December 1, 2010

Bailout will sink Ireland before we can even swim

Posted in Banks · 275 comments ·

Foreign banks and creditors should lose everything they gambled on the likes of Anglo, but instead, they have been saved by the taxpayer

Make no mistake about it, this ‘bailout’ will sink Ireland. We are witnessing a monumental struggle between the innocent average Irish person and the guilty creditors of the bust Irish banks.

Interestingly, the financial markets have seen through what the Government and the elite are trying to do and have reacted with ferocious negativity to the Irish deal.

The markets realise that the Irish State is not bust; rather the Irish banking system is bust. Therefore, rational people can see that any deal which is framed to give Ireland a chance has to sever the link between the bust banks and the solvent State.

However, far from severing the link, the deal solders the link between State and banks, making the Irish Republic itself little more than a bust bank. The rest of the world has twigged that what the elites are trying to do is preserve their system by giving the bill to the people, and this will not work. This is why, far from calming the financial markets, the IMF deal with Ireland has enraged them.

Extraordinarily, the people who were supposed to negotiate for the Irish people not only negotiated against us, but couldn’t see the backlash coming. Perhaps this is because few of them have any real financial market qualifications.

So, rather than force the ECB to account for its own monumental culpability in allowing out-of-control German and French banks to lend recklessly to Irish banks, the Irish negotiators turned sides and acted as debt collecting agents of foreign banks.

Think about what is happening in our country. Foreign banks and creditors should lose everything they gambled on the likes of Anglo, but instead, they have been saved by the Irish taxpayer, who had nothing to do with executive decisions at Anglo and the other banks. These same major international banks will now lend money to the EU who will lend it to us and the same banks will make more money on interest from us.

So the very banks that should be punished for their failures are being bailed out by the Irish citizens and, worse still, they will get paid more interest from us in the loans they are now extending to us, to save themselves!

Let that sink in for a minute. This is not capitalism, it is not European diplomacy; it is a stitch-up.

This is only the first part of the terrible fantasyland we have been led into.

In order to get to the bottom of what is happening, we have to clear up a few things. First, we have to stop calling it a bailout. This isn’t anything like a bailout. Rather it is the EU giving us enough rope to hang ourselves in the hope that we don’t hang all of them.

Of course, as soon as they gave us the rope, they started discussions on a mechanism that would ensure no other country would have to be beggared by a profligate out-of-control administration again.

Amazingly, our so-called negotiators signed a deal that will be the last of its kind ever signed by a European government and, in so doing, they have condemned their own people.

The EU leaders realised last weekend that the problem was bigger than Ireland, so they have committed to come up with a construction in the weeks ahead which will mean that in the future when banks get into trouble for lending too much, they and their creditors will pay. They will share the burden.

But Ireland will not be allowed to avail of such a deal because that would be retrospective. So rather than dig their heels in, our negotiation team signed and allowed the EU to treat Ireland differently to any other country. We can go hang.

So not only have they given us a rope, but the interest rate on the rope is nearly a death sentence in itself. It is reported that the “blended rate at current market prices will be 5.82pc”. As opaque phraseology goes, that one is pretty meaningless.

But let’s accept that at face value, and look to the costs of the financial noose our ‘friends’ in Europe have given us.

There are two sides to the story.

First, there is the cost side. If we borrow the entire €67.5bn and scrape the bottom of our own barrel to come up with €17.5bn, we can add €85bn to the current outstanding €90bn of debt. That will leave us with a national debt of €175bn by the end of 2014. The interest on this will come to about €8.5bn per annum. This, of course, is the optimistic scenario.

Anyone who has watched in horror as the cost of Anglo has risen from zero to €4bn to €12bn to €18bn to €24bn to €35bn over the past 26 months will know exactly what stock to put in government forecasts.

But the other side of the story is growth.

If this debt is not to drown us, we need the economy to grow at a pace that is greater than the interest we are paying on our debt.

With a debt/GNP ratio far above 100pc our growth will have to be in the order of 8-10pc by 2014 for the economy just to stand still. Anything less than that and the interest payments head off on an unsustainable tangent.

Without growth at these levels, the interest payments leaving the economy (a major problem when a country has all its debt owned offshore) will prove such a drain on the State that we will end in a debt-deflationary spiral. This is where our growth fails to meet the interest payments, making the following year’s growth lower as there is less investment, making that year’s interest payment more burdensome, leading to less growth etc, until a huge default becomes inevitable.

So where will this growth come from? Where can it come from?

The assumption underlying the four-year plan is that things will not get any worse. That is some assumption. But let’s allow it for a moment. Has there been any government policy recently that is aimed at improving opportunity for the future? Or have they all been about preserving the past, and the “insider” power nexus that got us here in the first place?

The bailout hits the sweet spot where the interests of our insiders and the European insiders meet. Luckily for us, the financial markets do not have the same interests. The markets want growth, not punishment, which is why they are sceptical.

Without a radical change in the way this country is governed, there is no hope of growth returning. Our only hope is that maybe there is a tide coming that will wash away the ‘insiders’ and take their policy decisions that will bankrupt the country with them.

David McWilliams performs ‘Outsiders’ tonight at the Glor, Ennis; tomorrow at the Backstage Theatre, Longford; Friday at the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise; and Saturday at Siamsa Tire, Tralee

  1. wills

    Bullseye dude.

    Insider Spoofaramaâ„¢ sliced and diced.

    5 gold stars.

    • irishminx

      I hope you are right David, about radical change.
      I do not want those in Government there any longer.

      They run with the IMF foxes and chase with the EU hounds!

      In Cork we have a word for folk like them!

      Wills speak English, I don’t understand a lot of what you said! But I may not be in the loop!! :)

      • madman

        Radical change needed, but did n’t Fine Gael and Labour cheerlead for the EU like Fianna Fail and same EU just shafted us, Time for the Punt to make a return and show the EU the door, but the present political establishment hasn’t got the bottle!

    • ahimsa

      Thank you David McWilliams for your contributions.
      There are too few discussing this clearly.

      Here, I believe, is another clear voice:

      Sphincter-nomics (from David Malone’s blog, 22November)

      “Europe signs up to use Ireland as a conduit for bailing out its own banks and gets Irish tax payers to foot the bill.”

      Why are we permitting this?

      • ahimsa

        The Big Picture?

        Economics & politics are not sciences:

        All this talk of markets, banks, govenment & people with(or lack of) confidance, belief, faith & trust.

        Sounds more like metaphysics to me.

        What about physical realities?
        Like food, fuel, shelter, clean water & air.

        “Only when the last tree has died,
        the last river has been poisoned
        and the last fish has been caught
        will we realise that we cannot eat money.”

        The financial mess is just the tip of the unsustainability ice-berg..

        Sorry, it’s late, & I’m exhausted from too much thinking and not knowing what to do..

    • vincent

      As the “banking crisis” unfolds it is becoming more and more evident of the bigger game that is at play here once we start lookind beyond all the detaill… best regards Vincent

      • vincent

        Please check out “Mathematically Perfected Economy” It is the only real solution and it is a system we were using ever before we started to think from inside the “box”

  2. adamabyss


  3. How they turned private business debts into sovereign debt and made the citizenry liable for them leads one to believe that some of their cute hoor friends/ sponsors/ owners own some of those crappy bonds. Thank you for contunually providing this bullshit filter.

    • s1lverbullet

      I have said this many times but without much support:
      the governments banking advisors are currently Rothschilds, ok, and Rothschilds lend money to governments in trouble. So now it seems that Rothschilds and their subsidiaries are owed quite a lot by our banks, and they are the same people lending to the EU/IMF to ‘help’ us out.
      Does anyone else see a huge conflict of interest and the fact that all their ‘advise’ has led us to the brink

    • madman

      Yeah, there has to be more to it, it is just crazy bailing Anglo and Aib out

  4. How they turned private business debts into sovereign debt and made the citizenry liable for them leads one to believe that some of their cute hoor friends/ sponsors/ owners own some of those crappy bonds. Thank you for continually providing this bullshit filter.

