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Archive for the ‘Property Market’ Category

[Power of the Church] Power of the Government

Posted by Lex Fear on October 25, 2009

I’ve discussed before on this blog, what the differences are between America Churchianity and British Churchianity. I can’t think of a better example of why separation of church and state is a good thing, a thing invented by Christians than this little gem by the perspicacious Martin Turner:

“Richard Dawkins’s followers will no doubt be quick to claim this is another example of the heinous effect of ‘the God delusion’. But they would be wrong. Under charity law, the Church of England has to diligently pursue all of its debtors, and, coupled with the laws on ‘chancel repair liability’ which date back to Valor Ecclesiasticus in 1535, they have no choice.

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What lunatic changed the law in that way? (You know the answer to this one, but, in case you don’t, the legislation is the Land Registration Act 2002.)

Since the Church of England is powerless to extricate itself from a situation which bankrupts ordinary people and brings the church, and thus the entire Christian faith, into disrepute, the government ought to have intervened to simply cancel chancel liability. This would free the Church of England to pursue grants and even Lottery money. This is in fact what the Law Commission and the Church of England Synod recommended in the 1980s.”

At the time when this hit the headlines I was not aware of these facts. I’m glad I reserved my judgement.

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Posted in Apologetics, Churchianity, Fact Erosion, Morals & Ethics, Property Market, Quoteyness, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Economy] It’s The Interest Rates Stupid!

Posted by Lex Fear on February 20, 2009

Says it all really.

7 Reasons Why Banks Should Increase Interest Rates

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Posted in Bank Robbers, Bollotics, Financial Terrorism, Profiteering, Property Market | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Fools And Their Money] Property Investor Mentality

Posted by Lex Fear on February 4, 2009

Bet this guy feels like a right tit now.

“The place is full with slightly mad people, to say the least. Not a dangerous kind of mad, just weird kind of mad. The fact that a crash might not occur is simply beyond their comprehension. It’s pretty odd how people can be so ignorant towards possibilities. I don’t think there will be a crash per’se, but I wouldn’t laugh or disrespect anyone who thinks there is going to be one.

How magnanimous of you. Heh. Here he is whinging about one of his tennants, something he is prone to do every now and then if you read through the archives.

Which reminds me, I just refused to pay rent rise to my landlord for the second time in 6 months. Ho hum, I guess we’ll be looking at a bigger place for the same amount of money anyway come summertime. The lettings agent is practically begging now (they’ve bolloxed all the paperwork, something tells me they stand to lose a large amount of money soon).

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Posted in Dorks, Duh!, Ha-has, Opinion, Property Market, Quoteyness, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Educashun] Real-life Monopoly Game Mod

Posted by Lex Fear on November 30, 2008

A recent post by Stef has gotten me seriously thinking about the game of Monopoly and how it relates to our current, completely unforeseen, crunchy, global, it-was-all-Americas-fault, financial crisis.

Monopoly has always been one of my favourite games but ever since I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad back in 2002 (yeah I know people say it’s too anecdotal), I’ve wondered about how to make it more real life.. I mean it’s a potential teaching tool since all the basics are there but when you really think about it, getting money is just too easy.. I mean the bank is just giving it away and it doesn’t ask for it back, and if you’re playing alternative rules, the city doesn’t charge you for parking, instead it gives you a tax windfall.

So I’ve thought of a bunch of ‘real-life’ mods to introduce to a game of Monopoly:

