June 23, 2010

Even Druids saw benefits of clean slate for indebted

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I was thinking of Druids the other night on the summer solstice — the longest day of the year. The weather was wonderful and the last light of the day was gorgeous. In ancient times, people used to celebrate the solstice by lighting bonfires on hills — generally have a bit of a night out, carousing and having the craic. The winter solstice seemed to be a more solemn affair and if you have been to Newgrange you can tell the significance of these events to the ancients can’t be underestimated.

Newgrange is a most magical place.

I am fascinated by how they did it. How did they bring all the stuff up the hill? On the hill, looking down, you realise that the huge slabs of stone must have been dragged uphill by some means to Newgrange. Meanwhile, the stones used for the cairn, which together would have weighed around 200,000 tonnes, were likely taken from the rivers between Newgrange and the Boyne. According to the guidebook, there is a large pond in this area, which probably was the site quarried by Newgrange’s builders to use for material for the cairn. The sheer manpower and organisation needed to achieve this 4,000 years ago is mindboggling.

However, my dreamy Celtic twilight vision was interrupted by a headline in this paper on Monday about the banks giving out “negative equity” loans.

This is apparently the latest wheeze from our banking geniuses. A negative-equity loan means that if you are in negative equity but want to move house because, for instance, the family is getting bigger, you can carry the old negative equity on to the new property.

This is supposed to help people. I can see how it helps the banks, but how does it help the citizen?

Quite apart from the bonded indentured nature of carrying debt with you for a house that you no longer live in, this proposal is only of any value to people who qualify for a loan. But these are the people who are not in financial trouble now, so they are unlikely to use it. The people who are in negative equity and can’t pay their mortgages can’t afford such a product; and the people who are in negative equity but can afford it are hardly likely to want it.

We know that the problem in Ireland is a bad debt cycle where far too much debt, which was taken out in the boom, can’t be paid. It is plain and simple: debt that can’t be paid won’t be paid.

An EU survey published yesterday reported that 29pc of Irish households believe that they might not be able to pay ordinary bills, buy food or other important daily goods in the next 12 months. The survey also showed that 35pc of households in Ireland are having real trouble paying for healthcare for their family. Of those with children who use childcare, 25pc said they had problems with the costs. This is the legacy of the past few years and these people will soon begin to default on their debts.

It really doesn’t matter what we do now, if we don’t sort out a way of moving on from the debts of the past we are going to sink under the weight of past mistakes and any recovery — which we all want — will be choked off.

As I pondered the Druids, I wondered what they would have said about debt. What did Brehon Law have to say about debt and repudiation?

Brehon laws on debt are interesting. There is no mention of debt forgiveness, but the laws did have an interesting way of forcing someone to pay his or her debts. If a creditor is owed money by someone, he can seize their property if they refuse to pay. The only property people had at the time was cattle. Cattle was also the currency.

A person’s house could not be seized if they had bad debts. The idea that your house could be used as a debt millstone around your neck was totally alien to the Brehons. The concept of eviction did not exist. It was brought in on a widespread basis after the destruction of social infrastructure of Gaelic Ireland after the Flight of the Earls.

Our ancestors did have some colourful ways of getting their cash back. If he didn’t want to go to the trouble of seizing cattle, a creditor might sit outside the house of the debtor and starve himself. But the starving creditor was entitled to prevent anybody getting in or out of the house, so the debtor would starve too.

Most debtors quickly paid up under such circumstances, not because of starvation, but rather because of the shame of having a creditor on their doorstep. (This practice still continues to this day in parts of rural India.)

Of course, in Brehon days, the only debts that could exist would be rents or fines from the Brehon courts, so there would be no debt agreement that could be entered into like today. But I do find the vision of Seanie Fitz starving himself outside the door of Bernard McNamara or Paddy Kelly an interesting one.

Under Brehon Law, a woman was entitled to hold property in her own name — even if she was married. This is something that modern developers seem not to be very keen on, as they tend to transfer all their assets to their wives these days only after they get into trouble, not before!

The Brehons used asset seizure and shame in the community as their major tools to try to recover debts. Later, as Brehon Law fused with Christianity, the teachings of the Bible and the concept of debt forgiveness were incorporated into practice. The Old Testament is quite explicit on the need for a Jubilee year where, after a 20-year cycle, all debts are written off and we start again.

When we see the huge debt overhang here in Ireland, it is hard not to see two paths for the economy — one involving “moral hazard” and the other involving “real hazard”. Moral hazard is where we give debt forgiveness to people in debt and risk encouraging further bad behaviour. This is what we are doing to the banks. The other is real hazard, where we compel the people to pay all the debts of the boom, and risk that the economy contracts further. I know which hazard I’d prefer to avoid — the real one.

We need to adopt the US model on bankruptcy here. The banks own the house, not the person. If the houses fall in value, the banks get the keys and the person moves on. This change, called co-responsibility — where the lender and the borrower are equally to blame — was brought into the US after the Great Depression, making it easier for the citizen to recover from bad debt. At the core of this is the realisation that the citizen, not the property, create wealth. Thus the citizen needs to be liberated to try again. This is the type of second chance thing we need here.


  1. There will be a ‘moral hazzard’ with Brian ODriscoll during the match as the Ozzis try to remove our national currency from the game .At that stage the Irish should ‘walk off’ to become bankrupt rather being indentured to a foreign power.

    • Kooda

      John, What on earth are you referring to in your comment “Ozzis try to remove our national currency from the game” You have lost me on your entire comment?? Maybe I have missed something in the news lately?

      David – Good article

  2. coldblow

    David, when you suggested the need for some kind of debt forgiveness here a couple of years ago or so it provoked a vehement reaction from quite a large number of posters, many of them new. They argued, reasonably, that those who refused to get involved in the property bubble should not have to carry the can for the greedy and stupid. And it is galling if that is what happens. On the other hand we are as a nation a collective and our collective ‘decision’ was to be complicit in the election of gombeens and to turn a blind eye to delusional behaviour on the part of the easily led. Moral hazard should on the other hand apply to the financial elite and their minions who if they didn’t know better ought to have. (Perhaps it’s analagous to those who sell and promote the use of vuvuzelas as opposed to the fools who merely blow them or bring them home as souvenirs.) In short, moral hazard as applied to the citizenry is in my opinion a convenient ‘front’ for those who stand to profit.

    I think you suggested ways that people could be given some breathing space without absolving them from their responsibilities, as you do here with more lenient bankruptcy laws. Of course, such solutions would ruin the banks. Tough – it’s either them or us.

