May 10, 2012

Financial Contagion

Posted in Irish Independent · 156 comments ·
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Thirty-one years ago this week the great Bob Marley passed away and ascended to the great Rasta heaven in the sky. For most of us, Marley was reggae and reggae was Marley. I remember the day he played in Dalymount in the summer of 1980. What I actually remember most (I was too young to go to the gig) was the lingering smell of ganga on the 7A bus that afternoon, as half of the ‘Noggin obviously skinned up on their way into town to pay homage the great man.

And paying homage is the right word, because it was the last outdoor concert Marley ever played. He died less than a year later. The cancer which had started in his toe, spread rapidly. Urban legend has it that Marley contracted an infection after injuring his toe playing soccer (by the way if you ever want to see an natural player with the ball at his feet, google “Bob Marley playing football”). The soccer story isn’t true.

Marley, who’s Dad was a white Englishman, suffered from a malignant melanoma found under the nail of his toe. It is speculated that because he was half-white living in the Caribbean, he was more susceptible to this type of skin cancer.

What is true was that his doctors suggested that he get his toe amputated. Marley refused on the grounds at Jah Rastafari stipulated that humans shouldn’t permit their own flesh to be cut. Marley’s life would have been saved had he had the amputation. Tragically the cancer spread and his health deteriorated rapidly leading to his tragic demise.

Watching the latest twists and turns on Europe’s road to financial calamity as each financial crisis mutates into a banking crisis and then into a bond market crisis and then into yet another capital flight crisis and ultimately, now to a political crisis, I am reminded of Bob Marley.

Financial market contagion, like contagious diseases, spread and mutate if you don’t deal with them early and decisively. They get worse, not better. This is the lesson of Europe in the past four years, and of the Asian crisis in 1997 and the Latin American debt crises in previous decades. In the case of Europe, a financial crisis first became economic and then jumped over to become a full-blown political crisis. The political scalp of Sarkozy is only the latest victim.

The European elite’s response has been to kick the can down the road as they say, in order to buy time and hopefully time will heal all. But time doesn’t heal at all. In fact it gives the contagion the time to mutate and become more virulent.

The more the EU pretends that peripheral countries are solvent the less people believe it. The infection rather than getting better gets more aggressive and it changes its nature, like mutating cells. It affects banks and companies, it then affects house prices and then it mutates back again to hamper economic growth. The faltering growth rates, drive up unemployment. Once unemployment starts to rise, politics falters and incumbents get kicked out.

Not only that, but big dreams of political integration and the like, seem really unnecessary and indicative of a deep disconnect between politics and the people. In these instances, the people just get fed up and tell their politicians to snap out of it via the ballot box.

Ultimately, Europe has four problems. The first is not enough growth; the second is too much debt; the third is no political leadership and the fourth is the political illegitimacy of the technocrats that have been installed to run the economies on the periphery.

Growth won’t return until the debt overhang is eliminated but the debt overhang will not be eliminated without growth. Unless of course, there is a managed default. The only way out of this growth and debt dilemma is some sort of default, somewhere fast.

In order to facilitate this the ECB will have to be involved and this means persuading Germans that the Euro will only be fixed and the continental economy put back together if the core issues of over-borrowing in the periphery and its handmaiden over-lending by the core is fixed. This must come through a mutual deal between the debtor and creditor countries. This is called co-responsibility.

The “fiscal compact” will not sort this. In fact, it will make the situation worse in the short-term because it will reduce growth rates in those very countries, which have too much debt. Eventually these populations, which are already showing their dissatisfaction at the polls, get fed up.

There’s a common misperception that countries default on their debt because they can’t pay back the money they’ve borrowed. This is rarely the case. For the most part, countries default because their citizens get sick of the hardships they have to endure because of onerous debt repayments. And it becomes politically impossible for governments to continue honoring their commitments to creditors. Default is a strategic decision.

One of the best books published in recent years of these financial episodes was a study of debts and defaults by Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart called This Time It’s Different. These scholars point out that more than half the defaults by middle-income countries occur at levels of external debt relative to GDP below 60% Europe’s debt levels in the periphery are close to twice this.

History shows that “willingness to pay, rather than ability to pay,” as the authors put it, “is typically the main determinant of country default.”
As the crisis mutates and mutates all around Europe, the point at which the people will get fed up will come sooner rather than later. Contagion can only be stopped by decisive action. Buying time just makes the ultimate crisis much more disruptive.

When I hear politicians contenting the opposite, whether its about the fiscal compact or the growth by austerity argument, it strikes that they are smoking something stronger that the heads on the 7A in the summer of 1980.


  1. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    Bankers are even worse than drug dealers because at the same time they are getting you hooked on their wares they take a lien on your assets.

    • michaelcoughlan

      They know they are going to haul in your ass and assets sooner or later. The tide goes in the tide goes out. Different decade same shit. Only the shit in 1980 was being smoked.

    • molly

      wir müssen lernen, Deutsch urplötzlich für sie zu unserer Meister jetzt und Kenny und Gilmore wird uns verkaufen den Fluss hinunter wollen.

      • mollie

        my bad translation: We need to learn German all of a sudden for germany will be our master and now Kenny and Gilmore will want to sell us down the river.

    • migq

      David
      Mentioned the book “This time it’s different” It refers to the fact that economies fail and bubbles burst while everyone says ‘this time is different’just before the banal and recurring fall.
      Maybe it also refers to the fact that American economists can’t write very well. ‘This time is different’ is no different.

  2. Jonathan Sperber
    Curator’s Professor
    Ph.D., University of Chicago
    area: modern European history

    http://books.google.ie/books?id=BhfAxkW6dfsC&pg=PA109&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4

  3. Adam Byrne

    Only Rasta can liberate the people
    Over hills and valleys too
    Don’t let them fool you
    Don’t believe for a minute that they are with you
    Jah free the people
    Over hills and valleys too
    Don’t let them fool you
    Don’t believe for a minute, they don’t like you

  4. molly

    ; the third is no political leadership What political leadership,the only political leadership we have is bury your government heads in the sand.
    The government go off on a tangent over smoking ,social welfare fraud , and covering up there own past fraud .
    David you are right how can we provide growth /jobs when all we do is cut cut cut,if you starve a Plant of water it dies the same as starve a country of money it dies to.
    Remember how FF lost contact with its voting public and so payed the price ,well has the current government go the same road well yes they have,the problem is this government is playing a game with our country and they are way out of there depth .
    They can’t swim and there in the forty foot and there’s no life boys .
    Is the government hiding behind france if they are not they should be because if you don’t know what you are doing why make the first move ie voting to soon.

  5. Good Article

    Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.
    Bob Marley.

    Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.
    Bob Marley

  6. estshuffle

    Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and a king ain’t satisfied ’til he rules everything…..
    from the prophet Bruce 1973!!
    The king is closing in on ruling everything….. for nothing….. yet we wring our hands and change one useless puppet government for another.
    Will you vote as you are told?

  7. Philip

    Someone in our leadership needs to stand up and say…lads the game is up. Time to tell our friends in Brussels and Frankfurt or the voters will hang us at the polls.

    You see, this is why I do not believe in the “power” of elites. The lot here still do not “get it”. If I did not know any better, I’d swear FF’s apparent alignment with FG/LP is a case of rushing the incumbents down a slippery slope of a backlash. Something is up and Kenny and the lads are too tick to see it.

