October 6, 2010

Elite is preparing to sell country down the river

Posted in Banks · 354 comments ·

The last time I checked there was a harp on the front of my passport, not a picture of Michael Fingleton

The other day I met a German radio presenter from ARD, the German public radio station. I’ve known her for quite a while — since a brief spell working on the German economy in the 1990s for an investment bank. She, like many other foreign correspondents, has been sent to Ireland to see what is going on here.

After a while, I wondered why she hadn’t asked me anything about the Government, or the prospect of an election or what new political constellation might emerge here. She joked and in an exaggerated German accent laughed: “David, it doesn’t matter who your next prime minister is, he will have no power — we own you now, and he will do what we tell him.”

The problem is that the joke is on us. She touched on the nub of the issue: the Irish elite is prepared to sell the sovereignty of this country to protect the likes of Roman Abramovich and other vulture investors who bought up third-rate Irish banking debt at a discount and are hoping to get paid in full.

In the world of debt, these people are referred to as ‘rogue creditors’. Typically, they are treated as rogues. They are nothing to us and should be treated as nothing. As the clever economist Karl Whelan observed, if we are happy that our tax is used to pay Frank Lampard’s wages, then that’s more of a reflection on us.

People such as Abramovich, like the other creditors, can be told to line up in an orderly queue and wait for the liquidator to give them the morsels that might remain from the broken Irish banking system. The crud Abramovich owns — an IOU from Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) — is not the same thing as Irish government debt.

The last time I checked there was a harp on the front of my passport, not a picture of Michael Fingleton.

Any political party that fights the election on that premise of protecting the Irish taxpayer from vulture investors will get my vote. Not only will that party be doing the right thing, but it will begin the process of giving back to the people the country that we built. This country and our future income needs to be ripped from the grip of the ‘political elite’ (a group the governor of the Central Bank identified the other day) who are selling us to the lowest, not highest, bidder.

My German friend was amazed when she saw Abramovich’s caper and she observed that the Irish parliament kept genuflecting to some crowd called bondholders. She asked me one of the most insightful questions I have heard throughout this long saga: “Do you Irish need to be loved so much that you will stand up for nothing?”

With Germanic precision and with the benefit of distance, she touched a nerve. The Irish weakness for not causing any trouble (bar a few theatrically drunken songs for the audience late at night) has led us to a situation where we are embarrassed to admit that we messed up. We don’t want to stand out. We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves for serious reasons. Is it because we want to impress the foreigner and above all make life easy for him?

Is it fair to say that over the years the language of resistance has been replaced by the language of compliance?

What is clear is that some countries fight, some make nuisances of themselves, but the default position of Ireland, or at least the Irish elite, is to comply — no matter what the cost.

So take the example of euro membership. Denmark and Sweden — two great European countries whose bona fides as EU members was never in doubt — decided to keep their own currencies because they were perfectly happy with them and the euro’s case wasn’t compelling enough.

Meanwhile, what did our elite do? They went along for the ride — one which the evidence would suggest was an extremely ill-advised ride. Ireland had much greater cause for concern about joining the euro, but we hardly made a noise. Why?

Could it be — to follow my German friend’s line of enquiry — that we didn’t have the self-confidence to stand on our own two feet and do some hard analysis about the consequences of this currency or any other decision?

Did we just want to be a mute member of the club — unlike the pesky Danes, Swedes or, God forbid, Brits?

It is difficult to answer these questions. They are fraught and can lead to lots of heat and sometimes not too much light, but you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see a pattern.

Take, for example, Abramovich owning a huge amount of INBS debt. How did he get his hands on it? Who sold it to him? Would it be too much to conclude that whoever — whichever broker — sold the debt to him, also sold it to some other mega-rich clients elsewhere?

That would stand to reason. If so, could it be that the mega-rich who are closer to home find themselves in the same position as Abramovich?

Could it be that the only people benefiting from the Government’s blind rush to impale the small guy with the debts of Fingleton et al are our own “high net worth” individuals? Could they be pulling the strings?

In all this haze, allegation and counter-allegation, can the “cui bono” question help us at all?

A clear domestic banking resolution law would clear all this up. But we have no such law. So the people are left in the lurch wondering who to believe.

We do know that, for example, the EU Commission gave its opinion on Friday at the wind-up of a Danish bank where it enthusiastically supported the principle of burden sharing.

Here’s the quotation from the EU Commission regarding bust Danish banks: “Moreover, burden sharing is ensured by excluding shareholders and subordinated debt holders of the failed bank from any benefit from the aid.”

There you have it in black and white. This is what the EU has advised Denmark to do. It clearly states that they won’t give any state money to the troubled bank until the subordinated debt holders are burnt.

So let’s get back to my German friend’s observation: is it because we need to be loved or are we protecting someone big?

The EU says burn them and move on. Logic says don’t sacrifice your sovereignty to bail out the hyper-rich, democracy says it is unfair to penalise the poor for the mistakes of the rich. What do you think?

  1. David, It looks like the subbies are toast.
    A stupid question from a non economist. Why is there not a euro bond? surely this would kill the bond vigalanties.

    • Deco

      Well before you have a Euro-bind, you need money behind it.

      If the Germans are being prudent, and can borrow at a cheaper rate, why should they agree tih pay a higher rate so as to prop up vote-buying politicos in the PIIGS belt ?

  2. We need an army of David Mc’s ………

    • Colin

      Count me in. I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want Ireland to be paying Frank Lampard’s, John Terry’s at al’s wages!

      This development really paints a picture which even thick people and Fianna Fail diehards can finally see what the hell is going on!

      F**k this sh1t. Let’s hit the streets.

      • paddythepig

        I think a reality check is needed here. Abramovich is threatening to sue Ireland because he is being forced to take a haircut for owning INBS subordinated debt.

        Isn’t that what David has been calling for all along?


        • Colin


          My understanding is this;

          Up until last week, Abramovich was happy in the knowledge that the retarded Irish government was not going to tell him he’ll be taking a haircut.

          In the last few days, he’s somehow got wind that this situation may change – this would indicate that the DoF has belatedly grown a pair of cochones and would finally act in the nation’s interest by implementing some of DMcW’s policies.

          So now, the genie is out of the bottle. What’s confusing is that, if we believe Abramovich, it appears we finally have a change in Department of Finance policy. A statement from the DoF would be helpful in bringing some clarity to this debacle.

          So, consider Ireland forces Abramovich to a haircut of 95% on his bonds, this certainly would be acting in the country’s interest. Yes, this is what David has been calling for all along.

          • paddythepig


            The bank has been doing debt buybacks for the past few years. Take a read of this – http://www.tribune.ie/business/news/article/2010/jul/18/neil-callanan-expect-anglo-to-launch-further-debt-/

            The downside in the example quoted in the article is that 750 million was paid for 2.5 billion in debt. 750 million too much, but nonetheless still a 70% writedown on the original value.

          • TheFullRed

            Colin: I think you have hit the nail on the head, and it is time for these issues to be trumpeted as loudly and as clearly as possible:

            1)We want Brian Lenihan to name the bondholders of every bank which receives money from the Irish State. List how much they invested, and how much they expect back. I think this might be a damning revelation, highlighting the rottenness at the core of FF.

            2)Notwithstanding the fact that Fianna Fail are a corrupt organisation with absolutely no mandate to govern this country, (Their former mandate was based on a promise stroke threat that only Fianna Fail could keep the economy in good stead), these charlatans refuse to go, and so we should insist they heed us. I want Brian Lenihan to consult with the ECB among others in order to identify the likely effects of insisting that Bond Holders share the burden.
            I dont think it is good enough that BL speaks with clear authority on the issue with Miriam OCallaghan. The events of the last decade, and last 18 months in particular have highlighted the paucity of critical analysis in FF, and that includes Brian Lenihan. I dont trust his honesty, and I dont trust his faculty of analysis.
            3)A complete review of the boards of State Banks is required, pensions etc within these must be slashed, and pay scales hugely reduced. I dont think there is much demand for failed AIB Bankers in the world banking arena.
            4) It should be made clear to BL that retrospective recuperation will be sought in time if it is shown that he and FF have acted duplicitously in this exigent. Ministerial Privilege should be revoked in this case, and it should be made clear that the members of the current government risk losing all benefits, pensions etc, should it be concluded they did not act in the interest of the Nation.

          • adamabyss

            Dream on TheFullRed. None of that is ever going to happen.

  3. crossroads

    Hear, hear.

    But how much of the 45-50 billion for the banks is irreversibly committed?

    Imagine the difference it would make if such an investment could instead be diverted towards education, innovation and enterprise.

    Our government’s bank bailout and cutbacks strategy is akin to ripping the engine out of the car and selling it for parts to pay the bills (largely other people’s bills, at that), rather than tuning the engine to win the economic race and claim the prize money.

    Our government would prefer that we sell both our kidneys to clear the overdraft and live the rest of our lives on dialysis?

    • Fergal73

      The government would prefer that we sell both our kidneys, not go on dialysis and die. It’s far cheaper for all concerned.

      Like I said yesterday, the Irish government (FF) is NOT for the people (the majority). The Irish government’s goal is protect the wealthy. The poor can emigrate. Or maybe Bertie would rather they’d just go off and commit suicide.


      • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement


        • Gege Le Beau

          No, if possible, this is time to make a stand. Defining moment.

          Some of the older boys stood their ground and changed the course of Irish history, we are now getting a taste of the magnitude of the tasks they faced.

          This is our time, once around the fair, lets make it count, at least try, if we fail, well we know where the airports are.

          • Gege Le Beau

            I am not by the way advocating armed insurrection, that is totally unnecessary, just let each person or persons do what they can to change this country so it becomes closer to a true Republic with the values of equality, fairness and liberty at its core.

          • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

            I’m afraid we missed our chance.

          • liam

            Agree re armed insurrection. Emotionally appealing but it didn’t work out too well the last time round.

          • TheFullRed

            I would love to shoot every Fianna Failer from grassroot supporter to the cabinet, followed by a lot of bankers, followed by a lot of Civil Servants, followed by Union seniority.
            Unfortunately, that would be counter-productive I think, and not in the interests of the Nation.

            There should however, be a movement dedicated to the legal dismantlement of the Fianna Fail organisation. I am deadly serious about that, it should be declared an illegal organisation.

          • adamabyss

            Yes it should. There should be a de-Fianna Fail-ification of the country.

  4. Malcolm McClure

    Has noone heard the urban rumor that someone has seen the Russian Mafia arrive on our shores ‘with snow on their boots’ to bring retribution upon any politician who reneges on the INBS bonds?

  5. pjdub22

    Brian Lenihan indicated, when asked by Miriam O’Callaghan on Prime Time why the taxpayer should foot the bill for the investors/bondholders in the failed banks, that to make the investors/bondholders pay was akin to a nuclear option and he was not prepared to push that button. How exactly is that a nuclear option? Who are the bondholders we are so resolutely protecting? Might they be closer to home than one might hope? Is it still possible to change the course of action? Is it not a done deal?

    • TheFullRed

      Well said PJ.
      1) Who are these bondholders? Name, rank and serial number please… The answer to this question might be the Nuclear Detonation BL is so worried about. As in, the country goes ballistic at the revelation…
      2) Retrospective redress should be brought in, making this government answerable in law for actions taken during this crisis. Ministerial privilege suspended, and real consequences for FF Cabinet if they are shown to be acting with duplicity.

  6. adamabyss


    • TheFullRed

      About all of that stuff which is never gonna happen, the real power lies in the way the questions are put to the government. They can incriminate themselves by silence if they are questioned stridently, consistently, and with loaded-like-a-shotgun questions. Done correctly, McAleese will have to wade in and declare their postion to be untenable. Debaathification should then take place naturally…

  7. Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

    We get the government we as a people deserve; we were bought off with trinkets and pretty, shiny things during the good times and were happy to go along with the charade. No use acting shocked that the power elite and their state show anything but naked self interest.
    Shame more people weren’t interested in Chomsky than treating homes as commodities during the boom.

