September 9, 2009

Greens turn their back on cheap land of opportunity

Posted in Irish Independent · 300 comments ·

NAMA in actionWhat part of cheap land does the Green Party not understand? The Green Party values the land we walk on, not in the way Fianna Fail does, not for its price but for its value. And the cheaper our land is, the more value it has for the collective good. The more expensive the land is, the more value it has for individual owners.

If the Green Party is really interested in the collective good, it would never support a proposition which prevents land from falling in value.

This goes to the core of the NAMA debate. In Ireland today, we have an opportunity to “lock in” the huge competitive gains that falling land prices give us. Cheap land, commensurate with our sparse population density, is the one thing that will ensure that we never blow the resources of the State on property speculation again.

The Greens are trying to impose a windfall tax on property speculation in order to dissuade people from speculating. However, the best way to prevent people from speculating on land again is to make sure that the collective memory of the land bust is so agonisingly painful that we never touch the stuff again.

If the Greens walked away from NAMA now, the price of land would fall quickly and dramatically and, in the process, we would achieve huge competitive gains which otherwise will have to come from higher unemployment or less capital investment.

And this is the issue. If we are to build a ‘green economy’ as the Greens say they want, then we have to be attractive to outside investors. We have to reduce or eliminate any impediments to investment in Ireland’s brainpower. This means that we should be trying to make permanent the falls in land prices because every percent fall in the fixed cost that is land and the variable cost that is rent is one extra euro to be spent investing in our people.

By supporting NAMA, the Green Party is supporting the land and banking oligarchy whose interests are anathema to practically every Green voter that ever donned bicycle clips.

The Greenest policy that the party could follow would be to see the fall in land prices and the collapse of the old regime as a brilliant, once-in-a-generation opportunity to achieve a real change in the way Ireland runs. This is something that they have always purported to believe in. The way the leadership is going, they risk losing not only the general electorate but their own members as well.

The best gift any middle-aged politician could give the young of this country — the generation coming now into the labour force, looking for work and accommodation — is cheap land and houses. Interestingly for the Greens, this is the way the market is going,, so why put NAMA in the middle and try to stop this and in the process bail out the oligarchy?

Think about where the property market is heading now. We have a credit crunch and there’s a property tax on the horizon, as well as rising unemployment and falling tax revenue, which will only be plugged by more taxes and a reduction in government spending. So house prices are heading only downwards. Not only are the Greens supporting the reflation of the property market through NAMA, the party is guaranteeing that we overpay for the assets no matter what the haircut, because we clearly are nowhere near the bottom. Let’s do a little calculation to see how far house prices have yet to go and, consequentially, how much NAMA is likely to overpay for land and give us the bill.

So how low are prices likely to go? The best way to answer this crucial question is to start with the premise that the age of property speculation is over. There can be no more ‘hope value’. There can be no more belief in the notion that there will be a big capital gain in buying a property, any more than there will be capital gain in buying a sofa.

The value of the asset will have some relation to the yield the asset returns. In houses, the yield is the rent. So let’s take a yield of 7pc as being a reasonable return on an asset that costs money to update and is not generating a significant capital gain. This 7pc would be a long-run average yield, particularly as government bonds which form the benchmark for yield of other assets are on their way back up to that figure.

Using this 7pc yield idea we can value a house at some multiple of the rent it generates. Typically, the value of a house was calculated at 12 to 14 times its annual rent. (The 12 to 14 times equates to a yield of around 7pc.) This relationship has held in the US for over 100 years. There is no reason to believe that this shouldn’t be the way to value Irish houses.

This is a normal price/earning ratio that we would use in the stock markets to assess value. What the US valuation model is saying is that, over time, property should trade on a price/earnings (P/E) ratio of 14 times.

So, let’s see where Irish houses will end up. Take a typical house in a commuter town. On there are hundreds of them. Let’s take Newbridge in Co Kildare, a typical deckland suburb where unemployment has tripled in the past year. You can buy a new three-bed house for €335,000. This is a steal, according to the ad. Beside the house is yet another predatory ad from AIB saying that it will finance the house for €995 per month.

According to the same website, the average rent for a three-bed in Newbridge is between €950 and €1,000 a month. This house, if it can be rented, will yield €11,400 a year. This implies that, applying the US valuation to the asset, the house should be valued at €159,600. However, in Ireland, we are expecting the house to sell at €335,000.

The Irish house, at a “bargain” price of €335,000, is still way overvalued. It will have to fall by almost half again to make the sums add up.

The real fair value means that, in a world where house-price speculation is over, Irish house prices in commuter land will have to fall on average by 50pc from where they are today to be worth buying. Madly, even after a year of house price contraction, the P/E for the average Irish house stands at over 29 times — twice the historical average for property — and the yield at just over 3pc, which is still far too expensive. And this is before the likely property tax is slammed on houses at a rate of 1pc of the average value of the house.

So, let’s snap out of it. Why can’t we just mark down prices to where they should get to, take the bankruptcies and move on? Why should we be any different in coming to terms with the new reality?

The Greens could help achieve this competitive bonanza and protect future generations from being conned by the land and banking oligarchy again. It is their decision.

  1. The Eye

    As an Estate agent , I would agree with you David, I would much rather we hit bottom fast rather that die slowly. I had an idea of putting a house in the paper with and asking Price of €200k however the owner will sell at €300k because of the long term economic value maybe it would enlighten people re: NAMA.

    • G

      My heart weeps at the skull duggery and sheer bloody greed of the last 10 years (money men, stock brokers, traders, bankers, lawyers, estate agents, politicians, builders – the whole bloody lot!!). You reap what you sow – they should be left go to the wall, the whole dam lot, nothing but leaches off the backs of honest, hard working people – they so called professions is nothing but professional theft.

      I didn’t buy, I’m renting, not ideal especially when you don’t come home to your own place but I read the game for what it was, like many others contrary to the myth that ‘no one saw it coming’, I am taking the ‘hit’ because there was no way I was signing my life over to some bloody shark in an ill-fitting suit!!

      On my income a €159,0000 house (still expensive for what you are getting) would be 5 times my income, so not unrealistic, I could manage that on my own, hold down my job, pay my taxes, do my civic duty on the side (volunteer work) and make plans for my life in Ireland (who knows what the future brings).

      Instead, that same house as you pointed out is still holding at €335,000 – an absurd price, so I am looking at my employment options and am considering jobs abroad (and there are many options), so I could be a different kind of migrant, driven out for different reasons i.e. no life here at these insane prices (and its not just houses – now I am expected to bail these f**kers out through higher taxes while these same people squabble over unpaid bonuses, get subsidies via the Irish taxpaper or send threatening letters to people who owe a few hundred quid!

      The re-inflation of the property market via NAMA is another cynical move (along with inflating county council house prices – see Gormley) – now that is the only game in town but no bailout for those who for whatever reason bought in at the high end thinking a liability was going to be an never ending appreciating asset – now that ‘asset’ is in freefall but hey, that’s casino capitalism – welcome to the game, mo fo’!

      • The Eye

        Hope your happy to hear Ive made a sign outside the office that says “Go to Plan B”…just in case I have a stampede of people to buy houses.

      • MaxKeiser

        Great post, thanks.

      • wills

        G, with you all the way.

        These shower of money grabbing pygmies are f**ked.
        Their pathetic con job on the gullible public called NAMA is the end of a tyranny holding sway in POnzi Republic
        since 1921.
        The control matrix they use to tap into peoples fears and de spoil good
        and innocence is switched off.
        Notice how time has sped up in the last 15 years,……
        Go to stanley kubricks movies for info.

  2. Riggs


    Your latest edict is accurate but slightly late.

    All of the above is both known, understood and in the process of enactment.

    Watch this space!

    wills et el, please don’t jump on me again but appreciate that major NAMA change is well underway. It looks nothing like it did at inception.

    Have a great day on Saturday….would strongly recommend the hugfest over the protest. The former at least will have positive outcomes.

    • liam

      Here’s hoping you’re right on both counts.

      And don’t forget about Tim’s ‘after party’ gathering :)

    • wills

      i’m not ‘jumpin on ye’, i don’t know you it would be rather ungracious too,.. it’s all bloggin in rigorous debate, best too play the ball and not the man.

    • Colin_in_exile

      Well, if I was a greedy owner of a property portfolio which should be worth much less than it was worth in Feb 2007, but won’t be now because of Government interference in the property market due to NAMA, I’d feel like hugging thousands of strangers on Saturday too.

      But Comrade Riggs, I know hugging people won’t turn you on, its the IT Property Supplement that floats your boat, which you’ll be looking forward to reading when you get home from your hugfest.

  3. severelyltd

    If there was sale price transparency in the market here like in the UK I believe it would solve a lot of issues. First of all the true value of property would become clear which would entice first time buyers back into the market and secondly it would provide a system whereby if there was a housing tax in the future it could be implemented more fairly. This won’t happen however because the Greens got a whiff of power and it went to their heads. Now they will do anything FF tell them to stay in power a bit longer at all moral and ethical cost to their party.

  4. Garry

    I think this edict is perfectly timed; the greens are having their meeting on NAMA this week.

    Ignore the spin from people who claim NAMA is being changed, that all this is understood…. This is just bullshit to fob people off but let NAMA slip through. There is no need for NAMA, it will help a very small number of rich people at the expense of everyone else.

    Turn up and protest! Let your voice be heard….

    No to NAMA!

    No bailouts for the billionaires!

  5. lff12

    David – your point about yields is extremely pertinent, but even in the US, and especially in the UK, there is a huge question over whether or not yields themselves are realistic. In the UK a couple of years ago yields had dropped to as little as 3%, and one of the assumptions above is that rents will hold steady at 1000k for the 3 bedroomed house. Of course, what this depends on is what the “bottom line” for rents is and that is – once more – down to the state – or what the maximum level of rent subsidy will be as unless social housing “provision” actually provides for more than 2% of the most desperate cases, there will be a ready/willing army of tenants willing to rent whatever slum they can albeit it fits the criteria defined by the HSE and local council for habitation and rent alowance payments.

    The other factor is of course the “added value” caued by “zoning”, “rezoning” and “planning permission” processes that artificially inflate/deflate land values. This system is far to caught up in the political process and needs to be fully removed from political interference. In fact, the entire concept of zoning should probably be compeltely removed and replaced by an independent planning commission beyond the touch of political meddling, who will assess changes to land uses on their own merits.

    The rent allowance question is serious as we are now facing huge increases in welfare numbers and these people need somewhere to live. As many will not be home owners (younger people being disproportionately hit by high unemployment) we need to reassess the conditions for social renting in these circumstances. It still to me seems total insanity that the government is still willing to subsidise the cost of renting a single unit for a single person when so many working people cannot afford to live alone. Single people on welfare should be automatically ONLY entitled to shared accomodation (in fact the state could cut costs further by placing single people without dependents in hostel-style accomodation, thus making it far less attractive and not giving them something that they could never hope to afford were they being paid the minimum wage). Of the ideal is if NAMA were to take on unoccupied residential units and let to social tenants – but again, it encourages long term dependency if the quality and standards are higher than what is available at similar prices on the open market for those paying their own way.

    • The Eye

      Iff12 ….Thank you. I also am sick of the type of people that are professional dole merchants, who have given nothing to our society except breed more dole merchants . There is large pyjama wearing culture whereby they want everything and know what their rights are and haven’t done a days work in their life.(Lifestyle choice)
      I would be inclined to look at their working history before shelling out their dole and divert more of their money to the recently unemployed and laid off and send them out planting flowers 3 days a week or something like that.
      Many of the dole merchants that come into my office looking to rent “Flat” role up to the property in new cars with their “fella” (Who does de nixors) and turn their noses up unless all the mod con are in place.
      Many working people are not as privillaged as these people no expensive creche needed for them. No fear of not paying rent or making mortgage payments. Just Scam scam scam.

      Its a Joke…on us.

    • Fergal73

      I graduated college in 1996, took my first (as in my money) foreign holiday in 1998. It was 2 weeks in the Canaries. While there I met a bunch of Irish lads on their 3rd holiday – yes, 3rd holiday that year. Thinking I was maybe in the wrong business, I asked them what they did for a living – the answer, “nuthin, we’re on the dole”. I asked how they could afford it and they explained that actually, the dole, rent allowance and other benefits provided more than enough to live on, and with a little bit of effort, they could manage 4 holidays a year (at off-peak times).
      In 2002, I looked to buy a house / apt in Dublin city centre (to avoid the pathetic transport infrastructure). I was offerred 12.5 times my salary to buy a house off D’Amien Street. I asked a local Guarda about the location.
      His response: “Do, you have a car?”
      Me: “I do”.
      Guard: “You won’t”

      I didn’t buy. In 2004, realising that I couldn’t afford my not unreasonable expectations I emigrated.

      Irish dole is far too generous, land prices, house prices are way out of whack, and the public sector has massive areas of waste that simply would not be tolerated in the private sector. (I worked in the health service from 1996 – 2000 and in the private sector since then.)

