May 29, 2012

Its not a fiscal union, its a fiscal straightjacket

Posted in Financial Times · 87 comments ·

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.” This line from The Outlaw Josey Wales, the western, is self-explanatory. In contending that the Fiscal Treaty will solve our dilemma, the European Commission and European Central Bank are pissing down Ireland’s back and telling us it’s raining.

The Fiscal Treaty will not solve Europe’s crisis. The Spanish and Irish crises stem from too much cross-border private sector borrowing and lending. Ireland’s financial crisis didn’t destroy our nation’s wealth; it merely revealed how much wealth had already been destroyed by reckless lending, borrowing and speculation.

Prescribing government deficit reductions to fix these private capital imbalances is like prescribing chemotherapy for heart disease. Today’s large fiscal deficits are a result of, not the cause of, Ireland’s and Spain’s crises. Both countries’ public debt ratios were actually lower than Germany’s in 2008 — but private debts exploded. Since Ireland adopted the euro, its household debt to income ratio has risen from 93 per cent to 220 per cent

Such huge consumer debts indicate that without growth, more mortgage defaults beckon. Ireland has too much debt, exacerbated by the ECB’s insistence that our government continue to pay unsecured bondholders of our bust banks. The bond market shut down to Ireland not because we threatened to default but because we threatened not to.

Now Ireland is experiencing an old-fashioned liquidity trap made worse by vicious deleveraging, which is destroying asset prices. Imposing more austerity now will be as useful as putting an anorexic on a diet and expecting her to become voluptuous.

Given that even in an open economy like Ireland, most of us are employed in the domestic sector, your spending is actually my income and my spending is your income. My income is also the root of my savings. But as Keynes observed in the paradox of thrift, if we all save at the same time, who is spending? And if no one replaces our spending then demand will fall and fall.

Retailers react to falling demand by cutting prices to coax us to spend. But the very fall in prices convinces people that prices will fall further and the bargain will come next month or next year. So the laws of economics are turned on their heads. When prices fall, demand doesn’t go up, it goes down.

Many Irish people’s balance sheets are broken because on the one side we have assets — houses, land and apartments — which are falling in value but on the other, we have debts, which are fixed. At a time when income is falling due to rising unemployment and taxes, this means the debt burden is getting heavier every day relative to income.

As a result, people with savings are saving yet more. Those with debts are trying to pay them down. The same goes for companies. Ireland’s savings ratio has exploded to 17 per cent of income; it was minus 5 per cent in 2007.

People don’t want to borrow because they have too much debt and banks don’t want to lend because they have too much bad debt. Yet the deleveraging is destroying their capital base too. Again, the paradox is that deleveraging my balance sheet might make my position better, but when we all deleverage at the same time, we drive down asset prices further, demanding yet more deleveraging.
If everyone is saving, who is spending? The rise in government spending is the logical reaction to, not the cause of, the liquidity trap.

As demand falls, real wages don’t fall because those with jobs protect themselves and the adjustment comes via unemployment. Irish unemployment has trebled in four years. Youth unemployment is now 29 per cent. This puts more pressure on government finances.
We are now in the fourth year of austerity and it’s clear the economy is weakening. Someone clever, not sure if it was Albert Einstein or Roy Keane, once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This fiscal treaty offers more of the same. It is being marketed as a fiscal union, but it is a fiscal straitjacket. It punishes weak countries when they most need help. A real fiscal union should work as the US does.

Many years ago, like many of my generation, I emigrated looking for work. I ended up as a dishwasher in Boston. Boston too had a boom and bust in the late 1980s but when it collapsed the rest of America didn’t punish it, they transferred money via the federal budget to help it recover.

With this fiscal treaty, the EU envisages doing the opposite, which is cutting spending in the periphery when we most need help. In so doing, it creates lower growth, higher unemployment, more political instability and more capital flows of frightened money from the periphery to the core. This is all being done to make the eurozone more credible. In practice it doesn’t. When the risk is deflation, engineering inflation and growth makes you credible, reinforcing yet more deflation, makes the Euro look like it has a death wish.

  1. Alf

    The lone voice of reason in the midst of spin, lies and deception. The treaty is a death-warrant for the periphery and for the Eurozone. The question has to be asked, why are they pushing what is, so obviously, a failure? They must know this cannot work. They know there are no projections, calculations that back this up. So cui bono?

    • Not a lone voice. Just one of many

    • This if from Vincent Browne’s blog on, I had put the quote on RTE’s website but it was removed?
      “This week I intend voting No in the Fiscal Compact referendum, for reasons largely tangential to the Fiscal Compact itself. I will do so in awareness of the risk there is involved were a majority to do as I will do, and in disagreement with many of the claims made by the No side in the campaign.

      I will vote No to reject the incorporation of stringent fiscal rules into our constitution, not because adherence to fiscal rules is not sensible but because, in our political culture, such adherence will be done at the expense of the lower paid.

      I will vote No to register opposition to the European Union elite that in 2008 insisted no bank should fail when the financial crisis broke and then refused to spread the burden of ensuring that.
      I will vote No to register opposition to this Fine Gael/Labour government which was elected to office on the promise to reject the policies of the outgoing Fianna Fáil-led government and on the promise that they would secure a write-down of the bank debt. In office, this new government has perpetuated the policies of the former and, according to Enda Kenny, done nothing at all to secure a write-down of the bank debt.
      I will vote No to register opposition to the imposition here and throughout Europe of a neoliberal agenda, an agenda that will institutionalise inequalities and social cruelties through permanent supervision of budgetary, economic, labour and competitiveness policies, inevitably, from the perspective of that neoliberal agenda. (By neoliberalism I mean the ideology that ordains free markets must be the primary instrument of economic and social development, markets driven by demand, not need.)

      I will vote No in solidarity with peoples throughout Europe who are and have been denied any say in this treaty or any say on the other European treaties, treaties that, in the main, favour rich and powerful elites throughout the union at the expense of the mass of people.

      I will vote No to express indignation with the cavalier disregard of the procedures and protocols of the European Union itself of the sovereignty of its member states, in the conduct of the leaders of the EU institutions and of Germany and France, in their insolence in interfering with the internal affairs of Greece and Italy, in their disregard for “democratic” procedures of the Union – even in the way this Fiscal Treaty came about.

