October 11, 2012

You're right to be worried -- crash has obliterated company pensions

Posted in Irish Independent · 125 comments ·

IF you had thought that your pension, into which you contributed cash each month for years, was going to see you live decently in your retirement, the news yesterday from Aer Lingus is a rude awakening.

Aer Lingus announced that if its pension fund were redeemed this year, employees would only receive 4pc of what they had expected. Yes, you read right: 4pc.

Hundreds of thousand of Irish workers in their fifties and sixties are coming to the end of long careers and are facing the prospect that their pensions will only be worth a fraction of what they imagined.

A great deal of wealth has been destroyed by pension fund managers who, incidentally, are still paid handsomely. For many, who have already seen their wealth — or what they thought a few years ago was their wealth — diminished by the great housing crash, the news on the pension front is shocking.

Indeed, for companies that promised their workers a big lump sum at the end of their careers, there is a major hole in their accounts, which in many cases renders the companies insolvent. The same goes for the State. The contingent liabilities stored up in company accounts from what are termed defined benefit pension schemes are enormous.

The implication of the coming pension shock will be that hundreds of thousands of Irish people will have to stay working far beyond the time they had imagined. This will have a knock–on effect on employment opportunities in companies, because the longer the older ones hang in there, the less likely there will be opportunities for young workers.

These are long-term trends. But the problem with the long-term these days is that it is coming around much quicker than many of us expected.

To get some perspective on pensions and why they are not what they used to be, let’s take a bit of altitude and see what drives pension returns. What we will see is the tentacles of the great housing, credit/banking crash extend even to places we thought were safe and the prospects for a speedy recovery are not great.

Pensions are no more than saving today for our retirement. Therefore the first thing that affects the rate of return on a pension is the rate of interest, which is the return to savings. In the past three years, the return to savings has collapsed, and so too have the incentives to save.

Central bankers around the world are all following what could be termed a zero interest rate policy. Interest rates are at all-time low levels. This global policy destroys the return to savings because it punishes savers and rewards debtors.

The easy option for the pension fund manager was to take your money and put it on deposit, generating easy returns when interest rates were high. But this is over. Usually the fund manager would find an easy and relatively low risk home in government bonds, but again the return on government bonds — the ones that are not risky — has collapsed.

This means in the bond market the fund manager has to find riskier bonds, like junk bonds or other bonds which offer a higher rate of interest. But the old adage about risk and reward comes in because if a company is prepared to offer a much higher rate of interest than the others, it must be doing so because it is inherently riskier. Pension fund managers are not in the business of taking unnecessary risks — or at least they shouldn’t be.

So the fund manager will have to put the saver’s money in the stock market because if interest rates are low, then stock prices should be rising because (a) the general economy should be improving and (b) the interest rate on an individual company’s debts and future debts is lower so that the company is benefitting.

But the problem is that the interest rate is low because the economies all around the world are labouring.

When the credit binge was in full swing, everything looked good on the outside. Bank shares and property was rising in value, turning savings into what looked like wealth. As long as the merry go round didn’t stop, pensions looked gloriously bountiful.

Now the opposite is the case. In an age of deleveraging and low inflation, the return to savings diminishes dramatically and the risk that a company or a country is carrying too much debt and will be overwhelmed by this legacy of debt means that there is risk everywhere, despite the low interest rates.

In order for the fund manager to do well, he has to take risks, but he is not good at this and as he doesn’t want to lose his job, your money goes nowhere in his hands. This is why the notion of giving your money to someone else to manage has to be something that you reassess as you look to the future.

After all, no one cares as much about your money as you do.

As the workers at Aer Lingus found out, to blindly give your savings to someone else makes him rich in fees and you poor in return.

This global backdrop doesn’t look like it’s going to change in the years ahead, so maybe it’s time to think about managing your own savings.

Otherwise, you may be working harder than you ever imagined for longer than you ever feared.

  1. redriversix

    Morning David

    “what can be said that has not already been said”..?

    Their has to be another major Financial crash on the way even though the original crash is still happening…!

    I look forward to your articles & hopefully will get to Kilkenomics this year.


    Have a great day

  2. Direland

    Hi David – agree with your comments – of course the Government has now joined the pension fund managers and “levying” a charge of 0.6% per annum of the fund value so there are more parasites now targetting Pension funds which will lead to further diminution of the funds value.People will now turn away from volutary contributions – I understand a virtual collapse in such contributions has already happened as people no longer trust Pension Companies nor the Government.To Me , I think we will all end up seeking real assets such as Gold as the ultimate store of wealth.

  3. morganf16

    Self Administered PRSAs is the way of the future – what is that – basically – take your cash to a self managed brokerage fund where you manage your money yourself on the stock market, commodities, bond markets..Need to educate yourself on how to invest your own money …
    Gold/Silver/ other commodities (now water too) are what folks need to watch for themselves…

    • dd

      Self invested pensions are taking off alright. Their existence is a complete acknowledgement of the failure of fund managers by the insurance industry. Expect more pension funds with guarantees in the coming years but offset by much larger charges

      On a side note there is a school of thought that the failure of the government to stop upward only rent reviews is down to the exposure of pension funds to commercial property

    • paddythepig

      I didn’t realise you could self-administer your PRSA. Can you still get both your own contributions and your employers contributions to your PRSA, and invest as you wish?

      Any specifics on what to do?

      I’d love to fire my PRSA provider.

      • dd

        Don’t know what the story is in Ireland but in the UK it is begining to move in that direction. As you can imagine these type of pensions carry heavy charges.

        UK are also introducing auto-enrolment. This makes it mandatory (above a certain level of salary I think)for employees to contribute some income towards their pension. A realisation by the UK Govt of the storm coming down the line

      • breltub

        I tried to get control of my pension last year – like pulling teeth. I eventually gave up.
        I have another 40 year to go before I will even be able to spend it, so I have a bit of time yet!

        But the lesson was…if its with a company, and bla bla bla…many hoops.

        I hear it is easier when you leave your company and you can get it in a bond and put it with some broker and direct that broker

        anyway, I don’t know but it isnt straight forward

        • mcsean2163

          It’s very simple in the UK but unfortunately we’re in Ireland. We recently had BoI advisers in who informed me that even if I held everything in cash they would still take their commission. 1% of €200k is €2k per year. These guys are even worse than the farmers. They have a completely unproductive role in society and get paid bags for doing nothing, it’s incredibly unequal. It really annoys me.

          The only reason to avail of this scam is that the government don’t charge tax on pension contributions so straight away you’re on a winner as long as you can wrestler it back from the pension swindlers.

          Why they don’t have a simple scheme that will allow the pension robbers to be bypassed is probably down to lobbying.

  4. Adam Byrne

    Pensions are a scam, I intend to work on as long as I can then cast off this mortal coil on my own terms.

    • Philip

      Same here. Want to join my fund ;)

    • bonbon

      There are now firms waiting to help you cast off mortal coils, for a profit of course. How about Liverpool Life Pathway? Set up by Blair’s N.I.C.E, – only trying to hel,p as the National Institute of Citizen Elimination, oops sorry, Clinical Excellence. Just wait until the gov’mint says put a deposit down now, no need for pensions, get your number on the top of the list! first come first served!

      I won’t even mention what happened in Switzerland and what the angler found in that lake recently…

    • Colin

      Me too Adam, This is great news about pensions, and not a day too soon.