  3. paddyjones

    DMcW is quite wrong about not repaying debts, people who borrowed money to buy houses and cars got wealth up front instead of working, saving and then buying. They benefited and took a punt on the value of housing, DMcW is a populist not pragmatic. Money borrowed is always repaid, there is no debt forgivness never has been not in Ireland anyway.
    We are in an age of austerity people must learn basic housekeeping, to live within a budget. I have a spreadsheet where I download my bankstatement and work out where I spend my money, I also have a budget for the next year going forward and I stick to it.
    I see people everyday in new cars who cannot afford them living way beyond their means, their credit cards are maxed out and they just live from month to month. The real winners over the next few years are people who can manage debt sucessfully which will be the majority of the canny Irish people. The young and indebted will be the losers they have no idea how to manage debt.
    Austerity is the new religion.

    • paddythepig

      I agree paddyjones, great post as always. David’s statement ‘Debt that can’t be paid won’t be paid’ should, in a lot of cases be rephrased to ‘Debtors that refuse to make sacrifices will attempt to pass their debt on to everyone else’.

    • @Paddyjones Hi Paddy, in a fair society I’d agree with you. But we have an unfair society with a banker led fiduciary irresponsible Ponsi property boon slush fund fed by the political elite and cronies whose victims were taxpayers and consumers who were scammed by 100% loans, property speculators etc. What you advocate is one law for the rich and one law for the poor. How come Seanie can transfer away assets to hide from the debtors as D describes. Worse, look at the unfair financial laws, company law, that allows a developer to set up a myriad of companies so that when one goes bust, creditors have no lean on any assets under the brolly of his other companies. Here’s the real ‘get it’:
      what we have is socialisation of the banks with all the moral hazard that goes with this while poor johnny schmuck newly married, who put all his own income plus his wife’s income on line to service a property property bubble fed by political/banker illiterates and developer scavengers, is the one to be accused of creating moral hazard under new sensible bankruptcy laws already availed of by his predators above. No, it aint right! Enough people returning the keys to the house and taking a plane out of Ponsi Ireland Inc will change this sooner or later…

    • Deco

      Paddy – I don’t know if austerity is the new religion. The media are still pressing the buttons to have people pining for consumption and pride.

      Austerity is the consequences of all that waste and stupidity. Nobody knows how to deal with it.

    • Yes they did, and some of those people felt coerced into it because they worried and became paranoid they may never have a home with the way the prices where skyrocketing.

      • @Wills, Greeetings from Grand Canyon, Recovering from Amazing sunset at South Rim, Lipon Point, Desert View, last night, while now viewing Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club band performed by the Bee Gees, happy days, on to Bakersfield, tomorrow San Fran:)

        Agree with you above, most were coerced into it and had no choice in forking up to pay the price. Now the same ones are expected to pay the price for the speculators/bankers who ripped them off?

        Instead of write offs of their loans or partial write downs, they pay through austerity? No austerity in the 22bn for Anglo. Their children to experience less spending on education, health, infrastructure as FF dismantle the island!

        Can’t believe these guys are not organising to negotiate with the banks and refuse the crap laid at their doorstep!

        • Just to illustrate the polluter doesn’t pay in Ireland Inc message. Story of a week or 2 ago, IT contractor, female, 2006, put deposit down on Carrickmines apartment, just before property prices dumped. Apartment cost her euros 350,000 approx, couldn’t get out of it legally though she saw the drop happening soon after. Couple weeks ago, vacant apartment next door to her was sold on the market for euros 125,000 OUCH. Other schenanigans being on the same development hardly any of the suppliers have been paid nor apparently will they get anything as the whole lot bankrupt, can’t rememember if development was a property offloaded onto the market by banks or NAMA.

  4. ThomasFergus

    David, surely your Cork cousins have told you about “Bona night”? You don’t need to go back to the time of the Druids to see people light up the sky during the summer solstice.

    You also don’t have to travel as far as rural India to find creditors or their representatives shaming debtors. El Cobrador del Frac is a debt collection agency in Spain whose employees dress up in Top Hat and Tails and follow debtors around like a bad smell. The embarrasment usually forces debtros to pay up, or at least pay what they can. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/boom-time-for-spains-costumed-debt-collectors-922500.html?ref=patrick.net

    I am totally opposed to the taxpayer bailing out both banks and homeowners, but Paddyjones’s tough stance on mortgage debtors is hypocritical, given that enforcing debts on mortgage holders who cannot pay is morally reprehensible when those banks doing so are taking many thousand multiples of that in taxpayer funded bailouts. Debt for equity swaps or repossession followed by forgiveness of the remaining debt means that both the homeowner and the bank take a hit: the homeowner thru either loss of the home (US bankruptcy laws) or loss of a percentage of the ownership of the home, the bank thru loss on poor lending practices. The taxpayer doesn’t get touched. No need for NAMA for homeowners, but no need for NAMA either.

    In the current zombie model, the bank is kept alive thru taxpayer infusions of giant amounts of money (paid for by cuts in public services,infrastructure projects, wages etc), and while it is kept alive, it goes after its small time debtors (mortgage holders and small businesses with business loans) with ruthless determination. This is capitalism Irish style since the Famine. It seems the landlord class, be it Anglo Irish, catholic merchant, cumann na nGaedhal or Fiann Fail, is always in thrall to this corrupt capital controlling elite.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Around here this is St John’s Eve. I’ve counted 16 bonfires all around this evening including my own.
      Bonfire’s of the vanities?

  5. Deco

    Ah yes….for the last twenty years…all that hot air….built into a cruscendo….a new system of beliefs emerged. Evident from the phraseology.

    “We are significant…look at us….overwhelmed with pride….proud of ….surpass (should that be surp ass)….defining moment….greatness….big….massive…..enjoy….thrill….excitement…..granduer….excellence….homes of disctinction….vision…a vision of grandeur….a purchase to be envied….brand names to die for….and retail space….loads of retail space….”. And the Dithering one gave his blessing…”the boom is getting boomier”…”We have arrived”…..”I am expecting great things”….”I am committed”….

    And to every naysayer the Dithering One replied “Why not”.

    Ah yes, all that talk about how sophisticated we have become…and the entitlement to believe that financial gravity was now irrelevant….

    What a pile of 5h1t€ ?

    We were more advanced 2000 years ago before we had any gizmos. Ireland did not lack in phraselogy. More than anything else the one thing that grew every year was the bull…But wisdom, judgement, balance were seen as evil to the point that whatever was left had to be thrown out in our attempts to be more Yank than the Californians themselves. As Mama Harni commented closer to the counter of the nail bar than the counter of the debt buildup. Or maybe that should be the counter of the Dail bar.

    Anyway, what ever way you look at it, the numbers are bad now. How sophisticated is incompetence ? and bankruptcy ? record unemployment levels ? etc. etc.

