February 1, 2012

EU has hit self-destruct button as world moves on

Posted in Irish Independent · 283 comments ·

You can do worse than sit on a Tuesday afternoon in a little cafe about 20 yards from the Coliseum and watch five Chinese tourists getting their photos taken with three chain-smoking Italians dressed up as Roman gladiators.

There is something poignant about looking at the Italians in the epicentre of the greatest empire Europe has ever seen, pimping themselves out to the free-spending consumers of the world’s coming empire.

While Europe condemns itself to years of unnecessary austerity, China continues to grow apace. Whether China slips up this year or next is actually immaterial, the great structural shift in the world is towards China and there’s nothing we can do — short of protectionism — about it.

Chinese tourists will become commonplace in Europe. The affluent travel.

In contrast, Europe remains firmly wedded to the self-destruct button. The rest of the world is not waiting for Europe or Ireland to get its act together.

The fiscal compact signed on Monday revealed the worst type of pork-barrel politics in Europe because the concerns of the junior partner in German Chancellor Angela Merkl’s coalition rode roughshod over the interests of member states. A tiny tail is wagging a huge dog.

The fiscal compact is a bad joke. It is clearly drawn up by people who have no understanding of the rudiments of economics. It will drive Europe further into recession. If history is anything to go by, the political beast that will arise from the ashes of the economies of the debtor countries could be much more radical than anything we have seen in years.

This is ‘Angela’s Ashes’ — 21st century style.

Angela is driving a bulldozer through the EU and its institutions and in the process of trying to save the euro, she — together with Sarkozy — is destroying the EU.

Italy has just signed up to halving its debt-to-GDP ratio in 20 years. Do you have any idea what that means? Italian debt-to-GDP ratio is 120pc. It means that the Italians — who largely self-finance their own debts — are going to take 60pc of GDP out of the economy over the next two decades — a 20th every year. This is ludicrous, even if it were possible.

But it’s not possible because consider what is happening in Europe right now. Think about the world as it is, not as the politicians who met on Monday night would like it to be.

Here in Italy, youth unemployment is running at 30pc. In Greece, it is 51pc. In Spain it is 48pc and in Portugal it is 31pc. In Ireland, unemployment amongst young men between 15 and 19 is 45pc and one in three young men between 20 and 24 are on the dole. (I have just read excellent research on Irish unemployment by economist at NUIM Aedin Doris. Sobering but realistic.)

How can austerity now be the answer when these young people are on the dole because of a lack of demand? Everyone knows you can’t go on spending indefinitely, but there is a stage in the cycle when the Government has to support demand and that stage is now.

Why else would Portuguese bond yields be at 17pc yesterday if it wasn’t because the market thinks it is impossible for Portugal to survive in this straitjacket? Are yields high because austerity is making Portugal more likely to pay its debts? I think not.

And if Europe is putting its financial house in order and confidence is returning to the market — which is what the politicians have assured us — how come eurozone banks are set to borrow about €1 trillion in emergency loans from the ECB at its next three-year money auction?

If everything was hunky dory they would be borrowing from each other, but they are not because no one trusts anyone.

Then there is the little point about democracy. On Monday night I chatted to one of Greece’s foremost political commentators, Pavlos Tsimas, who painted a picture of a country imploding. Greece is supposed to be in the European family but is being cast aside.

At the weekend we saw Germany demand that the Greeks “give absolute priority to debt service” and “transfer budgetary sovereignty” to the EU while refusing to allow the issue to be put to the Greek people in a referendum. How are the Greeks supposed to react?

I write not as a eurosceptic but as a graduate of the College of Europe, someone who believes in the EU and has voted ‘Yes’ in every referendum. However, the EU that I voted for is being dismantled in front of our eyes.

All the while, the world is moving on and Chinese consumers are leading the charge. One of my must-reads of the week, the newsletter by Bill Bonner — the analyst behind the www.dailyreckoning.com — gave me a little bit of info on the ultimate luxury symbol, the Rolls Royce, and how the rich in China are emerging.

China is now the world’s biggest market for Rolls Royce cars, overtaking the US for the first time. Prices range between about €200,000 and €350,000 a car.

During 2011 the company sold 3,538 cars worldwide. And about a third of those sales were in China. In fact, Chinese sales jumped 60pc during the year to help the company reach the highest global sales in its 107-year history.

Meanwhile, but in the same vein, the Swiss luxury goods company Compagnie Finan- ciere Richemont SA — which owns the Cartier and Mont Blanc brands — reported a year-over-year increase of 36pc in third-quarter sales in Asia-Pacific.

Unemployment in Asia is almost non-existent. Inter-Asian trade, the next big story, is booming and, for the first time, Chinese tourists are flocking to Europe’s capitals much like the rich British commercial class did in the Victorian and Edwardian age when everyone who was anyone embarked on the Grand Tour. Back then, Britain was the workshop of the world; today it’s China.

China’s commercial might is producing a similar class who are now to be seen, when not in the Coliseum, a little bit up the road in Via Veneto, buying Gucci and Prada.

Europe is languishing. We can easily deal with this crisis. Eurobonds in the morning would solve the financing deficit, prudently. But we won’t do it. So we torch the debtor nations and in this inferno, we seem to think that 30pc to 50pc of young men will be content mooching around on the dole.

Let’s see what sort of malignant European phoenix emerges from Angela’s Ashes.

  1. Lyndon Jones

    This is Joe Higgins economics .

    Austerity works ! it makes sense ….when you are spending too much you cut back , how simple is that .
    DMcW is not the messiah ….he is a very noughty boy.

    • Julia

      Oh Lyndon, if Sarkosy were here he’d be patting you on the head too.

    • Realist

      I agree with you Lyndon.

      Not sure why David following the crazy idea that to get out of crisis our governments need to spend the same, if not more ??????
      Governments need to cut their costs, privatize many of their parts so it become more competitive and better for citizens.
      Subsidizing non-competitive, not overly productive and overly expensive public sector is the craziest idea ever.

      • It’s an interesting theory you have there Realist. You seem to be suggesting that privatisation automatically generates competitiveness, productiveness, inexpensiveness, greater civic responsibility.

        I suppose the best example of private enterprise we have in this country is in the banking sector, or used to be. Now of course there all under what amounts to public ownership. Look at what they’ve cost us. This is what we are spending our money on (money that we don’t have) and it is crippling the country. There’s always an argument for reform and the public sector is not exempt in this regard. But that is not the biggest expense that we are incurring. Bailing out the so-called private sector is. And it remains to be seen if it is ever going to be reformed.

        I went into my local bank the other day in a bid to open a business account. The blind obstinacy and red tape I was confronted with was bewildering to say the least. I almost screamed! It is interesting to note how quickly they’ve developed a ‘public service’ mentality.

        • conor

          Hi Oscar,
          The reason the banks got us into trouble was the lack of regulatory enforcement. As we know our financial regulator did nothing, as did the person and department with overall responsibility for financial matters in the state. When you consider the then minister of Finance Cowan met with financial regulator FOUR time in SIX years during his time in that post, he should be prosecuted for dereliction of duty. I would expect as an experienced international banker with forty years experience(not in Ireland or Irish Bank)that it would be a top priority of any MOF to meet with both the Regulator and the Central Bank once a month to keep myself up to date on what was happening, in what is the most important business sector in the state. I sincerely hope that our current MOF Noonan is paying more attention than this to the banks, if for no other reason than we the tax payers have a large shareholding in them. In fact I firmly believe that the current incumbents in both of the above positions should appear, say every quarter before a suitably experienced Dail committee to face public scrutiny. We might then start to ensure that our banks do not once again bankrupt the state, as even now it is painfully apparent that they have not learnt any lessons.

          • Fair enough Conor. I don’t disagree with you. But it does blow open the myth of a white knight in the form of a ‘private sector’ riding into town to save us. The distinction between ‘public’ and ‘private’ sectors are largely superficial. Unless you look at it from a different perspective, which is one that David McWilliams himself has suggested – that Ireland is merely a banking sector with a country attached. A reserve fund for banks to dip into when they get into trouble.

          • Realist

            When I say private sector I mean it free from state hands. At the moment there is no such sector as governments put their hands onto every sphere of our life.
            Just think of patent and IP laws that prohibit a lot of new inventions. Inventors are even not trying to into areas where you can get sued by big guys.
            Our economies went from 0% income tax beginning of 20th century to probably 50% (including VAT and other sales taxes) and excluding invisible inflation tax.
            And we do not even know what services I want from the government, they invent every year something new :)
            And when they have no money they tax my savings, like pension levy, or increase dividend tax or …..

        • Realist

          I agree with you that nothing is automatic.
          But if you keep in mind that when you have 1 company doing everything for the society you cannot possibly know is that company productive or not, is it value for money. You cannot compare it with another business as such does not exist, nor they need to fight for customers.

          I think for proper private business you need to look sectors not too much influenced by governments (said that I am seeing how hard is to find such :) like:
          bread and bakery industry, telecom industry, consumer electronics. I just remember when I arrived to Ireland that I was paying 60p for minute of conversation (Eircom) with foreign country and now I am paying 6c (skype to phone). If that is not competition I do not know what it is. Just look mobile phones battle and consumer electronics. I want such choice in schooling, health and other sectors.

          Banking sector being private in theory does not mean not influenced heavily by government laws and interests. Central banks are culprit in today’s banking as it covers the money supply to banks who uses fractional-reserve banking for credit expansion. They do finance government directly with buying bonds, putting them as collateral to ECB and ECB is giving money to banks on 1% to borrow me and you currently at 13% for personal loans, or they use money to buy bonds again from expanded credit returning 17% from Portugal while paying just 1% to ECB. All those privileges means banking is just semi-private.

          • EMMETTOR

            Banks, which since deregulation are actually gambling casinos with banks attached, are Darwinian Capitalism, red in tooth & claw & you know, Realist, that calling them “semi-private” is simply twisting the facts until they fit your assertions. Some services are best provided by the public sector and others by the private sector. The disadvantages of public service provision are known to us all, inefficiency, bureaucracy, systems serving those running them rather than those using them, etc. This can be fought against but it is a fact of life. As for private provision, I think most people’s experience is of little if any improvement of service & most importantly, price increases, motivated by the desire for profit, which is virtually unquenchable. You pay, one way or the other, both methods have inbuilt dis/advantages & seeing one as inherently superior to the other is just grossly Utopian.

          • Realist

            They are semi-private due to the huge privileges given to them by the previous and nowdays governments.
            They can expand credit and push newly created money (mostly electronic) from the central banks to the society.

            I lived in socialism where everything was public.
            I cannot remember one segment of life where public there was better than private in Ireland for comparable sectors.
            Competition by itself removes the possibility for overpricing as they compete for customers.
            Public competes for nothing, they have all customers they want.
            People mistakenly thinking of private nowdays to be real private, while actually many big companies are given government privileges, subsidies, help, projects, back entrance, possibility to bribe politicans, laws and such to actually be monopolist.
            If you think of such private companies than I agree that they might be worse than just public. But how to judge about public service when it is not comparable to anything as I am not able to choose and refuse to pay, move to another better.
            Public sector does not need to improve constantly neither.
            In public you always have defficiencies, no beds in hospitals, schools are all the same and never enough of them, ….
            Tell me when you experienced once that the store was without bread or milk. you actually can even choose between 10 types of bread.

          • Adam Byrne

            Which socialist country did you live in Realist (if you don’t mind me asking)?

          • EMMETTOR

            Private and Public, in this discussion, have specific meanings. Big companies being given subsidies, etc, does not make them Public, they are still Private Enterprises. There are very few areas where a direct comparison can be made between the two methods of provision but my point is that both have inherent flaws. Competition is something that all Private Enterprises seek to avoid, by various means and it can be argued that all mature markets tend towards monopoly or oligopoly. The two worst organisations I have ever had to deal with, as a customer, are the Dept of Social Welfare and Microsoft. What I’m trying to say, Realist, is that if you think that totally unregulated Private Enterprise can provide for all our wants & needs, then your nom de plume is not apposite.

          • Realist

            Agree. They are private companies with huge privileges from governments.
            Monopolies and similar construct are not possible in free-market economies. Only the state grants can give privileges to some.
            Microsoft has huge privileges due to various state laws, like patent and IP laws. They abuse it and people are saying that it draws at least 70% of profits from such laws.

            As I said without state privileges, subsidies, tarrifs, we will have proper competition in private sector where monopolies, cartels and similar things will be hardly possible.

          • EMMETTOR

            But Realist, no such “Free Market” system has ever or could ever exist. All Private Enterprise will seek to maximise profit (for shareholders and/or their functionary class) by whatever means possible. Price fixing and similar anti-trust activities didn’t start with Microsoft but stretch right back to Bethlehem Steel and beyond. The idea of competition as a driver of efficiency is outmoded and the economic theories based on this concept depend on the “Perfect Market” a completely theoretical construct. Needs and wants are different things and a mixed economy is the best solution to attempting to satisfy both, always has been, always will be.

