November 11, 2009

Forget the past - we must take control of our future

Posted in Debt · 267 comments ·

Sometimes we can be an extremely vindictive society. In times of trouble, there’s often a dreadful clamour for vengeance. As a general rule, it seems sensible to avoid those who seek recrimination and punishment for those who made mistakes; although righteous indignation may satisfy a visceral yearning, vengeance and outrage don’t move things on one bit.

Nowhere is this more relevant than in economics and finance, particularly now, when we are in dire straits. One of the biggest questions facing our country is how are we going to deal with the simple mistake made by hundreds of thousands who bought property at the top of the boom. Many of these people — ourselves, our brothers, sisters or children — were cynically manipulated by “vested interests” and find themselves in the situation where they can’t repay the loans they have taken out.

So what are we to do? Back in February, this column argued for a debt moratorium for people who simply can’t pay. Interestingly, it seems that our mortgage lenders are coming around to this position. There are many imaginative ways of giving people a break. We need to give ordinary people a chance. Ireland must give people hope, because hope is what will prevent us from sinking and without hope and a belief in the future, we will get nowhere.

The idea of debt deferral means the banks would write off say 50pc of the principal and in return get to own half the house so that in 15 years’ time, when all this is a bad memory, the bank gets half the upside when the house is sold. This is not as radical as it sounds and in the US such proposals have been around for a few months.

This is what corporations do when they are in trouble. In corporate finance it is called a debt/equity swap. For example, this was the route that Independent News and Media took with its debt-holders recently. The deal was that the debt-holders (the bankers in this case) would take shares in the company instead of forcing the company to pay all its debts now. Over the next few years, if things turn out better, the shares will rise and the company, the creditors and the shareholders will survive. It’s not perfect, but nothing anyone does from here is going to be perfect. Crucially, though, it gives everyone hope again.

If we look at the hundreds of thousands now in negative equity, the main argument against deferring debts, which can’t be paid anyway, is that if we defer debts now, people will just do it again the next time the economy recovers.

In economics, the idea is that if you let people away with their mistakes they will never learn. This way of looking at such a dilemma is to say, “hard luck, you made an error and you should pay”. This view contends that this is the way life works — “you win some, you lose some” and when you win (as people who sold land in the boom did) you win big. In contrast, when you lose (as hundreds of thousands who bought in the boom did) you lose everything. This works fine in a pure world where everyone takes a hit and moves on. But in a world where the banks are being bailed out, thousands of people struggling with debt can rightly ask, what about me?

Quite apart from the obvious disparity between the treatment of the big bankrupt banks and the small person in negative equity, there is another huge issue, which is lost in today’s deliberation about where we go next. Let’s try to look at the dreadful debt trap we are in from the national perspective because all these thousands of decisions add up to one collective dilemma.

When you think about it, when the banks lend you a mortgage, they are betting on you. They are betting on your “long-term economic value” — that is, your ability to pay over the next few decades. They are taking a view on your career and your financial prospects. The house is just the security, but the income is you and your abilities.

Now with unemployment up sharply, wages falling and the next move in interest rates likely to be upward, the prospects of the average person have taken a huge hit. But if the banks move against the person now, they cut off any hope of redemption. The unemployed person caught in the trap has a choice: emigrate or stay on the dole. Those who have jobs will save more because they are worried about the future. This is what we are faced with. So we need to change things and give people hope.

Think about emigration: once a person leaves this country, they are gone and they contribute nothing to the place. Most often, emigrants are young people in whom the country has invested hugely in terms of education so to get nothing back is quite a waste. Likewise, if that person goes on the dole, the State pays their income so the situation for the country is actually worse. And if the person stays here in a job — just clinging on — but saves everything he or she earns, then the place grinds to a halt with people too scared to spend. Prices then fall and fall further. This cycle has to be broken quickly.

LP Hartley said: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” This is where we have to start now. What is done is done. It is time for solutions, not recrimination. Sometimes ideas which might sound radical are the only alternative. Debt deferral, while not perfect, is an obvious place to start, and since we are giving the banks so much money, there should be some conditions placed on the banks for our benefit.

We have a generation — in the prime of their lives — who are stuck, dragged down by mistakes made in the wild hysteria of the past five or so years. That place was “a foreign country”. It is now time to reinvent ourselves as a better country, one that learns from the past but is not hostage to it.

  1. G

    Forget the past and your are condemed to repeat it!!

    Not holding those accountable, those financial and political socio-paths and criminals is an affront to decent Irish people and Ireland’s history of struggle over imperialism.

    The Irish need to make a stand, working people from all backgrounds need to unite, we need a new Republic based on equality, dignity and the right to housing, education and healthcare!

    Further to your Jack Welch homily David, this is worth reading:

    John Perkins calls himself a former economic hit man. He has seen the signs of today’s financial meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiasco, the collapse of the banking industry, the rising unemployment rate–these are all familiar to him.
    Perkins was on the front lines of monitoring and helping create these very events that were once just confined to the third world. From ’71 to 1981, he worked for the international consulting firm Chas T. Main, where he was a self-described “economic hit man.” It was based in Boston.
    He’s the author of the New York Times bestseller, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and The Secret History of the American Empire. Well, he’s out with a new book. It’s called Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded–and What We Need to Do to Remake Them.
    ” Amy GOODMAN: You talk about the robber barons, the modern day robber barons. Who do you mean?
    JOHN PERKINS: So many of them. You know, we’ve seen them recently on Wall Street, the people from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and so many other organizations, people like Jack Welch, who is a former CEO of General Electric. And as I lecture at business schools and MBA programs, Jack Welch is often held up as this idol. Jack Welch laid off a quarter of GE’s employees. You know, he said he was making the company meaner and leaner–he certainly was making it meaner–gave himself huge raises and bonuses at the same time, turned General Electric essentially from a manufacturing company into a financial services company, which really was one of the leaders in taking us down this course today that we’re on of a failed economic system.
    And we truly have a failed economic system at this point. It’s deep. You know, one of the reasons I wrote Hoodwinked is because I saw a lot of books coming out that deal with what I consider triage. What do you do with AIG? What do you do with General Electric? What do you do about the immediate problems with Wall Street? But the problem is much, much deeper. There’s a cancer beneath all that. And this is this very basics of our current economic system. And we must delve down and root out that cancer and move into something much better.
    I have a two-year-old grandson. And as I look at this baby, you know, I think, what’s this world going to look like in six decades, when he’s my age? If we stay the course, it will be horrible. But we have this opportunity now, and I think this economic turmoil that we’re in today is teaching us that we must change. We have a failed system. We must create something better.
    AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins, you have an interesting theory about what happened in Honduras, the coup that just took place there. What do you think?
    JOHN PERKINS: Well, I don’t think it’s a theory. You know, I think it’s–I was in Panama at the time that the coup took place. And, you know, the democratic–
    AMY GOODMAN: In June.
    JOHN PERKINS: Yeah. The democratically elected president, Zelaya, had called for a new constitution to replace the old one that was really set up by the oligarchy in favor of the very, very, very wealthy and the international companies. He also called for a 60 percent increase in the bottom wage rate, which had a huge impact on Dole and Chiquita, two of the biggest employers in that company. They, along with a number of companies that have sweatshops in Honduras, strongly objected, very much the same way that they had objected to Aristide in Haiti, when he did something similar, and called in the military. The general in charge of the military was a graduate of our School of the Americas, this, you know, school that’s famous for creating dictators, and they overthrew Zelaya. It was a classic CIA-sponsored type of coup, very similar to what United Fruit had done in Guatemala in the early ’50s. And, of course, United Fruit became Chiquita.
    So you had this–you know, this strong relationship and got rid of this democratically elected president, because he was drawing a line in the sand. We had seen ten countries in Latin America bring in new presidents who are instituting very significant reforms in favor of the people, in favor of using local resources to help the people pull themselves up by the bootstraps, and I think the corporatocracy decided to draw a line in the sand in Honduras.”

    • kissane

      This is very insightful and informative and frightening stuff.
      In a time we are told by the CEO of Golmans that the banks are doing God’s work!
      I wonder is John Perkins as credible as Joe Coleman or is he for real?
      Or are our Economic Hitmen in our schools of economics?

    • coldblow

      Gore Vidal was in Guatemala in 1946 (‘Dreaming War’) and was astonished when told that the US would overthrow the Govt to protect the interests of the United Fruit Co.

      “…”Why, one of your big senators is on the board of ‘el pulpo’ (UFC)”.

      “I knew somehting about senators. Which one? Mario was vague. ‘He has three names. He’s form Boston I think…’
      “‘Henry Cabot Lodge? I don’t believe it. Lodge was a family friend -as a boy I had discussed poetry witih him…’

      “…But in those days I was not aware to what extent big business controlled the government of our own rapidly expiring Republic. Now, of course, everone knows to what extent our subsequent empire, with its militarized economy, controls business. The end result is much the same for the rest of the world.”

      I didn’t used to believe this kind of thing either. Seems it’s still going on.

      GV makes great play about the 1% who control America. The percentage sounds about right.

      Must dash…


    What about the people who didn’t buy at the inflated prices? They said “this is mad” and waited. Now it is their chance to get a house at a reasonable price. These type of schemes and societies general ‘higher house prices are better’ view mean that we are supporting those who gambled – let’s be clear here, the housing market is a market and no one forced these people to buy and no one complained when the market was going up. I have sympathy for people but it is either a market or it is not. We cannot protect people from their mistakes as to do so would penalise those who did not make a mistake.

    • wills

      Totally agree mickeyg. And NAMA is all about STOPPING this and preserving the bubble prices going forward into the newly reinvented corporatist state the republic of Ireland.

    • G

      What market are you talking about? A market that offers you a fair price for your purchase?

      A market that uses every possible tool in the book to con and cajole people into making uninformed decisions deploying a barrage of advertising and using faux celebrity economists to talk of prices rising or gentle landings when things predicably go wrong.

      A market that threatens and bullies people for failing to get on the ladder? A market that manipulates and uses the media (print and broadcast) with property porn supplements and programming 24-7?

      A market that vastly inflates ‘telephone’ prices, while the people in suits (real estate agents, lawyers, accountants and bankers all taking their cut)/

      A rigged market, is that the one you are talking about? Not the free market, the equitable market, the dream market of Western PR machines…………..A market that bails out those who created the crisis, with no criminal proceedings and leaves the punter holding the shitty end of the stick time and again.

