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By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
#190044
I'm on a £1 for 4 weeks subscription. It's very good in places, but as bad as other papers in others. In the last 2 days we've had columns and letters against HS2 which have all failed to mention capacity ("all for 20 minutes off the journey to Birmingham") and talk about how big projects go overbudget, so we should upgrade existing lines. Despite the fact HS1 was on time and budget and upgrading the West Coast Mainline was a disaster. One letter even quoted the Taxpayers Alliance- who, btw, included the cost of Crossrail 2 as being part of HS2. One columnist talked about how investors would be keen to invest in "Boris Airport", as if that were free money. Somehow, I think those Chinese businessmen and Arabian sovereign wealth funds are probably quite tough cookies.

Anyone else look at the FT much?
By Fflaps
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#190059
I read it most days (for work) but tend not to bother with the letters which, as you say, generally resemble those in other papers. Some of the columnists are quite good (I have always enjoyed Lucy Kellaway) and they have some good reporting but tbh I mainly read the companies and markets sections.
 
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
#190064
Guess what? The bloke who wrote the HS2 rubbish is a Mail writer. Iain Martin.

Who writes high standard stuff like this:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... hools.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Is it too much to expect people who get commissions from the FT to know LEA's haven't run schools for 23 years? Or even if they did, why they'd always be worse at it than the people he mentions?

Or that Gove isn't in charge of "British" schools? Or that the previous government believed in school uniforms?
 
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
#194034
They've got over HS2, and improved considerably.

Odd leader though. Logic of coverage seems to say the deficit reduction was too fast. Then an editorial says it isn't, look at Spain and Italy, and look at Britain's "uglier public finances". Maturity on the debt being left out of the equation altogether.
 
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
#256448
Still enjoying the FT intermittently. It does though have some silly letters. Like this chap defending financial misselling.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/805f9cae-f5d3 ... z260i1s8Sa" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“Protecting people from themselves” and the “compensation culture” are dead weights that kill growth, entrepreneurialism, opportunities (including job opportunities) and investor returns. They add nothing at all to the wealth of society – and indeed prevent the functioning of a healthy economy. What the UK needs right now is to have its people exposed to more risk, not less! They can figure it out – they just need to be treated like adults!
Yeah, people are going to be rushing to invest if there's no protection against being ripped off.

It's well worth registering for free on the FT, if you haven't.
 
By Bones McCoy
Membership Days Posts
#256469
Tubby Isaacs wrote:I'm on a £1 for 4 weeks subscription. It's very good in places, but as bad as other papers in others. In the last 2 days we've had columns and letters against HS2 which have all failed to mention capacity ("all for 20 minutes off the journey to Birmingham") and talk about how big projects go overbudget, so we should upgrade existing lines. Despite the fact HS1 was on time and budget and upgrading the West Coast Mainline was a disaster. One letter even quoted the Taxpayers Alliance- who, btw, included the cost of Crossrail 2 as being part of HS2. One columnist talked about how investors would be keen to invest in "Boris Airport", as if that were free money. Somehow, I think those Chinese businessmen and Arabian sovereign wealth funds are probably quite tough cookies.

Anyone else look at the FT much?
I used to pik it up at the airport when working abroad (I'm sure you can guess the alternatives).

It is a fascinating title - the only one I've come across where our Betters (The likes of wacko Tory backbenchers and think tank apparatchics) speak their real feelings.
I've still kept an edition from soon after the 2nd gulf war faded into peace.
It's telling that it has 3 articles that would cause a scandal in any other paper.

One questions the motives for the war, and presents war as the "highest cost solution".
The next examines Haliburton's winning the "No bid tender" for logistic support.
The third looks at the connections between the war's supporters in Washington, party funding, and preferred supplier deals.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
#276651
There's an excellent expose from the FT on how Deutsche Bank traders covered up billions of dollars' worth of losses to avoid having to seek a bailout in 2008-09.
In complaints to the SEC made in 2010-11, the employees allege that the main source of overstatement was in a $130bn portfolio of “leveraged super senior” trades.

In 2005 these were seen as the next big thing in the rapidly evolving world of credit derivatives. They were designed to behave like the most senior tranche of a typical collateralised debt obligation, where assets such as mortgages or credit default swaps are pooled to give investors varying degrees of risk exposure.

Deutsche became the biggest operator in this market, which involved banks buying insurance against the possibility of default by some of the safest companies.

Working with Deutsche, investors – many of them Canadian pension funds in search of yield – sold insurance to the bank, posting a small amount of collateral. In return, they received a stream of income from Deutsche as an insurance premium. On a typical deal with a notional value of $1bn, the investors would post just $100m in collateral – a fraction of what would normally be posted by an investor writing an insurance contract.

The small amount of collateral did not matter, the product’s creators said. The chance of several safe companies, such as Dow Chemical or Walmart, all going bankrupt at the same time was infinitesimally small. It might require a nuclear war. The chance of the investors having to pay out on the insurance appeared impossibly remote. The chance of their collateral being used up was inconsequential.

Having bought protection from Canadian investors, Deutsche went out and sold protection to other investors in the US via the benchmark credit index known as CDX. It would earn a spread of a few basis points between the two positions, perhaps 0.03 per cent.

That does not sound like much. But as it amassed ever greater positions, eventually representing 65 per cent of all leveraged super senior trades, it accumulated a portfolio of $130bn in notional value. Over the seven-year life of the trade, the few basis points were worth about $270m.

There was a problem, though, which traders either did not foresee or did not care about when they booked hundreds of millions of dollars of upfront profits. A severe financial shock, well short of nuclear warfare, could also produce disastrous results.

In 2007, credit spreads widened as investors grew nervous about companies’ prospects and liquidity dried up. But spreads on super senior tranches of derivatives structures, representing the safest portion of the capital structure, did not just rise by two or three times – they exploded.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c3c0b362-3ecf ... z2EGXulP9q" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
 
By Tubby Isaacs
Membership Days Posts
#276658
Yep I noted that.

Funny to think that the writer I complained about upthread, Iain Martin, is one of the better ones on the Telegraph. He did a decent article about Eurosceptics the other day (in which he counted himself) and said basically there wasn't a unified position, and many of them were all over the place. You'd have thought he'd advocated ceding Surrey to Hugo Chavez.
By new puritan
Membership Days Posts
#276701
I read that Martin piece - the reaction to it was predictably Pavlovian. Incidentally, you don't have to do much to get loads of recommendations from Telegraph commenters, do you? You just type 'vote UKIP' somewhere in your post and watch them come flooding in.
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