  • All players start with £20, the banker starts with £10,000 which is used to provide mortgages.
  • “Go” symbolises a payday, but you get a wage relative to the price of streets – £20 therefore..
  • In order to buy a street, you need to take out a mortgage. An interest rate is agreed with the bank each time eg. 5%. (players can also take a mortgage to purchase from each other).
  • A mortgage term is agreed over the number of times you pass “Go”, eg. You take out a mortgage on a Train Station for £199.50 (£10 deposit, £190 + 5% interest) over 5 “Go’s”, your mortgage payment will be £39.90 per passing of “Go”.
  • The banker is a player himself but does not take turns to throw the dice and cannot own property. Instead the objective of the banker is to make the most profit out of the game – this means making more money than the last man standing.
  • The banker does not have a wage but is funded by the central bank/government. The banker instead keeps money made from interest on mortgages and other transactions.
  • The banker keeps a seperate account for himself and one for the central bank/government/fund or whatever that wages are paid from.
  • The banker negotiates all mortgages and rates. On taking out a mortgage it is up to the banker to determine whether you are able to afford the payments (by whatever means). The risk for the borrower is losing the the property, the risk for the banker is losing money to a bankruptcy.
  • If an borrower cannot afford to pay the mortgage on thier turn, the banker can decide to repossess at any time until payments are caught up.
  • If the banker forces a repossession, the property must immediately go up for auction, and the banker keeps any money generated from the auction. If a mortgage is needed then this is negotiated as per usual with the bank.
  • In the event of a bankruptcy, the bank recovers all property for auction (and keeps the profits generated), liquid assets are devided between the creditors.
  • There is no such thing as free parking, if you land on the square marked “free parking” then you must pay £6 within 12 squares (by the time you get to Oxford Street), if you don’t pay then the fine rises to £24, if you then don’t pay by the time you pass “Go”, the fine becomes £48 and the banker may optionally increase your interest rates on your mortgage (the fine remains outstanding during this time and must still be paid off) or throw you in jail and cancel the fine.
  • All the train stations and utility companies are privatised and therefore when a player lands on a privatised train station or utility company, the owner also gets a matching payout from the government/central fund. Train station and utiltity company owners are allowed to raise their rates in line with interest rate set by the banker.
  • Rent and sale prices are set individually by property owners.
  • If a player cannot afford to pay rent, they can choose to forfeit a turn of the dice and the banker may also increase the interest rate on their mortgage.
  • The banker must keep the interest rate on any mortgage for the life of the mortgage unless the borrower falls into debt. The banker can only increase the interest rate in the following circumstances: The borrower fails to pay rent, the borrower fails to pay a fine, tax, train station or utility company. The banker keeps the money from the increase.
  • Creditors can optionally wipe out any debt owed (depriving the banker of an interest rate increase).

I have no idea if these rules would work practically, however they would certainly change the game in favour of the banker, the station and utility company owners, thus better reflecting real life. Of course if you wanted to make it more realistic, you could allow the banker to repackage debt and sell it as financial products to other players. You could sell the properties for full price but call it “shared ownership” and allow the government to charge half rent everytime the owner lands on it. The banker could act as Estate Agent and issue ‘valuations’ on each property when a player comes to sell and taking a cut of each sale as well as issuing the mortgages. Finally, if the banker ever runs out of money then the central fund could be used to ‘bail-out’ the banker.

I realise that contrary to the usual game mods, mine could actually make the game of Monopoly more boring, and would be very difficult to introduce to people not so interested in the details of how supply and demand works.. which just goes to show how screwed we really are as a human race. I mean, if.. IF our current former-Chancellor turned Great Leader Gordon Brown could not see the “credit crunch” coming, then just what was he doing for the past 11 years as head of the UK’s economy? Perhaps he really meant “No. More boom and Bust!”

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Posted in Bank Robbers, Financial Terrorism, Property Market, Wealth Creation | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

[Housing Market] Don’t Get Fooled Again…

Posted by Lex Fear on October 18, 2008

So far I’ve resisted the urge to do an “I told you so…” post when it comes to the property market but I still get the distinct feeling that the general populace still hasn’t ‘got it’ when it comes to booms and busts – despite the fact there is now more information in the public domain than ever before – so much so that we should never be screwed over by an estate agent or indeed any salesman ever again!