  5. breltub

    Hi David,

    The other issue you leave out is the debasement of currency. Inflation vs interest rates. Those are rigged numbers.
    We all know that with the ever changing inflation index to suit the power that be and the libor stunt, so it is not entirely on point to say it is all down to the middle manager of a pension fund who can’t pick a safe asset to put a pension fund into.
    They are normally just playing by the playbook of staying AAA based on the rating agencies. As far as I know.
    But they are now found to be corrupt, selling AAA with toxic side effects. To say the wealth has been destroyed is wrong.

    It was stolen!
    Call a spade a a spade.

    “To blindly give your savings to someone else makes him rich in fees and you poor in return.”
    That sentence works the same if you replace “savings” with “currency”

    At this stage I think all economists are way off the mark. Forget your models, indexes, theories.

    It’s corruption, plain and simple. Your insiders/outsiders is the real deal. You need to expand it though.

    None of this will start to turn around until the pitchforks are out…and out with a vengeance!

    I agree with DIreland above that commodities will be where people store wealth. Also I’ve put a little into bitcoin, nothing much but everything is rising against the FIATs.

    Good luck to all…we will all need it!

    • bonbon

      Bitcoin sure sounds like digital Fiat to me.

      Corruption is always a problem, but Decadence is the real killer. Cultural Decadence, rampant across the board, the result of cultural warfare since the Council of Cultural Freedom, the CFR, pumped major money into very well known channels to accomplish what Hitler failed to do, after 1945. So instead of stopping at the “corruption” barrier (after all that’s a problem for the courts), how about taking on popular opinion, which is nothing else than institutionalized decadence?

      There is a grave danger it might make one unpopular, horrible thought!

      • breltub

        While bitcoin may well be digital FIAT and as poxy as the rest, I only put a small bit into it. It’s more of an experiment than anything as I want to try trading FX arbitrage on it over the exchanges. Learning costs, and hopefully it pays. No such thing as free education though, so I’m capping the educational losses at €50 and I will go back and lick my wounds and review the lessons then.

        Also I think popular opinion is a marketing coup. Much like propaganda is now known as public relations, popular opinion was once known as ignorance!

        Decadence is usually only a result of corruption, not in all cases, but wipe out as much corruption as possible and you will remove most of the decadence.

        Though a capricho is nice every now and then!

        • bonbon

          Decadence breeds corruption. Decadence appears to the causal onlooker harmless, but it boils down to “going along to get along”. For the decadent then to seek corrupt cases, while the courts should do that, to cover their going-along is sickening.

          To induce decadence, is the Venetian way. Just reading what von Hayek said about Bernard Mandeville’s “Private Vice, Public Virtue” has the definition. A psychological weapon posing as economics? The perversity is truly, well, decadent.

          • breltub

            I’ll give the book a go. Currently on Black Swan and trying to step away from conformational bias and seek the real answers

          • Tony Brogan

            Decadence – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


            Decadence is a luxurious self-indulgence. It is often used to describe a decline due to an erosion of moral, ethical, and sexual traditions. In literature, the …

            not the other way around

            To assign a bias of corruption to Heyek shows you are the one who is perverse. Twist everything to suit your point of view. Not rational bon bon, that’s you.

          • bonbon

            I assigned decadence to Mandeville, that Hayek praised in letters and lectures. Mandeville is the key there. To promote “spontaneous” “unknowable” processes is the essence of decadence, Dionysian. This is pure Nietzsche. Any promotion of limits to creative reasoning, especially Kant’s Critiques, is laying the groundwork of decadence. Mandeville’s whole formula is simply black magic. To find that as the basis for what is touted as economics is no surprise considering the result we see today. Decadence is pervasive, corruption rife. Decadence is the reason that corruption is not pursued with a Pecora Commission, Glass-Steagall and Reconstruction.

  6. Philip

    DMW’s “But the problem is that the interest rate is low because the economies all around the world are labouring.” This is the root casue.

    25 years ago in a factory automation exercise I worked in, we managed to reduce by manpower per line by 95%. More recently, rather than bother with robotics, the west exported its national income to the BRICs. Robotics will make them irrelevant. I see it happening by the day.

    I think it was Marx who pointed out that if we stopped employing labour sufficiently (which happens naturally in the search for profit margin), the demand for goods and services would fall and the whole edifice of profit making capitalism would falter. All we are witnessing is cash chasing margin. But technology and the whole process of engineering ultimately removes margin in a world where it is assumed that demand will ultimately fire up if the price is low enough. Looks like we might have hit a floor. A sort of absolute zero for financial economics perhaps?

    To be honest, I feel the concept of retirement is disgusting – it is ageism really which became socially acceptable pretty much as a result of the insult and injury of crap working conditions. The idea of hierarchy and “moving aside” for youth is also ageist. We really need to examine many of our pre 20th century century social norms for the perversions they really are.

    Marx had no answers for what was to come after, and so far, neither do any economists or leaders today. But it is obvious, the doo doo is hitting the fan and maybe the new Kidz on the block will twig whats needed.

    • breltub

      Hi Philip,

      There is a big drive for automations in my group. I do most of the development with a colleague of mine and we call in help when needed. When I started 3 years ago we had 6 on the team. We are now down to the two of us and we are covering more work than before, leaving even more time to work on dev.

      I know someday I’ll be replaced by a couple of scripts and some JAVA wizardry but as I upskill I will be able to move into something else, or go out on my own which would be the ultimate goal. This isn’t manufacturing it is software, much of a muchness really, but I do find it very interesting to spend the day solving the problems rather than continually redoing repetitive tasks.

      knowing that I may be leading to my own demise though is a strange one when I stop to think about it!

      but I’m not that bothered, a change is always good too!

      • Philip

        You’ll be cutting Java++++++++++++++ when yer 190 and only because it’s fun.

        • Adelaide


          This is the true reality behind the fog of financial zzznews. Currencies Schmurrencies. When the Euro-dollar-& every other fiat currency- have become historical artefacts on display in museums alongside their sidekick paraphenelia of pensions & savings & usury, the reality of humans surplus to economic productivity will dominate human existence.

          The present global unemployment rates are not an incongruity, it is contemporary chicanery of financial manipluation that is the incongruity, that is a fog of distraction worthy of the great Humbug Wizard of Oz himself. But we dare not open the curtain to reveal the truth, much easier to live by vacuous soundbites of ‘return to full employment”economic growth”sound fundamentals’ and ‘La-dee-da-dee-da’.

        • breltub

          Hopefully I’ll be a lot more fluent then than I am now!
          The more I learn the more inelegant and clumsy my code feels!

        • bonbon

          Naw, Redmond will have us all cutting C###############. And Google will make Androids++++++++++++ of us all !!!

          • breltub

            cd /bank/usr/bin
            find . -type f -name cash | grep $1
            /* No such file or directory */

          • bonbon

            echo $1

          • breltub

            rm -f / *

            I’ve often wondered at the different skill sets of the contributors on here.
            A discussion I’ve had with a friend of mine on occasion is the individualisation of society has made it harder for us to come together and achieve things as groups, so we are herded into corporations that provide the group setting [tax breaks and all]

            It often leads to long discussions, so I won’t get into it.

            But for the German speakers among us, here is another friends new site. The idea is to get people together to share and learn skills just for the sake of learning and social interaction and not for monetary benefit. Launched only a month ago, so hopefully it grows. With all of our currency and finance talk we can easily forget that the real wealth is in our knowledge!


