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Next: 'Boom years are over for retailers'

Robert Peston | 08:08 UK time, Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Next has today said the boom years for retailers are over for the foreseeable future.

Because of the impact of public spending cuts and a diminution in the amount that consumers are borrowing to finance their lifestyles, the leading fashion retailer says that it expects very little growth in total consumer spending for many years - and "the new normal" will be low growth in underlying sales.

The remarks by Next will be noticed, partly because it is a respected business and partly because Next's chief executive is a Tory peer and close to the prime minister and chancellor.

The company is hopeful that the UK will avoid what it calls a meltdown in consumer spending or a double dip back into recession. But it concedes that public spending cuts will be enough to subdue any potential growth in consumer spending.

So it expects that its own revenue growth will be in the region of 2 to 5% over the long term, a fraction of the kind of increases that Next and other retailers enjoyed in the boom years up to 2007.

Next also warns that a shortage of manufacturing capacity and a rise in the price of cotton will push up the price of its clothes next year between 5 and 8%.

The sober assessment was made in half year results, which showed that Next's profits rose 15% to £213m in the six months to the end of July.

Update 0932: Next's "scenario" for sales growth over the next three to five years is that group revenues will increase at between 2 and 5% per annum.

Those turnover increments do represent a step change, in a downward direction: during the boom consumer spending years of 2002-2007, Next's revenues increased at an annual rate of just under 12%.

A big dip.

But where will Next find any growth in these straitened times? Well Lord Wolfson says most of it will come from "the acquisition of new retail space" and continued progress of Next Directory, the catalogue arm.

Or to put it another way, sales in existing shops are not expected to grow. Its future success depends on it being able to relentlessly take business from weaker competitors.

Even so, Lord Wolfson believes he can still make a healthy return for his shareholders. He believes operating profit can rise by up to 7% a year, through "careful management of costs and continued innovation in our operations".

But here I suppose is the financial proof that the outlook for retailers like Next is fairly grim: Next plans to buy from its shareholders about 4 to 5% of its issued shares every year, because that should deliver a better return for the owners than if the cash was invested in expanding the business.

Update 0944: In case anyone thinks I am losing my marbles, there's no surprise that Next believes consumer spending will be subdued for some time.

The combination of a public spending squeeze and the "deleveraging" of British households - who borrowed more than 170% of their disposable income at the peak and now recognise that there's some virtue in saving rather than spending - has made it obvious for months that the party on the high street is over.

As readers of my blog will know, prospects for consumer-facing businesses changed for the worse in a fundamental way at least as long ago as 2007 - when the credit crunch highlighted how the debts of households had increased to levels that were not sustainable.

If the Bank of England hadn't taken unprecedented steps to force down interest rates, consumer spending would have utterly collapsed, rather than stagnating.

All that said, what is interesting and highly significant is that Next has publicly put a time horizon of at least three to five years for this period of lower retail growth - and is adjusting its business strategy on that basis.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Robert,

    As you probably know, comments on future earnings of this type aren't really a sober assessment of what might happen they are firstly a political statement pressureing the government to help out business and since the world adopted American business practices a prediction of how the books will be massaged at the end of the next accounting period.

    For an interesting explanation of how business works see: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/26/after_the_dell_settlement/ which details how Dell asked Intel for rebates to close the gap between it's forcasted and actual revenues.

    Business in quoted companies these days is more about manipulating the media and results so that investors hear what they want to hear. It's just another example of how the stock market has become totally removed from it's origins.

    Your job is to see past these attempts at media manipulation, what's the real story?

    Really enjoy your blogs BTW and the discussions that follow :-)

  • Comment number 2.

    Why does the BBC report on Next's 5% sales rise and 15% profit increase as doom and gloom (as they do all of the current positive economic news)? Why is there no incisive journalism questioning the Government's blatant policy of inflating away debt at the expense of savings and pensions (ably supported by the Bank of England's "surprise" every month that their CPI/RPI forecasts were too low)?

  • Comment number 3.

    No wonder the boom years are over......
    The public are fed up with 250% mark-ups for cheaply made rubbish.
    Why pay forty quid for a shirt when you can get 10 shirts for that in Primark.
    And then you don't have to take out a stupid store card and pay 35% interest.
    Free the young from brand slavery, distract. women from mindless
    and extortionate handbag addiction!

  • Comment number 4.

    And our first contestant on Business Mastermind today is Next.

    Chair - "Hello next"
    Next - "Hello"
    Chair - "And your specialist subject is?"
    Next - "The bleedin' obvious."

  • Comment number 5.

    So Next are also predicting either a double-dip, stagflation or both.

    What took them so long?

    The L-shaped recession was predicted on these boards in 2008.



  • Comment number 6.

    Next should continue to struggle, if 15% increase in profits is a struggle? Its buyers often fail to appeal to those who are turned off by the poor quality and high prices at M&S and, as parents, utterly reject Next for selling clothing for 3yr old girls that make them look like prostitutes.

    The fact that the mainstream clothing retailers are "rip off merchants" will persist all the time while poor quality expensive merchandise is peddled in the face of a demand for real value.

    Besides this most of their stores fail the retail test of having product customer want to buy in the size.

  • Comment number 7.

    The most worrying element of the end of the 'fashion' boom is the inflation in cotton and garment prices. (I'd rather like to think of this as wanton consumerism throwing away perfectly usable garments.)

    During the noughties we saw interest rates far too low as they were depressed by imported deflation in areas such as clothing. It looks like we are now going to see imported inflation from the same part of the market.

    There is a test of the honesty of our justifiably maligned central bank at the heart of this: They (He) took advantage of the imported deflation during the noughties to keep interest rates stupidly too low (that substantially contributed to and magnified the bubble economy and crash) IF (and it is a big if) They (He) is being honest this imported inflation must cause them (him) to elevate interest rates substantially.

    I doubt both his honesty, understanding of economics and intellectual integrity so I fully expect him to completely dishonestly justify continuing to ignore inflation as they are doing now.

    Interest rates must rise and as the rise is being deliberately delayed the rise will be far more substantial than is necessary. Because of the delay the rates will have to be push up substantially higher and be in consequence far more destructive. He is the biggest danger to the Nation. Fire Mervyn King NOW!

  • Comment number 8.

    > Next also warns that a shortage of manufacturing capacity and a
    > rise in the price of cotton will push up the price of its
    > clothes next year between 5 and 8%.

    Nonsense - they can't try to raise prices without seeing sales collapse because nobody's got any money!

    So they have to cut costs and have plenty of sales. That's pretty easy to do, as it happens, because the Brits have habitually over-paid for everything (clothes, food, cars, houses, the works ... ) so there's plenty of room for prices to fall to international norms.

  • Comment number 9.

    # 3. At 08:45am on 15 Sep 2010, onward-ho wrote:

    "..........distract women from mindless
    and extortionate handbag addiction!"


    Can I put you in touch with my wife, she aint listening to me.

  • Comment number 10.

