February 13, 2012

Prepare for Greece Lightening

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 169 comments ·

It looks like Greece will be kicked out of the eurozone – perhaps as early as this week. Indeed, it is more likely, for the sake of optics, that the Greeks will choose to leave at some stage. If it doesn’t happen this week because there is a deal stitched together, it is likely to happen when the next funding crisis emerges.

Ultimately, the world knows that austerity isn’t working in Greece and is clearly making things worse.

Half of Greek men under the age of 30 are unemployed. The budget deficit is still 10 per cent of GDP, as is the current account deficit. This means that Greece has to borrow 10 per cent of its total income just to pay for imports. The banking system is bust and there is no prospect of recovery. And yet the EU advocates ‘more of the same’ in terms of austerity policy.

As someone clever – either Albert Einstein or Roy Keane – once said, the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This is insanity.

However, it is not just the EU’s economic strategy that has hit a brick wall. Up to now, there was the perception that Greece would at least be treated sensitively.

But beginning with the deposing of former prime minister George Papandreou for the ‘crime’ of suggesting that the Greek people be asked about their own future, there has been very little from the EU bar threats and insults.

It is hard not to conclude that the EU has given up on Greece. We should be careful not to join this cacophony, not least because, if the Europeans can give up on the country that gave Europe democracy – the country that, more than any other, is the cradle of European civilisation – they can give up on anyone.

The EU has to be about more than money, fiscal policy and bond yields. Imagine if the EU had reacted to the fall of the Berlin Wall through the same narrow prism of how much it would cost.

There are bigger things than economics but, for anyone who doesn’t get it, the problem with the current plan is not that Greece will default – the problem is that Greece won’t have defaulted enough. The ‘voluntary’ writedown under discussion with Greece’s lenders will not be anything like enough.

When all this is over, Greece will default on everything by as much 90 per cent. The IMF will then lend it new money and it will start again. That’s what happens – and that is what the IMF is for.

The Greeks are like a big Irish developer that has €800 million of loans on a property portfolio worth €100 million – they can’t pay, so they won’t pay. The money is gone; move on.

The new reality is that the assets are worth €100 million and that’s it. And, in the Greek case, the new reality is that it is totally bankrupt.

Bankrupt economies remain nations, and nations are bound together by more than money.

They are bound together by communal experience – and the Greeks now have no choice but to stand together.

This sense of national solidarity has clearly been heightened by the latest EU ultimatum, which gives the Greeks till Wednesday to sort themselves out.

If the Greeks leave the euro, then what will happen? We will see a massive bank run in all of peripheral Europe because, if this can happen in Greece, it can happen anywhere.

That is the nature of a crisis. It is never controlled. The world moves quickly and the paradigm shifts. Remember the soft landing spoofers in Ireland? When property started falling first, their story was, initially, that ‘this is a buying opportunity’.

Then the falls continued and the story was ‘it will only fall in Roscommon and Leitrim’. As prices fell, the story changed to ‘prime property will hold its value’ and then, when prime property collapsed, it changed again. That’s what happens – once a crisis starts, all bets are off.

Remember, this crisis was caused by over-lending as well as over-borrowing.

It is clear that the Greeks are not innocent, but that is not the point any more. Clearly, the Greeks might not be fond of paying tax, but they weren’t fond of paying tax a few years ago either, when European banks lent to them hand over fist.

So the banks – and the rest of the EU people who monitor – can’t have it both ways.

How can they ignore the Greeks’ errant behaviour when there is money to be made, and then seize on the same characteristics when money starts being lost? Now let’s analyse what has happened in the past few weeks, which has led to a change in the German and EU attitude. The shift in the EU attitude towards Greece – if they don’t ‘shape up’, then Europe will not pay up again – is 100 per cent related to the shift at the ECB.

The ECB is operating a massive operation of injecting liquidity into the banking system, and this could be a central factor in the Greek euro exit. Up to now, the big fear was that, if Greece went, it would prompt yet another credit crisis in Europe. This would cause bank failures and these bank failures would beget yet more economic chaos. This has all changed now.

The ECB will, by the end of the month, have injected €1 trillion of cheap money into Europe’s banks by this new operation, whereby it lends to banks for three years. I can’t stress enough how important this is. It is a giant, monumental ‘cash for trash’ scheme, which is giving banks real cash for brutal collateral at 1 per cent.

This is Europe’s answer to quantitative easing, and it means that, whatever the European banks need, they will get.

There are many ramifications of this which we will come back to in later articles. However, for this week, let us satisfy ourselves that this operation makes the Germans feel that a Greek euro exit could be managed. Why else do you think the Dutch EU Commissioner stated last Tuesday that the eurozone could handle a Greek exit from the currency?

Make no mistake, the elite in Europe are preparing for a Greek exit. They feel they have now enough liquidity in the banking system to handle the shock because, if the Greek exit causes losses in the banks holding Greek bonds, the ECB will at least give them the liquidity to handle the short-term crisis.

Obviously they will take a capital hit, but – as far as the politicians are concerned – this is tomorrow’s worry. We could be in for a huge week.

  1. mccoya2

    ‘When all this is over, Greece will default on everything by as much 90 per cent. The IMF will then lend it new money and it will start again. That’s what happens — and that is what the IMF is for.’ – great, start the debt cycle again. Makes sense. Why cant the greek state print their own debt free money?? Why give unelected bankers power over our money supply? Madness

  2. Greetings, David.

    There is no mechanism whereby a State can be kicked out of the Eurosystem. In a time of fear and distress it is irresponsible to suggest otherwise. If you are aware of such a mechanism I would be glad to hear of it but you do not refer to it in this article.

    For sure, if the ECB were to choose to stop refinancing Greece’s banks then there would be bank failures and possibly/probably wider European knock-on effects including some other bank failures.

    But none of those stop the Euro being a valid functioning currency and your Argentinian experience will confirm that.

    We are in difficult times but you don’t help much by throwing around such un-informed comments.

    If you need a longer explanation then take a look at the TASC blog (http://www.progressive-economy.ie/) today for my piece on the subject.

    • straboe1

      I to do don’t believe that the German French axis in the EU want Greece out of the Euro, it is much better that they keep them in and up to their necks in debt. In this way they have more power over them and will eventually force them to concede even more of their independence to the EU. All the other peripheral countries will be treated in exactly the same way, Ireland included.

      • Lord Jimbo

        ‘Germany’s Carthaginian terms for Greece’

        “The last time Germany needed a bail-out from world creditors, it secured better terms than shattered Greece last week.”


        • Eireannach

          Yeah, wheel in British Tory Eurosceptics. Hip, hip, hoorah!

          Won’t work buddy – the EZ is here to stay. Touché Tory toffs!

          • Lord Jimbo

            Deco’s interpretation is what I was aiming for.

            It is all about hypocrisy. Germany had its debts restructured after WWI (Young Plan, Dawes Plan), then Hitler said they would pay no more and ripped up the Versailles Treaty, then after WWII, they got the Marshall Plan, the London Agreement in the 1950s and the rest is history. Yes, there was the idea of ensuring West Germany was a bulwark against communism, but as the man said, it is a bit more complicated.

            If anything, in light of events in Europe since 2008, I am more sympathetic to the Tory position on Europe, maybe if Ireland had held back just a little bit more and certainly not thrown the barn door open to international finance we might not be in such a precarious position.

            It is not simply about people being indebted and sucking it up, solutions to the current crisis have to be more imaginative than simply austerity, I am all for personal responsibility but the ass has fallen out of the world economy and taken a lot of unsuspecting people with it, Greece is currently the social laboratory, where pensioners and the sick are being forced to cough up at the end of their days, 250,000 people are being fed by the Greek Orthodox Church, is that what we call the European Union?

            Where is the unity? Where is the solidarity?

            Let us call a spade a spade, German and French institutions on Merkel and Sarkozy’s watch lent out huge sums, it was reckless, to my mind countries should repudiate the debt as illegitimate (let lender beware), create a bloc and force the issue, then you’ll see game on.

          • Eireannach

            @Lord Jimbo

            In the case of the Irish guarantee of bank bondholders, the principle bond holders are German and British banks.

            €130bn German bond holders
            €110bn UK bond holders
            €48bn Belgian bond holders
            €40bn French bond holders

            So it’s not a Merkozy conspiracy – it’s a banker conspiracy.

            If it’s a banker conspiracy to extract wealth from the Greeks.

            It’s a City of London-ECB conspiracy.

            “Merkozy” are trying to bring in the Tobin Tax to wrest power from the banks.

            But the Tories, typified by Evans-Pritchard of the Telegraph, start talking about WW2 whilst representing the power of the finance oligarchs of the City of London.

            As David mentions in the article, the Greeks DONT have the EZ over a barrel any more, due to ECB money printing.

            The peripheral debtor countries of the EZ have now lost the Ace up their sleeve.

