November 23, 2011

This cannot go on and it won't - change is coming

Posted in Irish Independent · 277 comments ·

While I was dropping the children to school yesterday, the morning radio show on Newstalk highlighted an Ernst & Young report which claimed in its latest forecast on the economy that full employment would not be seen again in this country until 2030 — that’s 19 years away.

What a thing to say with any sense of confidence! In 2030, my children will be 30 and 28. Only a firm that has been totally insulated from reality — which could be the case for E&Y, as it audited Anglo, after all — could think that any society would tolerate a generation of mass unemployment without demanding a significant policy shift.

Whether this shift manifests itself in a new currency, a new tax regime or an economy-wide debt resolution — or something even more dramatic — something will give and it must.

But before we examine how that might happen, consider how long 19 years is. It is over one-third of your working life. Think about the world 19 years ago, in 1993. The newly unified Germany — a country which now lectures Europe on fiscal rectitude — was running a massive budget deficit. More significantly, the German budget deficit was financed by the poor countries of Europe through the medium of sky-high European interest rates as the voracious German demand for funds sucked money into the new Germany. The 1993 currency crisis was the direct result of Germany’s unilateral decision to unify. Now we can’t blame them for doing so, but it is worth reminding ourselves that we have all made sacrifices.

In Ireland in 1993, the IRA was still killing people, there were very few immigrants here and Irish banks were reasonably well-run outfits. Albert Reynolds came back from Brussels with a famous commitment of IR£8bn in regional funding and we thought we were made. (In fact, over the 35 years from 1973 to 2008, we received €18bn from the EU in regional aid; Anglo lost nearly twice that in 12 months!

Back in 1993, our daily lives were so different from today. There was no internet, few mobile phones, no iPhones or i- anythings for that matter and only a tiny number of laptops. There was no YouTube, Facebook or Google.

Geo-politically, China was still largely a closed economy, as was India. Brazil was a pariah nation in default, rather than the second-fastest-growing country in the world that it is today. And things are changing more rapidly still.

For example, in the past year, 246 million new internet users were registered in China. This means that more people began to use the internet in China last year alone than there are actual internet users in the whole of the US. China added more users in one year than there are users in the US. Imagine what this means.

In the second quarter of this year, when the West was mired in debt problems and the consumer wasn’t spending, 3G mobile subscriptions in China increased by 172pc, reflecting the huge demand for smart-phones. Last month, only 11 quarters after the product was introduced, 160 million Android smart phones had been delivered from factories.

This compares with just 40 million Apple iPhones delivered in the 11 quarters after that product was first introduced to the world market. This trend reveals the extraordinary demand for new forms of technology and shows how, in just a few short years, a market leader can be overtaken.

Such is our new world and, irrespective of the laws of old economics, new economics is going to affect the careers of my children in ways that were unimaginable a few years ago. In fact, it is likely that my children will be working in jobs that haven’t yet been invented.

These observations reveal the problem with long-range forecasting. It is impossible to project with any real accuracy because there are simply too many things going on.

But we know one thing for sure, to use the words of the great US economist Herbert Stein: “If something can’t go on forever, it will stop.” This should be applied to the current crises in Europe and Ireland.

Politics will react to events and what was inconceivable only a few months ago becomes mainstream very quickly.

We know that all periods of high unemployment lead to significant political change. Recent US research reveals that the state of the economy in the year of the election is the single biggest determinant of who wins the presidential election. This is why Obama — no matter how good he is on the hustings — needs the US economy to be creating jobs next year.

At the moment, the indicators are that the US will slip back into recession next year. In Europe, Ireland and the US, the problems are similar — we are experiencing the hangover of far too much borrowing. This is called “deleveraging” in economics. A period of rapid growth and house-price inflation following too much credit availability is followed by too little credit and too much house-price deflation. This leads to low or non-existent inflation and economic stagnation. How long this lasts depends on how long you can put up with it.

If you try to pay all debts and screw the economy in the process — the Ceausescu option — you will get poverty, massive unemployment and, ultimately, revolution. This is exactly why this won’t happen. It isn’t politically feasible.

TAKE any historic episode you like, after a massive credit binge, policy changes dramatically. In 1935, the US defaulted on all its debts by coming off the gold standard. In 1992, Finland shafted its foreign bondholders by devaluing the Marka suddenly. The UK did the same. This is what happens.

A similar realpolitik will determine what happens next in Ireland. Real economics revolves around human capital and demographics. The true economic value of a country is its people. Actually, when seen from an economics perspective, debt is actually accountancy not economics at all.

Debt can be fixed by accountancy and corporate finance tricks, while real economic growth takes more time.

This is why we should expect large-scale debt deals in Europe. European banks are bust and because they are bust, they can’t finance European budget deficits, so realpolitik demands that the old creditors will get burned. Then the banks will sell assets and we start again.

This will happen after the next big credit crisis in Europe, which is coming in the next year.

Ultimately, the deleveraging timeframe in Europe will be shortened, balance sheets will be cleaned up as both creditors and debtors take a hit and then we will start again.

This will take about 19 months, rather than 19 years, and we will enter a new global economic cycle where the global structural changes in technology and demographics and geo-politics dominate.

When someone can’t pay, they won’t pay. Get over it and move on. That is what will happen and the future will offer as many chances to Irish children as any others.

As I watch a bunch of nine-year-olds, bags slung over their shoulders, shirts hanging out, shoes scuffed, I am consoled by the knowledge that their future is not sealed for the next 19 years.

Life — and economics — doesn’t work like that because when something can’t go on forever, it stops.

  1. transitionman

    November 23, 2011
    When American Wealth Advisory Newsletters and David McWilliams reach the same conclusions is it time to batten down the hatches?

    Why Europe Will Result in Systemic Risk.

    Let’s rehash the European situation for those who still don’t get it.

    Taken as a whole, the US banking system is leveraged at 13 to 1. Leverage levels at the TBTFs are much much higher… but when you add them in with the 8,100+ other banks in the US, total US bank leverage is 13 to 1.

    The European banking system as a whole is nearly twice this at over 25 to 1. That’s the ENTIRE European Banking system leveraged at near Lehman levels (Lehman was 30 to 1 when it collapsed).

    To put this into perspective, with a leverage level of 25 to 1, you only need a 4% drop in asset prices to wipe out ALL capital. What are the odds that European bank assets fall 4% in value in the near future?

    Now let’s consider TOTAL debt sitting on Financial Institutions’ balance sheets in Europe. The below chart shows this number for financial institutions in several major EU members relative to their country’s 2010 GDP.

    Country Financial Institutions’ Gross Debt as a % of GDP
    Portugal 65%
    Italy 99%
    Ireland 664%
    Greece 21%
    Spain 113%
    UK 735%
    France 148%
    Germany 95%
    EU as a whole 148%
    Source: IMF

    As you can see, financial institutions in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Ireland are all ticking time bombs. Indeed, taken as a whole, European financial institutions have more debt than Europe’s ENTIRE GDP.

    These leverage levels alone position Europe for a full-scale banking collapse on par with Lehman Brothers. Again, I’m talking about Europe’s ENTIRE banking system collapsing.

    This is not a question of “if,” it is a question of “when.” And it will very likely happen within the next 10-12 months if not sooner depending on how soon Greece defaults.

    The reason that this is guaranteed to happen before the end of 2012 is that a HUGE percentage of European bank debt needs to be rolled over by the end of 2012.

    Between now and then…

    French banks need to roll over 30% of their TOTAL debt.
    Spanish banks and Italian banks need to rollover more than 33% of their TOTAL debt.
    German banks need to roll over nearly 40% of their TOTAL debt.
    Irish banks need to roll over almost HALF (50%) of their TOTAL debt.

    Good luck with that.

    The situation is no better for European Sovereign states themselves, which are facing their own debt roll over issues at a time when investors are rapidly losing their appetite for sovereign debt.

    To wit, Spain, Portugal, and Italy have all relied heavily on the ECB to buy their debt at recent auctions. Germany actually just had a failed debt auction this morning. And in this environment , these nations need to meet the following debt roll over obligations:

    Maturing Debt Plus Budget Deficit as a % of GDP

    2011 2012
    Portugal 21.6% 21.0%
    Italy 22.8% 23.1%
    Ireland 19.5% 18.0%
    Greece 24.0% 26.0%
    Spain 19.3% 18.7%
    UK 15.7% 13.6%
    France 20.6% 19.7%
    Germany 11.4% 10.5%

    And this is just maturing debt that’s due in the near future: it doesn’t include unfunded liabilities.

