August 11, 2010

The bank guarantee has done its job, so move on

Posted in Banks · 160 comments ·

WHEN I hear the new boss of Anglo urging the Government to extend the bank guarantee, I know the right thing to do is precisely the opposite. Put in its most simple form, what is good for Anglo is bad for Ireland.

The only course of action is to close this thing down, together with Irish Nationwide, as soon as possible. Nobody will miss either, once depositors — particularly of Nationwide — are looked after. Looking after depositors is easy to do. Believe me: we will miss Hector Grey’s more than Anglo.

We are being presented with the usual line that “there is no alternative to saving Anglo.” And now the EU Commission has given its permission for our Government to continue to spend your money bailing out Anglo.

Well thank you, but it’s not your cash, Mr Commissioner, it’s our cash. The EU is doing this to save itself the embarrassment of a bank failure on the margins of Europe. But there is an alternative to the present policy and it is an alternative that was discussed when the guarantee was introduced.

During informal chats about the guarantee before it became policy, the scenario was envisaged that one or two of the banks might be total basket cases and a plan for this ‘worst-case scenario’ was hatched.

The plan was simple: the guarantee would be allowed to lapse and any such distressed bank would be closed down, with its creditors taking the hit.

Once the guarantee was lifted, the defaulting bank would then become a defaulting bank within the ECB’s remit. Given that most of the creditors were other banks in the ECB’s empire, the situation becomes a small European problem.

Back then, in September 2008, Ireland faced two choices: either we had a run on our banks — which would have seen the small depositor lose because the big guys always get out first — or the other choice was that we did something dramatic, but temporary.

Looking at what had been done in Sweden and Switzerland in similar crises in the early 1990s, it seemed that if we wanted to stop the immediate crisis, then a blanket guarantee was necessary.

However, aware of the risk that the banks might use this in the future to suck money out of the State and, in so doing, threaten a bigger fiscal crisis, it was crucial that this move had to be temporary. The guarantee has done its job, it prevented a chaotic run on the banks. But now we must get rid of it.

In general terms, prolonging the guarantee — no matter what the circumstances — risks a fiscal meltdown where Ireland becomes not so much a country with a banking system but a banking system with a country stuck on to it. This will lead to a Greek-style fiscal crisis, arriving at the same end point by different means.

In the Greek crisis, a sovereign-debt crisis became a banking crisis because the banks had lent so much to the free-spending Greek government. In Ireland, a banking crisis will become a sovereign-debt crisis because a prolonged guarantee puts us all on the hook.

With hindsight, there are those who argue that maybe it would have been better to let the banking system collapse. However, when faced with a dilemma and if you are asked your opinion, you need to take the view that a plan is better than no plan at all.

The plan back then was to shore up the banks by ‘lending’ to them — not giving to them — the credibility of the Irish State for two years. During those two years, we would have time to see how bad the situation was and then, having assessed the situation, we would act.

Either we have banks that were decent enough to be recapitalised by the financial markets — in which case the guarantee would have worked — or we would have basket cases, in which case the guarantee would be used as a shield behind which we could do an adult deal with the creditors and close the banks down in an orderly fashion. Clearly, if a bank can’t raise capital on the financial markets on its own, it ceases to be a bank and should be closed.

That second option involves getting the creditors of the banks in a room and telling them the Irish people have no interest in propping up the banks any more. We would have to buy a deposit insurance policy from a large international insurance company (which big one wouldn’t like such a huge slice of business?) and away we go.

A ‘sweetener’ in such a deal for the creditors (who were silly and greedy enough to lend to the Irish banks back in the boom) could be a debt-equity swap, whereby we turn the creditors of banks into shareholders. This is a ‘normal’ way of dealing with banking failures in a system you might have heard of — it’s called capitalism.

So this is what we have to do now and there is still time. Yes, there will be fights and certain people will complain. These things are never entirely amicable. No one likes losing money but the creditors have to pay.

Once the guarantee lapses, a default by the Irish banks becomes a simple corporate default. These things happen all the time.

In the short term, there may be some impact on credit availability but this will be temporary as the European Central Bank is still injecting money into the system. Moreover, when a newly cleaned-up bank or banks emerge — as will definitely be the case — credit will flow much more freely. If we are to stay in this monetary union, we might as well use the damn thing by giving the ECB a call and asking it to facilitate this orderly wind-down.

In terms of credit flowing to small businesses, the guarantee, by contaminating the flow of new credit with the toxicity of old debt on the balance sheet of the banks, might actually be hindering credit flows. Getting rid of it makes the credit picture much clearer.

This sequence of events was envisaged in the original plan, had the guarantee revealed the worst. Now we know with Anglo, Irish Nationwide and AIB that the worst-case scenario is the reality. Things are only marginally better at Bank of Ireland. So why not stick to the plan and close the banks down, with the Irish State acting as broker, not principal?

This would be done in an orderly fashion with no panic or chaos. Someone will buy the banks once the deal with the creditors is done. Who wouldn’t buy the banking system of a small European country once the hard decisions are taken? We can then use their capital to recapitalise the country.

We are told that there is no alternative. There is — you have just read it. It comes straight out of the capitalist manifesto for dealing with bust banks.

There is still time to act. Let the guarantee lapse and accept the consequences of large corporate defaults in Ireland. The rest of the financial markets expect some sort of default here, so why does our Government remain in denial? Accept the reality and move on.

  1. adamabyss


    • Bamboo

      Great article as usual.

      “there is no alternative to saving Anglo.” The alternatives that are presented come from people outside the GOV. And the more alternatives are presented and no matter how much it make sense this GOV will stick to their line of “there is no alternative”. So they are burying deeper and deeper into their own problems and the Irish people have to accept this and muddle through.
      We don’t seem to understand it at all. It is not a matter what is the best way to go forward.
      It is now matter for this GOV to swallow their pride and accepting that it is time loose face for the sake of the Irish People. Same with the Catholic Church. Only then we can move on . . .

      BTW: I remember years ago I was at my local butcher and he overcharged me and I asked him why it had come to so much. He then checked it again and went through great trouble to make up something that came to that price. After some time he came back to me with an excuse of one of the items being the wrong price. I argued that and he went off again to check again but he tripped over something and fell and started cursing, half blaming me for his fall.
      His accident was enough for me to let the whole thing go. But I really felt that if he just said that he made a mistake it would have been easier.

      I Compare this butcher with our GOV.

  2. dermo

    The ECB are the creators of money out of thin air (ink trees and tap tap press enter)It should be their problem .
    Anglo should have been let fail from the start.The spoofery coming from government that it is systemic is BS and it would effect our standing on the bond markets is more crap.

  3. Lius

    Again David you are 100% correct and everbody knows it but the cabinet table is not listening.

    Is there any way to get Lenihan and Cowen to see the light?

  4. Great article from D. I entirely agree with all of it. The principle informing action should be the simple one, ‘Do No Harm’. The guarantee and Anglo bailout is damaging Ireland INC big time and our blood letting as we enter the tunnel of debt has just begun. The amazing thing is corporate EMU has geared itself to deal with banking failures such as Anglo so that such failures are no longer of systemic importance to the EU or to Ireland Inc. What is of systemic importance to Ireland Inc is that Anglo be wound down in the most cost effective way possible. When times get better, other banks to compete with the remains of our banking system including the setting up of commercial state banks to provide value for money for taxpayers Time to draw to bring down our Berlin Wall of protection, our dalliance with socialism for the banks and give Ireland Inc a chance.

  5. Alfred Hitchcock said : ‘the better the villain the better the movie’.
    I guess this is what Lenihan aspires to be in the next world whether that world is the same as ours or not remains to be seen.

  6. David
    You have been consistently correct re suggesting the Government should have closed Anglo since the problems errupted Sep 2008?
    But not only has it conveniently fallen on deaf ears but we can only hope the elections later in the year will decide how you can not trust a Government Greens included – who have wasted 30 plus Billion yes thirty Billion Euros to keep a select group of dodgy business tycoons afloat!
    as for Anglo currently ex banker CEO wishes for the new bank – to hire an old coleague =- who had earlier overseed the very area that is in problems – & currently as an outside consultant negotiating debts that the bank has with unhealthy customers!
    The mess , the web of deceit and deception is still rampant !& no Senator / representative /civil service care! like what you earlier stated it is a small clique /altenative mafia! accountable not to Joe Public ? outrageous !

    • dermo

      I feel if the accounts of Anglo where looked into a lot of nasty surprises for our political establishment would crop up.They are keeping the lid of the coffin tightly sealed to stop the smells using taxpayers money, so us plebs won’t demand the guillotine for the shafters.

      • Deco

        Yes, and based on the rumours that I have been hearing, it is not just the political establishment. All them choppers were purchased for a reason…..

  7. Truth :

    Is it really coherent to say that one does’nt want Truth but is ready to accept that there are theories , statements, or beliefs, that are true? It is the rationalists who provoke a reign of terror and censorship and cultivate a systematic suspicion about words like , truth, reason, or objectivity.
    The same opponents of rationalism pose as victims unjustly attacked by a dogmatic and reactionary establishment.Where do we stand?

    Pragmatism claims to assimilate truth to utility ; that which is useful maybe false and that which is false maybe useful.So do values of social utility predominate over the value of truth?

    If we do not seek Truth then who is taking the Compliment?

  8. Gege Le Beau

    3rd parties have more of a say in the Irish economy than the Irish government.

    This is the ideology, soon we will hear the Sky itself has been registered in an office in Zurich.

  9. Gege Le Beau

    Just on the middle class thing again (the great aspirants)….

    Elizabeth Warren – The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke

  10. John Q. Public

    Anglo Irish should be more attractive to a buyer now as they have taken over Arnotts, an asset that at least is bringing in some money. Seems extaordinary that a taken-over bank can take over another company. Can Anglo not take over some of those bust construction companies too? Maybe acquire some useful land/ghost estates in the process?

  11. dwalsh

    Dukes is a gold card carrying functionary on the Euro/Globalist gravytrain. He represents the bond holders, euphemistically known to us as ‘The Markets’; in reality these are the ‘Owners’ who now own our national productivity through debt for the next number of generationns.
    This bankrupting of the nations is worldwide and it is I believe a prelude to the introduction of a new global central banking system as the basis of a new world order.
    We are in the midst of the third world war. It is an economic war waged by the global financial elite against the nations and peoples of the world. Men like Soros are generals in this war; their hedge funds are economic weapons of mass destruction.
    Dukes is a minor functionary playing his part – perhaps only half knowingly.

    • @dwalsh

      re ‘ He represents the bond holders, euphemistically known to us as ‘The Markets’’

      I think distinction should be made between ‘The Markets’ and bond holders as there are important distinctions. ‘The Markets’ buy and sell bonds and set the bond spreads that are deteriorating as we speak for Ireland Inc. The banks and corporate interests they represent, on the other hand, are the beneficial owners of these bonds.

