August 29, 2011

Lessons from a football windfall

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 77 comments ·
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The efficient management structure at Shamrock Rovers suggests that the club will spend its Europa League money wisely, something the country could replicate if oil and gas reserves are struck off the west coast

As a boy, my dad and my uncle Frank used to take me every other Sunday to Glenmalure Park in Milltown to see Shamrock Rovers play. We’d park in Donnybrook and walk up Eglinton Road with hundreds of others, through the turnstiles and into, what seemed to me at the time, an impressive stadium.

For a star-struck boy, Milltown was a Mecca where you might snatch the autographs of legends such as Ray Treacy, Johnny Giles or Eamon Dunphy. If not these big names, you might get the autograph of up-and-coming Pierce O’Leary or the man with the best hairstyle in football, former Arsenal full-back John Devine.

At Milltown, there was a gap between the stand and the terrace, just in front of the dressing room where, if you stood and waited, you’d have a great chance of getting your programme signed by one of the greats. The players came out of the dressing-room and walked diagonally across gravel to a little gate just by the bottom left-hand corner flag.

This little iron gate was a perfect bottleneck because the players had to line up to get through, and that was your opportunity to stick your programme and pen under their noses.

Fast forward to 2011 and I am in a bar in Croatia, watching Rovers play Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League. Here, the hatred of all things Serbian endures after the years of bitter conflict, and the locals display a particular dislike of Partizan. Much of the ethnic hatred in the crumbling Yugoslavia was fanned from the football terraces of Belgrade.

As a result, and based on the age-old logic that ‘‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’’, an Irishman in Croatia watching an Irish team beat Partizan Belgrade is a king, and is treated as one! It was a long night. Enough said.

Rovers’ historic victory, and entry to the group stages of the Europa League, means a massive windfall for the club and, by extension, for Irish football. The way Rovers spend the money will be crucial. Economics is full of examples where countries or companies get windfalls and blow them.

The most obvious cases are countries that strike oil and blow the cash. The windfall makes the country worse off in the long term: a few at the very top get all the cash and blow it, and the vast majority get nothing, bar higher prices and dented expectations.

The reason Rovers are interesting now is that they could well be a microcosm for Ireland if we do indeed exploit the oil and gas resources off our west coast.

It is worth considering the general proposition of how football clubs and countries spend money. I have a hunch that Ireland could learn from the management of Rovers. But before we explore that, lets see what economics tell us about windfalls.

Interestingly, blowing an economic windfall is called the ‘Dutch disease’. After the Dutch found huge gas resources in the North Sea, their manufacturing industry declined. Why was this? When you strike oil or gas, huge resources move into the new sector and the old manufacturing sectors can decline.

In addition, the price of everything in the country rises because of the huge new revenues the oil/gas strike generate; this pushes up government spending and all prices, making the old industries less competitive internationally. We see this in many countries, including Britain but, interestingly, not Norway.

Now, armed with these observations, let’s go back to football to see what economies can learn from the game.

Consider a club like Rovers, who are going to get a huge, one-off gain from last Thursday’s victory. If they follow the present English Premier League approach – let’s call it the Manchester City model – they will blow the cash looking for instant success. But if Rovers are more thoughtful, they will succeed where other clubs have failed.

The omens in Tallaght are good. The rebuilding of Rovers has been impressive. After 20 years in the wilderness following the sale of Milltown, hard work and commitment by a core group of supporters has seen the club rebuilt.

The decision to work with the local council at Tallaght was also inspired. No one produced a huge chequebook and tried to ‘buy’ the league, as happened with other clubs.

There is a sense that Rovers are a grounded club, run by grounded people who are now forging deep new roots in Tallaght. This all gives grounds for optimism that the club will avoid the Manchester City approach.

In the same way that a country can follow the Norwegian example when it finds oil or gas, a club can follow a different model to the one set down by the Premier League. In fact, the way football is managed can tell us a lot about how the general economy is managed and performs.

For example, unlike the debt-financed English clubs, German football clubs are not allowed to run a deficit. This financial brace ensures that they don’t splash out on foreign superstars. They have to find local talent. This means they invest at every level – and, as anyone who has ever had a kick-around in Germany will attest to, the facilities are impressive.

Even huge clubs like Bayern Munich take much of their talent from their junior team. As has been noted by Irish economist Aidan O’Regan (http://aregan.wordpress.com), this local focus and fiscal disciple in Germany doesn’t detract from competition – the argument put forward by the big spenders in the Premier League. They argue that the freer the market, the better the competition. The opposite is the case.

