August 10, 2011

Banks that think they're casinos put us all at risk

Posted in Banks · 176 comments ·
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Anyone who worked in financial markets will know that — at its most base — the “market” is in fact only a coked up, whoring 28-year-old from Basildon on hyper-wages, with a Porsche and a Chelsea season ticket.

This is hardly the type of far-sighted leader that we should be depending on, nor the opinion we should be worried about. Has he become the arbiter of economic policy in the early 21st Century? Is this where we have got to? The young lad in London who is “shorting” the European bond market mightn’t easily find Florence on a map and his geopolitical interests might not go further than the price of a footballer’s transfer fees in the closed season and who won ‘The X Factor’.

When the papers tell us that the “market” is nervous, or jittery or whatever, all this says is that Brett from Basildon is unable to figure out what is happening. Who cares? Yet in response to his actions over the past few days, the ECB is buying Italian and Spanish bonds and in so doing creating a market for him to bet against. This emboldens him.

We are seeing a battle for power between the interests of the banks and the interests of the people. For years, the proponents of free capital movements argued that the markets were disciplining government and that in order to safeguard people’s money the financial markets should be allowed to do what they wanted. As a result, the banks have become so powerful that they know they can push governments around and if they fail, they will be bailed out. So it is a one-way bet with other people’s money.

In banks and big financial outfits, there are obviously many variants of Brett from Basildon — there are those who are well-educated and those who have a few more contacts in high places. However, if they were properly regulated, the world economy would not suffer.

The big lie is that an overly powerful financial market populated by greedy people is an essential ingredient to capitalism or to democracy or to creating a civilised world for people to live in. It was none other than Hitler who coined the phrase “the big lie” as a propaganda technique when he described “a lie so colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”.

The big lie is that the world needs trading floors in large investment banks and the like. It does not. In fact, if you examine the period when banks were policed properly and regulated from 1945 to the mid-1980s, there were hardly any financial crises. However, since the great deregulation of banks and capital there have been dozens of crises. Deregulated banking and the financial casino makes the world more volatile not less volatile. And yet we are told, by intelligent people, that the free movement of capital makes the world more stable. This is nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong, “normal” banking is necessary; the financial casino is not. The financial casino with money sluicing around the globe at its behest, giving the thumbs up or thumbs down to governments and companies, is making the world more dangerous. It should be policed.

The way forward is to keep the banking part and shut down — or at least reduce dramatically — the power of the casino.

By banking we mean institutions, which are able to keep people’s savings safe and use these savings to provide credit for others who want to spend it or invest it. The banker is entitled to make a small profit on the difference between what he gives out in interest to the saver and what he charges to the borrower. The role of the banker, therefore, should be to assess risk. If he can’t assess risk, he should be fired and the job given to the next guy. If the bank goes under, then so be it.

Think about what banking depends on: unlike other complex industries, like the car industry, banking depends on just one commodity, legal tender. We, the people — in our name — issue this commodity. We control the raw material of banking. And in contrast to other industries like the car industry, banking doesn’t depend on ever more sophisticated technologies or better scientists to create a better product.

Thus, all that banking requires is the human component. It calls for judgment; it is more of an art than a science, which is why the great bankers of the past were the ones with the best personal relations, the ones who could assess risk and not take such big gambles and obviously the ones who protect wealth first, rather than squandered it. Many of the finest bankers were Italian Renaissance men, gifted in arts and culture. Therefore, good banking comes down to good people taking in some people’s money for safe-keeping and using that money to finance investments of others who want to build new companies or seek out new investments. It really isn’t that complex.

To the extent that there are innovations in banking, these innovations, like innovations in any industry, should make money safer. But in many cases innovations in recent finance have made money less safe. Think about normal engineering. In, let’s say, aeronautical engineering, innovation makes planes safer. In financial engineering, the engineering — such as subprime mortgages — makes money more risky, not more safe. The finance industry is the only industry where so-called “engineers” make the basic product less safe, not more safe.

Now think of a world that is in the palm of such people. Will it be a stable place? Hardly. Reading the ‘Financial Times’, we are told that the reason the markets are panicky is that there is no leadership in the world.

The new narrative is that unless democratic politicians want to be kicked around by unelected, self-appointed leaders in the financial markets, they will have to show leadership. But hold on, only a few years ago, the narrative of global finance was that ambitious politicians were the problem and by showing leadership ambitious politicians were in danger of spending citizens’ money carelessly.

How can the financial markets now complain there is not enough “leadership” when the entire raison d’être of global financial markets was to temper politicians’ ambitions and thus undermine that democratic political leadership in the first place?

At the end of this crisis, the captains of the universe in the major banks have to be brought down to earth, just as Roosevelt did to the bankers in the 1930s. Economies will recover and the banking hegemony will be regarded as an anachronistic episode of history. Otherwise the chaos will continue.


  1. adamabyss

    subscribe.

  2. stevenally

    “The “market” is in fact only a coked up, whoring 28-year-old from Basildon on hyper-wages, with a Porsche and a Chelsea season ticket”

    - That has to be your single best contribution to the debate ever.

    And yes he is the arbiter of economic policy. Or at least the 48 year old version, who has 200 mill in the bank and 20 years of coking and whoring behind him. God help us all.

  3. Praetorian

    One massive difference between a bank and a casino, in a casino there is a possibility, however slim, of winning, with a bank there is zero chance.

    Banks have a strategy akin to the British naval strategy of the 19th and early 20th century.

    The British navy had to be more powerful that the next two most powerful navies combined, similarly, with banks there is easily double, sometimes triple profit making in a transaction. Where I worked there was an in-built profit on the foreign exchange price plus commission, the company made a double profit on everything that came through the door.

    Banks are amoral institutions, who do anything for profit, including sinking an entire Republic. They engaged in reckless and predatory lending in the so called boom, the market crashes, they get bailed out by the taxpayer and now they are increasing mortgage interest rates and fighting to bring back the bonus culure which was one of the main problems in stoking the boom. Not a single banker has been arrested or put on trial in Ireland, we are an international joke.

    I had a short association with a financial institution, thankfully, wasn’t prepared to sell my soul for paper but the period is still a blight. Banks should be broken up entirely or nationalised and run for the benefit of society, not society run for the benefit of banks.

    • Deco

      {
      Banks have a strategy akin to the British naval strategy of the 19th and early 20th century.
      }

      Nah. The British Navy was a meritocracy in the 19th Century. Nelson started as a cabin boy, and crawled and fought his way to the top. Same with all the other sea captains. In the context of how British society was organized, the Royal Navy was a case of the best get to the top. The aristocracy stayed away from the Navy and let the Cornish small men run everything.

      Looking at the Irish banks and the banks on Wall Street, it looks like the most useless and hopeless wasters end up running matters. They definitely are not meritocracies. The teller girl the other side of the counter has more clue and a better grasp of her duties than what Morgan Kelly called “some dim fellow who played rugger” in the right circles in South Dublin in the 1980s.

