April 18, 2011

Our new second-string reality

Posted in Banks · 116 comments ·

Driving up the east coast on a beautiful sunny day, looking out, you can almost see Wales. I wondered was the weather so beautiful on this day in 1169,whenthe first Normans set sail from Wales to invade Ireland.

Did they get a fair wind, a bright sunshine for the short hop over to Wexford bearing their secret weapon, which was to subdue Ireland so quickly?

The five-foot longbow – Strongbow’s longbow – was the world’s most formidable weapon in the 12th century when they arrived here, and it put the fear of God into the Danish towns of Wexford, Waterford and Dublin.

A few years later, happily ensconced in Dublin in 1182,using a longbow of yew, one of these archers shot an arrow straight through a four-inch oak slab, proving to the Irish that no armour could withstand the longbow.

The Norman kings urged the adoption of this lethal weapon to terrify the Irish. They made longbow shooting competitions mandatory every Sunday and on public holidays.

This became the chief sporting event in Norman Ireland. Much of the marksman’s success lay in the use of a good bowstring. Archers typically had a favourite, and the Anglo Normans called this the fyrst-streng. This expression for the finest bowstrings soon became synonymous with the top contestants and emerged into the English language as the expression ‘‘first string’’ and ‘‘second string’’.

There is a distinct second-string feel about the position of Ireland in Europe these days. We are not playing at the highest level; we are condemned to be second best. But it’s not all that bad, as playing as a second-string outfit gives us the chance to improve. After all, the only way for the second string is more or less up, once you hit the bottom. But hitting the bottom is exactly what we are not allowed do at the moment. Without this sense of being at the bottom, no new capital will flow in.

The thing about recessions is that they all end. There never has been one that doesn’t. Life goes on and, interestingly, those things we thought so important during the crisis are quickly forgotten about.

In the second-string team, you can Allow assets to fall dramatically in value. If we forget about property, there are a number of reasons to believe that the process of recovery will begin soon. It will be slow and it will be faltering, but capitalism normally rights itself if it is allowed to run its course.

Companies that are put into liquidation will tend to find buyers for their assets and, in the same way as the boom involved a huge transfer of wealth from the buyers to the sellers because the assets were overvalued, the opposite will prevail now.

In this crisis, there is a massive transfer of wealth from sellers to buyers because the assets are terribly undervalued.

But why are they undervalued? Is it because of the fall in demand?

Although at first blush this seems to be the case, the real reason the value of assets will fall dramatically is because of lack of money. If no one can get their hands on money, the assets will fall and that fall will undershoot ‘‘fair value’’ substantially. In the same way, when there was loads of money about, assets overshot their ‘‘fair value’’ price dramatically.

Believe it or not, there is some evidence that assets are beginning to change hands at huge discounts. Look at the distressed property auction at the Shelbourne last week, where 80 of the 82 properties were sold.

There is evidence elsewhere too . Speaking to a liquidator friend of mine last week, I was told that serious negotiations are going on now, but people have to realise that we are seriously second-string and the price of everything has to fall. In businesses where the only problem is rent and where the landlords are forced to realise this, there are deals to be done.

Going concerns that can renegotiate their rents have a chance of survival.

We all know that there are thousands of businesses in Ireland that could survive if rents fell to a level where the business could make money.

But landlords are still in denial. They still think they are in the first string, but they are not.

The problem for society is that most of the state’s efforts since the property market crashed have been designed to ease the burden for landowners or those with property interests. Obviously the biggest property vested interests in the country are the banks.

At the top of the boom, over 80 per cent of all lending by Irish banks was property-related. So the banks’ ‘‘assets’’ are essentially land.

The more you prop up the banks, either with cash injections or with scams like Nama, the higher you keep the price of property artificially.

This artificially high price means that the real value is blurred. If a business has to pay a huge rent, it can’t extract the value in its other assets – its capital, its people or its ideas.

Therefore businesses are being put into liquidation, not because they can’t trade, but because they can’t trade in 2011 shackled with 2008 rents.

What will happen if the landlords are not confronted is that these businesses will be liquidated and their other assets will be vaporised.

Assets will be flogged cheaply in fire-sales and there will be a destruction of value throughout the country.

This will enrich buyers enormously as they pick up real (non-property) assets for a fraction of their real fair value. These players will be financed from abroad because the Irish banks are simply safety deposit boxes for the IMF.

They will take in our tax money and keep it there on deposit to meet the IMF’s stringent capital requirements.

Therefore, no matter how much the money supply is expanded, it won’t translate into credit. So the credit will have to come from elsewhere – or maybe even from a new bank or two, which no doubt will emerge in the next year or so.

The thing about being a second-string outfit is that our asset prices have to fall. If they do, we will recover. There is no doubt about that. But if we continue to prop up the interests of property, we will surely sink further.

We need to abandon policies that prevent private capital from being enticed here. One of these policies is the use of the courts by landlords to crush business people by anchoring them to rents that no one can afford. These business people will just go bust and there will be no businesses to sell, which means new capital will stay away.

Once new capital comes in at the level of individual businesses, the weapon of official credit constraints becomes as irrelevant as a hulking zombie bank.

The way to move from second string to first string is to make changes to the position of landlords.

Rents need to fall dramatically. That will allow capital to do its thing.

Even the Normans -who became prodigious exporters of agriculture, using our rivers as trading routes and our ports in the south east as trading hubs with France and England – understood that business can thrive. But it has to be given the right conditions.

  1. adamabyss


  2. wills


    And the biggest land / price rigging of them all, NAMA.

    NAMA engineered to prevent the price of land and house dropping and favoring the buyer.

    How blatant.

    NAMA funded by the very same taxpayers who cannot afford to buy a house or who pay most of their income on rent and we are funding an agency which is rigging the property market which is keeping the prices too high which is killing buoyancy in the market and we are back to the article above.

    Or as Constantin speaks it,

    ‘Nama is a debt vehicle that will use more State-backed debt to put new households into debt-financed homes built by debt- financed developers defaulting on loans issued by insolvent banks.’

    • Praetorian

      Think this comment is spot on, NAMA paid by the taxpayer to sucker the taxpayer over property. The Republic has been bastarised with the commercially driven approach to almost every single aspect to life and yet they have the audacity to show up at commemorations to people who died fighting against everything they have become and represent.


    • Deco

      You are correct. NAMA and the banks are doing their best to hold up the valuation of property. They are restricting as much as possible, the supply. The auctions are often rigged.

      I have been told of banks sending phantom bidders to auctions to push up the price level, on people who are trying to buy.

      If you want to have fun, go to an auction with an MP3 recorder, and record what is going on. It is a scandal.