      A mistake is one thing, a complete
      f-ing con job from top to bottom is another!

      Market my ass!

      • MICKEYG

        Every industry does this. Look at car advertisers. Should we help people out who buy a Range Rover and find it is worth 40% of the purchase price 3 years later? People were not forced to buy. They were encouraged and as you sat actively persuaded to by unscrupulous individuala and corporations but nobody held a gun to their head.

        • G

          ‘Mindless consumers who make irrational choices’ is one of the core goals of ‘industry’ or marketing/pr/advertising arms of MNCs and they are pretty successful but not without considerable money being spent (billions every year to this end).

          The documentary ‘Century of Self’ is particularly useful in outlining all this, the deep psychological work that has been done etc, I recommend it 1000% if you haven;t already seen it. Edward Bernays and the drive to get women smoking is a particularly interesting case study.

          I remember the old maxim ‘let the buyer beware’, thats fine if products are advertised and sold in a correct moral and ethical not to mind social and environmentally correct fashion, this however has been far from the case in Ireland on virtually every product, with 99% of items from houses to the proverbial ships anchor overpricced by 70% to 30% respectively.

          Despite the pressures and lack of money (could have borrowed from all in sundry), I did not buy in and am grateful I have the mobility that comes from not being in debt or a home owner, that does not mean I feel no compassion for those stuck in negative equity, on the contrary, something needs to be done, a change of government first, a Dail enquiry section and jail terms and fines for those involved in sabotaging the Irish state, with senior business and banking people barred for life from any related activities, and private assets (bar their own home) to be seized,sold at public auction and money used for an employmen fund. Both Mary McAlesses and Mary Coughlan (we can throw in Mary Hanafin as well so that all the ducks are lined up) can contribute by abolishing their overpaid posts and putting one of their many outfits up on e-bay (if they get any takers)!

          • wills

            ‘Century of Self’ at link below.


          • wills

            -confiscate the’ land vendors’ wealth
            -retrospective tax on all bonuses
            -file charge’s on all managerial staff involved in tweeking applications for loans.
            -charge regulator with dereliction of duty.
            -charge all banking directors for banking malpractice.

            Purely on the basis of the state’s authority over awarding of banking license should it be legally binding to pursue any misconduct of fiduciary duty.

          • paulmcd

            G, Great contribution!

          • G

            @ Will – thanks for web link, very useful, appreciated.

          • IMoM

            Buyer beware means buyer beware whether is honest, ethical or not, my apologies for the tautology, we all feel, I hope for those who got sucked in but buyer beware.

        • Ruairí

          Not fully true MickeyG. No, no guns to the heads but this FF (PD-infected) right-leaning government produced record lows of public / social housing while “allowing” light touch regulation of private housing mortgages……….
          Similarly, when we hear anecdotal stories of single mothers (I know one who returned from abroad, a professional who received this ‘help’) getting 3 bed semi’s from the HSE, we can clearly see what is afoot. The State purses and mechanisms, under the steady guiding hand of FF’s backroom crew, have been used as filters to transfer your and my wealth not to the young mother or to the young couple indeed who thought they purchased an appreciating asset, but to the minority group who SOLD the sh1t in the 1st place. So all policies effectively kneel before that almighty altar. Land prices. Land flu. The only infection we have to deal with in Ireland.
          Again, no guns to the head. But there is a clear reason why social waiting lists went through the roof. There is also a clear reason why the Cabinet do not now purchase thousands of houses as EQUITY as David points out, through NAMA, and forget about loans for that aspect of the conundrum.
          There is a clear reason why none of this makes sense. Because they’re not citizen-minded, they’re not republican and they don’t give a sh1t about ordinary decent Irish people.
          “Anger is not a solution” as Dalai Cowen informs us recently. Neither is proclaiming that position Mr Cowen and then not completing the logical steps, as David is doing today.
          Many of us here have called for principal writedowns (me included), not just debt moratoriums. For God’s sake people, the US balance sheet has multiplied 14 times in 2 years. Its all funny money. Remember David’s explanations over the years of how leveraging equity in our homes got us to where we are? The real ‘value’ beneath the €54BN is miniscule, today or using LTEV. Its based on utility and demand for that value.

          • Ruairí

            Or rather more so David’s explanations of how developers in particular used their equity to build “exponential empires of sand”. Mimicked by many homeowners of course and encouraged by the banking sector.

          • Colin_in_exile


            You said this was a right leaning government, but I would contend it was left leaning government. Why? To quote yourself “single mothers (I know one who returned from abroad, a professional who received this ‘help’) getting 3 bed semi’s from the HSE”, now I presume by getting it she didn’t have to PAY for it.

            Can I ask a stupid question, why should anyone be entitled to a 3 bed semi without paying for it, while I’m not entitled to have the same deal? This policy effectively reduced supply to the market, which increased demand, which increased the prices for these 3 bed semis.

            Another stupid question, why couldn’t she move back in with her parents, thus saving the taxpayer a lot of money in paying landlords of 3 bed semis?

            Finally, just out of curiousity, what does being a republican mean these days? Are the other parties only semi-republican? Are the other parties attempting to bring the british monarchy back into Ireland, or track down the descendents of the last Ard Ri?

          • Ruairí

            @Colin in Exile,

            you asked a number of stupid questions, but that’s ok.

            No, a single mother should not be more entitled to a house than any other citizen and neither did I promote that.

            Secondly you ask a stupid question about her personal situation? indeed, why shouldn’t she? I don’t know and wasn’t arguing her personal circcumstances? I was discussing how taxpayers’ money is being filtered to the ultimate beneficiaries.

            Thirdly, you ask an exceedingly naive question about what a republican is these days? What it has always been, Colin in Exile. I did not say a narrow Irish Republican. I said republican. Believing in the primacy of the people, the equality of each citizen etc etc. Do you see that in action here today as NAMA unfolds, as the budget unfolds? It means being more concerned with cold old people this winter than with which flavour crisps taste better going down one’s gullet.

          • Colin_in_exile


            Thanks for taking the time to reply to my stupid questions.

            When you’re knickers are out of the twist you put them in, I hope you see that I wasn’t accusing you of advocating your friend’s situation, my point was that the FF gubberment leant to the left, right, and almost any direction possible under the sun.

            Your crisp comment is quite immature, my point was about how “successful” Irish products in the home market didn’t / couldn’t succeed abroad. What makes you think I don’t care as much as you do about how cold the old will feel this winter? Do monarchists in other countries treat their old people like sh1t?

          • Deco

            { “Anger is not a solution” as Dalai Cowen informs us recently. }

            Eh no – but neither is Cowen and Ahern’s idiot ministers the solution either. In fact in many ways they represent the biggest impediment to any solution.

      • MICKEYG

        Agree that we need to jail those who were implciit in this. How is Fitzpatrick still free is beyond me. And the fact that the guys in charge of the banks are not riducled is also beyond me – they should never work again as they are so imcompetent. We also have the financial regulator resigning with a huge pay off. Cowen says “it was in his contract”. Who signs these contracts that award individuals forr extreme incompetence?
        If the markets were allowed to function normally the shareholders of banks would ensure proper people were in charge and poroper procedures followed. When there is a safety net under an organization as the banks know there is the market will not work. I say let the banks fail. If there is a need for a bank in Ireland one will come in from abroad very quickly.

        • wills

          Mickey; read malcolm mcclure at 28 last article for a clear concise explain on some of the details how it is the elite s remain untouched.

  3. wills


    “when the banks bet on you”.

    The banks never loose, only loose out.

  4. wills

    Latvia provides the homeowners debt trap ‘get out’.

    See link.

    BUT, it mean’s facing reality and real market equilibrium prices and we all know the ‘powers at be’ will do anything to stop house prices falling to the real market price.

    NAMA and it’s state funded and controlled coercion of the property market finding its real market equilibrium is the BIG QUESTION.

    • wills

      Do the homeowners wish for their properties to fall back too a third of it;s bubble price.

      But then it ruins their ‘who want’s to be a millionaire’ fantasy.

      • Colin_in_exile

        Of course not, and this explains such a poor turnout at the anti NAMA marches a couple of months ago.

        I’d like to see RTE come up with a new programme, “I’m an adult, I’ve no money, no job, no place of my own now, GET ME OUT OF HERE”

      • MICKEYG

        Agreed. Why is it that we try and prop up the price of the most expensive thing we will ever buy – a house – yet whinge and moan when milk goes up by 5c a litre?

        • Colin_in_exile

          Pride – Too many Irish people think a high house value is a great accomplishment, the only real accomplishment worth striving for in their life. The irony is that many Irish people are not house proud, in the sense of maintaining their property well, when compared to other nationalities anyway.

  5. Dilly

    As sure as night follows day, this will be abused by the usual suspects. The whole system is corrupt to the core, and I think only a complete crash will bring people to their senses. The people are still praying that things will pickup, when the reality sets in, I hope we will then see a change. Looking at Mary Hanafin on Pat Kenny with her lip gloss talking rubbish, I actually turned to Channel 4, and missed the excitment. The Government would love to forget the past, while also winking and nodding at their mates “nice earner here lads”.

  6. David, ‘We must forget the past and take control of our future ‘, are you working on a comedy script for the Panel?
    We Must not forget the past , it is because of our past that we are facing such a quagmire.
    People are today in Negative equity simply because of a over inflated property bubble brought about by the corporate greed from our institutions. Where we saw The Bankers , golfing and dining with the regulators of their industry, Real estate agents ( sorry Auctioneers ! ) given mortgage agencies. Our National Print Media with PR agencys worked out deals for spreads with the developers and in return got lovely houses and apartments to ‘give away’ as readers prizes. Developers done deals with air lines to fly buyers off to sunny climes to see ‘what value’ they could get in the sun.
    And EVERY Day on Our National Media we were told we were the envy of Europe !. Local bank managers gave out loans to Joe Soap the block layer and his new best mate the semi state manager to ‘develop’ a lovely housing scheme out side every city, town and village in the country, these bank managers never asked about services around these estates or questioned would the local schools take these extra children, they simply looked at what cheques Joe was bringing in and at Mr Semi State’s monthly salary and after all they had their commission to think about.
    We Cannot Forget the past , after over a decade of fluid cash , our schools, hospitals, roads, public transport, communications , energy infrastructure and State Quango’s are all still a mess. While we have had tribunals set up because of past corruption, nothing has come from these apart from creating a elite legal profession into millionaires.
    Ireland as I’ve said before has to Sober up !,… Our Political Elite have been making fools of us for generations and now that the wheels have fallen off the Banking Machine , We have rebuild this society.
    Sure F.F would like to see more of us emigrate to ease their payments and balance sheets. This I think is not the option we should take, we should stay here and demand change.
    We have a Golden opportunity now as all sides are at each others throats, why can’t we have a government where people are given positions because of their credentials and not because of their fathers name.
    When we came out of the caves we bartered feathers and skins for beasts and labour.
    We have to look at what Money really is again!

