September 20, 2012

Only one side wins as the generation game plays out

Posted in Irish Independent · 163 comments ·
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IT is early morning at possibly the finest observational post in the rich cultural savannah that is Dublin Airport. The perch here at Butlers Cafe is to the social observer what the “hide” is to a bird watcher.

We are at a crucial intersection. Straight ahead, the relative civility of area B, where some of the remaining Aer Lingus flights still take off and other reasonably humane carriers cluster. To the right, past the last-minute panickers looking for travel adaptors, is Ryanair country, the long winding road that leads to a grim but cheap, efficient — and, if you are organised, not too unbearable at the price — experience known as low-fare air travel.

Here at the intersection of areas B and C, far from the swank of Terminal 2, all classes of humanity are on show, parading up and down in various stages of irritation.

Airport irritation is a spectrum from the one-off traveller to the weekly flyer at home in the airport — the sort who has a routine and can’t hide his annoyance at knots of elderly Yanks who shuffle aimlessly, holding up the flow.

This place is home from home to two of the more familiar Irish beast: the mortgage navvy and the accidental millionaire.

The mortgage navvy is a refugee from the crash, living and working in London Monday to Friday to service huge Irish mortgages and a cost of living that, by European standards, is still prohibitive. The mortgage navvy can’t quite accept that middle age is fast approaching. He realises that he doesn’t have the energy to keep doing this indefinitely. But the mortgage is for 25 years, the children are settled in school and he is a slave to the decisions he took in the boom. Stoically, he keeps the show on the road and if that means a bedsit in Clapham for the foreseeable future, so be it.

My flight is full of these men. They are tired, it’s Monday and they know what they are facing into. They text their still sleeping kids to make sure they’ll get up for school and brush their teeth. They are getting old and they will get older quicker if they keep this up.

Across the cafe are the other airport regulars. They are grey, sprightly, and they are going on a short break. They are Ireland’s wealthy pensioners, the weekend break kings and queens, people with no mortgages and large pensions. They have savings, hugely positive equity and a lifestyle that would make the editors of ‘Conde Nast’ blush. They are rich and they are having fun.

In 2007, in ‘The Generation Game’, I foretold the coming great Irish property crash and sought to examine which generation would be affected most adversely by the resulting recession. The title alluded to the fact that the present and future wealth of the younger generation of first-time buyers and 30-something trader-uppers would be wiped out in the crash. They would be mired in negative equity, carrying huge debts, which would ultimately end up being defaulted on.

Their plight is in direct contrast to the people whose wealth was magically lifted up by the property bubble. Many of these lucky ones traded down in the boom and made a fortune; those who had bought their houses for a song in the 1980s, 1970s or 1960s are still in positive equity, the others are in debt.

As the price of houses raged rampantly upwards, the people who already owned their houses with small mortgages would become enormously wealthy. I called them in the book the accidental millionaires.

They got another gift when we joined the euro, as their savings in a weak currency were miraculously transformed into the euro, anchored by the solidity of the German mark. The purchasing power of their savings suddenly increased.

What’s more, their wages went up dramatically in the boom and then, when it came to retirement, their handshakes, linked to their last wage, were substantial. Many ended up debt free and, if they were public-sector workers, with decent pensions. Some retired in order to take their pensions but then came back to work as consultants, blocking the prospects of younger workers.

Contrast this with the position of the younger generation born from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. These people — hundreds of thousands — are now in huge negative equity, they have no savings, they are the debtors of Ireland, their wages are being cut and their taxes are increasing but yet as their income falls, their debts remain fixed and crippling.

They are caught in what the 1930s American economist Irving Fischer called debt deflation, where the value of their assets is falling and so too are their wages but their debts are fixed and, therefore, more difficult to pay.

There is a generational divide playing out in Ireland. Many of the older generations are rich and many of the younger ones are poor and getting poorer as the debts mount.

A recent survey by Standard Life bears this out. The over 60s were the most financially secure with 60pc saying they felt secure, as opposed to only 46pc of those aged between 35 and 44.

We can see this income disparity again in survey results on changed spending patterns since the recession began. In the last quarterly national household survey, only 50pc of those over 55 said they had cut back on clothing and footwear spending in the recession, compared with 75pc of those aged 54 and under.

More than six out of 10 of those aged under 35 had cut back on grocery spending, compared with only four out of 10 for those over 55.

Changing attitudes of Ireland’s accidental millionaires are captured in an interesting study carried out two years ago by silvercircle.ie — a company that offers lifestyle tips and discounts for the over 55s.

Some 81pc of people between 55 and 64 believe that old age begins at 80 and eight out of 10 believe that retirement is “time for an adventurous new life, rather than for relaxing and resting”.

While young Irish couples are mired in debt and have seen their houses become destroyers, not repositories, of wealth, research compiled by The Business of Ageing Partnership reveals those aged over 65 in Ireland have a declared income of €6.6bn. Most of them have paid off their mortgage, with research showing that 63pc of 55 to 70-year-olds are in owner-occupied homes without a mortgage.

Is it any wonder, therefore, that many of us roll our eyes when we hear of the travails of some of those older than us? Don’t get me wrong, I am aware that there are many thousands of old people on the breadline, who need and deserve every bit of help we can give them, but there isn’t a coherent block called “the elderly” or “the retired”. Like any society, there are huge differences within the age groups, but in Ireland too much debt to put a roof over young families has led to a massive generational divide.

To rebalance this, future benefits to the accidental millionaires should be means tested. This is the only fair way to disentangle need from entitlement.


  1. John Q. Public

    It’s not just millionaires that should have their benefits slashed it’s the public sector workers with their perks too. More power to the ‘rich’ elderly who CHOSE to stay in Ireland and work hard, they deserve to enjoy retirement. David, what exactly do you mean by ‘future benefits’ to the rich elderly? Bus passes and telephone allowances? Stopping these benefits will only save peanuts. Let’s instead look at those that never worked including the immigrants that came here with the sole intention of claiming benefits.

    • Grey Fox

      have to agree on this one John Q, the current retirees are the one’s who paid up to 70p in the pound, never knew anything about private health insurance and paid tax and prsi all their lives.
      But this government is turning their greedy eye on this segment, make no mistake about it, when the younger generation is broke and destitute the pensioners will be next, it will be the only target left and we are rapidly reaching that point.
      Out public trustee’s wil have no problem targeting the pensioners in order to protect their position and appease the troika and keep the corrupt bankers afloat.

  2. Lord Jimbo

    Means tested is the only way. In my area I see plenty of older/retired people rather strangely driving brand new cars (would have thought the money could have been better spent), flashing the cash.

    The young v the elderly is a perfect example of the inequities and madness of the capitalist system, a lot of the elderly have the money but don’t have the health or time, while the young are either broke/unemployed or indebted/employed along with the usual exceptions and caveats.

    And people say this bat crazy $hit is the only way. You’ve got to be kidding.

    This is an interesting paragraph:

    “My flight is full of these men. They are tired, it’s Monday and they know what they are facing into…..They are getting old and they will get older quicker if they keep this up.”

    I met a relative of mine on a flight to London, he was heading onto Asia, could see he is going to be doing that for at least the next 10 years but wanted to stop the madness yesterday. We can all get caught by decisions and things we do, but this generation of Irish seem absolutely nailed to the cross with the banks doing no favours. Before where have the stories out there were hard ones, now it seems like almost everyone has a story of struggle, battle to make ends meet and this government wants a property tax, water charges, increased stealth taxes, there will be nothing left of the economy when they are done, off into the sunset then with their pensions and lump sums after the destruction is done.

    Hard to even make it up.

    • Clear Eyes

      Yes Lord Jimbo – the Irish Government ( really the Senior Civil Servants) want to keep on taking more and more from peoples pockets though taxes and “charges” and will continue to do this until there is blood on the streets.The Public Sector never thinks that there is a limit to it’s “income” because it’s income is your income and until they reach 100% of it – there is always more to take ! It’s all they know – they’ve never really had to do without – look at the over 1000 tax free “allowances” they have built up quietly over the decades.At this stage all I get is a commission on my salary ie the Government take the lion’s share now.When will this madness stop !

    • rincewind

      What capitalist system are you referring to? I have not seen one in a while…

  3. Raises the economic question of why don’t the Mortgage navvies move officially to UK, declare bankruptcy a la ex-Ministers and be shot of the very thing holding them back?
    18 months later houses will still be cheaper…..
    I appreciate there are family considerations, but still.

    • garyo3060

      I agree with you Mick. The reality of a lot of peoples situation is they are trapped in this ridiculous interest only situation with there bank and do not have a hope in hell of paying down the mortgage. Yet when on interest only they can scrape by. But as David points out they will grow old even quicker living this lifestyle.

      I just wonder at what point will Irish people start to act with more conviction. You cannot live for 25/30 years as described by David above. Your health will suffer and your family unit will suffer also.

      It would appear to me the only way is to move to the UK and declare bankruptcy as you have said.

      But I think a lot of people are hoping the PIA legislation will offer a solution that allows them to keep the family home.

      I am not that convinced it will and I think all in all, we are just on the cusp of mass default on Irish mortgages. People are just on the edge of oblivion with weekly financial commitments and the governments introduction of water charges and property taxes will finally see this happen.

      It happened in Florida and then the mortgage defaulters became an effective and listened to group.

      Something has got to give here and I think it will be sooner rather than later ……….

      Irish people do not like the word default, but

  4. Philip

    Not many folks over the age of 70 who are having an amazing active lifestyle. When your 55, you have about 15 years of good health and then splat…you’ll hang on for another 5-15 years as a semi invalid and gah gah. These elderly were through the crap of the 50s and 60s and 70s in Ireland as well. It was far from what it is like today. At least now it is trivial to phone home/ skype etc. It is actually a soft life we lead.

    Lay off the elderly. They are not the problem and they deserve their day in the sun and fair &ucks to them. As for the current 30-40 something, he’d run screaming from 50s and 60s. Oh dear…he has to take and airy plane to UK or some other so called ukky place – well start learning u live in a world full of others like you!. What about those in Galway in the 50s that had a 6 hr commute on the puke wagon courtesy of CIE to da big smoke.

