December 6, 2010

Farmers could have saved us

Posted in Ireland · 227 comments ·

The men bidding at the Ennis mart would have negotiated a better deal with the IMF and ECB than our inept bureaucrats did

Last Thursday morning in the freezing cold, the temperature in Ennis mart was rising. The age-old ritual of buying and selling cattle was in full swing. Fellas with woolly hats pulled down over the eyebrows, and old tweed caps of every hue, lined up around the pen as the beasts were weighed and paraded for bidding.

The ceremony is intricate, and behavioural rituals of the mart are opaque and confusing to the uninitiated. The buying farmers rest their arms over the side of the railed pen to indicate an interest in the cattle, and then move their arms around and around in circles before the auctioneer – an extraordinary market maker – finds the price where he senses bidding can start.

And we’re off. The seller sits in a box beside the auctioneer but he can’t see the buyers. The auctioneer is in control and he gropes his way to the price, by a combination of cajoling, nudging, nodding and winking. The auctioneer doesn’t so much call as sing out the prices, using a range of the scales, beginning with a deep baritone before climbing exuberantly towards a falsetto climax.

The farmers, caps over the foreheads, try to conceal their bids from each other, having eyes only for the auctioneer as he scours the throng for the faintest sign of a bid, a raised finger here, a facial tic there. Before you know it, the cow is sold, the price fixed, the deal done – and the next cow ushered into the ring.

I watched this for an hour in -4C and, believe me, I had no idea who had bought what. For an outsider, it is impossible to see who is bidding, why the bids move up so quickly and how the auctioneer concludes the price is right. Then, just when you think you have a handle on what is going on and you feel the price must be moving up – such is the speed of the auctioneer’s commentary – with the slam of an old stick, not some fancy ornate hammer, the auctioneer indicates that the deal has been done for €780 and the ritual starts all over again.

Dirty fifties and tenners are produced and away we go, until all the cattle are sold. In the canteen, lads eating plates of dinner against the background noise of ads for tractors on ‘Farm TV’ discuss whether they did well or not. You can identify the internal fuming of the fella who, in hindsight, knows he bid too much in the excitement, as much as the quiet satisfaction of the lad who knows he’ll come out ahead on the day.

At its core, the mart in Ennis is commerce, as it has been from time immemorial. The stakes are high and the combination of experience, cunning and understanding the bottom line, knowing when to deal and when to fold, are wrapped up in a split second as buyer and auctioneer negotiate in ritual. One moment of hesitation or weakness, a little bit of insider knowledge that the rest of the bidders haven’t got, is the key to leaving the mart knowing that you have done well, that you have negotiated your hand as best you can.

The key to the Ennis mart is that the farmers are negotiating, and they know what they are doing.

Although there are plenty of younger farmers there, the old fellas are doing the bidding. There is a strict hierarchy, where age, wisdom and knowledge are respected, not for themselves, but because they get the best price. They have done this before.

I couldn’t help concluding that, had one of these farmers gone to the ECB and IMF last Sunday, he would have got a better deal for Ireland than the establishment, because he knows what he is doing. These farmers would buy and sell the IMF bureaucrats and, more to the point, they would know a price where buying cattle made commercial sense and recognise the price where buying cattle would sink the farm.

The farmers know when to pull out and they know that there are plenty more cattle waiting to come into the pen and, therefore, plenty more deals on the table before the day is out.

Our negotiators had no idea what they were doing. Our hand was, and still is, extraordinarily strong. This deal should be ripped up by the next government and renegotiated in such away as to separate the Irish banks from the Irish state. The Republic is not the banks. The last time I checked, there was a harp on the front of my passport, not the logo of AIB.

Here is the information the next government needs to know to negotiate.

The ECB is in a hole of its own making, and should be squeezed. More than 90 per cent of the net money that the ECB is injecting into the eurozone on a daily basis to keep the banking system functioning goes to banks in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

If we look at the figures, we can see how strong our hand is. Of the total €279.9 billion of net liquidity the ECB provides, €115.4 billion goes to Ireland. Now, of course there is liquidity given to Irish banks that is not covered in these numbers. This is under a category called ‘‘other assets’’ on our Central Bank’s balance sheet (with the full knowledge of the ECB).These come to a whopping €34.6 billion.

If we add this number to both sides of the equation, we get €313.6 billion total net liquidity, with €150 billion net coming to Irish banks. That means that 48 per cent of the total net exposure of central banks to the European banking sector is to Irish banks.

Remember, we only account for 1.7 per cent of the eurozone’s GDP.

So our problem has become their problem. And it is a €150 billion problem that ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet can’t walk away from. The deal to do is a debt-for-equity swap, where the ECB will have to figure out away of taking equity on to its balance sheet.

Can you imagine how different the deals at the Ennis mart would be had the farmers been aware of information like this? Can you imagine how low the price of cattle would be, had the farmers known that them art had millions of surplus cattle to mop up that day, rather than what had been advertised?

I write on the day that Brian Cowen’s poll rating slipped below the cost of borrowing for the Irish sovereign bonds. What a political epitaph!

Hopefully, the new guy will have the ‘horse sense’ to see that we can get out of this deal, and cut a deal that would earn respect from the lads at the canteen in Ennis mart on a frosty Thursday morning.

David McWilliams performs Outsiders in the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, on Tuesday and Wednesday

  1. vincent

    Just to clarify that it is the Sovereign Seal and not the harp that is on the front of our passports. The Sovereign Seal is a sacred symbol of our sovereignty. No matter what happens our sovereignty cannot be taken from us…

    • mcsean2163

      Surely if we were invaded and a new power took over our sovereignty would be taken away.

      If the control of our government is taken away piece by piece, surely that equates to a loss of sovereignty?

      If all our government could do was dictate the color that the garda uniform came in, could we still call ourselves a sovereign nation?

      • vincent

        Sovereignty is within us,not like an object that can be physically taken away…

        • adamabyss

          Who cares about sovereignty? We are talking about people’s livelihoods here, their jobs, their homes, their futures, their kids and grandkids and the need for food and water on the table.

          Sovereignty is over-rated. I don’t care what colour my passport is or what dopey symbol is on the front.

          We need to get our priorities right.

          • vincent

            Its little wonder things are the way they seem to be when so few people acknowledge their own sovereignty…

          • adamabyss

            vincent, not interested in arguing with you. I respect your opinion whatever it is, but I’ve worked in 8 different countries in my life – people are the same everywhere in my experience, within the normal (and abnormal parameters of the average society).

            They want a happy and secure life for themselves and their family, and by extension their friends, neighbours and ‘compatriots’ (whatever their nationality) if possible. We live in a multi-cultural world. There’s nothing wrong with being proud to be Irish. I love the country, history, culture, people, traditions etc. myself, but a piece of paper like a passport doesn’t mean anything to me. As far as I’m concerned it’s a restrictive device to keep people under control.

            All men (and women) are created equal and should be born equal with the same opportunities. The elites (in every country) have been playing nations of people against each other for millennia – in order to keep their genocidal hands on the levers of power and their grubby and guilty hands in the vaults of gold and cash.

            By all means stand up for what you value but don’t be fooled by the concept of sovereignty – it’s a buzzword and a sham.

          • vincent

            Sovereignty transcends borders,wishing you well Adam…

          • adamabyss

            That was my point vincent, all the best.

          • foi foi moi moi

            when is the last time sovereignty paid your ESB bill or put fuel in your car..take your arms from around that tree your hugging and join the rest of us in the real world..we have no sovereignty as we have witnessed over the last couple of weeks. I for one have decided to swap my “irish sovereignty” (if i ever had it) for Australia citizenship in january to try and provide my future family a good life. Iv gone from being a proud Iirshman to being a humble greatful ja vu anyone?? seems like we have been down this road a few time before..

    • BrianC

      Maybe you are right that our soverignty cannot be taken from us but history is full of examples where sovereign tribute was extracted by force and so what for at the end of the day we ‘Ireland’ put a corporate value on ours and gladly sold it. And the question we should now put to ourselves is who bought it ‘what is their true identity’ and the answer lies in follow the core capital and not the money.

    • Zaphod

      Some people are clueless


    Do you agree that western governments risk losing moral authority by
attacking Wikileaks?

    Julian Assange:
The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be “free” because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has any effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free. In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockade.

    X X X X

    Scientists of the University of Paris suggested that the cause for the millions of fatalities was an unusual Mars-Jupiter-Saturn constellation that they observed. The black death that peaked 1348-1350 in Europe caused profound social, religious and economic changes.

    Contrary to the scientific belief in star constellations, it was fleas that spread the Yersinia Pestis bacterium, the medical science had no clue about the sources. They simply did not have the knowledge.

    Apart from the obvious human tragedy of this plague that ravaged throughout Europe, two interrelated main events happened at this time, the worst Progrom before the 20th century, and the birth of the middle class.

    Nearly all Jewish communities were victimized by a vicious killing mob after the meme of Jews poisoning the water to kill Christians spread faster than the plague. Not only Jews, but people with skin diseases like Acne were attacked, Roma, beggars, women, foreigners, you name it, xenophobia spread like the plague. However, the genocide on Jews was particularly vicious.

    The 14th century was the age of climate change as well, after a warmer and prosperous period from the 11th to the 13th century in Europe, prolonged times of rain and cold spells destroyed crops and live stock and caused hunger and social upheaval. It was the time of great famine of 1315, whereby famine in medieval Europe meant death by starvation on a large scale.

    In some parts wheat prices went up 320% and peasants could no longer afford to buy bread. The peasants made something like 95% of the population. They were the agricultural labour force of the pre industrialized period. The grain and food that was on storage was of course not available to them, it was the property of landlords and nobles. The rain did not stop pouring down for nearly two years. The 14th century also marked the early and more local start of rebellions and uprising of peasants against the noble class.

    When the great plague spread so rapidly, governments had no response, and the dominating church was undermined as no hard prayer could cure the black death.
    One major reason that governments had no response was simply because they had no knowledge. Neither did they know about the cause, nor did they have the slightest clue how it spread. They tried to impose market protectionism, but it proved unenforceable. Controlling prices and preventing black markets was simply not possible. Grain was Gold, and it was pirates and looters who brought it to a thriving black market. England was unable to import grain. France prohibited exports and countries were at war. The period of black death was also the beginning of the Hundred Year’s War when England and France sent their troops in 1337.

    It was the time of great social and economical changes that would last throughout the 14th and 15th century.

    The French historian Fernand Braudel saw the events as the continuation of a recession in the European economy that started at the beginning of the century with the great rains. As a result, the church lost part of their influence – Not enough though! – to secular groups and the uprisings of peasants spread as well.

    The great population loss brought economic changes based on increased social mobility, as depopulation further eroded the peasants’ already weakened obligations to remain on their traditional holdings. In the wake of the drastic population decline brought on by the plague, authorities in Western Europe worked to maintain social order through instituting wage controls.] These governmental controls were set in place to ensure that workers received the same salary post-plague as they had before the onslaught of the Black Death.] Within England, for example, the Ordinance of Laborers, created in 1349, and the Statute of Laborers, created in 1351, restricted both wage increases and the relocation of workers. If workers attempted to leave their current post, employers were given the right to have them imprisoned. The Statute was strictly enforced in some areas. For example, 7,556 people in the county of Essex were fined for deviating from the Statute in 1352. However, despite examples such as Essex, the Statute quickly proved to be difficult to enforce due to the scarcity of labour.

    In Western Europe, the sudden shortage of cheap labour provided an incentive for landlords to compete for peasants with wages and freedoms, an innovation that represents the roots of capitalism, and the resulting social upheaval “caused” the Renaissance, and even the Reformation. In many ways the Black Death and its aftermath improved the situation of surviving peasants, notably by the end of the 15th century. In Western Europe, laborers gained more power and were more in demand because of the shortage of labour. In gaining more power, workers following the Black Death often moved away from annual contracts in favor of taking on successive temporary jobs that offered higher wages. Workers such as servants now had the opportunity to leave their current employment to seek better-paying, more attractive positions in areas previously off limits to them. Another positive aspect of the period was that there was more fertile land available to the population; however, the benefits would not be fully realized until 1470, nearly 120 years later, when overall population levels finally began to rise again.

    This was different in Eastern Europe where workers were forced to stay on the land. Serfdom was the status of unfree peasants under the feudalism bondage rules. Enforced labor of serfs in the fields, in the mines and in the forestry of the landowners.

    However, it can be said that the black death broke the serfdom and feudalism, the established social order of agricultural slavery. Serfdom was slowly abolished in Western Europe during the Renaissance but continued to increase in Central and Eastern Europe.

    It was abolished in Russia in 1861, private serfs counted 23.1 million in Russia in 1857.

    In medieval times the serf was forced to labor on a plot of land in return for protection of the landlords and their knights. The rhetoric and rational of these time was that the serf worked ‘for all’ and the nobles ‘fought for all’.

    Karl Marx noted that the feudal relationships of serfdom were violently transformed into private property and free labor.

    X X X X

    WikiLeaks has rattled the cages and opened wide the democratic deficit in our societies by publishing documents deemed as secret, classified, not for the general public.

