January 25, 2012

Private debt so enormous that default is only option

Posted in Debt · 362 comments ·

When all the people you read every week for information are talking about the same report, you know that you should read it. From Paul Krugman on the left to John Mauldin on the right, some of my favourite reads of the week are citing a McKinsey Consulting report on global debt.

Reading through it, one chart jumped out at me. Have a look at the chart. Yes, the one accompanying this article. It is taken from data of the Bank of International Settlements. It shows just how much debt the Irish economy is carrying. What it tells you is that Ireland is the most indebted country in the world. When compared with Greece, Ireland is carrying more than two-and-a-half times more debt. We are twice as indebted as Portugal.

This deterioration happened when we were members of the euro. When we borrowed hand over fist from German and British banks in particular.

The implication of this figure is that the Irish economy has to grow six times faster than the interest rate charged on this debt in order for the overall debt burden to remain stable. Assuming that the rate of interest — even with all the negotiations — is 4pc. This means that the Irish economy would have to grow by 24pc next year, just to ensure that the debt/GDP ratio stays stable.

Much is made of the government debt –which remains enormous — but the real problem seems to be the debt held by the banks or the financial institutions and the debts built up by Ireland Inc, as well as the debts which we, the people, incurred in the boom.

The implication of this for the next few years — if we try to pay this money back — is that the huge outflow from the economy every year will amount to just over €30bn — that’s at an interest rate of 4pc. Quite how we can cope with this is anyone’s guess.

So it is time to get real. There is little or no hope of this money being paid back in total. In fact, the least of our worries is the government debt when you consider the size of the private sector, corporate and banking debts.

In terms of default, conventional wisdom suggests that Ireland should not default on its sovereign debt. This is a persuasive argument and we — the Irish citizens — should probably go along with it.

But when it comes to the private debts, whether it’s the debt you might be carrying on the house you bought in the boom, or a company’s debts or even the debts of the financial system, the iron rule of capitalism needs to be applied.

This rule says that in order to get out of the debt mess, the lenders and the borrowers must pay. Given what the data is telling us, it is amazing that the line has been held for so long, without massive default. Indeed, what is more amazing still is that the national narrative has been dictated for so long by the lenders who, having lent the various players in the country over 600pc of income, are clearly the villains in this story. If anyone wants evidence of reckless lending, there it is straight in front of your eyes.

At the moment, the Irish Government is reading from the creditors’ script, trying to wrangle a few euro out of them and being apologetic in the process while resorting to sound bites like “who would lend to us?”

The problem with these type of debt numbers is that the people who are lending to us are only facilitating the payments of other creditors. So the money they are lending now is being stuffed recklessly down into a hole of debt and all it is doing is creating yet another pyramid scheme and yet more dependency.

For example, this includes the Anglo €1.25bn, which is being paid (pathetically) today. This is just adding to the mountain of debt, which is already built up, because we are just adding more and more debt to the huge financial burden to pay for this existing liability.

Can you see how this is yet another pyramid scheme? It is the inverse of the credit pyramid scheme in the boom — which couldn’t last. It is a debt pyramid scheme where the likelihood of getting out at the top, is based on how much more debt we stuff into the bottom of the pyramid.

We are not the only country facing this dilemma, but our situation is by far the most precarious. The whole of the West is dealing with the consequences of the credit boom. Most countries are condemned to years of debt repayment, rebuilding their balance sheets and increasing savings. This is termed deleveraging.

In Ireland, given the magnitude of the debt, it is very clear to me that only a fraction of this household and corporate debt will be actually paid off. The figures scream default.

Take a typical Irish case where a business — like a local convenience store — borrowed €4m to build a few retail units and a few apartments in the boom on a turnover of €700,000. The bank lent the money and everyone clapped the “entrepreneur” on the back.

Today, turnover is €450,000 but the development can’t sell for more than €1m. Even if they could find a buyer, at €1m, where will they get the money to pay the rest of the €3m outstanding?

They won’t. So the hit will be taken by the bank that lent the cash. Then the bank has a default problem. This is what is happening all over the country. This presages massive defaults on an ongoing basis.

There are two ways you can get out of debt. One is that you can work your way out over years and years. This is the “right” thing to do. But sometimes, when the weight of debt is just too heavy, it is impossible. I fear that this is the case for Ireland, irrespective of how certain parts of the economy — for example the export sector — are moving. It is just not possible, without inflation, to pay this debt in full.

We have been told this week that a “bomb” would go off if the Anglo debt were to be defaulted on today. That is nonsense. The bomb has already gone off. It went off when all this lending was incurred and every time someone got more into debt, a further little device detonated, creating the economic wasteland we walk in.

Before you finish, take a look at the chart again. Examine the numbers for Ireland and you tell me if there is possibly another way out of this?

  1. Adam Byrne


  2. Eireannach

    The Personal Insolvency Act of the Oireachtas, to be legislated into law by end April 2012, will clear out a lot of the dead wood.


    This Bill is so significant, the entire text, all 159 pages, are posted on the IT website in .pdf format.

    So if you owe 6 figures and you can’t pay it, as DMcW points out, you won’t pay it.

    You’ll be repossessed under the new Personal Insolvency Laws later this year.

    Then you can start again, as is common practice all over the world.

    What kind of an amazing mess will then be on the banks’ balance sheets, is almost unimaginable catastrophic.

    • wills

      Isn’t it the truth though that the banks recklessly lent most of the swag to their mates.

      So this legislation is for their mates to avoid having to go too N.I n UK to declare bankruptcy.

      • Eireannach

        It’s for everyone who is too deep in debt Wills. Obviously the big fish talk to their lawyers and head to the UK to file for bankruptcy, but the Personal Insolvency Bill addresses all persons who are insolvent, as opposed to corporations.

        The biggesty craters in the banks will be bankrupt developers and builders, sure. But many, many more young couples will be declared bankrupt when this legislation is passed.

        Incidentally, the period for debt discharge proposed is 3 years, as opposed to the 12 years currently in force.

  3. wills

    I wonder how far will the Insiders go to get to keep their pOnzi machine going!?

    The reason why we are payn’ bondholders, non-guaranteed, insured, anonymous, all part of their game to keep the pOnzi machine in place for the next bubble.

    Their pOnzi machine must be kept in situ at all cost.

    What else can explain this insanity.

  4. sedwards

    Hi David. It is very difficult to argue with your conclusions in todays article, and of you have consistently stated this for a long time now. Much as I dont like your conclusion, I haveto agree with them.

    Re: Enda Kenny and Coalition policy, I believe now that they also secretly believe that we will default.But not just yet.And obviously they cant give ANY hint of this. Enda went to visit David Cameron recently. What came out of that? “Relations between UK + IRL have never been soooo Gooood!!!” blah, blah,
    The day after, Enda mentioned-as an aside- that “Ireland would find it difficult to be party to any financial agreements that UK were not signed up to” (i.e. Merkosy’s transaction tax, and the reason for the UK split.
    So what was the meeting about? I think there is a very firm “PLAN B” in place that puts us in some kind of Sterling linked “Punt” after our divorce from the Euro. As you say, nomatter how much of a break they give us on the interest rates, we still cant pay…

    • tuatha

      It is unarguable that is the “plan” – I doubt that it will even be a Sterling linked punt, we might as well use Sterling and have the slight advantage of a bloc for when (not IF) the eurozone implodes.
      It won’t be wonderful, just slightly less dire.

    • JohnnyGordon

      Agree with you but prefer reading text to listening to a Podcast!

  5. CitizenWhy

    Debt is a substitute for income. Sometimes OK. Often bad.

    • bonbon

      Hamilton faced this problem with the Independance War Debt, and turned the situation around. He explained it in the Federalist papers, and is also the author of the Credit clause in the US Constitution. We have a similar clause.
      Consider what has been going on a 30+ years economic and financial war. Either we win, but they cannot.

      War devastation, well we have had that. For example the world leader in building out of rubble is Germany, and the KfW (Reconstruction Creit Bank) of Hermann Abs is an example.
      Sure there was a Marshall Plan, for every $1 to Germany, $4 to France and England.
      This time around the US is so bankrupt, the only possible way out is Hamilton’s method.

      But first legitimate debt must be separated from fictitious gambling debts including all derivatives. That can instantly be done, over a long bank holiday.

      Then massive credit generated by national banking to rebuild the rubble field. This time around big-time.
      Big problems need big solutions, not tiny steps adding up to well, staying still.

      The lesson to learn is massive problems need massive intervention by intention over a generation at least.

      The war faction now wants to smash the remaining rubble field to prevent this rebuilding. Recognize that and act now.

  6. Colin

    Where’s the chart?

    McKinsey Consulting report link doesn’t work either.

    So, what’s the message, should people stop paying off their mortgages and credit card bills and car loans because the lender will have to take a hit?

  7. Dorothy Jones


    Seamus Coffey in article of today’s Indo 120125 states:

    ”The figures in the piece do indeed scream default, but the figures are wrong. 100pc wrong.”

    David’s figures are from the McK report he cites

    Coffey maintains irish debt is 4 not 8 times the irish income.

    ”Irish debt is actually around four times national income and using figures 100pc greater than this is misleading. The data come from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) who try to use gross and unconsolidated data as a measure of overall indebtedness. This can lead to unusual results.”

    He explains his reasoning and ends with:

    ”We do not need false figures to give a misleading indication of the position we are in”.

    So…which rational is the ‘correct’ one???

    Usual David-bashing on the foot of the article, hasn’t anyone ever heard of Arthur Cox…

    • Hi Dorothy,

      Yes the David bashing is quite normal now with these academic types. I think it kills them that they never saw this coming, so the bash the guy who did. Its human nature I suppose.

      In terms of numbers. I remember back at the height of the boom when anyone looked at the Irish numbers – they usual refrain from Irish most academic and banking economists was – “ah yes but the numbers are wrong”. or “the numbers don’t tell the real story”.

      Here we have the same thing. Now, its not just me, its the BIS and McKinsey and Paul Krugman (who alerted me to the report), John Mauldin etc – they are all wrong. When your arguments don’t stand up blame the numbers!

      All the best,


      • Lord Jimbo

        A US Republican putting down Ron Paul said of him “he is kind of like that professor you really like in college, you look up to etc but you wouldn’t want him running your company”.

        Think it is clear to the dog in the street that a lot of the talking heads and corporate economists in Ireland are as bankrupt intellectually as the economy is financially. The ‘pillars’ of Irish society are crumbling under the weight of corruption and ineptitude with the so called ‘little people’ asked to pick up the pieces while taking the lash about high wages, mercedes pensions and entitlements.

        The debt mountain which you highlight in the article is eating its own children, which reminds me of this article.

        Bolivia and the Mountain that eats men

        That aside, we need champions now, people with ideas, people prepared to take a chance and take the economy in a new and interesting direction, but first old walls have to tumble before the new can be introduced. We watch and wait.

        • bonbon

          Boccaccio’s Decameron’ rich sat high up on the hills around Florence, as the pest raged below. Then it came and got them too. No tickets will be handed out for anyone.

        • Deco

          Lord Jimbo.

          you are 100% correct. The establishment is loaded up with intellectual bankruptcy. I seen this in the mid-1990s. I seen it deep inside one of our two pillar banks.

          And John Allen seen it in the other Pillar bank.

          I know people who told me about it in FF, when Ahern took over from Reynolds. I was told about it when the ILP merged with DL. And I can see it again today, when I hear Lucinda talk about hand grenades, and Leo talk about financial bombs.

          And I seen it three weeks ago on a youtube debate between the US Republican party debates on the issues of US foreign policy, economic policy, and the Bill of Rights. And I seen it last night in Obama’s nonsense in his state of the union address, where he completely sidetracked the debacle involving SOPA, and other infringements of individual liberties.

          Then we have the idiots in the ECB and the EU. They had 19 intergovernmental conferences last year, and they engaged in a PR stunt each time – and solved nothing. They are completely beholden to the FIRE interests. (Check http://www.itulip.com for an explanation on FIRE sector economics – or ask Wills about ponzi schemes).

          The leadership of the West is either stupid, or in the pocket of the rich.

          Put it this way. If they were really motivated by the interests of the people, the media would undermine them, and ensure that a corporate Yes-man was put in their place.

          “support our advertising sponsors”

          We need “stability”. We need “a safe pair of hands”.

          Actually, we don’t. We need open honesty, and we need capitalist consequences for capitalist failure.

      • bonbon

        Its anti-human nature. They attack the very creative reasoning that the numbers do in a way hide.

        They can turn extremely vicious, there are others abroad getting this treatment, and have over 30 years.