    I find this article a bit divisive. Not too sure what action can be derived from it except to take from those who for the most part of their lives had it not so good – all because the current generation never knew what it was like to really work.

    An interesting thing about the 30s depression of the US – average age of the people who lived through those times was up about 6-10% simply because (it is now thought) their calorific intake had fallen. Maybe a bit of mild starvation is needed if we to counter what is a diabetically oriented society.

    • MollyMoppet

      I think you’re missing the point a little Philip.

      I read it to mean that people should be judged individually according to their wealth & circumstances regardless of their age, marital status, ethnicity and so on.

      This approach is so logical and equitable that I don’t see how it could be disputed by anyone, unless they are on the wealthier side of the divide and have something to lose by contributing fairly.

    • MollyMoppet

      You may have a point about the calories but think how much more we could claw back by taxing the fat cats rather that the just plain fat :)

    • paulmc

      I am glad that David has highlighted this very pertinent fact, we must remember that historically society is based on the young looking after the old. Up to about 60 years ago regardless of where in the world you lived, when you reached a certain age you had to rely on your family to look after you.

      Those over 55s in Ireland will remember all too well I’m sure the fact that their grandparents would live with them in the twilight years. Besides health matters, one of the key reasons for this was that as you got older you had no more income and had to rely on those younger than you for shelter and subsistence.

      What we have today in Ireland is a complete reversal of this, whereby those over 55s are in a lot of cases contributing to their children lives financially. This, as we can all tell, is unsustainable. Where will be in 20/25 years when those on these comfortable pensions pass away? Will there will be a trickle down effect where the wealth will move to the younger generation, but is too long and slow a process for Ireland to recover correctly.

      There is also the point in relation to the pension timebomb. There are very few people in Ireland under the age of 40 that will ever see a pension, save a state one. So what we have is people who worked from say 1965 to today say, obtaining a benefit that they didn’t produce in the form of surplus funds to pay for their pensions. Remember that on the whole, this was one financially a very unsuccessful period. This generation has also left a legacy of a humongous debt on their grandchildren, and quite likely their great grand children, yet feel it appropriate that they should be rewarded for this?

      I cannot see any rationale for the continued payment of pensions at their current levels to retirees, an alternative must be sought. The current retirees are far and away the luckiest generation this country has ever seen, and likely to see. Unencumbered homes, financial independence from their children, guaranteed income by way of pensions, and the potential to live the longest lives. Their parents didn’t have this, and no generation before has had such amazing benefits, and unless a change occurs no other current living generation will ever experience anything remotely like they have.

      I have discussed this topic with a few members of the older generation and find it incredible that so few of them see a link between the huge debt the current working generation has to service and their own financially comfortable retirement. Mind boggling.

    • Philip

      We keep on forgetting that while right now the current generation of oldies may be lucky, they were not always and indeed I think it unseemly to be screwing about with something that is probably going to have little gain.

      What is proposed is that we hijack the money (means test is a very complex and costly exercise which inevitably causing hardship and confusion – believe me there is no simple way of doing it) which would otherwise service unlawful bank debt.

      Accidental millionaires they be in terms of assets, in the coming 5-10 years a lot will be passing away and the inheritance taxes will inevitably kick in. We can wait because any cash we grab now will only go to the banks.

      • paulmc

        With respect Phillip, the current oldies weren’t always as lucky, but they have been considerably luckier than any other generation before or since. The generation previous to the current pensioners went through WWII, and the generation prior to that went through Independence and WWI. The current/ next generation of workers have to carry the can of financial debt passed down to them from the retiring workers.

        If we look at the country like a business, then the current retirees inherited an average performing unit from their parents. Then arranged it so that regardless of how poor performance was they would be paid handsomely. The business performed very badly and became ladened with huge debts and was passed it on to their children.

        For every retiree on €30,000 a year pension, that equates to a €1 million taken out of the economy to service that pension. ( based on an investment with a return of 3%) Think of the benefit that could have for the under 40s? We have a very real scenario where there are people retiring for 20 years on more than a worker in the same role will be paid in 20 years.

        The Western world needs to address this pension fallacy as unfortunately as nice as the idea is it is wholly unsustainable. Means testing is necessary as no one should be allowed retire on anything close to the final salary if they are otherwise financially secure.

  5. I’m glad to see a reference to Irving Fisher in this piece. Not only did he describe debt deflation very well, he literally wrote the book on how to fix the problem through full reserve banking.

    ’100% Money’ is reviewed quite well by the UK organisation, The Cobden Centre, at the following link:

    http://www.cobdencentre.org/2010/01/100-money-irving-fisher/#

    • bonbon

      Irving fisher, the author of the Phillips Curve and the Indifference Index, was a total incompetent. The IMF trying to revive this Austrian School stuff, while “distancing itself” – really meaning testing the toe in the water for outrage, just shows they never heard of Pinochet.

      His petition was not acted upon by FDR in the 1930′s who went with the New Deal and the Reconstruction Finance Corp after Glass-Steagall was in place. None of that, which worked extremely well came from Irving Fisher. In other words Fisher’s “suggestions” were never reality.

      • Hi Bonbon,

        It’s true his petition was ignored and his proposal didn’t become reality. That’s not to say his system would not have worked better than Keynes’ and indeed there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t work well today.

        Ploughing on with the current system, particularly when mortgages have reached their natural limit of taking two incomes thirty years to repay, isn’t likely to fix the economy at all. In short, something has to be done. Full reserve banking, which many prominent economists other than Fisher, have advocated is a good place to start

        • bonbon

          Neither Keynes nor Fisher were accpeted. Dexter-White refuted ever attempt by Keynes at Bretton-Woods, perhaps they knew about the German preface to his 1st edition which stated only a total-state could implement it.

          Fisher was also simply ignored.

          Hamiltonian Credit System banking as in the US Constitution Credit Clause, abhorred by Keynes and Fisher alike, is the way to go as FDR showed. This is the real American System Arthur Griffith wrote about from Friedrich List’s expose. This is the system of American-Irish Matthew and Henry Carey. This the IMF never refers to. A deafening omission.

          • cooldude

            Hi Paul, that was an excellent contribution on what might be the basis of a solution to our current monetary mess. The Cobden Centre website is always a great site to get good ideas and I use it frequently. It is interesting that Steve Baker wrote the article. If only we had a politician in this country who understood how the banking system works to defraud all of us constantly through the asset bubbles that this fractional reserve system keeps creating. I agree that all current account money should be kept on a full reserve basis and fractional reserve should only be used for term deposits and under strict rules. I would also like to see competition in the type of money people are allowed to use. This would include letting gold and silver return officially to the monetary system and let the people themselves decide which type of money they want to use. I think this would be a good way to stop central banks from constantly debasing our currency systems, as they are presently, because savers would simply switch their savings to a form of money that cannot be easily debased. More links like this would be appreciated.

  6. Deco

    To be honest chasing pensioners for money might result in minor gains, but the D2 complex love nothing more than a complex set of regulations to implement on the populace, and money to be extracted.

    Of far more intelligence would be if the government decided to stop paying the bank bondholders money.

    However, in this stange valley of the clueless type existence, the Irish media does not even admit the existence of the bankbholders. There is a strange form of self-censorship in the Irish media, with respect to the Anglo Bondholders. I don’t know. But it is very, very strange. A conspiracy of silence.

    And needs to be kicked out into the open.

    • coldblow

      Deco

      Would it be because everyone with cash on deposit in the bank (any banks) are unwilling to rock the boat as any action on bondholders might ripple out and endanger their own nest eggs? In other words, they are not pro-bondholder but just worried about their own savings? At present capital has the upper hand on labour.

  7. Deco

    The approach of this country’s establishment towards fixing the borrowing problem indicates that they know nothing about mathematics, finance or economics.

    If we start getting to the point where we start attacking old people, then we are facing in entirely the wrong direction.

    How about the young pups who are still on the payroll in Anglo, and the other banks who never took a paycut, and who were high on cocaine when they made deals with the speculator set in the Irish establishment.

    How come they have not yet been sacked ?

    What about the idiots who hired them because they played rugger for Old Belveder, or because they attended Clongowes ?

    We simply do not do “calling people to account” in this country !!! It is beyond infuriating at this stage. The yanks punished Fuld, Madoff, and even Corzine (depsite his connections to the Democratic Party) and all the other wasters. Ours are now living like civil servants.

  8. Tarzan Land

    I am surprised that no TV documentary has been done on the early Irish male retirees in their fifties most from the Dept of Justice Prison Officers Sect who have settled in places like Thailand in small colonies and some who have absconded from their families at home and who have a coterie of lovely local ladies for comfort.It makes Gypsy Weddings look pale in comparison.

    • Philip

      My point is that this is a small group and should not be used to colour the rest of the demographic in the same light. As far as I am concerned, they got what the contract said. They broke no rules. It was fair.

      I am not for tearing up past contracts signed in good faith to pay off bankers.

  9. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Bonbon,

    What brought America back was world war 2. If you don’t believe me search the internet for the charts which show a huge rise in GDP in the US at that time!

    Michael.

    • bonbon

      By 1936, FDR knew was was inevitable. The economy was recovering wonderfully under the New Deal and the RFC. To the point that it beat fascism. The bankers golem was defeated, and Wall Street did not manage their junta as USMC Major General Smedley Butler whistleblew the “Business Plot” to overthrow FDR.

      Of course Eisenhower warned of the Military Industrial Complex at his farewell address. That is later and to be dealt with.

      So what brought the US to the point of defeating a deadly threat was FDR’s Glass-Steagall in 1933.

  10. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    “While young Irish couples are mired in debt and have seen their houses become destroyers, not repositories, of wealth”

    From now on I am going to refer to you as a housing Nazi. A house is an inanimate object. It can neither create nor destroy wealth. The wealth is being destroyed by the scum of the earth in charge of the banks.