      Denying the bondholders their pound of flesh may at the end of the day, in the event of a corporate default by Anglo, improve matters for Ireland and turn ‘The Markets’ in favour of Ireland Inc. This outcome would depend on a satisfactory outcome for all concerned e.g along similar lines of debt restructuring as for Uruguay circa 2003.

      Dukes would have us believe ‘The Markets’ favour the Anglo bailout. Given bond spreads for Ireland Inc this is patently not the case and in fact is just another reason to end the Anglo bailout. Dukes represents not ‘The Markets’ but the bondholder banks, Dukes would like us to believe they are one and the same.

      Its my belief Dukes et al are being led up a corporate alleyway at the moment where Ireland Inc is being mugged and not saved as he would have us believe. The Anglo bondholders, possibly aware we will eventually default, want to extract out of Ireland Inc currently €24.3 bn and rising (for Anglo) as much as possible out of Ireland Inc’s carcase before that event happens.

      What’s good for Anglo is bad for Ireland Inc and very bad news going forward for ‘The Markets’ view of Ireland. Great news for bondholder banks milking suckers like Dukes though.

      Ambrose Evans-Pritchett writes though April 2 last and leaving aside his comments on ‘great leadership’ in Ireland of a 13% write down for Uruguay. I presume the tonic of 25% default write down for Greece is still on the cards.

      Surely a corporate default involving Anglo alone is better than a sovereign default involving Ireland Inc that is most assuredly on the horizon if we continue with the Anglo charade.

      • dwalsh

        I think the distinction you endeavour to draw is pretty thin. The people who own the debt (bonds) are the market. Just because there are functionaries downstream of them running the daily business does not mean the owners are not effectively the market.
        Otherwise I agree with your comments.
        I question whether Cowan et al have any choice in these matters. I remember Cowan as minister for finance being asked why he would not tax the super rich and he replied that it is best international practice not to. I think that is why he has paid the bond holders in Anglo. His reply is code for the following: we are not soverign in financial matters of this scale. We are part of and dependent on an international financial system which we cannot defy. His hands are tied.

    • michaelcoughlan

      As far as I know the Fist guy to refer to the securitisation of debt in the US as financial weapons of mass destruction was Warren Buffett as far back as 2002. You are spot on but your post is very direct.

      • michaelcoughlan

        I would suggest the fourth world war as the third one could be argued was the cold war.

        • dwalsh

          @ michaelcoughlan
          Hi. Thanks for that info re Buffet.
          I wonder was the cold war really a war? Or was it merely a media fiction, a myth? The local conflicts that were fought were never real wars; eg Vietnam. More like business opportunities and military training and testing ventures; but never fought to be won. Both sides knew there could not be a winner in the real sense. It was never about winning.
          I think the Soviet Union was a grand social experiment. It was never socialism other than in name. It was totalitarian. Most of what we were told in the media about all that was bull.

          • dermo

            it was a testing ground and fear making excercise,also a money making racket for the thug owners of the FED.

          • michaelcoughlan


            I don’t mean to offend you but with regard to Vietnam alone if you don’t believe that sixty thousand dead American soldiers, three hundred thousand wounded American soldiers, 1 million dead Vietnamese, countless wounded Vietnamese and a totally poisoned Vietnamese landscape as real war I wonder what unimaginable Armageddon must unfold before you do?

          • Gege Le Beau

            @ dwalsh – sorry can’t let inaccuracies slide so a few points on the Vietnam war which you seem to believe was not a ‘real war’, think you should ask the Vietnamese about that:

            1) 3-4 million Vietnamese were killed directly, we don’t have an accurate figure for a whole host of reasons, but it is in the millions not the 1 million Michael Coughlan mentions.
            2) Millions more injured and hundreds of thousands go on being injured from all the unexploded ordnance and landmines, I know first hand as I am directly involved in this area.
            3) More bombs were dropped and mines planted in Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) than ALL the bombs dropped by ALL sides in the Second World War. In fact, Laos is regarded as the most bombed country on the planet, the term ‘carpet bombing’ (bombing a large area systematically and extensively) was taken to a whole new level during that period.
            4) People CONTINUE to suffer the consequences of Monsanto’s Agent Orange. Children continue to be born with serious deformities, those that cannot make it, die a silent death, you will never read about them in your newspaper.
            5) You are right on one point, the US military-industrial complex benefitted incredibly from the war as they do in all wars.

          • Which all raises a sublime question insofar as “What is War”?
            Doubtless many students and academics have debated this over a coffee for eons.
            Visible war is fundamentally red because we all bleed one colour. Subliminal War touches everyone. It’s an inert colourless odourless tasteless and all pervasive insidious redaction.

            Trillions instantly transferred to preserve membership of the golf club and a fistful of conscience money found so some Pakistani flood victim looks good on the news.

            Sick out.

            To quote a true revolutinary, “Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of the Earth”

            I make out it’s all coming and when it does, this power trip by the Elites won’t count for Diddley Squat.

  12. Deco

    I suspect that there is fear driving state policy. Basically, they know that the property market is a ponzi scheme (as pointed out by Wills). And they are afraid all hell will break loose when it unravels.

    However, they fail to understand something of critical importance. An undeniable fact, as such. There is simply far too much commercial property space in Ireland. Far too much. This is shown in “Follow the Money” concerning the empty complex in Nenagh (of all places). I know a man who wanted to rent an office in that complex, to support his business. He could have picked anywhere in a broad line between Salthill and Cobh, to serve his customer base. He told me he got a ton of hardsell nonsense from the auctioneer. And the auctioneer ignored his specification, trying to rent him three times as much space. Eventually he went to the next town on the list. The arrogance of people in the property industry (sic) seems to know no bounds.

    Cold hard fact. The commercial property market in Ireland is finished. Absolutely finished. Over. No amount of NAMA SCAMA or Anglo Banglo Janglo can fix the commercial property market in Ireland. It is absolute nonsense to be trying to prop up the commercial property market in Ireland. Some of the compexes will be turned into community centres, some into living accomodation, jobs centres, or small business incubation centres, etc… But basically the commercial propert market has collapsed. And our elite needs to “GET OVER IT”. Basically, there is nothing you can do to prevent a price collapse when there is massive oversupply. We have a Dail loaded with lawyers who have not practiced, teachers who won’t teach, publicans, and student politicos who never got a real job. None of them seem to fail to grasp this.

    The residential property market and the commercial property market are different markets. The former relies primarily on private sector employment statistics for people in the age bracket 25-40. The private sector is contracting. So there are very little new jobs coming to replace those that go. Our cost base is killing private sector employment. So while all this nonsense is going on, the underlying position of the banks, as evidenced in the residential market is getting worse. But the banks don’t care – because they have NAMA.

    The policy framework is astoundlingly stupid, with respect to the common interest. We must be following the most stupid policy framework available, bar none other. This is because IBEC are deciding and declaring what the common interest is, not the common people. The media exists to give expression to the pain, and to do nothing meaningful about it. In essence, large sections of the media function as a classic “false friend”. Just look at the cartoon in the Sindo beside the article by Senator Own Arse on Maid Marion. A big fat cheque for being symapthetic with the little people. And now it is time for an advertising break – [little people, support our advertising sponsors with the sweat of your brow !!!].

    Do not get despondent. Just figure out how to endure this crisis out. The winner is the who endures. The speculators who have it all salted away know this. Just look at Swiss cheese hiding outside the Eurozone – so his former colleagues in the Revenue cannot get him. To endure, you need to know what is going on. David is telling us what is going on, and has been telling is for over a decade. If a sizeable proportion of the population knows what is going on, democracy will survive.

    • adamabyss

      Most of the population couldn’t follow the themes or details on this blog Deco, even if they logged in every day and tried – which they wouldn’t. They are too busy with the TV and in the pubs – as you said yourself. Lifestyles of the rich and famous and Eastenders, and a red bull and vodka, that’s all they care about.

      • tony_murphy

        This is one paragraph which needs to be read in context really, but if you read 1984 and a Brave new world, you’ll get the picture (From Peter Hitchen, The Cameron Delusion, p101)

        “Only foolish tyrants look to Nineteen Eighty-Four as a model for their societies and these – Ceausescu’s Romaina and Kim il Sung’s North Korea – can never fully co-opt their subjects and are in constant danger from the truth. Clever despots recognise that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, in which power destroyed the family and harnessed pleasure to it’s purposes, was more likely to succeed and endure. Sexual licence, narcotic drugs and endless diverting entertainment, followed by swift and painless euthanasia when faculties fail, dispense with the need for a thought police. There are few if any thoughts which need to be policed. In such societies, dissent is an eccentricity. Nobody need care about covering up the truth, since nobody is interested in it. Nobody needs to suppress the past, since nobody cares about it. And there is nothing necessarily revolutionary about sexual licence.”

        • Deco

          TM – you could be saying a lot of sense there. Basically, everybody is to be programmed to such a degree that they have no clue about the dimensions that exist where all this corruption is happening. A kind of a personal version of bread &circuses for everybody – and it is provided as a ‘right’.

          • Gege Le Beau

            @ Deco – “A kind of a personal version of bread &circuses for everybody — and it is provided as a ‘right’.”

            Yes, it is portrayed as a right, it is also portrayed as a form of expression, as identity and most of all as a ‘freedom’. We have to spend $3.8 trillion on defence to we can be free. We have to role back civil liberties, the rights of the press so we can be free. They hate us for ‘our freedom’.

            This is all very well analysed in Adam Curtis’ oustanding series ‘The Trap’, fully available on Youtube.

            The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom has 3 parts:

            1)”Fuck You Buddy”
            2)”The Lonely Robot”
            3)”We Will Force You To Be Free”

        • Gege Le Beau

          I think Orwell and A. Huxley made wonderful contributions. There is merit in both their approaches.

          Yes, there is the Lotus aspect of society as you correctly highlighted, a whole range of mechanisms of seduction, which seek to keep us compliant, passive etc

          However, I think Orwell was correct to highlight the fascist nature of totalitarian and increasing in contemporary times, so called democratic states. For instance, the British elite and media like to repeat the line that ‘Britain is the world’s oldest democracy’ however when one examines this closer it becomes readily apparent that this tells a mere fraction of a fraction of the tale. Running parallel with this ‘noble pursuit’ was one of the most oppressive, exploitative, and vicious of Imperial systems, of which we Irish know all about.

          Orwell was a child of this Empire, firstly suffering at the hand of Public School Masters who were quick with the cane and liked to humiliate him for bed wetting. Later Orwell saw first hand the appalling true nature of the Imperial system as a colonial policeman in Burma, after which he resolved to oppose colonialism in all forms and at every possible turn. Orwell lived through the Stalinist, Franco and Hitler years (fought in the Spanish Civil War and was shot throught the neck) and saw the worst aspects of humanity and these enormous systems of violence, which compelled him to write Animal Farm and 1984. Prior to that, he live in the belly of the beast and wrote about poverty, class discrimination and inequality in Down and Out in Paris and London and one of his best works, the Road to Wigan Peer, where people experienced the few luxuries and life was one long struggle, not too dissimilar for a lot of people today (many thousands in Ireland seek the support of St. Vincent De Paul for instance).