    • Ruairí

      “We have to look at what Money really is again!”

      Spot on, BrendanW. There’s an implicit trust implied in money, as a social exchange. An underlying value. And that’s why CFDs, derivatives, queasing and all other such measures are highbrow forms of robbery of the people, through underhand means.

  7. paulmcd

    David, I wonder if the house is sold at a (real) loss after 15 years, will the lending institution be prepared to simply write off the downside. I live in the Dundalk area and note that you can buy a 3-bedroom house on the outskirts of town for €215,000. This price is €65,000 above the price of a similar property in Dundalk in 2004. Prices would need to decline a further 30% to get back to the level of 2004. Even then this “entry-level” home costing €150,000 at some time in the future would be valued at 4 times today’s average income, with the possibility that median income will be declining and that disposable income will be declining even more over the coming years, plus interest rates are more likely to rise than to fall. Peak-oil theorists would suggest that by 2014 we will be heading into an era of double-digit inflation. I remember paying a double-digit interest rate of c. 14% on a home loan during the early 80s. Are our lending institutions factoring in this possibility when considering mortgage applications? Absolutely not! The implications could be horrendous. We must not forget the past; and taking control of the future is going to be problematic at best.

  8. G

    And if we extend the logic of this argument about banksters and the corporates in this country to the global system………

    “……Let me give you just ONE statistic, worked out in minutes, because otherwise it’s incomprehensible. Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the POOREST part of the world, is paying $25,000 every minute to Northern creditors. Well, you could build a lot of schools, a lot of hospitals, a lot of job–you could make a lot of job creat…ion, if you were using $25,000 a minute differently from debt repayment. So there’s this drain. ……”

    From the new documentary: ‘The End of Poverty?’

  9. The illusion is that there is a “free” market, but I don’t think this has existed for several hundred years. Monopoly rules, in finance and in industry, we are just a dependant economy – ruled from abroad.

    The ‘future’ economy must be organised in a planned way, to serve the needs of our society, not the ‘profit motive’. Until this happens we will continue with enslavement to foreign debt, uncertainty etc.

    There should be emergency laws passed to issue summary justice to criminals who have allowed our economy to sink and who have feathered their nests off the backs of ordinary people. Jail them all! Then we should examine the legitimacy of our debt, cancel NAMA, cancel domestic mortgages, without compensation to the bankers, and setup a new State Credit Service. And so on …

    • wills

      Focus energies on catching the criminals and hand cuffs on.

      Question is how strong is the political will to do this.

      Politicians quite obviously do not feel the pressure of the press ganging voters too demand justice.

      Look at the NAMA protest turn out 5000.

      Shameful. And all it did was confirm to the politicians stay in the pocket of the criminal banking syndicate and corporate elites.

      • Ruairí

        @ Wills “Question is how strong is the political will to do this.”

        I would say close to zero.

        Your link to was very interesting. Not least of all, this: -
        Only in a fantasy ireland could we in the blogosphere cause any of our shameless criminal abetters to resign. Our political culture is corrupt and amoral to the bone, let’s face it.
        Able young players on FG (high praise for dem Blueshirts from an aul republican like meself) questioning the banks yesterday in Dáil committees while blustering buffoon John Moloney explains yesterday in the Dáil that the Health Dept is fierce busy !!

  10. Hi,

    In order to solve a problem, its often helpful to break it down into its parts. Let’s look at the part related to Ireland.

    Lets try to rescue the young mortgage holders. Its time the banks in return for bail out offered optional debt for equity swaps of 41% to all mortgage holders.

    Financial gurus can sweeten the deal by dreaming up switch out deals in return for opting into full repayment schemes.

    As for cleaning up the mess, it does give the option of allowing the messers to go ahead and make a bigger one!

    Hapless Hanafin on Frontline the other evening…

    .”.we’re not bailing out the banks, we’re giving a bond, an IOU, we’ll be getting €77bn assets in return”

    Whoopee, the Winter sales are on! The banks are giving us a €77bn Xmas presie!

    Pat was soft on her statement more taxation seemed not a priority. But ‘shouty boy’ Ireland’s version of Michael Moore revisited the question of high salaries later in the show. Pat declined to answer the points put to him but was magnanimous in allowing the points to be made and was clapped by the audience for doing so!!

    • wills

      this iou for NAMA would not be possible only for the workers real productivity in the real economy going forward.

      So, the workers are billing and bailing out the gambling banking fraternity.

    • Deco

      The term “Assets” in Hanafin’s sentence makes the rest of what she says a loaded statement.

      That was the fool who decided that we needed to get back to sustainable development after going around smiling like a Cheshire cat during the bubble with one hare-brained scheme after another.

      She can’t even get the dole queues sorted out.

  11. I suppose a good place to start is breaking up the banks into society serving “High St” units and “Investment” banks as with the old days.
    At least that way the staid responsible lenders aren’t polluted by the bonus driven market gamblers.

  12. adamabyss


  13. liam


    The concept of not living the past is a sound one. Time we stopped talking about the past and figured out what the next steps should be. However in thinking of the future, we should not forget about the present.

    Re debt for equity: The third outing for this particular idea here I believe. How does this get cash flowing in the economy again? I’m afraid I don’t see the link. If you effectively bail out people who can’t afford their mortgages, on average your returning them to a situation where they can afford their mortgages, but are not necessarily going to spend what they were forgiven, since they didn’t have it to spend in the first place.

    The banks will have yet another excuse to shut up shop as far as anything with a hint of risk about it that comes their way, so they can offset the hit they know they are going to take down the road when the deal matures (house prices in Ireland will never return to their peak values in real terms). So you can forget about Irish businesses (or anybody for that matter outside of their circle of elite friends: the vested interests you mention) getting any joy with investment from them.

    50% of homes in Ireland don’t have any mortgage at all, so their situation will remain unchanged and they are no more likely to spend in tomorrow’s depressed economy than they are now.

    Lastly, you forget that the people who are most likely to depart Ireland are the best qualified ones with the brightest ideas, people who may not have been involved at all in the mania, yet are being forced to pay for it. Why on earth would anybody without financial commitments in Ireland stick around to be shafted with tax and put up with shitty services?

    You need to provide an incentive to all home owners in Ireland that either provides some long term benefit to them or for those who are currently screwed, keeps a roof over their heads. How about a debt for equity swap which mortgage free home owners could also avail of?

    So since you have re-floated your idea, I’ll float this one again: How about we allow up to some maximum share of the house’s equity, a currently mortgage free property owner (residential or commercial) to use long-term equity to provide energy infrastructure upgrades to their property. This could include everything from insulation, solar heating, air/ground-source heat pumps etc, to CHP for large industrial/commercial buildings. It could also include grid-connected plug-in points for electric vehicles. By converting everything to using electricity, we hedge our bets in the future and can use oil, gas, or imported electricity as we see fit.

    Ireland is massively dependant on imported energy, and very specifically on imported oil. We could make a massive dent in one of the main reasons for not adopting new energy technology, which is the pain in deploying the infrastructure, as well as reducing our overall energy use.

    The banks will not be too sad about being forced to do this, since its the people who are not financially screwed who will take advantage. Safe bets in other words. We would also provide a massive stimulus that overnight would result in Ireland becoming a world leader in energy efficiency in the built environment and possess a thriving alternative/sustainable energy industry, and all of it financed by the banks, not a cent of exchequer money involved.

    • Tim

      Liam, this is massive effort, that you have delivered, here.

      Thank you.

    • liam

      Some rough numbers: if you take a wild stab at guessing current house price averages based on the CSO statistics from 1970, a house with a peak value of 400k is now worth about 150k. 10% of that give you 15k of improvements. The cost can be offset by investing 1k at 5% for 15 years (including an assumption of moderate house price growth from this level) in a mutual or some other type of fund. But instead of saving for the cost of improvement to be realised in 15 years, you get the benefits immediately. If you over estimate the value of the property now, that just means a smaller share of the equity to be repaid (or given up) and in 15 years it will be fairly clear if the current prices have been over estimated or not.

      In the wider economy, you get not only the 15k each property owner on average is spending going directly in to the economy, you also get the potential collective investments they will make to cover the costs down the road. If half the un-mortgaged households in Ireland take advantage of this, its very roughly a €/300M a YEAR investment fund or range of funds (or that order of magnitude at any rate). 5% average return should be easy.

      You can have this one for free if it turns out that it works. Better than standing around jerking off about who did what to whom and how fcuked we all are.

      Now, this could all be nonsense, but I’d like somebody to look at this. I have zero expertise in the financial aspects. (no financial interest in to declare either)

    • liam

      Worth a look in this context. Keep in mind that crisis = opportunity.

  14. Alan42

    What a horror show . I have not been in Ireland in 5 years and this xmas I will be back for a month . From what I am reading and hearing about from Ireland it looks like a nightmare . I was talking to my cousin the other day and her boyfriend is an unemployed electrician with a mortgage of 1900 Euro a month ! I accept the personal responsability part but who let that happen ?
    It is a complete and utter disgrace what happened in Ireland . Yet the same government sits in power with an equelly useless opposition . Between them they have not got one clue about what to do . Its just pitiful .
    I don’t want to sound all smug and I live in a great country etc . But really the Australian government were all over the GFC . They were all over the media warning people about massive unemployment and a new great depression but we are going to this and are going to that . The opposition were all don’t do that , we would do this and here is the reasons why your ideas are rubbish . Both the Prime Minister and the opposition leader are millionares and not from being politicians . While OZ is not perfect you get the sense that they are in for the concept of ‘ public service ‘
    When the GFC was unfolding I really had the feeling that the government were looking after it . It was scarey but at the same time I had the feeling that people smarter than me were in charge.

