Coming up for air

London's economy

Coming up for air

The capital has done better than expected

AS A recession spawned by a banking crisis struck two years ago, London looked acutely vulnerable because of its reliance on finance. The sight of distraught employees leaving Lehman Brothers’ glitzy office in Canary Wharf after the investment bank folded in September 2008 seemed to presage a similar collapse in the capital’s economy. But London has proved more resilient than expected, and there are signs that it will recover more swiftly than the rest of Britain.

A swollen financial sector was not the only reason why the capital seemed likely to take a battering in the downturn. Historically its economy has been more volatile than the rest of the country’s, suffering more in recessions but then outperforming when better times returned. London fared worse in the recession of the early 1990s and a decade later, after the dotcom crash, it slipped into a slump that the rest of the country avoided (see chart).

The recession of 2008-09 was far graver for the British economy as a whole than that of the early 1990s, and it was also more severe for London. But this time the capital did not suffer more than elsewhere; if anything the downturn hit London a bit less than it did the country as a whole. Despite forebodings about its dependence on finance, the capital’s post-industrial economy proved to be a boon rather than a bane. An attenuated manufacturing sector meant that London was spared the full effects of the sharp downturn in that sector during the world trade slump.

Now there are signs that the recovery is taking a firmer grip in the capital. One encouraging portent is that more people are using the railway network. The train-operating companies reported on August 2nd that passenger journeys in London and the south-east, which had fallen especially steeply in 2009, grew by 5.9% in the year to the second quarter, in line with the national increase of 6.1%.

Regional indicators of business activity compiled by Markit, a research firm, from reports from purchasing managers in both services and manufacturing paint a similar picture. They show that London took the lead as the recovery got under way. Since then the gap has narrowed but the latest reports, for June, still showed London just above the national average.

Consistent with this is the breakdown of the surprisingly strong figures for national GDP growth in the second quarter, when output rose by 1.1% compared with the first three months of the year. Financial and business services increased by 1.3% after a strong performance in the first quarter, during which output in services rose by 1% compared with overall growth of 0.3%.

That sudden surge in the second quarter is unlikely to be sustained. Even so, London could well outpace the rest of the economy over the next two or three years. Forecasts published in June by GLA Economics, a research unit that advises London’s government, show the capital outperforming the rest of Britain.

One boost will come from staging the Olympic games in 2012. The capital will also suffer less from public-spending cuts because the private sector is more dominant than in other parts of the country. Most important, it will benefit from its role as a world city. “London is far more tapped into the global recovery,” says Matthew Sherwood, an economist at Experian, a business-research firm.

Yet London is unlikely to outshine the rest of Britain by anything like as much as it did in the long boom that ended in 2008. Freewheeling financiers will, rightly, be shackled by tougher regulations, and manufacturing should benefit from the lower pound, which will help other regions. A less overmighty metropolis may be no bad thing. Britain would be a better place if growth were more evenly distributed around the country.

The Case Against Summer Vacation

By David Von Drehle Thursday, Jul. 22, 2010

Cass Bird for TIME
Recently I reread the adventures of Tom Sawyer after many years, and I was stunned to discover that Tom's summer vacation doesn't begin until the end of Chapter 21. Memory plays tricks. Tom's glorious idyll of mud, mild rebellion, chaste romance and rampant imagination electrified by a dash of danger and a blaze of heroismhad been filed in my mind under the heading of complete summer freedom. Even the most vivid scenes of Tom in school had been washed out by the brilliance of Tom barefoot and unbound. In reality, though, our hero spent much of his summer vacation pathetically bedridden with the measles. I mention this because my muddled recollection is a small version of a broad misunderstanding, a skewed view of childhood and summertime. We associate the school year with oppression and the summer months with libertyand nothing is more American than liberty. Summer is red, white and blue. It's flags and fireworks, hot dogs and mustard, cold watermelon and sweet corn. School is regimen; summer is creativity. School is work; summer is play. But when American students are competing with children around the world, who are in many cases spending four weeks longer in school each year, larking through summer is a luxury we can't afford. What's more, for many childrenespecially children of low-income familiessummer is a season of boredom, inactivity and isolation. Kids can't go exploring if their neighborhoods aren't safe. It's hard to play without toys or playgrounds or open spaces. And Tom Sawyer wasn't expected to care for his siblings while Aunt Polly worked for minimum wage.

