March 28, 2011

Playing the relegation game

Posted in Banks · 171 comments ·
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I belong to an oppressed sect.

Like every sect, we are bonded by strange rituals, unusual texts, strange chants and ferociously long memories. Past adventures gel us together, as do journeys made and risks taken.

We know that we are on the true path and that, unlike the other imitators, we are in possession of the truth. Like all sects, we believe that current difficulties are temporary and that all sacrifices are necessary.

We know that our day will come.

Our saviour will arrive, the messiah is on his way, and all we need to do is keep the faith.

I am a Leeds United fan. Following Leeds is the closest thing football has to a cult. And because Leeds have fallen so far, the sense of wrong is amplified each time I see smiling Manchester United fans glorying in another piece of silverware.

This weekend, Leeds play another club that was once top dog: Nottingham Forest.

It is a crucial match as both clubs are in play-off position for next year’s Premier League.

Both teams’ falls from grace have been spectacular, but the Leeds self destruction is the footballing equivalent of Ireland.

Forest are more like Portugal, hampered by structural problems. Leeds are a more straightforward boom/bust.

They borrowed loads of money, bought hugely expensive players and, while the team performed, all was manageable – but then the bubble burst and everything imploded.

Leeds went bust and were relegated.

After relegation, they sold all the expensive players. They got relegated again and had to start from scratch. But Leeds never stopped playing football, they just played football at a lower level.

The objective, when you are relegated, is to get promoted as soon as possible.

Ireland is the Leeds United of the European financial markets and, when we default, it will be just like relegation.

Being relegated doesn’t mean you stop playing football every Saturday – you just play against opposition you thought were beneath you. But you still play football.

Similarly, defaulting doesn’t mean that you stop being an economy which buys and sells, trades, employs and provides a living for your people. You simply play at a different level. Yes, your standard of living falls a bit. Your cost of living does, too.

But you still compete. You borrow from different people, get benchmarked against different countries, and then you ultimately focus on getting promoted again as your economy turns around. This is the way the world works.

Countries that mess up and can’t pay their way get relegated and countries that grow and do all the right things get promoted. We should know: we only got promoted recently.

The capitalist system works reasonably well and, like the football league, everyone understands the rules of the game. It is when you tamper with the rules that people get confused.

The eurozone and its treatment of weaker members are like the Premiership without relegation.

We are playing in a division which is too strong for us. The countries at the bottom – Ireland, Greece and Portugal – don’t get relegated despite being beaten week in, week out.

The authorities that run this bureaucratic Premier League won’t allow the weakest to play at the level that they should do.

But without relegation, the future is a purgatory of underachievement for the weak countries.

In turn, having no relegation – no default – doesn’t make the Premiership more credible, it makes it less credible. So everyone loses.

For some football clubs, relegation comes as a relief. It is a chance to rebuild, to see what is wrong and where, to give the fans hope of some upward progression. It allows a small club to return to its footballing academy without having to buy expensive mercenaries and it allows managers to try out systems without the mad pressure of fighting in the relegation zone.

Similarly, a default on bank debt gives breathing space. It allows a country to reorganise itself and to come up with a better model of how to run the place. The country never stops competing, it never ceases being an economy, it just joins a bunch of other countries which investors regard as a similar risk. And there are always investors.

The world is full of money with differing appetites for risk.

The key is that the country should be on the right track. It’s not the rating itself that counts, it’s which way the country is going. If you have a poor credit rating but are getting your act together, it is better than having a good credit rating while being in a pickle.

The problem for Ireland, Portugal and Greece is that the EU supports are preventing us from slipping down the credit rating chain, so we look like being a permanent default risk.

This is the worst place to be. It’s like being a team which gets beaten all the time with no hope of redemption. Relegation in this context is redemption, remember, so it just gets beaten and beaten.

In order to see what the world would look like if Ireland (and the other peripheral countries) were allowed to default as the numbers suggest, like a proper country, we must compare the interest rate that is being charged on Irish, Portuguese and Greek debt. We then must calculate the spread over Germany.

This spread is the risk premium – how much more an investor must be paid to hold these assets over German assets.

Armed with this risk spread, we can then calculate where Irish bonds would trade in a free market without the EU bailout and what would be our credit rating.

This will give us a true reflection of the situation but would also reveal the upside. It would tell us what sort of company we might have to keep in order to get financed in the free market. The following calculations were done by friends I used to work with at a trading house in London (www.exotix.co.uk).

According to these guys, who trade debt all the time, Portugal’s ten-year bond spread of 417 basis points (4.17 per cent above equivalent German bonds) delivers a credit rating of BB-.That is seven notches below the current average A rating.

Ireland’s spread of 637 delivers an implied credit rating of B, also seven notches below the current average BBB+ rating.

Greece’s spread of 897 delivers a credit rating of CCC+, six notches below the current average BB+ rating.

So if we were allowed to move up and down, get promoted and relegated according to the real risk that the markets accord to us, Ireland – at present rates of interest on ten-year government bonds – would be a similar risk to somewhere like the Seychelles. But we know that we are much richer than the Seychelles, so what is going on?

We are like a big club that has been relegated, being compared to a minnow.

The reason the market sees us as such a risk is that it knows we will not be allowed to be relegated by Trichet et al – even though we deserve that. As a result, our economy will be forced to pretend it is stronger than it actually is.

We will not be allowed to default and, therefore, our future is one of guaranteed deflation and deficits, emigration, high unemployment, generating surpluses to pay odious debts.

Therefore, we are in the worst of all worlds, a rich country getting poorer but still behaving like a rich country.

Leeds United sold their players, slimmed down and started again from scratch. If we want to get back up, we have to sink first and stop pretending to be a Premier League team when we are, at best, a Championship outfit.


  1. Anglo Irish

    Good analogy. The real challenge as I see it is to get Irish society to commit to the slimming down necessary.

    It is hard to argue with the Europeans when they complain about giving financial support to a bankrupt Ireland that insists on continuing to pay Irish public servants more than their own and allows protected sectors to continue making super profits.

    There can be no recovery until there is real commitment to driving productivity and efficiency through the domestic economy

    • Deco

      { There can be no recovery until there is real commitment to driving productivity and efficiency through the domestic economy }.

      Correct.

      We need to be honest with ourselves. An end to the delusions of grandeur. Time for common sense. It was practically driven out of fashion over the last fifteen years.

    • BiggyWiggy Rogers

      +1

  2. Deco

    We had a Manchester United Taoiseach once. He even put on a canary yellow suit because he thought that the sceptics back home were not all following the green jersey euphoria that counted for mainstream “thinking” around 2005. The cult of that era was consumption. The same crook and his drunken successor are responsible for driving us into the relegation zone. But he never stopped paying himself ‘premiership wages’ for a disatrous performance.

    Similarities between your article above, and your article on Trappatoni (the second most expensive soccer manager in the world and barely able to beat no-hopers while having home advantage).

    Beer and Circuses. We had the Circuses Taoiseach. He left us Circus Maximumus, and Circus Minimumus. And played to our need to over inflation our national ego with this pointless nonsense about our own significance. And we had the Beer Taoiseach. Actually, they were both beer Taoisigh. The Beer Taoiseach showed us what we had become. Delusional. Fat. Top heavy. And not sharp enough for the action. Liable to say all sorts of nonsense.

    Equating our binge years to playing in the premiership is stretching it a bit.

  3. Deco

    { Therefore, we are in the worst of all worlds, a rich country getting poorer but still behaving like a rich country. }.

    Exactly. We behaved ourselves into this mess. Time to behave ourselves out of it.

    To paraphrase a common saying from former US President Bill Clinton, “it is the behaviour, stupid”.

  4. miec

    Excellent analogy

  5. Colin

    Roy Keane played with Nottingham Forest when they got relegated in 92/93. Forest sold him to Manchester United for a record fee within a few months. The rest is history, littered with silverwear.

    So, we know Roy has experienced success as well as failure. Roy told us in Saipan 2002 “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

    It seems clear to me that the previous 2 drunks who were running the country couldn’t be arsed preparing for anything, we were told the “fundamentals were sound” ad nauseum. They preferred opening pubs/supermarkets/betting shops/sports facilities. They both attended many sports events, yet seem unable to understand the consequences of not preparing a team for competitive action.

    Ireland is more like Chelsea, a club without much history of success until foreign money came flooding in around the year 2000, who pay their staff the highest wages (John Terry/Declan Collier) even though they are clearly not the best players in the world. Abramovich is the ECB equivalent in football, and the minute he’s had enough, you’ll see Chelsea fall down the divisions again because their business structure is not sustainable.

    • Deco

      I agree with a lot of the points you made. I would throw in Rody Molloy as another overpaid non-performer who got a massive transfer fee just to get out of sight.

      Though, does anybody know any clubs that pay as well as Chelsea, and which celebrate going nowhere in a manner that even Chelsea are above ?

      Because if they do, then that would be us.

      • Colin

        Citeh, who haven’t won a trophy in 35 years, are the poor relation in terms of support and income in Manchester, yet there is a hubris about what they can achieve through their Dubai owners flooding the club and the transfer market with money. Yaya Toure earns £250k a week, the highest paid player by far in the league. Barcelona released him as he was surplus to requirements.

        Real Madrid seem to be attempting to buy success too with money from their owner who is a civil engineering contractor mogul.

        Arsenal would have a more sustainable financial plan, rather like Germany in economic terms. I presume Wenger is more German than French, he comes from Strasbourg I think.

  6. To Be Governed or Not ….that is the question ?

    We have no managers anymore only lip service .Our Governance comes from Helga and Francoise and their mark up performance cards are …..how much they have saved in their banks …..how much their utility bills are ….when can they take holidays and how many they can they afford this year ….when can they strike next ….punctuality of their local bus service…..etc

    Incidently , they have not been told the Truth about how safe their deposits are in their own national banks and think Ireland must solve its own problem alone. They believe its none of their business .