    • The elites are tiny in number and have power because the masses handed it to them through apathy and ingorance

      Canvassers from parties on the YES side are scared to knock on doors and are reporting back to base complaining about the anger and intimidation they feel

      They might be wise to hire bodyguards

  8. molly

    FG and Lab said we have to do this and we have to do that because FF policy’s signed us up to it .
    What will FG/LAB say when they make there very own balls up they can’t do the blame game anymore,but if they get this wrong the steaks are to high,I call on this government to call of this vote till a later date because events all over Europe are moving at such an uncertain pase and we could be making a terrible decision .

  9. piombo

    David,
    Entertaining article.
    Of the four problems you cite I agree on numbers 1 and 2. Problems 3 and 4 are surrogates of the first two and reflect potential civil strife within each affected country.
    I disagree however that a default is the solution for the no-growth and high debt problems.
    Default is messy and the breaking of one’s word (remember Olie’s schoolboy latin phrase “pacta sunt servanda”).
    Devaluation through an exit of the Euro is the more honourable and feasible solution.
    Devaluation would prove to be quicker and more equitable as the consequent drop in asset prices and disposable incomes versus foreign counterparties would be shared proportionally accross the entire population. Liabilities would also drop in real value.
    Debt problem solved.
    Foreign Direct Investment would also explode as Ireland (and Italy my adopted home country) would become relatively much lower cost bases. Growth problem solved.
    As all would share the same pain on a relative basis, the chances of civil strife lessen considerably, hence, political leadership would be restored somewhat.
    Of course, inflation would spiral, but only for the first six months. There would be tension within the Civil Service as pay is fixed in large part, but both Ireland and Italy have proven themselves well-skilled in soothing the Civil Servants nerves in the past.
    Inflation would also ressurect the housing market along with foreign investors.
    Also, people would travel abroad less, but so what as this would be temporary.
    The biggest losers (creditor foreign banks) would just have to get on with life.

    • p 97.

      What Publicity Can Do:

      And since this wealth is an important factor in the creation of power exercised by the Money Trust, we must endeavor to put an end to this improper wealth getting, as well as to improper combination. The Money Trust is so powerful and so firmly entrenched, that each of the sources of its undue power must be effectually stopped, if we would attain new freedom.

    • Louis Dembitz BrandeisNovember 13, 1856 — October 5, 1941) was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939.

      • A good man, indeed:
        “I find it very difficult to disagree with the principles of Henry George …. I believe in the taxation of land values only.”
        - Justice Louis Brandeis

  10. The image of the “Circle” skinning up a spliff before the launch of their latest heist is hilarious.

    “Throw us over the Rizlas there Seanie!”

    Priceless.

    I think one of the Euro Crew will break ranks soon to save their asses. Whether that be a nation, bank or bureaucrat, who knows. But break ranks they will.

    Historic times.

  11. dwalsh

    The recent French and Greek elections display the emerging general character of European politics in the years immediately ahead. The population of Europe is saying:

    NO to austerity;
    NO to the ECB;
    NO to the IMF;
    NO to paying the debts of the private banks.

    However this NO is being expressed as a polarity of left and right. The move to the left is to be welcomed; but there is also an ominous move to the right. In the years immediately ahead this polarity will likely increase and will define the debate. Our fate as Europeans, and the fate of the world, will depend on which vision will come to power and determine the character of European and global politics and society in the years ahead.

    • Strange coloring of the left as good and the right as bad “dwalsh”.

      Have you any historical evidence to support this view?

      The left v right puppet show is a false paradigm by the way.

      Seriously are there only two views of the world???

      How limiting!!!

      • dwalsh

        By right I mean the xenophobic racist fascist extremes…which I unequivocally label as ‘bad’. There are plenty of historical examples of how these extremes flourish in times of social distress; and the great danger they represent to humanity and civilisation.

        • Well the Nasi’s were socialists so too the soviets. What’s left? No pun intended :)

          • dwalsh

            Been down this road before too many times Josey; but just so you know; in my view neither of the regimes you mention were socialist.

          • ok dwalsh…let’s not waste eachothers time. The point I’m trying to make that both left and right are just labels…controlled and managed to lead the people. Neither are ever lead by the people.

            We need a new way.

  12. gizzy

    I was watching a programme on BBC last night about the Euro. Nations are starting to hate each other. Some basis for economic and political union.

    ‘The beatings will stop when morale improves’ seems to be the only approach being adopted.

  13. Deco

    How do we achieve better understanding an co-operation amongst the people of Europe ?

    If an end us put to the various attempts to corral them into imperial constructs, on the premise (as usual) that they need to be corralled into an empire, for their own moral wellbeing. And this is exactly what the EU is providing as the sell campaign for what has happened in the past two decades of “integration”.

    The British also had a vote over the weekend, and the UK had a debt to GDP ratio as bad as that of Greece in 2008. The British have implemented austerity. And they are not voting for hard line parties, though the British Labour Party has many unrealistic expectations, which turn slightly hypocritical considering what occurred under Gordn Brown.

    The entire EU centralization project is going to lead Europe into financial disaster. Everything was fine in 1992. But the clowns with the big stupid ideas (“vision”) took over and created a massive policy disaster.

    • StephenKenny

      You have wonder how much of the sound and fury coming out in the TV, the newspapers, and the radio, is anything more than PR. For example,

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-postthe-existential-financial-problem-our-time

      For the countries that have only achieved growth in their average standard of living through the accumulation of ever more debt, the idea of economic ‘recovery’, however achieved, is very murky. Recover back to what level? The US, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, UK, and most of Eastern Europe, having been living by increasing their debt every year for so long (20 years? 40 years?), that it’s difficult to decide what the economy would look like without it.

      One thing is for certain, getting rid of the current level of debt is only the first, and comparatively easy, problem. Creating a wealth generating economy is quite a different matter.

      • PR is the modern term for propaganda…so you are 100% correct there bud.

      • Deco

        Since about 1995, there has been no sustainable growth in the West, that is not sustained by taking on increasing debt levels with some notable exceptions like Germany, and Switzerland.

        Basically, you have growth engineered by implementing interest rates that are the wrong side of the rate of inflation, in an effort to induce expenditure, and to prop up asset bubbles. This actually causes massive resource misallocation. And then you get a liquidity crisis as this prevents loan repayment, which seizes up the banking system.

        This would never have happened had interest rates been higher. But, the vested interests will not tolerate such a policy from central bankers on interest rates. The central bankers duly obliged. Except Wim Duisenburg, who was called ‘Dim Wim’ by the finance sector media because he actually believed in 4% interest rates and not relying on asset bubbles for economic growth.

        Central bank independence is a complete lie. It is obvious that central bankers are trying to engineer growth. Trichet and Greenspan in particular facilitated growth on the back of increased debt accumulation. And you were all encouraged to take part.

        I hope that you were wise enough not to take part. All it did in the long run was drive up the price of oil, and drive down the value of real estate – which is exactly the opposite of what it was designed to do. All of of which proves that you will survive by doing the exact opposite of what is induced upon the herd.

        • piombo

          Good comment. Wasn’t it 1995 the year China was admitted to the WTO or thereabouts? I wonder what the effects on growth and employment would be if the EU applied the same tarrifs that China still applies to EU-sourced products and services.

