December 17, 2012

Bringing it all back home

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 126 comments ·
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Have you heard of the newest trend sweeping through corporate America? After nearly three decades of worshipping at the altar of “outsourcing” – moving production out of the United States attracted by lower wages and lower taxes in the foreign companies – American managers are now switching to “insourcing”.

A few years ago, I worked with Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of GE, then America’s largest corporation. Jack was at the vanguard of the outsourcing movement. Together with the mantra: “shareholder value”, it dominated boardroom thinking in manufacturing America. This March, Welch’s successor Jeff Immelt, writing in the bible of corporate America The Harvard Business Review stated: “outsourcing is quickly becoming outdated as a business model for GE Appliances”.

There is a fascinating article on this global trend in this month’s Atlantic magazine featuring China-based, Irish entrepreneur Liam Casey; but the bones of the argument are pretty straightforward and the implication for also Ireland quite clear.

Increasingly, outsourcing is costing American corporations because the initial massive cost savings in hourly wages is now not so appealing and the losses in terms of production productivity and the expense of setting up operations in foreign countries are beginning to make huge manufacturers like GE bring their production back home.

The big changes in the global economy of the past five years are changing the long-term view of outsourcing’s efficiency. We have seen a huge increase in the price of oil, obviously making the cost of shipping goods halfway around the world very expensive. Second, the collapse in the price of gas – due to the discoveries of the shale gas potential of the US – makes energy-intensive production in the States much cheaper. Natural gas is now four times cheaper in the USA than Asia.

Third, Chinese wages are rising rapidly as their economy booms and labour shortages emerge. Their wages are now five times the 2002 level and for the past two years alone have been increasing at close to 20% per annum. In the US, the fall in manufacturing jobs over the past few years has caused trade unions to change work practices so thoroughly that those movements, once seen by management as an impediment to investment, are now seen as willing allies.

Finally, as labour productivity in the US has improved – due to a combination of more intensive technology and cheaper and more efficient energy practices – the overall cost of making things in the US has fallen, while the amount of stuff the average American worker makes per hour is now on the rise.
This final point means that advantages such as low wages or their fiscal equivalent low taxes aren’t as attractive anymore.

Also, many American corporations have had the gradual realization that when you take the production part of your operation and put it in a foreign country, other skills leave too. Lots of industrial innovation stems from people being together, collaborating and talking to each other about how to best change this or that method. When you separate workers from other parts of the business, this communication stops and the ‘learning by doing’ aspect of innovation tends to stop with it.

This debasement of the manual part of production is the type of thing that MBA business books are full of, as though producing the actual stuff can be divorced from the marketing and selling of it without any repercussions.

Manufacturing by textbook is a bit like reading a good sex guidebook; studying it and learning all the different positions, but without actually having sex. And we all know that’s not the way forward!

Speaking of glorious human urges and human nature, the central human weakness for going with the herd – or as it has become known in Ireland – “group-think”, comes into play too. Managers tend to behave in the same way as Irish house buyers did in the boom. The “if everyone else is doing it, it must be right” approach to management tended to see them all looking to outsource first and think later.

The effects of this constant outsourcing on the American industrial working class have been traumatic. This was particularly evident in the period 2000-2010, coincident with the rush to China.

Now, however, if the huge in-sourcing drive we are seeing in the likes of GE (which has just invested close to $1 billion in developing an old relic of the 1970s called Applications Park), we will see a change to all that.

It is still very early days but trends are beginning to become evident. The notion that the US will export jobs, in the process hollowing out its industrial working class indefinitely, simply makes no sense. All the huge changes in the energy and labour costs at home and abroad, making America much less expensive than it previously was vis á vis foreign countries, changes the game. The fact that the CEO of its biggest industrial conglomerate is talking about bringing the jobs back home suggests the mantra of Apple, “designed in California” but made elsewhere might not be the slogan of the future.

What are the implications of this shift for us? Well, taken together with the backlash against tax avoidance from the likes of Starbucks in the UK last week, it suggests that we have to be vigilant. In the era of outsourcing we cut taxes, allowing us to garner good pay rates and conditions in the multinational sector. This was paid for by higher indirect (and direct other) taxes, but the local low-tax strategy played directly into the global outsourcing narrative.

If the global narrative is going to change, what should we do?

It means we probably have a few years to change, not much more. We should run tests about how the overall profitability of US multinationals would be at 20% or 30% tax rates if that were to be imposed by the EU. We could also use the next few years to try to create stronger links between the multinationals and suppliers at home, which might make the insourcing decision more difficult. We could also try to divert — through incentives — as much of the multinational budgets now as possible to local R&D and other activities which might make the multinationals think twice about leaving.

This all takes a bit of vision in government to see what is coming around the corner and a whole-hearted from Irish entrepreneurs to act swiftly. That’s not beyond the realms of possibility, is it?

David Mc Williams new book The Good Room is out now.


  1. Adam Byrne

    subscribe.

  2. michaelcoughlan

    Thought I would get in ahead of you there Adam! Bully beef for me!

    • Adam Byrne

      Can you put up your new article quickly please David – so I can subscribe first?

      Thanks in advance, it keeps me awake at night hoping I can do it each time.

      Others too – it would seem.

  3. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    Re your last point; hopefully we could also get our guys to insource from India back to Ireland. Also, we could get the US to use Ireland as a half way house and not fully insource all the way back to the USA but continue to use Ireland as a Staging post with the flow going in the oppostite direction as your article points out.

    Michael.

  4. MT25

    Is it correct thinking that a trend to insource will put more money in workers pockets so they can buy the products they are making? I think this was not a consideration when big corporates outsourced in the first place, but are they considering it now?

  5. martinp

    Reminiscent of the IT world in the mid-90′s. the mantra was OUTSOURCE everything and DOWNSIZE until it was realised that that meant losing day-to-day contact with the skills necessary to even manage the outsourcing. So ‘downsize’ became ‘rightsize’, where a hybrid between the two became a common compromise. Its happening again with the current group-think lurge to ‘the cloud’. Those who fail to learn from history………

    I suspect a hybrid compromise is how the industrial process will end up also.

    • Deco

      Outsourcing does reduce costs on paper.

      But outsourcing does not lead to a performance gain. So much is lost along the way, and so much incompetence and lack of co-operation comes about, that it costs a fortune.

      • bonbon

        Actually it does not. I am privy to a NDA where the true costs of outsourcing were presented. The entire cost was more than local, per seat. So the question naturally arises why they do it.
        The only possible answer is derivatives, to maintain the illusion of the magic of the markets – putting production as far away as possible from consumption to maintain “trade”. Those firms have become in effect banks, and as they fail now the entire game changes.

        Basically pursuing Adam Smith’s “economics” does not work. Which brings us back to reality. Imagine what Glass-Steagall means for these “holding companies”- banks!

        It is a mistake to attempt to adapt to this, much better to pursue what Adam Smith at all costs, literally, sought to prevent.

        • Realist

          Outsourcing is not done just to be better on paper.

          The firm and division of labour is the driver for such decision.
          Why would having specialised companies inside Ireland be smart and not having the same across the globe.
          What it does is release resources in Ireland to do something else, more important.
          If this is not true such will not be going elsewhere.
          We all heard how Ireland suffered due to isolation and not being open in trade in the past.