Look at the variety of German teams who have recently thrived in the Europa League and Champions League. Unlike the English Premier League, which is dominated by the teams with the most money, any one of ten clubs can reasonably expect to win the Bundesliga. This implies more competition, not less.

If you compare the number of German teams who have done well in Europe in the past few years, and then consider the recurring dominance of two or three English clubs, you can see that debt-financed football doesn’t produce more success.

We see similar patterns in the Netherlands, where local focus means that small clubs have a chance. For example, Ajax – the biggest club in the country – won the Eredivisie last year, but this was their first league title in seven years. Trends in Nordic countries, where small clubs regularly feature in the big European competitions, also attest to the success of local, gradual spending, rather than the massive, ‘‘all or nothing’’ approach.

It would be great if Rovers spent the windfall like a German team and not an English one. The omens are good for the first time in years. Looking forward to our possible national oil and gas windfall, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we followed the Norwegian example, rather than the British one?

And speaking as someone who was lifted over the turnstiles at Milltown all those years ago, it would be particularly satisfying if, for once, rather than representing greed and short-termism, a local football club could become the example for the nation to follow.


  1. ckone

    Wonder if Franz Beckenbauer would be interested in the Irish Presidency???

  2. What bugs me is why contracts with energy companies aren’t structured on a more win/win basis. Ireland’s deal on the west coast opportunity is considered one of the softest in the world.

    There should be a sliding scale where the greater the extraction the greater the return to the state. Shared risk and shared gain is what partnerships are about.

    (As an aside, gas prices are increasing again yet there was a massive glut a few years ago. Prices were expected to decrease but as this would hit profits the energy companies switched their resources back to the more lucrative oil market, pushing gas prices back up.)

    The windfall in our case is largely going into corporate pockets unless a more equitable deal is reached.

  3. ladygee2

    I for another one agree, but the way things are going and the way things were run in the past in regard to oil and gas finds in this country I can’t see it happening for the simple reason that this country is run for the elite and not for the ordinary citizen.The ordinary citizen is being crucified every which way but loose in order to keep this so called ‘elite’from the damage caused by their own greed. Look what happened with the Corrib Gas Field and the Shell to Sea debacle? And who was the fecking idiot of a minister who was the cause of this happening, Ray Burke.
    If you think that things are going to change under this government you better think again!!!

  4. straboe1

    Rovers when in Milltown never supported local talent, I do wish that they use part of their windfall to develop youth football in and around Tallaght. This could give the greatest return to the club in the long term, and be an example to us all.

  5. Deco

    Advice to Shamrock Rovers – don’t hire Bertie Ahern as a consultant to help you decide what to do with your windfall. And definitely, do not consult the FAI (his mates, incidentally), either.

    • Juanjo R

      Deco,

      Galway united had Nick Leeson on board in an executive capacity until relatively recently and got promoted ahead of Dundalk because of superior financial management in 2007 despite finishing behind them on points.

      Bertie would probably thrive !!!

  6. Juanjo R

    David,

    Theres something you spoke about in your article but didn’t expand on that I’m very curious about – that is Norways vs Britian/Hollands national exploitation of natural resources and how there were adverse affects on existing industries in Britian and Holland compared to Norway. Any chance that you could elaborate a little?

    The situation generally with the league of Ireland has been a joke over 5/6 years in general – you are correct – you quoted JP Morgan before as saying “that nothing so undermines your financial judgment as the sight of your neighbour getting rich” – so I suppose its good that Shamrock Rovers long term steady strategy is paying dividends now.

    One other minor point Man City are the only club in England where the owners are actually giving the huge anmounts of cash over without condition – Abramovich, Al Fayed the Glazers etc have tied monies in loans to their clubs.

    David Conn of the Guardian writes a bit about it links follow;

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/jun/03/english-premier-league-debt

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/feb/23/premier-league-clubs-europe-debt

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/may/19/premier-league-finances-black-hole

  7. Deco

    There would be not a word about the Corrib Field deal, were it not for a bunch of plucky pensioners in the far West. It would have been very quickly been non-news, and the owners could have continue to comment about it’s presumed value.

    The strange thing is that this time it was not an Irish business interest making off, at the expense of the citizenry. There are Irish outfits in the Hydrocarbon exploration business, but the local branch of the League of European Liberals or whatever FF call themselves these days, had to find an outfit that was up to the job. And sure enough, they found an outfit with a reputation to match.

    We did the same with the nation’s maritime resources. Another example of wanting to join the nEU empire so badly we had to throw away anything that might be attached to our sovereignty.

