June 1, 2009

Schadenfreude is not an option

Posted in Banks · 143 comments ·
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Some of the oddest things about Germany are the soundtracks you hear in its hotels. Not for the first time in the past two days, Enola Gay by OMD, Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears, and Guns N’ Roses covering Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door have wafted out of the elevator.

These are songs I have not heard since the 1980s but, then again, there is a very 1980s – or, at least,1990s – feel to Germany. This feeling is most pronounced in Berlin – the capital not only of Germany, but also of the new Europe.

The place seems to have 1990s prices, for a start. We in Ireland should take note of these prices because Germany is, somewhat unexpectedly, the only country to have gone through a period of deflation stemming from its membership of the eurozone. This is unexpected because, 20 years ago, had you suggested that Germany would suffer economically from reunification and membership of a monetary union, many people would have thought you mad. Yet that is exactly what happened.

From 1995 to 2005,Germany suffered a decade of deflation, which was the only way it could recover from the excesses of reunification. Unemployment passed four million, and the price of all goods and services fell. It paid for the ‘unity boom’ with a long stagnation. However, its companies got stronger during this period and the country was, until the credit crunch, exporting more than ever.

As a result, it is now a highly competitive country, where exports lead economic dynamism and – while there are plenty of brands and posh shops around – there doesn’t appear to have been the mad consumer binge that characterised our own boom. An easy way to see how much more competitive Germany is than Ireland is to check the famous ‘Big Mac index’.

According to economic theory, the prices of Big Macs should be the same all over a monetary union. If they are more expensive in one place, prices must fall for that country to be competitive. Last Friday, in Berlin’s Zoo Station – which was made familiar to Irish ears by U2’s track on Achtung Baby, when the band captured the zeitgeist by recording the album in the city just after German reunification – a Big Mac cost €3.10.

In Dun Laoghaire – a place that has yet to capture the zeitgeist of anything – the same Big Mac cost €3.80.

Ireland’s Big Mac is 70 cent more expensive than Germany’s. Taking this as a percentage of the German Big Mac price implies that Irish prices are some 22 per cent above German prices. Therefore, taking the Big Mac index as our benchmark, if we want to become as competitive as Germany, our prices and wages have to fall by over 20 per cent.

On the weekend that we have to digest the financial disaster that is Anglo Irish Bank, consider what this rate of deflation would mean for our debt-ridden husk of an economy. If our wages have to fall by over 22 per cent but the interest on our debts remains positive – somewhere in the region of 3-5 per cent at very least – this means that the real cost of our debts will rise by 25 per cent.

This will drive the entire country into default as no one, no matter how well protected they are from the current downturn, can deal with these debt dynamics and this type of debt deflation.

With this in mind, let’s consider the Anglo debacle. The Anglo €4 billion-plus write-down announced last Friday effectively put an extra €4 billion onto the national debt, which is already rising rapidly (technically, the Anglo debt is not on the exchequer balance sheet, but it is the liability of the state).

The fact that the golden circle’s and the directors’ loans will also be written off just adds salt to the wounds. In economic terms, this announcement copper fastens Ireland’s pariah status throughout the rest of Europe.

Why buy Irish government bonds if the Irish game is simply to borrow as much money today to pay for debt that has already been written off? In financial terms, we are borrowing from tomorrow to pay for yesterday and, even more egregiously, poor people are being asked to bail out very rich people.

The major question that needs to be answered now is why we are keeping this pathetic ‘bank’ going at all? Cui bono?

There is no systemic interest in Anglo Irish Bank. It all smacks of banana republic stuff, with elites being saved simply because they are elites. This has not gone unnoticed in Germany. Last night, I spoke to someone who is very close to its government who said that the Germans were livid with the Irish.

They are angry with the Financial Regulator, which allowed delinquent bank Depfa to lend out trillions of dollars from its IFSC base without asking any questions. This bank, which was bought by another German bank, Hypo Real Estate, in 2007, nearly brought down the entire German financial system last October. Only a massive injection of cash from the German state kept the system afloat.

A Bundesbank auditors’ report, published last Thursday into the Depfa scandal, was damning of the Financial Regulator and, by extension, the whole operation of the IFSC.

There is also anger in Germany about the stance that the European Central Bank (ECB) is taking by lending cash to the delinquent Irish banks via its discount window (outlined in this column last week).Germans see this as away for the Irish government to finance its own deficits through the back door.

Finally, they see that the bonds the state will issue to cover the €80 billion financial hole that is the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) – itself the result of greed of Irish bankers and developers – will effectively be funded by the ECB, which will advance cash to the Irish banks on the basis of the Nama bonds as collateral.

Germans see this as the ECB – shorthand in Berlin for prudential German savers – bailing out the Irish and rewarding bad banks, bad bankers, bad regulators, bad loans and, ultimately, a bad government with a failed ideology.

But under this anger lies something more troublesome for Germany. The Germans know that they have waltzed up an economic cul-de-sac. In many ways, Germany is Europe’s China. It is the world’s biggest exporter; years of deflation have ensured this.

This means that Germany is totally dependent on the rest of the world to keep buying its exports. It knows that it needs us to keep buying its BMWs with borrowed money for it to prosper. Like China, although it might not like it, the German model of growth is as much based on a false premise as ours.

We felt we could continue borrowing their money to buy their goods, and they thought they could continue lending without a bubble building up. Now everything has come to a halt. The IMF has suggested that Germany will suffer a 6 per cent contraction this year. Its fiscal deficit will be €80 billion, twice the figure during the height of reunification. Maybe it is no wonder that Germany is angry. Anger is sometimes only a reflection of helplessness.

But sitting in Café Einstein on Unter den Linden, looking out at the tourists at the Brandenburg Gate, it’s fair to say that, compared with Ireland’s issues, I’d take Germany’s problems any day.


  1. severelyltd

    I was in Germany for the first time a few weeks ago and was amazed at their society. A few things that caught my attention were.

    1. Their public transport system worked.
    2. They have a smoking ban, which is optional for pubs that don’t serve food.
    3. The only people begging were punks. Very polite Punks I might add.
    4. Any place that sold glass bottles gave a deposit back when returned.
    5. Every beer they sold was amazing.
    6. You can drink on the streets.
    7. The Germans all wait for the green man before crossing the road. Even when there is no traffic.
    8. Wait in the same spot for an hour in a city and you’ll see a peaceful protest of some sort.
    9. They all spoke some level of English. Mostly better than our own.
    10. Poverty was nowhere to be seen.

    The thing that surprised me most was German efficiency appeared to be myth. Everyone seemed way to chilled out.

    They man be suffering economically but it is hard to see it’s affect on their society compared to here.

    And yes, I would prefer to live there also.

  2. I spent the last 14 years working with Czech and Polish highly skilled workers and living in Poland and Ireland for the last few years I was always amazed at the difference in prices between the two extremes East and West. I attended the 2005 European of the Year award ceremony in Warsaw and watched Bertie be awarded Man of the Year from the Business Chamber of Commerce in Poland for his contribution to opening up Ireland to the Polish unemployed. And they left in their droves to the land of plenty.

    Having been on the ferry and train to London in 1985 I know exactly what it was like for those seeking work in a foreign country and being involved in those communities I heard the comments of how we lived beyond our means. But of course we were not hearing any of this… We were the shining light of EU membership walking the Red Carpet like movie stars with everyone wanting to be like us.

    It turns out we were the Winona Rider of European consumerism. Wanting more than we were able or willing to pay for.

    President MacAleese said we were “the basket case of Europe” back in the 80′s and while we were “good for it” we went on a credit induced binge and now we know it was nothing more than fur coat and no knickers.

    So like Amy Winehouse we are faced with going to rehab and learning to live within our means or postponing the inevitable until we hit the wall. That to some extent is what Fianna Fail and their core supporters seem to be doing. Still in denial like addicts they just can’t face the truth, and continue to claim that their mandate allows them to dictate to the masses (who actually voted for them) that they know the way out.

