December 20, 2009

Set our entrepreneurs free

Posted in Irish Economy · 89 comments ·
Share 

What are we going to do with small businesses that are flirting with bankruptcy? This week, I have had numerous ‘end-of-season’ conversations with businesspeople about the state of the nation. One of the recurring subjects was what are we going to do with the thousands of businesses that are close to going bust.

More significantly, because of the banking practice of getting personal guarantees from small business people for basic working capital, many good individuals face personal bankruptcy because they were caught on the wrong side of the cycle.

Without credit to keep the businesses going, many will have to decide to shut up shop in the new year.

I am not just talking about property people here, the troubles are across the board. The business model of our country is broken. Costs, rates, rents and taxes are too high, and debts are crippling businesses, with the real rates of interest above 11 per cent for many. In normal times with a properly functioning credit system, businesses would be able to survive through the recession, staying open and waiting for the cycle to turn – but not this time.

Thousands are now technically bankrupt and people are thinking of moving abroad to avoid the stigma of bankruptcy here. In Ireland, we treat our bankrupts with particular vindictiveness.

A bankrupt person in Ireland has to wait 12 years before the stain of bankruptcy is lifted, and they can borrow again to create a business. In Britain it is one year.

Equally, bankruptcy proceedings have to be heard in the High Court, with all the expenses that incurs.

In other countries, people who take risks, build things and employ others are supported by the law so that if they fail, they will start again. Not so in Ireland. Here, if you fail, you fail spectacularly and everything is structured to make sure that, if you fall, you don’t get back up again.

How does that facilitate a recovery?

Societies are made up of all sorts, as different as the average school classroom in terms of abilities and personalities. While entrepreneurship is not for everyone, the people who get up in the morning and take risks, creating things and expanding businesses, are crucial to the welfare of others. If they make mistakes, they shouldn’t be hammered for it.

In Ireland, if we examine our bankruptcy laws, what we see is that the weight of the law is there to protect the creditor, not the borrower. But the creditor creates nothing. The creditor, normally a bank, simply acts as a middleman, passing on other people’s savings to those who would use the savings to create things.

Why should the creditor be so protected in a crisis? Surely the balance of risk in the deal should be more evenly distributed. In the crisis, if our law hammers the risk-takers and protects the creditors, the entrepreneurs will just leave and the lawyers, civil servants and banks will win.

Without entrepreneurs, the society doesn’t create wealth, and we end up being a large debt-servicing agency dancing to the bankers’ tune rather than a vibrant, competitive economy where businesses are started and people are encouraged to go and do things for themselves.

One of the reasons the US is such a dynamic capitalist society is because, as one of its core values, it allows people to make mistakes. People aren’t regarded as a success until they have failed. Failure is not a stigma; it is a war wound, a battle story to be remembered fondly in better times.

In the US and Britain, bankruptcy is part and parcel of business; here, in contrast, it is a stick with which to bash people.

More worryingly, by treating unlucky risk-takers as outcasts, we reinforce the conservatism which characterises our country and reinforces the bias towards the professions, which afflicts so much of Irish society.

The day the Irish mammy tells her clever child to start a business rather than become a lawyer is the day we start turning the corner. However, that day will only come when we change the way we treat people who are bankrupt.

The more the law upholds the age-old social stigma of bankruptcy, the more the mammies will funnel their smart kids into medicine, law or some other profession, and the fewer wealth creators we will have.

The best way to gauge this deep and unproductive bias at the heart of our society is to look at the number of people who entered formal bankruptcy proceedings here.

In Britain in 2008, 67,000 people entered formal bankruptcy, with another 39,000 entering an individual voluntary arrangement (an IVA is a legal alternative to bankruptcy in Britain that does not exist in Ireland). In an IVA case, a third party negotiates with creditors and, if those holding more than 75 per cent of a debt agree, a binding scheme of arrangement is entered into. This is a sensible arrangement, as it gives people a chance.

In Ireland, this kind of scheme doesn’t exist and, in 2008, fewer than 100 people entered bankruptcy. Put another way, in Britain 1 in 580 people entered bankruptcy/IVA in 2008; in Ireland, the number was less than 1 in 45,000.

Now look at the figures for the US. In the US, there were 1,074,225 bankruptcy filings by individuals in 2008.That is one in 283 of the population. Many of these are personal bankruptcies rather than business-related.

Bankruptcies happen, and to deny them simply clogs up the system and punishes the entrepreneurs who get into trouble. But fluidity in business where people can deal with creditors rationally is a sign of health not weakness. Easier bankruptcy laws are not a delinquents’ charter, but a logical reaction to the fact that risk exists.

Some argue that the easier it is to declare yourself bankrupt, the higher the risk of ‘moral hazard’.

Moral hazard is the risk that a bankrupt will just go bankrupt again and again and that in a sense you risk accommodating ‘bad behaviour’.

But forget moral hazard for a minute and think about real hazard. Real hazard is when you drive away your creative and entrepreneurial class by attaching a stigma of failure to them too easily. Real hazard is when you make it so difficult for them to recover that you freeze them out after one mistake.

Real hazard is when you uphold the age-old Irish bias against risk-takers and turn large parts of the society into employees waiting for someone else to take the lead. These are the actual rather than the moral hazards which can ruin a society and eliminate the chance that the economy can recover. In short, by hounding bankrupts, we weaken ourselves.

So are we going to give ourselves a chance? Are we going to condemn businesses that are in trouble to years in the wilderness? Are we going to let people who have made mistakes, recover and start again? Or are we going to be vindictive?

The choice is ours. If we change our bankruptcy laws, we can give people a second chance, make creditors know that the risk of investing in businesses is shared and, more to the point, allow the brains and initiative of the Irish people to flourish without the stain of failure being permanent.

The recession gives us a chance to change our mindsets. We could begin with banishing the stigma of a listing in Stubbs Gazette and realising that, in every venture, there is risk. The country that takes no risks goes backward.


  1. Good article David, and it leaves you wondering why our laws are so archaic.

    I suspect those in power have been under the illusion over the last decade or so that they were the ‘wealth generators’. How often did we hear self-crediting for economic success.

    Now the illusion is shattered, the complacency exposed, and all that government can do is go into a holding pattern whilst sticking their fingers in the dam.

    It’s as if we’re waiting for some external force to take the pressure off, but with changes as suggested by your article it would at least invoke sparks of home-grown optimism that could be built on.

    Maybe we’ll be susprised and something more dynamic will come out of the Dail in the next few months – if not then we’ll know this is going to be drudgery for a while yet.

  2. Tim

    Arra, would you look at this Sh1t:

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/namabound-developers-loans-get-valuation-1981672.html

    Surprise, surprise!

    Garrett Fitgerald’s young-fella is going to make a fortune out of NAMA.

    Well, well, well……

    • paddythepig

      ‘Lucrative contracts’ – what a crock of shite. Estate agents should be given the minimum wage for their services, and not a penny more.