    • MichaelStamp

      First time post – but long time admirer/follower. Had this “getting the government we deserve” line from the brother in FF. Tried to make the point that, manifestos aside, a government has a responsibility to do the right thing. I don’t think it’s naive to expect a lot less apparent corruption than we’ve seen. All to no avail – all I got was “sure what difference woulf FG/Labour make”. Apparently these FFers are true working class supporters. Only in Ireland could a party blatantly supporting elitist banking/property/financial interests brand itself as a socialist alternative.

  8. nono

    Isn’t it the case that subordinated bondholders will be burnt but the senior bondholders are the ones the government are protecting? This aside, I find your articles and the comments on this forum very interesting and informative. Keep up the good work!

  9. We need to take lessons from Brazil and not just in football. Screw the creditors – caveat emptor as they say

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      I’m more intereted in RED ARMY FACTION and FIDEL CASTRO (although I’m a pacifist)

      • Deco

        Red Army Faction were a collection of phsychos. They got lots of assistance from an oppressive regime in the DDR. The Red Army Faction were backed by the detested East German Stasi police. I mean we are talking about misguided spoiled brats, who thought that East Germany was a workers paradise.

        Do you think that Fidel Castro has suceeded ?

        Apart from the massive subsidies received by cuba from the USSR pre-1990 for use of missile launch sites, and to serve as a shiny advertisement of Marxism to the rest of Latin America. Plus some assistance from Beijing since 1990.

        And then there is the cheap oil that Cuba gets from Hugo Chavez. Cuba should have an advantage compared to everybody else.

        I just can’t reason why so many Cubans try to get out ? Across shark invested waters, in rubber dingies. Maybe they want a holiday in another country ? Maybe because there is no Walmart outlet or Pizza Hut in Havanna, and they would like to have a look ?

  10. Deco

    Of course the German government would put Fingleton in jail, tell Abramovitch to clear off, and hardball the bondholders with the minimum possible return. What is really impressive is that everybody is treated the same. There is none of this “well his dad played …. with my dad in the old days”. Because they see no alternative, for fear of pissing off the population. Same with the yanks. And the scandinavians. And the Brits. Remember Lester Piggot’s time in jail. Here the elite seem more confident. Like the guilty in the Annabels case – they know that they will get less harsh treatment than average for the crime.

    But the elite here are more afraid of the veneer being peeled off, than they are of their own worker bees pulling up in a rough frame of mind, on Kildare Street. (though there were amusing episodes like the time the rural peasantry surrounded a hotel in Lough Ree and cut the government off from the rest of the country – as far as we know it did not result in the country collapsing in the absence of a government).

    The elite are fairly confident of being able to keep the plebs in the dark as to what is really going on. And why wouldn’t they ? Sure they have been getting away with for the last forty years at least. In fact the entire game here is “don’t get found out”. Remember the lady who spilled the beans on Fingers – well part of her prevous court settlement was that she keep her mouth shut about what was really going on in INBS. This is always an objective when there is some sort of row, or awakening and peace is declared – the “shut up and be quiet or you will get us all in trouble” clause. Don’t talk the country down. Wrap the Green flag around me, and cover up the festering corruption.

    Then we had the incident where a big boss in Anglo told Morgan Kelly to “basically shut up”. We had Seanie Fitz going ballistic over Eddie Hobbs and Rip Off Republic – with Seanie demanding that Hobbs be pulled by RTE. Luckily the politicians were out of the country at the time, so they could not act fast enough. We had Hanafin trying to start a bun fight when David made very salient points on Saturday, because Hanafin did not want to discuss the substantive issue. We had Dermot Ahern mouthing like an idiot last November about injustice on a playing pitch, though the same overpaid clown had nothing to say about any injustices and lawbreaking in Anglo. (How is the garda fraud investigation into Anglo “progressing” might I ask ?….). We had Dan McLauglin telling us that things would be “bullishly optimistic” forever, and all about “positive consumer sentiment will carry the day”.

    What really gets me is that the intellectual state of this society has deteriorated to the point that everybody is “cool with it”. Not enough people “smell a rat”.

    The elite will sell us down the river, and will like auctioneers, pocket the change for themselves, slying lauging while congratulating the buyer and the bought.

    Lenihan does not understand capitalism. He is simply too soft. He is also too naive to be dealing with these clowns. He is an honourable man – and he assumes that others are honourable too. This is Lenihan’s flaw. He is naive to the pushiness in other people, especially in inernational finance. Trying to be nice to a collection of schemers, when he really should tell the where to go.

    The phrase “this time it is different” applies – but in a way that us the complete reverse of the patronizing platitudes of the Binge era.

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      The American and British political class are perhaps the most monstrously corrupt in the world, they just happen to be far more sophisticated and competent.
      Capatilism is just a better version of slavery for those with real power.

      • Deco

        Yes. But Madoff went to jail. Fuld got brought before a Senate Inquiry and was humiliated. Kenneth Lay got screwed for every last penny by the authorities. The clown behind the Worldcom collapse was sent to jail also.

        Lester Piggot got jailed for not filling honest income tax returns (and this was in the age of Thatcher). David Mellor also went got hauled before court for misdeeds, when Major was UK PM. In fact it is only under Phony Tony that the crooks got lighter treatment for misdeeds.

        My point is this – have any of the Irish elite and high flyers been brought to answer for their actions. We even have some of them living it up in Cape Cod, Malaga, the Algarve, and Switzerland

        • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

          These people are small fry, the truely powerful and their state apparatchiks are unaccountable. IF you can murder half a million people and call it liberationand get away with it, you can do anything. They will sacrifice anyone if they have to, Made Off , Pigot, Lay are just unimportant nobodies.
          Our form of corruption is amatuerishly parochial and lacks vision, just like us that support it.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Deco: I am regularly impressed by how well informed you are about the skeletons in the cupboard. Is your book with the publishers?

      • Deco

        Copyright problem :) A lot of it comes from Phoenix.

        Also the cops know most of what there is to know. The problem is that law is an obstacle to the enforecement of justice, instead of a means of enforcement. They are doing their best. But the legal profession in particular look down their noses at the gardai. The establishment always finds the connections to prevent them acting. Remember the Sheedy case. This is a prime example of what goes on. Cops were furious. Public was furious. A NED on the consumer agency made it happen.

        • ThomasFergus

          The elite of the Cops and the judiciary scratch either other’s backs Deco. FFers the lot of ‘em. Feel sorry for the ordinary cop behind the desk; there must be zero motivation

          • Deco

            No this is not correct. The elite of the Cops and the Judiciary are all blueshirts.

            But they are effectively the one clique, this much is crrect.

          • Colin


            I doubt they are blueshirts. Would a blueshirt have jailed Padraig Nally?

            Why do defence barristers tell the judges that their client has “a drink problem” when looking for leniency? Surely a blueshirt would have no sympathy for drunkards who rob, who attack people, who roar and shout at strangers, who basically make a show of themselves?

    • Harper66

      “Lenihan..He is an honourable man — and he assumes that others are honourable too”
      I really doubt Lenihan is an honourable man.I do not think anyone who has made the decisions he has in the interests of an elite over the common good can retain one shred of honour.

      • Deco

        eh…maybe I am naive….more naive than I thought..

          • s1lverbullet

            Lenihan is probably the most DIShonourable man in the country. He has been trained to lie all his professional life and prob before that by his family members. We all take it easy on him cos he is supposedly very sick, but the wind is changing now I feel. I will be contacting community groups soon to see if the will come together and put forward a candidate in each constituency and blow the scum completely out of the water. We can never let the country be run by the likes of them again

    • paulmcd

      Deco, I agree with everything except your comment about Lenihan being an honourable man.

      Lenihan is the lawyer, married to a circuit court judge, who could not figure out that all references to judicial pay should be deleted from the Constitution, so that those who stand for Justice could share fully in the pain being inflicted on other public servants.

      To my knowledge he has done nothing about banking CEOs receiving remuneration over and above the CIROC recommendations; in fact, he seems to have been the one aiding and abetting behind the scenes.

      What makes him so dangerous is that even someone like you seems to have been blinded by his “charms”.

    • We had Seanie Fitz going ballistic over Eddie Hobbs and Rip Off Republic — with Seanie demanding that Hobbs be pulled by RTE.

      Really? I completely missed that. I meet Eddie in Letterkenny once, he really is a funny and clever wee man.

      • Deco

        Yeah. Eddie was doing “Rip-Off Republic” in 2003 (I think). It went on air in August – when the politicians were either sunning themselves abroad or on the booze in Galway.

        Seanie Fitz was on the Maid Marion Show, after the first episode. Seanie lambasted Hobbs, and Marion sat back for a few minutes and let him rip. He complained about Hobbs bringing something new and vile to the Irish public – something akin to British Tabloid journalism. A television equivalent of something crass and disgusting. Seanie Fitz stated on public radio, that it was his view that the rest of the show should be dropped. (the viewers are not entitled to make their own opinions if they wanted to switch it off themselves). The problem was that the program was number 1 in ratings. So it was impossible to drop.

        Hobbs was contained, therafter, to personal advice on budgeting type programming. His commentary on TV3 and newstalk is generally more agressive and strident, than on RTE. I suspect that Hobbs is FG, so this should also be factored concerning his commentary.

  11. Deco

    Very good article. And the article in the Sunday Business post was top drawer. I read it several times. Printed it off for others to read.

    Really getting the important issues. Very important issues.

    Behaviour breeds results they say. Well we need to examine our thinking and our behaviour. And this articles is telling us this, right up front and honest. We need to resolve the thinking and the behaviour that will get above this crisis.

  12. HBC

    I firmly do not believe anything will ever change in Ireland until there is a new government party elected without any rotten apples in the barrel inherited from another party. The Unions represent the nurses, teachers..etc..you can be sure they will be out in force when there is a hint of another illusion of cuts to their pay. Who is representing Joe Bloggs with his 2.5 kids and 750 3 bed semi? Do we look to FG to be the next party of choice…Labour….I mean FFS…450K plus unemployed …no marches nothing…25% people still support FF. Why the hell are 25% of people still supporting FF…are we too stupid to get it. Do we deserve a drunken self appointed leader and his bots that are fannying around in expensive state cars and going to the races having the arrogance to state they will run again for election and have done nothing wrong. With 25% of the country still supporting them, then I guess why not. Regarding the banks …well….I mean what are the chances that there is some self interest being served….I mean it would be unusual to find a TD that was also an estate agent, developer and having influence in the planning process that had debts in the banks that we are bailing out…I mean what are the odds….probably better than 25%.

  13. Deco

    Denmark and Sweden know what they are doing. Our elite are clueless. They know how to screw us, though, that much they are totally clueed into.

  14. Brilliant piece of writing and one of the best I’ve read for a long time

    “David, it doesn’t matter who your next prime minister is, he will have no power — we own you now, and he will do what we tell him.” They may be laughing now but they would never be able to own a nation who point blankly refused to be turned into slaves. I am prepared to eat seaweed rather than be a slave of faceless powers, corporations and other mafias

    “if we are happy that our tax is used to pay Frank Lampard’s wages, then that’s more of a reflection on us”. I stopped following football years ago because of silly little boys like Abramovich

    “People such as Abramovich, like the other creditors, can be told to line up in an orderly queue and wait for the liquidator to give them the morsels that might remain from the broken Irish banking system”.
    Exactly. While we try to heal our raped and broken society

    “Any political party that fights the election on that premise of protecting the Irish taxpayer from vulture investors will get my vote”. +1 – Are you listening Labour?

