Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Everything posted by velcorin

  1. CHRISTMAS CAROLS FOR THE PSYCHIATRICALLY CHALLENGED 1. Schizophrenia — Do You Hear What I Hear? 2. Multiple Personality Disorder — We Three Kings Disoriented Are 3. Amnesia — I Don’t Know if I’ll be Home for Christmas 4. Narcissistic —Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me 5. Manic — Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and ....... 6. Paranoid — Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me 7. Borderline Personality Disorder — Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire 8. Full Personality Disorder– You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, Maybe I’ll tell You Why 9. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder —Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells… 10. Agoraphobia — I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day But Wouldn’t Leave My House 11. Senile Dementia — Walking in a Winter Wonderland Miles From My House in My Slippers and Robe 12. Oppositional Defiant Disorder — I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned Down the House 13. Social Anxiety Disorder — Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas while I Sit Here and Hyperventilate
  2. Interesting article in the UK FT a cople of days agoexplaining what happens when Central Bank Interest Rates approach, or are, zero percent. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d049482c-cb8f-11dd-ba02-000077b07658.html    
  3. In some ways I'm almost loath to post this. Links to BoE interest rates and inflation statistics. There, no more arguements about true figures.  http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/mfsd/iadb/Repo.asp?Travel=NIxIRx http://www.statistics.gov.uk/articles/economic_trends/ET626_CPI.pdf
  4. Nice to see the BBC catching up. It's been happening in France for years, it was mainly an urban issue, drugs are the rural problem, give me 15 minutes in the most profonde part of rural France, and you can buy anything. When I was a student (not that long ago!) I lived in Moss Side, Manchester, I thought I was pretty street smart, but the Paris banlieux REALLY scare me. They are police absolute no-go areas, maybe that will be the BBC's next story. My missus went to Uni in Brest to start with, she moaned there was nothing to do there, so moved to Rennes Uni., much better social. You will find Thursdays are always loud in French Uni towns as they all go home on Friday (to beg for more money from Mummy & Daddy!!).
  5. I've never been made aware of a French equivalent to maneysaving.com, but for some French comparison sites try these http://meilleurtaux.com/ http://www.promoconso.net/ http://www.prospectuschezmoi.com/detail-prospectus.php http://www.acheter-moins-cher.com/ http://www.leguide.com/ and of course www.leboncoin.com
  6. Many thanks for the link, it was exactly for what I was looking. Re her mental state and predisposition to toy throwing. I do have some sympathy for my dearly bewildered. We lived in the UK for 5 years, as well as other European countries, and she is a very well educated woman, so when she watches the news or interviews now she can compare her countrymen/women's attitudes and preconceptions with other countries. It tends to tip her over the edge. So, she has simply decided she likes the British the most. Anyway, tin 'at on, she ain't going to be 'appy. She definitely doesn't qualify. Now I'VE got to tell her. First remove all sharp objects from her reach.
  7. My wife has been thinking about applying for British citizenship for a few years, last night she threw all her teddies out the pram while have one of her soap box moments regarding her fellow countrymen. She definitely is going to do it. She's French. Married to a British citizen. Married in France. Currently we live in France. I don't think she can, but anyone got any links to GB Government websites? I can't find any, and I've run out of lunch break. I'm dead if I return home tonight with nothing. Pretty please.
  8. Here's someone with some gravitas who thinks Steinbruek and Merkel may not be correct. It should also be borne in mind there are elections in Germany in autumn 2009. They also lead an economy based almost solely on exports. The question maybe to them is, who going to buy those exports? A colleague in the UK has just bought a Merc, requested, and received a 40% discount, so less than manufacturing cost price. http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,596520,00.html#ref=rss
  9. The Devis ia a firm contract. However, was there ANY work requested after the Devis was signed for there was not a separate Devis? Was there a clause in the Devis permitting an increase? Questions you need to check for yourself. The first thing for which you are entitled to ask, is a detailed breakdown of the facture. Perhaps you will then be able to identify where the additional costs have been incurred. There is normally a reason for the increase!