        Krugman’s record is also not entirely honest. BIS has consistently reported the shadow aspects, but at least most of the time with a 6 month delay. In that 6 months one can have LTCM, Lehman…

      • uchrisn

        This guy is not even an economist in the area of banking or finance. His main research interest is in the area of health economics and he holds a masters.
        However in the Media his is first of all published? Then presented as some kind of ‘expert’.
        The actual acadmic experts are more like Karl Whelan or Constantin Gurgendiev from Trinity with thier phds and research in Finance and whose views are much more similar to Davids. While its better to play the ball than ther man and adress the actual points made by Mr. Coffey, I feel its important to address the obvious media bias towards saving the rich at the expense of the poor, by attempting to brainwash the poor.

        • bonbon

          One must check very carefully which “think-tanks” proclaim what exactly. For example :

          The Open Republic Institute is a member of the Economic Freedom Network established by the Fraser Institute. The Canadian Institute, in collaboration with its worldwide affiliates, annually updates the Economic Freedom of the World Index. The latest report for 2005 is the 9th edition and rates 127 countries for the right-wing, free market, economic freedom concept. Hong Kong achieves the highest rating and Ireland finishes in eighth place. The Open Republic Institute, based on Shelbourne Road in Dublin 4, provides the Index’s Irish research data. Its Directors are Paul MacDonnell, Constantin Gurdgiev and Moore McDowell.

          A minimum of homework will raise alarms on this. The Tiger anti-intellectual attitude leads straight to Pinochet.

      • Dorothy Jones

        David, Keep up all of the good work incl. the commentary of earlier on Newstalk [pity such a short time slot] on the spin re ‘First Sale of Irish Bonds’. You put them right on that one. Colm McCarthy article on same on Irish Economy 120125 yesterday also debunking said spin.
        As to why Ireland is in the position it is currently?
        It is important to look behind what is published and examine the facts.
        I carried out a mapping exercise over the last year or so on the ‘players’ both in the banking strategy and NAMA.

        It has yielded some very interesting results…..
        - Govt [General][pre and post crisis]
        - DoF [pre and post crisis]
        - NTMA[pre and post crisis]
        - NPRF [pre crisis]
        - BoI[pre and post crisis]
        - NAMA [pre and post inception]
        - Anglo [pre crisis: Anglo, post-crisis: Govt on restructuring]
        - Light Regulation Legislation [proposed]
        …and so on…

        It also explains why it has been extremely useful to certain parties to use you as a soft target.
        I assume that you are aware of what happened and continues to happen ‘behind the scenes’. It doesn’t take a huge amoount of scrutiny to uncover a common denominator in many areas above. To me it also explains why media has never addressed this huge inconsistency as a complete story; although certain areas have received piecemal coverage.

        When the next round of David-bashing takes hold, you might consider publishing the facts.

    • Deco

      Seamus Coffey – he knows where his bread is buttered.

      The institutions in power, and they can reward lackeys.

      It is our duty, in the interests of intellectual honesty, that we continue to support those who are not being bought out by the IMF/EU/ECB/US government.

      • Dorothy Jones

        Agree with you Deco. Said SC is ‘on’ tomorrow as a member of the panel late afternoon on the Economics Conference [free but registration req'd] in Croker. Will put it to him then and see what response he gives..D

  8. Eireannach

    IT this evening:

    “The draft Insolvency Bill is a “significant advance” toward addressing the problems of indebted households, the Free Legal Advice Centres organisation (Flac) has said.

    It added the proposed legislation had the capacity to make a significant improvement for those who are currently struggling with debt”.


  9. straboe1

    What has happened to the McKinsey Consulting report site? It seems to have disappeared!

    • ioseebee

      Yip McKinsey Consulting report site seems to have done a runner!

      Maybe it’s related to the over-stating of indebtiness as described by Seamus Coffey? Somebodies realised this report is causing trouble for those who wish to maintain the staus quo of their pyramid scams?

      Regards David’s article, whether it’s 4 times or 8 times our countries income doesn’t really seem to matter….the whole current approach to calming the markets, rolling over-debt, and cross-guarantees of bonds between banks & sovereign states stinks!

      The whole banking debt pyramid is being woven into the very fabric of all our countries sovereignty so deeply that it is impossible to disentangle without having to rip the whole system up and re-starting somehow!

      Whether it starts by countries like Ireland & Greece defaulting on their debts, or we have to endure years of austerity measures (& accompanying social unrest) to bring us to the beginning of the next mega-bubble, the system as it is, is in self-destruction mode as it is completely unsustainable, as well as extemely unequitable.

      Essentially today we were forced as a country to pay the former-Anglo’s gambling investor’s bonds by pressure to maintain this crumbling system!

      The funny (but not at all funny) thing about this is we are paying billions of our earnings as a people to ensure our rogue banks are well enough to LEND TO US AGAIN!!!……

      …… I think maybe THAT is the thing that stinks….

      My feeling is the only way to stay sane with the knowledge of what is going on, is to be aware of the in’s and out’s of what may come, but focus on the present & your inner-happiness – cultivate the personal wealth of a happy soul! :)

    • dorn

      There’s an extraneous space in the original link for some reason. http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Working_out_of_debt_2914 has the space removed and should work. Note that it asks you to register to read the full article.

  10. Peter Atkinson

    Can anybody on this blog explain to the ordinary man in the street why we borrow money on a Friday to pay down a debt on Monday.This is pure and simply loan sharking.As with all loan sharks its in the loan shark’s interest to keep you borrowing and never pay down your debt in full.Anybody who is currently involved in this type borrowing at a local level will know exactly what I mean.If Joe Average had 10 jobs working 48 hours a day he still wouildn’t pay down his debt in 3 lifetimes.

    I don’t think we need a McKinsey report to tell us that we are buggered.The Newbridge Credit Union situation has highlighted that the one bastion of safe and affordable credit during the 80s has all but dried up.I heard a whisper during the week that one Dublin based Credit Union provided the finance for an individual to purchase a pub during the height of the pub buying boom.The said pub I believe has since closed and from what I hear the individual is gone over the hill and far away.The finance involved I believe is a 7 figure sum.Again I will stand corrected on this.

    I wonder if a serious public trawl of the said Credit Unions is now in order to highlight exactly what the members shares were being used for.I personally would like to know what the profile of the people who were borrowing was like and the reasons given to the credit committee for these borrowings.I assume each Credit Union had a set of rules.My question is were these rules knowingly breached in order to lend to these vanity projects

    • bonbon

      Bankers call it the overnight carry-trade. Brazil played a major role in this, being looted, thus loved by the BRIC promoter from GS.

  11. george

    David you are absolutely right, but unfortunately at the end of the day the interests and the ambitions of few people are going to prevail over the one of the majority, and the interest of the common good…unless we demand a new Government that is ready to do something about it, and is ready to fight in our behalf, because it’s clear tha this one is fiddling with figures, and robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    • bonbon

      But spell out that “something”. Occupy did at one point but are being derailed. Politicians must perceive the population will go along with ideas. Still politicians must be capable of creative thought, not evident by those making policy.

  12. straboe1

    I have believed from the beginning that the aim of the European establishment is to transfer all debts owed by Ireland Portugal Greece etc. into the control of Germany France and the ECB. When this is done, pressure will be put on these countries and force these countries into a federal Europe. As a consequence of this action, we will also be forced to raise our 12% corporation rate of tax, again we will become an outpost of a powerful force in Europe, but not Britain this time.

    • I fear you might be right Brendan.


      • rebean

        We should join Nato in the morning. Then we could push for a few bases in Cork, Dublin, Galway. We should become real good friends with the British and anyone else that might help us. We can start to pull away from Europe slowly but surely . WE need a dictator in Dail Eireann as this stage to impliment the changes that are needed

        • irish_c

          Jesus, it really is 1932 again. Fuck you, you idiot. Sorry for the profanity, no, actually I’m not, you are a fucking imbecile to suggest dictatorship – who will that benefit besides the Oligarchy?

          • rebean

            Yes we need a good dose of martial law. We have a problem confronting change as a nation. We need to embrace the whole implimentation of real change. It will take brute force to push it through. we have had report after report after report about how we propose to change this a nd change that. We need to be bullied into it now. Operation transformation for a country in debt.

        • Deco


          You are obviously writing a sendup comment.

          Nobody could seriously make such a suggestion.

          We don’t need a dicatator. We have Brussels to do the dictating for us.

          Nobody will “help us”. We just need to start helping ourselves. We owe the rich FIRE sector in a few other countries a lot of money. And they will screw it out of us, just like absentee landlords did in the 1800s – by means of a local cadre of gombeens who will lie for them, and starve us into submission.

          We need a Michael Davitt type figure who makes it unworkable for them, by means by determined non-co-operation.

          We do not need to all become a nation of gombeens, by joining military alliances, which seems to be what Gilmore is trying to push us into doing.

          • rebean

            We would have been better off with the Brits than that DeValera and McQuaid. We would have moved on as a nation away from the wardrobes ( confessional boxes).We could have had Nato bases in our ports. We grew up in a sheltered country where most people felt guilty and never embraced change. We tried to become part of something bigger when we joined the EEC. Our leaders still dot have the stomach for change. We need about ten years of martial law and a good kick up the arse as a nation

          • bonbon

            We already have the dictator – Brussels, and their shock troops FF/FG. But Brussels is really run by Britain, a satrapy.
            So its basically the same old story, we are still run by the British Empire. And to hear someone grasping blindly for that, while in it is very funny.

          • Deco

            speak for yourself.

            there is a problem with respect to the institutional state in this country. But the people do not deserve to be punished as a result. The institutional state does deserve punishment however.

      • bonbon

        And provide cannon fodder for Obama’s British war against Asia.

        We had this discussion before, were part of an Empire before and had bases.

        Not very new is it?

        • rebean

          Ah yes but we were never as badly off. Ireland reminds me of a prodigal son now. I have gained my independence from an empire but I am worse off. I am governed by one bunch of gobshites after another. My children are still emigrating. I was never independent really. Rome ruled the vacuam left by the British. Now that thats all ended I am rudderless in a storm.

          • rebean

            Ah Deco Bring me your woes and desires And I will give you shelter.You are confused my son for you loved your country but you discovered a terrible thing. Noone gave a damn. Now in the cold light of dawn we need to believe. Its the hardest thing we have sold our souls to a bunch of thugs. The same thugs that were around in the 30s.

      • redriversix

        Evening David,

        Thank you for another good article but what is supposed to happen ?.

        I am unemployed for almost a year now and lost everything I own as many on this site know……My family and I will be okay,but the amount of people I have spoken over the last three weeks who are extremely disheartened is quite incredible,I was taking to someone tonight who is far more clever than I in these financial matters and who has done a lot of work and research in trying to make a difference and he has “quit” which is a poor reflection on this state as it proves,once again how difficult it is to try and highlight the madness of our current situation.

        Do we,who contribute to this site think we are more clever than we actually are or are politicians really this stupid.?

        I have contacted many T.DS and Senators and opposition members and very very few respond.In fact,the only one who has responded to me regularly is Brian Hayes T.D and although we are at different ends of the Battle,he turns up and debates with me which can get heated at times but never personal and I have to thank him for that.

        Maybe,like many noble contributors before us we or I should just quit as I cannot see any change in the status quo.

        I wonder what song Bob Dylan would write for this Generation because the “times,they are not changing”



        • Eireannach


          All that is happening is that Ireland is being sucked into core Europe, through the mechanism of the transfer of our banking debt to the ECB.

          Ireland will re-emerge, but it’s laws will more closely resemble law in the Netherlands, Germany, France, etc. Take the BER cert requirement if you rent or sell a house, the enforcement of the EU Directive on ground water, the shutting down of bedsits, the introduction of a property database rendering property sales prices transparent, the introduction of council taxes/rates and water metering.

          All of this stuff was introduced a long time ago in ‘core Europe’. Most of it was introduced some time ago into the UK too. We are the anomaly.

          However, to judge by the reaction in Ireland, you’d swear our sovereignty was under attack. You meet people intensely depressed about the fact that all of these laws and taxes are being ‘shoved upon us’ and they feel ‘powerless’.

          I’m utterly against bailing out banks, but I’m for Ireland being a normal, EU country, like all the others.

          The amount of Irish who find that totally depressing and want to emigrate to Australia or wherever is to me totally astounding. It’s like we joined the EU, we adopted the euro, but nobody thought we would one day change all our laws to conform with EU-wide norms.

          That day has come. The astonishing thing is, so many didn’t see it coming and didn’t prepare accordingly. Half of the landlords in the state will be ruined by these changes – no bedsits, need to upgrade insulation, etc. The sorry state of affairs is that they are so opposed to the changes, not the changes!!

        • irish_c

          I am living in Germany. I remember the 80s and, as far as I’m concerned, Ireland is a failed state. I cannot have any faith in it to ever change. ‘Fool me once’ and all that. Joyce was right when he wrote about the paralysis of Irish society and the old sow that eats her farrow. I’m no piglet, sorry.

