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Everything posted by Newbear

  1. This is really off topic Dominic but I have just seen your father on a TV in a programme about English Grammar Schools and what they did for at least some working class children in the 1930s to 1950s. Very interesting and rather moving when he pays tribute to a particular sixth form teacher.
  2. What a great thread! People might be interested in some UK researchers currently looking at growing up in new urban communities (and clearly influenced by the new urbanisms debate): http://newcitizens.wordpress.com/
  3. Good interview Dominic. Disclosure: I am a member of Positive Money - IMHO they have been the most effective group campaigning on the reform of money and banking.
  4. Thanks Bubb and the same hopes and good wishes to you. I posted on the housing thread too.
  5. Newbear

    UK House prices: News & Views

    (Coinciding with moving to a new job) I sold my house in 2006 and have rented ever since. But I have now bought again. I don't regret the time renting at all but I do have reasons for buying now: a) prices have fallen substantially in the north of England in both nominal and real terms - 20 to 25% nominal, more in real terms; the money made on selling in 2005 has been invested and has been increased significantly - quite a lot of luck involved there admittedly; c)although there may be further house price falls to come, now I have retired cash flow is more important. By buying now (in the north where i have always wanted to return) I can be rent and debt free. For many STRs (remember them?) it will still not be the best time to buy. I certainly wouldn't buy as an investment. But as a residence, that depends on a lot of circumstances and for me the buying decision adds up well enough right now. My sense having spent the last few months on the housing market is that there has been a bit of a wave of renters/STRs back into buying.
  6. Moneyweek is getting all excited about Japanese stocks rising in this inflationary scenario. But if the yen is falling won't it be a case of swings and roundabouts - unless you currency hedge of course? (incidentally hi again after many months of not posing - and a happy new year to all).
  7. Newbear


    Yes I agree. The 144/150 day MA is important here. Currently around 1580, which it dipped below yesterday very briefly then shot back off like a scalded cat. I think we will see a few weeks of base-building now, maybe retesting the 144/150 day MA along the way. I hope so as I hate these spikes and am much happier with the more orderly progress we usually see. Ross Clark has support at around 1547: http://howestreet.com/2011/09/precious-metals-body-evidence-parameters-monitor/
  8. Newbear


    I don't think it was - though close it was £1 off the previous high. Neither has gold in $ touched its 150 day ma, which has been a reliable place for a new leg up to start since the start of the gold bull.
  9. Newbear


    Yes it shows the general public as clueless about gold as real money or gold as a hedge against the depreciation of fiat money. But still significant in my view as an indication of a changing tide that will see more and more people work out what governments and the central banks are trying to do. But by the time the majority work it out it will probably be too late for them and they will wish they bought that little gold bar instead of the perfume they chose at the time.
  10. I agree but aren't you surprised that Ag has managed to hang on so long at the $35ish level?
  11. Newbear

    UK House prices: News & Views

    Ian Cowie in the Sunday Telegraph reports that the last UK budget contained an obscure change to UK Stamp Duty legislation that will allow reduced payments on bulk purchases of BTL properties. Aviva and others are saying that they intend to become big time BTL landlords to take advantage of this, he says. Three thoughts: i) is this yet another attempt to put a floor under house prices; ii) will it work; iii) if it doesn't and prices continue to fall what will the likes of Aviva do? Sorry I don't have a link to the story yet.
  12. Can you be a bit more specific and/or direct to a site with up-to-date information?
  13. I'm not Swedish but my partner is Danish and last year we were both considering jobs in Sweden - but in the end decided against it for various reasons. We spend a fair amount of time at a place near Copenhagen that we rent, over looking the bridge to Sweden and the Kattegat. Eventually we may buy somewhere in Copenhagen or more generally the Oresund region, which includes Southern Sweden (now conveniently connected to CPH by the aforementioned bridge). When we were considering the job offers I found this quite useful: http://www.thelocal.se/ It has a property section and some links. Not maybe the most reliable source you may think but a year or so ago I found it quite useful. I discovered that whilst there has been price inflation over the last five years, outside Stockholm it was quite moderate compared to the UK. You might know the paper already but if you don't it may be generally useful as a way of keeping up with the Swedish news. A big problem, as I'm sure you know, is that the Swedish Kroner has strengthened considerable against the £. Until a few months ago the Swedish Kroner was weak, one of the few currencies that the £ was doing OK against - largely I think because the FX markets were worried about Swedish bank exposure to Baltic country debt. That seems to have abated and, combined with the industrial success that Don't Panic rightly points to, the £ has shrunk against the SK of late. But debt worries might return depending on whether there is another outbreak of credit market problems. Exports also make the industrial upturn dependent on emerging markets (China but also in the Swedish case, South America). I agree the Nordic countries have something special that makes them attractive as places to live. Good luck!
  14. Newbear

    Carpathian Gold (CPN.to)

