February 18, 2013

Horse sense in short supply

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 134 comments ·
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This week, the column comes to you from Turin, home of Juventus, where nobody seemed the slightest bit surprised that the team – champions of Italy – could go to Glasgow and so ruthlessly dispatch Celtic. That was, for the locals at least, a given.

However, two other issues are perplexing people here, and have dominated the news all week. The first is the Pope’s decision to stand down, which is being met with all sorts of conspiracy theories and Da Vinci Code-style intrigue. This understandably shrouds commentary and analysis about the secretive seat of power that is the Vatican.

The second issue alarming this food-obsessed nation is the spread of the ‘horsemeat’ scandal. Initially an Irish problem, then a British one, it is now threatening the entire European food supply chain, from obscure abattoirs in Poland and Romania to meat dealers in Cyprus, trading companies in Luxembourg and supermarkets all over the continent.

Like the scandals we have experienced in the past few years in the banks, the momentum of this story is following a similar pattern. First, we have an isolated incident in one country, which at first appeared to be a unique issue of local malpractice. But then it becomes clear that the local incident is only part of a greater systemic issue.

The similarities between the banking scandals and the food scandals are eerie. The main reason is that both industries are based on trust and both have become globalised in the past decades.

Now the supply chain has spread all over the world to the extent that no one knows where their food comes from – in the same way as no one really knows where the money for their mortgage came from.

Most people didn’t ask questions either, because most of us trust the system. But few took any notice of what was happening to that system. In the past few years, food – like finance – has become a commodity traded all over the world by people who never get their hands dirty.

Did you know that, in the past five years, financial speculation in food commodities has doubled from $65 billion in 2006 to $126 billion in 2011? Or did you consider the implications of the involvement of pure financial traders in the food business?

In 1996, the futures market in food commodities was largely driven by food traders trying to ‘insure’ themselves against movements in food prices, which are driven by weather and harvest concerns. More than 80 per cent of all traders in food futures were themselves food traders. Today, food traders are a minority, and pure financial speculators account for over 65 per cent of the market. These guys help to drive the price of food upwards, which has been the case in the past few years.

So food consumption, production and financing, which most of us thought of as local, is actually truly global. Now let’s look briefly at the position of meat in our diet and how that has changed in the past decades, before we examine how recent austerity has affected our food consumption.

Over the years, people in many western countries have come to expect meat to be the main source of our protein. This is a big break from the history of human meat consumption. For years, meat was regarded as a luxury; it is now a staple. However, we are spending much less of our weekly income on food and, at the same time, have come to expect good meat to be affordable. Food once was one of the major household expenses, but Irish households now spend less on food than on transport, culture and recreation, housing or fuel.

So expecting good meat to be cheap meat is one of the driving forces behind the horsemeat scandal. If we superimpose on this expectation, the reality of squeezed household incomes resulting from austerity, we can see where this is leading. More and more people have less and less money to spend on meat. They thus want cheaper and cheaper meat without asking where this cheaper and cheaper meat is coming from.

This demand for cheaper meat is driving the food supply chain to weirder and weirder places. Supermarkets, under pressure to offer cheap food, demand that suppliers provide products for less. That means bulking out burgers with the cheapest ingredients possible. Were you surprised when you heard, a few weeks ago, meat industry people referring almost nonchalantly to Polish ‘bulking agents’ in beef? I was.

Most of us didn’t really think about the implications of all this for the Irish food chain. We thought our dinners were a localised affair from Irish farm to factory to table. Now a convoluted trail has been revealed which spreads across countries between agents, middlemen and dealers of all sorts.

Once an industry becomes globalised, the premium on trust and regulation increases. This is where the food scandals and the recent banking scandals become rather similar. The quest for cheap food in a globalised industry becomes akin to the quest for cheap money in a similarly globalised industry.

Details of links between Polish abattoirs via Irish burger factories to Irish dinners have been revealed in the same way as it became apparent that German money was financing Irish ‘ghost estates’ via original German lending to Irish banks.

And then, in an episode scarily reminiscent of the financial rating agencies rating assets ‘AAA’ when they were junk, we have stories of food sources stamping food ‘beef’ when it is horsemeat.

When an industry becomes globalised, people come to rely on stamping and quality control in a way that wasn’t so absolute before. What is the point in reading the labels on food for ingredients if we now know that beef is actually horse? What or who can you trust?

As this crisis unfolds and becomes headline news in Italy, we see that, like financial contagion, food scare contagion spreads as country after country becomes involved. All the while the unsuspecting general public is kept in the dark until the breadth of the crisis becomes evident. This is when people panic.