          The lotus like society is active and probably finds its greatest expression in the US, however, once you peel it away and once a person puts themselves on the barriers then the violence inherent in the system becomes readily apparent and it is that which is the true nature of a state-capitalist system while the lotus aspects (tv, porn, alcohol, sports, compliant media) are mere servants to it, masquearading, deceiving, tricking us into thinking the state capitalist system somehow has our best interests ar heart a bit like the 18th and 19th century notions of the Empire of Good Intentions, we are colonising you ‘for your own good’.

          Orwell to his credit has no time for all that, and gets to the core quickly and to my mind, correctly. But interesting post, thought provoking as you can see :-)

          • coldblow

            Nicely put. Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death) traced the Great Dumbing Down to the introduction of the telegraph whereby news became an element of the entertainment industry. (This was already picked up by Waugh at an early stage in Scoop.) But I’m with you on this and I’ve become more of an ‘economic determinist’ of late whereby events are best explained, not by accidents of technology or moral failings on the part of the population, but by power and greed. And then you look again and you say: nah, must have been a trick of the light!

            Hey, did I just say power and greed? Must be channeling Dylan. Take it away, Bob!

            “Well God is in his heaven
            And we all want what is his
            But power and greed and corruptible seed
            Seem to be all that there is.”

    • tony_murphy

      Commerical property – office blocks. Whatever happened to Teleworking from home?

      I used to work for a company which leased about the worst equipped / not fit for purpose office block in a major Irish city. The office blocks did not have planning permission, but the builder got permission to keep the building once built and had tenants. Anyway, the company had signed a 25 year lease and were stuck there. This deal would have being done in the late 90′s, pre teleworking I’d guess. These long leases are probably one reason there aren’t more vacant office blocks.

      Another reason I guess is managers like to be able to keep an eye on employees.

      Another scenario, a company owns a building with their left hand and rents it with their right hand. Write off some profits in company making money and pay less tax, while taking rent with the other hand.

    • michaelcoughlan

      This is an excellent article. David has been calling it like he see’s it alright. I would add that the lack of liquidity is also a contributing factor to waht is killing us.

    • Deco, without being trite or pedantic, I’d say fear drove policy about a year ago when we were all stamped as doom-mongering disciples of the Great Satan McWilliams.
      Now that there is obviously nowhere to turn and Armageddon looms, Terror could possibly be the driving force. This stacks up with the ever increasing syllabub of “Policy Initatives” surfacing from the deep.
      Redolent of the death throes of a terminal Dictatorship issuing increasingly irrational edicts.

      Apparently Captain Mainwaring fails to realise that we are doomed.

  13. SM

    I find it very odd that the ECB is ok-ing these massive cash transfers to Anglo Irish Bank. They don’t serve the well being of the country at all.

    It’s like the Department of Finance in Dublin saying it’s ok for Cavan County Council to endlessly bail out Quinn Insurance.

    • dermo

      We have a gas situation in the Western World ,first we had a banking crisis , governments bailed out the banksters, then the governments get bailout by the selfsame BANKRUPT banksters buying government debt taxpayer penoage(bonds).These now have become useless for collateral purposes because they are junk.Now we have the criminals in the ECB monetizing the debt with printed rubbish.
      Watch out for more printing by all nations and massive inflation.
      Who will win the race to debauch ECB ? FED? bets now please at Paddy Powers.

      • Deco

        To top it all off,
        We now have a director of Paddy Powers appointed as NED to one of the major banks (er, there are only two, they each own shares in each other, and I can’t seem to remember).

        It’s like as if the bank directors sat down, and commented, “who should we hire to help us run the bank ?” – and then they brought in somebody from a gambling firm.

        It is really, really absurd. And you can be sure that billions from the taxpayer are stuck into the said bank to prop it up.

  14. SM

    Of course the only way to stop these people is to stop using money. Their product is money so if we don’t buy it, they lose.

    • michaelcoughlan

      It would be a lot easier to achieve this goal tan you might think. All you have to do is set up an account at and you can settle your debts with a willing creditor in bullion which is readily transferrable into any currency you chose.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi SM,
        A previous post suggested that without action this website is useless and only so much Verbiage. So with regard to your observation why don’t you put the pointer I provided into action and start settling your debts and receiving payment in bullion using the website provided above. That goes for all contributors. Otherwise all we are is a bunch of useless whingeing well read and informed nobodies. By the way I have no association whatsoever with the people who provide that service but I love my country and if I can do one thing to save it I am prepared to do so. If any of you don’t believe me them ask any of your German friends are they buying gold and I bet you the answer is yes. Clued in Americans who love their country are using silver dollars and getting back to the guidance provided in no less a document than the US constitution also. Just my two cents worth.

        • adamabyss

          michaelcoughlan, the website you provided could disappear overnight along with the value of gold that you think you own. You have no control whatsoever over what they do with the funds you transmit to them. Having said that we used to use a lot in some previous ventures and they are still going despite the fact that the Feds tried to close them down a couple of times.

          You might be better advised putting your money in some house that you intend living in and stock up on food and guns. There won’t even be the internet then to connect to your online gold, should the worst case scenario become reality.

          • michaelcoughlan


            Did you find e-gold good? There is a broker in Dublin who allows you to buy gold certificates in the vault in Perth in Australia. I can’t vouch for anyones else but I do think it is still a good idea if there is a bona fide service provider out there.

          • adamabyss

            michaelcoughlan – e-gold is excellent. Never had any problems with them. Good service, security and very user friendly interface. There is always a nagging doubt though with these online payment services that they could just close down/disappear overnight or get squeezed by the Feds, just like any offshore bank in an independent jurisdiction.

  15. biskalero78

    It’s time to act alright, it’s time to take back our country. I am sick to death of this, 24 billion works out at : 250,000 is an average house price. Now with that money 96,000 people with houses could have been bailed out or helped. This shows that bailouts are a scam which has been used worldwide to rob countries of there wealth. Call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever you like, this a fact which is the elephant in the room. IRISH PEOPLE WAKE THE HELL UP IT’S TIME KICK THESE THIEVES AND ROBBERS OUT OF OUR COUNTRY AND TAKE IT BACK.

  16. biskalero78

    Who pumped this country with unlimited credit ? International Banks. Who is now in control of our country? International Banks.

    • dermo

      Who really controls the ECB????????
      Who really controls the FED????????
      Who created and controls The Bank of International settlement?????

      Central Banks wreck havoc and control the price of money

      • biskalero78

        I totally agree. But the media are not asking these questions they have been turned into a gossip circus reporting on mindless issues “Britney Spears breaks both legs falling the down the stairs” this is what society has been reduced to, sad indeed.

        • michaelcoughlan

          Yes and we all know the level of salaries in RTE. Do you think anyone in there is going to do anything other than “toe the line”? Is it not obvious to any of you why salaries are so large in the banks etc? You hardly think it’s for rewarding performance, attracting top talent etc.? Or maybe it’s for attracting the type of individual who will “toe the line” even if our great republic gets it up the you know where!

      • biskalero78

        Well everyone knows the FED is a group of private bankers charging the American people interest on every dollar printed, what a scam. The Fed was created on Jekyll Island in 1913 by these very thieves.

        • dermo

          The Rochschilds,Rockerfellers and puppets hiding in the background creaming trillions off a rotten debt based fractional reserve system.Governments do not represent the people anymore,they represent these moneymaking war machines.These money junkies that have no respect for human life ,only the control of people and building their bulging vaults bigger.

  17. Malcolm McClure

    I completely agree with D McW’s analysis of the situation and his proposed solution.

    Yesterday, driving through 100 miles of Irish countryside, it was dotted everywhere with well finished bungalows surrounded by carefully tended lawns, new stone walls and ornate gates, it seemed that rightly or wrongly the middle class dream had been attained by a very large number of youngish folk. I also passed a few ghost estates, mostly large two-story villas built shoulder to shoulder. The explanation of these things, debt and EU subsidies has been well covered here over the past few years.

    The surrounding landscape is totally incapable of supporting this level of opulence without outside assistance. Where will it come from in future?

    If 30% of the bread-winners are obliged to migrate elsewhere to make a living, who will mow those lawns and maintain those houses?

    Are we in for a new rash of deserted homesteads, now that widespread reminders of the famine emigrations have largely disappeared?

    • michaelcoughlan

      The homesteads are already abandoned all over the country. My friend emigrated to Australia with his partner and two children a year and a half ago and he can’t sell or rent the house in a rural part of Tipperary. I get the job from time to time to cut the lawn and fences and I can assure you there is nothing so depressing as looking at a beautiful cottage and 2 acres of land not being lived in by any family.

      • Gege Le Beau

        @ Michael Coughlan, sounds like the kind of place I need to get my thoughts on paper.

        Along with the fight to keep such houses on the go, is the fight to keep marriages and relationships going. I listen to people a lot and am hearing story after story, it is not good. Healers are working overtime for all sorts of people, some of whom you would least expect.

        Thank you for your comment regarding my post on the importance of philosphy, which I feel strongly about, it was both generous and gentlemanly. We disagreed in a previous article over certain points, and I am glad to see a man who can take it on the chin and move forward as Voltaire once said “I may disagree violently with what you have to say but but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

  18. paddyjones

    I don’t believe the guarantee is the problem, it is a completely harmless instrument, I don’t know why David is getting so worked up by it. It will never be called upon to pay up. All it is, is a way of taxing the banks, in accounting terms it is a revenue generating scheme for the government.
    There is some merit in forcing bondholders to become shareholders in the banks rather than repaying the bonds.
    The real problem is that bank losses are becoming sovereign debt. Our GDP is about 130 billion and by the end of 2010 including NAMA out national debt will be 130 billion. We are heading to wards a Greek style problem made even worse by private debt such as mortgages, car loans and credit cards.
    We will have to borrow 20 billion a year in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, this will bring our national debt to 210 billion with GDP flat at 130 billion.
    The sovereign debt problem is THE PROBLEM bailing out banks and bank guarantees is history!!!

    • biskalero78

      Do you think it is a coincendence that we are not the only country this happening to ? This is pre-planned thievery by International Banks.

    • dermo

      Who do you think holds most of the sovereign slavery,the septic banks .The whole thing is laugh and will come to a nasty end.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi paddy,

      The bank guarantee is the problem. Without it the banks would be forced to transfer ownership to the bondholders in lieu of money meaning there would be much less sovereign debt.

  19. SM

    It’s history for those who benefit but very real for those who pay.

    Example: I need to borrow to develop my business but I can’t. So I will have to make people redundant even though I have business in the pipeline once I upgrade my offering.

  20. Garry

    @paddyjones …I don’t believe the guarantee is the problem, it is a completely harmless instrument, I don’t know why David is getting so worked up by it. It will never be called upon to pay up….

    same as all those personal guarantees I suppose, its just a formality, we’ll never follow you for the house sir, just sign here :)

  21. Deco

    Stock market update – Double Dip coming to a
    ‘government-in-denial-mode’ near you soon ???

