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Furby
 
 
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Post by Furby »

The pension thing has got a lot of news how dare they give anything to rich people etc. I would cynically think the mps have an eye on their own pensions because many of them will be taking them in 2025. But a government is there for all it's people isn't it even the ridiculously rich ones.

I can't see anything in the budget to make over 50s get jobs unless they are rich doctors. People of any age claiming benefits would presumably get jobs if they could cope because it's not that much money and there's already punishments for not trying so harsher punishment won't help when the problem is really employers willingness to accept older people who are worse workers for whats required these days or jobs in local areas as older people wont want to relocate. Apprenticeship is a strange idea. Employers will like it because they can pay 4 pounds an hour when wages are now 10 pounds an hour. But will over 50s without parents to support them be able to manage on apprentice wages the system is for kids at home working for pocket money isn't it. People like myself living on own means are not even in the job centres loops and they can't sanction people claiming nothing anyway so will be interesting to see what the plan is there. I can't see the workforce is helped very much by a few very rich people and a few very poor benefit claiming people getting work this year. It's all the others they need back at work and when people don't need to work to survive it's very difficult to make them do horrible jobs and it's the horrible jobs they struggle to recruit for.
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Post by OurCreature »

when people don't need to work to survive it's very difficult to make them do horrible jobs and it's the horrible jobs they struggle to recruit for.
I think you have hit the nail on the head, Furby. The pensions carrot might keep very well-paid people who already are working for a few years longer before they retire; but if you have packed in work early and already have an income sufficient for your needs why on earth would you want to go back to stress etc when you have got a nice quiet time at home, maybe doing voluntary work etc.
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Post by OurCreature »

Well well well. The Swiss Government has decided it has had enough of the scandal-ridden accident-prone bank Credit Suisse and has forced it to allow itself to be taken over at far less than its nominal value by its rival UBS*; a lot of investors in Credit Suisse will be wiped out by that, but serve them right for investing in an institution that has been dodgy for at least the last 50 years or so. There was also the little matter of complete lack of investor confidence in Credit Suisse despite the Swiss Government CHF50 billion bailout of the bank, and the clients were heading for the exits as well.

I hope the Credit Suisse contagion doesn't spread to UBS* or the Swiss are going to be in real trouble.

*I got the order of the initials wrong first time round, but I have corrected the errors.
Last edited by OurCreature on Mon Mar 20, 2023 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Furby »

If the Swiss are in trouble what hope is there for the rest of us. Isn't Switzerland where people squirreled money to safe from wars etc.

I have been worried every since interest rates returned to what to me is on the low side of normality. All the banks and business have moved their processes to expecting low interest havent they. And I wondered if there is anyone left who knows anything about interest rates and what to do left in such places. But nothing we can do at our level except have less than 80k is there. Interesr rates are good for me personally in short term but the bank systems need to be managed in the old ways where we employ pessimistic people to work in banks and not the modern ways of always being optimistic and turning nasty to anyone who says it will all end in tears. But as we have a government who didn't even have a pandemic plan (after 100 years notice) that they were prepared to use and chose to copy a communist plan instead I don't have much confidence there will be a banking plan after only 15 years notice.

Jeremy hunt said there was a pandemic plan (in answer to why not have a plan so he would be saying that wouldn't he) but because it was for flu not covid they decided against it. These things are all top secret so we will never know I suppose if our own plan would have been better.
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Post by eccles »

You can have more than 80k but it shouldn't all be invested in a single company.

Some in the Swiss government are having jitters over the sheer size of the new company saying it is too big for the country to manage. Meanwhile the contagion is spreading through the EU. Shares in BNP Paribas (France) and Deutsche Bank (Germany) have dropped 13% and 14% respectively.

I recently invested in two funds to beat the ISA deadline, one global, the other UK. I wonder if I should have waited a bit longer. Having said that they're just about treading treading water. A couple of other long term funds, Barclays and Aegon, supposedly "safe" investments, are not doing so well. Fundsmith (WTG WR!) and Orbis have done well.
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Post by eccles »

Interest rates have been raised by 0.25% to 4.25%. It was widely expected.
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Post by Furby »

Interest rates being this high or higher is how it all used to be so was only a matter of time until we returned to this. It's a problem though because it isn't helping with inflation and people can't cut back much further on essentials which is where the inflation is happening and also because many people have homes based on the temporary low interest rates and there's nowhere else in UK for them to live instead. Way back they had option of council houses and more recently private rents with housing benefits but neither are now options for anyone outside of narrow criteria list of people who are owed duty of free housing by the government.
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Post by eccles »

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said that raising prices could drive up the cost of living.
Well, I'm glad we've got that sorted: raising prices means things cost more.
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Post by OurCreature »

I am not all that impressed by Governor Bailey. He doesn't seem to realise that a lot of the price increases faced by UK plc are caused by external foreign factors over which he has no control. Employees might like to have inflation-busting pay increases but overall wage increases have been flat since November, except in the boardrooms of big companies that have profited from inflationary price increases elsewhere and not by the business acumen of the people who run them eg people like the boss of Centrica who has very recently been awarded a nice big bonus vastly in excess of his nominal salary.