          • bonbon

            You just deleted the entire operating system, website, database, logs! I hope there is a backup…

            Finance does not work like that. Strange that Hayek’s “we will start small” sounds like a reboot of feudalism? Culture does not work like that either.

    • bonbon

      Marx’s incompetence can be traced to, and is in fact because of, one single failure – the refusal to deal with the American System of Political Economics, which Arthur Griffith later did fully publicize as he founded Eire.

      In a private letter Marx ridicules American-Irish economist Henry Carey’s well known, at the time, Harmony of Interests :


      To say “no one today knows what to do”, is a telling epitaph of education. From that article, one starts to see where Glass-Steagall, Reconstruction, Hamiltonian National Banking and Harmony of agro-industrial interests comes from. Marx’s failure, tragic, is made clear.

    • Tony Brogan

      In the last 150 years the introduction of machinery to farming reduced the labour needed on the farm to produce food. That labour was freed up for other endevours. Engineering roads, railways, rockets to the moon etc.
      The concept of retirement is enabled because of efficiencies of production. Savings are able to provide for the future.
      Past societies did that by having lots of offspring. Today one does not need many offspring because of the increased efficiencies.
      The concept of there being no economy left because of robotics is false as there are those building and servicing the robots, and employed in all manner of other occupations.
      Food is still required. Clothing , heating, shelter , the basics are still required.


      The central banking system must be shut down.
      The concept of fractional reserve banking must be eliminated.
      money of a non inflationary kind must be put back to use. gold and silver is it!!
      I am encouraged to see a number here who have decided protection lies in holding PMs. If it is good enough for protection it should be used to prevent having the problem in the first place.
      It is correct that the politicians and economists will not save you and you must do it yourself.
      It comes down to the fact that the educational system discussed the last theme, has provided lies as truths and propogandized all to incorrect proceedures for the functioning of a stable economy.

      As a 12 year old I rejected the corporate career route when I was presented with the fact that the best reason to work for this or that company was its superior pension plan. How exciting for a 12 year old.

      I determined to look after myself. I never expected a pension therefore I saved. Current benefits were defered for future benefits. My current assets are what I have saved and nobodies contingent liability.

      I have always been self suffcient and I hope I always will be. Good health is a bonus that allows this. Part of the reason I have good health is because I have looked after this too. If the proper fuel and servicing for my car leads to longgevity for the auto then the same principle applies to your body.Feed it proper fuel, service and run correctly and it will last longer than the manufacturer suggests.
      I have paid plenty of taxes along the way and so if I require some assistance in later life I will not feel guilty at accepting it. I am so far a net contributor to the common pot.

      As an aside, I hope to have a celebration of life at 70 years in the near future so if I get it organized I will invite all bloggers to join me. Stay tuned!!

      • Philip

        Robots self build, self repair, self program and self orient. Just like your DNA…no the economy as you know it is irrelevant.

        • Tony Brogan

          Do you think the robots will decide humans are no longer needed and do away with them as they will be considered a blight on the economy and well being of the robots.

      • bonbon

        I’m afraid we see more serious deficiencies of the educational system that produced that scientifically incorrect statement. This is traced to the refusal to accept Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem. That is why “cybernetics” is incompetent. Robots are fine and useful, look at my favorite :

        The irony here of a robot that might find evidence of life on Mars is fantastic! Living DNA is not a robot!

        To attempt a return to “rustification” , as Pol Pot’s Khieu Samphan’s economics of the Sorbonne “suggested” is now on notice. Increasing the productive power of labor with machinery and energy intense power sources is the only way to a future. We do not follow any Malthusian “animal farm” rules.

  7. Pat Flannery

    The sick joke in America is that our 401(k) has become our 201(k) – or worse.

    Privately managed defined contribution pension plans under U.S. IRS 401(k) rules have been wiped out right alongside the big professionally managed pension plans – both defined benefit and defined contribution.

    Once you are forced to abandon the concept of interest on savings you have a failed system. How long before OPEC and the Chinese stop “investing” in U.S. Treasuries that pay little or no interest?

    We are probably heading for another asset bubble which when it bursts ………

  8. Grey Fox

    “A great deal of wealth has been destroyed by pension fund managers who, incidentally, are still paid handsomely.”

    Show me one single person or one single segment of the financial industry who has been affected by the crash or who isn’t paid “handsomely”.

    • bonbon

      Book of evidence a blockbuster as trio of Anglo bankers sent for trial

      This apparently just did not get noticed :

      IT LASTED just 10 minutes, with few public witnesses and no visual record. But it was a portentous moment in Irish commercial and social history. Lined up in the dock of the Criminal Courts of Justice were three former senior bankers of Anglo Irish Bank, a defunct institution that has already cost the State €29 billion.


      Let’s see what happens…

  9. Philip

    If I may be tiresome…have a read of this related article which I published before here by one thoughtful Mr Linden. He puts a lots of things in a very human context.


  10. molly

    What I want to know is who’s pension is safe and the ones that are safe and there are some,for example ask any retired civil servant / TD is there pension safe .
    This is where the con comes into play,people like me in the private sector have had our pensions slaughtered now are we as tax payers going to be expected to contribute towards the up keep of state pensions for the above group ,
    This is either a fair country or its not ,what did fine gale say before they where elected about honesty and openness .
    Who’s going to top up my pension,this country needs to be shut down for a couple of weeks and the present government removed and replaced by people with no self intrest in themselves or there croneys and people who have the country’s best intrest only should be allowed to hold office.
    There’s far to many lies deing told,there’s far to much self intrest and there’s far tomany people being rewarded for there fuck ups ,if your a whistle blower I this country you get hammered or put out in the cold,while the cronies in the inner circle get pay rises and rewards and telephone number pensions and who pays for it joe public the tax payer.
    Well joe public has had enough and to be honest in this country you would want your head examined .

    • Joe R

      TD pensions are paid directly as fixed amount from public tax incomea and current TDs are in charge of the amount paid. Basically they have looked after themselves first in the past, are continuing to look after themselves first, and will do for the forseeable future.

      I think civil service pensions are paid from the state pension funds that D McW wrote about here (a few articles ago ) in his piece following up on the Comptroller General’s report. The fund is it way down on what it should be at, and decreasing fast so there is a shock coming there too. I think a chunk of it was used to pay of the banks if memory serves me right and the investment strategy had to be made riskier to make up the shortfall. Or something like that…

      Theres a civil service pension site link that follows here for anybody that is interested -

      • Joe R


        *The fund is way down…

        • molly

          The current TDs and the last shower / most of the last shower what did they do they knew there game was up and they would be well looked after so with that in mind they road of into the sunset at our expanse .
          All this crap comes back to the past tighten your belts speach and nothing has changed we where promised change a new way of doing things.
          The government should take a serious pay cut and all the big pensions being payed out should be slashed and I mean slashed and untill this happens don’t come to me with the government begging bowl,the government want us to suffer to pay for who.
          People of Ireland wake up,if it looks and smells like a rat it is a rat.

      • Joe R

        I should perhaps have simplified…

        1) TDs are paid a fixed amount from cash revenue and are not subjected to a budget. So, no problems what so ever for them, now or in the future.

        2) Civil service pensions which are fixed too( which are increasing ) are paid from an insufficent dwindling money pile. So problems coming down the road but until that hits they won’t be complaining.

        3) This in all in contrast to the private sector where pensions are not fixed and reflect the value of the fund when drawn down. Problems occuring now.

        See a pecking order there?