I know that the past has always shown a trend of cycles, booms and busts, whatever you want to call them, it’s called the market – some win (those that do their research) some lose (everyone else). What the future holds, I don’t know. If enough people get hold of the information which is free and out there, I know it can change significantly, if enough people would only accept reasonably prices for housing, for example, there would be no booms. Imagine if people simply logged onto HPC or Property Snake, whilst having a gander at Our Property and the land registry prices for a street before bidding on a house… then maybe we could have a real truthful stable economy.. or at least stable housing market. Might even get fairer council taxes too…

For those of you that like a bit of schadenfreude (since no-one can get a mortgage or in their right mind would be buying now) I found a new tool the other day, Property Bee, which works as an extension to Firefox. What Property Bee does is collect data from users browsing a number of different property sites (eg. Rightmove) then inject it into the webpage as you surf to show you changes to the advertised details including prices. It also works for rentals.

What Property Bee does well is expose the dodgy underhand practices, reduction in asking prices and length of time a property has lay stagnant on the market. Property Bee gives power to the buyer and if enough people adopt this tool then it could really make difference for the future.

Check out this advertisement for example. £99,975 shared ownership, £199,950 original price… really? Install Property Bee and check out the history.

The tools are there, for free, when property passes the despair/blow off stage and begins to climb (and we have a few years yet) the there will ben no reasons left to fall for an estate agents claptrap again, ever.

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Posted in Buyer Beware, Financial Terrorism, Housing Market Myths, Profiteering, Property Market, Technology, Wealth Creation, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Leave a Comment »

[High Noon] Bwankers vs Sheriff of Chicago

Posted by Lex Fear on October 13, 2008

From the Consumerist:

“Chicago’s sheriff has placed a moratorium on evictions for mortgage foreclosures, angering bankers who say he’s breaking the law.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he understood he was flouting the
law in refusing to have deputies carry out the rising number of
eviction requests, but mortgage holders must be accountable.”

Could this be a good reason to introduce Sheriffs back into the UK, Sheriffs who live in the community they work, have jurisdiction and character?

If only British bobbies and the very few (if any) honest bailiffs would step up to the plate here in the UK… unfortunately here in the UK we suffer from a disease of predatory systems and tick-box culture.

Let me explain.. the powerful (now nationalised) elite design the system, which is predatory and designed to be as inefficient and unhelpful as possible, utilizing holding actions against those they serve. They then train a portion of the monkeys that the predatory system is designed for, to abandon rational thought and follow a strict protocol of rules and tick boxes.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Bad Company, Bank Robbers, Buyer Beware, Copland, Financial Terrorism, Holding Actions, Justice & Mercy, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Property Market, Realpolitik, Tick-Box Culture, Wealth Creation | Leave a Comment »

Titanic Slowdown

Posted by Lex Fear on September 11, 2007

“A spokesman said: “This is a line-of-credit funding problem rather than an irresponsible lending problem. This is not anything to do with arrears or repossessions, which were no worse than industry norms. It’s about the global credit squeeze and the fact that funding has been withdrawn by the banks, which are generally pulling in their horns.” – Guardian Unlimited

Utter bullshit. What is a line-of-credit problem? Well, generally if you have a line-of-credit problem it means your lenders don’t think you are responsible enough to take out another loan, right?

I’ve been going on about interest rates, but it’s not just the rates rises that will finally kill it. This is what also needs to happen, banks having their own borrowing hit by the American subprime meltdown, in turn they tighten their lending belts and use better criteria. The significance of this is that less experienced Buy-to-Let’ers also have more difficulty acquiring a mortgage. Less people able to borrow, means less money able to spend on housing, meaning more difficult to sell a house, meaning sellers forced to lower prices, compete and… panic!

Two first-time buyers cling to the edge of a sinking ship and just survive. Watch those who took the plunge too early get sucked under. Witness the slowdown of the Titanic.