            So the creditors have the power and are calling the shots.

            It was always going to end with the rise of geopolitical power of the ECB and core Europe. The EZ was never, ever, ever going to collapse.

            So all the peripheral tantrum throwing of Tories and eurosceptics on this blogroll is about as effective as the Ghost Dance of the Red Indians.

          • Malcolm McClure

            Lord Jimbo and Eirennach; Good to see rational debate about these points advancing our understanding of a complex issue. Thanks to both.

          • Lord Jimbo

            @ Eireannach – who funds elections?

            Sarkozy is touting the Tobin tax after 5 YEARS in power, and two months out from an election, it is electioneering 101.

            Bankers call the shots, politicians implement, that is the cosy consensus while people take the hit, there has to be at some stage something along the lines of debt forgiveness or some capacity which manages the debts down without driving societies to the edge, as it happening in Greece, as De Villepin said, there is a total lack of imagination in Paris, Berlin and Brussels, I don’t think they have explored their bag of tricks, for whatever reason Merkel is sticking to what I think is a failed line on all this, our way or the high way, a dangerous path as Helmut Schmidt and others have pointed out.

            Aren’t the British fortunate they didn’t take the euro, something Clegg once pushed, you wouldn’t hear it now. The Irish government may seek to bring up the historical connections between France and Ireland etc, but do you think Sarkozy could give a fiddlers who died in which French army in 1812?

            A change of government in April in France may change things slightly, something definitely has to be done about the concentration of power in Berlin, is not healthy for any so called ‘union’ to have such an imbalance as there is now, the EU was sold as a consensus organisation, it has been anything but, in crisis it has reverted to the default position, as such it has been tested and to my mind it has not come through. The UK is right to look on rather cautiously, unfortunately we are in for a penny, in for a euro.

        • Deco

          Eireannach, I presume read the article before making that comment.

          The author is pointing out the hypocrisy of the position being held by the Merkel government in the context of historical events.

          I think he does have a point – though I rather it were ot true.

          • Eireannach

            No, YOU read the article Deco.

            Germany was given those terms to prevent it falling entirely into the USSR’s expanding sphere of influence, behind the iron curtain.

            There was one geopolitical reasoning then and a very different geopolitical reasoning now.

            Read about what happened to the indebted Protestant Ascendency of Ireland 1890-1910. They went bankrupt and lost 47,000 km2 of land to the native Irish.

            Why can’t Cetic Tiger middle class mortgage holders go the same way as the Protestant Ascendancy?

            In the early 20th century, Ireland was becoming an independent state due to the Land War and Republicanism. The Old Ascendency were the losers.

            Ireland is entering a new phase, where it will be a region of the US of Europe. The Celtic Tiger era middle class mortgage holders will go the same way as the Old Protestant Ascendancy.

            The Old Protestant Ascendancy denied it would happen and whinged against it in vain. Similarly, the bankrupt Celtic Tiger Irish, with the highest per capita household debt level in the world, can whinge and complain and moan all they like about the end of their historical era, but it’s happening nonethless.

            We are entering the United States of Europe and sure, the banking system of the continent will probably fail due to overstretch, but the EU superstate will stay standing. So all waffle and blogroll blah blah is as pitiful and pointless as listening to a grouchy Protestant landlord in 1910 with all his conspiracy theories and stay man arguments.

          • Deco

            I read the article.

            No mention of the Irish landlord class. Not sure if the mortgage holders will be the same as the landlords. I reckon they will have more in common with the tenants who toiled and scraped everything, so as to be able to pay the gombeen man who then paid the absentee landlord.

            The focus of the article : Greece, and the next set of demands for austerity in order to make the EU Ponzi scheme look good.

      • Eireannach

        If countries are in debt of course they concede their independence!

        How do you think the world works – countries just take the money and blow raspberries at their creditors, who just stand there feeling they’ve been made fools of?

        This “independence” talk by peripheral countries that have failed to manage their bank regulations and/or government spending is currently being dismissed by the core European countries, and they are absolutely justified in dismissing it.

        It just magnifies the stereotype that the peripherals are reckless and cavalier.

        • redriversix

          No , they don’t concede their independence, check your History Eireannach and I think most people know on this site how the world works………..


          • Eireannach

            Why are the Troika in Ireland?

            Answer – for the same reasons you are receiving aggressive bank letters.

            Note: The Easter Bunny didn’t put the Troika under our pillow nor those threatening bank letters in your letterbox.

          • Deco

            They are here because the Irish establishment in a really determined manner created an absolutely monumental F*(uP.

            And they enjoyed it all the way.

            Now they want to keep themselves in existence, by mortgaging the rest of us with the clean up bill.

            And they never asked us about it.

        • EMMETTOR

          Ah, the whack of the crozier and the smell of hellfire. It’s about time the Eurozone started sorting itself out. Kick out Germany, Holland and France and tell them they can’t come back in until they recapitalise their hollowed-out private banking sector. “The Core”, “The Peripheral” they’re reckless and cavalier, stone them, stone them. Get a grip!

        • bonbon

          Sir Oswald Mosley’s United States of Europe now showing at a tv near you.

    • Eireannach

      +1 artied

    • bonbon

      When the EU Technocrats and the infamous E. Commission need a mechanism they invent it! They will print Euro 5 trillion this year at least, buy trash. All illegal under existing treaties. That will not stop them.

      Have some not yet realized we are dealing with a gang?
      (reminds me of the Cairo gang in 1921…)

    • Ciaran_S

      So you pick a fight and promote your own blog at the same time, you must be so smart, can you do joined up letters too?

  3. bankstershill

    Actally 1 trillion isn’t enough to feed the leaky banks,especially the insolvent core of inter-alpha leeches who alone are about 5 trillion in the hole. Printing another 4 trillion Euro to try a plug that gap will blow the system out through hyperinflation.I know David likes a bit of inflation but I don’t think to the extent of destroying a currency. The other concern is that the ECB cannot print Euros with impunity as it is not the worlds reserve currency. It needs to borrow from the Federal Reserve who can print with impunity as it is the worlds reserve currency since it is required for the payment of oil from the Opec producers, and everybody needs oil. The real issue is how long will this arrangement continue. Already China and Russia have come to an arrangement to settle oil trades in their own currencies, and other oil producers outside of opec are showing signs of moving away from the Dollar. Iraq and Libya made similar overtures and looked what happened to them. Is this what the impending war with Iran is all about?, I
    would be inclined to think so, for if it does not happen the dollar loses its status and value, and hence so does the Euro, and sterling for that matter.
    A bit of a Hobson’s choice for the power Elite fools.

    • redriversix

      Iran and Russia are trading in Rials and Rubles after agreeing to ditch dollar for trades between them on the 13/1/12.

      • bonbon

        And the pathetic EU sanctions Iran. This hits among others Greece, who also got hot other gas cutoffs just now. Sheer grotesque incompetence.

  4. piombo

    I read reports of children ravaging in rubbish bins for food in Athens…..this is going beyond economics and finance and even politics.
    If John Paul II were still around he would have shamed the powers into a solution reminding them that this is not the Europe of Adenauer, De Gasperi or Robert Schuman.

    Anyway, the default is assured and but so is the €140 billion handout against my forecast of three weeks ago I have to admit. It looks like €120 billion will be used to refloat the Dracmha post-default.

    Being really cynical, the situation in Greece is probably being used as a test-case to understand how 21th century europeans react under extreme widespread duress.
    Finally, I have to also remind myself that the ruling classes in Greece as well as Frankfurt, Berlin, Brussels and NY/Washington have all made their contribution.

    • Juanjo R

      My beef with your prediction before was not with the figures – logic says Greece will default – it was that the continuation of Greece’s place within the Euro it is politically driven and is not logical nor is it related to numbers.

      I’m guessing it will take a big political moment to end the illogical charade.

      Perhaps its the damage a default will do to France’s and Italy’s banks in particular that is driving this illogical desperation? And then if Ireland, etc, started to default the German banks get hit…well were does it stop?…

      Can it be stopped?

  5. Grey Fox

    I agree David, it is patently obvious that the ECB is shoring up the defences, and I agree that it may well be the Greeks who decide enough is enough therefore the arguement that Europe has them where they want them in order to garner more stringent agreement down the road will be proven wrong, as I have said before, take everything away from a man and guaranteed he will come out fighting ‘cos he has nothing left to lose.
    And you are right, this is not just about Euro’s and Cent’s it goes a lot deeper, I wouldn’t be surprised to see old alliances resurface, blood is thicker than water.
    I certainly hope there is a plan here in Ireland for post euro, if not, then we are really being led by a bunch of imbicile civil servants who look no further than their nose (or retirement package).
    No point in any more window dressing from Europe with regard to Greece, anyway, they broke all the shop windows in Greece yesterday!
    The Truth Will Prevail!!!!