    Let me point out to you how fucking angry I become when I read suggestions about means testing Oap’s manny of whom lived through Develara’s watered down pol pot aim of making everyone live off the land during the 50′s. My aunt and her husband are 70. My aunt was advised to roll over a savings plan she had 5 or 6 years ago which was about 30k and told she would receive 50k or so 5 years later which was last year. She got three hundred euros. Some fucking cocaine addict ashole wealth manager probably gambled the lot on bank shares and guess what? Do you recon that cunt or are any like him were asked to give backbtheir obscene bonuses? You must be fucking joking! If pensioners are to be means tested let them only pay tax AFTER an allowance has been made for all the wealth that was destroyed by the cocaine addict scumbags in finance because the only thing they have now to secure them in their old age is their HOUSE!

    • bonbon

      Very interesting point on Dev there.

      Here is a brief but very accurate clip on Pol Pot’s Sorbonne, Paris Economics. See how “reasonable” logic leads to an agrarian nightmare.

      Yet I think DMcW means testing “accidental millionaires” for entitlements.

      This should only be discussed after the docks are full of plaintifs with a camera recording the criminality. A Pecora Commission as in 1933.

  11. molly

    The mortgage navvy is living proof of what this country has become, a disgrace to its citizens .
    Work is work but this is no way to live your life, so we have the dole or , pack up family and leave , or the navvy .
    This reminds me of the film the deer hunter remember the one bullet in the gun.
    Enda is definitely a one trick pony who’s all out of tricks, I say if you had enda in a corner he would not be able to think for him self.
    Where are the real jobs to bring the navvy home,
    Where are the real jobs full stop!
    Look at health , education, policing, public services all are being starved of the money they need to provide the proper service .
    All this to fund bond holders and bankers and government and there groupies.”
    The government are all protecting one another it’s like watching the mafia in action

  12. tony_murphy

    The biggest crimes the old generation committed were ignorance and their abject failure to educate themselves and their children on finance, the threats of communism, socialism, the EU and the globalists who are trying to enslave everyone.

    They are also guilty of letting fluoride to be put in the water, blindly been fooled by propaganda, using pesticide, insecticide, not questioning vaccines and allowing the country descend so low as to allow abortions here there and everywhere. The old generation have a lot to answer for.

  13. padser

    As an unemployed Construction Operative myself, have briefly entertained the idea of doing likewise, but don’t see the benefit over and above €188pw….which means after digs, food, etc. and a likely income of about €550pw net., even slumming it, probably take back €300! I’m not going to sacrifice my family’s notion of normality for €112pw.

    However, this is where the Government could step in and “sponsor” me if you like, by letting me retain a benefit of sorts, that would encourage me to go and bring ‘foreign capital’ back to our country.

    Of the 1000 perks allotted to the public service, could they create one more, to encourage thinking outside the box!

  14. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    Remember the Fucking Cunt Corzine who fucked mf global? It seems he is starting a new hedge fund? That’s no shit either.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2012/08/16/jon-corzine-yes-that-jon-corzine-may-start-a-hedge-fund/

    I knew the pay off would come further down the line. Any chance the money will come from the people who benefited from Corzine buying their worthless shit securities knowing that MF Global would fail with the tacit nod and wink that down the road he would be looked after by let’s say the same people giving him a pile of moola to set up a hedge fund?

    And all knowledgeable commentators like you are doing is trying to build a case for fucking over our pensioners?

    I am really really ripping right now!

    • bonbon

      ALL of the financial rapes have occurred in London, arms of US firms, but London. This the Maggie “Big Bang” from 1986 in action. This is the epicenter of the collapse – the square mile.

      It is the British Financial system Obama is out to protect as a Nero “protected” Rome – by burning it down.

      Ye ain’t ripping enough. Others are fuming! And to find out Obama’s Harvard trist was funded by the Saudi Royal Family, who are up to their eyeballs in 9/11 and 9/11-2.

      Add to that Clinton’s public display of support for Obama! and nothing is predictable.

    • Hi Michael,

      That really is shocking re Corine

      Re pensioners, calm down and read the article properly, particularly the last paragraph. The point is that there are no more universal blocs of people defined by their age, than there are universal blaocs of people defined by their name.

      Best
      David

      • bonbon

        Good point.

        There are universal banks, Too Big to Bail or Jail, not that many, and well defined.

        These are on the block for breakup. The tables have indeed turned.

      • Philip

        Unfortunately the vast majority of the accidental millionaires are in a given age grouping – hence they are a set or a bloc. This is unequivocal. As for future benefits – we need to be very specific who we are talking about. Those with or without the cash. And finally, as I say before, most of these people had it hard. Why knife them when characters like Corzine remain unshackled.

  15. sherlock

    What exactly is the problem about there being winners and losers?
    What we are really seeing here is that Ireland and in particular Dublin is becoming a satellite city. Manchester and Birmingham are the same and “mortgage navvy” is no different from his opposite numbers all over Europe commuting in and out of cities they cannot afford to live in.
    This has nothing to do with old v.young in Ireland but rather the spread between manufacturing going to the East and Value Added services staying with the elites in the West.In our case in London.
    So the Mortgage Navvy is just doing what Norman Tebbitt recommended all those years ago…getting on his bike while leaving Mrs. Navvy to take the children to cheap schools and enjoy the fantastic facilities we have to offer in Ireland.
    Yes the world has changed. Older people are better off because they paid for their fixed assets when they were cheaper. They are also better off because they earned at a time when Europe had a complete economy and not just a shell servicing India Australia and China.

  16. Adam Byrne

    subscribe.

  17. Harper66

    “…but there isn’t a coherent block called “the elderly” or “the retired”. Like any society, there are huge differences within the age groups..”

    Excellent article and I fully agree.

  18. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your response. I am much calmer this morning. I have taken your advice and re read the article especially the last paragraph. It is a very important point you make no question. The trouble is that if you tax pensioners who can afford to pay the money it wIll not be used to help other pensioners in trouble. It is going to go to central funds to be squandered on trying to make up for the mistakes of the banks. Some really wealthy pensioners like Michael Smurfit etc don’t even live heer anyway. If you tax wealthy pensioners all they will do is move to Spain.etc. That’s what I would do. I’m giving very serious consideration to going anyway. The politicians simply don’t understand that the people who control the banks are mandated and rewarded to save themselves first even at the banks expense and then the bank ahead of the state or it’s citizens irrespective of who they vote for.

    There is a story about Michael Collins David and how he solved a problem when he was commander in chief of our great Army. Collins had raised a national bond much of which was used to pay soldiers wages and the bond was exhausted. A young soldier tried to cash his cheque and it bounced. Collins enraged at this put on his generals Uniform and his webley revolver onto his hip. Resplendent looking he went into the office of the bank manager who had refused to cash the cheque and placed his revolver onto the mans desk. He then politely informed the manager that he should make sure that in future the soldiers cheque should be cashed which it subsequently was.

    Is this the only type of action which will bring Irish banksters to their senses?

    • bonbon

      Imagine in 1933, 1800 banks opened one morning to find US Regulators at the doors with $1 bills. They said you are bankrupt, so we buy you for $1 and after a small holiday, you will open for normal business (minus “investment”).
      They of course had FDR’s order, legal to do it.

      Today they are spectacularly bankrupt, worth $1, and can be used for normal business after rendering their toxic paper null and void.

      Bankers know this is coming (assuming of course Obama does not blow the world up first). Let them sweat. See below for leading bankers coming to their senses right in NY.

      • Adam Byrne

        I just can’t see it happening Mr. bonbon. I can’t see these asshole bankers ever conceding anything that might be in the interest of the general populace. Bankers are an incurable cancer of society.

        • StephenKenny

          It isn’t really the bankers who are the root of the problem. The problem, to keep up the cancer metaphor, is the compulsory radium collar that politicians have leased for each of us – from the banks.

          If the politicians were paid to remove laws covering, for example, rape, you could be sure that not only would rapists start to get active, but a group of people who had the requisite flexibility in their moral compasses, would develop a taste for it.

          Once this was established, companies would rise to take advantage of the situation. They would pay the politicians to remove other laws that got in the way of exploiting their business opportunities: You could see that laws that make kidnap illegal could get in the way of things, as would laws covering beating people up, and so on.

          Until we get the laws back, and until we get politicians who aren’t so easily bought off, the problem will no go away.

          At least we should not, as we current;y are, keep changing the laws to make things even worse.

          • cooldude

            Hi Stephen, the politicians are not only below the elite bankers in the new pecking order they are also below the massive multi national corporations who are such a key part of this fascist corporateocracy which is taking over this planet. Any politician who doesn’t play ball is threatened and most simply roll over and take their orders. They usually get invited to join the inner circle then and are invited to bilderburg meetings and the like. This is what I think happened to our own Mickey Noonan who was threatened by the troika and just gave in without any fight. Iceland seems to be the only country where the politicians and the people stood up to these thugs and told the banks to f off and pay the price for their reckless gambling.

          • StephenKenny

            If the politicians don’t fix it, then there are only two possible outcomes:

            1. A return to a sort of feudal social structure.
            2. Some sort of civil war.

            I don’t want either.

          • Adam Byrne

            cooldude, I don’t think Sinn Fein would play ball if they were in office, but they probably won’t get enough votes to form a government in the first place and they have other deficiencies.

        • bonbon

          JP Morgan himself did not concede and Pecora went relentlessly after him, paving the way for Glass-Steagall. He wrote a book that so impressed FDR he gave him plenty of line.
          We do see this in slow motion, with relentless scandal after another, public denuncations, Sandy Weill being one very important one. This is the Pecora commission laying the ground for Glass-Steagall and very likely the impeachment of Obama as well!

          G-S was certainly in no-ones crystal ball until it happened. In fact all known history happens that way. So much for oracles.

