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Author Topic: Financial Meltdown  (Read 9333 times)

Albion

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2008, 03:59:10 AM »

Dont tell me about landlords being dishonest, as a landlord your rights suck. They introduced some laws which reflect the current Aussie system , however they didnt use all of them, only the ones that help the tenant. Someone stops paying the rent as a private landllord you have very little power, it takes about 3 months and a big chunk of legal money to chuck them out, and if they pay up to date when they leave, they can walk into another property without a black mark on their name. Guys pleading poverty because its christmas and they dont have the rent money, they need it so they can enjoy christmas, but dont see that i might want the money to enjoy my christmas. I'm pretty decent (honestly) but i can see why some landlords act the way they do, and charge what they do. 
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tigertiger

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2008, 04:19:28 AM »

One of the big problems in the UK is the large number of properties that are unlet. Mostly due to the fact that landlords have very little power in law.
This is a problem as it is keeping rents up, and people homeless.

I rented a property to an unmarried couple. He did not pay rent from day one, and she payed the deposit. By the time I got them out they had lived rent free for 5 months.
Irrespective of whether or not the tenant can afford to pay, I do not see it as the duty of the landlord to subsidise the homeless. My case was different, this was a working couple.

Yes there are rogue landlords, but they are very few and far between. The local newspapers only publishstories about problem landlords, not good landlords and not problem tenants.

My two cents worth.
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Weeds

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2008, 04:33:10 AM »

One of the big problems in the UK is the large number of properties that are unlet. Mostly due to the fact that landlords have very little power in law.
This is a problem as it is keeping rents up, and people homeless.

I rented a property to an unmarried couple. He did not pay rent from day one, and she payed the deposit. By the time I got them out they had lived rent free for 5 months.
Irrespective of whether or not the tenant can afford to pay, I do not see it as the duty of the landlord to subsidise the homeless. My case was different, this was a working couple.

Yes there are rogue landlords, but they are very few and far between. The local newspapers only publishstories about problem landlords, not good landlords and not problem tenants.

My two cents worth.

being a landlord is a double-edged sword, isn't it?
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toesupwa

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2008, 08:14:14 AM »

Mrs Toes and I went out last night into the local 'restaurant' area for a meal...

Virtually ALL of the car parks in front of the restaurants were empty and the one we went to had three cars in the car park and 5 couples in the whole restaurant. When we came out, there were TWO cars in the car park...

Even the our server said the manager had sent half of the staff home earlier in the evening..

People seem to be staying in at home...
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tigertiger

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2008, 08:51:59 AM »

The food and pub industries usually get hit first in an economic slow down. Sadly these are industries with low paid workers who are those who will struggle the most to keep up with mortgages/rent and loans.
And many of the poorer areas of the country are dependent on tourism and pubs restarants to keep the local economy going. The other main industries in some of these areas is retail. Also low paid and being hit badly at the moment.

I feel lucky that my job is not at risk. I feel sorry for many others out there who are not so lucky.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2008, 07:00:39 PM »

Another not so little component in this sorry saga is the payment of commissions. Why should a salaried employee of any financial institution be given a bonus for doing what he is paid to do. The lure of extra dosh must, human nature being what it is, lead to dubious practices. Most of us do (or did) a job for which we got paid. Why should the financial sector consider themselves "different"? BY.
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bigfella

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2008, 12:02:08 AM »

I agree Bryan, most of what they do is speculation (guess work). There are just as many investors who loose money as make money through these so called experts who get paid either way.
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tigertiger

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2008, 03:04:18 AM »

I agree Bryan, most of what they do is speculation (guess work). There are just as many investors who loose money as make money through these so called experts who get paid either way.

I think there is a valid point here. They get paid either way. And the total remuneration would be the same. Commission is paid as an icentive for sales people to do what they are paid for. The alternative is that people would underperform, and cost more money. This money would be paid for by us the customer.
Commission only does lead to abuse, but no additional incentive supports those who are unproductive or less than effeicient.

I am all for payinf sales people commission for performance, as long as the commission structure fits the industry. So for 'pile it high sell it cheap' or harder to sell or complementary sailes (e.g. life insurance with a mortgage) items the structure is usually low basic plus high commission. For high value, hibh quality items; Good salary plus a small commission is the norm.
And for stuff that is really hard to sell, or the market is saturated, or stuff that does not sell; commission only.
Never work for or buy from a company that offeres commission only. There is no after sales, as the salesman probably left to feed the family.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2008, 05:34:56 PM »

Looking at today's news it seems that the Politicians are absolutely determined to finish what the Bankers have started. Is there nobody with any degree of competence out there?  >>:-( >>:-( >>:-(
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Bryan Young