  5. Bella

    I want to know can a new government renege on this appalling deal? How might that be done? Or indeed will they? Are we bound by this arrangement or can we simply say Sorry we’ve decided not to and it’s just tough if you don’t like it and here’s what we are willing to do?

    • Dorothy Jones

      @ Bella
      An article today on ‘Irish Economy’ makes reference to this binding or non-binding issue. It seems that this is non-binding but that the punishment to be meted out is that payments will be halted. This is my own ill-informed opinion following a cursory read earlier today. I hope that some of the posters might be kind enough to offer some further detail.

      • €17.5bn our contribution from the Pension Reserve Fund and NTMA is up front and will go on €10 bn to recapitalise the banks plus €25 bn contingency fund.

        This pick pocket money handing out rope to hang ourselves with will probably go straight away into the banks leaving the state more or less penniless and depending for funding on the volcanic bomb fired on us by the IMF/ECB/EFSF so-called ‘rescue’,
        the remainder of the €67.5bn.

        As far as I know, the agreement is binding on ‘the sovereign’ and cannot be renegotiated by future Governments except insofar as ‘quarterly’ reviews, Sheriff of Nottingham advisor visits, can make changes to budgetary policy; so long as the repayment terms and conditions of loan payback are met, or, as long as they get their money, they don’t give a shhh.

        • ouldbegrudger

          They just blew-up own their pension pot. Too bad, now Cowen et al. will have to wait until their 68th birthdays for the welfare pension. Referendum on this, anyone?

          • FSinnott

            I believe politicians salaries and pensions are paid from current spending not from the NPRF. So it goes on to the national debt. They have all bases covered.

        • Well, we should give a shhh as well and tell them to stick their contract where the sun does not shine. Tough!

  6. Dorothy Jones

    David’s sentence: ‘Our only hope is that maybe there is a tide coming that will wash away the ‘insiders’ and take their policy decisions that will bankrupt the country with them’.
    Is this the fallout from the inevitable ‘contagion’, the nuclear option? Something on the horizon which the international financial media are beginning to describe?
    Thank you David for always providing the BS filter. I second that comment from @ElQuebin above.

    • irishminx

      Hi Dorothy,

      Maybe it’s all those new political party’s that have started up?!?

      Nothing like a bit of competition!

      By the looks of it FF will be depleted with all their TD’s running for cover towards a higher paid pension rather than their new salaries!

      I hope you are well?

      • Dorothy Jones

        Thanks Minx, am well! Working in Germany, Ireland, and Spain these days does a very interesting mix of viewpoints make….. It’s like having the same camera body, focussing on the same object, but with 3 types of lenses so dfferent from each other, that the the distorted resulting images bear only a little resemblance to each other. Is David’s picture the ‘real’ one? I think so! Certainly no soft-fuzzy-focus lens. That’s maybe why muppets are afraid of it.

    • joxer

      Wasn’t it David mc williams who advised lenihan to give the blanket guarantee?
      I even remember him writing about it,saying it was a great idea and that capital would flow into Irish banks.It was the worst advice Lenihan could have got,it guaranteed all the bondholders which is why we are now crippled because it made the banks losses part of the sovereign debt,you wern’t too smart that day were you david?
      mc Williams is a populist hack,it’s easy sitting on the sideline, different story when you’re in midfield at the heart of the battle

      • Dorothy Jones

        David’s idea was to allow ‘space’ to sort out the banks and separate the debt. The proposal was not followed and in one of the articles close to Christmas 2008 [think shortly after, but before Jan 01 anyway], he described how the steps taken following end September were the ‘wrong’ ones. Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but an informed opinion is of merit.

        • corkie

          @Dorothy Can you provide a link to said articles so we can all be so informed?

          • Dorothy Jones

            If you go to the ‘archives’ on this site, the calendar for each year with the dates is listed. You just click on the dates; the one I referred to is 24 Dec 2008. All the articles ‘either side’ of this are an eerie prediction of the future; i.e. now.

      • ouldbegrudger

        @joxer, are you a FF troll? I’ve seen similar posts to other DMcW articles. Just wondering…

      • Zaphod

        For joxer read lenny

      • Maire

        Thank you joxer, I have been saying this over and over, yes David did advise Lenihan to give the guarantee and yes you are right he did write about it. I like David but he was the one responsible for the guarantee and I blame that decision for where we are now, sorry David.

      • Maire

        One of the many articles David Mc Williams has written on the advice he gave Brian Lenihan to give a guarantee is called, the night Lenihan banged on my front door, the link to this article is This link will show all those people who want proof that David was responsible for the guarantee that in fact he forced Brian Lenihan into the guarantee. If this is not proof enough well then they just do not to know the truth.

        • Dorothy Jones

          Every one is entitled to their opinion but the opinion is always better if backed up by facts. Perhaps you should read the articles on the ‘archives’ section of this site between Sept 08 and Jan 09 before making such a sweeping statement?

          • Maire

            Anyone who refuses to accept the truth, that David McWilliams did in fact talk The Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan into the guarantee has their heads well and truly buried in the sand.

          • Colin


            What’s your point? Should all depositors (the ordinary people) have had their savings wiped out instead? I have no money on deposit, but if a country did that to its people, all hell would have broken loose, is that what you would have wanted to see? blood on the streets? buildings burned to the ground? no one going to work in the morning? no wages been paid? total collapse?

            What David suggested was sensible – a temporary guarantee of 6 months, to find out the extent of the reckless lending and fire all those knobs in the banks and bring in new management. Lenny altered the idea hugely and decided to protect the bondholders and the people responsible for the banking crisis, for an unlimited amount of time (over 2 years now and counting).

            This is the last time I’m gonna explain this to you. Don’t be surprised if your future posts moaning about David are ignored by everyone here.

          • Maire

            Colin I do not know where you are getting your information from. You say that David suggested a guarantee for 6 months, the true story is Lenihan is the one who wanted to guarantee deposits short term, David insisted on guaranteeing EVERYTHING for TWO YEARS. If you had bothered to go into the link which I provided above, then you could read Davids own words of what happened the night “Lenihan knocked on his door”.

          • Colin


            Here’s a Q & A with David regarding the bank guarantee. You can see its radically different from what Lenny has implemented.


            You still haven’t answered me what your point is? What was the alternative to the guarantee? Should all depositors be left whistling in the wind, take it on the chin, stoically resigned to losing their savings? Should people continue to work even though they wouldn’t get paid 1 cent for it?

            Also, if you don’t like the “lickarsing” that you perceive going on here, no one is forcing you here to read what’s written, and to contribute. You can contribute to the Fianna Fail or Green blogs with your kindred spirits at your heart’s content.

          • Maire

            First of all Colin I think someone with a brain would learn that my point is David Mc should not be coming along now and acting the hypocrite, now when the harm is done, pretending that it is was all the fault of Brian Lenihan. There is no point in me or anyone wasting time reading Q&A after the fact. Telling me “not to come on here and read the comments if I don’t like what is being said” is very childish, something that might be said in the schoolyard, don’t you know that a healthy debate involves both sides. The above link that I have provided, is David’s own words and is in black and white, what more can I say.

          • Colin

            No Maire,

            What is childish is you not bothering to answer my questions or look at the links I provide.

            David is not a hypocrite.

            You are acting like a troll now, so this is termination of communication.

            All the best,

          • Dorothy Jones

            Second you on that Colin

          • Maire

            First of all anyone who uses such language, as you do, is not mature enough to be on this page, or having this debate, to refer to someone as a “troll” is petty, have you heard me call you names? no, because I am a lady and I was reared to have dignity and respect for others, so you do not paint yourself in a good light, there is never a good excuse in life for LOWER CLASS BEHAVIOUR. We both know that I have proven my point so lets leave it at that, once again I say I like David but he made a big mistake, go raibh maith agat Maire.

          • ouldbegrudger

            Hey! You guys should get a room.

        • tony_murphy


          I suggest you take the Guarantee issue with Mr Lenihan..

          He and his fellow wreckers of the countries have not listened to any of David’s advice. The do what suits their own selfish interests. So please hassle Mr Lenihan, Mr Cowen and the rest of the unless Government and ask them to explain themselves. Your attempts to blame David are ridiculous

          • Maire

            All of you come on here licking up to David, none of you have the back bone to really say what you feel “YES DAVID YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE” I like David too but he made a big mistake, one we are all paying for now, so just grow up and stop pussy footing around and tell the truth.

