March 2010 Archive

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Northern Ireland's Blair

BBC: Robinson bought 'key land' for £5

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and his wife Iris, bought a valuable bit of land from a developer for just £5, BBC Newsline has learned. The land deal enabled the Robinsons to sell part of their back garden for nearly £460,000. They could now be liable for thousand of pounds in taxes. They sold the land for £5 to a different developer, allowing the deal for their garden to go through. The DUP has accused the BBC of a smear campaign against Mr Robinson.

Posted by luckyjim @ 10:19 PM 7 Comments

Some said it was the snow!

Independent: Weak bank lending threatens recovery and housing market

"Bank lending to business and home buyers remains critically weak, according to the latest data from the Bank of England, endangering the revival in the housing market and the wider economic recovery". (I thought it was fear of interest rate hikes in the near future).

Posted by alan @ 10:11 PM 3 Comments

Is this what democracy has come to?

Telegraph: Gordon Brown could lose and still be Prime Minister

''Gordon Brown could continue as Prime Minister for weeks even if he loses the election, under Whitehall proposals to prevent a run on the pound in the event of a hung parliament.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:09 PM 9 Comments

Irish first UK second , cue round 2

Irish Times: Losses in banks 'truly shocking'

The Irish finance minister today described as “truly shocking” the detailed information the Nama process has revealed about the banks. “At every hand’s turn our worst fears have been surpassed,’’ he said. “Some institutions were worse than others. But the fact is that our banking system, to a greater or lesser extent, engaged in reckless property development lending” and shoddy banking practices. “The banks played fast and loose with the economic interests of this country,’’ and Mr Lenihan added that the State’s previous regulatory system had failed abysmally, and it was right that the role of the regulator, the Central Bank and the Government was now the subject of an independent inquiry. etc etc.

Posted by enuii @ 10:08 PM 0 Comments

Oh Noes!

This Is Money: House prices are already back to normal

There’s plenty of talk about house prices returning to their long-term average – well this Nationwide chart says they already have. The graph shows that real house prices are already back at trend level, ie where they should be. To the house price crash gang this is extremely troubling. They were looking for that red line to just keep on heading down – not have its fall sharply arrested in mid 2009.

Posted by little professor @ 06:01 PM 56 Comments

Still a bit too pricey but a move in the right direction.

Irish Independent: Price is right as 1,000 join the queue to buy 46 apartments

One bedroom apartments 70k, 3 bedroom apartments 98k. this is a 63% reduction for the target price when they were built. If they were in Galway or Dublin city I would say they're almost fair value but in co. Westmeath, they are still overpriced. A 75% drop from peak would probably be the bottom and there's no shortage of these developments . Still, the good news is that these kind of auctions will depress the whole market. Sellers of second hand houses and bungalows will have to reduce their prices ...

Posted by tenant super @ 05:58 PM 1 Comments

Arsetz raises his ugly head in usa

Rightmove: 66% Discounted 3 & 4-bed Houses From

Such large price discounts are rarely seen, and for the small price of $86,500 you can own a 3-bed house in Phoenix, which can achieve a net yield up to 7.8% with huge potential for future capital growth. ******ha ha ha ha ha ha ha nothing to do with the recession then?***********

Posted by mark @ 04:38 PM 1 Comments

Not before time

Motley Fool: Commission-Based Sales To Be Banned

I'm sure the financial "industry" will find new ways of shafting clients. I hate the use of the word industry to describe financial services. The dictionary defines industry as: "Organized economic activity concerned with manufacture, processing of raw materials, or construction" I can't think of anything further removed from this definition than financial services unless you include the manufacture and construction of questionable products and the processing of bulls*it

Posted by mr g @ 01:42 PM 0 Comments

Now is the time to leave the UK

Citywire: A VAT hike wins City backing

Economists told MPs that a VAT hike would be well received by the City as it would be a transparent, measurable move to cut the country's growing debt pile and would remove uncertainty.

Posted by mark @ 11:23 AM 49 Comments


BBC News: UK economic growth unexpectedly revised up to 0.4%

I don't know much about the construction industry but services and agriculture have definitely benefited from the devalued pound. My international customers (service industry) are effectively paying me 25% to 30% less than they were a couple of years ago. We have consequently attracted more business. UK fruit and veg must also be more attractive to foreign markets. Bringing in more foreign currency for our goods and services is never a bad thing

Posted by flashman @ 10:07 AM 11 Comments

Overcrowing in UK jails set to increase

City Wire: How to fight mortgage fraud

There are votes to be had by any party willing to shake up the finance industry. Sadly they all work for it.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:06 AM 1 Comments

Much better heading!

Times on line: Election uncertainty stalls housing recovery

Political and economic uncertainty ahead of the upcoming general election has been blamed by the Nationwide Building Society for a muted rise in house prices. The average price of a home in the UK rose 0.7 per cent this month, not quite reversing a 0.8 per cent fall in February. The Nationwide said the average house price now stands at £164,519. That is 9 per cent higher than a year ago, though the annual rate of increase eased from 9.2 per cent in February. The Nationwide, one of the UK's biggest mortgage lenders, warned that a housing market recovery could not be read into these figures, pointing out that the housing market had slowed in recent months.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 09:50 AM 0 Comments

US Bonds will be no safe haven in the next crisis

Market Oracle: U.S. Treasury Bond Yields Advance, Inflationary Pressures Continue

US bond yields are no longer declining or even remaining flat. Rates are starting to rise again. Bond yields normally follow the economic expansion. GDP in the US has been improving over the past nine months and the trend is expected to persist into 2011. Short-term yields are anticipated to advance the quickest followed by mid-term (5 and 10 year) and finally long bond yields.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:16 AM 13 Comments

Vince Aced it

BBC: Darling in debate clash with rivals on tax and spending

Made George & Al look like history graduate no marks.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:06 AM 11 Comments

Tuesday morning bear food anyone?

The Times: First-time buyers struggle as mortgage lending falls to nine-month low

The number of mortgages granted to homebuyers fell to a nine-month low last month. About 47,094 home loans were approved by banks and building societies, down from 48,099 in January and well below the levels seen late last year, data from the Bank of England showed. The fall has increased concerns about the state of the housing market. Industry experts fear that a continuing lack of credit and muted growth in wages could dent the positive effects of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers that was announced by the Chancellor in last week’s Budget.

Posted by overnight_will @ 08:54 AM 0 Comments

House prices still aloof from wider economy

Nationwide: House Price Index

The price of a typical UK property rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% month-on-month (m/m) in March, largely reversing the 0.8% m/m fall measured in February. The smoother three month on three month rate of inflation edged down further from 1.8% in February to 1.6% in March. At £164,519, the average price of a typical property is 9.0% higher than a year earlier.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:36 AM 13 Comments

Step back on the escalator if you please!

Guardian: Prices rise again in March

Spring has sprung!

Posted by smugdog @ 08:33 AM 0 Comments

Monday, March 29, 2010

Let's have an over 45 tax

BBC News: Did the over-45s ruin life for the rest of us

Baby boomers collectively own close to £500bn of the UK's assets, which is four-fifths of the entire nation's wealth. They've turned into micro banks, loaning sometimes huge sums to their children each year. The majority of boomer wealth comes from the sale of houses. As first time buyers in the early 70s, they would have borrowed three times their annual income to purchase a two-up-two-down for £60,000 in today's money. They're selling them on for £160,000 in 2010. Young adults need to borrow 6.5 times their salary to afford those prices.

Posted by miken @ 06:08 PM 54 Comments

Inflate Away Your Mortgage

The Right Side: Inflate Away Your Mortgage

Inflation will be a boon for those with a fixed interest rate. Not a short-term fixed rate. The common 2 or 3 year fixes aren’t going to be that helpful if serious inflation comes back. Once it’s out, it can take quite a while to get the inflationary toothpaste back into the tube. If you think inflation is on its way, then you need to fix your interest rate long. I’ve just seen a 10 year fix available at 5.2% from Britannia. All the usual terms apply – 25% deposit, £999 arrangement fee and early redemption penalties.

Posted by damien @ 02:30 PM 1 Comments

ARMs Pack No Punch

WSJ: Mortgage Increases Blunted

"The majority of option ARMs are set to recast over the next two years. But the volume of outstanding loans has fallen sharply because many borrowers, prior to facing higher payments, received modifications, refinanced or defaulted."

Posted by rumble @ 01:13 PM 0 Comments

Fears that the surfeit of US government debt is starting to saturate bond markets.

Telegraph: Sell-off in US Treasuries raises sovereign debt fears

Mr Rosenberg said the yield spike recalls the move in the spring of 2007 just as the credit system started to unravel. "The question is how the equity market is going to handle this back-up in rates," he said.

Posted by mark @ 01:12 PM 2 Comments


Yahoo: Ireland poised for fresh bank bailout

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Shares in Bank of Ireland (Dublin: BIR.IR - news) and Allied Irish Banks (Dublin: AIB.IR - news) fell more than 10 percent Monday as the government prepared to take control a much bigger chunk of the financial sector than initially planned. The government is this week moving the first loans into a 54-billion euro (48.5 billion pounds) "bad bank" scheme and Tuesday it will announce how much capital the banks will need to make up for resulting write downs. Local media reports said the state could increase its stake in Allied Irish Banks to 70 percent

Posted by mark @ 01:02 PM 2 Comments

Is this a good or bad sign?

Love Money: Buy-to-let investors are drowning in debt

Increasing numbers of landlords are deep in the red, and that’s a disaster for all of us.

Posted by mr g @ 12:55 PM 11 Comments

For how much longer?

Reuters: S&P maintains UK's AAA rating

The outlook on Britain's triple-A rating remains negative due to worries over the government's rising debt burden, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said on Monday.

Posted by mr g @ 12:47 PM 0 Comments

"if we want lower house prices, fundamentally we need to build more homes"

Fund Strategy: Home truths about chronic shortage

House prices are rising. Or not, depending on which measure you prefer. But activity in the housing market, at least, remains weak, with mortgage approvals running at about 60% of their pre-2006 average. And with credit conditions likely to remain tight as banks shrink their balance sheets, prices could stagnate or even fall in 2010, provided that the supply of properties coming onto the market picks up. But while there is a good relationship between house prices and market activity in the short run, how should we gauge longer-term prospects for house prices?...................

Posted by jack c @ 12:42 PM 7 Comments

Landmark Birmingham Apartment Building calls in the receivers.

Birmingham Mail: Cube Enters Administration

Workers downed tools after the developers behind Birmingham's Iconic Cube Building called in the receivers. Conceived at the peak of the housing bubble the Cube lies unwanted and unfinished, a symbol of the madness of the housing price boom that swept the UK.

Posted by history repeats @ 12:15 PM 0 Comments

MP's second home shake up

BBC: MPs to lose right to claim for second home expenses

MPs will not be allowed to buy taxpayer funded second homes under new expenses rules to start after the election. Those with constituencies 20 miles or 60 minutes from Westminster will be able to claim up to £1,450 a month - the equivalent of a one bed flat....there would be "no second homes under the new rules" for MPs - instead they would be able to rent accommodation up to the value of a one-bedroom flat. MPs who already own taxpayer-funded second homes will be able to keep claiming until August 2012 - a shorter timescale than the five years Sir Christopher had recommended - but Sir Ian said profits would be "recouped".

Posted by jack c @ 12:13 PM 8 Comments

Apparently its not the weather fault this month

Reuters: Instant View-February mortgage approvals fall more than expected

"While bad weather may have suppressed the January figures, some bounce back would have been expected if underlying conditions were favourable. Today's data shows that the fundamentals remain weak."

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:30 AM 0 Comments

Times journalist beginning to see the light...

The TImes (while it's still free): Don’t waste money on young homebuyers

"[The]decision to increase the stamp duty rate on home sales of more than £1 million — while painful for many families, particularly in London and the South East — is one of the least bad ways to raise revenue. It is certainly less destructive than taxing income, which lessens incentives to work. Property is an unproductive asset that benefits few, whereas work creates wealth, ideas and employment that benefit everyone. Taxes on properties are also hard to avoid — you cannot move your mansion to Monaco, but you can take your business and ideas...Another credible argument says that first-time buyers won’t really benefit from the cut because the money will be taken by vendors who will simply increase their sale price by a corresponding amount..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:22 AM 3 Comments

Where is the spring bounce?

Reuters: Mortgage approvals hit 9-month low

Mortgage approvals fell to their lowest level in nine months in February, Bank of England figures showed on Monday, in another sign that the recovery in the housing market is stalling. The Bank of England said mortgage approvals numbered 47,094 in February, down from 48,099 in January and well below the figure of almost 60,000 reached in November when people rushed to take advantage of a temporary reduction in property purchase tax. Analysts had forecast a reading of 48,000.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:20 AM 7 Comments

Tough questions or HPI white wash ?

Channel4: Ask The Chancellors. A live debate. 8pm

Bear (no pun intended) in mind C4 have significant vested interest in "pwoperty", having contributed to HPI with a spectrum of property porn TV over the last decade... "On Monday 29th March Channel 4 will stage a live debate between the would-be Chancellors, Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Vince Cable. Krishnan Guru-Murthy will be asking the tough questions. From 7pm on the night, we will be hosting a discussion of the debate right here. Send in comments via our widget, or use your Twitter account to get involved. We'll be bringing together your reaction to the event along with responses for our own experts."

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:48 AM 6 Comments

Sellers returning to the market

Lovemoney: House Prices Grinding to a Halt

Say goodbye to house price increases – the sellers are back and out in force.

Posted by angela @ 08:59 AM 0 Comments

Roll up, roll up

Daily Mail: Post Office to offer 'super-size' mortgages to first-time buyers

Post Offices will start offering controversial 'super-size' mortgages to help young people with little savings buy their first home, the Government will reveal today. Under the radical plan, the Post Office will hand out mortgages to people who can only afford a 10 per cent deposit. It raises fears that they will be left exposed to a negative equity nightmare if house prices fall sharply over the next few years, as some economists predict. The Post Office is already a large mortgage lender through its tie-up with the Bank of Ireland but it currently insists on a minimum deposit of 20 per cent.

Posted by little professor @ 01:12 AM 10 Comments

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The credit crunch

The Times: Lord Mandelson says CBI backs ‘bully banks’

Lambert’s post-budget comments triggered the argument. He said plans to set up a “Credit Adjudicator” — a body that will intervene if companies are unhappy with banks turning down their loan applications — were “unworkable”. “This is completely dotty. It will never see the light of day, is quite unworkable and pure political rhetoric,” Lambert said. Mandelson reacted furiously. Lambert’s comments were “a betrayal of the thousands of viable small and medium-sized businesses that are being treated bloodily by the banks and are, in many cases, at risk of being pushed over the brink.”

Posted by devo @ 10:32 PM 4 Comments


Yahoo: FSA closes in on four City deals

The UK's biggest ever insider dealing investigation is centred on trades carried out ahead of recent fund-raisings by Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) , Segro (LSE: SGRO.L - news) and Taylor Wimpey (LSE: WMPY.L - news) , according to City sources

Posted by mark @ 05:16 PM 2 Comments

Next step in the long running BtL story

Independent: Bovey’s buy-to-let business is put on the market

"It is understood that the portfolio could be worth around £100m – that was the value of the business before Grant Bovey faced three high court writs as a result of the financial crisis. Mr Bovey, who once lost a televised celebrity boxing fight to comedian Ricky Gervais, was declared bankrupt earlier this month".

Posted by alan @ 01:55 PM 6 Comments

The dangers of money expansion

Greg Pytel: Computational complexity analysis of Credit Creation

This is a great article for all those that want to understand the complexity of money expansion on a technical level. Combined with the current banking practices, it shows forensically that the current financial system was turned into a giant global pyramid scheme, basically it is a fraudulent tool in the hands of those who run it (and more importantly are paid from it).

Posted by ant @ 08:48 AM 64 Comments

Who do you trust?

The Guardian: The chancellors debate: Pay voters the respect of an honest discussion

The would-be chancellors are asking for trust. That requires honesty about difficulties ahead, but it also demands imagination and a sense of moral urgency.

