September 6, 2010

Sucked into Anglo black hole

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 109 comments ·

The government has spent more than it can afford on Anglo, a bank of no value, so when a proper bank comes begging, there will be nothing left to give

Writing on a bus can always be a bit tricky, particularly on a dodgy stretch of road outside Charleville. But, bumps apart, the 12.30 Citylink bus from Galway to Cork is making good time, and the fact that all these buses have free wi-fi means it’s far preferable to the hassle of driving.

Traffic doesn’t faze you and you end up chatting to neighbours and watching the beautiful countryside – unfortunately blighted by ghost estates – as it flies by outside on a beautiful late summer’s day.

The bus is jammed, mainly with students. These people are the future of our country. I couldn’t help wondering, as I listened to the news about the latest losses in Anglo Irish Bank – another €8.2 billion racked up in the first six months of this year alone —what would happen to this bus service if we applied the basic rules of capitalism to Anglo. Would the Galway-to-Cork bus service stop if we called the creditors of Anglo into a room and said: ‘‘Sorry, we cannot pay you for your mistakes’’?

Would a repudiation of Anglo’s debts make a jot of difference to the day-to-day reality of life in our country? If the answer is no, then the right course of action would be to do an adult deal with the creditors. And what if closing down Anglo now and forcing the creditors to take whatever a liquidator instructs would actually make life better here?

What if forcing the bondholders of Anglo to become shareholders in Alan Dukes’ new business bank signalled the beginning of the end of Ireland’s banking crisis?

The government’s current stance is that Anglo and the Irish state are one and the same thing. By extension, defaulting on the bondholders would be tantamount to a default on Irish sovereign debt. This is what is terrifying the markets. The signal from them is clearly that we should go in the opposite direction: cut Anglo off from the state and let it go. Yes, this change of policy will demand difficult negotiations with everyone, including the European Central Bank (ECB), but that is what being grown up is all about.

Jean-Claude Trichet, governor of the ECB, is also wrong when he says that Anglo is an Irish problem- and he knows this. He is bluffing. Anglo and the rest of the Irish banks borrowed from other European banks, so the counterparties of all these trades are banks on Trichet’s watch.

The problem for Trichet is that his ‘‘you are on your own’’ stance – which might sound tough – is actually very childish from a serious central banker, as it brings the prospect of a sovereign debt crisis closer. By suggesting that Anglo and Ireland are the same legal entity – which they clearly are not – the state is contaminating itself.

The amazing thing about the government’s stance is that it is prepared to risk the financing of the entire country for the sake of this notion.

Quite apart from the Anglo fiasco, there is the little problem of AIB. Paying full whack for Anglo might mean that the state will have no money left for AIB, when AIB comes looking for cash in a few months.

Think about what is now happening in the country Figures published last week by the Financial Regulator show some pretty stark realities in the mortgage market. In the second quarter, 4,117 more mortgages fell into arrears, bringing the total number to 36,438.By value, e 7 billion-worth of mortgages are now in arrears. This is 5.9 per cent of the total outstanding mortgage debt in the country.

The banks have no way of recovering this money. The entirely political decision not to allow banks to foreclose on delinquent mortgage holders means the banks have no way of recovering their losses. Their only hope is that the delinquent borrowers will sort out their finances (presumably by getting a new, well-paid job) and be able to pay their arrears. With unemployment up again this month, we can discount that idea.

Thus, the banks will have to raise more capital to cover their mounting losses. But, hang on: they already need to raise more capital to pay for the writedowns on their Nama-bound loans. AIB is still going on about raising €7.4 billion by December by selling some overseas assets. It is now September and, while talks are being held with some interested parties, nothing has yet been concluded. If it hasn’t managed to get the money together by the regulator’s cut-off date in December, it will most likely have to turn to the government for funds.

But AIB (or any other bank that comes knocking for more capital) could be in for a shock. The cupboard may well be bare by December – all available funds having been written off in Anglo.

If it doesn’t happen in December, it may be next March or next June or whenever. But it will happen because, as long as unemployment is high, mortgage delinquency will continue to rise; and as long as delinquency continues to rise, the banks will continue to need more capital.

Add to this the fall in savings, as people use their nest eggs to survive the recession (household savings are down €2.5 billion since January) and the banks will also be coming under pressure on the funding side.

Adding to the problems is the likelihood of the ECB rolling back on its generous liquidity operations in 2011.And, as if things weren’t bad enough, there are also going to be rises in ECB interest rates at some stage. Last week the ECB raised its growth forecasts for the EU, a precursor to a rate rise if there ever was one (remember, the ECB looks at Germany, not Ireland, when setting rates).

For the bankers, the next couple of years are going to very difficult, and it is the exchequer that has promised to help them through it. That is the same exchequer that spent €12.1 billion more than it earned in the eight months to the end of August this year, an overspend of €1.5 billion per month. Where is the room in that account for further bailouts for the banks? The answer is simple. There isn’t any.

The government might be faced with the choice between Anglo or AIB before a full-blown debt crisis. One bank is a black hole and of no value at all. AIB, in contrast, is systemically important.

I can guarantee some of the students on this bus have accounts with AIB. If the government is prepared to risk AIB for Anglo, the lunatics are clearly on the loose and running the asylum.

  1. Great article, thanks!

    Almunia: How much Anglo owe?
    Almunia: You give dem blank cheque?..
    Lenihan: Yes, we spread all debt onto the future for 10-20 year. Only 2 billion per year? In ten years NAMA(genuflects) will know what everybody owes!
    Almunia(takes out calculator): Let me see figures? Is all manageable, no problemo? Then we make new Anglo compete with BOI and Allied Irish and the other Irish banks and we whack them with new bank with all our money.(winks at Lenihan) You think me crazy?
    Almunia: You know I train national judges in EU Competition Law and judicial co-operation between national judges and you bring this bullshit to me?
    Almunia: Lets see, are you paying €2 bn off capital loan each year or just interest repayments? How much do taxpayers pay in interest repayments, if they don’t pay anything off capital? How much for both?
    Lenihan: Well, we don’t really know, nobody knows, it all depends on the global economy and NAMA.
    Almunia: Don’t give me dees NAMA bullshit again. I buy house from you. You give me price otherwise I won’t buy it. You must be from the dinasuar cretaceus period before they could name their price! Don’t bullshit me with 5yrs time price. I want figures NOW!
    Lenihan: We have just hired another 250 for NAMA at huge expense. They are working hard. Figures quick soon?
    Almunia: All my banks know each day exactly what they owe. Their officials tell me. You told me lies about Anglo. Every time we speak, you add €10 bn to our previous bill. I think you are greatest idiot minister for finance in the world. Now you make fool of the whole of ECB (Has to be restrained by officials!)

  2. It is very sad how right you have been david but no one within Power in Dublin wishes to listen!
    ALL those many Billions wasted ?
    The Greeens / Labour & the current Government ALL do not deserve power again, when the next elections arrive ? we need a true Independent Movement- to see Justice prevails !
    As for this good bank bad bank? it is a scam? as mates of the present CEO who was taken from Philipines last year will be running the new Bank ! what a conflict has been running these past months! & many deals from Dubai to IOM to Jersey to Dublin have been the rage ! how can NTMA be sitting idle , when all these whippet snappers keep playing with the debt, to their personal advantage against the State’s investment/interest!
    Real Independent advisors need to be called in !I still believe Anglo has been part of a much greater criminal conspiracey, in UK/ USA and Europe/ these past 10 years, so a real investigation should be started before there is no old bank left to go through the carnage !

  3. manofiona

    Sorry David, but Mr Trichet is right. Anglo is an Irish problem. The ECB is not a bank regulator and has no banks “on its watch”. It was the Irish regulator alone which had all the Irish banks on its watch – and it failed culpably, as did the Irish government. While this was going on, lots of Irish prople enjoyed their status as paper millionaires and borrowed and paid themselves handsomely under the illusion that this paper wealth was real wealth.

    By withdrawaing the bank guarantee from some or all the Irish banks and precipitating a sovereign debt crisis for Ireland, the Irish government can convert this Irish-made problem into a European problem (and might justify it by pointing to the collective European error in creating a European currency without sufficient European instruments of regulation and control over both monetary and fiscal policy as well as over financial institutions).

    However, converting the Irish problem into a European problem means giving Europe a much greater say in Irish economic decisions (including such matters as the rate of corporation tax). There is no painless solution and it is a dangerous illusion to think otherwise.

    • Deco

      Anglo is an Irish problem with regard to finding a solution. But if the Irish government used the solution that the people wanted, then Anglo would be a problem for the bondholders, and their insurance providers.

      • Gege Le Beau

        The rules of market capitalism applied beautifully: privatise profit, socialise risk, debt and failure.

        Bailout for the rich/systemically important, debt slavery for the populace…..hmmmmmm……..

        For Trichet to say Anglo is an Irish problem is a bit like the Pope saying he wanted to talk to the Irish Bishops about the problems in the ‘Irish church’……people ducking the bullet all over the place.

        • wills

          Anglo is technically an Irish problem.

          Anglo is an Irish company which went bust in Ireland and comes under the supervision of the Irish regulator.

          • NO HOPE

            Like the finacial regulator has a clue?

          • Gege Le Beau

            Only if you think it operated in isolation which is an impossibility. European Banks, investors and others are bound to have been involved, there is also the issue of the bank failing and the knock on impact, the optics etc. But there is so much we don’t know about the dealings.

    • manofiona – Irish banks were banks unto themselves and a law in their own right above you and I just like cannon law in rc church Irish banks held an omerta of silence that bonded them together in a freemasonry style even at the expense of abusing ‘qualified priviledge’ to distroy basic rights of all our citizens and they have done that well all over the country .They were also supported from outside the walls of their banks by their own knights who were paid well in company and now those knights have lost their helmets and ride around pennyless because of their greed.

  4. Malcolm McClure

    David’s excellent article needs to be read in the context of this information:

    What is going to happen to Anglo Irish long term debts on 30th September when the initial CI(ELG) scheme runs out?

