View Full Version : The UK economy. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

29th Sep 2005, 21:11
Does anyone else get a really bad feeling that the UK economy is about to nosedive big style and a recession is closer than we would like to believe.

I'm not trying to scare monger but some of the reports I've been reading and viewing in the media (vested interests maybe??) are in a different world to people I meet and talk to all over the UK today.

Example: We're told unemployment is at all time low and we are happy with earnings and crucially: confident with our economy.

People I speak to tell me otherwise.
Jobs appear to be vanishing at quite a steady rate and high street shops are being rather grim with their reports / forecasts.

What are things doing in your area? Are we being fed s**t or are people getting a little spooked by bad news and crying out "wolf"?

Would be good to get some feedback / hear your stories, and get a feeling for the situation.

Noah Zark.
29th Sep 2005, 21:27
Not quite sure on this one. The old boat is surely creaking a bit, but has done so before and weathered the storm.
My fear is that the media will become frenzied about it, as they do (i.e. the recent petrol fiasco) and we will talk ourselves into a depression.
It has happened before. :sad:

African Tech Rep
29th Sep 2005, 21:31
The UK Govt has an agenda involving joining the Euro – will what happens be due to “market forces” or so that some can say “look at what’s happened – told you we must join the €”.

The methods of counting un-employment underwent so many changes when I was there (in the UK) no-one actually knew who many people were unemployed. I’m sure the did the same to economic data but if your unemployed (as I was for a while) CPIX, etc isn’t really interesting and if your employed (as I was for a while) normally your too busy trying to keep the job and family to concentrate on it.

You are told what “they” want you to hear – sad thing is when it does come you won’t be bumping into many ex politicians at the Dole office.

29th Sep 2005, 22:12
If the reports of an upcoming downturn are true, I'm confident that will signal Britain's entry into the Euro. That way, Gordon Brown will be able to blame it all on a convenient scapegoat...

29th Sep 2005, 22:42

They have to win a referendum first.

29th Sep 2005, 22:45
That'll be easy when sterling interest rates are at 10.5%... :E

African Tech Rep
29th Sep 2005, 23:09
There are people who still belive the referendum will happen ???

Lets face it there hasn’t been one yet cause the Govt knows the answer wouldn’t be what they want.

To get “suitable” answer
Option 1 – find excuse to join without referendum.
Option 2 – set up a situation where a yes looks the only sensible thing to do.

Airship – you might be right.

No matter what happens it’ll be the wrong referendum – the one needed is “EU – stay in or leave ?”

29th Sep 2005, 23:12
For the French, it's even simpler...EU: Turkey in, we're OUT! ;)

29th Sep 2005, 23:23
it's been on the slide for ages - NEVER before have I seen so many prime vacant shops in London - Sloane Street, Kings Road - they're everywhere ! It's going to get worse before it gets better - all we're doing is struggling to pay for Tony scum bag Blair's expensive government - they are decimating the economy. You can talk figures all you like, empty shops on the Kings Road, you can't pull the wool with me Brown.

Windy Militant
30th Sep 2005, 09:11
All together now....

This Place Ahhh ah Is coming like a ghost town,
All the shops are being closed down,
This Place Ahhh ah Is coming like a ghost town,
Folks don't shop no more,
Too much mark up on de shop floor,
This Place Ahhh ah Is coming like a ghost town,
De youth all shop on de internet,
Shops can't afford to pay de rent,
This Place Ahhh ah Is coming like a ghost town,
This Place Ahhh ah Is coming like a ghost town,
This Place Ahhh ah Is coming like a ghost town,
This Place Ahhh ah Is coming like a ghost town,

Apologies to Gerry Dammers!

30th Sep 2005, 12:45
I have always suspected that Gordon's apparent success was largely down to a bit of good luck (the huge windfall from the 3G licence selloff) and a bit of judicious creative accounting.

Remember, this is the man who sold our gold reserves at the bottom of the market and, er, bought euros at the top with the proceeds.

Now Tony's grand adventure in Iraq has taken some billions out of his (our) pockets, there's a bit of a shortfall to be made up.

Lance Murdoch
30th Sep 2005, 13:14
I feel that the UK economy is in deep trouble. As we dont actually manufacture that much these days most of our economy is based on selling imported goods to each other and from moving money from one place to another. The consumer economy is underpinned by credit which is rising at a prodigous rate and by house prices which arent doing much at all. Once retail sales slow and people start to be made redundant then the panic will set in and the housing market will collapse. Add stubbornly high oil prices to this and we could be in for a difficult next few years.
As with all macro economic things this only really affects you if you get made redundant yourself.
From my own selfish point of view Id welcome a housing market crash, I might have half a chance of actually owning a house. As with all bubbles the UK housing market has been propelled upwards by a combination of greed and mass hysteria. Alot of people will get their fingers burnt.

