June 9, 2010

Sinking in sea of bad debt despite a €440bn lifebuoy

Posted in Banks · 143 comments ·

Almost two years ago to the day, on June 22, 2008, this column wrote the following:

“Ireland is now going into the early stages of a classic bad debt cycle. While many are still talking about the credit crunch, the crunch is only a mild forerunner of the greater challenge. When one bad debt begets another, the financial system falls victim to a contagious spread of bad or unpaid debts. This is a bad debt cycle.”

Yesterday this bad debt cycle reached the end game. The eurozone announced a government fund of €440bn, which will act as a guarantee for sovereign debt issuances by eurozone countries.

Think about this: we have arrived at the illogical position where the eurozone governments are guaranteeing their own debt, before it is even issued. So they don’t trust themselves!

Let’s look at how the bad debt cycle has developed for Ireland since that article was penned 24 months ago.

The Irish banks were lending so much that they ran out of sufficient deposits sometime in 2004 and they needed to find money elsewhere to stuff into the economy. They found it abroad.

As a result, Irish banks have a funding shortfall of €200bn (difference between loans outstanding and customer deposits). This needs to be funded from international markets.

Karl Whelan over at the excellent Irisheconomy.ie website has figures that say €73.4bn of this needs to be rolled over in the next four months. This is a huge amount and it is far from clear who will finance this.

Meanwhile back at the banks, the property market crash means they are not getting paid back the money they loaned out. So Irish banks are seen as a large risk to international investors. As a consequence, the banks do not have access to the money markets to roll over their loans.

This sequence of events was clear back in summer 2008 and this was the logic of the guarantee issued in September 2008.

The upside of the guarantee was that it prevented a chaotic run on the banks; the downside back then was always that the Government might be tempted to extend it. My understanding at the time was that if it was introduced it would be introduced with a fixed shelf-life and not be extended. Time will tell on that.

If it is extended, the banks will drag the country down, pure and simple.

The reason the guarantee must be allowed lapse as originally envisaged is that the tactic has now reached the limit of its use. The guarantee was a stopgap to get over the panic in October 2008. In the 20 months since then, the banks have not being able to sort out their funding problems. This means either the banks are unwilling to sort out the problem, which is a damning indictment of their management, or they are unable to, which means they are bust.

Either way, the guarantee was their last chance, and they have blown it. But rather than pay for their incompetence, they have been rewarded by the Government with NAMA, which is nothing more than a bank bailout paid for by the citizen.

Because the banks have not dealt with their funding problem, but have prevaricated, the guarantee has bled into our sovereign debt. Because the markets now think the guarantee will be extended and they see that NAMA has put the actual cost of the banks recklessness on the taxpayer, the markets are worried about whether the State (i.e. you and me) can pay for all this.

The guarantee of the Irish bank debts was always a bluff — it was not a policy. There is no way, either financially (or politically) that Ireland could come good on it if it was ever called on. It was about buying time to sort out the banks, not about giving the banks time to run rings around the State. So now it should be let lapse, because a bad debt cycle only ends in one way, and it’s not pretty.

Ireland, of course does not operate in a vacuum. Debt problems in other EU countries have also meant that sovereign funding costs have risen across the peripheral EU states.

In fact for the EU, the Irish banking problem, which was a critical concern last year, has been superseded by a great eurozone debt crisis. As the Greek crisis unfolded, the whole of the periphery of the EU has experienced a massive credit crunch.

The bad debt cycle has driven the credit crunch and the credit crunch has driven the bad debts. Initially, the lack of credit makes the bad debts worse and then the bad debts themselves exacerbate the credit crunch.

In the end there is only one buyer in town of all this junk, the European Central Bank. So, for the banks that can’t access the markets, the ECB has stepped in to give them finance in the short term.

This might hold for the moment, but it does mean that the fate of Irish banks is well out of Ireland’s hands. If the EU does withdraw its liquidity operations, then the Irish banks will have nowhere left to turn. The ECB is not called the ‘lender of last resort’ for nothing.

Similarly for Ireland, the EU has now set up a SPV under the European Stabilisation Mechanism that will provide funding of up to €440bn to any state or states in trouble. Of course, this SPV is underwritten (guaranteed) by the same eurozone countries that it has been set up to protect.

So, nearly exactly two years after the opening quote above on bad debt cycles, we are in a position where the ECB is keeping our banks afloat, and the Eurozone countries are keeping each other afloat through mutual guarantees. And the underlying problem, which is the same as the problem 24 months ago, is still there. Too much bad debt.

David McWilliams performs ‘Outsiders’ at the Peacock previewing tonight and running until July 3. www.abbeytheatre.ie

  1. Re ” €440bn to any state or states in trouble. Of course, this SPV is underwritten (guaranteed) by the same eurozone countries that it has been set up to protect.”

    Just to clarify, this is not an amount available per country, its a total amount to cover all eventualities for all eurozone members who need bailout.

    The question is, is it enough? I don’t believe it is.

  2. Denial – I always thought that by now we had moved on and that soon it would be anger .I am convinced from this article that nothing has changed since we begun on this forum.We are still in denial as a nation and that is what is relevant .Bloody hell is going to break loose soon .

    • Deco

      We are in denial. Some are heavily in denial. But worse than any others are those who perpetually produce upbeat assessments to sustain those that are in denial from being able to reason their way out of it.

      We are in denial about the ral cost of the Irish concept of lifestyle with 1000km pissups.

      We are in denial about the real value of property in a wet windswept island.
      We are in denial about the true state of our competitiveness, and the fact that our work ethic is not competitive anymore.
      We are in denial about the level of deceit, misrepresentation of fact, fairytales that don’t add but are assumed to be true, nonsense, and plain old bullshit that pervades in our society.

      But beyond the denial of financial gravity and the fact that once you sign of for living beyond your means you eventually get signed up for loss of freedom both as a society and as an individual, there is denial of our intellectual condition.

      Let’s face it, we are now functioning as a society of couch potatoes who are getting bad news in the letter box, but for whom a core heartfelt concern is the need to get happiness from a suitable experience that is denial of reality.

      Substance abuse and television being the two most prevalent choices.

      But, let’s face it, the establishment wants people to be in denial. Authority in Ireland is all about careerists and gombeens living off the backs of people in denial.

    • G

      Some denial, some delusion, some wishful thinking, some not thinking at all.

      Doubt hell will break loose any time soon, not in the national character, rebellion beaten out of people, too shy to put up a hand and ask muinteoir a question not to mind the local Bishop or bank manager, or Garda sergeant – the meek will not inherit the earth, they do inherit the bill.

      A lot of air being blown by commentators, media pundits etc – but the reality on the ground is the same it has always been and will go on being, defining moment in the history of the State.

  3. paddlemeowncanoo

    If the guarantees lapse, does this mean that there will be a run on the banks ? And if that’s the case, should I take out my money now ? and where do I put it ?

  4. “should I take out my money now ? and where do I put it ?”
    You could invest in one of these. LOL

  5. VincentH

    What I cannot get my head around is why the concept of Value is so alien. And from that why or how anyone could mix up the difference between the statement that ‘Banks are systemic’ and ‘these Banks are systemic’.

  6. Deco

    I am just wondering, behind all the bluster about the excellent job in improving our competitiveness, it seems that the scale of the debt and the fact that the improvement in competitiveness is insufficient, might suddenly be getting more recognition than was first recognised.


    Soon Cowen and Co will be lecturing us again on the need for new taxes, levies, stealth taxes, charges, rates, price increases etc….

    Because restraint of the quangoes is not an option when they are the result of patronage and are a rock of support for the political establishment.

    And you can forget about IBEC being asked to cut out the price rigging that is the root of a lot of the uncompetitiveness in the Irish economy. “don’t touch my profit margins”. And whatever IBEC desires, is what determines media coverage of current economic events.

    • Deco

      Hilarious – Gormless is promising that new taxes will be promised on the principle of fairness.

      But it is all ridiculous considering that the money being wasted on bankers, dodgy developers, NAMA, quangoes, etc..
      Plus reject GP councillors who got thrown out in last years local election, and who ended up in state jobs as a result of their loyalty to Gormless. No I understand the Gormless concept of fairness. The electorate throwing out GP councillors is not fair. Increasing taxes on the rest of us, especially if we have seen through the GP, is fair game though. Same as FF and the Senators. Plus GP senators.

    • Bamboo

      “Soon Cowen and Co will be lecturing us again on the need for new taxes, levies, stealth taxes, charges, rates, price increases etc…”

      David Cameron has made it easy for Cowen and Co by telling the British public in straightforward language what is ahead of us. Cowen wasn’t and still isn’t in the position to tell the Irish people with such straightforwardness as he was and is still among the crowd of culprits. But as the Irish public is exposed to the same media sources as the British, Cowen will most likely thank Cameron for this and he will take this opportunity to elaborate on this and bring it to the next level.

      • Deco

        Actually Cameron’s first target was the local authorities which are a myriad of inefficieny and nonsense, especially what is being termed “town hall” syndrome. Cameron and Clegg also intend to roll back the patronage that came from Blair/Brown using taxpayers money to institutionalize cronyism.

        But here it is not “town hall” that is the problem, but “Tammany Hall”. And you can forget about Rody Molloy’s lifelong pal (both of them are from the same part of Offaly) getting rid of cronyism.

        • Bamboo

          One of the benefits of a new regime is that we can get a big skip to put all the junk that has been accumulated over an era. Lots of Junk that “may come in handy sometime” during the old regime (i.e. electronic voting machines).
          The new regime is then in the position to blame the old for the enormous mess it left behind. Cameron and Papandreou are in that position now to until they create a lot of junk as well in the years to come. Holland is next as there are elections going on today — although Holland has a majority of centre parties so it won’t change a bit.