    • dermo

      Watch Bernanke ,the printing presses will be put on autopilot going 24/7 Benny knows no other way.The Western Worlds Financial system is rotten to the core and is on the verge of one big collapse

      • Deco

        It is called “PRINT-BABY-PRINT”.

        The problem, as the Scottish investment guru Hendry stated, that it will drive interest rates and the price of alternative investments (including gold) through the roof. And that is just as dangerous as hyperinflation, and it is far worse than all the lecturing about the problems with deflation.

        In other words, Bernanke wants to do ‘print,baby,print’ but the bond market might get scared, and will probably not allow him to do it. The bond market is like a timber plank holding a lot of weight – it might snap in two all of a sudden, and never be fixed again. That would cause a derivatives mess, a searing currency realignment and all sorts of gyrations in the commodities market.

        Print-baby-print is not a solution. In fact it is playing Russian roulette with the bond market in a manner that is bound to result in a catastrophe.

        But, hey……”this time it’s different”……

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi Deco,

          I suggest that when you have the wordls reserve currency and the worlds biggest (although stretched) Army you can do whatever you please irrespective of how everyone else feels about it.

      • michaelcoughlan

        I figure it’s only a matter of time before the authorities in the US stop the average citzen from owning gold as happened in the 1930′s. Watch this space.

  22. If the EU center of Monetary Gravity is the ECB and NAMA is the biggest Monetary Cesspool in the EU ( and the world) then maybe/ perhaps in due course NAMA may become the EU Cesspool for all Soverign Debts in the EU and head quarters based in IFSC .That could be a tetronic monetary success for Ireland…..namely more jobs in finance? Am I too optimistic?

    • dermo

      Now there an idea , ring lenny quick to get the speak in first with the deadheads in the EU .

    • Bloody hell John.
      We could be the antithetis of Switzerland.

      • Hot Shit :

        Most of us here in Ireland are from rural Ireland so we know know better the best of hospitality in disposal of good manufactured hot shit ( NAMA) than anywhere else in Europe.King Lear says :’I'll teach you differences’.

        Afterall Mc Donalds sells Beef , arise Mc Nama and sell your cake to the world.

      • Furrylugs – if Switzerland is the best place to shore up deposits surrounded by the security of the high Alps then Ireland is the best place to shore up Debts to be eventually be washed away into the Atlantic Ocean.

        Try to imagine if the Debts were like snow (and with higher density )in Switzerland they would end up flooding the whole of Europe without exit to the ocean.

        Furrylugs _ I call this ‘economic bio-diversity’.We need to call on the late Richard Harris in King Lear to listen to his wisdom.

        PS : the French would run a mile away from this opportunity as they would perecive this plan as an Anglo attempt to flood their vine yards in the champaigne districts of France.Je ne revien.

        • Archimedes sur Atlantic :

          ‘ the weight of the diplaced Debts is equal to the weight of the Manufactured Shit lowered into the Mc Nama ‘.
          Mc Nama has a high sperm count that multiplies and spreads out far and wide and usually performs best after a visit to the Moulin Rouge of the ECB.

        • Or the economic version of Potato Blight. Settling on an unsuspecting populace, blackening all it touches and permanently rotting everything to the roots.

          This economic farce is all well unzipped now. We’re just waiting for Fagin and the Two McHughs to pop out.
          If ye ken?

    • coldblow

      Ireland as the bad-debts skip for Europe? Mooted by Malcolm or someone a while back and raised a brief, wintry smile.

  23. Maire

    I like David, I really do but I still say if David had not advised the Government to give the guarantee in the first place that we would not be in this mess now, Anglo would be gone, and we would not be saving all the wealthy bond holders in Anglo. I blame David for not minding his own business on that night and I do not like that he will not hold his hand up and say that he is part of the problem that we are in. I am not trying to be disrespectful to David, I really like him but I just can not get away from that fact, sorry.

    • Garry

      There might have been a case for the guarantee, perhaps only guaranteeing deposits and some maybe even all debts.
      But with an exit strategy built in, such as year 1, guarantee is 100%, year 2 99% etc….

      Even then that was exposing the taxpayer to potentially huge losses (460Billion!!!) and should have been treated as a licence to go hard on the bankers. They were the ones who called up begging in the middle of the night… They were on their knees and that was the time to rape them. Make the bastards hate every second of their existence under state protection guarantee and make them do everything they could to buy their freedom back. Instead we are now the bankers bitches.

      There was no need for NAMA after the guarantee. Moving the debts into NAMA was always going to provide a get out of jail card for some debtors, because security on the loans could never be improved on in transferring but could always be weakened by hiding/losing docs etc.

      Sure whats the point of NAMA,…. officially the state takes over debts and manages them over the long term and then makes a profit… Bollocks.
      Sure why bother if you can guarantee the banks debt and have an orderly withdrawal of the guarantee… Far less trouble and expense and the problem stays with those who created it.

      But, as we all saw the guarantee was given to Anglo to help out Fianna Fail and their bastard cronies. And, far from raping the bankers, didnt they cover up the directors loans and the fraud? And then give the scumbags 2 years to move assets etc. While Anglo has rolled up interest payments for most developers to 2014, giving the bastards years to hide away more.

      And on top of it all, they set up a useless state owned body which now owns all the debts and which is being raped at every turn as banks, developers and consultants all move paper around (and lose vital bits)

      The problem isn’t one of policy, it’s one of fraud. Nobody is representing the taxpayer.

      There is no magic wand for any of this, if implemented honestly and properly, the guarantee could have worked.

      But when you have traitors making decisions to lump the public with their cronies debts, no policy can work.

      “A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victim, and he wears their face and their garments and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the plague.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Orator – 106-43 B.C.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Marie

      I don’t know David nor am I a banker or economist but I can tell you this; without the guarantee there would be nothing at all because the banks ALL of them would have closed over night meaning no way for any of us to get our money, pay our bills etc. What is wrong is the fact that the Government is bailing out the banks instead of shuting them down.

      • Deco

        David, and the entire nation has discoverd the level of incompetence in the Department of Finance/IFRSA/CBoI/Kildare Street. Basically the financial wing of the state has dithered. It was like have a few hundred Bertie Aherns on the job. They were more interested in the virtual nonsense like Henry’s handball, than in actually fixing the banking system and preventing the country from going into bankruptcy.

    • Maire, David here. Thanks for your comments and I accept that maybe I was niave in thinking that the politicians would not stand up to the bankers. I believed that this was the best thing to do and when Brian Lenihan asked me “what would you do”, I told him I thought – from having worked in emerging markets in financial crises – that the guarantee was the only thing that would stop a bank run.

      However, what has transpired is a silent coup of a narrow financial group of “insiders” over the rest of the population. If we get rid of the guarantee now as envisaged, this would reverse the situation and an orderly winddown would be possible. All the best, David

      • Maire

        Hi David, thank you for answering my comment. I understand that you have a good heart and want the very best for the Irish people. I do not wish to be disrespectful or insulting as I am your No.1 fan and always will be. The advice you gave of course was the right but unfortunately in my opinion the people it was given to made a right old mess of it all and everyone in this country is suffering, including myself and my family, in ways that you could never imagine and I am very angry.

  24. Tim

    Folks, this came from Nouriel N Taleb at 17:51pm today, via Twitter:

    “V is dead; anemic U growth is baseline; prob of a double dip W is now 40%; and a L shaped near depression is possible in US/Eurozone/Japan”.

    Precarious, I would call that……

    • Deco

      Roubini was forecasting this mess when Wall Street was in ranting about new era and the usual nonsense. Taleb also has some very intelligent things to say.

      Robert Schiller of Yale, who has a US House Price Index named after him, has commented that recovery is a 50:50 probability event. I reckon that if he put it as 49:51, he would either be castigated or ignored.

      It all depends on the bond market.

      • And David McWilliams blew millions of Euros of “Insider” contracts when he stood up for the State and the People.
        Maith an Bhuaicaill.

        To repeat, as regards NAMA et al;

        Náid Ona Náid a Phoic.

        From Nothing comes Nothing.

  25. dermo

    The boys in the EU are after telling the Germans that they have to count the failed stress banks Westlb and Hypo as Government debt Opps. Where does that leave the Uk with RBS etc? Things are heating up

  26. dermo

    Two year bond up over 13% today nearly 3% . The bank guarantee is doing a great job settling investors nerves !!!!!

  27. Gege Le Beau

    Philosophy, the Greek for ‘love of wisdom’, the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language has an even greater role to play in our society. However, our educational institutions, supposed to be models of freedom of thought which challenge power, are increasing corporate universities, run by the connected and less and less well intentioned. Cash cows for international investment, churning out degrees like Chinese factories churn out plastic toys for the US market.

    When was the last time you saw a programme of this calibre on RTE~Pravda, in fact, when was the last time RTE~Pravda put on something that provoked a deeper level, it too is suppposed to be a medium of education nor a destroyer of the mind and spirit with its relentelss property porn programmes and medical negligence reports.

    Human, All Too Human (BBC) – Jean Paul Sartre: Part 1

    • StephenKenny

      Gege – a reminder for us all.

      A book that takes this idea on: “Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone?: Confronting 21st Century Philistinism” by Frank Furedi

      Following on from yours, here are three greats, from a time when they made documentaries of 10+ hours:

      Jacob Bronowski’s – The Ascent of Man

      Kenneth Clark – Civilisation

      Carl Sagan – Cosmos

      They all provide breathtaking views of the broad sweep of the greatness of human achievement. We have much to live up to and, it seems to me, we are not doing a very good job.

      • Gege Le Beau

        @ Stephen Kenny – thanks for your post, will review the material with interest.

        I just thought sometimes it is necessary to step back from the financial machinations, which I respect is more other people’s strong point than mine, and look at the totality, the ‘how did we get here?’ question. A Chinese philosopher once said: “in order to see the mountain it is better not to be on the mountain”.

        I also think it is important to ask the fundamental questions about the nature of our society and the people currently running it. To be honest, I have grown in understanding as to how these situations can take on a life of their own, people feeling hubristic, access to enormous sums of money, buying properties internationally, meeting the jet-set crowd, it must be terribly exhilarating given we have only one life. Given human nature, I think therefore it even more important that such situations are regulated, legislated for to prevent them from getting out of control as they quite clearly have at all our major financial institutions, I think that the regulator, but primarily the politicians and the Dept. of Finance are primarily at fault as they are the legislators, they are supposed to be the Guardians of the system.

        Max Keiser had an interesting interview with a Professor of Finance and former regulator, William K. Black, who said this institutions are “SDI’ – ‘Systemically Dangerous Institutions’ , because if any one of the 10 major banks/financial institutions in the US goes it can have cataclysmic impact. He maintained that they were allowed to become too big and not represent an existential threat to the State and the citizen. He pointed out that there are poor economies of scale with these massive banks, that they are more inefficient the bigger they get, again this is not my expertise but I found his comments interesting.
        Full interview here:

        I was just on Keiser’s page and his lead story is:

        Irish debt under fire on fresh bank jitters
        Ireland’s borrowing costs have begun flashing warning signs again on fears the full damage from the country’s banking crisis has yet to surface.