    Fat cats. Fat chance.

  3. VincentH

    What I do not understand is why the policy makers are so fixated with wage inflation. Do they not realize that all Cbama and the Fed Res has done is get up to speed. That trillion is not an injection it just covers what the Banks have created. What he has done is devalue the Dollar with the expectation that wage inflation will do the cleaning up.
    And this is what I do not get about the Irish banks, they are limited companies. Why not allow then to hit the wall. And systemic importance, to who and to what. All that is of any importance that could not be replaced in the morning is the branch network and the umbrella organ that allows that net to work. Or in other words their only performing asset. Again a liquidator could flog it in the morning. Now to this chrap that is going on at the moment with the European central bank, it does not matter one whit what it does as the US has devalued or put another way, has used Dollar to cover existing Bank Paper.
    As to NAMA, they have it backwards, make an offer for the network and allow the loan book find its own level in the market..

  4. De’ Fault – many Irish Families will have to trade in their own names to be indetified for what they believe in so that the post Lisbon Vote era will condemn them to generations of Slavery and Indentured Slavery.Among those names will include :

    Sean De’ Fault

    Aoibhinn Credit a’ Binge

    Maureen van Maxedout

    Finbarr O’ Cocane

  5. Malcolm McClure

    David said: “the German model of growth is as much based on a false premise as ours.”
    An article in yesterday’s Guardian discusses Germany’s fall from economic grace in detail:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/may/31/manufacturing-sector-automotive-industry
    If their economy shrinks by 6% this year then Germany can be crossed of the list of possible emigration destinations..

  6. G

    I lived in Germany from 2001-2002 and was back in Berlin this February and

    1) Apartments were not a commodity but a place where you and your family lived

    2) Prices were fantastic, on the Unter Den Linden (Berlin’s main thoroughfair) I bought a coffee for 2.20, on the way home a sandwich from an attitude ridden air hostess was at the preposterous price of €5.00, needless to say I didn’t buy

    3) On leaving Cork airport I was charged €18 because my bag ‘was over weight’ – on return in Berlin I was not charged, instead the charming lady gave me a smile (so much for the Germans being dour)

    4) Rents for apartments have been kept low by the authorities, quality of life seemed more important

    5) In Berlin I could hop on the strassenbahn (tram) anytime, anywhere, or the metro, or the bus or I could cycle, when I came out at Cork airport I had to pay a taxi driver 15 euro to get home, it was 20 by the time I got to the door because the guy gave me his life story (part of a cunning plan no doubt)

    6) The Germans are a somewhat anal bunch no doubt (all goes back to upbringing by parents, schooling and guilt ridden history), but once you get to know them they are dependable, loyal and will give you the shirt off their backs, they also produce excellent beers, have AMAZING towns like Weimar, Freiburg, Heidleberg, and don’t even mention the south like Munich, the Black Forest and Lake Constance, their recycling system is second to none, when you bring back beer bottles to the supermarket the machine gives YOU money!!!!!

    7) While the Germans took the financial hit (they were never into short term solutions because they know it leads to long term pain) after reunification, they know they are shaping up to be the most important country in the world after the US and China!!!!!! Berlin is built to be the capital of Europe (just go see the area around the Reichstag), football may not be coming home, but the world economy is!!

    • IMO

      Why do people like ‘G’ complain about living in Ireland. I’m not an apologist for the government or the banks but he/she/it are just kicking Ireland when i’ts down. A bit of national pride wouldn’t go astray:
      - Ireland has excellent places too, Dingle, Killarney, the Burren, Kilkenny (I’ve not been but I’ve been assured it’s a great spot) etc.
      - Germans make great beers no doubt, Ireland makes great whiskey and stout
      - airlines have a monopoly so they can charge anything they like for a coffee (your bag being overweight is your own fault and the check-in person should’ve charged you; why should passengers with little baggage subsidise you?)
      - I could go on in relation to your post but I won’t.

      From speaking with foreigners that have come to Ireland they all love it (apart from it being expensive), and why wouldn’t they? I’m sure if you asked some Germans they’d be able to list many problems with where they live.

      There are many things wrong with Ireland, public transport, planning, customer service etc. If you don’t like it go back to Germany – we’d all be better off!

      • wills

        Dingle charges 80 euro nightly for B n B for a tacked on cavity concrete blocked ‘joe the farmers labourer built for a nixer’ extension, with a view out the window of the backyard of a pub’s storage for beer geg’s.

        Killarney is one street lined with the tackiest junk selling a leprechaun image of Ireland to the dumbed down dopes of middle America looking for a sense of place in the world.

        Irish stout is British owned.

        THe foreigners love the geography and the history and the castles and the smallness and the coastal features and the diversity of the landscape ie, burren, wicklow mountains, shores of donegal, ring of kerry, baltimore beech, roundstone………. etc etc,

        Anyone who thinks the foreigners just love irish society and the people an d their mores and culture are been fooled by visitors good manners toward the host.

        • theguardian

          Firstly, I wasn’t born here, but lived here a long time. So I have lived long enough to appreciated to make the best out of my surroundings. As much as I like to compliment some aspects of Ireland that are unique in it’s own way, Ireland do need to pull their socks fast.

          They are falling behind on several European tables, whether it is for healthcare or public transport or recycling or urban and suburban planning, etc… This list could go on for quite a while.

          Saying that, Ireland has made some changes, positive ones, the Luas, the emergence of recycling, no-smoking ban, plastic bag charge. All of these have been a step forward. They were going in the right direction, but it needs to be moving at a quicker pace, and several essential basic services are still in tatters, like water service, absolutely scandalous when this is suppose a first world country, and with the eastern european countries emerging with their newly EU status, Ireland should be worry, and really need to put the foot on accelerator, time for dittering is well and truly gone. 2009 will be remembered as the year when the Irish government incompetence is exposed!! They can’t hide those development plans which costs a fortune in consultancy fees are now being shelved, or the essential services for elderly and disable being cut, etc…

          This will shed a new light on this concept of low-tax regime. Fianna Fail tag line should be more like some progress made, a very big load more to do!!!

        • IMO

          Wills, my problem with G’s post isn’t so much with the argument, but rather the derisive tone of it and the use unfair comparisons to make Ireland look worse.

          For example, I presume G flew Ryanair (for some baffling reason everyone’s pet hate). If G flew from France to Germany and paid €5 for a sandwich would that make Germany expensive? No, Ryanair have a monopoly on in-flight catering and can charge what they like. This has no relationship to cost in Ireland.

          Severelyltd’s post did a far better job of pointing out differences and how Germany is a better place to live.

          I could complain all day about poor planning, our wonderful govt etc but what’s the point?

          Regarding your post:
          - I don’t go to Germany to meet the locals, I doubt that’s a major motivation for any tourist going anywhere.
          - I’m not sure how you managed to get so ripped off in Dingle, but you always had the option to go somewhere else. By staying there you were reinforcing the price.
          - Foreigners love Dingle, Killarney,Temple Bar etc for the so called ‘craic’.
          - Does Guinness being foreign owned take away from its Irishness? I don’t get your point. What would you consider Glenmorangie Scottish whiskey to be? or Opel? etc

          • wills

            IMO: my point on stout is its english intelligence run and ireland has sweet fanny adams to do with it except supply the physical labour.

            G’s tone is biting irony in full flow,. no cynic there from what i’ve read, just accurate relating of the facts on the ground level on this island currently over run with a culture of pygmies on a hot summers evening gagging for it.

            Surely to point of travelling is to experience the local cultures…!!!!!!!

            Temple BAr is a Kip. It stinks, it’s fu2king fillthy, chewing gum all over the kip, drunking sods stumbling all over the kip, every pub ought to be open and welcoming to all not just the loudest cheap trick or gobbiest cretin.