30th Sep 2005, 13:19
Borrowing at a record high
Bankcrupcies up
Banks losing profits due to bad debt
People mortgaged to the hilt and living on the edge.
Fuel prices at a record high
Most families have to run two cars, so double whammy on tax and insurance and repairs etc.
Student loans and graduate debt.
Spending down on the high street
Tesco the only supermarket doing well(because they are cheap)
Council tax potentially going up
NI raises???
Income tax a crippler
VAT on everything
Gas prices going up as North Sea reserves dwindle
Cost of the Iraq war and involvement in Afghanistan.
Instability of the American economy
Global warming with increased risk of coastal erosion and flooding
Threat of further terroriast outrages.
Gap between rich and poor widening
NHS trusts in deep debt despite record spending.
NHS dentists dwindling
Very few people I know without some form of big debt or overdraft.
Women spending too much on the Next Directory/shoes/etc because "next door" have it.
Next door, who are heavily in debt spending too much on the Next Directory etc because "next door can afford it".
Rising violent crime related to alcoholism.
Rising violence towards women especially those binge drinking
Future health costs as we have a whole generation of adults with alcohol related diseases.
Immigration out of control.
Legal aid costs
Record prison population
Population getting older requiring greater investment in long term care resources (tax)
Pension funds underperforming/being removed.
Scorn for authority
Ibiza culture
Teenage and underage pregnancy the worst in europe.

No things are looking very rosy

30th Sep 2005, 13:24
The whole UK economy has been fueled by first time buyers for the past 10 years. The treating of homes as commodoties has made many people rich, and many even poorer, and has been keeping the economy ticking over - the problem starts as is now, when the people at the bottom can't get on the ladder, then the whole things stops and the house of cards collapses ! A whole load of hot air, that is the UK economy. Mr Brown is a total cretin and is simply in the right place at the right time - you'll see !

tony draper
30th Sep 2005, 13:47
And we have Bird Flu on the way as well :( :E

Devlin Carnet
30th Sep 2005, 14:16
....And what are we going to do about it....Stuff all, as usual.

Somebody voted them back in,

come on, own up.

Send Clowns
30th Sep 2005, 14:26
frostbite - worse he actually suppressed the gold price by announcing he was going to sell it, instead of selling off slowly in small quantities. An economically illiterate Chancellor, it is beyond comprehension what he did.

30th Sep 2005, 15:11
And when the housing market collapses, interest rates rise and the pseudo-jobs "created" (in call centres) in the last twelve years are all lost, no doubt it will all be Blair's fault.

Or if you're in America, all Dubya's fault.

Or if you're in Australia, all Howard's fault.

The world economy is the biggest flywheel you've ever imagined, it moves on its own terms and there's an awful lot of energy and pain required to stop it. Whatever measures our respective finance supremos put into place have the same effect as putting a piece of one inch aluminium in the works.

The English economy, like the Australian economy, will crash after the US economy crashes. The US is functionally bankrupt now, but keeps spending "chump change" of a billion dollars a day in Iraq. How? By borrowing it, that's how. If you ran your personal finances as the US government is doing, you would deserve to lose everything. Manana is not always rosy. This ignores completely the Katrina/Rita situation.

Like Lance, I look forward to a lot of speculators getting their fingers burnt and house prices everywhere returning to a level where our kids have the same opportunity to own a home as our generation did.

Be very, very careful about where you put your money over the next two years, people, and don't blame Blair when it happens.

Lance Murdoch
30th Sep 2005, 15:44
Certainly alot of speculators will get their fingers burnt in the coming housing crash but so will alot of normal people who have bought a house at the top end of the market because they need somewhere to live.
As for where to put your hard earned savings in the next few years, I suggest any oil and natural gas exploration/production company that has no interests in politically volatile parts of the world (although there are some gems in this part of the stock market there are also some companies that I wouldnt touch with a barge pole so tread carefully). Medical technology and pharmaceuticals are reasonably safe, people are always going to get ill, probably more so in times of economic dpression. Stay away from property, retailing, banking and the online gambling companies (all one trick ponies who dont produce anything tangible). Failing that shove it in a sock under your mattress.
I agree with the consensus about Gordon Brown by the way, he inherited a very strong economy from the Tories and has done a very good job of b*ggering it up.