    What is the plan for the rest of its debts when the prolongation to 31st December 2010 of the issuance period expires?

    Please David can you unscramble the implications of this?

  5. wills


    is it not the case that Anglo loaned out all the depositers savings.

    And so it is the case the taxpayer is fitting the bill on this, reimbursing the depositers their deposits that Anglo loaned out to its crony networks / insiders / developers and god know’s who else.

    Any further loans lent out originate from the Fractional Reserve banking system and inter bank loans alongside building the POnzi property bubble house of cards.

    Thus, surely, the bottom line here with Anglo is the Irish gov are using the taxpayer to ensure Anglos depositers get their deposits. It seems to me this is the top priority of the gov, to make sure Anglos depositers get their monies on deposit at Anglo.

    So, this make sense, obviously the Irish gov decided that to let Anglo go bust and depositers go bust would trigger a domino effect and be a disaster for Irelands economy.

    So, accepting that Anglos depsoiters must be bailed out by the taxpayer in order to stave off a worse calamity, hypothetically speaking, surely then the focus switched to the Anglos inter bank loans and bondholders and the risk inbuilt into their investment and the fact that these guys should not be receiving a dime of the taxpayer.

    So, the real story here with Anglo, is, the following, why are the interbank loans of Anglo been paid for by the taxpayer.

    This is what you guys ought to be focusing on, and none of you journalists are honing in on this and investigating it.

  6. wills


    The real story here with Anglo, is, the following, why are the interbank loans of Anglo been paid for by the taxpayer.

    There is a rational to be had with ensuring Anglos depositers get their deposits. But, thats it. Why are we the taxpayer footing the bill on the loan black hole of Anglo from its borrowings on the inter bank market?

    This is what you guys ought to be focusing on now surely, and home grown journalists are not honing in on this and investigating it.

    • +1

      Wills, you put your finger on it. Its all about protecting crony depositors. Best practice is to take the largest depositors and make them take a hit; take the interbank lenders, make them take a hit. You can’t do one without the other; do one without the other and whoever doesn’t take the heat complains, eg how come interbank lender bondholders are only taking the heat.

      Protecting the bondholders is only a cover to protect all depositors.

      Why should bondholders, depositors of a private non systemic bank suck money from the taxpayer purse?

      Lenihan lies:

      1. Government is taking the path of least cost to taxpayers. In the absence of a negotiated write down where major depositors and bondholders of Anglo take a hit, this is a lie.

      2. Here’s a new Lenihan ’tilting at windmills lie from his RTE interview today before ‘Don Quixote of La Mancha’ headed off to Brussels. Fragile markets recently in Europe are the cause of our difficulties(presume he means bond spreads) but we have to hold our nerve. This is propaganda. The fact is Greece seems to be faring better than us at the moment. Germany appears to be surging ahead. We’re being left behind like a bunch of lemmings running over a cliff!

      • wills


        Is it possible the Anglo depositers are the corporations based here, their monies, and there is no way in hell will the corporations permit the Irish state to let Anglo go bust and the corporations here in their tax haven set up loose their deposits?

  7. With the cost of borrowing rising, I think the government is being optimistic about the numbers for bailing out Anglo let alone any other banks.

  8. Gege Le Beau

    “For the bankers, the next couple of years are going to be very difficult”

    Interesting one, think their troubles are nothing like the trouble coming for the State (i.e. the people). FF and God knows who else must have been heavily involved in Anglo for it to warrant so much support and so much secrecy.

    Some useful stats in the article which hint at things to come, especially on savings being down, reserves are being eaten up. Sept 10 – Sept 11 is show time, cash is king.

    Perfect economic storm gathering off-shore, don’t foresee a happen ending more Somme-like attrition.

  9. coldblow

    Epic discussion of options re Anglo:

    If you have 3 hours spare to read it.

    Many strong arguments were advanced for not shafting Anglo, but as David has reminded us it seems to be a choice between some kind of managed, voluntary bankruptcy (with all its dangers) vs one that’s thrust upon us. An irresistible force is about to collide with an immovable object. My money’s on the irresistible force.

    • wills


      Its looking like an organized wind down into bankruptcy chapter 11.

      Yes, it is.

      But, why is the taxpayer bailing out the Anglo loans from their interbank lending, any ideas?

      • Re “But, why is the taxpayer bailing out the Anglo loans from their interbank lending, any ideas?”

        You have to probe the Anglo archaeological strata, probe layers down to a secret and protected layer called the “Commercial Sensitivity/Right to Privacy Layer”. This is a ledger that has detail of who the interbank lenders are, the transactions made, the liabilities. There is another similarly secret layer for the Anglo 10 billion plus lenders. We need to know the detail of their transactions, where the money went, evidence and proof of compliance with the law. We know only a small bit of this information. Then there is the most secret layer of all, the depositor layer. Who are these depositors, large sums only? The money is gone, but who/what institutions make up the Anglo depositor base, Irish pension funds! Any whistle blower ready to publish and be damned?

        I’ve asked these q’s before. So delighted to see Colum Kenny of Sun Independent, p30, echo similar q’s in his article, ‘Where have all those billions gone? It is a legal obscenity to allow the chancers whose recklessness got us into this mess to hide behind privacy laws’

        Before the fall of the Berlin Wall we would point to the lack of freedom of speech, transparency, hidden bureaucracy, lack of information from behind the iron curtain.

        Here we are fed a new unwritten concordat for taxpayers, socialism for the banks and an iron curtain to prevent us seeing their books except through filtered propaganda from the new bankers’ secret police of Lenihan, Dukes, Cowen & Co.

        Do you believe they are trustworthy? Welcome to the world of secret negotiations, secret deals, cover ups and propaganda. Best practice for dealing with the banking crisis is to be as open and transparent as possible, instead we are now out to freak the markets!

  10. econarchist

    Just a few weeks ago the ECB approved an extra €10 billion for Anglo (bringing the total so far to more than €24 billion) but it is now considering plans to wind it down within a few years. So why put €10 billion into a company that you are going to shut down?

    And last week their boss Trichet described it as just “a bank which is owned by the Government” and “so it’s a responsibility of the Government of Ireland and of the Irish authorities” (in other words, nothing to do with him). So how can something be a purely Irish problem when funding for its survival needs ECB approval?

    The only answers that I can think of involve the French and German banks that David mentions, who are bondholders of Anglo. The ECB wants Anglo to survive just long enough to allow those banks to cash in their Anglo bonds in order to improve their own weak balance sheets (they could not sell them all at once because that would drive the price down). Those banks are getting ECB help to transfer their bad loans (Anglo bonds) to the Irish taxpayers and to anyone who wants to take over the risk. This is a bit like the so-called Greek bail-out a few months ago where the bondholders had their bad loans (Greek government bonds) effectively guaranteed by the EU taxpayers.

  11. wills


    You say,

    ;Just a few weeks ago the ECB approved an extra €10 billion for Anglo (bringing the total so far to more than €24 billion) but it is now considering plans to wind it down within a few years. So why put €10 billion into a company that you are going to shut down?

    I say, because it is a slush fund been used to ensure depositers get their deposits.

    The real question is, the stats on the depositers and on the black hole from the interbank lending and why did the taxpayer get to fit the bill here on international banking etc loans to Anglo?

  12. NO HOPE

    The lunatics already run the asylum as is evident from out national debt clock. It is astounding how they have systematically plodded on in their dim witted ineptitude, their dense little minds are closed to reason, at any level. Every economist with a brain in their head has been telling them to cut the rotten Anglo bag of pus out. We are already in too deep. It is only a matter of time (maybe 12 months) before we have a full blown debt crisis in Ireland. They have been measured, weighed and found seriously wanting. See lesson 101 in borrowing rates as a reflection of our financial health.
    The only thing that could possibly save us now is to cut Anglo loose NOW! Let the markets go crazy for a few months about our default. So what? In 24 months they will have forgotten we defaulted, and we can get back to business. This protracted, brain dead approach, to screw over generations of our young Irish in national debt, has definitely confirmed how stupid they actually are. Even with a new government in 12-18 months time it will be way too late. We are doomed…………….

  13. econarchist

    It’s becoming more and more obvious that some sort of default will be unavoidable, whether it’s by Anglo or by the Irish state. The Irish economy just does not have the capacity to keep on pumping billions into a black hole. And as the years go by, there’s also the increasing probability that Nama will make a huge loss. The best that the government can do is to choose very soon between either an Anglo default or an Irish sovereign default. Most people would agree that it’s better to pay off their own debts before they start paying other people’s.

  14. goldbug





    hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Tick TOCK.







    • wills

      No it is NOT. Anglo is incorporated private company in Ireland. It falls under irish corporate law.

      Also, Anglo been a limited liability company means any stake holders only loose investment so, taxpayers / Irish gov / new owners are NOT liable beyond the what the corporate law states.

  15. adamabyss


  16. wills

    @NO HOPE.

    The financial regulator does have a clue. For jaybus sakes dont be so taken in by the fact that no one had a clue.

    The insiders and networks inflated the property bubble to get rich quick and used the banking system to do it and made sure any one in the way where on side.

  17. goldbug






  18. wills


    Simon Johnson,

    ‘This misunderstanding stems from Ireland’s success as a tax haven. Many years ago Ireland cut corporate taxes to attract business. This created one of Europe’s most impressive tax havens — it is possible to set up a corporation in Ireland, channel sales through that head office (with some highly complicated links to offshore tax havens in order not to pay Irish tax) and then pay a minuscule corporate profits tax. Ireland boasts a large industry of foreign “tax minimizers” that do this, but these tax minimizers hardly employ any people. Nearly one-quarter of Irish G.D.P. comes from the profits of these ghost corporations.

    The likes of Google, Yahoo, Forest Labs and many others helped Ireland’s exports grow in the first quarter, but the domestic economy when excluding their profits, as measured by G.N.P., actually contracted, and so did Ireland’s tax revenues and employment. Today Irish unemployment is estimated at 13.8 percent, up from 13.1 percent at the start of the year.’

