April 29, 2009

Swine flu and bank panic have similar symptoms

Posted in Banks · 188 comments ·

A few weeks ago, in a car crossing from China to Hong Kong, I caught a glimpse of what the future might hold. After the usual formalities about visas and passports, the car door was opened aggressively. The woman with a SARS mask said nothing but pointed a gun to our heads and pulled the trigger.

As a medical test, it was a bizarre — and momentarily terrifying — way of going about things, but thankfully that’s all it was. She was testing, with an infrared gun, our temperatures. This was a precaution against SARS, which, as a virus, raises temperatures above normal.

Now, with the outbreak of swine flu, we should expect similar checks all over the world. Today I am in Perth, Western Australia, and the controls are already in place. The Australians were caught flat-footed by SARS five years ago and are taking no chances now.

The outbreak of yet another pandemic got me thinking about how financial markets operate and how Ireland has been effectively put in a financial isolation ward as a result of a global credit panic.

Ireland is a contaminated area and the resulting scarcity of credit is at the root of most of our problems. In financial terms, our bad behaviour of the past few years has ensured that we are considered contagious. We have the virus.

Think about what is happening now with respect to the potential pandemic. People, who are potential carriers, are being tracked, particularly as they come home. The reason the airline shares and the price of petrol dropped this week is that in a pandemic people want to get as far away from the source as possible. There is a dramatic retrenchment of people away from foreign, potentially contaminated places to the relative safety of home.

The flight is not orderly: it is a panic. Everyone is a potential danger and the best way to avoid contamination is to avoid contact with others. We know that there is no antidote and no amount of government guarantees or promises is going to change that view.

The transmission mechanism is so virulent and random that it terrifies us all.

Now think of the financial markets.

What have swine flu and global financial markets got in common? At first blush nothing, but on closer examination everything. The way a pandemic creates panic is a wonderful way to look at financial contagion when it takes hold. A rumour can lead to a crisis and, depending on how robust the system is, total meltdown.

The financial world is now dominated by 24-hour news programmes, as well as trading systems like Bloomberg and of course the internet, where news is instantaneous. The markets become a global blog with the attention span of Twitter, where every minor whisper becomes amplified. The trading floors of the world serve as global echo chambers.

And this isn’t limited to trading floors; all business works the same way and in a crisis the slightest whiff of a problem can cause otherwise good creditors to cut credit lines.

In a pandemic, people flee the stricken area. In a credit crunch, capital flees the stricken region. No one trusts anyone. It is not that there is a lack of money; there is a lack of credit. Everyone is a potential carrier and potentially bankrupt. Banks stop lending to each other and begin to distrust not only other banks, but departments of their own institutions.

Like a health pandemic, a financial pandemic is characterised by fear, which prompts massive overreaction. This swine flu overreaction can only be assuaged by massive government action. At the moment no one trusts the ability of governments to come up with an antidote, so countries try to stock up on what medicine they have. This means that the poorer countries can’t get their hands on the antidote.

In business terms, this is like good businesses becoming bad because of cash-flow problems. This is precisely what is happening in Ireland.

Because the banks and the developers were delinquent, credit fled from the whole country. Businesses that had nothing to do with the contaminated property sector found that they too faced a squeeze.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who has run a fantastic business in terms of profits, turnover and market share in the past few years. Now he is faced with personal cash calls to cover part of the business that is shipping water. In normal times, the banks might cover that or at least, with credit available, he could paper over the cracks and buy himself time. Now that is not the case. We are a high-risk zone and therefore, the credit is gone. He is now being pressed to sell his shares to one of the major shareholders at a massive discount because he can’t personally come up with the cash.

So we can see how events in one part of the world spreading contagiously through the financial system can lead to good businesses going bad.

This is happening all over Ireland. Like the world in a swine flu pandemic, it might be some time before normal conditions return. For many, even if the next year proves to be less dreadful than we imagine, we still won’t believe that the danger has passed. The financial virus may be mutating, waiting for a chance to jump species again and attack us.

It is this virulent nature of global finance, driven by 24-hour communication, that implies governments need to take up the slack now. The Government is like a hospital. If we think the doctors are up to fighting the virus with everything at their disposal, the panic might begin to subside. Unfortunately for us at the moment, our Government has never been so important, yet it has never been so unimpressive.

  1. Deco

    Well I am not sure if it is a virus. It seems more like as if a large section of Ireland is on the same trajectory as a alcoholic in therapy. Friendly Barman Bertie has left the scene with his bonus, and is not around to throw the patient more whiskey. The media is no longer clapping Paddy on the back, and filling his pride concept with imaginary heroism about nothing. (Our sponsor were enthusiastic for Paddy and his pointless exploits-as it helped transport money from his pocket to their bottom line). Basically a state of cold shock is coming over the patient. The intellectual state is in total disarray. Mental concentration is short. Delusions are still abounding. And the biggest delusion is that the patient does not have to behave responsibly, that he can abdicate responsibility for his mess to others. The work ethic is messed up. The physical state is also poor. There are psycholigical problems. There are no savings. There are a ton of bills to be paid because the finances are messed up. And along the way many neighbours who went about their business and never joined have been insulted. And now they are being asked to foot the bill. Also the patient has yet to learn that the prices for everything purchased were all rigged.

    We were encouraged by a wide range of interests to spend our way to prosperity – those that obeyed have spent their way to oblivion. Those that disobeyed were shoved aside. The crisis raises the possibility that people will change the level of trust they place in authority forms and influence makers in Ireland. I expect the patient to get fed more delusions in order to prevent them becomming too free.

    It is hard to say that this current government is the worst that we ever endured. We endured so spectacularly stupid governments. I can rememebr John O’Donoghue as Minister for Sport(with special responsibility for drinking the Dail bar dry), Nora Owen as Minister for Justice(with special responsibility for letting convicts roam all over the place-they had ‘rights’), and Prionsias De Rossa as Minister of Social Welfare(special responsibility for appointing party hacks and friends into state jobs-he apologised in Irish when he should have resigned). But it is as bad as any we endured.

    The problem is that there is a lack of capability in the Dail. And then the Seanad is a second chance. The media has filtered who gets in. All the muppets in there were of the same mindset for the last ten years – except Shane Ross. And he has been shoved off RTE for at least six weeks now because of the fact that he offends the bankers. He still pops up on Newstalk. Hobbs rarely appers on TV3 and never on RTE. And David is also pushed underground a bit. Even George Lee is scarcer than he used to be.

    • Deco

      Dermot Desmond made a few critical comments of interest concerning the state banking policy. The Kaiser has he is called stated that the government would make a mess of the banks if they were in charge. (Well based on how they run everything else, this is hardly a novel insight). He also pointed out the issue of ‘intellectual capital’. We must get our intellectual capital in order. No more of the fools rallying behind a green jersey nonsense, as we seen under Ahern, and surging like lemmings. Now us fools are going to have to throw all that nonsense aside and start using the lump between the ears. And first thing on the agenda is better thinking from the government – a fast method of acheiving this is to send clowns like Coughlan to the back benches.

      We have a problem in respect to the inadequate intellectual capital in control of the country. But the internet can make authority less influential. Ten years ago, underperformance or a scandal could be muzzled on the basis that commercial or state vested interests can keep it down in the media (our advertising sponsors). But with the internet, we can attack as we wish. Ten years ago John McGuinness would not dare have tried to get on the Late Late Show – and the Late Late Show would not dared to interview a disaffected government TD who was calling for a dire government minister to resign. But the internet is underming all of this. It is changing fast in the segment of the population that uses the internet extensively.

      Stories are abounding concerning people with personal pension plans gone bad. Especially concerning people who invested money in British property. There are rumours that all over the Irish midlands people were gathering their hard earned savings to stick into British property schemes. It was not just Biffo and his mates in Tullamore that got themselves involved. This was influenced by scepticism as to the valuations acheived in Irish property. Midlanders were watching Dubliners bidding up Irish property and reaching the conclusion that British property was based on better fundamentals. Well only just. Six of one and a half a dozen of the other. With the decline of sterling, and the collapse of spending in Britain, it has all gone belly-up. Those investors were dealing with a legal framework they understood, and in a language that they understood. They stayed somewhat within their circle of competence, and used Irish ‘professionals’(sic). And Britain still has some economic infrastructure. They just misunderstood risk. Nobody knows what the story is concerning the people who got into those peak silliness schemes in Bulgaria, Budapest, Oceanico etc…often purely for status obsession reasons. These properties were based on valuations that were completely off the wall. And besides there is no shortage of holiday destinations, and now hotels in the sun belt are dropping their prices. Trying to get 20 different rents per year in Sunny Beach is much harder than trying to find three tenants for a house in Liverpool. It must have become a headache of completely unspeakable proportions !! And because the motives were status obsession, the real story is kept silent.

      • coldblow

        I read the following article recently and it’s quite amusing:

        I mentioned the psychologist Dorothy Rowe some while back but on hindsight I don’t really agree with her much. But she’s scored a direct hit, in my view, with her views on extraverts and introverts (in her observation every couple contains one of each). Introverts build their reality starting from the self and tend to withdraw from the world to analyze and, if left to their own devices, are liable to come up with all kinds of mad theories (ahem). Extraverts (her spelling) live in the reality around them, where appearances are vital and they fear introspection. If they are loathe to question their own identity they are just as averse to question the world around them, but go with the flow join in with whatever is happening, without questioning any of it: it’s there because it’s there because it’s there. (I know because my missus is – has to be – one.) A world of introverts would be bizarre in the extreme, one of extraverts would in my view resemble Big Brother writ large. It sounds dotty but apparently it’s mainstream psychology. Anyway, the explanation for buying property abroad by members of an “extravert nation” is simple: one does it because everyone else does.

        • Deco

          Coldblow thanks for the link. It constitutes a useful peice of education for all of us.
          I always used to look on the status obsession behaviour as being along the lines of ‘a superiority complex is really an inferiority complex being covered up’. The behaviour of Irish builder/speculator types in Cheltenham, or suburban ‘investors’ on an apartment buying trip in Budapest being prime examples.

          Ireland needs to go on the couch. And get real treatment not the retail treatment that has been fashionable, and which has failed to deal with the underlying problems. And working on the superficial level has led us to disregard the fundamental problems like substance abuse, bad planning, and poorly managed organizations. Your theory does shine an interesting method of analysis. It might explain that the best thing would be for the country just to be at ease with itself pschologically.

          • wills

            @Deco: ‘Ireland need’s to go on the couch’,,,, ABSOLUTELY AGREE.

            Brilliant series on 3E called ‘Treatment’,. with Gabriel byrne.
            Psychoanalysis is our only hope as a country to re-gain crediblity now we’ve
            been rumbled on the international scene for the truth, which we all new lurked
            behind the Darby o’ gill and the little people twinkle in the eye aaah sure
            i’m oirish let’s have the crack baloney…!!!!!!!