    We were so sophisticated, that it had to end in a tragedy !!!!

  6. Deco

    England look like they are going to leave the World Cup. I don’t know which is worse, watching Irish people laugh at the disaster that happened to the French, or watching Irish people laugh at the bumbling that is going on England.

    By the way folks, these two countries are our largest and third largest export markets. They provide a steady stream of tourists to the South Leinster and Munster for six months of the year, doing more for isolated rural communities than all the effing quangos, departments, and useless politicians in D2.

    The people who will provide the most abuse are those who do not have relatives in England. In other words the gombeens. And let’s face it, if the gombeen element in Irish society is riding everybody, somebody bigger is needed for a target for the blame for our continued state. So, it was the Brits’s fault. Irish people mismanaging, cheating, lying, deceiving, robbing each other. And this made things completely unworkable in Ireland. So, as to not find the cause….let’s engage in some Schadenfraude….let’s laugh at every misfortune than befalls the English.

    Oh, yeah, and apart from anything else it presses the button that we love to press telling ourselves that we are sophisticated.

    We need to get honest wth ourselves in a big way and stop deluding ourselves.

    Best of Luck, England. (You do know that two of your current first team have Irish surnames – maybe if one of them scores you might give thanks with a Irish steak, or some Irish cheese on Irish butter, on bread made with Irish wheat).

    And France, the Irish do not need Thierry Henry to show us how to cheat. We have Seanie, Drummer Boy, Fingers, Ditherer, a wide range of specialists in this field. And they all love to put the green jersey, to make us forget our practicality and our self respect, whenever they are looking for a bailout from the taxpayer…or when looking a good old “digout”. Do keep buying our seafood. We have an unemployment problem in Ireland, and it is getting worse.

    If Brian Cowen had any brain he would have sent a hamper of Irish produce to the entire French squad. The advertising gained from it would be worth thousands of jobs. Instead the narrow minded, fatheaded clowen had to engage in predictable button pressing and green flag wearing.

    • ThomasFergus

      Outstanding stuff Deco. I was only over in Luton a few months ago to visit my brother, forced out of this country because of the “tough but necessary” decisions taken to bail out the lads at our expense. The amount of Irish there going back 60 years is unreal, and it’s starting all over again. Luton is a kip, but at least it’s a home for thousands of Irish people who are ordered (in the sleaveen, gombeen way) to leave the country on the next boat.

      As for France, one moment of madness by Thierry Henry is surely something that he’ll regret for the rest of his life. Yet he has a world cup medal and a glittering career to be proud of. The French will sack their useless manager and will bring in a man capable of turning the ship around; Laurent Blanc. They will also in all probability sack the Chief Exec of the French Football Federation and they will emerge the stronger for it. That’s what successful countries do. Our gloating at their downfall is as pitiful as our sneering at the English when Maradona scored with his cheeky hand of God back in 86.

      • Deco

        I don’t what exactly these green flag wavers get out of other teams falling at a further stage than us.

        And you are correct, successful countries get rid of the wasters. We make the into FAS directors, CIE directors, HSE bosses, Qunagocrats, NEDs, etc. We even let the wasters in IBEC/ICTU run the country via the proxy that is the Kildare Street Circus.

        We need to get rid of the wasters that are preventing Ireland from moving forward. We need a decentralization of power, and a reduction in the scale of the state. The state is far too heavy, extracts too many conditions and taxes, and generally sucks anything that lives to extinction.

        • Deco, and we first of all must go back to our true roots, back before english invasion etc and immediately distribute a *patch of land* for free to every citizen of Ireland to use and live on, and allocate each patch for One cent.

          • Philip

            How many acres of usable land do we have in Ireland? I calculate about 15Million….3 Acres a head. Total acreage is about 60million I think.

    • Couldn’t agree more Deco. The prevailing view here is blame everyone else, kick at everyone else, that way it’s not your fault, and you don’t have to get off your arse and do anything about it. Like the poem says:

      In the end he did nothing at all,
      But sit on the beach wrapped up in a shawl.

    • Colin

      Outstanding analysis yet again Deco.

      I’m supporting England. She gave me paid employment when my own country couldn’t provide it.

      Just before England’s first match was broadcast on RTE, both John Giles and Graeme Souness acknowledged that they enjoyed successful and realtively well paid careers in England, which afforded them a very good standard of living, which they still enjoy today and for these reasons they said they will not be hoping to see England have a disappointing World Cup. Even Dunphy joined in on the spirit of pair-of-striker and glasnost and hoped England did well.

      Giles still lives in the Birmingham area today. Enough said.

  7. Deco

    David – Excellent article.

  8. liam

    David, I like this article a lot. I dunno about Druids and Brehon law and so forth but:

    At the core of this is the realisation that the citizen, not the property, create wealth. Thus the citizen needs to be liberated to try again

    This is absolutely key and far too philosophically profound for Ireland. We think we have no ideology, when in fact we have only one. Incorporating new ideas and ways of thinking is sadly, something I have discovered the Irish are consistently terrible at. You can pick up pretty much any of Deco’s posts on the Irish concept of management (or lack there of) for more details on that point.

    A similar discussion in relation to the importance of people is emerging in various places, post crisis as to the value of employees versus shareholders (I heard about this first on a program covering Indian entrepreneurship on the BBC). The argument goes along the lines that employees are the ones to create value, so they should be the first in the pecking order when it comes to company policy and strategy, customers second and a very distant third the shareholders. The argument made in favour was extremely compelling (and maybe there is a bias in how it applies to start-ups in a high-growth phase) yet I would find it hard to see this approach being widely adopted, as it runs entirely counter to prevailing economic and political ideologies.

    • Deco

      You are correct. The human being, free, energetic and intellectually alert creates wealth.

      But we were a society so accustomed to listening to rubbish from Ditherer, the media and the gombeens about how much wealth we had that we changed our behaviour in the pricing of our purchasing.

      Showing off wealth became more important than creating wealth. We became more superficial in our culture. And this was whipped up into a frenzy by vested interests and the media. Showing off wealth actually makes you poorer. But here, the rules were amended. The problem is that there is such a thing as a bad investment. But nobody in the elite really believed this. After all they were gauranteed their investment, because the rules of the game were always in their favour. And then when the crash came, we found out that there were not really capitalists at all. Capitalism, and concepts like price competition was for other people. The little people mostly. For the vested interests there was Marxist style intervention to preserve something important. (Like their stakes in the game).

      What you are presented with as the system, and what it amounts to in reality are two seperate worlds.

      • Deco, spot on, call it *karaoke debt*.