30th Sep 2005, 17:38
If you want to be successful, move to Poland. Within 10 years that country will be the economic powerhouse of Europe. Already it is a vibrant, young economy, with a dedicated and forward looking labourforce. M25 every day..full of Polish Lorries!

On the news tonight...Terry's Chocolate Orange moving to Poland.

30th Sep 2005, 18:28
thanks all for the fab replies and its good to see that I'm not alone feeling that there is trouble ahead.

My personal feelings are that the media are working 2-3 months behind us so we can expect the sheer scale and severity of this storm to dawn over the masses early next year.

I do dread a recession. Alot of stupid speculators will get their fingers burnt and they deserve it. Alot of perspective has been lost and people talk like money grows on trees. However hard working people and families will have a nightmare on their hands.

As for house prices which have been mentioned alot, I would kindly invite you to vist the following site:


It has alot of good info and various opinions and makes for a good read of your into financial collapse and that kinda thing.

I hope we get a 40-50% drop so people like me and my girlfriend can get an affordable place to live with some quality of life. I'm not sure if it will happen though - it would almost seem too good to be true as prices have climbed so so high!

Richard Taylor
30th Sep 2005, 18:43
Just my view,but it's a scandal that so many finance and customer service jobs are hived off to the sub-continent all on the altar of cheap labour(SORRY...I mean offshored elsewhere to maximise cost savings or whatever the current phraseology is).

Equally many manufacturing jobs moving to eastern Europe..."it's cheaper old boy".

Does this Govt of ours do ANYTHING to stem the flow,or is it just "THE ECONOMY,STUPID".

As usual,we follow the "rules",Govts elsewhere back up their industries any which way,& get away with it.

Tony fiddles while Britain slowly sinks...

:* :mad:

30th Sep 2005, 18:48
I am old enough to have lived through several house price crashes, and today I am glad to own my house outright.

House price crashes are only a disaster if you are a trader or if you are forced to move or if you plan to sell up and retire to Spain. Otherwise, they allow our kids to get onto the ladder and help essential workers to live near their workplace.

My first house cost me £8,000 in 1970 and I put down £400 deposit plus legal fees. That house today is worth about £325,000. I sold it for £34,000 in 1983 and paid £58,000 for the next one. That shot up to £175,000 in not too many years but then, a crash came, and it dropped to about £125,000. No effect on me, because I still lived in it, and it was just as cosy at 125 as it had been at 175. My monthly payments only reflected interest changes, not the original cost.

I split it with my first wife as part of our divorce, buying out her share, and when I sold it three years later it had doubled again.

After all those years I had turned an original investment of £400 into a tidy sum, despite ups and downs.

Not clever, not planned, just going along with the crowd. Not bad,though.

The economy is notoriously cyclical, but it's good now, and will get better over time, some years good, some years bad.

Cheer up - we are the lucky sod generation who have seen the greatest sustained improvement in standards of living in human history. We ain't seen nothing yet.

30th Sep 2005, 19:38

you have fallen into the trap of most commentators in just concentrating on house prices.

Look at the big picture. Look at the factors mentioned before. Take off your blinkers, this country is heading for a crisis not seen since the 1930s. God help the rest of western europe.

30th Sep 2005, 19:41

We shan't agree because it's the half-full vs half-empty glass syndrome.

Over a decent timescale (say 10 years) we should, with a few glitches, carry on getting richer.

What we do with that wealth is another question, of course.

30th Sep 2005, 20:23
because it's the half-full vs half-empty glass syndrome

I'd like to have a glass of whatever you glass is half-full of !! ;)

West Coast
1st Oct 2005, 04:40
I see the US is never far from your heart. I wondered as I opened the thread who would be the first to bring the US into the fray, you never disappoint.

1st Oct 2005, 08:50
Westy, you make it sound as though I'm on a crusade against the US. Not agreeing with a lot of your views doesn't make me a critic of the US per se.

I'm not criticizing the US by saying their economy will be the falling domino to topple the rest of the west, it's just a statement of reality. Let me put it even more simply. There is no way the US economy can crash and leave other western economies unaffected. That doesn't mean I'm blaming America for putting itself in that situation, it's just the way things are.

I'm going to stick my neck out here, Westy, and suggest that a lot of Americans don't agree with you on everything. Some of them apparently even don't want you to stay in Iraq, incredibly enough. In short, you don't speak for all Americans, ergo, the fact that I disagree with you and your blind optimism about Iraq doesn't mean I'm attacking America per se.

If you have anything you want to disagree with specifically in my post, let's hear it. I don't claim to be infallible, in fact I hope I'm wrong, wrong, wrong. But don't waste your breath just denouncing me as one of the usual America bashers. A good look at my posting history would show you how wrong that denunciation is.

