July 27, 2011

What Croatian Football can tell us about the Bank of Ireland Deal

Posted in Irish Independent · 131 comments ·

Last Saturday night in Split, on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, the local team, Hajduk, hosted the brilliant Barcelona. The omens weren’t good. Earlier that day, storm clouds had swept across the Adriatic from Italy and more rain fell more heavily than any of our seasoned Irish company had ever seen.

Not only torrential rain, but what the locals call “krupa” — giant hailstones — clattered out of the black sky. Imagine: the temperature is 25 degrees, yet ice is slamming down on to the roof, floods of water are cascading down previously parched hills, turning the terraces into overflowing estuaries and kitchens into gurgling eddies, flooding all the houses as these ferocious rain-bloated tributaries crash their way into the sea.

The McWilliams family is, at this stage, up on chairs with mops, brooms, towels and other makeshift implements, which, for a brief moment, we are convinced will arm us against the power of nature. The locals, on the other hand, are unfazed; they have seen it all before. As one of them said to me with a shrug: “Hey, Irish, water travels downhill — get used to it.”

Their minds were on more important things than material northern European concerns of property, damp, flooding, insurance and the like — they were focused on the game.

Hajduk is a religion in Dalmatia. They are the team that dominated Yugoslavian football and came to embody Jimmy Hill’s classic description of a “crack eastern European outfit”.

(By the way, the BBC referred to any team from Vladivostok to Belgrade as a “crack eastern European team” if they could “play a bit”).

Players from Croatia and the other nations that made up Yugoslavia can more than “play a bit”. Not for nothing were they called the “Brazilians of Europe”.

Arguably, the world was robbed of possibly the best European national team that ever pulled on a jersey when the brilliant Yugoslavian team of the early 1990s disbanded.

The Yugoslavs in the late 1980s and early 1990s reinvented the game in the same way as the Dutch had done in the 1970s. Tragically, total football descended into total war.

However, the Croatian team that emerged went on to come third in the World Cup in 1998 and of that team six had played for Hajduk.

Like Barca, there is more to Hajduk than football. Both sides stand for much more. They represent the spirit of their region. Barca is Catalonia in the same way as Hajduk is Dalmatia.

Thus, when two sides like this meet — even in a friendly to mark Hajduk’s centenary — the stakes are high.

If you want to experience the passion of Dalmatians, there are few better places to see it than at a Hajduk match. They have quite some heritage. For example, their fans were the first organised fan base in Europe with different branches of “Torcida”, as the fans are known all over Yugoslavia.

In the Second World War, when Dalmatia was occupied by Italy and the rest of Croatia was a puppet fascist state, Hajduk refused to play in either the Italian or Croatian leagues.

This independence was further exemplified when Tito made the “Torcida” a banned organisation. Communists don’t like other people organising in parallel to the party.

You can sense this history on the terrace, where the fans sing for the entire game, giant flares light up the sky from the packed stadium and fathers and sons urge on the Whites.

I travelled to the game with three generations of one local family, the 78-year-old granddad having been at the first game where the organised fans were banned — a top-of-the-table 1950 clash between Hajduk and Red Star Belgrade.

As much as football, a combination of history, politics and economics bind Hajduk and Barca together.

Years ago, when Yugoslavia was falling apart, a Spanish flatmate told me that many Spaniards, particularly Catalans, cautiously watched the Balkans and concluded that that type of conflict could happen in Iberia. She argued that the gradual easing of separatist feeling in Catalonia might have had a lot to do with seeing Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia as a possible terrible alternative. Given that the civil war in Spain — where a million were killed — was in living memory, she had a point.

Now the pride of Catalonia is the football dream team that is Barca.

A bit like much of Dalmatia — where the glorious Venetian architecture bespeaks a much richer, much more prosperous past — Hajduk’s glory days are behind it but it still embodies the pride of the Adriatic.

Despite their wonderful support, Hajduk are well off the pace in Europe. This is a club that has appeared in the semis of major European tournaments, yet now it struggles.

THE contrasting tales of Barca and Hajduk are the tales of globalisation, where initial advantages are magnified, the best get better and ultimately the winner takes all. Hajduk now exports talent and Barca imports it. No Catalans play for Split, yet lots of Dalmatians and other Croatians have played for Barca. Similarly, you don’t see many English players in Dalmatia, yet many Croatians make their living in the UK. In fact, a former Hajduk star, Slaven Bilic, trod that path well before the Modrics of this world. Now, Croatian players are made for export.

Because of the war and a lack of funds, Hajduk fell behind and continues to fall. The best players all leave to play in Germany, England or Spain. The local league standard slips and this reinforces the migration of talent. This, in turn, leads to less and less finance going into the game. In a generation, teams become little more than finishing schools for the best local talent before it moves on.

The opposite is happening at the top, where the talent seeks the best opportunities and thus players like Leo Messi leave Rosario in Argentina for Barcelona. Nothing could underscore this migration of national talent more than the Copa America, which Uruguay won this weekend. Practically all of the stars of Latin America’s finest now play in Europe.

What goes on in football is also going on in the global economy in general. As Ireland experiences emigration again, talent is leaving in droves, hollowing out the productive marrow of the country. Last time out in the 1980s, a graduate was three times more likely to leave Ireland than was someone who left school after the Junior Cert. So like Dalmatian footballers, the best leave here too.

We see this “winner-takes-all” phenomenon in many walks of life. Globalisation means that if you lose your edge, it is very hard to get it back and you are likely to pay. This is why this recession and the behaviour of the banks have been so damaging to Ireland.

Look at what happened yesterday. We end up selling more than 37pc of Bank of Ireland — a bank which has 30pc of the market in a country that exports €160bn — for the tiny sum of €1.1bn. This is after putting in billions of our own money to recapitalise the bank, in order to give it to others wrapped up with a lovely bow and a card saying “fire sale”.

The Bank of Ireland deal is the financial equivalent of Hajduk selling its best players for a song. Each deal is justified because it gets much-needed money in, but each deal just makes the edifice weaker and the future bleaker.

Sometimes, there’s more to be observed at football matches than the intricacies of the offside rule.

  1. adamabyss

    The Singularity is Near.

  2. adamabyss

    All I can say is everyone deserves a holiday David so I sincerely hope you and your family are having a good one!

    I think there is more fluff in this article that there was in Fat Bastard’s (from Austin Powers) belly button and that’s saying something!

    I guess you will get to the more serious (and relevant) subject matter again when you get back.



  3. thejeckel

    Why is it, prey tell David – that every minute thing that happens in YOUR personal life has some wierd connection to the problems of the irish economy? You’ve got some good stuff in that ceann of yours but seriously…. GIVE IT UP!….. ITS RIDICULOUS!! Croatia?…. pfffttt really dont see how where you vacation can have any relevance.

    • I must vent on the utter stupidity of viewpoints like yours which are typical Irish white male (of which I am one) rejection of any abstract notion about anything. The inability to think abstractly is exactly why this country is in the hole it finds itself in.

      So if you can open your big thick mind for one second I’ll let you have a piece of intelligent thought. What David is referring to in this article corresponds (whether he is aware of it or not) with the “Black Swan” theory of Naseem Taleb where he talks about the law of aggregation whose effects are accelerating more and more in the modern world. If you read anything about fractal mathematics (I doubt it) you will see how patterns repeat themselves in various seemingly unrelated matters. So yes, arguably a football match in Croatia can contain lessons for other seemingly unrelated matters.

      Keep your mouth shut for 20 years and go and read some good books. Then maybe you might have something useful to say.

      • gerald

        what an answer,
        i’m guessing he’ll be too busy licking his wounds to bother posting another ridiculously lame thought out question…
        ha ha..

  4. maybe the reason why the gov accepted so little to part with so much of BOI is because the purchasers must have a valuable intangible called goodwill that must be worth more than the paper worth of the money consideration and if thats not true then David is right we sold the silver for nothing.My hunch is that this new consortium will sell it on for a considerable profit soon.
    It is worth noting the timing of the payments for the shares purchased .In other words the purchasers are playing too safe knowing they cannot lose as they get to see both sides of the coin in the time before and after the placing the shares on the market.

    • Noonan has commited a Cardinal Sin to allow the cardinal consortium have it all their way.Who is pocketing the commission and who are the final owners that have been arranged beforehand and more than likely have used a cardinal pawn to take the bishop under cloak and dagger while the taxpayers are raped and pillaged again .This could result in a ‘clying ‘report soon to reveal the true secrets of the manipulators.

  5. Juanjo R

    The following is a non-footballing take on events at BoI – courtsey of Dave Malone author of the Debt Generation;


    There are three more posts too from when the story was developing…

    • Juanjo R

      Key paragraphs from Golems linked article.

      ” Here is an article from the Irish Independent from Saturday. It begins,

      BANK of Ireland (BoI) yesterday raised €2.9bn in fresh short-term funding, believed to be from Royal Bank of Scotland(RBS), as the bank fights to stay out of state control.

      And of course RBS is owned by you and me. So a British bank which was nationalized to save it from insolvency, is now lending to an Irish bank to save it from insolvency and being nationalized.

      Several questions beyond the simple WHY? First what does RBS get from this deal?…”

      Talks a bit about the really good rate interest rate RBS is getting but that still doesn’t justify the risk of lending to BoI at the moment and then says…

      “…I think we have to entertain the possibility that RBS is lending to cover larger losses if BoI was to fail. RBS is one of the British banks I have long suspected was heavily exposed to Ireland. I think RBS is trying to save itself via this deal. The banks call it a loan. I see it as a bail out. The two states are using private banks as cover.

      The larger question is what the position of the Irish government is and its debt sewer NAMA. NAMA is the Irish ‘bad bank’ which has previously bought up a river of effluent from the Irish Banks. More recently it has been buying less. Why? You could argue, sound business sense. But why would we get an outbreak of that where it has never been seen before.