    Jagadeesh Gokhale of the Cato Institute puts the situation as the following, “The average EU country would need to have more than four times (434 percent) its current annual gross domestic product (GDP) in the bank today, earning interest at the government’s borrowing rate, in order to fund current policies indefinitely.”

    As I said before, Europe is finished. The region’s entire banking system is insolvent (with few exceptions). European non-financial corporations are running massive debt to equity ratios. And even EU sovereign states require intervention from the ECB just to meet current debt issuance, to say nothing of the huge amount of sovereign debt roll over that is due over the next 14 months.

    Again… Europe. Is. Finished.

    The Great debt Implosion will hit Europe within the next 14 months and likely much much sooner. When it dues, we will see numerous debt defaults and restructuring on both the corporate and sovereign levels. We’re also very likely going to see significant portions of the European banking system collapse “Lehman-style” along with subsequent HUGE losses of capital.

    The impact of this will be global in nature. The EU, taken as a whole, is:

    1) The single largest economy in the world ($16.28 trillion)

    2) Is China’s largest trade partner

    3) Accounts for 21% of US exports

    4) Accounts for $121 billion worth of exports for South America

    So if the EU banking system/ economy collapses, the global economy could enter a recession just based on that one issue alone (ignoring the other issues in China, Japan, and the US).

    Again, we’re in for a rough rough future in the financial system.

    So if you have not already taken steps to prepare for systemic failure, you NEED to do so NOW. We’re literally at most a few months, and very likely just a few weeks from Europe’s banks imploding.

    When this happens the entire system could go down. I’m talking about bank holidays, sovereign debt defaults, retirement accounts and pension funds wiped out, even food shortages in some areas.

    This will NOT be permanent, nor will we enter some kind of Mad Max apocalypse. But there will be temporary shutdowns of the banking system as they work through this mess. And given that most folks rely almost entirely on their credit cards to survive and haven’t prepared at all, things could indeed get very messy at times.

    So you NEED to take steps now to prepare for all of this. This includes having some cash on hand as well as actual physical bullion. It also means stockpiling some food and water.

    So if you have not already taken steps to prepare for systemic failure, you NEED to do so NOW. We’re literally at most a few months, and very likely just a few weeks from Europe’s banks imploding.

    • rebean

      Yes Very good analysis. As of today It looks as though Europe is finished. I think Merkel is holding all the aces. She wants greater integration of the Eurozone and control over member states budgets. I reckon they will give Ireland the two fingers down the road . We are a liability. If not we will be ruled from Berlin by the Germans. I think that might be good for my children but there will be sackcloths and ashes while we are cleaning up the mess Fine Fail created with their Wild West economics.

    • smiler123

      Thank you for your post

      Can you expand on what steps need to be taken now to protect ourselves?

      Which banks are more likely to survive??

      How about the UK banks..Ulster Bank?

  2. Adam Byrne


  3. Lyndon Jones

    Here is the old default argument again , that is what David means when he says things will stop and start again. It is entirely in contrast to FG/Lab/IMF/EU/ECB thinking they are planning for a long hard slog of deleveraging and return to fiscal prudence.
    What ever way you look at it we have to close the gap between what we spend and what we take in….thats a definate , it means continued austerity.
    The best we can hope for is to make the Anglo permissory notes less painful , maybe lenghtening the timescale.
    But we are dealing with an accountancy problem not an economic problem . There will be no growth and unemployment will stay high for years to come, so all we have left is figures on a balance sheet and profit and loss.
    We will have to accept a lower standard of living and concentrate on paying off debts , thats being realistic , David lives in a different world of welching on debts and wanting it all to go away.

    • Has it ever occured to you that a significant amount of these debts which your are happily forcing ever irish citizen to stand up for are:

      a) Debts incurred by foreign banks
      b) Debts incurred by fraudulent risks
      c) Debts incurred by speculators riding the banking guarantee
      d) Debts of minimum the amount of 75 billion that are odious
      e) Debts that were enforced against the citizens of without their participation
      f) Debts that were enforced by means of enforced protracted default

      To name but a few, but I guess not.

    • Dorothy Jones

      Well, there is a big accountancy problem now which by default [pardon the pun] we will all have to deal with in the near future.
      Look at the results of Germany’s bond auction yesterday 111123…at the lack of demand. FAZ and Handelsblatt are finally putting out some facts on this. Track Ackermann’s comments very closely from the last year or two.
      Track also, Draghi’s history. The links between his involvement in Unicredit and the IFSC.
      You are correct, living standards will have to change esp in IE.
      However, in relation to welching on debts, watch very closely the relationship btwn rating agencies and Deutsche and Co.
      They have already downgraded the Landesbanken.
      A form of war is being raged presently…..a rose by any other name and all of that..

      • bonbon

        Correct, but a war with what or whom? Argentina is also at war with the very same “entity”.

        The “entities” man Obama would like to heat it up, thermonuclear hot.

        Now what would that “entity” be I wonder…

  4. John Q. Public

    Don’t know whether to be happy or sad. We need new clean banks for when our existing ones collapse.

  5. In fact, it is likely that my children will be working in jobs that haven’t yet been invented.

    I’d rather say your children will be working in jobs that went out of fashion not too long ago.And stepping beyond pure economics, taking po and cc into the bargain, if they’re wise, they will be growing ‘taters’, if they’re as lucky as to own a plot to grow them in.

  6. David,

    Life – and economics – doesn’t work like that because when something can’t go on forever, it stops.

    Spontaneous thought….

    What do the politicians from FF/FG/Labour/ ex Greens and Independents who happily subscribe to the ECB-IMF-EU idiocy have in common with Heinrich Himmler or Pol Pot?

    Neither Himmler, not Pol Pot felt that they are doing anything wrong, they were convinced of their actions to be righteous and justified!

    While it may come across as strange it is true, and it is a well known phenomenon amongst academics in social psychology.

    Himmler for example operated within his locked in ideological framework, hence, from his position, he did not do anything wrong at all, he just did what was required, and the psychological analysis of characters like him is evidence.

    All the worlds knowledge and reasoning would not have stopped him in his efforts, and all the worlds knowledge and reasoning will not stop the EPP followers to continue their social genocide.

    • bonbon

      Life does not “stop”. Take the oxygen atmosphere or the mass-extinctions, periodic and well documented. After each major jump the new life forms are much more complex, active, and it produced us, with our economics, which can change things even faster than life.
      Right now a dinosaur faces extinction, the ancient monetary system, and would like to kill all superior life. In biospheric tems, the mammals took the future. The reptile will end up in museums, or Jurassic Park – Come see financial reptiles in all their Glory, Folks!

      Various tried the psychological trick at Nürnberg, and were rightly hanged. Nürnberg was not an academic exercise.
      Pol Pot, trained at the Sorbonne, put a green revolution into place (killing fields…) and likely was created by the Cambodia bombing. Hu Sen’s problem with what to do with the Pol Pot people – a Nürnberg, a truth commission like South Africa?
      He solved this by refusing international interference, as Cambodia had that already during Indo-China.

  7. Deco

    Der Spiegel, and German debt.

    “in some respects, Italy’s finances are in better shape [than those of Germany]“.

    This is qualifying my point about Italians knowing how to deal with a leadership that is flawed and deficient – while we in Ireland were so stupidly naive as to take our “drinks cabinet” leadership so seriously, and to assume that the nonsense comeing from the Irish media had some basis in fact.

    And now I am wondering, is Germany blind to it’s own weaknesses, like it’s demographics time bomb, peak oil [aus liebe (something else other than) das Auto], it’s position in the EU gravy train, and the fact that it’s savings are a claim to assets in countries with decreasing asset bubbles that cannot be fixed).,1518,799059,00.html

    Well, maybe we are all now completely banjaxed. (Except Luigi who has been salting away money for the past decade, because he knows the long term consequences of having buffoons in charge….and the rest don’t).

    • Deco

      also, there is a housing bubble in progress currently in Finland, because the interest rate being set by the ECB is far too low for current income growth levels in Finland. And because Finland is perceived as “safe” pension funds are loaning to the banks there.

      Just wondering, if this ends badly, what will Olli Rehn have to say for himself ???? (just askin’).

      The NL economy is doing reasonably well, though not overheating. And in Austria, the big unknown is the level of exposure (a pc word for “debt-write-down”) with respect to loans in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia. Not a great spot to be in when Hungary is in a post crash slump that is now getting even worse.