      I’d like to go back to Ireland, but NAMA is a flashing red sign saying “Suffer all ye who enter here”.

  6. G

    Lets also see if this NAMA farce opens up a legal can of worms, that way ‘developers’ can drag out the process over valuation etc, solicitors and barristers can charge huge fees on both sides of the argument, politicans get away with not making a decision and once again we will see yet another transfer of financial resources from the taxpayer to the so called ‘professions’ and banksters

    See Financial Times: Bankers sue for €33m in unpaid bonuses

    Seventy-two City bankers are suing Dresdner Kleinwort and Commerzbank for €33m ($47.8m) worth of unpaid bonuses in the biggest case of its kind in the UK.

    The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in the High Court, is the latest sign that bankers are ready to fight for their pay packets in spite of public outrage over the size of the rewards on offer in an industry widely blamed for the financial crisis.,Authorised=false.html?

  7. gadfly55

    David, in the US, houses are built from timber, not blocks, and the durability of the fabric and structure is significantly less than typical construction here. Also, you should consider the value as related to the earnings of occupants, and mortgages as a multiple of earnings, which are 14 times earnings rather than 4 to 6. The amount of money now required for payment of accommodation by owners is significantly greater as a percentage of income than ever before and that is with historically low interest rates. Research of property throughout Europe indicated rents of 600euro per month on properties of 120sqm, a much lower percentage of annual income than required now. Of course, reduction of accommodation costs will enable wages to be held or reduced thus improving competitiveness. However, as you know, the FIRE industry, Finance Insuance and Real Estate, along with Government has conspired to indenture the underclass for a lifetime with no end of payment to them for a roof over their heads. You are advocating a revolution, and the Greens do not originate from a class of persons capable of such decisive action. Middle class incrementalism is the world ending with a whimper, not with a bang.

  8. gadfly55

    Another point, the yield of 3% allowing for inflation is historically the average during the last 100 years, across asset classes. Basically, if you expect more than 3%, you are unrealistic and greedy, and inevitably will lose. The unrealistic expectations of earning more than this has driven western capitalism for centuries, without regard for society, and glorification of the exceptional and lucky individual. May I remind you that even Warren Buffet invested heavily in two Irish banks, and last year lost 24billion dollars. He is now moving out of equities and to government bonds, and I daresay, Irish bonds denominated in euro are a very good investment as the dollar and pound slide down by far more than 7% in value over the next five years.

  9. DH

    I have been passing on this message for years to my friends and in spite of my protests several friends have bought property within the last 2 years >>> Before buying they knew prices could fall but they figured with the same ‘sound reasoning’ as Nama will, that in the long run they will make money or at least ‘not lose anything’.

    This perpetuated lie runs deep from the top to the bottom of this country.

    David – Please Please Please get on TV soon and start spreading the ”CALCULATE THE REAL VALUE OF YOUR HOUSE” equation. It needs to become part of Irelands reality. It needs to be something everyone understands and hears about.

    I want to buy a house but I refuse buy at todays prices.

  10. MK1

    Hi David,

    I agree that the Greens have “lost the plot” (pin intended!) and a lot of their core supporters. Having spoken recently with one of their TD’s their ‘strategy’ (although not stated) is to gain new supporters (from FF and FG ranks) and move towards the middle ground with non-eco policies. Akin to the first steps of the PD’s, I fear that they are just at the start of their demise – time will tell.

    As for the PE simplification, it is not that straightforward. Yes, markets, if the actors were automotons and logical, would steer towards fixed ratio levels in relation to income levels (for mortgages) and rents. However, there are variables in the market plus human perceptions, etc. Willingness to pay ‘over the odds’ exists in all markets. Housing supplies are limited and controlled in most countries, etc. The market is non fluid. There are inflation differences/variability, currency differences/variablity, interest rate differences/variability, access to credit rules differences/variability, etc, etc, etc, aqnd differences in housing standards, plus expected norms.

    One way of measuring the cost of a home is the amount of time the average industrial wage (net) will take to pay for it.

    The other thing about PE’s is that even in fluid markets such as shares, there are human tendencies that stretch them to locally acceptable levels. PE values of US shares typically trade over those of UK shares even for similar companies. Why? Well because there are more people buying shares in the US, so demand is higher.

    Its a funny old world with us humans arounds ….

    Btw, I heard of a study that found that 10,000 years ago the average amount of work carried out per week was 22 hrs, with only 2 hrs per week spent on building and maintaining accomodation. And they say we are making progress …….. hmmmm.


  11. Deco

    David…not meaning to be condescending…but there is something you should know….the Greens are a shower of fruitcakes….the moment that captured the Green economics philosophy for me was the moment in the wake of the Dell announcement, when Dan Boyle told the news reports that the banks were more important than the factories. In essence, the Greens don’t get economics, production, or the generation of wealth. The Greens are the political wing of your very own description – The Yummy Mummy. They are all right for teaching kids drama, but for Pete’s sake don’t put the idiots in charge of country. [Oh, it's too late - they are now the tail that wags the dog].

    A good place to investigate the real price of residential property, and our economic competitiveness, would be Waterford City. Waterford is our first post-industrial city. It is our Detroit, or Ciccinati. And it is happening right now. One problem for Waterford is that it is far away from the Coughlan’s “Donegal Town to D2″ path of familiarity. It is outside of Couglan’s view. And one employer after another says the same thing….the costs in Ireland are too high. Compared to West Dublin, or Galway – Waterford is dog cheap. Even Limerick is more expensive. In Newbridge, it is possible to commute to Dublin and get better pay. But in Waterford – the only option is to work locally. This produces a different focus on wage demands and property prices. The local employment market determines the local property market. For the purposes of analysis it is easier to study the effects of our decreasing cost competitiveness and property speculation. Given that wages are well below the national average, we also get an insight into where we are headed. Limerick would also provide a good example.

    Here is a link documenting the latest OECD competitiveness study (now bear in mind the OECD has certain biases).

    Alarmingly our state budget deficit is in the same category as Zimbabwe !!! This would imply that the government ministers of Zimbabwe are even more boozed up than ours…

    In fact it is clear that our growing indebtedness is a problem that is just going out of hand. It does not help when leading personalities seem to think that the ECB is playing a vital role – in enabling this increasing indebtedness. There is just no recognition of the problem with regard to state finances. 900 Million wasted on a ring road for Dublin that will probably never be finished. That is 900 Million of waste, and counting – above the proper amount budgeted.

    The M50 original specification was the same road width as the Athlone by-pass – despite the difference in traffic volumes nearby. Nobody thinks about the Athlone bypass, because you just use it, and it was never a problem. No fee. No delay. It just does what it is supposed to do, and we just forget about it. The Engineering in Athlone was much tougher than in Dublin. The Athlone bypass is one fifth the length. The bridge over the Liffey could be precast and assembled – but Shannon N6 bridge was much tougher – because of the foundations. The foundations were to be built on a flood plain. The bridge was also much longer – with more weight to be carried on top of a river bed. Much of the rest of the road was to built on wet soils, where you could go down 60 cm (2 foot) and get water. In addition to all this the engineers had to design the bridge, the road and the foundations so that it could take the floodwater of the mighty Shannon-which is a massive force at full flood. And full flood can last a month. There was a lot of flood plain to consider. On the M50 was this was never a problem. The bridge just fitted in like lego. It was high.But the foundation work was easier. The problem with the M50 was the rest of it. It still has not been competeBut the Athlone bypass was done. And it was done on schedule. Nobody has complained about Athlone bypass being a car park ever since. And it has only needed minor improvements since. As far as we know, neither Pee Flynn nor Rambo Burke were in anyway involved. George Redmond did not pop up anywhere in the planning process either. There were no threats to elderly farmers to sell their land to companies that had directors who were in the ‘tint at Ballybrit’. And as far as we know NTR never operated a cash cow to milk the citizens on the Athlone bypass. So there were no tribunal appearances resulting from the Athlone bypass. It represented taxpayer value for money. The Athlone bypass was boring in contrast to the M50 – we did not even get one consultants report, never mind a tribunal operating like circus asking one clown after another how the money got into account number 194 in his name, or why meetings were arranged in the car park at the back of one pub owned by a prominent member of Bertie’s dirty dozen.

    The engineering on the Athlone bypass should have made the M50 cheap by comparison. But politics, North Dublin FF, corruption, greed, and the gombeen mentality made sure that politcs made the M50 very expensive.

    We can reflect on this – not only can it be done properly in this country – it was done properly once. But that was a long time ago. We had the “Bertie Ahern revolution”. Ever since the celebrity Taoiseach appeared on the scene, the concept of doing something properly became old fashioned.

    There is a massive problem with waste and corruption in this country. And it is greatly impairing our ability to compete. And on top of this you have NAMA, and all the other quangos – who know must justify their existence. Bertie Ahern loved quangos. He instituted and staffed a quango for everything. He was stopped in the prime of his quango making career. He could have invented more. A quango for reducing dandruff. A quango for fighting tooth decay. A quango for pest control. It is all a load of pure institutional nonsense. If we call it as such, and pass the message on -then we will eventually put an end to it.

  12. liam

    David, a timely reminder of this particular discrepancy. What on earth are the Greens thinking?

    The purchase price of a 2 bed flat on Langton Cross, Newbridge would get you an average 2 bedroom flat in all but the most exclusive parts of Tokyo (and a proper house out in Kanagawa, Chiba, or Saitama, commuter-hell equivalents to Co. Kildare or Meath), even at today’s exchange rates. That’s an equally interesting comparison to draw.

  13. MK1

    Hi Deco,

    Deco> There is a massive problem with waste and corruption in this country. And it is greatly impairing our ability to compete.

    Agreed. But waste of resources, peoples lack of willingnes to work hard etc is endemic from the lazy bus driver, to the lad behind the counter that doesnt give a toss, to the decision making board of XYZ and public sector management and workers, etc. I didnt see any of those 1000 HSE staff that didnt have a function come out of the woodwork and line up to volunteer to do real work. People are lazy and spongers, to re-use a phrase from the 1970s. What a mess has been created where people want to do less for more and expect more. A United Ireland, I’d say the fathers of our revolutions would be spinning in their graves.

    I dont know the ins and outs of the Athlone Bypass but roads have been planned and built with more capacity than the resulting demand required. Because of Irelands centralism policies (all roads lead to Rome complex, or in this case Dublin) we have created a problem city and the resultant M50 was always behind playing catch-up as Dublin and the commuter counties and belts that serve it use the M50. Lack of public transport, low density and spatial accomodation, etc. Dublin is not an ideal city.

    Btw, the port tunnel is at most times quite empty if you’ve even been through it. Fixed Capacity versus future demand/need is not an easy equation to balance, like pde’s for some perhaps.


    • Progress all depends on your yardstick.

    • Dilly

      “all roads lead to Rome”

      This is why Ireland were laughed out of the room, after they put their name forward to host the European Football Championships. They told UEFA that they would build a second stadium in Dublin. But, what UEFA wanted was, a stadium in each large city, and have all the cities connected with easy commuter access. So we got the red card in the first minute of the game. To make things worse, we could no longer even use the excuse that we were poor, as the reason why we did not have any of these facilities in place.

      • Deco

        I don’t know if the FAI were ever laughed out of the room-having never been there. But the FAI always put a lot of effort into being a joke. They too got a bailout. John O’Donoghue provide a four hundred million euro so that they would be able to build a stadium five miles from another state of the art facility. And he rushed to sign the contract before the ESRI told us that we were already five months into a recession that they never seen coming. But, the good news is that we are saving money now. Hospital downgrades, vaccine cancellations, classroom size increases, etc. etc. I suppose it is all a matter of priorities. And getting the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU to share one stadium for a few decades is inconceivable. Oh, wait, they have just shared a stadium for the last two years and everything went OK. Could there be an extension on this ? The government could spend the money in some area where it was actually needed. But the celeberity Taoiseach had a ‘vision’. He must have been looking at too many Kevin Costner films. Just shows how well things actually work in this country when FF are not involved – a situation that is only ever termporary.

        The GAA could have offerred UEFA usage of other regional GAA stadia. The GAA actually wanted UEFA to use Croker and were very accomodating. And Thurles and Pairc Ui Caoimh had soccer stadia capacities. But in the background Bertie Ahern was persistently throwing money at the GAA any time it seemed remotely likely, because he wanted to push the Abbotstown farce, and not open up Croker or any other GAA facility. This would make the FAI would look as if they needed help – in other words the FAI would need the Bertie Bowl. This made sure it never happened. Another episode of Ahern stupidity. The GAA rank and file became tired of Ahern interfering in their business. They could see that he had an agenda. So they never offerred additional stadia. We now have Ahern getting flown to internationals, wined and dined with the FAI fat cats to away games while the peasants go on the net looking for cheap hotels and cheap flights, paying taxes all the way to pay for his stupid pension.