  7. wills

    David.

    Like this article alot. Really getting into the codes of the reality been pawned of on the undiscerning public.

  8. BrianC

    Ireland’s position at the bottom of the league is of its own making. And that is what our European team members are telling us reinforced by the stubborn attitude of the ECB referee.

    The EU league does not see any real Irish team effort to control the costs of the team especially the management and background staff. They have actually increased their renumeration.

    Ireland is a very stupid team and the new manager is still using the tactics of the old management which were useless.

    We should leave the socer pitch and even change the ball completely and move to hurling and stick with our own league. Just give them their ball back and bursting it which will screw up their ability to play their league games.

    The Irish team is being deleveraged and the supporters are leaving. Even now the amount of supporters contributing is not enough to support the Irish league. And the idiot management team have no will to build their league as long as they are subsidised by a wealthy benefactor prepared to overpay the managers making sure they get paid for full price asked for the tickets printed when the supporters cannot afford the price.

  9. Philip

    We will continue to be a German backwater making the Euro (aka DMark) more competitive that it needs to be. Hence Germany benefits from a lower value of currency than it deserves and we suffer under a currency that is far dearer that we can afford. No wonder we are a big risk to outsiders.

    But then, default will not be countenanced ever. Our European partners will not allow it and vested interests would not want it either. Hence our frozen assets, NAMA etc. all lining up to ensure we do not go into territory where we could have mass firesales, and washing out of stalled positions. Losses would be crystallised as though somehow you are stuck – not realising that without finding a proper bottom, we are creating higher uncertainty and more frigidity.

    We cannot sack our over expensive and now useless players. As long as the EU thinks the league structure is OK, we are all going down together.

  10. BiggyWiggy Rogers

    Like this article.. chelsea fan myself :D Seems to me, Iceland more or less followed the relegation path correctly.

  11. I don’t think either DmcW or Gurdgiev get it. The problem is not that the ECB will not allow us to sink, though this is true; but rather that the messers in Ireland Inc, politicians and political cronies in the business and financial world, damn well sure as hell are intent on not allowing us to sink.

    So we have a twin alliance of ECB protecting German bondholders, and IRish holding made of of eg Nama with LTEV keeping property assets in cryogenic suspended animation to guard against firesale and writedown, political cronies and the financial world keeping the cryogenic banks half alive in a zombie state, in the hope there will be a miraculous return to growth that will wipe the slate clean of toxic debt.

    NOT so, big wrong in fact. This twin alliance in not addressing the problems, not allowing for firesale and immediate default, has made matters worse. But time is running out for the Canutes.

    Anyways, fair dues to DmcW for being able to watch any soccer game all the way through from start to finish, soccer makes my boredom counter run through the roof:)

    I blog some more about the above issues here http://wp.me/pBbF3-e9, If anyone want to read more.

    • adamabyss

      I can’t watch a full match either and I used to be a serious player, but as for rugby – can’t even watch 5 seconds of it – what a pile of over-hyped shite!

      • Agree about the rugby, zzzzZZZZ. Maybe if they introduced an extra ball onto the field, fired Trapattoni, hired a manager for €150 k/annum, spent Trap’s salary on sports facilities for young people, cut the cost of tickets from €60 euro each and allowed under 16′s in free, it might improve the game,.. did like playing soccer, but prefer to watch a good game of hurling anyday:)

      • Deco

        +1.
        Sports injuries do not get enough coverage in this country.

        Far more widespread is the distraction “bread and circuses” effect. Non-stop sports coverage.

        Plus side industries like gambling and spending the weeks wages in the boozer.

        These are all things that are weakening the resolve and awareness of working people, while working people get screwed repeatedly.

    • CitizenWhy

      I enjoyed playing sports but could never watch them on TV. I can sit through amateur games among locals (at stadiums, arenas, or fields). I can also watch now and then some college basketball when a team seems to have jelled into a smooth playing operation, transcending themselves. That’s about it.

  12. Gege Le Beau

    Leeds had a falling out with Eric Cantona if I remember correctly. He joined Manchester United and rightly became a legend.

    Similarly, this country drives its best people out, if only we were a football club that could learn from its mistakes and rebuild to come back and compete in the premier division of countries, unfortunately we are far from such a scenario and are on the threshold of pumping tens of billions of more euros into delinquent financial institutions that are doing everything in their power to screw the ‘fans’ while the ‘players’ are too feckless to do anything about it.

    The Directors of this ‘team would’ rightly be facing criminal prosecution and would be barred from ever running a club again, not Ireland though, with its ‘cosy capitalism at its worst’, it can’t even play a ruthless game well, it has to come back and screw itself 200 billion times over and make every citizen poorer for it.

    • Doesn’t matter what league you’re in if you keep scoring own goals!

    • Colin

      Wilkinson picked up the phone and enquired about signing Denis Irwin, the best full back in the league at the time who also played for Leeds in his earlier days. Ferguson told him no way, and retorted with an enquiry into signing Cantona, and amazingly Wilkinson asked Ferguson for his price, which Ferguson gave and a deal was done.

  13. Save the People

    I like the analogy David. But instead of being relegated and starting again as you suggest, I feel it would be far more beneficial to attract a Roman Abramovich type saviour in the form of finance and investment from China.

    China have the financial resources to sort out our dodgy defence ie the banks, and the skills, expertise, and finance to unleash our star striker in the form of our natural gas and oil resouces off the west coast.

    I have requested your opinion on this suggestion on a few occassions now David, and to date you seem strangely reluctant to offer it.

    My view is that the Irish government should:

    1. Seek finance from China who offer loans at rates between 0.2% to 3.6% usually over 12 years.

    2. Only pay the ECB back for the Sovereign debt. Any non Sovereign debts already paid through the coersion of the ECB should be deducted from any repayment.

    3. Nationalise our gas fields. Request assistance from China to find and develop the 20 or nore Corrib size gas fields, referred to in the Shell memo exposed by Wkileaks, in a resource sharing agreement. These equate to 11 trillion euros worth of gas alone. This will provide a revenue flow to run our services, repay our Sovereign debt and repay the loan provided by China.

    4. Should Shell threaten legal action for the nationalisation of the gas fields we could offer them the current terms agreed for the 540 billion euro gas field they currently have in return for dropping all legal proceedings and any further interest in our gas resources. Given the shady reputation of Ray Burke and the overly generous laws he changed to the benefit of the oil companies and the detriment to the State, the oil compnies are not guaranteed to win any legal action. I am sure sense will prevail on their part, and they will realise that a 540 billion Euro gas field is better than no gas field, and an astronomically expensive legal action with an uncertain outcome.

    So again, I ask you David McWilliams, what do you think of the above suggestion?

    • Philip

      Abolish NAMA and the rest will follow. That is the only knot on the path to relegation.

      China has enough hidden issues of their own and believe me they would support the gombeen elements if it meant they could suck out all the resources here – as they currently do in Africa. Gombeens want rent. They are not interested in production or wealth generatrion.

      • Save the People

        I agree we should abolish NAMA which is simply a tool used to cheery pick the best assets for the cronies and leave Joe Taxpayer with the toxic debt.

        However, I feel your view on China is unnecessarily paranoid. Take look at these articles which may help change your opinion:

        http://richesamongtheruins.com/blog/tag/sovereign-debt/

        http://www.afrodad.org/downloads/publications/Angola%20Factsheet.pdf

        • adamabyss

          Fascinating article about Angola (the first one) thanks. I just don’t understand why they have to get involved in all this bond nonsense. It’s bound to backfire on them. Getting themselves into debt with the assholes of world finance. They should just sell their oil as it’s demanded and keep control of the price. If they have that much in reserves then they are in the driving seat. Of course I can see two major internal problems (never mind the external ones) that will not be solved in my lifetime – 1. corruption – very hard to stamp out in developing countries, and 2. the unfortunate geography whereby apparently half the oil is in Cabinda which is a tiny place but is separated from the main country. Those guys will never give up fighting for their independence. Anyway, hope some of that money trickles down to your normal Angolan Joe Soap and they can clear the place of landmines, but it probably won’t happen, sorry chaps.

          • Save the People

            luckily for us landmines are not an issue, other than the constant new found debt bombs we seem to be uncovering of course.

            So what do you think of my suggested solution for our own economic problem?

          • adamabyss

            I’m all for it ‘Save the People’. There is not one honest government on earth, nor one nation that doesn’t have someone else’s (or its own blood) on its hands.

            As long as something can be negotiated that is mutually beneficial and environmentally responsible then I’d have no qualms doing deals with the Chinese, or anyone else for that matter. Us ignoring them won’t make a blind bit of difference to what they do in their own country – the people there will have to take care of that. What’s our alternative? Stick with the Europeans and Yanks and wait around for them to eventually bomb China because of ‘human rights abuses’ like what they are doing in Libya (I’m not doubting the abuse by the way)?

            Having said that, I’m not suggesting we cut off links with our traditional allies either. Play one against the other. It’s time Ireland pushed itself forward and stood up for itself in international terms. We have something the world wants and we want something from them.

            The whole thing would have to be managed properly though on a political, diplomatic, financial and economic level, which seems unlikely considering the calibre of muppet that we elect as our public representatives in this country, with notable exceptions.

            To quote A. C. Grayling from a recent book on Philosophy (’The Meaning of Things‘):

            “The idea of nationalism turns on that of a ‘nation’. The word is meaningless: all ‘nations’ are mongrel, a mixture of so many immigrations and mixings of peoples over time that the idea of ethnicity is largely comical, except in places where the boast has to be either that the community there remained so remote and disengaged, or so conquered, for the greater part of history, that it succeeded in keeping its gene pool ‘pure’ (a cynic might say ‘inbred’).