      • liam

        Yeah, true Deco, and I think we’ve all talked a lot about how we got here. I read the articles these days and rarely comment but I thought that last line was particularly relevant and important. Trouble is, many do not see any problem with what you describe above, and you know what? They’re right! But only because they see the problem in a particular context and from a particular point of view. David’s comment is important because its not only another perspective, but it demonstrates another way of looking at things is possible.

        I suppose one will never persuade somebody who thinks that they are right that they are wrong simply because you say so, all you can do I guess is present plausible alternative possibilities and gently cajole and persuade.

        As you have said many many times in the past, we don’t really do critical thinking in these here parts, so 95% of any argument counter to orthodoxy is basic education.

  9. Johno

    Hi everyone

    First time poster been reading the blog for last few months and always impressed by the different views and opinions shared on it and think David writes some great ideas up here.

    I think the big problem facing the country is the banks and goverment want things to go back to they way they were to keep the staus quo and Im not sure the general public have the stomach for the big changes our socitey needs

  10. oe1

    I think the bretons might be horrified that we protected the hoarders and the speculators at the expense of investors and borrowers. This absolute attitude to debt is ridiculous. Money is there to be used, if someone has over 100k in the bank, they should take a hit on that money in a recession, just like everyone else. Instead the system is designed to protect people who made fortunes in the boom and can hive it off somewhere else. The recent financial crisis has been called the greatest transfer of wealth ever seen. In an era of widespread deflation, the Irish taxpayer has been paying 7% interest on speculative bank bonds in the bank guarantee scheme. Where is the justice in that?

    • paddythepig

      ‘Investors and borrowers’?

      Are you having a laugh?

      We have a boat load of borrowers in Ireland, very few investors.

      One of the characteristics of good investors is they take responsibility for their own mistakes. They accept that paying up for their mistakes is an essential part of their future success.

      That mentality is sadly missing in Ireland, not least on this blog.

  11. David.

    Interesting article and introducing realigned ideas to open up the debating of ideas and solutions going forward.

    My take on the crux of the article, which is debt and its true nature and reality, is the following.

    PROPERTY BELONGS TO EVERYONE.

    EVERYONE HAS A GOD GIVE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO A PATCH OF LAND TO LIVE ON FULL STOP.

    PROPERTY BEEN SOLD ON TO ANOTHER FOR TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A HOME IS A PERVERSION AND A DISGUSTING DEFILEMENT OF WHAT IS NATURALLY A PERSONS GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO OWN AND BE THEIRS _ A PATCH OF LAND TO BUILD A HOUSE AND HAVE A HOME.

    THERE IS ENOUGH “PATCHES OF LAND” FRO ALL OF US TO HAVE AND LIVE IN PEACE PROSPERITY AND HARMONY.

    DENYING A PERSON A PLOT OF LAND FOR FREE IS A TRAVESTY OF HUMANITY AND IT IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR PUTTING HUMANITY IN THE DEBT TOILET.

  12. Alan42

    Watching from afar , I really think you people are nuts . Over 20 billion has gone into Anglo ( dead parrot sketch ) on a one way ticket . The banks are still broke and good businesses are going under for the want of a bit of cashflow . Personal debt must be massive and is sitting on the banks balance sheets .

    Can somebody please answer me this . Why is it that the only time I hear about moral hazard is when it relates to personal debt ? What about the moral hazard of bailing out Anglo , AIB , BOI , Irish Nationwide ( the preferred bank of the connested ) those who have been NAMA’ed ( watch as they buy back prime development land for a song ) . But yet when it comes to personal debt its moral hazard this , moral hazard that .

    What about the moral hazard of a government which has over seen a complete boom to bust just staying in government with no clue about what to do ?

    Just to be clear , I know nobody who is in need of debt forgivness .

    • Deco

      The way things are headed, soon the state debt will be in the moral hazard territory.

      Plus debts from the expansionist imperialist ambitions of Bord na Mona into waste management, Coillte into all waste management, Bord Gais into electricity supply, the ESB into the car sector, etc.. etc…

      Let’s face it. We are a society addicted to debt. And the ‘leadership’ wants to keep it that way. The two greatest abhorents that it detests the most are clean slates, and people who scrounge and skimp to keep themselves out of debt.

  13. Flaiths in Brehon Law are non professional lawyers .Next time you meet your friend ‘Flaherty’ remind him of who he is.

    Clan System of Marriage

    Marriage under Brehon Law had ‘an offering for men ‘.A Man could have three legal wives in a relationships as follows :

    1 First Lawful Wife; and
    2 First lawful adaltrach -woman ; and
    3 An adaltrach -woman of abduction.

    Do we need to reconsider this again .How many men have left the family homestead to go elsewhere .Would it not be better to incorporate an extended family .Economically it would work.Sharia Law recognises this.

    • Colin

      Do we need to reconsider this again? No. That is the essence of greed. Affording some men more than 1 wife will mean no available women left for other men since the population is split 50/50 unless you are suggesting we abort male foetuses to rig the population 65/35 in favour of women in order to provide these multiple wives?

      How many men have left the family homestead to go elsewhere? No idea…..have you got the answer? More importantly, do you know why? Do you know where they go?

      Would it not be better to incorporate an extended family? As it stands, adults are free to associate/disassociate themselves from their own parents, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews.

      Economically it would work. And sending the unemployed to the gas chambers would work economically too.

      Sharia Law recognises this. Well……where do I start with this clanger….how’s about honour killings, you know the story, the teenage girl is seen in the village talking to a boy who happens to be a stranger and the girl’s family’s honour and respect is destroyed, so she must be killed to restore the family’s honour?

      • Colin – the art of thinking is never rewarded enough.Dont stop.

        • Colin

          John Allen,

          There’s good ideas and there’s bad ideas. Are you in favour of honour killings?

          Why don’t you visit the Arab lands and convince them to introduce the Brehon laws there, based on your arguement of Brehon and Sharia being brother and sister (which I incidentally believe to be false, just like the whole religion of Islam – contrived by a 6th century false prophet (all true prophets are of Jewish lineage as Scripture dictates), paedophile and mass murderer.

          • Colin – keep thinking even when its humid.

          • gquinn

            You don’t need to visit an Arab country to see hounour killings any European country will do for that. There is a lot of it here in the UK and it’s sad because you have a percentage of the population that does not believe in equal rights and thus they treat woman like shit and get them to wear a burka were a lot of them don’t want to wear it but the UK government is to coward to offend them.