          Outsourcing inside Ireland or around the globe is the same and has the same principles.
          When I hire the cleaner to clean my house it does not mean I cannot do the job better myself!!!!!
          It means I will spend that time to do more important work at the same time.

        • bonbon

          That “something else” was derivatives, GM became a bank doing something important. As GE would say “we do not make products, we make money”. That is the epitaph of the globalized system crashing around at a firm near you.
          The entire swindle of Adam Smith was taken head-on by Hamilton, Carey, List, Griffith. It is today priority number one to see How Adam Smith fooled you suckers!: MOST OF THE TIME

          • Realist

            So, you are saying outsourcing is to do with derivatives and that is to do something with Adam Smith?
            Smith lived in 18 century so obviously did not know a lot of things at that time. Capitalism was in development and economic thoughts around it.
            Blaming Adam Smith for this fiasco is an absurd :)

    • Dilly

      This is probably why Ulster Bank went offline. The only guy left who knew how the mainframe worked was probably let go, while all the managers were kept on.

  6. Lord Jimbo

    Downsizing, outsourcing and sex guides – it must be holiday season. Cheers to all for 2013.

  7. JapanZone

    The arguments for insourcing in the manufacturing sectors are clear enough. But what will be the impact in areas like IT/media – Facebook, Google, PayPal, etc – and financial services? Of the 755 foreign companies listed on the IDA website, US companies account for about half. IT makes up 20%, financial services about 30%. But I’ve no idea who are the biggest players in terms of impact on our economy.
    http://www.idaireland.com/search-companies.xml

  8. imithe

    Now, maybe Waterford Crystal will see the light and put Waterford back into the crystal.

  9. miec

    “Manufacturing by textbook is a bit like reading a good sex guidebook; studying it and learning all the different positions, but without actually having sex. And we all know that’s not the way forward!”

    Brilliant analogy. It has been my observation that countries that outsource or reduce their manufacturing contract or lose their power and if the US decides to in-source then it is one of their smarter moves. When you think that the industrial revolution started in Britian and it was the superpower then, which then went to the US which now passed to China, there appears to be a correlation between the two so maybe the US will claw back some of its power / economy by in-sourcing.

  10. Good article. Yes indeed, Ireland needs vision and foresight to navigate through the next few years when the in-sourcing trend really takes hold in the US. We need to look once again at our natural comparative advantages. One potential advantage is our abundant water resources. Water is becoming as important as oil and, in future, economies with an effective water infrastructure will remain very attractive investment locations for water intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals. Ireland needs to ensure that it optimises the significant amounts of rainfall it receives each year and to address its creaking water infrastructure which is subject to losses of 70% due to leaks in some cases. Competitive water infrastructure is by no means a magic bullet, but it can be one of a number of effective offerings that could make some multinationals think twice about in-sourcing.

  11. Realist

    Government has nothing to do with the vision, it is companies who have the vision and who act.
    Government taxation is just one input into their calculations what to do in the future.
    Companies produce and governments spend.

    David’s comments at the end with testing higher taxing are just plainly wrong.

    The best government can do is to move away from companies, charge them as less as possible taxes and leave them to figure out is it better to insource, outsource or whatever.

    Neither David, nor me, nor government can possibly know what is best for economy.

  12. CorkPlasticPaddy

    David, do you seriously believe that the ‘shower of idiots’ we have for a government will do anything like you suggest??? They couldn’t organize ‘a piss up in a brewery on a Saturday night’! All they ever do is talk sh*te along with they also coming up the stupidest ideas ever. The same would have to go for ‘management’ in this country. They simply haven’t a clue!!! and that’s one of the main reasons as to why so many places have closed down over the last few years!! You’re simply wasting your breath even talking to them, because they just won’t listen to common sense!!!

    • Deco

      Given the recent budget, the posturing of various ministers, and the hard line on dissent coming from Comrade General Secretary Gilmore, I think it is fair o say that you 100% correct.

      This country is firmly on the road to another IMF bailout. State finances are out of control. And they will stay out of control.

      The Irish management culture is completely and wholeheartedly amateurish. The private sector in this country is too pre-occupied with grants, and graft to know how to run a business properly, purely on business terms.

      And the professional classes are busy extorting, lying, deceiving, overcharging and engaging in CYA to be of any use to the population.

      In Ireland, there has been a recession and event a depression, but THERE HAS BEEN NO CORRECTION. Behaviour is just as corrupt, and immoral as ever.

      Cronyism brought us to collective ruin, we are living on a borrowing program, and the cronyism is still lving too.

      If there is ever a revolution on this country, it will be a revolution against cronyism.

      • Grey Fox

        +1 well said

      • gizzy

        Hard to believe with the fire dancing around their feet that they do not see the need for major change in how we do everything in this country.

      • Philip

        Did I read an article that the HSE has outsourced management consultancy to a US company to advise how to manage and keep within budget?

        I know several experts in Ireland who do this. No one came to them.

        • Dilly

          Our new cleaner at work used to be in the HSE. She told me, that she had about ten managers, all younger than her, they would appear from time to time and give her different tasks to do fron the other one. She said it was a mess and there were managers for everything.

    • carefulwiththatropeangela

      Agreed but I do think you are being rather unkind to idiots. As things stand we are heading to complete fiscal and monetary union. Does the govt seriously think that this precious corporation tax will last at it’s current rate ? Do they really think that Berlin will tolerate such long term dissent ? Before that change happens there are more pressing matters like the effects of a budget that confirm the utter callous disregard and the contempt they have for the electorate. One charming example reported last week was the decision that the Revenue Commissioners have written to the various financial ‘institutions’ instructing them to remove the tax relief for mortgages six months or more in arrears. Now given that 20,000 or so are two years or more in arrears, this decision coupled with a property tax imposed from on high can only mean one thing,a lot of people are going to be in deeper shit than they already are and there will be no NAMA style rescue for them.

      • Deco

        The most important phrase you ask is “Does the govt seriously think”.

        Answer : they don’t.

        All they do is obey instructions. That is the essence of EU centralization. Power is in the centre. And smaller countries obey. You only have to observe the differences in how the British media covers EU affairs, and how our media tells us stories to keep us in line with the wishes of Brussels.

      • Deco

        Just watch the next six months and see how many times Kenny agrees with Merkel.

        In fact, if he ever disagrees with her or van Rompuy, on anything, it will be a shock.

  13. Deco

    The US private sector is adapting and getting itself back in business. Hiring practices have improved as a result of the higher unemployment rate, and thinner margins. US firms are hiring energetic eager young Americans who are applying themselves. Energy is working in favour of US manufacturing. Technology, is helping them better allocate investment and control costs.

    The only thing that remains unresolved is the debt load. But in this respect Americans are dealing with non-public debt, even if they have not yet fixed public debt. And on the issue of public debt they are talking about the issue. Thre US is now scaling back the bailouts, and looking for it’s money back.

    Despite all the stupidity of Greenspan’s regin, and the moneyprinting of helicopter, American know-how and the sense of proacticality has at least tried to make a return.

    In Europe, there is no discussion on public debt. And it is increasing. Private debt holders get bailouts.

    Will Europe fix it’s debts, and get it’s costs into line ?

    Or will it blame the Russians for bargaining a high price for their hydrocarbons ?

    Given the intellectual daftness of the EU leadership, I reckon they will go for the option of blaming the Russians. Here is a prediction. A top EU “leader” will say something quite aggressive against the Russians in the New Year. I am ruling out the Germans and the Finns, who will not say anything against the Russians for historical reasons. It might even be our MoFA. But I am expecting something.

