June 1, 2011

There is life after default, take a look at Argentina

Posted in Debt · 284 comments ·

I remember it so distinctly. Mum allowed me to stay up to watch it even though it was a school night and it meant going to bed after midnight.

The reception was appalling on our tiny “PYE” television in the corner of the kitchen. But Scotland were playing Holland in the 1978 World Cup and as Dad’s parents were Scottish, this link was enough to give me legitimate bragging rights in national school. But everyone loved Scotland back then; we adopted them. They had Dalgleish, Jordan, Hartford, Gemmill, Souness, Buchan, and Robertson. They were quick and skilful and, of course, we watched them every week playing for Liverpool, Man U, Leeds and Notts Forest.

The game, played in the freezing cold of the Argentinean winter, was extraordinary with Scotland winning 3-2 but still failing to qualify, and then Holland’s contentious loss to Argentina in the final. What amazed me in 1978 wasn’t so much the brilliant game and Archie Gemmill’s outstanding goal, but the wonderfully alien atmosphere as reams and reams of paper were thrown from the stands to greet the players.

Last night, I found myself in the same stadium in Mendoza. It is still called Las Malvinas Stadium. I went to see the local team Godoy Cruz play Gimnasia of Buenos Aires in the Argentinean first division. A win meant the home side would still be in the running for the title. The atmosphere was electric. The fans didn’t stop singing once, flares lit up the sky, huge samba drums boomed throughout the game, flags were waved and the noise was deafening. The game ended 2-2, but still the fans sang.

On the way home, we chatted about the economic situation in Argentina. The local people — many with Irish roots — felt very sympathetic to our plight. The news from Ireland, Greece and Portugal is constantly in the papers here. As many thousands of Argentineans are still Italian citizens and can vote in Italian elections, political events in the periphery of Europe are watched very closely.

Because of everything Argentina has been through economically, they have an acute sense of what it means to be faced with huge debts, a future of deflation, a government that favours foreign banks over local citizens. Argentineans know the only way out of the crisis is some dramatic action.

Argentina has experienced 10 straight years of solid economic growth since it defaulted and abandoned its currency link with the US dollar. Every person I met said that this was the right thing to do. But interestingly they admit that they did not support the default and devaluation policy before it happened. Like many tens of thousands of Irish people, they could see that they couldn’t pay all the debts and that they couldn’t be competitive with a currency that pegs one to one with the dollar, but they were afraid to act. They were scared of the unknown. The entire establishment told them that if Argentina defaulted the country would never grow again.

In the event, Argentina defaulted and 70pc of their debts were wiped out. The currency fell dramatically. My friends, all of whom are local small business people in Mendoza, said the first two months were traumatic as no one knew what to do. But then the economy started to recover. Having had three years of recession from 1998 to 2002, the default happened in December 2002. By April, the economy started to grow and it has not stopped since.

Looking back, they all agreed, although they never wanted it to happen, that the default and the devaluation was the best thing for Argentina. The economy grew again and the people responded with a burst of entrepreneurial activity. They went back to basics. Exports took off and from having a perennial trade deficit, importing all sorts of finery with other people’s money, Argentina began running a trade surplus. Agriculture and wine became competitive again and all the people I spoke to also said that there was a profound sense of national sovereignty when you stood up to foreign loan sharks which, in Argentina’s case, was the IMF.

Argentina is clearly supportive of the dramatic course of action its government took in 2002, even though no one wanted to do it because everyone was scared of the future.

However, at a personal level, what about the millions of Argentineans who had dollar mortgages? Initially everyone with a mortgage panicked as the currency fell. They saw their mortgage repayments still in dollars but their pay in the new devalued peso. But then the government just cancelled all dollar mortgages and turned them into peso mortgages. So who paid? The foreign banks . The foreign banks who had made a fortune in Argentina lending in the boom, (sound familiar?) lost out.

And as for the local banks, didn’t they get hammered? Well, yes they did, said all my friends (and one is a banker) — “but they deserved it”. The government just issued them with government bonds, IOUs to replace their dollars and they began lending pesos again. The football fans last night over a few beers said that it was all surprisingly straightforward, even though they worried that the world would end.

In classic fans’ talk they compared economic problems to the problems of a team. If the team is losing and you know where the problem is either you fix it, change tactics and players or you continue to lose. Simple.

However, showing a keen knowledge of the realities of life inside a currency union as they had been for 10 years with the US, the local fans here told me that you can’t do any of this without your own currency. Unless you can print money, backed by local government debt to reflate an economy suffering deflation and inject liquidity into an economy which has none, you are screwed. So they agreed that Ireland, Greece and Portugal have a choice: What are you going to do?

Argentineans have a much better understanding of economics and financial dilemmas than most citizens. The fans last night concluded that either we go for a massive default, together with the Greeks, Portuguese and others and stay in the euro or we leave the euro and default less spectacularly. They suggested that the price we should try to extract for staying in the euro would be a more significant default, because they understand the point is to improve your balance sheet so that you can start again. There is no point “half defaulting”, they laughed; “it’s like being half pregnant”, quipped one fan.

As we left the Malvinas Stadium, I wasn’t sure about taking advice from Argentinean football fans but the knowledge of our plight, the empathy and the sharpness of their analysis, was more impressive than much I have heard from so-called “experts” in Ireland. These people have lived through economic chaos which they never believed could happen to them and we are living through economic chaos which we never believed could happen to us.

That’s why it’s interesting to listen to them.

After all, the stuff you learn from experience can never be taught.

  1. Harold Plinth


    • adamabyss

      Haha! If anyone can suggest a better way to make this forum work and get the comments emailed straight to my inbox then I’m all ears! Until then you are all stuck with this! (I have even emailed the webmaster about this a long time ago and he couldn’t figure it out).

      • ROLFMAO :)

        Believe it or not…. you have to go to the top right menu – (b&w) above the search field – and go to… well

        SUBSCRIBE :)

        then go to profile… rest is self explanatory.

        • lol…correction…. doesn’t work!

          Too bad! ;)

          • adamabyss

            I know Georg, I’ve tried it a good few times. I have plenty of experience of designing, building and running websites and forums etc. seeing as I was the operator of one of the biggest… ah well, we won’t go into that.

            As I said, I explained it to the webmaster in detail; even he couldn’t fix it, and if he couldn’t then who could?

      • Thats why computers are so much fun adam. It would be boring if they never tested us occasionally

        • adamabyss

          I blame this one on human error Pauldiv; it’s relatively easy to set up, or even to program a functioning forum – we had one going very smoothly way back in 1999 and it looked and worked better than this one and was extremely busy – something like 90,000 posts in that year alone.

          • It sounds like it would take up a lot of time managing a busy forum.

          • adamabyss

            Well it was part of my job so I was being paid for it. Exhilarating when we were busy and the players (which they were) were trying to work out what was going on, etc.

    • NO HOPE

      David. You are banging your head against a brick wall. They are all too stupid to do anything like, uuuuhhh- like save us from ruin… There is not a bit of backbone amongst our “leaders”. But hey! Lets have Diarmuid Gavins little garden hanging from a crane for 2.1 million to look at with unadulterated adoration, while 500 council houses are boarded up, and 120 disabled people in Cork are refused home adaptations. They are shown a large finger in thanks for their vote, and then told to screw themselves, for lack of funds. No money for the disabled but enough to blow on a stupid, ugly idiotic little garden, But it`s ok. They can always cheer themselves up looking at that idiotic garden contraption of Gavin`s because there are no funds for the disabled, but hey it`s Ireland right? It`s who you know not what you know. If an alien landed here and said “take me to your leader” we should rather show them an ant. That way they won`t blow the entire planet up because of lack of intelligent life…. If it was not so, so, so very sad it would be hilarious.

  2. Praetorian

    There is always life after major events, people lived on after two World Wars, Berliners were out the day after Hitler committed suicide clearing the streets, gathering blocks to rebuild their shattered apartments. They now have the leading economy in Europe, one of the strongest in the world, and why, because they don’t screw their own people and they actually produce stuff the world wants. What did the boom produce in Ireland, people with notions who are now either cracking up, appearing before the courts or trying to weasle more money out of the taxpaying citizen.

    The point surely though has to be what quality of life comes after major shocks and what socio-economic policies impinge/shape that quality of life.

    Well if we look at the mis-steps so far from Fine Gael with Ministers whose mouths damage our reputation while hundreds of thousands labour to keep this country going, supported by a deathly silent Labour party, then it isn’t too hard to predict what is down the road. Clearly out of any creative ideas, they are going to introduce water charges, a property tax and are ‘reviewing’ overtime pay which is a necessity for working families.

    So the unemployed, the working poor can live on in misery, juggling month to month, their health badly impacted, leading many to an early grave, the impact on their children is unquantifiable, but it can’t be positive.

    The middle class gets squeezed, the working class gets crushed while the elite (with its multimillionaire politicians who treat the Dail as a dosshouse) go on lecturing or berating the underclass to work harder.

    • Praetorian

      Argentina learned its lessons, we are about to learn ours, but there is little by way of ‘pre-emptive learning’ i.e. learning from events in other countries and acting to prevent them happening here, that horse has truly bolted.

      That would be the domain of a mature democracy, mature parliament, mature civil service, mature regulatory system not this run away half assed plutocracy complete with every kind of middleman (and it is mostly men), you can possibly imagine, most of course, doing their ‘patriotic duty’.

      No, we are going to have to learn the hard lessons, the hard way regardless of postcards from abroad.

  3. paddyjones

    Is this what we have become a country like Argentina ? David wants a quick and easy solution to our debt earlier he had put forward the idea that the ECB could print money ….QE, now he goes for default.
    We wont be allowed to default because the ECB and the Germans not to mention Fine Gael are dead against it.
    We were once proud now we are reduced to handouts and the charity of EU/ECB/IMF.
    The question is are we mice or men? We can get out of this by :
    Austerity => balanced budget => stop borrowing => repay debts => problem solved.
    Personally I have reduced my spending by 40% over the last year and I really dont feel any worse off. We need to tighten our belts and man up and repay our debts.
    david is just a populist not a pragmatic economist , he is on his own here nobody wants a default in Europe.

    • Lets have referenda in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain concerning default on odious debts, then we will see who is on his own with his opinion!

      • Deco

        Brussels is “above” referenda. Apparently referenda release awful evils in the population. For example, they might result in the population actually getting up off the couch and analyzing what goes on.

        If we are to make a world that is safe for GSucks, then we need to ban referenda – the people cannot be trusted – they always act in their own interest.

        and the very idea of giving the people any say in such complex financial matters is bad for the financial markets (read the players with exposure who were stupid enough enough to be gambling).

        Politicians exist so that the people do not have to be consulted…..

      • Emperorsgotnoclothes

        Not that we need to have it explained to us but to truly know the position of the “elites” to the notion of referenda, you only have to cast your mind back to a recent appearance of DMcW on Prime Time. One of the foremost voices(Miriam O’Callaghan) of Official Ireland recoiled in horror and exclaimed “but they’d vote NO David” when it was put to her that the citizens ought to be given the opportunity to have their say in relation to whether banking debt should be repaid by the state. David missed the opportunity to remind her that we have a right to voice our opinion in a referendum on an issue of such magnitude. It was an eye-opening peek into how they think though…..not that we needed reminding.

        • Deco

          It is very easy to know what the elites want.

          Just read the articles that The Irish Times makes available for Suds.

          Whatever Suds is for, the rest of us would be best served by being against.