    • Brehon Law and Sharia Law are brother and sister from an earlier law in the land of the Phoenicians .Islam evolved with Sharia and after Ireland became Christianised Brehon Law subsequently was removed from Statutes and replaced by English Common Law that had evolved from Saxon Law and Brehon Law under King Arthur who was educated by monks in Ireland before taking the throne .In Capital Hill ( Washington ) the original American Bill of Rights are enshrined with a copy of The Magna Carta .We should insist that a copy of the brehon laws be included too .
      Brehon Law is essentially ‘The Laws of Nature ‘ passed down by word of mouth and was the original laws used in Iceland and Nordic Countries .

      • Philip

        All this stuff about “Laws” etc is superficial. In the end, it boils down to ethics. An ethical society will perform under any legal regime.

        The Irish sense of ethics is dreadful in the extreme. For me, Honour and being Irish do not sit easily beside one another.

        • Thats a good point Philip so we could shortcircuit this ethics deficiency by distributing a piece of and to every citizen of Ireland with only one condition, it cannot ever be resold.

  14. Bull Rock : Given that the word Taurus means a Bull and that cattle were a recognised currency in an older time can we not say that the word Tara comes from Bull thus the Hill of Tara really is Bull Rock.

  15. To support Davids good article I can reveal that currently I use the Brehon Laws where it relates to taxation , property, and culture for Irish Minority Ethnic Clans.

    • The Wheel of Suffering :

      There is a very strong correlation between what we refer as ‘the travelling community ‘and their origins and ‘the youth of today’ .Both were displaced from normal society and free work .The origins of the travelling community started after the displacement of the Brehon Laws .The origins of ‘the youth of today’ begun after the enactment of NAMA .In a future time these new youth of today will evolve with a new name and become a different travelling community .

  16. Deputy Cody : Our lives are deeply encoded with the laws we have inherited and they will never leave us no matter so we must try to learn to understand them and use them to take us to our next destination .It is important to include that the language of Atlantian ( Irish Gaelic ) is also an expression of pure nature where we live in and especially the heavens and galaxy an inheritance from our earlier family the Phoenicians.Atlantean to Astrology is liken as Latin to Medicine.

  17. Philip

    Honesty, Openness, Fair Play, “The Right Thing”, Tolerance and Charity are attributes of an ethical society. Maybe the loss of our link with the Brehon laws created a disconnect or inability at a genetic level to recapture the essence of these ethics. Ethics lacks equivocation, but leverages our ability to empathize with our fellow man and creatures to make our judgments be based on thinking rather than black and white laws.

    Maybe lack of memory of our Gaelic heritage is an issue. But, I think the guidance for a good life are found in countless other places and cultures which are very much alive – there are no excuses. Education is the key – (make the leaving cert an open book exam would fix a lot of it!!)

    It has been proven without doubt that mammals (and maybe other classes of life) all possess mirror neurons whereby we can identify with the pain and joy of others. Morality is universal at a biological level. You do not need makey up laws!!! People need to start listening to others rather than be looking back in fear of losing what you have (which you will eventually – accept it). Look forward at continuing abundance in you community. You need little. Make sure the others have enough and you’ll have a very nice society indeed.

    So no need for laws or government or headbanger super leaders. Give anarchy a try.

    • A good way to get going on this would be to give sell every citizen over the age of 21 a piece of land for on cent to be used to live on indefinitely.

  18. Deco

    The GP are rumoured to be driving hard to instigate a property tax. It will be across the board. And presumably, it will provide cashflow for auctioneers, architects, and layabouts working for the local authorities. As well as GP activists looking for permanent state jobs, so that they will be permanently indebted to Gormless. This will facilitate their political activities, and so that they will go around like gobshites knocking on doors telling you about the greatness of Gormless.
    (Gormless gave wasters like me a job working for the state, to be paid for by new taxes on you-so that I can tell you to vote for the Gormless One).

    The Irish state is turning into an even more top heavy, expensive, parasitic, bureacratic, inefficient, cathastrophe generating, nod-wink, source of corruption and cronyism. It’s a source of never ending patronage and waste and ineptitude. It sucks schemers and insiders like dirt attracts flies.

    And you can forget about being able to access information telling you what is really going on in there. The fee was to make sure that you never knew what went on when FAS directors and the like went on junkets.

    With such rumours rife, we should expect Fionan Sheehan officially telling you all that the property tax cannot be helped, that it is morally courageous, that it is FF’s fault, and that the GP exist to make it a fairer tax. And the GP have a list of good causes to make sure that the money is needed, etc.. etc..

    • Dilly

      Excellent post Deco. It is all very sad, but true. When ever I point this out to someone who has their fingers in the till, they deny it all, and get very angry. Go back twenty years, and the shysters were able to keep 90% of these scams hidden. Today, it is harder to do so.

    • Tull McAdoo

      @Deco, I thought that Fionan Sheehan stood for election for Ogra Fianna Fail back in his youth, around Cork I believe.? p.s. not that I give a shit as Fionan never has anything of interest to say.He seems to have developed a career for himself trawling through the bowels of the status quo. Ha.
      Yes Gormless, I feel a song coming on……
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo74Dn7W_pA&feature=related

      • Deco

        Tull – thanks for the background info concerning Fionan Sheehan. It does not tell us what his political outlook is except, in so far, as we can see that he is all in favour of himself.

    • liam

      For the sake of argument: I see an upside to a property tax, provided it is broadly similar in intent to the UK’s Council tax. By providing local authorities with income that is in some ways directly related to their level of service provision, we move a bit closer to realising the principle of subsidiarity in Irish politics and perhaps further distance TDs from what should begin and end as council responsibilities.

  19. Tull McAdoo

    Here We have it again ” spin the bottle”. We were all blind but some were more blind than others. ” the Central Bank which is made up of our former bed-fellows was asleep at the wheel” and they were out smoking behind the bicycle shed…. bullshit and bolloxology to all that.
    The Dept. of Finance is rotten to the core , it is beyond saving in terms of its culture and incompedence. It needs to be cleared out from top to bottom as the Country can no longer afford their uslessness, end of rant. Here’s what got my dander up by the way….
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/0624/1224273191233.html

  20. coldblow

    Here’s a good article by Michael Hudson

    http://michael-hudson.com/2010/04/the-coming-european-debt-wars/

    Here’s a chunk. It’s mainly about eastern Europe but it’s relevant.

    “Austerity plans” IMF and EU style is an antiseptic, technocratic jargon for life-shortening and killing impact of gutting income, social services, spending on health on hospitals, education and other basic needs, and selling off public infrastructure for buyers to turn nations into “tollbooth economies” where everyone is obliged to pay access prices for roads, education, medical care and other costs of living and doing business that have long been subsidized by progressive taxation in North America and Western Europe.
    The battle lines are being drawn regarding how private and public debts are to be repaid. For nations that balk at repayment in euros, the creditor nations have their “muscle” waiting in the wings: the credit rating agencies. At the first sign a nation is balking in paying in hard currency, or even at the first hint of it questioning a foreign debt as improper, the agencies will move in to reduce a nation’s credit rating. This will increase the cost of borrowing and threaten to paralyze the economy by starving it for credit.
    The most recent shot was fired n April 6 when Moody’s downgraded Iceland’s debt from stable to negative. “Moody’s acknowledged that Iceland might still achieve a better deal in renewed negotiations, but said the current uncertainty was hurting the country’s short-term economic and financial prospects.”
    The fight is on. It should be an interesting decade.