      I think NAMA is hiding its own rising pressure of troubles. This BoI deal suggests to me pressures are growing and options for addressing them are dwindling.”

  6. Malcolm McClure

    If the USA loses its AAA rating next week it will be a game-changer, not just for America but for the whole world. If there is collapse of the Fed and Wall Street, what will replace it?

    Taking up David’s challenge to explore the Bank of Ireland deal using his Hajduk analogy, perhaps that comparison is better managed in the reverse.

    Suppose efforts to prop up the banks in Ireland are futile. This is a likely consequence of widespread distrust in banks that has been caused by their performance over the past few years. People will not forget, and who is likely ever again to invest their life savings in Bank shares or bonds? … So, if not from burnt fingers, where will bank capital come from? … It has been a painful education in imponderables, and people in future will invest in things they can understand. … And they will deploy their cash through local organizations that they trust, perhaps like the GAA.

    Returning to the theme of a game-changer event and how it could affect Hajduk.
    Perhaps, they too will shy away from the ruinous financial shenanigans of the soccer world and adopt a model based on Gaelic football, with its emphasis on local root clubs enhancing local pride.

    Goodbye Barca. Hello Donegal?

    • The end of US hegemony? Bring it on! I realise it’s going to be a rough ride to get to sorting out the world economy but these crazy Americans are going to destroy us all if they keep going.

      The economy needs to be reset like a computer that’s frozen. Not only that, it needs a new operating system altogether. Wall Street OS needs to be uninstalled. Those dangerous lunatics are responsible for not only wrecking economies but starting wars.

      The only reason the Dollar is still AAA is not because it’s “worth it”- Its just because it’s the default currency. Why are we still listening to the rating agencies? Same reason- they are the default yardstick- Nothing to do with they knowing what they are talking about.

      • Juanjo R

        You are right the Chinese are a better bunch lets leave them in charge!I have a lot of confidence in them.

        Be careful you might just get what you wish for!

        • Deco

          Yep – that’s right.

          Just don’t call Tibet a country.
          And don’t call Taiwan a country.
          And don’t mention the part of India that was illegally seized in the 1950s, and has been closed off from the world ever since.
          Don’t mention the invasion of Vietnam in 1979, as an action to support the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
          Don’t mention the dictatorship in Burma.
          Or North Korea…
          Etc. etc.

          • Oh I see- its either the US or China. We’re not big enough to look after ourselves.

            Were you both hypnotised in 1950 and not given the password to wake up? You play the same old broken record about the bogeyman coming to get us. Commies hiding under the bed, etc.

            Let me ask you this: Would you be comfortable with a family member being whisked away in the middle of the night by the CIA or Blackwater because your President decided that he is a “Terrorist”? If you are, then I have some respect for your deranged, insane, twisted opinion. Personally I’m not OK with US hegemony. By far the most dangerous entity on earth. Having said that I think that at its best, the US is also the most creative and positive nation on earth.

            However KBR, Halliburton, Lockheed, Blackwater, Texaco-Chevron and so many others are courtesy of Wall Street. I’ll take my chances jumping with a parachute rather than stay on the airplane which is plummeting towards the earth.

          • Juanjo R

            China are the next biggest sovereign power in the world after the US.

            Pretty much since the the dawn of urbanism and nation states the powerful have been attempting to control as much as they could or carve it up with other powerful states.

            Its fair to presume as one entity or entities wane another or others take over it stomping ground such as e.g. the US and USSR for GB/France/Belgium/Germany/Austria -Hungary.

            Nothing new there.

          • Gege Le Beau

            In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King.

            The US socio-economic model is unsustainable ($14.3 trillion in debt and wars without speak for themselves), but Ireland has proven itself a willing pupil of failure.

            We can only hope there are those among us already adapting to the new reality because no on in the current system will lead the way as they are unable to see the wood from the trees. If people have any doubts, it is going back to localism, your neighbour, your community, the bit of land may yet prove to the most important of assets.

            In the mainstream, with people commuting for hours to get to work, when in reality as a society, we are on a long road to nowhwere.

    • Philip

      A friend of mine says a US goverment shutdown is inevitable for a few weeks even if they make a deal right now. Reason? The time needed to pass the legislation. Sounds reasonable.

      Globalism has been great initially and like a cheap wine, has left a bad taste and a blinding headache. Right now I see a greater pull to smaller communities as large systems start to crumble under the combined weight of group think and the catastropic collapse of homogeneous systems.

      Only the niche survive and particularly those that learn to dovetail with other niches. It’s a new world out there.

      • Brendan Cronin

        I agre with Paul that abstract examples are sometimes more efficient in getting a point accross. David does a great job of connecting the dots no matter which corner of the ring he’s in. Which is probably why he is so successful. I believe the Americans call it ‘thinking out side the box’…although given their current financial situation….they may need to get a bigger box. This illustration sums up the current US spending policy pretty well. Just like PIIGS http://www.wtfnoway.com/

      • CitizenWhy

        Not quite a shutdown. Each month the US will owe sbout 300 billion. Tax revenues will be about 200 billion. Payments have been prioritized, including for bond holders. Some parts of the govt will probably shut down. But not the govt.

  7. Winter

    Selling Bank of Ireland to the same coterie of International Moneymen that caused the recession is no surprise. That was the game plan from the beginning. They lend money to the banks knowing it can never be paid back (they are not stupid)unless by threatening the weak and stupid political class with economic armageddan if they don’t take it from the slave class and give it to them. Then when the mess has been cleaned up for them, they come back in and buy all the assets for a song.
    Wake up everyone. The discussion about interest rates, recapitalisation, Greece and the rest of the shite you hear on Vincent Browne,Primetime or wherever is all a sideshow, a distraction while this state is been robbed blind by this mafia. And the state is you and me getting poorer as they get richer. It is only the beginning. Every cleaned up institution with valuable assets will be sold off to them for cents in the euro and our thick politicians will say something stupid like “This is great news. It’s a sign of confidence in our economy”.
    Just how thick do you have to be to be a politician?
    In the same week that Enda Kenny decides to end the Catholic Church’s reign over Ireland, he agrees to hand over the state to another shower of immoral bastards at the summit in Brussels and attempts to dress it up as an achievement with more side show talk. He opened the door of the nation to let the Catholic Church out and as they walked out, he invited the Mafia in, fronted by the French and German this time.
    First we had the British rule over us, then the Catholic Church and now the mafia via France/Germany. And you think the British or the Catholic Church were bad?
    Amazing. Maybe we deserve no better.

    • Deco

      There is an element of Irish society, that regards the rest of Irish society as a farm yard collection of stupid animals.

      That element will attach to any outside imperial project that allows them to control Ireland. The insiders need power, and scale to make them the garrison. The empire looks for resources, and the insiders look for an authority model, and force to be applied to rule.

      Everytime an old empire gets kicked out, and they are licking up to a new one to bring in.

      Ireland, is a mentality that will never be free.

      • Gege Le Beau

        “There is an element of Irish society, that regards the rest of Irish society as a farm yard collection of stupid animals.”

        @ Deco Think almost every programme on RTE bears this thinking out. Badly betrayed by cheap, no-value added television. Animal Farm has never been more applicable.

    • piombo

      A comment completely off theme, BOI is a complete non argument (pardon me David) in the greater scheme of things in Ireland.
      While very aware of the scandals in Ireland relating to the pedophiles among the clergy and the indignation of the people to this betrayal of thrust, it strikes me the stridency of the triumphalism that characterises a lot of commentary toward the Church.
      Leaving aside personal episodes which rightfully colour our views, it seems to me that the Church is being treated as the proxy for all our failures as a people to embrace fully our status as a standalone capitalist nation within an equally capitalist Society.
      Ireland, rightly in my opinion, has embraced the outside world for all it’s prosperity and advancement as did the rest of Europe three decades before with fruits of the post WWII Marshall Plan etc., but also came the social tensions of the 1960′s/1970′s and by and large the political, social and economic caucuses worked it out. So did the Church under Paul VI and John Paul II. They even brought down communism together!
      Now, my point is this (forgive the long premise); we Irish as a nation need to admit our own failings, our own shortcomings, our own peculiarities and stop measuring ourselves to either the Anglo-Saxon financial culture (which we clearly do not possess) nor to the quasi-Kantian moral philosophy articulated through incident-related attacks on the Church. In short, the Church is both holy and human, when shall we Irish stand up and admit as a nation, who we are and live accordingly and stop living other nations models and blaming others.

  8. fbuckley

    Jaysus Dave, take a chill pill, a flagon of the local hooch and dust off a Robert Ludlum book. You’re off duty man !! Hadjuk Split were alwYs shite, it was Red Star Serbia were the better team consistently that I can remember.

    Just back from France myself. 5 years on the trot and I’m still not fed up of it. Love the arrogance, the value they place on things other than property (food, R&R, family, fashion etc).

    Extraordinary too how they’re not really into recessions. Country seems to be holding up well judging by the tourists (all French, Dutch or German with the odd Paddy stuck in it). Read a book a few years ago “60 million French men can’t be wrong”, very interesting hypotheses and very clear why we’re so different.

    May I suggest you do a piece on them when you get back ? I really think after the way we made such a mess of things, they present a hell of a contrast. Don’t forget, they had no problem changing their constitution (they’re on their 5th) and we do handstands changing a bloody subsection of ours.

    Not saying we should start eating les escargots or bucket loads of moules, and then there’s the state of their jacks and Le Main du Dieu (jamais oublier !!) but they have a helluva a lot of competitive advantage and seem to be doing damn fine (suppose they should be, we’re paying for their banks’ stupidity in lending to ours).