“And my mortgage will go on… and on”

 

Posted in Analogies, Bank Robbers, Property Market | Leave a Comment »

RSS Clearout: August 2007

Posted by Lex Fear on September 9, 2007

The lowdown on my RSS feeds for August. Before I start, I just want to say that Google has now added a search feature to it’s Reader, which now makes it oh so easy to find older items when you have a vague recollection. Yay.

Missional Position

Garet Pahl of Mongrel Horde features a video of John Piper preaching against the prosperity gospel. I don’t think I’ve heard anything clearer and more concise than this as to why it’s borderline heresy and should not be an agenda of the church.

Matt shares some information on a new archeological find. You may not agree with the bible, but can you really still claim it’s a work of fiction?

On his blog Power of Suggestion, Elmo writes about a discussion with his brother-in-law based on Dawkin’s God Delusion. His bro-in-law asks the old and tired stock question “If God created the universe, who created God?”. Which could equally be said of the multi-verse. His counter-points analysis of The God Delusion starts here, including a link to B-I-L post.

We know the Cross, and the Ichthys, What happened to the Rooster?

A mega-church cancels a veterans funeral upon discovering he was gay. There’s a few things I shall say here. For one, it is entirely up to the church’s discretion who they want to bury. My question is, if the guy was not even a member, why should his sexual preference even come into it? If you’re going to bury people who are not Christians or church members then refusing to bury someone who was gay is hypocritical to me. Kudos to the church though, they offered to pay for the funeral to be hosted at another site, which I think is not unreasonable.

A huge debate exploded on Emerging Grace’s blog, over Team Pyro’s posters featuring their interpretation of the values of the Emerging Church. I featured one of the posters in a previous post. I thought they were funny as heck.

I had an interesting debate over at The Osterley Times regarding the churches stance on abortion. Notice how the Roman Catholic Church was brought into the debate without my reference to it, considering the God’s Warriors video was discussing fundamental evangelicals. More on God’s Warriors here.

If it was possible to reincarnate, how would you actually enforce against it? Wouldn’t it be like ordering the wind to get permission before it blew?

Cecilieaux makes some interesting philosophical observations on the state of fallen human nature (though he probably wouldn’t use that term) and the redundancy of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. It causes one to wonder about how we make and enforce laws.

Cranmer weighs in on calls to ban the Qur’an in the Netherlands. His Grace rightly asserts that books should be conquered with the pen, not with state control as this atheist advocates. Ironically, the Dutch MP calling for this ban is the leader of the Dutch ‘Freedom Party’. Presumably some people are more free than others.

Ex-Pastor Haggard still has some lessons to learn about humility, it seems.

Speculation

The Guardian reported that house prices are destined to soar by 40%. It’s really up to the first time buyers, do you want to continue being conned? Makes sense that the banks would want interest rates to stay high unfortunate, but necessary.

Stef at Famous For 15 Megapixels has an innovative list of things to do in London before you f*** off out of here.

Probably one of the reasons for the runaway market has to be that home-hunters only take 17 minutes to make a decision.

You didn’t know that banks borrow money? Oh poor you. Yep, they all unite to keep you screwed. Who can blame them- they’re feeling the fury of their victims.

Credit Card companies have devised ingenious new ways to add charges. After 3… what a surprise!

Incompetent Leadership

The Osterley Times features a video of Donald Rumsfeld being questioned on propaganda strategies regarding the invasion of Iraq. Guess what, he tries to divert all questioning to everyone else before settling on “I don’t recall”. The only thing he seems sure about during the questioning is that they “don’t have a scrap of evidence” to prove a cover-up. See my previous post on these complete idiots who can’t ever recall. This man deserves no respect.

Should a man who cannot drive or ride even a bicycle really dictate policy for the roads, creating more and more ways to get fined? Well that’s what happens in London, read Neil Herron’s post.

Phil Taylor reports that Parking Services Councillors are to become mystery shoppers to test out Ealing’s parking enforcement. For it to be a fair test they should be given a job interview to get to in the centre of town, a cheque to cash and no spare change in their pockets. Alternatively substitute the job interview with two children to drop off/pick up from creche. Phil also noticed something peculiar about the Mayors propaganda rag, pretty faces.