  19. bonbon

    Economist Discusses How Germany Can Avoid Inflation in Returning to the D-Mark

    Sept. 20, 2012 (EIRNS)–Belgian economist Paul de Grauwe discusses how Germany could avoid rewarding “hot money” and thus avoid inflation in a return to the deutschmark. Since there is no longer a gold standard, the Bundesbank should be concerned that a change-over involves no more money than the amount of goods in circulation.
    A nightmare for the Bundesbank is represented as “Target2″ liabilities, i.e., recent hot money inflows from the Eurozone’s periphery countries, from investors who think their money would lose no value if it stays in Germany once the euro breaks up. This capital flow has reached over EU800 billions, and is accounted by the so-called “Target2″ claims from the Bundesbank to the Euro system. This capital inflow will probably accelerate on the eve of a euro collapse, De Grauwe writes:
    “There is no doubt that prior to the collapse of the Eurozone, large speculative movements into German banks will be triggered. A conversion of these euro deposits into new German mark deposits would lead to an excessive increase of the German mark money stock and would risk creating inflation in Germany. A restricted conversion, however, can ensure that this does not happen, thereby shielding the German taxpayers from losses induced by the conversion.”
    All the Bundesbank has to do is to convert money only for German residents, De Grauwe suggests. “In doing so, it can be sure that the amount of marks created as a result of the conversion is such as to keep prices in Germany stable. Under those conditions the German taxpayers will not lose a single pfennig.”
    De Grauwe makes it clear that, contrary to claims by such as Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn, Target2 is not a net German financial claim, as it comes from speculative capital and not from trade surpluses. Trade balance figures do not correspond to Target2 and will be settled independently.

  20. bonbon

    N.Y. Banker: Glass-Steagall Must Be Congressional Priority #1 After Elections

    Sept. 19, 2012 (LPAC)–”Once the election is decided and Congress gets back to work, fixing the banking system and reinstating Glass- Steagall should be the highest priority.” That’s the final punchline of the latest salvo in {American Banker}’s ongoing debate on the restoration of Glass-Steagall protections for the American people. Its author is the founder and CEO of New York City metropolitan area’s Signature Bank, Scott Shay, who comes out swinging full-square behind Glass Steagall, nicely capturing “The Absurdity of Too Big to Fail Banking.”
    Shay takes apart the three basic arguments of the bank lobbyists claiming “that the rise of TBTF banks and the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall were actually good for the country.”
    As for their first argument (“if banking size in the U.S. is limited, American companies will replace their U.S. banks with larger European, Japanese or Chinese banks”), Shay laughs that “it is a testament to the TBTF lobbyists’ prowess that they are taken seriously in urging our policymakers that we emulate European banks…. Does anyone really need to be reminded of the nationalization of the certain British banks, the entire Irish Banking system, the German state banks and the Spanish provincial banks, to name only a few recent era headlines?”
    Then there is the argument that the repeal did not cause the crisis and would not have stopped it. Shay answers: “The Glass-Steagall repeal was not the sole cause of the financial crisis but certainly a contributor;” long before its “technical” repeal,” its provisions were overturned, with “the permission regulators gave to the banks for the `cultural consolidation’ of commercial and investment banking.” It was (and is) Citibank and Bank of America’s investment banking exposure which needed bailing out, before the mortgage crisis broke.
    As for the third, the great value the big banks create for the economy: “small and medium-sized banks are more effective at making loans to the small and medium-sized companies, which are the primary job creators in the U.S…. [W]hat is good for the big banks is not necessarily good for the economy and the growth of jobs.”
    “If policymakers can get the structure of the banking system right, there will be less of a need for the volumes of devilishly complex regulations, which are being created almost weekly… Once the election is decided and Congress gets back to work, fixing the banking system and reinstating Glass Steagall should be the highest priority.”
    {American Banker} touts itself as “the leading information resource serving the banking and financial services community,” whose first daily print edition was published in 1835.

    (http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/the-absurdity-of-too-big-to-fail-banking-1052812-1.html)

  21. bonbon

    German Social Democrats Want To Carve Up Deutsche Bank

    Sept. 20, 2012 (EIRNS)–That Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest, is too big to be bailed out by taxpayers, is dawning also in the minds of the German Social Democrats now. Peer Steinbrueck, one of the SPD’s contenders for Chancellor candidate against incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel, is quoted by the weekly {Die Zeit} with a call for separating the bank’s investment and commercial branches. Steinbrueck will present a first position paper to the SPD Bundestag group on Sept. 25.

  22. redriversix

    Morning

    Every week the Government attacks some section of society for more money across Europe yet this does nothing to solve the problem only proves time and time again how unqualified elected or unelected politicians are at running Government,its departments or quangos.

    I guarantee if any one of us gave Enda a chq for 100Billion euro they would be back in debt in 3 years time.

    This financial crisis has highlighted the management/fiscal crisis in our Country and across Europe

    Why solve a debt problem when their is so much cheap debt flowing for Countries and their failed Banks..?

    In the last 5 years , many Banks have got bigger and richer,very few ,if any will be broken up as it is not beneficial to anyone in power.

    Much better to enslave a generation to poor wages,lots of debt and create or widen the divide between old & young,rich & poor sick and unemployed.

    If this Financial war ends it will be because it suits somebody on high,not because of “the good of the people”

    These are great times to buy/takeover state assets or Natural resources of indebted Countries and a great time to drive down wages and increase working hours with reduced healthcare etc etc.

    Very hard for a receiver to earn 800 euro an hour in good times.

    After 5 years of dealing with first world countries , I very much doubt the I.M.F and world Bank would like to see a return to dealing with third world countries ,would you ?…….Hotels are nicer in the “first world” than in the “Third World”

    Crisis to continue until the word crisis loses all meaning and becomes the “norm”…..not negative…just the way I see it.

    For a change as great as required the next step , from a history point of view is a large scale War…..and on that bombshell I shall bid you all adieu..!

    RR6

  23. Adam Byrne

    How come there were two articles today?

  24. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Bonbon,

    The german economist recommending partial conversion of deposits is very insightful. The way around that problem is to buy property in Germany. Germany gas a double problem in that regard. Inflation in property prices due to an increasingly worthless euro and price rises in property due to people getting rid of their euros in the perifery by buying property in Germany.

    If they go down the route of the pulling out of the euro they will have to close the border until the metaphorical dust settles unlike the fallout dust in the middle east if the US Neo cons get their way.

    • redriversix

      Morning Michael

      Their are reports of a growing property boom in major cities in Germany over the last couple of weeks as I am sure you are aware.

      It appears a cycle of boom & bust is far more appetizing to the Elite powers than promoting sustainability.

      A word seldom uttered on the pages of F.T or similar publications.

      Best
      RR6

      • molly

        Good news we are to be saved by the increse in the export led drive by this government you see we dont need to worry anymore thoes of us who are not in the sector of exports can now live happy ever after.
        Thanks enda I promise to vote for you the next time I fall of a sky scraper .

    • Dorothy Jones

      http://www.handelsblatt.com/finanzen/immobilien/ratgeber-hintergrund/rolf-elgeti-im-interview-wohnen-ist-in-deutschland-zu-billig/7149438.html

      Chief of large estate agency denies that there’s a property bubble in Germany; encourages investment in property. That’s official then….property bubble in Germany!

      • redriversix

        very good Dorothy….!

      • bonbon

        Regensburg apparently is no. 1. Renovation of inner city buildings, pricing residents out, and listed as valuable assets. This is the bubble at it again.
        Mainstream TV is watching this critically though. There is enough of a manufacturing tradition still around to spot the bubble. And I mean Spotten!

      • molly

        When we never pay back all the money we don’t owe .
        When Germany’s bouble bursts we can bail them out and help them pay back the money they don’t owe.

    • bonbon

      Interesting how talk of breaking up the Euro invokes military images. Very strange indeed.

      The soon-to-be worthless note is not worth fighting over.

      As Theodorakis in Greece said, money is a deadlier weapon than tanks in 1942. That is, if left to imperial control, not sovereign nations.

  25. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    The reason you are so shocked regarding Corzine is proof positive you were born with a conscience. I bet that the money for the new hedgefund comes from suds friends in gsucks.

    The photographs of Corzine show an affable smiling individual which reminds me of the lyrics from John Lennon’s superlative working-class hero;

    ‘There’s room at the top
    they are telling us still,
    but to get there you must learn
    To smile while you kill’

    Do you know who else smiles serenly when doing billions of dollars of damage? The pilot of a hijacked fully fueled airliner piloting the aircraft into a skyscraper!

    • bonbon

      It is difficult to imagine the suicide pilot smiling, but very easy to see Prince Bandar of Saudi Intelligence (now, then merely Prince) smiling with his British Imperial collaborators. After all a bomb is a bomb, someone sent it on its way. And the reason for the smile? They knew in 2000 already the financial system is finished. They wanted to make sure the USA would offer no resistance, as a sovereign republic who already threw out that very same empire. The Saudi role is being covered up by Obama today – it leads straight to the culprits.

      That put guys like Corzine and Dimon in the driving seat. In other words mass murder put those guys in.

      Cui Bono? Those of course! Who had the logistics – The Al Yamamah slush fund of $180 bllion. Why then ? The financial collapse!

      None of this can be denied now, and all of this was said on the SAME DAY it occurred.

  26. Philip

    How can one pay no taxes?
    How can one fight for proper representation?

    This all sounds very familiar.

    You know, if this were just an Irish problem, we’d just fix it by emigrating, or taxing or whatever. The export economy would pull us up and it would be sorted – and funnily enough I would be 100% for this article and taxing accidental millionaires etc because it is OUR problem.

    Croke park is not a benefits retention scam. In the current situation is a damage limitation scam to ensure the rest of us comply. Remember that. This is all about using the one group to bully another into submission. If this was an Ireland only problem, such a situation would not have been allowed to exist. An increasing wealthy private sector would have pulled all the good people from the public sector and the solution would have self solved.

    Any talk of equalising benefits or levelling the playing pitch without also including skin in the game for the bankers is just a wealth diversion maneuver with no benefit to Ireland.

    Get the problem stated correctly and you have 90% of the answer.

    • StephenKenny

      The difficulty with this line of reasoning is the implicit association between an expansion of the public sector, and “increasing wealthy private sector”.