      Of those who are net contributors, maybe on NL can actually be regarded as capable of stable, predictable contributor. And lets be honest, after four decades of being levied, the Dutch are getting a bit annoyed of being taken for a ride by the entire EU funny farm of bureacrats, politicians, and wasters.

      And by the way, last time I checked, there were still towns in Eastern Germany where the Aldi outlet would be counted as a a top rung serious private sector employer, compared to what else is available.

      Imagine it Ireland had to actually ask for a bailout from….Ireland. That mooney in the Isle of Man branch of Anglo might have to be seized by Anglo HQ to fill the gap.

      There might eventually be a common consent to “print-baby-print”.

  8. Reality Check

    Deco you talk a lot of sense but the current fear (no doubt egged on by the environmental lobbyists) of Peak oil is over done. This is the notion that we will run out of oil in the next 30 years because the fields in Saudi will have dried up, unfortunately this takes no account of the massive advances being made in the search for new oil discoveries (fracking & seismic technology) such that in a few short years the US will turn from being a net importer of oil to being a net exporter of oil – truely transformational.
    Vorsprung Durch technik.

    • Deco

      Concerning the non-conventional hydrocarbon deposits – these require more complex engineering solutions, in order for the oil to be made available.

      We will have to pay more for the oil. And the Yummy Mummies might have to downscale from the higher fuel burning “Terenure tractors” to something a bit more modest. Commuting will be different.

      Richard Doutewaite, is saying that we will have to reorient our capital resource towards dealing with this new reality. What is that bastion of energy policy the EU doing ? Diverting resources towards the ponzi finance FIRE sector gamblers.

      The real solution is Nuclear. And, strangely enough – it emits less radioactivity that coal power stations.

      We also need to grasp smart technology. And maybe close down some big modern energy burning shopping centres – you know, the ones where everything is so warm, that your eyes dry out after 40 minutes inside. They burn massive amounts of fossil fuels trying to get people to stay in them longer….

      • bonbon

        Right on the shale cost. Right on Nuclear. But there is a little secret the oil industry knows – so-called used reservoirs are refilling from deeper layers.
        Oil is not just bio-fossil. Most likely comets, now known as dirty snowballs, delivered the stuff early on, formed in the protoplanet disk. These molecules are still though likely a product of a living process we do not fully understand yet, and have been observed in other systems. How deep the deposits go is not known. Deep drilling is extremely risky – witness Brazil and BP recently. Cutting costs is disastrous.
        “The Deep Hot Biosphere,” by Dr. Gold.
        One indicator is the little side-industry of Oil – helium, which has no biochemical pathway. Where is it coming from then?

  9. Deco

    The new normal – full employment will be gone forever – except in Japan, which can have a slump for two decades, with extremely high levels of productivity and income – and still maintain near full employment rates of employment.

    Never understimate the Japanese.

    Well, let’s face it, there is nothing more inviting than a bunch of Western knowitalls expressing disdain for the underperformance of Japan, (or other East Asian nations) and pointing to the Western model as being somehow or other superior. Just look at the cars in the car park, or the contents of the electrical store to find out the nature of how superior the current Western model has become….a bit of humility might be in order.

    • Deco

      I meant to say
      Well, let’s face it, there is nothing more inviting disaster, than a bunch of Western knowitalls (on the main TV networks) expressing disdain for the statistical underperformance of Japan, (or other East Asian nations) and pointing to the Western model as being somehow or other superior. Just look at the cars in the car park, or the contents of the electrical store to find out the nature of how superior the current Western model has become….a bit of humility might be in order.

    • bonbon

      Well after Fukoshima the outgoing PM tried to shut down 38 of the 58 reactors, the very backbone of the Japanese economy. He was ditched instead. Even Merkel shut down only 17!

      Good lesson for some around here.

  10. Deco

    For those that want a good chuckle.

    A solution has been found – disable the EU Commission.

  11. Julia

    David, I hope you are right. The difference between the politians and me is that at the moment they think that it is acceptable to go on imposing “austerity” measures on the citizens of this country. They are making “the hard decisions” – closing down state nursing homes, the homes of some of our mothers, fathers, grandparents. Shoving them into places far away from their families to save a few bob. Taking money from the poor and the elderly and the disabled.
    We are actually back to the days when children come in to school unfed because the is no food in the house or as one child told me, he has cornflakes with water because there is never enough milk. I haven’t seen that in a very long time.

    The really hard decisions would involve going back to the Croke Park Agreement and reducing the pay of the high fliers, the upper echelons. In the private sector – tax. A third rate of tax on people earning E100,000 or over. Noonan said no and everyone has quietly accepted this. I can’t understand why. It is ok to begger the poor and middle income earners but God forbid they touch the rich. To me anyone on that money is well off.

    Never mind defaulting, burning the bondholders or facing down the Troika. Noonan and Fine Gael won’t ask/force the well healed in this society to take any kind of effective hit. I hope they choke on their silver spoons.

    • Julia

      And as for Labour…. smoked salmon socialists is right.

      • rebean

        Yes it seems Labour are as about as left wing as the British Conservatives. Pat Rabbite is allowing the ESB to raise their tariffs while all the while they are the highest paid workers in the country.It beggars belief that a labour minister would allow this fiasco to continue. They are shivering in their boots at the thought of taking on the unions.I heard Rabbite telling some guy on the front line who was critical of the Government to togg out and see what he stood for. I think its time for Labour to start togging out and lets see what they stand for!

        • Deco

          FF 2.0. Buying votes for the ICTU block unions. And at the same time taking instructions from IBEC.

          We need a complete dismantling of the process called social partnership, as it is completely undemocratic. And besides, it does not work. It has failed. The consensus usually amounts to some form of stitch up.

    • Deco

      Prionsias de Rossa was on Pravda earlier on making a determined and steadfast argument, telling us all that Kevin Cardiff was the ideal candidate for Ireland’s seat in the EU Court of Auditors.

      Which is perfectly correct except not in the manner of which de Rossa intended. Cardiff, is in fact the perfect reflection of DoF incompetence, arrogance, and unwillingess to accept accountability. But completely unsuitable for any position of authority.

      Cardiff was stopped thanks to a campaign by one of the UKIP MEPs, and given some help by Nessa Childers who once blogged on this site.

      • Julia

        God bless her. I heard de Rossa on the radio today. It was hilarious and embarrassing at the same time. He looked fairly shook as he wandered around after the vote – it was on the news.

        • Deco

          Yeah. I always regarded de Rossa as more ego than pretence, and more pretence than substance. An extremely arrogant person who does not know any shame. MEP elections in Dublin tend to be competitions between morons, with the better resourced, and the most media endorsed, usually getting elected. Usually the end result is a collection of donkeys. (Notable exception, Joe Higgins).

          Nessa Childers gets full credit for her integrity over this issue.

          • Colin

            How a man with a really bad speech impediment could enter politics as a young man is beyond me. And it took him years to fess up to his problem before he went and got help for it. Arrogant and full of his own sense of entitlement. I used to laugh at him when I was a kid when he’d be talking on TV. He was comical then, and now he’s still comical, but in a different way.

            What did visitors to Ireland back in the 80s think when they saw this bearded communist on TV talking 10 seconds to get a word out of his mouth?

        • mollie

          ms Childers recanted yesterday, she now thinks he would be suitable for the job following the revelation that a ff’r sent an email outlining KC’s shortcomings (and that’s not kentucky fried Chicken) I want to know why someone from outside FF/FG/LAB was not given the chance of such a plummy job

      • rebean

        It seems you are correct and the Europeans were not going to stomach this guy having any input into a position in Europe. Thank God Kevin Cardiff got his cards marked. What is really worrying is that Enda Kenny was backing him all the way. These guys really stick together. God help us if these are the people running the country. I thought we would have some change with the new Government.At this stage we need a new political movement. We can really clear the decks then and rid the country of these career politicans and their buddies

        • bonbon

          You had the chance in the last election. SF’s Burn the Bondholders is Glass-Steagall and a New Deal. And they are the oldest political party in Ireland. Look up Arthur Griffith’s economics, the first president of Ireland. Odd that the oldest party has got it right while all the neo-parties are heading for the dustbin.

          Griffith faced exactly the same problem, and turned to Hungary, and Friedrich List’s Zollverein. It is an eye-opener to read his pamphlets on economics. Look up Matthew and Henry Carey, Irish American, whose writings directly affected Bismark, turning the country into an industrial powerhouse in 10 years after Lincoln defeated the British Confederacy.