            Killarney town is a dump, it is a 5th rate tourist trick selling junk from slave shop in china and it does not speak of the ireland i’m from and there alot more people like me waiting to have their say on all of this grubbier some of our so callled irish citizens have been doing. I’m watching it all and taking it all down i can tell ye,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

          • G

            @ IMO

            It takes little or no effort to ‘make Ireland’ look worse, it does a pretty good job of it by itself.

            As for this ‘shut up and show some patriotism’ to the ‘why don’t you bugger off to Germany if you like it’ stuff…………well, what can I say……….

            I think IMO you would do your country more of a service if you stopped making excuses for being ripped off, for non-existent public services (transport, health to name but a few)…….it is precisely because I have a passion for Ireland (quickly diminishing) that I highlight some anecdotal evidence of a country quite simple not at the races.

            The natural beauty of Ireland (also quickly diminishing) is unquestionable, but the drive to Dingle especially from Killarney on is a farce………tourists are one thing, but ask those who LIVE here and more often than not (from those with a bit of nunace and basic standards) you will here a different story, I could relate many.

            It comes back to Keane and Saipan, it’s all about the facilities – they are just not good enough especially when you are being charged Manhattan prices for a latte or a 3 bed semi in some suburban hell hole while all the time the mantra from central government and PRAVDA/RTE was that we lived in the greatest country in the world (Pat Kenny recently said his biggest regret was not giving politicans a harder time or challenging the ‘general consensus during boom time – thanks for that Pat, don’t forget to pick up your cheque on the way out!!!!)………..I just don’t accept the road Ireland has taken vis a vis the lunatic government that has been running this place (and NO, we didn’t all buy into it)

            We now know, that most weree on the take, that Banks can do whatever the f**k they want and will be bailed out by the people they are f**king, that there is no accountability for State and religious order abuse, and the meek, far from inheriting the earth are told they are moaners who should head off to Havana.

            Now IMO, if you think I am going to sit at the back of the room because muinteoir says so, then you are living in a by-gone era. It is precisely because people didn’t speak up that are completely in the s**t, the politicians, the middle classes (senior gardai, doctors, solicitors, civil servants) didn’t speak up about the crimes being carried out in the industrial schools, people in the banking sector didn’t speak up about the financial crimes and deals that were being done, those within the Dail didn’t speak up, so we know where it gets us.

            As you can see its about a bit more than a €5 euro sandwich and a tram outside an airport, which doesn’t exist. It is about who we have become as a race, as a people, maybe we were always like this, Yeats seemed to think so. Even so, there is the silent majority of Irish people who are not on the take, who have good souls by and large and who do their bit, day in and day out, without much financial reward (compared to M. Fingleton) or fanfare, now those people ARE worth fighting for.

            If I going to stay on this crazy island (and that is open to question), I want to play a role in making it a fairer more equitable Ireland, with an integrated transport system with more that suggested schedule timetable and affordable sandwiches :-)

            Come on Joe Higgins!!!!!!!

  7. SLICKMICK

    Why has Sean Fitz never offered an apology?.I was in Reading last week and the amount of Irish people that have moved over in the past 6 months is incredible-professionals and manual workers alike.Emigration is helping the Irish economy right itself again.Don’ agree about the importance of Germany-their population is going to fall by 10 mill in the next 30 years.

    • G

      @ Slickmick – “Why has Sean Fitz never offered an apology?”

      a) because like many of his ilk, he feels he has done no wrong
      b) he wonders why the ‘plebs’ are so ungrateful for all the good work he did
      c) he doesn’t give a s**t (he can afford not to)

      The choice is yours………………

  8. Slimick – you have a lot to learn about Irish Banking and Crime .Apology is never a word that they use or will even think about no matter whatever .Banking Crime has been a real culture and legal in Ireland for years and years .Revisit my sumisission on 12 th Feb 2009 page 2 and read all of it ( search archives above under articles ) .

  9. Wills / Tim – finally found it all .

    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 was published.
    I therefore call on the Institute of Bankers in Ireland to do so now.
    ……………………………………………….
    -15-
    3. Accounting Profession
    The Accounting Profession is very well regulated and made Accountable to the Minister. However, I find it difficult to understand why one Accounting Association insists that all complaints from aggrieved Irish persons should have to be sent to London and an English lawyer employed there should scrutinise the complaint in London that inevitable ends up being spin spun and muzzelled to an English melody and may fail to reach the investigation level at which the Irish Government has only it’s first right to participate. I consider this procedure to be a serious weakness and does not serve well the State Public Policy in Ireland or the Irish clients of it’s members. I am referring to the Association of Charted Certified Accountants.
    4. National and Local Press:
    Without good journalism and reporting we would not be as well informed as we are today. However, I am concerned by the methods employed by some journalist reporting on criminal cases at national and local level. In my experience I have seen and observed in the Four Courts how certain journalist sit in for part of the hearing and move around the building visiting other court hearings. They obviously do not stay for the full hearing in many cases and habitually negotiate themselves beside the prosecuting team peeping at their files. This is a contempt of court proceedings and should be seen to be stopped. They should be made to wear clear clothing with identification that at all times they can be observed by court officers and their whereabouts.
    -16-
    5. Solicitors:
    I believe that firms of solicitors should be compelled to take on a % of their clients that wish to take action against a bank which that firm also acts on behalf of.
    ______________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________
    It seems informally difficult to get the bank management to utter the innocuous word “sorry”, but rather the course of going to law and telling lies and deceiving the public into thinking ‘bluff and bluster’ will prevail in the Courts, that oratorical powers will sway any jury and obscure any inconvenient fact.
    The civic righteous victim is shown by the forces of law and order as a device shadowed by conviction and not as a person of conviction upholding State Public Policy or at stated by Aristotle “the field of public honour”.
    -17-
    In my personal experience of malicious victimisation and ostracisation I was offered in writing from the Bank of Ireland professional advice signed by the Regional Manager in Dublin “take and Action for false imprisonment against the Garda Authorities” , as this “is the appropriate route”. This advice was made after Gardai released me after questioning and told me that they would not be pressing any charges, and before the Bank Officials completed their written evidence into the ‘Book of Evidence’ that directly and reluctantly led to me being charged by the D.P.P.. The Justice of The Central Criminal Court directed the Jury of “an acquittal” verdict immediately after he cross examined the Regional Manager and without any defense entered and graituously awarded me some costs.
    I was being demonished for my beliefs by the bank officials. Needless to say in good time after the trial the special Fraud Square, after examination of special evidence listened to my complaint and agreed to carry out criminal investigation into the Bank Officials and sent their file to the D.P.P.
    As a person who was born and lived all his life in Limerick just across at the other side of this river from this new and wonderful building, I can feel the chimes of the church bells. The constant roar of the Curraghgabhar Falls must have been thereapeutic and energetic. There is magic in those waterfalls when the tide is out and when standing beside them one can feel the tectonic pressure beneath the earths crust as it generates tremendous amounts of piezo- electricity.
    The economic trend in Irish banking today indicates that Irish banks today, as we know them, will not be the same in ten years time. Shareholders of these banks will be different by then too. But the customers will not change and they will continue to be you and I.
    Bank management need to be legislated to protect he stakeholder…… the customer ….. the good neighbour ….. the civic the righteous.
    The currency of banks should include proper governance of the responsibilities and duties of management and the licensing of all management personnel.
    -18-
    To the Minister for Justice I salute you in your quest to implement ‘zero tolerance’, in this state for Serious crime.
    To you Minister I and your electorate would like to see your visible vested interest by showing how you can today very clearly show how you can guarantee 100% safety to a righteous person reporting of a serious crime today to impending injured third parties, other than the Gardai and to remove the judicial adversary system and the game of baccarat a righteous messenger is forced to play with his life. I will put my licence to practice on the table to tell the truth if you can assure me the banks have to do the same. The cavalier use by the banks of the genuine trust of righteous civic persons and their contempt for the truth and common honesty of the people needs to be legislated against. The anthromorphism of banks and its iconisation has led to a contagion of collapsing moral in Irish Society today that can only lessen the virility of the Irish Punt sooner rather than later.
    Minister….. your zero % tolerance today requires your 100% support to those that report on serious crime other than to the Gardai. Your support should include your assurance to the complainant to full freedom of information between the Gardai and the D.P.P where the complaint submissions have been made to the D.P.P. on criminal investigations reported to by the Gardai by righteous persons reporting of suspions of serious crime to pending injured third parties and your support to my written request to The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to request the appointment of an “Inspector to the Bank of Ireland”.
    Show me now how you can assure me of your full support in writing, and how I can feel safe today that I can cooperate with you on your zero % tolerance.
    -19-
    Minister…….. you need my vote to support your zero % tolerance and I need your vote of 100% safety.
    Finally, my complement goes to the Garda Fraud Bureau for their expertise I have witnessed and to their professionalism in dealing with difficult and dangerous situations. We are very fortunate to have such body of able people to serve our society well.
    Signed:
    _____________________________
    John Allen
    Copy sent to Chairman of European Central Bank on Tuesday 10th February 2009. ECB responded stating that national Irish Banking is not directly under their remit.