    • Deco

      At some stage the system will be unable to afford NAMA. It will be too expensive, and it will have to be dropped.

  3. Malcolm McClure


  4. VincentH

    The problem is even if you can get a lease at 40% of 2008 rents your trade is likely to be 60% off that date. And going down.
    I thought btw that the ECB was handing the banks money at 1%. If so whats all the fuss with the trackers. They mightn’t be making anything but they aren’t losing either.

  5. Praetorian

    Whether urban myth or not, Bismark is reported to have said: “give Ireland to the Dutch and they will turn it into an economic miracle, give the Netherlands to the Irish and they will all sink beneath the waves because they won’t maintain the dykes”, harsh but we do live with a nepotistic socio-politicial system and a crony capitalist economic system, both of which have produced utter disaster.

    Dan O’Brien has an interesting article in today’s Irish Times on amateur part time politicians, Ministers who are still TDs etc, while I would add, TDs who have property empires, share portfolios, company directorships on the side, some distractions from the issues of the day.

    A this stage, reform with its list of what could, should and won’t be done would give the yellow brick road a run for its money.

    We will go on failing as long as the Irish people tolerate mediocrity, low standards and parish pump style politics.

    • Deco

      There is an issue concerning the fact that we have an authority culture which finds it opportune and indeed desirable, that people are not independently responsible for their own affairs.

      In other words, in the Irish authority culture, those in authority wish to treat the rest of us like children. And to ensure this happens they encourage any episodes of childishness. So as to maintain their own security, as a means of psychological enforcement.

      It reminds me of what Frued said about us. It stems from the Richelieu-model authority complex.

  6. The Eye

    Hi everyone!!
    In my little shop in a shopping centre in Dublin, everyday another shop closes down in fact went to collect clothes from the cleaners and the shop had indeed closed down also.
    having serious difficulty paying the 2006 level rent, however have being paying it to date, have written to landlords many times they will not help me they are in NAMA. I am not entitled to the dole and I expect the business to fold by the end of May.
    I feel like Michael Douglas in the movie “Falling Down”
    Are the provisional F F party going to do anything ?
    or do we endure more of the same?

    • Deco

      At this stage, a lot of people in small business wish they were on welfare. Especially, if they have health problems, or large families.

      • Black Cat

        I would be afraid If I was on welfare since the EU has recommended to the government that payments should be phased out for the long term unemployed – eg reduced every year that you claim for – and recommended that the issue of large families getting more than they would working should also be addressed. I would be very worried indeed if I found myself unemployed – particularly as I live in Kerry where jobs are so thin on the groud.

        • Deco

          It is a bit absurd when you have mandarins in Brussels on massive salaries and doing very little useful work (in many cases doing more harm than actual work), and they come along and start saying that people doing nothing on the dole are getting an “overly generous” amount of money.

          Something not right about all of that !!!

          • Black Cat

            I know – there’s a lot of scapegoatingn of the unemployed going on at the moment – but we are all potetially one paypacket away from disaster as they say.

    • Colin

      That was a great movie, one of my favourites, and you can understand why Michael Douglas’ character makes those various choices along the way. The private golf course which should be a playground for kids to run around in – brilliant.

      I’m on the dole, have had a few business ideas, but will not pursue them because I know the gombeen class out there wants to ride me, so I won’t let them so I stay on the dole and look for opportunities elsewhere.

      We need to have cheap property, both residential and commercial. Its good for society to have cheap property. Anything done by anyone who tries to raise prices are nothing short of psychopathic. Cheap rates too are very important, as are cheap electric bills and so on.

    • uchrisn

      The most frustrating thing must be that they are able to keep the rents high because of NAMA and the Bank Bailouts. If they had not implemented this then your landlord would probably be bankrupt, creditors would have moved in, and sold off your building more cheaply to someone else. They would make a new contract and not have needed to charge you such high rents.

  7. Deco

    It is not just rent.

    Many businesses are now paying more to local authorities in the form of commercial rates, than they are paying in rents.

    When you pay rent for a building, you get the use of the building.

    But when you pay rates to the local authority, all you get is more hassle, as the money is used to pay for a wide array of inspections that are trying to justify their existence in the first place. In other words you play for politicking with a small p, for petty bureacrats. You get nothing of value. It is a scam. There is a local enterprise board to mislead you into the belief that you will earn a livelihood form any activity that will provide another rate payer for the local authority. But the entire thing is a complete scam.

  8. Deco

    At the top of the boom, over 80 per cent of all lending by Irish banks was property-related. So the banks’ ‘‘assets’’ are essentially land.

    I am convinced that the land market in Ireland is being manipulated to scale back the most extreme losses in the Irish banking system, and to make the country look healthy. All with the objective of keeping the credit flowing inwards in the medium term.

    What is that they say ? “You cannot buck the market”….

  9. Deco

    We don’t need reality – because we have constructed an existence called the Irish concept of lifestyle, which is firmly based in delusional concepts like pride, arrogance, “Guinness is good for you”, authority is doing a good job, everything is fine here, havin the craic, bring back Bertie, I am sophisticated, and so is the crap that comes out my ass, etc… Reality, is not something to be indulged in.

    We just want to keep borrowing and keep sustaining the delusions.

  10. Deco

    Another article from yesterday’s business post.


    Things are getting very serious.

    McGurk also makes some reference to the ‘industry’ built around the crisis, by the media as they seek to ensure that the population remains plugged into the media, and prepared to take in more advertising and hard sell. To be honest there is something absurd about Maid Marion and Joe the yapper getting half a million a year to talk about your financial difficulties.

    I do not know where he gets his stats from, but anecdotal evidence is indicating that he is correct. There is something absurd about Quinlan and Quinn managing to live life as normal, despite the disproptionate blame which they must accept for this debacle, while thousands of ordinary people are now in a real predicament. There is also something very Irish about the whole thing.

    It is like as if the bigger the hoor you are, the more forgiveness you get. And when you get it, you stay silent and laugh to yourself. Quinlan has not given any media response to his current predicament. And Quinn is rarely ever accountable to any form of questioning. The point of this whole debacle should be that we lower our tolerance of funny business. But it seems that it has actually increased.

    • Gege Le Beau

      Spot on article from Tom, especially:

      “We live immersed in a non-stop radio and TV conversation that has been ongoing now for almost three years on the same subject, and with roughly the same cast of people saying the same things day after day. Truly, if we could have talked ourselves out of the fix we’re in, we would have been over the horizon long ago.”

      Watching TV and listening to current affairs programmes, it is the same people doing the rounds, quite astonishing, but elites are under an assault from a monster of their own creation so the game is being played awfully tight.