And now comes the hard part, which is rebuilding broken trust. We have many interested parties. We have shareholders of large food companies who seek profit; we have speculators driving up commodity prices fuelled by cheap money printed by central banks; we have supermarkets under pressure to provide cheap meat to people who either don’t want to buy, or can’t afford, more expensive meat; and we have a food supply chain that extends all over the globe, where checks and balances are naturally strained.

And food labelling, the consumer’s only backstop against fraud and only way of knowing what we are eating, has become tainted, with horsemeat mislabelled as beef and a range of other cases also now being highlighted.
Taken together, we can see that it’s a long road ahead for food producers. This is a particularly acute challenge for the country that markets itself as the ‘Food Island’.

 

David McWilliams’ new book The Good Room is out now.



  1. My take on it is :

    Farmers should keep their STAKE with their Wellingtons on ….and to sell their STEAK directly outside the scrutiny of Greedy Middlemen …and Corporate Culture …..and mark it as Pure Manure .

    • Colin

      But aren’t you a middleman too John? maybe even a greedy one too, judging by your lifestyle and frequent posts from sunny Nice, France? Sure, if Limerick Taxi Drivers were able to pay their own taxes in a simple and straight forward way, your middleman services would no longer be required, and your fees would dry up.

  2. 5Fingers

    David, If I may be so bold to claim – you have 100% explained the basis of the economic woes being faced in our modern industrialized world.

    There is nothing new here. This globalization has been going on for decades. The only reason people are getting heated up about it is because a)it affects their paycheck and b)its what is fed to them literally.

    Pick any product and it is guaranteed to be part of a global cost optimization machine and yes, financial / commodity trading will be part of the deal – right down to procurement, cost engineering and yield management.

    I am just waiting for a similar cock-up in drugs. We already have had brake failures in cars. Let’s hope we do not see a plane crash (Boeing 787 batteries are yet another example of regulators who failed to spot issue or adequately test).

    Add in cost optimization on labour, government services and is it any surprise whole nations are fighting for the piece of the “action” as they sweeten their corp tax policies. The whole of humanity are being cost optimized independently of the legal frameworks that exist within nations. If the rights of individuals in one place create expensive inputs, then we make it somewhere else. Couple this with the required speed of delivery and no one has any time to react, to test adequately or to legislate adequately.

    We need the economic equivalent of a damper. If we do not do this, whole democracies will collapse (as they are doing now). People simply cannot keep up with this.

  3. molly

    Pat kenny show this morning said it all about real life in Ireland in 2013.
    How the irish people are suffering under FG / LB and we have now reached the abouse of our human rights.
    Shame on this sham government ,what planet are they on .
    This government gets upset over horse meat and lame deals with ECB , while people can’t survive
    What a banana republic.
    Next thing will be the opening of FG/LAB soup kitchen run by interns.
    Kenny/Gilmore hang your heads in shame

    • hibernian56

      Pat Kenny is paid over €750k by the citizens of Ireland via the feeding trough know as RTE. I’m sure he understands deeply the pain and anguish being caused by austerity measures being shoved down our throats by the unqualified school teachers at the helm.

      Anybody else notice the ramping up of the TV licence ads?

      • Adelaide

        Know your legal rights.

        You VOLUNTARILY pay your tv license.
        You have no LEGAL OBLIGATION and you break no LAW.

        You are free to use my response which is legally sound. ps do not say anything beyond your stock reply to the door-stepping tv licence man/woman.

        “I have no contract and am under no contractual obligation to exchange information with the legal entity that you represent. I entertain the possibility that I may have entered such a contract and would gladly comply with your rules and regulations on condition that you furnish me with the contract that I signed that binds me to a mutual exhange of services.”

        Simply repeat it to their questioning.
        Know your legal rights.

        http://www.fortruth.org/legal.html
        http://www.yourstrawman.com/

        ps should his/her presence become uncomfortable, respond with-
        “As you have now not presented me with a contract you have no legal authority over me and therefore your demands for payment are exposing yourself (say out loud his/her name tag) as an individual natural person to charges of fraudulent activity for which I will call the guards should you persist in your unlawful fraudulent demands. Good day to you.”

        • Good response.

          But I think the best thing to do is not to answer the door to them at all….also ask them to leave your property :)

          One thing that’s always got me is at the end of their ads they say “It’s the Law”…how can they get away with that?

          • Adelaide

            Not engaging with the agent (tv licence man) of the legal entity (TV Licensing Authority) or the entity itself (within 10 days of initial contact) legally means you are agreeing to pay the licence/fine because you are not contesting it.

            Most of the agents are ignorant of the law and good manners cost nothing.

            “It’s the Law” is one of the most misunderstood statements in the English language. Pub question: ‘unlawful’ vs ‘illegal’, is there a difference?

            ps Economics, Politics and Law. Hmmmm, I do not recall covering them in school, yet they are the three fundamental forces that shape our lives. Hmmmm. Maybe I just missed that particular class.