Governor Bailey might also like to reflect on the fact that food banks are under record pressure, and that an increasing proportion of their clientele are people who are in fact in work. Let's make life even harder for them eh, Andrew?
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Post by Furby »

I looked Mr bailey up and has a history degree and wrote a thesis on behaviour in Lancashire mills during Napoleonic wars. So he should know a few things about people can't afford food anymore shouldn't he. Why they couldn't get an economics person for governor rather than making do with history I don't know. Not as if economics is a rare subject to study.

On the other hand I do feel a teeny bit sorry for him because Gordon brown made the bank of England independent of government but it still has inflation targets. So interest rates and magic money trees are all he has to use and as we know the money trees were chopped down in covid. All the other levers like wage controls and price controls and controlling population numbers are not available to bank of England and today's governments won't use them. Although worked so well for Edward heath didn't they so don't know what the answer is.

Centrica haven't paid a shareholder divididend at all for previous two years although there is one this year I got 1.78. So big boss might have millions but shareholders haven't been seeing much of a return and customers are Not Happy to say least are they. So I really don't know what he did to deserve a bonus. Probably best not to know as it won't be anything nice will it.
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Post by eccles »

I've just looked him up too. Not very inspiring is he. Never done a proper day's work either.
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Post by Furby »

Bank of England Andrew bailey has now blamed early retirement for inflation.
If working people don't have enough to live on and still don't want to take the jobs people are retiring from thats not really the fault of the retired people is it. It's the fault of the businesses for lack of succession planning and of the government for how the in work benefits are structured.

My place was closed down earlier so different story in the end but if I had just retired anyway during lockdown I guarantee noone in my office would have wanted my full time job. All the next rung down were part time mothers only working as many hours as they had to get maximum benefits. Couldnt even use 2 part timers as everyone wants to work mornings and end of day was the busiest time. Those of us there at 5pm were worn out by time we went home. No one wants that in their 60s tough enough in 50s. They can of course recruit externally but often businesses have embargoes on this for cost cutting and secretly knowing about future redundancy reasons.

So I don't understand mr Bailey's logic. There's more people in the country than ever before should be able to cope with extra people retiring if things were planned better. And it's mostly people who would have been retired anyway under the old rules and state pension age was raised to save paying state pension rather than to help business avoid promoting and training recruits wasn't it.
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Post by eccles »

There are threats of the Royal Mail being put into administration if the strikes continue.

It brings a tear to my eye with memories of British Leyland workers striking their way out of a job. Those were the days. I remember the Montego which was so bad a work colleague who had one upended the "M" and removed the "e" in the badge so that it read "Wont go".
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Ah yes.............British Leyland. It was controlled by three generations of the Spurrier family until the last one retired in 1964. In all that time labour relations were excellent, so much so that the company was reputed to have never lost a day due to strikes.

Unfortunately a Leyland Motors 'lifer' with big ambitions, Donald Stokes, became managing director in 1962 and became chairman in 1966. Previously Leyland had acquired companies that fitted in with what they did, but that began to change when Leyland moved into car production by taking over Standard Triumph in 1961 (when Stokes was still Sales Manager), Rover Cars in 1966 and culminating in 1968 with their merger with the sprawling British Motor Holdings. With so many car marques and manufacturing facilities the enlarged company was difficult to control.

At the same time labour relations across the group became ghastly. My cousin's first job after graduation roundabout 1968 was with BMC in Oxford; Dad told me that the office where she was due to start working went on strike because nobody had told them she was coming. BMC was part of BMH so with the benefit of hindsight Stokes was taking on a load of trouble in the labour relations department.

I don't think my Dad ever worked for Leyland Motors, but he told me that it was a source of pride in the 1920s and 1930s for a boy to be able to say that his Dad worked for them. Jobs at Leyland were good jobs and if you had a job with them you were respected. Dad was very sad at the decline of Leyland Motors and every so often would grumble whenever Lord Stokes appeared on the TV explaining whatever new disaster had occurred to what had become BL.