    ..are these the depositers of Anglo, did Anglo interface all of this corporate circumvention, and get caught with trousers down on these corporations deposit accounts.

  19. paulmcd



    Defining the LEAST WORST Option

    A Chara,

    You must understand that the Government has always said that it was looking at the WORST options — “worst” in the sense of putting the greatest possible sharing of the burden on the maximum number of citizens who ALL* happen to be taxpayers, and we, the Irish Nation, have accepted the fact.

    Having decided to look only at the WORST options — preordained by the Minister’s secret appointment of a pro-developer-lobby economist to bring home the bacon, and accepted by the public at large — the Department combed through the finer details to determine how to minimise the cost to BONDHOLDERS, enigmatic people and institutions whose names no one in the Department knows, in accordance with the wishes of the Minister.

    The Minister then issued a blanket guarantee to cover BONDHOLDERS as well as depositors. The intention was to create the WORST (i.e., “most expensive”) solution for the Irish taxpayer — the richest taxpayers on the planet where the Department and the Minister dwell – while imposing the LEAST possible cost on the BONDHOLDER. This is how the Department defines the “LEAST WORST” option.

    Mise, le meas,
    (name withheld)
    *My footnote relating to TAXES – Even your child buying a lollipop is paying 21% value added TAX thereon.

    Other people have posted better options, involving the least possible cost to the taxpayer and even the recovery of sums already paid by the taxpayer. These options are classified under the heading MOST BEST as they are diametrically opposed to Government policy and will be dismissed by vested interests as disingenuous and naïve.

  20. Deco

    Finally somebody has pointed out Trichet as bearing responsibility for this mess. I have seen us commentary ridiculing Bernanke and it seems that everybody has made a target out of Greenspan. Mervyn King in Britain has also managed to escape censure despite Northern Rock, RBoS, Bradford and Bigley and other calamities beneath his radar. But there is no criticism of Trichet, from the Irish media.

    With the creation of the Euro, there was a sharp drop in interest rates because the ECB, to get approval from the Germans, and Benelux. However this drop created an interest regime that was historically very low for the PIGIS. Of the two countries, Spain and Ireland had the best employment markets. And these countries had the highest level of property price growth. At one stage 40% of the new housing unit completions in Europe were occurring in Spain. Spain built two many houses. This was documented at the time by David’s articles detailing how totally inappropriate the ECB interest rate was. It was commonly commented that if we still had the punt, that the CBoI would increase interest rate to cool the property bubble. Instead we had media and commercial interest rates telling us to ‘celebrate’, and property porn on TV.

    The absurdly low interest regime resulted in all sorts of absurdly uneconomical projects getting funding. It resulted in money going from Germany to Ireland and Spain, and to US sub-prime bonds, in an effort to get better returns than the ECB determined deposit rates.

    In fact it all comes back to Trichet’s door. At the root of the PIGIS mess, is the ECB and the common interest rate.

    • wills


      Low interest rates, responsible, for Ponzi property bubble? and a banking / developer / political / insider / wheel of fortune,… ??

  21. paddyjones

    Anglo issued bonds on the international markets to raise funds, Anglo then lent these funds to property developers to buy property. Developers then paid other developers for the property who in turn borrowed more from Anglo to buy more property.
    It all relys on property top to bottom. I would borrow money to get a roof over my head but I would not borrow to speculate. Nobody knows how far commercial property has fallen since 2007 but it is not over yet, we are not at the bottom. What happens when NAMA is forced to sell more property….it is going to be a firesale and will make more losses.
    Keep an eye on property values that is where the root of this problem is, it is a slow burner we are still massively over valuing property. Do you know that you can buy a 2 bed apartment anywhere in Germany for about 60k.
    If I had money to invest Irish property would be the last place I would put it.

  22. Very late after an 18 hr day so not capable of logical debate but some questions arise from this fine article.

    1. Is Anglo best described , not as a Black Hole, but as a worm-hole leading us to the real black hole of default?

    2. Would a repudiation of Anglo’s debts make a jot of difference to me at the moment? (Hint – No. I’m not in the club.)

    3. What reality dictates that the Public Representative on Anglos board has the credence and international financial kudos to form a silk business bank purse out of a sows arse, the ear having been given to the Germans as collateral.

    4. Why were there only 9 mortgages approved in South Kerry last month?

    5. Is it morally correct to describe the amoral hard selling of mortgages and loans, by ruthless experts to gullible youngsters , which have now turned sour for lack of due diligence, as delinquency?

    6. Why has AIB become systemically important all of a sudden?

    7. The road at TwoPotHouse is far worse than the road at Charleville. Why denigrate Charleville like this?

    8. That Anglo and the Irish state are one and the same thing is a fallacy or a post freudian phallic fantasy. The Irish State is a notional concept established to allow the Irish Estate pursue its shenanigans free from colonial shackles. Discuss. Extra 10 points for mentioning debt slavery, Dun Aengus or Jabba Offalius, as he appeared during the Captains victory speech yesterday.

    9. Is it an allowable expense for one of the best economic brains to be schlapping ’round the country on a bus. Whip around needed. Things are bad.

    10. At what point are people going to cop on that Trichet is Greenspan with a dodgy accent and even worse hair colour?

    GN All. Hard to be serious all the time and I just had a great day.

  23. Folks,

    to those who saw the Freefall RTE broadcast, I have a question.

    Do you remember the one scene where they showed a closeup of Brian Lenihans face with a tear developing in the corner of his eye?

    It might seem a funny questions, but I am curious to learn how many people remember this cut.


    • To be precise, his face was in a 45 degree angle to the camera, you could not see his whole face, but enough to realize who this was, and the tear developing was a animated sequence that had been montaged over it.

      If you saw it, a simple +1 is sufficient, I am really curious about this. Thanks!

  24. paulmcd


    It is so easy for someone who earns many multiples of the average worker to say that the banking situation is MANAGEABLE and this is what we have heard from the Lenihan on tonight’s news.

    The issue of BONDHOLDERS has not yet been touched upon in the FREEFALL documentary. It also remains to be seen if the series will highlight that the Government has released only 30 of the 80 documents relating to what happened on the fateful night of September 29 (our 9-29 fiasco?!) and most of the 30 documents released were heavily redacted.

    I have highlighted before the seriousness of the secrecy surrounding the ownership of these bonds as the following article, and similar articles, makes clear:

    Some time ago Laughingbear commented on the presence of the following firm of lawyers in Dublin, from which you can draw your own conclusions:

    Brian Lenihan would have us all believe that the bonds are held by Irish pension funds and credit unions, but the credit unions seem to have denied this already. The bondholders in Anglo alone would cost the State €15 billion.

    Wouldn’t those of you who have private pensions rather have the €5,000 for every man, woman and child in your family, or perhaps your extended family, which the Anglo bondholder bailout would cost, in your own pockets rather than those of professional investors who took a calculated risk?

    • Paul,

      I hold my final judgement, until I saw the second and final part of this ….. I struggle for the right word to describe this broadcast.

      I don’t, but in fairness, i want to see all of it before I share my thoughts.

      The Anglo story has a lot more to tell which is deliberately kept away from the public:

      A group of unknown private clients of Anglo Irish Bank are in line for a possible €132 million profit on their investment in SWS Wind Energy if the business is sold for the kind of money being speculated.

      SWS, which was bought out by a consortium led by Ion Equity in 2006, broke up the group and separated out its wind energy assets. This business was then transferred to a new firm called SWS Natural Resources Ltd by its existing shareholders in September 2007.

      At that time, the shareholders consisted of Ion Equity, a variety of management and staff shareholders, Anglo Irish Bank Private Equity Fund with a 7 per cent stake, and Anglo Irish Bank with a further 9.3 per cent stake. The stake held by Anglo Irish Private Equity Fund is actually owned by the bank itself.

      Although it is structured as a partnership, its investments are made on behalf of the bank and not private clients.

      In September 2007, a group of unnamed Anglo Irish Bank private clients paid €72million for a 34 per cent stake in the venture.

      The shares are held in the name of Pegasus Nominees. This would have valued the company at €211 million. In recent weeks, SWS appointed Royal Bank of Canada to consider a sale of the firm. There has been speculation that it could be worth up to €800million, a valuation which would include about €200 million in debt.


    • Some time ago Laughingbear commented on the presence of the following firm of lawyers in Dublin, from which you can draw your own conclusions:

      Correct. Maples and Calder together with London based Bingham McCutchen are the legal representatives of senior Bondholders in Anglo.

      I called Maples & Calder and was advised by his secretary that he is the one who is responsible for Senior bondholders in Anlgo:

  25. goldbug






  26. March 30th 2010, Dail votes on MOtion on Stability of Banking System, see my ‘commented’ snapshot here:

    On April 2nd NAMA transfers Euro 8.,5 billion, Bankers were overpaid to the tune of 1,2 – 3,1 billion.

    On April 5th I started a petition that called for the immediate closure of Anglo and NO extension of banking guarantee after September 2010. Within 20 days more than 230 people signed this, and it was just a internet petition with no exposure in the media at all.

    The independent polled 25,000 people in July, and I think it was around 95% that voted to close Anglo.

    Now lets remember a few things:

    1. Lenihan signed the guarantee BLINDFOLD, having zero knowledge on the real situation, bankers called it a liquidity problem, right!

    2. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY! Lenihan bombards the print and broadcast media permanently with this phrase, whereby in deed there were other ways outlined to him as well, as we know today!

    3. Anglo is much more than only a Zombie Bank, it is the epitome of political fraud, corruption, and High Treason!

    4. The total derivative exposure of irish Banks to date is still UNKNOWN!

    5. Lenihan operates Anglo at ‘Arms length’, how convenient!


    Now they speak of a longterm wind down, I say this is Bullshit! Brian Lucey is dead right to suggest to add the Senior bondholders to burden the losses.

    I am afraid though, the window of opportunity is very narrow, and the political will is zero.