      • Deco

        My observations concerning the TV licence ads.

        i) RTE (or Pravda as it is often termed) is just another quango.
        ii) Quality is abysmal, for many home produced shows. Yet they are often not cheap.
        iii) The “stars” are overpaid.
        iv) what are all the people in RTE doing anyway ?
        v) The news often pertains more to an establishment propaganda organ than anything else. (see point i).
        vi) why do we pay for such rubbish ? Because the law says you go to jail if you don’t pay the quango levy.
        vii) RTE/Pravda were caught with their pants around their ankles at the end of the boom.
        viii) What part of the public broadcatsing remit requires RTE to buy rubbish like Eastenders and rebroadcast 15 seconds ahead of another available station who are also providing it ? I mean this is a comical waste of the people’s money.

        and finally
        ix) paying the quango levy to RTE is NOT easy. If it was, then why is there a jail sentence for those who want to opt out.
        x) I am sick of the guilt trip advertisements from RTE concerning their inhouse levy.

        Sell RTE. The money would be better used in people’s pockets, where they could afford better feeding (not cheap burgers with 30% horse), or heating oil.

  4. joe hack

    Promissory Beef! Pure Mule!

    I knew you would figure out away to get in on horsey debate.

    valid pionts

  5. Howya

    I don’t think the reference in the article to austerity has much to do with the proliferation of cheap food – that has been going on for decades with the growth of the big supermarket chains.

    Consumers demand for prepared meals is growing (witness the foil trays with meat and 2 veg) and producers will continue to seek ways to cut costs.

    The horse meat scandal is not a suprise. The big question is which food product will be next because “beef” can’t be the only tainted product.

  6. Forget the negative comments guys. This is a chance for the “Food Island” to flood the market with traceable food.
    Get Positive, get going, get real beef on the market, get out of debt. There is a big world out there where people do not moan.
    They take advantage of opportunities.

    • 5Fingers

      You’re missing the point. It was always traceable. Sometimes things get “overlooked”. Just like in financial regulation. This is what the article is highlighting.

      The systems were ignored in that chase for cost optimization. No matter what you do to improve traceability, cost will prevail over honesty. And I can guarantee you that if we tried to introduce laws to lock it down, it would be lobbied out for fear of impact on jobs, costs blah blah.

      Understand the problem.

  7. Hi David,

    Interesting article! I would be interested in getting your views on whether there should be a ban/restriction imposed on financial speculators getting involved in food commodities trading? Perhaps they provide liquidity in some instances but apart from that they just seem to drive up prices as you rightly point out. It might make for an interesting article in the future.

    In terms of the horsemeat scandal, I agree that trust has been broken. Whilst supermarkets may claim that they are the victims, they have to take a real look in the mirror. What else did they think that their ruthless driving down of prices would lead to? Whilst I do not condone the behaviour of rogue processors or rogue food traders for one second, if they are being squeezed so much that they cannot make a profit, then they are going to cut corners and add in some “bulking agents” if they can get away with it. Supermarkets need to act in a manner that ensures that other members of the supply chain have a chance to make a fair profit. Ultimately, the best way to do this is through the active choices of consumers – fair trade should apply to more than just coffee.

    • bonbon

      Warren Buffett is way ahead of your game – see below. When dirty big money gets into the food chain, look out!

      “Cutting corners”? You mean criminal behavior, right? To jail with “corner cutters”, and plenty of Horse Tartar, fairly divided out at institutional meal times!

    • nayryllib

      The role of the much maligned speculator is to bring the market closer to equilibrium, provide the price insurance function and reduce the risk premium on the hedger.

      Without speculators, the market will almost always be well out of kilter. Eg. if consensus among wheat farmers is negative RE harvest time: (Without speculators) there would be excessive shorting of wheat futures.

      We would expect speculators to be typically much better at processing information than farmers/food traders. (Potentially more likely to herd around misinformation for instance).

      The academic defense of greater speculation in commodity markets is strong but that does of course ignore the potential for scandals such as the horsemeat affair where the influence of overarching commercial interests could drive down the quality of the underlying commodity and distort the market.

      Are food prices higher because we believe the underlying commodity to be of higher quality than it is in reality? Very possibly.

      Is pure, unadulterated speculation responsible for this? I think it is much more likely the fault of the high market power of big food retailers.

      The extent to which food retailers and commodity speculators are interrelated is the real question.

      As the article discusses, the growing complexity and internationalisation of the food chain is moving way to fast for regulators. The age old problem – the cheaters are always one step ahead.

      • bonbon

        With Glass-Steagall, speculate away without other people’s deposits, without Federal Deposit Insurance, and without any bailout. Nothing against that and without the toxic paper listed as assets.

        The “complexity” is a job for police now, easy meat for them.

