May 28, 2009

Borrowing is only going to dig us into deeper hole

Posted in Debt · 177 comments ·
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bank_indo_325502tI’m writing this from the Starbucks at the world’s largest shopping centre; the place is vast. Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, opened last October.

With 300 shops and 50 restaurants, it makes Dundrum Town Centre look like a 1950s Londis in Cavan.

It is so huge you are given a map so that you don’t get lost. Most shoppers are studying these co-ordinates closely for fear that they take a wrong turn and are never seen again. This is a GPS system for people with maxed-out credit cards.

Westfield is the Victoria Beckham of shopping centres: it is loud, brash, pushy and most of all, brandtastic.

The people behind Westfield have obviously got into the heads of the people who are shopping here. The owners’ aim is quite simple: you can read their manifesto from the huge lifestyle ad at the entrance, which states boldly that Westfield is a “fabulous place, for fabulous people”. Because it is the incarnation of global high-end shopping, it is a wonderfully rich savannah in which to watch the various different shopping tribes roam, many trying desperately to look and be different but ending up being crushingly similar.

But we have the Joseph tribe, the Habitat tribe, the Armani tribe and the Calvin Klein tribe all brushing up against each other, professing their affinity with each brand. When they head into Armani Exchange, for example, they are not saying, “Oh I like that”; rather they are stating, “I am like that”, this is my church and these are my people.

What makes this tribal issue interesting is that the allure of the brand supersedes, or at least co-exists, with all sorts of other tribal touchstones. The Saudi women in full burkas can happily entertain both Allah and Accessorize, while their less observant sisters are tottering on six-inch Manolo Blahnicks, dolled up with thick suggestive eyeliner made all the more alluring because their dark eyes are accentuated by a black hijab.

The black teenagers with their bleached white trainers who roll around the place looking menacing, snarling like caged dogs at the authority of the State, behave like little lambs, whimpering and bleating when faced with the authority of Tommy Hilfiger.

The first floor is full of skinny stick insects who you can barely see from the side. They look as if they haven’t eaten since Christmas and are obsessed with the natural world. They eschew processed food because it is not natural but crowd around the cosmetics stand and spend fortunes on face cream.

Maybe when they are not focusing on their chakras at the One World Yoga centre, they should be reminded that L’Oreal has protested against the EU’s ban on animal testing by lodging a case at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Lots of un-athletic people who’ve just driven up to the nearest exits in the labyrinthine car park so that they don’t have to walk too far, waddle around in fitness tracksuits. These people who probably haven’t broken sweat since 1987 are knocking back energy sports drinks as if they’ve just finished a triathlon. Meanwhile, others who clearly have never been up a hill as little as the Sugarloaf and don’t like the rain, are buying all-weather Matterhorn mountaineering gear at a shop called the North Face.

The Apple tribe, who look down their technically sophisticated nose at the rest of the laptop-buying world swarm around the Apple store marvelling at the phenomenal capacity and the graphics capability of the new Mac Book. In reality, all they use it for is googling cheap flights and downloading CDs from iTunes to upload them onto their new iPod shuffle. Yet these people are proselytisers; they are the Jehovah’s Witnesses of the IT world. I’ve never met an Apple Mac user who doesn’t try to convert you.

An Orthodox Jewish family pass me by, the man sweating as he pushes two three-year-old girls, perversely in thick woollen tights, in a buggy. I’m not surprised he’s feeling the heat. The huge black overcoat in the 27 degrees sunshine might have something to do with it. Despite living by strict rituals laid down in 500BC by Moses and the Torah, he’s glued to his Blackberry which is kosher as long as he doesn’t text on the Sabbath.

And despite looking like he’s just stepped out of a 17th century Polish shetl and as though he spends his waking hours praying for the Messiah to turn up, he’s happy to make a beeline for the thoroughly 21st century lifestyle heaven of Habitat, frock tails and ringlets flying as he rounds the corner with the buggy. In Habitat, he’s checking out the 0pc interest rate sofa financing deals, which promise true believers that they can buy now, pay later.

And this is the nub of the issue. How, when Britain is on the verge of being downgraded by the rating agencies, can this place be so packed? Now granted, today is a bank holiday Monday, but the shopping centre is jammed, despite the heatwave.

The reason it is full is that the Brits are doing everything in their power to stave off the recession and prevent it turning into a depression.

Forget all the stuff about “green shoots”; what is in the balance here is the difference between a recession and a depression and the British authorities know it. They are printing money when possible and borrowing to keep the show on the road.

Sterling has been allowed to collapse and there is no sense that they are worried about it falling further. In short, they are trying to borrow their way out of a recession that was caused by too much borrowing in the first place. The 0pc sofa finance deals in Habitat are the thin edge of the wedge, emblematic of a society, like our own, that has run up a financial cul de sac. We think that by borrowing and spending more people’s money now, we will get out of this hole and then escape the ramifications of a 10-year binge.

The whole of the English-speaking world is at the same game. If we get away with it, we will simply transfer the weight of our debts on to the next generation.

But the real test is in the government bond markets. Are they prepared to accept our IOUs yet again? Hardly, which is why a crash in the global bond market in the months ahead is probably going to mark the next phase in the first Great Recession of the 21st century.

Whatever happens, we are in an intellectual conundrum because the whole point of our economies can’t surely be more of the same, more debts and more stuff made in China ending up mothballing in the wardrobes of the West.


  1. Light Prism or Refraction Economics –

    Yes I agree we are in an intellectual conundrum and will remain so for a time that will seem eternity and certainly beyond my life and every reader on the site including lurkers.This is because we are living in The Age of Aquarious ( element – Air ) .Communications and Intelligence manifests itself through air .

    The reading of this article creates the experience most of us feel when we find ourselves lost in translation and where the eye distracts us and the mind becomes confused between the two.My understanding of what was written is what is termed by ‘refraction economics’.

    To understand this is to line up on one side the following : Christians , Jews, Muslims, Hindus etc etc . Then line up on the other side the following : Armanii , La Coste , Hillfiger, Calvin Klein , Habitat , L’Oreal’ etc and of course Louis Vuitton .Then in between imagine you have a Prism in the shape of the Louvre .
    Now imagine that everyone on the left were to walk towards the prism and then through it and then re-appear at the other side .What went in came out in a new light .
    The Prism concept shows us that when light is thrown at one side it reappears again at the other side differently and at a different angle .This is a refraction and this is where the secret lies .Because through a refraction the continuity becomes lost througha blurr and a new sense of freedom is experienced at the other side and this brings with it more purchasing power and the need to experience a new value .We are going to see more and more of this …only bigger.

    Our national debt swapping and exchanging will continue indefinately once we can ‘float in the air ‘ and as long as it does not touch the heart we will adapt positively.We are becoming a culture of butterflies ( including bluebottles ) so stay away from pestisides.

    • Philip

      That prism idea is a very nice way of showing how one set of beliefs can be so easily swapped out for others.

      I think DMcW was showing the sharp end of his personality is his depiction of how many seek to preserve a delusional status quo. Idolatory at its most blatant. The destruction of culture and human value to be replaced by the debased coinage of marketing hype – hot air…Aquarius again.

      As for the butterflies and the bluebottles, a bond collapse will certainly sort them all out pestiscides or not.

      If ever there was a time to have your feet on terra firma, it is now.

      • Terra Firma is right.
        The Chinese are hoarding anything from iron ore to oil. In peacetime, thats the equivalent of an arms race.
        What are they getting ready for? Self sufficiency for the future period when the demise and fall of capitalism comes to its inevitable conclusion?

        I watched a movie the other night called “The man with the atom brain”. It was so bad, it was brilliant. it struck me afterwards that all the talk years ago about creating clones or androids (creating man in his own image??) became redundant when the powers that be invented globalisation to achieve the same thing but much cheaper and easier. All the global branding has converted distinct cultures into the “Stepford Designers” while consigning those who could not afford the cloning process to cultural oblivion.
        The “Great Truth” then dawned.

        George Orwell and jAllen are obviously one and the same person.

        • G

          spot on Furrylugs…………….

          One of the reasons the Japanese lashed out in 1941 was to do with US attempts to put in place an economic embargo that would prevent Japan from importing badly needed resources in particular oil, rubber, iron ore etc

          The Japanese calculated that such efforts would quickly cripple them and felt one massive strike against the US at Pearl Harbour (missed the aircraft carriers and oil installations) coupled with a variety of attacks on the European powers (supported by a general uprising from Indochina to Malaysia), would redraw the map of the world and force the US to the negotiating table.

          It was crazy in hindsight but the Japanese felt their back was against the wall, they thought they could outfight the Americans (they forced the Russians to negotiate after they wiped out their navy in 1912 so there was a precedent) and from the Japanese point of view their major partner in Europe (Axis forces) were marching quickly on Moscow (so Eastern Soviet Union was potentially up for grabs along with China and the Pacific) – I doubt the US could play the same game with China but you never know………….

          I did have a feeling the other night that in keeping with A. J. P. Taylor’s excellent analysis of the First World War namely that a complex series of alliances (see NATO involvement in Eastern and South Eastern Europe and Russia) would eventually lead to major conflict, there was a lot of sabre rattling after the Georgia conflict for instance, with ludicrous and provocative statements from the British Foreign Minister (dangerous amateur who was quickly told to shut up), plus Britain is spending serious money on its armed forces, especially Navy (new carriers etc)………………

          The Chinese and Russians recently held joint military exercises, something tells me they see the writing on the wall, a boxed in North Korea might trigger things…….and with capitalism in deep crisis nothing like a wounded dog to it strike out (to stimulate growth)……….

          It would put our domestic travails in the ha’penny place (and drag Europe into the affair)………..pessimistic I know, but history has a way of repeating itself………..

          • The Japs struck out at US protectionism and ” awoke a sleeping giant”. Al Quaeda took it one step further and proved that Western culture is oiled by money. That attack hurt. When they figure out that western culture is completely dependant on energy, then the games begin unless I’m behind the times.
            Davids article is symptomatic. North Koreas blast is an ideosyncratic demonstration of an inevitability unless the world becomes more equitable.

            In the meantime, a FF county councillor accosted me over a quiet pint while I was thinking about all this. He asked me not to silence him by not voting so that he could carry on effecting change from within. This sounded like a familiar refrain so I asked him if all the local FF guys and gals had a collective meitheal to agree a form of words to be used nationwide given the hostile situation. One scuttled away leaving a leaflet.
            And before he did, I reminded him that ALL the parties awarded themselves a 7% increase in expenses before the pensioners budget last October. Just so he wouldn’t develop a persecution complex.
            Young Cowen is in bantry next Thursday.
            Bring it on.

  2. well Westfiedl developed by a dodgy Austrlain Lowey who has spread these massive centres glopbally at teh expense of retial/ and the individual- they are over priced over hyped and real choice is a minimum – as only overcharging large groups can afford the fees and even get in on the list! Now Westfield will be in the East end to symbol Olympics hype and excessive greed ! talking about Esat end , we hit teh Irish manipulators speculators who have bankrupted Angl and the ets to play silly numbers in the Uk and beyond? what is trulyy going on does nto border criminality but is criminality of a new kind – and no one with authority cares

  3. “Whatever happens, we are in an intellectual conundrum because the whole point of our economies can’t surely be more of the same, more debts and more stuff made in China ending up mothballing in the wardrobes of the West.”

    The ultimate groundhog day, shurely?

  4. shtove

    The trap is closing. But £ is up! I guess the market believes the UK can’t afford to keep threatening QE, whereas the US and Eurozone can because of the size of their currencies.

    Karl Denninger has been banging on about bond market dislocation for ages:

    http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1066-It-Is-Failing-ALL-OF-IT.html

  5. gadfly55

    Bingo, now you are onto the beam. From Letterkenny to Sydney and in between, the Anglo-American gene stream has run into the sand, and until the catastrophic shift in the living conditions occur for the masses with attendant political instability, almost no one will change their behaviour, in fact, they will become desperate to repeat the strategies that worked for a moment in the history of homo sapiens sapiens. Almost no one understands that the great Anglo-American domination with their culture, language, life-style, free market, political spectacle, and financial engineering is the problem, not the solution to the necessities of human survival on the planet. Only catastrophic devastation to hundreds of millions from systems failures, which created the conditions of inter-dependency at every level including actual viral infection of organisms, food chains collapse, drought, energy shortage, catastrophic climate events, not to mention collapse of financial stability, supply chains, distribution, employment skill sets, can force political change necessary to establish sustainable, reasonable, and balanced provision for dignified human society. The last 500 years has been an aberration in the survival of human beings which has created the very real possibility of mass destruction from blind adherence to false beliefs in the supremacy of human achievement and ingenuity. The implications of the failure of this belief structure are not theoretical, but profound in its effect upon every living organism. Humanity is now going to learn collectively, the consequences of its dedication to false idols of growth, of knowledge of the material world without regard for wisdom of spiritual traditions, of exploitation of natural resources, of private property, of military power, of centralised authority, of uniformity of opinion through mass education and media, of distraction in endless sensory self-indulgence, of self obsession. The world of debt proceeds from from person with no regard for ancestors or descendants, with no regard for history, for time, for life beyond their nose. Tomorrow is another continent, and we will perish in the gulf before attaining a safe shore.