  27. StephenKenny

    In my view Wills is right in his arguments here.
    What is happening is not capitalism, if it has a name at all you might call it ‘desperatism’. This is just politicians trying to maintain the status-quo, and is no different to the efforts of other politicians, at other times, and in other countries, when everything is falling apart. The fall of the Soviet Union was one I watched with considerable fascination.
    The structure of the economy before 2008 was the cause of the troubles that started in 2008, so trying to maintain the status quo will merely result in another 2008. It seems faintly self-evident to me.
    David’s books outlined the problems, so we are not looking at politicians being especially mendacious; they are being no more so than they have been for a couple of decades, in all the bubble countries.
    This is why the changes that will occur either naturally (when it’s far too late), or by design (hopefully before it is), have to be so much more dramatic than anything we’ve seen in our (OK, my) lifetime.

    Everyone wants to blame everyone else for the problems, but for those who do, I suggest you re-read The Pope’s Children, and get reacquainted with all the characters of the boom, and how incredibly proud everyone felt about the Celtic Tiger. It felt good to be Irish, and that feeling was based on a mountain of debt that we can now almost appreciate. Even those who didn’t join in the dizzying pyramid of property nonsense, benefitted, even if was no more than just feeling good about their homeland.

    The same is true for those in the US, UK, Spain, Greece, and almost certainly Australia (although there are some time lags there).

    For myself, I cannot see a viable solution that is also politically viable, so I am expecting nature’s cure, by which time the huge chunks of economic wood that will be hacked out the body of the economy, in a panic, and to a general roar of popular approval (which is why the politicians will do it), will include much that is not dead. But it will not provide us with replacement wood.

    I’m sick of all the incredibly predictable steps in this dreary dance, and just want it over with, so we can pick up the pieces and start to build something worth having, or just get on a boat and go and do it somewhere else. Too many people are clinging on to the dream of a quick return to 2005 and all the glories of the Tiger.

    For those hoping clinging to the prognostications and expertise of economists:

    • paddythepig

      I didn’t ‘feel good about my homeland’. I felt sick as I watched every two bit huckster in the country show what they really are, cheered on by the ultimate huckster – Ahern.

  28. uchrisn

    Anglo Irish bank should be declared bankrupt. The depositors of Anglo Irish up to 250,000 should be refunded and the other secured and unsecured creditors left to fight over the rest. In the States, many pension funds were lost in the Chrsyler and GM bankruptcies and the hundreds of banks (140 US banks declared bankruptcy in 2009).Bondholders also had to take losses. Why don’t these states decide to spend all their money on keeping these failed businesses afloat?
    Interestingly even though the pension funds were unsecured creditors Obama lobbied for them to recieve more compensation than what he saw as the wealthy bondholders who were secured creditors.
    Definition of bankruptcy- Bankruptcy law is a condition when a company becomes unable to pay off its debts, in time when they become due. Companies file for protection in such a case when their liabilities or debts surpass the value of their assets, or when they find it impossible to pay their bills. A bankruptcy filing arranges for the company to reorganize its business, hoping that it would return to profitability; or else, completely shutting down its operations and disposing off its assets, the sale proceeds of which are used to pay off debts — commonly called the process of liquidation.

    The below list of banks have declared bankruptcy in the US in August 2010 (ref Federal Reserve Website). The long lenght is meant to emphasis that in the states they are letting those banks go to the wall for anyone who is not aware of that.

    If Ireland was a US state our failed banks would be on this list. Our banks copied the States in our capitalist boom, how about a capiltalist solution to a capitalist problem?