    • paddythepig

      What a windbag McGurk is. The rugger clique still run the banks ; they’re the demographic who led the bus over the cliff.

  11. Deco

    I agree with your views about where asset valuations are headed in the sector. In fact, the reluctance to adjust rents seems to indicate to me that landlords are effectively trying to pay themselves now, for future reality.

  12. Deco

    We might have a second rate reality, but I bet that a lot of people are still aspiring towards first rate delusions !!!

  13. Pedro Nunez

    ’2nd string’, I say more ’3rd fiddle’,

    “The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion”. Burke, Edmund

    “All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher”
    Ambrose Bierce

    • Malcolm McClure

      Pedro Nunez says:
      ‘2nd string’, I say more ‘3rd fiddle’,
      Why not ‘Paddy Last”? David McW suspected as much as far back as Nov. 2004:

      In the context of Irish investments abroad he wrote:
      “Forget that the locals couldn’t afford to buy at the prices the Paddies are paying. The locals do not matter in this hermetically sealed Irish ponzi-scheme. The Paddies are largely now buying from other Paddies and the exit strategy is to sell to another Paddy when you want out. As long as the ponzi-scheme keeps going, fuelled by equity withdrawals, abundant credit and low interest rates, Paddies can make money by playing “beggar my neighbour” with other Paddies. The name of the game is to avoid being Paddy Last when the deck of cards comes crashing down.”
      “Don’t be Paddy Last!”

    • Malcolm McClure

      Pedro Nunez says:
      ‘2nd string’, I say more ‘3rd fiddle’,

      Why not ‘Paddy Last”? David McW suspected as much as far back as Nov. 2004:

      In the context of Irish investments abroad he wrote:
      “Forget that the locals couldn’t afford to buy at the prices the Paddies are paying. The locals do not matter in this hermetically sealed Irish ponzi-scheme. The Paddies are largely now buying from other Paddies and the exit strategy is to sell to another Paddy when you want out. As long as the ponzi-scheme keeps going, fuelled by equity withdrawals, abundant credit and low interest rates, Paddies can make money by playing “beggar my neighbour” with other Paddies. The name of the game is to avoid being Paddy Last when the deck of cards comes crashing down.”
      “Don’t be Paddy Last!”

      • Tim

        Malcolm McClure, little did we realise in 2004 that “Paddy Last”‘s debts would be foisted upon the unsuspecting citizens instead of the ponzi-Paddies.

  14. Normality :

    I have been in France for two weeks now and life is normal as I know it .I recently caught a serious virus and went to the local hospital and was admitted immediately and seen by a team of doctors there and every blood test and electronic gaget was put on me with drips etc and the day after I was discharged with a prescription a full page result and all free because I used the EU national health system . So something still funtions on our PRSI premium system .

  15. Eireannach

    DMcW says:

    …’there are a number of reasons to believe that the process of recovery will begin again soon’.

    Hmmm…. ‘believe’…..’soon’…. these are vague and uncertain terms.

    By contrast these two words are very certain. Google ‘PEAK OIL’.

  16. Tim

    Folks, Sean Quinn issues statement after receivership which he might live to regret:


    (via Namawinelake)

      • Deco

        I was absolutely astounded to hear that the loans that Sean Quinn took from Anglo Irish Bank, to buy Anglo Irish Bank shares, were not secured.

        These were massive loans. Massive unsecured loans. At the very least the entire former board of Anglo, plus their auditors (Ernst and Dung again), plus the entire board of the IFRSA (including sNeary) should be made personally liable to the Irish taxpayer, and the bank shareholders. Interestingly enough, class action suits are not allowed in Ireland. They are perfectly permissable in other Common Law countries like the US, Canada, and Australia. But, I disctinctly remember being told that they will not happen here.

        This is of relevance, because it raises the issue of whether or not Sean Quinn’s (extensive) property portfolio should be used to pay off the debts that Sean Quinn encountered in this funny business. (In case any of you are wondering, the alternative is that the loans get written off – this means the taxpayers pay the bill). There is a money hole in Anglo, and I am in favour of Quinn’s property portfolio being liquidated, and the hole being filled. The fact that Quinn is a northerner probably complicates things a bit.

        Of course the Company law in Ireland is probably as useful in all of this debacle, as an umbrella is in a hurricane.

        In any case, one thing is definitely changing. Irish people are digging in behind all the statements and finding out the real story.

        Tim – thanks for the link !! And NAMA Winelake – thanks for the critique.

        We need Sean Quinn’s industrial empire to survive. But the trophy suite, including the Belfry, and all of that nonsense, will have to go. It does nothing for the Irish economy. It is symbolic of a disfunctional relationship with our own ego, that is described officially as “pride”. And pride comes before the fall.

        • PMC

          I reckon that Sean Quinn was taken for the ride of his life by the gangsters in Anglo and he’s paying a heavy price for it.

          He started out in Construction with a cement truck and ended up losing his nuts on CFDs?

          • Deco

            Rumour has it that when Anglo started to get speed wobbles, Seanie Fitz got eager to accelerate the Dublin Docklands development Authority idea as a brainwave to fix everything up, and to land Anglo in the money big time.

            It made perfect sense, given the valuations of property in Dublin at that exact time.

            It would have been good if somebody ws buying Anglo shares while this scheme was in process, so as to keep the share price up until the wobble got sorted out.

            With this in place, to hold up the share price, he could proceed to borrow on the interbank markets and get into action doing a big deal.

            And then we have Biffo signing the check for the taxpayer.

            I suppose they might have got away with it, if they had enough time. Lehman Brothers, and AIG going bankrupt, hit the entire process.

            Anyway, Michael Lowry has decided that we need to bring gambling into the 21st Century in Ireland.

            I reckon that we have seen enough gambling in Ireland as things stand, and that we need less not more.

          • Deco

            By the way, I cannot say everything that I heard in this rumour. I heard that rumour about 12 months ago.

            And still there is no news coverage of the event.

  17. Tim

    ‘it would be quite simple to painlessly rescue the relatively small economies of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, or Latvia’


    • Deco

      Personally, I don’t trust Strauss-Kahn.

      Basically, Ireland is getting stitched up by three Frenchmen, who are all of the same perspective within the French political system. They are all supportive of the bondholders of Irish bank bonds. And they are all supporting the line of “socialist intervention to prop up capitalist misadventure”.

      These are Trichet in the ECB, Strauss-Kahn in the IMF, and Sarkozy in the EU who seems to be getting what he wants from the EU Commision.

      The only one of the three to have any popular mandate in their own country, was Sarkozy. And currently Sarkozy’s poll numbers are at George Bush levels of popularity.