    In fact, I would be surprised if it does not occur. Energy is a massive bill for Europe, and has big implications on the EUR:USD exchange rate.

  14. Philip

    What IS more real is the tightening of links between marketing/ sales/ design and manufacturing. Also, low cost reconfiguration that automation allows means manufacturing costs become independent of batch size. Products can become more customized with no added cost.

    Basically, outsourcing is no good for customizing. The problem arises because the builders are too far from the market – culturally and distance wise.

    This brings me to Ireland. We are closer culturally – perhaps. We need to think in terms of low batch size fast turn around methods. BioTech/ Software etc that do not rely on heavy logistics/energy is key.

  15. Grey Fox

    Would it be smart so, to “insource the extraction of our natural resources Oil, Gas and now Gold” for the benefit of the Irish People instead of the Private Corporations?
    After all it is only knowledge and expertise that the Private Corps have that we don’t have, oh, and of course the will to want to keep the resources for our people and not give them away in under the table, dirty deals for personal self interest by our public representatives!
    Maybe we should consider insourcing food production and our once strong sugar industry?
    Just saying!

    • transitionman

      Grey Fox
      It would be smart to insource food production before we find the price of food double current levels.
      Never thought I would write – Our Natural Resources should stay where they are. In the earth that we do not own- we only occupy this planet.
      We may get “shaken off like fleas on a dog” for our collective behaviour.
      George Carlin http://youtu.be/EjmtSkl53h4

    • Philip

      It requires more than know how. It needs a lot of capital we simply do not have – nice mantra eh?

      I do think we need to stop looking at knowhow “outside” and cultivate our “knowhow”. I mean, how did the Norwegians and the Icelanders do it.

      There was an IT Guru character I once saw doing the rounds, Nicholas Negroponte who said we were moving from Atoms to Bits. By that he meant that tyhe knowledge was the only thing you ever needed to import and use as you see fit – the rest was local.

      • Grey Fox

        My view is that the people who work for the Shell’s and Providence’s of this world are hired hands, so why shouldn’t we hire them ourselves, as for cost, well we are gladly throwing billions away for no return why wouldn’t we do something alien to us, and get a return for our money.
        Transitionman, I share your view, I am only speaking from the point of view where if it is going to come out of the ground then we, the Irish People, should have control and full benefit from these resources.

        • Realist

          Is somebody stopping you and others to open the company, find the investors and money, hire resources, buy licenses of the government and start drilling?

          I am sure you are smart enough to compete with Shell, or maybe direct the government to close the borders to all foreign companies.
          That will help for a sure as it will bring Ireland to feudal system.

  16. Tortoise

    Out-sourcing and In sourcing reminds me of Fast and Slow food .When it is fast it sticks in your stomach .When it is slow , it spreads around.

    The experience of slow food is more rewarding and reveals new taste buds you never had before.

    So much for in sourcing . So much for that moment when the Tortoise beats the Hare in the race.

  17. Adam Byrne

    Great article. We could do with some in-sourcing here too. Not that we ever had that much industrial activity. As someone mentioned, bring back Waterford Crystal.

    One thing is sure. There are too many people here in third level education, who are simply not suited to it. They’d be better off learning a trade or doing an apprenticship or working productively in a factory down the road makign useful things (please, only useful things) that don’t have to be shipped in from China.

    Ha-Joon Chang made the point at Kilkenomics a couple of years ago about the educations arms race – people going on to do Masters just to keep up, when they should really be out working already.

    This will be a smart strategic move for the Yanks if they continue – not only is it cheaper in the long run, more beneficial to the environment (less shipping etc.), although the anti-fracking crowd might not agree – but it will also reinvigorate their societies as more people get back to work, the welfare bill is reduced and tax receipts increase, both from corporate and personal sources.

    • Philip

      Can’t disagree with much of what you say.

      That said, I think Ireland and its lack of scale to leverage the heavy lifting parts of our education system may have forced a way of thinking that becomes opportunistic and crumb grabbing. We have the brains and we have learned to survive by doing with as little as possible. The big vision thinking is just not there – simply because our environment does not need it. You could say, left to themselves, the Irish would never evolve – but continue to exist in its relatively safe environment until their Dodo moment arrived.

      But maybe there is another way of looking at this. Maybe, big vision thinking seems to be getting a lot of people into trouble with large scale cockups. One size fits all no longer works. So maybe those “Irish” skills on being flexible and making do might be what’s needed for the highly customised world emerging today is just exactly what we need.

    • Deco

      Adam – very valid point.

      We simply cannot have an honest debate about third level education in Ireland. Instead we get “more is better”.

      Application is a form of education.

      Also a lot of people are studying stuff that is irrelevant in terms of market demand. There needs to be shrinkage to account for the fact that there will be no demand for architects for some time.

      Also a lot of college courses could be migrated completely to distance learning. It would save the students a fortune. Especially in respect of Arts based courses. Students do not need to be camped outside Belfield to study 16th century history. They could do it in their home town in the evenings, and still be able to hold down regular jobs and gain real world experience. It would save their streteched parents a fortune. (Though it would probably be bad for the buy to let market).

      With the money saved, the undergraduate could spend the summer learning web development, or study technology courses in a manner that would be useful.

      A certain proportion of Irish undergraduate education could move to distance education. It would save money, for the students. And they are going to get even more stretched as time progresses.

    • Realist

      While I do not agree that the article is great, I agree with your good judgment about schooling.

      I believe that the only thing keeping Ireland in contention is that many other competing countries have also appaling schooling :)

      Privatise schooling and give choice to learn different skills in different ways. Allow home schooling, Internet schooling, anything parents are willing and want to pay for.
      For socialists I am fine to give a few percent in taxes for helping children without money, but I am totally against public schooling.

    • Kite flying is free research. If the research is inconclusive then the system just sends the politicians out on a bread and circuses tour to make it seem like they care and are listening. Every 4 years they have a slimy meet and greet with the pleb class funded with dirty envelopes for drink on the house. He’s a jolly good fellow. It’s the same everywhere

      And still they answer the door tee hee

      Shirts and ties and suits are now the uniform of people not to be trusted. Toy Soldiers. Gilmore is my favourite toy soldier because he looks like a toy soldier that has been wound up in the corner behind the setee and sent into the middle of room to have a comical effect on the grown ups. He even has the red face hor hor hor. Look it’s Eammo!

      He has the posture and the carved stupid square jaw of a plastic soldier

      American toy soldiers were dark green and British toy soldiers were light green. Canadian soildiers were another shade of green and the Aussies and the South Africans were, well other shades of green of course!

      The germans were dark gray and the Japs were Yellow

      Adjectives are the oil that appeals to lazy minds and motivates them. Mosely and Adolf knew this. Motivational language can kill. Literally

      Fast forward ..

      ‘We can take care of everything from your out-sourcing to in-sourcing’. Oh yeah. Then who is actually running this company???