          • Eireannach

            It will change irish_c, insofar as it will be illegal NOT to change. That is to say, slum landlords will find themselves on the wrong side of the law. There is a campaign of civic resistance to the new property tax, a precursor to a council tax which will be introduced when a system of national post codes is introduced. The civic resistance will fail. Sure council taxes/rates are normal everywhere else in Europe, the resistors are wasting everyones time slowing up the transition.

            I lived in Paris for 5 years, but if Irish law and norms more resembled core European laws and norms, I’d prefer to live in Ireland (which I do).

            The problem is the Irish are pampered and spoilt babies. They drive mercs and BMWs and cry-baby about paying water charges. They WILL change because they’ll be fined/imprisoned for breaking the law if they don’t change.

            However, watching them throwing a tantrum and refusing to change, despite the mess they’ve made of the place, is totally embarassing and does make me, and anyone Irish who has lived abroad, feel embarassed to call myself part of this society. On that point, I totally agree with you. But Ireland will change, because Irish are compliant and follow the law, and the EU is changing Irish law to EU law. Irish “resistance” will prove futile, in the end.

          • 33square

            Ireland needs to think carefully about this quote from Ayn Rand: “we can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality”

          • bonbon

            Sir Alan Greenspan, famous for obfuscation. All from his mistress Ayn Rand.

    • bonbon

      They are going after German President Wulf right now because he scalded the bankers at the Lindau meeting in Aug-2011. His speech is incredibly sharp- DMcW would love it.
      There is an unbelievable media witch hunt, and the last President Köhler (ex-WB so he should know) resigned (a historic first) because they forced him to sign a Euro140 billion cheque while on the plane home from Afghanistan.
      If they succeed in this coup, Merkel’s CDU will crumble and they will try to force German taxpayers to foot an unbelievable bill with hyperinflation.

      So far the population is quiet but remembers 1923 vividly.

      But after all that was the whole reason for the Euro – to limit Germany after re-unification, was’nt it?

      Funny it takes the hurt wallet to admit Ireland played along in this British game?

    • Lord Jimbo

      Saw Berlin being rebuilt in 2001/2002 and could see some Germans were looking to create not just a capital of a new Germany but also a new Europe.

      Now all paths lead to Berlin, European leader after European leader has been given the marching band treatment and meeting with Merkel, a section of the German elite is eager to be the dominant player along with the five permanent members of the UN security council and yet within Germany there are visionaries like Helmut Schmidt warning Germany about the course it seems to be on. The country does seem to have enormous economic drive and potential and is always interesting to visit.

      Former Chancellor Schmidt warns against Germany dominating the EU

      “… in contrast to the past, when military and political dominance in Germany was a concern in Europe, it is now Germany’s economic strength that makes other countries nervous, according to Schmidt.”

      • bonbon

        Then who is after Wulf? Why does Berlin turn all sovereignty over to Brussels, and politicians end up at the Constitutional Court. Schmidt smokes far too much, and every now and then has a fit, while most of the time makes sense.
        Anyone in Berlin that attempts to monetize this is in for extreme stress. I will post Wulf’s full text here, which I’ll bet will give FT a carpet-chewing rage.

    • Eireannach

      On the bright side, at least the EU government in Dublin are actually enforcing the building perfomance and ground water quality directives.

      No Irish politicians would ever face down the rural lobby on these. In a federal Europe, these outlaws with their sense of entitlement and environmental illiteracy will be brought in line with European norms.

      Do you think the Irish could manage this country better than the EU? Leave it to the cantankerous Irish to do what they want and our children would all be living in uninsulated concrete suburbs drinking flouridated water through led pipes.

    • Low corporation tax does not an economic strategy make. The sooner Ireland can manage its departure, frankly the better. Its the best example of the worst kind of Irish economics, the rent seeking State skimming off the profits of the big boys. How many Irish Googles are there? How many Irish Pfizers?

      Then what is the point?

  13. Lord Jimbo

    We’ll limp along like a wounded WWII convoy crossing the Atlantic hoping the Wolf pack doesn’t finish us off.

    Clearly the game is up, the numbers speak for themselves, in fact the game has been up for some time, anyone with a small to medium size business has to be staying awake at night crunching the figures over and over. Meanwhile Archbishop Martin shows up on RTE out in Davos, he is either looking for a bailout for the Irish church from some wealthy donor or hoping that gang will ‘see the light’.

    We are moving inexorably to the final few moves on the chessboard, space and time are running out, we are close to checkmating ourselves. 4 million people into 250 billion euro or whatever the final number will be won’t go, despondency is thick in the air, but we must keep the hope alive, from crisis good things can also come, it might just take a collapse of the ancien regime for things to truly start moving.

    Good to see the leading architects of all this starting up new lives abroad, the great flight of entrepreneurs, a perverse version of the flight of the Earls in 1607.

    • rebean

      Would that be Earls like Earl Sean Dunne or Earl Drumm. Give me Cromwell any day of the week. That puritan would balance the books I reckon

      • bonbon

        Cromwell, well that shows your colors.

        • rebean

          I would rather do business with the man than the Earls of our demise. I believe it would be a fairer outcome. It might be similar to a deal with someone like Shylock the Jew though I would work in earnest lest I lose my ass literally. However on dealing with the Earls we seem have lost our asses but never had any deal in the first place. It is a great pity that Shylock wasnt in charge of Anglo Irish . The Earls might need smaller trousers presently. By the way I am no royalist nor am I a republican .

  14. rebean

    Ireland will plod along as long as we are loaned money from ECB or some other source. The game will go on and on until DDay. That will be when someone genius in the ECB or somewhere else (God knows where ) decides that Ireland will not get any more money. I figure we owe 1/4 of a billion give or take 50 billion . Please correct me if you actually know how much. We have borrowed 80 billion since the crash. So the point is we are up to our necks and the big question remains . How long can this go on ? I would love to know if anyone has any idea.

    • rebean

      Sorry that should have been a quarter of a trillion. sounds like distances to the nearest stars etc. I think I will have to start using scientific notation in future.

      • bonbon

        Finance is used to this – quadrillions of nominal value are daily fare. That’s 10**15. The derivative bubble is aroung $14 quadrillion, while the planet GDP (ignoring its synthetic meaning) around $41 trillion.

        The 10-ton flea on the 1 pound dog. The flea must be fed!

        • rebean

          I studied Physics in University. One of the courses was nucleur physics. We spent alot of time quantifying the energy inside various masses of matter. The calculations gave rise to huge numbers. It looks like I am well set to study modern economics and debt in all its various guises

        • bonbon

          That’s the problem – finance attracted physicists who brought all their maths with them – look at the Black-Sholes formula running high speed trading. Its a diffusion equation, diffusing wealth out of poor pockets to the rich! Robbery is now diffusion!

          • redriversix

            After the cold war a lot of scientists went to work for the global warming crowd which is now climate change,wonder what they will call that crap next year..?

          • Adam Byrne

            They should get back to basics and call it ‘No Pollution’. That’s what they called it when I was a kid. No one on earth wants to live in a polluted environment. From littering (keep Ireland clean – remember that one?) on the small scale, to industrial/corporate pollution on the large scale – pollution should not be acceptable in any form and every entity should be responsible for cleaning up its own mess.

            There’d be no need to invoke fantasies like global warming and climate change if everyone respected the environment and cleaned up after themselves. If they did, it would follow that the environment would take care of itself.

          • rebean

            Bonbon you will have to relax you should have studied physics you might have figured it out by now. Its not really rocket science Actually it is but they only tell you that to scare you. The whole financial sector is one big poinzi scheme . David Mcwilliams has been telling us that for ages.You have it figured. What you need now is to satisfy those other wordly things . Do you like a pint Bonbon. Maybe soimethinbg stronger. I would like to travel to China right now. I fancy those eastern girls. There is growth there now. Thats the magic

          • bonbon

            I did study physics by the way.
            Anyway http://www.turn180.ie is good for climate reality.

            On Global Warming, remember Dr. Phil Jones emails – I have them – falsifying not only the data, bu also the software with comments how to do that! That was the East Anglia Climte Research Unit (CRU). Totally discredited.

  15. ioseebee

    David’s article’s often meet criticism for advocating defaulting on bank’s debt’s i.e. allowing the self-equilibrating laws of capitalism to work – as they must eventually!

    I think those who criticise this argument are afraid of the consequences of this action (…rightly so – they probably should be – I am sure David and every last one of us are also afraid of what this might unleash in the short-term). Leo Varadkar described how the ‘friendly advice of the troika’ that this would be tantamount to a bomb going off in Dublin!!

    But what David is prescribing as a remedy does beg the question – what after?

    In essence is not an economy in a particular moment based on what value we as people give to our daily needs, are desired or required objects, a person’s or company’s work, or to state-level development/support tasks?

    Thus it follows that the required defaults are nothing more than an economic method of re-calibrating these values, as a result of the reckless over-valuing of debt – these debts were once perceived by a greedy financial sector as having immense value due to the ill-gotten profits they generated. But the economy as it exists now in this moment has shown these debts to be over-valued to dangerous levels….as they were not linked to any actual need or existing asset of intrinsic value.

    So it would follow that our own Irish economy or Greece’s economy are necessarily trying to recalibrate so that the actual needs of the people, & the state as a whole are valued again based on tangible assets, & tangible productive work. It is already readily apparent that the ability of people to earn enough to pay for necessary things like food, heat, a roof over their heads, & basic clothing (let alone once-desirable but unessential products) is completely eroded – even before further austerity measures)

    In the event of default after the short term chaos & pain, there would be a very rapid reset of the perceived value of what people need & require, all monies would flow quickly in the direction of real value.

    Like a bowl of water that has been severely disturbed, we may end up losing water, but the lower level will self-regulate itself and return to a steady stable level.

    The current status quo, is a bowl of water with a massive hole at the bottom, where we are losing all the water we have, while trying to re-fill it with other people’s water (as long as they continue to like us & keep giving it to us) & imaginary water we don’t have….

    ….eventually this way we are going to go thirsty anyway, if you don’t mind me continuing the analogy.

    Does anyone agree that this is the choice that we face in reality?

    • bonbon

      What equilibrium of Capitalism exactly? Where does that idea come from, or is it blind faith based in some borrowed term?

      • ioseebee

        Hi Bonbon,

        I am not sure if the term equilibrium of capitalism has been used before, although I imagine it has, but in any case my meaning is clear enough I think?

        Capitalism, like most systems constantly require inputs and outputs to restore equlibrium! Any system at all that is working efficiently will need to expel unneeded waste, while replenishing it’s resources or fuel.

        With too much debt Capitalism is like a car whose engine is flooded. The car needs to be taken off the road and the problem resolved before it ever will drive again.

        The equilibrium of capitalism is never necessarily fully achieved, but the system will constantly seek it – or will otherwise periodically go bust & need to be re-instated…. in other words a default!

        Another example of how the captalist system seeks an equilibrium at all times, is the problems you see developing in China…just one example here is off the need for China to appease its workers & seek to climb the value ladder in manufacturing.

        The rise of China, and also of India and Brazil and every other developing country can easily have been predicted as capitalism when in full swing is like a tide that raises all boats.

        But this can be seen (despite the global financial industry’s wrecking ball of greed) as the capitalist system addressing the balance from wealthy western developed countries who once plundered otehr countries resources, thus seeking equilibrium (here in a timescale of many generations)

        In matters of environment and global food supply, the capitalist system with many corrupt elements will swing wildly, until tipping points are reached where there is an undeniablu unsustainable point reached, so it will drive environmental energy sources & food supply innovation as it must to survive – i.e. to swing back closer to the equilibrium it seeks and must find to survive!

        The petrol powered engine was a natural development in transport as a result of the capitalist system… it used the knowledge of it’s time, the resources of it’s time, and the perceived desires of the consumer at the time.

        It’s successful successor (whichever of a multitude of possible energy sources) will also be a product of it’s time – our current knowledge, our current environmental concerns, our new energy creating methods, and the changed perceptions of the consumer or user!

        It cannot be but anything else.

        And capitalism (that being the system currently being utilised on a global scale) cannot be but itself…

        ….as David describes above.

        The only question is when & how.

        • ioseebee

          A further example might be how Sean Quinn faired… he became wealthy using resources of his environment & using his knowledge & experience at each stage of the development of his business empire (?)

          But when he over-reached, and looked to make a windfall profit from a huge gamble (enticed by the greedy corrupt Anglo) his whole business came apart & he lost his wealth at a scale equal to the gamble!

          At least he has been able to accept this his fault finally, and that capitalism necessarily took his wealth by its rules, as it gave him opportunity for wealth as is it’s nature…

          This is my understanding of the equilibrium of capialism.

  16. Lord Jimbo

    If people get a chance and they still have Sky coming into the house, I recommend PBS (channel number 166), which shows some outstanding documentaries.

    One of them I had the pleasure of watching recently was on Mark Twain (real name Samuel Clemens) who went from being a very wealthy man to financial ruin and the bankrutcy of his publishing firm, the sum was enormous.