    * JohnD15 | 14 Feb 2009 4:43 pm

  10. Slimick – This is your answer :

    ‘It seems informally difficult to get the bank management to utter the innocuous word “sorry”, but rather the course of going to law and telling lies and deceiving the public into thinking ‘bluff and bluster’ will prevail in the Courts, that oratorical powers will sway any jury and obscure any inconvenient fact.
    The civic righteous victim is shown by the forces of law and order as a device shadowed by conviction and not as a person of conviction upholding State Public Policy or at stated by Aristotle “the field of public honour”.’

  11. René

    severelyltd, Fully agree. Was in Germany a couple of years ago for a couple of months and had a good taste of Germany. Everything works and mostly based on fairness.
    For example: While in Germany. I bought a camper van to go travelling through Europe. I discovered you simply can’t buy a dodgy and cheap vehicle from any of the dealers. If you discovered you were done by a dealer you can always report it, whihin a year of purchase, to the authorities and the dealer can loose his license. So no car dealer will take that risk. I even went to the remote places to see if I can buy a cheap vehicle to convert to a camper van or fix whatever is wrong with it, but no chance. Even if you’re willing to pay for it. When I was travelling in South Germany I hardly saw any police. Why? Because is there is no need to I guess.

    Before glorfying Germany even more I like to add that It is the general mainland European culture of trying to make the best of daily living. We in Ireland can’t even plant a tree for God’s sake in public amenities or it has to be protected by a steal wire frame. I was in Portugal a couple of weeks ago for the frist time. Where did we get the notion that it is a poor country and also travelled from top to bottom? Just look at the infrastructure and all the public amenities in villages and towns. There is no comparison with Ireland. Yes, it can look poor for example in Porto. Lots of rundown buildings but at least the state has done their best to put everyting in place. Infrastructure, public transport, clean streets and I didn’t see any signs of vandalism. Of course there are somewhere but I didn’t see it. Here in Ireland the signs of vandalism is all over the place and people may be tired of it and just can’t be bothered making anything look nice. I risked planting a small tree in my front garden a few days ago and it was taken out 3 days later. (I live in a respectable town)

    All over Europe you see these beautiful towns and villages where people can simply put flower pots outside in the strees beacuse they don’t have front gardens. Here, there is always someone peeing in it or get sick in it after a good night’s drink. If you’re lucky it is not removed.

    • Dilly

      Rene, I will have to go to court in a few months time, and give evidence against vandals in our neighbourhood, they were finally caught, but, over the years they have caused thousands of euro worth of damage, you name it they have damaged it. Not that this court case will stop the vandalism, it still goes on. And these teenagers all come from good homes, and they have never known a hard day in their lives, they have everything they could possibly want, but, they still act like scumbags.

  12. wills

    John ALLEN: I just showed my ‘better half’ your breath taking post and she is dumbstruck.

  13. wills

    G, Severelyltd,rene: Fully agree with you guy’s on all points on Germany.

    I’ve lived and visited germany now for the last 20 years.

    Germany do not export the best of their foodstuffs.
    For example, most german wine growing regions keep the best for themselves.
    German bakeries are like something out of a hans christian anderson fairytale.
    Regions in germany deliver to the door bakery goodies every morning.
    First time i witnesses drivers at traffic lights turning engines off to prevent fumes, 1988….!!
    Germany was the first place i came upon whereby re-cycling options up and running in local towns and cities, 1990.
    Germany offers agencies in every town i think its called mitzfranthral, one can pop along find out if anyone is going to any town in germany and you get a lift, all one does is chip in for petrol monies and brilliant way to find out about the real germany, long trip with a german in a car.
    After WW1 the allies stripped Germany of it’s patents on most of the innovative products we all use to-day.
    German’s mostly rent and community is central to all town and city councils in a real way not just paying lip service.
    Autobahns no speed limits, this is true, people think it’s a tourist fiction,.
    German beer is delivered to ones door in re – fill bottles and it’s brewed properly, no fermaldehyde, beer brewed naturally. And 3000 options, one could spend the rest of one’s life travelling germany sampling the beers, eating at bakeries, visiting the astonishing castles and have a ball.

    • G

      @ wills spot on…………. way ahead of the game in some respects (if we are allowed to acknowledge as such then maybe we would get a chance to emulate with our twist of Irishness)

  14. René

    wills, I think every German family outside the big cities make their own jam and allotments are so common. We use to do that here in Ireland before or am I wrong. The Sunday markets are coming up in Ireland but unfortunately the prices of products are so high that it is not worthwhile for me and I am sure for many others to buy it in Lidl or Aldi.
    Can we copy that concept of the Germans? I think we can do that only with a new Gov. New thinking, new idealism, etc. On the other hand, Hmmm . . . .. .. Not so sure!

  15. Tim

    David, “… it needs us to keep buying its BMWs with borrowed money for it to prosper.”

    We all know that this is flawed and has, actually, already stopped. This cycle is akin to our own one of selling houses to eachother, bought with borrowed money from the middle East, as well as Germany, while the developers got tax-breaks and the buyer paid stamp duty (tax) to the government. Many buyers then just flipped the house for a profit and the new buyer paid more stamp duty with more borrowed money.

    Sales of new cars have fallen over the cliff – especially the expensive German ones. The wealthy shysters in Ireland and elsewhere have sucked all the money out of Germany and the demographics are such that, although relieving some symptoms of the crash in the short term due to lower population, there will be insufficient people of working age to lift Germany out of the recession in the long term. Irish emmigrants to Germany may help there.

    Surely, this all goes back to Des Traynor running a bank from his office at CRH and Charles J Haughey seeing how well the big boys got away with Ansbacher decided to set up the IFSC to do the whole thing more “legitimately”? The few boyos at the top with the “Lease, Fleece and Leave” mentality have done exactly that. Now the taxpayer is picking up the tab.

    …. And what is this: “The fact that the golden circle’s and the directors’ loans will also be written off just adds salt to the wounds.”???

    Does this mean that Seanie Fitz does not have to repay that €85 million he borrowed from his own bank?

    Does it mean that I have to chip-in as a tax payer to pay off Seanie’s debt now???

  16. Tim

    wills, take a look back at your post last night with the link to Harris article, when you get a chance.

  17. SeanOC

    I would find it amusing if it was not true that the German govt actually point the finger at the Irish regulator for DEPFA in the IFSC – ask anyone who knows the institution in Dublin.

    The first point is that DEPFA (or Deutsche Pfandbrief Bank) is about as Irish as the ‘frankfurter’. It moved its HQ to Dublin in 2002 which is where 90% of its activities were based and then became the responsibility of the Dublin regulator.