Posted by devo @ 02:04 AM 10 Comments

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Same old same old

Financial Times: Bankers return to their bad habits

There appears to be a major real estate bubble inflating through Asia. heres your answer - brilliant financial minds at work, again.

Posted by bystander @ 07:03 PM 1 Comments

I can suggest a few more

MSN: Bottom 10: Britain's worst traitors

Does anyone agree that the political establishment should be added to this list?

Posted by mr g @ 12:53 PM 10 Comments

Toffs bribe oldies

FT: Cameron to protect welfare benefits

Do are they going to cut the deficit or increase it?

Posted by chrisch @ 11:04 AM 24 Comments


Telegraph: Budget 2010: We are in danger of ignoring Britain’s real debt disaster

Just another article about our debts. Ho hum. Then I read this bit: "But when you consider that 43 per cent of all mortgages are now interest-only, you can see how precarious the situation is." Please, somebody tell me this is not correct. I think of myself as a bear but 43% of mortgages are interest only?!!!! Please somebody tell me this is not correct. There's a lot more in this article about social unrest but I don't want to go there right now.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:17 AM 43 Comments

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bit harsh but pretty accurate

Fortune via cnn: Are the Brits headed for the PIGS sty?

Is the United Kingdom in danger of being exiled to the island of misfit debtors?

Posted by mark @ 05:21 PM 13 Comments

How planning can go very wrong

Time: Ordos, China, A Modern Ghost Town

Not badly designed this city although it reminds me of The Truman Show studio town...

Posted by ellipse @ 04:53 PM 0 Comments

"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into."

Moneymarketing: Darling fails to fix flaws in housing

Mortgage experts have attacked the Government’s housing market proposals set out in the Budget, saying they show a lack of understanding of the market. The Government also revealed that HM Revenue & Customs is looking to establish an income verification service for lenders............................

Posted by jack c @ 04:24 PM 2 Comments

We're not ready to take the medicine yet.

ITN: Brown and Darling regain lead on economy

Some people seem to think that these clowns can return things to how they were in 2006. However, it's good news for those who want to see labour squirm when they have to clean up their own cr*p.

Posted by mr g @ 03:14 PM 5 Comments

From the Front Line: bottom line is we need cheaper homes

Manchester Evening News: Frontline soldiers to jump queue for council houses

A taste of the real economy... "Homeless charity Shelter published the housing league this week which said an average of 317 new affordable homes have been built in Manchester in each of the past three years, despite a housing waiting list of around 20,000 which will take five years to clear... The charity estimates that a Manchester resident would have to earn £34,783-a-year to buy an average-price property in the city. Manchester’s Liberal Democrat housing spokesman ... criticised the council’s performance, saying it had an appalling record for providing social housing. He added: "The lamentable failure to meet local social housing needs rests entirely with this failed Labour administration and government." " Not many on £35k in Manchester... it's all about to get messy!

Posted by happyrenting @ 02:57 PM 5 Comments

Amazing, if transparent, spin

BBC News: House price inflation picks up, says Land Registry

Prices drop 0.3% MoM in February, but the Land Registry points to an increase YoY by comparison with January, and the Beeb faithfully reports it.

Posted by sceneclub68 @ 02:28 PM 6 Comments

Interest Rates heading up, ready or not

Associated Press via Yahoo: Interest rates surge after weaker Treasury auction

"Interest rates surged in the bond market Wednesday after a government debt auction drew only tepid demand for a second day." QE can't go on forever. This is what Richard Russell of Dow Theory Letters has been explaining - "I've been talking about the bonds for months on end. What I said was that "the Fed can continue to follow its quantitative easing (printing money) program until the bond market says it can't." Guess what? The bond market is now very close to saying, "We've had enough."

Posted by mountain goat @ 02:04 PM 1 Comments

US stock market returns - what is in store?

Investment Postcards: US stock market returns - what is in store?

What lies ahead for the US stock market, especially as far as returns are concerned? Unfortunately a recent research study does not provide a particularly rosy picture.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 01:42 PM 0 Comments

Land Registry: -0.3% MoM, +7% YoY

Citywire: House prices fall by 0.3% in Feb

The average house price in England and Wales dipped 0.3% in February, according to new Land Registry figures. However the annual rate of house price inflation rose to 7%, with London recording the biggest year-on-year jump in house prices.

Posted by little professor @ 01:38 PM 3 Comments

Outbreak Of Commonsense at the DCLG

24 Dash: Housing Revenue Account reforms 'will deliver 10% more cash for councils'

"Under the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) system, introduced in 1935, money from rents and sales of land and homes is sent by councils to Whitehall, where the DCLG manages the national housing debt and redistributes funds to the 177 local authority areas according to a complex formula. The new self-financing system would allow councils to keep their cash and decide for themselves how to spend it on maintenance, refurbishment and repairs of social housing. In return, councils will be asked to take on their share of a £3.65 billion debt. Town halls will also be able to borrow more cash to fund refurbishment and house-building projects." Clearly, they've been reading my blog, I have been recommending this for ages.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:16 PM 1 Comments

Hmm another bailout coming

Cnn: FHA's Florida fiasco

The poor performance of Florida's FHA loans has helped drag the agency down to its lowest point in decades, raising concerns that taxpayers will have to bail it out. The agency is in the midst of overhauling its operations to shore up reserves, which have fallen well below the level required by Congress.

Posted by mark @ 12:10 PM 2 Comments

Data from the only true survey

The Guardian: House prices fall by 0.3% in February but remain up on 2009

Annual rate of growth up as behaviour of dataset moving though range confuses the mathematically inept.

Posted by lukeskywalker @ 12:04 PM 0 Comments

How long will negative equity last? (in the USA)

Reuters blog: How long will negative equity last?

"For the typical underwater borrower in the U.S. it will take until late 2015 or early 2016 for negative equity to disappear. In certain markets, it will take another five to 10 years or even longer to return to positive equity."

Posted by notyethomeless @ 10:46 AM 0 Comments

Times ask their usual panel (Mystic Meg, Russell Grant, Barratt, Savills and Nostradamus)

The Times: The Budget: Stamp duty measures leave buyers bemused

What do the vested interests think the effects of the budget will be? The good news is that the times have just announced the're going to start charging £1 a day or £2 per week for web access to its editorial so the amount of people reading their stuff will rapidly plunge!

Posted by tenant super @ 10:36 AM 10 Comments

Budget 2010: Labour is stealing from our children's future to buy votes

Telegraph: Budget 2010: Labour is stealing from our children's future to buy votes

If you want to know what would become of Britain were Labour to win another five years in power, turn to page 189 of the Treasury's Budget book. In Table C3 – Current and Capital Budgets – there's a line showing Public Sector Net Debt, ie how much we, as a country, will owe our creditors (not including personal borrowings). Now, cast your eyes over the column "2014-15". Yes, according to the Treasury's forecasts, the United Kingdom will nearly double its indebtedness from £776 billion (in 2009-10) to £1.4 trillion.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:37 AM 16 Comments

Cuckoo in the nest

The Telegraph: Europe agrees IMF-EU rescue for Greece

Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the European Central Bank, said it was a "very, very bad idea" to let the IMF into the eurozone, a foretaste of how hard it will be for the Fund to work with EU bodies.

Posted by devo @ 06:33 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How can Australians compete when Chinese borrow at home at 1 per cent? The Australian property marke

Smh: Australia's property bubble: it's here

“So much for Rudd's 'working families'. Australians should get priority over foreign investors for what limited housing we have. How can Australians compete when Chinese borrow at home at 1 per cent? The Australian property market is strong and doesn't need to be propped up. The Government should act now to stop this misguided and UN-Australian policy. Shame on you, Mr Rudd, for selling out on Working Families.”

Posted by chris @ 09:38 PM 0 Comments

Lol property prices are sure to boom then..

Las Vegas Sun: 4 of 10 residents looking to leave Las Vegas

wonder how many people are leaving UK too?

Posted by mark @ 07:52 PM 2 Comments

Nothing to prevent another banking crisis

Credit Writedowns: Lehman chief warns of more big bank failures

Lehman head Bryan Marshal has warned that neither Wall Street nor regulators have learned anything from the crisis. E.g.: Q: "You are handling the largest bankruptcy in human history. Can anything like this happen again?" A: "It is even likely that a case like Lehman’s will repeat itself. There is still too much leverage in the market, and credit default swaps remain completely unregulated. Even with regulators and in the companies little has been done after the global catastrophe". Here is the man overseeing the largest bankruptcy in history telling us that, 18 months on, US regulators haven’t even asked for his professional opinion as to what went wrong and how we can stop a repeat.

Posted by icarus @ 02:25 PM 1 Comments

Goverment panicking?

Moneyweek: The government's stamp duty giveaway won't prop up house prices

If you needed any proof that this Budget was all about the election, you just need to look at the main headline-grabber – the doubling of the stamp duty threshold to £250,000 for two years. This is very political. For one thing, the stamp duty change comes in from midnight tonight. No wonder. The government must have panicked on witnessing the recent slide in mortgage approvals and the corresponding falls in house prices. The recent dip in the market corresponds almost precisely with the end of the recent stamp duty holiday. The Chancellor must be hoping for another rebound in the market to keep voters calm.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 02:06 PM 33 Comments

Who qualifies for the stamp duty change? Its not simple!

Citywire: What is a first time buyer?

How on earth is HMRC going to enforce the stamp duty change that is supposed to benefit only FTBs? According to this story it is fairly certain it can do it, even preventing those people with homes abroad from qualifying as FTBs.

Posted by smithers @ 11:56 AM 9 Comments

More cold weather fun

BBC: US new home sales hit record low as cold weather bites

"Sales of new homes in the US fell to their lowest level on record in February as the cold weather discouraged buyers, figures have shown. Sales fell by 2.2% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 308,000, down from a revised rate of 315,000 in January, the Commerce Department said." If you pro-rate that down for the UK's smaller population, that equates to about 60,000 new homes sold per annum, which amazingly enough only a third of what we manage (and our figure is far too low to start off with).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:51 AM 7 Comments

Making even greater bubble

From bail-in to bail-out: Greg Pytel

Interesting article on the consequences of financial “innovations” like converting toxic waste to equity.

Posted by ant @ 10:58 AM 1 Comments

When sensible ideas are stamped on by the beneficiaries

FT: It is time to stop punishing prudence

Important article on the role of interest rate tax deductibility on the financial crisis, not to mention the housing market. An area ripe for reform, but guess what - the powerful interests who benefit from this fiscal distortion will kick and scream if anyone tries to do the sensible thing. (Search the title in google to view the article)

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:47 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why aren't the electorate already 'in the know'?

FT: Mistakes that drained the fiscal reservoir, by Martin Wolf

letting the electorate into the know is – most politicians agree – not what politics is about. In such a crisis, that is more than a pity; it is a disgrace.

Posted by devo @ 09:43 PM 4 Comments

Stocks – scant value in momentum market

Investment Postcards: Stocks – scant value in momentum market

A bit technical, but the 12-month momentum of US equities narrowly tracks the US GDP-weighted Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). Read on to find out what this relationship is telling us about current market levels.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 03:09 PM 0 Comments

Gawking at Fannie and Freddie instead of watching Madoff

Huffington Post: SEC's porn problem was rampant

Investigations into SEC employees who spent a lot of time at work watching porn instead of monitoring the capers of fraudsters. No merchant banker jokes please.

Posted by icarus @ 02:22 PM 4 Comments

Stamp duty 0% to 250k

FT: 0% stampduty to 250k (effective midnight today), 5% for £1m+

Stamp duty 0% band is now extended to 250k.

Posted by easybetman @ 02:14 PM 23 Comments

Wonder how much he sold to his own family?

Yahoo: Explain why you sold Britain's gold, Gordon Brown told

Explain why you sold Britain's gold, Gordon Brown told.

Posted by mark @ 12:25 PM 16 Comments

Not long now for UK

Yahoo: Portugal's credit rating downgraded by Fitch

sooon the horror show will start

Posted by mark @ 12:13 PM 10 Comments


Liverpool Daily Post: Investors hit as the buy-to-let bubble is finally burst and mortgage debts rocket

Our favourite BTL kings and queen are getting there there just deserts no matter how much our finical-industrial complex rig the system to support asset owners.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:07 AM 18 Comments

An unhealthy obsession?

Mail: Alistair Darling lines up a stamp duty bribe

''Alistair Darling is today expected to steal another flagship Conservative policy by scrapping stamp duty on homes worth up to £250,000.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:46 AM 47 Comments

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boomers get violent when house prices fail to go up

BBC News: German IFA kidnap

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Something like that. But we want loads of money to buy a camper van and destroy the planet for all the young people.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:06 PM 8 Comments

Anyone agree with this?

Love Money: No need to worry about inflation

It’s a good news day! Today’s inflation numbers were pleasing. The Office of National Statistics said this morning that consumer prices rose 3% during the year to February – that’s a bit lower than the consensus forecast at 3.1%. What’s more, it’s a healthy fall from January’s figure of 3.5%. Absolute tosh!

Posted by mr g @ 09:51 PM 3 Comments

Does low volume mean price statistics are unreliable?

BBC: Mortgage lending still subdued, say banks

The number of mortgages approved in February by the big banks was 35,275. "House purchase approvals were some 16% higher than in February last year but still well below the figure in December as the aftermath of the year-end change to stamp duty was still working through," said David Dooks of the BBA.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:41 PM 10 Comments

Sterling not Finnished - Eurozone country issues bonds in GBP

FT: Finnish sterling bond issue leads eurozone trend

"The Finnish deal, which saw twice the demand for the £500m ($754m) raised, may pave the way for more similar transactions as other eurozone governments seek to diversify and attract new pools of buyers...A large chunk of the demand came from British investors, such as pension funds, Swiss retail investors and central banks. This is a different pool of investors to those who would typically buy Finnish bonds denominated in euros."

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:50 PM 5 Comments

Compiled by estate agents, I don't believe it, do you?

Times: The really rich put their money in homes

Property has pipped equities to the title of most popular asset class among the world’s wealthiest individuals, according to a report published today. The survey by Knight Frank of Citi Private Bank’s international high-net-worth clients — those with assets worth more than $10 million (£6.6 million) — showed that the bulk of their portfolios (33 per cent) were invested in property

Posted by mark @ 10:22 AM 6 Comments

Which way emerging-market equities?

Investment Postcards: Which way emerging-market equities?

With investors' risk appetite emboldened by the prospects of an economic recovery, emerging-market equities (+104.0%) have outperformed mature-market equities (+73.3%) by a considerable margin since the commencement of the cyclical bull market in early March 2009. But these numbers camouflage the fact that the past six months have been characterized by essentially a sideways movement in relative performance. This raises the question as to how investors should place their bets over the next few months.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 10:02 AM 0 Comments

Interest rates to stay low for a while yet

BBC: UK inflation rate starts to fall

The UK inflation rate fell to 3% in February from 3.5% the month before, official figures have shown. The drop in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate was greater than the sharp drop analysts had expected. Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation, which includes housing costs, remained unchanged at 3.7% in February. The CPI inflation rate is the measure targeted by Bank of England interest-rate setters, while RPI is often used as a benchmark in wage negotiations. A letter from the bank's governor is required if inflation is more than one percentage point above or below the government's 2% target.

Posted by luckyjim @ 09:40 AM 28 Comments

Forget everything you ever knew about budget deficits

The Nation: In Defence of Deficits

A big deficit-reduction program would destroy the economy. To cut current deficits without first rebuilding the economic engine of the private credit system is a sure path to stagnation, to a double-dip recession--even to a second Great Depression. For ordinary people, public budget deficits, despite their bad reputation, are much better than private loans. Deficits put money in private pockets. Private households get more cash. Bankers don't like budget deficits because they compete with bank loans. Nor is public debt a burden on future generations. It does not have to be repaid, and in practice it will never be repaid. Too much spending, net of taxes, may lead to inflation, often via currency depreciation--though with the world in recession, that's not an immediate risk.