West Coast
1st Oct 2005, 18:55
A thread on the UK economy and you've brought Iraq into play.
You can be counted on to work the US into just about any argument.

1st Oct 2005, 22:49
I have alwys been puzzled by Brown's logic - he appears adept at planting economic time bombs. Mainly the pension debacle, and more worringly, the forgotten "off-ledger" debt - just 'cos it's not on the govenment's books doesn't mean it's not there, and I suspect it is putting on weight....

African Tech Rep
1st Oct 2005, 23:03
Andy Capp once said :-
If you owe £1 you’re a bum
If you owe £100 you’re a businessman
If you owe £10000 you’re a company
If you owe £1000000 you’re a country
I’m on the way

(or words to that effect)

1st Oct 2005, 23:06
A thread on the UK economy and you've brought Iraq into play. You can be counted on to work the US into just about any argument.

It's costing the UK money having our troops in IRAQ and the US economy has a massive impact on the economy of the UK. Thus its only reasonble to bring these into the debate.

2nd Oct 2005, 01:35
I read somewhere that Iran was going to use the Euro as the benchmark for their oil exports, starting March 06.

Can anyone with a finger on the pulse of world economics advise if this will be disastrous to the American dollar?

Is all the sabre rattling over nuclear issues in Iran a smoke screen?

Or is oil going to be so expensive the price will be a disaster in any currency.

Will It will affect every economy, including the UK.


2nd Oct 2005, 01:54
A thread on the UK economy and you've brought Iraq into play
Well, I thought better of you than that, Westy. I might disagree with you on lots of things but at least I thought I could rely on you to articulate your arguments, or reply to mine, rather than hurl US-bashing arguments around willy-nilly.

Let's try a lilttle syllogism to see if I'm just an America basher.

The UK economy, like it or not, wiill not shrug off a crash of the US economy.

Iraq, despite Wino's chump change argument, is putting the US further and further into debt, a situation which can not be sustained indefinitely.

Ergo, it is reasonable to assume that the financial side of the Iraq conflict (and I didn't mention the political aspect) is extremely relevant not only to the UK economy, but to the rest of the dominoes down the line. Like Australia.

I repeat, if you have any issue with anything in there, let's hear it. Your accusations of America bashing are becoming as boring as Grandpa's America bashing.

West Coast
2nd Oct 2005, 05:29
"I could rely on you to articulate your arguments, or reply to mine, rather than hurl US-bashing arguments around willy-nilly"

A self diagnosis on your part. There was no need to bring the US in to the thread. If there was I wouldn't have a problem. All the posters prior to you didn't find the need, but you did.

I put you only a notch below Grandpa in your efforts, you may not want to talk bad about him.

2nd Oct 2005, 05:47
Fine. Suits me. I've told you twice why the US are a relevant part of this topic. If you choose to ignore that in your hatred for anybody you deem to be a US basher, then you aren't worth discussing anything with.

West Coast
2nd Oct 2005, 06:24
"Fine. Suits me"

Has a "I'm taking my ball and going home" sound about it.

2nd Oct 2005, 13:19
West Coast

Are U stating that the United States politics and economic situation has nothing to do with the Uk economic state?

Or are U just agrieved that Bino's was the 1st to bring the US in on the debate?

Just curious...

2nd Oct 2005, 19:31
I read only a week ago that we presently have a shortfall of 66,000 homes pA year on year in this country. Thats a shortfall of 1,000,000 homes by 2021. A result of increased numbers of people living alone, living longer, more immigrants, etc. etc.

In 1960 over 160,000 new homes built
In 1970 over 291,000 new homes built
In 2000 only 130,000 new homes built

...despite ever increasing numbers of households. And what about the backlog in lack of new houses from over the last x years? House price crash or not, it would appear there will be a lot of homeless people in our country in the next 10 years.

Supply and demand, surely the solution to house prices is to build more houses!

Maybe the government should limit the number of houses one may own? I have a friend in his late 20s with 17 properties. Many investors own 100's of houses. How greedy is that? Now that a lot of investors are holding back on investing house prices are dropping. A co-incidence??

I guess all this doom and gloom means the airline industry will again enter its down cycle. At least we've had a good couple of years out of it!! Last down turn seems only yesterday mind!

2nd Oct 2005, 21:09
Things are looking very rosy!

Borrowing at a record high

What do you expect, no point saving money with low interest rates.

Banks losing profits due to bad debt -

oh dear dear dear, My heart bleeds for them.

People mortgaged to the hilt and living on the edge

Not judging by the number of satellite dishes everywhere.

Fuel prices at a record high, True!