    800 years ago when I bought my first house I had a potted plant and a Futon for the first 2 years and then somebody gave me a couch . However something has to be done for those people who are unemployed with massive mortgages . Once you get into big debt it is a nightmare . Imagine paying back 150,000 Euro from negitive equity for the rest of life ? Whatever about the ‘ bleeding heart ‘ element those people will be dead to the economy for the rest of their lives and as there is a lot of them it is goodbye any hope of recovery .

    • Colin_in_exile


      ” her boyfriend is an unemployed electrician with a mortgage of 1900 Euro a month ! I accept the personal responsability part but who let that happen ?”

      Answer: her boyfriend let this happen, he signed for the mortgage.

      Note, if his mortgage was €1900 a month, using the rule of thumb that 30% of your net income should go on rent/mortgage, he must have been clearing over €5,500 a month, or €65,000 a year. My question is then, who allowed electricians to earn so much money in the first place?

      Will these tradesmen take a cut in pay to help stimulate a recovery in the economy? Will pigs fly? Every Paddy for himself, ESB employed Paddy the electrician does not care about Unemployed from Construction Site Paddy the Electrician.

      • Alan42

        Colin , In Oz we have 4 big banks and some little banks . The government have a policy with regards to the big 4 . Its called the 4 pillar policy . No bank can take over another one of the big 4 banks . It keeps the banks seperate in the event that if one fails we still have 3 . ( I am sure it is more detailed than that ) . The smaller banks can do whatever they like .
        The banks absolutly hate it . Anytime a CEO of one of the banks is on the news they always mention how the 4 piller policy limits them , is outdated , anti free market and should be scraped .
        When the GFC hit all the CEO ‘s were on some current affairs programme as proud as punch because of the fact that out of 11 healthy banks worldwide , 4 of them were Australian ( the big 4 ) In fact they all said the 4 pillar policy had saved them , that the governments over the years were just super to have imposed this policy along with tight regulation and higher capital requirments .
        Now that the GFC has receeded and Australia is on the up ( 2 interest rate rises in the last couple of weeks and more on the way ) Guess what ? They have gone back to hating the policy . One CEO was on the news tonight saying how the policy is damaging shareholders .

        There is just something about a bankers mindset that needs to be tightly regulated .
        ( google ‘ Four pillar policy ‘ for the bankers views )

        I am shocked by my cousins boyfriends mortgage .He is 26 and like it or not he along with thousands of others in the same situation are the future of Irelands economy .

        • Colin_in_exile


          Yes, Aussie government should take a bow. And now Aussie citizens can reap the rewards of economic prudence.

          In the absence of such conservative government policies in Ireland, the onus then fell on the individual to make the decision whether to buy or not.

          • Alan42

            Colin , Its spilt milk . What do we say to them ? ” Well you bought so pay back 150,000 Euro for the rest of your lives ”
            When their houses are repossed they will have to be housed by the State . Tens of thousands living in tents with children is not a good look . Would they even bother working as all they would be doing is repaying massive debt ?
            What are the banks going to do with thousands of repossed houses and plasma screens ? That will only lead to further losses on their part and as we seem to think that bondholders who took a risk should be protected the expense will then fall on the taxpayer . And I don’t think that the taxpayer has a lot of cash these days .

            If we don’t sort this out Ireland will be just at a economic red light for the next 20 years .
            In the 80′s nobody had any real debt . Yoy could get your rent allowance and do an ANCO course and get a subsidised meal there and learn how to use a screwdriver and spend Friday night in the pub .
            The estate where I grew up on in the 80′s was rife with unemployment . You were an outcast if you had a job . People lived from dole payment to dole payment and did a bit on the black market and just survived with no expectations of quality of life in Ireland .
            As fun as it was I seem to remember a lot of heroin , joyriding , crime , alcoholism and social breakdown which costs the state a fortune .
            I can’t even begin to imagine that same situation with people owing hundreds of thousands and this time around I don’t that the State can afford it .

            The real loss is the people who emigrate . Most of the people I went to school with went to the US either on a Green card lottery or illegally .
            One guy was the worst joyrider in the area , always in and out of prison . He went to Boston and now 30 odd years later he is married with kids , owns his own business in San Francisco employing 10 people . Although he went illegally he got a new start and opportunity and those 10 people are not employed in Ireland .

            Something has to be done ( Davids idea seems like a good place to start ) as its an entire generation that is in dire trouble .
            From where I sit it looks like a horror show .

          • Colin_in_exile


            If your old neighbour is still illegal, he’s only one step away from a downfall akin to Mr O’Neill’s.


            Maybe the govt are one step ahead of us here, the fact that no new council estates were built in the last 15 years means there won’t be any new local authority unemployment blackspots where anti-social culture can take root like it did in the past?

        • G

          Depends on which Australia you belong too, see Pilger and Greer articles below.

          Oz government has a disgraceful record in relation to the treatment of the Aboriginals. Also dreadful involvement in the Vietnam War – no reparations or apologies for the Vietnamese people.

          Oz government is up to its neck in ‘The War on Terror’ and has a questionable record of involvement in East Timor at the height of the massacres by Indonesian Special forces. The Oz government now eyes East Timorese gas and oil resources greedily.

          I believe David, to his credit, also exposed some sham financial practices by Australian banks, can’t see that leopard changing its spots, regardless of geographical location.

          Pilger: Breaking The Great Australian Silence

          Pilger: Mourning a Secret Australia

          Germaine Greer – excellent insight via a movie review of ‘Australia’

  15. noonep

    In heady celtic tiger Irish people forked out ‘corkage’ to hotels for screwtop wine bottle opening at weddings, €6 ‘platage’ fee for serving up your own wedding cake, now we’re getting ‘screwage’ to bail out the architects of this mess in cluding the accountancy firms that negligently signed off on the accounts.

    I’m not an FF but George Lee seemed v vague on the detail of what they would do,
    suggest KEEP six honest serving-men George,
    (They taught me all I knew);
    Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.
    I send them over land and sea,
    I send them east and west;
    But after they have worked for me,
    I give them all a rest!

  16. Dilly

    We were doomed the day they changed a Marathon to a Snickers. Which happened at the same time as reunification in Germany strangely enough.

  17. Malcolm McClure

    David said: “Ireland must give people hope, because hope is what will prevent us from sinking and without hope and a belief in the future, we will get nowhere.”

    Here’s a suggestion that would generate hope in those who find themselves in negative equity. (Although the details need to be worked out carefully.)
    Everyone with a house in negative equity, who kept up their mortgage payments, could contribute an additional 5% of that outlay to a lottery fund run by a consortium of lenders. This payment would be matched by an equivalent contribution from their lender. Each week a number of mortgages would be cancelled based on the leveraged value of that lottery fund income stream.
    Next week…It could be YOU.

    • Ruairí

      I think Garret Fitzgerald had a pilot project running just like that for his own mortgage…………! And a few more ‘bise’ too, I suspect.

  18. Ruairí

    Can someone here who is property-inclined do the maths and tell me why the government couldn’t do a debt-equity swap on many of the houses (finished / unfinished) and then charge rent (as they do for public housing)? Wouldn’t this be less risky than loaning money to NAMA? The Majority which will be going towards the underlying land value which is an over-inflated dead duck.

    Why not acquire commercial units (for all of the unemployed wanna-be entrepreneurs and their follow-on employees) and half-built estates to soak up the public housing building deficit.
    Oh I forgot, because that stores wealth, doesn’t promote JOBS and consumption.

    Our politicans are OBSESSED with JOBS and job creation. To the point of allowing the building of more shopping centres and urban renewal etc. We have enough of all kinds of commercial units (except hotdesk micro-business facilities at the community level)!!

    We need to focus also on wealth creation and wealth preservation. Even Leo Varadkar TD (a doctor by trade) and the raucous new kid in town (according to da Bert) commented, during Dáil committee hearings, that our wealth (CGT) tax is way out of step with even USA doctrine. We need to recalibrate that in order to help ‘balance the books’ too.

    We need jobs primarily for sociological and psychological reasons. We need income because we need houses, cars trappings, Maslow’s hierarchy etc.
    We need activity and purpose but we first and foremost need a transparent vierw of what wealth is available to us as a sovereign people. Then we decide as a society how we allocate it through government. This is post-revolution 101. yet we’re not getting this through our Dáil or our President who should be much more proactive now (after last night’s statement on Tonight with Vincent Browne (on Article 45 non-adherence) by Kathleen Lynch, UCD).
    I have asked this multiple times over the last two years on this forum. If we have PPPs to create basic infrastructure such as our road system (Westlink toll plaza fiasco, anyone? And the private company are the least to blame in that fiasco), if we can have that type of PPP, why do we not have PPPs in uncovering our oil and gas and mineral wealth, but particularly oil and gas. Norway do? Labour started the slippery slope of our mineral finds disclosure legislation and FF, through ray Burke if I remember correctly, wrapped it up nicely.
    There is plenty of CGT-manoeuverability in the Irish tax landscape.

    • wills

      yep. I can. The gov won’t do it because the gov are in the pocket of the power elites who demand at all costs that the property market remains locked into a bubble parallel universe. So, any solutions available for each persons debt trap woes must be in alignment with the prevailing bubble economics orthodoxy.

  19. Fergal73

    No-one held a gun to anyone’s head to buy property. If you were suckered by FF, the media, the auctioneers, then you were suckered . You made the decision to buy, not to buy, to rent, to stay with your parents or to emigrate.
    I got mortgage approval in 2002 (12.5 times my salary at the time as I had a chunky deposit) and looked at buying in Dublin and said – “whoa, this is insane, everything is way overpriced”. I never bought, I rented and ultimately emigrated, chased out by unrealistic property prices.
    Prices have a lot more to fall.
    If people who bought at the height of the bubble are bailed out, then what about the likes those who resisted the social pressure on to buy and get on the “ladder”. Why should they take on an additional burden of bailing out those who bought the hype. If the buyers are bailed out, the renters deserve a boost too.

    If a country shafts you, emigrate.

    • wills

      or, change the system.

      • Fergal73

        Change the system? The Irish electorate voted in Charlie, despite the island and the yacht and the unexplained money. They loved Bertie’s fast one, and his wins on the horses, they’ve stood by and re-elected the same FF crowd with the tribunals, with the Luas and Port Tunnel extravaganzas.
        You don’t get it wills. The system is embedded in Sean Public’s mind. We’ve shown we keep re-electing chancers – the Flynns, the parish pump politicians exemplified by Jackie Healy-Rae, the list goes on and on.
        The problem is the Irish electorate.