    • Deco

      The kids might be starving, but multi-billionaire tax avoiders can pay half the salary of the second most expensive soccer manager in the worl to lead a team that never have and never will win ant silverware on an escapade in he name of pride.

      “wearing the green jersey”.

      We need to drop the virtual nonsense, and start getting it real.

      • imithe

        In fairness they’ve qualified for the European Championship finals for the first time since 1988 with an average but very professional set of players.

        I know you regularly refer to the green jersey in the context of constant media distraction and I agree, but this is not a bad achievement and it will be a real boost for Ireland in 2012.

        • Colin

          If you’re talking about the prospect of getting thrashed by Spain 5-0, or by Germany 4-0 a real boost, I wouldn’t like to see your version of a low blow for Ireland.

  12. Deco

    How is the export led recovery ?

    And the primary market ? The one that is responsible for the biggest chunk of employment ?

    Cameron has admitted that everything is not going according to plan. Do we even have a plan ? Or is the plan whatever the troika defines the plan to be ?

    • bonbon

      Cameron’s plan is Progressive Conservatism, from Philip Blond of the Demos (now resPublica) think-tank, the same source for Blair’s New Labour. Blond is just Chesterton’s distributisim rehashed, a neo-medieval combabulation. Of course it cannot work. Mussolini tried it under another name : fascism.

      Look out for daft proposals to try this in Eire or the EU. Expect nothing else from the Troika.

      How silly!

  13. rebean

    I have no doubt that change is coming in this country. It is very very slow.Our political masters have kicked the can a long way down the road.Incremental pay increases for the highest paid people in the country.The lecturers and university staff still residing in lavish salaries and pensions.Higher tariffs in energy and massive pay for staff of the ESB,Bord Gais and Energia.I wish we could have change but I wish that it would hurry up and get here.We need some fairer optics on the horizon

  14. Deco

    Gene Kerrigan, covering the protest against the bondholder repayments.

    This bondholder repayment nonsense has to stop.

  15. bonbon

    David, that quote repeated over again has no scientific basis whatsoever. It is complete and utter rubbish. The author was an illiterate :
    “Life – and economics – doesn’t work like that because when something can’t go on forever, it stops”

    Life does not “stop”. Take the oxygen atmosphere or the mass-extinctions, periodic and well documented. After each major jump the new life forms are much more complex, active, and it produced us, with our economics, which can change things even faster than life.
    Right now a dinosaur faces extinction, the ancient monetary system, and would like to kill all superior life. In biospheric tems, the mammals took the future. The dino will end up in Jurassic Park — Come see oligarchical T-Rex’s in all their Glory, Folks!

    Life is not a machine, nor economics, and we are the only life that DO economics. We are fundamentally different and that must be the basis for those who DO economics. We are capable of outdoing any dino or dino monetary fossil.

    We must accept who and what we are and where we are going. We willfully do in very few years what life abundantly did over a few billion years. We can move rivers, find power sources, move goods, colonize the entire solar system (without Obama).

    And the dino’s know it.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Perhaps Sam Cooke’s take on it was more appropriate

      It’s been too hard living but I’m afraid to die
      Cause I don’t know what’s up there beyond the sky
      It’s been a long, a long time coming
      But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

      (Anthem for American Civil Rights Movement).

  16. stiofanc02

    Well tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I for one wont stop eating until I cant move. Turkey, stuffing,red cabbage, candied sweet potatos, brussel sprouts, mashed potatos and gravy tons of wine and pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Oh, and to Joan the Moan, I wont be giving back my childrens allowance this month.

    • ioseebee

      Hi Georg! I just read that document in your link just now! Where did you come across that?

      It really is an amazing example of how exceptionally arrogant and calculated and sinister the motives and actions of the largest banks and their organisations are!

      Are the occupy wall street groups aware of this document, I wonder! It should be e-mailed around the world!

      • Oh yes, they will be aware @OWS. I had no internet last night, just shared it with ODS.

        It is nothing too astonishing really, just part of those that are feeding from a propaganda machine that stands ready to spill defamation and slander at any time, for cash of course.

        THIS is what democracy looks like!

        • ioseebee

          Thanks for reply Georg! It is great to hear that you are helping out at ODS! Are you around there much?
          Would be great to meet up with some of the bloggers on this site at Dame Street and see if there is any practical ways we can build up awareness to the general public of the ins & outs of what is going on.

          I have been reading this blog regularily for the past two years to hear the opinions & the foresight of David’s articles combined with all the posts.

          There is in the end, still a feeling of been powerless to stop the juggernaut of the banks powers, it is like watching a car crash in slow motion, knowing it is going to happen, and only those in the driver’s seat can reach for the brakes, and all we can do is warn them for the side of the road, or worse still from the back of the car!

          In some ways I have realised that all one can do is be aware of the situation as it develops, prepare yourself mentally for how to deal with what may come, and continue as best as one can to help make the lives of those you meet, live with, work with, and those less well off happier through our own actions.

          As it has been said many times, you can be robbed of everything except your thoughts, ideals, and the love in your heart! That is the wealth that can’t be extracted from us on fraudulent market schemes like ICE….

          One thing I would say to posters here, is to be careful not to get to dragged into the mudslinging of civil servants versus private workers, German people V Greeks, Dutch V Portuguese, 100% mortgage buyers V Savers, it only plays into the hands of those who would wish for the populations of the world to be divided.

          These are all people who have put their trust in their democratic governments, to create a stable environment in which to make a living and provide for a family. Even the governments themselves (who have made many many mistakes) have been found to be at the behest of those who rule through the power of banks and money, and seem to be very afraid of upsetting the system as it is, for fear of what that may bring to the people who they govern.

          Sometimes all one can do is accept that those who are in power, will follow the same trajectory & curves of their beloved stock markets, what goes up, must come down. They will bring it on themselves. Fot those who crave power & wealth, and steal from the poor, will inevitably end up paying a hefty price. Just as the thug who deals with gangs, and preys on the innocent passerby, will ultimately find himself on the wrong end of the sword he has lived by.

          These thoughts – accepting what is possible to change and what is not – are, in the end, what give me the strength to keep waking up happy every day, despite the storm we all our facing into.

          All the best!


          • One thing I would say to posters here, is to be careful not to get to dragged into the mudslinging of civil servants versus private workers, German people V Greeks, Dutch V Portuguese, 100% mortgage buyers V Savers, it only plays into the hands of those who would wish for the populations of the world to be divided.


          • bonbon

            Very good to point out the old “divide and conquer” tactic the empire has always used here or worldwide. Obama wants to attack the “others” – China, Russia, a classic imperial gimmick.

            What we should divide and conquer are the banks, with Glass-Steagall – putting the toxic arm out to dry and saving the essential commercial function. OWS NY had HR 1489 as a top demand, the current Glass-Steagall bill going through the House. Obama blocked this when the McCain version went through. OWS Frankfurt has switched to a harmless Transaction Tax by ATTAC,, and Verein Naturfreunde.

  17. Would Minister Burton wipe his ridiculous and inappropriate grin from his face?

    This political popcorn artist is grinning and snickering since the better part of 16 minutes now on VB.

    Who the Hell does he think he is? Santa Claus?

  18. I am wondering…. how many people might not pay the household -grand larceny- tax?

    • Malcolm McClure

      Don’t worry Georg, they won’t hassle you. They just tally it up over the years with interest until the property is sold, then deduct total from the proceeds.

      (posted in error at end of previous blog)

    • redriversix

      Morning Georg R
      Nobody hopefully….

      Have a financial strike now.

      Germany found out now They cannot borrow money..

      For some reason I cannot get the theme music to the “A-Team” out of my head….

      You do have to laugh though…..or you might just cry

  19. Mortgage Strike

    If everyone did it they would be very cash rich and its so easy .So why do they not ?

    • redriversix

      Exactly…Have a Big Cigar and go to the top of the class John Allen…..

      Financial strike NOW


    • AND ……its ……Tax Free

      • LOL!

        But seriously, back in the 80s I think, I was not in Ireland then, was there not something like a massive civil and successful disobedience on water charges? I think I remember something like it, might be wrong though.

      • Blackpigsdyke

        Its been a while since I commented on this website. But seeing your comments above I thought I would make you aware that a mass action by Irish citizens is going on at present, requesting Irish banks to prove ownership of mortgages. This action will hopefully expose the extent of securitisation of mortgage debt in Ireland.

        The natural conclusion of this activity will be mortgage strike.