            Much nonsense is talked about nations as entities: Emerson spoke of the ‘genius’ of a nation as something separate from its numerical citizens. Giraudoux described the ‘spirit of a nation’ as the ‘look in its eyes’; other such meaningless assertions abound. Nations are artificial constructs, their boundaries drawn in the blood of past wars. And one should not confuse culture and nationality: there is no country on earth which is not home to more than one different, but usually coexisting culture. Cultural heritage is not the same thing as national identity.”

        • Save the People

          @ adamabyss. The philosophical quotes were excellently appropriate given our citizens distinct lack of action.

          We seem to have gone from being a rebelious nation, willing to stand up for ourselves, to a dumbed down, sit and take it, group of cowards, afraid to openly express our revulsion and anger at the continual abuse of our people by the government, the banks, and the cronies.

          In November 50,000 students rioted in London over tuition fee hikes. Just last week thousands rioted in London over tax hikes. Similar actions were seen in Greece last year etc. Meanwhile our people sit and take it with barely a whimper.

          I’m not saying I condone the violent aspects, however, I firmly believe that the people should take to the streets and clearly show their opposition to the IMF ECB “loan”, which is nothing more than a barbaric attack on our nation, designed to cripple our economy.

          What I am most surprised at, and I hope you agree, is that David McWilliams, although he has openly stated that we should default, and has touched upon the option of China, has not gone into the specifics of the alternative sources of funding available.

          David responded to a post of mine a few weeks ago stating that China was not the only source of finance available, and the world is “full of money”.

          However, when I suggested he write an article on the subject, and expand on the sources of alternative finance, the types of terms and rates available, I did not get a response.

          I honestly believe that David is in a position to highlight the specifics of the alternative sources of finance available. He is in a position to bring the option, particularly, relating to China into the public domain. If he were to do so, it could be the catalyst for change in my opinion.

          Do you agree?

  14. Deco

    Where would be without Europe ?

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/plan-to-ban-petrol-and-diesel-cars-from-eu-cities-by-2050-498993.html

    Chances are that petrol and diesel will get so expensive before then, that the will be effectively unknown long before then. Call it a market solution brought about by all the SUVs, and the culture of “happy motoring”.

    But anyway, somebody needs to look busy in the interim.

  15. Deco

    Ireland’s problems will all be solved if John Delaney can find another “world class manager” and Denis O’Brien (member of the “tax diaspora” – he disappears when the revenue commisioners show up) pays have the wages.

    Because he prefers paying wages for soccer managers to paying wages for nurses, council workers, gardai, etc…

  16. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  17. paddyjones

    Ireland has a GDP of 153 billion with 4.4 million people that gives a GDP per capita of 35,000 euro for every man woman and child. We are 12th in the world in terms of GDP per capita.
    The question is what is keeping this inflated? Theres the ECB , NAMA and foreign companies. We are playing well above other nations but incredibly we are on the verge of bankrupcy.
    In the US corporate America is doing brillaintly but sovereign America is mired in debt. The same can be said of Germany , its companies are doing well but the state has a debt of 1600 billion.
    In Ireland individuals are doing well but the state is in serious difficulty. When does the macro implode like Leeds did and we have to start selling assets.
    Irelands debts are 600 billion total public and private debt but our assets are 1.2 trillion.
    what we have is a cashflow problem our assets are tied up in non liquid assets.
    What David is suggesting is that we should downsize to a more sustainable level, I agree. We would all be happier with better cashflow and less assets. We have all seen that putting our hard earned money into property doesnt pay as these are non liquid and depreciating.
    The story for the next decade is that we will have to deleverage and pay down debt slowly but surely while at the same time invest any excess in liquid assets such as foreign ( not Irish ) equities and bonds. Well thats what I am doing for what its worth.

  18. Relegated Memorandum of Minutes of Meeting at A-Club Adare at 3.30

    Present : Lady Trich Minx
    Author Paul Moriarty
    Also present under the hot sun was ‘me’.

    General : Discussions were broad but not as fat as me and we spoke about various people each of us had already met from this site and how great these people are and how we would like more of us to meet again somewhere even on a relegated team anywhere .
    Some of us had our favourite contributors and these were mentioned ( not suppose to tell which said who )but you can guess all your names were mentioned .Some previous contributions by some were mentioned and the hysterics created at the time.It was a lively debate .Lots of tourists around us saw us eating maybe they were more hungry than us and and seems to indicate that we were spending more than them .

    Paul ( from Ardagh )speaks a lot about how difficult it is to find potatoes when he is digging because he finds too many chalices undergrowth hiding them. Trich has a fast pace lifestyle and could not wait to get to Salthill, Galway this evening for a swim.
    The meeting terminated and and afterwards we all vroooomed away .

    Signed :
    ————–
    A- Dare

    • adamabyss

      Sounds great. I’d definitely be on for more meetings in the future. So far I’ve met Trich (irishminx), Dorothy Jones, Wills and Colm (cbweb) and throughly enjoyed all their company. Not to mention David himself on a couple of occasions. Let’s keep at it, as Tim would say.

    • Indeed we did and I vrooooomed away a wiser man! My vroom was eventually arrested by the clatter of driving through chalices here in Ardagh. They’re a damn nuisance you know – too big for boiled eggs!
      But I suppose every village in Ireland has it’s problems!
      Anyway I digress – Privileged and fascinated to meet you Mr.Allen and as for the Lady Minx – You’re like a mother to me!
      I look forward to such summits again!
      And in the wise words of Tiny Tim – God Bless us all one and all!

    • Tim

      Delighted to learn of more meetings. Respect to all who keep putting in the effort. I hope to be able to meet more of you folks from this site soon. Please let me know if anything is arranged. Best to all and…. what Adam said!

    • Dorothy Jones

      Missed out on that one as working away. We’ll meet up in the Summer; maybe if there is something on in a place that is easy to get to?

      Relegation: It’s the blimmin’ sin bin we should be in….observing the support that Lowry is getting and observing also that he is still ‘in-situ’ and has no intention of going anywhere soon….same stuff, different year…..

  19. It’s half time. Rep of Ireland Inc. are several billion goals down and facing a hammering.

    The team are in the dressing room needing a “Pacino-esque” address on taking every inch!

    The door slowly swings open admitting a blinding shaft of light. It’s almost like a beam of hope!
    In the light is a figure – then suddenly a voice;

    “Ehhh lads is this the right analogy or am I just confused?” says Staunton.

  20. Malcolm McClure

    David: You are back on track with this article, which I liked a lot. I am developing a similar frustration as a Gunner with many hopes and dreams dashed in short order recently. Wenger has a steady hand on the tiller though, and there’s still an outside chance of topping the Premiership.
    I like your suggestion that Ireland might be relegated (temporarily one hopes) to a Second Division Europe, along with Greece, Portugal, perhaps Spain, Italy and Iceland. Each of these second division countries would conduct business with Euro notes overprinted with National symbols and subject to fluctuating exchange rates.
    There would remain no tariff barriers and we would abide by the other Euro laws and conventions. Eventually, when our currency got close to parity with the First Division Euro and got a AA rating we could be promoted again. The competition to get promoted (to say one available 1st Div space per year) would be good for all Second Division economies.

  21. Relegation Process

    Forget about the dignity of awaiting an early morning news announcement that The Minister has made a ministerial order to / relegate /devalue / freeze / and exchange control prohibition to transfer outside the country our national currency .

    Instead you will discover the reality will be the secret arrival of the IMF incognito unannounced to Gov Buildings followed by an entourage of top EU officials and with printing tools and giving instructions to close all banks immediately until further notice ,Even the Ministers will be Shocked at the speed of the events …..the army will cooperate with EU.

    • +1

      Agree, proposal for 2 tier europe is ridiculous.

      You are either in the currency and follow its rules, or you are out. Politically it’s not possible for Germany to give us our magic solution.

      It therefore might be wise given the inevitability of default, to consider PuntNua printing presses asap.

      thx John for expressing this in english rather than moonish:)

      • Save the People

        or seek finance from China.

        Nationalise our gas fields estimated by Shell to be worth almost 11 trillion Euros.

        Seek assistance from China to develop our gas resources for a share of the resource.

        Ditch this punitive ECB IMF “loan”.Only repay the Sovereign debt and deduct any non Sovereign amounts already paid out due to the bullying coersion of the ECB.

      • @cweb

        there are no significant moon movements presently but as soon as I know you will find out.Its an unseen factor of production that should be factored in to projected decision making and usually rubbishes away all the conventional logical projections issued by registered houses of finances eg auditors , management consultants , banks , gov think thanks etc
        The basis of their projections are earlier trends and it is the previous trend that they believe gives us what is to come next .In reality they do not have a clue but they have enough balls to be able to sell it for a significant sum of money and bluff and bluster their way to credibility x-factor .

        The moon concept has no basis in past performance other than it always does what it does when it is around and nothing will stop it .You could call it the 5th element after land , water , air and fire.What it will do is usually a guess unless you know what other planets are near it at that time and the degrees of relationships at that moment .It is a performing circus and like all circuses it depends what kind of animals are in the ring.

        • The transmigration of souls train dropped Yeats soul into you.

          Did you read Anthony Cronin eulogy of Yeats, Living, Sun Indo: Yeats largely responsible for founding the Abbey, gallery of modern art, on committees for Tailteann games,Wolfe Tone Memorial committee:

          from The People

          ‘The drunkards, pilferers of public funds,
          All the dishonest crowd I had driven away,
          When my luck changed and they dared meet my face,
          Crawled from obscurity, and set upon me
          These I had served and some that I had fed;
          Yet never have I, now nor any time,
          Complained of the people.’