If you were wondering how bidding for government contracts works, Dilbert has an excellent cartoon demonstrating this, via Ideal Government.

A council wrongly scraps a family car, another one of those fantastic policies introduced to fight crime which ends up being turned on innocents.

There is at least one smart politician in the UK.

LWTC gives a snippet of an interview between John Pilger and David Monroe on how individuals like Rupert Murderoch gets away with paying little tax. Also read his thoughts on boycotting the US and Israel (and UK when abroad), there’s lots of debate around whether boycotting should include vandalism and other criminal behaviour.

Camp Okutta trains children to in Canada to use AK-47’s and land-mines, which some people may think is wrong.

Despite how funny it is that Bush is once again saying the opposite of what he said before, his comparison to pulling out of Vietnam is only preparation for the inevitable implosion that is going to happen when America pulls out. This is why I say Bush, or one of the shadow Presidents need to swallow their pride and ask the UN to step in when they pull out. To not do so would be immoral and the only reason would be for them to declare, “we told you so”.

RedBlueChristian features some stupid quotes from politicians. I would have thought the post would be much longer given the wealth of material.

London Mayor again, this time he’s glorifying terrorism. Don’t get me wrong, I like Nelson Mandela, but I’m not the government setting ridiculous laws am I?

Media Madness

The Independent reported that a rich tyrant complained about his treatment in his attempt control the media and influence public opinion.

Elitist kids show their true colours. I’m not a fan of the Chav culture, and enjoy the odd joke but I sometimes think the reaction towards this culture is basically the same threatening behaviour dressed up in middle-class attire.

ISP’s grow concerned that the BBC’s new iPlayer might cause blockage in the tubes. More money for the building of extra tubes should solve the problem.

Josh at Silent Speaking noted journalist Stu Byofsky for the Philadelphia Daily News, was calling for another 9/11 to save America. Whilst it is noted that Byofsky later apologised, it’s not difficult to make a leap from that to conspiracy theories that 9/11 was an inside job. I note that many can’t imagine that the American government could be behind it, but governments have been murdering their own people since the beginning of time. It’s not beyond the imagination of this journalist that in a twisted bid to unite a country and find new sources of energy, a government would try to manufacture an enemy attack.

Stef writes on the importance of local knowledge and possibly coins a new (grr.) meme. Couldn’t have chosen a better title for the summit of the leaders of the worlds largest countries.

No-one disses The Hoff.

A sufferer of PTSD tries to justify being a murderer, but doesn’t succeed. I am not surprised since PTSD is not strictly a mental disability such as schizophrenia, I have had arguments about this before on the blog.

David Duff features a quote from Dr Dairymple and there is no truer analysis. It is not Times readers, it’s the poor who are the victims of most crime. Typically, those without a voice, who may not even have online presence.

Viacom once again act like pricks, this time they get caught out. Previous posts featuring Viacom’s aggressive business strategy.

Scientific Consensus

It appears Human and Neanderthal co-existed, shooting out of the water, the theory they were our direct ancestors. As Regis Nicoll points out, rather than question the theory, they just keep moving the evolutionary goal-posts.

Denyse O’Leary discusses a recent article by Phillip Johnson (the ‘Godfather’ of ID) on the exasperation of a Science Professor trying to convince his students of the Evolutionary process. The conclusion is that of a two-brained student. One that can give correct answers when questioned on evolutionary biology but holds personal ‘heretical’ beliefs. All I have to say is what I don’t hear many asking- If something is real and conclusive, it shouldn’t be too hard to educate someone on it. For example there is a theory that if you plant a seed, something will eventually grow out of the soil. This theory is proved and relied upon by farmers all over the world. A person would be crazy to argue against it, so why is it so difficult to teach evolution? Also, check out this follow up article on vested interests in the debate, and how hard-line evolutionists are shooting themselves in the foot.