    Instead of running off or worse, Twain faced up to the magnitude of the problem and went on a world speaking tour and only returned to the US after every cent was paid. When he arrived back in New York by steam ship, the quay sides were backed with thousands of cheering Americans blown away by his efforts. I thought it a very inspiring story.

    Incidentally his pseudonym, Mark Twain, was taken from Mississippi riverboat terminology; it’s a measure of depth, sailors would measure the depth of water as paddle boats sailed along, they would shout out ‘mark twain’ when the boat was in safe water.

    The New York Times, March 12, 1898

    “Mark Twain has paid all the debts that led to the bankruptcy of the publishing firm with which he was connected. It is a fine example of the very chivalry of probity.”

  17. LKSteve

    It’s no wonder people won’t even get out of their pyjamas to go to the labour exchange any more. What a joke the country has become and look at the leadership – Kenny & Noonan, two ex-schoolteacher, career politicians of the type that have gotten the country to exactly where it’s at today. Not that anybody from FF would be any better. Ireland’s leaders, rather than facing the brutal reality of the country’s situation have their heads stuck in the sand. It’s time to abandon the Euro Experiment & move forward, not scramble to resuscitate a dead duck. Disorderly default is what is required with a free floating Irish Currency, not one linked to sterling. the sooner this happens the sooner the country can get back on it’s feet and regain competitiveness. Borrowing money to pay back debt is clearly ludicrous.

    • Eireannach

      The government is running a deficit, so it is dependent on borrowing from the troika.

      In Ireland everyone is up in arms about cuts. It’s the lack of really serious cuts, plus having the balls to let the banks sink, that has us in a situation of dependency.

      The chances of Ireland accepting the austerity of leaving the euro and swimming on its own with no government borrowing is exactly zero.

      • LKSteve

        I am not an economist, I am a realist. There’s a little ditty that a co-worker used to rattle off to me years ago: If your income is less than your outgoings then your upkeep will lead to your downfall. It’s simple, Ireland can not borrow it’s way out of debt. Austerity will not work as Ireland is in too deep. Default on all outstanding debt is the only way out. As the Icelandic politician said to David when asked about the country’s debts to British banks, “we can’t pay, but we can give them fish!”. Ireland can’t pay, but the country can still supply goods and services at competitive prices, as long as the country has a sovereign currency the value of which the markets will decide. Ireland’s Government is just playing for time, but time is nearly up. It’s time to crash out of this mickey mouse union & get back to economic basics, with or without the Gombeen class.

        • Eireannach

          Mickey mouse Union?

          Il est fort probable que tu n’as jamais passé du temps au coeur d’Europe.

          The EU is here to stay, and we’ll be staying in it, by hook or by crook.

          And everyone anywhere near power knows that full well.

          Time to adapt to Ireland being a region of the EU superstate, more like.

    • bonbon

      Well put. The EU is a roaring mickey mouse, and doomed by its Euro. We will replace it with a better communion of sovereign nations. With that as intention it becomes clear what to do.

  18. ioseebee

    On the other hand maybe because we Irish have grown to over-value desirable but unnecessary objects & lifestyles we would wish to maintain the status quo in belief that we can return again to the way things were before.

    So we hang on to everything we have for the bumpy austerity ride until the next magic period of growth (bubble) begins, but we get to keep a semblance that the world we live in, is as we perceive it to be.

    A gold framed mirror is hugely desired by, & given expensive value for a middle aged ‘wealthy’ person in Ireland.

    The same aged woman in a Sahara-belt country would necessarily see the same or even more value in one bucket of water from a well hundreds of miles walk away.

    The Irish woman mentioned formerly is not basing her perceptions of value in the same harsh & undeveloped environment as the African woman.

    My point is… the Irish people as a whole are quietly & continuously re-setting their perception of need and value based on the environment that we find ourselves in at this present moment.

    That environment is one of fear, paralysis, hesitancy! Everyone in their own way is clinging desperately to what they believed had value, while re-acquainting with our former generations lifestyles; more time with family, simpler pleasures (e.g. a weekend to Kerry, rather than Portugal; a pint of Guinness and a chat, rather than an all night frivolous spending & drinking spree!)

    Not everyone has fully adjusted in the same way or to the same degree (some delusional people carry on completely unchanged) – each person is re-setting their perception of value to the actual undeniable environment in which they find themselves in at every given moment.

    So people are adjusting & some are been asked to re-adjust to extremely difficult circumstances (& for what will clearly be a lengthy period of time with the current austerity drive) but if they do not perceive any benefit from this approach soon, there will be a straw that breaks the camels back, and we will have social unrest eventually. All the money been saved by the cuts and extra taxes are not being used to improve services or even to develop the efficiency of current level of service. NO! All the money is being used to pay the very wealthy bondholders of former-Anglo.

    Default may ultimately become a more popular option when the Irish people perceive fully the predicament we are in, tho it offers the potential the same or more short-term pain but at least bringing with it the possibility of real growth and real value – a real working economy, where they can be active parts of! (As against the bare shell of an economy which they are finding themselves in)

    I suppose in these two posts I am pondering how important people’s perception of value is at any given time, in relation to this crisis!

    It this perception, and how it changes that will define whether we default or not – and when, and how!


    It is natural for people at every level – from wealthy global investors, or hedge-fund gamblers, central bankers, leading politicians, to the person with a credit card on the street – to resist any forces that may change the status quo & the comfortable circumstances they are used to and feel entitled to.

    The problem really is that the forces in play within the global financial ‘ponzi’ system are immense.

    EVERYONE OF THE ABOVE is straining to hold it together like little kid in the Dutch story who is keeping his finger in the hole of the giant dam!

    Can anyone remember does the dam break in that story?

    • bonbon

      There was once, around 7100BC a lovely fresh water lake with beaches and settlements. One farmer who liked to climb the hills around noticed more and more that the water trickling out was salty. Strange. He tried to warn the people. Come on salt water from the hills they laughed!

      That sea is now the Black Sea, the Bosphorous gouged out by saltwater with a force to carve that channel 1000′s of times bigger than Niagara. Today fishermen are warned not to put nets lower than 200m as they will dredge up the poison sludge of the flora and fauna since settled.

      Rumor has it the farmers name was Noah.

      Just to give a biblical dimension to the scale…

      • ioseebee

        Is it any wonder that stories like the one you described above, and that of the little kid and the dam, have such a powerful resonance with us throughout history?

        We have a habit it seems of walking ourselves blindly into problems of biblical scale!!

        In some ways I feel all of us who read or write on this blog (and David himself) have a feeling this is one of those times! I think we all just wish we knew the actual end of the story!

        • ioseebee


          Here is a link to the story of the child who puts his finger in the dam!


          It turns out he saves the Dam from breaking through teh night until the other villagers find him and help repair the damage…. the moral of the story is to have courage and to take action to prevent disastrous consequences!

          A trickle can become a stream, and a stream can become a torrent…..of debt!

          So the Dam in the story survives….but in Holland they don’t pay any attention to this story because dams/dykes are actually sand-dunes or made from clay – & if the water gets to much and breaches it in anyway, plugging the hole with a finger won’t stop the torrent!

          It’s not actually a Dutch folktale after all – it seems that an American writer in NY wrote the imaginary tale as a story told by a teacher in a book about ice-skaters!

          It’s known by 99% of Americans but not by Dutch people at all!

          They had to put a statue up of the mythical kid by an existing dam, so that American tourists could go somewhere to see this heroic kid honoured!!!

          People can perceive anything to be true in the end if they want to enough!

          • Deco

            If you stuck your finger in the dam, the media would lambast you, the corporations would achieve a buy out of the dam, and outsource your job to the third world, and the local political establishment would send around the local nepotists they employ to fine you for breaking some regulation, or not reporting matters to them – so that they could claim the credit for solving the problem.

          • bonbon

            After New Orleans, US engineers, politicians, went to Holland to see the world-class dyke system with pumps, movable barriers etc. Holland was completely flooded in 1956, and swore to never let that happen again. Question is how the US fell so far that it lost control of the Mississippi, Red River. Infrastructure is practically banned from financiers. No investment allow.

  19. I see Mr. Callelly was arrested in his Clontarf residence as opposed to the one he used to claim mileage from in West Cork.
    Obviously there’s not the incentive to live in West Cork now that he no longer works in Dublin?
    - Does that make sense? Probably not but it illustrates a worrying point……… Ivor, being of the ruling/political class, found it quite easy to justify the bending of a rule and the telling of a lie because it is afterall…. just the people and just the peoples money.
    On Sunday Mr. Varadkar chose to spin a fib about increased costs of borrowing to the Danes when they
    allowed one of their Anglo type banks to go under without paying remaining bondholders. On Tuesday the Danish Central Bank pointed out that in fact the opposite was the case.

    My biggest concern is that in the midst of this historical crisis we only have those Varadkar/Callelly types on the bridge. And when it comes to the crunch these Teachers/Estate Agents and Publicans will sacrifice the people at the drop of a hat for their own personal/family gain.

    Enda this morning when asked about todays 1.25 Billion payout announced that there’s a difference between “can’t” and “won’t” – totally oblivious to the difference between “Nope” and “Dope”!

    • Deco

      The Callelly thing is a PR stunt designed to make the top story in the Pravda evening news. By the time you are sick and tired of hearing about Callelly, you change the channel.

      And you miss the bit where the government handed over 1 thousand and 250 times one Million Euro for the Bank of Seanie Fitz, to the EU.

      You are deceived by them, so that you obey their bosses.

  20. sirganya

    Coming from Ireland and living in New York gives me a perspective on the current situation from both sides of the atlantic. In visits to Occupy Wall Street and conversations with Irish friends it seems to me that nobody has an clear idea of what could replace the current system. I put together a few ideas that could use technology to help make democracy more responsive and transparent. If you have the time please take a read and let me know if you find it interesting. I’ve been working in the web industry since the mid 90′s and a lot of ideas that seemed obvious to those of us in the early days are still yet to take hold. With the popularity and familiarity of facebook I think that most people are now comfortable enough to use similar systems for the democratic process.

    A pdf is available here


    and if you have any comments, negative or positive please post them here or send them to opensourceeire@gmail.com

    • bonbon

      Ever heard of the Pirate Party in Germany? They have some of this agenda.

      Is this in any way associated with George Soros’ Open Society?

      • sirganya

        I haven’t heard of that party, but I’ll check the, out. I’m not affiliated with any party or organization, just an individual Irishman overwhelmed by the incredible tragedy that was the Celtic tiger and gob smacked by the blindness that accompanied it.

        • bonbon

          They got an amazing election result recently, and seem to me to be stuck with the responsibility. Not sure where they are headed, probably some coalition or other.

          The “digital transparency” is very reminiscent of G.Soros’s various affiliates world wide. It boils down to transparency for any elected government, and total opacity for “governance” and Goldman Sachs, the financial market, and even as RT reported the price of oil (80% decided between consenting adults!).

    • Eireannach

      Is your idea “peak oil” proof?

      Start by insulating your home.

    • ioseebee

      Gosh I just read your opensourceIrl PDF! It’s pretty radical! I like how you describe it as Orwell’s nightmarish policed society turned on its head. This in itself is a very interesting way to look at how things could be.

      It is a very thought-provoking document, although I’m not sure just how ready everyone is to trust the digital age in the way you describe.

      You use facebook as an example of how well people are getting used to and trusting the digital world, but in reality there is huge mis-trust of facebook, and to many it has a whiff of Orwell’s imagined world about it already.

      So too does Google.

      But it is clear that the digital world and the internet have radically altered the world we live in & how it will develop. So thinking about the future in terms of harnessing this power for use by society together in a productive and responsible way is a hugely important task, and the time is right to be proposing how that would work.

      In this way your document could be seen as an essential start to these discussions, and in raising the ideas that you do, it can set us off on the right foot.

      Ireland, if it were even to take on this discussion in a serious way & try to lead in this area could be a game-changing step for the country!

      Whether online or offline the discussion about what Ireland it’s citizens stand for and the society we our working towards in the future is critical.

      We are already on a very path that is destroying our futures, and our children’s futures!

      • bonbon

        Before jumping into the “open” world, have a look at this

        This is the ultimate social networking, now digital.

        • ioseebee

          I came across that Panopticon concept before! Thanks for sharing that though!

          I mentioned my deep concerns about security of personal freedom in my reply about the Opensource idea. The digital world/internet to me is something that like every invention by mankind has the possibility to be used for our benefit or more often in the pursuit of power & greed.

          The Panoptican description….

          “The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched.”

          ….gives me the shivers!

          The internet has that feel about it more and more so, as the technologies are developing. What Google Analytics and Bots and Facebook can do is extremely powerful stuff!

          There is talk of body scanning software/hardware that will become more and more part of the digital landscape in the near future too! Microsoft I believe are making serious ground in that area.

