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About HollandPark

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  1. HollandPark

    UK House prices: News & Views

    another year near no change, would be my guess (that's it ! I just hit 1,000 posts. Good luck in 2013. See you soon.)
  2. Still here. Lurking mostly these days Many posters from the 'good' old days hardly post anymore, which is unfortunate. But the board is more active Maybe when gold drops the old civility will come back, and old posters will return
  3. STAY OUT OF THE TAX MATRIX... How can you do that, without moving to a foreign country ? .... The days of falling tax rates ARE OVER. Taxes declined for a long time, but this cannot continue The jump in government spending guarantees higher taxes and/or inflation. Either way, you should be looking for ways of reducing your taxable income, but do not reduce you standard of living. An easy suggestion: Grow your own food. Cook it. Eat it. This way, the government does not get to tax any of your effort. Another one: Own your own home, with no debt. This way, the government does not get a slice of your rental income. You capital, invested in your home, gives you a taxfree return in the USE you get by living there. Make enough efforts and investments like this, and pretty soon, you need to earn very little taxable income to live. You gradually fade away, out of the tax net.
  4. HollandPark

    Jim Sinclair thread (News & Views)

    Sinclair says: There are two similarities pervading Obama’s appointees. 1. Harvard University 2. Intellectuals. Therefore decisions made will be from the overeducated and lead to impractical programs and solutions following closely to a liberal manifesto. == == Sounds alot like John Kennedy's Presidency. Was that really such a bad thing?
  5. The Crisis is far from over. The Cure will not start until, we really know what the problem(s) are. The pain of job losses will continue and spread in 2009 We we MAKING IT WORSE? Maybe. Bailouts may led to Failouts, requiring new "cures"
  6. HollandPark

    Toxic Wife!

    I suppose in this case, to stay safe you should marry someone who is capable of working, and even wants to continue working. Else you risk them just announcing a few monthe after the wedding, "Do you mind if I take some time off? You make enough to support both of us." Then, you're onto the slippery slope Sadly, children often become the excuse and "hostages to fortune" for the gold-digging wives.
  7. I posted some ideas ... "building around cheap travel privileges"
  8. HollandPark