      I will vote No to defy the wishes of the German elite, which benefited so spectacularly from the emergence of the Eurozone and now makes modest redistribution of that generated wealth, conditional on adherence to its economic and budgetary diktats, diktats that disadvantage not only the mass of people throughout the rest of Europe but the mass of people in Germany itself.

      I will vote No to give backbone to the government’s dealings with the EU on the promissory notes and the other bank debt.

      Voting No will not cause these iniquitous measures and policies to be reversed, but it will give some solace to others in Europe who are campaigning against these and will register, in the minds of the elite, some appreciation of the hostility of electorates to what they are about.

      Yes, there is a risk we will not be funded in 2014 when, almost certainly, we will require a second rescue — I think that risk of not being funded is minimal however, for – at worst – we would get funding in return for voting Yes in a second referendum on the Fiscal Treaty. If we and others throughout Europe are silenced by fear there is no hope.

      Yes, there will be austerity anyway, for we have to fix the fiscal hole – this could and should be done by exempting everyone in the third lowest income bracket and concentrating the adjustment on increased income taxes, plus property taxes and water charges (again exempting people in the third lowest income bracket).

      We need to work towards a radically different society, where people have some real control over their lives; where inequalities of wealth, income, power, influence, social capital and cultural capital are radically narrowed; where patriarchy is subverted; where respect is accorded to everyone equally, regardless of status, class, sex, wealth or position; where protections for workers are buttressed, not dismembered by “labour market reforms”.

      And to achieve that those of us who believe in this kind of society have to win arguments and minds through thoughtful debate, diligent and truthful analysis expressed in accessible forms, devoid of the familiar weary clichés and bombast.

      The Maastricht Treaty, the Growth and Stability Pact, the Six-Pack and now the Fiscal Treaty are all obstacles to this kind of society. They must be opposed and the rejection of the Fiscal Treaty is a necessary and crucial part of that opposition. We owe it to ourselves, to future generations and to the peoples of Europe, who are denied a part in this process, to oppose a trajectory that will vandalise society and impoverish lives throughout the Union.”

      Some people have the brains and the courage to say it like it is.

  2. molly

    David its a bit late in the day for your comments now and I hope the no vote wins .
    Yes there is somebody pissing on top of us ,why should we pay for the problems cause by the greedy ,wake up Ireland and say to this government enough is enough,Europe might be pulling the puppets strings .i call on this puppet government to stuff the puppet where the sun does not shine.

  3. redriversix

    Do not vote away our constitution,that is all that is left,this treaty is dead.This crisis stems from Private Banking and their subsidiaries.

    This crisis has nothing to do with us,the people,it was caused by reckless Banking, Reckless Lending and reckless financial products,The World Bank,The I.M.F,……E.C.D.all profiting from our misery.Why ?

    The Banks are STILL calling the shots and still running wild financially,They WILL need another bail-out…..let them fail,Like any business in a Democracy.

    We will have no problem raising money from the E.U if a NO vote is successful,not because they like us,because at the moment , they need us.Remember only 4 countries have ratified this,Germany is having huge difficulty getting it through the Bundestag,Holland’s Government has collapsed and are not having elections till September,France WILL negotiate a better deal for themselves,Their is no E.S.M yet,if ever,it does not exist.and if and when it does we have to put up 11 billion towards it..were do we get that money ?

    Europe WILL strip our low Corporation Tax and THEY will impose a Tobin Tax on financial transactions.

    This is a Rich Country , poorly ran and managed,Please do not give in to fear and lies,scaremongering and deceit,this treaty has nothing to do with stability,jobs,recovery or investment,it is about governments sticking to fiscal budgetary controls and the figure of 0.5% is unobtainable for Ireland today or in 2015

    Th Taoiseach says we are recovering,he says we are getting stability in the jobs market,If a YES vote is a vote for stability,do you really believe their is any stability here or in Europe today ?

    This fiscal treaty may be more about putting and paying Banks first then it is about us,the people…

    Do your research,please vote,protect our future in protecting our constitution,Don,t let apathy win………..This crisis cost me everything,including my home,I foolishly paid back Banks several million because they promised a new line of credit for new business,I put my Family last,The bank cancelled their promise and left me with nothing.Is Enda Kenny doing to this Country what I did to my Family ? putting us last ?

    I do not want sympathy,just a level playing field,My eyes were opened the hard way,Don.t let yours be……..

    Kind regards


    • molly

      Even if Ireland votes yes I still think there’s so much going wrong in different parts of the EU that this treaty will fall apart.

    • Hi RR6. Random thoughts ..

      Vote yes for stability. Orwellian. War is Peace. Banks and Tanks. I never loved Eva Braun. Jeez was it only 70 years ago. Amazing to think what might happen this century when more people will think WW2 is an industrial detergent for unbocking drains. The end of history?

      Stability of 14% unemployemnt and probably higher
      Stablility of guaranteed auterity budgets for years to come
      Stability of white collar crime, plunder and tax evasion

      Stablility my hind end. Irish people would have be to clinically insane to buy this crap. Vote yes for private training companies being paid handsomely by FAS to train lackeys for non existent jobs. An old boys club doing their best to protect their incomes and pensions while the outsiders like it, rot or emigrate. If you are in the club you are well sorted. That is why Lucinda Crichton laughs at us on the Vicent Browne show. Look at her next time. She is laughing all the time

      A lot done a lot more to do …
      Vote yes for jobs …
      Vote yes to fill the begging bowl in 2013

      Blah blah blah

      Clearly these people have no negotiating savvy whatsoever and have no intention of helping ordinary Irish people like those who had a stab at the Captalist dream but who ended up on the dole in negative equity for life. Inda and his crew have their ideology but there’s only one problem. People are seeing through it and turning left. Fast

      These guys are in trouble and they look like Merkel’s lackeys. They have as much credibility as the cheerleaders of the propety porn era where sleazeballs in shirts and ties were making out like bandits flogging property that was not worth a quarter of the insane asking prices

      Never believe a word the government tells you.
      Never believe a word the media tells you.

      If you do then you deserve what’s coming to you.

      • redriversix

        Morning PaulDiv

        “How the hell are you”!

        Thanks for the post,I like your random thoughts.
        This crisis is allowing us see Banking loan sharks operating in plain sight.The next resource I believe we have is a FINANCIAL STRIKE,pay yourself and your family first,Slash all Bank and Government debt.