      • Emperorsgotnoclothes

        Of course, we only get to have a referendum when we’ve given the wrong answer. Would we have been asked to go a second time if the vote had come out “Yes” the first time round – would we f**k! It tells you an awful lot about their regard for democracy. We just have the illusion of it, and a very bad illusion at that.

        • coldblow

          As far as I can remember we have had reruns of referendums on three issues. Perhaps someone would care to name all three (clue: one of this is Europe) and to state how this information fits into the common narrative under construction?


      Paddy, our debt cannot be repaid, ever, end of story. The figures just don’t add up, default will happen, whether in an organised way or through the gradual disintegration of our social and economic lives. Ireland, along with Spain, Portugal and Greece, will be a country where life for the majority of citizens will become impossible. Personally, I’ve reduced my spending by way more than 40%, because I was made redundant. I have no money to pay property tax, water rates, etc, unless I default on my mortgage, which, for Ireland’s economy, has the same effect. As for “pragmatic economists”, well they mostly said that the Euro would be a Good Thing and it probably would’ve been, had it been introduced in 10 or fifteen years time but the short-termism of our politicians meant they lied to us about how much convergence there was between the diverse economies of Europe. The EU has zero credibility, as far as I’m concerned. It’s an anti-democratic, neo-liberal, bureaucratic failed experiment of immense proportions and we’re paying the price for it’s failure.

      • paddyjones

        If we default then logic tells us we wont be able to borrow from anywhere. So this means more austerity and a requirement to balance the budget immediately.

        default=> more austerity => balanced budget=> no more borrowing ever ! => economic war on us => exclusion from the EU => no more multinationals => higher unemployment ……….the ramifications just go on and on.
        We are not Argentina. Lets see what happens to Greece first and then see what is most likely to happen here.

        • Dorothy Jones

          Well, regardless of the points of view, no decisions should be based on the after-match advice of football fans, Argentinian or otherwise. [Sorry!] A huge amount of suffering was endured by people of that country when the event occurred. I’ll take the evidence of press clippings of that time thank you, I’m old enough to remember it.

        • It is interesting that you are claiming to apply logic to the problem

          DMcW has been arguing for a couple of years now that if we default and burn the banks that it will only be a matter of time before new investors come along. That is how Capitalism works right?

          Logic tells us that the amount of debt is so high that it is impossible for a small country of 4 million people to find 500 billion euros

          Logic tells us that, if we were to listen to the people who are on the side of the banks, most people living in this country will be living in perpetual poverty

          What logic does not tell us is that it is better to die standing rather than live life on your knees as a yes man and a schmuk while letting them laugh in your face as they are screwing you

          • The ECB forced us to pay banks 100% of debts when they expected to take a haircut on their investments. You speculate, you lose, you take a loss.
            The thing that’s killing us is uncertainty. Bankers, particularly US ones, were shocked at the tortuous evolution of the ECB’s strategy to the crisis. It was too slow, terrified of contagion and unwilling to disadvantage the major European creditor banks with exposure to PIGIS countries. We’ve been sold a lie, that Irish banks were responsible for reckless lending by German and French banks to PIGIS countries. If I give you 100Bn in an heated market and I lose it, I’m the idiot. Supposedly prudent bankers couldn’t spot a bubble themselves but want to hold a grudge against everyone in Ireland. DMcW talks a lot of sense but the strategy he suggested with urgency a few years back was dismissed as being knee jerk then by people who are saying it’s too late to do it now. That’s just a conservative mindset, a fear of change and of conflict. Well, making decisions for the good of Ireland that may conflict with the interests of other countries is what government is all about. If the Irish were reduced to eating gruel the German press would spin it as our just deserts. We have NO responsibility to Merkel, Sarkozy or the health of their countries’ major financial institutions. Our biggest trading partners and those whose support we need are the US and the UK.

            So in the absence of any strategy to remedy our crisis and the seeming inevitability of a default by 2013, the markets have marked down all our financial institutions to junk and won’t lend to us. Who’d blame them? Outside of the Irish banks, you’d be hard pressed to find a trader who doesn’t think Ireland will default on some of its debts over the next few years. The question is how big the default will be? The uncertainty is killing us.

            By retrospectively taking past income from pension funds this government is telling us that deposits will be next. Why? They have nowhere else to turn to raise funds to pay our debts. We’re putting in place measures that are arguably unconstitutional and inarguably unjust as a direct result of doing what we were told by our EU masters. When will people say enough is enough?

          • Shane,

            When will people say enough is enough?

            When it is too late. ;)

            Seriously though, this possibility is not unrealistic, history is full of such examples. I am not holding my breath on the people to get out of their chair and start stating demands in a clear and concise way.

            The question is how big the default will be?

            Is highly dependent on the timing.

            Oh, I forgot, there is this notion that ‘we all agreed’ to not allow any default until …. abrakadabra…. 2013….

            Yeah, right!

    • Emperorsgotnoclothes

      You make it sound so simple. Obviously you could readily absorb a reduction in spending of 40% and not feel the worse for it. Your recommendation regarding the way out for us from this disaster disregards(fails to mention) the fact that there are very signigicant numbers of people and families who simply cannot absorb any more “austerity”. They are already on the edge of the cliff and your advice to “man up” must be very soothing words of comfort for them as their day to day existence hangs by a thread. Christ man – get a grip! What is the moral argument for “austerity”? What is the rational argument for “austerity”? What about sending the bill for this debt back where it belongs? As Georg has reiterated on several occasions over the past few articles – this debt is odious and an act of extreme hostility towards the citizens of this country and ought to be repudiated by any government that actually represents the interests of its citizens. Forcing this debt on to the taxpayers only serves to encourage the financial titans to repeat their behaviour at a later date down the line. We’re effectively reinforcing their reckless gambling which has brought chaos to so many economies. How many people do you think are going to die through starvation/illness, exposure to the elements, commit suicide, if your recipe for “problem solved” is followed by the government? You don’t mention this in your comments….have you considered that? I know many many people who are living day to day as it is, and most of these people are working! People are on the edge already. Didn’t CJH once tell us to “tightent our belts” too?

      • I don’t usually read his posts because they so out of kilter with the thought processes of most posters. I am assuming he is doing it for attention or that he just does not give a damn about people.

        It’s best to starve a fire of oxygen and let it just go out rather than pouring on petrol I think

        • thx for the reminder…



        • Emperorsgotnoclothes

          I should know better Paul. His views are the polar opposite to everyone else in here. You’d wonder where his vested interests lie? Like you I’d appreciate being given the choice as to how default actually occurs. If and when it happens I’d take great pleasure in bringing down the financial system which caused this disaster in a blaze of ashes and rubble. That would be a positive fringe benefit :o)

    • Gan Euro

      “I have reduced my spending by 40%”
      From what base? From the minimum wage? From a Disability payment?

      “We need to tighten our belts and man up and repay our debts.”
      Tighten our belts….man up..sounds like Norman Tebbett.
      “Repay our debts?” In the unforgettable words of Tonto ..” Whose debts White Man?”
      Why should the citizens pay for the greed of the elite? An end to the philosophy of privatise the profits — socialise the debt!
      No more hand outs for the thieves who have put this country in this present mess!
      Repudiate the debt!

    • AH

      Ha ha ha ha. Bless.

    • NO HOPE

      By debts I presume you are talking about your personal credit card and other personal debts. If you think I or any other Irish citizen owes the German, French, Russian and other bondholders/gamblers a cent, you must be on LSD or maybe retarded…… Correction. Anyone with a brain knows we should default.

  4. Default is not a problem, the problem is when the elite use their theiving banks & traitor governments to use the default as a cover for a whole array of rape, pillage & plunder attacks on the workers & ordinary people.

    • Thats right and it is time for Irish people to realise that these elites are not some unidentifiable bogeyman who only comes round during the night when we are all asleep. They are all around us

      The media and the politicians know perfectly well what is going on and who is up to what but the media is an elite manufactured barrier designed to focus the debate on trivia and circuses. They do a very job in how effectively they serve the interests of the advertising sponsors, the government and well connected individuals

      If we are to believe the recent poll results putting FG ahead by another 2 points then it really shows you just how far out or line some of us on here are with mainstream thinking.

      • adamabyss

        It’s mainstream ‘non-thinking’ Pauldiv. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – more than 75% and possibily up to 95% (or more) of the population are as thick as two short planks and can’t see past the end of their own noses. All they are interested in is eating shite in it’s various flavours.

        • It’s probably true that 90% of the population are politically and economically ignorant but it’s also true that this will never change

          The 10% who question everything are reporting their opinions on forums like this but we are all part of an underground resistance that is little or no effect whatsoever. We are the Outsiders

          Occasionally someone new comes in here and realises that guys like us have been discussing the worlds problems for years. Some of them want to be educated but most don’t want to know. Most people can’t take the truth

        • NO HOPE

          Correction on your figures adamabyss. 99.999999 % are morons.

        • “All they are interested in is eating shite in it’s various flavours.”
          Now Thats Funny

  5. In context.

    It is one of the best docus I saw in Argentina’s story.


  6. PMC

    The IFSC was a grandstand project introduced by CJH, and through it, we got large investment and significant employment because of the corporation tax rate.

    Default is absolutely inevitable given the debts at present. If this Government thinks for a second, that cutting the wages of the lowest paid on a Sunday by roughly EUR 3 per hour will have any impact on relieving the unemployment of 400,000 people, then we’re simply grasping at straws.

    We need another grandstand employment project, but the problem is that there’s no room to manouvere, and without that space, we’re fucked to be frank about it:

    The reduction in corporation tax coupled with EU handouts was the blueprint for Irelands economic success. We got plenty of FDI and a vastly improved infrastructure. An educated workforce and close proximity to Europe gave us a great platform.
    Now however, our cost base is too high, the grants are gone, and everyone is up to their eyes in debt, many without a job.

    The only way out, is to cut the public sector to shreds, pay the debts, and go from there.
    Alternatively, default, and start again.

    Every Irish citizen, should have the story of how we got here tatooed onto their foreheads. It’ll serve as a reminder into the future.

    • NO HOPE

      My man! If you were a politician I`d vote for you. But you sound like you have a brain so you won`t go into politics I am guessing?????? We are so down the toilet. Best to leave and go somewhere where your children and grandchildren do not have to pay for gambling debts of others. It is so sickening……

  7. Older people in Argentina will also know what it is like to live under a military dictatorship where people vanish into the night – re Naoni Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine. They have seen a lot in their time and we could learn a lot from them.

    The divide and conquer brigade are in full swing. Look at the number of Irish who prefer to have a swipe at the unemployed and blame them for the state of play. Is is a coincidence that in the same week that frontline made an issue regarding foreign aid we have another Irish broadcaster running a documentary designed to spread the false perception that everyone who is on the dole is pulling 600 a week in black market wages while claiming their dole? I think not and would have hoped that may people will see this neocon propaganda for what it is

    Focus the agenda on the unemployed and people in poor countries sponging from us and everyting will be grand. As if

    Gemmell takes one, takes two, takes three and ‘oh my god he has chipped the keeper!’ I remember it as if it was only yesterday. Etched into my thirteen year old brain for life. What a night it was

  8. adamabyss


  9. Great article, I’d love to visit Argentina sometime:)

    Let’s leave the euro, our banks were messily pumped up by the ECB, let them take share in the negative consequences and share the burn.

    Government policy built on financial paper GDP NAMA ghost estates even with a strong agri sector is not working and won’t work.

