March 3, 2010

Money-sucking Anglo is our financial Stalingrad

Posted in Banks · 393 comments ·

On November 24, 1942, General Von Paulus of the German 6th Army, bunkered down in Stalingrad, received the order he was dreading. Instead of the retreat that he was planning, the orders from Berlin stated simply that “Fortress Stalingrad” was to be held “whatever the circumstances”. The general knew the game was up. The army was nearly encircled. There was one last chance of a breakout which could save hundreds of thousands of men and machinery that could be used to fight another day.

He knew there would be another day and Germany could ill afford to waste another penny or lose another life or commit another tank to Stalingrad. But the party bosses in Berlin were worried about the systemic impact of a defeat in Stalingrad. Having promised that victory was “just around the corner” and having assured people that they knew what they were doing and that there was “no alternative”, how could they admit defeat now?

The party believed that it was better to risk everything via a mad gamble in Stalingrad than acknowledge reality. The generals on the ground knew that Stalingrad was of no importance. The soldiers were exhausted, hungry and scared. Apart from bearing the name of Stalin, there was nothing strategic or systemic about the city. If it fell, it would have no lasting negative impact on the German army’s capabilities.

But the boss was obsessed by Stalingrad. In his “bubble” world, a defeat in Stalingrad would send out the signal to the rest of the world that Germany was losing the war and could be beaten. “What would the rest of the world think?” he fumed. The Fuhrer’s line of thinking was that the credibility of the German war effort was on the line in Stalingrad. He was convinced that if they cut their losses there, their credibility as a fighting force would be irreparably damaged.

In fact, the opposite was the case. Defeat in Stalingrad with a retreat would have made Germany stronger, not weaker. However, those who had devoted so much political capital in Stalingrad couldn’t do a U-turn now, for political rather than practical reasons. They couldn’t be seen to admit that they were wrong, nor could they accept that the problem of holding Stalingrad at all costs was too big and that the resources of the army were finite.

Not surprisingly, Goering promised the German people that his Luftwaffe would keep the 6th Army fed by air. This was totally delusional as the German air force didn’t have the planes to fly in to Stalingrad and they didn’t have the logistics on the ground to cater for such air traffic under constant Soviet bombardment.

But reality never came into the politicians’ equations, no matter how often the generals in the field told Berlin the game was up. The politicians continued to move around — on their maps in the bunker — armies that had long since been destroyed, aircraft which had long since been shot down and Panzer divisions which had long since been immobilised in the great Steppe battles of 1942.

In short, Germany’s political top brass were totally delusional. Having fed propaganda about imminent victory to the people, they began to believe it themselves. This led to the ridiculous line that if Stalingrad could be held the war could be won. Of course the behaviour at Stalingrad simply confirmed to her enemies that Germany was run by fanatics and this fanatical behaviour would ruin the country.

Now keep this imagery in your head, and think about the Irish financial system. In banking terms, Anglo is our Stalingrad. Let’s consider “Fortress Anglo”.

Our politicians are throwing billions we don’t have at a shell which has no systemic value and will simply suck in more of our money. This money could be spent on classrooms or hospital beds, or it could be used as start-up capital for new companies; but no, it will go to Anglo. Four billion euro of our money has already gone into this financial carcass. That money is gone; we will never see it again. Brian Lenihan and Brian Cowen seem to believe that stuffing good money after bad — and in the process enfeebling the country — is the way forward. This is the behaviour of fanatics, neither of whom has ever worked in financial markets and so they don’t understand the people who they are trying to impress.

The guarantee was a bluff, not a policy. It has worked, now get rid of it.

The market knows we don’t have the money and is therefore penalising us in the bond market with higher interest rates than anyone else in the euro bar Greece. They know that the more money we plough into Anglo, the higher taxes and debts go in the future — both of which will drag the growth rate and undermine the ability to pay the interest on these debts in the future. They can see through the spin and the blather which might go down well at a Fianna Fail/GAA get-together but doesn’t wash anywhere serious.

We don’t need or want “Fortress Anglo”. Apparently Anglo is about to announce a €12bn loss — the biggest in Irish corporate history. Should we keep on drip-feeding cash into this? How can the average, decent Fianna Fail voter stand for this when unemployment is rocketing? Fianna Fail members should ask what Lemass would make of this?

It is time to shut Anglo down. The deposits should be transferred to either AIB or BoI. A “vulture” fund should be asked to come in to take the property debts and see what they can get for them. There are plenty of ways they could finance this. This avenue is always explored in distressed debt situations — we are no different. One of the biggest creditors of Anglo is the Central Bank, which has very quietly lent Anglo over €10bn under something called the “master loan repurchase agreement”. (It doesn’t want you to know about this by the way.)

The agreement is a hangover from when we had our own currency and is the ultimate “cash-for-trash” vehicle. Our Central Bank, out of its own coffers, loaned Anglo money and in return taken toxic collateral which the ECB wouldn’t touch. This is what has kept Anglo open. Therefore, we’d negotiate with our own Central Bank; it would take the loss and have to report less profit over the coming years. No big deal.

Anglo is our financial Stalingrad. We should close it down tomorrow, deal with the creditors and get the hell out. Ireland can’t afford to spend another cent on it.

The financial markets would shrug and move on if we did so. What most people fail to understand is that financial markets are forward-looking. Tomorrow’s prospects, not yesterday’s mistakes, are what drive investors. Markets are not in the business of punishing countries. There is no money in punishment. They want Ireland to grow, so that they can make money. Could someone please explain this to the fanatics who run this place and their lackies in the media who pedal their propaganda?

  1. AIB -v- AIB

    Another Imbecile Bastard

  2. Why does the Opposition not demand to see the Business Plan for Anglo – showing when we will get our investment back? And before people fall on the floor and roll around laughing, it is very well for us to characterise Anglo as a basket case and any further bailout as good money after bad but like David’s Stalingrad image, it’s simplistic and without detail we can’t test what the government is saying against reality. For Christ’s sake, could prominent and influential economists and commentators like David research the detail, get statements from Ministers and confront them with the reality. The sums involved are too big for us just to chatter about on the blogosphere.

    • Deco

      I think that the Business Plan should be directed at Calamity. Calamity has said that she wants to read MOL’s business plan. No that is not a mis-statement. Ireland’s highest ranking social worker has a penchant for reading business plans.

      What calamity makes of a business plan….is another matter entirely….

      Of course I cannot think of anybody on the oppositio benches that would be fit to read a business plan either…
      With regard to Kildare Street…we are talking about a motley collection of nepotists and student politicians who never got a real job in their life…..just look at how long George Lee lasted in there. Officially it his fault that he never fitted in. He didn’t make enough of an effort to fit in with the clowns to become a proper part of the circus.

      • The population of Kildare Street may well be clowns but we need to be more than Randolph and Stettlers (that is what the critics used be called on the Muppet Show isn’t it?). The Kildare Street Clowns are our clowns and we may not be Greek, Icelandic or Indonesian but we need to hold our clowns to account in some way. As far as I can see FG place returning to power above all else (even holding the govt to account) so others perhaps need quiz the politicians, get the detail and test that against reality. A 20% NAMA default rate – 80% of loans being repaid 100%?

    • s1lverbullet

      what are the opposition going to do when they get in?? NOTHING DIFFERENT! The international banks are calling the shots in this country and most others where weak governments have handed over control. This new PENSION FRAUD SCHEME proves it. Anyone ritiring in the near future has probably lost most of their pension as funds are decimated, so what happens now?? Governments all across the eurozone are increasing the retirement age while putting in place mandatory pension schemes to enrich the fat cats and defraud the common people. I really think this will be the last straw. Hopefully revoution is close!!

  3. [...] 3, 2010 by namawinelake David McWilliams, the prominent arch-critic of NAMA, has criticised the government’s continuin… and reveals that in addition to the €4bn given to Anglo from the National Debt “One of the [...]

  4. Incident


    Another concise article but unfortunately this critical analysis of our plight as a nation is not reaching the masses. A poster recently highlighted this fact with reference to ABC1 exposure only via Sunday Business Post and Independant. Even the numbers once contained by the ABC1 categories have evaporated with the collapse of the middle class. Look at circulation figures and advertising revenues for confirmation of this.

    All other demographics are bypassed.

    The message needs to remain simple but accurate and with everyday language and situations at its core. (“Stalingrad” is fine but it does not hit everyone where it should)

    The ordinary citizen is not hearing your parables.

    Everyone is sick of rehashed numbers to suit all sides of the argument but one aspect is certain….ANGLO is on the verge of COLLAPSING our entire ECONOMY.

    Where are the student unions?
    Where are the Unions?
    Where is our peoples’ voice?
    We are fucked if we dont stop this fundamentalist insanity NOW.

    • mcsean2163

      The unions will be striking shortly as they seek to get their wages reduction overturned.

      The national debt has doubled in two years and the unions are striking for more money.

      An engineer colleague of mine was talking about becoming a librarian, head librarian in Galway €123 – €158k, nice money.

      the Sunday Times ran a story earlier this month about National University of Ireland Galway’s pay scale for a head librarian being an astonishing €123-158,000, around twice what a British university head librarian can expect to earn!]

  5. David – Anglo Irish Bank is a massive disaster area (and I fervently hope that criminal prosecutions ensue) which contaminated the entire banking system.

    I dont know the consequences of letting it fold – and I think it is weak to blame this on the politicians. They are politicians not bankers – that is de facto.

    Therefore it comes down to the advice they are receiving. What is that advice? It is obviously contrary to what you think – but who is right? This does seem to be you v them.

    The Stalingrad analogy – interesting but somewhat twisted.

    Even by Winter 1942 Germany was struggling with the war. Their hope was the Caucusus oil-fields – and Stalingrad was the last obstacle (hence the intense Russian resistance).

    So retreat would have condemned Germany to a slow defeat over many years (and actually much greater suffering). The defeat merely accellerated Germany’s loss of the war.

    Had Germany won at Stalingrad and got access to those oil-fields – your article may well have been written in German. Except, of course, that you would not have been able to write such an article as State censorship would have prevented articles criticising the State!

    And I think all journalist should revere that they are allowed freedom to express.

    Because one thing that I have learned over the last few years is that Media sensationalism is as damaging as bad bankers; bad Government; bad Trade Unions etc. Ireland has suffered from the lot.

    And they all have one thing in common – cronyism……….

    • It became apparent to Paulus the 6th army could not survive, men were eating their horses, one loaf of bread per 5 men per day, 70 tons of food dropped by Luftwaffe instead of required 300, they were encircled by the Red Army, Hitler told Paulus to stand fast.

      He should have ignored these orders that resulted in the annihilation of his troops. Keeping Anglo alive can lead to the annihilation of our future security as a viable economy.

      Have a look at the 1825 “agreement” that initially forced Haiti to pay to France 150 million francs in exchange for liberty, reparations that impoverished them for generations. So we through NAMA pay similar reparations to bondholders to bail out Anglo and Sean Fitzpatrick of the disappearing billions!!!

      Anglo is encircled, a zombie bank that can only create more damage to our economy. We need to let it go. The markets will congratulate us for winding it up

      its only an Albatross around our necks that other countries would have dumped long ago.

      • Tumbrel Cart

        I once asked a German friend why Paulus did not retreat. His answer was that there were so many SS at every level in the Army that he would not have got to finish the first evacuation plan before being bumped off. In some ways we have a similar situation. Fianna Fail are down to a suprisingly high 27% in the polls but in the power corridors of every organization they have massive majoritys. Literally legions of footsoldiers who owe their jobs or businesses to allegience to Fianna Fail. They are still protecting their protectors.
        The solution to the bank problems is to order the banks to dump all foreign assets. Then we should dump the banks, in short order. This would be done by defaulting on the bank debt (it was never Sean Citizen’s to begin with).