  7. LOL, comfortably covered by the €440bn sovereign debt guarantee scheme :-)

  8. jwd

    Not only is the establishment incinerating our futures, but Ireland is actually paying more per head ($369) than Germany ($369). This apparently is based on the capital levels each country has with the ECB. So, another outcome of our banks hoarding cash in the ECB vaults, rather than lending to real businesses is that the most indebted country is funding more per head than the Germans. Crazy or what?
    Source: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_23/b4181011580593.htm

  9. Great ‘content’ David.

    Don’t forget to add the ability for folks to ‘Retweet’ your articles easily. It only requires the installation of a simple plugin on this WordPress Blog:

    … Let me know if you need a hand with it. No charge ;-)

  10. Deco

    The bank guarantee was of duration 24 months. That was 24 months during which you expected the government to restructure the banking sector, let the dead ducks down the drain (Anglo, INBS). Fine those who were involved in any sort of dubious transactions (Permo). And get rid of the idiots running all of them.

    However, David you made one big mistake. You handed these responsibilities over to politicians. Politicians who dithered over every issue that they ever had to deal with for the last twenty years. Dithering is a habit of a lifetime, and none of the politicians, and none of the civil servants seemed to be able to get out of the habit.

    So the crisis that we are in now, is the result of dithering and of being compassionate to career bankers, gambler builders, and bondholders who are also gamblers. As you said the last day, we provided Marxist intervention to prop up the (formerly) rich. As cbweb commented – it is the bananaization of Ireland.

    Concerning the bond maket, we are stepping on dangerous territory. Of the PIGIS, Ireland and Italy has so far avoided scaring the government bond holders. Italy has a massive debt to rollover this year. 85% of it will be to Italian banks and citizens. But Italian banks are in a position to provide this, because when everybody else was doing property loans the Italian banks were financing the Italian government. And the Italian banks control the Italian government. So it was a smart move. The Irish banks, via IBEC control the Irish government, but were far more liberal in their loans – and cannot do this. But there is a circumvention of this in progress.

    I think that we are about three steps away from a considerable cathastrophe.

    As usual given the choice between fixing a problem and dithering, you can always rely on the political establishment go into dithering mode.

  11. olegkowlenski

    Not sure if this is the place to ask but probably people reading here would know better than me. I’ve just been accepted for Graduate medicine and will end up in debt to the tune of €100,000 by the end of the four years. What are the risks in taking out such a loan. If the euro were to collapse what sort of a situation would that leave me in.
    I’d appreciate any advice as I’m really in the dark.
    Thanks in advance

    P.S. Thanks David for the column, it’s refreshing to have someone speak out truthfully and consistently.

    • Hi,
      Go to Ukraine it is much cheaper.Your life is too short to enter slavery.

    • Deco

      It is not the Euro that you should be worried about. But rather the ability of the HSE to keep paying for everything. Or if not the HSE, the ordinary public. The HSE will have to be rationalized at some stage. There are several thousand managers in the HSE who have no qualification. If they were dropped then that would rationalize the HSE and make it ten times more effective.

      No matter what you train for, it is the jobs market that is your concern. I mean look at the number of jobless lawyers. Doctors are insufficient compared to the level of demand.

      People will keep getting sick, and there is too much work for the existing number of doctors. So you are probably adviced to go for it. Medicine is probably the only profession where you are gauranteed an ability to pay it all back.

      And compared to the average mortgage debt statisics, the amount of money you are talking about is sensible and reserved.

    • Bamboo


      In essence the college has sold you this place and it is creating the so called “once in a lifetime” opportunity. The college makes out that you are awarded this placement but in fact they want your money.
      Look at the thousands of medical students in England coming out with a degree looking for jobs. A job that can repay their debts. This is also the case with so many law students. )
      Look at the financial value this brings to the college and the financial value you have to sacrifice.
      Look at what the chances are for you to get a job so that can pay your debts back in a comfortable manner. Chances are that you may want a get a mortgage and build up a family.
      I suggest waiting for some years as we may go into this “double dip”. It will probably take at least three years before we know how we can even contemplate planning our future.

      I wish you all the best with your decision and your future.

    • As long as the debt is in Euros I wouldn’t worry so much as its going to be debased significiently over those four years and if you get a good degree you’ll have it paid off in no time. The regular bloggers here are way too negative about everything and never look at any of the positives.

    • Invest 25% of the 100K Euro in Silver/Gold and watch it quintuple in time for your to clear your loans in 4 years as the currency gets debased (with ample left over to buy that diamond encrusted stethoscope so fashionable among out medical elite).


      p.s. I’ll expect regular free check-ups when you qualify.

      • olegkowlenski

        Can the price of gold keep going up.
        After tripling in 5 years can that rate be sustained.

        • Gold, will eventually become a bubble, such is human nature. Can Gold keep going up? Yes. Once the population at large begins to realize that the FIAT currency they use in everyday life is being debased by central banks relentless printing of same…. there will be a sheepish rush to gold (like there was to property)… and when in turn when gold becomes too expensive.. a rush to silver. Human fear and wealth-preservation instincts will see to that. These metals have been the default currency for 1000s for yrs.

          Be mindful that the ONLY real certainties are death and taxes. These are my ‘opinions’.

          P.S. Don’t forget to get out of GOLD/SILVER. When you hear guys in golf jumpers bragging about how much of it they own down the pub would be a good time. However, this likely a few years off

          • olegkowlenski

            It’s definitely some food for thought.
            Even if it just rises enough to pay of the interest from the loan that would make things a lot easier.
            Time to do some reading.

        • MK1


          > will end up in debt to the tune of €100,000 by the end of the four years.

          I suggest to work your way through college as much as you can and pay your way as you go. That way, you wont have any debt at all!

          As for gold, I dont think it will quintuple in real value in 4 years, and if your currency (euro) did get debased, your likely salary will rise somewhat in real terms too.

          Gold, over the very long term, only retains its fundamental value, as they ARE finding more of it (unlike that stuff that Mark Twain talked about, although we have ample of that too!). It may go up and down based on sentiment only as it is seen as a safe haven against inflation.


          • Bamboo

            Land and property has been a great way of making money over many decades while sleeping . . . . . until it turns out to be a nightmare when people are waking up.
            Now people think that they can go back to sleep while their investments in gold will bring them bags of money and happiness.

            I suggest investing in mining the moon for helium-3.

          • olegkowlenski

            The course is the intensive graduate course run over 4 years instead of 5, It’s unlikely I’ll have much time to work. I will try to do a few Nixers but can’t see myself holding down a job as well as the course.
            The loan I’d get is 2% over the base rate(making it 3% APR now) for the 4 years of the course, after which it will revert to the normal lending rate. I know the base rate will go up during that time. Could investing a little of the money in gold/silver (or something else) at the start take a little bit of the sting out of the repayments at the end of the 4 years.

      • econarchist

        Gold has become popular as a sort of de facto currency because governments cannot print it and its supply is limited. Its value comes from the lack of value of the main reserve currencies. If governments, central banks and regulators sort out their financial issues in a few years time the price of gold could plummet.

        Very little of the current price of gold come from any intrinsic value that it has, like its use in pretty jewelry and in conducting electricity in electronic circuits. Who can say whether gold is worth ten dollars or ten thousand dollars per ounce? There is no way of calculating this like there is by looking at the price to earnings ratio of other assets or the balance sheet of a company. It depends entirely on market sentiment, so it’s a very risky investment.

  12. Compass Re-alignment –

    have you ever wondered what was in the vast Atlantic before , where has all the land gone to , why is it so deep, why is it so big and many more questions?Have you ever wondered where was the real Atlantis?
    What happend in the west is now to happen in the east .Absolute Distruction.So the east becomes the west and the west becomes the east.
    David has used the word ‘prevaricate’ before and this is the dubious actions of Lenny blowing hot air yeodling up his alps and going around in golden circles only this time these paler circles are The Vortex of Nothingness .As a political correctness Lenny anoints Bacon to prevaricate too only that he is instrumental in advicing to prevaricate on the guarantees and thus making ‘ a yellow pack road’ so he can be ‘the wonderful wizzard of oz’.
    That makes all our childrean ‘the kids on the block’.

    • John ODonoghue was Min for Justice in 1998 .
      What arguement does Logic have when criminal practice is legitimised by inference of the report on National Crime Forum and the absence of treason mentioned in the only relevant report that should have embraced such act under recent ministerial remit delegated to a third party.What a shambles or was it a cover up in the making .It certainly was timely to allow the deception that followed.

      • Ho No Horns reports lack the Impact of Who he is adressing precisely and the Real Charges he fails to deliver.He whispers through his bearded lips to cover up the real truth and to hide his allegences he holds dearly to in his dark candlelight rooms.He is no Roger Whitiger.

      • Deco

        You mean “Johnny Cash” was minister for Justice in 1998….I bet he was having a swell time back then too…..

  13. granted they don’t have their own ATM network but I see Anglo opened a quick drop deposit box in Guatemala City..just throw your money in and form an orderly queue behind me

  14. olegkowlenski

    Thanks to all for the feedback
    Much appreciated

  15. MK1

    Hi David,

    I hope you had a good weekend. Btw, I walked past you at that soccer event last week,hope you are enjoying it.

    DavidMcW> the eurozone governments are guaranteeing their own debt, before it is even issued. So they don’t trust themselves!

    Its not that they dont trust themselves, its that market sentiment doesnt trust the governments. Hence we had Greek bonds trading at values way above what the Greek government itself was able to get from the marketplace. Think of it like insurance. They have self-insured as the insurers (for now) have ran away.

    DavidMcW> Irish banks have a funding shortfall of €200bn (difference between loans outstanding and customer deposits).

    But thats not how to think about how banking works. Forget deposits. These banks are not working like credit unions or Savings & Loans banks of old. They get credit lines from central banks, retain capital to fund any loans that may go bad, etc. Deposits are only part of that pie and are NOT tier-1 capital.

