‘Thrift’ and why it will be the next fashionable trend

If the Celtic Tiger brought the fashion of consumption and SUV’s then certainly the polar opposite will come true in a downturn, and that will be the emergence of ‘Thrift’ as a way of doing things. Today we will look at some popular thrift websites, as well as how recycling will come into play in the way we do things for the coming years.

The older generation must be secretly laughing at us, they were frugal and appreciated the value of money, I have heard this said on radio, the television, and even on the streets. I suppose it never hit me too much personally because I’m not a flash type of guy, I own a car but I cycle to work (partly due to my feelings on environmental responsibility and party because its faster than sitting in traffic), I could afford nicer clothes but I don’t feel the need to be impressive in that department so my banged up civvies will suffice (as far as I’m concerned). …

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'Thrift' and why it will be the next fashionable trend

If the Celtic Tiger brought the fashion of consumption and SUV’s then certainly the polar opposite will come true in a downturn, and that will be the emergence of ‘Thrift’ as a way of doing things. Today we will look at some popular thrift websites, as well as how recycling will come into play in the way we do things for the coming years.

The older generation must be secretly laughing at us, they were frugal and appreciated the value of money, I have heard this said on radio, the television, and even on the streets. I suppose it never hit me too much personally because I’m not a flash type of guy, I own a car but I cycle to work (partly due to my feelings on environmental responsibility and party because its faster than sitting in traffic), I could afford nicer clothes but I don’t feel the need to be impressive in that department so my banged up civvies will suffice (as far as I’m concerned). …

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Every little helps…. Mortgages by Tesco?

I read an interesting article today (here) about Tesco. Apparently Tesco Personal Finance will offer mortgages in the UK in the near future, however, they have not decided if they will include broker facing product ranges in the recently announced offering.

The supermarket chain has taken on Benny Higgins, former head of retail business at HBOS, and in press over the weekend he says there are plans to expand the Tesco Personal Finance offering to include mortgage and current accounts products.

He said “Today there is an opportunity to be a responsible lender in mortgages. At present there are still funding problems but that will change. In the second quarter of next year financing will be freer and there could be a very active re-mortgaging market.”

Tesco have (in Ireland) faced bitter competition from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, however, neither of those firms have entered into the personal finance arena. Tesco is already doing car insurance, …

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A tale of two commissions.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Some of you may recognise this line from ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens, however, I am not a classical scholar, instead it sums up my monetary sentiments for 2008. On one hand we are seeing property prices [the very foundation of the majority of Irish wealth] wither away, as global conditions worse, especially in the USA where house prices are now falling quicker than they did during the Great Depression.

There has been more than a few articles in this blog about the current issues in the broker market, the description I would use to describe it at the moment tends to modulate between ‘ugly’ and …

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Permanent TSB? More like Permanent inability.

Permanent Tsb are in the financial news again, this time its not for ripping off brokers though, its because their sub-prime mortgage wing ‘Springboard’ have had their funding pulled by Merrill Lynch. Springboard is a joint venture between PTsb and Merrill Lynch, the question now is ‘what does a mortgage company who can’t lend money do?’. I suspect they will be standing in line with the Woodworm who specialises in concrete only products.

The same thing happened several months back to another lender and they swiftly left the market. The concern now is for the IL&P share price, Dennis Casey will have some serious wangling on his hands to avoid disaster because he now has a war on several fronts, in fact, if I could raise Bismark from the dead and get a decent Prussian translator I would do it and let the original ‘Mr. Blood and Guts’ lay down some facts for the beleaguered CEO of Permanent Tsb.

Today’s news is about the fact that a major bank (Merrill Lynch) is pulling funding from Springboard, they are not pulling …

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IBA invites you to… never mind…actually, we changed our mind. (PIBA & IBA merger is cast out)

The Irish Broker Association (IBA) made an approach to the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA) whereby their 300 strong membership might amalgamate with PIBAS nearly 800. They all went into a room and entered negotiations. This wasn’t a case where one had a gun to another’s head, it was something that would be of mutual benefit to all brokers in Ireland, because brokers, unlike almost any other industry, don’t have a single representative body.

So it makes total sense right? Of course it does! Standing as a united front and being able to ensure that members reach certain standards of operation, giving a voice to a multi-million euro industry, there is such great scope that I figured ‘even if we have to get over 75% in favour we’ll still be able to do it’. And we were.

Actually, PIBA were, the votes came in and in a voice of unity we voted with an 80% majority to go ahead and make one proper representative body.

The IBA on the other hand, who actually made the approach for all of this …

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IBA invites you to… never mind…actually, we changed our mind. (PIBA & IBA merger is cast out)

The Irish Broker Association (IBA) made an approach to the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA) whereby their 300 strong membership might amalgamate with PIBAS nearly 800. They all went into a room and entered negotiations. This wasn’t a case where one had a gun to another’s head, it was something that would be of mutual benefit to all brokers in Ireland, because brokers, unlike almost any other industry, don’t have a single representative body.

So it makes total sense right? Of course it does! Standing as a united front and being able to ensure that members reach certain standards of operation, giving a voice to a multi-million euro industry, there is such great scope that I figured ‘even if we have to get over 75% in favour we’ll still be able to do it’. And we were.

Actually, PIBA were, the votes came in and in a voice of unity we voted with an 80% majority to go ahead and make one proper representative body.

The IBA on the other hand, who actually made the approach for all of this …

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Talk the talk and walk the walk (economically speaking)

I wrote an article back at the end of 2005 called ‘the changing face of the mortgage market’ and I sent it off to a few newspapers and several magazines, it went largely un-noticed, when I say ‘largely’ I actually mean ‘totally’. Apparently I was ranting lunacy or something close to it, if you know me you’ll also know that this was a possibility….

Last weekend in a smokey Krakow it was mentioned during a conversation that you need to make a call on things and then fall on your face when you are wrong but remain vindicated when you are right. In the spirit of that conversation (with thanks to our own resident Enda Munnelly) I will list the predictions I had and then we can either collectively laugh at me or not. The main thing is that I put my predictions on the line and show whether or not I can walk the walk.

1. More than 100%!

Traditionally there were two things stopping people from getting a mortgage, the first was qualifying for the loan, the second …

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