Posted by drewster @ 08:13 AM 8 Comments

Monday, March 22, 2010

Max Keiser does georgism and Land Value Tax

On the Edge with Max Keiser: On the Edge with Max Keiser

Max Keiser interviews Scott Baker, Senior Editor of OpEdNews about georgism and LVT

Posted by the number cruncher @ 09:45 PM 0 Comments

Debt is a liability!

Telegraph: The imminent debt-tax revolution

Here’s a prediction: at some point in the next few years Britain, along with the US, and probably most developed economies, will radically overhaul the way we treat debt in the tax system. We will go from favouring debt – allowing companies to offset it against taxes, remove or raise taxes like capital gains tax – and start to squeeze up the taxes on debt interest.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:14 PM 5 Comments

Mervyn King warns that history may feel his performance is sub-par

Reuters: Bank's King warns economy to feel sub-par

,i>King also discussed potential new ways to present the Bank's growth and inflation forecasts, including explicit probabilities of it being above the 2 percent target at certain points in the future. Yeeeah, funny thing that. You see, I thought that having inflation "above-par" and not raising rates to counter it was *exactly* what got us into this mess in the first place ...

Posted by paul @ 07:14 PM 3 Comments

Not looking good yet

How many more bailouts?

Yahoo: Irish bank fresh bailout approaching

not looking good...

Posted by mark @ 04:30 PM 4 Comments

Politically powerful landowners

CENTRE FOR ECONOMIC POLICY RESEARCH, Australian National University: Land Value Taxation: A Critique Of 'Tax Reform, A Rational Solution'

The abstract says it all: "...such tax reform will never succeed precisely because of its advantages, which adversely impinge on the interests of politically powerful landowners." Worse in the UK.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:14 PM 11 Comments

Technical Analysis - US Mortgage Rates Headed Higher

Elliott Wave International: Mortgage Rates Headed Higher

EWI recons the bottom is in for US mortgage rates based on their technical analysis of "wave counts". Can hardly go lower I suppose! They are predicting a 4% increase as the next target.

Posted by mountain goat @ 02:06 PM 2 Comments

If you want to rob a country and own its government own a bank

The Real News Network: To rob a country, own a bank

William Black, author of "Best way to rob a bank is to own one" talks about deliberate fraud on Wall St.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 01:50 PM 0 Comments

Ideas for reform

Guardian: Take on the City with a 'people's budget'

Good article with suggestions on how to deal with the long-running problems. LVT even gets a mention. The problem though is the big boys who won't want to give up their lives in clover.

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:52 PM 6 Comments

Marriage and ownership

Mail: Couples putting off marriage as they cannot afford to buy homes

Interesting point in the Readers' comments "I hadn't realised that fertility was linked to home ownership. Gosh, I must have been sleeping when they did that point in biology class.Or maybe the British are a species apart as most people here rent and still manage to have children." But of course the commentator is German. Renting is not preferred option until there are rent controls and better protection for tenants. Imagine having to pack up home after two months notice with a baby in tow and a child at a local school. Imagine having to do this on a regular basis.

Posted by tenant super @ 12:27 PM 13 Comments

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hyperbole? Decide for yourself

SWARM: THE Most Important Chart of the CENTURY

The latest U.S. Treasury Z1 Flow of Funds report was released on March 11, 2010, bringing the data current through the end of 2009. What follows is the most important chart of your lifetime. It relegates almost all modern economists and economic theory to the dustbin of history. Any economic theory, formula, or relationship that does not consider this non-linear relationship of DEBT and phase transition is destined to fail.

Posted by devo @ 10:39 PM 29 Comments

Investor sentiment climbs “wall of worry”

Investment Postcards: Words from the (investment) wise for the week that was (March 15–21, 2010)

The major stock market indices added to their gains this week – obtaining comfort from the Fed’s policy statement that the “juice” was not about to be removed anytime soon – and hit 18-month highs before closing down on Friday as “quadruple witching day” in the US weighed on sentiment. A day earlier on Thursday, the S&P 500 tracking ETF (SPY) broke a 14-day winning streak – its longest since the launch of the ETF in 1993. Read more 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 @ 03:16 PM 1 Comments

Tax? That's for the little people.


The [plant to revalue houses for council tax] has sparked outrage as critics slammed Labour for making light of council tax hikes which have brought misery to millions. Caroline Spelman, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary [spouts her usual Home-Owner-Ist drivel] “They have created a virtual world for the clipboard-wielding tax officials to learn how to ... put a value on your scenic view.” [No love, the markets are perfectly capable of deciding the market value of a view]. Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Council tax revaluation has been a nightmare for many taxpayers when their bills have gone through the roof following a band change.' [Dude WTF? A couple of hundred quid extra is "through the roof?]

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:35 AM 34 Comments

Financial crisis: mainstream media cover-up

Greg Pytel: Nothing happened

In a similar way to Boris Johnson peddling a nonsense that banks are paying a lot in taxes (it is a nonsense since if, for the UK, you subtracted the costs of bailout from the taxes that banks paid to the exchequer, banks are still around £300 billion in the red), the mainstream media like Newsweek published an article which suggested that at the end f the day liquidity crunch turned out to be more scare than a problem.

Posted by ant @ 09:57 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, March 20, 2010

They can't both be right

The Times: Germany and France split over solution to Greek financial crisis

The split between Europe’s leaders over aid to Greece widened yesterday as Germany softened its opposition to a bailout by the International Monetary Fund and France insisted on a European solution to the crisis.

Posted by devo @ 11:14 PM 6 Comments

Vote for Christmas, turkeys

The Times: Government webpage for every citizen in the race to create a paperless society

The aim is that within a year, everybody in the country should have a personalised website through which they would be able to find out about local services and do business with the Government.

Posted by devo @ 10:39 PM 19 Comments

Hands up for protectionism

The Telegraph: Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winner who threatens the world

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has taken to advocating a 25 per cent "surcharge" – he refuses to use the more descriptive term of "import tariff" – on goods from China as a way of bringing the Chinese leadership to heel over currency reform. So potentially dangerous and out of character is this idea that when I first read it, I assumed he was being ironic. But sometimes the cleverest of people can also be the most stupid, and he's now said it so often that you have to believe he's serious.

Posted by devo @ 09:49 PM 7 Comments

Fear & Loathing, Don't Panic!

Sky news: Warning: Housing Shortage At 'Crisis Point'

The UK housing shortage is at crisis point - with building work at its lowest level since World War Two despite a need for a million extra homes, it is claimed.

Posted by happy mondays @ 03:23 PM 10 Comments

Its looking good!

Telegraph: General Election 2010 and house sales: How to avoid a hung property market

Last week’s report that the housing market could be facing a double-dip recession, with March showing the slowest rise in prices for eight years, is hardly buoying to the spirits. To add to our woes is the impending election, which, experts predict, could bring the housing market’s traditional spring sales-fest to a complete halt. Rightmove, the housing website, says that the rise in prices in England and Wales was the lowest it has ever recorded for the month, in part because of a surge in people putting their home up for sale. While that could be a nightmare for anxious vendors, lucky buyers could get a home at a bargain price.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:50 AM 10 Comments

Ask Greenspan for comments

The Independent: Ex-Governor George says Bank deliberately fuelled consumer boom

"We knew that we were having to stimulate consumer spending. We knew we had pushed it up to levels which couldn't possibly be sustained into the medium and long term. But for the time being, if we had not done that, the UK economy would have gone into recession just as the United States did." He said he was "very conscious" that stimulating consumer demand could give rise to problems in the future. "My legacy to the MPC, if you like, has been 'sort that out'," he said.

Posted by sneaker @ 10:13 AM 8 Comments

Cheap house anyone?

Yahoo: The worst 10 towns for repossessions

22 towns identified by the Government as the areas with the highest proportion of homeowners at risk of repossession.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:06 AM 4 Comments

Friday, March 19, 2010

The dog ate my homework

FT: Greenspan hits back at claims he caused housing bubble

He attributes the financial crisis to overseas regulators, the US credit rating agencies, financial houses, mainstream economics and (cont p94).

Posted by icarus @ 08:25 PM 14 Comments

Just a few more straws,and this camel is fvcked

Telegraph: 5m spend more than they earn

The total of 5.4m adults who live beyond their means equates to 11pc of the adult population and is a rise of 600,000 or 12pc from the 4.8m adults found to spend more than they earned when the survey was carried out in 2008.Of those who needed to borrow to plug the gap between what they earned and what they spent, almost half used an overdraft while just over a third resorted to their credit cards, the survey found.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 08:07 PM 2 Comments

Double dip increasingly likely

BBC News: Pound falls on 'recession risk'

The pound has fallen sharply against the dollar and the euro after a Bank of England policymaker said the UK could yet fall back into recession. The pound fell 2.5 cents, or 1.6%, against the dollar, to $1.502. Against the euro, it fell 1 cent, or 1%, to 1.109 euros. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee member Andrew Sentance said there was a chance of a double-dip recession. The pound has been falling recently in the run-up to the general election.

Posted by exiges @ 07:59 PM 0 Comments

So it's not all baby boomers after all

Yahoo: Tycoon "loses" his Lamborghini

A wealthy property tycoon lost his £130,000 Lamborghini Gallardo supercar after a night out because he was too drunk to remember where he had parked it. Glenn Knowles, 35, was accused of fraud when the car disappeared and has not been found since, even though it was fitted with a satellite tracking device.

Posted by estrader @ 06:33 PM 9 Comments

Can anyone suggest any more candidates for this?

This is money: North Korea execute finance minister for ruining economy

He may be set to lose his job or even the General Election - but at least Alistair Darling's future is not quite this bleak. A leading North Korean financial expert has been dragged before a firing squad and shot dead for ruining the country's financial affairs.

Posted by mr g @ 01:36 PM 14 Comments

No Place to Call Home

Daily Express: No place to Call Home

The Daily Express suffers an identity crisis as it runs a feature article bemoaning the high cost of housing.

Posted by _woody @ 12:08 PM 3 Comments

Exegesis of long term international house prices

Finfacts: Real price of Amsterdam house only doubled in more than 350 years

Interesting on chart 5 to see how far above historic averages prices in Ireland are despite falling 31% (and counting). A recent survey showed Irish FTBs now think prices offer good value and plan to buy this year if they can get finance. "The upturn in this most recent cycle lasted twice as long on average as those in the past (41 quarters compared with 21 quarters) and was more pronounced, with prices rising nearly three times as much." Because this boom lasted longer than its predecessors, most FTB cannot remember prices at long term average of income/ rent ratio as they would have been at school or college. They think prices now are good value because they are so far down from peak but they could easily only be 75% or even halfway down.

Posted by tenant super @ 10:27 AM 7 Comments

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The generation priced out of home ownership

Daily Finance: Parents 'help kids buy first home'

The research found that 86% of young people thought they could not currently afford to buy their own property, despite recent house price falls, with 83% saying they thought home ownership was more of a dream than a reality for their generation.

Posted by neil b @ 07:02 PM 0 Comments

Anybody buying a house now must realise the rates are unnaturally low and will go up in future years

Evening Standard: Ken Clarke: Hung Parliament would be an economic disaster

"Homeowners face painful rises in mortgage rates in coming years, Tory big beast Kenneth Clarke warns today. In an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, he said rock-bottom loan rates protecting borrowers from the worst of the recession are bound to end, whoever wins the general election. “Anybody buying a house now must realise the rates are unnaturally low and will go up in future years.” Mr Clarke warned borrowers: “In working out whether you can afford a house, you have to work out if you can afford a quite perceptible increase in interest rates, regardless of who the government is.”

Posted by tenant super @ 06:19 PM 17 Comments


East London Advertiser: Baroness Uddin 'escaped' social housing loophole

I have been watching developments in this case closely. I pointed out that if Uddin was lying to the expenses committee she was a fraudster. If she was found to be truthful (that her main home was in Kent) then she should lose her social housing tenancy. But she isn't as dim as I thought!

Posted by tenant super @ 06:08 PM 0 Comments

Electric car to be built in UK

Telegraph: Nissan Leaf to be built in Sunderland after carmaker gets Government support

Good news this, but thanks to government support?! The £5000 government subsidy for electric cars must apply to imported cars too. Perhaps we should thank a weaker £pound instead (for which we can thank our spendthrift Govt!).

Posted by mountain goat @ 04:17 PM 17 Comments

..simples, PAY more!

Telegraph: City poaching brightest engineering and science talent, BAE chairman warns

Britain's manufacturing skills gap could be improved if the City stopped poaching the brightest engineering and science graduates, according to BAE Systems' chairman. Recently people have looked more closely at what creates value and can be exported," he said. "The result is high-end engineering and manufacturing, which are a hugely good way of getting ourselves out of these recessionary problems. Already India is producing 650,000 engineering graduates a year compared to Britain's 20,000. He said Britain needs to produce at least 25,000 engineering graduates a year, to meet the estimated requirement for 970,000 engineers in Britain by 2017

Posted by cat and canary @ 03:39 PM 33 Comments

Land use, scientific evidence

Foresight: Land Use Futures - scientific evidence

Evidence for LVT "There is a strong case for decisions about land use – at all levels, and across different land use sectors – to reflect a much broader concept of the value generated by land. Only then will the greatest benefits be unlocked, and tensions effectively managed." "This process itself may need to be part of a deliberative process of arbitration over particular decisions, but could be facilitated by a general review of taxes and subsidies or payment schemes." "The guiding principle for a more coherent approach would be to combine a more sophisticated understanding of how land creates value for society with governance which more proactively incentivises achievement of better value and the delivery of a wide range of sustainable and valued land services."

Posted by powerofnow @ 03:32 PM 2 Comments

In the grip of the Undead

New deal 2.0: Principal writedowns and the fake stress test

Many investors in first-lien mortgages (bundled securities holders) will accept principal writedowns in order to move on and use their money for other purposes, rather than having it locked in underwater mortgages with a high likelihood of foreclosure, but holders of second-lien mortgages (banks) are a major obstacle to this. These second liens have little value – the first liens are well underwater, and the prospect for any real return on the seconds is negligible - but accounting rules allow holders of these seconds to book them at artificially high values. So many refuse to write down the loans, thus preventing a correction and a moving on

Posted by icarus @ 02:19 PM 1 Comments

Bank bosses in fraud investigation

Reuters: Police arrest former irish bank boss

I really hope they come for hbos and rbs directors......HBOS bad loans are over £200 billion lent often without security probably on the golf least nick leeson did some time and he was only down £250 million went he did a its a weeks bad loan write-offs

Posted by taffee @ 02:15 PM 1 Comments

Government borrowing less than forecast

Brown Broadcasting Corporation: Government borrowing less than forecast

"Revisions for this financial year have now reduced borrowing by £2.9bn, meaning full-year borrowing could beat the government's £178bn forecast." ....brilliant, government borrows £175.1bn instead of 178.0bn, ...lets get the cocktails in, have a blast, hire a few more quangos, let your hair down!!

Posted by cat and canary @ 01:11 PM 5 Comments

The Co-operative profits up as disillusioned consumers go mutual

Daily Mail: The Co-operative profits up as disillusioned consumers go mutual

The Co-operative Group has recorded a boost in profits as a result of an influx of new account holders disillusioned with Britain's banks. Profits at Britain's largest mutual retailer soared on the success of the merger with Britannia building society and also the purchase of the Somerfield supermarket chain. The group, which traces its roots back to the founding of the co-operative movement in Rochdale in 1844, posted a jump of 85 per cent in profits before payments to members, reaching £402million in the year to January 2.

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:30 PM 3 Comments

Lending up prices down

Independent: Mortgage lending up

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "The mortgage approvals information from the Bank of England survey, in particular, adds to the impression that housing market activity has faltered early in 2010. "(It) reinforces our belief that prices will be prone to corrections and no more than flat over the year as a whole amid still largely unfavourable economic fundamentals and tight credit conditions."

Posted by chrisch @ 10:48 AM 3 Comments

Sleepwalking into a crisis

FT: Jobs figures show sector split

The NHS numbers were “genuinely quite shocking” given the public spending squeeze to come. “They are clearly not living in the real world,” he said. The rise in the NHS workforce comes despite a report from McKinsey, the management consultants, to the department of health last autumn suggesting that the NHS in England may need to shed 10 per cent of its workforce, or about 130,000 jobs over the next five years. Mr Downey said his impression for most of the past year was that the health service “has been sleepwalking into a crisis”.