      Let’s not run down the British Navy by comparing them with a bunch of incompetent muppets. Max Keiser had it in one when he called them the real welfare mamas.

      • Praetorian

        The British navy was more meritocratic than the British army where the rich often purchased their commissions and paid for people to serve in their place. This is particularly true of the officer core but few sea ratings ever made the transition to officer class. The navy also used the brutal ‘press gang’ to dramatic effect and had its old boys club as the case of Thomas Cochrane during the Napoleonic war testified. Indeed, Nelson himself thought of leaving the service on several occasions as he felt abandoned by the admiralty.

        But it embraced modern technologies, played a key role in bringing about the industrial revolution, and helped Britain to build its Empire and reputation.

        After the Napoleonic period it implemented the two power strategy and didn’t have to fight a major sea battle until 100 years later (Battle of Jutland), which was a stalemate but forced the German navy back to its ports from which they only emerged to go to Scapa Flow where the Germans scuttled their fleet. Britain’s navy acted as a deterrent to any would be power, it was the naval arms race from 1900-1914 which played a role in war breaking out, as the Germans came to represent an excessive threat to Britain’s continued dominance of the seas, so crucial to maintaining the Empire.

        Your points on bankers are not unfair.

  4. paddyjones

    The biggest threat to the globe right now is sovereign debt, thats the current crisis banks have been cleaned up by and large and even though they are tanking today and have been for a while they are in better shape than they were in 2008.
    The real crisis is in the sovereign. In Europe its all about Italy and Spain. But in Euroland as a whole the deficit is only 4.5% of GDP and will be 3% in 2012. The trajectory is less debt to GDP and 3% deficits compared to other economies such as America and Japan that is not too bad.
    US 10 year bonds are now trading at 2.14% even after the downgrade. Irish bonds are at 9.64% .
    The sovereign in Euroland is getting its act together even Italy will have a balanced budget by 2013, thats fantastic.
    The reason for this is austerity which will save the Euroland, we may not get growth for a few years but austerity is and will work for us.

    • EMMETTOR

      The problem with all this “austerity” is that it’s robbing Peter (The People) to pay Paul (The Financial Institutions, there are no banks anymore). The huge transfer of wealth that “austerity” represents cannot be executed without causing structural problems within financial systems. For one thing, consumer demand, which our “real” economy depends on, will take a very long time to recover. Also, without the imposition of draconian rules on the Financial Institutions, they will plunge us into recession again within 5 years or so and there will be NO reform of the Financial Institutions and they WILL cause repeated recessions. For ever and ever, Amen.

  5. owen doorly

    How true this is…. I had the unfortunate experience of sharing a dinner table in New York with a less than 28 year old Basildon (this a few years back). His mission was to teach the Europeans a lesson, and sink the Euro ! Just because the Frech and Germans did not back the Americans in some invasion. Here we are today…people ranting on that the markets are driven by fear. Nope, they are not. They are driven by GREED ! Guess whose making the big money now.. Guess who earns more when Ireland, Greece, and company have to pay higher rates to get the funding ? It’s high time countries took control away from these guys… they have been incapable of acting in the interest of the country, community or the tax payer..

  6. gizzy

    I think the article hits the nail on the head. It was never easier or cheaper to set up new banks but we persevere in spending billions to save the old. Politicians and civil servants do not understand banking and are in awe of bankers. Most banking senior management do not understand banking and allow their barrow buy dealers sell products designed by maths graduates which they the senior management don’t understand.But as David says if it works they get paid a fortune and if it fails they get bailed out.Richie Boucher was on the news tonight and my nine year old said he looked scared. The pillar bank is going to jack up rates for the tax payer and our politicians will back them because we must have viable banks. It just didn’t need to be the two pillar banks.part of the big lie.

    I asked before but no one answered why is short selling allowed and what positive purpose does it serve?

  7. dwalsh

    David McWilliams wrote:

    “banking depends on…just one commodity, legal tender.”

    If by ‘legal tended’ is meant real money, then this is not the only commodity traded by banks. If banks were only trading with real deposits of real money – legal tender – the global crisis we are in the midst of would be impossible since banks would only be able to lend what they actually had. Banks however are permitted under fractional reserve practices and other leveraging methods to lend money which they do not have. They are permitted to create money, in the form of debt, on the basis of deposits in-hand. The banking system ‘loans’ created or leveraged credit to itself – at cost; and lends it on to the customer at interest.

    This quote is attributed to William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England in 1694:

    “The bank hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it creates out of nothing.”

    This quote is attributed to John Kenneth Galbraith in his ‘Money: Whence it came, where it went’.

    “The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled.”

    Note the presence of ‘create’ in both statements.

    Banks create money in the form of credit or debt.

    But fractional reserve practices are not the worst of it. A growing economy can handle a certain amount of this kind of financial conjuring. Part of the role of regulators is to monitor these practices — which as we know they did not do for the past couple of decades. But where things went completely awry is in the derivatives markets. Here leveraging went into hyperdrive and was (and still is) completely unregulated. Greenspan, who oversaw the introduction of the scam, maintained that financial institutions (wealthy gambling syndicates) would be guided by greed and reason – in the form of fear of losses – to be sensible and cautious in their use of derivatives.
    Now he says he’s sorry he was wrong.

    Banks ought to be public utilities facilitating financial transactions and providing investment in the form of secured loans. What goes on in the financial markets is speculation or gambling — not investment; and should be illegal. That the line between the two has been erased in the past decades has lead to the bankrupting of the nations of world.

    • EMMETTOR

      Right again, dwalsh. Fractional Deposit Banking has been with us for hundreds of years, the Industrial revolution, for example, could not have happened without it. It was regulated and the ratios of deposits to lending were fixed & difficult to get around. The development of derivatives, etc has allowed financial institutions to usurp the currency-creating powers of democratic government and, now, the amount of “money” created by financial institutions dwarfs the amount of “real money” around. This is especially dangerous when all the “real” money is fiat in any case. The big problem now is how do we reign in this casino, how do we deflate this non-existant wealth, especially when we have situations, for example, in commodities markets, where the value of the bets placed on real world commodities far exceeds the value of the commodities themselves. It’s a very big tree to cut down and it’s going to land somewhere. What are the odds that our politicians look up at that tree, shake their heads and decide they’ll leave it for someone else to chop it down?

      • dwalsh

        Yes I believe fractional reserve practices do have a legitimate role to play…and agree with you that it is the hyper-leveraging of the financial sector that is the cause of the crisis.

  8. Short selling allegedly allows for a deceit to be exposed for an equilibrium ( read sustainable current price when the most dominant factors in a market are determined upon it), the idea is that if a price is artifically high or deemed to be a short seller is a profit incentive to borrow the commodity/stock/bond at the higher price (pay a commission for borrowing it) sell it at the artificially higher price and then buy when the price drops ( as he beleives it will) and replace the borrowed commodity/stock/bond he borrowed, neeting the difference in the artificially high price from the price at which he actually borrowed, defenders of this practise claim that such a practice provides liquidity and acts to resatore equilibrium , I hope that helps

    • EMMETTOR

      But of course, the problem comes when markets are so powerful that their shorting becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As Gok Wan, or whatever his name is, says “it’s all about the confidence!”.

