the party has dubbed "Operation Fightback".'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:32 AM 11 Comments


Guardian: Fears of mass UK banking exodus prove unfounded

Fears of a mass exodus by London's financiers to the more favourable tax climate of Switzerland appear to have been exaggerated: fewer Britons applied for permits to work in the Swiss financial services sector last year than in 2008. Research by Channel 4 News shows that, despite warnings by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, that 9,000 high-­flying City workers would decamp to escape the windfall levy on bonuses and the 50p income tax rate, just 1,079 British citizens joined the financial sector in the Alpine state last year – and about two-thirds of those were applying for IT or other back-office jobs. That represented a 7% decline on the number of Brits applying for a carte de séjour – work permit – in the financial services sector in 2008

Posted by cat and canary @ 07:46 AM 6 Comments

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ghost of Adam Applegarth spotted !

Times: Northern Rock could buy RBS and Lloyds branches

"Northern Rock could take over branches from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds that the two groups have been forced to put up for sale. The idea has been floated in government and banking circles. The management of Northern Rock is understood to favour the move as a way of reinvigorating its brand and establishing a significant new force on the high street".

Posted by alan @ 10:17 PM 10 Comments

A useful cut-out and keep guide

The Telegraph: So where did all the money go?

£76bn from the Treasury to buy shares in RBS and Lloyds Banking Group ; £200bn worth of lender-of-last resort liquidity support provided by the Bank of England to stricken banks at the height of the crisis; £250bn of wholesale lending guaranteed by the Bank through the credit guarantee scheme; £185bn of loans to banks through the Special Liquidity Scheme; £40bn of loans and other funding to Bradford & Bingley and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Then, deep breath, there is the £200bn of liabilities taken on board from the Asset Protection Scheme, and the £200bn of cash poured into the economy through quantitative easing .

Posted by devo @ 01:45 PM 51 Comments

Not as off-topic as it seems - this is what boom-bust, Euro, etc. is all about

The New American: Global Fusion: The G20, IMF, and World Government

I sat once in a meeting ... at the Financial Times editorial offices in Blackfriars to listen to Mr. Pohl. He was a former president of the Bundesbank and he had been eased out of that presidency by Helmut Kohl specifically to work with Jacques Delors in the creation of the new currency, the Euro. And he was, I thought, extremely forthcoming. He said, "It is my duty to tell you my English friends ... that you will have to abandon the British nation state because the future has no provision for the nation state within it."

Posted by sneaker @ 01:33 PM 65 Comments

Just for a laugh!

Telegraph: Gordon Brown warns voters of Conservatives' ideological 'hatred' of the state

Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, has warned voters not to hand power to a Conservative Party which he said would put economic recovery at risk.

Posted by cat and canary @ 01:06 PM 32 Comments

My house is still my pension, innit??

Moneywise: The top 10 things that can devalue your home

For a property-obsessed nation with ever-shrinking pension pots, the value of our homes is understandably high on the agenda.

Posted by mr g @ 12:47 PM 4 Comments

RBS residential property derivatives - just doesnt seem right...

Citywire: A bet on the property market's downfall

Spot-on piece from Linton Chiswick, raises a few questions about what a state-owned bank (RBS) should and shouldn't be up to. Why is this not being reported elsewhere?

Posted by smithers @ 11:52 AM 1 Comments

Consumer economy on slippery slope

BBC: UK retail sales suffer sharp fall on snowy weather

Poor winter weather drove UK retail sales down by 1.8% between December and January, the sharpest drop in 18 months, official figures have shown. The fall was more than three times faster than analysts had forecast.

Posted by jack c @ 10:05 AM 8 Comments

Printy printy

The Telegraph: It's official: the crisis in UK public finances has taken a turn for the worse

The support the economy received last year stopped a recession turning into a depression so was worth it. But the latest news reveals that our crisis in public finances is getting worse, while the real economy should prepare for a return to negative growth.

Posted by devo @ 08:02 AM 20 Comments

Not seen this for a while!

XE.COM: Forgetting about the loss of buying power!

Our currency has been heavily devalued over the last year. In fact, £100 is now worth about $154. 18 months ago it would have been worth nearer $200. Your trips to the US will now, as a result require around 30% more sterling to have the same experience. Not only this, inflation is waiting in the wings once again. Oil priced in dollars, imported goods, travel, it is all getting more expensive when you own pounds! Anyway, at least house prices go up always and forever so we shoudl be fine! Oh, and it is great for manufacturers too, wherever they are.

Posted by brickormortis @ 07:52 AM 7 Comments

Undermining the foundations

Guardian: Banking sector condemned over 'horrific' drop in loans to business

Lending by banks to companies fell last year for the first time since records began in the latest illustration of the banking industry's reluctance to provide finance to businesses and another sign of the fragile state of the economy. "......"Stripping out the property sector, bank lending to the productive economy was 16.2% down on the previous year. No wonder our economy is stuck in the mire," said Lord Oakeshott, Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman."

Posted by dill @ 05:48 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The truth is revealed

The Times: Alistair Darling insists that public borrowing is at planned levels

Mr Brown will step up campaigning today with a call on the centre Left to take the fight to right-wing parties across the world. At a conference of centre-left parties in London he will say: “All over the world, the new tactic of the Right is to present themselves as moderate and mainstream. But when the tough questions are asked of them, the truth is revealed. Instead of helping a recovery, their hatred of government action would risk the recovery. “Instead of defending ordinary families, they would kick the ladder of opportunity away from ordinary families. Instead of supporting middle classes, their policies would hurt the middle classes.”

Posted by devo @ 11:20 PM 11 Comments

January deficit in the record books

Telegraph: Markets in retreat after Britain posts first-ever January deficit

Economists forcast £2.8bn surplus yet Januarys official figures reveal £4.3bn deficit in what has always been a month of surplusses.

Posted by enuii @ 10:06 PM 0 Comments

50% rise in Interest Rates :-)

Reuters: Fed raises discount rate to 0.75 percent

"The Fed said the discount rate would be increased to 0.75 percent from 0.50 percent, effective Friday. "Like the closure of a number of extraordinary credit programs earlier this month, these changes are intended as a further normalization of the Federal Reserve's lending facilities," the Fed said in a statement. "The modifications are not expected to lead to tighter financial conditions for households and businesses and do not signal any change in the outlook for the economy or for monetary policy," it said." ermmmm right!

Posted by techieman @ 10:05 PM 11 Comments

This might sort them out!

Times on line: OFT clears path for Google to take on estate agents

Google is widely expected to launch a property search website as soon as this year, and Tesco tried in 2007 to launch a property finder online service that charged sellers a flat fee of £199, before shutting it down, partly because of the burden of regulation. Concluding a long-awaited investigation into homebuying and selling, the OFT said: "The housing market remains dominated by traditional estate agents with weak competition between them on price. As property prices rise during housing booms, so too do estate agents’ fees ... The OFT believes that innovation in this sector, in particular through online services, could have a dramatic impact on the cost of buying and selling a home.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 09:11 PM 1 Comments

There is a God... It's hard not to snigger!

Thisismoney: Buy-to-let gurus see empire crumble

"Financial Mail has learnt that at least one property has been put into receivership by a major lender". "Fergus Wilson, 62, has even been dubbed the 'van Hoogstraten of Kent', after the notorious landlord Nicholas van Hoogstraten, who built a huge portfolio of properties in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex." "The couple also face action from a number of local authorities that are owed council tax on unlet houses." I smelt a rat from the start; they bought too many properties in only two areas thus leaving them unable to off load in a bad market without causing value damage to what they held on to. Lot's of bull shit "I sue anyone...bla...bla...bla" inevitably means trouble ahead, isn't that right Grant!

Posted by tim miller @ 06:07 PM 0 Comments

England will win the world cup this year ! !

REUTERS: Housebuilding in England hits lowest since 1946

LONDON (Reuters) - Housing completions in England fell by almost a fifth in 2009, government figures showed on Thursday, taking them to less than half the level economists say is needed to keep up with demand. Just 118,000 homes were built last year, the lowest total since 1946, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and 17 percent lower than in 2008. "The latest figures are disappointing and underline the continuing difficulties facing the construction industry," said RICS senior economist Oliver Gilmartin. "Housing starts are running at more than 50 percent below what is needed to satisfy projected household growth according to the government's own estimates," he added.

Posted by rob @ 04:04 PM 11 Comments

The PIIGS just had some PIGIES

This is Money: Britain's borrowing habit puts it in the 'PIIGS'

Britain's bulging budget deficits have helped catapult it into the ranks of the 'PIIGS,' according to research. A list of countries with the most vulnerable public finances puts Britain in fourth place behind Ireland, Greece and Portugal. Italy comes in at fifth place, followed by France and Spain, according to RBC Capital Markets. Norway and Switzerland have the soundest public finances.

Posted by cat and canary @ 03:57 PM 6 Comments

One for the deficit doomsters

FT: How to walk the fiscal tightrope that lies before us

The Wolf argues that the only way to prevent growing fiscal deficits would have been not to let credit booms and asset bubbles happen. The worst deficits are in countries that had the biggest bubbles. Once those bubbles burst everything else followed - the private sector had to deleverage (save more). And the mirror image of private saving is government fiscal deficits. (The domestic private sector cannot increase savings unless the country starts running a current account surplus (unlikely) or government spends more than its tax revenue.) MW says that balancing budgets now would lead to depression and that the benefits of higher output today (resulting from govt spending) exceed the costs of debt service tomorrow, but says there are long-term problems caused mainly by ageing.

Posted by icarus @ 03:52 PM 3 Comments

Looking at the graphs... I'd say it is very bad

ThisIsMoney: UK borrowing: How bad is it?

Time to face reality. Time to face the cuts.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 02:20 PM 4 Comments

Houses too expensive? Nah, banks just need to lend people more money.

Telegraph: House prices: 60pc of renters are priced out of the market

Six out of 10 people claim they are trapped in rented accommodation because they cannot afford to buy their own place, a survey showed today. Around 61pc of people who expect to live in a rented property for the coming year said they would like to buy a home but could not afford to do so, according to property website Rightmove.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 01:32 PM 4 Comments

What a difference a generation makes.

Telegraph: Today's young adults can't afford to let go

Bryony Gordon is a 'Yuckie' - Young Unwitting Costly Kid. She asks why so many adults are still being funded by mum and dad.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 01:28 PM 21 Comments

Carry on....

OFT: More innovation needed in home buying and selling market, OFT finds

".....the OFT has found existing legislation as it applies to traditional estate agents is comprehensive and wide ranging, and that further regulation is unnecessary.

Posted by dill @ 12:23 PM 1 Comments

Recovery? What recovery? Part 2

Reuters: Corus to start Teesside plant closure Friday

Steelmaker Corus will begin the partial mothball of a plant on Teesside on Friday, a move that may signal the beginning of the end for steelmaking in the traditional industrial town.

Posted by mr g @ 12:18 PM 4 Comments

But will they sell?

Yahoo: UK Car Production Accelerates By 65%

January car production figures show 101,190 cars were produced in the UK last month, up 64.8% on January 2009.

Posted by mr g @ 12:15 PM 4 Comments

Even the tiniest set back will upset the apple cart

BBC: Stamp duty rise hits mortgage borrowing

Mortgage lending in the UK dropped sharply in January owing to a hangover from the rush to buy homes before the stamp duty holiday ended, lenders say. Gross lending for home loans fell by 32% compared with December to £9.1bn, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said. It suggested the decline was due in part to the threshold for paying stamp duty rising at the start of 2010. However, the figure was 21% lower than January 2009 and the lowest monthly total since February 2000.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:59 AM 3 Comments

A fresh downward leg in the public finances

FT: Sterling hit as UK borrowing soars

Net borrowing was more than £9bn higher in January than a year earlier, as the government faced a deficit of £4.3bn compared with a £5.3bn surplus in January 2009 The deficit was starkly worse than market expectations of a £2.8bn surplus for the month. Economists had been hopeful of a better outcome following two months of smaller-than-expected government borrowing figures. It is the first deficit in January since at least 1993. The deficit so far this year is £122bn, compared with a Treasury forecast of £170bn for the full financial year

Posted by devo @ 11:49 AM 11 Comments

What else is being hidden?

Newser: Goldman Helped Greece Hide Catastrophic Debt

Greece's budget problems were allowed to grow to their current monstrous size with the help of a Goldman Sachs deal worthy of an Oscar for creative accounting.

Posted by estrader @ 11:21 AM 0 Comments

Let the crash begin

CML: Gross mortgage lending declined in January

Gross mortgage lending declined to an estimated £9.1 billion in January, a 32% fall from £13.4 billion in December and a 21% fall from £11.5 billion in January 2009, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. the lowest January total since 2000

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 09:57 AM 17 Comments

Still partying like its 1999...

Bloomberg: U.K. Posts First January Budget Deficit Since at Least 1993

Government spending exceeded revenue by 4.3 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) last month, the Office for National Statistics said today in London.

Posted by mrflibble @ 09:56 AM 1 Comments

Flashback - Reminder of the gravity of current events

Bullionvault: Feeling Queasy? "This phenomenal 'queasing' is greater by far than anything Weimar Germany tried"

This is an old article, but people. Recent acceleration of inflation is very concerning because of the base figures. The UK Government has printed, proportionately, double what tanked Weimar Republic. Make your preparations. Gold, silver, storable foods, a means to protect your family. And remember, when the bankers are in panic, they foment war. Iran is waiting in the wing, genocide could ensue if we don't expose this fraud and have a peaceful revolution, directing opposition to the real enemy, not at bogey men abroad, but towards the bankers who bankrolled both sides of all major wars for over a century now. John Davison Rockefeller once said: "The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.

Posted by freemanphil @ 08:23 AM 9 Comments

CML think it willbe like 1990s - except HPC of course

Times: Spectre of repossession ‘will loom for years’

The bit that just shows the balls-out home ownerist "inflation is good" message is the two parapgraphs. The CML said that recent price gains had cut the number of homeowners in negative equity from 900,000 in April last year to 650,000. Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “The latest figures from the Bank of England show the cost of mortgage finance to be easing. This ... should help to continue to push prices higher for at least the next few months.” Interesting - do we read "it will fall" as a translation for at least the next few months.”?

Posted by growler @ 07:41 AM 1 Comments

Honest EAs have nothing to fear

BBC News: Estate agents could face industry shake-up

The estate agent sector could face a shake-up after the release later of a key report into the UK homebuying process. The Office of Fair Trading has been studying internet property sites, price competition between agents and consumer protection for the last 12 months. There have been calls for more regulation, as anyone can set up in business as an estate agent. The OFT study -- due to be published at midday - is considering whether competition has improved since 2004, and whether consumers are adequately covered by new regulation.

Posted by little professor @ 01:08 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

At least Gordon can blame it on America again

Telegraph: US bank lending falls at fastest rate in history

Bank lending in the US has contracted so far this year at the fastest rate in recorded history, raising concerns that the Federal Reserve may have jumped the gun by withdrawing emergency stimulus. David Rosenberg from Gluskin Sheff said lending has fallen by over $100bn (£63.8bn) since January, plummeting at an annual rate of 16pc. "Since the credit crisis began, $740bn of bank credit has evaporated. This is a record 10pc decline," he said. The M3 broad money supply – watched by monetarists as a leading indicator of trouble a year ahead – has been contracting at a rate of 5.6pc over the last three months. This signals future deflation. The Fed's "Monetary Multplier" has dropped to a record low of 0.81, evidence that the banking system is still broken.

Posted by cat and canary @ 11:17 PM 9 Comments

We should all buy a bottle of Ouzo to help them

Bloomberg: ‘Size Matters’ as EU Weighs Up Greek Rescue Bill: Chart of Day

"Europe may need to stump up as much as 320 billion euros ($441 billion) if it decides to bail out Greece because it would open the door to rescuing other countries in financial distress, according to BNP Paribas".

Posted by alan @ 09:52 PM 4 Comments

I bet they didn't expect that!

Reuters: Sterling rises versus euro after unanimous BoE minutes

Just imagine how 'Great' Britain could be with a little bit of sensible financial governance.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 08:55 PM 9 Comments

No cheats allowed in...

Telegraph: Greece loses EU voting power in blow to sovereignty

This is how you do it. You face the issue rather than hide from it. People might hate it now but in the medium to long run it will be better. You just can spend money you don't have. You have to focus on the part of the economy which makes money not Govt. employment which is subsidary to private sector economy.

Posted by deepak @ 06:59 PM 3 Comments

Maxed Out

Daily Mail: Barclaycard writes off £1.8bn in debts as UK credit card debt climbs to £5bn

Bad debts at Britain's biggest credit card provider have soared by nearly two thirds to £1.8billion as record numbers of shoppers went bust. The amount Barclaycard said it has written off climbed 64 per cent during last year, it said yesterday. Industry analysts believe the total UK credit card debt written off this year could reach £5billion as the plastic spending bubble bursts.