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2008, 07:24:18 PM »

I now read that just about all local councils have (had) "loads-a-money" stashed away in places like Iceland after following instructions from Central Government. This all just gets worse by the day.....and it doesn't take an Einstein to work out where the buck stops and the rot began. Yet the big council spenders are still recruiting people for non-jobs at vast salaries via the pages of the Gruniad.
There really is something rotten about the way we are governed; be it locally or centrally (or from "Europe"). And as for the rest of us poor 60 million suckers , well who gives a stuff. Certainly not the "Honourable" members of the wee emasculated council that used to be called Parliament. Welcome to a State owned society governed by incompetents only interested in themselves. Rant over. BY.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2008, 07:41:51 PM »

Bryan, I think that, to be fair, a lot of people invested in the Iceland banks as they carried a very high credit rating and all the so called "experts" recommended them as safe havens for your money. Local Authorities are obliged to get the best rates they can for money on deposit and to spread it around so in this instance I don't think they can be accused of acting recklessly.

The basic problem is that the Icelandic Government have not stood behind their banks. Probably because the country itself is going bankrupt. In that case the other Nordic countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, were supposed to stand behind Iceland itself but there is a deafening silence in that respect.

Having said that, a while back when we were looking for a place to put some spare funds, I didn't much like the look of the Iceland accounts and settled for a slightly lower rate with Sainsbury's bank!

Colin
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Reade Models

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2008, 10:42:31 PM »

What I can't understand is how all of these various Councils had all of that cash to stash away in overseas accounts? And is Iceland just the tip of the proverbial ice berg (no pun intended).

I have been aware for some time that a lot of what is clawed from us each month in Council Tax goes to pay pension contributions for the town hall fat cats.  Is this the boodle that they had stashed abroad, or have they been grossly overcharging us on top of that for all these years?

I suspect that some very searching questions will need to be asked over the coming weeks...

Malc
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2008, 10:59:34 PM »

Malc. As a Local Goverrnment pensioner I'm one of the fat cats you refer to. I worked 30 odd years to achieve that status paying 6% of my salary in over that period! (before they made me redundant).

The Local Government Pension Fund is totally separate from the Council's accounts although they do pay into it as a good employer should. You mustn't believe everything you read in the Daily
Mail.  %)

What totally P****s me and my ex colleagues off is the propensity for people who are not in possession of the facts to make sweeping statements that bear no relation to the facts!

As far as cash flows are concerned, anyone with the most basic knowledge of how government finance works would be aware that Councils handle large cash flows in and out which they need to deposit at short notice on the money markets to maximise the interest they can get on hehalf of the taxpayers. The Icelandic banks were rated as perfectly good risks until their Government stood by and allowed them to go bust.

If you want to make any further statements on this subject I'd appreciate it if you would do your homework first before parroting tabloid predjudices.  >:(

Colin
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Reade Models

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2008, 11:24:31 PM »

Colin

I'm sorry if my point was a little too close to home for you?

Just to put the record straight, I wasn't paraphrasing the Daily Mail, I was making my own point and I rather regret your accusation - it was totally uncalled for.

At the end of the day, I'm a subject of Her Majesty, a voter, and a taxpayer and damn it, I'm entitled to the benefits of free speech that those attributes in this country afford me.  If that hurts you, please learn to live with it.

Malc
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2008, 11:42:31 PM »

Malc,

I have no problem with criticism provided that it is both constructive and informed.

Yours was neither!

Cheers,

Colin
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Reade Models

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2008, 12:23:07 AM »

Colin

Pray tell me where I was being critical?

I suspect that the general public in the UK have perceptions of local government that are pretty similar to my own?  If those perceptions are misguided, please don't blame the public.  As a local government officer (a fat cat by your own admission) you and your colleagues surely only have yourselves to blame?  Frankly, (and here I am being rather critical) your 'I know better than you' attitude on this subject is precisely what we, the general public, find to be so distasteful about local government.

Truth is that the general public are sick to death of being forced to fund the index linked retirement annuities for the of likes of yourself when they can't afford to fund their own retirements.  The realisation that there are also apparently large amounts of cash on deposit all over the place is a new revelation that will certainly raise the eyebrows of long suffering Council Tax payers - wrong perceptions or not?

Local government is grossly overweight - it should be a quarter of the size that which it currently is.  Jobs in council offices should be real jobs - and please don't try to sell it to this Forum that they are, we do read the job advertisements in newspapers.  Whilst we're on the subject, we would also like to see local councils reverting to the position were they actually provide us with real services for our hard earned money.  Weekly refuse collections would be a good start?

If there is anything to be gained from the current financial crisis, I truly hope that it is reflected in vastly improved efficiencies, and a much reduced wage/pension bill in local government.  It is truly in dire need of root and branch reform.