  21. coldblow

    Here’s an interesting footnote from Hudson’s “Latvia’s Cruel Neoliberal Experiment”:

    Readers of the Bible will recognize this as the essence of the Jubilee Year of Leviticus 25, which Jewish religion took out of the hands of rulers and placed at the center of their religion as a covenant under Mosaic law. And when Jesus gave his first sermon in the synagogue, Luke 4 describes him as unrolling the scroll of Isaiah and saying that he had come to proclaim “the Year of our Lord,” that is, the Jubilee Year, deror. This Hebrew word that the prophets and Leviticus used was cognate to Babylonian andurarum. I describe the details in “Reconstructing the Origins of Interest-Bearing Debt and the Logic of Clean Slates,” in Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East (ed. Michael Hudson and Marc Van De Mieroop, CDL Press, Bethesda, 2002):7-58.

    Here’s his proposals for reform in Latvia:

    An economic program to renew Latvian development
    Banks must share responsibility for keeping loans within the debtor’s ability to pay. This basic rule has been violated throughout the world in recent years. This has been largely a result of the banks’ greed in making loans more than limited to 70 percent of the property’s value, as was long the rule in the United States. In view of the fact that Latvia’s currency is under pressure to be devalued — with 87 percent of mortgage debts being denominated in foreign currency — banks should only able to take the house itself when they foreclose. This is the collateral that was supposed to back the loan, and it is what makes mortgage loans different from personal loans. Personal liability should not be permitted for mortgage debtors. There is no better way to prevent banks from making irresponsible loans, and then trying to make the debtor’s pay.
    Second, all loans and obligations should be re-denominated in domestic currency. This is similar to what U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt did in the in 1932 when he overruled the gold clause in most loan contracts. (The clause stated that if the price of gold changed, the debt had to paid in gold equivalence.) This was intended to prevent creditors from obtaining a windfall gain and indeed, a gain beyond the ability of debtors to pay and hence at the expense of economic recovery. The economy comes first, not the bankers. This is especially important in today’s world, where there is no longer a constraint on the banking system’s ability to monetize credit.
    A third plank of the program to renew Latvia is designed to cope with the problem of abandoned housing, squatters and crime that has plagued foreclosures in the United States. Upon insolvency or foreclosure of residential and commercial property, the foreclosing bank must put it up for auction within one month, to be sold at a market price. The current occupant (either the indebted owner or renter) will have the right to match the bid.
    Our plan is for the government to set up a bank to lend the occupant funds to buy the property, converting its current rental value into mortgage debt service. At current prices, the new mortgage may be about 30 percent of the existing debt — and it will be denominated in domestic currency. The oligarchs seem happy with this, because loans on the large public utilities and other assets they have taken over and borrowed against also will be re-denominated in domestic currency.

    There is a case of cognitive dissonance when it comes to structural financial and fiscal reform. Most people are not aware that a workable alternative exists, one that was viewed for a century as being the free market alternative — a market free of unearned income and “empty” pricing. Students no longer are taught that economic thinkers have spent the last seven centuries discussing better modes of taxation, banking and pricing, based on the ability to distinguish between economically necessary costs and income, and unnecessary costs.
    The classical reformers sought to complete what they viewed as the economic program of industrial capitalism: to throw off the remaining legacy of feudalism, above all the landlord aristocracy that used to be called the idle rich, and also predatory bankers — a cosmopolitan interest typically working with absentee owners, monopolists and other rent-extracting parties. Landowners, privatizers and monopolists are now backed by their international bankers, joining forces to become a new aggressive power as financial speculators. Their activities are not necessary for the industrial economy to operate, but are a rentier overhead that slows it down.
    The most important plank of our program concerns the tax system. Like most other post-Soviet economies that have been neoliberalized, Latvia has a dysfunctional flat tax on employment — a total tax burden (labor, employer, and social tax) of over 50%. This is the major factor pricing Latvian labor out of global markets. We urge that the tax be shifted off labor and its employers onto where the classical economists urged it to be placed: on the land and natural resources, presently taxed at less than 1% of their value.
    This would “reform the reformers.” We expect that the EU and its commercial bankers will fight against this tax shift, fearing that it might spread to other countries. That ultimately is the economic and financial war in which Latvia is caught up as prime victim. Fiscal reform must be a key element in financial reform, because the two prongs of reform are symbiotic. Taxing the land will save its rental value from being capitalized into bank loans. Our aim is to limit bank credit to the financing of creating new means of production, not merely to bolster the price of unproductive, extractive privileges and property claims.
    Our recommendations are those of centuries of classical liberal economics, from the French Physiocrats through Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill to America’s Progressive Era reformers. In rejecting their classical economic and fiscal logic, Latvia’s neoliberal planners are much like fundamentalist believers in Genesis were offended when Thomas Huxley defended the theory of evolution. “Respectable churchgoers were appalled. ‘Let us hope it is not true,’ cried one horrified lady upon hearing that humans were descended from apes, ‘but if it is, let us pray that it will not become generally known.’”
    This is the attitude taken today by Latvia’s neoliberal leaders. They would like to hope that the ideas of the men they cite as their intellectual patron saints — Adam Smith, et al. — did not really say what they did. But facts are facts. The dysfunctional tax system, financial system and dismantling of public enterprise and a public banking option run counter to the idea of free markets held for centuries by the classical liberals. Their idea of a free market was a market free of unearned income, free of land rent and predatory financial charges. Latvia’s neoliberal rulers have been busy loading down the economy with these charges during their entire time of office. The result has been an economic and demographic death spiral for Latvia.

    It’s interesting how Hudson’s analyis of the modern global neoliberal phenomenon leads him to similar remedies to those proposed by Ray Crotty who was looking at Ireland from the colonial perspective. Wasn’t it Tull who mentioned Henry George (land tax) here once?

    • Deco

      Latvia’s wannabe leaders decided that they would institute a system that was the reverse of a system that was not adequate. And they ended up with another system that was not adequate.

      This is the way with human nature. People go in a direction, and then they take an ideological stance that is a 180 degree turn.