Dull summers take a steep toll, as researchers have been documenting for more than a century. Deprived of healthy stimulation, millions of low-income kids lose a significant amount of what they learn during the school year. Call it "summer learning loss," as the academics do, or "the summer slide," but by any name summer vacation is among the most pernicious, if least acknowledgedcauses of achievement gaps in America's schools. Children with access to high-quality experiences keep exercising their minds and bodies at sleepaway camp, on family vacations, in museums and libraries and enrichment classes. Meanwhile, children without resources languish on street corners or in front of glowing screens. By the time the bell rings on a new school year, the poorer kids have fallen weeks, if not months, behind. And even well-off American students may be falling behind their peers around the world. (See pictures of boys at summer camp.)

The problem of summer vacation, first documented in 1906, compounds year after year. What starts as a hiccup in a 6-year-old's education can be a crisis by the time that child reaches high school. After collecting a century's worth of academic studies, summer-learning expert Harris Cooper, now at Duke University, concluded that, on average, all students lose about a month of progress in math skills each summer, while low-income students slip as many as three months in reading comprehension, compared with middle-income students. Another major study, by a team at Johns Hopkins University, examined more than 20 years of data meticulously tracking the progress of students from kindergarten through high school. The conclusion: while students made similar progress during the school year, regardless of economic status, the better-off kids held steady or continued to make progress during the summer, but disadvantaged students fell back. By the end of grammar school, low-income students had fallen nearly three grade levels behind, and summer was the biggest culprit. By ninth grade, summer learning loss could be blamed for roughly two-thirds of the achievement gap separating income groups.

During a June visit to the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Kans., I received a quick tutorial on the realities of summer. I met a group of teenagers who were being paid through a private foundation to study writing and music and history for about 10 hours per week, and I asked them what they would be doing if the program weren't available. They told me about the swimming poolone public pool for all of Wyandotte County (pop. 155,000). They noted that their working-class neighborhood had a basketball hoop. And a soda machine. And that's about it. "There is an idyllic view of summer, but we've known for decades that the reality is very different for a lot of underprivileged kids," says Ron Fairchild, CEO of a nonprofit organization in Baltimore called the National Summer Learning Association. "We expect that athletes and musicians would see their performance suffer without practice. Well, the same is true of students."
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Fairchild and his organization are part of a growing movement to stop the summer slide by coordinating, expanding and improving summer enrichment programsespecially for low-income children. Supporters range across the political spectrum from Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana to Democrats in the Department of Education under President Obama, who has created a National Summer Learning Day to call attention to the issue. Some of the nation's largest private donorsincluding the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropiesare putting their muscle into the cause.

The romance of summer is so ingrained that this flock of reformers might remind some readers of another character from Tom Sawyer's world, the wealthy Widow Douglas, who "introduced [Huckleberry Finn] into society, no, dragged him into it, hurled him into it and his sufferings were almost more than he could bear. The widow's servants kept him clean and neat, combed and brushed ... The bars and shackles of civilization shut him in and bound him hand and foot." As our modern-day reformers strive to civilize summer as an educational resource, the trick is to seize the opportunity without destroying what's best about the season: the possibility of fun and freedom and play. (See pictures of kids' summer programs.)

Barriers of Cost and Culture
Experts believe that a majority of the 30 million American kids poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches do not attend any kind of summer enrichment program. The obvious way to reach that large a group is through the public schools. And indeed, education reformers have been talking about lengthening the school year to make America's students more competitivefor at least a generation, going back to the publication in 1983 of the blockbuster report on our troubled schools A Nation at Risk. Long summer holidays are the legacy of our vanished agrarian past, when kids were needed in the fields during the growing season. Leaders in a number of states have tried to add days or even weeks to the academic calendar, but they quickly run into barriers of cost and culture. In this bad economy, state and local governments are cutting, not growing, their school budgets. And entire industries depend on the rhythms of summerthink travel, camping, sports and theme parks. They use their influence to keep summers as long as possible. In fact, the statute that prevents Virginia schools from reconvening early in August is known as the Kings Dominion Law, in honor of an amusement park north of Richmond. For these reasons, many summer-learning initiatives fall to an informal alliance of education entrepreneurs. In the bare basement of an old church on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis, a group of kids whose world is normally measured in city blocks were experiencing Italy one late-June morning. Some of the children were quietly writing newspaper articles about Italian life. Others were attempting the Italian tradition of family conversation at the dinner table. Still others were making cannoli, stuffing pastry tubes with a creamy, sweet cheese mixture. There's a summer discovery for you: Who ever heard of sweet cheese? (See pictures of a summer program for autistic kids.)