    • Pretty damning epitaph to the Industrial “Revolution”.

      “Humanity is now going to learn collectively”.
      To be fair, I’d only include the Western Deluded in that. Most of the people in the world haven’t even made a phone call which, if you’re right in your forecast gadfly55, will stand to their reaching that other continent.
      Nice prose.

      • gadfly55

        Damning to the Enlightenment values. My values preferences are more aligned to Chuang Tzu, than Aristotle.

        • My own unenlightened comment would disavow Aristotle and his ilk. the Celtic strand of knowledge was subsumed by Latino/Greco twaddle. A whole twin dynasty of oversimplification and obvious logic couched in depravity to the exclusion of morality.

    • G

      in agreement with gladfly55………..

      500 years of plunder – Columbus murdering indigenous people in Central America and the Caribbean, to Cortes, Pizarro to the seaborne Empires (Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch) to our own colonisation, two world wars, US imperial expansion (more extermination of native peoples) and attempts at global hegemony, environmental destruction (at an unprecedented rate), financial misdeeds, massive global inequities – have led us as a species to this point, the first major crack in global capitalism (coupled with political instability) – we either react now and change or face environmental or nuclear destruction…………….

    • Philip

      here here… Eugene Linden’s zero US view over a month ago. http://www.eugenelinden.com/news2869.html

      To be honest, I am not anti progress or anti industrial. But I am anti-t’will do. This is the culmination of a failure to grasp the nettles of past inconvenient truths.

      So much knowledge and knowhow and we are careering into an abyss and all it takes to fix it is just plain respect for one another and the world around us. Have said it before, Spinoza’s entanglements of death come to mind – pleasure, fame and fortune.

  6. Malcolm McClure

    David said: “When they head into Armani Exchange, for example, they are not saying, “Oh I like that”; rather they are stating, “I am like that”, this is my church and these are my people”.
    This statement sums up the modern shopping experience, where the brand image is far more important than the goods themselves, as most things now have an assured quality and most people don’t follow fashion but leave that to the brand image and buying the latest offerings of their favourites.

    I was in Westfield a couple of months ago and also had the impression of a deliberately contrived religious experience. The high end retail subdivision there is known as The Village. It is a cross between a mosque, a cathedral and a boudoire, with soaring arches, subdued lighting, marble walls and floors, holy pictures of ’50s film stars, chandeliers and side chapels for worship at TAG Heuer, Mulberry, Tiffany & Co, Thomas Pink, Armani, Duchamp, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Gieves & Hawkes, Tommy Hilfiger and TM Lewin. –A McLaren F1 racing car was parked at the entrance as the visual equivalent of holy water.

    We discussed earlier whether faith has any place in serious economic debate. Westfield is concrete evidence that developers know that it is the key to open our wallets.

    • Dilly

      I will be over there in June, meeting some friends for beers in the Shepherd & Flock pub on Goldhawk Road. I must pop in and have a look at this “Village”.

      • My favourite pub in that area is ‘The Greyhound’. Mostly Old Irish and very rough and ready, and about a million miles away from that mall metaphorically, even though it’s probably just around the corner. Shame on the heathen shoppers!

        • Dilly

          The Shepherd is similar, it is run by two cute Polish girls, but it still has the old regular Irish crowd, it is only a small pub, and has kept the old look, and still has plenty of characters to chat to. And, here is some completely useless info …. just up road, is the pub where Phil Collins shot the video Sussudio.

  7. G

    California – the rollercoaster that is capitalism (coupled with its cultural imperialism – Arnie and Baywatch – no better example of the failed model)

    From today’s Guardian

    “But since then the California economy has tanked, dragging his budget – and potentially his entire reputation – down with it. The figures are hideous. By this summer the state’s budget deficit is expected to reach $21bn (£13bn) and by next, an astonishing $40bn (£25bn). Drastic cuts in state services look inevitable. That could see tens of thousands of teachers and firefighters losing their jobs, almost 40,000 prisoners released early from jail, and benefits slashed for some of the poorest and most vulnerable in California society, including children and battered wives. Schwarzenegger’s popularity rating, which used to be as healthy as his Hollywood box-office takings, has plummeted to a George Bushian 33%.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/28/arnold-schwarzenegger-california-terminator-budget-deficit

    • Malcolm McClure

      G: Things are certainly looking ominous for California with the news that Apple has plans to build their massive new Server farm in North Carolina, attracted by tax breaks. Is it too late to persuade them to locate it in Cork?

      • G

        Malcolm: so much we could have done but didn’t do, now caught with our trousers down, pride before the fall, no quick fix to 400,000 unemployed, complacent leaders and state bodies who were busy congratulating themselves and sipping champagne in exotic hotels!! I bet government are hpoing all the ‘guest workers’ will shuffle on……………….

        There is the ‘constant political campaign’, we need to get with the programme and the ‘constant economy’, constant drive, push, hunger for new jobs in the technologies of the 21st century, the box packing and other manufacturing jobs were a dead loss 10 years ago but they were pursued nonetheless, and don’t any politician tell me ‘no one saw this coming’, it was predicted by many!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I just feel that those in gov and state bodies are so comfortable and ‘respected’ by their peers that they haven’t the need or drive to push beyond the obvious, there was little vision when 40% of gov revenue was based on a declining construction market (since 2005)………roll on June 5th.

  8. AndrewGMooney

    NB: This response to David’s article is a hymn, eulogy to London and Britain. Don’t read it if you’ve got a ‘problem’ with Post-Colonial British Culture. Irish blood, English heart, and so on & so forth.

    @DMcW “How, when Britain is on the verge of being downgraded by the rating agencies, can this place be so packed? Now granted, today is a bank holiday Monday, but the shopping centre is
    jammed, despite the heatwave.”

    The answer’s both complex and simple. Westfield is only nominally part of London. And London is now only nominally part of England, Britain. Whatever you want to call this seething cauldron of International Babylon. We need to proble a little deeper:

    How many of the people at Westfield were yer actual ‘Multi-Ethnic English’ East End Boys and West End Girls window shopping despite their maxed-out credit cards? How many were ‘multi-ethnic foreign’ tourists enjoying a cheap £,’cheap holidays in other people’s misery’,as the ultimate London Irish spokesperson Johnny Rotten put it? Maybe the multic ethnic foreigners were visiting their multi-ethnic British relatives and crashing on their sofas so they could shop til they dropped dead back at Heathrow? How many were Brits on ‘staycation’ cause they can’t afford Eurozone holiday prices anymore? How many Irish accents were heard? Not many,I’d bet, as they’d be in the chrome and glass of Belfast’s Victoria Square. In these troubled times, Westfield is an an indoor, air-conditioned sancutary for reaffirming faith in Britain’s One True Religion: Shopping. As the Pet Shop Boys so acridly observed during the Thatcherite emergence of Obsessive Compulsive Retail Disorder:

    “We’re buying and selling your history. How we go about it is no mystery.We check it with The City, then change the Law. Are you looking forward?
    Now you want some more. We’re s-h-o-pp-i-n-g, were shopping.
    It’s easy when you got all the information.Inside help, no investigation
    No questions in the House, no give and take
    Theres a Big Bang in the City.We’re all on the make
    We’re s-h-o-pp-i-n-g, were shopping.We’re s-h-o-pp-i-n-g, were shopping Our gain is your loss, thats the price you pay.
    I heard it in the House of Commons: Everythings for sale”

    Trust a disgruntled pop group to disobediently question the switch from moribund manufacturing to continuous conspicuous consumption, moaning about insider trading, class war, ruining a nice tune. But they failed,so here we are, Spandau Ballet on tour and Westfield 2009: ‘In a clear reflection of retailer confidence, the much-awaited Westfield Louis Vuitton store is to open next month, after a delay to allow it to double its size.’ Presumably this is just marketing ‘spin’ as all sensible people know that shopping is so over! As in grimster deflationista Mish’s post, ‘Shopping Centre Economic Model Is History’:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/04/shopping-center-economic-model-is.html

    The traditional West End is also heaving with exotic looking shoppers, probably French, binging on a cheap British Pound whilst viewing an Absolutely Fabulous bargain basement basement flat in Holland Park. They can’t believe the £ is so low, & like many in the Market, except for Jim Rogers, they don’t expect it to remain so indefinitely. Sterling is a ‘floating’ currency, it’s rate is decided by the Market, not by Politicians (giggles). So much for ‘euro parity. It’s risen over 10% since that particular feeding frenzy died down. As for ‘rating agencies’, are they still rating CDO and mortgage securities? Why should anyone take them seriously when the OECD issues a formal rebuke?

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23697332-details/OECD+attacks+S+P+for+inexplicable+downgrade/article.do

    What will replace the current F.I.R.E sale of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Economy? An attempt to move to a ‘Carbon-Neutral World’. Nanontechnology. Biotechnology. Green Science. Drone Military Technologies. All the ususal suspects. All just as likely to emerge from Silicon Domains centred around Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester (UMIST) as anywhere else. The Brits did the 1st Industrial Revolution. You can be absolutely certain sights are firmly set on the 2nd one. Just ask that nice Lord Mandelson, Prince of Darkness fella. When Cameron’s Blue Labour win, they’ll get with the programme once Blair is President of Europe and Brown is running the IMF. Actually, that will be quite funny. Cameron goes cap in hand….to Gordon Brown. LOL! Food security? Farming? Just Google: Thanet Earth. If the Brits have to Dig For Victory again: It won’t be a long-term problem. Ingenuity. Tenacity. Cricket. Warm beer. Betjeman. Morrissey. Me.

    The immediate future surely holds more and more Finance, Insurance & Real Estate to clean up the current bombsite. Unless we’re just going to cancel/negate those trillions of derivatives.
    I can see lots of activity in Marylebone’s hedge fund alley for the indefinite future.

    There has to be a rebalancing of world trade between the hoarders (China, Japan, Saudis and Germans) and the spendthrift Brits and Yanks. Spanish, Irish, Danes, etc. But the real issue is how that rebalancing is achieved. Either through a terrifying descent into debt-deflation Depression or via a more complicated re-configuring of economic activity over 10 years. Through a Greater Depression or a Great Recession moderated by Quantitative Easing, other UMP measures, and yes: More credit, more shopping, instead of mass panic, tinned food and shotguns. Whilst all those toy factories in the China Delta are re-tooled for the New Green Deal era and they
    sort out a basic Citizen Safety Net so a billion plus Chinese don’t keep saving half their wages, but go Shopping with the Pet Shop Boys thrumming in the background.

    Living in Britain, am I concerned at the levels of debt likely to be passed on to my children? Yes. But I’m far more concerned that the Rule Of Law and a functioning Economy is passed on to them. Rule of Law that doesn’t involve tasers, riots and tanks. And an economy which hasn’t had it’s permanent Wealth Generating Capacity eviscerated by a debt-deflation Depression.

    As Adam Smith stated so bluntly: ‘No nation ever repaid it’s debt’. So whether it’s the FX Market or the Bond Market: You spin the wheel, you make your choices. In a contest of the ‘least ugly currency/country’, the Market will decide if it wants to invest in the future potential of Britain, potential which may or may not generate extraordinary profits. Or it can piss it’s pants, withdraw and put its’ fiat money under the mattress.

    Does anyone really think a Cultural Nation that faced down Hitler is going to blink? Madonna will be back in Marylebone, tail between her legs, trying once again, to ‘hook on’ to the inexhaustible riches of Britain’s Remix Culture. I guess it’s some sort of ‘mass delusional
    belief’ in the cultural project that is Britain in the C21st. Animal spirits, perhaps.

    PS: @DMcW I hope you didn’t buy any of that bling and designer tat with those hard currency Euros in you pockets. There’s no need to be in Westfield when you can do a good aul ‘patriotic shop’ at Westbury Mall.

    • “What will replace the current F.I.R.E sale of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Economy”

      Oh thats very good, very good indeed.

      • AndrewG,
        Don’t forget the Realm.
        The Gov’t started to screw up and the Realm stepped in to demonstrate how the elected officials were taking liberties.
        Smack on the snout and things will change now.
        Tis true and trust me.
        F

    • Deco

      Andrew – the point of advertising is not to inform the consumers-like we are officially told. The point of advertising is to stiffen the demand curve. All products and markets operate as a mixture of the supply curve and the demand curve. Advertising effectively moves the demand curve up. Thereby, stiffening it, at all product price levels. The idea being to increase profit margins.

      The greatest secret of modern advertising. Effectively advertising is about creating the psychological conditions in the minds of consumers that will result in them parting with higher prices. That is why a credit crunch is such a headache for our society. It means that the ordinary consumer must pause and think about where they will allocate resources. The media enters into this by consoling with the aggrieved inner child who can no longer have as many toys.

      That is the essentials of it. The way around this is to do one’s own thinking. And inform others. And inspire them to do their own thinking.

  9. G – the pesticides I am refering to is Nuclear War and if that happens then the butterflies will disapear that is you and me and everyone else so we will need to learn how they die without being killed and if not how they hibernate to wait for a new world order .

  10. wills

    Irelands ok, IMF opened up more funs available on emergency, so, bond issuance may continue. And this is the nub of the issue. Gov’s working together with supranational agencies to maintain bond markets on into the furture, the bond markets in the present are secured, it’s the future the oligarchs always keep eye on, and here is a classic example,….