    Still think as a lesson, it’s worth looking at. Afterall, how many French were thrown out of their homes last year ?

    • I read the same book too and its fantastic and should have been read by every student in Ireland it changes the true perception of history to the drivel we are fed in official Ireland.I met many Irish who read it too and were completely amazed.( Readers its a must to buy)

      I agree with what you say about France too and the confidence they display between themselves and about their country .By the way most of the ‘moules’ ie mussells you eat in France are imported from Wexford so dont feel too bad about what they believe is their cuisine.

      • as for the jacks well I have begun to see their new Japanese imported ones where the seat swirls around and cleans itself and give off a puff of perfume and does a water fountain before you depart and in winter it can give you a red backside too .

    • Eireannach

      Chez les français, il y a un respect important pour les principes et la rôle stabilisateur des réglementation dans tous les domaines – l’urbanisme, le système financier, l’environment, les appelations d’origine contrôlée, etc.

      We in Ireland don’t quite understand why we need to regulate – it is treated as a kind of obstructionism, a bureaucratic slowing-down or even emasculating of the ‘doers’ who just ‘get on with it’ – get on with building houses on flood planes and recklessly lending and borrowing money until the whole country and every balance sheet (government, corporate and household) is hopeless wrecked.

      We don’t even regulate our social behaviour in Ireland – we drink until we’re drunk, to give a very prosaic but I think instructive example.

      The French think, pussy-foot, contemplate consequences. We are poles apart from them in this regard. We value doing and doers more than thinkers.

      • The Prism

        On one hand the ‘philosophers ‘ and the other , ‘the pragmatists’ .

      • Deco

        If you ask me “regulation” is mostly a method of ensuring that the “insiders” can control matters, and the outsiders get shafted with paying too much for something, or get stuck with the bill for other people’s cronyism.

        And then there is the matter of who gets the job of being regulator. As sNeary showed us, it has nothing to do with ability, and everything to do with “who you know”

        • CitizenWhy

          You would be very happy with the right wing in the USA. They promise to do away with all environmental regulation, having previously done away with all financial regulation leading to the massive fraud of complex derivatives and the crass it brought on the world. Hope you enjoy all the toxic fumes wafting across the Atlantic and the acceleration of global warming and the severe winters it will bring to Ireland.

          Laissez-faire capitalism (no regulation) is hardly the friend of anyone but a narrow oligarchy.

          • Deco

            In Ireland there is massive tomes about regulation. It is a very serious business. It has to be – to make the Irish obedient.

            As we seen in the Irish banking crisis, it was never implemented. Banks were inviting the regulators to golf tournaments and letting the regulators win.

            There is an massive difference between the official version of what is going on and the reality of what is going on.

            The people in the system are completely compromised.

            1000 people in Ireland employed by either the Central Bank of Ireland, or the Irish Financial Regulator.

            And not one of them knew what was going on. Worse than that we had them, and the ESRI telling us that there were no problems.

            Let’s be honest here – no regulation would be better than fake regulation that leads everybody astray.

            We had heavy regulation in Ireland – and it favoured the oligarchy. Because of the pretence that it gave was used to shout down any scepticism in public and to quell any serious and meaningful discussion.

          • Deco

            CitizenWhy – No offence, you are lazy.

        • CitizenWhy

          I have always held that, given Ireland’s cozy politics, the only way for regulation to work would be to hire trustworthy foreigners to head up the auditing and regulation of its banks. Not that Irish would be excluded, they would just have to work with people not entangled in irish politics. What you had in Ireland is no regulation, as in the USA, because of political influence. The USA could use some honest foreigners in its regulatory bodies as well. But no regulation leads to disaster, as it has.

    • Gege Le Beau

      @ fbuckley, I believe France is still the most visited country, there are no surprises why, you outline them perfectly in your text. I lived among them, I look forward to going back, especially to the South West.

      Whatever the negative traits in the French character, they simply do not tolerate bullshit, their governments know where the line is, both De Villepin and Sarkozy tried to cross that line, the first was dumped from office, the second may yet follow.

      • CitizenWhy

        My first time, first day in Paris I got lost. After inquiring abut the address (in school French) I ended up with six people marching around with me to find the elusive address. Finally we marched into the police headquarters and were led to the address by some kind of officer, a major or whatever. After we found the place I was looking for we shook hands and congratulated each other. This was in the rich part of town.

        I spent most of time, when not seeing the attractions, in my cousin’s apartment and neighborhood places in the red district (communist, socialists, anarcho-syndicalists) . I was treated very well everywhere and was even invited into people’s apartments.

        A little French goes a long way in France. The people really are quite friendly if they feel they can talk with you.

  9. Juanjo R

    16-7 constitutions/charters fbuckley – they are on their 5th Republic – the last one since 1958 has had 18 amendments.

    Most of the republics were to do with wars or restutitions of the empire – tumultous events accompanied by thousands if not millions of deaths and little to do with reforming zeal of the French. The last was prompted by events in Algeria which is a truely nasty colonial story.

    As for France’s accumulted wealth they had an empire, exploitated and savaged many nations like and worse than the British in horrible ways and you could argue they still are – if you bother to visit or erad about the history of North Africa up to the present day.

    Actually for a nation that have began their constitutions with a preamble from the declaration of the rights of man they were pretty good at ignoring it which the person wasn’t french or causasian.

    They exploited, built-up wealth industrailised and made some more money and now run their comfortable social state at a defict.

    And they are still no angels.

    Me thinks you were drinking too much wine an not reading enough when you were there Mr Buckley and it coloured your vision badly!

    Its easier to just saok itin and say ou la la though!

    • Eireannach

      @Juanjo R

      The Portuguese and British were leaders of the transatlantic slave trade. The first American settlers killed over 150 million native Americans, mostly via communicable diseases. The Chinese cultural revolution, the rape of Nanking, the Indian caste system, the NAZI eugenics plan for Europe, and so on and so on.

      Few countries have a clean record.

      But the French think about things clearly and deeply, and value talking about difficult and intricate matters. The have a passion for THINKING about problems and talking about possible solutions, together, around the dinner table usually.

      We in Ireland drink and talk shite by comparison. We are an embarrassement. Poor old DMcW is reduced to talking about a soccer match in Croatia as a pedagogical device to ‘hook’ his readership into a discussion of the BoI deal, because otherwise his readership may get bored.

      Maybe he got a few heads thinking who thought they were in the sports pages. It’s all embarrasing for me to listen too, having lived for 6 year in Paris myself I can compare the two cultures. Ireland has strong points, thinking passionately about problems is absolutely, positively not one of them. At all!

      • Juanjo R

        You are biased then Eireannach?

        Or should that be An Francach Falsaigh?

        You may claim affinities with French culure and thinking but its that old Irish begrugdry thats shining through there in your reply.

        I pointed out a few facts on France and of how it ( significantly and partially ) got to its current state of wealth via active planned exploitation – and what it still gets up to.

        You respond with a swipe linking a wide variety of un-correlated examples of human aggression and repression by states and miltary entities? Thats not a response thats an attempt at throwing ‘red-herrings’ into the discussion.

        I’ll reply to you topic you raised above only; Slavery.

        The only reason the French weren’t ahead in the slave trade is that they were ejected from Brazil, sold the Louisiana Terroritory and lost it its last major slave colony Haiti to a rebellion in 1804.

        The slaves there made the mistake of seeking equality, liberty and fraternity – like the stuff emblazoned on the old french franc. Frances’ acts, over many years and across many different regiemes were shameful towards its old colony. ( e.g. as follows );

        “Under the presidency of Jean Pierre Boyer, Haiti was forced to make reparations to French slaveholders in 1825 in the amount of 150 million francs, reduced in 1838 to 60 million francs, in exchange for French recognition of its independence and to achieve freedom from French aggression. This indemnity bankrupted the Haitian treasury. It mortgaged Haiti’s future to the French banks that provided the funds for the large first installment, affecting Haiti’s ability to be prosperous.[2]”

        ( From wikipedia and referenced from “A Country Study: Haiti — Boyer: Expansion and Decline”. * Library of Congress.)

        So France as you can see plainly was extorting the first free post-colonial black led nation in the modern world in the 1800s.

        And so Haiti then after being been serially interfered with by local area bully USA! USA! USA! since then – and more so than any other country in the western hemisphere – has never got off its feet.

        Hence when Haitis expected 2009 earthquake hit an still unknown figure for casualities between 100,000-300,000 occured. Yes – they don’t actually know they are that underdeveloped.

        The contrast with developed Japan and an earthquake 700 times bigger in a developed country was astounding. Japan suffered a horrible 15,000 casualities but it coped a lot better will recover sooner – with less very basic consequences for its rich population. Haiti is still a total mess ans will be so for decades.

        A blogger put it well when he said;

        “When an earthquake hits an industrialised country such as Japan, there is unlikely to be a serious outbreak of infectious disease. In Haiti, there was a massive cholera outbreak. Furthermore, most people living in the camps have no access to clean drinking water and with lack of sanitation are living in a cesspool of human sewage. Combine that with a merciless sun beaming down every day and the atmosphere is demonic.” –

        From anadder.com/japan-earthquake-vs-haiti-earthquake.

        For some countries the nightmares simply never end.

        France is doing well though – having got a leg up on Haiti and others collective backs.

        And get this HAITI ONCE PAID REPARATIONS TO FRANCE. Just to be safe and free.

        I note too it was Britian and not France that finally moved against slavery first, and backed up that ban in force.

        Further to that point if you want an example of how little has changed and France still views Africa as its colonial plaything then take a look at the shameful French record with regard the issue of human rights in Western Sahara in recent years ( via the UN security council for instance).