        “ just cause could succeed there unless backed by massed agitation”, – Michael Davitt

  20. whirmark

    While in principal, the capping of bond-buying does make sense, as does the refusal to QE, in practice it is an extraordinarily reckless stance. The level of fear in the market currently and the speed at which events can unfold as a consequence means that this strategy affords only the illusion of being in control of the situation. We are only a few shocks (e.g. uncovered sovereign auctions due to bid-side collapse in the secondary-market, sovereign bond syndicate strikes, the massive bank refi required next year is frankly a non-starter, etc etc) away from headlines which could easily provoke EMU-wide retail-deposit bank-runs. This would be end-game for the system and the fallout goes far beyond a mild recession. Stability is needed FIRST, followed by a pact of technocratic governance (to remove subversive partisan-political motivations) in ALL EMU states to implement the austerity required to produce a lasting stability (which is what the ECB’s remit actually provides a mandate for in principle).

  21. Alan42

    I advised both family and friends to move their money out of the Euro a couple of years ago . I assisted some into buying German Bunds and investing in Australia as a way of safe guarding their life savings .

    Some did not like telling them that Ireland was screwed and that the Euro could fall apart . I was actually mocked and one instance sneered at . Same people are ringing me today in a blind panic . Imagine what is going on with professional investors ?

    • ioseebee

      It really is very hard even now to approach this subject with family members and friends, and in many cases including my own, it is futile anyway, what can one do to protect themselves?


      I do not have any bank loans or owe any banks any money

      I did not go for the 100% mortgage lollipop

      I did not believe my wages or house prices were sustainable, unlike many who had no choice or did not know any better.

      I lost my job in 2008 thanks to the original crash

      I have since worked as a sole trader for the last 2 & a half years succeeding in just making ends meet.

      I’m paying the ever increased government taxes which are being used to pay-out on wealthy speculators lost gambles – Anglo Irish Blackhole

      This all means I am just about getting by, and that is without being heavily indebted personally. So where I my to get the funds to buy gold bullion?

      What are the ordinary people of this country to do if as is more and more likely the wheels DO come of this down-hill kart of ‘CapitUALISism’?

      Austerity is waiting for an invoice to be paid, by the company you completed a project for, while they in turn wait to be paid an invoice by the comapny they completed a project for!

      To paraphrase Brian Cowen;

      “Going Forward, I think we can see”…….

      ……. a reverse slide backwards, and a complete wreckage of an economy, and everyone’s livelihoods!

      • Alan42

        I heard a great quote recently . I don’t know where , maybe from David .

        ” Capitalism without bankrucpty is like Christianity without Hell “

    • Colin


      My advice to anyone living in Australia is sell their house if they own one and rent instead. Its completely overpriced there.

      But see how difficult it is to make the right decision, when emotions enter the fray. And notice how hard it is to take the right advice when its not what you want to hear.

  22. Alan42

    David , you seem a bit shocked that E+Y forcast that there may not be full employment in Ireland until 2030 . Why ?

    Ireland has always been poor and has always exported it’ss people overseas . The Irish has just suffered the worst economic crash in recent history .

    When the dust settles I think that a special chapter will be added to Charles Mackay’s classic ‘ Popular delusions and the madness of crowds ‘ The money poured into Anglo alone is stunning .

    What do the Irish do ? They try their best to elect a FF bagman to the office of President . It was only stopped when a bunch of ex terrorists rubbed it into their faces by ambushing him on live TV that some changed their mind . He still came second .

    The worst and most expensive decision ever made by the Irish state is blamed on a journalist / economist . And Ireland is going around like a proud poodle because it has imposed austerity on it’s near dead economy .

    Change will only come if Europe implodes . Change will not come from Ireland .

    • Deco

      I find it amazing that an entire state system, could so persistently clueless, and have no clue what is going on. Even though, they seem to have a massive amount of information on every human being in the state, and concerning their income, and expenditure. And yet no clue, not even the slightest clue about what is going on in certain parts of their own institutional mountain.

      Does the state actively hire morons, or is it that the culture inside the institutional state turns people into morons ?

      And then we have the Irish media. The Irish media lied for at least a decade, and possibly longer, and created a culture where people were indoctrinated to believe that freedom was a mortgage for the rest of everybody’s lives.

      If you trust the Irish state to look out for you, you are asking for an almighty disappointment.

      If you trust the continual rhyme of rubbish coming from the Irish media, then you are programming yourself for an impending disaster. “Support our advertising sponsors”.

      The fact is that “our advertising sponsors” are steering both the state policy, and the media, with their need for survival.

      And there you have it. The Unholy Trinity. The Institutional State. The media. Our corporate advertising sponsors/IBEC.

      And yet, both these sectors have got into “crisis management” as a fearful population runs to them looking for cover. After screwing everything up, they are now positioning themselves as part of the solution.

      Of course, there is a massive mess left after them. And they need a scape goat. Well they sure are not going to make Dan McLaughlin or Austin Hughes into a scapegoat, what with their excellent service as corporate agenda moutpieces. Therefore they aim for George Lee, or David McW, or Morgan Kelly, or maybe even Constantin.

      There is just so much deceit, and it is so professionally applied to the population.

      There is one way to deal with this.

      Do as little as possible to support our corporate advertising sponsors.


    Unter der Linden

    Allied Forces ( Markets ) are arriving and Hitler & entourage ( Merkel & Cabinet ) have taken refuge ( Bunker ) .As Allied forces cause collateral damages ( bond market prices ) due to the weakness of the front -line ( PIGIS) discussions with the leader of the Weimer Republic ( Sarkozy ) are tactical and maneuverable.

    In the meantime the population in the Maritime occupied locations of the Channel Isles ( Ireland ) are starving and angry and likely to cause revolt.Rumour has it that the de facto government has taken refuge inside the Hill of Tara with tunnel connections to their local kitchen inside the Newsgrange .Observations of the sun movement reminds them when it is morning and evening and when they should eat and sleep .

    Mr Giggles ( Ml O’ Leary ) is laughing and and has extended a smile of friendship with an inflated fare demand to take them to the Bunker .Balldy Noonan believes it is too cold to fly and has no hat to cover his chalked head.Gilmore is searching for new rhetoric to tell his comrades of his bravery .Kenny is combing his hair and talking to himself in the mirror and rehearsing what he should say to Hitler.

    ( serialisation can be found in Der Bildung )

  24. Deco

    Sarkozy’s half-brother gives his views on the crisis. His employer is a corporate concern that get a lot of attention from US Film-maker Michael Moore.

    Dude, where is my bailout ?

  25. Malcolm McClure

    Assuming that some sort of default is inevitable there is little comfort to be gained from iceland’s experience since it followed that path:

    • Adam Byrne

      Things don’t seem too bad there Malcolm. Sure, they have hard work ahead of them but humility and realism have been restored in place out of outright financial idiocy and insanity.

      They are making a better job of it than we are.

    • Julia

      I agree with Adam. It doesn’t sound too different to Ireland exept that they aren’t paying unfair loans to foreign billionaires.

  26. Realist

    Full employment is Keynesian fallacious term and should be abandoned.

    The Keynesian notion of prosperity attributes an excessive importance to the level of employment as against that of living standards.
    Full employment (whatever that ambiguous term may statistically mean) can be attained at various levels of well-being and within various types of social organizations.
    We can have full employment in a slave society in which the majority of people live on a subsistence level, and we can have full employment in a free society in which people enjoy high and rising standards of living.

    However, we are faced with a fallacy, which consists in linking national prosperity with national full employment planning.
    Not only is full employment not definable, it is not even desirable.
    To grow, an economy must change. To change, assets and workers must be shifted from where they are less needed (less productive) to where they are more needed (more productive).
    These shifts will inevitably produce temporary unemployment.
    If there had never been unemployment, and thus no economic change, we would all still be living in caves, and there would be far fewer of us, because hunting and gathering would only support a small fraction of the present population.

    In the absence of this indefinable state of full employment, Keynesian’s thought that any spending,
    whether consumption or investment, was better than no spending.
    This is why government must keep printing money: the resulting reduction in interest rates should encourage more and more investment and spending.

    And this is where we are, at the crisis where people are thinking wrongly and paying attention to the wrong terms and fallacies like:
    full employment, GDP growth, consumer spending and not saving, ….

    Wrong, wrong economics.

    • Deco

      We had full employment between 2002-2007.

      And all it did for us was feed illusions that were dangerous.

      Full employment in the Anglo years. Borrow-baby-borrow.