          • Dorothy Jones

            @ Maire
            If you do not wish to accept the facts, would you be kind enough to illuminate us posters as to the purpose of your posts?

      • Maire

        I hope you are hanging your head in shame today David McWilliams, you said save the BANKS THE BONDHOLDERS and now we the POOR people of Ireland will be the people to pay for your bright idea. You were not an elected member of the Dail and you should have had no part of what happened in the Banks. To much to say about something that was none of your business.

    • +1 It is people like David, Constantin and others who are providing a real service to this Nation.

  7. Well done. U Nailed it!

  8. kidcurcw

    Until we have a radical change in our political landscape and the way in which we govern this country, we will be in real trouble. We are thundering down a black hole and the markets know it, we know it, Europe knows it. We are the scapegoats of Europe. Everyone knows it and our so called leaders still shape up and dance with the bust banks. Who are the idiots here? I was of the opinion it was the crony politics practices that were at fault, but now I realize it’s us, the very people who tolerate these leeches and let them represent us. Crony-ism and corruption starts at the base level, “I know Johnny is not entitled to the grant Mr TD, but see what you can do for me”. wink wink, nudge nudge.So lets not be too quick to look for top brass heads now, we made them , we watched them grow, we supported them. Its like the old saying, at 40 you get the face you deserve. Lets study how Switzerland operate their local government system, DIRECT DEMOCRACY,Do some research, come up with ideas. We must change, we must act now , right now , and take responsibility for our own actions and be more accountable for ourselves.We cannot tolerate this political system any longer, we must change our own thought process or it will kill us all.

  9. Malcolm McClure

    Sink or swim. Deckchairs on the Titanic. Submerged in a wave of debt.
    As usual, William Shakespeare said it all 400 years ago.

    Full fathom five thy Fatherland lies,
    Of its bones Joe Corrall made:
    Worthless bonds that were its prize,
    Nothing of it that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a Sea-change
    Into something poor & strange
    ECB & IMF weekly ring its knell.
    Harke now I heare them, ding-dong, bell.

    • coldblow

      Hadn’t seen that since I left school. Hadn’t appreciated how fine it is. Talking about the original of course, though your own version has its merits.

      Was it for this grey geezers bled…

  10. paddlemeowncanoo

    I thought things were bad a few weeks ago, but things seem to have got progressively worse and worse. The Vincent Brown shows last week I think have been a turning point for me.
    Basically, this place seems to be completely banjaxed, honestly is there any hope at all? I’m single with some a lot of savings in the bank (no mortgage) and to be honest I think I’m well off out of here. But where to go and what to do?

    any suggestions please…

    • Colin

      If you’re a medical doctor, emigrate to USA.
      If you’re under 30, go on a working holiday to Australia.
      If you’re fluent in German, emigrate to Germany.
      If you’ve no skills, emigrate to UK.
      If you’re a farmer, emigrate to Canada.
      If you can teach English as a foreign language, emigrate to Japan / South Korea, but don’t blame me if you die in the upcoming war there.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi paddlemeowncanoo,

      You haven’t indicated whether you are working or what your profession is or what sector you are involved in. I can say this to you thought Ireland is great country a great place to live in and has a great future despite all the bullshit you are being fed by Vincent Browne, our politicians, the ECB/IMF etc. More of that in a minute.

      Just so you know Vincent Browne is a failed politician and also a failed businessman. He also in my view is a stuttering babbling idiot with a very jaundiced and biased agenda in his utterly incapable attempts to foist on us such a failed ideology as state Marxism. Don’t listen to negative opines like his.

      If you don’t believe that there is an opportunity to create a success story in Ireland look on this site at McWilliams himself. Just finished a successful economics festival in Kilkenny, Successful in broadcasting, successful in writing plays, recently launched a course in economics delivered by him. I don’t hear McWilliams or the Mullingar motor mouth for example say they are quitting Ireland do you?

      Irelands exporting sector powers ahead and doesn’t need the Irish state to function financially speaking. Constantin Gurdgiev told us so. If you have a skill that the multinationals require then you are quid’s in they are still doing very well and the more the euro collapses the cheaper their exports will get. Seek employment there. If you have a state job mind it.

      You like all the rest of us will be paying more tax but despite all the shit and cuts Ireland still pays one of the highest min wages in Europe (I would like to see it INCREASED by the way) much better than the UK for example, pays much better old age pensions than the UK, has a very progressive tax system whereby most of the tax is paid by higher earners although this will have to be broadened and has a whole host of other outstanding achievements to its credit which sometimes can be over looked in times of distress like that in which we find ourselves at the moment.

      So think positive and look for the positives. In life you find what you look for. If you look for a scumbag you will find them on every street corner. If you look for a success story they too are everywhere so best of look and I hope this post is of some help to you.

  11. shaneomeara

    David – as always, I appreciate the frankness and directness of your posts.

    We know the situation we are in. We know this EU *bailout* is not in the our best interest. I think anybody with a pocket calculator can see that the numbers don’t really add up.

    The question is, what is the SOLUTION?

    • MadaboutEire

      Yes, solution orientated is the order of the day now, but the place is so bad even the ‘right thing to do’ is being ignored.

      FF ran up the tab, got caught, bailed out financial institutions and then headed off into the sunset with pensions and payoffs. They did exactly what the business community expected of them. They left finance in a good position but had to screw the society to achieve that. Good neoliberal pupils.

  12. mulcahy

    David, you are spot on with this post.

    It adds insult to injury, the interest rate we are being charged for assuming the banks debts in order to make whole the bondholders who I believe to be mainly German, French and UK banks.

    This is basic Economics 101, capital markets have risks & rewards. The higher the risk, the larger the risk premium and potential reward. If it was implied that sovereign governments were the guarantors of all bondholders then the interest rate bondholders were paid would be much lower, equal to the sovereign lending rate, but they were not. These bondholders were paid a premium for their investment. This is business and it’s big boys rules. The bank bondholders are sophisticated investors and should take their losses, the international markets expect as much. Swap their debt for equity in the failed banks. If they want to rescue the banks and try to salvage their investment, then they must invest further equity into the banks, if not then liquate the banks.

    I am astonished at how little noise is being made about the bondholders being made whole. I think people are distracted and confused by all that is happening at once; i.e. 4 year plans, austerity measures, the budget, and the ECB/IMF bailout. But the single act alone of paying the bank bondholders back is causing most of our problems.

    If we had let the banks fail we would not have needed a bailout. The international capital markets would be still open to us at reasonable lending rates as our budget deficit is a known number and the steps to address it are being made. The banking black hole is unquantifiable, therefore our lending rates went so high.

    People think we had no option but to accept the ECB/IMF bailout, but we did. We had, and still have, incredible leverage. We can still let the banks fail, and we can withdraw from the Euro. I think they will listen.

    The fact that we are really bailing out other countries banks for their bad investments into Irish banks is bad enough. To pay punitive interest rates for it, and to take a scolding from the EU, disgusts me.

  13. Down here at sarkozy’s office in Cannes the attitude is that the Irish are ‘ egoiste’ and just tough luck.

    My thoughts on reading this article is that were we a Protestant State this financial genocide would not have happened from our elected politicians.

    And Dorothy when are you down this way ?

    • Julia

      Excellent! Too right John. The Catholic Church strikes again. Bishop McQuaid would be proud!

      I hope it’s nice in Cannes. I think you should stay there. At least it will be warmer soon.

      My mother (80 years old) had a great suggestion today. We should take John Gormley up to the hill of Tara and strap him to a poll where he could stay communing with nature. Organically of course.

      Still radical after all these years. I’m so proud.

    • Dorothy Jones

      John, I am in France rarely, which is my loss. When you say that the French refer to the Irish as ‘egoiste’, do you say so with a hint of irony? [or divilment as we might say...]?

      • I am serious honestly .Anyway the minds of the French are always different and understanding .Dont forget they rate highly their philosophers .
        Anyway I am back home after the 13th and the sun still shines down here still.