    I strolled around my town centre last Monday and noticed numerous boarded up shops, at least twenty in the two main streets and adjoining roads. However the corporate giants like Next, River Island, Top Shop, BHS etc were present in all their glory. Corporate genocide is ensuring these beasts maintain their heady profits, you only have to look at the political associations of some of the CEO's.

  • Comment number 11.

    RP I am dissapointed that you are trying to give business credibility to what is clearly a political statement.

    revenue growth would have been generated by population growth, demogaphic ghanges in the past. Growth rates in excess of 5% fueled by house price growth, consumer debt and consumerism was not a good thing

    not all retailers saw growth rates where 5% would be seen as a fraction, retailers entering the market too sales from stale established retailers such as M&S, BHS, Woolworths, man at c&a etc

  • Comment number 12.

    Occasionally I shall buy a pair of shorts from Next but when in there I've always wondered who is buying (and needs) all the cheaply made rubbish Next and the other major retailers peddle!?
    I'd be glad to see ordinary people gain a 'sense or worth' without buying into the materialist/consumer world that has been thrust upon us since the 1980's.

    Sorry the comment below is a little off topic now, but i've been trying to post it since Monday night from my original ID which no longer seems to work! G-Man
    It sounds like the IMF have joined WOTW in predicting potential social unrest. Of course this does not apply to Hendon. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/8000561/IMF-fears-social-explosion-from-world-jobs-crisis.html

    It was good to see some potential action coming from the TUC Conference today. March 2011 does seem a long way off though, as Gideon and his 'OxBridge'chums would have inflicted untold damage by then.

  • Comment number 13.

    Is this crying wolf about the prospects of the economy - if there is a queue of gloomy retailers with a similar message. Dire consequences will follow if large sections of the population can no longer afford or chose not to afford £150 sunglasses, £300 handbags, £140 electric shavers etc. Is this the end of civilisation as we know it? Let's hope so!

  • Comment number 14.

    #3

    I agree entirely. I detest Next and all those other trendy retailers and in fact wouldn't raise an eyebrow if they simply went bust and were never heard of again.

  • Comment number 15.

    Finally, someone has made a sensible comment on the reality of where we are.

    The economy has basically collapsed on the back of cheap credit and easy lending - people 'releasing equity' from their homes and taking ever larger amounts out in the form of cheap loans and credit cards.
    This, apparently, has been a bad thing and the banks have been clobbered for their role and the taxpayer is now counting the cost of rescuing the entire infrastructure.

    However, I find it utterly ridiculous when politicians talk about getting back to 2007 levels of growth and similar.... That growth was fueled entirely by the irresponsibility of the cheap lending!!! Getting back to 2007 levels is the last thing we want... have we learned nothing???

    Next's comments are entirely accurate in my view. People borrowed all this money in a large part to feed a consumerist habit. What else did they do with the money?? It certainly wasn't invested... They bought clothes, cars, holidays, property and all sorts of consumer luxuries.

    Now the cheap credit isn't there, hopefully lessons have been learned it won't come back soon.
    But this does mean that we'll feel poorer generally (we weren't rich in the first place, as we know now, it was all a borrowed illusion of wealth..) and are likely to buy less as a result.

    I for one really hope that growth is slower and more sustainable and we don't go back to the past excesses; Retailers will just have to modify their business models so match this new environment.

    If we do go back, then we'll only have ourselves to blame for the next bust which is sure to follow.

  • Comment number 16.

    Ok, so Next report a 15% growth in profits to £213m and they are expressing concern about a fall in consumer spending? Forgive me for not feeling sympathetic. The consumer market is a fickle beast and what will be ‘in-trend’ for spending changes continually, and will continue to change. This coupled with market competition is exactly why businesses need to remain competitive and why they need to adapt. I’m sorry, but making bullish statements about the forecasted increases in the price of cotton (I’d be interested to know the percentage of clothes that are actually manufactured from cotton, as opposed to cheaper man-made fibres, across the ‘far-from-luxury’ Next range) and the consumer’s decreased spending, is not going to achieve anything or garner any sympathy.

    Even at the height of the recession consumer spending didn’t just disappear completely; spending amounts were simply ‘revalued’ in light of less disposable income. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that in harder times the first thing to go is luxury spending, but what Next fail to understand, as they wallow in the glut of £213m of profit, is that the consumer will continue to spend but will do so at an ever more competitive rate as the belt is tightened. As a businessman one should be asking, “how do we remain competitive, and how can we adapt to make sure we are offering the best product at the best price?” In my opinion, Next has always been over-inflated in price for quality terms and should take a critical look at it’s business model and decide how it wants to deal with the inevitable, rather than simply moaning about it.

    In 2008 we saw a huge surge in the market for budget retailers, accommodation chains such as Premier Inn have grown significantly, and Primark is laughing to the bank. Life carries on regardless, and as mentioned earlier, we’ve been fleeced in this country for too long and it’s about time that the market places value for money at it’s centre and let the profits go to those that can offer what the consumer wants at a fair price.

  • Comment number 17.

    If this results in less sales of "Label" goods then so much the better,

    I,m sick and tired of people walking around in tee shirts(probably made for less than a quid and sold for 10x as much) advertising some global trade mark. If it had MADE in CHINA emblazoned on the front instead of NIKE or PUMA would they still wear it?

    Probably, sheepoles the lot. Price is never the same as value.

  • Comment number 18.

    Whether its handbags or cheap clothes, people have hoarded so much clobber over the past few years that you'd hope scalling back to what they'll actually use whilst cotton prices rise, will mean people shouldnt feel the pinch too much. On any given day, the high street is packed with people buying stuff, most of which Im sure they could do without - but what else would they do? Shopping is a national past-time. Yes this will doubtless hurt retailers but ultimately the recovery won't ever be a recovery if its built on low rates affording the habit of consumerism and debt.

    and @ 2. At 08:42am on 15 Sep 2010, Pooh

    If you want incisive journalism you may be in the wrong place. Yesterday I saw an article on this site saying something like "More surveyors agree house prices set to fall" and under that was a sub-header which read "Is now the right time to buy?" I mean...why bother typing that?

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm hoping 'fox fur' will make a comeback in the fashion world, our part of south west London is over run with the destructive buggers, Maybe Next could use the slogan 'Get out of a financial hole by wearing a stole!'.
    A career in fur trapping could also take up the slack of some of the civil service redundancies ?

  • Comment number 20.

    RP's comment ;

    Even so, Lord Wolfson believes he can still make a healthy return for his shareholders. He believes operating profit can rise by up to 7% a year, through "careful management of costs and continued innovation in our operations".

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Careful management of costs"
    I don't suppose those working in the sweat shops in China will be getting much in the way of a pay rise any time soon? (If ever).

    Mind you those clever commodity raiders, sorry traders,will be makig a bob or two out of cotton shortages,floods in Pakistan cotton shortage, now you have to be really clever to work that one out.

  • Comment number 21.

    How long before NewLook, in their quest for 'world domination', take over Next?

  • Comment number 22.