  27. michaelcoughlan

    I hope you are taken seriously this time David because when something like an economy or society like ours can’t go on the way it is then sometimes some asshole gets into power who thinks he can solve the problem with Panzers.

    • Deco

      Actually, really what happens is that the corporate lobbyists engineer some stooge to get through the media and become head of government. Promising to be the solution. And there will be war. And inflation. Making war to make peace. Except peace is always elusive. Because they never want peace, unless it provides domination.

  28. bonbon

    The Real Map of Ireland

    Lots of wrong economics, all having one common thread and objective – to reduce the human population as publicly stated from 7 to 1 billion. Using this litmus test, it becomes very easy to ferret out the death warrant hiding in Keynsianism, Austrian School, and Distributism, all proposed here in this blog.

    This thinking will stop, to paraphrase Stein.

    Have a look at this :

    With the opening up of the Arctic sea routes, Russian, China (already with icebreakers), Canada have a new faster trade route (also used by the Norse in previous epochs). Ireland with a new Shannon deep-water harbor can access this, as proposed recently.

    This is real economics, the physical economy.

  29. bonbon

    Add this :
    U.K. (without Fabian combabulation) has a high-speed planned link to the Chunel from Edinburgh.
    Ireland can link up via Ulster, Scotland.

    Cost? Astronomicall less than a single bank bailout!
    Less than the RBS rescue!
    Toxic paper is blocking all this.

  30. bonbon

    Very important : Excerpted from


    Ireland produces about 28 billion kWh/yr gross from 6 GWe of plant for its population of 4.1 million, giving per capita consumption of 6000 kWh/yr. About half of its electricity is generated by gas, but relative to the rest of Europe it is heavily dependent on oil for its electricity – 7%. Coal provides 27%. Wind provides around 7% from about 800 MWe of capacity. Ireland has a target of 3000 MWe wind capacity by 2020

    In 1981 the government considered building a 650 MWe nuclear power plant (PWR) at Carnsore Point, but the plan was dropped as energy demand flattened. It would have required a link across the Irish Sea to the UK to be viable, due to its large size relative to the Irish grid.

    A government-commissioned report by Forfas in April 2006 pointed to the need for Ireland again to consider nuclear power in order “to secure its long-run energy security”. Relatively small-scale nuclear plants were envisaged. The report also suggested accelerating plans for greater east-west interconnection with the UK, which would draw on its nuclear capacity and also provide an export channel for any Irish nuclear power development.

    In 2007 Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board made it known that it would consider a joint venture with a major EU energy company to build nuclear capacity. In April 2008 the Irish Energy Regulator proposed a nationwide debate on the issue of nuclear power to address the country’s pending energy crisis. It referred to the need to find an alternative to meet future energy needs since neither wind power or any other renewable energy sources could satisfy demand.

  31. Lord Jimbo

    Just to come back to Germany, given its importance, length and interesting article from the NewStatesman

    The myth of the Fourth Reich

    • bonbon

      At least the article does quote Sir Conor Cruise O’Brien’s germanophobia at the service of the London Foreign Office. Ridley’s identical outburst is somehow omitted.

      Mitterrand’s germanophobia, legendary, led him to threaten Kohl not to giver Berlin back unless the DM was dumped. Kohl’s biography has all of this and “his darkest hour” was signing the Euro accords. He knew he was acting against national interest. His best friend Herrhausen, Deutsche Bank chief, was murdered.

      All who took this unholy communion are paying dearly, including Cameron.

      • Lord Jimbo

        Interesting quote from the article:

        “The hyperinflation did not destroy the Wei­mar Republic. What did for it was the ensuing depression, when the Wall Street crash led the US banks to withdraw the loans that had underpinned the modest recovery of the middle Weimar years. Mass unemployment had the jobless rushing to vote for the communists, terrifying the middle classes, already disoriented by inflation, into supporting the Nazis.

        Economic recovery came under Hitler but not because of his much-trumpeted job-creation schemes, which in reality were propaganda exercises when they were not rearmament in disguise. It was rearmament and then war that pushed the economy into overdrive and while the first led to a massive clampdown on consumer spending, diverting it into preparations for war and depriving the ordinary German of most of the benefits of economic growth, the latter brought, in the end, nothing but death, destruction and defeat. German folk memory still recalls the miserable living conditions of the years between 1943 and 1948, when people depended on the black market to survive and inflation once more threatened to get out of control.”

        • bonbon

          That’s the standard apology for Norman Montague, the King and Prescott Bush, pumped out ad-nauseam.

          Truth is Versailles, French Ruhr occupation, caused the 1923 hyperinflation panic printing. True economic proposals from the Friedrich List Dr. Lautenbach and the WTB-plan were blocked by Brunning opening the door for the NSDAP to a despairing people.
          These plans were the basis for the Marshall Plan later!

          By 1936, FDR knew without a doubt the Schacht military machine meant certain war. The King was busy praising the economic “miracle”, so had to be dumped when it became obvious even to Churchill the Golem was out of their control.

    • Malcolm McClure

      Lord Jimbo: Excellent link, placing Germany’s dilemma in a proper historical context.
      Merkel’s prime objective is to avoid Germany being blamed disproportionately for the inevitable Euro-default. Germany has had to carry the burden of blame for two world wars for far too long.

      Evans’ article makes clear that the Germans have tried to atone for past errors by working harder than anyone else at rebuilding their economy with the help of foreign aid. Then by making and delivering consumer and industrial products made to higher standards then anywhere else– until the 1990s when the Far East began to catch up.

      Let’s remember that yDNA tells us that 44% of Germans are our cousins under the skin.That surely provides a basis for mutual trust?

      • Lord Jimbo

        Two world wars and one financial meltdown, if they keep this up who knows where it will lead (btw, I feel it necessary to differentiate between the average German citizen and the German power elite), I lived in Germany, speak the language rather badly and visit when I can, it is a wonderful place for so many reasons, the average German once you get to know them are smart, thoughtful and yes, they have a sense of humour but the current German leadership is out of its mind if it thinks austerity and not increasing the money supply is the way to go. Pity the German elections aren’t in 2011.

        • bonbon

          Increasing the money supply as in 1923?
          Silly idea.

          The current pressure is a Versaille II.
          As long as Obama resides in office this will increase, sure.

          That is well understood.

  32. gizzy

    report from the trenches
    With a lot of small businesses now not paying their rates, what will fund local governemnt? Was told by someone who knows that Dublin city council has an overhead of 3 euros for every i euro in services it provides, be cheaper hand businesses and households cash and let them provide their own services.

  33. franta

    This is an excellent article however regarding Ireland I am not so optimistic. I am afraid that if David’s kids will work in jobs not yet invented it will be somewhere else not in Ireland. Why?
    Maybe you noticed the last week students’ protest against removal of their grants. I thought about that and realized that there is something fundamentally wrong there. There were many students demonstrations, protests, rebellion throughout the history and quite a lot of students lost their lives after all the students marched in week of International student’s day the day when several students were executed by Nazis during WWII. But students usually fought for a good cause not like in this case for their selfish self-interest. I had contacted USI and recommended them to reconsider their objectives to fight for better future of all Irish citizens not only for their short time benefit (after all there’s no money for many things anymore) to ask politicians why are you taking away our grants but still are taking these obsessive salaries? Why don’t you fight first the cost of internet, public transport, rents, energies and so on? If politicians won’t answer or won’t listen then students should occupy all universities. In that case students will have a support of all Irish people. But they do not want to listen.
    In this light how probable seems to be the idea that these students will care about my children or your children in future when in the moment they do not care about anybody else but themselves?
    And this applies across whole Irish society. There are so many groups and individuals fighting only for their interest.
    That nobody wants to listen is one of the main problems here in Ireland. Because I have my kids in primary education and I can see there is so many problems there (for a start so much effort for such bad results) and I want to do something about it I had offered a solution (for free) to improve Irish education and save some money through use of new innovative technology already used successfully in several other countries. This solution could already save several millions this year and quite probably hundreds in coming years. I have to admit that there is no guarantee of that because nobody ever tried anything like this before but on the other hand Facebook shows that technology is able to handle millions of users without any problem. So I contacted an office of ministry of education. They do not want to listen but at least they replied to me and ask NCTE to meet me. NCTE is not interested to listen because the most important question asked in middle of our meeting was not to me but on the phone: “What do we have for lunch today?” NCTE advised me to find an IRISH school to prove the concept and have a nice day. Since then I contacted endless number of schools, charities, educational organizations, school book publishers, (should I mention County Enterprise Board? Or Enterprise Ireland because my company is in High Potential Start Up program but no I do not dare to contact them any more) and their reaction is identical. No reply. Even I am not asking for money, for grant or any other favor and would really love to at least to hear their opinion they do not want to listen. They do not want to hear about possibilities. All are repeating the same we need more money we need more money… Nothing else matters.