Colin, I hold nothing personally against you, or what you were before retirement. I do also sincerely hope that this exchange will be taken, as intended by me, in the best interests of freedom of open discussion, and that neither of us will lower the tone of this thread to that of a personal slanging match - something that I am most anxious to avoid.  I will defend my own position most vigorously though, as is my right.

My best regards, Malcolm
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Shipmate60

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2008, 12:36:17 AM »

Malc,
Pension reform is on its way.
Civil Service and Local Govt are introducing "Median pensions".
What this means is the tie to final salary will be smashed.
The salary that pension is calculated on will be the median from initial salary to final salary.
When I first started in the Civil Service our pay was compared to outside industry (I was a fitter and Turner).
This figure was reduced by 5% for job security, and a further 5% for a non-contributory pension.
At that time there wasn't anyone paying 10% into a pension as almost all Company Pensions were Final Salary too.
On top of this I was also paying an additional 3%, and still am.
So the final figure is actually 13%, again more than outside industry.
We will be the last generation getting the Final Salary Pension, so you should feel better that we will be getting far less for our contributions.

Bob
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Proteus

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #42 on: October 10, 2008, 12:40:11 AM »

Just for information one of the Icelandic bank's was in the Mail on Sunday that it  has been pushing as the best place to get a good return on your savings, this is in the last two weeks

 Proteus
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Reade Models

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2008, 06:18:28 AM »

We will be the last generation getting the Final Salary Pension, so you should feel better that we will be getting far less for our contributions.

Good God, have the public got to bear these costs for another GENERATION?  I was rather hoping that local government would receive the root and branch reform treatment if not before the next general election, then certainly immediately after it?

(and yes, I will feel better when local government employees are forced to survive on the same terms as the rest of us)!

Malc
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White Ensign

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2008, 07:37:18 AM »

Just out of interest, without being sarcastic (if possible):

Now that our hard-earned nesteggs melt away, do our debits the same?

The first German bank-managers had been fired for their unprofessional attitude. Now the sue their banks to pay their bonus in case of being sacked!!!
This is something which leaves a real bad taste....: They smash 520 000 000 Euros of our money and claim for a "Golden Handshake"?????

Thank god my English is not good enough to express what I think about it... and would lead to a 3-lifetime-ban from that page...

Jörg
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polaris

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2008, 09:45:02 AM »


Dear All,

How Public bodies like Council's and Police Authorities are able to place Public funds outside of GB (offshore banking), beggars belief. No Public funds from local tax payers paid to local authorities should be permitted to leave GB, and such funds should only be banked in British banks. If they need to invest, they should do so via Govt. bonds and securities, and NOT gamble OUR money chasing high interest rates overseas. Anyone wisely advise should know that the higher the interest the higher the risk, and the risk is further increased when dealing with overseas, and further again when dealing in a country with a short track record. Ok, Switzerland and other similar locations do not pay the interest rates that other countries do, but the money is a damn site safer.

So, now we will have the County Councils with their hands out begging, and guess who is going to pay for it all... of course we will! >>:-( In the light of all this, any Council officer/official with any involvement in such investments that will now cost GB £1B should be fired, and the ridiculous salaries paid to County officers should be dramatically reduced. The rest of the country is feeling it, why should they be exempt... it is our money they are playing with - and loosing! >>:-(

Regards, Bernard
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ronkh

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2008, 10:33:00 AM »

it is our money they are playing with - and loosing! Tickoff
Loosing for sure. To make up for this "crime", you, me and all taxpayers, will now suffer for this incompitance for years in the cost of increased poll-tax.
How come councils had so much of our money to "invest" in the first place? Why couldn't this money be used to help pay for OAP's heating bills etc. For community work. For more bobbys on the beat, instead of trying to get extra higher interest rates in a high risk move?
The councils are/were always saying how hard up they are and that they have to cut back on essentials. They will certainly cut back now and who are the ones who are going to suffer?
For many more years.
And local government employees will not suffer. Could you see the government allowing the poor things to suffer like us? They are not on the same planet as us and have no idea of the real world.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #47 on: October 10, 2008, 10:51:02 AM »

Whee! this has brought out a lot of prejudices hasn't it?". I don't mind other people holding different views to me but just wish they were based upon facts rather than half truths peddled by the media and "my mate with a chip on his shoulder".

Yes, there are aspects of local government which can be criticised, same with central government, the banks, big business et. etc. We all have our favourite targets. Of course there is often some truth in the accusations but the real picture is always much more complex than you can pick up from the papers and TV where everything has to be dumbed down.