      Maybe someone in a bedsit in Gdansk with an off the shelf web site

      ‘We could do with some in-sourcing here too. Not that we ever had that much industrial activity’. Well let’s find some industrial or in-sourcing opportunities

      Question. Such as?
      If it was that simple FG’s non existing jobs initiative would have shown signs of birth by now. ‘Green shoots of recovery’

      One arm of the heroic five point plan. They are happy to see the dole queues because it keeps alive their dream of a subserviant desperate population which they can lord it over. They don’t care about jobs any more than they care about the increase in suicides over the holiday season

      I read your post yesterday and it got me thinking about the Waterford Crystal workers and how their skills will be lost for good. Maybe someone will start making crystal in Waterford again one day? I hope so because a healthy manufacturing industry would bolster our identity and return a sense of pride. I’d like to work in such a venture and take pride in my work again

      It was indeed a great article Adam and David has upped his game immensely but most of you guys can’ see it. He is winning my respect in a big way here and the only conclusion I can come up with is that Jock Stein visited him in a dream and took him across to Hampden Park on a dark wednesday night to sit beside him, listen and learn and witness the one true meaning of the word awesome and what it takes to be awesome

      My interest is electronics and programming and I know what it takes to be a cut above the rest. I don’t have it and I know it. I am better at expalining things than doing them

      That strange paradox of theatre and working life where flat capped men smoking roll ups and untipped navy cut fags come to see the stars and hoped to stagger home with cherished memories to pass down the generations. I was there!

      He sometimes sounds like a man who grew up in the Lanarkshire mines but wants to keep a sense of the old while grasping the brave new world. In fact it would not surprise me if the wee man has the blood of Bruce in his veins and an admiration for the red clydesiders as well as the men and women of the 1913 lockout

      The clues are in the adjectives he has been using lately. They are like angrily thrown darts piercing an Evening Herald Hilary Clinton pull out sellotaped over the dartboard and they carry and sense of regret and defeat. Anger even. There is pain those words somewhere deep and unmentionable

      There is a big change and even a red Clydesider like me is impressed by the work. I don’t mind admitting it because I am a mature man and have no time for dwelling on mistakes

      I take back previous negative comments and will more appreciate his example if he continues to crack heads together and make us ponder and look beyond the artificial and stupid political games in play

      To be great at manufacturing you need pride in what you do and this is where I found Irish workers lacking, although they have a great talent for working together I thought they were good lads led my managers who were needlessly aloof and authoritarian. Workers minds are on the weekend and not on the job. Managements fault. If you change this attitude then you are in business in the morning. No passengers are allowed

      It does not matter if a lad comes from D4 or D1 or what school he attended. If he is good enough to want to work with me then he is good enough

      Last night I was looking at aerial photographs of where I grew up in Glasgow and can’t believe it was once the second city of the empire. It was all factories, chinmeys, railway tracks, shipyards and smoke

      Then I read the Bruce Report about how the post war planners were determined to raze and rebuild the whole city. Thank god the people protested and said enough because all the gorgeous old architecture of the city would have been lost for good

      Architectural features make Glasgow the tourist attraction it is today and the old buildings look splendid. It is a proud and majestic city with a sense of history. A place where the diaspora want to revisit

      Glasgow knew it had to change. For one thing the industrial waste was a horrendous health hazard and the poverty was grinding. It used to turn out 80% of Britain’s ships and built everything from locomotives and maritime instruments that are now collectable by bar owners the world over yet it had the worst slums in the modern world and the people were living in poverty. wtf

      We were ever shipping beer to troops in India when they should have beer taught to brew their own. The beer didn’t travel well and so the brewers upped the alcohol content and added more hops. That is why to this day India Pale Ale is a valuable makreting slogan that sells

      Nostaliga sells

      • Adam Byrne

        IPAs are my favourite beers – delicious but few and far between in the oligopolistic pub business in Ireland.

        I had some Hop Head last week in The Porterhouse in Dublin which was good.

        Sierra Nevada is available in Superquinn – not bad.

        The best one I’ve ever tasted is called Oberon (from Michigan)

        http://www.bellsbeer.com/brands/8-Oberon%20Ale%20

        To die for – and no hangovers!

  18. gizzy

    We should start to make a difference with the education system from the age of five. Put subjects on the curriculum for a modern age. languages, computing electronics science. My ten year old son is given books to read at school that are least three years behind those he reads at home. He is keen on sports but plays none in school. He can find his ways through many levels on complex computer games but does no computing in school.His schoolwork is broadly the same as mine was almost 40 years ago. We live in a completely different world. I am reading Steve Jobs autobiography and he studied electronis in high school in the seventies. This is where we need to start and teachers and their unions should be driving that change.

    • mediator

      I disagree Gizzy. Basics done well would be more like it . Reading Writing and Arithmetic – everthing else can be self taught with those basics. Putting computers on to the schools programme etc simply means students will be missing out on maths etc

      • gizzy

        Mediator why can’t they do maths using computers. Computing is based on maths. And what is the etc. Can you make a case that the curriculum should in decades to meet the changing world.

        • gizzy

          sorry left out (not change) after should. Effing basics.

        • bonbon

          Computers are based on one limited kind of maths – the field is infinitely wider. Let computers do what they can. Changing the curriculum as in the 1970′s “reform” by the OECD has produced the current economics disaster. The very learned cannot see where the error is! The result is absolute disaster!

          Economics is creativity, not mere innovation. This is written out of text-book maths from the get-go. In this epoch, this means attacking text-book maths as if your very life depended on it! And one finds out that is exactly what Riemann did in his Habilitation Dissertation.

          This is the foundation for economics! This must be on all curricula!

          • gizzy

            What changes occurred in the curriculuam in Ireland in the 70s. Spoke to my dad last night, he did very much in national school whta I did and what my son is doing only without the beatings. Are you suggesting that computers are limiting factors. I do not buy that for one second.

        • bonbon

          The OECD Reform, known in Germany as the Brandt Reform where the Gymnasium curriculum was destroyed, also spread across the entire region. One direct result of this is the incredible spectacle of electing a gov’t to do what FF failed to achieve. Education begins by learning of the utter incompetence of the “very learned”, or even worse, of entire university depts bought.

          Computers and robots are doing an excellent job on Mars right now as an extension of our control over the solar system. The physics of their orbit to arrive and land, Keplers universal gravitation, requires Riemann’s maths, something almost unheard of in the hip schools. The wild-eyed belief in information theory is in fact a fatal hindrance to economics for example. Statistical forecasting is utterly incompetent – no one argues with that anymore, but to find out why this is so takes some work.

          • gizzy

            bobbon one of us needs to lie down.

          • Realist

            Statistics is fine when used where it should be.
            Economy is not physics but rather social science and statistics was/is abused there.
            This is why we ended up here, driven by economathematicians from central banks.

            It will be better if all such power is released, central banks closed, and labour used for Mars digging :)
            Joking of couse, as Mars is not what people want to put money in :)

          • bonbon

            Economics involves physical principles that can be known, not statistics or social “science”. That is why Adam Smith denied this and many went to great lengths to in effect fight reality to push imperialism. Result a wasteland where even the solutions presented are more of the poison. Relative potential population density is a metric that needs Riemann, not Euclid’s “statistics” from flatland. The Triple curve shows what a multiply connected manifold means is graphically shocking terms.

            Creativity as a principle makes economics totally different to ecology (where Euclid’s ‘rithmetic sends you), the swamp. Realizing this shows how to increase the economic activity – “growth” that Smithian flatlanders talk about is a mere shadow of what really goes on.

          • Realist

            Please tell me a book or two where such economical principles are clearly stated that you are talking about?

    • bonbon

      Jobs created no jobs, look at Foxconn – suicides.