      On David’s article, has our host gone soft in the head? Just because you jump on a ponzi bandwagon, get a loan from a negligent bank, and put a sign up, it doesn’t make you an entrepreneur. We had lots of borrowing during the Celtic Tiger, but very little innovation or entrepreneurship.

      The tentacles of moral hazard extend well beyond the borrower. Wider society is affected too. We do not want the prudent and astute members of the population seeing their behaviour punished, choosing instead to join the ranks of the reckless.

      Rehashed article. Bad idea.

      Paddy

      • Philip

        I do not think DMcW wants to see a return to the bad old days of the “mushroom” businesses where directors defaulted their creditors and were free to shut up shop (used LTD as a protective barrier) and start a new business overnight with a clean balance sheet.

        Neither do I think DMcW wants businesses that mushroom their tunrover out of nowhere merely to capture footfall or a passing fad to the expense of a rather stable local mom& pop buiz down the road which has been the scene with so many looney operations in the retail parks we have seen around the place.

        I do think DMcW could have been a little more specific about what entrepreneurialism is about. For me this comprises a solid business plan with a solid service or product with a realistic growth path over 5-10 years. Most people who fail in these models do deserve a second chance.

  3. Tim

    David, from one perspective, business-people take no “risk”, whatsoever in Ireland.

    I have seen countless people go “bust” in their business, close-down (as Ltd. companies, owing hundreds of thousands in tax and payments to suppliers) and open up for business, under a new company name, within weeks.

    How would alleviating the bankruptsy-laws in Ireland improve matters, when, as it is, the cowboys rule?

    • Hi Tim.
      Actually the law changed to discourage this happening in the Companies Act 1990. Abuses were still rife as there was no regulator body to properly enforce the new laws. However, the Company Law Enforcement Act in 2001 set up the ODCE and meant that the practices you describe could reasonably be enforced. Sometimes creditors don’t initiate proceedings against debtors or report them to the ODCE but it’s choice or lack of awareness. The laws are on their side. Banks are not so lenient and they know ever letter of the law when it suits.
      I agree with David’s comments about the bankruptcy laws completely. It’s not to protect cowboys. Without change we’ll slow down recovery, lose more jobs in the long run and create more suffering.

      • wills

        Shane -

        ‘Cowboy businesses’ work their larceny through the fact that the ‘system’ is rigged and corrupt.

        So one could have all the regulation in place but if the holders of power are corrupt then regulation is nullified.

        The regulation in Ireland is constructed in such a way that it hamstrings those who risk take honestly and if you risk take dishonestly you the system is open to let you get away with it through the back door of corruption.

        • Maybe Wills but if we legislated more sensibly and enforced more authoritatively we’d get less abuses and less cowboy business. Otheerwise we’ll be mired in the culture of corruption which has seen the Irish state go from one economic calamity to the next with no clear strategy to improve things.

          • wills

            Shane -

            I think regulation will never quench theft and gambling and smash and grab, although i do think, the police state (RATM) works in the favour of the the gangster class in charge and regulation is been used by them too keep under jack boot any true form of free market enterprise.

      • Tim

        Shane Dempsey, I have seen a neighbour of mine do this in the last two years – it still exists.

        The legal change, in 1990, that you refer to comes into effect only if the director, or one of the directors, is proven to have acted “negligently”, or the company has been proven to have traded “fraudulently”.

        Otherwise, the directors walk away from all their debts – to creditors (toppling other small businesses) or banks and revenue commissioners (hurting us all).

        • It all depends on whether the director acts in bad faith. Current predecents on trading when insolvent are quite clear. If you continue to trade when a director should reasonably be aware (or has been made aware) of the insolvency of a company then the director can become personally liable for the debt. I wouldn’t make any comments about specific cases, just that this is my understanding of the law. I’ve consulted with my live-in legal expert and she’s given me the recent textbooks :)
          It is my belief (and I could be wrong) that there are Irish directors who have burned creditors through negligent actions but the ODCE hasn’t been properly informed. I’m aware of 2 cases where for social reasons the issue wasn’t pushed as far as it could have been. Ireland in a microcosm really.

  4. JJ Tatten

    David,

    You write:
    “if our law hammers the risk-takers and protects the creditors, the entrepreneurs will just leave and the lawyers, civil servants and banks will win”

    They’ve already won – in fact they were never in any danger of losing. Ireland has fucked itself – again. I’d advise the angry, disadvantaged and disenchanted to re-direct their energies into rebuilding a life elsewhere – in a country where they are valued as citizens, entrepreneurs and people. To take such a course of action is far more positive and life-affirming than to pursue the noble, but frankly, hopeless notion of actually changing the Irish political and civic landscape. The paralysing parasites are too embedded in Irish culture – get out and lead an adventurous, different and rewarding life beyond Ireland’s shores . By doing so you may never be materially rich but at least you’ll you will have ‘lived’. And at the end of your days, if it hasn’t quite panned out as expected you can at least be qualified to deliver the comical quip – “I started out with nothing and I have most of it left”.

    It’s hard and heart-rending to leave home but you’ll be joining the millions-strong ranks of your Irish forefathers and adding to the story of the diaspora – a story far richer than that of Ireland’s faux republic.

    • Philip

      JJ, certainly that’s what my kids will be doing – if for no othe reason that I do not want them infected by the local blather. Indeed, I fear it may happen that their education will have to be completed abroad as I believe the local institutions are falling apart.

      It sickens me that over the seemingly over the last 20-30 years nothing has been learnt. That said, I do feel little is understood of the effects of race to the bottom dynamics forced by large scale outsourcing and the euphemism of the “knowledge” ecomomy that was to take up the slack. Technology and automation and telecoms has been a major disruptor to not only the economy but to the governing of sovereign states. The race to the bottom economics has put similar pressure on people’s own rights as well. This means that I am not too sure if emigration offers any realistic mediukm to longterm alternative in this new world. UK, US and the other western economies still have a lot to play out in this crisis.

      Where this leaves the local elite? My feeling is in a holding pattern of comfortable self delusion. But I can see forces taking them out already. The income stream has to come from somewhere and it is drying up no matter where you look as the haves entrench themselves further – but to where?

      I think the time of importing and exporting material/ atoms is over. We only need knowledge. We can see the web doing a proper job on ensuring the X Factor No1 is not. A poster here regularly jokingly (I think) to Adam Smith 2.0/ Web 3.0. I am beginning to wonder if there is any joke here at all. Maybe Entreprenuerialism needs to look beyond banks and classic forms of credit.