Posted by cat and canary @ 05:06 PM 4 Comments

Not Quite Green Shoots in the Land of La La BBC Propaganda

Daily Mail: One in ten 'underemployed' as record 2.8m workers are trapped in part-time jobs

A record 2.8million workers are trapped in unsatisfying or lowly paid part-time jobs. One in ten of the workforce - including thousands of graduates with good degrees - settle for work which either does not match their skills or financial need, according to the ONS. The number in so-called 'underemployment' has soared by 600,000 in just a year as the recession forces more people to accept fewer hours and take home less pay. 9.9 per cent of the British workforce say they want to work longer hours but are unable to do so.

Posted by cat and canary @ 05:02 PM 1 Comments

Thats how you raise monies

BBC: Tax exiles may have to pay back taxes after ruling

From the people who hide. It's not always bankers or people from other countries.

Posted by deepak @ 02:53 PM 3 Comments

Pyramid collapse is continuing

TARP Watchdog: 2011 $300 Billion Commercial Real Estate Time Bomb

This report does not come as a surprise to those of us who read: “The largest heist in history” – http://gregpytel.blogspot.com/2009/04/largest-heist-in-history.html And those who did not are well advised to do so. Altogether, Pytel’s blog, “Financial crisis? It’s a pyramid, stupid.” (http://gregpytel.blogspot.com/) is really a good guide in learning how things are likely to unfold in the financial world.

Posted by ant @ 02:45 PM 40 Comments

Recovery? What recovery?

Reuters: Jobless claimant count jumps unexpectedly

The number of Britons claiming unemployment benefit rose unexpectedly in January and by the biggest amount since July last year, official data showed on Wednesday.

Posted by mr g @ 01:26 PM 12 Comments

Rich hunt

Times: Entrepreneur faces £30m tax demand after residency ruling leaves thousands exposed

Thousands of entrepreneurs and celebrities face huge tax bills after a British businessman based in the Seychelles lost a long-running court battle over his residency yesterday. The Court of Appeal ruled that Robert Gaines-Cooper was liable to pay UK tax despite spending less than 91 days a year in the country because England had remained “the centre of gravity of his life and interests”.

Posted by dill @ 12:08 PM 5 Comments

To HIP or not to HIP

Guardian: Will estate agents shake the Hips?

The Tories claim they will scrap Home Information Packs, and trade bodies say house sales are being jeopardised by vendors refusing to provide them. Graham Norwood wonders if they can survive.

Posted by dill @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

What's going on! News like this and the pound stays stable on currency markets!

Bloomberg: U.K. Unemployment Claims Jump to Highest Since 1997

U.K. unemployment unexpectedly jumped in January to the highest level since Tony Blair led the ruling Labour Party to power almost 13 years ago as the recession destroyed work at businesses from carmakers to banks. Claims for jobless benefits rose by 23,500 from the previous month to 1.64 million, the highest since April 1997, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 27 economists was for a drop of 10,000. The Bank of England said last week that employment is at risk of falling “significantly further” if the economy’s recovery from the longest recession on record falters. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is counting on the pickup to gather momentum and help him to claw back voter support in time for an election due by June.

Posted by postle @ 10:16 AM 6 Comments

Are we in fairytale land-yes!

Citywire: New banks rules could mean mortgages jump 33%

How long can this charade go on? Everyone knows interest rates have to rise... and will... but banks are lending to people who when it happens won't know what happened... This is the reason why the credit crunch happened in the first place.

Posted by taffee @ 09:31 AM 14 Comments

Britain leads the G7 for inflation...

Spectator: Short term or long term inflation?

Britain’s inflation rate is already ahead of the rest of the G7. Ally that fact to languishing sterling and Britain’s dependence on imports and the nation faces a dramatic decline in living standards. (Originally posted on the forums, but I thought I'd post here too)

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:17 AM 16 Comments

Come and join the celebration!

The Guardian: Barclays call on people to celebrate 'remarkable' comeback

Bank's president says people should be 'immensely proud' that Barclays Capital was the top bonds trader in 2009. The president of Barclays called on ­people to celebrate the bank's "remarkable" financial comeback today, striking a defiant tone in the face of questions over a new plan to pay £2.2bn in bonuses. Announcing record 2009 profits of £11.6bn, Bob Diamond shrugged off charges that the British bank's performance relied heavily on government support for the financial system and asked why there was "edge" to questions about pay. "The facts are this is a remarkable story from a UK bank," said Diamond. He said people should be "immensely proud" that Barclays Capital was the number one in the world for bond trading.

Posted by devo @ 07:38 AM 25 Comments

Your Sins Will Find You Out

The Times: Banks accused as Greece is told to open its books

“It is clear that a profound investigation must be done on this matter,” a reference to questions about the way in which Greece had paid Goldman Sachs, ten years ago, to swap its debt for loans that could be kept off the books in derivatives. “If it turns out that there is such kind of securitisation of swaps that are not in line with the rules of the time, then of course we would need to take action.” If Brussels does not get the answers it wants BY THE END OF THIS WEEK, it can take Greece to the European Court of Justice, under threat of daily fines. Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the swaps.

Posted by devo @ 06:31 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lipstick on the PIIGS

FT: The eurozone:Athenian arrangers

It's the PIIGS and others actually. We've heard of GS helping the Greeks to do a cosmetic job on their debt data with cross-currency swaps that pushed liabilities back into the future. Turns out this kind of financial alchemy is rife. Other countries have been shown by GS and the usual suspects how to bring forward their revenues and push back their liabilities. Securitisation enables countries to use future revenues from state assets - including lottery tickets, social security receipts and the future collection of unpaid taxes - to back bonds and raise cash. So you can bet on the performance of the tax man. Of course the vendors of these financial products know where these skeletons are and can use this info to make speculative attacks via CDSs

Posted by icarus @ 11:37 PM 2 Comments

United States risks precipitating its own next crisis

Australian: Rising US debt may spark next economic crisis, says senior Federal Reserve official

Failure to control US debt may bring next crisis. Kansas City Fed Pres Hoenig warns the U.S. central bank may come under political pressure to finance the rising debt, a move that could bring higher inflation. "Fiscal policy is on an unsustainable course. The U.S. government must make adjustments in its spending and tax programs. It is that simple," Hoenig said. "If pre-emptive corrective action is not taken regarding the fiscal outlook, then the United States risks precipitating its own next crisis".

Posted by depressed @ 10:06 PM 0 Comments

Could this tactic be useful for the UK?

Bloomberg: Flaherty Tightens Mortgage Rules Amid Bubble Talk

"Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened rules in the country’s mortgage industry to ensure buyers can afford their homes when interest rates rise. Under the changes for government-backed mortgages, which take effect April 19, buyers will have to meet standards for five-year, fixed-rate mortgages even if they opt for variable rates. Limits on refinancing will be stricter and people buying a home that they don’t occupy must make a down payment of 20 percent".

Posted by alan @ 09:19 PM 3 Comments

This should be interesting...

Bloomberg: Spain to Sell 15-Year Bonds in Shadow of Greek Crisis

"Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Spain is planning a benchmark sale of 15-year bonds in euros, its first syndicated issue since concern about the ability of southern European countries to contain budget deficits roiled markets. " Watch this space....

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 06:41 PM 1 Comments

Making it up as they go along?

news.com.au: Inflation goals all wrong - IMF call to lift target to 4pc

THE International Monetary Fund has called for the overthrow of inflation targeting as the central goal of economic management, and urged that inflation be allowed to rise to 4 per cent to give governments a better ability to manage downturns.

Posted by novice pete @ 06:28 PM 20 Comments

More wasted benefits money

Daily Express: Fury at mum on £100,000 a year benefits

Britain’s benefits shambles was exposed last night by the case of a mother-of-six who receives £7,000 a month of taxpayers’ cash to live in a £2million mansion.

Posted by mr g @ 05:10 PM 21 Comments

Wasted public money

Times: Winter fuel bonanza for 64,000 expats in Europe

Not megabucks but the principle is why do you need a fuel allownce if you live on the Costas or Algarve?

Posted by mr g @ 05:08 PM 7 Comments

+0.8% MoM +2.9% YoY

DCLG: House Price Index - December 2009

The mix-adjusted average house price in the UK stood at £200,307 in December 2009 (not seasonally adjusted). UK house prices rose by 2.9 per cent in the quarter ending December 2009. This compares with a larger rise of 3.1 per cent for the quarter ending September 2009 (seasonally adjusted). Annual average house prices paid by first time buyers in December 2009 were 6.8 per cent higher than a year ago. Average house prices paid by former owner occupiers were 1.4 per cent higher. Annual average house prices paid for new properties in December 2009 were 1.5 per cent lower than a year ago. Average house prices paid on pre-owned dwellings were 3.2 per cent higher.

Posted by dill @ 01:11 PM 2 Comments

HPI far less that VIs Report

BBC News: House prices rose by 2.9% in 2009, says government

Quite a different picture to that of the Nationwide and Halifax at +6%

Posted by wdbeast @ 12:44 PM 3 Comments

Money for nothing

BBC: UK bank Barclays reports profits up 92% to £11.6bn

Well done low interest rates!

Posted by brickormortis @ 12:07 PM 11 Comments

Letters between the Governor and the Chancellor

BoE: Letter from the Governor to the Chancellor

Correspondence regarding inflation.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 11:02 AM 10 Comments

Forget gold it's Swiss Francs

Bloomberg: Swiss Intervention a ‘Losing Battle’ for Hildebrand

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) - Foreign-exchange traders are betting the euro’s slide will derail Swiss National Bank President Philipp Hildebrand’s campaign to slow the franc’s biggest rally in a year. Forecasters have raised the median year-end prediction the fastest since 2006, Bloomberg surveys show. Sixteen of 28 say the franc will be stronger at some point in 2010 than when Hildebrand took office Jan. 1. The premium charged to bet on gains with options has doubled since mid-2009. The franc traded at 1.4667 per euro as of 9:39 a.m. in Zurich, up 1.1 percent this year.

Posted by postle @ 10:53 AM 1 Comments

CPI hits 3.5%

Reuters: Inflation rises to 3.5 percent in January

LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer price inflation rose even further above its 2 percent target in January as expected, though the Bank of England is likely to say this will be temporary when it is forced to explain itself to the government later on Tuesday. The Office for National Statistics said consumer price inflation rose to 3.5 percent last month from 2.9 percent in December, its highest level since November 2008. Analysts had expected the annual rate to rise to 3.5 percent.

Posted by jack c @ 10:08 AM 20 Comments

Predictive programming for hyper-inflation. Inoculating the masses to avoid maximum hysteria.

Shelter: Join the fight for affordable housing

If everything had risen at the same rate as housing our lives would be untenable. A dozen eggs would cost £9.30, a bunch of bananas £7.86 and a pack of button mushrooms £8.49*. You can imagine the cost of a weekly shop. - With hyper-inflation rearing its ugly head, is this just predictive programming? How will your survive when the hot money flows from bonds and housing into commodity.

Posted by freemanphil @ 09:37 AM 8 Comments

Whatever it takes

BBC news: Inflation 'a good thing' says former MPC member

Blanchflower argues that we should try to generate inflation to protect people in negative equity - even while acknowledging that the nation will face a drop in living standards as a result. This is possibly one of the most blatant attempts to explicitly support homedebtors I have ever come across. Blanchflower repeatedly states that we should be shaping our monetary policy to help people in negative equity by letting inflation rip - whatever the consequences. Scary stuff.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:10 AM 35 Comments

Cheap money will be a distant memory

Telegraph: UK house prices 'to slump as credit crunch returns'

The £319bn "funding gap" is the difference between the amount the banks hold in retail deposits and the sum they have loaned. The gap used to be financed in the wholesale markets, which froze in August 2007. They have been replaced with emergency state schemes. Illustrating the scale of the crisis, CML data shows that UK lenders raised £130bn in the markets in the 12 months before the crunch but just £11.5bn in the past two years. Moody's added that the benign environment of low interest rates and "other Government stimulus [which] have helped borrowers" may just have been "transitory".

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:46 AM 2 Comments

And what happens when it keeps going ... ?

BBC 'News': Inflation expected to exceed 3%

Inflationary spike ... medium term predictions ... no need to raise interest rates ... hardworking families need protecting ... we have extensive property portfoilios ... everyone else can go to hell.

Posted by paul @ 08:42 AM 3 Comments

On the Home Front

The Telegraph: Britain and the PIGS

As of today, the British government must pay a higher interest rate to borrow money for ten years than either the Italian or the Spanish governments, despite the extraordinary ructions going on within the eurozone. I have a very nasty feeling that markets are about to pounce on Britain. All they are waiting for is a trigger, perhaps a poll prediction of a hung-Parliament or further hints that Tories dare not confront the beneficiaries of state spending.

Posted by devo @ 08:02 AM 0 Comments

Monday, February 15, 2010

A new trend begins - Watch for confirmation of the breakout in gold

Bullionvault: Gold Hits New Euro Record, Stock & Dollar Correlation "Still High", as Spain Joins Greece in Attacking "Speculators"

Gold, as I mentioned a few weeks back, is forming a massive cup and handle formation, confirming its breakout above $1000/ounce. It is now firmly on the way up again, and, the market is voting its verdict against the Euro, with money flooding into the Dollar. This is reminiscent of the period surrounding the world wars, when money see sawed between Europe and America, fleeing uncertainty. The trend is interesting, because, whilst some money is going into dollars, gold is rising against all currencies, signaling a systematic failure of fiat currencies. Spain and Greece are blaming speculators, but, whilst they are indeed drunk, who gave them the liquor? Central banks, flooding the market with liquidity and low rates plus governments legalizing fraudulent use of derivatives are at fault.

Posted by freemanphil @ 09:54 PM 20 Comments

More bad news for would-be borrowers

BBC News: Building societies warn of threat to their lending power

With all this cheap finance the newspapers talk about house prices have to go up. Don't they?

Posted by chrisch @ 05:49 PM 70 Comments

Here we go again - my my

Bloomberg: U.K. Mortgage Issuers in $500 Billion Funding Gap, Moody’s Says

“If other debt markets such as covered bonds cannot take up some of the funding gap left by the government schemes, the impact on the U.K mortgage market will be significant,” Moody’s analysts Jonathan Livingstone and Olga Gekht wrote.

Posted by crash n burn @ 04:15 PM 9 Comments

Still a long way down?

DailyFinance US: Home Affordability: Prices Are Still 40% Higher Than 'Normal'

Essentially this piece is saying that US house prices are still way above long term average and have a way to fall before they return there...

Posted by mnorman @ 12:45 PM 0 Comments

....because borrowers are not paying over the rent for their mortgages!!

FT: Lenders tighten ‘consent-to-let’ rules....

Mortgage lenders are making it more difficult for borrowers moving home to keep an existing property and let it out. Many are charging higher rates and fees, with some lenders refusing their consent at all, brokers warn.

Posted by magnaman @ 11:52 AM 6 Comments

Long anticipated US commercial real estate problems start

Barron's: Required Skimming: Massive Commercial Real Estate Foreclosures Coming

Delinquencies rose a record 52 basis points to 5.4% in January on U.S.’s commercial property loans, according to Moody’s analysts. This post has a link to the Congressional Oversight Panel produced report: “Commercial Real Estate Losses and the Risk to Financial Stability.” It starts "Over the next few years, a wave of commercial real estate loan failures could threaten America‘s already-weakened financial system."

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:56 AM 6 Comments

Summary of the market in 2009

Housing Expert: The year in numbers

A helpful summary of the main housing statistics for 2009 compared to previous years together with some extraordinary research from an agent in London suggesting prices in part of London have risen 51% from their low and are now slightly higher than their 2007 peak.

Posted by charles lister @ 09:13 AM 0 Comments

Look Down.

The Economist: Shaky foundations: The recovery in British house prices is built on sand

In Britain, house prices are overvalued. This shows up most starkly in the figures for first-time buyers, the plankton of the housing food-chain. Figures from the Nationwide Building Society show that the ratio of house prices to earnings for such buyers peaked at 5.4 in 2007. The ratio then fell as the housing market deteriorated, reaching 4.1 in the first quarter of 2009 before rebounding to 4.4 at the end of last year. But the record low for the ratio was 2.1, which was reached back in 1995. Indeed, the ratio did not even fall back to its long-term average of 3.3 (the data was first compiled in 1983).

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 08:36 AM 21 Comments

The report is realistic when read

Rightmove: Price jump as agents scramble for stock

· Scarce new sellers bump up asking prices by 3.2%, an average increase of £7,137 with London setting a new record of £427,987 · Monthly rise reminiscent of boom-times; there has been no higher rise since April 2007 when we saw a 3.7% increase · January sees record search activity on rightmove.co.uk, up 29% on same period last year · The economic fundamentals cannot support further price increases of this magnitude

Posted by dill @ 07:51 AM 20 Comments

The bulls are alive with the sound of music ...