      Jobs studied outsourcing, mastery of looting the US. He was not the only one. GM built 76 plants outside before going bankrupt – its only “profitable” division was GMAC. GE’s Welch the same, but now apparently a reformed globalist – if someone has more info, be brave.

      The MNC’s have turned into banks, to make money not products. Of course when they dominate food expect shortages and famine.

    • Realist

      The appaling schooling is due to:
      1. controlled, being public, so tightly controlled what subjects can be thought by the government bodies
      2. no competition, they are all the same or similar
      3. being physical, as you need to go to the physical building and not be able to do it at home, over Internet or whatever other way

      Only privatisation, allowing schools to teach whatever they want, as it will be sooner or later whetever parents and children wants.
      If schools are poor we just switch to another school we like more, similarly we are switching mobile providers, or buying a bread in the store.

      This rigid public, controlled system is not progressing at the pace as it would be with freedom of choice and subjects.

      And why just schooling in schools, why not home schooling, Internet schooling, practical schooling on the field, whatever way parents and kids think useful.

      • bonbon

        No mention of creativity there, I notice. In fact no mention of it anywhere so that recipe is part of the problem. Mistaking “competition” for creativity, is a sign of the times. Since the privatizers imposed their curricula via the OECD in the 1970′s that mantra is a little worn, don’t you think?

        Enda is now so competitive, the IMF has warned him not to cut so far! He instead lunges for the austerity goal posts and scores an own goal.

        Some believe buying bread in the store means education can be bought. The curse of the “brotgelehrte”, those trained careerists we see all over the place. Those parents showed what they want, very well indeed!

        President Michael D Higgins, on election, said he campaigned specifically on ideas, against the anti-intellectual trend, and won! Ideas take work, not popular with Tiger parents and their kids.

        • Realist

          Sorry bonbon that I did not mention everything in a few sentences :)

          Competition is creative in itself I believe.
          And I am sure competition will bring more creativity to be learned in schools.
          If you want to compete with 100 other’s in any game, even schooling, and get on a top of them you need to be creative and offer creativity in schools?
          The only other way is to have the monopoly, and only possible monopoly is one given by the government and nobody else. This is why our schools are outdated and same as others.

          Or, are you saying we again need government, central body, or puppet president to tell us how to be creative?
          How they can know what creativity is and what each kid is creative in?
          Should we implant intelligence and creativity into our children.

          You can teach kids more about economics by going and buying different kind of breads, showing them competition, showing them why so many different breads, than listening to you and your socialist president.
          That Higgins guy is just Lenin in sheep skin.

          I am not a god, a no-one regarded politician or government official to say what creativity is, and what amount of creativity is needed for each of us.
          Each parent and kid are the best drivers of such with schools giving them choice to pick what fits them best.

          I am for reverting thigns back and giving more freedom of choice to parents and kids, more liberty.
          I do not want to see my sons 95% of times coming from school and saying me “it was OK in school” and nothing more!!!!!
          Where is that effect of I did something interesting there :)
          Blame on you, your puppet president and all politicians together with them keeping us still in a prison.

        • bonbon

          Out of “competition” springs creativity? That’s Hayek again – out of “complex” transactions springs an economy. Amazing the Smith swindle. Enda is competing with others to be the best in the Good Room. Creative austerity? Nuts!

          Let’s drop the swindle Smith propounded for the suckers. It is simply that a swindle.

          Manufacturing, creative machine tool improvements, increasing energy flux density, and medical advances do not magically spring from competing rugby players. Not even goals spring froth from competition! Any trainer knows this.

          Being human is about creativity, we create the political economic systems we need to be more human, and that means mastery of the planet and near space soon. Breeding faster horses did not emerge a Saturn 5 – horse sense is a bit of a hee haw.

          • Realist

            Please tell me then how you are going to teach children Creativity and increase intelligence?
            Book or reference will be fine really.

            Competition in free-market terms does not need to mean (as it is getting more and more) that companies are figihting in courts over patents and licenses.
            In Socialism you did not know the cost of anything, and similar is in public service.
            If you have no 2 companies providing the same service, trying to make better product, how do you think new stuff will come.
            This is how your moon trip can be mistaken for the most important thing man did ever!!!!

            You are calling political-economic system “Creative”.
            What we have now is Godzilla of economy that probably slowed us down catastrohpically in human advancement.

            “Mastery of the planet and near space” – is this not partly, together with your “creative war” devices, main things why US is 16 trillion in debt?
            These 16 trillions and many more will destroy US greenback and backs of many US citizens sooner or later.
            It is good to dream of Mars but only when it is by choice and not byrocratic decision and coerced money.

  19. Philip

    Technically Ireland is way behind in Internet services. You can pay 50-70 Euro for a 7M download 0.4M upload service. In Canada…50M download/ 3M upload is 25 Can$, 19$ for a nation wide Canada/US phone local rates.

    We are in the dark ages. Lot to be done here an let’s stop kidding ourselves that we have 21st Cen relevant infrastructure.

    • bonbon

      Dot-communism, warmed up? That was before the housing bubble.

      IT will not save the world, poor software engineers were never good soldiers. Loading this on their necks, buried in work already, was a swindle from the start, made them feel important. The only result was the total loss of confidence of the dot.com swindlers, reducing these jobs to servitude.

  20. Johno

    This all takes a bit of vision in government to see what is coming around the corner and a whole-hearted from Irish entrepreneurs to act swiftly. That’s not beyond the realms of possibility, is it?

    I’m afraid it is David.

  21. Norman Speight

    If you move any production, managing, storage to another country, then the government of that country benefits in terms of taxation i.e. gains a tax. Your countries government loses that tax. So. Your government increases tax in other areas to make up the loss. The loss is to the worker, manager, spender in your country. So he doesn’t spend, so the tax taker at home doesn’t get money from him, because he’s out of work. Additionally, in the West, the home government has to support him so he can eat, sit at home doing sod all.
    So Outsourcing benefits, short-term, the business that produces away from home. But, eventually as the government losses mount (due to paying workers to stay at home and the loss of their tax). So eventually, the firm who ‘outsourced’ suffers losses of it’s former earning market and has to spend fortunes finding another.
    Methinks, all round, not a good idea. But then, I’m not a ‘manager’ Just one who has been brought up to always always always, think of the down-side to your arguments. If you can’t find any – then – you ain’t thinking enough matey! A bit like the ‘Green’ idiots and their constant belief that paying taxes to governments actually reduces global warming!

    • bonbon

      Sure, paying carbon derivative swaps has no effect on climate – there is no man-made global warming anyway. So the “greens” are not the only one fooled.

      Here a brave reviewer of the upcoming IPCC fraud spills the beans, lets the cat out of the bag. After the CERN experiment, CLOUD, (done during the Higgs hoopla), showed the primary effect of cosmic radiation on climate, there is no room for lying, but the International Panel on Climate Change tried anyway.

  22. StephenKenny

    So first we’re being persuaded to support the removal of our right to set a low corporate tax rate, and now to support the US corporates taking their jobs back to the US.

  23. bonbon

    The damage to the US economy cannot be rectified just by calling home those global jobs. The Triple Curve shows something else is urgently needed, a new economic platform to drive the economy. “Equilibrium” economics wishful thinking avoids this, it’s just the same thinking of the globalized epoch which destroyed US jobs, now turning to destroy global jobs. It is doomed to wreck. Since these companies are basically banks, Glass-Steagall will settle the issue of their true worth. This is why a huge program is needed like NAWAPA 21, and an Irish Renaissance just for example.