    We’ll default anyway. The sooner we do so, the better for us. If the government do not do so, the quicker they disappear and this country’s sovereignty along with it.

    But the high priests of the banks and the ECB have feathered their nests before so like a bunch of supplicant altar boys our compliant followers of the high priests of the EMU will refuse to leave the church of the EMU, they prefer to stay and beg for better terms!!

    But we’ll default anyway.

  10. Deco

    Yes there will be life after default.

    Brendan Behan once talked about the people who had lace curtains hanging inside the windows for all to see, but had no food on the table. They were better than the rest of us.

    For there to be life after the default, that sort of stupidity will have to end, and a new practicality and acceptance for the need to be ordinary and humble will have to reach into the common psyche.

    The media at the behest of our advertising sponsors will do everything to ensure that such humble tendencies never can currency. The lemming mentality will have to go, and the establishment will do it’s best to ensure that it never does.

    For if a greater share of the people were to part ways with superficiality, they might eventually realise that the private and public institutional state themselves are veneers arranged to deceive them and cheat them.

    This is why there is fear of the default. It would be the end of many things that we badly need to end.

    There would be no more RTE stars blowing 2.5 Million on gardens for the advancement of their own career, while kids with motor neuron disease sit on a waiting list. (incidentally the whole process was assisted by a former PD minister).

    There would be no room for FAS directors flying to Fort Lauderdale to “do the country proud” and no ministers popping up for nail jobs and putting the expense to the taxpayer. (and I thought the PDs were against wasting the taxpayers money – until they got their hands on it).

    No room for two sports stadia when one would have done. No room for using a limosine to transfer a Minister for Sport from one terminal in Heathrow to another. (Hopefully not even enough money for a Minister for sport). No room for Biffos and boozeups.

    Yeah, there will be life after the default. It will be a much simpler life.

    We will not get away with paying in punts.

    The problem is Europe. Several times in the past twenty years we were given an opportunity to slow down the centralization of power. And the command came upon high, that the process must not be slowed down – that nobody should be allowed get in the way.

    And here is the funniest joke of all. Just like Ireland went bankrupt as a result of a lemming run, the entire European project was itself a lemming run of politicians. Both were based on pulling a fast one on savers in Germany and Benelux. Both were frauds.

    Like all lemming runs that stood up and called out that it was all going to end badly were castigated and ridiculed. A terrible way to treat people who were telling the truth – who were performing an essential intellectual function, at a time when intellectual functioning was compromised for the sake of the consensus and obedience to the herd.

    • Deco

      I meant to say
      Like in all lemming runs, those that stood up and called out that it was all going to end badly were castigated and ridiculed.

      The break up of the EU will not result in any wars. To be honest the passenger airplane has done more to end wars than a collection of useless self serving pretenders with their snout in the trough in Brussels.

      All empires are based on fear. This fear that the people cannot be trusted to meet the moral requirements of the empire, and thus they have to be kept in line. The moral requirements of the empire itself are a fraud. Just look at the farce in Libya with NATO. No idea what the objective is – apart maybe from opportunism to sell weapons, and to demonstrate willingness to please the House of Saud, and fight it’s enemies.

  11. adamabyss

    I’m also convinced that we have to leave the Euro now after the debate I’ve observed (mostly on here) over the last two years. I was against it at the start but having lived outside the EU for the previous 15 years, I didn’t really know what I was agreeing to. Now I do. We need to go it alone for a while and look after our own skins first. Everyone else is.

  12. Alf

    “But interestingly they admit that they did not support the default and devaluation policy before it happened.”

    David, people fear what they don’t understand. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the problem or how to fix it. We have to wait for the titanic to really sink to push it into their consciousness. Then, (after much pain probably) we will do what we should have done years ago. Keep writing sense.

  13. CitizenWhy

    Yes, “you can’t do anything without your own currency,” as one of the Argentines says. To surrender your currency is to surrender your sovereignty, But you can get your sovereignty back again, and you know how. Default on the bank debts.

    But it’s time for a group of economists and independent politicians to devise a default plan, ready for use.

    This default plan, with expected outcomes, initially troubling, not so long after positive, should be promoted as the basis for discussion throughout the towns of Ireland. Start there, in the Irish heart, not in the cities.

  14. Deco

    Last week a British MEP stated that Ireland “was playing one for the team, concerning the entire bailout debacle and particularly the private bank debt.

    Our (useless) MEPs should have been embarrassed that an MEP for a constituency outside of Ireland was actually doing the job that they are elected to do. This is what happens when you send sly porcines like Prionsias de Rossa, Gay Mitchell, and Brian Crowley to the centre of power – they rush up to the trough to stick their snout into the swill. Thereafter all you see is wiggly tails shaking at the rest of us back home, and lots of gruntlike slobbering noises.

    If Ms. Bowles was on the ballot paper, she would be more deserving of a vote than most of them.

    • Praetorian

      The ECB will funnel money to Ireland at a ludicrous interest rate, the Irish government clearly intends to funnel the same money to international banks and bondholders (mostly French & German), the citizen has nowhere to run from the final bill, we will go on servicing in perpetuity while politicians do photo-ops and tell the Foreign Office to talk up a country that is clearly bankrupt financially, politically, ethically….

  15. First 2 minutes we’ve experienced here, ‘no future here’:


  16. TKNLGY

    Argentinian economic history – varied to the point of bizarre as it is – bears no comparison with Ireland.

    Mercosur is not the EU.

    You are comparing beef with medical devices.

    They did not have a common currency with other states and pegging did not make the dollar a proxy.

    They did not have binding international agreements to which they must comply (Lisbon et al) or face the flight of key FDI assets and the loss of key tax agreements that are still hanging by a wee thread.

    They had their own currency. Several over the years.

    Argentina has been and remains is a commodity based economy.

    Ireland is no longer a commodity based economy.

    A default by Argentina did not initiate a crisis in other countries in Mercosur or destroy the national, continental or by contagion global banking systems, in fact the routine exit of wealth from Argentina has for generations boosted neighbouring economies…

    Finally, its not like the Spanish inquisition… people expect Argentinian defaults.

    And for the record when the default happened in 2002, unemployment jumped past 25% and that was only the official figure, on the streets it was far higher owing to the vast numbers of the under-employed, the peso lost c 40% of it value and consumer prices almost doubled. Wages got halved and worse in purchasing power terms and the poor got crucified by it as there was no effective Social Welfare system.

    Economics is one thing, real life is another.

    Check your baseline assumptions.

    Starting with this: – Beef versus Medical Devices.

    • Hi TKNLGY

      Talk about baseline assumptions.

      Fact is we have a multi speed EU, and this would suggest that only a multi speed recovery can be possible globally..

      Argentina’s default was a sovereign default.

      Ireland should defaulted on odious banking debts, not sovereign, but if they kick the can further, they might be forced to default on sovereign quicker as anyone wants to be true.

      The notion of contagion might be true, but at this point it is rather ECB propaganda. A write down of Greek debt is possible. Yield of 30 year bonds suggest Investors haircuts at 50% or so.

      Pimco, and I take it you accept these as a vaild source, estimated bank looses after 50% write down at E32bln across the whole of the Eurozone, outside Greece of course. E32bln would be absorbed in a heart beat by capital buffers.

      Now let’s take the contagion into accounts, and Ireland and Portugal comes next, E128bln comes in at 6.3% of Eurozone bank capital. (UK 12%)

      The problem to manage this scenario is the non existing political unity.

      The real problem lies within Spain, this is the big one! German backstops, and a proper rescue fund can prevent that.

      ECB however is needed for cashflow in Athens, they are fully responsible for their own flawed policies, abolishing Investment grade requirements was their choice!

      The question of default in Greece is not matter of if, but when, and default now is much less painful than default later, but it looks as if the shorties get their way, as protracted default is in their own direct interest.

      I take David’s article from the point of working against the scaremongering and deliberate misinformation, or perhaps better to say select set infos that are spread. The public is being scared shitless about default, and this is wrong.

      Of course a direct comparison of Argentina and Ireland is not possible, The temporary Steward of Brussels whimpered in in the FT already, but this is nothing but politics, and stating the obvious.


  17. CitizenWhy

    There should be no assumption that barter markets would be necessary. A bank default can be done without them.

    For instance, an alternative to barter markets would be scrip markets. The government issues scrips for purchasing necessities, with the promise to pay them off in a few years. You already have some towns issuing “local money” in the USA and it’s being used. You could even do it in the form of debit cards. The amount issued would depend on family size.

    The big point is: default is inevitable. Either the default gets prepared for, or it may be chaotic (but not necessarily so).

  18. Note to Mr. Lenihan: You should be ashamed of yourself that you still collect payment every month in official function!

    The Irish banking crisis is heading to be among the costliest in the world.


    • Praetorian

      Never forget but Lenihan is but one from a gang who shouldn’t be let off while the rage is directed at one individual who on the basis of supposedly incomplete information made an appalling decision on the bank bailout. A lot of the damage was done before he ever got senior office and then got landed with a crisis his boss was deeply involved in (among other senior players), so bit of a fall guy but then coming into the Dail saying he hadn’t read the Price Waterhouse Cooper report, saying it was going to be cheapest bailout in history which will be a statement that will live on far longer than the banks whose signs are currently coming down around the country, won him few friends. Cutting the benefits of the disabled, of carers, a cut of €90 million, unforgivable, no true Republican would have done it, money should have been found elsewhere, as Noonan said correctly “this budget hasn’t been politically tested”, which he could have extended to the entire political apparatus.

  19. Malcolm McClure

    I must be going senile. Last week someone posted a very interesting list of foreign deposits in Ireland over the past 10 years. If I remember right, it rose to about $520 billion during the boom and was about half that last year. Now I can’t locate the post. Please repost so we can consider it again.

    The point I intended to make was that if we followed David’s advice and devalued “our” punt nua or whatever, those remaining depositors would be very annoyed to lose (say) $100 billion of their hard-earned deposits.

    Those deposits presumably provide some sort of cushion against the ultimate crunch. Or do I completely misunderstand the situation?

    How come foreign depositors have left us with a single dime?

    • Tull McAdoo

      Just heading for the airport in a while Malcolm so quick comment…..All the deposits have pretty much left.The big institutions left after the downgrade,they had no choice, its the way they are structured.

      The rest have been leaving in dribs and drabs ever since.The deposits are being replaced with liquidity from the Irish central bank and the ECB et cetra.

      Sorry should have asked if you were sitting down before I dropped that load on you.