    I think Next profits are closely related to the large amount of spivs that shop there. You only have to pop into the City of London outlets to find hoards of spivs buying ghastly pin stripe suits that not even estate agents could get away with and the same shirt in almost every colour. A distinguished spiv with a little "taste" will perhaps shop in TM Lewin to differentiate himself from the Next crowd, still the same cheap shoddy overpriced rubbish though.

    Given the massive cull in bankers round the corner, no wonder Next are bracing their investors for a crash landing.

    Cue the banker apologists... who are probably receiving a text alert right now directing them to begin their daily duties of defending banks on RP's blog.

  • Comment number 23.

    #10

    I strolled around my town centre last Monday and noticed numerous boarded up shops, at least twenty in the two main streets and adjoining roads. However the corporate giants like Next, River Island, Top Shop, BHS etc were present in all their glory.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    I,m sure you locality is reflected in most ares of the UK, and as WOTW has stated recently the prospects for the commercial property market are looking worse by the day.

    We can't all work for Asda or tesco etc etc. Although we were once known as a nation of shopkeepers, perhaps we will be again.

  • Comment number 24.

    10. At 09:25am on 15 Sep 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    "I strolled around my town centre last Monday and noticed numerous boarded up shops, at least twenty in the two main streets and adjoining roads. However the corporate giants like Next, River Island, Top Shop, BHS etc were present in all their glory. Corporate genocide is ensuring these beasts maintain their heady profits, you only have to look at the political associations of some of the CEO's. "


    .....and that's a truth you can swear by.

  • Comment number 25.

    Guy Hands, multi milionaire now living in low tax Guernsey wrote in the Telegraph a few months ago 'the big problem the West will have is paying for all the poor people'. This is what we should be worrying about not the fact we cannot afford yet another tee shirt from Next.

    There are huge numbers of economically inactive people in the UK and more flowing in all the time - this is the problem to be solved.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    Listening to the Keiser report episode 77 it was explained that we are overall in a deflationary period. It depends on the angle you look at things from - how are the inflation/deflation figures arrived at.
    Overall the debt based economy is trying to reduce its debt. The assets Housing, consumer goods bought with much of this debt are all devaluing.
    The debt bases the economy thrived on has dried or is drying up so people will be spending far less.

    Even so, Lord Wolfson believes he can still make a healthy return for his shareholders. He believes operating profit can rise by up to 7% a year, through "careful management of costs and continued innovation in our operations".

    One assumes we are talking staff - jobs - wages to keep profits up.
    If raw materials go up in value - inflation - but people are stuck in debt with decreasing spending power how can you get inflation.
    In a free market demand drives price - monopolies have slightly different rules.
    If people don't spend as they and the Government try and reduce debt do we really get inflation?

    If your biggest asset is going down in value greater than the increase in prices on every day goods and services - and you still owe money on that and other depreciating assets your overall economic position, regarding your assets, is deflationary (Japan)

    Inflation can help reduce debt but how much will these measures taken cause the opposite? Will people/Countries say no more and walk away from the debt and as in Japan stop spending and borrowing - where to Next?

    I am not saying its true just posing the question are we getting a true picture of what is happening regarding inflation if everyone deleverages in a debt based economy?

  • Comment number 28.

    #15. Rational Viewpoint wrote:

    "But this does mean that we'll feel poorer generally (we weren't rich in the first place, as we know now, it was all a borrowed illusion of wealth..) and are likely to buy less as a result.
    ...
    "If we do go back, then we'll only have ourselves to blame for the next bust which is sure to follow".

    But who is "we"?

    The bonus-earning con-artists/gambling addicts in the City will not "feel poorer". Nor will we have "only ourselves to blame for the next bust". The next bust - which, as you rightly predict, will be sure to follow - will be the inevitable result of that "return to normal" which is the aim and sole purpose of all current action by governments, controlled as they all are by bankers. And the bankers' aim and sole purpose is to grow ever-richer, at the expense of the rest of us.

    Until the banking system is radically reformed, nothing will change and the next bust (unlike the next bus) will arrive bang on schedule - if not sooner.

  • Comment number 29.

    "Update 0944: In case anyone thinks I am losing my marbles, there's no surprise that Next believes consumer spending will be subdued for some time."

    ...so the capitalists are finally getting it are they? - well what a shame it's taken so long for them to realise most of their revenue was sourced from an asset bubble as people re-mortgaged their houses to buy tat from these slave labour traders.

    "The combination of a public spending squeeze and the "deleveraging" of British households"

    Really? - you mean public sector workers actually spend money? - but I thought the cuts weren't going to affect the Economy badly - can someone from the Government explain how you're going to re-ignite a consumption based economy (because there isn't a great deal of other sources of 'growth') when you're removing consumers from the high street?

    It's almost like nobody thought about that - what a shame so many people have blindly put their faith in Government to sort out this mess and protect them from the angry mobs.

    I mean they're cutting the police forces down, that's not the best way to protect the capitalist wallflowers.

  • Comment number 30.


    12. At 09:30am on 15 Sep 2010, Bim Sherman wrote:

    It sounds like the IMF have joined WOTW in predicting potential social unrest. Of course this does not apply to Hendon.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/8000561/IMF-fears-social-explosion-from-world-jobs-crisis.html

    ==================

    https://www.gregpalast.com/the-globalizer-who-came-in-from-the-cold/

    step 3 1/2 ?

    IMF Robert?

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Robert
    Thanks for another interesting update on the subject of Next. You are even willing to broach the subject of inflation and possible future rises in it.

    I have been following the recent rises in commodity prices and find this on notayesmanseconomics blog.
    "The textile component of the CRB index has risen by 51.31 to 307.79 over the past year or around a sixth, but cotton prices have risen from just under 60 cents per pound in early October 2009 to 93.79 cents per pound now for an increase of over a half so it looks like they may be well be something behind the statement."
    So it seems that there is some substance behind the claims made by the Chief Executive of Next. https://notayesmanseconomics.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 32.

    23. At 10:14am on 15 Sep 2010, creditunionhero wrote:

    "We can't all work for Asda or tesco etc etc. Although we were once known as a nation of shopkeepers, perhaps we will be again."

    ...but seriously - who can afford the rent? If you cannot afford to buy or build your premises (like the chains) then you'll be out of business in weeks. The landlords have too high a return required - thanks to excess leverage - so there's no budging. I can get you a mice little shop in the City of London if you like - or 10, whatever you want, there's nothing here except bike shops and tower blocks.
    "One day my son - all this will be ASDA"

    So much for the free market bringing 'choice' - I wonder what percentage of schoolkids are going to be dressed in uniforms all sourced from the same manufacturer and sold by the same few retailers this year?

    The only way to prevent this decline is to smash the corporations which are destroying our diversity. The same diversity the free market claims to provide - and doesn't. If the Government doesn't do it - then we must do it ourselves.

    We can no longer rely on others as they have proven themselves unreliable.

  • Comment number 33.

    #19. AudenGrey

    Now look what you've gone and done!

    You've managed to enrage both the unions and the ecofreaks at the same time! There'll be a price on your head now.