      It is easy to expand the public sector – courses in step-ladder usage proficiency, come to mind – whereas it’s actually very hard to expand the private sector (excluding the bit which is just outsourced public sector) in any way that creates wealth.

      We have a demographic model that requires the economy to constantly expand. More people means more food and goods, from a planet that isn’t growing in size.
      At the same time, we’re pushing to improve the standard of living of 6,000,000,000 people, which, just in terms of better food, water, and shelter, requires vast economic growth. This is the other side of the coin of the ’10% use 90% of the energy” argument. We’re trying to give the 90% the same energy usage.

      Of course things can be done, and are, but it’s far more difficult than putting an ad in the newspaper for a bunch more government enterprise development executives.

      If it was just a matter of borrowing and spending trillions of dollars, and waiting for an inevitable upturn, we’re never really have recessions. That is, after all, nothing more than the ‘Greenspan Put’, that created three of the last three asset bubbles.

      • Philip

        Point taken – 100% agree. All I am trying to say that the problem needs to be restated when the root cause is global rather than merely home grown.

        I find a lot of the blog tends to steer towards this type of discussion – Certainly needs a proper discussion in it’s own right – facilitated by a contrarian article by our host to stir the pot.

        • padser

          We were touching on it a few days ago…all that global stuff. World population etc.

          • StephenKenny

            It isn’t really about world population. There is one basic problem that western nations have:

            They can’t afford the standard of living for their retirees that they’ve promised.

            They therefore have two options:
            1. When the time comes, just not give it to them. In the private sector it’s easy, you just blame the market and tell everyone to go on welfare. In the public sector it’s trickier.

            2. Encourage massive immigration, and hope not only that it won’t cause any social problems, but also be far more successful at creating wealth than the incumbents, and that the new arrivals won’t notice the tax burden rising over the years, to pay for the increasing numbers of retired people, and their increasing expectations.

            Both are made a lot worse by the much higher than expected life expectancy, and the much lower than expected real financial growth.

            I suppose that there is a third, which would be to create some sort of crisis that enables everyone to accept working longer, and being poorer.

          • bonbon

            So it is about relative potential population density, which subsumes longevity.

            How could increased longevity, a result of the nation-states commitment to the public good over decades, be “unexpected”? Only if your economic theory is feudal, or rather British Imperial.

            Destroying nation-states with the intent, explicit genocidal, to reduce the relative potential population density and longevity to “sustainable” levels is the policy right now in motion.

            If one does not agree with being culled, yes culled, like animals, then put an economic idea on the table that explicitly respects and defines the difference between us and animals.

            After all, animals have no economy, only ecology. There is no horses economy (excepting the houyhnhnms of course).

      • padser

        Why don’t people put their money into a Bank or better still in the attic, and save for their pension that way?
        And not be duped along the way.

        • StephenKenny

          Do the arithmetic for your situation and expectations – it’s interesting. You’ll see how much you’ll need to save. Then add in the arithmetic for property prices.

          You will see that anyone under about 40 has been taught a process – save, buy house, downsize – which cannot possible work.

          It’s interesting to do it backwards – starting off with what might be expected, and seeing what that would require from the two available variables (savings & property).

  27. dd

    What about farmers in all this – many of which held property pre Celtic Tiger, were able to sell sites, re-zoned land etc at hugely inflated prices. In many cases they still qualify for student grants etc as well as the obvious subsidies.

    Can’t see FG willing to take them on though

  28. SLICKMICK

    Today’s retirees are the generation that produced the oversized families that flooded onto the job and housing markets over the past 25 yrs. The predictaable result has been a surge in housing costs and numbers out of work and emigrating.I know a civil servant who retired 6 months ago and bought a heavy duty new Beemer. Cost €40k. It doesn’t leave the garage. He has a bus pass! When are bank staff taking a pay cut ? They get paid for doing zilch.

  29. gizzy

    gizzy says:
    September 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    The country needs a new political party. it needs all of us to join and be active. We cannot just continue to give out about the current incumbents they have no desire, intention or skill set to change anything. they are spoofers and chancers. Enda Kenny as a leader of a country come on, an old grumpy man as minister of finance, Howlin couldn’t change a tyre, Gilmore makes Kenny look plausible by comparison. It won’t change with them in charge. Set up a new party I will join, I will run in Kildare.

    As to UK bankruptcy I have looked at it and then I look at my two young sons and then

  30. Tony Brogan

    The politics of envy and greed are just the ticket, David. Devide the population against itself and the elites laugh all the way to their corrupt banks.

    I am one of those pensioners you talk about.
    I emmigrated with a debt to my local bank, L50 in my wallet and a ticket to a new land.

    I worked any job available. I have been on jobs of 70 hours aweek in -50 deg F and others where it was +90 degs F. I have spent 30-50 days living in cheap digs trying to get hired. I have lived in a volkswagon truck on a pipeline to save money while others spent all they earned.
    I have had as many as 13 jobs in a year, some lasting just 4 hours.
    I then spent 32 years as self employed on commission income as a salesman, never knowing whether I would make enough or not.
    I went on few vacations, bought no new cars, invested what funds I had, worked 70-80 hour weeks, did not have a new TV or the latest gismo.
    Often I was told by others how lucky I was. I replied it was a matter of choices.
    I always knew there would be no pension for me, I would have to provide for myself.
    I have been married twice and divorced twice and settled large sums each time. We all make choices and sometimes they are bad ones.
    I was ready to retire early at age 40 to be caught by a divorce, a major recession and a crooked lawyer that left me literally broke to a minus net worth.
    I started again at 40 plus, raised a family, and after 22 years another divorce and settlement. I retrenched and may have enough to live on for the duration of my life and I may not. I know my ex wives do!!! as that is the way I left them. My children are all self sufficient and none incurred a student loan. all are thrifty.
    Not everything is perfect, and never was.

    It pisses me off when it is suggested I left a problem for the next generation. Nobody listened to my opinion then and few listen to it now.

    I have paid my way, paid my taxes to excess, watched others enjoy the good life while I worked and now am in a poaition to, within narrow limits, do what I want. I own no realestate, little possessions and have secured some investments.

    Do not set me up as an extravagence that caused the profligate spending, incompentence, and corruption endemic in todays society.

    In the 1980′s I described the Gimme, Gimme generation who had arrived. Those with an opinion of entitlement to everything others have. Those who expected to have what their parents had earned over a lifetime.
    That is why the “younger” generation went into large mortgages and big houses they could not afford. Why they bought large cars on credit. Why they financed extensive holidays, large amounts of furniture, and all the electronic toys.

    I looked at them and told them they were irresponsible.
    Debt didn’t have to be repaid was the mantra. It still is. All those who overstepped the bounds now want ‘debt relief” and now a means test for any benefits my taxes to excess may have earned me.
    Just as a means test is thought reprehensible for those at the bottom of the financial column requiring help so it is for those at the upper end.

    But worst of all as I stated at the beginning of this rant is the division caused by the politics of envy and greed. Some earned what they have, some didn’t, some inherited, some didn’t.

    It is hard to be ethical in an ammoral world.
    That is one reason I am retired. I don’t have to deal with all the shysters in the business who figure a code of ethics is something to be avoided if possible.

    Lack of a binding morel code is part of the problem we face. Corruption and the free for all to gain personal benefits at the expense of others is endemic.

    Taking from those who have to give to those who have not, by coersion, is the worst sort of socialism. It is the politics of greed and envy.

    • gizzy

      Tony

      I can clearly see a basis for your views and they are usual well thought out. However as the next generation down from you it is too simplistic to tar all as some kind of mad celtic tiger spendthrifts. I have inherited a lot of debt and problems from trading businesses from which I have paid almost over a million in wages in the past few years. I have also paid a lot of money in taxes to the State which is being used to pay benchmarked salaries and replay bond holders.

      Taking from those who have not, to give to those who have by law is the worst sort of socialism. It is the politics of power and corruption. Please do not accuse those of us who object to that as being pursuers of greed and envy.

      • Tony Brogan

        No not at all Gizzy
        I did not mean to overly generalize. We all have our experiences and trials , tribulations, extasies and triumphs.

        I agree with you 100% on the socialization of bank losses.

        I addressed my greed and envy theme to DMW as being a result of suggesting the pensioner was sitting on a pile of unearned loot at the expense of younger generations.

        so let me say clearly.
        divide and conquor is the practice. You have twisted my word to some extent to suggest i disagree with those who object to the bailout banker policy enacted by government. This is not the case.
        This is nothing to do with a mad tiger. The spend more than you have syndrome is endemic.

        to look for a cause of the problem I return to the theme of the overly easy credit provided by the banking system. central banks set up the system of credit. Expanded 10 fold by the fractional reserve system of the associated commercial banks. All money expansion in an economy have negative effects and compounded by being added as a debt. This system enabled the profligate spending and encouraged it.

        I apologise to you for any misconceptions I may have implied.

        Tony

    • whatamess

      fascinating stuff….thanks for being so open and you’ve empowered me with your ‘snapshot’ life story/ enthusiasm for life…truly

      and 2 wives-that’s enthusiasm :)

      “All those who overstepped the bounds now want ‘debt relief” —u begrudge them this ‘soft landing’ as so many do , BUT if they don’t get it,it’s game over for us ALL! has to happen!in whatever form over whatever period of time… the debt burden is that great

      and of course you’re right…”It is hard to be ethical in an ammoral world.”

      • Tony Brogan

        The debts can not be repaid. These I refer to are the state national debts. No matter what an individual does if the state debt continues to enlarge then sooner or later the state will fail.

        All states are technically broke. The banking system broke them. We the taxpayer bailed out the banks. By the same rational we want the taxpayer to bail out the indebted individuals.
        Note that the indebted are largely no longer taxpayers. There are less andless taxpayers–and endangered species.
        It is asked that those who were prudent and successful bail out all those who failed.
        moral hazard runs rampamt. Those who worked and saved will now say what is the point. Others failed and the sucessful paid for the failures. Next time they will not bother but join the queue with a hand out.
        If one objects to the bank bailout then one must also object to personal bailouts on principal.
        The trick is to be equitable in dealings without being unduly harsh, to allow a recovery after lessons are learned. A first offence should be somewhat leniant, a second less so!! But all must pay for mistakes or the lesson learned is the incorrect one.