Posted by foggy @ 08:48 AM 1 Comments

Ninety-eight, ninety-nine ... one hundred! Coming to get you .... !

Times: Taxman scrutinises property amateurs

Its almost a modus operandi for the taxman now - instead of cutting short any mass tax evasion, they let it run for a while unchecked so that the unwitting fill their boots then the taxman comes and fleeces them for the shirts on their backs. Still, it couldn't happen to a nicer group of people, eh?

Posted by paul @ 08:21 AM 40 Comments

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dramatic increase in volume of property for sale - right on cue for The Dip: Part Deux

The Daily Malicious: Rise in house prices virtually halts with leap in sellers

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist IHS Global Insight, said the figures confirmed that 'the revival in housing prices since early 2009 is running out of steam, at least temporarily'. If the increase in supply continues, prices are likely to suffer a 'significant correction', he added.

Posted by mick rupert @ 09:51 PM 2 Comments

Is the HPC agenda gathering pace?

Guardian: "If you want cheaper housing, turn back the clock"

The impact of such proposals, if implemented, would be profound. There would be no more 100% mortgages, let alone the 125% mortgages once offered by Northern Rock. Instead, anyone who wanted to buy a house would have to save for a deposit first. House prices would fall.In the UK of 2010 this all sounds like revolutionary stuff. But it was the norm for the first quarter of a century after the second world war, and in Germany or France such restrictions on credit would still be seen as prudential.

Posted by mick rupert @ 09:45 PM 34 Comments

Well,well well

Bbc news: Land Registry to shed 200 jobs with Portsmouth closure

Marco Pierleoni obviously does not believe in a quick housing market recovery

Posted by vince campbell @ 06:48 PM 0 Comments

One of the few conferences I actually want to go to this year

THE INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR LAND VALUE TAXATION: Why is so much wealth in the hands of so few?

Mark W and LVT supporters - I shall be going to the Monday and Friday sessions, and hopefully a few more if I can find the time. I will, hopefully, be bringing along a BBC camera man who I am trying to make a documentary on taxation and my own specialism.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 02:50 PM 11 Comments

When is unemployment not unemployment.. ?

BBC News: UK unemployment records further fall

To me, unemployment is people who want to work, but can't or simply don't want to... however due to some nice number diddling the government has heralded "lower unemployment", despite more people becoming economically inactive. The number of people unemployed in the UK has fallen again, leaving the jobless rate at 7.8%, figures show. Total unemployment stood at 2.45 million for the three months to January, down 33,000 on the figure for the previous three months. But long-term unemployment, covering those out of work for more than a year, rose by 61,000 to 687,000. The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 32,300 to 1.59 million in February.

Posted by exiges @ 12:18 PM 13 Comments

Burning our money (part 94)

City AM: Double dip recession a real possibility, say property firms

Property investment managers and developers have warned that the threat of a double dip recession in the UK is real and would force banks to sell off their property portfolios. Delegates at MIPIM, Europe’s largest property fair, said the UK has survived on government aid since the recession and that a cut in spending could expose the underlying weaknesses of the property market. The Homes and Communities Agency has spent £1.65bn on keeping private sector building projects afloat over the past two years. “Since the recession all new housing projects have been subsidised by the government,” said Robert Lee, partner at the real estate law firm Davies Arnold Cooper. “What happens when this is cut?”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:27 AM 46 Comments

Another banking crisis loom

Greg Pytel: Is another liquidity crunch on the way?

It is somewhat frustrating that the pundits like Jeremy Warner (of The Daily Telegraph) and Robert Peston (of the BBC) write the obvious with such a long, long delay. Rather than reading Warner ("Another banking crisis loom" - or Peston I suggest you (re)read Pytel’s blog post of July last year, “Is another liquidity crunch on the way?”

Posted by ant @ 09:54 AM 36 Comments

London's sellers are panicking

CityAM: London house prices hit by March slump

Perhaps they've seen what's just round the corner ...

Posted by paul @ 08:16 AM 9 Comments

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wave of bankruptcies

NYT: Corporate Debt Coming Due May Squeeze Credit

Private equity firms and many nonfinancial companies were able to borrow on easy terms until the credit crisis hit in 2007, but not until 2012 does the long-delayed reckoning begin for a series of leveraged buyouts and other deals that preceded the crisis ... From $21 billion due this year, junk bonds are set to mature at a rate of $155 billion in 2012, $212 billion in 2013 and $338 billion in 2014.

Posted by mken @ 06:44 PM 0 Comments

NIMBYs of the week

Coventry Telegraph: Fun Online Poll: Are plans for a high-speed rail line...

Votes are currently standing at: ...brilliant. Just what we need - 32.3% ...awful. It will wreck the countryside - 55.6%'ll never happen anyway - 12.2%

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:20 PM 2 Comments

Mortgage arrears cases fall by 4%

Guardian: Mortgage arrears cases fall by 4%

"The number of borrowers behind with mortgage repayments fell by 4% in the last quarter of 2009, as low interest rates continued to help homeowners meet their monthly bills, figures showed today." Interesting information showing us that the road to HPC is not one way. This is particularly relevant because it's been a long time since interest rates changed so that is not a reason for the improvement in mortgage arrears. I'm not sure why it takes 3 months to get this information published, but it will be interesting to see the results for the post Christmas period in another 3 months time.

Posted by catmandu @ 12:51 PM 49 Comments

This has got to stop

Yorkshire Post: Golden payoffs of Town Hall chiefs

Regardless of which party wins the election this could be an immediate public sector cut which I think would be popular with voters. Admittedly it's on a smaller scale than banker's bonuses or MP's expenses but why should Joe Public have to shell out for everything and everybody?

Posted by mr g @ 12:18 PM 0 Comments

And why not?

Huddersfield Examiner: Expat Britons await pension ruling

This might upset those who believe in the BBC aka Baby Boomer Conspiracy.

Posted by mr g @ 12:08 PM 4 Comments

The Fed: Grossly negligent or criminal?

Counterpunch: Lehman Brothers scandal rocks the Fed

An official, 2,200-page report on the demise of Lehman has been published, showing the cosy and, probably, criminal relationship between US regulators and Wall Street banks. The activities of the New York Fed (Geithner, Bernanke), Ernst&Young and Fuld are deeply suspect. At a minimum the NY Fed (charter: promote the safety and soundness of the banking system) helped Lehman to defraud markets, investors, counterparties and the public. One of Lehman's games, played with the Fed's apparent knowledge, was to exchange Lehman collateral for cash just before each set of quarterly accounts (to produce lower leverage and much better capital and risk ratios) and reverse the swap soon afterwards, fraudulently classifying this as a "Permanent Sale".

Posted by icarus @ 11:21 AM 12 Comments

Exposure of UK mortgages to increase in interest rates

Ftalphaville: Interest Rate Shock

In a report published on Monday the rating agency (Moody's) discusses interest rate shock for a select few European economies — the UK, Spain and Holland to be specific. The UK features the most prominently in our Interest Rate Shock Map due to the combined impact of the potential number of borrowers affected and the associated size of such a rate shock

Posted by katalan1 @ 11:15 AM 2 Comments

Another thumbs down for Gordo

Halifax Courier: UK debt plan 'not ambitious enough'

Government plans to deal with Britain's ballooning debt are not ambitious enough and need to be "significantly reinforced", according to a European Commission report.

Posted by mr g @ 10:48 AM 0 Comments

Long article, but well worth a read

Independent: No place like home - The generation who can't afford to buy

My parents bought their home in 1980 for £32,000, with a mortgage of double their income. If I were to buy the same house now it would cost me £350,000, and I would need a mortgage ten times my income. And I have a decent job, unlike a lot of other young people in this economic climate. The average age of first-time buyers in the UK is now 38; at the tail end of our twenties, my younger brother and I are looking at another decade each of letting. Little wonder, then, that we're being called "Generation Rent".

Posted by little professor @ 10:09 AM 31 Comments

The recovery continues...

BBC News: Shell planning to cut a further 1,000 jobs

More job losses. House prices will be shooting up....

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 09:33 AM 0 Comments

Let's all have a riot!

BBC: Petrol prices set for record high

The price of oil is a major determinant of the price of petrol, and yet the current oil price of about $80 a barrel is far below the $147 a barrel-high seen in the summer of 2008, the last time petrol prices neared £1.20 a litre.

Posted by bluebeach @ 08:14 AM 8 Comments

Buyers market

Telegraph: House buyers at lowest level for a year

The imbalance between supply and demand showed further signs of easing during February as potential new buyers stayed away from the housing market, research showed today. Only 258 house-hunters registered with estate agents during the month, the lowest level for a year and down from 291 in January, according to the National Association of Estate Agents. At the same time, the average number of homes estate agents had on their books rose slightly to 56 from 55, as recent price rises tempted sellers back to the market.

Posted by dill @ 07:55 AM 21 Comments

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can't really argue with this

Daily Mail: How the baby boomers bust Britain: Self-indulgence has left the country financially, socially and even morally crippled

They bought their first homes in the Seventies and saw their mortgages wiped out by inflation. Others made their money in the Eighties and Nineties, and are now looking forward to a long, healthy and well-remunerated retirement.

Posted by pauly_boy @ 11:30 PM 1 Comments

How the Fed covered up Lehman's lies

Counterpunch: Lehman Brothers scandal rocks the Fed

A new, 2,200-page report shows the cosy and, very probably, criminal relationship between the US main regulatory bodies and the Wall Street banks. The activities of the New York Fed, which at the time was headed by Geithner, is particularly suspect in this regard. In the dock are Fuld et al, Ernst&Young and the Fed (Geithner and Bernanke). At a minimum, the NY Fed helped perpetuate a fraud on investors and counterparties. Seems the Fed, which by its charter is tasked to promote the safety and soundness of the banking system, colluded with Lehman to protect particular actors to the detriment of the public at large, undermining, and probably violating, laws designed to protect investors and markets.

Posted by icarus @ 10:19 PM 0 Comments

Keeping Inflation Numbers Low?

BBC: Inflation basket: Lip gloss added to 'typical shop'

New gadgets tend to go down in price rapidly as production is geared up and techniques improved. Therefore does adding new technology to the basket periodically supress inflation? e.g. I'm sure a Blue Ray player will go down in price, but a disposable camera will probably go up as there are no further production savings to be had. Similarly in the 2000s they brought in mobile phones and got rid of disposable razors. A whole separate issue is 'planned obsolescence'. Companies design products that will wear out and go out of fashion on purpose so you will buy replacements. e.g. I bet you replace your mobile phone a lot more often that you do the hairdryer that's going out of the basket. They only track the price, not how long the product will last.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 05:20 PM 10 Comments

Spring Thud

CityWire: Property asking prices stall as glut of homes hits market

Asking prices for residential homes stalled in March in a further sign that the recent recovery in house prices may be running out of steam. Non-seasonally adjusted asking prices rose just 0.1% between February and March, a period of the year in which prices normally bounce thanks to the Spring effect, according to new figures from property website Rightmove. The annual rate of house price growth, meanwhile, slowed to 5.3% from 6.1%, the first fall in the yearly rate for more than a year. The data was based on sale prices recorded on the Rightmove website between 7 February and 6 March.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:45 PM 2 Comments

Another Accolade for Labour - "Work Until You Drop"

Daily Mail: Parents forced to 'postpone retirement to support adult children'

Research undertaken by The Children's Mutual found more than half (57 per cent) of parents with 18 to 30-year-olds quizzed said they had 'no choice' but to retire later. Four in ten (43 per cent) expected to work up to five years longer than desired due to the financial burden of their 'adult' children.

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:31 PM 9 Comments

A Labour victory would be bad news for sterling

MoneyWeek: A Labour victory would be bad news for sterling

Whoever wins the election will need to get a firm grip on the economy - and especially public spending - if we are to avoid a plunging pound and soaring interest rates. But that's unlikely to happen under Labour.

Posted by damien @ 11:47 AM 2 Comments

This is how the truth is reported at Bloomberg

Bloomberg News: U.S., U.K. Move Closer to Losing Rating, Moody’s Says

First read the Bloomberg story, if however you prefer to read the news with the Brown Government's sticky fingers all over it, then read the BBC's version of the same story: The BBC doing its best to tow the party line and help keep the housing bubble inflated. It's a scary country we now live in.

Posted by mr cobbleot @ 11:21 AM 1 Comments

Not to worry...

Bloomberg: Pound Bears Bet More Than When George Soros Beat BOE

Wagers on the pound weakening against the dollar outnumber futures that profit on a rise by eight times more than when George Soros made $1 billion betting against the currency in 1992, the year Prime Minister John Major’s Conservative government was forced to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. Sterling fell 19 percent that year.

Posted by mrflibble @ 10:07 AM 3 Comments

Extreme Debt

Thisismoney: Number in 'extreme debt' doubles in two years

A person has 'extreme debt' if their debt to income ratio is greater than 66:1. For example, if they earn £10,000 and their debts are more than £660,000.

Posted by smugdog @ 09:08 AM 2 Comments

Self interest is alive and well in Westminster

Guardian: Buy-to-let tax break plan attacked as further blow to first-time buyers

At some point in the distant future, the degree of self interest being applied to current legislation on property ownership will be seen as grossest and most peverse corruption of power in the history of Parliament and the Bank of England.

Posted by paul @ 07:42 AM 37 Comments

Dubble Dippa

Guardian: House prices on verge of double dip

... the weakest growth in the month of March for at least eight years ...

Posted by paul @ 07:39 AM 4 Comments

Rightmove: +0.1%MoM

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Asking Prices Have Smallest Gain for March on Record

U.K. home sellers raised asking prices by the smallest amount for March on record as the supply of available properties increased, Rightmove Plc said. The average house price in England and Wales climbed 0.1 percent from February to £229,614. the smallest increase for the month since data began in 2002. London asking prices fell by 2.5%. The number of properties on the market jumped by 17.5% compared with the previous month and 34% compared with the same period of 2009

Posted by little professor @ 12:53 AM 8 Comments

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Who'd have thunk it?

Telegraph: We are on a housing market roller coaster - and we are heading down again

Title says it all. Hope it's true. What I find extraordinary is how no-one is willing to predict more than a mild drop. No-one wants to be seen talking the market down.

Posted by tpbeta @ 10:44 PM 2 Comments

Degeneracy pays

Observer: Don't celebrate these billionaires, be horrified by their existence

"If you want to be seriously wealthy the message from the Forbes list is clear. One way or another you need to have played the system, played the financial markets, been born to the right class or manipulated government to have got rich." "The great mistake of the free-market revolution was to argue that all that was needed to make capitalism work was free, lightly regulated and flexible markets – and that institutions imposing ethics, transparency, accountability got in the way. We now know better."

Posted by letthemfall @ 04:54 PM 16 Comments

Don't hand any money over to Poxtons up front!

Guardian: Foxtons and the sweet smell of schadenfreude

The comments are priceless.

Posted by paul @ 04:11 PM 0 Comments

Jeepers Creepers

Telegraph: Mortgages refused over invasive weed

Sellers have been forced to spend thousands of pounds eradicating Japanese knotweed from their land after finding their homes had become virtually unsellable because potential buyers were being turned down for mortgages. In some cases, banks have even refused to lend on properties where the plant has been found growing on neighbouring land.

Posted by dill @ 09:35 AM 7 Comments

Sanguine investors push stocks to cycle highs

Investment Postcards: Words from the (investment) wise for the week that was (March 8–14, 2010)

Shrugging off some lingering reminders of the credit crisis and recession, investors last week marked the one-year anniversary of the bear market low by pushing many benchmark equity indices to cycle highs. Wall Street scaled 17-month highs on the back of easing concerns of sovereign debt defaults and increased hopes for a global economic recovery as the US dollar pulled back and the CBOE Volatility (VIX) Index approached 22-month lows. 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 @ 08:40 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who are you going to vote for? Think again!!!