    Get them to publish their separate plans and present them to the people. Now. We don’t need to pull together like FF
    are advocating. They know themselves that a new politics is emerging and they are hanging on like grim death hoping that they don’t become irrelevent. It is a cop out and they are desperate to disassociate themselves with past and get a future gov’t implement
    policies which will attempt to ensure that the truth stays hidden. What is in your 4 years plans? Stop pissing about ladies and gentlemen

    Is there any difference between FF, FG etc or are you all equally complicit and of such gutless moral fibre ? Anyone who
    votes because they have always voted for the same party without examining that party’s moral integrity is in danger of becoming a zombie. If the don’t realise this then they must be suffering from an incurably tribal worldview. For god sake
    people think for once and don’t let sentiment do your thinking for you. You have never had a better opportunity of changing the future of this country and you need to do it on the streets and not on Facebook

    The old predjuces are being wheeled out as we speak across the water. Single mothers, dole claimants, asylum seekers etc. Don’t
    fall for this poison because it is Thatcherism. It is designed to target the basest of emotions and turn frustrated and angry people against the weakest members of society. Currently hatred is ruining American society and Ireland has seen enough hatred
    to last a milennia

    They wheel out the terror alerts from time to time just to keep us afraid and in case we having too much fun. Watch for the patterns and you will get the picture

    “Do you Irish need to be loved so much that you will stand up for nothing?” +1

    “Could it be that the only people benefiting from the Government’s blind rush to impale the small guy with the debts of Fingleton et al are our own “high net worth” individuals? Could they be pulling the strings?” Yes. The politicians know it but they are denying it because it so bad that they can’t face it themselves

    “Are we protecting someone big?” – Yes

    James Connolly helped to get rid of one shower of bastards and now it is the turn of a new generation of Irish people to rise up against another

    Are we going to be Celtic Warriors or a nation of smucks? I know which I would rather be

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      Gerry Adams for President anyone?
      I’ve spent the last 15 years voting based on who I’d least like to see with power, and voting in the manner to deny them that power. That was how positive I was about my choice of representatives.
      We deserve our current government, we as a society were easily bribed with shiny trinkets and empty promises.

      • Sorry. Gerry Adams is damaged goods and of the past.
        Could you refrain from shouting emmigrate please? It is getting tiresome.

      • Deco

        I reckon that instead of voting we should have a tendering process.

        Whoever offers to do the cheapest price gets the job. The current waster is costing us far far too much.

      • TheFullRed

        I think the Shinners would really tear down the cosy network that has grown into the body politic. They have been so marginalised until recently that they owe nobody anything. Before this whole hurricane hit, a business associate of mine told me that he foresaw a major crash coming and that Ireland was in worse trouble because Fianna Fail is so owned by business and the banks that they will not be able to take the necessary steps to steady things. How prescient.
        Gerry Adams would poll more than that twit Bertie anyway.

    • Colin

      Great post Pauldiv.

      It now seems the fog of obfuscation is finally lifting.

      By the way, I thought Honohan’s recent performance on Vincent Browne was a disgrace. He was at the very least circumspect, and at most a cossetted insider of crony corrupted Irish elite.

      Was I the only one who noticed his “stiff upper lip” when speaking to Vincent? Very Etonian indeed, jolly good old boy, anyone for cricket?

      • I think Vincent Browne is pretty good Colin and that he knows more than he lets on. He had Lenny the Lemming by the jugular last week and he let him off the hook when he asked him why? At the end he smiled at Lenny and it looked suspiciously like an old Etonian pact was is operation. Surely not with Browne? Or like Cameron’s secretive Bullingdon Club where he, Osbourne and the rest of the chaps behaved like animals before the customary smashing up of the premises.

        • Colin


          I know Vincent Browne is good, although I didn’t like his smile at the end. You wouldn’t see Jeremy Paxman do that!

          My stiff upper lip comment was directed at Honohan. Was I imagining it? Is this how you get selected for the top jobs in Ireland?

          • Did you see Vinnie the next night?

            When it was put to him that the IMF would interfere in the legal profession he almost had a fit and died baldy

            “the the the the the the the legal profession would never have it!!! he fumed

            It makes me wonder

    • Patrick McElligott

      I recently watched a clip on the RTE website about a man who decided to drive a truck through the gates of Dail Eireann on the day that the politicians were returning after their summer holidays. What struck me most was how this event was reported by RTE. The suggestion that the man was somehow insane, was vandalizing property unnecessarily and that there is no place for this type of activity in a civilized democratic society. I am not an anarchist, but the question I have to ask is where were the other 100 trucks attempting to block the entrance to Dail Eireann on the fist day back? Where is the sustained campaign of protest on the streets of Dublin in opposition to the Governments policy of continuing to burden the future generations of Ireland with enormous debt and allowing mass emigration once again of our youth (just like in the 80″s). Have we learned nothing from our past? What will it take before Irish youth decide to make a firm stand and tell the world that the Irish people have taken enough shit, and are determined to make this country ungovernable unless the people are heard. The main opposition parties and union leaders cannot be relied upon as they too have their dirty hands in the cookie jar and are not interested in real social change. James Connolly is turning in his grave with shame. http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0929/tracker_av.html?2827866,null,230

      • Deco

        Here is the incident. Notice that there is nobody being threatened. And also notice the rapid response to get him away from public view. 30 seconds. Immediate attempts were made to get into the lorry and take it out of the way. Also notice the comment on the back of the truck. This after the politicians being on holiday for months.


        An amusing interview of politicians.
        Brian Hayes(FG) got out caught out rightly, after spoofing for three minutes. I recommend this.

        Background info. concerning the driver.


      • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

        “Burn one car and it is vandalism, burn one hundred and it is a political action” Some German chick.
        How come there are very few female voices on this forum?

        • Black Cat

          I’m here but I can’t match the wisdom of these fellas unfortunately – I am more of an expert in early childhood but I read and learn and make the odd silly comment – I am just happy to have found where the intelligentsia are hiding out – and they are much more civil here than on politics.ie

      • Harper66

        “Where is the sustained campaign of protest on the streets of Dublin in opposition to the Governments policy” there are many people far more knowledgeable than me on this website but if I could offer this explanation as to why there are so few protests on the streets.
        Firstly I think the ICTU protest in Dublin back in ’08 (I think)demoralised what was at the time a protest movement in its infancy. A huge amount of people turned up only to walk a bit, stand around for a while and then place your banner in the skips provided and bugger off home.Skips!They didn’t even want to inconvenience the government by leaving a few signs around. I have no doubt but that march was worked in tandem with the Government. A “pressure release” valve of sorts.

        Secondly, we are too divided.I read in the paper that Sinn Feinn have organised a protest march on Dec 4th, I mentioned it to some friends who replied they wont attend because of the organisers.I have never voted Sinn Feinn but I’m going to attend, and I will attend any protest that is organsied.Each failed protest march adds to the sense of demoralisation in the country and strenghts the position of the government.

      • but the question I have to ask is where were the other 100 trucks attempting to block the entrance to Dail Eireann on the fist day back? Where is the sustained campaign of protest on the streets of Dublin in opposition to the Governments policy

        +1 !

  15. paddythepig

    Quote from article : “Here’s the quotation from the EU Commission regarding bust Danish banks: “Moreover, burden sharing is ensured by excluding shareholders and subordinated debt holders of the failed bank from any benefit from the aid.”

    Isn’t this very close to the Irish situation? Shareholders in Irish banks got wiped out, and subordinated debt holders are being targetted for burden sharing. Here is a quote from Lenihan’s Black Thursday statement.

    “The principle of appropriate burden sharing by holders of subordinated debt, however, is one with which I agree. ….. I expect the subordinated debt holders to make a significant contribution towards meeting the costs of Anglo.”

    So Brian Lenihan agrees with you David regarding subordinated debt.

    Let’s get away from the hysteria, and get back to the facts please.

    • Colin


      Its highly highly remarkable and hugely significant if, according to recent rumours, that Lenny is finally coming around to David’s point of view regarding subordinated debt, when you consider the spoofing that has been coming out of Lenny’s mouth. This is a 180 degrees U-turn! We need clarity from the Dept of Finance, can they confirm they’ll no longer attack McWilliams and now take his advice?

      • paddythepig


        See my reply above to you. Anglo has been buying back debt at a discount for quite some time. This is not a recent phenomenon.

        Remembering that we’re talking about FF here, my opinion is there’s only one reason they are taking the actions they are.

        They have no choice. They are backed into a corner.

        FF would sell their mothers, never mind renege on a bondholder.

        The key question is whether they would be able to fund the annual Government defecit, if they reneged on all bondholders. They have made the judgement they cant. Others will say ‘Of course they can, go borrow it from someone else’. Well, do folks think FF wouldn’t go borrow from someone else if they could, and let the bank bondholders swing? Of course they would.

        But the problem is ; they can’t. No-one will lend to them. So in the end, the prospect of telling the lads on the dole that there’s no dole payment this week, or telling the teachers and the nurses and guards that there’s no wages, is a hell of a lot more frightening for them, than their current course of action (which is to stick with the current creditors, and ultimately to pass the bill to the next generations, and cut as little as they can get away with).

        This is the conundrum that David has failed to deal with.

        P.S : David’s ‘Frank Lampard’ jibe is just plain silly; it’s the other way round, Abramovich is going to sue us because Ireland won’t pay Frank’s wages. Also, last weeks back of the envelope solution which David pulled out of the hat on a Sunday morning radio show, of doing a ‘smash and grab’ of 75 billion from the IFSC surely would have a lot of nasty unintended consequences. Corporations wouldn’t allow 75 billion in cash to be grabbed from them, without royally shafting the perpitrator back.

        • Colin


          Your reply is full of baseless assumptions. That tribune article is pure speculation.

          Fianna Fail’s motives for doing what they are doing is a complete mystery to anyone with a functioning brain. I don’t know how you can second guess them. Based on what they’ve done so far, I think they’re all bluffing, and don’t really care what consequences follow their actions. They’re behaving like Hitler at Stalingrad.

          Also, let Abramovich try and sue us! He has no chance in an Irish court unless he’s got the judges bought off.

          • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

            You have to admire Hitler’s resolve and determination, not to mention, willingness to sacrifice 400,000 troops in that little city on the Volga
            P.S. That whole Jewish thing was a bit much though.

          • paddythepig

            Wrong Colin. The reply contains a fact ; debt has been bought back at a discount for the past few years. Yet if you read all the hysterical comments on this blog, this fact is totally ignored, even by our host.

            Why is that?

            I then offer an opinion, which is my guess, about FF motives. I do this because it is a perfectly logical point of view, to me. Conspiracy theories will get us nowhere ; the truth is much simpler, and much closer to the bone. What would the punters on this blog do if their public service salary was paid in an IOU, or the social welfare office was to shut it’s doors saying ‘no dole this week’; this is the reality that the Government is dealing with right now. They will only take action when the market dictates to them, and in my opinion that’s a good thing. Left to their own devices, they would borrow us into oblivion.

            The question I’m interested in right now, is why are people ignoring the facts. Why are intelligent people, including David, making comments about subordinated debt that are plain wrong?

          • Colin


            OK, I accept debt has been bought back at a discount. Lets examine it. 32 cent in the Euro! What’s your opinion on this?
            “The government could save 2 billion euros with a subordinated buyback”

            €2,000,000,000 saved. That leaves €33,000,000,000 left in the black hole, so in the great scheme of things……do you think this is significant?

            Can you show me a few of these hysterical posts? I mean, should we all be dothing our cap to our leaders and sing in chorus “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad”?

            I don’t have a conspiracy about what’s going on. I just look at the decisions the government has made since 1997, and the only conclusion I can come to is that they don’t want to govern, they don’t know how to govern, yet they want to remain in government to misgovern us even more.

            Regarding Non-payment of Public Service Salaries and Welfare Payments…..maybe non-payment is the way to go, it would certainly focus the mind of all of us on the dole or in the public service. We’d finally take more of an interest in politics if we had no money in our pockets.