For some 80 elementary-school children in this low-income neighborhood, the summer of 2010 is as close to world travel as they've ever been. The all-day program at the East 10th United Methodist Church is built this year around a World Cup theme. Each week the focus turns to another country, and while the kids are exploring foods and landmarks and cultural traditions, they are, unwittingly, doing math as they measure ingredients and learning science as they raise vegetable gardens with plants native to each land. Fridays are for field trips; to study Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the kids rode buses to the aquarium in Chicago.
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Mike Bachman is the executive director, a young man with clear eyes and obvious enthusiasm. "Everything that happens is enrichment. It all has an educational purpose, but we don't want the kids to think that they're in school," he explains. "We infuse the education into everything we do." That can mean sneaking leadership lessons into afternoon soccer games, teaching principles of fitness during outings to the local swimming pool or wrapping planning skills into preparations for a picnic at a state park. "It was the first time some of them had ever seen charcoal," Bachman says. Indianapolis is ahead of most cities in making better use of summer, according to Fairchild of the National Summer Learning Association. And that's mainly because a group of local philanthropies, led by the Lilly Endowment, decided in the 1990s to coordinate their efforts to provide safe places for children to go when they were out of school. In recent years, says Lilly's Willis Bright, the focus has increasingly been on "the learning element"a critical need, given that the Indianapolis public schools graduate fewer than half of their students. "But that doesn't mean you make it just another classroom," Bright adds. "You can teach physics with a basketball."

Together, 11 charitable organizationsranging from United Way to small family foundationspool about $3 million per year to support nearly 200 summer programs around Indianapolis. Not all of the programs are educational, but that's where the emphasis lies. Grants support everything from those buses to the Chicago aquarium to salaries of certified teachers to day-camp visits by professional artists and musicians to an urban garden created by retired biochemist Aster Bekele, where city kids explore plant science alongside Bekele's former colleagues from the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical labs. (See pictures of teens in class.)

Rather than engineer a vast new initiative, the strategy is to build on the city's existing patchwork of day camps, community centers, sports camps and summer-jobs programs. The activists hope to improve quality while keeping costs low, coordinate training for staff members and encourage a philosophy of educational enrichment. Over the years, Bright has seen a volunteer tutoring effort by 100 Black Men of Indianapolis grow into an all-day summer academy for some 200 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Supported by the pool of grant money, academy students receive innovative math training through Project SEED, study music through the Young Audiences' Summer Arts for Youth and practice reading through an interactive software program called Ticket to Read. But it's not all desk work. The students know it's summer when they burst outside for tennis lessons and when they study the stars to understand how slaves navigated the Underground Railroad. Total tuition: $125 for seven weeks.

Meanwhile, a group of Indianapolis firefighters have gone from volunteering on ball fields to enrolling more than 100 students in an eight-week summer leadership camp named for St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters. Each morning, the camp "cadets" study math, science, creative writing and public speaking. Afternoons are reserved for sports and field trips. Senior cadetshigh schoolersfocus on learning the skills they need for a job hunt: writing rsums, impressing an interviewer, dressing for success. "We keep up our learning so we don't fall behind," says Isaiaah Quarles, a buoyant 12-year-old with a cascade of dreadlocks. As Quarles escorted me through the camp, whip smart and charming, I could picture him persuading his friends to paint Aunt Polly's fence. I asked him how he would spend his summer if St. Florian Center didn't exist. Dismayed, he answered, "I would just be sitting at home."
See the top 10 everything of 2009.