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/05/27/ireland-economy-hermitage-markets-equity-europe.html

  11. wills

    ‘Finance by bond issue still rests on the power of taxation to redeem the bonds’.

    The Irish gov proved to the international investment markets over the last 6 months they can move to increase taxes and the public roll over and pay the taxes. This is all the investors want to see, a populace who can be taxed and submit. Investors convinced bonds will be redeemed in the future thus, buy buy buy.

    Meanwhile gov always busying away to maintain power to tax in order to secure bond issuance lever and the show goes on.

    • wills

      and who benefits and in whose real interests bond issuance favours are always watching and running the show behind the scenes.
      i.e ensuring know how is available to keep tab’s on taxpayers. Tax payer senses he is been watched, so he is pithy to paying more tax but never revolts. So bond issuance is always secure.

      • Philip

        Maybe the Paddies roll over easily…but can we expect the rest of the western world to do likewise? Also, the expenditure to tax take gap is widening too fast and thebond market is becoming speculative (the last safe haven?). Nope…I think if the Oligarchy is is relying on bonds to keep them in clover, the clever ones are busily setting the scenes for a major shorting exercise. Kaboom!! in 3-6 months

  12. coldblow

    Yes, I take everyone’s point that it’s not sustainable etc, I’m a big fan of Solzhenitsyn etc, but I’m in full agreement with Andrew. The main task is to avert a depression and then try to untangle the mess. And I’m not just being perverse, although there’s a bit of that too.

    DMcW’s amusing article conjures up a kaleidoscope of images: an old Clive James review of a tv programme about Japan (“better this than tanks rolling off the conveyer belts), that Simpsons episode where they open a new mall, chatting to work colleagues at the shop door while while the missuses are busy inside, No Logo (why IS that book so long?)… Like democracy it ain’t exactly edifying but it’s better than all the alternatives.

    Whlle on a week’s Budget hols in Spain I recently borrowed a book from the Hotel “library” (call it a long-term loan) about Claus Stauffenberg, the posh, brave, likeable career soldier who tried to kill Hitler in 1944. He dreamed of restoring the “real”, “hidden” Germany which would be led by aristocrats like himself. He visited Britain in 1936 and, like other Germans, compared its society to a dying ember. Like now, the idea of western decadence was common to all the totalitarian prison states where your culture was prescribed.

    Under the benign moral influence of the highly amusing Independent Millwall website where the comments are terse but the signature footnotes/ captions exotic (“Welcome to… – THE DEN – Now F–k Off!”) I am inclined to harbour similar forthright sentiments about the bond markets, Russia, China, North Korea, etc etc… (Though I reserve the right to snap out of it.)

  13. wills

    Irish society and it’s institutions are geared toward repressing the true interests of individuals and and these lie repressed and unconscious;

    Social forces play on these mechanisms of repression to set individuals against their true interests. The blatant consumerist culture outlined in davids
    article is a classic example of this play.

    What we need is to introduce positive appeals to the repressed and alienated self adrift consumers and to bring the individual in line with his or her true interests (economically, ethically, politically and sexually).

    Not simply manipulative use to forward the commercial interests of endless brainless consumerism.

    A ‘participation’, a ‘deep practice’ on social relations, engagement on all humanistic levels through a muscular apparatus operation so that
    a truce can be negotiated between the will of the individual and the collective will of the society, in which both may have to undergo a change. For example, a review of sexual relations through acts of sadism and annexed accompanying sexual fantasies rendered deviant by an inherited dysfunctional cultural background.

    Cleanse sadism and fiduciary practice undergoes a positive transformation. Bond issuance is re – connected with entrepreneurial endeavour and not financial industrial gambling.

    • wills

      Maybe, the President’s declaration to-day on the ryan report that it was ‘criminality on an industrial scale demanding immediate prosecution of those who carried out these criminal act’s’ cutting with the gov and doing her own solo run on it may be another tipping point and change of gear for irish society ,putting first and first again and again and forevermore the true interests of her citizens first and perhaps the Ireland rep yeats, pearse, wolf tone, and the envisioned maybe on the way.

      • Deco

        Ah yes, The liar in the Aras has condemned child abuse….trying to be at own with the disgust that the Irish people feel…how appropriate….much more appropriate than signing that terrible ‘amnesty’ legislation into law in 2002….we can see through her act.

    • Deco

      Will – I agree with your entry concerning the repressed individual and the advantage that is accrued to the consumerist agenda as a result. Very true. It is best exemplified in the Irish property market 1997-2007. It was a cauldron of emotions – all very unhealthy at that. And the auctioneers, and the banks exploited those emotions and sucked the buyers dry.

  14. Deco

    The average media saturated, advertising-sozzled brain of the West is searching for heaven in buying junk and useless stuff that will be tomorrows garbage. He who has the most toys dies with nothing left for his kids.

    The Chinese are accumulating oil, gold, coal, iron ore, technology. That is the problem with the Chinese – they have not grasped the Anglo concept of class and status obsession yet. If they could only spend their hard earned dough trying to look good like your average consumer in the West. The Chinese have KungFuTze, and the West has U2. The Chinese are doing grinds in maths, while the average teenager in the West is living in a fantasy about appearing on telly in American Idol or whatever it is called in your respective society.

    Not hard to see who is going to win in the end. Something to do with grasping reality and living it.

    David-thank you for pointing out the absolutely ridiculous nature of our current model of prosperity. It is doomed to fail in a mountain of debts.

    Of course, if the evidence is put in front of the West, that is still not evidence that it will result in people getting their act together.

    • Deco

      Actually I meant the say – China has Kung Fu Tze, the Anglo-block have Posh and Beckham. Easy to tell which is the better role model for advanced intellectual development. The West has turned it’s back on intellectual development and gone silly. We have failed to use modern communications technology properly – in fact the modern media has dumbed down the intellectual tendencies of the West.

  15. Deco

    In a society where meaning emotional relationships and respect between human beings are getting scarcer, people have to address their feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and vulnerability. Therefore they become part of a consumer cult or consumer tribe. [Officially a buyer behaviour group]. And in numbers they get affirmation, respect from peers, notice, and a sense of belonging. That is not progress. It is a dangerous diversion.

    There is more to human nature than this type of stupid idiotic behaviour. It is just that nobody will dare say it. Our advertising sponsors would not like that.

    We in the West are not free, because we are not allowed examine our individual or societal predicament to the degree that we might change it and make ourselves less dependent on nonsense.

    By acknowledging that we are not free, that we are not intellectually free, we can set out to create a path to freedom. Ghandhi said, be the change you want to see in the world. Most people are behaving like herds of lemmings, being the change that will make them less free, and more indebted. For the past decade in the West, that self-defeating behaviour was called progress. Now the consequences have hit the West like a freight-train. Obedience, and going with the flow has resulted in many Western societies being bankrupt, and being structurally incapable of getting out of bankruptcy without completely overhauling the entire societal framerwork.

    Sun Tzu would have been mightily impressed with his descendents. They shall step into the breach and ensure that they continue to control their society.The real winner of the Cold War was the Chinese Communist party.

    • wills

      Deco: as always posts A1. In relation to ‘we are not intellectually free’, can i say this,.. some are more free than others, some are cleverer than others, some are more susceptible to persuasion than others, some are more malleable than others, some are more brain washed than others, some are more traumatised than others, my point being, the onus is on those with critical thinking intact to bear the burden more for those cut from truth lost in the maze of thought and for those who could not give a sh1te any way work around them. I contend alot of those lemmings have been culturally indoctrinated into a submission they did not ask for and if left alone to grow up peacefully would not be zombie consumers.

    • Tim

      Deco, I met a friend this evening and attempted to discuss my new idea about rainwater collection, but it did not work – all she wanted to talk about was “Britain’d Got Talent”, and who might win that competition……….

      So, you are correct.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Deco: I agree with your point about relationships and respect, but I think that consumerism and advertising are essential components of the modern world. We cannnot say on the one hand that we want to create a high-tech future for industry in Ireland and on the other to decry the marketing of those products to consumers.

      With automation and modern communications we need fewer and fewer workers to provide the essentials of life. Therefore more and more people must find employment providing services and inessential goods. These inessentials can be high tech like the iPod or high fashion, like Nike trainers. We don’t need these items but they provide employment in manufacturing, transport, warehousing, advertising, merchandising, vat collection, commercial property rentals and so on. By purchasing these items we are not behaving like lemmings but merely performing our role in society.

      There is a limited number of high end purchasers, so when Westfield opened, a lot of high end shops on the nearby High St. Kensington closed down. The whole world is a zero-sum game so the Germans need the British to buy their cars, the Japanese need the Americans to buy their cameras. Competition between manufacturers supported by advertising is for the benefit of consumers everywhere.

      • Philip

        I wonder if you falling into the same trap that Deco outlined. While I tend to agree with you, I cannot help feeling we are letting safe prudence get in the way of creative change.

        Looking at your points…

        First of all, a high tech future for Ireland cannot and must not mimick what exists at present. The game has moved on. We simply do not know what hi-tech is anymore. Also, we never had it to start with. So that might be an advantage. One thing…we need to stop looking at Sillycon valley – it may be right under your nose and very very ordinary.

        Automation…where? We choose to use cheap labour. See Nikes, Lacoste, Polo etc. I’d love to see more automation…Robots anyone? Lights out manufacturing and no more sweatshops.

        Modern comms…Advertising is the revenue model for supporting most of this infrastructure. Very worrying when the people who lead these organisation come more from the drinks/food/law industry than the engineering/ science community that created these technologies.

        Enough people providing essentials? Health, Care, Education, etc…I think we are seriously undermanned by an order of magnitude at least and we are starving it becasue it does not fit into the marketing/advertising mindset.

        We need goodies cos goodies make the world go round? I suppose the same goes for armaments to keep us “safe”. You know, it pains me to see people use PCs and iPods and Hi end cameras etc and use only 1% of the functionality therein and look for upgrades just becasue it’s “better”. It’s a throwaway culture of contrived obsolesence. The notion of repair and keeping things going does not enter the equation. I have a 7 year old laptop that runs faster than than what my some of my bling tech buddies have today for standard use – which is all they use anyway. My 8 year old 5 Mpix Camera I bought 2nd hand takes better photos than a modern throwaway 12Mpix camera. We need to encourage an enjoyment of quality, preservation, repair and use it until it wears out and get real R&D working on serious breakthro’ technology.
        This will employ people locally in enormous numbers and create sustainability. We should not be conned by “innovations” that create obsolesence with no clear new functionality. Remanufacture, reverse logistics, 4 th party maintenance etc. are the things I want to see happening.

  16. jim

    There seems to be a level of fear or maybe anxiety in some cases running through the forum of late and I’m a bit mystified by some of it.David mentions the Bond issue and expects a bit of turbulence to emerge down the road,well,I for one dont anticipate any great problems for any Country within the EU unless they start pissing about and mis-managing their resources and need to be sanctioned in some way for doing so…Countries are expected to work within their Budgets,and if they do so ,there should be no great problems.Ireland’s problems at the moment are a result of blatant,mis-management,particularly in Banking,Property,Public Service,to name the biggest culprits.The responsibility for these problems rests full square on the shoulders of FF and their various coalitions of recent years.Even if certain people in Ireland are still in denial regarding FF.its very clear what the Markets(both Internally and Internationally) think of their supervision of the Banking and Property sectors.Most commentators are agreed that the Public Service in its present format is totally unsustainable and to be more blunt about it,the P.S. is a mockery of what any reasonable person would think of in terms of best practice.The philosophy that has underpinned most of FF in recent decades is more reminiscent of what we saw in South Africa among the white population,or in Argentina with their Ranchers etc.The lack of honesty ,transparency etc has been absolutely appalling.The constant pandering to various vested interests,and failure to re-distribute wealth in any meanningfull way is nothing short of shamefull.If people were to use their common sense in Ireland then FF should be reduced to a small marginal Party representing a very narrow interest group similar to the now defunct PD’s,but certainly not returned in sufficient numbers to form a National Government……The key thing here to remember is that the EU through the ECB has handed Ireland a lifeline to deal with its past sin’s and Ireland needs as a matter of urgeny to elect a new Government who will work alongside the EU over the long term and bring the Budget back into line,making sure as it does so not to pander to self interest groups and most certainly not to try and maintain a Status Quo that has been developed over these years,which has clearly failed.There is one thing I know to be true from all my years watching World events and it is this “more equal societies work better”.Lets get rid of all this two tier Ireland,and for God sake get rid of them FF County Councillors Fuc.ing up everything they touch.

    • By all means the FF councillors jim but the other fat lot as well. The lot of them. The gravy train has hit the stops. The country needs and, hopefully in a week, will demand delivery of basic services for a start.
      We’re a quiet people generally speaking but between the corruption of our public life and the corruption of our weakest, this is a very low spot to be in.
      I’m not a very happy bunny at the moment. I’ve got lots of friends abroad asking lots of awkward questions. Maybe indigenous Eireann mightn’t feel that way but thats self deluding. We’re in a goldfish bowl now.
      Whither the ould sod henceforth?

    • Deco

      I agree with Furry. Muppets being replaced by Muppets is not progress. In many cases there are local authorities which have been FG-ILP dominated for the last five years and they have been an integral part of the incompetence. It is time to vote for Dustin the Turkey, Ming the Merciless and the yogic flyers.