In my latter years in local Government I dealt extensively with the private sector because we were outsourcing just about everything we could using the mantra Public Bad/Private Good. What a joke! It was a real eye opener to see some of the featherbedding that went on in the so called lean, mean private sector and the collusion to keep contract prices up to fleece the taxpayer. Not always of course, but enough to convince me that the private sector doesn't hold any moral authority over their public sector counterparts. Contractors would frequently do anything to wriggle out of their contractual obligations and we no longer had the expert staff in house to hold them to account.

Regarding the old chestnut of waste collection, i think you will find that in the majority of cases this is now carried out by private contractors rather than local government staff. Recycling is a good idea if done properly but the real reason for weekly waste collections being stopped was central government turning off the funding tap to save money.

Pension? Well, public sector pensions have not got better, in fact the discretionary element has got a lot worse. What you are seeing is the private sector walking away from their moral obligations towards their staff in order to chase profits. Some final pension schemes in the private sector have genuinely failed. But a lot of others have just used this as an excuse to jump onto the bandwagon. It was not so long ago that many private sector pension schemes from big companies were significantly better that public sector ones but this is conveniently forgotten.

Let's for a moment turn things round the other way and express a view held by many in the public sector. "People who are self employed pay much less tax than I do because of imaginative use of "allowances". They also drive much more expensive cars than me as they get them on the business. In fact they are just a bunch of tax cheats when my tax is deducted from source in full."

Is that generally true? Of course not! But there are enough instances of it happening to sow healthy suspicion in the minds of us who have no option but to pay their taxes. (I know of at least two significant local businesses in the motor trade who are happy to take cash in hand - no, I don't use them myself). But my point is that this sort of accusation is exactly the counterpart of the ill informed attacks on the public sector you can read above. Enough truth to make it sound credible but nowhere near the real facts of the matter.

Colin

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Billyruffian

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2008, 11:23:55 AM »

The start to the horrific mess started way back in Maggies day - and I am a firm Maggie fan whe, for some inane reason the Bank of Engkand was deregulated for want of a better word thereby removing the power to control interest rates from government direct to the Bank of England.

On the back of this we have had irresponsible banks stuffing unnaffordable mortgages into pockets - some as silly as 125%, 6 times earnings for 35 years.  Did these idiots who get salaries of close on £1m per year and bonuses in excess of this really think that the housing market was never goiung to readjust.

The we had the misfortune of 10years of Gordon Brown as chancellor who only knows how to spend money and massage the jobs market by employing hundreds of thousans in the public sector.  Then New Labour in their manifesto of 1983 categorically promised never to nationalise banking - oh really!!

Then he robs the pension funds to the tune of £5b per year to try and disguise his "black hole" which at that time was a paltry £10b.

If ever there was a point to EEC now was the time to unite but now each look after their own. This was the time to get ourselves out.

Now we can raise £500b to fund the banks which according to Mr Darling (how can we have a chancellor that looks like a pantomine dame?) is no different to funding a new building project.  Fine then put the £5b you stole from the pensions back in.

At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask.

Rant over - last one out turn the lights off.
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Reade Models

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Re: Financial Meltdown
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2008, 11:29:14 AM »

In my latter years in local Government I dealt extensively with the private sector because we were outsourcing just about everything we could using the mantra Public Bad/Private Good. What a joke! It was a real eye opener to see some of the featherbedding that went on in the so called lean, mean private sector and the collusion to keep contract prices up to fleece the taxpayer.

Colin

How right you are, but therein lies the rub...

I think that Joe Public feels that his hard earned Council tax money is being used to outsource wasteful, expensive and inefficient services from private contractors when the work was being done quite  capably in-house previously?  The refuse collection chestnut is a case in point. I do feel that a lot of the local government nonsense is driven by Brussels via central government, and that we're daft enough to run with it.  To us out here in the cold, it comes across as complete abrogation of responsibility by local authorities.

I also think that Joe Public also feels that local government has been taken over by the lunatics who are now running the asylum?  Jobs to measure the effects of passing clouds, grass inspectors - when you read some of the job descriptions advertised, crazy examples like this appear to be quite reasonable by comparison?  Criminal records for having the lid on your wheelie bin open 4 inches - come on folks, let's get real...

Prejudiced?  I don't think so.  Misunderstood?  Quite possibly, but as I said earlier, you can't blame Joe Public for that, he forms his own opinions based on what he hears and sees.  Sure, the press and media are responsible to some extent, but you surely have to concede that local government is its own worst enemy?

The Local Authorities Association was damn quick yesterday in getting Gordon Brown to sign on to the fact that investments in Iceland were based on sound principles, but Bernard is absolutely correct, OUR money should not have been invested offshore, and more likely than not WE WILL end up picking up the tab for this debacle.

Malc




 
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