      • JJ Tatten

        Philip,

        I can understand why you’d be unsure of the viability of emigration as a medium to long-term alternative because – as you quite rightly point out – the UK and US has yet to endure the full consequences of it’s actions. However, in my view Ireland’s societal fundamentals (education, transport, housing, cost of living) are so feeble that emigration almost immediately offers a significant benefit to the emigrant – more so to their offspring. Irish emigrants are often (not always) quite successful, quite quickly because in my opinion the benefits of shrugging off the suffocating gombeenism of Irish civic and economic society is akin to being untethered from a, hithereto unnoticed, economic leash. Your children’s future is obviously your priority and you may well be leaning towards the notion of that future being eked out beyond Irish shores,- however I must, through personal experience draw your attention to the fact that the sense of ‘family’ is never quite the same again and that homesickness is often part and parcel of the emigrant experience for many. Many’s a time I sat in the Departures Area of Dublin Airport wishing it could be different.

    • wills

      JJ Tatten -

      My take is, living in Ireland and holding true too ones principles if virtuous is extremely difficult to do where as lesser so most other places except maybe in tin pot regimes which ireland really is under the hood.

      I’ve sat in dublin airport in ‘tears’ no different to anyone else im sure, one way ticket in my back pocket.

      Ireland in my POV can be re taken and turned around and its all down too ‘sticking it too the man’ intelligently and harnessing the rage against the machine into buoyant energy.

  5. SLICKMICK

    How many school leavers want to start a business?.You need capital, contacts etc.A cushy job in the local bank or civil service is the easy option.There is too much competition in business and the hassle isn’t worth it.How many businesses have you run David?.You have the acumen!.Nollaig shona.

  6. MK1

    Hi David,

    You are right that we need to give entrepreneurship more of a chance. However, I dont think that it is being held back by the lack of protection in bankruptcy situations. Indeed, as Tim and others have pointed out and as you will no doubt know, many Directors/Owners of companies have a Ltd go bust only for them to open a new company and leave creditors up the swanee including our government.

    I do think that culturally there should be less emphasis on bankruptcy being a ‘disease’ of some sort, but it only holds back a real entrepreneur IF they allow it. On some measures (GEM) Ireland is a very entrepreneurial country. In some ways we have to be as we have a small internal market. However, in many other ways we are not.

    Yes, inefficienices in our marketplace has made positions such as Lawyers Doctors and even Teachers well above their lot.

    We should encourgae entepreneurship in other ways. For example, BY NOT giving 3.5 billion of our cash to Anglo Irish, BY NOT giving 6 billion to AIB and BOI, by not having NAMA, etc.

    There are many things to fix and bankruptcy laws are well down on the list of priorities.

    A Merry Xmas …..

    MK1

  7. wills

    David.

    The ‘system’ in which entrepreneurs swim is rigged.

    So, the systems failure you rightfully bring too light in above article is no accident.

    The circles closest too the ‘magic money making machine’ control the ‘system’ in which entrepreneurs function so we get what your article puts in the frame.

    We get a ‘system’ that risk takers / outsiders set up in in which the risk taking and future success of which is all tied into the use powers in the hands of the insiders.

    So we are back to the insiders v outsiders theme again, and again and again. No matter how hard we try it will not go away.

    The ‘system’ / hardware risk takers operate in is a loaded dice in the favour of the insiders. And your article above is one face of the loaded dice.

    On the ‘irish mammies finger pointing son into a profession’ let me say this, Its one thing been brow beaten by mummy its another too stand up for oneself and tell mummy to mind her own business.

    ANd, here we are faced with another psychological malaise with the male pop of Ireland. The low numbers of males saying NO to females. Drawing the boundaries and saying NO.

    • wills

      Also, the higher up the system one goes the less risk is at stake and then the banks where no risk is at stake whatsoever anymore since sep 2008 cos the main banks now know they will never have to pay for risk that fails.

      So, its one law for the insiders and one law for the outsiders and your article is showing this to be true despite the naysayers who i find usually are insiders themselves.

    • wills

      NOTE;

      I’m referring too entrepreneurs who do risk taking in prudence and socially responsibly.

      In reference too tim @3 and philips point on credit bubble induced businesses i agree entirely the ‘system’ been that it rigged is wide open too slipstream businesses going nowhere in particular but merely exploiting any given ‘credit boom and bust’ cycle, which is all part of the floatsom and jetsom of POnzi scamming in the banking system.

  8. AndrewGMooney

    A sobering article to read as the Christmas cards arrive from Ireland. As The Solstice descends, I go through certain rituals to do with ‘the turn of the year’. One of them is visiting the graves in Birmingham. Those of my parents, one of my uncles, and that of my paternal grandfather. All driven from their home in Ireland by personal and social ‘economic’ calamities arising from the foundational errors of the Republic. Now another one appears to be in full swing, as exemplified by this recent article in The Sunday Times which encapsultates the current situation:
    ‘Despite liquidation Mooney vows to return’

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/motors/2009/1216/1224260751966.html

    Paraic says: “It was an apocalypse. But it could get worse”. It will, unless and until there is some amelioration of the tightening vice of deflation. Bouncing back with a new Hyundai franchise is fine. But who will have the credit to purchase new vehicles in the current psychological retrenchment due to the ‘downward spiral’? If The Great Reflation by the UK / US / China fails, then I can’t see any way out for Ireland. I can’t see any Core-Euro policy response that will restory functioning engines of credit, the ‘spark plugs’ of any entrepreneurial activity. Paraic also says ‘Our biggest creditor has been EP Mooney Ltd. It has been tough on my family, my wife, my parents.’ I think this is the key point, and essential to understanding the danger of the current situation. It is no longer about some balancing retribution for those who became intoxicated by ‘animal spirits’ and should therefore, now, face retribution for their ‘moral hazard’. Yet the banks have NAMA?

    People will not tolerate Victorian Debt Oppression. What’s there to lose when you’ve lost everything already? The effects of a single personal bankruptcy are like a blast wave within families, communities and the whole of a nation. A tsunami doesn’t selectively choose the guilty. Neither does a deflationary spiral.
    There could be a catastrophic loss of capacity if the articles on nurses moving to Whipp Cross Hospital in London gain momentum. My first born child was born there, and the Irish mid-wife was esctatic, not only for us as our baby safely arrived, but also for herself, as she was about to relocate back to Ireland with her toddler boy. I wonder where she is now? I wonder where he is now?

    Never mind ‘traitor shoppers’ in Newry. Wait until the unemployed Solicitors get ‘entrepreneurial’ and set up a new business park dealing exclusivey with ‘getting a life’: A new life, free of the shackles of debt. If this sound alarmist, then think again. It’s already happening in Kent, where the bankrupts of continental Europe seek a fresh start via Insolvenz Agentur: ‘Kent attracts new type of tourist: Europeans seeking easy bankruptcy’

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6845136.ece

    ‘Among the indebted of Germany, Austria, France and Ireland, the English insolvency laws look beautifully lenient. Insolvency experts say that the number of foreign debtors seeking bankruptcy in Britain has risen by 20 per cent, with Kent being a popular destination because of its easy access to continental Europe. ‘

    I discussed all of this with Alistair Darling over a few pints after the Pantomime. He said “What could I do? Ireland and Iceland were determined to go ‘out on a limb’. They wouldn’t listen to words of caution. It’s not a question that I grin-fcuked them. There was no need to. They were too busy fist-fcuking themselves.”
    He’s sanguine about the rats leaving the ‘sinking ship’. He’ll deal with them on a global level via Deutsch Bank and the Basel committee on banking supervision.

