In which your host doesn’t forfeit his life

So, my decision a year ago to stake my life that house prices wouldn't fall by more than 20% in 2008 appears to have been vindicated. That's just as well. And I'm still projecting house prices from Jan 2008 - Dec 2012 to outperform the base rate (OK, the base rate cuts have helped with … Continue reading In which your host doesn’t forfeit his life

Note to debt doomsayers

When someone buys a country's government bond, the government needs to pay it back on a specific date. If the government refuses to do so, there will be a total collapse in international confidence in the debt of the country and of all its banks, companies and residents, a currency crisis, and generally a wide … Continue reading Note to debt doomsayers

Why we aren’t all doooooooooooooomed

A commenter at CiF, against all odds, cites some relevant statistics: Financial services which - some people fondly believe - is "all we do nowadays" made up only about 5% of the economy at their height, (rather less now, methinks), whilst industry accounts - according to that CIA thing everybody else seems to be quoting … Continue reading Why we aren’t all doooooooooooooomed

Save, borrow, whatever

So the fairly essential cuts in interest rates are hitting savers. As a net saver, I can only say this is a good thing. There are approximately four sorts of people in the UK, financially speaking: 1) people with no assets or liabilities. "The poor". 2) people with houses and mortgages. "Hard-working families". 3) people … Continue reading Save, borrow, whatever

World of Chutzpah

BBC City Diarist 'Stephen': During the chancellor's pre-Budget report and the opposition's response, there were alternate gasps of disbelief and jeers of contempt across our trading floor. It's utterly bewildering how our political system has managed to put such innumerates, however well-meaning, in charge of our economy. Hmm. Perhaps, after you - not the politicians … Continue reading World of Chutzpah

Furniture, nudity thereof

If anyone uses the phrase 'the cupboard is bare' when referring to the UK's current economic position, this is an excellent indicator that they are entirely clueless about it. For one, it's an embarrassingly trite and twee metaphor, unlikely to be used by anyone literate; for two, it paints an entirely false picture of the … Continue reading Furniture, nudity thereof

I endorse this product and/or service

While I've spent a few days been being assortedly sunburned, rained upon, terrified and crushed on our fine inland waterway system, dsquared has sort-of-broken his 'not commenting on the current crisis' rule. Read it. Yes, of course there's some TWST, WT? to it, but the conclusion that Western banks' loans exceed their deposits because the … Continue reading I endorse this product and/or service

Just in case…

I'm doubtful that RBS will fail, despite some informed commentators' beliefs to the contrary. However, in the event that it should collapse, I'd like to be the first person to suggest that the Deloitte partner who led the BCCI liquidation would be an excellent choice of administrator... Update: fail prediction FAIL. If the government is … Continue reading Just in case…

In other ‘don’t panic’ news…

...rates are still looking pretty good on UK government bonds, so even after the financial bail-out the government has plenty of room to borrow for infrastructure investment. The only danger is if politicians bow to the pressure from "let's turn this recession into a depression because we hate Keynes" maniacs and don't take advantage of … Continue reading In other ‘don’t panic’ news…