          As greaser Cronin says:) ‘plus ca change’

          • Deco

            My God-a lot of truth in that.

            Yeats also commented…..Ireland….a sow that eats her own farrow. The same controlling ethos of the Richelieu-authority model was described by Joyce, when he stated “Dublin, the world centre of paralysis”.

        • I was once arrested for a significant moon movement – Out the back of the Lough Swilly Coach. But it was just youthful exuberance!
          These days I still do exuberance but I’d need someone to hold me steady!

          • Gege Le Beau

            Maybe its possible to borrow off potential earnings from the oil and gas fields off the Irish coast but only if the deal with Shell is renegotiated giving the State a much larger share of the profits than it currently has, someone mentioned the split is 80-20 in favour of the oil company and other stakeholders (including the Norweigan government) which seems ludicrous to me given forecasts of anything from 100 to 240 billion in revenue.

  22. CitizenWhy

    Why can’t some Irish people distribute a letter/petition to the “people of Germany and France” explaining the injustice of the current Irish bank debt situation. And explaining why defaulting on that debt will remedy the injustice of letting the irresponsible lending banks completely off the hook. Also asking that the Germany people demand an explanation directly from her Far From Serene Highness Amgela Merkel. Also asking that the French people demand an explanation directly from the High Lord of Banks Trichet and the chief bank lobbyist Sarkozy.

    In addition, why can’t the government ask for a resolution from the UN condemning the terms of the bank bailout.

    Time to end dictatorships, of madmen or of bankers.

    • Philip

      Well, that’s what David’s suggestion of having a referendum was all about – where ALL the Irish people send a message.

      Anyway, I cannot see that Germany or France can actually do anything about this without shooting themselves in the foot from a bond market perspective. The sick joke is the perception it is a another nation which is at fault when in fact it’s vested interests who have no hope in the future should their losses be crystallisied. We are ruled by leaders with no imagination and who walk into the future thoroughly governed by rearview mirror of the past.

  23. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_Currency_Board

    Another historical precedent to show 2 tier europe with a hybrid currency won’t work:

    “At the time, there was much debate in Argentina and abroad about how to control inflation and build confidence in local currencies in order to foster investment and growth. There were three options of exchange rate management available to any government: a floating exchange rate, a super-fixed exchange rate (including the possible use of a currency board), or a hybrid system. The hybrid system consisted of various levels of control over exchange rates, and it was discredited in the early 1990s when empirical evidence from several currency crises showed that, in a world of high capital mobility, a semi-fixed exchange rate was very unstable, because it allowed a country with poor monetary policy to exercise too much discretionary power. The consequence was that a government had to choose between either fixed or fully floating exchange rate systems.”

  24. Tim

    Folks, feast your eyes on how our back-room boyos operated in advance of the bank guarantee, if you haven’t read this already:

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/26304-bank-docs-pac-all#document/p13/a12943

    • I’ve downloaded it as .pdf and look forward to reading the whole of it in the next day or 2, but the opening bits have already made me sick, eg:

      Friday
      26/06/2008
      22.19

      “E-mail from Goldman Sachs to
      Department forwarding an update on
      INBS prepared by Goldman Sachs.
      Not released —
      Contains confidential institution specific
      information received in
      confidence”

      The mind boggles, G Sucks involvement, were they shorting as well.

      Plus innumerable references to documents because they contained AGO (Attorney General Office) not released because they come from the AGO? Why the crap not?

      A large amount of documents withheld for similar reasons to above!

      • Tim

        Cbweb, Yes. G-Sachs *was* shorting as well. What this document proves, though, is that Gormley really did let the truth slip that morning on Marian Finnucan’s show when he said the 29/09/08 decision was not a crisis-meeting, that Cabinet had been discussing the guarantee “for several weeks”.

        The document clearly shows that the problem was known about since early-mid 2007.

        It shows that those of us who emphasised the significance of Seánie’s phonecall to Cowen on March 17 ’08 and subsequent dinners and golfing were correct.

        Huge credit is, yet again, due to Gavin Sheridan and Mark Coughlan at http://www.thestory.ie .

        Enjoy the read, but please don’t have a heart-attack!

        • Deco

          Another reason to scrap entirely the 1000 Euro charge to access documents relating to companies, and quangoes, which us here, as citizens should be entitled to view for free.

          REPEAL THE “FREEDOM” OF INFORMATION ACT !!!!

          And it has been given a Orwellian title, because it does nothing for the freedom of the citizen.

      • Deco

        Then we have Merrill-Lynch. They got into serious trouble themselves during the crisis.

        They produced an expensive report during the crisis – but it was ignored because Clowen and Clowener were too busy taking advice from G-Sucks.

        • Tim

          Deco, Yes; €30 million for that report, if I recall correctly. Yet still now, as always, Sutherland is given TV and radio time and column-inches to preach to the sheeple about public service cutbacks, pay cuts, etc and all things austere.

          As I may have said here before, They are so desperate now that they don’t even bother hiding the two-fingered gesture to the little-people anymore.

          • Deco

            Tim, there seems to be this pervasive assumption in Irish aurhority, that the people will forget. Harney said it after the Philip Sheedy affair. “the people will forget after a few months”. Kenny is missing today, rolling out Rabbitte to handle the government side in the debate on Lowry.

            Things progress very slowly. But, nevertheless we will not relent.

    • CitizenWhy

      Goldman-Sachs model: Promote an investment, run up the price beyond any justification based on hype and “what the market will bear,” set it up for a crash, short it. That’s what they do. And they run the US government.

  25. AndrewGMooney

    True fans are Leeds fans…….

    Leeds United – White Riot

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWDEn9JouMM&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    regards

    • Hi Andrew

      Welcome back its been so long , now give us some of your rock & roll ( real stuff man ) economics and thin lizzy ( your church chants on ethics ) musical sonatas with a bit of side line ( wherewolf ) charading to the referee ( regulator ) and all the great stuff you halucinate with .Have you heard of Ming the new TD in Roscommon he is the new green hash king in Ireland and blows it in the house of commons over here.

      It is my guess DMCW used this analogy to bring you back from the wilderness .

      • AndrewGMooney

        thanks John ALLEN. not been match fit. pulmonary embolisms/warfarin. a real drag. hope to be scoring some classic goals on this site again soon.

        hope you’re keeping well. best Andrew.

  26. Thanks for all the comments and in particular, for the great clips of Leeds Utd from Mooney in Brum. Today’s FT lex column advocating again “burden sharing”. The stress tests and the idea that we the taxpayer should foot the bill is more financial stupidity.

    Best,
    David

    • AndrewGMooney

      Hi David, as I’m sure you know -Muhammad Ali was part-Paddy by origin:’Muhammad Ali Has Irish Roots 1978′

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM74gz61c3Y&feature=related

      But even Ali was unnerved by the primeval force of nature that was Brian Clough: 44 Days at ‘The Damned United’

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYBj_qAJtRA

      ‘Muhammad Ali says “who is this Brian Clough?”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_EHlzd63R8&feature=related

      Ali says “Clough, I’ve had enough!”
      Clough replied: “I want to fight him’

      Ireland needs a political Brian Clough to step into the ring with the Sarkozy/Merkel monstrous hybrid. Go Enda! Go Enda *rollseyes*

      “I’ve been dreaming of the time when
      the Irish
      are sick to death of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael
      and spit upon their names alongside Cromwells.
      and denounce the tribal mind that still salutes them:
      will they salute them forever?”

      Mooney
      20:21 20/12 2012
      or maybe 20:12 20/12 2021
      [depends on the prison term!]

  27. imithe

    Premier League teams who get relegated these days get multi-year parachute payment to compensate them for the big investments they had (chose) to make in the top flight. Perhaps our European friend could give us a golden handshake as we head off into the sunset.

    Leeds United is a great example of a club with a rich history who had a big splurge and paid the consequences. They will undoubtedly make it back. I hope Ireland can emulate Leeds and not do a Luton Town who were relegated from the top flight and are now in serious decline as a non league club.

  28. Deco

    Irish property crisis.

    http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/independent-woman/love-sex/i-left-my-wife-but-we-still-live-under-the-same-roof-2598133.html

    This goes on a lot. The couple buy an expensive house. Then they come on hard times. They eventually end up hating each other. And then they formally split.

    Except, they are stuck with a massive mortgage. That is the third person in the relationship.

    It is a three way relationship.

    Him, her, and the estate agent you would recommend to somebody who used to be your best freind.

    It seems that after being ruled by the Ditherer for a decade, and after voting for him, now a lot of people are in a similar situation to the Ditherer. Except, these people cannot rely on their mates for a “digout”.

  29. Gege Le Beau

    Outstanding interview with Cornel West on the financial bailout in the US and the Obama presidency, penny is dropping.

    Cornel West on Al Jazeera (28-03-2011)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0VIITK-YgA&feature=channel_video_title

    • CitizenWhy

      Thanks. Again, Al Jazeera is blacked out in the USA in favor of the silliness or sliminess of our TV media.

      • Gege Le Beau

        I believe it is available albeit not throught the traditional ways, on an alternative system, you should ask around, I know Americans who can get it.

        • CitizenWhy

          Yes, you can get through the internet, but you have to stay on top of it, and I dio not spend much time there.

    • uchrisn

      Nice interview. There was a definite shift to being more ‘business frendly’ by Obama since the November elections which went very badly for the democrats.
      Due to the recent the US supreme court ruling allowing corporations to donate freely to political campaigns it was by far the highest spending seen for those elections.
      The rebublicans were backed far more by the finance industry money and won more votes. It seems the democrats want some of that big business ‘donations’ back on their side.
      Theres a reason the financial corporaions donate so much to politicans. To go easy on them with financial regulation etc. Politicans are also wise to the fact money can really help an election campaign.
      Effect on Ireland: Obama is trying to keep the US finacial Industry happy at the moment – so doesn’t want them exposed to CDS losses on Irish bank or government bonds.
      The US has the largest voting rights in the IMF.