    What next I wonder ? Giving our fishing rights to the Finns as security for EFSF bailout money to pay the Anglo Bondholders ?

    Never underestimate the ability of the Irish political establishment to create the worst possible deal for Ireland, and to sell it to us as “a solution” or a “rescue” for some perceived problem with us (usually insubordination to centralized control).

  8. Deco

    Ireland is part of the league. Just like East Germany was part of a league run by the Soviets in the 1980s.

    And to be part of the league, you have to agree to the rules. Power centres like Washington and Brussels outline the rules of play. Agressive stances on natural resources are not eagerly entertained. In fact if your throw away your resources you get brownie points, and a seat up closer to the top table. Your Taoiseach gets to say “Is Feidir Linn” close to the head of the US Administration and to copy his meaningless mantras for domestic consumption. There was a time when we laughed at this in the 1980s. But now, it is happening here and nobody laughs at it – because we either believe in it, or are afraid of being ridiculed for questioning it.

    It will collapse the same way, if we are lucky. If we are unlucky, it will collapse after murderous conflicts and pointless military adventures to strengthen the control the establishment has on the population.

    • You don’t hear many people criticising Washington. Amazing really because if you wanted to learn how to design an economy and or a society the US is probably the last place on earth you would look for advice

      The playground bullies have hijacked that country and the inequality is the US is shocking. Ireland imported US culture and values and it is now paying for their docility. We have been Corporatised and turned into a nation of consumers. Now that no one has the money to keep consumerism in fashion perpetual debt is our reward for not shouting stop a long time ago

      Listening to our politicians efforts at serious debate tells us that they have learned nothing and that they will continue blindly following the mindless rubbish that comes out of Washington, American Universities and right wing think tanks.

  9. rebean

    Does anyone really understand what actually went on rearding our oil and gas reserves on the west coast.From what
    I have been reading that Enterprise oil sold the rights to shell re drilling and extraction.Can anyone confirm this. I believe the old republican party and one Mr Ray Burke were involved in some deal that stinks from high heaven and has all the hallmarks of A South American style banana republic type deal for Ireland and its people. There is this notion that we cannot go back and change the deal that was done . Well thats a load of crap we certainly can go back and say to all involved that the deal was done by a man that was later indicted in a court of law. We require the money for the resources. Does anyone realise there is an oil pipe being brought ashore also in Belmullet. The original plan has changed and even the licence to extract only gas is now in question. Lets have some debate on what actually is going on out there off the west coast. One thing for sure I wouldnt trust Shell Oil to be doing the right thing by Irish citizens . They have a very bad track record in other countries

  10. Great Article.

    The freer the market the less the competition.
    How true and another poke in the eye for the Chicago Boys. Assholes

  11. With the revenues from our natural resources our glorious politicos could;

    - Redistribute the wealth amongst those who really matter and spend billions on consultancy, legal fees and reports or

    - Buy an election or two?

    - Propose an Enda Arena?

    Or they could prudently put funds into a pension reserve fund, drive themselves blindly into a self made crisis while ignoring warnings and denegrating any detractors.
    - Then claim no responsibility for any of the mess and handover the funds to save the poor bankers.

    Nah? couldn’t happen????

  12. adamabyss

    What a dreadful load of old waffle. I would have liked to have found out how Norway managed to responsibly control their prices and oil bonanza. As if we didn’t get enough football ‘anaylsis’ on the sports pages. Good luck to Shamrock Rovers but football is utterly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I spent enough time running around a field chasing a piece of inflated leather to know. Am back training on Wednesday as it happens, haha, but seriously David stick to what you know best and enjoy the rest of your holiday!

  13. wills

    David,

    Invest at every level is the moral of the tale.

    Only problem is, accessing investment means having to get involved with private banking and debt financing.

    Problem with that is its a usury ponzi scam in operation now since 1694 when it became standardized by the Bank of England and went global over the next centuries and mutated the free market system into an engine of funds for financial and property criminal syndicates.

    • Deco

      The basis of the FIRE economy is to inflate the value of the asset base, then talk up “confidence”, and then spend.

      There is a crucial difference between spend and invest. The difference is the results. Spending money, and calling it “investment” is a massive dis-allocation of resources. And it results in shambles like the banking bailout and NAMA. These are not investments. These are coverup spending exercises.

      • wills

        Deco,

        Yup.

        Finance your business via debt or via capital or via both.

        Unfortunately though, every unit of cash, loan, that make s up capital has a unit debt next to it on a balance sheet in a bank somewhere on planet earth.