    Making Mass Transit Work : Part 1

    From the KunstlerCast thread on the same topic ------------------- http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A...METRO/812050386 Friday, December 5, 2008 Detroit rail line chugs forward Senate passes key components of plan for project along Woodward Gary Heinlein and Tanveer Ali / The Detroit News LANSING -- Key components of a plan to build a light rail line along Woodward Avenue in Detroit were approved without opposition by the state Senate on Thursday, and lawmakers said they plan to complete the multibill package when they resume session next week. The proposal, pushed by billionaires Dan Gilbert and Roger Penske, would use $103 million in private money to build the street-level rail line looping between Hart Plaza and Grand Boulevard in the New Center area. Its 12 stops would include major businesses, theaters, ballparks, museums and hospitals. "It has the potential to be a model for creating mass transit in Michigan," said Sen. Jud Gilbert, R-Algonac, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Light rail in the heart of Detroit, which eventually could link to hoped-for train systems running north to the suburbs and west past Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Ann Arbor, is endorsed by House and Senate leaders, as well as Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The Senate passed four of eight bills already adopted by the House, and Gilbert said he expects the Senate to pass the rest of them Wednesday. The one possible obstacle to passage is a controversy that emerged Thursday regarding an upcoming executive order from Granholm that will make cuts in the current state budget because of a predicted $500 million revenue shortfall. Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, sent Granholm a letter on Thursday threatening to suspend any further Senate voting until the order has been issued. As proposed, the rail line would be run by a nonprofit corporation whose directors would include public officials and private business executives. The state would provide an annual subsidy for operating costs not covered by the fares collected from passengers. The Detroit Department of Transportation is in talks to meld its proposed $371-million rail line from downtown to the Oakland County border with the train tracks envisioned in the legislation. There also are hopes for an Ann Arbor-Detroit commuter line in October 2010 with $100 million in federal funds. Bills approved by the Senate on Thursday would: • Allow the organization of a nonprofit corporation to build and operate the railway system. • Permit the railway to obtain land, sell bonds and mortgage its property to provide security for the bonds. • Let the railway store and use electrical power. • Authorize the Michigan Department of Transportation to establish a transit development finance zone that would be empowered to collect incremental property tax revenue. • Require the state transportation department to supplement the railway's fare revenues with up to $8 million annually, beginning with the 2010-11 budget year. Megan Owens, director of Detroit-based Transportation Riders United, a mass transit advocacy group, said the Senate passage of the bills is encouraging for a region where transit solutions have been stalled for decades. She said obstacles still remain, and she hopes state funding will be available not only for a Woodward line, but existing and future transit infrastructure. "We're definitely very excited to see this legislation moving forward," Owens said. "This does move Detroit that much closer to having real rapid transit. Obviously the rapid transit ... on Woodward is absolutely critical, not only to get around Detroit but as an economic tool." You can reach Gary Heinlein at (517) 371-3660 or gheinlein@detnews.com.
  9. How long a selloff on the news? A 500 point drop, then a rally maybe? The U.S. Economy Doesn't Need GM - Forbes says Blythe McGarvie, 11.19.08, 05:30 PM EST Let market forces take their course. Let's look at General Motors as a classic tale of large numbers. What would it mean if GM were to go bankrupt? How significant would it be to the economy? Emotionally, we may feel General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) represents a pillar of our economy and should be saved. But when we look at the facts and rely on industry experts to put them in context, we see an alternative conclusion. The Center for Automotive Research just released a report indicating that, as of December 2007, the motor vehicle industries employ 732,800 workers and the Detroit Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) employ 239,241 workers in the U.S. Assuming the worst-case scenario--that all three companies will cease operations in 2009--the report estimates a loss of nearly three million American jobs. This estimate assumes each direct job creates four jobs for suppliers and 7.1 "spin-off" expenditure-induced jobs. Spin-off effects represent the loss of economic activity due to reduced spending by employees and their suppliers. This would translate to the U.S. economy losing $156 billion over three years--or $52 billion per year--through lost wages and lower receipts from social security and income taxes. How can one job generate enough money to create 11.1 jobs? The only way the math works is if the auto industry is paying wages above market demand. The average wage per hour of the Detroit Three is $73.20, yet Toyota's (nyse: TM - news - people ) average wage is $48. Compare these wages to the national average for management and professional workers at $47.57, manufacturing and goods producers at $31.59 and all workers at $28.48. Employees of the Detroit Three may or may not be paid higher salaries than other auto workers, but they allocate higher dollar amounts to cover unemployed and retired workers' benefits. Bankruptcy would allow the companies to reset the clock, so to speak, as some airline companies did when they recognized their folly in agreeing to contracts that made them uncompetitive and unsustainable. Of course, we may wish for unlimited funds to cover all the commitments of the Detroit Three. However, to have an informed opinion about our current economic situation and what can be done to improve it, it is important to understand the large numbers and what they mean in a competitive context. /see: http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/11/19/...19mcgarvie.html Comment On This Story The number of jobs in the U.S. economy changed little in October, in spite of the rise in the unemployment rate. The civilian labor force participation rate remains at 66% of the U.S. population or 155 million (80 million eligible adults do not participate in the labor force). Of the 155 million, 10 million or 6.5% are unemployed. If you believe the draconian projection that three million jobs will disappear and that those workers cannot be re-employed, then the unemployment rate would be 8.4%.
  10. Scare tactics GM sees a big pot of cash sitting there (TARP), and wants a piece of it. It is using scare tactics, talking about 3 million job losses in America if it goes into liquidation, to get its hands on some of that money. After the chilly reception by Congress, they may focus on reality, and figure out how to use bankrupcty (as a voluntary reorganisation) to make their company leaner and meaner.