      • Gege Le Beau

        Yes, spoke to a financier in the US and the money seems to be drifting to the Obama campaign for 2012, they expect him to be re-elected relatively easily given services to Wall Street and zero public prosecutions of those who brought about the financial crisis, not sure if this is what is meant by ‘the capitalism system runs reasonably well’, its been running pretty disastrously for working people for a few hundred years.

        • Deco

          Well, it sounds as if all ShowBama has to do is “connect” with people, you know do all the correct gestures etc.

          He has got the endorsement of money. And that means the endorsement of the media will follow.

          So next, the Show must recommence. Will he go to a cubs game, with a baseball cap and pitch ? Will he make a surprise visit to some town hall in Indiana, or Pennsylvania and make a speech to a crowd planted with the party faithful ?

          There are many systems of capitalism – depending on who is getting the most support from the system’s structure. Manufacturing style capitalism in the US has been ripped asunder. Small town small business capitalism likewise. But big city big bank finance capitalism has run riot since Greenspan took over the Fed.

          • Gege Le Beau

            Goes well back to the 1970s and beyond, this didn’t happened overnight, people have been ‘nickled and dimed’ (decline in average wage while CEO pay has rocketed, US off the charts in terms of income inequality).

            Obama will probably get back in, I believe there is a study somewhere that points out that once the money roles in the individual becomes an unstoppable political force, so elections are decided by the dollar while corporations can donate as much as they like given the Supreme Court ruled it is perfectly legal, once again the law favouring the rich in a truly business run society. Obama has been very kind to the corporates and financiers so it is more or less a fait accompli.

            ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’ – Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2kfAr2h5NE

        • CitizenWhy

          Yes, big money is going to Obama. He’s a pushover president. If you have watched him, every time he makes a left/progressive/old time Democratic statement (with some feeling), it is a signal that he will cave in to the Republicans on whatever issue he just smeared with progressive rhetoric.

          The big money will prefer the New Democrat/moderate Republican Obama to the kooks favored by the Republican “base.”

          With Obama in, the big money can buy off specific people in the House of Representatives, and win on specific issues by spending big on lobbyists. Obama, of course, will cave to the corporate right, congratulating himself on being bipartisan and reasonable. The corporate right will even let him keep his health care reform and let him move ahead on gay rights. The corporate right do not care about these issues.

          I do have some sympathy for the New Democrats (pro-corporate in policy, pro-worker in rhetoric), since the New Democrats evolved from the real fact that the corporate right have taken government hostage. This situation leaves “reasonable” Democrats like Obama to negotiate some minor concessions from the hostage takers.

          There is a real dilemma here: corporations are also employers, and can punish Presidents by laying off and not hiring and moving more jobs and corporate headquarters offshore. A big dilemma within this dilemma is the fact that the most liberal base, the Northeast, is entirely dependent of investment banking, hedge funds/trading, and other financial services for its core jobs and tax base. Liberal parents in the Northeast are also desperate to get their kids into Ivy League schools so they can get “good jobs” on Wall Street.

          What to do?

          • Gege Le Beau

            Step 1: create a third political force that genuinely represents working people.

            Events in Wisconsin give great hope and when people get together in large numbers with a common purpose then power gets nervous very quickly.

            As others have pointed out, people in Bolivia, Egypt and elsewhere overcame enormous odds, think it very possible in the US, an enlightened society with values even if elites give the opposite impression.

    • Deco

      More stuff you get on al Jazeera, that you won’t get to see in the rest of the mainstream media.

      “Support our advertising sponsors”.

      Prof. West is correct with regard to Wall Street.

      Very few people know that Finance represent an oversized share of US Corporate profits.

      The defining moment for me, was when after taking the US Democratic Nomination, Obama promised to make Hillary Clinton secretary of state, and then appointed Wall Street executives to the administration to an even more extreme degree than Bush Junior relied on Houston Oil Industry executives.

      “Regime change” you can believe in. In fact anything you want to believe in, as long as it is business as usual where it matters.

      • CitizenWhy

        Never mentioned is how Wall St, especially Goldman Sachs, has bought off US elite universities, especially Harvard and the other Ivies. Ivy League Presidents serve on Wall St Boards, at vastly swollen compensation. And thus chum around wityh the lords of finance, a cozy arrangement that the Irish are familiar with. The banks make large contributions, professors are wined and dined, and Wall street gives talks to educate students on finance.

        Wall St banks recruis on these campuses and the recruitment programs would collapse except for their presence plus those of the consulting firms tied to them. As a result alumni, for whom the cult of “alma mater” has replaced religion, then are loyal to Wall St (like Obama).

        Ask young people why they really want to go to an Ivy League school and they will say to get big jobs in finance.

        The Afro-American president of Brown U, an Ivy, recently has been speaking up about preserving the history of slavery in the US (Republican conservatives want to suppress it). Yet she sits on the Board of Goldman Sachs, whose Food Index investment instrument skyrocketed the price of food in Africa and elsewhere, leading to near starvation for millions. She never raised a negative word about that. I guess history is OK but taking an honest look at what Wall St is doing today is not OK.

        • coldblow

          Interesting. I seem to recall in Galbraith’s the Great Crash a couple of profs from big-name universities popping up as bankers’ shills. Same book also takes the p*ss out of G-S big time, I think.

          Reminds me of a cutting (a couple of years old) from Nick Cohen of the Observer which I came across yesterday, re the scene in Britain:

          “…For all its virtuous intentions, the political left was living off the proceeds of loose financial morals. Prostituting itself, to be blunt. Thre brightest and the best graduates went to work for City firms. By 2007 politicians of all colours regarded them as their intellectual superiors, modern alchemists who could conjure gold out of lines of flickering figures on a screen. Ken Livingstone, the allegedly left-wing mayor of London, genuflected before the cardinals of the money market with as much reverence as any Tory.”

          The image I have is of dogs sniffing around a bitch in heat. (Not that I am familiar with this subject)

          • Gege Le Beau

            What is being highlighted, the corporatisation of education/third level, is critical. Some writers like Henry A. Giroux and Tom Garvin have written some excellent articles on this topic, I think this will only intensify as governments ‘encourage’ universities to go out and secure funds.

            Tom Garvin – Grey Philistines taking over universities
            http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0501/1224269475580.html

            The downside of such acts were exemplfied in the London School of Economics and the fallout over Libyan money.

            Universities somehow have to retain their independence, challenge centres of power, but what we are witnessing is the caving in to power and the appointment of highly paid academic managers to the detriment of third level education which has been reduced to a cost-benefit analysis.

            Niall Ferguson, not someone I normally cite, had an article in the Guardian yesterday about the decline in the teaching of history, which seems to suggests that the ideologues are indeed “getting up at 3am to find ways to f**k up the world”, to quote one commentator.

            Henry A. Giroux – The Corporate Stranglehold of Education
            http://www.counterpunch.org/giroux09082009.html

  30. Gege Le Beau

    Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alan Johnson on Brian Lenihan in the House of Commons, October 10, 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSCAMSL7Qe8&feature=related

    • CitizenWhy

      Enlightening. Implies that Lenihan was Europe’s poodle, acting in the interest of German and French banks, not for the interests of Ireland. And certainly not in the interest of the working and middle classes.

    • Colin

      Wait till they find out Lenny was re-elected, they’ll be rolling on the floor laughing their arses off, ‘Thick Irish Paddies’ is what they’ll say, and they’ll be right, well almost right, its ‘Thick West Dublin Goms’.

    • paddythepig

      Alan Johnson was not the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was the Shadow Chancellor.

      He is a spoofer. Have a look at this.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QwZEihebRo&feature=related

      • Deco

        Unbelievable. A real chancer. No clue what he is talking about. Just smiling and pretending all is well, and he is on top of things – and no clue.

        Astounded really. Up there with Gerry Adams telling us the dole was inadequate down here, and sufficient in the North, when he actually he did not know what the rate was down here.

  31. coldblow

    David, I note the kick-off time is around 1pm, as I’d expected.

    Are Leeds are a good comparison for Ireland as they are a genuine big club as anyone who reads through the league attendance figures on a Sunday morning would know. (In this order: Champ., Conf, L1, L2, Conf. Sth and Premier – Conf. Nth. and Scotland don’t count.) Swansea might be a better one, seeing as they went from D4 to D1 in consecutive seasons and went all the way back again just as quickly. Or some obscure non-league side who always kept the books balanced, where the gates hovered around an average of 800 and at half-time, if the team was winning, the chairman in person came onto the pitch to sing Danny Boy. Until, that is, one bright morning the fairy godmother appeared and with one wave of her wand etc.

    You’re right about the cult bit. Supporting a glamour club is a lifestyle choice, like being a fan of Abba or Kylie, everyone’s heard of them (which is the most important thing), they are never out of the news, you are part of a winning crowd , and in the unlikely event that ever go down you can quietly forget about them, or follow the rugby or cricket. I have tried to imagine what this would be like but it’s beyond me.

    With the other clubs, however, you are on the crest of a (mercifully brief) wave of epic over-expectations (did anyone witness the pulsating atmosphere at Saturday’s game in Cardiff against England – before the kick-off that is? Wales are going to get hammered, I accurately predicted) or, more likely stuck on a terrace while grown men around you unburden themselves of a lifetime’s humiliations, frustrations and bitter disappointments. It is cruel and it is pathetic, but remember: they all made the decision of their own free will. Nobody put a gun to their head. And now you are all stuck with each other for good, because once you join you can never leave…

    Is it really worth it, all that effort just to get into the Premiership? And for what? Corporate hospitality and the media circus? An all-seater stadium, Leeds Utd pencil sharpeners and a regular mention on Look North? You will be squeezed dry and flung straight back out again. And you will then have the leisure to ponder the big question: was it really worth it winning that final game of the season last year? My prediction is if you get promoted this season you will be playing Crawley in 3 years time. (Crawley are amazing, and the fact that people haven’t heard of them kind of proves my point, I feel.)