"HOUSE prices have risen by more than £7,000 this month, but experts are cautious of suggesting the property market could be heading for another boom. February’s 3.2 per cent rise pushed a typical three bedroom semi to £229,398 – a £7,137 increase in just four weeks." They have'nt got away. We're still the economic outcasts.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:18 AM 20 Comments

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The Telegraph: Most Germans want Greece thrown out of euro

The scale of public resistance throughout Europe to a potential Greek bail-out has become clear as it emerged that the majority of Germans think the Mediterranean nation should be thrown out of the euro if its problems deepen. The findings underline the dilemma faced by eurozone ministers, who last week pledged to support the country if necessary, but stopped short of unveiling an explicit bail-out. Lisa Hintz of Moody's said: "Make no mistake, a Greek default is another potential credit crisis in the making... it is not just the writedown of Greek debt; it is the mark-to-market of other sovereign debt. "That would bankrupt the bulk of the European banking system, which is why it is unlikely to be allowed to happen."

Posted by devo @ 11:37 PM 4 Comments

UK to resist push for greater austerity

FT: Athens to resist push for greater austerity

greece is expected on monday to resist pressure for an immediate tightening of its current austerity package as it fights to win back the confidence of international financial markets and its eurozone neighbours it makes no sense to rush into additional measures until they are seen to be necessary said a senior greek official trichet said he believed ways could be found by which, in an extreme case, greece could be helped without taxpayers’ money from one country being used to help those in another

Posted by devo @ 11:23 PM 1 Comments

A bad week for Euro and Pound in store?

Zerohedge: Commitment Of Traders Report: Record Euro Shorts

"At -57,152 net EUR short positions hit a record, after "increasing" by -13,411 and it appears that the GBP will soon follow in the record negative sentiment category." Telemetry shows a massive build up in short positions on the Euro and another one on the Pound.

Posted by tpbeta @ 10:44 PM 6 Comments

What happens next?

The Times: Why Euro’s woes should scare us all

Greece is the trigger for a so-called sovereign debt crisis that is every bit as bad as the turbulence caused by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the American investment bank, in September 2008. Fears that countries will default on their debts spread to other eurozone economies, notably Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland, but also to Britain, America and Japan. The crisis causes a second damaging downward leg to the global recession, more serious this time because governments and central banks would no longer have the ammunition to head it off. The spectre of a second Great Depression looms once more.

Posted by devo @ 07:02 PM 28 Comments

Nice little earner for Goldman Sachs

Nyt: Wall Street helped to mask debts shaking Europe

Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts

Posted by mken @ 05:12 PM 2 Comments

Put your money where your mouth is?

The Times: RBS will let investors bet on property falls

"State-owned Royal Bank of Scotland plans to launch a product in the next six months that will allow investors to bet on house price falls. The product, which will be linked to Halifax’s house price index, could prove controversial because RBS, which is 84%-owned by the taxpayer and Britain’s fifth-largest lender, is inextricably linked to the health of the housing market." I'll certainly be looking for more details later.

Posted by quiet guy @ 05:05 PM 1 Comments

Getting out before it's too late

Telegraph: Downsizing: the upside

The asset-rich, time-rich fiftysomethings are the last of the good-time generation, many of whom are selling up and downsizing for an easier life. "......We have priced it reasonably because we know what we want to buy and this price is adequate,” Emma says. “We just thought maybe this is the right moment to sell, before the election. We have raised our family here, but it is time to move on....."

Posted by dill @ 05:04 PM 5 Comments

Consumer borrowing is the real problem

Observer: Europe's south refuses to downsise

Interesting article (but not about property prices) but the telling thing for me was the observation on Greek behaviour post Euro... But that, says Manos, is precisely where the problem began. Suddenly Greeks who had never borrowed in their lives went on a spree, buying summer homes, second cars and anything else that was perceived to improve lifestyles. "After joining the euro they changed behaviourally. People who had always kept their money in the bank started spending and borrowing, putting refrigerators, cars, everything on credit cards," the former minister told the Observer. "And the state did the same without ever thinking how the hell it was going to pay the money back."

Posted by chrisch @ 04:42 PM 0 Comments

The Wilsons in the news again.

Mail online: The buy-to-let gurus' empire crumbles

Dollops of Sunday schadenfreude for the anti-homeownerists.

Posted by p. doff @ 04:26 PM 20 Comments

Communism or collapse

Daily Mail: Collapse of the euro is 'inevitable': Bailing out the Greek economy futile, says FRENCH banking chief

Claims that the euro could be headed for total collapse are particularly striking when they come from one of the oldest & largest banks in France - a core founder-member. And, are we ready for global socialism? This statement really clarifies the mentality of the cretins in Brussels: 'Even if Greece receives a one-off bailout it would not solve the real problem, which is the huge differences in competitiveness between the eurozone's richest and poorest members. 'If these differences are to be evened out, the EU would need a single budget and common taxes so it can redistribute resources". So, from this statement we see that communistic redistribution of wealth is actually the agenda. You like poverty? Because the easiest way to balance out economies is to destroy the most productive states

Posted by freemanphil @ 03:03 PM 6 Comments

Ohh dear If this happens, houseprices could half within months not years

Reuters News: Germans say euro zone may have to expel Greece: poll

BERLIN (Reuters) - A majority of Germans want debt-ridden Greece to be thrown out of the euro zone if necessary and more than two-thirds oppose handing Athens billions of euros in credit, a poll published on Sunday showed. Vocal opposition to aid for Greece from members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition also grew at the weekend with several senior politicians expressing skepticism, especially as Germany's own recovery is fragile.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 01:59 PM 0 Comments

Shelter launch ad campaign (Mon 15 Feb 2010) to highlight the UK's sky-high housing costs

Thisismoney: £420 weekly shop if food rose with property

The average family's weekly grocery bill would be around £420, if food prices had risen in line with house prices, housing charity Shelter has revealed. The charity analysed the cost of a typical shopping trolley of groceries for a family of four if prices had risen at the same rate as house prices in the last 40 years. In 1971, the average home cost a buyer £5,632, by 2008, that average had risen to £227,765. Figures were calculated using the Department of Communities house price data.

Posted by jack c @ 01:19 PM 2 Comments

The recovery in British house prices is built on sand

The Economist: Shaky foundations

Shaky foundations. The recovery in British house prices is built on sand. Feb 11th 2010 | From The Economist print edition.

Posted by tired of waiting @ 12:01 PM 0 Comments

Calls for Early Cuts

BBC: Economists urge swift action to reduce budget deficit

The government must act more quickly to cut Britain's huge budget deficit, a group of economists has said. In a letter to the Sunday Times, the 20 experts say the lack of a credible plan threatens to push up interest rates and undermine the recovery..."there is a compelling case, all else equal, for the first measures beginning to take effect in the 2010/11 fiscal year."

Posted by luckyjim @ 11:31 AM 3 Comments

Shorter working week!

nef: 21 hr week

A ‘normal’ working week of 21 hours could help to address a range of urgent, interlinked problems: overwork, unemployment, over-consumption, high carbon emissions, low well-being, entrenched inequalities, and the lack of time to live sustainably, to care for each other, and simply to enjoy life. Also read another publication by them... What are the reasons behind the collapse in UK house prices and how did the housing 'bubble' emerge? This paper provides an introduction to the macroeconomics of housing in the UK and forecasts 3 potential scenarios for the future of housing market.

Posted by abi @ 09:21 AM 0 Comments

Swindle and incompetence

Greg Pytel: Comment to "The largest heist in history"

Clear explanation how it all went bust. Worth reading. It also puts a publication in The Times “The Times: UK economy cries out for credible rescue plan” (see article linked below) into proper perspective. Both worth reading together.

Posted by ant @ 07:54 AM 13 Comments


Reuters: Greek FinMin unveils tax reform, wage policy

From 1. Jan. 2011, every transaction above 1,500 euros between natural persons and businesses, or between businesses, will not be considered legal if it is done in cash. Transactions will have to be done through debit or credit cards.

Posted by devo @ 07:23 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Down we go.....

Times: RBS takes bets on HOC

Sorry Sibley......

Posted by chrisch @ 09:34 PM 1 Comments

Worth a read

This is Money: Estate agent reveals dirty tricks

Not sure if this has been posted before, but they give a top ten dirty tricks estate agents use. A must read for anyone buying a house.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 03:11 PM 0 Comments

Two £15m mansions in central London lying unoccupied - no wonder there's a shortage!

BBC News: Squatters move in to Park Lane

Squatters have taken over two £15m mansions on London's Park Lane. The squats at 94 and 95 Park Lane overlook Hyde Park and have the Dorchester Hotel as a neighbour. The group of about 30 artists, students and musicians took over the seven-story buildings about three weeks ago saying they had stood empty for two years. Squatting is not illegal in England if the entry is not forced and no criminal damage is caused. It is believed the Duke of Westminster owns the buildings.

Posted by drewster @ 12:29 PM 7 Comments

Think tank should think about what they say !!!

BBC News: Cut working week to 21 hours, urges think tank

"The working week should be cut to 21 hours to help boost the economy and improve quality of life, a left-wing think tank has said." "The foundation admitted people would earn less, but said they would have more time to carry out worthy tasks. " What like watching more TV and planning BTL empires !!! Are these people for real? People are struggling to buy food and fuel and they say we should work less. I've had a think about it and I think we should cut back the public sector, get people real jobs, getting them working hard, paying down debts and live in the real work. Do these people get paid for their work ? Where can I send my invoice ?

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 10:21 AM 0 Comments


FT: Redrow chief warns on housing shortage

The chairman of one of Britain’s biggest housebuilders has called on the government to address the shortage of homes in the country or face the prospect of social unrest. “There is massive pent up demand for home ownership in this country and something has to be done to solve the housing crisis or it could lead to social unrest,” said Steve Morgan, executive chairman of Redrow

Posted by dill @ 09:56 AM 16 Comments

But they won't put up interest rates! - And it was cheap money that caused the crisis!

Times: New tax bombshell: 20% VAT

''A rise in VAT is looming whichever party wins the general election, as Labour and the Conservatives draw up plans to balance Britain’s books. Alistair Darling and George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, are both considering raising VAT to as high as 20 per cent — the European average — from the current rate of 17.5 per cent, The Times has learnt.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:33 AM 51 Comments

Friday, February 12, 2010

Biting the hand that feeds him

FT: Greece turns on EU critics

Greece on Friday unleashed a fierce attack on its European Union partners, accusing them of creating a “psychology of looming collapse” a day after they pledged support for the country’s crisis-hit government. George Papandreou, Greek prime minister, said that, in the eurozone’s first big test, Greece had become “a laboratory animal in the battle between Europe and the markets”. In a televised address to his cabinet, he criticised EU members for sending “mixed messages about our country . . . that have created a psychology of looming collapse which could be self-fulfilling” Greek gross domestic product contracted by 0.8 per cent in the final three months of last year, by far the sharpest decline reported so far by a eurozone country.

Posted by devo @ 10:46 PM 2 Comments

More scandal from your bank

Times: Lloyds targets sales from £70bn Cummings property empire

This makes me so mad... Peter Cummings was forced to resign from HBOS in disgrace last year, after it was revealed his corporate banking division had made record losses. Now new owner Lloyds is poring over the books. Cummings lent freely to his friends in high places, often with no more than a handshake to seal the deal. Housebuilders and Icelandic businessmen were among the recipients of Cummings largesse. Now many of those companies have gone titsup or are unable to pay. In total Cummings lending was £70billion - much of which will never be repaid. Lloyds Banking Group is 43% owned by us taxpayers. Poor Cummings only has a £330k/year lifetime pension and £4million villa in the Cota del Sol to console him.

Posted by little professor @ 10:27 PM 4 Comments

Our cost of borrowing is higher than spain's

Telegraph: Rich to bear the cost as Chancellor pledges March Budget focused on growth

"Alistair Darling has given his clearest indication that the Budget next month will be a "soak-the-rich" affair, targeting the wealthy while slashing the deficit". He said that the Budget which, he confirmed for the first time, will take place next month, would also cement: "fair tax rises, with the biggest burden falling on those who can most afford it." (perhaps he means the politicians?)

Posted by alan @ 10:19 PM 10 Comments

More debt

USA Today: Obama signs bill raising debt limit to $14.3 trillion

The United States can now legally go up to $14.3 trillion in debt, as President Obama today signed a new ceiling for red ink. "The American people are asking, 'where are the jobs,' but all they are getting from Washington Democrats is more spending, more borrowing, and more debt piled on the backs of our kids and grandkids."

Posted by devo @ 10:06 PM 2 Comments

Jaws smells Greek blood

Counterpunch: The economic velociraptors

Why Greece and why now? Because it's the Greeks' turn to be hunted by the shark pack (i.e. the usual Wall Street suspects masquerading as "investors" "concerned" about Greek debt). There's big money to be made on their bets about Greek bonds. In the prelude to the feeding frenzy the sharks are even biting each other.

Posted by icarus @ 08:14 PM 5 Comments

Straight from the Horses mouth....

Der Spiegel: 'Everyone Is a Sinner at the Moment'

Interview with European Central Bank Chief Economist Jürgen Stark Stark: The lower the interest rates, the bigger the incentive to borrow. Politicians think in terms of the short term, in terms of legislative periods. But interest rates will rise again in the medium and long term, which politicians should not forget.

Posted by braindeed @ 07:23 PM 0 Comments

FSA now officially following the HPC line

Moneymarketing: Why do policymakers want to stifle the home ownership dream?

As housing minister, John Healey seems to be very uncomfortable with the dream of home ownership. Judging by recent remarks he doesn’t seem particulary keen to see people given a leg-up onto the property ladder, nor unduly concerned should they lose their footing. This week Healey sparked outrage by commenting that repossession may be “the best option” for some after previously enraging the industry with his criticisms of parental help for first-time buyers.It’s bit rich for a minister to hit out at people for borrowing from the bank of mum and dad when Healey has tapped the taxpayer for £129,000 to keep him in a second home over the past nine years.

Posted by jack c @ 05:33 PM 5 Comments

A warning sign that house prices are about to turn down

MoneyWeek: A warning sign that house prices are about to turn down

A widening of the gap between houses sold at auction and conventional sales doesn't bodes at all well for where UK property prices are heading next.

Posted by damien @ 04:39 PM 3 Comments

Britain’s biggest rip-offs

CityWire: The Friday Five: Britain’s biggest rip-offs

Not suprising, housing is on the list. Mr Bonsignore is knocking out some real truthful belters lately. Cracking stuff Tony, keep up the good work. "Yep, back to this one, I’m afraid. But seriously, whoever thought it was a good idea for houses to costs five, six, seven times or even eight times income? Apart from bankers, estate agents and mortgage brokers of course, and older people who forgot to save for a pension? The key to sustaining the housing rip-off, of course, has been the promise that you too can get rich quick, because house prices always go up in the long run, and that interest rates will always stay low. If both of these assertions were true then house prices at their current price levels might indeed be good value. But they aren’t, and they’re not. "

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:09 PM 17 Comments

The dreaded double dip begins in the US

Propertywire: Signs of double dip in US real estate prices, index shows

There are signs that a feared double-dip in property prices may have taken hold in some real estate markets in the US.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:59 PM 1 Comments

Don't expect a hpc or recovery any time soon

The Casey Report: An Insider’s View of the Real Estate Train Wreck

Must read insights from a US housing insider. Details are different to the UK but the result is similar to here and Spain etc . 1: "For all intents and purposes, the United States home mortgage market has been nationalized without anybody noticing." 2: New rules let banks warehouse the bad assets without reporting losses in value. "It means the FDIC and the Treasury Department have decided that rather than see 1,000 or 2,000 banks go under and then create another RTC to sift through all the bad assets, they’ll let the banking system warehouse the bad assets. Their plan is to leave the assets in place, and then, [hope] when the market changes, let the banks deal with them." 3: The result will be a Japanese style decades long stagnation and indigestion of illiquid mis-priced assets.

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:54 PM 0 Comments

The booming recession

This is London: Don't get smug - house prices may yet go into freefall

It really has been a weird old downturn. To anyone who can remember the Eighties, there is something extremely strange about the recession we have — we hope — just finished living through. In the Eighties, you couldn't escape the signs of what was happening. The downturn was harsh, and it was everywhere: the defining image of the times was a dole queue. This time, a person who lives in certain London postcodes, and who occasionally looks away when walking past a boarded-up shop front, could have been forgiven for missing it — which is amazing, given that this was both the sharpest and the longest recession since the Thirties. In London, the clearest evidence of the strangeness has been in the property market.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:32 AM 4 Comments

Tax tail wags the property dog

FT: Mortgage approvals surge as stamp duty holiday ends

The number of loans to first-time buyers hit a two-year high at the end of last year amid a rush to beat the stamp duty increase, research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed. There were 24,900 loans to first-time buyers in December 2009, the highest number since November 2007, according to CML figures. More than half (55 per cent) of mortgages approved were on properties costing less than £175,000, up from 51 per cent in November and therefore exempt from stamp duty before the threshold moved back to 125,000 at the start of this year.