    The ‘independent’ Bank of England is showing not its’ teeth, but its’ withering insouciant contempt: In an interview with the BBC World Service, Andrew Haldane, the head of financial stabilty at the BOE said the departure of some bankers overseas ‘might be a price worth paying’. Insisting on tougher regulation as banks have failed to learn the lessons of the Credit Crunch Pt 1, he intends to ensure they don’t create a ‘doom loop’ in Pt 2. ‘It’s a loop we’ve been round repeatedly over the last 200 years which is every time we have one of these events, the public sector has ridden to the rescue, it has written the cheque…That has rather fortified the financial sector to double their bets for next time, which means when next time comes the cheque needs to be that much bigger.’

    If I had Brian Lenihans’ ear, I tell him to stop making a pig’s ear of it. And I’d box Cowen’s ears for allowing it. If all and sundry had their snouts in the trough, then there has to be some catharsis. But it is vomitous to suggest that the bankers who made the crazy loans to the ‘little people’ should now be allowed to escape any consequences, even whilst they profit from, quite literally, crucifying a nation under a cross of Debt. Alistair says he’ll swap Dublin 5 merchant bankers for a Senior Nurse and a Surgeon. And he’s getting ready to drop a New Year’s atomic bomb on Google. He’s a big fan of poker games. On-line and in ‘the real world’.

    First dysfunctional bankers then dysfunctional corporations, all will be whipped back into line. I note the risible headlines about Ireland ‘escaping recession’ because the ‘insider clique’ briefly have. A Nation is more than temporary ‘gold nuggets’ that turn out to be a bag of beans….the Pantomime this year is ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and very good it is too. This ‘fable’ is very old and there are myriad versions in England and Germany. It seems as if a new version is being written in Ireland………..Solstice blessings to one and all from:

    ‘Prince’ Adam John Maynard Sun Tzu Smith 2.0 / Web 3.0′

    PS: Not much action on this site today. I guess the partying has started. Or is that The Celtic Tiger Wake?

    • sirganya

      Andrew G Mooney, the mimetic heretic, the AGM, Andy Money, I always lokk forward to your posts but are you for real or culture jamming?

      keep it up.

      • AndrewGMooney

        hi ‘sirganya’, glad you enjoy my responses / ripostes. I always enjoy David’s stalwart efforts to both debunk and popularise Astrology, I mean Economics!…..This is for you, everyone else: Move along. Just another one from ‘Mad Paddy From Brum’.

        Am I for real, as in Richey Edwards’?
        ‘Behind his quiet, gentle nature was the fanatical determination that characterised the band’s ascent to popularity. After a 1991 concert he responded to media scepticism by brutally carving “4 Real” with a razor blade on his forearm for the benefit of a journalist and photographer from the New Musical Express.’
        quoted from 100WelshHeroes.com
        Yes, I’m 4 Real. As Parliament sang in ‘Fantasy Is Reality’ in the early seventies:
        “fantasty is reality in the world today. i keep hangin’ in there, it’s the only way. recollections of what grandaddy used to say – keeps me hanging in there, it’s the only way”. Parliament / Funkadelic song
        Culture jamming? Yes, and Cultural Engineer, as in ‘re-engineering the Irish mind’ :

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_process_reengineering

        I will declare myself ‘Cultural Taoiseach’ as stated here several times. But first we have to let the current situation unfold to its’ seemingly inevitable denouement in 2012.
        If / when I ‘step into the spotlight’ at 20:12, 20/12, 2012, with the publication of ‘An Irish Childhood In Birmingham: All hell breaks loose. I say ‘if’ as I may die, or I may be executed before then. If my ‘cloaking device’ and Uma Thurman Kill Bill style security team holds firm: From 2012 to 2021 I begin a systematic campaign to bring about The Uprising of 2016 and consign the current fake ‘soldiers of destiny’ to history’s scrap-heap, whilst the real ‘soldiers of destiny’, led by me, will sing ‘Envisioning Eire -Amhrán na bhFiann’, the new national anthem: A duet between myself and Dana (in bondage gear) with Michael Flatley doing a good aul’jig! Sinead and Enya on harmonies. No place for U2, I’m afraid. Sorry lad! Still, you got the ‘booby prize’ of ‘Fame’…lol! I intend/portend an authentic C21st ’4 Real’ Irish Uprising that is not a catastrophic foundational error besmirched by murder (as in Kevin Myers’s ‘revisionist’ archeological dig), but a Cultural Uplifting which will bring forth the true wealth-generating potential of The Irish Matrix, freed from the covert Victim Script detritus that is the reason behind the threat of debt peonage via NAMA.

        ‘Out yonder waits the Saxon foe….’ hisses Cowen in his bunker. Lenihan furiously chews cubes of crystalised ginger (he’s moved on from garlic). Yes, Brians. I’m still here. I granted you both an audience at B’ham Airport last September, but you couldn’t listen cause I’m ‘just too much, according to my bunker spies. I’m 4 real, as in Richey Manic’s forearm. And I’m a gonna take you clowns down……

        “I’ve been dreaming of a time when the Irish are sick to death of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael and spit upon their names,
        alongside Cromwells. And denounce The Tribal Mind that still salutes them: Will they salute them forever?”

        lyrics from ‘Celtic Blood, Saxon Heart’ by Mooney.

        As Bob Marley sang: ”We’re jamming. To think that jamming was a thing of the past, we’re jamming, And I hope this jam is gonna last. No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor will we bow, Neither can be bought or sold. We all defend the right, Éirinn go brách, we must unite. Your life is worth much more than gold.’

        Of course, I could be an MI5 / MI6 ‘spook’ with a covert agenda, as Cowen says. I’ll let the real Irish people judge in a phone-in vote. Will this particular ‘Saxon Foe aka Frodo’, this meta-narrating, multiverse creatin’ ‘Lord Of The Rings’ who emerged from the same sacred space / hallowed ground as Tolkien’s St Philip’s & Birmingham Oratory, be condemned to hang in newly-restored Kilmainham?

        Or maybe I’m just taking the piss and DMcW’s needs to capitulate to the furious onslaught of emails demanding he ‘ban’ me from posting ‘diatribes’ on his serious Economics site? Yeah, right. That’s really gonna work. Always has done. Just ask my teachers. And those Catholic priests who tried to fc-uk me over….see you in court lads. Birmingham Crown Court. October 2010. The Birmingham Six – Part 2.