    • Realist

      > an Irish Renaissance

      Who is going to pay for this project and how?
      Who is going to use all that stuff you produced?
      Did anybody of your scienctists did any mathematics of such exploration costs? Any reference?

      If this is such clever idea why greedy companies (as everybody is calling them) are not on top of this smart projects as they will more likely gain a lot?

      This looks as absurd as going to Mars.
      If people need such things Ireland have the companies will develop it and use it.
      Only companies know the mathematical caluclation and risks imposed by such projects.
      I cannot see how you or anybody else can know what is best to all of us!!!!!!
      Only us, buying and consuming goods can direct resources into the correct direction, not governments, not LaRouche.

      • bonbon

        An Irish Renaissance is what will happen, as the globalized “free-trade” system implodes. That was based on banks, well documented here. Any political scientist knows the history of Hamilton’s Credit Clause of the US Constitution – unique in intent, and framed to directly counter the Adam Smith “markets”. Real economic developments does not sprout in a magical way from the mere exchange of pieces of matter be that paper, gold, oil etc. Scientifically speaking, not alchemically as is usual for Smith’s followers, means a thorough refutation of the entire ediface that produced the current mess. That means starting with the magic of the markets and demolishing the illusion. Not too difficult recently as even the most lemming-like popular chants ring hollow. FG/LP has no other recipe right now than to appeal to these.

        The 25 ear span of these huge programs frighten off “greedy” companies who shy off the risk, being too immersed in the singing ship. So Hamilton’s method steps into play. Later companies will see the opportunities the new platform creates. Mars means et another economic platform with nearby space infrastructure. Now water and access to the Artic for Eire is immediate.

        The point is instead of waiting with a monetary mantra, for en economic platform to emerge anytime now, Hamilton’s approach is a directed creativity, a willful intervention.

        Of course a functioning banking system is critical, thus the urgent need for Glass-Steagall.

        • bonbon

          25-year span is a generation. The jobless 20′s now will be 45 as the programs really deliver a huge return. So the Credit Clause is really about this, a commitment to a future.

        • Realist

          So now our scarced resources, labour and of course future (Hamiltonianism is borrowing from future with fractional-reserve banking is not it) should be invested for Mars projects and digging the see floor?

          Is that what I want, what my neibhour want, what other Irish people want?
          Some project just to get us employed.
          Why not digging our lands in search of some lost treasure. We just need a shovel and it is cheaper without too much investments.
          We will also all be employed as 100% employment is your target is not it.

          > The 25 ear span of these huge programs frighten
          > off “greedy” companies who shy off the risk, being
          > too immersed in the singing ship.

          Riks and 25 years – I thought you are talking about not risky projects. And we need to wait 25 years to get there with all that risk!!!!!!
          I still did not see any calculation how will this 25-year project pay back for all these sacrifices, not to say paying taxes for it.

          > So Hamilton’s method steps into play. Later
          > companies will see the opportunities the new
          > platform creates.
          So, how come your smart scientist cannot find some stupid bank to invest in such dilligent project?
          Why do you need “public” money to sponsor those projects.

          > Mars means et another economic platform with nearby
          > space infrastructure. Now water and access to the
          > Artic for Eire is immediate.”
          25-years is not immediate to me while salted with risk too.
          I would leave Obama and Nasa with their 1 trillion program of sending man to Mars.
          I am sure that is what people of US and world need.
          If I can remember going to Moon was so productive that all companies wanted to join in the last 50 or so years :)

          • bonbon

            Actually we do not need Wall Street and London to go ahead with the future. They know it, and are going berserk – they want their Obama to start war with Russia. Even so we do not need them.

            National Credit systems, a very un-feudal development of Hamilton which actually marks the modern era. Sure there has been unbroken war meted out against this for 200 years. Empire has been around a long time. But so were the Dinos’ !

            Near space is now in our grasp, an infratructure is already on the table. Obama specifically targeted this as JFK was targeted before. The insane imperial impulse to deny the future, a kind of death wish, takes all shapes, one being “who will pay for it”. One cannot buy a future, so that is a daft ramble. we create the future, and the financial system required. The “debts” of the casino are merely an effort to block the future, and illegitimate at that. Glass-Steagall is exactly about this. The feudal past is over.

          • Realist

            Hamilton national bank = Central bank
            How is this different idea then?

            GS does not solve “Credit Expansion” problem, nor “Souvereign Debt” problem, is not it.

            Any system where I have no choice is no good to me and people. How am I going to opt out from such projects?
            I want my money where I want it, and not where everybody else want it.
            Why should I (and others) be stripped of my rights?

            We all know this banking system is wrong, but you never said anything about fractional-banking system and credit expansion that bidds prices up (property, ..). GS or no GS is not going to help that.

          • bonbon

            Hamiltonian Credit Clause baning is a direct counter to the British “central bank” model, as he well explained. Glass-Steagall repudiated the synthetic monetized derivative debt, and opens the door for massive credit for the real economy, best understood witht eh Triple Curve metaphor. It is a 3-point plan – multiply connected no part in isolation, A Riemannian approach.

            The green movement of the Royals does want to opt out to a much lower population, 1 billion. We will vastly increase the relative potential population density with this 3 pronged approach, and the green Royals can observe from some safe place (rubber rooms on request) what our species can do. There are no “limits to growth”.

  24. In other words globalisation had failed spectacularly and it’s amazing what you can find in the cupboard if you look long and hard enough

  25. george

    Fascinating dialogue between Michael Kirsch and Paul Gallagher, from the excellent link Bonbon has sent!

    As an introduction briefly I would like highlight two concepts of their conversation. One the concept of education, that really should focus over every aspect of life, from responsible procreation, to responsible living, to responsible production of goods, to responsible consumption, to responsible care of humanistic values.

    The other concept that I would highlight is the one of water conservation, as vital; because water is a sacred element, and even in the XXI century full of fascinating mysteries, and possibilities.

    IRISH MYTH NUMBER 1

    We don’t have in this Country a lot of drinking water as many people think we have, or as much, in proportion to other regions of the World, lets say parts of Argentina, Brazil, and Canada do have .

    What we have in Ireland is a lot of rain.
    And what we are doing is wasting a valuable resource, and precious time; by not taking advantage of it properly, and by not putting the attention of our political and educational thoughts, in the right priorities.

    We know that soon, Dublin the main city in this Island (where we suppose to have plenty of drinking water), will need water from other parts of the Country, even if all the underground pipes are fixed. The option of diverting water from the river Shannon is there, when in reality we should have taken advantage of twenty years of boom, to have built some reservoirs in the area of the Wicklow and Dublin mountains, not only to have more drinkable water available, but possibly to generate electricity as well, and an essential aspect of infrastructure.

    So if the pattern of the weather changes, that always is a possibility, and rain will become less frequent, we’ll be in the middle of an ironic twist of destiny.

    Nature freely gives us a magnificent valuable recourse, the potential is there, but we only waste it, by the lack of forethought from our political and strategic planning systems, and our tendency to believe in myths more than facts.

    So unless we stop bailing the Banks, nothing of importance will be done, other than to satisfy the obscene demands of monopolistic ecconomic groups, that want to control the destiny of the World and Humanity for their own selfish greed.