        If all the care about is money,we should show them what its like to have to try looking under chairs for coin on a Wednesday morning for Kids going to school.

        Its a joke,a scam,a fraud.a CRIME.

        Fuck em !……People first

        Good Morning

      • molly

        I am just surprised that all the people left on the scrap heap are not out on the streets to put an end to this banana republic and show these scum where to go.

        • redriversix

          Apathy is Rampant ,Molly

        • There used to be a time when working people read to improve

          They wanted education and they did it themselves thanks to public libraries. Now we have public libraries (for the time being at least) and much more thanks to the internet yet is seems that people are becoming more ignorant, docile and conditioned for servitude and deference. It is fear and it is irrational

          It is irrational because we have the numbers and we have the the power if we ever get our shit together and consciously use it to give these people a kick up the Indas from time to time and remind them of who is boss in a real democracy

          However international ‘news’ stations tell a differnt story

          There is protest and activism happening every day across the world. I think this is healthy but it is ignored in the mainstream media (MSM) and these channels are nothing more than entertainment mediums with a newsy angle

          People want hard news and that is why the MSM are losing readers and listenership by the thousands every week. MSM is Tom and Jerry news and savvy middle class and working class people are realising that they can think and reason for themselves and that there is no longer a market for these opinion makers and shysters operating in the middle ground

          The longer they continue to ignore this fact then the more likely it is that people will take to the streets. I know hundreds of people from all age groups and social backgrounds who feel that it time to march. They are dying to march because they can’t stand back and watch the piss being taken out of them. They are not fools

          I know grannies who are so angry that want to give the bastards a bloody nose and quite rightly so

  4. joe hack

    What great weather we are having now, it may be raining on Thursday and on Friday David McWilliams when the sun is due to shine again may apply to become a member of the board of governors of the ESM.

    When I was born I was a one a few billion or so, now I am only a one 7 billion. When we joined EEC we were 1in 9 countries now we are 1 in 27 yep, I am feeling a lot less important.

    My vote on EU maters is about a 1/3 of what it once was and as a result I am feeling a little impotent in more ways than one but there are not any drugs for my impotence within the EU other than escape.

    How to escape?

    To EU and not to be EU that is a questionable, to Euro or to not euro that is a choice between sovereignty and subjugation or been left like New Orleans was, up Greek without a paddle.

    There is no choice, as we become more dependent we will become more impotent and when things go wrong we will so dependent that we will be useless to ourselves this is well under way and at moment It can be seen on a daily basis in the quality of our elected representatives and their inability to lead they are acting frightened headless chicken with no vision.

    If we don’t have pride in our culture, our history we have nothing that defines us that is what has happened to Greece dependency without reasonability leads impotence and impotence leads incapacity to function.

    But we voted for what we have,

    On Thursday we have a Chance to take control again Vote NO and give our politicians the arousal they need an extra large dose of Viagra for some in the in the labour party is certainly needed.

    David you’re making sense but I don’t want to buy stuff or thingy’s the dumps are full of stuff

    • molly

      The labour party are finished SF are going to take a lot of the labour vote.

      • joe hack

        Molly, it certainly looking that way but it is a long way to an election, a no vote made speed that up?

        I was referring to Eamon Gilmore who went on the attack of the no side in the Dail Mr Boyd Barrett accused Eamon Gilmore of supporting a “cutbacks orgy”. Gilmore responded “It may well be that what is happening in Greece is a cause for arousal for you, Deputy Boyd Barrett…it’s not the route that sensible people in this country want to go.”

        • gizzy

          Did you see Lucinda Creighton having a sort of mini fit on Vincent Browne at the lecturer from Tinity for being a socialist. His socialist views actually made her angry.

          • joe hack

            Yep, funny, sad and petty, that program is chaotic at the best of times, a caricature of itself

          • V V V Vincent Browne and Lucinda Crichton are fakes.
            They are perfect caricatures for a cartoonist.

            It’s impossible to watch it without laughing at the parochial lexicon and apparent naivety. They are either thick Rabbits caught in the headlights or a real cute shower of whores who know they can fool most of the public while writing off the sceptics as eccentrics. I’d ask people to remain open minded about the Vincent Browne show and the over staged offerings on RTE. Truth is there is no real journalism left on this island and what we are left with is ‘edutainment’

            Unless you think cheap and trashy ‘documentaries’ count as truth

      • Deco

        SF taking the ILP place in the political landscape represents a scenario best described by the phrase “out of the frying pan into the fire”.

        SF views on financing the state and the economy contain a lot of nonsense. They are acting a lot of bravado and pretending to the the “hard men” on the political scene. Really it is a case of a bunch of people with a hardline on the national question trying to adapt themselves to an economic crisis, which will only prove them to be more inadequate than any of the others.

        We have seen this before – the protest party. When they get into power they stuff state institutions with their own supporters, and behave recklessly. Mary Lou McDonald was once elected MEP for Dublin. Her attendance record at the European Parlaiment tells us everything that we want to know about her handling of responsibility.

        • joe hack

          Not too sure that all SF votes coming from labour or how fluid they are but when we have scared freighted people of what was the main stream parties of the past FF FG ILP who are not representative of the people’s democracy there is something amiss. These main stream (the yes parties) who are supposedly representing aprox 75% of the people at the last election and one party SF who at the last election got aprox 10 % and add some independents, (the no parties) with opinion polls estimating aprox 40% no vote there is something wrong with our democracy. This particular when you consider the amount of money and past expertise the yes side have to promote a yes vote, there is a lot of questions as to who we are been represented by. I want representation and I want strong leadership, which is not forthcoming at present. I want someone to fight for my corner and not brown nose or be aroused while brown nosing Angela Merkel you don’t need to be an economist to represent people you only have to look at who the idiot Ragan got to advice him who or Roosevelt got. We need strong leadership and it is not forthcoming from the mainstream so who you going to call? Mr Wishy-washy well I guess that is why we are in the brown nose stuff now.

          • Deco

            We need new political movements. To provide competition, and to replace what currently exists and is on offer.

            Bear in mind that any new movement has to pass the IBEC & ICTU acceptance test before the media in this country will give it any chance.

            Democracy is being used to legitimize ICTU and IBEC influencing matters.