Yorkshire Post: Tories pledge to reverse Labour's holiday homes raid: Watch as David Cameron faces Yorkshire Post readers

A £20 million tax raid on holiday homes will be reversed under the Tories as David Cameron pledges to become a champion for British tourism.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 06:21 PM 0 Comments

CGT on houses

FT: Create a healthy housing culture

MSW suggests replacing stamp duty with capital gains. Good idea. Politicians think - bad idea

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:17 PM 19 Comments

Money machine

Greg Pytel: Money creation and circulation in the economy

A bit longish and technical but worth reading if you want to understand how money is created and circulated in the economy, what is the role of the banks, etc. The graph there is particularly neat showing how the “money machine” works.

Posted by ant @ 10:54 AM 34 Comments

Polly Toynbee

The Guardian: Bring on the Robin Hood tax

Everyone but the rich is outraged by the financiers' billowing wealth. At the budget, Labour can tip the balance back to the people

Posted by devo @ 09:29 AM 12 Comments

Some mortgagees acting sensibly !

BBC: Mortgage Overpayments Encouraged by Lloyds

An analysis by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) last year suggested that a quarter of the £20bn annual interest saving, brought about by the Bank of England's 0.5% bank rate, was showing up in higher mortgage capital repayments. The only question left is what the other 75% are doing with the money they save. Probably having a ball as Smugdog suggested yesterday.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:34 AM 3 Comments

What's Mandarin for OMG?

One News Page: China's Housing Bubble Is Inflating Faster Than Ever

The latest report on the property market in China is truly frightening. Despite measures taken by authorities to reign in the price explosion in Chinese real estate, prices rose at the fastest clip in nearly two years in February. Unless you have faith in the ability of China's central planners to perfectly negotiate a soft landing, you should be preparing for a rough crash.

Posted by charlie brooker @ 04:15 AM 3 Comments

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mortgage rationing

Telegraph: Fears grow that new mortgage drought could hit house prices

Not something you normally associate with rationing. Do we get a book of coupons? "Other commentators have said that new regulations from the European Union could force UK banks to reduce the size of their balance sheets by as much as £530 billion over the next three to four years.". You never can trust nameless commentators. I find it hard to believe that that the UK can drive down debt and borrowing to that extent.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:26 PM 7 Comments

Conservative with a small c

The Guardian: Nick Clegg calls for 10% bank tax to rescue recession victims

The banks have basically been given untrammelled support by both Labour and Conservative governments to do exactly what they like, and take massive risks with our livelihoods and savings.

Posted by devo @ 08:56 PM 13 Comments

Kaletsky: thank Brown for this

The Times: If interest rates rise, our prospects plummet

In October 2008 Mr Brown was the world leader in bank bailouts.

Posted by devo @ 08:35 PM 13 Comments

Is the UK Market overvalued?

Bloomberg: Global Decline in Home Prices May Not Be Over, IMF Adviser Says

House prices in the world’s major economies, which in 2009 were down an average of 5 percent from 2007, may keep dropping, said Prakash Loungani, an adviser to the International Monetary Fund’s research department.

Posted by alan @ 06:59 PM 6 Comments

Gordo's staff had better avoid him!

Reuters: Online poll puts Tories on course for win

An online opinion poll on Friday showed the Conservatives well ahead of Labour and on course for election victory, contrasting with other surveys showing the race too close to call.

Posted by mr g @ 06:00 PM 11 Comments

The Pumps are Starting Up Again BoE man Dale hints at QE extension

Bank of England man Spencer Dale has hinted that the £200bn quantitative easing plan could be extended, and credited the scheme for soaring share and corporate bond prices.

Posted by jj @ 03:38 PM 8 Comments

Don't be fooled - house prices will fall again

MoneyWeek: Don't be fooled - house prices will fall again

One year on from the UK property slump, and prices seem already to be rebounding. But is everything as it seems? James Ferguson reports.

Posted by damien @ 03:38 PM 2 Comments

Asking price up a little Spring Gives Sellers New Hope

Asking prices up a little but the market is still dire, just slightly less dire than last month! Nice graph in comment section

Posted by tinecu @ 02:09 PM 1 Comments

Mortgage lows continue

CML: January cheaper property sales hit by end of stamp duty holiday

There were 49% fewer house purchase loans in January than in December but only 15% fewer remortgage loans. However, the 32,000 loans for house purchase, worth £4.7 billion, were up from the low of 23,000 (worth £3.1 billion) seen in January 2009. Conversely, the 24,000 loans for remortgage, worth £3 billion, were down from 45,000 (£6.2 billion) a year ago. This is the lowest monthly level of remortgage activity - both by number and value - in eight years of available data.

Posted by dill @ 01:30 PM 1 Comments

Bottom is really falling out of market now ....

Times Online: Mortgage lending falls as buyers leave market

All loans down, first-time buyers take flight .... Homebuyers abandoned the housing market in January following the end of the holiday on stamp duty. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said the number of all home loans issued in January fell by 49 per cent 32,000 mortgages, and "emphatically demonstrates" the temporary lift the stamp duty break had given the housing market. The CML warned that lending is expected to remain weak over the next few months. The number of loans to first-time buyers fell even more steeply, by 54 per cent to 11,300.

Posted by goldbug9999 @ 01:18 PM 1 Comments

So How price rose in February after all ?!

Acadametrics: House price rise in February ?!

Acadametrics, which used to produce the FT's house price index, gave a rather different picture. It showed that prices rose by a hefty 1.9% in February, for an increase of 9.7% on a year earlier.

Posted by easybetman @ 01:12 PM 5 Comments

This is really important!

Talk Talk: Albert Square quids-in as it takes on Corrie's half century

Says everything about what is wrong with the UK and the mindset of most people.

Posted by mr g @ 12:51 PM 2 Comments

The death of the Estate Agent?

Telegraph: Does Sarah Beeny's free property website herald the end for estate agents?

Sarah Beeny is best known for her Property Ladder TV programme, but she’s also turning into something of a web entrepreneur. As well as founding, last year she bought into the online world with Tepilo, a site where you can list your house for sale. For free.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 12:37 PM 4 Comments

Banks fine: pity about the customers.

Guardian: The bankers lied. And Darling, a mere puppet on their string, knows it

So why were RBS and Lloyds/HBOS not fully nationalised, rather than given unconditional largesse? Speaking at this year's Spectator lunch, Darling boasted that "I own four banks". They appear to own him. They assured him they would use his money to lend to businesses and homeowners to avert recession. They lied and Darling knew it. He knew his money would disappear into underwriting the banks' casino debts and overheating the stock market

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:38 AM 20 Comments

A quarter of homeowners made the biggest bet of their lives without knowing it

Telegraph: A quarter of home owners live on 'financial precipice'

The somewhat hysterical headline is based upon a survey finding that a quarter of people aged 35-44 could not withstand a £300 drop in monthly income and pay their mortgage. Also, one in eight adults in this age range has deliberately over-inflated their income to secure a larger loan - that fact that fraud was a factor in the credit boom will not be news to regular blog readers. I suspect that most of the survey responders could deal with a £300 monthly drop without much difficulty if they are flexible about their lifestyle. Without sustained property price inflation, the decision to take on large mortgage debts looks questionable considering that we are facing a fiscally austere future. You've got to get on the ladder ...

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:25 AM 52 Comments

The moon and stars are but just some of the things under labour control

Telegraph: Liam Byrne: No new tax rises under Labour

Mr Byrne, who is number two at the Treasury, was asked on BBC Two's Daily Politics show whether the deficit could be halved without more tax rises.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 09:24 AM 2 Comments

Understanding hyperinflation and money supply

Kitco: Bernanke's Dilemma: Hyperinflation and the US Dollar

One fact that is clear in every historical example of hyperinflation is the rejection of the currency of a given country either by other countries or by its own citizens. The simplest explanation of hyperinflation is that when the credibility of a government, or of its central bank, breaks down, the recognition of this fact is expressed as a race to shed the currency and to divest of the government’s bonds. The cycle of hyperinflation is driven not precisely by the supply of money but by its velocity because the competition to shed currency concentrates purchasing activity in successively shorter time periods. Within a given interval, more consumers and businesses seek to buy a limited supply of available goods.

Posted by debtfree @ 08:09 AM 4 Comments

Good news and bad news

BBC News: 'Slow start' to 2010 house sales

Acadametrics says UK house prices rose in February by the most since 2002, with the average house price hitting £222,008. However transaction numbers dropped 52%, back to levels last seen at the depths of the downturn.

Posted by little professor @ 12:42 AM 11 Comments

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Britain's AAA-rating is highly at risk

The Telegraph: Europe's banks brace for UK debt crisis

Britain is at serious risk of a bond market and sterling debacle and faces even more intractable budget woes than Greece.

Posted by devo @ 09:12 PM 17 Comments

Where is the Industry to pull us out?

Bloomberg: Brown Tries to Turn Double-Dip U.K. Threat to Benefit

"Manufacturing unexpectedly shrank 0.9 percent in January, while the goods trade deficit swelled to 8 billion pounds ($12 billion), the widest in 17 months. Jobless benefit claims have reached the highest since Tony Blair led Labour to power almost 13 years ago and Halifax says house prices dropped 1.5 percent in February"

Posted by alan @ 08:22 PM 1 Comments

Chinese consider investment property "a store of value" - sound familiar?

FT: Debunking the myth of a collapse in China's [property] markets

Media reports of Chinese "ghost cities" are cited as evidence of excess. However, there are crucial differences between China's property markets and those of the US or Dubai. Chinese household debt is just 17pc of GDP, compared with roughly 96pc in the US and 62pc in the eurozone. Home buyers in China are required to make minimum downpayments of 30pc before receiving a mortgage, and at least 40pc for a second home. The crux of the problem with the Chinese real estate sector is that property is seen by the country's investing class as a store of value, within an economy that offers its citizens limited investment options. Investment interest in residential property has caused over-development of higher-end apartment buildings and under-development of mass-market affordable housing.

Posted by drewster @ 08:07 PM 0 Comments

The Mode think house prices will rise What'll happen to house prices?

7000 votes and 68% think there will be no drop this year

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 05:32 PM 7 Comments

Misallocation Of Capital

Techdirt: The Real Problem With The Economy: Misallocation Of Capital?

Generally I don't like posting from other blogs but this follows on from previous discussions about economic and uneconomic growth. Good to get a different point of view and comments. Original article is in the Wall Street Journal.

Posted by refusetobuy @ 05:17 PM 2 Comments

Housing affordability 'at seven-year high'

Daily Telegraph: Housing affordability 'at seven-year high'

When it comes down to it affordability of houses is down to interest rates on mortgages not absolute prices. Absolute prices can rocket as long as the majority focus on "low monthly payements". And at 0.5% base rate and 3.5% inflation those with debts are laughing all the way to the bank.

Posted by nightflame @ 11:54 AM 15 Comments

No surprise

Reuters: Inflation expectations nudge higher in February

Expectations for inflation over the next 12 months rose slightly to 2.5 percent in February from 2.4 percent in November, a quarterly survey from the Bank of England showed on Thursday.

Posted by mr g @ 11:46 AM 0 Comments

Weak at the knees

FT: Weak housing sales increase price jitters

"The growing uncertainty in the housing market comes after most economists have been surprised by the pace of recovery in house prices after the downturn. But early signs this year have been less positive..."

Posted by rumble @ 11:24 AM 0 Comments

Who's really to blame?

Xinhuanet: Sneaky mothers have had us fooled.

"18 percent of mothers told a recent survey they were willing to let their daughters marry men who only rent their homes"

Posted by rumble @ 11:16 AM 3 Comments

Google coverage extends across Northern Ireland

PropertyPal: Google coverage extends across Northern Ireland

We are delighted to announce that Google Streetview coverage has been updated, and now features 360 degree pictures of nearly every street in Northern Ireland, from Rathlin Island all the way to Greencastle.

Posted by paul anthony @ 11:15 AM 1 Comments

Inspired by Dubai?

New York Times: Market Defies Fear of Real Estate Bubble in China

"Whether the country is in the middle of a bubble has become the subject of a debate. Some economists ... say the housing boom is being propelled by a huge urbanization push that is creating premium-priced houses. Other analysts say prices are being propped up by greedy developers and government policies that are making housing increasingly unaffordable for the masses migrating to big cities. "

Posted by rumble @ 10:47 AM 1 Comments

The lack of an alternative is telling

The Telegraph: Markets fear a Gordon Brown victory more than a hung parliament

Unfortunately, Wednesday's speech on "protecting the recovery" provided about as much illumination on how he intends to do it – other than to keep spending until the markets call a halt - as a burnt out matchstick.

Posted by devo @ 07:00 AM 16 Comments

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stress-test this

Daily Mail: FSA sets out its nightmare scenario

Banks must be prepared for a double-dip recession and record unemployment, the country's financial watchdog has warned. The Financial Services Authority revised its worst-case parameters for the stress-testing of banks to include a GDP decline of a further 2.4%, with unemployment rising to an all-time high of 13.3% and house prices falling 36% by the end of 2014. The nightmare scenario is even worse than the regulator's gloomiest assessment at the depths of the recession last March.

Posted by little professor @ 11:27 PM 13 Comments

What lies beneath?

Guardian: The debt that lies beneath

When the nation's top financial watchdog tells banks to brace themselves for a worst case scenario of 4 million unemployed and a fresh collapse in the housing market, it is worth paying attention. The Financial Services Authority might have been asleep at the wheel before the great crash, but it has been uncanny in spotting potential potholes ever since.

Posted by cass @ 07:11 PM 0 Comments

Not looking good

NIESR: Monthly Estimates of GDP

WEAK GROWTH CONTINUES "The National Institute interprets the term “recession” to mean a period when output is falling or receding, while “depression” is a period when output is depressed below its previous peak. Thus, unless output turns down again, the recession is over, while the period of depression is likely to continue for some time. We do not expect output to pass its peak at the start of 2008 until 2012."

Posted by dill @ 05:08 PM 0 Comments

Saint Furgus spills the beans to keep reputation

Grauniad: Dodgy games house developers play

Saint Fergus tells us of how developers conspired to inflate property values and post false sales figures on the Land Registry. Its a good job we had Fergus Wilson on our side keeping house prices down...

Posted by the number cruncher @ 02:24 PM 3 Comments

How lucky we are!

Mail: Brown claims his 'sufficiently impatient and strong-willed' character helped Britain avoid a worse recession

Brown tries to turn bullying row to his advantage - He implies Cameron is too lightweight to be PM - Defends Labour's lack of savage spending cuts - May 6 election very likely after Budget on March 24 - Shock 0.9 per cent fall in manufacturing output

Posted by hpwatcher @ 02:20 PM 28 Comments

Is it me...or is this just plain wrong ?

Sky News: Rock Pays £15m Bonuses After Cutting Loss

"Rock Pays £15m Bonuses After Cutting Loss" "The bank reported a pre-tax shortfall of £257.5m for the 12 months to December 31, far better than the previous year when it fell £1.36bn into the red." "Nationalised lender Northern Rock..." " to pay out £14.9m in bonuses after a sharp reduction in losses last year." Paid with our money. A loss is a loss, they should get nowt till they are in profit and built up reserves. How long will they get away with this for? Has no one learned anything from the last 3 years?

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:49 PM 4 Comments

Oh dear

Are we facing a second house price crash?: MSN

Recent reports say property prices are dipping again. Could this be the beginning of another downward slide?

Posted by mr g @ 12:24 PM 29 Comments

More British jobs lost to india

Northampton C&E: 150 jobs lost at Barclaycard in card giant's Indian move

Almost 150 staff at Northampton-based credit card giant Barclaycard have been told they face losing their jobs as part of plans to relocate the firm's anti-fraud operation to India. Nice... I'll be cancelling my card today.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:07 PM 3 Comments

Replace Vancover 2010 with London 2012

Canada News: Vancouver credit rating in jeopardy

Looking at the Olympics, you'd think it would bring in revenue, but looking at the past, it has cost more than most would imagine. Greece for example got into huge debt hosting the Olympics in 2004 and now look at the mess they are in. Vancouver could be an $875-million-plus debt for the Olympic Athletes Village. In Montreal’s case it was a $1.5-billion debt and a white elephant Olympic Stadium dubbed the Big Owe, which was built in 1976 for the Summer Olympics and was only just recently paid off. Well, London 2012 with the current warnings about UK credit rating and sterling falling is the last thing you need when trying to host a multi-billion £ project !!

