March 5, 2012

Treaty will not solve crisis

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 173 comments ·

The other day, the cost of filling up our family car rose to €109, and the price of oil is going up and up every month. Looking out on the huge reclamation work going on in front of me at Abu Dhabi’s Corniche region (where I am speaking at a conference), I pondered on the vast wealth of this place, where money for public works is no issue because of oil dollars.

Out beyond the white beaches, to the north lies Iran and, to the west, about 100 miles or so away, are the strategic Straits of Hormuz.

All the talk here is about Iran and the fear that America and Israel are on a collision course with the Islamic Republic. Iran’s closeness to the Shia Muslims in Syria worries these Sunni Muslims, who see a Shia Muslim arc running from Iran through Iraq and Syria and into South Lebanon.

Last night, an Arab friend suggested that “all Abu Dhabi has to do is stay out of trouble”, then he quipped: “That is easier said than done.”
But the price of oil isn’t rising just because, geopolitically, this region is once again jittery. The blame for the rise in the oil price can equally be placed closer to home.

I was speaking on a platform on the future of the euro with the former president of the Bundesbank, Axel Weber. Weber, the monetary hawk, was discussing the ECB’s giant ‘cash for trash’ scheme which has seen the ECB lend close to €1,000,000,000,000 to Europe’s banks since December.

One trillion is a very big number. It is followed by 12 zeros. And just to put that into context, if you were to spend a million euros a day, it would take you 2,740 years to spend a trillion euro.

Although Weber was talking about the euro, the ‘cash for trash’ scam explains the price rises in oil at least as much as the tensions down the road from here.
With all this excess money sloshing around, it is not surprising that the price of everything is rising. The banks are borrowing at 1 per cent from the ECB and buying into the oil rally and exacerbated the initial upward movement in prices. Ultimately we, the people, pay for this at the petrol pumps.

The ‘cash for trash’ scheme also explains why the fiscal compact will not make the euro more stable, despite the German and French suggestions that it will. In fact, their fiscal compact obsession simply reinforces the fact that they have totally misdiagnosed the eurozone’s affliction to suit themselves.

After all, if the problem for the eurozone was fiscal in nature, why the ‘cash for trash’ initiative?
The €1 trillion bank subsidy tells us that the problem in Europe is not excessive government borrowing, but excessive bank lending which has destroyed the balance sheets of the banks. This is forcing the ECB to break all its own rules and give the banks anything they want to stay afloat.

Why are they in trouble?
Because they destroyed their own wealth in the boom by lending too much money to dodgy investments – many of which have gone sour.
The crisis is not the cause of the euro’s problems but theconsequence of the euro’s problems.

Weber gave an insight into German thinking. The Germans want German-style federalism as soon as possible and the fiscal compact is another step to that. But the problem in Europe is not government deficits. In fact, government deficits are the consequence of excessive bank lending and excessive current account imbalances.

The problem in Europe is that the rest of Europe can’t keep up with the industrial might of Germany. This causes countries to run trade deficits with Germany. To pay for these German imports, the countries need to borrow money. They borrow this money from Germany and what we see then are huge current account imbalances and huge accumulated debts on the periphery.

Sitting in the middle doing all this lending are the German and French banks – as well as the major banks in all countries. However, because the other countries are borrowing German savings to pay for the German goods that Germany makes but chooses not to buy, German banks are significant lenders.
When this borrowed cash flows into the peripheral countries, the price of everything goes up, including the price of labour. This propels the costs on the periphery upwards, making them less competitive – exacerbating the original competitive imbalance with Germany.

Because the banks see only the very short term, they see a demand for more loans from the periphery and a supply of new savings from the Germans. One side-effect of all this is that governments’ tax revenues expand in the boom. They increase expenditure and then, when the bust happens, the tax revenue collapses and you have a fiscal problem.

But the fiscal problem is the consequence of trade and current account imbalances, not the other way around.
So what the peripheral countries need to do is pay themselves less; the Germans need to pay themselves more.

If we had our own currencies, we would devalue against the Deutschmark and the Deutschmark would revalue against everyone else. This can’t happen now, so actual wages need to fall. But aggregate wages in Ireland have not actually fallen since the bust. Take-home pay has fallen because of increased tax, but wages haven’t generally fallen by much. Obviously trade unions fight against wage cuts for their members, as do constructs like the Croke Park agreement.

Real wages in Ireland – wages adjusted for inflation – haven’t fallen, whereas, for example, real wages in Iceland expressed in euro have fallen because it could devalue. Even in Latvia, where the economy has shrunk, real wages haven’t budged. This shows that wages don’t fall in a recession. The fabled ‘flexibility’ of the Irish labour market is just a horrible expression for unemployment and emigration. Yes, the market adjusts all right; but it adjusts with more people on the dole. Now, with more on the dole, government spending goes up, not down, resulting in a higher deficit.

In the US, when this happens, as it did to the Boston region in the late 1980s, fiscal transfers from the core ease the burden. Bostonians, when they are weak, pay less tax and get more help. That is how a real fiscal union works.
The German fiscal union envisages penalising the weak country precisely at the moment it is weakest. So the weakest must raise taxes in the face of a slump. This is obviously unworkable.

It is all the more unworkable if the ‘cash for trash’ scheme, which is designed to save reckless bankers, is pushing up the cost of living for essentials like oil. Equally, how does reducing individual wages make the individual debt overhang – which is the human face of the current account imbalances – any easier?

So the fiscal contract is not going to make Ireland any more stable. In fact, the ECB’s current policy of monetary incontinence on a monumental scale simply underlines that the euro’s problem is capital flows through the banks, not fiscal deficits. Egregiously, the German and French are wilfully misdiagnosing the illness to suit their own ends, and people like Axel Weber know this.

Fighting current account imbalances with a fiscal compact is like fighting heart disease with chemotherapy.

  1. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Here we go again, folks!No sooner did the government make the announcement that the Irish electorate were to be given the chance to voice their opinion on the Fiscal Compact by way of referendum they come out with the usual scaremongering. I shall be voting No in the referendum and if the referendum is defeated, which I hope it will be then I’ll just keep on voting No if they keep coming back and they asking us for a different result. Even if the referendum produces a No result it’s not going to make any difference whatsoever as it only needs 1q2 of the 17 Euro zone countries to ratify it and as none of the other 16 Euro zone countries are going to ask their citizens to vote on it then the result is going to be blatently obvious, isn’t it, but at least we’re getting a chance to vote on it, which is something in itself.
    The trouble with the majority of European politicians is that they simply ‘can’t see the wood for the trees.’ They’re behaving like lemmings and they’ll keep on behaving like lemmings because they simply haven’t got a brain in their collective heads!!! time and time again they’ve been told what needs to be done, but they just carry on taking plenty of no notice of what they’ve been told. To put it simply they’re nothing but a complete and utter bunch of idiots who simply won’t listen to reason!!!

    • Grey Fox


      • ouldbegrudger

        @Grey Fox,
        Caps-lock……Your reasoning will have so much more weight if you don’t SHOUT. ;>)

      • You run one time you get yourself a set of chains.
        You run two times you get two sets.
        You ain’t gonna need no third set coz you’re going to get your mind right … and I mean right!

        • molly66

          Shaken the bush boss

          • cubabm

            The Irish electorate are going to be given a wording for a referendum that they will find hard to reject as it will probably be a choice on our involvement in the Euro.

            I will be voting NO as I did for Lisbon 1 & 2 but I doubt the majority of the electorate will do so as they are driven by fear and not logic.

            A side point to the rating agencies saying we will not be able to gain access for further funds under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) if we vote NO….we will need to engage with the IMF as we will need outside support and the IMF seem to be more practical in their approach to our economic plight!!!!

  2. Dorothy Jones

    Willkommen im Club

    Axel Weber ex-Bundesbank President taught Hans Eichel [prev. Min. of Finance]at Bonn University where Jens Weidmann [Bundesbank President] also studied. Waidmann previously advised Angeka Merkel on Finance. ECB Board of Directors member Joerg Asmussen studied there too; Asmussen negotiated with Christine Lagarde who was mentored by Nicolas Sarkozy. Asmussen also has a close relationship with Ramon Fernandez, Gen. Sec. of the French Treasury and was on the Board of Directors of the ECB where Mario Draghi is now President. Timothy Geithner [US Min. of Finance] and Asmussen are described as ‘Weggefaehrten’, companions.[Might explain why Geithner [bankers take priority over taxpayers] reportedly ‘torpedoed’ the IMF plan to have a haircut on 30€bill of unguaranteed bonds by two-thirds on average as part of Ireland’s bailout.]

    Policy in the EU is being dictated in no small manner by this Club. Politicians are advised and France and Germany act accordingly.

    Irish interests are not part of this, but Ireland is paying for it. It is no wonder that German press praises poster-boy Ireland…

    • Grey Fox


  3. bonbon

    Rating Agency Moody has put the boot in

    Moody’s , the filthy Wall Street rating agency, today had the effrontery to “advise” Ireland that we “may need” a second bailout and that a NO vote in the upcoming referendum would bar Ireland from receiving further funds under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

    How dare they? Now, we’re supposed to be reeducated on a Irish citizen’s referendum by the hungry fox minding the hen house. Moody’s even said that just making a decision to HOLD the referendum was “credit negative.”

    Just the fact that this Wall Street gang are pushing a yes vote, should triple the NO vote immediately!

    • Deco

      Moodys – are they part owned by a French bank like BMP or Soc Gen ???

    • hibernian56

      I wonder what would happen if Moody’s would make a negative comment about Israel? MOSAD would “sort it out”.
      These parasites need to be sorted out.

      • bonbon

        S&P,Moody,Fitch – these guys rated Enron, Lehman, Mortgage Backed Securities, and threatened to shut the US Government down last Aug. with Geithner’s treasonous complicity.

        We must shut THEM down. To “credit-negative” democracy and constitutional processes is a crime.

        The dino-snout of a collapsing monetaristic empire cannot tolerate any nation state especially Russia, with a science-driven political economy.