            SF are doing well, because they are the only well funded alternative outside of the IBEC-ICTU spectrum. The ULA are not as well funded. And SF have a clear message. The ULA are making it up as they go along. The people are fed up with vested interests running rings around the people. But the media will make sure that there will be no non-fringe movements that do not serve the needs of IBEC and ICTU.

            All you can do is understand the system, and adapt a strategy to not be the loser who gets stuck with the bill.

        • molly

          Yes the whole political set up I this country is a fu —up and they all have there cronies hanging around in the back ground and I don’t think that will ever change.
          Pay back is a bitch,I am sick and tired of the wrong people being left to carry the can ,while liers run this country into the ground .did you here the latest trick the HSE is doing to make the people on trolleys disappear ,they play musical trolleys and move the trolleys out of the a- and e onto wards ,if you are in a private room on your own at night they shove someone on a trolley in beside you for the night stops the over crowing in the -a/e but does not solve the problem .,what next treat you in the car park.
          I am self employed and use the landline to ring my mobile to see if it still works and notice how empty the roads are now ,with so little going on.
          The domestic economy should be the life blood of this country,FF fucked this country with lies ,LP/FG are killing it with fear ,face the fear head on enough is enough.

          • Deco


            The role of the state is not to regulate, but to rig the system. And political parties exist to convince the people that they have “buy-in” to use the corporate terminology.

            The most important part of a facade, is the maintainence of credibility.

            The HSE is a farce. I know people who got more sick inside the hospital system than if they stayed outside it. The essence of the HSE approach was found out the other year, when a potential SARS sufferer arrived from a flight from HongKong via Heathrow.

            The HSE moved her to five different hospitals in the first afternoon before carrying out an examination. It was pure luck that it was not SARS.

            If it was SARS, the said sufferer would have been moved around to maximize infection. The concept of isolation of a potential victim to control the potential spread was simply beyond the HSE. Collection of muppets !!

            Incidentally nobody in the Irish media picked up on this as an indication of incomptence. In fact they all studiously avoided the faulty response, as being a serious issue of concern.

            Simply put, it is a matter of never undermining credibility.

          • bonbon

            @deco, I have posted repeated the upcoming Nürnberg Trial, where, as in the first one, plaintiffs will be asked did they put a price on lives, and were some not woth living? The reason that happened then was cost-cutting for designated groups of ill all listed in a document, T4, as evidence at the trial.

            You mention SARS, but look at chronically ill, aged, corridor trolley waiting lists – there the evidence will be found. Austerity kills for “the effort”.

      • The Labour Party are a fucking disgrace

        Sorry for the language but they are nothing but a shower of cunts

  5. Deco

    To be honest, I conclude there is not much of a difference between a fiscal union and a straghtjacket. Ask anybody in the US at the moment, who is watching their retirement account decline in value. Or ask people who are trying to make ends meet, while Bernanke goes into “print-Baby-Print” mode…

    We were in a sort of a currency union with Britain, and that functioned like a straightjacket. We merely swapped one for another.

    In fact we have been in a monetary straightjacket for twenty years. While the debts accumulated, and borrowed money moved through the economy, we did not think that it was a straightjacket. But that is exactly what it was.

    • bonbon

      Exactly, monetarism. Various forms, and also proposed as a cure for, well, monetarism.

      How did people walk smiling into the straight jacket? Even helped tie the laces?

      You have to ask that.

      Ironically, a straight jacked would be a medical prescription for anyone in the throes of monetarism! A rubber room too, just to protect them from self harm.

      Put Glass-Steagall through now, and just see who will need self-protection!

      • Deco

        The EU is about regulation of the people, far more than it is about regulation of the bankers and lobbyists. When this becomes apparent, a political alternative will be provided that will promise to clean it up – but will preserve the centalized power structure, so as to ensure that nothing will change.

  6. Deco

    Look the mainstream thread of the EU project is to keep momentum and end up with a disaster.

    This has not changed. It is still the basic idea, and it has full support from large sections of the institutional framework of the EU, the business community, the unions, and the media.

    Prepare accordingly. They are in denial. They cannot fix it, the way they are behaving.

    • They are not in denial Deco my friend

      Europe is a goldmine waiting to be raped and plundered. Again!

      They deny their intentions but they are conscious of the long term goal. It is your job and mine to expose this sham and create simple persuasive facts that make ordinary people sit up and see through the glass and nip this in the bud before we are back to begging in rags

      There is money in the colonies yes but I bet there is even more lucrative booty closer to home waiting to be picked off

      It’s the same old story only this time it is we who are the colonies who are waiting to be milked dry

  7. bonbon

    It is clear they want this treaty in cement, for the aftermath of the complete collapse of an empire, the transatlantic financial doomed system. They are preparing for it, and this is their way of keeping control.

    We want a different aftermath, where those that started this snowball meltdown, over 40 years ago, can watch, from a safe distance, as we build up an economy with a national credit system, where monetarism is a household joke, where people will say to their kids, how we were swindled, exactly how.

    This treaty will be on display at the Museum, alongside Roman, Babylonian figures, Viceroy’s where it belongs – the last vestiges of empire. Alongside documents like Action T4, Workhouse tally numbers.

    Too think they actually tried such a crime against humanity!

  8. bonbon

    The rate of collapse has now exceeded the rate of bailout, over the weekend. This is the turning point, the guarantee it is finished.

    Class-Steagall is now the single only way this will be changed.

    The Irish NO vote will accelerate calls worldwide for bank splitting. Sheer panic is overtaking those “in control” now.