    Bank Name City State CERT # Closing Date Updated Date
    Sonoma Valley Bank Sonoma CA 27259 August 20, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Los Padres Bank Solvang CA 32165 August 20, 2010 August 24, 2010
    Butte Community Bank Chico CA 33219 August 20, 2010 August 25, 2010
    Pacific State Bank Stockton CA 27090 August 20, 2010 August 24, 2010
    ShoreBank Chicago IL 15640 August 20, 2010 August 24, 2010
    Imperial Savings and Loan Association Martinsville VA 31623 August 20, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Independent National Bank Ocala FL 27344 August 20, 2010 August 24, 2010
    Community National Bank at Bartow Bartow FL 25266 August 20, 2010 August 24, 2010
    Palos Bank and Trust Company Palos Heights IL 17599 August 13, 2010 August 17, 2010
    Ravenswood Bank Chicago IL 34231 August 6, 2010 August 11, 2010
    LibertyBank Eugene OR 31964 July 30, 2010 August 6, 2010
    The Cowlitz Bank Longview WA 22643 July 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Coastal Community Bank Panama City Beach FL 9619 July 30, 2010 August 6, 2010
    Bayside Savings Bank Port Saint Joe FL 57669 July 30, 2010 August 6, 2010
    Northwest Bank & Trust Acworth GA 57658 July 30, 2010 August 6, 2010
    Home Valley Bank Cave Junction OR 23181 July 23, 2010 July 30, 2010
    SouthwestUSA Bank Las Vegas NV 35434 July 23, 2010 July 30, 2010
    Community Security Bank New Prague MN 34486 July 23, 2010 July 30, 2010
    Thunder Bank Sylvan Grove KS 10506 July 23, 2010 July 30, 2010
    Williamsburg First National Bank Kingstree SC 17837 July 23, 2010 July 30, 2010
    Crescent Bank and Trust Company Jasper GA 27559 July 23, 2010 July 30, 2010
    Sterling Bank Lantana FL 32536 July 23, 2010 July 30, 2010
    Mainstreet Savings Bank, FSB Hastings MI 28136 July 16, 2010 July 22, 2010
    Olde Cypress Community Bank Clewiston FL 28864 July 16, 2010 July 26, 2010
    Turnberry Bank Aventura FL 32280 July 16, 2010 July 22, 2010
    Metro Bank of Dade County Miami FL 25172 July 16, 2010 July 22, 2010
    First National Bank of the South Spartanburg SC 35383 July 16, 2010 July 26, 2010
    Woodlands Bank Bluffton SC 32571 July 16, 2010 July 22, 2010
    Home National Bank Blackwell OK 11636 July 9, 2010 July 19, 2010
    USA Bank Port Chester NY 58072 July 9, 2010 July 12, 2010
    Ideal Federal Savings Bank Baltimore MD 32456 July 9, 2010 July 12, 2010
    Bay National Bank Baltimore MD 35462 July 9, 2010 July 19, 2010
    High Desert State Bank Albuquerque NM 35279 June 25, 2010 August 26, 2010
    First National Bank Savannah GA 34152 June 25, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Peninsula Bank Englewood FL 26563 June 25, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Nevada Security Bank Reno NV 57110 June 18, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Washington First International Bank Seattle WA 32955 June 11, 2010 August 26, 2010
    TierOne Bank Lincoln NE 29341 June 4, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Arcola Homestead Savings Bank Arcola IL 31813 June 4, 2010 August 26, 2010
    First National Bank Rosedale MS 15814 June 4, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Sun West Bank Las Vegas NV 34785 May 28, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Granite Community Bank, NA Granite Bay CA 57315 May 28, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Bank of Florida – Tampa Tampa FL 57814 May 28, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Bank of Florida – Southwest Naples FL 35106 May 28, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Bank of Florida – Southeast Fort Lauderdale FL 57360 May 28, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Pinehurst Bank Saint Paul MN 57735 May 21, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Midwest Bank and Trust Company Elmwood Park IL 18117 May 14, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Southwest Community Bank Springfield MO 34255 May 14, 2010 August 26, 2010
    New Liberty Bank Plymouth MI 35586 May 14, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Satilla Community Bank Saint Marys GA 35114 May 14, 2010 August 26, 2010
    1st Pacific Bank of California San Diego CA 35517 May 7, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Towne Bank of Arizona Mesa AZ 57697 May 7, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Access Bank Champlin MN 16476 May 7, 2010 August 26, 2010
    The Bank of Bonifay Bonifay FL 14246 May 7, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Frontier Bank Everett WA 22710 April 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    BC National Banks Butler MO 17792 April 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Champion Bank Creve Coeur MO 58362 April 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    CF Bancorp Port Huron MI 30005 April 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Westernbank Puerto Rico
    En Español Mayaguez PR 31027 April 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico
    En Español Hato Rey PR 32185 April 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    En Español San Juan PR 27150 April 30, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Wheatland Bank Naperville IL 58429 April 23, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Peotone Bank and Trust Company Peotone IL 10888 April 23, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Lincoln Park Savings Bank Chicago IL 30600 April 23, 2010 August 26, 2010
    New Century Bank Chicago IL 34821 April 23, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Citizens Bank and Trust Company of Chicago Chicago IL 34658 April 23, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Broadway Bank Chicago IL 22853 April 23, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Amcore Bank, National Association Rockford IL 3735 April 23, 2010 August 26, 2010
    City Bank Lynnwood WA 21521 April 16, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Tamalpais Bank San Rafael CA 33493 April 16, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Innovative Bank Oakland CA 23876 April 16, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Butler Bank Lowell MA 26619 April 16, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Riverside National Bank of Florida Fort Pierce FL 24067 April 16, 2010 August 26, 2010
    AmericanFirst Bank Clermont FL 57724 April 16, 2010 August 26, 2010
    First Federal Bank of North Florida Palatka FL 28886 April 16, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Lakeside Community Bank Sterling Heights MI 34878 April 16, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Beach First National Bank Myrtle Beach SC 34242 April 9, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Desert Hills Bank Phoenix AZ 57060 March 26, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Unity National Bank Cartersville GA 34678 March 26, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Key West Bank Key West FL 34684 March 26, 2010 August 27, 2010
    McIntosh Commercial Bank Carrollton GA 57399 March 26, 2010 August 27, 2010
    State Bank of Aurora Aurora MN 8221 March 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    First Lowndes Bank Fort Deposit AL 24957 March 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Bank of Hiawassee Hiawassee GA 10054 March 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Appalachian Community Bank Ellijay GA 33989 March 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Advanta Bank Corp. Draper UT 33535 March 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Century Security Bank Duluth GA 58104 March 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    American National Bank Parma OH 18806 March 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Statewide Bank Covington LA 29561 March 12, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Old Southern Bank Orlando FL 58182 March 12, 2010 August 27, 2010
    The Park Avenue Bank New York NY 27096 March 12, 2010 August 27, 2010
    LibertyPointe Bank New York NY 58071 March 11, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Centennial Bank Ogden UT 34430 March 5, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Waterfield Bank Germantown MD 34976 March 5, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Bank of Illinois Normal IL 9268 March 5, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Sun American Bank Boca Raton FL 27126 March 5, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Rainier Pacific Bank Tacoma WA 38129 February 26, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Carson River Community Bank Carson City NV 58352 February 26, 2010 August 27, 2010
    La Jolla Bank, FSB La Jolla CA 32423 February 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    George Washington Savings Bank Orland Park IL 29952 February 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    The La Coste National Bank La Coste TX 3287 February 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    Marco Community Bank Marco Island FL 57586 February 19, 2010 August 27, 2010
    1st American State Bank of Minnesota Hancock MN 15448 February 5, 2010 August 26, 2010
    American Marine Bank Bainbridge Island WA 16730 January 29, 2010 August 26, 2010
    First Regional Bank Los Angeles CA 23011 January 29, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Community Bank and Trust Cornelia GA 5702 January 29, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Marshall Bank, N.A. Hallock MN 16133 January 29, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Florida Community Bank Immokalee FL 5672 January 29, 2010 August 26, 2010
    First National Bank of Georgia Carrollton GA 16480 January 29, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Columbia River Bank The Dalles OR 22469 January 22, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Evergreen Bank Seattle WA 20501 January 22, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Charter Bank Santa Fe NM 32498 January 22, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Bank of Leeton Leeton MO 8265 January 22, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Premier American Bank Miami FL 57147 January 22, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Barnes Banking Company Kaysville UT 1252 January 15, 2010 August 26, 2010
    St. Stephen State Bank St. Stephen MN 17522 January 15, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Town Community Bank & Trust Antioch IL 34705 January 15, 2010 August 26, 2010
    Horizon Bank Bellingham WA 22977 January 8, 2010 August 26, 2010
    First Federal Bank of California, F.S.B. Santa Monica CA 28536 December 18, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Imperial Capital Bank La Jolla CA 26348 December 18, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Independent Bankers’ Bank Springfield IL 26820 December 18, 2009 August 27, 2010
    New South Federal Savings Bank Irondale AL 32276 December 18, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Citizens State Bank New Baltimore MI 1006 December 18, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Peoples First Community Bank Panama City FL 32167 December 18, 2009 August 27, 2010
    RockBridge Commercial Bank Atlanta GA 58315 December 18, 2009 August 27, 2010
    SolutionsBank Overland Park KS 4731 December 11, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Valley Capital Bank, N.A. Mesa AZ 58399 December 11, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Republic Federal Bank, N.A. Miami FL 22846 December 11, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Greater Atlantic Bank Reston VA 32583 December 4, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Benchmark Bank Aurora IL 10440 December 4, 2009 August 27, 2010
    AmTrust Bank Cleveland OH 29776 December 4, 2009 August 27, 2010
    The Tattnall Bank Reidsville GA 12080 December 4, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First Security National Bank Norcross GA 26290 December 4, 2009 August 27, 2010
    The Buckhead Community Bank Atlanta GA 34663 December 4, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Commerce Bank of Southwest Florida Fort Myers FL 58016 November 20, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Pacific Coast National Bank San Clemente CA 57914 November 13, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Orion Bank Naples FL 22427 November 13, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Century Bank, F.S.B. Sarasota FL 32267 November 13, 2009 August 27, 2010
    United Commercial Bank San Francisco CA 32469 November 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Gateway Bank of St. Louis St. Louis MO 19450 November 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Prosperan Bank Oakdale MN 35074 November 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Home Federal Savings Bank Detroit MI 30329 November 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    United Security Bank Sparta GA 22286 November 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    North Houston Bank Houston TX 18776 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Madisonville State Bank Madisonville TX 33782 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Citizens National Bank Teague TX 25222 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Park National Bank Chicago IL 11677 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Pacific National Bank San Francisco CA 30006 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    California National Bank Los Angeles CA 34659 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    San Diego National Bank San Diego CA 23594 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Community Bank of Lemont Lemont IL 35291 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Bank USA, N.A. Phoenix AZ 32218 October 30, 2009 August 26, 2010
    First DuPage Bank Westmont IL 35038 October 23, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Riverview Community Bank Otsego MN 57525 October 23, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Bank of Elmwood Racine WI 18321 October 23, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Flagship National Bank Bradenton FL 35044 October 23, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Hillcrest Bank Florida Naples FL 58336 October 23, 2009 August 26, 2010
    American United Bank Lawrenceville GA 57794 October 23, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Partners Bank Naples FL 57959 October 23, 2009 August 26, 2010
    San Joaquin Bank Bakersfield CA 23266 October 16, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Southern Colorado National Bank Pueblo CO 57263 October 2, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Jennings State Bank Spring Grove MN 11416 October 2, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Warren Bank Warren MI 34824 October 2, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Georgian Bank Atlanta GA 57151 September 25, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Irwin Union Bank, F.S.B. Louisville KY 57068 September 18, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company Columbus IN 10100 September 18, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Venture Bank Lacey WA 22868 September 11, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Brickwell Community Bank Woodbury MN 57736 September 11, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Corus Bank, N.A. Chicago IL 13693 September 11, 2009 August 26, 2010
    First State Bank Flagstaff AZ 34875 September 4, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Platinum Community Bank Rolling Meadows IL 35030 September 4, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Vantus Bank Sioux City IA 27732 September 4, 2009 August 26, 2010
    InBank Oak Forest IL 20203 September 4, 2009 August 26, 2010
    First Bank of Kansas City Kansas City MO 25231 September 4, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Affinity Bank Ventura CA 27197 August 28, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Mainstreet Bank Forest Lake MN 1909 August 28, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Bradford Bank Baltimore MD 28312 August 28, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Guaranty Bank Austin TX 32618 August 21, 2009 August 26, 2010
    CapitalSouth Bank Birmingham AL 22130 August 21, 2009 August 26, 2010
    First Coweta Bank Newnan GA 57702 August 21, 2009 August 26, 2010
    ebank Atlanta GA 34682 August 21, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Community Bank of Nevada Las Vegas NV 34043 August 14, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Community Bank of Arizona Phoenix AZ 57645 August 14, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Union Bank, National Association Gilbert AZ 34485 August 14, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Colonial Bank Montgomery AL 9609 August 14, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association Pittsburgh PA 31559 August 14, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Community First Bank Prineville OR 23268 August 7, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Community National Bank of Sarasota County Venice FL 27183 August 7, 2009 August 26, 2010
    First State Bank Sarasota FL 27364 August 7, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Mutual Bank Harvey IL 18659 July 31, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First BankAmericano Elizabeth NJ 34270 July 31, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Peoples Community Bank West Chester OH 32288 July 31, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Integrity Bank Jupiter FL 57604 July 31, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First State Bank of Altus Altus OK 9873 July 31, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Security Bank of Jones County Gray GA 8486 July 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Security Bank of Houston County Perry GA 27048 July 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Security Bank of Bibb County Macon GA 27367 July 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Security Bank of North Metro Woodstock GA 57105 July 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Security Bank of North Fulton Alpharetta GA 57430 July 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Security Bank of Gwinnett County Suwanee GA 57346 July 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Waterford Village Bank Williamsville NY 58065 July 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Temecula Valley Bank Temecula CA 34341 July 17, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Vineyard Bank Rancho Cucamonga CA 23556 July 17, 2009 August 27, 2010
    BankFirst Sioux Falls SD 34103 July 17, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First Piedmont Bank Winder GA 34594 July 17, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Bank of Wyoming Thermopolis WY 22754 July 10, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Founders Bank Worth IL 18390 July 2, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Millennium State Bank of Texas Dallas TX 57667 July 2, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First National Bank of Danville Danville IL 3644 July 2, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Elizabeth State Bank Elizabeth IL 9262 July 2, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Rock River Bank Oregon IL 15302 July 2, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First State Bank of Winchester Winchester IL 11710 July 2, 2009 August 27, 2010
    John Warner Bank Clinton IL 12093 July 2, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Mirae Bank Los Angeles CA 57332 June 26, 2009 August 27, 2010
    MetroPacific Bank Irvine CA 57893 June 26, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Horizon Bank Pine City MN 9744 June 26, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Neighborhood Community Bank Newnan GA 35285 June 26, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Community Bank of West Georgia Villa Rica GA 57436 June 26, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First National Bank of Anthony Anthony KS 4614 June 19, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Cooperative Bank Wilmington NC 27837 June 19, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Southern Community Bank Fayetteville GA 35251 June 19, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Bank of Lincolnwood Lincolnwood IL 17309 June 5, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Citizens National Bank Macomb IL 5757 May 22, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Strategic Capital Bank Champaign IL 35175 May 22, 2009 August 27, 2010
    BankUnited, FSB Coral Gables FL 32247 May 21, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Westsound Bank Bremerton WA 34843 May 8, 2009 August 26, 2010
    America West Bank Layton UT 35461 May 1, 2009 August 26, 2010
    Citizens Community Bank Ridgewood NJ 57563 May 1, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Silverton Bank, NA Atlanta GA 26535 May 1, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First Bank of Idaho Ketchum ID 34396 April 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    First Bank of Beverly Hills Calabasas CA 32069 April 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Michigan Heritage Bank Farmington Hills MI 34369 April 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    American Southern Bank Kennesaw GA 57943 April 24, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Great Basin Bank of Nevada Elko NV 33824 April 17, 2009 August 27, 2010
    American Sterling Bank Sugar Creek MO 8266 April 17, 2009 August 27, 2010
    New Frontier Bank Greeley CO 34881 April 10, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Cape Fear Bank Wilmington NC 34639 April 10, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Omni National Bank Atlanta GA 22238 March 27, 2009 August 27, 2010
    TeamBank, NA Paola KS 4754 March 20, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Colorado National Bank Colorado Springs CO 18896 March 20, 2009 August 27, 2010
    FirstCity Bank Stockbridge GA 18243 March 20, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Freedom Bank of Georgia Commerce GA 57558 March 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Security Savings Bank Henderson NV 34820 February 27, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Heritage Community Bank Glenwood IL 20078 February 27, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Silver Falls Bank Silverton OR 35399 February 20, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Pinnacle Bank of Oregon Beaverton OR 57342 February 13, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Corn Belt Bank & Trust Co. Pittsfield IL 16500 February 13, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast Cape Coral FL 34563 February 13, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Sherman County Bank Loup City NE 5431 February 13, 2009 August 27, 2010
    County Bank Merced CA 22574 February 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Alliance Bank Culver City CA 23124 February 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    FirstBank Financial Services McDonough GA 57017 February 6, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Ocala National Bank Ocala FL 26538 January 30, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Suburban FSB Crofton MD 30763 January 30, 2009 August 27, 2010
    MagnetBank Salt Lake City UT 58001 January 30, 2009 August 27, 2010
    1st Centennial Bank Redlands CA 33025 January 23, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Bank of Clark County Vancouver WA 34959 January 16, 2009 August 27, 2010
    National Bank of Commerce Berkeley IL 19733 January 16, 2009 August 27, 2010
    Sanderson State Bank
    En Español Sanderson TX 11568 December 12, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Haven Trust Bank Duluth GA 35379 December 12, 2008 August 27, 2010
    First Georgia Community Bank Jackson GA 34301 December 5, 2008 August 27, 2010
    PFF Bank & Trust Pomona CA 28344 November 21, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Downey Savings & Loan Newport Beach CA 30968 November 21, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Community Bank Loganville GA 16490 November 21, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Security Pacific Bank Los Angeles CA 23595 November 7, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Franklin Bank, SSB Houston TX 26870 November 7, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Freedom Bank Bradenton FL 57930 October 31, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Alpha Bank & Trust Alpharetta GA 58241 October 24, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Meridian Bank Eldred IL 13789 October 10, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Main Street Bank Northville MI 57654 October 10, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Washington Mutual Bank
    (Including its subsidiary Washington Mutual Bank FSB) Henderson NV 32633 September 25, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Ameribank Northfork WV 6782 September 19, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Silver State Bank
    En Español Henderson NV 34194 September 5, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Integrity Bank Alpharetta GA 35469 August 29, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Columbian Bank & Trust Topeka KS 22728 August 22, 2008 August 27, 2010
    First Priority Bank Bradenton FL 57523 August 1, 2008 August 27, 2010
    First Heritage Bank, NA Newport Beach CA 57961 July 25, 2008 August 27, 2010
    First National Bank of Nevada Reno NV 27011 July 25, 2008 August 27, 2010
    IndyMac Bank Pasadena CA 29730 July 11, 2008 August 27, 2010
    First Integrity Bank, NA Staples MN 12736 May 30, 2008 August 27, 2010
    ANB Financial, NA Bentonville AR 33901 May 9, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Hume Bank Hume MO 1971 March 7, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Douglass National Bank Kansas City MO 24660 January 25, 2008 August 27, 2010
    Miami Valley Bank Lakeview OH 16848 October 4, 2007 August 27, 2010
    NetBank Alpharetta GA 32575 September 28, 2007 August 27, 2010
    Metropolitan Savings Bank Pittsburgh PA 35353 February 2, 2007 August 27, 2010

