Friday, 24 July 2009
With the result expected at 11.30 this morning, Sky News are now reporting the Labour have admitted defeat in Norwich North.
I am looking forward to some positive Labour spin this afternoon. Top of my list would be
Expenses scandal blah blah
Tories did not break 40%
Gordon Brown has screwed the economy
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Stats at the beginning of week 4
Week 4 highlights
Press ups - 20
Pull ups - 4 up from 1 last week
distance run before stopping - 1.5 km (using the talk test here - if I cannot hold a conversation my pulse is too high for fat burning)
number of times stopped in 3 km - 1
time for 3km - 25 minutes
minutes cycled on bike - 20 (first time in months)
weight bench used - 0
sit up thing - 0
Week 4 Lowlights
None - but I have been slightly ill over the weekend and so have been sober since Wednesday, which is a bummer. I expect most of the weight loss to be illness related water loss.
Stats at the end of week 4
Weight16st 6lb down 4lb
belly 115cm down 3cm
I'm on week 5 now, which ends on monday27th July. Pie and chips tonight - so bollox to the weight loss. I'm on holiday next week with the family at my parents. Expect a large weight loss at the end of week 6 as my mum thinks I am overweight and refuses to feed me.
Today I visit my accountant to finalise my ltd company accounts. My company's tax year ends on the 30th June and I have 9 months to finalise my accounts and submit them to companies house.
However because I am an IFA and regulated my the god-awful FSA, they give me just 30 days to finalise my accounts. This results in a huge rush this time of year. I cannot visit the accountant until I have had every statement relating to payments due before 30th June.
So it is even more annoying for me to read that the Treasury have not had their accounts signed off. I doubt Darling will be getting a personal fine as I would. Once again I look forward to being able to hold the Conservative's to account as this Governmenr has now become such a joke, that I no longer find it funny.
Anyway this is the last year for me to worry about the FSA, as I said in a previous post I have had enough of being a small business under New Labour and their FSA incompetents. I have sold the business and I will be persuing other interests.
I will still be a house price obsessive though.
Monday, 20 July 2009
In case anyone else has made the mistake of upgrading to Internet Explorer 8 and is suffering from having the tabs randomly not connecting, I have the solution at last.
It is a conflict with AVG Anti-Virus and the Link Scanner option. I have now disabled link scanner and I have no further connection problems.
Having said that, I have now moved all my bookmarks over to Firefox and I have abandoned Internet Explorer 8 apart from a couple of websites that require IE8.
It is a shame that neither Microsoft or AVG could figure this out or even acknowledge the problem.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Isn't it amazing that when Labour try to manipulate something to their political advantage, it turns round and bites them.
The latest example is the anti-Ashcroft law that Jack Straw is introducing. This law bans non-doms from donating to a political party. However at least 3 Labour non-dom donors have stated that they will not become domiciled and therefore will not be able to continue donating.
A Labour-supporting billionaire who pledged to bankroll Gordon Brown's upcoming general election campaign has told the Observer that he will stop funding the party rather than give up his non-domicile status.
Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone, who has funded Labour for more than 20 years, said he will no longer donate because of a government-backed bill that forbids from people who do not pay tax on all income from abroad.
The independent has a new poll today with voting intentions
Lib Dems 22%
Labour are sinking fast and I would be interested in a geographic breakdown of this poll. I would expect that in England Labour are now firmly in third place.
Labour's vote is starting to become localised in small areas of industrial Northern England. Vast areas of southern England and the midlands has no Labour presence at all.
Labour's power base is disappearing fast.
If Alex Salmond can continue with his popular Scottish politics, then Labour could lose a whole lot of seats there and at last become an irrelevance to UK politics.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Now there is a surprise! Gordon Brown lunched with Fred the Shred as RBS was building up an economy busting screw up.
No doubt Fred Goodwin was persuading Brown that his crappy regulations were working really well and the FSA were doing their job just fine.
I'd love to know what was the topic of conversation .
Thanks to Fraser Nelson at the Spectator for highlighting this latest report.
