Friday, June 17, 2005

House Prices. Share Prices. The Corporate World.

Average UK house price 1952 = £1,891.
Average UK house price 2004 = £153,788. This is 81 times higher.

Inflation: 1952-2004 20 times higher.

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UK house price and share price rises 1952-1999:

(London Business School equity index and Nationwide Building Society House Price Index)

1952-59
Houses 15% Shares 344%

1960-69
Houses 99% Shares 168%

1970-79
Houses 409% Shares 197%

1980-89
Houses 180% Shares 720%

1990-1999
Houses 21% Shares 306%

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December 1999 - January 2005
Houses rose in price 100% on average

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The FTSE-100 Index in December 1999 stood at 6,930

The Index in March 2003 stood at 3,287

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http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/mar2005/ebb-m18.shtml

Patrick Martin, in WSWS 18 March 2005, wrote about WorldCom and US corporate criminality.

Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was convicted on nine counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and filing false documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The WorldCom bankruptcy was the biggest in US corporate history.

WorldCom filed for bankruptcy in July 2002, 'its debts dwarfing its $104 billion in assets.'

The collapse was nearly twice the size of the previous largest bankruptcy, the 2001 failure of Enron.

Patrick Martin wrote that if the top people in the US government faced the same standards as Ebbers, "top officials of the Bush administration, including Bush himself, would stand convicted of far greater crimes—not only in falsifying the finances of the federal government on a scale which puts WorldCom in the shade, but in the systematic campaign of lying that has accompanied its foreign policy of military aggression.

"The case of Bernie Ebbers has shed further light on the increasingly criminal character of the practices of corporate America, which finds its concentrated political expression in the Bush administration."

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http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/jun2004/enro-j15.shtml

Rafael Azul, in WSWS 15 June 2004, wrote that the Enron tapes expose the blatant criminality of corporate America.

Azul wrote: "The recent release of transcripts of taped conversations among Enron electricity traders in the summer of 2001 reveals that company insiders not only knew they were stealing from California and other states, but gloated about it. The partial release of thousands of hours of tapes is a powerful indictment of the energy companies that looted California and Washington of close to $11 billion, with the support and assistance of government officials.

"The tapes, during which Enron traders celebrate the misery caused to consumers and businesses by their practices, also provide a revealing glimpse into the depraved and truly criminal mentality of the American corporate elite."

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