  29. uchrisn

    Incidently on the pension fund question the The pension fund of the state of Indiana and the Indiana State Teacher’s Retirement Fund both took the US government to court over the Chrsyler banckruptcy – lost, appealed to the supreme court – lost. A pension fund is a form of gambilng. Risk is taken to try and procure high returns than having your money in cash. “Past performance is on indication of future performance”.

  30. paddythepig

    David once again plays to the gallery. Week after week he headlines ‘the banks’ ‘Anglo’ … but never highlights the biggest waste of space of all.

    The vast waste of money by the Irish state on non-bank related items – wages, numbers of public servants, pensions, benefits, makey-up jobs, out of control spending.

    This is an even bigger problem than Anglo.

    Why not tackle this problem David?

    • Deco

      The Irish state has a fundamental cost competitiveness problem. 800 quangoes. Far too many departments. 5% (and increasing) of the workforce working in the HSE. The HSE nationally is a now moving towards becomming a bigger employer than the private sector in Cork city. I mean this is the height of absurdity.

      There is a 90 Billion Euro Public sector pension shortfall – and nobody has any idea how to solve it.

      Apart from anything else ICTU has far too much influence in determining government policy, and is the second most powerful entity in the country, behind IBEC, and ahead of FF.

      Who elected IBEC and ICTU to determine public policy ?

      • Garry

        Deco, what is the source of the 5% of the workforce is employed in the HSE?

        5% of what? 5% of PAYE earners in the country? of individual taxpayers?

        And directly employed by the HSE? or including all the organizations that are funded or part funded by the HSE? Or regulated by them or whatever?

        I guess the “and growing” bit means that with employment in general falling, and HSE numbers remaining static the % not the numbers is growing?

        Either way it seems very very high to me… Are you sure thats correct?

        On the “90 Billion Euro Public sector pension shortfall”, they can pay for their own pensions out of their own salary.

        • Deco

          120000 people employed by the HSE. 18% of them have management positions. (hilarious really).
          The total workforce, last I heard was 1.8 Million. (It peaked at 2.1Million). Perhaps this needs

          That equates to 120000 / 1800000 => in the range 6-7%. I am going for 5% because I am actually rounding downwards.

          The total workforce is declining because of the cost competitiveness problem. But the HSE is not declining by the same percentage, even accounting for hospitals that are being closed (which in my mind is the wrong way to reduce costs).

        • Deco

          The 90 Billion Euro figure comes from Colm McCarthy. I presume it includes the various quangoes, CIE, the ESB, RTE, etc….

          One of the clauses introduced in benchmarking required that the pensions of former public sector workers be benchmarked by the current holders salary. Now when people are trying to keep themselves going this is reasonable. But it is ridiculous when you get to the Rody Molloy end of the spectrum. The idea that a pension can start when the job ends is also a feature that does not exists in the private sector. Private sector employees must wait for the PRSI based ‘old age pension’ to kick in.

  31. Dont Look Back – soon we will all be running to a somewhere and with our families .We all will have to look ahead to reach where we want to go .To otherwise will change that person into a pillar of salt.
    This month is a moment we have been waiting for , for it will change the course of history forever .Where will the Rubicon river be? Who will cross it? What happens everyone else? Will we have memories and if so do we want them ? Will our colours change?
    The Time is Now and yesterday will be no more and tomorrow will be another day .

  32. uchrisn

    I was talking to an Irish person in the 50-60 age group the other day to get the general opinion of tht cross-segment which has been and is in power, the Seanies and Berties Etc. They told me that they never had any money growing up and they really enjoyed the boom years cause it was the first time they had a bit of money. They didn’t regret spending any of it even if it means huge debts now cause they had a great time. In other words money management is not their strong point. Asked about their young grandchildrens future they replied that they had it hard growing up so maybe their grandchildren will have to have it hard too, so what. They certainly don’t seem surprised that politicans would be looking after their buddies and business interests saying its like that everywhere and nothing they do/say would change it.

    • Deco

      Asking one person in the 50-60 population is an inaccurate means of gathering the opinions of all others in the same group.

      From what I can see, the older people were, the more cautious they were with money. And similarly, the younger the people you would meet the more reckless they were. I mean it was not grannies that were buying Beamers, going on hen weekends in Barcelona, or designer underwear.

      The best (sic) spenders were those between the ages of 15 and 35. They are also the prime target of all marketing campaigns.

      • uchrisn

        I agree one person doesnt talk for everyone just i though that person was frank and reflected the attitude of some of the people in power. Despite being thrifty with small amounts people might mismanage large amounts, being too trusting of the guys in suits. Penny wise and Poundfoolish.

  33. insider

    Contributors on this thread say Australia will end up in a mess like Ireland due to its current property ponzi scheme. If so the arguement that the low interest rate factor is the key problem does not hold because in Oz the interest rate was reduced to a low 3.25% during the GFC. It’s now back at 4.5% and on the way up. People are paying 7% or 8% on mortgages. As far as I can see it’s the two-speed Aussie economy (mining & other) and the impacts of negative gearing that were responsible for and are currently holding up the house of cards.

    I remember a few years ago at the height of the GFC house prices in my street fell by roughly a third in the space of a few months when fear was gripping the stock market. This is a conservative estimate and this was at the time when interest rates were on the way down. Since then the property market has rocketed up again. It goes to show how vulnerable the market is to swings in the global economy even at a time when the Aussies tried but failed to talk themselves into a recession. It’s going to be an interesting few years ahead. If you think there are head winds in the global economy or an escalating Euro debt issue then I’d be very careful about the Aussie housing market.

  34. silentobserver

    Many factors lead to the boom, but external control of interest rates was definitely a major one in Ireland. In Oz, lower interest rates HAVE lead to a further housing boom, and the reserve is correctly using interest rates to try and slow it down, probably too late. The reason it doesn’t exactly mimic what happened in Ireland, is that there is greater consciousness of the potential rise in interest rates in Oz, and historically higher rates than in Europe. Before anyone brings up high interest rates in Ireland in the early 90′s, most people with new and existing mortgages in the 2000′s were being re assured that because the ECB now dictated interest rates, that they’ll never go to the heights they were. I remember asking a broker if I should stress test mine to 10%, and he nearly fell off his chair.
    And the story’s not over yet in Oz. The recent rise in interest rates do seem to show up some wobbling in the Oz housing market- or is that a shimmering in all that sunlight?-

    Anyway- the low interest rates in Ireland in the early to mid 2000′s were the last thing an overheating housing market needed- definitely revealing poorly thought out policy for the ECU.