      These people represent an agenda. And they are making sure that Ireland cannot ‘burn the bondholders’.

      • real terms

        a tad jingoistic there: angela is not french, nor are the british banks who are backing the eu loans. nirish public finances were sound but not its private finances. out of kilter for years. takes two to tango: zealous borrowers and as zealous lenders. yes to more burden sharing, bond holders, banks etc…remember, french taxpayers are also being shafted. agree in sarko.

  18. http://www.babylon.com/definition/Anjana/English

    Anjana (Sanskrit) [feminine of anjana] The mother of Hanumat or Hanuman, the celebrated monkey god of the Ramayana, who is therefore called Anjaneya (son of Anjana).

    In her previous birth she was a goddess, but due to a curse was born as a monkey in the Himalayas. The birth of her son, Hanuman, lifted the curse and after a period Anjana ascended to svarga (heaven).

    We await Hanuman to lift the curse of the two great elephant Gods, Anglo and Nama. However, the great spear that pierced Dub’s heart, must firstly be taken from O Connell St.

    Everyday servants of Anglo and Nama busy themselves dusting everything blissfully unaware of the mon(k)ey curse upon them!


  19. dwalsh

    Some of you might find this site interesting:


    If this think-tank is correct – and they claim to have been thus far – much of what is discussed here will soon be academic. When the good ship ‘Global Economy’ finally goes down.

    I have made the point here a few times. We – Ireland – cannot presently solve this for ourselves given the reality of our current political elites and our embeddedness in the European system. We are not Iceland, nor anything like it. we just have to ride this one out and individually prepare for what may be a difficult period of transition to a new global arrangement…after the fall. Nothing of any consequence may be done before that – other than preparation. The events that are unfolding globally completely dwarf and trump all our puny efforts. The best we can do is ride the storm. We just have to hope that whatever emerges out of the fall will be alright. Once it occurs the global mountain of debt heaped upon us by the financial sector will have to be re-structured and written-down in a general re-set…I hope. That is I hope our political elites will finally wake up and see how insane it is to allow the financial sector abuse our national currencies and economies like casinos.

    • @dwalsh
      That link is sending me to a Yahoo Page??? I would be very interested in think-tank article please. Thank you.

    • Yep, many of us believe the GDC hasn’t really struck yet, that 2008 was a warning to put the house in order, fast. But we’ve squandered the opportunity. Bretton Woods, G20 Summits, Basil 111 all have ignored the elephant in the room. Its partly to do with geopolitical problems such as the north/south divide and the fear especially the BRIC countries would especially lose out. Its also partly due to the Greenspan debt overhang era and derivative over the counter trade of which Europe carries 40% of total global trade, check out http://www.eurexchange.com/download/documents/publications/global_derivatives_market.pdf There’s about €400 trillion globally sloshing around in the pod much of it hedging against global currency fluctuations. It’s a house of cards. Unfortunately its result is through financialisation economies are no longer based on liquidity and good asset indices, but purely on debt. A prototype of the new financial economic socialisation through the banks management of debt, is Ireland Inc. We are fed by debt and milked by debt in the casino way you mention, very similar to the old USSR satellite economies during the Cold War. The banks can’t keep this mask on forever, their Berlin wall must come down. So, don’t agree with DmcW we are second tier, we are a ‘pretend economy’ totally broken with unsustainable debt and a blueprint for the future of NAMA, socialisation of debt, a false economic fossil. But we may as well make hay while the sun shines:)

      • adamabyss

        Sorry Colm, GDC?

        • Acronyms you invent are confusing and maybe should be avoided anyhow, Global Debt Crisis..apologies

          • adamabyss

            Thanks Colm.

          • Colin

            Another favourite of yours is OT, I presume its not Old Trafford.

          • Nope, OT is not Old Trafford, its Off Topic

            GFC is not Galway Football Club, its Global Financial Crisis

            And GDP is Global Debt Crisis

            Sorry again, I hate acronyms myself, I shouldn’t use them:(

            Off topic, amidst the horror of Gadaffi’s cluster bombs, the story that they were all manufactured in UK with markings to prove this, has had little media attention. I wonder if they still are?

  20. Deco

    The ECB, and how it works.


    This is disgraceful. The ECB appears to have an agenda of looking after the bondholders.

    Is the ECB corrupt ?

    We need Jens Peter Bonde on the case, poking his nose into what lobbyists are really working behind the scene in the ECB.

    • uchrisn

      Joesph Stigilz said in 2004 that he was worried that the make-up of the decision makers in the ECB would cause problems for Europe and he was right.
      He thought that the board memebers of the ECB were too biased towards the banking industry and there was no reprensentitives of workers.
      The ECB is independent of goverments, however it should still represent all of the people of Europe. He said in 04 that it is not representitive of the people. He has certainly been proved right.
      For example their interest rates changes are much more concerned with keeping down inflation rather than combating unemployment. If there were some representitives from labour unions on the board of the ECB they might be more concerned about unemployment.

  21. Tull McAdoo

    Terrible indictment of crony capitalism.

    Terrible indictment of banana republicanism.

    S&P downgrades Irish banks to junk status and this is after all the stress tests, bailouts, capital ratios and blah de blah. (story with the Times) couldn’t be arsed to link to it, same old, same old…

    Frank Daly of NAMA fame wants to kick start the property industry. Frank wants to become a banker and give out loans. S&P don’t have a rating below junk which could act as a yardstick for Frank’s ideas.

    Maybe we should build Norman theme parks in Waterford and such like.

    I can see it. Round towers under twelve hundred sq. ft. to keep within grant size. No stamp duty for first time invaders…….

    Signs are ominous people, I can feel it coming in the air tonight….


  22. uchrisn

    The real estate market in Ireland is tightly controlled and prices are fixed.
    This goes for rents as well as purchasing. Even in New York, the bastion of capitalism, they have controls on how much you can increase annual rents. In Ireland we have the opposite, rules to stop rents being decreased.
    However despite the clearness of the collusion (200,000 empty properties, nothing selling and still massive prices for years) no laws have been changed or investigations started.
    I can only conclude that in fact that a large number of people in Ireland encourage this collusion and price fixing.
    One example is a fellow who sold his house in an estate for the price he could get. He was berated by another fellow and told he was now disliked in the neighbourhood for ‘bringing down the prices’. So the majority of the estate seem to support the morals of collusion and price fixing if it benefits them.
    Perhaps this sums up a large number of real-estate owners and investors attitude.
    Perhaps the government could make a welfare economics class compulsory to all leaving cert students and their parents. They could show how collusion leads to a net loss for society.