            Finally, can you tell me this, who’s telling the truth, David McWilliams or Brian Lenihan?

          • paddythepig

            What’s your point Colin? I merely pointed out that David McWilliams is stoking it up by making silly sensational comments about paying Frank Lampards wages, at the same time that Mr Abramovich is sueing the Irish state for not getting all his money back. This makes no sense.

            This kind of tabloid soundbite does nothing to get to the facts. Why don’t you call a spade a spade in all cases, where the truth is misrepresented, in this case by David.

            I’m surprised you don’t see any hysterical posts, really they are too numerous to list. But I will give you one simple example. A while back, we had a poster here telling us ‘We need a stimulus package, there’s no stimulus package’ ; indeed David was saying the same thing. This despite the fact that the Government was investing 7 billion this year on capital infastructure such as building schools (indeed I can look out the window where I live and see a school extension paid for by this scheme). It was only after repeated exchanges with the poster that the truth emerged. I.E There is stimulus. Eventually, after repeatedly posting the truth, the penny dropped, but not until I had to read a hell of a lot of posts saying ‘there’s no stimulus’. Headwrecking.

            On Lenihan v McWilliams, I don’t think either is lying (seeing as your question is ‘who is telling the truth). They are both offering different opinions about the problems, both are convinced they are right despite being at polar opposites. Do you have evidence that Lenihan is lying about something?

          • Colin

            “What’s your point Colin? I merely pointed out that David McWilliams is stoking it up by making silly sensational comments about paying Frank Lampards wages…”

            This is not silly. Abramovich could have put his money in a Safe Swiss Bank Account. He didn’t. He chose bonds in a bank in a country with a ponzi scheme in operation, where the banks are the instigators in the ponzi scheme. So, like all ponzi schemes in the past, it collapses. Hey, its a risk, if you bought a house at the top of the market and now its only worth half that, that was your risk and you take the consequences. Likewise if you buy bonds, you are not guaranteed that they’ll always be worth what you paid for it back in 2005 or before the Bank Meltdown began, and when you need to cash them in in order to pay some of your employees like Frank Lampard in your other businesses, you certainly should not be treated any bit differently to the humble house owner.

            Right, back to Lenihan’s lies, there’s so many of them that I can’t list them here for brevity, but please check out the link (thanks to Gavin for compiling this work), and let me know if you think Lenihan has not lied or maybe you prefer the “mental reservation” term?


            Finally, for clarity, you seem to be getting “stimulus” mixed up with “government spending”. Here’s the definition; Stimulus is Government measures, normally involving increased public spending and lower taxation, aimed at giving a positive jolt to economic activity. The key word here is increased. We had a stimulus during the boom years with huge spending on roads/hotels/houses/business premises/light rail/airport terminals/stadium redevelopment etc…. and now in October 2010 we have none of that happening so the effect has been hugely anti-stimulus. Its completely daft.

            What shouldn’t be done is Metro North. What should be done is flood defence works, nuclear power plant development, re-opening railway lines including upgrading current lines to fast lines, power grid upgrades. These works would remove people from dole queues and get them back working and paying income tax instead. Look, I’m a civil engineer, I’d work for €25000 a year, that’s over 50% reduction from what I earned on my last job in London.

        • Tim

          Paddy, FF has been in power so long; who do you think it’s friends *are*? Little people? Sub-bondholders? Or, with 90 years of almost unbroken rule, the BIG bondholders?

          • paddythepig

            You tell me Tim, you’re on the inside, and you clearly know something I don’t. Who are these BIG bondholders?

            Remember, FF are also your friend Tim. They raised public spending to unsustainable levels, and public servants benefited very nicely, and this is now a major part of our fiscal problem.

        • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

          Nice counterpoint, although I believe that to either default on our nationalised debt or bankrupt the next generation are both untenable.

        • StephenKenny

          It’s just not the case that lenders will stop lending after being defaulted upon. It’s part of the risk they they know they run, so after strutting their stuff and warning of the end of the world, they’ll be back next year with a bag full of cash. It’s what they do – lend money.
          There’re bond salesmen somewhere who’s job it is to sell Irish debt, just as there were sellers of Mexican debt before, during, and after their little problems. Same with just about every S. American country, Russia, and so on, and so on.
          Haven’t you noticed that the financial sector’s only response to any sort of threat is to threaten doomsday unless they get what they ask for? These guys are sharp suited hustlers, street card-sharps, back street salesmen – everything is there to be gamed, and the one who blinks, loses. Todays enemies are tomorrows potential clients.

          The regulatory environment introduced ober the past 10-15 years has encouraged the ultimate in short term thinking, and the only way to survive is to be prepared to sell the most outrageous structured contracts, in the most absurd situations, to people who cannot possibly pay it back, and then bet against them, knowing that the tax payer will bail you out when it all goes to hell, as your transactions have made sure it will.

          The great Guinness scandal in the 1980s was about a group of guys who artificially pushed up the Guinness share price, and made a hundred thousand. These were senior guys, and it was a huge scandal. They were gaming the shares of one company.
          Today, they game entire countries – Goldman Sachs took the US taxpayer for something like $30bn.

          In truth, as the Icelanders are showing us, you need to be scared not of not being able to borrow money, but of borrowing money, from these people.

          • paddythepig

            In truth, as the Icelanders are showing us, you need to be scared not of not being able to borrow money, but of borrowing money, from these people.

            These people? The reason we are borrowing this money is we can’t control our costs. We are asking for the money, begging for it. No-one is forcing us to borrow so much money.

        • idij

          Why though? It’s not government debt that would become worthless. It’s the private debt of a private bank (stupid policies aside for the moment).

          • Zaphod

            Exactly, private debt of a private bank. It’s really that simple, so why are “they” being protected? Answer that one paddy, that’s the real question or questions why and who ?
            Conspiracy theories are not always wrong, just because your paranoid doesn’t mean someones not out to get you.
            New local government, based on province and county.
            Own currency, we control it and we print it.
            Qualified persons with integrity not family ties.
            State bank, profits to the state, borrowings from the state.
            Get a grip and get rid of this system, it does not work.

  16. hobob

    I absolutely agree with the sentiment of this article and many of the comments. A couple of items:

    I feel the bondholders (senior and subordinated) should be burned. They made bad investments, they should lose – that’s the game their playing. It’s sheer lunacy for our governing class (and I would argue not within their right) to drown ourselves and future generations in debt.

    Are they protecting someone big? I think this is largely irrelevant to the urgency and facts of the situation. Unless David knows something more than he’s saying here, the question becomes a distracting sideshow and one which potentially takes wind out of the entire argument if it is shown not to be the case.

    Can we wait until a general election to encourage politicians to burn the bondholders? I don’t think so. It may be too late by then and even if it weren’t, there appears to be no noise from any rallying point, be it political party or union, advocating this course of action. I don’t think the ordinary person can count on anyone now to do this – do the right thing – for them. As others have said, we all now need to go out on the streets and make the point understood. We can’t wait for political groups who continue to vie for position and ultimate self-gain – what they don’t get is that there will be nothing left to gain if we are left saddled with this debt.

    Who’s going to announce the first public demonstration? (no parties or unions please!) Let’s set a date and time.

  17. HBC

    yes – that is the question….it can be talked to death, but someone needs to rally the people to the streets. David you would be in a prime position to do this with your media contacts etc…publicity wise it might work to get enough people out marching….hell I would even fly back into the country to attend.

  18. RCO2000

    The EU says burn them and move on. Logic says don’t sacrifice your sovereignty to bail out the hyper-rich, democracy says it is unfair to penalise the poor for the mistakes of the rich. What do you think?

    Simple question from an avid lay person & DMW fan….
    Why has the EU not told/advised/directed Lenihan, from the outset, to let the bondholders in all these Irish zombie banks burn and take the hit thus preventing any sovereignty issues for an Euro member state?
    Surely, such a step would less undermine the credibility of the Euro i.e. the impact of a bondholder default would be far less on the Euro’s credibility as opposed to the massively negative impact of an Euro member state self-destruct and endure a long drawn out painful fiscal collapse culminating in IMF intervention?

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      We are small fry in Europe and we’ll make a fine lab rat for them to experiment with

    • Spare Change

      The EU are the Bondholders. German and French banks. That is why we are not allowed to let our banks fail. The EU is pulling the strings. To be Irish means nothing anymore. We signed it away for “structural funds”.

  19. paddyjones

    Here we go again DMcW crying over spilt milk…its too late…Lenihan has already sold us the pup. There is no way even a new government will reverse what has happened.

    As for Abramovich owning bonds in INBS I am not surprised. I dont subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the rich are being protected. I subscribe to the theory that Lenihan simply does not know what he is doing, the numbers are so mind boggling that a few extra billion is neither here nor there. Lenihan & Cowen are winging it big time.

    We all shared in the boom our houses went up in value and we were earning well, nobody stopped and said we are in a bubble. All this trouble was caused by the property bubble, government spending rose because of bubble taxes and banks lent because of the bubble also. That is the root cause of all of this.

    The most worrying thing is that property prices are still falling ( 11% this year so far ). There are still more losses to materialise in the banks in the years to come.

    To say that burning bond holders will make any difference is not very clever. Bond holders are mainly pension funds and burning them would cause untold misery on pensioners.

    David you have got to stop this crap of crying over split milk. We will have to pay back the bondholders over time and never make the same mistake again.

    Over the next 4 years we will get back to within 3% of GDP borrowing and there after we will need budget surpluses to pay back the billions we owe. This comes down to good housekeeping …deleverage like a mortgage does and one day we will own a house..but this may take 30 years.

    • Colin

      “We all shared in the boom our houses went up in value”
      Wrong! I didn’t buy property. Many others like me resisted the peer pressure and parental pressure, and a were viewed as oddballs by the likes of you, so f u!

      “nobody stopped and said we are in a bubble.”
      I think you’ll find our host did.

      “The most worrying thing is that property prices are still falling ( 11% this year so far )”
      This is the only good news. Property is still hugely overpriced. It needs to fall 70% from peak, the sooner that happens the sooner we can start growing again.

      “David you have got to stop this crap of crying over split milk.”
      Are you attacking free speech now? Are you threatening our host?

      • wills


        Yes. YEs. YES>

      • Black Cat

        There were people giving good advice to those that would listen. I remember Eddie Hobbs saying in 2006 or 2007 before the collapse – ‘now is not the time to buy’ I remember quoting him to my workmate who was talking about buying – I didn’t have a clue why he was saying this but I took it on faith as coming from someone who was well informed -

        • Deco

          I can remember Eddie Hobbs saying that property was a rip-off in 2003, along with jsut about everything else from ladies hairdressing to sandwiches to auto repairs.

          I can also remember David saying that Irish property was a scam. In 2003 that was a very very serious statement to say, given the lemming mentality then prevalent.

          The establishment went completely ballistic.

          We now see property prices below 2000 levels. And they ain’t finished dropping yet.

    • Deco

      No…the most worrying thing is not that property prices are falling. (thinking that house prices were the economy was what created this mess in the first place – root cause number 1, the media singing the praises of the housing price mania, and the lemmings running after it…buy now or you will never get on the property ladder….).

      The most worrying thing currently is that private sector employment is in severe retreat. And that is what produces the wealth that pays for the rest of the economy, plus all these bad banks, and the nepotism filled state infrastructure.

      And the fall in private sector employment is driving down the market for residential property. The clowns in charge have not figured that out yet. Neither have the clowns in the media. Too busy saving their own asses the lot of them. It is too obvious.

      Not just an Irish problem. Look at Spain – 20-21% unemployment, and 3 million empty houses.

      People who are on the dole do not put downpayments on houses.

      Private sector employment levels are the thing we must fix to get this economy going again. And to do that we must get costs down below those of the other members of the Eurozone. Devaluation is not an option.