      And I am asking myself, “If only they had discovered common sense ? “

  22. Furrylugs – come back and re-allign your soltice circle .My coded language ‘hell on high water ‘ is coming true near Dun Aengus .Water not to be found anywhere on Inis Mor and soon to be a Desert Island.The Wobble has arrived.

    • Hi John et al. Sorry for going on the disappearing list but life is very busy, TG.

      Davids articles, matched by Deco’s sage comments still make for essential reading. I don’t buy newspapers any more, I just catch up with the craic here when I can.
      Nice to see Wills getting the recognition he deserves for coining “Ponzi Republic” too.

      And John’s wobbles seem to be hitting mainstream as well. Good to be part of the Economics Spearhead Battalion.

      I’d comment on the article but it’s all been said and better. So I’m off over the hills to Tull McAdoos hostelry since it’s a fine evening.

      Ciao for now folks.
      F

  23. psammead

    Newgrange: They got the megaliths up the hill using logs as rollers most likely.
    Brehon law: Hmmm women and property, remember that property was in the form of movables (cattle, soldiers for example) and they were severely limited when it came to passing them on to someone else. David if you are interested in ancient Irish law and women, check out the laws on women and contracts – interesting stuff.

  24. The concept of this article is TIME .We need to devise our own Newgrad that measures the balance of what we want in our lives and what we give in our lives .Days will need to have meanings and purposes and weeks to have completion in itself.Where does the beginning of a day start and where does it end.Part of this implementation can include :

    Days of Paid Employment reduced
    Days of Social Duties introduced
    Everyone to have a right to work
    Dual Currencies Hard/Soft
    Compulsory Military/Civic Duties
    Home Loan Partnerships
    Increase Retiring age
    Guaranteed Work for Ages over 21
    Prisoners Open Detention Areas
    New Amish/ Traditional Community Homelands
    Re-define Utilities
    National Religious Regulations for All Creeds
    Re-define being Irish
    Re-define Language Areas and introduce new recognitions
    Build and Connect The Community Nationwide

  25. USA Today June 22 editorial debates issues re foreclosure programs in the USA. One, Obama foreclosure program being a relative failure, gives homeowners a federal refinancing deal, but failed because lots of homeowners unable to declare their income. Also, even with a deal, up to 50% availing of still got into trouble. Another, The Home Affordable Modification Scheme, HAMP, is accused of driving up home prices and promoting irresponsible borrowing and lending. Major arg and subsidizes the rich needs to be rethought. Argument against is that it applies to houses up to 1 million giving already rich Joe’s assistance they don’t need. “Any policy that simultaneously rewards irresponsible behaviour, leads to huge government bailouts needs to be rethought”

    • So, looking at both sides of the argument, see earlier PaddyJones thread, due care should be given to a program that responsibly deals with the issues on both sides, to avoid an even bigger mess.

  26. Philip

    Can someone dig up that article that by Sept 2010 about 30% (yes Three Zero) of the Irish Households will not be able to make ends meet. People are no longer going to the doctor, dentist etc. Kids are more neglected than ever before. Anyone see NewsNight on Sierra Leon? Shape of things to come, but I’m afraid, the weather is not part of the package.

    • I am unsure exact on acerage, but, there is enough land for every citizen to possess, for free, and live on. Also, if anyone wants to profit from buying and selling land and homes let them, once everyone has a set acre of land and a roof over there head.

      This private property link up with banking bastardization going on since the tudor times set the ball rolling on it has been an unmitigated disaster for the world. It is responsible for untold misery and bloodshed destroying the family and making mince meat of man / woman relations.

  27. @Furrylugs.
    Thanks for nod furrylugs. Say hi too Tull.

    @Cbweb.
    Go to ‘in – out burger’ in LA if you get the chance cbweb.

  28. Noonan – noonan should not be elected to the front bench by enda – this man is an old dog with same spots and pulverises vulnerable women on their death bed.There is thick blood on his hands.

  29. cautious-optimist

    Hi Folks,

    I’m just back from seeing David live in the Outsiders. It’s a fantastic show ending on an optimistic note with a 4 point plan of:
    1. Close Anglo
    2. Close Nama
    3. Harness a fraction of the €780 bilion deposits sitting in the IFSC in US dollars (because it can’t be repatriated without paying huge tax) for a venture fund for Irish startups
    4. Use the Diaspora.

    All very convincing and workable but the problem is time is running out! Our government is hell bent on saving Anglo and bailing out the insiders with Nama. How do I as an individual effect change? The next election is 2 yrs away. I’ve been on the marches to the Dail and they were hijacked by the far left which discredited the whole thing. I’ve emailed my TD’s and local counsellors asking them to reconsider the madness they are signing up to in the hope that they could have some influence on the front bench but to no avail so far.
    I’ve talked to my family and co-works incessantly about what’s going on and I’m regarded as just another angry middle aged man but my personal goal is clear: I do not want to be visiting my children in far away places because they cannot have a future here. Unlike many of my friends who emigrated in the 80′s I want them to have the choice of making a life for themselves here. So for that reason I’ll continue banging on about how shameful the Anglo and nama solutions are in the hope that somehow our current leaders will come to their senses.

    But I’m looking for suggestions as to how to effect change now!

    • Good to hear Davids show worked for you. How did audience react to D’s play.

      • cautious-optimist

        Wills, the show was well received with a few members giving David a standing ovation at the end. No heckling or dissenters but a question and answer session would have been a welcome addition to the show. A brilliant and highly energetic presentation by David, He’s a great mimic of accents!

  30. Please posters, someone else put pic up on avatar or will be compelled to pull mine, not ‘avin just my *ugly mug* plastered on the web page.

    • coldblow

      Wills, there are instructions on the outsiders-reviews section for downloading/uploading/wtf a ‘gravatar’. This automatically adds the picture when you post to a site (not that I do). As with debt, my instinct is to avoid signing up with this sort of thing. Is it legit? (work computer etc)

  31. coldblow

    Vidal talks about the 1% who own America, Hudson about the 90% in debt to the 10% globally speaking. DMcW, Tull and others say Follow the Money. “In another place” however (irisheconomy.ie) the majority view (this is some months ago, mind you – someone who overstepped the mark by mentioning the “default” word was advised to have a little lie down) seemed to be that there is no wealth to tax in Ireland, and Sarah Carey in the IT confirmed this, with some irritation it has to be said as it was all so obvious really, having been told this by people who would know. So, like the little boy without the homework the money has just “gone”. The debit side on the ledger is there alright but the credit figure has gone AWOL. Who’d have Adam and Eved it? Well, it’s a comfort in a way as it means we are all in the same boat now, we are where we are but we’ll all muddle through together.