    • John-Paul O'Driscoll

      I too read this from Alabama and was insulted. Moody’s & S&P were guilty of and wreckless in low-balling or inflating risk/value in stocks, debt, securities, and financials with bias for recipients of their ratings, to raise Moody’s and S&P’s earnings from fees. Their false ratings contributed to the bubble that burst in 2008. Neither they, nor the banks, nor the bondholders lost a wink of sleep, while the rest of us struggle through the aftermath. David’s explanation of the imbalance in the single currency and how the fiscal treaty will not fix this confirms what I had figured out. I figured that the Euro was being managed and matched for Germany’s industrial/manufacturing economy – if it were managed for 17 Euro members, Greece, Ireland, Portugal would not have had such a never-ending borrowing binge. So, even though a NO vote won’t stop 12 other Euro-members from ratifying the ‘mad’ treaty, voting YES would be to approve the madness by which Germany will continue to fuel its economy at the expense of everyone else. And, even this cannot last.

  4. bonbon

    Promptly after agreeing to the brutal ESM treaty finalized at the latest European summit, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called a press conference in Brussels to announce that his government’s deficit target for 2012 is 5.8% of Gross Domesic Product, not the 4.4% demanded by the European Commission. European Council President Van Rompuy responded that “the markets” will punish Spain for not meeting demanded budget objectives of the (Orwellian named) “European Stablity and Growth Pact,” and drive up the cost of the bankrupt nation’s debt.
    Rompuy threatened Spain, like Moody Eire today. But it looks like Rajoy’s announcement makes the ESM Compact null and void already!

    What does this gang think it is doing?

    • Deco

      Rajoy is doing what Paul Sommerville has been saying the Irish government should have been doing.

      And behind all the bluster and threats from Brussels, there is a massive level of fear.

      Because Spain knows that it has no choice, and it also knows that the EU is rotten with corruption. The EU is finding out that Spain is not bluffing, and is not surrendering like Italy, or Ireland. And Spain knows that Merkozy is all about bluffing, to the rest of Europe – and more specifically to their own taxpayers.

      • Dorothy Jones

        What about Greece? Their haircut hasn’t gone through yet, and it might not. Trading of Greek bonds suspended now in German bourses bar Frankfurt and Berlin; these might follow suit tomorrow. Default?

        • Deco

          In Greece the politicians seem to be disconnected from the people. The Prime Minister was not appointed by the people. He was appointed by the creditors !!!

          Democracy got shafted, (in it’s birthplace) !!!

          • Dorothy Jones

            Oh…bondholders must agree to the haircut by 8 March and the restructuring of the bonds takes place 8-11 March. I see that the Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz (DSW)head office of 7,000 investment clubs in Germany has advised bondholders to reject the offer outright. Berlin and Frankfurt have also suspended trading in Greek bonds today. Commentary indicates that there is a real chance that this deal will not go through.

            IIF chief ex Deutsche-Bank Josef Ackermann encouraging bondholders to take the cut – no surprises there.

            But..say it does collapse by this Thur 8 March….what happens on Friday?

  5. bonbon

    Printing 1 trillion leads directly to hyperinflation showing up as oil prices etc which have nothing whatsoever to do with supply and demand. Weber and the rest of the ideologues fear a Weimar II, so what are they playing at? Do they really believe federalism will avoid this?

    Sounds occult to me.

    • shtove

      LTRO is not QE – it is redeemable security, whereas QE is outright purchase.

      The reality of redemption is a different order of problem, and I’m sure the politicians will mess it up.

      My concern is that people who consider these central bank moves (whether LTRO or QE) as hyperinflationary will blow their income on a commodities bubble – different form of bubble, but no different in principle from Irish house prices. A bubble is a bubble.

      And in regard to QE, would be interested to read DMcW’s precise view on the mechanism by which central bank funding ends up in the price of commodities like oil. Tricky issue.

    • bonbon

      Actually 1 trillion is wrong- the Lombard Street Research consultancy sees 2.4 trillion bailout looming, reported everywhere now. 1 Dutch party (populist with nasty vote-gathering slogans) wants to leave the Euro because of this.

      Kenny had better have a look at the impending Greek default, and this report and set the vote date quickly.

  6. cautious-optimist

    Real wages haven’t fallen because A) we can’t devalue and B) we have the CrokePark agreement. Are you suggesting real wages must fall? If so, how the hell are those of us still working supposed to pay our way? we’re not all on the upper end of public sector or indeed private sector wage rates. With 12,000 people at the RDS last weekend trying to get out of the country to a job half way around the world we are in really deep trouble. I don’t have the figures to hand but it galls me to hear of FF apologising for getting it wrong during the boom. The single biggest disaster was to have public expenditure linked to stamp duty and VAT returns. The complete lack of foresight by the FF/Green gov should condemn them to permanent opposition benches. Meanwhile, even if every bank director in the country broke no law they should at least be disbarred from ever holding directorships of companies again. Why has this not happened yet??????

    • Colin

      You’re letting the FF/PD governments of 1997 – 2002 & 2002 – 2007 off the hook completely. That’s where the damage was done. That’s when property ponzi scheme was born and nurtured. Greens messed up completely, but they were amateurs dazzled by the spotlights and stagelights. Gormless preferred staying in bed when the important call came to him in the middle of the night, and never asked himself ‘Oh shit, maybe I should call David McWilliams if we’re going along with the “David McWilliams solution”, and find out IF it is the “David McWilliams solution”, and if so, why not bring in “David McWilliams” to the Dept. of Finance to implement the “David McWilliams” solution.

      Eh no, Gormless went back to sleep, trusting Fianna Fail to do the right thing for the country, which is a lot like asking a drunk to mind a pub for a few hours.

      Another Great article David, why the meeja mainstream can’t see it like you do is still perplexing.

      • Deco

        The Greens did not go into government to run the economy. They went in to get carbon taxes, and raise awarenss about green issues. Though Dan Boil did come out with that stupid statement “we are saving the banks befeore we are saving the factories”.

        Three years latr and we are still saving the banks, and we have 440 thousand on the dole.

    • tony_murphy

      David seems to spend his time jetting off around the world, mixing with the elites and the ruling classes, doing his best to make the central banking, fiat currency scam sound credible.

      To be honest, it seems like every word in every article is written not to offend clients, and keep ordinary people well and truly in the dark.

      • Hi Tony,

        That’s bullshit. I travel because I have got to work, not because I want to or particularly like it. Has it ever struck you why I dont get work in my own country? Think about it for a while and you may come to the conclusion that if you are not one of the “yes men” in this place, you have to work elsewhere.

        How can you say someone who has called Europe’s QE a scam on Punk Economics and paid for it and put that up for free on YouTube is worried about offending clients.

        Give me a break.


        • I agree with you David .

        • piombo

          Hi David,
          I also have had the suspicion of you being ignored by the media and establishment in Ireland over the last couple of years. I have seen more of your interviews on Bloomberg rather than on TV3 or RTE which is an indication that you are probably black-listed in Ireland for the moment.
          My opinion is that you function better on an international stage as your interlocutors have a greater need for honest and credible analysis rather than politically-proxied parroting.
          Most Irish people I know cite David McWilliams as one of the reasons they have gained some understanding of the economic lexicon and how it affects their lives. Ireland needs more than ever articulate analysis and perspective, so don’t give up.
          Given it is Lent, my reaction to Tony Murphy’s email would be one of pietas…he is probably one of the many suffering because of the Crisis.
          Would be great if you could get some work on Italian TV and explain Ireland here. Last week, one of Italy’s main economic commentators Massimo Mucchetti (who writes for the Corriere della Sera) called Ireland a “rogue state” due to it’s Corporation Tax on the one of the most respected current affairs programme (L’infedele of Gad Lerner).There was nobody there to rebut..

          • bonbon

            Massimo Mucchetti 17.05.2010, endorsed the Cantwell-McCain amendment before the U.S. Senate, which would re-establish the Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking, and calling for its emulation in Europe.
            Under the headline “Banks: The Example of the U.S. Senate; A Bipartisan Proposal To Reform the Financial System,” Mucchetti wrote a good update.

            On 14.09.2010 Mucchetti wrote on the Basel 3 bank guidelines, and called for a “break with the past” and a Glass-Steagall concept for a serious bank reform.

            At that time “Il Sole 24 Ore” reported many who said Basel 3 will cut drecit even more.

            So this is the way to reply to Mucchetti – President Michael D. has repeatedly cited Glass-Steagall (all posted here), and at the LSE 2 weeks ago his talk preemted the Referendum issue.

          • bonbon

            Errors again…

            At that time “Il Sole 24 Ore” reported many who said Basel 3 will cut credit even more.

          • John-Paul O'Driscoll

            David’s article above explained precicely what I was thinking is wrong with the Euro for the past six months. Since the Euro is designed and managed for Germany’s economy, the very different economies in Greece, Ireland, Italy have a different outcome. It is not sustainable, even for Germany. But the treaty won’t correct this.

        • Deco

          David. We understand. This is the way that the clique operate in this country. They do not want the people to hear the truth. The truth has value. And the contrary to that is that it undermines deceit.

          And Ireland, most things that have to do with money or power are dependent on the acceptance of deceit.

          Tony Murphy cop on to yourself, you clown.

        • Lord Jimbo

          “Has it ever struck you why I don’t get work in my own country?”


          Your books have done relatively well in Ireland, you get paid for writing articles in the Irish press; you have done documentaries which have featured on Irish and Australian television. You are a regular TV commentator, you were involved in the Farmleigh conference and I believe you attended the Global Economic Forum.

          You have been both commended by the Irish people for your thoughts on the property market and received the odd award, at least I saw some award presented to you by Vincent Browne on his show some time back, but I can understand the frustration when people go off on one, being self-employed has its own pressures as does being in the lime-light. You are a popular commentator and fair play for your willingness to put yourself out there, you would seem to be a prophet appreciated in his own land.

          • Lord Jimbo,

            Fair points. But I’d just like to reinforce the reasons my books/documentaries/theatre projects/articles sell is because they are competitive in the market. The bar for me to be internationally competitive on your my two feet, driven by my own resources.

            The response was not meant to be some moan on my part just an explanation that one man has only so many resources and the path least trodden is a lonely one sometimes.