Posted by jack c @ 11:31 AM 3 Comments

The general trend

Home: Asking Prices Slide to New Low

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does Home take all their listed prices into account when calculating the average price, whereas rightmove only used prices newly listed. If so, this would explain why rightmove are showing rises as they do not take into account the 550k houses that are still listed 12 months later but for 445k.

Posted by btlers-r-2hats @ 10:12 AM 2 Comments

The Vampire Squid Strikes Back

Telegraph: Goldman Sachs faces 'Robin Hood tax' vote-rigging claims

The Robin Hood Tax campaign alleged that a Goldman computer was one of two computers that allegedly “spammed” the internet poll with more than 4,600 “no” votes in less than 20 minutes on Thursday. Technical staff for the Robinhoodtax.org.uk website said the “no” counter increased at a “dramatic rate” from 3.41pm. The number of “no” votes jumped from 1,400 to 6,000 before campaigners – who are calling for the introduction of 0.05pc tax on banking transactions – tightened the site’s security. Robin Hood’s security team claimed it traced the erroneous votes to two computers, one of which is allegedly registered as belonging to Goldman.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:46 AM 1 Comments

It's game over for the housing market

BBC News: Stamp duty effect on home sales

Much of the gains of the last year, and the 'huge demand' leading to a 'desperate shortage' of homes was a result in the stamp duty holiday. The property market is now officially toast.

Posted by hovelinhove @ 07:44 AM 0 Comments

The "new sub-prime"

The Independent: Cracks appear in Europe's response to Greek crisis

Q. Is sovereign debt the "new sub-prime"? A. It looks like it. Greek government bonds give you a return of almost 7 per cent – but with the risk of default. Default could spark a massive sell-off of government bonds within the eurozone and maybe further afield, representing a gigantic destruction of wealth. So Greece may be small – 3 per cent of EU GDP – but it could start something that would make sub-prime look like a tea party.

Posted by devo @ 06:41 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Second leg down forming?

Thisismoney: Auction prices dip - house prices to follow?

The prices of properties sold at auction versus the rest of the market widened in January - a signal of futher house price weakness ahead, says an economic forecaster today. The reading on the Fathom-Zoopla Auction Price Index (API) in January was 71.9, suggesting homes under the hammer were sold at a 28.1% discount. In December the gap was only 19%.

Posted by dill @ 08:59 PM 30 Comments

Will it ever be the same again?

SKY: Dying High Streets: 17,880 Empty UK Shops

"The British high street is struggling to adapt to changing shopping habits, research suggests, as new figures show the number of empty town centre shops nearly doubled last year". "The seaside town of Margate in Kent topped the list with the highest proportion of vacant retail premises - some 27.2% of shop fronts are now boarded up".

Posted by alan @ 07:59 PM 5 Comments

Fleet street invest Penny Shares to Watch: Real Estate Investors

Fleet Street Invest: Is This the Only Right Way to Play the Property Market?

Having just raised £10m from enthusiastic City investors, Real Estate Investors is about to embark upon a series of major property deals. These should really bring this penny share property investor to the attention of a wider audience. The company is is backed by some of the savviest investors around – notably Caledonian Investments...

Posted by william @ 04:52 PM 0 Comments

A surprising admission by John Healey...

BBC: Repossession can be 'best thing' says housing minister

... but his Tory opposite number is still waving the Home-Owner-Ist banner: "Having previously admitted that he thought it was good for home ownership to be falling, it is unbelievable that John Healey has now claimed that repossession can be the best option. Tell that to the 46,000 families who have been booted out of their homes in the past 12 months thanks to Labour's record recession. This proves once again that Labour ministers have completely lost touch with reality."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:06 PM 26 Comments

Alistair Darling rules out contributing to any rescue

Guardian: Greek bailout deal reached at EU summit

Wonder where Soros will turn his attention to now - AD might soon know what its like to be a friend in need, and his 'friends' will now know how he would react.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 02:45 PM 1 Comments

Drip feed removed, patient goes into arrest

Telegraph: In the real world interest rates are going to rise as lenders reprice risk

Yesterday's surprisingly dovish Inflation Report from the Bank of England has got experts scratching their heads. Based on what the Bank is now saying, it seems the Monetary Policy Committee won't be increasing the 0.5pc official Bank Rate for a while. The fact is that interest rates in the market are increasingly divorced from what you read about the official Bank Rate. Central bank support for lenders, such as the £400bn credit guarantee and special liquidity schemes, must start being repaid this month. Removing that source of cheap financing means lenders are being forced to return to more expensive sources of funding. The interest rates in the market that borrowers pay are rising and will continue to rise. The good news, however, is that the rates savers receive are also going up.

Posted by cat and canary @ 01:07 PM 8 Comments

Niall Ferguson: no such thing as a Keynesian free lunch

FT: A Greek crisis is coming to America

"What we in the western world are about to learn is that there is no such thing as a Keynesian free lunch. Deficits did not “save” us half so much as monetary policy – zero interest rates plus quantitative easing – did...The International Monetary Fund recently published estimates of the fiscal adjustments developed economies would need to make to restore fiscal stability over the decade ahead. Worst were Japan and the UK (a fiscal tightening of 13 per cent of GDP). Then came Ireland, Spain and Greece (9 per cent). And in sixth place? Step forward America, which would need to tighten fiscal policy by 8.8 per cent of GDP to satisfy the IMF."

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:51 PM 15 Comments


Telegraph: Buy-to-let: Landlords blow as tenants struggle to pay

As rental arrears begin to stack up residents run the risk of being evicted from their property. Simultaneously, landlords could be forced to default on their mortgage repayments which would ultimately lead to the property itself being repossessed.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 12:18 PM 1 Comments

On borrowed time?

CML: Buy-to-let lending in 2009

For 2009 as a whole, there were 93,500 buy-to-let loans advanced. This is 58% down on the number advanced in 2008 (222,700) and is the lowest annual volume since 2001. Buy-to-let gross lending was £8.5 billion, down from £27.2 billion in 2008. Buy-to-let lending represented only 5.9% of all lending in 2009 (10.7% in 2008), but the total value of outstanding buy-to-let loans still represented around 11.8% of the mortgage market despite the recent shrinkage in new business.

Posted by dill @ 12:16 PM 0 Comments

FTSE Stock Market Crash

Fleet Street Invest: Use this Smart Trick to Play the Coming FTSE Stock Market Crash

The FTSE has started 2010 with a big bang. It’s down by 4.5% and has been hovering around the 5,000 point mark for days. It’s also trading below its 200-day moving average. Both of those factors are red flags for technical traders.

Posted by william @ 10:35 AM 1 Comments

The quality of mercy...

CML: Mortgage arrears and possessions declined in fourth quarter of 2009

Mortgage lenders took 10,200 properties into possession in the fourth quarter of 2009 - 13% lower than in the third quarter, and 2% down on the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This figure reflects the number of possessions taken by first charge lenders on both home-owner and buy-to-let mortgages. In 2009 as a whole, this brought the total number of possessions to 46,000. This was lower the CML's most recent forecast of 48,000, and significantly fewer than the 75,000 forecast at the start of the year, but still 15% higher than the 40,000 in 2008.

Posted by dill @ 10:10 AM 1 Comments

Repossessions hit 14-year high

BBC: Repossessions hit 14-year high in 2009

The number of people who had their homes repossessed reached a 14-year high during 2009, figures have shown. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said 46,000 homes were repossessed last year, the highest number since 1995.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:09 AM 17 Comments

We are in deep...

Telegraph: Britain's quarter of a trillion pound exposure to the PIIGS

Here, in a chart, is why Britain can’t afford to be complacent about the plight of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. UK banks are exposed to these countries to the tune of 16 per cent of gross domestic product, according to this chart from Stephen Jen of BlueGold Capital Management (the figures themselves are Bank for International Settlement numbers).

Posted by mrflibble @ 09:03 AM 13 Comments

Printy printy

The Times: Bank hint on quantitative easing drives down pound

Sterling fell sharply against the dollar and the euro as the Bank of England hinted that it could pump billions more into the economy via quantitative easing. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to halt quantitative easing this month, but Mervyn King, the Bank Governor, said that it was “too soon” to say that no more asset purchases would be needed.

Posted by devo @ 06:50 AM 12 Comments

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


The Telegraph: Britain may be forced to bail out Greece

Britain could be forced to help bail-out some of Europe’s crisis-hit economies with tens of billions of pounds, it is feared. Gordon Brown is under mounting pressure from MPs on all sides to ensure that only eurozone countries contribute to a bail-out of Greece, whose economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. The Prime Minister will this morning arrive in Brussels for a crucial European leaders’ summit amid fears that the UK could get dragged into a full European Union bail out plan. Mr Brown - when challenged in the Commons over Britain’s position - was unable to rule out Britain's involvement in a a Greek rescue package.

Posted by devo @ 10:33 PM 27 Comments

Good luck with that

BBC: Greece on a knife-edge ahead of euro-crisis meeting

Greece and its huge debt and opaque government finances have weighed down financial markets well beyond Europe. Investors' nerves appeared to have steadied this week as speculation increases that Greece is too important to fail and will be supported. A list of top backers has emerged - including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European governments, notably Germany and France. A diplomatic source was quoted as saying Germany and France want the summit to issue a statement of political support, backing Greece against market speculators. But Thursday's summit will have to work out what - more than just words - can and cannot be done.

Posted by devo @ 10:15 PM 0 Comments

Polishing the Rock

Times: Northern Rock Sale

The road to the sale. Next step is to cut deposit guarantees.

Posted by alan @ 08:15 PM 3 Comments


Yahoo: Capital One customers face rate hike

If Yahoo articles are not to your taste, this one originated from the Times.

Posted by mr g @ 08:01 PM 1 Comments

Preparing to change course

Reuters: Bernanke lays out vision for Fed monetary exit

"Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke detailed how the U.S. central bank will begin to wean the economy off its extraordinary stimulus, even as he stressed it was not yet time to do so". "The Fed will also return its vast array of emergency lending measures to pre-crisis norms, including raising the discount rate and shortening the duration of loans at its emergency lending window, Bernanke said".

Posted by alan @ 07:59 PM 3 Comments

Not long before this happens in the UK

Yahoo: Irish unions to push against government on fiscal cuts

Irish workers plan to crank up the pressure gradually against the government's fiscal reforms

Posted by mr g @ 07:06 PM 2 Comments

Recovery? What recovery?

Yahoo: Thousands of job losses announced

Thousands more job losses have been announced in a worsening week for employment, with grim predictions of more bad news in the pipeline.

Posted by mr g @ 07:02 PM 1 Comments

Oil tanker - Rocks

This is money: Is a new house price crash looming?

The average property has increased in value by £15,300 in just seven months, according to Halifax. It's a remarkable turnaround from the 14% annual falls reported last April. But experts warn hopes of a rapid housing recovery may be unfounded and that these statistics are misleading sellers into asking too much for their homes.

Posted by apophis @ 06:50 PM 0 Comments

Easy Tiger!

Telegraph: China orders retreat from risky assets

China has ordered managers of its vast currency reserves to withdraw from risky dollar assets and retreat to core debt guaranteed by the US government, a clear sign that Beijing is battening down the hatches for fresh trouble on global markets. A Communist Party directive leaked to the Chinese-language edition of the Asia Times said dollar reserves should be limited to US Treasuries or agency mortgage debt such as Freddie Mac that enjoys Washington's implicit backing. BNP Paribas said the move has major implications for global risk assets. "The message from Beijing is that we don't like this environment," said Hans Redeker, the bank's currency chief.

Posted by cat and canary @ 04:53 PM 1 Comments

Jeremy Warner

Telegraph: Mervyn King: sorry, I haven't a clue

"The Council of Mortgage Lenders, which has warned of a mortgage famine if central bank and government funding support is not extended, can expect no joy from Mervyn King. He said that the Special Liquidity Scheme would end in January 2011 as scheduled and would not be extended. It was already the most generous such scheme in the Western world. In other words, mortgage rates will be going up sharply by the end of the year, as banks are forced to fall back on more expensive market funding for their mortgage books, rather than the near free central bank money they have enjoyed for the past several years."

Posted by dill @ 04:38 PM 12 Comments

More trouble ahead

Telegraph: Mervyn King has said that the mortgage special liquidity scheme will not be extended

During the Bank of England's Inflation Report briefing, Mervyn King confirmed that the Special Liquidity Scheme which has helped lenders fund mortgages during the crisis would end in January 2011 as scheduled. During the Bank of England's Inflation Report briefing, Mervyn King confirmed that the Special Liquidity Scheme which has helped lenders fund mortgages during the crisis would end in January 2011 as scheduled.

Posted by rob @ 04:19 PM 0 Comments

Preventing people from saving - Keynesian economics in action

Times: New Year brings further pain for savers

''Banks and building societies have continued to chip away at savings rates in the first six weeks of this year, says a study by Moneysupermarket.com, the price comparison website. It reports that, since January 1, the average rate of the top five savings accounts has fallen from 3.04 per cent to 2.89 per cent. Eight of the top ten deals have either suffered a rate cut or have been withdrawn, leaving savers scratching around to find a decent interest rate on their cash.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 03:46 PM 6 Comments

Who's next?

Bloomberg: Bernanke Says Federal Reserve May Opt to Raise Discount Rate `Before Long'

The fed are talking about raising rates, would that start a knock on cycle of people raising rates?

Posted by meow @ 03:25 PM 0 Comments

The real story?

Rightmove: 2 Bedroom flat for sale!

So there I was, keepign my finger on the pulse when I came across this place - been on the market for ages - when I had the idea to see what it had been selling for after discovering that an offer of £75,000 had been made. (A reasonable price but no more) Here is the house http://www.houseprices.co.uk/e.php?q=16+chad+valley&n=10 And here is what the land registry says: It doubled in price in four years!

Posted by brickormortis @ 02:02 PM 3 Comments

Scooby Dooby Dooooooo!

BBC News: Banks facing commercial property meltdown

[...] According to property consultant Andy Lamb, negative equity loans are so prevalent there is even a brand new jargon term in the business, the 'Scooby loan'. Mr Lamb said such loans refer to companies who re-financed their loans when the market rose but found themselves in negative equity when it fell. "The income is just about servicing the debt....the loan and the loan values are completely underwater and that is called a scooby loan," he said. "What it means is a scuba diver i.e. he's underwater but he's still breathing, just! "Because he can meet the interest payments, all other banking criteria are shot to pieces." [...]

Posted by sneaker @ 01:57 PM 1 Comments

An analysis of the Quarterly Inflation Report

Notayesmanseconomics: Bank of England Quarterly Inflation Report

I have just been reading the Quarterly Inflation Report from the Bank of England. I thought that this would be a difficult report for the Bank as so far the economic recovery in the UK has been patchy at best and has been accompanied by much higher inflation than they had forecast.Oh and there is the sum of £200,020 million they have spent on their Asset Purchase Programme otherwise known as Quantitative Easing (QE).

Posted by shaunrc999 @ 12:34 PM 0 Comments

More from the BoE

Yahoo: Bank of England forecasts 'gradual' recovery

Britain, which emerged from recession late last year, faces the prospect of a "gradual" economic recovery this year, the Bank of England said on Wednesday in its latest quarterly assessment of the economy.

Posted by mr g @ 12:19 PM 5 Comments

Inflation to rise - BOE is going to ignore it, because it isn't deflation

BBC: Bank of England warns inflation will exceed 3%

''The UK's inflation rate will rise above 3% in the coming weeks, the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has predicted. Presenting the Bank's quarterly inflation report, Mr King said the increase in VAT and higher petrol costs would push up prices.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:18 PM 23 Comments

What does this mean for deflation?

Yahoo: China exports surge in January

China said Wednesday that its exports surged in January for the second straight month, solidifying the Asian powerhouse's new position as the world's leading exporting nation.

Posted by mr g @ 12:14 PM 1 Comments

Rob the thieving bankers!

Yahoo: "Robin Hood" tax campaign launched

A global tax on banks' financial transactions should be introduced to fight poverty, protect public services and tackle climate change, a group of nearly 50 organisations said in a letter to political leaders.

Posted by mr g @ 12:10 PM 23 Comments

The jobless recovery is really gaining some momentum this week

BBC News: Up to 2,000 jobs going at Birmingham City Council

Up to 2,000 jobs going at Birmingham City Council Coming to a council near you soon.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:09 PM 0 Comments

State of the nation

Save our Savers: Living on the Never Never

As a nation we have deceived ourselves in believing that we could go on spending beyond our means.

Posted by mr g @ 12:07 PM 0 Comments

Joined up government?

Save our Savers: Nine Ministers in Twelve Years Shows a Fundamental Government Disdain of Savers and Pensioners

Save Our Savers asks you to join us and voice your frustration with Government disdain towards savers and pensioners demonstrated by their having been 9 Pension Secretaries of State in 12 years.