  6. i5kra

    This whole issue is about the exercise of raw power.

    The perceived interests of the larger and more powerful economies/countries will dictate what decisions are taken. Afterwards the lawyers will work their magical jiggery-pokery to tidy it all up and make it look perfectly acceptable.

    No matter what happens here, Greek society has undergone a massive trauma that will haunt it for decades to come.

    • Grey Fox

      Agreed, but I bet if you asked a Greek in Athens today, what would they like to have happen, it would be anything other than what is happening!
      Not to be simplistic but people cannot take anymore of Governments forcing home austerity at the behest of Banks regardless of what Bank it is or what nation the people belong to.
      If I have no money in the morning, I don’t eat!
      I have to go to the “Soup Kitchen” and that is where Greece is now.
      Some people are happy to go to the soup kitchen every day but the overwhelming percentage of people want to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get back into society and this will invariably happen at some point in Greece and elsewhere.

      • redriversix

        Nothing wrong with being “too simplistic” Grey fox , it is quite simple, the corrupt powers that be just want US to think its all above our pay grade……….debits and credits , profit and loss.simples !!

  7. Emmission a la Casino

    Under the table hand shakes with a nod and a wink to the croupier and the issuance goes undetected in the underwear of the bankers while the punters smoke hash .

    • Lord Jimbo


      You take the easy money we give, we like.

      You fail to pay back that money while the country around you collapses, we no like.

      Doubt the mafia could do it better.

  8. dbradley007

    i was at a recent speech you gave in Landsdowne Rugby Club which was very enjoyable and thought provoking. however , one of your themes was that Ireland should stand up to the EZ/EU/ECB more and demand improved terms , debt write-off etc. as i understood it , the thinking was that eventually they would just pay up for us to keep the whole EZ going. does the above thinking about the EU being prepared to let greece go change your view on “ireland should stand up”? because it would be a bluff on our part and it now looks like Germ and Fr are prepared to call this bluff.

  9. Adam Byrne

    Saturday Night Fever.

  10. Lord Jimbo

    “Enough is enough!” said 89-year-old Manolis Glezos, one of Greece’s most famous leftists and a national hero. “They have no idea what an uprising by the Greek people means. And the Greek people, regardless of ideology, have risen.” Mr Glezos is a national hero for sneaking up the Acropolis at night in 1941 and tearing down a Nazi flag from under the noses of the German occupiers, raising the morale of Athens residents. Many Greeks believe their living standards are collapsing already and the new measures will deepen their misery.

    “The London Agreement on German External Debts, also known as the London Debt Agreement, was a debt relief treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany on one part and on Belgium, Canada, Ceylon, Denmark, the French Republic, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Union of South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nor…thern Ireland, the United States of America, and Yugoslavia and others. The negotiations lasted from February 27 – August 8, 1953. The London Debt Agreement covers a number of different types of debt from before and after the second World War. Some of them arose directly out of the efforts to finance the reparations system, while others reflect extensive lending, mostly by U.S. investors, to German firms and governments.

    In the London Agreement, the German government under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer undertook to repay the external debts incurred by German government between 1919-1945.

    The total under negotiation was 16 billion marks of debts from the 1920s which had defaulted in the 1930s, but which Germany decided to repay to restore its reputation. This money was owed to government and private banks in the U.S., France and Britain. Another 16 billion marks represented postwar loans by the U.S. Under the London Debts Agreement of 1953, the repayable amount was reduced by 50% to about 15 billion marks and stretched out over 30 years, and compared to the fast-growing German economy were of minor impact.

    The agreement significantly contributed to the growth of the post-war German economy and reemergence of Germany as a world economical power. It allowed Germany to enter international economic institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization.”

  11. ex_pat_northerner

    ‘Prepare for Greece Lightening’ .
    Is that Lightning (as in big spark) or Lightening as in movement of the uterus during pregnancy ? Is Greece about to give birth to an ‘enfant terrible’. enlighten us.

  12. molly66

    I am surprised Greece has lasted this long the so called greek puppet government agreed to suit Europe ,but at what cost I believe they want to get the funds now and soon after leave,I believe the pressure from inside Greece from the badly treated people will rise up against the savage cuts and show Europe and the rest of the world that they should take Most of there pain and rightly so.
    So what’s coming next will be civil unrest and civil war.

    • redriversix

      GS and the ECB / IMF have their man on the inside in The Greek Government , the “funds” Greece receives are already spent/gone/accounted for, so they will be no better off.Status quo remains……….What happens next Monday ?

      The U.N can always “assist “the Greek Government to protect the Country and its assets.If in the event that Policing breaks down which is possible , considering the cuts the Police have had to take and the increased workload………..

      • Grey Fox

        The folks throwing the stones are the one’s with no jobs, the folks on the receiving end are about to lose their jobs or suffer massive cuts, how long before the penny drops and the two sides become one.

        • redriversix

          Great question Grey fox , Great Question………….?

          • molly66

            Yes Europe might think they have averted something and saved the rest of Europe all Europe have done is made things a he’ll of a lot worse why o why can’t Europe see that the longer Greece stays in the euro zone the worse it will be cut Greece loose .

          • molly66

            Greece pays very little tax and we pay to much tax Greece burns so will Ireland if we don’t do something.

  13. This is utter insanity and yet it is still spoken of as some type of book-keeping malfunction?

    It’s no longer even a question of economics! It’s nothing less than a seismic social cancer on at least an equivalent scale to the 1930′s.

    Two questions;
    Whose owed all this debt and who dies if it doesn’t get paid?

    How many people are dying or going to die in the social upheaval required to pay back this debt and how many people will actually be saved by the time the last instalment is paid?

    It’s complete madness – It will be remembered as a time when so called elected civic leaders completely forgot civics!

    The pot of history is once again simmering and by our tolerance of the destruction of Greek society we too begin to cook!

    The ordinary Greek did not bring us here
    - Why are we not demanding that our government lobby vigorously against the policies which are destroying Greek social fabric. Forget about money this is far more important! Where are the Greek peoples friends?
    They are us – and we are they – there was a time when Ireland had the integrity to stand up for suffering brother/sister nations?
    But not a geek from Enda or any of his cohort. Neither a whisper from a self preserving shower who have the temerity to call themselves a “Labour” party!

    This is a tragic time that yearns for true leadership and somebody to shout stop!

    Because the bomb has gone off – and the toxic radiation has us made us forget what society should be about!

    • Grey Fox

      ANSWER: NOBODY!!!!!!NOBODY!!!!!NOBODY!!!!!
      If it could be paid back, it would be paid back, but it can’t so it won’t and no amount of fancy bookkeeping slight of hand is going to change that!
      There is only one pen stroke that can fix it!!
      Oh the germans have such short memories!!!!
      Either that or the Leopard has not changed it’s spots and the game is retribution..

    • redriversix

      Hi Paul

      It sure is utter insanity , unless there is a World wide debt write off , We will see even more ruthless insanity……and it will be the working classes and the poor who will pay the ultimate price.

      I don’t include middle class as they are in the middle of destruction / re-education program [Government/sponsored ] ……private debt mountain has not really erupted yet.


    • dwalsh

      The primary purpose of human life is business and profit.
      The primary right is the right of Capital to go where it pleases and do as it pleases.

      …and other such abominations!

      Such is the sorry state of human civilisation in these dark times.

      Insanity is an accurate description.
      It accurately describes the (neo-liberal) ghouls who have concocted this demonic system; and the passive compliant populace that has swallowed the evil brew without a thought.

      What a mess!

      I’m afraid it will have to get a lot worse before there will be any hope of people waking up and actually thinking about what is going on.

      For now we let the elites and their media do our thinking for us.

      • 33square

        “It accurately describes the (neo-liberal) ghouls who have concocted this demonic system; and the passive compliant populace that has swallowed the evil brew without a thought.”

        beastly eh?


      Nice one, Paul. What’s going on in Europe at the moment makes Thatcher look like a pussycat. And yes, all the people of Europe should be protesting what’s happening to Greece, which is supposed to be a member of a UNION, equal in value to any other member, no matter how big.

      • bonbon

        Actually mad Maggie set this in motion with the Euro!

        Remember the 4th Reich outburst after re-unification? Mitterand frothing about a larger Germany? Conor Cruise, Ridley?

        So they schemed to remove the DM, and the rest played along to get along to hell.

        And now Merkel takes the fall. What a circus!