            But this comments here keep me upbeat and informed.

            So thanks,


          • Lord Jimbo

            As Robert Frost wrote: ‘two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I took the one less travelled by and that made all the difference’.

            It can be a lonely road when challenge the cosy but ultimately disastrous consensus, the return is a sense of fulfillment and a life worth living, something most thinking humans aspire to.

            Theodore Roosevelt’s lines about being in the arena are also appropriate:

            “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

            Yes, your decision to go ‘international’ through your business dealings, company advice to Italians and attending conferences globally is part of your efforts to expand. I have seen you on the BBC and the Max Keiser show, which is always entertaining. As my grandmother said, when it comes to people sometimes you have to listen to thunder, you have said it yourself, when close to the target you get more flak.

            I think your lasting achievement will be your ‘canary in the mine’ moment in 2003 when you publicly warned of the property downturn which people like myself and others felt instinctively had to come, thankfully I did not buy a house but I feel for those who got taken in or had to out of personal necessity. I don’t agree with your take on Milton Friedman and other issues but after reflection thought I would rather have you commentating than not.

        • tony_murphy

          Hi David

          I did have a response prepared, but unfortunately when I went to post it, I wasn’t logged in and the message was lost. I won’t spend another hour typing it again.

          I’ll leave you with this youtube clip

          and the document


          • fod

            i see that we are listed as Ireland. are we not the republic of Ireland? so the treaty doesnt apply to us????

      • LongGone

        On a slightly separate note: Anyone who has to travel a lot for a living rarely does it out of fun. Its rather a necessary evil than the “jet setting” that those who don’t travel for work often imagine.

      • Colin


        You couldn’t be more misinformed. Open your eyes. McWilliams has been calling it right all along. Heard 3 Gombeens on the radio on ‘Down to business’ on Newstalk last weekend, talking to Bobby about cornershops. They claimed €100 spent in a local shop generates €240 in the local economy. Someone texted in to ask them to explain this. The gombeens said that RGDATA commissioned JIM POWER, the well known economist to research it and come up with that figure. The gombeen said JIM POWER in a very reverent tone. This is the same JIM POWER who got all the big calls arseways.

        Now, ask yourself, why didn’t RGDATA get David to do the gig for them?

        • Deco

          The “something for nothing” economic model. It might sound absurd now, but between 1997 and 2007 it was all the rage. And for ten years beforehand a lot of people were advocating it, but many ignored it.

      • The grass always looks greener Tony but you have me thinking. I feel the frustration but sense that you that are a redeemable soul and one day I see you coming back into the fold, magnetising potential life long friends with your natural charm and dazzling us with precision analysis on the state of the land. The Charlie Tully of economic analysis. Keep the faith Irish brother

        All that traveling sounds like a drag to me personally. Bugger that. On the surface it looks and sounds like a dream life but I certainly wouldn’t want it for all the whiskey in Scotland. My conscience would be asking me how can I justify flying half way round the world in a half empty 747 when we have the technology to hold webinars and video interviews like you see on the Keiser Report. I would see it as a waste of natural resources, pointless, selfish and destructive. Insane in other words. I think David has a chance here to make a difference and lead by example

        If I was to become a celebrity economist tomorrow morning I would be more green. I was green long before the advent and bastard birth of green parties but that is a story that can wait until David’s next article appears here

        Think about it and use the brain god gave you for a minute. There is a huge difference between being one man depending on his his wits and heading off to Cuba for a hooley with a bevvy of colleagues from the council tooled up with American Express

        The conference circuit looks glam but it is not all sunshine and roses. You need to be operating at the peak of your intellectual powers all day every day and it takes mental and physical stamina to stay on form. This is why people who can’t handle it crack up and then fade away

        Many of us have accused David McWilliams of being an insider before but after reflection decided that we are off the mark and acting out of personal fear and frustration. He took a lot of personal insults and yet did not resort to reactionary measures like blocking his posters. You can’t even come back and answer the critiques following your post and that my friend makes you a shrinking violet

        You won’t find any yes men on this forum pal. If you want to know what yes men sound like then go and Google journalists like Laura Noonan. They usually peddle their piffle in papers like the Indo. Then you will really want to reach for the bucket

        Keep the Faith and be nice. T’will get you far in life

    • molly66

      You can see the bigger picture kenny and Gilmore are destroying and are following on from FF and it reminds me of what an alcohol told me many years ago if you have a problem with drink and don’t want to stop drinking YOU HAVE NOT SUFFERED enough ,so where I am coming from is the Irish people (some) have not suffered enough under this present government and soon enough the Irish people will say stop we can’t take any more and on till that happens this government will keep pushing.

  7. lifeflow

    Something else to watch

    Last week Geithner was arrested and released!

  8. Colin


    I see you’ve finally begun mentioning the Croke Park Agreement in your articles now. Come on now, get off the fence fully and denounce it for what it is, an ATM for inept mediocre clock-watching incompetents who wouldn’t know a hard day’s work if it hit them between the eyeballs.

    There is no need for Unions in the 21st century. Yes, in Dickens’ time there was a need, but the laws of the workplace now gives employees many more rights than Dickens could ever have imagined. We have employment apartheid, where Unionised workers in mostly public sector environments are taking the piss with efficiency at work, which would not be tolerated in the beleagured, no-job-for-life, no-fat-pension, no-3-weeks-sick-pay, no-year-and-a-half-tax-free-gratuity-on-retirement private sector.

    • cautious-optimist


      I hate the way you attempt to demonise everyone in the public sector with phrases like
      inept mediocre clock-watching incompetents who wouldn’t know a hard day’s work if it hit them between the eyeballs.
      This is the typical divide and conquer stuff that has been spun by Gov and IBEC in an attempt to deflect criticism of their own cupability for the mess we are in collectively, public and private sector alike. There were plenty of people in the private sector who were happy to scam their way to a fortune during the boom, auctioneers, auditors, accountants and many others the building sector and professions.

      As for your line that we don’t need unions in the 21st century because the law makes them superfluous, that’s akin to saying we don’t need a financial regulator because we have laws against white collar crime! If we have learned one thing from the crisis is that vigilance is always needed and in a free for all there will be those who seek to take advantage of others. I’m all for privatise enterprise, small business but untramelled capitalism will lead to disaster as we know.

      Don’t get me wrong, unions are just as cuplable for their lack of foresight and greed as any other interest group and that includes the irish medical organisation ,Irish hospital consultants association, CIF etc.

      • hibernian56

        Try dealing with any Council. The standard excuses are;
        “Sorry they are on a training course, they will be back in x days”
        “Sorry they are on annual leave, they will be back in x days”
        “Sorry they are on sick leave, they will be back in x days”
        “Sorry they are out of the office, try contacting them tomorrow”
        “Sorry I can’t give you an answer until I consult with X about Y”
        “X hasn’t replied yet”
        “X hasn’t replied yet”
        “X is on a training course”
        etc. etc. etc.

      • Colin


        Too late for your divide and conquer claim. Over 250,000 have lost their jobs in the private sector, and maybe 2,500 in the public sector. The division is clear and historic, so you can’t blame anyone for implementing a strategy that has already been effected.

        Most people who scammed it in the private sector were NOT PAYE Employees. They were self employed in the main, clapping themselves on their back, and having the gall to call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’. Plenty of PAYE engineers, quantity surveyors, construction managers etc all the way down to your humble labourer have lost their jobs. Self employed auctioneers, accountants etc… have suffered a huge drop in income.

        You know the law in Ireland was and is designed not to prosecute white collar crime. It’s the elite protecting their own. Doing away with Unions has nothing to do with this. It’s Unions for all or Unions for none. If you choose the latter, then say goodbye to Google, HP, Intel, Pfizer and all the other non-unionised Multinationals who are free to hire and fire and cut pay as they see fit anytime they want.

        • Yeah let’s nuke em Colin. Great to hear the voice of sanity at last. Hell we could even get you to be prime minister

          You might win in the vicious stakes Colin but I have said before that I think you are a very nasty little man

          However I have an ace up my sleeve Col’ to deal with the likes of you. It’s called humour pal. Twat features

          • Colin

            Ah yeah Pauldiv, you promised to ignore my posts the last time steam came out of your ears but you just keep coming back for more you very nasty little man yourself.

            Don’t care what cards you have, I don’t play cards and if I did, I wouldn’t waste my time with you. Twat features yourself with knobs on.

        • cubabm

          Hi Colin,

          The political class have used the Croke park agreement to insulate themselves from the cuts & reform needed to correct the overhang in some of our services. However I don’t think we should attack the public servant for this agreement as its the unions and the political class that constructed it.

          I work in the private sector and have endured cuts, 3 day weeks & job insecurity over the last 3 years. My wife is a public servant who has outlined where is the waste is…publically & privately but the problem is that the waste highlighted are generally the people who are in the positions of influence and they will not perform surgery on themselves!!!!

          On a final note we have hospital consultants who signed up for new public contracts (€230k+) under Mary Harney’s reign and got compensated for switching to same…many of these Consultants are now actively working in the private hospitals which breaks their contracts of employment and yet nothing is done about it…………….!!!

          No wonder this country is screwed….!!

          • Colin

            I just want the Croke Park Agreement ended now. And yes, cut out waste too. Cut the consultant’s salaries by 60% and make them work 37.5 hours a week for it. If they want work on the side, they must pay the HSE for use of Hospital facilities and staff etc….

      • Colin

        Irish Hospital consultants are not PAYE employees.


        Too late for your divide and conquer claim. Over 250,000 have lost their jobs in the private sector, and maybe 2,500 in the public sector. The division is clear and historic, so you can’t blame anyone for implementing a strategy that has already been effected.

        Most people who scammed it in the private sector were NOT PAYE Employees. They were self employed in the main, clapping themselves on their back, and having the gall to call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’. Plenty of PAYE engineers, quantity surveyors, construction managers etc all the way down to your humble labourer have lost their jobs. Self employed auctioneers, accountants etc… have suffered a huge drop in income.