  11. INNOVATE out of a recession?? I like your thinking, and I have been pondering this myself. But how many companies really achieve this? I did a search on the web, and came up with an article from Business Week that spoke about this: 10 Worst Innovation Mistakes In A Recession. Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on January 13 http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/Nussb...rst_innova.html "We are probably already in a recession (or very close to it) and, in the past, CEOs made serious mistakes in trying to cope with a slowing economy. Here is a list of What Not To Do. All of them hurt innovation. Unless you really want to compete on price (remember, last week India launched its $2,500 Nano car), the ability to do sustained innovation is the one competitive edge left. Innovation is the driver of performance, growth and stock market valuation. Here are the 10 worst mistakes you can make in a recession that will hurt innovation:" He goes on to suggest that companies avoid certain mistakes like Firing talent, and Cutting back on technology, etc. Maybe he is right. But one of the comments under the article was even more interesting: Logic / January 15, 2008 03:10 AM ==== I hate to be a wet blanket, but one could describe the 10 rules as rationalizations to keep spending money as if the times were good. I'm as in favor of keeping the money flowing as the next guy, but would it be possible to list some rules of cost-cutting that *do* make sense? I can think of a few to start: 1) Stop traveling so much. Rely on the phone and on WebEx, Google Apps. 2) Have C-level compensation cut disproportionately harshly. The CEO, CFO etc. can take the cuts...Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett (HP) were famous for cutting their own pay before they'd cut their employees' pay. 3) Cut back on technology *spending*, but not technology. Why pay Microsoft millions for software, when free or low cost alternatives like MySQL or GoogleApps can do 95% of what you need? . . . . Some good ideas here. Are there more? BTW, I found this interesting website in one of the Comments to the article Brainstorming : http://www.brainstormexchange.com/ America's Innovation Recession: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...,948694,00.html "Driving Innovation Culture to Thrive in Lean Times”. The URL is: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Knowledge-Center/...-in-Lean-Times/
  12. Maybe too many people think that any market correction, will necessarily bring a RALLY - Are we getting too complacent ?? Here's an intriguing piece from Capt. Hook: "One can gain further insight into why the sentiment backdrop in the market is so dangerous right now by reading Alan Abelson’s comments found in this week’s Barron’s column entitled ‘A Moratorium on Optimism?’, a piece that discusses the ‘knee jerk bullishness’ with respect to every dip in stocks these days, as follows: “Maybe it’s time for a respite from knee-jerk bullishness… the sudden burst of mass disenchantment was rooted in a kind of exhaustion of bullishness. Investors have been worn out responding to false sightings of bottoms and have gradually and somewhat grudgingly experienced a kind of epiphany as to the true, dismal state of the stuff that drives markets higher. Stuff like corporate profits, which are shrinking rather alarmingly (and, in the process, dangerously inflating P/Es), to consumer confidence and consumer wherewithal, both of which, not unrelatedly, have been badly mauled.” In the months leading up to the Black Thursday of the Crash of 1929, the markets experienced a series of terrific ups and downs that ‘left everyone feeling exhausted.’ So you see it’s when this exhaustion finally takes hold of sentiment, that’s when stocks can crash, and we have such a set-up potentially just ahead, right in front of the election which just about everybody views as an impossibility." Deleveraging Delusions, Denial, and Disorder http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editoria.../2008/0923.html
  13. Great. Dominic, you say you "changed your mind" - From what to what? And why, exactly? The Key point here, seems to be M3 Growth: (Mish's points): + The Commercial paper market has shrunk, so + Corporations are borrowing from banks, and parking their money in cash (so they have a cushion, to protection them from further disruptions) + Borrowing to hold cash is not inflationary + Debt write-offs, falling home prices, and shrinking consumption is deflationary How "crazy will congress get?" seems to be the main question. And Congress, and not the Fed, may be the real villains in driving the US towards higher inflation, and maybe hyper-inflation. Following that link to i-Tulip, I found this excerpt: "Originally Posted by Eric Janzen Conclusion To me, this all adds up to a hold. Ka-Poom is a hypothesis that a long term trend is in place that supports holding inflation hedges long term. I'm no better at timing trades using rear view mirrors (charts) than anyone else. However, I remain confident that the antecedents lead inexorably to the medium and long term trends of a period of deflation followed by a period of chaotic pricing of securities and currencies, followed by a declining dollar and rising US inflation in assets that are not purchased on credit."
  14. This from Ralph Nader: With soaring gasoline and airfare prices, more Americans are taking mass transit and AMTRAK to get to their destinations. AMTRAK is on the way to a record year, transporting over 27 million passengers in 2008, with ridership up over 12 percent from last year. AMTRAK and its equipment suppliers, constrained by money, have been shrinking. Routes have been abandoned. Manufacturers of rail cars and locomotives have also diminished. So, expansion to meet the growing demand will be difficult and take some time. This passenger railroad carries less than 5 percent of the domestic passengers carried by the airlines. Losing about $1 billion a year, AMTRAK’s financial needs are trivial compared to large for-profit corporations who feed from the public trough in Washington, D.C. Some Congressional help is finally on the way. The House and the Senate have passed the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act with veto-proof margins to over-ride a threatened veto by George W. Bush. Assuming no major changes in the House-Senate conference on the bill, AMTRAK will receive annual appropriations closer to $2 billion a year, compared to the current level of $1.2 billion. This includes money for capital investment, for reducing debt and expanding operating budgets for more passengers. There is also a matching-grant program for the states to expand service, similar to the program long in place for highway construction. The large freight railroads are pressing Congress for public money and tax credits to upgrade railroad beds and pay for track expansion, which could redound to the benefit of passenger rail service as well. ## http://www.counterpunch.org/nader06252008.html ------------ Should we be looking to invest in manufacturers of Rail equipment? What are the companies?
  15. HollandPark

    The Coming Tsunami - Why don't most people get it ?

    (Borrowed from the KunstlerCast chatboard): Here is a intresting piece from Survival blog http://www.survivalblog.com/ Quote Here is a mental exercise: Put yourself in the mind set of Mr. Joe Sixpack, Suburbanite. (Visualize him in or near a big city near where you live.) He is unprepared. He has less than one week’s food on hand, he has a 12 gauge pump action shotgun that he hasn’t fired in years, and just half a tank of gas in his minivan and maybe a gallon or two in a can that he keeps on hand for his lawn mower. Then TEOTWAWKI hits. The power grid is down, his job is history, the toilet doesn't flush, and water no longer magically comes cascading from the tap. There are riots beginning in his city. The local service stations have run out of gas. The banks have closed. Now he is suddenly desperate. Where will he go? What will he do?