          It’s scary at times how Orwell’s imagined world is creeping up on us.

          But in reality it doesn’t really matter whether it is the digital world or the real world, it is power & greed left unchecked that brings with it the worst potential for man’s inhumanity to fellow man!

          So therefore the digital world & how it becomes more and more part of everyday world needs the minds of the great and the good to visualise & create the future power balances and checks that will be needed there too!

          The idea of voting on electronic voting machines brings with it all kinds of new ways of abuse of the ‘One person, One vote’ systems.

          God only knows how one would or could know if internet voting secure AND trustworthy. At what level can the internet be fully secured? That question of not knowing if someone is interfering with it or not is huge!

          It is like the idea of a federal Europe – the further the centre of power is located – behind bigger and bigger global institutions, the more untouchable they become, the more misty and murky the view is of who is doing what – and why? Even if they are doing things for the general good – is there ever a way we could trust power concentrated at that level.

          What do we make of Obama? What power does he hold? What or who influences this central point of power?

          Only the very wealthy can afford to challenge for these positions of power – to get their message across to voter numbers at such scale.

          Even if you get funding to get to that position – it doesn’t matter from what source – your ideas and moral freedom are curtailed or at the very minimum biased towards the needs or ideals of that source of funding!

          So scale, transparency, distance (local or global), funding sources, constitution, all affect the trust we can place in any democracy whether in a digital world or in an analogue world.

          Does anyone have any ideas of what is the optimal scale for a democracy? In relation to the federalisation of Europe and the further removal of democratic power over financial greed and power….

          (It is worth reminding ourselves how much love there is in the world when finding ourselves thinking about these things)

          • bonbon

            Obama is the best president George Soros could buy. His NDAA is beyond Bush, alowing drones to be used against citizens, and the military in domestic affairs. Posse Comitatus out the door. Obama is shredding the Constitution – impeachable.
            That not even mentioning the GOP gaggle.

          • sirganya

            I’m not sure what point you’re driving at with the reference to the panopticon but I had first come across it in the work of Michel Foucault. That and his idea of the concept of a pyramidal hierarchy of power. What I’m proposing would be a reversal of both concepts. The managers of the panopticon would be observed by the inmates and power would flow from the base of the pyramid. The base would control the executives not vice versa as in the two concepts of Foucault.

            Regarding security I would imagine a system based on ground computing rather than cloud computing like google and Facebook. Instead of all information going into a central repository it would be decentralized, the original nature of the Internet.

            On a practical level, each member of society would have a personal digital key and this would mean their data could only be unencrypted by them, this key could be a fingerprint or embedded in a photo or other personal items. If it was an open source system it would encourage black hat hackers to try and break the system which would quickly point out any vulnerabilities. If we take something like electronic voting the security vulnerabilities we’re the result of the proprietary systems being developed by private companies with coders on deadlines rather than weaknesses in current privacy technologies. Look at PGP, tor or bitcoin for some incredibly secure systems of information dissemination. I would also hope that companies based in Ireland like google and Facebook might contribute some resources to help as a way of saying thanks for the nice corporate tax rate they enjoy :)

          • bonbon

            As I replied above, none of the financial closed door maneuvers that produced this incredible disaster would be made “transparent”. So the inmates of Panopticon would be even worse off. Just for instance the derivative bubble – $600 trillion can be tracked, pure gambling, but $14 quadrillion approx remains hidden.

          • sirganya

            I felt that a lot could have been avoided in Ireland with some far sighted legislation. Bankers are there to make money and the markets are a boxing ring. It seems to me that a lot of people were forced into the ring and the referee was fired.

      • sirganya

        Security is not an issue. If anyone’s interested I can develop that part of the paper and show how your data would be safe

      • sirganya

        Glad you like it. I for one don’t think it’s too radical, just a speeding up of the system we already are familiar with. Instead of having to mark an x on a piece of paper and wait for it to be counted (how secure has that been over the years?) we could have instant results. Computers are very very stupid, all they can really do is count fast. Thanks for your input, it would be incredible to see it materialize.

    • Juanjo R


      This is interesting. I read a book ( sorry I can’t remember the name of the author or title ) by an election campaign manager for a failed presidential candidate election ( i think it was Howard Dean – it was when Dubya got in a second time ). Basically I think Dean’s campaign had been the first to use social networking and exploitation the internet/email in the democratic process in a big way ( they had no money ) – before Obama capitalized on it 4 years later.

      I also read something else on wikileaks and the age of transparency which would be relevant http://www.orbooks.com/catalog/wikileaks/ this I’d highly recommend – its not too focused on Assange/wikileaks but quite good at discussing how the internet could be used to enfranchise people.

    • Juanjo R

      Oh and + 1 on the political non-focus of the occupy movements.

      Spains ‘Los indignados’ the occupy movement there was had camps in 160 regional centers in Spain along with the main camp in the puerto del sol and huge support across political spectrums. But when the election came up last year they dissipated from sight for that exact reason – they had no clear idea about an alternative and failed to put forward one. There is 45% youth unemployment in Spain and those who are young and have jobs are more insecure and badly paid due to changes in the nature of working contracts there plus property is very expensive. Despite all this the movement never had a political focus or formed into a unified voting bloc. Opportunity and momentum wasted!

      • bonbon

        The movements are culturally incapable of ideas – 40 years of brainwashing of the parents.

        Percy Shelly, the great English poet, which likely none of the OWS have ever read, said it best In Defense of Poetry. Rosa Luxemburg described the “mass-strike” in her works.

        There are the ideas needed now.

      • sirganya

        Thanks for recognizing what I’m getting at. It seems inevitable to me that we will eventually use a digital system to organize ourselves. The idea that a community needs to send a representative to parliament to speak on behalf of their constituents it not really necessary anymore. Communities can be heard and are heard instantaneously now. It’s a natural progression for this to eliminate the need for a representative, the current system produces opportunities for corruption behind closed doors.

        Why are economic decisions made by an under experienced minister for finance and not by a council made up of the economists in various universities funded by the state? Are we not wasting a resource that we provide for our own society? That thought struck me as an undergrad in UCD. A system where those experts could be heard would seem to me to be a logical way for us to make sense of difficult issues.

        • bonbon

          I think you need to read President Higgins on the role of “academic experts” leading to this disaster, in the service to technocratic utilitarianism – Hayek for example.

          In your system who then would, like FDR did in 1933, constitutionally split the banks, take on the massive money-power and beat it? Binary vote-counters will not do that. FDR over-rode “expert” Keynes point-for-point at the Bretton-Woods 1944.

          Teh Euro was popular during the Tiger bash? Was it not the worst poison in fact?

          • sirganya

            I will read it. Did you read the document I linked to where I outlined some ideas? It’s not proposing a system without leaders.

  21. bonbon

    German President Wulff harassed by an unbelievable coordinated press, tv, media witch hunt. Is Bankers’ Revenge Behind the Media ‘Revelations’ about the German President?

    The obsession of the mainstream media in Germany, with one revelation after the other about relatively petty suspected financial irregularities of the President, Christian Wulff, with all of this orchestrated campaign mounting into calls for Wulff’s resignation, raises questions about the real motives behind this witch-hunt. Turns out the same media, with the two mouthpieces of the banks, {Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung} and {Financial Times Deutschland}, in the lead, were deeply upset about Wulff several months ago, when he gave a speech at the 4th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Economic Sciences, and said things that bankers profoundly dislike. Wulff said in that Aug. 24, 2011, keynote speech in Lindau:
    “When the crisis broke out, consensus was quickly reached at global level. Stimulus packages on an unprecedented scale were adopted. There was a rush to aid the financial sector and banks — with taxpayers’ money, state guarantees and massive monetary transfusions by the central banks. In 2008 the aim was to do everything possible to prevent a collapse and to stabilize the global economy. I would like to point out that all of this was done with the aim of treating the patient, the world economy, as quickly as possible. Today, however, the banking sector is still fragile, public debts in the major economies are at record levels, and in many cases the fundamental problems hindering growth and competitiveness are as present as ever. More time was gained than was actually used to treat the patient.
    “At the German Banking Congress I warned the financial sector that we’ve neither dealt with the causes of the crisis nor can we say today that we’ve recognized the risks and done everything to eliminate them. In fact, we’re faced with a development which resembles a game of dominoes. First individual banks rescued other banks and then states rescued their banks, and now the international community is rescuing individual states. But the question that should be asked is: Who will ultimately rescue the rescuers? When will the accumulated deficits be distributed among them, and who will shoulder them?”
    Wulff then criticized the fact that “countries were consuming and speculating on a grand scale instead of investing in good education and vocational training, in future-oriented research and innovations, that is to say, in the very things which make an economy productive and competitive. Now there are gaping holes in public finances, and valuable seed has been consumed rather than used to plant fertile soil. And here in Lindau, I’d like to say this: The politics of brinksmanship has reached its limits. What seemed to always go well — running up new debts — will not go well forever. This injustice towards young people must end. Instead we need an alliance with the young generation.
    “I can understand why many don’t want to accept that some bank managers earn exorbitant sums, while billions are being spent on propping up banks. And freeloaders in the financial world continue to believe that politicians, and thus ultimately taxpayers, will continue to provide a safety net because they are, for instance, too big and too important for the overall economy.”
    And Wulff had a straight message to the ECB, too: “The guardians of the currency, too, must quickly find their way back to the agreed principles. I say this circumspectly: I regard the huge buy-up of government bonds of individual states by the European Central Bank as politically and legally questionable.”

    • ioseebee

      “And Wulff had a straight message to the ECB, too: “The guardians of the currency, too, must quickly find their way back to the agreed principles. I say this circumspectly: I regard the huge buy-up of government bonds of individual states by the European Central Bank as politically and legally questionable.”

      ……if this was Facebook…..


    • Deco

      This is exactly what happens.

      If a political figure is open and honest about what is going on in the business community, or the state finances, the media rip him asunder.

      The media will destroy him.

      The media in Germany are ambivalent to Merkel and the entire saga with the Greeks, or the Anglo Bondholders. They know she is a stooge, and support her all the way.

      • bonbon

        The media are amazingly controlled. Unbelievable free press arriving at the same opinion. This is the 68er cultural freedom.

  22. bonbon

    We are told that a bomb will go off, but lied to about where. It will go off in foreign banks as default is inevitable. CDS, CDI’s with counter-parties all over the place will vaporize.

    I think most would be quite happy to see that now.

    I will become obvious then what FF/FG was doing all along – protecting a global financial empire that’s in its end-game.

    The question is then to move this in depth, a concerted staged revolution. We have more friends than most see right now. The sheer pressure has brought French presidential candidate Holland to a remarkable point of view (I posted in last thread). Let’s see if he would deliver.

  23. Tull McAdoo

    Lyndon Jones has taken a break from the site to pursue a greater understanding of “austerity” and has asked me to deputise for him.

    Lyndon has taken my advice and travelled to Egypt to, the Monastery of Saint Anthony which is a Coptic Orthodox monastery standing in an oasis in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, in the southern part of the Suez Governorate.

    So here we go,

    Austerity is good for your soul. Ireland needs to pay double digit interest rates to unguaranteed, unaccountable, rogue, scatterbrain, half-baked, fcuk witted bond holders and learn to love it.

    Oh yes and the last part of Lyndon’s message says something about David McWilliams being wrong about……..sorry that cannot be right……..David never predicted the winner of X factor….

    • ioseebee

      Every challenge is good for the soul.

      Thanks Tull McAdoo for your challenging post! :)

      (Funny that – David not predicting the winner of X-factor – thereby being able to spend his time thinking about the outcome of things that will actually have an effect on our lives)

      How about this for a compromise…?

      David can advise the X-factor fans about what is happening in the world around them…

      And the X-factor fans can advise David about what is happening in the world of X-factor.

      I’m sure everyone, Lyndon would be happy with this arrangement, it might give him peace in his soul!

    • Philip

      AM still laughing at one of the funnier posts I have seen on this blog. Well done. 10/10.

  24. Tull McAdoo

    Happy Gilmore informed the Public Accounts Committee or more to the point Deputy McLaughlin of Sinn fein that “you cannot expect to borrow money and not expect to have some conditions attached”

    So it looks like Happy and Co. are going to move and closed that little loophole, whereby Banks can no longer loan out money to every gombeen gobshite in the country as was the case here to fore….

    We can all sleep well in our beds tonight, now that Happy and Co. have drilled down and found the cause of our bankruptcy…..It was all about the “conditions that should have been attached”……and here was little me scratching my little head down here in the Antipodes, thinking it was something more sinister like “economic treason”………..( I thought thats what happy accused the biffo of)…..

    • ioseebee

      (Haha! I thought that was what happy accused him of too!)

      Let’s be honest, Happy & Co. are literally crappin’ themselves now after looking into the eye of the Troika!