    Through these publications, the general public was given the chance to learn about the reality of war without the prevalent media censorship that applies in every country. WikiLeaks acts like a Bullshit Filter in that respect and provided the most important service to the global population, well, I should say to those that had access to their website.

    By now, Julian Assange is probably right beside Bin Laden on the list of most wanted.

    US officials pressured Amazon dot com to cancel services for WikiLeaks and it worked. Of course, Amazon being ‘never under orders’ they just referred to their TOS, Terms of Service, as the reason for the termination. They would endanger human rights workers. Yeah, right!

    Short after the cablegates was published, Assange announced to publish documents of a major financial institution. Massive DDOS attacks, distributed denial of service were launched against WikiLeaks as well to bring the site down.

    If you ever doubted that we are at war, may be by now you can see this in a different light. The battle fields of today are stock markets and the internet. Last week, the OSCE talks, – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – totally collapsed. I understand the OSCE as a conflict prevention organization, and the collapse of talks is a major red flag for future developments. The old east-west conflict is in danger to be re fueled.

    Apart from the hardware strategists and military vested interest, the real war is taking place since long and I call it ‘The Peak-Oil Wars’. Climate change and peak everything in conjunction were predictable since long, I personally knew about it since the 70s and governments were too busy to play their predatory capitalist games rather than to work on sustainable social-political and economical solutions for the future generations.

    Major social-economical shifts in the past transformed the world for centuries to come. In our so called Information society a majority of people does not take advantage of information available to them. Otherwise people in Ireland would have chased out this government lately last March by taking to the streets and stating their demands.

    This did not happen for a number of reasons, but my main explanation is simple. It is fear! This fear that was played all the way by the Irish Emperors and Dukes – Pun intended – It was played during the second Lisbon referendum, it was used all the time during this financial heist and it could only work on people who had not the relevant and needed basic informations to look through smoke screens.

    Writing and reading once was a privilege of the religious and noble ruling class which they used to maintain and expand their control. By the beginning of this century – UNECSO Figures 2001 – 26% of the worlds population, 1 billion people were non-literate adults, women made up two thirds of all non-literates, and 98% lived in developing countries. 52 percent in India and China, and Africa as a continent had little less than 60% illiterate adults.

    Of course, there is a direct link between income and illiteracy.

    Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate less than 55 percent is about $600

    Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate between 55 and 84 percent is $2,400

    Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate between 85 and 95 percent is $3,700

    Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate above 96 percent is $12,600

    Perhaps you feel a little more privileged now to be able to read David’s site?

    What we do with information and how we process it is determined to a high degree by our education and of course our own free will, our decision, to continue to learn, to keep a curious, may be even childlike state of mind alive and to question things that make up our reality. To question authority, to question validity of Information and to come to the best informed conclusion we can draw is a challenge and an ethical duty for everyone, not only for the newly established peasants of our radically transformed society but equally those who will hold power, the latter however have a long term developed blind-spot for certain realities. The financial and political elite of our planet is ethically crippled, the blind-spot in their elitist education prevents them to see the reality of a changing world, and they cling to their paradigms at all cost.

    Without a paradigm shift that is embraced by a clear majority, this elite will continue to maintain the social-political and economical order of things, they will continue to reduce the debate to their point of view by excluding others.

    ‘There is no other way!’ is probably the most vivid expression of the elitist exclusion of alternative solutions, and it is a reflection of the trained upon them blind-spot.

    Secrecy and behind closed doors policies are fertile grounds for corruption and elitist arrangements, they are the real enemy of a true democratic structure. Transparency is the greatest enemy of all when it comes to any empire’s desire to maintain the social order, or rain down ‘austerity measures’ on entire nations to perform the biggest heist in known history. Only by elitist secret arrangements, brute force and oppression the nobles and landlords maintained their social order in conjunction with the church in Europe.

    The desire to eradicate WikiLeaks from the Internet speaks volumes. Freedom of speech is under threat, the dismantling of citizens liberties ongoing, and the implementation of Austerity measures just another step down the road back to a world that is run by elitists and brute force. A new feudalism emerges on the horizon.

    The day that Wikileaks ceases to exist would mark a milestone in our development, a black milestone in deed. However, I doubt they will succeed! It is truly remarkable, European Governments and US Administration hound Assange and his transparency initiative and use criminal methods such as DDoS and others to operate like China would against their dissidents.

    X X X X

    Transnationalisation, the broadening of Europe’s economic, political, social, and cultural experiences was the idea to form a new Europe for the past two to three decades. One of the big failures in the European implementation is that lobbies became the overwhelming force of political implementation, which turned the idea of a representative structure into a farce.

    A European identity does not exists in the mindsets of it’s citizens at large, it is a monetary Union that turned into a debt transfer Union and is currently directed by franco-german interests. Markets were the dominating interest, export and import the forces that drove debts. Since the Maastricht treaties and the 3% rule in 1993, they were broken 75 times by member states.

    After WWII the Montan Union was the early beginning of the European idea, it was the predecessor. The main ingredients of war, steel and coal, should no longer be in the hands of a single country, especially not Germany anymore. In Paris 1951 the contracts were signed, and they were the first supra national organisation within Europe with it’s signatories Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. Common control of coal and steel without excise duties was the suggestion that French foreign minister Robert Schumann suggested to Konrad Adenauer, and he agreed. It was this Montan Union that enabled the rapid growth in West Germany. The idea was to guarantee peace in Europe. France had access to Germany’s coal, the richest coal reserves in all six countries.

    The contract was in place for 50 years and ended in 2002.

    Ireland blocked the Lisbon treaty, and only a 2nd referendum enabled the implementation. The disconnect of politicians, who turned into vassals of powerful lobbies is not a Irish phenomenon alone, it exists throughout Europe. If you consider that Messrs. Haely-Ray and Lowry are holding the power over the next budget, tears of cynical laughter and desperation may shoot from your eyes as well.

    The EU commission and their representatives have no direct democratic legitimation. Even the constitutional high court in Germany criticized the Lisbon treaty on such major points and it’s misleading choice of wording, a political white wash it was in deed.

    Article 14 1. states that the EU parliament votes the president of the commission, which is a farce in deed, as Article 17 7. states that this election comes out of the suggestions of the EU council, hence, The EU parliament is able to reject the suggestion, but can’t make own suggestions, a farce and a clearly misleading article 14. Further the EU parliament has no right on legislative Initiative. The only institution with this right is the EU commission, except in the new area of foreign relations, another point of critic that was ignored.

    The Lisbon treaty totally failed to address the democratic deficit, it made it worse, let aside the fact of the deliberately late publishing of the contract. The EU council published the full text of the contract in all member states languages only on April 16th, 2008 several months after they signed it, although ratification in member states was already under way, no fully translated contract was published.

    When the Irish Times asked ‘Was it this the people died for in 1916?’, I thought this question needs to be asked in a much larger context.

    We live in a world where lobbies write their own legislation, I kid you not, such was observed when the RWE, the biggest energy provider in Germany lobbied Angela Merkel and as a result wrote their own legislation. You could not make it up, it can be identified in the footnotes of the law text as RWE’s origin. This is no longer a functioning democracy, it is a corporate lobby driven shadow government that represents the maximum interests of the corporates and minimum interests of citizens. The same counts for the EU commission and their unelected mandarins. It is the European council that suggests the president as explained above, and it is the European council that then appoints the other member states commissioners in agreement with the president, only then they have to be approved by the EU parliament, who can’t make any suggestions. I consider this process highly undemocratic.

    Here in Ireland we know too well what for damage a body of powerful civil servants can do to a country. The EU commission and the ‘Directorates General’ has approx. 25,000 European civil servants, ‘The Implementers’ under it’s command. It’s supra national status and new authority, which is a direct result of the Lisbon Treaty, is of course bowed to by the Irish officials. It is known that the EU commission is also the dumping ground for nationally rather unwanted politicians, such as Guenther Oettinger who now holds the energy portfolio.

    You have to ask yourself, is all this common and accepted knowledge of European citizens at large? I seriously doubt this, and by looking at our small Irish example and how the Lisbon Treaty campaign was executed here, we can get a glimpse of how it was in the rest of Europe. There are voices, and I am one of those, who said that on such a fundamental subject like the European constitution, only a European wide referendum would be a valid legitimization, however, it was well known that the outcome of a EU wide referendum more than likely would have resulted in an overwhelming NO vote.

    Except foreign policy, here power is held by the EU council, the commission is now the executive power of the EU, this is what many people do not understand, as the name commission is misleading since Lisbon, and it should be renamed to ‘European Government’ instead, again, this EU commission is the only Institution in Europe to hold legislative initiative powers!

    Jean Claude Trichet will be honored with the International Charlemagne Prize in Aachen, the ‘Karls Preis’, for his achievements towards Europe, this alone would be stuff for an entire article on the history and context of this price. It reminds me of the sad joke to honor Obama with the Nobel Peace Price.

    The Charlemagne Prize was awarded since 1950, some recipients:

    1969: The European Commission
    1999: Tony Blair
    2002: The EURO (Yes!!)
    2008: Angela Merkel
    2011: J.C. Trichet

    You could not make it up!

    The reason I gave this contribution to David’s site the headline ‘The Great Financial Plague’ is because the events of this global financial heist, combined with the ongoing events of peak-everything will undoubtedly cause social, political economical and cultural changes and upheavals in the decades to come, for better or for worse, the changes will come, they already started. The refugee crisis that is kept out of the headlines is in full swing, and I wrote earlier this year on David’s site about the ports and ‘weak spots’ in the Mediterranean. FRONTEX is the European institution that is in charge and Greece last months called for their help to secure boarders. The ways in which refugees from Africa are dealt with in EU member states is nothing short but appalling.

    What the longterm changes will be about is hard to predict, but if the predominant political lethargy of European citizens prevails, they are somewhat predictable, anything but pleasant and dictated by the same Insiders who performed this heist to start with.

    EU and ECB policies failed to protect European citizens from harm, they failed because they do not represent the people of it’s Nations anymore, but vested interest groups, and they implemented a technocracy instead of addressing the democratic deficit. In Ireland we can write many songs on that theme, can’t we? Corruption and most of all outrageous lobbyism is everywhere in the EU, but when I came to live in Ireland some 15 years ago, at first I really had to laugh at the blatant obvious ways they executed crony politics here. I remember that I said to a friend something down the lines …They do not even attempt to hide the corruption, they open a tent on the horse races and get the envelopes collected on the spot, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, their Prime Minister had no bank account and no tax clearance for ages, and the story goes on and on….

    It is no different in Europe, just a little less obvious, but it is a fact the EU Institutions totally failed to bring a European vision to the citizens of member Nations, now they celebrate themselves for their achievements, the latter is nothing but a monetary debt Transfer Union, debt Junkies on dope.

    The underlying problems of the EU construct were never addressed, like the Banksters who hided their debts, used creative accounting techniques and legal loopholes down to braking laws, complicit national and EU politicians turned a blind eye on major problems as long as economical growth enabled them to cover it all up.

    The economical imbalances of the EU were never solved, other than imposing more debts on weaker importing countries and complicit national corrupted governments to strengthen their own profits. This imbalance is at the core of the Union, and it will not go away.

    Do you ‘feel’ by any standard that you belong and identify yourself with the European Union, do you think of yourself as a European Citizen? Personally, your milage may vary, i know not a single person that would clim to feel as European, they are out there of course, but I intend to think that this remains the Insider vision of some minority stakeholders and never transpired into a larger vision that brought Europeans together as such, let aside the Turkey question and the way it is handled.

    The Euro lie is on the table now for everyone to have a good look at it, never was it more obvious, and of course the real stakeholders fight with everything at their disposal to keep maintain status quo, they have vested interests. They pressure dumb nuts like our officials into a contract that signs away our future and ruins our country for decades, but makes sure they get paid back what they pumped into Ireland by reckless lending, plus interest! It is nothing short of insane to agree to such a deal and shows the true disconnect and ineptitude of Irish officials.

    Hell yes, a cattle dealer has more wisdom and real world economical experience than the barristers and legal eagles that are ruining this country and bleeding us out alive.

    The collapse of the OSCE talks is a great concern, and I do not have much faith in the ability of the established political class in Europe when it comes to conflict prevention.

    EU officials reaction to this heist lacked any proactive approach, reaction at best, and to no surprise, in super slow motion, in stereotype bureaucrats fashion. The black death was caused by a bacterium, a flea bite, the governments and scientists did not know this.

    The financial plague was caused by the rats and fleas of financial institutions, special interest groups and complicit politicians. They had the knowledge, they are all in it neck deep, no excuse! Only by establishing a Fact Finding Commission with direct participation of the public, special powers and no more behind closed doors politics, Ireland stands a fighting chance to get out of this swamp, has a chance of finding closure and bring to justice those who were obviously complicit. Cowen belongs into a witness stand of a public hearing stand not into the dail, together with many others!

    Wether Ireland or Europe or ROW, only by injecting more direct democracy into Institutions and drastically reducing the overwhelming power of lobbies we will succeed to build a future that has a chance of peace, prosperity and equal chances for all.