        The cheaters will be served horse tartare, as much as they want at the best white-collar cell row.

    • Mary K

      Great coverage on the economics and globalisation of food in this article. Would love to see the media highlighting more the impact of financial speculation in the food commodities market by non-food traders who have no vested interests other than to make greater profits. It is futile organisations like the UN setting targets on reducing global poverty and hunger unless we put a stop – or impose a tax – on such speculation.

  8. redriversix

    Good article David

    Still,I am afraid for me and perhaps people like me although I try not to speak for everyone..This is still a non-story,inflated to distract.

    Globalization,Monsanto Corporation,G.M.Os Multinationals,driving prices to ground zero,

    big Supermarkets only paying suppliers 4 times a year….Huge Haulage firms turning over multi-millions working on a profit of 3% !

    We are in the eye of a Storm,the criminalization of the working class,the eradication of the Middle Class,unelected advisers with power in Governments.

    Everything sub-contacted,no gainful employment,slave labor promoted by Government through internships…

    No manufacturing,inventing,creating real tangible devices….Service economy depending on wild consumerism.. queuing for the latest gadget etc etc

    Payday lenders in stead of Banks charging huge interest to gullible or indeed needy people.

    Even the U.S Army was “Fedexed” to the Middle East in unmarked Cargo planes.

    This is now a “corptocracy”..

    Dot-com bubble , property Bubble..Debt Bubble…all bubbles burst.

    Ireland is a incredible food rich Country with great ability to provide excellent food stuffs for ourselves and around the World,however the E.U thinks it is better for Farmers to receive subsides not to grow or produce tangible real organic food.

    What about the old “stored food mountains” we used to hear so much about ?

    We have witnessed the collapse of communism..now we are living through the Collapse of Democracy.

    Good money in War though,great returns on investment…might even get your hands on some juicy natural resources

    Citizens of this Nation are now clearly “stock & chattel” to be treated as seen fit by caretaker Governments.

    Anyway,be happy,stay cool and remember once you know things are getting worse you can make POSITIVE decisions for you,your family or even your business.

    • Stop being Negative redriversix.
      Stop being negative Ireland
      Stop being Negative David
      2016 is coming
      Where is the 2016 spirit?
      Its not impossible to pay off 100 billion in 20 years

      • redriversix

        2016 !!!!

        Good man Patrick…..

        We should hand the Country back and apologize most graciously for the condition we left it in !

        • molly

          The government would love Patrick they need happy brain washed people who want to help out the bankers and all the other big drinkers who will bleed us dry.

      • 5Fingers

        Try and understand the problem. Ireland has one of THE best food tracing systems. There is no opportunity to hop onto here.

        This is a cost optimization exercise which operates trans-nationally. When you buy lower cost goods and services (to help you save on your debts) you are unintentionally supporting other looser legal frameworks with respect to civil rights and democratic institutions. The more open your economy, the more subject to these forces you, your community and family becomes irrespective of your wealth or standing.

        I am all for positive thinking. But naivety has its limits

        • bonbon

          Do not be naive about the poor looking for the lowest price, as DMcW clearly shows. Do not be naive about the collapse of the physical economy – it means dog-food sold for human consumption.

          The Triple Curve shows what naivete is all about – a mesmerized monetarist obsession, while the physical collapse takes the very skillet from the kitchen.

          Labeling correctly threatens to expose the intentional collapse for most (except a few of course). So let’s label! Trot the horse out of the Good Room stable!

          • 5Fingers

            Maybe a GS is needed to ensure separation between actual need and tradables (gambling in all manners). One thing for sure, tt is not a pure accounting/money issue.

          • bonbon

            Exactly it is not a “bottom line” issue, it is political economics of the highest order. Which is why so many elected just cannot grapple with it.

      • Patrick Moore:

        OUR CLIENTS INCLUDE ARCHITECTS, DEVELOPERS AND GOVERNMENT BODIES

        here: http://www.pbm.ie/pat_site.html

        and well, I especisally love that one:

        Its not impossible to pay off 100 billion in 20 years

        Hilarious!

  9. I read over week end that a Ukranian is seeking Share Capital to commence a Horse Packaging Co in NW Ireland …why do foreigners show us what to do ? Insular minds are funnel vision to the indigenous on a small island .

  10. The horse meat scandal is another wake up call for the masses and I welcome the distraction. It is another sign that the experiment in globalisation is failing miserably.

    The news coincides with a damaging report from the University of Illinois which finds that GMO food is useless and has a lower yield than crops grown from conventional seed. However people need to stay awake because Monsanto will fight to the end for worldwide control of food crops:

    GMO fail: Monsanto foiled by feds, Supreme Court, and science
    http://grist.org/article/gmo-fail-monsanto-foiled-by-feds-supreme-court-and-science/

    Small farmers around the world are fighting back and I hope they win.