    The loan shortfall is that there is a wall, or ‘tidal wave’ of loans that are not ‘performing’ and never will. Its a tsunami that has hit all the Irish based banks. (It didnt hit Indian banks by the way!) And we all saw the tide going out before it hit. You did, yet nothing was done about it.

    DavidMcW> The upside of the guarantee was that it prevented a chaotic run on the banks; the downside back then was always that the Government might be tempted to extend it.

    Tempted? You mean, our Government might “eat Eve’s apple”? There is nothing surer in my opinion. Deco is right. Dithering is endemic and the 2 years window of opportunity for Lancing the Boil (Bank Reform) has not been utilised properly.

    DavidMcW> This means either the banks are unwilling to sort out the problem, which is a damning indictment of their management, or they are unable to, which means they are bust.

    Its not that they are unwilling, they are unable. Incompetence got them into this mess and incompetence certainly wont get them out of it. 2,000 heads should have rolled in each bank. I was talking to one back in 2009 and he was contrite. Now, he is less so, and is still in his cushy job. Moral Hazard is endemic in the banks and in politics.

    DavidMcW> only ends in one way, and it’s not pretty.

    This was always the case. There is no magic bullet that will sweep away the pain after the credit binge. All we can do is rearrange it.

    DavidMcW> The bad debt cycle has driven the credit crunch and the credit crunch has driven the bad debts.

    I dont get you, bad debts are one and the same as the credit binge. Its like red spots being a part of measles. Its the same thing.

    DavidMcW> the fate of Irish banks is well out of Ireland’s hands.

    That was always the case when government intervention was needed. It broke EU rules immediately. Only all countries had to do it too. We were all ‘credit-aholics’. “Hi, My name is Banba Eireann, I am a credit-aholic”.

    DavidMcW>And the underlying problem, which is the same as the problem 24 months ago, is still there. Too much bad debt.

    Agreed, all thats happened is that bad debt has been transferred from in-debt banks to in-debt governments. ie: -1 + -1 = 0 + -2. Alas, any 7 year old knows that!

    Maybe its time to go back to solutions Dave. New Banks, New Government, what else? You suggest new currency, I dont go for that as we need them ie: Euro/ECB/EU (as you point out above!).


  16. Banking inquiries are ignoring a fundamental problem of debt to equity leveredge .

    For example, 10 biggest Anglo borrowers collectively responsible for €16bn of loans. Lots can be learned from a forensic examination of those loans.

    Firstly, Anglo’s debt to equity ratios were so lax as to be non existent. What does this say about regulation of the banks? Yet inquiries disregard this aspect of borrowing meltdown. There seemed to be no limit to the borrowing leveredge given to Anglo. Completely in disregard of any debt/equity leveredge that would protect banks, shareholders and now taxpayers.

    Debt to equity ratios of 8% for the banks? Surely Anglo was in breach of these guidelines even though light regulation became the norm and fiduciary responsibility went awol.

    We need to know how management were allowed to leave these disciplines aside. Simply put, we need to know the precise rationale underlying the borrowings above. Including any political leveredge that may have been involved.

    Secondly, there’s the whole question of debt to equity leveredge of individual borrowers. Looking again at those 10. What equity did these borrowers hold, what personal guarantees, qualified them for those enormous sums borrowed?

    What probity/examination of their development plans was carried out? What criteria used for granting their loans.

    In particular, what proof of purpose checks were carried out to ensure loans granted were in full compliance with conditions and were fully spent on their intended purpose?

    Thirdly, there is the whole vision question raised by economists such as Stiglitz. What contribution to society did their development plans fulfil to warrant €16 bn?

    Again, what was the basis for any judgements made? How come we have a scattering of ill judged developments across multiple ghost towns in Ireland?

    Calls are being made for a return to strong regulation pre 1990 Greenspan and debt to equity ratios of 20-30% for the banks. But how exactly have the enquiries dealt with this.

    The ILP/Regulator/Central Bank ‘green jersey agenda’, will their be court appearances?

    100% mortgages to be replaced with new formulae based on salary/earning ratios of 5:2 or 5:1 or e.g. 20% of monthly salary payback of loans.

    At the moment we just have a vague set of generalisations that tell us nothing we already knew.

    When the dust settles, bankrolled again, FF, cronies and NED banker buddies, Kown and Amish off to the casino they go singing their new eurovision hit song:(

    Its a little ditty called ‘Commercial Sensitivity’

  17. Bad Debts are here because of Bad Banks approved by the Dept of Justice

    I am listening to many conversations about the banking reports and how Kown ( after fixing his tie) spins yarns and more yarns .His arguments vere from hindsight to foresight and vice versa .He wants us to know its a melody we should all learn to dance to and pay a heavy entance fee and no drinks for sale because there are none but you can sweat your ass off free.
    I am implicating the Dept of Justice as the primary cause of the banking FIASCO. And why? Whether you are listing to gov ministers or opposition they all are now arguing that ‘there is a bad culture created by successive governments’ depending who you are listening to.
    So why is there a legitimate distructive culture in the first place? My answer is in the report made by the National Forum on Crime in 1998 .In that report there is no mention of any kind of banks or their culture or there bank managers .Instead it refers to other professionals removed from banks.The reason I say that is the Chairman and his committee made his report after he had heard my verbal and written submissions in public about criminal banking practices .And he chose to ignore everything and wish away everything ~I had said which was the TRUTH.
    No matter how you view Kown and his defense you cannot help but notice he has Fear in The Truth .

  18. Malcolm McClure

    David writes: “the European Stabilisation Mechanism that will provide funding of up to €440bn to any state or states in trouble. Of course, this SPV is underwritten (guaranteed) by the same eurozone countries that it has been set up to protect.”
    This is a ‘Ring a Ring o’ Rosies’ economic solution.
    Atisshoo, Atisshoo. We all fall down.

  19. wills

    Hi David.

    More drilling down to the bedrock of what we are faced with on this ‘rock’ in the Atlantic Ocean.

    Can I add the following.

    The ‘debts’ private interests generated by running the banking system as a ‘POnzi property bubble making credit out of thin air machine’, these ‘debts’ these ‘lending black holes’ to crony networks, these debts, are, been, passed, transferred, over, to, the, national debt, the sovereign debt, the private banking debts are been crossed over onto the sovereign, national debt of Ireland.

    So, the question then becomes the following……………………………………………..

    How far can the NATIONAL DEBT, THE SOVEREIGN DEBT be elasticated too.

    How much elasticity is there in Irelands NATIONAL DEBT < SOVEREIGN DEBT in taking 'lashings of the 'ol' private debt slung onto it.

    This is what the private interests and elites are gambling away on, how much more extra private debt can be mounted onto the sovereign debt before it CANNOT BE.

    • There are 2 limits. The first is how long international bond holders will send us more money or whether they refuse to lend anymore. Second is related to this, how much can taxpayers be put on the hook to service their debt before refusing or unable to take anymore. How much pain can be withstood? There is the question of whether the euro will have an almighty bang/implosion call it what you will.

    • MK1


      wills> How much elasticity is there in Irelands NATIONAL DEBT

      It depends on how well the euro countries can manage the debt as a collective and in unison. In theory, the debt level could strrrrrrretch as high as Japan’s for the eurozone, so 200% of GDP euro debt for euro land.

      Debt has NO limit (in theory) IF (and thats a BIG IF) there is trust by the loaner to the loanee. A country, as long as it has sufficient people, doesnt (in theory) go bust forever – forever being the keyword. When Argentina, Russia defaulted, etc, those countries and their people still exist and are today still paying off debt – and newer debt!

      In Japan, their debt is well managed internally it would seem, with Japanese Banks trusting Japanese Gov, and the banks being supported by the Jap Central Bank. Its a fiat money system. The Yen lost a lot of value from their credit bubble implosion back in 1988. The eurozone could follow the Jap model, and bring Ireland with it. It could also all implode into a debt spiral too and the eurozone system could break up. Its all about management and cohesion. So far, they aint doing so well. If the yanks are focussed on Greek debt we in euro-land are doing a very bad communications and pr job. And perception is everything in a trust fiat money system. Everything!

      cbweb> There are 2 limits. The first is how long international bond holders will send us more money or whether they refuse to lend anymore. Second is related to this, how much can taxpayers be put on the hook to service their debt before refusing or unable to take anymore.

      The first can be handled within the eurozone. We can credit ourselves! Yes, we can make money. Its fiat. Easy! The 2nd depends on people, politics, culture, etc. To change any economic and financial system would require MAJOR political change, upheavel, etc, revolutionary in nature. People, so far, are not rebelling and have been paying off the debts of their nation whether in the 1960′s, 70′s, 80′, 90′s, 00′s and well before that too. Debt is a tool. But a dangerous one if misused!

      wills> which means are they deliberately pushing debt ratios passed the GDP 100% demarcation point?

      There is no demarcation point. The 60% euro debt level target is just made up, as is 100%. You can easily live with a large debt as long as you are paying it off (at least the interest or some of it) or at least if its not ballooning out of control. So, its the rate of change of debt level (ie: dx/dy) rather than the absolute level in percentage terms. Japan is happily exporting away at 200% debt-to-GDP ratio.

      Ironically, when the US gov took on 5 trillion (yes, thats a trillion) of ‘bad debts’ from Fannie and Freddie’s loan book of 12 trillion and ballooned the US gov effective debt by a whopping 35% or so, no-one batted an eyelid. When Greece fessed up that their debt was a few billion worse and about 14% negative this year, the perception was that Greece was near collapse. Perception folks.


      • @MK1

        thks for interesting post.

        re “The first can be handled within the eurozone. We can credit ourselves! Yes, we can make money. Its fiat. Easy!”