Posted by debtfree @ 11:47 AM 1 Comments

Who gets the HPC vote?

Prices Drop 10% in Shanghai

Bloomberg: Shanghai Housing Prices Drop 10% in 1st Week March

March 10 (Bloomberg) -- Shanghai’s average housing sale price dropped 10 percent to 18,549 yuan per square meter in the first week of March from the previous week, Shanghai Securities News reported, citing Shenzhen World Union Properties Consultancy Co. Prices for housing in China’s southern city of Shenzhen fell 14 percent to 18,266 yuan per square meter, according to the report.

Posted by ladybear @ 10:27 AM 2 Comments

As we didn't know

Guardian: Northern Rock: more than 4% of mortgage customers are in arrears

"The company's mortgage arrears rate rose in the first half of 2009 before stabilising in the final quarter of the year by which time residential mortgage accounts over three months in arrears reached 4.28%, compared with 2.92% at 31 December 2008. If Together loans are stripped out, the numbers in arrears fall to 3.10% although this is still higher than the 2.25% at 31 December 2008, which shows that more than 6% of customers with Together mortgages are in arrears."

Posted by deepdoubledip @ 10:16 AM 0 Comments

Larry Elliot

Guardian: Overvalued exchange rate is a symbol of Britain's economic malaise

"But the message from the past 40 years – which includes repeated boom-busts in the property market and three deep recessions in manufacturing that have hollowed out the country's industrial base – is that an overvalued exchange rate and an over-heated housing market are the ugly sisters of the UK economy. Only in Britain would it have been possible for a fall in output of almost 5% in 2009 to have been accompanied by a 10% jump in house prices. Only in Britain would it have been seen as a cause for celebration."

Posted by dill @ 05:29 AM 11 Comments

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Great snap shot of the market

HousingExpert: How was January for you?

A really useful summary of the main numbers - sales, new instructions and much more of the market in January.

Posted by charles lister @ 08:01 PM 0 Comments

Home-Owner-Ism achieves important milestone

Evening Standard: Nine out of 10 young families in London cannot afford home

Ninety per cent of couples under 40 with children in London cannot afford to get on the housing ladder, it emerged today... The figure of 10 per cent in London compares with 21.4 per cent in the South-West and 23.8 per cent for the South-East. Almost of a third of young working couples without children in the capital were able to afford a home in 2008, the last year figures were available... Typical first-time buyers have seen average deposits soar from 16 per cent of annual income in 2000 to 64 per cent last year.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 06:47 PM 25 Comments

Predicting a property disaster is easy; getting it right is harder

Citywire: House prices to crash! Yet again!

The Guardian's double page spread on falling house prices is fair enough - but how often have 'experts' such as Ed Stansfield of Capital Economics made crash predictions and got things wrong?

Posted by richard lander @ 04:25 PM 0 Comments

What the king & queen of buy-to-let can tell us about UK house prices

MoneyWeek: What the king & queen of buy-to-let can tell us about UK house prices

Two maths teachers became the unlikely pin-ups of the buy-to-let business during the boom years. But the crash exposed the shaky foundations of their empire. John Stepek looks at what their story reveals about the state of today's housing market – and why another house price crash is inevitable.

Posted by damien @ 01:14 PM 23 Comments

Bankruptcy Data Since 1960

Guardian: Bankruptcies and insolvencies since 1960

The number of people entering into insolvency in England and Wales rose to a record total of 134,142 last year, official figures from the Insolvency Service showed today, and experts say the figure is likely to rise further in 2010. From the data, since about 2004, the numbers of bankruptcies have shot up.

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:50 PM 11 Comments

We all know Moody's are cr*p

Reuters: UK faces dilemma over bank support

Britain faces a difficult balancing act in deciding how and when to reduce support for the banking sector, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday

Posted by mr g @ 12:34 PM 2 Comments

What a waste of a weak pound...

Bloomberg: U.K. Trade Gap Swells to Widest Since August 2008

The goods-trade gap was 8 billion pounds ($12 billion), the most since August 2008, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The median of 17 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey was for the deficit to narrow to 7 billion pounds. Imports fell 1.6 percent and exports dropped 6.9 percent.

Posted by mrflibble @ 10:00 AM 12 Comments

If it's not snow...

Daily Telegraph: Housing market on hold ahead of general election

The housing market is on hold as home buyers and sellers adopt a “wait and see” approach in the run up to the general election, estate agents have warned. Or should that be... The housing market is on hold as home buyers and sellers adopt a “wait and see” approach in the run up to the general election. Estate agents have waned.

Posted by timmy t @ 09:39 AM 14 Comments

Foxtons in negative equity

Guardian: Debt-loaded takeover plunged Foxtons owner into negative equity

Estate agent chain known for its Minis falls victim to the housing crash as profit slumps 70% and debt reaches nearly £350m

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:20 AM 5 Comments

New instructions rebound more strongly than buyer enquiries

RICS: Housing Market Survey February 2010

The first chart shows a history of lower highs and lower lows since 1997. The regional breakdown shows the price rises have mainly been in London and the South East, so it's not surprising that the 2009 bounce was so widely reported by the London-based media. In my region of Yorkshire and Humberside the balance of surveyors' reports barely went positive and is now firmly negative again.

Posted by monty032 @ 08:42 AM 2 Comments

More spin on same press release

BBC: House prices: Rises may start to slow, surveyors say

"Further rises in house prices may be held back by more properties coming onto the market, surveyors have said. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) says new instructions outpaced enquires from new buyers in February. It was the second month in a row that this had happened. The rise in house prices during the past year has been attributed by many commentators to a shortage of stock for sale."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:46 AM 5 Comments

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

Guardian: Blame it on the bubble

Politicians and the media continue to refer to the economic downturn as being the result of a financial crisis. This is wrong. We have 15 million people out of work because the housing bubble that drove the economy since the last recession finally burst. The financial crisis may have been good entertainment for those who like to see huge banks collapse, but it was a sidebar. The real story was the rise and demise of the housing bubble.

Posted by cass @ 07:24 AM 2 Comments

Dull David

Times Online: Why the young won’t commit

Has home ownership lost its allure? Once, just about everybody aspired to own their own home. Margaret Thatcher advanced the cause with her right-to-buy legislation for council tenants in the 1980s. The present government flirted with an 80% target for home ownership, but quietly shelved it.

Posted by cass @ 07:14 AM 0 Comments

Worse to come

Guardian Money pages: House prices could fall for several years

House prices may start rising again after last month's fall but the market will drop later in 2010 and this time the correction could last for several years, economists warn.

Posted by cass @ 07:11 AM 0 Comments

Must do better

The Telegraph: Number of first time buyers falls sharply

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said: "First-time buyers play a crucial role in keeping the market moving by helping to complete chains, and their continued absence delays any prospect of a meaningful market recovery."

Posted by devo @ 07:05 AM 41 Comments

Win a £3m home - Family organise competition to win dream home near Stratford

Coventry Telegraph: Family to raffle £3m dream home near Stratford

This is a great story about how a family in Warwickshire who faced a harsh property market have organised a competition to "sell" their home. Tickets are £25 and as on the site...: "One lucky winner could walk away with the keys to this newly built country house, worth over £3million pounds! Poachers Retreat, the name our lovely house, is located in the heart of Shakespeare Country and sits perfectly in the Warwickshire countryside. " Also, £100,000 will be given to 4 charities, including Born Free Foundation, Very Special Kids, and The Lord's Taverners. And you could even win a cash prize by joining their Refer A Friend scheme! Read the Coventry Telegraph article for an insight into the story.

Posted by george @ 02:40 AM 0 Comments

Swinging back to the Buyer

Reuters: UK RICS house price balance records surprise Feb fall

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said its monthly house price balance dropped to +17 in February from a downwardly revised +31 in January, a much bigger fall in the seasonally adjusted index than any of the 11 economists polled by Reuters last week had expected.

Posted by dill @ 01:00 AM 0 Comments

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chelsea prime property with asking price 20% below price paid two years ago

IMDb: Ronnie Wood Selling House

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 (current asking price is 20% below sold price in 2008). 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 on average - at the most prices are 10 -15% below peak. Some houses may sell at 2007 prices for a lucky few. Houses are still selling for 9% or so below asking price, so if you see something go SSTC at a seemingly high price, you can on average take this amount off the price shown.

Posted by analysis @ 10:02 PM 0 Comments

Inflation starting to get into wages...

Mail: Royal Mail strikes deal with postal workers giving them inflation-busting 7% pay rise for working less

''A deal aimed at ending the long-running postal workers dispute was agreed today, including a 6.9 per cent pay rise over three years''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:24 PM 8 Comments

Blows the Supply and Demand theory out of the water

MSN Money: Are we facing a second house price crash?

"If there was a genuine shortage of property, British rental costs would have risen in line with house prices." - Where I am rental prices haven't gone up in two years.

Posted by daveyk1975 @ 07:35 PM 0 Comments

Slow death of Foxtons.....

Sky News: Foxtons Reveals Not-So-Mini Loss Of £218m

Estate agents Foxtons, famous for its fleet of green minis, has revealed a £218m loss in its latest accounts filing.

Posted by rental john @ 06:23 PM 0 Comments

IR rise soon - a done deal?

Guardian: Fixed-rate mortgage? Homeowners should consider all alternatives

"Borrowers who stampede for fixed-rate deals as soon as the base rate starts rising could end up paying over the odds for their loans, mortgage brokers warn". "HSBC is offering the best five-year fixed rate, at 4.64% for up to 60% LTV with a £999 fee, while Britannia has a 10-year fixed rate of 5.29%, with a fee of £999 and 75% LTV".

Posted by alan @ 06:10 PM 2 Comments

Property auction prices still on down ward trend(unspun heading)

Perspicacious.: Property auction prices bounce back

He added that given this month’s improvement, the Nationwide and Halifax surveys may improve in March. But his wider view of the market remains negative: ‘At -21%, the auction discount in February is nevertheless large by historic standards and the trend in the API remains downward. ‘There has been a clear weakening of prices achieved at auction since late 2009, which adds to survey evidence that the balance of power between buyers and sellers in the conventional market has begun to shift. ‘The index continues to point towards a further falls in prices

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 05:05 PM 3 Comments

Eumf ?

Financial Times: Brussels ready to back monetary fund

Bail out Greece whether we like it or not

Posted by john smith @ 02:10 PM 0 Comments

Husband of Tories "housing adviser" makes a noise by opening his mouth!

Telegraph: Phil Spencer: Sell now, buy later – and cash in on a dip

Property guru Phil Spencer tells Graham Norwood that homebuyers could pick up a bargain after the election .

Posted by flintster1994 @ 01:03 PM 22 Comments

Sense v conspiracy theory

Pragmatic capitalist: Does the government manipulate stock prices

Apologies 2 in a row but another excellent post from same blog. Would highly recommend.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:24 AM 23 Comments

Subtlety alert not for many of the regulars

Pragmatic Capiitalist: Gold as an asset class

Some excellent thoughts on gold from an excellent blog. The comments afterwards also worth a read.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:15 AM 15 Comments

Surprisingly good points from a rabid bull

My Introducer: Fall in UK house prices in February is great for future price rises

Although the last few months has brought great news for house prices, every piece of positive news has been met with predictions that the rises are unsustainable. Like scratched records, commentators massage negative sentiment. So, the housing bears loved the data for February - Halifax said house prices fell by 1.5%. We find it amazing how negative housing market sentiment is. Mentally, people just don't seem to be able to enter into the spirit of the current era of ridiculously cheap money and a government and bank stoking inflation. The phenomenal recovery in house prices didn't happen by accident. It happened because globally we have very high asset price inflation caused by very cheap money.

Posted by little professor @ 08:54 AM 20 Comments

This sums up our housing market.. £11 million ruby belonging to collapsed firm sells for £8,000

This reminds me of all those tiny terraced 'workers houses' in London that sell for over a £million.

Posted by will @ 08:50 AM 1 Comments

Some excellent comments follow the article

The Telegraph: A year on and quantitative easing is paused– but when will it return?

The Bank of England's recent pause was probably justified. But if I am right in thinking that the economy will remain very soft, that in the second half of this year inflation will plummet, and that after the election a programme of fiscal tightening will be put in place, then there will be cause to do more QE.

Posted by devo @ 06:40 AM 65 Comments

An excellent source for Land Value Tax news

Land & Liberty magazine: Issue 1226

Land&Liberty is a quarterly magazine of popular political economics. Its focus is the relationship between land and natural resource rights and economic policy. In this issue: Land Value Tax proposals move forward in Ireland and California. Homes in Copenhagen are affordable to ordinary workers. Mayfair's empty mansions. Clive Anderson comes out in favour of land tax. Churchill and landlordism. Letters, book reviews, and more.

Posted by drewster @ 01:49 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sounds good

NEF: Shorter working week soon inevitable, forecasts nef

According to nef, there are several forces pushing us towards a shorter working week: lasting damage to the economy caused by the banking crisis, an increasingly divided society with too much over-work alongside too much unemployment, and an urgent need for deep cuts in environmentally damaging over-consumption. These combine with a growing interest in people spending more time producing and delivering a share of their own goods and services – from co-produced care and neighbourhood-based activities, to food, clothing and other necessities.

Posted by devo @ 12:46 PM 15 Comments

The Debt Colossus of Rhodes

Observer: Get up earlier, Germans tell Greeks

If this open letter is not merely tabloid fantasy, then it seems Greece could be compared to certain African states. Hence its problems.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:24 AM 13 Comments

Reflections on last financial crisis

Observer: Michael Foot would never have talked up any putative fiscal crisis

Drifting a bit off-topic but well worth a moment to compare a politician admired more now than in the past with today's incumbents. The end of the article also contrasts the 70s fiscal problems with todays.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:17 AM 0 Comments


Timesonline: Virgin’s threat to free banking

THE era of free banking may be drawing to a close after Virgin Money said it plans to levy a charge for current accounts when it launches its banking services this year. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, its chief executive, revealed plans to charge a low monthly fee rather than impose high overdraft charges or require customers to pay in regular monthly sums. It would be the first bank to charge a compulsory upfront fee for all accounts, no matter how much you pay in.

Posted by dill @ 09:53 AM 8 Comments

HPC or fizzle out?

Observer: Lost decade for HP

Sensible analysis from a number of sources.

Posted by chrisch @ 08:33 AM 21 Comments

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Looks like there'll have to be a second referendum

Sky News: Iceland Rejects Icesave Bank Payback Plan

Icelanders have rejected a plan to pay back Britain and the Netherlands some of the billions of pounds they lost over the collapse of the Icesave bank. The nation's 230,000 voters were asked to approve a £3.3bn deal to reimburse the Government for the money it paid out to UK savers who had Icesave accounts. Results returned from six constituencies showed that voters overwhelmingly said "no" in Saturday's referendum.

Posted by devo @ 11:16 PM 17 Comments

Down with this sort of thing!

The Times: Merkel calls for end to speculators who bet against Greece

“Credit-default swaps, where you insure your neighbour’s house just to destroy it and make money from it, that’s exactly what we have to curb,” she said, adding that the issue was a global one and that action needed to be taken with the US.

Posted by devo @ 11:09 PM 2 Comments

Hows about VAT on Property Instead

Telegraph: Shoppers could face VAT on food

Well if they are considering this hows about VAT on houses, we could start with newly built ones and BTL landlords and then move onto 2nd hand houses whilst at the same time getting rid of stamp duty. Commercial property should also be included with an appropriate write-off period, say 10 years.