    Closer to home (Greencore):

    The company — in which the Irish state has a stake – is headed by Patrick Coveney, brother of the country’s Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney, who has been in charge of Dublin’s response to the crisis.

    Horsemeat sent to schools, colleges, hospitals, pubs and hotels admit caterers
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/horsemeat-sent-to-schools-colleges-hospitals-pubs-and-hotels-admit-caterers-8497137.html

    You would never get to the bottom of them with a long spoon.

  11. Adam Byrne

    That Celtic comment was surely a wind up at Pauldiv, David. Take it away Paul.

    • Lol. I am not conceited enough to think that the comment was for my benefit Adam. It did throw me for a second then I came to the conclusion that David never saw the game. It was a freak result.

    • Ach I know you are here for the crack Adam god bells you. I really like you my friend because you are a very nice guy

      Quite right son. Anyway believe it or not I am having quality time drinking Weihenstephaner Vitus, black coffee and fine smokes laced with ground Moroccan gold. It’s a sunny day and all is golden. Just because we are on the margins does not mean that we have to live and feel like unworthy peasants

      As I type I look up at the Bricklieve hills and can’t wait to go exploring the ancient cairns. Castlebaldwin is an awesome location and it contributes to my happiness

      It’s very possible to eat Aberdeen Angus and sup the finest of German beers. All it takes is the nerve to look upon it as compensation from Angela

      Fuck the Gerries and

  12. Deco

    One of the greatest insight providers of the current modern age is James Howard Kunstler.

    And one of his theories is that in televisual, hydrocarbon, consumerist age, that people live according to the principle of “something for nothing”.

    The media promises you something for nothing. Retailing promises it. Politicians promise it. Business promise it. Union leaders promise it. Everybody promises it. And a surprising proportion of the population believes it.

    There has been a bull market in “something for nothing” for decades. It has been building into a climax.

    Money is not even printed anymore. Central bankers tap on the key board. The press the button, and it happens. It is money for nothing.

    And then the money goes into the economy, via state treasuries and banks. At a low interest rate. So as to encourage them to finance all sorts of absurd economic spending. Because according to the assumptions of the age (with thanks to John Maynard Keynes) there is no such thing as waste. It is only more stimulus.

    No wonder both are so incompetent and so corrupt.

    Never mind the horses. Who decided to bailout the donkeys running the Irish banking system, or the donkeys loaning them money ?

    • bonbon

      I’m really worried now, has anyone actually checked the donkeys out west – with the globalized food chain based on trust, I’ll bet they are being exported, repackaged, processed and sold as beef, sorry, horse, to the poor in Dublin. Come to think of ginnets all around the Med, are they being rounded up? Probably very cheap in Greece.

      This the liberal, non-regulated, innovative, rugged individualist “sourcing” globalized economy, in full collapse mode. It’s enough to turn my stomach.

      • Deco

        I don’t think it is the individualist that is the problem. If anything, we are moving to a world that is intellectually less indidual centred, while similtaneously emotionally more selfish. Television at work, I reckon. Because television is now defining the crowd.

        More a case of people behaving like members of a flock of sheep in believing all the advertising bombarded at them. And in their shared misery, they are liable to behave in a highly desensitized, selfish manner and lash out all over the place.

        If only they did some thinking at an individual level and started to realise the effectiveness of the scams being presented to them as salvation, by people eager to seperate them from their hard earned wages.

        • Adam Byrne

          Total scams indeed. Who would believe a word of it? I’ve been saying it since I was a teenager (and I’m 40 now) and ducking and diving ever since. They won’t pin me down, but most people are thick if you ask me. Maybe I am myself.

    • Bamboo

      Processed meat like burgers and sausages are notorious to contain all sort of crap. That is why they are invented. They are cheap and cheerful and you can hide all sorts of things. Years ago, I was amazed to hear from a butcher who supplies burgers to different outlets. He makes two types of burgers. One type is for before midnight and the other is for after midnight crowd. The logic is that once you have a few drinks on then you can handle anything and never notice anything.
      A nice looking piece of stake is most likely glued meat to look appetising. This has been common practice for some since the early 60s I think.
      Ireland is confident that there are absolutely no traces of horsemeat in whatever is produced nationally. So it is a very clever but risky step to look for traces of horsemeat. The only supplier that can be blamed is naturally from outside Ireland. I am not surprised if the presence of horsemeat is known all along for so many years. It is just that no one dares the risk of making an issue of it.
      This horse meat scandal will pass over quick enough but it needs a good old crisis first with people getting the sack, stepping down, etc, etc. Then life will just continue as before. Unlike the financial crisis this horsemeat scandal is going to pass quick enough. Give it another few weeks and all over.
      More worrying is the so call PrePay cards for electricity, gas, public transport, etc. Introduced for the mobile phones and starting to be implemented all over the place. Often offered with dubious “attractive” deals. These PrePay cards are simply gift cards. The customer pays days, weeks and months in advance so the money is secured to the business first. Then things can go right or go wrong after that for the customer. When it goes wrong then it will too bad, so sad for the customer.
      We all know the issues that come with a gift card. It expires, you can loose it, it can be stolen, or you simply forget you have it somewhere in drawer at home. This is will be the new strategy for all bigger companies to suck more money out of us.
      It won’t be long and the gift cards will be the only acceptable payment method for all services and products.