        The source of all indebtedness is the banking system. A topic studiously avoided by DMW

        • whatamess

          “By the same rational we want the taxpayer to bail out the indebted individuals” – Rational and fair play and being equitable in dealings are certainly the ways things ‘ought’ to be approached Tony,BUT ”It is hard to be ethical in an ammoral world.” The rule book is no more!!The indebted individuals need forgiveness. Simple as..

          and “If one objects to the bank bailout then one must also object to personal bailouts on principal.”- ‘must on principle’…too late for all that jazz …i know i know ..you shudder that i can even suggest to throw principle ,if only for a moment,out the door Tony,but without huge debt forgiveness across the board,we TOGETHER will not emerge from this quagmire…the modus operandi of achieving this is as yet unknown…Maybe give every man woman and child a one off punt nua or euro 100k ‘gift’–those in debt use this windfall to pay their debts,those who were prudent in the past,put their 100k under the mattress…i know i know …fuel another ‘bubble’…

          So whatever helps one sleep at night right,but one’s ‘principles’ will need to be a whole lot more flexible in the future…Debt forgiveness won’t be equitable across the board of course and people who maybe’deserve’ to feel the pain for their myopic greed might side step that ‘deserved’ pain&punishment,but if we just got past that,maybe we can reset the clock and begin again ?? otherwise it’s “Groundhog day”

          “The source of all indebtedness is the banking system. A topic studiously avoided by DMW”– i couldn’t agree more and disappointed for same

          • Tony Brogan

            Unfortunately the flexibility in business operations devoid of principles has left us where we are.
            There will be debt forgiveness alright as there will be debts impossible to pay. Stripped of all assets and allowed to start again in a reasonably short time span without the stigma and physical constraints of bankruptcy stifling for life is what should happen.
            Same for the banks.
            With your 100 k write off for each person and the 100 k equal gift to the others where does it come from. another loan from the central bank and added to the national debt for all to repay?

            My opinion is that the only reset will be with a brand new currency or basket of currencies. Then you have the same system in place and soon the same problems. central banks must be destroyed. Fractional reserve banking must be outlawed.
            money must be available in whatever the citizen desires. Like cooldude and Clare Leonard I believe there must be an option to use gold and silver coin and let the people decide.

        • bonbon

          It is not as simple as the Austrian Schools monetarism proscribes.
          There has been no physical economic growth per capita, per hectare for 35 years. That is physical economic indebtedness, something totally off the monetarist radar, i.e. reality.
          Then there is Derivative synthetic debt, losses at the casino, hived onto workers necks. That will be repudiated.

          Physical economic indebtedness everyone is willing to honor, that means creative jobs and powers of labor increasing. That takes a mission orientation, also something off the monetarist radar. NAWAPA XXI captures this perfectly.

          Other debt can be deep frozen for 25 years and then let’s see how the economy, without the financial oligarchy, is doing. With a fixed exchange system we can check every 6 months.

          That is what Glass-Steagall means in economic terms over 25-30 years. That is what Hamiltonian Banking means today.

          • Tony Brogan

            You are incapable of a conversation without reference to your indoctinated mindset.
            Just for once leave out references to Austrian school.
            No mention of it here and not relevant to the conversation.
            forget all the other intellectual clap trap and say something from the heart for a change.
            Else I will refer to the past actions of LaRouche and all the silly bloody minded things he has been up to in the past.His cult followings and gang violence fostered in his name. Always avoided by you but never refuted because is on the public record as factual news reports. No doubt you are one of his brainwashed followers.

            If you want to have a personal chat , fine, but otherwise piss off.
            Your rationale is skewed as far as the reasons for the debt and lack of growth. It has nothing to do with austrians who disagree with monetarism and everything to do with a corrupt debt based backing system that you want to foster more of.

            Get out in the open and explain, if you can, what Hamiltons credit plan actually involves. You never say what it is. I doubt if you understand it.

            Get out and explain how you intend to pay for your master plans.

            Get out and explain how you will cede national sovereignty to do so.

            Flesh out you ideas for examination and debate. Otherwise shut the fuck up.

          • bonbon

            The Austrian School, like the Chicago School (founded by Irving Fisher of the Austrian School), has a prescription, widely repeated, based on a monetaristic model.

            The science of physical economy, a much more modern approach, defines a credit system, national banking on the Hamiltonian model, for progress, both industrial, agricultural, for a higher relative potential population density. These vital aspects are deafeningly silent in such School’s arguments. I think they concern people though, and the typical IMF and other reports with economic-financial “logic” fall on deaf ears, simply because people are thoroughly disgusted with the thundering silence on their well being and future.

            Now replacing a thundering silence with “gold” used to work for the beguiled. Today we have actual experience of the powers of labor, what upgraded mean and require, what the NAWAPA XXI major intervention into the biopshere for the public good need in terms of long-term banking commitment. The Eurasian Land-Bridge, a major cooperation from Rotterdam to Shanghai with transrapid high-speed transport between production centers needs Hamiltonian banking on a cooperative scale never before seen.

            Feudal methods are simply not up to par.

  31. Tony Brogan

    From Jim Sinclair
    http://www.jsmineset.com

    My Dear Extended Family,

    Everyone has an opinion of QE3. Almost all are wrong.

    What has taken place here in its size, and in an almost simultaneous international unified approach has no precedent in economic history.

    QE1 and QE2 were not failures. Do you have any idea what the world would have looked like if every major bank in the Western financial world broke?

    It is easy to be a naysayer and say let the banks go broke, but you have no idea how hard it would have hit you and yours and maybe gold and silver. This is not to say that Debt Monetization, which QE represents, is correct, but it was the only tool available to central banks that would create infinite cash for the Fed and Treasury to use in a totally discretionary manner. Governments, because of the size of their debt, were incapable of applying the better tool for reviving economic activity, which is fiscal stimulation. One thing for certain is the infrastructure of the USA is collapsing in front of your eyes. Dar es Salaam airport looks better on approach than JFK. Dubai is beyond description. Roads from the Beijing airport are brand new. The USA infrastructure is disgraceful for a major power. New York City roads look like “Mad Max and the Day After.” However when you are the major debtor nation fiscal stimulation is simply not possible. It will not happen because it cannot happen.

    Please stop listening to those that tell you QE will have no effect. They are “Ignorant to Infinity.” QE3 is going to have an unprecedented effect, as it is now simultaneous and global in scope.

    Please make note of all the governments that screamed at the Fed for the use of QE1 and QE2 that are now applying QE to infinity.

    There will be no QE4 because QE3 is going to go on continually with a month or two off now and then. Please recognize that it is hard for markets to discount what they do not believe in and therefore by definition do not anticipate.

    Know within 90 days the economic effects of QE3 will be entering markets for money and therefore the markets for gold, silver, and most certainly the dollar.

    Gold is going to at least $3500. Silver will certainly perform well also. The real support for the US dollar is .7200 on the USDX and it will trade there. The euro will trade at $1.35 and $1.40.

    Ron McEwen of MUX fame said it correctly: “Patience is bitter; but the fruit is sweet!”

    Respectfully,
    Jim

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    • bonbon

      What exactly is this saying? If QE1,2 worked why QE3? If they failed, which they did because QE3 is there, QE3 must fail too.

      Author has a major disconnect, and is trying to value metal with a hyperinflated dollar.

      In fact each QE has left an economic crater – they are financial bombs. Obama has ordered Bernanke for the Big One to totally wreck the USA.

      Grounds for impeachment and immediately.

      • Tony Brogan

        Jim Sinclair has an impeccable grasp of the situation. He says without QE1 and QE11 all banks would be broke and the financial system collapsed. He says the banks are rescued which = success. It did not revive the economy and that is not the goal.
        QE111 will continue to support the banks and will suck the wealth from the people= Ultimate success.
        It is not the bankers plan to revive the economy and benefit the people.
        We are well on the road to economic serfdom–get it.

        • bonbon

          Still QE3 means QE2 and QE1 failed even for the bankers.

          QE3 was ordered by Obama, and earlier we had Bush at it.

          So its not “bankers” as such.

          Impeachement of Obama is critically urgent now.

          This is financial serfdom. von Hayek’s thesis “Road to Serfdom”, is a rejection of all industrial development, population growth, major projects with a mission-oriented approach over 25 years, in fact all progress since the founding of the first modern Republic, the USA. Using the financial elite’s disastrous doomed imperial lunge, to reject what that empire always hated, progress, is well, simply imperial.

  32. Geriatric

    Could you please explain the meaning of negative equity? I bought a house in 2002 and worked 15 hour days to pay down the mortgage, driving a 10 year old Fiesta during the boom. The remaining debt is now less than the current market value. Am I in negative equity?
    If I had boought a nice new car, worked less hours, taken foreign holidays and stuck to the mortgage repayments, the remaining debt would now be more than the current market value. Would that be negative equity?
    Was I a fool to live frugally until my debts became manageable?

    • Juanjo R

      Were you a fool? No – you are not a fool, you could do maths clearly, and you can apply them to your life.

      You made an economic choice to service debt instead of keeping up with the Joneses only you can estimate what the cost or even benefit of this in non-monetary terms in your life. What happened? Were you happy? How did your choices affect you?

      Are you in negative equity? It only matters if you want to sell or need to sell really. It is as notional an idea of loss as any claimed peak value of 2006/2007 was a notional idea of added value.

      If you are not moving and your house is your home not a financial bet ( as it should be, I feel ) then the notional idea of plus or minus doesn’t affect you. Your net income after paying your mortgage is the only reality you need care about.

      Peoples belief in the endless rise in property valuation and of the boom lifestyle has been shaken so negative equity is now a terrible phrase. You were outside of this mentality I would guess, you thought for yourself saw the debt as debt and behaved accordingly. You are probably not so disillusioned as many and all the better for it now.

      That is my 5 cents worth!