        • Deco

          No the problem is not the Irish electorate.

          The problem is the Irish version of Defamation of Character Law.

          It means when somebody is guilty of something-you are liable for telling people-in case you damage his good name and character.

          It is the most absurd set of nonsense ever devised. And it is a

          Hilariously enough the current Minister for Finance made the law even tougher with respect to the media. It is called censorship if you are not allowed see a naked women. But it is call defense of character if you are not allowed know what corruption is going on in this country.

          • Ruairí

            What is it about the Fianna Fáil dynasty that the 1st generation are somewhat credible as politicians; and the second generation goes and ruins it by being comedians of sorts: -
            Rory O’Hanlon> Ardal O’Hanlon
            Ber Cowen > Brian Cowen
            David Andrews. Dave McSavage
            Cathal Coughlan > Mary Coughlan
            Brian Lenihan Brian Lenihan …..Wait., hold on, that’s history repeating itself and yet Redser implores us to “Forget the past – we must take control of our future”

            WE must, yes. But this shower of tragi-comic actors should exit stage left immediately. They have We have numerous history lessons but we don’t learn.

            Meanwhile, in the Dáil today, we had comic attempts by Paul Gogarty of the Greens, giggling like a comfortable D4 child, in response to serious allegations of lackeyism by the Greens, issued by Kieran O’Donnell of FG. All while, at the extremes, Irish people contemplate suicide? Perhaps Ciaran Cuffe, who the FG attack was aimed, in absentia, might be more worried about his shares portfolio than the state of the Irish nation?

            The Green party is merely an urban gombeen party. More FF than FF themselves. Desperately ingratiating themselves in order to stay in power (deluding themselves by wrapping self-preservation up in the notion that they are the moral watchdog). Covered in fleas no doubt…….

      • wills

        lad’s -
        Changing the system is not as difficult as it appears.

        • Colin_in_exile

          What are you suggesting Wills, a fascist coup d’etat?

          I believe our friend Tim has been on this forum over a year now, keeping us abreast of his attempt to change the system, beginning with his Cumann, but as yet, no progress has been made.

    • Colin_in_exile


      You’re correct.

      I think Ireland is like the Titanic now, it has already hit the Iceberg because the Captain and his lookout men thought the ship was disaster-proof, and therefore became lax in their duties. Public Service Employees are the Women and Children on board, the lifeboats are reserved for them. They can begin their recovery once they reach the safety of home. Private sector employees are the men on board the titanic. Most are doomed, without a chance of recovery.

  20. Colin_in_exile

    I find this story interesting, Dr Bacon has been a busy man.

    Apparantly competition in the Hotel Industry is a good thing….. No, Wait, Just one minute, I got it wrong, its apparently a bad thing. Too many hotel rooms on the market, only 5% of hotels making a profit, I’m sure they’ll open up their books to you if you don’t believe them.

    Perhaps they could lobby Lenny to scrap the travel tax? Maybe even try to team up with Michael O’Leary and introduce some kind of special deals for foreign tourists? No, Shovel some more money Peter Bacon’s way and create an almighty whinge and moan.

    • Colin, could not agree more with you here and another Bacon Report , sure the Banks are keeping Sean Dunne open in Ballsbridge but he is at least giving good deals to the public at prices these hotels would have laughed at five six years ago. I see my own mother and her generation heading off on a regular basics for the special offers that are out there , but a lot of hotels were tax breaks and do not have proper management or marketing departments , while we certainly have a deep recession here now , there are a lot of folk in their late 50′s and 60′s who still have cash in the banks who didn’t buy shares or invest in an over seas property , this generation can still spend .
      But The I.H.F. are like the government and still wearing blinkers .
      Those that close while I feel sorry for the work force, the Greedy Hotel investors deserve now to get burnt.

  21. Alan42

    I think I detect a hint of despondency in Davids article .

  22. severelyltd

    The collective dilemma is a good description for what we are in, however playing musical chairs and doing card tricks with debt does not make the debt disappear in the eyes of our creditors. The collective hole we are in is huge and none of the action taken so far by the banks or Government helped. In fact most of it hinders any kind of recovery. Debt/Equity,Deferral and Debt Forgiveness will have a negative effect on our economy and will only increase the velocity of the downward spiral, and while it may let someone stay in their home a year longer it will only delay the inevitable for both the Bank and the mortgage holder and make the situation worse for everyone else in the Country at the same time. Banks being who they are would only agree to such a move if it was as a last resort before nationalisation.
    In economic terms whats going on is that the rules are being changed in real time to suit the Game. Mainstream investors do not like this, hence property will fall further and collective debts will get bigger. Does anyone here have the brain smarts to calculate our collective debt if Irish property fell to 3/4′s the equivalent value of German real estate. In those figures lies the truth of our Predicament and the path to recovery.
    Confidence and hope go hand in hand and the Country has neither at the moment. As long as the dogs in the street know that the people at the top and their ways have not changed then hope and truth will remain rare commodities.
    There are many ways the Government could inspire people but all would involve the state giving back something that it has already taken from us. Did you know that you don’t own the mineral rights on your own property. Or that our state Gas resources were given away to shell in a dodgy deal by a corrupt Fianna Fail-er. Or how about our Fishing Grounds which were given as a Gift by Fianna Fail to the EU in exchange for favourable deals for Farmers. The Greed that destroyed Ireland is still in control, and the alternatives are not much better. Sure we can take control of our own future, but David are you suggesting we all become Soldiers of Destiny? I think that may have been what caused the problem in the first place.

  23. wills

    posters -
    I see from tim’s post back at 47 last article the NAMA ‘ites are securing the vassal for the toxic assets into non – disclosure of any crucial info that may shed light on who benefited from the bubble years.

    ALL data pertaining too 2000 – 2007 bubble years under lock and key held secure in the NAMA trunk.

  24. Tim

    Folks, just got word: NAMA vote has been passed in the Seanad; some shenanigans involved, with the govt chief-whip blocking the door, either keeping dissenters out or FFers in, I do not know, yet.

    Three “Benedict Arnolds”: Eoghan Harris, Joe O’Toole and Ronam Mullens.

  25. Tim

    Aha! 6 votes missing! That’s what whip was at, once the three boyos had been bought:

    • Tim, It’s all just window dressing , with F.F in control of the Seanad and these boyos on the perks they have and been immune to the country’s current predicament .
      This Criminal NAMA was never not going to be voted in.
      I wonder is there a few FCA lads around who could go and organise a Coup ? ( something just has to be done ! )

      • Tim

        BrendanW, that’s one option, but I see three others emerging, right here, on this site.

        1) A violent coup-D’Etat, to reverse the fiscal one that has occured;

        2) Irish people put-up and shut-up (which seems to be what’s happening, right now);

        3) Those of us who are willing, get together and start something, independent of real-politique, and do our best to change the tide;

        4) We get together, make a plan, factor-in real-Politique, and push-forward with a really powerfull political-movement that changes things FAST.

        Its time to ACT.

        • Tim , though you may not believe me , I agree full heartily with you here .
          Option 1 not feasible due to moral back bone missing from our Neutral Army.
          Option 2 . Due to over powering by corporate media , the ‘sheep/ populace stay within the safety of the flock.
          Option 3. Is what is needed , movements are developing world wide and why should Us Irish begin a new social and ethical party detached from our civil war doctrines ?
          Why not …..The McWilliam(ites) ?

  26. Tim

    Folks, “Here we Go!”

    What do we want? (Let’s force the decision):

      • Tim

        BrendanW, excellent link and comparable to the “whistle-blowers here, such as our host.

        This kind of thing gets an “airing” in DMcW’s articles, at his “Leviathan” shows, now on “The Panel” and, occasionally on the Vincent Brown show, on TV3.

        Why does that not seem to be “mainstream” enough to reach and convince the majority of Irish people?

        Why are the majority still “asleep?

        Are we, here, so “unusual”, as people, that the millions of others on this island cannot grasp what is happening? That cannot be true!

        We must blame our “National Broadcaster”, in the first instance; It is not doing its job.

        Next, we must blame the people, themselves, because anyone who does not at least “smell a rat” in the last twelve months, is either an idiot or bone-lazy, or both.

        • wills

          or seriously brain washed or frozen in fear.

        • This being the dismal science Tim, people just roll their eyes and nod benignly.
          Bit like the most boring subject in class where you only realise it hasn’t sunk in after you mark the homework.
          If lingerie and footballers pay were mainstream economic indicators, people might take a tad more interest.
          Politicians use property because it’s a simple cycle – up and down therefore tapping into the subliminal phallic psyche of yer average male. What might make economics sexy for the average female? Probably nothing. Far too clued up to be listening to mens guesswork, sorry forecasts.
          Must have the cocoa….

        • Dilly


          When ever I try to explain things to people, I am told to stop whining. Then, the conversation changes to “who is going to win X Factor”. I was even told to get back onto the property ladder on Sunday, because prices will never be as low again (i kid you not),by someone who works for a bank.

        • adamabyss

          Most of the populace are brain dead imbeciles. Is it any wonder they are only interested in The X Factor? That fact is not going to change either.

      • wills

        BrendanW – according too bernake senate hearing’s a massive % of this dollar bonanza delivered to the CB’s around the world on the qt no questions asked. Bernake was asked on record who and how much the banks in europe received and he refused to say.

        Whatever that means for the rest of us is anyone’ guess, but where is all this cash bonanza going cos it ain’t going into SME loans.

        • Will’s , you should no where this ‘money’ is going , it’s going nowhere just electronic passes between Banking Houses to ‘fix’ their balance sheets, with toxic loans, derivatives, credit swaps , short middle and long term bonds.
          The Bankers broke their own in house rule on borrowings of 9 to 1 , today this figure has no representation on what has happened.
          You go to Hong Kong and Property is sharply rising , why ? because China’s stimulus is been smuggled down their and into homes of prestige.
          It’s All a big Game .
          SME’s are not important on the Global banking table .
          The Economic Conspiracy theorists have been right , ‘they from Rockerfella through the Bush’s have been building a New World Order,
          Bush has signed a trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico and plans have been drawn up to Replace the US dollar already. Next year when the Dollar hits $ equals €2 , we will see trade embargo’s and conflict as China and Japan will have under valued US Dollar reserves and Bonds.
          The Financial Zarr’s relish all Wars , more profit for them.
          Scary , scary times indeed !

