Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

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Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

The United Kingdom is going to hell ...

A professionally made documentary film I caught on Channel 4 here last Thursday evening, tells of a UK national deficit that is sitting at an astounding £4,800,000,000,000 - £4.8 trillion - Four Point Eight Trillion Pounds.

No matter which way I write that figure, it won't blur the edges of the amount, when a realisation emerges that strikes at the heart of the issue, when £50 notes are stacked, one on top of the other, over 6,500 miles high - with a comparison that if every building in the United Kingdom were sold, it would only raise £3.5 Trillion of the net, leaving £1 Trillion remaining left to pay - that it equates to every man, woman and child, owing, at this present time, £77,000, and that for all of those yet to be, will be born into an absolutely unpayable debt, that will strangle-hold them, their children and their children's children, even if we had 3 planet earth's to pillage resource from over the next three to four decades.

Frankly, the lights are literally going to go out across the UK, and soon ...

~ VF ~

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Paul,

Thanks for posting, I caught some of this and it really made my wife sit up and listen.  I will watch the whole thing when I have more time.

We have some friends that are about to move back to the UK, they've bought a house with a mortgage and a looking forward to going back to their old way of life, the way they talk is as if they are slipping back into a comfy pair of slippers.  The reality will be something different I fear

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Britain was worth £6.95 trillion at the end of 2008, down 2pc from the previous year, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The total, which has fallen for the first time since the last recession in 1992, takes into account all buildings, roads, factories, cars, trains, machinery and financial assets by the end of 2008, minus debts.

The fall was driven largely by a fall in the value of housing which, at £3.7 trillion, constitutes more than half the nation's net worth.

link

While I get your point, clearly the UK still has positive value, after all debts paid, before the land value is added in. This is not to suggest that all is well in the UK, but not quite as bleak as you have painted it either. Residential housing alone is worth 3.7B, before all the other buildings are added in.

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So what is the proper equilibrium?

I'm part way through the second video- I'm surprised at how well it's done (and, of course, the content is excruciating). But, my question for the brain trust here is: at what percentage is the government at equilibrium with the tax payers? Surely there must be some level of government spending that is the limit that shouldn't be crossed- something like if government spending crosses over 10% of GDP, then you can begin to hear the huge "flushing" sound kick in. Can't we, as humanity, say, "Alright Mr. Government, you can spend to this point- and no more, end of story!" At least with this as a reference point, then we can begin to work towards existing perhaps a bit longer as a society, rather than a "free-for-all".

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

This is exactly what I am talking about!  When does the simple truth of the math press into the minds of the everyperson?  Is it not completely obvious that such a debt cannot ever be repaid?  Well, what do we make of it then?

There aren't too many conclusions; the currency itself is therefore worthless.  

But that's jumping ahead.  

First we have to recognize that there's a difference between being insolvent (which the UK is, most assuredly and thoroughly) and being in a cash-flow crisis (which is what we call 'bankruptcy').  

Government's with sovereign control over a printing press can not ever, really, get into a cash-flow crisis.  Just print more!

For now I think the UK is making a darn good show of trying ot reel in government expenditures which, I might note, is a necessary and essential condition for telegraphing to the populace that it's time for a spot of belt tightening.  I really do give high marks to what the Cameron crew are attempting to do.  It's tough work, usually thankless, and they are doing it. 

With that said, it can never really be enough; the debts are too large.

And lurking in the background is that the UK is now a net petroleum and natural gas importer...and that really does not help things any.

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Martin,

I'm getting very very afraid here now. People are just not getting it. Out of necessity I'm back here, but every day is a step nearer to getting out. I've set my sights on Nelson, New Zealand, and I'll push all and anyone in that direction, but here it seems, an oh so small amount of people are hearing me out, and therefore, my message is starting to get so loud that I'm beginning to shreak, and I'm starting to dislike the sound of my own voice.

Can you please send your friends this film via email? If they're already in the UK, this is a full version of the documentary, that I sense won't work due to copyright infringment in the United States.

So far I am hoping that I'll have set something of a ball rolling that a few will have taken on-board by the time I leave these shores for good. I talk with everyone I can, giving small audience lectures and one-to-one's. I can say I've also managed to claw back a few million pounds worth of equity through house sales that I've been central in instigating in the past year, but it'll never be enough for me.

Wherever I've been in the world in the last three years, I've been sending out this critical message. I cannot believe then, that something as stark and informative as this documentary wasn't on the lips of everyone in the UK the day after it was aired. Therefore, this government is central to being a cause of millions of preventable deaths as an outcome.

Am I being hysterical? I don't believe I am. Because it is, purely speaking, our energy concerns that are causing this debt now. We're completely un-tethered from any reality.