    • s1lverbullet

      nobody will go to jail over Anglo simply because if one goes down he will bring the rest of the criminal class down with him

    • Tumbrel Cart

      I could not disagree more with your comment that politicians are not to blame. Ministers and in particular the Minister for Finance is appointed to run the finances of the country and to appoint regulators to oversee the running of the financial system. McCreevy and Cowen were utter failures in this regard. They were clearly massively negligent in performance of their duties. Yes, the bankers were utterly wrong and possibly criminally wrong but they had regulators and the regulators had bosses. ie the ministers. Meanwhile oldies are now being docked two years or three years pensions to pay for their incompetence and greed.
      In relation to your comment that McWilliams is lucky that Germany did not win the war or he would not have the freedon to write as he does. Should we be grateful?
      Our current rulers have effectively turned on the population in order to save their own skins and the skins of their wealthy friends. Let me paraphrase Michael Collins when I say that the people responsible for our current situation should be ‘hung from lamp posts’

      • Just picked up the posts again.

        In response to Trumble Cart – the people responsible for our current situation should be ‘hung from lamp posts –

        Can we look forward to the Irish voter and tne Irish political system swinging from the lamp post?

        PS – the Stalingrad analogy: The Caucusus oil-fields relate to the Celtic Tiger – it was get their at all costs. And do you know that may be right…………….

  6. AndrewGMooney

    The return of ‘Stalingrad’: Excellent! Triggers following rant:
    But who is the mad Fuhrer in the bunker? Is it Cowen? Or is he merely UbergruppenFuhrer? If so, to whom does he report?

    It’s depressing to read ‘our’ and ‘we’ to describe Ireland as a unified polity. It isn’t. Never was. There’s always been a freak clique in charge, running the show for their own ends, their own rewards, using the foundational errors of the State to generate misplaced loyalty amonst the serf classes.

    JM Keynes ‘ no nation ever repaid their debts’: But they carry on paying the interest charges until / unless they can’t. I’m bored of the absurd posturing of Bond Market Vigilantes like PIMCO and their mutant twin ‘Rating’ Agencies. Memo to both: Grow Up. You didn’t see the GFC coming, therefore you have zero credibility to pontificate on ‘going forward’ scenarios.
    As for the deflationary stranglehold placed on Ireland, cui bono? Not the average Irish citizen. Not the Bond Markets:

    ‘What most people fail to understand is that financial markets are forward-looking.’

    So, ‘cui bono’? Who benefits from Ireland sinking in the deflationary quicksand? The same tossers who forgot to do ‘due diligence’ before throwing loadsamoney onto the bonfire of vanities hoping Hermans’ pension fund would engorge? Tough. ‘Caveat Emptor’. Buyer beware. Banks sell debt as credit to the serf / feudal landlord class. They then re-sell it to the ‘international trash pension fund speculator class’ such as PIMCO and the Rating Agencies. Then it blows up. Who carry’s the can? The serf taxpayer.

    Predatory parasitic ‘Private Capital’ has been ‘gaming the State’ for centuries. No more nonsense. No more ‘financial panics’. You were all bailed out by Joe(sephine) Soap. Take your losses on the chin, pay back your own debts before you start lecturing about the ‘unsustainable public debt’ raised to rescue your mathematically challenged Casino.

    Instead of providing corpses for vultures, Cowen should be sorting out the HSE debacle as a priority. America is doomed to debt peonage unless it reigns in the financialist parasites gorging on the host, as this table perfectly shows:

    Isn’t it about time the Bond Markets gave private ‘market equilibrium’ American health care a lecture about its’ inefficiencies and unsustainability? Or will it follow its’ inexorable logic whereby The Square Mile migrates to that other Square Mile Slum called Dharavi in Mumbai? Where all can see the final resting place of unrestrained capitalist logic amongst the rats, faeces and contaminated water supply?

    Is Cowen his own man, a leader, acting in the interests of ‘our’ Ireland? Or is he just working for his ‘FF’ volk? Or, is the T-Shock just a rank and file General under order to act in league with some prospective Caesar / Kaiser / Fuhrer figures elsewhere, on a map where AIB and NAMA are just two battlefields in a much larger campaing east and west? Etc, etc. Time for a cup of tea. And a biscuit.

    • ThomasFergus

      Wow. What a great post. I don’t think you’re a socialist, but you don’t sound like the power hungry capitalist either. So what’s your solution? Other than to give two figners to the rating agencies of course…

    • s1lverbullet

      Excellent. You are dead right.Cowen is only doing what he is told and this country is only a tiny piece in the massive jigsaw puzzle that is GLOBALISM. I can’t understand why we can’t say FUCK the markets and FUCK the rating agencies. Let’s tap up Chavez for a 100 billion or so at low interest to help us break free from the globalist scum. I bet he help us too!!! Screw the U.S and deal with South America, cut all trade with Israel is what I say!!!

      • G

        Chavez has a few problems of his own, including an increasing disillusioned electorate, ‘power shortages’ in Caracas and elsewhere, rampant crime, declining petro-dollars and US military bases being constructed on the Colombian/Venezuelan border. I have a friend with socialist instincts return from Venezuela a few months ago, he was disappointed by what he saw on the ground, all is not what it seems, granted that is only one source, so I am slow to judge.

        Chavez has dished out billions to other Latin American countries (Argentina in particular) but they are driving greater Latin American integration (Banco Del Sur, TV Sur etc)…..

        One of the things we could do is use their expertise at oil and gas exploration and boot Shell’s sorry ass out the Corrib field, setup our own national oil company, with all the profits going back to the people (and not P. Flynn and FF party members).

        As for giving two fingers to the markets, well, the Icelanders are about to do just that in a few days time, I can’t see them agreeing to pay back the Brits & Dutch…………..interesting times ahead.

        I wonder would the idea about win ‘Your Country, Your Call’ – a simple mind experiment illustrates the absurdity of that ‘competition’.

        For one take on things -
        The Well Oiled Revolution of Hugo Chavez


  7. Malcolm McClure

    Can someone please explain the current relationship between Sean Quinn and Anglo. Is SQ playing the role of Stalin in this allegory?

    • tony_murphy

      and what about the golden circle? how are they affected by the tax payer taking on the debt (not that they will ever be able to pay it)?

    • Deco

      Bear in mind that things in Ireland are always very very crooked.

      Before Sean Quinn, CRH would monopolized the Irish cememt products market. Of course Quinn was an idiot to have decided that ANIB was worth buying. But AIB/BoI were beyond even his reach. And it has been common for industrialists in other countries to
      have stakes in banks. In Ireland traditionally it always went the other way around, with the banks directing industry.

      Concerning Anglo – what people forget is that ANIB actually did a lot of good for the economy until 2006. And bear in mind that ANIB is not responsible at all for the stupidity that emerged in the mortgage market. In fact the stupidity of BoSI/Halifax/Ulster Bank/Permo with respect to mortgages caused far more of the problem than ANIB. Nobody seems to catch this. And they have been given a very easy time of it. ANIB was actually driving down the price of residential property for a while by increasing supply.

      The real funny business in Anglo concerns it’s speculator client base, and their financial activities. We are talking about the lads who are inside the tent – so to speak – in Ballybrit. They were nearly all Anglo customers. I am shocked that nobody has picked up on this !!!

      But in it’s current state – ANIB can not be saved. I am saying that in the pragmatic sense. Simply put, it is too expensive. There are commentators in the media who are aligned to the Duopoly who are whipping up an emotional campaign against ANIB as if ANIB is the only bad bank. Nonsense. If anything AIB and BoI were probably worse than them. And Halifax/BoSI threw petrol on the fire repeatedly during the boom with respect to mortgage approvals. Permo have a lot of difficult questions to answer also.

      Just wait and see what happens.

      • Deco

        Also let’s not forget that events happening nowadays are deciding banking and economics for the next decade. The number of competitors is declining rapidly. They are decreasing their deposit rates dramatically, and increasing loan rates at the same time. The concept of living on credit has taken a battering, and the banks are fighting to ensure that Ireland remains a high leverage economy, in much the same way that oil majors want the US to remain a car dependent society.

        We will end up with an oligopolistic sceanrio what looks after the insiders and those with connections in the provision of credit. ANIB actually broke that. We need to allow ANIB to be declared bankrupt. And we need another bank to take over it’s role in the economy.

  8. Deco

    I agree that there seems to be an obsession with ANIB in the government.

    David can expect a massive backlash from FF front benchers, from the likes of Mary O’Rourke and Michael Martin.

    Personally, I reckon that it would be more accurate to draw the analogy of Napoloeon Bonaparte’s campaign on the Iberian Pennisula. (The British called this the Pennisular War). Bonaparte wanted to undermine the British war economy by banning British ships from the Continent and enforce a ‘continental blocade’. The Portuguese refused resolutely. And the Spanish seemed to be ignoring the dictats from Paris. End result Bonaparte sent in a hundred thousand of French conscripts south of the Pyrnenees to occupy Spain, seize her gold reserves and Navy. But somewhere along the way,through arrogance and underestimation of the level of resistance, the plan went wrong. The British sent in an unknown Irish general Wellington who was pre-occuppied with reforming the British Army on the back of a a string of defeats since the American Revolution. And Wellington managed to hold the line. So Bonaparte sent in more conscripts to sort out the mess. This did not work. Many of them never came back. And then more conscripts and more generals were sent. In the end it became the Vietnam of it’s day for Bonapartist ambitions. It dragged on for years. It cost as many lives as Stalingrad, and completely undermined Bonaparte’s hold on central Europe, as other oppressed lands watched the Spaniards survive repeated French campaigns. Bonaparte and his military governmnt were in complete denial about the scale of the undertaking. Enforcing the credibility of the French blocade, and strangelhold on Europe, was cost far more than it was worth. Bonaparte had viewed Spain as a has been ready for the taking. He promised his generals that the Spaniards would be begging for mercy on the sight of French skirmishers marching through the countryside. Instead they fought back everything he threw at them. Bonaparte actually set foot in Spain during the entire campaign – he viewed the war as something that should be easy to finish off. Except it never worked out that way. Repressive measures did not calmthe situation, they merely increased the vigilance of the spying operation that could tell Wellington everything he needed to know to go into battle and beat the French repeatedly regardless of differences in numercial strength. Eventually Wellington led an Anglo-Dutch-German coalition to beat Bonaparte in Waterloo. On the day of the battle he wore a Spanish Marshal’s uniform great coat to remind his generals that he was unbeaten against the much feared and dreaded Bonaparte.

    Stalingrad ended quickly. The Pennisular war lasted over a decade. They both ended in military cathastrophe. I get the feeling that Anglo is the Pennisular War of the Irish Financial Imperialism. An attempt to enforce credibility and undermine the naysayers – which will go on for years and be cost a hundred times more than it was worth.

  9. Garry

    The article captures the stupidity of bureaucracy as much as anything.

    I’ve worked in a big company that failed. For a few years Ive noticed the parallels between that experience and listening to the analysis from experts in Ireland
    In both cases, the management were in denial, completely out of touch, writing off catastrophic events with excuses and trying to ignore that the world had changed fundamentally. As always it was only external events that forced the issue, which then became common knowledge (Sure everyone knew…. ) But even this would be somehow spun into another fantasy by those on the inside.

    In all cases those on the inside weren’t evil; just most of them were idiots, and motivated by their position in the org chart.

    Bureaucracy really facilitates this kind of deluded thinking. After all if you’re sitting in a big room surrounded by well fed, well dressed people with business cards, talking big numbers, it’s easy to think that the show will go on.

    I’m sure its was very easy to order the defense of Stalingrad from the safety of a war strategy session in Berlin. But as we all know Berlin’s safety was illusory.

    Same here; if its any comfort to us, we should know that those on the inside are merely securing the right to be last to starve.

    • Beavis

      I wonder what Mick Collins would have made of all this?

      I reckon the Dublin Brigade would be extremely busy (incl. Lemass himself).

    • Deco

      It always amazes me, when authority makes a string of utterly cleuless, idiotic decisions, that a certain cadre of opportunists presents itself so as to get a little bit more power, from enforcing compliance on the rest of the population. I think that we are at this point in this country. This is the basis of the authority side of every argument in this country. Basically authority is right, because it’s hierarchical structure acts as a kind of a benefactor of power and resources. It seeks control, oligopolistic power and ‘something for nothing’.

      And of course there is another side to all the great arguments in this country. The case for rational analysis. David’s article is an emotive appeal for rational analysis. This side of the argument is always very analytical. And it tends to be disparaging of criticism. It seeks active dissent, the undermining of power, and the establishment of freedom economic and intellectual.

      To undermine the authority, one needs rational argument, an undermining of the intellectual basis of autority, and a weakening of the economics of return on authority.