      I suppose nobody wants to be the one to actually pull the plug up from this filthy basin of debt!

      The reason for that?

      All the X-factor fans will look up from the TV set when the electricity goes just before the final votes, and THEN they will be very VERY ANGRY! Not having understood anything that was happening before, it will be the person who cries default who get hung drawn and quartered by this baying mob, led by Lyndon of course!

      • bonbon

        Robespierre, Marat, Danton, at least 1 trained in London for the Jacobin’s mad panic. This is testified by 2 witnesses.
        X-factor role looks like the modern Jacobin preparation.

        Off went the mob to the Bastille, and freed the single prisoner the Marquis de Sade, carried the babbling idiot around Paris as a hero!

        France never recovered, is already at the 5th Republic. Britain had no repeat of the recent US Revolution in Europe.
        Cui Bono?

    • Deco

      Happy has his happy snout in the swill, and is to busy to think straight.

      He is a gombeen, ready to serve whoever funds the state. In foregin policy he is very quickly tearing up Irish nuetrality, and destroying our reputation as a country which seeks diplomatic objectivity.

      Gilmore the gombeen.

  25. Tull McAdoo

    Headmaster Noonan is gambling that by paying off the bondholders , that he will be able to agree a deal to kick the can holding the promissory notes well down the road in the future….at least 10 years with suitable interest rate attached…

    • bonbon

      Looks like he wants to lob the ball right over the goalpost which the entire global financial team ran into at the same time.

      • ioseebee

        Haha! Brilliant! Thanks Bonbon for the laughs! (And Tull McAdoo too)

        Euro 2012 highlights with that kind of footage will entertain us all year I suspect!

        “The problem with the game nowadays Bill, is the wages are too high & there is way too much greed – none of the players have any respect for the referee!”

        Eamon Dunphy Gilesmour in 12 years time ‘analysing’ the Euro 2024 match between Ireland and Germany in the first round! Ireland have just got robbed by France, and thrashed by Germany!

    • molly66

      The longer you kick the can the more you owe defolt is the only answer.

  26. molly66

    Enda kenny is feeding the Irish people lies and if you look at FF/ FG / lab they are all the same a bunch of liars. FF is very careful in what they say against the current government because it might see the chance of trying to claw it’s way back into government at some point in the not to distant future,I believe that FF damage this country so badly that we where left on life support ,and then FG and lab came in and turned off the life support .Enda said we will pay our way ,who does he speak for not me not my family,not my 35 friends and there families,even now this government give the impression that things are on the up,Ireland is becoming a country that a large percentage of is people won’t be able to live here and we need change now now or things in this country will go so far back that god help you if you get sick,god help you if your the victim of crime.

    • LKSteve

      Molly, I’m here in Australia enjoying my Australia Day holiday and picked up the phone to have a chat with a friend of mine back home. He like you is convinced Kenny is lying and that all Irish Politicians are lying. I don’t believe he is a liar, I believe he is simply doing-as and believing what he is told. He hasn’t got a clue what to do so he is just doing what his superiors in Europe are telling him to do, which is toeing the line. In the meantime, he gets to hob-nob it with all the other “leaders” of Europe and attend summits and meetings where nothing actually ever gets done – it’s an ego trip. Kenny & his class are dinosaurs, they are goners. Once the s*#* hits the fan the blame will be put squarely on his shoulders and the shoulders of the gombeen class that got Ireland to this juncture. He’s just trying to delay that day for as long as possible, perhaps he is even in denial that it will come. The political & economic machinery in Europe is all but broken down. Big change is coming.

      • molly66

        The Irish government is like hitler in the bunker at the end of the war just before he takes the poison he still believes his army is coming to save him, the same army that’s wiped out.
        Reminds me of Europe the banks are wiped out ,but like the government and the banks they will do and say anything to stay in power and when kennys growth does not happen ,he will blame it on the oil getting to costly,because I have said before oil is linked to everything.
        Happy Gilmore and the labour party don’t count anymore they like the greens are finished,the greens who are they labour who are they.
        Remember the film the invasion of the body snatchers where people where replace by beings from outer space ,with no feelings or emotions,that’s what happened to kenny and Gilmore .

        • bonbon

          As DMcW wrote, the pact with the Devil has possessed them. We have a zombie bank system, and the vacant stare show the gov’t are in zombie mode.

  27. ELocutionist

    McWilliams has it absolutely right. Time to stop the hostage-taking of Ireland and her future generations, bring an end to the second-greatest emigration, cease the mortgaging of her future to pay yesterday’s debts so that banks can be made whole. To do otherwise, implies banks have no culpability for their behavior and the consequences that behavior has had on the lives of Irish citizens. Kick them all out, I say. Drop the euro. Eliminate the toxic, debt-based system that created the mess.
    Go to a gold/silver backed currency administered by the Irish Republic alone and route out the bankers and crooked politicians in much the way Patrick routed out the other snakes.
    You have a choice: Be enslaved forever or take your lives, livelihoods and dignity back. The entire world is enveloped in a political-banking corpratacracy that has robbed the wealth of every nation with anything worth mortgaging (and even those things not worth underwriting). No one would blame you for taking the lead in putting these pilfering politicians and feckless bankers in their places. There is honor in standing up for what’s right. There is legendary honor in acting to ensure that which is right and just has a landscape on which to play out. Ireland can be that place. Ireland should be that place. Too many of her sons and daughters were forced to leave more than a century ago and it took at least 150 years to recover.
    Don’t let your talent, brains, skill and brilliance emigrate to foreign capitals. Keep Ireland at home. Route out the devils and get on with the self-directed, domestic business of being the Ireland that God intended.

  28. Harper66

    Papers full of nonsense stories yesterday to take the attention away from the fact FG/Lab repaid 1.25 billion of anglo bonds.

    1 – Irish state sold bonds is complete bluff. These bonds were merely swapped or kicked down the road for another 12 months and I understand 70% of these bonds were not taken up.


    2 – I think this callely story is a piece of well timed theatrics.

    Covneys hysterical performance on Vincent Browne does show however that the situation is has become unsustainable.

    Enda was an embarrassment yesterday in the Dail standing by his growth forecast of 1.6% – delusional and the world laughed a comical Ali…

    Fair play to Noonan though, he doesn’t know who the bondholders are but by God are they going to get their money. I wonder will he roam the streets stopping strangers asking if they are a bondholder…I am a bondholder and so is my wife…

    Happy Gilmores Frankfurt or Labours way speech surely has destroyed any ounce of credibility he had left.

    It is like watching the beginning of the end of FF all over again….

    • Deco

      It is becoming an unfolding slow car crash.

      The points above are merely proving the point.

      When the anniversary of 1916 comes around, I will stay well clear of the “official” “celebrations” as the bullshit will be too much for me.

      There is one headline that you will not see in the Irish times, or on Pravda. It is the full explanation of what is going on.

      Local gobshitery gather in O’Connell Street to commemorate bid for independence of country now firmly under EU rule.

      The event will probably be sponsored by one of the Anglo Bondholders. You know, the ones that Noonan does not know about.

      The entire program for government is all one big scam to enforce obedience to the big Finance. We even have Happy Gilmore getting us ready for an aggressive stance on Iran.

      If memory serves me right, when Margaret Hassan ( a UK subject, with Irish family) was kidnapped in Iraq, Dermot Ahern got on to the Iranians, and the Iranians were pulling out all the stops to get her released because of they valued a good diplomatic relationship with Ireland. Unfortunately, that failed because of the venom of local fighters in a vicious war situation, and the fact that she probably carried a British passport. You can’t buy that sort of influence. It comes from a carefully nurtured relationship over decades.

      So here we are with something which probably no other EU country has – the potential to act as a conduit for peaceful de-escalation of a possible war in the Middle East, and for rational discussion over issues of concern. We could actually do some good in the world.

      And Gilmore comes along shooting with both barrells all over the shop. It is like as if he wants to make enemies for the country, and grovel like a craven fool to the US military industrial complex. He is incapable of understanding Irish history.

      George Orwell, seen it coming a long time ago – he just never figured out it would be thirty years later than 1984.

      • bonbon

        A British passport in Iran is likely a very bad idea. “kar inglese” – the British hand (Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand?) is a simple phrase they all know.
        The Iranians thus know better than the Irish who is out to get them. What has happened that Ireland has lost its radar? Goes with the mad Tiger bash probably.
        Anyone with any sense of history can see immediately Obama is British, trying to start a war as finance collapses. Sure he has the button, but who does he serve? Surely not the US constitution. Why the NDAA if all parties refused it?

        Gilmore serves the Crown with any kind of war talk!
        Cameron himself said on Al Arabiya that Britain is leading this!

      • redriversix

        excellent points,Deco

    • redriversix

      agreed harper66 agreed

  29. Grey Fox

    I am new to the forum and not as learned as some of the people here but there is one thing I know !! when the noise gets too much and you cannot form the right conclusion there is only one true voice you should listen to….YOUR INTUITION, many many people ignore their intuition and it is only hindsight which shows the error of their ways.
    David you have it right and you always have, Irelands moral compass is broken, we have sold our souls to the bankers, there is another bubble forming and has been forming for a long time, it is the “Politician’s Ego Bubble” these people (Kenny,Gilmore,Varadkar etc..) are truly lost and we are entrusting our childrens future to them, they are preparing to sell Ireland’s family silver, it’s forests, water, gas, oil to the highest bidder, THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO THIS.
    The only answer is to default, hit the reset button, IT’S THE BIG RED ONE ENDA, RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE!!!
    DO IT NOW.
    If you want your place in history, NOW is your chance, be remembered for all the right reasons, don’t place yourself in the camp of AHERN,COWEN,CALLELEY,BURKE et al

  30. Grey Fox

    Labour is no more, I have spoken in the past number of months to elderly past members of the Labour party including my own father who are totally disgusted and dis-illusioned with todays labour party.
    I grew up in a household where fighting for your fellow man against the injustices of the likes of big banks and vested interests was bred into me, I remember watching the St Patricks Day parade from the top floor of the Federated Workers Union in Parnell Sq, I was so proud,(also the site of Vaughans Hotel and the location the Constitution of Ireland was constructed), my father gave 50 years of his life fighting for workers rights and is sickened by the actions of the Labour Party, I would hate to think what “BIG JIM” would say. We are being sold down the river at the behest of the ECB,IMF but it will come back to bite them in the ass, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I hope I live to see it.

    • Deco

      I know people who tell me that when Labour merged with DL, the Labour Party sold it’s soul for the addition of a collection of shysters.

      Thereafter it was all about semantics to an insufferable degree, as a collection of careerists became more interested in their own personal ambition than anything else.

      • coldblow

        Long before then I think. Crotty had them sussed (along with the rest), eg their leadership’s refusal to have the Single European Act put to the people for a vote (c 1986) – they cancelled or postponed their conference, which was to be held in Cork, using the excuse that a dispute by the cleaners of the building made it impossible to stage it. They pulled out of govt in Spring-time over some nonsense about Fr Brendan Smyth (I remember RTE used to always show the same clip of Smyth with his sinister grin and in slow motion – they might consider using the same technique with a few other characters?) when in reality it was just an excuse. (What’s the word the Left love to use? Hypocrisy?) Ivana Bacik (described by Harris as one fo the ‘big beasts’ in the Senate) has campaigned fearlessly for creche facilities in the Oireachtas. Happy has the the family’s ‘bit of land’. And I can’t even remember what I have against Alex White now!

        But you are right, Proinsias’ mob did little to improve the mix. Remember that poster for him for the Euro elections about 20 years ago? The one where he was dressed in black and loking menacing, like Alvin Stardust? I believe Labour are the closest thing we have to theocracy in waiting. The only thing to say for them is that they aren’t FG or FF. (Especially FG!)

    • rebean

      Yes I totally agree with you. Labour right now are about as left wing as the British conservative party. I think the only left wing parties are Sinn Fein and Left Alliance ( Richard Barrett and the other independents) correct me if I am wrong. Anyway we dont have a party representing the lower paid or the private sector. I think there will be a huge vote for Sinn Fein next time around. I never thought I would say it but they are the only party that will stand up to the greedy banks and German bullies.

  31. Ross

    Fight back, Bring back the gold standard.

    We should realize we’r victims of a financial war. We need leaders who are strong enough to fight back for the people. We could be the first country to bring back the gold standard. Think of all the scared money out there looking for a safe place to go. We could leach paper wealth from currency’s such as Euro and US dollar. As the new Gold backed Irish punt increases in value we could use the ponzi tactics of the banks to carefully monetize more punts to buy more gold.

    Unfortunately Ireland hasn’t much gold to begin with. Perhaps the next bail out fund we get we could turn around, give our two fingers to the banks and go buy gold.

    Fight or be slaves.

  32. gizzy

    A lot of the analysis centres around the actions of the various players when it all boils down to human nature. I have worked at the top of the corporate ladder, in small business, being self employed, being broke, emigrated, came home, had money, gone broke again. But there was always one common trait I noticed.