        • G

          Isn’t there a line from Freud that the ‘Irish were impervious to psychoanalysis’!!

          Prior analysis too simplistic in the etreme, the world is not black and white – more grey. Greed has got is where we are, its been the engine of capitalism especially since 1492 when it went global, eliminating the ‘weak’ or those not given to mass and extreme violence, the type of stuff repeated ad nauseum like Pat Kenny on the Late Late when he said to Roy Keane ‘that nice guys never come first’ – sickening bullshit.

  2. severelyltd

    The government seem content to site back and relax when it comes to everything. Their style is is to let other people worry. God only knows what screw up Harney has in store for us the swine Flu. If she had any dignity see would have resigned 20 times in the past year alone.These guys just don’t care. Let’s face it. They know the Irish mentality. The apathetic resolve and bluff but complete lack of action when it boils down to it. We have a toothless opposition who quite frankly aren’t unlike the current crowd ,peacock’s with different spots. The latest estimates show that we will have 300,000 unemployed at the end of next year and if there is anything we have learned from estimates is that they are all too small. This is a virtual elimination of the private sector and any hope of a quick recovery.I wouldn’t be surprised if the EU decides to quarantine Ireland to stop the spread of misplaced enthusiasm and delusions of grandeur. Even if the rest of the world starts improving soon I am convinced we will continue the downward spiral for a long long long time. While our high tech jobs are being shipped to Eastern Europe maybe they could send us back a cow or some used farm machinery. How long will it be until African family’s are sponsoring Children affected by the war in Limerick? Send a hub cap to a Child in need.

    • Deco

      Severlyltd – I grasp what you are telling us – but Irish people are not yet ready for the humility that is coming. Even still there are people who think they are above working in a supermarket !!

      {The apathetic resolve and bluff but complete lack of action when it boils down to it. }
      You are right. The only people who have acted are the public sector workers. The unemployed have stayed completely silent.

    • G

      This week’s estimate puts unemployment at 382,000 (15,800 in April alone) – but agree with you on your analysis of Irish ‘all talk and no action comment’ – June will tell a lot, I sense change in the wind, something has to give. Agree wholeheartedly with your comments on Harney.

  3. gadfly55

    The ERSI has pronounced and once again, the Government has acted with inaccurate information. The projection of 17% unemployment for each month of 2010, and a reduction of more than 1.5 billion euro for this year in government income, only two weeks after the budget, with the danger that further rises in income tax will disable further reductions in pay to restore competitiveness by employers are highlighted in radio news bulletins. But Pat Kenny does not mention a syllable, nor present a commentator because when the ERSI makes pronouncements, we all know the writing is not only on the wall, or TWITTER, it is chiselled into granite with white marble inset, and illuminated on a 100 metre monolith beside the Spire. Even the blind can read these runes. Roll on June 5, and the demise of FF, and then let there be a general election to purge these fools from office.

  4. Philip

    1980s, we have over 60% tax rates, 23% VAT and 18% mortgages. I remember many looking forward to getting FF back in and getting the building going and putting money into people’s hands. When you grew up and lived in it, it felt normal. We whined a lot back then as well. The trickle of Multinational investment was small and not much of a headliner. And we won’t go into the the other mores that dominated what was a real backwater loony asylum

    The big problem is not that we are heading back to the 80s. It’s the rate of the decline. As the joke goes, speed never kills – it’s the sudden stop. This rate of decline creates a tunnel vision which over focuses the mind on never ending loss and hopelessness. My biggest concern is unbridled pride being replaced by unjustified depression and people topping themselves all over the place.

    This may be glib – but being alive in this country today even in the current shambles – is nothing as bad compared to the eighties. The availability of this blog is an example. Realize that insanity is the belief that hoping things will change when you do the same thing over and over again. We have to change.

    • Tim

      Philip, not glib at all, but true. Also:

      “If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got.”

      Yet, govt is, today, doing exactly the same, failed, things that were done in the eighties: tax and cut essential frontline public services like education and health.

      Gene Kerrigan of the Indo predicted this about two and a half years ago in an article: “Just Watch Health and Education Get it in the Neck!”

    • wills

      imagine 18% interest rate to-day,.. what do you think would happen,
      just really illustrates how exposed regular joe n jane are now to international events of any measure leading to even half % increase,,

    • G

      suicide is a real concern, during the Asian crisis I heard a statistic of 36 per day in South Korea. Ireland’s situation is worse because it has an out of touch, compassionless, inept government run by dangerous right wing amateurs.

      The Irish were encouraged to live in a bubble, the economic tsunami has hit, its consequences will be felt a lot longer, later this year – winter to January /February key period, but signs not good, no jobs coming down the line, in shock capitalism companies are running to low wage economies, not even the 12.5% ctr will hold them, we are in real danger of living in a failed State, I’d bet on Krugman and the international markets over Cowen, Coughlan and Lenihan anyday, they know the game is up on this once pretentious nation…pride before the fall.


    The Irish economy has terminal cancer-unemployment will rise indefinitely and hit 25% within 2 years.The social welfare budget will exceed the entire tax take and the clowns responsible for this will retire to Monaco etc.No accountability-what do you expect when nepotism determines how far one rises in Ireland inc?.Most of the talent has been crowded out.Rejoining the UK seems plausible.Dick Roche for Taoiseach!!!.

  6. 1919
    “That in what pertains to the control of credit the constant and predominant aim shall be the welfare of the people as a whole.”
    A45 Bunreacht na h-Eireann

    “We understand that the Revenue are pulling the Tax Relief at Source on 1st May from the vast majority of mortgage holders, except for the very obvious first time buyers i.e. those who are still in their first home with the original mortgage lender. The relief is being suspended for all others. Those for example, who are still within the first 7 years of their mortgage, but heeded good advice and shopped around for a better mortgage deal are in for a shock when their mortgage payment shoots up in the very month that their income will be slashed by increased taxes. Also those people who have topped-up their mortgage in the first 7 years will be axed for a period of time,”

    It only took 90 years to go backwards.

  7. wills

    @David: An elucidation on previous article on Gov playing ‘blindmonkey’….. Way too go..

    @deco, off to a flying start

    @bloggers: Bank report on themselves to-day assert not lending due to default risk of customers paying loan back.

    ERSI/David’s article asserts, people going broke cos can’t get credit/loan.

    Catch 22..!!!!!

  8. coldblow

    Being facetious, one could mutate the analogy:

    J.M. Keynes Hospital: “Roll up your sleeve. This stuff hasn’t been tested properly and it might even kill you.”

    Austrian School Hospital (Der Heiligen Jungfrau Ohne Hoffnung): the notice on the locked door reads: “It is in the best interests of everyone to receive no treatment as by witholding treatment of dubious efficacity we are ensuring the survival of a resistant gene pool (assuming there are survivors). Danke fur Ihre Verstandingung.”

    Ospidéal Naomh Bertie: Nurse, what do you call this yoke here? It’s called a stethoscope, Dr Cowan. S-T-E-T…

    • Deco

      Ospideal NAMA. Oh, no – we are overloaded. How could anybody have known there were that many ailments out there to be resolved ? We will have to stack the patients on top each other on trolleys and leave in the corridors for a few years to revive themselves. In the interests of productivity and so as to clear the backlog, we will use heavy electric equipment. Throw the patients on a conveyor belt that comes from anyone of the empty factories left due to our cost competitiveness problem, and operate on them rapidly. It will still take years.

      Ospideal D4. “Cheer up fellows, we still have our executive salaries and bonuses. Let’s open a bottle of Champers for the good old PAYE taxpayer who is looking after us”.

      Ospideal Lenihan. I am going to look after everybody. Our policy is “no banker left behind”. It is a solid and well thought out policy. Yes, all the banks will get saved. No matter what the cost is to the Irish taxpayer. We need bankers. And the international community can rely on my promise to save their skins. I have absolute faith in the Irish Financial System – it is totally sound – and complete confidence in the state authorities to resolve the issue and prepare us for the upturn in the economy…which should occur any moment soon….

      Ospideal Gormless. Switch off the heating and replace the lightbulbs – it makes more sense environmentally. We also have some natural remedies and we want to test them on the patient.

      Ospideal Bluedoctors. Doctors Kenny, Deasy and Mitchell are all in the building, but they will not answer any questions. They cannot answer your questions. You can direct all those difficult questions about what we would do the patient to Dr. Baby Brute. And only to him.

      Ospideal Gilmore. Outraged. Disgusted. Disgraceful. Flabbergasted. That’s unacceptable. And so is that. That also. In fact, every available option is unacceptable. And that in itself is unacceptable. Our job is to express the patients anger and pain for them. Firstly not enough money has been spent. Also, too much of taxpayers money has been spent.

      Ospideal Adams. The bankers haven’t gone away, you know.

      Ospideal Harney. Ok, let’s convert this operating theatre into a nail bar ? How about having a classy upmarket fashion outlet of the Chez Liz boutique instead of this ward ? And a McDowell cafe over here beside this waiting area ? Of course every consumer marketing segment has different requirements. Therefore, close the canteen, and bring in Supermacs. And for those with more refined tastes there will also be a gourmet restaurant. The reconstruction contract goes to tender process – Honest Tom to decide the winner.

        • Tim

          Furrylugs, ospideal Tim’s A&E for computers has been very busy since Sunday; no National Treatment Purchase Fund available and the creation of a waiting list is not an option when the people require their machines for their business. Five out of six now completely cured and final one in theatre as we speak.

          PC Doctor should be able to finish his shift soon.

          (I love that “Ospideal” post, Deco!)

  9. Not sure whether anyone noticed but the implementation of the suspension of mortgage tax relief after 7 years may be botched. http://www.businessworld.ie/livenews.htm?a=2404884
    People are going to be so much poorer after the implementation of this budget that no govermental talk of the need to tighten belts and cut our cloth to measure will placate us. Young double income families are hit very hard and some could go from being able to pay their mortgage to arrears quite quickly.

    • wills

      shane: hence why banks are throwing their preforming debt’s overboard with the toxic debt’s cos those pesky basta@rd’s know
      all too well the imminent young middle class income meltdown ah coming. This whole thing makes me siiiiiiiiiccccccckkkkkkkk..!!!!!!!

      • wills

        of course the eejits should have known better than to pay 3 times the real
        price of property asset,… but . just , the whole money grabbing racket on
        an island for gods sakes is disgusting.

    • I did pick up on that Shane. (see note re A45 above)
      It would appear that all relief will be suspended except in the most obvious cases and the burden of proof thrown at the mortgagees door.
      This is sharp practice following the Revenue coming out yesterday saying they would be “sympathetic” if approached.
      Your point on “tipping” and Deco’s point on “status obsession” is very valid though I think we reached breaking point some time ago. This “double whammy”, to quote our neighbours parlance in that the levy/relief/patriotic taxes is crippling middle Ireland. I know several with boat fares in hand who are staying for the kids. The ESRI report today has crystallised the future and anyone who can go, should. We had a mini bubble from a worldwide perspective and what follows that will probably be a succession of false dawns.
      Certainly this is no place now for the young. There will be no opportunity for a decade. It is no place for ABC1 because there is nothing for ABC1 to maintain that demographic score.
      Where is the future? Where is the plan?