        Nope, not that easy. We can’t do quantitive easing as we’re tied to the euro. Secondly, even if we circumvented the rules somewhat and began to loan to ourselves as you say, this would debase ourselves further and make our economy less competitive eroding through inflation what we’ve got left.

        But I think you missed my main point there, maybe I didn’t state this too well. Currently €400bn allocated by ECB to shore up Greece and PIIGS. This is not enough, Spain is exposed to the tune of €2.5 trillion.

        This month and next Spanish caja banks need to own up to avail of the Spanish bailout, this should mean more bank failures and a worsening of the euro crisis.

        The true crisis the euro faces has yet to be dealt with properly.

        The limit is the ability of NTMA and equivalents across the PIIIGS to acquire funding for budget deficits on international markets.

        If they don’t get funding, sovereign default is on the cards.

        There is also not the inconsiderable willingness of taxpayers across Europe and their sovereign governments to put up with austerity coming down the line and not demand of their Governments some form of sovereign default.

        As Morgan Kelly points out debt to GDP ratios for Ireland Inc are due to approach 125% in 2012, markets will bet against Ireland Inc being able to pay its way and so lender of last recourse becomes ECB bailout bonds.

        You can take the view, as I think you suggest, that the ECB like the Fed prints its own money and can trigger up say €4 trillion to cover all the PIIG exposure, but this can only happen in my view at expense of the euro taking a huge hit on money markets eventually weakening and damaging the euro further, so taxpayers get hit for more losses again. Once again risk of sovereign default and euro breakup rises. A large limiting factor is the will of sovereign governments and their taxpayers to take the pain and fess/pay up.

        My own view is we should leave the euro unless at the very least bondholders agree to take their share of the pain and write off Government debt with some form of debt for equity swap(Morgan Kelly suggestion) in our banks.

        More interestingly, all this banamanisation of Europe and Ireland is taking money from taxpayers and giving it in crate loads to the banks. Is this a good thing?

        Eventually Europe under present banking policies will be turned into a third world debt servicing agency stifling real growth of people and economies because banks have pillaged villager economies turning classes into debtor classes.

        In summary, the limit is how deep the pockets of ECB bondholders are, because if they don’t lend us,
        as we saw recently with the threatened cancellation of the NTMA may bond auction, world markets sure as hell won’t.

        There is no easy solution! 2010 G8 summit in Toronto €1bn junket should have been dealing with these problems, but its unlikely to have solved this problem of banks vs people, when the needs of people are diametrically opposed to the needs of banks.

        Banks will continue to lend to cronies in search of the fast buck instead of banks controlled by taxpayers building better models of long term sustainable growth. Credit unions in the ’60s tried to give some power back to taxpayers.

        Taxpayers are now expected to pay for the ill advised profligate lending of banks that poured money into the hands of some gombeen without collateral who in turn poured it into a ghost estate built back of nowhere on a flood plane?

        Look at the time, gotta go:)

      • liam

        Japans debt is interesting, I know bugger all about this stuff, but I’d find it hard to say its well managed.

        They pay 2% bond rate but mainly because they borrow from the Japanese banks, the pension fund and the Japanese Postal Bank at a rate of 0%. So really, the Japanese Government robs depositors to pay their deficit.

        Its worth noting too that their debt:GDP in 2000 was around 60%, now its 200%. Their debt problems are nothing to do with their credit crisis, and more to do with the Liberal Democrat Party’s reaction to that crisis, which was essentially batten down the hatches and wait for the good times to magically reappear, and in the mean time look after their buddies in the financial services and construction industries.

        Sound familiar to any one?

        As it stands the Japanese are screwed in the long term as they have no plan to reduce their ever increasing national debt, possibly why thats apparently front and center on the new PM’s to-do list.

  20. Could we do a Dunkirk for Irish taxpayers, we all leg it from every port and leave Kown & Co with the bill? Say when they’re away doing the Paddy’s Day caper? Use the remainder of our fisheries fleet, could Ryanair do it over a few days? After all, the bill does actually belong to him and Seanie.

  21. http://bit.ly/bfVjqb

    “European banks are now thought to have over three trillion francs worth of shaky exposure…”

    “Although most eyes have been on Greece this year, Spain has four-and-a-half times as much debt as the eastern Mediterranean country — some 2.1 trillion francs.”

    EMU government fund is €440bn

    Small change lads, you gotta do a lot better than that, hope you have the cash?

  22. gabe

    Seems like a lot of verbiage to say what is obvious. The Irish citizens (as well as the citizens of many EU countries) have been living beyond their means for years now. Not that long ago, a decent house in a decent area cost around 2.5 times the average annual industrial wage. People counted themseves as lucky if they could afford one holiday a year, and that not necessarily a Continental or overseas holiday. It was also possible for one wage earner to support a family and often the mother could afford to stay at home and rear the children (rather than working and dumping the children into a creche for someone else to rear). So all that supposed improvement in living standards was really an illusion, because everyone knows you cannot spend more than you earn as a household or as a country if you wish to avoid the debt trap. And now that the chickens have come home to roost, these same citizens are upset with the banks who (as it turns out) wrongly lent them to money to be foolish with, and the government who created a welfare state beyond the means of the citizens to pay for it. So who must bite the bullit now? Why, everyone of course!! So what is the use of finger-pointing at this stage? Reality is again going to teach people that if you cannot pay the piper, you have no right to expect him to play the tune for you. The piper (reality) doesn’t accept IOU’s

    • Bamboo

      Well said gabe

    • @22 gabe,

      I’m sure drunken indians were to blame as well, but let’s see who’s handed out the whisky, how and why. Taking the blame, ‘the buck stops here’, accountability, responsibility/transparency, the proposed commission of inquiry should name individuals and institutions and examine the roots of what happened. Money needs to be spent on educating the indians, but there’ll be less of that to go around, so expect behaviour from the indians worse than you describe in the future.

  23. insider

    olegkowlenski – I would be careful investing your hard borrowed(!) cash in gold or indeed any other asset if you don’t know what you are doing. For a new starter emotion can get you into a lot of trouble. It’s widely accepted that gold, although hitting records nominal highs is still undervalued in real terms (inflation adjusted). Personally I like gold long even at these levels but don’t expect a straight line north. The market is the market and it’s sometimes illogical to say the least (unless you are an insider!).

    Sean Kelly makes a good point. If you end up working outside the Eurozone then maybe that currency will help you pay off that debt quicker (overnight!) in a few years time.

    Just a general comment. Germany and France need the periphery of Europe more than you would think. We are a debt burden now but in 10-20 years I’d say we’ll be quite valuable to have on their books for political and economic reasons. The political will of Germany is at the heart of all of this – they will not take the risk of letting us free even in this current state of chassis. They also want to get some of their money back!

  24. Irish Banks & Crime

    ‘ sticks and stone will break my bones but names will never hurt me’.

    This resonates profoundly throughout the newspapers today commenting on the Banking Reports.
    The reports make blame by calling names and no matter how much they try to lay charge against anyone it does not stick.

    So where does the blame truely lie ?

    My opinion is the failure of the chairman and committee of the National Crime Forum in 1998 to address this issue under their remit when they were researching and holding public forums around the country then.Their failure secured ‘the culture and gombeenism ‘ that occured subsequently. This presented a wonderful opportunity for all concerned as they knew they had a ‘blanche carte’ and licence to do anything they wanted without fear of any accountability .
    So all fat arsed, fat cheques, fat faces fat foodies emerged out of the woodwork seeking fat commissions and fat fools .Financial Obesity arrived immediately secured and intact without any accountability and creating a culture of obfuscation sustained by political obduracy.

    • @John A,

      What ere the main points you made to the Crime Forum in 1998

      Company/financial law needs to be radically overhauled. The way a developer could set up multiple companies, one for each development project, each sealed against each other, so if one went bust, the builders didn’t get paid and had no lean against any of the developers assets in any of his other companies?

    • wills

      John ALLEN.

      If we need a starting point to when this ‘POnzi property bubble scam’ engulfed our community this seems to me to be it.

  25. econarchist

    The ECB has already been buying tens of billions of Euros worth of government bonds lately. This is in addition to the EU bond guarantees.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet, who is French, were the main driving forces behind the unprecedented EU intervention in the government bond market. Some German central bankers suspect that the intervention is designed to keep the bond prices artificially high for the benefit of French banks who need to sell off their assets, in particular Greek bonds, in order to clean up their balance sheets.


    Could there be a similar French Connection with the ECB’s financing of Nama? Nama does not just bail out the banks but also the banks’ bondholders, some of whom are believed to be French financial institutions. If the Irish banks had gone bust through their dodgy property loans, the bondholders would not be repaid.

    • Absolutely, yur right there. In fact, I recall IT interview with Lenihan on April 1 last when mention was made of Lenihan grinning when he said, ‘Mr Trichet wants his money back’ The whole thing is a stitch up to ensure the bondholders get paid, even the bank guarantee.

      OT anyone else disagree with Honan in his report that Anglo was systemic and had to be saved?

  26. @wills above re GDP

    Irelands plunging GDP


    Ireland’s debt to GDP up to 2009 http://bit.ly/b4bBBc

    Read the bank reports here http://www.irisheconomy.ie/

    Morgan Kelly forecasts debt to GDP for Ireland to rise to 115%


  27. Tull McAdoo

    AH sure Wills & Malcolm we have been barking up the wrong tree all along, myself included. We were concerned with Fiat money (wills) and Gold&Oil (Malcolm) and Euro exchange rates ( Tull) when we should have been paying attention to the obvious, as pointed out by leading Fine Gael dissident Comrade Ivanovich Yatesocovich in todays Examiner. Seems its all been about “funny money” …read on comrades……. http://www.examiner.ie/opinion/columnists/ivan-yates/enough-is-enough-if-anglo-isnt-wound-up-it-may-drag-us-all-down-122082.html


    Why is ex trolley Dolly Deirdre Purcell,still sitting on the board of the central bank?.