    Good job they don't know where you live.

  • Comment number 34.

    22. At 10:13am on 15 Sep 2010, RiskAnalyst wrote:

    "Cue the banker apologists... who are probably receiving a text alert right now directing them to begin their daily duties of defending banks on RP's blog."

    Yeah, but it's hard to have a constructive argument with someone who thinks that pinstripes are the uniform of the wealthy when working in the city.

    ...and besides, they appear to be habitual liars as I can't keep track of whether they live in Hendon, Geneva or outer mongolia. Location is very important when assessing the credibility of someone's opinion on UK retailing.

  • Comment number 35.

    19. At 09:57am on 15 Sep 2010, AudenGrey wrote:

    "I'm hoping 'fox fur' will make a comeback in the fashion world, our part of south west London is over run with the destructive buggers"

    you watch too much local news - it's not the foxes that are the problem, it's the millions of rats!

    ...and no, I don't mean city workers, on this occasion.

  • Comment number 36.

    #25

    Guy Hands, multi milionaire now living in low tax Guernsey wrote in the Telegraph a few months ago 'the big problem the West will have is paying for all the poor people'. This is what we should be worrying about not the fact we cannot afford yet another tee shirt from Next.

    There are huge numbers of economically inactive people in the UK and more flowing in all the time - this is the problem to be solved.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Multi millionaire now living in low tax Guernsey, that's ok then, avioding tax and telling us what our problem is? Perhaps we should just go back to our old ways, but instead of providing the new world with slaves, we could just use them here?

  • Comment number 37.

    #25. Tamarin wrote:

    "There are huge numbers of economically inactive people in the UK and more flowing in all the time - this is the problem to be solved".

    Large numbers of fur-trappers are needed in SW London (see #19)

  • Comment number 38.

    #25 is this the same Guy Hands at the helm of Terra Firma?

    In mid-November 2009, Terra Firma announced it would be writing down its investment in EMI by 90% (approximately €1.5 billion) after the record label’s creditors Citigroup turned down a deal to restructure its debt. Hands acknowledged that the EMI deal had been a mistake when he said, “If we hadn’t done that, we’d have 90% of our funds still to invest and we’d look like complete geniuses. Instead, having written off well over a billion, we look like chumps.”
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Only had to write off a billion, yep he said it "we look like chumps"
    I bet his investors wish he'd admitted it a bit earlier!

  • Comment number 39.

    25. At 10:20am on 15 Sep 2010, Tamarin wrote:

    "There are huge numbers of economically inactive people in the UK and more flowing in all the time - this is the problem to be solved."

    The world could support an extra 50% more people if it weren't for inequality. Most of the people who come to this country work harder than those who already live and work here (that's why prejudice is employed to protect their jobs)
    So we should take the advice of a 'shopper and chopper hatchet man' who should be sorting out his mess at EMI rather than attacking the poor.

    Seriously - give yourself some credit, what goals do you really think you share with Guy Hands?

  • Comment number 40.

    #25

    Just a thought , Maybe some of those poor people Hands was talking about were those who lost funds in Terra Firma.

    I know lots of millionaires, my Columbian cousins have made a few bob in their time, but I don't take notice of everything they tell me.But I will let them know where Guy is living now, they might like to move in next door.

  • Comment number 41.

    > a rise in the price of cotton

    What a load of tripe these "British Bosses" trot out.

    Who could give a hoot about the price of cotton! If cotton goes up,
    we'll make our socks and vests out of viscose. It is of no concern
    whatsoever, and artificial silk undies are quite kinky!

  • Comment number 42.

    @writingsonthewall

    comment on previous blog:

    "I really feel sorry for you now - you're going to be so angry when you realise I was right."

    Since yesterday I have been scratching my head trying to think who you reminded me of. But, this sentence was the memory jogger I needed.

    You're a latter day Ignatius J. Reilly.

    I recommend reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" to everyone on this blog. To me it puts people's comments on here into perspective.

    Goodbye forever. I'm off to go and live my life the best way I can. Then you'll all be sorry!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    If the following is true (Thisismoney)


    The worst offenders were NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland, part of the RBS group in which the taxpayer holds an 84% stake. Both charged overdraft rates on a range of current accounts of well over 19%.

    The August average is 38 times higher than the base rate of 0.5%, which means the banks are cashing in every time one of their customers falls into the red.



    Read more: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/savings-and-banking/article.html?in_article_id=514246&in_page_id=7&ito=1565#ixzz0zarGLumA
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    God Knows how much they must be making out of credit cards, no wonder sales are slowing, still bank profits are holding up, don't want to risk those pesky bankers lose out on any bonus??????

  • Comment number 44.

    30. At 10:44am on 15 Sep 2010, 24law wrote:
    12. At 09:30am on 15 Sep 2010, Bim Sherman wrote:

    "It sounds like the IMF have joined WOTW in predicting potential social unrest. Of course this does not apply to Hendon."

    Credit where credit's due folks - Marx predicted social unrest whenever there is a crisis of Capitalism and the poor are expected to pay.

    ...ever since then the world has been in denial - except those from Hendon who live in some form of parallell universe of fantastic proportions that even Disney couldn't conjure up a similar design.

  • Comment number 45.

    According to a new BDO report, the UK’s businesses seem to think another recession is a foregone conclusion – not just retailers but all sorts of other customer-facing businesses too. Now you’ve got Next, one the UK’s larger retailers saying pretty much the same thing. It’s looking more and more like it is inevitable. And especially when you read something like this https://www.mindfulmoney.co.uk/1257/economic-impact/could-we-talk-ourselves-into-a-double-dip-recession.html
    Didn’t someone once say ‘thoughts are things’? If so I’d says we’re all set for a double dip.

  • Comment number 46.

    3. At 08:45am on 15 Sep 2010, onward-ho wrote:

    "No wonder the boom years are over......
    The public are fed up with 250% mark-ups for cheaply made rubbish.
    Why pay forty quid for a shirt when you can get 10 shirts for that in Primark"

    I'm not disagreeing with the premise about the markups - however the 'primark solution' is another example of a false economy.

    I still have T-shirts I bought over 15 years ago, that's because I buy quality unbranded items (well actually Mrs writingsonthewall does because I know squat about clothing)

    However the average primark shopper will get through 15 T-shirts in a year. They may be cheap, but the products promote waste. I mistakenly bought my 7 year old nephew a white T-shirt for about £4 from such a cheap retailer and he managed to destroy it in less than a week. Unlike my quality spiderman T-shirt I had as a boy which was handed down to my 2 younger brothers before it became too worn to be worn.

    ...retail is classic Capitalism, the driving down of prices is lauded as efficient - but in reality for the consumer it's less efficient - and as for the natural resources - well it's totally inefficient. The only appearance of efficiency is the profit produced - and you don't need to be a genius to work out where that comes from.

  • Comment number 47.

    #34 wotw

    Location is very important when assessing the credibility of someone's opinion on UK retailing.