  23. uchrisn

    1st Effect of collusion on society – Suppliers gain by make higher than expected money by overcharging buyers. Buyers lose by being overcharged for a product. However Suppliers have to spend money to set-up the cartel by lobbying/funding politicans, setting things up etc, so their gain is not as big as buyers loss. 1st nett loss for society.

    2nd effect of collusion on society – buyers can buy less of a product because of the higher price, so are deprived of the use of that product.
    As buyers buy less than at fair market value, suppliers also supply less, meaning they have to operate at lower levels and some suppliers even have to exit the industry. So labour and machinery lie idle and this is known as ‘dead weight loss’.
    So lose, lose here for society.

    One key factor for suppliers deciding wheter to start/run a cartel is the possible cost of discovery and punishment.

    I suppose the cost of discovery and punishment in Ireland being traditionally low and due to its small market size, it is particullary suited to cartels.

  24. Adelaide

    Last night’s RTE News did not feature the downgrade of Irish banks to junk status. I was flabbergasted. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I’m sure it was not featured. If so, why not? It was on their website and teletext yesterday as their top 3 story, and the TV news merely repeats what is on their website, but not this story.
    Do we live in a democracy?
    Somebody decided to pull the story. I would like to know as a taxpayer and a tv licence holder, why?

    • Tull McAdoo

      Theirs not to make reply,
      Theirs not to reason why,
      Theirs but to do and die.

      Now back to your workstation, wage slave and less of the questioning of your betters.

      Memo to Varadkar…… “The vassals are in revolt”…..off with their heads….

    • Colin

      Don’t be surprised if RTE commission another series of “I’m an adult, get me out of here[family home], [and onto the property ladder]“. Frank Daly might be the new host. You know RTE was full of communists back in the 80s, even Eoghan Harris was a communist and working there. They obviously watched a lot of Soviet TV, because they are still quite good at the propaganda lark – fooling most of the sheeple most of the time.

      • Adelaide

        Thank you, Mr Tull McAdoo, I’m now back at my workstation. I don’t know what came over me. Apologies to your good self and RTE. It’s this hot weather that gives me these strange ideas that we are living through a farce of historical proportions. Of course I have faith in my betters, it is just this damn weather.

        • Don’t worry,

          We passed the Chopra Troika test last week much to the delight of RTE who ad nauseam told us we got a ‘D’.

          Everything is much better now.

          From 2001:


          • Tull McAdoo

            I’m back up here in Frankfurt for the week, if you have any questions you want me to pass on to Paddy Trichet.

            Apart that his from “how are ya fixed for a loan”

        • Tull McAdoo

          Frank Daly would do well to remember the last time one of his colleagues i.e. also ex-employee of the Revenue Commissioners, got involved with large property portfolios in Ireland and elsewhere.

          Ah well, who knows? Maybe Frank sees himself retiring to some little hideaway above in the Swiss Alps……

          Maybe Francis has plans to recruit investors for his new venture “Daly Private”

          That is not how I see it.

          I see Frank pushing overpriced shoeboxes out of the back of a Reliant Robin…….Dell is making a comeback in Ireland…..must have been all of Calamity’s colourful language that done the trick….

          • On the basis of that idea alone, he should get the boot, on the basis of total incompetence.

          • Instead of believing in miserable, gombeen gobshites, we should instead believe in excellence:)


          • Deco

            Yeah, apparently Swiss Chees is also in NAMA.

            Officially bankrupt. But sending the kids to an expensive school in the Alps. Getting residence in Switzerland is difficult, unless you can prove that you have substantial assets. But officially as far as the Irish authorities are being told, there are insufficient assets.

            At some stage Swiss Cheese will try and show his face back home. He might even show up in Marbella with all the other members of the Irish speculariatat. Wining and dining. Hows the austerity working out back home ? Don’t worry about that – that’s their problem. And anyway they forget after a while.

          • Pedro Nunez

            Is that ‘whining and dining’,

            “Nil aon tintean mar do thintean fein.” agus ‘nil aon gombeen mar do gombeen fein’

            and as Edmund Burke said we are a nation of delusional gombeens who have given up our liberty, but have still to analyse the delusion into a common agenda of moving forward.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Pedro Nuñez: Perhaps it should be ‘Whining and denying’? These are very recognisable traits in both high-rollers and the anally-retentive amongst Irish people.

            Normal people just get on with their lives and thank God if they have their health.

            ‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’

            Maybe Mr Micawber was right. Something will ‘turn up’.

          • adamabyss

            Who is Swiss Cheese?

          • Pedro Nunez

            +1, ‘whining & denying’ just imagine the dinner conversation:

            “You don’t expect to be set up in a coach and six, and to be fed on turtle soup and venison, with a gold spoon, as a good many of ‘em do!” -Hard Times, Book 1, Chapter 11

            Let them eat cake!

            “He sat writing in the room with the deadly statistical clock, proving something no doubt – probably, in the main, that the Good Samaritan was a Bad Economist.” Hard Times (2.12.2)

          • Pedro Nunez

            adamabyss says:
            Who is Swiss Cheese?

            He who moved your cheese.



          • Deco

            Excellent commentary on Swiss Cheese and the business model in Matt Cooper’s book “Who (really) runs Ireland”.

            Leverage. Leverage. And even more leverage.

            And then Lenihan decides that we have to safeguard our national reputation by strapping the taxpayer onto the repayment of it all, after it goes badly wrong.

            Swiss Cheese. Full of holes. Loads of fat in there, but you can’t see it. More expensive than ordinary cheddar. Stuck up in the Swiss Alps.

            And most importantly – it has a rotten stench when it starts to go off…

  25. Tim

    Folks, Nyberg Report in full:


    Timeline is worth looking at first, if you don’t have time to plough-through it all yet. Starts p165.

  26. Deco

    Unfortunately, there is no picture of “what’s up DOC?” beside the headline. This is unfortunate. It would nice if people could remember the shennangins alongside the face of the former AIB head, Doherty.


    In my view, Doherty should have got nothing. Remember this is a bank that might cost us more than Anglo. (something you will not hear on RTE or the Irish Times until it becomes blatently obvious).

    There is a theme in all of this. It is a case, of preferential treatment of the well connected. The well connected, the members of the cliques, seem to be able to feather their own nests. In fact being connected results in an entitlement philosophy. Max Keiser calls them “Welfare Mama in the banking sector” (an obvious swipe at certain political pundits in the US who hammer across the pro-Wall Street line every time on welfare, but who are themselves a collection of hypocrites). And I suppose a swipe at their masculinity, seeing as so many of them drive big or fast cars.