      • coldblow

        Stephen

        Michael Hennigan’s first comment (5.22 of 1 May)seems to be much along the lines of your own:

        http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2012/04/30/fiscal-causes-and-consequences/

  14. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Look, folks,in an earlier blog David firmly ‘nailed his colours to the mast’ so to speak, by stating that he was going to be voting NO to the Fiscal Stability Treaty. I am going to be doing the same and so should everybody else who contributes to this blog in one form or another. Ireland is not Germany and it never will be!! Germany is Germany and if Germany wants to do what it thinks it wants to do then let Germany do exactly that!! Why should we be like Germany?? Germany is Germany and no amount of huffing and puffing by any other country in the EU is going to change that fact!! Wake up and smell the roses people!!!!
    This government of ours should be told in no uncertain terms where they can stuff their Fiscal Stability Treaty!!! Do you really want to maintain the status quo, well, you will do if you go out and vote YES on 31st May.
    Every day that goes by things just seem to get worse not better and it will just keep on getting worse if this referendum is passed. The banks should be let go to the wall and the new banks that will inevitably pop up to take their place after their demise will probably a whole lot better if they end up being run by the right people.
    If Germany wants to go it alone then they can if they want to. As for the rest of Europe, well, they should be left to plough their own furrows because no other country can be Germany.

    • piombo

      Hi CorkPP,
      Agree that Germany is not for changing and why should it?
      Ireland, should simply vote No to the ESM Treaty and upon first refusal for further bailout funds(which is a mathematical certainity), simply communicate to the EU Commission, ECB etc., that at midnight Ireland will revert to the punt una issued at par with the Euro for 3/5/7 years until it is ready to re-enter the EZ when it’s public finances permit.
      An extended bank holiday of three days is all that it is needed for the ATM machines whilst the rest is electronic. The Creditor nation banks will offer bridging finance in the blink of an eye and punt nua would settle after about 10 days on the FX markets.
      Military style planning and coordination plus a reasonable dose of courage would complete the risorgimento irlandese!

      • Pero questa volta un risorgimento sensa i massoni…per piacere Piombo!!!

      • bonbon

        Unfortunately military-style planning without first splitting the banks across the transatlantic region will end in military defeat. Real bravery is not running into the bullet hail.

        Real Collins-style military strategy means first dumping the ESM treaty. The resulting disarray will bring many to the table, and his time around threats of a “Treaty 2″ by some would-be LLoyd George will be vacuous threats from an utterly bankrupt Empire.

      • bonbon

        I wonder how Tremonti would plan, as in his book Emergency Exit?

        • piombo

          I am pretty sure that Tremonti WAS preparing a showdown with the ECB before November 2011. He was promoting Eurobonds for two years before he lost power.
          Anyway, the EZ game is near an “utterly changed” moment.
          Spain is about to call time, and Italy is de facto in a much worse situation than either Ireland or Spain given that its public sector is completely out of control. For example, my company is owed millions in VAT credits from the State from 30 months and the officials here are telling us that there are simply no funds!! Thank God the business is strong otherwise we were nearly bankrupted by our government. That is some thought.
          For Josey, I don’t think the brothers have such a strong role in Ireland, I am not an authority, but the Irish don’t need them

  15. Adam Byrne

    Awful lot of typos in there David. I wonder could I get a job with the Indo as a proof reader?

  16. molly

    Leave the euro question would we starve I say no.
    With this government only interested in there own skins and see our saving grace in the export led growth .
    You see it’s not that we need to grow ourselves out of recession ,we need to grow ourselves out of Europe .
    Stay in the euro stay in Europe at what cost because we have so many billions that Iwe owe i believe Europe will use our country like what a pirhana stripping the meat of the bones.
    What can be sold will be sold for a song remember eircom and the shares and all the hype and look what the new owners do with that company ran it in ti the grownd and not before they made a fortune now stand back and thint of ireland ,on a much lagger scale and for what to pay back bond holders,fat cats ,government and there croneys it’s a long list.
    The rich will still get richer the poor will be the victims and the less well off.

  17. bonbon

    I like the concluding remark, what is indeed stronger than mere pot? We all know the “traders” are cocaine junkies, but what about the suits running the economy into the ground?

    Something has indeed gripped their entire mental bandwidth (evidence being their machinations are programmed). It is hard to dismiss the “godlike” attitude of Rompuy etc as mere fantasy. All signs of human creative thought have vanished.

    It is amazing that this still holds citizens in thrall. It is the Roman method.

    Imagine arguing physical economic agro/industrial growth with Caesar, or even worse Nero?

    But this is exactly what is going on!

  18. Louis Hoffman

    Most of the Ganga smoking in Dublin in 1980 was not going on in the Noggin!!

  19. Louis Hoffman

    Sorry South County Dublin, in fact Bob Marley and Ganga were both very un-noggin in 1980

    • Well Loius,

      We’ll have to differ on that one. My memory from Dun Laoghaire was that ganga was ubiquitous when we were kids. The ‘Noggin was always a big reggae and ska neck of the woods as far as I can remember.

      How’s life?

      D

      • coldblow

        I was over for a holiday (including the afters of a wedding, in Galway) in the summer of 1979 and you couldn’t breathe for clouds of the stuff. It was apparently the national sport and far more blatant than in England (or the bits of England that I came across). Or at least this is what everyone was saying. I’m sorry to say it was a national disgrace. It really depressed me at the time.

        By the way, at that wedding I was the only one who didn’t take a puff. Just like a couple of days earlier I’d politely declined a plate of ‘enhanced’ spag bol from the groom’s brother. While another, younger brother of his had gone off walkies that evening as he had just entered a long schizophrenic phase (I suppose he’s still in a home now) after their earlier escapades working in Germany. I can see the scene right now and it makes me shiver. Later on in that holiday his distraught parents told me how he had just ‘gone out’ on them, into a world of his own – I don’t think they knew what had triggered it although they might have guessed. Looking back on that time I see a queasy mixture of devil-may-care, knowingness and, well, horror. The knowingness, or ‘sophisitication’, jars. They saw me reading a book called “The Diceman” which was had been recommened to me by a friend as some kind of alternative classic. I binned it as soon as I got home as it was rubbish. They had it sussed, of course, and the mere thought that they might have thought I liked it is embarrassing.

        That was me too, sitting down during that Status Quo gig at the Hammersmith Odeon a few years earlier – well, for a bit. Not just me, my sister a few seats away also refused to stand up – I didn’t realize we had anything in common. Don’t say ‘no’, just ‘”"”" Off’. If I ever get tinnitus I’m going to sue those b*stards!

        Also, reggae for me was Desmond Dekker’s sublime Israelite (easter of 69 I seem to recall) and the Trojan label. I never enjoyed Marley. His music never touched me but seemed to be more about fashion or politics (was there a difference?), or a statement about ‘solidarity’ or whatever. A bit like the way people like to say they just loved Tommy Cooper.

  20. Hi David,

    The link below is to our graph of total deposits with, and total debts to, the Irish banking sector over time.

    http://www.sensiblemoney.ie/how-modern-economies-operate/#whats-different-about-this-recession

    It highlights a number of important points which we’ve tried to get across before.

    Firstly, The total money supply, and total debt to, the Irish banking sector are linked. This is because digital money, which forms 97% of the money supply, comes from bank loans. This is the root cause of the debt crisis since the commercial banks create money, and debt, whenever they process a loan.

    Secondly, it shows that as we settle our debts the money supply lowers also. This is because banks delete the money they receive as repayment of a loan. We’d be happy to explain how money becomes a victim of double entry bookkeeping if this point is in doubt.