Posted by mr g @ 12:05 PM 0 Comments

Zee Germans Step In

FT: Berlin looks to build Greek ‘firewall’

Could never see Germany refusing to bail-in - too much at risk and the contagion will probably be averted (Portugal, Spain etc) - short term at least!!

Posted by magnaman @ 11:24 AM 0 Comments

Stiglitz dismisses the "speculators"

Greg Pytel: Default: Greece first then US?

On the face of it, we must be heading for another phase of the financial pyramid collapse. What a mess.

Posted by ant @ 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Here's why the property market needs tighter regulation

MoneyWeek: Here's why the property market needs tighter regulation

As the last property bubble burst, some very questionable operators thankfully went under. But with regulation in the market still so feeble, the sharks are beginning to circle once more - and investors should beware.

Posted by damien @ 09:32 AM 1 Comments

But my house is my pension..

Mail: A generation in denial: Millions face retirement poverty because they've remortgaged their homes and saved too little

"Millions of people approaching retirement are being hit by a crippling combination of large mortgages and no savings."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:00 AM 4 Comments

And you were worried about Iran. China's People Liberation Army has come out and openly said that th

Zerohedge: Senior Chinese Military Officers Join Iran In Delivering "Punch" To U.S., Propose Selling Treasuries As Arms Sales Punishment

And you were worried about Iran. China's People Liberation Army has come out and openly said that the nuclear option, i.e., selling US Treasuries, is now on the table and should be exercised as "punishment" for U.S.' arms sales to Taiwan. China undoubtedly realizes that this is a prime example of sado-masochism as the resultant plunge in Treasuries that would follow would hurt the US certainly, but also have a "mild to quite mild" impact on China's $700 (and likely much greater) UST holdings. Game theory 101 just got interesting.

Posted by depressed @ 07:47 AM 0 Comments

Australian Rates To Rise To 5% By December Probably Higher

SMH: Central banks should move early on bubbles: RBA

Central banks may need to become more pro-active in dealing with dangerous asset bubbles before they become destabilising to the financial system, the Reserve Bank said today.

Posted by depressed @ 04:58 AM 0 Comments

A very real problem

Telegraph: Pension income falls 70pc in a decade

Falling stockmarkets and annuity rates have decimated pension income over the past 10 years, according to Moneyfacts. In its quarterly insight into personal pension payouts it revealed that the average personal pension pot has dropped by a staggering 60 per cent over the last decade. According to the survey, someone who had paid £100 gross per month into a balanced managed fund for the preceding 20 years would have built up a pension fund of £40,749 if they retired now, compared with £103,914 if they had retired a decade ago.

Posted by dill @ 02:03 AM 13 Comments

China has the world's biggest pile of foreign currency reserves, much of it held in U.S. treasury de

Reuters: China PLA officers urge economic punch against U.S.

Senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan.

Posted by depressed @ 02:02 AM 0 Comments

Sitting on up to $4 trillion in assets, much of it from selling oil and other raw materials

Reuters: Sovereign wealth eyes move into commodities, oil

Most SWFs have so far been conservative in their investment choices, holding dollars, treasuries and shares in large U.S. and European companies. But they have been badly burned by the global financial and economic turmoil over the last 18 months and are now looking at new strategies to protect their interests, analysts say. As these funds switch into commodities and oil those markets will be supported by the sheer weight of their purchases.

Posted by depressed @ 01:44 AM 0 Comments

We only just got started

Market Oracle: German Bailout of Greece, PIIGS Would Herald Shift of E.U. Power To Germany

Despite all the problems in recent weeks, Greek debt currently trades at a spread that is only one-eighth the gap of what it was pre-Maastricht — meaning there is a lot of room for things to get worse. With Greece now facing a budget deficit of at least 9.1 percent in 2010 — and given Greek proclivity to fudge statistics the real figure is probably much worse — any sharp increase in debt servicing costs could push Athens over the brink. See below for the chart.

Posted by freemanphil @ 12:36 AM 8 Comments

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Banks have no money to lend because they are propping up commercial property

BBC R4: File On 4

While Britain's top bankers celebrate their bonuses, Michael Robinson investigates the commercial property market and the nasty surprises that it may hold for the banks and for the long-suffering British taxpayers who bailed them out.

Posted by mken @ 10:08 PM 4 Comments

House Prices to Blame?

Bloomberg: U.K. 10-Year Yields Near Highest This Month on Supply Concern

"U.K. 10-year bonds fell after a report showed house-price gains last month topped economists’ predictions, fueling concern that the government may struggle to sell record amounts of debt as inflation accelerates. The drop pushed the 10-year security’s yield near the highest this month as global gains by stocks cut demand for the perceived safety of fixed income. The U.K. sold 2 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) of bonds today, part of 225.1 billion pounds of sales planned for the fiscal year through March".

Posted by alan @ 09:47 PM 2 Comments

The plot thickens

Der Spiegel: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt

Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country's already bloated deficit. The bank declined to comment on the controversial deal. The Greek Finance Ministry did not respond to a written request for comment.

Posted by devo @ 09:08 PM 4 Comments

Postcode survey

This is Money: Are house prices rising in your postcode?

"The supposed boom in the property market is not all it seems. Reports may be indicating the prices are rising rapidly but the average is being skewed says property information specialist Hometrack. According to its research, prices are actually only rising in 7% of postcodes and the low volume of transactions is allowing wealthy buyers to distort the market." The article contains a list of every postcode that Hometrack thinks is rising. A little confusingly, there is no indication of what timeframe they're using. Can you find your postcode and if so, what % rise?

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:49 PM 7 Comments

What a PIG

Bloomberg: U.S. Stocks Rally on Growing Prospects for Bailout of Greece

This is the first I saw of the - the stock market reference isn't relevant. Enjoy!

Posted by techieman @ 06:22 PM 28 Comments

When the euro crashes, I am buying a villa

Msn news: Could Britain follow Greece into deficit tragedy?

The markets will probably give Britain the benefit of the doubt until the election comes around. If the next government keeps flipping and flopping around like a bunch of particularly stupid headless chickens - as both the opposition and the incumbents are doing just now - then we're in trouble.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 06:22 PM 4 Comments

After the party comes austerity

FT Alphaville: The next leg of the great bear market has begun…

Views of Bob Janjuah, chief strategist at RBS. "Dear Readers, it seems to me that the events of the last few wks now tend to imply that we ARE headed towards Austerity in the US, something which is already clearly the case in China and the Eurozone. The UK will hopefully make this leap over the next few weeks/mths, before its too late – hopefully.... I now think we have begun the 3rd and final leg of the multi-yr bear mrkt which began in 2007 and which SHOULD, hopefully, finish late this yr, but which COULD (hopefully not) drag on deep into 2011. "

Posted by mountain goat @ 06:22 PM 1 Comments

UK Trade Deficit Widens

Any thoughts?: The Guardian

I calculate that house prices should rise by about 1000000000000000000% as a result!

Posted by brickormortis @ 05:15 PM 3 Comments

After the election...

Yahoo Finance: Why Sovereign Debt Pain Has Only Just Started

Let's play a game. I'll remove a few words from the following piece of debt market research and you guess which country the strategist author is talking about. "The country urgently needs a credible and enforceable austerity plan - the worry for **** investors is that, despite all the **** posturing, politicians still fail to grasp the magnitude of the problem. Repercussions could be severe - the bond vigilantes are hovering and the backdrop is ever threatening ..." Greece? Spain? Portugal? Actually, it is the UK that Schroders' Head of European & UK Interest Rate Strategies David Scammell is talking about.

Posted by hotmail @ 03:51 PM 0 Comments

Some worried surveyors out there!

Times Online: Threat to valuers as lenders blame them for losses

Article a few days old I know. Precisely the same thing happened in the last property downturn, and I predicted on this site a few years ago that this would occur this time too.

Posted by p. doff @ 12:42 PM 8 Comments

We must be heading for another financial crisis

BBC: Hector Sants to step down from top FSA post

Hector Sants, the chief executive of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has announced he is to step down as head of the City regulator. Media reports suggested he resigned unexpectedly last night.

Posted by jack c @ 11:40 AM 7 Comments

Get Ready! Been waiting for two years now!

MoneyWeek: Get ready for the next phase of the house price crash

This could be it....Stepek is right, Goverments cannot keep propping up the market with gurantees that investors in gilts see no austere plans ahead!

Posted by magnaman @ 10:58 AM 49 Comments

Chinese inflation will destroy the USD

The FT: Call for Beijing to tolerate some inflation

The big risk in China today is inflation – not just because of the 2009 money blowout, but also thanks to secular demographic trends that are generating wage pressure.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:34 AM 7 Comments

January 2010

RICS: Housing Market Survey

The January 2010 RICS Housing Market Survey showed an increasing number of surveyors seeing price rises rather than falls. The seasonally adjusted net balance of surveyors reporting rising rather than falling prices rose to 32% in January from 30% and is now only slightly below November's recent high of 35%. However, buying and selling fell during the month; respondents to the survey attributed this to the extreme weather conditions experienced in the early January. The new buyer enquiries net balance fell to -20% (from +18%), the agreed sales net balance fell to -15% (from +19%) and the new instruction net balance fell to -5% (from +15%).

Posted by dill @ 10:17 AM 4 Comments

Depends what you mean by

Irish Times: No demand for €27m of affordable housing

Council gets "affordable" housing from developers. No-one on the waiting list wants any of it. Council drops prices 20%. No-one on the waiting list wants any of it.

Posted by eugene @ 10:09 AM 2 Comments

Third party taking over?

Commodity Online: Three major currencies: dollar, euro and gold

This is interesting, we have two lame duck fiat paper currencies battling with gold for pole position, just as we saw UKIP head towards third place in Euro elections. Is this a trend? Is the truth and are real things slicing through the fraudulent alternatives? And when the Euro and Dollar collapse, what do you think will remain? Same true for third party politics with politicians that, gasp, want policies to help their countries without pandering to the bankers.

Posted by freemanphil @ 10:00 AM 3 Comments

Tick tick tick

Money week: Forget Greece - the real debt crisis is still to come

In short, it'll be very nasty. But this is small beer compared to some of the debt time bombs that are ready to go off around the rest of the world.

Posted by happy mondays @ 06:32 AM 1 Comments

Keynesian solution or the creation of more debt?

Independent: Forget cuts and keep spending, Brown told

''One of the world's leading economists has urged Gordon Brown to reject "fiscal fetishism", defy the markets and maintain, or even extend, the fiscal stimulus of the British economy. Joseph Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 and has served as chief economic adviser to President Clinton and chief economist at the World Bank, warned that the financial markets were like a "crazy man" that could not be appeased with cuts to public spending.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:27 AM 13 Comments

Rightmove: +32% of surveyors reporting price rises

Bloomberg: U.K. Retail Sales, Homebuyer Enquiries Suffer in Winter Freeze

Rightmove's latest index shows that 32% more surveyors reported price rises than falls - up from +30% in December, and better than the predicted +27%. However new enquiries from potential buyers fell for the first time in 14 months, while the number of new sellers entering the market fell for the first time in seven months. “House prices are likely to rise in the short term, but if more supply continues to come onto the market, it is possible that the market will run out of steam” said Rightmove.

Posted by little professor @ 04:26 AM 14 Comments

Women, working-class people and Tory voters were more likely to say that they hardly recognise their

The Times: We're living in broken Britain, say most voters

Nearly three fifths of voters say that they hardly recognise the country they are living in, while 42 per cent say they would emigrate if they could.

Posted by depressed @ 04:05 AM 0 Comments

Monday, February 8, 2010

Overvalued stock markets

Telegraph: A yield that points to fully valued markets

Wait for the pop!

Posted by fallingbuzzard @ 11:58 PM 3 Comments

Follow the trend

Market Oracle: Stock Market Massive Head and Shoulders Bearish Price Pattern

This analysis suggests that the entire stock bubble since 1980 was just that, a bubble, and it is all about to pop. 1,000 on the DOW anybody? Really, the whole thing has been a bubble since 1971 when the US dollar dumped the gold standard. This didn't only affect the US, because most countries have the majority of their reserves in the dollar, so, it wasn't the US that came of the gold standard, it was the entire world. They have a choice now, deflationary depression or hyperinflation to bide time. I think they want a war to distract, history has that every time, but can they get away with it now that we have the internet to expose the necessary false flag event?

Posted by freemanphil @ 11:20 PM 2 Comments

More of this coming?

BBC News: Pensioners accused of 'kidnapping adviser'

Four disgruntled German pensioners have appeared in court accused of tying up, kidnapping and holding hostage their financial adviser.

Posted by sharkbait @ 10:00 PM 0 Comments

On life support

BBC Pestowire: The acute vulnerability of the mortgage market

Mortgage banking remains hooked on taxpayer support in a way that most would say is unhealthy. Via the Special Liquidity Scheme, our banks have dumped mortgages on the Bank of England in return for Treasury Bills (the equivalent of cash) worth £178bn; and the Treasury has guaranteed fund-raising by banks to the tune of £134bn through a Credit Guarantee Scheme. In effect, that is £314bn of credit provided to mortgage providers by us, by taxpayers. The Bank of England wants its money back by 2012. What do you think would happen if we demanded all that money back tomorrow? It's doubtful that a single new mortgage would be approved for some time. Which is why the recent recovery in the supply of mortgages and in the housing market looks somewhat fragile.

Posted by little professor @ 09:29 PM 8 Comments

US Mortgage Pain

Bloomberg: US Jumbo Mortgage ‘Serious Delinquencies’ Rise to 9.6%

"U.S. prime jumbo mortgages at least 60 days late backing securities reached 9.6 percent in January from 9.2 percent in December, the 32nd straight increase for “serious delinquencies,” according to Fitch Ratings".

Posted by alan @ 09:03 PM 2 Comments

5-2 that the pound will fall to $1.50 (Extrabet)

London Standard: Pound dives amid fear of UK debt crisis

"Britain took a battering in the financial markets today as investors concerned about a looming debt crisis in the UK dumped risky assets". IMF say "Britain in a similar situation to Greece & Spain" "Unless you can persuade the markets you're really going to bring the budget under control in the foreseeable future you're going to have big trouble.”

Posted by alan @ 08:43 PM 5 Comments

Mirror image of uk

WSJ: Housing Rebound in Canada Spurs Talk of a New Bubble

Another possible danger: Because Canadian banks typically reset adjustable-rate mortgages every few years, those who are buying now at low rates will likely see increases soon. Toronto-Dominion Bank forecasts suggest that the rate to which many Canadian mortgages are pegged, the prime rate, could nearly double by the end of 2011. The Bank of Canada warned in its December report that if interest rates increase as expected, by mid-2012 about 9% of Canadian households could have so much debt that they'd be "financially vulnerable."

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 05:19 PM 1 Comments

Economy in Tatters ( J Davies )

Bbc radio 2: Credit Rating

Johnathan Davies speaks to Jeremy Vine about the state of the economy (on air @ 1.47)

Posted by happy mondays @ 04:28 PM 26 Comments

Enjoy More Holiday For Your Money... by lining the pockets of someone who owns a holiday home!

Rightmove Campaign: Have You Switched Yet?

Rant alert! This is just some spam that fell into my mailbox this afternoon from the Glorious Rightmove, so apologies if it doesn't quite fit the criteria for "news". I believe it warrants consideration since this seems to me to be the rich (i.e. 2nd, 3rd, 4th homeowners, etc.) renting out their holiday homes for the times it would otherwise be empty for, er, probably most of the year? Don't think I'd personally be comfortable renting a home in a location where its own sale had contributed to the further impoverishment of the local population due to rising prices forced by... 2nd, 3rd, 4th homeowners, e.g. Devon springs to mind. In the future these years will be remembered as The Stupid Selfish Era. I can only hope that cash-in parasitic firms like this will fail, epically.

Posted by mick rupert @ 04:05 PM 1 Comments

427 construction businesses go to the wall in 2009

New Civil Engineer: Construction insolvency warning

Construction businesses have been warned to brace themselves for tough times ahead despite the fledgling economic recovery, with a high rate of insolvencies reported. “Construction business failures are still relatively high and averaged 106 business failures per quarter in 2009. Although this is lower than the 2008 average of 117, this continues to be a major concern for the industry... Coupled with the ongoing economic uncertainty and the impact this is having on the pipeline for future work, trading conditions for the construction sector during the first half of 2010 and beyond are expected to remain difficult." You can say that again. Article supports earlier post about expected tidal wave of business failures once companies are forced to cough up outstanding tax.

Posted by happyrenting @ 03:38 PM 0 Comments

Not enough just to save their jobs ...

Newstatesman: RBS to pay huge bonuses after £7bn loss

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is soon expected to announce huge bonus payouts from a £1.3bn bonus pool. This could lead to public outrage because of losses of over £7bn at the bank

Posted by mken @ 03:31 PM 2 Comments

Oh dear -

Daily Mail: How you CAN get a foot on the property ladder

Buy with friends, get help from parents, shared equity schemes!!!!