        This will follow the cataclysmic visit of Pope Ratzinger to my old school and Birmingham Oratory to try and ‘contain the black-hole vortex situation. In The Vatican he’s screeching: “How the fc-uk did MI5/6 get to Fr XXX? He was behind the firewall of Governor Swarzenegger in L.A Hell Central? Why wasn’t he renditioned here to ‘sanctuary’ as the Blair-Bush-Bertie hydra promised? I’m still the arch-inquisitor of The Magisterium! Cardinal Vincent Nichols is Saruman to my Sauron! We thought we’d crushed Mooney..No matter. Malleus Mallificarum has been updated. AndrewGMooney will be put on trial for using Philip Pulman’s Secret Knife at Bromptom, Birmingham and Oxford Oratory. He must die an agonising death! The publication of ‘An Irish Childhood In Birmingham’ must be stopped or God will drop dead in ‘shock and awe’. Wayne Rooney…. George Clooney. Nespresso advert….Ah! Yes…I have a plan …..send a signal to AndrewGMooney: Desist or die!”

        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100019970/earthquake-at-the-birmingham-oratory-fr-chavasse-steps-down-as-provost-and-actor-of-the-newman-cause/

        WTF? No, I’m not joking. This is truly 4 Real. And Ireland cannot escape the consequences. Never mind that Ireland is reeling from the Dublin Archdiocese report, that’s just for staters. The Archdiocese of Dublin used to send its’ real hard-core crazies to Birmingham, England, to be ‘contained’ by Archbishop George Patrick O’Dwyer..Birmingham. 1970s. Black Sabbath:

        ‘I went to the Garden of Love,
        And saw what I never had seen;
        A Chapel was built in the midst,
        Where I used to play on the green.
        And the gates of this Chapel were shut
        And “Thou shalt not,” writ over the door;
        So I turned to the Garden of Love
        That so many sweet flowers bore.
        And I saw it was filled with graves,
        And tombstones where flowers should be;
        And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
        And binding with briars my joys and desires.’
        Willaim Blake ‘The Garden Of Love’.

        Cardinal Newman is buried with his One True Love in Birmingham. Fr XXX will expose the truth of The Birmingham 6 and Birmingham 666. And ‘An Irish Childhood In Birmingham’ will set in motion a ‘google-wave’ mass consciousness event that will lead to The Uplifting Of 2016.

        Jayzis – i’m due at the Doctor’s in 10 mins, presents to rap and I’m rapping away here in full-on Eminem vs House of Pain mode. Merry XXXmas ‘sirganya’. Santa / Satan / Yoda ‘anger leads to the dark side’ John Lydon’s song Rise: ‘anger is an energy, may the road rise with you’. If you celebrate Winterval in whatever way. Have a good one!

  9. Tim

    Folks, this is what govt (via Enterprise Ireland) thinks of our entrepreneurs – closed for business! (Thanks, Liam):

    http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/Grow/Finance/Applicationforms.htm

  10. Seasons Greetings to All here , regarding this article , well Yes our system has to be changed , Ireland has to change and more importantly what we need over the next few years is Political Change.
    Our third generation civil war parties are now defunct , we have seen that with the budget all the talk from backbenchers and yet they voted in a budget that hits at the weakest an most unrepresented groups within our society.
    So what do we need to do ?
    Well Tim , could start with getting his local TD to vote against this shower of dictators , which would see him getting elected as an independent .
    We need more than ever for Irish people to Stand up , as the System is broken and wrong , every where you look from Government down through each department , semi states , the Irish bankers , the catholic church and our Media.
    There is no point in leaving now and letting these elected and old schools network continue.
    With NAMA now going to PAY these crooks of estate agents to ‘re value’ the developers loans ,
    We should strike against these banks , what would happen if we on one day went to these banks to close our accounts down …what would they do then. ?
    We need to Protest , and Protest without violence , what if we went to the Dail every day , what if we protested out side RTE to get them to tell The Truth and Ask our Politicians to Answer the questions asked !.
    If we did not buy Fuel for a day , can we not get our Shell Oil fields back ?
    People like David here and Shane Ross , Vincent Browne, Fintan O Toole , Gene Kerigan have to call people to action , Leadership is all we need , we are a docile group and we will follow.
    Social Housing lists are exploding yet we have vacant housing estates ?
    …In top top thirty of wealthy countries yet we have schools in make shift buildings.
    Our Elected and the in bedded civil servants have their agenda , until we stand up to them things will never change here.
    Drink driving laws and prices to be changed ?..boycott their premises for a day or week , see what these lobbyists would do then ?.
    Hound Every Radio station to ask why we let our Politicians take such holidays and get such pay ?.
    There is a lot we can do , if we really want to where as sitting back and saying , sure what can I do ?..
    This Country will remain both Morally and Economically bankrupt .

    Enjoy Your Turkey’s this year I will be cooking also to feed four fellow Irish who were ravaged by the Great Celtic Tiger ,..sad in 2009 ……
    I wonder what Padraig Pearse and those others who fought for change think of what we have become now ?

  11. Dilly

    On a happier note, Rage Against the Machine beat the X Factor winner to the number one spot (in the UK at least). The song “Killing in the Name” has been described as “a howling, expletive-driven tirade against the ills of American society.”, but, this song could be about any modern society, it applies to all. So, that bit of news cheered me up on a cold Monday. :-)

  12. wills

    Posters -

    The ground is been softening up for nationalisation of the main banks.

    Softy softly as they go.

    Why oh why are they taking the long way round on this one, when it is now obvious they are readying themselves up for the inevitable announcement.
    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/aib-and-boi-risk-state-ownership–warns-honohan-1983227.html

  13. Alf

    Hi David,
    A good article. The bankruptcy laws in Ireland clearly excessively favour the creditor which, in effect, give another stick with which to beat the risk-taker. They gear the interest based on the risk plus, if that fails, they have bankruptcy laws which effectively trap the weak in insolvency. Forgetting for a minute the fact that they will write off the bad debt (tax free). You are right that it is effectively killing any incentive to take risk in Ireland. It is something that should have been reformed long ago.

    An efficient bankruptcy system is fundamental to any healthy free market economy. The US and UK understand, although not perfectly, that efficient bankruptcy is part and parcel of the capitalist model which, like a living animal, requires a continuous stream of measured risk-taking to survive.

  14. Tim

    Folks, Roubini at 19:19 this evening:

    My column on The Gold Bubble and the Gold Bugs. The gold bubble is already deflating

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/roubini20

  15. wills

    Shane -

    What do you reckon is the next telecommunications leap coming for us all.

    • Interactive Nanotechnology screens built into public mirrors, car windscreens and shopfronts.
      The walls will start talking to us Wills.

