Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Interesting Links for 29-02-2012

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

Actually, I think the most biased opinion poll ever would be:

Which statement do you think is the most accurate?
1) ...something about gay marriage...
2) rabbits are over 50 feet tall and can secretly breathe fire

I absolutely think that an independent Scotland should have its own freely-floating currency.

Shared currencies and fixed currencies work when economic conditions are pretty much the same in the two economies, or when one economy is so small and so dependent upon the larger economy that lots of transactions would be carried out in the larger country's currency anyway.*

So would Scotland and England/Wales/Ulster be closely related economies with very similar conditions? Maybe at first, but after a few years of different tax policies and perhaps more importantly, oil price changes, they really wouldn't.

* Which is why some tiny Pacific Islands use the US dollar.

Yup. The main disadvantages would be conversion costs for trade between England and Scotland, and whether the financial companies currently based in Scotland would relocate to England (as most of their business is done in pounds and their business is largely uk-wide).

If we want to be export-led and manufacturing heavy then I think the gains of our own currency would outweigh that. If we want to be finance heavy then I just don't know.

Another problem (if I understand correctly) would be for the many people in Scotland who have a mortgage in Sterling with an England-based bank. If they all start getting their salaries in Scots Pounds, and the Scots Pound falls against sterling, they could be in trouble

That doesn't strike me as insurmountable. Surely the English/Welsh/Ulster banks could simply set up Scottish subsidiaries and transfer the mortgage books of Scottish borrowers to those subsidiaries. Then MacBarclays (or whatever) would operate in much the same way that Abbey National operates now that it's part of Santander.

Or just do mortgages in Groats. It's not that hard* to have different accounts do different currencies.

*Ok, yes, probably a few million in setup costs if you're not already doing them in pounds, euros, dollars, etc.

Except that the lending banks have probably borrowed in Sterling.

Somewhere in here somebody has a currency exposure.

True but very few mortgages run the full term nowadays. It is very easy to change mortgage providers, and many people do every few years.

And we're not talking about setting up a currency overnight. It will take at least 5 years from any referendum to actual independence, and probably a good few more years to setup a new currency so there will be plenty of time for banks and individuals to sort themselves out.

This is true - plenty of time for everyone to adjust and I think you're right, most will.

I wonder aloud tho - if I were selling a house, with a mortgage in sterling if I'd want to be paid in sterling and not take a currency risk on the transaction. Maybe.

Absolutely, there will be some currency risk which someone will have to bear. It will almost certainly fall onto the borrower - the banks are not daft enough to let it fall the other way around.

If there were specifically English and Scottish banks who treated the other country as being as foreign as mainly Europe, this would be very bad. It can be very expensive/difficult for customers in the UK to have foreign currency bank accounts. And if you don't have a foreign currency bank accounts, making/getting payments in currency can involve unpleasant charges.

I was going to have to pay a charge of approximately four times the amount that I actually wanted to pay in order to pay a small cancellation charge for a German hotel booking until I managed to get my Dad (who lives in France) to pay it for me from his Euro-denominated account there.

I think the time taken for the two economies to disentangle might be quite long.

Some 60% of Scotland’s exports are to the rest of the Sterling zone. There is a lot of cross ownership of businesses.

There are inter-family transfers. Labour mobility between the the Sterling zone is likely to remain high with no language barriers, a similar culture and just general familiarity.

I’d like to see an independent Scotland hold on to Sterling for a few years and then set up the Groat, pegged to Sterling for a few years then free floating – then we can make a decision about the Euro (if it still exists as a single currency.

Women feel pain more than men, and also have more pain. As usual with such articles, there's nothing about the size of the difference between the genders, or how much of an overlap there is.

Yes, some idea of whether there was a 99% overlap or a 5% overlap would be nice!

That poll question makes me want to scream. The only saving grace is that I think they are only resorting to such tactics because they already know they have lost the argument.

It’s the first of these social justice issues I can remember where my response has been – can’t get too excited about this, the good guys have already won, we’re just waiting for the result to be recognised.

I hope I’m not wrong and my smug apathy isn’t misplaced.

I can’t get too excited about ticket touts re-selling tickets that they have bought for more money than they paid for them. Unless I can see evidence of a cartel. I can get pretty excited about people demanding that the free behaviour of strangers be regulated so that they don’t have to pay more to go and see a band.