  29. wills

    @MK1 n’ cbweb @19.

    Really interesting read’s in your added comments.

    The substance therein key info on the *nub* of the matter, been I think, the following.

    That the underlying dynamic propulsion ‘credit provision’ as a utility cannot be provided along a principle of usury debt creation modus operandii, without cheating a large section of the community from the ‘utility value of their labour’ and in consequence making a community broken and family life in the modern age instable.

    • Philip

      I cannot help have the feeling that if the phenomenon of the nuclear family never came about, would such tactics ever have been successful. Todays modern human in the western economies is a politically and communally isolated figure – ripe for be “pl”ucking. Easy to impress with marketing nonsense with no communal wisdom to lean upon.

      • Philip

        It would also explain the lack of rebellion. We have all been schooled to work for a salary and conform to the requirements of a nuclear existance.

      • wills


        The nuclear family underlying modus operandii is trust and love and how this is supported in the wider community contributes.

        So, we have a ‘green field’ and we organize for our 3 fundamental needs to be met, food, shelter, etc.

        Utilities are provided equally for all to bind the social cohesion at its root to get the job of social organizing done for the 3 needs to be met for all.

        Now, if one utility is provided unfairly, like credit is, we render instable the underlying social cohesion and we are all left with a broken society no matter how rich and this is what we are all faced with today.

  30. G

    Forget mortgages — renting’s the key

    Home ownership may be the American dream, but we should take a leaf out of our European counterparts and say goodbye to being tied to one property and enormous debt.


    • Philip

      The renting scene in Ireland is highly unregulated with good tenants and good landlords treated like rubbish.. I fully agree though.


    Part of ONLY :

    Actual Address to the National Crime Forum
    At Civil Hall, Limerick
    Wednesday 29th April 1998

    By : John ALLEN

    . The Institution of Irish Banks and their Management versus The Accountant and the Righteous Professional Business Persons.

    It’s a lie to talk about an all embracing voice of Code of Ethics between the Banks and professional advisers particularly accountants. “The bank managers are the mullahs”. Forget the over legislated professionally qualified accountants, the mullahs (bank managers) are enveloped in “a cuirass of unpenetrable dogmatic secrecy in a sterling sanctuary”…… a depressing, stifling, choking influence which drives less confident accountants and unqualified and inexperienced business people into crime or persecute the righteous honourable public.

    And why do these people move to crime?. They fly from sham and hypocrisy of trusting bank managers in search of their perceived reality and truth of how actual codes of proper business behaviour is overlooked.

    The bank are legislated but the bank Managers are not and neither are the senior employees of banks to any reasonable transparent or accountability for their mistakes and wrongdoings. The ombudsman for credit institutions does and excellent job but his terms of reference restricts his governance of greater dimension where real business matters.

    The conventional wisdom about the Professional Code of Practice of Accountants is that it facilitated the development of a national identity and a cohesive professional working practice in an emerging state and that it’s authority began to wane when prosperity and education gave bank manager enough spunk to think for themselves. On the basis of current evidence, bank manager’s gridlock is set to strangle the pastoral energy of the honest independent professional and business men.

    The institutional Professional Code of practice enshrined in Ethics of Accountants in Practice has not been absorbed in the institution of banks and the business relationships of bank managers, and their bank employees are not under pressure to make changes to accommodate the needs and duties to protect State Public Policy in this State. Instead the banks continue to defy it’s own prominence. Quite literally, the code buck never stops, because the Institution of Banks always puts the onus for responsibility on to others outside of the banks and clinging to their ever more rigid rituals with ever — decreasing levels of sensitivity. The message is clear: don’t legislate bank managers and their employees in their mistakes and wrongdoings particularly if you are a professional business person and you get locked up for voicing your civic duties and responsibilities. The common Law would dictate through legislation ‘Mirabile dictu’ (most marvellous to relate) each bank official denial that he heard your proper communication of caution

    Let’s make no mistake about it, bank Managers with the employees are paid to keep their mouth shut and with full approval of the Board of Directors of the Banks. The wise old owl hears but doesn’t speak contradicting ‘the listening bank’ as it is often referred to. Legislation does not penetrate the abuse of this privilege thus creating a maelstrom of incestual discourse against the common good and State Public Policy. How then can anyone wholeheartedly throw their support behind the advice of the D.P.P when he said that “no one has the right to silence when they have knowledge that would assist in prevention of Crime”. Legislation review is required to dislodge this gridlock thus enabling the free-flow of full consensual constructive energy to fulfil the intentions of the D.P.P.

    The Institute of Bankers should be seen to play a significant role and made to do so rather than resting on their laurels and remaining faceless. Thus the Central Bank must act immediately in this regard to uphold the retention of wealth and growth within the state.

    Made-to-measure change happens when it suits the bank institutions. Such as customers ‘Charter of Rights’ handed out in pamphlets at every branch. But this does not address the issue and merely play to lop service a vital organ in the bank customer relationships. Bank Managers are legislated to hear you when they say so but not to listen to you at anytime.

    Because of it’s self-proclaimed divine prominence, the Institution of Banks is insulated from self scrutiny and comfortably argue that the world of crime has gone wrong and not the bank. Thus vocations to up holding proper code of business practice are falling, not because the Institution of Banks is out of touch but because ordinary business people and independent qualified professionals, just can’t hack it. Everyone, it seems, is blamed for business wrongdoings and shortcomings save the bank manager and the institution of the bank itself.

    The effect of such phenomenon is that institution of banks is allergic to change and unable to listen to dissenting voices.

    Concerned Professional Accountants and business people are entitled to express themselves in a democracy as much as any other group. Either way the idea that bank managers and the Institution of Banks might free itself from the maw of history and actually engage in significant social dialogue is an interesting prospect, but is it realistic?.

    If recent criminal cases and Tribunals tell us anything, their lesson is that, despite any claims the Board of Management of Banks may make, no single voice of a relevant concerned person operating under licence from the Minister (such of independent qualified auditors) is allowed to speak with both authority and credibility. The Institution of Banks may claim to support democracy outside it’s own walls but it’s mandate to represent it’s customers within the democratic process has little basis in fact. That’s why the prospect of a ‘qualified concerned voice’ needs to be handled with great political caution. For practical purposes, it’s appeal is highly suspect. Certainty will always attract some support but it won’t develop the democratic process for a transparent Code of Practice by bank managers and their employees when dealing with the public.

    It might be interesting to quote from the Bible Luke 6.5, the Manuscript D contains the followings, omitted in other manuscripts: “On the same day Jesus saw a man working on The Sabbath. He said to him: ‘Man if you know what you are doing you are blessed; but if you do not know, you are accursed and a transgressor of the law.”

    The Institute of Bankers in Ireland:

    The following is the Transcript of a letter I sent to the Irish Times and published in July 1996.

    Banking Code of Ethics

    Sirs, – As a concerned professional dealing with Irish Banks, I am critical of the existing “code of ethics” promulgated by the Institute of Bankers in Ireland as shown on their brochure A Guide for Members (pages 6,7 and 8). This so-called code is not a proper “code of ethics” and is an indictment as to why such a reputable conservative and authoritative body should have been allowed to proclaim this without coming under the watchful eye of the Department of Finance and the Central Bank of Ireland.

    The reasons for my concern are as follows:

    The code is short, too general and not specific;

    It is not a complete code, as it should be, but rather a memorandum;
    The code is short, too general and not specific;

    It is not a complete code, as it should be, but rather a memorandum;

    The code is not positive and allows the preservation of face less members to remain faceless in a coat of ivory;

    There is no attempt to measure the degrees of accountability or to attribute responsibility to its members;

    The code resembles a preamble to those codes enshrined with the comparable institutes in the other European member-countries;

    There is no comparison between the written codes promulgated by other professional institutes in Ireland, such as accountants and solicitors. Given the serious responsibility and trust empowered to bankers, it is some wonder how any detection of crime can be effective when a person trusting, and “in confidence” with a solicitors banker would have to solely rely on the propriety of that member or employee of the bank, as it is loosely stated in the brochure.
    The code is technically fraught with danger for any concerned and/or civic-minded person, professional or otherwise, in trusting a member or senior bank employee in difficult circumstances, lest the banker acts unwisely and shrouds himself in a veil of conspiracy to silence.

    Recent and new legislation legislates on important areas of bankers responsibilities, but this does not allow the Institute of Bankers of Ireland to acquiesce and do nothing more. Their memorandum states that their code is founded on mutual trust and public confidence. This should also include upholding state public policy, and be seen clearly to do so.

    During the Irish presidency of the European Community, I therefore call on the Minister, the Central Bank and Institute of Bankers in Ireland to show their true sense of responsibility and accountability and their solidarity with the other community members and to write it all down clearly, so that we can all know were we stand. — Yours, etc.,

    The economic trend in Irish banking today indicates that Irish banks today, as we know them, will not be the same in ten years time. Shareholders of these banks will be different by then too. But the customers will not change and they will continue to be you and I.

    Bank management need to be legislated to protect he stakeholder…… the customer ….. the good neighbour ….. the civic the righteous.

    The currency of banks should include proper governance of the responsibilities and duties of management and the licensing of all management personnel.

    ….To you Minister I and your electorate would like to see your visible vested interest by showing how you can today very clearly show how you can guarantee 100% safety to a righteous person reporting of a serious crime today to impending injured third parties, other than the Gardai and to remove the judicial adversary system and the game of baccarat a righteous messenger is forced to play with his life. I will put my licence to practice on the table to tell the truth if you can assure me the banks have to do the same. The cavalier use by the banks of the genuine trust of righteous civic persons and their contempt for the truth and common honesty of the people needs to be legislated against. The anthromorphism of banks and its iconisation has led to a contagion of collapsing moral in Irish Society today that can only lessen the virility of the Irish Punt sooner rather than later.