    The only chance to achieve such fundamental changes lies with the people of Ireland, no one else!


    SLEVEEN – Workhouse Dunfanaghy- County Donegal

    • Deco

      Trichet awarded the premier award for services of benefit to Europe. Is this some sort of sick joke ?

      I would love to know how the Greeks, Portuguese, Spanish voted. Of course, we can safely presume our buffoons were queueing up to be in favour of it.

      Trichet, and the low interest rate policy from 2003-2007 has made a dogs dinner of everything.

      • Snippets from the german Karls Preis site’s reasoning why Trichet was awarded the price (my own humble translation):

        Jean-Claude Trichet steht für die Unabhängigkeit der Europäischen Zentralbank

        J.C. Trichet stands for the independence of the ECB.

        Die Rückkehr zu nationalen Währungen ist kein gangbarer Weg.

        The way back to national currencies is no longer an option.

        „Es ist kein Zufall, dass während der Turbulenzen der vergangenen Jahre in der Fachwelt in erster Linie die EZB ihre Reputation steigern konnte, während die Fed und vor allem auch die hilflos wirkende Bank of England an Ansehen eingebüßt haben.

        It is not by coincidence that particularly the ECB strengthened it’s reputation during the prevailing turbulences of the past years, while the FED and the somewhat helpless Bank of England lost reputation.

        Well… so far the reasoning for honoring Europe’s Ueber-Civil-Servant.

    • Deco

      Actually the fact that Phony Tony got it, is even more alarming.

    • BrianC

      Hi Georg

      Many thanks for your wonderful contribution. Great writing and very insightful.

      Are you snowed in up there in Dunfnaghy

      Way back I posted a link to Damon Vrabel and note others are also posting so word is spreading. You may be interested or already aware of Chris Martenson who is truly perceptive and enlightening

      Don’t forget ‘its good to care but more vital to share’. Through ignorance we inherit poverty and through knowledge we gain freedom.

      Don’t you just love Sarah Palin advocating assasination of Assange. I have heard that they are building a system in Canada that will crash the internet whenever they want. Do you believe in HAARP and all that ……………… In any event if they can muzzel Amazon what next I believe disinformation.

      Keep the candles burning and shine the light.

      • Thank you Brian,

        Through ignorance we inherit poverty and through knowledge we gain freedom.

        But to gain this freedom, we need to utilize the knowledge and can turn it into wisdom. Knowledge on it’s own merit is useless.

        • BrianC

          Hi Georg

          I agree with you. Sadly there is little will in our society to acquire wisdom. Most are happy living their private lives dumbed down with mindless tv sterilising their thinking.

          Anyway check out Chris Martenson he talks a lot of sense and soon it will be survival of the fittest or the smartest if those who can use their intelligence plan and apply themselves. Just look what a little snow does and the elements are far superior to man who in Ireland cannot even organise his own finances.

    • Julia

      Absolutely stunning and insightful article Georg.
      I’ll have to read it again to take it in properly.
      Thankyou, Julia.

      • Thank you Julia,

        If I should have managed to make only a single person think about all this, my efforts were successful.

        What is the difference between a horde of horsemen galloping into poverty stricken settlements, wielding swords and torches to extract payments from peasants to pay for castles, churches and armies, and our situation today?

        As far back as Aristotle it was known that the extortion of wealth from the poor, and the gap between extreme wealth and poverty are what can be considered as the roots of tyranny.

        Did you notice how our officials like to refer to themselves as honorable people in the media? When one politician speaks about one of the opposed party, he never fails to makes sure that he also mentions to know him as an upright and honorable person.

        His sole function, his chiefs pride, is the stately consumption of wealth produced by others.

        The above could be the description of our officials and their ethics of late, but it is the description of Landlords in David Lloyd Georg’s Limehouse budget speech of 1909.

        He continued to attack the House of Lords, speaking before a crowd of cockney dock workers 100 years ago.

        “It will be asked why 500 ordinary men — chosen accidentally from among the unemployed-should override the deliberate judgement of millions of people who are engaged in the industry that makes the wealth of the country. It will be asked who ordained that a few should have the land of Great Britain as a perquisite? Who made 10,000 owners of the soil, and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth? Where did that table of laws come from? Whose finger inscribed it?

        “The Upstairs Class has successfully fought off every effort to tax its land values to support a national budget from that day to this.”

        This however was at a tine where landownership was in the hand of a few.

        I guess it would be useful to remember that any form of taxation, other than on land values, reduces our standard of living. As the wealth theft of the past 4 years continued, some people became very wealthy while others are pushed into poverty.

        I think we have to distinguish between unearned incomes and earned incomes, the unearned income accruing to land inevitably increases as population grows.

        The problem is that those who are collecting money without working for it are not willing to give up these privileges, of course not. The artificial inflation of land and property prices needs to be understood as a methodology of this heist we witness and which will find it’s peak in todays budget and the contracts with EU and IMF.

        Th wealthy and powerful stay in their protected bubble and the people will be fooled by the cuts they impose on themselves while at the same time maintaining status quo.

        NAMA in this context is the biggest fraud in the history of Ireland.

        To tax the real economical value of land is not on the plates, but to tax people who put their lifesavings in family homes, after having paid duties all their lives.

        The desired harmonisation of taxes in Europe brings us back to the medieval ages of even deeper tax extortion to transfer wealth from the people into the pockets of a few who hold the power.

        The ironical thing about all this is evident, their equations are flawed, their blind spot that I tried to describe does not allow them to see the real change of our realities, but they are inconsiderate towards our common future. They are not equipped with empathy, simple as that.


        • P.S. I really should explain that last sentence, they are not equipped with empathy is a personal experience I made with people in such positions, extremely wealthy people, over my lifetime in a different countries. This of course does not count for all, but in my experience it is very often the case.

        • Julia

          Thankyou Georg. You wrote this before the Budget speech and now we can see that as we would all predict it’s “plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose”. There is another tax which if it could be implemented would be a fair tax. That is a tax on earnings from gambling. In Ireland this is worth E16 billion a year. Of course I used to think this was an incredible amount of money, now I know it isn’t. But the principle is the same. Money spent on gambling is entirely disgressionary(spelling), unless you are an addict. The winnings are unearned.

          Another area I have been thinking about is social welfare and low payed jobs. The budget has just, predictably, reduced the amount of money going into the pockets of these people appart from those on the old age pension. This, yet again, displays the total disregard for the poor in this society. (Thatcher would be proud – “there is no such thing as society”.) The powers that be, our elected politians, state officials, Patrick Honahan, Peter Sutherland et al remind me of the comfortable rich in a Dickens novel, or, from The Grapes of Wrath -” the kind eyes of the very rich.” They can well afford to be kind when the worst that will happen to them is to make them think about maybe changing their tax residency for a few years if they are asked for too much.

          But it is worse than that. The economic and social policies we are following ensure that not only will we not have real economic growth for a long time but we are worsening the problems of society at large for the future. Think of Limerick for example, a city with a large working class population and very many of them unemployed. When money was available it was not spent on improving the lives of the people, improving their living standards, and especially education, both adult and child education. A friend of mine used to refer to the Department of Education, where she worked, as An Roinn Éadóchais – the department of hopelessness.

          According to the CSO 25% of the working population of 1.8 million people earn too much for a medical card and earn about or below E25,000. This is not a lot of money. But, a person might say, the cost of living has come down. Not for these people. The cost of health (E55 to visit a GP, E120 for A%E), education (E400 to buy books for a first year 12 year old), transport (petrol prices are rocketing), and energy, all this are staying very high and the poor are spending every penny they have on staying afloat.

          Still, people can be very philosphical at times. There was another Victorian story ( or was it Strumpet City) which mentioned a little boy who pitied the poor because they didn’t have newspapers to stuff in their windows to keep out the cold. Poverty is always relative! Anyway the Victorians were good at tugging on the heart strings. But they did begin to see the rightness of health and education. They just didn’t want it to disturb them too much.

          As you say, the rich are not equipped with empathy.

          P.S Can you name a good book about Loyd George for me to read?

          • Julia

            Sorry, my spelling has gone to pot today.

            Assange has been arrested. The accusations seem a bit strange but I am no apologist for sexual assault. It will be interesting to see what happens. E

          • I have not read a particular book on him Julia I am just cross referencing a lot when I study. The Internet is full of information if you just google his name.

            He secured the settlement that lead to the Anglo Irish Treaty and the Irish free state of 1921 when he negotiated with Eamon de Valera.

            I do spend some time in iTunesU and I can highly recommend this, to the best of my knowledge, it does not matter whether you are on a PC or Mac, I think iTunes is a free application that serves both Mac OSX and Windows, and within that you find iTunesU which gives you a tremendous amount of access to the finest Universities and lectures all over the world. It was there, under Oxford University, that I listened to ‘The peoples budget’ and then started to cross reference further informations that are freely available.

            It is really fascinating, at no cost you have access to the finest educational material from all disciplines. If I would not be on a Mac, this alone would be a reason for me to install iTunes. This University initiative is relatively young, may be a year now I think, but is steadily growing in content, text as well as audio/visual material.

            Thanks, I needed that laugh! An Roinn Éadóchais — the department of hopelessness.

            Yes of course, the gambling industry is protected by the insider circles, as we know it offers also a facility to launder funny money, wasn’t it in the context of Ahern’s mysterious cash transactions that he stated in a witness stand he would have won it on the horses?

            The ‘social divide’ in the Irish case is engineered on purpose, it enables them to play one group against the other while maintaining status quo. The last Pat Kenny Frontline program was very interesting, the subject was the future of FF and observing and listening to the characters, you could easily recruit them to be actors in a Charles Dickens film. Some brainwashed youngsters parroting Daddy’s political confessions was rather disturbing to see, but such is the reality of this country since a very long time.

          • Julia

            Thanks. Will look up iTunesU straight away. This is great. Nothing like unstructured learning. And no exams or thesis.

          • adamabyss

            Georg, got a particular favourite lecture of yours to recommend, to start me off with? Thanks.

          • @adamabyss,

            hey… its MIT, Stanford, Yale, Oxford, Harvard….. long list of Universities and faculties. I don’t know what’s your poison, organic chemistry, theology, political sciences, economy…. take your pick :)

            Personally, at the moment I am listening to Economic Reasoning: The most Common Fallacies – 30th July 2010, Mises Institute, Auburn-Alabama

          • adamabyss

            Thanks Georg. I’m reading Ha-Joon Chang’s book ’23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism’. Saw him at Kilkenomics and he struck me as a straight-talker. I will get on iTunes soon and browse.

          • ….may be of interest is the lecture of the President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Doug French – The Origin and Nature of Money -

          • adamabyss

            Ok Georg thanks, I will check it out. We actually started that topic today in Macroeconomics at Maynooth.

          • Hehehe, now that is a coincidence, a economics student. :) Very well, beware the Borg collective and all my best for your studies!

        • coldblow

          Well said, Georg. It’s interesting how this fundamental issue (inequality) seemed to just vanish from the ‘progressive’ agenda in recent decades. How can this be explained? It’s also interesting that opposition to the Liberals’ embryonic welfare reforms of the first decade or so of the 20th century (remember that Ireland was overwhelmingly ‘middle class’ in comparison with Britain in terms of ownership of land and sinecurs, albeit largely on a very modest scale, and there was no extensive labouring class, most of whom had emigrated – largely to Britain) was arguably one of the driving forces of the independence movement.

          • Julia

            @ Coldblow. Not only did the fundamental issue of ineguality disappear from the agenda in the last decade, it’s demise was positively celebrated by some. Do you remember Michael McDowell arguing that inequality was good. He was no friend to ordinary people. He would bring us all back to the dark ages with regard to ruling elites and the proletariat.

            Georg, I think Frontline may have been packed with the final few Fianna Fáil supporters. It was an extraordinary show unrepresentative of the feeling of the country. I spoke to the Labour Party Press Office a few months ago about their lack of representation on the programme and they told me it is their policy not to go on the programme because of it’s format and confrontational style. I’m inclined to agree. It’s a bit like a Jeremey Kyle programme. All soundbytes and abuse. No real discussion. Pat Kenny himself can’t remain impartial. I imagine he was a PD supporter in the past.

  3. rizlaplus

    You haven’t seen the new passports then Vincent?

    There to be printed as soon as the budget is passed.

  4. That’s all very well David but if anyone out there still believes that the government are working in the interest of the majority of society they are quite simply delusional. The “European Project” takes precedence over the so called Irish Republic, its people, and resources.

    How can the people get a good deal if the bidder and seller are on the same side of the table? By the way what is the punishment for treason nowadays? It’s strange how the opposition uses “economic treason” with ease now, were they not all guilty of promoting the Lisbon Treaty.

  5. And the sad thing here is that we have the “Ennis farmers” aplenty in high finance to negotiate a deal for the country.
    The old farmer has only one loyalty and that is to his farm, family and fridge. Pure market capitalism at work.
    Our dealmakers, on the other hand, put the needs of the few before the common rights of the many and by doing so, breached the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution.
    For that they will pay, some at the ballot box and some by the hand of the Euro-ninja assassins they sought to curry favour with.
    Unfortunately it is difficult to see where, if ever, the core of these quislings will pay the price of their collaboration with the enemy.