    Finally, it shows how unique this recession is since we now owe far more than exists in an era when the amount of cash in the economy is negligible. The Government’s ability to print money is now insignificant.

    One temporary solution would be defaulting on loans as you suggest. However, at Sensible Money, we’re promoting the issuance of debt-free digital money as a means of resolving the crisis and indeed future crises.

    Paul Ferguson
    Sensible Money

    • bonbon

      We do not owe anything to the investment banks. We will simply repudiate that majority portion.

      The missing growth of 40 years we can recover in a generation with credit based Hamiltonian banking. That means huge projects which I can list.

      The problem with British monetarism is brought into sharp focus and replaced by Glass-Steagall and Hamiltonian national banking.

      • Hi Bonbon,

        Defaulting on debts does have consequences for whatever company had that debtor as an asset. This includes the banking sector which is too big to fail, insurance companies who may not pay out in the event of an accident and pension companies who would have to write to customers to say they’re not receiving a pension after all.

        It would be possible for the Government to repay the national debt as it falls due with money it creates for the purpose.

        If we did write off debts and allowed banks to create the money supply again we’d have the same problems as today very soon. Even if it were only investment banks which were allowed to create money.

        This recession has brought a great opportunity to discuss how money is created and destroyed and we should be debating the many ways in which we could create and destroy money to service the modern economy better.

        • bonbon

          TBTF. really means now TBTB – too big to bail. The “modern creation of money” has concentrated huge sums in 5 large institutions. This makes Glass-Steagall relatively easy – 5 slices.

          Money is not the problem, rather the obsession -easily played on by the populist “silver and gold” coinage.

          The problem is that after 35 years of indoctrination which gave us various Nobel Prizes have erased any concept of economics, growth-per-capita and square-kilometer.

          Shifting to this thinking totally changes the money requirement from tokens to credit, as Hamilton explicitly countered the British monetarism, still rampant today.

          We need a national credit system, after sorting out money immediately with Glass-Steagall. The Volcker rule is proven by various “reformed” luminaries, as swiss-cheese.

          Both Germany and the USA have deep Credit System roots and both fought monetarism at various phases. Arthur Griffith knew this precisely. After all major contributions to the American System of Political Economy were made by Irishmen – the Carey’s for example.

  21. dwalsh

    @ Josey

    What I wrote was that the debate and struggle in the years ahead will play itself out as a polarity. The centrism of the past decades is over…just as the unipolar world following the collapse of the USSR is over too, with the re-emergence of Russia onto the world stage; and the BRICs and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation etc.

    For me the authentic left represents the rights of ordinary citizens, workers etc; and endeavours to moderate the exploitation of the population by the capitalist elites; which we see in full rampage in recent years.

    In my view this polarising shift in the general social and political debate is a reflection of real feelings and attitudes in the population. We are well into an era of public re-engagement in politics; and this trend will increase as the financial crisis cuts deeper into each of our lives; and especially as it begins to seriously effect the physical or real economy upon which we all rely for life-support.

    Naturally these upsurging popular movements will be seen by some as an opportunity; and naturally the usual array of suspects will jump on the bandwagon; and the various media will play it with their own editorial spin. Naturally all of that and more will be part of it. All popular movements are hijacked and manipulated to some extent.

    But the underlying polarity will be between different kinds of human mind (I almost want to write ‘different kinds of human being’).

    There are those who will be angry and who will seek others to blame and punish. They will blame their neighbours who are teachers; or in public service; or they’ll blame foreigners, like the Germans, or the Arabs, and so on. Those people will form the ranks of the various right wing reactions to the crisis.

    There will be others, also angry at what has happened, who will want to see justice; but not in the form of punishment; they will want justice in the form of equity for all; a return to a more rational and humane social order. These people will form the ranks of the various left wing responses to the crisis.

    I will stand with those of the left.

    • bonbon

      Instead of this happy left-right Synarchist plan, lets break up the banks as Glass-Steagall did. FDR you see did not fall for Synarchism, a European strategy since Napoleon. Synarchism is a French word, a Bankers recipe (Banque de Worms – now Lazard) well documented by US military intelligence just after WWII.

      • dwalsh

        Well I wouldnt think of what I described as being either happy or a conspiracy; more like an unfortunate reality of human nature at this time.

        Glass-Steagall and a Tobiin tax would be the kind of thing a leftist movement would favour; whereas the right will favour Darwinian free market economics.

        By the way, ‘synarchism’ is a combination of ancient Greek words.

        • Social darwinism….eugenics!!!

          Do you know what Darwin wrote about the irish in his “decent of Man” ????

          Yes he called us the most un-evolved “species” on earth and said that if any nordic or britain ever bred with an irish person it would set evolution back thousands of years!!!!

          Why oh why do we embrace such an elitists views!!!!

          • bonbon

            Darwin’s cousin Galton founded eugenics, coined the word, later whose treasurer for 30+ years was Lord Maynard Keynes, the famous economist.

            There is much more, but today we have the Royal Society “People and the Planet”, along with Dr. Schellnhuber of Merkel’s circle promoting population reduction to 1 billion. Openly, not hidden, from the same “elites”.

        • onq

          There is no such thing as Darwinian Free Market economics. Utter tosh.

          • Well some believe…namely those at the top, that they got there because they are the most evolved, they must be the fittest because they are at the top.

            Utter tosh indeed….but they still believe it.

          • bonbon

            An honest look at the “evolution” of economics, will quickly show that von Hayek, the Austrian School free-market, deregulated, small government luminary, praised Bernhard Mandeville as the key inspiration. Darwin praised Malthus. Hayek’s “spontaneous order” is straight from Darwin ans Malthus, while at the same time Mandeville is identified clearly as much more than an ecnomist, rather a psychologist.

            The market has to be free for this unknowable spontaneous order and publick good to appear, you see.

            Today at the Fabian London School of Economics, Mandeville Lectures continue Hayek’s tradition.

        • bonbon

          Well French is Indo-European too like Greek. The point is clear, this word captures the activities of finance who play the left-right theater.

      • CitizenWhy

        The US passed Glass=Steagall but everywhere else in the West the practice of universal banking continued.There were no great problems with European universal banks, that is, banks that combined investment banking (pooling of capital for direct investment in businesses, either in the form of equity/stocks or debt/bonds, commercial banking (business lending), consumer banking and investment management.

        The trouble began in the US when unregulated non-bank banks were allowed to make commercial loans or provide commercial paper(very short term loans). This put highly regulated commercial banks at a disadvantage. Commercial banks went from providing 85% of corporate loans to providing less than 20%. At the same times large corporations also began to prefer going to the “capital markets” – equity or bond issuing through an investment bank – for capital rather than take out large commercial loans. It was short step from there to corporation’s and investment management funds, which had always invested in stocks, bonds or currencies, to start investing a new form of bond called a derivative, which initially were rather plain vanilla but gradually became exotic and highly complex (due to computerization and financial engineering). The big commercial banks felt locked out of this profit stream and pushed for the repeal of Glass Steagall. Having Glass-Steagall in place would not have prevented the problems with risky and deceptive derivatives, which did not exist when Glass Steagall was passed. It is also generally acknowledged that separating investment banking and commercial/consumer banking, as Glass-Steagall did, was not a solution to tyhe problem of the depression. What was needed was more lending by commerical banks based on more money being made available through the fed. The Fed, howver, cut off the money supply to banks so they stopped making commercial loans and many businesses died that did not have to.

