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London's RICH - Are the street still Paved with Gold?

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"So Dick got safe to London, and was in such a hurry to see the fine streets paved all with Gold...

....in London, whom they afterwards treated with a very rich feast."

= = = = =


(excerpts from a FS article):


Is this going to be followed by a Huge Hangover and an attack on the Super-Rich?




. . .

THIS is where things stand now:


"The former Chancellor Gordon Brown, who was one of the principal architects of the so-called miracle, has taken over as the new prime minister. He is proud of the decade of strong growth, but few beneficiaries of that growth have been willing to look behind the curtain, and see how it has been engineered. The UK economy is in a debt-bloated bubble, which has well-suited the wealthy, and those many workers and professionals in the City and Estate Agencies that have benefited from the rapid growth in asset values (and debt) which have brought matters to their current over-stretched condition. But so-called miracle has not delivered much at all in the way of increases in the disposable incomes of the average voter. Such income gains as have been seen, have been mostly eaten up by higher taxes, something that Brown as Chancellor had proved expert at increasing with various clever stealth methods. Pensions in particular have been hard-hit by taxes he introduced. And many have turned to property as a place to park their pension money. They are hoping that a huge cyclical upswing, which has already lasted twelve years, will defy all previous cyclical indicators, and be maintained indefinitely. That's another heroic assumption, going along with all those who have taken on massive debts, that it is safe to borrow huge multiples to their incomes."



"There is beginning to be some antagonism towards the wealthy. Rising property prices are not an unalloyed blessing. Other prices, for things like restaurant meals, and personal services have also risen in the wake of rising rental costs. And for those who have not yet bought (because they were too young to "get on the property ladder" before it rose out of sight), and for those who sold out 2-3 years ago, when property was just beginning to stretch beyond historical levels of affordability, the high prices create stress, and delay important life-decisions, like "settling-down" and starting a family. Many of these people now have a feeling of being dispossessed by the property boom. And the dispossessed, as a percentage of the political electorate is rising in number, as older property-owning folk pass on, and are replaced by new voters as non-property owners reach voting age. They are a force not-yet-exploited, but one that the political parties, are increasingly likely to turn to, to win votes in future elections.


In Britain, there has recently been a lively debate about the tax advantages afforded to private equity investors, who pay small long term capital gain taxes on gains. This seems like favoring the rich, who then wind up paying a lower percentage of taxes than their secretaries and their cleaners. Rumblings about how the British approach to taxing those domiciled elsewhere continue to be heard from time-to-time, but as a Chancellor to PM Blair, Brown never pushed too hard to close these loopholes. Might things look different to him now that he occupies number 10 Downing Street himself?


We are already getting some signs that New Labour under Brown may take up different causes than New Labour under Blair. Once known as the stealth Chancellor, Mr. Brown is capable of becoming the Chameleon Prime Minister, turning against policies that he supported as Chancellor, on the basis that it is politically expedient to change his stripes."


...more: http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/2007/0705.html


= = = = =


HPC- : http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...showtopic=50652

CC-- : http://www.creditcrunch.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=1455


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Flat deal will mean tax savings for Brown

By Christopher Hope, Whitehall Editor == 07/07/2007


Gordon Brown gave his £700,000 flat in central London to his wife Sarah weeks before he moved into 10 Downing Street, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.


The Brown residence in Great Smith Street, not far from the Commons


The Prime Minister’s wife then cashed in on recent soaring property prices by taking out a special type of mortgage against the value of the flat with a private bank.


Downing Street sources said that there were no tax implications from the transaction and insisted that Mrs Brown had borrowed against the flat to give her more financial independence.


However, tax experts pointed out that the change of ownership could save the Browns thousands of pounds in income tax if Mrs Brown decided to rent out the one-bedroom flat now that the Browns live in Downing Street.

. . .

Estate agents said a good quality one-bedroom flat in the same building could sell for about £700,000.


Janet Coe, a manager at Tuckerman Estate Agents, said: “If anything came up we would sell it. No problem.”


Tax experts said that if the Browns rented the property for £2,500 a month, bringing them £30,000 a year, the transfer of ownership could save them up to £7,000 a year in income tax.


This is because Mrs Brown would have a £5,225 income tax allowance, as well as paying at the lower 10 per cent and 22 per cent rates.


If Mr Brown still owned the flat he would be taxed at 40 per cent of £30,000 — £12,000.