      We on this board are all on the side of rational analysis. And in varying degrees, and by varying means we will enable rational analysis to overwhelm authority.

      • “And in varying degrees, and by varying means we will enable rational analysis to overwhelm authority.”

        Around 590 BC, a visionary statesman named Solon was brought to power in Athens by a peasant rebellion. His first task was to rewrite the constitution. His new laws curbed the power of the wealthy and empowered the citizens by allowing them to elect government officials.
        –”My soul commands me teach the Athenians that a bad constitution brings civic turmoil, but a good one brings order and strengthens community. It shackles wrongdoing and smooths out the rough. It checks greed, tempers arrogance, and withers the fruits of reckless impulse. It takes crooked judgments and makes them straight, halts treasonable acts, and ends the poison of violent conflict. And so under it, everything for mankind becomes whole and wise.”

        So it would appear that Ireland has advanced to a place somewhere before 590BC and awaits its Solon.

  10. MK1

    Hi David,

    Not too bad an analogy about Stalingrad but I wouldnt have used it – after all Germany collapsed and no-one here wants that vista.

    > a shell which has no systemic value

    AnIB is a big mess which we as a state is propping up – its insanity rather than fanatical. The next tranche of “re-cap” is 6 billion, what a load of tosh! Untangling the Anglo mess is not easy, but the pain should NOT be borne by the taxpayer, any 4 year old knows that! Its not that it has zero systemic value, it has a negative value and hence cost. Its like a seismic fault.

    > There is no money in punishment.

    Not entirely true. Lenders are making money off Ireland due to our increased risky credit worthiness, and our bps spread. Lenders will be quids in with 5 year money, presuming of course that the euro still exists, which it should.

    You may not get any joy out of a “demise” of a country or a business when it is in a downward spiral, but you can short sell and get extra on their ‘junk’ bonds.

    Ireland is at the start of a bad downward leg. Many businesses have been holding their breath, and hoping things would get better. But like an iceberg that melts, it just takes time if the prevailing conditions dont change. eg: Hughes & Hughes. And the root cause is of course the headache after our credit binge.

    This is cold turkey – it is only begining ….

    Lance, Lance …. Lance Anglo!
    (that was for you FurryL!) ;-)


    • Good morning MK1.

      On Irish Banking,
      This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! …………

      “But like an iceberg that melts, it just takes time if the prevailing conditions dont change”
      Melting icebergs have a nasty habit of destabilising and flipping over without warning.

  11. David,
    You have of course not taken into consideration; the current gangsters running the country are “possible” in the pay of the international bond holders!
    There is no other possible explanation, the other night I was looking at pat Kenny’s Front line and a perfect FF Gobsh** was on the panes trying to pedal the whole NAMA bul***
    On the same panel there was Brian Lucey of TCD who I thought was not all that forceful in getting across as I suspect he was more at home in the debating halls at TCD
    We got from the FF apparatchik (Government respective) the usual guff when he wanted to say or look important “I didn’t interrupt you so do me the courtesy line “
    In psychology a classic attempt to upset the flow of an argument when it’s going against you
    What a twit .I am not a sports fan of any kind and I could never understand why people start shouting at the TV screens during a football match, however I had to be calmed down twice, by my wife during the show (Frontline)I idiot was just ignoring the obvious, despite the vast majority of the audience and the rest of the panel this Fanatic was trotting out the party line.
    A number of years ago I studied psychology, as you know it’s all about observing people and listening to them ,there are of course the involuntary movements that give away the true nature of the person that is been observed and I can tell you that it is my personal contention that this individual did not believe his own spin.
    the maths say it all , the two banks were each worth at close of business last Friday less than 1 billion Euros each and this Government has already consented that they will have to inject another 3 — 4 billion into Bank of Ireland and another 4billion+ to Allied Irish Bank
    I cannot bring myself to mention that other Basket case Anglo
    So where to-day will you get any sane person to pay 300% – 400% times more for a Bankrupt Bank?
    This is sheer Madness and we the people must in the end take action to stop this lunacy!
    Ordinary decent people are shell shocked at what is going on ,how much more blatant cronyism and fraud has to come down the road and hit them before they act is the 64million dollar question .
    Just look at the Greens squabbling over plum jobs in the new cabinet it is despicable!
    Ps. anybody looking to understand the physic of a perfectly ordinary innocent middle class person with an engineering background, who then turns to violence in sheer desperation, .Its extraordinary to say the least!

  12. David,

    spot on, we are in the midst of an economic war zone, ammo is low, support lines drying up, Fuehrerhauptquartier is loosing the marbles, soldiers (businesses) are slaughtered like sheep, or freeze to death (no credit), we are on our own.

    The Stalingrad analogy is striking and brings personal flashbacks of my late uncle who lost a leg and a foot there.

    I wish you and Constantin, Brian etc etc would join forces, and produce as frequently as your articles you tube videos, weekly discussion panels on developments, as well as individual comments and analysis.

    Without going into all details here, I think the idea and what can be achieved in this medium is pretty obvious, Interviews of guests speakers, get Stiglitz for a special, can all be done via webcam and a good broadband connection etc. Please consider it, and by joining forces, you would give these people the much needed platform and speaking time they deserve. The message needs to be louder, much louder, this is one way.


    2010, February 24th, marked the one year anniversary: Anglo executives have denied wrongdoing.

    Please, by all means, I might have missed something, hence correct me if I am wrong, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has been taken to court, in fact, no information on the status quo of the investigation has been given to the public at all.

    This raiding of Anglo Irish offices was nothing but a PR stunt so far, and eventually it happened way too late in the first place, after shredders were running for many months, evidence buried deeply in hidden files, and key people in the scam were given all the time in the world to cover up their activities.

    The investigation is another strictly insider business, that much is clear now. The proposed enquiry of the banking scandal belongs in the same behind closed doors category.

    It does belong into the public and no where else, period, not plastered with confidentiality clauses, not white washed to maintain a picture of the banks and establishment that is already damaged beyond repair.

    People at home are sitting in front of the Volks empfaenger “peoples receiver” (RTE) and listen to the glorious news, while the ware is long lost:

    NAMA will work…. there will be 250,000 jobs coming…. Europe applauds to Irish action plans…. The greeks should follow the Irish example…. We turned the corner….

    A big pile of steaming Pigshit has the quality of a really good and expensive parfume compared!

    More than one year into this investigation and nothing has been achieved, nothing has been communicated, this is utterly ridiculous, and the government cover up strategy is a good reminder how the irish people are treated in this Heist.

    We are treated like canon fodder!

    The establishment secures their riches and status quo, writes over assets and expensive properties to their wives.

    … Tuesday, 24 February 2009 19:11, RTE Business…. “The Taoiseach has reiterated that the Garda investigation in Anglo Irish Bank must be allowed to take its course. ….”

    You had more than a year, where are the fucking results?

    Best wishes

    • Deco

      LaughingBear….you wanted to know about investigation. Well the good news is that in our “plusgood” law and order regime, some investigations get fast-tracked.

      and others…which threaten the regime….like the so called investigation into Anglo…never find out anything.

      This country is rotten with a very subtle, and totally official form of corruption.

      • Deco

        What sort of country can order journalists to answer to gardai for telling the public about misdeeds by a government minister ?

        But at the same time, does nothing to concerning the Permo to Anglo ‘loan’ that ‘matured’ after 72 hours and which held up the pretence that Anglo was solvent in the Anglo accounts ?

        The journalists are being made accountable for doing the right thing. And then we had the Conor Caseby episode. Another episode where authority disgraced itself.

        But the wrongdoing that is costing billions is going to be investigated behind closed doors.

        As Gormless stated….the investigation into the banking crisis will not be in secret…it will be private.

        These people really do take us for idiots !!!

    • G

      @laughingbear – excellent post.

  13. hi,

    seems blog is having glitch. currently only 13 of 25 comments showing on my screen, presume page 2 not showing. recent comment i posted that’s invisible to me is visible elsewhere? cheers, colm

    • I’ll try post this:

      Always enjoyed the series Battlefield especially viewing it with my son, whose also a fan!

      Good book there also by Beevor, worth reading.

      As far as I recall there was also another dimension historians, their views always taken with a pinch of salt:), mention.

      This was that the gold star general Paulus should not have followed the orders given him by Hitler which led to the annihilation of his much loved troops. He did this though he
      refused to take the hint from Hitler that rather than be captured he should instead commit suicide.

      Its also very possible Hitler was jealous of Paulus and his fame at

      I figress “Fortress Anglo” why’s need to be asked. Why did Cowen against advice to the contrary agree to include Anglo in the bailout!

      I believe Anglo was FF’s bank, we should examine all relationships between FF and DoF mandarins and Anglo that have led to the morass that we are in now? Basically FF allowed Anglo to act without regulation with full encouragement and support from FF.

      Cowen was not only a clown in his actions, his judgement errors are cause of an even greater meltdown. Through his previous and continuing support of this cuckoo bank, he’s now guaranteed a destruction of this islands hopes for a secure future, to use his well worn
      phrase, ‘going forward’! What he really means is ‘going backward’!

      FF trickery and propaganda is to sell the idea that Anglo must be protected at all costs to the economy and to the taxpayer.

      Enough is enough, enough FF, enough Anglo. Let them both go and let’s begin a real cleanup of the mess.

  14. G

    You know things are getting bad when the ‘Stalingrad’ analogy comes out of the drawer.

    It is an interesting parallel, we are seeing similar patterns of behaviour – no doubt.

    Deco’s discussion of the Iberian campaign during the Napoleonic era is equally appropriate, especially with the long drawn out nature of it and the comparison with our financial mess.

    Stalingrad was however of strategic importance. As pointed out by one contributor, it was an important point to capture as it would have been a thorn in the side of Germans when they advanced on the Caucuses.

    But the other historical points made are essentially all correct, the battle sucked the life out of the 6th Army and saw the beginning of the end of Hitler’s ruthless ambitions.

    The Soviets effectively won the war as they successfully battled 4/5 of the Nazi forces. D-Day, Normandy etc were side-shows in comparison to events on the Eastern Front.

    Like the German population, we are totally in the dark as to where we are headed, and those currently backing the NAMA will not be there after the next election, which I have a feeling is not too far away.

    A General Election will be Fianna Fail’s ‘Waterloo’.

  15. Allied Irish FEAR –

    we are Kerry Blues in the local and national abatoir ready to listen to our fate as it burns and disapears in front of our eyes .The flames stretch before us as it almost reaches our hearts to distroy all we are .
    When those soldiers were in the trenches they were all in FEAR waiting their fates too only to be Decimated and become a Nobody and Forgotten. Soon this Time will be upon us as the 2B’s conspire with the Ugly Banks to take Our Time away .
    This is REAL FEAR .

    • Alf

      Hi John,

      You’ve nailed it. Fear. We cannot overestimate the power it is having on the population. Logic does not come into it. It is a ‘fear’ and its common partner ‘ego’ that has Ireland in this mess.

      David said :

      “The financial markets would shrug and move on if we did so. What most people fail to understand is that financial markets are forward-looking. Tomorrow’s prospects, not yesterday’s mistakes, are what drive investors. Markets are not in the business of punishing countries. There is no money in punishment. They want Ireland to grow, so that they can make money.”

      This is what anyone who has dabbled in the markets for any amount of time will say. “Your win is someone elses loss”, “Every loss is a learning experience”. Some will avoid a previous investment because they got burned but most will learn from their mistake and use the knowledge to become a better investor. The Irish government’s approach is the approach of a newbie investor, one who never really took a loss and never had to take any pain. It’s understandable but for every loser there are ten more who learned from it and look for opportunities at these times.

      Stalingrad is a good analogy. Stubbornly refusing to take a loss leading down the path to doom. Contrary to what some think; the market will respect Ireland if it faces reality and does the right thing. Most investors steer clear of investing where they see this Stalingrad mentality.

      But the government is using to fear to push through its agenda. Maybe we could set up a website FAQ where each and every statement the government uses pro NAMA is dissected for cons. The Irish people will not be able to make a rational decision until we stop them dealing in fear and start dealing with fact.