    • Hallo John.
      I’ve stopped commenting because David is so correct and events have proved him so.
      When are you coming down for a coffee?
      I’d agree with the Telegraph guy today who said we’re so small(Eurowise) that we should stay schtum until the EuroFools eventually put mechanisms in place to correctly protect the Euro which by default will protect us as a minor member without any great pain. This stance will no doubt rise many hackles from my Nationalistic brethern but the Reverend Ians “No” stance would seem appropriate presently.
      Open to debate but provisoed on A45, as usual.
      It’s Columbian bean BTW.
      See Soon.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hello John and Julia,

      I presume you mean since we are a majority catholic state that this is the reason we are in the shit?

      Let me point something out to both of you. The U S of A is a majority protestant state and it is there that the financial weapons of mass destruction like CDO and CDS were created, where subprime loans were made, where G-Sucks does most of its business from and it is from there that all of the financial mess the whole world is in is has originated from.

      By the way it is there that the slave trade (remember when Africans were bought and sold like cattle) happened up until 1865 and only after more US soldiers were killed in their most uncivil war than all of their conflicts in the 20th century was that “industry” consigned to the history books in a majority protestant state.

      Perhaps it may be wise to confine comments on public websites dedicated to economic commentary to let’s see, oh yes economic commentary.

      • They have very good bank laws and we have none .They ( usa )can prosecute and we cannot .

        • michaelcoughlan

          You are wrong John.

          We just take a lot longer. All the laws in the world haven’t stopped the sociopaths in charge of Banking in the USA from failing to obey the law when it suits them.

          • I am sorry Michael I must disagree with you .Irish Laws have no provisions for banking crime by bankers I should know I researched it between 1992 and 1998 and met anyone that was anyone at the highest level and I have many many files to prove it.

            Enter : ‘irish banks and fraud ‘ into you tube box and listen to both part 1 and 2

          • michaelcoughlan

            Thanks for the corrction John. I am going to take what you say at face value and will support ANYONE who will try and introduce the relevant law necessary.



    • Deco

      This has nothing to do with religion. Britain is overwhelmingly Protestant, and RBoS is the loyalist bank of Scotland. The RBoS subsidiary, Ulster Bank gave the Dunner the money for the Jury’s Ballsbridge site so that the Dunner could build Knightsbridge in Ballsbridge. In fact RBoS nearly bankrupted Britain – and it might happen yet.

      Greed, meglamania, over-confidence, and arrogance(called pride in Ireland) happen irrespective of religious standpoints – and mostly it most be said in complete deference to them.

      Our new cathedrals are Blanchardstown/Liffey Valley/Dundrum/Jervis Shopping Centre, etc… Our new pilgrimages were to Manhattan and Dubai to do the shopping. The new Gospel was The Irish Times Property Supplement. The new bishops Dan “bullishly optimistic” McLaughlin, and Austin “I would positively optimistic on the upside” Hughes.

      The new religion has hit a speed bump. The next new religion is Keynesianism. (though the Germans, Dutch, Swiss, and some Brits seem to be adopting Menger, von Mises and the Austrian School).

      • Julia

        Deco and Michael, you are absolutly right of course. Will try to behave in future. Will now go and sit on naughty step for three minutes.

        • The pôint being missed here is ‘ethics’ there is one that works and the other does’nt.Ethics is central to all business so what I say is very relevant.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Ethics is very different to religion. That is all. I agree with you that ethics is very relevant.

            The trouble is the sociopaths in charge of the banks couldn’t give fiddlers for ethics irrespective of any type of religious belief.

          • Julia

            John, you are right about ethics. The trouble with most religions is that once people get wrapped up in one they become more concerned with the rules and regulations than the pilosophy that attracted them in the first place. So ethics goes out the window.

            I know a number of people in different political parties and the same applies there. Once you are in it’s all about jockying for position and what they call compromise. In the end it often involves downright lies.

            Don’t just think it’s FF. Fine Gael and Labour are just as bad.

            “When the revolution comes we’ll all be driving around in Rolls Royses.”

            ” Actually, I don’t want to drive around in a Rolls Royse.”

            “Sonny, when the revolution comes you’ll do what you’re told”

  14. ladygee2

    Never a truer word could have been spoken, David.

    My wife and I are going to follow the advice you gave us last Sunday night at your show in Cork about asking the politicians when they start coming around whether they’re going to meekly follow what those idiots in government did or whether they’re going to tear up the agreement and leave the banks and bankers ‘swinging in the wind’.

    David has been absolutely right in everything he’s said in regard to what’s happened over the past 2 years. All this FF led government have done is pander to their buddies the bankers, speculators, developers and the rest of that shower of wasters who’ve had their ‘snouts in the trough’. How in God’s name can private debt and public debt be one and the same? That’s a complete and utter load of bollocks!

    Remember back in 1987 how Garret the Good saved AIB by bailing it out with public money (and by the way, we’re still paying for that bailout every time we renew any car, house or health insurance policy) and if this so called ‘agreement’ is carried on by whoever may be in government after the next General Election then God help us all!

    We should tell the EU, ECB and the IMF where they can shove their so called bail out. The French and German banks should be told where to go in no uncertain terms and the bond holders should also be told to wait in line like they were told by the Icelandic government and look what’s after happening to their economy, it’s well on the way to recovery!

  15. passing through

    Its a lovely night out there. Am I really supposed to think that they are all eejits in the government and civil service. Mabey it is best to believe that the negotaiotors did their best. David is very interesting reading but he is making his living out of challenging every decision made.

    • Dilly

      Where have you been for the last thirty years. This mess has been building for that length of time. It didnt just happen suddenly. The scary part is, now you will see a rise in extremisn. Because many people have nothing left to turn to, as they are outsiders, only the insiders are being protected. But this is what happens when greedy people get into power and abuse the system. people complain when the read about common criminals working the system, well, the same thing has been happening at the top level of our society also.

    • Colin

      You, I’m afraid to tell you, are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Good Luck with your recovery.

    • MadaboutEire

      Vested interests passing through.

      • passing through

        Every economist in the country has a different view. in the end somebody has to take a decision. If David wrote an article agreeing with the decision makers he would be out of a job. David has a vested interest in keeping an opposite view.

        • Dorothy Jones

          @passing through
          Your comment is interesting. What is the ‘vested interest’ to which you refer? If it is stated, it can be discussed.

          • passing through

            Ok mabey not a vested inerest but if he were to agree with the establishment he would not be of interest.
            I just wonder what is the point of this forum…other than for people to vent their anger…which is probably helpful for them…but is it healthy for people to be over analysing. When the budget kicks in we are stuck with it. When the election comes the people will vote. Then the parties will decide who becomes taoiseach…not the electorate. So mabey we should ignore the whole system and get along with our lives.

  16. StephenKenny

    Another view on the ECB Mess:

    It looks as, just like the US and the UK, the ECB are hoping that if they can kick the can about three years down the road, the problems will all have gone away.

    No one has given a single useful idea as to what, sustainable, employment sector will grow, over the coming three years.

  17. michaelcoughlan


    I have read your article David and as usual you state what is obvious and you are consistently very accurate.

    But what concerns me is what you don’t say. If we blow this deal out of the water where will the money come from to keep liquidity in the Irish economy and keep the ATM machines etc working? I am asking a very serious question not one that panders to one faction or another. If the ATM machines stop dispensing currency and stop they will if the ECB pulls the package what then?

    Everyone here points to the Iceland example but what they all forget is that Iceland isn’t part of the Euro but we are so they were able to devalue their currency and control their interest rates but we are not so it is not comparing like with like.

    You haven’t said one thing in this regard. Not one thing David. In case you think I am some Fianna Fail nut case I can assure I am not but by next June I will be the father of three very young kids and I can’t imagine that our domestic economy will function at all or if I will be able to provide for them if the European banks pull the funding that is keeping the Irish banks going at the moment.


    If you have any ideas which help us square this circle I am all ears but I can’t see how I could support your hypothesis on this particular occasion.

    If anyone else can enlighten me in this regard I would very much welcome a response to this effect because I simply can’t see any other option to keep liquidity in the system.