...more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...7/nsarah107.xml

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(here's Will Hutton with a watered-down, less comprehensive grasp of the issues):


Dinner table chat about house prices turns nasty


Will Hutton / Sunday July 8, 2007

The Observer


At a gathering of my wife's family last weekend I was sharply reminded of the generation gap when it comes to property. The over-35s are winners with their cushion of equity, which grows vast the nearer they are to pensionable age; the under-35s have debts that make them feel fearful at becoming losers in the property jungle.


I had conversations that I am sure are reproduced all over the country. A mother spoke of her fears that it would be impossible to move to a larger flat in the same neighbourhood to accommodate a second baby. Another said that my generation did not understand how hard it was for young people to get started these days without well-off parents.


Britain has created a monstrous house-price-inflation machine that is beginning to devastate lives, segregate communities and dominate our culture. And do serious damage to the process of wealth generation. Last week's rise in interest rates to 5.75 per cent, with further interest-rate increases certain, is the price of a freedom to borrow.

. . .

But the mood is changing. It seems the middle class has begun to decide that the current mayhem is not in its interests. Privately some Tory policy-makers are toying with finding ways to use the tax system to slow down house-price inflation, pondering whether it really would be political suicide.


The Labour party has been paralysed, writing off taxing as leftist and impractical. But the politics of the house-price inflation machine are beginning to change. It may have made many over-50s very rich, but for the rest the social division, the private heartache, the risks of massive indebtedness and yet dearer houses make no sense. Right-wing policies have created a world we don't like. The pendulum is swinging back.


...more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...2121360,00.html

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Jim Puplava has put the article on his StormWatch page...


Financial Sense Storm Watch Editorials

07/09 General Motors' Market Leadership Has Come Courtesy of the PPT by Eric Englund

07/07 Collateralized Debt Obligations: The Financial "Love Canal" of the 21st Century by Ed Steer

07/06 Garbage Bonds & Bonfires by Jim Willie, CB

07/05 The American Inflation: Part 1 by Jordan Roy-Byrne

07/05 The Rich Feast in London has Left a Property Bubble in its Wake by Michael Hampton

07/03 Global Exodus from the US Dollar in Motion by Gary Dorsch

07/03 Investment Landfill: How Professionals Dump Their Waste On You by Paul Tustain


...see: http://www.financialsense.com/stormwatch/main.html


= = =


"Interesting how Will Hutton's watered down, and half-baked article gets more attention,

than the hard-hitting and supported arguments on Financial Sense"


PROBABLY, i need to write articles with shorter sentences

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It's nothing to do with the length of your sentences, dearie, nor indeed the quality of your writing, which is excellent, but the platform that your writing is on. Welcome to the media. Hutton is in a mainstream publication with decades of history, if not centuries; he has a considerable reputation and, in journalistic terms is a minor celebrity. Your article is on an alternative website. So he gets the attention.


The beauty of the internet, however, is that the power of the mainstream is being diluted.


Hopefully, the same thing will happen with governments.


But the recognition from Puplava is excellent. Congratulations.

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thanks for the comments. Fr.

but i can go on improving the writing anyway

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(this is from The Times, June 19th- which seems AGES AGO by now)


June 19, 2007

Spree by super-rich raises prices even for first-time buyer

Gabriel Rozenberg and Helen Nugent

An international elite is pricing British citizens out of the housing market with the help of government tax breaks for foreigners living in the country, figures reveal.


More than half of London’s multimillion-pound houses are now bought by “nondoms” (nondomiciles) who, unlike most British citizens, are able to use offshore trusts to pay far less stamp duty.


Economists say that the new boom in house prices in the capital fuelled by foreign money is rippling down the market, making it harder for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.


Gordon Brown will come under pressure today to justify the rules, which critics claim create a double standard. The Government exempts nondoms from tax on their international earnings, even though in most cases their home countries do not tax them either


While it tends to be wealthy foreign citizens who take advantage of the rules, many British-born people can also declare themselves nondom, on the ground that their family origins and “cultural ties” lie overseas.

. . .

Figures from Savills, the estate agent which specialises in properties at the top end of the market, show that some 68 per cent of properties selling for more than £5 million last year went to foreign buyers.


The Liberal Democrats have described the situation as grossly unfair, saying that the Chancellor has avoided the issue out of fear that tackling it would spark an exodus of wealthy foreigners from the City, undermining the booming financial services sector.


Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, promised to close the loophole that exempted nondomiciles from tax on their British homes. Under his proposals, which will be expanded upon in a report by the Lib Dem tax commission today, nondoms would also lose their status if they stayed in Britain for more than 17 years.


...more: http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life...icle1951400.ece

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Thei podcast comes from a VI:

Here, in this podcast recorded by property website BuyAssociation, Judith Heywood,

Times deputy property editor, and Yolande Barnes, Savills market guru, delve deep into the reasons behind the city's runaway success. :



"practical impartial advice" - yeah, sure.


"The trend-bucking growth in London house prices has been one of the biggest property stories so far this year. While the national figure for annual house price inflation has hovered around 10% (according to Nationwide figures), in prime central London, by contrast, the most expensive homes have risen in value by an astounding 30% in the past year, according to Knight Frank. The average London house price now exceeds £335,000, according to Land Registry figures out today; for England and Wales the average is £180,594."


They admit that it is many people from overseas- "some working in the city... investing bonuses"


= = = = =


Typically, it is a LOOK BACKWARDS, with nothing intelligent to say about the future.


With trying to be polite, the interviewees need a brain transplant, because portions of their brains are missing.

AND there is a big hole in the discussion. They havent spoken about underlying dynamics in any depth at all (as per normal).

Aggressive lending, and speculative buying, would lie at the heart of any balance discussion. They avoid these issues,

noy wanting to frighten off possible future buyers.


The CW Radio podcast is much better than this sort of pure-vested-interest-bullcrap

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MORE OF THIS is coming... you can bet on it!


Tucked away in the Sunday Times a piece of earth shattering imporrtance - especially for LLs.




He’s barely been prime minister for three weeks, yet Gordon Brown is already getting a taste of his own medicine. He’s had his first row with the chancellor.


Brown and Alistair Darling have disagreed over plans to change the tax rules on buy-to-let properties. The prime minister wanted to axe some of the financial advantages enjoyed by landlords, and discussed the plan with housing advisers and Treasury officials. But Darling insisted it would lose votes.


“I’ve had my first row with No 11,” Brown told Labour supporters last week, while a Treasury source explained: “The idea would be electoral suicide. Alistair Darling is against any tax on buy-to-let properties and will not move on the proposal.”

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“I’ve had my first row with No 11,” Brown told Labour supporters last week, while a Treasury source explained: “The idea would be electoral suicide. Alistair Darling is against any tax on buy-to-let properties and will not move on the proposal.”


Or to paraphrase; the Treasury is against BTL tax reform. It will be interesting to see if the "clunking fist" lands on it's former benefactor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Shock-Horror! The FT is talking about raising taxes on Homeowners, including Non-Domiciles


Be brave, prime minister, and tax property, FT article


Until 1960 income tax was collected on the notional rent that accrued to owner-occupiers of land and property, providing a justification for the relief on mortgage interest that outlasted it by more than 35 years. Abolition of the tax did not remove the case for treating non-cash benefits arising from owner-occupation in much the same way as other income from capital. We sometimes hear the suggestion that capital gains tax should be levied on owner-occupied housing, but it is easy to see that this would act as a super stamp duty locking many more people into unsuitable housing. Given that most house prices can be estimated relatively straightforwardly, a much better idea is to levy a property tax on the capital value.


If one assumes a notional return of 4 per cent per year, a tax at 1 per cent of the capital value would amount to a tax on notional income at 25p in the pound. Such a tax levied last year on the basis of 2005 values would have delivered revenue of £33bn, compared with council tax of £22bn and about £5bn from stamp duties on residential property. So a change to a 1 per cent tax would allow room for a cut in other taxes, such as a cut in the standard rate of income tax by 2p in the pound.


But the redistributional effect of the tax would be substantial. Although houses are banded for council tax purposes, the tax bill increases much less than in proportion to the value of the house. A property tax would be collected from non-domiciled people with housing in Britain as well as from conventional residents.


..more: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/cb0abc70-3bd9-11dc...00779fd2ac.html

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  • 3 weeks later...



Don Coxe nails it here, in this July podcast:



Listen to his choice comments about the Property market in the UK.

"worse excesses than the US" - give the cycle time, friends, things will come your way soon


His story, "For whom the Toll Bills", points out the fallacy, about high-end property

being immune to a slide. The homeowner/speculators who bought high-end used Alt-A

(interest only) mortgages to buy their expensive homes, and couldnt afford to fully

furnish them. The NEW RICH are the biggest losers in this crisis.