    What is currently being practiced in AIB is the antithesis of good management, and proper economics. In fact it is the type of stinking behaviour that results in banks, businesses and countries going bankrupt. It is befitting a third world kleptocracy. Except in your average kleptocracy, the shysters have the money shift to the City of London or Zurich. Here they move it to the Isle of Man, if they even have to move it out of the country at all.

    And there is a way to deal with this sort of nonsense. Basically, sack loads of people who would have been aware of this deal, and who never reported it to the Financial Regulator. This is how you break these cliques. You change the rules. You make it necessary for all of them to co-operate with the authorities, for the sake of their own preservation. If they engage in games like this, they get landed with a bill.

    • Chief Executive Rates Ireland April 2011

      The reward for a €10 Billion loss (spectacular failure) is €3,000,000.

      Ironically if the bank had broke even they probably couldn’t have afforded 3 mill???

      Would somebody please explain to me if robbing banks is still considered a crime? And if so – why?

      • Deco

        When it is covered in the veneer of respectability it is no longer called theft – it is called “executive compensation”.

        I reckon a size 9 shoe carefully aimed would have been the more deserving form of “executive compensation” in this case.

  27. Colin

    News just in,


    “Warnings over property bubble ‘insufficient’”

    Apparently they’d never heard of David McWilliams, author, broadcaster and columnist. They must have been living on planet Bertie – a place Gormless went native on. Here’s the fascinating bit, yet somehow it was David McWilliams’ advice the government took for the blanket guarantee. When woken in the middle on the night on the 29th of September ’08, Gormless answered the phone, and asked is it the McWilliams solution we’re going for? Yeah ok, look guys, I couldn’t be arsed getting out of bed for this carry on, just ring the rest of the cabinet and get it sorted, I’m going back to sleep”. And what’s more, they paid someone else a fee for the advice that they took to make that decision. What funny auld fellas that Biffo and Lenny fella were.

  28. Deco






    Gombeens, time to leave the stage. Enough is enough.

    • Deco

      Next step – clean out the grovellers and obedience merchants underneath them who went along with all their stupidity.

      In fact there is substantial grounds for eliminating entire layers of management and their hangers on cronies, in the banks. Get rid of them.

      Shane Ross has been pleading for this for almost four years now, and in the case of AIB for over a decade.

      • Dorothy Jones

        Yes, but surely not a la Colm Doherty; with large payments upon exit??? So: Review the existing contracts with these people; Apply the relevant contract law to ensure that the terms and conditions regarding severence payments / pensions / bonuses are not binding: THEN get rid of them.

        We taxpayers are sick and tired of this remuneration nonsense.

        • Colin

          Perhaps Doherty’s mansion could be picketed? I’m sure the tabloids would send photographers and reporters to make some headlines.

    • Colin

      This is great news. A boy the noonster!

      Did you hear Lenny sniggering and laughing during the George Hook interview this evening? Ah its all a big game to Lenny, he’s ok, he has a well paid job and a fat pension when he retires and a missus making great money in the legal world, ah sure its a great country altogether.

    • PMC

      The next step is to immediately end the pandering to Blair Horan and his ilk.

      He should be ashamed of himself and his performance on VB last night.

      His carefully selected statistics and misleading comments will hold this country up for a hell of a long time. It’s time these clowns and their delusional notions of what their “members” are entitled to are told exactly what the story is.

      They’re a waste of space as the “members” they represent are in receipt of handsome pay and conditions.

      I believe that Unions nowadays are past their sell by date, except in circumstances whereby they represent individuals who earn, let’s say, a low salary of <25K.

      The idea that people on extremely high salaries can hide behind these puppets is a joke.
      Unions need to drum up business for themselves by presenting previous victories as sales pitches.
      This surely, only serves to make it their business to be as uncooperative as possible, whether its the right thing to do or not.

    • Deco,

      with respect, but don’t fall for such party politics PR stunts.

      As long as Noonan does not tell this Waffler here:


      to go and shove his demands, he has not earned a single penny as an Irish Minister.

      This ‘breaking news’ is nothing but opinion steering propaganda, really.

  29. Tull McAdoo

    Frank Daly has been manoeuvred into place to launch the “echo bubble”.

    This latest speculative bubble in property will echo the type of dealings that has gone before. You will get the same Banks, Real Estate Companies, Law Firms, Syndicates and so on.

    Noonan needs to clear out the Dept. of Finance and what’s left of the Dept. of the Taoiseach inside cronies.

    I warned before about the centre not being able to hold, now the big danger is in the second coming…….A second property bubble will wipe Ireland for ever….lets finish the poem, Mr.Yeats…..

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Dublin to be born?

    p.s. it’s great to be able to interact with you all in real time. I would normally be fast asleep at this hour.

  30. paulmcd


    On 24 November 2009, I sent an email to members of the Oireachtas pleading for FAIR PLAY, but without any real hope that the Minister responsible would listen. Extract below:

    “I predict that Boucher will be allowed to keep the extra €120,000; and Colm Doherty, the new AIB Managing Director, will recognise government weakness and ensure that, in the fullness of time, he will receive the €630,000 which the Minister rejected last week.”

    Given the corruption within Irish politics my forecast did not simply come through within months but was even exceeded, as you may read at the link below, dated 17 May 2010:


    EXTRACT: “Mr Doherty is getting an annual salary of €500,000 and a cash allowance of about €148,000 instead of a contribution to his pension fund. He is set to announce in the group’s forthcoming annual report that he has withdrawn from the AIB Group pension scheme.”

    So in November Brian Lenihan announced publicly that he would limit the salary of the new CEO of AIB to €500,000 in accordance with the CIROC report which had disapproved of pension top-ups.

    We were to discover, the following May, that the CEO received €648,000 – €18,000 more than the sum which Minister LENIHAN originally rejected.

    As you will learn from reading the article, Mr Lenihan’s Department would not disclose this information.

    Secrecy, lies, and cover-up are the hallmarks of ‘disclosure’ Irish style.

  31. Tim

    Folks, Secret banking in offshore world :

    .. speakers at last year’s conference Patrick Doherty, a former Anglo Irish Bank employee..


    • Deco

      The decision by Anglo Irish Bank to get rid of its €600 million Austrian deposit book in 2008 came as a surprise, given that the bank was in dire need of deposits at the time.

      Anglo has always said the disposal was in line with its strategy of disposing of noncore assets.

      Anglo has pointed out that it had previously disposed of other non-core businesses in the Isle of Man and Switzerland.

      Just about every decision Anglo made in the past five years baffled me.

      Were they on drugs ?

      Oh, yeah – that’s another issue altogether….