    • Deco

      If the mafia had a soccer outfit, that would be a better comparison.

      • Colin

        The Camorra controlled Napoli, and funded the record signing of Maradona from Barcelona. Maradona won them the league with them twice in a few seasons, which was a huge achievement since Napoli had never won the league previous to that.

        The Camorra corrupted Maradona with drugs and hookers and a lifestyle incompatible with a professional footballer, let alone the greatest footballer of the time. It nearly ended up costing Maradona his life, and thanks to Fidel’s medical staff, he made a full recovery.

        • Deco

          Colin – thatnks for the information about Maradona. I could never understand a club from the poorer part of Italy was able to afford him.

          Not messing here, but nobody makes a full recovery from cocaine addiction. Cocaine undermines the longetivity of muscles around the heart. Unless the heart is replaced, there will be a premature heartattack.

          • Gege Le Beau

            The Cubans played the lead role in getting Maradonna off his addictions, he was checked into a clinic (Quinque-Cocal drug treatment center, in Holguin, 470 miles (750 km) east of Havana) and they worked on him, later he personally thanked Fidel and the Cuban people for the role they played. This is part of the wider Cuban policy of free health treatment for thousands of Latin Americans. They even gave the man who shot Che Guevara dead an eye operation which restored his sight. They also run a clinic for Chernobyl children on the coast outside Havana among other things which rarely ever gets highlighted in the Western press, they also played a leading role in the Haiti earthquake as they had major operations there before the quake hit and increased their presence in light of the disaster.

          • Flo-Jo on steroids or Gerry Ryan on cocaine, heart damage, stroke attack, drug time bombs blow up in the end

          • Colin

            No problem Deco,

            And you’re right about the long term effects of cocaine abuse. Maradona made a remarkable recovery all the same, but will not enjoy good health into his later years.

            I knew Gege Le Beau would fill us in on the medical care Maradona received in Cuba. Maradona’s politics would be very close to Castro’s, especially regarding England and the US. I prefered the Maradona who did his talking on the pitch with his boots, chest, head and the odd time his hands, or were they God’s hands in a moment of transubstantiation?

        • CitizenWhy

          Colin and commentators. Thanks, one of the best sports stories I have heard. We would never hear this story in the USA.

        • adamabyss

          He was the greatest footballer of ALL time. His talent was almost supernatural.

          • Colin

            I agree, but I didn’t want this to turn into a Pele v Maradona debate so I used ‘his’ time.

        • coldblow

          Colin, as I mentioned here before, I once had a discussion with a colleague about Maradonna’s cheating. That game could well have finished differently without it and his second goal was completely invalidated in my mind as a result. He took a more relaxed view – after all hadn’t Maradonna admitted it later?

          Only the following week the same man was incoherent with rage at Henry’s handball. I didn’t improve his humour by reminding him of what he’d said earlier.

          Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia by Roberto Saviano gives an excellent account of these b*stards. It’s probably in your local library if you haven’t already read it. Under their influence I’m not surprised Maradonna was a cheat on the field, though admittedly it was possibly a one-off, I don’t know.

          Actually, now I think of it, if you were to look at the EU and ECB the same way you might FIFA that might provide the appropriate perspective nuance. Ireland actually had a moral case after Henry but of course it was never going to amount to anything.

  32. Dorothy Jones

    Am with cbweb and Adam and Deco on the footie………!

    • Deco

      At an intellectual level it is a nonsensical pursuit. Whatever good can be good from running around a fiels after a ball, there is none from sitting on a couch every evening looking a TV for two hours for an update in the campaign.

      • Colin

        Two obese couch potatoes discussing the merits of 4-4-2 or the Christmas tree formation or the diamond formation is complete nonsense.

        However, football is a healthy distraction for most people. Seeing Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes on the pitch doing their stuff still inspires me to get fitter, even though I’ve hung up my boots. Scholes eschews the nonsense in modern football, he doesn’t have an agent, he refuses to endorse products, rarely gives the media interviews and lives a very normal life, even going to tesco with his missus and kids to do the shopping. The fact he’s the most talented English player of his generation makes it much more remarkable. Pity the rest couldn’t follow in his footsteps, instead of becoming Beckham wannabees.

        • coldblow

          I took up five a side again last year having given it up in 1979 at uni. I did it for fitness, but that’s long stopped being the point. It’s the contest, the goals. Ah yes, the goals… Scored the best one of my life last autumn, it was beee-oootiful.

          • Colin

            Coldblow,

            Nice one, keep training. Also, thanks for the heads up on the book by Robert Saviano.

            I take your point about Henry’s handball and Maradona’s handball. As a kid I cheered on Argentina in 1986, and I was up in arms like many others in Ireland when Henry’s involvement in that goal occurred.

          • Colin

            *typo – I wasn’t up in arms.

            Henry cheated, but believe it or not, its part of the game, so people need to get over it.

      • Dorothy Jones

        Ah Deco, you are right….!! But after I wrote that little post I remembered that I used to go to Olympiastadion with a few mates on Thursdays after work back in the days of yore to watch Hertha when they were promoted! In all the gear too. Just looked at the photos and had a good laugh!!

    • Is your footie a Jimmy Choo ?

  33. The Moriarty Report is liken to comparing Irish Politics with corrupt Italian Football.You pay for what you get .No money no win.

    Berlusconi was a door to door saleman before he defrauded his way to the top ……we have a comparable on our lands too .At least Berti paid his ( delared )Italian Taxes and remained in Italy .We know ours went into exile.

  34. Deco

    Eric Cantona figured that the people could change the dynamic if they all took money out of the bank at the same time. A bank deposit strike.

    A far smarter idea, would be if the adult male section of the population decided to have a “sports on TV” strike. Put down the remote control, and read the book, or go on U-Tube and find out how the world is really run.

    That would bring about a serious change in matters.

    “Please support our non-stop advertissing sponsors” (with your hard earned wages, and soft heads).

  35. paddythepig

    Ever see a substitute getting instructions before being sent on to the pitch, and there’s a guy with a clipboard drawing pictures of where he’s meant to operate on the pitch, and a manager egging him on, and a few more hangers-on offering words of advice, and you can see the guy nodding his head, blanking them all out, trying to focus on his own thoughts before he runs on the pitch.

    He’s the guy playing after all.

    Ireland is like a team with lots of advisers on the sideline, clipboard analysts, video analysts, motivational experts, tacticians, but very few players. There is no reason to be defeatist as David is, and claim our players can’t compete with the Germans.

    They can.

    But to do so, they need to be incentivised and rewarded for upping their efforts to be as good as or better than international competition, and the hangers-on need to be booted out and told find a new career.

    This is the way forward.

    • Dorothy Jones

      @paddy, I agree about the need for incentive as a pre-requisite to good performance: and I agree with you that working together with German people can be productive for both parties. [I have been doing so for the best part of 20 years]. As regards the footie [and I know nothing about it currently], how do you reckon our team compares? Worth a flutter…?

    • Here comes the team:

      The Banana Republic of Ireland.

      They’ve all got their incentives in their back pockets, new houses, refurbishments, off shore back stop payment setups.

      Today they play against the Irish Judiciary with CAB.

      Unfortunately, the Irish Judiciary havn’t turned up as they’re afraid to take them on. Instead, we have
      The Banana Republic Tribunals.

      The Banana Republics launch a frenzied attack against the judiciary led by Lowry, he castigates and denigrates in McEnroe fashion the opposition, the ref, the media and all.

      He’s an accomplished artisan of denial defending the ball against any criticism or embarrassing factual evidence.

      One is reminded of former accomplished players who apparently have adopted this attack and Denial strategy individually and as a group: Ray Burke, Bertie Ahearne, Charles Haughey, Liam Lawlor,… their ghostly voices still echo in the chamber of denial, the Dail.

      The Irish Judiciary with CAB havn’t ever managed to lay a hand on any of the Banana Republic of Ireland Team. They’ve never used their handcuffs, arrest warrants, prisons trial by jury preferring to wash their hands and leave it all to the tribunal team.

      The Banana Republic Tribunals are experts and will milk the game for all its worth….

  36. Deco

    Well it looks as if Permo is the latest bank to get into a spot of bother.

    I projected that the timescale for Permo would be very different from the others. Permo had no mega-builder exposure. And Permo engaged in a well run slick PR campaign of “we are not affected”. And Permo were not. But Permo made some serious mistakes. Providing money for mega-mortgages in the leafy suburbs was Permo’s core activities in recent years.

    The problem with Permo is coming from the problem with the mortgage repayments, and that is coming from the chronic underperformance of the Irish labour market.

    At the root of Permo’s problems is high private sector unemployment with couples losing one job and trying to keep a mega mortgage on the go, along with everything else.

    The suburban system of Ireland, and especially the overpriced suburban system of Dublin is getting a real squeeze. And it is showing up in Permo’s mortgage arrears stats, which is causing Permo cashflow problems.

    This is no longer a “developer” problem. Lifestyle debt, and the lemming tendency to overbid for whatever is in fashion are now under threat as core beliefs of the Irish Lifestyle dream.

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  38. Faux Pas

    How can this discussion be complete without Henri Thierry ….and the Hand Job .How does this fit into Irish Banking / Politics ?