          • Realist

            I will believe in public sector only when I see it working properly.
            Till today I did not.
            At the moment the whole world is moving into the direction of socialism and the state grip on economy and all spheres of our life.
            I just cannot accept there is nothing better that what we have now.
            If this is what we wanted, to have an almost total mess every 10, 20 or 30 years, sorry, I do not.

      • Yes cut the public sector. Singapore manages quite well with a third of the number and has a surplus in the bank of many billions. Similar number of people but no natural Resources except Location. stop paying other peoples debts and the economy will have easily enough money to regenerate itself.
        Either inside or outside the EU ,throw off that heavy great coat that is dragging in the mud and walk free.

        • Realist

          Exactly. It looks more debt is only good when it is a government one.
          We all learn that saving is important in life, nowdays governments are teaching us that they need to spend more to return to prosperity.

          Pure logic is telling you something is wrong.
          Saving is good for banks where your money is abused, deflated, frauded and almost non existent at the moment. And you put it only for safe keeping it. You need to tell bank in advance if you want to take a bit more money from it :)

        • Deco

          When Singapore enters a crisis, the PM comes on screen and tells everybody to work together and to make a success of it. He does not engage in patronizing platitudes like “it’s not your fault”….

      • redriversix

        “get the fcuk otta here Realist”!!

        I know you are definetly taking the pith !

      • Totally agree with Realist. Not only private business, (add rebuilding of manufacturing) and savings are the key but you have got to throw out those unproductive parasites in the public administration. Close down useless governmental institutions and fire all their employees to save massive amount of money and stop wasting taxes paid by the underpaid underprivileged private sector workers to support the overpaid and “over-benefited” public employees.
        Stan (Heretic)

    • So Lyndon. Tell us what we’re spending too much on. Where would you cut back and how would you do so without impacting on other sectors of the economy, diminishing all sectors in the process?

      • Dorothy Jones

        Start with NAMA…….

      • Realist

        Probably on everything, but nobody will be able to tell it for a sure.
        Only customers, us, should decide where the money should flow. Neither Lyndon, nor me, nor our beloved government can know.
        This is why only all of society deciding on what to spend our money and that should drive the economy.
        We should be the owner of decisions to spend, save or invest. Nobody should taken such decision from us or usurped our property.

        Entrepreneurs recognizes what people might want in the future and so create future products, we buy, they strive, we do not, they go bankrupt.
        If banks cannot go bankrupt it means they are not private and they are semi-private with a nice state garantee.

        • EMMETTOR

          Realist, the banks were huge Private Enterprises when they went bust, that’s just a fact. Then, after they went bust, they were basically nationalised. You can deny the facts til the cows come home ( you’ll probably call them sheep, anyway ) but citing a love of logic while being in denial of the facts butters no parsnips in these parts.

          • Realist

            You can say that is a fact, and in theory yes.
            If it is not to the privileges banks were given by governments, mostly in the past.
            New governments just followed previous governments, and why would they not with such salaries, bonuses, pensions and stupid projects.
            They get thinking they can solve any economic issue by printing more money and putting in in use to the society.

            Banks with huge privileges called fractionl-reserve banking, to expand credit by printing money helped by central banks giving them such by low interest rates.
            They used that + savings money to expand credit to unprecedented level, causing bubbles, basically frauding people’s savings, creating inflation and destroying nations wealth by pouring money into malinvested building projects or any other projects.

            If that is private then excellent.
            Only proper free economy freed from the government influence is properly private. Till then for me banking system is semi-private, or now public in Ireland as the biggest are nationalized.

          • bonbon

            And from this private economy is supposed to appear by unspecified means, economic growth, benefits for all, increase in living standard.
            This is supposed to “spontaneously” occur.
            Problem is the Gov’t politicians began to believe this too and went fishing, the economy will fix itself, so why bother.
            That is why people here are so angry.

          • Realist

            There is nothing spontaneous about it.
            It is actually all very conscious, but it is coming from all people and all entrepreneurs around the world, not from governments or central bankers.
            You have people exchanging things voluntarily on the market where both parties are better off, otherwise the echange will not happen. 1 man, 1 government, 1 central bank or any central body cannot possibly have answers on all societal needs.
            It is up to the society to decide what to do, what to buy, what company to strive and which one to cease to exist.
            We are doing this with the only reality check we have, the ability to try the product and refuse to do so if we are not satisfied. Or continue buying it if we are happy with it.
            And it is all subjective of course to all of us.
            Such subjective pricing is not possible to quantify and put into GDP’s and other stupid concepts like average baskets.

            Nobody can say to us we are stupid to decide this for ourselves and that we need a Big Brother to look after us.
            We are all capable of doing groceries and deciding what to do with money we got for our labour, or land and wealth rent.

      • redriversix

        Oscar,he is a wind up merchant and realist is having a bit of crack,forget about it !

        • Realist

          Realist is just realist, always trying to use logic, and hate politics.
          If that means I am on crack let it be :)
          I might be Winston from Orwell’s 1984.

          • redriversix

            Hey Realist , I did not say you were on crack ,I said you were having a bit of crack , as in The Irish for fun….and I do read your posts , that’s how I know your taking the piss , and thank you for your comment that “even I” can have free speech.

            you may be Winston from 1984..? and….


          • Realist

            No worries.
            I was not overly happy with this sentence :)
            “get the fcuk otta here Realist”!!

        • Not a very good one alas! If he was he wouldn’t be wasting his time piddling out his thoughts on the web. We could make him Minister for Finance. His job would be to go to Brussels, talk the pants of Merkozy, bore them to tears with insane drivel until they cave in and agree to leave Ireland alone. Somehow I doubt there is a man or woman, among us who is ready for such a calling.

          • Realist

            You should realize till now from my post is that I do not believe the government is to do anything with the economy in reality.
            It should be no minister for finance at all.

            But that to happen we need to come to the system that works for the benefits of the society and not governments and bankers benefit and their sponsored companies.

          • EMMETTOR

            If, as you said in an earlier post, you are Libertarian, then you are someone who holds extreme views which are the mirror-image of Communism. Both are, in my view, unrealistic, romantic pipe-dreams, which are of little use in the real world.

          • Realist

            Yes, I am total opposite of communism and central governance.
            I am for proper free-market capitalism.
            That does not mean no laws at all as somebody is saying, it is not chaos.
            I am one to decide do I want to do something or not, to exchange something with somebody or not.
            It is the place where both sides benefit in the exchange, like in most cases we do nowdays.
            I can hardly say that for coerced exchanges like taxes we pay for governments to wage wars, spend on stupid projects and their salaries, or bailout banks.

          • Realist

            And actually I do not want to be libertarian, I want to be a citizen of the World.
            I want to see society moving in the right direction and that means prosperity for all, but at the moment I cannot see that without proper free-market capitalist economy without many of ridiculess government laws and privileges.

        • bonbon

          It may appear so, but the radical free-market libertarians (like Ron Paul for ex.) really spout this. All the US candidates now do in fact.
          One has not choice but to confront it head on.
          It is actually very easy.

          • Realist

            Nothing is wrong with Ron Paul, he is a very bright guy. I do not like politicians, but this one is rare one to like really.
            He wants to cut this public spending nonsense, stop the US waging wars and so on.
            He wants income tax to be 0%.
            Cannot see what is wrong with that :)

  2. stiofanc02

    Man oh man oh man oh man.
    Brian Lenihan must be turning in his grave.
    I felt sad the day he died.
    I was in a house in Carrick on Suir when my wife sent me the news via text message, I thought at the time I read the text,…. he will never know how it all turned out. Sad.
    I was no fan of his politics, or his supposed ability as I did not believe, like some, that he was the best man for the job. He wasnt.
    But he was, I do believe, a patriot. No patriot wants to see his countrymen and women destroyed.
    What a crying shame.
    Weak men make weak leaders.
    We have very weak men leading us now.
    Weak as water.
    Into the abyss.

    • ThomasFergus

      Are you joking? Brian Lenihan was a pathological liar, even by FF standards. An intelligent and articulate man no doubt, but a man who used that skill to convince enough gullible eejits that the purpose of NAMA was to “get credit flowing into the economy”. Like his father before him, and his political party in general, all he sought were the trappings of office and never wished to wield any real power; he and his party would never ever touch the power brokers in Irish society, be they church back in the day, or banks today.

      • stiofanc02

        Think that both of your posts are mirroring what I said in mine.
        He was the wrong man for the job.
        I was no fan of his politics.
        His patriotism, however, cannot be questioned.
        You see, he genuinely believed he was making sound decisions for Ireland.
        Pig headedness and arrogance can cause logic and reason to fly out the window.
        As we sitting on the sidelines could see it was folly, it made sense to him.

        The point is, hes dead and what has replaced him is worse, if for no other reason than they have his record to go on and can see what should have been done and what the right choices are now.
        But, they are too fucking stupid to do anything except capitulate. Procrastinate and masturbate.

        Even if you dont agree with me he was better than the “sleepy” finance minister who looks like his heart will give out at any moment and continuses to whisper into the microphone about our external partners and our ability to export our way out of this ad nausium. Puke.
        The only exports I see gaining momentum are the citizens flocking to other shores.

    • Colin


      He was precisely the worst man for the job. Gavin’s blog catalogued all Lenny’s lies and forecasts that were cooked up in cloud cuckoo land.

      ‘We’ve turned the corner’, remember that one? Have we fcuk!?

    • Juanjo R

      Is this meant to be bad poetry?

      I remember listening to Lenihan via radio during the first incoming results of 2007 general election. He was excitedly telling a reporter ( from Newstalk I think ) that Fianna Fail were on their way to an overall majority. I think he had just been elected. He was speaking like a little boy, not a rational adult. He was like a happy, idiotically deluded boy who never graduated to real life outside the sham political world of this FF upbringing. There in that moment he was a government minister a qualified barrister and an excitable idiot who couldn’t count.

      Every pronouncement I heard him deliver over the coming years, and all as if he knew something on the topic of finance and economics, I greeted with fear. The too big to fail line in particular is an old,old line. He was fed this. He repeated it as if he was a sage. He was an absolute tool.

      His patriotism is up for question. He had to have some idea of the real idiot he actually was. Why would you knowing you are clueless on a topic take on such a critical post at such a critical time for your country? This is patriotic? Its not – its idiotic.

      If say in a battle he picked up a gun and ran single handedly, heroically and stupidly to attack an invading enemy of Ireland and was shot down you could at least say he had a misplaced sense of patriotism in his stupidity. You could say so safely because he would have hurt no one with these notional actions.

      But he didn’t – he hurt a lot of people with his stupidity and will go on hurting a lot of people for a very long time.

      • redriversix

        whats wrong with you people..?

        the man is dead , for Christs sake..

        show some respect


        • EMMETTOR

          Yes, he’s dead, his suffering is over. Not so for those of us who’ve got to live with his legacy, including many young Irish people & many yet to be born. FF were good at one thing and one thing only, winning elections. It’s what motivates them, it’s their raison d’être. Of course, once they’d won & split the prize money, they hadn’t a clue what to do. This was due, to a large degree, to the fact that they were a catch-all party, not a political party, unless you count their ludicrous claim to be “the republican party”.

          • redriversix

            his legacy..! he was the Minister for finance , not Adolf Hitler ! get over yourself Emmettor , That shit was happening anyway.

            I do not care about his politics , just remember he is dead…His Legacy !!……Khmer rouge had a legacy , Hitler and Stalin had a legacy…..

          • bonbon

            At Nürnberg tribunal, all the accused were questioned (and some hanged), except 1 who sat silently with a smirk and an ermine jacket – Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s finance/economics minister, the originator of the labor camps based on the South African Boer war model. Schacht was the head of the Bank for International Settlements, the WW1 Versaille treaty debt enforcer, before Hitler gave him a job.

            Why was Schacht never questioned?

          • EMMETTOR

            I only use the term legacy as meaning what he left behind. If he was still alive, I would probably call it his incompetence. His death does not diminish what he did or excuse it in any way. You clearly have some level of regard for the man but you have to accept the fact that many do not share it.

        • Juanjo R


          I happily said the same thing when he was alive.

          I’m consistent – pretend obligations to respect don’t enter into it. You don’t rewrite hostry because people die. If you did there would be no history. There would only be the past – ah sure everything was great we wouldn’t want to disrespect the dead.

          Plus he was a public man who made his life, illness and falsely dramatic death public fare.

          I’m under no obligation to tolerate your American abuse. so here…Vai fode-se!

  3. bonbon

    The EU self-destructed when France and Netherlands both refused the proposed constitution. It is not a state, the vote against was in the order of 75%, from 2 founding members.

    All the hoopla since has been to covertly declare a state and Eurobonds. Anyway a state would have Frau Kommissar Merkel (Der Spiegel yesterday) doing exactly the same thing.

    Time to abandon any idea of a federal europe, a pan-concoction and return to a Europe of the fatherlands as DeGaulle said.

    We have a banking crisis.