  11. wills

    Another example of the insiders plundering and sucking the money out of the economic system and in order to replace it with debt peonage in order to further centralize power going forward.

    • bonbon

      I presume you mean the “unsecured bondholders” blood sucking the economy?

      Start with the Inter-Alpha Banking group to find the “insiders”. Some of course would feel all puffed up to think they are the insiders. Makes them feel all important and what-not?

    • Philip

      Good one,

      Banks make profit by putting people in hock…duh!!!

      Banks selling loans should be subject to the same conditions as butchers selling meat….duh!!!

      Capitalism for bankers…(oh but what about the savings and the bonderholders who are pension funds and and and…I have seen better excuses for keeping lead petrol.

      It’s all ….Duh!!! But I am hopeful. We got rid of lead petrol. It took 20 years. CFCs…we are nearly there. Economic Ozone hole making banks…prolly 5 years.

    • bonbon

      Well worth listening to. The text comment on the site is a complete lie. MK actually said there was “no spontaneous combustion” of fraud, and that all the scandals he listed bagan in London!” There was obviously planning – the bonuses rocketed! The regulatory bait and switch he clearly said is just that, which is why the scandaly start there!

      See for yourselves. Blatant lying from Bbc. Stunning.

  12. bonbon

    IMF Geeks that Financial Crisis Is Coming

    Oct. 10, 2012 (EIRNS)–Even the International Monetary Fund cannot fail to see that a global financial blowout is upon us. The language of its semi-annual Global Financial (In)Stability Report, issued on the eve of the IMF Annual Meeting in Toyko, is more honest than usual for a bunch of financier toadies.
    “Mounting Risks, Euro Area Worries Fuel Financial Instability,” is the headline on the press release greeting visitors to the IMF website. “Risks to financial stability” have increased since our April 2012 report, they write. “Confidence in the global financial system has become very fragile,” and “the euro area crisis remains the principal source of concern.” Despite the ECB’s exceptional liquidity operations at the beginning of the year, Draghi’s big bazooka promise in July, and the ECB’s September measures “to increase liquidity support, capital flight is “undermin[ing] the very foundations of the union.” Fueling chaos (“market fragmentation”) is the fear that countries may soon leave the Euro and return to their national currencies (“redenomination risks”).
    The report projects that the way things are heading, European banks could see asset shrinkage (capital flight, drop in valuations, etc.) of as much as $2.8 trillion to $4.5 trillion through the end of 2013.
    Their solution? “More speed is needed now” in implementing the policies which they admit have resolved nothing.

    • bonbon

      Is’nt that just wonderful, dumping the Euro and asserting sovereignty is now classed as :

      “redenomination risks” !!!

      I’ll bet speculators are taking out Redenomination Risk Insurance, Credit Redenomimnation Hedges, because the Big Bazooka did not work!

  13. dwalsh

    So what about the European financial transactions tax?

    The end of the world?
    Or the first glimmerings of sanity from the European political elites?

    What about Ireland’s position?
    Why are they aligning with London?
    Is the job-losses excuse valid?

    Is the European move feasible?
    Will they be able bring it to execution?
    Or will they be executed?

    • bonbon

      Next Round of EU Insanity: ESM and Transaction Tax

      Oct. 10, 2012 (EIRNS)–The hysterical denial of economic collapse reality and of the inability of the system to survive, has led the EU/Eurozone governments into new disasters: the EU finance ministers yesterday okayed the Eurozone finance ministers’ go-ahead for the ESM, which will be headed by Klaus Regling, so far the head of the EFSF. Furthermore, 11 of the 17 Eurozone member governments agreed in Luxembourg, also yesterday, to go for a euro-wide transaction tax, a first timetable for that to be worked out by mid November and discussed further at the EU level. The 11 governments are France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belgium, Austria, Estonia.

    • bonbon

      2 reports from IT show exactly what Noonan is all about :

      IT oped questions the power and the value of the financial sector — THE IMPORTANCE of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to the economy is indisputable. Over a period of 25 years, it has become one of the leading hedge fund service centres in Europe, and many of the world’s most important financial institutions have a presence there. They employ an estimated 33,000 people; pay about €1 billion in corporate taxes each year, with a further €1 billion going to the exchequer in payroll taxes. Small wonder that the sector has a powerful voice at Government.
      Around the world, but particularly in the US and in Europe, pressure is growing to control the activities of banks and financial institutions. The EU Commission has proposed centralised supervision of the banking system in response to the euro crisis, with mixed results. Competition with the City of London — which opposes a financial transaction tax and tighter regulation — has helped shape attitudes here. There are longer-term considerations, as the five-year plan emphasises: “Ireland’s future is as a member of the EU and the euro . . . its reputation as a responsible off-shore tax jurisdiction is essential for success.” Paying attention to representations from the IFSC is acceptable. But policy formation is a matter for Government. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/1009/1224325060171.html

      Noonan rejects Tobin tax -
      EUROPEAN FINANCE ministers have cleared the way for the first EU tax to be introduced in a limited number of member states. The Government is shunning the plan by 11 other euro zone countries to introduce a common tax on financial transactions because it fears the loss of lucrative jobs to Britain, which is also opting out.
      In Luxembourg, after two days of talks with his European counterparts, Minister for Finance Noonan said 33,000 people worked in the financial sector in Ireland.

      “If we were to accept a financial transaction tax and London didn’t there would be transfer of business from Dublin to London and a lot of jobs could potentially be lost,” he told reporters.

      The transaction tax initiative is being led by Germany and France. In the last fortnight, they rallied the backing of Austria, Belgium, Slovenia, Greece and Portugal.

      Italy, Spain, Estonia and Slovakia joined up yesterday, triggering measures in the Lisbon Treaty which allow a coalition of countries to sidestep the usual requirement for unanimity in European tax initiatives. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1010/1224325096744.html?via=mr

      It is clear why Glass-Steagall, the splitting of the banking system is opposed by FG and many others. Ireland has being playing the “offshore” Euro island for London.

    • bonbon

      Dublin has being playing offshore Euro “Cayman Island” for London all along. FF, FG fully support that. Seems like they wanted Switzerland’s thunder.

      Well they got it!

      • Bamboo

        The problems with the pensions have been there for so many years. Even now we are still advised by the media to put your savings and life long earnings aside in some sort of a pension fund with the additional advise “to do your homework” before jumping into some sort of a scheme. It has been there for the last ten years at least as far as I can see but I was always too lazy to think about my old days. Pensions schemes are specifically concocted for people with permanent employment and anyone working on a contract basis or too low of an income are screwed and had to look after their own affairs. Back in the days when I had a secure permanent job in IT. I was surrounded by contract workers who were paid handsomely. However, they had no benefits of a company pension schemes and other government incentives. These contract workers are mostly young talented people who lived the high life and with absolutely no care in the world, especially not about their old age pension. I also noticed that contract employment became the trend as the years go by and people went from contract to contract for years. So no money was made on these people. As far as I can see pension schemes had to do with the leftovers of the workforce and that was the people in permanent and secure jobs. Even at the height of the financial collapse we were bombarded with fancy PowerPoint presentations and fancy graphs by Eagle Star Life and/or Canada Life who urged us to put more of our income in the pension pot. Companies even had their own pension advisors. In essence we were told that we were irresponsible and stupid not to cough up more money. It was also during this time that institutes didn’t want to predict that there will be such a drop in property prices.