  16. Excellent article once again David,

    It seems to me that Cowen et al. believe that the obsession with saving face applies throughout the investment community as well and therefore one needs to do everything possible to save face (even if this means looking more and more ridiculous in the long-term). When will they (politicans, most of the public sector etc.) get it into their heads that when you make a mistake, admit it, learn from it and move on!!!

  17. Bamboo

    Apologies for changing topic.
    I’ve heard of an financial broker loosing businesses as the banks don’t want any middle men anymore. The next day I heard a similar case of a an independent insurance broker. Both are looking for employment now. As both are self-employed and not entitled to Jobseekers Benefit or Allowance, Today’s news: 20 people added to Live Register in February is somewhat misleading of the true scale of the problem. I assume there are hundreds of similar cases like the above all over the country that is never mentioned not mentioned in this article.

    • dwight

      hi everyone
      (new poster)

      I am not the most statistically minded but I was wondering if you can explain something to me about these figures?

      There are 436,956 people on the live register this is said to be an unemployment rate of 12.6%.

      now forgive me if Im mistaken but to calculate the unemplotment rate one takes the unemployed (436,956) and divides it by the total workforce which as of lats year was(2,203,000), in my understanding that gives a rate of some 19.8% unemployment, not the 12.6 that is reported. Question is are my calculations wrong or is the government using a different method to calculate this?

      Baring those that are self employed and those that have emigrated, this still seems quite a dire situation…

      • G

        Always thought along similar lines…………

        Plus there are those like my cousin on CE schemes and a whole bunch of other ‘tactics’ designed to massage the number down.

        In terms of unemployment I think we are at 20-25% – I cannot possible see how 250,000 jobs can be create in 5 years…………..

        To come back to Russia, Stalin’s 5 year economic plans had more to them than the predictions we have seen in this country, which have only one thing going for them, they were always wrong, criminally wrong on, government tax take for instance, wrong to the tune of billions, it does not inspire confidence…….

        The government did forecast that 75,000 jonbs would be lost this year, but again that seems like a wild underestimate….

      • No that’s a common mistake – there are approximately 260,000 unemployed in the country. The difference between this 260k and the Live Register of 440k is mostly part-timers. The government uses the ILO definition of unemployment so it’s not massaging numbers, but they bring the suspicion on themselves because they only produce true unemployment numbers every quarter whereas they produce the Live Register every month. Hope that helps.

        • G

          so 260,000 are ‘unemployed’ and the 180,000 others are classified under different headings………..103,000 (3-4%) unemployed or not actively seeking work for a whole host of reasons, was regarded as full employment……..I remember El Bert joking about this figure at an after dinner speech with Cork’s ‘Merchant Princes’ and delighting in the fact that so many new cars were selling, a house of cards as we well know now……………

      • Dwight,

        Could you let us know if you solve the puzzle? There’s a big difference between 19.8% and 12.6%. I’d like to know as well how they come up with 12.6%? Maybe contact someone prepared to ask your question in the Dail? Could it be total workforce figure used doesn’t include self employed or those who’ve emigrated? Well spotted!

    • Deco

      Sounds a bit like the ‘discouraged worker’ statistic in the US.

      In the US, when the unemployed give up on finding work, and move into a trailer, they are recategorised as ‘discouraged workers’. And thereby the unemployment statistics are reduced. Apparently it is much better for consumer confidence to handle it in this way.

      As far as I know the same methods are used across the EU. Correct ?

  18. wills


    Yes, our ‘controlling interests’ / insiders / jailors who run Irelands economic system are they in a power base meltdown and ANIB is their DEATHSTAR.

    ANIB goes and their control over the economics of Ireland goes too.

    And they loose special place of ‘overlordship’ and blend back into ‘ordinariness’ and the peculiar blend of mundaneness and banalities of every day life.

    Interestingly this showdown between the forces of common sense and the forces of bubble think over the levers of credit provision.

    These ‘overlord’ lunatics must be scrambling about scratching their heads how it is their power melted away, how did it happen, how is it happening, that, when you go boo!! the sheeple no longer quake in their boots.

    I think the ‘controlling’ interests know the ‘jig’ is up and are merely grabbing what they can exiting the scene of the crime in their getaway car.

  19. (If this post gets through, thx Malcolm for solving earlier glitch, appears long urls can cause problems with posts, see below)

    Always enjoyed the series Battlefield especially viewing it with my
    son, whose also a fan! Good book there also by Beevor, worth reading.

    As far as I recall there was also another dimension historians, their
    views always taken with a pinch of salt:), mention.

    This was that the gold star general Paulus should not have followed
    the orders given him by Hitler which led to the annihilation of his
    much loved troops. He did this though he refused to take the hint from Hitler that rather than be captured he should instead commit suicide.

    Its also very possible Hitler was jealous of Paulus and his fame at
    (url shortened with as long url gives error when posting)
    “Fortress Anglo” why’s need to be asked. Why did Cowen against advice to the contrary agree to include Anglo in the bailout!

    I believe Anglo was FF’s bank, we should examine all relationships
    between FF and DoF mandarins and Anglo that have led to the morass that we are in now? Basically FF allowed Anglo to act without regulation with full encouragement and support from FF.

    Cowen was not only a clown in his actions, his judgement errors are
    cause of an even greater meltdown. Through his previous and continuing
    support of this cuckoo bank, he’s now guaranteed a destruction of this
    islands hopes for a secure future, to use his well worn phrase, ‘going
    forward’! What he really means is ‘going backward’!

    We got a big Cuckoo, NAMA, bleeding our children’s future dry!

    FF trickery and propaganda is to sell the idea that Anglo must be
    protected at all costs to the economy and to the taxpayer. Enough is
    enough, enough FF, enough Anglo. Let them both go and let’s begin a
    real cleanup of the mess. “

  20. Stalin type tactics is apropriate to describe the going ons, or stronger words, gangster behaviour. Last week in the Dail, when Anglo Irish Subject matter was raised, there was reference to assassination lists! wow – no one is safe!
    Anglo Irish should be the subject of a public inquiry- as the loans go well past 60 Billion & it is who and what & where people have benefited with all that money a flush! UK, US ,Ireland, Eastern Europe ! & no heads have rolled for serious mis- management for starters! Money buys all, this is the motto for the Government election campaign.

  21. cozzy121

    David, while I like the comparison with Stalingrad, I believe a better one would be to liken Fianna Fail’s efforts in Government to that of Stailn’s “Scorched Earth” policy of 1941. It’s quiet clear to them that they are going to be decimated in the next election, their only hope is to leave such an unholy mess behind them that it will be extremely hard for the next government to sort out. The next government will probably have to make even more severe cuts or the IMF will roll in, therefore ensuring their own unpopularity and a reversal in Fianna Fail’s fortunes.
    Remember, like Stalin, it’s always “the party first” the county be-damned..

  22. G

    I think the opening comments from this very good study of the dangers of hubris (well displayed by Bertie and others during the boom – remember the kebab comment)………says it all

    Enron – ‘The Smartest Guys in the Room’

    (think David this could be another useful analogy for an article someday)

    • Dilly

      Just in case anyone forgot ….

      May 2005
      The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has said the apology by the Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Conor Lenihan, for remarks he made about Turks was enough and that the matter was now over.

      Mr Lenihan apologised in the Dáil yesterday afternoon after he told the Socialist Party TD, Joe Higgins, who has campaigned on behalf of Turkish construction workers, to ‘stick with the kebabs’.


    While we are continue to be overwhelmed by the unfolding drama and governmental incompetence on irish soil, here is a reminder why we need fresh blood and fresh thinking.

    Greenspan once said, that the mathematicians that construct the economic market models have no answer to the recession, it was never part of their equations.

    According to FT and a letter to investors of Brevon Howard, the largest european hedge fund, holding assets of 27 billion dollars, they said that the short trade in european bonds is crowded. and extended.

    NO taxpayers money should be given to banks before these activities are brought to a full stop.
    They estimate an outstanding 12 billion of short positions (bets against the Euro and individual countries) compared to beginning of february only 7 billion.

    The casino is full!

    To date, no ban on speculative purchases exists, banks still using naked credit default swaps to make short term profits and gamble with taxpayers money against countries like greece.

    This market is the wild west for ruthless gold diggers, it is not regulated at all and one of the reasons that we need fresh thinking and fresh blood to drive economies out of the disaster zone.

    Needless to say, those performing the lucrative trades are opposed against any regulation.

  24. Malcolm McClure

    David says: “The market knows we don’t have the money and is therefore penalising us in the bond market with higher interest rates than anyone else in the euro bar Greece.”

    On the European scale of ‘direness’ (or should that be ‘direity’?) statistics tell us that Direland is now in second place after Greece. (Although italy, Belgium and Portugal don’t look too healthy either.)
    Note that Direland’s 2011 public debt is 96% of GDP compared with the Maastricht limit of 60%. Also a deficit to GDP ratio of 14.7% compared with a limit of 3% and a bond yield of 4.78% compared with Germany’s 3.24%.

    Enjoy the Dire sunset below the nasty figures, and the butterfly of chaos that caused the problem in the first place.

    • Deco

      Is Belgium in trouble ? This is news to most of us. I pesume you meant Spain or the UK…

      • Malcolm McClure

        Belgian public debt is rising again (it should pass the 100% mark next year). The Belgian banking system is in deep crisis and like Ireland the government had to bail out three major banks. Considering risk, Belgian OLO bonds are expensive given their low yield.
        There are also the political problems between Flemings and Walloons.
        The Flemish north is rich with petrochemical plants etc. but the Walloon south is an economic basket case with old industries and 30% unemployment that seeks separation.
        And some thought we had problems?

  25. Does anyone know the source for the suggestion that NAMA has a threshold of €5m for determining eligibility of assets. It’s not apparent from the Bill and I can only see an informal reference in the Business Plan (page 8 bottom “Land and development loans with a value less than €5m with AIB, Anglo and Bank of Ireland and their associated commercial loans will not transfer to NAMA. No such limit applies to EBS and INBS”)

    • Deco

      Nama-lake. You want to know if NAMA is prejudiced in favour of the bigger, more obese borrower so to speak. Discrimination in favour of the more leveraged and risk averse. The big boys. The Ballybrit brigade. Interesting question.

      INBS has already been nationalized. It was sneaked in queitly, bundled inside the detail of the NAMA bill.

      And there was very little coverage of this. Fingers had made a veiled threats to the government via newspaper journalists, if INBS was not “treated as having systemic importance”. Apparently he knew lots of interesting things. And he did not want to talk about these things.

      It cost 2Billion Euro of taxpayers money. A small price to pay to keep loads of dirty little secrets about leading prominent figures in the establishment from going into circulation. And the Prime Time made a documentary out of some of those dirty little secrets. Which made the bailout of INBS completely pointless.

      I just wonder what exactly the Business Plan is, with respect to INBS…..I mean no business plan then no point in saving it !! And I don’t think there is a plan. Come to think of it, was there ever a plan even when it was run privately ???