        If all bank debts where to be paid off, all monies in system would disappear overnight.

        This is the insane debt money system all of us on planet earth are forced to use.

  14. transitionman

    David The insiders have the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway in the bag shttp://politico.ie/social-issues/7851-oil-and-gas-sins-of-the-father.html

  15. Amergin

    As usual, a well constructed argument supported by solid historical precedent. I only have one quibble. While Norway did grasp the opportunities of its deep, the age of oil may now be ending and the fracking of gas fields is coming under overdue scrutiny as a cause of water contamination and earthquakes. I am involved in the alternative energy sector and am especially interested in the electric vehicle (EV) niche. We (terraintegra.org) have been advancing the cause of an Irish EV industry for some months. All the ingredients are in place and Ireland is no more at a disadvantage than Germany, France or China when it comes to establishing an EV industry (largely because the EV industry has little in common with the traditional vehicle manufacturing industry). It and industries like it can provide the solid manufacturing bases that Ireland now needs. The EV industry will advance rapidly with new products, assembled in modular fashion like your iPhone, revolving in 2 year cycles, at ever more competitive prices. Some extraordinary advances are being made under the media radar. Additionally, the energy consumption of buildings and industry will shrink as more efficient machines and energy conservation technologies move from alternative to mainstream.

    In summary, within the next 10 years, oil will be in plentiful supply, seeking buyers in a dwindling market and perhaps not worth drilling for in the deep. The fledgling alternative energy and electric transport sectors can be Ireland’s qualifiers in the Industrial Europa League. They, not oil and gas, can give local jobs and local wealth redistribution. And, for some of us, they do not damage what is left of our environment.

    • thirdeye

      With regards to the oil and natural gas reserves have been sold off cheaply by the political and business elites to their friends with no benefit for the Irish citizen or country unlike Norway.This present government has the same mentality of previous administrations are in the pockets of the oil multi nationals who dictate how much they are willing to pay us for OUR natural resources.Irish EV idea is a great idea but the prohibitive cost of the electric vehicles plus lack of national renewable grid and national charge up points added to the limited range of the vehicles means it’s only the rich persons play toy to soothe their conscience for driving big gas guzzling suv and 4X4 vehicles.

  16. The article wouldn’t be of any great interest to an Irish Truth and Justice Commission.

    It might be suitable for waiting room mags that score goals for a Bulmers United or similar business teams.

    It might even score a goal for Shamrock Rovers.

    Its got a certain nostalgic, indulgent rapport with the past that may even be slightly narcissistic, but I’ve seen worse spillages in that zone.

    As an exercise in lateral thinking drawing together DmcW expertise in both economics and european football, its not bad.

    But its got a Fr Ted Bulmers United whiff of false optimism in a certain non sequitor regarding the discovery of oil off our east coast.

    So what’s the skinny on our oil resources? No doubt our banks will be pleased with the news and have their eyes on these winnings as they have on Rovers gains:-)

    I believe teams all around the country are being decimated through emigration. In the teeth of all such bad news, Shamrock Rovers deserve three cheers.

    But as a person who finds soccer boring, the notion of “.. someone who was lifted over the turnstiles at Milltown all those years ago” frankly gives me the chills:)

      • Juanjo R

        Ah Malcolm, Malcolm, what would old JP Sartre say about you now?

        Something like your silence speaks volumes?

        Remember what you commented last June about oil and gas reserves of the west of Ireland here on this site in the ‘arab spring’ article?

        Malcolm McClure says:
        June 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

        Juanjo R: of course these are all pie in the sky estimates, but you might as well try to be accurate. Pat Rabbitte, on 5th April 2011 gave latest estimates to be 6.5 billion barrels of oil and 20 trillion cubic feet of gas.
        http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/04/05/00169.asp
        Oil reserves cannot be logged as such until several wells have been drilled and an exhaustive study of the evidence has taken place. Thus ‘potential reserves’ is an oxymoron. The Department of Petroleum Affairs do not actually use a crystal ball to arrive at these figures but their methods are not much better, although they offer to sell a report substantiating their estimates for €25,000. Needless to say, there are few buyers.
        Reply

        Pauldiv says:
        June 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

        Thanks for posting helpful answers to my question Juanjo and Malcolm

        In web speak I derived much value from your answers

        I agree with Malcolm and reckon it is more likely that they don’t have a clue how much oil and gas is down there. Malcolm you are claiming there are inaccuracies in Juanjo’s answer but don’t mention what they are

        They might be important so please elaborate if you have the time thanks

        I am currently under the impression that the Irish govt has signed away most of the rights to these fields and that any private companies involved in the venture will take a profit while paying next to zero tax. This doesn’t sound right however and I would like someone to clarify

        Malcolm McClure says:
        June 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm

        Pauldiv: A wise government won’t even look cross-eyed at a golden goose until it starts laying golden eggs.