        Dilly – for some reason or other – every farce in the last ten years ends up on Bertie Ahern’s doorstep. One curious side effect of this political football has been a steady stream of one GAA senior official after another, joining Fine Gael, and then getting elected as a TD or MEP. I wonder has the penny has dropped yet with the ditherer ??

      • Garry

        I thought the application to host the championship was worth it if only for the following story…. When UEFA came to visit us, the GAA hadnt yet agreed to share its ground…. Not to worry; they were brought on a tour of Landsdowne Road, Abbotstown and Croke Park, or as one journalist reported the trip as.

        “Here’s one we’re knocking down, here’s one we haven’t built yet and here’s one ye aren’t allowed play in”

        • Deco

          Yes. Typical Irish authority thinking. Make everything sound good, and the foreign interests will buy into it. All that matters is that you put a good spin on it. We are full of our own significance, and never seem to see the need for the things that everybody else regards are rudimentary and essential. Never mind the minor essential details…like stuff that physically does not exist….hard sell, and no proper business plan at the back of it.

          I honestly thought the whole bid was a PR exercise to get a sceptical public to become entranced by Bertie Ahern’s vision. Another episode of ‘wrap the Green Flag aorund me’, I feel as if being Irish is something of the utmost significance….and the leadership is great……and we all want to give a 1 Billion plus to Bertie for his field of dreams. There was clearly something wrong with everybody who was capitivated by the vision. Ahern was leading a bunch of reluctant peasants to glory, and they did not pay up. Let’s face it – the entire episode was a farce. It was a waste of time for Ahern because McDowell binned his bowl, and a waste of time for the taxpayer because Ahern squandered the money anyway in one form or other on the project, with the Minister for Fun throwing 400 million at Landsdowne Road on the eve of a recession. (Before the contractors would be foreced to drop their prices).

          Personally, I was more repulsed than entranced. The Scots were even more repulsed. They learnt a lot about the Irish methods of planning and doing business, and have never gone the idea since. They got out as quick as they could.

    • Deco

      MK – I never use the port tunnel. On a point of principle. It means paying money to the same shower of crooks who profitted from the M50 saga. I avoid the M50 for the same reason. I opt out of paying for any nonsense that could possibly corrupting the state. Suspicion is enough, I do not need proof.

      I agree with you concerning the all roads lead to Rome mentality in the Irish Civil Service. There are two large train stations in Dublin City. To go from one to the other you must use a tram, a bus, a taxi, a bicycle or walk. But don’t ask if there is a train joining the Ireland’s two busiest train stations ! Other countries have built bridges and tunnels to join the parts of the network together. We have the track in place alright, and there was even a tunnel built in the 19th century, under the Liffey. At the moment it is only used to transport Guinness to the port of Dublin. We have put Guinness before people in this country. We could design the system to ensure that it is possible to be in Dublin city centre at 08:00 every morning from a train from the other four cities. But the “brains” running CIE don’t want that. That is a foreign idea to them. And now I hear there is an expensive plan to run an underground from Hueston to Pearse. The track already exists and it goes under Phoenix Park towards Cabra-why can the simple cheap option never be considered ? Anyway there are loads of government provided car spaces in D2. Who needs trains. Oh, right everybody else.

      Interestingly enough CIE in Cork had a transport proposal which would move more people than the luas, but come at one fifth the cost. I suppose this cheap option will have to be put on the long finger, because “we haven’t got the money”. That will never come to anything.

  14. Garry

    Its a good article and hopefully will be read by most greens before their NAMA debate…

    What do the greens stand for?

    Taking 60billion and giving it to banksters and other crooks, isn’t going to fund their policies on climate change… It will set it back….We need that money….

    Introducing a windfall tax on developer profits is worthwhile but 10 years too late… The boom is gone and there’ll be very little in the way of profits on land speculation for years. Maybe for those who buy at the bottom now but not for quite a few years yet…In 3 years time, everyone will see the windfall tax idea was a very cheap price to bargain away support for NAMA.

    The greens should realize they have a once in a lifetime opportunity here….. They get to say yes or no to spending 3 full years tax revenue. A decision of this magnitude has never came before an Irish government before. And that government has to get the greens to vote for it….

    They need to think carefully…. What would Jackie Healy Rae or Tony Gregory do? Think BIG!!!! This is an OPPORTUNITY!!!!

    They could have Biffo cycling to work, eating lentils, and drinking carrot juice…
    They could have the country littered with wormeries and windmills, with all non organic food banned.
    They could have a farmers market in every villiage in Ireland.
    They could do whatever the fuck they want and Biffo&co will just have to smile…Because FF are in hock to the banksters and gangsters to the tune of 90Billion!!!!!!

    If they say yes at the conference, their leverage will be lost…. and they will have absolutely nothing in writing….And they will get zero thanks for it! Say no right now, and watch the gangsters sweat for a few weeks…. You never know what they will come back with….

    So greens, What the fuck are ye in politics for…. Ye have a blank cheque, start writing a list of demands!

    • Deco

      Garry – the answer to your question at the end of your entry….’to get jobs for their relatives and mates’.

      They are creating special party units for communicating with the civil servants, and they want to have a core vote there. FF, FG & ILP already have members in the Civil Services, and the GP want to get in as well. A case of being in power, even when they are not in power.

      Same old story…..Jobz for the boyz…
      We should not be surprised – the PDs followed the same path.

    • DavidIreland

      I agree with you completely.

      This is a unique opportunity for visionary people of integrity to be brave and to chart a course away from the crony politics that have turned this country into a dirty, lawless, corrupt, gombeen led kip.

      Fianna Fail now are at their weakest ever and if the Greens stand up to them 70% of the people will rally behind them and the nation will be forever in their debt. They’ll be the new heros to replace the ones from 1916.

      Anyone who cares should get on to the Green party via email, phone etc. and tell them to read David’s article.

      • Garry

        I really think FF are in a position where they have to pay any price necessary to get NAMA through the Dail. Any independent or backbench FF TD out there who wants to make a name for themselves, can start grandstanding.

        If NAMA goes through, it’ll come out in a managed way, where people get to keep most of the gains… and the info is drip fed to the public only after it is too late to do Seanies loans

        But if NAMA is stopped and the bailouts aren’t delivered; the thieves will turn on each other. They’ll be all taking everybody else down with them….

        Neither is an attractive option but if I have to pay thousands to help clean up this mess, I’d much rather see some blood. And a changing of the guard.

  15. joco

    David, well structured argument but it all depends on your ratio of 14/1. This is a major failing. You state:

    “Typically, the value of a house was calculated at 12 to 14 times its annual rent. (The 12 to 14 times equates to a yield of around 7pc.) This relationship has held in the US for over 100 years. There is no reason to believe that this shouldn’t be the way to value Irish houses.”

    Unfortunately there is every reason to believe that this calculation won’t hold true in Ireland.

    1) Population Density (Apples and Oranges)

    Population density in the US is approx: 34 people per square km. Population density in Ireland is approx: 61 people per square km.
    This significant density difference means land here is a more precious commodity and similarly that there are more people in a particular area looking for the same thing (a house). Basic supply and demand.

    2) Housing Material

    As others have pointed out, housing in the US tends to be timber frame. Cheaper materials, cheaper houses.
    We live on an Island. We have to import building material significantly. Because of this we also have less choice. The US is large enough to source all material internally and offer a wider choice. Competition drives down prices in the US.

    3) Paying for a house in 14 years

    You seem to suggest that you can cover the cost of a house in 12 to 14 years. This has _never_ held true in Ireland. How many people have you ever heard of buying a house with a 14 year mortgage. I mean ever. Your parents, grandparents, nobody. Its never held true in Ireland and it’s never held true in Europe.
    To suggest that you could cover your costs over 14 years with rent is a very facetious argument.

    I’d suggest something in the 20 – 25 to 1 area makes more sense from a historical Irish perspective.

    Don’t let the blind anger that people have towards the Government and banks allow you to go for the cheap thrills. You can do way better than this…

    • Robert


      Your arguments here are completely facile.

      1) Population Density –

      Have you ever flown over Ireland? Or even into Dublin Airport (over Meath). What is the most noticeable thing? Land and it’s there in abundance. Only around 20 % of the land in Ireland is arable so it’s not all being used to produce food. By comparing the US population density with Ireland’s is ridiculous as most of the area in the US is vast empty space. . . . .Why not compare the house prices in US cities with equivalent areas and population densities with that of Dublin house prices? Why is it that countries like Hollanfd and Germany that are completely jam-packed have property prices vastly lower than we do here?

      2) Housing Material
      It is well known that developers were receiving over 20 times the cost it took to build each unit during the so-called boom. It was sheer greed funded by the banks and aided by FF – nothing to do with the cost of materials.

      3) Paying for a house in 14 years

      What DMcW is stating is that the price of a house should be 12-14 times its annual rent yield. This does not mean that the same as paying a mortgage in 14 years. The mortgage could be spread over say 20-25 years (as it is in normal countries) and thus freeing up finance for people to spend elsewhere in the economy (but then of course that money wouldn’t be going to the greedy developers now would it?)

      • Deco

        We have a mentality in this country, that says that everybody is entitled to a Beverly Hills existence. We need to drop it. Even in the US it is becomming unsustainable.

        This means more intelligent urban planning like occurs on continental Europe.

        Apparently there is enough undeveloped building land east of the M50 to meet all the demands for housing. But it is released slowly on to the market in a oligopolistic market manoevre.

      • joco

        1) Population Density

        “By comparing the US population density with Ireland’s is ridiculous as most of the area in the US is vast empty space. . . . .”

        Exactly my point! And equally the 14/1 ratio doesn’t in any way compare like with like. This 14/1 ratio is a value for the entire United States. So how can we use this figure to compare the US and Ireland. Apples and Oranges! Please read my comments again. Using a ratio of 14/1 for one country which is in fact vastly different to ours is exactly like comparing population densities.
        The entire premise of David’s arguments are based around this 14/1 ratio. But its just not relevent. Its cheap stunt journalism.

        3) Paying for a house in 14 years

        “What DMcW is stating is that the price of a house should be 12-14 times its annual rent yield.”

        And this is exactly what I’m refuting. We have never ever been able to buy a house in 12 to 14 years. Ever. Not during the property boom. Not before it. Never.

        This figure of 14/1 is made up. That was the entire point of my comments.

        “The mortgage could be spread over say 20-25 years (as it is in normal countries) and thus freeing up finance for people to spend elsewhere in the economy”

        So what you’re saying is that if rent income could cover the cost of a house in 12 to 14 years but the average person would take out a mortgage over 20 to 25 years, then… Rental payments per year should cost about twice what you’d pay in mortgage costs. Why would you ever rent?

        Just because we’re angry with the government and the banks doesn’t mean cheap shots and stupid arguments are the order of the day.

        • Robert

          Joco – or is it Joke-O,

          When I said the US is vast empty space – I meant vast empty DESERT space – e.g. North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico etc . .. . you couldn’t possibly build there. I offered an alternative analogy for you to compare Dublin or Ireland property prices to comparable US cities or states. You also conveniently failed to explain why EU countries with much greater population densities, like Holland & Belgium,have considerably lower property prices.

          “This figure of 14/1 is made up.” – So presumably your calling DMcW a liar.

          Well the average price of a 3-bed semi-detached house in Dublin in 1994 was 65,000 Euro. By 2007 it had risen to 312,000 Euro. If those prices had risen in line with inflation that price should only have risen to 127,000 Euro – which is less than the P/E 14:1 ratio David is applying. Indeed the 14:1 P/E ratio is an internationally recognised ratio for House Prices – Not just the US . . . . .

          • joco

            > Joco — or is it Joke-O,

            Wow you really are a debater of the highest calibre. Your comments make no sense so you resort to school yard taunts. Brilliant.

            > e.g. North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico etc . .. . you couldn’t possibly build there.

            A bit like the Nevada desert? Viva Las Vegas! Las Vegas, built in a desert, has the fastest growing population in the United States. 1.8 million and counting.

            > “This figure of 14/1 is made up.” — So presumably your calling DMcW a liar.

            You are seriously childish. We’re discussing the merits of an argument. My comments (again try and read them) stated that this 14/1 figure are based on a faulty logic. That doesn’t make someone a liar.

            > Well the average price of a 3-bed semi-detached house in Dublin in 1994 was 65,000 Euro.

            Wrong. The average price of a home in Dublin in 1994 was 81,993 Euro (Source: Department of Environment heritage and local government).

            These little things, called facts, are very important. Its what makes an argument right or wrong.

            > Indeed the 14:1 P/E ratio is an internationally recognised ratio for House Prices — Not just the US . . . . .

            Rubbish. Read the article again:

            “This relationship has held in the US for over 100 years. There is no reason to believe that this shouldn’t be the way to value Irish houses.”

            I’ve pointed out exactly why this isn’t true. You’ve pointed out exactly the same (you were possibly too busy having a rant to notice). The ratio 14/1 is based on the _entire_ United States. You’ve pointed out yourself why this doesn’t make sense (Desert comments excluded).