    This is a bank that only lent to top quality credits in the public sector (only); it was AA rated and had only one credit default in its 80+ year history. That is until it was acquired by the riskier and weaker rated German based property lender Hypo Real Estate in the summer of 2007.

    Even on the day of the announcement DEPFA was put on watch for a downgrade by the rating agencies as a result of the takeover.

    When the acquisition was consumated the merged entity became the prime responsibilty of BaFin and they had a year in charge of monitoring this.

    The key issue here is less to do with regulation and more to do with a merger of two very different institutions (1) DEPFA with low risk government loans which facilitated longer term liability financing and (2) Hypo Real Estate with higher risk property loans – doesnt take a genious to see that this was going to pose problems. If DEPFA were to lose its high rating (higher than Hypo) its funding model would collapse – which it duly did when the merger was announced and finally fell to BBB (5 notches lower pre-merger) after the fall of Lehmans.

    The anti-Irish sentiment relating to Hypo/Depfa is political spin (elections due in Sept) and probably failure of our own regulator to see the full picture and point this out clearly to Germany.

    On a general note when it comes to the emerging group of ‘paddy-whacking’ Germans it may also be useful for our so-called administrators to remind them that, aswell as us buying their BMWs, their banks/institutions lent massively to Ireland through the boom. So much so that the equivalent of 12% of Germany’s GDP is now directly exposed to Ireland. So if they managed to persuade Mr Trichet & Co to cut off ECB funding (our lifeline) Germany and the UK (our next largest creditor) will sink! You might think of Ireland as irrelevant, but we are not, we have the highest per capita indebtedness in the world and as a ‘failing’ member of the eurozone a massive domino effect would follow. We should carefully remind our UK and German friends of this fact when it comes to pulling the plug. Think of our debt as a type of weapon of mass destruction.

    By the way I have said it before on this site – it is naive to think that we can let Anglo fail (however tempting to bulldoze the entire thing). If we do this we might aswell let all the banks fail – as well as Joe public – they and we are completely interconnected. That’s the financial system for you – get over it! But if Daithi ever did take over and it was allowed happen, get out of this country – and quick!

    • wills

      SeanOC: I hope in your cool clean calculating intelligence you will afford me my democratic right to determine for myself as to whether i am interconnected with a grubby greedy bank or not, and whether i have the chutzpah or not to be able to run a bank better than what i see on offer presently.

      On the DEPFA issue,. whatever one speaks on in it’s intrigue one thing is indisputable, they did it here cos they couldn’t in the FAhterland. So our regulators were either asleep at the switch or bribed or both.

      • SeanOC

        you have your opinion – uninformed as it is.

        • wills

          I see, so you are dictating to me then on what my opinion ought to be then, which means agreeing with your goodself i suppose.

          Again,. i ask of you, please don’t assume on my behalf , i will decide if my fate is ‘interconnected with rotten rotten rotten greedy corrupt banks or not. Please, let me decide for myself.

        • wills

          …….and my viewpoint is………….. kill Anglo Irish Bank now it’s a dead parrot. And, nationalise the other drunken sod banks and re – invent the banking system through credit provision as a public utility and not as a weapon to clobber the more vulnerable, weak, eejits easily led and traumatised over the head with it to control them and fleece and sharecrop them into an early grave.

          • SeanOC

            …and my point if you “kill” Anglo you destroy the lot. Anglo’s €100bn + balance sheet is funded by the ECB; the Irish Banks; and about 80k UK and Irish depositors. Now maybe you dont care about what happens them but if Anglo defaults this state could not afford to nationalise a pet shop!

    • Malcolm McClure

      SeanOC: Excellent contribution to the debate. Your comments here more frequently would be appreciated, but I expect you are too busy doing constructive things in the economy to spare this blog the effort.

      Wills: Your reference to Germany as ‘the Fatherland’ reminds me of references to Ireland as ‘the Ould Sod’ by some posters here. This difference in patriotic attitude points up the difference between a country composed of provinces united by language and a country divided by language.

      As Terry Wogan replied sharply to someone who said that he hadn’t been back to the Ould Sod for years–
      “It’s rude to talk about an aged parent like that”.

      • wills

        I did not reference germany to the fatherland. I used the term as a noun, in what reference i leave it to the motives of the reader to determine. Int

  18. wills

    David: excellent article as far as i am concerned. All point’s are spot on. Nail the facts for what the facts are and not what the spin doctors and bank robbers and cronies and hooches and greedy fumblers in the till want us all to swallow and believe.

    Keep at it David, spread the word the truth and blow the whistle on the corruption now reaching it’s zenith in full blown pillage and plunder on this countries resources peoples and future.

  19. [...] Borrowing from tomorrow to pay for yesterday “Ireland’s Big Mac is 70 cent more expensive than Germany’s. Taking this as a percentage of the German Big Mac price implies that Irish prices are some 22 per cent above German prices. Therefore, taking the Big Mac index as our benchmark, if we want to become as competitive as Germany, our prices and wages have to fall by over 20 per cent. [...]

  20. JSpain

    Sean: I agree with your point on system relevance for Anglo ‘interconnectivity’. The point is that it is difficult to sell the point that; to save ourselves we need to save the banks. It is stomach churning and rightly so to so many, but has to be done. The regulator that presided over this mess aswell as all of his winged monkeys should be fired for this!

    On Depfa you are spot on!! It suits the Germans to peddle this nonsense in election year. Depfa came here originally for tax reasons but then grew a large base out of the IFSC and this provoked the move of the HQ in 02. Depfa does vanilla lending so light touch regulation doesnt really benefit them. The mess started after the german regulated riskier HYPO took them over (as you say) so over to you fritz!

    • wills

      Wrong, jspain, it should be done, now, shut down ANIB now it is a DEAD PARROT and the it s closure will not bring down the irish economy that is blatant scaremongering of the ill informed.

    • wills

      IF you find denial so lonely you ought to join an old ladies knitting club.

    • wills

      SEanie, and J: I am a true believer in the free market. Funding the banks with taxpayers cash is socialism.

    • Dilly

      The Anglo Irish loan sharks should not be helped at all. But the government have made Anglo their No1 priority, simply because they are putting their mates ahead on their country.

      • Malcolm McClure

        Dilly: I think we need to be totally objective when assessing blame for the present mess. Fianna Fail and Cowen as Finance minister sleepwalked us into cloud-cuckoo land.
        I heard Lenihan’s interview on Newstalk this morning and he came across as a serious man, intelligen, almost out of his depth with the extent of his problems, but willing to listen to the best international advice available.
        He explained why the nation could not afford to abandon ANIB, why it was honouring its bonds and why the golden circle couldn’t be touched until they were brought to court. He also mentioned that most of the top bankers were students with his father, but the interviewer didn’t follow up with a question about crony capitalism. Considering his position a few years ago, I suppose he had no incentive to raise waves about the bankers shenanigans. However my impression is that he is doing a much as humanly possible to steer us through this quagmire.(leaving aside the question of ultimate culpability for getting us there in the first place.)

        He knows it is going to be a long haul. Ten years if we work hard, twenty if we carry on as usual.

  21. JSpain

    Wills aka Joe Higgins brigade: Despite your informed recommendation on ‘old ladies’, I think I’ll pass.

    • wills

      Sorry to disappoint, once again your stereotyping of me is incorrect. I am not a socialist of any kind. I am a true believer in the free market.

  22. wills

    SeanOC: If the authorities properly investigated this ANIB fiasco in a systematic way one will find all sorts of monies showing up that should be used to compensate the worthy.

    The overall system is not stacked up like a line of dominoes waiting to fall on ANIB’s liquidation.This is simply a rouse and a load of old cobblers been fed out to guess who, the taxpayer , to continue paying for a privately run business to hide all manner of things we will all find out in time,..