      This was depressing;
      Alan Barrett of ESRI said: “It is possible that places like Zimbabwe have bigger contractions, but you know when you’re in trouble when you’re saying at least we’re not Zimbabwe. You’re talking about the biggest contraction in an industrialised country since the Great Depression.”

      To my mind now, from what I have learned here(and I have learned quite a lot from patient people), intellectual wealth is best taken elsewhere for the forseeable future. Or at least till I retire. I can come back then and sing Danny Boy like all the other tourists.
      This is a great country, with great people but completely let down by a cynical elite who have hi-jacked social democratic principles to further their own ends. A private club numbering some hundreds flesh-feeding of the general populace.
      Though I will contribute here henceforth(some may groan), all the arguments have been made, made well and ignored. It’s the same little country I had to leave twice before and it’s not getting another chance. Ireland fleeces its own.
      No more.

      • wills

        Myself left the old sod a few times to and returned
        and stayed in ’94,. To me i kinda see this backwards”’!!!
        YOu see, to me , these POnzi credit bubble yahoo’s were like
        a loud obnoxious bunch shouting and bawling and looking for
        attention and knocking everything over like at a party squeezing
        everyone out with talent and chutzpah and innovativeness and
        we’ve had to be patient all this time for these bozo’s to have a go
        on stage running around in their bubble 4 be 4′s and bling and
        so on and now that the POnzi loving lumps of ID (freud) have
        had their go on the stage for doing no work for it and it’s all over
        i se this as very very very heartening and potentially a renaissance
        period in the making for all of us who kept calm in the madness
        and bided our time,……

        • Tim

          wills, I hope that you are correct here; I know you are RIGHT. (facts V morals)
          We should not lose any more good people; “Brain-Drain” was a huge problem the last time and we should do all we can to prevent it now. Furrylugs is an innovator in the green-tech sector and we REALLY need people like him right now.

          But such valuable individuals, with expertise in this growth industry should be given support by government. The savings on the ministerial Mercs, alone, would create quite a fund – let alone all the flying around in the Lear and the Helicopters.

          There is certainly no doubt in my mind that Furry would do a much better job than Ryan and Gormless (put together), if that funding were put at his disposal. He has the expertise, the heart and the conscience – how many of our “representatives” in the Dail have all three of these for their portfolios? How many have two? even one?

          Furrylugs, your post above about leaving can be taken as a microcosm of how a great number of intelligent people are thinking and feeling in our country right now. I have many past-pupils ready to graduate from University in a month and very few prospects. I have my current LC students doing their exam in June and very few prospects: fees will prevent them from availing of the recession-buffer that college might have been and, without a degree, their job-prospects are next to zero since there are so many existing graduates out of work and hoovering up any jobs that materialise.

          People are looking at Canada and Australia, but Oz is shutting down, now, too. I have been saying Norway and Sweden (I have a brother there and it seems fine).

          What bothers me the most about this all is that it is happening without a whimper of protest.

          Why are not 2 million people, at least, marching on Molesworth Street before they leave the country quietly? Is there something imprinted on our psyche that simply accepts-without-question that BL senior was right and that this little island cannot accommodate so many people? It is incorrect, so why accept it sans revolution?

          • wills

            Tim: I reckon with this Credit/property bubble deflation underway the POnzi swamp
            will be drained off and the clogged up real economy will rise up and see in
            a knowledge based ‘wealth system’ take root and start to grow in all directions,
            in ways that we still have no concept on. Just as the agricultural based
            ‘wealth system’ and industrial based ‘wealth system’ did over time evolve
            into extraordinary epochs of innovation and production and abundance.
            Here is this new next leap and it is daunting and challenging and taking
            us into a new frontier of human experience and is going to call upon
            everyone in way’s we’ve never considered.
            Working a knowledge based ‘wealth system’ is the way forward and history
            is pulling us as a society in this direction. The credit bubble malaise was
            a slight de-tour and last swan song for an industrial based ‘wealth system’ in it’s final throw’s before the inevitable next paradigm shift kick’s in.
            I suspect the lack of revolutionary zeal and impassioned street revolt is
            down to a deep sense within that the POnzi bubble meltdown is if anything else
            the last hurrah before the settling down of mankind to put to use the new
            info technological gizmo’s tool’s the way they were intended to be used.

          • Tim

            wills, we cannot float the new frontier of knowledge and technology if we allow the education cuts to stand.

            The “Free books scheme” grant was over €11,000 in the school I work in for this academic year 2008/09. For next year, 2009/10, the grant will be Zero. How will those kids progress into adulthood, accepting that they are not worth giving books to? Will they be asked to suffer the humiliation of turning up without books, or should they “drop-out”? What are we storing up for the future, here?

            Do we want to pay for their books, or pay to keep them in prison later?


          • wills

            I see the ‘free books scheme’ slash and burn as easy target fodder.
            Hit those who can’t strike back.
            In relation to sociological repercussions to such blunt action to stunt growth
            of proper learning i see the transformations in models
            of education in tandem with the new technologies presenting new and
            invigorating way’s for the next generation coming up the ranks to avail of
            and use to circumvent the blatant attempts by the power’s at be to clamp
            down on these kid’s in any way they get half the chance to, whether it be
            book grant cut’s or plastic prefabs or maxed out class numbers etc.
            In this transition into this new ‘wealth system’ the youth are ripe for
            neutralisation by the ruling economic forces who will do whatever
            to maintain the status quo as mankind evolves into the next phase of

          • wills

            tim: check this link out, better explains my posts.

        • Wills, have you read ‘The Singularity Is Near’ by Ray Kurzweil? If not, I recommend it. ‘In Treatment’ is excellent, we get it on the American channel HBO over here in Antigua. Another good book is ‘Futurewise’ by Patrick Dixon.

          • wills

            adamabyss: never heard of this guy,. so googled and much thanks 4 link.

            I’m very interested in the area of mastering the forces of entropy and the
            body a biological computer machine gateway for us into discovering
            our true sentient being full potential.. strikes me though kurzwell may invest
            too much value on the brain over the unlimited potential i believe the mind carries. I’m more of a kepler student than newton whom i consider over
            mathematical in his treatise’s on the universe’s clockwork.

          • Wills, Kurzweil is interviewed in New Scientist today. Just going to read it in bed on the Blackberry before nodding off. Night.


      • Actually Wills, I hvae a similar opinion of much of the builder types I’ve met. With a few exceptions they come across as boorish show-offs with no real intellectual depth or vision beyond bigger buildings and greater rent.

        Furrylugs: You seem to have thrown in the towel on Ireland. I’m feeling that way myself to be honest. The government believe they’re making the only decisions available to them. These decisions appear to guarantee steep economic contraction, rising unemployment and rising taxes. Lenihan, in particular, seems to almost revel in making “tough decisions” inflicting pain the electorate. When the wisdom of these choices are we’re told to get on with it. That all this economic woe is in the national interest.

        However, when you look at it from the perspective of creating a life for you and your family, the national interest seems irrelevant. Young(ish) Irish people may be better off to leave, get some experience and earn as much money as they can elsewhere. I only hope that if/when they return they remember how much of a mess we get ourselves into with undeserved self-congratulation and mutual admiration. We’ve had windfall politics for so long. We now need vision and sustainable business.

        • It’s pure survival Shane.
          Like on an aircraft, put your own mask on first. That ESRI report was awful as has been every ESRI report for the last 12 months.
          It was like that spoof blog in the last thread. Like, say something useful.
          The US markets are stressed. China is playing hardball.
          Outside our Public Service we have a million people available to work and come next month half of those will be non-taxpayers.

  10. Malcolm McClure

    Severelyltd said: “The government seem content to site back and relax when it comes to everything.” Too true.
    –Like the doctor says when his patient has the ‘flu– “Stay home, lie down, sleep, drink plenty of fluids.” (ie.. get drunk in the Leinster House bar.)
    The Tamiflu solution: “Resign and have an election” just doesn’t seem to enter their heads.

  11. MK1

    Hi David,

    An interesting analogy, but like many it is not 100% the same. Ironically, the Swin Flu pandemic if it occurs will only add to the economic woes of the globe.

    > the resulting scarcity of credit is at the root of most of our problems. In financial terms, our bad behaviour of the past few years has ensured that we are considered contagious. We have the virus.

    No, thats the wrong way of looking at the problem. We HAD the virus, which a lot of the world had, and that was TOO MUCH credit, based on instuments/assets which weren’t resilient. Its not the scarcity of credit that is the problem, its that we had a problem of TOO MUCH credit.

    That’s why Credit Crunch is a dengerous misnomer. It was a Credit Bubble.

    Your friends business is having trouble not due to the problem of getting credit, but because it is shipping water. He needs to run it tighter, jetison the loss making segments, etc, keep cutting until it floats on its own. Many businesses have used credit in the past not as a life belt but as the main reason to stay afloat. It, like the property bubble, cant go on, and businesses will die.

    Lets hope not too many people wont die with Swine Flu ….. I may just stock up on pasta and tuna, just in case.


  12. Original-Ed

    “Unfortunately for us at the moment, our Government has never been so important, yet it has never been so unimpressive”

    David, they’re still in the comfort zone with their huge salaries, expenses and pensions and consequently, they’re the least affected of all in our society. Only the plebs in the private sector have to really worry about the future. I think that Cowen’s pension is equivalent to 4 million in the private sector, he’s effectively won the lotto over and over again – he can’t take the smile off his face – where would you get it?
    Look at Micháel Martin refusing to give up his teaching post after 20 years a TD – he taught for 1 year and he said recently that politics is too precarious to give up the security of his teaching post – he gets a teachers pension on top of his dail pensions. That tells us everything about the mindset – security is the most important thing to these people. To think that he was Minister for enterprise is a joke – a zero risk taker formulating policy for risk takers.
    Our present situation is far too serious to be left in the hands of such comfortable jokers.

  13. Tim

    Folks, I do not know whether you have been listening to “The Emergency” on Newstalk106 for the past 7 weeks or not, but if you haven’t, here is a taster:


    It is in the vein of “Scrap Saturday”, of old, or “Hall’s Pictorial Weekly”.

    A satyrical look at the current situation.

    If you do not yet have Quicktimeplayer from Apple, here is the link to download and install it, so that you can play “The Emergency”.


    The show uses a mock de Valera voice to instruct the Nation on what to do……..

    I think that many of you will enjoy it.