    • Tony Brogan

      Good notes deco- thanks

    • Money For Nothing and chicks for free

      http://www.elyrics.net/read/d/dire-straits-lyrics/money-for-nothing-lyrics.html

      Out at the time of the great miners strike.

    • I’ve hear people saying the opposite and that K is bit of a silly myopic kunt

      As soon as we start advocating false gods we are flawed from the start because it proves we are fresh out of new ideas

      What we need is new ideas that break the mould and not those of comfortable men in ivory towers

  13. molly

    Ever wake up and feel today is going to be a good day and unless you go around with blinkers on and ear muffs its near impossible to have the good day.
    Now with that in mind who’s fooling who you here the government harping on about new jobs coming to a cinama near you ,there’s more jobs being lost then thoes being made.
    Forget about horse meat ,its only a distraction from whats realy going on,life as we know it is being eroded .
    The gap is growing and we are being pulled in the driction of the haves and the have nots ,but there’s a lot more have nots compared to the haves.
    It’s time that the have nots stood up and where counted or be trampled into the ground and remember the government are in the group the haves along with higher payed and the big fat pension group and the golden hand shake circle.

    • whatamess

      but let’s not be devisive..

      it’s important to recognise too, that in fairness,some of the haves ( and “higher paid” ) are not happy with the status quo either.i know where you’re comin’ from Molly…the “haves” you are speaking of,i fink,are the high paid politicians and bankers and elite etc

      so let all people ( the haves and have nots )stand up and be counted….we are all in this together right?

      • molly

        No some are in to survive ,some are in for greed and the ones in for greed don’t give a toss about the have nots.
        Sometimes it feels like one big game of cards winner takes all.
        Where’s the fairness where’s the justices ,what ever happened to fairness.

    • whatamess

      and no is to your question, “Ever wake up and feel today is going to be a good day and unless you go around with blinkers on and ear muffs its near impossible to have the good day”

      not in a LONG while if truth be told

      booo hooo

      • molly

        This whole system has changed me as a person and has open my eyes and I am not the same person I was 5 years ago,I was never really a selfish person ,couple of years ago I was in aldi and the person in front of me had a problem with there lazer card and trolley full of food ,I stepped in and offered to pay for their shopping ,point is I don’t think I would do it now.

  14. bonbon

    This is part of what DMcW mentioned going on.

    WARREN BUFFETT buys H.J. Heinz. It’s a $27.2 billion deal announced Feb. 14, by Berkshire-Hathaway and 3G Capital Management (Brazil-based shark firm), to take over the Pittsburgh-headquartered giant Heinz food processing company. The acquisition typifies the rush move into the food chain by dirty Big Money.

  15. [...] Here’s an excerpt from the article.  The rest can be found on his blog here [...]

  16. bonbon

    DMcW, great stuff. Is it the air south of the Alps, or Giulio Tremonti’s economics election campaign perhaps – you have got it spot on.

  17. Dorothy Jones

    http://maxkeiser.com/2013/02/14/kr406-keiser-report-horsemeat-burger-vs-dutch-sandwich/

    Keiser Report Horsemeat and what’s in Financial Products from 130214

  18. redriversix

    IBRC to pay bondholders 100 cents in the euro

    Depositors to be burned €123 million ? heard tonight..anyone else hear this ?

  19. The price of Gold continues to fall and fall however the price of a gram of a meteorite rock rises to extraordinary heights .Moon Wobble.

    • Tony Brogan

      Fools gold

    • Tony Brogan

      Head Wobble or horse sense

      Bill H:

      Idiots!

      Some days it takes me about 5 or 10 minutes before calling “bull” on something which gives me a topic to write about. Not today, today I turned on CNBC to immediately hear “has Gold lost its luster?” and “usually when Gold changes direction it stays that way for 20 years or more so it might be 2030 before we see $1,900 again”. Really? Are you people complete idiots? 20 years? What, 20 years to the downside but this bull market is a 13 year abortion? Forget about “time”, why has Gold rallied to the current levels in the first place? Fundamentals?