    • Exactly. Class-Steagall

      To some people that is a dirty phrase which tends to be dismissed by heavily funded Chicago Boys and their sham think tanks here in western Europe. People are sick of their Orwellian logic and want to live in a civilised society

      The enemy is right among us and the only way to win this war is to be a collection of lone vioces with carefuly aimed words that destroy lunatic ideologies. The rot set in with Mama Harney and her insne disciples but people saw right through them. That is why they no longer exist as a political force and are laughed out of the room today

      The Indas and those with lips that are loose have too been found out and they are are whores living on a wing and prayer. Time will show that they are a sham of the highest order when those who are behind the curve eventually catch up

      It is a propaganda war and those with the deepest pockets have an apparent advantage. Not so in my opinion because they can never win the arguments when their opponents can use the gang rape of Indonesian based Chinese women as a direct result of their evil policies. Then again right wing paries in the EU probably neither know nor care what misery their stupid ideas are responsible for

      It depends on whose ass they are licking. Some are imprisoned due to their ideological allegiances – I am Keynsian or Friendmanite or whatever. Intellectual prisoners who worry about branding, self preservation or mob survival more than substance. Or flogging books. Yuk it makes me sick even thinking about the creeps who have all the influence

      We are being assaulted from left, right and centre by a faceless force (the markets) whose wisdon shall never be questioned. It used to be that God was what people were afraid of but now God has beed replaced by ‘the Markets’ and the chiormasters who summons us to kneel in deference at the altar of this new all wise being. It is not natural and makes my skin crawl

      It is good to unplug from the madness for days at a time and do things like fishing, drawing, gardening or brewing beer. Otherwise it would be All Too Much. (Yellow Submarne Album I think)

      Good luck brothers

  9. bonbon

    The “bank jog” reported only a couple of weeks ago has become a “run”.

    The joke is that since major armies have been outsourced, hollowed out by imperial wars, the money for private mercenaries such as Blackwater etc, to stop riots is GONE!

    Very ominous Britain has what (40,000?) troops mobilized for the Olympics!

  10. bonbon

    Gauweiler: ESM Would Take Europe Back to Absolutist Feudalism, a la Louis Quatorze

    May 28 (EIRNS)–In an interview with the Berlin tabloid BZ, Bundestag anti-bailout dissident Peter Gauweiler (CSU) reiterated his opposition to the ESM, saying it is a construct that gives certain persons access to hundreds of billions in taxpayers’ money without those same persons being accountable to or subject to oversight by any political body. This kind of construct would return Europe to the kind of absolutism under Louis XIV, the late-17th-century French monarch, who was one of the biggest spendthrifts of all times, Gauweiler charged. He is expected to take any Bundestag resolution in favor of the ESM to the Constitutional Court.

  11. DaveDouglas

    This is another very elonquent piece, but there’s something that bothers me about the story about DMcW being a dishwasher in Boston. It’s the bit about the rest of the US coming in to save Boston when it’s boom went bust. Who is more likely to come in to save us, depending on whether we say yes or we say no to this treaty?

    If the yes side is right, then the treaty is not a poker game, it’s the entitlement to play at the start of a whole new game. If the no side is right, then it’s the first step in a negotiating position to get a better deal.

    So in the first instance, if the yes side is right, if we vote yes, then we have played safe and are still in the game. But if we vote no, we’re out of the game.

    In the second instance, if the no side is right, and we vote no, then we have made a negotiating move towards where we want to be, albeit unilaterally. But if we vote yes, we lose exactly what? a negotiating opportunity. We still hold power to negotiate at any time. We are governed by the IMF/ECM deal for the next couple of years in any case.

    If this really is the start of a whole new game, as per the excellemt ‘punk economics’, and the name of the game, for us, as per ‘the game is only beginning’ is fiscal unity, ie. loss of autonomy in corporate tax, then does it make sense in the light of the above, to play our cards now? if we still want someone to come in and save us, like Boston?

  12. When it’s all said and done some eminent historian like Niall Ferguson will draw on articles such as this to demonstrate that you cannot rule by committee, you cannot buck conventional wisdoms and you certainly cannot ignore the markets.

    The Euro is cooked.

    The pompous and self serving ignorance masquerading as leadership on display over the past 4 years will destroy a whole young generation. Old men ,and sometimes women ,with nothing to lose, insisting on political dogma and creed while people of ordinary means become more and more deprived.

    In fact, it’s not so much that the Euro is cooked but that it will become meaningless when events overtake it.
    You can print more and more and yet more but at some point you have to pay for the ink.

  13. bonbon

    Negotiate with this? Lagarde may think its payback time, but its hardball! Vote NO to put these out of any say in national political economics.

    IMF’s Christine Lagarde Pays No Taxes!

    PARIS, May 29, 2012 (Nouvelle Solidarité)–Friday’s horrendous interview with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde calling on the Greek people to pay their taxes, continued to provoke waves of angry reactions, not only in Greece but worldwide. Her Facebook page registered over 100,000 postings, mainly negative.

    What did she say exactly? The {Guardian}:

    “While this might come as a surprise to Greeks suffering under extreme austerity, some say Lagarde’s approach to the Eurozone is less draconian than the IMF’s traditional policy towards developing world economies. Is it easier to impose harsh demands upon small economies, but much harder to tell difficult truths to the big ones — particularly fellow Europeans? ‘No,’ she says firmly. ‘No, it’s not harder. No. Because it’s the mission of the fund, and it’s my job to say the truth, whoever it is across the table. And I tell you something: it’s sometimes harder to tell the government of low-income countries, where people live on $3,000, $4,000 or $5,000 per capita per year, to actually strengthen the budget and reduce the deficit. Because I know what it means in terms of welfare programmes and support for the poor. It has much bigger ramifications.’”

    So when she studies the Greek balance sheet and demands measures that mean she knows many women won’t have access to a midwife when they give birth, and patients won’t get life-saving medications, and the elderly will die alone for lack of care — does she block all of that out and just look at the figures? “No, I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time. Because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens.” She breaks off for a pointedly meaningful pause, before leaning forward.

    “Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time. All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.”

    Even more than she thinks about all those now struggling to survive without jobs or public services? “I think of them equally. And I think they should also help themselves collectively.” How? “By all paying their tax. Yeah.” It sounds as if she’s essentially saying to the Greeks and others in Europe you’ve had a nice time and now it’s payback time. “That’s right.” She nods calmly. “Yeah.” And what about their children, who can’t conceivably be held responsible? “Well, hey, parents are responsible, right? So parents have to pay their tax.”

    However, as revealed yesterday by France’s {Le Monde}, Lagarde herself DOES NOT PAY ANY INCOME TAX, despite a yearly salary of EU380,939. The IMF’s Managing Director has a special status as an international civil servant. Her salary, expense accounts, and other forms of income from the IMF come tax free! This tax status is defined by Articles 34 and 38 of the Vienna Convention of 1961 on diplomatic relations.