  33. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Geriatric,

    Your house is not in negative equity because your loan is less than the Market value of the house. You were not a fool I’n my view. Sniggering asholes in financial institutions will probably view you as an idiot and certainly a Mark for them to ensnare in their ponzi financing so tell them to fuck off when they come knocking.

    It is very important that you take steps to protect your savings from the coming crash because the euro and new Irish punt if it returns will be substantially less valuable than now so you need to change your savings into hard currencies or precious metals just like the the argentinians did before their default.

    Michael.

  34. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Tony Brogan,

    You are welcome to stay one night in my house and enjoy hospitality at my expense on your travels to defray your costs. I’d love to chew the fat on the gold views you hold. I got into gold 3 weeks ago at 1690 and it’s now 1765 but dropping as I think profit taking is going on. I am expecting a correction down to 1550 but share your view fir the medium term outlook. Post your email if you like.

    Michael.

    • Tony Brogan

      Michael

      That is very generous of you. Much appreciated. There are many fine people on this blog and to make the acquaintance of them is a pleasure to look forward too. Thank you.
      I had contemplated making a posting or two as I move around to recount some experiences. However I have hesitated as not appropriate but I may be able to offer a few ecomomic comments in the mix that would justify a posting. I can always be told to cease and desist.
      you did the right thing with gold and do not warry as the long term fundamentals are rock solid. Silver morte so but more expensive on the premium and tax to obtain.
      I hope to spenda month in Ireland cruising around on bike or rail.I really want to look at farmland to see the pricing. The time approaches where it will be the opportunity to have a piece of good land. I will sell G or S to get some so it is a balancing act!!! for pricing and timing.
      tony@tonybrogan.com

  35. Incompetence and corruption have destroyed any hope. The following article is enough to want me want to hold a gun to these bastards who run our country. It is a tale of corruption and wilful deception made to look like incompetence. Read it and scream

    Irish Democracy – A Little More Secrecy
    http://bocktherobber.com/2012/09/irish-democracy-a-little-bit-more-secrecy/

  36. coldblow

    David

    It’s a reasonable article and you make reasonable points.

    But aren’t the accidental millionaires your Jagger generation? Don’t they (as the name implies) subscribe to enlightened philosphies of caring and sharing, as well as self-indulgence and hedonism? So what does this tell us?

    Also, while it is a generational thing I suspect that holders of real wealth help out their children. Are there tax loops and accounting tricks to facilitate this and other forms of tax evasion?

    I should retire in a little over 10 years but I don’t expect any big pension. I’m ‘buyin back years’ to qualify for a full pension but as I’ve mentioned here before I reckon that 100pw is just being thrown away. I don’t know if I am being prudent or stupid and I also don’t know if I should have been living it up over the last few years, after all we all partied as Marion Finucane one said. I’ve met lots of people who have travelled the world over. I’m not parading virtue – maybe I was prudent and maybe I was stupid. I will probably know one day, but I doubt very much if it matters one bit. I really don’t care.

    The thing that concerns me is fairness. I’ve no idea how this will be brought about or if there will be any serious attempt to try. When the OAPs’ med cards werre threatened a few years ago I could hear the demonstrators’ roars of indignation further down Kildare St. I don’t see much wisdom in that quarter. Ireland is built up on network of friendships, connections and string pulling, or so it seems to me, and masses of deceit where nearly everyone seems implicated to some degree. (Once, in a temp job in London, I was working alongside two lads from Dublin: one of them was drawing an Irish student grant and an EU one without either knowing while the other had is account credited by the bank with a large sum in error and immediately moved house and hid from them. Both middle class men.) Families are mixed between public and private, some are paying household charges and others not and there are all kinds of exceptions being made.

    Then, in a time of massive recession, unemployment benefit is paid on the basis of job seeking while the formerly self employed are denied help. I fail to see what intellectual foundation this is built on, it’s just something that has developed over time. Actually I fail to see the intellectual basis for most things these days.

    And I mentioned before the Irish nurse who argued that doctors should be paid whatever they could, all the way to infinity (I had suggested a 20:1 max differential which is hardly communism). ‘The sight was standing in her’ and then she burst out crying because her husband, my friend, didn’t back her up!

    No matter, when she’s broke and I am I bet the ruling classes will still be standing. How will they do it?

    I am worried. Am I normal?

    • bonbon

      You never heard of the “Ich A.g.” swindle, a criminal mockery of “Sin Fein”, and exactly what Cowan meant with “Is fedir lin”?
      Schroeder’s Agenda 2000, direct from Blair’s New Labor guru Mandelson, proposed this “Me Myself Company” to become flexible and mobile and successful. Many went in that direction, and are now bankrupt companies, with no social claims. They got them off the books! Keeps the numbers low. This is part of “creative destruction”, Schumpeter’s economics, openly columized in the Economist Mag.

      Makes sense only to Nietzsche (where Schumpeter got the idea) and to London traders, a pure hared of innovation itself. We should start a thread on this, to see how it has perversely claimed the very minds of the elected.

    • MacThe Knife

      I think you are normal, we are all worried.

      I agree with you regarding fairness and the uniquely Irish way of organising life.

      There is a definite >55 vs <55 divide across many areas of Irish society.

      If we take the much (unfairly in many cases) derided public sector we can clearly see that what 'savings' that have been achieved on pay and pensions have been to the advantage of public sector retirees at a cost to those who need their services and those who have to replace them on much reduced terms.
      Brendan McCarthy is one example of how senior public sector retirees have prospered despite working in a bankrupt state: 'retirement package of a €570,000 'golden goodbye' and a pension of €142,000 a year presided over social partnership, benchmarking and the Croke Park agreement during his 11 years in Merrion Street.'

      Unfortunately that is replicated across all the public sector at a lower level. Retired teachers, nurses, hospital consultants are now 'paid' more than their younger colleagues who are working. This has been exaggerated by the early retirement schemes devised by senior civil servants. Many retirees are below 65 or even 60 in some cases.

      The economics of this are crazy: Let us say a teacher X on a salary of 2600 per month after deductions retires on a pension of 1800 per month(Take home), lump sum of 80K. They are replaced by teacher Y paid at 1700 per month after deductions. The outworkings of this are:

      The state purchases a similar a quantum of work for a recurrent cost of 3500 rather than 2600, the younger teacher bears large salary decuctions in a pension scheme that in theory pays for their future pension. In reality their pension will never happen and they are coerced into the Ponzi scheme that is the Irish public sector pension scheme.

      The effects of doing this across the entire sector is simply to shift ecpeniture from pay to pensions with zero savings and no additional productivity. From finfacts: In 2001 the Exchequer net pay and pensions bill (ex local authorities) was €10.2bn; it was €16.2bn in 2006; €18.7 in 2008 and estimated to be €17.1bn in 2011 – - an increase of 5.6% since 2006 and 67.6% since 2001.

      There is no reason why public sector pensions cannot be capped or taxed to reflect the fact that were are in a atate of emergency. It is not necessary to pay Bertie, Biffo, retired Senior Civil servants pensions of 100-150K. Cap these at 50K and don't pay until the recipient is 65. Just do it.

      Secondly, replace property charges with wealth taxes. That means the negative equity generation who have to generate wealth and growth are not penalised. If it encourages sales of larger homes that are no longer needed for raising families then that is also a positive social effect.

  37. michaelcoughlan

    Hi padser,

    Because cash depreciates in value with inflation. What they should do is buy units in a eurostoxx 50 ETF and tell the pension managers to fuck off!

    Michael.

  38. Head Draghi

    Am I correct in saying that one of Davids articles was omitted on line ? I am refering to the one about Draghi – dont remember the full caption .I think it was on the 9th Sept .Please confirm.

  39. michaelcoughlan

    Hi padser,

    Just make sure the units are held in a crest account and not a nominee account. If held in a nominee account and the bank fails you will have to get in line with all the other creditors whereas the crest account is at arms length from them.

    Michael.

  40. michaelcoughlan

    Hi Tony,

    Top quality land is making from 7.5k to 10k per acre without entitlements.

    Regards,

    Michael.

  41. michaelcoughlan

    Hi padser,

    Endowment policy’s are life insurance policy’s which pay out aump sum on maturity or death. I’m not a financial adviser but I wouldn’t touch a pension unless it’s self administered which means you control where the money is invested ie shares indexes derivatives property etc.

    The two nooks I refer to are the coffee house investor and the mootly fool investment book which gives a very good pairing strategy for investing half your money in an ETF bond and half in an ETF equities fund like euro stocxx 50 etc. When one goes up the other invariably goes down and by balancing the two funds ie selling the one that’s advanced to bring it into line with the one that has declined you are maximising the compounding effect.

    Hope this helps. The two books are not expensive.

    Michael.

  42. bonbon

    Theodorakis Calls for Liberation Struggle To Free the Nations of Europe

    Sept. 21, 2012 (EIRNS)–On September 10, Greek freedom fighter, patriot, and artist, Mikis Theodorakis, issued a statement calling for the launching of a liberation struggle to free the nations of Europe from the new bankers’ totalitarianism.

    In his preamble he calls “For a Europe of Nations-Peoples and of States, a Europe of science, art and culture, a Europe of economic, industrial and social development, a Europe of peace and solidarity between peoples.”

    The 84 year-old statesman-artist writes, “Today the main contrast is between all the peoples of Europe and the forces that represent and aim at global dominance of global governance centered on a series of huge banks such as Rockefeller-Rothschild and Goldman Sachs, with auxiliaries such as the Deutsche Bank and the European Central Bank, with the Bilderberg Club as a government spokesman (with Henry Kissinger as President) and its satellites IMF, International Trade Organization and organs such as e.g. the Chicago School of Milton Friedman.

    “The aim of this new totalitarianism is globalization, which means the building of a new society of an unknown type on the ruins of nations and peoples’ homelands by creating a new type of citizen, subjugated and obedient to the plans and aspirations of global governance, that will be controlled and directed by, and will serve the interests of, the International Trust Banks.