    • The world in in deflation spiral. There are no magic solutions that politicians can execute. David has proposed radical solutions to Irelands banking now sovereign crisis. It has consequences for major banks in UK France and Germany. Our FF /GP are terrified that the electorate will see through the betrayal. I believe one solution is to destroy the world banking casino and introduce debt free money. Tall order when you see how powerful they are strolling into our country holding a press conference on their own in our Government buildings and strolling back out with our piggybank.I would like to stop them robbing us blind. Keeping liquidity in the system at the same time ? How long do you think our debt crippled society will survive without social breakdown? Start to consider the impossible.

    • Your thesis from last article “The debts are too big to pay back- Correct
      But we Irish will let the European banks know this when it suits us to tell them- They already know
      Which will be when we have closed the structural deficit in our fiscal position to the place where we are earning our way again. We cant do it Zero or neg growth plus too much interest to pay.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hello everyone including you David,

      Anyone got any credible ideas as to how we would keep liquidity in the system if we allow our banks to fail by burning the senior bondholders immediately with the IMF/ECB subsequently withholding the liquidity money coming from Europe in such a scenario?

      Anyone at all got a credible alternative? CREDIBLE being the word.

  18. tony_murphy

    Who needs enemies when we got friends like our European partners!!!

    Do you love the Germans?

    not after reading that article

    Default. Leave the Euro and Leave the EU

    NOISE NOISE NOISE all you are doing is causing further depletion of deposits from our safe Irish banks. All this domestic analysis is not contributing to our prospects in Federal Europe Lisbon Part 3 (allowed one attempt this time or we will rewrite your constitution). Dont believe economists Mc Williams Gurdgiev Lucey Kinsella they will shortly be going on holidays. Your recovery is well underway thanks to our multinational exports we reserve right to move them if we decide. Your GNP will grow in 2014 for those of you still left with a roof over your heads having survived another famine. We will then thank you for continuing to pay your debt by rolling it over at only 19%. Ignore any rumour of too much debt in other countries this is being addressed. We will dispose of your oil and gas for free as there is too much of this worthless stuff available.

  20. goldbug


















  22. Dorothy Jones

    @Bella,cbweb above
    In relation to the binding or non-binding element, there is an article from 22 Nov, updated 25 if you google: ‘darren o donovan imf conditionality’
    Apparently the memoranda are not legally binding under international law and two cases, thai and irish, are included in the update. So there may possibly be a window of opportunity.
    David, Paul, Brian, Karl, et al: A united front for a challenge and change? We [irish] are in a strange position today where some american and english commentators are sympathising with us! Todays FT and v early morning Newstalk…

    • Hi Dorothy,

      Lenny stood up in the Dail the other day and said the ‘straight jacket’ was not subject to international law. You might have missed thread on this a couple of articles bank link provided by Tim :

      See thread on DmcW earlier article couple of weeks back, Pouring More Money Into Banks Is theft,

      “Article 29.5.2 provides that:

      “The State shall not be bound by any international agreement involving a charge upon public funds unless the terms of the agreement shall have been approved by Dáil Éireann”.

      clearly ‘international agreement involving a charge upon public funds ‘ does not exclude non contractual binding agreements as link suggests.

      Is Eurogroup aid given on an EU constitutional basis that supercedes our own constitution? Whatever, our Supreme Court should adjudicate on it.

      Heard Honahan on News At One, sounded like casino black jack player hoping IMF puppet master and ‘lady luck’ would win him back the money already lost and spent.

      The Germans plonked the 5.8% interest rate only last Friday on the table. Perhaps to penalise us publicly for edification of annoyed German taxpayers? Or maybe Angela Merkel peeved her lifejacket burn bolder position was seen as

      ‘unhelpful’ by our Gombeens, decided to burn their asses instead.

      Anglo to be wound down and closed by early January. Our problem was inability of the banks to pay back loans. Solution, lend us tens of billions to help us pay back the money while cutting our economy by €6bn to help it return to


      Clearly top of agenda was letting citizens go fry with their economy, collateral damage worth the risk!

      Screw Irish citizens ‘rescue’ is a boomerang that will return to IMF/EFSF with ‘you get screwed as well’.

      Now we wait for the four year plan:) to totally hobble Ireland Inc weighed down with IMF/EFSF collateral damage.”

      But, and I would like more clarity on this for myself as well, the legal documents while not coming under the terms of ‘international law’ they have a contractual basis that goes beyond international law.

      I suspect the memoranda derive their force from similar contractual legalities that underpin international money transactions involving eg CDO’s or CDS.

      See earlier threads previous article and my own blog here refer to the secrecy, often illegal OTC(over the counter tranactions) agreements, cover these agreements. There is much obscurity regarding their legal basis.

      The ‘straight jacket’ memoranda should be lodged and recorded with an external authority and available for public viewing, including a log of all meetings and personnel that were privy to the agreement.

      Instead we have the deceitful, arrogant, insulting and disgraceful summary overviews and shorthand made available. We can’t even find out what interest rates from each individual party went into the final 5.8% mean average our ‘negotiating’ gombeens sold us out for!


      We need to leave the sinking ship euro now

      Fight the financial war being waged against us

      Burn bondholders

      Ask realistic help from US/UK/Sweden

      Raise CT to 18%

      A sales tax on Bruton’s $1.8 trillion business going through the IFSC

      Join a worldwide fightback reform of the financial sector.

      Above for starters!

      Needless to say, your question is a great question you should persevere with.

      • also thx for great link which also goes into this ‘soft law’ ‘over the counter’ nature of the transaction. This type of CDS OTC is a disease on the financial investment banking sector of investment banking. It should be the first to fall in any proper reform of the sector.

        It should be brought to the high court to test whether our constitution gives authority to our government to enter into such an agreement.

        What I suspect is that the ECB/IMF/EFSF are employing powers that refer to the relationship of ‘federal’ states within the US to the FED or the US Treasury. But they do not have the authority within the Lisbon Treaty to enter into agreements like this with member states of the eurozone.

        All the above needs clarification from Europe and testing in the High Court.

        • Dorothy Jones

          Thank you for the comments and information.
          The Constitution and the European Directives sit for the most part, side by side.
          However, the use of the National Pension Reserve Fund in this ‘mix’ designed to lead us into one of the inner circles of hell, is certainly an issue for the Supreme Court: see Darren O Donovan’s update of today, IT, [Is Deal so Binding as to Require Vote] last 2 paragraphs. Also Sarah Carey article on same page addressing same in a different manner.
          An aside but relevant nontheless: I did not believe that the President would sign into law the NAMA legislation without referring it to the Supreme Court. She did. The fact that it is inconstitutional was raised in a representation at a NAMA conference 06 March 2009, which I attended. The issue concerning Article 15.2.1 addressed the 25% cap over market value of ‘assets’. The Minister decided this. Why he alone? This power is a function of Parliament.
          The question is: does the same principle apply in respect of aspects of the ‘Bailout’, in particular to the use of the Pension Fund as part of the provision of capital. It would seem that it does. This is of fundamental importance to the Nation and should not be decided by the MInister alone. Can a taxpayer take the challenge? Should the challenge be taken? Or if the magnitude of events overrides the issue of ‘peripheral States bailout@, which it surely will in a shot period of time, is there merit in leaving well enough alone for now?

          • Hi Dorothy,

            Thank you for your thoughtful response and information. Re:

            “is there merit in leaving well enough alone for now?”

            There is no merit to disenfranchising citizens, the constitution and the legal framework of this country.

            These are matters that should be decided by the courts.

            It’s a matter of thundering disgrace that Mary Mac instead of referring all these matters to the courts, that by not doing so, she is revealing herself as a glove puppet of the financial fascism FF insider class that is ruining our democracy!

  23. Julia

    Just read in the Washington post that the American people will be paying $1,700 extra in tax next year. Each. In Ireland we will be paying E1,850 extra to begin with. Thats’ what we know about before the budget!

  24. Deco

    I suggest a pragmatic approach.
    Take the bailout money. Agree to the conditions. Fix the Irish banks. Get our costs down. Get the private sector labour market hiring again. And eventually we will have the banks solvent again – though much reduced from present.