  10. Here's the other side of the arguement. There are 2 problems with Sarkozy intervening in the corporate sector. Firstly EU competition policy, should Renault really be saved when there is great over capacity in European car production, other than for, purely, national pride?. Secondly where on the national balance sheet these "assets" are placed. Normally the countries declare Gold and Foreign Currency Reserves as national assets, however France also incude it's state shareholdings on it's balance sheet to the ECB, no other country does this. (I've looked for the ECB figures, but can't find them maybe GaintPanda can find them, if he's around), they really are quite funny in a cynical way. Countries like Germany and Italy have lots of Gold, France practically none, but it kindly offers it's shareholdings in Renault (down 90% in 12 months http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/fds/hi/business/market_data/shares/1/15145/twelve_month.stm ), it offers EdF (down 50% http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/fds/hi/business/market_data/shares/1/35506/twelve_month.stm). If France is truthful, it's lost something like EUR 30billion on these "investments". Why should my taxes bail out car companies who make cars which noboby will buy at a true market value? Why should the French state also take onto it's National Debt EUR XXXbillionsof pension obligations, to be funded by my taxes? Example, EdF has a pension fund of EUR 2Billion for 250K workers(!), in the UK BT has GBP 46billion for 110K workers, and that's not considered enough. Call me Mr Pedantic, but I doubt the French workers are expecting miniscule pensions. In fact EdF spends more on the staff welfare (communes de vacance) than on pension provision. The biggest scandel to my mind though is the lack of media exposure of these glaring problems. French people know the problems, but the media never talks about them, within my wife's family there is deep resentment and concern (terror?) regarding what has happened in France over the last 20 years, and they openly discuss it, why does not the media?
  11. Point conceded Albert. I hadn't considered the issue of site overload.
  12. (Oddly curtesy for a Madrid colleague!) Chav Nativity innit There's this bird called Mary, yeah? She's a virgin (wossat then?) She's not married or nuffink, but she's got this boyfriend, Joe, innit? He does joinery an' that. Mary lives with him in a crib dahn Nazaref One day Mary meets this bloke Gabriel. She's like 'Wot yoo lookin at?' Gabriel just goes 'You got one up the duff, you have.' Mary's totally gobsmacked. She gives it to him large 'Stop dissin' me yeah! I ain't no Kappa-slapper. I never bin wiv no one! So Mary goes and sees her cousin Liz, who's six months gone herself. Liz is largin' it. She's filled with spirits, Barcardi Breezers an' that. She's like 'Orright, Mary, I can feel me bay-bee in me tummy and I reckon I'm well blessed. Think of all the extra benefits an' that we are gonna get.' Mary goes 'Yeah, s'pose you're right' Mary an' Joe ain't got no money so they have to ponse a donkey, an' go dahn Beflehem on that. They get to this pub an' Mary wants to stop, yeah? To have her bay-bee an' that. But there ain't no room at the inn, innit? So Mary an' Joe break an' enter into this garridge, only it's filled wiv animals. Cahs an' sheep an' that. Then these three geezers turn up, looking proper bling, wiv crowns on their heads. They're like 'Respect, bay-bee Jesus', an' say they're wise men from the East End. Joe goes: 'If you're so wise, wotchoo doin' wiv this Frankenstein an' myrrh? Why dincha just bring gold, Adidas and Burberry? 'It's all about to kick off when Gabriel turns up again an' sez he's got another message from this Lord geezer. He's like 'The police is comin an' they're killin all the bay-bees. You better nash off to Egypt.' Joe goes 'You must be monged it you think I'm goin' dahn Egypt on a minging donkey' Gabriel sez 'Suit yerself, mate. But it's your look out if you stay.' So they go dahn Egypt till they've stopped killin the first-born an' it's safe an' that. Then Joe and Mary and Jesus go back to Nazaref, an' Jesus turns water into Stella  
  13. There are several actions occurring at the same time (corporate, investment and commercial), but at it’s simplest. In the UK the link between banks taking money from depositors, and lending to borrowers, has been irrevocably broken by the growth of pension funds, never to be fixed. “Savings” (roughly 10% PA) are now channelled into pension providers, the banks then borrow money from them, and pay a premium for the privilege, previously that money would have been deposited directly with them. The graph of pension savings, and the banks’ funding gap, are inverses of each other. HSBC is somewhat different, it’s main centre of operations is the Far East where, with the exception of Japan, people still save what little money they have in a bank to provide for their old age. HSBC is simply transferring some of their trillions back to the UK. I actually do have the tiniest, tiniest modicum of sympathy for UK banks as no one seems to want to answer the question “where’s all the money gone?” Well, thanks to Blessed Saint Maggie Thatcher it’s all in pensions, not in the banks. The banks had to make up the funding shortfall, and pay the pension funds their pound of flesh for lending money to them. Eventually the plates stopped spinning---Credit Crunch. As regards Northern Rock, I think it was bizarre, and maybe something of a generational responce. Today corporate depositors and internet banking customers remove tens of billions at the touch of a keyboard, queuing for hours to take out seems to me as anchronistic as mangles on wash day!   