        • Gege Le Beau

          The points on France and its colonial history are important, we should also not forget France’s appalling record in North Africa and what was then Indochina. But I think important to note, there is the French elite and there is the French people and they are often on different sides of the barricades, as is the case in most countries, where elites have more in common with each other than they have with their own people.

          Just on Haiti, the former President of Haiti, demanded the French pay colonial reparations of €36 billion, after the earthquake Sarkozy offered €360 million in aid (people can work the percentages) and yet Haiti was France’s richest colony amazingly, most of the aid promised by the international comminity for Haiti still has not arrived, over a million people still live in temporary accommodation outside Port au Prince and the hurricane season is in full swing.

          • CitizenWhy

            On the mark: Elites of all countries have more in common with each other than with the people of their native countries. The Hew York Times had a very pointed recent article about how the US elite have lost any sense of patriotism (except for cynical purposes) and prefer to think of themselves as “global citizens.” These are the corporate right wingers, not the left.

          • Gege Le Beau

            @ CitizenWhy, check out the Colbert Report, he did an excellent segment on this recently, wait, here it is:

            Stephen talks REVOLUTION and CLASS WARFARE!

            “You see, a really rich American and a really rich Saudi have more to talk about than a really rich American and the 99% of other Americans, unless the conversation is, “Step back from my electrified fence.”


          • CitizenWhy

            Thank you for that Colbert link. I will twitter it now and then

      • Juanjo R

        I’m not complaing about D McW’s articles its hard to come up with fresh well researched rounded stuff twice a week – particularly when ecomonic events are moving in a slow repetitious circle like they are. Its like ground hog-day.

        Plus I wouldn’t be on here or reading regularly if I didn’t think he was a positive force making a valuable contribution.

        I happy to speak out if I agree or if I disagree with him if I have time. I presume debate is encouraged. I don’t like lazy posts that are way off the facts like Mr F Buckleys above. I try to be correct and will admit a mistake or error when I make it. Its called being mature. I expect it of others too – whether thats right or wrong of me.

        I offered as well to help D McW political initiative before the election, too, though I didn’t get to make a contribution. I was glad someone of some signficance was trying to do something, to rally people and energy, even it probably wasn’t going to meet with huge success. I salute him for trying, when others ( e.g. Fintan O’Toole) shrugged their shoulders.

        I certainly don’t think you need to defend him against comments of mine – which actually didn’t critise him at all.

        • Eireannach

          @Juango R

          The power struggle between the Eurozone’s core countries and their interests on the one hand, and the Eurozone’s peripheral countries and their interests on the other hand, is simply that – a power struggle.

          It’s a power struggle between rival ways of doing things and rival cultural norms and values and behaviours and so on. I can imagine a similar rivalry and strong feelings on both sides between, say, California and Texas inside the American federation of states.

          France, Germany and the other core states are winning at the moment. They are loan sharks, using loans to control outcomes in the peripheral countries of the Eurozone, then calling these loans ‘bailouts’. Germany and France lent money to Greece only on the condition that Greece continue to buy arms from both countries. So these ‘bailouts’ are being used to advance the geopolitical interests of the creditor countries, like the Marshall Plan was used to advance the geopolitical interests of the USA in cold war, iron-curtained Europe.

          The problem for Ireland is that we were suckers, allowing banks to do whatever they wanted because we believed we were benefiting from it. There was no talking to us. We sneered at the hesitant and tentative French and Germans where banking regulations prohibited flooding their countries with easy credit, which was in fact a trojan horse for the bankers to engineer debt.

          When the crisis hit in 07-08, the Irish state then unilaterally guaranteed its banks, without discussing the implications with out European partners. We tried to pull one over on them – they haven’t forgotten that you know.

          Ireland had some f**king cheek enacting that guarantee without telling its partners in the Eurozone. We sided with the interests of our bankers, not our EU partners. Big mistake!

          The Germans and the French and the Dutch and the rest of core Europe knew the unregulated foolish, brash, childish, golf-club-swinging, back-slapping pompousness of the nouveau riche Irish was based on easy credit, which was simulateously, viewed from the other side of the coin, colossal debt at all levels – government, corporate, household.

          I lived in Paris 2002-2007 and I learned to think about all of this as they do, because I was reading Libération and Le Monde Diplomatique and Courrier International.

          I owe nothing to the bank. I’m 37 yet I rent. I think like a Parisian. I’m not a winner in money terms, but I don’t have crippling debts like most Irish my age. In this regard, my modest yet unencumbered financial circumstances resemble your average French person more than your average Irish.

          But then I, back then, from 2000 onwards, enjoyed discussing these matters and my concerns about what was happening. Almost nobody in Dublin was interested in talking about it back then, they ‘were partying’. My Parisian friends were interested in talking about it. They love THINKING especially when they had a hunch something was wrong in these nouveau riche countries like Ireland, and their hunch was well-founded.

          That Germany and France are shaping Europe in their interests is exactly the same as the USSR and USA shaping Europe after the war – in each case, the winners shape the future.

          They are winners because their way of doing things, their norms, their attitudes and so on have proved more resiliant, stronger, more well-founded than the foolish carry on of the peripheral countries.

          The core European countries were right about neo-liberal boosterism. The America-loving peripheral countries were wrong.

          The core is the winner (this time). The periphery is the loser (this time).

          We learn from our mistakes, and we carry on with life.

        • Juanjo R

          Again I’m lost.

          You owe nothing to the bank. Thats possibly a bad thing for you because you are and will be paying, directly or indirectly through loss of services, for their mistakes and the all the partying you describe.
          At least you would have something to show for it.

          You lived in Paris you enjoyed it a lot. Why not go back? It seems more idyllic for you.

          Also you spent time focusing on here while you were there. As did your french friends? Why did do you and they in particular do that?

          You had German, Dutch friends that said the same?
          Most continentals that I met anywhere didn’t know or didn’t care about us that much.

          I spoke to plenty people about it here – lots of continentals included – your right a lot of people didn’t get it and still don’t but the continentals didn’t have any great insights into it all either.

          • Eireannach

            To conclude, I still maintain that the ‘core’ continentals enjoy THINKING and talking about what’s going on – oil resource constraints, environmental regulations, the dangers of a top-heavy finance industry parastically feeding off host European countries, public transport networks, bike schemes and so on.

            Remember that the ECB wants the banks to be saved, but the German political class want the infamous bond holders in Ireland to be burned. The Germans are fighting back against the power of the ECB and commercial banks. The Irish gave a blanket guarantee to our banks WITHOUT DISCUSSING the implications of this intervention with our EU partners.

            Ireland is the evil goblin who works for the banks against the people – the EU is
            at least trying to make bank bond holders take pain if they make bad bets in the future.

            Ireland is the epicentre of the moral hazard of saving banks unquestionably, not our EU partners.

          • Juanjo R

            Speaking as someone who has lived in ireland for my whole life speaks two foreign languages and understands third, and who also reads regular articles from intellectual media from other countries and spend much of my time mixing with cointinentals I throughly disagree with your preposterously idylic account of the nature and preoccumpation of ‘core’ continentals.

            ( I presume you don’t count the eastern nations, the slavs etc? why? )

            There are 400 million people in the EU. Most of them simply don’t know and don’t care about us – because we are too small to be of relevance to them.

            As per my earlier points regardng France an her intellectuals – THINKING and talking ain’t DOING.

  10. BrianC

    Just another way of putting across the principle of deleveraging.

    I love the way Kenny can stand up the Catholic Church but when he has to stand up and face down real men he has no spine. He would make a useless centre half and he loves his golf – is that a sport or a discipline? He was one of the key people in the Dail to refuse a cut in his remuneration. Damn pity we cannot export him and his ilk; they could have a free transfer no better still it would be worthwhile paying a fee to get rid of him.

    • Deco

      The Catholic Church is in retreat. Very easy “stand up” to the hierarchy in Maynooth.

      But the hierarchy in Brussels – that is a different matter altogether. They give us the same interest rate cut as the Greeks – because if they didn’t it would look as if Greece was being rewarded for starting a riot, and Irish was being charged extra for being obedient.

      And these power-crats in Brussels, they understand the rules of power.

      The obedient must be made feel as if they are especially cherished by their rulers.

  11. Tim

    David, this is the perfect article, telling the truth, yet again. Thank you.

    It is a game, yet so few realise it. A game the IRL govt should play, but wont. Thay prefer to play safe by squeezing the ordinary taxpayer/citizen.

    Wrong choice. Soon.

    • Welcome back Tim .We want to hear more from you .

    • irishminx

      I enjoyed the article David & I am NOT a football fan. I liked your analogy with what is happening in Ireland with emigration. You painted a picture for me & I saw the bigger picture. Always good in my book.

      Maybe I am a simple human being, who isn’t as informed in economics, politics or banking as I need to be?!? However, I have never read as much on these topics as I have in the past year.

      Here is my take on the GFC.
      I see financial & political people who have huge power & wealth. They are greedy for more of the same. They are responsible to no one, not even to themselves. They will walk on whoever it is, they perceive, gets in their way. In psychological terms, they are working from their shadow self & don’t own it or even realise they are doing it! Mind you, I do think the more experienced of them, do know what they are doing! Having said that, every human being knows when they do wrong!

      If I look back to the 1920′s, I compare it to the 2000′s. Anything look familiar here? Then I look at the 1930′s financial crash & I see the 2006 financial crash. I ask myself, who benefits more if we have another depression? Except this time, it will be a worldwide depression. Truth be told, I believe that is exactly the place the world is in right now. Not a piddling recession.(And in a recession psychologically, this means to look in, recess). Now in psychological terms, a “Depression” means, to depress the self. The USA did just that in the ’30′s. Then what happened? We had World War 2!