Most families have to run two cars, so double whammy on tax and insurance and repairs etc. -

Correction most families choose to run two cars

Spending down on the high street,

Spending up on the internet

Tesco the only supermarket doing well(because they are cheap)

Thought everyone wanted cheap things.

Income tax a crippler

20 - 40% lot better than it used to be

Instability of the American economy

Which bit apart from the old chestnut spending too much?

Gap between rich and poor widening

Welcome to capitalism!

NHS dentists dwindling

Stop eating sweets!

Women spending too much on the Next Directory/shoes/etc because "next door" have it.

Sustains our economy

Teenage and underage pregnancy the worst in europe.

Too much porn on telly apparently, may be related to the satellite dishes.

4th Oct 2005, 00:16
Saw something recently which showed that the tax increases have simply been matched by increased borrowing, to pay the taxes. Everyone seems to be living well beyond their means...

I suspect that lots of people have been remortgaging because their house is 'worth' x amount. However borrowing against the value of your house is still borrowing and with the banks offering mortgages at 6 or 7 times salary to get people on the housing ladder it means that a great many, possibly the majority are in way over their heads.

Aparently inflation is low, but it certainly dosn't feel low. Taxes go up well above the headline inflation rate as does everything else whilst the quality of goods purchased seems to go down, making people think they are cheaper...

The employment situation is the most worring though. Very few jobs around in anything that actually creates something, whether it be software, manufacturing or primary commodities. Looks as though there are plenty in construction but that just pushes the value of land up.

Most of the jobs seem to be pointless sales or service jobs. Services for whom though? Squeezing every last pound, encouraged through outsourcing, from the industries which actually create something is fine until those industries go under and send ripples through the entire economy. People in service industries probably spend most of their money, or credit, on leisure; hence the boom in gambling and drinking.

Jobs in the private sector have gone through the axminster, the supposedly full employment is based on public sector jobs, usually at ridiculously high salaries for non-jobs.

It seems to me that we only really have three major industries that make all of the money. Financial services worldwide, pharmaceuticals and oil. Even the City of London's financial services dosn't really produce anything other than bits of paper; can't really see why someone else couldn't do that cheaper.

The council estates are littered with 4x4s. I don't think anyone has paid for them yet.

27th Oct 2005, 12:22
Home repossession orders soar by 66 per cent as debt mounts.

81 per cent increase in London alone...the area that fuelled the house price boom.

Consumers owe more than £1000 billion, exceeding the debts of Africa and South America put together.

Brittania Building Society's cheap 3.24 per cent rate is now 6.1 per cent!

66 million credit cards, five times the European average...and how many of them are at their limit and having only the minimum amount payed off every month.

The next phase will see terrible XMAS trading in the high street, several High Street stores issuing profit warnings. Bad Debt for banks will increase as well!

SELL SELL SELL we are going down the pan.


27th Oct 2005, 14:07
Went to my favourite town, Canterbury this week. Was disappointed to see so many shops vacant after the summer season. So many pretty student girls running arouond though......;)

30th Nov 2005, 10:13
More evidence today.

From the Torygraph.


Barclays shares slipped yesterday amid fresh jitters about rising bad debts at its credit card business.

30th Nov 2005, 11:34
The "City" workers will no doubt have their own slant on this, and indeed, in economics everybody's view is equally valid because we're all guessing. But that headline should sound a lot of warning bells. The current generation of home buyers and young investors have been lulled into believing that a high interest rate regime will never happen again. Bullshit. Australian interest rates are around 7%, the second highest in the world at the moment, and Australian real estate has just been pinpointed as the most overpriced in the world.

One generation, or fifteen years ago, interest rates were 16%. Anybody who believes that a significant rate increase means going to 8% is waling a very thin tightrope. 'tis my humble opinion that there has not been a worse time in living memory to be buying real estate, and a correction of at least 20% in prices is in sight. Combine that with an increase in interest rates as people scramble to get out of the market, with the subsequent credit squeeze and increasing bad debts and it's deja vu all over again.

Remember it was only in 1991 that Australia's third biggest bank nearly went under because of irresponsible lending policies and resultant bad debts. Remember the aphorism about failing to learn from history? Hang on to your socks.

Dances with Boffins
30th Nov 2005, 12:22
read somewhere that Iran was going to use the Euro as the benchmark for their oil exports, starting March 06. Can anyone with a finger on the pulse of world economics advise if this will be disastrous to the American dollar?

Funny coincidence is that Iraq was planning to do the same a couple of years ago. Can't think what caused them to change their mind....