    • SeanOC

      I can assure you that you are wrong. Anglo is a festering boil (I agree) and I am not saying otherwise BUT the financial system does not respond in a way that would support your proposal of chosing is “worthy” or not to repayment. A bank with €100bn + of assets defaulting will cause a major domino effect.

      • Tim

        SeanOC, I do not understand this; a €100bn collapse by ANGLO would be catastrophic, but paying 80 – 90bn for NAMA instead is not catastrophic?

        Your post on DEPFA made perfect sense to me, yet I share wills’ revulsion at the notion of being somehow personally connected to a vile entity such as ANGLO.

        Can you please explain the apparent anomaly above?

  23. SeanOC

    :-) JSpain: waste of time with this fellow, he is counting down to the socialist revolution.

  24. JSpain

    Thanks again for your contribution Sean 100%. I’ll leave you and Mr Wills at it, but I’m off for a pint .

  25. wills – always glad to oblige .Actually , I had the complete oral submission filmed by my own crew and it’s on dvd now .The documentary is called ‘the green deception’.My local Limerick Leader had been used to writing wonderful things about me in my earlier younger years in the past before that event and included …..saving 9 gardai drowning under sarsfield bridge that included a superintendent since …….making national headlines on farmers tax break through where revenue had been wrong understanding their finance act .But the simple truth is the Limerick Leader had a senior reporter attending the national crime forum and would you believe he reported nothing what I had said eventhought he found it very interesting and was writing down a lot what as I spoke .You do know that Banks provide a lot of earnings to newspapers ….I dont think they would like to lose that would you ?
    Irish Banks are cunning and they have the licence to rob your money with them if they want to and we know they have done that too recently dont we? Hard earned cash lost by old aged pensioners and their families will never again be found and why?
    What is ahead of us now will be catastrophic for all of us and certainly ‘the field of public honour’ will not form part of any contribution from any Management Bord of any Irish Bank.They are declaring WAR on every Irish person .

  26. johninmunich

    “But sitting in Café Einstein on Unter den Linden, looking out at the tourists at the Brandenburg Gate, it’s fair to say that, compared with Ireland’s issues, I’d take Germany’s problems any day.”

    On an individual level, your average German is much better off than your average Paddy for the following reasons.

    1) He didn`t get involved in a speculating boom, so doesn`t have a 30 year mortgage around his neck.

    2) Only 10% of Germans play on the stock markets, so again very few have lost out there.

    3) The decrease in oil prices have also put more money in the Germans pocket, which is helping to keep retail sales pretty steady.

    4) Unemployment is rising, but not dramatically. In May the level of unemployment actually dropped by about 100,000 due to seasonal work.

    People are expecting things to get dramatic in the summer. But the attitude is that there`s still a long way to go to the record 5 million unemployed. The Germans have been through hard times before and know they can handle it.

    I live in Germanys most expensive city and was still able to get a two bedroomed apartment for 145k ten minutes train ride from the city centre a couple of years ago. Never mind the Big Mac index, I think this says enough about where Irelands problems lie.

    My German girlfriend visited Ireland with me in 2007 and after two days she came up with the following observations.
    1) Where the hell is everybody rushing to? Germany is ten times more laid back than this.
    2) It*s such a shame the Irish don*t look after their cultural history. Great castles, great history but you don`t use it.
    3) This place got too rich too quickly and it will all end in tears.

    I could go on but I think I*ve said enough.

    Ireland can count it*s lucky stars the EU is throwing it a lifeline. The Germans are no saints, but if there was one thing I wish the Irish would learn from them, it`s social responsibility.

    And one last thing. The Germans know this will be a long recession. There are no quick fixes. Amen.

    • G

      Throw in my American girlfriend’s lines:

      1) How much? (hourly basis)
      2) Why are a lot of people dressed in tracksuits? (my line on training for the 2012 Olympics was accepted amazingly)
      3) Is having dog poop on the street some sort of ancient custom?
      4) Do we really have to go to Shannon so I can fly home?

    • wills

      Can’t resist, a relative from englands top 4 observations on our great modern rep.

      1) whats that smell of sh1te and piss mixed with garlic in the air everywhere you go in Dublin.

      ………My response: (overrun sewage system, 100 years old, garlic is used to neutralise the sh1i smell, old fashioned trick.)

      2) Why is there dog sh1t all over the streets every where…. disgusting mate..!

      …….My response: (our filthy citizenry too laizy to pick up their dog crap)

      3) Why is it everyone spits their chewing gum on the ground and leaves it there.

      …….my response: ( emm, well, emm, well i think it’s, emmm)

      4) how is it people on the bus say to the bus driver thank you when getting off the bus…. thank you, thank you,.

      …….my response ( cos so relieved the sadistic bus driver has stopped the bus at their bus stop)

  27. wills

    Tim: checked back on that. Also, noticed malcolm posted you yesterday, may 30, 11.03pm, vouchsafing max flynn.. he left a nice little link there too,,,

  28. Tim

    wills, I failed to find Malcolm’s link, but I found this above from G:

    “It is about who we have become as a race, as a people, maybe we were always like this, Yeats seemed to think so. Even so, there is the silent majority of Irish people who are not on the take, who have good souls by and large and who do their bit, day in and day out, without much financial reward (compared to M. Fingleton) or fanfare, now those people ARE worth fighting for.”

    G, I am with you all the way on this. Well said! I am a fan of Yeats, myself, and a fan of the ordinary people I meet every day.

    Has anyone found any official announcements about what DMcW suggested above: that Seanie Fitz will not have to repay his 85 million loan to ANGLO?

    Let’s keep at it.

  29. Tim

    Folks,

    “This is Ireland’s darkest period.” (Mannix Flynn)

    If Mannix is correct when he states that the Religious orders have insurance to cover any monies that they might pay in compensation/redress to their victims, then we are truly bunched.
    He made clear that the vast majority of the wealth that the congregations have was donated/contributed by the PEOPLE, over time.
    Whatever money is paid in compensation to victims will be paid by the insurance companies.
    Who will pay for this in the end? The PEOPLE, again!
    In increased insurance premium on cars, houses, etc., PEOPLE will pay it.
    Many people who were victims of the abuse will end up paying the Religious Orders’ bill for compensation through increased insurance and maybe a government insurance levy.
    Mannix is right: we live in a state that cannot deliver us JUSTICE.
    Not only should Mannix Flynn be elected to Dublin City Council next Saturday….. He should be elected as the first elected Lord Mayor of Dublin — anything that gives him extra air-time to speak, because whenever he speaks we are hearing TRUTH.

    Malcolm, thanks for that link.

    Everybody else, listen to it here:

    http://newstalk.ie/newstalk/shows/recommendations/MannixFlynn.mp3

  30. Tim

    “The Emergency” here, covering Thornton Hall, Dunlop conviction and more:

    http://83.138.170.50/podcasts/audio/The_Emergency_-_Series_1_Week_12.mp3

  31. Great Article, I would totally agree with your main points. Ireland needs to get radical as did the Germans when people have no job. They work for there dole. Simple yet gives unemployed people motivation to work and also confidence and skills they need. We cant be paying for people to do courses while our streets are turning into Calcutta of Europe.
    Every night I go to sleep I hear cars driving a 100 mph down my estate, cars getting broken into and kids fooling around. This is frightening. I live in a normal lower middle class estate. Lawlessness is not an attractive trait in a country and things are getting out of control.

    • Dilly

      It is the same where I live, and my area is a beautiful place, it is not a slum. Yet the young people act like scumbags, the place is destroyed with litter, they smash parked cars, and house windows. They break anything that is not theirs. Even new trees that are planted, they don’t last long. Things normally quieten down during the summer (the Winter is the worst time), but I have noticed more people sitting around drinking, and there are more house parties, as these guys now have no summer jobs, or work in general. They still seem to have money for lager even though they are all out of work.