  27. wills

    Watchin historian roy foster on bbc and he is offering invaluable insight into ireland s revolutionary past in tandem with the present.

    I am too seeing a ‘reckoning’ underway of some sort.

    The NAMA – triple lock is a rubicon of some type.

    A further erosion of a democratic deficit to such a degree where the center cannot hold and a type of tyranny is loosed upon the citizens.

    Where will it take us now that it all seems rather unstoppable and inevitable.

    The nationalisation of one or more banks is next and the triple lock is here.

    Then what, which is what D’s article is getting at.

    History is making and unmaking itself at break neck speed.

  28. wills

    posters –
    New chief in charge of NAMA / SPV con.

    He is 41. And in NTMA since 1994.

  29. Tim

    Folks, it boils-down to cronyism: will the President listen to BL or BC?

    One is a shorts man, like his father, the other is a pint man, like his father.

    Which will she back?

  30. Tull McAdoo

    I had a visit today from Jack Russell, and yes that’s his real name, although when I think of it, his Mother was right to call him Jack, because he is small and contrary and would turn on you in a second with to much drink, so I always put him on my “keep an eye on “ list. Anyway as things are a bit slow in the afternoons, I struck up a conversation about what’s all over the wireless these day’s, namely “negative equity” and what Jack’s take on it might be.
    “Well it’s a good one right enough Seaneen” say’s he. “Back when I built the bungalow on our own site, it was hard going for a while, what with the loan and the feckin interest, sure was’nt it nearly 2 years before we could afford to light a fire in the feckin sitting room. We finally got a few sticks of furniture, gathered up at auctions, put up the Christmas tree, and moved in. Well it saved my back, picking up them ball’y things from the floor belonging to the tree, now that they were out of the line of fire from below in the kitchen. Hard times Seaneen but simpler to understand. Up to the bust , sure they wanted to move into houses and nothing to bring with them only their feckin toothbrushes and all on borrowed money. Sure they were buying a life style with jacuzzi’s and the like along with the basic houses”.
    “That’s right Jack” say’s I, “but what about this “Negative Equity” from the wireless.”
    “ Well I suppose with house prices cut in half, sure does’nt it mean your really paying for two houses at the one time. You could call one of them the real house and the other is the phantom house, Jasus Seaneen was.nt it very clever people who came up with the feckin notion of selling all them phantom houses to ordinary working people all the same. Sure when they ran out of ordinary people to sell to, they feckin convinced the feckin Government to buy what was left of them. Now Seaneen once the Government bought into the whole phantom scheme, sure does’nt that mean we all have a share in it, so to conclude my opinion, its as simple as this….” Were all in feckin negative equity now whether we like it or not and we’ll be paying for these phantom houses for a while to come.”
    “Now” say’s Jack “ will ye for Gods sake put me up another half-one and make sure ye tap the regulator on the bottle, and make sure there’s no bubbles in it, for its dear enough buying half-ones without paying for more bubbles as well.”
    What can ye say about contrary Jack only he’s a great man for watching the regulator, bubbles, and the price of half-ones.
    Goodnight Ireland .Sleep well.

  31. To refer to the old 6 month chestnut, here’s what Iceland is doing to move forward.

  32. Malcolm McClure

    Furrylugs: The idea of a tribal assembly (for that is what this is – Icelanders are a genetic tribe) has its roots deep in Irish and Scottish history. Each tribe in Ireland had a “Hill of Sembling” where the Urraghs were inaugurated and tribal business was conducted in the presence of the freemen of the tribe. (Not a random selection of participants.) The freemen were men of substance and discretion who had a family and a stable role in society, not just property owners.

    In he event that Ireland’s Nama, etc fails to solve our problems, and we are left with Moody ratings like Iceland’s, now just above junk bond status, then convening assemblies would become a realistic solution.

    Ireland is far too big to have a National Assembly on the Iceland model but county assemblies of a few thousand husband and wives could be organized to select a dozen delegates each who would be forwarded to the National Assembly. That would form the foundation of a real democracy, not the present ludicrous proportional representation, first, second and third preference, shenanigans we are lumped with.

    In the county assembly the emphasis would be on selecting honorable, trustworthy delegates, not just political time-servers. And political parties would be consigned to the dustbin of history.

  33. MK1

    Hi again David,

    We should certainly NOT forget the past. I disagree that recriminations are of no use, indeed, they will give many the hope that is needed, and you are right about that, people do need hope. We need to repair any contamination that moral hazard (ie: getting away with it) brings.

    People need to be treated fairly. I agree, that a debt deferral system for those caught on the hop may help. But in this scenario the banks would be overpaying for the asset. So what is wrong for Nama is wrong for a bank too, although in a quid pro quo it does give some balance.

    One problem is fairness. How do people who didnt gain and who didnt lose? They need to be equivalently given as much financial assistance as the people in debt are.

    One way of doing this would be instead of giving 7-10-20billion or whatever it is to recapitalise “our” banks, that all citizens should get a slice of that and do with it what they will, eg: 20b is approx 4k each. Some people will use their share to pay back their debt, some wont have to, buts its the only fair way. And to avoid it going on Guinness or the horses too much, it could be done in spread payments.

    The other thing to think about with your solution is that usually residential mortgage ‘bad debt’ patterns are completley different than commercial debt. In fact, default rates are very low as people will scrimp and save and do whatever it takes to pay it off, and generally people have better nest eggs and have family for back-up, as well as insurance.

    Whereas in the commercial sphere, the risks are usually bigger, the interest rates higher. And as recent bank financial statements are showing and as Nama is doing, its the commercial area which is where all the ‘harm’ and the bad debt is.

    Businesses only do debt/equity swaps when they have to, not as an option.

    DavidMcW> Many of these people – ourselves, our brothers, sisters or children – were cynically manipulated by “vested interests”

    I disagree. We have bubbles, asset bubbles, because we have human nature playing into things, the irrational exhuberance. No-one forced people to buy and now find themselves with a pup.

    I do agree that vested interests played a part, and for sure, people cant put their life on hold as we are all only 25-35 for a short space of time, but there was collective lemming-like amnesia when the prices just kept going up and up and people were insane with the hype and the frenzy.

    No-one with negative equity can blame anybody else but themselves and for getting caught up in the hype – end of. FACT. QED.

    It may be harsh, but as you know, no-one forced people to buy those tulips in the 1700′s or those south sea shares.

    Irrational exhuberance is one way of describing it ……


    ps: didnt read any other comments yet, sorry ….

    • wills

      your missing very insightful comments.

    • MK1, you should have read other posts first.
      ‘I disagree .We have bubbles, asset bubles because we have human nature …….
      Totally disagree with you here , These Bubbles are of course fabricated , it is then surrounding influences, TV shows , glossy magazines and happy radio dj’s that while not ‘forcing people’ to buy into it these influences and peer pressure will bring people in, not all but enough to warrant the advertising and marketing costs.
      If we don’t over the next few years break the control the Bankers have on society we will have total break down.
      We have to redefine the value of wealth ,as the saying went A man’s wealth is his health.
      Our thinking has to be changed, we have enough resources on the planet to survive, forget the Al Gore and our own Green Dail gravy trainers. We can build geothermal,hydro, solar, and wind plants to power our economy’s , we don’t need coal , or oil. Cars have been developed to run on a thing called H2O !, We can modify plants and crops growing them indoors in controlled conditions .We can teach our children at home via web conferencing, morning classes been languages afternoon classes with the click of a mouse our teachers can be from the other side of our globe.
      Big decisions will have to be made here over the next generation and the era of the self has to come to a close .
      Google , Edward Bernays , then take a look at The Venus Project ..

      • MK1

        Hi Brendan,

        > Totally disagree with you here , These Bubbles are of course fabricated , it is then surrounding influences, TV shows , glossy magazines and happy radio dj’s that while not ‘forcing people’ to buy into it these influences and peer pressure will bring people in, not all but enough to warrant the advertising and marketing costs.

        No, bubbles are not fabricated, not created by acting forces or interested parties – they are created by Humans, us, the populace. Indeed, our recent property frenzy still has a hold on us as we still talk a lot about property.

        Look up Herding, Tulip Mania, Irrational Exuberance, etc, although you probably do know about this. Its not that the market “principals” manipulated the sheeple, its the fact that us humans are sheeple!

        > If we don’t over the next few years break the control the Bankers have on society we will have total break down.
        We have to redefine the value of wealth

        Its not that bankers or financial systems have control over us. These systems have evolved over time, because we have let them. Power systems come into play. And banks can have problems as they are handling our money.

        We do need financial systems as it is more efficient to exchange a piece of paper or to change a few bytes on an electonic account than it is to exchange 20 sheep for 200 pairs of jeans, etc, etc.
        And credit amounts (within reason) certainly have their uses. Our recent bubble is where credit amounts went too high. A credit bubble. And the grounds for this bubble have been created over decades, with influences from:
        – fiat money system
        – floating currencies
        – paper money without any real gold backing
        – low levels of capital adequacy (eg: Basle I and II)
        – limited banking licences (multiple oligopolistic markets: eg: BBVA, BSCH in Spain)
        – lack of regulation

        This credit bubble was not caused by ads in newspapers!


  34. G

    Hate to burst the bubble further on Australia but also from John Pilger

    “The head of a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Louis Joinet, who has made more than 40 inspections of mandatory detention facilities around the world, says he had not seen worse abuse of human rights than in Australia.
    Under the Howard government, support for Aboriginal health and legal services has diminished. In western New South Wales, the life expectancy for Aboriginal men is 33.
    Australia is the only developed country on a United Nations “shame list” of countries that have not conquered trachoma, a preventable blindness that affects mostly Aboriginal children, and is a disease of poverty.
    Six years ago, I interviewed Ruddock when he was the federal minister responsible for ensuring that uppity black Australians did not embarrass the government in the run-up to the Sydney Olympics. I asked him: “How do you feel receiving Amnesty reports on human rights violations with ‘Australia’ written across the top, such as ‘Aborigines are still dying in prison and police custody at levels that may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’?” Smiling, he replied: “Why do they use the word ‘may’?” The land of fair go deserves better than supercilious cruelty.
    Amnesty International
    Indigenous people (2006)
    The government’s Productivity Commission report, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2005, noted an increase in the number of indigenous Australians who reported being victims of violence. The report noted that indigenous people were 11 times more likely than other Australians to be imprisoned and that the life expectancy of indigenous people was around 17 years less than that of the population as a whole.
    Indigenous people (2005)
    In October, the Council of Social Services reported that the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people in health, education, employment and housing remained a concern. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, an elected body represented at the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous People, was dismantled and replaced with a government-appointed advisory council.