    Those in power be it Boards, CEOs, Governments landlords or whoever wil hang on to the power until the last moment. Whether it is fear or greed or stupidity or just good old fashioned ego. I do not know, but history has shown us those in power will hold on until it is too late. Enda and Michael et al served long apprenticeships. They got to the top of the tree through perseverence not ability and will not let go until the flames of the burning platform for change are licking at their knees.

    They may claim empathy for the plight of others but change is not driven by empathy. In rare cases it may be driven by vision but mainly it needs desperation.

    I can change my own world. In 2012 I am going to get fitter, have not had a drink since new years day, am back in training, have started language lessons ( German) and will be taking a good look at the new insolvency laws so my family and I can get a fresh start. I am not dancing to the agenda of my banks or landlord, local council, anymore.

    In the words of RR6 I am putting family first.

    • redriversix

      outstanding Gizzy !

      I am very happy for you,believe me there is a whole new world out here for you and nothing to be afraid because YOU are now doing the best you can,beat the Banks at their own game and I know you are a responsible person and you will do what is right for you and your family.

      By quitting drinking getting fit and learning a new language , you are putting yourself first and when you take care of yourself ,you will have no trouble in taking care of others !

      If I can do anything for you do not hesitate to contact me anytime redriversix8@gmail.com

      Delighted for you,I truly am…

      take care


  33. webmaster

    Apologies for the chart link not working – we’ve added a copy of the chart above.

  34. Grey Fox

    Agree Deco,
    Truth is, a lot of the fringe groups and independent politians now would have been mainstream Labour Party members 30 years ago, but Labour has lost the centrepiece of it doctrine, a social conscience, equality of men and this is the old adage of “Divide and Conquer”
    All in little things that are going wrong in this country, the important things are hidden by the elephant that is the Banking/Sovereign Debt Issue, I heard a great saying just the other day,

    • Deco

      The dead skunk in the ILP is the DL opportunists.

      They are the PDs of the left. Ambition first, and everything else is an afterthought. The PD rump is now back inside FG.

      Best idea – support or start a replacement for the existing parties. Circumvent them, and seize the ground they leave undefended. And fend off the media as it tries to re-establish the phonies, and stooges.

  35. Grey Fox


  36. Mark Walsh

    United Kingdom in even worse shape, almost at 1000% of GDP. Have a look at the Financial Institutions “contribution” to the UK’s Debt. Not bad for just one square mile….


    • Deco

      Correct. Britain is in a very serious predicament.

      And this has serious medium term implications for us. Very serious indeed.

      People lodging their savings in sterling are making a SERIOUS MISTAKE.

      CAN Dollars, Sing Dollars, Nor Krone – or shares denominated in these currencies and the Swiss Franc.

    • Eireannach

      Our Dublin bankers are basically little Londoners, complete with over-priced Georgian and Edwardian houses and Jaguars.

  37. tuatha

    If anyone wants to step aside from our domestic predicament and take an overall view, I recommend “EXTREME MONEY by Satyajit Das,. Clear, concise and utterly straightforward, both in historical analysis and suggested solutions. Mainly DEFAULT and, to paraphrase, burn the lenders, start again from Year Zero.

  38. rebean

    It is about as useful as the so called democracy we have mate. The sad thing is that we dont live in a democracy any longer or have you noticed. Anyway if you could harness that energy and agression you display you might be a good canditate for changing the presen circus in the Dail.We were better off under the Brits

    • bonbon

      The Scots do not agree, and are showing much more guts than the mighty Tigers! They could be independent by 2016.
      Salmond likes to quote Burns – “I’m told there are members of the House of Lords who believe that it is in their province to set boundaries on what Scotland can and cannot do. Perhaps they should be reminded that Burns’s great hymn to equality has been heard in this Parliament before – when Sheena Wellington sang ‘A Man’s a Man for A That’ at our first opening in 1999.

      “Ye see yon birkie ca’d, a lord,
      Wha struts, and stares, and a’ that,
      Though hundreds worship at his word,
      He’s but a coof for a’ that.
      For a’ that, and a’ that,
      His ribband, star and a’ that,
      The man of independent mind,
      He looks and laughs at a’ that.”

      • rebean

        There is no way this side of Armeggedon that the Scots will seek independence. They cannot afford it. It is a time for consolidation my dear Bonbon. Europe never really had anything for Ireland or any one else west of Berlin.Those Ex USSR states like Poland had alot of cheap Labour. Merkel was from East Germany Let her go back there . We dont want Ex USSR states in Europe. Lets get back to pre World War 2 standoffs. I want another alliance. Lets get the yanks back in here. I want to have an East West divide. I want the Berlin wall rebuilt. I was better off before it was knocked. WE cannot afford all these sattelite states.

        • bonbon

          Sounds regressive. Trouble is Obama wants this too. Then he can launch all those thermonuclear weapons for his little Armageddon.

  39. Reputational Costs

    The Fiscal Advisory Council have invented a new jargon .Will this be a debased coin ? Or just Debased full stop .


  40. BrianC

    The facts of the figures posted in the article do not look good infact abysmal. And whilst they may try to bash and discredit the messenger and deny the reality of the facts the reality of the facts will not go away. What is it they say doing the same thing over and over again and again and expecting change….

    Who in their right mind would believe the Irish Govt the Irish Civil service and most of the economic experts and the nonsense that RTE ditches out every day.

    Anyway David I just hope you are prepared for more beatings.

    • bonbon

      Einstein defined insanity as doing exactly the same ting over and over again expecting different results.
      He knew he was surround by lunatics (in diapers as he remarked) at Solvay.

    • Brian

      The hard hat is on. But my mother’s “sticks and stones” reassurance which she gave to me aged 5, still holds true.


    • Mark Walsh

      Totally agree BrianC. Once again the powers that be will do everything in their power to kill the messenger.
      Bernanke this week confirmed the continuance of the Fed Reserve 0% interest rate policy into mid 2014. The Fed realises it’s out of bullets and has no option but to hope that free money for the banks will solve matters.
      Most people by now should know this policy only rewards banks and the body politic.

      The policy rewards speculators/gamblers with free money and penalises the prudential saver.

      The policy extends the deflationary spiral, devalues the purchasing power of savings and destroys peoples confidence in holding currency.

      Hyperinflation is the next train wreck waiting to happen.

      Gold above $1700 this week (not a word from the mainstream media about this, shocker). Individuals, CEO’s, Large Corps et al know that the fiat currency game is up.

      • Mark Walsh

        Q.What’s the Golden Rule again?
        A.The man with the Gold makes the Rules.

        • bonbon

          So who exactly has the gold, and not options on gold?

        • bonbon

          So who exactly owns the gold, and not options on gold?

          • Mark Walsh

            bonbon, it should come as no surprise that governments, central banks, and investment funds (public & private) are the world’s largest holders of gold reserves.

            These organizations know gold is the ultimate store of value that protects against inflation and offers a safe haven during times of economic and geopolitical turmoil.

            The top holders are 1)USA 2)Germany 3)IMF 4)Italy (soon to be the IMF’s) 5)France 6) China (although many suggest they are at #4), 7)Switzerland 8)Japan 9)Holland

            This is not to say individuals are precluded from owning physical gold. I’m just saying I do not believe in the paper fiat currencies of the dollar, euro, pound, yen etc anymore.

            There is a currency war going on between US Dollar, Euro and the Yuan. Devaluation wins the race to the bottom. I for one do not care to be a sideline spectator of that race, hence my preference for gold.

            (btw-Stay a mile away from Exchange Traded Funds, eg ETF Gold, as this is effectively a Ponzi scheme. MF Global should ring a bell in this regard)

          • bonbon

            What worries me is the FED probably owns the US gold, and Bernanke at the till. I heard somewhere that Fort Knox was empty.

          • 33square

            tungsten gold bar twinkies ; )

          • 33square

            forget gold, buy lithium

  41. Grey Fox

    What is it they say doing the same thing over and over again and again and expecting change….

    ahh….Insanity, Stupidity, Ignorance
    We can borrow our way out of Debt !!!!
    As long as the last act is “DEFAULT”
    The greatest crime of this is the wasted time!
    We are here for a good time, not a long time.
    Time is the great leveller and a comodity, resource (or whatever you want to call it) that we cannot make more of, every generation has it’s cross to bear, Famine, WW1, WW2 etc… maybe this is our cross.
    I wouldn’t want to be one of the “Leaders” of our little country remembered for my stupid, ill concieved actions in the generations to come.

  42. Reality Check

    Is this level of total debt worse than the Japanese debt mountain of the 80′s -90′s?
    Are we World beaters in this respect?

    • We are amazing . We won the world cup in Elephant Polo a few years ago .

    • Deco

      Yes, we are number 1.

      Let’s all “celebrate” this “achievement”. Afterall, that was the mentality and culture that was so instrumental in getting us into this mess.

    • Japanese Debt is about 230% of GDP. Somewhere in the region of 95% of that is domestic. I’m sloppy with the numbers here because in my view these figures are totally irrelevant. The economic circumstances are entirely different.

  43. Philip

    If the Mkinsey report is even half right, it does not really alter the fundamental fact. We have a major debt overhang which really unserviceable.

    I thank David for pointing out that the Civil/Public Service debt is not really the core problem. In some ways, I take some solace from this becasue if it were, it would be even more difficult to solve politcally. I am no friend of the inefficiencies in the PS, but when you get down to it, the majority of their debt is for paying the Gardai, Teachers, Nurses and Army…beyond that the pareto chart of proportion of PS debt and who gets what flitters away rather alarmingly to negligible. The thing is, the focus I am seeing sometimes on Croke Park agreement is really not fixing anything and may indeed provoke a riot. Let’s be clear, the key parties I mentioned are the most effective in public pressuring in Irish society – this one one sleeping dog we need to leave alone for now.

    This means we need to focus energies on private debt. David says default. What does that mean precisely? A sovereign default in any guise – and I believe the unsecured bond holders having their lot linked to the sovereign created issues – would create a dynamic in the intervening months when the croke park deal would be forced open and we would have had chaos. No schools, no hospitals and no policing. That is what you’d be faced with – and it is my believe that there is insufficient solidarity in this country of ours to sit it out for a few months to allow the normal market forces come and facilitate the necessary recovery.

    You see it’s all very well to say…let’s default. But the immediate response from the EC and the chaos caused by intervening seizures are very unknown.

    Let guys, lets cut out the nonsense bravado of telling the banks etc where to go. Remember it’s not the speed that kills you but the sudden stop. That dynamic of the intervening months of sorting out the mess could yield a lot of very unpalatable results.

    I do not mean to be fear mongering in any way. When Iceland went thro its default, there was some chaos but we saw a lot of solidarity as well in the street. Maybe Ireland needs to be tested in this regard. Maybe it’s the fear of fear itself. I simply do not know and I think David should now maybe give us a view of the dynamic of what might happen.

    • bonbon

      I think DMcW is saying default is not a choice. It will happen either chaotically or with a concerted move.
      Going to sovereign currencies plus major overhaul during a long bank holiday, step by step invoking the constitution. Very quickly other EU nations will be in the same boat and open to better alternatives.
      The real problem then will not be hidden by heaps of worthless paper – the physical economy is ruined. So rebuild! It will be plain to see what needs to be done once the Tiger eyes open from the snooze.

      • coldblow

        “It will be plain to see what needs to be done.”

        So how might it be implemented, in practice?

        Laying off thousands of civil servants; taking on 1,000s of unemployed in work schemes: to drain the Shannon, dredge the Shannon, bring the Shannon back to the way it was before; build houses, knock houses down, evict owners, give houses away for free, encourage the buy to let market; attract investment, burn investors; build roads, repair roads, remove tolls, build toll roads, turn roads into theme parks, rent roads, turn roads into cycle lanes, turn cycle lanes into footpaths, turn roundabouts into allotments, build roads through allotments, upgrade everything, draft a comprehensive new road strategy (in that order)

        Train doctors, nurses and teachers for export, import same from abroad, organize an emergency national health care conference in Farmleigh, reorganize the HSE, this time with personalized swipe cards!

        Increase taxes, lower them, change allowances, fine and imprison tax avoiders, tax amnesty

        Nationalize strategic assets, sell same to creditors, renationalize them, sell them to themselves, give them away

        Dáil creches, water meters, window taxes, window box taxes, grants for privet hedges, reduce the DL limit, weekly NTC tests, new stricter guidelines on tea consumption, introduce e-voting, ban football in school playgrounds, new initiative for a smart economy

        Stráitéis nua 30 bliain don Ghaeilge

        “Roll out” something or other – just as long as it sounds grandiose.

    • bonbon

      Basically the chart lists our immediate friends!

    • bonbon

      I think we will need an army of diplomats! I think they will collide with similar dispatches from the others with same idea. What a scrum! By god then languages will be important!

