OFT - not govt report/Cornerhouse on financial crisis

Mark mark at tlio.org.uk
Fri Oct 10 00:57:17 BST 2008

OFT is not the government. It's an independent regulator, and encompasses
the Competition Commission.

Clearly self build is going to become an even more important solution in
the current economic situation.

Re: the underlying situation with the economy, this from The Cornerhouse:
They posted this comment at: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/10/410250

Even without really understanding the current 'financial 9/11', one can
pick up a sense of fear, panic and uncertainty.

Blame for the crisis is attributed to 'greed and fear' . . . or
insufficient regulation . . . or too high bonuses paid to financial whizz
kids . . . or irresponsible lenders pushing cheap loans . . . or
irresponsible individuals accepting them . . . and so on.

But the crisis also needs a deeper structural analysis of how financial
markets have changed over the past 2-3 decades -- because it is these
changes that lie behind the current financial meltdown, particularly those
changes associated wtih the evolution of 'new financial instruments' and
'vehicles' such as derivatives and private equity.

And because the neoliberal edifice has been so spectacularly shaken in
these past few onths, the crisis also provides an opportunity for the
public to redefine what constitutes 'the public interest' and to reassert
its claims over how finance should be managed and allocated and in whose

For the past couple of years, The Corner House and its colleagues have
been trying to understand the impacts of the new finance on the ground --
for instance, on communities affected by mining or plantations -- and to
analyse what difference it might make to solidarity strategies with
affected communities: Is capital just capital, whether it comes from hedge
funds, private equity, banks or the state? Or does the very structure of
this new finance create new challenges?

Our work on this is still unfolding, but with the financial landscape
changing by the day, we thought we should share with you now our analysis
to date.

So we have posted on our website two papers:

-one exploring the 'shadow banking system'

-the other private equity.

Because events are still unfolding so rapidly, however, we are posting
them as 'works in progress' that we aim to update as soon as we can.

Within the next few weeks, we hope to post other papers on sovereign
wealth funds, hedge funds, and the liberalisation of the banking and
financial system that enabled the crisis to happen.

We hope you find them the papers useful. Your comments and feedback are
always welcome.

1) 'A (Crumbling) Wall of Money: Financial Bricolage, Derivatives and Power'


2) 'Taking it Private: Consequences of the Global Growth of Private Equity'


To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com
From: james36army at yahoo.com
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 14:42:09 -0700
Subject: [diggers350] govt self build report summarised

Arrived to-day with 179 pages and twenty annexes,From james A. summary of
HOMEBUILDING IN THE U.K. (Report and 20 annexes!)

A Market Study, September, 2008

Office of Fair Trading 1020

Executive Study, Key Findings :

little evidence of competition problems with the delivery of new
homes in the U.K.

1.7 no evidence of using market power or that they ( national
housebuildersd ) are able to restrict supply or inflate prices.

1.9 Small homebuilders and individuals building their own homes will build
on smaller sites
Without self builders some sites would remain undeveloped. The UK lags
behind other countries in htenumber oifd self build projects
 it is
important to maintain a vibrant s-b sector.

Key Recommendations

1.16 Foillowing organisations are now committed to a code of conduct
. H B
F, NHBC, Fed of Master Builders.

1.18 Four years ago Barker called on the industry to develop a code of

.(now) absence of any code..

 if industry fails
 recommend immedate intervention

1.20 proposed community infrastructure payments ( CIL) for small
homebuilders (but) timing of payment

1.23 with a view to maximising output we recommend that local authorities
should consider the possibility that group self build could deliver a
healthjy portiuon of new houisng .
1.24 Local Authorities should be encouraged to make publicly owned land
available to an 'enabler' who will control the overal design of the site,
divide it into suitable plots and plan necessary infrastructure allowing
people building their own homes to develop these plots.

Self builders
4.96 A category of development that may face significant barriers to entry
is self build. The Calcutt Review highlighted the significance of the s-b
sub sector. It is estimated to account for up to ten percent of new
production. But found that housing policies tended to neglect this
category of development., in particular the Calcutt Review raised the
issue of access to land. The Calcutt Review recommended LPA's and
government agencies disposing of land do more to ensure that small plots
of land are made available to self builders.
4.97 S-B is rightly or wrongly seen as a radical option fraught with
potential npitfals. Stories of failed self build projects are not hard to
come by. Nevertheless , according to a survey by the Norwich and
Peterborough Building Society up to 70 per cent of the public at some
point consider building their own home.
4.98 UK Levels of s-b are far below the levels seen in Japan, Germany and
France. Self Builders typically report much greater levels of satisfaction
with their home than homebuyers of speculative built homes. .. it seems
clear that an invigorated self build secor to the homebuilding market
could deliver improved satisfaction and also greater output, by making
nerw build homes ore affordable and potentially accessing development
sites overlooked by other homebulders. We discuss sle fbuilding in ore
depth in
Annexe R.

Remedies (Consumer detriment remedies)

7.24 Smaller homebuilders and self builders are an extremely important
source of supply of new homes They account for some 32% of overall
homebuilding (see chart 3.2) and typically work with smaller sites that
are not efficient for larger builders . Retaining smaller homebuilders and
selfbuilders in the industry
is likley to support the Government' overall targets.

7.25 To that extent we recommend that CLG and the Welsh Assembly
Government ensure that they fully consider the needs of smaller
homebuilders and self builders and that appropriate measures are put in
place to ensure that smaller homebuilders and self builders have access to
the necessary technologies to deliver zero carbon.

7.28 The smallest homebuiders working with the smallest plots will be
assisted by delaying CIL until construction of a home is complete.
we estimate that self bulding in all its forms accounts for
approximatelt 16,000 new homes everyt year(see Annexe R) this accounts for
Approximately 10% of new home output
 (yet) it falls below the levels of
self bulding seen in France, Germany and Japan.

7.29 Self building can make homes more affordable . Much s-b is about
reducing costs rather than designing dream homes, and , by removing the
need for a homebuilders margin, many self builders can save up to a third
of the price of a similar home on the open market.
7.30 There are however significant knowledge barriers to self
..Enabled self building can make self building more accessible by
providing 'oven ready ' plots with infrastructure and planning permissions
to be develped under the guidance of a project/site manager.
7.32 we recommend that local authorities consider whether land within
their land portfolio which is suitable for development could be used for
enabled self building to deliver more affordable housing within their

CHART 3.2 Total number of homes built by size of homebuilder, 2006

2,000 units + 80,000
101-2000 48,000
1-100 44,000
self build 16,000

Source NHBC New housebuilding statistics.

(total new housebuild 188,000)

END OF SUMMARY by James Armstrong Dorchester Sept 08

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