Posted by helterskelterie @ 03:21 PM 0 Comments

From Blackstone President on Asset Bubble

FT.com: View from the Top

A really good FT Video which amongst other things states that asset prices are too high.

Posted by kaka @ 02:03 PM 0 Comments

An excellent result for all concerned. Apart from all those who lose out, of course...

The MoveChannel.Com: New national park sends prices soaring

The creation at the end of next month of what is predicted to become the UK's most visited National Park is set to provide a significant boost to property prices, it is claimed... Property prices within the South Downs National Park could increase upwards by 10% as estate agents use national park status to improve the desirability of the area, a conference heard. It could also mean more second home owners in the area and fewer local people being able to afford property, the conference organised by chartered surveyors Smiths Gore and solicitors Adams & Remers, was also told...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:49 PM 8 Comments


Wall Street Journal: Mortgage Bankers Association Sells Headquarters at Big Loss

Like millions of American households, the Mortgage Bankers Association found itself stuck with real estate whose market value has plunged far below the amount it owed its lenders. But the trade group for mortgage lenders is refusing to say exactly how it extracted itself from that predicament. What MBA bought for $79m in 2007with a 'mortgage' from PNC for $75m, it is selling for $41m. MBA CEO said last year that he believed mortgage borrowers should keep paying their loans even if that no longer seemed to be in their economic interest. He said paying off a mortgage isn't only a matter of personal interest. Defaults hurt neighborhoods by lowering property values, Mr. Courson said. "What about the message they will send to their family and their kids and their friends?" he asked.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:37 PM 0 Comments

It's different here

Wall Street Journal: London's Real Estate Bubble Is Back—and It's Scary

Looking at the real estate listings in London is like stepping back in time to that unreal, giddy world of three years ago—before Lehman, before subprime, before AIG. But these prices are now, and they contain an ominous message: The London real estate bubble, arguably the biggest one of all, still hasn't popped. Prices are just 9% of their 2007 peaks. If history is any guide, it surely will. Burst bubbles typically fall a long way, and there is no reason to believe this one will be any different—despite the usual rationalizations you hear in this town today, and which you heard in, say, Florida in 2005 and Tokyo in 1988.

Posted by little professor @ 12:04 PM 3 Comments

Mortgage lenders want more state aid

Financial Times: Lenders warn of mortgage shortages

Britain’s banks and building societies have warned that they will have to slash mortgage lending and raise rates on home loans if the government insists on prompt and full repayment of the £300bn they have received in state support since 2008. In a recent paper aimed particularly at policymakers, the Council of Mortgage Lenders set out its case for continuing government support for the Special Liquidity Scheme and the Credit Guarantee Scheme, which must be fully repaid by the ends of 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:48 AM 22 Comments

Cash flow problems?

The independent: 'Tidal wave' of business failure feared as tax help scheme ends

Government sources admit that there could be a delayed effect on company closures and unemployment when the outstanding tax payments are finally demanded. They point out that many of these firms would have gone under without the state help and insist that most of them will survive since only viable businesses experiencing cash flow problems are being helped.

Posted by happy mondays @ 04:57 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The Telegraph: Gordon Brown to attend crisis talks over Greece

The Prime Minister will preach a “tough love” message for Greece and along with the other major leaders will urge the country to slash its spending over the next three years.

Posted by devo @ 10:45 PM 42 Comments

House prices are now falling

Independent Newspaper: Market Report: Contagion strikes fear into financial stocks

Selling prices are falling. This corroborates the Rightmove data which shows asking prices falling 2.2% in the 7 months since July 2009. Quote from the article: 'Elsewhere in property, Bellway put out a trading statement for the six months to the end of January, which knocked 27.5p off the share price to 733p. The numbers showed that its average selling price had fallen, and the board expects trading conditions during the first half of 2010 "to be subdued relative to historic levels". The falls were compounded by Charles Stanley, which put out a pretty negative view on the housebuilders. Analyst Tom Gidley-Kitchen wrote that there were "significant possibilities of a downturn in prices, and even an economic double dip, without a balancing upside scenario of strong and steady growth".'

Posted by analysis @ 10:11 PM 0 Comments

Events will not wait

The Telegraph: Greek Ouzo crisis escalates into global margin call as confidence ebbs

For the third time in 18 months the global financial system risks spinning out of control unless political leaders take immediate and radical action. Flow data shows an abrupt withdrawal of German and Asian capital from Club Med debt markets. The EU's refusal to offer Greece anything beyond stern words and a one-month deadline for harsher austerity – while admirable in one sense – is to misjudge how fast confidence is ebbing. Greece's drama has already metastasised into a wider systemic crisis.

Posted by devo @ 09:04 PM 1 Comments

Up to 30% budget cutbacks anticipated by senior civil servants

Guardian: Civil servants' leader attacks 'utterly dysfunctional' government

Jonathan Baume, head of the FDA union, the man who represents the most senior civil servants in Whitehall, described an atmosphere in Whitehall where the government continues to plan new policies while mandarins are looking at what they could cut from budgets to achieve the 17% three-year reductions widely thought to be necessary. Some departments with big capital spending budgets, such as transport, are looking at up to 30%. He said Whitehall departments, which are constitutionally required to serve the government of the day, were informally starting to prepare for a Conservative government. Most have set up de facto shadow departments to consider how Conservative policy might be implemented, and how to reduce spending.

Posted by wanderinman @ 08:02 PM 2 Comments


TBS: Europe Risks Another Global Depression

What are the stronger European countries, specifically Germany and France, doing to contain the self-fulfilling fear that weaker eurozone countries may not be able to pay their debt – this panic that pushes up interest rates and makes it harder for beleaguered governments to actually pay? The Europeans with deep-pockets are doing nothing – except insist that all countries under pressure cut their budgets quickly and in ways that are probably politically infeasible. This kind of precipitate fiscal austerity contributed directly to the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Posted by devo @ 05:09 PM 3 Comments

Consultation Paper

HM Treasury: Investment in the UK Private Rented Sector

This is a lengthy, but necessary, read containing some interesting data. Consultation is open to individual feedback.

Posted by dill @ 04:11 PM 5 Comments

Who is he trying to kid?

BBC: Darling 'confident' on economic recovery at G7 meeting

Chancellor Alistair Darling has said the UK and other industrial nations are committed to public spending to bolster the shaky return to growth. He added he was "confident" the global economy was on the path to recovery.

Posted by devo @ 12:16 PM 1 Comments


The Times: Bonus storm as losses hit £7bn at Royal Bank of Scotland

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND is about to announce losses of more than £7 billion for 2009 but will still hand out enormous bonuses to its investment bankers. The Treasury is expected to approve a total bonus pool of about £1.3 billion despite the expected losses. The move will spark a fresh furore over payments at banks that were bailed out by the taxpayer.

Posted by devo @ 11:56 AM 14 Comments

Shape of things to come?

BBC: Foreign student visas to be cut by UK

"The number of visas granted to students from outside the EU is to be cut in a crackdown on abuses of the system, UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said." NewLab trying winking at all those right wing undecided voters? I'd expect areas like the South East (Brighton is a big one) to suffer from this as language schools/colleges will be affected. TBH this is silly as most overseas students are rich! Anyway, less students means less work for language schools, and less request for rented accommodation (rents to come down) or host families. Not good for all those who heavily rely on students to boost their income and scrape through their mortgage payments. BTLs won't love this. Tories will be even more severe on this, as recently announced...

Posted by capt. picard @ 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Too late

The Telegraph: Cut spending before there is a financial disaster

The easiest cuts of all will be in the state owned banks, where the pay is too high and risky business still too large. Splitting them up and selling them off can cut public sector risks and bring in much needed cash.

Posted by devo @ 09:58 AM 5 Comments

We have been shafted. Left, right and centre.

Greg Pytel: New Labour: could it have been worse?

When Tories lose power it goes down to scandals, becoming unpopular and making mistakes. But it is a situation that can be contained and quickly repaired. In 1997 New Labour were beneficiaries of pretty good state of the economy that Tories left. When Labour lose power it is absolutely "spectacular": 1979 and now. It would be ridculous to have one party, Tory, "democracy" but can we afford such party like Labour to rule the country?

Posted by ant @ 09:58 AM 4 Comments

Keeping house prices high...


''BORROWERS could be protected from losing their home if they fall behind on credit card or loan payments, under new proposals from the Ministry of Justice.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:35 AM 9 Comments

Where now , for spain & the Euro?

The Independent: Spanish PM's crisis talks to bolster economy

Worries that Spain would soon join Greece on Europe's sick list prompted the international sell-off which saw the Dow Jones crash below the 10,000 mark at one point last week. By Friday's close, the US and UK markets had recovered some of the losses although the FTSE 100 was still off £30bn.

Posted by happy mondays @ 06:19 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why the secrecy?

Herald Sun: World bankers meet in Sydney as recovery fears intensify

The world's top central bankers began arriving in Australia for high-level talks as renewed fears about the strength of the global economic recovery gripped world share markets. Representatives from 24 central banks and monetary authorities, including the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, landed in Sydney to meet tomorrow at an undisclosed location. Organised by the Bank for International Settlements last year, the two-day talks are shrouded in secrecy with extensive security believed to have been invoked by law enforcement agencies.

Posted by devo @ 09:46 PM 11 Comments

Under the radar (nice try)

NAYE: A New Unconventional Monetary Policy for the UK

After yesterday’s announcement from the Bank of England after its regular monthly meeting that it was suspending asset purchases via its Quantitative Easing (QE) programme one might reasonably assume that this was the last word on such a policy for the day. After all any similar policy should be announced then one might think. However it has turned out that this is not true. Later in the day it transpired that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has authorised the Treasury/Bank of England to continue with a similar policy.

Posted by devo @ 05:47 PM 5 Comments

Foxton's Ms Hayek makes good

Der Spiegel: What could possible go wrong :-)

Salma Hayek is one of the first to arrive. In her black sling pumps and shoulderless Gucci dress, she ascends the marble steps to the lobby. There, she passes by buckets of white roses, a map of North Africa from 1923 and anterooms full of plush velvet sofas before stopping beneath a hand-painted wooden ceiling. "Wonderful!" Hayek says, stretching her arms out. "There's so much history everywhere!" Then she explains how she has now installed a Moroccan parlor in one of her homes.

Posted by braindeed @ 05:19 PM 8 Comments

New Zealand government wants to stem high House prices

New Zealand Herald: Landlords fret over possible tax hit

Looks like NZ wants to introduce 2 things: Land tax and cutting down tax benefits for the buy to let sector. Realisation that high house prices have no beneficial effect on economic growth, it increases interest rates and hurts exporting businesses due to higher NZ dollar. Land tax will be offset by having lower income tax. Would it not be great if UK followed suit.

Posted by soldintime @ 10:27 AM 0 Comments

Controversial idea?

Guardian: Cap mortgages - let the bankers shriek

How much do you think a bank will lend someone who earns £30,000 a year? Maybe just over three times their income – say £100,000? Or maybe they should stretch to £120,000, four times income. But what about £190,000? Nonsense, you'd say, that's 6.3 times earnings, and the borrower would default when interest rates rise. Yet that's what one bank is doing, having learned nothing from the orgy of easy lending that has left taxpayers across the world having to bail them out. Banks are still offering loans that will become toxic when rates rise. It's time to bring to an end a bank's freedom to set its own lending criteria. If we had banned anyone from taking on a loan for house purchase of more than 4x salary, house prices would never have reached their current unaffordable levels.

Posted by little professor @ 10:17 AM 11 Comments

Santander HP Index needed?

Guardian: Santander now issues half of all new UK mortgages – and plans to expand

The Spanish bank saw its share of new and existing mortgage lending peak at 20.4% over the last three months of last year, as its red flame logo began to replace the brands it has bought on Britain's high streets. Santander's UK net lending – which strips out remortgaging – reached £7.6bn in 2009, estimated to be half the net lending of the entire market. Gross mortgage lending of £26.4bn gave the bank an overall market share for the year of 18.6%, a level it believes is its highest ever.

Posted by dill @ 05:54 AM 7 Comments

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's all about the ratings

FT: Next up for Europe, covered bond catastrophe?

Covered bonds are a circa €2 trillion market. Europe is the biggest issuer of such debt. And Europe is in trouble.

Posted by devo @ 09:17 PM 1 Comments

Laws that stop an Englishman from having his castle are insane

The Telegraph: Laws that stop an Englishman from having his castle are insane

Some time ago, it was revealed that Mr Fidler had been living with his family behind a large haystack covered with a blue tarpaulin. When the bales were removed, there stood a sturdy four-bedroom house which Mr Fidler had built. Typically, no one minded that Mr Fidler's ugly blue-topped haystack stood there for years, but the authorities kicked up the most tremendous fuss when the bales came down and his castle shone forth. In the same miserable spirit, they demand demolition.

Posted by devo @ 07:15 PM 20 Comments

Protect the Feckless

BBC: Challenge to forced sale of homes for debts

The Ministry of Justice is looking at whether to set a minimum amount of debt before a court can order the sale of the home.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:34 PM 3 Comments

Rightmove asking price data from two regions

Patrick Craig: UK House Price Graph 2008 onwards

At the end of 2007, I set up a Rightmove scraper to get daily house prices for two regions I was interested in, Hemel Hempstead and Braintree. I posted a graph of the data to date on this site last June, with some attempts at analysis. The regulars didn't think much of my analysis, so I will just say that the data has been updated and let people draw their own conclusions.

Posted by patchnpuki @ 02:37 PM 8 Comments

"The government knows more houses need to be built or prices could soar"

Citywire: Can pension funds make house prices affordable?

The government knows more houses need to be built or prices could soar – but their plans leave something to be desired.Despite the headlines you and I know that UK house prices are not really rising except for in a few highly desirable areas.We treat every daily update from a myriad of people – mostly with vested interests – telling us house prices have risen 2% to 3%, or stopped rising as fast, or will rise 10% with a healthy dose of skepticism. How can prices be going up when the for sale signs we pass every day are never replaced by sold signs, when reduced asking prices are now an important part of any estate agent's sales arsenal, when unemployment is still rising and the economic and tax outlook looks grim?

Posted by jack c @ 02:09 PM 7 Comments

Oh Yes!

Wall Street Journal: The London Real Estate Bubble Is Back—and It's Scary

Interesting coverage of London's crazy market where you pay £1 million to live in hemmed in by council estates, pocked marked with criminality, and busy roads and convince yourself it is all worth it.

Posted by teeth @ 01:02 PM 5 Comments

The Men In Black Are Making Too Much Of The Rate Hikes In China .. Normal Cooling Down Thats All

CNBC: China's Property to Keep Booming

The property price rally seen in the major Chinese cities does not show signs of stopping as local investors have very few places to put their money, Adam Roseman, CEO of ARC China, told CNBC Friday.

Posted by depressed @ 12:43 PM 1 Comments

Much more detail on Inside Track/IAP Global

Investors Chronicle: The return of Inside Track

The FT item referred to by little professor is just a summary. The real meat is here!

Posted by je @ 11:06 AM 0 Comments

The figure dwarfed the previous record of 107,288 personal insolvencies set in 2006

Telegraph: Personal insolvencies hit record of 134,000 in 2009

The DRO is a new individual insolvency procedure which came into force on April 6 2009 and provides an alternative route into personal insolvency for certain categories of over-indebted individuals. - more fiddling while Rome burns

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 10:35 AM 7 Comments

Their next move

ZeroHedge: FX Intervention an Option? - Maybe

Will we see this headline? EU, UK, Swiss, Japanese and US Central Banks Join in Coordinated Global Currency Intervention Global Markets Rally Central Bankers have studied the impact of Coordinated intervention for years. This Greece story has gone global. It is raining deflation on us. VIX on everything just shot up. A few more weeks of this and you start taking points off of global GDP.

Posted by devo @ 06:26 AM 0 Comments

“Deficits are like putting dynamite in the hands of children,”

Bloomberg: Taleb Says ‘Every Human’ Should Short U.S. Treasuries

The Fed and U.S. agencies have lent, spent or guaranteed $9.66 trillion to lift the economy from the worst recession since the Great Depression, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said on Feb. 2 that the U.S. government’s Aaa bond rating will come under pressure in the future unless additional measures are taken to reduce budget deficits projected for the next decade.

Posted by depressed @ 02:43 AM 11 Comments

Football managers become accidental landlords: Can't sell players? Rent them out instead

BBC Sport: Premier League clubs' January transfer spending slumps

Premier League clubs spent £30m in the January transfer window, the lowest since the mid-season window was introduced in 2003. The outlay of fees compares with about £170m spent this time last year. (That's an 82% drop!). About 70% of transfers were loan arrangements. The tightening of club finances and credit availability have helped to dampen down the market. Next month, Deloitte is expected to confirm several Premier League clubs in the top 20 of the world's richest clubs. However its Football Money League is based on revenue alone and does not take debt into account. --- [OK here's what's happening. Football teams borrowed lots of money. Bid up the price of players sky high. Now they're stuck with over-priced players, but don't want to sell, so they're "letting" them out instead.]