    • Deco

      Our leaders are a combination of politicians of the aristocratic method (“me uncle is a TD me boys, me uncle is a TD”) and careerists who are out of their depth (‘we might have covered this in Belfield, but we were told not to worry about about it because it would not come up on the exam, and for that reason I did not bother – I can’t remember…maybe I had a hangover the night before that class anyway, just as well it wasn’t on the exam…’).

  6. vincent

    When the IMF came to town there couldnt have been very much to “negotiate” as Brian Lenihan the Minister for Finance was already on the Board of Governors of the IMF, the IMF being essentially a private bank…

  7. Garry

    I think the farmers are more interested in saving themselves (hard to blame them)

    Hopefully the single farm payments will be stopped or at least a maximum (like say 15k) put on them….

    There are many farmers pulling in over 100k a year for owning land though the average is much lower.

    When I last looked the biggest beneficiary was greencore who were taking in millions, which is scandalous.

    Time for a maximum as well as a minimum.

    • coldblow

      I mentioned before here an old Late Late from around the early 90s where an English farmer was talking about the huge money being wasted on grants to the farmers, especially the big farmers (such as himself), as he was already quite rich thank you very much and really didn’t need these huge additional payments from Europe. He was grateful for them, and wished to convey his thanks to the people of Europe for giving him them, but really he didn’t need it. There was a big farm lobby in the audience headed by the Ag. Minister (Ivan Yates I think) who took issue with him, but it seemed quite clear-cut to me.

      Eoghan Harris mentioned once or twice about the “strong farmers” keeping their heads down over the last couple of years. In one of David’s books (Gen Game?) he mentions the expensive boutiques in unlikely small country towns catering to this wealthy class of people. We really need to establish who has got what, who is doing ok, who is rich, who is struggling – but, like the ESB staff’s reduced bills, much of this information seems to be kept well hidden. We need this information. M. Hennigan of FinFacts mentions that about 80bn was invested by Irish in property abroad – that data needs to be made accessible too, though I don’t know who is going to do this.

  8. Deco

    The article is a perfect exponent of the value of common sense and experience in getting things done. Interestingly enough, circumstance and experience, (the school of hard knocks) prepares people for tight situations far better than nepotism, cronyism, cliquism, lifestyle spending, or being a regular at the K-club.

    In Ireland we have gone away from using common sense as a starting point, and starting from the position of pride – and the need for outward projections of significance. Coy old farmers in the West of Ireland, having learned the lessons of a lifetime about value. They seem to know that you survive by means of understatement. Such tendencies makes you very likely to miss out on the great party mood, of the Binge era.

    The people who are negotiating a deal for Ireland are based on ah hierarchy of “who knows who”, and titles, and seniority of position. They really have no idea what they are doing. If they do a lousy job, based n recent experience, they have no reason to expect to have to take any pain for that.

    Whereas the farmers in Ennis are inclined to minimize the message, and maximize the manoevring position – we have clowns who maximize the message and minimize their manoevring position. If the farmer in Ennis does a lousy job, then he will have to sweat and toil to make good.

    Basically, our real trump card in the negotiation is the loss of face that the debacle is putting on the ECB, the EU and the Euro. But we are governed by people who have a lot of pretence about them, and who cannot engage in that sort of engagement. The need to project imperial grandiosity, the need to protect the national pride, places Cowen & co. where hs is claiming that everything is OK, when it is not. In effect he is bluffing the citizenry – which means that the negotiators the other side know that he has his back to the wall.

    Of course, when you ask a collection of people who have limited understanding of market dynamics, in a market negotiation situation, (like the lawyers running the cabinet) you get an awful lot of spin, and no strategy. In fact we see strategy, with hindsight. This is only an exercise is ass-covering.

    Under Ahern – not only did we completely abandon common sense and strategic thinking as a way of getting things done – we repressed these concepts out of existence by cirmcumventing and shoving anybody who evenly commented remotely about them. The categorization provided was those “talked the economy (our prospects) down”. The party-poopers and the celebrity Taoiseach.

    Common sense tends to come back with a vengeance when it is absent for any period. We are seeing that now. Sean Quinn, Drumm and Drummer, Swiss Cheese, Ireland’s elite. They became too proud for common sense. They were above the laws of “cop on”. It no longer fitted the grandiosity of Ireland gone imperial. The entire ediface was built on pride, and now circumstance is demanding humility and respect to time honoured truths. Now, common sense is back with a powerful kick.

    • Some common sense starters Deco (Fine post again btw)

      1. London Transport moves the population of Ireland in and out of the city every day, just to get people to work
      2. At any given stage of the Tiger, Britain owed more than total Irish GDP
      3. British holiday makers spend like crazy when over here
      4. There are no limits on Irish farm produce in British supermarkets(Most Chinatown duck comes from Monaghan)
      5. Britain avoided the EMU trap
      6. 70 million consumers next door is a good starting place for 3 million impoverished people to start selling into.
      7. Europe/Euro is a busted flush. Every country just kept dumping their rubbish politicians into the Brussels Brain Skip.

      • Deco

        Point number 7 was something that I used to think was just an Irish problem. Then we seen Blair send over Mandelson to Burssels. I heard all about Edith Cresson going to Brussels and finding a nice hand earner for her dentist. And then when I heard of Jens Peter Bonde, and what he was saying – I realised the truth in point number 7.

        I agree with your points. Our “grand strategists” are missing the point (again).

    • BrianC


      You are right on the mark regards common sense.

      There is a great challenge in applying common sense. And in order to apply it you need wisdom. Common sense is actually not very common. In order to apply it you need wisdom which is even more scarce.

      And you always get the morons rising to the top of the mix who substitute consensus for common sense. Unfortunately we all end up the worse off for not having the wisdom to apply common sense at the ballot box where we repeatedly vote for the status quo; and as the great Roy pins it doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Will we ever learn?

  9. Deco

    David is right. No mention of the “Ballsbrige-up” on my passport. And David is being braver than most – given the very effective manner in which the media have completely whitewashed the current mess under our old pals in the BankCentre.

    • As in yesterdays headline implying that a vote for Labour was a vote for Sinn Féin by proxy.

      • furrylugs : the first two important tenets for a any country /nationality is a) Spirit of dreams and the second is b) Structure to build on it .My issues on this site has always been the failure of the existing structures ( laws and enforcement )and until that is remedied Logic does not work and we will disintegrate as a nation.
        It appears that only a party with a proven structure will succeed and maybe that will be Sinn Fein .
        Whether we agree on their policies etc or not they have a structure that works and thus the vacuum may be filled by them.They may just walk through in the absence of any alternative.

        • Malcolm McClure

          John ALLEN: After Joan Burton’s began her post Budget drivelling speech, I wonder how many stayed tuned in to hear Pearse Doherty. He spoke with passion and eloquence and reeled off facts and figures as though to the manner born. Of course the Dail was almost empty, leaving Calamity to bark rejoinders from the sidelines.

          Sinn Fein is on a roll and worth watching. When I look at FF, FG and Lab, I’m not impressed by any of them. Will the Shinners get a widespread Hobson’s Choice vote?

          They have the radical policies to change Ireland, but what kind of country would we live in then? if they get into government will they become Born Again democrats or will they reveal latent fascist tendencies?

  10. vincent

    On top of everything else the “opposition” are proposing to sell off what real wealth we have left (state companies and natural resourses) all ending up in private hands just to pay off the “debt” owed to the private hand. you couldnt write this stuff…

  11. Scotlyn

    Love the mart analogy. I also happen to think that a panel of housewives could have done better – they’d be assessing whether any deal would leave them able to feed their children or not.

    David: “This deal should be ripped up by the next government and renegotiated in such away as to separate the Irish banks from the Irish state.”

    And if no party is willing to do this, we should call on our president to be the guardian of the constitution she is meant to be and break the unlawful and immoral link between the Irish nation and the commercial risks of private entities.

    Please sign the petition: That the Irish President unyoke the Nation’s Welfare from Private Banking Interests.

  12. Thee

    Great idea. We need to send in the boys who know how to dicker.

    Literal in your fourth-last paragraph, by the way – “them art” should be “the mart”.

  13. Dorothy Jones

    Great article David!
    So here is an interesting take from the other side,on how the Germans do business in Ireland based on my own sojourns intyo the Weihnachtsmarkt in the Docklands [theme: seasonal, more irish than the irish themselves, economy, irish, german take on doing business]:
    1. Price of a Krakuaer [spicy sausage!] on Friday 3 Dec when market setting up: €5 [Stand on upper level at Ely]
    2. Price of Krakauer at 5:30pm on Friday evening when footfall increases: €5.50 [Stand on lower level]

    • Dorothy Jones

      3. Price of a Krakauer on Saturday afternoon 4 Decemeber, when parents are giving screaming kids treats to warm them in the snow: €6!!!!! [Same stand on lower level]
      It’s a bit like watching the bond spreads, so if it reaches €7, it probobly means something……

        • The local veg dealer who travels from market to market in our area never…. NEVER… has any prices displayed. On buying 3 times the same goods within 3 weeks I was charged 170%- 210% different prices, depending on my clothes, the latter is a wild guess.

        • Dorothy Jones

          I think ‘Beutelschneider’ might be a little too harsh given the context….they just seem to have caught on to a trick or 2 from us! If there is a demand, you can increase your price here, especially if beer is in the mix! Also, not too many places selling Krakauer! So maybe this is the time to make an irish version [Recession Ispini], and to set up such a stand beside the very good coffee stand [Coffee Angel?] near the Bingo Bridge and charge €3 / Stck….

          • As a student, I worked on the christmas market in Aachen and Cologne. One thing never happened during my time, prices to vary as you described.

            How is the Gluehwein? …. Some sentimental flashbacks you triggered here… ;)

  14. Suggestions : Next time David try an abbatoir to relate the living fear of the rostbif for the slaughter and if you are in a spice up moment visit the Salon de L’Agriculture in Paris in mid march.It should be a powerful source of information for any Irish person.

  15. Good article. I believe last Friday week in the afternoon, correct me if I’m wrong, after 2 weeks of negotiations, just before going to the media, the interest rate of 5.8% was plonked onto the table.

    You, if you were buying a house/mortgage, you’d ask what the interest rate was first, then you’d figure out, could you repay it?

    Not these stooges, everything is on the taxpayer and Irish citizens.

    There was more of a chance of querying the bill at a Michelin star restaurant in Lower Manhattan on a Paddy’s Day weekend junket, for the whole of the cabinet!

    Time DmcW got a job as TD, but keep up the gifted writing!

    Julie was a Telegraph journalist who got into trouble as MP, don’t follow her example.

    More to the point, its gone beyond negotiating.
    We needed a bailout, but they gave us a noose around our necks.

    Our negotiators had their chance at negotiating and they blew it, the only ‘bailout’ they could come up with is a poisoned chalice for Ireland leading to inevitable default.

    We need a structured default and organised withdrawal right now.

    The budget tomorrow is a Ireland’s debt death knell.

    Arguments in favour of leaving the euro and default you should read right now here:(

    Why We Must Leave The Euro

    • Deco

      No, not as a TD. Put him, and Gurdgiev into the DoF. People who think with clarity instead fudge-masters from the Ditherer era.

      And put Roy Keane in charge of the HSE. Lot’s of prima-donna, middle-aged, well-connected, merc-driving, male managers who need somebody to shouting down at them – until they actually start generating results or else leave to get away from the abuse.

      And put an organizational change expert team under Keane to go around and start streamlining processes, and making things happen faster, cheaper, better, and with far more clarity. The humility that Keane feels when the results are abysmal contrasts strongly with the hapless Harney who apologises for nothing.

  16. Philip

    If there are big things afoot in terms of a big ECB/ IMF takeover and a covert and systematic dismantling of free speech and rights, then we are all too late. But, as I am an ardent believer of bureaucratic incompetence, I think we need fear little at a global level.

    The good thing so far is that the gombeen element have screwed up and are trying preserve a status quo. That is failing as well. FF are gone. With any luck, Labour and FG will follow suit. We need a new political setup. I do acknowledge the efforts of FG to change the administration and organisation of government – but little else. The civil war politics needs to end.

    Stand back, and watch the show unfolding. Is is 100% out of our hands for now.