    The EU thing is secondary. European nations must act now to cut up the banks, hive off the investment arms to fend for themselves.

    I fully expect European Nations to form new productive agreements, as long as finance is not holding a bazooka to everyone’s governments.

    • Realist

      So, the state issue bonds to cover their stupid spending, banks buy it, put it into ECB as collateral to borrow to somebody creating new money.

      This is a paper money crisis created by previous and nowdays governments and their stupid banking system.
      That is a synergy where both governments and bankers profit.

      So, we need to fix it both now, stupid government spending, socialist uncompetitive and expensive public sector and crazy fractional-reserve banking sponsored by central banking.

      • bonbon

        It is a derivative crisis, no paper and not money. This has toxic effects on the entire system. I believe I am the only one to prioritize derivatives, on and off balance-sheet.
        I posted in the last theme how this overlaps the housing bubble. It is not an M1,M2,M3 thing.
        Derivatives allowed the quick formation of an array of bubbles; one can spot the next one on the way.
        I believe this is rarely discussed by the “paper-money” people of any stripe. Yet it is the core issue.
        And derivatives are not really a central-banking issue. Hedges are involved, purely investment firms (with spectacular blow-outs).
        Under Glass-Steagall these would not exist for 1 second.
        The “fractional” issue clouds this toxic core. It is a diastraction.

        • EMMETTOR

          Correct, Bonbon, derivatives are a mechanism to allow gambling on a massive scale. The Finance & Insurance parts of the FIRE economy have allowed gambling addiction to poison and destroy the real economy, in a way that no other human addiction has ever come close to.

        • Realist

          You have no clue about the economy then.

          What specific derivative killed Irish economy please ?
          What specific derivative killed US economy ?

          Is it not real houses/apartment blocks that are suppose to be built or are built and nobody need them ?
          In US, is it not money given to people who did not have the mean to return it, so called sub-prime mortgages ?

          What you are saying is from politicians to tell us they are not guilty at all, it is some speculators somewhere on Mars probably.

          • EMMETTOR

            The US sub-prime mortgages were packaged and sold around the world and their toxicity triggered the financial crisis. That’s what killed the US and the Irish economy, often by exposing pre-existing faults in the economy, most of which were created by the free market, neo-liberal govermental approach to the finance industry, IMHO.

          • Realist

            If those sub-prime mortgages were paid by people who took them it will be no crisis.
            As I said derivatives only speeding up the whole process, but not creating the problem.

            Credit expansion that gave such mortgages to anybody who applied by banks who had cheap money flowing from FED by low interest rate made the mess.

            In Ireland no derivatives make all these houses, it is real builders trying to build them, and not finishing a lot of them.
            Malinvestments that brought house prices so high while people were still building them and buying them without means to sustain such projects as no real savings happened in the society.

        • bonbon

          I answered that in the last thread. The overlap of derivatives and the mortgage fiasco.
          Derivatives are the problem. Any talk of eiher causes or solutions that avoid this are simply fantasy.

          • Realist

            Derivatives created 100k of not needed or overpriced houses and apartments in Ireland ?

            You are not going to hide disaster effect of credit expansion from banking sector due to the low interest rates of ECB, nor the banks abusing it to the limits increasing the money from thin air and giving it into malinvested projects aka building industry or auto industry.

            You are either central banker or politican who wants to blind and fog us till death, so normal people cannot understand what is 2+2.
            It is time to break this once for ever.

    • bonbon

      I know, Realist, Milton Friedman’s libertarianism, the other side of the Hayek coin. And Keynes flipping the dimes. Out of this money appears magically economic goodies?

      Just repeating their message shows the ahistoric “floating” logic of it.

      People are looking for something else.

      • Realist

        If for you when I say banks are helping governments by buying bonds and putting them as collateral to ECB is something to do with people you mention I do not care.

        Just answer why is that good and how is that good for us.

        I am man of logic and will accept the logic from any living creature if it makes sense. Please use arguments and tell us what I posted is wrong and should be that way or should not be that way.

      • bonbon

        If it was a “logical issue” there would be no fight. It is an axiomatic issue. I have here pulled into public light the hidden a-priori unquestionable beliefs.

        In the anti-intellectual culture that led us straight to hell, there is no attempt to do this. Rather an insane irrational opinionated reaction against some straw man like “Gov’t”, or …

        It was a major insight to discover that pure irrationality is an AXIOM of both libertarianism, neo-con, green thinking. The most precise presentation of this is Bernard Mandeville’s, fully acknowledged by none other than the LSE!

        We have all “leading” schools of economics promoting pure irrationality! There is the core problem. This is why there is a massive crisis.

        When one finds the “cure” to depend on this pure irrationality, one looks for another doctor quickly.

        • Realist

          I wish I could understand what you wrote above bonbon and what is that to do with me :)
          I said to you, I believe in logic, so not sure what irrational you can see in my sentences really.

        • bonbon

          The logic that follows from irrationality as in axiomatic “spontaneous” economic order, is impeccable.

          That logic got us to where we are now. More of it will certainly extinguish the entire human species.

          But we are not logic machines, we can change the axioms and see their limitations. No logic can do that.

          • Realist

            So, how am I to value your arguments if not based on some logical deduction ?
            how am I suppose to interpret what you are saying to me ?
            What kind of magic do you use yourself to judge and argue on this forum ?

  4. Malcolm McClure

    David: Interesting global overview. Rather than Rolls Royce examples of European success it would be nice to hear more about Italy’s route to redemption via Via Veneto; Ferrarri, and Maserati (both now producing SUVs with potential in China market); Lamborgini and so on. What do these products have in common? Excellence of design.
    Of course Ireland can’t afford to languish on the sidelines. So, who can name an outstanding Irish College of Industrial Design?

    • Colin

      A few weeks ago, I posted something similar, knowing there is a lot of talent in our art colleges. Why can’t Enterprise Ireland get together with these Colleges and design and manufacture and develop a brand that the Chinese will want to buy?

      • dorn

        Like Waterford Crystal?

        • Colin

          I think crystal has had its day in the sun. Who do you know, that would love to receive some Crystal as a wedding/retirement/Christmas present or sports/competition prize? That’s the main reason for its demise, fashion.

          • Malcolm McClure

            I’ve heard that here is a huge market in China and Middle East for crystal chandeliers and similar bling. I believe Dingle Crystal are already doing well there.

          • EMMETTOR

            Everywhere there are Chinese workers, whorehouses and gambling casinos are the two major growth industries. gambling is especially profitable as you can gamble all night.

      • stiofanc02

        Whiskey, roulette tables and vaseline.

      • Juanjo R

        The object of the government for a long time has been to entrust big commerce and large-scale job employment to foreign multi-nationals its easier they stump up the money, use R & D from outside Ireland and then create buckets of jobs while politicans do photo opps and generally give themselves credit for everything. The culture and mentality and power is against the creation of indigenous industries.

        Secondly patent and copyright aren’t well protected there ( or in that general area of the world ). You would be undercut quickly by cut price imitiations if a market emerged.

        Green energy would be a better route to take if you asked me.

    • Forget the industrial design. Ireland is to far behind.
      Use what Ireland has to offer. Beef Cattle will soon each be worth a small car in Korea. Lets send 3 million cattle to Korea on Japan every year.
      Then start building wind turbines. Become a net exporter of energy to Germany.
      I’m sure that others have some more workable ideas.

      • redriversix

        excellent Patrick

      • bonbon

        Germany is massively building turbines (most likely GE) and they forgot the cabling! A total fiasco.

        On top of this idiocy, Greece is to host a huge German-built solar plant for EXPORT only, while Greeks have their power cut (50,000 homes in 1 week).

        For Wagnerian madness look at AlianZ’s Desertec – Moroccan solar power cabled right through Spain and France with 25% losses at least!

        All subsidized following Obama’s Solyndra debacle.

        Germany was a net exporter until Frau Kommissar’s (der Spiegel) hysterical fear of tsunami’s in the EU shut down 17 reactors!

    • ioseebee

      Hi Malcom! (I am an industrial designer) Would you believe there are quite a few excellent Industrial design courses running – the numbers of courses & specialisaions in this area have increased in number since I graduated in 2000, including a speific medical device design masters course in NCAD which is working directly with medical device manufacturers here!

      There is great potential here to build a high quality manufacturing based around well designed products, that take into account both the resources of our country and the markets growing abroad!

      Unfortunately as a result of the late development of industrial design area in Ireland, relative to the UK or US we have yet to see the full benefits of these graduates’ skills (hopefully not all of them are emigrating).

      Also our home-grown (as against US/Foreign multi-national) manufacturing industry was allowed languish for many years – sure we didn’t need to manufacture anything that might actually be needed because we had so many houses & offices & hotels to build!!

      Funnily enough it should be noted the industrial designer also played a pivotal role in bringing in obsolescence into our lifestyles & our products life-cycles. Therefore be careful of what you wish for – a Ferrari SUV? Excellence in Design?

      China – a country already suffering from chronic traffic jams & trying to reign in pollution (?) full of Ferrari SUV’s?

      But yes the industrial designer really can generate business and quality products which people need and love – creating markets for Ireland which we have not played a part in before…

      ….I do believe their is a rising tide of design-literate consumers and actual designers in many areas from textiles through to graphics, to industrial design in the younger generations in Ireland & it is growing in every generation (- the number of graduates in each area I mean)

      For the last three years now since the company I worked for went over the recession cliff-face (squeezed out of existence by revenue & the banks – with a major project due to be signed in the coming weeks) I have worked for myself – slowly but surely building up my own design service. It is extremely diffcult environment to do it in – bouncing cheques….circular traps of companies not been paid by other companies further up the line…. banks that have been saved with billions of our earnings are simultaneously starving the whole economy of cash!

      Something has to give…….eventually.

      0.0000001% of 1 billion would help me create & promote a business with sustainable work for a number of qualified industrial designers to begin with!

  5. bonbon

    Austerity for Governments but a Trillion for banks. Nice deal eh? Look at what FT leaked.

    The EU/Eurozone summitry, including the flood of media “soundbites,” is actually being made totally irrelevant by the banks’ own steps to secure the money they urgently need right now, rather than wait for some summit decision to come at some time: as leaked by the FT, particularly the bigger European banks plan to borrow EU 1 trillion from the ECB’s special window at the end of February.

    And the word is already out among bankers that this will naturally not be the end of borrowing, that more money will be required soon. None of that money will reach the real economy, of course: already, the EU500 billion special loan which the ECB granted the banks in December, is being parked in the overnight accounts of the ECB, to be speculated with during the day, only to be parked away again the next night. And that is being done at constantly rising volumes. At the end of last week, it was already EU528 billion.

    This freshly-printed money is already in the hands of the bankers, whereas the money promised by the IMF, EFSF, and ESM, does not even exist yet, except on the paper on which the summiteers wrote down their commitments.

    Therefore: Why only borrow EU 1 trillion at the ECB, why not EU 2 or EU 3?

    • Realist

      Because you never know when such money can be used for credit expansion. If you give a bank more money they can go and expand credit somewhere, either inside EU or around the world. It can be Eastern Europe, or Middle east or any other part of the world where that bank has offices.

      With such crazy money printing you never know.
      Even they just use it for deleveraging their previous mistakes it means you subsidize stupid loosers who should go bankrupt so they do not cut stuff, do not cut resources to be used somewhere where they can be more productive for our society.
      E.g. thousands of workers in AIB/BOI and similar banks. For me that is all subsidy taken from all of us.

      • bonbon

        Not quite, the bill eventually comes to the people. And no real economic investment.
        Imagine what Eu 500 billion could accomplish? We could build a transrapid net covering the globe! Open up the Arctic, get fusion running on a massive scale.

        • Realist

          So, where is that money coming from ?
          Are you saying ECB should just create money, as it is doing, out of thin air and use planes to disperse them across EU sky ?

          Money and resources first need to be saved by EU nations, so such money can be invested (who wants to invest) into new projects and things.
          Thin air money is good for nothing except to inflate things while benefiting our beloved governments and bankers.

          I am sure you know of the story, what will be if we all wake up tomorrow morning with twice more money in our pockets than today. It will make such a difference. :)

          • redriversix

            Hi Realist

            The ECB is creating money out of thin air and what will follow is inflation or hyperinflation….

        • bonbon

          Money does not grow on trees. It is printed.
          Credit is something else. A credit economy is a mission oriented one.
          A money economy has also a mission- to be a casino.

          So contrast credit to money. 2 totally different economics. Money in both types of economy does totally different things. One gambles, more like a huge Los Vegas, the other colonizes the monn and mars.

  6. Voltex

    It still gets me that when the inflationary gaps started emerging within the economy and demand far exceded our ability to supply, the powers that be just threw more fuel on the fire. This is not complicated stuff..in fact its basic fiscal policy to temper demand within emerging bubbles and rapidly expanding economies.

    In fact now that we are within a recessionary gap the typical tools available to Goverments and Central Banks of fiscal and monetary policy/business cycle management (i.e stimulus,QE, injections) are just not there and not available.