      The best thing that happened to FG was the Noonan meltdown – they realised that the people were not satisified with all that BS. FF are going to get this now – and it is badly needed to get rid of the useless idiot category of FF front bencher (Cullen, Roche, Hanafin, Martin, the Lenihans, the Kitts, etc)….The June 09 FF backbench revolt will pull the rug out from under the FF frontbenchers. It is another step in the process of getting out of the current incompetence problem in the Dail. Joe Behan said that the Dail was underqualified to deal with the crisis, and he has been proven correct.

      We can not trust the media. The media have endorsed 75% of the current TDs in the Dail. RTE have plenty of commentators that are obviously either FF or ILP endorsed. All of Denis O’Briens radio stations are biased in favour of FG. Indo is pro-FF, but will soon be pro-FG as a result of O’Brien’s role in determining directors. And the Irish Times is persistently biased with a continual set of opinions that amount to an ILP endorsement. And that is the source of media coverage of the Irish political process – for the majority of voters.

      Only Phoenix Magazine tells us the truth, in a manner that heaps ridicule in proportion, to which it is deserved, across the board !!

  17. Egg Heads – some times we feel inadequate and vulnerable well just be ready for even more of this from this sunday as it will be exactly that in the full week ahead to the following sunday .There is an almighty Moon PULL from Sunday so hatch up and go SLOW .
    Also expect very Hot Sun for complete week and a Landslide Election Result.
    Emotions will Run High.

  18. Tim

    Folks, I caution against resting hope on next week’s elections bringning about a change in Ireland’s political life; it will be more of the same, regardless of who gets elected ( as Furrylugs says “The lot of them”).

    We are still looking at the end of October (at the earliest) for any chance of a Dail vote defeat for the current government and, therefore, some time in 2010 for a general election. That’s where the real prize is; not next week.

    What real choice will the electorate have in the next general election? We have a democratic deficit in this country because every party, apart from Sinn Fein, is the same, basically. There is hardly a hair’s breadth between FF and FG; between either of those two and LAB. (if anything, the policies of FG and LAB are even more frightening for ordinary people than the screwing FF is giving us now).

    Who should govern Ireland from 2010 onwards? Who can inherit all the problems that will be left by the current crowd and turn the situation around? The only party of difference is SF; Who will vote for them to lead?

    There it is: our democratic deficit: we are looking for the least of many evils, rather than having a positive option placed before us. Who among us will point to a party or a coalition of parties and say, “Yes, them! Vote for them to lead us, they will be great!”?

    Democracy is almost dead. A “yes” to the second Lisbon vote will prove it, I think. Can anyone here please show me to the differ?

    • Philip

      Can you honestly say that the management quotient and expertise and competence in FF and FG are equivalent?

      Frankly, I really do not care what people say they represent or what their policies are. I am more interested in their ability to get the job sorted. The job is defined. I just need someone to do it in an open and transparent way.

    • Philip

      You are mistaken to say that there will be no difference if there is a cleanout of FF in the locals and Euros. The lack of troops on the ground and in Europe will kill your intelligence of what is really going on.

    • coldblow

      I agree with Tim, the differences between them are not that significant. This is a conservative society: what we have we hold. Michael Hennigan (FinFacts) posted recently that we are 70% haves and 30% have nots. This division is obscured by the fact of family ties: one partner employed the other out of work, a son in the PS a brother in the private sector etc. But it’s still there. The hope is that the problems will just go away. Failing that the have nots will emigrate or simply vanish. Failing that that the haves can console themselves that they still have more than the have nots, relatively speaking. But the 70% covers those who have just enough, those who have comfort and those who have to excess. For the moment the 70% will vote for the status quo. But the percentage will surely shrink, and then the democratic defecit will be obvious to all. The plight of the jugglers is worsening: two will have their hand on the plough, one will be taken and the other left. So the challenge is to get a vote for real change by understanding that this is in the interests of (nearly) everyone.

    • Deco

      Tim – you are correct.
      We have a culture with regard to the exercise of authority which causes us massive problems. Basically people get into positions of authority and then they stopping listening to the people. Instead they apply condescending attitudes and patronization techniques.

      We the people need to demand greater accountability. An end to the 1000 Euro access fee for documents relating to the state boards and quangos would be a good place to start. Once we get that then we will will be able to ‘read the Daily Telegraph every day’ concerning the corruption going on in the top rungs of the public sector.

      It is what the people do outside of election day that counts. The election is a list of options, none of which is ever great. Sure, your man Joe Behan has a lot of backbone. But most of what is in the Dail is a bunch of lackeys under the command of the Party whip. And besides most of the local authorities are underfunded compared to the provisions that they must address.

  19. wills

    Anglo Irish Banks are getting another 4 Billion euro from the taxpayers .

    The Irish Gov wil be depositing 4 Billion euro of irish taxpayers monies to cover Anglo on more losses from loans to property speculators now gone sour.

    Anglo Irish Bank is missing another 13 billion in deposit withdrawals in the last 6 months.

    This bank is fu2ked. This continued funding of a dead parrot to insist it is not dead is tantamount to financial tyranny over this state.

  20. coldblow

    More from the political philosopher John Gray (from “Enlightenment’s Wake” (1995)) which I think throws some light on the preceding discussion:

    “When our institutional inheritance — that precious and irreplaceable patrimony of mediating structures and autonomous professions — is thrown away in pursuit of a managerialist Cultural Revolution seeking to refashion the entire national life on the impoverished model of contract and market exchange, it is clear that the task of conserving and renewing a culture is no longer understood by contemporary conservatives. In the context of such a Maoism of the Right, it is the permanent revolution of unfettered market processes, not the conservation of traditional institutions and professions, having each of them a distinctive ethos, that has become the ruling project of contemporary conservatism. At the same time, neo-liberalism itself can now be seen as a self-undermining political project. Its political success depended on cultural traditions, and constellations of interests, that neo-liberal policy was bound to dissipate. In adopting the neo-liberal programme of a permanent institutional revolution as their own, contemporary conservatives not only have abandoned any claim to be guardians of continuity in national life; they have at the same time linked their fortunes to a political project which all the evidence suggests is self-defeating.

    “…The capture of conservative parties and governments throughout the Western world by free market ideology was an accomplished and familiar fact by the late 1980s. Its full implications have yet to be properly understood. The conquest of modern Western conservatism by a species of market fundamentalism — Manchesterism redivivus — has transformed it profoundly and probably irreversibly. A political outlook that in Burke, Disraeli and Salisbury was sceptical of the project of the Enlightenment and suspicious of the promise of progress has mortgaged its future on a wager on indefinite economic growth and unfettered market forces… It leaves the governments and societies that have staked their patrimony on such a throw defenceless and without resources when, in the normal fortunes of markets everywhere, or because economic growth has come up against insuperable social and ecological limits, market institutions fail to deliver the goods expected of them. In such circumstances, liberal civilization itself may be imperilled, in so far as its legitimacy has been linked with the utopia of perpetual growth powered by unregulated market processes, and the inevitable failure of this utopia spawns illiberal political movements. Indeed, unconstrained market institutions are bound to undermined social and political stability, particularly as they impose on the population unprecedented levels of economic insecurity with all the resultant dislocations of life in families and communities… In Britain the desolation of communities by unchannelled market forces and the resultant pervasive sense of economic insecurity have not, and in all likelihood will not, evoke similar illiberal political movements; but they have been crucial factors in an epidemic of crime that probably has no parallel in national life since the early nineteenth century. It is only by the exercise of heroic powers of self-deception [curiously J.J. Lee's exact phrase to describe Irish society in the decades following Independence], or else by simple dishonesty, that British conservatives can fail to discern the links between levels of criminality that have no precedent for generations policies of marketization, pursued since 1979, that have ridden roughshod over settled communities and established expectations.

    “… For many people, perhaps most, the largely illusory enhancement of choice through freeing up markets does not compensate for the substantial increase in insecurity it also generates. More specifically, neo-liberal policies have worked to extend to the middle classes the insecurities and risk that have always plagued working-class life. By framing their policies with reference to an Enlightenment ideology of world-betterment through unconstrained global markets, Western conservatives may have given the rentier a new lease on life; but they have also brought about the euthanasia of the old middle classes…

    “In throwing in its lot with the cult of the free market, Western conservatism has colluded with the spirit of the age, which is well summarized in Hayek’s candidly nihilistic dictum ‘Progress is movement for movement’s sake’. Conservatives who imagine that their parties can be recovered for traditional values are deluding themselves… To attempt to return conservative parties, or for that matter Western societies, to traditional forms of life at this stage in our history is to tilt at windmills, or else to enter into a dangerous flirtation with forms of cultural fundamentalism whose upshot will be — like the ephemeral ‘Back to Basics’ campaign of the Major government — at best farcical. The better way lies in the recognition that in our circumstances renewing genuine conservative values, and passing on the traditions of a liberal civilization, demand novel and radical policies and a willingness to think in unorthodox ways [cue DMcW from stage left]. Contemporary conservative thought is of no more assistance in this task than traditional socialist thought.”

    “… The starting point for serious political discourse in Britain in the 1990s must be in the recognition that the paleo-liberal celebration of consumer choice and market freedom as the only undisputed values has become a recipe for anomie, social breakdown and ultimately economic failure.”

    • wills

      In other word’s……….

      the kid’s went bananas eating goodies and got sick, lost any notion of identity and self reliance and are now lost in the forest looking for the breadcrumbs.

    • Deco

      Coldblow – I don’t know where you get this stuff….but there is a lot of truth there. And it is a worthy contribution because it explores subjects that are ‘off the radar’ from our normal media coverage of everyday life.

      Yes, it constitutes an analysis that tells us many interesting things.

    • Excellent and informative contribution Coldblow.

      “… The starting point for serious political discourse in Britain in the 1990s must be in the recognition that the paleo-liberal celebration of consumer choice and market freedom as the only undisputed values has become a recipe for anomie, social breakdown and ultimately economic failure.”

      Talk about a prophesy……..

  21. wills

    According to irish times link here brian lenihan will ‘.. derisk its balance sheet…’ >>>>>>>>>>>

    translation ………….

    ‘we will write down the loans provided to speculators because we can because the loans were credit based using fractional reserve lending / out of thin air’.

    But we can’t say this because the public shall not be told this truth and we will couch this de – leveraging in terms which obfuscate, arouse anger and disturb thereby hiding the simple truth that all the banks have to do is’ delete the credit based loans’, and continue the deception on the customer into misbelieving the banks are missing a giant slab of real monies and this will keep the publics eye of the real truth, that in fact the only real monies in the banks gone walkies are the monies in bonuses, and deposit withdrawals.

    Withdrawals that in the case of Anglo will never return cos public’s confidence in Anglo is kabut.

    • Deco

      I am back on this board because I just hear the news about ANIB. ANIB is one bad saga that never goes away. Wills some interesting points. ANIB is a complete waste of space. The government should hold the 4 Billion and say good bye to AngloIrish Bank. This election will be the Anglo Irish Bank election.

      http://www.breakingnews.ie/business/anglo-set-for-govt-boost-after-losses-412828.html
      What have foreign bankers have on Lenihan ?
      Why can’t he just let ANIB go ? This is even more ludicrous than what the Brits are doing with RBS (which is another sick elephant).

      Total losses are expected to hit 7.5Billion. By the way we still have not reached the bottom in the property market. And as David pointed out two weeks ago – prices still have to halve yet to get to ‘normal valuation levels’.

      Time to right “BIN ANIB” on the ballot papers. Lenihan really is in a fantasy land. This is not going to end up happy ever after when one stupid decision follows another. Did he spend too much of his childhood watching cartoons or something ???

      • wills

        Deco: the excuse he is proffering on the meeja all afternoon is “we can’t let Anglo go cos of it’s systemic importance to the inter bank lending markets alongside the commercial banks, it’s too tied up into it all”, “anglo has 60 billion loans on books and in interests too important to blah blah.”

        The guy know’s all Anglo has too do is delete the loans on the computer screen most of the provided credit is thin air credit, it’s just figuring out a way to do it without drawing too much attention to themselves,,,

        My point is the publics confidence in this joke of a bank is shattered and who is going to return to deposit there. Thus bank is a dead parrot and here he is continuing to keep it on life support quite obviously not to go back into business but for reasons us public are not been told about, just been given the propaganda line that it is systemic bla bla.

        • Deco

          Fianna Fail Finished….
          http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0529/breaking45.htm

          I really thought Lenihan would be afraid to do this. But no, he has the neck to do this. Recapitalization of Anglo Irish Bank will result in the decapitization of Fianna Fail. The entire leadership will be shaken to pieces. And the Greens (useless) will also be finished.

          Nothing to celebrate. The alternatives are dire.

          • wills

            One thing is for sure, the traditional notion that markets move randomly and reflect popular sentiment is a dead parrot also, and not just here either, it’s a dead parrot in US,UK,EUROLAND and this means we are living in a system whereupon vested interests are dleiberatey rigging the markets,. ‘pumping and dumping’ i believe the oligarchs term it.

          • wills

            Deco: these loans, gone, as if they never where, and i betch ya they where never there only ‘out of thin air’ loans, and due to the use been so clean in transfer back to bank for shares they are very simple to computer delete.