A major player like Iran [or Iraq] going over to the Euro would push the proportion of OPEC producers selling in Euros to over half. The value of the dollar is built on oil prices being set in dollars. If OPEC starts to value oil in Euros, the dollar may go into free-fall against other currencies.

Disastrous to the US economy? Probably.

Will the US do anything to stop it happening....? :(

30th Nov 2005, 12:59
I think you must be ready for a refill Paterbrat. Straight, or on the rocks...?! ;)

30th Nov 2005, 13:01
Thanks don't mind if I do have another, just like the other one:D

Having just found myself in complete agreement with Lima or Alpha Junk I suspect I may have been skimming the thread and therefore missing something he said or meant...or then again perhaps these things do happen

I am a normaly glass half full sort, and consider myself a fortunate optimist. I would however echo Lost luggage and clamour for a measure of what is in U_R 's glass. Pass it quickly round people because there is going to be a big hangover soon and I for one would like to be able to blame something, or someone, rather than postulating that it was the shoe leather what done it. ( the joke being the chap who said he had just discovered it was an allergy to leather that gave him his blinding headaches; 'cos every time he went to sleep with his shoes on, the morning after was f*#%ing dreadfull!!!')

Oor Wee Gordey is halfway to a braw hiding, and the sadest thing is that it is slowly, oh so very slowly, dawning on the great unwashed that the wheels are just about off the cartload of monkeys that is presently carreering towards the cliff edge. The biggest question is, will the spectacular shake rattle and roll when the applecart spectacularly overturns, hurt more monkeys than the sudden deceleration at the end of the exciting vertiginous drop, if the sorry vehicle actualy makes it to... and over the edge???

The first list, of woes, submitted made far more sense to me than the second list of risable rebuttals. The spend spend spend, of quite frankly idiots who had neither the common sense to see they could not afford to spend was not theirs, combined with the barefaced robbery of pensions funds, misguided speculation on gold, euros's and other wizard wheezes which will and have gone tit's up, and the squandering of a carefully built up and sound inherited economy, is creaking it's sorry way to an end.

Imports are at an all time high, exports dwindling, British companies being sold abroad. A compensation me, me, me, culture abounds. Blame free, yobbish, beer swilling vomiting drink all night and gamble it away behaviour is becoming more prevalent, encouraged by various Governmental Bills.
PC is in, CS ( common sense) is out. I had to add the common sense in brackets as it CS that is, seems to be becoming as rare and hard to find as the British Red Squirrel.

The other sad thing is when, not if, a new Government is voted in and thoughtfully sips at the poisoned chalice it has just 'won', it will have the thankless task of sorting through the debris left behind after the wild office party, when everybody whooped it up had a grand time and perhaps, just perhaps, forgot what actualy makes things tick. The steady dull boring everyday carefull attention to doing things well and paying carefull attention to detail, sound values, high quality, probity and common sense (aahhh there it is again), and amazingly enough, hard work.

But then again, as I said at the beginning I am an optimist.

2nd Dec 2005, 12:43
And yet more evidence.

Torygraph Business News 2 Dec 05.


Sales plunged in November and hopes for XMAS have dimmed.

High oil prices and xmas bonuses could still push up inflation and he is concerned (Deputy Governor of the Bank of England) about the high levels of household debt.

I wonder how many of the new XBOX 360 will be paid on credit cards?

2nd Dec 2005, 13:17
I wonder how many of the new XBOX 360 will be paid on credit cards? Or even using those "revolving credit" cards...?! :p

3rd Dec 2005, 09:56
If anything I can see a downturn being rather a good thing in the long run. The profligacy, drinking and gambling are surely borne of new found 'wealth' in the shape of high house prices so whats the problem?

Sure lots of peeps are likely to lose their masively mortgaged houses along with overpaid public sector jobs. Poor dears will have to opt for the traditional shitty datsun rather than a huge 4x4. Maybe Tommy Hilfigger and Kappa will miss out on lots of sales and a few nightclubs and bars will close.

So they won't be able to get a job that pays more than £5.05 an hour. So what? It isn't as though there isn't plenty of opportunity for people to gain quals if they are prepared to work hard for them.

All it'll mean is that well qualified high earners will be in a better position.

Finger Bob
16th Jan 2006, 14:49
Rather interesting chart here:

16th Jan 2006, 15:30
Oooh, twin peaks...loved the music :ok:

Onan the Clumsy
16th Jan 2006, 17:15
Heffer wrote
Maybe the government should limit the number of houses one may own? I have a friend in his late 20s with 17 properties. Many investors own 100's of houses. How greedy is that? Now that a lot of investors are holding back on investing house prices are dropping. A co-incidence??