  14. David prior to switching back on here to give you my , ‘biles worth’ …Mr Tim hadn’t posted NEWSTALK ,…T. your back on my good pages , listened for the last fifteen odd minutes got to the Yank spekin orish and enjoyed it . thank you.
    Back to my View ,…..this Swine Flu got me thinking this evening after watching TV3 and the waste show , as to why Swine Flu was ringing a funny bell in my head as after the day I had playing Office politics with men above me I needed a break and I have it , we are In Animal Farm of Orwellian proportions fact is more people have lost their lives on German roads in the last week than have died of this ‘new flu’ its just a smoke screen and we are been nicely side stepped while our minister of Law wants to make religious satire punishable this is Out Right State Control ,
    Now we ALL need to take to the streets , workers, employee’s and the unemployed as for way too long ( as I’ve said countless times before ) we have our very own MaFFia within Finna Fail and its sisters F.G. S.F. and that fat smelly kerry whore Healy. While labor unless have a make over and throw out the Fat Union heads .
    You will see Blood spilled again on Irish Streets.
    So ,…as Wills ( who are U ? ) would say , Fellow Bloggers,
    I’ll say again Lets meet in a dublin suburb like CARLOW ?

  15. oh and I don’t do ‘Sick’ so why should I pay the debts of any developer let them die like the swines they are ..

  16. jim

    I get the feeling here that people just dont get Cowen or how He sees things.Cowen is doing or has done all He needs to do at present.Cowen’s job as He sees it is to run the Government and by extension the Public Service end of story.Its His firmly held belief that the free Market will determine what happens in the rest of the Economy.Cowen will tell you Himself that its not up to Government to create jobs but to enable the conditions for the free Market to function with the minimum interference from Him.Sure enough He will intervene when things look like interfering with His Budget, but as long has the Exchequer has sufficient funds coming in to meet His needs,well then thats all that counts….Dont buy my observations,,,,,well lets run the sliderule over it…..1.look at the Budgets He overseen,how they were structured,Who was affected,what the emphasis was on,or basically what was the theme and goals of the Budgets ……2..look at the handling of the Banking crises and the measures that were taken to-date.The emphasis here seems to be on whats best to restore the operation of the free Market with little or no concern for individual private sector workers or their access to credit.He is Politically astute enough to realise that His Public sector Employees have secure employment and pose less risk for Banks to lend to them and given that a good tranche of them secured their Employment through FF clinics etc.it’s clear that their votes by and large are in the bag…. 3 Policies that He pursues show very little understanding of the MacroEconomics underpinning small open Markets like Irelands and He appears happy to enlist the services of various Depts. to write up answers for Questions in the Dail and for the Media which all of His underlings are expected to learn each day or at least read accurately.Any question relating to anything outside Government or PS are usually dished out to Consultants or Advisors for answers.He basically sees these matters as outside of His remit and will only act to help resolve disputes etc,while making sure not to rub anybody up the wrong way and lose votes even though He will deny the vote bias…..4….He will dish out platitudes and words of encouragement and old Republican speak etc and try to tap as many voters as He can,even though He no longer believes that old bullshit Himself anymore,but He still knows it will catch enough gobshite to get Him re -elected………..5…Lastly for now anyhoo LOL. The key to understanding Cowen and the rest of His possie is that they are basically a bunch of Administrators who turn up to oversee various Depts.They are not Leaders or innovators or visionaries of some wonderfull future.They give out as little information as possible about anything or more to the point ” everybody knows they lack the skills to run a Country and by keeping their mouth’s shut about that fact they dont run the risk of confirming people’s suspecions”..When He publishes His memoirs in time to come it will read like “Government for dummies” or “how to succeed in Politics without really trying”.

    • Deco

      { Its His firmly held belief that the free Market will determine what happens in the rest of the Economy. }
      If Cowen believed that it was best for the government to interfere in the economy, then perhaps he might wish to explain his financial policies under rule Bertie the Socialist ? He was at that point an interventionist. Cowen is not a free market believer – or at least he was not when the government had a surplus tax take. McCreevy did believe in free market economics, and had already offended particular influences in the media (the old lady of D’Olier Street in particular), the Labour Party (Ahern like to have them as option B when McDowell was calling his pet project a Ceacescu plan), and the banks(because McCreevy was concerned with getting people to increase their savings). And Ahern put a solicitor, Cowen in charge of the nations finances. The course followed by Cowen was all about liberalising the money flow in the economy. McCreevy had limitations. But McCreevy was aware of the limitations of government. Ahern and Cowen were completely ignorant of this. In fact Ahern really did not care about his limitations. As the Bertie Bowl episode showed he could lose the plot for years and waste millions purely on a personal misadventure. McCreevy’s response was to limit government involvement. With so many projects in need of government money McCreevy was a real problem to many vested interests in Irish society.He was simply conservative for Ireland. The opposition knew this, and decided to make McCreevy the target of their attacks. Cullen and Dempsey might be totally incompetent, but McCreevy could be painted as the miser who was preventing the party from taking off. And Ireland, full of it’s own pride, needed to have a massive party. They clamoured for a more intervenist government. Cowen fitted the bill – he had afterall written that famous FF manifesto that had to get hidden. And when Cowen became Minister for Finance, the opposition softened up and were almost in praise of Ahern.

      He let the government ministers lose the plot over the their empire building, with all those useless quangos. Never were ministers ever asked to account for these nonsensical bodies. The HSE in particular just threw money at everybody, and ended up with massive overruns in administration and management. Rolling all that nonsense back will be impossible. It seems that the other parties want the quangos to stay just as much as FF. We need a party that is anti-quango. So far only Shane Ross wants them scaled back on a massive scale. The rest are just playing arguments. Yesterdays session in the Dail was complete theatre. Cowen was under seige. The rest of the FF bench were barely moving. And most of the Dail benches were empty.

      { The key to understanding Cowen and the rest of His possie is that they are basically a bunch of Administrators who turn up to oversee various Depts. }
      Well even this is being generous with respect to their skillsets. I would say that they are a bunch of actors pretending to have the situation under control. They got away with it for years. But it is no longer possible. Classic case in point is Coughlan. It will be interesting to see what people write on their ballot papers in June !!!

    • Malcolm McClure

      Jim: It’s good to read a comment about someone who has personal responsibility for this mess that tries to understand their motivations, rather than simply heaping them with blame. Cowen obviously takes a very restricted view of ‘possible’ in the saying “Politics is the Art of the Possible”. He’s not interested in whether other countries have found better ways of doing things. His Tullamore mentality tells him to hang on to the customers he’s got and try to satisfy them, rather than wonder whether the pub decor and the butcher’s hygiene arrangements are still appropriate to this day and age.

  17. jim

    We do not have an Independent Government in Ireland ,we have an Administration for a Colony which once belonged to the British Empire and now belongs to the European Union.Our Administration’s structure’s and Public Service are still run on the inherited structures for a colonised people and have been for hundreds of years.The alienation and sense of powerlessness people are feelin today is no different than that felt by generations before.The powers that be can starve us when ever they deem it necessary.Maybe its time for that great line from the film Network,,”Im sick of this shit and Im not going to take it anymore”

    • coldblow

      OK Jim, that’s pure Crotty. I have tried resisting the temptation to post a quote but you are playing to my weakness. Apologies to those who have heard it all before.

      “It was plausible 40 years ago to ascribe the defects of Irish society to the aftermath of “800 years of English rule”, which was perceived as commencing with the Norman invasion. It is less convincing to do so now, when English rule has been terminated in Ireland for 60 years. It is equally facile to ascribe the undevelopment of former capitalist colonies to the colonial experience in the case of Latin America, where colonial rule ended over 160 years ago… Neither does it carry any weight to ascribe the ubiquitous undevelopment of former capitalist colonies to acts of colonial spoliation or deprivation which, in any case were relatively few. The causation was less direct and more subtle…

      “Independence was gained for all former European colonies [ie colonised by European powers] by those elements in the colonies who gained most from colonialism. Independence came when these local elites deemed their position to be sufficiently secure to survive without metropolitan support…

      “There is a powerful bias in favour of extending state activity in all former colonies. The post-colonial state is everywhere looked to to protect the individual interests established by capitalist colonialism; which interests, in every case, have played the leading role in establishing the independent, post-colonial states. Others look to the post-colonial state as a potential source of individual benefit, if only to the extent of alleviating illness and so reducing death rates below approximately biological birth rates. Most post-colonial states sustain the socio-economic order inherited from capitalist colonialism by the use of military power, exercised by political regimes of the extreme right or left. In Ireland the state seeks to sustain the inherited socio-economic order by a frenetic expansion of economic activity…

      “Individuals benefit from the retention of the heritage of capitalist colonialism while society loses, in Ireland’s case as in that of every former capitalist colony. The palpable inefficiency and iniquity of the social order are maintained by powerful, western-type states everywhere in the Third World; and no less so in Ireland…

      “Capitalist colonization is analogous to infection with a disease against which the infected body is unable to build up antibodies.”

      • Malcolm McClure

        Coldblow: Following your mention, I just had a quick scan of Crotty’s “Global assessment of the rise of Western capitalism using Ireland as a key case study.” on Google books.
        That man writes well and had a lot of interesting ideas. Must try to fit him into my background reading as he links up some of my other interests in a novel way.

        • wills

          coldblow: never heard of this guy crotty, google checkd, undiscovered gem.

        • coldblow

          Malcolm, yes his Ireland in Crisis (1986) is a dense, concise but very readable 100 pages or so covering Irish history and the present economic situation, and then you have the appendices, the first of which is a fascinating potted history of the rise of capitalism in the forests of western Europe (which is probably what you are alluding to). He also throws light on agricultural conditions, particularly land use, elsewhere in the world. I love the opening line: This book has been written for the plain people of Ireland.

          Crotty was an autodidact and was driven to examine the bigger picture by his experiences as an enterprising (and again self-taught) young farmer, in particular the obstacles, through high input costs, to making more productive use of the land. He used the latest labour intensive methods while his neighbour grazed cattle with minimum effort and they both made equal profits (while the other neighbours presumably shook their heads at his naivete). This is discussed in the first part of A Radical’s Response while the rest of that book is taken up with the ins and outs of the campaign and legal challenge against the SEA. He spent some years as an international agricultural advisor in various ‘developing’ countries in SE Asia, Latin America and Africa where his combination of experience as a farmer and livestock expertise would have been unique. He could have made a very comfortable living as a tenured academic and could have let his land, but he chose to ask the Land Commission to take the land at their own valuation. Everyone has their limits of course but I like his readiness to take on the big issues – reminds me in some ways of our host.

      • Tim

        coldblow, please never do that!

        “I have tried resisting the temptation to post a quote”……..

        We need you.

    • wills

      agree jim, Ireland never lived in full political independance.
      Quite simply, the punt was tie parity with sterling and the sacrificed
      for the euro. What we know as a Rep. Ireland what we live in and pay
      our taxes in is a fraud. We live in a political economy system no
      different to when Ireland was part of the british empire.