    “Today’s politicians of the European states are divided into two sections: Into those who are aware of the new reality and consciously are serving the forces of global governance and those who ignore the new reality and cooperate even as opposition within the political process of the first, the conscious servants of the new totalitarianism. So the current political powers of all parties, right, centrist, leftist, green, etc. are all within the same political power train, running on the rails that the global governance controls and which lead to the death of Nations-Peoples and replacing them with the creation of a new international society, completely subjugated to the interests and callings of Global Governance.

    “Therefore the current Parliaments who are currently under the control of the IMF and European banks, have changed into the organs of the new Totalitarianism, so there is no possibility of resistance through these power systems. The forces that want to remain within these new circumstances, should have the center of their activity to their physical presence among the people.

    “The experience in my country by the presence of the Troika the last two and a half years, leads us to conclude that the control of the economy by foreign government poses conditions of substantial foreign occupation. For this reason, the resistance of the people must take the form of a liberation struggle. Our weapon is the active resistance of a truly united nation.

    Consequently, the patriotic unity of the people is the key. This means that because the people are affected as a whole, the form of unity should be above existing class, ideological and political differences; in other words, national-patriotic.

    “When a nation is not mobilizing all its powers, without exception, against the looting forces of globalization, it is lost.

    “After all, the attack, with money as weapon, is much more severe and more efficient than any form of police or military force. Because it is an attack on the citizens as a whole. Not only on the integrity of his body but also of his mind and soul.

    ….. Money with the shock of unemployment, misery and fear dissolves the individuality of the citizen personality and destroys [the] social tissue which establishes the form and content of the People-Nation State.

    “So it is necessary that each nation is able to mobilize all the forces at its disposal: tradition, history, science, art, culture, national wealth and development potential. Thus, the national-patriotic movement is able to resist from a position of strength. To isolate the force that serves or is persistent in ignoring the danger of the attack from the new totalitarianism.

    To deepen the unity of the people which leads to increasingly higher levels of power and determination yet projecting the plan of a new society in a totally free country.

    “The creation of a united front of opposition from the peoples of Europe would naturally lead to the total defeat of the forces of destructive invasion and the creation of a Europe of peoples, peace and progress. Whose power and influence would be so large that it could play a leading role at the international level. ”
    ——
    85 year old Theodorakis and Glezos are kids who never give up!

    • Tony Brogan

      Good posting
      Educate the people one by one to a common cause.
      The central banking system and the fractional reserve system must be destroyed.

    • bonbon

      The best way for bring nation-states to marshal all their abilities is the Eurasian Landbridge, and the links to Africa i.e. development on a truly large scale. Add to that the Arctic development the Bering link to the USA and extending the Landbridge right down to Chile. That Landbridge will be essential for the NAWAPA XXI construction. A Spain-Morocco tunnel and development of the African continent are critical.

      When these plans are put firmly on the table, one notices that they have been delayed by all kinds of geopolitical and financial roadblocks – the British Empire’s brutal endless wars, the most recent being Obama’s impeachable attack on Libya. Using the financial crash, and a putative “solution” to block these plans is an obvious British Imperial ploy.

  43. bonbon

    Theodorakis has exactly got it :

    “After all, the attack, with money as weapon, is much more severe and more efficient than any form of police or military force. Because it is an attack on the citizens as a whole. Not only on the integrity of his body but also of his mind and soul.

    ….. Money with the shock of unemployment, misery and fear dissolves the individuality of the citizen personality and destroys [the] social tissue which establishes the form and content of the People-Nation State”.

    ———
    This is what Blair’s post-nation-state, post Westphalia, “governance” means. An attack on the very mind itself, what makes us human. It dissolves the individuality of the citizen.

    Any economic prescription which repeats this and is identified as a negation of the mind itself, a negation of mental capital, is this attack. That includes the Chicago School, Austrian School, Keynes.

    This means our means of survival, are programs where explicitly the creative powers of labor are clearly expressed, progress and relative potential population density directly asserted. A deafening silence on these is the sure give-away of what they intend.

  44. michaelcoughlan

    Thank you binbon for the post Outlining the Theodorakis speech. All 6’5′ and 20 stone of me is moved to tears. I just listened to a clip from the Jim Sheridan film the field where bull McCabe (Richard ‘dickie’ Harris) speaks the immortal words ‘how can I face my father and mother in heaven or hell if I let go of my field’.

    And the citizenry of this great republic established in arms in the face of the world handing the keys to the scum of the earth in the troika!

    I suppose the are too busy watching the late late show and discussing Rozanna Davidsons breasts (beautiful though they are) to notice what’s happening to them!

    • bonbon

      Theodorakis’ 2 friends, Glezos and Santas as teenagers ripped the invaders Nazi flag off the Acropolis in 1942. Now he points out that money is even deadlier, and he knows what he is talking about. They survived a death sentence.

      What is being done in the name of a monetary ideology is criminal.

      So point out what we should be doing.

      A field is one thing, Ireland is the third largest country in Europe taking vast maritime areas into account! Have a look at the maps here :

      http://laroucheirishbrigade.wordpress.com/ireland-an-economic-revival/

  45. bonbon

    Calls in U.K. for Jailing Banksters

    September 22 (EIRNS)–Ian Fraser, a frequent advisor to BBC documentaries on the financial crisis, and Rowan Bosworth-Davies, the former lead investigator to the British FIMBRA regulatory agency (folded into the FSA, Financial Services Authority) have both come for strong prosecutorial action against the criminal bank practices that led to the 2008 crisis. Fraser has published on his website (www.ianfraser.org) his written submission to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards after the commission put on the Parliament website other submissions but not his. We can see why some Dons of the City might object, as he states in the key section: “The changes introduced since the banking crisis of 2007-08, including the ‘ringfencing’ proposals of Sir John Vickers’ Independent Commission on Banking, are a wholly inadequate response to the problems that bedevil the U.K.’s banking sector. Much more radical action is required if it is going to be reformed…”
    His proposals begin with: –”More of those who were responsible for malfeasance and criminality in the banking sector need to be held to account (where appropriate through criminal prosecution/enforcement….”
    –”‘Too Big to Fail’ banks need to be broken up.”
    –”The separation between retail and investment banking must be enforced structurally, through different ownership, rather than through potentially porous ‘ringfences.’”
    Ian Fraser ends with a stinging indictment of the failure of the FSA executives to go after white collar crime, and it ends with a footnote saying he is prepared to submit “further evidence of the immunity from criminal prosecution that appears to have been extended by the UK government to financial institutions….”
    Rowan Bosworth-Davies’ blog paper on the failure of banks to apply effective anti-money laundering measures states that the U.K. government reports on this problem can have only one interpretation, “that banks were simply ignoring the letter and the spirit of the laws, in return for grabbing as big a chunk of the world’s criminal money as possible.” His recommendation is straight forward and should be fully applicable for the U.S. too: “The only thing that will bring the world’s banking community into line are criminal convictions aimed at the leading practitioners, chief executives, chief operating officers, chief financial directors and above all, the Chairmen of these criminal organizations. A few doses of strong porridge will have a salutary effect!”

  46. bonbon

    5th WORLD CONGRESS OF AGRONOMISTS AND AGROLOGISTS, in Quebec City, Sept. 17-21, brought 800 people from 25 countries, to discuss how to urgently increase world food production. A team from the Committee for the Republic of Canada attended, stressing the point: You can’t feed the world without changing the system. They met many people, and circulated material on Glass-Steagall, the NAWAPA XXI Resolution for Canada, and more. Scientists from the Mediterranean to the Americas were engaged.

  47. wills

    David,

    Slammmmmmmmmm Dunk !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This babyboomer generation going about their existence dropping matches and torching the past, present and future.

    Reminds me of the movie the Wicker Man.

    Anyone outside of the generation of babyboomers are trapped in their cult of destruction and sacrifice to the altar of their materialistic insanity.

    • bonbon

      The fault of the boomers is the 1968-er cultural cesspool that they all were slam-dunked in. That sheep dip, rotted the minds to the extent those boomers who are in power now are unable to muster resistance to the global looting. This is the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s achievement.

      That cesspool was only opened for business after the murder of JFK, Robert and Martin Luther King, followed by a pointless Vietnam war. Long pointless wars today are destroying the same age group today as then.

      British Empire policy since the 1700′s.

      • wills

        erm…. not really!

        You missed my points.

        • bonbon

          Yes really. Cultural decadence, which everyone rails about, has roots. Those are the roots.

          Interesting how you missed your own point, or are unwilling to look a little more thoughtfully at the boomer phenomenon.

          We are being pulverized by the ’68-er’s whether in the US or Europe. Still it is not easy to destroy an entire generation’s belief in progress, optimism, music. It took assassination, war , all oligarchical methods.

  48. wills

    Michael Coughlan,

    Isn’t D’s article all about Corzine and his gangster buddies.

    Thats the point of the article.

    They all belong to a specific generation looting the system with no moral compass and no limit to the destruction unleashed.

    • bonbon

      Right so far. But means-testing will as usual go after the poor first under the current Regime. Every lunge to hit the old, ill and weak instead of hammering the banking system is the first sign of fascism. Remember and never forget, Hitler was a bankers boy. The first document produced at Nürnberg was Aktion T4, where specific classes and types of people, ill and so forth were explicitly targeted to save for the “cause”. Putting a price on life as Dr. Alexander said then opened the door to the rest. A subtle shift in emphasis only.

      Stop it at its roots.

  49. michaelcoughlan

    Hi willis,

    Thanks for your response. I don’t think there was any point at all to David’s article in the way you see it. David contrasted Oap’s in Ireland with middle aged Ireland. Much of the older group he suggests became accidental millionaires because of circumstance.

    There is no connection whatsoever between most of the retired generation in Ireland some of whom happen to be well of and the way in which mr Corzine acquires his money. In fact the difference couldn’t be more striking.

    Michael.

    • wills

      With respect, I disagree.

      Point of article is not OAP’s.

      The point is unfair and rigged redistribution of wealth.

      Sometimes with D’s articles one looks at what is not been said and what is been said too.

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