    I said this a year ago..that growth is the only way we will realistically get out of this mess..and growth is not possible whilst imposing severe austere budgets!

    • bonbon

      There is a school of thought that says when there is a fire open the taps and spray super-cold petrol on it.

      It should work, right?

  7. bonbon

    Very nice graphic, DMcW. Do we want to go the way of the Dino flailing wildly against its successor at the KT extinction boundary? Or stop behaving like Dino’s, take a lesson from successor, the mammals, increase activity. Let Dino banking finance go.

    That Dino needs EU 1 Trillion end-February just for breakfast, meaning its eating people, jobs, futures, the economy, literally.

    China is simply following FDR’s New Deal, and have said so on numerous occasions.

    It seems Europe has a problem with that, not to mention a very European Obama.

  8. Dorothy Jones

    Euro bonds: they may [will?] come eventually. But not yet. Note: Angela Merkel did not rule out the possibility in her Davos speech. [As alluded to by German Ambassador Herr Luebkemeier in his speech 120126 in TCD "Never Waste a Good Crisis - Why €urope will prosper"]. When Govts undertake the same degree of reform ['fiscal responsibility'] as DD endured, the possibility may be considered, but it is not a starting point. The reality may turn out to be otherwise, and the approach questionable, but that’s the message in both of those speeches.

  9. 7th Day

    Today is the seventh day before the Full Moon next tuesday …………so go slow and watch the weather it wont be kind if you are not careful.

    Drive slowley ……allows others go fast around you , just try to be calm and you will see the tortoise beat the hare .


  10. To paraphrase John Allen some years ago ; put on your own lifejacket first. I listened to David some years ago and bailed my few bob out of Ireland. That worked. Then I listened again later and positioned my income stream elsewhere other than the busted flush. Again, that worked very nicely. Then later,I read another article which was illuminating about debt consolidation. I made my own conclusions and that worked very well too. Not bad for free advice from one of the few forward thinking economic strategists in the world. Now here I see another nugget to be acted on. And I will and I will make a few bob, God willing. David, I owe you a pint or two. Many thanks for all the effort. Its all about reading between the lines is docha.

    • Julia

      Furrylugs, how is the cafe going? Where are you exactly? I’m hoping to go to Donegal soon and would love to bring the price of a coffee and bun your way. Well done on the finances. If I had any money I’d be following David’s advice too.

    • Colin

      Well done Furrylugs, see it pays to listen to David, not deride him, but so many people can’t get their own head around that.

    • spawny

      Furrylugs, im not quite sure which nugget your talking about. I generally follow Davids advice and have also been quite lucky with it, but whats he advising here?

      • stiofanc02

        Spawny if he told you he,d have to kill you.
        read between the lines………..
        Who will have disposable income to spend on luxury travel, food, bling etc.?

  11. Philip

    If the buyer nations go bust, the ghost city laden nations of the far east will collapse. Rolls Royces are the preferred bauble of gangsters. criminals, financiers and dictators. Ditto for other hi priced labels. They are labels – not quality.

    What the west gave. the west will take away. 15 yrs ago they said the same about Japan

    The article neglects the effects of supply chain dependencies or the nature of that western entity called the consumer. It is a financiers view of the world. It shows zero knowledge of why China ramped so rapidly and why the same forces are ripping the very notion of manufacturing apart. hint:it needs no people. Unemployment is a fact of life for most of us soon and the Asians will be no different. their bubbles are all too apparent. We are seeing the end of banking and an upcoming chaos which i believe the EU and US are trying to dodge.

    • Realist

      Agree. It is always easy to spot happinness somewhere else.
      China is also overindebted, they have 10s of NAMA’s.
      They are 60% of GDP in debt.
      They have 2 million apartments ghost cities.
      Communism and central governance did all of that as they thought we will build huge cities, put people there and they will work what our semi-capitalist higher class want them to work.

      And by the way all governments around the world print money in coordination with each other. I was really so unhappy seeing that Switzerland is doing the same as thought they might be conservative, but no.

      • imithe

        2 million apartments in a population of 1.3 billion gives a percentage of 0.0015 % (population growth rate p.a. = 0.5%). Compare that to our ghost estates… 250000 empty homes in a population of 4.5 million, eh, 5.5%.

        Pot calling kettle, come in kettle!

        • Realist

          It is just one extreme example of course.

          And I agree with you Ireland is in a bigger mess :)

          I only wanted to point that they invented NAMA before Ireland as they have them a lot. They just moved bad debts from one to another.
          You can read about it more in the book called Red Capitalism.
          It shows that central planning is utopia.

          Also, not to say how hard is to know what exactly is going on with finance in China due to the communist party stronghold.

    • bonbon

      China has now 1.3+ billion, and projected growth implies a need for 200 new cities! Add in water, power and food to see the sheer scale of what Beijing deals with. Bubble glass blocks are not what’s needed.
      350+ million EUropeaans have not the slightest inkling as usual, a mini dino.

      China has a manned moon mission. Even Newt had a lucid moment (but not the brains) and campaigns on this. Obama is very British – been there, done that, yawn.

      • Realist

        Very true. But where ?
        Their government thinks for them and create cities where nobody wants them or need them.
        And for what price ?
        Apartments selling for $50-100k are not really what those billions can afford neithers.

        And moon mission is really what people of China needs.
        US gets obsessed with Mars mission spending a trillion.
        At the end “communist” China and “capitalist” US are very similar :)

        • bonbon

          The previous Chinese Premier Jiang Zemin, visited the US during Clinton’s era, and some rabid US press asked about communism or capitalism, what is it going to be? The Premier answered
          “We are not communist, we are not capitalist, we are Chinese”.
          And often heard is they simply adopted FDR’s methods.

          The moon mission was and always will be a mars stepping stone. Newt has dimly become aware of this.

      • bonbon

        A good example is the 3-gorges dam, the largest. With French and German turbines and generator. 15,000 people died per year from flooding the Yellow River (river of tears locally). Beijing assembly came to the conclusion this must be controlled following the TVA of FDR (TVA chief Lilienthal went there and posed the project). That meant 1 million people had to be re-housed away from the site. The EU and US greenies went into hari-kiri mode about rights.
        Sure some locals would not move even if the next flood would drown them. This is going on along the Mississippi too. But would expect the army to save them then.
        Libertarians would say they have a right to drown? And a right to rescue?

        • Realist

          I am sure these 1M happily agreed to be displaced.
          Just think of yourself if some day your government demolish your home without asking you just due to the goodness of the nation sought of by some Tarzanian minister.

  12. Adam Byrne


  13. Philip

    I have been to all the major cities of the BRICs. They are unsafe or restrictive elitist enclave laden $h1tholes. There is a reason for this. There is small middle class and it will not get a chance to grow and a smaller upper class. As for the rest. . . well get all the degrees u like, u are destined to work till u drop or die in that rural hole u came from. Is that the model of progress we are to emulate?

    • bonbon

      Goldman Sachs originated the BRIC – explicitly, sold the idea to Medviedev, who choked on it and fired minister Kudrin, the LSE plant in the Kremlin.
      BRIC funding was (is?) the Brazilian carry-trade looting the country – Lula played along.

      GS’s “shock therapy” was allowed to wreck Russia because Yeltsin fell into a bottle on the plane ladder steps.

  14. Phillip, with respect, you have just very succinctly described Ireland since Independence IMHO.

  15. Philip

    As for protectionism and the fear thst the West might head this way, What about the very deliberate restrictive practices of these countries – they lock in and will only use local services. Breaking in is very difficult.

    • bonbon

      FDR’s, Hamilton’s, List’s protectionism made modern industrial economies. China applies this western idea, has success, and the West goes bonkers and bankrupt.

      Globalization destroyed the west, gave china a huge export market, but the west implodes and China saw it coming. It has huge domestic programs to offset this.

      Time to let feudal imperial pre-industrial dino economics go extinct. The mouse of agro-industrial productive progress is the future.

  16. Philip

    Furry, correct. it takes one to know one. We know the game all too well.

  17. mcsean2163

    “On Monday night I chatted to one of Greece’s foremost political commentators, Pavlos Tsimas, who painted a picture of a country imploding. Greece is supposed to be in the European family but is being cast aside.”

    Europe is not a family, it is a union and Greece cheated to get in. Their deficits were massive, they still are and there seems to be a complete lack of interest in paying tax.

    They should be thrown out for breaking the rules and so should we.

    In a soccer games if you commit a serious foul you are sent off. Greece should be given the red card.

    They need to sort out their own problems. They need to start paying tax.

    At least they have the German tourists, without them Greece would be a lot worse off.

    We should ask to be taken off. Let’s get real, the country is bankrupt by our own doing. The elected goverment bailed out the banks, not the Germans.

    • redriversix

      I admire your innocence , mcsean2163

      Wish I still had it……the Euro set up is a scam from start to finish…………….

      Goldman Sachs advise Greece on Euro integration , now they advise on Euro conflagration !!! fee’s , glorious fee’s !!

      All you have to do is look who benefited at the start , who failed , who got bailed out , and who is getting all the digital money now

      The West is failing and the East is rising


      • Eireannach

        You think Goldman Sachs is at fault, not Greece?

        I think you’re over-estimating Goldman Sachs there. They just advise. Greece did the accounting shenanigans. It’s an old country and can’t play innocent, and neither can you fool anyone that Greece is not at fault.

        Greece IS at fault. It’s childishly naive to suggest Goldman Sachs ‘made them do it’. If they did, then where are the tax receipts? Greeks aren’t interested in paying, not collecting taxes. But they ‘don’t accept austerity’ either, apparently.

        • redriversix

          either way Eireannach, the EU knew Greece was a badly run country and could not meet Euro Criteria.

          Hence Goldman Sachs “appointed”to assist them in meeting Euro criteria which they “did”

          Goldman Sachs now advising Greece or ECG/IMF to get them to adhere to Austerity.!

          This trillion dollar loan coming down the track for EU and international Banks , I suspect is to try and protect for when Greece defaults.Greece, amongst others has no money…………

          • redriversix

            Example of worldwide foot & mouth disease…..

            Mitt Romney is his victory speech in Florida told the T.V and his supporters that he will “Balance America’s deficit and will not raise taxes”This guy should be called out on his blatant lies as well as Enda..

            America is over 15.5 trillion dollars in debt and borrows 3.6 Billion dollars a day……!! and we slang Greece..go figure !!

          • redriversix

            Goldman Sachs and or their former employee’s tend to end up”advising” the U.S Government on economic policy.

            Which seems to have a very strong influence on the IMF…………….

          • Deco

            Romney is the GS candidate in the GOP nomination process.

            And the 1% is want to stop him.

            And the alternative will be an existing President who has staffed his Administration with Wall Street’s finest.

          • bonbon

            US Treasury Sec. Geithner – GS
            ECB Draghi – GS
            Greek Papademous – GS
            Italian Monti – GS
            US Dollar “alternative” BRIC – GS design

            Just accountants?

  18. KP

    @ Malcolm McClure: We train excellent industrial designers at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Unfortunately the majority of our graduates cannot find work in Ireland, because the local manufacturing sector is so tiny – they tend to build very successful careers abroad, though. Lack of industrial design education in Ireland is certainly not the problem.

    • Malcolm McClure

      KP: I have had a quick look at your web pages at NCAD and I have read the industrial design student brochure. http://bit.ly/y7DqGt.– This speaks for itself to the wider world.

      It is appalling, in this day and age, that there is no mention of CAD/CAM, Vectorworks, 3-D prototype manufacturing, etc.

      Was this just an oversight?

  19. Yup. Though here’s a sobering thought Phillip. We’ve about 3 million cute hoors less the hopeless and useless. Chinas got 1 billion less ditto. Ergo pro rata (some bean counter will work the maths)China has many more hopeless and useless than we have CH`s. That’s what our lot need to get their head around. Long ago, the civilised world copped that the Earth revolved around the Sun hence demise of Centrists. The message never arrived in Dun Laoighaire.I recall having a conversation with the Head of the All India SME Association some years ago. Twould take a few jars to fully explain what she said and meant. By God, but we need to get a grip here or we’ll be swallowed in what’s coming. F

  20. Faithnomore

    David, I have read and shared your articles many times and this is the 1st time Ive seen a real sadness in what you write. Even the people implementing this austerity couldn’t believe it will work and yet they haven’t the vision to see beyond it. But worse is the fact that the middle classes and the intelligentsia are so fatalistic and self preserving. It really is like watching a car crash in slow motion. We sit in the car and watch the wall approaching, hoping somehow we will be ok, whatever about the others.

    I, like you am saddened at the imminent demise of the EU and, more than likely, it’s democratic nature. I find many among my friends don’t even want to talk about it. I think we’ve probably had it too good for too long to believe it could all dissappear and yet, history is full of examples that it can.