...and what do you suppose all those investors are doing with their properties? I very much doubt they are sitting there empty.

16th Jan 2006, 17:25

Do you not think that the guys behind your link may have rather nailed their colours to the mast? Would not a final ? have added the requisite humility?

Krystal n chips
16th Jan 2006, 18:04
. People in service industries probably spend most of their money, or credit, on leisure; hence the boom in gambling and drinking.

And your basis for this fascinating, albeit erroneous piece of social commentary is ??-------

As somebody who now works in a service sector occupation, I think I can safely say that I don't actually have the loads of surplus cash / time to dedicate to the hedonisitic lifestyle you seem to assume prevails. Simple fact of economic life here----if I don't provide a service to my customers--I don't get paid. Simple enough equation. On the other hand, because I do happen to provide a quality based service and work with my customers, I get repeat business. Thus I have a rather old fashioned tendency to er, work. Have to say the sentiments you express could have come directly from a well known tabloid which features on here quite frequently.

Finger Bob
16th Jan 2006, 19:09
Unwell Raptor:

I think you are saying that the chart should be treated with contempt due to it's source. However, the data is from the Nationwide Building Society!

I think the chaps in question should be commended for presenting the data in a way that shows the extravagances of the UK economy.

Whether or not you agree with the conclusion, you must agree that the data is compelling.

17th Feb 2006, 08:32
Yet more evidence today. "Nightmare on High Street" is the headline. "Sales slump in the shops is worst since 1945 as debt-hit familes feel the pinch.

Recent weeks have seen report of bankrupcies rising, rising utility bills and Gordon Brown being slated for our deficit and the fact that he will have to borrow £40m this year.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the UK is heading for a deep recession the likes of that not seen since the 1930s. We have a national level of personal debt that is greater then the GDP of the whole country. Those are figures you would expect from a South American dictatorship.

All those who argue against these facts are blinded by hugely infalted property prices. There is a small minority of people in this country who own and rent property and have done very well thank you very much. Those people are in the minority. We have a whole swathe of middle class families, up to their ar$e$ in the alligators of debt, with rising taxes, rising gas and other fuel prices and unemployemnt rising. (Yetserday's Torygraph reported about 8 million adults in the country who do not have work.)

Within 5 years we will be destitute as a country unless radical action is taken now. All those Poles will be back off to Poland, having made a stack of money and will return to a prosperous and economically vibrant Eastern Europe!
Get you tin hats out!

17th Feb 2006, 09:13
And your solution is?

17th Feb 2006, 09:35
The solution is, to stop making credit so readily available, stop allowing people to self certify their income when applying for mortagages, stop banks and building societies talking up the state of the housing market just to keep business going; make it law for all new homes to be built with water butts, solar panel and wind turbines; build more nuclear power stations, cut down on the immense ammount of money that is dissappearing into the black hole that is the NHS and DSS, encourage saving and discourage borrowing by raising interest rates.
Above all get real, wake up and smell the coffee, for too many years ,as a country we have been deluding ourselves and getting fat on a meal of cheap credit!

So, I have come up with some reasoned comment, do you have anything else to contribute apart from 4 words???

17th Feb 2006, 11:18
But then if people aren't spending way above their means where's Gordon going to get all that lovely tax from? Not as if there's anything left in the pensions pot to steal now, is there!

I agree, there's an Elephant in the corner, and no-one wants to acknowledge it. Us Britons have more personal debt than the whole of the rest of Western Europe combined.


17th Feb 2006, 11:20
Cut the fat in the public sector and get people doing proper jobs and generating income for the economy would be one of my solutions. I was astounded to read that 20% of all employees are in the public sector. I assume that this will not include those in the private sector that have been privatised or those who work in the private sector solely to supply government. Scary figure to think that 1 in 5 of all employees is there to serve you rather than generate any real income. Yes we need doctors, policeman etc but the numbers of them will pale into comparison to the shear numebrs of clerical and support staff in the quangos in the deep and darkest parts of Westminster and in the regions. With the majority guaranteed a defined benefit pension I see this as the main risk for the economy.

Another solution is to clamp down on the economic migrants that pay no tax but take a lot of cash out of the economy. I live in London and all around me are Eastern European plates on vans covering all of the trades with "cash deals" offered. Its pretty clear that the majority of these blokes are working their butts off to make enough cash to send home to improve the quality of their life for their families. The days of not being able to find a plumber in London are long gone. Now its a case of can I communicate with them to tell them what I need done.