  17. malone

    Sorry to put a spanner in the works about the analogy of a cattle mart but you have to remember a few things here ,

    Johnny from down the road is not going to bid for an cow if his friend Matty wants it and you can be sure that Johnny will ask Matty for a favour in return in time to come. If Johnny´s friends, Matty and Paddy are try to sell their cows for the best price you can be sure that Matty and Paddy will make bids for Johnny´s cows just to drive the price up and the same with Matty and Paddy. If Tom has just bought a farm in the neighbourhood and wants to buy a few cows to start up Matty and Johnny and Paddy will make sure that Tom will not be able to buy anything if he has not been approved by the locals. If Morace has has a row with Matty his neighbour over Matty´s cows breaking into his land , Matty will make sure that Morace can not sell his cows at the mart.
    If Timmy, Johnny´s friend is friendly with the local sergent and Timmy has a word with the sergent about Johnny and a drink driving offence which got quashed you can be sure that Timmy´s cows will get top price at the mart.
    If Matty´s tractor broke down in the snow and Eileen
    Mick´s( another neighbour) wife just drove past him
    and didnt help Mick will waste his time bringing the cows to the Mart

    If Mag (Paddy´s wife,neighbours of Johnny) didnt vote for Mary (Mattys wife ) in the local ICA election for president Paddy will get very low price for the cows.

    If Padraig´s daughter Catherine turned down Jimmys
    son´s mariage proposal , then Padraig will not get much help with the Silage next June

    So David I thing when you used the analogy of the mart you actally described the govement and the whole political and economic system in Ireland although I do take your point that the famers would know a bit more about what they are doing when negotiating.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Malone,

      “When you used the analogy of the mart you actually described the government and the whole political and economic system in Ireland”

      David may indeed have described the cultural scene of Ireland when he observed the mart in Ennis. Also for your information it was farmers who created the first futures contracts when fixing the future price of grain to make sure they hedged against a loss from poor weather etc. The name stock market itself comes from a time when livestock was bought and sold by dealers in the market.

      May I also point out to you that organized farming had to be perfected long before the Egyptians built the pyramids to feed the massive hoard of slaves who were worked to death and whose products (the pyramids) stand testament through 3000 years as one of mans most collosal acts of inhumanity to his fellow man.

      I would like to point out to you most importantly; his article has nothing what so ever got to do with your very perverse, condescending, and blatantly ignorant take on the farming industry in Ireland.



      • malone

        Hi Michael
        Thank you for your comments but I´m afraid that if you know anything about life in the country or farming then you will know that this goes on and especially in a local community. Now I´m not saying that it goes on to the same degree but it certainly goes on. Its called local politics.
        As to David´s article about the mart in Ennis where farmers would gather for maybe 30 miles around where this type of politics would be part and parcel of a local community and of the mart and I sorry but Davids article failed to mention that and I felt that it needed to be said.
        I am in no way belittling the farmers or the farming industry in Ireland, they too have to make a living but it seems from your comments that you yourself are ignorant about farming. As I said if you did know then you would have identified with what I said.

        For example a TD is still expected to turn up for some funerals in local communities and families
        are still know as either” Fianna Fail ” people or “Fine Gael”

        If you think that my comment was perverse then I would suggest for you if you happen to know some farmers is to ask about the history or real “goings on” in a local community , you will be shocked because that is what went on and is still going on to some degree.

    • Colin


      Excellent post, really enjoyed it. So honest and accurate. And don’t forget Richard Harris in ‘The Field’, ordering Tom Berenger that ‘he won’t be buying that field’.

      David may well be right in arguing that the farmers would be better negotiators, but he’s misguided if he thinks that farmers act with honesty, integrity and high ethics. Now Get Off My Land!

      Like I said before, If I wanted to become a farmer, I’d need a couple of million Euros to even think about it. Farming is the ultimate closed shop the ultimate example of nepotism in the workplace, followed closely by Publicans, where in England any old geezer can run a pub, and run it well for a salary of £30,000. Its not rocket science, and neither is farming. And spare me the “but the farmers work really really hard” routine.

      • coldblow

        It’s interesting to see how the ‘keep off my land’ mentality has evolved in recent decades. Back in the 70s and 80s ‘no access’ or ‘private’ signs were in my experience quite rare. They tended to be on small access roads to picturesque lakesides etc and I got the impression that they had been put up by new German, English and Dutch landowners (maybe a bit unfair there, but I seemed to have some evidence).Irish landowners didn’t seem to do this at the time. I wonder how that has evolved since. There seemed to be some kind of community ethic or whatever, or maybe such signs were uncomfortably reminisicent of the old landlords and they felt they couldn’t get away with it (assuming they wanted to do it in the first place). But there would always have been a bit of it (see Tarry Flynn for ex.), and only the other week I heard stories in the old family farm in Roscommon about a contrary neighbour who was trying to stop access to a well on his land and ended up polluting it with oil or whatever just to spite the neighbours.

        There were, and surely still are, undoubted many benign aspects to rural life but nepotism is everything.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Colin,

        The fact that you made reference to Harris in The Field is proof point of your inability to deferentiate between reality and your predjuduice against the Farming community.

        Bull McCabe was a fictional character in a movie.

        best regards,


        • Colin

          Thanks Michael.

          I’m aware it was fiction, the kind of fiction that’s very close to reality. I have first hand knowledge of how ‘bull mccabe types’ operate, but I won’t mention their names, you propbably wouldn’t know them anyway.

          Kind Regards,

  18. malone

    There is one point worth thinking about though as somebody did mention here before . Critisism of the govement and TDs in general has become rampant and rightly so. But as well they have been branded as gobshites. But this crowd are by no means stupid in fact are probally the opposite.
    They have seen this coming if not their friends in the banking and stocking broking markets have seen it coming and now like the NAZIS and SS in Germany 1945 are planning how to protect their hides (minister for justice last week and Bertie a few years ago) and probaly are in negotiation with the EU to get themselves a cushy job in Euroope or on to the board( slient member) of a bank or the director in company . Note that the greens jumped ship the morning and made it sound like they were the heros of the day.
    I would say actually that they went into the negotiations with the IMF /EU knowing that their time was up and not really giving a crap . They had to make out some deal as the pressure from the EU ( the Bosses) was getting too much but for them the most important thing was not about what they could get for Ireland but how their own hides could be saved in the best way.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Malone: You have provided a perfect rendering of the antecedents of crony capitalism. Horses for courses, surely. Eurocrats will soon tie Johnnie Hayseed in knots. What is needed is a Peter Mandelson type who can play the Eurocrats at their own game. It’s not pretty but it gets results.

      Debt is not debt but a gigantic game of ‘Pass the parcel’. ECB gives Ireland €40 billion. Ireland gives Italy €40 billions. Italy gives Spain €40 Billions and Spain gives the EC €40 billions. Same again tomorrow. The auditors only get to see each player’s balance sheet during the half hour the credit is in residence.

      The FT suggested today that NAMA has been a disastrous mistake, as most of us here have been saying since it was first mooted. Was this because it stopped the music just before Ireland got the parcel?

      • malone

        Malcolm , a very good point about the FT. You could have hit the nail on the head but if you also remember that just before the bail out it was reported by RTE ( sorry to use it as quote) that Nama were selling off assets and making a tidy profit and keeping a lot of it very quiet.Would it or could it have anything to do with the fact that the bosses in the EU saw this and did not like ie ,it upset a few applecarts ?

  19. paddyjones

    Hang on a second we had to ask for charity from the IMF/EU/ECB and they very generously gave it to us.
    Why does DMcW then suggest we stab them in the back?
    As for the negociation it is marginal whether they could have got a better deal, maybe a slighly less penal interest rate, but we got a better deal than the greeks so that says something.
    DMcW is turning out to be a small minded little man with no sense of thankfulness for our fellow europeans. I love to read his blog just to see how desperate he has become.

  20. wills


    Mechanical train set of *market dynamics* illustrated by a cattle mart.

    Information flow is all important.

    Now when it comes to the *market dynamics* the insider sociopath elites are running, operating, what do we get.

    We get a mechanical train set of *market dynamics* which runs the wealth into the a chosen set of elites who never loose and always enrich ont the back of the trian set of market dynamics the elites always ensure remains in place.

  21. uchrisn

    I’m sure the Europeans are fretting over this huge debt to the Irish banks. Will 35 billion fix it? By the way the 35 billion might be gone into the banks before a new government comes into power. Ireland clearly cannot afford to take on any more debt if it doesn’t. What happens then. The banks are allowed to fail?
    I cannot imagine the european tax-payer propping up the Irish banks, just judging by comments made on articles in European papers they seem to be very scathing of the Irish peoples dullness in allowing themselves to be dupped into paying for private bankers losses.
    However if they fail couldn’t that set off the dreaded domino effect?
    Hmm interesting challenges lie ahead.

  22. adamabyss


  23. [...] EU divided on bondholders Farmers could have saved us National debasement disguised as a rescue deal New measures to protect struggling homeowners [...]

  24. Original-Ed

    Very good piece – Cowen and Co. have never had to enter a bear bit for a living – they’re civil srevants in in all but name – guarantee is the name of their game.

  25. CitizenWhy

    Respected Analysts: Ireland is committing economic suicide

    “The different adjustment paths of Ireland and Iceland are classic examples of devaluation versus deflation.

    “Iceland and Ireland experienced similar economic illnesses prior to their respective crises: Both economies had too much private-sector debt and the banking system was massively overleveraged. Iceland’s total external debt reached close to 1000% of its GDP in 2008. By the end of the year, Iceland’s entire banking system was crushed and the stock market dropped by more than 95% from its 2007 highs. Since then, Iceland has followed the classic adjustment path of a debt crisis-stricken economy: The krona was devalued by more than 60% against the euro and the government was forced to implement draconian austerity programs.

    “In Ireland, the boom in real estate prices triggered a massive borrowing binge, driving total private non-financial sector debt to almost 200% of GDP, among the highest in the euro area economy. In stark contrast to the Icelandic situation, however, the Irish economy has become stuck in a debt-deflation spiral. The government has lost all other options but to accept the E85 billion bailout package from the EU and the IMF.


    The big problem for Ireland is that fiscal austerity without a large currency devaluation is like committing economic suicide — without a cheapened currency to re-create nominal growth, fiscal austerity can only serve to crush aggregate demand and precipitate an economic downward spiral. The sad reality is that unlike Iceland, Ireland does not have the option of devaluing its own currency, implying that further harsh economic adjustment is likely.” … BCA Research, Banking Analyst, online, Dec 4, 2010. BCA Research is an independent bank research company.

    Iceland is seeing its nominal GDP rise while Ireland is still in freefall, even after doing the so-called “right thing” by taking on their bank debt.

    • @CitizenWhy

      Agree with what you say apart from “The government has lost all other options but to accept the E85 billion bailout package from the EU and the IMF”

      You might want to look at the nine features of deflation plus the classical economist Irving Fisher insights on the lethal nature of debt + deflation blogged on here:

      Then observe around to verify the same on our island.

      Then listen to the budget cooking the goose that laid the golden egg!

      • OT it will be interesting to see what budget has on Caital Gains Tax. I refer to John Allen post previous article flagging recently announced French increase of same from 12.5% to 25%. Obviously the French want to break any asset sales that will increase deflation..anyways that’s by the bye byes:)

        Crowning achievement of FF today is budgetary Ireland Inc coup de grace suicide. The intent is to drive out the population especially the young through emigration – in Pol Pot fashion:( Next budget to limit unemployment benefit to one year max? Once they got their pensions/salaries stitched up with further bailouts?

  26. bolesn

    David, just to note that 100 plus billion liquidity provided by the ECB to the Irish banks is all fully collatralisewd and mark to mraket on a daily basis – the majority of this is Government bonds, covered bonds and bank debt. So if the Irish banks default on the cash owed to the ECB they lose the collateral – and the ECB gets made whole. There is no impetus for the ECB to swap this high value for collateral for equity in the Irish banking system.

    • @bolesn,

      You are missing the point. The point is that our economy won’t be saved by further loans, collateralized or not.

      The only possibility of success is a debt write down based on forgiveness or a debt for equity swap.

      The impetus should come from the urge to save the Irish economy or save the euro.

      Politicians need to grasp the nettle or face the impetus of economic collapse of Irish economy and the end of the euro project.

      Only politician around to approach grasping this is Angela Merkel. Rightly she’s scotched and crushed the euro E-Bond ridiculous suggestion, further debt at standard rates won’t solve the euro’s problem.

  27. CitizenWhy

    To Colin: You are right about farmers. On a well run farm the farmers – and in many cases their farm workers – do not work very hard. When my brother and his wife visited Ireland and stayed with farm relatives they were surprised at three things — at how the relatives did not work very long (hard work, but short hours), at how modern and well managed the the farms were, and at the really nice deal the farm workers had, with a nice house thrown in and a good salary without the need to work all that much. And what is wrong with running a farm in that way? … In addition the farms were owned (including 99 year leases, the equivalent of ownership) through generations of careful savings despite active involvement of family members in independence movements and rebellions.

    • coldblow

      I really know very little about this but there seems to be farmers, and other farmers, and landowners letting their land. I know of a single farmer of around 50 in S. Kerry who works very long hours on a small farm to make a living (dry stock). Another man in his 40s in W. Kerry doing likewise with a dairy herd, and for what he makes it’s really little more than a hobby – his wife has a clerical PS job. But then again he doesn’t seem to need much to live on. I have spoken to him, and the bro. in law, about the income and expenditure but I still can’t get to the economic basics involved. Whether it’s the inadequacy of language, communication difficulties, or just avoiding giving a clear, understandable or truthful answer I don’t know, but it remains a mystery. A deep mystery…

      • Colin

        There is a culture in Ireland amongst many in the elite and establishment and their fellow travellers to delibrately not answer simple questions with a simple answer, and that if you ask what seems like a simple question, you get labelled stupid, instead of getting the simple answer you expect. This is in fact cunningly not delivered, having been replaced with the offensive remark.