    • Tull McAdoo

      The 5 million was first mentioned on this forum by Jim on July 6th 2009. The following is the relevant extract from his post. “My man in Anglo tells Me that all loans to Developer’s over 5 million is heading for NAMA,thats the watershed so to speak,which leaves Anglo with what still on their books??? 5 million sure Seanie carried that around in His arse pocket,it would hardly buy you a house in the States ,ask Daithi Drumm,if ye think Im codding ye”………. I think that last bit was his jibe at Drumm who signed off on the purchase of a second house on Cape Cod on the very day that the guarantee was signed, millions stashed by that fella aargghh.
      July 6, 2009, 1:34 am
      1. jim says
      Just spoke to Cowen tonight in His bunker in Tullamore,he seems to think the Germans are behind all this. trouble.
      September 8, 2009, 10:47 pm
      1. jim says
      Tim I could but maybe this time I’ll leave it to the “Mail on Sunday” not the paper of note as some night say.The following piece gives a flavour of what NAMA will become,as if anyone thought any different.God help us……STATE-OWNED Anglo Irish Bank has continued to bankroll members of the
      infamous Anglo ‘Golden Circle’ since it was nationalised.Incredibly, in one case it gave a loan to a Golden Circle group at the
      same time as it was writing off e300m it had previously loaned them.On May 29, the bank said e308m of the e451m would probably not be paid
      back. Yet on the same day, Joe O’Reilly, one of the circle, and his
      firm, Castlethorn Construction, got a loan for a unit in The Waxworks,
      Ashtown Square, Dublin.
      In fact, Mr O’Reilly has taken six new loans since nationalisation -
      three signed off in May.
      On January 27, just after the Anglo bailout, the bank gave him
      multiple mortgages for a e1.25bn plan for a 5.3acre site in Upper
      O’Connell Street. The ‘Park in the Sky’ plan by his Chartered Land
      firm has now stalled due to planning difficulties.
      On January 16, Mr O’Reilly got two mortgages, one for an Upper
      O’Connell Street premises, another for the ground below the footpath
      at 40, 41 and 42 O’Connell Street. He got loans for properties in
      Sandyford and Castleknock.
      Malahide auctioneer Brian O’Farrell got a loan from Anglo in March for
      his Golden Circle firm, N1 Property. Weeks later, its e1.2bn overhaul
      of Dublin’s Northside Shopping Centre got the nod.ONLY in the crazy world that is Namaland could Anglo Irish Bank be
      lending more money to the very people who just last year engaged in an
      outrageous attempt to prop up the bank’s share price using money
      borrowed from… Anglo Irish Bank. What is even more extraordinary is
      that the extra money is being loaned just as past loans are being
      written off as unrecoverable! On one level, this could be written off
      as a hilarious banking story penned, perhaps, by Lewis Carroll (or
      Liam Carroll, who is insolvent but also being offered yet more cash by
      Anglo). But this is not joke. What these revelations expose again is
      the immorality of the Nama plans, in that the people who lost all our
      money get even more to play with.That, rather than any great preference for other schemes, is why the
      public is so opposed to Nama: they do not accept that reckless
      behaviour should be rewarded in this way. They think misdeeds should
      be punished, not rewarded. As Abraham Lincoln said: ‘What is morally
      wrong can never be politically right.’
      September 8, 2009, 11:07 pm
      o jim says
      Robert , Linehan has suggested that performing loans will help pay this bill,but as you have probably guessed by now ,if the performing loans were so good then their would be no need for NAMA,also the Banks would be showing these loans as generating earned income in their annual accounts,sorry connot find them.Red herrring??.As a sidenote Linehan also suggested that borrowed money would be at a rate of 1.5% which might be true initially,but that rate would probably reset after 6 months along with Euribor.ouch on that one.Anyhooo you get My drift…
      September 9, 2009, 12:28 am

  26. Deco

    I must confess for the first six months I actually believed what AIB were saying. But then the AIB were forced to make admissions about the state of their loan book. In this context, and the fact that AIB are good at damage limitation, and at convincing those who prefer to understate the scale of the crisis, I find it hard personally to believe AIB any more.
    Does anybody out there beleive this ?

    There were rumours circulated last year that CIBC of Canada wanted to takeover AIB. The D4 media passed it to us like as if it were fact….I remember Eileen Dunne on RTE news talking about it in real positive terms….pure pointless spin…..because…several months have passed and nothing has happened.

    John Allen – as the resident AIB expert….what do you make of this ? A PR effort or something real ?

    • Deco- The Banks in Ireland have declared WAR on The Nation for some time and it is only now the transparency of their deceptive criminal actions have crystalised .The Head Bunker die AIB zur Ballsbridge is a suspected Crime Area .

    • G

      I still think one of the biggest problems in Ireland is the ‘attitude’.

      I just encountered it 5 minutes ago with a doctor’s secretary – one of the most ignorant, unhelpful and impolite people I have ever met. I left without an appointment. And this is not an isolated example.

      I wonder how other bloggers perceive this and how Ireland compares to other countries.

      Marcus Aurelius makes a good point on this in Meditations, I paraphrase: “to deny ignorant people exist in this world is like to trying to deny the existence of the stars in the night sky”.

      I accept it takes all sorts, but maybe there are other reasons besides dodgy political and financial deals as to why Ireland is where it is (?).

      Even if you have a terrific education or an amazing idea there just seems to be something inherit in the society and the people that will not bring you or it to fruition, the old begrudgery and all those other characteristics raised on this website and elsewhere.

      I had an interview for a national newspaper, I wanted to get into writing, opinion pieces, colour journalism etc.

      I went through all the loops and had two interviews and was eventually told with a Masters I was overqualified. I subsequently am working on a freelance career. The whole experience struck me as being very odd – was I seen as a threat? What does being overqualified actually mean? Couldn’t they have mentioned this dreadful bias without me going through charade etc

      • Dilly

        I know exactly what you mean. With regards to the job, you were a threat. It is all about control. They would be afraid of losing control if they let someone new into their tiny circle. Many people are on a power trip, and will defend it even if it means driving a company into the ground. I have witnessed it before. The company owners often, do not realise how much damage these status/power obssessed managers are doing.

        To cheer yourself up, goto youtube, and search for Dave Allen on doctors. There is a sketch about their rude secretaries.

      • Bamboo

        To be honest, Your style of writing, honesty and your knowledge is something that I always enjoy reading. I suspected you are a journalist, columnist or something like that. So I was right after all.

        Regarding your post.
        For years I dreaded phoning any council or GOV body because of the way they are able to make you feel sorry for ever trying to contact them. But the last couple of years it is changing for the good I must say.

      • wills


        Geographical problem.

        Ireland s geography and climatic conditions and the like mix to make a race afflicted with damaged machinery to a degree it precipitates an intense arrested emotional and sexual development.

        Hence the myth – leprechaun.

      • Deco

        Firstly it is likely that the position was already fille by somebody who is a son of one of the old chums down at the clubhouse (pick your sport, but it is usually golf). So yes you were certainly overqualified. In fact anybody with anything between the two ears was overqualified. Encountered a similar charade with a bank in the mid 1990s. I know people who work there now…..and not the smartest sandwiches in the breadbasket if you know what I mean….a real eyeopener…..and to be honest I am glad I did not get it…..because I would be another mindless gobshite if I got it.

        Be the competition that they will not be able to handle. Keep developing intellectually. Develop your own website. Develop expertise. And get work from local newspapers who are more concerned about retaining reader loyalty.

        Developer an expertise for areas that are not covered, for the dumbing down of our society, for the cronyism in business, the waste in the public sector, the failure of Irish management. Bring the readers in to you. Eventually, if you produce something superior, and if you get it into circulation, you will gain readership. And you will get advertising for your site, and articles from magazines and local media.

        • Deco

          Use your experiences to provide the intellectual path that goes above all the amateurism that you see.

        • paddythepig

          The successful candidate may also be down at the rugger club, or training with the GAA club, this very evening. Both are very powerful networks.


  27. Dr Morse – If die Baden Volke en dem Hoch Huse zuch Bank of Ireland was du opfen diesen doors I would prove a crime there any day .They prefer to hide and tells us that their Generals are living with the gods .In reality these General in the B of I are delusional and their fanactical behaviour is ruining the country.

  28. FF used the national pension reserve fund to bail out the banks. The taxpayer put in €16billion euro in this fund to fund their pensions. Now FF says new workers in the public sector will be get a different pension scheme to the one currently enjoyed by public sector workers and that we will have to wait until we are 68 for those retiring after 2028 to get the state pension. Why should those ‘working’ in the Pensions Board, Department of Finance, Financial Regulator get their pensions after their performance? While many of the rest of us don’t. Stop proping up this corrupt FF bank. Stop making us pay for this fiasco.

    • Deco

      Well….I suppose Pension Reform was not likely to change matters for the Roddy Molloys of ths world…, it only amounts to working the rest of us harder and harder…..
      And that is assuming that there will be any money there in a few years time.
      This is another attempt to prop up the Irish stock market and the Irish Finance industry.

      I just wonder how much freedom will we get in selecting a pension provider. Will we be able to select a conservative fund in another EU member like Denmark, or will we have to stick with whatever is available in the line of high commision, everything on steriods and property from the Duopoly ??

  29. EUROPA 2020

    Leaving the Lisbon strategy behind, the european commission just published their agenda until 2020.

  30. Alan42

    The Hitler gone bonkers in the bunker analogy is a bot to simple and lets them off the hook in that it shows them to misguided .

    Anglo has been sitting there for 2 years or so doing nothing except sucking in money . Everyone that looks at the books does a backflip and supports government policy . Ie Alan Dukes etc .

    There is something rotton at the heart of Anglo .

    • Deco

      I agree. Anglo was a banker to some of the smoothest shakers in Dublin. Speculators who were well aware of the brown envelope trail.

      I was told a story about work on a site in West Dublin. The ESB man would come on site…..’well…getting in the ESB will be difficult….very busy you know….can’t gaurantee that you will get the power before the houses are ready….’ ‘Alright, listen here’s four grand for yourself in cash….will that speed it up’ ‘Yeah that should mean that you will get everything done on schedule’.

      Same applied with the water, and the gas connection. Now where is all this cash coming from. The developer can’t be holding massive amounts of cash in the office. And anyway the buyers were certainly not paying with cash. But the revenue never found out that there was cash going missing in the construction sector.

      That is just one dimension. Another dimension is the potential for speculators to move their profits to different companies once they were made, and thereby have millions aside for themselves in the event of a crash. I am very suspicious about this having happened. It is the type of crooked scam that is well possible in Irish business and professional circles.

      It goes along with the theory…..we see a hole (of debt)….but where is the clay ? (money that was made). It could not have all disappeared. MAssive fortunes were made over a period of twenty years, starting with land purchased as agricultural and then rezoned as residential. At one stage twelve magnates controlled the supply of building land in Dublin. Nobody else could get land rezoned. When the Catholic Church was in trouble over the Child Abuse scandal, it looked as if it would have to sell all it’s property in Dublin. And Ahern and Woods came to rescue with a fudge that made it unnecessary. In addition the government sat on a massive land bank and refused to let any of it on the market. It was like as if the state was compliant in this oligopolistic behaviour.

      There is an awful lot of rotten dealing going on. And it comes from the nexus of politics-finance-construction-planning.

      • s1lverbullet

        I would really like to know how much more we are going to take in the *ss before we have had enough? I am really in favour of marching into the Dail and kicking Cowen out on his big fat ass, strapping that fat bitch Harney to a hospital trolley, putting O’ Dea in front of a firing squad, sending Martin to Gaza for ever, locking Andrews up with paedophile priests, putting o Mahony into a mental home, sending D Ahern to Mountjoy for life. I am sick shit of these scum ,and as for Bertie, I’d find some real inventive pain for that prick. When is this nightmare going to end??

  31. Came across this article on the Indo and it was only when I was half way through I thought: ‘Hey this guy sounds familiar’ and when I looked for the author sure enough it was our man himself. I knew it was the voice of a rebel and it didn’t sound like the usual offerings from our bought and paid for press hacks. Good work Dmac.

    The mad general analogy was a good ‘un. I could almost feel the spit from their foaming mouths and see the chasms of insanity behind the whites of their mad staring eye balls.

    I was thinking about all those poor bastards lying bullet ridden in the snow at Stalingrad and it reminded me of something all too similar.

    I know all you economics guys will love the poster by Charles Joseph Minard which shows
    the madness of Napolean’s march to Russia. It is the best statistical analysis graph you will ever see and if ever a picture painted a thousand words then it is this one. The
    cumulative losses of Napolean’s army are plotted using time and temperature as reference points. It will amaze some of you I am sure and a framed version would be a nice little talking point for your dinner guests.

    • s1lverbullet

      the interesting link is the fact that the Rothschilds bank funded both sides in the Napoleonic war and this same bank are currently our government’s banking advisors

      • G

        @ s1lverbullet – on both sides of the deal, hmmmm, where did we hear that before, the Dublin Docklands maybe?

      • Apparently in WW2 the same people were supplying American troops with Coca Cola and German troops with Fanta.

        In 1918 a suitcade full of Marks would not buy a you loaf in Germany yet 15 years later Hitler had the finest army in the world. Hows that for a model of successful inward capital investment?

        Meanwhile the myth was perpetrated in America during the 30s that there was no money anywhere and the sense of hoplessness felt by ordinary poeple is laid bare in the novels of John Steinbeck.

        The Rothschilds and their like were saving up for the war and to them Hitler was a gift. All they needed to do was fund him, play him like a fiddle and wait until he cocked up.