    • Deco

      Silentobserver – 100% in agreement.

      Low interest rates result in asset bubbles. This is what occurred in the PIGIS. There was a dramatic reduction in the interest rates with the Euro changeover. This resulted in speculative asset bubbles, and financing for projects that were uneconomic, like the DDDA site plans.

      • manofiona

        Low interest rates do not result in asset bubbles. Germany has the same low interest rates as Ireland and during the last decade German house prices fell. Asset bubbles arise when credit is made recklessly available to encourage people or businesses to purchase assets at prices they really cannot afford – and which would not have the same value if both lenders and borrowers were prudent and not reckless. Irish tax rules (eg, mortgage interest deductability) and the complete lack of control over the terms of property loans, were the causes of the property bubble, not low interest rates. For the umpteenth time, the Euro is not the cause of Ireland’s downfall: the causes are entirely local.

      • wills


        Low interest rates are merely a return on a loan. Its out of control *profiteering* and manipulation of rigged market s which infect asset bubbles like a blister into existence.

  35. Deco

    Watched RTE’s Freefall program last night. To tell you the truth it was fairly predicatable. In fact, I reckon is is a copy of a BBC documentary that was on air about 12 months ago. I was reminded of this when Alistair Darling showed up. It was descriptive, but not particularly analytical. In fact it blamed everything on lack of regulation. This was the key flaw of the program. We had regulation in Ireland. The problem with the Irish regulations was not the regulations per se – but the clowns put in charge of implementing them. But this is a big no-no for any public sector broadcaster to cover. Because it provides clear evidence that the state is loaded with nepotism, wasters, compromised characters, and cronyism. And RTE is not much different Tubbers, etc…

    The first candidate lined up in the blame game was Reagan. Now, I there is a massive time difference between the high point of Reaganomics, 1983, and the high point of Ahernomics, 2004. No mention at all of the PDs, by the way. No mention either of the fact that Clinton deregulated on top of Reagan, in an even more dangerous and reckless manner, and created the regulatory space to enable the sub-prime mess in the US. Even the BBC managed to mention this.

    Greenspan was the only one other party fingered with the subprime mess. But Trichet, who also allowed interest rates to feed an asset bubble was painted as the good guy in the script. (another inconsistency). There was no mention of the PIIGS problem. No mention of the bank runs in Britian (N-Rock, Bradford/Bigley), which were causing Irish people to be concerned about Irish banks.

    Wall Street also got some portion of the blame. Now, I reckon that our bank bosses are well capable of making a mess on their own, and do not need any help in the matter. Fact: the Irish banks did not borrow from Wall Street. The Irish banks borrowed from German banks. We know this because continental banks are holding these loans to Irish banks. This was never mentioned eiter. So in this regard, RTE are extremely inaccurate. No mention of ECB low interest rate policy driving funds from the EU core into speculative activity in the PIIGS.

    Concerning Irish banks, Seanie Fitz was the rogue, the villian. It was Seanie’s agression that caused the others to loan to developers. Frank MacDonald (IT) told of how Anglo was a tout shoving money at developers. Well, from what I have been told about the things that developers did to get Anglo money, I am not convinced about this.

    No mention of the Permo to anglo loan. No mention of the cost competitiveness problem with the economy. No mention of the settlement pattern, the low density housing, the centralization of economic activity in one city, or the planning rules in the region. No mention of inflation. No mention of the labour market. No mention at all of Patrick Neary, who is the real villian of the episode – because he ws paid to do a job that he never did. No mention of the K-Club and the NEDs, and the fact that there were bank directors who were also directors of companies who were borrowing from the banks. No mention of property porn. No comment from Brian Lucey, Morgan Kelly. No mention at all of lifestyle debt. No mention of the fact that Cowen was compromised in the entire saga, because of his mediocre performance as Minister for Finance. Two short comments from Shane Ross. Two more from David McW. And an awful lot of bank buildings. Sometimes with street names beside them.

    And finally no mention of what the DoF, IFRSA, and the CBoI were doing since the Euro currency was introduced and all this money started to flow in. There were 1000 people employed by the CBoI and IFRSA. And apart from golf engagements we have no idea what they were doing in this time period.

    Well, there you go. RTE/Pravda. The key objective is that it does not become privatized – otherwise Plank, Maid Marion, and pals will earn even less – they might even end up on ‘peanuts’. The gravy train on the TV licence must never end. No mention of the property culture that enveloped the country, the lemming mentality, the saturation advertising or the persistent euphoria being whipped up by the Irish media.

    My conclusion is that RTE’s Freefall is itself in the subprime category. You could watch it, and if you knew nothing beforehand, you would know nothing afterwards.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Deco: I missed the programme but your excellent review tells everything that was left out, so I can sleep easy that I didn’t miss much. Most of what was omitted has been covered extensively in these columns over the past year, so we can be sure that if any of RTE programme-makers read DMcW’s columns they are afraid to take up the challenge to provide an honest discussion of those issues.

      This points to a ‘Culture of Fear’, which is endemic in both RTE and the BBC.

      To answer the question of why this should be so, we have to wonder ‘Cui Bono’?
      Parliamentarians in both countries maintain the veiled threat of reduced license fees, which of course are far too high to justify the standards delivered, mostly pap. They enter interviews holding that whip hand.

      There is also the “Auntie knows best’ culture which reflects the opinions of an over-educated self-appointed elite, who only permit others of like mind into the organizations.

      But there is a third force operating in the broadcast world that benefits from weak programmes by the opposition. That is Murdoch’s Sky TV. It is simple deduction that the weaker the offerings by RTE and BBC, the more viewers will switch to Sky.

      Do lobbyists in league with parliamentarians ensure that the ‘Culture of fear’ is sustained and promoted?

      • coldblow

        Hi Malcolm, I’d already posted in reply to Deco before I read your post.

        I definitely agree about the culture of fear both here and in the BBC and I posted a link to a recent Hutton article to that effect. The print media keep up the pressure on the Beeb. As explained by Richard Sadlier, it’s like the way footballers claim every throwin etc – not to change the decision this time round but to influence the next one. I think a difference is that in Britain the BBC worry about the press stirring up the mob against them. In Ireland RTE worry more about the Govt cutting the licence fee?

        But I think there is a bit more to it than that. Declan Lynch in the Sindo has been banging the drum again of late about the RTE’s wilful aversion to excellence and exploring the possible reasons for that.

        Just to add my own tuppence worth and to say that I don’t remember much of any quality on RTE since I arrived 23 years ago, except for the odd BBC programme bought in (presumably by mistake). Sure there will have been some good programmes on the way but I wouldn’t have been watching as the odds are against it happeninng on any given night. I can’t imagine an RTE programme ever figuring in my top 50 favourites (or top 500 for that matter), sport being the only exception. Even the Angelus has a leaden quality.

        Here’s a thing that has sometimes puzzled me. They did show ‘Early Doors’ from the pen of the same crowd who gave us the Royle Family. This is a quality comedy. Ok they do show quality comedies sometimes, but ONLY if they are well-known and have already been acknowledged as such abroad. Someone in OrTE must have got a b*ll*cking for that. What was he thinking of?

        The RTE elite may be an elite but I doubt if they are over-educated, in either a narrow or broad sense, although they are good at the oul’ finger wagging which is probably a carry-over from earlier public pieties. They managed years ago for example to wipe most of its trad archive material from their tapes. I think it has always been this way and reflects a philistine and materialist official culture. Desmond Fennell often remarked on this and the fellow in the Sindo who writes about poetry. This was a world where, as Seamus Tansey said, you would be chased out of any town in Sligo for picking up a fiddle. Little wonder people turned to drink.

        Talking of which, there was an interesting piece on Nationwide yesterday about a Dingle pub which is brewing its own ale. (Apparently Americans and other tourists used to ask for the local beer, thus showing how little they know the country.) The reporter said that it is kept to under 4% “so that you won’t exceed the driving limit with one pint”. My wife and I shuddered. Someone has probably already had a word with him.

        Elitism, IMHO, isn’t the problem but rather the opposite, how they pander to popular ignorance. In fairness, that constituency is pretty large. I mentioned here before how it is impossible to compare University Challenge with the Irish version, Challenging Times, where they had to make the questions easy. And Stephen Kenny mentioned above how in due course the politicians will make the radical changes (probably the wrong ones again), once the public outrage is stoked, and the Irish media will no doubt be riding the crest of that particular wave.

        I could go on…

      • Gege Le Beau

        Sometimes the elephant is so big it cannot be seen.

        What was outlined in the programme are aspects of an extremely selfish, individualistic, exploitative, environmentally degrading, conflict leading, neoliberal socio-economic system.

        These programmes act as panaceas, ‘explaining’ the greatest financial theft in human history when in actual fact they do not explain them at all. It was this guy, that guy, the guy over there, the guy from 1973, the guy from 1983, the guy from 1993, the regulator, the Head of the Fed, the current Head of the Fed, the guy from 2008………..on and on the show goes, someone to blame instead of the system which runs and directs the puppets.

        These programmes may attempt to highlight certain actors and ‘failures’ but it is the system in its entirety which is the beast.

        Paying the Financial Regulator off (stuffing his mouth with gold) for doing exactly what his political masters told him to do is revealing of how the system, of which Lenihan is a champion, functions, to think otherwise is delusional.

        There are reasons why 1 billion people go hungry as I write.
        There are reasons why billions more toil on a dollar a day or less.
        There are reasons why the US and UK have absurd inequalities across the spectrum (see the excellent book ‘The Spirit Level’).
        There are reasons why there are more African-Americans in the US industrial prison system than in University.
        There are reasons why 1.3 million Haitians are living in tents in Port-Au-Prince with the onset of Hurricane season.
        There are reasons why thousands of families in Ireland are turning to St. Vincent de Paul.
        There are reasons why Brian Cowen is one of the highest paid Prime Ministers.
        There are reasons why we pay for parking in our cities, pay for roads that our taxes should have paid, pay for water, electricity, refuse, car tax and a million and one other things (and all on declining wages).
        There are reasons why the IRFU increased the price of tickets for a stadium that the Irish people paid half of the €410 million price tag.
        There are reasons why the Irish are emigrating in thousands rather than standing their ground and taking on the establishment.