    I feel TV has lead to a sense of inability to instigate change. Once upon a time we only knew the news around us, where we could do something about it. Now we see bombs in Afghanistan and tsunamis in Japan and feel helpless to intervene. Instead we turn to the surreal reality TV, fantasy Downton Abbey. It’s interesting that the anglophone Hollywood fed world is the most passive, most inclined to believe in happy endings, least inclined to face the truth or even want to hear anything negative. We appear truly disempowered and perhaps that’s the saddest thing of all.

    • Morning Faithnomore,

      Yes it is a sad article. Sometimes when writing economics it is better to be unattached. But we are all affected in a deeper and softer way – even if we havn’t lost our jobs or something very obvious and difficult – by the economy than we admit.

      All the best


      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi David,

        I like you was pro Europe to the last two referendums. I decided based on reading YOUR advice amongst others that enough was enough of the dilution of Irish sovereignty knowing that large Countries ALWAYS FUCK small countries in a crisis. If I had to I would have crawled on my belly to the polls to vote NO and would have gladly done so.

        So I fail to understand the contradiction in YOU David. Voting YES for Europe whilst simultaneously having the clarity of vision to know what was being foisted economically speaking upon Ireland. The next time you find yourself in France, or Gallipoli or the garden of Remembrance David, get down on your knees and beg forgiveness from the people who rest there. You owe all of them an apology. They gave their lives to establish the Republic or fighting for the rights of small nations. They knew what I know and you only now seem to have figured out that large countries ALWAYS FUCK small countries in a crisis. The political realities which are only now becoming apparent to you is an indication of the blind spot which you possess which I have mentioned before and has always made your analysis incomplete. Every single Human being alive has their blind spots and your analysis is no more complete than mine or anyone else’s but your refusal to contemplate a valid point of view regarding political realities weighted against pure economic analysis puts you in the same boat as the politicians who weight everything politically without contemplating the economic argument.

        Smug is the word that comes to mind David.

        Enjoy your cappuccino.

        • BrianC


          Politics is all about duplicity and shafting, it is a human nature thing.

          Economics is all about the refinements of amorality.

          I wish I could afford to be Italy sipping beverages. LOL David I hope you are enjoying it as there are evidently some sharp knives awaiting your return.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Au contraire,

            I am a fan of David McWilliams. I am just trying to get him to see more clearly as he is trying to get politicians to see more clearly. I didn’t like the “entrepreneur” sniggering remark about builders/developers in a recent article. Those of us who were professionally trained TOOK the advice of David McWilliams/Constantin Gurdgiev and others and had STOPPED well before the crash. In my case almost THREE years before the crash.

            I had hoped to specialize in developing high quality ecofriendly high energy rated homes but that has been put on hold perhaps for a decade now due to corrupted banking etc. Quality construction professionals David are just as worthy of the title entrepreneur as anyone else and properly run construction and property development operations are legitimate commercial activity. No one more than me would be delighted to see quick buck merchants, speculators etc. taxed off the face of the earth to allow legitimate operators provide quality buildings but once again political realities seem to take paramount importance.

      • michaelcoughlan

        “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered”

        You know who made this statement David? None other than the great American Patriot Thomas Jefferson as long ago as 1802. Will you PLEASE PLEASE tell the people what is in fact actually going on in the world instead of smugly writing about your travels. Remember a republic is only truly free so long as brave patriots live in it!

        • michaelcoughlan

          Some light reading David.


          And guess who was knocking around RBS at the time? Our old friend Peadair!

          G-sucking across the universe,
          On the starship G-Sucks,
          Under captain Jerk,
          G-Sucking across the universe,
          Things aren’t getting better,
          Things are getting worse!

          If Peadair keeps playing a blinder like this the printing presses in Europe will have to be dedicated in the first instance to producing the money for his bonus prior to inflating Europe it’s way out of it’s problems!

          Where assholes like us see failure Peadair and his colleagues see success. GOD help us all!

          • Hi Michael,

            I was working in Italy for a French company that I do some work with who manage supply chains in Asia. The reason I give them advice professionally is that Irish companies don’t see the requirement for objective economists, so I have to head abroad for work. Its no sob story, but just to keep you straight on it.

            Yes I was very pro European for a while but that Europe, the family idea, is now gone. You are right – maybe it was never real this one united EU idea and the crisis is proving that, so, like you, I’ve changed dramatically. What is interesting from working with French and Italians, is that it is clear that the Italians at least, are beginning to see the world very differently than even this time six months ago.

            All the best,


          • Deco

            Never mind the Iranians.

            How about bombing GSucks ?

        • redriversix

          Its a Financial War Michael,+1

          The pen is mightier then the Sword……….

  21. Philip

    Furry, true enough. But Ireland are NOT the only ones with the gift of the gab and the hard sell. The only way China et al will take over is on the back of a complete tech or social paradigm shift that catches the west on the hop. Might happen. Just do not see it. It is same old same old in cheaper and lower labour rights economies and they need the west more than the west need them. The unemploying aspect of new tech is very real and is geo and demo graphically agnostic and very alarming.

    • manchuriancandidate

      I think your understanding of China needs a bit more work. China may not dominate the world the way the US did but it will be hugely influential whether you agree with it or not. The Asia-pacific region will dominate economically for the foreseeable future. The numbers, people, in this region are just too big, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, west coast of North America. If China and India ever develop any kind of decent relationship then that will seal the deal.The idea that they are not creative or not creative enough is a common tune sung by westerners and Chinese here but it is changing. The same things were said about the Japanese and the Koreans. And the truth is never as black and white as that. People know the limits of the education there, and can be very critical, but work hard at improving themselves, trying new things, experiencing new places. They are, most of them, very open to the world.
      The idea that “they need the west more than the west need them” is economically ridiculous. The performances of many Western companies since and before 2008 has been hugely helped by the Chinese and Asian markets. Check how much of the sales and percentage of sales for these companies come from China or Asia: Apple, McDonalds, KFC, Volkswagen, Starbucks, Canon, Hyundai, BMW, Audi (the car of the government official), a large part of the 3rd level education system in Australia. In some cases these are huge are areas of profit and other the only cases of profit and growth.
      Obviously all is not rosy, the country has huge problems with pollution, water, corruption, overproduction, overcapacity, ghost cities:Ordos and Kangbashi in Inner Mongolia are famous examples. It cost more to build Kangbashi than the value of the Coca Cola company.http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1975397,00.html
      Many of these problems are being worked on, some will take years/decades to solve. Some may have to be written off. The new city construction, the government believes is necessary to free up land for agriculture but also to more easily educate many of the migrant workers and their future children.
      China may not be have the power that the post cold war US had but it still going to be very powerful.
      Ireland is demographically irrelevant in comparison to the rest of the world. We are a small country that punches above its weight. The government needs a real plan on how to deal with these changes in the global economy and Asia. It doesn’t have one at the moment.

      • EMMETTOR

        China’s gonna hit a wall, you can quote me on that!

        • bonbon

          Sounds like a quote from Obama – he wants to thermonuclear China and Russia using Syria/Iran as pretexts.

          Notice the war build-up?

        • manchuriancandidate

          Could well happen, certainly there are many things that worry the powers that be. They have very smart qualified people who run the country, sort of, unlike our lot. There is still lots of room for huge growth, the starting baseline was very low, but it will probably slow down over the next decade. That it what the government wants. Most places have hit the wall, whether China does remains to be seen. The problems are huge

          • EMMETTOR

            I reckon China’s advantages in manufacturing are merely temporary. Their continued success in this area will, eventually, lead to the erosion of those advantages. Like us, they will probably hit the brakes too late and will have multiple bubbles bursting at the same time, just when they need internal demand to replace their exports. Sorry for all the mixed metaphors but, as you say, the problems are huge and predicting the results of the Communist Capitalism experiment probably require a new science.

  22. I’m on a Blackberry at the moment(ooohh yeahh,I hear ye say)Sorry bout dat but its not the best yoke on blogs so I can’t see threads. Anahow, as we say in rural parts, Cafe gone Julia. Commercial decision based on nous and this site. I’m down West Cork way but don’t let that stop you. As for money, until I copped our hosts message, my few bob would have been gobbled by the Jolly Green Giant aka Ireland Inc. Onwards and upwards. I think we are in a healthy, suspecting phase rather than living the gullibility of the last 10 years. Fool me once etc. We’ll come out better as a people out of this.

    • Julia

      Ah Sorry to hear about the cafe. You’re dead right. The trick is to be adaptable. We’ll get through despite them if not because of them.

  23. Phillip. Quick one for the porridge before I hit the sack. I said this 4 years ago when this craic started. When the Yanks decide on the next target, ostensibly Iran at the month, who will fund that little escapade? All the real money has shifted East. I can’t see China shooting itself in that particular foot. But then again, the Mayans might be right. Over to our Western Correpondent, John Allen, for this Intergalactic update.

  24. Grey Fox

    Had me porridge Phillip! and have to say there was a little less in the bowl than normal!
    Faithnomore I subscirbe entirely.
    The succession of “Politicians” who have led our little country are over exalted (up to now) it is important to remember they are a concoction of qualified teachers, solicitors with a sprinkling of the odd accountant, I do not remember any one who was an economist, with the exception of George Lee, who walked into the mist and came screaming back out very quickly as any sane economist would do, hence the reason maybe DMW has had a little trip into the mist.
    So we expect these average, moderately eduacated “politicians” to do great things, but they can’t, they are simply individuals with teflon coated necks who popped their heads above the parapet, we have to vote for someone! and when the choice is limited, well thats tough we will still try to pick the best of a bad lot and that was fine for a while until the Banks saw their opportunities, and these lad’s are very eduacated in the particular field (making or sorry, taking money) they approached the mother hen in disguise and pitched to run the henhouse and when the got the job, took up residence it was too late, off came the disguise and lo and behold the Fox appeared and started to gorge!
    The Fox won’t leave the henhouse until all the hen’s are dead!
    What we need is the Farmer and his shotgun and we need it quick!
    Mayne the farmer is the “Shinners” or some other unknown entity but the current farmer FG/LAB has a shotgun but is afraid to load/fire it ‘cos he might hit the last hen by mistake, not fully understanding taking the shot is worth the risk ‘cos the Fox is going to finish off the last hen anyway.
    I’m off to see how the Fox is getting on!!!!

  25. Grey Fox

    Joe Soap to the shopkeeper: “Giv us a bag eiv badados I’ll pay ya next week”
    Joe Soap: Peels the spuds and hops them on the cooker
    The spuds start to boil and spill over the lid.
    Joe Soap turns down the heat.
    The spuds simmer away.
    The spuds are ready and Joe Soap and his mates all take a plate full.
    The spuds are all gone and Joe and the lads want more.
    Joe goes back to the shopkeeper “Giv us anudder bag will ya”
    Shopkeeper: “Feck off yiz didn’t pay fer de last one”
    Joe and the lads starve to death.
    The shopkeeper goes out of business.
    The wholesaler sells direct to Joe’s son.
    Joe’s son is paying twice as much for his spuds and has to pay off Joe’s bill too.

    • Grey Fox

      there is an alternative scenario where Joe steps in when the shopkeeper tells him to feck off and goes out to his back garden and sows his own patato’s, he has to wait for them to grow but ultimately he will harvest a crop.
      Question is will the shopkeeper (or any shopkeeper) help Joe while his crop of spuds is growing????

  26. Philip

    Had the porridge – set up for the day. 2 most bellicose nations on this planet is US and UK and then maybe France and Russia. The rest are just crowd control merchants. US can pretty well mobilise as they like and I see nothing to change that view for the next decade or so assuming they manage to haly social decline there – and even that is a tad exaggerated. They can change the rules when they choose and there is little anyone else can do about it. If Iran is to be another campaign, then I suspect there is little anyone can do about it. Iran for me is a bit of gunboat diplomacy basically to show who is boss to the rest of the world.

    I am not at all sure there is any real understanding of what is happening in Europe. We can slag off the Greeks as tax cheating non-payers etc. but the reality is they have a major military role to play in the region (the Islamic/Christian border). I do not think anyone wants to see instability there. I think they are fully aware of this and I thgink they are winning the game of chicken.

    Maybe the entire fiasco is a game of chicken and the tax payers are being used to allow the maintenance of pretence. The fact is that if this all goes wrong, things get ugly pretty fast. Instabilty in any region is in no ones interests.

  27. Deco

    Actually, the “leadership” of the Eurozone are pressing the self-destruct button.

    And the entire debacle all started from the Treaty of Maastricht. The EU decided to commit itself to an unaccountable, ineffective, clueless, centralized form of government, that opened up the potential to create massive policy mistakes – and to perpetuate them, rather than correct them.

    What were the long term effects of the “Spoiled Brat” Revolution of the 1960s, then the kids of the rich rebelled against the social cohesion that existed in society to that point ? Well, now we see it.

    The entire manner of responding to this problem, and the makey-up approach to problem solving is proving to be an ongoing saga of one disaster, following upon another. And we have a generation of careerists who know that their gravy train is dependent on Merkel, and who will do anything to protect their access to the greasy stuff.