      We must do the one thing that has been deliberately driven out of the Irish imagination by the establishment and the media for the last three decades. The forbidden trait according to the currently constucted Irish set of social mores.

      We must be disciplined. The establishment does not want the little people to be disciplined because they cannot be controlled by authority. Too much self-discipline and the worker bees might end up running the place. Can’t have that….

    • paulmcd

      Paddy, If the bondholders are mainly professional money-managers, then they should have insured the bonds against default.

      WHY SHOULD WE PAY FOR THEIR NEGLIGENCE – Let the pensioners sue!

      This is especially so because of the long-established record of financial institutions, modelled along Anglo lines, going bankrupt in every financial crisis in history.

      • wills

        As far as I can make out *paper insurance* is taking out on all bond buying as a matter of transactional accord.

      • Spare Change

        The EU are the Bondholders. German and French banks. That is why we are not allowed to let our banks fail. The EU is pulling the strings. To be Irish means nothing anymore. We signed it away for “structural funds”.

        • paulmcd

          German and French banks would also be insured. We need to insist strongly on this INSURANCE coverage with Lenihan and, at the very least, hear his response to be recorded for posterity.

          Diarmuid MacMurrough is forgiven – Lenihan will replace him unless he has a drastic change of heart.

    • “”nobody stopped and said we are in a bubble”"

      Paddyjones, I seem to recall some young blondie fellah called McWilliams writing a couple of books flagging up that Ireland was bubbling along nicely into disaster.

      But he was succinctly told to go and commit suicide by some Langer called the Taoiseach.

      Very odd set of occurences.

      “”Over the next 4 years we will get back to within 3% of GDP borrowing”"

      To go from 32% or thereabouts to 3% with a GDP of just over 120Bn in a country dominated by non-producers in 4 years would be excellent and would mean that Dr Constantin Gurdgiev must be from Barcelona.

      I hear what you’re saying but ill informed optimism can generally be more damaging than constructive pessimism. Ireland is caught up in a process of creative destruction. The dross will be erased and a new beginning will begin to begin, if you know what I mean.
      This is going to be rough and one would need an extremely good reason to hang around for the next decade, if not longer.
      Our time for attacking these problems has essentially passed, so further gnashing of teeth is pointless. Much of the warnings given on this site over the last two years by the more experienced commenters have metamorphosed from uncertainty to dire reality.

      That we have a Golden Circle intent on self preservation is obvious. That they treated this State like a Milch Cow for the last 50 years is plain to be seen. That the Constitution is a one way street document to further the aims of the “Few”.

      To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Never in the field of Human ineptitude, was so much left owing by so many for so few”.

      Our self employed SME and professional groupings are destroyed. Our farming capabilities are subjugated by a remote Council of failed bureaucrats. The hope and pride of our powerhouse, our youth, lies within the gift of their adopted countries, not with their homeland.
      The very existence of our State, our home which was fought for in living memory, is in dire peril and all because a handful of barrowboys got their hands on the steering wheel for a few short years.

      A whole sovereign State eviscerated by the very Gombeens we fought to eradicate.

      Something may be spilt to clean up this country Paddy, but it might not be milk.

      • Pedro Nunez

        “Never in the field of Human ineptitude, was so much left owing by so many for so few”.


        Be with AIB, coz ‘is leatsa e’ subject to terms & conditions courtesy of the financial regulator, this add was brought to you by Guinness, and remember to always drink responsibly like your responsible government!

    • idij

      Low cost housing is not anybody’s problem. It’s a good thing, same as low cost food, low cost fuel, low cost healthcare, low cost education, low cost anything that people need in order to live and work.

      You can build your economy on any particular house of cards, tulips say, it doesn’t make high cost tulips an inherently good thing just because you were borrowing against the sack of bulbs you had in the shed.

      • Deco

        We were encouraged to confuse ‘virtual wealth’ with ‘real wealth’.

        Virtual wealth = the ISEQ, HSE consultancy reports, The empty terminal in Dublin Airport, the Luas, all them ghost estates on the NAMA listing, the Irish concept of management, FAS training courses.

        Real wealth = the young graduates going on the plane to Canada, hi tech exports, Moffet Mounties, butter, intel processors, fish etc…

        In a recession you realise which is real and which is virtual.

  20. hobob

    paddyjones .. please let’s get rid of this myth once and for all that we all shared in the boom .. not of all of us thought it was a smart idea buying a one-bedroomed end-of-terrace house that was clearly overvalued by global standards .. some of us didnt do it, presuming (naively it now seems) that when the sh*t was to hit the fan, we wouldn’t be saddled with the mortgage on a ‘dream’ home in a decaying half-finished ‘commuter’ estate in the midlands that’s worth half what was paid for it .. however now we are expected to pay it, for others mistakes, pay their mortgages and pay the investors

  21. Rory

    David you said “Any political party that fights the election on that premise of protecting the Irish taxpayer from vulture investors will get my vote.” I couldn’t agree more. Yet none are saying this, all we get from FG and Lab is that they will be a “nuanced” version of FF. “WTF” is my response. If Lab of FG said “we will get rid of the 35 – 50 bn that anglo costs” ” The people do not own this debt, the effin gamblers do” then yes i will of course vote for them. But they don’t have the balls. At least not yet. Leo Varadker said as much about a week ago but since then not a peep. They would get a landslide if they did. David, ring them and persuade them, start an email campaign thru this website, anything to get them to see it is in their interest to offer something other than FF lite. Otherwise we are in a worse position, a new govt, with FF “nuanced” ideas claiming they have a mandate all because we were never offered a proper choice in the first place.

  22. Mumlo Trader

    Oh will you M A N up!???!!!

    What happened was you got your feelings hurt by the little german lady so now we all wallow in self pity and discuss how Ireland is going to spontaneously combust and we are all going to die lonely old shrivelled up wrecks.
    Tell your lady friend to get stuffed! Tell her germany does not own us! They don’t even own Austria anymore! She doesn’t get to tell us how to run our country and we dont tell her how to lose wars.
    Capish David?
    Enough of all the boring sad ballad lyrics about prison ships and famines and the bad conquerers wearing bankers suits. Forget about advice on how to vote. Stuff Cowen and Lenihan and Kenny and Gormley. They are all just deer staring into the headlights.

    We need to stand up! We are the people! The people who generate 75% of this countrys GDP! We were the fastest growing economy in the world and now we are all too busy wallowing around on sad internet sites to take our country back and make it a success again.
    First it was the bankers. Then the government. Now its the big bad german ladies.
    You have a duty to the people of this country to lead and start generating some positive energy. Thats all we need. One spark. It will lead to another. Put down the fiddle. Pick up a box of matches. And lets get this party started

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      It’s my understanding that the German’s do effectively own us, personally I’d rather be owned by the Chinese, slaves can’t be too fussy though.

    • That’s right. Just one spark. From asking people in my locality I get the feeling the Irish are ready to march. Finally.

    • Fergal73

      Mumlo, M A N up? What does that mean? Telling the German lady to get stuffed, that Germany doesn’t own Ireland achieves nothing.

      It would be nothing more than a drunken fool shadow boxing.

      Ireland and its people are being betrayed by their government.

      Stand Up? Yes the Irish people need to stand up. The first thing is to stand up against the government that is betraying them.

      David is pointing out to those who will read / listen that the time to stand is now (it has been time to stand up for a long long time – I emigrated in 2004 because the bubble was clear to see and there was no way I was going to tie myself to an overvalued property). Getting the Irish people to stand up seems to be next to impossible.

      Sparks are not enough. With FF in power, the process is unstoppable. Your children’s children will pay for the corruption / ineptitude of the current governemnt.

      The only solution is a change of government.
      The question is how to achieve it.

  23. paulmcd


    For people who like to know about ALTERNATIVES, I posted one at above link in January last.

    This is not my “MOST BEST” solution. It needs a bit of updating and further tweaking, but however naive it may seem to be, I am convinced that it is workable or could be made so in the same way that rationing in a wartime situation can be made to work.

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      There’s a traditional tried and tested solution…..

      • Black Cat

        I think of emigrating but then I think of living in an urbanised society and I contrast that with the thought of the clean air, the beautiful scenery, the natural way of life, the Irish people (most of whom still have hung onto their morals in this crazy world- barring the obvious factions), the freedom and security of life in rural Ireland is something we take for granted- I have been to the UK where you are a prisoner in the house after sundown and you feel so trapped, the idea of leaving Ireland seems like setting out from the Shire for Mordor in some ways.

  24. ocallaghanr

    Let us eat cake.

  25. Tony

    Your right David , why are we giving billions of Euros to these bondholders? Follow the money.This country is going down the toilet & Brian Cowen & Lenihan are flushing the chain. But would a change of government change anything? They would still bailout the bondholders & comply with everything Europe wants from them. It looks like we are caught in tidal wave of thinking that will send us toward financial disaster & nobody in the political elite will jump ship. They seem incapable of thinking outside the box.

  26. BrianC

    I do not think the elite are preparing to sell the country down the river they have already sold us and in the process lined their own pockets. Actually I think they processed a sale without realising that they actually making a sale but cute enought to secure a commission. We must look very stupid to the rest of Europe.

    The Irish political system is not alone impotent but vexatiously impenitent. The political stock occupying the Dail are spineless parasites and there is not a man among the senile witless dross. This is not about wanting to be liked it is about being a true Nation.

    A real thinking man is needed to step into the breach but sadly there is absolutely no hope of that materialising. And it is not about burning bond holders it is about Caesar ‘red coat’ time and real leadership capable of real negotiating leading a Nation. It is not about burning bond holders it is about presenting them with a reality these are the terms we offer (those that we as a nation are prepared to offer) and if you don’t like it there’s the door and good luck and if we need your services we may give you a call.

    I have never seen Michael Noonan so forlorn looking as when he appeared tonight on RTE. He was a very depressing sight maybe the penny has dropped.

    M.Geoghegan Quinn was holding a political line on Corporate Tax whilst also promoting the asinine smart economy doctrine. In Britain you have David Cameron droning on about accepting the tax burden for the betterment of all and doing your duty for your country when he means he is going to subjugate the less well off for the benefit of the better off upper class. None of them get it their economies are broken and out of sync with the needs of a real economy ‘balanced economic activity’ supported on moderation to assure affordability. It is very simple average wage in the EU (if you have a job) 30 odd K Euro compared to average wage in China 4 to 5k $. Boys the economic horse is in China happy to sell goods to those in public service jobs and as the private economies suffer duress the Smart Cost Effective Efficient Economic China will build its position in Western Economies. And it will not take them long to displace the German businesses.

    So when we need to focus on refocusing the Irish economy the inept politicians are lost in their world of bond holders and afraid to look them square in the eye and use them as an end to our means. But when you reward failure you just look stupid and rudderless.

  27. Patrick McElligott

    Thanks Deco for the additional context to the lorry driver incident. The media and our current politicians will do their utmost to portray any legitimate protest as nothing more than mindless criminal activity. It doesn’t matter what his motivations were or that he too played a role in the housing boom as a small developer.

    What are Irish youth afraid of? This is not an ideological battle that needs to be waged against the government (It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re a Marxist, Capitalist or a Neoliberal) which are vague concepts that most ordinary people don’t understand anyway. It’s about what it right. Ordinary people can see that it’s not right for the government to borrow billions of euro so that bondholders who took risks in Irish banks continue to get paid and then expect everyone to accept severe budget cuts.