    -----------
    Agreed, now what was it Tamarin was saying at #25 "Guy Hands, multi milionaire now living in low tax Guernsey" I know Guernsey is still UK, but this guy (no pun intended) had to write off a billion £ what does he know about anything.

  • Comment number 48.

    One of the biggest threats, this statement indicates, is that the "investors" will get less return for their "investment" in retail.

    "Investors" being short sighted greedy folk, will then look to "invest" their money in higher yielding enterprises. In today's money this means banks.

    So the stoking of the debt fuelled bubble will increase, once again messing us all up.

    There was a lovely bit of research, which suggested that the whole problem was down to too much money in investors hands. Starting in the 60's, the return on conventional investments, like manufacturing, retail, agriculture, mining etc was deemed to be "too low", so they started to look for higher yields. Enter the financial services, and the subsequent chaos that ensued.

    Perhaps until we all get used to the idea of low returns, we can kiss a sustainable future goodbye

  • Comment number 49.

    42. At 11:25am on 15 Sep 2010, marky_makry wrote:

    "Goodbye forever. I'm off to go and live my life the best way I can. Then you'll all be sorry!!!"

    Ta ta then - hope to see you soon when you set up your new identity. The names may change but I can tell who you are in about 3 posts.

  • Comment number 50.

    Oh dear, FIAT currency not looking good again.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11306751

    Maybe this is because there has never been a FIAT currency which didn't end in total collapse.

    Still - what do I know, I'm just a crazy lefty who seems to guess lucky a lot of the time. Better off listening to those from Hendon (John excepted) who seem to think that this is all going to blow over and that Merv is going to continue to bail them out of their poor investment decisions...

    luckily, they are in decline and soon will be extinct and just like most extinctions they won't have a clue what is happening until it's far too late.

  • Comment number 51.

    47

    The Channel Islands (and Isle of Man) are not part of the UK.
    That is why their taxes are lower.

  • Comment number 52.

    @47. At 12:00pm on 15 Sep 2010, creditunionhero wrote:
    "Agreed, now what was it Tamarin was saying at #25 "Guy Hands, multi milionaire now living in low tax Guernsey" I know Guernsey is still UK, but this guy (no pun intended) had to write off a billion £ what does he know about anything."
    Enough to have accumulated some sort of "wealth" off the backs of real workers and scarpered to a tax haven. Who cares about the billion or so quid written off? It wasn't Guy's...

  • Comment number 53.

    I realised my previous comment was a bit of a rant, so here is little more meaningful research.

    A couple of months back Next was rumoured to be in talks to sell Ventura, it's contact centre/distribution consultancy business to Telefonica. I believe over 8000-9000 people work there. Its all gone a little quiet now. No prizes for guessing how Next will maintain its target operating profit..

    Heres a hint:

    "careful management of costs and continued innovation in our operations"

    So another couple of hundred or even thousand unemployed dumped onto the governments books shouldn't really matter, should it? A drop in the ocean and all that.

  • Comment number 54.

    44. At 11:51am on 15 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "...ever since then the world has been in denial - except those from Hendon who live in some form of parallell universe of fantastic proportions that even Disney couldn't conjure up a similar design."

    Many people have compared Hendon to Disney World.

    Very simple, I live in Switzerland, I'm from Hendon. It's called SOCIAL MOBILITY. However, I do travel a lot.

  • Comment number 55.

    #7 I wrote

    précis: Blame Mervyn King and fire him,

    Even Mervyn King now admits 'we (meaning himself) let it slip'. (see TUC today)

    He really does have to go as he himself now admits that it was his neglect of duty that substantially caused the bubble, and the crash. He had the tools to prevent the crash, but he (and his 200 economists and the mpc and the Treasury) chose not to.

    We need a thorough clean out of the Aegean stables - flush them all away.

  • Comment number 56.

    If raw materials go up in value - inflation - but people are stuck in debt with decreasing spending power how can you get inflation.
    ........
    Inflation is caused by increasing the money supply relative to the growth of the economy. The QE experiment was one source of this, and the fractional reserve banking system is the other. Also it is caused when money moves from one part of the economy to another. So when the stock market falls money is being placed somewhere else. It was being moved into government gilts, but now investors are moving money into commodities, hence the increase in prices of raw materials. I like to think of the money supply as a bowl of water and the various parts of the economy as sponges. Unless you reduce the money supply it has to go somewhere, and if you print too much of it the price of things must go up to soak up the excess.

  • Comment number 57.

    #39. writingsonthewall wrote:

    "The world could support an extra 50% more people if it weren't for inequality".

    That is among the crassest statements I have ever read, anywhere. How irresponsible can you get?

    Our planet needs another 50% more humans to support like you need a lobotomy.

    But don't worry: the planet is going to get them anyway, whether it needs them or not. Eventually, much of the world's population will die - of malnutrition, through war and pestilence, natural catastrophes (such as rising sea-levels) and through all the other accompaniments of gross over-population plus climate-change. I thank my lucky stars I won't be around to witness it.

  • Comment number 58.

    46. At 11:59am on 15 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "....Mrs writingsonthewall... my 7 year old nephew...my 2 younger brothers"

    you're also in your 30s, bald(ing), ride a bike, live in S London, etc, etc...

    Someone with time on their hands could probably discover (with a little detective work) the true identity of WOTW, and then your cover (like Bruce Wayne, Clarke Kent and Peter Parker) would be well and truly blown.....

  • Comment number 59.

    @50. At 12:31pm on 15 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "Maybe this is because there has never been a FIAT currency which didn't end in total collapse."
    I think you should ask yourself the reasons why they collapsed: Colonial Scrip and the first bronze/tin Roman coin systems collapsed partly because of a switch to a gold/silver standard and partly because the issue of the money had switched from control via the senate to a central bank or whoever has control of the base, i.e. gold.
    Fiat currencies do work in principle but control should not be in the hands of a private central bank. Having a gold-backed currency is fine but I don't trust those who control the supply of gold to reflect the value of the currency. For example, how much gold is in Fort Knox (a question from one of my earlier posts)? I'll bet it's not much.
    Expensive wars don't help either. Surely PricewaterhouseCooper, KPMG, Deloitte et al can find a way to wage a war on the cheap. It might stop them from advising that solvent companies be wound up (one fee) and then being appointed as the administrators (another, much much larger fee). No conflicts of interest there.

    In the meantime "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of xxx pounds" is looking increasingly like a bit of a fib though.

  • Comment number 60.

    @55. At 12:50pm on 15 Sep 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:
    "We need a thorough clean out of the Aegean stables - flush them all away."
    I think even Hercules would balk at that particular task...

  • Comment number 61.

    #50. writingsonthewall wrote:

    "Maybe this is because there has never been a FIAT currency which didn't end in total collapse."

    So, what's your suggested medium of exchange then - carrots?

    Or maybe in your anarchist utopia barter will be used exclusively? It'll probably suffice because of course everyone will be self-sufficient, buzzing about in their home-made cars, wearing their homespun sack-cloth...

    Give me a break!