            Yes the government screwed up. Yes the banks screwed us. But there is plenty of good, precise and accurate arguments to beat them over the head with. Lets stick to them. Otherwise we’ll end up with the sort of specious debates which might lead us to conclude that the EU are going to conscript our unborn children into a European super army and only pay them €1.87 an hour.

          • mcsean2163

            The argument against as I see it is materials. After 40 years, there will be a clapped out old shack in the states, (timber), as opposed to a still standing structure(brick and concrete foundations). An Irish house lasts longer than an American house, therefore the rate of depreciation is less and the 12-14 figure may rise higher… but maybe it’d be more like 16-18 leaving a substanial drop anyway!

          • Robert

            You know Joco – I’d prefer if you quote actual links from reputable websites to me rather than Government websites with fancy Bertiesque titles.

            I’m wrong on Dublin house prices in that I mis-quoted the ridiculous prices reached in 2007 – Turns out average prices had reached 378,000. Still you never disputed the figure of 312,000.


            However I’m not wrong on the 1994 average price of 65,000. Nevertheless let’s take your average price of 81,993 Euro. Dividing this figure by 14 gives 5856.64 Euros.

            Now – Answer me this: Would it have cost 5856.64 Euros (4611.52 punts) per annum to rent a 3-bed semi-detached house in Dublin in 1994 ?

            Because, if so, then the 14:1 ratio applied in Ireland in 1994.

            Yes – DMcW stated that “this relationship has held in the US for over 100 years” but he never stated that this does not occur elsewhere.

            Believe it or not the US is on Planet Earth – so, ya know, what applies there could apply elsewhere in the World.


            For the third time – Can you explain why EU countries with much greater population densities, like Holland & Belgium,have considerably lower property prices?

            Perhaps you should just declare your interest. If you don’t believe the 14:1 formula – then that could be due to the fact that you cannot accept that property prices were vastly overpriced, are still currently well overpriced and have a long way to fall yet.

      • lff12

        Actually if you fly over much of the US it is a) mountain b) national parkland or c) desert, and so uninhabitable. Ireland has a far smaller percentage of unbuildable land and so the population density in the States doesn’t take this into account. I would suspect, in fact that they are probably more or less the same if you consider how much of the US is not available to build upon or unsuitable due to distance or climate. The Mojave desert is great for storing old jetliners but not many people live there. Likewise the top of the Appalachian mountains are never going to be high-density.

        That said, there is also a huge gap between housing costs in the large high-density cities and low density regions. I know for a fact that you can buy a liveable in house in very remote parts of California for as little as US $40k (I’m thinking Merced here) – the very cheapest habitable homes in Ireland are still probably around the eu€100k mark – while top end prices are not dissimilar. And that doesn’t even take into account that the 40k home in Merced is only a 1.5 hour drive from the outskirts of the Bay Area, while your 100k shitholding in Ireland is probably at least 2 hours from wonderful places like Limerick – for 3 times the price.

        The real issue is how we a) get Ireland back working b) get prices lower and c) make residential and commercial property affordable without upseting some other part of the apple cart, because at the moment tipping up one end of the equation is creating mayhem elsewhere – which is why we’ve hit the doomsday job loss scenario while at the same time seen taxation revenues collapse though the equator. The problem is creating a balance in the economy – something which sadly, I suspect isn’t going to be possible without either outright revolution or an Iceland-style discal collapse to get the “its not working” message through to this rotten government.

    • wills

      joco, house prices are over valued because of market rigging.

  16. cozzy121

    David, it’s too late. The greens are as much FF lapdogs as FF are the lapdogs of the bankers and developers. They don’t care if the beggar the country to bale themselves out. It’s the same attitude as shown in the 80′s when the banks helped their rich clients to evade tax, and the revenue could do nothing as the government of the time turned a blind eye. Nothing changes here David. The PAYE worker gets screwed and the rich get away with it.

  17. jor200

    Given that the average deposit required is 30% and the average mortgage multiple is three times income does the average new home buyer in Newbridge:
    1. Have a deposit of €100K.
    2. Earn an annual income of €80K.

  18. Ruairi

    “The best gift any middle-aged politician could give the young of this country – the generation coming now into the labour force, looking for work and accommodation – is cheap land and houses”

    Could we not also add office blocks and commercial factory units / business parks to that statement?

    If PD-virus infected FF (the Republican Party) developers can offer 2-year’s free rent to clients who avail of their new business parks (a number of references countrywide), then surely our government could do the same? Wrap this into a free or reduced banking fee scenario (as a sop to promising export-oriented firms) and you would be re-establishing Ireland’s international teeth and claws in a very novel way. It would be deflationary but also creating new opportunity out of the bombsite disaster we currently are witnessing in slow motion.

    1. We are an SOE. We need to COMPETE on the world stage. Forget the obsession with EU markets, which have not been major for us (UK excepted) and won’t be in the future as the BRIC countries is where the future middle-class buying power will reside. So let’s get switched on here and enough of this Lisbon Yes claptrap.
    2. We turned in on ourselves and started buying and selling houses instead of producing real wealth.
    3. We can’t export houses. Only once in Irish recent history, that I know of, did a Japanese entity ‘export’ and Irish castle, every last brick. Not a runner for semi-d’s ;-). We have numerous examples of deserted villages and properties over the centuries in Ireland. Not very mobile. Try gold, lads.
    4. China has insisted (because it owns and controls its banks) that they support real trade in the regions and so their $600m stimulus package is causing China to roar with life again as the internal market engine gathers pace.
    5. Surely many of those NAMA developers have commercial properties, retail units and business parks / warehouses which could be gainfully turned over to business incubation use or more ideally to lessen the overheads of established and promising (from an export POV) companies.

    There are of course downsides to using these distressed assets in this way. But surely the only game in town is international trade and competition. Therefore, we recalibrate our assets and go to war to win.

  19. The Dude

    I can well imagine the following conversation taking place during the boom

    Developer X
    ” I need 50million euro for land and 50million for building costs”

    Bankster X
    “sounds good to me what will you build, and what price will it sell for”

    Developer X
    “I want to build one and two bedroom shoeboxes the smallest houses in the world, the one beds will sell at 250k and the two beds at 350k. but I’m not sure if the people will have the money to buy them”

    Bankster X
    “Don’t worry they will be able to buy them, cos I will give them the massive 110% mortgages for 40years

    I can well imagine a similar conversation going on between the people behind NAMA

    NAMAgangster X
    “If the state gives you 90billion are you sure we can get the money back”

    Bankster X
    “of course you will, we will give out the 100% mortgages, and you can keep the price of land and housing high by rigging the market”

    Its a massive scam if nama goes ahead the people continue to pay over the odds for a basic need, shelter. so the logical thing to hope for is nama to fail on an epic scale,
    but if nama fails and land/housing cost fall, the state will have to pick up the bill

    thus, We all end up working for the landlords
    there is a man in Mayo spinning in his grave

  20. adamabyss


  21. William Morrin

    Peter Kelly, the foremost legal mind on commercial law, sitting on the Irish bench gave a ruling, upheld by the Surpreme Court in relation to companies controlled by Liam Carroll. We now seem to be awaiting a ruling from the High Court relating to the protection of the public good, as stated by lead council for Mr. Carroll. I pose this question, Is the public good so intrinsically linked to the survival of developers and the safety net of NAMA that the separation of powers between the law makers and the interpreters of these laws, is becoming closer? It is my understanding that this further appeal case involving Liam Carroll is using a mechanism introduced by our goverment to protect Larry Goodman during the beef crisis. Another strange period in our economic history!

  22. I think of David McWilliams as a comedian more than an economist these days. I don’t know if I am right to think that or not, but I did see the Leviathan cabaret and he is funny. Is David McWilliams too funny to be taken seriously? Even if David McWilliams is a comedian does that mean he can’t have valuable contributions? Is he like a national court economic jester who pokes fun at our follies? He has to more than that, would a court jester have come up with the idea of harnessing the Irish diaspora? I don’t think so. I think the idea of the article above is that we led the banks and developers fail. I could be wrong. If that is the idea, I’m not sure that it is the best option the country has. Peace and love,

    • Robert

      Holbrook Fields?????

      Is that the name of your ghost estate down the A-hole of Cavan that you are hoping the Irish taxpayer (via NAMA) is going to take off your hands?

      • I don’t own a house, an apartment or a car. I don’t own a ghost estate down in the A-hole of Cavan. I have never voted for Fianna Fail. I support the Green Party. I am tired of populist ranting against a plausible plan to get us out of an economic mess. I am interested in seeing the best done for the nation. Holbrook Fields is a name I use for most of my online activities. It is reminiscent of a housing estate name, but hopefully other things too. I hope this answers your question!

        • Robert

          Well I think you have a bit of a cheek asking if DMcW is a national court economic jester.

          What exactly is plausible about NAMA? What exactly makes sense about paying well over the odds (possibly around 60 Bn) for empty hotels, fields in the middle of nowhere and ghost estates in cavan?

          This time next year – the banks will still have their begging bowl out whilst hoarding the money given to them by the ECB/taxpayer and refusing credit to businesses across the country. Meanwhile I’ll be paying 60 % of my income with Lenihan continuing to bulls**t about LTEV whilst the Builders will be smoking their cuban cigars.

          You support the Green Party. Trevor Sargent – As Green Party leader he said he would not go into Govt with FF before the last election. The Greens obtained votes on the back of that commitment. Then afterwards he sticks his 2 fingers up to the Irish people and gets someone else to “lead” the Greens into Govt with FF whilst proclaiming it as “the happiest day of my life”.

          You lot sold your soul to the FF devil for power and the Irish people will be waiting for you at the next election.

          • Nice rant. I’m not going to bother arguing with you. I’m sure you have plenty of good points to make and facts to quote. You can make up your own mind and I don’t think I will be able to change it for you. If you can’t see the value of NAMA and think there is a better alternative fair play to you. As for knocking the Greens, knock yourself out, have some fun with that. Peace.

          • Strictly speaking when interviewed in telly Trevor stated he would not lead the greens into government with FF. I remember thinking that was pretty clear at the time, the greens would go into government with FF, but he would relinquish leadership in that case. I’m not backing up the greens here, just TS.

    • wills

      “David mcwilliams a bit of a comedian” you post holbrook,…
      3 years ago DmcW called out the property bubble when most of Ireland
      was deep deep deep in the doo doo suckling at the grand banking Diddy 24/7.
      Have you ever tried to pull away a alcohol from a drunk at closing time.
      It is very tricky and requires courage and surgical powers of diplomacy.
      Davids reportage exercised such skill in 2006, so, your asinine comment is indicative of NAMA loon-a-tic mind programming.

      • I remember Alan Ahearne calling the property bubble as well, does that change your view of NAMA? I think David McWilliams makes a valuable contribution but he is a personality, a journalist, a political cabaret host, a writer, someone who worked in high up positions in banks some years back. I don’t believe every word he says. Sometimes I think he is sensationalist. Perhaps that is warranted to wake up the nation. Or maybe it only serves to stir up more populist rhetoric which is full of rage and finger pointing. I don’t pretend to know. I figure David McWilliams takes a pop at so many people, makes fun of things so lightly and easily that it would be a bit rich if he couldn’t take a bit of stick himself.

        • Tim

          Holbrook Fields, These are reasonable points. I am confident that DMcW will accept them.

          However, it is both correct and right that NAMA should be questioned and teased-out.

          I do not have a problem with a NAMA that will serve the interests of our country and our people……….

          I have a HUGE problem with a NAMA that serves only the interests of the banks and developers, to the detriment of the rest of the people.

          • Hi TIm, I couldn’t agree with you more – let’s question NAMA and tease it out. And let’s ensure the taxpayer takes a little a hit as possible and that the developers and banks pay as much as possible for their bad judgement. What I fear is that the rage at the ill conceived policies of Fianna Fail, bankers and developers is clouding any reasonable debate about how NAMA may be the best of a very bad lot of options on how to get us out of the economic mess we are in.

        • wills

          holbrook, i think nobody should believe what others say, one should think for oneself using critical thinking and come to ones own mind on all things, at all times.

    • liam

      Holbrook Fields

      David is a comedian therefore anything he says is bunk. Nice ad hominem.

      As to NAMA being a credible plan, that remains to be seem. So far the entrails tell a different story. I am not prepared to take that assertion simply on faith, which is all that is currently on offer.

      I have seen nothing to indicate that letting the banks fail per-se is a bad thing, but I’d be interested at even a speculative stab as to why that is not the case.

      Fantastic handle by the way, don’t let anyone tell you any different!

  23. Tim

    David, an excellent and timely reminder, thank you. On the value of houses, I look at two things other than the P/E:

    1) Household insurance; Highly paid mathematical-savant actuaries calculate the cost of rebuilding the house in the event of disaster (perhaps a fire). These actuaries list this cost on your notice of insurance. On mine, it lists the replacement cost at almost exactly half its “value” at the height of the boom, so you are onto something with your P/E calculation, alright. However, the actuarial figure includes an extra cost: site clearance (the cost of fully demolishing the ruined house and clearing the site in preparation for replacement). This is a significant cost, but I do not know exactly how much it is; I do know that it means the pure replacement value of the house is now something less than half its boom-peak.