    • Falls

      well we need to be honest. a good proportion of the money is lent from a variety of sources including pension funds. as for who dies, well that depends, the granny who paid in and has no retirement money or the granny who received the social welfare payment that is about to stop? we also need to admit, greece is a basket case, even worse then here, and thats saying something. they have corruption, they dont want to pay taxes, they want huge government subsidies and retirement in their mid 50′s. that is simply not sustainable, even under a new drachma. greece is not iceland. I would politely remind people they owe us a billion or two as well and we are not exactly in a place to take a 90% loss.

      also asking europe for a ‘leader’ who will shout stop, is not the best suggestion. we (i now use the royal we in EU terms loosely) dont really have a great record in ‘great leaders’ unless mass murder is on the cards and quite frankly with a EU structured on nod-and-a-wink, who ya know and no oversight and huge powers to wield, thanks but i will pass on that one.

      we also need to prepare for what 1 trillion will mean. it most definitely does not mean 1 trillion, it anywhere from 1 to the mid teens (depending on the country) once it leveraged. that is an enormous sloshing of money, that simply means one thing…you pay. expect fuel and food to rise with this, and it will rise a lot in the next month or so. we will be paying for greece in inflated prices. also the effect on the 3rd world will be far far worse. the people where 60-70% of their salary is on food buying, have just stumped up the cash for the great swindle of fiat currency. expect more civil wars across the 3rd world. it is not going to be pretty.

  14. redriversix

    Israel blames Iran for two bomb attacks on Israeli diplomatic staff in India and Georgia Today………………..

    Iran Blames Israel and the U.S for the murder of two Nuclear scientists several weeks ago.

    Of course this has nothing to do with the present financial crisis , just the resources…………..

    • Grey Fox

      Different players and positions on the Monopoly board.

    • bonbon

      Wrong! It has everything to do with this. It’s not Greece, its the ENTIRE transatlantic financial system, totally interlinked, by Inter-Alpha.

      It is finished, no matter how many trillion!

      Imagine the state-of-mind – not sure if Obama has one, but just imagine 3000 years of 4 empires over. Believe me, they do think this way, and ex-Tigers only the next week.

  15. Lyndon Jones

    Yeh here we go again …Greece and its all carrot suggestions instead of what they really need ….stick and plenty of it.
    They only voted on 3.3 billion of cuts , we did 3.8 billion in the budget .
    Its AUSTERITY they need not molly coddling .

    • Grey Fox

      So we are ahead by a neck in the Austerity Stakes hmm… competition, competition, competition so does it follow that we will be first over the cliff (oop’s sorry finishing line!)
      Certainly does when we have got Gombeen “INDA” inda saddle, not sparing the whip and without even noticing we are lame and three legged.
      Well done Lyndon “we’ll beat dem pesky Greeks if we have to die trying” ?????

    • redriversix

      Don,t miss your prescription Lyndon, it must be close to six o clock……..you know what happens when you miss it, good man.

  16. redriversix

    EU / Germany now says funds will not be ready or available to Greece till early March……………..what a fcuking scam.

    Athens Burns……….

  17. dwalsh

    David as usual banging on about the demise of Europe and the Euro. I do wonder what his agenda is. I don’t think his assement of the big picture is at all on the pulse. Indeed I would question whether he sees the big picture at all. It seems to me none of the successful mainstream economics hacks can.
    Is it a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees…or is there more to it?

  18. bonbon

    Very nice analogy, DMcW. Lightning occurs when there is a huge tension buildup, and a cosmic ray bores a conducting channel starting the discharge. This can go from ground to cloud, between clouds (nations), but most of all above clouds outward (sprites, elves – all documented by Shuttle and plane observations).

    Sooner or later strikes a “cosmic intervention”, entirely natural, but totally outside the ken of the oligarchical technocrats who think they have everything “under control”.

    They are being zapped!

    Everyone talks about the “origin of democracy” being Greece. True, but the origin of how nations (Greece had only the first glimmer) must deal with eachother is the Treaty of Westphalia. This Treaty must now assert itself, over any technocracy, what the modern world is all about.

  19. wills


    I would say that as the article references the Greek / EU solutions as insanity I reckon it is surely sane as far as Insiders are concerned.

    The insiders are making a mint out of all of this disaster capitalism.

    As they are clearly bulldozing through the real economy because it is kerchinging them more lolly than doing an honest days work for an honest days pay.

    • 33square

      LOL @ expecting the in crowd/the connected to work “an honest days work for an honest days pay”

      “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed” – Ayn Rand

      LEAP card: €55 million (joke… server in Germany? why?)
      PPARS: €150(?) million (scrapped)
      E-VOTING €52(?) million (scrapped… even better stored for a few years… who got the contract?)

      above are conservative estimates…

      Who gets these government contracts? because what is happening is a joke!… and it’s on all of us for allowing it to continue…

      Who are the governments goto IT contractors? who do you gotta know to get this work? how much does it cost to get this work? why are people not in court over these failures?

      • bonbon

        Just look up the “public” sector architects of various IT service branches. Not difficult at all. Built-in SLA clauses covering risk. With the private sector, service delivery delays are costly.

  20. wills

    David poses a queston,

    ‘How can they ignore the Greeks’ errant behaviour when there is money to be made, and then seize on the same characteristics when money starts being lost?’

    If I may, I will offer an answer.

    The banking system overall has morphed into a financial ponzi scam.

    So, the reason Greek Insiders spoofed themselves into Euro with Goldman Sachs expertise is precisely because their banking system wanted in on the Euro portal to an internationally run derivatives ponzi scam.

    The ponzi scam collapsed. And its adherents are now pushing forward with austerity to make money on the way down as they did on the way up.

  21. Did You See That ? WOW That includes ALL Irish Banks

    ‘We will see a massive bank run in all of peripheral Europe because, if this can happen in Greece, it can happen anywhere’.

  22. Malcolm McClure

    Greece neer changes.

    St Paul’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians 4:10
    10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

  23. Welcome back to today’s lunatic asylum news;

    Per head of population debt break down (Source BBC Euro Web Breakdown – Nov 2011):
    USA: €35,156
    France: €66,508
    Spain: €41,366
    Portugal: €38,081
    Italy: €32,875
    Ireland: €390,969
    Greece: €38,073
    Japan: €15,934
    Germany: €50,659
    UK: €117,580

    I would like to apologise for owing that €390,969!
    As for my wife’s €390,969 – I’m also terribly sorry!
    Oh then there’s my 14 yr old daughter – €390,969 – How stupid of me not to notice? But worst of all’s my 10 yr old son – €390,969 – totally wreckless of me. Had I had the decency to have myself sterilised at a younger age I would only bear half this shame!

    Still let’s look at all that world class stuff we achieved with all that money we borrowed since the 90′s?

    Sorry I was saying….yes the list of stuff we achieved ….here we go….eh….err….oh where did I put that list?
    Sorry….as I said I’m terribly sorry……..maybe Mr.Euro-MAN if you continue to siphon our economy we’ll have some chance of paying back our €390,969 (and rising)?????
    Then again what would I know? I’m just an ignorant upstart in debt up to my children’s descendents earlobes!
    Please accept my humble apologies!
    I’m obviously some sort of degenerate and I really should be branded! – It would be for my own good?
    I see we’ve already begun to brand them dirty Greeks and they owe less than a tenth of what we owe? But hey…they’re different?
    And we’re special….right?

    • Juanjo R

      Your figures don’t distingush between public and both public and private debt in each country.

      The Irish figure is for both public and private per capita. The others are mainly just for public debt.

      The Japan public figure is way out – even a scan at the CIA world factbook places government debt at 200% of GDP. GDP is per capita about $ 35,000 so is $ 70,000 per person. Whats that in yo-yos today? 55-60K per head?

      ( CIA link https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ja.html )

      • Thank you Juanjo for the clarification.
        I hope you agree though that it doesn’t very much change my point at all.
        Which is simply;
        Don’t hold me or mine responsible for gambling debts unless of course you can reference the dividend cheques you sent us while you were making money hand over fist during the great boom!
        I thank you!

      • Juanjo R

        Yes and no, Paul.

        I agree with your feeling about co-responsibility, I think many people would.

        I am interested in facts being facts though as well and its disappointing if as you say you got these bad numbers from the BBC but they are badly distorted. If nothing else, throwing out wildly incorrect falsely identified numbers endangers the argument they are there to support.

    • Juanjo R

      Easy country comparisions with governmental debt breakdown per head in dollars;


  24. Irish Sperm Count is directly proportionate to the total of the family debt due to the world

  25. Good evening,

    I’d like to point to yet another economist – There are way too many around, don’t you think? ;) – Yanis Varoufakis, who then points to another economist of a site that I read regularly myself where Bill Black is a contributor as well.


    • DMW: Ultimately, the world knows that austerity isn’t working in Greece and is clearly making things worse….

      Oh, it is working just fine, 19% of this proposed package will be going to the people, the rest of it, ah well, we know the drill.

      Yes, insanity is one way to describe it, I am afraid it is even worse than that, it is ideologically founded elitist conviction that they are entitled to overtake political systems and implement a modern feudalism.

  26. Lord Jimbo

    Government says it has a target of 100,000 jobs created by 2016, 25,000 jobs per year for 4 years while 50,000 emigrate per year and 440,000 and rising on the Live Register.