    For the 1%/10%(who are of course not actually wealthy per se)the issue is how to squeeze for full repayment without going too far and killing the debtor – as long as they can come back for the rest later. However, if it gets messy and there is unpleasantness then everyone loses out and who wants that? But a debt’s a debt after all. Rules are rules and it’s for all our good. So, being serious, responsible people, they have to get this exactly right. Use the correct amount of pressure. Squeeze responsibly.

  32. Tull McAdoo

    Even the hawks over at the IMF think that struggling homeowners in Ireland could do with a break, not that the IMF could give a flying … about the little people in Ireland and breaks of any kind. No this is macroeconomics at play here with the IMF and they are seeing down the line, into the future. They estimate that we will only have growth rising to 3.5 % by 2015 and they estimate that unemployment will still be sticky at around 9/10% right up to and including 2015. They also know from talking to various groups that emigration will be running at about 100 thousand per annum( of mostly the best and brightest), tapering off as the numbers find it more difficult to get away, but should represent about half a million in the next 5 or 6 years.
    The Times runs with some of the details in today’s article. From where I am sitting people and given the two Paddies i.e Pig & Jones’s concerns, I would say beyond any doubt that “ moral hazard” is the least of yere concerns at present.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/0625/breaking11.html

  33. MidasMoney

    David, how is it that I have not seen Michael Hudson referred to in the Irish media at all? He has been advising the Icelandic and Latvian Govts on how to deal with their crises. For my money, he’s making a lot of sense. See this article –

    http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson06252010.html

    or his homepage;

    http://michael-hudson.com/

    Any comment David?

  34. ONE PERSON ONE CENT ONE ACRE

  35. ‘Why speak to the Angels when we can speak to God.’

    We should take a leaf from Woulfe Tone ,Kerry and The French Revolution.We must seek our own Emancipation from the Dog House we find ourselves in.Like before Catholics in the Bar formed a Committee at a meeting at Taylors ,Dublin and decided to bypass the Irish Parliament and go to England to lay further demands at the feet of the King .It is a case that the Legal Profession act as a conduit of Revolution for all of US ( the beatles) and travel to Europe as the Provisional Ideas and Representatives of the Irish People and demand all We Want.

  36. Gege Le Beau

    US warns of double dip recession, think we can take the warning as a fact…………….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/25/g20-summit-double-recession-warning

  37. paulmcd

    NEGATIVE EQUITY:

    TEMPLATE OF LETTER FOR ASPIRING INSIDERS IN A TIME O’ CHASSIS — OR, as I am in Sicily at the moment, “ON MAKING SOMEONE AN OFFER THEY CANNOT REFUSE”; without forgetting to use CÚPLA FOCAIL!

    To: Brian Lean-a’-Cháin, Mandarin-of-Mandarins, Department of Finance, Merrion Street, Dublin

    A Chara, I admire your presentation style and the terms under which you have taken a 51% controlling interest in the Educationally-challenged Bulldozing Syndicate (EBS) in May.

    I aspire to a similar level of achievement and am starting today by joining the PARTY and offering you the opportunity to take a majority stake in my estate under the same pricing terms as your EBS arrangement, namely, you will pay 135% of last year’s valuation of my home for a 51% stake therein.

    In addition, you will have the opportunity to compensate a certain Mr Bundholder who claims a special interest through his assistance in mortgage origination.

    This transaction will be IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST because you can source funds from the national treasury to improve my capital adequacy and enhance my creditworthiness at an international level.

    You need only facilitate our proposed transaction through a modicum of quantitative easing and I will fulfil my duty as a denizen of €uroland by adding liquidity and stimulus on the high streets of Rome, Paris and Berlin.

    A Bhrian, a chara na gcarad, my offer is unique. We are both experienced dealmakers; so, unlike the Educationally-challenged Bulldozing Syndicate, I can go a step further and promise you a 10% cut of the proposed transaction value once closure of the deal is complete. I stress that this latter arrangement is between you and me, ourselves alone, and must remain classified and subject to the usual provisions of the Official Secrets Act.

    Kindly ensure that the customary gagging order will apply to officials on your side . . .

    . . . AND REMEMBER — NO MORE TALK OF WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION!

    Just tell the Outsiders that the issue is a complex one and will need to be examined by a commission of enquiry which will report on the same date as that of the release of the Report of the Moriarty Tribunal . . . NOD, NOD, WINK, WINK!!

    Thanking you in anticipation of our partnership through the Insider Domain,

    MISE, LE FLAITHIÚLACHT

    PS I trust you will appreciate that the additional 1% to be sacrificed by me is a luxury doghouse, a retreat which I shall, with the greatest of pleasure, dedicate to you and yours.

  38. “”McWilliams slates Ernst & Young forecast

    Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 02:06 PM

    Leading economist David McWilliams has slated last Thursday’s Ernst & Young forecast report for the Irish economy.

    The report, which received huge praise by the Government and business groups, predicts that Ireland will have the greatest recovery of any of the Eurozone economies.”"

    Good man David. It must be a lonely furrow you plough, debunking all the trash and tripe.
    The Furry Family are with you all the way.

    It also concludes that Ireland’s recovery will be ‘largely jobless’, however.

    Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/business/mcwilliams-slates-ernst-young-forecast-463251.html#ixzz0s3vnfXAw

    • gquinn

      I agree with you. We must stop the media trash as its just pure propaganda and it’s not funny any more.

      It’s like saying everyone is going to be rich but everyone will be poor.

      How can you have growth when everyone is unemployed, it’s pure bollox and thats what I would say to the business groups and Ernest and Young and they all should do Economics 101.

      Brian Cowen should be ashamed of himself in saying that no one could see the recession coming.

      I did because it was fucking obvious and thats why I left Ireland in 2005 because I could see the country ready to implode it was that fucking obvious.

      Get ready for the biggest depression since the 1930′s because of the following:
      1 Massive debt in the World
      2 Massive unemployment in the World
      3 Massive deflation, yes, look at the grains in the commodity market there still fucking falling
      4 People are going to go hungry, starve and die, its that fucking series and thats just in the Western countries.
      5 Interest rates are ready to go back up, high

      I have gave the warning in my earlier posts, I would advise you to back check them. You all have been warned and We will probably hear Cowen saying well no-one could have seen the depression coming well think again Clowen, thing again Clowen.

  39. Gege Le Beau

    Stiglitz and others have said it, you can’t have a recovery with high unemployment, but all the ‘agencies’ and buddy firms are being called upon to give optimistic but unrealistic accounts, these in turn will be spun by Mary Hanafin and others on talk shows………totalitarian.

  40. Gege Le Beau

    “……slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating……….And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again – Paul Krugman

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/28/opinion/28krugman.html

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