  28. Peter Atkinson

    It must be a week for catching up with German friends.My friend wouldn’t be as illustrious as your’s David but we were discussing this little isle of pooh all the same.During the course of the conversation the subject of music was discussed.He wasn’t too familiar with the Irish music scene except for that plc called U2.Well he now calls them ME2 after their hasty retreat to the Dutch haven.First score to him.So I threw in the Dubliners as I knew they were big in Germany.Ah “Seven Drunken Nights” he threw back at me.That said it all.His English is not too good and my German is practically non-existent.Well he spelt out the next guy he was talking about.” You know that guy called T-Shock well chuckey or law.I had to hand it to him.He is no economist but even he has a handle on this nightmare called Ireland.I had no defence to offer.He reckoned we were capable of selling our bogey debt bonds to the Taliban if the interest rate was right and in a way I agree with him.Is there no depths we won’t sink to to stay afloat.Before he signed off on Skype he wondered were we still using the funny money platinum MBNA credit cards.I told him the local blaggers were stealing them to order as they were handy for breaking through window locks.The owners certainly have little use for them as they would be charged with ontaining money be deception.

    I’m heading off to bed to catch up on my latest read “Mein Kampf” a little light bedtime reading and a little easier to understand than Ireland’s monetary policy or the Anglo Irish balance sheet.

  29. Hmm, Moon Wobble tomorrow and not a peep from JA all week?????????????

    • actually I arrived by to Cork on last seasonal aer lingus flight from Nice tuesday mid night and life is so normal in shops etc

      • Good to see you back my old friend. It’s all going commentary based here recently with lots of futile point scoring and our regular assessors being forced to justify their comments by recent members.
        Some who would appear to have an agenda.

        Of course, anyone of any standing and of regular discourse, being cognisant of Dun Aengus and it’s relevance, would automatically ferret out these agitators.

        Náid Ona Náid a Phioc, an d’tuigeann tú?

  30. Logic says don’t sacrifice your sovereignty to bail out the hyper-rich, democracy says it is unfair to penalise the poor for the mistakes of the rich. What do you think?

    I think….

    Beyond the shadow of a doubt, this is the biggest cover up I ever came across. What is buried in our Banks is dynamite, and not only on Anglo Irish. There is a reason why Hawks of immense proportions such as Maples & Calder are the legal representatives of senior bondholders, this is not a coincidence!

    The county banks from Germany, played Citi! Dublin known to be financial wild west attracted them all, and they came in numbers!

    This is going all the way up to EU Commission of course and people that were involved and/or had knowledge in that scam.

    The Abramovich story is just a Kindergarden, and represents only a fraction of the real political dynamite which is covered up and hidden from the public.

    May be your friend told you what is happening in Stuttgart at the moment, while they are demonstrating against a megalomaniac train station project, it really goes deeper, it is the beginning of a Nation expressing their discontent with the political class in Germany, the bailouts and cover ups, the corruption, the energy Lobbies, the banksters and the entire disconnect from the people that politicians stand for.

    In Ireland, things are worse, much worse, and still, the public acts indifferent.

    What this financial heist has exposed is more costly than all the money involved. It is the loss of trust in our democratic structures, it is a deep confidence crisis and has hit every single person in this country.

    Ireland is paralyzed, shell shocked and has not made any significant move in over two years now. The establishment is playing a filthy game of fears and lies, deliberate disinformation and tactics so blatant obvious that a child can look through it.

    Then again, what I think David is irrelevant, but what the Irish nation is doing or not, this is relevant for the future wellbeing of all of us.

    If we can not get our butt up and start something like Stuttgart 21 for example, and do this in every single town on this Island, not only Dublin, but all over Ireland, well, then this is relevant too, because we are selling us short, an the political price is cheap.

    But I am not Irish, I do not know the Irish soul as well as you do, hence I might be totally wrong to think that the people here would be able to that, standing up for themselves, their families, their friends and neighbors.

    In my opinion, screw Moody, S&P and Fitch. They are not as important as they want you to believe.

    What does really count in the rest of our life I find asking myself?

    That our children can have a happy, healthy, secure and peaceful life as well, this stands over all. Social peace is at stake on a big scale, and it is about time that we take back what belongs to us, the very future of this country!

    For too long these morally bankrupt people ran the show, they have no right to steal fro you, they have no right to dictate your children’s future implementing IMF style 4 years austerity measures to satisfy greedy stakeholders in a system that is rotten to the core.

    I think we should start to clean up this mess once and for all, thoroughly and from the ground up, time is against us, it is running out fast, if we do not act, this unbearable stench of death hanging over Ireland will be all that is left, the death of a Nation, the people enslaved by debt traps for European fantasies and fuck ups of bankers and politicians!


    • Well put Georg. Even if people knew the whole truth they would most likely never believe it.

      • Deco

        Often, people find the truth hard to swallow, because it implies that they have consented to believing rubbish for many years previous.

        The hardest thing in the world to say is “I have” been conned rightly” or “I have been made into a fool” or “I willingly and readily consented to believe in bullshit coming from other people”.

        Even if it sets the individual free, he will be apprehensive about the wound to his pride. Therefore we need to learn that pride is irrelevant. The thing that matters is seeing things for what they really area.

    • s1lverbullet

      2 george- absolutely inspiring speech. If 1% of the people in this sad excuse of a cuntry had your insight and passion we would easily get ourselves out of this mess…but instead we all just moan, complain and cry in our pints and say ‘ sure what can I do about it’ . I am ashamed to call myself Irish

  31. john

    We have to think fast. We also have to DO fast. A lot of calls for thinking we should do this and that but no one wants to act. We perhaps need to set up some meeting of minds.An initial pressure group expanding out to the people. Such a meeting could be convened within the next few days. All those interested need to say so by friday 5pm in order to meet this weekend.And please do not run away and attend the races like they did in 1916 when our patriots spilt their blood!This demands action but also serious thought.I dont mind convening such a meeting to plan a strategy for the plain people of Ireland. If we march we better know what we want to say ,succinctly and with a warning shot across FF bows and the opposition parties to burn bondholders and no 4 year plan or else we dont vote for them for instance.Those are just my thoughts. Protest on the streets has to have a focus so that it will attract people to come out of their homes, workplaces etc and demand action eg a general election , if indeed this is what we want. A meeting to strategise all of the above and more options needs to take place.A people’s pressure group is certainly what we need if we are not forming a new party. However such movements usually end up as parties because the momentum created releases such energy that there is no option but to go with the will of the people.I shoot too far ahead of myself but i do think we need to act and i need your approval on here including that of David Mc. Perhaps David may not want to post this now but i take this risk at my own expense and no one elses. I need to go to bed now.Got to be up early.At least i have a job and am thankful for that but i dont want my own plain people of this country to suffer unecessarily.Truly.
    Let me know if you are interested. We can fight.We can win.I’m asking you to make a stand.
    John Donnelly

  32. manofiona

    The righteous indignation against bondholders which has become DMW’s stock in trade risks getting things out of perspective – especially when national sovereignty is invoked as the guiding light for policy.

    When the Euro was established, the member states refused any idea of European bank and financial regulation. Not only was each member state going to regulate its own banks and financial institutions but, in addition, each member state would recognise the right of a bank regulated by a member state to do business in all the other member states without additional local regulation. Each state placed absolute confidence in the regulators of each other state.

    If national regulators placed such absolute confidence in each other, why should bondholders and other lenders not be entitled to place absolute confidence in the regulators as well? We all know how confident the Irish regulators were in the solidity of Irish banks – so confident indeed that they did not bother to regulate them at all.

    Such hubris was one one component of a more general Irish attitude of favouring the “stroke” over solid economic policy, of sailing close to the wind in interpreting EU requirements (using the low corporation tax as bait for evasion by multinationals is only one example) and having got close to the wind, throwing all caution to it by fuelling an insane property bubble, making the public finances overly dependent on tax revenue from that bubble to the exclusion of many other possible sources of revenue and then generously paying a bloated public sector with real money (euros) but based on imaginary wealth (increased property values).

    And this “model” was touted to other Europeans as sure way to fast and everlasting growth.

    The bank collapse is really one element of the more general nemesis which befel the Irish economy – a nemesis which was almost entirely home-made. Making the bondholders the villains of the piece is too easy: whatever role they may play in the adjustment which the Irish economy will have to undergo should be commensurate to the marginal role they played in hubris phase of the “Celtic Tiger”. They relied, as the European rules required they rely, on the competence of the Irish financial regulators to ensure that Irish banks were as solid as any in Europe.

    Given the egregious abuse by Ireland of its sovereignty within the Eurozone as the essential contributing factor in its own economic difficulties, it is unbelievable that asserting such sovereignty is being proposed as the solution to those difficulties.

    All European countries have to make painful adjustments because the conditions on which their social and economic model was built have significantly changed. Those adjustments can be better made – in reality can only successfully be made – if Europeans accept that the challenges of the 21st century require a European response using democrEuropean institutions

  33. manofiona

    The last line in the previous comment came out somewhat garbled:

    it refers to a “European response using democratic European institutions”. The recent emergence of European financial regulators (albeit working alongside but not replacing national regulators) is a timid first response. Much more democratic European, and consequently much less national, power is required if Europe is to adjust, prosper and remain an actor in the world order of the 21st century.

    • Zaphod

      This is the same democratic European institutions which can’t get their accounts signed of?
      Yeah lets trust MEP’s, they know what’s best for us, they really care what’s going on here.
      What the fuck are you asking us to do? We have already been ripped off by that poxy treaty being re-hashed and forged into law, FORGED being the important word there.
      Shall we be minnions and accept the crumbs, or be masters and bake our own bread.
      Acting in the world order of the 21st century got us into this mess, if we or the European institutions had any clue we wouldn’t be acting.

  34. Tim

    Some people never pay any attention to what they read. Sad.

  35. uchrisn

    Its refreshing to read Davids articles which make the dodgy goings on quite clear. It is obviuos that the powers that be do not want the average Joe knowing whats going on. The information they release is dishonest and very confusing. For example Mr. Lenihan said that they would only need 4.9 billion for Anglo when he knew that this untrue.
    The national papers don’t make any attempt at making things clear. I much prefer to read comment from outside publications. For example EL Pais who say ‘Irelands people are paying just to hide the shame of their banks’.
    The difference between what I read outside and inside Ireland really leads me to believe that there is something rotten in the Irish media. They have been consistently wrong over the last few years.
    Actually rich people own newspapers and television stations. Do you think the rich people who own the Irish media might also have invested in Irish property and the banks?
    The goverment runs RTE. Brian Lenihan actually called up the director of RTE to tell him not to be ‘negative’ about the economy. This may sound innocent but to me this is wrong and very serious. It is unethical. The director of RTE kind of has to respect the minister of finance if he wants money to do stuff.

  36. Incident


    Your parables and simple deliveries are what makes you unique amongst our economists. On this one you have gone for “tabloid” status by stirring the Abramovich story which transpires to be small change in the grand scheme of things. Nonetheless your points are well made with the exception of a strange use of the word “default” in a statement of immense importance.
    Quote -”What is clear is that some countries fight, some make nuisances of themselves, but the default position of Ireland, or at least the Irish elite, is to comply – no matter what the cost.” Unquote.

    We have been lied to ad-nauseum by this elite and nothing will change on that score.

    One thing is for sure we are in deep deep trouble for at least 5 years. Assuming there will be no revolution, blood on the streets, burning of cars, public hangings of the culpable…..we must attempt to clean up the mess.

    The starting point must be a general election if only to grant a mandate to the new regime whatever its make-up. This will present all of us with the venting opportunity that is long overdue and ideally will present the markets with a picture of political stability before our next foray into the borrowing game.

    Only a fool would think that a new regime has the answers but at least it will be a new regime!

    Secondly and more unpalatable is that the new regime must bring about a National Government and this must include FF and every other party to our sorry system.

    Thirdly the new National Government must also comprise the list system of non political origins. There is a slot for you at this table David and for a host of our commentators and captains of industry who have proved themselves to be conscientious and intelligent throughout this saga.

    It is of critical importance that the public are in no way sold misleading, enticing or falsified ways out of the depression. A depression is clearly what we are in and only strategic austerity planning coupled with innovative forward planning will drag us out of same.