    Here is the memorandum of undestanding.

    There is not requirement concerning

    Spain is going to go to the wall within 12 months. Belgium holds the EU Presidency, but it has not selected a government in 7 months. Unlike the Czechs and the Slovaks, the Walloons and the Flemings don’t know how to divorce a state. In effect the Belgian signature on the MoU makes it a joke. And even Olli Rehn’s native Finland is now getting more introspection that he would have wished. (Yes, the Finns also have a fiscal problem).

    When Spain goes to the Wall, despite the hysteria of Merkel, Berlin and The Hague, there will be no option but to “print-baby-print”. And at stage, it will be a case that we will say – either we get to default on the bondholders or we are wth those who want to “print-baby-print”.

    “Print-baby-print” is inevitable. The eurozone debts and political pressure from MEPs in insolvent states make it inevitable. And never mind the insolvent states, all politicians love money printing. It means there is money in the state to fund all sorts of pet projects. At that stage Sarko will be doing book signings and lecture tours. If the French Socialists don’t get him, his own Republican groupings will get him first. Merkel will still be in power in Germany, and the Centre-right in government in Holland. But all the others will be wanting “print-baby-print”.

    This whole episode has told me that the EU has become an absolute joke. So, let’s accept that it as a joke pretending to have imperial ambitions, and just take the bits that suit, and ignore the rest. This means ignoring those stupid dictats, and pointless rules – claiming every grant you can and screwing the system. We were always told that Belgium was the example for Europe to follow – and not Belgium is splitting with one part that provides the money and the other that provides the expenditure initiatives.

    At the moment it looks like Ireland is on it’s own. A few more months of this financial turmoil, and that will change. The Walloonia state, when it is formed, will run straight into the PIGS shed. The smell of PIGS will be right beside Brussels.

    The problem with Ireland in the EU, is that we are far too honest for our own good. The Irish media has done a great job in making sure that we beleived it. In fact the tendency to naively believe in absurd theories that look correct, but which really don’t end up is the source of all sorts of ineptitude. Housing bubbles, Lifestyle spending bubbles, voting for EU centralization bubbles, boozing bubbles, shopping in Manhattan bubbles.

    Media + Naive minds + crowd confidence + pride => Lemming runs !!!

    • Deco

      Memorandum of Understanding.

      No mention of senior debt holders.

      That’s grand. We have the loophole that we want. Now sign it before they cop-on that we are not making ourselves legally obliged to senior bondholders.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Deco: Irish banks have lent Italy $40.9 Billions, ie more than the country’s total tax take, according to this clip from the FT.
      I can’t go on. The mind boggles.

      • Tull McAdoo

        Tull McAdoo:I cant go on,i’ll go on, I think I hear somebody on the road.

        Estragon: I can’t go on like this.
        Vladimir: That’s what you think.
        Estragon: Nothing to be done.
        Vladimir: I’m beginning to come round to that opinion.
        Estragon: Let’s go.
        Vladimir: We can’t.
        Estragon: Why not?
        Vladimir: We’re waiting for Godot.
        Estragon: (despairingly). Ah!

      • Deco

        Unbelievable. This just stinks. We are helping pay for Berloconi’s parties. From Bertosconi to Berlosconi and back again.

        So the French loan the D4 banks mooney and they then lend it to the Italians. David’s analogy in “Follow the money”. It is like some sort of narcotic drug distribution business. They each take a cut, but they really have no clue what they are doing because the cut they take sends them out of their rational minds.

        It is almost like as if the Bankers wanted the EU freedom of money movement scheme so that they could then lie to each other about what they were doing with the money. The whole thing stinks !!!

      • Deco

        I presume that this 40 Billion is in addition to the Austrian branch of Anglo being suspected by the Italian authorities, of providing services for organized crime organizations.

    • @Deco
      “I suggest a pragmatic approach.
      Take the bailout money. Agree to the conditions.”
      Right with you there.
      But then knock them.
      Cut and run. They’re trying to plug a fundamental flaw in the whole monetary union by shafting one small State because that small State allowed Eurobanks to flood that same States mickey mouse banks with fol-de-dol money.
      Fair enough that the Irish Regulator failed, and a price should be paid for that, but that the whole Euro mechanism allowed the lending of sums equal or greater than the GDP of the United States of America to a country the equivalent size, GNP wise, of Namibia beggars belief.
      Caveat Emptor.
      We’ll take our hit, right on the chin as a responsible member of the International Community, but by Christ, so must everyone else in this whole sorry mess.

      • Deco

        Furry – you are correct. We will accept our responsibilities. But the ECB, and the bondholders need to do the same. Unfortunately, due to the current power relationship, we are the only ones who is being made responsible. But, give it about 12 months and that could change.

        We will know it has changed, when the ECB suggests a policy that equates to “print-baby-print”, when all other options prove inadequate or ineffective.

        At that stage I hope that the clowns in the Dail will have rewritten the rules concerning Hydrocarbon Exploration in our national territory, and territorial seas.

  25. Dorothy Jones

    Article by David is available in the archives on this site from Dec 24 2008. [Response to your post above of 7:32pm today]. You might be kind enough to read this in light of the comments contained within your post.
    The night porter in the Lisbon hotel then let me read it at the reception desk at around midnight. Very Christmassy it was. I hope it is not taking a liberty to include the final piece below:

    He has just done a deal with the management of the Irish banks which even the bewigged last queen of France (bred into the regime, like Lenihan) would not have tried to get away with.

    Not only should he lose his political head for it, the entire regime is likely to fall as a consequence. This recapitalisation is Fianna Fail’s “let them eat cake” moment and the electorate will not allow them to survive it.

    The long recession will make a mockery of Fianna Fail; and when they are hammered in the polls, they will trace the tipping point back to this Christmas week and Lenihan’s “let them eat cake” idiocy.

  26. ++1 David…. hey…. did they not tell us they will rebrand Anglo Irish Bank?

    Here is a suggestion: Republic of Ireland

  27. concannon

    We wouldn’t want to be like Iceland with its now massive unemployment of 7.5%. When they defaulted on their debt, their unemployment rose from 13% to 7.5%. Now we wouldn’t want to do something crazy like that (sarcasm). No our Brian said we have matured as a nation and we are good Europeans, and we should all be calm, as our friends in Europe and the IMF are going to help us. You know these people in Fianna Fail are either idiots or traitors. They are more interested in saving the Euro than saving Ireland. This is like Michael Collins in the early 20s during the war of independence worrying about the implications for the Sterling pound. In the end of the day the markets will force the hand of these European ideologists, where it is now become clear that the elite in Ireland are also a part of this group. Roll on the bank default, because it will come sooner or later. As soon as this will happen Irelands balance sheet will be transformed and there will be a queue of Hedge funds jumping in to purchase bonds.

  28. The bailout hits the sweet spot where the interests of our insiders and the European insiders meet.

    THIS is precisely the case!

    Europe is infested by Lobbies, and guess what the banksters lobbies did in the past two years? Working around the clock.

    If you think Ireland has a corruption and cronyism problem, look at Brussels.

    1. Government out!
    2. EU/IMF read my lips…. Deal is off!
    3. No politician who agrees to the insane 3% framework will get a vote

    Since the Maastricht treaties were established, the contract was broken 75 times by EU member states. No one was punished for not adhering to the budgetary framework of this treaty.

    Ireland is penalized by this EU/IMF contract and attached insane interest and reporting arrangement.

    Think about what is happening in our country. Foreign banks and creditors should lose everything they gambled on the likes of Anglo, but instead, they have been saved by the Irish taxpayer, who had nothing to do with executive decisions at Anglo and the other banks. These same major international banks will now lend money to the EU who will lend it to us and the same banks will make more money on interest from us.

    Saved by the taxpayer without the taxpayer being asked in the first place.


    Again, we need to urgently establish a fact finding committee that is granted special powers, with members of the public and experts that can be trusted to create a report on what really happened here and open the vaults and password protected files, investigate and question people involved, in public hearings!

    The government had no interest in investigating matters in Anglo Irish Bank, all that they were interested in was to cover everything.