        It was then that I realize it was all a farce and I had to stop all my contributions. Mind you these types of practices were not only in Ireland but also all over the western world. The problems with Aer Lingus have been lingering since the late 90s when they had to let go 100s of people only to be taken on again but this time with less or no pension deals. Anybody old enough to remember this?

        For those with common sense, logical thinking and willing to face reality – Stop dreaming and use your own gut feeling, look after your family and loved ones and use alcohol of life sensibly.

        Use your common sense and forget about the past and history. No economist can see into the future. The old masters of our financial systems like Marks, Keynes, etc were able to think logically simply because the world was not so complicated as it is now. The world is now so complicated that nobody can make any sense of what is going on. There will be no masters of the universe anymore who can lead us in a certain direction and make everything honkey dory again. Our government is doing what they can to ease the pain and I do think there are genuine and honest people who mean well for the population. It is the other so called “institutes” who can manipulate a society with statistical data about property, our finances, etc.

        I was always against leaving a sinking ship but am coming to the conclusion that to survive it is best for you and your family to leave a sinking ship. Again not only Ireland is a sinking ship of course but all of the western society. Do what is best for yourself.

        I was given a free Irish Times last week and it was a Wednesday issue. Half of the content was full of property for sale. I haven’t read an Irish Times since the 1992 and I can see nothing has changed at all. It is still full of articles (advertisements) of so called independent data analysts like myhome.ie and daft.ie.
        PrimeTime spent another hour on property and telling us there are little signs of recovery.

        Here we go again and again and again.

        • bonbon

          So look at the 2 ITimes links just above – that’s the way the press works in reality all over the Transatlantic region.
          The IT likes to put recipes to poison honest reporting, an ancient Aristotelian tradition (he poisoned Alexander the Great), and in Germany Bildzeitung likes to put truth nested between, well let’s leave that.

          Truth is so feared and hated by moneybags, they try to dole it out in teaspoons. No reason we should play the same game is there?

      • dwalsh

        I wondered during the Queens visit was there some sort of courting afoot…maybe there was!

        • bonbon

          Martin McGuiness, kept it civilized, shaking the hand, but I strongly wonder about the grovelling of Enda, saying it “starts a new era”. Seems just like the old era before 1921 all over again, modernized an “offshore” haven. This is what Noonan is making the poor pay for. I wonder how much pension fund activity is tied up there, including U.K. pensions?
          Remember Iceland was put on the terrorist list because it refused to bail out the U.K. pension funds tied up in that banking crash.

          So is Noonan using Irish pensions to pay off U.K. pensions? I wonder how that would sell?

  14. molly

    As an example the quinn insurance group was taken over because it was suppost to not have enough cash reserve to cover claims ,what’s going to happen when the pension providers in Ireland run out of money.
    Where will the regulations be than ,this is all a load of crap,the private sector will be hung out to dry.
    Pensions funds take your money and they can do what they like with it where’s the regulations .

  15. Scruffy

    I can’t agree with you analysis.

    Any fund manager who had been invested in Govt bonds in the last 5 years has done very well. Yes, yields have fallen, but that means the fund has made a capital gain. I suspect given your background that you know this.

    The problem is that the fund managers weren’t invested in government bonds in the first place, but the liabilitry stream is valued of these rates.

    The real culprits here are central banks who are distorting the markets and transferring wealth from savers to debtors. You know this too!!

    They are twisting the arm of savers faced with negative real yields, forcing them into riskier investments.

    It’s less than perfect!!!

    But what about the alternative.

    Gold is for Optimists.


    • cooldude

      I agree with you Scruffy (like the name) on who the real culprits in this mess really are and that this is all created by our system of debt based money issued by privately owned central banks who are administered by the also privately owned BIS. They have created this mess, perhaps deliberately, and are turning us all into debt slaves to pay for it.
      On your last point Gold is not for optimists but it is for realists. This constant debasement of these unbacked fiat currencies inevitably lowers their value against items of real value which cannot be debased. Gold has always filled this role throughout history and has never once been devalued lower against an unbacked currency. On the contrary there have been hundreds of cases where the unbacked currencies have been debased to such a degree that they have literally become worthless. The price of Gold merely reflects this constant debasement and it isn’t the price of Gold that is rising it is the value of ALL paper currencies that are falling in relation to Gold , and other items of real value such as food and oil, because their supply is strictly limited. The Bank of International Settlement has raised Gold to a tier 1 asset which shows they are getting ready for some sort of reintroduction of Gold back into the monetary system. Here is a chart which shows clearly how well Gold and Silver have performed in relation to ALL the paper currencies on this planet since the year 2000. The average debasement of paper currency is 15-20% per annum against both metals. I bet a lot of fund managers would give their right arm to have had results like that over the last decade and more. This loss of value in paper currencies and increase in the relative value of Gold and Silver will increase in the next few years due to all this easing and debt monetization that all Central Banks are now engaged in. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to move a significant amount of your savings out of the bankrupt and corrupt banking system and into this form of protection which has always protected savers from reckless monetary behavior. Here is the chart and read it.

      • Scruffy

        Sorry I should have finished.

        Gold is for optimists, guns are for realists.

        • cooldude

          Good luck with you Kalashnikof theory. Interesting asset although not my choice. You will also find over the next five years that government bonds will be some of the worst investments out there, even worse than the debased currencies. The governments issuing these bonds are essentially broke and this ponzi scheme will start to fall asunder shortly.

        • bonbon

          And the Big Bazooka is for mad bankers. London Times, Economist, etc, all calling for the Big Bazooka, and it went pffft. So they try again! Draghi and Bernanke, the Bankers Bazooka Association are running out of ammo.

          What is forgotten sometimes by all, all the time by some, but remembered, is that the banking empire is broke, no ammo left. and Governments can simply default, declare casino debts are null and void. This is the choice. Governments, national political economy, has developed over 300 years to deal with this ancient problem. We are about to cast it off and reconstruct.

          • dwalsh

            Quite right.
            All of this madness is predicated on hoodwinking everyone into this market fetishism. It is a sort of religion today; and its aim is to deflect attention away from the true source and basis of the wealth of nations and the world – the people of the world.

          • Tony Brogan

            The banking system as is may be braking down, BUT the shadows behind the banks are encouraging the paper shorting of the only real money and keeping the price low. In the meantime they have amassed huge paper profits. These will no doubt be invested into the at present cheap gold and silver.
            Western countries have foolishly divested of gold while others are investing. The shodow bankers know the power of commodity precious metals as money and wealth and when all is milked dry we will see a reversal and all of a sudden the power will be with the holders of the precious metals.
            Rothschilds et al have been into this flim flam for 250 years and are not yet finished.

            countries may be able torenege on the odious debt but by then it will be worthless and inflated away anyway.

            Financial power moves East and the real power remains with the operators of the central banking system.

            O Yes and to protect your pension invest it in gold and silver like the rest of the world.

          • Realist

            “and Governments can simply default, declare casino debts are null and void. This is the choice. Governments, national political economy, has developed over 300 years to deal with this ancient problem. We are about to cast it off and reconstruct.”

            This is exactly I am scared off.
            The government can do anything they want and they can wipe out anybody’s wealth just like in wars, but more subtle way.
            And you call this way democratic or liberal ….

  16. Eclipsed by DIAMONDS

    What is a Pension Fund worth now ? What has value to hold now ? Is this the beginning of the end of Gold?

    A new planet has been discovered all made of Diamonds . A planet twice the size of Earth moving much faster where one year there is equal to 18 days here .