    Anyone see a problem with any of that?

    • Deco

      What exactly do they plan on these people to be doing ?

      It sounds like smoke and mirrors to me. As Constantin Gurdgiev has already pointed out – they cannot even keep the jobs that are under severe threat as things stand.

      • gizzy

        Richard Bruton gets an A for waffle

        • Pedro Nunez

          Rubber room jobs, usual gombeen anti-intellectual, anti-productivity paddy go backwards jobs for jobs sake rather than anything productive.

          The HSE is full of these ‘jobs’, where people dress up and go to meetings about meetings, as Steve Covey would say, quadrant 3, the unimportant but delusionally urgent because your are so busy asskissing in a sycophantic, flatulent, can’t see the wood from the trees society because its got no orientating core values apart from the last ‘cute hoor’ stroke story that carries no core learning or universal principles going forward.

          Usual patronising claptrap from a lazy ‘quik-fix’, rote learning ‘educated’ Irish establishment.

          We know the problems what’s the solutions??? Has to be more than just closing the vatican embassy, WTF!!

          • Deco


            Baby Brute – the economist who seen this crisis so clearly coming into view, that he invested his money in a range of absolute lemons on the ISEQ.

            The Banks, McInerney, etc.. His best performer CRH – only down 65%.

            And we have baldy Noonan, and his clueless sidekick looking after the nations finances.

      • Lord Jimbo

        Constantin Gurdgiev makes a solid point, it was interesting because as the RTE news reader announced this latest government initiative, she unthinkingly it seemed moved to the next story, hundreds of jobs lost others put on protective notice.

        Took the government a year to get to this point, at that pace there can be only one outcome. Maybe I’ll set up a coffee stall in Davos as it is the only place with any money it seems especially for the annual back-slapping festival.

        • Lord Jimbo

          Also a bit surprised that the government especially the Labour party have not moved to resolve the Vita Cortex situation, those workers have had messages of support from Noam Chomsky, Alex Ferguson, it is all getting a bit embarrassing, I accept Labour won’t get too excited if the Pope himself made a call, maybe Fidel Castro could ring in, but seriously, is this how workers are being treated, they talk of creating jobs and yet a problem on their door-step goes unresolved, doesn’t inspire confidence.

    • redriversix

      “ah no , sure it,ll be grand,sure the photo-copier has loads of ink.We can keep printing these reports for ever nobody will suspect a ting buoy”….

  27. Deco

    Excellent article.

    The current debacle is proving that Europe, run by puppets of vested interests, and idiots, cannot any longer consider itself a civilization – in regard to how it is handling this crisis.

    But, the arrogance of those who have blindly, and persistently, told us lies to the effect that Brussels is the nadir, the peak of European Civilization.

    The EU, it’s Ponzi schemes, it’s encouragement of corruption, it’s pliability to big finance, has proven that it is the antithesis of European Civilization.

    I hope that the Greeks get away without having to pay the Troika a cent. Then the Greeks can clean up their own society, and have a tax system to the provision of essentials, and less corruption in thie society. The EU is merely funded the eventual collapse of Greece, so as to make the Ponzi Scheme look like something other than a Ponzi scheme.

  28. gizzy

    When i see fat men arriving at EU ministers meetings in chauffeur driven cars to preach austerity i want to throw something at the tv and smug Noonan was one of them.

    • Deco

      The elite preaching austerity. Marxism for Multimillionaires.

      You do know, that “the world will end” if we don’t bailout the banks.

      The whole thing is merely exposing that the political system and the media are simply bought by those with money and power.

  29. grougho

    nice clip here for lyndon jones and all the immolation gang (aka the austerisy brigade). this time its the belgians having a good laugh – forward to 2 mins 40 seconds, it might just lift your day


  30. I really really liked that!

    Bankrupt economies remain nations, and nations are bound together by more than money.

    • Morning Georg,

      This is the key to the whole debacle. Greece is a nation and it is a nation that, like any other, is gelled together by all sorts of human experiences. Just because it is bust doesn’t change that – in fact it makes it more important.



      • Morning,

        Wholeheartedly agreed David, that’s why emphasized it. The EPP ideology represented by the EuroCrats disagrees, well, they might agree for the sake of public appearance, but their actions in the past four years speak a very different and clear language indeed.

        • I forgot to say something that is rather important to me in that context.

          In my opinion, the forced upon EuroCrat policies are destroying the very social fabrics that nations are made from, on purpose!

          • coldblow

            Let’s widen the view a little bit. There are lots of reasons to see the property bubble as being the most destructive agent of the social fabric. I came here in 89 when it had become common for English people to commute large distances to work, eg moving from other parts of Yorkshire to S. Yorkshire (aka Doncaster) where the houses were affordable and you could get the train to London. Ireland seemed saner as this stuff hadn’t yet begun.

            This morning Post Cyntaf was dicussing the catastrophic decline in Welsh speakers over the last decade or two (2-3k reduction per year). Property prices were singled out.

            No problem, of course. It’s probably only spoken by ‘reactionary’ elements who’d be better off learning about computers, like their Irish equivalents. Ivan Yates is on a similar track in today’s IT.

      • bonbon

        Sovereign nations. Under the EU this was eroded as intended. With the Euro, well we see the result of a feudal pre-nation state romance imposed on a modern Westphalian epoch. Some ideologues try to roll back the entire modern era!

        This is explicit with Sir Oswald Mosley’s Federal Europe, and economists Friedman, von Mises, von Hayek et. al.

        Sovereign nations must control issue of credit, not private banks.

        • Realist

          Neither banks nor governments should control money.
          This is what Mises and Hayek from Austrain economy were saying.
          We have seen what governments did to our money with all this debt. Sorry bonbon, your ideas are old fashion from 20th century, please leave us alone.

      • bonbon

        The most important point is avoided in polite circles. Feudalism means a much lower population. Imposing this will have that effect. This is the guiding motive.

        Economics and relative potential population density are the same thing. This measure cuts through all kinds of obfuscation, “magic order”, cute “money” ideas.

        What we are really seeing in Greece is a push to reduce the population. Imagine the reaction when people instinctively know they are targeted for culling, like a herd of animals. We are witnessing a direct attack on the human species!

        • Lord Jimbo

          Sovereignty plays second fiddle to market power.

          The markets rose yesterday as Greek society declined, that is the reality in hard numbers.

          Politicians should be held to account for enabling this to occur.

          • bonbon

            What enables this is the lack of Glass-Steagall now.

            I believe we are heading for a Nürnberg II tribunal. An attack on relative potential population density is a crime against humanity. We know what increases this and feudalism, monetarism reduce it. They “could have and should have known” the effects of their actions. Last time bankers Schacht, Montague, Bush were not questioned.

            We know decreasing energy flux density per capita is a direct attack also, so green energy will be spotlighted.

  31. Pedro Nunez

    +1, just who’s paying the water bill? LoL

  32. redriversix

    Morning All

    Just wanted to congratulate Super duper Junior Minister for Housing , Jan O Sullivan on her Pay rise last Week of €17,000,00 per year ,not a bad pay rise considering the crisis we are in , this comes in the week when Moody’s rating agency reported we are sitting on a mortgage debt problem of €35 billion euro and NOT €9 billion as was allowed for in the Bank Stress tests carried out recently.

    Well done ,Jan I am sure the St Vincent de Paul could do with €328.00 per week.


    ( “we are in so much fucking trouble”lol !}

  33. redriversix

    Moodys rating agencies downgrades France , U.K and Austria to a “Negative”position
    This means these Countries can expect a downgrade in their credit rating in the next 9–14 months.

    This is the first time the U.K has been downgraded since this financial War started.

    Glad to see everything is working so well………………..

  34. Deco

    last night the ratings agency, Moodys downgraded several EU members :


    Markets this morning are in fear mode again.

    US unemployment statistics are a joke. But the establishment is trying to make sure that the biggest billionaire in contention for the US Republican Party Pres nomination gets the nomination. That way there will be two different parties, and one GSucks-supportive winner, regardless. And a leading political commentator on the US Media got sacked for essentially saying as much.

    Britain’s Triple AAA rating is under threat. This has implications for that much heralded “export led growth” theory that the establishment here has been selling the populace. The Con-Dem government took over an essentially bankrupt country from Brown-Blair and pals, and have not fixed anything yet. Nothing. Britain is in denial.

    However, the real elephant in the room is now coming into view. Espana. Spain has chronic unemployment, a massive property overhang, chronic levels of public built up at regional and national level, establishment cronyism, and a terrible set of fiscal statistics. Spain is Ireland times nine. All the stupid mistakes of the Bertie era, many times over.

    The EU’s easy money policy is about to roll out from under the carpet and show itself again.

    The ECB’s easy interest policy, nd support for a reckless local administration, is about to seriously undermine Spain.