  9. http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010

    A great article from the same guy who wrote an equally accurate and embarrasing article on Ireland , which exposes the current delusion of trying to have one currency across such diverse cultures and fiscal competencies. It is debateable as to whether a strong enforcement of the Growth and Stability Pact would suffice to contain Euro debt problems or whether considerable central fiscal control is the only way to have a sustainable euro.

    • fbuckley

      Fraud that’s the only way out of this sovereign shambles. We must aggregate the borrowing power of the EU states and issue strong unassailable Euro Bonds. The Germans will insist on the fiscal discipline and maturity we haven’t had in 40 years. That’s the quid pro quo, we lose independence but dems de breaks. Can’t see any other way out of this.

  10. Sorry there were a number of typographical errors , in an attempt to be clearer

    Short selling allegedly allows for a false price to be exposed and for an equilibrium (read sustainable current price when the most dominant factors in a market are determined upon it) price to prevail, the idea is that if a price is artifically high or deemed to be, a short seller has a profit incentive to borrow the commodity/stock/bond (“Unit”) at the higher price (pay a commission for borrowing it to the person lending the units to him) sell it at the artificially higher price and then buy the unit ( to give the units back) when the price drops ( as he beleives it will). When the short seller replaces the borrowed units , he nets the difference in the artificially high price from the price at which he actually bought it. Defenders of this practise claim that such a practice provides liquidity and acts to resatore equilibrium, I hope that helps

  11. StephenKenny

    Exactly right.
    It costs about $7m to win a seat in the US congress, a job that pays $100k a year. So guess who they are beholden to.

  12. fbuckley

    Another thing that bugs me is these damn derivatives. They seem to trade globally without any supervision or licensing and have no tangible link to the undying asset. I read somewhere that is it 80 per cent plus of oil traded is not physical oil or options to buy or sell same but refer to these derivative instruments. That is absurd where prices are being determined without any reference to the underlying asset. They are toxic, pervasive and massive in scale. And, they’re too damn risky to leave in the hands of Brett from Basildon that still has a 30″ waist but a 19″ neck.

    We give out about too many rules but we need new ones and bucket loads of them with global reach (no more offshore hiding places).

    • EMMETTOR

      Derivatives firstly allowed the U.S. to dump it’s toxic mortgages on the rest of the world and in the process bring the rest of the world to it’s knees. Remember that it was “sub-prime” mortgages that started off this current crisis? Their real function is to disguise the actual nature of the “assets” being traded. They are a pig in a poke and the fact that they were bought by financial institutions around the globe just shows how stupid the men who run these institutions are.

  13. http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/20/europes-sickly-banks/?iid=HP_LN

    “Though it’s hard to open the business section lately without finding a story about Germany’s economic renaissance, thrift and prudence don’t seem to characterize German banks. They hold 32 euros in loans for every euro of capital they have on hand, according to International Monetary Fund data. Lehman’s leverage at the time of its collapse was 31-1, if you’re keeping score at home. Either way it means a 3% loss leaves the taxpayers picking up the tab. Yes, that again.
    The Germans aren’t alone in Lehmanville: Belgian banks are using 30-1 leverage and French ones 26-1, the IMF numbers (see chart, right) show. All told, banks across the 17-country euro area average 26-1 leverage — double the ratio in the United States. Against all odds, European institutions have managed the nifty trick of making U.S. banks look good.”

    If you see a Black Swan, just ignore it and pretend its white! We don’t need any shocks right now. So, no more lending or spending, the EMU patient is on life support.

    Miss the cartoons!

    • EMMETTOR

      Wow, it’s hard to recall, but I’m sure that I was taught in Bus. Org. or Economics, in secondary school, that fractional deposit banking operated on a 7 or 8 to 1 ratio. Anything like 30:1 is almost guaranteed to fail.

  14. Deco

    Rumours are going around that one large continental bank not based in Germany or The Netherlands, is in a very critical situation.

    Cannot comment any more. Irish Defamation Law.

  15. real terms

    “We control the raw material of banking.” David, This should be the case, but is it? You can pay in as much as you like, but everyone try withdrawing or transferring all at once…

    I remember Ulster Bank in the 90s asking me for references when I asked to open an account there. I asked them, sorry, but where are your references, that you are fit to hold my money? They tutt-tutted. I never got the account.

  16. Tull McAdoo

    I’m sorry for the extended post but it seems as if what I anticipated back towards the end of 2008 has gradually emerged. It sure took its bloody time, then again what do you expect from nervous bureaucrats? Or in the case of Trichet and Barosso ……take it away the wonderfully talented Judy Dench and Goodnight Ireland , Sleep Well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeA8AlctmSw&feature=related

    1. jim says
    Enough of the banter, its time for the end game. Welcome to the dance David.

    Suggestion, agreement to be reached by the heads of State of all countries in the Euro union that all bonds issued by Sovereign Governments in the Euro zone will be averaged on a 10 year cycle. Germany’s 3.2, Irelands 4.7 = 3.95.average. Ireland pays 3.95 for its loans; Germany pays 3.95 for its loans etc.

    These loans to be administered by an expanded, existing globalization fund, which would integrate social cohesion funds and all other funds under one umbrella supported and contributed to by all the members states. We don’t need to play chicken with Europe i.e. New York scenario, but its time the Euro as a currency stood up and be counted.

    If the German pension funds et al made profits from our property bubble then they can share the pain as well as the gain. If the Poles want our manufacturing then they can pay for it. If they want a Lisbon or whatever agreement it will be based on mutual wellbeing and we will have no Irelands, Spain’s, or Greeks hung out to dry. This is a vision for Europe and not some 21st century version of Animal Farm where we are all equal but some are more equal than others.

    I’m sorry the trade off would be a more rigorous adherence to the 3% pact but our crowd needs supervision and our people needs more stability in their lives. All this stress and money worry will have to stop. It is time to bang heads around the table in Brussels. Time the gloves came off. It is time to draw a line under this for Europe, accept our previous failings and aim for a better future. We are the biggest economic powerhouse on the face of the planet.

    January 15, 2009, 1:41 am
    AIB and BOI to become the systemic backbone of Irish Banking, with the following provisions enforceable by statute:
    Low cost and properly stress tested, accounts verified and credit history checked etc. loans and finance to be made available to Consumers, Business, Students etc and all others qualifying under above terms.
    Total ban on AIB & BOI lending for speculation, including purchase of securities on margin, leveraged buyouts, leveraged hedge funds, derivatives trading and all other exotic and potentially toxic financial vehicles to be outlined by the Regulatory bodies as unsuitable for Banks which are systemic to the Economy of Ireland………… Now David there’s a wheel I’ll put my shoulder to.(non-negotiable instrument)

    February 27, 2009, 2:48 pm

    Wills just to cheer you up I think what will emerge from this meltdown is a type of Hybrid system where on the one hand you have a “Systemic” Banking system which embraces some of the ideology behind your credit as a utility proposal and on the other side you will have a more regulated “Commercial” Banking sector for the speculators and manipulators etc. Hopefully the “systemic” system will become the more dominant one…..”if I’m to have any life anymore” to quote Pacino from Any Given Sunday. Now smile…and enjoy your weekend.
    February 28, 2009, 3:59 am

    jim says
    I know for sure that both Keynes and Friedman conceded that their economic models did not work well for “small open free market economies” and as such warned of some of the pitfalls of trying to implement their theories in economies of this nature.