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Stealth Learning
I saw a lot of eager, engaged kids in Indianapolis and met a number of vibrant teachers and volunteers. But every camp and academy I visited had dozens of children stranded on a waiting list. And for each of those students, there were no doubt hundreds of kids whose parents had not even bothered to find a summer program and fill out an application. A recent study sponsored by the Wallace Foundation estimated that only 25% of students currently participate in organized summer learning programs, although a majority of parents said they would enroll their children if more programs were available. Fortunately, some public schools have begun to tackle the problem of summer learning loss. In Cincinnati, Ohio, a program called Fifth Quarter offers an additional month of classes, specially tailored for summer, at 16 schools serving low income students. Houston schools offer four weeks of math and science education for at-risk students and report that participants average a boost of more than 10% in their test scores.

In the Appalachian town of Corbin, Ky.home of Harland Sanders and his famous fried chickenthere was no one but the school district to fend off summer slide. Karen West, director of Corbin's Redhound Enrichment program, says, "Eighty-eight percent of our children live in latchkey families, and we have no YMCA, no Boys & Girls Clubs. Really, there was almost nothing for them to do." Hired in 2006 by the Corbin independent school district, West began building what is now a 10-week operation, running 10 hours per day, from the day after school lets out until the day before classes resume. Lessons in reading, math, science and social studies fill much of the day, but nothing about Redhound Enrichment feels like dreaded summer school. (See pictures from inside a public boarding school.)

Each summer, West builds on a theme. This year it's "Lights, camera, action!" Every week revolves around a subtheme, and for the week when Toy Story 3 was to open, West picked "To infinityand beyond!" On Monday, students took a field trip to watch the movie. Throughout the week, teachers integrated space exploration into their classrooms. On Friday, the kids put on a science fair, and a mobile planetarium paid a visit. The entire community of Corbin pitches in. Restaurants host meals at which students can practice etiquette. The swimming pool invites the kids each Wednesday. Baptist Regional Medical Center organizes the Longest Day of Play to promote health and fitness. The department of fish and wildlife leads a session on conservationthen takes all the students fishing. As the kids weigh and measure their catch, they think they're just trying to win first prize, but West notes that they are also doing a day's worth of math. Summer educators like to call this sort of thing "stealth learning."
"We have over 30 partners," West says, and their in-kind contributions nearly match her annual budget of $60,000. "When everyone gives a little, we can do miracles." The proof: students in the Corbin program not only don't fall behind through the summer; they move ahead. More than half of the participants improve by a full letter grade or more in both reading and math.
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For Fairchild, successes like the ones in Cincinnati, Houston and Corbin show the possibilities in a new approach to summer school. "That phrase has such a bad ring to it," he notes. "We need to push school districts to frame summer school as a good thing, something extra, not a punishment. There is a cultural barrier that we have to overcome. We're not the Grinch that stole summer vacation." With billions of dollars for improved education bulging from last year's economic-stimulus package, Fairchild hopes to persuade school districts across the country to steer some of the money into the neglected months of June, July and August. But a report by Education Sector, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, highlights a problem with relying on public schools for summer enrichment. "In the best schools, there would be an ample increase in academic learning time," author Elena Silva wrote. "But in poorly managed schools, with inexperienced teachers and a host of other challenges," a longer school year just means more lost days. If school districts fail during the traditional year, what are the chances that competence and creativity will suddenly blossom when the weather turns hot? In the best summer-only programs, bureaucracy is lean and change is easy. There's an informality to the summer culturemaybe it's those bare feet and damp swimsuits and homemade lanyardsthat fosters easy innovation and rapid improvement. As Terry Ogle, a former middle-school principal who runs the Indianapolis Algebra Project, told me, things happen more quickly outside school systems: "A few years ago, we were teaching kids at two summer sites. Now we're in 29." It was during a summer vacation from Harvard Law School that Earl Phalen had his first teaching experience, as a volunteer at an impoverished school in Jamaica. He says he knew immediately that "this was what I wanted to do with my life." But like many other big thinkers drawn to education in recent years, Phalen saw the existing public schools as a roadblock, not a career path.