WE MAY see the same thing in the UK

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Brown and Alistair Darling have disagreed over plans to change the tax rules on buy-to-let properties. The prime minister wanted to axe some of the financial advantages enjoyed by landlords, and discussed the plan with housing advisers and Treasury officials. But Darling insisted it would lose votes.


“I’ve had my first row with No 11,” Brown told Labour supporters last week, while a Treasury source explained: “The idea would be electoral suicide. Alistair Darling is against any tax on buy-to-let properties and will not move on the proposal.”

Interesting one. In what way would this be electoral suicide? How many BTL's are there and how many vote New Labour anyway? There are millions of priced out FTB's with votes, but I have a feeling that these don't count in our democracy because they probably don't vote anyway. Disillusioned by there being nothing worth voting for.

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REALITY begins to hit


Investors shun sterling as credit implodes


Global investors have begun to shun the pound as the credit crunch spreads through the UK financial sector and raises the risk of a hard landing for the British economy.


. . .


Marc Ostwald, an economist at Insinger de Beaufort, said reliance on the City left the UK exposed to the downdraft of the imploding credit boom.


"There is definitely a risk to growth after all this, given our dependence on financial services and the sheer volume of debt we've accumulated," he said.


Household debt has reached a record 160pc of disposable income, higher than America. The UK current accound deficit is 3.4pc of GDP. The budget deficit is stretched to its limits at around 3pc of GDP, leaving no leeway for fiscal easing to cushion any downturn.


"I'm afraid this may be worse than the 1998 sell-off because we're right at the top of the cycle, tipping down the hill. The only question is how fast we go down. This time the world no longer has imported disinflation from China, so it's harder for central banks to cut rates," he said.


@: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtm...sterling117.xml

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  • 1 month later...


about to pound away at that Rich-Person's-Complacency towards London



Tories Would Increase Iht To £1million, paid for by a £25k levy on non-doms

and raise stamp duty band for FTBs to £250,000




Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says a Conservative government will increase the threshold for inheritance tax from the current £300,000 to £1m.

He will also scrap stamp duty for first time buyers on homes up to £250,000.


The £3.1bn cost of increasing the inheritance tax threshold and the £400m bill for scrapping stamp duty will be paid for by imposing a £25,000 charge for non-domicile taxpayers


"There are between 150,000 and 200,000 people who live in this country but who do not pay tax on the money they make abroad, he said. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been under pressure from his own party on tax breaks for wealthy "non-domicile" residents"



+ Live in the UK and may even have UK citizenship

+ Have strong allegiance to their country of origin

+ Pay tax only on UK earnings, not on profits from businesses abroad

+ Not the same as non-residents, who have tax-free status if they do not exceed 89 days a year in UK


How many of those 150-200,000 are going to stick around to pay this new tax?

I can forsesee that tens of thousands of those expensive new homes may soon be for sale,

when this tax comes through.

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How many of those 150-200,000 are going to stick around to pay this new tax?


Most of them? £25k capped tax is surely not a lot for people claiming non-dom status as they will be really wealthy, that flat rate equals normal taxed income of £83k which is not a massive amount. Can't see why they would want to live in the UK though, plenty of nicer places around the world to enjoy your income from elsewhere.

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Most of them? £25k capped tax is surely not a lot for people claiming non-dom status as they will be really wealthy, that flat rate equals normal taxed income of £83k which is not a massive amount. Can't see why they would want to live in the UK though, plenty of nicer places around the world to enjoy your income from elsewhere.



and many of these folks only live in london for a few months each year,

so they may want to get under 89 days per annum, so they can pay zero tax

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and many of these folks only live in london for a few months each year,

so they may want to get under 89 days per annum, so they can pay zero tax


If it is that easy then guess they might just do that, they would still want a house for three months, people have holiday homes for less time?


Paying £20k tax via PAYE just now and might hit 25k soon enough, wish us residents had capped tax, harder you work the more they take.

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  • 4 weeks later...
If it is that easy then guess they might just do that, they would still want a house for three months, people have holiday homes for less time?


Paying £20k tax via PAYE just now and might hit 25k soon enough, wish us residents had capped tax, harder you work the more they take.


Well the new 30K non dom tax is hitting me. Having lived in the UK for 9 years I have moved all my investments abroad, from share trading, to property investing. Whilst still running a business in the UK.