Posted by drewster @ 01:00 AM 14 Comments

Inside Track are back!

FT: Failed property club founders renew pitch

Less than two years after it collapsed into administration, the men behind the notorious buy-to-let property club Inside Track are back, targeting UK investors with a new get-rich-quick property scheme. Promising that members can “make £100,000+ in five minutes” from BMV properties sourced at "up to £25,000 discount", a nationwide programme of seminars has begun to recruit investors eager to participate in the UK’s next property boom. The new company, IAP Global, was set up by Inside Track's founders, and has access to the database of IT's 250,000 investors.

Posted by little professor @ 12:45 AM 7 Comments

Relapse warning

Independent: House price 'boomlet' shows signs of cooling

A brief commentary on the recent Halifax HPI figures. Although there was a respectable price rise in January, financial analysts Global Insight are doubtful about how long this can continue. Like our economy, house prices look vulnerable to a "relapse."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:25 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rentals yields fall further!!

Find a property: January Rental Index

Yields are still falling over the country with Newcastle falling a massive -19% MoM and Leeds -17%... The effects of unemployment are plain to see. With the average rental yield around 4% and SVR around 3.5% the next move in interest rates will trigger the next phase of the cras ... sell now while the going is good.

Posted by mmeg @ 11:32 PM 0 Comments

All in the same boat

The Times: Stock markets plunge over Europe debt fears

European and American stock markets plunged yesterday as investors took fright over the difficulties in debt-ridden countries such as Greece and Portugal and fears mounted over the health of the world’s biggest economy. There were concerns that Greece may not meet its tough budget plans as workers started the first in a wave of strikes, prompting worries that Spain, Portugal and the Irish Republic may also struggle to cut their soaring debts This came as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England voted to call a halt to quantitative easing...However, it gave warning that repairing the UK’s public finances would weigh on consumer spending.

Posted by devo @ 10:51 PM 5 Comments


The Telegraph: Fears of 'Lehman-style' tsunami as crisis hits Spain and Portugal

The Greek debt crisis has spread to Spain and Portugal in a dangerous escalation as global markets test whether Europe is willing to shore up monetary union with muscle rather than mere words. Julian Callow from Barclays Capital said the EU may to need to invoke emergency treaty powers under Article 122 to halt the contagion, issuing an EU guarantee for Greek debt. “If not contained, this could result in a `Lehman-style’ tsunami spreading across much of the EU.” Credit default swaps (CDS) measuring bankruptcy risk on Portuguese debt surged 28 basis points on Thursday to a record 222 on reports that Jose Socrates was about to resign as prime minister after failing to secure enough votes in parliament to carry out austerity measures

Posted by devo @ 10:32 PM 1 Comments

Labour holding out on a wing and a prayer - I think there's a loose rivet!

BBC News: Economy worries hit stock markets and oil prices

The discouraging jobs news had dampened hopes of a near-term economic recovery, said Fadel Gheit, an oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. "When people say there's a light at the end of the tunnel, it's getting to be a very dim light and a very long tunnel," he said. European markets suffered as a lack of demand for government bonds in Portugal re-ignited concerns that countries such as Portugal and Greece would not be able to fund their national deficits without a bail-out.

Posted by hoaglund @ 09:50 PM 0 Comments

Not long now

The Telegraph: Greece crisis: There but for the grace of God goes Britain

Should markets pass the same verdict on Britain as on Greece, the results would be almost identical - and just as disastrous, says Edmund Conway. ...both main political parties should, as a matter of course, prepare detailed emergency plans saying what overnight cuts they would impose in the event of a similar crisis.

Posted by devo @ 09:31 PM 15 Comments


Telegraph: Stock markets, euro slide as fears of a sovereign debt crisis rattles investors

The Spanish and Portuguese markets led the declines as investors' fears focused on whether government plans to cut their deficits are tough enough. By late afternoon, Spain's main market, the IBEX, was down more than 5pc and Portugal's benchmark, the PSI-20, was off a similar amount. The prospect of a sovereign debt crisis has been seen as one of the biggest risks facing the global economy this year as the downturn catches up with heavily indebted countries

Posted by cat and canary @ 04:54 PM 17 Comments

Charity begins at home?

Yahoo: Private banks use lure of charity to attract rich

Coutts, the private banking arm of Royal Bank of Scotland has the longest established philanthropy team in the UK dating back to 2005. Who was the recipient of this benevolence, Fred Goodwin?

Posted by mr g @ 04:17 PM 0 Comments

Recovery, what recovery?

Yahoo: Hundreds Of Glaxo SK Jobs To Be Axed

The boss of drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed the company is planning to cut hundred of jobs in the UK but played down reports that up 4,000 positions could go.

Posted by mr g @ 04:07 PM 3 Comments

Base rate held at 0.5% but QE ended

BBC: Bank halts quantitative easing programme

The Bank of England has decided against further quantitative easing (QE), the policy designed to stimulate growth in the UK economy. Under QE, the Bank has pumped new money into the economy by buying assets such as government bonds, as a way to boost lending by commercial banks. Last week, it revealed it had spent all of the £200bn put aside for QE. The Bank also kept interest rates on hold at a record low 0.5% for the 11th consecutive month.

Posted by jack c @ 12:08 PM 16 Comments

As expected

Bank of England: Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and Maintains the Size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200 Billion

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to maintain the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.5%. The Committee also voted to maintain the stock of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at £200 billion.

Posted by dill @ 12:08 PM 5 Comments

Why won’t the govt act to curb rising house prices?

Citywire: Why won’t the govt act to curb rising house prices?

An excellent, objective and insightful article. Credit to Mr Bonsignore, he is bringing true journalism back.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:30 AM 12 Comments

The dash to get out of cash is building

Market Oracle: Breakdown Of The Gold Market

A great disconnect exists in the gold market between the exchange futures contract price (the paper price) and the gold bullion paid price for transactions (the physical price). The differential in price is growing wider, enough to place tremendous pressure on the gold market itself

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:09 AM 24 Comments

+0.6% MoM +3.6% YoY

Halifax: January Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices rose by 0.6% in January. This was the seventh successive monthly increase and takes the average price to 9.9% above its trough in April 2009. January's rise, nonetheless, was more modest than in any of the previous six months."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:22 AM 5 Comments

The avalanche of debt

New York Times: No Help in Sight, More Homeowners Walk Away

In 2006, Benjamin Koellmann bought a condominium in Miami Beach. By his calculation, it will be about the year 2025 before he can sell his modest home for what he paid. Or maybe 2040. “People like me are beginning to feel like suckers,” Mr. Koellmann said. “Why not let it go in default and rent a better place for less?” “The overwhelming bulk of people who have negative equity stay in their homes and keep paying,” said Michael S. Barr, assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions. It would cost about $745 billion, slightly more than the size of the original 2008 bank bailout, to restore all underwater borrowers to the point where they were breaking even, according to First American.

Posted by debtfree @ 07:07 AM 4 Comments

Rates Will Have To Rise 50bpt In March Or The Bubble Will Get Out Of Control - Or Has It Already!!!

Switzer.com: Man who called the crash and tipped a 40 per cent tumble in property prices

And, the man who called the crash and tipped a 40 per cent tumble in property prices. Last year, his view was nothing short of negative, but is 2010 looking rosier for Professor Steve ‘the bear’ Keen?

Posted by depressed @ 05:33 AM 0 Comments

Forty one per cent of investors believe the RBA should always use interest rates to prevent bubbles

Smh: Bubble trouble for the RBA

When the Investor Pulse panel was asked if they thought such forces had already created an Australian housing bubble, 47 per cent agreed. Of these, 83 per cent believe the RBA should continue to raise interest rates to prevent the bubble from growing further. A small minority wanted the RBA to burst a house price bubble. But 43 per cent did not consider house prices at bubble levels.

Posted by depressed @ 05:30 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Someone Has Been Fiddling With The Number Again

Bloomberg.com: The U.S. may lose 824,000 jobs when the government releases its annual revision to employment data on Feb. 5

The U.S. may lose 824,000 jobs when the government releases its annual revision to employment data on Feb. 5, showing the labor market was in worse shape during the recession than known at the time.

Posted by depressed @ 11:32 PM 0 Comments

UK next

The Telegraph: Greece under EU protectorate as funds shift fire to Portugal

The European Commission has ordered Greece to slash public spending and spell out details of its austerity plan within "one month", invoking sweeping new EU Treaty powers to impose a radical shake-up of the Greek economy. Greece's labour federation immediately called a general strike for February 24, dashing hopes that Europe's provisional backing for Greek crisis policies would restore investor confidence.

Posted by devo @ 10:55 PM 24 Comments

Nationwide - Market to volatile to predict house prices for 2010

Swindon Advertiser: We won’t predict a housing boom

House prices in Swindon continue to be healthy. But Nationwide has poured cold water on a report in the Times which claimed the building society was predicting a 10 per cent increase in the price of homes in the UK over the next 12 months. “We released a report saying that prices had gone up 8.6 per cent over the last year,” said Katie Moore, communications manager at the building society. “We used to give a 12-month forecast about house prices in the past but because the market has been so volatile lately we have stopped these predictions.”

Posted by toddo @ 10:35 PM 0 Comments

Zombie dance party

MarketWatch: Loan repurchases are a $10 billion problem for big banks

Just when they thought the worst of the mortgage crisis was behind them, billions of dollars in bad loans from the debacle may be rising from the dead and creeping back on the balance sheets of the largest U.S. banks.

Posted by devo @ 10:14 PM 2 Comments

An old style HPC protest at our national obsession

Compass: The British housing disaster continues reports Rob Williams

No direct mention of interest rates or Central banks: "According to the latest survey from the Nationwide Building Society, the average UK house price rose by 1.2% in January, pushing the annual rate up to 8.6%. Even taking the latest figures with a large pinch of salt - the figures are based on what are historically low levels of transactions - it is obvious that the much needed readjustment in house prices has not happened. House prices should have crashed in 2007, following the longest, largest and most expensive credit boom in history."

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:57 PM 4 Comments

And the beat goes on...Did anyone ever truly believe QE was going to end any time soon?

BBC News: UK car scrappage scheme extended for a month

The UK car scrappage scheme is to be extended for a further month, the BBC has learnt. It was due to finish in February, but it is understood the government will announce on Thursday that the subsidy will run until the end of March. No extra money is being made available by the government, simply extra time for the scheme to operate.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:55 PM 10 Comments

Spain's BTL landlords make their own rules

Bloomberg: Spain’s Tax-Cheat Landlords Add to Rising State Debt

Basically rental income without tax....is much cheaper! an even the renters have clocked on to that being a good idea. Nice thing about dropping CASH rental costs = They don't appear in the CPI figures! Shame with all that inflation floating about, this could offset the cost of food/fuel nicely. Try it in the UK.... an post UK election... fear the "Empty Dwelling Management Order".

Posted by yoss @ 08:23 PM 0 Comments

Last straw for greece?

Telegraph: Greece rattled by 'hidden debt' controversy

Greek debt markets have come under fresh assault from hot money funds after a commission of experts in Athens told the country's parliament that it had uncovered €40bn (£35bn) of "hidden debts" during an investigation into past manipulation by the financial authorities.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 06:13 PM 1 Comments

Bribe has nothing to do with it

Law Society Gazette: Estate agents not influenced by referral fees, survey reports

This story is a bit old, but I don't think it's been on here before. Apologies if so. Let's think of some more comical survey findings we could come up with. - 100 MPs say their choice of second home was always for the needs of their constituents and financial considerations never come into it? - 100 bankers say they flogged mortgage backed securities for the good of the people and to help provide choice to first time buyers and that bonuses had nothing to do with it? Any more?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 06:02 PM 3 Comments

Bring it on!

Daily Mail: Osborne sets out Tory eight-point plan to restore nation’s finances.

I particularly like the aim in point 2 to “Boost personal saving”.

Posted by mr g @ 04:02 PM 25 Comments

This might raise some people's blood pressure.

Yahoo: Judge rules Englishman's castle can't be his home

A wealthy farmer who secretly built a mock Tudor castle complete with ramparts, turrets and cannon behind a wall of hay bales to evade planning laws in prime English countryside lost a court fight on Monday to save it from demolition.

Posted by mr g @ 03:42 PM 8 Comments

No green shoots here.

Yahoo: Recovery falters in January snow

Heavy snow and a rise in sales tax led to an unexpected slowing in Britain's service sector last month, but investors stuck with bets the Bank of England would halt its pro-growth quantitative easing programme this week.

Posted by mr g @ 03:37 PM 5 Comments

Trouble down under..

The Market Oracle: Australian Housing Bubble About to Burst...

Today the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) unexpectedly held interest rates at 3.75%. No doubt this was in fear of the Australia's enormous housing bubble that exceeds the height of the bubble that long ago burst in the US. 20 economists predicted the RBA would hike. Not a single one predicted anything else. Fear in the board of governors over the pending crash is palpable. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd did not learn a single thing from the US and the disastrous policies of Greenspan. He gave one last goose to the housing market with $14,000 tax credits in a foolish attempt to stem the tide of the global recession that started two years ago....

Posted by rob @ 02:32 PM 4 Comments

BEAR with us; not quite everyone is full of BULL!

Telegraph: NIESR warns of falling house prices

NIESR's forecasts assumed that house prices would fall by just under 1pc this year, and by almost 3.5pc in 2011, and it warned that the Chancellor would miss his borrowing targets for 2013-14.

Posted by mick rupert @ 02:31 PM 0 Comments

Is there no end to what the thieving g*ts will try?

Times: Banks pocket Isa tax breaks

Some of Britain’s leading banks and building societies are paying such miserly rates on easy-access Isas that savers would be better off in taxed accounts.

Posted by mr g @ 02:08 PM 5 Comments

Sneak preview of the mortgage market in 2014

This is Money: Lenders warn of massive mortgage crunch

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is getting worried. It says that when government schemes to keep mortgage lending afloat come to an end in 2014, a funding gap of £300bn will open up. It talks of 'rationing of mortgages for customers for many years to come.' Clearly the CML lobbying for more taxpayer support.

Posted by db turner @ 12:15 PM 0 Comments

The one Time I wish we were American

New York Times: No Help in Sight, More Homeowners Walk Away

More Americans walking away from “People like me are beginning to feel like suckers,” Mr. Koellmann said. “Why not let it go in default and rent a better place for less?”

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:11 AM 8 Comments

This will rattle London housing market.

Telegraph: Banks told to comply on bonuses or lose UK banking licences in shock FSA ultimatum

In an extraordinary ultimatum that has shocked some of the City's biggest companies, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) told bank bosses that 60pc of all pay must be deferred, with no exceptions, even for those whose contracts conflicting with the edict.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:46 AM 9 Comments

Lowest interest rates in history ...

ThisIsMoney: Halifax kicks home movers off cheap deals

The mortgage market is gradually freezing over because the FSA and Bank of England (i.e. Westminster) are continuing to try to buck the downward market. If the Treasury starts buying mortgages from banks (as is currently proposed by the Treasury), by next quarter I wouildn't be surprised to see a sovereign downgrade and runaway inflation.

Posted by paul @ 08:32 AM 26 Comments

Unsecured Loans for Bad Credit-risk free funds to overcome all odds

UK Financials: Unsecured Loans for Bad Credit-risk free funds to overcome all odds

Bad Credit Unsecured Loans policy benefits the people with adverse credit records to fetch funds without placing off any sort of collateral.

Posted by ravi mishra @ 07:48 AM 0 Comments

Big Problem If They Return Whats Going To Happen To The Immigrants Whose Taken Their Jobs & Homes!!

Cnbc: UK Expats Returning Home?

Nearly three quarters of Britons living in Europe are considering returning to their home country as they fear for job security, according to a Moneycorp survey. Adam Jordon from Moneycorp discusses the survey's findings and how pensioners aboard whose income has suffered from the weak pound.

Posted by depressed @ 04:47 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hmm, houses or national security...?

WSJ: Deficit Balloons Into National-Security Threat

"a $1.6 trillion deficit this year, $1.3 trillion next year, $8.5 trillion for the next 10 years combined—and that assumes Congress enacts President Barack Obama's proposals to start bringing it down, and that the proposals work."

Posted by rumble @ 11:09 PM 0 Comments

That wasn't a pop

WSJ: We’re Still In a Housing Bubble

"Adjusted for inflation, home prices are still 15-20% higher than they were in the mid-1990s. “There’s no plausible fundamental explanation for that,” he says. Why? Simple, he says: Economic fundamentals are all going in the other direction. Rental apartment vacancies are reaching record highs. Many segments of the housing market are still oversupplied. And the core demographic in the country—the baby boomers—are reaching the age where they’re more likely to downsize, buying less house in the years to come."