    • I’m amazed by plastic logic e-paper. http://www.plasticlogic.com/
      From talking to technologists in media companies it’s becoming really clear that affordable, colour and flexible ePaper technology will lead to upheavals in that business and also in paper/packaging. Think about it. You buy an ePaper device and receive news, books, corporate information etc. all pushed to one slim reader. eInk makes it easier to read and wireless connectivity means the content can be interactive. The Kindle is only a 2nd gen eReader with big technical improvements expected by the end of 2010.
      Ultimately telecoms is becoming about convergence with internet and telecoms services being integrated into user-friendly packages like iPhone apps. I’m not convinced that higher bandwidth technologies like LTE are needed as much as a mindset shift in telecoms operators. There are many signs in conferences this year that this is happening and that networks are becoming more open. 2 organisations will drive this – Apple and Google.

      • This is very off topic but the most amazing technology I’ve heard of so far is Craig Venter’s early work on genetically engineered fuels using e-Coli. These fuels take in Carbon Dioxide and output Octane. It would fundamentally change the environmental implications and availability of carbon-based fuel consumption.

      • wills

        Very informative shane, much thanks.

  16. I’d agree with David that our Lawmakers haven’t an original thought in their collective bewigged heads. Nothing changes from a legal POV until the Brits have executed due diligence on their side. That is unless any old shite emergency law (NAMA) has to be enacted to save the collective bacon.

    From an entrepreneurial perspective, the levels of inane bureaucracy and hidden hindering hoops one has to contend with are a certain route to bankruptcy. Every small business person in the country knows you only smile sweetly at the system but float your own boat.

  17. wills

    Tim -

    Interesting roubini link. Have read before he attributes global credit crunch too barrel of oil bubble out costing demand and closing down economy consquently.

    I say he is wrong and that the credit crunch originated from mortgage insurance fraud.

    But am i a mere student of such things. alas!

  18. http://www.athenaalliance.org/weblog/archives/2005/04/financial_risk.html

    This is an interesting take on the Entrepreneur / Innovator V Bankruptcy theme.

  19. wills

    Posters -

    In relation to risk taking in good faith Vs risk taking in bad faith one could do better than too go to link and see serious questions been raised in USA over mortgage lending standards.

    What’s rather bizarre on this is that both customer and lender are in unison regarding loan transaction breaking of rules.

    How rampant is similar malpractice here.

    Imagine, how big the % of mortgages loaned out too customers telling porkies too bankers turning a blind eye on a wink and a nod.

  20. wills

    An excellent fast and speedy way to reveal the truth with public enquiry into banking malpractice here.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/opinion/20partnoy.html

  21. Tim , below is what I went to post on Pat Kenny’s facebook page,….but I was not let post it !! ..what’s going on ?

    So Are we better off today than ten years ago ?….How condescending can you get Mr Pat Kenny , you of course are better off , the rest of us sure we have Twitter,Face book and Emails but we also have property going to half what we paid for it and over due E.S.B bills to put off till we get Christmas out of the way .
    But forget out Ireland been €24 better off today , what about the Murphy Report ?. Another utter joke my Mother ( 67 ) and her generation could have told Ireland this twenty years ago ( she was not abused but of course heard the stories ) , but they had fear driven into them by the Men of the Cloth while our political class sat in the front seats .
    Things will not be better in 2010 , there are no ‘green shoots’ we are a bankrupted nation economically speaking and morally while you in RTE been funded through the corrupt system we have in Place will not lead a call for change.
    I wonder what will your Colleagues in ‘The radio and paper Media ‘ take on your show and Prime Time ?…….Doubt it will be revolutionary !
    Enjoy your Organic Turkey and cranberries

    • Tim

      BrendanW, His FB page is locked-for-comments (many “famous” FB members do this – including our host here).

      All you can do is “Become a Fan”.

      No-one can post anything on PK’s wall, except himself.

      You can, however, email your message to his radio show:

      todaypk@rte

      • Tim

        BTW, you will notice, of course, that Pat Kenny has 16 fans, whereas our kind host here has 863.

        (not that you need that clue as to which one of them is a waste of your precious time!)

  22. Original-Ed

    In all the years that I’ve been in business, I never realised that bankruptcy carried a 12 year disqualification and I went bust, but not bankrupt, three times in the early days. The last one, though, was a close call, because I failed to get the overdraft down to zero at the end of a twelve month period – wasn’t able to do a Seanie Fitz trick – so the AIB implemented a penalty clause and imposed punitive interest rates. There was nothing for it but to wind down, sell off equipment and pay up. It took four months to pay off the overdraft plus interest – the penalty amounted to 30 percent of the overdraft over that four months wind down – nice money if you can get it. looking back now ,and realising that Garett Fitzgerald and Charlie had their loans written off, it reinforces Orwell’s assertion, that some are more equal than others.
    and last night’s prime time confirmed everybody’s suspicions
    It’s very difficult for entrepreneurs in the software industry where copyright is used to protect IP. They can easily find themselves up against titans and I know one case where a claim of over one million was made against each director of a small software firm – all they did was develop a user-friendly app to work within an existing large system. The big guys sued and the two Irish guys had to declare bankruptcy – fortunately they were in England and are up and running there again.

  23. G

    Brian Cowan is my shepherd, I shall not work.
    He leadeth me beside still factories.
    He restoreth my faith in the Final Fail party.
    He guideth me to the path of unemployment.
    Yea, though I wait for my dole,
    I own the bank that refuses me.
    Cowan has anointed my income with taxes,
    my expenses runneth over my reduced income.
    Surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all the days of his term.
    From henceforth, we will live all the days of our lives in a rented home with an overseas landlord.
    I am glad I am Irish, I am glad that I am free.
    But I wish I was a dog and Cowan was a tree.
    AMEN!

    • Tim

      G, I have just printed a copy of this and handed it to the local priest (he is in the School today for the Christmas carol service).

      Wont it be interesting, if it is read from the pulpit?

      • G

        An interesting overlap of two badly damaged instutions (body politic/Catholic hierarchy – largely self-inflicted) and two organisations that acted as effective bulwarks towards development of the mind and society as a whole, despite the activities of the well intentioned and other exceptions.

        Real opportunity for change in Ireland, a break with the past, question is: will the Irish realise and grasp it in 2010? I truly hope so and from such an act we build a true Republic, the one that was intended but was blocked, its only taken 100 years, but maybe we can right the past.

        Taking the gas and oil fields back under the control of the State would be a further good step.

        We should set our country free, not just our ‘entrepreneurs’.

    • Amen G…. I hope more see the light that Biran Clown is shining for us , and after prayers we can all head down to the ould pub for a feed of pints and a few ould songs , sure F.F are great fellas who can even borrow 110% mortgages !

  24. Tim – Teachers Pensions .I was listening to Riviera Radio Monty Carlo on sunday morning in Nice and it was advised that people over 50 should consider taking their lump sum now and remain in employment until retirement date – this is an option in normal insurance private policies ……however I learned from the Dept of Ed that theirs is a Dept Matter only and that choice is not available to Irish Teachers .

    • Tim

      John ALLEN, that is true. Then again, what is “normal” in most of the world is never so with the DES.