£30K or having my overseas income taxed is quite a bit. However if you opt for the 30K both me and my partner will also loose our personal tax allowances. The way my UK business is run is through a husband and wife structure. This is another target for Labour. So as a middle class non-dom in the UK I am going to be £45K-£50K worse of a year through the tax measures. I must agree the non-dom rule is not fair compared to british born. However I am moving out of the UK as there are plenty of other places in the world with low taxes and better quality of life, british born people can do the same. Plus after 9 years I need a change of scenery.


Having enjoyed the non-dom rule for quite a few years I can't bear it to pay high taxes.


PS did you know Phillip Green has abused the 90 day rule to the max over the last few years where the days of travelling in and out of the country did not count. He managed to get 45 4 day working weeks by flying in early monday morning and late on thursday. This is rule will also be changed in April, the days off travel count now as well. Hence Arcadia is expanding in the US as Green needs to find reasons to spend it less in the UK. You might also seem him move all his shares to his wife Tina whom he completely trust as she owns already 50%, she lives fulltime in Monaco.

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  • 4 months later...

AS NON-DOMS PREPARE TO LEAVE LONDON - the wealth-management banks may follow



'Non-dom tax may force bank exodus'

By Sophie Brodie - 14/03/2008


Tighter tax rules on foreigners bringing money into the UK could push private banks to move a third of their business offshore, lawyers have warned.


Richard Turnor, a partner at law firm Allen & Overy, said banks were already considering moving bankers overseas after Wednesday's Budget retained proposals first mooted in last year's Pre-Budget Report. These will tax money brought onshore by non-domiciles to pay for investment banking and brokerage services in the UK.


Mr Turnor said the additional 40pc charge would make the services uncompetitive in a global market and banks would move operations out of London to accommodate non-dom clients.


Those considering investment into the UK or deals with UK brokers would also think twice because of the new tax regime. He said: "This could lead to billions of pounds of business moving away from London."


The warning is the latest from the City of London, which has attacked the Government's £30,000 annual tax on non-doms, claiming it will threaten London's status as a financial centre. Estate agents have also expressed concern that an exodus of non-doms could affect the housing market.


Mike Warburton, tax partner at Grant Thornton, said: "There is concern that if clients move offshore, banks will follow."


/see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtm...C-mostviewedbox

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  • 2 weeks later...

As the credit crunch bites and a global economic crisis threatens,

Robert Peston reveals how the super-rich have made their fortunes, and the rest of us are picking up the bill.


/video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b009r2f3


(I cannot see it in HK. It's only available in the UK)


== ==


Private equity plutocracy leaves UK a hostage to fortune in credit crunch


View Gallery" "Who cares if a few thousand plutocrats get stinking rich if the UK has full employment?""


READERS of a certain age will remember Anthony Sampson's path-breaking book Anatomy of Britain, first published in 1962. Over the next four decades, till his death in 2004, Sampson constantly updated his meticulous dissection of who really ran Britain behind the scenes – the civil servants, business tycoons and City bankers.


Sampson was also good at explaining how one decade's fashion in making money turned out to spell the next decade's economic ruin.


Stepping into Sampson's shoes is Robert Peston, the BBC's business editor and pundit-in-chief, whose new book Who Runs Britain? has arrived just in time to serve as a valediction for the collapse of the global credit boom and the City of London's place at its centre.


Sub-titled "How the Super-Rich are Changing Our Lives", Peston's book covers the rise of private equity investment; the billionaires who made their money from it; the Labour government that did everything it could to facilitate London becoming their safe haven, even at the expense of the rest of the UK economy; and the impact it has had on the rest of us – yawning income differentials and disappearing pensions.


Peston is in a good position to comment. Before breaking the Northern Rock story last September, Peston had a meteoric rise through the ranks of British financial journalism. But unlike most business correspondents, he also has a background in political journalism, which makes him uniquely qualified to explain the almost symbiotic relationship between the new private equity entrepreneurs and Gordon Brown's Treasury.


Peston is fascinated by the rise and influence of the new generation of City financiers and the way they have altered the British (and global) economy. In fact, I suspects he is quite in thrall to the panache and ego of it all.


He tells the wonderful tale of Sir Phillip Green, owner of Bhs, addressing Oxford University's Said Business School and spontaneously offering £500,000 from his own wallet to finance the best business ideas from the students.


But despite his admiration for the global financial pyramid that has been constructed over the past decade and a half, Peston is deeply worried about where it is all going. He can't quite bring himself to write the whole era off as a mad hatter's tea party but comments that "we are more vulnerable than perhaps we have been since the 19th century to the advent of rule by an unelected oligarchy" of super-rich "potentates".