        Prime example of this is in the last article Maire refused to answer my questions about what would happen to people who’d lose their savings without a guarantee – she claimed I was stupid for pursuing that line of questioning. Well, I got news for people like her, I will not desist from asking the bleeding obvious!

        • coldblow

          People here hate to be (or be seen to be) going against the grain, so ridicule and condescension are effective. Add to that the béal bocht and the fact that everyone’s business and interests are well hidden out of sight (the Gilmour land deals are very revealing) and you have a situation where it’s hard to even imagine an honest objective public debate. On the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death try imagining that (not a great song by the way)!

  28. Philip

    Farmers could not have saved anything. The rationale for survival is that of the preservation of the current body politic. Just watch the budget today, the cuts will hit the least incendary issues with the rest of the mess to be deployed by the next in power – who by the way are not that different from the current lot. The role of the farmers can be seen in the last minute horse trading of Lowry and Healy Rae- screw the country for local parish pump nonsense.

    The only reason the banks are being protected is to prevent crystallizing of losses that would render most of the elected incumbents bust. It would destroy the elites in Ireland or take a large chunk out of them. And the same crap is going on in the EU. The history of our aristrocrats is long and has a solid future. Therein lies the true experience of survival.

  29. adamabyss

    We should be praying for this budget to get defeated today. Then hopefully the whole House of Cards will collapse.

    • Dorothy Jones

      Brilliant short animation on NMA.TV called ‘Irish forced to take EU bailout’ complete with nice collapsing domino image. Enjoy it…..

  30. Deco

    I suppose we should expect an Irish version of this story coming down the road at some stage. Flash Gordon now admits he had no idea what he was doing. When in charge of a nation’s finance’s, and later when in charge of his government. Well, figure this out…

    • Let’s see, Flash Gordon kept UK out of the euro. Flash Gordon could quite possibly end up as head of the IMF Although you never know, they might give the job to Brian Lenihan, but I doubt it, maybe job selling car bangers somewhere. Here’s Alistair Darling capping banker bonuses with 50% levies They both did a much better job on the banks than Lenihan Cowen IMF disaster. In fact, compared to our worst Finance Minister in Europe, worst Prime Minister in europe contenders, they beat our schmucks hands down.

      • UK “economy will grow 2.1% next year, and by 2.6% in 2012″

        Matthew Lynn, Markets, SBP

        They must have done something right and not messed up the UK as much as our clowns have done!

        Britain is booming compared to us!

      • BrianC

        Lenihan is already on the IMF Board of Governors according to their listing but maybe there are two Brian Lenihans. If it is the Irish Minsiter of Finance this represents a bit of a conflict when negotiating on behalf of Irealand with the IMF/ECB loan sharks.

        • vincent

          It definately is Brian Lenihan the Minister for Finance,check it again for yourself, according to the IMF website it is “normal” practice for the Minister for Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank to be on the board. Patrick Honohan is the Governor of the Central Bank and he formally worked for the World Bank…

  31. goldbug








    • Jackie Healy Rae, Michael Lowry and Ajai Schopra of the IMF have been working hard on the budget all weekend?…………….?

      If the budget is passed, do we deserve to suffer its consequences? No, we don’t deserve the useless politicos who will vote for it!

  32. htzSdLSkV

    Yeah, that’s a grand story David, but here is what really happened at the mart (for legal reasons my version is based on a different mart).
    “That auld cow looks a bit dowdy”, says the buyer.
    “Ah, no, not at all, sure didn’t it just walk o’er tens miles from mea farm to the mart this very morning”, says the seller.
    Now the auctioneer over heard this conversation and started to worry about the mart’s reputation. So he appoints a certified vet with the highest credentials and gives him a fat wage.
    He pays the vet very well because he want only one report, which is, that all is well.
    So the vet check the cow front and back, and states that all the animals each have at least four good strong legs and in sound health.
    The buyer is impressed with this good news and so the sale is made.
    It comes to pass that the auld cow dies quite suddenly, didn’t even make it home to the buyer’s farm….
    Now, David, please take up the story from here and see where it ends.
    My point is;- The head of Financial Reg and the Central Bank were official appointees. Our government appointed them and we appointed the government. These officials mislead the investors. So it’s is our responsibility. A painful fact of life.

  33. ex_pat_northerner

    On a slightly different topic, but related to the polls quoted in the piece above, is it just me, or are RTE giving FF free reign to spout all types of shite. I saw week in politics, and the frontline and over two days the most biased political reporting I’ve seen in a long while. Frontline was a party political broadcast for FF last night, while not a single question about “why” this deal was negotiated seems to be asked.. aka like its a fait accompli (Mary coughlan “where are we going to get the 400 million needed to run the country? “.. why doesn’t someone ask “Mary/FF why didn’t you save the country 30 percent (or approx 110million by not bailing out the banks in the manner you’re proposing.. I’m not sure of the exact figure in terms of public expenditure v interest (jesus it’s only the interest) that’s being repaid.
    There seems to be a notion prevalent that the IMF is now a good thing.. Where did these ideas come from. I thought Irish people knew their history. Can they not see that the IMF is looking to asset strip the country ? And there’s a feeling of “ah shure what could we do ?” and also a feeling of “we had a party we have to have the hangover “.. hold on some f*ckers had a party and are still doing so. Do people think that all the money borrowed by Irish banks was spent in Ireland ? I believe so.. I don’t think they realise that it was used by Irish banks to fritter away on derivatives and f**k knows what else. I believe all the Bondholders (ie EU Banks) were stress tested by the ECB recently and all passed with flying colours, so shouldn’t be a problem letting them take the pain. [that point rarely gets brought up, because if it did it shows the ECB hasn't got a f**king clue] The general media in Ireland don’t seem to be too concerned with this. Perhaps also a lack of directness coming from Labour and FG. SF seem to be the ones at least railing against the status quo. Maybe new media [web/facebook/twitter] needs to be used to spread the message in an organised campaign, and perhaps rather than becoming a TD, the likes of David and other economists/market experts needs to join forces to get an alternative message across. I think the message is there, but its not being reported on/getting heard in the way it should be.

    • BrianC

      Nobody in RTE will dare ask the penetrating questions of the government because it will undermine their paymaster.

      The people who should force the penetration questions are the opposition. The fact of the matter is that the opposition are one and the same as the government. They are representing themselves and not the people. Just look at the posturing regards the magnitude of the fiscal rectitude. The incumbent promote 6billion and the oppostion promote circa 5.5. And behind the scenes they are working together to pass this budget. But maybe there are some TD’s who can deliver the true will of the people and vote against it and damn the nonsense of what will happen if it is not passed when it would become an ECB problem 100% where it truly belongs and not on the shoulders of the Irish Nation.

      The Irish public have no voice – none whatsoever. This lack of voice makes the Irish public out to be stupid.

      It is offensive to watch programs like Front Line permit the promotion of FF to the point they declare that the Irish State needs FF so as to have some degree of political stability in Ireland. So it is simple we will hav a Status Que Politiical Elect nullifying the voice and true will of the people permitting the Irish State to be asset stripped for Irelands new landlords. Make no mistake FF FG an L are all the one corporate mind and of the same intent and the supposed differences between them is dressage for the rest of society. Their strategy is very subtle. They have a lot of supporters in the Civil Service and RTE is a hanger on. As for the Greens pure mucus with gormless Gormley bile and shiny nonsense rhymless Ryan hopefully to be wiped away on the ballot paper handkerchief and flushed down the carbon toilet tax.

      Truthfully could anyone have any faith in the ability of the incumbent political stock to navigate a way through these economic challenging times. Just look at their dismal performance and complete failure. Just look at the lack lustre opposition. Would you really have any faith in Kenny an over grown school boy with a rigor mortise smile or Gilmore a pumped up sanctamonious pretend father figure where neither have even a clue of 101 economics.

      The message is very clear now and RTE are clearly on board. We must have stabalised political system so that draconian measures can be applied so that the Dracula Dail can drain every drop of blood from the Irish Nation for the vulture pack of vampire banks politicians and servile administrators. The deleveraging is about to begin in earnest.

      The only hope is the delivery of a majority of independents Stakes who must be fearless in putting down these vampires. But so far there is little evidence of such materialising.

      • george

        I think Pat Kenny (whom I think is a great radio presenter) thinks that the only public sector salaries should be cut are the ones of the politicians, as if his and other RTE overpaid presenters and staff, should be spared.

        RTE were able to fool the European authorities stating “the special situation of the Irish case”, so they can charge for advertising while at the same time we pay an inflated TV license, so they too can pay themselves unreal salaries, and have unreal terms and conditions.

        Either we have a “total Public” TV and Radio Service for which we pay a license, or they go completely private and the staff find a commercial employer, who is going to give them the same terms and conditions they have now.


    Irish banks are the fifth largest investors in Italy, the signs are ominous regarding their exposure to Portugal and Spain.Tony Grimes, a head honcho @ the Central Bank has craftily avoided getting the bullet, how come? Iceland only borrowed E 4.5 billion from the Imf !!!

  35. goldbug





  36. All attention on Anglo while AIB has used stealth to hide under the radar.

    Report by Nick Webb, Business, Sunday Independent,

    “AIB tapped up the scheme 18 times with more than $3bn borrowed on six occasions.”

    The scale of AIB’s borrowing from the scheme is enormous given its relatively small size in the US. Barclays Bank, which bought Lehman’s US operations out of bankruptcy, borrowed $232bn (€174 bn) from the Fed scheme.

    AIB’s biggest single loan — $3.3bn (€2.48bn) — was borrowed from the Fed on July 2, 2009. Banks were on the verge of collapse as international money markets slammed shut during the credit crunch forcing the Fed to step in to provide emergency loans to prevent widescale bank collapse.”

    How they did it, not described above.

    Fellow blodd donore, these blood sucking vampires get their first budgetary IMF blood transfusion today.

  37. george

    At the moment this is a Republic only in name.
    In this Country corruption has been institutionalised, and we have the top section of the Civil Servants and most of the Politicians of the three main Political Parties going around in circles doing only cosmetic changes, and abusing their position as bureaucrats to keep for themselves a series of privileges that mainly has to do with jobs, salaries, pensions, and holidays, for themselves their families and cronies.

    The elite easily controls them, because they are not there to govern for the well being of society, they are there to see what they can get out of it, and at any possible turn they are looking to cash the terms and conditions of their contracts.

    With people like that at the top we can aspire to nothing. They are among the worst of the world, and in time of crisis we need people ready to rock the boat sort to speak, like the farmers David is talking about.

    In my personal opinion the only ones that presented an economic plan with a bit of sense were the people of Sinn Fein, by which among other things wanted a maximum salary in the Public Sector of 100.000 euro.
    But the plan also has other interesting aspects regarding taxation and the use of the Pension Fund for job creation programs. I’m sure Sinn Fein would have negotiated a better deal with the EU and IMF. But the general public and most of the commentators in the media do their best every day to ignore them.

    Sinn Fein are the only ones opposing this budget with their hearts, while the ones in Government pretend to be fair and concerned, and the rest of the Opposition (Fine Gael-Labour) are hoping the actual incompetent Fianna Fail and Greens, will make the dirty work for them. So in spring they can get into office hoping for a miracle, and as the only policies they know best are their cosy jobs, I’m sure we’ll get more of the same bla bla bla.

    I wonder what the people who fought and gave their life for Ireland to be an Independent Nation, many of whom didn’t have food to put on the table, would do to this bunch of politicians and others, that earn the highest salaries in the EU, can get a full pension at fifty with 10 years “service”, lump sums, golden handshakes, generous expenses and holidays?

    Sinn Fein has given us the opportunity to end with all that by peaceful means. No executions like the Ceausescus, or bloodshed like Mexico or Argentina.
    I’m not going to waste any more time waiting for the useless “cosy political cartel ” to put the interest of the Country before their salaries and privileges, while people is dying in hospital waiting lists, and the ones that are healthy have to sweat up to the last drop to support a corrupt political class.

    • You might get more than you bargained for with Sinn Féin. Think of gangs of New York, or, who knows, our future SS? There again, with their connections, they might be able to reduce the drug bill, or drive down the cost of security for the state:) If we put them in charge, we mightn’t even need the Gardai:)

      • george

        In this time of crisis I take things at face value. Probably if we ask everybody that wants to do any job for a DNA sample we end up with 99% of the population unfit for that purpose. Sinn Fein were first off the blocks with a plan that claims that can take out of the Public Sector Bill 1 billion a year, tackling the better paid in it, including the pensions and other “special arrangements”, the “cosy political cartel” have approved for themselves along the years, and sacking none of the low paid public sector workers, promising not to impose on us Property Taxes, and Water Charges, and a Health System like in the UK, and they declare themselves against privatisation of Public Companies. I’ve no political affiliation but for me it is good enough, at least for the time being.