  35. G

    The head of a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Louis Joinet, who has made more than 40 inspections of mandatory detention facilities around the world, says he had not seen worse abuse of human rights than in Australia.
    Under the Howard government, support for Aboriginal health and legal services has diminished. In western New South Wales, the life expectancy for Aboriginal men is 33.
    Australia is the only developed country on a United Nations “shame list” of countries that have not conquered trachoma, a preventable blindness that affects mostly Aboriginal children, and is a disease of poverty.
    Six years ago, I interviewed Ruddock when he was the federal minister responsible for ensuring that uppity black Australians did not embarrass the government in the run-up to the Sydney Olympics. I asked him: “How do you feel receiving Amnesty reports on human rights violations with ‘Australia’ written across the top, such as ‘Aborigines are still dying in prison and police custody at levels that may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment’?” Smiling, he replied: “Why do they use the word ‘may’?”

    • G

      Also from Pilger

      The government’s Productivity Commission report, Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage: Key Indicators 2005, noted an increase in the number of indigenous Australians who reported being victims of violence. The report noted that indigenous people were 11 times more likely than other Australians to be imprisoned and that the life expectancy of indigenous people was around 17 years less than that of the population as a whole.
      Indigenous people (2005)
      In October, the Council of Social Services reported that the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people in health, education, employment and housing remained a concern. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, an elected body represented at the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous People, was dismantled and replaced with a government-appointed advisory council.

    • G

      The above is from an article by John Pilger.

      Reports on Australian human rights abuses are available from Amnesty International for 2005 & 2006.

      • Colin_in_exile


        No one is telling you to emigrate to Australia.

        I, on the other hand, have been living in the UK, have lost my job twice this year already, and I’m attracted to living in a country that can offer me work and a reasonable standard of living. Are you seriously telling me that I shouldn’t go because Aborigine males in Western Parts of New South Wales have a life expectancy of 33 years?

        • Colin, I think G is just confused , maybe he’s warning about the far away fields syndrome , but I reckon if you went to our state quango Pavee Point ( The Travellers) , they would also tell you their young men only live to 43 or some other shocking low figure.
          The Aboriginal’s get a lot of silly state funding too , but no mention of that here….any way where has me Sheila went and put me V.B. tinny ??!!

        • Alan42

          Colin , I don’t we would let G in with an attitude like that .

          To pick just one of G ‘s points . Why is it that the Irish have this whole idea that they are not involved with the war on terror ? What do you think is going on in Shannon ?

  36. wills

    Also, at this link is an A-Z guide on how NAMA is funded. MAke sure one has a sick bucket at hand.

    • wills


      NAMA will convert ‘private’ DEBT of Irish banks

      ………………………………………………. into ‘state’ DEBT.

      This is @#$^@%$$^*&(*&*(&(*&(*%^#%%!!!!!!!!

      • Philip

        Do you really think the ECB will allow it? They are bankrolling us as it is. This will screw up our Debt GDP ratios big time….unless housing demolition and civil unrest is counted as part of GDP (which it is oddly enough)

  37. G

    William Beveridge published a report in 1942 and recommended that the government should find ways of fighting the five ‘Giant Evils’ of ‘Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness’.

    In 1945, the Labour Party defeated Winston Churchill’s Conservative Party in the general election. The new prime minister, Clement Attlee, announced he would introduce the welfare state outlined in the 1942 Beveridge Report. This included the establishment of a National Health Service in 1948 with free medical treatment for all. A national system of benefits was also introduced to provide ‘social security’ so that the population would be protected from the ‘cradle to the grave’. The new system was partly built on the national insurance scheme set up by Lloyd George in 1911.

    The much criticised British could do this after the second world war, when it was virtually broke and its economy smashed. We need similar imagination at this time of crisis, a time where we can chose to implement right wing style policies of cuts or more humane policies which give people hope, put them back to work and raise this country off its knees – the choice, as they say, is ours!

    For more see Andrew Maar’s History of Modern Britain

    First this ‘government’, which has neither a mandate nor credibility, must go!

    • Philip

      I am afraid we have to wait until Ireland’s economy is smashed (as it is already broke) before any change will come about.

      We have an SPV that has so much unaccountable power it will be massively corrupt and a massive corrupting force and we have a major cuts to public services and taxes on things you would not believe. This diversity between the corrupt haves and the struggling hardworking pi$$ed upon will lead to civil unrest.

      Change is coming and has to come before any of DMcW’s or any other of the very sensible ideas every see the light of day. Irrespective of how we decide to ignore the past, be aware, the future is coming at us with its inevitable end game. Lenihan and Cowen and the rest of them will have their names in the halls of shame for a long time to come. This need not have happened were it not for greed.

      • G

        Well I am one of those struggling hardworking pi$$ed upon and if civil unrest leads to a change of government and a change of direction for this country, then I am all for it, 1000%!

        • Good, but not just “civil unrest”, there is no value to ‘gut reactions’.

          What is needed in a thoughtful building of a movement that can run the course of time and withstand the counter-attacks when they come. I’m all for revolting, but this needs to be done in a correct way. It means knowing what the objective is and winning mass support for it etc.

          We need to develope/write a programme to enable ordinary people to take up these problems for solution – a programme which educates and organises at the same time.

          The programme needs to go beyond mere reform, the problems we have are structural, we need to re-build our society and economy anew.

  38. cozzy121

    Sorry David, the goal must be to ensure that those who ruined this country — FF and their dear banker and builder mates — don’t get elected into power again for a very, very long time. The Popes Children must suffer the bleak future FF has given them and remember to thank them in every election from here on.

    • cozzy121

      TO see how bad and unequal the whole system is, they must live through it. Only then, can we hope that they might demand change. Remember they reelected a government in 2007 because they were promised better stamp duty.

  39. Ok We Need new ideas….well why not go down this road , a new tax and income for the state ?

    • Ruairí

      BrendanW, other ideas worth following, in my view, are turning the screws in a very explicit way on our local and Dáil elected representatives.

      I didn’t agree with the marches because I felt, as an end in themselves, they would achieve nothing. I would much prefer sit-ins and blockades, but then that’s just in my nature. issued an email this evening announcing Town Hall Meetings aorund the country where local elected representatives would be invited to state their position on key issues: – thankfully the campaign issues have widened out to key moral and societal issues,. not just pay levels & agreements.
      I have suggested that they turn the screws on the elected ones by mimicing this sort of thing This guy really upset them ol’ councillors!
      i.e. Blog who has been invited, who has turned down an invite, accepted one etc etc. List their contact details ans have forms so that emailing them can be made easy. These forms can be used to encourage / complain / mark cards.
      The blog can then also follow up on each meeting blow by blow so that all can see what has been said on key positions. Series of autoresponders can be used to keep people informed of what is transpiring in their arena.
      We need to use the laser-like focus of the web to do harm to our enemies.
      Malcolm points to a new democracy with ‘assemblies’. An excellent idea, I love it and want it, but for now we are stuck with the political system we have; and the jackbooted ones are at the door. So we need to act. Every complaint / constructive criticism (!) we make here needs to be converted into action in order to weaken their credibility and voice. We need to give people the tools to do that. We need to make it see-through so that they can see the cause and effect. Some are so occupied with concensus that they do not see (wishing for a return to the Tiger etc). Once they see clearly, then we can all accept, as Fergal73 does, that we DESERVE where we are, because we have a thick, greedy non-ideological electorate who prefer Ahernomics to McWilliamology.

    • Ruairí

      ps BrendanW, you cast a whole new light on the ‘allotment’ movement !!!

      • Ruairi, the way I see this avenue is have a look at The Netherlands , why not google their present unemployment figures .
        They are well organised and not much bigger than Munster !

        • Ruairí

          As I looke quickly at Alan42′s post (14) above, I thought “Ireland will be just at a economic red light for the next 20 years” as referring to Ireland could be a red light district for the next 20 years.
          Mental note: – Must drink less port…………
          What with marjuana allotments and becoming europe’s red light district, and not forgetting its OAP world capital, we wouldn’t have a financial concern in the world!
          Send Brian Mr Wimpy Lenihan around to my house. I have Kyolic garlic.

        • Ruairí

          David’s on the panel now about ‘Killing Kittens’, an organised orgy for uppity Ibiza type Leeson St nightclub girls.

          In our case, Killing Tigers, caused by an orgy of lending and spending. Hence the phrase, he was spent……..

  40. Here Tim, got sent this from a American Professor this morning, to show me how much New Thinking is happening now state side

  41. Great News …..NAMA has been passed and Enda Kenny and George Lee , missed the Vote !!!….What is going on here ?
    But the REALLY Good news is Brian Lenihian in the house came out and said We will see growth end of next year , if we pass the December Budget !!!
    Garlic must have a physiologic effect when taken long term !

  42. Tim

    BrendanW, thanks for the link; however, I do not see our leaders stopping the waste of money on the war on drugs. Even look at what the authorities have done recently with tobacco seizures: they destroy the product, instead of reselling it. Imagine paying to pulp and incinerate/dispose of a product that has already caused loss of revenue?

    Just like raising VAT, when those across the border lowered theirs; just like over-paying for toxic assets going into NAMA, when Peter Matthews has shown, clearly, that at the VERY best, it will lose €11,000,000,000.

    Here is the legend that is “Goodhart”:

    On “New thinking” or new ideas, I wonder if people here would be interested in re-examining “The Fives” that we worked on last year? I think I can retrieve them from an old back-up and re-post them here.

  43. All that is left now is for the President to refer N-A-M-A, The Beating of the Lambs, to the courts under A45. Tomorrow being Friday the 13th, The Aras might succumb to a sense of the dramatic?
    If not, our Constitution is nothing more than a guideline document to keep the Proles, Peasants and Impoverished in their place.
    If that be so, the genesis of a shadow national assembly gains far more credibility than the Putsch of free speech we witnessed today where the future of a country is sold to appease moneylenders.
    I’m disgusted but that won’t fill the fridge.