      We never received our political independence from the british monarchy. It was a confidence trick to keep us quelled in our zeal.
      The Rep Ireland is nothing but an illusion we are all living in.

      Implement A45 and then see how far Ireland would get in the international arena.

      All one has to do is look at history.
      After ww2 Ireland was a pariah state due to Dev telling churchill to go and get stuffed when he insisted Dev let the brits use the ports
      for defense.

      • wills

        the brits play a game of pretend in relation to nation – statehood.
        For them ireland is and always will be part and parcel of the United Kingdom.
        They see this rep. Ireland as a standing joke that’s seem to have worked.
        It makes the Irish think they really do have their own independent nationhood.
        And as far as they are concerned, sh!t if that keeps the ignoble island savages
        happy that’s good for us.,, keep’s the racket down.

      • Tim

        wills, you are cutting deep now.

        Malcolm, I would appreciate your “historical take” on this – I have never heard it expressede in this manner and my own knowledge is inadequate to comment.

        • Malcolm McClure

          Tim: I’d need to write a book to respond to your question. The short answer is that ‘the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.’

          It is worth noting that The ‘Royal’ Irish Academy is the premier learned society for the study of Irish civilisation, –pointing to the cultural reality behind Wills’ “illusion of an Irish Republic”. Irish allegiance was traditionally through a hierarchical structure of rural Urraghs to provincial patrilineal “Kings” with Brian Boru being the closest approximation to a “High-king ever seen in Ireland. This instinct of deference to the high-born is still alive and well, helping to protect and reassure the polite though impoverished Real elite, as opposed to the ‘got-rich-quick’ gang.

          Ireland came late to the table of ‘Civilisation’ –an urban concept that had roots in the Renaissance of 15th century Italy. It began to make headway in the north and west of Ireland only in the late 17th century, assisted by the import of wines. Although embraced through the ages by pretentious upwardly mobile types, there are still a few rural redoubts that resist its blandishments.

          Bryan Sykes points out in his book ‘Blood of the Isles’ that most of the Irish and many of the ‘British’ descended from “Oisin” ancestors who lived along the Atlantic fringes since the Ice Age. He could find no significant genetic affinity of the ‘Celts’ with the celebrated Celts of central Europe.

          Historical conclusion from DNA evidence– we are all “British Celts” as opposed to insular Europeans. And of course we speak the same language.

        • wills

          tim: check out link below on crotty’s historical take respect to Irelands place
          in the capitalist global system and it’s ramifications on us politically over last 300 years,.. he covers it in Ch 8/9, pages’s are missing but i read it last nite
          and the gist of it is intact, brilliant analysis for plain people intelligence.

          Malcolm: i’m going to be busy over week – end digesting scope of your post

  18. cozzy121

    The sad thing is how Cowen has been shown up to be the lazy, cowardly incompetent we always suspected he is. Lazy in his management of our economy as minister for finance, he ignored all the warnings and kept his boss’s builder mates happy. His cowardice in not taking on the soaring public sector wage bill. And incompetence? He picks a fool of a Tánaiste to make him look good. Christ, wish they’d take a junket trip to Mexico and spare us any more of their “leadership”.

  19. Subscribe, sorry guys can’t seem to get this to work any other way. Was wondering why the Chinese article comments had died out.

  20. Philip

    @Adamabyss, I suspect the comment count has died off for 3 DeBono like reasons…Positive- May Bank Holiday and everyone has buzzed off, Negative – Silence of the Lambs Syndrome and Interesting – The comments so far just say it all. No one is disagreeing. Even Tim might start voting for Labour or FG or ?? :)

    • Philip,
      Plus the fact that it appears (as I predicted) that no one is actually going to DO anything apart from indulge in circular debate, interesting as it might be.
      Tim, did you go to that Vincent Browne launch the other night? It seems not. I have to admit that I have no clue who Vincent Browne is (being somewhat – some might say mercifully – disconnected from the ‘personalities’ in Ireland) so it might be a complete white elephant. Also, the economy can’t be that bad if people can ‘buzz’ off for whatever holiday (I have no clue which one it is) on a break. How are they paying for it?! Evidently things are not as critical as one would assume from reading constantly on here. Admit it guys, you are all going to bend over and take what’s coming as usual and nothing’s going to change in Ireland – there is no revolution around the corner – unless some external (foreign) influences forces it to change. Nevermind, I will still tune in here for the foreseeable future to continue to pick up what knowledge I can from the noble and not so noble contributors.

      • Philip

        It has been 10 months since the first negative ESRI report. Since then 200K have lost their jobs and we’ll probably have another 200K join them. Every family, community has been affected. The ESRI reports (I think the latest is No. 3) have underestimated the collapse. This is a Slump. FULL STOP.

        Ireland being a wet and cool sort of place, it is hard to get a spark to do anything useful. Like Diesel or Gasoil, unless it’s hot enough or pressured enough, it remains safe. It takes about 3 months. Right now I am seeing for the first time ever in 30 years people loosing work – not in dribs and drabs…I am seeing every second household being hit. Furthernore the unemployment numbers are under stated as these refer to employees. It takes no account of people who were working as sole traders/ contractors. The place is in absolute shock.

        June / July will be the tipping point – it’ll be one or two incidents – maybe a few evictions, or a mass layoff or some cumann going nasty (God help us if it’s flu related becasue the HSE will be held 100% responsible). Right now, the backbenchers are feeling the heat. The opposition are castrated – they cannot hold any vote of confidence with any credence and their oratorial and public performance has been a disaster.

        They say that the types that walk into a public store and shoot up the place are usually the quiet types – always meek and smiling. This is what scares me the most.

        • wills

          philip: alot of this economic activity gone up in smoke was bubble based,.
          Has no true long lasting merit to the community, in fact i would contend
          if a business can only survive if it can get credit from the bank every month
          means it is too fragile. Business must find its way in the world at some point
          without having too rely on credit to stay in business.

        • Tim

          Philip, you may be right here:

          “June / July will be the tipping point – it’ll be one or two incidents – maybe a few evictions”.

          One word:


          … has a terrible resonnance.

    • Tim

      Philip, No. Not going to happen. LAB has no policies and FG has policies that I cannot agree with. See FG election manifesto here:


      Page 24-ff on Education are enough for me to write that party off.

      Read it and see what you think for yourself. I can tell you, though, that teachers I know within the Union who are staunch FG supporters, stated publicly that they would not support their party (FG) in that election, due to the FG policy.

      BTW, Philip, although I am a “card-carrying-member” of FF, I still retain my right to the “Secret Ballot” and will vote for whomsoever I choose. No-one knows what anyone else does in the ballot-box. People may assume whatever they like, but it is MY vote; not the ASTI’s vote; not your vote; not DMcW’s vote; not FF’s vote – it is MINE.

      I will do with it whatever I please. I am, actually, quite proud of our democracy. Lisbon failed because the Irish people voted differently to the guidance of ALL political parties here;

      What does that say about us?

      Adamabyss: I will report shortly on the V Brown launch and what I did that night. I would not, if I were you, write-off the possibility of a meeting here: BrendanW wants one, as do I; it would also appear that Furrylugs, wills and John ALLEN are also “up-for-it”; but the conditions have to be right and suit everyone. That is not an easy accommodation, with so many very different schedules and lives. The very fact that it is being mooted, is a hopeful sign to me.

      Wait and see: the next three weeks will reveal alot, when people see how the double-levy affects them and the loss of mortgage interest relief.

      Watch this space, I would say.

  21. Philip

    A surprise and an orderly dissolution of the Dail would be the best thing that Cowen could do right now. An election should be called to renew or re-establish the mandate of Government. If Cowen does not do it, then McAleese should do it for him on the basis of a captain being relieved of duty for medical reasons.

    Whoever gets back in – no matter who they are – would have my full support. The state must be seen as for the people. And A45 needs to be pushed out there.

    • Tim

      Philip, the President does not have the Constitutional power to do that; even if she did have, she would not. She is a FF er to her toenails.

      On a related matter, I do not believe that an “ABFF” (anybody but fianna fail) policy should be our goal.

      Our goal is good government.

      Let’s keep at it.

  22. Economic Moon Wobble – as I promised it would leave a mark and it did – swine flu – and taxation by stealth ie home loan interest

    - right now a new moon pull has begun so watch next week on blog and the impatience and anger……and go SLOW

  23. Deco

    Latest update. The top three in AIB have stood down. I wonder were shareholders applying pressure. Maybe this is a sign that there is even more bad news inside AIB that still has to go public ???
    Sheehy is “retiring”…
    Abit like the BoI shakeup…their subordinates are stepping into their places….and we will get no change in culture in these organizations, in all probability…

  24. Deco

    Oh No – now we are in serious trouble. The HSE has to deal with this…

    The said individual would have passed through Dublin Airport. This is a serious problem because Dublin Airport has carpets, and also areas where large crowds mingle a lot. It is virtually gauranteed that the swine flu will spread. This is serious. Prepare !! Prepare !!

    • Like I said Deco, the black swan aka The Wobble.
      Sure we might as well laugh. It’s too serious to take serious.
      Head for the Spaceship.

    • Deco if I was an man of your intellect I would not worry about this Swine Flu it is no different than SARS or Bird Flu , if Lorcan was back here maybe he would collate the timing of these Flu’s with Economic activity.
      It is a distraction I was in Italy this week and their health minister told Italy he is not worried and it is insignificant, this from a man with citizens accross the globe.
      I’m more worried about the AIB trio stepping down instead of been voted out of office and to think they walk with fat handshakes and pensions .
      The virus we should be worried about is the loans these developers are walking faster by the day from.As now non payment is hitting every sector there will be a lot of sick people here over the rest of this year as the redundancy and holiday money vanishes and Biffo may even listen to the ‘Experts’ and go and cut our dole to see will that get us lazy work dodging Irish back doing things !……Our problem now is lack of focus .
      The next Virus we here should be worried about is The Sheep Virus ,…if that gets here we would be wiped out in days.

    • Deco

      Compare these two headlines.
      The first is from the national media organization, and it is used to convey the message of the government. It is a classic case of ‘reassurance-PR’. The starting point is the minister and her deluded way of dealing with a crisis…talk it down….

      And the second is analyzing the state response to identify if it is liable to work – and it is not liable.

      The HSE – how not to deal with the H1N1 virus. (it has been given a designated term by the WHO). This not a good time to have a Minister responsible for a critical function of a country, who is drifting all over the place, and delusional. Harney is in no state to deal with a crisis, so she imagines that there is no crisis.

  25. wills

    Bacon now on PRIMETIME.

  26. nono

    Just watched Prime Time. Is there anybody to shoot that Bacon guy? What an absolute idiot. He couldn’t mumble any coherent argument supporting Nama. Just to show how undefendable that thing is and how incompetent Bacon is. Good man Karl Whelan for pointing out the stupidity of the government to buy 25% of the banks for 7Bn instead of acquiring 100% for 1.3Bn at today’s market value!!