      • Thats the nature of people who are bored. We all have been there, getting drunk on cash we should of saved or paid the rent with. I work lots of hours but to be honest if I had beer vouchers and no bills I’d settle for that:).

        • Dilly

          No, these lads all live with their parents, they don’t pay rent. Some are in their 20′s and they still vandalise the place once they get drunk.

  32. gadfly55

    More of this David, the reality of Germany, by comparison with this scamocracy.

  33. gadfly55

    David, as you know well, it is not deflation, it is the quality of German manufactures that has brought them success in exports internationally, and that tradition did not start yesterday. You should also look at the differences in German financial and company organisation, including labour and government, by contrast with the Anglo-American systems. Compare CEO salaries as multiple of worker’s earnings in Germany with Britain, or Ireland. We are in the financial services industry as a sector generating disproportionate earnings for GDP by comparision with Germany who have a world-wide reputation for quality production in durable goods and production engineering and tooling. We prostrate ourselves for FDI in IT and pharmaceuticals, which can disappear in a year, leaving us devastated, as we only provide an educated, non-unionised work force easily replaceable, and a tax regime easily copied.

  34. Philip

    There are 2 stories going on here. The 2 issues damage one another when discussed together and cloud a lot of useful argument.

    1) Ireland’s Economy and the Banks
    Objectively the economy is interlinked with the european and world systems. Banks are similarly interlinked. Governments are trying to maintain some level of continuity by preventing a collapse and maintaining a level of business as usual. Letting banks burn arguably causes a runaway collapse. Germany’s growth was dependant on Ireland’s and similar’s access to cheap credit and growing consumerism. But as DMcW points out, we are in a cul de sac. The question is…Can the world reverse out or has the whole lot collapsed. I think evidence to date suggests nothing but collapse and little in the way of recovery. Cool heads may save the day – personally, I think we have damaged too many supply chains so much (due to massive credit squeezes) that we are on the verge of a communications blackout – becasue there is no money to keep financing infrastructure in the usual way – i.e. via advertising. We are down the road to nationalising all services and strategic thinking must change to accept this fact. If this means keeping the banks going etc. then I bow to the international experts.

    2) Ireland and its National Responsibilities
    The fact is that there is considerable anger which needs to be effectively focused. Getting the poor to finance the rich, the sweetheart deals, the complete lack of due diligence on the part of the regulator etc etc. Having worked with so many germans over the years, due diligence is like breathing to these guys and it’s simply down to routine. The Irish are every bit as good. But unlike Germans we put with too much nonsense. – something I feel is thankfully changing. This shock we are experiencing is an awakening. Time to grow up Paddy! Mind you judging by the rate we are loosing blue flags at many of our beaches, it’ll take time.

    Naturally in times like this, it can feel that being in a place like Germany or France is far better option. This should a personal decision. Personally, I feel your desire to live in these countries should be out of genuine interest for the people and their culture rather than an economic refugee. And ditto for Ireland.

  35. SLICKMICK

    Seeing as the fraud squad have been studying Anglo’s books, why have no charges been brought?.Why have the director’s loans not been called in?.Has Mannix Flynn ever explained why his penniless parents decided to have 18 children!?.Was buying a pack of condoms (illicitly) out of the question?.No personal responsibility.

    • wills

      John ALLEN: I suspect the lack of response to your docu above may boil down to the fact our courts function in reality on the ‘Unified Commercial Code’ and the liars in our courts keep that little secret to themselves and make us think we have something like ‘common law’.

      The above links i posted explains how this law code is constructed and why.

      • Philip

        You know, it’s all about knowing what to ask and being true to yourself.

        Is there a way of condensing yours and John Allen’s findings in a way that is 1) understandable (to me at least) and 2) be newsworthy enough to get people to ask the right questions. 3) appeals in a manner with which people can identify.

        Let’s face it, all courts are liable to crookedness by those most skilled in the oratorial arts. Is this not why advesarialism is needed to try right this issue. And even then we do need some black and white arguments to form the foundation of who we really are or we are lost. Is this not the issue in Ireland? An ignored constitution and a respect for oratory/waffle to send us back to sleep.

        Good luck to you.

  36. Philip – re : your question ; if you want learn then share the experience and go out into the real world and try to do real honest business .I dont think anyone can condense that in a few words .It means different things to different people .Re- read what I wrote above and pick your favourite three sentences and build on that .
    Oratorial skills are a wonderful Opera and can be fun but why should you have to pay exorbitant big bucks for it if you are the hero, that is a person of conviction who upholds State Public Policy, and not the conviction that they dwell upon.

  37. My experience shows the the transparency to the facts of what does happen to the ordinary self righteous in Irish banking business and can be a parallel to the abused child victims we now know in Irish Institutions of The State .
    Irish Banking should never have come to this low level as we have seen in recent months and I can be absolutely convinced this cesspool made possible by Irish Politics and their elected public representatives will always remain the same for a long time to come.

  38. Deco

    Interesting article. Yes, we can learn a lot from Germany.
    Some points. Germany is actually three distinct regions. South, East(the old DDR), and North/Central. The South is extremely innovative, extremely scenic, has amazing universities, is very co-operative to the US, and is home to some extremely well run enterprises that are world names. The East is on life-support, there is a lack of private sector enterprise, even though the infrastructure is first class, and even though Ossis are very hardworking. The rest is the standard version of Germany.

    The main thing we could learn from the Germans is the emphasis they place on personal responsibility. We are still a nation that has a sizeable element that blames the Brits, the Churches, CIE, etc…. I remember seeing a picture of Frankfurt in 1945. It was like a mound of ashes. American money did help, but the actual work had to be done to rebuild a new city. Interestingly enough, nowhere did I see any residual anger towards the Americans or the British, but instead an polite respect, and sense of gratitude. And a sense of responsibility that means that you must try and get your house in order and improve things. Put simply, the Germans are not into shirking responsibility. So while we start looking at Munich and saying why can’t Dublin Airport get it’s act together, we should also realise that the Germans go to the trouble of thinking very carefully about these things, not simply leaving the thinking to the powers that be (like the politically appointed Aer Rianta) and demanding that public investments get results, efficiently and in the common good.

  39. wills

    Derivatives are now been traded in privately managed clearinghouses with next to zero disclosure obligations. The clearinghouse of choice for the main banks in US involved in this CDS consortium is ICE U.S Trust, which is in turn regulated by the federal reserve system, only. (Google it).

    A similar clearing house is been set up in the E.U (link below)

    http://www.bandbstructuredfinance.com/CDSConferenceCallTheFuture.htm

    Could it be that NAMA is a vehicle set up to deliver our banks toxic assets which are largely made up of securitized loans (kept secret) to ship into this clearinghouse, which will end up on the q.t merely dumping the derivatives gambling stubs into a furnace and the end result across the banking system and it’s derivatives gambling debt will be a pile of ashes.

    • wills

      The emphasis on the ‘clearinghouse’ in the plan is a major loophole because little disclosure would be required for any ‘customized’ swap and once banks establish the designated carriers and quantities they all reach a common agreement in neutralizing the gambling debt.

      • Tim

        wills, that actually sounds like the “easy way out” that we should not take. It may set the toxic derivatives market at 0 again, but it will allow them to simply start the ball rolling anew. There has not yet been enough time for enough of us ordinary people to figure out what they did wrong in order for us to prevent them, by people-power, from ever doing it again. We need more time. Not enough people have adjusted their lifestyles and mentalities – as evidenced by their behaviour over the weekend: notions of entitlement and wastefulness, combined with disregard for others. People ruined beaches in the last few days with their rubbish, which included discarding their towells – too damn lazy to bring them home and wash them; too hung up on the credit cards they bought them with to consider them worth keeping; too selfish to consider the plight of their fellow citizens who would have to pick up their mess and that of the other people who would be upset at the desecration of their beautiful natural amenity.

        Obviously, alot of people have yet to learn a great many lessons. They need the rude awakening that will come if the “quick-fix” does not happen.