    Ireland if it is to grow and prosper must first accept where it’s at and what it’s about. Our small open free market economy only worked in conjunction with the bigger players as long as we played ball. We went off on a solo run [property bubble] and fell flat on our backs.

    We need to get back up, purge ourselves of this delusional behavior [bank bailouts], tidy up and realize that the eyes of the world are on us and not be bulshitting like we could guarantee 450 bn.[we would need to borrow anything over the 9bn pension fund]

    Just stop and look at what the marketplace thinks of our bank efforts [share price].Its time to sign up to the big players and stop all this nonsense, give back the credit cards, make good the iou’s and get back to a bit of honest work. Maybe then our share price will be a true reflection of what we are worth as a nation.
    December 31, 2008, 12:22 am

  17. redriversix

    Sorry People,
    None of this matters anymore.
    The only thing that matters any more is you,the business owner,the working man or woman, Families.Those who are out of work or trying to save their business,those who are trying to take care of their children,putting them through school or college, you who are trying to do the best you can , one day at a time.
    We , who perhaps leave our families short so we can pay our Bank or a Tax bill, trying to do the “right thing ” like we were brought up to do,”If you work hard , do the right thing and be honorable everything will be okay.

    Well i am afraid those days are gone,what you need to do is be your own N.A.M.A.

    Put yourself first,if you respect yourself and your doing the best you can, one day at a time, you have nothing to fear.

    Take care of your family first,pay yourself first,if your under pressure,stand back,go for a walk with your partner & children,take stock,withdraw,rearm,and regroup.Decide whats important for you and yours.

    We all owe money,maybe too much,that does not matter anymore.

    IF your in trouble, talk to your debtors,DO NOT IGNORE THEM,Keep records of letters,phone calls,the name of every person you talk to,time and date also.

    Keep a diary.Do not be afraid,talk to your wife,husband,partner,whatever.

    When dealing with this crisis,tell the truth,its easy to remember.

    As a people. i do not believe we have a problem with adversity,what we have is a problem with bullshit and we are being fed a lot of that these days.

    Lets bring it back to whats important,YOU.

    I am tired of going to funerals of people who took their own lives.Forget about pride,it will leave you dead in the street.Do whats right for you.Does your partner know your in trouble ?…..if not,tell him or her,Face up to it,IF you are doing the best you can that,s all you can do,if its not enough,forget about it,your doing your best.

    Everything passes,both good and bad…Yesterday is history,tomorrow is a mystery,today is the only day you have to take care of.

    Folks,i know exactly what i am taking about,if you wanna find out how,leave a comment.
    Remember,Banks ? Bailouts ? Euro,Dollar GDP/GNP all bullshit,whatever will be,will be.
    Its about YOU & yours NOW

    Keep it simple
    Take care & goodnight

    • dwalsh

      @ redriversix

      Excellent contribution.

      • BrianC

        I agree.

        And don’t forget make sure you are taking Vitamin D3 at least 5000IU per day for an adult. But start on a low dose and build up and watch your body to make sure you have no negative reaction to it which is extremely rare. This will help you achieve good health and you can be assured that you will never ever again have a flu or a cold and will make your immune system super resilient. I know as I have been taking this level for the last few years and have not suffered an illness since. Allow 90 days for it to really kick in.

        This is the stuff that the medical practicioners should be telling you but don’t because at a cost of circa €0.35 per day it is just not worth their effort.

        There is so much science behind this it is embarassing. Watch the following link where Dr. Holick is firing on all cylinders. What he discusses is based on 40 years scientific research. You can always read his book ‘The Vitamin D Revolution’

        http://youtu.be/Cq1t9WqOD-0

        Dr Holick was in Dublin recently promoting Vitamin D3

        And please spread the word if you can. Many also claim it improves their mental state helping them feel more positive.

        If you want a really scientific intro you can check out Stanford University

        http://youtu.be/qpFgy8RkWO0

        by Dr Feldman professor of Medicine. He is not as entertaining as Holick but has the same message to deliver.

        It always amazes me when I go into a health store to buy my Vitamin D3 and I see all the product on the shelves where 80% of it is useless. But Vitamin D3 works and after a year of using it when you do not fall ill with flus or colds it will dawn on you that it works.

    • EMMETTOR

      One small thing our government could do, but won’t, is to come down heavily on banks dealing with arrears on mortgages and loans. I had my mortgage with a building society, which, despite my “no” vote, de-mutualised, eventually went to the wall and was swallowed up by a bank (I told you so). I’m trying to cut deals with these people and they are a shambles. I end up having to deal with two different sections of the bank regarding my current payments and my arrears! I get letters with repeated paragraphs and countless small clerical errors in mountains of duplicated mail, all of which, of course, I file away, should they want their day in court. My bank is so utterly incompetent they make dealing with our shambolic Public Service seem like a cakewalk. No wonder they failed.

      • EMMETTOR

        Oh, my bank also sent important letters to the WRONG address, this is the address that they hold a mortgage on and they could not even print it correctly on an envelope. One letter was addressed correctly but had the wrong surname! When it arrived, my partner said “there’s a letter here addressed to O’Neill”, I replied “that’ll be from the bank”.

  18. Beautiful! Unfortunately Brett from Basildon is not only running our banks, he’s also writing the economic analysis for our dailies, David.

    • imithe

      This was particularly evident this week when on one day the headlines were screaming about carnage and blood on the market floor, to scare the proles. Then the next day the reports are of a “miraculous recovery”.

  19. Shadw of a Red Moon

    David says : ‘Think about what banking depends on: unlike other complex industries, like the car industry, banking depends on just one commodity, legal tender. We, the people – in our name – issue this commodity.’

    May I digress .I understand that cash/ money is a ‘medium of exchange ‘ and not a commodity .And that commodities are sold either bartered or through a medium of exchange .Cash /money is the lever of ‘current values ‘ and not commodities and to say otherwise debases the purpose of cash/ money.

    There is a difference ,maybe its a fine line or a grey line or a subtle touch of the ontowards full moon .You may have seen a black spot under the shade of the evolving planet as it opens its face and in that moment , a blank moment in awe of its beauty.That loss of the critical sense is a deterrant to the elucidity of the message conveyed.

    Your Honour to your Court : ‘I object’.