        • G

          @ Pauldiv – precisely, industrialists and bankers got more than they bargained for in Hitler, but yes they bankrolled the Nazi state and made enormous sums from German rearmament and other policies – same goes today, Iran is the ‘great danger’, massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the region.

          Useful book on corporate involvement in Nazi Germany -

          IBM & the Holocaust

          Fanta was created by German Coca Cola company to get around US economic sanctions on Nazi Germany, they created the product to keep sales up and the market going. The name Fanta comes from the German word for fantasy.


          Corporations and Western leaders delighted in Mussolini and Hitler for creating the ‘right business environment’, crushing Unions, the left, slave labour, windfall profits and ‘order’.

          Mussolini was a firm advocate of ‘corporatism’ the unholy alliance of state and corporate power, with people viewed as mere economic units within an enormous system, really different from today don’t you think?

          The trials of the leading German industrialists after the war was interesting, a lot of the sentences were commuted as the allies needed these same men to rebuild Germany so as to prevent it from going ‘red’.

          Also the US took in Nazi Scientists and thousands of SS men, debriefed them and used their knowledge of the Soviets etc

          The US & The Nazi’s by Nikos Tapis

        • G

          @ Pauldiv – precisely, industrialists and bankers got more than they bargained for in Hitler, but yes they bankrolled the Nazi state and made enormous sums from German rearmament and other policies – same goes today, Iran is the ‘great danger’, massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the region.

          Useful book on corporate involvement in Nazi Germany -

          IBM & the Holocaust

          Fanta was created by German Coca Cola company to get around US economic sanctions on Nazi Germany, they created the product to keep sales up and the market going. The name Fanta comes from the German word for fantasy.

          Corporations and Western leaders delighted in Mussolini and Hitler for creating the ‘right business environment’, crushing Unions, the left, slave labour, windfall profits and ‘order’.

          Mussolini was a firm advocate of ‘corporatism’ the unholy alliance of state and corporate power, with people viewed as mere economic units within an enormous system, really different from today don’t you think?

          The trials of the leading German industrialists after the war was interesting, a lot of the sentences were commuted as the allies needed these same men to rebuild Germany so as to prevent it from going ‘red’.

          Also the US took in Nazi Scientists and thousands of SS men, debriefed them and used their knowledge of the Soviets etc

          The US & The Nazi’s by Nikos Tapis

          • Thanks for the update G.

            A few years ago I read about the coca cola company in the book And The Truth Shall Set You Free by David Icke.

            At the time I could not believe what I was reading and I found it difficult to compute the relationship between what I was reading and the man who had been riduluced in the press.

            Since then I have discovered that world works in some pretty strange ways and that is is not just David Icke who is telling these stories.

          • G

            @ Pauldiv

            In the course of my learning, I have found the ‘truth’ does not necessarily ‘set one free’.

            I’ve found more often than not it maddens & frustrates especially as an individul, without support, you can feel powerless to change or influence events.

            You have the knowledge in your head but when you speak out people find it either hard to believe or think you a crank. I think people like Icke get sucked into it and come out different, it affects people clearly in different ways.

            Naturally Gandhi and his followers knew the ‘truth’ of British oppression. Martin Luther King Jr knew the ‘truth’ of racism and a society which discriminated on the basis of colour and on the basis of this political/social/economic ‘truth’ they (and their considerable) movements, went forward to change events, both paying with their lives.

            We are slowly coming to know the ‘truth’ of how the State actually functions with regard to citizen and it is not impressive. The State is often in confrontation with the citizen or a reluctant supporter in extreme cases, more often than not it is indifferent to individuals and responds slowly to pressure groups etc especially when it comes to funding and access to basic services.

            Those, not yet, on the thin edge, those comfortable today, and who have not come into contact with State/bureaucracy in terms of having a disabled child or ill partner, or come from a disadvantaged area, have little practical experience of State indifference and don’t feel the need to agitate…………..Shell to Sea is an interesting example, the masses haven’t gotten behind it…….they are barely aware of it, RTE/PRAVDA have done little if anything to highlight the injustices.

            The origins of things like Fanta or Barclays Bank are interesting – Walter Rodney’s book ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (and developed their own economies in the process) is particularly revelatory as is Eduardo De Galeano’s ‘The Open Veins of Latin America: 500 years of colonial exploitaton, rape and pillage’.

            Not sure exactly what Christ meant when he said the ‘truth shall said you free’, maybe he meant truth as it applies to spiritual matters.

            I think if people organise, like through community groups, trade unions and agitate collectively for change then there is more than a chance for change, but on an individual level, as Chomsky frequently points out, the individual can be crushed by the forces arrayed against him/her.

    • G

      Excellent link, will be purchasing a copy and will produce it whenever I hear ‘big plans’ and hubristic talk.

      As a Greek colleague pointed out, in Greek mythology when a character displayed hubris the Goddess Nemesis quickly arrived to dispense justice.

      Napoleon’s campaigns are very interesting on different levels, the march on Moscow succeeded where Hitler failed i.e. the taking of the city, however, as we well know prior to Moscow falling the Russians opened all the prisons which contained more than a few arsonists. In no time Moscow was in flames and Napoleon and his troops were forced to leave.

      The two battles of Borodino really bring home the slaughter…..

  32. Philip

    We are a morally and philosophically bereft people. A Catholic educational system designed to diminish or confuse your sense of social responsibility. Is it any wonder what is happening now in this crisis?.

    And bishops are now asking us to cough up for abuse legal fees with straight faces. And the banks want our future to pay for their excesses of the past…you starting to see parallels here?

    Who’s yer daddy!!!

    • wills


      Don’t forget………

      Pension time bomb……..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Ye, blow up state pension.

      Force every one into private pension and at the mercy of rigged financial markets keeping us all up at night wondering will our paid in pension gambled on equity markets go belly up in the morning.

    • Growing up in Ireland must have been a mind prison for some of you guys and I can understand why things appear hopeless all the time.

      Not every one is lacking moral compass. There are some among us who can’t be bought. That is why we are kept on the outside looking in but keep the faith pal because this whole house of cards is slowly coming down piece by piece.

      Integrity comes at a price because it means upsetting people in positions of authority. It can also make you cut a lonely figure in the workplace and for most people that is a price not worth paying. It is only human nature.

      Our class at a Catholic school in Glasgow in the early 1970s was ruled by an Irish woman who was stilfing in her authority and I always used to thank god I didn’t go to school in Ireland.

      I found out at a young age that if you screw with authority then you will be made an example of. No one here rocks the boat because they have been conditioned by authority to shut up and speak only when spoken to.

      We need more outsiders who will think and act independantly of the interconnected web of deceit and corruption that that has crippled the Irish psyche.

  33. Twitter, facebook, website, meetings suggested on forum to get message out on NAMA.

    Anyone wan’t a web conference accessible through an url, let me know.

    Would work like a public information service. EG, 10 q’s addressed by the host using powerpoint or other local computer application. Questions preset with a walk through each one by the host.

    Information would have to be very solid.

    title: Examining Anglo

    What is the bank guarantee?

    Why was Anglo included?

    Could it have been left out of BG?

    Would nationalisation have worked?Cost of?

    What consequences for taxpayer of letting it go under without nationalisation or bank guarantee?Cost of?

    Mathematical models/graphs/diagrams/statistics/figures in support of the above?

    The conference software allows for participation with real time questions by attendees.

    Also the whole 30-60minutes can be recorded and saved and distributed making it available as a free flash file download anywhere you wish, or a recording that can be rerun by others later.

    You’d need a decent host with decent authoritative knowledge with a decent set of questions.

    There is a demand out there for an information channel such as this.

    Nobody else willing to do the above, I’d like to help out, if there’s a need, folks?

    • Philip

      I would like to know how we can remove or pressurise a TD. Take them out one by one. Any website on that?

    • wills

      Sounds good, you are hired cbweb.

      How do we start?

    • Alf

      Hi cbweb,

      I think they are trying to keep NAMA details as murky as possbile. This is what we are up against. I found this recent article ‘top ten unsettling facts about NAMA’

      • @Alf,

        From your tribune article as well:

        “The other problem is one of scale — while no loans below €5m are being taken into Nama from AIB or Bank of Ireland, loans of any value from Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide can be included. Smaller loans would tend to suggest that income-producing potential is lower and collateral is likely to be more thinly spread. ”

        Is this the FF gravy train from nationwide and anglo moving into NAMA?

    • lol sure how bout

      Blog it, twitter it and create havoc from a centralised point of information with links to all the stories as they break.

      Those of us who already have web sites and blogs could link to it and could go to the top of Google in a few months. No sweat.

      A news service with a difference which will provide shelter for whistle blowers who would be too afraid to go to RTE and the rags.

    • MT25

      yes please – can you organise ths?

      • I could do something sure.
        Being an unemployed IT graduate I have the time.

        There are lots of political blogs but we would need to come up with something different and well branded that would make sense to the man in the street.

        For a start someone could open and maintain a Google docs account for storing and collating spreadsheets which would be leaked by gov’t employees. If bloggers all linked to such a resource it would cause more hassle for the TDs.

        • Malcolm McClure

          Fully appreciate your “I found out at a young age that if you screw with authority then you will be made an example of. No one here rocks the boat because they have been conditioned by authority to shut up and speak only when spoken to.”

          There is a problem though about leaked spreadsheets. That is the Official Secrets Act.
          Need to be careful with: Disclosure of official information.
          4.–(1) A person shall not communicate any official information to any other person unless he is duly authorised to do so or does so in the course of and in accordance with his duties as the holder of a public office or when it is his duty in the interest of the State to communicate it.
          Does the Constitution over-ride this?

  34. James BOND -
    This article is written from the perecived strategy of a nations forces attacking an enemy in a foreign land to gain hold of new national resources .
    Now I beg to ask you to see a different viewpoint.How about your own country is attacked by a maverick bondholder who has credentials that include : ex mossad duties; a jew, an Israeli,skilled in finance, a taste of the good life, a linguist in five languages,skilled in the arts of war,a spy, a crook,and fearless .
    Now include that he arrives ashore bringing with him an Irish prostitute ( whose father was an ex major of a city) he picks up in the Dorchester Hotel.Lets say he has charm and knows his way and what he wants and gets it.He poses as an Investor of a Jewish Consortium to buy your banks .He wears only Armani.All the big Accounting Firms try to woo his services their way.He shines his teeth like lassars.

    For your information all this happened in the 90′s in the biggest financial Fraud in Denmark.A Danish accountant, solicitor and that Jew were all arrested .

    James BOND ( thats me ) was visited by all the Danish Prosecution and Police to seek my assistance to convict the Jew .I obliged and he was convicted .He later appealed and they requested my services again and he failed in his appeal after my assistance.He was jailed for three years and hew then repatriated elsewhere to serve prison for other offences.
    All this was a best seller in Denmark in the 90′s in a book WISSUM SAGEN .
    Sorry it is only in Danish and my photo is in it.

  35. wills


    It seems to me the ‘controlling interests’ are crossing into a new phase in the ‘seizing the high ground’ chess game underway, to-day.


    The blatant in your face reinvention of the state pension announced to day, has all over it , a game play to it.

    It is designed to extend control over citizenry sense of security the state pension offered the citizenry and play a higher degree of havoc with this security.

    It adds to the already uncertain future facing a hellva alot of citizens and swings back in the power elites favor more distracted worries preoccupying the sheeple going to bed the night.

    On this basis it may be interpreted the ‘controlling interests’ are showing signs of desperation no end to play such an obvious bold stroke on the citizenry and in particular the next coming worker generations.

    This ‘state pension’ revamp in my estimations is a massive story on alot of different levels.

    It has a whiff to it of some type of ‘social experiment’ for starters.

    It stokes of policy making manufactured under the heat lamp of the NAMA scamarama, possibly a flexing of power to impress hidden international money lenders keeping a close watch on Eire.

    I reckon Ireland is becoming some type of economic ‘guinea pig’ for future solutions for the superclass running the plutocracy.

    • wills


      This above comment is a framework of a type for putting NAMA into some type of objective reality, going forward.

      I think, reckon, the picture in relation to NAMA is becoming clearer very fast now and this pensions revamp is a dead giveaway other forces and narratives are at play twisting and turning in and out of NAMA in the present moment.