        You know the law in Ireland was and is designed not to prosecute white collar crime. It’s the elite protecting their own. Doing away with Unions has nothing to do with this. It’s Unions for all or Unions for none. If you choose the latter, then say goodbye to Google, HP, Intel, Pfizer and all the other non-unionised Multinationals who are free to hire and fire and cut pay as they see fit anytime they want.

        • cubabm


          you are not correct that Irish Hospital consultants are not PAYE employees….I know many consultants and they work for the HSE and are PAYE employees. Some consultants work completely in the private sector and they are subject to the same rules of revenue as any business operator.


          • Colin

            Are you telling me none of the consultants are set up as self employed? If that’s the case, then yeah, I got it wrong, but I’d be surprised if they haven’t taken tax advice from accountants about their status in the eyes of revenue.

            Regardless, they are the exception to the rule. I’m talking about the 99% here.

    • bonbon

      The first thing Hitler did was to abolish unions, collective bargaining, with his Enabling Laws. Never forget that. This is being tried in the USA now. Monti is going after this in Italy and has been stopped by chairman Claudio Giudici of the UriTaxi Tuscany branch union.

      Otherwise union boards just like sitting elected politicians, drift well away from voters and workers. The real question is why this happens?

      One answer is the age group – they are mostly baby boomers, or ’68er’s, for whom an idea or principle is anathema, authoritarian. Liberally going along to get along to hell. Another is the “issue” mentality. We have a pervasive breakdown going on and picking a defined “clear issue” is like rearranging Titanic viewing chairs.

      I have seen how union members respond to real solutions like splitting banks, generating credit for a productive economy, but the board just will not run with this. You really have to face this yourself to see what I mean.

      • Grey Fox


        • 33square

          First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.

          Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

          Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

          Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

          • Colin

            Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and realised they were and continue to be sitting at the table around them telling them how to run the country without being elected by the people to do it.

        • Writing for the web 101.
          Caps lock.
          No one reads all caps.
          Cop on.

        • Colin

          I don’t comment here to be popular or to well liked and admired. I contribute to tell the truth, and share my opinion. If you don’t like that, then sorry about that, but get over it.

        • Donal M

          Hi Grey Fox, all caps there…impossible to read!

      • coldblow


        I put this link up recently:

        Michels’ Iron Law of Oligarchy is 100 years old. Basically it says that organization implies oligarchy. But the ‘why’ is interesting as you say.

        I agree about baby boomers etc.

        Re unions, I mentioned before the fact that the hotel industry is non-unionized. Owners and managers have it ok, the bulk of the staff are paid min. wage and are kept on their toes – it’s not easy. Foremen and other supervisory staff have it worst = management pahy a “premium” (ie above min. wage) and demand a pound of flesh in return. The industry is, as far as I can tell, a disgrace.

      • Colin

        Nazi Germany was a movement for ‘National Socialism’, so Hitler replaced Unions with something more Central.

        Look at pre 1995 South Africa, and you get a better analogy for employment apartheid. One minority looking after their own self interest at the expense of a majority who get paid less, have fewer rights, feel less secure, and worry about their future.

        • bonbon

          First they disbanded the unions, then destroyed every Nation they got their hands on by force. Now every nation the banking Empire gets its paws on, Greece, Ireland,Portugal, Italy and yes Germany, France are targeted for erasure, by extortion.

          Target number 1 is Russia under Putin now, likely this week, because it expresses a national refusal to bow.

          • Colin

            I don’t remember Norway or Denmark getting destroyed by the Nazis. In fact, many people in the countries they invaded welcomed them. Parisians handed their city to them, wasn’t worth fighting over it according to them. Italians welcomed the Nazis, as did the Croats in Yugoslavia. I’m sure the Baltic states also welcomed the Nazis as it was liberation from the Bolshoviks in their eyes.

            If you really want to know what Russian rule is like, go ask the people in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. If that’s too far away, try Czech Republic or Hungary. And why was Russia allowed to keep Kalinagrad, it was never Russian before, so why are they allowed keep it? And how were they allowed to plant ethnic Russians there? Come on now RasPUTIN, put that in your pipe and smoke it and give up them bonbons for lent.

          • bonbon

            Right – Vichy France opened the door and withdrew forces – Laval and Petain. Others welcomed them. Nevertheless they dissolved any trace of nation state and selected part of their population for removal.
            Soviet is not Russia, and gone since 1990. Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg, was completely leveled (except for a school and the statue of Kant!). It it highly strategic, and the best way to resolve this now is with the Eurasian Landbridge that Putin’s colleague Yakunin supports. I won’t get into the Letland ans Estland business – too many awful stories from the 1930′s. The SS was a multinational terrorist organization much like the Cairo Gang, or Black and Tans, and drew numbers from these areas.
            Putin now will not bow to the demand of the collapsing transatlantic monetary edifice, is thermonuclear armed, and knows exactly the game. If anyone payed attention over the last 2 months they would, if sane, be extremely worried about Obama’s psychopathology. And US armed forces officers of highest rank have moved decisively to brake this madness, even when Clinton capitulated (to protect the wife?).

          • Colin

            Where are your links to all the places of destruction in Norway and Denmark?

            I’m not surprised you call Kalinigrad strategic, for Russia would have no business being there and occupying it if it wasn’t strategic. That’s why they performed THE land grab and planted their own people there. They tried that in the Baltic states too, but thankfully the natives are still in the majority there and have since declared independence and distanced themselves as far as possible from Moscow.

            And your game of Symantecs won’t wash on me. Soviet Union was dominated by Russia, its capital was Moscow, its governemnt was in the Kremlin, its language was Russian, its State TV was broadcast in Russian. In other words, USSR was Russia plus a few smaller add on occupied countries.

    • Such sweeping generalizations are the preserve of bigots

  9. Deco

    Excellent article. Nothing more that I could add. “Unsurpassable”. Wow.

    Just watch for the next few months as a collection of school teachers who never taught, landowners who never farmed, lawyers who never practiced law, and student politicians who never got a job in the real world, combine give us lectures on economics.

    The whole thing is just mad.

    What we are seeing is the intellectual deficit of the leadership of the West. You can be certain that they will make a mess of it.

    Each and every one of you should learn to prepare accordingly.

  10. wills

    The objective it appears in my opinion to be a *currency war* between dollar and euro for world reserve currency slot.

    The Insiders and their monopoly board game seems to be slugging it out over who gets to keep the world reserve currency slot.

    France and Germany fighting to put euro in as world reserve currency. USA fighting to hold onto it. And UK in the background readying to slip in with sterling if the boxing match ends in both fighters knocked out.

    • bonbon

      You do identify the “invisible hand” or lead loaded gloved fist.

      British Empire policy “let you and you have a jolly little war”. The Euro has pitted all European former nations to each others throats.

      Who runs the Euro now?

  11. The Icelandic when making their independent decision they did so on their closeness as a small society and banks did not form part of their immediate priority . Instead it was their national natural resources and their confidence that they could exist together alone on what they already own . And they believed they owned a lot . Their physical isolation did not hamper their mindset and their determination was second to none.

    The banks and their bankruptcies were consequences to bad decisions made and corruption.

    Their remedy was to take control of their national resources and manage them properly and start again and build new banks .

    They avoided treaties and bank bailouts and focused on their own peoples needs first and last.

    Their people own all their national resources and manage same without interference from foreign influence .

    Why cannot we do the same ?

    • bonbon

      Watching the Iceland process closely, then, I remember the Parliament behaved just like the Dail or Athens and voted to bail out the foreign banks. Their President was able to veto this and put it to a referendum, with a huge majority voting against what their elected officials wanted.

      This is very similar – now President Higgins without even going to a veto (which may or may not be possible) forced the hand of FG- to call a referendum which this time involves a Compact specifically and admittedly worded to avoid Irish politics.

      If it did not matter what happens in Dublin why are they so worried to produce such a gooey unctuous slimy wording? If you read the thing (link posted above) be careful – it is mesmerizing occult mumbo-jumbo!

      I believe they are trying a kind of mesmerizing, the technique perfected by Martin Heidegger, banned from teaching at any Uni after the Nürnberg Trials.
      Karl Jaspers, himself a man of questionable convictions, testified that his former friend Heidegger lacked–and he said this to the investigating commission of the occupying powers–any conscience for truth, in favor of a “magic of words” [beschwörenden Zauber].

  12. Stop the exporting of our people!!!

    Stop the importing of foreigners to replace our exported people!!!

    Stop the import of foreigners to replace the exported people imported here to replace our exported people…all undercutting the natives left behind.

    Stop the population swaps!!!

    We are not stocks or herds to be traded for the slave masters profits at the international people mart!!!!

    • Just another Plantation of Ireland .

    • bonbon

      That’s what Empire’s do! The British Empire did this for centuries, now the truly global British Empire is going even further.

      The “reason” it is done is to prevent effective resistance, by destroying culture removing access to technology, especially fire. Notice the Green leaning to windy, solar, or even “sustainable” cow-paddy burners. Empires are always environmental.

      The explicit and clearly stated intention from various outlets is to reduce human population from 7 to 1 billion. Ireland got this treatment in 1846!

  13. Lord Jimbo

    Excellent article on the true situation in Greece, the true causes of the crisis there are far more complex than ‘tax dodging Greeks’, which was never a very serious analysis.

    “Neoliberal economics planned in Brussels and Berlin will push Greece into third-world working conditions”

    As for Ireland, 4000 in for FF Ard Fheis, 20,000 for jobs abroad, the two Ireland’s so often written about.

    • Deco

      There were far more than 20,000 at the jobs abroad expo than the official media statistics.

      There might have been less at the FF event, than the official statistics.

    • bonbon

      Fair enough article. Why does the author at the lead quote Carl Schmitt and Hannah Arendt? Schmitt crafted Hitler’s Enabling laws, and Arendt was the mistress and translator of Nazi “philosopher” Heidegger. Both of these “icons” are admired the right (Schmitt), and left (Arendt) by many today.

      When we remember the EU Federal Project is the Sir Oswald Mosley (of British fascist infamy) blueprint from 1948, one wonders if the Guardian protests too much?

      • Lord Jimbo

        @bonbon, your knowledge of Hannah Arendt is about as large as a microbe in a toilet u-bend in a New York City subway station.