They should have stuck to their knitting making trucks and buses.
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Post by Furby »

All the big well respected companies have turned bad havent they.

No one seems to have noticed yet that turning bad makes more money in short term but being respected has very long term value which is lost forever.

Royal mail was in trouble even before the strikes. I mentioned elsewhere only getting post once a week if lucky and this continues strikes or no strikes. It must be saving them so much efficiency saving it all up once a week that they should be making fortunes. Fact that they aren't even making money at all suggests in big trouble. Probably letting the strikes on purpose so they can blame them.

I forget what's what sometimes and it all used to be " the post office" didn't it. An ancestor worked for what's now bt openreach. I was always told the post office and imagined him a postman (that's now royal mail) until I saw the census saying telegraph engineer. Are the stamps now the post office or royal mail. Post office sell stamps and royal mail deliver them. Anyway they never sent my replacement stamps even though I posted them using an official envelope supplied by post office. So that's about 20 quid they are up on the deal to add to profits they claim not to make. Didn't send recorded because thats another 6 quid or so but it's turned out a bad choice.
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Post by Wildrover »

British Leyland is the poster child for why Labour governments, indeed any governments, should be kept as far away from industry as possible. Tony Benn and Harold Wilson, neither of whom ever had a proper job in their lives, virtually forced Leyland to merge with BMH - as OC says, Leyland was well managed and profitable whereas BMH had completely failed to invest money in R&D and the unions there were led by paid up members of the Communist party who MI5 suspected were being paid to cause disruption by the Russian government. The sensible course of action would have been to allow BMH to fail and allow other companies to purchase the assets but of course this would not have looked good for Wilson's government. The infamous Derek Robinson, who had stood for parliament for the Communist party several times, became union leader in the 70s and that pretty much doomed BL - 500 strikes at Longbridge alone in 2 years. Ironically Red Robbbo's greatest achievement was that he was instrumental in bringing Margaret Thatcher to power :rofl
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Post by Furby »

Well the financial crisis didn't go away with Liz truss after all and was just resting.

Now interest rates are returning to "normal" levels over last 400 years approx 5% people who have based their lives on interest rates staying low forever are struggling and there are calls for governments to do energy price caps for mortgages but rishi sunak said no when asked. Through as chancellor he said that for energg price cap then there was one.

I don't think is possible to keep interest rates low forever or government and bank of England would just do that wouldn't they. I have been surprised for 10 years and rates still stayed low though so not sure why now they have to go up and up. Its good for me and closer to my retirement plan living off my interest that I never quite got enough to do that. So if rates can be kept I would be less happy but auppose more important people aren't homeless.

The bank of England has to riase rates for control inflation. The idea I think is people will spend more on mortgages so have less to spend on spending and inflation comes down. But hasn't the energy price increases already taken thousands of spending money away from people paying gas bills instead and it didn't do much for inflation did it.
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Post by eccles »

It doesn't help when the BBC's dreadful Faisal Islam keeps piling on the doom and gloom. There are positives now and on the horizon which he completely avoids, instead predicting a recession "any day now" that continually fails to happen.
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Post by Furby »

Faisal used to work for sky and was the journalist who did the " can we see the brexit plan now" story. It was never said who he interviewed only that it was a government member of the leave team. They answered it was number 10 job to do that. Which is where brexit went wrong really the vote should have been done with a plan for either outcome and started on July 1st 2016 instead of all the years dallying trying to stop it and waiting until a global pandemic to actually start it.

The current interest rates are back to normal boo hoo stories are annoying me in that nobody has cared for years when my savings got me almost nothing. In covid I got an even smaller almost nothing than ever and this was a good news story at the time how good they brought money printing back with a vengence after saying would stop etc. Now it's all terrible news and its not said at least furby can put the heating on and buy Heinz beans. Until it all collapses and no one has anything of course.

I don't understand why interest rates being 5% ish is an economic doom loop when we managed for 400 Years with it approx that and was seen as stability. The narrative seems to be last 15 years were great times with interest rates artificially low and is how it should continue. I struggle to get my head round it really thinking this was always going to happen always temporary forced situation funded by thr magic money tree but its on the news as though government is making a mess letting rates rise so much.
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Post by Furby »

Inflation has stayed at 8.7 in the UK so this is bad news. Looks a bit suspicious to me because exactly the same month on month how does that happen.
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