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economic situation is dire


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boy the news is relentlessly poor

the Dow at the lowest levels for 5 years, the big car manufacturers abotu to go under, jobs being lost all over the place.

Each country is having specfic issues but ay leats Oil is still coming down and thus inflation but now everyone is worried about deflation !!!

In the states teh interest rate is likely to be cut to just 0.5% so where do they go if that does not work ?

over here despite massive tax money the banks are still refusing to lend to small business's

and it appears on Monday we are likely to see some tax cuts, the proposed new car tax bands being abanonded and god knwos what else, rumours of a free council tax month or VAT being lowered temporary

and no one with any certainity knows what could happen

plus much more I am sure

said it before but this is history we are living through

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Not sure about the thread title but you could also chuck this into the mix:

The ultimate pound shop - Woollies

The scale of the crisis facing Britain's high streets was underlined in dramatic fashion yesterday as Woolworths revealed it was seeking a rescue takeover of its stores and Marks & Spencer slashed its prices by 20% in an attempt to pull in shoppers and shift unsold stock.

Woolworths is likely to get just £1 for its loss-making 800-store chain. The decision to seek a buyer for the shops in mid-November reveals that the chain is dangerously close to bankruptcy. It makes 90% of its profits in the six weeks before Christmas and should be raking in cash at this time of the year, selling Christmas goods and toys.

Marks & Spencer's sale is its first pre-Christmas clearance for four years. The M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose has often criticised so-called "guerrilla sales" for antagonising shoppers who have paid the full price for the same merchandise.

However, M&S stores are opening at 8am today and many of the biggest outlets are staying open until midnight to give shoppers extra time to take advantage of lower prices.

Other retailers feeling the squeeze include Sports Direct, owned by the billionaire Mike Ashley, and DSG, formerly known as Dixons.

DSG's shares lost 31% of their value yesterday, closing at just 15p. At that level the business has a value of just £275m - equal to about 10 days' sales. The group is facing declining prices as well as fewer sales.

Retailers, who employ one in 10 of the UK workforce, are facing a perfect storm of trading problems: consumers have stopped spending as fears escalate about house prices and unemployment and the cost of buying in goods from overseas manufacturers is rising as a result of the fall in sterling. At the same time credit insurers, who protect suppliers from non-payment of invoices in the event of a retailer going bust, have stopped providing cover to some store chains.

One City retail specialist said the outlook for high street operators was exceptionally tough: "Christmas 2008 has the feel of being the worst retailing Christmas for many years." Retail executives fear a series of financial crises and collapses in the coming weeks, especially with quarterly store rents due on December 24.

The grim news from the high street came as leading shares took a fresh tumble, losing nearly 5% of their value. The FTSE-100 closed down 202.87 pts at 4005.68.

Analysts say clothing sales have gone into steep decline in the last two weeks and M&S is not the first to slash prices at a time of the year when retailers hope to be selling at full price.

Debenhams is running a 25%-off threeday sale and Bhs, which offered 20% off everything a week ago, now has up to 50% off selected lines. Sir Philip Green's Arcadia brands - which include Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge - are also said to be considering big price reductions.

City retail specialist Freddie George, at broker Seymour Pierce, said the M&S one-day reduction was "a clear sign that sales are well behind budget in the lead up to Christmas". He is urging investors to sell M&S shares. Yesterday they sank to 200p - their lowest level for more than eight years. Just 18 months ago they were changing hands at 740p.

Sports Direct's shares also hit a record low, losing 13% of their value to 32p. Investors who bought the shares when they came to the market less than two years ago have now seen 90% of their value wiped out.

Woolworths hopes to sell its stores to Hilco, a US-based group that specialises in distressed companies. Hilco may put the business into administration so that it can offload its unprofitable stores. That is likely to mean large job cuts among Woolworths' 25,000 store workers.

Woolworths refused to comment but a source familiar with Hilco said: "You don't get into bed with a group like Hilco unless things are pretty tight".

Hilco would pay only a nominal sum for Woolworths, but would also take over some of the retailer's near-£300m of debt. The store chain said a deal was not certain. Woolworths would retain its two other businesses, which distribute DVDs, books and music to other retailers.