        • StephenKenny

          I absolutely agree with you.
          It’s not the bankers, it’s the regulators, it’s the people who draft and enforce the laws who are at fault here. The bankers (and brokers) may want lax regulations, and even laxer regulators, but they don’t enact the laws.
          William Black is one of the people I’ve been following for several years, along with Elizabeth Warren, Eliot Spitzer, the guys at Zero Hedge (newer), and a few others. There are people out there fighting for what is sensible and sustainable, but unfortunately the money is all in the other direction at the moment. It’s worth remembering that the Pecorer Commission – which ripped the heart out of Wall Street in 1933, and led to the laws that maintained a reasonably balanced financial system until the last of them were repealed in the late 1990s – was the third such effort, the first two having failed to do anything much.

          Of the changes during the last 20 years, the point that Furedi makes, in the book I mentioned, is the most ominous to me. He points out that the concept of the ‘search for truth’ has completely disappeared from modern life, including, importantly, from academic institutions. The idea of ‘truth’ was, as I understand it, the very foundation of the whole enlightenment period. It is absolutely fundamental to our modern world, and without it, I fear that our great civilisation has entered period of decay. There have been other such periods, and we have, so far, pulled out and moved on. It was so with all previous great civilisations – Rome, Egypt, Hittites, Persia, Mayans, China, Greece, and the rest – until it wasn’t. For all their technology, industry, organisation, culture, and greatness, they all failed. I find it impossible to believe we will, but the lesson is that every previous civilisation has failed, leaving it’s people with what we would call a very much lower standard of living.

          I should get on – I have bills to pay!

    • coldblow

      I’m still waiting for the BBC to show the Singing Detective again. I was too busy and too tired (teaching) to catch it all at the time and they were bound to show it again weren’t they? Whatever about the BBC I doubt if RTE have even heard of it. How about a bit of Johathan Meades then? I’d rather not, I’d hate to see anything really good turning to dust in that desert. (sport excepted) If you see something special on RTE someone has made a mistake and had better watch out. TV3 showed Jackie Brown on TV3 once but I missed it as it wasn’t in the guide. Get the picture..?

      • adamabyss

        Yeah, Singing Detective was one of the greatest shows ever made in my opinion. Now that is something that is worth putting the TV on.

      • adamabyss

        Yeah, Singing Detective was one of the greatest shows ever made in my opinion. Now that is something that is worth putting the TV on for.

    • Deco

      I went looking at other you tube documentaries by Alain de Botton, on the topic of Philosophy. They were very insightful. You are encouraging all of us to think outside the box !!

      • Gege Le Beau

        @ Deco – Alain De Botton is outstanding; I had email contact with him (he responded within 4 minutes, which is something of a record from my perspective). I think his use of the philosophical giants such as Socrates, Epicurus, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer as a means of assisting us with everyday emotions and circumstances to be truly insightful, I thought his programme on anger and Seneca absolutely remarkable. Seneca was Nero’s tutor so he saw firsthand the consequences of power, money and a bad temper. Seneca’s famous observations from 2000 years ago can be distilled down to the phrase ” ‎”Prosperity fosters bad tempers”, the full programme explains why (basically rich people feel their money should protect them from life’s problems, they have unrealistic expectations which when they aren’t met causes an explosion of anger, de Botton talks of the rich person losing it at the airport check-in or in first class, which I think we have all seen (not sure though it is confined to the rich).

        I purchased his ‘Consolations of Philosophy’ which is a book along these lines, I find tools like this very useful as I am increasing coming into contact with people who have troubled lives, I do what I can to assist, why else are we here?

        The positive thing out of this current economic crisis, like the post-war period for Jean Paul Sartre, is that the rules, as in William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’, are quite frankly ‘bollock’, we can’t go back to the old ways of doing things because those ways have clearly failed us as a nation state but more importantly as a people. I think this is where Fianna Fail will meet their Waterloo come the next election, they are trying for the business as usual approach (notice the word ‘business’), this will guarantee their annihilation, they have been surpassed by events, the game has moved on, they are using an old mindset for new world problems. I would not be surprised if a new political force does arise, once it is not of the PD variety, there may be some hope that something good can come.

        We need to look at things from different perspective and I always find the humanities a great assistance in this regard. Cold commerce or science just doesn’t seem to do it for me (although the latter does have substantial merits). My strong point is not economics (although I am working on it) nor finance, so I am learning from this site, but I do like Socrates’ approach to life, asking the hard questions, challenging the ‘cosy consensus’ and adhere to the line by Mark Twain that it is “important every now and again to put a question mark and the end of strongly held beliefs” :-)

        Increasingly as we look around, with the banks, certain individuals, Arnotts and who knows what next, everything that is seemingly permanent does melt like snow. We are living in a fast changing world in terms of structures and society but I just feel the greatest change of them all is the change that is coming to ourselves both individually and collectively, lessons from philosophy, history, sociology and literature assist greatly in this, as Alain de Botton has so cogently and successfully pointed out. His talk in relation to success is equally insightful.

        I may be a utopianist, but I do believe there is another way to order a society in socio-economic terms, and I would like to see the day when co-operation replaces competitiveness, co-operatives replace companies, credit unions replace financial institutions & communities replace aggressive individualism. Now, I may be on a hiding to nothing in this regards, especially in this world, but I am prepared to carry this torch like Diogenes the Cynic did in ‘search of the honest man’.

        At the very least, it should now be about broadening our focus.

        • Deco

          Gege le Beau

          I guess that we are all learning about how to make Ireland a more honest place. And that is the key as far as I can see it. If we rip through the deceit some collection of schemers or another will be stopped in their tracks.

          The rules are bollocks because they have been constructed as a cheaters charter. Authority always sucks the worst type of human being. And they then seek to undermine any reason or truth that shows up that authority is possessed by liars and schemers.

          I have found de Botton’s discussions on philosophy very refresshing and enlightening. They are the perfect antidote for the corruption and the control agendas of the powerful. They start on the very basic premise – “what does it mean to be human ?” – and then he shows us that there is more to life than a life of junk purchasing, and delusionary nonsense. Many years ago, the Psychologist Anthony Clare wrote an article saying that the Irish were losing their marbles on the road to consumerist madness. I remember beside the article there was a clown in a power motor, with the year followed by the letters COCO and a number. Basically mainstream Ireland was COCO the clown. There might have been a credit card in the cartoon – I think there was a reference to debt. And there was a dumb look on the clown’s face, like as if he really had no idea what he was doing. The clown was behind the wheel but had no sense of direction. And question that arose in my mind was “what is next ?”

          Dr. Clare ws providing a stern warning to us. He was telling us that having trophies did not bring happiness, and certainly did not make us look smarter. It was one of the most anarchic articles to ever come into the publci thought. Unfortunately, Dr. Clare died before he could tell the people the truth that could provided the freedom to prevent this mania. In his absense the pscychologist working in the advertising sector worked like beavers to turn us all into clowns like the clown in the picture. They were assisted greatly by the loose money policies from the ECB, the idiots in Irish banking, and the idiots running the country.

          Idiots can remain in charge for a long time, before they get sussed out. But they always get sussed out.

  28. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Gege,

    Thought provoking post as usual. Thankfully our society is still producing people of your calibre to remind us of the things which are really important.

  29. tony_murphy

    Bailing out Anglo, is it simply an exercise in protecting the shareholders of EU/International banks who lent recklessly to Irish banks?

    The cowenards way out, instead of facing up to problems, he gets the magic cheque book out and writes IOUs (Ireland owes yous)

    Robbing Peter (outsider) to pay Paul (the international financier) interest so that Paddy(insider) can maintain his lifestyle

  30. Fergal73

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his livelihood depends on not understanding it.”

    FF is the man who can’t be made to understand. I agree that it is more than FF at the heart of this problem (they are just the most obvious symptom), it is an Irish culture of a nod and a wink. It is pervasive in Irish society, not just amongst the political elite. Politicans are shown to have acted outside what would be ethically acceptable, and the Irish electorate re-elect them, thereby tacitly approving the behaviour that is condemned. Why should Callely resign? He might be re-elected given the track record!

    The government is not interested in the thoughts on this website or what is in the best interest of the population at large. Its concern is with itself and those in its circle. Revolution (but we don’t have the stomach for it) or emigration are the only solutions.

    • Fergal73

      What I’m saying is that FF & the Greens will do what benefits their circle Anglo, AIB, BoI, Irish Nationwide and large builders and developers at teh expense of the greater part of the population.
      The musings here are irrelevant except as an academic exercise simply because the government does its own thing and the electorate will continue to vote for it. FF may get hammered in the next election, but after a few years of hardship under the next government (or couple), the electorate will go back to remembering the late 90′s and early 00′s, remember the ‘good times’ and vote back in FF.

      • dermo

        The Irish people will vote with their pockets not their heads.
        They will listen to a waffling parochial,economic illiterate,gombeen, that will promise them the sun moon and stars from our lovely something for nothing bankrupt country.
        People want to wake up and take a little bit of interest in whats going on around them, the stuff that they would never teach you in school.
        One of the big problems we have is the calibre of Spongers we have in the Dail.The majority of them have never had to street kick for themselves will have piles of teachers, subsidised farmers,subsidised doctors, subsidised solicitors,and exunion shyte kickers.We have no real hardnosed grinders that know the in’s and out’s and value of money and productivity.

  31. Emigrant lass

    It is time that the Irish people became more interested and involved in their Economy and their money… I really think that we are uneducated to matters of the economy..We need to face the fact that the Irish are just leaving it all up to that excuse for a government at home and not standing up to them…People are just accepting that the economy will go bust and theres nothing they can do…I don’t agree with that..When I was in America 5 years ago working on my summer holidays during college years, nearly the whole of New Jersey came to a stand still because the Americans were demonstrating that the price of petrol had being increased unnfairly in the area…Thousands of people demonstrated on the streets and near gas stations and refused to buy any more gas from the companies…that happended for half a day and the prices were then put back down…I never seen anything like it in my life and I admired them for standing up for their rights..

    We need to face the facts that the majority of Irishmen were and still are great at building foundations of houses, bricklaying, carpentry, and you name it…If they didn’t go to Uni to do some sort of a computer or engineering diploma/degree this was to become their career…And the common Mary or Aoife went on to be either a teacher, got a job in the likes of Bank of Ireland or decided on the services industry such as Hairdressing or beautician! Basically what I’m trying to say is that these careeers were great for all up until 2008…But now half might or will in the future emigrate just like myself..I like others just accepted that the country was going to fail and got out in late 2008 when I could…It is only since then that I became so interested in the economics of Ireland and refuse to believe that this is just a cyclical recession and we have to sit it out… I know something can be done…I reckon the Irish people need to be and would like to be educated about the affairs of the country…I really think that local meetings could be held weekly in towns/cities accross the country held by either a lecturer/teacher of economics or mini David McWilliams that could urge the people to ask questions and share ideas..and then the next time a councellor or local TD comes to their door they won’t jsut listen to his spiel! I have learned so much from this website alone in the last months so i do belive people would become interested..Lets face it what else are the majority young and old people doing on a Friday night when the majority cannot afford to do anything..I know if I was at home I would go!