    Deliverance is NEXT where by the touch of a keyboard ‘ a particle ‘ arrives to you thus plundering the value of Pension Funds for an Eternity.

    Now where is my garden allotment ?

    • The foundations of Life come from above .

    • Tony Brogan

      We already have too many diamonds. We know some have perceived value but they do not act as good money which is whay they are not.
      If they were the the arrival of the diamond planet would lead to hyper inflation and yet another valueless currency.

  17. bonbon

    Bundesbank Calls for German Constitutional Court To Examine Legality of ECB Hyperinflationary Policy

    Oct. 11, 2012 (EIRNS)–Speaking at a Bundesbank symposium in Frankfurt yesterday, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann called for the German Constitutional Court to prove the legitimacy of Mario Draghi’s QE program of sovereign bond purchases from the banks. “The German Bundesbank would welcome examination by the Federal Constitutional Court of open legal questions in relation to the prohibition of monetary financing of governments,” he said. Weidmann also stressed that it is the task of the central bank “to defend the value of money.”
    The previous day Draghi had said in Brussels that the ECB is ready for its QE program, combined with a deflationary Brüning program. The ECB “is ready to activate, under the appropriate conditions, what we called Unlimited Monetary Transactions,” he said. However, if member countries do not respect the program, the ECB will interrupt the bond-purchasing program.
    Draghi also said that it is opportune that the single banking supervisor for the EU will be in place starting next January. It is known that the German government wants to delay that. Weidmann’s speech could be the prelude to a formal Bundesbank step at the Constitutional Court, which is already examining the several challenges against the ESM. The arguments used by Weidmann are legalistic: by purchasing government debt, the ECB violates the treaties which forbid central bank financing of government debt. Thus, the ECB could lose its “independence.”
    A constitutional challenge, if successful, could stop the insane ECB and euro policy, even if the argument of central bank “independence” is crooked. In fact, 1) central banks are not independent but are controlled by private financial interests; 2) even so, at each and every board meeting of the ECB, a member of the EU Commission (the EU executive) participates. Usually it is Olli Rehn, the Currency Commissioner. And often, even Jean-Claude Juncker participates. Now, Juncker is a politician, a head of government (Luxembourg) and the president of the Eurogroup, an entity of the EU Council, which comprises of the Eurozone finance, economic, and budget ministers.
    {Nota Bene:} Draghi’s urgency on the Banking Union/Banking Supervisor reflects the disintegration of the Eurozone financial market. De facto, there is no longer any single market. Prof. Marco Mazzucchelli, one of the members of the Liikanen group, explained recently in an interview that the financial markets in the Eurozone have “re-nationalized” themselves. A Banking Union would change that from the top, in a highly dirigistic way.

  18. bonbon

    Report from France on a TV debate :

    French Economics Minister Moscovici Publicly Rejects Glass-Steagall Banking Separation

    Oct. 11, 2012 (EIRNS) — On Oct. 8, the France 3 TV ran a major broadcast on the financial crisis. Cheminade supporters who watched the more than two-hour program, reported that everything that Jacques Cheminade had demonstrated during his presidential campaign, how the financial system was sliding from insane to criminal, was brought up and debated, although no mention was made of Cheminade.
    To close the broadcast, Nobel economics laureate Joe Stiglitz was asked what he would do if he were French economics minister. He first said he would fight banking abuses and introduce regulation. The interviewer then asked him outright if he would break up BNP Paribas and Societé Générale. Stiglitz answered, yes, if regulation becomes disappointing, “breaking up the banks” is the only solution.
    Then, anchorman, star journalist Franz-Olivier Giesbert interviewed Economics Minister Pierre Moscovici, who immediately said he disagrees with Stiglitz on a full separation of the banks. “But Hollande said he would do so!” blurted out Giesbert. “No, he didn’t” countered Moscovici, saying Hollande had only promised to separate activities.
    In line with the lies of the bankers’ lobby and the banking unions which have sold out to play the game of their masters, Moscovici said, “Do you realize that the banking sector represents 400,000 jobs?” We want to regulate finance, not to weaken it, he pleaded, lying that after all, the “French” model of “universal banking” had not done too badly in the recent financial storms.
    According to the minister, the reform might take place soon, even as early as Oct. 17 in the form of a law adopted by the Council of Ministers that “will separate speculative activities from those that Frenchmen need for their mid caps[?], their firms, and households,” he said. Moscovici then said the euro was now saved, and praised the “firewalls”, such as the ESM and the nascent banking union, now in place.
    A comment in {L’Expansion} notes that the banking reform will not really happen, because “the banking lobby did their job” even if many voices are “calling for a total separation as it existed in the U.S.A. with the Glass-Steagall Act from 1933-1999.”
    While Not mentioning Cheminade or LaRouche, {l’Expansion} mentions that Terra Nova, a think-thank close to the Socialist Party, just published a report calling for a full separation. This summer, numerous American, British, and German bankers also expressed their preference for this separation, the only way to avoid systemic threat. That is the case for Sir Martin Taylor, former CEO of Barclays, or famous U.S. analyst Mike Mayo. In France, only Jean Peyrelevade, head of the investment bank Leonardo, has taken a stand in favor of total separation.

    http://www.france3.fr/emissions/le-monde-dapres/ diffusions/08-10-2012_3751

  19. bonbon

    S&P Downgrades Spain Because of Germany’s Foot-Dragging on ESM Mega-Bailouts

    Oct. 11, 2012 (LPAC)–Standard & Poor’s yesterday downgraded Spanish debt by two notches, leaving it just one step above junk status. The S&P statement was clear in blaming German-instigated delays in implementing unlimited hyperinflationary bailouts of the entire trans-Atlantic banking system, through the newly created ESM mechanism — bailouts which go by the code name of “mutualization of the debt.”
    The problem, S&P wrote, is “A policy-setting framework among the eurozone governments that in our opinion still lacks predictability… [and] does not extend the enabling of the ESM to recapitalize large ongoing European banks. Our previous assumption was that official loans to distressed Spanish financial institutions would eventually be mutualized.”
    Just for good measure, S&P also blamed the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy for its “hesitation” and failing to formally request a bailout from the ECB, so far. Moody’s rating agency, on the other hand, last week announced that it was about to downgrade Spanish debt to junk status, because it {is} about to ask for a bailout. As Gary Jenkins of the British investment firm Swordfish Research noted, “It would appear that when it comes to the rating, Spain is a bit between a rock and a hard place.”
    Rajoy is expected to hold off on the formal request to the ECB until after the Oct. 21 regional elections in Galicia, his home base of support, and to cave in quickly thereafter.

    • Deco

      S&P, a paid up member of the scam.

      The S&P should not be taken seriously, except by those who are asking to be made into fools.

      The Chinese have a rating system which is more accurate, and they still boast that they are in many respects not a market economy. And they get this more right than the S&P.

      • bonbon

        Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, S&P and Moody’s, in a scissors action. Most families have one, but they have two! (As they explained to Alice).

        Those 2 are weapons, nothing more. Anyway Bundesbank chief Weidmann will take to the courts on the legality of “mutualization”, totally illegal under all treaties.

        The 2 above are trying to override any facade of legality, following the Carl Schmitt mantra that the emergency makes the law – Hitler’s method. If the Judges in Karlsruhe fall for that trap just imagine what they will be labelled as!

  20. paul

    Apart from the scare of inflation, would you be any worse off if you had thrown your pension contribution into a biscuit tin under the bed every month? At least you’d still have!