I'm sorry, I haven't a single positive thing to add to this, other than I hope at this time that your wife and children are happy, safe and well.

Good To Hear From You,

Paul

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Chris,

Thank you for your input. Yes, the UK became an official and permanent net importer in 2007. The starkest influence on me then was the amount of gas reserves were in place at the end of March of this year with this article from the Oil Drum that gave me more than a little cause for concern.

Cameron and Clegg are indeed trying to work miracle's. As is the case, it would be counter-intuitive against world money markets if the whole truth were outed as to the financial condition of the country to the general public. Yet on the same note, these austerity measure's so far being staggered into place through to 2013, will, in my opinion, be irrelevant and utterly unsuitable for there usage, with, I feel, the financial landscape altered beyond all scope of what it looks like today.

I sense we're far too far down the road for even belt-tightening from where I sit, but then I also conclude that this positive man has become far more cynical and negative of late ...

Appreciatively,

Paul

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Hi Paul

I mentioned this to my other half over breakfast when she asked "the whole world seems to be in this position, who could we owe all this money to, and where did it come from"

Therein lies the amswer of course.....  it's owed to crooks who lent us pretend mney they created out of thin air...

It pays to keep all this into prespective.

Mike

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Hi Mike,

I caught this interview with Catherine Austin Fitts about a day ago. Watching from the 11 minute marker is where I'd draw your comment from. Yet, all of the Funny-Money-Thin-Air-Phoney-Balloney-Paper and digits that are floating about in peoples asset, pension and healthcare funds is practically worthless, yet because the general populous consensus have absolutely no idea it is worthless, the game is still being played out as though it has worth ...

~ VF ~

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

I only watched the first clip you posted, and another thing that amazed me is how in the one doco they can show the futility of making budgets cuts (pulling egg cups out of a fast filling bath) and still manage to say it would take "generations" to pay the money back....

I wish I could believe in fairies too...

Mike

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story
flo wrote:

Britain was worth £6.95 trillion at the end of 2008, down 2pc from the previous year, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The total, which has fallen for the first time since the last recession in 1992, takes into account all buildings, roads, factories, cars, trains, machinery and financial assets by the end of 2008, minus debts.

The fall was driven largely by a fall in the value of housing which, at £3.7 trillion, constitutes more than half the nation's net worth.

link

While I get your point, clearly the UK still has positive value, after all debts paid, before the land value is added in. This is not to suggest that all is well in the UK, but not quite as bleak as you have painted it either. Residential housing alone is worth 3.7B, before all the other buildings are added in.

Flo,

I have a two-fold issue with the true value of housing as a projection of what is pertained in the Crash Course. At its most stark, the over-all statistical value's of housing in the UK have lost something close to a third of there worth since mid 2007 via devaluation in the north of the country. In my book, the drop in price will be equal in parity by 2015, to 1998 prices. These are not however, stated white-paper projection numbers, but from personal experience of the current market in pulling people out of mortgaged housing, and into rental, so that they could draw upon any remaining equity, or remove all chance of being cornered by heavy future negative equity, such as one lady I recently quoted as having gone under water with her equity on her mortgage by £31,500, just between July of 2007, and October of 2010, on a property valued at £94,500 in 2007, now valued at just £63,000.

The second pointer draws on 2014, when the true power of peak oil will be in full effect. How then is it possible to pay forward a mortgage if the energy to create the money supply is shrinking? In the instance of capital growth and gdp expansion of the UK falling into recession under 3% growth, what of the IEA figure's projecting 6.7% global decline? I may be getting my wires crossed here somewhere, but surely something has to add up here?

I read recently in an article I've mislaid that 17% of house value stock was index linked to state pension's. How does this play out?

I also note that the higher value property is more likely owned by a mature demographic. Who then do they sell to if the value they state is far above what could be afforded by the younger demographic? Therefore, if all of the mature demographic were to downsize ... they won't, but what if ...

Speculation I know, but this has to be the best site to discuss this incomplete jigsaw-puzzle that keeps me up nights writing here ... Smile...

Paul

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story
Damnthematrix wrote:

I only watched the first clip you posted, and another thing that amazed me is how in the one doco they can show the futility of making budgets cuts (pulling egg cups out of a fast filling bath) and still manage to say it would take "generations" to pay the money back....

I wish I could believe in fairies too...

Mike

... you'll be thinking of the Cottingley Fairies then???

I mean, what a perfect visual for this financial madness, in using an egg-cup in try to empty a bathtub with both its taps running!!!

Out of curiosity, how is the housing sales market going in Australia from your own opinion Mike?