    The EU is failing. Ask the “indignados” who are indignant at the corruption and incompetence dominating Spain – the original Occupy movement. There is not enough employment being created. Outside of German exports, and low interest rate stimulation, Europe cannot create jobs – but the leadership is behaving as if there is no problem. They respond by patronizing nonsense, when the issue is brought to their attention.

    There is only superficial efforts being applied to solve the problem.

    And that is the sign of an intellectual culture that is in an acute state of denial.


      Deco, you’re clearly not a fan of the “counter-culture” of the 60′s but could you expand on how it relates to the current situation? Can’t see any but the most tenuous of links to today, perhaps the repeal of Glass-S by baby boomer Clinton? I’m just interested in the social science aspect of economics.

  28. Deco

    Peter Matthews asked questions yesterday that indicate that he is breaking ranks with the government.

    Will Peter Matthews be the next George Lee ?

    Will we see an orchestrated campaign of undermining Matthews on Newstalk (the prof-FG station) ?

    Here we go, it’s “deja vu” all over again…

    • Colin

      And not a day too soon. Come on Peter, speak the truth, shame the devil.

      • Grey Fox

        And don’t be fooled by Mr Matthews, he doesn’t care if he is re-elected as a FG TD or as an independent, he is simply playing the parhocial politics card, standard practice and straight from the section of how to stay elected in the “Public Office for Dummies” edition 2012
        It’s all subdefuge to keep collective public mind off the real issues, distraction distraction distraction…..

    • Dorothy Jones

      Oh? Which programme/paper/blog was Matthews on with his comments?

  29. BrianC

    The only Europe that exists is one through the eyes of Germany. This has destroyed the EU experiment. As G.Soros said common currency without a common treasury founded on divergent geo eco political ideologies. (But it should be pointed out that he believed that the Euro would survive for a certain reason). This has resulted in financiers taking control of Europe. There is also the fact that they ‘the financiers’ know exactly what they are doing whereas the politicians do not have one iota about economics.

    China is now in the ascendancy and will become the dominant economic global power. But they have serious internal problems as their wealth is being generated on the back of downtrodden workers who through a digital medium are witnessing their expendable plight. But there are other underlying factors namely China owns the US lock stock and barrel and has done so since the early 80′s and one of the banks in the US controlled by China (the people not China state/ govt)is standard Charter. The US stopped publishing M3 because they do not want the markets to know the true amount of dollars in the world system, most of which is held by the Chinese. For investigative journalist who wants to get a sneak view of the reality of the situation study Sam Walton where he came from who his legal advisors are and the connections to the political establishment. By the way none of this is conspiracy stuff it is simple business practice in an everyday economic world. Because the Chinese own the US and basically control the dollar they need to crush the Euro to secure some strategic commercial objective they are after. This has nothing to do with World domination or conspiracy crap and all of that muck. It is simple when you step back far enough. Mind you the interesting one was Google exiting China they made it like they left when in fact they were booted out. But that is another story.

    As for Europe it is finished. Ireland needs to leave the Euro immediately and this may sound crazy peg to a currency in the East. Yeah I know it sounds absolutely crazy. Germany has crushed Greece and is in the process of crushing Ireland and forget France they are a worthless economy and will do as instructed by the Germans. There is no Euro it is the Guro. When I heard that moron Gilmore ‘it is Frankfurts way or Labour way’…what a complete utter idiot.. but as my father painfully reminds me ‘Yes but he is our idiot’ well what can I say we Irish are just pure mule thick stupid. And as Michael Hudson says (I paraphrase) ‘there is no longer a need for wars the same tribute can be extracted by use of capital to crush a nation control and own its economy and institute a regressive tax regime to control the indigenous population to sweat the asset’. This should be no problem for thick moron Paddy to endure. Boy the Irish Politicians are an embarassment and I want to vomit everytime I see Inda Idiot Eejit Kenny. He is too stupid to even know what he is doing. I feel sorry for Peter Matthews who really looked distressed in the Dail which was empty when he was asking questions of his own party.

    Germany knows who the real competition and they are in a battle which they are going to loose. Ireland needs to cut loose now before it is finally to late and Ireland should never forget this Europe shafted Lenihan. We owe Europe nothing.

    • bonbon

      What would G.Soros’ “certain reason” be then?

      • BrianC

        He hinted at the fact that those who are in surplus whistle the tune to which all others must eventually dance, especially when there is no exit route out of the concert hall and the Germans are the only ones with the musical instruments but also stuck in the hall.

        So the Euro will be transferred into the Guro/Duro thus time to learn German to truly understand our paymaster and also learn Chinese who will be the only customers with money and most German companies are already well positioned in the Red Dragon Economy. And I would guess that is where Soros has invested heavily as arbitrage is not his only wealth generating pursuit. He knew that the peripheral economies would be pulverised to the will of the Germans whose economic thinking he abhors.

        Germany is a powerhouse of making things that you sell to earn money unlike the UK which is a paper house concerned with making money on selling money.

        As I said the Germans know who the real competition is and China is so big the majority of innovating companies will only be interested in serving and staying in their own domestic economy exporting is too much of a burden to be worth the effort.

        The Germans are really good a sizing up the opposition and being first in the door expecially where manufacturing is concerned. And as D McW once remarked 80% of all machinery to make tablets capsules etc is German technology and they literally built the Solar Cell technology from scratch. There is no great difference between what a medical doctor will earn in Germany and a tool maker in a factory and as a German once said to me ‘we know the value of being able to field an army’.

        Here is the competition. I know ‘the Chinese are only good at copying’. WRONG WRONG WRONG TOTALLY WONG LOL.

        Every important discovery that the West thought they made was already thought of in China and they have a habit of commercializing that concentrating on patenting.


        • manchuriancandidate

          The “Chinese are only good at copying” is overplayed, no doubt. But most of these inventions were a long time ago. But the innovation will come, in time, maybe not as quickly as the government would hope.
          The case of Google is more a case of both shooting themselves in the foot. The government needs Google for research in science, agricultural science, technology, and the social sciences. The biggest search engine in China, Baidu, incidentally 10 per cent owned by Google, is not up to the job. Though Microsoft may change this. The government here will never bow down to a corporate company, particularly a foreign one. This attitude may change in time as Google continues it change from a IT company into a Technology company. It is entering the energy business – the biggest game in town
          Though most people I have met in the IT industry in China are generally very positive about Google.

  30. molly66

    I am sitting here at home and am very angry with this government ,they are as use full as a snow ball in hell,why I am sitting at home is because I have no work I am a self employed gob shite,the reason the dole figures are down is because the Irish are leaving in there thousands ,I watched v brown last night and fine gale and labour are in cloud coo coo land ,the time to leave the euro is now kenny can be as proud as he likes but he is a gob shite and he will destroy what’s left of Ireland and as things are unfolding af a very fast rate we are in series of bad moves that are going to kill of this country.

    • Grey Fox

      Budget 2012 – 9 months and counting.
      If anybody thinks 2011 was bad, jeez are they in for a shock in 2012.
      The only positive we will be able to take from Budget 2012 is it will change more peoples minds and alert them to the madness which is the policies of the FG/Lab government.
      If we make it that far !!!
      We need the Croke Park Agreement to be destroyed, for as long as the Government has the Civil Service on side they have the means to continue on the current path because government will keep functioning, this is one of the pivitol cogs in the wheel.

      • Grey Fox

        What about “Grizzly Adams” giving out bearhugs, great to see the lad’s up in Kildare Street managing to take time out of their busy schedules to have a little laugh and a joke,(fiddling while Rome burns).

        • Grey Fox

          And don’t be fooled by Mr Matthews, he doesn’t care if he is re-elected as a FG TD or as an independent, he is simply playing the parocial politics card, standard practice and straight from the section of how to stay elected in the “Public Office for Dummies” edition 2012
          It’s all subdefuge to keep collective public mind off the real issues, distraction distraction distraction…..

          • molly66

            Yes I agree 1000 percent my wife wants to pay the 100 euro charge I will not pay this or any other charge we have payed enough as you say the next budget,they can propose a budget but where are they going to raise the money from,
            I believe we are going to run out of money and a second bail out will happen despite what kenny the gom been says
            They will need it to pay all the lump sums and pensions to all there civil servants ect ect witch is a joke.
            On one Side you have the people who’s pensions where destroyed and on the other side you have the people who’s pensions where protected,when are the Irish people going to wake up and start to make a stand or do we wait till the next budget.
            I looked at done deal on the Internet ,looking to buy a cheep car and could not believe the amount of adds with the only reaso I am selling is because I am leaving the country.

      • gizzy

        They will not tear up Croke Park nor will the Troika ask them to. This safeguards the apperance of normality which in turn protects the charade that the country is doing well under the current policies. You cannot have the poster boy of austerity with protestors on the streets.

  31. straboe1

    Angela is playing a game of brinkmanship, the intention is to create a situation whereby the Euro is in so much trouble that that the only real solution is the formation of a federal Europe. This new entity will have at it’s center a Germany which will be the only strong economy left, and will dominate the terms of the new constitution, which will in effect give all the power to Germany. We have two options so as to keep any kind of our remaining independence. The first is as has been suggested earlier, pull out of the Euro. The second is to hope for the best, that is that the Euro collapses before she gets her way, and this looks more likely.

    • molly66

      I think you are wright the uk will not be a part of this because they can see the wrighting on the wall ,why can we.I had a dream last night the dream showed fine gale and labour all sitting in the dail wearing blind folds and ear muffs ,the could not see they could not hear.

      • Grey Fox

        jaysus they don’t need blindfolds for that, sure that’s another section in “Public Office for Dummies”
        How to not see or hear anything but your own voice with your eyes and ears wide open.
        The more I think about this the more I think I might actually sit down and start to write this book.
        “Will ya edit it fer me, DMW ‘cos de auld lingo’s not da mae west, joelike”

    • Philip

      Just to be pi$$taker…Irish independence is just an excuse for the Gombeens to keep things as they are.

    • bonbon

      She got a nice hug from Cameron (who declined to sign the compact).

      I wonder why????

  32. Western Correspondence @ Furrylugs

    Actually , in this week end edition Limerick Leader I can be found requesting Mr Noonans Immediate Resignation …he is so heartless to the old age pensioners

  33. Philip

    Woe woe and double woe. The end is nigh and the yellow man shall walk the earth. Fair enough. At the rate at which teenagers are getting to know one another across all races in facebook etc I figure it’ll be the brown skinned who’ll dominate. The world will be dominated by Naomi Campbell lookalikes.

    Let’s look at a few little facts you can google to your heart’s delight. The world is a far far less violent place than it ever was for that last few 100s of years…indeed for the last few decades. There are fewer incidents of violence and murder in all developed parts of the globe and this is spreading elsewhere. Constitional and legitimised violence in the the hands of police and army is becoming the norm. So…Mr Human RACE…give yerself a pat on the back.

    Now, we have a media who need to report loads of stuff. Remember, it is “hyperactive”. That last load of inflammatory rubbish seen in the independant a couple of days ago about the Polish taking a holiday out of our unemployment benefit is a tiny example. We need to be mindful of that.

    Now, let’s look at finance and economics as seen today. It is an evolving decipline and the rules of yerterday no longer apply becasue we live in a world that has changed profoundly. The day of them and us is replaced by mutuality. This is no longer a zero sum game of heads you win, tails you lose. This is either win win or loose loose. Currently we are in the loose loose dept becasue banking systems are trying to survive in a world that is making it irrelevent. People have the means of production without having to pay for it. The last hurdle to complete the picture will be abundant energy – and I think it is nearly there (either we make it or learn cleverly to live with very little).

    Sorry for the ramble. But really guys, be careful about giving others the 2 fingers. We are mutually dependant and if anything and given the opportunity, I’d have 4 million poles/ germans/ brits come here and what a party we’d have. We are Irish!! Start thinking really big.

  34. finners_99

    Merkel is trying to ensure Germany gets through this crisis untroubled, that is her motivation NOT saving the Euro.

    I think that 60% in 20 years is more like 1/33rd of GDP per year not 1/20th, still difficult to achieve if you aren’t growing.

  35. piombo

    Good afternoon all,
    The Eurobonds will come but under a guise of Infrastructure Project Financing. Yesterday, I attended a private equity event in which some very serious Telecoms companies presented a joint paper outlining that the EU needs to invest nearly €290 billion in fibre optic based networks just to keep abreast of the internet traffic growth (by 2015 traffic will have grown by 400% versus 2010 levels).
    This financing will come from the Eurobonds to finance infrastucture as above and not for consumption, the classic Keynesian solution.
    More later….

    • bonbon

      Very strange indeed. Go back to 2000 – remember the massive optic backbone buildup in the US and the EU? It turned out very quickly that there was more than 80% overcapacity, the operators went bust 1 by 1. Then along came research and said “hey look at all that free bandwith, lets use it”. Sure enough they started and the price went through the roof – so much for free bandwidth. (I saw this happening).
      This is a repeat bubble swindle, like the last dying echo of dot.com-munism.