    • Like, what happens now? These people had Hubris to burn during the Tiger years but now they’ve got away with this, what’s going to control them? Will they cancel the next Election because;
      (a) They can and no-one will raise a finger to stop them
      (b) Almunia says a change of Government is systemically bad for the country
      (c) Fine Gael have merged with FF

      The Hoors are using the same tactics Thatcher used to invade the Falklands and the country can’t see it. And where in the name of God was Richard Bruton and Enda Kenny today?

      • Tim

        Furrylugs, George Lee was, apparently, also absent.

        I am going to get the names of every person that voted Yes and every person that abstained/absented themselves today and I will make a list and I will put it on my wall and I will teach it to my children and I will remember and they will remember and I will photocopy the list and give it to the kids that I teach and they will all know exactly who did what…
        …..and they, too, will remember!

  44. Deco

    Friday 12 October 2009.
    Dail Eireann votes 81 to 62 votes in favour of NAMA. NAMA : Needlessly Allocating Millions into an Abyss. Against this backdrop Cowen tells us that there has been deflation and that we should all be delighted because the cost of living is decreasing. He stops short of claiming credit for this because it would imply that he is suckering consumer confidence – which is what IBEC have him there for in the first place – to keep everybody leveraged to the limit.

    Six-One News 12 October 2009.
    Headline number 1. Irish Priest is freed in the Phillipines. For some reason he decides to stay there. (But I thought that was yesterdays news). It took five minutes to cover.
    Headline 2. Two people die of Swine Flu. (A health story is very good at touching some sort of primal fear nerve – and getting people to not work about economics). That took another five minutes to cover.
    Headline 3. Tiny hamlet in County Cork has a mudslide.
    Headline 4. Brussels stuff.

    At that stage even I have enough.

    I only watched RTE Six-One news to see how they would avoid putting NAMA top of the headlines.

    By the way George Hook was covering NAMA, future interest payments, Cowen’s deflation statement (“you should be so lucky that deflation is 6 and a half percent”), ICTU, Eddie Hobbs trying to flog a book, money printing in the US, oil prices, etc… etc…

    Where is that unfortunate eijjet who called PK a waste of TV licence money. The entire ediface is focussed on diverting attention from what is really happening. Tomorrow is business supplement day in the IT – expect the usual schitzo performance with Tintan and other lef wingers telling us the wonders of the ILP, and “Thatcherite loadsamoney dot ie version types write glowing articles about the greatness of Irish management and the recovery in the ITBS. ITBS Irish Times Business Supplement. (Does Dan McLaughlin still write an article every week in the ITBS about consumer confidence and rising property prices???).

  45. Deco

    Now I have discoverd that the NAMA monstrosity (with unlimited exposure) was passed by the entire Oireachtas.

    And RTE refused to have it in the first 15 minutes of the evening news. Our advertising sponsors and our cronies in Kildare Street who gave us these jobs would not like that.

    • Deco , again we are seeing RTE is simply a news vehicle for their pay masters.
      I was out last night so recorded Prime Time and the Panel.
      Prime Time should get a BAFTA for this emigrants tale, and all the over paid presenters would like to see the young men and women leave , as if they stay they would eventually question their salaries.
      Then The Panel…..Was very good with David’s nervous laugh edited out and … talk on the economy .
      Is David dancing to the piper now ?

  46. wills


    NAMA / SPV is a trojan horse to further remove competition.

    Too further power elites systems of social control.

    Too further remove any possibilty of ‘rebellion by the proles’ keeping the serfs docile and distracted in fear with questions relating too where is my rent coming from, how will i be able to pay off my mortgage, how can i get a mortgage with house prices so high, all fear driven strategies too keep the sheeples minds busy in worry and fear and away from the facts.

    Facts like NAMA / SPV three card private banking debt into state taxpayer debt.

    Facts like the POnzi property bubble deliberately engineered to cause an implosion to precipitate further democratic deficit and further bi polarisation between the haves and have not’s.

    Facts like the government passing over the keys of the taxpayers bond issuance to be used for the common good and passing it over to be used to set up an off balance sheet con too hide gambling debts and thereby hide the real facts on what exactly happened in the banks with the all the cash.
    Things like where did all the cash go, who has it. stuff like that.

    Stuff like, how is it that the ECB will loan a country in the state it is in like Ireland 54 billion euros. What does the ECB know the rest of us do not.

    Then one ponders what exactly happens with this 54 billion in cash, not electronic money, cash, where will it go when banks receive it, bearing in mind a huge % of the banks debts are based on FRL and so debts accrued into accounts and not in real cash, YET the irish banks will receive real cash for debts handed out out of thin air!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. wills


    The housing bubble was engineered and blown up and popped on purpose.

    The power elites carried it out for a number of purposes.

    They are bringing us all into a complete command economy.

    No different to the one in the old soviet union.

    Prices will be completely controlled.

    Employment will be completely controlled.

    We will be told we all must be greatfull for the gov taking care of us and be all good boy’s and girls.

    NAMA / SPV passed introduces a new high tech neo feudal serf culture of corporatist rule, deepening its control over the market economy and mainstream culture bringing in a brave new world of horror, a formation of a huge criminal syndicate.

    Out to exploit unmercifully, take anything of value, and rule over the ruled.

    • Deco

      I would beg to differ on one technicality. It is not a complete command economy.

      More a “manufacturing of consent”, “here are the mores that will bind you”, “fit in or get out”, “what’s wrong with you that you have to disagree with your betters”, “go and have a few pints instead of going around on your hobby-horse pointing out the flaws of the system”, “proud to be Irish”, greatest little country in the world-now shut up and stop giving out, gombeen, everyone who works is to be rode 24/7 economy.

      Or maybe I could just abreviate that to ‘gombeen’ economy.

      The problem with cheap housing is that it leaves the toiling classes with less compulsion to do what they are told.

    • Colin_in_exile


      I don’t know if the housing bubble was popped on purpose. The consequences of the popped bubble have driven poor auld Brian Lenihan demented, who was forced to call around to David’s house and confess that his DoF staff hadn’t a clue what to do.

      Now, FF have to make very unpopular decisions regarding cuts. They’ve also foregone salary increases, taken paycuts, and are now shit scared of being seen anywhere within 100 yards of a hired limo. Surely, it would have made more sense for them to have prevented the bubble bursting in order to maintain their largesse?

      • Ruairí

        I suggest a pool car system for the cabinet. Something like Norway has.

        This is a cheap motor and would help ‘balance’ the books this December Lenny.

        The colour is a bit off but a nice compromise between green party and redneck party.

      • wills

        colin, the politicians are impotent relating too oligopoly banking powers.

        The bankers call the shot’s.

        The bankers know how the capital leveraging ratio’s bone is connected

        too the predatory lending bone is connected too the

        low interest rates bone is connected too the

        lack of regulation bone is connected too the

        faking loan application forms bone is connected too the

        110% mortgages bone is connected too the

        free money on the wholsale money markets bone is connected too the

        the lender of last resort the gov will bail you out bone is connected too the

        great POnzi property bubble swindle bone.

        • Tim

          wills, that is truly excellent!

          Also see this:

          On Thursday 12th November 2009, @stephenkinsella said:


          “The lesson of the 1930′s is that, in a time of encroaching conservatism and creeping repression, the correct response is not to flush your fucking spine down the toilet.” Replace 1930 with NAMA and @warrenellis’ new book is singing to me.

      • Tim


        “Now, FF have to make very unpopular decisions regarding cuts.”

        Now, that’s just part of the spin and lies.

        They don’t “have to”; they are choosing to. The spin is that they are so responsible, that they will take the hard decisions and hurt the people, instead of the ones who caused the problem:

        No 64% Taxes for those earning over €200,000……

        I paid 64% tax on £13,700 in 1990.

        Go figure!

        I am paying 52% today, on €67,000.

        But, we are told, those on €200,000 pay 25% Tax, so we cannot tax them any further, or there will be a “flight-of-capitol”?????

        • Colin_in_exile


          I’d like to see a third rate of income tax, say 52%. UK are introducing new third rate of 50% next year – no talk of high fliers leaving UK, in fact, if anything, high earners recognise the need for more of a contribution from them.

          How can the govt hurt the ones who caused the problem? Please expand.

          • Tim

            Colin_in_exile, ALL of those who caused the problem were earning WAY-OVER €200k.

            I say, take it all away from them. Invent a punative tax, just for them. What is this 25% thing, for them, while the rest of us pay 52%?

            Tax anyone over 200k at 100%.

            Anyone over 100k at 70%.

            Why not?

            They can still live quite comfortably on their massive incomes, b ut contribute, proportionately, to the society in which they live.

            (But, everyone will say, “Oh! they will leave, and you will not be able to attract “good people” to replace them, at that price”. Good! Let’s have no more of them; they screwed-it-up! Good Riddance! Bye, boys!).

          • Colin_in_exile


            Its a good question, why not?

            However, some people like our host did not cause the problem, and I presume he’s earning more than €200,000 a year, so, is it fair for David to suffer the same punishment as someone like, say Miriam O’Callaghan?

  48. Tim

    Folks, NAMA could have been stopped last night in the Seanad, but wasn’t.

    I was receiving info (via twitter) from someone who was there. Look at what happened, and tell me if I am crazy for smelling a rat:

    There were six votes missing;

    Three “Benedict Arnolds” voted against the FoI amendment (O’Toole {he, of the brother-in-law that got the Thornton Hall money}, Mullins{he, of “Cat-Lick” hierarchy shmooser-fame} and Harris {he, of Bertie-appointee fame}).

    The Govt chief whip was blocking the door of the chamber, to stop others coming in.

    The three amigos count for 6 votes, don’t forget, when they switch.

    Hmmmmm? Get it?

    BrendanW, of course I know you agree with me, at 25 (above); I always knew you would, from Day one here. The surprise may be on your side, because you don’t yet see my hat-changing dexterity, trying (it seems foolishly) to juggle too many conflicting roles.

    • wills

      and when one add’s this info with RTE 9 o clock 30 second 10 down the list news piece which is NAMA going thru dail one can only but conclude Ireland is not a democratic republic but something else.

  49. Ruairí

    China offloads its toxic assets while we store up on them……..

    Intersting quote from this commercial report; from the guys behind “The Daily Reckoning”: -

    “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of the voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” attr. economist Ludwig von Mises.

You must log in to post a comment.
× Hide comments