  35. bonbon

    Even AEP of DT notes “Would Konrad Adenauer ever have made such a blunder?”

    I certainly hope this is in Merkel’s briefing.

  36. bonbon

    Revolt in Greece’s Parties, Early Election Called

    The European financial oligarchy won only a Pyrrhic victory when the Greek Parliament passed the new austerity agreement 199-78. Nonetheless with 43 members of the two coalition parties either voting against or abstaining, both parties were devastated by these mass defections. Now the government has been forced to come out declaring that an early election will be held in April, putting to rest talk about extending the term of the unelected Prime Minister Lucas Papademos through to 2013.

    The third coalition party, Laos, had already left the government before the vote. The leader of the opposition New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras expelled the 21 MPs who refused to back the deal, leaving his party with 62. Those expelled included Parliamentary Whip Konstantinos Markopoulos, and shadow defense minister Margaritis Tzimas and shadow interior minister Christos Zois.

    George Papandreou similarly expelled 22 Pasok MPs, and another had resigned during the debate, leaving the party with 132 seats (elected with 160). Some of Papandreou’s closest associates and leading members of Pasok chose expulsion rather than support the legislation. These included former Justice Minister Haris Kastandidis; MP Spyros Kouvelis; founding member Vaso Papandreou, no relation to George; and former Labor Minister Louka Katseli.

    Two Laos members were also expelled for voting for the legislation defying party leader Yiorgos Karatzaferis’ orders to vote against the deal after he left the government. The two are Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis, who happened to be two of the most controversial members of the party because of their extreme right-wing views.

    The latest election polls give the former ruling party Pasok no more than 8%, down from over 50% in the last election. The New Democracy is leading with only 30%, but the big gainers were the small leftist and communist parties polling around 12%. The large number of independents who have been thrown out of their parties over the last year, because of their opposition to the bailout are in discussions to form new parties.

    The big question is what are their policies? This is now the most important issue.

  37. Chomsky’s Maryland Lecture January 27th 2012. – Crisis and Hope, Theirs and Ours

    Highly recommended


  38. bonbon

    Greece: The Rebellion Has Begun

    “Is it possible to impose these measures by using tear gas … These measures don’t have the vote of the Greek people,” the 90-year-old Second World War Resistance hero Manolis Glezos declared in a statement from Syntagma. Glezos was wearing a surgical mask as the police fired pepper spray all around the square “The rebellion has begun,” he told TV reporters according to Britain’s {Guardian}. “These measures will never pass. They are a breach of our democracy.”

    Standing next to Glezos was his comrade in the Resistance Movement they both founded only a few days before, 87-year-old composer Mikis Theodorakis. Both had to flee into the parliament building because of the pepper gas. A spokeswoman for Theodorakis said the unprovoked attack was an “attempt to kill him and says the police deliberately targeted him. Before entering the parliament building, Theodorakis said, “I am going inside to look into the eyes of those who are preparing to sign the death of Greece.”

    An eyewitness said that Theodorakis and Glezos could
    be clearly recognized by police, nonetheless they fired a pepper gas canister at them, which landed at Theodorakis’s feet. Despite being evacuated by friends to a nearby garden in a wheelchair, he protested and demanded to return to the demonstration, “Why do you take me here, we came to demonstrate, not to sit in garden,” at which point he left the wheelchair to return to the protest.He was then convinced to go into the Parliament to confront those who had betrayed Greece.

    Like Glezos, Theodorakis also joined the Resistance when the Nazis attacked Greece. He was then 15 years old and it was in these years, between Resistance and starvation that he decided to devote his life to music, after by chance he heard a Beethoven piece being performed.

  39. Perhapx

    What weak sort of democracy does Greece have when its people aren’t even allow the right to have a referendum. As it is obvious what they would choose, perhaps they only have a right to vote when its pointless, or rather, makes no meaningful difference whatever the result.
    What sort of democracy do we have – for it seem that we too have a ‘democracy’ where the people not deserving the right to have a referendum.
    Just how much real democracy do we all have. Do the citizens any member country within the EU want this treatment for themselves. Is it not time we should be afraid for the future of ourselves and our children.

    “A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!” – Thomas Jefferson

    • bonbon

      Hold on a minute. Eire got to vote numerous times. And it got the chance to dump FF and FG. You really have to ask how the bondholders were not burned?

      Then ask about Athens. In the last vote anyone who swore a “no” was stripped of voting rights!

      Iceland – the corrupt parliament voted to save the banks, and the President overrode the assembly, and put it to the people.

      Germany – not a single treaty voted on – it is obvious what way that would go. The ’68-er “We already have a government, why should we vote?” is a classic.

      USA – Wall Street is again the biggest contributor.

      • Perhapx

        I thought about that. We did have a chance to change the direction, but we failed to do that. FF & Lab clearly said that if elected, they would pay the bond holder. So why did democracy not work. They frightened us and we rolled over. Scary stuff. Is democracy so fragile.
        Now, today news, Troika are telling our ‘government’ how to run Fás. You certainly get what you vote for.
        And friends told me that Germany ever evn had that chance we had.

    • Juanjo R

      Jefferson was a slave owner.

      He had illegitimate children by abusing his slaves.

      He was a true tyrannt, a bigot and a democratic only in so much as it would benefit him.

      The British were not so tyrannical with regards to the likes of him…

      …bear all that in mind when you quote him.

      • bonbon

        Whatever his faults, Jefferson was referring to the tyranny of the British Empire, correctly.

      • Perhapx

        That was then, this is now. But we seem to have learned nothing, Many bad things did happen and were even acceptable, at least by the ruling class. Most citizens had little education. I had hoped we were making progress.
        But I was using that quote for its content rather than its author. The words just seemed appropriate for us today.

    • coldblow

      It’s worth examining what referendums were run here over the last 20 odd years, what the results were, which ones were re-run, which ones weren’t.

  40. bonbon

    Massive Protests in Spain and Portugal, as “Labor Reforms” Create New Feudalism, Destroy Wages

    In Spain, yesterday, the text of the state decree on labor market “reforms” was published. Apparently, the full extent has been kept under wraps so far, and thus Spanish trade unions have called for nationwide protest actions this next Sunday, Feb. 19. These so called reforms enable firms to lower wages, if the firms considers it necessary. They can also cut the working hours and change shifts, according to “necessities” and in order to “stay competitive”! The trade unions have already warned of the “most massive step backwards for labor rights.”

    Meanwhile, in Portugal, there were massive protests against the austerity program and the “reforms” before the Troika visit. The Communist trade union federation CGTP, which did not sign the government labor market reform, in contrast to the smaller Socialist trade union, UGT, which did, mobilized more than a quarter million supporters on Feb. 11. On Feb. 15, the Troika will again be in Lisbon. The labor reform includes fewer holidays and lowering overtime pay, and the unions have called it a “fallback into feudalism.” There are also tax and price increases in health care and public transport.

    CGPT President Alves Carlos demanded an increase of the minimum wage from EU485 euro — stressing that the resulting net wage of EU432 is already EU2 below the poverty level! Carlos also said, we have to get rid of the “noose around our neck,” i.e. the reform and austerity package imposed as a price for the EU78 billion credit by EU and IMF.

  41. Harper66

    “No matter the legalistic interpretation, the Fed is, working through the ECB, bailing out European banks and, indirectly, spendthrift European governments. It is difficult to count the number of things wrong with this arrangement.” (The Federal Reserve’s Covert Bailout of Europe)

    Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-12-30/wall_street/30571340_1_new-euros-euro-zone-foreign-banks#ixzz1mLvQ59xq

    • bonbon

      So it is the entire transatlantic financial system about to blow, not just the “Euro”. Bernanke is using swaps to illegally bail out a foreign currency. Congress is so “liberal” it is not asked.

      • bankstershill

        It can only really blow if the dollar loses its reserve status, which is increasingly likely because of reckless printing in the form of Treasury monetization which is in turn undermining Opecs faith. It’s because of this reserve status that allows the dollar to underpin both the Euro and Sterling, its basically one system. This is why in the eyes of the Wall street -City of London Oligarchy, they have no choice but to instigate a major war, through their tool Obama, starting with Iran in order to try and preserve their power base as represented by the dollar hegemony

        • bonbon

          So Obama is going after Russia and China, and they full well know it. Which means Obama’s owners know it is finished, no matter what trillion-a-day trick is pulled.

          • bankstershill

            Exactly,they’re absolutely frantic and they know they have to move fast before the Feds confetti settles. Reminds me of that last scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sun-dance Kid, where Redford and Newman’s characters make a futile run for it.

          • Philip

            So, is this WWIII because the treasury bills sitting in chinese coffers are about to head to zero and we a headed for a massive resource land grab before the sun rises?

          • bankstershill

            Looks like that’s the intended course of events. The only way is to stop it is to impeach Obama as he represents the Oligarchy’s tool. Without him to give the order a war can’t happen. A war on a global scale without the military capability of the United States and a useful idiot as a president can’t happen.