      Surely it cannot be the fundamentals of Gold. Definitely not the fact that global supply has not met global demand in over some 20+ years. It couldn’t be because the Fed has printed wildly and blown its balance sheet to oblivion. 20 years? Do you really believe the U.S. Treasury will even exist in its current form by then? Oh yes, I know, Gold is down from where QE 3 and 4 were announced so let’s extrapolate the move. “The move” which by the way is being caused by high frequency trades of paper contracts with no Gold available for delivery. “The move” which the CFTC does nothing (wink wink) and cannot find any perpetrators who “make” the price in the paper markets.

      Relax people, this must be the 20th “Bear market” for Gold and Silver in the last 10 years. Do you remember the last campaign? I think they called it “the death of Gold”. I checked on mine and believe it or not…it’s still shiny! No wheezing, coughing or clutching its chest in pain…nope, it’s still there. …And no matter what Washington, Wall St., CNBC or even Mayor Bloomberg want you to believe or legislate…it’s still MONEY!

      In fact, I would wager that some 20 years or so from now, no one and I mean NO ONE on the planet will part themselves with even one ounce of Gold for ANY amount of today’s Dollars. Do you see what I just said? I said (in much simpler terms) that QE to infinity, unlimited printing, unlimited debt AND a Dollar that will at some point not spend…for ANYTHING much less REAL money!

      Yes, yes…the fundamentals. Were Gold to actually back all of our current debt owned by foreigners it would be somewhere around $10,000. If it were to back all debt it would be well north of $20,000. …and if you include all of the guarantees, promises and future benefits? Well over $100,000. So we are being “told” that Gold and Silver are now “dead in the water” investments with no future at all. Everyone is so down trodden, scared and ready to commit the financial suicide that this “operation” was designed for in the first place. How many times in the past did they “shake the tree” like they are now? 10 times already? Why would the result be any different now other than the fact that there is now less Gold available to deliver and more paper outstanding then previous “shakes”. How many times has “top” been called? “Bear market in Gold and Silver”?

      Actually, you could have told me 13 years ago with Gold at $260 that it would rise to $1,600 and I would have believed you. However, if you told me the sentiment would be worse at $1,600 per ounce than it was back in the “lonely” $260 days I would have laughed until I broke a couple of ribs! Seriously, it does not matter what “price” they can knock the metals down to. It doesn’t matter how loud the “top” calls are screamed. What does matter is that you own precious metals when the world’s central banks and treasuries default us into a banking holiday. This is math. It is pure logic. It is not rocket science and I am no brilliant mind, this is just pure common sense and street smarts. Please, spend some time over this long weekend and think about why you purchased metals in the first place. Have events passed for which you originally made purchase to protect yourselves from? Is any bank, broker, central bank or treasury stronger financially today than from when you made your purchases?

      Just because the “made for TV” paper price of Gold and Silver are less today than they were 2 or 3 months ago it does not mean that they are less “valuable”. If you can understand this previous sentence and what I am truly saying then sit back, relax and enjoy your weekend. If you don’t…then re read it a few times until you do. If you still can’t understand it then, well, sell all of your precious metals investments and buy AAPL and Treasury bonds. At least you will “feel good”… until you don’t. On a side note, I have often thought that it must be a wonderful thing to be “oblivious” and not have a care in the world… Regards, Bill H. Miles Franklin Associate writer

    • Tony Brogan

      Ten year graph of gold denominated in euros shows a low of less than 300 EE and a current price of 1200 E

      Do you know of anything else that is up 4x in 10 years?

      Oh yes, Silver less than 4E and now 22E. 5.5times in 10 years.

      There is reason to think that they will do as well again but in perhaps 5 years rather than 10..

  20. Coincidentally Positive Money UK have a blog on Food Speculation today.

    ”Anti-poverty campaigners launched a new campaign against food speculation today. The campaign “Bankers Anonymous” by the World Development Movement asks people to take five steps to help win new rules to prevent banks driving food prices up through financial speculation.” More information can be found at:

    http://www.positivemoney.org/2013/02/bankers-anonymous-launched-to-help-banks-kick-gambling-addiction/

    Also, careful David! You say ”we have speculators driving up commodity prices fuelled by cheap money printed by central banks”. This supports the misleading impression that central banks create our money through printing. However central banks normally create money as central bank reserves but this money is not in general circulation.