    Maybe its a stupid idea but I wonder what would happen if the Irish took to the streets in a non violent protest to say enough is enough and we just won’t take it anymore!

  32. foi foi moi moi

    Some food for thought! Saudi Arabia has announced a $350 billion development plan aimed at bringing to an end the countries large unemployment problem by concentrating on infrastructure development. Now lets picture FF and greens strange commitment to saving Anglo with some 10% of this figure. Now bear with me here, with construction prices at all time lows and still falling..if we were to invest up to 1 million euro per school as part of an upgrade of facilities (seeing most of our school stock is over 30 years old by now if not older) 28,000 schools could benefit from this.
    Im a Quantity surveyor (2009 Irish graduate currently working on the BER in Australia) and as part of the Australian governments answer to the GFC a programme called the Building Education Revolution was rolled out to keep people in employment and paying taxes(makes sence)rather than sitting watching Dr Phill and drawing the dole. This scheme had a very simple 1-20 or so standard patterns and designs ranging from $500,000 to $1.5m in cost totaling circa $20billion for all the works. over 100,000 jobs created as a result in the construction stage alone not counting the jobs in manufacturing, transport, and other knock on industries.Now if we were to take this 30 billion euro or so that we are about to piss into the wind and invest it in a similar scheme aimed at schools and third level institutions with a time span of 3-4 years with the hope that we will be free from recession by then, would people not think this would be a better medium term solution to the unemployment problem? rather than hurling money into this wishing well that is Anglo to save their tycoon friends…Why not invest it even in renewable energy , be the leading research hub for the industry, wind wave tidal etc.. we have it all!! offer huge tax breaks for foriegn renewable energy companies who set up shop in Ireland and form partnerships with third level institutions, id be on a plane in the morning if there was a job in Ireland for me, but Clown and co have made sure ill probably make my move to Australia permanent!!

  33. insider

    Isn’t it funny that Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced a record ~ AUD$6B profit yesterday and their share price gets smashed. Meanwhile back at the ranch such dismal results from AIB and BoI and they hold their ground. Market expectations – go figure!

    So to Emigrant Lass it seems you are an armchair revolutionary. It’s amazing how after you emigrate the fire burns stronger. I dare say however the Irish are interested in money – both insiders and outsiders. They behave the same way – only interested in themselves. The property ponzi scheme knew no boundaries. As per David’s previous article it’s the “middle class” (in Ireland?) but also the builder, the IT geek, the lawyer, the civil servant, the young family, the immigrant who decided to buy property in their new found home with a nod and wink from the banker who gives a man earning minimum wage a loan that will seal his fate for eternity. There is a great deal of the country exposed to this mess and I’m sick of people thinking that latest events (trying to prop up property prices) are only serving the insiders – albeit serving negative equity outsiders as a mere by-product.

    The activities going on at the banks at the moment is a scary proposition. Does anybody know why they are not lending? I’ll
    give you a few reasons a) because they are broke and b) because they have allocated a lot of their resources to cover their dodgy dealings. hmmm what’s next?

  34. Tim

    Folks, “Ireland’s borrowing costs have begun flashing warning signs again on fears the full damage from the country’s banking crisis has yet to surface.”

    • I just caught a brief piece on radio re Patrick Honahan Irish Central Bank Governor, no news item urls yet I could find: Honahan was quoted the net cost to Ireland of bank bailouts at €25 bn and he was angry at those increase in borrowing costs pointing to ‘resurging exports’. He’s obviously stung by those borrowing costs.

      Cost of external borrowing Ireland Inc’s trojan horse they’ve tried to manipulate from the start.

      NAMA was to generate a profit floating on resurging property prices, fail; Anglo bailout was originally €8bn, fail. Borrowing costs were to come down, fail.

      Has Honahan lost it? Like King Knut should we build a throne for him on the seashore and watch him ordering the tide to go out?

      Markets are observing the revised figures for NAMA going down and the revised costs for Anglo going up, increasing unemployment, austerity budgets ahead. These are signs of disintegration not recovery!

      OT, what do net costs as opposed to gross costs of saving the banks put at €24 bn, this another LTEV scam to manipulate figures?

      • OT its incredible some of these guys get away with the propaganda that its unpatriotic to criticise Ireland Inc ‘recovery’ a la Lenihan and cabal.

        These are the ones who got us into the mess we are in and the ones who’ve sold out Irish taxpayers to the banks and come up with Ireland’s rubbish response to its meltdown. Exposing their hypocrisy should be the duty of every patriot.

        Patriots are those e.g. many posters on this site who care enough about Ireland Inc to take on those who’ve sold out Ireland Inc to the banks.

        • Here’s the url

          “As we stated yesterday, the sooner the Anglo issue is cleared up and clarity is given on the final capital requirement by the State, the sooner the focus can shift solely to the underlying state of the Governments finances and the commitment to reduce the deficit to below 3 per cent by 2014,” economist Brian Devine said in a statement.

          “Nonetheless, we believe that the spread has gone too far relative where it was in May when Greece was in real danger of a liquidity crisis and there was a massive aversion to Euro assets in general.”

          It’s all a bit ‘ridiculous’. A bit like Macbeth’s incredulity at Birnam Woods marching on Dunsinane

          Drowning Anglo will drown us in its black hole if we don’t let it go!

  35. Deco

    Turned on the radio this morning. I was listening to Lyric as it is less stressful. No mention of Anglo Banglo and all the 24 billion of Janglo on the News. Instead the most energetic moment of the news was about Circus Maximumus Minimus and about Pride. One bankrupt corrupt regime was welcoming another bankrupt corupt regime. And the point of the whole thing for the listener was the importance of pride. Basically, it was about pride. Be proud or you don’t fit in. We have lost our self-respect, but we are instructed to wallow in pride (arrogance). This is the denial mentality. Dissent in such an environment is subdued.

    I reckon that the part of the news that got the most time was the Beckhamesque coverage of the Irish soccer manager. In a country where the establishment and corrupt or incompetent, and often both, the people have been given a hero. A soft spoken mild manner man who gets an RTE scale salary for a few days work every monht. The hero was selected as somebody to keep them watching more TV. I mean they never pick a hero who tells you to read. they never pick a hero who tells you to do some critical thinking. Or maybe a hero who encourages you to switch off the TV, sober up, stop wasting time on the various circuses, or stop wasting money on status obsession. No, here are your heroes, sit on the couch and now it is time for an advertising break. The virtual existence, in case you start thinking too much about the real existence….

    • Deco

      Actually the media does sometimes encourage you to read. But it is always the case that you are encouraged to read fiction, or about facts pertaining to other places, or other eras.

      • Gege Le Beau

        According to the Irish Independent, the head of the Irish Soccer Association picks up €430,000 per annum, the new national soccer stadium which cost €410 million (half of which came from Irish citizens) was not full for Ireland’s game against Argentina, inside the stadium fans have complained of rip off prices: €6-7 euro for a burger (double McDonalds), €4 for a portion of French fries (double… local prices), €5.40 for a pint (one euro 30 cents more expensive than my local) and €2.50 for soft drinks (a litre of Coke in Dunnes charges a lot less, while my local Chinese has cans for a euro) and €3 for a bag of sweets…add in price of ticket, train ticket, overnight accommodation for 90 minutes of ‘soccer’……….but hey, once the corporates have their ‘boxes’ why worry. The People’s Stadium indeed.

  36. @Deco

    Howard Beale: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore”

    Yep, there’s a lot of sanitised, commercial exploitation and manipulation of the news along with selective token dissent from status quo on Pravda RTE

    ‘Network’ movie above does a good parody on this topic. Books, research, study, honing your skills, pursuit of good hobbies, a curious mind, relationships could be good antidotics as well.

    You don’t have to wear a media straight jacket, there are other straight jackets as well:)

  37. coldblow

    Off Topic, but here’s an interesting recent post by Michael Hennigan on about the price of, and profits from, Irish land.

    14. Michael Hennigan – Finfacts Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    As the CSO gathers data on agricultural land sales, it seems odd or maybe not given the vested interest in secrecy, that no data is available on the bonanza income for farmers from rezoning.

    They have collected at least €4bn from roadbuilding sales alone.

    The national average price for Irish farmland was €21,145 per acre in 2008 – - the highest in Europe – representing the drop of 16.8% from 2007. The average in Great Britain during 2008 was £4,200 per acre (€4,726) – - up 21% on 2007.

    According to Savills in 2007, in France, each field changes hands at least once every 70 years, but in Ireland on average a field changes hands every 555 years! Total annual turnover in Ireland was less than 0.2% of the total acreage. Countries with sales restrictions, such as France, are cheapest. Land is about €6,000 a hectare, compared with almost €60,000 in Ireland in 2007, as French land must be offered first to young local farmers.

    With so little land coming on the market and then at economically unproductive levels paid by rich aspiring “lifestyle” farmers, it could hardly be a positive for the national economy.

    • coldblow

      Crotty talks about the Paradox of Property whereby wealth is invested in land and the more this happens the higher the price rises and the less productively it is used.

    • Deco

      I reckon the root of the problem is the low urban housing density. Basically residents committees organize in every estate to keep housing density low, so as to not lower the appearance of the neighbourhood. And this pushes urban housing availability down. With the end result that it spills over into the countryside. Basically, if we got urban planning right, the land bubble in rural Ireland would not have happened. Of course, this was impossible, with so many status obsessed busy bodies doing everything they could to prevent urban development from meeting the housing demand. And local authority councillors were using this as a means to extract more money from construction concerns.

      With respect to the countryside, there is not enough farming and too much speculation. The state is organized via tax laws and authority structures to militate against agricultural production and in favour of bungalow blitz style “development”. In contrast it seems that the property craze created a splurge of speculation in land. Micheal Hennigan does not say how how many speculators were involved in this or how many farmers. There definitely was a lot of trophy hunting going on with big developers buying estates merely so that they could land the chopper in them, and run around horses and look aristocratic. (“We have arrived”).

      In the rural economy, as in the economy in general, Ireland does not mean business. Ireland means lifestyle, oligopolistic pricing for Larry Badman, local authority quangoes, quangoes, funny planning practices, brown envelopes, and an awful lot of crookedness.

      I blame the idiots who are running the state.

      It would be interesting to compare agricultural production over the past twenty years. There was a time when you could drive through rural Ireland and see sheep everywhere. Now, you see empty fields. Perhaps the construction boom has crowded out agricultural production ?

      Questions would need to be asked as to why an activity that generated exports and real wealth was driven out of the country, while activities based on asset speculation and bubble economics were allowed to flourish. I reckon the Ditherer plays a pivotal role in all of this.