    Finally,we need to start at the bottom to re-engineer our economy. Communities, villages and suburbs must galvanise and emerge from the gloom together by buying the products and services delivered by the members of these groupings. A co-operative mentality must be encouraged.

    • foi foi moi moi

      wont happen buddy while the silly vote for what your dad and his dad and your uncles voted for still exists in Ireland. We are a nation of sheep..lets take for instance Healy Rea that pack from Kerry and Beverly be like my Daddy flynn,2 sith lords , one conned her electorate into voting her as an independent then jumped back into bed with FF. the other is a fat tounged independent who is staying quiet these days, nice and cosy in his burrow in Kerry, swing votes who could side with the opposition and force this change in government but alas these sheep still follow the herd..
      Ireland is a joke, populated with to many selfish biggots whos only goal is not the running of a sovereign state and the governence of such in the interest of ALL the citizens but instead the keeping sweet of their local voters with the odd new community centre or street lights or marine while they lie back in their Ivory tower of E200,000 decorated offices, or sorry my mistake their Donegal homes that they commute to work in Dublin to every day..
      How many more examples of Mafioso style business by FF do we have to put up with before people realise these guys are f**king con men after the quick buck..Haughy,Ahern, calley, fool me once shame on you , fool me twice shame on me, fool me every day..just shoot me because im using up valuable oxygen on somebody else….

  37. Alan42

    I observe this from Australia with the comfort of a Australian passport . Its like some kind of theatre of the bizarre . I watched stunned as Frank Fahey took on Peter Mathews . Along with everything else that has happened and in turn has been mismanaged now we have the Russian mafia involved . To borrow our hosts phrase . You really could not make this up ‘

    I wonder will David get angry enough to name names ?

  38. Alan42

    I have a friend here who is a finance expert . He has worked in the markets and impresses me because he can tell me in detail what a credit default swap is ( he loses me after 2 minutes ) Anyway when we meet I tend to avoid finance and markets as its not only his job , its also his hobby and give him an opening and he will discuss at lenth some little known fact of Goldman Sacks . So we only ever discuss the crisis in Ireland in passing and he tells me that while its a scam the whole financial world is a scam and that everything will one day work out . I kind of had enough of it and asked him had he researched Ireland properly .

    So he went online at my place for about 2 hours and emgered wide eyed and shocked . ‘ why don’t they default ? ‘ They can’t afford it , they are bust ‘ They have to default , do a deal and start again . In a few years they will be back in growth and will have some chance . Thats crazy , what kind of a government does Ireland have ? ‘

    I was glad that for once I knew a little bit more about finance / economics than he did and that I was able to shock him . But it was a bitter sweet victory .

    • paulmcd

      Alan, I agree with you that we need to name names of those who are “suspects” where economic sabotage and treasonable activity surrounding public funds are concerned.

      First into the cell block should NOT be Seanie or Fingers, but those among the elite who are sanctioning the buyback of Anglo bonds with taxpayer funds and claiming “profits”:


      The culprits are, at the moment, making arrangements for further purchases.

      Lock them up in the SLAMMER!

  39. I heard Elderfield the other day indicate subordinated bondholders in Irish banks would get burnt, but government policy was to protect senior bondholders. However, he elaborated on senior bondholders somewhat disingenuously by saying that while they wouldn’t be compelled to negotiate, they might indeed voluntarily enter negotiation. Make of these comments what you will.

    http://bit.ly/dnMjmK Already there is a backlash against the mild regulatory reforms Elderfield has proposed re NEDS. As for Dukes, ‘more bankxster than the bankers themselves’ he’s already ‘cribin and moanin’ re regulatory reforms.

    Overall, David’s article is making it too hard going to understand why government adopt the position on the banks they do. Its rather simple, there is indeed a financial elite running the country.

    To unravel the mystery follow the money trail of Anglo’s top twenty toxic developers. They fueled the boom with political influence that gave Section 23′s, property tax incentives and their own Anglo/INBS/AIB ATM machine access to unlimited funds.

    http://bit.ly/bxpdKW See the top ten referred to here. They owned both Church & State. Nick Webb writes:

    “NAMA-BOUND property developers Derek Quinlan, Treasury Holdings’ Johnny Ronan, Ballymore Properties’ Sean Mulryan and Paddy McKillen, one of the so called “Anglo 10″, have all emerged as major donors to the Vatican.

    The property developers were named in the top 10 borrowers whose loans were bound for Nama in the first wave of transfers last week. Some €16bn worth of loans associated with the 10 biggest borrowers are set to be transferred shortly.

    The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums published recently reveals that these troubled property developers provided ‘financial support’ for the restoration of the historic Pauline Chapel in the Vatican Museum.

    Fellow donors included former Anglo Irish bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick and the controversial former boss of Irish Nationwide Michael Fingleton.”

    Now, its one thing to be declared bankrupt, but its quite another to be declared bankrupt and have the bank renege on obligations to bondholders because of a collective bankruptcy of Ireland’s financial elite! If the bondholders get paid, surely they may have a chance to deal at bondholder tables once again?

    The Irish private banking system notwithstanding nationalisation virtually of AIB and Anglo and INBS, is run by the Irish financial elite in favour of the Irish financial, political elite. The banking system has been funded by bondholders like Abramovitch http://bit.ly/9DI7ka. In fact they are treated almost as depositors.

    If default happens, do you think they will ever again fund the financial elite that burned them? Same reason they don’t want the IMF or European AAA rated rescue fund in http://bit.ly/dy23Zz Its because all these outside bodies have the power to demand change from within Ireland. These changes they know will burn them. Same reason FF are grabbing for consensus at the moment.

    We have a http://bit.ly/kdNMM ‘bonfire of the vanities’ situation where the old guard are fighting a rear guard action to retain control of stricken banks, personal wealth and government.

    Unfortunately, taxpayers are in the firing line. Its their money that is being bartered in ‘managed’ debt servicing brokerage.

    One can speculate about conspiracy theories eg it would be interesting to know who in Ireland, or outside Ireland, Goldman? might have exposure vis a vis investment in hedge funds and CDS to a default on Irish banks? The answer may well come from the same group running the country.

    Fact is, democracy has been severely damaged by Ireland Inc’s bankocracy. The truth is in spite of our so-called banking inquiries, we know very little about our banks.

  40. Haveaniceday

    “is it because we need to be loved or are we protecting someone big?”

    I personally think we are protecting someone big. I also wonder how many Fianna Fail TDs and senior civil servants at the Department of Fiance had invested in Anglo. As citizens of this country we have a right to know every bond holders name. And they can no longer say this is classified as the bank is bust and we own the feckin’ thing.

    Remember this, Fianna Fail have a history of robbery and corruption. Some members have even served time.

    And finally, if the EU want to ensure Irish citizens play along at future referendums they might be advised to start looking out for OUR interests. We won’t forget getting fried too quickly.

  41. Furrylugs : You can listen to recordings of limerick live 95fm for 9am show with Joe Nash for Thursday 10th October ……..the subject was ‘banking’.

    The astrological prognosis for xmas week to xmas day is horrific .

    • Yup. But they won’t listen John. Float your own boat on that one. Hope you enjoyed Nice (again ye lucky sod).

      All we’re doing here is blathering till the cows come home.
      Must do the P30.

  42. paulmcd

    We need to name names of those who are “suspects” where economic sabotage and treasonable activity surrounding public funds are concerned.

    First into the cell block should NOT be Seanie or Fingers (because they are very much water under the bridge), but those among the elite who are sanctioning the buyback of Anglo bonds with taxpayer funds:


    The culprits are, at the moment, making arrangements for further purchases.

    Lock them up in the SLAMMER!

    Sooner or later, we have to DEFAULT. The choices are

    1. To default BEFORE the FF/G coalition casts further billions into the black hole.


    2. DEFAULT AFTER wasting so many billions that we will have become an economic wasteland, forced to leave the Euro zone.

    • Re bankermathews link.

      No date for the above transactions given. Assume it was given under the guarantee, but has nobody asked the question whose authority was given for that given technically the bank is nationalised and that’s taxpayer money/debt that could have been written off?

    • Dilly

      Max Keiser would call this “a dog eating its own vomit”

    • paulmcd

      This is the final paragraph of what Peter Mathews wrote on July 23 last (my caps):

      What I’m saying is that the truth of the matter is that the Bondholders should congratulate themselves that BEFORE the expiry of the guarantee, they were able to sell back to Anglo their WORTHLESS bonds with a face value of euro 2.4bn for euro 600m cash! If, in the true and best interests of the taxpayer, the correct decision which is to close Anglo, was announced, then the euro 2.4bn bondholders after Sept this year would get NOTHING clearly demonstrating how Ango’s board and management has stupidly missed out on SAVING the taxpayer a further euro 600m, which instead was stupidly paid out to the euro 2.4bn bondholders.

      • Not as ‘stupidly’ as you may think. Read here:


        The way I read it is about €5 bn worth of subordinate bond paper was approached via a buyback (I’m guessing mind) The message floated to them was a restructuring that wouldn’t trigger default or a CDS trigger(see above link) would be soon on the cards. I’m guessing they had €2.5 bn in buyback takers, the rest they are still trying to reel in.


        “In keeping with this approach, my Department in conjunction with the Attorney General is working on resolution and reorganisation legislation, which will enable the implementation of reorganisation measures specific to Anglo Irish Bank and INBS which will address the issue of burden-sharing by subordinated bondholders. ”

        Above is what they are doing, not what they should be doing which is both subordinated bond holders and senior bondholders take the hit, rather than taxpayers.

        Similar wheeling with Abramovich and INBS, I bet he’s been approached and refused to deal!

        Let the two rogue banks Anglo and INBS be burned at the stake and both senior and subordinated bondholders along with shareholders take the hit as they ought.

        Then the country might just have a chance of gaining some respect from the markets and we might have a chance of avoiding default!

        • Elderfield I’m guessing is in restructuring talks with senior bondholders on a voluntary basis. What leveraged buyout of Anglo senior bondholder debt is on the cards and with what money is anybody’s guess? Maybe that’s where the European Rescue Fund money should be focused, to buyback senior bondholders on a 30:70 write down. Either that, or default, sorry all, money gone, imithe, Ireland Inc heisted by a small group of politicos, bankers and toxic developers, Anglo and INBS will be closed, finis!

          Will taxpayers get their town/country back from these sheisters?


        • paulmcd

          That fact that bonds maturing in 2016, which should be counted at worthless, can be traded at all (@ c.25% of face value) suggests that the Government is allowing Anglo to use taxpayer funds to continue paying coupons to the bondholders.

          The UK Government did not allow this to happen in the case of Braddford & Bingley.

          No need to mince words: This amounts to THEFT of public funds.

      • Colin


        Have you any comment to make on this?

        • paddythepig

          Yes I do Colin. I agree fully with Peter Matthews statement. I stated as much in my original comment further up, if you go check.

          It was still a 70% discount buyback though, which is a lot better than a face value payout.

          • paulmcd

            It was a 30% PAYOUT funded through the proceeds of taxation STOLEN from the Treasury for that purpose by people with no mandate to make the payment.

            It is critical that when a new government is elected that proceedings will be instituted against those responsible.

            Given the magnitude of the crime (hundreds of millions), the culprits should spend their remaining years in prison.

            We should hire an outside agency, eg, the Icelandic commission of enquiry, to determine where to apportion blame.

          • Tim

            White man speak with “forked-tongue”, there, Paddy. Jeez!

  43. poyais

    Michael O’Leary went to Wall Street in 1993 [1].

    His boss, Tony Ryan, owed Merrill Lynch £35,000,000 and O’Leary was sent to negotiate on his behalf.

    After tough negotiations Merrill agreed to write off £31,000,000 (88%) of Ryan’s debt. The rest (Ryanair) is history.