So Phalen has become one of the country's leading education reformers by seizing opportunities to reach kids outside the traditional school day. One of his nonprofit ventures, Reach Out and Read, engages pediatricians to evangelize for literacy. His latest project, sponsored by an innovative Indiana undertaking called the Mind Trust, uses summer to make an end run around the ingrained habits and intractable bureaucracies of inadequate schools. (See the evolution of a college dorm.)

Called Summer Advantage, the program offers five weeks of intensive, all-day education to children from kindergarten to eighth grade. Phalen hires only certified teachers and chooses them on the basis of talent, not seniority. The curriculum ranges from math, reading and writing to cooking, dance and musicbut the consistent element is strong teachers working in small groups with excited students. I visited a Summer Advantage school in Indianapolis, and perhaps the best way to describe it is to say, first, that all the students are in economic and academic need and, second, that I wasn't there five minutes before a boy looked me in the eye and announced, "I'm going to be an aeronautical engineer." Summer Advantage is operating at a dozen sites across Indiana this year, serving some 3,100 "scholars," as Phalen insists his students be called. His goal is to enroll 100,000 scholars five years from now and to be "part of the cadre that changes the way this country does education." He has support from Washington, where a friend from Harvard Law now sits in the Oval Office. The U.S. Department of Education has put money into Summer Advantage, Phalen says, "because we're part of their agenda to prove that hiring teachers based on quality instead of seniority will produce good results." So far, the data look promising. Summer Advantage launched last year, and its scholars improved their performance on state math and reading tests by an average of 14 percentage points, Phalen says. On the basis of that, he projects that scholars who spend three seasons with Summer Advantage will raise their scores from an average baseline in the low 30th percentiles into the 70th percentiles in math and reading. (See the top 10 books you were forced to read in school.)

"If you want to drive the dropout rate even higher, just extend the school year by another 30 days," says Phalen. Instead, he argues, we should embrace the fact that summer is the opposite of school to make it the season of true educational reform. But here's the hard part: if summer enrichment is the innovative, cost-effective answer to one of the nation's thorniest problemsthe failure to educate many of our neediest kids how do we address so large a problem without creating another stultifying version of the failed status quo? How do we increase participation and raise standards without crushing creativity and imposing bureaucracy? Can we really entrust something so important to a haphazard network of camp counselors, volunteers and entrepreneurs? Well, maybe. In places all over the countryfrom inner cities to Appalachia, inside rec centers and church basements, on bumpy ball fields and pocked playgroundskids are learning this summer, and they're having a blast. While it's true that NASA runs one of the largest summer enrichment programs in the country, this isn't rocket science. If ever there was a movement suited to local experiments, informal innovations and seat-of-the-pants efforts, surely it's the campaign to squeeze more from summer. Because revolutions come from the grass roots, and everyone knows when grass is thickest.
In summer.
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Nuclear War


2010/08/11 09:28
全英房屋抵押貸款協會(Nationwide Building Society)周三(8月11日)公布數據顯示,英國7月Nationwide消費者信心指數連續第3個月下降,7月英國消費者對國內經濟前景及就業市場持愈加悲觀態度。





BP賠償基金或能了卻漏油事故 變賣資產緩解財務壓力

2010年08月11日 07:23   來源:經濟參考報   閆磊
隨著英國石油公司(BP)200億美元墨西哥灣漏油賠償基金的方案獲得美國司法部認可,首期30億美元已經到位,加上封堵工作進入收尾階段,漏油事件正走向尾聲。   分析人士認為,鉅額的清理和賠償費用令B P陷入鉅額虧損的境地,但由於主營業務增長強勁、大舉變賣資產、油價仍在相對高位徘徊,公司應該能安然渡過此劫。
按計劃,英國石油公司將於2010年第四季度存入第二筆20億美元賠償基金,接下來每個季度存入12 .5億美元,直到200億美元基金全部到位。分批註資是為確保自身財務穩定,不致嚇跑投資者。
自4月漏油事故發生以來,涌出的原油量大約為490萬桶,其中約80萬桶被吸油船回收。根據美國《潔凈水資源法》,一旦受罰,BP繳納的罰金數 額最低為每桶1100美元。如果疏失罪名成立,罰金可能升至每桶4300美元。按照這一最高額度計算,英石油將為410萬桶流入海中的原油繳納176億美 元。即是說公司目前已知花費和預計賠償的總計“240.19億美元”完全在公司的預計範圍中。
已有報道稱,新上任的首席執行官羅伯特·達德利日前提議向俄羅斯石油公司出售其在越南、巴基斯坦和委內瑞拉的項目。而且,BP近日已同意以70 億美元的價格把該公司在美國、加拿大和埃及的油氣田出售給總部設在休斯敦的阿帕奇公司。除了賣家當換錢外,BP自身的造血能力依然強勁,而且有著油價在高 位的支援,公司的前景已不像漏油事故之初那樣岌岌可危了。
據總部設在新奧爾良的H ow ardW eil能源投資公司分析師費爾南德斯計算,英國石油公司很幸運,他是極其賺錢的石油工業大鱷,只要原油價格保持在每桶60美元以上,他就能夠賠付得起在墨 西哥灣的所有損失,而且同時能夠拿得出一部分利潤給股東分紅。更何況英國石油公司還給自己上了保險。所以,僅從收支的角度來看,英國石油公司不會因為無力 支付鉅額賠償金而破產。