I deal mainly with German, French and Swiss banks, and they have got no excuse, for getting in a mess. They were JUST greedy. Who bought most of the dodgy US sub-prime mortgages? The Swiss and the Germans. Who dreamt up the Structured Investment Vehicles that were supposed to hedge against potential losses? The French. They were the first hit, and the hardest hit, by the Sub-Prime Crisis. It was the Credit Crunch which hit the UK banks hardest.
  14. I get very confused with the French and food. We have lived in several different countries, and I think it would be true to say my wife has experienced food which the average French person never will in their lifetime. Most of her family have never tried anything apart from local cuisine (and the ubiquitous McDo!, and pizza emporter!), so when they pontificate about the superiority of French cuisine I tend to switch off. They have no experience of the alternatives, and we've given up trying to show them the rror of there ways. But hey, this is a country that thinks vegetables come out of a tin! If I drew up a list of the 10 worst restaurant meals I have ever had, 9 of them would be in France, and 1 in Valencia. As regards the bread situation, I think this needs to be taken in context. I reckon I have had better and more varied bread in the UK from Waitrose, at about the same price as here in France. The same applies to meat and veg, let's compare like with like, on the basis of cost, remember how expensive food is in France compared to the UK. Well the quality is better, however if you pay the same price in the UK, you can get equally good quality. I have to buy at supermarkets, because the local shops are shut when I have time to shop (don't get me going on THAT subject), and the quality of the supermarket food compared to the UK or Spain is garbage. Rant over. This subject touched a nerve!! 
  15. Quillan. Normally I read what you have to say with interest, but in this instance I feel I need to correct some inaccuracies. I worked for Dyson in Finance as my first job out of Uni. Siting a factory requiring in excess of 1000 manual workers in Malmesbury, the arcetyple "chocolate box" Cotswold small town, population less than 5000, mainly retired Major-Generals, was insane. We were busing workers in from Bristol, 50 miles away, there was absolutely no local workforce, the company was rapidly going insolvent. Malaysia was the ONLY answer, to this monumental co*k-up. Re car manufacturing, this is one of my industries these days. Toyota Burnaston, is a 100% integrated plant. Design centre, engines, body shells, paint shop, production line. They make more cars than BMW globally at that one site Avensis and Auris (Corolla), they also make the kits for the french to bolt together as the Aygo. Nissan is 100% integrated, 450,000 vehicles, Micras and Qashqai. Honda, Swindon is 100% integrated. Global production for Civic, Accord, CRV and Jazz, 300,000 vehicles. UK is also the global production site for all Ford and BMW engines. Ford Dagenham now employs more people than it was making cars. (Does this make the German Ford and BMW plants "just screwdriver operations"?). Add in the BMW Mini, and the other odds and sods, they all make the UK Europe's 3rd biggest car manufacturer and as virtually all these cars go for export, UK is the 2nd biggest exporter. That all said, car manufacturing is probably the last thing to be involved in at the moment. Renault's Sandonville plant which makes the Laguna shut until mid-January 2009 back in mid-October, holiday for some employees, redundancy for nearly 2000. Peugeot shut the Rennes 407 plant 2 weeks ago until February (I haven't got a figure for redunancies). Contrasted with Toyota Burnaston cancelling the Saturday overtime shift for a month, but Honda shutting for February and March. Our projections for our product production for 2009 considers a 45% year on year decline in European vehicle production. We cannot switch this off and on, so that is all the vehicles Europe will be able to make. 45% less, potentially 1.5 million redundencies, if the EU has to buy all those extra vehicles itself I would consider it money well spent, as the alternative is just too appalling. However something has to be done in the next 1-2 months.