Page 10 exposes the dire household debt levels and house prices.
Page 22 seems to be blaming the UK banks for the possibility of further worldwide contagion. These banks of course are operating under Gordon Brown's crappy financial framework headed by the clueless Financial Services Authority.
I guess the rest of the world is now saying 'It started in the UK'
Thursday, 16 July 2009
FOR CHRIST'S SAKE JUST BUY SOME HELICOPTERS, SAYS EVERYONE
MINISTERS were last night told to stop dicking about and just buy a load of helicopters, for Christ's sake.
The government has so far refused demands from senior generals to buy more helicopters, insisting they are even more dangerous than the Taleban because if you don't crouch down they can chop the top of your head off.
But Bill McKay, from Doncaster, said: "When it comes to wars and stuff I'm inclined to go with generals and admirals, rather than some bloke called 'Bob Ainsworth' who spent 20 years as a shop steward in Coventry before deciding to sit around on his fat arse all day spending my money."
Emma Bradford, from Stevenage, said: "The problem seems to be bombs at the side of the road. I would suggest we build a huge network of canals, but unfortunately all the Irish are now working in call centres.
"I'm no scientist, but it would appear that the only available option would therefore be some sort of flying machine."
She added: "I know, why don't we get the MPs to hand over the profits they made from all the houses they bought with my money? That's got to be at least three helicopters. Probably quite good ones as well."
Margaret Gerving, a retired headmistress from Surrey, said: "I've noticed there are lots of wind turbines just standing about doing precisely fuck all most of the time. Surely we can use some of the bits to make at least one helicopter?"
And Tom Logan, from Finsbury Park, added: "Do we want a state of the art Olympic velodrome so we can maintain our global dominance at riding a bike, or do we want more live soldiers? It's a tricky one isn't it?"
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
June's data is here showing a monthly fall of 0.3%. The data here is agreeing that the market is bottoming out with very low historical housing transactions.
The low interest rate policy is allowing housing costs to remain within budget and allowing first time buyers to enter the market with a reasonable mortgage payment as long as a substantial deposit is available.
I expect this data to continue to show small drops and small rises over the next year.
The next 2 key events for the housing market are
1- The FSA are currently reviewing the amount that can be lent in relation to incomes. If the FSA put a cap on this, then expect 15% to come off house prices over the period of a year.
2 - Interest rates. When these are increased back up to a normal level of around 4%, then this will cause further affordability issues. House prices are still 20% above historic price/earnings levels. Expect a 20% fall in house prices.
I use the Halifax data for a prediction of house prices and I still predict a bottoming out in Q4 2009 or Q1 2010 at a level 10% below where we are now. This will be followed by at least a year of virtually no house price growth.
Monday, 13 July 2009
Stats at the beginning of week 3
Week 3 highlights
Press ups - 20 up from 10 last week
Pull ups - 3 up from 2 last week
distance run before stopping - 1.5 km up from 100 yards last week (using the talk test here - if I cannot hold a conversation my pulse is too high for fat burning)
number of times stopped in 3 km - 1 down from 10 last week
time for 3km - 25 minutes down from 30 minutes last week
km cycled on bike - 0
weight bench used - 0
sit up thing - 0
Week 3 Lowlights
I have been drinking and eating crap almost every night. I don't know what happened to lose weight. Must try harder or even at all this week.
I'm gasping for a drink tonight, but will do a run later.
Stats at the end of week 3
I'm on week 4 now, which ends on monday20th July
Friday, 10 July 2009
I still don't get this comparison. I've listened to the comments over the last day and this is how I see it.
McBride was smearing other people and was engaged in dirty tricks. None of it illegal as far as I am aware. After a period of time his boss, Gordon Brown who claimed to know nothing about the matter sacked him.
Some dodgy reporter at the News of the World was engaged in illegal phone hacking. He got sent to prison. Andy Coulson claimed to know nothing about it, but resigned as it had happened whilst he was in charge.
Why does this then make McBride and Coulson similar? surely it is Gordon Brown and Coulson or McBride and the dodgy reporter?