  14. Beaver

    Four points:

    1. The price of oil is going up because theres more demand – China and less supply (Americans and others denying Iran the right to own the same murder machines that they have.

    2. The Germans didnt force anyone to buy their BMWs. Paddy over borrowed to keep up with the Joneses.

    3. The euro is a method of measurement of wealth. The Irish can either take the forty percent opay cuts needed to balance their budget in euros or set up the punt again and have a currency worth forty percent less than the euro. Different route same result. WHen the priveliged employed people tak theie 40% pay cuts therell be more money to emply the unpriveleged who have thus far been offered the chance of taking the boat or the dole.

    4. If we balance the budget we wont need to borrow from the ESM´and the fiscal compact will be irrelevant.

    • Perhapx

      Is these any reliable way to estimate the value of the punt. How can that be known in advance of us reverting back to the punt.
      David’s refill €109 would after a 40% drop would be IR£182 and at 60% it would be IR£272. At 75% it would be really scary!

  15. Obviously, there’s a big problem with main the relative uncompetitiveness of the peripheral countries, especially Greece.  So here is my cunning plan, worthy of Baldrick at his best: all German workers would be required to be given a 30% wage increase by their employers.  (Same would happen in quasi-German satellites such as Finland, Austria, Netherlands.)

    This would, at a stroke, level the competitiveness playing field within the Eurozone while, at the same time, putting lots of new Euros into the hands of Germans to spend on Greek holidays, Spanish wine and Italian shoes.



    • bonbon

      The joke about that is with such a pay increase German industrial workers would be back where they were 10 years ago!

      One thing is a productive economy, but what has really been going on since Schroeder’s Agenda 2010 is a massive stealth wage suppression. All in the name of the Euro project no German voter ever got a chance to even comment on. Unions are reluctant to strike compared to other countries, but steady trickery on the Anglo-Saxon model of “flexibility”, “Zeitarbeit”, “Ich AG’s” (my very own company 50% of which are bankrupt) gets people off registers. It is especially stealthy, as Germany had all this before – “Zwangsarbeit”, “RAD” – forced labor and Imperial Work Service.

      The trickery of the LSE Austrian School is to do this under the radar.

  16. rebean

    I have to say I agree with you. I dont really see you as a yes man because I am not one either. We were always thought to think for ourselves however I keep my opinions to myself in a work situation. I think you are better off abroad working as there really isnt much happening in this country and wont be for about 10 years. As regards the price of petrol I have recently started taking the bus and leaving my car near my work for run arounds. People need to stop using their cars and start walking more.When petrol sales plummet then prices will come down. The Govt gets a load of tax from fuel to horse into bad debt and waste

  17. piombo

    To Bonbon,
    My point about Massimo Mucchetti is not what he thinks about Glass-Stegall etc., but what he propogates about Ireland. As you know, given you follow Italian matters, Mucchetti is a well respected economic commentator here and that he communicates such negativity about Ireland (“stato canaglia”) is what concerns me. He also blasted Google for running their business out of Ireland.
    I, like hundreds of others, have headquartered my businesses in Ireland with real employees (by the way) supporting the industrial parts based here and in Germany and the danger of Mucchetti’s opinions is that, over time they became accepted truths. This is especially true when dealing with tax authorities and banking relationships.
    This is why I advocate that DMW be employed by “Ireland inc” to make the case for Ireland as I can assure you we will need all the allies possible in the coming months.
    BTW, a return of the Glass Steagall Act would blow Ireland’s financial sector out of the water.
    Primum vivere!

    • bonbon

      My data on Mucchetti is intended as a way to counter him on tv or press. It provides an opening move.

      He might reconsider, or at least explain why he may have dropped his previous viewpoint. Maybe something to do with Monti? Payed off?

  18. mully

    This whole saga is very simple. Its a game the very rich are playing with their money, exploring the best route out of this mess whilst minimising their loses. They’re no different to you or me, none of us like to take a hit or write off bad debt. We’d all try to recoup what we can. This is just being played out on a much bigger scale with much bigger numbers than most of us can even contemplate. So for as long as we (the taxpayers) of Ireland and other countries are willing to pay up the game will continue and the money men will recoup some of their money. Remember most of these banks continue to make vast amounts of money even in these times. Only when we and others like us say no enough is enough and stand up to the Germans and the French to a lesser extent and say we’re through with paying for this banking saga will we ever have a chance to start fresh. In my opinion these banks and bondholders who lent money should take the hit. If need be open new banks with no debt and let them start afresh. Until then there’s very little good in going on about it on sites like this as nothing will change and the money men will continue getting back their money and we the taxpayers and muggs will continue to pay for it. Sorry to be pessimistic but this is the reality and I can’t see it improving any time soon. System is very flawed in favour of the wealth and as they say money can buy you lots of things including governments etc.

  19. straboe1

    I would like people to support Anglo:notourdebt in their campaign.

    Despite it having nothing to do with the overwhelming majority of Irish people, the reckless behaviour of Anglo and INBS is set to cost the Irish tax payers more than €90,000,000,000, that is unless we can do something about it. This sum of money consists of; €30.6 billion that we owe the ECB and the interest that will accrue as we repay it over the next twenty years.
    Bondholders invested in these financial institutions so as to make as big a profit as possible; if normal capitalist rules had applied, they would have lost their investment. As a result of the biased advice of some of the same bondholders, our government agreed to guarantee their investments.
    The total Irish government debt is reputed to be more than 120 billion Euro. Most unbiased observers believe that we can’t possibly repay it, and if we try that our society will be destroyed in the effort. Notwithstanding the destruction of our society, we will end up defaulting on these loans anyway, thus spreading the problems across the rest of the EU, ending up with exactly what the EU asserts it is trying to avoid!
    The 30.6 billion Euro that we owe the ECB, called promissory notes, was money printed by the ECB, and when repaid will be put into a furnace and burned. We argue that if this money is not repaid, that it will have a negligible effect on Europe or the Eurozone, but will save the Irish economy. If the Irish economy avoids a default, we will avoid the resultant contagion across the rest of the Eurozone, which should satisfy the rest of Europe. From recent statements from the IMF it appears to support our position.)

    This petition organised by Anglonotourdebt is at the following webpage;

    • redriversix

      I believe our Central Bank printed the money referred to in the promissory note.Therefore our Central Bank could just delete this digital money.

      The ECB is afraid if we are “allowed”to do this,what would prevent Spanish,french, Portuguese Belgian etc Central Banks printing their own money and doing the same ?

  20. Norman Speight

    A couple of things I find interesting and of course, I’m prepared to read the worst into these.
    Appalling how little much is under reported on the European Economic crises except, of course, for the opinion of the politicians. I’m impressed today to find out that the Spanish new Prime Minister rounded on Angela Merkel telling her in no uncertain terms that Spain would no way confirm to her view on Europe and in fact would refuse point blank to restrain the Spanish economy to the control limit of 4% deficit, instead he plans a 5.8% deficit as a direct economic requirement for Spain in the coming year. Never saw this on the BBC, nor in other newspapers, nor by just about every economic correspondent. Instead, these ‘experts were busy giving us their views, not the news. the experts are of course ever so much more more important that the events they comment on. The second matter is that of the much repeated David Cameron “We are all in this together.” No we are not! There is one economy, that of banks, investors, oil companies etc which is doing exceedingly well and is highly profitable. There is the second economy of the lower paid, the poorer area of local shops (not the giant supermarkets)and the employment market which is not only suffering, but is carrying a disproportionate tax burden (this group do not get tax allowances for travel, food, office space, and ‘necessary business expenses’), oh no, such allowances only apply to those at the larger income end of the economic spectrum. As has been pointed out by better people than me, those at the lower end, must pay for the economic ‘necessities’ of those at the higher income end. Funny kind of being ‘all in it together’.
    Not unique to the UK or Ireland either.

  21. Norman Speight

    This explains what I meant in my earlier comment.
    Why is it that so many feel they way the Spanish do, yet, elected representatives – you know, those who ‘represent’ our views – never seem to voice them, instead being more interested in ‘agreements’ in ‘fiscal responsibility’ in ‘measures to resolve a crisis’
    Not good enough in our pretend democracies.

  22. Eireannach

    I’ll be voting NO but for a slightly different reason.

    Germany is entering a long-term geoplotical pact with Russia.

    Russia is offering to secure Germany’s future oil and gas needs in exchange for technology transfers from Germany into Russia’s energy and other industries.

    Germany is offering special work visas to Russians.

    This is why Germany wants nothing to do with America, the UK and France’s energy wars in Iraq, Libya, Iran, etc. etc. Germany plans to get all its future oil and gas overland through pipelines from Siberia and Central Asia.

    This is key because it explains why Germany is offering the PIIGS a fiscal compact where we enter a federal Europe on German terms, or we drop out.

    Germany WANT the PIIGS to drop out because its future prosperity and growth will come from investments to its East – Poland, Belarus, Russia, etc.

    This is also why the UK press is so intensely anti-Putin. They don’t want a rapprochement between Russia and Europe.

    But its too late. Gerhard Schöder is on the Board of Directors of Gazprom and the Nordstream pipeline is already operational.

  23. David talks about the dangers in ‘ the strategic Straits of Hormuz’.
    Well , if anyone cares to look around them these are a lot closer to home than you might imagine.

    I am experiencing in practice from the Revenue strategy new modus operandi whereby they ambush clients into something totally different and fabricating and conspiring small trades people to make it seem they are ‘wrong doing’ when all the actual facts show the opposite .I am 35 years in practice and I have never seen anything like this before .

    Some new clients have come to me from elsewhere with these problems and the truth is their actions are attempting to deny taxpayers their basic rights under the constitution to satisfy the self needing purposes of the mandarins in power.

    There should be more transparency how they operate and a new process to stop this sinister activity.

  24. bonbon

    The Dutch Freedom Party has become the 1st EU zone party to demand an Euro exit! After they got hold of the London-based Lombard Street Research report concluding it would cost Euro country creditors more than 2.4 trillion euro to hold monetary union together over the next four years. They say bring back the Guilder to be masters of their own house.