    • bonbon

      Still have Punts! Looks like the Euro was designed as a way to eliminate that from the get-go. Another reason Maggie pushed it (for the Continent of course).

  21. paul

    sorry, “have it”.

  22. Deco

    Fo all the great frauds being perpetuated, perhaps the greatest is that the Ponzi scheme that is backing your pensions, is going to keep it’s promises.

    It will not. The sums are dreadful. But, it is necessary to perpetuate the fraud to keep the muppets paying up.

    The Bank bondholders will be gone with the money long before the PAYE/PRSI contributing working people get any of their money.

  23. bonbon

    Remember Iceland? Refusing the Bailout, and being put on British Terrorist Lists? British pension funds were tied up in that “offshore” bank system, and expected Icelanders to pay.

    Let Inter-Alpha pay, and if they do not have the money, admit it!


    I begin to suspect serious threats, and I wonder did the Queen deliver the message on that visit?

    Pension Funds a casus belli? After Iceland perhaps.

    Still, let Inter-Alpha pay!

    • One Inch Longer

      Bon – Icelanders are more daring and have the balls to do what they should do unlike the Irish . And this was proven recently when in an International Survey the manhood of their men was one inch longer than the British and the Irish .

      Now where do I turn ?

  24. Philip

    When I studied Economics in leaving cert, the one thing that struck me was what it was about…a study of how we manage and distribute scarce resources. Today, as I read this blog and the content of many of our so called economists, I just see corp and management accounting thinly disguised as national and social policy.

    Look, we know the issues – in the current model of economics, we live too long, we never took account of the real effects of exporting our national income (cos we thought we were clever importing other countries’ NI) and working for a living even in the so called knowledge economy starts to make less and less sense where you can be easily automated (the very thing that’ll break capitalism). Economists say INNOVATION will offer the next magic bullet and we’ll be back in business…ehhh I think not.

    I am seeing nothing new here. The root cause…Economists are too focused on money.

    • bonbon

      Might it not be that the economics taught for Leaving and in the Uni is total hogwash? Some even say it is incapable of forecasting.

      Time to start learning real economics, and suddenly realize, we are no where near our potential longevity nor population density.

      Monetarism, and you are right about the obsession, is intrinsicly entropic ,a flatland accountancy that led exactly to the chaos, entropy, we see today. Anti-entropy, what life and we actually are doin must be part of economics. Another word for anti-entropy, is creativity.

      There is no cow, horse or bear economics, only people make it – so what is the difference – that must be the central economic principle.

    • dwalsh


      Well said. Real economics is not about money.

  25. Direland

    excerptfrom article on increase in Greek suicides during depression :

    “The lines that Dimitris Christoulas wrote in a suicide note are engraved into a marble plaque.

    The government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid into for 35 years with no help from the state. I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so that I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance” – Dimitris shot himself in the head in the main square in Athens during morning rush hour last April to make a final point.His pension was destroyed by the Greek Government implementing Troika policy.

  26. Philip

    If you own a bank, what would you do in an environment where no one can pay back the principle and your balance sheet is in bits. You’re not going to lend to no-hopers and you will suck in every penny of savings with the least return – in fact you’ll be charging people to save – this is what QE exaserbates further – particularly if in debt to other banks.

    Yes…banks are ripping us off and yes the fcekers in them are cashing in on the mess. But as so often said here, it is rigged to work this way. But that’ like saying birds are rigged to fly.

    Can we not loose this nonsense of believing that the system as we know it is ever going to come back. It’s over and the sooner we acknowledge this and move on, the sooner we can rebuild. That is all that this crisis is about.

    • bonbon

      Right, the system is never ever going to come back. It cannot be bailed out. The attempt, doomed, is what is causing the entire mess. That system is the British Empire, and will not go down without trying to take us all with it.
      Motto :
      “Better reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven”.

      What is right on the horizon, is the end of oligarchism after thousands of years, and the end of 4th Roman Empire. Obama could and will if not stopped, obliterated the place rather than simply bury the dead carcass.

      That is what Glass-Steagall is all about, even bigger than in 1933. It is about surviving the implosion of a speculative bubble, about the sheer insanity of trying to “rescue” it.

      • molly

        They are like drug addicted people cheating and chasing the dragon they will follow it into the gates of insanity and because they are left to there own devices they will take us down and they will slip out the back door .
        Covering there own arse.
        But how can we shout stop we don’t want to play there game,the truth us we are being forced against our will to take part ,the reason being there’s no plan B.
        The government here is following aplan by Europe that is play along follow European lead and they no better and Europe will save us.
        If the government had its own plan a proper plan ,the plan would take balls ,brains,,bluff,and hold your head high and say no we are not paying for other people’s gambling depts.
        What do they do instead the follow the wrong lead a lead that’s on a collision course to destruction .

        • bonbon

          Have a look at Dope, Inc, for the 300 year long links between the drug cartels and banking, going right back to the British East Indie Company that actually ran England.

          Today we have an open discussion in Russia about this, but that report is the definitive exposee.

          The banks are addicted to drug money!

  27. bonbon

    Here is a howler : First Obama now the EU…what a joke!
    The European Union has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its long-term role in uniting the continent, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced today. The committee praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after the second World War and for its role in spreading stability to former communist countries after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

    The award is seen as a morale boost for the union as it struggles to resolve its debt crisis.


  28. Tony Brogan

    Why not take your disfunctional pansion plan ans privatize it.
    See if you can administer your own plan and then invest it in to precious metals.It ids the best way IMHO to recoup your recent losses.
    Listen to chairman of GATA, Bill Murphy.


    • bonbon

      Pinochet did all that in Chile. Radical free-market enforced. And anyway as DMcW pointed up the plans are anyway in disaster because of private “managers”.

      And President Higgins in Chile last week clearly said the world has seen enough of that free-market.

      • Tony Brogan

        You deliberately confuse free markets with cronyism chicanery and outright fraud.
        You appear to want no market at all anywhere for anything.
        Just state mandated 5 year mega plans like Stalin and Mao.

        As far as the pension funds are concerned, that is esxqctly the point. Manage your own, it is the only way to have a pension left when you need it.

        What managing your own pension plan has to do with Pinochet only you know. Sometimes your responses are flipantly plain nonsense.

  29. Tony Brogan

    European Union Wins Nobel Peace Prize

    Yes, the most dysfunctional, bankrupt organization on Earth, the European Union; wrought with civil unrest and even secessionist movements; has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for – quite literally – NOTHING. Unless, of course, destroying its members with MONEY PRINTING is grounds for “celebration”…

    Source: TheNeedleBlog

    When the EU is dissolved within the next five years, I wonder if they’ll get to keep the prize. Oh well, at least its vile leaders can enjoy an over-the-top boondoggle with the $1.2 million prize; before resuming their charge of DESTROYING EUROPE…

    Farage Slams Nobel Peace Prize Farce As “Insurgency And Violence” Reign

    i wonder who gets the prize money??

    • Deco

      The joke does not stop there.

      Now somebody has to be selected to collect the prize. And a massive row has started over who will get to go and get the snap.

      And that is only Barrosso and van Rompuy.

      You also have a massive row at lower levels to be at the event as well.

      All in the name of “peace”.

      And then we had Merkel’s visit to Greece the day before, with a ban on assembly of more than one person. The whole thing is a comic disaster.

      • bonbon

        The “Committee” gave Obama the peace prize. Looks like a recipe for war to me.