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
In June the index stands at 303 unadjusted(U) and 378 adjusted(A)
This gives a guide that house prices are around 30% over valued and that market sentiment pushes that to 38% over valued. DO NOT BUY
That is not to say that house prices will fall by either, but it gives an idea of the direction.
The last few months have had conflicting data from Nationwide and Halifax with positive and negative months of house price data. Nationwide have reported growth in the housing market this month, while Halifax have reported a negative month.
During the last house price crash there were 26 positive months during the 74 month downturn.
The index has risen this month for several reasons. Although house prices have risen, mortgage rates for low deposit mortgages have increased.
Although Bank of England rates have fallen, new mortgage deals are being priced at pre-cut levels.
The price to average earnings ratio has also fallen slightly this month and is still indicating house prices are 10% above trend on this indicator.
Most buy to let deals have been withdrawn now and those that remain have seen a lowering of the Loan to Value needed. There exists only one 95% LTV first time buyer deal in the market and this requires a charge on the parents house, so a 90% LTV is the best on offer. Credit remains tight.
Lenders are coming up with more ingenious ways to lend the money as demonstrated by Lloyds with their latest offering including a charge on parents savings accounts. A route that is so full of pitfalls it looks like a horror show to me.
The unadjusted index is now down from it's peak of 645 in July 2007
House prices to continue falling with the Halifax index bottoming at £140,000 in Q4 2009.
In my opinion mortgage lending criteria has tightened more than usual with a larger deposit required than in the past, however lenders are still lending above average multipliers and mortgage rates have again fallen to below the longer term normal level.
The end of irresponsible lending means that lenders will never be returning to the days of lending with no deposit or waiving income checks.
House prices are still suspended about 20% above the level of finance that the banks are willing to give out. Interestingly the £xx billions in extra lending that RBS and Northern Rock have blagged to Gordon Brown is a total farce. The lenders have the money to lend but are applying their new stricter criteria to borrowers. The money will not be lent out any time soon, because many borrowers do not meet the criteria.
Buy to let as one of the key drivers of house prices still does not makes economic sense at current rates. This sector will most likely never return to the heady days of 2007 as the age of irresponsible lending is over.
First time buyers are the main driver of the bottom of the housing market. First time buyers have rightly taken the view that it is best to wait out this drop before entering the market.
They report house prices fell 0.5% or £828 for the month or down 15% annually, but they calculate this using this quarter against the quarter a year ago.
The true yearly drop is actually a drop of 12.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis. House prices peaked in August 2007 at £199,612 against £157,713 for June 2009. A drop of £41,899 or a fall of 20.99%.
The last 12 months has seen the biggest falls ever from the Halifax. The previous biggest 12 month fall was in October 1992 of -8.5%
House prices have fallen 20.99% from the peak in August 2007 22 months ago. It took from May 1989 to July 1995 for house price to fall 13.21% that is 74 months and the bottom of the last housing slump.
This housing crash is now almost twice the scale of the 89-95 housing crash and we are probably just over half way through the duration now.
The last time house prices were at this level was June 2004 or March 2009!.
I agree with Halifax's assessment that we are entering a phase of volatile house price data before settling at the end of this year and entering a subdued growth period.
During the last housing market crash between 1989 and 1995, there were 24 +ve months and 48-ve months.
Crown prediction is still house prices to continue falling with the Halifax index bottoming at £140,000 in Q4 2009. A fall of 30% or £59,600 from the peak in August 2007. That would be house prices returning to levels last seen in Q4 2003.
I would be inclined to push this low for the housing market on to Q1 2010 still at £140,000. I then expected the housing market to resume a normal trend of increases of around 3%-6%. I now expect house prices to remain subdued for several years afterwards as interest rate increases constrain affordability.
Should have started this 2 weeks ago - as a series of posts with no mention of the housing market or slagging of that useless tw@t Gordon Brown.(apart from that one)
Weighing in at an all time high of 17st 4lbs and a belly of 120cm I have decided at last to take proper action. I have set myself up a little routine and will build it up bit by bit.