        • Deco

          According to Phoenix Magazine, the IRFU decided to increase ticket prices (during a recession) because they wanted to keep the ‘rif-raf’ out. I was shocked to see that the IRFU wanted such an enormous amount for a ticket. Even more shocked when they talked about how some people were prepared to pay for it.

          Even formerly independent organizations are now starting to behave like government quangoes, hiking their prices on the onset of a recession. I wonder do the IRFU and the Dublin airpot Authority share a NED or two ?

    • coldblow

      Thanks Deco, great comment. I had it on for ten minutes last night, in the background, and that was enough to ‘place it’. About as incisive as Reeling in the Years but without the music. No wait, perhaps there was music… who cares? Naive or cynical? More sh*te from OrTE.

    • I believe there is a part 2 to Freefall, including Bertie acting the “I was just a poor aul t-shock, I just toed the line and did what I was told would help everybody”. My hole, I’ll be happy when he contracts a painful and debilitating disease.

  36. Re ‘Freefall’ last night on RTE, first of 3 episodes on the Irish banking crisis.

    Hopefully other episodes will be different. What we got was Pravda RTE, Ireland’s Fox Network, at its sanitised, propaganda best. We got airbrushing out of the FF responsibility for the incentivization of the property bubble through widespread crony system of tax evasion, planning deregulation/decoupling, tax incentivisation, high salary incentivisation.

    Poor 70′s graphics everything speeded up to give the illusion of speed whereas for almost a year Anglo was on the ropes hiding behind the scenes and aware of its imminent demise. Lehmans provided blame cover. Anglo would have fallen without Lehman’s help anyway.

    Lehmans was caused by paper securitization eg CDO’s becoming infected, these financial instruments hid the toxic property loans in paper based financial instruments that were given AAA by Moody’s and S&P and sold on as bonds across the world, whereas Ireland Inc was residential/commercial property right before FF and Anglo EYES hosing out billions in loans to cronies no questions asked!

    At its centre was our own Don Quixote knight of Le Mancha LEnihan ready to give the ultimate bailout to Anglo, full control of the taxpayers purse.

    Little weight was given to Darling and LaGarde input to the banking crisis, both of whom were summarily dismissed with phonecalls their input relegated to a sideshow. In particular the UK approach in more in depth programmes found elsewhere is examined by way of comaparison with our lightweight and shallow approach to the facts.

    This private commercial bank Anglo was not a matter for the Irish government alone as Trichet would have us believe. Because of the global aspects of the meltdown Anglo should have been a matter for European best practice to deal with it.

    There are some gleams of truth in the programme eg Stiglitz is mentioned.

    But note again the differences between Ireland Inc and the US. In the US incomes were falling throughout the asset bubble period. In Ireland they were growing stoked on by low tax and stamp duty poured back into people’s pockets to incentivise and motivate them more to spend more.

    Anglo and Lenihan exploited the opportunity to the full to support the FF crony bank Anglo.

    If RTE Pravda wants to do something more on an examination of our banking crisis, it could begin by viewing series of youtube videos The Fall of Lehman Brothers Its a series P1, p2, p3 etc
    You get up close to under the lid goings on under Dick Fuld at Lehmans.

    Perhaps Seanie will spill the beans and we can organise an independent Indy video production. None of this ‘blame it on Lehman’s nonsense’ propaganda to try justify saving the cess pit black hole of Anglo.

    I’m certainly looking forward to a real analysis where we see the culture of Anglo develop, its practices, its political connections, its developer proofing of loans on a case by case basis. Of course that should have occurred under our so called inquiries! Best practice is to close the ‘unviable’ Anglo cesspit asap.

    Maybe it’ll all happen in episode 2/3 ? Lol.

    • Gege Le Beau

      Thank you for posting the Lehman’s documentary, very useful.

    • Deco

      I have decided that in all likelihood I will give episodes 2 and 3 a miss.

      There was a mockumentary on TVTripe in parallel concerning young Irish people making clowns of themselves in Med resorts. Doing the sorts of things that their competitors in the Far East regard as uncivilized. To be honest that is more relevant for the mess we are facing. It proves that we do not know what to with money except maybe puke it into somebody’s street at 3 in the morning.

      I am beginning to think that unless there is a massive mindshift, and a series of considerable changes to more pragmatic and intelliegent thinking that this country is in dire straits. We are pursuing the type of stupid unintelligent activities and habits that are driving this country into the gutter.

  37. Slash salaries of Tubridy/Kenny. This small island can’t afford them. If they want more, they can I’m sure go to the BBC etc.

    RTE should be about nurturing talent and media jobs and high standards to protect our damaged democracy.

    How about a series on the Banks to give more actors a chance?

    Same old faces on RTE, presenters and reporters, who’ve all had a good innings, new talent/ideas based on creative excellence, should be given their turn.

    • Original-Ed

      I see that Pat is benchmarking himself to Man.U. players – he must think that RTE is BBC Central and hasn’t been told that we’re now a small sovereign state and can only afford league of Ireland rates. The guy is delusional – Man.U is a UK free market enterprise (population,60 million) while RTE is only an imposition by decree,on a small 4 million and hard pressed Irish population.

  38. Philip

    When you borrow a few euro, the bank owns you. When you borrow a few billion, you own the bank. Anglo is a major pain in the ass for the ECB.

  39. Dilly

    Wall st Journal reports, European bond marketing tanking today. Have we finally gone over the cliff.

  40. Stickarm

    I saw this quote on one of the comment submitted on the following article

    “Have we not seen, at pleasure’s lordly call,
    The smiling long frequented village fall?
    While, scourg’d by famine from the smiling land
    The mournful peasant leads his humble band;
    And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
    The country blooms — a garden and a grave…
    Ill fares the land, to hast’ning ills a prey,
    Where wealth accumulates, and men decay…”
    — Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village

    • coldblow

      I’ve seen Goldsmith quoted a few times recently. It seems to be smooth on the outside and dark and hard in the middle.

      You drive past the Deserted Village on the Ballymahon road from Athlone. There’s nothing there, apart I suppose from some sign or other erected by Bord Fáilte.

      I doubt it’s as clumsy as the one they used to have on the Galway road. “You Are Now Entering Ireland West”. I’m sure Ollie would be with me on that one.

  41. Gege Le Beau

    Closing the income gap (not cutting the minimum wage as members of the the Irish Chamber of Commerce have been advocating)…..

    Robert Reich – How to End the Great Recession

  42. Gege Le Beau

    The ‘ebbs and flows’ of a financial tsuanmi?

    • Deco

      Listened to Cowen’s comments on the radio news earlier. “Ebbs and flows”. Cowen trying to imply that this is a natural feature of the markets. Cowen is responsible, but he is not at fault, is the line you get. Look, he may as well quit, because nobody believes him anymore. He does seem to believe his own official words any more. IBEC will want to replace with a more competent liar, like Ahern.

    • ‘ebb and flow’ talk

      Its either Hamlet Act 111 or Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. Either way we’ve entered their misery phase!

      “The sea is calm to-night.
      The tide is full, the moon lies fair….’


  43. Philip

    We are starting to reach a cusp where the yield spread will explode to infinity just like the mass of an object approaching the speed of light. You simply run out of the means to go any further. Chucking more debt at it merely is an act of printing money which will attract more shorting and so on and on and that will cripple the ECB.

    Looks like we are close to calling the bluff. Come on lads…let’s crystallise the losses and get a move on. Trouble is, the cronies could turn very nasty and in a bid to preserve the status quo it might just be entertained to stage a coup and declare martial law…and all ye trouble makers on this site will be rounded up and…

    Really guys, does anyone have a clue of what in reality might happen next. We know things simply cannot proceed like this for much longer and we know the world economy is still a bit ropey. Life still goes on for many. I wonder should I stay in Brazil?

    • Deco

      Phillip – some very good points. The strategy of relentless borrowing is absurd when the tax system is flawed and the welfare system has grown way beyond it’s original design spec.

      I can’t see them declaring martial law in Ireland. But it is a definite possibility in both Greece and in Hungary.

      I think that it is more likely that the bondholders will simply find another way to screw money out of the Irish taxpayer.

      One significant development has occurred. Subordinated bond holders on Irish bank debt are no longer to be gauranteed all their money back. This means that the DoF are moving towards following the recommendations of David McW, Brian Lucey, Constantin Gurdgiev. Don’t expect the DoF to eat humble pie over this…..If this did not occur then the Irish government bond sale would have gone even worse. Usually this sort of debt is insured – therefore the Insurance sector in Frankfurt, Paris, London will take the hit.

      It is possible that this will send panic into the market, on the premise that other Euro area failed banks will do the same. Anglo is feeling the water for other Anglo style banks…

  44. wills


    Low interest rates are merely a return on a loan.

    Its out of control *profiteering* and manipulation of rigged market s which induce, like a blister, the asset bubble into its short term life before it bursts and retreats.

  45. BrianMc

    Whatever happens next, reform is needed.
    Come on, get your thinking caps on & get your comments in on True Economics: Economics 27/8/10: Manifesto I (?)


  46. Tim

    Folks, After all of today’s (not-really news)”News”,a cogent summing up of FF/Green economic policy –

    (via @tomcosgrave)

  47. BrianC

    I was away for a few days job hunting. So only catching up on blogs.
    Right on the mark. There is no truth except what they decide to tell us.

  48. Deco

    The markets are going to go into meltdown again unless we see “Print, baby, print”. And if this happens it will create massive social upheaval and a dramatic increase in the cost of living.

    Maybe the solution to the problem is to let the markets meltdown. Is this not what happened in the East Asian crisis in 1998, and those countries rebounded fast ?

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