  27. Tim

    Folks, I do not believe a single WORD that Peter Bacon says. Full stop.

  28. wills

    ………. looks like he is looking for the backdoor…….!!!!! to save his bacon,,,. (sorry, couldn’t resist).

  29. noonep

    Great Bacon on Swinetime! Swine flu, up to our neck in toxic PIGShit, back to the Pig in the parlour, and FF only do peasent ‘administrative’ politics for a peasent class people, wot a load of b*lli*ks,

    Get them out at least Obama is trying to give leadership http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124096669499866405.html,
    instead we’ve got the best paid ‘administrators in the world’, we’ve got rid of all the toxic bankers, now lets get rid of the dozy politicians who anesthesised on fat cat taxpayer funded allowances sleepwalked us into this shit!

    With all due respect to Mr Cowan and Ms Harney but just look at them and see the image they conjure up for Ireland in the international media, lugrubious slugs and one of them the Minister for HEALTH!


  30. Johnny Dunne

    Amazing comments from Peter Bacon giving insights into his ‘thinking’ on why proposed NAMA. My interpretation of what he said was his brief pointed him to just 2 choices (1) Insurance scheme like UK or (2) Asset management agency. For 3 ‘bla, bla’ reasons he went with NAMA. Then proceeded to show he has no understanding of stock markets, banks or indeed what ‘nationalisation’ means by saying the stcok market ‘reaction’ wouldn’t allow the government to nationalise the banks.

    Did anyone not explain to him what happened to Anglo ? I was a shareholder, never even got correspondance about losing my total investment, traded shares just dissapeared from the stock market!

    I’m also a shareholder of IL&P, NAMA won’t be dealing with a euro of their loan book as none of it is commercial – did anyone tell Bacon ?

    As I’ve mentioned before, the biggest problem we have to addressing these major issues is getting advice and proposals which can be implemented by people who understand and care…

    • Tim

      Johnny, I am genuinely sorry to learn that this happened to you.

      Is there any redress?

      I fear, there is none.

      Philip is right, I think, when he encourages us to look to our local community.

      It must sting, though …………..

    • coldblow

      I was also mystified by his comments about nationalization, how it would cost far more than the 2b stock market valuation, but I was putting it down to my economic ignorance!

  31. wills

    David: “Ireland put into financial hospital ward as a result of global credit panic”.

    I disagree. Ireland has ended up on life support due to the reckless consumption of easy credit made available by the predatory
    lending of the mainstreet banks pumping up a POnzi bubble which
    gave the illusion of an economy expanding and in fact it was a bar
    tab getting higher and higher and could only keep going as long as
    the easy credit tap was left running and when he day arrived when
    it was turned off, the truth was revealed, there was no real productivity.

    • wills

      …….and all who spent it large on the bubble were found out.
      The supposed wealth was debt and it toppled over and has ended
      up in contraction on life-support.

      • wills

        ….so, if Ireland had been living within it’s means wisely, when the global
        credit panic/credit tap turned off happened, our economy would be getting
        by and like a toned athlete taking the downturn on the chin. Unfortunately
        it was not to be.

        • wills

          ….there is however a solid underlying real economy here in Ireland, living within
          it’s business need’s, self contained, self sufficent, flexible and in the black.
          These businesses robustness of operations and quality control will see
          them through the downturn.
          There are then of course in the real economy businesses moving to better climes
          to secure competitiveness and these are what’s freaking gov out. Why.?
          These real economy enterprises of size are excellent hosting agents for
          POnzi parasite agents to lodge in and live on the hog.

          The over extended public sector has become a POnzi parasite, growing like
          a tumour out of the much needed services of a lean and mean public service sector.

          Everywhere one look’s in POnz Rep. one see’s this parasite. Trick is is not
          to confuse it with real economy operations.

  32. Good to see new contributors.
    Given the ESRI reckon we’re stuffed, ye all might as well throw the tuppence halpenny worth in.

    • Deco

      Big u-turn from the ESRI. This time last year they were in denial. In fact even last October the ESRI were in denial. They spent over ten years producing one glorious forecast after another. Complete and utter rubbish.

      We should abolish the ESRI. Nine and a half years out od ten they are producing lies. The other six months they are telling us what we already know. The ESRI are a completely unecessary expense. Anybody who listened to David McW four years ago would have been better prepared.

  33. jim

    Im glad in a way that people got to hear first hand what Peter Bacon had to say about Nama and His reasoning for His proposals.Im glad because it will save Me a lot of time doing a demolition job on Him and His proposals and His connections.Karl Whelan done the Taxpayers a great service tonight and deserves our thanks,along with Richard Curran who managed to stare Bacon straight in the face and undermine Him completely with simple logic.Bacon’s assertion that the Nama structure offered a good exit strategy for taxpayers was an insult to our collective intelligence and a cheap shot by Bankrupt spin doctors…….Now a more serious piece of spin coming from Linehan lately is with regard to the ECB’s position on saving Banks .Mr.Trichet has said that the ECB will provide short term liquidity to Banks requiring same but has “NOT” said He will provide Finance for Banks that are Insolvent.Banks will be able to re-finance or roll-over short term debt as long as their collateral is adequate and will not be allowed to fail on that basis….Im not convinced that Linehan or Cowen has grasped this Policy fully,or if they have they are putting an interpretation on it to try and pressure the ECB by linking Irelands solvency(and Euro/Eurozone) to the spurious Systemic importance of the Banks covered by the guarantee.What they are saying is that the Guaranteed Banks and other Financial Institutions will not be allowed to fail by the ECB and what their not saying is the limits the ECB are prepared to go to in relation to these matters based on their stated policies.Not quite the same thing.Now either Cowen and Linehan knows more about the ECB’s intentions on these issues,other than the ECB are saying in public or their pushing the ECB into a massive bailout of these Banks through the circular financial arrangement of issuing Bonds from NAMA for property assets.which the Banks can use as collateral for future funding needs…….I suspect that the Banks have been massaging their Balance sheets and reports by representing some loans as performing even though they are only performing because their interest is being rolled -up, with the profits from interest being collateralised,not sure if that was the reason for the delays with AIB and their requirement for additional Capital????.I just cannot see past Nationalising the whole lot and taking control of the entire debacle.Anything short of that is fraught with danger for the Taxpayers and is sure to drag out the present recession.I would just sleep a little better at night if ZANU-FF was not in Government calling the shots.

    • Tim

      jim, what abou supplication to europe? what if NAMA is the dumping-ground to help them all? It is the first of its kind, after all.

      • jim

        Well given the amount of transfer pricing that takes place with the MNC’s and the vast array of Financial exotica that roll’s around IFSC etc.It would not surprise me if ZANU-FF policy for NAMA was to become Europe’s Financial skip.Im sure there’s nothing ZANU-FF like better than rummaging around in skip’s looking for ” a bit of vaulla boss”.

    • Deco

      I agree Furrylugs – this is completely daft. The state is running into a cash crisis within 9 months. At this point in time, the state has no money, and is borrowing for everything from Ahern’s pension, to the road building program. And a government minister is coming down hard on foul language, with a 100000 Euro fine. This country is becomming like Zimbabwe. As things stand the media is restrained from telling the truth about the scoundrels who have wrecked for a whole list of reasons, the main reason being because it would ‘damage their right to good name’.

      Absurd. Absolutely absurd.

    • Dilly

      The President is as much to blame, for constantly signing these harebrained ideas into the constitution.

    • Deco

      If only they would be so serious about Article 45 !!!

      Do they even know that it exists ?? What about all the lawyers in the Dail – have the never read Article 45. Maybe a constitutional challenge to the “builders bailout”, the bankers bailout, the ANIB nationalisation or NAMA is required ??? The purpose being to embarrass the political establishment – and all the other establishments also !!

  34. Philip

    Furry & Deco and All, try your best to ignore that Indo article. It’s just too depressing. The Taliban will wonder if we are trying to upstage them.

    Wills is on the money about the bubble economy. Business growth by credit and loan rollovers assumes you keep accelerating to keep the show on the road. It is not sustainable. I know a few business that have no loans. No debts. They can tick over or rev up (and they were never that keen on over revving because they have a principle on not paying banks for anything). They can drop their prices and keep dropping them to match surrounding demand. They are doing very well. They employ a few people – all with a mindset of being careful with money – funny how that mindset can become a culture.

    Right now (reading the trueeconomics.blogspot.com) our balance of exports is improving for the unfortunate reason that we are not importing and worse, a lot of the MNCs are reducing production levels – so jobs are still being decimated. But good Irish companies are going to start to take up that slack as costs fall (and they will fall because the market will force it – and tax revenues will fall and PS will be cut – no choice here) so too will people’s wage expectations (As Sir Humpreys said in Yes Prime Minister – a country can have as much unemployment as it can afford).

    Now the question is – how quickly do we want this to happen? It will happen anyway. The denial phase of Banks/ Government/PS will take some time to peter out. I suggest they be ignored and when I say, you focus on your community, I mean you pool resources and keep ticking over on shoe string budgets, leverage the internet and communications and IT. Start microtrading and building local reputation. If people learn to live on less “money” (and it is a learning thing), government be starved of taxation until it too becomes right sized. This is not something you can do today becasue people are still operating with too high a quantity of “money”. But as the 4x4s get sidelined and the wasteful activities of travelling and shopping for distraction start to become nunaffordable, people will need to sit down and realise that the next door neighbour has been ignored for far too long.

    It’s scary alright…but it may be the best of times we are entering.

    • I’m sitting in Edinburgh Airportv waiting for RE464 to get me home for the weekend and a few jars.
      Just minding my own business, having a browse and then I read this;

      “The Taliban will wonder if we are trying to upstage them.”

      There are now many Scots people wondering why Irish people laugh loudly at their netbooks.
      Great comment Phillip. Still smiling stupidly here.
      Have care though;


      We wouldn’t want you stoned. Actually, does this new blasphemy law mean the Guards having to carry bags of stones? If so, there could be manual handling issues or for that matter muscle strain from over vigourous stoning.
      And what cute hoor got the contract to supply the stones?
      We need to know this information.

      Must catch me plane.

      • Tim

        Furrylugs, Philip, et al, As a staunch trade unionist, I must take issue with the proposed change in the conditions of work for the Gardai here. There was no mention of carrying stones in the job-description either when they applied, sat the exam or attended training in Templemore. Furthermore, the GRA has repeatedly voted against being an armed force as, since its inception, An Garda Siochana has been, primarily, and literally translated “guardian of the peace”. It is, therefore, a fundamental incongruity to compell the members thereof to carry stones for the purpose of enforcing a new law against blasphemy.

    • Excellent post Philip. Couldn’t agree more.

  35. we all going to die!!!!!