      We must remember that this is the department that, when challenged by science-teachers about its architectural policy of placing the teacher’s demonstration bench beside the door of upstairs classrooms being a fire-hazard, answered: “So, tell the students to jump out of the window, if a fire starts during an exeriment.” Fact. Official DES policy.

      I kid-you-not, Sir!

      • I know about 150 contractors within the DES (researchers) who tried to get out of the pension scheme because they’re contract employees. It makes no sense for them to be part of a pension scheme when they don’t have permanent jobs. Official Dep Ed policy is once you’re in more than 2 years you can’t leave and that you SHOULD be in. When I started as a researcher we weren’t given any option to opt-out and use a PRSA / private scheme. Probably because the PS pension is a ponzi scheme, plain and simple.

  25. tony_murphy

    Sorry for UK slant – but people are being driven to bankruptcy in the rush to the bottom. Jobs being outsourced via massive corporations to cheaper economies. I have no doubt it happens in Ireland as well.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1237712/Computer-giant-IBM-run-Tory-council-5bn-deal-thousands-job-losses.html

  26. wills

    Posters -

    Primtime RTE 1 21 december will go down in ‘our’ Republics history as a watershed moment, in my pov.

    The report showed ‘banksters’ ducking in and out of shadows and basement stairwells and the like.

    Even the sheeple, watching, will have registered with what appeared on screen as quite unbelievable and bordering on a forsythe novel.

    • Wills , I reckon that Prime Time show must have been like a porn movie for you !…..

      • wills

        BrendanW -

        Your posting me again, good to talk again with you despite the rather grating post with my name in it few articles back.

        On the ‘porno’ comment.

        I tend to steer clear of jollies from porno’s.

        On my experience watching ‘banking crooks’ scuttling about squirming out of social responsiblity accorded to their self interested run amok banking business model i will say this………

        …….time to call in the fraud squad and put handcuffs on crooks who are robbing this state dry.

        • G

          Seanie Fitz being door stepped by the incomprehensible Prime Time Investigates journalist was interesting, his walk down into the dark depths of the underground carpark was like a man walking into the depths of Dante’s Inferno. He seemed a pathetic figure, all the bloated hubris gone out of him, a disgraced man and time not on his side, for all the struggles, I wouldn’t trade places.

  27. Le Grand Emprunt 55bn€ a la Francaise – definitely the French care for their ENTREPRENEURS . It’s a French Word so they should .Their country’s international borrowings will finance research and development and bring France to lead Europe and The World.
    Slave traders in Ireland will repay more than that plus interest to save Bank Criminals & Developers .It’s time to reclaim our Provinces again with local leadership and aspire to Les Principalite sur Atlantique .
    Local Empowerment and foreign sponsors will do the trick.

  28. Wills : Beards in October is all I can find of Honohan .( dont have the date ) .If he is a Scorpio then we have a Very Very Secret Intense Thick Bearded Realistic Detective that can lay a poison to friend or foe is the shadow of the night.A FOX in sheeps clothing to be more precise.

  29. coldblow

    When I’m driving in the snow and ice, as today, I go very slowly indeed as I am terrified of skidding off the road. Even if it looks ok I won’t take the risk. I am happy to let more adventurous souls overtake and I’ll speed up along behind. That way the traffic moves quicker and things get done today rather than next week. I think that sums it up.

    Apropos nothing here’s a recent erudite review by our old friend John Gray:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/dec/13/value-nothing-raj-patel

  30. Tim

    Folks, the NAMA board is announced:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/1222/breaking65.htm

    “Chairman of the board will be Frank Daly, former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners.

    Mr Daly will be stepping down from his current role as a public interest director at Anglo Irish Bank.

    The other members are Eilish Finan; Michael Connolly; Peter Stewart; Brian McEnery and Willie Soffe

    National Treasury Management Agency chief executive John Corrigan and the chief executive of Nama will be ex-officio members of the Board.

    Steven Seelig will be appointed to the board in May 2010, when he retires from the IMF.

    The Minister also announced that a Planning Advisory Committee will be set up under Nama.”

  31. Tim

    Folks, partial CVs of our NAMA overlords:

    Frank Daly

    * Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners March 2002 to March 2008
    * Revenue Commissioner since 1996
    * Formerly Accountant General of Revenue and Head of Strategic and Business Planning
    * Joined Revenue in the Customs and Excise Service since 1963 and has since had wide experience of all areas of Revenue including Taxes and the International areas.
    * Member of the Top Level Appointments Committee 2003 to 2008 (body responsible for selecting top level managers in the Civil Service)
    * Chaired the Commission on Taxation 2008/2009
    * Public Interest Director of Anglo Irish Bank since December 2008

    Eilish Finan

    * Independent Consultant and Director in various Financial Services Industry sectors
    * Former CFO of AIG Global Investments
    * Qualified Accountant and Electronic Engineer
    * Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland

    Michael Connolly

    * Former member of Bank of Ireland senior management team
    * Member of Financial Services Ombudsman Council
    * Managing Director of Connolly management services — banking consultancy
    * Extensive banking experience through all echelons of a large internationally diversified bank
    * Advisory roles with ACC Bank, Anglo Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland

    Peter Stewart

    * Managing Director of O’Donovan Stewart & Company — firm of chartered accountants
    * Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
    * Member of the Irish Association of Corporate Treasurers
    * Extensive Director and Supervisory experience
    * Experience of property fund structuring management and financing
    * Financial consultant
    * Public auditor, and internal auditor (with international experience)
    * Director of a broad range of companies including a bank and an investment intermediary company regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

    Brian McEnery

    * Senior Partner in Horwath Bastow Charleton specialising in corporate finance and Corporate Recovery
    * Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
    * Extensive experience in dealing with the Corporate Enforcement and ODCE aspects of insolvency cases.
    * National adviser to the INHO (Irish Nursing Home Organisation)
    * Has held a number of directorships including semi-state companies.
    * 2008/09 President of ACCA Ireland.
    * Member of the ACCA’s global governing Council (responsible for ACCA strategy)
    * Member of the Insolvency Committee of the CCAB-I (Consultative Committee of Accounting Bodies — Ireland)
    * Member of the London Court of International Arbitration.

    Willie Soffe

    * Chairman, Dublin Transportation Office
    * Former County Manager of Fingal County Council
    * Member of the Commission on Taxation 2008/9

    Stephen Seelig

    · Mission chief for joint IMF-World Bank FSAP-Updates for Estonia and Georgia.
    1 Article IV surveillance on Estonia, Germany, and Ireland.
    2 Advisor in the Monetary and Capital Markets Dept. of the IMF Lead responsibility for financial sector restructuring in Uruguay during their banking crisis and Fund program.