  16. I would like to see it, but "Access Denied" (it's my work Server).
  17. The financial world has been a very difficult place in which to live over the last 6 months. I will try to explain this, as none of the media sources seems to willing to do so, but this is not my area of expertise, I work with corporate debt. The "Mark to Market" accounting rules have totally destroyed the asset base of all banks, not only in the UK, but also in the Benelux countries, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and the US. These rules have to be suspended. As it stands at the moment if a bank makes a loan/mortgage it effectively has to book that as a Bad Debt on day 1, as under the "Mark to Market" rules, the value of that product is what someone else is willing to pay for it now, today. Today nobody will buy it from the bank, therefore it is worth nothing. That is why you see the effective nationalisation of banks in Germany, France, UK, etc, because for accounting purposes they have no shareholder equity left. Historically it was Pension Funds and foreign investors who purchased these products, now they invest in Government Bonds (Gilts, Bunds, etc). Governments then lend this money to the banks, because nobody else will due to their lack Equity, and the reason for their lack Equity takes us back to the "Mark to Market" rules. In reality, the worst mortgage/loan deliquency rate of any western European bank (Belgian) is 2%. Therefore in the real (very simple)world we could recapitalise all the banks to the tune of 98% of their assets. Seems simple to me, but then I work in a much simpler world. Going back to the original issue of exchange rates, there is one industry on which the world relies, and has done for hundreds of years, and that is banking, without it there is no manufacturing, no retailing, no services, etc. The UK is THE global giant of banking, in my 'umble opinion you will not see the UK join the Euro, and you will not see Sterling recover until the bank industry is fixed.
  18. I've been following this site for sometime as I feel it keeps me up to date with the way the British are thinking, how true or false that is I don't know, but it's the best method I can find at the moment. I'm married to a French woman, my employer moves me regularly around Europe, currently we're in Paris. As a true ex-pat worker my employer has maintained my NI contributions in the UK. I think maybe I'm 1-2 generations under the median age group of the site membership, so maybe I've got a totally different perspective on this topic. I always understood current NI contributions were used to fund the requirements of the current pensioners, calling it National INSURANCE was a total misnomer, introduced by the post-war Labour Government, of which the majority were ex-pupils of my old school. Who send ex-public school pupils had no social conscience?!. That said, contributions did entitle one to reciprication upon retirement. That contract was irrevocably broken by a previous goverment when the tie to average earnings was broken, I know my contributions are funding current pensioners, yet when I retire my state pension really will be valueless. And I didn't get to vote on this, too young when it was introduced, non-resident now. I know I have to make my own arrangements for my old age, end of story, but Hey-ho at least I'm doing my bit for Society with my current NI contributions. As regards Winter Fuel Allowance, my parents receive their payment, they don't need it that is for sure, but I would suggest you think long and hard about Means Testing. The amount saved would be completely offset by the administration costs. As an example I would give you the Secu budget in France, administered by an army of (un)civil servants tasked with saving the state money, yet manage to lose EUR 10Billion each year. It must be cheaper to pay to some undeserving people, however much that hurts, than to allow the (un)civil servents to run riot. Apologises to the numerous talented and hard working genuine civil servents, but it's been a day of dealing with your French counterparts.
  • Create New...