      Who you listen to are simply incapable of doing anything else – pour the bubbly again lads?

      To call photons infrastructure when we have to move double height train wagons of raw-material and goods, cover 9000km at at least 400kmh (transrapid), and provide at least 6000GW power immediately, increase food supply and transport, is a crime against the economy.

    • Juanjo R

      More equity stripping!!! Government sponsored this time!! Great idea!

      Serious fellows of finance and business, crystal ball predictions, and needy politicans promising over tax-payers money to restore already hollowed-out infrastructure companies like, yes, you have guessed it Eircom!.

      Eircom having being hollowed by serious business types for profit. Yes I see a win-win situation occuring here…for some of us…not me though…

      I presume there were parallel meetings in other conferences centres taking up the interconnected energy grid Europe needs or those gaslines to get around the devious Russians and secure european supplies?

      I do like the information line coming from these rich right wing chancers that you are providing – keep it coming please!

      BTW that internet traffic increase would be mainly advertising by serious business types by any chance? or are people going to spend 4 times more time on Facebook?

      • EMMETTOR

        Don’t forget that the internet, despite it’s undoubted wonderousness, atomises society. I’m part of this talking shop, of course, when really I should be on the streets, throwing petrol bombs. On that subject, is it just a matter of time before Greek terrorists start planting bombs in Bonn and Berlin?

  36. breltub

    Anyone else feel like they are living in groundhog day!

    We all know what the end game is, even a more integrated Europe means kicking the can down the road, eventually that will end up falling apart too. Federal bond this, euro bond that. How will that fix a pointless government here, pointless technocrats in Brussels, and a complete waste of so many resources? Funding these gobshites through more bond issuance only prolongs the cancer we have in our “society/economy”.

    David, you are pro debt jubilee and also pro Eurobonds, but a Eurobond is exactly what might be used to make sure a debt jubilee doesn’t occur.

    I’m pro-European harmony and all that living in peace with your neighbour stuff, but unless you can stand on your own two feet, be independent and provide for yourself then you are not going to be a good neighbour, just a leech!

    and right now every European state is a leech, Germany included, because profiting from a weaker currency based on your tied in neighbours poorer economies to boost your own exports is leeching!

    We are 4 years into this recession. 4 years, and the only increase in productivity has been hot air!

    That is the problem when politicians are those tasked with solving the problems that are not political. We are talking failed banks and failed businesses, who need to be cut off and thrown into the recycling bin of capitalism, not latched onto the teat of the state so that the perma-failures that inhabit the political sphere can get their kicks out of prolonging ever more failure!

    And what about all these failed governments..well just like currencies…cant we just move on, get new ones, that actually work and might be useful!

    yours in limbo,

    • Deco

      Every crisis presents a ttest to the EU. And the EU respods with hot Air and centralization Edicts.

      China and other Asian countries respond with action. Now China will make some serious mistakes. But the one thing that they are not doing is “kick the can down the road”.

  37. molly66

    The Dublin city council handed over there loss making bin/rubbish collection in Dublin to grey hound waste company do you think they will run it at a loss,why could they not have done the same because they are like this government they can’t run this country,or maybe it was never about running the country the right way ,more about power hungry misfits looking after them selves and there cohorts .


      Immediately the financial crisis hit, the cute hoors in Dublin City Council started hiking up their charges on virtually everything. I rent a soccer pitch from them and they added 30% to the cost of this. Services like urban transport and even waste disposal and water represent civilisation, in a scenario where almost all the killer diseases were eliminated by sewers and clean water, not by medicine. Whizzing around Berlin on their superb transportation system (no feckin’ buses) you know that this is subsidised by the state and wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It’s the infrastructure, stupid!

  38. bonbon

    Collapse means physical economic breakdown, caused by the financial dino. Shipping now is essential for goods and food – look what has happened :

    World Shipping Costs Plunge 58 Percent in January Alone on European Collapse

    The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks the cost of international container shipping, fell a whopping 58 percent in the month of January alone. At 680 it is now is just a touch above its all-time low of 663 at the worst part of the last collapse cycle in 2008.

    The low world demand for shipping as the Euroland crisis deepens, resulting an “oversupply” of ships, combined with high fuel prices, has destroyed the market for containerized freight. Similar factors are causing losses, defaults, and bankruptcies in the oil transport business around the world.

    Two major European tanker companies are in reorganization; Indonesia’s largest tanker firm missed payment on debt due in January; and Japan’s top three shipping companies are projecting losses for the first time in 25 years as of this business year, ending in March.

  39. Philip

    As I said, once the west stops buying, the manufacturing engine grinds to a halt. PMI index is down 3rd month in a row for China.

    Meanwhile our Saudi friends with 1 Trn in da bank in da USA are dropping the hint that Mr “give me back me dinnerjacket” in I ran is play nukies. So Obama is playing a few war games to keep the nerves steady while showing who is boss.

    Fun and games everywhere abd the rules keep changing,

    • Deco

      The manufacturing engine knows that, and the media is available to take instruction to keep it running.

      The Manufacturing of Consent !!!

  40. molly66

    Our main problem is we have nobody running the country with any balls ,we need someone like the iron lady hate her love her at least she was no door mat and with weak people running the country we are doomed.

    • breltub

      I can understand what you mean, but I disagree. I believe what we need is to be able to lead our own lives. Politicians should not have the power they do, they are pointless human beings once their job of moving around the “additional resources” [taxes] of society so that it is used for the betterment of society as a whole become a failure such as they are now.

      The only place they should be lead is out of my pocket, so I can spend my own “additional resources” more wisely

    • rebean

      I never liked Haughey but I will say one thing I am beginning to think he would tell Merkel where to fry her eggs. He told Tatcher where to go and I thought she was a right battle***. Anyway I am beginning to think Haughey wasnt so bad after all. Had a huge IQ guess that helps too

      • breltub

        yes, I can understand that, but it is still depending on a leader.
        I’d like to see it so that these politicians have very limited power, then irrespective of what kind of battleaxes, egomaniacs or narcissists they are they will not have the power to impose their rent seeking tax system on the populace for the benefit of bailing out cronies

        we are now paying for 2 state systems, the country, the European superstate and an insolvent banking system.

        Invoice sent to you courtesy of unlimited government meddling and zero accountability

        …but it’s all for your own safety and better future, never forget that, you would never be able to make important, wise and clever decisions with your money, better to have elected, or sometimes non-elected officials decide that for you…

        • molly66

          This government can keep on telling lie after lie but the facts don’t lie we have to much going out against what we take. In it’s simple maths and you can try to cook the books to make things not look so bad or kick the can witch is a stupid idea .
          As walter Mitty said even I get confused about the real and the not so real.


      Well, here we go, the desire for a “strong leader” to lead us out of this mess. Where have I heard that before? Did it work? Cut those kites loose boys’n'girls. Thatcher and Haughey The Anarchist viewpoint and the theory of Entropy are more useful guidelines as to where the centralisation of power should go, into the dustbin of history, I reckon. I always detested the “all politicians are the same” approach to justify lack of involvement in the processes of parliamentary democracy but now…(almost)all politicians ARE the same. No right, no left, no politics?

      • EMMETTOR

        Whoops, Dougal pressed the red button. Thatcher and Haughey were abject failures…”Haughey The Anarchist” ha, ha, ha.

  41. Deco

    The EU pressed the self-destruct phase a long long time ago.

    It is only that we started seing the results in stark terms from 2007 onwards.

  42. Harper66

    Hats off to Marian Harkin.

    In Ireland we are told to keep the rules of the new fiscal treaty, it will eliminate the risk of future crisis and help solve the current one. Yet from 2002 to 2008 Ireland did not once break the rules of the Stabilisation Growth Pact, unlike others — so we know from bitter experience the rules don’t always deliver and certainly will not deal with the current crisis.

    In 2007, our debt to GNP ratio was approximately 30%. By 2014, it will have ballooned to 145% – no developed economy can survive those levels of debt. Ireland has just about survived four years of austerity. Our debt levels directly linked to bailing out banks in Ireland and in Europe are now simply unsustainable. Yet we are told that more of the same without any commitment to Eurobonds, Redemption Funds, or debt restructuring will solve our problems. It will not, and cannot and, given that our access to the ESM is tied into ratification of the Treaty, it is little short of blackmail.

    These are the hardest words I have ever said in this Parliament and I hope I will never have to repeat them. Europe can do a lot better than that, for itself and for Ireland.

    Marian Harkin MEP

    • rebean

      The Germans dont give a toss about what we want or what we dont want. They see the Irish as a bunch of Gobshites who will do what we are told. We have eaten so much s*** lately that they figure we will keep eating it.Merkel needs to go back to East Germany where she came from and we need to remind Germany where they came from post 1945. They were lucky they could have remained as a nation post 1945. We need to dissociate ourselves from Europe and remember which side we were on during the last War.

      • bonbon

        Well actually Germany was not a nation until re-unification, and a look at the Basic Law shows a constitution will be decided by all the people. So partition, like in Ireland had major consequences.

        With the fall of the Wall, it became clear Berlin had absolutely no idea what to do, even when it was forecast 5 years before due to the collapse of the Soviet economy (a tea party compared to this collapse), and Maggie/Mitterand/leprechaun CCOB all hysterically shouted 4th Reich!

        Result? Deutsche Bank chef Herrhausen murdered, the bank converted to a casino, his best friend Kohl forced to sign the Euro, no reconstruction of the entire Comecon as Herrhausen planned.

        Why would any sane mind dump the DM, the most successful currency in history?

        Soros played his part with a run on the Italian Lire, and Sterling, to pave the way for this Teuro (play on dear euro). Not a single EU treaty was ever put to vote in Germany.

        I do not know if Merkel fully comprehends this, but this history is very well known in Berlin.

        Consider this in any prognostications…

  43. Harper66

    It is clear that the majority of people feel there should be a referendum on such an important question. This online petition to the Taoiseach is a means by which thousands of people across the country can add their voice to those demanding a referendum on the Treaty. We will be encouraging people to get involved in sharing this petition via social media to turn it into a vehicle to build massive political pressure on the government in the next few weeks to force them to hold a referendum.

    Dublin Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy

    sign the petition seeking a referendum here –



      Having watched the Irish electorate vote in useless government after useless government over the years, I would not assume that a referendum will go the way everyone seems to be assuming. Even if it does, we all know what the EU thinks of losing referenda. It is not democratic and does not need the approval of it’s electorate, it’ll just plough on regardless until it hits the wall or goes over the cliff.

  44. Harper66


    Stephen Donnelly wipes the floor with Lucinda Cretin.
    Also a perfect response to the austerity trolls…….

  45. rebean

    I did not bother to read this article. Why did I not bother? I did not bother to read it because I wanted to comment before I read the article. I will read the article but my point is I will not be swayed in my opinion of why we are where we are. It seems to all boil down to debt. Europe is up to its neck in debt.The debt will not be written off because we have the Germans who are paranoid about inflation. I dont know much about inflation but it seems to me that we are literally cutting our throats like a Kari Kari on debt. The Germans are going to make everyone do a Kari Kari on their economy because they dont like inflation.

  46. KP

    @Malcolm: You should come and visit us sometime; you might be pleasantly surprised by our facilities. The college website is surely not the place for an inventory?! Besides, the days were you could attract people by dropping words like CAD/CAM are truly over.
    Anyway, whatever about the PR or lack thereof, there are more than enough industrial design graduates around and, yes, Malcolm, they do know how to use rapid prototyping equipment.

    • Malcolm McClure

      KP and ioseebee: Thank you for your constructive responses about industrial design training in Ireland.
      Okay, in view of the prominent role of pharmaceutical products in Ireland’s exports, here’s a simple challenge.
      An aged relative has a daily regime that requires taking four separate tablets. These come in packs of 14 X 2 and are encapsulated in a thin plastic underlay with a labelled thick foil overlay. Each of these components has a different consistency depending on pill size and type. Thus if he uses the same force to pop out the first, the next one often ends on the bathroom floor.
      Please devise a simple, cheap, consistent pill dispenser suitable for old folk.

  47. Juanjo R


    I was looking at your lastest retrospective articles, the 10 year old one, to slag off Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo’ a bit in it. Looking at this article here above in contrast with the one of 10 years it seems your dismissive attitude then was ill-judged.

    I think that you missed a large part of the point about ‘No Logo’ at the time but your article here is picking up on the results of what she was getting at and extensively documented in ‘No logo’.

    Your statistics on the now extensive youth employment across the EU which you clearly recognise as being a huge maleady in the economy and in life in general, was something she pointed to in ‘No Logo’ as a developing trend 10 years.

    If you will remember in the book she spoke of the Mcjobs phenomenon and of general increasing job insecurity for recent university graduates and new unskilled workers alike.