My Best,

Paul

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Re: So what is the proper equilibrium?
horstfam wrote:

I'm part way through the second video- I'm surprised at how well it's done (and, of course, the content is excruciating). But, my question for the brain trust here is: at what percentage is the government at equilibrium with the tax payers? Surely there must be some level of government spending that is the limit that shouldn't be crossed- something like if government spending crosses over 10% of GDP, then you can begin to hear the huge "flushing" sound kick in. Can't we, as humanity, say, "Alright Mr. Government, you can spend to this point- and no more, end of story!" At least with this as a reference point, then we can begin to work towards existing perhaps a bit longer as a society, rather than a "free-for-all".

Hi Horstfam,

I hope you watched to the end, because the true horror of a government that has tripled in size since the late 70's, and is now sucking the country dry, has basically payed out more in benefits through 2009 alone,  than it took in as taxes ...

Paul

 

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Out of curiosity, how is the housing sales market going in Australia from your own opinion Mike?

My Best,

Paul

Here in my town, it's ground to a total halt, prices falling.

AND.........

Mr Grantham famously reported a year before the global financial crisis: "In five years, I expect that at least one major bank (broadly defined) will have failed and that up to half the hedge funds and a substantial percentage of the private equity firms in existence today will have simply ceased to exist".

He said yesterday that Australia had an unmistakable housing bubble and that prices would need to come down by 42 per cent to return to the long-term trend.

"You cannot possibly miss it," he said.

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

EXCELLENT!!!

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

For those in the UK the program is available on the Channel4 website's 4OD. This is an excellent documentary.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/britains-trillion-pound-horror-story/

There is also a Channel4 Dispatches episode entitled Riding Europe's Gravy Train about how European Ministers (EMP's) are making, and thus costing us, a fortune through expenses etc. Also an excellent program worth watching.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-58/episode-4

 

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Re: So what is the proper equilibrium?
horstfam wrote:

I'm part way through the second video- I'm surprised at how well it's done (and, of course, the content is excruciating). But, my question for the brain trust here is: at what percentage is the government at equilibrium with the tax payers? Surely there must be some level of government spending that is the limit that shouldn't be crossed- something like if government spending crosses over 10% of GDP, then you can begin to hear the huge "flushing" sound kick in. Can't we, as humanity, say, "Alright Mr. Government, you can spend to this point- and no more, end of story!" At least with this as a reference point, then we can begin to work towards existing perhaps a bit longer as a society, rather than a "free-for-all".

There is a study on optimal goverment spending for maximal 'quality of life' here: http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/st232.pdf

The report is from 2000, so it is a bit, but I think it is still relevant. The plots manage to show that goverment spending increases quality of life - to some point, and thereafter slightly decreases it. The optimum seems to fall between 17-35%; the paper prefers to focus on $/capita spent rather than % of GDP.

Otherwise, the documentary was a powerful piece indeed. The reality of the British predicament sinks in. Also, as a Swede, there has been some doubt within me whether the private sector is best suited to take care of things like health care or education. This documentary shakes that belief. (Side note: there is good documentary that compares different health care systems around the world:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/view/?utm_cam... )

 

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Mike,

Hey, "... and now back to our regular scheduled viewing ... " Frown...

I've just had the pleasure of meeting a friend of a friend at the weekend who's partner is thinking about purchasing his first house in Australia next year. Could I disuade her? These people are lemmings. It's a time bomb ticking ...

Thanks as ever for your input Mike,

Paul

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

I caught this interview with Catherine Austin Fitts about a day ago

Great interview. What she says around 6:30 in the 3rd segment about attack poodles made me think of Julian Assange of Wikileaks.

 

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Re: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

UK PM's aide quits after playing down austerity impact

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/20/3071863.htm?section=justin

One of Prime Minister David Cameron's business advisors has quit after causing outrage by saying that Britons had "never had it so good".

David Young, a member of the House of Lords hired by Cameron earlier this month as his enterprise adviser, told the Daily Telegraph that a drop in mortgage interest rates amid the downturn had benefited many homeowners.

"For the vast majority of people in the country today, they have never had it so good ever since this recession - this so-called recession - started," the 78-year-old said in Friday's edition of the newspaper.

Mr Cameron's office immediately condemned the remarks as "offensive" and "inaccurate" and Mr Young, a former trade and industry minister under then prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, was forced to issue an apology.

The apology was apparently accepted by the prime minister, who told reporters: "He should get on with what he has been doing and he was obviously extremely embarrassed and he was very quick to retract completely what he said."

But later, a spokeswoman for Mr Cameron said Mr Young had offered his resignation and it had been accepted.

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