      • Deco

        Begining to get suspicious, about who has money in that 600 Million euro deposit account.

        It would be really interesting to see if there might be any overlap here between that deposit book, and the ‘star players’ of Matt Cooper’s text “Who (really) runs Ireland”.

  32. Dorothy Jones

    Good interview there on Newstalk with David. I despair at this [Nyberg]report. It seems for the large part unnecessary; INFORMATION WAS FREELY AVAILABLE; particularly by David and by others also. The point [or pointlessness]regarding the sale of State assets and the mandatory purchase of toxic liabilities through NAMA and the bailout needs to be SPELLED OUT further to the general public. It is a scam and commentators have exposed it for what it is.
    Importantly, the Government must, EXPLAIN WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2012/2013 IF THESE POLICIES ARE CONTINUED. Will a further report have to be furnished at taxpayers expense because no-one bothered to take notice of what was said on this matter by e.g. Paul Sommerville?

  33. Praetorian

    Maybe the Nyberg report should be christened: ‘All to blame, no one to blame’.

    Seems like another carte blanche to me, while lumping in the average citizen is just simply breathtaking given the majority of people seeking a home were forced by a cynically manipulated market to engage with ludicrous property prices.

    In light of the pay-offs at AIB, the impotency of Irish democracy is once again laid bare, I find it rather astonishing that when the Irish government put in place a bailout of the Irish banks that they did so seemingly without strings attached, like clearly specifying that no multi-million euro payouts would be paid to senior management (especially to those who were present during the lead up to the crisis in the respective banks) as that money ostensibly belonged to the Irish citizen.

    For Edna Kenny and the ‘deathly’ silent Eamonn Gilmore to allow this to take place makes one wonder who is committing economic treason now.

    Maybe in future, instead of sending Kenny to meet David Cameron and other political leaders, we should send the chairpersons of either AIB or Bank of Ireland because they seem to be the only ones able to make decisions and implement policy.

    Glad the fourth estate got a mention given its embrace of market fundamentalism and the madness that was the property market of which it benefitted handsomely from with their property sections, which still persists.

  34. @Dorothy,

    Re Nyberg, there are racial overtone ‘groupthink’ slurs. It satisfies a political agenda, I heard Lenny in full throttle blaming the central bank, whereas we all know Bertie, Fingers, cronies went joy riding in their ferraris telling all naysayers to commit suicide. This anti Irish political agenda is hell bent on making the Irish population, citizens and taxpayers, stump up for the bill.

    I’d draw another useful analogy, which if I recall correctly DmcW has used as well, this is that of the soldiers who fought the trench warfare campaigns of World War 1, who lost their lives in the campaigns http://www.harris-academy.com/departments/history/Trenches/Joanna/joanna1.htm

    The budget is the instrument used by the government and Department of Finance to control the country’s finances. All of the facts and figures revenue raising information from the bubble was at their finger tips. The buck stopped at the Minister for Finance desk.

    Even David Begg of ICTU claimed cautionary and critical reports on government bubble spending were made by ICTU over and over again only to be ignored. DmcW and others were vilified as dissenters peddling nonsense, the opposite was indeed the case.

    Government and their armchair general croney gang of bankers and developers ensured the continuation of a free supply of lending to the troops in the trenches. The troops were made up in the main of first time buyers given the ammunition of eight times gross income on occasions for 100% mortgages. Local prudent bank management was replaced with Dublin whiz kid bonus incentivised managers hell bent on selling loans to most anyone they could.

    At the top of the pile, the magic twenty or so of developers and speculators such as Quinn with permission to join the free for all, were given billions to invest anywhere at home or abroad. Anglo itself set up more subsidiaries abroad than it did at home. All depositors with cash to spare were targeted as fodder for the government sponsored property credit binge.

    Not everyone, contrary to what Nyberg, would have us believe, took part. The vast majority who did, were first time buyers attempting to buy a house for their wife and future family, in a market made toxic by deregulation.

    Nyberg doesn’t name names, it apportions blame to Irish people in a racist way. Insofar as it does this, its just another coverup to allow those responsible avoid responsibility.

    Irish people know who is to blame. They acted in that knowledge in the last election.

  35. doflynn

    Am almost nervous about posting this, given the eloquence and depth of knowledge displayed by all of ye above on what has happened to us, what’s happening to us, what will happen to us in the future. My question though – why are we not all on the streets? Mention of Maid Marion and Jolly Joe, the jowliest socialist in the world, I’ve heard it said many times on this issue that the reason we’re not marching is that between blogs and talkshows and phone-ins and so on, we have too many outlets nowadays for venting anger. The Greeks are on the streets, the French – we all well know – WOULD be on the streets, but we’re in front of computer screens or on the phones, venting. In Ballyhea, small as we are, tiny a voice as we have in this wilderness, we ARE marching, our 8th outing this Sunday morning at 10am. Where is everyone else? All this talk, enlightened, enlightening – why are YE not on the streets?

    • Colin

      There’s ‘talk’ of cutting out dole payments. If that materialises, there’ll be 450,000 marching.

      We’re still a me fein society. How did we get to this place? We moved closer to Boston than Berlin, or we were edged closer there by our elected representatives in the Dail, take a bow Mary Harney. What’s on tv? American dramas, comedies and so on. In our cinemas its Hollywood blockbusters. There are no German tv dramas nor films aired to the masses here. We began to resent our neighbours when they had the poor taste to be able to afford brand new luxury cars. How could you call around for a cup of sugar when there’s a nice set of wheels there to take you down to the 24hr petrol station?

      It wasn’t a conscious decision to become a me feiner. It just developed over time without realising it was happening. Osmosis or something like that. Even a nail would rust quicker than what we did to ourselves.

      Can you have another march at 12 noon, I couldn’t make it at 10 on a Sunday morning from where I live.

    • @doflynn

      We do what we can to get informed, think clearly and objectively, and penetrate through the sludge of propaganda.

      Good to see you are interested in quality information as well.

      But not everyone for various reasons can make the type of valuable contribution you are making.

      However small a contribution anyone makes is better than nothing and should be valued.

      Everyone should be encouraged to become more informed on what is a major issue that will impact on this country for generations to come.

      Good intelligence on the takeover of this country by the banks is needed now more than ever.

    • Praetorian

      To answer your question why people are not on the streets (which has been asked continuously), it would seem perhaps:

      a) things simply are not bad enough for enough people.
      b) people operate on an individual not collective basis.
      c) people too afraid/feeling helpless(think the fear factor a big issues in Ireland).
      d) no leadership to galvanise people the way O’Connell, Parnell and Larkin did.
      e) apathy/indifference.
      f) react and then what?