      • Deco

        Some hilarious insights every week in Phoenix Magazine concerning one (former) millionaire or another who spent a fortune on a big country pile, and who is now in danger of losing it all. In fact country estates with big houses and big avenues were a really mark of class distinction. And the ultimate nouveau riche “I have arrived statement” was buying a big aristocratic mansion with a long avenue, a big lawn and then doing it up as a hotel complex.

        I mean, come on, you all seen various high profile “I have arrived” sorts at it. RTE/Pravda even did a special about an obnoxious plonker who turned an 18th century estate in rural Kilkenny into one of those complexes. And he would arrive in his chopper and bark at everybody for not living up to his obsessive requirements. [ sic.... I don't suppose they will run a follow up series now that the hotel is empty most of the time].

        By the way, you buy some of these complexes for as little as €5 – on the condition that you allow yourself to become liable for all the associated debts. Needless to say, there is absolutely no demand there either…..

        • Gege Le Beau

          In the film ‘The Matrix’, the Oracle appears in an apron, with a tray of cookies in a small tower block apartment, emphasising humility. Hard to get caught when you refuse to expose yourself unnecessarily.

          In Greece, the actual Oracle had two sayings engraved in stone over the entrance to her Temple, they read (I like the Latin):

          Nosce te ipsum! ~ ‘Know thyself!’
          Ne quid nimis! ~ ‘Nothing in excess!’

          • Deco

            I appreciate that comment !! Those are two very good pieces of advice. In this age, being humble has been driven down as being unfashionable. And yet those that were humble were immune to a lot of the mania of the past decade.

            I will remember those two sayings.

  38. Deco

    I have been hearing stories about callers to the Joe Duffy show everyday making really desperate calls. These are all working people, or formerly working people. And they need some encouragement about how they can deal with this crisis. People wanting to leave. People in a very despondent frame of mind, almost suicidal. It is very bad. All these songs about fighting Irish are coming to nothing in reality, because so many are choosing to run away.

    Economics is one dimension of human behaviour. If human behaviour is dysfunctional, then the economics equation will end up not adding up. There needs to be a clearing to enable new thinking to start afresh.

    We need a radically more intelligent concept of economic participation in this country. And we need to throw out the Irish lifestyle concept as it exists and as it has degenerated into a cruscendo of stupidity, narcism, waste, pretensciosness, selfishness, excess, and crassness, over the past two decades. The Irish concept of lifestyle is the root of serious debt.

    We also need some serious thought on the labour market, and how other markets operating in oligopolistic arrangements are contaminating into the labour market causing all sorts of problems. This includes local authority rates, electricity pricing, rental pricing, business services, quango induced regulation, stealth taxes, etc…. An article concerning pricing is required. The role of the state in deliberately preventing price realignment/adjsutment is a big problem.

    We need to get sectoral repricing so as to make the labour market work again. Currently the labour market is sliding off the side of a cliff. Insiders are sitting comfortable. Outsiders are ringing up radio shows to say that they are packing up and leaving.

  39. Tim

    Folks, this is via Brian Lucey at 21:49pm tonight, via Twitter: Renewed fears for peripheral eurozone countries (eg us)…”

  40. Gege Le Beau

    Every time I watch this I get something from it………

    Tony Benn – Fascism and Democracy

    The full 39 minutes used to be on google videos but it seems to have been removed.

    Tony Benn – Big Ideas that Changed the World

  41. coldblow

    I’m sure most of you will have read about this:

    Apparently, Mr Kelly doesn’t bear a grudge.

    So that’s all right then.

  42. Deco

    German GDP statistics are up. French manufacturing data has also improved. Finland, Netherlands also keeping low unemployment rates. German urban residential real estate prices have even started to go upward on the back of the low interest rate. This is of more concern, as it indicates that low interest rates are causing an asset bubble.

    The case is building for an ECB interest rate increase.

    The ECB knows that an increase in the Euro interest rate would sink the PIGIS…..Also the difference between Euro rates is of importance to cratered economies like Latvia, Bulgaria, and Hungary. They would be forced to increase interest rates in step to peg their currencies. And they are too weakend as a result of a history of absurd policies to do this.

    Poland and the Czech Republic, by far the two largest Shadow Euro economies, are both be capable of taking higher interest rates, as they are more financially stable and better managed, than any country inside the Eurozone, except the Netherlands. Germany, The Netherlands and Finland need interest rate increases.

    The strong well managed producers can take the interest rate hike. The debt loaded, badly managed consumers cannot.

    Difficult decisions up ahead.

  43. Money and Sex are inseperable so is Sperm Count and Manhood .What are Irishmen who are Citizens of Ireland afraid of that they cannot fight their own soverign cause and constitutional rights to employment and justice .Do they need to learn from a Peacock and paint themselves rainbow colours to indicate their willingness to do a good deed?Or are they just playing snooker with a rope!

    • Irishmen must really find it hard to have sex now under NAMA and their impotence to manhood a subservant to the tantric virility of Kown .How lower can they go ?Where are the Bravehearts?

  44. DarraghD


    John where is the constitutional guarantee to employment??? This is a major part of the problem with this country, people feel entitled to things to which there is no entitlement either express or implied.

    I started up a business recently, listening to some people out there, I get the impression that I should hire people because there is some sort of social imperative sitting on my shoulders that should compel me to hire people. The ONLY reason I will hire someone is to perform some task that is absolutely necessary for my business to grow, that I cannot do myself.

    If we had a genuine hard working risk taking entrepreneur for every armchair consultant in this country we would have no unemployment problem whatsoever. Paddy is awful fond of talking, but when it comes to getting up at 5:30 in the morning and rising above all the doom and gloom that is being drip fed by the media every minute of every day, and GOING AT IT, Paddy as far as I can see, he isn’t that keen at all…

    • dermo

      Good post .
      The problem we have in this country it’s full of begrudgers,statist and nannyists .
      Paddy wants it handed on a plate ,and if you do anyways well your a thief ,liar, shafter ,exploiter.
      Well if Ireland wants to get off the ground again ,the people that are newly unemployed and leaving uni will have to create their own business ,because there are no jobs ,and employers will avoid hiring ,due to the savage amount of daft regulation and protection given employees.

      • jay-joe

        hi dermo, and anyone else!
        Im a uni grad that has been unemployed for quite a while now. Anyway Im trying to set up a business like you suggest because basically im bored of waiting for someone to give me a chance so Im trying to make one for myself. Im hard working – I think- so was wondering if you had any advice vis-a-vis raising finance (not a huge sum needed) getting advice/ professional services (without having some one stealing my idea or ripping me off) or anything I need to know as a novice at the whole business thing, be it practical or more broad. If you or anyone else on this site has any ideas please post them or send them to
        I would really appreciate any help since after reading this site for many months now I trust what most of you have to say.

        Also apols if anyone feels im abusing the mesage board but I feel this might be in the spirit of it.
        Best Jay-joe

      • Well, hot off the ground, here’s my experience of starting a new business in Mother Ireland. And by God I’m not a negative person.

        I just retired from a lucrative role in compliance and assurance, rail related.
        We said we’d set up a little cafe, not a restaurant, in the village. All the locals were hugely supportive but we are getting some seriously onerous vibes. I’ve run with the hare and kept with the hounds but the first protectionist attack has come even before we opened up. We were tipped off that the signboards would be lifted due to lack of planning permission, even though the local restaurants are advertising freely. In addition, the local shops with deli services are, shall we say, less than enthusiastic despite me studiously avoiding any harm to their trade.
        Having worked in the UK for almost 30 years and being well used to the boys club, AKA Freemasonry and the like, unfortunately I’d have to comment that going out on your own here in Ireland is tantamount to financial suicide without Patronage.
        We live in a notional democratic republic state in name only.

        If “They” beat me, and they most surely can, despite all my nous, I will take my money, my wife and my fridge off to somewhere that has some appreciation of experience.
        What passes for politicians in this country at the moment is anti-constitutional and what proports to be a civil service exists to be a self service.

        As Deco, et al, repeatedly say, the business elements in this country are protectionist to the hilt and will not tolerate competition.
        Ireland is simply not open for business nor will it be in my remaining lifetime.
        We have been hi-jacked by selfish, ignorant gurriers and barrow boys, the lowest common denominator of civilised society.
        I can see no reason to encourage young bright people to invest their time here, to struggle and toil so that their offspring be forced to emigrate in the next cull of dissenting young.

        I mean this post to be pragmatic and not negative. The first rule of life and self preservation is to put on your own life-jacket first. The second rule is to fill your fridge. The latter would seem practically impossible in todays Ireland so to any bright hardworking young person who may read this, apply the former and go where your efforts will be appreciated.
        The State has failed and you only have one life. Make the best of it and don’t concern yourselves with a mickey mouse provincial gnat of a country on the periphery of everything.

        • dermo

          Seen it in Action Furry. As they say been there,done that ,wore the t-shirt.I found the best defense was to go on the attack ,and let them know it in nice way.I was doing something new in the town I had a new business ,was taking on the bigger boys with clout.A friend of one of the boyos comes along one morning and try to scare me with the knifes are out story.I told him to piss off in a nice way and what I had i would keep like a terrier with a bone.
          The state hammered me a bitten ,but I stood my ground and they eventually pissed off.

        • Deco

          Last spring was in a town in the midlands doing business. I heard many things about funny business in this town. And over the past decade one local councillor has dominated planning in the town. And he is involved in the real estate business. He was in the Irish Times property supplement selling the locality to commuters. And in the Independent property supplement. It was a case of the media telling the nation that this is the one man that the world needs to know about from this town.

          But, despite all this publicity, there were locals who had reservations. And there was one lady, who had a brother who did work for this ‘big fish in a small bowl’. Her brother did not get paid fully. So, the councillor accidently came into her shop once, and she told all present about money that he owed her brother. And she kicked him out. A brave thing to do in a small town.

          So, he set up a competiting business as close as possible to her. And even though he was bankrupt (officially at least) he was trying to undercut her. And I overhead two old ladies talking about this.

          Furry, I don’t know how to advise you. I mean as a matter of priciple, you should not yield. But as a matter of practicality, it is best to focus resources on the fight you will win, or better still the fight where you get the most leverage.

          I reckon that the lady with the small business is doing OK. In fact her stand probably did her more assitance than an months advertising in the newspapers where the councillor was popping up every feew months. Basically, there were many others in the town who detested the ‘big fish’. So many detented him so fiercely, that he had to leave the town for good. For his own safety.

          Of course, officially this is a form of vigilante-ism. It is the worst evil imaginable in the dominant set of social mores in modern Ireland. Every crook should be allowed to enjoy the proceeds of his theft. And his right to good name. But in a country where tribunals have proven that crooks get away with murder, it is the nearest thing there is to justice. A bit the crowd booing Bertie Ahern in Croke Park for lying to the electorate. The people know an imposter when they see one. Maybe that might be a good angle upon which to work your business. And where possible, build your own niche. Every business should have it’s own unique selling point.