    • bonbon

      Do not let kids anywhere near Facebook! Zuckerberg is already rich enough, and social networking is simply dangerous for the young. How many schools have cottoned onto this I wonder? I know some who ban all PDA’s.

      Anyway its a holdover from the Tiger, and many are developing a allergy to all of that dot.communism.

      • Adam Byrne

        I’m a mature student in second year and all of my immature colleagues are at Phd level in Facebook studies. Otherwise they can’t even spell properly. The communal computer rooms are known as ‘Facebook Central’. Sad really, when I was that age I spent my time reading the likes of Orwell, Dickens or Dostoyevsky. Mabye it’s just me that’s wrong in the head, haha!

        I fear for this country in regard to the quality of ‘graduates’ we are producing.

      • 33square

        when mammy and daddy die, why not buy their FaceBook account? it’s like a digital diary of their life that you can own and browse from the comfort of your armchair for the small fee of ???

      • franta

        The solution I am offering has nothing to do with Facebook or social networking I had used Facebook only as a reference to prove that modern internet technologies are able to cope easily with millions of users (Maybe I should use AIB internet banking instead?). Also I do not complain I just used this story as an example how it is in Ireland and sorry I would not use this space to promote anything what I am doing. On the other hand modern technologies are giving us (or should I rather say them?) such opportunities we did not even dream about just couple of years ago. But as Will said in one of his previous comments the technology is great if used wisely but it might turn into big evil.

    • gizzy

      You are righrt all the state entities, quangos, enterprise boards local councils are all only now concerned with one issue how to raise short term finance to pay their own salaries and overhead with no funding left for services

      • 33square

        you mean they were at some stage concerned about something else?

        ever hear the story of a road being dug up and resurfaced because the council needed to spend the money so that their budget wouldn’t be cut?

        • coldblow

          I think it was always the case with state bodies everywhere in Ireland. Come Nov. there would be a late rush of contracts (usually road repairs) placed in order to ensure the year’s allocation was spent, otherwise you’d end up with less money the next year when you might have s projects coming onstream but no money to pay for them. The projects would then be put on hold, end up going back to be designed again, more planning, more consulation processes and so on ad infinitum. So you have no choice but to spend the money. Mad really. I don’t know if the allocation system has changed in recent years – probably has improved a bit.


      Agree completely about Enterprise Ireland/County Enterprise boards.
      I attempted to deal with them lately on a start up business matter.
      Complete hostility from them and they wont reply in writing either as accountability obviously isn’t a strong point.
      Is there a shut down happening?


    100,000 people leave the education system each yr.Where are they going to find work ? There are now more Irish than British emigrating to Aus and Canada, even though the UK has 15 times our population.Proinsias de Rossa-pathetic.

  35. Kevin Cardiff is the only person that survived the night of the banking guarantee as Shane Ross rightly pointed out.

    THIS CHARACTER now is being pushed by the Irish EU compliance management/ government.

  36. 33square

    19 years ago, it was unheard of to have a mobile phone. now there’s more phones than people in this (and some other) countries. phones as a payment platform is now becoming a reality:

    Peer-to-peer digital currency is already a reality:

    Mobile phone companies want a slice of the “payments” pie:

    when mobile phone companies become banks, they will become even more of a “license to print money” (LOL) than they already are. It makes who is in control of mobile phone companies and how the licences were obtained, a very interesting issue.

    what do you think the next step on that path would be?

    • what do you think the next step on that path would be?

      Complete abolishment of paper money, all transactions will be plastic card and/or digital only, provides total transparency over enemy of state number one…. the citizen!

  37. gizzy

    Interesting that IBEC think we will be back to pre depression employment levels in 2006 and I heard the SFA say we have turned the corner and most of their members are now planning to grow their workforces.

    Who are their members and what planet do they live on?

  38. Praetorian

    With all the talk of the ‘big stuff’, the trillions in debt, the pime ministers and presidents, heads of Finance, the IMF, ECB, summits and crisis, eurozone and dollar sometimes we lose site of what is really important and who is important, it was while I was reflecting on this that this came to me:

    “Who are these people who take away our rubbish? Who are these people who clean our offices and corridors? Who are these people who deliver our mail? Who are these people who maintain our public spaces and parks? Who are these people who turn the sick over in their hospital beds? Who are these people who work in the real market where actual items of use are bought and sold? Who are these people who paint our walls, mend our washing machines, fix our lights, repair our cars?

    Next time you see a so called ‘working person’, these faceless, nameless people to the system, to elites, and very often the media, why not acknowledge them especially coming into the Christmas season when they are feeling the pressure more than anyone else. Say hello, learn the name of the ‘cleaner’ in your workplace, for they are real, they are the true wealth creators, they are leavers of legacy.”

  39. Reality Check

    Yes bitcoin crashed due to hackers apparently

  40. Don’t look back in Anger?

    Yeah right….

  41. Last year also saw 150 Irish artists — including singers Christy Moore and Damien Dempsey, actor Sinéad Cusack and painters Robert Ballagh and Felim Egan — sign an IPSC pledge not to perform or exhibit in Israel, hailed as the first such nationwide cultural gesture in support of Palestinian rights. (The number has since increased to 214, with actor Stephen Rea and singer Liam Ó Maonlaí among the new signatories.) Meanwhile, Irish performers who do not comply with the boycott call have attracted protests: earlier this year, the Dublin run of Riverdance was accompanied by demonstrations against the show’s September tour of Israel.

    …and of course…. Gilmore attends!

    • bonbon

      Bibi raves while Obama’s thermonuclear Armageddon has been momentarily halted. It is well known sanctions are a step to war, but this is all going too slowly for the British. Looks like Barroso, their stooge is under pressure too!

      Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Wednesday for even stronger sanctions on Iran than the new sanctions imposed this week by the United States, Britain, and Canada.
      “Iran is developing nuclear weapons. If anyone had any doubts, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) report certainly dispelled them,” Bibi lied to the Knesset. “It is important to impose sanctions, tough sanctions, on this regime — even tougher than those that have been imposed over the past few days,” he said, without elaborating on what measures he believes should be taken.

  42. bonbon

    Seems like Merkel lost her cool with Barroso at the mini-summit, a very rare outburst. Barroso himself slammed the door on his eurobonds wingding.

    Now treaty changes are next. Kenny has made it clear what the voters will do about that.

    Trying to re-write the Versaille/1923 hyperinflation history and relevance above clearly is amateur. It would be much better to avoid truthy cliche’s, the situation is to chaotic.

    The “markets” bottomless appetite for other peoples money is not sated – they are shaking their chains like starving vampires – howls from the dying British Empire!

    Reminds me of Robert Burns’ Tam-o-Shanter when the hellish legion turned on him “Wi’ mony an eldritch skreich and hollow ”

  43. Reality Check

    So would the peeps here vote for a more integrated EU with a new treaty giving greater control to the EU?
    If it means the binning of the croke park agreement & our fat lazy PS have to come back to reality – Then sign me up!
    Thanks Ange!

    • Harper66


      So you can have fat lazy federal European public sector that is even further from the reach of accountability than our present bunch?

    • Deco

      The problem is not a lact of EU power over everybody’s lives.

      The problem is that the EU is run by idiots who are loaded up with nonsense. The scale of centralization is the problem – and implementing more is going to make matters even worse.

      EU interest rates in the period 2002 to 2007 were too low. Today they are also too low. We know that they are too low because in that period they resulted in an overleveraging of debt, because the debt servicing cost was remarkably cheap. And I mean the interest rates in all EU members, but especially interest rates in the ECB – which is the anchor in this process.

      Forget EU treaty changes with more control – they will fix nothing. They will not sack any of the idiots in Brussels, in Frankfurt, or in Paris responsible for this disaster.

      The problem was not caused by lack of control. The problem was caused by stupidity being in control. And now we will get lectured on how more control for the idiots in charge will improve matters.

      The EU project is intellectually bankrupt. And it’s answer to that is the same as it’s answer to everything – more power to be centralized to Brussels, and a heap of money from the contributor countries via bailouts/grants.

      The contributor countries are incapable of contributing any more. This is becomming evident to me.

