The Regulator is good for business… In particular State owned business

In browsing the site itsyourmoney.ie today I noticed something interesting. First of all there is a section for ‘savings & deposit accounts’ then a separate one for ‘state savings schemes’ (note SSIA’s are long gone), but the ‘savings schemes‘ are all really just deposits! Check out their rates too! lol.

If you go to ‘compare costs and benefits’ on deposit accounts you get a list, but in with the banks who shows up? An Post, so they are either a ‘state plan’ or they are not? Indeed it seems both apply, they have their own section, and they are also in with the rest of the financial institutions.

If you go to compare products and click on a high street bank name, it takes you to a page where it shows the product details of whatever that bank has on offer, however, if you click on the name …

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Why aren’t mortgages MORE expensive?

In looking at any product or service you will often hear people mention ‘supply and demand’, it is one of the foundations of Microeconomics.

Generally if supply increases prices drop, if it decreases prices rise. By how much is a question of how elastic the demand is versus supply.

We know from our day to day experience that there is still a high level of demand for mortgage finance, charting our figures back to 2005 has shown us that if we take out ‘noise’ of m/o/m figures that demand is still at relatively high levels.

However, we also know, from our daily interactions with banks that criteria is getting harder, conditions more restrictive, underwriting is more forensic, the supply of mortgages is decreasing rapidly.

Using a simple chart you would get something along the lines the one below, the blue supply and demand lines show  the situation at a certain point in time, we’ll say that is a year ago, the green line of supply shows the current situation – it has moved to the left because of the decrease.

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Why aren't mortgages MORE expensive?

In looking at any product or service you will often hear people mention ‘supply and demand’, it is one of the foundations of Microeconomics.

Generally if supply increases prices drop, if it decreases prices rise. By how much is a question of how elastic the demand is versus supply.

We know from our day to day experience that there is still a high level of demand for mortgage finance, charting our figures back to 2005 has shown us that if we take out ‘noise’ of m/o/m figures that demand is still at relatively high levels.

However, we also know, from our daily interactions with banks that criteria is getting harder, conditions more restrictive, underwriting is more forensic, the supply of mortgages is decreasing rapidly.

Using a simple chart you would get something along the lines the one below, the blue supply and demand lines show  the situation at a certain point in time, we’ll say that is a year ago, the green line of supply shows the current situation – it has moved to the left because of the decrease.

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The errors of compensation

One of the most pointed arguments that we hear about is that of bankers pay, some people have even started to refer to them as ‘banksters’ instead of ‘gangsters’. The reality is that both the industry and the shareholders and everybody else got it terribly wrong, even the corporations with their internal and agent remuneration models got it wrong. We were rewarding short termism in a long term game, something akin to having a footballer who has to play the full 90 mins but we base all their pay on the first five minutes.

On one hand the general mass of decision makers didn’t see the financial crisis coming, granted, there were some who were shouting it from rooftops, in some cases those same people have predicted 15 of the last 2 market meltdowns (our most well known one began calling it from late 1999), with others they were just plain ignored. The best analogy I have heard so far came compliments of a very respected colleague with over 40 years of banking experience …

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Rent or Buy the 5 year outlook

Today we are going to look at a comparison of renting vs buying with a five year outlook given the current interest rates, the yield outlook and lastly the cost of renting.

The following figures factor in real life examples taken from existing lending rates/rental prices and the forward estimation on rates is taken from presumptions in the current yield curve (chart is below). The terms applied in each example are 30 years, and the purchase is assumed to be a couple buying together, we can examine the impact for a single person in a separate post.

If you were to take a price of €313,000 for a two bed property (current average taken as a mean of prices in todays daft report – this figure is the Dublin average price across all geographic areas, the figures can be determined for any county the same way) and do the following.

1. Compare the total cost of ownership (we are not factoring in house insurance, bin …

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Geithner plan, re-explained by Khan Academy

Another video from the Khan Academy, talking about the working reality of the Geithner Plan. Really it seems that the plans sole purpose is to allow investors to use taxpayer money to buy assets with all upside and little or no downside by using a credit default swap to insure the deal. Even a zero return isn’t to be balked at when investing during a period of deflation, the way it’s described here puts it out in plain english.

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The Criteria Crunch

We have just been informed that one the lenders we deal with are only getting through applications received by the 4th of March, that is a near 20 day delay on new applications they are considering. Why the backlog? Has the market suddenly recovered? Are they being flooded?

No, rather it is a case that in banks nearly everybody has been enlisted to work in ‘collections’ and the staff were taken from every other department, in particular the ‘new business’ section. The bank we are talking about today merged their direct channel with brokerage so even going via a branch makes no difference, the whole company has only four working underwriters.

So inasmuch as the credit explosion saw too many resources being thrown at lending and the expansion of same, the crunch is doing the exact opposite by overshooting the mark in the reduction of resources. For a publicly quoted bank to be 20 days behind means that the market is facing yet another hurdle in reaching its rational level. Lending hasn’t frozen, people are …

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The 'Rich Man' died a 'Pauper'… LTV's and Life Cover

There is a risk creeping into the lives of many that they are not aware of, one that every generation has continually faced and also one that is the greatest wealth destroyer of all, namely death and debt. Nothing kills wealth quicker than death and in particular in circumstances where the estate is not settled correctly in advance or where there are large debts that were not covered.

Every person I know is bulletproof in theory but corporeal in practice and that means that many of us have risks that we are not covering, you can’t cover 100% of the bases 100% of the time but some do need to be covered and it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

How did the rich man die a pauper? We’ll take an example of a person with a home and two RIP’s (residential investment properties), We’ll say that the lady of the house is a solicitor earning €120,000 a year her name is Jane Doe, and the man of …

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The ‘Rich Man’ died a ‘Pauper’… LTV’s and Life Cover

There is a risk creeping into the lives of many that they are not aware of, one that every generation has continually faced and also one that is the greatest wealth destroyer of all, namely death and debt. Nothing kills wealth quicker than death and in particular in circumstances where the estate is not settled correctly in advance or where there are large debts that were not covered.

Every person I know is bulletproof in theory but corporeal in practice and that means that many of us have risks that we are not covering, you can’t cover 100% of the bases 100% of the time but some do need to be covered and it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

How did the rich man die a pauper? We’ll take an example of a person with a home and two RIP’s (residential investment properties), We’ll say that the lady of the house is a solicitor earning €120,000 a year her name is Jane Doe, and the man of …

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Preventing Inflation

We’ve had some problems with the embedding code, if the video doesn’t play for you click here

The common view (my own included!) is that there will be some serious inflation coming down the line, the valid point raised here is that all of the liquidity is currently trapped in many mechanisms from deleveraging to recapitalising financial institutions. The hard hand to play will be that of timing with taking the right moves, which frankly doesn’t inspire me hence my belief that we will not get it right and the inflation will come one way or the other! Having said that, it is vital to accept and consider all counterpoints and this is an easily understood one.

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