          • Tim

            Deco, “I really thought Lenihan would be afraid to do this. But no, he has the neck to do this”.

            As I said here before, “They are getting desperate”; that’s why the brazen actions are becoming increasingly blatant.

            Many people, erroneously, think that their desperation arises from the impending slaughter on June 5; It does not. Family, friends, and personal wealth have to be “looked after”. Does anybody really believe that, although Oireachtas members must declare all personal assets/interests, they do not put certain assets/interests legally into the names of family members and/or close friends before they “declare”? Does anyone really believe that the senator had no interest in his brother-in-law’s north Dublin farm being sold for €30 million to the government, even though there were two other more suitable sites for the prison?

            I heard that senator on the radio during the week: “outraged”, as usual. This time, he was “outraged” about the abuse of children in the Ryan report. Does he not realise that neglect of children is a form of abuse? Of course he does; but they are desperate and brazen now. The €30 million that he had no-hand-act-or-part-in would pay for the free book scheme for poor children for nearly six years; it would pay 1,500 teachers that are being taken away from children; it would pay for 1000 social workers to be assigned to children at risk. The money went to the brother-in-law for a prison we cannot afford to build, instead. Is that not child neglect? Is that not child abuse?

            How many billions to worthless banks, again? How many “tax-exiles”, again? How many tax breaks for developers over the years, while joe-soap paid the tax instead as stamp duty? How many legal tax avoidance schemes for the rich? Invest your money in a stud farm and pay no tax on massive earnings at all, at all!

            Now, kids lose their books, their teachers, their social workers and some have died because there was no money for 24 hr or weekend care services for children at risk and their father killed them at the weekend.

            But the senator is “outraged” on the radio, so all is well…………..

          • Malcolm McClure

            Tim: On this blog we all eloquently express our outrage, but are apparently powerless to change things at root level. (despite no doubt your earnest efforts on the “inside”). Therefore we must ask ourselves why we are so impotent in spite of all our well-reasoned arguments that strike at the heart of these problems.

            I think our impotence is due to three causes:
            1. Being attracted to this economics blog, we are all too rational to be effective actionistas in the political world. That requires blind unreasoning committment like that of the horrible DUP eurocandidate Diane Dodds on BBC last night. For people like that, intelligence is a handicap.
            2. Being too remote to establish long term commitment to a party, we cannot be seen as serious players.
            3. We have our comfortable lifestyle to lose. It is easy to be an armchair commentator but actionistas are to be found amongst the disgruntled, who have little or nothing to lose. For example, students who can’t find gainful employment, long term unemployed, divorced fathers who lack custody and other desperate disentitled like RIRA. Perish the thought, but my guess is that Sinn Fein will attract many disgruntled in next week’s election.

            I don’t think this blog reaches potential actionistas even as lurkers. If we can’t change things, why do we bother, except for reasons of pride?

          • Tim

            Malcolm, that is a piercing and true comment. We all “skirt the line”, as it were, with commentary, but never go over that line, over the edge. We “bother”, not for pride, I think, but because we believe that the proliferation of ideas, however subtley, has an effect and is worthwhile. I feel sure that we are, also, all, in our practical everyday lives enacting our ideas and spreading intellectual freedom. All great things in the world started first as an idea. All good things in the world started first as an idea.

            We have ideas bouncing around here every day. Good ones will grow; some are growing and there is a synergy developing, I think.

            Since you mention “impotence”, I have to say that I have felt terribly impotent in the last ten years in FF, trying to improve the general ken from within, yet failing. On a practical level, I continue to attempt to back up my political ideals at community level, yet the party element is a constant frustration. It took me more than ten years to find a candidate such as Joe Behan that I could support tooth-and-nail and then he ended up being unable to accept the truth of Irish politics at the uppermost level and resigned. (back to the drawing-board for me). How impotent do you think I have felt, betimes? How many times have I asked myself: “Why am I bothering to do this?” …… too many!

            But it is WORTH doing. The percentage of people who still believe the spin to be “news” is frighteningly high and, every day that we type here, we are chipping away at it. Though “lurking here for a long time, when I thought that all was lost, I plucked up the courage to post here and that helped; this site has “added another string to my bow”, and I thank DMcW for providing that outlet.

            Asking questions and generating/spreading ideas is a VITAL contribution, Malcolm; not impotent at all.

  22. MK1

    Hi David,

    You have a pechant for observation which far exceeds in dilgence what I would have the patience to do.

    > We think that by borrowing and spending more people’s money now, we will get out of this hole and then escape the ramifications of a 10-year binge. The whole of the English-speaking world is at the same game. If we get away with it, we will simply transfer the weight of our debts on to the next generation.

    yes, this is whats being attempted … but by more than the english speaking world! The OECD is ‘at it’.

    > But the real test is in the government bond markets. Are they prepared to accept our IOUs yet again? Hardly, which is why a crash in the global bond market in the months ahead is probably going to mark the next phase in the first Great Recession of the 21st century.

    I dont think there will be a crash, not at least in the short-term. The rating of the UK and Japan to below that of AAA is a sign that anything can happen though. But the appetite for government bonds whilst reducing will be balanced by the increasing interest rates on offer. Ireland’s are already at 4.4% which is tempting for many. And buyers can be debt laden thus it can be mere accounting and movements of debt from entity to entity. State debts will baloon, but government bonds will still sell until the ‘very end’, if it does come to pass.

    > Whatever happens, we are in an intellectual conundrum because the whole point of our economies can’t surely be more of the same

    Without major structural economic change and reform in the major economies of the world, and there has been nothing major so far, it is more of the same. If there was systemic risk in 2008, that systemic risk remains in place. Trust is the key – if enough lemmings believe in the system, the system will survive, even if it has flaws and is collapsable.

    Have a good weekend one and all, as the financial system of the world will at least least that long! :-)

    MK1

    • Philip

      Look, I am a trendsetter and I say the lemmings have woken up cos they hear too many of themselves hitting the ground all at once. :)

      The economic basis for keeping most people happy to allow a critical mass of contentment is gone or has at least been profoundly shaken. Unless there is an uptick in productivity soon, the bonds will blow.

    • Tim

      MK1, Aha! “trust is the key”.

      Well said, sir; well said!

  23. Original-Ed

    Mr. Cowen in Galway yesterday, is blaming the opposition – they are not to say anything about his stewardship unless it’s positive – only his vision of the future is allowed. The past is now another Country and all references to it should be avoided. Also, the rest of the world can only access information about our crisis – sorry, brilliantly managed economy – through our media and secrecy is now so important that that the dail is a danger and perhaps, should be shut down.
    El Duce ( Mr Cowen) also said that everything will be fine next year – boom time is just around the corner, but the opposition’s questions are a dangerous irritant and should be silenced.
    Is he mentally stable?

  24. At last!! Victory is mine!! Megalomania does work.
    Look at this for a drive towards Constitutional reform.
    I’m delighted and exhilarated we don’t have Henry VIII as King anymore.

    http://www.independent.ie/breaking-news/national-news/politics/new-bill-to-scrap-out-of-date-legislation-1756076.html

  25. Tim

    Ah! Here we go:

    Dear Tim,
    There’s just a week to go until the European and local Elections on June 5th.
    Throughout the country, Fianna Fáil is working really hard to get our message across and our candidates elected. I’ve been to every corner of the country, listening to voters, meeting our candidates and working to get them elected next week. I’ve been hearing what they have to say and helping spread the message about our comprehensive plan to turn the economy around and improve the lives of Irish people.
    With such a short amount of time left, I’ve recorded a short video message I’d like to you watch. I want as many people as possible to see it, so after you’ve watched it, share it with your friends:

    http://www.fiannafail.ie/sharethis
    Our plan is clear. We will stabilise the public finances, sort out the banks, maintain and create jobs and help those out of work return to employment as soon as possible.
    Locally, we’ll freeze business rates for three years where we have a controlling majority on councils and we’ll invest in creating 12,000 new jobs in rural enterprise.
    In Europe, we’ve got to work together. Only 12 of the European Union’s 736 MEPs are from Ireland. That’s why we’ve got to send people to the European Parliament who will work hard and will co-operate with colleagues from across Europe to fix this global recession. The last thing the country needs is representatives in Europe who’ll roll back the progress we’ve made. Fianna Fáil is a committed, pro-European Party. We have the skill and experience to work with our European partners to build a sustainable recovery.
    Fianna Fáil have had to take tough decisions but they are the right decisions. In a global recession, our opponents have too often put their own narrow political interests above the national interest. They bicker amongst themselves, offering dangerous and conflicting policies – Fine Gael wants spending cuts while Labour wants increases. Their risky and divergent plans would wreak havoc on Ireland’s economy and stifle recovery.
    The choice is clear – progress and co-operation from Fianna Fáil; or instability, retreat and division from the opposition.
    Take a moment to watch this short video message and share it with your friends and family:
    http://www.fiannafail.ie/sharethis
    Fianna Fáil’s candidates have Ireland’s best interests in their hearts and the commitment and ability to fight for Ireland locally and in Europe.
    I urge you to vote Fianna Fáil on June 5th.
    Brian Cowen, T.D. Taoiseach

    • Original-Ed

      All the public participants look so happy and content with their lot – was this piece shot in 1999? or were they been lobotomised beforehand.

    • wills

      So FF are in straightforward denial then, tim, would you agree,,?
      And this tone of indirectly hinting the opposition are some form of gang of demented wasters dying too get into power and wreak havoc, surely thats already happened. SURREAL

    • Deco

      Tim – that made an interesting read. I am not concerned about what it is in it, near as much what is not.

      No mention of the controversy concerning Joe Behan, or the fact that Behan made a criticism about the FF Front bench which has never been answered. No mention of the fact that John McGuinness wants Coughlan to stand down as Minister for Enterprise and Employment. No mention of the scale of the crisis of the banks. There is a lot of stuff that is being swept under the carpet.

      Cowen is probably right about FG and ILP policies being badly matched-don’t worry in government the tail will wag the dog there also….which equates to more dithering…No mention of the others…the PDs…yeah, if in doubt, leave them out.No mention of his Greens either. He managed to leave out that annoying phrase “Going Forward”.

      Then there were the promises.
      { Locally, we’ll freeze business rates for three years where we have a controlling majority on councils and we’ll invest in creating 12,000 new jobs in rural enterprise. } That will not happen because FF will not dominate any councils. In the rural areas there is a process of reintensification of agriculture – which is a reverse of the building boom sucking muscle off the farms onto the building sites where the pay was much better. As a result the part-time farmers are becomming fulltime farmers again. Agricultural output will increase and this will increase national output-but the income will never be as good as it was from construction. And therefore the expenditure in the local economy will never be great either for a few years. But claiming credit for something which is not a result of government policy is not great.

      Cowen is wrong about making tough decisions. He avoided them. He should have folded Anglo and said ‘it is over’. Now he is threatening to save INBS and EBS, two more turkeys.

      This is an attempt to provide reassurance that Cowen himself is leading the party somewhere. In fact it is almost as if he is canvassing his own leadership to members in the event of a leadership struggle. That is something I find interesting. He is trying to instill confidence in the ordinary members and keep them odedient.

      One week from now, the members will be looking for Joe Behan, and John McGuinness to make a statement to unseat Coughlan and Lenihan. And the other turkeys.

      • Tim

        Deco, yes; You noticed that he is asking card-carrying members to vote for the party????

        “I urge you to vote Fianna Fáil on June 5th.”

        The bizarre workings of the mind………..

  26. goinghome

    Even if it seems that the world won’t listen, building up a scan of the reality through attention to everyday detail and probing intuition eruditely grounded is the forte of David.

    If monkeys are commodities, this story gives some idea of how shrewd investers run rings around the trusting punter –

    – Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

    The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.

    He next announced that he would now buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms.

    The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it!

    The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy on his behalf. In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.”

    The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.
    They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys! – from http://cooltribe.com/blog/wednesday-joke-financial-crisis

    There’s a concept in pyschology, the diffusion of responsibility, usually associated with the bystander effect whereby people do not get involved in helping others or solving a problem if others are present who just might take some action instead. It occurs where there is a lack of leadership and initiative. A good short layperson’s explanation is at: http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?DiffusionOfResponsibility

    In recent years, terms like ‘ethical’, ‘sustainable’, ‘socially responsible’ are being applied to business. Obviously significant useful effects have not yet followed. But, nodding to Mannix Flynn’s campaign slogan (after Einstein, before McWilliams) that if we keep doing the same things, we can’t expect different results, the time has come for stewardship. The Ryan Report has touched many people in this respect, and Irish society as a whole has to shoulder the blame – the kids did not walk of their own free will into those institutions. This is an epic learning opportunity.

    Other civic pioneers are adopting a similar overhauling approach to capitalist activity e.g
    http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2009/05/rutgers-awards-fello-20090522

    My only mistake is I’m hoping?…

  27. Tim

    goinghome, I love Mannix Flynn; always have.

    “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” is what I say, but he agrees.

    You are right; and DMcW is right: keep spinning the ideas around.

  28. wills

    Malcolm: coupla thoughts on Impotent activism. I think platforms are good for activism. I think an audience works well too. Thus t.v and meeja very popular fehicles for moving ideas into the community changing attitudes making things happen. To gain access one needs contacts.