        Having Glass-Steagall in -place would have mitigated to some extent to the derivative=-caused crisis of 2008, but not much. Strictly commercial/consumer/investment management banks/institutions would still have invested heavily in the derivatives deceptively produce by the big investment banks, those complex derivatives which simply collapsed in value in 2008 (nobody being willing to buy them at anywhere near face value, a disastrous event, when sudden and disorderly,for any kind of bond).

        The problem of complex derivatives needs to be solved. Passing Glass-Steagall would not do this.

        The problem of bubbles caused by huge capital inflows from outside a country into small economy, or even a large economy, needs to be solved.

        • bonbon

          FDR passed Glass-Steagall in 1933 after the Pecora Commission identified for the public the sheer criminilaity of JPMorgan (AGAIN in the news with the same). Until 2000, despite salami slicing away by Sir Alan Greenspan over a decade, it held, with most countries having a version. Germany had 80 laws to that effect. Repeal started the crisis in 2000.

          Any discussion must begin with reinstatement first. Even Volcker admits his Rule is a joke. Calls all over the press after JPMorgans 2billion loss ths week just show the pressure.
          With Glass-Steagall in place most problems will be manageable.

    • Well I agree with all you say dwalsh but let’s not walk into the prepared leftist structures that are already set up to manage our desires and frustrations…they’ll just use their nudge techniques to steer us away from real justice and back to where we started flip flopping between the two given options.

      We need to totally break out of the bi-polar system.

      Don’t call it left or right because you alienate 50% of the populous……call it JUSTICE….that’s something we all yearn for!!!

      • dwalsh

        What I am trying to describe Josey is a polarity I see in human nature itself; not a media trope. Justice means very different things at either pole of the polarity I write about. You can see these starkly different views of justice clearly expressed here on this blogg.

        I think we need to acknowledge that in our estimation of the situation.

        • CitizenWhy

          You might enjoy reading “The Blank State” by Steven Pinker, Harvard/MIT evolutionary psychologist. It details what science now knows about our human nature, including our inborn sense of justice (based on reciprocity) which will take one of three main forms depending on culture.

          If you enjoy literature you will find the commentary on many great works of literature intriguing, the commentary being guided by the science. Quite insightful.

          The current discontents in our societies reflect a belief that the reciprocity that had been painfully developed between Capital and Labor has been eliminated in favor of rewarding capital and punishing labor (that is, the 99%).

    • CitizenWhy

      What the left knows: the “invisible hand” has a greasy palm and is not so invisible when lobbying for special privileges, mighty tax exemptions and the right to rig markets.

  22. Deco

    China has implied that getting involved in the EuroZone bailout is a waste of resources.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9258317/Chinese-sovereign-wealth-fund-stops-buying-European-government-debt.html

    This may possibly be an attempt to negotiate something that is more favourable to China, from the EU, like better trade terms – which in the long run will make matters worse for economies with productivity problems like Portugal, Greece, etc..

  23. goldbug

    FORCE INTEREST RATES LOWER -> CREATE HUGE PROPERTY BUBBLE

    -> WHY?

    DEREGULATE DERIVATIVES -> CREATE DERIVATIVE BUBBLE

    -> WHY?

    FORCE TAXPAYER BAILOUT -> TOO BIG TO FAIL -> AGAINST RULES OF CAPITALISM

    -> WHY?

    NO DEBT WRITEOFF -> UNSUSTAINABLE PONZI SCHEME

    -> WHY NOW?

    TO CHANGE AUTHORITY -> OLD MUST BE DISCREDITED

  24. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    Hello Readers and David

    Some time past I told you we would canvass our town in support of a NO vote. Since then we worked very hard to get just 6 points in support a NO vote. I have included these 6 points below, I would like to see any comments on these. We intend to start our canvass next Monday evening 19:30 to 20:30 14th May.

    —————————————————–
    1. Ireland has little sovereignty left. Don’t be the shamed generation that voted away the last of Ireland’s independence. For the sake of you children vote No.
    2. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said fiscal austerity will place more people on the dole.
    3. We may not need a second loan (incorrectly called a bailout) from ECB/EU. The IMF has confirmed they will lend to us at a much reduced interest rate irrespective of treaty ratification. Also, if Germany/Europe don’t lend to us how can their Banks/Bond Holders get their money back.
    4. Austerity means more hardship for you. The guilty people responsible for and profiting from this mess will escape justice, if you agree with this then vote Yes.
    5. This treaty is not an EU treaty and has no connection with the EU. The fiscal compact treaty has nothing to do with solving the Euro Zone financial problems.
    6. The Maastricht Treaty criteria already contain the fiscal imperatives (60% debt to GDP ratio and max 3% deficit), so there is no fiscal reason for this treaty.

    —————————————————–

    Please comment as we decide what to print this evening at 20:00

    Thank You all in advance

    • conorm

      Irrespective of any form of debt restructuring or forgiveness and irrespective of our bank bailouts and associated debts, we need SEVERE austerity in this country to balance our fiscal deficit. All the keynesian growth policies under the sun aren’t going to bridge the massive gap between income and expenditure in this country. We need to accept the reality that this country’s level of expenditure is not going to return to anywhere near its property fuelled levels and is completely out of line with any realistic future levels of income and we need to adjust accordingly. Painful, unpalatable, unpopular. Absolutely. But it is the only way. The alternative is perpetual expansion of our debt.

      • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

        Yes Conorm I fully agree. We have a huge inefficient public service which needs to be tamed. I see today where 20% absenteeism is being seen in some public service areas. We must fix the huge spending , BUT lets plan it and target it ourselves. This treaty is a needless kneejerk reaction, lets kill the monster that consumes the money, lets see what we can do to reduce the debts. Lets think and not tie our hands, have a look at Iceland. We were fooled into this so lets now take control and get out of it as Irish people.

    • Hi Pushkin,
      great work but can you explain points 5 and 6 please in more detail if you have the time?

      Regards,

      Josey :)

      • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

        Yes Josey , Number 5 first , Article 2 is designed to establish the link between the Fiscal Treaty and European Union law. It reaffirms that even though this new treaty is NOT a normal EU treaty, it should conform as far as possible with existing EU treaties and should be compatible with those treaties. Nor should it encroach on the competence of the EU to act in the area of economic union.

        NOW number 6 , these imperatives were in the Maastricht Treaty but were ignored by Germany and France !!

        • Thanks for the reply Puskin.

          So if it’s not an EU treaty, it begs the question what kind of treaty is it and how can the EU create non-EU treaties???

          • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

            Josey , that’s a good question, we tried to answer it but these’s no point in the effort. If THEY created something this complex it’s best to just keep away from it. I’m sure the YES men have no answer either. I suppost a YES man just BELIVES therefore they never bother to explain. It’s faith for YES men.

          • I wonder why no one in the media, Vinnie brown included, has asked about your potential point 7 in the ESM?

            If I were a politician this is how I’d answer:

            “Oh yes that clause exists but just for a worst case scenario, we won’t actually use it”….aside: hehehehehe

    • onq

      The treaty is a means of creating an unelected and totally unaccountable financial institution. read Article 32.

      http://taleoftwotreaties.tumblr.com/

      Find the link here

      http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/582311/05-tesm2.en12.pdf

      • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

        Thanks Onq , we did see this
        ————————————–
        In the interest of the ESM, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Governors, alternate Governors, Directors, alternate Directors, as well as the Managing Director and other staff members shall be immune from legal proceedings with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity and shall enjoy inviolability in respect of their official papers and documents
        ————————————-
        It scared us , it was the reason we acted. We may decide to put this as a point 7 on our list , but we decided to make the points clear and easy, no argument , no reading

    • bonbon

      THE SHOCKING TRUTH OF THE PENDING EU COLLAPSE! http://youtu.be/EPcWHBPYOSU

      was posted by various in the previous 2 threads here.