    • Malcolm McClure

      McKinsey says that there are four possible ways out f this global mess:

      1. “Belt Tightening”. The most common delevering path. Episodes where the rate of debt growth is slower than nominal GDP growth, or the nominal stock of debt declines. Examples are Finland ’91-’98, Malaysia ’98-’08, U.S.’33-’37, S. Korea ’98-’00.

      2. “High Inflation”. Absence of strong central banks, often in emerging markets. Periods of high inflation mechanically increase nominal GDP growth, thus reducing debt/GDP ratios. Examples are Spain ’76-’80, Italy ’75- ’87, Chile ’84- ’91.

      3. “Massive Default”. Often after a currency crisis. Stock of debt decreases due to massive private and public sector defaults. Examples are U.S. ’29-’33, Argentina ’02- ’08, Mexico ’82- ’92.

      4. “Growing out of debt”. Often after an oil or war boom. Economies experience rapid (and off-trend) real GDP growth and debt/GDP decreases. Examples are U.S. ’38- ’43, Nigeria ’01- ’05, Egypt ’75- ’79.

      You pays your money and takes your choice.

  42. Falls

    the best website for what is owed…read it and weep.


  43. Philip

    I have seen enough to realise we are heading into the end of an era. Maybe it follows a well know path trodden many a time down thro’ the ages of human existance. What is different this time is that we are one planet and irrefutably interdependant and interconnected like never before and our very existance relies on getting along and a profound mutual respect.

    I find it curious that to be a successful “somebody” in business / politics/ showbiz etc you need the characteristics of a psychopath and be egotistical and meglomanic. That is what keeps your pensions topped up – shares in organsiations run by psychopaths. It seems being part of the system causes a requirement to dissipate some of your humanity and decency in order to progress. I have been to enough organisations to see this over and over again.

    For now, with all the chatter of woe and gloom and the daily experience of our friends and neighbours which are directly or indirectly affected, it is very challenging to be objective and there is a tendency to take every negative trend and magnify it and quench the life out of any positiveness as being misinformed or deluded.

    For the Greeks, it seems the teeth of this crisis are being felt by everyone. For the Irish, it is only felt by a few. That is the crucial difference. No tipping point has been reached – although all the signs are we are getting there.

    I have only one request of this blog…stop slagging off any nation or racial group. The problem we are having is one of mis-governance by a bunch of MBA indoctrinated individuals. The beast is the lack of mindfulness exhibited by majority of the cushy and bright who think having a governance role gives them any real rights.

    • bonbon

      That’s a 2 to 3,000 year era, 4 empires. Slagging off nations, or even singled out elements of nations is utter cowardice as the imperial beast is there, intangible. I think most sense this but are afraid to appear silly and talk instead about “resources”, sound money, gold, austerity, tax. Sure “governance” and bankster gangs replaced national governments, but that’s what empires are all about.

      This intangible overrides all obvious logic. It’s survival alone is what drives apparent madness with Greece, Iraan, Syria, and now Russia. This is why most just cannot believe what is being done with obvious effects goes ahead anyway. An intangible is driving this.

  44. Good writing David. You are right. It is insanity. I thought it was just me that was insane but it comforts me to know that my superiors and betters are just as barking if not more so. You should inject more humour into your articles and give them a more ‘punky’ attitude. Think of it as ecomonics Brewdog style.

    There is a sense of sympathy and respect for the Greek people in both the words of the article and in some of the posts. Some posts smack of jingoism however and would have us believe that all Greek people do not like paying taxes unlike the upstanding Irish

    This is pretty insulting to the intelligence and as laughble and absurd as watching all the drink fuelled Guinness Commandos at a Wolfe Tones gig. It is as laughable as the ‘documentaries’ on TV3 that are nothing more than Sunday World journalism designed to inflame the simmering hatreds and prejudices that lie behind feudal simple minds and cold malicious hearts. If we watched TV3 all the time then we would be terrified to cross the door

    We all know who the thieves are. They are corporations and their puppet politicians. They are governments who promise aid to disaster stricken poor countries and then send aid in the form of GM seeds only to later permanently claim royalties for future harvests. They are bankers, shareholders, pension fund managers and anyone else in this world whose business is making money without doing a stroke of real work

    Imagine what life could be like if our own government were to attack the Irish professional classes with the same vigour that they are now applying to the welfare system. The amount of money stolen from the Irish exchequer through tax dodging would make the sums lost through welfare fraud look like chicken feed

    People all over the world are waking up and the internet and foreign television news channels are offering far different perspectives from which are on offer in Ireland

    I watched the tv last night for the first time since the election only because I was living at a friends house and had no other means of distraction. Last nights viewing was desperate. I pity anyone who thinks they are being educated watching and listening to this nonsense every night

    Panorama told us about child poverty in america and how republican politicians deny there is any such thing as poverty. It was plain from looking at the children on camera that they were suffering but the interviewed politicians gave no hint of sympathy for their plight. One child told of how their mother one day caught a rat which they ate for their evening dinner. Children tearing through garbage looking for food etc etc etc. No job = no money, no food, no doctor. Hats of to the Beeb for this docu

    But all this is not happening according to our media! Next time you want to show us an economic guiding light David then don’t use Amerika as an example. Pleeeeeease!

    People are beginning to realise that we all need each other and that the psychopathic system is a monster which will pit poor against poor and laugh at them. People in America are realising this hence the Occupy movement and other community related initiatives

    In California wine used to be the main product derived from agriculture (grapes) but that has now been superceded by hemp. Other states are following suit. It is a far more useful cash crop and for millenia was known as the plant from the gods. There are so many products which can be made from hemp – oil, fuel, medicines, clothes etc.

    There is not one shred of evidence that taking the bud of the hemp plant for medicinal purposes is dangerous yet we had some moron from the Indo on Vincent Brown telling us that it is one of the most deadly substances known to man. Such pure ignorance is offensive and the level of ignorance in the speakers logic was astonishing. Yes this guy is supposed to be intelligent! Well he was on the tele so he must be I presume. This level of bs is only a touch above the hilarious propaganda from big oil and big pharma in the 1930s and the Irish media make you laugh on a good day but on other days they make you want to reach for the bucket in despair.

    In ten years time we will look back on the fiasco going on in the name of austerity and wonder ‘what planet were they all living on’

    Let the People Sing

    • redriversix

      Evening Pauldiv

      So sorry you had to witness a Wolfe tone gig really, such terrible Republican crap and very dodgy crowd……

      Panorama program me on the beeb last night was so sad yet as you say hats of to the beeb for having the courage to do it.I found the evidence shown of social services in Detroit referring homeless people to a “Tent City”quite disturbing.

      As for the suffering of the children and the indifference shown by politicians , well , what can you say.their are no words………….

      Again it proves how far Amerika has fallen and how are Mainstream Media report nothing of a educational benefit to anyone trying to find out what is happening in our World.

      Excellent post Pauldiv.

      Thank you for taking the time


      • Thanks rr6. I am glad the Panorama docu shocked you too.
        Yes it is disturbing how much Amerika has fallen and it proves that we need to stop looking to them for direction. Is that the type of society we want to create in Ireland.

        “If he can’t pay his medical bills then let him die, loser!” It really is such a nasty and fucking awful place but it could be coming to a community near you!

        Don’t know about anyone else but I was not brought up to be such a cold hearted bastard towards my fellow man

        And yes this is all related to economics and highly relevant. It is men who play with theories who create all this bloody hell

      • Lord Jimbo

        Well you guys know the lines from George Carlin:

        Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. They don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re f**ked.

        Conservatives don’t give a sh*t about you until you reach “military age”. Then they think you are just fine. Just what they’ve been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.”

        • coldblow

          Er,what exactly does he mean by ‘conservative’? Never heard of Carlin. According to Wiki he is a stand-up comedian etc. I guessed that. I imagine this stuff works before a with-it live audience.

    • +1

      Hi Paul,

      Yeah, the occupy movement, then again, one needs to realize the scope. They have not reached by far any significant numbers, significant enough to enforce change by political pressure or other means, not in the U.S. not globally.

      The christian extremists however they have reached this significance unfortunately in the U.S. already, by spades. One just needs to look at the setup now in the elections, the money involved and the masses attracted by them, it is off the scale. In the Netherlands the xenophobic Nationalist Geert Wilders – I know, a fan and great defender of Wilders regularly posts on this blog here too. – has widened his scope of hate an bigotry, and he too is attracting masses.

      There is a clear trend here that can be described, and this trend is steered and exploited, of course!

      Meanwhile in Ireland, the pope was invited for a visit in June. Obama, Lizzy, and Paparatzi in quick succession, sure….anything else?