        Members of the actual Government have said many times in the last few days that unless we accepted the bailout, and impose a draconian budget for the next four years we are not going to have the money to pay our teachers, doctors, politicians, gardas and other Civil Servants. And in “general terms” nobody in its right mind can have a problem with it. But myself and many other people including beyond our borders, think it is absolutely ridiculous that many professionals in the Public Sector earn considerable more than in the UK and most of our closer neighbours in Continental Europe.

        They were taking yesterday that the minimum salary comes to 18.000 euro a year. If the salaries of Public Sector professionals over 200.000 had been cut by 30% it would have come to 180.000 euro, ten times the minimum wage. Isn’t it enough of a gap? Does anyone needs more than it to live like a king? Why can other European Countries do it and not us? Then approximately you apply 20% to the 150.000 euro and 10% to the 100.000 euro and you have a much better way of dealing with the issue. This Government applied the same rate to everybody in the Public Sector something that is very unfair for le low paid, and ended up with “the unworkable” Croke Park Agreement.

        We need fresh ideas and a left wing government- alliance that can end up with privileges in the Public Sector, can deal with the Banks, the IMF and the EU, and ready to tax properly our elite to protect essential public services for the population. Then we have to educate people in general to take responsibility for themselves and the planet we live in, and to be productive and conscious of the fact that if you bring somebody to the world you have to be aware of the responsibilities even before sexual intercourse. Large families should be the responsibility of two consenting and informed adults. Air is free but for the rest people have to do something productive: study or work. Help is at hand with conditions attached.
        Do you get my drift?

  38. uchrisn

    It seems that we could well be headed for another global financial crisis. This time caused by soverign debt default in combination with Bank default. Ireland would be involved in this as both our country and banks eventually default, with other European banks defaulting and probably countries. As I mentioned a while ago on this site the property/finance mess has been covered up by soverign debt.
    I asked the question, what is going to cover the soverign debt default?

    The IMF don’t have enough money to bail out everything.

    The only answer I can see is
    1. The ECB get involved in quatitative easing like the Fed. They would simply print loads more euros and use them fund government debt and banking debt. The Germans do not like this option and as such are prepared to let the periphary suffer immensly before that takes place on any large measure.
    2. The Eurozone area breaks up into different zones and countries, countries start to print their own money again.
    3. Other countries with large savings, basically the Chinese give the IMF and Europe large loans, the IMF headquarters moves to Beijing.

    So how can this be prevented?

  39. John Q. Public

    Watching the budget? pure theatre that’s all!

    • Dorothy Jones


      Just some transcripts from the Minister’s statement on The explanation as to why the IMF is here is class. The ‘justification’ for the disgustingly small reduction inministers’ salaries is beneath contempt. I have pasted these transcripts below:

      IMF / EU explanation:

      ‘So if the real economy is poised to grow, why do we need the help of the IMF and the EU?

      The answer is: we need their support to break the vicious cycle that has threatened our national finances and our banking system since the second quarter of this year. Following the Greek crisis this spring, funding for the State and our banks became increasingly expensive. The rising costs of dealing with the banks that became evident during the autumn and the growing concerns about the prospects for the global economy reinforced doubts among international investors about the sustainability of our public finances and our capacity to fix the financial system unaided.’

      [DJ comment]: Beggars belief doesn’t it…

      Ministerial pay reduction

      ‘The Taoiseach and Ministers have already taken substantial reductions in their pay. The effect of the pension levy and the pay cuts introduced earlier this year amount to 28% in the case of the Taoiseach and 23% in the case of Ministers.

      The changes in PRSI introduced in this Budget as they affect office holders will bring about a further cut in their net pay. Nonetheless, the Government has decided to introduce another reduction in the salaries of the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Ministers. The salary of the Taoiseach will be reduced by over €14,000 per annum and the salary of Ministers will be reduced by over €10,000 per annum. This brings the overall reduction in the gross pay of the Taoiseach to over €90,000 and in the case of Ministers to over €60,000. Details to changes in the Government’s transportation arrangements and Ministers’ pay and pensions are set out in the accompanying documentation.’

      [DJ comment]:Unbelieveable in the light of what the people in this country are experiencing.

      • You have to smile though re 2. The phrase ” brings the overall reduction in the gross pay of the Taoiseach to over €90,000″ would almost make you believe the taoiseach’s salary was €90,000. Salary not given anywhere in the statement. Similarly re 1, ‘ international investors doubting ‘ Lenihan and ‘The ‘rising costs of dealing with the banks that became evident during the autumn’ Pure unadulterated gobshite rubbish. Opposition and posters eg here have been telling this would happen for years. He really isn’t with it at all, is he?

        • Lenihan has this semi convincing earnest way of speaking that would almost make you ignore the content of what he says. When you do reflect on actually what he says, its often, very often gobsmackingly infantile in its incredulity!

          He’s still talking about returning us to growth even though the EC are now providing figures contradicting him even there!

          Cuts in capital spending should lead to a loss of upwards 25000 jobs according to Tom Parland.

          Everyone cutting back, all those businesses closing, extra gym classes, tuition, entertainment,
          holidays, retail, wholesale, etc etc will feel the deflationary downside as the economy grinds to a halt, goes into reverse, until we default with massive emigration. Worst of all, the more austerity is applied, the more our debts increase!

        • Dorothy Jones

          I thought the exact same thing, the phraseology attempts to do precisely that. Real barrister form.

          • Greetings Dorothy,

            Yep, he’s a barrister from the start out of his depth in Finance trying to pull the wool over our eyes as the he tried to sell us a dodgy banger got from Honahan (world’s greatest banker according to Lenny)(Honahan, supporter of NAMA and a failed banking strategy and failed negotiations with IMF, is he a complete moron?) or Elderfield The Blind. Where’s the reform of the banks and the restructuring?

            They represent the kindergarten DoF outsmarted by the bold markets and the ECB/IMF.

            These emperors have no cloths on! They are Default getters conned by the bankxters. Backwards we go!

          • Dorothy Jones

            Yes, and after reading the introduction document, it is easy to understand why he was last in row in the FT poll of EU finance ministers. Even if it is horrible seeing your own country, quite literally, paddy last……

          • stiofanc02

            Sorry Dorothy, as I dont like to offend women but the term is “fuckology” with this crowd not “phraseology”

  40. Marts Minds : David did not mention if he got his wellies wet at the mart or mucked up.It would be interesting to know.
    In France the word beef ‘boef’ actually means cattle . The reason is that cattle dead or alive is food in France .The same goes for other live animals and the original French name.In English we only see it as cooked and dead meat.
    It is important to understand this because in France the cattle producer or sheep producer takes the marketing of their products much further and do eventually reach the plate of the consumer directly from the Farm. France is the second biggest food producer in the world after USA and with a fraction of the land area .Irish Farmers sold their souls to the corporate coops and independent corporate food producers.Irish Farmers need to reform and manage the cattle from the field to the gourmet meal on a plate.

    • coldblow

      Yes, but they won’t do this without an incentive: a land tax. This would mean that holding land would come with a cost, so the landholder would be forced to improve productivity (eg by getting more involved in the marketing end as you say), in effect being faced with the choice of either using it or losing it.

  41. Alan42

    Farmers my arse . Even if they had of gone in and made a amazing deal where by the IMF pay us for the cash . What then ?

    More government by schoolteachers and people with no business experience .

    I note that in the budget they have reduced Stanp Duty to 1 % . People ,the IMF are running the country . That is a sign of complete and utter failure . If i lived in Ireland I would be afraid to even buy a can of Coke .

  42. Pedro Nunez

    PRSI is supposed to be ‘insurance’ see

    But now its just a tax on top of other taxes and levies. Lennie that failed bluffer in the IMF/ECB/Bank bond holder Casino, has dumped on Irish taxpayers.

    Its time to emigrate because this Government is gormless and shamless in their individual and collective inadequacy.

    The Irish Government want to tax its citizens to oblivion to encourage them ‘to do more for themselves’, WTF? What are we paying these gobsh1tes the biggest salaries and expenses in Europe for???

    Lennie bottled all the real opportunities for reform in this budget on top of blinking first in the negotiations with the ECB and IMF.

    Emigrate and fC*K the diaspora

  43. Alan42

    You should ban foreign media from the country . It is embarressing for me in Oz to be linked to Ireland .

    I do business here and I am conforted with ” hey the Irish prime Minister is drunk on the radio ” or ” hey the IMF is now running the country ”

    I was making a deal last week . A renewal of a big contract worth over 10 million . I had to endure some jokes about Ireland / The IMF and the famine . Makes it really hard to come accross as serious and trying to get the best price with this crap . All because I am from a country that insists on having schoolteachers and alcoholics in positions of power .

    • Colin

      Just tell them that’s why you left. Tell them you are as serious in business as Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. Blame laissez-faire economics and corrupt British colonial rule for the famine.

  44. CitizenWhy

    English has two words the meat we eat because of the Norman conquest of England. The table word was French, the language of the conquering lords, the farmyard word was Saxon, the language of the underclass.

  45. John Q. Public

    He(Lenihan)actually had the gall to state on Vincent Browne’s interview earlier that what we are borrowing is ‘a stimulus’! It’s to pay for the bloody dole that’s all, otherwise those people would starve. Nobody has raised the issue of how we are going to pay the interest on this debt, we can’t. Two years from now is ‘D’ day when we will default anyway so why not do it now?

    • Colin

      Ah Jaysus, Lenny’s a great fella altogether. So its a stimulus we’re getting? And there was me thinking it was called austerity with all them tax rises and cuts to welfare and no plan to get the unemployed back to work.

      My theory is that Lenny gets a soft ride because of two things,

      (1) his apparent illness invites sympathy, and
      (2) his PhD Qualification from Cambridge (not in economics i hasten to add) which the Irish elite and establishment including Vincent Browne greatly admire and respect.

      Why doesn’t he simply retire from politics and look after his health? Does he expect to become Taoiseach, going one better than his old fella?

  46. Deco

    Sorry for going off topic a bit.
    Some people have relatives in Australia, and Canada trying to further their careers.
    To those thinking of going, I would advise against it. These economies are highly correlated to the Chinese economy, and assumptions about demand from China – a country where everybody is saving, and putting off consumption. End result the state and speculator sectors are the source of demand in the economy. There is something unreal about all of this.

    On top of all of this you have a regime that needs to run an economy in a manner to soften up any chance of dissent against the regime.

    I think that Michael Shedlock is correct. The Chinese are importing inflation from the US, because of the fixed yuan exchange rate. China is committed to this, and is in effect preventing an adjustment from an unsustainable situation.

    This has effects at a global level. It influences Germany’s export performance, and this in effect influences the ability of the EuroZone to fund various bailouts. In addition China has functioned at a global level to drive down interest rates. If China has more pressing needs, then this will change.

    This means that the IMF/EU/ECB deal might be lower than otherwise, in the context of international. A case of unforeseen circumstances making our ‘leadership’ look good. It also explains why the Germans are so reluctant to bail anybody out. The memory of Germany being bankrupt in the 1930s instills a fear in Germany’s institutional framework, that makes sure that they will not allow Germany get caught.

    Perhaps the ultimate way to play this Chinese bubble is via hard assest like Oil or Gold. Chinese inflation will result in investment in Gold, and property and will drive up the search for “hard assets”. And then when the bubble bursts, these hard assets will flood the market, as there is a rush to cash.

    At the end of the Chinese supply chain are mines in Australia and Canada. This is why these sectors might grind to a halt, when the wheels come off the Chinese wagon.

    • adamabyss

      Deco, what other geo-political repercussions are there likely to be if and when China ‘hits the wall’?

      • Deco

        I am not sure. I presume the first ramification will be a strengthening of the position of regional counter-powers who are currently apprehensive about the regime in Beijing. This includes South Korea, Vietnam, India and Taiwan. Perhaps also Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand who are nuetral but cautious. These are all countries that have positive relations to varying degrees with the US. (Even Vietnam is now on good terms with the US). I think we will see India emerging also as a cheif cheer leader for more democracy in the region, as the Indian business capacity starts to expand in the region. I expect these countries to develop stonger links between each other when they dicover that they have more in common with each other. Especially between Japan, India, South Korea – all are democracies, and all are aware of Chinese strategic intentions.

        China with less money to throw around will also have a negative effect on the power of the current regimes in Russia, several Central Asian countries and Burma.

        Of coure we must also consider the effects within China itself. Dissidents and internal opposition might get a hard time of it. In addition to Tibet and other provinces in China’s Western edge. To the Chinese inside China, a crack up boom followed by a crack up bust could be result in further internal repression.

    • BrianC

      Maybe the Chinese are busy at work buying up all these hard assets.

      As for revaluing their currency they have already stated to do such would send hundreds of millions back to the land as the profit margins are so slim.

      When exports from China started to slow down due to weakened demand in the West the first thing the regime did was phone all the companies in certain private enterprises employing hundreds of millions were given an edict not to reduce wages. Paul Mason of Newsnight was in China doing a documentary on the Chinese economy at the time this was taking place. At that time the Chinese were saving 40% of their income. There are a lot of wealthy people in China. There are some 300million with more purchasing power than the high income earners in Europe.