      Look at the detailed articles guaranteeing payment in days in that short video.

      This treaty is even worse for Germany and the silence on that is a major flaw. In other words the pamphlet may isolate Ireland and avoid the imperial nature of this rotten document, and let the “invisible hand” off, again.

  25. DC

    Definition – Contagion.

    A corrupting or harmful influence that tends to spread; pollutant.

    The Pollutant is Debt and the system is already infected, polluted and compromised.
    Take a look a world debt figure in the link below, it’s not just Govt/Sovereign Debt but household, financial and non financial debt.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/01/daily-chart-8

    Then consider the refinancing concerns for the next five years

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/sp-opens-pandoras-box-wall-refi-worry-46000000000000-tall

    The glue holding the system together is Money Printing, Monetization the hope of future unlimited growth from a finite and limited world.

    The answer must be a debt jubilee and the re benchmarking of money to a quantifiable resource and the elimination of fractional reserve banking and a return to a truly democratic govt that is capable of operating in the best interests of its citizens. Government of the people, by the people , for the people.

    “Don’t gain the world and lose your soul/
    Wisdom is better than Silver and Gold”
    — Bob Marley, Zion Train

  26. onq

    http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/582311/05-tesm2.en12.pdf

    I’ve concentrated on just one article, 32.

    ARTICLE 32

    Legal status, privileges and immunities

    1. To enable the ESM to fulfil its purpose, the legal status and the privileges and immunities set out in this Article shall be accorded to the ESM in the territory of each ESM Member. The ESM shall endeavour to obtain recognition of its legal status and of its privileges and immunities in other territories in which it performs functions or holds assets.

    2. The ESM shall have full legal personality; it shall have full legal capacity to:

    (a) acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property;

    (b) contract;

    (c) be a party to legal proceedings; and

    (d) enter into a headquarter agreement and/or protocols as necessary for ensuring that its legal status and its privileges and immunities are recognised and enforced.

    3. The ESM, its property, funding and assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process except to the extent that the ESM expressly waives its immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract, including the documentation of the funding instruments.

    4. The property, funding and assets of the ESM shall, wherever located and by whomsoever held, be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure, taking or foreclosure by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action.

    5. The archives of the ESM and all documents belonging to the ESM or held by it, shall be inviolable.

    6. The premises of the ESM shall be inviolable.

    7. The official communications of the ESM shall be accorded by each ESM Member and by each state which has recognised the legal status and the privileges and immunities of the ESM, the same treatment as it accords to the official communications of an ESM Member.

    8. To the extent necessary to carry out the activities provided for in this Treaty, all property, funding and assets of the ESM shall be free from restrictions, regulations, controls and moratoria of any nature.

    9. The ESM shall be exempted from any requirement to be authorised or licensed as a credit institution, investment services provider or other authorised licensed or regulated entity under the laws of each ESM Member.

    =======================================

    Even if Hollande’s “growth pact” is included, they could simply ignore it and we could not force them to comply through any court. This Treaty opens up a way for the Rothschild Maxim to be enforced all over Europe without legal recourse.

    “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”
    Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790

    • Confused slightly;
      That’s the ESM treaty that will be ratified in the Dáil…how does it relate to the fiscal union treaty we will vote on this month?

      Thanks,

      Josey

  27. onq

    Some very interesting quotations on this page, from such diverse sources as Jefferson and Napoleon. When such men as these fear the power of the money changers, I say we should listen and learn

    “I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution – taking from the federal government their power of borrowing.”
    Thomas Jefferson, 1798

    I haven’t had time to check them all, but some I know to be true from my reading to date.

    http://www.xat.org/xat/moneyhistory.html

    “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
    Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815

  28. onq

    One way that bankers make money from war.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wellington’s attack from the south and other defeats eventually forced Napoleon into exile. However in 1815 he escaped from his banishment in Elba, an Island off the coast of Italy, and returned to Paris.

    By March of that year Napoleon had equipped an army with the help of borrowed money from the Eubard Banking House of Paris.

    With 74,000 French troops led by Napoleon, sizing up to meet 67,000 British and other European Troops 200 miles NE of Paris on June 18th 1815, it was a difficult one to call. Back in London, the real potential winner, Nathan Rothschild, was poised to strike in a bold plan to take control of the British stock market, the bond market, and possibly even the Bank of England.

    Nathan, knowing that information is power, stationed his trusted agent named Rothworth near the battle field.

    As soon as the battle was over Rothworth quickly returned to London, delivering the news to Rothschild 24 hours ahead of Wellington’s courier.

    A victory by Napoleon would have devastated Britain’s financial system. Nathan stationed himself in his usual place next to an ancient pillar in the stock market.

    This powerful man was not without observers as he hung his head, and began openly to sell huge numbers of British Government Bonds.

    Reading this to mean that Napoleon must have won, everyone started to sell their British Bonds as well.

    The bottom fell out of the market until you couldn’t hardly give them away. Meanwhile Rothschild began to secretly buy up all the hugely devalued bonds at a fraction of what they were worth a few hours before.

    In this way Nathan Rothschild captured more in one afternoon than the combined forces of Napoleon and Wellington had captured in their entire lifetime.

    • bonbon

      So ask the obvious question – who was Napoleon actually working for? Cui Bono?

      Look at the trail of destruction that British Golem brought to Moscow. Look at the trail Hitler tried to bring to Moscow.

      Now look at the severe stern warning from Putin – with English subtitles this week : those ABM’s are a casis-belli and a Russian pre-emptive strike is likely.

      This time around thermonuclear weapons are in plentiful supply, but the madness of this strategy means the end of civilization. Venetian methods have brought us to this!

    • bonbon

      Which makes the pompous sound-bites you quote above sheer, well show.

      As to Jefferson, he never understood Hamilton, which omission is rather Napoleonic.

  29. rebean

    I looked at Vincent Brownes program last night and the professor of business at DCU ( correct me if I am wrong) said that the real problem in Europe is that none of the people in Govt have a clue what exactly to do with all our economic woes. I thought to myself do any of these people have any qualifications or experience in economics.Probably not. So now I am thinking Well no wonder we have one crisis after another. Peter Browne was also on the program and said that the real problem was the fiscal debt year on year. Spain owes 700 billion give or take 50 billion so I am thinking Christ maybe I will go to Amsterdam this summer with my tie dyed tea shirt and hang out in one of the coffee shops with all the other hippies to forget about the madness around me. Maybe I could inter-rail down to Pamploma and run down the street with the Spanish with a load of wild bulls . It could not be any madder than whats going on everywhere else.

    • two do:

      Mario Monti in Italy and the current PM of Greece…..but they were installed not elected.

      • rebean

        Its a pity they were not installed about 10 years ago. We could maybe install one up in the Dept of finance. Sure didnt we send one over there in Europe recently. What was his name Kevin something or other.

        • Yeah let’s forget elections and just install “expert” everywhere…..hmmm but they’re still prone to human error…..if only a machine existed to run our lives efficiently as they do assembly lines….

          citizen’s value= input+x = output

          hmmmm…

          what happens when x drops.