  • Comment number 62.

    https://www.prisonplanet.com/john-williams-sees-the-onset-of-hyperinflation-in-as-little-as-6-to-9-months-as-fed-tap-dances-on-a-land-mine.html
    So hyper inflation in the states could be as little as 6 months away. There may be a roaring trade in wheel barrows, to carry all the cash!

  • Comment number 63.

    #7, #55, John_from_Hendon “Fire Mervyn King NOW!”

    I feel your frustration, John. But I was more fortunate; when the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis hit my country of origin, Indonesia, we did not waste time sacking the culpable amonst the powerful. Indonesia forced President Suharto to resign, so did Thailand with their Prime Minister, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, and the central bank governor. Malaysia’s then Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir sacked the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim who wanted to submit to IMF’s proscriptions. Instead, Dr. Mahathir implemented policies without any IMF loans. The Koreans sacked the Chaebols’ bosses and dismantle these humongous and nefarious companies. Indonesia, Korea and Thailand had repaid all their IMF loans sometime back.

    USA, the source of the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis, was a good guide in the forgiving and loving, in general, of economics administrators. US Fed Chairman, Bernanke had no problem looking blameless, after all Investment Banks like Lehman Bros were outside his jurisdiction. Disregard Bernanke’s credentials as a teacher of economics, only relevant to his employment status as a tenured professor. As a Fed Chairman, his performance is only measured by his job descriptions.

    The US Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson; an ex-investment banking insider, was also not culpable. How could Paulson disparage the workings of the industry, when his wealth was earned in the same said industry? It cannot be a ‘bad thing’ as it was good to him.

    President Bush, the US Commander-in-Chief, who would not hesitate to punish deficient generals under his command, just could not do anything as there is no civilian equivalent of UCMJ to expedite the ‘house cleaning’. Besides, by Law his term of office would expire soon and there was no need for more angst in a tanking USA economy. Strange as it seems, we got the proverbial 3-monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil and do no evil in exactly the same order.

    I think with an amoral subject like economics, economics practitioners do have immunity from culpability of any harm they caused.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    #51 I stand corrected,thank you.

    Guernsey is of course only a British Crown Dependancy.

  • Comment number 66.

    58. At 12:56pm on 15 Sep 2010, the_fatcat wrote:
    46. At 11:59am on 15 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "....Mrs writingsonthewall... my 7 year old nephew...my 2 younger brothers"

    you're also in your 30s, bald(ing), ride a bike, live in S London, etc, etc...

    Someone with time on their hands could probably discover (with a little detective work) the true identity of WOTW, and then your cover (like Bruce Wayne, Clarke Kent and Peter Parker) would be well and truly blown.....


    I'm pretty sure that WOTW is Robert Peston.

  • Comment number 67.

    62. At 1:11pm on 15 Sep 2010, Averagejoe wrote:
    https://www.prisonplanet.com/john-williams-sees-the-onset-of-hyperinflation-in-as-little-as-6-to-9-months-as-fed-tap-dances-on-a-land-mine.html
    So hyper inflation in the states could be as little as 6 months away. There may be a roaring trade in wheel barrows, to carry all the cash!


    John Williams? Didn't he write the Star Wars score? Maybe the Chewbacca defence has some merit after all!

  • Comment number 68.

    #58 the fat cat wrote

    Someone with time on their hands could probably discover (with a little detective work) the true identity of WOTW, and then your cover (like Bruce Wayne, Clarke Kent and Peter Parker) would be well and truly blown.....
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    But arn't these fictional characters, don't tell me WOTW isn't real,

    Don't tell me all this is a giant ponzi scheme, I've had enough of that sort of thing from our banking quarter/half, 100%, 200% bonus lot.

  • Comment number 69.

    @32 WOTW


    "The only way to prevent this decline is to smash the corporations which are destroying our diversity. The same diversity the free market claims to provide - and doesn't. If the Government doesn't do it - then we must do it ourselves."

    That would involve a lot of education for the masses, THEY are the corporations. Can't do without. Take on the corporations and you take on the majority of the population who only leave the x factor to buy whatever the contestants were wearing that day.

    There is such a large section of society that are brain dead it is shocking. I'm not sure it can be done. I went to borrow a drill off a friend the other day, I had to move 7 black bags of womens shoes (his wifes) to get to his toolbox. most looked like they had never been worn. What do you do with these people?

    I would say leave the corporations till interest rates rise, then when the mortgage bills come in we can take down whatever we want while the sheeple are keeping the police busy.

    Let the consumer capitalists do the work for you, they will be out soon. Now is just the planning stage for those who know what really needs to be done.

    Outflank them as they put down their own uprising.

  • Comment number 70.

    Next has today said the boom years for retailers are over for the foreseeable future.

    so what he is saying is that without the safety net of the welfare state, people will stop spending, instead saving every single penny they can because they fear what the future will bring.

    Right, so rather than money, NEXT CEOs along with all the other CEOs have to explain why they don't like paying taxes, the taxes that help provide the welfare state they depend on!

  • Comment number 71.

    4. At 08:47am on 15 Sep 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    And our first contestant on Business Mastermind today is Next.

    Chair - "Hello next"
    Next - "Hello"
    Chair - "And your specialist subject is?"
    Next - "The bleedin' obvious."


    Love it

  • Comment number 72.

    12. At 09:30am on 15 Sep 2010, Bim Sherman

    Occasionally I shall buy a pair of shorts from Next but when in there I've always wondered who is buying (and needs) all the cheaply made rubbish Next and the other major retailers peddle!?


    I've always been mystified at anyone ever buying any of the tat, too!

  • Comment number 73.

    58

    And then we could hit him with a catapult from behind some bushes.

    He's married to a woman and doesn't know about shopping for clothes. That's the biggest clue.

    Of course it's all verifiable stuff.

  • Comment number 74.

    56. At 12:52pm on 15 Sep 2010, Averagejoe wrote:

    I agree with you it was just that Steve Keen on the Keiser report 77 stated a case that even though the Fed had massively increased the money supply there has not been the inflation - yet - one might have thought. We have not been in this situation before because of fractional reserve banking. I understand the principle of increasing the money supply and there is not initially inflation but by the time it gets to avarage Joe the money has devalued, hence inflation.
    His argument - so I believe - is that spending will be curtailed massively, public and private - demand falls and as so few people purchasing assets devaluing massive reduction in fractional reserve banking due to deleveraging that is potentially greater than the QE there would be deflation. At least I think that it what he means. We would see basic food prices increase and essentials increase in value - not stated by him - but overall he argues the economy is deflating.

    I have always had problems about how inflation figures are worked out as there seems to be a lot of cherry picking going on - seasonal or not- on what is included and what is excluded from the calculations.

    As one brought up in a pure science background it seems ridiculous to exclude items - such as housing - as if they are of no importance to the inflation figures. In any research you should take account of any variables as they will effect your final results. This does not seem to be a principle held by many economists.

    My personal view is that we will see interest rates rise we will see inflation but from what I have been reading - and many thanks to those here for lots of interesting info - there are alternative views that understandably question the conventional thinking of many.