    Now, i suspect a new paradigm is entering into the crowded activism public space. Disseminating intelligence text punching it into the airwaves is a space opened up for all via tech gadgets. Anyone who wishes to become their own tv station and make broadcasts on ideas now can through the internet, only difference is scale. So, the platform power of long standing fehicles are now matched by micro platforms there for anyone to avail off. Difference of course is audience size and real electorate vote into legislative chamber. The text punching of one’s idea’s into the public space is where the real power lies. Just the act of carrying out the articulation of intelligence through muscular assertion even if one person hears it has the power to overthrow. The power of the word spoken. So, i would contend the opposite in that no – one actually really knows how powerful ones textpunching of ideas holds.

  29. More ideas,
    Heres what Jack Straw, former UK Home Secretary said about A45 during a Commons debate on a UK Constitution recently,

    “23 Mar 2009 : Column 44
    Does he agree that there is a grave danger that in creating rights that are not enforceable, he might end up diluting the whole idea of rights themselves?

    Mr. Straw: Let me deal with the hon. Gentleman’s last point. Essentially, he said that if we have a Bill, anything in it has to be justiciable; that, at least, is what I took him to say. I understand his point. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman has read the Green Paper, but I commend it to him some more. In chapter 4, we bring out the fact that if we look at equivalent documents and texts around the world, we see that not every part of a declaration, Bill of Rights or preamble to a constitution is enforceable in the same way as every other part. On page 54, we cite what is set out in article 45 of the Irish constitution. The article is declaratory, but by all accounts the Irish believe that setting out important economic and social rights in a declaratory form in their constitution meets important imperatives within their society. My view is that it is sensible for there to be rights and responsibilities across the piece in a single document. If those could be agreed between the parties in terms of education for citizenship, it would be enormously valuable, when we talk to our constituents, to be able to say, “This is what has been agreed. Whatever else the British political parties and the British people disagree about, these are the sets of basic values–rights and responsibilities–that we all agree about.” This is a good starting point. There are certain things that we agree about, but at the moment they are less articulated than they should be, particularly as regards responsibilities, and we should set them out. In its important report last summer, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said that it would be unwise to make economic and social rights directly justiciable because that would pre-empt the role of this Parliament. Of course, I accept that. However, there is greater value in having such a document than in not having it.”

    Pity our lot don’t seem to hold A45 in the same esteem.

  30. Now the same A45 was studied by the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution and chaired at the time by a certain Brian Linehan.
    In that study, Micheál Ó Cearúil translated the whole Constitution literally from the original Irish, as supervised by DeValera, as opposed to the Official version we ascribe to.
    Now there are some significant differences especially in A45.

    “ARTICLE 45

    BASIC DIRECTIONS FOR A SOCIETAL POLICY
    It is as a general guide for the Oireachtas that the basic rules for a societal policy that are laid out in this Article were intended. The responsibility for applying those basic rules in making laws will be on the Oireachtas alone, and a question concerning that application cannot be tried by any Court under any one of the provisions of this Constitution.

    (Note the word RULES)

    ARTICLE 45.1
    The State will do its utmost to advance the welfare of all the people through ensuring and preserving as far as it is able a societal order, in which justice and charity will rule every institution which relates to the national life.

    ARTICLE 45.2
    The State will, specifically, direct its policy in a way that will ensure:-

    i That the citizens (and all of them, both men and women, have a right to a sufficient livelihood) will obtain, through their occupations, the means of making reasonable provision for the needs of their households.

    ARTICLE 45.2.ii
    That (the) proprietary right and control of (the) worldly wealth of the people will be divided among private persons and among the various classes in the way that will best contribute towards the welfare of the people.

    ARTICLE 45.2.iii
    Specifically, that the operation of free competition will not be allowed to advance in a way that there would result from it that a small number of people had in their own hands the ownership or the control of essential goods to the detriment of the community.

    ARTICLE 45.2.iv
    That the welfare of the whole community is the permanent and principal objective which will govern in all that concerns the control of credit.

    ARTICLE 45.2.v
    That as many households as possible in accordance with the circumstances of life will be established on the land in economic security.

    ARTICLE 45.3.1O
    The State will look eagerly at private initiative in industrial and commercial affairs and will augment/support it when that is necessary.

    ARTICLE 45.3.2O
    The State will endeavour to ensure that private enterprise is / will be conducted so that it is certain that goods will be produced and distributed with reasonable competency and that the community will be protected from unjust profit.

    ARTICLE 45.4.1O
    The State takes upon itself specifically to protect the economic welfare of the classes in the community whose power is least and, when it will be necessary, to give subsistence help to the infirm, to the widow, to the orphan and to the old.

    ARTICLE 45.4.2O
    The State will endeavour to ensure that the strength and health of workers, both men and women, nor the tender youth of children will not be wronged, and that citizens will not have to, because of want, take up occupations that do not suit their kind or their age or their strength.

    Now the State has spectacularly failed to ensure any of this.

    For anyone with that disease that keeps you awake (I’m too tired to think of the proper name), have a Dekko at this;

    http://www.wethepeople.ie/pdf/irish-text.pdf

    I promise this ends the May rant about A45.
    More in June but not too soon.
    F

  31. jim

    I find it useful sometimes in Buisness to try and put myself in other peoples shoes,as I find looking at things from various angles can help in negotiations.To achieve success its always important to study things from the viewpoint of the various stakeholders.While words like understanding,empathy,objectivity may well be bandied about,its my experience that these concepts are only given lipservice,and people will plough onn to gain maximum benifit to themselves.To be successful as an Economist or even a Politician it involves hard work constantly striving for the “optimum solution”.In the case of the Economist it involves looking for the “maximum utility”from any endeavour,while in the Politician’s case it should be about the Maximum overall good for a Society.Lofty ideals you might think,but that is where the bar should be set.National Politicians should not be seen as somebody who can short-circuit the system to get somebody a Medical Card,Grant.Drivers test,Passport etc.but should be somebody who can put the proper systems in place,with appropriate budgets etc to insure that all those requiring those services can access them in a fair and orderly manner,with the best optimum efficiency…Its the lack of transparency in Government Services that leads people to vote for the cute hoor that can be seen to sidestep protocols and achieve results.These oppurtunists are often referred to as “man of the people”,,”well able for them hoors above in Dublin” and all the other rhetoric you hear around Election time.These Mr/Mrs/Miss fixits are clearly a massively expensive hangover from a bygone age where certain people knew how to “get around ” their colonial Masters etc.Surely to God there is no place for this type of Gombeenism in what we hope to be a Modern Democracy.Maybe this is why we see such a difference in National and European Elections.I listened to some candidates debating on Radio on the upcoming Euro Elections,and was struck by the sheer number of times the interests of Farmers and Fishermen seemed to be raised,and would have come away with the notion that we were electing some sort of lobby group for these interests,One guy put great emphasis on the fact that the Agricultural Budget was a third of the entire budget,while another guy said He was not to be trusted negotiating on behalf of farmers as His Party had sold the Fishermen down the River(His words).Then some Lady landed a bombshell and asked “what about the other two thirds of the Budget and what plans were there for that,and what about the 700,000 other people in the constituency who were neither Farmers or Fishermen.Suffice to say the Lady was getting my vote for sheer weight of numbers that She was prepared to represent if for nothing else.What I did’nt here was any great ideas as to where these People saw Irelands place in Europe,what mutual benifit would accrue,etc.etc.etc.Maybe thats why joe/josephine bloggs does’nt appear to give a toss about European Elections in any great numbers,as they dont give out Medical Cards ,Drivers Tests etc. and the only Grants seem to apply to Farmers and Fishermen et al.Maybe and its only a maybe that’s the reason Lisbon was defeated,people thought by voting no they could force Europe to hand out something other than grants to Farmers and Fishermen.”We want our own Commissioner” “WE WANT” “WE WANT” …..What the hell do we want????????.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Jim and Wills: “leads people to vote for the cute hoor that can be seen to sidestep protocols and achieve results.” Jim is getting close to Council voters motivations with this observation. County council politicians understand this, but national politicians know that their voters are motivated, not by potholes, planning, or even grand economic ideas, but by sheer prejudice. Irish politicians who can absorb, encourage and articulate these prejudices are those who get to govern us.

      As Jim says, prejudice is not about the overall good of society but plain old “Fix our lot now and f*** the rest of them”.

      Idealism and economic intelligence has nothing to do with it– until we find a way to change voters’ motivations our finest thoughts will be scattered on the winds of indifference.

    • wills

      Spot on Jim, as usual, as was your post on the ECB / Irish Gov bond link up.

      Can i add, in the final analysis, an indiv can only eat 3 meals daily (sometimes looking around though at the obesity epidemic on the streets of Ireland i do wonder).

      Ireland is an open air willy wonka’s choclate factory Republic. Self interest minus virtue rules.

  32. The Taoiseachs accusation in Galway recently that
    the opposition “were part of the “bad news brigade” who were damaging the country’s reputation abroad and would be “happy” to see the country’s credit rating damaged due to their opposition to his bank bailout plan.”I am fed up with them continuously trying to misrepresent our economic condition, because those attacks are not only heard by voters, they are also heard by investors in boardrooms abroad,”

    LOve them or hate them, I don’t think for one minute that any one of the opposition TD’s would deliberately set out to damage the country. That really was a low comment.

    But these investors are indeed taking notice. The Anglo debacle is described as a U-Turn here while “The spread on the country’s sovereign 10-year debt widened by 7 basis points over the German bund as investors fretted over the spiralling cost of dealing with twin fiscal and banking crises.”

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews/idUKLS47300220090529?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

    Either the City of London has joined Fine Gael or we are seeing another example of the Governments persecution complex manifesting another bout of denial.

    Davids headline banner above is suddenly more chilling than before.

  33. Original-Ed

    Cowen is so desperate that he’ll do anything to cling on to power – he’ll probably go down as the worst irish politician ever to hold a position of power. His present scare mongering is the same old FF tactic as always – remember “ don’t throw it all away” during the last campaign – we’ll they themselves succeeded ,spectacularly, in doing just that.
    The ANIB 4 billion loss is twice the third level budget – it beggars belief that he was minister for finance while these barbarians were wrecking the place and now he wants us to pretend that it never happened, but at the same time, we must pay for it – collective punishment at its worst. Not alone should he resign, he should be exiled.

    • I’d prefer hung, drawn and quartered.

    • Deco

      {…. he’ll probably go down as the worst irish politician ever to hold a position of power…. }

      For one thing competition for that award is particularly keen. I would not make any rash pronouncements.,….I am looking at serious contenders with their faces on posters all over the place everywhere I turn…

  34. wills

    Malcolm: ‘..finding a way to change voters motivations’,.
    Agree no doubt about the bottom line is most people follow their own self interest whether enlightened or not. Following unenlightened self interest is the monolithic stumbling block on the rest of us who are in it shedding ignorance looking to the future. ‘Self interest pursued ignorantly’ ends in disaster. THe gods look down indifferent, provide the rope, and each minion may hang oneself.

    And are those that are trying to be less profane on a daily basis pushing water up hill. The ‘ignoramuses’ look on and guffaw the ‘shedders’ and some even lynch mob ‘em..! and if the ‘shedder’ is not on ones toes and clever and fast the ‘shedder’, in Ireland, particularly, is toast.

    There are ‘ignoramuses’ who may give up the ghost and return to their desk duties and get back to a “shedders’ lot, which is, working the reality principle like billyio squeezing out the pleasure principle and mastering the death instinct. Tough tough work, never ending, unforgiving and no guarantees, but always a good nights sleep and no regrets and self respect and self reliance and sacredness filling up one’s life,..

    So, ‘ignoramuses’ are gobbling up credit, easy living and will put ant gobsh1te into office if said gobsh1te provides the culture of compromise to accomadate the ‘ignoramus’ lifestyle.

    Can laizy easy living in a childhood fantasy wish fullfilling bubble be overthrown and religious self denial returned to the community and clean healthy living values return as the mainstay of community life.

    I put forward the contention that this is possible and reachable and can be done through any channel, economics , politics, popular culture, religion, tech gadgets, internet, doing the dishes, exercise, speaking the truth when called upon, painting, and in my humble opinion the most effective tool too return sacred to culture is, breath relaxing in tandem with what freud called ‘transliteration’ the greatest secret of all and the cornerstone to psycho analysis which for me is the cure to all of mankinds ill’s.

    • wills

      I found this analysis on us irish of great merit.

      http://www.thetablet.co.uk/page/Irish%20abuse%20scandal

      • Malcolm McClure

        Wills: The tablet is of course a catholic institution. It is all very well implying that we all knew what was going on, so our expressions of horror at the Ryan Report are mere pavlovian responses. That sort of psycho-babble tends to excuse inexcusable actions that were not only condoned but encouraged and acted upon by religious orders and became integral to their interpretation of Christianity. “Suffer the little children to come unto me”.

        The children certainly suffered. Now is the time for the Orders to suffer.

        • wills

          malcolm please take a look at my post 30 may, 3.03 to see my thoughts on the Ryan report and imperatives. I know it’s a catholic publication. My logic is, it was sadists who buggered raped murdered and stole children wearing black cloaks and collarrs i don’t get hung up on name tags and titles.

