Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Taking Over of Toulouse

Here's a comment I made on the KR site, kept here for posterity:
susan says:
@ Max and Stacy:

It’s been a long time since I shouted “Yes, yes, yes!” (!) at the computer, but I thought your ‘Truth about Markets’ this week was fan-bloody-tastic! Everyone must listen – Max is at his best because he’s not fighting for space with a guest, and the stream-of-consciousness ‘truth’ sends shivers down your spine:


Just a couple of words about the housing market in France: unfortunately it’s the start of the same old bubble-blowing here as I saw in the UK in the ’80-90s. You Know Who bought up all of Toulouse, which was a sleepy, pretty provincial town when I first arrived in ’93.

They aggressively bought everything, and set fire to a few buildings where presumably the owner didn’t want to sell. Once they owned nearly all of it, the prices were much higher (doesn’t matter if you’re being given free money, but makes housing out of reach for normal people) they set about putting in bollards, so that you have to ask a metal column with a speaker for the right to enter the (re-vamped prettified) centre. The column has the right to say ‘No’, and if they don’t lower the bollards, you have to reverse into traffic. All in the name of traffic calming measures, of course.

A Company called ‘Kaufman Abroad’ (I kid you not) set about buying up all of the river-side properties, demolishing some and building very nice – thank you very much – luxury apartments. The same is, of course, true for London and Paris, two cities I also know well, but I digress.
Now Toulouse is a gleaming example of what you can do when you have money: a new tramway right to the airport, wide pedestrianised streets, renovated Churches, organic shops, lots of restaurants – who could complain? Except perhaps the old shop-keepers, who have been pushed out. The centre is now almost exclusively what I call ‘shit-shops’, where they are owned by YKW and sell nothing but a pair of panties or a pair of shoes for €800 (it’s posh, you see).

Then when they’d finished buying up Toulouse they moved out here to the countryside. Our local sleepy farmers’ town is now – as I write – being aggressively bought up and changed, introducing shit-shops or local fires for those who don’t want to sell. Many shop windows smashed, (which was also a phenomenon I saw in Toulouse) which will of course be a nice little earner for the Insurance Companies and locksmiths, both of which are owned by YKW.

Last but not least, even ‘my’ little valley – one farm burnt completely to the ground recently, three burglaries in the last three months, after 20 years of nothing (again, helping the Insurance Companies and the locksmiths) and guess what the result is? Really great but poor farmers I know are being pushed out of business (or worse – suicide, one just a month ago here) and their farms sold off to ‘wealthy types’, as you can tell by their disgusting big cars in a town which used to be known for its clapped out Renaults….

Of course with this expansion has come money to do road improvements, which strangely were not relevant when only poor people lived up in the valleys, and traffic calming measures, and lots and lots of brand new houses……

Oh, and before I switch the ‘rant button’ off, lots of new problems with drugs and alcoholism, for which – luckily and coincidentally – there are a myriad of Associations and Organisations with volunteers to help out, including the good ol’ Red Cross, which took over an organic shop and ran it into the ground so that it closed, leaving only the one controlled by YKW. Heck, we even had a sawn-off shotgun hold-up and a dead body floating down the river.

All coincidence, of course.

Anyway, sorry about that, but I just wanted to say Thanks to M&S for putting that excellent show out there, before it becomes illegal. May G-d help us all.

Read more at http://www.maxkeiser.com/2015/10/kr821-keiser-report-slinky-economics-debt-gorillas/comment-page-1/#comments#coeSW1QBFshkCoef.99

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