    • molly

      Greece is in a very bad position there exports are very low and there’s only really tourism it just seems to be that it can’t support it’s self.
      Lagarde is just another prime example of greed and is an expert at ridding the system the same as so many in this country ,
      The jails all over the world are in some way are full of the wrong people.
      At least dick Turpin wore a mask went he robbed people,these people are dont do as I do do as I say,the cheek of the bastards .in there world power is everything the same as here ,the power trip here is all to visible in the government,bankers ,ect ect ect.
      Will it ever change I can only hope ,but I won’t hold my breath.

  14. Grey Fox

    Why does this not surprise me at all!
    My fear/feeling is that this treasonous Treaty will be passed by Ireland, my consolation is that it will mean nothing in the coming collapse and the threats/fines will be unenforcable in any case.
    It is just a waste of time and money, and will be seen for what it is over time, as will FG / Labour.
    The Emporer has no clothes!

  15. Grey Fox

    Our Government has made it clear they will not listen.
    They have made it clear that they will continue on the destructive path they have chosen,
    Europe has made it clear they will not listen and will continue blindly on their destructive path.
    All this in the name of a lost cause – the Euro
    In the name of faceless Bankers.
    They will reap what they sow, of this I am certain!
    The sooner implosion happens the better!
    It is the only way the truth will prevail, I say bring it on! bring on the pain and let’s get it over, let the survivors pick up the pieces and rebuild on a solid foundation which does not subscribe to Fractional Reserve Banking, which does adopt Glass Steagal and puts Citizens first!
    I look forward to seeing our sanctimonious, self rightous leaders, one and all, swinging from lamp posts on Kildare Street and I will proffer no sympathy, they deserve no less, they are enemies of the Irish Republic and the Irish Citizens whom they are sworn to defend and protect!

  16. redriversix

    Grey fox

    “Republic and the Irish citizens whom they are sworn to defend and protect”……….Terms and conditions apply.

    Good Morning

  17. Tony Brogan

    Very good newsletter from the golden Jackass, Jim Willie. He is well informed and well connected. One of the best observers.

    Recent discussions centered on JP Morgan losses escalating from 2 billion to 10 or more and speculative reasons why.
    Here is a well reasoned opinion that their losses could go to the trillion range or more.
    The collapse of the US dollar is at hand and the attendant explosion in the gold price.
    All discussion is useless here as it is of no effect.
    The only thing to do is concentrate on self preservation.
    Savings rates as DMW points out have escalated. Lets hope a large portion is in gold bullion and in productive land. I fear it is not.

    Hopefully this is informative for you.
    The first as protection from currency debasement and the second so you can eat . And wholesome organic food at that and not roundup sprayed garbage food.

  18. Tony Brogan

    Germany suggests that EU countries pledge their gold as colateral for their debt.
    gold makes a comeback as money??? Has it not always been the ultimate money?

    • Grey Fox

      from comments on Daily Telegraph site:
      The markets are smelling blood today.
      The scent is unmistakable and the fear of the europhiles is palpable.

      The rotten core of the filthy euro ponzi scheme is getting exposed as layer after layer of the deep corruption and flagrant dishonesty and disregard for truth veracity and any form of ethical or moral standards. are peeled back and the filthy maggots feeding at its heart are exposed

      This is the European way..
      It is the ZIMBABWE SOLUTION.

      First wreck the economy, box ticked.
      Second Lie until you are blue in the face. box ticked
      Third Confiscate assets of your citizens by grotesque taxes box ticked

      Finally seize corporate assets box ticked
      Done of course by driving them into insolvency and nationalizing them . Note EU car manufacturers are now begging to be saved

      And lastly and just about to start

      Print on every available sheet of toilet paper ONE TRILLION EUROS

      And then the scene is set. All you europhiles can blissfully spend your days in your nirvana whilst the rest of us having left long ago can only look an and wonder.

      All you need now is another Eternal Royal Majestic Conqueror Of All Who Shall Kneel Before Me In Grovelling Supplication, Master of All The Lands And Kingdoms OF The Holy Blessed Supreme King Of Europe

      His Royal Pontiff Of The Universe herman rumpy pumpy

      • sammyboy

        WB Yeats
        The Second Coming
        Turning and turning in the widening gyre
        The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
        Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
        The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
        The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity

      • bonbon

        Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley :

        I met a traveller from an antique land
        Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
        Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
        And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
        And on the pedestal these words appear:
        `My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
        Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
        The lone and level sands stretch far away”.


    • Deco

      This is unacceptable to Wall Street !!!

    • bonbon

      Did you actually read what AEP really said? In programmable British reaction, AEP claims Alexander Hamilton is the inspiration for this wild-eyed scheme, sheer desperation. He compares Germany to Virginia!

      I must say this is lurid!

      AEP wants Eurobonds to save London. He quotes, expert Trittin, the Green whose only contribution was beer can recycling at taxpayer expense!

      London is desperate, Obama too, who is sending mega bailout hit-men (women too) to Europe.

      Our NO will give these a right slap – they have it coming!

      • Tony Brogan

        I did not see AEP promoting bonds, rather reporting what was proposed out of Germany??Certainly it is to protect the banks and not the people.

        I am not sure that Hamilton needs be put upon such a pedistal despite being effective, loyal and capapable toward Washington.

        He appears to have been a centrist in government, Advocated a permanent national debt, Advocated a central bank, And enthusiastically supported the use of 15,000 troops to put down a rebellion against one of his tax measures.

      • bonbon

        I’m afraid you have not being following AEP the last months. Trotting out Trittin is pure desperation.

  19. joe hack

    They managed to rustle up some Job announcement hours before the referendum with no mention of job losses this with that moratorium in place

    Today; The London Financial Times warns Spain not to follow Irelands bank bailout policy: WoW don’t bailout the banks- what a revelation-great idea why did we Irish not think of that

    Damm! I need a job otherwise I will end up like one of those bloggers on that David McWilliams site believing that everything is a conspiracy

  20. Lius

    I think Germany has decided to stop funding the weak EU members and is using this traty to force a break-up the EURO to put an end to it.

    First Ireland vote NO, will rund out of EU funds to pay the EU loan intrest effectly defaulting and will be out of the EURO.

    Then Greece will apply for ESM funnds and will be rejected and they will default and are also out of the EURO.

    Then the chain reaction has started and one-by-one other EU members will revolt/default and get kicked out until all there is left is Germany.

    The only reason Germany is dragging out the process id to get the maximum ammount EURO back to Berlin before the collapse.

    • molly

      This country can survive without Europe the same as the uk.