  20. Peter Atkinson

    If any of the coked up whores remember back to a fine film called Trading Places I would go as far as saying that you could be a bum off the streets given the inside track and do the same job. After all thats all those coked up bums are doing. Laying bets for the likes of Dermot Desmond et al.The stock market is the most corrupt form of gambling known to mankind next to Irish horse racing.You only have to look back to the largest stock market scam in Ireland, the famous Telecom Eireann IPO to know that the big brokers layed off all their Telecom Eireann shares after a couple of weeks of meteoric rise and the peasants were left with their toilet paper.If 1990s currency crisis was anything to go by we should all know where the end game lies.The hustlers hoover up the cash belonging to the ordinary man in the street and once again set him back to year zero.I suppose its whats known as the economic cycle.

  21. dwalsh

    Have a listen to this guys: Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC says it as it is. Will anyone hear?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJLrJN8QC8g&feature=channel_video_title

    • +1 Dylan

      Obama has turned out to be a disappointing ditherer damp squib playing cowboy Bin Laden lynch mob politics in Afghanistan as a Geithner chorister…not a Roosevelt or even a Kennedy.

      But compared to Titanic choirboy Enda fronting his chorus of Dukes and John Bruton and lame duck ‘green jersey’ Lord Ha Ha Gilmore, he’s genius:)

  22. zsoltpapp

    Unfortunately, the politicians in charge are just as greedy, stupid, incompetent (and all else) as Brett from Basildon. It’s the coalition from hell “running” things.

  23. Malcolm McClure

    Last year, when UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable had his finger on the pulse.
    In September he said ” ”The Government’s worry about the future stability of banks (is from) where you have this combination of traditional banking being tied up with investment banks, what people have called ‘casinos’.”

    In Decmber he told two undercover reporters he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch and said: “I think we are going to win.”

    I wonder if we could get him appointed Lieutenant Governor of Ireland?

  24. dquirke1

    In the IT industry it is common to have “open source” platforms and software to take on the giants. They give away their services for free to the people. Some of these have been remarkably successful. For example Ubuntu has taken on Windows and many people prefer it. Open office is gaining traction against Microsoft office. This proves that a group of people acting together can take on the giants if they have the will to do so.

    Do you think the same thing could be possible in the financial sector. Could you have an ‘Open Source’ bank run by the people for the people. Of course, it couldn’t be totally free in that people would have to be paid for the work they did. Here are a few ideas for how it could work:

    1) Similar to the credit union model each bank is owned by the depositors rather than by ‘shareholders’ that are simply speculating on a share value.
    2) The depositors decide the salaries of the officers. This should keep them realistic.
    3) The bank should generate a profit but this should be plowed back into the bank for further lending in the community and not for risky investments. These should be banned by the constitution of the bank.
    4) We should institute some of the practices of ‘Islamic Banking’. The issue with Islamic Banking is that it contains the word ‘Islamic’ and people are fearful of this. However, let’s not let our prejudices blind us to the fact that many of these ideas are extremely good and should be taken on board immediately. I think if we had some (but not all; by which I mean nothing religious) of the elements of Islamic Banking this crises would never have happened. Do you know in Islamic banking the bank is 50% responsible for all loans given out. If you default they lose 50% of their money automatically. Co-responsibility. Do you think the banks would have lent so recklessly if that had been in place in Ireland?
    5) The bank would be funded by initial deposits from people and any other investors that would be interested in the project who would get a reasonable return on their money.

    If anyone else has any ideas for how something like this could work by all means throw them in!

      • “EH: Let me put it to you another way and tell you another thing that we do. We also provide a dividend back to the state. Probably this year we’ll make somewhere north of $60 million, and we will turn over about half of our profits back to the state general fund. And so over the last 10, 12 years, we’ve turned back a third of a billion dollars just to the general fund to offset taxes or to aid in funding public sector types of needs.

        MJ: Not bad for a state with a population of 600,000.

        EH: Right. And here’s another thing: Back in 2001, 2002, when we went through the dot com bust, all the states suffered some sort of budget shortfall, including the state of North Dakota. At that time our budget shortfall was fairly insignificant–$40 some million. And so it was quite easy to overcome that. The governor just simply said alright, we’re going to turn back 1 percent of all general fund agencies, and the Bank of North Dakota, you will declare another dividend to make up the balance. And so we did that. Our capital was in a fine position to go ahead and do that. So in some cases we’ve acted as a rainy day fund.
        MJ: And now the current downturn seems to have bypassed you.”

    • EMMETTOR

      As it stands, the EU has legislation, waiting in the wings, to wipe Credit Unions off the map. There’s no way they will allow Private Enterprise banking to be in the least bit discomfited by some sort of “S&L” pinko banking. It’s a sound idea, therefore the EU will not allow it to happen!

  25. BrianC

    I am always bleating on that fractional reserve banking does not work. It promotes avarice engendering a starving wolf pack behaviour. And when society starts rewarding casino style risk taking by bailing out the loosers who loose heavily at the tables then all rationale is dispensed with at the expense of ordinary Joe citizen who is passed the bill which he is forced to pay and the great wealth transfer ensues.

    Society seems to singularly hyper-reward speculative means to make money but this money is not real wealth but expertly used to appropriate it to the detriment of those forced to hand over their wealth as absence of liquidity in the markets forces prices down distorting true value. And you have to be mindful of the fact that the core capital holders know well the game of ‘inflate it to create wealth’ and then super inflate to create a bubble and then deflate it to enable the transfer of wealth.

    The 28 year old from Basildon on hyper wages is only a pawn in a bigger game. The game is cloaked from real view as certain sections of society begin to realise some are more equal than others and the advent of instant communication magnify the this reality and dissatisfied they then begin to take opportunistic Clockwork orange steps and society looks on frightfully afraid of the chaos that may unfold. And the lack lustre politicians full of self interest fall in line to their master the bankers.

    In order to get out of this mess we need real leadership but sadly there is none worse still none on the horizon. The only hope is for Ordinary Joe Citizen to make his true voice heard but Clock Work Orange antics will not do it but a Syrian stand off would stand a chance in Western society. And unless we achieve real change where Banking is SHOWN its place in society we will remain in its vicious voracious avarice grip.

  26. Deco

    The cheapest form of banking regulation. And it is extremely effective.

    Let them fail.

    And allow class action civil law suits against the clowns who destroyed the shareholders.

    Let the fight begin.

    The Irish establishment it seems has acheived a masterstroke in unaccountability. Class Actions are just not permissable.

  27. MK1

    Hi David,

    A good article, major Banking Reform is sorely needed. My all to LANCE THE BOIL is exactly that, major Banking System Reform, something I have been calling for for decades now. It is obvious to a blind man, as the saying goes, and no disrepect to any blind person.

    Its not just about deposits for loans though, as you will remember, our (the worlds) banking system is not a simplistic model of ‘members money in’ and ‘members money out’ a savings and loan bank or akin to a credit union. Dwalsh is right, lets not forget that we have FSB (fractional reserve banking), central banks that can increase money supply and credit flow with a click on their computer screens, and fiat currencies that are floating. ‘Legal Tender’ as you put it is a MIRAGE. It is a trust system, and ONLY works as long as the majority of people keep faith in that system.