大學時代的老同學來愛丁堡交流進修6 個月,路過倫敦小聚。闊別20多年,互問混得如何?老同學甩出一張名片。

不管是名片還是名騙, 至少看得懂



於是,開電梯的就成了「垂直運輸工程師,Vertical Transport Engineer」,超市裏給貨架上貨的伙計便擔當起「全方位補充控制員,Ambient Replenishment Controller」的重任。
有人爭辯說,隨著社會的發展,許多工作不再只是需要單一的技能或只有單一的內容,要以新的名稱反映工作性質的複雜。所以,圖書管理員就變成了「信息諮詢員,Information Advisor」。
雖然工資不長一分錢,但「解讀性教學協調員,Coordinator of Interpretive Teaching」聽上去至少比博物館講解員顯得更重要。「視覺清潔經理,Vision Clearance Executive」比說自己是擦窗戶的要神氣多了。


走火入魔的「政治正確,political correctness」,往往首先反映在工作稱呼上。這是各種莫名其妙頭銜推陳出新的又一個主要因素。
於是,小學裏招呼孩子們吃飯的「廚娘,dinner lady」這個傳統稱呼,就顯得不夠「政治正確」,而要冠以「教育中心營養品生產助理,Education Centre Nourishment Production Assistant」的高帽子。
記 得80年代初,中國大陸有一個相聲段子,大致是說一個人對自己掃大街的工作羞於啟齒,謊稱自己是搞音樂的,因為整天跟「索、拉、西」(掃垃圾)打交道。要 看看今天英國招垃圾工的廣告,跟說相聲的也差不多了:「廢物管理與處理技師,Waste Management and Disposal Technician」。
有些職業,傳統上容易引起偏見甚至憎惡,也需要起個更好聽的名字 予以「美化」。於是,查票的就成了「收入保護官,Revenue Protection Officer」;「空間顧問,Space Consultant」跟航空航天扯不上邊,而是賣房子的推銷員;打電話兜售家庭人壽保險,那就得自稱是「家庭保護顧問,Family Protection Consultant」了。


英國公共開支監督機構「納稅人同盟,the Tax Payers Alliance」定期發佈它認為的「虛職」。
它列舉的一個典型例子是,一個地方政府要招聘「物有所值總經理助理,Assistant Chief Executive for Value for Money」,專職搞節約,年薪5萬英鎊。不設這個職位,不先省下5 萬英鎊麼?
不 過,嚴重的經濟緊縮,是否會讓膨脹的職稱頭銜也跟著「縮水」?英國智囊機構「政策交流,Policy Exchange」的負責人埃文思(Natalie Evans)認為會的:「人們到底在做什麼以及他們的頭銜會更加受到關注。大幅削減開支使得公共和私營部門都不得不集中資源保護中心業務。所以這些奇怪的 職稱會自己銷聲匿跡的。」

經濟學人:倫敦房價依然上漲 / Mr.X譯

房地產律師Edward Mermelstein表示,如果在這個夏天如果你在倫敦飯店聽聽到俄國人的聲音,他可能不是再度假,而是在處理房地產,並且把他的家人留在俄羅斯黑海城市索契Sochi,或是在法國南部渡假勝地St. Tropez聖多佩斯的遊艇上。