      The question must be pondered and considered, is Ireland becoming some type of economic social experiment on the sly for supranational interests.

      Any takers on this?

      • s1lverbullet

        Listen Will, what is not reported in the mainstream media is who exactly is behind Nama. These international institutions have gone to great pains to keep this info away from the public. Gavin Sheridan on is currently researching these entities and recently named Arthur Cox, Merrill Lynch, PWC, and Rothschilds as the brains behind Nama. All the above are Royal Leeches and are intent on ruining this country and should be exposed as such

    • s1lverbullet

      I think the same retirement age/pension scam is going on in the UK, Spain, Greece and god knows where else. So It has gone past the experimental stage and the plan is in full swing. They want us to work till we can’t work anymore and be broke when we finish. The question is: are we going to let it happen???

      • wills


        Yep. I am more getting at the pensions revamp in terms of its psychological effect across a broadside of the populace and a subsequent gameplay on the minds of the sheeple in relation to ‘the confidence’ variable in relation to the paper money scam and how the pensions revamp, NAMA, and maintaing ANIB ‘like it or lump it in yer face contempt, all variables seem to be some type of hidden shock treatment afoot.

        • s1lverbullet

          You mean how most of the people on this island can’t see it for what it is andit will become just another weapon of mass manipulation? This whole thing is like something out of a bad conspiracy theory movie

          • wills

            to a degree, yes. Why Ireland though, why use Ireland as a social experiment for new and improved shock treatments?

          • G

            The pension move, NAMA and all the rest is classic shock doctrine (see Naomi Klein’s excellent book of the same name).

            The problem for the government might just be that they keep pushing the people until another ‘x factor’ enters the equation which brings them down and heralds a general election. They are so inept that this is a distinct possibility.

            They are currently giving the lash, but as Frederick Douglass recounts in his incredible autobiography, the slave may yet awaken and seize the master by the throat, which is exactly what he did.

            I recommend his book to all.

            He and others overcame enormous odds, we can do the same.

  36. wills – when I was ‘in flight’ in other lands many years ago all my working teams considered Ireland as the biggest village pump in the world.Silence was golden and you dont tell two Irish people anything otherwise you have a rumour.
    I learned a lot about my country then through the eyes of foreigners .A total different mindset miles from our own parochial dig outs.
    I remember when the Saudi royal family arrived in Dublin to give a gift of a dagger to CJ Haughy his accompanying henchmen had machine guns under their kaftans …vestments.No one saw them.
    I also remember how my foreign mentor told me then that CJ was bankrupt and that they had received the bank details from CJ’s bank .I asked how did they do that and was told all of this happens at the highest level …no questions asked.This was not then out in the public domain then.
    So wills it is a very scary time as we pen our notes on this site.

    • wills

      Again John ALLEN, fascinating insight.

      I do share the same concern you do and would much prefer i did not, but, my common sense wisdom and critical judgement keep returning me back to this dreadfulness and demanding I mine right down in through the rock and get to the truth.

      And I will do that.

      My thoughts tonight are busy with crystallizing thoughts and one thing maybe you could elucidate on is, why is it, Ireland, these forces are honing in on.

      • wills – my mentor is dead now a few years and I stopped my work in middle east in 1990 during the invasion of kuwait.It was time for family values after that .Were he alive he would be able to tell me.So like you I can only speculate .Ireland has changed faster than we ever imagined and it seemed to have been done in a controlled manner as if some one in Bonn did it by remote wifii and acted to precision.I sometimes imagine that what we are waiting to see happen is the final arrival of the Romans on our shores and when they do we cease to exist and become indiginous tribes on our sacred lands.
        If that happens , it happens so we must embrace it.At least it was bloodless and not how Cromwell did it.Nevertheless there will be lots of Pain and we might learn something from it.

  37. G

    88 Keys in Cuba – The Irish putting their shoulder to the wheel!


  38. Tim

    Folks, I think that it is time to post this again; Furrylugs told me he missed it the last time.

    No-one should miss this:

    Register of Members’ Interests:

  39. Guys,

    Almost up to 100 No2NAMA fans on Facebook – please help give it a puch over the top.

    Please ‘Become a Fan” and if you’re a fan already, please go to the page and click ‘Suggest to Friends’.

  40. How’s this for Moral Hazard?
    From todays Irish Times;-

    “The SPV would issue two types of shares with Nama holding the majority of voting shares, giving the State control over the entity but leaving private investors with majority ownership of the equity.”

    The private investors are AIB & BOI among others.
    So the banks have recklessly loaned out money willy nilly, then loaned out more money on the back of that. This brings down the economy, the banks get a bail-out, the distressed assets are put out of harms way into NAMA but the banks still get to profit from the whole plan, without sharing any risk?
    Moral Hazard my arse.

    Or have I got that wrong?

  41. Does anyone else think it strange that Mr Lenihan is refusing to run the numbers again after the EU Decision (which we still haven’t seen and won’t for several months apparently) last Friday. Yes the Decision changes the valuation methodology somewhat but more importantly property prices which had dropped 47% last September (and were used then to provide public estimates) have now dropped 55%.


    • @namawinelake

      nope, nothin strange there. Nama is built on the LTEV premise and a return to bubble prices, they’re waiting for the bubble, that’s why the economy is being talked up so much, the more they talk it up, the freer they are re the false valuations

  42. ps200306

    I was wondering when we’d start seeing this:

    Some will be unfortunate buyers who found they couldn’t finance a mortgage when their apartments were finished being built. Others will be greedy speculators who planned to flip the properties and thought they could walk away from them losing only their deposits when values fell.
    If anyone saw Prime Time the other night, it featured a distressed buyer struggling to pay a forty year mortgage on a house bought for 545,000 … the mortgage was due to finish when she was aged 78, even though she claimed she just bought it as a “home to live in”. On Front Line a couple of months back another buyer wanted to know “where’s my NAMA” when she got into trouble with a mortgage due to finish in her eighties. Clearly these people were out-and-out speculators, like thousands upon thousands of others, which makes me not very sympathetic to their bleating, or particularly believing that only the banks were to blame. FWIW, I blame the regulators and the government.

    • Deco

      What are the chances that the buyer, having lost 20 K and knowing full well that abiding by the court order means a loss of 200 K and countin, will remain in the country ?

      I am totally sceptical of these developers claiming – we have no money to pay back the loans, after they made such a gigantic amount of money over a 15 year period. This simply does not add up.

      NAMA is providing a bailout for bad businesses. “Where’s my NAMA ?” Listened to 98 FM. Nobody was looking for NAMA. And unlike the developers these were not people with millions stashed away from the profiteering in the good times.

      In the US there is a campaign called “Audit the Fed”. It seeks to get accountability for the funny finance that comes from the commercial banks behnd the US Federal Reserve.
      In Ireland we need a similar concept. We need to find out how many of these developers really are bankrupt. We know that they own companies that are insolvent. But I reckon a lot of them also have massive funds offshore. And before they moved these funds offshore, they had these funds in ANIB. Hence the lack of transparency in ANIB.


      • Deco

        I am suspicious that NAMA is just another stage in a process of transferring money from those who work to create wealth, to those who connect with authority to access wealth.

      • G

        @ Deco – I think you make AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT POINT.

        We are being told one thing, but I too find it hard to believe that these guys are in trouble. They get to offload their liabilities and no doubt they have money squirrled away. I have only one question: Where has all the money gone?

        I am sure if you turn up in Zurich with a large deposit the banks would make you a lovely cup of coffee while they process your account details.

        Meanwhile that unfortunate lady with the court ruling against her for €505,000 – ps200306 original comments are correct, whatever the motivations for getting into property porn, that is most certainly a noose around her neck.

        Maybe she can declare herself bankrupt, if she does they would probably pursue her for her assets (home, car, savings etc) – what a dreadful predictament some people find themselves in.

        As for the comment “I am suspicious that NAMA is just another stage in a process of transferring money from those who work to create wealth, to those who connect with authority to access wealth.” – I’m afraid that is all it is, and it will enrich some serious ‘professionals’ in Dublin as well, while those appointed to NAMA have a job for life in these uncertain times.

        Insiders are in, while outsiders are most firmly out.

    • Tull McAdoo

      It say’s in the Times piece that the owners of the apartments Treasury Holdings will have their loans transferred over to Nama. Well all I can say is they wont have far to go , as Treasury Holdings owns the Nama building, if my sources are correct.

      • Dilly

        That is just sick !.

        • G

          The illness of the mind called: greed.

          A guy drove past me at lunch time in a car my colleague said was priced at €150,000.

          This same colleague, a Nigerian gentleman, said he could build a school for 25 children in his village for €6,000.

          “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.” ~ M. Gandhi

          “If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed [and] if we are not willing [to change], we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect.”
          ~ Jacques Cousteau

          “Greed affects the mind; disappointment makes man depressed.” ~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba

      • Tim

        That’s true.

  43. Deco

    Is this an admission from Irish Life that Permo is a turkey ?
    My theory on Permo is that it is a bank with a different business model, and therefore a completely different life cycle with regard to the credit crisis. Assumptions that it is safe are a load of nonsense. It was always likely to hit the peak yet in terms of bad loans at a time, staggered onwards by twelve months from the rest of the banking system. Permo’s problem is not that new houses are not selling. It does not care about this. Permo’s problem is people falling behind in their repayments. And this comes as a result of private sector incomes on aggregate.

    Anyway, a strategic decision is being made by the board of Irish Life to shove Permo somewhere else. Hilarious given the mess they made of Permo since they took over. And where would that somewhere else be ? Yes, you guessed it – the PAYE taxpayer again. Whereas AIB deos not want to be nationalised. And BoI officially does not want it, but will take any money it can from the taxpayer. Permo has already decided that it will consider it.

    Again, there is something very fishy going on here. I used to think, based on the evidence that the Irish concept of management had been revealed to have become a failure. And in the conventional sense this is clear. But with bailouts and all sorts of shennagins, this can be prevented from reaching real world consequences. And the hierarchies of careerists who created this mess, can be preserved.

    Ireland – what a mess we have become !!!

    • Tadhgd

      Can someone organise a march on the Dail again. Bring someone high profile to create some noise about the reasons like DMcW. Its not enough to be a one off. It should be done every Saturday or block traffic on a Friday or something. Why are we being so passive ! Seriously lets get out and do something. You know what this country is being conned. NAMA is the ultimate confidence trick. National Assets my arse…c’mon people. It’s up to us ..stupid.

    • Tull McAdoo

      Is that David mcCarthy having a laugh or what. Merge Il&p with Anglo. What ? turn a bad Bank into a shocking bad bad Bank lol lol. Anyway was that clown not around when they merged before to the tune of 7.5 billion Euro. Every Bank in Ireland is merged together or has nobody explained that to that fool. I’m going for a walk on the beach before bed, its a grand evening out, nice breeze coming in over the Indian ocean. Remember people there is another world out here, just reach out for it. Night……..

  44. @Alf,

    article covers a fair bit of ground but its only the tip of the iceberg. Re assets overseas:

    ‘At least 30% of the assets in Nama are denominated in currencies other than the euro. As a result, exchange risk is enormous for Nama, particularly when both the dollar and sterling are weakening and may weaken in the years ahead. Nama itself admits this will create “volatility” in the profit-and-loss account and will be very difficult and expensive to hedge. ‘

    Anyone know if NAMA has any plans to hedge its losses against currency variations?

    • Tull McAdoo

      If they do decide to hedge on the currency’s, I pray to God that nobody over in Anglo has anything to do with it. Remember that these dumb gobshites lost 715 million last year betting Sterling against the Yen. Oh ye and while I’m at it , will somebody tell the dumb shits on their trading desks to take down them stupid post-its that are there to remind them of the difference between a buy and sell order. Oh God give me patience……

  45. Deco

    Regarding the latest pension ‘reform’ (it sounds more like a fudge really).

    What exactly are we paying PRSI for ? (Pay Related Social Insurance). It is definitely not for the health service, because we pay health levies and VHI for that, in addition to PRSI.

    Maybe somebody should bring up a case against the state that PRSI is a fraud, and that therefore until we see exactly where the PRSI money is going, that we should not have to pay for it. That should put the spotlight on the thousands upon thousands of managers on the payroll in the HSE.