    She spoke of downward pressure on wages in the west, allied with the increasig role of debt and our outsourcing of basic manufacturing and services. She spoke of companies that rely on operating models which are combinations of low cost out-sourced production, slick advertising and minimal secure internal permanent jobs. They have a singular objective of enriching the already very rich i.e. pay huge dividends to senior management and holders of capital in the firm. She held that they are not interested in the effects on society, as being globalised they have no particular one to exist in.

    This is the anti-social aspect of modern globalised business that she wrote about. I don’t remember her making any outright predictions about it. She had a hope that the emerging ‘reclaim the streets’ and ‘global justice’ campaigns could counter this trend a bit. They haven’t.

    Actually you seemed to slagged her off indirectly for predictions but I don’t remember too many long-term ones in particular in ‘No Logo’. Certainly nothing like the regular peaches we were ‘sold’ at the time. I don’t have my copy of No Logo to hand s I can’t back myself up precisely just now.

    Here though, surely, your article is picking up on the developing results of all of what Naom Klein was writing about then. Thats after 10 further years of death by a thousand cuts by globalisation for western industry and working life in general.

    She had picked up then too on the increasing role of debt in falsely generating economic boom too, on a human level and how we were becoming enmeshed in it. I would point out that we are now ever more clearly in a position of universal debt serfdom, possibly for generations, than we ever have been before.

    It was however the simpler factory exploitation stories she the book gained attention for, perhaps mistakenly, in east asia. I think Nike and Disney both featured.

    This exploitation continues though. I read in the FT just a few days ago that Apple estimates it spends just €7 on chinese labour per €480 iPad. The article went on to anecdotally talk about the unmatched “worker flexibility” there. On one product release – apparently – there was a last minute perfectionist change to the screen type for the iPad. This was cited as an example of Apples dedication to product perfection and how this perfection is what Apple is about and why it sells so many units. And when thouands of altered screens arrived at the assembly factory “the workers were roused from their dorms at 12 midnight” and worked a 12 hour shift to fit the new screens.

    So my question – is this a factory or a slave labour camp? Worker “flexibility” here I think is code for modern slavery.

    Of course if Apple fails to find followups for iPads ans iPhones the workers will be out on their head. Which makes them better than slaves….

    Thats it.


    P.S. Sorry about the length of this!

    • Juanjo R

      Apologies all,

      Unforgiveabe error in the first line – should read…


      I was looking at your latest retrospective articles, the 10 year old one, where you appear to slag off Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo’ a bit.

      And so on…

    • bonbon

      Goldman Sach’s man Monti and “flexicurity”. This beats but mirrors the recent “lifestyle choice” insult in Dublin.

      The first item on Twitter 2-feb was Mario Monti’s latest provocation against the Italian people, whom Monti scolded for being “accustomed” to the idea of stable employment.

      Monti and his cohorts of hitmen are behaving like Marie Antoinette, starving the people, and arrogantly responding that if they have no bread, “let them eat brioches” (as the original quote actually goes).

      * Yesterday, Monti, in an interview with Mediaset TV network, said, “The youth must get accustomed to not having a steady job for life: we should also say that it is boring to have [one job] throughout your life. Changing is beautiful.” The web is full of sarcastic reactions to Monti — a Senator for life — from both younger and older people who are unable to get a mortgage without a steady job.

      * Monti’s Undersecretary of Labor, Michael Martone, has recently stated that anyone who doesn’t have a university degree by age 28 is “a dork.” Martone, 38, became a university professor at 29 without a PhD, thanks to his father, a judge who was forced into early retirement by a scandal.

      * Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the kingmaker of the Monti government, remarked on Jan. 31 on new data that youth unemployment had reached 31%, and called for “going towards a different metric for affluence.”

      The next task of Monti’s hitmen is the “labor market reform.” The private sector involvement (PSI) in Italy’s current system of “social stabilizers,” i.e., unemployment subsidies, should be reduced, while public sector involvement should not be increased and possibly should be cut as well. All this is presented as “modernization,” or following the “flexicurity” model of the “northern democracies” (sic).

      • Juanjo R

        Bang on there Frankie!

        400k profit per employee then and profits have risen since – That says it all.

        Or this does – Steve P Jobs to Barack Obama – “those jobs have gone”.

        Of course Steve is a saint!

        Pity I don’t have a link to that FT article it was from Tuesday or Wednesday last in the paper version. It was even more poe-faced about “worker flexibility”.

        • manchuriancandidate

          Think it is the nature of the tech and certainly the smart phone industry. Things move so fast,standstill and you are dead, its kill or be killed.Look at Nokia Foxconn, the company that makes the iphone, have moved much of their operations from Shenzhen to Zhengzhou, with local government incentives, to save on wage increases over the last few years. Local or provincial governments are competing against each other.
          China has about 1 million IT graduates every year of varying quality and probably as many in other areas of engineering. Things have changed. The West just can’t find suitable people with the skills/background. Even in Ireland there are many jobs in the IT sector but companies seem to be struggling to fill them. The competition in China is very intense. The competition throughout the world is going to be very intense in the coming years. Capitalism is on a very harsh track. time for a rethink. Economics doesn’t have all the answers either. Though I think people should be encouraged to study what interests them not what the market wants.

    • Juanjo,

      Have a look at the TV interview with Naomi Klein on the site and I hope you get a better view of what I think of her. Huge respect and fondness more than anything else.



    • bonbon

      Just read a review of Klein’s 2007 “The Shock Doctrine, the rise of Disaster Capitalism”.

      Very interesting indeed. As a Canadian there seems to be a blind-spot for the British role, for example Lord Harris of Highcross’s Institute for Economic Affairs role in Russia’s shock therapy. Omitted also is Nixon’s repeal of the Bretton Woods, under OMB director George Shulz, a Milton Friedman disciple. Omitted also is banker Felix Rohatyn’s role.

      It seems to be a reference encyclopedia, an indictment of Friedmanite economics for crimes against humanity.

      • coldblow

        I bought the book over Christmas and, while it contains much disturbing detail, I felt its central thesis (that it’s all a big, planned neocon coup) was far-fetched. I must get round to finishing it, like a half a dozen other economics books I’ve bought over the last year or so – I can’t find enough in them to make me stay with them. In these matters judgement is everything in my opinion.

        The following review seems to be a fair one:


      • Juanjo R

        @ bonbon.

        Ah yes. Chomsky is better for mentioning Britain. Kleins book is very readable though, Chomskys are very dense. I respect his abilility hugeley but it can be a hard read. I’d go so far as to say Kleins book is a gripping read, without dumbing down.

        @ Coldblow

        Its not a conspiracy – it called American foreign poicy and they are fully aware of what they have been up to since the Monroe doctrine in the 1820s in latin america creating an empire – Hegemony and Survival by Chomsky covers similar ground. If you want proof look at the activities of the school of the americas.

  48. piombo

    @ Bonbon and Juanjo R and all on this blog who seem to believe market capitalism should be somehow benevolent:

    1) Ireland and other countries will receive the Eurobonds as part of infrastructure financing such as for the fibre-optic investments being considered if it demonstrates willingness to be competitive and it pays it’s foreign-owed debts;

    2) Business and therefore jobs are created by securing relative competitive advantage, ie., lower costs, higher value add, greater productivity, unique offer proposition versus your closest competitor/neighbour;

    3)Ireland is still a high-cost country in which to do business. Managerial salaries, rents and professional services need to trend down at least another 25% before Ireland will start to attract the hundreds of foreign SME’s needed to
    absorb the unemployment. The key here is to be and to perceived to be a better value proposition than Germany, France, Italy, UK and even Poland for value adding services.

    4) The “prize to be won” is overhauling the overstaffed and overpaid Civil Service plus Quangoland.
    a) Top pay needs to be capped at €75K outside the Judiciary and 50% non-front line staff need to be placed on “gardening leave” or used to absorb Quangoland.
    b) Minimium Civil Service annual pay of not less than €35,000 to ensure equity.
    c) No one within Government not even the President could earn more than €100k p.a.
    d) All defined-benefit pensions need to be converted to defined-contribution linked to the average yield on Irish Government bonds. A virteous catch-22 situation as suggested by Daniel Gros in Brussels.
    e) In-housing of Quangoland into Government departments.

    5) Each and every concerned Irish person puts aside their laments of others and looks at what they can do to improve their own lot, be it from the non-profit sector, to seeking to set up their own business, to seeing where they can substitute an import with their own product/service. I send my children to an English-language school run by two Israelis here in Italy….where are the Irish???

    6) Stop worrying whether the banks will repossess their homes in case of mortgage defaults. It is simply not going to happen to family homes. Engage with the organisations out there to assist in speaking with the banks and getting a deal. The banks won’t repossess as there are no counterparties out there to shift the houses.

    7) Encourage David (for whom I nuture genuine admiration for his intellect and moral courage) to write and propogate a book entitled “How I stopped worrying and started to love Market Capitalism” as a manifesto to all.

    • bonbon

      Not a mention of Glass-Steagall to curtail the banks.
      Wonderful protection racket, what? In fact the banks and their shoe polishers are running a RICO operation.

      Did you have a look at Tremonti’s book?

      We already know Monti’s Goldman Sachs program, and its wonderful effects for the benefit of all.
      Just have a look above.

      Anyway “market capitalism” as flung about is essentially von Hayek. A thorough investigation, which I posted here in a few themes, reveals its essential weakness, dooming it.

    • Juanjo R


      I don’t believe in benevolence as a part of capitalism. I certainly don’t expect it. It may occur as a unintended consequence, as with any other incidental consequences.

      When I hear profit makers talking up the benefits for their newest scheme to get rich on the backs of public money or assets I do get worried.

      I don’t believe that infrastructure which is for the benefit of all of society, should have anything to do with free market capitalism which is only interested in profit.

      Studies, simple cost ones, and recent history bare this out. Schools, social housing – you name it.

      Eircom is the most obvious case in point. Flipped diced and sliced Ireland has had the highest phone and internet tariffs and worst broadband in the developed world as a result of the government cashing in on a national asset. Technologically based smart economy me-arse!

      Heres what one contributor has to say on saes of state assets:

      The most famous PPP type project that have cost the milked the tax-payer include the Liffey valley M50 toll bridge pushed by the corrupt George Redmond and Ray McSharry. Do you need a reminder of about that one?

      In response to your collage of points above;

      1) Hands off private entities as above.

      2) & 3) An admirable general idea which would bring us back to where we were 13/4 years ago or more and potentially provide a variety of jobs in the economy. This is would require, ( with or without devaluation ) a concerted visionary leadership with huge political consensus over a long period to deliver and get right. Call me sceptical but this couldn’t happen in Ireland — at least not for a generation. Maybe after FG/ Labour get hammered next election something could change a bit…that is as much optimism as you will get from me..(please see point 7 below as well in relation to this)

      4) Labour are in government. So the unions are in basically. SIPTU refer to Labour politicians as ‘their’ politicians. So this won’t happen. Your general approach is a bit blunt but I agree with the principle. I think would be easier to tax high wages, legally ( unilateral wage deduction could be challenged under contract law ) , while implementing a wage freeze.

      5) Irish 2nd level teachers are earning far too much at home with a starting salary 40K for 8 months work at 15 hours a week rising incrementally ( non-performance related ) for each year of service. They are in pensionable jobs why would they move to a place that they don’t speak the language, with a restrictive government, and risk it all?

      Its a microcosm of Ireland though – everybody is out for themselves. Cute whoorism.

      6) Factually supported and I think theoretically more or less correct. There have been virtually no re-possessions by main banks all repossessions and nearly all aggressive court actions have been by foreign owned entities or sub-prime lenders outside of the bank guarantee. If BOI and AIB engaged in repossessions and fire-sales en mass their would be big decreases in values and their portfolios wou;d also have to be probably re-assessed resulting in yet another huge emperors got no clothes moment for Ireland. Its easier for them to get money of the government pull lots of strokes clandestinely and not own up to anything. Bit of a diversion for you there I agree not exactly with the same logic though.

      7) I only watched Dr. Strangelove the other day. Maybe you could get Seanie Fitz for the role of the crazed Nazi scientist!

      Ireland needs a definite system — socialist with higher taxes or free market with low taxes but not the hotch-potch fantasy system it has now.

  49. Adam Byrne

    Stock Markets in the UK and US are very buoyant. What, if anything, does this mean?

    Thanks, from an amateur observer.

  50. Optics Fast Fwd ……arriving news Tomorrow

    1 Greek Prime Minister Lukas Papademos

    Debt Crisis: Eurozone bailout founds not enough as new €15bn hole found in Greek finances
    INTERNATIONAL debt inspectors believe they have found another €15bn black hole in Greece’s public finances caused by the deepening recession, delivering the crippled nation another devastating blow.

    2 Hungary’s Malev grounds fleet after running out of cash

    3 Bank of Ireland takes €1.1m from airport’s deposits

    Two ministers were seeking clarification last night after Bank of Ireland raided €1.1m held on deposit by Galway Airport and offset it against the company’s loans.

    How long more does it take before The Minister exercise a Power of Attachment to YOUR deposits on account in your favourite bank? In other words in the morning the minister holds your monies full stop.

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