    • Deco

      Pigs have got a bad press down the centuries – often for no better reason than that they spent somuch tme in human dwellings. Actually a pig is very hygenic animal contrary widespread belief (those who are not scientifically informed). The most surprising thing about a pig is how clean most of his skin will stay regardless of where he wanders. A pig also performs a vital function with regard to dead vegetation and its recyling. Pigs are highly efficient at converting vegetation into animal protein. And they have even been known to exist as lovable family pets.

      The bores in boredrooms in the D4 banking establishment are an entirely different matter. The seem to be up to their necks in sh*te. They never come clean about anything. And the like the bores in Kildare Street, they seem to have their snouts in the trough continually. Swine is too good a term for corrupt human beings – it is term that completely underrepresents vile minds.

  36. Week of Great Change to next week end

    If a Man is of Vision then he must know His Way
    To know his way he must See The Way
    Along the journey he will Find Himself
    Then the Heavens will reveal his Vision

    ( the great pull has already started and will end next saturday – daily the strength magifies greatly only just look around you )

    • Philip

      You are tracking moon phases. It’s 2/3 full moon at that time. Strange though, full moon causes the the more mentally unstable to gone a bit more bonkers than usual. I think the reason is not fully understood. Hope the vision thing cuts in, we need it. Badly.

  37. Deco

    Fellow contributors, I have found an interesting article from the Sunday Business Post.

    It is a list of the power magnates in the largest companies in Ireland, at the start of the mania stage of Ireland’s property boom. Bear in mind that there were large cross holdings between the various companies. And that the media was taking advertising money from all of these companies throughout the five ‘mania’ years 2002-2007. Since the list was published some of those companies have become enmeshed in all sorts of ‘events’ and ‘revelations’. (Like that loan to Anglo that ‘matured’ after a few hours). And they have found various ways of presenting the ‘events’ (like Tintan telling us that ILP-TSB ‘is a respectable institution’.

    One thing that I notice is the role of the banks, and the role of IBEC. They are both everywhere. These companies are all big subscription payers to IBEC and they get the policies that they pay for through IBEC’s negotiations with the government. (Even if they did not need IBEC’s political wing – the PDs to have been involved).

    One individual who did not feature prominently in 2002 list was Seanie Fitz. Anglo was not in the top 9 that year. But since then Seanie managed to get himself into the headlines. Seanie sat on all of the following boards in 2008 ; Aer Lingus, Smurfit Kappa, Anglo Irish Bank, Gartmore Irish Growth Fund and Greencore. Seanie has many friends in high places. Though we are not able to print the exact details of his connections with IFRSA until the fraud squad tell us what they found out. [I am suspicious that they are ‘investigating’ purely as a means of staging a coverup – we can wait and see. Suffice to say – it is common knowledge that an ‘understanding’ existed.

    Another Sean, Sean Dunne – or the Dunner – also has many friends in high places.
    { Dunne specifically mentioned Boucher as one of his closest friends when he gave an interview to Marian Finucane last year. As director of the Bank of Ireland’s retail financial services division, Boucher also supported Dunne’s ambitious plans for the Jury’s Hotel site, writing a glowing submission on Bank of Ireland notepaper to the planning department of Dublin City Council about the need for the massive development. }
    So there you have it. Lenihan, The Department of Finance, Dublin City Council, the bankers bailout, BoI, BoI’s directors, property loans, the Dunner, the Dunner’s mates, the media, etc. etc.

    All aligned to a common goals. All up to their necks in their own incompetence. And all scrambling to save their backsides. All influencing the framework of policy. And they don’t even need ditherer to make the system corrupt.

    It is no longer corruption – it is called ‘saving the economy’ now. Put on a green jersey, don’t think about it too much and cheer on the boys in green (our speculator class portrayed as our heroes). More nonsense to turn a nation of individuals into unthinking overleveraged lemmings again.

    Except we are wising up :)))

    • wills

      Deco: excellent investigative links and I for one will be reading up on these Dr. frankeinsteins of the POnzi Rep monster’s racketeering exploits.

  38. Tim


    “It is no longer corruption – it is called ’saving the economy’ now.”

    I have been able to learn absolutely nothing about the expected termination of the investigation into the shenanigans at ANGLO. Everyone is tight-lipped about what is happening: Gardai, media, govt and opposition. I remember calling for the CAB to become involved many months ago; this has still not happened either. I know that drug dealers destroy lives, so the CAB is appropriate in such cases; but the banking shenanigans have destroyed many more lives than any drug dealer. Why not freeze the assets and accounts of the people involved in shady bank deals that have destroyed lives/businesses/jobs?

    With IBEC today calling on govt to, effectively, support private business (almost as if they were all in the public sector!), I stumbled across this quotation:

    “Here was a man with all the duties of seeking large money. He concocted a scheme which ……….. did defraud men and women. It will not do to have the world understand that such a scheme as that can be carried out … without receiving substantial punishment.” (Judge Clarence Hale, 21 November 1920, before sentencing Charles Ponzi to five years in a Federal prison).

    Any similarities with wills’ and our “ponzi Rep?


    • Deco

      Even though they (authority) are telling us nothing….we must keep asking questions. I am sure that Joe Behan or Shane Ross, can use the Oireachtas priveleges to get more information. Even if they asked publicly, it would induce the media to match up and ask the same questions.

      We just have to ask the questions. Their plan is that we look stupid asking the questions. But if a lot of people are asking the questions, then it is the authorities that will look stupid.

      I might try and find out using IFRSA. And I will use unconventional means (tapping into the rumour machine) to find out what is happening. It might take a while, but even just asking around, will cause others to ask around, and it spreads out. And eventually the story emerges into the public :)) Ireland is a small enough country. Once somebody rings the Joe Duffy show, or the George Hook show, and gets to mention the issue, then it is in the public realm, and gets remembered.

  39. wills

    David: ‘Ireland is a contaminated area and the resulting scarcity of credit is the root of most our problems.”

    Ireland is contaminated in POnzi bubble racketeering. It is found in the property sector, banking sector, business sector and Public sector.

    The resulting scarcity of credit will de-leverage the over bloated racket-economy,

    will deny the POnzi bubble economy it’s
    oxygen to function,

    and so ensure a de-contamination of ‘living beyond one’s means’ as part of a social code of behaviour.

    Neutralize the POnzi virus and precipitate a return of economics 101 as the central principles to running an economy.

    Enterprises in the real economy will suffer as a result of the de-leveraging but those that are operating too deep in the POnzi bubble will go into free fall and become extinct.

    The scarcity of credit will through a darwinian process destroy the businesses that lived on the back of easy credit and make it possible
    for legitimate business practice and operations to breath again and
    reclaim proper rewards for proper risk and investment beneficial to all in the community.

    • wills

      bloggers: in reading my post above you may come across a horrifying truth. This is, quite a number of real economy businesses in Ireland
      are owned by the very interests who engineer the POnzi scams into existence in the first place,.. oh dear…….!!!!!!!!!

  40. Tim – after reading what you wrote I pondered and thought , if achimedes was an economist reading our bloggs what might he have discovered .Might it be

    : as the irish economic fascist government be seen to do nothing, the weight of the volume of displaced good jobs will be equal to the volume of the devaluation that arrives at their doorsteps


    : as the extra volume of rugby players increase in attendence at the semi final at Croke Park the weight of the extra crowd will be equal to the chance that Munster will win by a mile

    • jim

      Munster’s pack will not bully Leinster,they tried and failed twice already in the Magniers League……Moon wobble to assist Leinster on home soil. Result.. Leinster 23…..Munster 18……Munster supporters to spend Bank Holiday weekend wailing for their lost dreams on the Dingle Peninsula ala Peig Sayers.

  41. Tim : in the above second thought it requires a moon pull too to make that happen , and it will.

    • jim

      Moon pull will be a Blue-moon, Leinster Blue,the Gods have spoken.

      • jim

        P.S. “the Gods have spoken” sorry Dermot Ahearne, please dont slap me with a 100k fine for blasphemy,it was that fella John Allen that provoked me….Him and His Munster pretenders forming a hakka in the shape of Dun Aengus….Leinster will celebrete their victory on “the Hill of Tara” as the new Kings of Ireland.

        • Tim

          Gathering the stones already, jim, ….. just gathering the stones……..

        • Deco

          Jim – enjoyed your comment concerning Dermot Aherne. Does he have any idea how many times a day the average Irish person uses a religious person in their everyday speech ? It does not sound good – but it has become uncontrollable.

          I think he should be more concerned about the substance abuse problem in Ireland. An issue which he has done absolutely nothing about since taking office. Or maybe the shortage of space in prisons ( a result of the substance abuse problem). Or the fact that many gardai never make an arrest from one end of the year to the next. Or the fact that there are crime bosses who control large areas.

          Perhaps the Minister might also wish to define Religious Being. This is a politically correct age, and all sorts of nonsense demands entitlement to be defined as a religious movement. Does this mean that the law will forbid us to say the blatantly obvious in relation to such movements ? What about dangerous cults – will the media be unable to question their beliefs or innate stupidity ? It would be simpler to avoid the issue altogether. People know how to handle free speech. Censorship of opinion causes nothing but problems.

          If God is not happy about the behaviour of an indididual on Earth, then He will decide how to administer Justice at the appointed time. But Minister Ahern is responsible for a Justice system here on Earth. And the Justice system in Ireland is a chaotic mess, that is collapsing and failing. And Minister Ahern is employed by us to fix it. So far, he has not been doing that.

          Regarding matters constitutional, Dermot Ahern would be better employed sorting out the TD who sought election to the Dail when she was in an unconstitutional position (BCF). She got a bailout from RTE’s licence fee increase. Something of which he must surely have been aware in his previous incarnation, er sorry, ministry.

          This is a personal matter, a matter of conscience for the individual. I do not wish to offend any religion that respects the human being. But neither to I wish to see laws that proscribe public critique of human behaviour, as this is essential to the moral development of a society !! I think Minister Ahern should drop the issue.

    • Tim

      John ALLEN, since Archimedes’s principle concerns it self with water and the moon controls vast oceans’ ebb and flow, I am unsurprised at your analogy and it is, indeed, a good one.

      Since the human being is comprised of approx 74% water, why would the moon not affect or “pull” us, as well? Indeed, as rugby players tend to be large-bodied, surely they are even more susceptible to the moon-pull than the rest of us and, therefore, higher water-content?

      Q.: Which team has the greatest combined body-mass?

      Therein lies the clue to who will win.

  42. Tim

    adamabyss, what can you tell us about this Allen Stanford guy?

    “A February 2009 Houston Chronicle article described Stanford as “the leading benefactor, promoter, employer and public persona” of Antigua and Barbuda. Knighted by the country in 2006, Stanford uses the title “Sir Allen.” Antiguans also generally refer to Stanford using the title, although it is honorary.” ”

    Apparently, another scam-artist, confidence-trickster?

    You may not be as far away from this manure as you thought.