        • Deco

          Henry Kisinger got one in the 1970s when he was bombing Laos, and when the CIA was messing around in Cambodia before the takeover of Pol Pot.

          It is becomming surreal.

          • bonbon

            This is “empire”, something most just refuse to understand. Sir Henry was knighted for exactly his actions in 3 US administrations (as he boasted at Rhodes College) serving the Crown. And Pol Pot is a product of the Sorbonne economist Khieu Samphan :

            Pol Pot and its closely related Mao “Cultural Revolution” was suicidal self-imposed Malthusiaism. Today we are confronted with exactly the same threat, under guises of “ecology”, “weather”, “sustainability”, a suicidal imposed Malthusianism. That is threat number 1 to counter, behind all kinds of academic chats. Just look at this example, Dr. Schellnhuber, CBE (Commander of the British Empire) :

            That is Merkel’s “scientific” advisor. Holdren is Obama’s Schellnhuber twin.

            Any sign of a Pol Pot “rustificaion”, return to the fields, depopulation must be openly confronted. Economics must be thoroughly exposed – look how “reasonable” Samphan sounds on the podium, and look at the result!

          • Deco

            A defining influence on Pol Pot, according to PP himself, was Jean Paul Sartre.

            Pot implemented a concoction of Marxism, Maoism, Sartre’s approach to philosphy, and plain nostalgia for some vision he had of the future being better if it came from the past.

            In theory it was confusion, and nonsense.

            In practice it was absolute insanity.

          • bonbon

            See the link above, here extracted :

            One of those former leaders is Khieu Samphan, a 79-year-old economist with a doctorate from the Sorbonne, who was Cambodia’s nominal head of state when the Khmer Rouge implemented its plan to radically transform the country’s society and economy.

            Since he was one of the chief architects of the Khmer Rouge project, some observers have argued that Khieu Samphan’s 1959 doctoral dissertation, “Cambodia’s Economy and Industrial Development,” foreshadowed the radical agrarian nightmare to come.

  30. bonbon

    European Union Awarded Nobel “Peace in Our Time” Prize

    The prize is $1.2 million, not even enough to pay the Athens hotel expenses of the infamous EU-ECB IMF Troika when it descends on Greece to dictate genocide to that county.
    The citizens of Norway have a much more healthy view of the EU, having voted down membership in two referenda in 1972 and 1994. “I find this absurd,” the leader of Norway’s anti-EU membership organization Heming Olaussen told NRK. “In Latin America and other parts of the world, they will view this quite differently than they will from Brussels. The union is a trade bloc that contributes to keeping many countries in poverty.”
    For its part, Portugal’s largest trade union federation called the award “unacceptable … a profound offense to workers and peoples who suffer daily the consequences of the increasingly anti-labor, anti-social, and anti-popular measures developed by the European Union’s leadership bodies.” It charged that the EU has been “imposing the law of the strongest, degrading the conditions of life and work, accentuating inequalities and assymetries, contributing to the exponential increase in poverty and social exclusion, and restricting the sovereignty of the people.” The CGTP will continue to fight for a Europe “guided by effective cooperation between sovereign states with equal rights.”

    Of course the “law of the strongest” recognizes no need for pensions, nor a national commitment to progress.

  31. bonbon

    Portugal, the “New Greece” (note pension cuts)

    Oct. 12 (EIRNS)–Even as protesters were arriving at the outskirts of Lisbon for the final Saturday rally of a week-long “March Against Unemployment” across the country, details of the Passos Coelho government’s new budget plan were leaked to the press. The cabinet took 20 hours on Wednesday night to come up with this abomination. The budget will be officially announced on Monday, but according to Reuters, which got a copy of it, pensions will be cut between 3.5% (for the smallest pensions) and 40% (for the largest); income tax will be increased across the board (the rate on the lowest bracket increasing to 14.5% from the current 11.5%). Property and wealth taxes will increase, and a financial transaction tax will be introduced.
    The measures will {worsen} the government deficit. Tax revenues fell 2.4% between January and August, defying government promises that a sharp increases in the value-added tax would bring in lots of money. But people are already at the limit. With nearly 16% of the people officially unemployed (over 35% of the youth), only one-fourth of the unemployed receive any unemployment benefit, and the government wants to shorten the length of time people will be eligible for unemployment subsidies.
    The situation is explosive. Former Socialist Party Presidential candidate Manuel Alegre warned a Congress on Democratic Alternatives in Lisbon on Oct. 5, that the situation is reaching a limit, which people will not tolerate. “Either this is resolved democratically, or we can have great surprises,” he warned. Alegre has joined the CGTP protests, has begun speaking out that either the government or the country will fall, and is holding up the Argentine model as an alternative policy, arguing that “Portugal cannot be a protectorate nor an experimental laboratory for ultraliberal policies dictated by the Troika.”
    The military current which led the “1974 Revolution” which overthrew the Salazar dictatorship and withdrew the colonial forces from Mozambique and Angola, and worked with a then-staunchly pro-industry and pro-nuclear Communist Party and its strong labor base, continues to be a political factor in this situation.

  32. tony_murphy

    There is a conspiracy by the “elites”/demons to rob and enslave everyone while they are in a dazed and confused state, zombified by those who control them. It’s conspiracy fact. Join the dots, David draws one week or so. I wish you would just draw the full picture some day, before it’s too late

    • bonbon

      There is a collapsing British Empire, the only global financial empire today. They hide nothing, everything is public. Population reduction is the intent, a massive cull. Either they pull the physical economy, food production, energy out from under us, as shown by the Triple Curve economic metaphor, or they get Obama to start thermonuclear war. The picture is drawn :

      Triple Curve :

      Of course being led to the cull like zombies is the decadence rampant at the moment. Some even run ahead, promoting Greenie phrases, or Creative Destruction. They are definitely getting ahead of the game!

  33. tony_murphy

    The latest on what’s really happening in the world financially…. for those awake and not zombified by the tv “programming”

    Alex Jones talks to Lindsey Williams


  34. Dorothy Jones

    10 mins into this Max Keiser Report. IFSC poised to become the Wild West all over again.

  35. bonbon

    The Banksters Raid the Garda

    It’s so blatant,it’s almost funny. A real mafia operation – Just buy the cops !!


  36. bonbon

    The largest Irish diaspora in the non-English speaking world was the central focus of President Michael D Higgins’ first full day in Argentina yesterday.
    President Michael D Higgins visits the Space for Memory and the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights in Buenos Aires to pay tribute to Irish human rights activist and former priest the late Patrick Michael Rice.

    At a reception in Buenos Aires for members of the country’s 500,000-strong Irish community, Mr Higgins said Ireland was proud of the contribution the Irish had made in creating modern Argentina “and more importantly the contribution they will make to its future”.

    He went on to praise the bonds between the two countries, joking that “bonds is not a word used lightly any more in Ireland”.

    Those sections of his address delivered in Spanish won warm applause from his largely bilingual audience.


  37. Philip

    Misfeasance or Malfeasance?

    The first you can cope with.

    The latter is unconscionable – because what can anyone do about it? Maybe that’s the fundamental problem. Who’s first to come to the empty dance floor?

  38. Tony Brogan

    If gold and silver in physical possession is ‘voting with your feet’ on currency and economic policies, EU citizens are marching to the ballot boxes as we speak; increasingly opting out of the euro and into gold and silver.

    -Martin Mesicek, Gold Source, Norway

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