      Now I remember when I was a child asking myself, why did the people in the world at that time allow WW2 to happen? I was in fact shocked that the world went to war with itself! (The collective unconscious!) In 1993, I was again shocked when the former Yugoslavia, went to war with itself. Again, I was shocked that the world said little & did very little to stop this war. I saw the refugees from this torn country come into Ireland & it was my experience that they were solicitors / doctors & their families that came first. Not the poorer people in these countries, as they are now. I again asked myself why all of this was happening, my answer was & still is this, Because NOONE, NOT EVEN ME, stood up. I said nothing, I did nothing! Yet, my fellow human beings were murdered, raped, persecuted & maimed. I can give myself any excuse I want to give myself to justify why I did nothing. However, I did nothing because I was indifferent. Indifference is the opposite to love, where you feel nothing. In essence, you switch off your humanity. Just like those before me did, in the 1st & 2nd World Wars & still do in the wars we have in our world today.
      I am braving it here on this forum to speak out now about what is happening today in the world I live in. Because not to do so, means I collude with the collective unconscious and therefore allow what is happening to continue happening. If I say & do nothing, I am in the same dark place, as the person who murdered, raped & pillaged, whether it be physically, economically, financially, spiritually, creatively, behaviourally & psychologically.
      Unless I as a human being begin to see my shadow side & (all human beings have a shadow), & embrace & accept it as part of who I am. Then & only then, can I begin to change me. When collectively, every human being takes on this responsibility for themselves, will change come about in our world. It is my fundamental duty to do this as a citizen of Earth. It is also my responsibility to speak up, to take action for what is right, just, fair & moral. Now I am speaking up, because I want a better world for my children & I to live in. My response is my first action too. I will need to take more also. I also need to reflect more & own all of who I am in my humanness.
      What are you going to do?

  12. Eating a NAMA peeled

    Tuesday night I was in Grand Canal Dublin and saw the old CIE boat that once plied its way to the Aran Islands from Galway daily .It brought back many memories and today it is a restuarant .It use to carry passengers and goods and animals and was the life force of the island then , a time before they had any electricity.

    It brought me to Dun Aengus in my childhood.

    That night was a very clear sky and I stopped and watched the skies and the surrounding skylines and I saw so many changes around me and now above me .

    The calmness of the waters on the Liffy was gentle and the colour was inviting .In another time I would have jumped in but today that would be considered madness like before only this time the skies were more interesting .I waited until more darkness fell and stood in a less lighted area so to stare at the heavens and watch its glitter like tea leaves in a cup .

    I saw in the distance the huge fields of the heavens preparing for an enormous event for september with small stars carrying billboards informing the galaxy of the forthcoming moments .This event would be followed after another great event on the week to the 13th August .The stars were more signifant about the august event as it was arriving sooner .But in the far distance there were stars of disturbances associating with others from a more distance void and forming strange angles and degrees between each other that looked more frightening than ever before .Some had painted faces and seemed to know what they would be unfolding would be more damaging than we ever imagined before.The paint on their faces hid their identities to me and the stare of their eyes were forboding of worse to come .

    I looked at the boat again and remembered the many rainy days when I borded the ship in the docks in Galway and how out in the middle of Galway Bay the seas would be rough and would sway and would always arrive safe in the pier in Cill Ronan .Today she sits in front of NAMA building holding all her stories of Dun Aengus .In another world she was in the West now she is in the East and in both cases she remained on a same parallel as Dun Aengus where she carried her energies .Now she stands under the high rugged cliffs of the NAMA building .

    She is now the most powerful center on the interconnecting world we live in today and brings together the The Great Changes of what happened on Dun Aengus thousands of years ago to the shadows in the water of the NAMA building .Before she watched the sun sink in the seas at dusk now she watches the sun rise at dawn from the seas .She is in another time and another place and faces new challenges ahead and will she be safe and will you ?

  13. Deco

    I disagree.

    I reckon that if Ireland got nothing for Bank of Ireland, just to replace the idiots running it with new younger energy, that would be an improvement.

    The Irish banks have been engaging in a PR offensive since this crisis began. The BoI has had a primary objective of ensuring the survival of the management team that got it into this mess.

    I am not alarmed about getting rid of 30% of BoI for 1.1 Billion.

    Though if I were in any way connected to the buyer I would be pulling out my investment faster than you could say “insolvency”.

    As reference I refer you to an article by Phoenix Magazine concerning the BoI.

    • Deco. I hate to have to point this out but no regulation got us where we are today. You need to do some research. A lot of research. At the same time I agree fully with your point that there was pretend regulation going on. Ireland was known in the US as the “Wild West” where US financial companies could do their dirty work. There was absolutely no-one at the helm.

      We absolutely need regulation- transparent regulation.

  14. Deco

    All I can say about the investor who is now investing money in the BoI, or indeed any investor in the BoI

    MUPPETS !!

  15. CitizenWhy

    Huh? Stay out of the rain. Forget about Ireland for a few weeks.

  16. breltub

    Next article: What my dog digging a hole can tell us about the Dept. of Finance


    During the 56 yrs of the european cup/champs league, Steaua Bucharest (91) are the only eastern european side to have won it.England has produced 10 winners (Liverpool 5), none from London ! Even when eastern euro teams were able to hold onto their best players, via coercion, they couldn’t win it.Can’t see things changing over the next decade, perhaps the weather is too cold in winter for the overpaid drama queens who play in western europe.South American club football is improving in terms of standard and finance, perhaps big name players will move from europe to Latin America ? Seanie Fitz and Fingers may end up in Montivedo! LOL

    • imithe

      I remember Red Star Belgrade winning it in the year I did my leaving cert – 1991.

      • Colin

        Correct imithe, Red Star won it in ’91, and were outstanding throughout, deserving champions, great football with Darco Pancev leading the line. Slickmick is mixing the years up, Steaua won it in ’86, but not in the same style as Red Star. Still, only 2 teams from behind the Iron Curtain to have ever won it. If Yugoslavia had not broken up, they could well have won the World Cup in ’94.

        David, lots to be learned from the world of football. But I’ve never heard about the origins of Gaelic football. We know hurling is with us since the days of cu chulainn, or so legend has it, but what about Gaelic football? When did that start? Was it around before 1863 when the FA was founded? Who devised the rules? How did we in Ireland start calling association football ‘soccer’, and gaelic football ‘football’? Is the Holy Trinity of FF/GAA/RCC the force behind the reasoning of calling the games as they are? Some people I know get very aggressive if you refer to association football as football, and not soccer here.

        • adamabyss

          Miodrag Belodedici won it with both those teams in ’86 and ’91. He was Romanian and had defected from his home country to the other iron-curtain communist country as Yugoslavia was independent of direct Soviet influence in its behaviour by then, if not origin.

  18. Bamboo

    “talent is leaving in droves, hollowing out the productive marrow of the country”
    Has this not been the case for so long all over the world since the industrial revolution started. On a smaller scale people – leaving the hometowns and family farms to go to the big city where there is work, a life and fun – is quite the norm. Croatia is riddled with deserted villages, empty dwellings and ruins. Some time ago I drove along the Adriatic Coast fro top to bottom and noticed hundreds of abandoned villages and fishing harbours. Maybe it was the war, the lack of fish, (some type of weed present in the Mediterranean that kills a lot of marine life) and maybe it is the sign of the times. Look at Spain — I’ve driven through most (maybe all) of Spain. Also including the places not mentioned in any tourist brochures or travel guides. Lots of deserted places and no it is not because of the siesta- it is simply deserted. You may find a skinny dog or a cat wondering around the houses.

    So on a slightly bigger scale the whole of Ireland may face similar situations as Ireland is very much on the outskirts Europe. On the other the ROI is a stable social society with a very good climate and this will/may attract more humans to come and join us. Yes, I do say “stable society”, just look at other countries/societie around us or in the world. Look at all the social unrest, the drug problems, crime, housing problems, etc. I think the reason we can’t cope with it is because we haven’t been so dreadfully exposed to it all and no opportunity given to learn.

    “talent is leaving in droves, hollowing out the productive marrow of the country” — David, are you saying we are left with the scraps in a couple of years if this goes on like this?

    • Eireannach


      You have raised an important point there – how Ireland has not been subjected to some of the pressures which plague other countries, and so accordingly Ireland hasn’t made the kinds of changes which come about due to certain enviromental pressures.

      When the Single European Market was formed, and the euro currency was being planned, the EU offered structural cohesion funds to Ireland and other peripheral European nations to help us prepare for internal competition inside the single eurozone (and wider EU) market. We took the money.

      The IDA was very successful in attracting FDI to Ireland in the 1990s because we speak English and labour in Ireland was competitively priced. With the spead of English language competency to Eastern Europe, and with wage inflation in Ireland, we have lost both of these USPs for future FDI.

      During the property boom, most couples had 3 incomes – his, hers and the magic money tree that was equity on the house.

      In each case, money came easy to Ireland and the Irish without huge effort on our part. The temptation to get complacent was considerable, and that’s the path many people and businesses took.

      Since the euro was launched, German salaries have increased by on average 7%. In the PIIGS, the average salary increase has been 27%.

      Yet the Greeks and Irish are aghast at the idea of austerity. They don’t see why they should cut their salaries down to size and return to relative competitiveness.

      The Finns are astonished at this unwillingness to take pain. I remember a Finn living in Dublin saying to me that he was astonished and disgusted to here Irish 20-somethings, often women I might add, spending hours in pub conversations discussing how they should give up cigarettes at some point, and how they’ve tried ‘but its just soooo haaard loik’, before popping out for a smoke and return to the ‘give up smoking’ conversation that then moves seemlessly into a chat about celebrities, TV shows and the dangers of stodgy bread for one’s figure.