    O’Leary described the Wall Streeters as “tough bastards” but he is proof that sometimes there are better options than supine compliance.

    Its ironic that Merrill, who were happy to write off their own bank debt in 1993, are currently advising the government that writing off any bank debt is a no-no.

    [1] Alan Ruddock, “Michael O’Leary: A Life in Full Flight”.

    • Alan42

      But would Tony have bothered if the Irish taxpayer was going to pick up the tab ?

      • poyais

        Or alternatively: where is the Irish taxpayer’s Michael O’Leary?

        Iceland’s president exercised his veto on their debt repayments. Morgan Kelly has highlighted Carlos Steneri’s negotiations on behalf of Uruguay.

        But Irish taxpayers appear to have no-one fighting their corner.

        As Bertolt Brecht said “Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.”

        • Gege Le Beau

          This cult of O’Leary is quite something, who knows what the hell was going on behind closed doors, interesting that Merrill Lynch were paid €7 million for advice to the government during the banking crisis……

          • RCO2000

            And opted not to heed the advice!

          • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

            I like to imagine that O’Leary would want to emulate Thatcher, Reagan and Augusto Pinochet if had real power; Chicago School of Economics given a Celtic twist.

        • Deco

          We could do a deal.

          If Michael O’Leary can negotiate with the bondholders, in typical MOL style, and give the bondholders 15% of their money, then he can have that unused Terminal building in Dublin Airport for 1 euro, and no landing charges for the next ten years.

          Actually come to think of it, are we not already paying the NTMA and NAMA to do this already ?

    • coldblow

      Nice bit of info there, poyais.

  44. FAiken

    The same thing happened in the mid-nineteenth century. The Irish landlords were up to their necks in debt to European banks and so Ireland exported vast quantities of food to generate money to make the mortgage payments while it’s people were left to starve.

    Georg, to your point about Ireland’s soul – it doesn’t have one. George Bernard Shaw said “an Irishman’s heart is but his imagination.” Countries with courage go to war to protect their national security. An Irishman would open the gate at night and let the enemy into the castle while his fellow countrymen were asleep, for a quick buck and the promise of being made ‘HNIC’. It’s happened throughout its history.

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      That cuts deep, but I agree we have no one to blame but ourselves. We give our power away and let ourselves be enslaved to the highest bidders. I almost feel ashamed.

  45. Deco

    Bird’s eye view of unfinished estates. Ireland in the Age of NAMA. (post the Age of Binge).


    We see partially completed developments.

    • paulmcd

      I think most of the sites which have been transferred to NAMA at 100% discount,ie zero valuation, are actually worth LESS THAN ZERO.

      These sites will cost millions (if not billions) just to convert them back to agricultural use.

      Alternatively, maybe Ireland could breed a new species of ruminant which would be immune to the toxic ragwort. This weed with its yellow flowers is now so abundant that it would make an ideal symbol for the new Toxic-Debt Republic.

  46. Deco

    I think that the governments standing point in this crisis has been flawed, from the begining. Calamity says that the government needs a strategy. But I reckon from day one the strategy has been CYA. The whole thing has been such a momental coverup. (By the way this is not just Ireland, look and the UK, spain, etc…. However, the nonsense in Ireland is what we have issue with.

    I assume that the intelligent starting point, when administering state policy for a complex economy, with many economic sectors, would be to devise a policy to limit the contagion from the banking collapse. This means being prepared to take pain in that sector, to save the parts that are likely to survive. However, any chance of such a strategy were completely poleaxed, when, in the aftermath of the Dell announcement, Dan Boil, a clown with an awful lot of influence and no quota, decided that “we are saving the banks, the banks are more important than the factories”.

    In particular, an intelligent policy, would allow the bond holders to get stung, so that there would be no fallout affecting the productive capacity in the economy is not reduced.

    But it seems to me that
    i) the government is spreading risk right across the economy
    ii) the productive output of the economy, as measured by private sector employment is being reduced.

    And Constantin Gurdgiev has continually lambasted the spin that is but on statistics concerning performance of the real economy in Ireland. (in other words the part of the economy that is bringing wealth into the country in an effort to keep the country financially solvent).

    We have lawyers in control, and their response to everything is spin, and pronouncement. They are dithering and refusing to solve anything. In fact, can anybody point to anything that the politicians in this country have ever solved in the last five years. I am really at a loss. Regarding the Northern Peace Process they got help from expert mediators from the US, so I would give the US credit.

    They seem to have created one disaster after another, at terrible expense to the taxpayer.

  47. john

    The argument presented by those who supported the bailout at the beginning, which was then the dominant consensus of economic commentators, was that if the bondholders were forced to take their losses, there would have been an increase in interest rates on government borrowing from the international money markets which would cause chaos. But the gap between what Ireland pays on its debt and what Germany pays has risen to record levels anyway!Would the the increased spreads we are told would have arisen in these circumstances have come anywhere near the cost of the bailouts over the past two years?No.So burn the bondholders totally never mind the subordinates.When are we going to wake up?
    No to the 4 year plan.No to any party who plays with your future. Use your vote , make it count.Take action

    • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

      Vote for who exactly, I live in South Kerry and have been forced to waste my vote in trying to deny Jackie Healy-Rae and his dynasty from power; I’d be better off wiping my arse with my ballot paper

      • Zaphod

        Talk to your local candidates, find out what they are prepared to do.
        Tell them what you want them to do.
        If there is a match support them, leaflets, canvassing, talking to others explaining your point.
        Then vote for them and hope.
        Beware votes recorded with soft pencils though, they’re not real votes.

  48. Deco

    The Irish concept of management again.

    When somebody of genuine ability comes along, it seems that the clique suceed in driving him out of the country. Luxembourg is not a low cost country.


    We also have the largest Irish managed public company, by market capitalization, listed on the London Stock Exchange – but with no listing on the ISEQ. This is of course, Tullow Oil – named after a hill town in Co. Carlow. It has kept loyal to it’s humble beginings.

    The point of this is so that the directors of Tullow don’t have to deal with NEDs being appointed by AIB and BoI (and Permo and Anglo). The Irish banks use the other companies on the ISEQ as retirement homes for their cronies and chums – giving the NED’ships. Now, a serious professional company could not be bothered with such nonsense.

    So Tullow Oil are still happy to be associated with Tullow, but want nothing to do with the cliques and eijets running Irish banking. That says loads, about the clowns and the culture running ISEQ companies.

    And bear in mind that IBEC equals the bosses of the companies on the ISEQ and the bosses of the semi-state sector. It is a very small pool of ‘talent’ (sic).

    • s1lverbullet

      Can I pose this question…how the fcuk did our ‘public interest director’ ha ha ha ha ha ha…Dukes, sanction the write off of 2.5 BILLION of Quinn debt by Anglo? An honest man goes to Mountjoy for not paying 240 EURO and these scum get let off 2.5 BILLION. Who gave him the ok, since the ‘bank’ hahaha has been nationalised. when infact we should be taking the shirts off the Quinn family member’s backs and put them out on the streets

      • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

        Same as it ever was, capatilism is a wonderful tool for the powerful.

      • Ravished By The Sheer Implausibility Of That Last Statement

        We’re worried about money yet don’t care about the slaughter of Iraqis or Afghans, I hope we all rot in hell. We deserve the government we’ve got and I hope we all suffer for our sins.

        • Zaphod

          You’re such a ray of sunshine.
          Cheers, but I intend and expect to be worm food when I leave. Also if I have “sinned” accorting to whatever book you prescribe to I don’t give a shit, if I break the law I should be punished, the laws are made by people for people and I’m people so that applies to me, your fairytales and nonsense don’t bother me, am I bovvered?, eh am I?, LOOK does my face look bovvered?

      • paddythepig

        The 2.5 billion will still be pursued in full. The write-down means the bank is expecting never to be able to collect it, but this doesn’t mean they won’t stop looking for payment.

        • Harper66

          I enjoyed that. I needed a good laugh on a grey saturday morning. The dogs in the street know Elderfield is being kept severly under staffed by the Government in an attempt to frustate the regulators work.
          I imagine the attempts to claw back Quinns money will be every bit as thorough as the attempts to investigate the wrong doing between fingers and seanie who were borrowing of each other to improve the books for the end of each year.

          Secondly, I note from your earlier post you consider a seven billion stimulus to the building sector a stimulus. I dont recall that stimulus being announced and I dont consider a seven billion handout to honest tom and his pals as anything other business as usual for FF. If they really wanted stimulus in the country they would cut the massive amount of red tape and extra costs (such as a demanding training be provided to enable a man to work on a stop/go point on road works). I dont always agree with David Mc but he is right about two things recovery will be local and local business is being smashed by current policies. How much of that 7 billion stimulus is getting to where it should (the people on the street/subcontractor) and how much is going to the big companies /main contractors who are a part of the problem. There are thousands of subcontractors who cannot get a penny owed to them out of the big guys.

          Finaly,I must admit I find it offensive to read anyone calling anothers post “hysterical”.Everyone is entitled to an opinion – we listen to yours paddy. In fact in some countries you can even decide who governs the country by things called elections.

          • paddythepig

            Really? 7 billion isn’t a stimulus? The laugh is on you if you think 7 billion of spending isn’t a stimulus package.

            How do you know the debt won’t be pursued in Quinns case? Do you have inside information to back up your claim? The ‘dogs in the street’ is hardly a reputable source. I prefer to keep an open mind. We’ll see if the debt is pursued or not.

            BTW … hysterical posts are those which choose to continually put forward a point of view which is in direct contravention of the facts. A lot of people are debating on an emotional or reactive basis, and are ignoring the facts in some instances.

          • Tim

            paddythepig, “…hysterical posts are those which choose to continually put forward a point of view which is in direct contravention of the facts.”

            Yes, Paddy; like your insistence that normal government spending is a “stimulus package”, when in *fact*, it is nothing extra to stimulate anything;

            Like your insistence that public sector workers benefitted from the boom, when in *fact* the purchasing-power of (certainly frontline)public sector workers was systematically reduced through partnership “pay-deals” that delivered 1% or 2% “cost of living increases” when inflation was running at 4.5%.

            These are facts, Paddy; facts that you can verify for yourself, if you bother to look; if you really *are* interested in the truth.

            (But I seem to recall pointing out similar facts to you before, with reference material, which you completely ignored. Just one of the reasons that I hardly ever post here anymore. Very little point, if people ignore facts and evidence in favour of slagging other posters.)

          • paddythepig

            Tim, the 7 billion was the sum retained from the original NDP ; in an economy in which there was a 24 billion gap between expenditure & revenue, it was indeed a much larger than normal level of spending, especially in an environment where borrowing money is extremely difficult.

            With regard to public service pay, you are still in dreamland in my opinion. The solution is simple. Reduce the public service workforce, and cut pay on a graded scale with the top levels taking the largest hit (circa 40%), and the lowest levels taking the smallest cut (circa 5%). When public service pay is 66% of Government revenue, there is a problem Tim. Face it. Face the fact that the property bubble was used to facilitate a wages & hiring bubble in public service, and this needs to be reversed. The wage bill expanded from 8 billion to 24 billion under Bertie Ahern’s government, which you campaigned for. The reversal is unavoidable now, though obviously it is unpalatable to a trade union activist.

            BTW … the public service pay cuts have been non-discriminatory so far in terms of who they applied to, so why you sympathise with ‘front-line’ staff as opposed to ‘back-office staff’ I don’t know. I assume you would still like your car tax processed, or your passport renewed, or your tax clearance certificate delivered, if need be?

          • Tim

            No Paddy. I didn’t mean those you call “back-office” staff. The non-frontliners I consider to be the higher paid civil servants/ higher grades/ managerial level. Many of these had no pay-cuts at all, while the rest are down by 15-20%.

        • Zaphod

          Is that a double negative there paddy?

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