      • Mark Walsh

        Molly, correct and right.

        Our two largest trading partners are?……the UK and the USA and yet, as an exporting nation, we choose to sell our goods using a very hard currency suited only to German exporters.

        Kerrygold Butter in Safeway (USA) – $10 per pound


  21. Adam Byrne

    Scroll down to the comments by:

    Mr. X., 42, software consultant, Dublin

    “I will be voting Yes, but only because our government has sold our future to the German bankers.”

    These are the kind of ‘educated’, ‘knowledge-economy’ muppets (a ‘software consultant’ no less!) that we have voting in this country.

    Is it any wonder that the country is in the state it’s in?

    Reduced to being a beggar nation.

    • A familiar tale Adam Byrne

      You walk into a programming shop and discover that the people employed there are shit hot at at guess what … programming. (well not real prpograming most of the time in my opinion). They look like they need to get out more in the sun and they have as much personality as a pack of mechanically recovered frozen sausages

      It is the sign of a misspent life and how not to become an all rounded individual. I have disciplined programming skills but could never be persuaded in a million years to work in such places in an industry that does not have my respect. I’d rather talk about technology and express my experience and opinions rather on a higher level than suffer the moral humiliation of having my days work hidden from the world and kept under lock and key in the guise of intellectual property at 6PM every night. I’d rather starve

      That is why I never took up employment as a progammer. Like the catholic church there was always something that bothered me about the computer industry and told me to trust my instincts. I paid for that trust in a financial sense but in an intellectual sense I found honesty and freedom. It feel like I am drinking clean water while everyone else is swallowing mud

      Try to glean an intelligent conversation about world affairs, art, books or history around the lunch table (if there is one) and you realise you are among little boys in mens bodies who have grown up in the playstation era and who are spaced out. Sad one track minds who make you feel glad that you are aware of what really matters in life

      Rant over sir

    • Adam. It is possible for someone to hold a fancy job title yet be the most stupid person you have ever met. I am surprised that you are surprised to be honest

      • Adam Byrne

        I wouldn’t say surprised is the right word; more like disgusted.

        • Adam Byrne

          Definitely not surprised, on reflection. I see ignorance in abundance all around me. People on here probably get fed up with me banging on about it. It’s my pet hate. That and laziness. I’m not claiming to be a tireless genius myself.

  22. Deco

    Greece, Beware Brussels officials bearing gifts !!

    Especially if the gift is a “bailout”.

    • Yeah!

      “You send the money, call it a ‘loan’ – you get it back and call it ‘interest rate’.”

      Then again, in Ireland we haveTurkeys voting fro christmas now. Isn’t it fascinating how this ‘middle class’ blows the horn of the Austerians, calling for their very own demise.

      The whole thing is utterly risible and will end up in revolutionary chaos eventually in Europe, while Ireland still will insist to pay back odious debts.

  23. Adam Byrne

    Quiet in here innit? Must be the good weather.

  24. bonbon

    Krugman calls for NO vote !!

    NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING ECONOMIST Paul Krugman has advised Irish voters to vote No in Thursday’s referendum on the Fiscal Compact.

    “I’ve thought about it, it’s hard. I would say vote No,” he said on BBC Radio 4 this morning. Krugman dismissed the suggestion that a No vote would anger Germany and see Ireland cut off from bailout funds or from the Eurozone.
    Full story :

  25. bonbon

    for those who think this is not a tranatlantic disaster, see this :

    OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SENDS ENVOY TO EUROPE, to push for urgent mega-bailouts. WSJ.

  26. bonbon

    A great list of reasons to vote NO.

    “We owe it to ourselves to oppose a trajectory that will vandalise society” — Vincent Browne

  27. bonbon

    Irish Economist against austerity treaties

    In an exclusive interview with the Wiener Zeitung, Terrence McDonough, an economist based at the University of Galway, Ireland, says the EU Fiscal Pact is anti-democratic, is a straitjacket put over politicians dis enabling them to react properly against the economic depression, thereby worsening the situation. McDonough is an activist for the “no” camp in the Irish referendum.

  28. bonbon

    What’s next? Well ask the EU Commission :

    EU Commissioner Barnier: A “Banking Union” Before We Die

    May 30, 2012 Do you think “belonging” to a supranational European Union whose Council can dictate your nation’s budget and investment is bad? How about getting to “belong” to a “European Banking Union” which can also order your nation to bail out banks anywhere?

    This was the imperial vision offered by a desperate financial elite to desperate governments, in the Bloomberg interview this morning with Michel Barnier, EU commissioner for financial services.

  29. bonbon

    Greece’s Syriza Party Manifesto Calls for Dealing with Debt Along the Lines of the 1953 London Agreement for Germany

    May 30, 2012 (EIRNS)–The Greek anti-bailout Syriza Party is to announce its economic manifesto on June 1, which is expected to call for a debt agreement for the countries of the south along the lines of the famous London Agreement of 1953, when Germany’s pre-war debts were reduced by 50%, and long repayment terms given.

    News portal reports on an article in {Protothema} which is said to be a preview of the manifesto. The policy includes:

    * Freezing and reversing privatization of state assets, including the state telecom, the railways, and other public transportation, and other state enterprises.

    * Restoring the minimum wage and a reform of the tax system, including rescinding certain taxes imposed during the referendum and based on “social justice, development and productive reconstruction.”

    * Nationalizing the banks through a recapitalization with voting and management rights. This nationalization, it says, “is absolutely necessary and indispensable to a government of the Left” as “public banks” will serve as a tool for “developing, manufacturing and a social financing policy to meet social needs.”

    * It will cancel the Troika’s memorandum and implement laws or a “multi-bill for economic and social development, productive reconstruction, income redistribution and equitable fiscal consolidation.”

    * It points out that the policy will be in part determined by the “correlation” of political forces in Europe at the time. Party leader Alexis Tsipras will explain that unilateral actions, such as suspension of payments, will occur only if the survival of the country and its people become threatened. It will also present the party aim to create a front to include the countries of the South to press for a debt repayment moratorium with a provision for growth and jobs for the rest, on the standard of the decision for Germany in 1953, the famous “London Agreement” of Hermann Abs, who was then chief negotiator for Germany.