  25. This was a good article David.
    I wondered why the price of petrol was rising while consumption has been falling.

    Good to see that you have got your teeth in today and that you are not taking any crap!

    • redriversix

      Hi Pauldiv

      Russian gas reserves are 26.7% of World supply or 47 Trillion cubic meters.!

      Oil supply is 69.1 Billion Barrels, compared to 45 Billion Barrels in 2001.Most oil seems to be in western Siberia,so it remain’s to be seen as to how economic it is to drill for.

      This represents 6% of the worlds supply

      considering the deal this Guy’s have done with Iran in January this year, I don’t think they got much to worry about at the moment.


      • Cheers for the feedback. I got home late and felt like answering. It’s a long answer and I am just thinking aloud. Forgive me Irish brothers. Its a very interesting debate

        Below is a link to an article called ‘The Russian Wall’. I will try to find the link re Russian oil reserves and will post it if I find it. Russia is not a joke and anyone who believes the western media is kidding themselves. Russians know they can build a strong country that the world will want to respect. They see their own potential and so do their strategic trading partners. The old stereotypes are evaporating and the western media is desperate because they are running out of bogey men

        It is not inconceivable to imagine that in 5 years time Russia may morph into a modern democracy while Amerika turns into a fascist Orwellian nightmare. Amerika is there already if we are honest and prepared to face the truth. Some people say that Ireland is now ruled by fascist minds. Only if there was a real riot would be know their true nature so let’s not get to smug

        Russia is a more influential player than the US now. This is an undisputed fact. For one thing they have something tangible to trade with and this is why the Americans fear them. The Russians are not taking any crap now that Putin is back in power and quite bloody right too. I know that there are people like David on here who know a lot about Russia and have lived there and I am surprised how little Russia is mentioned here

        The Americans want reliable supply pipelines running through the borders of friendly nations. That is why tensions are high and likely to get more strained now that Putin is back. There is a geo political fault line running from Afghanistan to Turkey and now Greece and the fighting has been going on since World War 1 and there is no nuclear solution. The pun is intended by the way

        I think Ireland would do well to work with Russia in the following decades because arctic exploration will open up opportunities for both countries. Both countries want to show the world that they are shaking off their traditional corrupt gombeen politics and in this sense they have an opportunity to be world leaders in purging western nations of corruption

        Interestingly last Novemeber it was discovered that there is a massive basin of potential oil and gas reserves in the eastern Med between the coasts of Israel and Greece. The amounts of revenue we are talking about here would solve Greece’s economic problems at the stroke of a promissory note but the EU does not want to know. Austerity now they say. They are negotiating a 20 / 20 split with the remaining 60% being given to the American drilling company who will do the the engineering work. Another example of a private company raping nations of their natural resources? That’s not for me to say as I am not a judge. I used to be but I got sick of it

        Syria also has a claim on these resources and is therefore involved in the political problems and at this moment the neocon mad dog McCain is calling for air strikes on Syria. Are you beginning to join the dots?

        The thieves are so fucking desperate they want to continue bombing small girl and boys into oblivion in order to keep their insane dreams of growth alive. If this is growth then growth should be quickly denounced as a swear word that is only to be associated with murderous psychopaths. We need to ‘shrink’ and get back to growing our own cabbages and repairing our hard worn bicycles like we used to in the 1970s. There are still some of us who know how to teach people to be practical … if they will listen. If they don’t listen their selfish minds need educating

        It tells us that we should be looking east. Forget the west because Amerika is nothing but a poverty ridden and snarling impudent put bull that has been badly trained by it’s faceless international coterie of private financiers, gamblers and other con men. The US, UK, France and Israel are controlled by murderous international mafias who are determined that the rest of us shall lose our humanity just to prove a belligerent and hard headed point. Over this man’s dead body. Fuck them I say. I want my country back and I want outsiders to mind their own bloody business

        We are capable of doing our own dirty work thank you and this work includes changing the psyche and culture of this country. We are not sheep and we can show the world. How we do it I don’t know but I know one thing. The Irish went to cities like Glasgow and Liverpool and rose to the very top of their professions. They were some of the brightest and most effective social reformers in their day and they had imagination but most of all they had the heart and the passion to change things for the good of all

        Back here we have lots of work to do. We wish for the wisdom, experience and financial input from the diaspora but we need to show them we are serious. Think Fergus McCann, a dream and how a dream became a solid financial proposition 20 years after the wee man put his bunnet on his and went back to Canada with 5 million in his pocket. Solid ground made from wise hard bitten heads. A fair trade. No comparison with the Endas is there? That is the bar gentlemen and it can only be reached with serious effort. Goodnight.

        The Russian Wall

        • Deco

          America is heading in the wrong direction. You only have to listen to clowns like Santorum and McCain to see that there is too much militarism in the US.

          The US went to war with Japan in the 1940s, becuase the Japanese were run by a cabal of militarist generals who were being supported by business “keiretsu” who regarded war as an economic stimulus package.

          That was back in the days when the US had real moral authority on it’s side, and stood for something moral. But trying to design never ending wars is not moral. Obama for all his faults, has at least not yet gone down that road, though that could happen in a second term.

        • bonbon

          USA went to war because Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. They activated the 1920′s Blue or Orange Book attack plan long awaited. If you look at what thse Books layed out you would get a shock!
          Other than that McCain (who was tortured for years in Korea afaik) makes psychotic outbursts, and they have forgotten what thermonuclear weapons mean – pre-emptive MAD. So why are we now even talking about this?

          • redriversix

            McCain was a POW in Vietnam,not Korea.During Torture in Hanoi,he had both arms broken and shoulders dislocated which is why you never see him raise his arms to wave………….

      • Cheers David. You have turned out some good work lately (punk economics is really good) and it’s good to see you come out of your shell more. I was pleased to hear you talk more about the way you see yourself as an Irishman and an outsider. It makes you more believable and interesting frankly in my opinion and I see a guy who is slowly building in confidence and dying to let rip and tell the world what he honestly thinks. I used to think you were an insider but you don’t sound like one. Not any more

        I hope you stay this way and it’s good to see you interacting with your posters more often and even jousting when called for. A man has to defend his integrity

        A few months ago you lost form but now you sound like someone who has second wind, learned lessons and learned to change with the mood of the times. I don’t envy all that jetting around though and it must be a drag and not helping the price of oil at all

        The debate will go on and I know that over the past few years we have all been to lonesome and scary places and lost our senses. Some excellent posters left through ego or vanity and while we don’t miss them it would be nice to see them back with no hard feelings. We have all grown up more thanks to the crack on this blog, learned a lot together and even made friends and enemies. Some people never learn though ^^^

        Where will we all be in four years time. It will be 2016 and Fine Gael will be supervising the celebrations. Keep the blue flag flying high

        I have a very modest dream David. I am fed up with this damp cold weather and would like to move to Lisbon and do my own thing. Learn the language, do photography and writing and hopefully market and sell some work. It’s achievable and realistic. A laptop computer, an internet connection and an automatic income generator. Why not. Lost of people do it

        That is the plan anyway. If it happens and you come to Lisbon then mail me and we can take a short train trip to the place where Celtic won the European Cup. We could discuss the economic viability of 5 men in a hillman imp traveling from Glasgow to Lisbon by road and back compared to the efficiency of propeller powered aeroplanes leaving from airports in Dublin, Glasgow, Cork, Boston and Chicago ferrying the all the bhoys to Lisbon

        • Paul,

          Funny you mention Celtic. I wrote about them last night for today’s article which will be up here later. They are the the SPL what Germany is to the Euro!

          Re Lisbon. Go for it. This life thing isn’t a dress rehersal:)


  26. molly66

    This government is worse than the last shower and that’s saying something we are heading back to the 1930s why do we need a second bail out to balance the outgoings that’s a joke if we where run right we would leave euro land ,because the price to stay in will have to much of a downward effect on the Irish people, we should be able to run our own country with outside help.what does this government want every young person to emmergrate to make there dole figures look like they are solving the unemployment the only savings this government seem to make is putting hard ship on the less well of or running our young bright people out of this country,forcing the the rest of us who can’t leave to suffer and suffer .

    • Yes they want everyone able bodied to leave and then replace them with cheap forgiven labour….thus fragmenting the populous and any resistance to federalism/ neo-feudalism.

      Divide and conquer….Zzzzzzzzz….

  27. LongGone

    The Bundesbank is sitting a debt-bomb.

    “Now everyone knows we have to save the euro, at almost any cost.” German economist Hans-Werner Sinn speaking on why Germany is trying to save the Euro.,1518,818966,00.html

    Also at the cost of Ireland & Co.?

    Interesting read in the English version of Spiegel today. Old news for readers of this blog I guess?

    Rgrds from Germany,


    • Deco

      Very good article.
      Greece isn’t about saving Greece. The only reason something so small and insignificant could matter so much is that it matters in a way no one is willing to say. It’s about the subversion of sovereignty and democratic processes by removing decisions from people and giving them to trans-national financial elites. It’s about preserving a global system that’s based on the accumulation of debt and growing government power because there are two groups of people who benefit tremendously from that system, even if most people don’t.

      This is simply the latest example of corrupt government operatives colluding with the financial elite to steal money, liberty and big chunks of “the pursuit of happiness” from “we, the people.”

      That in essence is what the entire thing has become. Marxism for multi-billionaires.

      • juniorjb

        Absolutely. The current ESM business is designed to hard-wire the power of a technocratic class that has already shown itself to be fundamentally incompetent and misguided. The whole exercise places themselves and their decisions beyond the legitimate control and scrutiny of democratically mandated institutions.

  28. taylorcr

    David, because some people below are questioning your ethics.

    I read all your articles and so do a lot of people I know, might not always agree totally with you (on balance you have been right a lot more often than me though)but I just wanted to let you know that we all appreciate the fact that you stick to the truth as you see it, even though you could profit more from toeing the line like so many other soul-less people in this country. Your ethics are NOT in question with anyone I know, not even in the slightest.

    Without you and a few other lone voice economists (very few) we would be in even more trouble than we are….which is hard to believe.