    I laugh when I hear people comparing the recent market ‘wobbles’ (not moon wobbles!) with that of the situation in 2008. This IS still “2008″ in effect, as we are still working out from the problems that built up to create 2008. Some of these were the fiat currency system, FSB, and Basle I back in 1988. 2011 (now) is still within that window. And ironically solutions of the past, such as Fannie and Freddie didnt altogether help in the problems of today (2008-201?)

    But the so-called “market” is NOT the 28-yr old from Basildon, as you have aptly and eloquently described to a tee, but it IS the collective (mis)wisdom of ALL participating market participants at any point in time. Some of these are computer algorithms, as was experienced with high frequency trading during the flash crash. The market is dumb and has many flaws. If someone is a buyer of assets and is hoping to make a gain, they have to assess what the dumb market will do lemming-like. It is not based on wisdom. Hence companies values change in micro-seconds and demonstrate what can be described as jitter, with valuations moving on sentiment, rather than fundamentals. Hence we have bubbles and busts, crashes. Money, capital, left unregulated is akin to unregulating firearms and crime. Its the wildwest all over again. An accountant can be as dangerous as a terrorist with an IDE.

    Dave, there is so much to do, and so little done. Its a pity you are not in the Dail (and George Lee too) where you could at least attempt to try and persuade some minds, even if it would prove to be a worthless adventure and perhaps a complete waste of your time.

    Reform is badly needed and it starts with people’s minds reform (otherwise known as proper education!).

    Meanwhile, we live in a mess … and what a mess this is. Watch out for global population growth at some point pushing this system beyond its limits.

    MK1

    • wills

      MK1,

      Good to read your posts back in action.

      On the markets points.

      Firstly, the markets are rigged regarding algorithmic trading so the stock markets have been debased into a gambling hall.

      Wisdom is ket to markets. Information flow is a major part of transactional dynamics and exchange.

    • EMMETTOR

      MK1, the answer to the little question contained in your post, (2008-201?) is 2008-forever. Can you really see any reform of our financial institutions coming over the hill? I also believe that, well before resources on our planet reach breaking point, the market will have denied so many people access to those resources that we will be in deep crisis

  28. Apparently, someone met a cyborg terminator just back from the future the other day, who said the people of the future had a meeting; and they told ‘him’ to tell us, they were not going to pay for our treasury bonds, some bad ‘#!] language was used as well, but best leave that out:-)

  29. thirdeye

    A football loving 28 year old shorting the market and a financial “expert” shorting the market has its roots in the pro business 1980′s Maggie Thatcher and Ronnie REGAN’S light touch regulation employed during the 1980′S Recession to dismantle Trade unions and people and society structure into a new world of Money is King and if your poor it’s your fault mantra.Alan BLesdale’s TV series The Boys from the Blackstuff with one of the main character’s was Unemployed Yosser Hughes who search for a job and his unsuccessful attempts had shown the complete breakdown of a humans being in the process in dealing with unemployment but also the Uk as well. Yosser Hughes Catchphrase was”Gizza Job I can do that” from the TV series The Boys from the Blackstuff was the backdrop of Thatchers Britain with high unemployment and recession.I was sitting my leaving cert in 1984 and this program me was on.The current waste that i and many other experience has come back to resemble the 1980′s except worse scenario in that we have now no currency or interest rates to devalue and take us out of this mess.Political leadership of the last and present government are found total wanting and devoid of all ideas with the EU are all fully paid up members of the Regan and Thatcher policies.28 year old in the new financial expert we must keep happy is a worrying trend.Remember people all lost their Barings in One bank plus the social unrest in the Uk go right back to pursuit of policies that put financial expediency above people and the wider society.Im just shocked it has not happened here in Ireland.
    This austerity policies of the EU are a continuation of this and like the Uk and America the social community and fabric have long being ripped out and is in the early process of the same approach being achieved in Ireland under the moniker of austerity.Ripping out all social infrastructure makes the process of getting out of any recession harder deeper and longer than it might have been.

  30. Dorothy Jones

    From David’s article above: ‘At the end of this crisis, the captains of the universe in the major banks have to be brought down to earth’: Agree…….but……the facts unfortunately indicate that this is NOT the case. Look at Richie Boucher still at helm in BOI!!! They [BOI AIB] did not, as highlighted in Morgan Kelly’s speech last weekend, shout ‘stop’ in relation to Anglo’s behaviour, but instead mimicked it. What reason is there for RB’s continued engagement at this level? It is certainly beyond my comprehension, but perhaps more informed minds than my own can enlighten me at some stage……

    • @Dorothy Jones

      You are more informed and correct.

    • StephenKenny

      The implication is that all this is by no means over yet. For three years the financial sector has been gaming their governments. Eventually that will end, but a lot more will have to go wrong until it will be in their own interests for the media and politicians to change sides, and start doing what is really in the public interest.

      Until then, corruption, deceit, the almost total destruction of savings and pensions, and then political extremism/nationalism will increasingly be the order of the day. During these times the prudent, honest, and hard working, suffer, and the ‘others’ benefit. Look at the 1970s for an example.

      • EMMETTOR

        There is the “Banking System”, disassociated from the people and with different and often conflicting aims. There is the “Political Class” disassociated from the people and with different and often conflicting aims. Neither of these groups can be trusted to stop what’s going on, never mind to reform the system so it does not happen again. The Banks have no interest in doing so and the politicians don’t have the balls or the brains to do so.

  31. wills

    David,

    Punching the air here reading your article on *financial casino yob looting*.

    Excellent read on the story of financial terrorism in the computer age.

    Knife through the hot butter of bollocskology and 24/7 mainstream news coverage of financial casino markets as if it is the generator of all ideas and wealth.

    Soros himself wrote a book called *The Bubble of USA Supremacy* covering the nightmare scenario of unregulated hot money flows reeking havoc across world economies, destroying in its wake the enterprise and free markets. Amazing book I urge all to read.

    When one looks at the TV and the news on ITV, BBC, Sky etc and they go to the *financial markets* up dates and now its always the main headline news and what do we see?????

    A reporter standing in a trading room, or, brokerage floor, usually City of London and what do we see??

    We see banks and banks of computer screens, 8-10-12 screens to each trading desk. And the anarchist trader sitting there staring into space.

    The sense of inertia coming through the TV screen as reporter waxes on about financial markets is stifling.

    High class LADBROOKES IS WHAT WE SEE.

    One wants to put ones foot through the TV screen as the news raises this virtual lawless casino banking gambling where they win and never lose, rises it up and holds it aloft as the markets, yeah, the markets is all.

    Excellent article.

  32. wills

    Groundbreaking article.

    Taking serious time and patience teasing out this reality but there it is nailed.

  33. wills

    Thank you David, magic.

  34. Some detail on UK debt cycle:

    http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/uk-economy/uk-national-debt/

    Osborne has had to finance the bailouts and provision for higher austerity costs but the economy is moving in a positive direction.