        However, the Atlantic shelf is an ugly duckling. Wow, is it ugly. It’s ugly as if it has fallen off an ugly tree and hit all the branches on the way down, then landed in a warm and soft pile of shit called Bellinaboy.

        • Malcolm McClure

          I don’t know what Sartre would say, but for me ‘hell is other people’s reserve estimates.’
          Incidentally, David, the Dutch didn’t find huge gas reserves in the North Sea. The Groningen gas field is onshore.

    • //But as a person who finds soccer boring, the notion of //“.. someone who was lifted over the turnstiles at //Milltown all those years ago” frankly gives me the //chills:)

      Ah come one we all remember being given a ‘lift oer’
      Its part of your fooballing education and football is the sport of the world. None of that parochial GAA shite

  17. Deco

    I reckon Noonan is fibbing….

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/noonan-banks-have-capital-for-debt-forgiveness-518454.html

    And I also reckon that IBEC will be up in arms over this, given the pressure that business is under with respect to bank credit.

    ICTU will also provide superficial sympathy, but an aggressive stance to make sure that this does not come as a result of public sector pay cuts or layoffs to members of the IBOA.

    Noonan has walked into this one….

    • Deco

      I reckon the banks do not have the money for debt forgiveness. Anecdotal evidence based on the amount of money they are making available for new loans effectively proves it.

      And Noonan should note, this is taxpayers money – it is not the banks money.

      • Tull McAdoo

        I reckon Schoolmaster Noonan is sugaring the pill for some in the lead up to the Budget.

        For those not involved in this medicine it will prove a useful safety valve for them to vent their begrudgery,paronia,me feinism, and so on.

        Cute hoor Noonan at his usual antics……

      • redriversix

        Hey Deco

        Who cares if the Banks do not have the money for debt forgiveness ?

        The majority of small business appear to be surviving by pushing each others credit terms out to 120 days which obviously can,t go on indefinitely.

        I am afraid we shall have to forget about Mr Noonan as he will do what Europe tells him to do.

        If you recall he said ,after Merkel & Sarkozy meeting regarding the future paths EU members should take , within 30 minutes he said this was a “very positive step “!!!

        Any Finance Minister in the future will toe the line and do as their told , forget about the price we, The People have to pay.

        I do not get Davids article today , don,t see relevance,maybe I am tired.

        If People either in business or in a personal level cannot fund their debts than they need to get proper advice,follow it to the letter.

        And Do the best they can.

        If that does not work and if your doing the best you can,do not be afraid to go to court.

        Judges are , in my experience fair minded people and can decide fairly quickly who is trying to pull a stroke and who is trying their best.

        We do not need a “debt forgiveness programme “We just have to learn that their is nothing to be afraid of if “your doing your best”.

        The system is already there for us and i am not talking about Bankruptcy or anything like that.

        Do a budget
        Pay your self / family first
        talk to your creditors and do a deal.
        Pay what you can , not what they would like.

        This plan is not for any “strokers ” reading this because as a “stroker” you will have no choice but to fuck up this simple plan and then aboved mentioned Judge will tear you a new asshole !

        Any idea as to why Warren Buffet buys in to Bank of America for $5 Billion dollars !!!! and the share price only rises 8% ?……..

        • Deco

          Interesting concerning Noonan.

          Unlike Lenihan, Noonan seems to have decided that the best way to handle the public – is to avoid them. We all knew that Lenihan was between a rock and a hard place, and being excessively optimistic.

          But Noonan seems to have disappeared.

          The fact is that everyone in FG (and probably the ILP as well) is told to not make any comment until party policy is decided. (Now this is even worse than FF/GP – as far as I remember FF and GP both had loose cannons saying the obvious on a continual basis. McGuinness and Gogarty both spring to mind.).

          Everything is choreographed to make sure you do not find out the key fact…..

          they have no clue what they are doing….

          Concerning Buffet – I think he might be losing the plot….He is invested big into Wells Fargo, and has a massive amount of skin in the game of Ponzi-economics.