    • PMC

      This was the post; initially put up by emporersgotnoclothes

      Deposits held by Non-Residents in Irish Banks
      Source : Central Bank Money & Banking Statistics
      Table A.12.1


      €bn EU Non-EU Total
      Jan-03 76 115 191
      Feb-03 82 116 198
      Mar-03 85 113 198
      Apr-03 87 113 200
      May-03 83 112 195
      Jun-03 90 114 204
      Jul-03 98 119 217
      Aug-03 97 124 221
      Sep-03 100 125 224
      Oct-03 96 127 223
      Nov-03 101 131 232
      Dec-03 101 132 234
      Jan-04 103 135 238
      Feb-04 104 138 241
      Mar-04 104 150 253
      Apr-04 105 147 251
      May-04 106 157 263
      Jun-04 105 160 265
      Jul-04 113 155 268
      Aug-04 114 152 266
      Sep-04 114 154 268
      Oct-04 118 150 269
      Nov-04 118 150 268
      Dec-04 118 158 275
      Jan-05 126 161 287
      Feb-05 125 169 294
      Mar-05 125 176 301
      Apr-05 127 178 305
      May-05 134 185 319
      Jun-05 141 189 330
      Jul-05 140 194 334
      Aug-05 138 200 338
      Sep-05 141 206 347
      Oct-05 147 213 360
      Nov-05 140 217 357
      Dec-05 144 219 362
      Jan-06 145 215 360
      Feb-06 147 218 366
      Mar-06 148 220 367
      Apr-06 147 223 370
      May-06 147 225 373
      Jun-06 158 235 392
      Jul-06 152 237 389
      Aug-06 152 238 390
      Sep-06 149 242 391
      Oct-06 149 255 404
      Nov-06 147 276 423
      Dec-06 153 277 430
      Jan-07 158 281 439
      Feb-07 158 280 437
      Mar-07 159 297 456
      Apr-07 168 300 468
      May-07 169 315 484
      Jun-07 175 321 496
      Jul-07 170 315 485
      Aug-07 178 328 506
      Sep-07 173 338 511
      Oct-07 186 320 506
      Nov-07 196 321 517
      Dec-07 192 341 533
      Jan-08 203 358 561
      Feb-08 197 361 558
      Mar-08 197 363 560
      Apr-08 206 373 579
      May-08 205 365 570
      Jun-08 212 360 571
      Jul-08 216 364 580
      Aug-08 215 372 587
      Sep-08 207 372 579
      Oct-08 225 395 619
      Nov-08 240 385 625
      Dec-08 244 357 601
      Jan-09 253 362 615
      Feb-09 245 345 590
      Mar-09 240 324 563
      Apr-09 239 333 572
      May-09 231 334 565
      Jun-09 223 329 552
      Jul-09 222 345 566
      Aug-09 228 337 565
      Sep-09 219 333 552
      Oct-09 215 330 545
      Nov-09 210 330 541
      Dec-09 200 325 525
      Jan-10 204 321 525
      Feb-10 201 322 524
      Mar-10 203 319 523
      Apr-10 208 306 515
      May-10 224 315 538
      Jun-10 227 313 540
      Jul-10 226 307 533
      Aug-10 228 313 542
      Sep-10 215 292 507
      Oct-10 180 272 452
      Nov-10 178 247 425
      Dec-10 152 195 347
      Jan-11 153 181 334
      Feb-11 148 171 319
      Mar-11 145 166 311
      Apr-11 136 163 299

      • Malcolm McClure

        PMC and Tull McAdoo:
        Thanks for that key information. It helps to make sense of Lenihan’s 2008 guarantee. He was sitting on over half a trillion and needed to give the Americans time to unwind their deposits. Otherwise no more invitations to bring shamrocks to Washington, given a benign interpretation of their reaction. If malign, Dublin gets bombed back into the stone age.

  20. Gege Le Beau

    Argentina hits the front page of the Guardian.

    Argentina accuses world’s largest grain traders of huge tax evasion

  21. So, it’s to be “austerity” then, Paddy Jones? Good luck with that one. How everyone spending less for generations can improve the economy defeats me. You’re not a banker?

  22. Tull McAdoo

    Leo Varadkar is having his wrist slapped because he made some statements that some people in authority viewed as “talking down the economy” and also “undermining the confidence of the markets”.

    I’m having a real problem with them there assumptions for the following reasons

    1. The economy is almost at rock bottom, so nothing Leo the Lion has to say will make a blind bit of difference.
    2. The markets have not got the slightest bit of confidence in any of the bullshit that has, is , will, or might exanimate from the DOF through their glove puppets at Leinster House, or any consultants reports that they bring in to provide themselves with cover either.

    So why all the fuss about Leo and his Economic opinions?

    I would have thought that in a functioning democracy and a Republic no less, that publically elected representatives would be expected to give their opinions and let us all know what their plans were to guide us out of recession.

    I would have been more concerned if Leo had no opinions. It would have meant that we had elected another gobshite who was just there to act as voting fodder. Ye all know what I mean just think back on the last Dail and all those gobshites who had nothing to say about anything, with their only utterances being “TA” or “NIL” as their whip cracked. Come on ye know who I mean, all them useless ….. who sat quietly in the back of the bus as it was driven over the cliff.

    Anyway back to Leo and the type of structure that slaps him down when he opens his gob. Now were getting to the heart of the matter. You see the people who run Ireland know all about the markets and the economy, just as they know who to call when they want to gauge reaction to policies that they hope to pursue. NO these people are not worried about Leo spooking the markets, what they are more worried about is Leo spooking the “natives” “citizens””taxpayers” or basically all the poor bastards who are underwriting all this failure. As Miriam O’Callaghan said to David McWilliams “they would vote NO”.

    Its ok Miriam, they wont be asked…….having said that ,if they did vote NO we could just ask them again and again and again…….Allay fears…re-assure….address concerns…the people have spoken and their wishes must be respected….. I’m starting to sound like de biffo now….Goodnight Ireland. Sleep well.

    • Leo should consider himself lucky that they did not lock him away, now that we have blasphemy laws back in Ireland.

      Hell yes…. they would vote NO!

    • PMC

      Party whips are there to keep the likes of Leo Varadkar in line. Individuals must be allowed to give their opinion, and as long as that opinion is backed up with evidence, then whats the problem?
      If it’s a plausible notion we plan for it, instead of burying our heads in the sand.
      I’d go so far as to say that this scenario with Varadkar, highlights perhaps, the reason why so many people in Ireland take no interest in politics or how the country is run.
      Politics in Ireland is about being a yes-man and nodding in sync with your party colleagues. The regular Joe sees this for what it is, a falsehood. Tie that in with all the shenanigans of CJH, Bertie, Flynn, Lowry etc…

      • Deco

        We have had enough of the “consensus”.

        most of the time the consensus is a agreed fudge of deceit.

        “the boom is getting boomier”….

  23. Gege Le Beau

    To the Labour partner in government:


    Block the introduction of water charges and property tax. Ludicrous proposals in these hard times, up there with Richard Burton’s ‘review’ of overtime pay for the working poor.

    • Tull McAdoo

      Must be grand for “baby brute”, with him being so well insulated from the recession, that he can afford to drag out that old Thatcherite ideology that he has been hawking around all these years.
      Jasus what Richard would’nt give for a mob that he could set his horses on…….Richard the Lionheart…chargeeeeee….

      • Praetorian

        Richard the Littleheart more like.

        For anyone with a heart wouldn’t even dream of such a ludicrous policy especially when they look at the actual numbers:

        Who are the 110,000 struggling with their mortgages? Who are the 100,000 plus having their utilities cut off?
        Who are the 443,000 unemployed (14.8%)?
        Who are the one third of working class children illiterate?
        Who are those turning to Saint Vincent De Paul?
        Who are those 1000 emigrating per week?
        Who are those pulling their children out of university?
        Who are those on anti-depressants?
        Who are those at risk?

        How could any politician be remotely thinking of hitting working people hard now when they are already at the pin of their collar with reduced wages, high cost of living, mortgage interest rate hikes and water charges, property taxes to come, it is truly a ‘let them eat cake’ moment and I have a perfect understanding of why Louis XVI fell, why Tsar Nicohlas II fell and all the others.


        They will drive what is left of this economy into the ground because they have no idea what they are doing.

    • Friend of mine in Greece did not believe me last night, when I told him about water charges in Ireland. He really thought I am taking the mickey.

      But when I told him that in Germany – Hey Hogan, look away such info is poison for you – you have to pay taxes on rainwater that you collect, he really pissed himself laughing, but this was not a joke either.

      I envy people who still can laugh about it, I really do!

    • Deco

      I reckon that the property tax and water charges will bring this government into public rebuke.

      And because FF/GP were the ones who initiated the idea before they left, they will get nothing from the public’s dissatisfaction.

      • PMC

        I wonder if DMcW, Fintan O’Toole et al simply handed FG & Lab the rope, with which to hang themselves, at the last election. That’ll be the big three parties gone, and the population at the end of its tether.

        • Gege Le Beau

          Going through the phases takes time, we are in phase II politically, the relief force is in, the people had their say, but unsurprisingly, the same bad decisions, the same alienation and political ineptitude is taking place.

          I figured if Labour were unable to wag the dog, then they would both go down together, if Richard, Leo and ‘Catch-Me-If-You-Can’ Kenny keep it up, the coalition will implode somewhere between 8-12 months.

          The citizen has been mugged by the financiers and is now being bled dry by an elite political class who want someone else to pay for their sins. The external debt will continue to cause social, political and economic instability.

          People may already be positioning themselves politcally for phase III which will see the decline of all three traditional parties, and the polarising of the vote on Left and Right, phase III will be the most politically unstable, while the economy will continue to decline especially as the euro crisis worsens.

          This isn’t over by a long shot.

          • PMC

            After all the bluster about new policies from FG / Lab, phase III as you say, would provide the perfect opportunity for David, Fintan… to put together a credible way forward; one charachterised by professional, honest, ethical, and social policies.

            The Irish electorate will surely, at that stage, be at their wits end with the amateur politicos that we have at present. We’ll have reached the bottom of the barrel, and it’ll surely be time then to ditch the risk averse attitude and look forward to a new Ireland. It’s long overdue.

  24. wills


    Like the simplicity of the article. It removes the mystery gets down to the mechanics in a case example.

    Now if we did default, break with Euro, do the insiders who run this country get control over the punt printers and DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN and make a ponzi property scam?

    • Tull McAdoo

      The devil you know Wills…the devil you know. Support your local capitalist, buy Irish and all that…. get with the programme here ….man up ..and tighten that goddamn belt….jasus do i have to think of every thing here on this forum….Tull wept….LOL

  25. Colin


    Hope you’re enjoying your stay there. It seems like a great country, any hope for Paddy picking up work there from 5th generation Argie-Paddy?

  26. European Union 2013?…. Eurozone=Egozone

    If you call the EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton’s phone number to inquire on the EU position with regards to ___<- fill in any international subject of your interest, Libya, Palestine, Syria whatever you fancy, you end up on an answering machine:

    You are connected to the Office of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Margaret Baroness Ashton of Upholland.

    If you would like to hear the German opinion please press 1.
    For the French opinion please press 2.
    For the British opinion please press delete!

    Of course, this is only an Insider EU joke, but it depicts a reality that deserves a closer look.

    It seems to me like it was just yesterday, February 2010 Tunis, demonstrations against Ben Ali kickstarted what would later be published as the Arabian Spring.

    It took Cathy Ashton a full six weeks to come to terms with this new reality and make any statement, and the EU’s position towards the demonstrators was not only a mixed bag of beans, it was outright hostile, saying nothing for six weeks is a silent hostility, but the French foreign Minister even offered weapons to Ben-Ali to crash down on the demonstrators. Did you know that?

    Of course this outrageous reaction of France was not highlighted in the Media strong enough to be remembered by many, but it took place!

    The destabilizations from the Maghreb to the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula is in parts a direct result of FED’s QE 1+2, and the geo political implications for the near future remain uncertain. In my opinion it is the pretext to a much desired military conflict with Iran as expressed by the house of Saud on many occasions, but I hope to be wrong here.

    Confusion and hypocrisy are the main messages that the EU sends to it’s citizens since they finally got the coerced Lisbon referendum Yes vote from the Irish.