No one is forced to buy tickets for events. The market strikes me as pretty open. It’s relatively easy to put on an event. There’s a lot of choice.

Large scale ticket touts can lose money. They are taking an punt on a market just like any organsiation whose principal business is to buy in bulk and then sell retail.

They provide some elements of service to people looking for tickets. I suspect they also provide a degree of credit to event organisers and take on some of the financial risk by buying at a fixed price and selling at market derived price.

(I would bet a small amount of money that the number of tickets * the price of the tickets sold to large scale touts approximately = the fixed cost of putting on the event. A question to ponder is who is best placed to bear the financial risk of movements in the market price of / demand for tickets. A firm who is good at combining venues, bands and stage crew or one who is good at trading tickets?)

What seems to be going is that people are confusing a number printed on the ticket (the face price) with what the ticket ought to be worth to people they don’t know.

I’d rather see the event organiser auction them. (But then they may decide that they would rather a high probability of a modest profit than the low probability of a large profit or a large loss.)

I’d like to see a co-op site set up to do low cost genuine fan-to-fan re-selling. But then I’m all about “to the worker, the just fruits of their labours.”

Edited at 2012-02-29 02:56 pm (UTC)

If it was all above board, then I wouldn't worry about it at all. It's the backroom passing of tickets to touts before they go on sale on the open market that bothers me.

They clearly know that what they are doing is something that's going to upset people, and frankly it sounds like they'd be better off just putting them up on the auction sites in the first place (as you say) and saying "The tickets are worth whatever you lot are willing to pay for them".

Yeah the back room selling of tickets is a little off but then I do wonder if the deal is actually structured so that the ticket tout companies buy in advance the tickets needed to make sure the concert doesn’t make a loss for the promoter or venue or what ever part of the supply chain is anxious about lowering their risk.

Probably the owners of the venue who have a large capital outlay and *have* to meet their credit re-payment schedule.

I expect they are demanding money in advance not refundable from the promoter who in turn, to cover her risk, sells a block of tickets to (dirty word) speculator who sells them on to the likes of you and me.

The banks don’t want a risk. The venue owners don’t want a risk. The promoter doesn’t want the risk. The speculator ticket tout does want the risk. We appear to be happy to pay the price for not booking out tickets at the time the venue was built.*

*Semi-serious point here. One way to avoid fans being “fleeced” is for fans to take a debenture in a venue. They get first refusal on tickets / tickets at face value that they can use / pass on / sell on. The venue gets built.

I watched the Dispatches documentary. The problem they highlighted is not that agencies are selling tickets for above face value (they are but that is perfectly legal) but that they are pretending to be ticket exchanges where fans can sell unwanted tickets. In reality these companies are buying large numbers of tickets direct from the promoters and then using thousands of fake user accounts on their own websites to sell them on at 2 or 3 times face value.

and that's dishonest.

The Guardian article seems a little more focused on the trading of tickets by resellers rather then the method they use to disguise the fact.

It is, but I don't think it is illegal.

I don't think so.

Probably less so if there is some fine print about being an agent of touting company.

The tickets worth is based on a lie.

If I pay £100 for a not-really-second-hand ticket that I could have bought in a brief window while they were on sale for £50 face price, I did so because I thought "Holy crap, this gig sold out, but I really want to go. Thanks heavens someone didn't want theirs and sold it on this site!" I would have bought a ticket if there were £50 ones left, but the value I place on the ticket is based on the perception that there are no direct tickets left to buy and that the gig is sold out. However, there really ought to be tickets left, since they have not actually sold to customers, but the number of direct tickets is limited in order to force people to buy what they believe are resold ones at a higher cost.

Some train companies have talked about flexible pricing, where it's more expensive to travel at busy times of day. An analagous situation would be the train company running their trains a carriage short so that the remaining part of the train is busier, in order to make more money from the same customers.

You're paying a premium for nothing, essentially just a very large administration fee for using that website.

Men and women respond differently to stress

The rest of the article was a bit surprising (about how stressed people view the upsides of issues more strongly than the downsides), but that bit was fairly obvious, at least how it was described looks exactly like the differences you'd expect between individuals who expect to be able to control their own destiny and those who expect to have to rely upon others - in short a fairly good reflection of societal expectations, and yet another aspect of how steroetyoically "feminine" behavior is more accurately described as the behavior of people who lack or at least do not expect to have economic and social power.

You are viewing andrewducker