    3 Responsible for financial sector technical assistance to Indonesia and Georgia.

    * Director of Division of Liquidation (currently Resolution and Receiverships) in Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) – dealing with insolvent banks and the disposition of their assets.
    * Chief Financial Officer and Director of FDIC, Division of Finance
    * Senior Economist and Deputy Director of FDIC, Division of Research and Statistics.
    * Ph.D. (Economics), Clark University; M.A. (Economics), Washington University; B.A. (Honours in Economics)
    (via politics.ie)

  32. Tim

    Folks, meanwhile, the sheeple paying for NAMA continue to suffer job-losses and pay-cuts that are causing them to fall further into arrears on their own homes:

    http://www.financialregulator.ie/press-area/press-releases/Pages/NewDataonResidentialMortgageArrearsandRepossessionspublished.aspx

  33. Tim

    Folks, here is Seelig’s full email (only partially reported in the Times) on NAMA, from the IMF:

    http://www.karlwhelan.com/IrishEconomy/StevenSeeligFoI.pdf

    And here is the draft of the NAMA Bill he was reponding to:

    http://www.finance.gov.ie/documents/pressreleases/2009/bl103drftleg.pdf

    So, you can, if you wish, print out both and see his comments section-by-section.

    Hint: the term “Long Term Economic Value” is described by the IMF man as “masterful” (at what? and of whom?)

    Hmmmmmm…….

  34. Tim ~( bocht tu) – cornmarket I understand are the Pension company that accepts teachers premiums who want to buy years to retire sooner.If that is the case they must be the pension company that receives the monthly teachers pension premiums .Maybe then they can be consulted to make the lump sum payment to teachers that opt to ahave it when they are over 5there must be some contractual agreement with teachers rights .What do you think?

  35. Tim

    John ALLEN, unfortunately, no. Teachers who wanted to buy-back years did, indeed, invest in Cornmarket’s “AVCs” (Additional Voluntary Contributions), but these monies were invested in the gambling-system-markets, just like all private-sector pension-funds and they have lost the money.

    The Teachers’ pension premium-proper goes into central exchequer funds and is paid to retired teachers every year out of current spending (just like social welfare and salaries).

    That is except, of course, the NTFS fund that McCreavy set up in order to plan for future public service pension requirements.

    That fund has now been pilfered of €11 billion by the current government, which threw those savings into the banking “black hole”.

    So, teachers’ private-sector pension top-ups (Cornmarket AVCs) have been decimated by the “market” (gamblers on commission/bonuses) and their public-sector contributions have been taken by the govt to save the gamblers.

    Go figure! (as the Yanks say).

    If you are thinking about a particular person in difficulty, you/they can contact the ASTI at http://www.asti.ie

    Alternatively, John, feel free to contact me in person to discuss the matter.

    • Tim

      John ALLEN, agus Nílim ró-bhocht, a Sheáin, tosc go bhuile gnó príomháideach cuíosach maith agam agus tá go lóir oibre le déanamh. Gan é sin, bhéach bocht cinnte.

    • wills

      Tim, am i reading this post correctly.

      You are posting that the teachers pension fund has been broken into and scalped of 11 billion euros to throw down the banking blackhole.

  36. Tim – thanks for your assistance

  37. Tim

    Folks, “The Emergency” has a take on the NAMA Board announcement:

    http://www.theemergency.ie/breaking-news/master-thief-announces-heist-crew/

    wills, yes, the public sector pension fund has been scalped. (that’s where they got the €11 billion for the banks.)

    I have been “bitchin’” on this site for a long time about that.

    (can’t believe you missed it!)

    • wills

      Tim -

      It went over my head due to its unreal nature.

      • Tim

        wills, I do not see how you could “go over your head”.

        In many ways, you are a communicative master.

        Do tell?

        • wills

          tim, appreciate that, careful though may set Malcolm on me, LOL.

          The actual tangible idea that the gov would in actuality go to the pension fund, take 11 billion out of it, monies not direct from a printing press or bonds, or, taxes, but monies from hard graft labours then cogently put aside through self sacrifice with a long long term plan in mind and the gov could so casually go along and take this paper money specifically and then casually throw on to the casino banking black hole fire and then sit back and watch it go up in smoke, this, to me, is, so ludicrous and surreal in the extreme, akin to the KLF stunt a few years back, and the elected gov can carry this out, is breath taking, so, im just coming around too digesting the full dimension to this particularity.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Leave off from worrying the problem.
            Enjoy Christmas with your families, Tim & Wills, and come back refreshed.

    • wills

      Tim, where in god’s earth are the gov going to get back this iou to the teachers !!?

      • Tim

        wills, it is not just to the teachers, this iou; it is to every public servant and every pensioner in the country. (they are all paid out of the same “fund”. Those who work and pay PAYE, PRSI and Levies, as well as those who never work – and we now have 5th generation of those who have never worked, or contributed to society).

        The “Central Fund” is broke, because the tax (PAYE, PRSI, VAT, EXCISE DUTY) on everything you spend/buy goes into the “Central Fund”.

        So, David’s article, last year, saying “Taoiseach, I don’t have enpough money to pay the teachers” was real.

        But, what DMcW meant was that, if/when the DoF cannot pay the teachers, the DoF cannot pay the State pension, the Gardai, the Nurses, the doctors, the sewer-operators, the water-people, the road-gritters, the firemen, the dole-payers….. need I go on?

        That is why BL cut our salaries in the budget: trying to stave-off the inevitable. The day that he cannot pay for any public services and we all get fired. No teachers, so you have to look-after your own Calvin on your own; no nurses, if any of your family gets sick; no-one to call, if your house catches fire…..,

        Unless these people choose to work for free.

        Many do.

        Believe it, or not.

        ALL are working 5 days a week, for 4 days pay, right now!

        Right now, if you need a doctor/nurse and get to an A&E, they will be there to help you!

        (They may not be able to afford/have any Christmas dinner with their family….. but they will be there, if you choke on your turkey’s wish-bone).

        These are among the people whose wages have been cut by the budget.

  38. Tim

    Folks,

    Bertie Ahern’s appointments: 2006:

    http://url.ie/4epe

    (via Gavin Sheridan http://www.gavinsblog.ie)

  39. bankstershill

    to tired to debate the double talk.

    here is a description of all the monetary tools that could easily fix our own money problems here at home. It’s not rocket science,no sarcasm intended, it really is that simple. Anyways , enjoy.

    http://www.webofdebt.com/

    Also David, you should already know about this stuff. It would be nice if you penned a few articles that really drilled down in the details of banking mechanisms and the science of money and credit systems, because ultimately, the ignorance of these subjects is what is killing us

  40. Tim

    bankstershill:

    If only we could all post such truth!

    http://www.webofdebt.com/

  41. Monti – Carlo – try to listen to this station over Christmas .It’s refreshing .You can link to it on your pc
    Sunday morning ( and others) financial advice is often given by a local taxation firm and worth listening to.All the D4- set there listen to it attentatively.

    http://www.rivieraradio.mc

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