          • StephenKenny

            Buffet made a similar ‘bet’ on Goldman Sachs in 2008, which paid off handsomely when the US government bailed out Goldman (via AIG).
            I would think that Buffet is taking the ‘Too Big To Fail’ definition for real, and therefore assuming that the US tax payer will carry on giving Bank of America tens of billions until it’s solvent.
            Looking back on the last 4 years, I would say that there is literally no risk at all, and Buffet will make $tens of billions more from the US taxpayer.

          • Harper66

            “We all knew that Lenihan was between a rock and a hard place, and being excessively optimistic.”

            Dont wish to seem pedantic but I dont buy that for one minute. It angers me to hear excuses being made for his actions.

            His decisions bankrupted this country and he chose to defend the insiders and “professions” and brutalise the majority of Irish people.

            Shame on him.

    • dwalsh

      Either he is fibbing…or he is displaying his ignorance. Either way it bodes ill for Ireland.

      The billions put into the banks is not sitting in them as capital…it has disapeared (or is scheduled to soon) into the black hole known as ‘Senior Bondholders’.

      The banks are bankrupt.

      Noonan’s talking through his a***.

      • dwalsh

        I remember watching some footage of him on his first day in Europe after the elections…the body language and so on as he mixed informally…he seemed to me to be completely out of his depth and altogether delighted with himself.

        According to those who seem to know what they are talking about…Summerville & Gurdgiev et al…there is no undertanding or reality in Leinster House.

        • redriversix

          Hi dwalsh

          Damn right their is no understanding of reality in Leinster House.

          Mr Noonans body language reminded me of a young School kid who just got accepted in to the “cool gang”

          Banks ARE bankrupt

          NAMA has failed

          Government making promises to EU it cannot keep

          Social Welfare overwhelmed with cries for help.

          Robert S Mcnamara said that trying to make decisions in high pressure situations was extremely difficult, he called it the “Fog of War”

          Sometimes you can make a decision NOT to “make a decision”

          How could the few that is left working possible be taxed anymore ?

          Is it a catch 22 situation ?

          Should we shout STOP to all this financial maddness and startover ?

          Cancel Shell deal ?
          Promote Agriculture ?
          Reinvest Money back in to education & health
          promote well-being & health tourism ?

          Or….start at the start and demonstrate or begin a revolution.

          Surely the time is coming to do something….10 Billion euro in cuts allegedly coming in December….???

          Only three months away !

          • dwalsh

            @ redriversix

            “Mr Noonans body language reminded me of a young School kid who just got accepted in to the “cool gang””

            That’s exactly it; I almost used exactly that metaphor. Good to know others saw what I saw.

            My view is this is a global disaster which will lead to a “new world order”; in whatever sense Kissinger meant those words when he said them at the begining of the crisis.

            For the globalists this is not a crisis; it is an opportunity.

            We could as a nation do a solo run like Iceland…if we had the leadership. They would be unlikely to invade us or carpet bomb us into ‘liberty’ since we have no resources worth the trouble.

            But we don’t have the leadership. Our political and financial elites are part of the global system. They will hand us over to the globalists, along with whatever baubles of national assets they want, for a song…and for our own good of course.

            It is awful to be so cynical.

  18. Praetorian

    First Buffet, then the French elite, now the German uber-wealthy ask to be taxed more for the sake of their country, the silence from the Irish power-elite speaks volumes, fumbling in the greasy till, what a shameful little place Ireland has become.

    Tax us more, say wealthy Europeans
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/29/tax-us-more-say-wealthy-europeans

    • Deco

      “Tax us a bit more so that we can be bailed out a lot more”.

      It is a form of pacification of the worker drones.

      It would have been much more cost effective to simply not bailout the rich in the first place.

      But if that happened, then the entire Ponzi scheme would be laid bare. And that is to be avoided at all costs.

    • StephenKenny

      The other thing that I think the wealthy are starting to get worried about, as the depth and width of the breathtaking level of corruption leaks out, is that the disgusting masses will elect a government that will actually do something about it.

      At this stage it’s unlikely, but as things get worse, and they will, people will start getting angry, and when enough people get angry, a more extreme government gets a mandate to ‘sort things out’. The collateral damage is generally huge, but that doesn’t concern the wealthy any more than the damage that their “win-lose” system did in the first place.

      • Praetorian

        Pure public relations 101. Desperate in austere times to be seen to be doing the ‘right thing’. Makes for good chat over coffee and cake: ‘we tried’.

        Yes, an exhaustive effort.

