Foxtons, The London Bubble Stock: James Saft

The dollar was little changed versus the euro as the U.S. government moves closer to a shutdown with lawmakers wrangling over the debt limit. While most jewelers have already stocked up in anticipation of higher demand during the Golden Week, physical purchases are steady when prices fall, said Wang Xiaoli, chief investment strategist at CITICS Futures Co., a unit of Chinas biggest listed brokerage. Golds main direction will continue to come from cues on what the Fed may do with stimulus. Gold for immediate delivery lost 0.6 percent to $1,315.08 an ounce by 10:08 a.m. in London. Bullion for December delivery slipped 0.9 percent to $1,315.30 on the Comex in New York . Futures trading volume was 8 percent above the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Government Funding The U.S. Senate yesterday began considering a measure the House passed Sept. 20 that cuts off money for President Barack Obama s health-care law and finances the federal government through mid-December. Government funding expires Oct. 1 and the Treasury is expected to exhaust its ability to borrow funds in mid-October, when it will reach the statutory debt limit. Holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products fell 0.7 metric ton yesterday to 1,932.4 tons, the lowest since May 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. The U.S. Mint sold 12,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins so far this month, exceeding Augusts total of 11,500 ounces that was the least in six years, according to its website.

That implies investors believe that either it will gain market share rapidly or, as real estate agent fees are a percentage of sales and rental prices, they think London real estate will continue its stratospheric rise. How Foxtons came to command such a premium price, its journey on the way, and the policies and forces which got it there form a very short tour of what has gone wrong in Britain over the past decade and a half. House prices in London have more than tripled since 1998, rising far more than incomes and driven by a complex combination of forces. While difficulty getting planning approval has played a role, as has London’s popularity with rich foreigners seeking a bolt-hole against political risks at home, much of the gains have been driven by the financialization of the British economy. With London perhaps the pre-eminent global banking capital, that created many very highly paid jobs, and people capable and willing to pay up for houses and flats. Before the financial crisis, there was also the fact that British lenders would more or less lend to anyone, often with only their own testimony in support of their ability to repay the money. That allowed people not making financial services salaries to borrow, and many did, hoping that gains in property prices would justify loans which no sane banker would make. That all ended with the crash, which began shortly after Foxtons was sold in 2007. London property prices tumbled by 16 percent, Foxtons proved unable to handle its debts, and the banks moved in. NOT A NORMAL UNIVERSE In a normal universe you would expect it to end there – bad loans and bad policies are followed by a crash and lenders mop things up. But we don’t live in a normal universe.

Budget cuts to hit Filipino nurses at London hospital

Filipino nurses are fighting against pay cuts at London hospitals Protestors are concerned over budget cuts which include plans to move services to different locations, as well as debanding nursing staff – effectively changing job titles and reducing salaries. They want to reduce our pay but expect us to do the same work load, said Roderick Villarico, a senior nurse at the Accident & Emergency (A&E) unit. The 41-year-old from Baguio, who has been with Whipps Cross for 11 years, told ABS-CBN Europe: [The nurses] feel like all of our hard work and experiences from all these years have been thrown out of the window. They dont matter anymore. Its like weve just graduated from college without any experience. Whipps Cross is part of Barts Health NHS Trust, the largest government health trust in the UK since 2012 following a merger between local hospitals in east London, which now includes Mile End Hospital, Newham University Hospital, The London Chest Hospital, The Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomews Hospital. Barts Health is on a mission to save 77.5 million this year, which it said will be done across the board and with plans that will not affect clinical safety or the quality of care for patients. But according to Villarico, the Trusts strategy to pinch nursing staff salaries is unfair and disrespectful after years of loyal service and valuable contributions, many of them claiming to have worked for the hospital for over a decade. The truth is we give so much to this hospital. We do several jobs in one: we are nurses, porters, cleaners, and whatever else that needs doing. Thats why were so bitter about what they plan to do to us, he said. For Marvin Escueta, another senior nurse at Whipps Cross, cutting nursing staff or reducing their salary will have a far reaching effect on several other people, not only within the UK but as far away as the Philippines.