    2) Builder’s cost: What it actually costs the builder to put the house in place, foundations, bricks, mortar, roofing, electrics, plumbing, etc., the lot. Builders have told me that they calculate this cost as somewhere between €70 and €90 per square foot; they then add, I suppose, whatever mark-up they can get away with charging. So, your average dog-box 1000sq ft house costs somewhere between €70,000 and €90,000 to build, so that’s its real value; anything more is profit to the builder and your “Hope-value” plus some added value, depending on the level of decor, I suppose.

    Any builders here care to give your own figures on this, please? I’m sure that building costs have fluctuated quite alot.

  24. Again, pure wisdom from David.However such logic-if followed- means the IMF guys pack their suitcases and head for Ireland-at least improving Aer Lingus’s waning seat occupancy stats.!
    Nama is a quagmire.It is a bottomless swamp. How many people have thought through the numerous injustices and complexities of interfering as never before in the world of banking and bankrupt builders
    Fianna Fail have destroyed this country.The Health srvice is in tatters. People are dying for want of enough money to see a specialist.The privatization of health-co-location schemes etc.- now following the same road, with thousands abandoning private health insurance.
    There is only one road which will bring us closer to David’s argument: Bring in the International Monetary fund people, before this NAMA monster causes a revolution.
    The fury of the risen people will not stand for bailing out more rotten banks, bondholders ,or builders. The Anglo Irish nationalization will bring havoc and trouble for decades to come. The name Fianna Fail wil be uttered as an imprecation by little children.
    Crucifying decent people so that some day the builders-or their progeny can resurrect and resume ( like Larry Goodman) the same weary road of buying private hospitals;old folks homes; development land and every other “privatized’ facility and service (refuse and water ) that is essential for the life and sustainance of a nations children.
    The gang (Fianna Fail) that has the effrontery to still enter Leinster House on a daily basis; to playact and banther on the benches; to swill Guiness in the members bar; to draw down their obscene salaries, and expenses while imposing burdens to hard to shoulder on others;-if we were living in former times and another neighbouring state,and had a sense of indignation; they would end up all together,their useless heads topped in tumbrils, beneath a guillotine.

    • Really? I mean really? People are going to actually do something? As in something other than grumble? I’d love to see it, but while past performance is no indication of future returns, the old habits of sitting around would appear to die hard.

    • The Eye

      I dont imagine the Gov will go for another slice of the Public sector the unions are just too powerful and the gov has no balls.

  25. Dilly

    The Greens are the milli vanilli of politics.

    • Ruairi

      Ha Ha! V good! And more like Lip_Stink than Lip Sync.

      When the Greens, are exposed, will they too ‘Blame it on the Rain’?

      Their 1st hit was ‘All or Nothing’, moving on to the album ’2×2′ (builder’s favourite) and one of their last was ‘Back and in Attack’.

      Maybe they’ll seek a mandate after Da Scandal……..

      • Tim

        Ruairi, a small part of me feels that I should be disturbed by your in-depth knowledge of “Milly-Vanilly”……….

        “Don’t you Know it’s True”?

        • Ruairi

          Hi Tim, unlike Brian Lenihan, I do my homework ;-) A quick draft from the deep waters of Wikipedia served me well

          • Malcolm McClure

            Wikipedia editing rules require the blocking of editors who establish a new secondary identity to support assertions made under their basic identity in discussion pages;– A ploy known as ‘Sock puppetry’ by wikipedians.
            It is entirely possible that the Greens are actually sock puppetry stooges masquerading as something a bit more ‘Cuddley’ than their actual Fianna Fail alter ego. In reality, behind the scenes, there’s only a thin tissue of difference separating the two parties, and the FF gang could quickly adopt their alternate Green persona if the FF agenda goes pear-shaped.

  26. MaxKeiser

    Indeed the Greens need to be aware they are widely seen as:

    1) Politically naive


    2) Financially illiterate

    Given the critical position the country faces, coupled with their own very marked flaws: Green Party remedial action is needed & fast .
    They will not be forgiven for facilitating any more of this ~
    Pull out or be wiped out.

  27. David,
    Enjoyed your article.

    The Greens could do so much, but are capable of so little. At least with the PDs, they stood firm to their nasty free market principles to the end in spite of vilification in the media and hatred from most of the public. The Greens just couldn’t take it at all when the going got tough, and seem determined to do almost anything to postpone the inevitable electoral wipe out. Mary Harney may outlive them all.
    Of the 6 Green TDs and 2 senators who originally enlisted in the Apocalypse Now that is the Irish State, only Ryan ( a wannabee hero) and Boyle ( the ‘good honest soldier’ to counter Lenihan’s psycho and Cowan’s black marketeer) are still reporting for duty on a regular basis. Gormley appears shell shocked, isolated and out of touch. De Burca has taken leave since her EU campaign fell at the first hurdle to McKenna. Sargeant is hiding in the company garden. Cuffe – the best of the lot in some respects – has gone awol. Gogarty can think no further than getting into Mary Coughlan’s knickers and poor old Mary White is wandering lost out in the long grass. Coalition of the willing? Its a circus.
    But regarding your comments about house prices, all very well basing house prices on rent but rent is currently in free fall too. Given the overcapacity in the rental sector, a fall in rent of 50% seems entirely possible. So if one takes the 14:1 formula, that brings the €335,000 house down to about €80,000. That seems about right if one bases house prices on the same multiple of household income that applied in relation to house prices in the years immediately before the Celtic bubble, given that the average household income is also set to fall another 20-30 percent.
    So yes, the State should let the price of these failed speculative assets fall to the price that reflects their real worth to society and then buy them up. The houses bought could be leased long term to members of the public and will provide the State with revenue in the ,long run. The abandoned development sites could be leased to community associations and cooperatives for community food initiatives. The half finished stuff, especially the commercial developments, should be given to anyone who wants it and can put it to good use, as it is useful neither for agricultural purposes nor residential.

  28. Robert

    The cabinet have signed off on NAMA with the approval of the Green Ministers.

    Whatever happened to the Green Conference this weekend to discuss NAMA? It seems that Ryan & Gormless are “doing a FF” and treating their members as useless cannon fodder who will just up and do as they’re told.

    Constantin Gurdgiev seems to think that the Greens have traded NAMA for their Carbon Tax:

    • Or to put it another way Robert,
      Fear sam bith a loisgeas a mhàs, ‘s e fhèin a dh’fheumas suidhe air.

    • Tim

      Robert, I fear you are correct; I have to chair a cumann meeting on Monday-next, after protesting on Saturday. I know what I will be saying at the meeting and I am confident of the response of the grass-roots. I am not confident of the reaction of the “Top-Brass”, but we will keep whittling away at them.

      Somebody has to…….

      • Fergal73

        Why not leave the party?

        FF has been corrupt for years, from Charlie with his inexplicable wealth to Bertie with his dig-out and “ah shure i won it on the horses” money, why did you join the party?

        Why join or be member or support a party that has consistently shown itself to be corrupt. Getting a limosuine from one terminal to another in Heathrow is plain wastefulness. Overpaying for the “super-prison” that will never be built, overseeing the Port Tunnel coming almost 100% over budget and two years late, overseeing Luas – again vastly overbudget and again, years late, the money wasted on tribunals, on the Bertie Bowl are bigger examples of the same concept behind the Heathrow terminal transfer. The Irish taxpayer is simply a cash cow to be abused and milked at will.

        Why not join another party, or start a new one. FF is rotten from the top. Maybe not all the way to the bottom, but why are you still a member? Why did you join?

        • gibbonm

          I cannot understand you. You are a mass of contradictions. You will be out on Saturday protesting against NAMA. Yet you continue to support FF who are trying to implement it. Why?
          I see that you are a teacher. You are educating the next generation. I presume that you would like to see your student doing well, and that they would have a future here in Ireland. Yet you continue to support FF who are trying steal the wealth of our children by bailing out the banks and builders. Why the continued support?
          Clearly the top brass are not listening to you, and never will

          • Tim

            gibbonm and Fergal73, in a nutshell, since the top brass will absolutely definitely NOT listen to anyone outside the party, many of us remain within to at least TRY to be heard and try to change it from within; better than doing nothing about it, or sitting on the sideline shouting at the players.

            We may end up actually having to wait for the top brass to die off before we take over…….. but there are many agitating now and we may get lucky before then.

          • Fergal73

            Tim, with support at 17%, now is the time to kill the corruption. Resign, get out. Each member of the party helps in FF leaders’ minds to provide a ‘mandate’ form the people.

            If you don;t agree with the leadership or the policies and acknowledge the corruption that has existed for years in teh party, the only honorable thing to do is resign and encourage others to do likewise.

            But then again, resignation for points of principle was never a stong point of Irish politics, FF in particular.

      • adamabyss

        I have to agree Tim, you are wasting your time. Get out and start afresh. Then again, it’s up to you – that’s just my opinion.

  29. MaxKeiser

    Cowen has said that the NAMA legislation has been signed off on by the Cabinet today.

    HIgh Court decisoin on ACC v Zoe Group tomorrow.

    “Money exists not by nature but by law.” Aristotle (Ethics, 1133)

  30. Deco

    Was listening to Emmett Oliver (Sunday Tribune Business Editor) give his reaction to the Green’s input into NAMA. Oliver described it as “window dressing”. The Green Ministers wanted a PR stunt to ‘sell NAMA’. The Green Party policy has the primary objective of preventing further defections, especially defections to McKenna. Oliver rightly detects that there is no economics objective in the Green Party amendments. There is already an oversupply of residential property. And because NAMA is already created, and staffed, trying to prevent cronyism will be impossible. Bear in mind that it is impossible to prove cronyism. It has not been done yet in this country. Apart from that the Green amendments are designed to look good, but are not designed so as to be effective in implementation. This effectively gives the whole lot away. McKenna was correct when she called Gormless & Co. a collection of hypocrites.

    The 80% tax only falls on profits. Hard to see anybody making a profit on rezoning land as residential, when there is such an oversupply of residential property. This will last for a decade. The demand determines the price of property. And demand has flopped. Yet the Greens seem to leaning towards the same lines of thinking as the defendents in the Zoe Supreme court case, thinking that if they can control supply, that will drive up the price of property up again. This, as David stated, is the worst possible outcome for our competitiveness. The Greens are also learning from Cowen and Coughlan that it is a good idea to bulldoze through opposition, and go on a PR offensive at the same time. Then disappear and stop talking about it, in the hope that people will forget.

    As I said, concerning matters of Economics, the Green TDs are a collection of fruitcakes. Boyle’s announcement on banks are more important than factories, Ryan’s ideology of expensive electricity, the ESB electric car program, the 1000 Euro grants for buying a bicycle, etc… are all economically stupid. The Greens simply do not get competitiveness.

    Our best hope is that the likes of Tim will unsettle it all from below. In fact, it was realistically the only opposition that ever looked capable of stopping NAMA.

  31. The following is a very interesting extract from a weighty Paul Krugman article in the NY Times;


    So here’s what I think economists have to do. First, they have to face up to the inconvenient reality that financial markets fall far short of perfection, that they are subject to extraordinary delusions and the madness of crowds.
    Second, they have to admit ……………….. that Keynesian economics remains the best framework we have for making sense of recessions and depressions.
    Third, they’ll have to do their best to incorporate the realities of finance into macroeconomics.

    Many economists will find these changes deeply disturbing. …………….. To some economists that will be a reason to cling to neoclassicism, despite its utter failure to make sense of the greatest economic crisis in three generations.
    This seems, however, like a good time to recall the words of H. L. Mencken: “There is always an easy solution to every human problem – neat, plausible and wrong.”

    When it comes to the all-too-human problem of recessions and depressions, economists need to abandon the neat but wrong solution of assuming that everyone is rational and markets work perfectly. The vision that emerges as the profession rethinks its foundations may not be all that clear; it certainly won’t be neat; but we can hope that it will have the virtue of being at least partly right. “”

    I remember, as a young carpenter in London, discussing the “suits” with fellow construction workers. In spending most of the afternoon in pubs, we were at a loss as to how rational financial decisions could be made on the back of a gallon of bitter. When my sister entered to world of Trading Compliance, I found out that they were not rational, just driven by base instincts, sex and greed with a bit of coke and Rock n Roll thrown in.

    What I take from Prof Krugmans article is colossal academic naivety by economists generally as to how the proponents of the free market are driven. No theory or complex model, with or without allowance for the “madness of crowds”, can quantify naked greed driven by self serving hubris.
    Like carrion crows, these “traders” swoop at will, without concience nor geographical control.
    This is an apposite reason why NAMA may fail. Should moral controls be rigourously applied, those who would underwrite the monster will not invest, simply because they cannot work within consensual control mechanisms.