  19. Le Comprador Islensku

    The national lands of Iceland in a certain northern coastal region now form a predicate over Icelandic Nationalism .Mr Huang an ex primate of the Chinese Central Propaganda Dept and a billionaire has lodged his purchase of 300sq km of land to the Icelandic Parliament on payment of $8.8m to local landowners and a promise to develope the remote area into an ecosystem under ‘private ownership’.

    Its a matter of time when they will arrive here .

    ( We in Ireland have a few well known compradors from the higher orders of the Irish civil service )

  20. In relation to the above soccer article I would like to ask a a pertinent question .Did you pay to get inside when you were lifetd over the turnstiles ? Were you heavy then?

    I really have no interest in soccer …sorry.

    • coldblow

      You mean you have no interest in football. Jr has decided that ‘soccer’ is an insult and insists on the game’s correct appellation. This will be an uphill task in Kerry and I wish him well in his endeavours.

      What was Dunphy doing at “Milltown”? Is this a typo? David wasn’t dahn the ‘Wall?

      Wish I could share his optimism about Shamrock Rovers. When hasn’t success gone to people’s heads here? I can’t really explain but the Wizard of Oz sprang to mind and refuses to go away.

      Good article from Will Hutton here (he’s written a few on the theme):

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/jan/12/usa.georgebush

      The English Premier League is heading the same way as Scotland: predictable, crass and cynical. A perfect illustration of contemporary culture. It has reached a pretty pass when we are expected to support Arsenal as the plucky minnows. See how the American Football league (of all people) do things – I’ve posted this before.

      I’m straying, but just while I’m here can anyone tell me what it is about hurling? Why do dey all sound de same? Nothing (much) against it, per se, but I always meant to ask.

  21. EMMETTOR

    Like in all third world countries, our ignorant tribal chiefs will give away any oil or gas finds, probably in exchange for some glass beads. The price tag on our natural resources has always read “Free!”

    • Deco

      Nah, even worse than glass beads.

      Our tribal chief only wanted a chance to appear beside the big big chiefs, in a canary yella suit….it was even cheaper than that.

    • Tull McAdoo

      The Deference of the Comprador……….Finally nailed it, I rest my case…..

  22. dwalsh

    An insightful article from Fintan:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0830/1224303188746.html

    If you read through the comments below the article you will see the two parallel states (of mind) he talks about in the article demonstrated before your very eyes.

    We see it here on this blog too. Those who stand with the ordinary citizens of this country and the world and those who are delighted to see them suffer and get what they believe they deserve.
    Those who are outraged that hospitals and schools and other social infrastructure is being shut down while billions are pumped into zombie banks; and those who think the sick deserve no treatment because they get sick on purpose or irresponsibly just to take advantage of the system. This obscene view was recently expressed on this forum.

    Fact is, we are not all alike; and this crisis is bringing the differences in our mind-sets and in our moral natures to the surface for all to see.
    I know who I stand with — I stand with the ordinary people of Ireland and the world who are being royally shafted by a criminal sociopathic minority who have usurped the political and social order globally and who will destroy our civilisation and wreck our beautiful planet…if they are let.

    • Good article, but re “The first state is Namaland, a crazy kingdom whose subjects have infinite resources. The numbers that apply in Namaland are so vast that they seem literally beyond comprehension. Let’s instead consider just one concrete example of how this place works.”

      Part of the problem is the hidden, secretive world that is kept from public scrutiny. Fair dues to Fintan for opening the can of worms with a concrete example.

      We need a lot more of this.

    • redriversix

      Hi dwalsh
      ………and who will destroy our beautiful planet…if they are let.

      Do I/you/we know of any idea as to how we can stop them.?
      They are sacrificing our Hospitals and our Schools and future pensions and the future of the next generation to save Zombie Banks..
      But what can we do ? Seriously….

      ” you also mentioned in your earlier blog that it was terrible to be so cynical”

      It is tough,very tough…but i believe it is easier to deal with crisis once we know what we are up against.

      The Media and its attack on social welfare is a pre-prepared policy to split societies view of different classes and introduce a two tier society i.e poor & well off and the death of middle class just as has happened in the U.S, in my opinion

      449.000 on the live register this evening.

      As i stated in earlier forum i think N.A.M.A is here to stay for a long time needed or not,its just another black hole for our Money and “jobs for the boys”

      Any First year student with a simple crasp of Maths know the figures do not and never will add up.

      Hi Colm brazel
      “never mind the name of the Finance Minister , if you can find him ,would you let him know we are looking for him !

      talk later….