    Anti EU sentiments are exploited by ultra right wing populist movements and they are going from strength to strength throughout the Eurozone. Economists like to bolster their reasonings with charts and figures, but I do not think it is really needed in this case, the raising of ultra right wing movements is well known and cannot be disputed.

    In the beginning coal and steel, Robert Schumann and Jean Monnet, were the binding glue that enabled a European idea in 1951 (Treaty of Paris). It’s founding members were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxemburg and West-Germany, and these countries signed the Treaties of Rome the EEC, European Economic Community, and the EURATOM European Atomic Energy Community.

    The most important treaty by any standard was the 2009 Lisbon treaty, but Europeans were not asked, only Ireland had the constitutional basis and requirement to ask it’s people. We all know the history of this political act of a despicable character, who was even seen on the international stage being described very well as BIFFO, an obese and incompetent drunk who managed to abuse and coerce this Nation into a Yes vote.

    I do question the legitimacy of any European treaty of such caliber when European citizens are not being asked in a referendum. This was the EU’s biggest failure, and it was driven by hasty german-franco desires to finally get that out of the way.

    The Anti EU sentiments however are not only to be found in right wing caders that take advantage of scared and confused citizens looking for guidance and answers, no, these anti EU sentiment have reached a much broader spectrum of people, and this for very good reasons.

    They realize that the European Union is a conglomerate of egomaniacs, that have national interests always before European interests, it is not a Eurozone, it is a Egozone. The financial turmoils are a prime example. The economical strongest member, Germany, unfortunately with Merkel on the wheel, was dragging heels. In fact they were dragging heels for so long that the ECB started to jump in and abandon their core value, independency.

    Had the Germans quickly reacted and send a clear message to the markets that Greece is no alone, and stood shoulder to shoulder, the situation would have developed in a very different way, but, I agree, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    However, this is just an example, there is no coherent political Union.I would say that since the Schengen treaty in 1985 and the opening of borders, there was ample time for the technocrats in Brussels to define and work on a common policies and build consent under it’s union members, but this never was the case. The Union was a monetary club in the first place, and it found its main expression in the Maastricht treaties.

    The missed a great opportunity to strengthen and build a European identity that is trusted and welcomed amongst it’s citizens and goes far beyond the use of a common currency, the worship of a coin, a symbol and nothing more.

    The way they are now force feeding policies in countries like Greece and Ireland is another expression of the mismanagement at work. Countries like Ireland and Greece have no government anymore, they have compliance managers instead that play politicians to the public, some play that happily, other less, but they all play.

    The shock in Ireland when the IMF arrived was deep, but was quickly turned around via good cop bad cop games, and the EU commission was the bad cop, well, rightly so, and it would be no loss for the EU if Olli Rehn would resign from his position.

    Fact is the EU project has lost trust amongst its citizens, and trust is the basis for solidarity, but solidarity was not shown in this crisis, what was displayed instead can be described as a continuous last minute crisis management, and dragging heels.

    Without the trust of European citizens, a totalitarian bureaucracy implements policies and forces them on their citizens, this is exactly what happens here and while the early resistance might be low key, it will not remain this way. You cannot force trust and solidarity, ask the Germans in the ex eastern parts, they can sing a song or two about it!

    The EU press cadres like to push the magic 2013 number in our face, as if by 2013 they have a magic wand and the financial markets would dance after their tune. What a preposterous PR campaign. We are four years into this mess and the results and activities from Basel III to other EU highlights paint a clear picture on the managerial situation within the EU. It is nothing short of a disastrous politic that is created there.

    The EU idea and project was and is important, and it is walking a tight rope high above the grounds without safety, and the rope was set on fire on the one side of the canyon by the financial terrorists, and on the other side by the very citizens of Europe themselves.

    The European Union is too important to break up, but to force feed policies that have no acceptance amongst the citizens will not guarantee survival, on the contrary.

    Solidarity cannot be forced, and if a neighbor is in need, and if I only offer help by making a profit, then this will trigger a lot, but not solidarity. A union is a matter of give and take, and not take only, but a statement like is degraded to nonsense if it comes from Angela Merkel demanding even higher austerity from Greece, this is 19th century schoolmaster’s psychology to discipline an obnoxious student, threatening attitudes from the ECB Godfather are in the same category.

    In an economical multi-speed EU reality, with export strong and export weak members, it will always be a transfer Union, dragging heels will always be judged as weakness by markets who are used to swift reactions, something politicians are totally overwhelmed with and incapable of performing these days.

    Playing PR games with the markets won’t work either, and 2013 is no magic number.

    In Ireland however, this has not hit home either, Leo Vradkar probably should consider himself lucky that no charges were pressed against him under the new blasphemy law, and on the other side of the Liffey, Eamon Gillmore gathers the Irish diplomatic forces to declare to the world that we are open for business and the banking crisis is behind us.

    Go home Gilmore, resign and let Luke-Ming-Flannigan do the PR, trust me the markets would believe him more!

    What an absurd theater.


  27. Emperorsgotnoclothes

    Just for interest, and not directly related to this article or stream of comments, but I came across an interesting item yesterday while listening to one of Max Keiser’s reports.


    It’s about 6mins in and it relates to a news story claiming that Zimbabwe are seriously considering moving to a gold-backed currency. They’ve gone through a period of hyperinflation and currency collapse and the head of their central bank is strongly urging this move. Apparently they have trillions in unmined gold reserves, along with considerable deposits of other minerals. Further pressure being heaped on the dollar of course. Naturally the concern for Zimbabweans would be the scope for corruption among its ruling junta!

    • Deco

      Yes. Zimbabwe’s Central Bankers know all about print-baby-print, funny money and hard currency.

      Obviously, they are looking for an option to act as currency reserve other than USD, Euros or South African Rand….which somehow or other does not fit requirements. Maybe they know too much about Bernanke.

  28. Emperorsgotnoclothes

    Here’s a thought, provoked by the wisdom of that renowned libertarian Benito Mussolini! Are we living in a fascist state???

    “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

    Well correct me if I’m naive on this one but I believe such a merger occurred in a tent in Galway some years back ;o)

    • Deco

      We have a model of government in this country called “Social Partnership”. As far as I can recollect, from Leaving Cert History it was invented by Musso in Italy in the 1920s. Same model of running the country.

      Nobody here voted for IBEC to be running the country’s affairs. The Tent in Ballybrit is only a tenth of what is going on. NAMA. The banks appointing cronies to ISEQ listed companies. The K-Club. The ICTU bosses getting positions on state quangoes. And hundreds of quangoes. I think it would be better if there was a law restricting the number of state quangoes to 20 at a maximum. Get rid of the rest, or privatise them, or let industry interests like the CIF, or whatever else pay for them in their entirety.

      • The 367 remaining quangos still operating in Ireland are to democracy and real reforms what an untreated cancer is to a person affected.

        Astonishingly, Ireland has 367 government-appointed agencies, boards, bodies, committees, councils, executives, task forces and working groups where 3,352 seats are filled by 2,800 individuals at the taxpayer’s expense.

        The investigation found a bewildering cross-web of membership. More than 60 people play roles in three or more quangos and two are on six bodies. In one case, the annual fee entitlement runs to more than €116,000.


      • CitizenWhy

        “Social Partnership” is related to a certain form of Catholic Social Teaching sometimes called Corporatism, the idea being that each class (corporate body) in society has its obligations and rights, with the state responsible for guarding and governing them. The end result was supposed to be social justice for all, widespread prosperity, the rule of law, protection of property, and political order and stability. Benito was somewhat influenced by this teaching, and many of the sincere Fascists (including Jews) certainly were.

        The core of Catholic Social Teaching revolves around the concepts of Solidarity and Subsidiarity. Solidarity would be a more philosophic term for “Love thy Neighbor.” the moral obligation to care about others, including the poor and hapless,in practical as well as spiritual ways. Subsidiarity would mean assisting where needed at the lowest possible level rather than from a distance in a bureaucratized central system. Clearly there are some serious ideas at work here, but they can certainly be interpreted in a politically right wing and dysfunctional way. Disaster relief in the US, for instance, would be itself a disaster if it were done strictly at the local or state level. These notions of Solidarity and Subsidiarity were meant to inspire social/political systems that would prevent the rise of communism or socialism. Bavarian conservative Christian Democrats operated from this philosophy after World War II.

        In the US, right wing Catholics, many members of the Irish Diaspora, take these ideas very seriously and use them to justify dismantling federal benefit systems. As part of this campaign they label any federal role in welfare, labor or education as “socialism.” They find strong allies in those who are still angry at “federal interference” in “state rights” in the Civil Rights struggle, and who are really angry now that there is now a black man in the White House.

        I suspect that many Irish politicians have been indoctrinated with some of the right wing versions of Catholic Social Teaching. It can easily be a grand moral justification for excess privileges and predatory wealth-mongering for the Big Property class.

  29. COMMODITY SCAM UPDATE: !!!! THREAT LEVEL RED !!!!…. When Banks explode….

    I am astonished that it did not happen yet, but one of these days a Bank will go up in smoke, and while I am against violence as a form of protest, and I would not sympathize with it, I could understand the reasons, very much so!

    x x x x

    Th well known players, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, Barclays and many more push capital like mad.

    As a result, revenues increased by 55% according to a WSJ report from today.

    Commodities were the fastest growing segment in banks fixed income business in Q1/2011.

    JPMorgan the biggest player at the moment employs 1,800 people in Commodities, and they were given a target of $ 1,2bln for 2011. They made $750 mln in Q1 alone!

    <b?Revenue growth is up 55% at the 10 largest investment banks in Q1/2011

    When will Politicians ever break this up, or better to ask, when will the pressure on politicians become so high that they have no other choice? When will people not demonstrate in city squares and stay as long as it takes, but Frankfurt, Paris and Wallstreet instead?

    • Examination of the JPMorgan books show a market manipulation dumping of commodities futures in Q1 especially in silver that jumped on the bear and drove down the prices.

      Who can say if this was fed by the Fed to protect the dollar against the commodities market.


      Above shows a growing desperation for the dollar as it weakens even against the euro.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Georg: I’d dispute that the price of commodities is a scam. Of course there are wild fluctuations and Smart Alecs make money on them. However, a widespread commodities index doesn’t lie. It just points to the true value of the dollar and other linked currencies. That inflation is superimposed on an underlying natural fluctuation of about 30 to 35 years, which represents the generation gap. i.e.Young players at any point in the curve never learn from the experiences of their parents.

      I established the liklihood of an underlying exponential sine-wave commodities curve back in 1980, after the previous boom. It seems to be borne out by recent events.

      • Any volatitlity that can be triggered by attacking capital is a scam, as it is designed to exploit this volatility at minimum, at maximum it is desgined to influence geo politics.

        My point is that the new conditions will leave only commodities for these ravaging bastards to jump on, and they will, with full force.

        I call this a scam for one main reason, I stand to be corrected, explain to me why this is the most unregulated market of all! You can’t, FOA and UNCTAD failed to regulate this market and it is now the playground for the capital that was sucked out of the real economy by Heist numero uno, property and derivatives.

        As for indicies, yeah well, shall we create one? Really, I mean come on, you know yourself how that works.

  30. Met a guy from Argentina a few months ago fled from one default to another.
    Here is an interesting take on how to survive in business post default. This is a topic I would advise people to study there will be a lot of angry headless chickens in this neck of the woods

        • Enjoyed the article, thx:

          “A few days after I return to the United States, I meet up with Patricio Fuks, who has come to New York City to pitch American investors on a $25 million real estate fund he is starting so he can build more hotels in Latin America. As we drink beer in a glitzy rooftop bar, he complains that American investors seem more interested in putting their money in exotic financial instruments than in tangible assets like hotels. “Every guy I meet is a hedge fund guy,” he says. “A hedge fund guy is like an astronaut to me. I don’t understand how they make money.”