  39. Malcolm McClure

    There are times when neutrality doesn’t wash well and yesterday was one of them.
    Ireland has no reason to favour Gaddafi, since he supplied arms and explosives to the IRA
    Gilmore should have been at the London conference on Libya, at least as an observer along with his peers:
    Albania Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto
    Belgium Foreign Minister Steven Van Ackere
    Bulgaria Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov
    Canada Deputy Minister Morris Rosenberg
    Croatia Deputy Prime Minister Gordon Jandrokovic
    Czech Rep Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg
    Denmark Foreign Minister Lene Espersen
    Estonia Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
    France Foreign Minister Alain Juppe
    Germany Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle
    Greece Foreign Minister Dimitrios Droutsas
    Hungary Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi
    Iceland Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson
    Italy Foreign Minister Franco Frattini
    Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari
    Jordan Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh
    Kuwait Ambassador Khaled Duwaisan
    Latvia Foreign Minister Girts Valdis Kristovskis
    Lebanon Ambassador Inaam Osseirah
    Lithuania Vice- Minister Asta Skaisgiryte-Liauskiene
    Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn
    Malta Deputy Prime Minister Dr Tonio Borg
    Morocco Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri
    Netherlands Ambassador Pieter Willem Waldeck
    Norway Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store
    Poland Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
    Portugal Foreign Minister Joao Cravinho
    Qatar Prime Minister and Minister Foreign Affairs His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jabr Al Thani
    Romania Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi
    Slovakia Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda
    Slovenia Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar
    Spain Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez
    Sweden Foreign Minister Carl Bildt
    Tunisia Ambassador Hatem Attalah
    Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
    UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan
    USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    Observers
    Australia High Commissioner John Dauth LVO
    Holy See HE Archbishop Mennini
    World Bank Senior Counsellor for UK and Ireland Andrew Felton

    Relegation hurts.

    • Delighted to hear we didn’t waste our time and money sticking our noses into that one, we’ve more urgent and pressing matters to deal with at the moment:)

      • Malcolm McClure

        cbweb: How then are we to rebuild our reputation as an honourable nation?
        Greece, Portugal, even Iceland and the Vatican were there!
        So the shamrock now stands for the three wise monkeys?

        • @Malcolm

          “How then are we to rebuild our reputation as an honourable nation?”

          Hope I didn’t sound trite there. My answer to you and paddythepig earlier re our leaders requiring to be incentivised is contained in your question above.

          Our house of cards is still held in place corruptly eg through Nama, previous management of the banks and a failed political system. Let the crap fall onto its corrupt foundations, we can build a decently efficient democracy serving the people. When that is done, then maybe based on the integrity of the robust success of a growing economy and a modern and reformed Ireland, we might restore our own reputation. We should do this before sitting in judgement on the likes of Gadaffi & Co and not try to do it the other way round.

  40. Posters, as the stress tests are to be published tomorrow, maybe a reminder of some points made by Paulmcd in earlier article:

    From paulmcd
    “http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2011/03/21/defending-the-indefensible

    UNBELIEVABLE!!

    EUROPEAN HOUSE OF CARDS

    TOTAL Debt (Public+Private) to GDP: Portugal=439%; IRELAND=940%

    Peter the Pontificator (aka “Suds”) would have us believe that “we have been here before, in the 1980s” when public debt to GDP was over 100%.

    He conveniently ignores the issue of private debt and the fact that, at the temporary peak in the property market in 1981, mortgagees would have purchased homes costing no more than 2.5 times gross income for a maximum duration of 20-25 years, as compared with 8 to 10 times average income for up to 40 years in the recent boom.

    I should have added that INTEREST RATES started to fall in the 1980s while today it is looking likely that they will start rising.”

    The ILP news along with the stress tests, rising interest rates, the stresses put on our economy into the future by unsustainable mortgage repayment obligations in a falling market fed by deflation and unemployment,

    ……………………………………………

    we are slow crashing into default

    I forecasted we would be announcing a state of default by Paddy’s Day last.

    But apparently, forecasting the date of default is like forecasting the date of arrival of a new baby.

    Game is up!

    • Could I suggest immediate reform of the mortgage lending sector by the reinstitution of a binding rule, that future mortgage loans exceed no more than 2.5 times gross income for a maximum duration of 20-25 years.

      • One other point, have a read of http://bit.ly/hP5QdB

        Citizens of Ireland have been screwed by the private sector banks run by crony politicians.
        As well as cleaning up politics, we need to clean up the banks.

        But that should not mean putting citizens on tap for bank losses. The problem at the moment, according to our politicians, is not that citizens should have to pay for these losses, but that the losses are so deep, they might not be able to pay for them. No, the real problem is that citizens are being put on tap for any of those losses that were not of their making.

        We need to allow them to fall. We need asset firesales. We need debt for equity swaps and default if not closure. The remains of failed private sector banks need tight regulation thereafter.

        To protect the state and citizens following default, we should never again rely on private sector banks, instead we need a public bank to serve citizens, check out how The Bank of North Dakota is run.

        Ask why we don’t have a similar BND

  41. Deco

    The CIA have the Libya thing completely wrong. As a military strategy, NATO are going down a clueless road. But if you asked Max Keiser, he would probably tell you it is all irrelevant to the oil under Gaddaffi, and the gold that he has accumulated in the past 18 months.

    Similarities here with Saddam Hussein. Hussein requested Euros and anything but the dollar for his Oil. None of the paper that Greenspan prints. No Print-Baby-Print.

    Gaddafi played a more subtle game. Taking USD for his oil and secretly buying bullion. He must have sussed that this was not allowed, therefore down quietly. A bit like the Chinese Politburo. And yes the Politburo and the Russians are furious over the current debacle in Libya. Then we have the Iranians taking sides in certain conflicts (probably hoping Gaddafi survives, but that the Saudi King falls).

    And now NATO is increasingly committed to getting involved. Slipping down the slippery slope of involvement.

    • Deco

      I forgot the link.

      http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article27232.html

      It indicates that NATO would have been far smarter to have ignored what was going on. It seems to me that the reluctant states in this misadventure, know that this is likely to backfire into a disaster (China, Russia, Turkey, Germany, India, Brazil, all to varying degrees). I know some of you might be shocked by what I am about to say next. But, I suspect that in the long term things might work out better if NATO had not interfered in Libya, and let the Libyans sort it amonngst themselves, or even let the Arab League resolve it internally. Gadaffi fighting the Arab League is not as liable to produce a martyr to the same extend as Gadaffi fighting NATO. NATO should stop treating the Arabs like children, and patronising them on what to do. Let them resolve this themselves. If not, it will be much much worse. This, I think is where things are headed.

      • Malcolm McClure

        Deco: I agree with you that Al Jazeera is giving a well-balanced Arab overview of the Libya situation, but disagree that Gadaffi should be left to the Arab League to sort out.
        Most of the Arab states are still trying to come to terms with popular demands for democracy, so they are in no position to act with condescending statesmanship towards Gadaffi either individually or together.

        Militarily the Arab league is still third division, compared with NATO or USA, so if they intervened in Libya the result would be an unholy mess, a bit like Tranmere Rovers taking on Sheffield United with its Billy Whitehust and Vinnie Jones at Wembley.

        The Arabs are still fundamentally a tribal society, but now, as a result of excellent education of the younger generation, they are determined to grow up and give democracy its head.

      • NATO and the Arab league should be involved in peaceful settlement negotiations with Gadaffi before further massacre/loss of life….

        Armada of pickup trucks egged on by the coalition racing across desert protected from the air and racing away when they encounter Gadaffi’s superior forces is a recipe for disaster….

        Iraq groundhog…, hawks are ramping up the situation veering it towards Iraq mess while there’s a peaceful and fair solution there for the taking

        • Gege Le Beau

          I agree the Rebels seem more a danger to themselves than Gaddafi, one French journalist commented on Saturday that he spent most of his time avoiding the Rebels because they had the uncanny knack of shooting and blowing themselves up given lack of training and excessive confidence.

          However, I think the international community with UN backing (resolution 1973) was right to intervene to protect civilians in Benghazi and prevent a Srebrenica style massacre.

          What happens next and who replaces Gaddafi if he does fall is harder to say and there is still no guarantee that Libya will not consume itself in an all encompassing Civil War. I can only presume that attempts are being made through back channels to try to persuade Gaddafi and his family to exit for a third country, which I suspect he is resisting.

          Libya is in a very difficult spot, there are reports of fuel shortages in the Eastern part of the country, hence Gaddafi’s onslaught towards the oil refineries, there is also a serious food shortage, so things could get ugly in Tripoli, there is also a travel embargo on the Gaddafi regime, the country’s assets have been frozen, there is a naval blockade, no fly zone and military strikes by the international community, basically a multi-faceted approach with all the hallmarks of ‘containment’.

          I don’t think Gaddafi can hold out in the face of such pressures and may yet negotiate after he has used up his nine lives, I also heard a report that one of his sons was killed, so the struggle has been brought home to him yet again.

          It is regrettable it has come to this and we can’t ignore Western hypocrisy (his fighter jets were French supplied, his tanks seem of the Russian variety, his tear gas, sniper scopes and other items supplied by UK ‘Defence’ companies while his oil was purchased by the US among others), but the people of Libya as in Egypt and Tunisia have had enough it seems and the Middle East ‘Spring Revolutions’ may yet bear fruit for its long oppressed and impoverished peoples.

          • Removing Gadaffi may not be the panacea its held out to be:

            http://bit.ly/fzTSUi

            Interesting comment from Shaka at above:

            “Shaka (Timbuktu)
            The east of Libya is a minority of the population of Libya. The Tripoli area alone has almost three times the population of Benghazi. Im not sure that the majority of the Libyan population prefer armed rebels/ insurgents to the Gaddaafi regime. Gaddaafi empowered and gave rights to southern libyan tribes that were basically slaves during the Benghazi kingdom rule.”