          Computer says NO………citizen value = 0

          outsource citizen!!!

          • Citizens cause the program to crash due to a divide by zero error. Citizens must be rounded up before calculating their value

      • bonbon

        Eh? You forgot the other Goldman-Sachs buddy, Draghi. These 3 know something about economics! What kind of PR is that? Do you really expect to say that Goldman-Sachs knows what to do?

        I am simply astounded…

  30. onq

    Banking, War and Business – its all a racket.

    Anyone who thinks that America operates a Free Market, as opposed to a carefully rigged market has only got to read up on the recent fluctuations in the price of oil.

    This is another kind of war, because putting up the price of oil screws us all, adding cost to every good and service dependent on transport or goods made from oil.

    But this didn’t start in 2008 or 1998. This goes way back. Here is a page dealing with a military man’s appreciation of his life in the USMC, after he had worked out who he was really fronting for.

    http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf

    The characteristic of this racket, whether military or financial war, is that huge costs are run up by firms (huge debts are run through by over-lending) which the taxpayers have to pay back over decades.

    Any time you see a bubble, an over inflation of a market beyond what could be considered reasonable value by comparison with other markets, you are seeing a battle in this war.

    And the people who control the markets in peacetime, the politicians through policy and law, and the bankers through lending practices, are the generals in this war.

    We are the foot-soldiers. We do what we’re told. Because of fear for our families and our future. We’ll I’m a footsoldier who has struggled through three years of this crap and see no light at the end of the tunnel.

    At some point I expect I’ll crack, I’m only human after all, and then I’ll do something I may regret. But I am very clear as to who I’ll do it to.

    I’ll tell you one thing, I won’t be pointing a gun at some undernourished Muslim child or old man because some prick in a suit tells me they’re the enemy.

    The pen is mightier than the sword and the revolution has already started.

    • rebean

      You right. People are educated now en mass and their not going down the servants route without a fight. I was spending 300 euros a month until about three months ago and then I decided thats it I am on the bus. I park my car up and use it if I really need it. I am buying another bike soon and I am already 200 euros a month better off spending a mere 25 euros a week on petrol.I notice the price of petrol came down last month. Maybe there is a few more people doing the same.Sales are down and those oil companies dont like that.People will buy electric cars soon and the oil companies wont always have it their own way.People are beginning to watch what they spend their money on and are beginning to figure that being frugal is not all doom and gloom. As regards war that is to spread fear and to cause panic in people. You should look up Michael Tsarion on the internet and check out what he believes regarding world govts. Another real eye opener was Earths hidden secrets I downloaded off the CROWHOUSE website. We have been fed a load of tripe by those in power. Apparently the whole of world history was rewritten during the middle ages by the church as they had the power and the printing presses. I dont believe anything coming from vested interests anymore. I am off for a cycle now who knows we might be all on the bikes soon.

    • “No Vietnamese ever called me a nigger”
      Muhammad Ali

      • CitizenWhy

        “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

        Maya Angelou

  31. CitizenWhy

    “Ultimately, Europe has four problems. The first is not enough growth; the second is too much debt; the third is no political leadership and the fourth is the political illegitimacy of the technocrats that have been installed to run the economies on the periphery.”

    Solution: Managed default. Co-responsibility. … That says it all. Could be a political slogan. Anyone out there want to run on that slogan?

  32. Pass me them skins David. Good lad

  33. gizzy

    Interesting that the yes side is promoting the pact as a stability pact when things have not being as unstable in Europe since probably the second world war. they are debating as if current policies are a succcess and need to be endorsed.

    It is also clear even reading this blog how irrelevant our own politician shave become. They hardly merit a mention.

  34. molly

    Mr_Hollande wants changes to the treaty why because this is where the unfairness comes into play,he may very well get changes but only because he is a big boy like Germany but the fools we have running Ireland are nothing more than a door mats

    • bonbon

      He will try to get a change because that’s what the people voted for. It was a brawl, and he won. He will now face sever pressure, but must carry through.

      This is causing a dance in Berlin.

  35. Philip

    Was listening on the radio about some report from some swiss bank or other saying that no country ever dumped a major currency or walked away from a major industrial/ commmerical zone without heading down the route of extremism or civil war or both. That on default, we would be subject to 10K being worse off per citizen and then 3K worse per year thereafter. I may have misquoted terribly.

    Must say I am getting more than a little irritated when Kenny grins like idiot saying he’ll never be on TV3 with #VINB. What is up with that nonsense? It shows he’s petty. A petty mind is one not preoccupied with anything much…suggests leadership for himself more than for others. If ever you needed a catalyst for mass revolt, there it is.

    • bonbon

      Well if the report came from United Banksters of Switzerland (fondly known as UBS) of course they have difficulties with history.
      The USA did not walk away from British monetarism, they sent it running. And of course Britain did everything it could, including assassinations, to reclaim the loss including supporting the Confederacy. See this :

      PRINCE HARRY BEFOULS USA, TOURING FOR QUEEN’S JUBILEE. On May 7, Prince Harry planted a tree in Washington, and British MP Lord Alan Watson planted a tree in the former Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of QE2′s ascension to the throne. Prince Harry’s blitzkrieg visit also included visiting wounded U.S. soldiers — maimed in British empire-instigated wars, and being awarded for it by the Atlantic Council at its black-tie dinner.

      Add to that Blair is in the US “advising” about war with Syria, Iran if he can get away with it again.

      As for Enda, I’ll bet he remembers what happened on RTE to that FF candidate in mufti not long ago…

  36. http://www.austeritytreaty.ie/

    In a series of short videos, the key features of the Treaty such as the austerity required and the bondholder pay outs it demands are explained

  37. Myself and a couple of lads were talking about this article in a bar last night and they all liked it. We are all in our 40s and like talking politics and music. Sometimes politics and music is the same thing

    This is why I liked the article so much. Maybe one day John Lennon will inspire you to create such a fine opening mood.

    There’s room at the top they’re telling you still
    But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
    If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    http://www.lyrics007.com/John%20Lennon%20Lyrics/Working%20Class%20Hero%20Lyrics.html

  38. molly

    Austeritytreaty.ie Website please check this out.

  39. dwalsh

    @ onq

    Free market neo-liberal economics IS Darwinian in its inspiration; the survival of the fittest etc. Civilisation as a modern jungle (a resource to be exploited) in which individuals compete for wealth and prestige.
    Perhaps you hadnt though of it in those terms; but it seems obvious to me.

  40. Government TD to Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev: The best thing he can do for Ireland is get on a plane back to Moscow!!

    http://thechatteringmagpie14.blogspot.com/2012/05/meeting-with-local-td.html

    • What else do they expect from the blueshirts?
      They are revealing their true colours!

    • Deco

      Would it not be much cheaper for the state to sop paying people outlandish pay levels than to implement a special few percent extra tax for people on outlandish pay levels.

      A large percentage of people on absudrly high pay levels consist of professionals who charge the state on the basis of a high imblanced relationship.

      Doctors, legal professionals, NAMA “consultants” etc…

      The vast majority of the population are sick to the teeth of the scams that “professionals” seem to operate with respect to the taxpayers money in this country.

      Fixing that would face an astronomical amount of money in a short space of time.

      • bonbon

        The French Revolution, ala Robespierre, chose as its first Guillotine victim the famous chemist Lavoisier. Later the Pol Pot regime (operatives trained at the Sorbonne) sent anyone with some education into the fields. China’s gang of 4 sent doctors, engineers,scientists to the fields.

