Our UK scribe worries and scorns (some more):

Housing:
This scribes gets about a bit and it hasn't escaped his notice that in Britain's second city (Birmingham for those Mancunians who think they know better) is in the throws of a building boom. Flats (OK, apartments) are springing up everywhere.

However, as students of booms know, when everyone is doing the same thing that is the time move on. There are numerous in progress projects in a market that is already oversupplied according to an informed source. Let hope they don't remain that – in progress.

In the meantime, take my advice and only buy property out of necessity.

Birmingham (Metal) Bashing:
Speaking of Birmingham, the FT ran one of its surveys the other day and one journo made the fatuous comment that the 8,000 employees of the new Bull Ring centre (the Armadillo to the cognoscenti) were more important to the economy than MG Rover Group. This is, it seems, the received wisdom of the day - so why should any one journo buck the trend?

However, whatever the rights or wrongs or MG Rover's current difficulties, it does employ a lot of highly skilled and well-paid workers, makes a positive contribution to the balance of payments and does produce some good product. Now - don't get me wrong - the shop assistants deserve a job. But to suggest that these unskilled, lowly paid workers selling largely imported goods are more important to the local economy is just plain wrong. [NB: I'll be expecting the editor's comparative advantage lecture again, the one where the Chinese steal everyone else's designs and rig the market in their favour].

Jottings installment III follows tomorrow...

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