      This Finn said to me ‘in Finland, if you want to give up smoking, you just give it up’. He had an empty cigarette packet in his hand and he crushed it, ‘like that’.
      He couldn’t believe people were wasting each other’s time talking about the difficulties of petty addictiveness and how haaard self-control is to develop.

      Small wonder the Finns won’t give any money to the Greeks who have NOT closed every tax-hole and still pay crazy money to paper-shuffling civil servants in cushy jobs.

      In sum – Ireland is a nation of soft cry-babies who have not been through the horrors of WW2 and who were spoon-fed money and jobs by the EU and the IDA. It’s not our fault we’re spoilt, but we have to turn it around. Boot-camp austerity will do us good. Who knows, we might even consider starting businesses ourselves instead of sending CVs around hoping someone else will hire us.

  19. Malcolm McClure

    Is NAMA starting to get its act together?
    “One of my colleagues told me yesterday he just secured 200,000 euros worth of jewels” a debtor had bought for his partner, Brendan McDonagh, NAMA’s chief executive officer, told reporters in Dublin today. NAMA’s top 180 debtors owe it a “staggering” 62 billion euros, he said.
    (Average of €344 Million each, so NAMA must think that anyone owing ‘only’ €100 million is hardly worth bothering about.)

    • Tim

      Malcolm McClure, NAMA is the Frankenstein monster of the property bubble. We are all paying for it and investment funding for real business is suffering as a result.

    • Juanjo R

      Maybe someone can organise a staff photo with them all dressed up as Erryol Flynn era Robin Hood men in tights you know – those merry men you robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.

  20. wills

    David, and Contributors,

    3 property developers owe NAMA 2 billion euro each :


    This means, private banks, in Ireland, extended loans of up to and over 2 billion euros to 3 different individuals to invest in property and construction.

    The banks engineered a property bubble pOnzi scam.

    The banks, property investor maniacs, real estate agencies, all of the rest of it conspired to build a property pyramid scam.

    If anyone at the time knew it was a pyramid scam these people did.

    The pyramid collapsed in.

    The aftermath of the destruction was then fused with the real economy through NAMA and bank bailouts.

    And the destruction of the economy continues with the carry over of the property bubble aftermath cost weighing heavily down on the real economy of Ireland.

    The very same interests who engineered the property bubble which sunk the real economy of Ireland, those very same interests are now, today, been bailed out by the taxpayer to reboot and start again.

    This is utterly insane.

    • Bamboo

      “The banks engineered a property bubble Ponzi scam”

      You are talking as this is in the past. As if the banks are not engineering another PONZI scheme, right now, as we speak.

      Of course they are and they will do so for the future and no lessons will be learnt. It is just that most of us has learned to wait till we have hit rock bottom. Several attempts have been made to tell us that we have hit rock bottom. Some of us believe this but most are not stupid. I’ve even heard about a 0.4 % rise in property prices. These are the attempts of the banks and other property lobbyists to trick the people (again). Banks are relying on people ignorance.

      At my age I know that these PONZI schemes have always been present since the early 80’s. The tricks at the time were just not as obvious and it was harder to trick the people. Most of us at my age (50 and over) has seen it before and will not fall for it.
      My prediction is that the banks will have to wait for a whole new generation to rise up from the current debris to in order to successfully scam another PONZI scheme.

      That will take at least another 15 years. I guess this is what it takes to have a new generation. God knows what will happen then.

      People were given the understanding that borrowed money can magically be converted into brick and mortar and an extra bonus of a certain lifestyle. If one doesn’t understand this then one is a looser or simply stupid and/or in need of further guidance and assistance. At the later years this assistance had to come from the parents. One of the tricks was blatantly advertising on our national TV that parents should help their children get on the property ladder. (Nobody made an issue out of this and didn’t see the problem with such advertising.)
      The whole idea of Owning a house was cleverly turned into a lifestyle by the banks. And that very same lifestyle is that many have fallen in love with. So a mortgage had to come with a few extras that can only compliment that lifestyle — Why not but a brand new car, while you’re at it, a holiday, a brand new kitchen, etc.
      Remember – Any bank wants YOU to take that risk and buy that property. They will value that property that you are after and fallen in love with and after careful consideration they will tell you that it is worthwhile property and that you have made a very wise, mature and responsible decision. You are in fact acting like a grown up.
      I will not be surprised when a bank will give away Rose Coloured Glasses for free. No, they will not give you a pen, a diary or fridge magnets to lure the customer anymore. Rose Coloured Glasses is the new pen.
      Regarding Reboot and Restart with new OS (@ Paul Lee). A new OS for us will be an open source system and that is when the fun starts. Five teen years from now on.

      • wills


        Yes to all points.

        I go further on pOnziomics legacy. I think it is built into the banking system through the debt money hokey pokery.

        The Anglo private banking system IS an industrial pOnzi making edifice.

        It begun in 1694 with the first central bank BoE and took off from there down through the centuries seizing upon the latest technology to reinvent itself.

  21. Tim

    Folks, you may find this interesting in relation to BoI, NAMA, etc.

    As the government and banks continue to steal the money of Irish citizens for the bad gambling bets of bondholders, there are some people in power still trying to govern responsibly on behalf of those same citizens:

    “Unscripted speech in support of Marc MacSharr/ Tomas Byrne family home protection bill:
    by John Crown for Seanad on Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 8:38pm

    I support the proposals put forward by Senators Marc MacSharry and Thomas Byrne. The key message that must go out from this House is that, collectively, the body politic understands the effect, at a micro level, of what has happened at the macro-economic level. We must demonstrate an understanding that decisions made at high levels which led to major economic problems have had serious consequences for individuals. The message must be that the same level of consideration we are giving and seeking at national and international level for our national debt problems will be applied to individual citizens of our Republic who find themselves with unsustainable debt burdens which could lead to the loss of their family home. I have offered suggestions in this regard which I hope we will pursue in the autumn. They include the mobilisation of personal pension funds and the repatriation of foreign-held national pension assets which could be used domestically if an appropriate, modest bank were set up with some portion of the funds.

    The Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance have appropriated a certain amount of credit for the renegotiation or rescheduling of our national economic commitments. They have done on a larger scale what Senator MacSharry and his colleagues are proposing we do on a smaller scale for individual citizens. The recent changes to the terms of Ireland’s EU-IMF deal are essentially the slipstream collateral benefits of Greece allowing the mortgage on its national home to be put on an interest-free basis for several years. We found ourselves in the same continental ghost estate as Greece and, as a result, a certain amount of collateral benefit accrued to us. These are the same types of arrangements that some distressed home owners in this State have been offered by their banks and the same type of renegotiation of mortgage terms that this legislation proposes should be extended to all distressed home owners.

    A rather vicious disinformation campaign is being waged in those countries that provided the assets which were unwisely given as loans to Irish home owners. The basic thrust of this disinformation is that we were irresponsible, dissolute, feckless drunks who borrowed the savings of German hairdressers to go on a ten-year binge of oysters, Mercedes and holidays in Marbella. On a point or order, I understand “feckless” is an appropriate word for use in the Chamber; it would only be inappropriate if I were to omit the “less” part. We all know that is not an accurate portrayal of what happened in this country or of the behaviour of the great majority of people who now find themselves in distressed circumstances.

    The great bulk of the debt which was ultimately incorporated into our banking bailout, and which has become the noose with which we are being strangled internationally, arose as a consequence of the decision by a large number of individual citizens to do as their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents had done, namely, to purchase a house. They did not necessarily buy plush mansions or lavish palaces. In general, they bought the same types of houses their ancestors had bought, the difference being that they paid grossly inflated prices for them. They did so because they were advised by professionals, who had a fiduciary responsibility to provide good advice, that the old rules had changed, that one no longer had to think in terms of two and a half times one’s salary but instead should aim for a multiple of three, four or five. People were no longer limited to borrowing 80% of the purchase price and in some cases were lent more than 100%.

    People did not necessarily make irresponsible personal decisions. While everybody who purchased a home at an unwisely inflated price – I include myself in that group – has a degree of personal responsibility, the reality is that for many of our citizens, they did it because the very priest class of advisers – bank managers, mortgage advisers, accountants, people whose advice one could trust on the basis that they knew more than oneself about these matters – told them the rules had changed. All we are doing here is seeking to apply the same justice and logic to individual home owners that we are asking, on the macro scale, of the Germans, Finns and French. Authorities in those countries also had a fiduciary responsibility to their pension fund holders – the German hairdressers and so on – to invest their funds wisely; instead, they invested in the bubble Irish real estate market. We are asking that the same level of consideration be shown to distressed home owners that we are asking others to show to us.

    I welcome and support the legislation. We must give high priority to the issue of family home protection by way of this and other measures in the coming year.”

  22. @Tim

    For the unitiated readers of this blog can you condence it in three lines or so in simple english please.

  23. MK1

    Hi All,

    Thats another 3k euro a head gone ….

    NAMA, an Irish solution to an Irish problem. Talk about a fudge.

    On the one hand you have NAMA which paid less than book value to banks for their loans, 30.2 billion for 71.2b worth of loans. (that was to cover 850 loanees, 11,500 loans, or averages of 2.63 million per loan, 35.53m per loanee, so about 13.5 loans each. The top 14 had over 16-20 billion worth of loans).

    And NAMA’s results today show the total has impaired by 1.4b, so that 30.2 b they bought relatively recently is now valued at 1.4b less, or 28.8b by the end of 2010, so it may even be less by another bill by now. (Btw, I dont like the head chap at NAMA, very smarmy, seems like he is a “cat that got the cream” and is laughing at playing monopoly games with our real money, and getting paid too much to do so. Joking today in the press conf if anyone wanted to buy their hotels). So thats the NAMA side.

    But that’s only half the equation. The banks have had to take a bath on some of these loans and write them down, and the government have had to cover these loans 100% with recapitalisation.