  35. wills

    This line cowen is trotting out “………..we need to derisk this bank, anglo as a threat to the irish banking system” is pathetic.

    It is a ‘voodoo mind trick’ on any poor sod who believes this sh1te.

    It is a mincing of words to talk up a fiction.\… lets have a look,,,,,

    Anglo as a threat to the irish banking system is a mission accomplished.

    The irish banking system is broken, fagged, twisted and insolvent.

    Anglo as a ‘threat’ to any further damage is like saying, ok nurse we better not put the radio on cos the patient who is in a coma may be put in a coma.

    The damage potential to our banking system has been maximised.

    It is impossible to bring more damage.

    The main banks are insolvent. Anglo is a dead parrot. Building societies ain’t looking too confident either.

    ECB is keeping the Irish banking system afloat through buying the bonds. Thats the only thing now keeping Ireland from the front door of the IMF.

    Cowen knows this. Anglo is a boil that must be lanced or the irish banking system will remain in the doldrums.

    Shutting Anglo down is the only thing that will restore confidence in our banking system. Nationally and internationally.

    These guy’s know this. THese b@st@rds do not give a sh1te about the banking system credit freeze cos they know they are cushdee and the only game in town is power elites playing monopoly with each other moving the pieces for the next game plan coming next.

    And these b@staRds wrapping themselves in the irish flag and declaring concern for the genuine irish man or woman or child on the street is disgusting and treasonous and foul.

    And this indecision regarding the victims of christian brothers sadism on an industrial scale is proof positive these sicko’s running the shop mind’s are on something else and once again like a bunch of ‘stupid criminals’ given themselves away in their contemptuous complacency regarding these child abuse victims who immediately require attention and all needs and demands met.

    Ireland is been watched very closely from a far on all of this and the fools and scoundrels in the dail are so far removed from reality now due to living it up high on the hog they can’t see the wood for the trees and see how under scrutiny they’re handling of this is.

    Gabriel byrne hinted it last night on LAte Late.

    I would go as far as saying Irelands reputation globally is now at stake, and once it fails the test it will take years to earn it back.

  36. Can you give more details on what Gabriel Byrne said? I can’t get the Late Late in Antigua especially as I’m sitting in a bar in downtown St. John’s at 10am waiting for the F. A. Cup Final to start. Would rather read this blog in the meantime than listed to the inane ‘expert pundits’. Mute please!

  37. I mean ‘listen’, gospel singing now God help us.

  38. wills

    If any politician is reading this blog right now i call upon you as a citizen of the republic of Ireland to immediately see to it that all victims in this concentration camp of child abuse horror that all victims needs are addressed now, immediately.

    I call upon every elected member of the dail to put aside party allegiance and move now to speak on record the truth on the ryan report and give michael o brein everything he wants and do it now.

    I call upon every member of the Dail now to break with party allegiance and explain to the nation why the banks are been let rule over all policy and go on record and now disclose the facts anf report to the nation the truth regarding the health of the nation and what we all need to know.

    The failure right now in our gov and parliament is shocking to such an extent in the lack of it’s direction and authority it truly is, in my estimations, becoming a massively significant cause for concern, in a real way. These people need to be hounded out of office and sent to a gulag, all of them.

    Any politician worth their salt had the option of breaking ranks and coming out and going on record and calling for immediate action now for these industrial school victims.

    CHr1st its obvious to my young kid’s how these people are in deep distress and misery and are been treated like lepers. And they are been treated like lepers these people.

    The resources of the irish state should be mobilised now to see to it all their needs are met now. This stalling and politics suffocating this monstrous episode of irish life is unforgivable, it must stop, the dignity of our place alongside other democracies is at stake here.

  39. Deco

    Listened to RTE Radio 1 coverage of the by-elections. George Lee came very strong. Was totally unforgiving towards Anglo Irish Bank, Sean Quinn, etc….But he will want to be careful. Dublin Central is much less certain-the Gregory legacy will probably be a big factor in the eventual result. Joe Higgins is getting a late surge in Dublin.

    An interesting interaction is now occurring between Anglo Irish Bank and Nama. This is effectively a bailout of Anglo Irish Bank. http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0529/anglo.html
    It is now clear that nationalization of banks is expensive and stupid. ANIB is our first experience of bank nationalization and it is proving very expensive, but it rescues the shareholders.

    Sean Quinn is the key ANIB shareholder. Quinn is also rumoured to be a massive FF sponsor. CRH also donated to FF for decades. CRH are rumoured to have been laughing at Quinn’s difficulties, and are furious over the way the government bailed out ANIB and saved Quinn’s blushes. Bear in mind that Quinn rescue of the health insurance market for the government. Yeah it is messy and there is a lot of mutually beneficial arrangements. CRH are really p’ed off. There are rumours going around about repeated quantities of cash below the legal limit being donated and flowing into the political process on a massive scale. Well, it is easy to see why. Unbelievable.

    There has been a lot of talk about the banks. Only a handful (Behan, Bruton, Ross) in the political system have a grasp of the inadequacy of the state institutions in responding to the crisis. Let’s hope George Lee raises the level of the debate. We need to raise the national level of thinking about how to deal with this crisis.

    • Original-Ed

      This expression “risk appetite” in the rte piece, is only nice way of saying “reckless behaviour”

    • wills

      More ‘voodoo mind grip’ claptrap at link. This time coming out of the gob of executive chairman Donald duck, our prob;ems are all too do with a declining market and property values he decry’s.

      Lets take a look at this brainless assertion. Is the ‘ignoramus’ trying to tell us that property prices were going to continue vertical into space and Anglo did not practice business on the bases that it knew it was a bubble for a bursting,. well then if this id the case it can only mean but one thing he is telling porkies.

      When a 2 bedroom formerly council house in crumlin is selling for 450,000 euro and these banking loolahs are decrying they are very surprise at the downturn in property values one must seriously question their mental state.

      • wills

        I ask, what country can continue to function on the basis of 5 th division housing stock in rather run down quarters selling for a millionaires salary on and on into the future, with the price always increasing,. and these banking nutjobs keeeping pushing this utter sh1te that it’s all the property price dropping’s fault, the property price falling is to blame,, if it did not fall everything would be alright,,.!!!!????? and this donald duck character in Anglo is the executive chairman and he is making these utterances to the meeja and getting away with it unchallenged, this fool is stating this muck and our taxpayers billions are under his expertise………. our taxpayers billions giving over to a ship thats skippered by an individual who is going on record decrying the prices coming down in the property market as the excuse for Anglo robbing taxpayers cash to keep it’s boat afloat……… extraordinary times or the most banal of times which i’m not sure

      • adamabyss

        This comment wills, and the four of yours which follow it directly, have got to be my favourite reading on this blog since I joined up. Spot on and well done.

    • Tim

      Deco, What is Alan Ahearne doing for us in this regard? I know that I keep coming back to this and maybe I am too cynical, but it really looks as though he has sold us out. FF contacts will only say:”He is doing a fine job, helping the minister with this terrible economic contraction”.

      But, helping to do WHAT, exactly? Digging a deeper hole for us all?

      Does anyone have any direct contact with Ahearne?

  40. Philip

    Just a question. This desperation on Cowen’s part and the complete obfuscation on ANIB exposure etc etc has this anything to do with the “Golden Circle” whose names have yet to be revealed. Apparently their loans will be written off while ANIB’s ever gaping hole doubles and doubles.

    • Tim

      Philip, its probably all tied up together. Dilly gave us a link the other day to an article that profiled people who are, most likely, the “Golden Ten”.

  41. wills

    He goes onto say, this donald duck chief of Anglo, ‘clearly the bank made mistakes in some of the lending decisions recently, particularly in property’,,,,,,,,

    ”..our rate of lending was imprudent bla de bla de bla’

    So this fool in other words is actually confirming the bank was blowing up a property bubble but they didn’t know at the time is this what he is saying,, well then everyone in the bank who were in a position to say stop and didnt must be fired for incompetence.

    I’m a shareholder now on Anglo been a taxpayer so i’m calling for all to be fired who were in charge presiding over banking property lending blowing bubbles gang of treasonous b@stards.

  42. wills

    He then issues a sublime threat on growing rumblings amongst the taxpayers over pirates running our affairs he states ‘ …. and any wind up’s will be more costly to the taxpayers than what we are doing now’

    So, in other words we are been told sht the fu2k up sit down mind your own business and keep your nose out of the running of this bank you taxpayer scum you,….

    These banking gangsters are using housing to destroy our communities and banking system and international reputation to line their own pockets and they expect the taxpayer to bend over shut the fu2k up and take it up the back passage in subservience to their bast@rd of the universe priviledged education and poncy social network and stepford wives driving around in gas guzzling monster trucks p1ssing about in zoom zoom traffic going for a bottle of milk running over the scum serf who will work pay and transfer all their wealth over to these lord mucks of finance.

  43. wills

    Then we get the NAMA high preist propaganda coming out more and more on what good boys the banks are by look look mummy we are been very cooperative with NAMA and giving them all our toxic waste that we made and look look we are giving it to NAMA aren’t we very good for giving it to NAMA ,,,,, well what the flying fu2k else were you going to do with you toxic waste donal you were ‘nt going to bring it home were you and feed it too your dog.

  44. National Crime Forum – This was set up in 1998 by the minister for Justice then and I was invited to speak on Fraud by Irish Banks .In the final written report by the chairman and committee members …the banks were spared .There was a national conspiracy culture and cover up all the time and it will be very hard to change that even now .

    • wills

      JohnAllen; I for one would very much be appreciative on hearing any more on this, if there is more.

    • Tim

      John ALLEN, wills was not here when you posted that before on an earlier article; I think you had an email of it and you asked how to get it on here and I said just go to Edit – select all – copy and then paste it here. Perhaps you might be able to do that again and allow wills to read it?

      PS.: I was visited by a bluebottle today and it flew around the room, crashed into the wall and fell stunned for 30 seconds, then left.

  45. wills

    I want everyone to now say ‘AWWWWWWWW’ for brian lenihan cos he is al upset with all this bad news over at anglo. He is very dissppointed with ANglos numbers and it’s very sad ……!!!!!!! brian knew things were not the best but it’s very disappointing too see how bad things are now.. and this tripe is on the meeja all day reporting how disappointed brian is in the news. More voodoo mind grip sh1te and p1ssing around with words thinking the sp@stics at home eating their chips and drinking their sugar will be fleeced and fleeced and fleeced and juiced and sharecropped to keep the slave masters insulated in bubble wrapped for ever and ever and ever.

  46. wills

    Lenihan goes onto waffle about a marked deterioration in asset quality.,,,, so again we have the oligarchs blaming the price of property dropping for the blame. So i ask once again are these banking and political nutjobs saying that house prices should of continued to increase in price on and on forever the way they were exploding upwards was socially acceptable and reasonable and ok.
    So when a 2 bedroom house in ballyfermot hit .5 million euro who did they think was going to buy it. Mick the milkman,,,,,,,,,,…….. these lunatics wanted us all in debt paying for ginormous mortgages and living off bread and water. I notice all of these sick b@stards own their own houses and their children do too.

    Look at england, interesting how the crooked politicians over there and the one thing all are doing is claiming expenses on properties for them their children and wives and ducks,,,, these guys then are freed up from worrying about monthly re payments and have time to dream up of keeping the serf in his box labouring away to ensure tax is on tap for the bond issuances to keep the feudal structure in place.

    These bast2rds know exactly what they are doing what levers too pull when too pull them and when not to.

  47. Criminal Injuries Tribunal – these quasi coddies are also complicit in the cover up of banking fraud and I know that because I can prove it .Their political surrugate nannies are blown up hot air baloons .

  48. John ALLEN Subscribed to comments via email | 14 Feb 2009 3:38 pm

    CRIME AND IRISH BANKS

    Actual Address to the National Crime Forum
    At Civil Hall, Limerick
    Wednesday 29th April 1998

    Mr. Chairman,

    I would like to have the unique opportunity to make a brief contribution to your Forum on Crime Policy. I am a professional qualified accountant practicing in Limerick for twenty one years. I have been the victim of serious crime more than once in my quest when reporting my professional opinion on suspicions I encountered during my normal day to day activities and those that have shot the righteous messenger continue to enjoy the spoils of their malicious tirade. As someone who has had extensive experience in serious Crime Prevention at home and abroad and who has been written of in a best seller in the Danish language ‘Wissum Sagen’ and who is known to the Fraud Squad and the D.P.P for his contributions in the prevention of real serious crime I would like to comment under the following headings:

    a) Crime Prevention:
    b) Reporting of Crime:
    c) The Irish Courts:
    d) The needs of the victims who report Crime

    -2-

    I hope my effort today at this Forum is not whitewashed and used solely as a tool to avoid government embarrassment or to prevent the laying bare to the Public a debased judicial system that forces the righteous civic person reporting of suspicious crime to third parties to be charged for a crime and put on trial by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, a place that is a hermatic façade of a secretive ruler that needs reform by stealth.

    To you member of the public the truth is universal and your beliefs are personal and this Forum must be objective and address you at that high moral level.