          It’s a global problem and effects us through eg the IFSC, the world of investment funds, financial paper, hundreds of thousands employed across the world, watching computer screens for tiny market fluctuations, money made eg previous Q1 2011 of Morgan betting/manipulating the commodities market. Its destroying real capitalism and destructive of healthy economies. It’s why financial markets need to be overhauled and a new regulated, transparent Glass Steagal Act has to end the paper waste.

    • Malcolm McClure

      transitionman: Thanks for that must-read link. It shows that Argentina’s experience demonstrates that once you decide to default, you are jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

      If Irish people think that there has been corruption and tax fiddling amongst the elite here, wait and see what happens when everybody is at it, fiddling becomes part of everyday life and we all have to live on our wits.

      Turning a blind eye to the law took hold in the days of the poteen stills and carried on both sides the border before Customs Posts were abolished. Even the most upright people did a bit of condom smuggling going south and sugar smuggling going north in the 1940s. Once people get drawn into a Nod and Wink Society, the foundations of civilization are destroyed and draconian measures are needed to prevent a total breakdown of society.

      Is that where we want to go next?

  31. The Varadkar ‘bold boy’ comments rather than being examined like play dough have been treated like Fukushima fuel rod meldown that have breached the containment vessel.

    The exception in this case proves the rule that we are brain washed, media manipulated on a diet of economic bull figures and lies.

    For example, the creeping unemployment figures edging towards 15% are treated as radioactive particles we don’t want to hear much about.

    The figures disguise 30-60% unemployment in the young cohort >35yrs. Many of these are young graduates with high skills acquired through state investment in their college and early education.

    In fact, there is I believe a high correlation between emigration and brainpower, the higher the skills of those with brains with more than two neurons, the greater the likelihood our greatest resources will be forced to emigrate.

    The tragedy is our response to the meltdown has been to pour resources back into the hands of the brainless morons, gombeens who got us into the meltdown in the first place.

    The people with more than two neurons are being hounded out of the country by brainless, gombeen, dimwit dullards who cant think beyond 1980.

    These potentates think we can trade our way out of this and have a repeat of 1990-2006 Celtic Tiger years.

    So even if half the tiger years were true, 1990-1998, before they got smacked by gombeen bankers and politicians pouring the wealth of this country down the drains of flooded plains, the accumulated debt weight of those years, is a recipe for Davy Jones locker, not growth.

    Unemployment stats of 15% heading skyward, a true 30-60% among the young in spite of emigration and FAS education scams, growth down to 0% and heading for meltdown, let’s have more ‘loose talk’ and less
    media manipulated propaganda junk.

    Anyone got the times for DFlynn meeting at Garden of Remembrance tomorrow and subsequent march to Kildare St?

    • We need to default asap. We don’t need Enda’s propaganda that hospitals will close if we do what Morgan Kelly says we should do. We’ll organise volunteers to work in them if need be for free.


      “As a respected academic expert on banking crises, Honohan commanded the international authority to have announced that the guarantee had been made in haste and with poor information, and would be replaced by a restructuring where bonds in the banks would be swapped for shares.

      Instead, Honohan seemed unperturbed by the possible scale of bank losses, repeatedly insisting that they were “manageable”. Like most Irish economists of his generation, he appeared to believe that Ireland was still the export-driven powerhouse of the 1990s, rather than the credit-fuelled Ponzi scheme it had become since 2000; and the banking crisis no worse than the, largely manufactured, government budget crisis of the late 1980s.

      Rising dismay at Honohan’s judgment crystallised into outright scepticism after an extraordinary interview with Bloomberg business news on May 28th last year. Having overseen the Central Bank’s “quite aggressive” stress tests of the Irish banks, he assured them that he would have “the two big banks, fixed by the end of the year. I think it’s quite good news The banks are floating away from dependence on the State and will be free standing”.

      Honohan’s miscalculation of the bank losses has turned out to be the costliest mistake ever made by an Irish person. Armed with Honohan’s assurances that the bank losses were manageable, the Irish government confidently rode into the Little Bighorn and repaid the bank bondholders, even those who had not been guaranteed under the original scheme. This suicidal policy culminated in the repayment of most of the outstanding bonds last September.”

      • Enda, default or we’re dead fish fated to being gutted out by asset strippers and foreign banks!

        Health Warning!

        Don’t rely on advice from any of the following who’ve clearly demonstrated a severe, basic arithmetic problem evidence of a virus that interferes with faculties controlling simple figure computation.

        I know they are aware of this themselves and so are frequently seen in public in Ireland apologising and correcting their mistakes.

        The Irish population are aware of this but let’s just be kind to them and ignore everything they have to say to do with figures:

        Basic arithmetic virus problem in Ireland(infectious)

        Cowen got his figures wrong. Terribly embarrassing history of this even extending to counting TD’s
        Dept Finance mandarins…..
        Davy Stockbrokers……………

        This leads to financial sonderkommando virus, but enough said about that!

        • I know, elsewhere people get fired for having this problem, but in Ireland we’re more tolerant and treat it with corrections frequently helped and made public in the media. If you make a mistake, go on the media and correct your previous guesstimates. The treatment is the same for growth forecasting, all banking figures, debt repayment projections, negotiations on debtor interest rates, unemployment guesstimates, emigration rates.

          Some would argue for a statistical graph representing previous forecast errors correlated against current projections on an individual and institutional basis, but such error sensitivity isn’t tolerated but regarded as loose talk!

  32. Deco

    Has the time come to sack the bosses running the North Eastern Health Board ?


    We spend a fortune on the HSE. It gets Health levies, state subsidies, and extortionate amounts of money from the private health insurers. And this is what you get. Ordinary citizens trying to replace disorganized parts of the HSE.

    This is not a funding crisis – the funding crisis has yet to happen – this is a management/organization crisis. This is what happens when you have a lemming freindly society – incompetence and dodgy thinking abounds.

    • Johno

      The wife is a Staff Nurse. When we lived in Dublin she worked in one of the bigger city center hospitals. The hospital had two CNM3 ( senior management ) who ran the hospital. My wife would reckon their salary would be 100kish. We moved out of Dublin and my wife now works in a regional hospital which has 7 CNM3!

      The same hospital in question due to a clerical error when advertising the job as 5 CNM1 is their a&e when they should have one.

      Instead of tackling problems like these front line services get affected.

      • Deco

        It seems that in the Irish state system there is an unwritten rule that you simply can never have too many managers. Especially when there are too many managers.

        The hierarchies need to be flattened drastically !!

  33. Emperorsgotnoclothes

    Astonishing story brewing in Greece! The Prime Minister openly accused of treason in parliament because of a fraud he’s been implicated in relating to very dodgy trading in CDS on Greek Debt just before he came to power. Check it out on the latest Keiser Report from yesterday


      • uchrisn

        Interesting. The CDS ‘market’ is so unregulated that its not possible to know exactly who owns the CDS until the creditors meeting after bankruptcy. Perhaps this is why these kind of stories cannot be reported in mainstream media, lack of offical evidence. However I wouldn’t be surpised at the Greek elite basically insider trading on CDS for a profit. I recomended here that the Irish people shuold short our own debt as a hedging mechanism a few months ago. We would have made a profit already.
        People should look into CDS more, its deliberatly set up as confusing. Actually its just insurance on bonds. Its not regulated like any other insurance industry and in fact the insurers often don’t have the means to pay out.

  34. coldblow

    I remember that WC, although I missed some of the later stage.

    By the time the Holland game came round Scotland were, as David says, already out. Can’t remember watching it. But I do remember the OTT send off for the Ally’s Army with cheering thousands lining the road to the airport. Expectations in Scotland were sky high, and as it turned out completely unrealistic. The BBC and ITV were rooting for them as always (and as always I suppose this generosity was not reciprocated). “Go Scotland!!”

    I saw the Peru game in the union bar and some of those present were p*ssing themselves laughing. What was it? 4-1? I think they then got beaten 1-0 or were held to a draw by one of those minnows FIFA see fit to include for reasons of political correctness and ‘inclusivity’. What really sticks in the memory is the brutal sense of disappointment that followed. I don’t think Scottish football has ever fully got over it.

    Malvinas Stadium – interesting name. Could we rename the Aviva, say, the Berlin Stadium, as a statement of aspirations? Or we could set our sights a little lower, say the Abyssinian Stadium (Staid na hAibisíne, or Aibisín Stacks in Tralee)?

    The habit of throwing confetti and paper is a strange one all right. (These weren’t devalued bank notes?) It used to be toilet rolls in the Football League back in the 60s. While Italian fans never stopped whistling, Belgians used to have brass bands playing etc. (Leave the vuvuzela out of this.) In the 1968 Olympics held at enoromous altitude in Mexico City (did that give ideas to Sepp’s boys?)the football final (involving Bulgaria I think and some other glamour team) dragged on all afternoon because spectators kept throwing their cushions onto the pitch. Paul Theroux has a lurid account (Old Patagonian Express) of a match between El Salvador and one of its neighbours. Following the disaster at Heysel Juventus fans strutted and posed with their faces wrapped in bandanas and set off flares. And, following their own cultural norms, Millwall hooligans ripped the seats themselves out to throw at police in an exhilirating Custer’s Last Stand extravaganze enacted on the pitch at Luton Town following a 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup.

    I think the Danish or Dutch may have started off this thing with painting your face and wearing the team shirt shirt “en masse”. They have a lot to answer for. As have Brazil. But at least they put their grounds to better use than say the Taliban, or Pinochet.

    In that WC Argentina needed to win by 5 or 6 goals to progress. It was impossible. But (amazingly!) they did it. “Yay”! Question for Sepp Blatter: did FIFA also have a ‘hand’ in this ‘miracle’?

    In the final, at kick-off, the Dutch Masters unsportingly kept the hosts waiting out on the pitch for ages. Was it gamesmanship or merely that the bitter wrangle between players and management over money was continuing in the tunnel?

    They call it the beautiful game.

    Cruyff and the others were very talented, but like Barcelona I just don’t like that kind of football where you hold onto possession. (I saw Holland beat England 4-0 at Wembley a couple of years later and England hardly managed a touch.) It might be technically accomplished and all that. But a winger is a winger, a defender a defender – to say otherwise would be BS. And it is not ‘beautiful’ but boring (whatever Bill O’Herlihy says). Let the other team get a kick of the ball is what I say.

    • Colin

      I agree. I see football a la Barca resembling Basketball more than football, which is a horrific evolution. Its the same with Arsenal, I find them boring to watch. Counter attacking football is beautiful, remember Rooney’s goal v Arsenal 2 years ago in CLSF, or Giggs’ goal in ’99 FACSF v Arsenal or Maradona’s goal against England. That’s how football should be played, use the width of the pitch, use athleticism, use guile, use intuition and use execution. Spare me from this ticky-tack crap!

  35. If the money supply has not been contracted, where has it all gone? It would be interesting to see a visual representation of the “location” of all euro’s currently in existence. Maybe an aggregate report, globally, of all the accounts holding euro’s. I’m sure google could provide the technology.