    I have noticed how RTE 2/3yrs ago always had Icelanders on, until their banking/recovery strategy started to work and they stopped. Now we seem to have Greeks on every other week instead.

    I remember the very last interview I saw on RTE with their (new) Prime Minister, who was saying that we shouldnt pay the banking debts, it will sink us and its immoral, the interviewer cut him off in mid-sentence and I never saw him on again.

    Noonan declared he wanted t-shirts printed to say “we are not Greece” I heard exactly the same sentiments about Iceland a few yrs ago, I think they also wanted t-shirts printed…..

    • gizzy

      The RTE business editor on the news last night. He gave a sixth class summary of Iceland. Stressed more than other point the seizing of Greek assets and the inability to transfer money from Iceland and then asked imagine if that happened here what would the multi nationals think. (bless them).right at the end almost under his breath he said that Icelandic unemployment is half ours.

      • taylorcr

        Yes they’re pathetic, shows how ignorant their “experts” are. There are still lots of countries that have some form of exchange control, I lived in SAfrica for awhile and they have them.

        The multinationals and import/export companies are unaffected because it doesn’t apply to them, they trade freely and exchange whatever amount they wish.

        Its a a slight pain in the backside for speculators and citizens who want to remove amounts in excess of $US 500,000.

    • Taylocr

      Thanks for the comments. I couldn’t agree more with you about Iceland.


  29. Afghan Stuart

    An interesting Report posted on the John Mauldin website recently.

    If there is this kind of proof spanning the past 100 years it beggars belief that we are still stuck in our current situation.This report is basically a blue print on how to save the country. It should be printed out on some very nice quality paper, tied with a big red ribbon and handed to one of elected party’s to show them how to proceed. Otherwise where are we going to end up!
    I only hope that the confused masses who have no idea what to vote decide to vote No and we get out of the euro before we end up in a far worse place than we currently find ourselves.

  30. gizzy

    I think it will be a no vote. People talk about scaremongering when the only thing scary about Enda Kenny is that he is Taoiseach. And even scarier for me is I voted for him.

  31. ex_pat_northerner

    Over 100 Euros for the family car fill up. David you’ll be fine once they start the drilling in Dublin bay.. Shure we’re the new Arabs don’t you know.

  32. Paris75013


    Thanks for yet another interesting article. As for Tony Murphy, I think he’s just a ‘jealous guy’!

    Any plans to do ‘Economics without bounderies’ intensive course in Paris? It’s a bit difficult for me to attend an evening class in Dublin.

    • Evening Paris

      Actually, I am working on an online version of the entire course. Its very much work in progress, but we are happy with the results and I will be able to come back to you quite soon on it.


      • michaelcoughlan


        When I read your first response to Tony the thought struck me at of the two you were the bigger idiot for taking him serious enough to respond to him in the first instance.

        Now David this referendum (whatever it’s about I couldn’t care less because it makes no difference anyway) is another opportunity to do something which hasn’t been outlined before.

        As pointed out by YOU, Kelly, Gurdgiev etc. Nama has failed utterly in that the banks once freed of the worthless mortgages didn’t lend into the economy like they should. What are they doing with the money David? We both know don’t we; high interest deposit accounts and gambling on stock market speculation now creating a new bubble in petrol and food. So after fucking up our housing industry and forcing people out of their houses the speculators in the banks are going to force us out of our cars and take the bread off our table.

        Now David like you I trained as a professional and identify with you because those of us who were trained construction professionals had stopped doing anything 3 years before the crash. Not only that we were surplus to requirements for good jobs in the industry because when you hand an ape 30 million Euros for property ‘investment’ a good guy won’t work for him because the good guy knows that the asshole with the moola has over paid for the land and is guaranteed to make a loss once construction costs are added. So the asshole hires an asshole just like himself to do the job and a race to the bottom ensues with talent like you and me in exile and or watching on in despair from the side-lines. A real world example of a free market running berserk.

        So what can be Done David? High profile personalities like yourself, Gurdgiev and Kelly form a troika of your own and demand as a price for a yes vote that a new bank be set up in Ireland to lend to the internal economy only and write into the articles of association that the money under no circumstances can be used for speculating on the stock markets. If lending happens into the internal economy the balance sheet of Nama and the middle and working classes in Ireland will start to stabilise. Once this happens the Government won’t have to cut as much which will help stabilise liquidity in the economy. If the Europeans want to save their currency then make the ECB fund this new bank as a price for our yes vote and also put a time limit on the pooling of our national sovereignty in that regard also.

        Finally David let me explain to you what Ireland will become if the Europeans get their way. The whole country will be dependent on money transfers from Europe like Cuba from the Soviet Union prior to the wall coming down and since the European Banks will have us up to our goolies in debt they can do as they please with us. Since every citizen whether farmer or politician worker civil servant etc. will directly draw his salary from the government funded by Europe (or indirectly through supplying services to the Government) the Europeans will eventually get their money back by charging a high rate of tax on those salaries. And what does that mean for Ireland David? with the fact that so much of the Irish Establishment will be in Europe’s pocket NEVER ENDING ABJECT AUSTERITY DECADE AFTER DECADE AFTER DECADE.

        Let me make one last point David; every young teenager aspires to do something with their life etc. etc. Here is an opportunity for you to do such a thing. You can help save your people (the Republic is fucked anyway it has been so diluted and mismanaged) be helping to establish a new and independent bank before AIB and BOI get handed to the ECB to save what is left of your countrymen from never ending abject failure in Ireland. So stop whinging about the fact that you have to earn your living in far-off places because of the fact that everything in Ireland runs backwards. You are still in a position to earn a living and more importantly are in a position to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

        • tony_murphy

          Michael, I’m not an idiot and neither is David.

          I used to have a lot of respect for David’s work. All you have to do is look at my contributions on this site over the years (not in the last year though).

          I used to email links to his articles all the time, and put on Twitter and link to Facebook.

          So, you might ask, what happened. I educated myself in how the financial / policital system really works.

          I can now think for myself. I’m not affected by Group Psychology. I’m not a yes man, and I’m definitely not jealous.

          I am very much against all thinks to do with the ECB and the EU. Fiat Currency and Central Banking.

          • Colin

            So why the personal attack on David, accusing him of jet set lifestyle, when all he wants to do is work and get paid for it? You know he’d prefer not to have to go thru Dublin Airport to earn a crust.

            Many Irishmen live in London during the week, for work, and fly home at the weekends to see their families, because they can’t find work at home, so why attack these men for simply looking after their families?

          • tony_murphy


            David has a lot of influence in Ireland. He is trusted by many.

            I questioned his motivations, was I wrong to do so?. Apparently

            Look at the title of one of David’s recent articles. Recently he suggested Ireland should do another deal with the EU/ECB for a yes vote. The EU and ECB are serious threats to all our liberties and freedom. Its my opinion, and I believe I am entitled to it. Maybe I’m not entitled to say so here. But I did.

            As for saying it’s a personal attack. I don’t see it like that at all. David makes money publishing this stuff, it’s his business. The consequences of his writings affect us all.

            As for the other stuff in your post.. not worth the keystrokes.

          • Colin

            Funny, a man who has a lot of influence here and yet he can’t make a living here, more bullshit from you Tony. Go create your own forum, and see who’s interested in what you have to say. Or go convince a newspaper to publish your crap and see if you can earn a living from it.

            Good luck to ya, and don’t come back, did your mother never tell you that its rude to insult your host?

          • bonbon

            I think DMcW was really showing the thinking of those who will try to “horse-trade”. They will try anyway.

            They will use these arguments, but it will fail and the proposed treaty will not solve any of the problems exactly as DMcW proves.

            If the horse-traders read this blog they would be hand-held through the process.

            As for demanding someone “do something about it”, that’s not very well thought out. The “fiat” remark seems to me to be Austrian School terminology?

          • tony_murphy


            I pity you. You make no sense. Just rambling on, one stupid post after another

  33. Paris75013

    Fantastic. Can’t wait to find out more about it.

  34. molly66

    Has the Irish government got to much power it seams to me they do I don’t understand why on the major things happing to us that these things in question should go before the Irish people,let the people decide not just on one or two things ,the people we elect have far to much power and to be honest the government have and are very poor so far ,so why should a bunch of people in the dail have all this power if they get it wrong we just cant turn back the clock.

  35. molly66

    The truth is the majority of self-employed people out there be they plumbers ,shop keepers, ect ect are not making a profit there standard of living is gone if they are lucky you might get some sort of wages and they live week to week,is this the new Ireland that we have to live in ,ask yourself why and the government and others say why don’t you take on one more employee if we all take on one more employee we could solve the unemployed problem are they for reel ,most self employed I know had to let people go to survive them selves,the facts are I had people employed who took home more money than I did and I was the boss.

  36. Lord Jimbo

    I think we need to think about excellence. Countries have faced huge challenges and bounced back. We however badly need excellence in public life, excellence in the private sector, in banking especially, we need excellence in the public sector, we need people to live in the now.

    Half the problem with the MRSA bug is lack of hygiene in hospitals, people coming to visit and people working there are simply not focusing on the basics, hospitals have become very dirty places, sure bacteria and super-bugs have emerged, but we literally need to go back to basics and start again because we have reached failed state status, something I always thought inevitable given what was going on all around.

    This financial and economic crisis gives an enormous opportunity for us to focus on our own individual performance and the performance of the country as a whole. I have no sense whatsoever that we have a common effort like you saw say in war time Britain or the US and yet that is precisely the kind of effort we need to get Ireland moving again, instead we have a bunch of people who feel insecure, worried, anxious, some on anti-depressants others going further when instead we need to forge some kind of national identity that binds us to a common cause and is about more than singing loudly at major sporting events. So I ask:

    What is Ireland?
    What does it mean to be Irish?
    What kind of a country do we seek to create?
    What type of people do we seek to become?