    • Tim,
      I have mentioned him once or twice on previous threads. I worked on a construction project of his from June 2005 to February 2006. I will write up what I know about him from my own perspective when I get back on the laptop over the weekend, assuming my 17 month old daughter will let me. Someone will have to distract her. I’m watching the O’Reilly Factor now on Fox News channel and typing on my phone. Night to all. Adam.

  43. Tim – your moon analogy was perfect now you can see how easy it is to ‘scout the future ‘ ahead of the pack.
    Should the moon pull be strong enough at this early ‘sucktion time’ the score’s should show a wide variance.
    The winners will be the ones who take the early advantage and the losers will be those who drop the ball carelessly especially when they had an advantage at that moment.Once overtaken sometime in the first half the winners have a free run for the rest of the match.
    So which team might that be well thats easy ……it willl be Munster and i am not going to tell you why because I want them to win.

  44. Deco

    Wills, Tim. Thank you both for the encouragement. You both “get it” in respect to the filth that predominates at the top in Ireland – in both public and private sectors of the economy. The forbidden truth is that this sort of corruption has always been Ireland’s biggest problem, and is at the root of Ireland’s current predicament.

    Did some more research. Here is an interesting comment concerning the coverup going on in Tesco Ireland, as Tesco try to blame Irish producers for Tesco’s fat margins..Basically Tesco refuse to let the public know what margins they are making in Irish stores. In fact they do not want the public to know that they have been ripping off consumers for the last five years. And now consumers are drifting away. So Tesco need to implement a climbdown that will cover up what was going on. So they are doing a PR stunt called – blame the Irish producers.


    I still would love to know why butter from a factory in Cork costs €1.70 in Dublin and €1.22(£1.07) in Newry. Tesco are creaming it, and have been for years.

    In any case there are international producers who seem to regard the Irish as fit for mild extortion – but this time a journalist actually get nosey about it.


    We demand that retailing organizations publish their accounts and disclose their margins. It is required as per Article 45 of Bunreacht na hEireann.

    Maybe when Dermot Aherne comes out of his ‘spiritual phase’ he might get around to doing something about it – this type of thing is exactly why we are paying the salaries of all in the Kildare Street Circus. Unfortunately, I am almost certain that any such legislation will be stopped by that lobbyist hyper-quango know as IBEC (the corporate government of Ireland).

    And yes Wills – it frighteningly similar to the model of government used by Mussolini in Italy. This effectively means that it too is completely unconstitutional on many articles. Apart from the breaches of Article 45 caused by IBEC’s influence.

    But we will talk about it to those that we meet. We will slowly open it up. We will make comment about it here. Senator Ross will mention it whenever he is allowed on radio (mostly he is only on Newstalk these days). And Ireland will wise up.

    • Tim

      Deco, to my mind, the very best example of price-fixing in Ireland is the price of milk.

      Just look at what you pay for a litre of it – most people tend to take little notice of the price of staple goods like milk, bread, butter, etc.; but Glanbia cut the price they pay to suppliers (dairy farmers) in March to just 20c/ltr. !!!

      Another little meeja secret!


    • wills

      Deco: Tesco, a real economy business, real productivity and yet not happy enough to make healthy profit’s whadawehave, a little ‘ol
      POnzi number on the side in the good ‘ol POnzi Rep. where lack
      of regulation seduces these greedy shysters into doing a little
      pillaging and a plundering of the joe and jane blogs out shopping for
      food and the like minding their own business handing their hard
      earned cash over for a fair transaction,,,,,,!!!!!!

    • wills

      Deco: One thing about mussolini, at least he wore his fascism on his sleeve for all to see,.. and all knew what side of the line they were on.

  45. Deco

    One significant lesson concerning Ireland in the last few years concerns interpretation of what we are being told. I never take what I am being told at face value. Instead I use it as a means of knowing the underlying truth. And very often an attempt to hoodwink the public whould be seen as an indictr that the underlying truth is very ugly. In Ireland, one must read the official statement and then ask what conditions exist in the background that cause the official statement.
    This what I have done in relation to the EBS head honcho, Fergus Duffy. Shane Ross called Duffy a “clown” five times in the one article last October. So we have INBS and “Fingers”. Anglo an Seanie Fitz. The EBS and “Fergus”. These constitute the three ‘F’ers of Irish Banking.

    I am reading into this that Duffy is saying ‘Bail out the financial institution that is of most similarity to us’. It is like as if Duffy wants the precedent to be set. Maybe he is watching Fingers lining up his 27 Million pension and he sees the EBS balance sheet, and he knows what it will take to get him sorted. Of course, Duffy does not have to shout that loud. Because Lenihan will be ready at a moment’s notice to provide Duffy and his cronies with a bailout also. Lenihan simply lacks what it takes to say NO.

    Shane Ross indicated last year that the EBS was in “an atrocious finacial state…an utter mess…their balance sheet is full up of coverups”. Senator Ross even managed to acquire an internal document from a disgruntled member of staff which showed the shenanagins going on in the board of EBS. If the EBS had a ‘corporate mission’ then it was to mislead everybody, and coverup the stupidity of it’s directors. I was afraid that Ross would be threatened with libel – because in Ireland even if it true, you can still get brought up for libel because you damaged somebody’s right to “good name”. But the EBS stayed completely silent. They must have been hoping for the Ross article to get ignored. Or forgotten.

    The most frightening thing to me it seems, is that Duffy seems to be already assuming that INBS will get bailed out. It is like as if he was in a sufficient social circle in at the very top, to know that INBS are in line for a bailout. But ‘officially’ nothing has been declared yet. We know that Lenihan will not let INBS get ‘capitalist consequences for capitalist failure’. But Lenihan has not told us what he will do with INBS. Maybe he is afraid to mention the subject untilit becomes a massive crisis.

    Ireland can survive without bailing out the EBS or INBS. In fact bailing them out is a desperate waste of money – when so many other sectors are in need and the dole queues are getting longer.

    • wills

      Deco: bulleye, to me now with the crony capitalists of the POnzi Rep. it’s all about keeping as much as the POnzi plunder as possible now that the POnzi racket bubble is burst.

  46. Deco

    David McW.

    Bruce Arnold is not an economist – but he clearly knows more about economics than the two lawyers running the nation’s finances and the social science graduate with the most important government ministry with respect to running the economy….


    Mr. Arnold has been polite in his critique of Minister Lenihan, in comparison to the disqueit that exists in the general public.

    • wills

      Good ‘ol analysis though from him on the Minister for POnzi dep. bizarre riposte splashed all over the pages of POnz times last week.

  47. Deco – your submissions are infectuous and hard to ignore .Your clarity is absolutely clear and your logic beats us all.
    When I was a kid I wrote to Pat the Postman ( saturday evening press junior editorials ) and they published my post when I complained about butter in Ireland being dearer than in UK & NI .Apparently then the Irish Taxpayer was subsidising the foreign prices in the foreign markets .There is an anology in this because the Irish Taxpayers continue to pay more only this time for all food ranges and the benefits now go to a foreign corporate management .So it is worse than before .Now they intend to make it more worse again in 2009 by denying the Irish Producers from making a profit under the pretence that they are selling at a cheaper price .
    It is NOW Time we stand up and be seen to do something .

  48. Deco

    Finally, some bad news. The government has decided that it needs to “be seen to be doing something” about marine resources. Obviously it is inspired by the results of it’s intervention everywhere else :). This time it must do something of high visibility along the coastline. And it is going to be something bigger than that clown John O’Donoghue circulating lottery funds to his local village yacht club – in return for a night of free pints in a local pub. But, now times have changed. This is something which has a chance of commercial viability and is useful to more than just a small group of well connected wasters. This is about industry. This is about food, fish.

    The government has decided to “co-ordinate development” in the marine. This makes me concerned. I suspect that this is the last thing that the fishermen, and aquaculturists need – a bunch of nepotist appointed politically well connected pen pushers, holding degrees in dead languages, telling them how to get get fish to spawn more eggs. (Needless to say these state officials will not be on the trawlers pulling in the nets). We are supposed to be cheered up by this announcement that the government will “co-ordinate development”. It is timed for the bank holiday weekend and all. The cynics amongst you will be analyzing this and wondering ‘does this imply logically that they never actually thought of trying to “co-ordinate development” until now ? ‘ If you are really critical you might even postulate “does this mean that until now development has been totally unco-ordinated”. (in truth it more than likely has been a mess). The fools amongst you will go on an extra shopping trip, drinking session totally reassured that the government has everything under control.

    The government has “co-ordinated development” for the entire economy for the last ten years. Mostly they have “co-ordinated dvelopement” for the sake of those well enough connected to influence government policy. Two options here – i) join a political party in government, or ii) join IBEC(an each way bet on option i). Before we proceed in deciding to co-ordinate development we must assess the results from the last ten years of this. All we have to show for previous attempts to “co-ordinate development” has been exhorbitant pricing, stealth taxes, bureacratic requirements that sustain “professionals” (lawyers, architects, etc..) (who charge uncompetitive rates), quangos, waste, failure, nepotism, ‘funny’ tender processes, consultants reports, ministerial denials, Prime Time investigates, corruption, delays and underperformance.

    And now there is one sector of the economy that actually shows some potential. One sector that was forgotten about. And they ruin it all by deciding to “coordinate development”. They are only doing this to get involved and claim so of the credit for something going well. The problem is that their ineptitude will most likely mess everything up. IBEC will be delighted to see “government involvement”. To them it means that some of the insiders can get a chance to access tax money and eventually control the sector. The one thing IBEC detest more than Shane Ross or Eddie Hobbs, is competition. IBEC simply loathe competition. An industry that is able to operate on it’s own without either intense state supervision or big corporate control represents intellectual competition. It tells the Irish people that there is a better model of resource management. So it to has toget controlled. Unbelieveable. Except we can stop this my seeing through all this BS.

    Apart from anything else – this means that there will be at least one more quango being created. At the very least, one more quango. Have those the idiots not already learnt anything from the utter waste created by all their previous quangos ?? Or maybe this is exactly the ticket to bring the Greens in on the nepotism thing – I am sure Gormless knows lots of people who are long term pals, who have supported the greens for years, and even hugged a few trees, and who need a handy number in the Department of the Marine (or whatever it is called).


    There is however, one ray of hope – no mention of any involvement yet from Minister Coughlan. That is about the only good news we have from this ‘scheme’.

  49. wills

    Deco: Can i say how much i appreciate your extremely well narrated posts and scope of effort inputed too de-contaminate this crony capitalism virus
    that has us all up to our neck in it…..!!!!!

    • jim

      I’LL second that Wills.This Country deeds more DECO’S and less Dermot Ahearne’s .What the Fu.k is Ahearne at with his Blasphemy legislation,is it some sick joke trying to re-enact some scene from “The Life of Brian”.I suppose the gobshite will appear on Q&A some of these nights singing “always look on the bright side of life…..” Oh man Ahearne’s sneering is starting to make my blood boil….As Tim said “gathering the stone already Jim….just gathering the stones” LOL.

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