    • Dilly

      I knew a few of these “suits”, I remember 20 year old traders getting all excited, as their brand new top of the range BMW was delivered to the company carpark near Liverpool St. They couldn’t even be bothered to collect it themselves from the show room, they just paid extra for delivery. That was around 1988. I too remember the pubs being full of traders, and I would be a liar if i said I wasnt jealous of them. You can see how this could influence irrational decisions and immoral acts.

    • Philip

      Nice article Furry.

      As I said a few times before, it really does not matter what happens in the coming months, the die is cast. NAMA will fail anyway – its pretext is that things will improved when in fact it will deflate the economy further and reduce economic activity (a truly Green goal if ever there was one – come to think of it). We are accelerating our rush to IMF by not tackling spending and further increasing taxes.

      The other problem with NAMA is that it copper fastens the position of the old management that put us in this position originally. There will be no significant management clearout as FF & Greens will still be in their orignal positions. No one internationally will put good money into this.

      This NAMA activity and it’s lack of transparancy is copperfastening a firm NO to Lisbon -fine by me as it happens. People are feeling more helpless and want new government (rationale behind this is irrelevant at this stage). My guess is that there is now a majority of People will use their vote in the only way they can to damage this administration. If that happens, NAMA, FF and Greens have had it – also fine by me.

      So I am very very optimistic. We just witnessing incompetence blow itself to smithereens. Enjoy the show.

      • Deco

        The thing is that NAMA is such a big overhead, that it requires the ECB to provide the debt facility. The threat from the political establishment is that saying No to the Lisbon Treaty, will freeze that debt facility. The ECB is supposed to be independent of politics, so this should be impossible, by the Charter of the ECB. But the political establishment is telling us that this is real and that it is something to fear. But if it were true, as the political establishment is saying, then effectively it means that NAMA is infeasible, due to a lack of debt. This would force Lenihan to either scale down NAMA, decrease the pay rate, and/or reform the entire state apparatus. For Lenihan, borrowing is the easier option. He is pushing the problem out. Nobody loses votes, or invites serious interviews on RTE, for increasing borrowing. The leveraging process itself does require some pain. Which is spread along to all workers, as the income levy. It works at the level of perception.

    • coldblow

      Furrylugs, I read that article last night (I think Macolm supplied a link) and it’s a great summary, witty and readable. Keynes is the antidote for depression, but the problem is how it could be applied in Ireland where avery good idea just seems to be b%stardized. so we end up with massive deflation while the stimulus goes to the banks and developers. Genius, amazing!

      I was hard on economists before but I reallyl appreciate how Whelan and Lucey have stood up to the (what’s the word?) mark. They are obviously decent and intelligent but they are too close to the action, too polite. Maybe they know too many in finance, or know of them and they are handicapped by their positions of responsibility etc, whether perceived or otherwise. You can sense they want to say certain things (like George Lee early in the year, before he left RTE, when Miriam dived in to shut him up) but have to bite the tongue. That’s where the likes of (some of) us here can come in useful. I suppose I’m a sceptical igoramus or an ignorant sceptic but have no reputation to lose in saying these things. And of course DMcW just says what he thinks for which we are all grateful.

      By the way David seems to be moving closer to Crotty’s line all the time. Tax the land and bring it into use.

  32. The Eye


  33. A girl I know recently paid 380,000 for a two bed apt in Dublin and has now lost her job.Massive neg equity. Cant walk away as parents went guarantor.Went to Social welfare who agreed to pay half only the interest element of the loan and insisted that as the parents (one of whom has also recently lost her job) are guarantors that they pay the other half!
    Any more stories out there.Somebody should start a new web site for all the real life horror stories :victims of Fianna Fail/NAMA dot com.?

    • Garry

      The guarantor for the parents means they are f**ked also. Sorry thats the way it is….

      What was she thinking? or her parents in signing anything?

      The social paying half the interest is as good as it gets, that wont last forever… Sell the fucking thing and hopefully the NE wont be so big they will lose the other home….

      If things pick up, the other home value will pick up, if they dont well they may have a roof over their heads… Its all about surviving now….

      • Garry

        i am assuming there that there is a danger they will lose both houses if they dont get money in soon..which could be wronf……. go to the bank, kick up a stink, weigh everything up…. but nobody will come along and fix this for them…. they have to make the hard decisions themselves; try to hold on to both or one or none


      • Deco

        Getting the property gauranteed by the parents was ” the done thing” (in Dublin, especially Middle class Dublin) there for a while. And it was encouraged by banks issuing 100% mortgages. 110% if you include the cost of furniture, etc… And it was declared by the media to be “the done thing”. Therefore it had to be correct.

        At this stage, all I can say, is that I hope, that this society has had enough of “doing the done thing”. Dissent.

    • Dilly

      Surely only one parent signed the forms ?. If so, get that parent to sign anything they own over to someone else ?, rather than leave them to the mercy of the Banksters !!, It is just a thought.

      hope everything works out ok, there are thousands of these stories up and down the country, it is truly an awful mess out there. One of my neighbours took his own lif earlier in the year due to his debt problems, brought about through property deals.

      • Garry

        Good idea! talk to someone independent who could help out…. if its that recent, whoever signed could check themselves in for depression or something…. Fuck the banks…..

    • Deco

      The parents should get divorced. I know a man that did that in the US. [ Yes, he was Irish and he was a crook]. He was in default. The banks wanted to put them both on the road. They divorced. US style. Quick’n'easy. She held onto the house. The banks were stuck holding his debts. He was dissolved. And then he moved back in again. She might want to get it hurried up, while we are still a Common Law country.

      Maybe, she should set up her own bank. Then she could declare insolvency. Lenihan would rescue her, put her into NAMA, take the property off her, pay her the price she paid for it minus a skinny discount. And she could rent the place next door. That would solve her problem.

      It seems that you just have to be a bank, not a person, in order to get away from your responsibilities.

    • wills

      nuts oh hazel nuts, should never have gone and bought the apartment,. and was suckered by huckstering.

  34. Deco

    Why did some many people believe to such an extent, all the nonsense about this boom that would last forever ? I still cannot understand why people had no scepticism that anything in this country would not be influenced by market rigging ? Eddie Hobbs told us as much in the Rip Off Republic series in 2003. And he got shafted. Clear thinking was kept off the airwaves. People have to learn that you can never be naive in this country, with respect to what you get yourself into.

    The lies that were issued in the period 1997-2007 were horrendous, and the source of all the misery. People paid these prices, because the banks threw the money at them, the market was rigged, and the media took part in a scam. The media took the advertising penny, accentuated the positive, neglected the warning signs, distracted people to oblivion from seeing dangerous realities, and lived off the scam as well as anybody else.

    The real problem now, for that lady is that she lost her job. And she will have to fight with half a million others to get a new one. She had a choice concerning the apartment. But the job market is not a choice anymore. I think that we are losing the plot on the current crisis. The real problem is not the property bust. The real problem is the real economy. The real problem is the likes of Dell letting 3000 workers go, and idiots like Coughlan, and Ryan frustrating any proper attempt to deal with our declining competitiveness. We need to fix the competitiveness problem so that she can get her job back and somehow or other survive and not bring her parents with her. That means the state needs to let an awful lot of pen pushers, consultants, nepotists, and title holders go. They are weighing down the competitive economy and diverting needed funds from front line services needed to fix our growing social problems.

    The real solution to our economic problem is not NAMA bailouts, or the Lisbon tradeoff for more debt from the ECB. The real problem is the cost infrastructure of the Irish economy.

    On the basis of our declining competitiveness, I will now make a forecast……WE WILL NOT GET OUT OF THIS CRISIS. All the TINA options being shoved through will fail to fix the problem. Borrowing more money at an unsustainable rate from the ECB to sustain the quangos is nonsense. Borrowing money to rescue the D4 banking cliques from a property banking collapse is not the answer either. The whole thing is a mess. Nothing has been fixed. The entire society is being shoved from one highly leveraged plane to another. It is the mistake as was made in the 1980s. The insiders are determined to increase taxes, and push the cost competitiveness to the levels of absurdity. The entire culture of excess has been preserved in both D2, and D4. Nothing has been fixed. All that has happened is that we have leveraged up the Irish economy, replacing private sector debt accumulation with public sector debt accumulation.

    Nobody in the public arena seems to grasp that the problem is that Irish society cannot get off the debt accumulation addiction. Irish society simply is incapable pyschologically of deleveraging and fixing the collective balance sheet. We have idiots like Lenihan and Boyle talking about the economy, like as if debt accumulation was the economy. The idiots.

    We are digging ourselves into a hole, and they concerned with making sure that they have selected the correct shovel. Idiots !!!

    • Philip

      You and others here have nailed the issue precisely. Ireland is simply an economically inefficient environment that is about to run out of runway. We are not big enough (lack the infrastructure and human capital) to spend our way out like America. We are a small simple economy with a disproportionaly large public service and we have a culture that has yet to believe that we can actually help ourselves. Hence the running to ECB for money, keeping the status quo etc.

      Mammy & Daddy swallows are off to the warm south. Are not hanging around to feed bottomless gobs their youngsters. Use the wings and start to live life the rest of the world.

  35. MaxKeiser

    Newstalk reporting ACC victory over Zoe Group – no Examinership protection from the courts.

  36. The Greens amending NAMA , God what a joke this is from the party who gave us €1,000.00 to buy bikes for work yet in Mary Whites own counties of Kilkenny and Carlow they had no deals done with the bike shops there !….Ireland is loosing the plot by day day , if I heard right we are presently borrowing 44 million each day just to maintain this circus and just heard on line here about FAS and it’s over spend on advertising and to think this was spent when we had ‘full employment’ , it really is time we stood up to this utter madness and punish these politically connected don’t just let them walk away with pensions and retirement , bring them up to answer for this waste and then fine them and take their pensions from them if we are not going to lock them up.
    The March on Saturday ?…..well I also see Labour are running one next Wednesday and the People against Profit also have a date to protest booked in and I have heard no mention from the media or seen on the papers , any thing about this Saturday’s march .
    It saddens me that 4 million people can’t sort out this mess, we have to now start new political parties and move away from the civil war old timers, just look at Tim here who agrees with every body wants change is annoyed with the bankers , teaches for a job and then sits at the head of his local FF branch . We simply have to now get off the fence.
    I put forward a company to the Greens who are in Hong Kong putting together solar and wind powered units to run street lights, traffic lights , cctv and wireless broadband systems ., the response I got was they couldn’t been seen to promote any one company !…of course I think it was the fact that I didn’t take them out to dinner !….

    • Deco

      No, it was the fact that they did not know personally. If they did, they would even get you a job in a quango on state pay soaking up some of that 400 Million a week that we have to borrow….

    • Tim

      BrendanW, I do not agree with everybody. However, my disagreements with people are not (I hope) insulting.

      For instance, I sometimes disagree with you; but that does not mean that I am opposed to you personally.

      Indeed, I hope that you will return from Malaga and that I will see you on Saturday.

    • liam


      Your mistake might have been in assuming that the Greens would have been able to do anything even if they wanted to. A state agency by law cannot favour one company over another, but it can help facilitate a decision to set up in Ireland if the company is convinced of the merits of doing so.

      If the business case seems sound to you, have you tried Enterprise Ireland? How about a local city council as a partner? If they saw the value in it they might be prepared to allow the company to set up a test-bed facility in their region, which would strengthen the case for funding from other sources. Maybe there’s even a University partner that might be interested in this too.
      Any luck with the private VC community? IDA (if you set up a local subsidiary, they might help with local taxes, office space etc.)? How about the UK (given that is HK company)?

      • Liam, only seeing this now so have to reply, thank you for your suggestions but let me assure you I have dealt with these agencies over the past decade and the level of ignorance is astounding with one American Client when speaking with the California IDA office they wanted us to open in Donegal which was purely a political opening the consideration of the client transporting to Shannon or Dublin for exporting was not even factored in. Enterprise Ireland were no better , I have had more success with Greece even though I had to use a translator !. I have also seen a suitable premises built under industrial planning been given to a garden furniture wholesaler for their retail purposes as the Owner was ‘friendly’ with the local level councillors! , …..We need a evolutionary change in our political and economic thinking here , the attidude of what’s in it for me , and sure yeah I’ll be there for you , just don’t ask me to do anything !…we have to get out of this mold.

  37. AhYa

    Hi David,
    I read and like your articles – a lot!
    Though I don’t always agree with them, this one I do.

    However, do you not think it polite to give credit to Jill Kirby, Sunday Times?
    Plagarism, that is, the final few paragraphs should be accredited to her.

    Keep up the good copying..
    Ah Ya..