    Arguably, Osborne is UK’s Roosevelt but time will tell:)

  35. Peter Atkinson

    Slightly digressing but staying on the theme of moneybags I see Sir Ryan Tubridy of Montrose has stopped tweeting.Could it be that his crown is slipping somewhat or maybe all that glitters is not gold.No I reckon the pot of gold is drying up and his fellow peers Maid Marion and Sir Joe of Clontarf have been rumbled.

    Remember any succesful kingdom depended on collecting taxes from obedient peasants (read listeners) and the peasants are revolting.I have a feeling we could be experiencing a French Revolution style scenario here.Could it be that the peasants will storm the Bastille (read Montrose) and call for the head of Sir Ryan and Maid Marion.Me thinks not.Irish Peasants revolting.Maybe their fashion tastes only but certainly not marching on RTE HQ.

    No the same clowns that are calling for the Rt Hon Gay Byrne, the ex king of RTE,for President.Why don’t they just dig Dev up and save themselves a fortune on an election.I think we should invite her nibs, ER over, and double up on her duties and put a real queen in the Aras.The troica would be proud of us for that.

    Speaking of the Troica, have they had a really good look at the salaries being paid out to our football star type presenters in RTE.They have better holidays than schoolteachers who have a fraction of their salaries.You spend the summer emailing or texting the Marion Finucane show when in fact you are listening to Clair Byrne.And the same goes for Joe and Pat.I assume their are paid handsomely for the school holidays too.They have become better known brand names in Ireland than Apple or Nike as a result.

    TV Licence payers wake up and wake up now.Call a halt to this farce for once and for all.Nobody in this climate is worth the type of money these guys are being paid.

    • Praetorian

      Tubridy’s listener numbers are down, while twitter seemed to be causing headaches.

      As for Gay, well, he has already managed to insult our partners in Brussels and his campaign hasn’t officially started (‘madmen’). The seemingly effortless transition from media to politics and back again is worth examining and any potential conflict of interest (journalists and commentators presenting on political and socio-economic issues with political aspirations).

      All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others ~ George Orwell, Animal Farm.

    • Deco

      It is getting absurd.
      Somebody gets to become a millionaire in a country where thousands have to leave the country to make a living – thanks to a compulsory levy.
      And he gives his money to one of his chums for investment – and his chum runs off with it.

      So he keeps on earning a few more million. Plenty more where that came from. And the people keep getting levied. And their children continue to leave them, to get work. And then he gives that new few million to another investment syndicate. And he retires.

      And guess what – that goes belly up.

      So he comes back on TV again back earning loads more money.

      What about the rest of the population ? what about the man in Limerick who chained himself to ESB HQ beccase he was skint and unable to pay his ESB bill ? Did he get a job in Pravda ?

      The tolerance level of the shenangins in Pravda, tell me loud and clear that we have completely lost our self respect as a people.

      • martino

        Not only that but they’re incompetent too. I won a competition recently on RTE radio but they never sent out the prize. I emailed the show in question-no response, so I rang them two days later. Apparently there was problems at the ‘competition department’. Coincidently, two acquaintences had the same experience. One had to chase them for months for his prize; the other never got her prize and just gave up. Amazing, eh?

        • Praetorian

          We don’t have a military industrial complex in Ireland.

          We have a media-industrial complex complete with revolving door to academia and politics.

        • EMMETTOR

          Just watch any of their sports shows, they can’t do basic digital editing, they’ll show a shot on goal, then cut before the keeper saves it! I remarked on this to a print journalist friend of mine and he just replied “amateur hour”. Radio Jellyfish Eireann!

          • Gege Le Beau

            Who needs politicians when you have State media providing a regular flow of reluctant and ‘independent’ candidates.

            RTE in the interests of protecting itself and the public interest, needs to consider introducing some kind of regulation barring staff from becoming politicians while employed at the organisation.

            For anyone with a tad of common sense, there is a serious conflict of interest situation brewing where the nature of the reporting especially on socio-economic and political issues is coming under the spotlight.

  36. wills

    David,

    Keep up the brilliant writing and peeling back the layers and defining the cryptic realities the insider ruling classes live and hide behind.

  37. michaelt

    Superb article. Just look who RTE wheel out to tell us about “the market”.. people just out of short pants or even economists like J.P. (you all know who I mean). People who would’nt be fit enough to be sent out to buy a box of matches..
    Is Mr> Noonan reading these articles?

    • Tull McAdoo

      JP …. JP…….JP…….It’s bloody Jeremy Paxman…… no its that bloody kid that turned up on Australia’s got talent here a while back. Remember he had a one man band. I remember he said he had a troubled childhood but making the poor bastard give out Economic predictions on RTE is a bit harsh. Here’s the bloody clip, I am sure it will jog your memories…….( the fact that Danny Minogue is in the clip also is purely coincidental ;-))

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIS3JLWLZXc

      • Malcolm McClure

        Could JP be the Sundance Kid? McManus is our homegrown George Soros, who after his success on Black Wednesday is believed to have been behind a $10 Billion bet that US would lose its AAA rating with S&P.
        Goodnight Las Vegas. Good morning Wall Street.

  38. A bit of balance here:

    DmcW “At the end of this crisis, the captains of the universe in the major banks have to be brought down to earth, just as Roosevelt did to the bankers in the 1930s. Economies will recover and the banking hegemony will be regarded as an anachronistic episode of history. Otherwise the chaos will continue.”

    Fair enough, most of the world goes along with that. Many on this list agree the fiat system is in a state of collapse through the weight of debt poisoning of democracy, global development…

    When G7 sit down, they see the problem also as the end of the dollar and euros ability to create debt is fast approaching.

    The solution to this problem has to go beyond the simple agenda of ‘bringing bankers to boot’ and it is more difficult. End of casino derivative financial instruments that conceal debt should be on the agenda.

    A new global currency in the wake of imminent global collapse of fiat currency, extinguished through the mathematical limit of debt creation?

    We are incredulous at the EFSF trying to pour more debt out to countries choking on debt! The effect of Debt as a solution to currency problems is disappearing faster than oil.

    So, any thoughts more than the solution “the captains of the universe in the major banks have to be brought down to earth”?

    How can they be brought to earth? Roosevelt, Lincoln had definite ideas about how this should be done.

    We need to look beyond the imminent crash and decide what will replace the doomed dollar and euro:) Fiat currency problems are bigger than ever before with 2008 seemingly only a preamble to difficulties ahead.

    Nina above “U.S. Congress to bring those bankers down to earth is HR 1489, which would restore Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall Act”?

    Lets hope solutions found will make the world a better place! We need people to focus on a solution to the problem as well as on the problem itself:)

  39. Deco

    The bankers, the politicians, the regulators, the media, the lot…

    What I am seeing is a culture of ineptitude in authority. Get your degree, join the sports club, and be a safe pair of hands.