    Cowen arse belongs into a witness stand and not wearing out the front seats in the dail.

    Passports of all the suspected people like Cowen, Lenihan, McGreevey, Neary, Fitzpatrick…. etc. need to be confiscated asap, they shall be placed under house arrest until the fact finding committee is finished.

    • gquinn

      Hi Georg, Agreed but please use their proper names:
      Clowen, Lenin, McGravy, Nearly, Fitzrobber…. etc

      What has happened lately means that the elections coming up in Jan is now useless because any incoming government will have to honour the aggreement that FF has just agreed to. Sick, I know but as usual the ordinary person will find out too late.

      • I would disagree here.

        There is no reason to agree to this forced upon deal. Of course, spineless politicians will honor this deal/death penalty.

        The only chance left is for the people to stand up and tell them to shove it.

  29. malone

    One point to remember . If what David says is right and also from from his last article that Ireland will not be able to afford the repayments and as well the interest, could this bailout ” stich up” effectively have (as in Terminator 3) postponed not stopped ” Judgement Day” and that whether you like it or not that Ireland will default ?

    Is it also possible that by Ireland defaulting that that will be the catylst for Portugal , Spain , and whatever else to come crashing down ? The Mighty Euro Itself ?

    Is it just a Matter of Time just like the Titanic ?

    • michaelcoughlan

      Yes Correct,

      The market is telling us that the Euro is unworkable for periphery states like ours. It is only a matter of time before we are forced out of the Euro THANK GOD.

  30. malone

    Does anybody know what qualifications Ollie Rehn has
    or any of the EU team ? DO they rely on their equivalent ” Civil Servants” to advise them or do them come from buisness and financial backrounds ?

    Anybody know ?

    • MadaboutEire

      I worked in the Commission for a period so have some knowledge of this. The Commissioners as we know from the case of Geoghegan-Quinn are politically appointed, they can meet opposition but normally they pass through the hearings without too much difficulty. Their qualifications (& ability) vary. The Commissioners have a team of people working with them often including a Chef de Cabinet, advisors, Heads of Dept. etc, very similar to our own government system. Information for speeches etc is provided from within the Commission system and legislation drafted by those doing the day-to-day work. The Commissioner’s involvement depends on the individual, their ability and political ambitions either in their home country or within the Commission system. Interestingly for Ireland:

      “Following his departure from the Commission, McCreevy was force to resign from the board of a new banking firm, NBNK Investments, after an EU ethics committee found a conflict of interest with his work as commissioner in charge of financial regulation. This is first time that a former member of the EU executive has had to resign a directorship the 2003 system for overseeing the work of retired commissioners.”

      So another first there.

      According to an online source, Rehn studied economics, international relations and journalism at Macalester College, Saint Paul, Minnesota (US). He took a master’s degree in political science from the University of Helsinki in 1989, and a PhD from the University of Oxford in 1996 on the subject of “Corporatism and Industrial Competitiveness in Small European States”. He has held various positions in the Finnish political establishment. He is well qualified and connected but that doesn’t always mean a lot as our boys here have amply demonstrated.

      According to Wikipedia, Commissioner’s basic monthly salaries are fixed at 112.5% of the top civil service grade. This works out at €19,909.89. The President is paid at 138% (€24,422.80), Vice Presidents at 125% (€22,122.10) and the High Representative at 130% €23,006.98. There are further allowances on top of this figure.

  31. Colin

    Great article David.

    I get the feeling though that its too late, the damage has been done by Cowen and Lenihan, and the many gobshites out there who still support them. Greens are no better. So much for “the worst day in government is still better than the best day in opposition”, ah poor auld Gormless is feeling sick to the pit of his stomach, ah poor auld Gormless, God love him.

  32. BrianC

    Here’s my one cent worth.

    Hi Mr Rehn and Mr Chopra. I hope you liked your visit to Ireland. It is interesting that you want to offer Ireland a loan. The terms of the loan are even more interesting. We are not sure about the interest rate. We will get back to you in a few months and let you know if we need it. And by the way it will be necessary for you to instruct the ECB that they will need to keep the banks in Ireland liquid until we make a final decision about the loan you have so kindly offered.

    Now all we have to do is remove the existing stock of politicians. All of them because they are contaminated beyond cure. Then we must fill the political vacuum with a real negotiating team people who are intellectually bright and know what they are talking about. And lucky for us there is no short supply of intellect but they are nervous to step up to the plate.

    The way things are going in the EU there is going to be one hell of a massive default throughout the EU or the ECB is going to have to write a new rule book against the grain of the Germans and print an awful lot of money. If the bond holders holding the debt are so important that they cannot be left with losses crystallizing on their balance sheets then somebody is going to have to pay them so they may as well print the money and give it to them or do the decent thing and let them deal with their losses and next time they will be more cautious as to whom they lend their credit lines.

  33. goldbug














  35. dwalsh

    I recommend Damon Vrabel’s series of videos “Debunking Money”

    Also his series “Rennaisance 2.0″ is an eye-opener about the ‘bond holders’ and the real nexus of power in our world.

  36. dwalsh

    My hope is that there will be a cascade collapse in Europe which will effectively cancel the sell-out deal.
    I dont think its worth paper it was written on.
    FF have shown their real colors but still many will not be able to see that and will vote for them.
    I hope the Greens are wiped out…their betrayal of the Irish people is unforgivable.
    FG are just as bad. If they get power they will accellerate the dismantling and privitisation of the Irish state. They will sell us out too. Guaranteed.

  37. atchman

    Well done David, writing with truth and vision as ever!

    I think people feel helpless that they can’t do anything about what is happening. They should know and be reminded that they can do something and that is to use their vote carefully and thoughtfully. People need to wake up and fight! This is an immoral theft – plain and simple. Nobody comes and bails me out everytime I lose money on the stock markets!

    People need to understand fractional reserve banking and fiat monetary systems. It should be taught in schools so everyone understands how the system is wide open to manipulation and fraud and that this sorry mess does repeat in the future. Sadly history ryhmes!

    PS End The Fed!!!!

    All the best Hugh Clyne

  38. fram7rip


  39. Responding to Martina Devlin’s latest article

    By any measure, it is an extravagant annuity: almost four times the average industrial wage.

    There is more to that picture:

    The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined. -World Bank Key Development and Data Statistics -

    Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 – UNICEF -

    In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%: -World Bank Development Indicators 2008 -

    The total wealth of the top 8.3 million people around the world “rose 8.2 percent to $30.8 trillion in 2004, giving them control of nearly a quarter of the world’s financial assets.” In other words, about 0.13% of the world’s population controlled 25% of the world’s financial assets in 2004 –

    In Ireland today debt repayments are being extracted directly from people who neither contracted the loans nor received any of the money, extracted by a corrupt, inconsiderate and incompetent government that has caused this disaster in the first place, now collaborating with the IMF Mafia and EU Mandarins to front up the dirty work, and that is all I have to say about it!

    Put it this way, we have a lot of people in Ireland who’s cash net worth is > 800 million Euro. I think, we are so used to throw around big number now, it is time to bring this back into the context of the real world. To accumulate this amoutn of wealth woudl take an average industrial paid worker to bank his entire salary for…..

    30,000 years!


    • Julia

      Shocking, 37,000 people in Ireland are worth 11 billion euros between them every year according to the Revenue Commissioners. How ever it’s very important to take one euro from every worker on the minimum wage every hour she/he works. That’s 4% of the working population.


  40. wills


    Yes, we get out of the Euro now and print our own money now.

    The euro by my reckoning is a busted flush once the ECB / Bundesbank wheel out the printing presses and krank up the money printing engines.

    I reckon the euro had always been for Germany since the fall of the Berlin wall a bridging mechanism to see Germany into its own currency the Euro mark.

    Germany is the next super power and Germany will trash the euro for a new indigenous currency and launch the rise of the fourth Reich and go for broke on this long held Germanic dream to dominate global commerce alongside China.

    German banks and ECB / bundesbank let the PIIGS drown in cheap currency to generate an artificial purchasing power in the PIIGS for German products on the back of which the Germans rebuilt Germany and ladies and gentlemen the curtains are about to come back and reveal the new superpower that is Germany.