Posted by rumble @ 10:57 PM 1 Comments

Could this be the trigger?

Times Online: Building societies push rates higher

After Skipton announced it was going to hike mortgage rates, the Times now reports that a further two mutual lenders are due to hike rates - with more expected to follow. Could this be the beginning of an avalanche of forced sales?

Posted by waitingwatching @ 08:55 PM 0 Comments

No need to regulate us, guv

The Guardian: Mortgage market has already cleaned itself up, lenders say

The Council of Mortgage Lenders, the industry's trade body, has urged the FSA to hold fire on plans to clamp down on controversial mortgage practices such asself-certification "liar loans", arguing that the home loans market had "corrected itself" and there would be no return to the excesses of the past. The CML said many of the problems of the past had already been corrected by mortgage firms following a rise in fraud and losses, while self-cert deals had disappeared in response to public criticism. Borrowers, too, were taking a more responsible approach. "We believe that an outright ban on some products – or an obligation to verify income in every case, whatever the risk – would have harmful long-term consequences," said the organisation.

Posted by little professor @ 08:02 PM 13 Comments

The bear market in the UK house market is going to be Long and Painful

Fleet Street Invest: Take a Chance on Property? Thanks, But No thanks!

Tom Bulford describes why the UK housing market will enter a long term bear market with no end in sight. He points to two factors, the banks and building socities will no longer make reckless loans, and people are living longer, which means they spend more throughout their retirement.

Posted by william @ 04:49 PM 1 Comments

Simple: drop the price, then we won't have to borrow so much

BBC: Fears over mortgage funding gap

Homeownerism rife at BBC so much so that the obvious answer - "borrow less" - hasn't even registered. We have a funding gap because what people want to sell for isn't being met by buyurs. Why must we find policies to fill finance gaps??? Have we really not learnt anything???

Posted by growler @ 04:00 PM 23 Comments

Keep away from UK property

MoneyWeek: Two popular investments to avoid

House prices are set to fall whatever happens to the UK economy this year. And another very popular investment class – corporate bonds – suffers from the same problem. Here’s why you should avoid them both.

Posted by damien @ 03:51 PM 0 Comments

Just an old-fashioned protection racket

Counterpunch: Obama's junk economics

Keep telling 'em "Things would be worse if we hadn't given the banks the money". "Regulations to protect consumers will oblige banks to pass on the extra cost to the consumers". "Taxpayers' money is being used to avoid even bigger losses to taxpayers". "The trickle-down is coming soon". "We saved the system" (the 'system' of course is the bubble economy which caused....). "Let's concentrate on making sure this doesn't happen again" (end on a note of piety and consensus). Fact is, it's a choice between the real economy and the financial 'system' according to Michael Hudson. If we choose the latter, we choose to carry on paying protection money and we choose debt peonage. Also - the fibs behind the AIG bailout. Obama is better than Bush at this stuff because people think he's the good guy.

Posted by icarus @ 02:42 PM 3 Comments

That'll kn*cker the housing market in Huddersfield

Huddersfield Examiner: Kirklees Council to reduce number of senior managers by 30%

HIGHLY-PAID managers are among the casualties of Kirklees Council’s job cuts,

Posted by mr g @ 02:20 PM 4 Comments

Lessons taught to us all

HIP Consultant: Has the Property Market learnt from the House Price Crash?

There are certainly lesseons to be learnt from the recent banking crisis and housing crash, but am afraid I can see history repeating itself in a record time. There is no point teaching lessons if there are no students. Or am i just being far too cynical and pessimistic?

Posted by kaz @ 01:31 PM 1 Comments

Greece, Portugal... the dominos are falling

Market Oracle: The Collapse of Sovereign Government Bonds The Next Financial Crisis Contagion

First Greece, now Portugal. Next Spain, Japan, UK and US bonds will take a plunge

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:40 AM 64 Comments

Bankers think system favours the super rich

City Wire: BoE hurts middle classes

The new Marx. "Property is the opium of the people". Classic

Posted by chrisch @ 10:56 AM 9 Comments

House prices set for double-digit increase, Nationwide predicts

Times Online: House prices set for double-digit increase, Nationwide predicts

House prices are on course for double-digit growth on an annual basis next month for the first time in three years, Britain’s biggest building society said.

Posted by pants72 @ 10:42 AM 5 Comments

Leopard's spots

Times Online: Warning of new housing crash because FSA's reform plan is too weak

The only reforms I've seen from the FSA have been to prop up prices rather than restructure the provision of mortgages to make it less risk-prone. Yet again, the FSA is out on a long lunch on this one.

Posted by paul @ 08:10 AM 3 Comments

Great Depression II

MarketWatch: 20 reasons Global Debt Time Bomb explodes soon

Historians and behavioral economists tell us most investors are blind optimists. Investors cannot see bubbles from inside their bubble. Nor Fat Cat Bankers from inside their mega-bonus-bubble. Nor politicians from inside the beltway bubble. Why? The optimist's brain filters out bad news. They know their dreams of prosperity will come true. Then, when they finally do see that the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, it's always too late. I will say it again, gently: A new meltdown is coming. The Great Depression II is coming, soon. And yet, I know your mental filters are working, blocking warnings of a bomb.

Posted by devo @ 07:08 AM 6 Comments

Monday, February 1, 2010

Spending/borrowing culture? Where...?

BBC: Demand for credit back on the rise

New borrowing on credit cards, loans and overdrafts has outstripped the amount being paid back by UK consumers for the first time since June. And what with the higher interest payments! Why worry about debt, tax payers will bail everyone out!

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 10:43 PM 10 Comments

Banks trying to keep their profits up?

Telegraph: Bank loan rates hit 9-year high

Bank personal loan rates have climbed to a nine-year high due to a rise in borrowers failing to meet their repayments.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 10:16 PM 2 Comments

More useful than the OED (Oxford English Dictionary)

Macro Man Blog: The Devil's Dictionary of Financial Terms

Some of the gems: bail out, v. To selflessly save the global economy from depression and mass unemployment. If we hadn’t bailed out AIG, the unemployment rate would be 25% right now! CDS, n. The simultaneous purchase of kindling, lighter fluid, matches, and fire insurance on your neighbour’s house. house, n. An abode; an investment. Formerly an asset, now a liability. leverage, n. The act of turning your problem into our problem.

Posted by nathan @ 09:46 PM 0 Comments

Homeowners’ dreams are their children’s nightmares

Evening Standard: Homeowners’ dreams are their children’s nightmares

The most interesting point she makes is this: "But the worst thing the baby-boomers did to us on the housing front wasn't the years they spent driving up prices, it was infecting us with their obsession." I noticed with some of my colleagues who are younger than me and priced out, unbelievably still think house price inflation is a good thing.

Posted by tenant super @ 08:58 PM 30 Comments

Examining the link between planning restrictions and house prices

Demographia: 6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey 2010 [PDF]

Looking at the UK alone: LEAST affordable by house-price-to-earnings ratio are: Bournemouth (8.1), London (7.1), Plymouth & Devon (6.4), Swindon (6.3), Bristol-Bath (6.1), Telford (6.1), Warwickshire (6.1). MOST affordable are: Middlesborough (4.4), Sheffield (4.5), Dundee (4.6), Hull (4.6), Manchester (4.6). In Sydney, Australia, the land component of house prices has risen from 30% to 70% in the last ten years. In Sydney, 57.4% of gross (pre-tax) income goes on mortgage costs; whereas in Dallas-Fort Worth, only 13.4% of income goes on mortgages.

Posted by drewster @ 08:45 PM 5 Comments

Houses not really the best investment.

MSN MONEY: Things that beat the property boom

Nothing rises in value like house prices...well that's just not true: Oil, better, Gold, better, Footballers wages, better, Shares, better, STAMPS, better, Autographs and Memorabillia, better, Won't be long before we see "RBS shares" on that list after the house prices resume their real recovery.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 06:07 PM 0 Comments

Good job we have a safe pair of hands at the healm

Citywire: UK economy stuck between a rock and a hard place

Like the ship in Jason and the Argonauts, the UK economy is drifting towards a pair of clashing rocks. On one side: the threat of deflation, a double-dip and an even deeper, longer recession. On the other: dependence on quantitative easing (QE), a massive, growing public deficit and a risk of inflation. At the ship’s helm, facing an acute policy dilemma, is the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC). It meets this week to decide whether to stop QE, which has injected £200 billion into the economy, or extend it further.

Posted by jack c @ 04:50 PM 7 Comments

The real cost of over-valued property

Shelter: Affordability crisis fractures families

Not sure how the media will be able to spin this one as "good news"... Ms Boycott said: 'We must urgently address this situation and make sure housing is a key issue ahead of the forthcoming election. That’s why we are calling on people to log on to our website today and join in the debate about the need for more affordable housing.'

Posted by doomwatch @ 04:30 PM 1 Comments

Hoping for a new economy

FT: The UK has been outpaced by inequality

Following the National Equality Panel's report, this article wonders if any politician is going to do something about it. Or will the usual fusillade of self-serving falsehoods ensure nothing changes?

Posted by letthemfall @ 04:11 PM 5 Comments

HPC back on - Roger Bootle

Telegraph: Weakening recovery threatens double dip

"US house prices have fallen a long way. Prices are still falling in just about all of the markets that got overblown – including Ireland, Spain and France. But here in the UK house prices have been rising. I find it difficult to believe this makes sense. The correction may take the form of a crash or a gentle, gradual decline, but this market has a major adjustment to make. "

Posted by chrisch @ 02:47 PM 16 Comments

Get out of UK commercial property

MoneyWeek: Get out of UK commercial property

UK commercial property sales doubled in the last quarter of 2009, compared with the year before. So does this mean it’s time to pile back into the sector?

Posted by damien @ 12:11 PM 0 Comments

Policy Targets to Increase Home Prices

FT Alphaville: US Housing Bubble v2.0

Summary of report showing explicit US government policy support for house prices. If you have time, click through to the report and read section 3. e.g. "This section describes the role of the Federal Government in supporting the mortgage markets and, by extension, home prices... By supporting the mortgage markets, the Federal response has acted to lower interest rates, thus maintaining demand for housing and, by extension, supporting home prices.." Jump to page 126 "Supporting home prices is an explicit policy goal of the Government" and see how they do it.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:00 PM 1 Comments

Fighting for the Home-Owner-Ist vote

BBC: No swingeing cuts in first year, says David Cameron

Reading between the lines, the Labour government want to prop up house prices via the "fiscall stimulus" (i.e. massive over spend and over employment in the public sector; and printing money to prop up banks to prop up house prices) whereas the Tory opposition are playing a longer game - they say that excessive government borrowing will ultimately lead to higher interest rates, which will kick away the last crutch propping up house prices. So, as ever, the two big parties have the same ultimate aim - to prop up house prices. The only subtle difference is the manner in which they intend to achieve it. If we weren't such a debt-ridden economy, why would we care about interest rates? If we really were net savers and investors, we'd welcome higher interest rates, surely?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:08 AM 23 Comments

Good news at last!

Mail online: Number of new mortgages falls for first time in 12 months as experts warn house price boom is over

The number of mortgages approved for people buying a home dipped during December, figures showed today. A seasonal dip in numbers saw a total of 59,023 loans approvals for house purchases during the month, down from 60,045 in November. There was also a fall in new mortgage lending. The decline in the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase follows 12 consecutive months of upward movement. Economists said the fall suggested the rapid rise in housing market activity, seen as prices recovered, may now be beginning to slow

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:59 AM 14 Comments

House prices set to rise by 6pc in 2010

Telegraph: House prices set to rise by 6pc in 2010

The strength of the upturn has taken many economists by surprise, and while the CEBR was one of the few forecasters to anticipate that 2009 would see house prices return to growth it did not predict the rate of mortgage lending already seen this year.

Posted by will adams @ 10:52 AM 1 Comments

At least we are the best in Europe at something

BBC News: UK online shoppers 'spend most in Europe'

UK consumers spent £38bn online in 2009, or an average of £1,102 per shopper, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 10:50 AM 1 Comments

CEBR ramping

Bloomberg.com: UK house prices may climb 20% in four years - CEBR says

CEBR are not professional; in January this year they published a document where they claimed to have correctly forecast the Ashes win in 2009 but they said that their forecast of unemployment was surprisingly a miss. One of their main clients are HMG - says it all.

Posted by will @ 10:49 AM 3 Comments

House Prices to Jump

City AM: Think-tank: the price of homes to jump 20pc

This was on the front page of this morning's City A.M. I am not convinced but have a contingency plan in case they turn out to be right. Gordon Brown said in 2008 house prices wouldn't crash like in the USA (and this was a good thing) because they built too many and we hadn't built enough. In other words, perpetuating a situation of housing shortage (which I don't think we have yet but will do easily within a decade) and keeping house prices high (unffordable) is considered a good political strategy. That's why I fear the dubious CEBR might turn out to be right.

Posted by tenant super @ 10:49 AM 1 Comments

New pastures for the sheeple

Mirror: House prices predicted to rise 20% in 3 years

House prices are to rise by 6% this year and will be up 20% by 2013, economists have forecasted. Property prices are already up 10% since the worst of the slump.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 10:48 AM 7 Comments

Back on the credit cards

Times online: Stv.tv Mortgage approvals fall first time in a year

The number of loans made to homebuyers unexpectedly fell in December, recording the first drop in more than a year, according to Bank of England figures released today. However, there was a surprise increase in unsecured consumer lending, which rose for the first time in six months.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 10:46 AM 0 Comments

BOEs M4 measure still falling

IMarketnews.com: BOE's Preferred M4 Measure Still Negative In Dec

The M4 number that drives BOE decision making is still falling. Chart from BOE report attached: [img]http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/fm4/2009/dec/CHART3.GIF[/img] So two questions: Does QE boost the relevant measure of M4? Computer says no but MPC says yes. More QE? Computer says yes, £100bn worth.

Posted by fallingbuzzard @ 10:18 AM 3 Comments

House-purchasing power of £ to fall 20%

Citywire: House prices to grow 20% in four years

A massive shortfall in housing completions will push house prices 20% higher by the end of 2013, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts. While the group anticipates a 20% rise in prices by the end of 2013, it expects house price growth to falter during 2011 as public sector cutbacks and increases in unemployment take their toll. Ben Read, managing economist at the think tank, said: ‘We envisage a tough 2011 with house prices levelling out as government action to cut the deficit puts the brakes on demand. However, supply side pressures will reassert themselves in the medium term due to the massive shortfall in housing completions seen over the past two years and likely continued weakness in new housebuilding in the years to come.

Posted by watty-twotty @ 09:42 AM 0 Comments

Private property is essential for freedom

Debra Medina for Texas Governor: Issues

Eliminate property tax: We must eliminate property tax in Texas. We can fund necessary government services more efficiently and fairly using a broader based sales tax. Eliminating property tax and deriving that revenue from a sales tax will mean a $3 billion increase in net personal income in Texas and will add 125,000-175,000 new jobs. Debra argues that we do not own our properties if we have to pay property tax, rent on it. Government can take your property if you loose your job and can't pay Council Tax, so we are serfs. Would the UK economy turn around if we could muster somebody like Debra? She jumped from 5% to 20% in the poles, maybe she can win, this will be a great experiment to see, maybe Texas can show us the route to prosperity?

Posted by freemanphil @ 09:23 AM 11 Comments

Boom boom bust bust... more to come

Guardian: Commodities "next bubble to burst"

Here's the next one. And more fraud too

Posted by chrisch @ 08:41 AM 2 Comments

It's all under control

The Wall Street Journal: Deficit to Hit All-Time High

President Barack Obama will propose on Monday a $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2011 that projects the deficit will shoot up to a record $1.6 trillion this year. To get the deficit down by the middle of the decade, Mr. Obama will be relying on cuts that have previously been proposed without success, on cooperation from a wary Congress and on a yet-to-be set up debt commission to suggest politically difficult choices.

Posted by devo @ 01:09 AM 0 Comments

Anatole Kaletsky says...

The Times: The elephants in the room tiptoed out of Davos

Over everything, however, there hung the pall of two unspoken terrors: the possibility that last year’s financial heart attack might merely have been the precursor to the “Big One”, which really would prove fatal; and the certainty that, while America and Europe were quietly doing jigsaws in the rehabilitation ward, China was powering ahead.

Posted by devo @ 12:47 AM 0 Comments

Hometrack: +0.1% MoM, -0.8% YoY

Reuters: House prices fall in Jan

Misleading article title by Reuters, Hometrack actually says prices rose 0.1% in January, and the annual rate of decline eased from 1.9% in December to 0.8% in January. "Today the proportion of the asking price being achieved is 93.5 percent compared to 88 percent at the start of 2009," said Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack.

Posted by little professor @ 12:12 AM 3 Comments

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