    Interestingly, the Germans once had a reputation for poor products, boring, predictable, unreliable, they simply decided to turn that around in the 1920s and 1930s, their export figures hit the €2 trillion mark recently and they are synonymous with high quality, excellently engineered products. I believe our people are as good as any but they have been failed by the kind of official Ireland that sinks to either turn the clock back or keep the clock where it is, somehow we have to get around an institutional road block which stifles creativity and is risk averse. This is the first in a range of challenges which form part of building a true Republic which values all of its citizens equally. There is a wealth of talent and ability which has been crushed for decades and today once again Ireland sees its people being exported and yet, we have no outcry because people work on an individual basis with a much reduced sense of the collective, which I think is a very dangerous place for a so called ‘people’ do be in.

    • Eireannach

      Nice bit of blue sky thinking there, Jimbo.

      But Ireland is a cloudy, overcast, drizzly place and the thinking of people reflects this climatological reality.

      for blue sky thinking to be appreciated, head to California or equivalent.

      • bonbon

        Since Enda wants a referendum in summer, well it never comes anyway… So playing for time with the weather – a new FG tactic?

  37. bonbon

    To have a look where Ireland really is situated in physical economic terms, not bankers arithmetic, a beautiful map : (Pity I cannot post a graphic here)

    After we finish off this dead financial system we will play our part in this huge development – the Northern Sea Route.

    Forget small potatoes – we have a huge economic project to get going in collaboration with the countries on that map. We will generate national credit for this.

    The entire EU fiasco is really small potatoes!

  38. TJM

    Hi Folks
    This forum is full of well informed and in general well intentioned people if not slightly negative at times. I have decided to do something small to try and change our government’s attitude to the electorate. I may be naive but there is a possibility it could work.
    The European citizen’s initiative legislation will come into EU law on April the 12th this year. This legislation allows for seven citizens of seven different EU states to come together and to propose an initiative to the EU commission. The seven citizens then have a year to collect 1 million EU signatures. When the initiative is presented to the commission along with the signatures the commission is obliged to make a decision on the initiative.
    The initiative that I hope to propose is that the commission would require member states to incorporate citizen’s initiative legislation into their own constitutions. The Free State constitution had provision for a citizen’s initiative but this was deleted when the Irish constitution was adapted in 1943. Citizens Initiative legislation is part of the Swiss legal system. In California also citizens are entitled to put proposals before the electorate once they have garnered enough support.
    To try and get this started I have created my own petition on the Avaaz Petition Site. It’s called: A Citizens Initiative for each member state of the EU.
    I really care about this issue and together we can do something about it! Every person who signs helps get us closer to the goal of 100 signatures — can you help out by signing?
    Click here to read more about it and sign:
    Campaigns like this always start small, but they grow when people like us get involved — please take a second right now to help out by singing and passing it on. I would also welcome assistance from 6 other EU citizens who would be interested in helping me get this moving. If interested please contact me on
    Thanks so much,
    Tony Moore

  39. caoimhin3210

    Regarding our forthcoming referendum on the treaty. Before it was announced I was thinking it might be better that Europe would be keeping a closer eye on our elite ie. Politicians, Bankers & high flyers etc. because plain and simple they always look after themselves [must be all Freemasons] and not the vast majority of Irish citizens. Says to myself, I think I’ll vote yes. Then listening to Enda Kenny and his followers, followed by the scar-mongering, including the warning from the ratings agencies which are in turn funded by the super world banks, I changed my mind, defiantly vote no. I think I have a fairly good knowledge of history especially of Europe in the last 100 years, and not forgetting that these same super world banks funded all-sides in both World Wars which as we know were mainly fought in Europe with millions & millions of Europeans paying the ultimate price with the lives in the horrors of modern war-fare. The world banks and there owners make an absolute sickening amount of wealth from all that suffering, and didn’t blink an eye. Then I read this speech by Dr. Eckhard Lubkemeire the new German Ambassador to Ireland and my mind is off again, now I’m undecided. I will of course keeping reading Davids articles as like most of his readers find them of great interest. Heres a link to the speech for those who are interested, love to know if David read it and if so what he made of it.

  40. extreme humanoid

    I thought perhaps cash for trash was being implemented to give banks a cushion when Greece and some or the rest of the PIIGS default. If this were true, then the Merkozy and the ECB has given up on the PIIGS, or at least some of them. This would mean that there isn’t necessarily a mistaken belief that the problem is fiscal, wouldn’t it? It seems like an acknowledgment that defaults are coming soon and unavoidably. With the banks highly liquid, perhaps some of them will survive to continue the game.

  41. Reality Check

    David not only has your analysis and work been most useful and usually spot on but the contributors to the comments section are wonderful also. If would be great if the site had the full functions of a discussive forum private messaging/threads etc – it gets childish and tiresome over on!

  42. cooldude

    David interesting article as usual. It is very clear that this 1 trillion that the ECB has lent out at 1% to keep insolvent banks afloat is lowering the purchasing power of the existing Euros in circulation. This is all part of a global currency debasement program that ALL central banks are engaged in and which they actually think is a good idea. The fact that this policy lowers the purchasing power of the currencies does not bother them one bit so you can expect to pay even more amounts of paper money to fill your car in the future. The example of oil as a contrast is a good one because we can see quite clearly that gold and silver buy the exact same amount of oil as they did 60 years ago. All currencies only buy 10-20% of the amount of oil they did then. This clearly shows how our modern system of unbacked currencies are clearly failing to act as a store of value. When Aristotle and the ancient Greeks sat down to design the initial world’s reserve currency, the silver drachma, one of the key attributes that money should have was that it had to be a store of value. Our modern system of money completely fails us in this regard yet no one seems to question this. The reason for this is we have all been brainwashed into accepting these currencies as having the attributes required by a properly functioning money system. Bonbon explained in a piece last week how the Tavistock Institute work on persuading people that something which is clearly wrong is right eg snow is black. Joseph Goebels was another expert at this propaganda which he termed “the big lie”. He boasted that he could persuade people to believe anything by simply having it repeated often enough in the media. Thus our timid acceptance of this constantly debased money which never holds its purchasing power. Another one now being formed is we will never default on our debt. This is not “our debt” and has absolutely nothing to do with ordinary citizens of this state. Vote NO, default on all fraudulently induced debt, print our own currency which must include the right to save in precious metals and become a proud independent people once again. Keep up the good work David. We need guys like you.

    • Very good post cooldude. Just one point to add regarding the debasement of currencies through the printing press…..when the ECB prints money and gives it to the banks to spend/ invest, the banks initially have this new money at the same value as the present money in circulation…so they get the same buying power as the rest of us. It is only when this new money is spent into the system that the rest of our money is devalued.

      Therefore the initial spenders of the new money have a distinct buying advantage…i.e. the banks!!!

  43. Reality Check

    From what I deduce a lot of the online forums seem to be based on the Free opensource platform – phbb.
    Imo It’s very user friendly and would be a welcome addition to your site.
    Just of the cuff projections here but the possibilities for more contributions of a specialist Economic nature would be immense i.e. it would very easy (almost cumulative) in nature for more international opinions & ideas to be shared (Greek/Icelandic etc) on a forum based on the phbb platform.
    I’m not an IT expert but it stands to reason that a commonly used platform because of intrinsic familiarity would reach a greater audience.
    Here is a link to the phbb opensource website.

  44. Reality Check

    Perhaps there are contributors who post here who are familar with phpbb opensouce platfrom and can illuminate more?
    Build a phpbb platform in five steps;

  45. vincent

    As this is my last post here I have just one thing to say and that’s -please don’t waste your time crunching numbers, it’s much better to distinguish between what’s Legal and what’s Lawful. All the best- Over and Out…

  46. tuatha

    On tuther hand, the trillion euro(borrowed from our descendents, if any)spread among the 200M odd euroid citizens is only about 100 euro per person for a single year. Not even the dole payment.
    Bad enough that the banks are gifted this money @1% but lending, if at all, to the citizenry @ several multiples but, if they start playing the oil futures game, we’ll soon roar past the $150pb reached a couploe years ago.
    That will do wonders for the Recovery!

  47. [...] The Yes side, led by Austerians Fine Gael, Labour and Fine Fáil (supported enthusiastically by IBEC) have begun the campaign by proliferating an easily dis-proven fallacy: that this treaty will bring stability to the Eurozone and protect and/or create jobs in Ireland (and Europe widely). On this issue there must be no equivocation or obfuscations: there is no provisions within this treaty that encourage stability or growth or which will create jobs. Growth and job creation are entirely dependent on government stimuli; government stimuli are conspicuously absent from the Fiscal Compact. I would challenge any supporters of the Treaty to elucidate through reference to the text of the Treaty (available at top of this blog) how this Treaty will protect or create jobs in Ireland or Europe. There is hope that apparent President-elect in France, Francois Hollande, will demand a re-negotiation of the Treaty to include stimuli programmes in the hope of encouraging growth and creating jobs, however, and I must be clear on this point, there are at present no such provisions, thus, the Treaty cannot be passed on a vain optimism of future jobs. To assert, as the Yes side have done, that the Treaty will lead to Eurozone stability is a falsehood too many. It is clear from the provisions of the Treaty that the signatory states, rather than stabilising, will be heaved in to further disquiet, societal inequality and much worse and painful austerity measures. It is inconceivable that a further €6bn of cuts (bringing the total of future cuts to €14bn) for Ireland can do anything other than to further depress a floundering economy. The Fiscal Compact will do nothing to solve the causes of the Eurozone crisis; the Compact is a response to the effects rather than the causes of the Eurozone crisis. The causes are as follows: [...]

  48. Jordan

    Dear David

    When you say that there has been a misdiagnosis and the French/Germans are treating the effects of the crisis as the cause of it may it be the case that the Treaty provides indirect protection against similar problems in the future?

    I mean to say that although private banking practices caused the problem resulting in excess public debt wouldn’t placing limits on debt, deficit and structural deficits indirectly cause Governments to clamp down on unsustainable tax receipts from e.g. property booms and allow States to absorb more of a shock in the even of future crises?

    I’m not an economist. I’ve come across claims that in Greece, at least, it wasn’t a bank problem as much as it was a public sector shambles unlike the other bailout countries.

    I think the structural deficit rule, although problematic in its calculation, is an crafty response to the problem. It allows countries the flexibility to take their own fiscal decisions insofar as there isn’t excess reliance on unsustainable tax receipts.

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