  36. Hindsight and Foresight Praxis

    I thought we had moved down the field and left behind the theory of default in touch and engaged with foresight the real experience to score .We seem to procrastinate and dither and uttering assurances and re assurances while standing in a flood with our wellies on .Is it not a foregone conclusion default has already arrived ?And that it just needs to be seen by those unbelievers ?

    Like any winning team its the forwards that make the team win so move back ditherer and run fast ahead foresight .

    If we as ‘thinkers’ on this forum are cooing up to the naysayers we need to think again.

    We should in our rightful mindset ask ourselves those questions that use skill and strategy to score and win in other words what should we be doing to now to make good what the fallout of default delivers .

    Finally , we are drifters where giving our new currency a name is concerned.It does matter what we call it .We need to think to ask ourselves what that might be.I dont want to see a ‘punt nua’ or a debased word ‘airgead’.Uk had sterling from ‘a sword image’, the northern countries had ‘kronas’ and once Germany had ‘kroning’and now deutschmark while France had ‘Franc’ .We seem to dawdle in a nothingness of a nowhere and that will nothing.We need to think.

    If that is too much to decipher then maybe borrow from NZ and Aus and just call it an ‘Irish Dollar’.

    • John, spot on.

      We need not only to say we are going to default. We need right now to decide on how best this default should be structured.

      There are two choices, a chaotic and unwholesome mess; or a decently structured and managed default that would address potential problems, such as hyperinflation.

      That’s exactly why we need loose talk, not blinkers driving us into the Titanic iceberg.

      We need to gather knowledgeable information and be much better informed here on the default option. Let’s loosen up the debate to consider in detail what our options are for default.

      • The Crowds are cheering and want to know so tell them.

        • I know we should be talking to the UK about this as they are also up shit creek, but not as far up as we are; we could help each other out.

          I agree with Stacie Herbert in the Emperorsgotnoclothes Keiser Report link above.

          She’s critical of a secret fund OMO given to the major lending banks hauled out to bailout Greece at next to nothing interest rates, money the banks will use to lend to Greece through the banks, as opposed to lending to Greece directly at similar rates.

          She’s critical of the American bailout TARP, the banks took the money and don’t create jobs, they use the money for speculation which has only led to a dead cat bounce of the US economy.

          Mostly though, I agree with Morgan Kelly that we should walk away from our banks. To examine the implications of this, read the following from him:

          First, link to Morgan Kelly earlier, what we should do:

          “Suppose that we did not want to follow our current path towards an ECB-directed bankruptcy and spiralling national ruin, is there anything we could do? While Prof Honohan sportingly threw away our best cards last September, there still is a way out that, while not painless, is considerably less painful than what Europe has in mind for us.

          National survival requires that Ireland walk away from the bailout. This in turn requires the Government to do two things: disengage from the banks, and bring its budget into balance immediately.

          First the banks. While the ECB does not want to rescue the Irish banks, it cannot let them collapse either and start a wave of panic that sweeps across Europe. So, every time one of you expresses your approval of the Irish banks by moving your savings to a foreign-owned bank, the Irish bank goes and replaces your money with emergency borrowing from the ECB or the Irish Central Bank. Their current borrowings are €160 billion.

          The original bailout plan was that the loan portfolios of Irish banks would be sold off to repay these borrowings. However, foreign banks know that many of these loans, mortgages especially, will eventually default, and were not interested. As a result, the ECB finds itself with the Irish banks wedged uncomfortably far up its fundament, and no way of dislodging them.

          This allows Ireland to walk away from the banking system by returning the Nama assets to the banks, and withdrawing its promissory notes in the banks. The ECB can then learn the basic economic truth that if you lend €160 billion to insolvent banks backed by an insolvent state, you are no longer a creditor: you are the owner. At some stage the ECB can take out an eraser and, where “Emergency Loan” is written in the accounts of Irish banks, write “Capital” instead. When it chooses to do so is its problem, not ours.

          At a stroke, the Irish Government can halve its debt to a survivable €110 billion. The ECB can do nothing to the Irish banks in retaliation without triggering a catastrophic panic in Spain and across the rest of Europe. The only way Europe can respond is by cutting off funding to the Irish Government.”

          Second: here’s the pile of crap Honahan and the other gombeens, again taken from Kelly, are telling us is repayable if we get nominal growth of 4%, see Davy earlier comment:

          From MK:

          “Irish insolvency is now less a matter of economics than of arithmetic. If everything goes according to plan, as it always does, Ireland’s government debt will top €190 billion by 2014, with another €45 billion in Nama and €35 billion in bank recapitalisation, for a total of €270 billion, plus whatever losses the Irish Central Bank has made on its emergency lending. Subtracting off the likely value of the banks and Nama assets, Namawinelake (by far the best source on the Irish economy) reckons our final debt will be about €220 billion, and I think it will be closer to €250 billion, but these differences are immaterial: either way we are talking of a Government debt that is more than €120,000 per worker, or 60 per cent larger than GNP.”

          I fully agree with Morgan Kelly as to what ECB has prepared for our gombeen Enda’s. Two years will be spent by the ECB/IMF sucking our economy dry and using the time to build up loss reserves in the major bondholder German and French banks.

          At the end of two years of Irish austerity, it will become apparent default for us will be inevitable. We will then suffer catastrophic default, National Pension Reserve fund gone, asset stripping. National sovereignty will disappear completely with the best scenario being we become a protectorate kept alive at the whim of the ECB. Essentially we will be owned lock, stock and barrel by the banks, game over. Outside powers will set, collect our taxes and dictate government policy.

          As Morgan Kelly says, national survival is at stake.

          • So, walk away from the €160 bn ECB ‘support’ to our toxic banks. Default to ‘Irish dollar’ or version of.

            We’ve cleaned the mess and are ready for business!

          • @cbweb

            Fantastic thought …ok what can you say to the ‘ordinary culchies and jackeen’ ? How can they protect themselves or what is left of themselves?

          • Re ‘ordinary culchies and jackeen’ ‘How can they protect themselves or what is left of themselves?’

            Irish people are rather lachrymose at the sell out from the Endas , disappointment has already taken deep root. But meanwhile life goes on and what can you do:)…They’re awaiting the result of unfolding events before they make a move. They won’t take shite lying down.

            From Josey Wales Ten Bears: “It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues”

            Irish people are rather sophisticated underneath the bullshit and they’re realising we’re led by blind fools.

            You’re already protected if you know that already:) So smile and be happy!

          • Deco

            At a national level, denial can be expected. From the entire state system, you get a positive uplifting optimistic culture that is loaded with denial about the entire scam. An effort to have another lemming run. Beware the madness of crowds. The manufacturing of consent. The survival there that is being chased, is institutional survival.

            How can the Irish state survive this crisis without being downsized, and cleaned up ? The wagons are circling. The plans unleashed for more taxes and more borrowing. And the PR stunts prepared, with Kenny and Gilmore telling the mabassadors to sell Irish stuff when abroad. Green jersey time again. Rationality is out the window.

            At an individual level, people will be far more rigourous and sensible. And it is at that level that survival is possible. Don’t rely on the state and it’s institutional morass, with hidden and obvious agendas for self-preservation in face of the blatent need for reform.

            Here we go again, time for more confidence tricks. Time for Pravda to talk up consumer spending and consumer habits.

        • David says ‘ there is life after default…’

          Is he referring to the remaining life that is those that were spared having watched other members of their families die in dispair and/or lose everything .

          And the life he speaks of is it living under a tree or morphing into a new mobile landless tribe of itinerants with honour degrees in coctail recipes.

          Is the life he speaks about have a comparable meaning with what was before the game is over?

          How does one get a life anymore ?

          • In ten years time I will write on the independent an article ‘ there is life after default, take a look at Ireland , we invaded the place after they starved…’ Of course I will by then be fluent in Chinese and Polish’.

  37. Morning from Argentina,

    Regarding the article on INC magazine calling Argentina a basket case one of the main guys interviewed in that piece – Andy Fierer – is an old mate. In fact, I will be meeting him later here.

    I am not saying that we should model ourselves on Argentina or anything close to that, but what I am saying is that life goes on after events run their course.



    • It will be hellish, this way or this way or they finally get their act together, and do what is required.

      If they continue to give in to banksters on a global scale, things will get even more ugly.

      One of the best interviews in this contex that you published was that with Bill, and he bloody well knows what he is talking about. …they got away with it!

      Who in the Hell would think that they are going to stop now? Basel III? Plain ridiculous!

    • David says : …’life goes on after events run their course’ .

      I thought we were at a football match and that forwards can score and win and that the crowds would cheer them on.It appears that in the above statement ‘cooing to the naysayers’ is what is being suggested and that international soccer is not corrupted .

      This brings me to the new mindset that our national cranium seem to be endearing to in dispair.Its called ‘a VOID’ And like ‘a Void’ we are wanting to avoid .

      Intuitively our nation susses to ‘life goes on after events run their course’.Are we watching the ‘wizzard of oz ‘ ?

      History has a habit of repeating itself again and again .So I beg to ask what happened in Croke Park when a sovereign foreign army attacked and killed innocent people?This definately was an ‘event’ that happened on a soccer field.

      ‘Event’ is a captured word of what will happen next and when it does the word ‘surprise’ will be lost to explain .And the Crowd will certainly be running away along the pitch …..or is this to mean ….’run their course’.

    • Colm,

      From your link:
      The GDP in 1981 was $3.1 trillion, today it is $14.7 trillion.
      The National Debt in 1981 was $907 billion, today it is $14.4 trillion.

      This is exactly what I tried to explain in my words from the history of the EU/USA Maastrcht/SNA perspective.

      Now if you take into account that only from the BCG Global Wealth Report 2011, which does not paint the full picture which is much worse, but this aside, we have a ratio of $ 122 tln privately held wealth in the hands of a few to a global GDP of less than $ 60 tln.

      Policy makers have two choices.

      The chopice they made so far will cause armed conflicts and a helluva lot of suffering.

      Unfortunately, we live in the age of Enda’s, Angela’s and so on, politicians with balls are no longer exisiting in the ranks of public office.

      • I’m rather optimistic and a believer in the often amazing powers of human ingenuity so I’m hopeful a good solution to these problems will eventually be found.

        I also think implicit in John’s comments above, we should focus on solutions.

        It’s too easy and often only serves certain egos who appear to find nourishment in misery to focus on misery alone rather than to seek out ‘positive’ solutions.

        I don’t believe the critics of Morgan Kelly who denigrate his solution above as miserable, but rather see it as a positive one. But that’s only my way of looking at things:)

  38. Praetorian

    Sound familiar?

    “A prominent Wall Street analyst predicted this week that not a single top executive at Goldman Sachs will face criminal prosecution for the company’s role in causing the financial meltdown of 2008. “I think that there is a genuine sense out there that there are two sets of rules, one for big and powerful institutions that are deemed to be too politically interconnected or powerful to fail, and the rest of us, Main Street,” says our guest Gretchen Morgenson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter who has written extensively on how the U.S. government has failed to prosecute any of the top figures who played a role in the economic crash. Morgenson and Joshua Rosner are co-authors of the new book Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon.”

    • http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0511/1224296700008.html

      Here’s Hamilton who has slapped down Kelly recently telling Kelly it’s basically the DPP who decides if, when, whenever prosecutions will be brought.

      We’ve also got two fingers from many in Anglo who because of deficiencies in our Criminal Justice Bill are not forced to give evidence…

      The whole delays into the investigation into Anglo are a disgrace and a national scandal and a contempt of jurisprudence and make Hamilton a waste in space.