The problems so far identified are
1 - portion size, I eat too much. I am generally full half way through my meal and feel stuffed half an hour after the end of my meal. Action taken - halve portion size.
2 - I do no exercise. Not a thing. Action taken - do some exercise!
As is pretty obvious, if energy in is more than energy used the body will store a proportion as fat. If energy used is more than energy consumed then the body will use a proportion of the stored fat.
I should add that I have an exercise bike that I cannot be bothered to use, a weight bench and weights that I cannot be bothered to use and a sit up thing that I cannot be bothered to use.
At the beginning of week 1 I could manage the following
Press ups - 0
Pull ups - 0
distance run before stopping - 50 yards (using the talk test here - if I cannot hold a conversation my pulse is too high for fat burning)
number of times stopped in 3 km - 15
time for 3km - 40 minutes
km cycled on bike - 0
weight bench used - 0
sit up thing - 0
I may use the bike as well (it is sat right behind me staring at me at the moment. I'm such a lazy ar$e because I can watch telly while riding it, but I just cannot do it)
Stats at the beginning of week 2
Press ups - 10
Pull ups - 2
distance run before stopping - 100 yards (using the talk test here - if I cannot hold a conversation my pulse is too high for fat burning)
number of times stopped in 3 km - 10
time for 3km - 30 minutes
km cycled on bike - 0
weight bench used - 0
sit up thing - 0
I'm on week 3 now, which ends on a monday
Monday, 6 July 2009
Another great spoof from The Daily Mash
MICHAEL Owen has begun his Manchester United career by breaking his wrist in three places while attempting to sign his new contract.
According to the club, Owen passed the medical and then punched the air in delight, slightly spraining his shoulder.
A club spokesman said: "We hoped he would recover quickly after the medical and could at least take part in the first half of the contact signing, but the fountain pen was just too heavy.
"His agent was able to move his hand to form a legally binding signature but then, when Sir Alex congratulated him, he just fell to bits and had to be shovelled-up and carried out in a couple of wheelbarrows."
Owen, currently recuperating in the Louis Saha Memorial Injury Suite, will meet the rest of his team-mates over the next few weeks as they fall apart during pre-season training.
Former Man United player Stephen Malley, said: "The gaffer feels Michael can supply something different as none of the lads have experience of wearing ankle casts on the continent. And he can also teach some of the younger strikers his agonised thigh-clutching technique."
Charlie Reeves, a United fan from Surrey, said: "I remember that goal he scored for England when he was 12. Marvellous. His cheeky little face made him look like one of the sprites from The Magic Flute.
"And now he is playing for my favourite team unless I start supporting Liverpool or Chelsea, or that one with all the nice Jewish people."
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Back in November 2008 Gordon Brown told us that the recession would be over by now.
I made a countdown widget which has now stopped counting down.
Incredibly it seems that Gordon Brown has got his figures wrong. Not only are we not out of a recession but the latest GDP data had the recession starting 3 months earlier and the latest quarter being the worst on record.
I have not heard his latest prediction, but at least we have less than a year left of this useless tool.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
This made me laugh
Tessa Jowell and Harriet Harperson's faces are a picture
What could they be thinking? Mr 0% maybe
Watch it here
Fraser Nelson has more on Brown's lies and the fact that the 0% growth was not a slip but a rehearsed line!
I seem to remember Gordon Brown banging on about how the Euro zone went into a recession before us.
With yesterday's GDP revision of Q1 2009 seeing a huge revision downwards catching the headlines, I missed the other news that Q2 2008 was also revised downwards from 0%.
On the year, GDP fell 4.9 percent -- the biggest decline on record. The ONS had previously estimated a fall of 4.1 percent. Back data were also revised down, meaning Britain's recession started in the second quarter of 2008, earlier than thought.
This means that the definition of a recession being 2 consecutive -ve quarters of growth was officially confirmed for Q3 2008 a whole 3 months earlier than Gordon Brown claimed.
He is now nationalising the East Coast Rail service.
With Gordon Brown's record I would not be surprised to see the whole thing fail and hundreds lose their jobs.