      At least the Politburo in Moscow had the intellectual honesty to accept that the game was up, when it became apparent that the game was up. The EU Commision is far more aspirational and delusional.

      • bonbon

        Interesting reference to the Politburo. The New Soviet in Brussels made the same failure as Andropov, leading to the collapse of the Soviet economy, and now the transatlantic economy.
        We are heading for a 1989, but that time not a single shot was fired.

        This time Obama wants to lob hydrogen bombs at China and Russia!

  44. Cardiff said he took two pay cuts to ensure he was never paid more than the taoiseach of the day. “It’s happened on two occasions that taoisigh have reduced their pay and on each of those occasions I’ve reduced mine so I’ve never been paid more than the taoiseach.”

    This character is exemplary for the hard core of senior civil servants that still run/ruin this country!

  45. Deco

    The whole debacle with former Democratic Left members in the Irish Labour Party, telling us that Kevin Cardiff, from the Dept. of Finance would be an excellent addition to the EU court of auditors, is leaving me even more sceptical about EU Institutions than previous.

    And I am already very sceptical.

    The EU court of auditors refused to sign off on an audit of EU accounting for something line 15 years. Because they do not trust their own audit, to find out what is going on – because their own audit never finds out what is going on. Some of the money ends up with the Mafia, some with Cosa nostra, some with Greek army generals, etc… And in this country we have an entire industry built around getting EU Regional funding – so that office holders can pay themselves comfortably.

    And we are sending an incompetent oaf over to be part of the process. And we have politicians in this country with an agenda for sending a particularly annoying oaf over. Just wondering will Olivia O’Leary be covering this in her next “slot” on Pravda, where she gets to moan about political opponents (and always fails to see what is going on insider her own moat).

    This is a disaster, when Europe is run by such idiots.

    The only people who are making an issue of this are Nessa Childers and UKIP.

    And Pravda, and the rest of the Irish media have spend years indoctrinating us that UKIP are bad people who should not be trusted under any circumstances, and are responsible to 800 years of oppression here. (actually, it turns out a lot of that was local lackeys on the take, pushing the agenda of the Imperial overlord, in return for meat at the master’s table – but that is another matter).

    • Europe is run by idiots!

      The fact the individual countries used Europe as a dumping ground for Jackie Healy-Rae style politicos is well known. European Institutions are infested with incompetence!

      • StephenKenny

        I disagree. Europe is run by extremely smart and ambitious people. The ministers and staff are greedy, obedient, fools, but the people who run it – the grey faceless bureaucrats – are very far from idiotic.

        Very soon, a group of unknown, and unaccountable, apparatchiks, will have absolute power over every detail of the lives of 300m people. They will directly control the tax and expenditure systems, and indirectly (via licenses & Europe-wide anti-terrorism legislation) the media, the police, and the military. All without firing a shot, and without a single vote. Who’s the idiot now?

        • bonbon

          Smart, not, ambitious yes. Doomed certainly. Obama is to do the shot firing – thermonuclear shots, for them.
          Only one problem the planet might not survive – the weapons are too destructive.

          So they have a little problem…

          The are known – the British empire – to most faceless… With sway over 7 billion.

          They would like to make that 1 billion, explicit stated, not secret at all, or is that too much to see.

          Maybe you are wearing ski goggles?

          • Adam Byrne

            Can you define exactly what your version of the modern ‘British empire’ means please, Mr. bonbon? Serious question.

          • redriversix



            Mutually assured destruction.your continuing argument on Obama’s use of Nuclear weapons is,frankly ridiculous.

            I have some idea as to how the military world works and the use of these weapon’s is certainly off the table.



          • Bonbon,

            I asked you on the other thread already, perhaps you did not see it, so i post it here again:

            Georg R. Baumann says:
            November 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

            can I be frank with you?

            To me, and as always, I might be mistaken, but this sound very much to me like the lines of thought proposed by the ‘Schiller Institute’, Zepp/Larouche et al.

            So, am I wrong, or would you share their views?

          • StephenKenny

            I’m not altogether clear as to what you’re talking about.

            A limited nuclear exchange wouldn’t be too destructive. All nuclear powers have tested up to, and including, their biggest hydrogen weapons above ground. Other than a number of bizarre mutations at places like Bikini Atol, we’re all OK. It is of course possible that it would escalate. It seems to me very unlikely that any such thing will occur, even with the Americans and British running around invading people, or paying mercenaries to do so.

            There is no evidence that the Euro bureaucrats have ambitions outside the EU. Extending the EU is another matter.

            Smart? They have total authority over an empire, and are not held to be accountable for their actions.

            I’m not wearing ski goggles.

          • bonbon

            My point is, the old war gimmick to “rescue” those so-called smart oligarchs, a very ancient cultural sickness, cannot work anymore, because of these weapons. Obama in their service (what else to call imposing a Supercommittee), Geithner GS like Monti, Papdemos, is actually chained for now. Sane reason precludes this.

            However looking at Dr. Schellnhuber, CBE – Commander of the British Empire, awarded for his Great Transformation, the WBGU, explicitly states 1 billion people max. Can I be more explicit – the stated policy of the British Empire, is to condemn 6 billion to death. Schellnhuber is European, Obama American. Empire cares nothing for nations, countries after all.
            Because of this obnoxious fact, Obama would go ahead.

            Most people, rightly, just cannot comprehend this, and could be horribly surprised.

            Not anymore.

          • StephenKenny

            You’re suggesting the British Empire is going to encourage/inspire/command/something a thermonuclear exchange with the intention of killing 6 billion people.

            The reason you believe this is that a Nobel Prize winning Chemist, who now claims he’s a climatologist, with a CBE, says so.

            People like the famous Jimmy Saville were given the CBE.

          • bonbon

            Schellnhuber is only the most visible. With goggles off, see Prince Phillip’s repeated statement on the subject, the former head of the Max Planck Institute, Al Gore (Earth and the Human Spirit), Margaret Mead, a whole gaggle of well known public figures, Global Warming, Ozone Hole… Bertrand Russell is almost unreadable – pure satanic evil. JFK discovered he was trying to start it with the Soviets and telegrammed Russell to back off or else.
            Schellnhuber’s de-carbonization will kill 6 billion. No academic logic gets around that. He is Merkel’s official “scientific” advisor. She stopped 17 nuclear reactors.

            This has been going on for many years, perhaps obscured by the news blizzard.

            A horrible example : see Al Gore’s book 1, around page 58 (check) he says the Irish Famine was their own fault – too many Irish. This is required reading for most greenies.

          • Malcolm McClure

            bonbon says: “Maybe you are wearing ski goggles?”

            More like bonbon is wearing a tinfoil skullcap with a propellor on top.

            Some of his comments betray a high intelligence–then he trolls this blog with ludicrous assertions.

            Come off it, bonbon.

          • bonbon

            Why do further nested replies not work? Is there a limit somewhere…

          • 33square

            500 million according to the georgia guidestones

          • bonbon

            Ski goggles are better on the slope.

            It seems my reference to the British Empire, and its population policies is causing a lot of carpet-chewing here.

            Thou doth protest too much, methinks.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Hong Kong, last remnant of the British Empire, was returned to the Chinese empire in 1997. The British Commonwealth is a loose association of independent nations that were former colonies and dominions and have a common respect for democracy and freedom irrespective of race or religion.

            Bonbon should respect historical fact and tighten his chinstrap as his propellor is nearing Takeoff rotation speeds.

        • bonbon

          HK, Commonwealth are just a bit too obvious. Empires have nothing to do with geographical boundaries. They like to rewrite such, for example Sykes-Picot lines in the sand pre-programming the turmoil there.
          People must begin to understand there is only one empire today, the fourth incarnation of what made Rome.

          If you consider for a moment Obama’s record, the usual cliches only smoke over the extreme danger of a conflagration, now, as the empire is mortally threatened with financial meltdown. Everybody notices bailouts in the EU AND USA. This is the sure sign “something” over-reaching BOTH is being rescued at the cost of all transatlantic citizens. That should be clear enough.
          This the classic symptom of empire at work.
          When you see Obama’s Supercommittee, having failed this week, being replaced by automatic cuts , flouting completely the US Preamble, Consitution, AND EU Junta’s in control even a blinkered subject must ask Cui Bono?

    • btw… of course, UKIP is nothing I would want to sign up to, just because they have a brilliant demagogue does not justify their political program.

  46. Europe requires a radical rethink of the way we approach economic growth, a model for social development and a political system with democratic accountability.

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