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Is the property market crash over?

In our opinion, no. You’ve no doubt read stories about prices rising over the past few months, so you might be forgiven for assuming this means the worst of the housing market downturn is over and we’re getting back to business as usual. We don’t think that’s true. The most important thing to understand about this situation is that the behaviour of the property market over the past decade was anything but ‘business as usual’ – so it’s foolish to expect a return to the days of sustained 10% or even 5% annual house price rises. It’s insane that anybody even thinks that’s a desirable situation. If the average cost of a home increases at a rate that...

posted on: Aug 16, 2009 | author: Lance

Only the women can save us now

In one of the most egregious examples of issue hijacking* we’ve ever seen, a report from Cranfield School of Management claims that the economy wouldn’t be in such a terrible condition if more women sat on the boards of banks, and recommends that more women should be given senior positions on the banks that have been bailed out by the government. Never has the acronym ‘WTF?’ been more appropriate. OK, yes, more women probably should be working in senior positions in the financial sector for the sake of equal opportunity, no arguments there, but we’re not quite sure about the rest of the logic. To argue that a higher representation of women on the boards of banks would...

posted on: Nov 20, 2008 | author: Lance

Financial crisis over, armageddon cancelled – everything’s going to be just fine, right?...

Gordon Brown’s rescue plan for the banking industry seems to have been used as a blueprint for similar bailouts across Europe and even in the US, and for now it seems like the stock markets are responding positively with record gains on most of the major markets. So everything’s peachy and happy days are here again, right? Wouldn’t bank on it (haha – see what I did there?). The bailouts seem to have done a good job of restoring confidence in the world’s banks, which has helped them to recover some of their share values and in turn enable the plummeting stockmarkets to recover some of the massive losses that happened last week. But there’s still an awful...

posted on: Oct 14, 2008 | author: Lance

Crosby Report on the UK housing market...

The Guardian has a fairly good summary of the findings of Sir James Crosby’s report into the UK housing market. Although this preliminary report does not make specific recommendations, it does talk about the kind of options which are available to the government if it wants to get the housing market moving again. Most of these revolve around various schemes to encourage banks to start lending more freely to each other and to invest in mortgage backed securities again – although as Crosby points out, any such measures might not be very effective in the short term. It’s encouraging to note that Crosby does seem to advise caution when considering any kind of government intervention in the property...

posted on: Jul 29, 2008 | author: Lance