    • Think of Germany as an Anglo that lent to Developer PIGS. The PIGS have dropped Germany in the shhh.

      Germany knows they’ve drawn a busted flush with the market reaction to Irish straight jacket.

      If the markets calmed, then what you say would be true. This would endorse the power of the euro. A retreat to the German mark is a loss against Germany particularly against the dollar.

      The fact the markets see through it is the reason Ollie and the ECB gang are meeting in emergency session today!

      • wills


        I do not see as such.

        Germany loose nothing and win the day.

        Germany has rebuilt an industrial production foundation so ahead of anyone else it will see it into superpower status for the next 100 years.

        The debts outstanding debts etc simply numbers on a ledger, Germany has the assets in place and the goods coming out of the production lines.

        The rest of it is merely smoke and mirrors.

        • Wills,

          I see where you are coming from but for me its not so much about speculation or belief as it is about verifiable evidence. There’s a volcano erupting for the euro. We’ll see how it pans out and whether Germany wins or loses.

          Its pretty chaotic and judging by the Irish stitch up, signs are not too good for Germany to come out well.

          I suspect it will be on the losing side in a battle that is reminiscent of WW11.

          Project euro has some severe holes beneath the waterline. Could be a case where Anglo sinks the BisMar(c)k


  41. wills

    Germany basically used the PIIGS greed against them and used it to rebuild itself into a superpower for the coming century.

    Germany has pulled off as clever an economic coup de grace the world has ever witnessed, as far as I can make out, and they’ve carried it out on a bunch of laizy countries that laid itself open to it, the PIIGS.

    The PIIGs thought they were the wise guy and onto easy money and the PIIGS insiders destroyed their economies with property POnzi pyramid scams and Germany quietly in the background laid the industrial productive foundation for its future success in the new century.

    UK been an old empire ally of Germany saw this stroke and steered clear.

    Ireland will learn form this and hopefully grow up a little from its real politik geo political lesson in life.

    • MadaboutEire

      This is a wise comment indeed. Fatten the PIIGS and then condemn then for being fat. Leopard and spots come to mind.

      This financial frankenstein they helped create may yet consume their expansionist plans.

      Always know who is sitting around the poker table, while the best response for fools is often, silence.

      • wills

        I cannot see the PIIGS in anyway been a threat in any way to the new and improved and toned and fit Germany about to take on its new superpower place in the sun.

        Germany has earned this ascendency and the PIIGS its left squealing back at the farm fighting with one another over whats happened, cannot do a damn thing about it, its a fait accompli for Germany.

        How incredible is that.

        Germany take the pot.

        • MadaboutEire

          Think this appropriate in light of your comment

          The White Ribbon interview with Michael Haneke

          Maybe someone will step forward to do the Green Ribbon, a deep analysis of what it is to be Irish, few to my mind have gone deep into the collective psyche or history, blaming the British is no longer an adequate explanation for ‘we are where we are’.

          • MadaboutEire, it has been suggested that the deep root lies not in our post-colonial history but in the nature of the Free State that arose after independence. The argument goes that what purported to be a radical overhaul of a society got watered down into a petit bourgeois “revoluton” with the blessing of the Church and domestic conservatives replaced the British ones. No major redistribution of wealth, power or land. A plausible explanation for the culture of cute hoordom?

          • MadaboutEire

            @ ElQuebin

            Yes, good summation to my mind but the post-colonial impact on the psychology and outlook of a people cannot be dismissed or discounted, combination of things for sure, of which, what you outline is a major part.

            A cosy elite who ran the place like a medieval fiefdom complete with high priests and dumbed down agricultural population with the principle export being the superfluous population. Its coming to a head now though.

            The Annoying Peasant

  42. MadaboutEire

    In Roman times, a slave was placed on the chariot of the returning conquering General. As the General paraded through the eternal city and received the garlands and tributes from the populace and its elders, the slave would whisper gently in the General’s ear: “fame and fortune are fleeting”.

    Someone would do well to repeat these words to senior FF ministers as well as the ruling EU class along with a certain Monsieur Trichet.

  43. Black Cat

    Found this podcast on the Guardian – a lot of mentions about Ireland – a bit downbeat though reason given that we have no money for stimulus

  44. Frank

    Thinking about how best to use my vote in the upcoming election…. are any of the politcal parties willing to stand up for the irish people and refuse to take on debts of private banks?
    Even a child could understand that what is happening here is robbery , plain and simple.
    I want the people who make up the next government to feel the same anger and sense of injustice at what is happening as I and many others do,and be willing to act accordingly ie. be willing to tear up any deals, and cancel any guarantee’s made by the current government.

    • adamabyss

      I’m also wondering who to vote for Frank; it’ll be the first and last time I ever vote in this country at the ripe old age of 38.

      Next time I’m involved in an election (if I am), I will be running for office – well I guess I will be voting for myself at that time too – if you want to get technical about it.

      So who to vote for folks?

      • Dorothy Jones

        Why the last time you vote pray tell? It’s a tough one: David, Paul, Constantin, Karl, et al if they would go for it… Lenihan for continuity? [I know, I know] Clever women would be good: not Mary Coughlan or Harney. Who then in this category? Anyone?

        • adamabyss

          Because I’ve never been inside a polling booth and want to see what it’s all about and because I want to have a reason to stimulate myself to see what the mettle of candidates in West Dublin is and what they can offer on a local and national level.

          But, I don’t think my vote is going to make the slightest bit of difference in the grand scheme of things, and – no offence – most people are ‘thick as two short planks’ and have no idea what is going on a daily basis – nor do they care. They’ll vote for whom they are told to vote or whoever’s propaganda they swallow.

          If I wanted to make a difference (or if I was in a position to) I would get out there and try to get elected and do it myself. I can’t at the moment and by the time the next election comes around I will probably not be in the country.

          So I won’t be voting again, after this time, unless my name is on the ballot paper. Even if I’m here for 15 more years, I’ll vote this time, miss the election 5 years hence (if I’m not ready to stand) and put my name on the list 5 years after that. It might sound weird but that’s the way I’ve worked it out in a personal sense.

          As I say though, I’ll probably be in the Caribbean by then.

          So who to vote for…?

  45. Deco

    I want to REASSURE everybody that FIFA are definitely not corrupt in any way….FIFA are clean as John Delaney’s underwear during the Saipan incident…

    Putin stayed away for the official announcement. It is a strange when a politician distances himself from this sort of “success”. It is like as if he knew that it was going to be a charade.

  46. dwalsh

    Michael Hudson re economic warfare.

    He is, like David, one of those very rare creatures…an economist who can see and think clearly.

    For those who doubt the Machiavellian truth check out John Perkins on google or youtube…He wrote: “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”.

    • BrianC

      According to Hudson per his latest article

      “The Irish bailout will encumber its people with perhaps as much debt as a $9 trillion bailout would be here in the United States. The Irish also are expected to also gut unemployment insurance, their minimum wage and similar social safety nets while boosting interest rates and home property taxes to pay tribute to the European creditor agencies that have “rescued” them. They will relinquish ownership of much of Ireland to their creditors, capped by ownership of government policy-making. The new banks will be owned by foreigners, who will put Ireland on a debt treadmill to transfer its taxable surplus to mainland Europe and Britain”

      As I said before they are just getting ready to sweat the asset unless Ireland stands up and does something about it. But very unlikely as we are a nation of can doers. There are two kinds of people those who will and simply get up and do what needs doing and there are those who can but sit around waiting for those who will do to come along and do what they should have done themselves but for whatever reason cannot because they are can doers all talk no action.

      • dwalsh

        Soverign default and collapse of the dollar is almost inevitable in America where the real debt burden is also unpayable. In fact exactly what is happening here – as you accurately outline – is happening and/or will happen to all the advanced economies. We are living through a global systemic transition period that will utterly change the character of our world.

  47. Perhaps the Debt Agency for Irish Lending could break tomorrow for a few minutes to watch the now gone viral:

    They could then reconvene to allow Lenny and Clown to do an address the nation type broadcast, a Hammer Production, something along the lines of:

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