      I spoke to a US chap who was in the water business and he was telling me that his company opened an office in Shanghai. He said it is not until you walk among 1.3billion people that you really realise the scale of things. He clarified it by saying they round demographic stats in the hundreds of millions almost the population of the US. He also said Shanghai made every city in the US look like a third world country city. He reckoned the Chinese probably own the US and said hope you like Chinese food and by the way they have no water that is why they are there and reckoned Ireland ought to get off its ass and export food becuase there is no way you can match their technology which is outstripping that in the US and by the time the boys in the US wake up to smell the coffee it will be all gone.

      The thing that came across loud and clear was the mobility of the work force throughout its economy and when the government made an economic decision it took minutes to put in place and there is no opposition.

      They have already taken steps regards the property to quench speculative inflation.

      They told the US that it was not correct that one should take medicine to cure anothers sickness and they would do well to cure their sickness. The Chinese are not too happy with the FED and the FED is very nervous of the Red Dragon and China has proved one thing all along it does what it wants and to hell with the US.

      Hope the wheels stay on the Chinese wagon.

      And we should invite a few of them to Ireland to partake in the quasi regulated marts and see how they get on buying that field adjacent to Jackie Healey Raes land bank.

      • adamabyss

        Thanks BrianC, absolutely fascinating, incredible and compelling information. At the risk of sounding like a fruitcake though, I don’t think the Yanks will go down without one hell of a fight and when I say fight – I mean attempting to nuke the Chinese if they feel cornered with no other way out. Whether that be short-term, medium-term or long-term I don’t know but I’m edging towards the medium-term. What do you think BrianC and what about you Deco? dwalsh might have something to say on this. Sorry David, I know it’s not much to do with farmers in Ennis.

        • BrianC

          I think the Chinese are a lot smarter than leaving themselves open to being corned in a square off with the US regards throwing nukes. I would also think that the Chinese are very clever at veiling their true military strength. The US may have Westpoint which was not upto much considering the debacle in Eyeraq. The Chinese have Sun Tzu and were practicising it around 500 to 700 BC and has never left their psyche. Never underestimate your adversary and the Yanks are not that stupid.

          But you have to take into consideration how the Chinese have engaged with the western economies. It has always been on their terms. Look at how China handled the Taiwan situation and for all the posturing of the US support for Taiwan China is still on track and China will take control of Taiwan they will deal with that in time and they regard Taiwan as very precious as it houses most of it art. The Chinese did what they wished in Tibet and not a murmour from the West. Just look at Africa and see who has built up the strategic asset investment it is not the US or Europeans. China is no white knight make no mistake about that. Just look at Sudan and the Dafur factor the US was ‘strategically’ told not to step on Chinese oil interests in Sudan hence everything the UN tried to do regard Dafur was blocked by China and the US know all about oil ‘better to keep them in Sudan than negotiating with Iran’. There is give and take and the merciless consequence is a permitted genocide.

          Michael Hudson makes the point that the new ware is economic conflict and not military the new dimension is who can create enough credit to undermine the other economy.

          Already China is negotiating with the Japanese on currency links. Why do you think that is. Simple because the FED have printed so much money over the last number of years it caused problems in Europe realising excess credit how do you think the AIB was able to raise finance when the inner circle knew the dire state of the balance sheet. The Chinese tried to normalise their trading surpluses with the US by purchasing American companies but were blocked so (now they were not interested in buying manufacturing or that sort of thing they were interested in investing strategically namely their oil refinery sector after all this is foreign reserve money). For the moment China is stuck with the Dollar who so far have monopolised lender of last resort due to its trading status. So since the Breton Wood Agreement the US financed its wars by liberal printing of the dollar without regard for their balance of payments and when things caught up with them tricky Dickie decoupled monetary systems from gold. The Chinese know history better than many and they do not intend being led astray by the Dollar after all they basically own the US but are troubled by how they should deal with Tim Geitner so they ease off on printing money devaluing what they own. And there is more

          • The american way of life is not negotiable.


            The FED will print as long and ruthless as it is needed for them to reflate the US. As for the consequences for ROW, they give a flying Bull about it.

          • Couple of points to add to the Chinese OT:

            1. Stats economic and otherwise from China should be taken with a grain of salt and may be doctored.

            2. There is still an enormous agrarian based mobile population of construction workers keeping themselves and the villages happy with returned income. When the construction boom grinds to a halt, there may be a seismic reaction from that group. Overall, it will be absorbing enough for China to manage its own domestic problems than any worry anyone should have over its global reach.

            3. China is the US biggest customer in US treasury notes but recently has become involved with its trading partners in bilateral currency exchange which is evidence of an erosion of the power of the dollar. Probably the future will be, though China may be the world’s top manufacturer capturing 30/40% of the GDP of the entire world, a bilateral global axis of power between the US and China of mutual dependency.

            4. China for over 2 decades or more has been heavily involved in commodity investment in Africa, has enormous influence in the region, a region that is emerging as a global trading force.

            5. Rich potential there for a country like ours not faced with crippling reparation payments and certain default.

            6. Teach Mandarin in our schools.

            OT John Perkins, ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’, re the impossible 5.8% interest, wondering what type of a landscape will emerge in Ireland following our default. Quote from Perkins: Prologue: “…the loans are so large that the debtor is forced to default after a few years. When this happens, then, like the Mafia, we demand our pound of flesh……Of course, the debtor still owes us the money-and another country is added to our global empire”

            OT again, it was priceless to see Lenny at the end of his budget speech calling for confidence in our economy following his budgetary and IMF/ECB Hari Kari. He’s been spending far too much time in the company of Banxters and DoF kindergarten mandarins,
            exiled to the opposition over the next decade, he should try to get out more:)

          • Deco

            China is politically a very repressive regime, and some stage educated Chinese people will be looking to make more of an input into how the country is run.

            CBWEB – I agree with your scepticism about official statistics concerning China.

            I also think that at some stage Chinese workers will be annoyed over the entire program of controlling wages and prices. In effect this type of dictat making results in a flourishing illegal, and semi-legal economy. The Chinese authorities turn a blind eye to counterfeiting – while trying to enforce wage ceilings. I mean this is hypocritical and proves that the regime itself is too pre-occuppied with control.

            That said, a crash in China will probably not effect everybody. It will probably affect people who took part but that would be about it.

            China has 700 Billion of Treasury bonds. The real kicker here is that by selling them all on the one day, they can cause super-inflation in the US, while undermining the financial stability of their neighbours in Aisa. But the medium term effects on internal control of China itself means that China actually has to hold on to th Treasury bonds in order to keep the workforce too busy to be concerned with anything. Longer term, China’ strategy is to acquire real assets so a to feed it’s own industrial system and thereby not be concerned about needing US currency reserves.

  47. The Tyranny of ineptitude and disingenuous language

    ZAP!!!! A personal analysis of the budget day, December 8th, 2010 -


    Yesterday afternoon, around 3:30PM already on my third mug of strong coffee, I sat at my laptop and started typing, on my main computer the Internet live broadcast from the Dail was tuned in, the television had Constantin on TV3. It was a beautiful day in Donegal, still very cold, but no storm, no rain or sleet, blue sky with some cumulus clouds over the bay, when six UPS’s, uninterruptible power supply units, kicked in at the same time and started their nerve wrecking alarm sound. ZAP! Power outage.

    ________ <– fill in two minutes cursing like a docker!

    This country was awash with money. Not only can you not get relatively ‘clean power’ here, we are supplied with extremely ‘dirty power’, which matters a lot if you work with audio and record music, when your AD/DA units are infected with spikes and brown outs, on top you have to put all your gear on expensive UPS units, because every year the power goes out several times. I used to live in the Ardennes in Belgium, very remote, deep in the woods, and in five years I never had a single power outage, other than pre announced upgrade work on the grid.

    The streets are in bits, pothole county would be a good description, the health service is in a ridiculous state for one of the richer countries in Europe, broadband is sold as 8Mbit but you are lucky to get 1.5 Mbit down in the real world, and Cowen probably thinks of himself as very generous, leading by example to cut his wages 14k. If you want to know where all the money went, you only have to look at the bank accounts and pension funds of our officials for example.

    There are much better people than I to analyse the figures we were drop fed with since years, economist such as David and Constantin Gurdgiev, Brian Lucey, Karl Wheelan, Stephen Kinsella, and of course, last not least Morgan Kelly, as well as international commentators like Wolfgang Muenchau, Krugmann, Stiglitz and so many others, forgive me if I leave this list incomplete, they all bend backwards to educate the public and policy makers on these matters, the latter chose to ignore all advice but rather paid PWC for expensive reports that Lenihan did not even care to read, while a boozed up and obscenely overpaid Irish Prime Minister jabbered on a morning talk show.

    The loan sharks that Lenihan and Cowen invited to raid the Irish Nation are spear headed by the British banks, followed by German and French banks and the ECB. They signed this deal and told the Nation it is the best they could negotiate. At the same time they had to agree to IMF measures. They did not negotiate at all, they have no clue how to negotiate. The more than mediocre performance of politicians is nothing that is exclusive to Ireland. Such over paid looser with chauffeurs are plenty in the EU, and Angela Merkel is amongst them. The German Lenihan Version, Schaeuble is as clueless on capital markets, regulatory systems, banks and shadow banks, as is Lenihan himself.

    We do not have politicians of caliber with a broad knowledge on international relations and economy anymore, instead we have administrators and hawkish legal eagles. Merkel is again dragging her heals when it comes to widen the scope.

    The breed of central bankers in the EU are deeply reactionary, following national interests without greater consideration on strategic necessities in a European context. So where are the charismatic and competent leaders in this Europe that they claim to protect? Can you name a single one?

    The European crisis management has become as much a laughing stock as the Irish politics, incompetent, last minute actions at gun point, letting banksters of the hook and rather applying extortion measures and a fiscal cluster bombing on the middle class, destroying the latter in the process.

    The officials apologies on the events they caused is the result of civil servants highest pay rate spin doctors who advise them on their appearance and statements in the public and the Dail, in other words, they are the rapists of language, bending and twisting the truth to deceive the public and then officials hide behind paid expert statements.

    When talking to the media in public, or in the Dail, they permanently update their beyond repair damaged reputation with the academic titles and reputation of other people thatthey hired to do a job. Prof. Honohan and Matthew Elderfield are the most abused in that respect. Whenever Cowen or one of his disciples run out of steam and reason, two things happen, first comes the rhetoric guillotine ‘There is no other way’, directly followed by the paid reputation statements to bolster the message with the confident expertise they do not possess themselves, ‘Prof. Honohan said…’

    The actions of this government in the past years is a history of lies, cheap rhetoric and utterly disastrous and undemocratic decisions. Decisions that were taken to protect insiders, party politics and EU Interests. The lack of a real opposition in this country and a rigged democracy that operates a majority vote by bribing independents enabled them to push this country to the point we are at today.

    Cluster bombs, or like military fans so eloquently call them ‘daisy cutters’ are designed to cause maximum damage to soft targets. The Irish lower to upper middle class is such as soft target. Income ranging from 30k-75k reflects these targets, and they are going to be eliminated by Lenihan’s successive bombardment.

    Say good bye to growth and good morning to Ireland 2010, inhabited by debt serfs and their Lords. Sickening! The way out?

    No politician who hides behind these deals with statements like ‘We did not do it, if we would have been in power, this would never have happened, but now we need to operate within the framework….. blah blah’ should be trusted with your vote.

    Whether this insane budget or the EU/IMF deal, or this unrealistic and idiotic 3% deficit target agreement, all has to be wiped of the Irish history books by any incoming government, starting from scratch, or you can just go ahead and vote for FF again, no difference whatsoever! The standard excuse, ‘The Law’ does not count a penny, laws can be changed!


    • May I be so impolite to ask, following the cuts, what will be Brian Cowen’s income and also what will be the income of one of his ministers?

      That information seems to be a bit of a state secret at the moment:)

      • Dorothy Jones

        Brian Cowen earned €228k before the ‘cut’ according to BusinessandLeadership. That figure is before car, pension and expenses apparently. I agree with Paul Sommerville who said the first thing BC should annonce before reduction of minimum wage etc, was that he BC himself would take a 50% wage cut.
        Presume you follow Namawinelake? Brilliant blog, don’t know how they [a 'he' I think] do it. It is a fantastic body of information particularly as NAMA is not ‘under’ the Freedom of Information Act.

    • Georg
      Move over Mc Williams I think your well written articles deserve a greater audience.

    • BrianC

      Hi Georg

      Really enjoyed your comment.

      So according to the Finance Minister employment has stabalised we are poised for growth even in the idigenous sector the export sector which has grown 7% is set to increase its strenth even further underpining the Irish economy but we are still living beyond our means and must make further cuts the bailout is necessary to pay the welfare the politicians are paid less than their counterparts in the civil service and have taken huge reductions

      and the nonsense goes on and on and on and on

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