    As Maria Weston Chapman once said: “Selfish people trying to make capital for themselves out of the sacred cause of human rights”.

  26. Thriftcriminal

    Insourcing is also being driven by the rise of the machines. Robots don’t have unions or need tea breaks and if you are going to increase automation in your manufacturing process why do so in China? The type of jobs likely to arise from this trend are more to do with maintaining the production line:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KRjuuEVEZs

    • bonbon

      Machines drive nothing. Managers like to point to their robots, while the real robots are in the financial dept doing accounting. For example HSBC. This firm has been running on autopilot since the Opium Wars against China, and have not changed their program one byte! And they got off the hook for being such good automatons, processing drug laundered $100′s of billions.

      Not to even mention the high frequency trading grids now creaming profits from a transaction near you,

  27. Realist

    > American managers are now switching to insourcing.

    Only companies that see the calculation in that and can outcompete the competition.
    Otherwise no.
    Government stimulus for such domestic employment can also drive such decisions.
    What such does is make harm somewhere else as somebody needs to pay for it.

    > The “if everyone else is doing it, it must be right” approach to management tended to see them all looking to outsource first and think later.

    Stupid companies will just bankrupt, as 3 out of 4 (or whatever ratio is) always do.
    This will release resources to the econonomy, making labour and other resources cheaper, giving opportunity for smart decision of other competitors.

    > The notion that the US will export jobs, in the process hollowing out its industrial working class indefinitely, simply makes no sense.

    The companies will choose what is the most effective to them for the given future period they do calculation.
    They are always aware of increased cost of labour in the future and other calculations, including the biggest threat of government instability and increasing taxes.
    In essence the governments are both worst enemies of firm when taxing them and their best friend when giving them subsidies.

    > This all takes a bit of vision in government to see what is coming around the corner and a whole-hearted from Irish entrepreneurs to act swiftly.

    The government will help this country only if it lowers costs and lower taxes, so companies will come and create jobs.
    They are bleeding the economy too much that is the best to privatise as much as possible, lower taxes as much as possible and leave companies to bring value to the consumers.
    Subsidies and incentives as suggested are not good as they distort some other business.
    At the end somebody (private sectors) need to pay for such incentives!!!!!

    • bonbon

      That is what is going on for 30 years producing the disaster – Obama is now killing healthcare and going after entitlements, FG the same. Spain the same. All in the wild-eyed utterly panic stricken terror that it will not work. And it will not work.

      So instead of the feudal approach of the Friedmanites (Pinochet the privatizer), and Hayek, we need Hamilton’s approach. The “free-market” does not exist, never has, and never will. It is a swindle straight from Adam Smith’s British East Indie Company.

      It is time to firmly reject a return to feudalism, and a massive population reduction that implies and is openly stated. So have a look at the Triple Curve to see the error of feudal economics.

      • Realist

        You are totally correct that last 30 or to say even 100 years were leading us to today’s almost totalitarian society.
        Obama socialism of spending money from the future is probably dreaming of some time machine so we can jump over the periods of heavy money printing :)

        But as usual you are wrong about how to solve this statism and totalitarism.
        You are pouring boiling water on piping hot water.
        Your ideas are no different than of today’s economists, except saying better to have the local ruler, the local central bank and the local control.

        I thought feudalism is about being closed up and I cannot see your totalitarian ideas bringing us from that same feudal prison.

        Free-market will never exist due to totalitarian regimes (governments), as you need always to comply and to pay import duties, you cannot trade this or that freely.
        It is an absurd saying that we should never be allowed to trade with other people from around the world without government influence, e.g. paying them royalties, taxes, tarrifs, whatever they are called.

        Only stupid people will say I do not want that Tablet from China cheaper. Why would I pay 20-30 euro to our fat politicians for that tablet?
        or 1000s in income taxes for your Hamiltonian ideas.

        • bonbon

          Feudalism means very low relative potential population density, the key economic metric for any discussion. Raising the relative potential population density being the object of any economics, means looking at the energy density per capita, per hectare. One can look at past cultures with this metric (99% of which went extinct) and one always finds a collapsing metric. Of course culture needs to grasp this and today we have a rather scientific precision. The cultural attitude to creativity, which has a knowable principle is the key to this, of course today written out of science entirely. This is just a brief intro to the science of physical economy.

          Gizmo’s as everyone realizes do not function in an economically useful way, and the fascination with them is really that of glass beads on the sandy beach. The feudal work environment of Foxconn in a modern world leads to suicide. This is looting what remains of the economy. So just ahead is a massive population collapse, pursued by certain factions. Some want Obama to hit the red button to speed it up – the only problem is they will not survive it.

          • Realist

            China cannot jump into perfection overnight is not it.
            Neither India.
            Labour is desperate to move on ladder up.

            Foxconn gave people in that village/town/region one more option where to work.
            Assuming they are not forced to work in Foxconn they have the choice of working whatever they did before and Foxconn.

            1 more choice cannot be worse.

            Now, to say Foxconn is evil and doing bad to people only means they will just opt out and go back to their old thing.
            This is an opportunity for some Android manufacturer to jump there and attract all these workers with better terms.
            Over 10-20-100 years this area will be with away more companies all giving better terms to people.
            Salaries rise, cost to manufacture too, Apple & others think of moving production to somewhere else cheaper.
            These are all normal economic processes you do not need your government creativity to solve.

            The only things on the way of these people are governments, who does not allow competition, who does not allow any company to come, who does not allow people to be free, to trade free, to travel free and so on. And this is not just China’s government, but Irish, US and many others.

          • bonbon

            That mantra is devoid of any contact with reality. Amazing how often union busters use that obscure pre-industrial argument.

            Apple looted first the US, then China to put gizmo’s in Tiger hands. All the while there is the greatest economic crash in history around their ears, while they fiddle with icons, beautiful baubles.

            You have to admit this is right out of Columbus’ daily diary. The US cannot sent any manned missions to the ISS now, China is forging ahead, breaking with the Foxconn epoch.

          • Realist

            Bonbon,
            Why would choice of 2 or more be worse for people than no choice?

            This explains clearly why everything that is public with no choice even to opt out is killing all of us.
            You cannot be efficient without competition, except in the dream world.
            I lived in communism and socialism and I just cannot believe now once I am living in capitalism that people are so obsessed to destroy capitalism (proper one, not this socialistic one of course) :)

  28. Shush

    Never underestimate 4 more years of Obama – increases in corporate tax rate, marginal tax rate increases for the rich etc to undermine the best laid plans of mice and men. Don’t know if there is any truth in this story. From what I can see US companies will be keeping their capital anywhere except the US.

  29. Padz001

    If the jobs are outsourced to low wage economies neither the unemployed locals nor the underpaid overseas workforce can afford to buy any of the corporate sh*t without borrowing unsustainably.

    We need to increase the overall size of the real economy by doing and making more of the things that we really need and that enhance our lives. We also need to keep inequality to a tolerable level to prevent it having a negative effecty on the overall economy. Finally we need to treat derivatives like pharmaceuticals, chemicals and engineered organisms and be very careful about releasing them into the economic environment, again to prevent them overwhelming the real productive economy.

  30. Deco

    Well, it looks like the Saxo Bank 10 outrageous predictions for 2013 have been released.