Interestingly enough I heard a story the other day that the IR are planning a clampdown on Ebay traders this year. There is a real concern that these traders, many of whom are working from home and running substantial businesses, are not registered for tax and declaring their income. Could go some way to explain the dip in High Street sales as well as the general downturn in consumer confidence.

17th Feb 2006, 11:54
Interest rates up equals negative equity, repossesions, bankrupcies, higher pound, reduced exports, more layoffs, lower profits, lower share prices, higher pension fund deficits. All of which will increase unemployment,the DSS bill and probably the NHS cost as poverty and sickness are linked. The increase in interest rates will increase the cost of renewables and Nuclear power stations if PFI used. What is obviousy needed is a well funded Ministry of Waste to investigate the other public sector departments and produce savings from them. There might be increased costs in the short term but I have no doubt Sir Humphry will triumph in the end!

17th Feb 2006, 12:41
Heretic,Well done, full marks. I was waiting for someone to pick up the error in my schoolboy economics. You are absolutely correct however, the plain facts remain that we are in deep guano and so many people do not realise it/blind to the warnings!

Loose rivets
17th Feb 2006, 13:14
What is surprising to me, is that anyone is surprised.

My argument is that the use of private homes as a profit making commodity, is one of the most fundamental things ruining our economy.

The pain that these chaotic swings causes is felt in the majority of homes. The trading of homes has brought fortune to a comparative few, but chaos to many. How can a country be run successfully, when its workforce have the very structure that contains the heart of their family life, used as a commodity?

Everyone should be protected from wild speculation on the first home.

How could such a dividing line be made between types of home? Here in Texas, there are ‘homestead' laws. They go some way to protect owners from certain disasters. (Not the tax man however) When a financial institution lends money on a home, they need to do it knowing that they can NEVER evict the borrower. Let the burden be on them to make sensible loans.

This need not preclude a higher risk deal with others, who would go in knowing the odds.

I've mentioned before, the HALVING of my Essex home value between 1989 and 1991. Since that time it has ‘gone up' 400%. It was not an ordinary family home, so the fluctuation was somewhat greater, but it wasn't far off the local swing.

The flywheel analogy is a good one. These economic swings will echo round the world whatever we do, but there is no need for such natural cyclic variation to cause such personal distress.

17th Feb 2006, 14:13
If you don't intend to move the 'value' of your house expressed in £ or $ is irrelevant to you as an individual. Unless of course you want to borrow against its 'increased equity'.

Solution (perhaps a touch radical):

Abolish all taxation except VAT.
Alter the VAT rate to whatever % required to raise money for internal security and external defence only.
Privatise everything except internal security and external defence.
Cease all welfare payments, overseas aid, EU contributions and foreign military adventures.
Thereby almost abolishing the public sector.
Introduce strict border controls and customs allowances.
Punish tax evasion with the death penalty.

Watch Britain become the most successful economy in the world.

17th Feb 2006, 22:35
Lets get rid of the pension fund raiding,high taxing Chancellor and his cronies.Feel sorry for David Cameron,as he will inherit an economy saddled with debt,the credit bubble must burst soon.As for the high street,nothing but closing down sales and boarded up shopwindows in my supposedly affluent market town.With todays 22% gas and electricity price rises from british Gas,bad news for manufacturing and those on low,fixed incomes.Add to that the cost of the Iraq debacle and the virtual elimination of manufacturing in this country,with China taking up most of the slack,I can only expect a marked turndown in peoples financial situation unless radical action is taken.By the way,I am an optimist before I get condemned for my negative predictions.Bit of advise,keep buying BAA shares as they should continue to rise,but sell if they hit £9.00

19th Feb 2006, 20:44
David Cameron,as he will inherit an economy saddled with debt,the credit bubble must burst soon.As for the high street,nothing but closing down sales and boarded up shopwindows in my supposedly affluent market town.With todays 22% gas and electricity price rises from british Gas,bad news for manufacturing and those on low,fixed incomes.Add to that the cost of the Iraq debacle and the virtual elimination of manufacturing in this country,with China taking up most of the slack,I can only expect a marked turndown in peoples financial situation unless radical action is taken.
Sadly this is always the economic condition which the Conservatives inherit after every Labour Government.

As very tough financial management us required to bring thinks back, the Left can then always spout their same tired mantra about the Conservatives cutting public services, etc. completely ignoring the fcat that it is their Party's fault. Not of course that such a minute technicality would be a reason to hold back on a good old fashioned Leftie whinge.

Onan the Clumsy
19th Feb 2006, 23:29
Watch Britain become the most successful economy in the world....hmmm, to do that, you'd probably need to recolonise Africa, India, Australia, America, Canada and all those little islands in the hot and the cold places.

Risk anyone?