            His comments re support for Gadaffi in Tripoli would appear to be born out by following report from Tripoli

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12829078

            To avoid a blood bath surely Hilary should be sitting down with Gadaffi, Nato, the rebels and the Arab League, to negotiate a peaceful resolution based on reforms, that might benefit all parties.

            Agree Benghazi needed to be saved. But Clinton coalition forces need to act like peacekeepers, not dumb war mongerers.

        • CitizenWhy

          No doubt Obama was moved by humanitarian concerns but I suspect there was also political calculation in his actions. He is attacking the same target as Reagan, perhaps hoping to get some support from “Reagan Democrats.”

          I hope Khadaffi must go” includes replacement by one of his sons as an option. The Catholic bishops of Libya and the Italian government gets it: a peace settlement must now be negotiated rather than have either side fight to annihilate the other. Cameron’s call for putting Khadaffi on trial is not helpful to resolving the Libyan situation, which could turn into a greater tragedy for the Libyan people.

          Maybe Ireland should step in to support the Italians.

          • Gege Le Beau

            I agree, think the ICC should have kept out of it as makes a settlement more difficult.
            Obama’s advisors, Susan Rice (possible influenced by Rwanda) and Samantha Power (possibly influenced by Bosnia) could be from the US school of ‘humanitarian intervention’. Others like Chomsky question whether there is such a thing and have branded it as ‘imperial intervention’.
            It is hard to call where political-economic interests overlap with humanitarianism, but I suspect it is way down the agenda, if at all, but maybe I am becoming cynical in my own age. If humanitarianism is a principal motivation then it begs the question “when will the Palestinians have their peace settlement and independent State, which is surely long overdue, while in the Congo I saw a figure of 8 million dead in the decades long Civil War (a hangover from colonialism if there ever was one). Moreover, these Middle Eastern tyrants have been well backed by successive Western governments, it is the exasperated populations of the respective countries who are shaking the corrupt from their golden chairs while Western politicians give lofty speeches and enjoy the glow of Western exceptionalism and seeming benevolence (as it is being spun).

        • CitizenWhy

          Here’s the emerging Obama narrative. … We intervened for humanitarian reasons. We also intervened to support the reforms in Tunisia and Egypt. To let the Libyan dictator crush the uprising might have put a chill on the reform movements in Egypt and Tunisia. … We also intervened to set a new mode of intervention for the US, that is, we might support home grown revolts against oppressive regimes but we will not put troops on the ground or invade to precipitate revolts. We will let the home-grown rebels “write the narrative” rather than take control. … We will act only with UN and coalition support, and for limited ends and means. … By intervening we can reset the US Mideast narrative away from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel-Palestine and in favor of supporting home-grown reform movements. … The question is often asked, “Why not Syria?” No direct answer is given but it is clear that we would be perceived as intervening in favor of Israel. … A peaceful negotiation/resolution of the Libyan crisis would demonstrate to Israel that negotiations and concessions can work well for all parties.

          US success in this enterprise will come only if there is a negotiated settlement between the Libyan factions. Khaddafi is not without strong support and senior members of his government can be part of the resolution and serve in any new government. In Iraq we foolishly allowed the barring of all Baathist officials, whose talents could have ben put to good use in the initial invasion/occupation and government formation period. South Africa’s reconciliation approach can serve as an example of how to reconcile bitter differences rather than aim for total victory

          • Gege Le Beau

            I can see how they would sell all that to themselves and the world but the West is hated on the ground and for good reasons, seems the chance to pull things out of the fire is a motivating factor and the Middle East may fall into the ‘Western democractic camp’ but too early to say.

            Apparently the Libyan Foreign Minister has defected and is in London, first big crack in Gaddafi’s regime, so pressure is telling.

  42. Deco

    I think that it fair to say that the results of the regional elections in Germany recently, have effectively poleaxed any possibility that the Bailout Fund Interest Rate will decrease.

    • Should we reconsider the Islamification of Bank Residential Loans in Ireland ?

      • Colin

        John,

        You should watch Niall Ferguson’s new series on tv. Episode 2 explains how the West began to dominate the East (Muslim world), so that argument of yours is a lost argument.

        • Colin ,

          I think you have misread me there .By Islamification of Residential Loans means essentially that no family can be removed from Principle Private Residence and that all loans are not seen as loans in the conventional sense rather it is a rent paying device until the end of a time period when it ceases to be continued to be paid.

          So everyone is happy .

          In effect it is a NAMAfication of home loans only.

          • Colin

            Actually , in a much older article on this site a year or so ago we showed that Bank of Ireland offer such loans to Muslims only.

          • Colin

            Everyone’s happy, yeah, especially the people who refuse to pay their mortgage and spend this cash on foreign holidays, new cars and the lastest i-pod.

          • @colin

            These loans do not charge interest or at least are shown to be as it is against Islam

          • Brilliant idea, John, with tweaks could be a great across the board solution for many families.

          • Minaterisation of Family Homes in Ireland

            There is only one alternative to preserving your negative equity home ( and in default ) in Ireland and that is to ‘minaterise it ‘.This is simply done by erecting a totem pole in the front garden with a banana shape on top of it lying on its back.Something like a crescent on its back.
            Afterwards declaring to your bank that you proclaim to be treated equally like the way all muslims are when they take out Islamic Loans eg with Bank of Ireland.

            Then instruck your solicitor accordingly .

            Allahu Akbar

          • paddythepig

            That would be fine if all private residences were equivalent but they are not. Nor are all loans. Saying that someone who borrowed 400K for their PPR and haven’t paid back a cent of it, is equivalent to someone who budgeted and paid 200K for their house and are paying it off, is very dangerous.

            You propose to reward vanity over prudence.

            So. Not everyone is happy.

            The real solution is to have a voluntary swap of the two houses. The guy in the 400K house he can’t pay for gets a subsistence property until he can rejoin the marekt ; the guy in the 200K house might aspire to the 400K house, and take on the loan.

          • Colin

            Good point there paddythepig. Insiders and chancers in big houses are always one step ahead with their chicanery since they have the most to lose. Don’t swallow any of this nonsense. Stay on high alert, be vigilant and skeptical.

        • Gege Le Beau

          @ Colin – if you are buying that history then you have little if any discernment.

      • @John, best leave religion out of it, unless you want an unholy jihad unleashed against us all:)

        What’s the fastest town in Ireland?

        Tuam

        (Listen to the sound and say it out loud, can you hear it:))

        • Sometimes we dont want to change our mindset and when that happens it slows recovery ….Change ..is faster .

        • Colin

          I would agree with cbweb, so please take that advice John, because unlike yourself and Henry McKean, I do have a problem with islam.

          • @Colin

            ~I am not suggesting Religion in an economic debate its their financial code of granting loans that works better than ours in this defaulting country of Ireland that I admire now and it offers everything that defaulting negative equity borrows in Irland are presently Suffering .

            If you are drowning take it all with you it could save your life.

          • Colin

            John

            “Islamic finance prohibits direct or indirect association with businesses involving alcohol, pork products, firearms and tobacco. It also does not allow speculation, betting and gambling.”

            So, if what you advocate is introduced, then we’ll say goodbye to thousands of jobs in Glanbia, Kerry Group, Denny, Irish Pride, Clonakilty, Diageo, Irish Distillers, Heineken Ireland, Bulmers to name a few.

            Plenty of our farmers, both pig farmers and grain farmers would go out of business. Then you’d have all the service industries like packaging and maintenance out of business too.

            So, as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

    • Ah, the old ‘Bailout Fund Interest Rate will decrease’ trick not working?

      Seems the Charge of the Light Brigade is going well:)

  43. After 14 yrs of Moriarty, all its documentation prepared, filed and ready for CAB, Lowry challenging CAB to bring forward a case, cannot understand why a case cannot be prepared by the DPP, and brought against Lowry within the next four weeks.

    Instead, we’re being told the case will take upwards of 2 years to prepare.

    Who’s foolin who?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbgwoM6W7GA

    • Gege Le Beau

      Does seem odd especially since a fraudster at FAS who stole 600,000 euro through false invoicing and fake companies was tried, convicted and sentenced to 4 years with last two suspended, justice seems to move swift for some and at a snails pace for others.

      Like many, I am still waiting for a SINGLE prosecution of any of the leading players who engaged in reckless financial transactions, cooked their books, moved money around, surely after 2.5 years between:

      The Criminal Assets Bureau
      The Attorney General
      The Regulator
      The Director for Corporate Enforcement
      The Consumer Ombudsperson
      The DPP
      The Central Bank
      The Fraud Squad
      The Revenue Commissioners
      The Minister and Dept. of Finance
      The Taoiseach

      And you can even throw in the President while we are at it, that between the whole lot of them and all the civil servants, advisors, legal counsel, that not a single prosecution has been made against a member of the banking/finance fraternity, it is utterly astonishing and possibly represents the best example of how the system actually works.

      The Irish version or as the Financial Times called it, ‘cosy capitalism at its worst’, knows well how to look after its own.

  44. Tim

    Folks, Here’s one to watch (especially tomorrow), from Lorcan:

    http://blog.cornerturned.com/2011/03/30/bailouts-last-stand/

    The state should not nationalise any more financial institutions; in fact, Elderfield should just revoke the banking licenses on the grounds of insolvency. No-longer a bank? No bank-guarantee applies.

    But, that’s just me…..

    Let’s keep at it.

  45. Tim

    Bloomberg leaks Irish bank stress test results

    bloom.bg/eqUiMH

  46. Tim

    Sorry; that link again:

    Bloomberg leaks Irish bank stress test results bloom.bg/eqUiMH”

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