    As for the euro, Tsipras will say that “the exit from the euro is not our choice” but is being used by New Democracy and Pasok as a terror tactic, warning that the “Europe of memoranda is doomed to disintegrate” and that the party “will not succumb to sovereign blackmail and will not fail to implement its anti- memorandum program, without which the destruction of the country, either inside or outside the Eurozone, will be fatal and absolute.”

  30. Tony Brogan

    Vote no, a thousand times no. Ignore the doomsters , the naysayers. Ireland has the resources the people and the ability to throw off the yoke of techocratic bureaucracy spawned in Brussels.
    All countries are under attack including Germany. the monied elites through the control of the banks wish to destroy democracy and exert totalitarian control. Ireland must not give up its sovereignty or it dies as a nation.A slide to oblivion for the Irish people.

    Be bold, be unafraid and look to the future with hope and positive expectations.
    A no vote to Europe is to vote yes for you and your childrens future.

  31. Deco

    In Spain, the news is begining to catch up with the underlying reality, of the Spanish real estate boom gone wrong.

    Brussels is in complete denial mode. Collection of morons.

  32. dwalsh

    I’ve given up on the media. You guys here write a lot more sense and provide a lot more real news and information than the entire apparatus of mainstream media. My thanks to you all.

    My hope is that Greece’s Syriza Party and Alexis Tsipras is the beginning of the awakening of the European citizenry. We need to take Europe back from the bankers and their eurocrat operatives.

    We need a democratic and humane civilisation; not a Darwinian free-for-all primeval market where financial mafias and hedge fund pirates are permitted to rob us all blind and destroy our national and global economy.

    I know we are Irish people and concerned for our local circumstances; and rightly so; but we must realised we are up against an organised cartel of financiers and bankers. They are operating transnationally and globally. Their most senior members and their think tanks are thinking and planning at a planetary strategic level; the grand chessboard.

    In reality we are facing a global coup.

    They have usurped our economic and political order; and they are working to usurp our civilisation and social order by enslaving us all through bankruptcy to monetary debt which can never be repaid.

    They don’t want us to repay the monetary debt. After all it is only virtual digital money; not real wealth. They want us to pay with our national resources and our lives. They want the world. They want neo-feudalism and serfs.

    What they are doing is high treason against the human race. Their activities are crimes against humanity. We must not allow them destroy our civilisation and our world through their lust for wealth and power.

  33. [...] then it's the first step in a negotiating position to get a better deal. … Read more: David McWilliams » Its not a fiscal union, its a fiscal straightjacket ← Guest Post: Nature and Roles of Money and Banks | Steve Keen's [...]

  34. Jean-Marc

    Love the site, its style and its content and have this comment on this article but also the Punk economics lesson 4:
    While I understand (at least think so) your argument David and agree with large sections of your video, the one question that you do not answer is (and i will shamelessly plagiarise your provocative style):
    Do you think that the German/Brussels establishment are just a nasty bunch, taking pleasure in making ordinary citizens suffer or simply dumb, not realising that their approach to the crisis is likely to kill the cherished creation that three generations of Europhile politicians have created, the European Union?
    I don’t, and needless to say, neither do I expect you to.
    I believe that the fiscal treaty is a small part of a plan both to address the current crisis and to prevent its re-occurence:
    It is now a truism to say that this crisis had its origins in two distinct causes:
    1/ Spectacular banking mismanagement (Ireland/Spain….)
    2/ Excessive government spending (Greece, Italy but also, let’s not  forget France – A country that has not even VOTED a balance budget since 1974, a point I give you full license to make on any TV studio, so annoying is the propensity of my own nation to lecture the world, when at the same time, not being squeaky clean as far as economic policy is concerned)
    The plan is to launch a three part rocket (no reference to some ill fated Nasa expedition please!)
    1/ First the fiscal treaty is to address 2/. To put, as you said, a straight jacket on the national governments to avoid the like of France from running chronic and systemic deficit
    2/ Address the banking problem thru a two step plan: 1/the legal integration of the financial and banking system thru the creation of a European Regulatory body and a single legal framework: one fact that I rarely read, is that one of the cause of the banking mess was that while European financial markets have been fully deregulated, allowing capital to flow freely across Europe, the regulation of this industry has been left to national bodies, within in large a national regulatory body, with the disastrous results that we saw (would a German/Brussels banking supervisor have allowed the sort of nonsense and crass Fraud that took place with Anglo?). Step one, just like the fiscal treaty is for the medium to long term. Step two is actually part of the third layer of our rocket. This is when I come to point #3
    3/ As you many times pointed out, the Germans have a lot to loose, should the Euro fail. This is why I do believe that once they are satisfied that national governments won’t spend this new financial bonanza, they will agree to the creation of Eurobonds, leveraged not necessarily on a fully integration fiscal european policy, that neither the Irish, nor the French for instance, would agree on but more modestly say one a modest 0.5-1% euro-wide VAT hike, as suggested by people like Jacques Attalli. 
    This Eurobonds will needless to say not be raised by national governmens to fund their own budget, as the fiscal treaty would not allow them. It will be raised by 1/ A european body, under the EU commission, to fund ailing banks (see quotes coming from Barosso this week)
    2/ The European investment type bank to fund keynesian type of projects in the ailing countries (not white elephants let’s dare to hope, but future industries such as alternative power, fish farming and hopefully proprer schools to replace the prefab units my kids attend school in) 
    While I agree this plan may be long to implement, with the risk that the European Union will “die a cured patient”, at least this view gives some credit to the European leaders, to genuinely try to save us from this current mess while keeping the european project alive. It also gives us some hope that the Yes vote we had will not bring doom on us, but on the contrary contribute to the “end of the beginning”.
    I’d love to hear your view on this.


  35. phineas56

    Well with all the debate on this, surely the elephant in the drawing room is that the euro project was from the start an incoherent one doomed to fail? I voted no because I see the end in nigh for the euro. As the Guardian argued recently, one currency could not last for is it 20 countries with very different needs and policies. The French and Germans wanted low interest rates, for example, when we wanted high ones. Result, a building boom, vast personal borrowings and collapse. As the arch capitalist, Mary ellen Synon has always argued, the euro brought cheap money and eventual disaster to this country.

  36. [...] to enshrine a policy approach that abets that in our Constitution without at least a murmur? To buy the lie that it was fiscal profligacy that brought us to this pass , and that with a bit of ‘good housekeeping ’ everything will be ok?   If we [...]

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