  38. Tim – I wish you success in Dublin on the 12th Sept .I will not be there as I see no reason to because the Gov have it all rigged up to become enacted either way.I am in France till 19th …and near Aould Fitzy’s haunt .I think if I retrain to be a good bread maker I might have a better lifestyle than being an Irish Professional driving down a deep bottomless black Irish Vortex and watching everyone bleed to skeletals like as seen near Custom House Dublin alongside the quay.
    There is a new Moon Wobble ( and final for 2009 ) arriving in weeks time and will ascend to it’s apex on Monday 19th. Lets see what damage will have been done in the meantime along the way.
    A few generations ago everyone as we knew them had no money and neither did they have any bank loans.In those days people were happy even with nothing.This time FF has made matters worse because this time people have now lost their dignity and pride and being forced to experience a living death sentence.Perhaps those quayed statues should now show fat bankers dressed with whips and slave trading the queues of Irish Slaves

    • Tim

      John ALLEN, thanks; I will continue to try and “fight the good fight”, wish you well in France and I promise to mind the moon-wobble (it nearly got me in February, if you recall). I will hold you in my mind as I march on Saturday.

  39. Malcolm McClure

    David: Now you are back in top form and the quality of the comments has responded in kind.
    Back in the 1850s in the days of Griffiths Valuation, land had an inherent recognized value that depended upon the quantity and quality of the crops or livestock that it could support. or upon the turbary benefit or on the dwellings or other buildings it contained.
    These days, farmers income depends on subsidies or licences for dairy and other stock and setaside for crops, REPs, marginal land, AONBs, SSIs, etc etc. The land’s productive capacity has little or no bearing upon the farmer’s income, which depends on how well he can play the system to offset taxes from his day job in town or through offering machinery rentals, against his hobby activities, raising a few lambs or suckling calves and cutting a few fields of silage. Not to mention those who live in the gaeltacht.
    These considerations make it practically impossible to put a value on land that is related to its productive capacity.
    Planners and Teagasc advisors hold the golden keys to land value.
    In any case, possessiveness about family land holdings is written somewhere in the Irish genetic code. There will be a cure for cancer before there is a cure for that condition.

    • Lorcan

      “In any case, possessiveness about family land holdings is written somewhere in the Irish genetic code.”

      Indeed. As they say down my way: “you can only sell it the once.”

      There was an interesting development in the land debate today. The suggestion of a future 80% windfall tax on rezoned land might seem to be a good thing to all those who want to stop farmer’s profiteering from their holdings.

      But there is another way to look at it.

      The turn-over of farmland in this country is remarkably slow by international standards (probably a reflection of the ‘condition’ you refer to).

      If the 80% tax on re-zoned land comes into force then the main supply of new land to the market will dry up.

      Basically, if a farmer is going to sell, he will want to be very well compensated for it, compensated well beyond the ‘economic value’. If the government decides to remove the large returns he can get from selling zoned land then he will not sell.

      Which means?

      Which means that the only land that will be selling in this country for the fore-seeable future will either be land that is already zoned (ie, the stuff NAMA will own) or land for which there is no incentive for zoning – ie agricultural use only land.

      This means that NAMA will tie up the market for zoned land. Without a new supply channel, the 80% tax rate will strangle the market. It will also play very well into the hands of the developers who are sitting on zoned land that they probably paid a fortune for.

      So, while on the surface a 80% windfall tax looks like a good way of getting one ‘over’ on the landowners, it will only serve to benefit the people who currently hold zoned land – the developers and NAMA.

      • Garry

        interesting point….

      • Tim

        Lorcan, Greetings!

        However, there is another possibility to compensate for the scenario you present, I think. As I have intimated earlier:

        If the profit will be taxed at 80%, the developer will have to compensate the land-owner commensurately. Thus, pushing the price of land and houses upwards.

        Where will the buyer get this extra 80%? The banks? (think 80% stamp-duty, bubble and over-reliance on taxation from property-purchase…..)

        Isn’t that part of what brought us to the problem?

      • Fergal73

        Excellent point, though I think there will be very little land bought for development in Ireland in the next 10 years. The current glut of housing and the emigration that is bound to result from this recession will mean there is little building work going on.

        80% ‘windfall tax’ would essentially mean that the only land that is built on is land already with planning permission, and that is likely land that is backed by NAMA. It would mean that the value of this land would remain higher than it ought to, which would have the effect of reducing the loss to the Irish taxpayer.

        It might be a good thing in that instead of losing the taxpayer probably many tens of billions, this tax might mean the taxpayer only loses a few tens of billions.

        I emigrated in 2004 when I realised that I could simply not rationalise paying 10 – 12 times my income for a house I didn;t even like in an area where I wouldn’t want to raise any children I might have in the future. My tax money now goes to pay for war in Afghanistan and Iraq instead of corrupt FF politicians.

        NAMA means I’m never going back.

        • Tim

          Fergal73, “It [80% windfall tax] would mean that the value of this land would remain higher than it ought to, which would have the effect of reducing the loss to the Irish taxpayer.”

          1) As far as I can ascertain, this tax applies to new re-zones, not retrospectively.

          2) Future re-zones are what I was referring to.

          Thus, the new tax renders the existing zoned land much more valuable than any possible future rezonings; thus NAMA re-inflates the bubble for the price it pays (We pay!) for the already zoned residential/commercial lands.

          This is a further attempt to re-inflate the propery bubble and, so, makes NAMA worse, in my view.

          • Fergal73

            1) As far as I can ascertain, this tax applies to new re-zones, not retrospectively.
            Agreed, since the only way that tax would be due on NAMA land bought by devleopers would be it if went higher than the bubble price.

            2) Future re-zones are what I was referring to.
            Agreed – there will be virtually no re-zoning of land for development.

            Thus, the new tax renders the existing zoned land much more valuable than any possible future rezonings; thus NAMA re-inflates the bubble for the price it pays (We pay!) for the already zoned residential/commercial lands.
            Agreed – to a point.
            I think a value of 50% of the loan value (not the peak bubble value) is too much. But this corrupt government are going to pay too much anyway. At least this might reduce taxpayer losses.
            Existing zoned land will be more valuable that future rezonings. Will it be far more valuable? I doubt it. I think there’s likely enough residential and commerical property lying empty to minimize the possibility of another property / land bubble for in the next 7 – 10 years. Since that land would effectively be State owned, that value would shared by the taxpayer.

            Just to be clear, I think NAMA is the biggest mistake Ireland has made. I’m against it, but think the 80% tax idea is a grain of sugar in a sea of salt.

        • wills

          Fergal73, can i say it’s sick to think of your self
          and all others run out of this abstract fascist state / POnzi Rep
          due to a pathetic doubling tripling of house prices
          to scam a few coppers to buy sherman tank jeeps
          and buy tacky bling etc.

        • Colin_in_exile

          Aren’t there any schools/hospitals/libraries/politicians/police stations/law courts/pensioners/single parents where you live Fergal?

          You’d prefer to see the Islamists plotting to destroy our freedom with the West standing idly by?

          • Fergal73

            I live in NYC, so yes is the answer to you rhetorical question.

            No, I’m vehemently anti-religious influence in the affairs of state. I’m utterly opposed to the spread (and the existence) of radical islam. I’m also against the Iraq War because it was not about terrorism prevention, it was and is about oil. The Iraq War was sold to the West under a false pretense that Iraq had WMDs (none were found) and that Iraq was involved in 9/11. Both the war in Iraq and Afghanistan radicalize more uneducated men and women to hate the West and its freedoms.
            If you doubt that, look at the Irish historical precendent. When was the period of greatest IRA recruitment? Right after Bloody Sunday and during Internment. Imagine what an all-out war would have made of the IRA!

          • Colin_in_exile

            So Fergal, why did you move to a country that is in the process of “radicalize more uneducated men and women to hate the West and its freedoms”, and support that country’s war effort by working there and paying taxes to support those missions?

            Why not emigrate to a country that reflects your “John Lennon – Imagine there’s no heaven / War is over” politics like Sweden or Switzerland? It seems to me that you’re trying to have it both ways i.e. living in a country that looks after its interests through military means while benefiting from its employment opportunities it can provide.

            As for IRA, we all were teenage provos, but grew up out of it. IRA knew it was unwinnable war, and opted for the peace process.

          • adamabyss

            Colin, I agree, Churchill saved us. We can all be as nice and liberal and progressive as we want but at the end of the day I’d rather my mother and my sister and my daughter lived under the Yanks than under the ODIOUS extremist Muslims (not forgetting that reasonable Muslims in Iran and Pakistan have ladies with equal opportunities). Click on this link please people and look at the photo (far more informative than viewing JUVENILE videos on youtube – avoid like the plague) – I had a blissfully poor but happy childhood in Lucan -


  40. Riggs


    NAMA starting to look very respectable but still room for improvement.

    Zoe slammed finally by our courts.
    Prof Lucey now talking utter crap as against crap.
    Richard Bruton seriously faltering.
    Eamon Gilmore secretly wants to bed down with FF

    All that is now missing is a come back from “soft landing” experts Jim Power and Dan McLaughlin!

    • Tim

      Riggs, NAMA looking “respectable”? Brian Lucey “talking utter crap”?

      If you are basing these statements on the new window-dressing NAMA has received, I fear you may not yet have thought it all through completely.

      For instance, even if it does work to a modest extent and we don’t lose the country in it, just a few tens-of-billions, what do you think the propped-up developers will do with the 80% “flip-tax”? They will simply add it to the asking price, of course.


      If there will be any people left with sufficient income to service a mortgage and yet stupid enough to start buying houses at artificially inflated prices again, they will be very few and far between.

      This scheme is crazy, Riggs; and it is daylight robbery of all Irish people and our children.

    • wills

      commentin that lucey is talking crap is attacking the man instead of the ball.
      Try to debate the ideas and NAMA in its black crony capitalists operation that it is.

  41. wills




  42. Riggs


    I’m getting very close to transporting the “s” back to its rightful place!

    Please help prevent such an occurrence and look long and hard at where we are at.


    You are blinded by Luceydom as is the man himself. He has now attained the same self admiring status as our fallen heros JP, DmcL et al.
    I am in awe of your tolerance of such recycled nonsense and simultaneously I am fascinated by the media attention to same.

    • wills

      can i ask you something, please don’t assume you know my mind and how much time effort and energy i’ve invested in studying up on NAMA,..

      I can’t believe im spending time asking you to please us my posting tag respectfully, now if you want too waste your time fluttering
      around with it’s spelling ok go for it,

    • Colin_in_exile


      Why do you want property prices to be high?
      Have you got a wee property portfolio in your back pocket?
      Are you unwilling to earn your wealth like most people, instead of expecting bricks and mortar to provide wealth for you?
      Are Mammy & Daddy leaving you the keys of their house(s) when they snuff it, making you rich without lifting a finger?

      • Riggs

        Grigs – Ingenious!

        Why do you want property prices to be high? I DON’T
        Have you got a wee property portfolio in your back pocket? YES BUT SO HAVE MANY OTHERS FROM ALL SECTORS OF IRISH SOCIETY
        Are you unwilling to earn your wealth like most people, instead of expecting bricks and mortar to provide wealth for you? HAVE EARNED ANYTHING I HAVE THE HARD WAY OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS AND DECIDED WRONGLY AS IT TRANSPIRES TO INVEST IN PROPERTY
        Are Mammy & Daddy leaving you the keys of their house(s) when they snuff it, making you rich without lifting a finger? BOTH DEAD MANY YEARS (R.I.P) AND BOTH HAD VERY ORDINARY LIVES BUT WERE EXTREMELY HAPPY

        Next infantile comment?

        • Colin_in_exile


          I see you are a bitter old man who now realises his error in investing in property.
          You want the government to ease your self inflicted pain by bringing in NAMA.
          You obviously are conflicted as you deny you want property prices to remain high, yet have your own portfolio.
          Your parents ordinariness is obviously a burden on you.

          p.s., no need to shout, people have been sacked from their jobs for choosing that kind of text style.

          • Fergal73

            Colin, I think that’s a bit harsh.

            Assuming Riggs started work in his 20′s, he’s now in his 50′s. Not that there is anything wrong with being old, but 50′s is simply not old.

            He realises property investment was a mistake, but why are you saying he’s bitter? I bought shares in AIB, now virtually worthless, I’m disappointed, but not bitter. I made a bet, I lost. Move on. (Despite my Bank shares, I believe that the Govt Guarantee was a mistake, that NAMA is too, but that by guaranteeing the Bank deposits, the view is that the State is so deep in it that it has no choice but to continue). The banks should have been nationalised from the outset.

            He wants the govt to ease his self-inflicted pain? Doesn’t virtually everyone? Riggs may be blind to the idea that NAMA robs every citizen and their offspring, but that is understandable. “Nothing so blinds a man as the sight of his neighbour getting rich”. Watching your net worth tumble at a faster rate than those around you is probably similar.

            He’s conflicted? Everyone is to some extent. See Tim on this page who’s leader of his local FF cumman who thinks FF leaderhip are corrupt and pursuing wrong policies, but he’ll still lead their cumman. PArt of me delights in seeing Irish property head towards (and there’s a long way to go) realistic levels (because it gives me a chance to return to Ireland to live), but another part of me regrets it because I see how it affects friends and family who bought during the madness. Of course, NAMA means that even if prices fall to absurdly low levels, there’ll be so little economic activity, that there’d be nothing for me to return to, but that’s another story.