    I hope that the findings of this Forum will influence the Irish Public and change the existing system of criminal law were reporting of suspicious crime to impending injured third parties is concerned to enable all righteous citizens to feel safe when reporting a crime and not to be ostracised to suppurating scandal.

    a) CRIME PREVENTION: Unfortunately there is little cultural
    awareness that gives the general public and particularly business people and professionals enough confidence that they can feel safe when reporting a crime. Real people in crime are usually very clever and protect themselves by being invisible and with a litigious threat and blackmail. More education is required to assist a concerned civic citizen to know how to anticipate hostility. We need to create a visible vested culture that can be seen to work.

    -3-

    b) REPORTING OF CRIME: For those who are brave enough
    sometimes their circumstances can be to difficult to report by choice, but instead may do so to a pending injured third party. Their actions require considerable courage and usually they are alone when doing it. This is very difficult and dangerous and sometimes requires certain experience to cope with a successful plan.

    The biggest problem when not being able to report initially to the Gardai is knowing whether there is a trust in the pending injured third party that he or she will tell the truth to the Gardai. The third party may not share a trust for various reasons eg.

    a) It might prevent his or her pending promotion; and

    b) He or she may not have experience and makes a mistake then ‘he covers himself or herself’ and the civic honourable citizen becomes a suspect, in crime as a result of their civic duty in Crime Prevention.

    -4-

    The following are words spoken by St. Peter in the Bible:

    “Who can harm you if you devote yourselves to doing good? If you suffer for the sake of Righteousness, happy are you. Do you not fear what they fear or be disturbed as they are, but bless the Lord Christ in your heart. Always have an answer ready when you are called upon to account for your hope, but give it simply and with respect. Keep your conscience clear so that those who liable and slander you may be put to shame by your upright, Christian Living. Better to suffer for doing good, if it is Gods’s will, than for doing wrong.”

    Forsan et haec olim meminisce juvabit. Perhaps there will be a time when even this will be pleasant to remember.

    My personal experience relates to banks and especially at their management and higher level. I will comment on Bank Management further in this submission.

    -5-

    c) THE COURTS: Should concerned civic citizen become a victim of
    malice due to his honourable reporting to a pending injured third party and he claims he reported it to the Gardai after his wrongful arrest, sometimes the process of justice quickly moves against the civic citizen. Not by design by the Gardai but because of the system Irish Criminal Law before the Book of Evidence is presented to the D.P.P., does not allow the civic (now a suspect) citizen to read the evidence so that his is able to address the real issues in an additional report thus allowing the Gardai and the D.P.P. to have more information at their disposal so that the civic citizen is not prosecuted by the D.P.P. and thus saving himself to face a trial and public humiliation.

    The court should allow this and the Gardai invite the civic citizen to cooperate in his report. I have personally experience a case of this kind where the Gardai did not press for charges but the malicious evidence on the Book of Evidence forced the D.P.P to prosecute. In this case the trial proceeded and the Justice of the Central Criminal Court directed the jury” an acquittal” before the defence were called and after the malicious evidence by the prosecution was partially made clarified by the Justice under cross examination.

    -6-

    d) THE NEEDS OF THE The Criminal Injury Tribunal is the
    VICTIMS WHO REPORT only resort under the Irish System of
    CRIME: Criminal Law to show the truth of a
    persons civic action’s and honourable deeds. The remit of this
    Tribunal needs to be changed to offer further financial assistance and encouragement and to provide a sanctuary to show that having examined all the evidence and including that of the Gardai their decision to recognise the civic honourable actins are made public thus restoring the citizens good name.

    It’s remit was enacted in the early seventies to serve the needs of the public then by then Minister Mr. Gerard Collins. Today, times have changed dramatically and the present system in it’s design does not assist in real crime prevention or does it recognise the honourable civic acts of persons who volunteer in dangerous circumstances to prevent crime, neither does it encourage themselves to meet in person anybody making a claim. The existing system has no transparency in showing the truth, is too narrow focussed, lacks accountability for their actions and only serves to purge civil right and constitutional rights by selective representation in their tribunal reports of claims and demeaning professionals and others by ignoring their extraordinary voluntary acts in dangerous circumstances. It is a hinderance to crime prevention and it only serves to encourage it in it’s present form.

    Findings, of single members of the Tribunal have been known to ignore victims claims for courageous acts in the prevention of crime carried out in and from Ireland on crime taking place within the E.U.

    The amount of the reforms I suggest are the following:

    -7-

    - Higher public profile to victims who report crime;

    - Ease of access to claims by victims who report Crime;

    - More clarity and explanations in what they have to offer;

    - Practical and Comprehensive Explanations of their type of Crime cover;

    - Greater Budget in their Financial Resources to undertake more responsibility;

    - Better printing material to educate the public;

    - Reform of their existing remit to serve adequately the needs of society;

    - Changes in their Garda Report Form as used in their procedural claims to include more effective information;

    - Visits to the Province outside of Dublin and more person to person meetings;

    - More reform to enable them to serve the State Public Policy for righteous messengers wrongly charged on a case by case basis when the agenda of the D.P.P cannot do so;

    -8-

    - To examine any case where the defendant believes that he is being victimised in the reporting of crime and for their report to be sent to the D.P.P before a decision is made whether to prosecute.

    - Powers to arbitrate for the relief or elimination of expenditure incurred during Crime Prevention eg. Rates, Light & Heat, Bank Interest, Tax Relief etc.

    - To Remove the rigid stringent time rule when making a claim and to replace it with a flexible practical procedure. This new rule would replace many claims made by honourable people and allow them reasonable time to recover from their dangerous ordeal so that justice to them is seen to be done.

    - To review the remit to remove any further obstacles that are seen to purge a clients claim.

    -9-

    It is official that local authorities have no policy on Crime Prevention and do not give you Rates Relief if you incurred that expense when reporting and preventing a Crime.

    I would like to conclude by showing to you in these submissions criticisms and reservations in the system of Irish Criminal Law as we have it and the authorities and financial regulators under which the righteous person abides by. My submission will include the following:

    1. The Institution of Irish Banks and their Management verses The Accountant and other Righteous Professional Business Persons;
    2. The Institute of Bankers in Ireland; and
    3. Accounting Profession;
    4. National and Local Press;
    5. Solicitors.

    1. The Institution of Irish Banks and their Management versus The Accountant and the Righteous Professional Business Persons.

    It’s a lie to talk about an all embracing voice of Code of Ethics between the Banks and professional advisers particularly accountants. “The bank managers are the mullahs”. Forget the over legislated professionally qualified accountants, the mullahs (bank managers) are enveloped in “a cuirass of unpenetrable dogmatic secrecy in a sterling sanctuary”…… a depressing, stifling, choking influence which drives less confident accountants and unqualified and inexperienced business people into crime or persecute the righteous honourable public.

    And why do these people move to crime?. They fly from sham and hypocrisy of trusting bank managers in search of their perceived reality and truth of how actual codes of proper business behaviour is overlooked.

    -10-

    The bank are legislated but the bank Managers are not and neither are the employees of banks to any reasonable transparent or accountability for their mistakes and wrongdoings. The ombudsman for credit institutions does and excellent job but his terms of reference restricts his governance of greater dimension where real business matters.

    The conventional wisdom about the Professional Code of Practice of Accountants is that it facilitated the development of a national identity and a cohesive professional working practice in an emerging state and that it’s authority began to wane when prosperity and education gave bank manager enough spunk to think for themselves. On the basis of current evidence, bank manager’s gridlock is set to strangle the pastoral energy of the honest independent professional and business men.

    The institutional Professional Code of practice enshrined in Ethics of Accountants in Practice has not been absorbed in the institution of banks and the business relationships of bank managers, and their bank employees are not under pressure to make changes to accommodate the needs and duties to protect State Public Policy in this State. Instead the banks continue to defy it’s own prominence. Quite literally, the code buck never stops, because the Institution of Banks always puts the onus for responsibility on to others outside of the banks and clinging to their ever more rigid rituals with ever — decreasing levels of sensitivity. The message is clear: don’t legislate bank managers and their employees in their mistakes and wrongdoings particularly if you are a professional business person and you get locked up for voicing your civic duties and responsibilities. The common Law would dictate through legislation ‘Mirabile dictu’ (most marvellous to relate) each bank official denial that he heard your proper communication of caution.

    -11-

    Let’s make no mistake about it, bank Managers with the employees are paid to keep their mouth shut and with full approval of the Board of Directors of the Banks. The wise old owl hears but doesn’t speak contradicting ‘the listening bank’ as it is often referred to. Legislation does not penetrate the abuse of this privilege thus creating a maelstrom of incestual discourse against the common good and State Public Policy. How then can anyone wholeheartedly throw their support behind the advice of the D.P.P when he said that “no one has the right to silence when they have knowledge that would assist in prevention of Crime”. Legislation review is required to dislodge this gridlock thus enabling the free-flow of full consensual constructive energy to fulfil the intentions of the D.P.P.

    The Institute of Bankers should be seen to play a significant role and made to do so rather than resting on their laurels and remaining faceless. Thus the Central Bank must act immediately in this regard to uphold the retention of wealth and growth within the state.

    Made-to-measure change happens when it suits the bank institutions. Such as customers ‘Charter of Rights’ handed out in pamphlets at every branch. But this does not address the issue and merely play to lop service a vital organ in the bank customer relationships. Bank Managers are legislated to hear you when they say so but not to listen to you at anytime.

    Because of it’s self-proclaimed divine prominence, the Institution of Banks is insulated from self scrutiny and comfortably argue that the world of crime has gone wrong and not the bank. Thus vocations to up holding proper code of business practice are falling, not because the Institution of Banks is out of touch but because ordinary business people and independent qualified professionals, just can’t hack it. Everyone, it seems, is blamed for business wrongdoings and shortcomings save the bank manager and the institution of the bank itself.

    The effect of such phenomenon is that institution of banks is allergic to change and unable to listen to dissenting voices.

    -12-

    Concerned Professional Accountants and business people are entitled to express themselves in a democracy as much as any other group. Either way the idea that bank managers and the Institution of Banks might free itself from the maw of history and actually engage in significant social dialogue is an interesting prospect, but is it realistic?.

    If recent criminal cases and Tribunals tell us anything, their lesson is that, despite any claims the Board of Management of Banks may make, no single voice of a relevant concerned person operating under licence from the Minister (such of independent qualified auditors) is allowed to speak with both authority and credibility. The Institution of Banks may claim to support democracy outside it’s own walls but it’s mandate to represent it’s customers within the democratic process has little basis in fact. That’s why the prospect of a ‘qualified concerned voice’ needs to be handled with great political caution. For practical purposes, it’s appeal is highly suspect. Certainty will always attract some support but it won’t develop the democratic process for a transparent Code of Practice by bank managers and their employees when dealing with the public.

    It might be interesting to quote from the Bible Luke 6.5, the Manuscript D contains the followings, omitted in other manuscripts: “On the same day Jesus saw a man working on The Sabbath. He said to him: ‘Man if you know what you are doing you are blessed; but if you do not know, you are accursed and a transgressor of the law.”

    -13-

    2. The Institute of Bankers in Ireland:

    The following is the Transcript of a letter I sent to the Irish Times and published in July 1996.

    Banking Code of Ethics

    Sirs, – As a concerned professional dealing with Irish Banks, I am critical of the existing “code of ethics” promulgated by the Institute of Bankers in Ireland as shown on their brochure A Guide for Members (pages 6,7 and 8). This so-called code is not a proper “code of ethics” and is an indictment as to why such a reputable conservative and authoritative body should have been allowed to proclaim this without coming under the watchful eye of the Department of Finance and the Central Bank of Ireland.

    The reasons for my concern are as follows:

    The code is short, too general and not specific;

    It is not a complete code, as it should be, but rather a memorandum;

    The code is not positive and allows the preservation of face less members to remain faceless in a coat of ivory;

    There is no attempt to measure the degrees of accountability or to attribute responsibility to its members;

    The code resembles a preamble to those codes enshrined with the comparable institutes in the other European member-countries;

    There is no comparison between the written codes promulgated by other professional institutes in Ireland, such as accountants and solicitors. Given the serious responsibility and trust empowered to bankers, it is some wonder how any detection of crime can be effective when a person trusting, and “in confidence” with a solicitors banker would have to solely rely on the propriety of that member or employee of the bank, as it is loosely stated in the brochure.

    -14-

    The code is technically fraught with danger for any concerned and/or civic-minded person, professional or otherwise, in trusting a member or senior bank employee in difficult circumstances, lest the banker acts unwisely and shrouds himself in a veil of conspiracy to silence.

    Recent and new legislation legislates on important areas of bankers responsibilities, but this does not allow the Institute of Bankers of Ireland to acquiesce and do nothing more. Their memorandum states that their code is founded on mutual trust and public confidence. This should also include upholding state public policy, and be seen clearly to do so.

    During the Irish presidency of the European Community, I therefore call on the Minister, the Central Bank and Institute of Bankers in Ireland to show their true sense of responsibility and accountability and their solidarity with the other community members and to write it all down clearly, so that we can all know were we stand. — Yours, etc.,

    JOHN ALLEN

    21 Pery Court
    Pery Square,
    Limerick.

    ……………………………………………….

    Since the letter was printed in the Irish Times nobody wrote a letter to the editor making reference to it and that

  49. Tim – u have it above .On the bluebottle maybe it was an imported variety with the crate of bananas you encountered .The traditional Irish ones can swing and dance in this weather .

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