    So cue today our government giving AIB another 6 billion. This was done quietly, even stealthily and the hoo-ha on RTE was about NAMA yet no mention of the AIB extra 6b amount. And as we already own 99.8% of AIB, we gave them this for 0 shares, we didnt even get the 0.2% thats left!

    So, the NAMA loss may seem small, but its only a part of the overall picture, and the 6 billion for AIB was on top of 5 billion given to them yesterday as well. So, thats 11.5 billion losses for every man woman and child, on these alone. About 3k a head.

    Also, lets not forget that the central bank have given the banks a fair whack of credit (40 – 50 billion is it?) on top of these recaps, and these large amounts were seemingly sanctioned by letters from Brian Lenihan, who didnt have the authority to
    do so. Its a funny old game, or not so funny as it aint football! Its real money.

    BOI have fared better than AIB, but we gave away a fair percentage for that recent 1.1 billion. Cue the yanks stating they have got a bargain on the financial networks such as CNBC. Time will tell on that one and it is a risk, no doubt, the yanks will certainly have to put more money into BOI, BUT, they have already calculated that. Either it is a gift horse or else BOI have hidden another heap of negative money within.

    Of course, none of this is new to most of you here. Just stating it ….


    • +1 The NAMA nest of vipers continues to bleed the economy, €11 ml consultancy fees paid out last year, estate agents, solicitors, auctioneers all benefit from the NAMA scam. Recall the famous mortgages popular in the eighties and pushed with heavy advertising ‘pig in a poke’ whereby you invested in an insurance scheme that paid off a lump sum from which the principal would be paid off along with a tidy profit. People across Ireland and UK because of the poor performance of their investments fell short and found themselves burned, the UK government had to dig out many victims of the scam. NAMA is the greatest property scam in the world. NAMA’s victim is the Irish taxpayer.

      How to deal with the end of a property bubble:

      Lesson One:

      1. Follow the example of Sweden’s Bo Lundgren and get rid of the potentially catastrophic toxic property portfolio ASAP.

      2. To verify 1 checkout NAMA’s books in 2018 and see the catastrophic makings of the biggest property mess the world has seen!

    • Juanjo R

      I think we are all just glazing over us as a population MK, a billion here, 5 billion there 30 billion here. The slow drip of news and constant makey uppey assurances too are draining. Its all just causing de-sentisation and economy news fatigue….which was part of the orginial plan I’m sure…it just kills off any positive reactive energy in the population to the s*** thats being pulled with a slow draining mind numbing effect negative rolling wave of depression and confusion…

      As a counter thought maybe though there is a need for punchy media pieces like the following 2 minute you tube US economy piece…its bite size smartly presented and to the point…


      A format for a media fight back perhaps?

      oh BTW COYB!!!!!

  24. Tim

    John ALLEN,basically he says, “Let’s all support this Family Home Bill

    (here: http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/bills28/bills/2011/3811/document1.htm)

    .. which seeks to protect the family home from repossession by lenders via court-order. Let us treat the ordinary citizens in a spirit of understanding regarding debts, just as we ask EU to treat Ireland with regard to its debts”.

    (I hope he doesn’t mind my paraphrasing).

    • wills


      Isn’t it perverse in the extreme to see the gubbermint bailing out the merchants of pOnzi predatory lending YET the fish it baited are just sacrificed on the alter of the insiders rigged economic system. Until now that is if John gets his bill through.

      • Tim

        wills, “perverse in the extreme” is the best way of describing it. The system has been perverted, adulterated; capitalism itself has been perverted by these gambling corporatist market-rigging thieves.

        “Perverse in the extreme”, yes.

        • Sandyford Low Tide

          Isn’t it ‘perverse in the extreme ‘ when soon transparency will show that many appointed government judges will be seen in the public eye to suffer negative equity , be technically bankrupt , unable to service their committed bank debts , under medical treatment for related depressions , etc and more importantly unfit and ineligible to hold the appointed position they are paid by the taxpayers to do.

          Now this is CONFLICT to hold positions of TRUST .

    • Bamboo

      Question for all:

      Is it true that a bank only really repossess if it is only worthwhile for them?

      In other words active repossession only happens when the value of the property is higher than the outstanding loan.

      If not they leave as is and only leave it at threats and intimidation.

    • vincent

      Check out:Bunreacht na hEireann-A study of the Irish text http://www.constitution.ie/publications/irish-text.pdf Read Article 41.1.1 and Article 41.1.2 on The Family and also read article 25.5.4 -the Family home is not just bricks and mortar(an asset)-It is a sacred space where the Family lives…

  25. Tim

    Bamboo, I would ordinarily answer “Yes” to your question, but there is nothing ordinary about the Banks’ position on current mortgage debt.

    The bail-out money given to the banks already covered their expected bad debts re mortgage default. If you ask me, that means they should have written-off the mortgages, but they maintain them still.

    It used to be that a bank would repossess the property and then pursue the mortgagee for any difference in the sale price or write it off, taking the loss. Now, however, there is no such loss as they’ve already been paid by the govt (you and me), so the bank has no incentive to wait until the price of property rises before repo.

    The recently introduced code of practice is the only barrier, I think.

    See MARP here: http://online.ebs.ie/internet/pdffiles/public/ebsmarpbrochuremarch11.pdf

    Having said all that, I read during the week that only the sub-prime lenders are repossessing at the moment, not the former mainstream lenders.

    Threats and intimidation are not allowed anymore according to the MARP.

    • Bamboo

      Thanks for your reply and the link.
      Thankfully I am not in such a position but good for all of us to know there is a new code of practice introduced.

  26. The Atlantic Paradigm

    Our Real Treasures under the Atlantic are worth €Billions & €Billions and the real costs of technology to extract it is reducing .Currently major new technology from UK is awaiting public launch and is top secret and all the major oil companies have a stake or will and are watching developments unfolding very very soon .The new low costs of technology to extract Gas from the Atlantic should make Ireland the richest country in the world .
    Somehow our Minister has not reviewed the new Bill as he promised before the elections and in its proposed format ALL FOREIGN EXPLORATION Companies will WIN and the Irish Taxpayer will LOSE .

    What in effect the Minister is doing is creating a Principality in the Ocean where there is No Land and all foreign companies that extract the new GOLD can keep it and also OWN THE OCEAN under Irish Licence that is part of The STATE .It might be best understood by the movie OCEAN 11 where in this case you have an unseen CASINO in the ocean syphoning billions from the Ocean Beds that are national resources owned by The STATE .

    The language used by the Minister is a past tense of previous technical problems and refuses to acknowledge his current knowledge of the impending new technology .In doing so he is absolving himself from future critism of himself and that of his party and plays deaf to the real opportunities that the Irish hold now .

    He is doing the complete opposite to his counterparts in the Labour Party in Norway and makes empty lame excuses for doing so.

    We must stand up and LISTEN .

  27. Ironically, Government budgets in the short term will benefit by being relieved of the burden of welfare payments for single people or entire families who emigrate.

    In the medium to long term, the loss to the country through emigration is also a severe economic loss.

    It’s often the brightest and most resourceful and best who leave.

    They will not be contributing to the local economy by purchasing goods and services throughout their lives through themselves or their children.

    Their creativity and talent, the investment in their education by the state, their potential future contribution, become a loss to community denying opportunity and enterprise going forward.

    On the Titanic, among the list of variables effecting the eventual tragic loss of 1500 + lives, there was the officer, who was replaced and left with the keys to the locker which held the binoculars, the lookouts in the crows nest needed to see the growler through the darkness; the rivets that unzipped and popped their heads opening the steel plates along the ballast tanks because of the inferior grade 111 iron chosen as material; the lowering of the bulkheads to accommodate grandiose interior staircases at expense of safety; the wireless operator concerned more at personal gain sending private messages, rather than the urgent concentration on ignoring crucial weather reports.

    On the other hand, those emigrating will save themselves from our impending Titanic disaster. NAMA has just posted a €1 bn loss as it seeks to launder further losses through further toxic lending from its bad bank.

    There is much to be learned and enjoyed and gained by leaving to find a better livelihood and lifestyle elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, at home the older population cohort have already spent their money in raising their families. They save and save terrified with everyday news of new charges/taxes for everything.

    There are no jobs for the young, no jobs in the professions. Educated or uneducated, the young join in a growing tide of emigration taking with them the lifeblood of the country’s future.

    Meanwhile Captain Smith, Enda the Titanic, gazes ahead with gimlet eyes riveting the growing darkness:)

    If you are in the crow’s nest, please put on binoculars!

    • Shadows of The Moon

      In those moments of The Titanic the management crew knew that binoculars were the tools to see ahead in forward planning and ship managemet and were able to use them .

      Today in the moments of Namatesque Scrotum Hiberniae the management crew do not know how to see ahead or what tools operate to manage forward planning the obese fart we life on.The safe room has been rifled by the Bankers , Politicians and the Croneykesque and all of them will be out of the country from this week end until october .Only the remaining national real shadow parliaments are making progress with their own agenda ie Islam , Chinese Triad , Mafia , East Europeans Alliances , and the local Drug mules .

    • ….there was the officer in the chain of command, who was replaced prior to sailing; but he left the ship with the keys to the locker, which held the binoculars for the lookout watch….

  28. The National Dialisis of Obsfucation and Acquiecence

    The Office of the Director Corporate Affairs should delete the word ‘Director’ because there is no direction to where it should be going .It is a place of fortification of imaginary shadows where upon entrance one does not know whether they are in one of the cinemas in O’ Connell Street showing a re-run of all the James Bond movies or in Kim Jongs play ground looking on to Hollywood.