        This is the Kojeve recipe.

        Of course highly paid charlatans do exist. Glass-Steagall will handle that problem.

    • bonbon

      What is all that about the Swiss Columbanus fund anyway?

  41. dwalsh

    @ Josey

    Thanks, I didn’t know that comment by Darwin.

    In my view the Darwinian model does not apply to properly human development and civilisation. In fact the opposite is the case. The human world is a noöspheric or mind-made world; and mind and ideas expand by sharing and cooperation. Civilisation and human society is a cooperative venture; (not a business venture as some seem to believe).

    The human world is not merely an extension of the primeval forest. Humanity and the human world represents a new level of natural order emerging on the Earth. We could call it ‘human order’ or the noösphere; the sphere of mind-made reality.

    The nature and structure of human order – the human world or noosphere – is very different to primeval order; and it functions on different principles. Just look at how our cities and technology are constructed and we can clearly see the difference.

    Economic systems based on the philosophical spirit of Darwinian evolution are regressive and destructive of human order, human society and civilisation. And that is what we see around us today in the form of neo-liberal financial anarchy and economic warfare. Nations and civilisation viewed as a resource to be exploited.

    The financial elites may believe they are the genetically and intellectually advanced aspect of humanity; but in my view they are reactionary barbarians and regressives – dinosaurs.

    I am not a christian, but I believe Jesus got it right when he said “the meek shall inherit the Earth” (by ‘meek’ meaning the empathic, compassionate, cooperative, egalitarian etc).

    • bonbon

      On Darwin, a look at the full title of this required reading at most Uni’s :
      On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

      Title shortened later, I wonder why.

      “Noosphere” was coined by Vernadsky, the great Russian scientist who also coined biosphere, geosphere. To fully see the barbaric mental processes of those you mention, it is essential to get hold of everything Vernadsky wrote. The contrast is unbelievable. Beware incorrect translations on this essential point.

      One metric to distinguish these 3 layers or worlds is the rate-of-change. Geologic-time, much slower than biospheric-time where the O2 atmosphere appeared very rapidly. Noospheric-time, ours, is of an order so much quicker, it is a different existence.

      Vernadsky totally countered Darwins “bottom-up” reductionist “from dirt to life”, with a top down universal principle scientific approach. Classical music is about this exact point.

      Economics is the same. A “dirt-to-prosperity” mantra is easily proven to be Darwinian, when noospheric rates-of-change and energy-flux-density per capita and square km are used as a metric. The “right” always go for Darwin (“blut und boden” of WWII), but the left easily swerve to the same which reveals their Synachist “heritage” – a good example is Engel’s definition of man – the chimp with an opposable thumb !!

      It must be said a mental disease causes this chaos. The universe is not organized “bottom-up”. Universal principles are reality, life, creativity, gravity for example. Life does not ooze from dirt. Economics does not ooze from monetary tokens. Creativity does not ooze from neurons. Music does not ooze from notes on paper.

    • bonbon

      Ironically, DMcW’s “contagion” is an oozing of chaos accross the board! Mandeville’s Public Good seeps from Private Vice (Hayek’s spontaneous order), but what really happens is contagion.

      It is immensely destructive! A pervasive mental disease crossing “right-to-left” disrupting economics, science, politics.

      This is empire in action, and indeed is seeps and oozes into every facet of activity, like a slime-mold.

  42. Mothers forced to sell their children: Mail reveals the distressing human toll of Greece’s Euro meltdown

    UK Daily Mail

    http://tinyurl.com/btsqze8

  43. wills

    About time Greeks face the eject button from euro.

    The Greek authorities cooked their books and spoofed their way past the gatekeeper.

    Boot them out and arrest Goldman Sachs for fraud,

  44. This is an interesting read

    Iceland’s Example to the World

    http://www.hermes-press.com/iceland_index.htm

  45. dwalsh

    @ bonbon

    re Vernadsky

    Vernadsky was a remarkable genius and visionary in my view. I have some material from him; but not much. If you can give links or such I would be obliged.

    ps; as far as I know it was Eduard Suess who coined ‘biosphere’ in the 19th Ct. Vernadsky later used the term and did much to give the concept a scientific basis.

  46. dwalsh

    So the Greeks will vote again; I predict this time there will be a decisive victory for the left under the Syriza group.

    For those who chide me for using the term ‘left’, let me clarify: I mean it in the sense of those who place human beings and human society and civilisation before financiers and debt. Those who will oppose austerity and the destruction of the Greek state and nation.

    Also I predict the next Greek government will not take Greece out of the Euro or out of Europe; but will represent the beginning of the European popular revolt to take Europe and the Euro out of the control of private financiers.

    Hopefully this rising popular movement will also push for increased democratisation of the European process; which I would argue is essential if Europe is to effectively fulfil her role on the global stage; bringing law and order back into international affairs; and promoting the development of a rational and humane global civilisation.

    European civilisation is the general model of modern global civilisation; and Greece was the origin of European civilisation. It is fitting that the popular revolt against the neo-liberal cancer which is destroying global civilisation should begin in Greece.

    • bonbon

      The Euro is a tool of private financiers. Put currencies back under sovereign nation states with first splitting with Glass-Steagall. After JPMorgan’s blowout this week, GS is on every talk show.

      To “take the Euro out of control of private financiers” is like asking them to defrock themselves !

      • dwalsh

        “To “take the Euro out of control of private financiers” is like asking them to defrock themselves !”

        Well I never said it would be easy or painless. We are at war…economic war…it is the real 3rd world war…the war to destroy the nation state and bring the world under the domination and control of private capital.

        We cannot go back to insularity, independent nations and curriencies. At this time the power of finance capital is too great. As independent nations we would be easy prey. We have to go the opposite way towards increased cooperation and integration; but it has to be driven by real democratic impulse and representation.

        The demise of the Euro and Europe would be a disaster for the human world and civilisation. The world needs a strong unified rational and humane European voice (and fist if necessary) to oppose the forces of neo-liberal anarchism; the vandals and wreckers of civilisation are within the walls.

        • bonbon

          Europe is not a nation-state, and the majority voted against that way back. The Euro is not a national currency. Nation states in Europe are being savagely erased using the Euro tool as Sir Oswald Mosley planned. This is the second time the nation-state is under attack “to roll history back before 1783″, as the previous perpetrator said.

          Do not think for a moment anyone will be corralled into a “fist” or a “voice” against the neo-liberals. That game was used before to make sure they continued their game.

          Glass-Steagall is the only way to handle this as FDR knew. I posted the rising clamor for this legislation above. Glass-Steagall is a nation-state concept entirely missing in neo-imperial barbarism.

    • bonbon

      As regards Greece – the sadistic austerity imposed by diktat should be a lesson to all. Vote NO !

      Greek civilization is the European source, of all that’s going on. Aristotle, the poisoner, revered by the Church for millenia is the source of “neo-liberal” barbarity. Plato is the originator of the Republic, constitutional democracy. Homer is the true father of Europe.

      Reductionist deductive-inductive mental barbarity is pure Aristotle. From this seeps the spontaneous order of evolution and monetarism, both deadly pestilences in science and economics.

      • dwalsh

        I agree with you about the “the poisoner, revered by the Church”.

        • bonbon

          Aristotle meddling with poison is an interesting story in itself.

          But the status of Aristotle in influential Church circles is well established. Even today Popper, praised in the same circles, is pure Aristotelian.

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