Posted by enuii @ 09:48 PM 5 Comments

They are the figureheads of the £150bn blown by banks on buy-to-let they were simply the actors

Guardian: Buy to let: Why the Wilsons are not the villains

Did they and their fellow property speculators ramp up house prices beyond the reach of normal folk? Yes. Did they pocket large sums of money through borrowing and leverage, rather than producing something of industrial or social value? Yes. Did they foster a culture in which houses weren't for living in but gambling on? Yes. But though they are the figureheads of the £150bn blown by banks on buy-to-let they were simply the actors, rather than the directors, of this show. So, it is the banks not the Wilsons who surprisingly together with their lenders are not being investigated by the Office of Fair Trading to have and keep manipulating the local Ashford housing market.

Posted by mander @ 07:00 PM 24 Comments

Expats may feel the pinch but other baby-boomers would like to step into their shoes

Baby boomers' chickens coming home to roost

Times Online: Homeward bound? Expats feel the pinch

“I expect to see a wave of repossessions and further house price falls after the next government brings in austerity measures.”

Posted by paul @ 03:08 PM 8 Comments

If you thought subprime mortgages were a scam

Washington Monthly: The subprime student loan racket

Recruiters prey on the desperate with the promise they'll get well paid jobs if they borrow to take courses at their 'universities'. Students end up with a garbage education, no job and massive debts. All the elements of subprime mortgage lending are here: lobbyists, interested parties with posts in the Bush administration, the use of government backing to make up-front profits with no back-end losses, Sally Mae (Fannie and Freddie's cousin), shocking, hidden interest rates foisted on the needy, the false promise of wealth (in this case through a job) and recruiters (mortgage brokers) under carrot/stick pressures to sell non-existent classes. 'Accountable' publicly traded education companies operate Ponzi schemes - expand and worry about the consequences later.

Posted by icarus @ 02:28 PM 0 Comments

How screwed are the flat dominated city centres?

The Times: Can Leeds lead a property revival in the North?

Leeds is not in my area, but whenever I visit, I get the feeling that in 5 years time the BTL flats will be social housing. The same goes for Birmingham, Manchester and many others.

Posted by wdbeast @ 11:58 AM 8 Comments

Buy-to-let king & Queen say....

Guardian: Buy-to-let king and queen dismantle property portfolio

Buy-to-let is "absolutely dead and will never return".

Posted by clive @ 10:27 AM 0 Comments

Friday, March 5, 2010

Good news everyone

Times: Foxtons to expand as housing market picks up

Foxtons, the London estate agency famed for its fleet of Minis and hard sales tactics, has confirmed plans to expand around the capital in response to the increasingly thriving property market in the city. The return will be viewed as a sign that Foxtons has called the bottom of the London housing market, and comes as reports have emerged of a return to peak prices in some of the most desirable parts of the capital.

Posted by little professor @ 11:57 PM 7 Comments

Prices booming ....rents down ...deems ffamiliar

Shanghai Daily dot com: Home renting up as costs deter buying

Cunfusius Say....Clap is hitting buying umblella.

Posted by braindeed @ 11:34 PM 2 Comments

What again?

Der Spegel: 'The Greek Crisis Induces a Sense of Deja Vu'

Demand for the crucial bond issue was high. The €5 billion issue was massively over-subscribed, with total offers amounting to around €15 billion. Greece reportedly had to offer a rate of about 6.47 percent on the bond -- around 0.40 percentage points above the previous rate -- in order to attract buyers. The rate is twice that offered on comparable German bonds.

Posted by braindeed @ 11:11 PM 1 Comments

This just rumbles on

Der Spiegel: Greek Crisis Induces a Sense of Deja Vu'

Demand for the crucial bond issue was high. The €5 billion issue was massively over-subscribed, with total offers amounting to around €15 billion. Greece reportedly had to offer a rate of about 6.47 percent on the bond -- around 0.40 percentage points above the previous rate -- in order to attract buyers. The rate is twice that offered on comparable German bonds.......oh well, might as well turn a profit, then.

Posted by braindeed @ 11:11 PM 0 Comments

Superb debunking of both modern central banks and internet conspiracy theories

The Future of Freedom Foundation: Do We Really Need a Central Bank?

Despite the extraordinary explosion of internet conspiracy theories on the subject, there are "serious, subsbstantive, informed criticisms of the Fed" This lecture is a superb exposition of very sound academic arguments against modern central banking. If the explosion in conspiracy theories has helped get the previously-boring subject of monetary economics into the public arena, this lecture matures the debate away from the crazies and makes it a grown-up, relevant subject that all can understand. I found it most refreshing and am glad to share this discussion of the modern cause of boom and bust with you.

Posted by sneaker @ 10:37 PM 2 Comments

Awww.... play nice

FT: Greeks ban hedge funds in bond sale

Greece ordered its bankers to exclude hedge funds from a bond offering this week in an effort to punish the speculators it blames for destabilising its debt markets. The decision came amid growing anger among European leaders over what they see as the role speculators played in undermining the Greek debt market and driving the country towards a possible default. In a meeting in Berlin on Friday Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, promised a joint push both in the European Union and the Group of 20 leading economies to clamp down on speculators who seek to exploit uncertainty over sovereign debt.

Posted by devo @ 10:19 PM 6 Comments

Bail out the borrowers! Shaft the savers!

FT: End this 'inflation fundamentalism'

At the root of the problems in the PIGS is the fact that their prices and wages have risen much faster than those of Germany and other eurozone members. This loss of competitiveness can no longer be compensated for by currency devaluation. Wage pressure and rigid labour laws across most of these countries did not help either. In most countries, cutting actual wages is politically difficult if not altogether impossible. But, to regain competitiveness and balance the books, real wage adjustments are sometimes inevitable. A slightly higher level of inflation allows for this painful adjustment with a lower level of political conflict. Ultra-low inflation, on the other hand, can easily become deflation in a recession. Falling prices encourage people to defer spending, which makes things worse.

Posted by drewster @ 07:32 PM 4 Comments

The effects of the stimulus are wearing off

The Telegraph: Greece is a harbinger of austerity for all

The economic crisis reached a turning point this week. Admittedly, it might have passed you by, as one piece of bad news blended relentlessly into another. And there was certainly no fanfare to mark this change, still less any sign of a break in the clouds. No, what I am referring to is the sense of resignation, or surrender, that has crept into the economic argument – a collective global realisation that public policy, fiscal and monetary, has reached the limits of its ability to fight the downturn. To many of you, this might have been obvious for some time. But there remained a deluded belief that governments and central banks could magic away the crisis, or at least save us from its worst consequences.

Posted by devo @ 07:09 PM 0 Comments

Does he even know what day it is?

Business Insider: Barney Frank Makes Shocking Hints That The Fannie And Freddie Guarantee Could End, Even As GSEs Pull Cash From Foreign Banks

Barney Frank has has sent shudders through the financial world by hinting that the guarantee of Fannie (FNM) and Freddie (FRE) isn't as ironclad as had been presumed. With 5 trillion in their own debt, Fannie and Freddie coming on balance sheet would have the impact of nearly doubling U.S. government debt.

Posted by devo @ 06:14 PM 0 Comments

This idea could catch on

The Guardian: Greece should sell islands to keep bankruptcy at bay, say German MPs

• Fire sale of Greek islands, Acropolis and Parthenon suggested • Greek public reacts with outrage and boycotts German goods

Posted by devo @ 05:14 PM 7 Comments

A Friday Afternoon Chuckle

Guardian: Fraud Charges for Americas Prophet who Claimed to Predict the Stockmarket

Seriously though the S & P 500 and FTSE are close approaching the levels they peaked at in early January. Is this about to form a 'double top' with the early January high or will it be onward and upward from here ? And will the outcome effect Gold and Houses Prices ?

Posted by str 2007 @ 04:59 PM 15 Comments

I'd Rather Eat my Hat!

Bloomberg: Fannie, Freddie Ask Banks to Eat Soured Mortgages

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may force lenders including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc. to buy back $21 billion of home loans this year as part of a crackdown on faulty mortgages.

Posted by alan @ 04:56 PM 0 Comments

Anthea: Going on Holiday to Forget - front page


"She was also paid up to £900,000 as a “consultant” by Bovey’s doomed ­property empire, Imagine. In 2007, as the credit crunch loomed, she still took almost £390,000 in fees from Imagine". Good comments...

Posted by alan @ 03:15 PM 1 Comments

Basic education for the mainstream

Aboutproperty: Property price falls 'not caused by supply and demand'

Supply and demand has nothing to do with falling house prices, it has been claimed by one expert. Prices fall because people cannot afford to buy, not because there are not enough properties on the market or buyers are not interested, explained Paul Holmes, chief executive officer of first-time buyer advice firm Firstrung. "The reason they can't buy a property is because the speculative mortgage product has completely disappeared," he commented. "They can't afford to buy because there is no more cheap money available."

Posted by dill @ 02:49 PM 3 Comments

Nostradamus Predicted 2010 'would Be Bad Year For Buy-to-let'


The prophecies of Nostradamus include warnings about fluctuations in the UK property market, it was claimed yesterday. "He was like a bearded Sarah Beeney, but not quite as creepy."

Posted by neil @ 01:33 PM 0 Comments

Reality of supply and demand as it should be

Business and finance: 17% of irish property is empty evn after falling 31%


Posted by taffee @ 01:03 PM 19 Comments

How long must we wait to unelect these clowns

Telegraph: Ten years of 'neglect' for industry by Labour

Trade body the EEF has revealed that a 'worst case' prediction it gave to the Government in 2000 was that without adequate support for the sector, trade in goods would hit a deficit of almost £80bn by 2010. Ten years on and the deficit stood at £81.9bn in 2009, up from £29bn in 2000 and compared with a surplus of £1.3bn in 1980. Stephen Radley, EEF policy director and the organisation's chief economist at the time of the prediction, said it was one forecast he would have been happy to have got wrong.

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:45 PM 3 Comments

'You must be mad to be a BTL' You must be mad to be a buy to let landlord

Spells it out, just in case anyone was in doubt. "There was a time when everybody was either becoming a buy-to-let landlord, or talking about it. I even considered jumping on the bandwagon myself, which is always a sure sign that an unsustainable bubble has developed. One thing stopped me then, and one thing will always hold me back. Quite simply, you would have to be mad to be a buy-to-let landlord. It is a crazily effortful investment, and here are seven reasons why."

Posted by notyethomeless @ 12:41 PM 0 Comments

Another wave of US foreclosures and a large overhang of 'dark capacity'

Financial Times: America must help its home owners

The author argues that the US government will have to step in over the next couple of years to buy-up almost $1 trillion of mortgages from banks. 25% of US householders' mortgages are under water, the prices for new-build are lower than 7 years ago, and a new crash is expected unless banks take a big haircut on the principal on these loans (i.e. the capital, not just the interest rate, is reduced) - meaning big write-offs for the banks. Carnage for the banks, or carnage for the government.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 12:29 PM 0 Comments

£36.4 million advanced during the past 12 months!

The Press Association: Social lending site doubles loans

The amount of money borrowed through person-to-person lending website Zopa has doubled during the past year as people become increasingly disillusioned with the banks, figures have shown. The website, which enables consumers to cut out banks and lend to each other, has overseen loans totalling £70.9 million in the UK since it was first launched five years ago - £36.4 million of which was advanced during the past 12 months.

Posted by novice pete @ 12:13 PM 2 Comments

Not big enough to fail

Daily Mail: Desperate families turning to credit cards with 60% interest rates as high street banks refuse their applications

One million desperate consumers shunned by High Street banks have turned to a sub-prime credit card - charging rates as high as 60 per cent. Credit firm Provident Financial today revealed it was receiving more than 2,700 applications a day for its Vanquis credit card. Average rates are 39.9 per cent, but the worst off will be charged up to 59.9 per cent for their spending. Figures released by the Bank of England revealed UK consumers owed a whopping £61.5 billion to credit card companies in January - an increase of 15 per cent on the previous year. Many families are being refused credit by the high street banks who are trying to cut back on customers they deem are at risk of missing repayments.

Posted by cat and canary @ 10:56 AM 5 Comments

Will this impact the 'Bank of Mum and Dad'?

BBC News: Mortgage endowment payouts fall at the Pru

The value of maturing with-profits mortgage endowment policies have fallen again at the Prudential, one of the UK's biggest insurance companies. The company's Scottish Amicable policies have seen similar falls, down from £38,707 to £37,635. The reduced payouts echo those at insurers Aviva and Legal & General.

Posted by loneranger @ 10:14 AM 0 Comments

Nine shocking forecasts for 2010-2012

Market oracle: Nine shocking forecasts for 2010-2012

An interesting summary of forecasted cyclical outcomes over the next 3 years

Posted by puzzler @ 09:29 AM 0 Comments

Barack Obama pushes on with controversial Volcker rule

Telegraph: Barack Obama pushes on with controversial Volcker rule

The White House has published a five-page draft legislative document, outlining for the first time the way in which the US President intends to rein in the riskier activities of certain banks. Nonetheless, the White House believes the Volcker rule should be implemented over two years, and block banks from takeovers that would give them in excess of 10pc market share. The rule will have to be approved by the House and the Senate, before being signed into the statute books by President Obama.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:19 AM 5 Comments

Get out of that, without moving

The Telegraph: A claim of patriotism is the last refuge of a busted government

Britain’s budget deficit, as a percentage of GDP, is the worst in the G20, with total debt expected to go beyond £1 trillion and reach 100 per cent of GDP. Call it redinkonomics. This, in part, explains why Britain must pay much more to borrow than rival economies such as Germany, France and the US.

Posted by devo @ 06:41 AM 16 Comments

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A bit of re-stocking, a bit of number-fiddling

Counterpunch: Is the recovery real?

Reagan's Assistant Sec. of the US Treasury argues that the 5.9% GDP growth in Q4 2009 is due largely to inventory accumulation and the rest is due to statistical games. As with the UK, the expansion of monetary base hasn't fanned out into broad money expansion. Lack of consumers' income growth led to private indebtedness, but that driver of economic growth has now gone. Add in the export of good jobs and you wonder where the basis for recovery is. He says fiscal tightening is deemed necessary since US debt can't be financed indefinitely by foreigners' trade surpluses, and monetisation at this point threatens the $ reserve status - but why do bankers and the military get the government largesse while health and social security bear the brunt of calls for government cuts?

Posted by icarus @ 05:08 PM 2 Comments

A whiff of nimbyism?

Reuters: "North Londonshire" plan sparks Middle England ire

Campaigners have attacked a 1.3 million pound scheme to rebrand part of Northamptonshire as 'North Londonshire', saying the plan risked turning the area into a commuter belt.

Posted by mr g @ 01:53 PM 14 Comments

Tesco to dominate property listings?

HIP Consultant: Tesco & Spicerhaart launches

We have been here before with Tescos but have they really learnt their lessons. The fees are not as cheap as many had expected, so will this really put agents out of business. It seems as if they will be simply acting as agents without offices.

Posted by kaz @ 01:14 PM 7 Comments

No change

The view on the UK from the outside

The New York Times: Britain Grapples With Debt of Greek Proportions

“In Europe, the average deficit is about 6 percent of G.D.P. and in the U.K. it’s 12 percent” the overall level of debt in Britain is the second-largest in the world, after Japan’s, at 380 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. a huge bond-buying program undertaken by the Bank of England — proportionally, the largest in the world — that has kept mortgage rates and gilt yields at unusually low levels. That means the government and its citizens have been able to continue to borrow at interest rates that do not reflect their true financial situation. British household debt is now 170 percent of overall annual income, compared with 130 percent in the United States.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:04 AM 46 Comments

How to spin it?

BBC News: House prices see first fall since June, says Halifax

'says Halifax' 'end of stamp duty relief' 'poor weather' ...all to be expected from the Beeb. Surprising, however, that 'more properties being put up for sale' was not ignored for the purposes of the article. Let's hope the reporter's editor has a quiet word...

Posted by sceneclub68 @ 10:22 AM 3 Comments

More bear food

City Wire: Housing market's unsound foundations

Maybe a small uptick if Dave wins, but down she goes by the year end.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:49 AM 3 Comments

Oh dear - the truth is out

Investor's Chronicle: Sterling and a hung parliament

This will upset the fruitloops. You can't get a Rizla between Labour and Conservative spending plans. Britain's debt aint so bad and hyperinflation is not round the corner.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:39 AM 8 Comments

-1.5% MoM

Lloyds Banking Group: Halifax House Price Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices fell by 1.5% in February, the first decline since June 2009 following seven consecutive monthly increases. Despite this fall, the average price is 8.0% above the trough reached in April 2009.There has been a decline in the underlying rate of house price inflation – measured by a comparison of the latest three months with the previous quarter – over the last few months. An increase in the number of properties available for sale has helped to reduce slightly the imbalance between supply and demand."