    • ” can only lessen the virility of the Irish Punt sooner rather than later.”

      You were proved right. However calls to morality usually fall on deaf ears unless accompanied by specific regulations/laws that are transparent/accountable and binding. Regulator should have a legally binding charter drawn up with input from interested parties. Interesting what you say about upholding state public policy. The code seems to have been: ‘Listen, croney, here’s the money, don’t tell me what its for, don’t even want to know!’ I mentioned Denmark before:


      “…Lastly, strict property appraisal rules, credit risk management by the mortgage banks, and tight regulations including the so-called ‘balance principle’, have also historically shielded mortgage bonds from default risk….”

      Close Anglo and invite a mortgage bank from Denmark to set up here. They’ll write the charter. Legislate for it and get it binding for other banks. Bob’s your uncle.

      We’re hearing nothing so far from Honahan or Elderfield(salary €400000) on systemic regulation changes along the lines you suggest.


      “This era of light touch regulation has been disastrous for the Irish economy and the Irish
      taxpayer. This Bill will bring an end to that disastrous era in Irish life. It will overhaul regulation
      in this country and ensure the regulator has real teeth. The appointment of Matthew Elderfield
      and Patrick Honohan has impressed Members from all sides of the House. They are doing a
      good job and I commend the Minister, Deputy Lenihan, on appointing them.
      Under the new structures outlined in the Bill, the failed entity that is the Irish Financial
      Services Regulatory Authority will be abolished. Under the new structure the Central Bank
      commission will be established, chaired by the well respected Professor Patrick Honohan. This
      new board will be not only responsible for financial stability in general but also for the interests of consumers in particular.”

      So far the pair of them are telling us Anglo Irish was of systemic importance. Think about this. All the ILP shenanigans only the tip of the iceberg. Should have been put immediately into administration, secondary bondholders dumped. Elderfield preaching against the moral hazard of support for people in mortgage arrears. Wern’t four banks recently hauled over the coals for selling scam financial products to the elderly.

      The moon is in a waning crescent today as is Ireland INC

      • Deco

        Would a mortgage bank in Ireland want anything to do with Irish banking….chances are they would reach for a bargepole and keep themselves away from the debacle here….all that cronyism…the cliques…to paraphrase a former rottweiler…..”clique banking, No thanks”.

    • Deco

      John Allen – if only the public knew what you were saying back then, we might have seen reform.

      I remember discussing with a National Irish Bank employee the scandal that was rocking the then NIB MD in 1997. And he replied with a long list of ‘discrepencies’ from the Duo-oploy. He knew loads of stuff about AIB/BoI. He knew from people in NIB who where previously in the other two as contract workers. And then suddenly I became awakened to what was happening.

      And later I read articles by Shane Ross where he made comments about the Duopoly having shareholdings in most companies on the ISEQ, and using this as a means to appoint their cronies to the boards of the said companies. And about the Duopoly being the key part of IBEC.

      And it was clear that banking in Ireland is a rather circumspect business. Rotten.

      John Allen – you went on a crusade. And the wagons where circled. The system ganged up on you to produce the result that system requires. And they hurt you to your inner heart. Because that is what they do. They pulverize the opposition. Because they aim to prevent any form of transparency occurring. There will be no crusades to clean up the rot in Irish business. It will just not be allowed. There is corruption in progress today. But the media is concerned about the corruption five years aog. As long as there is no interference with the corruption of today. Our advertising sponsors call the tune. Business as usual. And nobody gets fined. nobody gets jailed. Just meet up on the golf course and backslap each other….

    • Malcolm McClure

      John ALLEN: Your honesty and tenacity in the face of iniquity are magnificent, but your ‘stream of consciousness’ form of composition gets lost and ignored in this world of public-relations-styled soundbites.
      May I suggest that, when you have a serious and important message to deliver like that above, you employ the very best sub-editor you can find to slice your argument into digestible morsels, arranged in a logical sequence?
      Your talents are many, but persuasive invective isn’t one of them. Seek help on this aspect and keep up the good work.

      • Malcolm McClure – Thanks for your honesty .I agree with you and I did realise my soundbites were useless .Nevertheless I am happy I tried as best I could then.

        • Malcolm Mc CLure – if you only realised the Hostility I was encountering with my submissions then you would realise I had no option/choice to find any sub-editor .It was impossible to communicate my ideas with anyone .Absolutely no one was interested in anything in my submissions.Thinking back to that time everyones mindsets were in another era.This also created the void to enable banking crime to rise.The failure of the final Report to mention anything about banks and crime just showed how ignorant the government were .

          The members of the advisory committee were :
          Peter Maguire SC
          Sean Aylward PO Dept Justice
          Padraig O Donghaile Principal in Insp of Taxes
          Colm Gallagher Principal dept of Finance
          Frank Glacken Chief Supt Garda Siochana
          John Gleeson PO of Dept Industry
          James Hamilton Legal Asst Attorney Gen
          Niall Lombard Dir of Pub Prosecution
          Dara Mc Cormack Manager of the Credit Institutions SUPERVISION Dept , Central Bank
          Desmond Miller Partner KPMG Stokes Kennedy Crowley
          Michael Flahive Secretary

          • Malcolm McClure – have you seen ‘enemy of the state ‘- well thats what the experience was like except that I realised there was no state except ‘in mind’ and instead there was in its place ‘the wild west’ where everyone prostituted themselves to the highest bidder.
            Aristotle would have been shot at ‘in the field of honour’.

          • Malcolm McClure

            John ALLEN: When you are addressing a hostile audience with closed minds about a crime, it is essential to produce a smoking gun.
            Your entire presentation should centre on three irrefutable facts that point to the smoking gun.
            And you must have established at least one sympathetic ear in the audience.
            Good luck.

    • Berties Suicide Call


      Many people have committed suicide professional and vocational since he made that speech and many for the serious financial problems that He was in the Making of and duped The Nation with while he was T-Shock and his Dippity Kown Min for Finance.

  32. Art1980

    Anyone at David’s opeing preview at the peacock last night. I was there myself, fantasic speaker two hours steady on stage without leaving. I have have been reading David’s articles the past two years and even so some interesting facts he mentions, names certain individual at top of the elite (one guy sitting on 43 different boards) also had a chart of the top 40 companies showing a cobweb of connections to the board of the Irish banks. Great night with comic moments.

  33. wills

    John ALLEN.

    The mayhem in store for us over the next 4 weeks as you related on above, is BP oil gusher part of this, reports are coming out the leak is 4,000,000 gallons a day.

    Apologizes for going of thread posters.

    • wills – lets enjoy the moments we have now for what is left and from the 19thJiune we can share the new experience that will be upon us then.

    • wills – this week end begins the New Moon and there will be a pull on tuesday the problem is I am not sure if that pull is strong enough to cause the back benchers in FF to rebel against Kown.However from 19th the pull will have become much greater and that is the real biginning of visibility of Chaos.

  34. ps200306

    Cowen on Prime Time — a thundering disgrace. How he doesn’t fall on his sword is beyond me. That man has some neck. Basically disowned all responsibility for our economic catastrophe.

  35. deco – where are you .your country calls you

  36. National Crime Report embraced Fraud and white collar crime and that is why the above is relevant.



    In physics, reflection of light can be specular or diffuse, the picture above is an example for the latter.

    Brian Cowen’s performance on prime time is something to remember for generations to come.

    Thank you for that!

    Clearly, a frantically memorized statement was repeated in a parrot like fashion, emphasizing all the right things he would have done in his time as finance minister.

    Then, when asked whether the recent polls would not make him think to give the Irish people a chance to…. NO! I am elected for my term and in 2012 the people have an opportunity to….

    I was prepared to write a lengthy essay on this, because in deed, a lot is on my mind with respect to that performance, but I decided not to share my all my thoughts here, history will judge him beyond doubts.

    The reflection of his words were diffuse of course, and they were the words of a Liar, a professional Liar of course, he is trained in that profession.

    Mr. Cowen, you disgust me, you are a disgrace to any political profession!

    • Laughingbear – is it a flying saucer waiting to collect the aliens from the other one on top of the water?

      Or is it a cloud of evaporated seawater hovering above looking at itself in the mirror of the sea below?

      Kown cannot defuse only disintegrate from his constipated stone self .No one will want to save him for to do so they also distroy themselves too .Kown has no mirror only a stone and the distruction inside he has given to us .

    • Deco

      cynical comment….I don’t think he is a disgrace to the political profession as they currently exist….rather he is a prime example of what they have all become. They are all a disgrace.

      I actually have a theory that since the fall of the Soviet Union that the political leadership in the West has gone from bad to worse…..toying with one childish set of assumptions/delusions after another. Basically the whole thing since then became auction politics. And the media is responsible for much of this. The one thing that comes to mind is the contrasting treatments of Reynolds and Ahern. Reynolds was continually ridiculed. But Ahern was loved by the media until the Manchester Digout episode.

      What concerns me is that the fact that media helps the Cowens of this world along. Wait until Micheal Martin becomes FF leader…then you will have an Master in the art of creating excuses, and misleading the public on the national stage….

      • Deco,

        Appologioes, but your comment triggers a rather lengthy reply, because it is very important what you say.

        I would think this is more than a theory, this argument can be helped with a lot of facts.

        First of all, There is a direct link between the increased lobbyism and decline of ethic in politics, globally that is of course.

        Then there is the ‘siblings phenomenon’, which is particularly strong in Ireland, I do not have the numbers at hand, but they were staggering, the list of brothers, sisters, cousins and so on that populate politics here is long.