Satellite data contradicts global warming hysteria, as the informed Wat Tyler points out. As I’ve been trying to warn people all along, it’s global cooling we should be worried about.

Baudrillards Bastard warns about the dangers of Cybereugenticism and highlights recent botched abortion in Italy.

A really good website from Alan Weisman, A World Without Us. It doesn’t seem to be making any political statement, though it did make me think of that other fiction event: the Rapture.

Technically Speaking

LWTC writes a post defending Microsoft’s new XML document format. Personally I’ve started sending out documents in .odt format. I don’t mind people emailing back saying they can’t read it and can I send a word document, but how else is the revolution going to get started?

Readprint is a new online service for free book reading. I’m psyched because not only can I now read 1984, I have bookmarked it into my new Nokia E65 web-browser which I can HTML surf through any Wi-Fi connection!

Has it really got so bad that Microsoft must now get court orders to force people to install Windows? One question, how is this going to be monitored. Do the authorities know about duel-booting?

Sony have been at it again. When will they learn.

Nacho from the Language Trainers UK blog, discusses affective connotations. Required reading for bloggers, I think.

Posted in Absolute Power, Apologetics, Bad Company, Bank Robbers, Copywrong, Financial Terrorism, Global Alarming, Justice & Mercy, Laymans Theology, Little Hitlers, Londonland, Morals & Ethics, Pharisees, Property Market, Religion & Science, RSS Clear Out, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Warring Memes, Wealth Creation | 3 Comments »

RSS Clearout: June-July 2007

Posted by Lex Fear on September 2, 2007

Part 2 of my attempt to catch up with my feeds. Read on for blogs/news that I had an opinion on but no time to share. Some good ones for these months so take your time…

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Posted in Absolute Power, Apologetics, Bad Company, Bank Robbers, Copywrong, Financial Terrorism, Laymans Theology, Little Hitlers, Pharisees, Propaganda, Property Market, Religion & Science, RSS Clear Out, Technology, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Uncircumcised Philistines, Xenophobia | Leave a Comment »

Quote Unquote: The BBC’s Upbeat Housing Market

Posted by Lex Fear on August 22, 2007

BBC News, 21st August 2007:

Persimmon, Britain’s largest housebuilder, has unveiled a jump in profits and says it expects the housing market to remain robust.

Pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 June rose 9.8% to £281.1m as it racked up sales worth £1.51bn.”

BBC News, 19th June 2006:

“Residents at one of Glasgow’s most upmarket developments have claimed that the former Sheriff Court conversion has been plagued by problems.

Homeowners have formed a residents’ association to resolve complaints about the building, which was converted by Persimmon Homes a year ago.

They claim to have suffered flooding several times and say they were left without heating or hot water in winter.”

BBC Watchdog Report: Permission Homes, 3rd February 2004:

“The nation?s biggest home builder also has the biggest house-building complaints file on the Watchdog database.

Persimmon build new homes and renovate old buildings. Watchdog has received over 450 complaints ranging from problems rectifying extensive snagging lists and poor customer service to subsidence and floods…”

I worked for house building company once. Without divulging the name (at this point in time), I can tell you there is a little known tactic in the industry. In order to build and sell the homes as soon as possible, certain corners are cut leaving them to catch up by offering a 2 year warranty/aftercare service. They then hire a handyman company to sit on the site and attend to all the faults the homeowners are destined to find. Listed as ‘defects’, these included flooding in the garden, loose fixtures and fittings (shower and kitchen), faulty sink taps and electrics, poor plastering and loose guttering amongst the most regular reported faults. Customers complaining even one day outside of warranty were denied any assistance.

This is standard practice in the industry, exceptions are rare. The golden rule is, don’t buy a new property, older properties have had most of their problems fixed and have stood the test of time.

And, of course, don’t trust a building company that announces pre-tax profits in the midst of a market downturn.

Posted in Bad Company, Property Market, Uncircumcised Philistines, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Leave a Comment »