  44. Grey Fox

    “Charlie,Bertie,Biffo,Burke,Calleley etc…” to coin a phrase “you have done your country NO service”
    Mr Kenny,Mr Gilmore,Mr Bruton,Mr Varadkar etc.. the sovereign people of Ireland have placed the reigns in your hands, this is your chance, your moment in history, do the right thing and call a halt to this madness, call a halt to the greed and stand up for your people and country, they are all you have.
    Think of the lives selflessly forfeited in previous generations for our freedom, independence and liberty, do not dishonour your forefathers by bowing to the faceless, nameless commercial entities that would strip Ireland bare in their corporate takeover.
    Just stop and think!!!!
    Be remembered for all the right reasons!
    The people will stand behind you…pay no more!!

    • Adam Byrne

      The Icelandic President speaks better English than Kenny and Gilmore combined, and has more guts to boot.

      Our politicians are a disgrace!

      Our contemporary culture is no better.

      • bonbon

        Right, and he faced down the entire parliament which was just as corrupt as FG, and sent the referendum to the people.
        in that way Iceland is very European, but summoned the spirit of resistance.

      • Enda speaks Hiberno English …..in fact most of us do too ….its a mindset that tries to speak in English with a Gaelic syntax mindset we cannot shake off .In other words we think in Gaelic .

        • Icelandic is closely related to English via German .

        • Adam Byrne

          He’s an incompetent plank, no matter what language he thinks in John. I don’t mind if he thinks in Irish.

          • Planks are flat ! To be walked over .

          • John B. Kean said : A Kerryman speaks in Bardic English and Classical Irish .

            Analysing this further : Northern Kerry was colonised by the Old English ( Normans ) ie Fitzgeralds thus Bardic and

            Southern Kerry held out with the Rebels namely Mc Carthys , O’ Connells etc thus the Classical Irish .

            Most famous Irish Bank Managers came from Kerry including former chiefs of Central Banks .

          • Adam Byrne

            “Interminable inter-wrangling” says Kenny on the RTE News. He nearly choked getting that contrived mouthful out. In fact he had to laugh himself at his own pretentiousness.

          • Adam Byrne

            He’s at Davos giving it large, thinking that big words will make him look smart.

          • Juanjo R

            @ John Allen

            ( about Kerry men bank mangers )

            Great- we really know who to blame now!

            Surely there is a great Kerry-man joke in all of this.

  45. David, I like numbers and I love diagrams, so this one is a winner for me.

    I have harboured the notion for a long time that since the foundation of the state, Government has seen its role as being primarily a tax collector, and regarded it as its right to disburse this tax however it saw fit, mainly by putting it in the pockets of the most powerful lobbys in the country. Conor McCabe talks about this at length in his book Sins of the Father. While he himself is somewhere to the left of Che Guevara, its hard to disagree with his arguments about the nature of the Irish state. Ireland simply doesn’t possess nor has developed effective democratic institutions and traditions.

    Right now the de-facto Government of Ireland is the Troika. This is how it is. There is absolutely no chance of an Irish politician brought up through the Irish political tradition going on a solo run against anything the Troika says. All these great ideas above are fine and grand but ultimately the ECB is running this country, not the Irish state. Given that this is the third or fourth property/credit bubble that Ireland has endured in the last 60 years and which the Irish state has ended up paying for, a part of me thinks this is not entirely a bad thing. Given that the ECB needs a success story (its not going to get that) or it needs a plan B that actually fixes the debt crisis, I am of the view that ECB, not the Irish Government, is more likely to have interests that run concurrently with those of Irish citizens.

    You’ve said yourself that the solution to this mess will be pan-European, I’m inclined to agree. It might take us a while to get their though. With a bit of luck, the ECB’s kludging in the Greek debt negotiations will speed that along. We’re most likely going to end up with some kind of fiscal union. Its arguably a fair trade for collective risk taking.

    I don’t regard this as an especially desirable outcome by the way, but neither is it acceptable to continue having a profoundly corrupt Irish state that sends the country lurching from crisis to crisis, generation after generation.

    • bonbon

      Have a look at Italy’s Tremonti’s new book (not sure if in english just yet). The ECB is occult finance!

      Very hard to imagine the ECB has “interests that run concurrently with those of Irish citizens”, or any citizens, except Davos attendees.

      • Successive Irish Governments have proven that their interests most assuredly don’t run concurrently with citizens interests.

        Extreme and unusual circumstances require extreme and unusual thinking. We have to be prepared to throw out every strategy that has been considered so far. I am proposing that one way to do this is to look at what happens if we have a fiscal union and what the potential benefits might be. I am not suggesting this is the only solution but it seems that it will be the most likely outcome.

        • bonbon

          Default is extreme enough for anyone. We will get it anyhow. Only question then is to creatively form a strategy. Enough radicalism.
          Tremonti has a good look at that fiscal contract in the book – he ought to know. It is an act of war, he says.

          Flight-forward into the hail of bullets is not bravery!

          • I agree, default is the most likely option, but it won’t be outright default, it will just put the debt on the long finger and force the debtor nations in to a de-facto fiscal union with questionable benefits for them.

            This is different to what I have suggested. How about we push outright and overtly for a fiscal union, ? We openly make the case, call it a transfer union, call it eurobonds, whatever you want, burden sharing, all that good stuff. Sooner or later the ECB will realise that this is the only way forward if the EU is to remain substantially intact, so lets be prepared for that.

          • bonbon

            Just try it. Its illegal in Germany, and well discussed. They are trying to fire the President to bring Merkel down, to allow this. So you are basically saying you agree with this coup.

            Nobody wants this garbage, otherwise a coup would not be needed. An Coup’s end horribly.

            The Euro must go, and will, even if a fiscal coup occurs.

          • I am aware of the attention being focused on Bellevue Palace in recent weeks, and it is clearly as you say a ploy to weaken Merkel. There are elections coming up, and this doesn’t surprise me in the least, we play the same game in Ireland.

            Its illegal for the Irish Govt to lobby for a fiscal union because of German law? I’m not sure I understand your point, but happy to be enlightened on that one.

          • bonbon

            I consider this interference in sovereign states, of course defacto today. The Troika in Athens is only the most vicious form. The breakdown in relations between nations is catastrophic. We will soon be sovereign again whether some like it or not. Then it would be much better to have some positive example.

      • redriversix

        How do you join these “Davo’s attendee’s”..? do they have email or a website ?……..cause its getting pretty shit out here , BonBon

        • bonbon

          I would not want to go there. it might be catching!

          DAVOS THE NEW SANATORIUM? With obvious reference to the fact that the Alps used to be the recommended “rest cure” for those with TB and other debilitating illnesses, World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab on Jan. 26 described Davos, where the WEF is now ongoing, as the “sanatorium for the world for the next 5 years.”

    • Eireannach


      At least one fellow poster on this blog isn’t a foaming-at-the-mouth anti-EU crank.

    • Adam Byrne

      I agree. We couldn’t organize a piss up in a brewery ourselves and that’s been proven time after time.

      Bring on European rule as far as I’m concerned. We are not fit to run a flea circus.

    • coldblow

      Hi Liam,

      Crotty (and many others) have a made a similar analayis to that you attribute to McCabe. For what it is worth, Crotty however saw no salvation in the EU which he identified as comprising (at the time) nearly exclusively former imperial powers. The postcolonial legacy could only be tackled, he believed, by the Irish on their own, if at all.

      • McCabe is not shy about the fact that he plunders Crotty’s ideas, though he draws different conclusions in many areas regarding causes and solutions.

        As to the Irish sorting out their own problems, well 1: This is not our problem alone and 2: The scale at which one draws the box around who is responsible for what is arbitrary. Crotty didn’t live in the Eurozone, and that rather changes matters.

      • But yeah, I hear you, ideally we sort our own mess out. I’m fairly certain the average irish politician is ill-equipped to deal with this problem. I’m not so sure about Ireland being post-colonial either. Seem to me like the usual shower of economic rent seekers have colonised the country pretty well from the inside.

  46. Grey Fox

    Reality Check,
    That’s all that needs to be said.
    Let the people decide….

  47. eamonnmoran

    David i agree 100% with your conclusions. In fact as Far as i can see there are only 2 Economists who think it possible for us to avoid default. Seamus Coffee of UCC who has an excellent blog and regularly comments on these matters and John Mchale. John Mchale doesnt comment any more cos he is now in the employ of the government.
    You could probably add Alan Ahearn to the list (he hasn’t commented in a long time as he is also in the employ of the Government). The point is It would actually help us if these last few came out and said, yep, we are past the point of rescue. It would force the government to get real. It would allow them to go back to the ECB and say We cant find one Economist in Ireland who thinks we have a snowballs, now help us!

    • Eamon,

      From what I can see and I don’t follow these things too closely but the people you cite (I’ve never really heard of Coffey and McHale) have been wrong about everything since the 2009 when I first suggested pubically that we would probably default on the Marian Finucane Show in January 2009. That’s a bailout ago at least!

      I suppose this is what happens in Ireland. You are rewarded for being wrong, and attacked for being right. Funny place, don’t you think?



      • Juanjo R

        No, it has been my constant experience in Ireland among many solely native Irish industries, professions and authorities that people are rewarded for towing the line and aggressively attacked for challenging a given consenus or for as little as not giving explicit approval to the consenus, however idiotic it is, and all this is regardless of rational argument.

        For me, this general cultural attitude comes from a deep seated ‘don’t rock the boat mentality’ and a consequent fear of independent opinion. Perhaps its a colonial hangover. Safety in conformatity!

        Certainly the prevailing consenus is backed up by a justice system that favours money and power, i.e. usually those who promote prevailing consenus at any time. Attempt to challenge power and the consequences can be dire and very, very real!

        What you are seeing here in these attacks, at least for me, is the obvious expression of that mentality. Morgan Flynn got it too. These people consider themselves to know how it ( I mean how society and power ) all works and they are chiding you for challenging their belief, almost faith, in this unwritten creed.

        That is why the numbers are so easily disregarded by them.

        It is not rational – it is emotional or psychological and it is indeed for me totally mind boggling.

      • bonbon

        Attacked for being right – I fully concur.

        That’s the culture exactly.

        • 33square

          you can’t be right… that makes everyone else wrong… including me… and that’d be unfathomable… ’cause i’m infallible :D

          you see, stupid & lazy people are more than happy to go along with a flawed & failing system, it means they don’t gotta think, put in any effort or remember that they hate the way they live their lives (a thought they have regressed for a long time)

          and yes, pockets get heavier when you go with the flow/status quo… boat rocking is outlawed… because there’s a lot of stupid & lazy people out there and there’s safety in numbers…


        • bonbon

          Its not about “right” or “wrong” – it’s about being attacked for being right. Usually being popular, not attacked, means in this culture simply wrong-headed.

          Just try bucking that! Nice “liberal” rage-balls! Amazing character flip.

          It just shows the veneer of “I’m ok” is paper-thin – the thickness of a 10 Euro note!

  48. Reality Check

    Irish republic = Insult to people’s intelligence.

  49. Reality Check

    Maybe the Govt is waiting for the opportune time to default?
    (never waste a crisis and all that)
    Like a disorderly Greek credit default swap triggered Euro break up? sometime around March-April?
    Oh dear I’d better snap out of it!

    • bonbon

      That was a lucid moment!

      Its called the Default Shuffle, a variation on the Walse of the Vampires at Davos.

      Remember the scene when the hero looked in the mirror in Polansky’s movie?

    • Lord Jimbo

      One minute it is not our fault, next it is people went mad borrowing during the boom, no wonder people are turning against this government, zero principals and then off airing our issues in the most public economic forum in the world, who needs enemies when you have a government like this.

      People ‘went mad’ borrowing during boom — Taoiseach

      • straboe1

        This is part of the process of being good Europeans, not only do we do everything we are asked to do, but we must never indicate that the people who stupidly loaned us over 70 thousand million Euro were in any way at fault. No our government must admit the fault lies with our own people, did he do it on his knees, did he beg for forgiveness or what?

      • Adam Byrne

        We all partied.

        • straboe1

          You may have I did not.

          • Adam Byrne

            I was being ‘smug’ Brendan. Or sarcastic rather.

            I didn’t party either, wasn’t here for 20 years, Thank Goodness.

            Kenny should be sacked for his disparaging remarks today.

            I believe in personal responsibility but the mass hysteria here during the ‘boom’ must have been hard to resist and many parties (pardon the pun) must share responsibility for destroying the country.



          • ouldbegrudger

            Kenny is only getting into his stride having reduced the citizenry to walking-mortgage instruments. Seems like we’re all to blame for Climate Change, Global War, Terrorism and Compound Interest. Given that we’re taxed for emitting one atmospheric gas, why not a consumption tax on oxygen? It might reduce consumption with the added benifit of further enriching the 1%.

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