    Mrs Dillers thinks I should get back to using the internet like all her friends husbands - for recreational purposes only as I am apparently getting boring!

  • Comment number 75.


    Let's see if this is ok?

    A CEO of a well-known high street store can, with bonuses, earn up to 15 million pounds this year. Is this integrity?

  • Comment number 76.

    I no longer shop at the store mentioned by

    6. DibbySpot
    ... by the poor quality and high prices at XxX.

  • Comment number 77.

    #57 Torpare

    "But don't worry: the planet is going to get them anyway, whether it needs them or not. Eventually, much of the world's population will die - of malnutrition, through war and pestilence, natural catastrophes (such as rising sea-levels) and through all the other accompaniments of gross over-population plus climate-change."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Just don't tell are banking friends that, they'll be a market in it some where, hedge funds, commodity trading (people can be a commodity) god knows what else they might come up with.

    Although if bankers started falling-over from some bonus sapping influenza, I might invest in buying up all the antidote, well actually less of an investment, more of a sacrifice.

  • Comment number 78.

    58. At 12:56pm on 15 Sep 2010, the_fatcat wrote:
    46. At 11:59am on 15 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "....Mrs writingsonthewall... my 7 year old nephew...my 2 younger brothers"

    you're also in your 30s, bald(ing), ride a bike, live in S London, etc, etc...

    Someone with time on their hands could probably discover (with a little detective work) the true identity of WOTW, and then your cover (like Bruce Wayne, Clarke Kent and Peter Parker) would be well and truly blown.....

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Go on Sherlock, please blow all of our covers. Not that any of us have anything to be afraid, yet in your view it's probably a criminal offence to expose a heinous system of greed, gambling and exploitation. Hence the threat of being "found out"

  • Comment number 79.

    @69. At 1:27pm on 15 Sep 2010, szjon wrote:
    "There is such a large section of society that are brain dead it is shocking. I'm not sure it can be done. I went to borrow a drill off a friend the other day, I had to move 7 black bags of womens shoes (his wifes) to get to his toolbox. most looked like they had never been worn. What do you do with these people?"
    Introduce them to Imelda Marcos? I dunno.


  • Comment number 80.

    Two thoughts;

    As I recall, the estimates for the repair of Government Finances etc over the next few years were founded on some pretty optimistic assumptions regarding economic recovery ie growth. Where are those estimates and forecasts if Next are right, as I suspect, and there is no gross increase in consumer demand and competition for growth becomes a zero sum game? Would I be right in assuming that all this growth is expected to come from investment in production and export? If so, the balance of trade figures should be looking up soon, no?

    Second, it is a simple truth that all debt (or as we now call it, "credit") has to be paid off and paid for. Consumer credit does not generate income to cover this repayment. Consequently, there is a simple mathematical limit to the expansion of consumer credit at a point where the capacity to repay out of current income is exhausted. Beyond this point consumer credit can only grow at the same rate as economic/income growth and cannot stimulate additional growth.

    Looks to me like we have lived through a "step change" in the economy since the Thatcher years. A change in which consumer credit expanded towards this point - which has now been reached. Even if things return to "normal", "normal" will not include further expansion of debt and credit driven growth.

  • Comment number 81.

    Fox news update:

    I just received a phone call from the pest controller of our local council, He explained to me that urban foxes are considered a nuisance and not vermin and only central government can change this policy, so though he commiserates with our problem his hands are tied and he can not break the siege that myself and my stressed out neighbours are under.

    He did point out however that if there is an out break of Rabies ( I kid you not !) the council can act and remove the foxes from our locality. Now, when those nice chaps Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg go on about removing unnecessary red tape from government departments, I would like you to think of us poor South west London folk, it's seems we have to be frothing at the mouth to get things done.

    CV'S are welcome from experienced fur trappers.

  • Comment number 82.

    "torpare" at No.28 got it right.
    I dispair when reading comments from so called experts when they obviously don't know the difference between Inflation and the Cost of Living. Inflation is the measurement of government over-borrowing. It is money used to pump-up the economy. It is publicly spent for numerous reasons and the long term result is the Devaluation of the currency. That is why everything costs more year on year. Inflation is nothing to do with increases in wages, the cost of fuel, the level of VAT or any other cost of living or commodity price. Each budget states the PSBR projection for the coming fiscal year. If you express that as a percentage of the total budget then that is the Inflation rate. This government tells us they are borrowing £1 for every four it spends. That in my book means that Real Inflation is 25% not the silly 3.7% figure we are fed from th BoE. I recall Enoch Powel's speeches on the subject of "The illegal acts of Government" many years ago. Why do people not listen and learn istead of just repeating what we are told on the BBC news or from the governor of the BoE.

  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    Mrs Dillers thinks I should get back to using the internet like all her friends husbands - for recreational purposes only as I am apparently getting boring!
    .................
    Alas, I think we all suffer that problem!

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    61. At 1:07pm on 15 Sep 2010, torpare wrote:
    #50. writingsonthewall wrote:

    "Maybe this is because there has never been a FIAT currency which didn't end in total collapse."

    So, what's your suggested medium of exchange then - carrots?

    Or maybe in your anarchist utopia barter will be used exclusively? It'll probably suffice because of course everyone will be self-sufficient, buzzing about in their home-made cars, wearing their homespun sack-cloth...

    Give me a break!

    ...........
    Yet another fact you choose to ignore. Given that all fiat currencies are in the control of commercial banks who choose to expand the money supply for their own profit, irrespective of the wider economic implications, it comes as no surprise they always fail. A true medium of exchange should have no value. Carrots would do but they deteriorate. Cigarettes have been used in the past for such a purpose as well. At the end of the day the purpose of currency is simply a medium of exchange, in preference to barter. In itself it has little value other than toilet paper, and soon the dollar will prove this.

  • Comment number 87.

    #74 Dillers

    Mrs Dillers thinks I should get back to using the internet like all her friends husbands - for recreational purposes only as I am apparently getting boring!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Does she really know what most men use the internet for?

    If she does the divorce rate is set to soar, still it might keep the retail trade going for a bit longer- all those recently divorced men shopping for a new wardrobe in Next.To impress the next and the next.....

  • Comment number 88.

    WOTW, your spot on imo.

    manufactures can make clothes wich last for years, the tailor shopkeeper who took pride in their work could do this 100 years ago, but they are diappearing because we buy the cheap stuff that falls apart after one wash.

    Could i also add that Next (as well ask M&S, Gap,) have all been found to buy from Indian maufacturers who employee staff at 25 pence per hour and force to work 16 hours per day.) Not exactly a level playing groud to the independent shop keeper wanting to sell quality.

  • Comment number 89.

    Not over for /all/ retailers. Next's loss will be somebody else's gain. Probably Primark's.

  • Comment number 90.

    32. At 10:51am on 15 Sep 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    23. At 10:14am on 15 Sep 2010, creditunionhero wrote:

    "We can't all work for Asda or tesco etc etc. Although we were once known as a nation of shopkeepers, perhaps we will be again."