    • Deco

      The pension payment scheme is nonsensical. We are already paying PRSI for the same thing. It is a case of a second levy. The public sector will probably claim that it is a third pension levy.

      The problem is certainly not that people are not paying into the system. The problem is that the government squanders the money when it gets it, and has to resort to more schemes to fill the hole that they create.

      • G

        Vincent Browne made the point last night that the new pension arrangements will be a windfall for the financial sector, but he didn’t explore it further, no doubt the Financial Services, this Orwellian body, lobbied hard for the new measures to be introduced.

        I doubt I’ll ever see a pension with the casino capitalist system in this country or ‘cosy capitalism at its worst’ as the Financial Times once memorably characterised it.

        We’ll be lucky if there is a State left by 2015 not to mind 2030,’ 40 or ’50……………


    The standard answer of the establishment when it comes to NAMA questions these days: “We need a functioning banking system.” —-

    I am sure you all heard that as often as I did, so many times when direct questions on NAMA were put to the politicians, be it on Prime Time, the news, where ever it was, instead of answering the questions, they come back the same phrase, over and over again.

    From my own observations, who ever I talk with, it is not only Fear, as John Allen described it, that is dominating the public mind, there is more to it.

    I observe a complete breakdown in any form of trust in our governmental institutions. Not a single person I spoke with, believes that the people at the Helm can solve the problems we have, in opposite, they all indicated that they believe they serve only themselves and the inner circle, not the people of Ireland.

    Now, that is a pretty devastating judgement that the people express, and of course I wonder about the 27% approval rates that we were presented with in a recent poll. Is it really 27% of the irish people that believe the government does the right things to help our economy getting out of this? Honestly, I doubt it.

    From all the people I spoke with in the past 12 months and they do come from all backgrounds, from multi millionaires to social well fare recipients, from less educated to highly educated, from employer to employees, from FF to FG, to GP to no strings attached at all, I can say that not a single person believed this government is doing the right thing, and most of all no one trusts them.

    OK, this is a personal observation, but I find it remarkable. There are supporters of governmental policies out there, there must be, I probably only have to look harder and drive closer to Dublin, which I rather not, I prefer to be in Donegal anyway.

    So I was thinking about John’s statement concerning Fear in this country.

    Yes it is true, the climate has changed tremendously, fear of loosing a job, fear of the future, fear of illness to be dumped in one of those shit holes they call hospitals where you easily can catch MRSI, as happened to a friend who had only a minor operation to be done, and nearly lost her life, resulting in a 14 months hospitalization, even down to fear of raising any children in this country, this list is very long.

    Then again, I guess there is another side to it, and this fear is more located in the government itself. Fear to face the public dominates my impression of the representatives.

    I really wonder about their media and PR consultants. Nothing is worse in a crisis than to hide behind a desk, reduce communications and act in secrecy. It raises levels of suspicion and creates only more fear.

    The news are dominated by petty and more serious crime reports, sports and weather.

    Thinking back to the second Lisbon referendum, same story. Very little media presence, no serious attempt at all to inform the public, but a pretty obvious campaign, what can I say, based on fear.

    You would think, that a political class that is confident about the steps they take will come into the floodlight and communicate a lot to the public to counteract the paralyzing climate this recession created. To inject confidence and hope, a positive outlook, to energize people and motivate them to go forward. Nothing like that happened. Neither in the opposition, nor in government parties communication is enhanced.

    On the occasions where they face the public and address current affairs, I think to be able to say that their body language is presenting insecurity, fear and a downright disingenuous attitude. I find it pretty easy to see that in their reactions. Again, I am aware that this is a very personal observation, nevertheless, I believe that if one would compare media presence of politicians from 30 months ago with todays performances, it would be even more obvious. At times the analogy with a parrot comes to mind, repeating the trained sentences on command.

    Rephrasing that to a more mildly put statement, there is zero confidence in their media presence, not a iota of trustworthy attitude or confidence is coming across.

    Some have managed to perform a perfect poker face, such as the chief whip, others maintain the matured reflectionist like Dan Boyle, but they are rather an exception, most of them display insecurity, and come across to em as utterly disingenuous, incapable of hiding this, and badly trained in media appearance.

    It has sometimes a comical character as well, of the cameras show the whole body profile, and you can see the extremely nervous whipping leg speeding up to higher frequencies when they are asked questions where you know the answer will be parrot like, pre fabricated statements that are fired into the public without answering specific questions.

    I think Miriam’s most rephrased statement these days could easily be: ” You did not answer the question”, on which the whipping leg frequency increases heavily and they just repeat their pre fabricated phrase like…. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

    Or the various hand languages on offer, some of the more experienced apply the KPMG grip on occasion as I used to call this when I was dealing myself with the PWC’s and KPMG’s of this world, the consultants grip is easily identified when all finger tips connect to each other forming a ball, the relaxed supremacy of someone who knows more than you ever will, and when answering questions, keeping all fingers connected except the thumbs that slowly move apart and come together again. The clear sign of “well, here are the facts!” That of course excludes the performance of the Lottery KPMG attendant with the unusual haircut which is not often found in his profession.

    Or Miachel Martin, the head slightly angled, looking down to you with the expression of a first grade teacher trying to calm the obnoxious brat that is acting up in class.

    There is a extreme lack of communication from the establishment and the rare performance of most of them does not inject any positive out look, confidence or trust at all. But what is my point here you might ask?

    Picking up on David’s WW II analogy, when the war was over, the damage was done, the towns in rubble and everything was pretty desperate, there was a sense of unity amongst the people, to get out of this mess, to clean it up and start again, all together in the same boat and regardless what age, all were unified and energized to re build and make a better life, they were motivated and spirited, and they went from dust to a blooming economy.

    This economy war that was started in the US, has left our country in the dust as well, but there is no common sense, no unified spirit to re build, to make it better for our children, on the contrary there is a dangerous state of mental paralysis, moral can not be low any further, and trust or confidence is on the foreign dictionary of words these days.

    The past two years of this form of communication has caused additional and tremendous damage to this country. The doom and gloom media cycles belong in the very same pot.

    A web of lies and fear has Ireland in it’s grip, it is about time to shake it of and stand up, it is about time to look through the smoke screens and start re building our country that was attacked by foreign interests, identify the still existing unfriendly and special interests that keep this country in it’s grip, get rid of them and start laughing again, start looking positive into the future. Ireland is resourceful, has bright minds, and wonderful people, do not allow them to be chased out by policies that force them into emigration, they are the true capital we need to make this country a better place.

    Shake of the fear and negativity that is injected in this country on a daily basis, it is a slowly creeping poison, the drug of the establishment to keep the masses under their control.

    • …. I forgot to close the circle….

      We do not only need a functioning banking system, much more needed is a functioning political system, where transparency and accountability are the pillars that build a new house, representatives that deserve to be called this, that work on behalf of the people and in their interest!

      The definition of corruption is when public servants act under the cover of their position and represent special instead of public interests, and this in deed has been cultivated in this country far too long.

      We need a rapid change of this culture, and we need fresh blood in politics to apply these changes.

      • G

        How about a functioning society? That’s pretty systemic.

        A ‘functioning banking system’ which screws us once by taking our tax euros in the form of a bailout, screws us a second time by increasing interest rates on inflated mortgages (which it played the leading role) and all banking charges and gives us a final good screw with the prospect of more money we don’t have being pumped in/

        No one held legally accountable and those directly responsible retire with golden handshakes of an obscene level.

        Is that what Brian Lenihan is defending?

        Is there really no other way?

        What an insult to us all.

        • Have a listen to this:

          If the greeks weaken the euro, good for us? Dukes had difficulty answering this obviously unaware of
          its implications for us and seemed not to understand the question!

          Big problem is that Nama is slow, ‘some not so good reasons its slow’
          He wasn’t asked what those reasons were!!

          Dukes said public debate overlooks huge hole in the banks that has to be filled, one way of doing it is Nama other is recapitalisation.

          Re Brian Lucey on Frontline last Monday which i havn’t seen, Brian apparently made the point the money should have been just pumped into the banks. Dukes said that public wouldn’t wear no Nama, though total amount to recapitalise the banks would be the same.

          Re buying back subordinated debt and buying back from the senior guys, senior bond holders would not be back, last thing you want to do is undermine confidence in the Irish banking system.

          You see, folks, there is just so much confidence there internationally in the Irish banking system!! We need to preserve the confidence in eg Anglo with its €11 billion hole taxpayers are being asked to fill!!

          Pat question of Anglo, why is it still there?Dukes: They are going to split it into a business bank, part of the third force in Irish banking and a bad bank.

          Anglo bad will act like NAMA holding onto the toxic stuff eg bad property/commercial portfolio keeping it out of the market.

          We are going to need financial operators to restructure the assets, not a firesale.

          Clueless Dukes is a bankers delight, ex politician and reincarnated banker, sticking plaster over a giant toxic mess, with just the right amount of clueless in banking to make him suitable for Nama. His inane platitudes and empty generalisations are hauled out regularly to defend Nama.

          OK, Alan, forget the lingo, show us the books, give us the figures, the evaluations! Nama has broken all its own promises so far, has yet to deliver anything to the Irish public and taxpayer. While Anglo’s toxic portfolio still remains hidden as to its eventual cost to taxpayers.

          Our whole meltdown is being preserved and conserved and packaged, to be mailed onto this generation of taxpayers as well as future generations by Nama.

          We’ll have to await foreign direct investment FDI to pay for the postman to deliver the mail.

          Meanwhile don’t let them know about the toxic pile of crap we have sucking our taxpayers’ lifeblood and our investment in public infrastructure going forward as this just might put them off.

          Not to mention the giant recipe for corruption that is Nama.

          What I find particularly offensive about the above propaganda 3 hander, is the lack of balance. The complete lack of probity and deep analysis as to what is currently going on both in Anglo and in Nama.

          Its as though Nama and politicians extolling its lying virtues are given a complete pass card to pass inane rubbish onto us all.

          The most worrying thing of all is to hear both public figures and the general public frequently say, I know nothing of Nama or what is happening re the banks, you better ask someone else.

          They all agreed sure, begorrah, the Irish economy, its just a case of two steps forward and one step back. Sure, begorrah, isn’t slow growth better than fast growth!

          There wasn’t anyone on the panel to contradict them, Brian Lucey or other Government, Nama critics were kept well away! The hidden message for taxpayers was they should be given a better haircut to make them even more competitive!

          • Alf

            If you listen carefully you can hear how the heist is being played out. Firstly the banks are, on the back of tax-payer guarantee, buying back debt. A thing they can neither afford to do or should while expecting a handout from the taxpayer but so what?? Dukes thinks this is just fine because the taxpayer will cover the expense in the end. Then we are only left with senior debt but they are on par with depositors so his logic is if the State is guaranteeing depositors why not include them. Dukes is showing why he is a perfect puppet for this position. He reveals how the price paid for assets is irrelevant as the State will have to recapitalize the banks; the net result is 80 billion either way he says. He contradicts himself by saying he has not heard any alternative but then states that all alternatives would cost the same. Clearly something is wrong as David, Constantin Gurdgiev, Peter Mathews and many others have suggested simpler, quicker and cheaper alternatives.

            One from Constantin Gurdgiev:


            Peter Mathews proposal will come nowhere near 80 billion:

            “Irrefutable facts and correct analysis clearly show that the negative financial consequences of NAMA for the Irish people will be on an appalling scale. There was a much sounder alternative to the NAMA bill — a transparent, well structured, correct solution to the banking sector’s crisis. It would involve immediate, robust and adequate recapitalisation and pre-privatisation of the banks. It would require a writedown of their bad loans by about €40bn to realistic recoverable amounts and recapitalisation by writing down existing bondholders in the banks by about €20bn (in appropriate proportions) and injecting new state capital of about €20bn.”


          • Malcolm McClure

            Thanks cbweb for two good links. Kenny is on top of his form and seems to ‘get it’. What I concluded was that there is a financial hole in Ireland the size of Lough Neagh. We can either drain it, which will require several decades of misery, or fill it as fast as we can. So we’re left with the aul’ adage “DIg deep Paddy, and throw well back.”

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