      • dwalsh

        @ redriversix

        I dont know what can be done other than hoping that eventually people will start to wake-up and realise how insane it all is. Amazingly this has not happened yet. I think it will have to get a lot worse before it can get better.
        That might not be too long coming either. I think we may be on the eve of the next big event.

        Watched ‘Inside Job’ last evening. I knew it all already but to get it in one dollop like is still harrowing. How are they still managing to get away with it? There is some very powerful force lurking in the background of this process that none dares mention. This is not accidental.

        re “The Media and its attack on social welfare”

        Good to know I am not the only one hearing the propaganda and predictive programming being drummed-up by the media. I sometimes listen to 106 and it has been building on that station for months now.

        • redriversix

          dwalsh

          ” inside job ” is a superb piece of award winning research resulting in a highly informative documentary,a must see for any one remotely curious as to what is allegedly[sic] going on today.

          Powers that be seem to “get away with it”both past and present by creating a atmosphere of fear.Examples of which can be found throughout history.

          Reichstag fire in 1933,Hitler blames opposition and commies,introduces Reichstag act repealing a lot of German civil liberties.The people rally to Hitler as “someone who will protect them ”

          Blame falls on a young man with communist ties within 36 hours he is tried,and hanged.

          This later turns out to be a “inside job”

          Gulf of Tonkin incident which LBJ used to “invade”Vietnam.turns out the attack never happened on U.S Destroyers by N.V gunboats

          The promotion of the Dominio theory during the sixties,creating widespread fear of “reds under the bed” and a build up of massive military budgets.

          The invasion of Grenada in 1983 to liberate U.S students.
          Grenada was so dangerous that CNN was on the beach before the Marines landed..!!!!

          9/11 , Ql Qaeda,[ translation-"the base"formed by the C.I.A in 1980]
          ,
          The never ending “War on terror” introduction of “Homeland security”and the “patriot act.

          Illegal Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

          Syria Accepting Americas captured “terrorists” for “interrogation” and Syria handing over to U.S alleged Al Qaeda members without evidence.[Syria and Israel hate each other!Israel is Americas biggest supporter in middle east]….

          11/9/72-74
          U.S overthrows democrat leader of Chile, puts in a Government that suits the U.S led by some guy called General Pinochet !!!

          2002
          U.S overthrows government of Venezuela led by democratically elected,Hugo Chavez.
          Did not work…Chavez back in power within weeks

          Two weeks Hugo Chavez requested from Fed and State Depts that he “would like the return of his Countries 200 tonnes of gold brought back to Venezuela from secure storage in New York.

          IT has not been returned to date……

          Take care & Goodnight

  23. Quiz: Name Ireland’s Minister for Finance, is it

    1. Mr Not One
    2. Mr Not Alone
    3. Mr Un Known
    4. Mr Noonan
    5. Mr Shopper
    6. Mr V Tricky
    7. Mr Clue Less
    8. Mr D Fault
    9. Mr T ItAnic
    10. Mr Pu Pet
    11. Mr Capital Isebank
    12. Mr Brain Less
    13. Mr Rubber Necker Meltdown
    14. Mr I M F
    15. Mr T R Oika
    16. Mr Negative Equity
    17. Mr Bank Losses
    18. Mr CanT Pee Itback
    19. Mr Gimme More
    20. Mr N My Mistake
    21. Mr F Nama
    22. Mr S Disaster
    23. Mr Econ MickDisaster
    24. Mr P Ravda
    25. Mr Bank Ownus
    26. Mr W R Sunk
    27. Mr N Growth
    28. Mr NotAt Home
    28. Mr Other

    Answers on a postcard to ‘the crew of the sinking titanic’, Dáil Eireann.

    I see the number of mortgage defaulters is shooting skyward.

    It seems they’ve chosen to pay themselves subsistence and only pay the banks what’s left over.

    Good choice.

    They must all be setting up their own personalNAMA’s to save themselves.

    All these mortgage defaults, soaring unemployment, its normal in a recessionary default and meltdown.

    • Another €4 bn to be transfused out of the Irish economy next budget as Ireland is led to its abattoir budget, as Ruari Quinn says, to get back our economic sovereignty as quickly as possible.

      Sorry Ruari, its not what Sarkozy et Merkel have in mind for you!

      But we’ll keep that surprise for later:)

      • thirdeye

        Your correct and the euro file muppets that are in the cabinet either cant see this scenario or wont admit they have been wrong on EU membership.

    • redriversix

      “All that is needed for evil men to succeed is for Good men to do nothing”

      Gandhi [Or red river six]
      Can.t remember !lol

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