    Sometime in the last generation in the West, meritocracy was thrown out, because there were better ways of running the economy, the state, and society. And the solutions being devised are essentially to make sure that this is not fixed. System capture by a culture that tolerates ineptitude – in fact it comforts it and rewards it.

    Make sure that you are not stuck with the fallout.

    The collapse of the West, from within. The rot from within. The collapse was averted, and sped up by the the dropping by Glass-Seagel – because Ponzi became the economic model.

  40. mcsean2163

    Short selling: if you own a security you can loan it to someone for a price.
    Therefore you can get money for the loan.
    Should that be illegal? Maybe so….

  41. zmartic

    1. Fractional banking system with printing money from thin air is “fraud”. Returning to 100% banking and sound money (gold or basket of commodities based) might be a solution.
    2. Socialistic policies with bailing out banks and governments is very bad. Nobody is too big to fail, let them die. Iceland was brought to the bottom faster but now have the chance to show the world what kind of growth to expect when not saved. The similar happened to Argentina and look their growth after it.
    3. More policing and rules are just another excuse for government and its agencies expansion, It brings us nothing good. Governments are less efficient, they do not create wealth, they just spend it. We all know we do not need mediators and non-competitive public sector spending our money. So we should go for minimalist governments till the we can even get rid of it. E.g. I am sure fully private helthcare will be better and cheaper than this mess. Nobody will say let’s have public car insurance and not private one. Why not conclude the same in opposite direction.
    In short there is nothing government can do better than private capital and free market. So reduce government spending, taxation, levies, rules, policies and leave people to decide what to do as it will be more money to invest and bring economy back on track. More taxing just brings money in the wrong hands so the economy is even more suppresed.
    4. Speculators are not evil, they do not do bad things, they only find opportunities that governments with their intervention are creating and fill the gap faster. Greek PM accused speculators of bringing Greece to its knees instead of saying we were spending for years more than we should, let us pay now for it. Speculators just made it obvious, faster.
    You should read about speculation more before judging they should be banned. A lot of good articles, one short one: http://mises.org/daily/4460

    • Re “Governments are less efficient, they do not create wealth, they just spend it. We all know we do not need mediators and non-competitive public sector spending our money. So we should go for minimalist governments till the we can even get rid of it. E.g. I am sure fully private healthcare will be better and cheaper than this mess. Nobody will say let’s have public car insurance and not private one. Why not conclude the same in opposite direction.”

      Totally disagree with this Tea Party nonsense. It usually comes from the idle rich safe in their ivory towers, able to educate their own kids in private schools, able to pay the fees for private healthcare, with the immoral means to scam the poor. Private health care with eg nursing homes going bankrupt throwing out the elderly should be avoided at all costs.

      This leads to social chaos. The problems with government are organic institutional problems such as the organic paradigm that the longer an institution lives, the more those operating it make it serve the needs of the service providers.

      See the investment in healthcare in Ireland that went on higher salaries, rather than new services. Government needs to reform and make efficient and productive education and health services.

      We should look to a society based on a fairer distribution of wealth that contributes to the welfare of its citizens through good health and education programmes, rather than the Tea Party graboid model that creates injustice, exploitation, conflict and violence. Meritocracy rather than plutocracy!

      • zmartic

        Then, why not just have everything public, car insurance and other stuff when it is so efficient and good. What about energy and telecoms, did that not improve when went private in many countries.
        Car insurance is private, so how come nobody complains that cannot drive a car due to it and needs government intervention.
        I am not sure why non-competition governed public sector will know better than the free market and investors.
        I have no big knowledge of Tea Party so cannot comment that part.
        Let it make all public when is better. Let’s go to pure socialism and discard proper capitalism.
        I assume you are for higher taxes and stronger government as this brings prosperity.

        • dwalsh

          The privatisation of telecoms has been a disaster for this country…and a complete rip-off.

          • Realist

            10 years ago I was paying 60c per minute of call with a foreign country with Eircom. Now I am paying 6c. I just do not see the point about the rip off. Only competing products can be priced properly. Public domain cannot price itself properly so they can spend and charge as much as they want.

          • dwalsh

            @ Realist
            The public who were conned into buying shares were ripped-off…and the series of asset strippers who have looted Eircom since then damaged our nation by not properly developing the infrastructure.

            Anthony O’Reilly especially disgraced himself in my eyes.

        • EMMETTOR

          Privatisation has ALWAYS led to higher charges for worse services. You’re just replacing the cost of the inefficiency of Public Services with the cost of the profit demanded by Private Enterprise and the insatiable desire for excessive profits will always have a worse effect on services than the in-built inefficiency of bureaucracy. Forget privatisation, it’s a busted flush.

          • Realist

            You must be living in a dream world as I lived in a total socialist country where everything was public.
            Just a simple question then: Tell me one real world example that public is better than private ?
            There is none due to:
            1. You cannot compare it, as the public is only that exists (like healthcare in Ireland where you need to pay taxes for it, e.g. 1/3 of budget is spent on it) or
            2. private is so much better as giving consumers better and cheaper service.

    • dwalsh

      @ zmartic

      “Speculators are not evil, they do not do bad things, they only find opportunities that governments with their intervention are creating and fill the gap faster.”

      It is precisely the opportunism and reckless pursuit of non-productive profit at any cost to anyone anywhere in the world that makes speculation as it is practiced today in the financial markets toxic and evil. These people are parasites who gamble with virtual capital leveraged on the real labour and assets of nations and ordinary folk. The notion that they are balancing the ills of government is completely daft.
      Financial speculation has bankrupted the planet. That you do not see that indicates to me you must have a stake in the scam…or you are stupid…sorry…but it is that clear to anyone who cares to look.
      To suggest we should have no government at all is to demonstrate you have no conception of what civilisation is. Perhaps you think social infrastructure and civilisation just grow out of the ground? Are you one of those the tea party loonatics who believe social infrastructure is theft?

      Anyway, thank you for sharing your opinion and giving me the opportunity to disagree so heartily with you.

      • Realist

        You do not shoot the postman for the letter from the revenue, do not you ?
        If you read clearly the post it is saying fractional banking + printing of money from thin air, together with saving banks (aka evil speculators) is what brought the economy down.
        That does not mean all speculators are bad or evil. I bet you have money in dodgy pension funds, gold or whatever. We all have it somewhere and we all speculating, nobody should stop us. But nobody will save me when I go south.
        What is evil is to print money and put it into building houses and cars, mispricing the same and then spreading all burden to all people and even taxed them more.
        I am not sure how is this less evil than giving people opportunity to choose.
        I lived in the economy where I had only one type of sugar to buy for 1 price. Now days when I go to Tesco I can choose between 20 types of sugar. How that can be worse.
        Having the government to misplace money by intention is very bad.
        You even have scrappage schemes to prop auto industry, or other type of government influence on the market.
        Like the only thing on Irish mind is to drive new cars.
        What is not evil is to leave people decide what they want to buy and do with their own money without pushing them with cheap money gotten from governments sponsored ECB and then spread unevenly through the government backed banking (saved, sponsored, related to the central banks and governments).

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