    • PMC

      This is because the Government have targeted those that don’t have a voice, and the many others to ignorant to educate themselves on getting a voice.

      This hellhole still operates under the “who you know” policy, hence when young Sorcha leaves Uni, she’ll be getting a job in Daddy friends company.

      I agree with Nybergs comments on everyone being to blame. I listen to people nowadays saying that they’d no hand in any of this, when in actual fact, they had a large hand in it by acting like smug obnoxious twats during that period. Guys asking for pints of Heino with an exagerated D4 lisp etc…
      Girls walking the UCD campus with dogs in their handbags, LA style.

      This KIND of behaviour is what I reckon Nyberg is referring to. Subtle but serious issues that have left us with this stupid notion of pride and self-grandeur.

  36. doflynn

    Praetorian: Though I could say the exact opposite to points a), b) and f) (things ARE bad enough for a lot of people of my acquaintance, replicated I’m certain across the nation; around here anyway, people also operate on a collective basis, very strong community organisations; DON’T react and then what?), all your answers are pertinent, do add up to a plausible explanation. Most pertinent, however, the final question I asked – why aren’t YOU on the streets? This is the one that has me really baffled – €25k of debt imposed on every single one of us overnight, why aren’t we all on the streets?
    Colin: We’ve actually shifted the march back from 11.45am, too many people involved in the hurling scene here whose kids were training at that time, games going on at adult level. Come early, we’ll give you coffee and breakfast!
    cbweb: I’m trying to keep this as tight as possible, a single-issue protest – break the deal of last November, separate the bondholder debt again, and deal with it now as it should have been dealt with then, allowing (economics) nature take its course. That’s all. As noted in one post above, we’ve all talked the talk for the past couple of years, ad nauseum; time to walk, yes?

    • Colin

      Thanks for the warm invite. See you there. I’ll be the one carrying the David McWilliams best seller “Follow the money” in my hands.

    • Praetorian

      @ doflynn – A guiding principle to any organising/working with people is to keep the message as simple as you can, you are wise to keep it to the single issue which can act as an umbrella, well done on your initiative.

      Things are bad for a lot of people, we all know people/heard stories, but what I said stands, it is simply not bad enough for ENOUGH people to get exercised and take to the streets.

      As for me, I have been on the streets twice in my home city, two badly organised marches which led nowhere, I changed personal strategy and operate in the ways best suited to my skill set. I don’t engage with banks, don’t have a mortgage, a bank account, shares or investments. I am involved in co-operatives and activism.

      Another principle of organising people: don’t presume, be reflective and keep your counsel but I understand your frustration from which calls of action often come from but wise to remember, emotion can be an enemy.

  37. @Malcolm Mc Clure

    re: “‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’

    Maybe Mr Micawber was right. Something will ‘turn up’.

    Depends who is putting the above into action and their particular circumstances.

    One interpretation alas could be an excuse for an alcoholic to go on drinking, or a gambler to continue losing in the casino.

    I rather like the poignancy of the last episode of Blackadder when all the theorizing, all the jokes, all the play acting was over, all the attempts to get out of the situation they were in had ended, the whistle had blown, and all the cast had to climb out of their trench to attack the enemy in the teeth of withering enemy fire.

    We just knew they were going to their death.

    Perhaps we are good at avoiding reality in Ireland and hope the world will show mercy and something good ‘will turn up’. No, it won’t, especially for pigs with their heads still stuck in the trough!

  38. doflynn

    PMC: Can’t agree with your semi-final point – we are NOT all to blame. I live on the side of a hill here, one house, five-year-old car, wife and two kids – we lived within our means, as always; down the boreen from me, the O’Regans, Duanes, McCarthys, O’Briens, Powers; up the boreen, the O’Keeffes (three families), the Brownes, the Nunans, etc. etc. NONE of those families bought second homes, bought Hummers, bought the big BMW 4x4s, all have been lumped with this €25k/person debt, because the likes of this guy have decided we should all be lumped in together in the culpability game – don’t buy it. Fewer than 100 decision-makers in the six banks borrowed over €100bn from the markets; they were idiots, granted, and Irish idiots, but those who gave them the billions were surely as idiotic.
    Yes, there were excesses here among the general population, and images of people pissing and puking on the streets of our towns and cities were appalling, but bad as it was, that wasn’t what shattered the economy of this country – it was those billions inflating a property bubble that simply had to burst.
    I’m not an economist of any description, but trained in land surveying and civil engineering, problem-solving a major part of that training. The best method is to go to the source – the source here is the money supply, the blame CAN be narrowed down. It wasn’t us, the general population; it was our developers through our banks and back to the original lenders – the bondholders. We have all paid a price – so must they.
    Christ, I’m sorry for this too-long post.

    • Colin

      Great post. Agree with all of it. Looking forward to meeting you and your group.

    • Fewer than 100 decision-makers in the six banks borrowed over €100bn from the markets;…. the source here is the money supply, the blame CAN be narrowed down

      Precisely, that is why we need:


    • PMC

      I agree with the points you make doflynn; and yes, not everyone was to blame.

      The point that i’m trying to make is that there are many people knocking around who are of the opinion that they had nothing to do with the way Ireland had become.

      This may be true on a monetary level, however on a sociological level, many many people in Ireland did contribute to the mess we’re in.
      I think it’s important that people recognise this, as to do so, may make people think a little more about society and how we must change if we want a more transparent and democratic system.

      When Nyberg refers to the “herd-mentality”; this is absolutely bang on the money, and it’s a mentality found in every area of Irish life.

      When the “herd” went to NY for Xmas shopping, bought a second home in Eastern Europe etc…

      There is a fear in Ireland of going against the grain, and anyone that does so is met with suspicion and sometimes ridicule. D McW for example.

      This is probably a key factor as to why the populace has taken no meaningful action to date after being lumped with circa 25K debt each. It’s the herd mentality and they know we’ll take it unfortunately.

      • doflynn

        Yes, a lot of people behaved badly, but I’m being very specific about our own protest here in Ballyhea – it’s about economics, nothing else, the irrational behaviour of the ECB and of our own government in interfering with the bonds market in the way they did.
        On the more general points, I agree with you completely, we need to clean up our act as a nation, on so many levels, though the ‘herd mentality’ isn’t at all confined to us, the Irish. In fact if anything I’d be inclined to think we’re less ‘herdish’ than many nations, far more individual. Another argument, for another forum, but we do think along similar lines.

  39. doflynn

    Colin, we have our own blog, http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com
    You can contact me through that if you wish and we can have coffee after the march up here in the hut on the hill. The same invitation extended to anyone else out there who wishes to join our protest.

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