      • Hi Georg

        There is hatred and prejudice everywhere and economics if often employed as the weapon of choice (sanctions) and if that does not work then they resort to bombing poor countries under the guise of ‘humanitarian aid’ to steal those nation’s resources. They can’t bomb in Europe so they use other means – debt and a lifetime of austerity

        Iraq 1 million dead, Libya 35k dead. And now they want to take on Iran before the summer. They are insane and desperate because they need oil. This is what sickened me when a couple of articles ago David was bullshitting about an economic recovery. A recovery at whose expense I ask?

        We have some very dangerous politicians in Europe and some of them are quite close to home. It is only a matter of time before people see through this fascist regime and walk the streets in a European Spring. God knows we all want it because it will make us feel good if nothing else!

      • A bit of entertainment.
        How to be a good consumer. (6 min video)

        • Sorry about the link.

          This will sound reminiscent of the property porn David and Deco often refer to. It is well done and educational for anyone who is still behind the curve. Mail it to your friends:


          • Deco

            Thanks for that.

            I heartily recommend it.

            An very well placed excerpts from junior Bush, and some stupid consumer who needs to grwo up and stop behaving like a seven year old.


          • Thanks Deco. Relax. I figured it all out (not)

            We get enough men strong and true. (Elliot Ness Style and uncorruptable) and we take the fight to the TD’s offices and the streets and fight the fight of all fights to save our faces from the shame and sheer contempt that future generations will have in store for us. We root out Gombeenism and make it a crime. Open Source Government (within reason)

            Else we will be remembered as one useless shower who gutlessly looked after our wee bit hill and glen (middle class wankers interested only in their personal finances) and who did not give a damn for future generations. The greedy ones who fucked it all up in the first place by listening to cunts like Thatcher and Reagan. The most destructive and selfish generation in history

            Our generation know all about shame (brainwashed) and we will be hated by our descendants for not doing more to bust the chains that intellectually and emotionally bind us

            They have been brainwashing us for over five decades and the astonishing thing is that ‘brainwashing’ is a word that we rarely ever hear today. ‘Influential’ is the new substitute. ‘Influential’, ‘compelling’, etc etc. Google ‘Project Ultra’ you fucking stoopid Irish middle class morons and grow the fuck up! I bet it sounds all too familiar. If you deny it then you are living in denial.

            What is the point in wasting our time in internet forums trying to be civil with people we can’t stand the sound of while surrendering our intellectual integrity just to be liked and accepted. Screw that for a game of soldiers. What is the point of being invited onto the audience of Frontline if all you are going to do is sit there like a wanker and plead ‘Please please Pat may I ask a you question?’

            I raise my forefinger to old John Barleycorn and thank christ I am not like you nor many of those who follow

            But that is the way Paddy likes to operate. Don’t rock the boat sonny. Oh no Mammy!

            A real spineless shower of no users.

          • Eireannach


            Yet, after all of that rant, I’ll bet you €50 you wouldn’t have the balls to confront your girlfriend/ wife for being consumerist/watching Sex in the City/ overspending on handbags/ etc.

            I have never, ever, ever seen an other Irish man except me have the balls to confront the ghastly, disgusting materialism of so many 20s-30s-40something Irish women.

            Armchair warriors like you hide behind the couch the moment I give them any backchat.

          • crazy cat

            here is a documentary about planned obsolescence


      • coldblow


        Where’s the Opus Dei link in all this? Look at page 1 of the Da Vinci Code. I’ve only read 5 pages so far – you need to give it full attention as the concepts are rather difficult to absorb and the ideas are subtle. Great book, so full of insight!

    • Deco

      Pauldiv – I did not take that documentart seriously, because it was basically making people afraid of not voting for Obama. An endorsement of Obama, rooted in base emotions.

      Judge Andrew Napolitano has been fired from Fox for saying that the two party system is a scam, with two parties having no meaningful difference, in terms of most of what they do, and in terms that they offer the people no choice.

  45. Harper66


    French PM Favors Referendum On Budget Balance Rule-Party Official

    I think this is quite important. Are the French preparinig themselves for life after Sarkozy?

    Over to you Inda…..

    • Deco

      This is making Creighton and Gilmore look like a pair of sorry fools.

      No coverage yet on RTE-Pravda. Waiting for the official government response, no doubt.

      • Lord Jimbo

        There will be definitely a shift in the sands in Hollande gets in, some also know that the EU has not distinguished itself since 2008, they know what is being said online, they know the unhappiness in relation to decisions coming out of Brussels, there has been little unity, solidarity or encouragement, the Greeks in particular have been appallingly demonised in recent months, with zero historical context, they are a people who suffered dreadfully in the 20th century, Nazi invasion, hundreds of thousands killed and starved, infrastructure wrecked, civil war, western intervention, military junta, they have had a very tough period, and now? Completely broke, with politicians who are totally out of touch, that society is on the brink of something major.

  46. Here is another short vid that should waken up even the most conservative of (middle class) Irishmen.

    The Story Of Your Own Enslavement


  47. molly66

    How many people who ran or still run small companies are sick of the banks the government the red tape,this current government say they are going to set up loads of jobs over the next 4years.wake up wake up unless you export out of this country you have a small chance and all the focus is on new jobs what about all the long running ones already set up in the services sector,plumbers,electricians ,carpenters,ect ect eke the list goes on on on the domestic home Market has died rest in peace because the people who use these services are broke they live from day to day,this government and the last shower are from the same tree they don’t won’t to know about us .

  48. From Joe Higgins

    These are the policies of the madhouse. Not surprising because they were concocted by the owners and managers of the madhouse that is the financial markets system and blessed by a subservient political establishment. Like a severely delusional patients, government ministers believe the same managers when they are patted on the head and told they are doing great work.

    Those who patronise the Irish people with praise about how stoic and accepting they are of austerity have a heavy vested interest in a continuation of the bailout of the capitalist financial system in Europe and Ireland. One such is Michael Hasenstab a major boss of the bond trading US company, Franklin Templeton Investments, which controls a vast fund of over €100 billion and revealed this week as a gambler in Irish government bonds.

    Writing in The Wall Street Journal last October, Mr Hasenstab praised Ireland’s ‘general social consensus — in contrast to the rioting and protests seen further south in Europe’ . ‘Austerity is a bitter pill to swallow, but Ireland’s citizens understand there was no easy way out of their predicament and that their short term sacrifices are laying the ground for sustainable growth in the future.’

    This is somewhat reminiscent of the religious preachers parodied by the great Swedish/American labour movement activist and martyr, Joe Hill, in his song ‘The Preacher and The Slave’ written in 1911:

    You will eat, bye and bye,/In that glorious land above the sky;/Work and pray, live on hay,/You’ll get pie in the sky when you die

    Unfortunately Mr Hasenstab’s ‘sustainable growth’ is pie in the sky since the prospects for the Irish economy have been severely written down since he wrote that. The austerity he praises is killing growth and jobs and stripping our services bare and, as we see in the Finance Bill the government having enslaved itself to this policy is hopelessly floundering.

    Austerity is about transfusing massive resources from the Irish people to salvage the financial speculators who gambled on the Irish property splurge and affording new gamblers, like Mr Hasenstab, obscene profits. The suggestion this week is that his fund has €4 billion in bonds guaranteed by the Irish government, which he was able to buy for a cut price that will yield close to €800 million in speculative profits. No wonder he wants to flatter us into continuing to bailout the bondholders while our society is being destroyed in the process.

    Evidence is growing, however, that the ordinary people of this State are running out of patience. The huge turnouts at major public meetings organised to fight the parallel tier of taxation envisaged by the government in the form of household, water and septic tank taxes, indicate that a revolt is gathering pace. This is not just a preemptive move to shield themselves from another intolerable economic burden as these taxes rise to over €1,000 per year. It is developing into a movement against the policy of austerity per se.

    The government has set March 31 as the deadline for registration for the Household Tax and a first payment. If, as now seems certain, a mass Boycott is in place at that stage, the government and its Troika managers will learn to their horror that a serious fight for fundamental change in direction has opened up


    Anyone up for some straight talking?
    Didn’t think so.
    Just a bunch of middle class inter-breeding mammies boys.

    • Grey Fox

      Not to mention the 18,000 households who will not have their hosuehold rubbish collected very soon because they have not/cannot engage with the private entity now responsible for collecting rubbish in Dublin while we still pay our local authority (by taxes) to perform this same service.
      On another point, today, PTSB is now able to allow customers in negative equity move home and transfer balances from neg equity mortages to new property mortgage ??????????? this is PTSB engaging with distressed borrowers, I have in my hand a statement on a Loan account which is distressed but also is being paid, not full amount but as much as can be afforded and for that effort PTSB charges me €10.00 per letter/demand sent to me and a whopping €35.00 every time they decide to cantact me by phone regarding this account, I find this disgusting and reprehensible and they will have to check me into the big house before I pay this, and they can take that to the bank!!!!

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