What is fascinating about Peston's book is the way it reveals how the rise of private equity financing has radically reshaped the functioning of the UK economy in ways we have not readily grasped. Private equity involves a group of investors putting together a fund to buy and sell whole companies. The buying power of the fund is expanded by borrowing to augment the original fund.


/see: http://news.scotsman.com/scotlandseconomy/...s-UK.3770527.jp

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  • 3 weeks later...

Don't laugh, but the fat cats are going hungry


Chris Blackhurst ... 07.04.08


Wherever I go in the City at the moment, I'm meeting people in a daze - and no I'm not referring to Liverpool Street at nine o'clock on a Friday night.


There is a palpable sense of being trapped in a storm and having no idea when it will end or what will be left standing when the wind finally dies. Even though subprime had been building for a while, it all came in such a rush - the credit squeeze, Northern Rock - that everyone has been left gasping.


Last week, I caught up with two of those being tossed around. One is the head of a leading City PR agency. He's got tonnes of retainer business and that is ticking along. Companies still have to produce results, must continue to hold annual meetings and put out yearly reports.


His real corn, though, comes from deals, from sticking a percentage on a number that in the past few years of madness has frequently been so high as to make the eyes water and the knees tremble.


For that, let's face it, he and his colleagues didn't have to do very much. Nearly all bids these days are agreed - we rarely see the full-on, protracted confrontation. It's been an incredible amount of money for a lot of old rope.


All of a sudden, that pipe has stopped pumping. The big fat earners are no more. Gone. Kaput. Nobody is buying anything, not at the sort of level that keeps these boys in their limousines and country houses. The problem for him is that while he's got plenty in the bank he's built his business on servicing his clients' ambitions. Now they've retrenched, he's left with staff twiddling their thumbs but still reliant on decent salaries and juicy bonuses.


/more: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-bus...ngry/article.do

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Graham Norwood spins with all his heart in WSJ's advert section:


At the top end, it's a sellers market around the world


"So far the luxury end appears unscathed"


"Measured on a dollar-per-square foot basis... have recorded increases of between 5% and 15% to feb.2008 yoy."

(Hey, why not use the Zim currency, to get really big gains!)


London's mayfair he pegs at $7,900 psf, after a 15% rise. (at Pds.4,989, what's it in Sterling, i wonder)


+ Hampton's says over 10% of the world's 1,125 dollar billionaires own property in London.

(Okay, that's just over 113 houses, and how many of those are worried about tax changes now?)


+ 65% of Fortune's Global 500 co's have chosen London as their European or world headquaters

(The english language speaking ability of many..is the key fetaure, I suppose.)


Manhattan is second in high-priced locations at $4,100 psf - up 13.2% in the year to March 2008


OTHER Locations mentioned include:


- Bulgaria, up 33% in 2007

- Singapore-luxury end: up 31% in the past 12 months

- Hong Kong: up 24% in 2007


Beijing and Shanghai, China "are cooling" thanks to "higher taxes" (?), but other locations are still strong:

"House prices in 70 cities (in China) rose 10.5% over the 12 months to Dec.2007... wth Urumci up just under 25%"


# # #


It bothers me that he is so reliant on outdated 12 months prices, and on "prices in Us dollars"


# # #


Another article there talks about Rents in Hong Kong:

"The average luxury apartment in Hong kong costs about US$60 psm per month,

and the vacancy rate is just 5%." (surely that's $60 psf !)


"Rents are going up on the back of strong expat leasing demand...

Luxury residential rents rose 18% in 2007, and are set to rise another 15-20% by the end of 2008."


"Some newcomers are looking fro smaller units or lower quality buildings, or are considering

options in Kowloon or the New Territorries", says Mr. Marcos Chan, research head at Jones Lang LaSalle

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RICH LIST UPDATE - They're Fat !



The richest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth quadruple under Labour, according to The Sunday Times Rich List published today. Even under Gordon Brown’s brief premiership their fortunes have soared by 15%, just as the financial squeeze and faltering house prices have hit ordinary people.


The collective wealth of the 1,000 richest has jumped to £412 billion, up from £99 billion in 1997. Total net wealth during the same period has slightly more than doubled.


“The 11 years of Labour have been absolutely fantastic for the super-rich,” said Philip Beresford, compiler of the list. “Having a friendly Labour government has almost been better than having a Tory one; it has neutered politicians on the left.”


/see: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle3822711.ece

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