    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/12/18/gold-at-1200-crude-at-50-and-other-outrageous-predictions-by-saxo-bank/

    Bad news it would seem for Eurozone financing. DAX to fall. Spain to head into a bailout. They expect some panic to come as a result of developments in Italy and Greece, and the EUR/CHF exchange rate. (No mention of Portugal, Cyprus, Belgium or France).

  31. Deco

    Last years Saxo Banks outrageous predictions.

    It looks like they proved too outrageous in retrospect.

    http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/12/16/saxo-banks-outrageous-predictions-for-2012/

  32. bonbon

    Incredible :
    While dreaded IMF says to hold back on the austerity, Government makes cruel cuts

    Amazing, Enda has now got a warning from the IMF for being too good for the Good Room!

      • Realist

        “Cruel cuts” – you must be joking, government is still e13 billion down next year!!!!!

        “Growth” = GDP = Public spending + Private producing

        So, all we need is to have government spend more and we can call it “Growth”, how smart it is!!!!!!
        Let’s just print more bonds, hire people to dig holes and we get the Growth :)
        Or send them on Mars :)

        This is called “modern” economy and people are getting smarter to recognize this bullshit.

        • bonbon

          Cuts mean the knife for the weakest, kids, their teachers, the ill. People know that the austerity knife really is – a crime against humanity.

          Now Britain is much smarter, it has Liverpool Life Pathway, a conveyor belt for citizen elimination. How competitive can you get, hmm?

          Let’s drop the bullshit Adam Smith spread far and wide, to fool the suckers.

    • molly

      Enda to good for the good room but not to good for the firing squad .this country takes the biscuit ,there’s always a number of different deflections to try to make the more serious matters of feeding ones family by a government who live in the good room bubble.

      • cooldude

        The Max Keiser show was excellent this evening. He had a feature about the first guillotine shop to open in Europe which opened in Madrid recently. A sign of things to come perhaps?

        • molly

          Noonan in opposition was a completely different man and just before he took office he was transported to the the spaceship where he under went a brain transplant and then we got the new man or maybe he is a clone,but he’s not alone most of the government got the same treatment.
          The ones that jumped ship managed to avoid cloning.

        • bonbon

          Much better to send these nutcases to the Rubber Room. Maybe the Good Room needs padded walls so they do not hurt themselves – they are so competitive.

          • cooldude

            Rumors abound of secret Swiss bank accounts used to get politicians onside with the bankers. Could explain Noonan’s 360% about turn on the unsecured bond holders. After he abandoned the tax payers he is invited to the banker elite bilderburg meetings to bond with his new employers. Just rumors but it would explain a lot.

          • molly

            It’s all one big con job,so far is it six in total on the labour side have jumped ship,how many on fine gale?
            It’s amazing when there in opposition they lie lie and it’s a wonder there noses are not 20 foot long.
            The domestic economy has been hung out to dry and the export led company’s are not going to save this country .
            Any predictions on what 2013 might bring for the domestic economy ,for me 2012 has been the worst year ever since I became one of the self employed 22 years ago,

          • bonbon

            The budget could mean the end of the coalition.

  33. Clare Leonard

    http://www.gata.org/node/12048

    GATA -Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee,
    an Educational and civil rights organization
    cover questions for Michael Noonan.
    Does Michael Noonan know the answers? I doubt it?
    Will he answer the questions? I doubt it?

  34. Clare Leonard

    Yes David, I say bring it back home.

    Did we sign it over to the Troika/ECB?
    Come on MINISTER– come clean,we want to know.
    Where is our Gold.??
    We want our physical gold back home.
    Not bits of worthless paper.

    Are you right there Michael are you right,
    do you think we shall get our gold before the night.
    Travelled by train from the West today.
    The song came to mind.

  35. gizzy

    HSBC launders drug cartel money and gets fined 1.5 billion. UBS and Barclays rig interest rates and get fined about 1 billion each.

    Irish taxpayers do nothing wrong and get fined 70 billion.

    • Realist

      Taxpayers are just another bank to the government, usually very obedient, an unlimited bank of sweat and coerced savings to our beloved government projects and politicians :)

      Other banks helped by central bank (thin air paper money) and governments (bonds) are just robbing those same taxpayers though something called inflation tax :)

      • bonbon

        There is a bit of a dated mantra getting in the way of reason there. The only beneficiaries today are independent banks, not governments or the people. HSBC is a good case at hand – Too Big to Jail – it could cause a bank panic! Governments are punch drunk at this stage with the financial terrorism of the free markets.

        The Soviet is gone, Long live the bank rescue!

        Time to re-instate Glass-Steagall and take the financial toys away. But to immediately realize this is no kindergarten even if the inmates of the rubber room go berserk. We have big programs to manage and start, no amateur stuff that!

        • Realist

          > The only beneficiaries today are independent banks, not governments or the people.

          Government —> bonds & taxes —> banks & central bank —> government

          I just cannot think how you can remove government from the picture really and make things work for them :)

          That is what politicians (and I assume you are one) are trying to persuade people to.
          I am not sucker anymore, and more and more people will hear that and spread the word.
          More and more people are aware of fat/creative/self-fullfilling/god-proofed/fair politicians :)

        • Realist

          If government is innocente why they bailed out banks?
          Is it not to save their own skin too.
          Who will finance their broken projects and keep their undeserved salaries.

          • bonbon

            Actually the Gov’ts did not bail out the banks – they put that on the almost non-existent tax-payer.

            The banks like the entire Inter-Alpha Group now being bailed out, and HSBC, Deutsche Bank are the real problem. No argument can get around this. Gov’ts appear as hapless clueless and gutless. If they show any gumption they are systematically razed.

          • Realist

            Does that mean they are not guilty?
            Allowing central bank and fractional-reserve banking expand the credit to cause property bubble????
            Allowing such problem to move to be people’s problem too, or to say spread the pain over all people like we are all guilty the same????
            Socializing the pain on us and our children while keeping fat salaries for them and bankers????

    • bonbon

      Voters can claim they were swindled, very well and good. But Ireland got more votes than anyone else!

      Being Tigers is easy meat!

  36. bonbon

    The latest trick the statisticians use to “vanish” inflation – the Chained CPI Consumer Price Index.

    As the price of beef rises, you can switch to turkey, and as that rises you can switch to catfood. Presto no inflation! Beef, turkey and catfood are chained!

    Is’nt competition wonderful ? Is’nt that a creative interpretation of the food chain?

    Healthcare chaining – now guess where that leads to!

  37. Your.Country.Your.Fault

    Here’s my view as someone with an outsrouce team in a devleoping country : as long as you hire the VERY best people it’s a good bet.

    after a few years you will have to up stiks and go to the next place but developing nations have a ot of runway left to go.

    distance-outsourcing is not so bad, really, if your internet is good, and the lingua franca works. Competing for and keeping talent in a costly county can really wear you down too. If you pay top dollar in country X you get less churn there, and the use of the internet can allow you to share ideas and importantly, store information.

    If you outsource, you need to maintian a knowledge base somehow. And defintiely introduce people through site visits so they chat on the phone

    There are indeed fault lines in outsourcing, and in making visible tangible prodcuts, you benefit greatly from having people in one room (also possible using interational teams if you manage it well) to discuss and observe a product.

    If you are a major firm you can save a small bit of cash but importantly get to know the best people around the world by having operations in many countries. It can be a great way to recruit without expecting them to come to you and then dump you for a highest bidder.

    Prodcut development, though, is best done in tight teams who talk straight with each other, and don’t waste time

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