    CC, assuming a long-term bull, would you buy into juniors now at all or is there a better entry point coming? Or average in?
  15. According to Channel 4 News BTL is back, booming and in fact never went away: http://www.channel4.com/news/how-buy-to-let-is-back Seems that the nationalised/taxpayer bailed-out banks are channeling money into the BTL market.
  16. Thanks Number 6, I welcome the thread - especially a focus on the FTSE.
  17. I haven't even looked at HPC for maybe three years. The level of debate when I gave it up was dire. Although a few posters were worth reading, the points they made were often accessible elsewhere. Why bother with HPC at all? Disgraceful treatment of Bubb though.
  18. I never got down to the Bella Centre, partly because the traffic and general security going on around the meeting was so great that it made travelling there a pain - and for several kms around too. I did notice the plush airport lounge set aside for delegates to the conference - COP15 delegates obviously needed their comforts. I left on Sunday and an air of gloom among CPHers was evident. Many thought the conference would generate additional tourism to a city suffering from a ludicrously strong currency at the moment (example: a medium Starbucks latte is around £5.50). The joke doing the rounds was that Hopenhagen had become Brokenhagen. The plus side for some was they made money letting out their flat or house to delegates - one told me he charged 11K danish kroner (£1375) for two weeks for a small one bedroom flat, approximately double his monthly rental cost. That was to the Director of a "small Australian NGO". My biggest laugh was overhearing two environmental engineers who are working in CPH chatting on the plane about the financial crisis: "The thing is it was excess that got us into this mess and now the only way to get out is more excess." I guess that is how a lot of people see it. So to answer your question directly...er, no.
  19. I'm a sceptic on AGW but I completely agree with your comments about the debate. The zealots on both sides dominate and destroy what could be a rational discussion about evidence and the inferences that can be drawn from it. Clive James wrote a terrific radio essay on AGW for the BBC ("A Point of View") that has some typically pithy things to say - unfortunately its probably been removed from Listen Again as broadcasts only stay up for a week - but well worth a listen if you can get to hear it. I think you are also right about the way e-communication can remove some of the (maybe inbuilt) inhibitors that help to keep face-to-face communication civil (defeasibly, of course). It's interesting to me that some of the most successful companies have rules about how email is used for internal communication - and for the same reason. These include not using email when the exchange involves significant emotion. Nokia, I'm told, has sacked people for failing to do this. Their rationale is that the long term health of the company is more imprtant than keeping even a talented but disruptive individual. Like forums, email can be highly disruptive and amplify conflict. The solution is to have clear rules and, like Nokia, enforce them when necessary.
  20. You're right of course. Just part of the linguistic fancy footsteps necessary when the world didn't go to expectations. So highly relevant to this thread after all!
  21. Spot on Bubb. I much appreciate GEI and personally just ignore those who seem to have an inflexible take on events or an over-confident idea of their ability to predict the future. Maybe the best policy is just to keep quiet and let folks who want to big up their group-think get on with it on their own. After all if a dissenting voices is savaged, why bother to raise it. Like economic policy often the best thing is masterly inactivity. Sorry if this point has been made already. I'm catching up and don't have time to read the whole thread at the moment. (So this post might be ill-timed for some, in which case I'll adopt my approach of slective listening). Actually I'm in Copenhagen for a few days, coincidentally just down the road from the Global Warming Rally. Ironically the weather is bitterly cold and snow has come earlier than usual. A nice joke from Mother Nature? If I can get there I'll report back on the shivering but surprised crowds.
  22. I agree about the quality of RH's posts and would defimitely like to see him back. The key issue is being tolerant of views you don't share and not simply ridiculing them.
  23. Newbear

    recreational nomad

    That's useful to know. The idea of a few years with a camper van travelling arouns europe and wider appeals to me after I retire. In fact we (partner and I) tried it out by hiring a camper van for a couple of weeks just to find out what it might be like in practice. We enjoyed a lot of the experience but what annoyed me was the hassle of getting around once we had found somewhere we wanted to stay for a few days. It is a pain packing the van up and securing everything when all you want to do is go to visit somewhere 20 miles away. Seems to me you need some additional transport with the camper van - bikes, motor bikes, micro car? Do you feel the same and how do you manage this problem?
  24. I've just listened and thought it was really enjoyable - a big success and much appreciated. It got me much more interested in the the Idler too. I thought you made intriguing connections between monetary policy and the Idler's ideals, which I begin to see in a new light. It made me remember Marshall Sahlin's book "Stone Age Economics", which among many other points argues that prehistoric people did not have to work too hard to meet their needs - in fact they could get work out of the way fairly quickly and devote themselves mostly to ritual. Also connects with your theatrical interests perhaps? http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_qPSLy9...lt&resnum=4
  25. Below is a link to a 2004 a piece by Woody Brock. In it he argues that oil will rise - but so will volatility. He shows why, in circumstances such as a Chinese recession, there will be sharp and exaggerated down moves. This is a consequence of both the supply and demand being price inelastic in the short to medium term. http://www.sedinc.com/good-reads.html