        Last but not least, lobbyism has increased corruption, and a snake like Bertie Ahern played this to the maximum to take advantage. In my view, Ahern, Cowen, you name them, they are not what I would call intelligent, emphatic and considerate people, not at all. They are like, excuse the analogy to anyone decent in that profession, used car sales men with a different education, mostly accountants or legal profession.

        Now I may be accused to judge peoples character here without knowing them personally, which is true, but I have come to known some politicians in my life personally and the observations are based on more than only piss poor media appearance.

        A child could have identified Cowen’s performance as that of a Liar, seriously. Note that all of them are trained in a handful of existing media training facilities.

        This is done to enhance their performance when facing a camera or live situation, whereby enhance means to come across more honest and convincing, regardless the content of their speech.

        Personally, I am trained to see through that smoke screen, I am not distracted from that, and yes Michael Martin got his summa cum laude in media training, however it is very easy to see through the smoke if one knows what to look for. The techniques they are taught, they give them away very easily, and I take great fun in observing that.

        See this is one of them professional ‘Liar Clinics’ as I would call them, that is dominating Irish politics since long.

        We’re real good in a crisis. And we’ve dealt with a lot of them. Tourism disasters, oil spills, accidental poisonings, crashes, explosions and innumerable corporate embarrassments.

        And some of them make great stories. Stories that we can’t tell. Because our first job in most crises is to minimise their public impact, which militates against us talking about them.

        We can’t tell you what we’ve done, but we can tell you how we do it.

        We begin by doing nothing publicly. Nada. Zilch. Not a sausage. Until we know the facts. We dig, interrogate, investigate and question until we have every salient piece of data. And we do that as fast as possible.

        Once the data is in we advise what to do. And we prepare the communications. That might mean prepping the client for a press conference or interviews, drafting press statements, FAQs, community letters. Or it might mean arranging briefings with media or shareholders or staff.

        If you have a crisis and you call us, we can promise you a number of things; we’ll provide you the best in the business. We’ll take your crisis as seriously as you do. We will be with you, side-by-side until the crisis is over.


        We’re real good in a crisis. And we’ve dealt with a lot of them. Tourism disasters, oil spills, accidental poisonings, crashes, explosions and innumerable corporate embarrassments.

        And some of them make great stories. Stories that we can’t tell. Because our first job in most crises is to minimise their public impact, which militates against us talking about them.


        Of course, they would never agree to what I have to say about these media training professionals. However, I have a friend from my former business time who runs one of these on a much higher level than Terry Prone’s business could ever dream of, hence I have a view from many angles, and at the end, Terry prone is not even very good at what they are doing there, it is rather mediocre and it shows in the results.

        Then again, in fairness to her, you can only polish so much out of a raw diamond, if you have nothing but a piece of charcoal, it is impossible to make it shine, that is a fact they all have to deal with int his business, all you can do, is spray lots of WD40 on the charcoal, and ideally show it only to the public as long as it is soaking wet, and put some special lights on so you get a prism effect and see some colors too. -grins-

        I guarantee you Deco, this stuff is enough for a 500 pager book, to do a comparison of leader qualities and politicians, well, I should really say senior servants administrators instead of today.

        Crucially, and that content certainly could be part two of such a book and another 500 pager, in that context it is important to understand that this is a cultural phenomenon which is evident in the corporate landscape as well. Where there were business leaders, snake oil salesmen now run companies, and the same degradation in quality of leadership is evident.

        Thanks for pointing that out Deco.

    • gquinn

      My thoughts exactly and this is why we must storm the Dail Eireann because these parasite bastards won’t do the honourable thing of either leave or die.

      It seems to me that if the Irish people do nothing then Ireland will be a dictatorship, we need to act now or forever be silent.

      Just think of the ordinary middle class trying to pay off there 100% mortage over a 40 year period with there property value currently down over 50%, meanwhile the government ministers laughing and dinning in there big country mansions and enjoying themselves because they all have there parachutes.

      Also if your house is down 50% then you need the property to appreciate by 100% just to get back to break even level, not a chance.


  38. BrianMc

    FF’s share of the available vote, as measured by an opinion poll, increased by 1% a couple of weeks ago.
    I have no idea why that should be the case.
    It does tell me that whatever the public have been getting, they want more of it, (about 1% more).
    Can anyone here provide the rationale for this. I can’t.


    • Deco

      The alternatives are shite.
      There is something called a “dead-cat bounce”.
      Cowen telling the Israelis how to be behave, but having nothing to say concerning the latest unemployement statistics.

      The people want something for nothing. That is what democracy is all about these days. Responsible leadership is an old fashioned concept that disappeared when television turned it into a spectacle.

  39. Kryan Kown

    Kown was kryan to hold his daddys seat not his own .He never worked in his life.

  40. Deco

    I can’t remember if I got to comment on David’s previous article. But some of things mentioned in it are going around in my head. Marxist interventionism to prop up the well connected and the total disconnected. Bertie Ahern style. A bailout for everyone in the audience. And maybe for the FAI as well.

    Watched Cowen last night, and somewhere along the way, I got up and left the TV. I had come to conclusion that Cowen making those silly explanations and me listening to Cowen, equates to me allowing Cowen to waste my time. Cowen did make a valid point about some money being set aside for the rainy day, the reduction in the debt in the boom years and the infrastructure spend. The debt reduction was to the consternation of Tintan O’Fool and various other ILP hacks who were berating the government for not spending enough. (the end result of this was Bertie the Socialist and other fairytales). But Cowen completely sidetracked the issue of what he was doing as Minister for Finance (drunk at the wheel). And to be honest I find his level of transparency a major part of the problem. (though most of the vested interests would regard Cowen as value for money – in that he shoves everything down the throats of the ordinary people and provides people with a level of respect that was best exemplified in the Lisbon 2 saga).

    The MRBI poll this morning provides clear instruction that the Irish people are still going through the various stages of denial. In particular, it seems that the new Ditherer, aka Happy Gilmore, is doing very well. It seems that there still is a massive market in this country for political solutions that cannot be provided for within the context of financial gravity. In fact I would regard current ILP poll numbers as a vote of confidence in the system. Because the ILP will continue where Bertie Ahern and his ICTU buddies left off, promising all sorts of nonsense to everybody. Strangely enough, it seems a large segment of the public is prepared to look above the behaviour of Gilmore and Burton with respect to the unvouched expenses scandal. (Interestingly this was completely ignored by both RTE and the IT).

    It is also clear that FG have been hit badly by the George Lee withdrawl. Enda “from now on I am going to be myself” Kenny is not up to the job. Lee also showed that internal debate in FG is absent. The coverage from Denis O’Brien’s radios was biased. I remember Tom Dunne giving George Lee an award for being “(jack)ass of the week” to the hilarious laughter of Ivan Yeats and Claire Byrne. (O’Brien’s radio stations are blue in hue, in case anybody never noticed).

    The cliques who controlled Ireland on the way into the mess, will continue to control Ireland. Make sre that you and those important to you are safe. There has been no reform,except the minimum amount necessary to ensure that the government bonds continue to be purchased. And there will be no reform. Gilmore will come to power and make sure that ICTU get their way. And the ICTU are part of a yin and yang relationship that is IBEC-ICTU control of our economy and society. Basically they play with each other. But in the end any compromise that both can acede to becomes government policy. And they share out the NED positions amonst each other. Just look at the board of FAS.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Deco: I’m an avid follower of your delicately balanced, finely nuanced, logical arguments. I’m just not convinced that logic is a necessary component of the political scene, which is more akin to religion than science.
      People who make successful politicians necessarily have an overweening sense of self-importance. Think of Thatcher, Bush, Blair, Brown, or Cowen. Their entire existence depends upon the belief that they are The Chosen One, not by the contemptible reprobate electorate but by the Almighty himself. Therefore opinion polls count for nothing. The only thing that matters is what occurs to them in the still of the evening, kneeling in solitude in front of a mirror, uttering the prayer:

      “All those other bastards in the cabinet must have a character flaw, otherwise they would be Taoiseach. I must be the best that God could find in Ireland, and since He believes in me for my 5 year term, I cannot let Him down. The opinions of others don’t matter a hoot. I’m the boss and even my mistakes are just part of God’s ‘Grand Plan for the Irish People’. If some have to emigrate, it must be because the Almighty needs their talents elsewhere. I always have taken the best advice, but in the end, I must decide, because I sit enthroned, not in the Oireachtas at the will of the people, but as ‘The Chosen One’ on the left hand of God.”
      ” Amen”

      • Deco

        Malcolm, from reading the above comment I am coming to the conclusion that is Ireland’s Tsar Nicholas II type figure.

        The plan, where one exists, is completely clueless. (Nama, Anglo, etc). Compromise is absent – there will be no deviation from the plan. The priveleged personages are providing the “leadership”, and the leadership is terrible. The generals have been moved around the board, and ineptitude follows them. The system is flawed, but will not be reformed. The result is inevitably disastrous. The cause is lost on the entire population. The costs of phantom victories, and heavy defeats just keep building up.

        The problem is that the longer this goes on, the harder it is for civilization itself to be held together. Just watch the social problems build up.

        In the meantime all we can ask for is more honesty in the state, and all work hard.

  41. Deco

    Just one point that sticks out like a sore thumb concerning the two inquiries into the banking collapse.

    Did anybody make the connection between the ECB setting ridiculously low interest rates and the resulting asset bubble ?

    I mean the ECB has a responsibility also.

    But the establishment has completely swept that issue under the carpet. The ECB are responsible for an asset bubble in Spain and this is going to blow up in the ECB’s face.

    Euro-trash ?