            His parent’s ordinariness is a burden? Colin, you are way off the mark there. You have no reason to suppose that. Most people have ordinary lives. That is the nature of ordinary lives, most people must live them for them to be ordinary.

            He might have used CAPS as method if making it easy to distinguish between your text and his. Just think before you type.

            Your moniker here “Colin_in_exile” implies that you are bitter about being an emigrant. I’m delighted I emigrated as it means I avoided the property scam. Get a perspective.

          • wills

            colin in exile is merely mirroring back riggs simpleton posts.

          • Colin_in_exile


            On the ball, you are correct sir.


            (a) I’m not bitter I’m in exile, I’m glad where I am, but I had no choice but to leave.
            (b) CAPS? I’m well able to figure out what text belongs to Srigg without requiring a different style. To suggest otherwise is patronising
            (c) Conflicted? I’m not. If I ever was, I’d resolve it asap. I watched lots of people get rich, but I knew it would end in tears for them, and so its proving.
            (d) Age? Wealth has been transferred from the young to the old. NAMA reinforces this. Its simply outragous.Our Friend may have quit contributing to society to switch over to the parasite side. My guess is he did. This is simply wrong.
            (e) Parents:
            They fcuk you up, your mum and dad
            They may not mean to, but they do
            They pass on all the faults they had
            And add some new ones just for you

    • Tim

      Riggs, I am not blinded by anything. I apply a hermeneutic of suspicion to everything.

      Anyone who does not, or who blindly accepts all that the highly-paid spindoctors tell them is actually in grave danger of ending up like some of the awful stories mentioned above by Dilly and tirnanog33.

      These people were stitched-up for the “quick-buck” approach to property and easy credit; their lives ruined and some lives ENDED; for profit alone, without real productivity.

      A question for you Riggs, if I may?

      Apart from the economic machinations of NAMA, what is the moral impetus for it?

      Or do you consider economics, pathologically, amoral?

    • Colin_in_exile

      Iggrs is addicted to Property Porn, and doesn’t know where to go to get help for it.

  43. wills

    David, good article. Unfortunately how NAMA GOES ABOUT BUYING TOXIC ASSETS is a red herring.

    NAMA is all about the vested interests taking over the running of this country beyond their wildest dreams.

    To sit around debating NAMA’s calculus is a waste of time.

    NAMA is a trojan horse for more centralisation and more control and more gov involvement in all our lives.

    NAMA is nothing else but the laizy greedy piggies getting their
    trotters into more of our lives.

    SCRAP NAMA it is a vested interest black operation.

    Let the free market reign and wipe out rotten and bring in enterprise and an honest days work.

  44. zohan

    It’s time to open your eyes.The IDIOTS running this little island are in the pockets of the banksters,the banksters are in the pockets of the developers and so on….none of them can get us out of this MESS.At this stage it would probably better to invite the IMF TO COME IN now before NAMA makes a complete joke of the Irish economy.
    Sack the IDIOTS and jail them for robbing us…..Keep every pension cent they they think they deserve and put it into a new efficient health service

    then vote NO ,it is undemocratic to vote yes….Yes lost …get over it.
    The sooner we hit the bottom the better !

  45. wills

    Cowern on Primetime…………………

    “the context of our position in EU has changed” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> yep,. your party permitted a bubble to destroy our country.

    “it’s terribly important that people recognise” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> mammyish verbals

    “of course people want , blah, recognise, blah” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> mammyish nosense

    “we’ve go to get real miriam in this country” .>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> unreal

    “what influence are we goin to bring to EU” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 60 billion euro debt

    “voting yes sends the right signal externally blah blah” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> chr1st

    “we’re stronger in europe, working together ” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> have we not been doing that

    “what were talking here is fundamental to every irish family” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> scaremongering

    “this is about fundamentally securing our future” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> so we dont have a future without voting yes on LISbon..???!!!!!!


    “no our who;e motivation is to get credit into economy” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> you don’t say

    “were protecting the interests of the taxpayer” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>spin and nonsense

    “no to portray its a gamable goin on is bla bla” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> so its not a gamnble too pay out 60 billion

    “this argument needs to stop about golden circles” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> yes master, will do then master

    “developers are not been bailed out” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    yes master ,

    “my commitment to public service is too serve the common good” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    of course master

    “we are on one crusade here get credit going again” >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> well thats really cleared things up then too

  46. Tim

    wills, excellent! Lol! I love your “verbatim” postings with commentary!

    The question that Miriam did not ask him (nor did Mr Tubridy) is:

    “Taoiseach, what legislative provision have you made in the Bill whereby NAMA’s acceptance of a toxic asset from a bank “ensures” that said bank then “Will” release credit to support business and jobs?

    That question has not been asked; has not been answered; and, from what I can see, has not been included in NAMA negotiations.

    That is another one of the many “issues” that I have with NAMA.

    • wills

      tim, some light relief to lift the spirits..!! Hope Brendan gets a chuckle.??!!

      On your NAMA point tim can i say, look, debating the in’s and out’s
      of the nut’s and bolts of the NAMA project
      i reckon is daft,.. ‘cos NAMa is in of itself a trojan horse
      to mutate the free market system or what’s left of it
      and effect a deeply centralised gov control over the property
      price discovery mechanism.

      Thus killing the free market economy’s inherent fairness stone dead.

      • Tim

        wills, I know. I am merely questioning (with precision, I hope) the basic precept upon which our Taoiseach attempted to sell NAMA to us tonight:

        “Our economy needs jobs; our companies need credit to flow in order to maintain/restore/create jobs; NAMA will produce credit-flow”.

        Except, ther is nothing in NAMA (as it is currently constituted) that will guarantee credit-flow.

        The fact that I am, personally, against credit-flow, is immaterial here: the fact is that the Taoiseach lied about why we need NAMA.

        • wills

          Tim, just to be clear, i.m pro credit flow, pro credit, pro business, pro free market, pro innovation, pro entrepreneur, pro liberty, pro individuallism.

          Now NAMA is none of these things. NAMA is in fact nothing to do with credit. The forces installing NAMA have no interest in credit flow here.

          If the vested interests could borrow 60 80 90 100 billion from ECB it is
          obvious to a child establishing credit flow is easy peasy.

          NAMA is all about seizing control. NAMA IS ALL ABOUT SEIZING CONTROL >>>>>>

          This is what the real debate is,… this is why John ALLEN and Deco and philip and Malcolm i think and even Brendan in his harshness
          is pointing out over and over, i’m sure
          these guys will correct my assuming here if its fuzzy.

          • Wills , how do I respond ?…….I’ll start with €600,000 sure what is it really worth a big Merc and Rolls Royce maybe a small house in Dalkey , or maybe it could be the cost of making a Television Commerccial ?….send your correct reply today To Win a ?????.
            Yeah the answer is this is what Mr Molloy signed off on for a advert that never even ran , why did it not run you may ask ?, well could it be that we had 4% unemployment when it was commissioned ?…and Mary Coughlan gets up as second in command ( forget her portfolio ) and says , well she can’t do any thing about it !!!…WELL F%%K ME !, if she can’t do anything about it what can Tim in his blue shades and stripped shirt possibly do !.
            Ireland Inc and the old boys network just has to be smashed ,since my Spanish is stilll not that strong I can’t see Spain bailing there gang out , so why are we , the State becoming the biggest land owner ?,…only scare tactics .
            The Greens adding to NAMA to ‘share the losses’,…and these clowns want to take our present transport ( how are we to move competitively ? ) .
            Last night I was in the company of an Irish Builder west of Ireland man who done well in Dublin , he of course invested in east Europe and laughed how they ( Banks) can’t take his houses now as his wife owns them so he now , it seems not bothered about walking from half finished sites . These Builders are in my opinion worse than the Heroin dealers

  47. wills

    There is no difference between a bubble and a wedge (NAMA) too stop the market imposing it’s truth.

  48. Tim

    Fergal73, “He’s conflicted? Everyone is to some extent. See Tim on this page who’s leader of his local FF cumman who thinks FF leaderhip are corrupt and pursuing wrong policies, but he’ll still lead their cumman.”

    Interesting spin on my position.

    The possibility that I hold before me, however, is directly related to the wording of your post (and may, indeed, answer the question that so many new contibutors here are asking {most of the long-standing-posters have already either understood or dropped the question – apart from BrendanW} “Why does he persist?”), and it is this:


    What if it is not “their cumann” that I “lead”? (I would maintain that it is the cumann members that lead me, in fact, but that is another matter); what if it is mine? What if my leadership is capable of cultivating change? Of promoting this change?

    Surely, if there is even a remote possibility of improving matters, I have a responsibility to use my position to try to promote it?

    These are arguments I use to convince myself to keep trying.

    “Conflicted”? You don’t know the half of it, Sir!

    • WEll Tim , if this is the case then move for a egm and ask for the removal of that heavy drinking bluff from Offaly who the voters actually did not elect to lead them in the first place. . I don’t have any children but your letting your political leader destroy your students and childrens future.
      Get focused and stop sitting on the fence , stand up get on your mobile Wake Up ,..Jim MacDaid has even warned FF if they stay going down this path will be wiped out at the next election !….
      To become a leading Knowledge economy YOU Don’t Cut Education !, yet your all now back sitting at your desks after the LONG holidays and still , I’m seeing nothing in the Irish papers about you lot protesting about this madness.
      I’m going home so I can visit and physically call to our Media heads and get them talking more about the recession , my point been watched BBC and Channel 4 this week and their reality shows were mentioning the recession, where as good old RTE , well they were still guessing if the 9.99 white wine was from Chile or France !!!……
      Start Shouting Tim….start shouting ,…….. now it’s time I went a hit a few balls ,…oh yeah hope your enjoying the sun shine too !

      • Deco

        Brendan – during the boom I remember a strange feature of the news, whenever any bad forecast or any bad economic news.

        The news would start with a story about the health system. And it would occupy the first five minutes. Fergal Bowers would pop up, in a hospital in the provinces. Funding would be the problem. Incompetence was also a problem. And then there would be another news peice consisting of political reaction to the revelations. On other occasions it would be the tribunals. Then story number three would be the bac economic news.

        In comparison, I used to notice that it would be common for good economic news, or a report by Dan McLuaghlin to be the first item on the news. And it would be on a Friday. Just when people had time to think about it.

        And I used to wonder why every time there was a warning, or a closure, why the news was not treated the same. We were effectively getting propaganda. I used to also review the Irish Times Business Supplement on a Friday. It was overwhelmingly positive. It had articles by Dan McLaughlin every week. It was usually the same stuff over and over again. And it would have another article by Austin Hughes. This was about as much diversity of analysis as I could see. then on the back page there would be an article about one of the heroes of the revolution. Seanie Fitz, David Drumm, Burrows, Sheehy, Bowler, McNamara. All positive and glowing. And I kept arriving at the same conclusion. This is nonsense. This is a load of absolute nonsense. The media are not telling the truth. And it lasted for years. The dogs on the street knew more. In fact, I cam to the conclusion that the more mainstream opinion and propaganda you listened to, the more misleading information you starting absorbing for fact.

        The idea of putting the healt stories to the front of the news was very simple. Young people feel healthy. They are not thinking about health. It is something that they blank out. Therefore they would switch the television before the bad economic news or forecast appeared. This was the desired objective. Consumer confidence in the age bracket that was doing the most spending and borrowing was not affected.

        Don’t trust the media. Those that believed the propaganda are suckered rightly now. It will be interesting to see what propaganda will be created to prevent them waking up.

      • Tim

        BrendanW, I have been shouting, and writing letters to the editors about exactly the point you make (and others).

        They will not print them.

        They will not print the TRUTH about anything.

        Deco is correct in his response to you below, so I will not waste time repeating the same points.

  49. Colin_in_exile


    GAS RAN MIG bringing socialism to the bourgeoisie in their hour of need. Comrade Riggs loves to shout down to the great unwashed, he thinks they won’t be able to hear him if he doesn’t.

  50. Tim

    Colin_in_exile, It is entirely possible that some of your posts are “a bit harsh”, as Fergall73 accuses; However, you are usually correct, though harsh.

    Fergal73 does not know that yet.

    I sense an urgency, a vehemence in posts recently. Not just the already familiar panic/anger of new posters, as they wake-up and arrive here; something more.

    I sense an uncertainty, a “self-check”, a nervousness, a re-invigoration amongst us all.

    It is probably because NAMA is so nebulous (on purpose) that we cannot totally get to grips with it.

    I have chosen to oppose NAMA so that we can try and transmute it into something that favours the entire population, rather than just the elite; yet, I do not want to oppose it so long that nothing different happens and we continue to spiral downwards. Therein lies the tension that is manifesting in so many posts recently, I think.

    We want something done to stop the carnage, but we cannot trust the people who conceived NAMA, are promoting NAMA and will operate NAMA to stop the carnage being wreaked upon ordinary people.

    So, frustration abounds.

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