倫敦豪宅市場自2009年1月以來,呈現供不應求得狀態,除了在去年夏天較差之外,可能是俄羅斯人正在經營其他業務。英鎊貶值和低利率使得大量買家進入市 場,推升房價走高。倫敦房地產仲介公司Knight Frank在Belgravia地區的負責人表示,過去13個月,已經賣了15間超過一千萬英鎊的房子,大部分都是賣給外國人。





倫敦平均房價令人驚訝的堅穩。從根據官方表示,至今年六月為止,倫敦房價上漲12.2%,而英國其他地方只上漲了8.4%。倫敦房價比英國全國均價 高出一倍以上。上漲的原因主要來自於倫敦東區舉辦奧運會區域房價上漲的壓力。自2005年7月倫敦獲得奧運舉辦權後,該區房價已上漲25.7%。倫敦房價 看起來似乎不受地心引力的影響。

經濟前景未卜 英房價走跌
 【8/10 22:15】


皇家特許測量師學會(Royal Institution ofChartered Surveyors)指出,今年7月至少8%的仲介商回報房價下跌,這與6月份時8%的仲介商指出房價上漲,是明顯對比。


另一方面,英國零售商協會(The British RetailConsortium)指出,7月份零售業績增加0.5%,主要因為食物價格上漲,整體表現低於6月份的1.2%增幅。


零售協會秘書長羅伯森(Stephen Robertson)說,政府計劃大砍公共支出,明年初又將提高加值型營業稅(由17.5%提高到20%),都影響消費者對經濟前景的信心,「大家必須把錢花在刀口上」。

倫敦股市以藍籌股為主的「金融時報100種指數」(FTSE 100),到下午2時30分左右,下跌32.93點,來到5377.59點,跌幅達0.61%。 





(李愛娟 編譯)

英國房價一年來首現下滑 英鎊跳水

2010年08月11日 03:31 來源: 上海證券報








 鉅亨網新聞中心 (來源:世華財訊) 2010-08-10 17:05:18


綜合媒體8月10日報導,英國7月房價出現2010年以來首次下滑,因仍有大量賣房人涌入市場,而買房人則顯得更加謹慎。  在房價復甦令市場十分驚訝,并令國內銀行壓力減輕后,買方市場的回歸將可能令國內尚處脆弱的經濟波動可能性加重。  英國商務大臣凱布爾(Vince Cable)也曾承認國內經濟有雙底衰退風險,并指出,政府作出的經濟雙底衰退風險比率為20%或25%。而其之前預期為遠低於50%水平。  

英國皇家特許測量師學會(Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, RICS)10日公布報告稱,英國中部、威爾士及英格蘭北部房價降幅最大。上述地區主要依靠公共支出,并將可能出現大幅削減預算局面。  

 RICS發言人佩里(Ian Perry)稱,該機構預期為,英國房價下滑趨勢將在下半年繼續存在。  該份調查中接受調查的25%測量師稱,英國房價第二季度下滑,而11%的測量師稱,同期房價上漲。經季節因素調整后,-8的差值是RICS所編制數據一年來首次顯示房價下滑。  


在房屋信息包(Home Information Packs)機制引入之前,新增加的賣房指令達到此前10多年來最高水平,而同時房地產經紀人稱,新增加的買房意愿下滑。  

很多房地產經紀商稱,購房人正努力提高抵押融資,而房價如果繼續下滑,抵押房屋負資產難題將會出現。  而國內銀行上半年實現盈利增長,得益於現有抵押貸款的撥備率下滑,以及對房價將趨穩的預期。  勞埃德銀行集團(Lloyds Banking Group)近期稱,其預計2010年英國房價將趨穩,2011年將增長3%。  

倫敦房地產經紀商預計,房屋市場將上漲,其中部分地區房價將超出2007年峰值,但對近期房價走勢持謹慎態度。但更多經紀商預計,英國房價將在下半年下滑。  英國房屋市場放緩將增加英國央行(Bank of England)面臨的不確定性,因為英國央行正努力衡量國內經濟復甦的前景。  (李軍偉 編譯) 


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