        I think the quick-fix is the last thing the Irish need. The littering hoards heading for the beaches at the weekend (so many in Wicklow, that the Gardai had to close some roads), do not need a change of government as much as they need to change themselves and their approach to their fellow-man; their lack of personal responsibility and accountability for their own actions.

        • adamabyss

          That’s just pathetic (ruining the beaches). The country just seems beyond redemption in so many ways. Obviously things can’t be that bad financially if people can still go round and about on a bank holiday causing mayhem, but on a social level we may as well chuck in the towel (pardon the pun). I have, bye Ireland, I doubt I will ever visit again. I advise everyone to get out before it’s too late.

          • wills

            adamabyss; these polymorphous perverse lumps of id hold all the cash, they handed out to each other over the counter. Its all a con and a fix and a fit up on the upstanding decent citizen. If you in any way apperared clean and responsible and asked for a loan the bank told you to go and sh!te, this is been going on for 10 years.

          • wills

            In order to qualify for a loan you had to don the look of an eastenders gangster, fat belly, gobby, stumpy, lechy, ape like in demeanor and you gained access to all the credit u asked for,,… i’m not making this sh1t up

        • wills

          Tim: My folks said killiney beech was destroyed by these pygmies.

          • Tim

            wills, “Put a beggar on horseback, and he will ………”.

          • adamabyss

            Yes, I’m clear on all that and agree with you wills about the bankers etc. but the fact is the normal ‘citizen’ doesn’t behave with any respect either – as is evidenced by their treatment of the beaches, public toilets, planted trees, cars, house windows, you-name-it. There is a fundamental problem with the whole Irish psyche and things will never get much better until that root cause is addressed. Everyone is responsible for their own actions but these sheep don’t seem capable of decent nor independent thought. I do, and my thoughts tell me there’s no point in wasting them in a place like Ireland – thankfully I left 20 years ago. No offence intended to anyone in particular.

          • Dilly

            If it was not for the fact that we have a ‘tidy town’ committee, who do a clean up every Monday of the year, we would be up to our necks in rubbish. And you take your life in your hands when trying to explain to people why they should not litter, they take offence at being told anything. I live near a river, and a wood, both are regularly used as rubbish tips. Just yesterday a teenage girl threw an empty Oasis bottle into my property, while she talked with her mates. I would not dare say anything, as she would probbaly arrive back with her whole housing estate looking for retribution. You just have to pick it up and bin it yourself in todays Ireland.

        • wills

          Tim: spot on. Pretend the gambling debts away and re – rig the game and start again. These b@ast@rds are a section of our community utterly intoxicated by the fumes of their own omnipotence stretching back into early childhood and been the sparkle in their mummys eye when daddy went out to work. I can spot them a mile away. One or two of them jump on here when it suits them doing a p!ss take.

          • wills

            can i also add tim, i’ve been studying these b@stards for 20 years and completed my research on them 4 months ago when i started blogging. and my research is all typed up and ready to be published, goin to be very interesting,,,

          • Tim

            wills, I cannot wait to read it! They have a new form of philosophy: “The Entitlement Era”.

          • adamabyss

            Like who wills? Might as well name names.

        • paddythepig

          Down south, if you walk between Courtmacsherry and Timoleague, you will see raw sewage in the bay water. The fishing trawlers in Courtmacsherry harbour, where they unload the fish before sending them onto the dinner plate, are surrounded by raw sewage.

          My mother always taught me to be hygienic when handling food, but not in my wildest dreams would I have dreamt that we would process our food in a live sewer.

          This is the legacy of Ahern, Cowen, and his disciples.

          Paddy

          Paddy.

          • adamabyss

            I look forward to reading that wills, if you are agreeable.

          • Tim

            paddythepig, Where or how did they process those fish 13 years ago, Paddy? Did the Rainbow government have a sewage-treatment plant in Courtmacsherry harbour that FF closed down?

            That is unforgiveable!

          • paddythepig

            Tim,

            What happened was that there has been a free-for-all with planning in the past 10 years ; the volume of houses has exploded, without the required infrastructure being put in place first. Cart before the horse, and all that.

            I was told by one local that FF were good for ‘getting you yer planning’.

            There is no sewage treatment in the Courtmacsherry & Timoleague area. It’s put out to sea, and it washes straight back in on top of them with the tide.

            Some kids still swim in the nearby beaches, which are fly-infested due to pollution.

            Paddy.

  40. Irish Banks have lost all their respect at home and abroad and are playing a remote fiddle from a bog where their world is weird as much as their policies are insane .Their power has waned on an eternal journey to the center of gravity of deceit and corruption with no return .Their Bord of Management has shown up Clowns that only circuses would love to employ and no doubt they would bring laughter to any ring of madness .
    Their Denials are as loud as thunder and their Whispers would deafen an Air Force 1 Jet Fighter .Their Credibility holds no water and their Actions only empower their Inept Management and Dent their Investors Confidence.
    Irish Bankers swell their skin thights that make michellen look anorexic .Their diet is their mantra meaning to deplete trusting funds allotted to their stewardship.They are worse than their criminals outside their walls because only they have a licence to commit a crime within their walls.They have created a spiral that has gone out of control and like a spiral it will just round and round and round and round and………….

  41. johninmunich

    So Hypo Real Estate had another EGM today, so that the state could get a vote through which allows it to effectively nationalise the bank by issuing loads of shares which only it can buy, giving it 90% of the bank and thus the abilitiy to squeeze out all other shareholders.

    In the couple of articles and forums I have read, there is no mention of the Irish regulator. Rather, the anger is towards the German financial regulator. But I don`t think that absolves the Irish, I think it just means both failed in their duty.

    Munich Airport is run by a private company. They have a consultancy section which helped Singapore to build their new terminal. There are also several transport companies which do consulting work. I remember reading an article about one company sorting out the transport system for a 2 million city in Colombia for about €34 million. Doubt it would do any harm to give them a buzz since we are throwing away hundreds of millions anyway….

  42. ….and on and on and on and on……….and on…….Tim it’s Vortex….ur dead right ( was that a pun? ) .

  43. wills – what are you studying for or should it be what is your discipline?

    • Malcolm McClure

      John Allen: I’m not convinced that ‘discipline’ is quite the right word. –It implies a certain degree of restraint. Perhaps self-indulgence is a better descriptor, although occasional comments deserve consideration.

      • Tim

        Malcolm McClure, are you “squaring-up”? I suggest that there is no need. wills’ comments that deserve consideration are well worth it.

        • wills

          much obliged Tim.

          • Tim

            wills, I try not to do “schadenfreude”; yet, the occasional joust can be interesting to watch, I think that there is material here on this post worth considering before resorting to personal attack.

            I still have no response to my question about 1) why we will allow the abuse of children by taking away their teachers and free books; 2) why will we allow legal physical assault on children by their own parents hitting them?

            Please address these questions before turning on eachother?

        • Malcolm McClure

          I guess it takes all-sorts. Sorry Wills –yawn. Back to weeding the garden. At least the weeds don’t complain.

    • wills

      John ALLEN, will get back to you on that when the coast is clear.

  44. wills

    Someone’s nominated Malcolm my supervisor. Or perhaps he nominated himself,

  45. I always believe there is nothing wrong about talking to yourself , as long as you don’t answer back.

  46. tim – you are sounding like the scarlet pimpernel with velvet ears

    • Tim

      John ALLEN, I could not find an alternative word. Interestingly, when I pit his number in my phone, the predictive text suggested “Fussy” as the first option; I kept that one. Where is he?

  47. wills

    What if,….. the Bond markets bubble is close to bursting.,

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13826

    ..and the ‘vested interests are in a race against time to avert this outcome, by, switching credit back on, and this is down to eradicating the derivatives toxic waste a.s.a.p. but time is ahead of their pesky little plan.

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