    The movie set props are even outdated and the trap doors are not successful in locating an arresting moment of any Irish Rogue Banker in The State .The slow infrastructures inside are obsolete and dilapidated and not focused .The timing mechanisms are ‘clink clank’ old carnival swivels that have become surpassed and showing signs of old rust.

    The only difference between theirs and James Bonds offices is that they have no cat to listen to that gives out that purring sound and rhythm transporting to their guests .

    In recent years it has become more of a low budget movie production that is given the national stage and is empty and void because it cannot afford real actors .Its phone numbers are not on redial with the head office of their government departments for fear that department might dribble the evidence they collude and becomes a fact in law as a weapon of power for them.Every effort is made by the government dept to subdue its presence on national stage and playing with time is one option they delegate to erase the memories of the relevant facts of what really matters on stage .The Mandarins direct the lesser Mandarins who obfuscate the facts to the electorate and the public only see that water is made into wine and that seems good enough for them.

    • Here’s how that works:

      The trick is to distract away from such matters by surrounding them with a chinese walls eg NAMA with instruments such as ‘commercial sensitivity’. Or, a favorite, bury probes in long drawn out investigations that constantly get delayed eg the extra 6 months given into the Garda investigation into Anglo.

      Favorite of all is the 3rd class passenger device. All departments use this. Basically this method is to direct the public’s attention to some useless bit of chicanery eg the threat of a hospital closure somewhere, or fueling debate on those ripping off the social welfare system.

      These debates all help to distract from white collar crime or the true causes of why we are where we are.


      On the titanic third class passengers were locked below and had to fend for themselves as the boat sank. Most all places in the lifeboats went to 1st class passengers.

      Next budget will lock all our third class passengers below deck. Already interest rates, mortgages, utility bills and charges, cost for food, transport all rise above the ankles while wages fall…

      Our first class passengers on our Titanic are doing quite well at the moment, so divide and conquer by leading a FG/ILP Charge of the Light Brigade of well-to-do chancers and hypocrites against the neer-do-well, is game on at the moment:)

      The plan won’t work!

  29. Malcolm McClure

    Okay lads; Here’s the deal

    - Government will propose a budget for 2012 aiming to further reduce the general government deficit in line with the fiscal targets set out in the Council Recommendation in the context of the excessive deficit procedure and including the detailed presentation of consolidation measures amounting to at least €3.6bn. The EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland agreed in December 2010 provides for the following commitments in relation to measures for 2012:

    o Revenue measures to yield EUR1,500m2 in a full year will be introduced, including:
    A lowering of personal income tax bands and credits. A reduction in private pension tax reliefs.
    A reduction in general tax expenditures.
    A property tax.
    A reform of capital gains tax and acquisitions tax.
    An increase in the carbon tax.

    o Expenditure reduction of EUR 2,1 OOm including:
    Social expenditure reductions.
    Reduction of public service numbers and public service pension adjustments.
    Other programme expenditure, and reductions in capital expenditure.

    Like it or lump it?

    • Tull McAdoo

      That should stimulate a good bit of growth in the economy for 2012.
      Who know’s it might even drive the Central Banks forcast of 0.8% up up up and and maybe as high as 0.81%.
      Any more good news from above in Glenties ?????

      • Tull McAdoo

        P.S. Any sign of Calamity above in Glenties?
        IF you bump into her you can tell her that they rebranded her old cash cow FAS and its now to be known as SOLAS.
        Now a direct translation of SOLAS as Gaeilge is docha would be “light” but you can tell her that the new regime (FG/LP) has no intentions of shining any lights into that old money abyss.
        YOu can tell her that they have decided to store her skeletons in the same dark corner of the DOF as they put its predacessor ANCO.

        Sleep easy darling, Enda’s a safe pair of hands….yawn yawn

        • Malcolm McClure

          No sign of Calamity, and much reduced FF showing. Dara Calleary, Sean Fleming, and Míchael Martin had food for thought from FF, and Eamon Ryan added the green sauce, as if any were needed in present circumstances.

          • Gege Le Beau

            See how quickly they vanish, as if they never existed. Something almost Biblical about it.

            Those who did the most talking have been silenced.

    • So, they’ll say the troika are demanding this, so they got to do it! No, they don’t. The trolls will also say, well, we’re taking in X and spending Y, we need asap to get Y near to X.

      But what the ?!# A large part, very large, of X is a gigantic odious debt bill to be paid to the ECB and Troika.

      Err, no thanks.

      Not my bill.

  30. Cicero 45BC

    “But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure. To take a trivial example, which of us ever undertakes laborious physical exercise, except to obtain some advantage from it? But who has any right to find fault with a man who chooses to enjoy a pleasure that has no annoying consequences, or one who avoids a pain that produces no resultant pleasure?”

    So, the Central Bank, NTMA, the TRoika wish us to endure austerity/pain in order to achieve the pleasure of righting the economy and returning us to growth.

    In fairness, we should do this if this path achieves the goal of righting the economy and returning us to growth. But we shouldn’t do this if this goal in fact achieves the opposite.

    So, in a democracy how should this conundrum be resolved? The answer is by REFERENDUM.

    If there is a sufficient body of evidence and belief in a society to question whether we should pursue a policy imposed on us from without, without our consent, the people should be given their say.

    It is the duty of government and the presidency to protect the rights of the people and prevent them being usurped from without.

    I look forward to looking in more detail at the contents of the published budget proposals from Big Brother:)

    The Referendum:

    1. Do you agree to the Irish taxpayer funding the debts incurred by Irish banking debt?

    2. Would you choose to leave the EMU rather than pay back the private debts of Irish banks?

    3. Are you satisfied with the way the Irish government has negotiated the ‘bailout’ with the EMU?

    There’s a few q’s should be put to the Irish voter. If they are not put to the Irish people, forget all this transparency from the troika, the Irish government, its only a thinly disguised big stick wielded by the European Socialist Republic, more Stalin than Abe Lincoln.

    It’ll pop our rivets.

    (Let’s hope the weather holds for a barbecue later today:)

  31. vincent

    Check out “Lawful Bank”(TAMS) https://lawfulbank.com/HomePage

  32. Sundays newspapers will have plenty to say whether our next President will be Gay in name or in shame….that should promise to weather a real Gale for avid readers .

  33. Gege Le Beau

    We are told there is no money to keep A&E’s open, no money for ambulance services which save lives (Youghal recently lost its 24 hour ambulance cover), yet millions, €5.2 million to be precise, is available for this. Some priorities in this ‘Republic’.

    Killarney House to be restored

    • Dinny is a north keerie man thats why

    • thirdeye

      Shows EU may want to restart a property boom.Remember elites only care about the EU success and not the citizens.House restoration is like the absent Landlords of the past making the peasants as we are now pay for their big houses and party lifestyles.Croatian football well has the basic mold the players of skill,technique,and ability to play at the top echelons of world football not like the Irish set up where their is no basic skill,technique or people to coach.

      • Gege Le Beau

        One commentator drew the parallel between sports and slavery, where people are bought and sold in the market place (albeit for obscene sums of money). Interesting that some Cuban baseball stars have refused to leave for the big bucks in the US. The price of something v the value of something else.

        All about legacy not bank account. Sport in the West has been destroyed by money, advertising, sponsorship, TV rights.

        The head of the FAI was asked on Sky news about Ireland v Germany, his first comments were in relation to tv rights, money and filling the Aviva.

  34. Currency League

    Group C

    Germany Deutsch Mark

    Sweden Krona

    Republic of Ireland Yoyo

    Austria Deutsch Mark

    Faroe Islands Krona
    Kazakhstan Rubbish

    • thirdeye

      Hello John,
      Thats about correct .Dont see us using the Brazilian Rials in 2014.Like U19 team Irish Team against Spain this week we don’t have the skills,technique or ability to fight off any major opposition.Bob Geldof wrote the song Banana Republic about this joke of a country and still proves to be correct summation.Like article about Croatian football is they produce players with technical skills and structure to be able to play in Europe’s elite leagues lIke Spain and Italy.Irish players can’t even get into teams in the UK says a lot.

  35. Malcolm McClure

    “We’re basically standing on the edge of an abyss, peeking over with the bottom nowhere to be seen. That’s the situation facing all financial markets heading into a weekend that could prove to be one of the most crucial in history,” said Ben Potter, a strategist at IG Markets. (Reuters do not normally quote hyperbole, obviously we do not live in normal times).

    Maybe this will concentrate minds on the need to reboot the financial system in Europe too. Will the new politics be based on the Tea Party model, with less nanny state and more self reliance? We shall see.

    • thirdeye

      Tea Party Model.Dont make me laugh a bunch of extreme right wing bible thumping in bread gun lobby group .Ireland needs finally break away from the bible link here with the Catholic church.Self reliance but also means getting rid of the EU and the associate parasites and rejecting the Troika deal and out with Euro files scum of Fine Gael,Fianna Fail,Greens and Labour.Control of fishing,natural resources,currency and immigration then new politics to stand for the citizens and the countries future not the pro europe business political party elites who ignore the citizens only when THEY WISH to be elected and drive the citizens into immigration trail.

  36. Final Call Off The Field

    The Minister has made a final warning that all those Civil Servants old enough must give their early retirement indexed pension, tax free lump sum, greater pension now than later , and much more .To not do so the inverse of the above applies and tough luck.

  37. CitizenWhy

    Nice summary of the 10 things (in the form of short lessons) that led the world to its current state of ruin by banks, and then rule by banks (after all they alone can make the banks work again).


    It all began with Alan Greenspan’s intellectually bankrupt concept of a deregulated financial sector combined with ridiculously low interest rates.

  38. imonclers

    I would suggest a good place for you, there are fashion items as you need and all your
    favorite products from top to toe ——–www.ipolos.com———you must not miss it!!! Our
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