          No mention of this in the national media. I know all the rumours and it is a massive scandal. Massive. Big enough to force a general election. But IBEC don’t want that. And the media know about it, and they are avoiding it.

          • Thanks Dermo & Deco.
            We’ll drive on regardless.
            If push comes to shove, I know where to lay my hands on a half decent economist to keep us on the straight and narrow. (Sorry D, couldn’t resist)
            Anyway, if it all works out, ye’re all invited to lattes and cupcakes if the mood takes ye. On the house.
            Moon Wobbles notwithstanding.

    • coldblow

      Hi DarraghD

      You make a valid point, but if you consider that half the people born in Ireland since Independence have emigrated for lack of work then that would imply that there are additional factors involved that you don’t take account of. What I mean is that the emigrants were not noted for their reluctance to get up early and work hard when abroad. So why didn’t they stay in Ireland and find work for themselves? And an another point also springs to mind: if someone is sufficiently wealthy not to have to get up early in the morning and look for work why would he feel obliged to do so? If the Constitution sees fit to protect property why not employment too?

      • dermo

        We have a small country and a small population.The vast majority of people left to work for someone or some company ,not to be selfemployed .Maybe over time in their new country they seen an opportunity to become self employed but not in the early stages.

  45. The cost of bailing out Anglo is ballooning and putting our economy at risk. To the rescue, ECB are buying our debt, lol. Wouldn’t it be cheaper all round if the ECB bought Anglo’s debt with result it wouldn’t have to bail out sovereign debt? EMU policy for dealing with rogue banks is to wind them down with some sort of negotiated write down. Why isn’t it happening here? Too many gombeen reputations at stake, Honahan, Lenihan, Dukes, FF. What will happen, if Anglo is not wound up, is Ireland Inc will go to the wall and take Anglo with it, their reputations are gone anyway. Inside or outside the EMU we’re turkeys waiting for Christmas!

  46. DarraghD


    What we all need is for Ireland to go to the wall. We need a new dawn, a new day. As things currently stand, this country is literally programmed to be inefficient, self defeating, going backwards instead of forwards, and basically f*cked right across the board polluted with not just political but with industrial nepotisim.

    There are not even the ingredients for possible success in place at the moment, never mind the clued in kind of thinking and most importantly the HARD WORK, that is required to get us out of the manure business in Ireland that we now find ourselves in.

    We need to sink a lot further before people start taking ownership of the situation in Ireland. I’m all for protest and action, but why would I protest in this country now, if I protest for change, what would I be protesting for??? For Enda Kenny or Eamon Gilmore to be in charge rather than Cowen?!?!?!?!?

    No, I’ll just keep squirreling away doing my own thing as dilligently and as cautiously as I can…

    • Gege Le Beau

      Back to year zero and start again – is such a thing necessary? Have we not ‘sunk’ enough? Why do ‘we’ need to go lower? Does the baby have to go with the bath water? How does this sentiment relate to the destruction that has taken place? Is it related?

    • dermo

      The sinking is happening.Ask anyone to do a bit of work on your house ,cash is king.The blackmarket is alive and well and growing stronger.In ways its hard to blame people they are listening to bumbling,waffling politicians in Government and opposition going on about how we all have to pull together blah blah,while their shafting expenses, throwing lorry loads of money in to black holes, driving around in state cars without expense.
      The best thing people can do is ignore anything politicians say and look after their families and friends,these are the people that will help when the chips are down.

    • @DarraghRD

      Re “What we all need is for Ireland to go to the wall. We need a new dawn, a new day.”

      Ireland has already gone to the wall a la Anglo/Nama. For now, in the dark, we need people to take away blinkers, and use their heads to see a way out:-)

      Its as simple as ECB:
      Grendel ANGLO is eating Irelandé
      Soon we’all have no ESB:(

      Forget Greece and Spain
      She must be slain, backstop our pain
      Mr Trichet, forget our Munster trebuchet:

      Onocentaur has us beaten, hurry
      Before we’re all eaten
      Put Banglo ANGLO out of her pain!

      Have a good weekend, folks!

    • StephenKenny

      I certainly get the sentiment, and feel it’s attractiveness, but I’m not at all sure that it would work. I suspect that all that would really happen is that the main political parties would rebrand themselves, the minor parties would make hay, the various state employed groups would rename themselves and take on more staff, and things for the man in the street would get worse.

      This must be one of the most forward thinking places of debate on the futre of Ireland, but even here there is a continual search for how someone else is going to sort things out.

      There seems to be a general feeling that every country is in the same boat during this crisis, with the same problems, so it would follow that the same solutions would work. Of course, that is just not so. Forget everyone else, forget the UK, the USA, and the rest of Europe. Their policies of course have effects, but there seem to be problems that must be sorted out, whatever others do.

      The political process can be summed up as “There’s no point in voting, as whoever you vote for, the government always gets in”.

      So what is to be done? and, following on from that, by whom?

      Well, economists tell us that it’s the financial levers that need to be fiddled with; political activists tell us that it’s the structure of our democratic process, or something, that needs to be fiddled with; ecologists tell us it’s the environmental levers that need to be fiddled with, no doubt various religious activists tell us that it’s god’s wrath, and that if we stop laying down with the beasts, or something, all will be well.

      “If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail” just applies, and applies, and applies, and applies. Of course, all such activists loudly deny such a view (except perhaps the religious), but watching them over the years, and over the decades, it is as clear as the day is long.

      It’s not that any of them are necessarily wrong, in fact I believe there are aspects of truth in most of them, it’s just that to follow any of them would end in yet more disaster.

      The problem, as I see it, is actually quite simple (it’s the solution that’s a little trickier). The problem is simple: It’s us. All of us.

      To fix the political system is, really, quite simple. Apply Occam’s Razor and you come up with “don’t change anything except the people who stand for election”. Which means everyone join a party and vote for the right people, and if there aren’t any right people, then stand or get someone you like to stand. Change it.
      This is actually quite interesting as, actually, contrary to all their ‘democracy’ rhetoric, this is absolutely the last thing that any political party wants. Just think it through from the point of view of a political activist (and we all know some), and it becomes obvious: They want you to legitimise their desire to impose their views on you. The last thing they want to have to do is actually listen and act on what they hear. These people are activists, we all met these people at college or at work, we know what that means! At worst, they have grand visions for re-engineering society in their own image of a land flowing with mlk and honey, and at best, they’re a bunch of pocket-picking low-life. In truth, they’re all the last people we want governing anything more than a leisure complex.

      This is all well and good, but there’s a second problem. In a very trivial and populist way, they’re convincing, they persuade people to support them. There are obviously all sorts of aspects to this, but fundamentally, the reason that someone is badly informed is that their sources of information are bad. It’s funny, but we are given every other possible excuse for this, except the one that is so obviously correct. What are these sources? The mainstream media of the country. The TV, the radio, and the national newspapers. Every group has their favourites, and trot out their support for the one, and their contempt for the other.
      The media is so persuasive, that at election time, perfectly intelligent people put on a little badge, and then go off and actually vote for someone who they know full well will pick their pocket, spend their pension, and generally rip them off.

      So what to do about that? It’s the same problem as the political paries. It’s us. All of us. For myself, the most satisfactory way I’ve for for dealing with the national media is simply to completely ignore it. I have no tv, I read no newspapers, and I don’t have a radio. I get my information from foreign news sources, via the internet.
      There’s another funny thing I’ve noticed on my travels: Everyone thinks that their own national media is rubbish, while other people’s is quite good. ‘The grass is always greener’ you might say, and you’d be right, but in this way and for perfectly good reasons: American politicians and lobby groups spend their efforts on the American media, resulting in a corrupt US media who’s coverage of the US has become little more than a sad joke. But American politicians and lobby groups expend no effort at all on the Irish, or UK media, leaving their journalists, who are, after all, often quite intelligent and inquisitive, to actually do their real best when covering the US. The same is true for every country I’ve spent any time in.

      So, in answer to my own question, if I want to know about Ireland, I look at the UK, the US, and the mainland European press. To get better informed, read the foreign press about Ireland.

      So, to fix the problem, I would suggest that everyone joins a political party and backs good candidates, and everyone stops paying any attention at all to the Irish media, and informs themselves from the foreign media.

      After all, as we all know, if you want something done properly, do it yourself.

  47. Tim

    Here’s one to combat the “Living longer, Work Longer” Brigade: RT @NYTimeskrugman: Fun With Mortality Tables

  48. ‘Up Your Delors’ –

    Have we forgotten M. Jacques Delors and his bogey rap band manager Albert Reynolds ( Fox ) .They wrote the entry to the song contest ‘Euro’ as the passport to all Irish bank managers ‘to spunk’.Their ‘entry level’ was ‘pitched lowly’ by their verse director anorak man berti the poisoned chalice bearer.
    Spunks in the banks replayed ABBA to all vulnerable Irish customers to the tune of ‘Money , money , money must be funny in a rich mans world…..aha …aha …..all the things I could do if I had a little money in a rich mans world’.

    Actually ,Spunking Irish Bank Managers went further .When the Report on Crime and Fraud was published by the Dept. of Justice in 1998 it did not refer to Banks and Bank Managers .This allowed their Spunking to continue undetected and to show green light to the Banks Board Rooms that their spunking decibels could now be raised in every neighbourhood around the country.- in grace.

    The girls name ‘Deloris’ became victim of prey from the ivory towers and mandarin clubs to those who thought they had jobs.

    All the carnage has been completed and this virus will continue to morph to a neighbour near you for the rest of your life.

  49. Tim

    Folks, Most of you probably saw this last Tuesday, but just in case you didn’t, here it is:

    “In this case, there seems to be only two logical possibilities. One is that Lenihan has access to a document containing advice from ML that has been withheld from Honohan and the Public Accounts Committee.

    The other is that Lenihan or whoever in his department drafted his reply is making an untrue claim.

    This stuff matters — to the tune of €22 billion — and it is terrifying to think that the Minister could make such mistakes.

    Can I therefore ask Brian Lenihan three questions. Where, exactly (with page and paragraph references), does Honohan express support for a blanket guarantee for Anglo? Where, exactly, do Merrill Lynch support such a guarantee? And, back to the original question: how much money for Anglo is too much?”

    • econarchist

      That reminds me of another report that was commissioned by the government from PriceWaterhouseCooper in late 2008. It revealed that IL&P deposited €7bn with Anglo for just a few weeks in order to make Anglo’s balance sheet look better. Lenihan said that he did not find out about it for another few months and the excuse for his ignorance at that time was that he did not fully read the report.

      • michaelcoughlan

        I asked the same question about how Lenihan got away with saying he never read the report and it was explained to me as follows: Lenihan had read the report all right but if he admitted openly he had read the report it would have left the state open to a legal suit as there would be prima fascia evidence that the minster had known all along what had been going on. He lied to protect himself and the state as opposed to the Country “all of us” from possible litigation.

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