    • The phrase applicable here is fiduciary responsibility, google fiduciary. I’ve raised this time and time again. ECB do certainly have a responsibility as you say. Words such as incompetence, excessive risk taking also come to mind. All of these have relevance when the word ‘default’ springs to mind. Other avenues worth exploring is the whole area of insurance that which brought down AIG in the US http://bit.ly/aSbOz1 Ours was a self induced property bubble scam but here’s a thought for you. Big banks like Lehman’s, Goldmann in the USA dabbled bigtime in the trillions in the market for credit default swaps. CDS were a type of insurance taken out e.g against a particular bank defaulting of particular interest when you were lending them money. One wonders did the ECB underpin its funding with cheap derivative bets in the market of CDS say bought from Goldmann to insure the Irish €40bn bailout gets paid back. The big question is has the ECB hedged itself in this way against the PIIG bailouts. If it has, then if e.g Ireland defaults, ECB gets a financial windfall out of this and Goldmann trembles. If it hasn’t, then ECB loses as it should over its risky lending practices and lack of fiduciary responsibility in allowing our gombeens wallow in a property bubble instread of spending the money on e.g parks and libraries and stimulating small business and education. Nah, ECB wouldn’t be that devious to give loans to PIIGS, take out CDS insurance against loan defaults, then wait for our gombeens to muck up everything and default, on default ECB collects a huge CDS payout from Goldmann.? Or would they ? mmmmm

  42. http://bit.ly/blVpbd

    Banks blocking social housing scheme above just adds to the stench of fetid corruption coming from our banking system.

    Perhaps Kown should sell Leinster House and move disband Dail Eireann. All deputies be given jobs as NEDs under IL Duce Dukes
    down at Anglo on the Green. They can sit around all day dreaming up new ways for taxpayers to finance the Anglo €22bn bailout. Give them all the state finances, why stop at €22bn? Sure management at Anglo Seanie down were great and most still there. Such loyalty to company granting themselves loans in the €100mls to buy shares in the Anglo turkey they were raising for Christmas. Your not serious, they wouldn’t be that incompetent, crooked and dumb, would they? ~They’re such a brill bank we’ll give them another €22bn………fckng hell! What sort of a dumb island are we? Iceland managed and is managing its banking collapse better than we are!

    Have a good weekend folks!

  43. According to another popular and growing myth;
    we all missed it. No-one saw it coming. It was the Krakon of Irish prosperity. The Celtic Godzilla bursting from the depths of financial affairs to gnaw on our poor innocent D4 chums.

    All the while conveniently ignoring several articles and books by David McWilliams to the contrary.

    Pure spin in the making.

    • @ Furrylugs

      In fact, we all got it. We all questioned the Section 23 adds everywhere on buses, newspapers, billboards.

      We all counted the cranes and we all wondered if too much development was taking place and where the money was coming for this.

      Plus we were all concerned property developers were coining it with the Section 23 tax reliefs and other offshore scams.

      We also wondered at the ghost land estates and shoebox apartments whether proper development practices/guidelines were in place for all of this.

      We suspended our disbelief and were all under the same collective delusion that Cowen & Co were in charge and doing a good job.

      We now know they wern’t. At best they were clueless, at worst they were totally corrupt, most a mixture of the two. As pretender Euro politicos they were taken in by Trichet who allowed them to ignore some basic rules of EU membership. As pretender bankers, they were taken to the cleaners by Seanie et al.

      Kowen @ Co are to development as the BP oil spillage in the gulf is to the oil industry and the US environment/economy.

      They’re making an even bigger mess of it as we speak. Not that we have much to choose from. Perhaps Gilmore should be given a chance? But I’ll only vote next time round on a promise whoever I vote for is committed to closing down Anglo asap. Simple as that!

      • Bamboo

        It is amazing the way the media and of course RTE are out of the entire blame game. The media defines and shapes our culture and what we desire. The banks, developers and government can’t go anywhere without the media. I posted a few months ago the dependency of the banks and property developers on the media.
        Whatever advertising the banks did, to sell their products, are nothing compared to what is thrown at the people in the property sections of national and local papers. TV and radio are even worse at throwing crap at the people.
        The media is very much a hidden sinister tool that the banks, developers and GOV have at their disposal.

        • Deco

          The most hilarious part of the Cowen interview was the bit where Cowen claimed “nobody seen it coming” and commented that as Minister he was relying on the ESRI.

          Well, a lot of people were watching David McWilliams’ documentary.

          Unfortunately it clashed with Brian Cowen’s weekly big night on the town.

          A lot of people were reading the articles of Shane Ross concerning the crookedness that is still rampant in Irish Business. But Cowen was only dealing with reputable business interests, and was completely unaware of the essential phonyness of the boom.

          For what exactly are we paying the most expensive prime minister in the world (after Robert ‘Print some money’ Mugabe) ?

          I mean all we ever get is a list of excuses, and cliches like “nobody saw this coming”, “not taking away from that”, “we are taking full responsibility”, “eventually”, “road to recovery”, “with the benefit of hindsight”, “we were relying on the best data that was available at the time”….

          Well, Rody Molloy is sorted – Rody won’t have a recession. Insiders and outsiders.

          • Bamboo

            “Nobody seen it coming”: To Cow & co, commentators are in fact nobody as they are not in Government. Commentators and other wizzle blowers are absolutely no threat and there is no reason for Cow & co at all to take them into account. Only opinion polls are important as that can be a threat to the leadership.
            They are totally oblivious to what is said and suggested by other “non essential” people. No matter what is said by so many other experts it is not of any importance to Cow & Co. Instead they have to have an independent banking expert to say that they made a dogs dinner out of the whole financial policy.
            I can’t believe that they could not see it coming. Of course they saw it coming. They have the skills and the overall big picture. The big picture that they are seeing was that this whole bonanza will last a little longer and in fact much longer and won’t end during the lifespan of the current regime. They are hoping that the trouble will only start in the year 2012.
            That is when their term ends and this regime is only more than happy to let the opposition win the elections and also let the opposition face the problems/disaster we are currently facing. So whatever opposition is running the new regime, it will look as they are the ones who are making a dogs dinner out of it. The new regime will only last a couple of months, one year max. Cow & Co can then rise and be re-elected as all is forgiven by the electorate and Cow & Co can run the country for another 20 years or so.

  44. New Moon begins this week end and this is a time to make your resolutions .

  45. Tull McAdoo

    Well at least now we know that they were NOT asleep at the wheel. Total betrayal of the citizens of this Country. Who the hell was pulling that Hurleys strings?…..

  46. Tull McAdoo

    I wonder is there the slightest hope of ordinary plumbers , electricians etc. getting their money back from any of these outright bastards. Im sick of listening to all these war stories from economic migrants arriving here in Perth. Driven out of the Country by bastards who would not pay them for services already rendered. There must be some law up there in Ireland to stop this. ???http://www.independent.ie/national-news/dragon-slams-banks-firesale-of-new-apartments-2219005.html

  47. Tull McAdoo

    Here’s part of the “echo bubble” I warned ye about. Wake up people for fcuk sake, they are wiping their fett all over yere lives.

  48. Tull McAdoo

    Who’s going to buy all the crap, well not the ones i’m meeting in bloody Perth or these folks who are also voting with there feet. For God sake is there no one left that thinks the Country is worth it?http://www.businessworld.ie/livenews.htm?a=2617093

  49. Tull McAdoo

    OK everybody after me…… IM AS MAD AS HELL AND IM NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE………..aaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh………….

    • Deco

      We are as mas as hell and we are not going to take any more.

      We need an election in the morning. And another one three months afterwards. Clean out the wasters. Bring in as much fresh thinking as possible.

      • Colin_in_exile


        We do need an election in the morning, but we (the Irish people, not this forum’s posters) are clearly not as mad as hell. Its also clear that we are willing to take more misgovernment.

        Where are the street protests with hundreds of thousands marching? Where are the new Political Parties offering something new and fresh and uncronylike? Where are the National Strikes using People Power to effect change?

        The prevailing mentality is still the Me Fein mentality. People here join a union so that their specific self interests are catered for, unlike other countries where workers who join unions do so for solidarity with their fellow citizen. Look at FAS WPP Jobs being filled by workers prepared to work for no wage, so that they get their foot in the door of the crony setup. Who’s buying all these new cars? Plasma TVs? Apple Ipods etc….. Its every Paddy for himself, its F You I’m alright, its I’ll find a way of getting through this depression and the rest can go to hell, its survival of the fittest, or to be more accurate, its survival of the shrewdest, its survival of the craftiest, its survival of the most unscrupulous.

        • “”Its every Paddy for himself, its F You I’m alright, its I’ll find a way of getting through this depression and the rest can go to hell, its survival of the fittest, or to be more accurate, its survival of the shrewdest, its survival of the craftiest, its survival of the most unscrupulous.”"

          Damning indictment of a Nation who coined the phrase “Cute Hoor” to generically describe the above.
          Good man Colin.

  50. Tull McAdoo

    Just in case anybody thinks that I offer no solutions, let me offer this one. Pay out the same money that the boffins over in the Dept. of Finance get in salaries to a panel made up of people like David mc Williams, Karl Whelan, Morgan Kelly etc. and let them run Finance for a couple of years and bring that organisation into the 21st Centuary and away from its Victorian roots.
    I found out today that the Central Bank done nothing without the pre-approval of the DOF, same with the Regulator. The DOF stands accused of crashing this Country . They are as guilty as hell and should be brought to book for it.

    • @Tull, they certainly need some decent professional independent economic advisors. There’s also a strong case for closer liaison between the universities, Dept Economics in particular, and DOF and across a range of other depts. Internships for phd’s students, even PHD work that would be of benefit to the state, plus leave of absence to facilitate incubation/development of people like Honan and other heads of departments inside DOF and other depts, to bring civil service into 21st century, big need there especially in IT that could actually save money and make more efficient at the same time. Plus its essential the role of the government and DOF both prior and after Sept 2008 needs public, close scrutiny in the proposed commission of inquiry.

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