    ...but seriously - who can afford the rent? If you cannot afford to buy or build your premises (like the chains) then you'll be out of business in weeks. The landlords have too high a return required - thanks to excess leverage - so there's no budging. I can get you a mice little shop in the City of London if you like - or 10, whatever you want, there's nothing here except bike shops and tower blocks.
    "One day my son - all this will be ASDA"

    >>>>

    Hellos to alls my friends, this is Vasilav. I am stills waiting in Hendon for you alls to comes here.

    writings I am thinking that maybe you could show me the mice shop. When Hendon falls to our forces there may be some starvation in the periods when we changes to our workers paradise. Mices will be very goods for the peoples to eats - you can haves them on sticks, put thme in stew. Mouse tastes okay. Better than cat but not as nice as dog.

    I am thinkings we could makes ourselves very riching - as many turnips as we can eats!

  • Comment number 91.

    Anyways. I was lookings at this stories about a shop called 'Next'. Next is yesterday. It is history.

    There is some clothings called 'Revolution'. They are very goods and I am thinking that my pimples clothes will be the workers uniforms and we can be pimples togethers. Come, come to Hendon my brothers and sisters. Lets us be dressing like the dogs ears - yes - and everyones will be wantings to be like up.

    Would anyones be liking fried mice on a stick?

  • Comment number 92.


    88. Kudospeter

    Thanks. You have made one of my points, (obviously unsuccessfully).

  • Comment number 93.


    Moderators - is it that I may not quote an email sent to me by customer service of a private organisation?

    I'd just like to know so we do not waste each other's time.

  • Comment number 94.

    @ 57. At 12:56pm on 15 Sep 2010, torpare wrote:

    >> #39. writingsonthewall wrote:

    >> could support an extra 50% more people
    >> if it weren't for inequality

    > That is among the crassest statements I have
    > ever read, anywhere. How irresponsible can you get?

    Keep your shirt on, torpare. He's right. The planet is going to get
    them anyway, so we can either cope or not. What's crass about
    that?


  • Comment number 95.

    Pay Rises for Workers equals eventual spending in Shops.

    No Pay Rises (with rising Bills) equals less spending in Shops.

    Simples !!!

  • Comment number 96.

    I would of suggested taking another inch or two of the hem line or have the jeans around the knees and do without the backside altogether but charge double the price, but like the overburdened creditors ther is no more cut of the cloth to take.

    I dont see hemlines around the belly button taking off - but there again, LOL

  • Comment number 97.

    #81

    He did point out however that if there is an out break of Rabies ( I kid you not !) the council can act and remove the foxes from our locality. Now, when those nice chaps Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg go on about removing unnecessary red tape from government departments, I would like you to think of us poor South west London folk, it's seems we have to be frothing at the mouth to get things done.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I hope its not Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg who start frothing at the mouth,any signs of it at question time, send in the local pest control people. I did see one of them drinking a lot of water recently, I hope thats not a sign of things to come.

    Also Vasilev #90 and #91

    I like the idea of the mice shops, perhaps you could start a franchaise for them, can I have Hendon as my exclusive territory to start with, followed by perhaps Geneva, apparently there are lots of ex Hendonites living the high life in Switzerland I wouldn't want them to miss out, they might want to move back otherwise.

    We might have a problem with using a big M (for Mice) as our logo though, some small business from USA has got it first.

  • Comment number 98.

    All throughout history there are key years, when people and politicians decisions really have a chance to alter the future.

    We're all just moving through one of those times now.

    And it is quite surprising the effect that relatively small decisions will have on the future.

    For example, one of the reasons the Bolsheviks had so much support, was that working people in 19th century Russia could not feed and maintain their families. That added fuel to the anarchist movement too.

    So low, or no pay rises, with rising Bills, paves the way for social destabilisation, civil disorder, higher violent crime etc.

    Imagine the NHS is dismantled, or reduced in effective capacity.
    Should, a year down the line or two years, or five, a plague break out, how will it be contained ? With the Police ? With the Army ? With Bullets ? Barricades ?

    Imagine international trade becomes impossible, are their contingency plans?

    What if Crop failures become a regular occurence around the world ?

    It isn't hard to imagine other scenario's were things can get out of hand very quickly.

    Unfortunately, there are problems coming.
    Whatever choices are made, life is going to be interesting and difficult, unless you get very lucky. The all is sunshine, flowers and the world at peace is now far more unlikely than just six months ago.

    This is not down to the bankers. The bankers ruined the western economies and have helped set the scene for this economic depression.
    Unfortunately, their activities have weakened National Govt's, and to be honest it is National Govt's who will need to address problems as they arise.


    Most of these problems are going to be man made, but not all.

    How people choose to organise their Countries now could make the difference between survival or not.


    (And not one mention of bankers bonuses, evils of capitalism or Zombies, quite frankly Zombies would have been a relatively easy problem to deal with).



  • Comment number 99.

    #86. Averagejoe wrote:

    "Yet another fact you choose to ignore. Given that all fiat currencies are in the control of commercial banks who choose to expand the money supply for their own profit, irrespective of the wider economic implications, it comes as no surprise they always fail."

    You and I are on the same side, I've previously noted. But there's some confusion here. What you assume I chose to ignore simply isn't relevant IMO.

    Whether or not fiat currencies fail has no direct link with whether or not they are in the control of commercial banks. And anyway, what does "fail" mean?

    If you mean (as I assume you do) hyperinflation, in the case of Weimar for instance inflation was turned into hyper-inflation by the (hyper-)inflationary monetary policy of the central bank. The Governor regarded it as as his prime duty to produce as much currency as the public was demanding and complained at how over-worked his staff were becoming trying to keep up with the exponentially-increasing public demand for banknotes of ever-decreasing value! The crisis was eventually solved at a stroke by the government introducing a new "heavy" paper (ie fiat) currency (the Rentenmark) exchangeable with the old Mark at the rate of 1 : 1 trillion (!), accompanied with the pledge - which was believed-in by the public, and was in fact kept - to limit the amount of rentenmarks issued to a fixed quantity.

    None of this had anything to do with the activities of the private banks.

    The value of any medium of exchange (aka "money") is the value attributed to it by its users, and this in turn rests upon people's confidence that that perceived or attributed value will not be (too) rapidly debased by inflation. Once inflationary expectations take hold people start to demand more money (because they expect to need more). It's this which - if the issuers of money (be they banks or the government) are stampeded by this demand into issuing more and more money - can rapidly feed on itself and turn into hyper-inflation. It makes no difference in principle to this psychology even if 100% reserve banking is practised.

  • Comment number 100.

    I believe that there was actually meant to be a recession in this country in 2001, but that state interference, in the form of pots of cheap money prevented it.

    But this is a natural economic force that won't go away and it returned with a vengeance.

    We seem to be going through a rerun of the 1970s. Major domestic terrorism, unpopular foreign war, union militancy and (effectively) minority government, as well as Labour tearing itself apart between left and right.

    What we don't have is a Thatcher, unless its Daniel Hannan. It may be 'interesting' if he runs for parliament.

 

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