Posted by dill @ 09:22 AM 33 Comments

Halifax index -1.5% MoM

Reuters: House prices fall in February

LONDON (Reuters) - House prices unexpectedly fell 1.5 percent in February, the first drop since June last year, mortgage lender Halifax said on Thursday.

Posted by worried_for_uk @ 09:18 AM 0 Comments

Taylor Wimpey predicts surge in house prices

Evening Standard: Taylor Wimpey predicts surge in house prices

Are these chaps living on another planet?

Posted by cool_hand @ 12:09 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lessons that simply aren't being learned....

Times Online: Cheaper deals for borrowers with small deposits

''Mortgage lenders have dramatically reduced the cost of some of the most popular home loans and those aimed at borrowers with smaller deposits, as competition to attract new customers intensifies. ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:50 PM 7 Comments

Two negatives do not equal a positive

Thisismoney: Kids milk 'bank of mum & dad' for debt help

Young people, struggling to get jobs in the aftermath of recession, are having to rely on their parents more than ever to make ends meet, according to an annual report from Scottish Widows Savings and Investments.

Posted by dill @ 08:34 PM 2 Comments

Could it happen in the UK?

UTV: Detroit homes sell for $1 amid mortgage and car industry crisis

The USA has predominantly been a market trend leader with major economies playing catch-up a few years down the line. One wonders if depressed industrial areas in the UK will reach these depths.

Posted by paul @ 07:45 PM 0 Comments

BtL Team go Down


"A TWO year investigation into a multi million pound complex fraud case has come to a successful conclusion with the sentencing of four people involved in the scam".

Posted by alan @ 05:49 PM 2 Comments

Home ownership to become a luxury..?

BBC News: Home ownership to decline, say lenders

The CML said private ownership would continue to be undermined by a lack of new homes and mortgage rationing. "For the foreseeable future, the picture of continuing constraint in the flow of housing supply, and indeed housing finance supply, looks difficult to avoid," the CML said. "The effect of this is likely to be that first-time buyers will continue to face significant deposit challenges to enter the market, and that the trend of falling home-ownership that had already begun before the credit crunch will continue."

Posted by debtfree @ 05:03 PM 15 Comments

It's all over, everybody back to work (in mc donalds)

Times on line: UK recovery gains traction on services boost

Britain’s crucial services sector, the main driver of the economy, bounced back far faster than expected in February to record its strongest expansion in more than three years. After surprisingly strong manufacturing figures earlier this week, the rise in services sector activity, which contributes nearly three quarters of GDP, suggests that the country's recovery is gaining momentum after January’s weather-related slowdown. The CIPS/Markit services PMI index, which measures activity in the sector that spans financial services to restaurants, rose from 54.5 in January to 58.4 in February — the highest level since January 2007 and above most economists' expectations of a 54.9 reading.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 04:54 PM 6 Comments

About sums-up the economy as a whole!

Mail online: The fake shopfronts built to cover-up abandoned shops in recession-hit high streets

As high streets are decimated by the recession - fake business facades have been installed to create the illusion that shops are still occupied. North Tyneside Council is trialling the new window treatment that at first glance gives the impression that units are occupied. Read more:

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 04:26 PM 7 Comments

I'm hard right, but I find little to disagree with here...

Jeremy Corbyn in The Morning Star: Unlocking the door to public housing

... except for the idea about rent controls. If there were loads of easily available social housing at tolerable rents, and no housing benefit for private landlords (both of which he recommends), then rents in the private sector would inevitably adjust downwards, but that's lefties for you.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:49 PM 4 Comments

Down we go.....

Investor's Chronicle: House prices set for a pounding?

Oh dear. So they don't keep going up to the sky then?

Posted by chrisch @ 01:59 PM 5 Comments

Good news, we are all going to have to pay higher rents!


"THE good news is that rental incomes across the UK rose by 1.2 per cent to £814 a month in February as the supply of properties available to rent fell to a 15-month low, according to new figures." -------Im speechless.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 11:08 AM 33 Comments

Will we ever see affordable housing again?

Reuters: Taylor Wimpey posts FY loss, encouraging 2010

Taylor Wimpey said trading in the UK in the first two months of the year was encouraging, while the U.S. housing market has stabilised. "Whilst we remain cautious, we are continuing to see slowly improving conditions across our main markets," chief executive Pete Redfern said in a statement.

Posted by debtfree @ 08:12 AM 13 Comments

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Taking a dump on savers' heads after trashing their wealth

BusinessWeek: Bank of England Plans to Sell 3-Year Bonds in Dollars

I didn't think it was even accepted that this could be done. How can an issuing central bank of a currency abandon the currency due to lack of confidence? Isn't that a bit like Zimbabwe dropping the Zim Dollar? Shouldn't Mervyn King resign first or something?

Posted by paul @ 07:57 PM 41 Comments

Makes you proud to be British doesn't it?

Reuters: UK housing among few gainers in 2009-survey

Britain was one of the few European countries to record a rise in house prices in 2009 according to a new report, giving further impetus to signs of a sustained recovery in 2010.

Posted by mr g @ 04:07 PM 2 Comments

Nothing to do with the price of a house though (part 2)

Mortgagestrategy: 80% of under 30s need help to buy a home

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates 80% of all under 30s now need financial help from a parent or relative to get on to the housing ladder. The figure nudged up to 45% pre-credit crunch, but has now almost doubled. The CML says the overall effect is that for those in the formerly typical first-time age bracket of 25-34, the likelihood of buying at the moment is around half its level of a decade ago.

Posted by jack c @ 03:37 PM 12 Comments

Nothing to do with the price of a house though.

The Independant: More householders will have to rent, says mortgage body

Increasing numbers of Britons are likely to be forced to rent in future as a shortage of housing supply pushes home ownership out of many people's reach, research showed today. The Council of Mortgage Lenders said the proportion of people who are homeowners is likely to fall in the coming years, while increasing numbers of people will instead be tenants, mainly renting in the private sector.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 03:06 PM 13 Comments

May I suggest "Pound".

BBC News: Hella number: scientists call for new word for 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Scientists are lobbying for a new word to help them describe numbers larger than 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, amid concerns that the current system of units is insufficient.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 02:36 PM 15 Comments

Who this golden child is that GBP will have this crisis against?

FT Alphaville: 'Talk of a GBP crisis seems like hysterical claptrap’

David Bloom, Global Head of FX Research for HSBC - "The analysts that are putting the GBP crisis view are the very same analysts who seem to be simultaneously predicting the break up of the euro and a GBP crisis whilst only last year telling us the USD was finished and losing its reserve currency status."

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:13 PM 17 Comments

Pound at the edge of a cliff (Citywire)

Citywire: Pound continues falling as UK debt worries pile up

Sterling remains under pressure this morning after its largest fall in months yesterday as markets continue to fear the government will struggle to tackle the UK's debt worries. In early deals, the pound was down another cent against the dollar at $1.4914. Yesterday the pound posted its biggest one day fall in over a year. It hit 25 year lows against the Australian dollar and ten month lows against the dollar.

Posted by jack c @ 11:45 AM 9 Comments

Are they taking the P155???

Bloomberg: Banks Raise Pay as U.K. Efforts to Cut Compensation Fall Flat

"March 2 (Bloomberg) -- Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling urged pay restraint and moderation from U.K. banks, and still they raised compensation. " from article............and yet 16 million other, equally hardworking members of society are expected to take pay cuts, to pay for these parasites to still have jobs to go to. I know this is simplistic, but what has happened to the British energy. Perhaps we all prefer now to watch people demonstrate, in Greece, from our DFS couches on our 104cm plasma screens, all highly leveraged. I watched a programme last night on the Poll Tax riots, and yet nothing is happening now and it looks like that oaf and his moronic band may get another bite of the apple.

Posted by bystander @ 11:27 AM 0 Comments

More realism

Guardian: The economic forecast is simple: the next 10 years are going to be a drag

Get ready for the austerity decade. Forget all thoughts that the economic storm of the past 30 months is about to blow over. We've had what Mervyn King once called the NICE period of non-inflationary constant expansion but now we face a long DRAG – deficit reduction, anaemic growth. The lessons of economic history, the current configuration of the economy, and inescapable long-term challenges that have to be faced provide the same message: it's payback time.

Posted by dill @ 11:21 AM 3 Comments

Home-Owner-Ism, Chinese style...

BBC: China editorials call for end to residency permit rules

Over here, the "haves" (who own a home) like to shut out the "have nots" (via planning restrictions, reductions in property taxes, mortgage subsidies etc all funded by taxes on productive economy). Over in P R China they are a bit more blatant about it: "The hukou system registers every Chinese citizen according to their household origins as either town dwellers or country peasants... Since economic reforms began 30 years ago, many Chinese migrant workers have left the land to contribute to the country's rapid growth and industrialisation. But they remain registered as rural dwellers and are not entitled to the same welfare as their city counterparts."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:37 AM 1 Comments

Lest we gorget - some are doing just fine, thank you very much

Timesonline: Bumper year for Britain’s £10m banker

"Sixteen million workers, or more than half the UK's workforce, do not expect to get a pay increase this year, a survey suggests. A further nine million expect to receive a pay rise below the level of inflation, the YouGov survey suggests. The survey also suggests a third of consumers in the UK think they will be worse off this year than last." -taken from previous article, below. -BUT THIS FELLA OBVIOUSLY DESERVES HIS BONUS - PERHAPS ALL THE BANKERS WHO GET THEIR PAY INCREASE/ OR BONUSES COULD LIFT THE ECONOMY ALL ON THEIR OWN.

Posted by bystander @ 08:55 AM 8 Comments

However it added that in an election year "it's too early to make precise forecasts about the housin

Telegraph: Persimmon says home prices are holding firm

Make up your mind - forecast or not to forecast

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 08:51 AM 3 Comments

No relief for mortgage holders

BBC: No pay rise for '16 million workers'

"Sixteen million workers, or more than half the UK's workforce, do not expect to get a pay increase this year, a survey suggests. A further nine million expect to receive a pay rise below the level of inflation, the YouGov survey suggests." Not much chance of mortgages being inflated away then.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:18 AM 21 Comments

Quote-emergency rates cant last for ever !!

BBC NEWS: Aussies raise rates to 4%

Australia raises interest rates again, how long before UK has to do the same as them...

Posted by johnnyp @ 07:24 AM 0 Comments

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lock them up

Counterpunch: The case against Bernanke and Greenspan

These two were warned by everybody over the years that they were facilitating fraudulent sales to homeowners and investors, but they allowed their banking buddies to skim the cream and to leave others to suffer. Here's a list of some of the many warnings to B&G, but they didn't just turn a deaf ear - they colluded to steamroll over those who tried to stop the scammers, e.g., all 50 states tried unsuccessfully to stop it but the Federal powers overruled them. (One for freemanphil's states' rights campaign.) Never mind "it's easy to see in retrospect" - it was there for all to see. The only ones who couldn't see were those who wouldn't see, who just happened to be the ones in power.

Posted by icarus @ 11:36 PM 1 Comments

On the way to £900/ounce

Bullionvault: Gold Fix Hits New British Pound Record as "Currency Battle" Between Politicians & Markets Intensifies

The price of gold ticked lower on Monday after recording its best London Gold Fix in a week for US holders, hitting new all-time highs for UK investors as the Pound sank vs. the Dollar and European stock markets cut their early gains. Dropping to an 11-month low on the forex market, the Pound fell beneath $1.48 after weekend opinion polls showed a "hung parliament" ever more likely – with no single political party in charge – at the UK election that must happen by June. The Euro also fell hard, down 1.5¢ despite reports of a drop in Eurozone joblessness, stronger manufacturing orders, and an unexpected rise in import prices. The Gold Price in Sterling hit a record London Gold Fix above £742 an ounce, some 299% above its price of 1st March a decade ago.

Posted by freemanphil @ 11:15 PM 14 Comments

Who is hiding what?

Cnn: America's hidden debt bombs

What's not being counted: potential debt bombs that don't get factored into most budget analysis.

Posted by mark @ 09:55 PM 0 Comments

Not 25,000 but 100,000... seems more like it

Telegraph: 100,000 council jobs could go as funding from central Government is slashed

'The figure is four times higher than forecasts suggested by local authorities in a survey of 49 councils. Tony Travers, a local government expert from the London School of Economics, described suggestions in the BBC survey that 25,000 jobs could go as cautious.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:59 PM 14 Comments

A house is a hole with a lid

Independent: Cold war nuclear bunker for sale on eBay

Might come in handy for certain members of the populus. Anyone got a can-opener?

Posted by dill @ 05:11 PM 6 Comments

What would it have been like with normal interest rates ?

BBC News: UK banks see surge in bad debts

The level of debts written off because defaulting borrowers will never repay them shot up in 2009, Bank of England figures have shown. In 2009, financial institutions wrote off £4.12bn in credit card loans, up from the previous record amount in 2008 of £3.2bn. The value of mortgages written off more than doubled, but from a lower level, from £408m in 2008 to £984m in 2009. The figures reflect the effect of the recession on personal debts.

Posted by exiges @ 12:13 PM 0 Comments

People are obviously paying off their mortgages with credit cards

Metro: Steep fall in mortgage approvals

"There was also a fall in total mortgage advances, with gross lending sliding to £10.24 billion, down from £13.53 billion in December... But unsecured lending was surprisingly strong during the month, with people borrowing £500 million through credit cards, loans and overdrafts, once repayments were taken into account, the highest level since November 2008..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:49 AM 8 Comments

Sterling drops it's drawers (again)...

FT: Traders build up record bets against sterling

Sterling fell to a 10-month low below $1.50 against the dollar on Monday as figures revealed speculators had built up record bets against the pound and concerns grew over the UK’s record budget deficit. Positioning data from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, often used as a proxy for hedge fund activity, showed investors raised their short positions in sterling to 62,884 contracts, worth $6.1bn, in the week to February 23. This was up from 56,079 in the previous week.

Posted by mrflibble @ 11:41 AM 49 Comments

BoE Mortgage Approvals

Bank of England: Lending to individuals: January 2010

"The number of loan approvals for house purchase (48,198) was lower than the December figure (58,223) and below the previous six-month average (55,924); approvals for remortgaging (23,611) and for other purposes (23,035) were also lower than in December and lower than their respective six-month averages."

Posted by dill @ 09:50 AM 2 Comments

The average cost of a home gained 0.3 percent, the most since June 2007, to 157,600 pounds

How will a Fed fund rate hike impact equities?

Investment Postcards: How will a Fed fund rate hike impact equities?

One of the major questions facing investors is how the US equity market will react if the Federal Reserve decides to tighten monetary policy by hiking the Fed fund rate, i.e. when the "juice" that propelled many strong advances in risky assets over the past few months is removed. Although perhaps not imminent, a quick bit of research sheds some light on how a rate hike will impact equities when it eventually happens.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 08:59 AM 1 Comments

Big pop on the horizon?

Telegraph: China risking property bubble with prices rising 20pc a month

Property prices in Britain may be back on a downward trajectory, but there is one market where they are still white hot – China. The Asian superpower is in the midst of such a vast property boom, with prices leaping 20pc a month in some regions, that developments are taking on fairy-tale dimensions.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:04 AM 7 Comments

Jobless recovery in a consumer based economy...

Telegraph: Worst round of council job losses 'for a generation' with 25,000 predicted to go

Tony Travers, director of the Greater London group at the London School of Economics, believes that the scale of job reductions could result in "tens of thousands of posts" being lost. "Nothing like this has happened for a generation", he said. "To minimise the impacts on the public... would require massive efficiencies in all service, higher charges for many and sharing back-office staff with other public bodies."

Posted by debtfree @ 07:24 AM 42 Comments

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