The beleaguered retailer's shares collapsed to just over 2p, valuing the 99-year- old retail group - a cornerstone of shopping centres in towns and cities throughout the country - at just £34m.

In recent years the chain has been squeezed by the supermarkets, internet retailers and specialist high street stores. But it remains a huge operation, with sales of about £3bn a year. It still sells more sweets than any other retailer and is among the top five in entertainment sales, toys, children's clothing and homewares. Financially, however, it is on its knees. In the first six months of this year it crashed £100m into the red.

The new dip on the high street came as department store group John Lewis's sales were last week down a huge 14% on 2007 levels. Sales have also gone into reverse at its online operation for the first time since JohnLewis.com started in 2001.

Store chains which have had at least some of their credit insurance removed include Woolworths, Debenhams, Currys, Focus, Poundstretcher, Ideal World and TJ Hughes. Without cover retailers have to pay for supplies upfront, in cash, rather than having the time to sell goods to customers before settling suppliers' bills.

Yesterday a source close to Woolworths said the removal of its credit cover had been a key factor in its decision to seek a rescuer.

MPC mulled 2% cut

A fresh cut in interest rates looks likely next month after the Bank of England revealed its monetary policy committee considered cutting the cost of borrowing by more than the 1.5 percentage points reduction it announced two weeks ago. In a clear signal that a new cut is on the cards when the committee meets in two weeks, the minutes of the last meeting showed members believed "a very significant reduction in bank rate - possibly in excess of two percentage points - might be required".

The City now expects a 0.5 cut, to leave rates at 2.5% - within sight of the all-time low of 2%.

The Bank said it wanted to see the size of Alistair Darling's pre-budget report before assessing the scale of a further easing of monetary policy. The MPC said it also wanted to see whether October's coordinated efforts to shore up banking had increased the flow of credit. It is concerned that a bigger cut in the bank rate would scare the City.

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well clearly the action needed to stop this possible depression heading our ways is massive, monetary policy alone wiwll not work because soon the States will have nowhere to go and fiscal measures will mean governments taking on massive debts

worrying times for all

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I'm told from colloeagues who work in the states that signs of recovery are there. Some predict the US may now recover quicker than the UK.

Next year will be shit though. Ok for me I hope though as I've got cash waiting to buy a car and my mortgage is changeable in April.

Don't read papaers, don't watch the news, it's bad and we know it. Just get the head down and get through it if you can.

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Before this degenerates into the traditional party political slanging match can I just say the following.

The japanese have a saying which I agree with 100%

FIX THE PROBLEM< NOT THE BLAME

Lets have a discussion on what can be done to kick start the worlds economy, not who can drag up quotes from either side proving they are pillocks, what service will that actually perform

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I'm told from colloeagues who work in the states that signs of recovery are there. Some predict the US may now recover quicker than the UK.

Next year will be shit though. Ok for me I hope though as I've got cash waiting to buy a car and my mortgage is changeable in April.

Don't read papaers, don't watch the news, it's bad and we know it. Just get the head down and get through it if you can.

that maybe the case or not EV but at this moment it looks abysmal, all the Western world is in a recession now and these tend to spin out of control as peopel get gloomier and gloomier.

There are solutions being stated but still the credit crunch which is the backbone of this recession is not being really loosened up and until business's get confidence they have a credit line none of this will flow down.

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Before this degenerates into the traditional party political slanging match can I just say the following.

The japanese have a saying which I agree with 100%

FIX THE PROBLEM< NOT THE BLAME

Lets have a discussion on what can be done to kick start the worlds economy, not who can drag up quotes from either side proving they are pillocks, what service will that actually perform

totally agree Wigan which is why if you notice in my opening post not one mention of politics was mentioned, please note who posted that.

Now there are solutions as I said but until the banks start lending things will be bad so the solution is to try and encourage the banks to start lending again, all governments have tried this but it is still frozen to some extent

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Personally Ian, I think the answer is many fold

Yes we need to get the banks lending again and I'm certain with the bailout made presure can and will be applied.

Capital spending, Governmants will need to kick start various sectors by, in particular building things

The media, very hung up on the bad news front (and I personally believe are partly to blame for talking us into a recession) should have encouragement to spread the good stories as much as the bad

Tax cuts - both diredct and indirect to again create some feelgood

not exhaustive I'm certain but a start

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Before this degenerates into the traditional party political slanging match can I just say the following.