      • Also thx for link, main reason I’m on this site for links such as yours. Fascinating interview:

        Joshua Rosner/Grechen Morgensen Reckless Endangerment

        the skinny on the mortgage meltdown in the US, or why 40% of homes are in negative equity in the US

        Some points:

        Heavily promoted lending under Clinton to stimulate home ownership

        Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac coopted Congress to back new mortgage backed securities, later copied by G Sucks et al

        Neither as ‘too big to fail’ public/private banks were not required to file finncial statements to the Fed. Our Central Bank suffered similar lawlessness in regard to ECB.

        Markets believe both banks were government guaranteed and were not ‘pied pythons’ of the finanacial sector

        lowering of lending standards

        20% set down was required pre 1995 to 5% to 3% circa 2003, so setup for disaster in home prices

        Bailouts for Wall St not Main St

        Fabrice Tourre is the only G Sucks employee under inditement at present, charges related to shorting investment funds known to fail.

        • Deco

          I have read Kunstler on the great suburban build out, and how it is an eocnomic culdesac that is heading for disaster.

          The past 40 years in the US and Western Europe has been about accumulating debt, and accumulating paper profits on asset classes. The only thing stopping it was oil price increases, which resulted in higher inflation, and thereby higher interest rates. And when you get higher interest rates the debt binge slows down, or goes into reverse. Higher oil prices also hit suburbia consumer spending.

          The current crisis is so bad, that they are keeping interest rates low, in an effort to keep the debt bubble from imploding.

          I get the feeling that the interest rate policy is liable to go crazy at any moment. You just never know when.

  39. Habemus Papa….


    Ops, sorry I mixed it up, but the picture, this picture….

    In this union of tomorrow, or of the day after tomorrow, would it be too bold,No, too cold! in the economic field, with a single market, a single currency and a single central bank, to envisage a ministry of finance of the union?” he said.someone coughs

    ….Requires “a very important change of the treaty, and will have consequences in all the union’s responsibilities.

    more coughing

    • Deco

      The solution to everything is to centralize more more than was already acheived in previous centralizations.

      Any consideration given to the theory that maybe the centralization of power might be only of benefit to GSusks, bank bondholders and the like ?

      Any consideration given to the possibility that maybe the ECB might be more responsible for this mess than the media are prepared to air ?

  40. CitizenWhy

    Review of some successful market-based alternatives to current capitalism, socialism, communism. Could Ireland move in this direction?


  41. Professor Noam Chomsky Receives the 2011 Sydney Peace Prize


    Whether Peace Prizes make sense at all is a different question, but this one makes much more sense than the Nobel peace Price for Obama, does it not?

    • Deco

      When ShowBama got the Nobel Peace Prize, it should have been an indication that there was something gone wrong….

      The Annointed One (at the behest of our advertising sponsors) has turned out to be the biggest borrower, and the most expansionist militarist of the lot. And still there are people in this country (not even getting to the point of asking Americans) who will ot allow one word of criticism to be aired in public, without them going into a frenzy of face saving to protect his image.

      • Perhaps worth noting is that on October 11th 2010 the Nobel family, as expressed by Peter Nobel, dissociated themselves from the Nobel Prize in Economics.

        First, it is a deceptive utilisation of the institution of the Nobel Prize and what it represents. Second, the economics prize is biased, in the sense that it one-sidedly rewards Western economic research and theory….

        But something must be wrong when all economics prizes except two were given to Western economists, whose research and conclusions are based on the course of events there, and under their influence. I can imagine Alfred Nobel’s sarcastic comments if he were able to hear about these prize winners. Above all else, he wanted his prizes to go to those who have been most beneficial to humankind, all of humankind!

    • what is the up to date I cannot get any news ?

      • Good question, didn’t see anything on his blog, also got a blister on my foot as well from a short walk the other day: don’t know what state DoFlynn must be in, or if he was getting transport between towns or intending to run the full 160. I’ll hobble in for 12 am and hope they’re there:)

  42. The Fat And The Furious

    Joe Stiglitz’s article and conclusion in vanity fair


    could be extended to….When will it come to Ireland?

  43. Deco

    So how did the great Modern, sophisticated, consumerist liberal-lending, ECB supported borrowing, pretenscious driven, pride fuelled, corruption filled, arrogance propelled, Bertie Boom in Ireland all end up ?

    It ended up with articles titled “there is life after Default” pointing the way to the inevitable….

    • Yep, we’re very on course for default with unemployment reaching ‘conservative’ 15% this week, plus OECD growth projections once again revised downward. By the laws of deflation and exponential growth impact of the negative effects of growth, we should see a quickening deterioration in these figures coming over the remainder of the year. The humiliation of the Creighton and Noonan gang unable to get even a small reduction in the interest rate, not that it matters much. ECB must know the game is up, so the whole game show is to give maximum amount of time to extract as much bondholder payments out of us before the crash and as much of the National Pension Reserve fund as they can get their hands on before then. Its easy enough for them to string along our useless lapdogs…:)

      • oops meant effects of ‘minus’ growth or contraction, call it what you well, economic meltdown, economic collapse…etc

      • Deco

        It certainly looks likely. I read an article a week ago in Phoenix Magazine about Permo. Slow motion disaster. Previous articles abour AIB/BoI merely confirm things are getting worse. The real question is the scale of damage coming from these banks.

        At the same time we have Brian Hayes talking about the bottom of the bottom in the real estate sector, and Gilmore talking everything up.

        Australia is running into a recession – though the Reserve Bank of Australia is still trying to stimulate the economy and the federal government is trying to impress people with their own money. As Aussie unemployment builds lots of Irish employees will be heading back home again.

        Which will push up unemployment further up.

        • PMC


          There’ll be some Irish who’ve gone out to Australia in the last 2 / 3 years, who’ll end up getting a double whammy because of what’s coming down the tracks out there.

        • Dilly

          I would say many of these people will stay and try and make a go of it. My brother lives in Spain. he says even though things are bad, he will not move back to Ireland. Of course he did leave twenty years ago, because of the likes of FF and FG and all the other cute hoores. He sees that nothing has changed. Barcelona is just a nicer place to live even though money is tight.

          • PMC

            Absolutely, I agree, and I’d do the same were I in his shoes. With regard to Australia however, there’s a ponzi property market in full swing and when Australian exports slow due to decreased Asian demand, anyone buying property at this stage could well regret it later.

  44. coldblow

    I haven’t really seen this question addressed, except obliquely and in passing, in all the commentary we are hearing. Is this a ‘don’t scare the children’ kind of thing or maybe I am just obtuse.

    We know what would happen to savings held in Ireland, be they in Irish or foreign banks, in the case of Euro exit – they are revalued (devalued) in the new currency. They are therefore badly hit or practically wiped out.

    What about a default, say an orderly one, where Ireland remains in the Euro. What happens to deposits then? Those in Irish state-guaranteed banks get wiped out presumably as the guarantee no longer exists?

    There’s a kind of 1939/40 feeling here where people are in public engaged in the semblance of everyday life while in private hurriedly making their own personal arrangements. You know, packing for the early train out of Paris before the rush starts but playing it cool so as not to start the stampede before they’ve managed to slip away themselves. It’s like the Phoney War: everyone knows they’re on their way but it might be a few more weeks yet. They might decide to stop off in Norway first. Or Greece.

    Hey, and maybe again it won’t happen at all. Chamberlain seems a solid enough chap.

    Tull? Uchrisn? Anyone?

    • @coldblow

      Can I answer under the ‘anyone’ call card ? I feel obliged under that name because it would be sad if no one could only answer . So ‘anyone is better than no one’ .

      What we are expecting is arriving at a phenominal speed rate and its impact will be obliterating all evidence of what we once knew life to be. What is amazing too about this forthcoming armageddon is its self distruction in a process in a genaration that is oblivious to the happenings around them and how they do not want to listen anymore.Cubicle madness I call it whereby modern communications are ‘golden calfs’ and this generation are lost in a desert of nothingness.

      The emptyness of believing you have everything while living in a cubicle is soul distroying and economic fatalle .

      No doubt a new powerful intellegence elite of insiders will emerge during this fusion process and the polarity of rich and poor widens decimating the middle class forever.

      Ireland will be ejected / or having to leave and all loans and future earnings will be in a discounted Irish Dollar with super inflation raising its head and everyone heading to the bogs to get their fuel flouting the new laws on protection.Hot water bottles will be a premium and rugs- on TV watching a new practice.

      I could write lots more ……but no one is interested anymore.

    • Gan Euro

      Not all of us will make Paris.

      There is always the old alternative which is to stock up on tinned food and buy a shotgun with plenty of cartridges to fight off the living dead!

      • Wild Geese upon every Tide.

        Try a Hennessy this week end and you might get an inspiration failing that read about the Duke of Wellington ( Irish Born ) and ask the British embassy for a photo of his large statue in their embassy in Paris ….it is meant to scare the French visitors and to remind them of the Battle of Waterloo .

    • We don’t want any loose talk on the Titanic now, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/northernireland/8547713/Titanic-launch-100th-anniversary-marked-by-Belfast-flare.html, at least the titanic was a brilliant piece of engineering, as for our ‘bailout’ Little Big Horn Charge of the Light Brigade ‘bailout’…..isn’t it comforting to know the Endas, Noonan, Honahan, DoF are in there patiently negotiating better terms for us….no? You find the prospect quite chilling?

    • uchrisn

      In the states its actually the Fed that garuntees the deposits up to 100grand not the American government. So in my opinion it should be the ECB that garauntees the desposits in all Eurozone banks including the Irish ones as it has the ability to print money.
      In the case of a managed restructuring of Irish soverign debt, deposits up to 100,000 should still be covered, backed by the European Financial Stability fund and the IMF. This could be looked at in more detail though. That money might take up to 3 months to get back completely.

  45. Hi all,
    I’ve been away for the past few days.
    Firstly may I say good luck and good on you to Doflynn! I’m sorry I could not join you, and even if I could, I’m lame with a ligament injury to my right foot at the moment.

    While I was away I heard one for the old rumour mill which really doesn’t surprise me, but if true is rather worrying!

    It came from a priest who had been conversing with what he described as a reputable FG insider.
    He said how this guy had described how the cracks are appearing already and a general election was likely again next year or latest at the next local elections.

    He said the next government was likely to be a “National Government” and how the Republic financially is becoming “Ungovernable” as he put it.
    He also said that people who had money in the bank were going to be in trouble. (He claimed not to be able to understand this economics stuff?)

    Now I know we’ve been discussing this ad nauseum on this site but when we hear that FG members are discussing it behind closed doors – Well maybe denial has given way to the playing of an end game charade. (It might also explain Leo’s remarks last weekend)

    • Which comes first ‘ a party default ‘ or a ‘currency default’ ?

    • Deco

      Interesting commentary.

      Last year, there was a rumour in October there was a panic moment in the Central Bank of Ireland.

      Weeks later, George Osborne told the British House of Commons about the Irish authorities looking to the Bank of England for help….and the request was about the same time.

      Never mind FG/ILP.

      I want to know what the atmosphere is between the real government parties in Ireland, IBEC and ICTU.

  46. @Paul

    As the soil dries and contracts over the week end I am bringing a special hand mirror to nearby fields in ardagh over the sunny week end to direct at the top of ploughed fields in particular and if any chalice is popping up its head it will reflect back its presence .Metal detectors are a waste of time and expensive.I might find my weight in gold and maybe crafted gold at that.

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