The japanese have a saying which I agree with 100%

FIX THE PROBLEM< NOT THE BLAME

Lets have a discussion on what can be done to kick start the worlds economy, not who can drag up quotes from either side proving they are pillocks, what service will that actually perform

totally agree Wigan which is why if you notice in my opening post not one mention of politics was mentioned, please note who posted that.

indeed Ian. I now choose to ignore those attempts at political point scoring, and read more worthwhile posts.

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I personally think the energy companies have ahuge part to play in this. The fuel bills have been rising, and we have the most expensive gas and electric prices compared to the rest of Europe.

While I am on a reasonable income, you wonder how pensioners cope with this?

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Before this degenerates into the traditional party political slanging match can I just say the following.

The japanese have a saying which I agree with 100%

FIX THE PROBLEM< NOT THE BLAME

Lets have a discussion on what can be done to kick start the worlds economy, not who can drag up quotes from either side proving they are pillocks, what service will that actually perform

totally agree Wigan which is why if you notice in my opening post not one mention of politics was mentioned, please note who posted that.

Now there are solutions as I said but until the banks start lending things will be bad so the solution is to try and encourage the banks to start lending again, all governments have tried this but it is still frozen to some extent

Not sure you ca discuss this without mentioning the politics involved

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Not sure you ca discuss this without mentioning the politics involved

True, but it can become massively tedious when every topic from the price of fish to the joke thread turns into nothing more than "it's all Labour's fault" "no, it's all Thatcher's fault" from the same old characters.

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Personally Ian, I think the answer is many fold

Yes we need to get the banks lending again and I'm certain with the bailout made presure can and will be applied.

Capital spending, Governmants will need to kick start various sectors by, in particular building things

The media, very hung up on the bad news front (and I personally believe are partly to blame for talking us into a recession) should have encouragement to spread the good stories as much as the bad

Tax cuts - both diredct and indirect to again create some feelgood

not exhaustive I'm certain but a start

indeed and on Monday we will see that action can be taken.

the problem is because we have a dead duck president at the mo they are not acting as fast so hopefully when Obama starts in Jan he can start thinsg moving quickly

As to the press they will always say the bad news but I do read around and ltitle good news, even inflation coming down was made into a bad news story with scare stories of the effects of deflation !!

and Richard it is dead easy read the posts this can be discussed without politics.

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I personally think the energy companies have ahuge part to play in this. The fuel bills have been rising, and we have the most expensive gas and electric prices compared to the rest of Europe.

While I am on a reasonable income, you wonder how pensioners cope with this?

luckily it appears with Oil nearly a third of the price it was in January we will be seeing priuce cuts, one company has already announced this

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Not sure you ca discuss this without mentioning the politics involved

True, but it can become massively tedious when every topic from the price of fish to the joke thread turns into nothing more than "it's all Labour's fault" "no, it's all Thatcher's fault" from the same old characters.

I totally agree. And I speak, no doubt, as one of those characters!
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FIX THE PROBLEM

Is anyone actually trying to do that, though?

What countries, governments, etc. are trying to do is ameliorate the effects of a recession/depression.

That's all well and good but if we, all of us, kid ourselves that this is fixing the problem then I think that is a mistake.

I have two main fears.

Firstly, by lessening the current impact, we probably sow the seeds for the next bust, possibly accentuate the suffering felt then and mabe hasten its arrival.

Secondly, when things turn round (as they will at some point), no one will want to address the problem(s) which sped us into our current fix. Proper amounts of regulation will be seen as hindering the shoots of recovery, people will largely forget the lessons they ought to have learnt (as they did the last time, as they will the next time) and we will be so happy to be through the bad times that realism will once again be dismissed as pessimism.

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I personally think the energy companies have ahuge part to play in this. The fuel bills have been rising, and we have the most expensive gas and electric prices compared to the rest of Europe.

While I am on a reasonable income, you wonder how pensioners cope with this?

luckily it appears with Oil nearly a third of the price it was in January we will be seeing priuce cuts, one company has already announced this

While I agree that petrol and diesel are coming down - I don't think the same applies to gas or electricity.

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