    From there the banks, being well capitalised, can create bank-account-money, the type that’s in circulation, through typing higher bank balances into borrower’s accounts. If no-ones willing or able to get a bank loans banks can create bank-account-money by buying assets and typing new money into the seller’s account. (Banks ‘delete’ money through loan repayments and selling assets also)

    It’s important our economists and journalists get this right. I’ve relinked our publication which explains the monetary system again for your convenience!

    http://sensiblemoney.ie/data/documents/How-Money-Is-Created-And-Destroyed.pdf

    • bonbon

      I wonder how the “sensible money” scheme compares to the “Greenback Pound” proposed by the UK Column :

      The Case For A “Greenback” Pound
      Financial System Continues Collapse – Opportunity for Optimism

      It is important for people to realize what this actually means:

      Lincoln’s words :

      “The government should create issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers … The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprises, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own government. Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.” (Senate document 23, Page 91. 1865)

      Rothschild’s brutal reply from The Times of London in 1865:

      “If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should become indurated down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedence in the history of the civilised governments of the world. The brains and the wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed, or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”

      On Good Friday, April 14th 1865, a gunman ended the presidency of Abraham Lincoln and his Greenback legacy, leading to the formation of the privately run Federal Reserve in 1913. Since then, America’s unlawful debt has risen to over 15 trillion dollars.

  21. Tony Brogan

    Had a good day on the water yesterday.Just the job to clear the mind
    With just one crew(short handed) we managed a second over the finish line and a third in corrected time out of a fleet of 23 boats.

    It was light air and wet. Currents, wind and tide all played a part. An eye on the horizon looking for any changes coming and a check on the longer term weather forecast was useful.

    A bit like economics; horse sense. But preparation helps as the sails and boat hull need to be maintained in good condition.

  22. Tony Brogan

    I can go to sleep at night and know one thing—the Fed will not allow deflation. The reason is simple, according to Harris…Debt based societies cannot absorb a deflationary spiral. – Yra Harris, legendary and longtime commodities trader.

    • bonbon

      I’m afraid your dreams will be shattered. We are at the very edge of a hyperinflationary catastrophe with a PHYSICAL economic deflation, the basis of the very existance, well shown by horse senseless. Drop the monetarist illusion. Obama and the monarchy will attempt to save the 1%, but that cannot work.

      • Tony Brogan

        You know bon bon the reference above is a quote by Yra Harris as noted.

        Also a couple of months back you ridiculed and sneered in your uniquely insufferable way when I wrote in detail about stagflation, and hyperinflationary depression which you seem to have recently discovered.

        Your comments are senseless if addressed to the thread. Grow up and get a life bon bon. You are perverted.

        • bonbon

          Come on, read what I wrote. The physical economic deflation, is a juggernaut hand in hand with the monetary hyperinflation. Never mind that silly “stag” stuff from those with no economics insight. The Triple Curve shows this in a way monetarists, including Austrians would rather avoid. It shows their actual intent to cause this. Game’s up!

  23. Peter Atkinson

    Guys new of the latest revelations are anything new. The only new thing is the fact that we have the luxury of DNA testing to prove what the food industry knew all along but the consumer clearly didn’t.

    Anyone who has ever consumed a kebab should know what that shit does to your system if you don’t already know from experience. If anyone really knew the extent of the CAP refund system and the garbage that was exported out of this country in the name of beef in the 80s you would be calling for a public inquiry. Guess what? We had one and not one single soul was brought to task as a result. Even better one of the biggest protagonists is still at it.

    • 5Fingers

      ++1 and it’ll never stop.

    • Dilly

      I had a summer job in one of those processing plants. Everything was processed, even the beef that they were ordered to destroy was just hidden and then processed when no one was watching. When the horse story broke I was not in the least bit surprised. Even TB contaminated beef was processed. Everyone was well paid so no one said a word.

  24. bonbon

    “Like the scandals we have experienced in the past few years in the banks, the momentum of this story is following a similar pattern. First, we have an isolated incident in one country, which at first appeared to be a unique issue of local malpractice. But then it becomes clear that the local incident is only part of a greater systemic issue“.

    Exactly. Systemic issues, the system itself. So remedies must deal with that system , not the apparently isolated events.

    This may sound abstract until some end up eating the system in the horse stew. Most prefer to think the system is way outside their garden, until the horse gallops right into the flowers. Of course those systemic perpetrators would much prefer the horse did not whinny right at the garden shed, sorry, ghost estate.

  25. Bamboo

    Today will be a good day. After two months frustration of having no landline at all and therefore appalling internet connection and still having to pay for the lack of services my phone and internet will be fixed. Two months of shouting on the phone to get it fixed will hopefully be over from today on.

  26. Tony Brogan

    http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2013/2/18/will-obama-confiscate-guns-and-gold.html

    A good account of the dictatorial FDR seizing private property and then closing all private banks except the cartel ones and revaluing the gold 60% higher after getting it.

    good read anyway. obama thinks he is the second coming of FDR according to the article.

    • bonbon

      Obama has stated on the record, as his Geithner-twin Lew also, that he will block Glass-Steagall, FDR’s great mischievous and successful intervention. That is well documented. Obama of course will spin a “greenie new deal”, while shutting down NASA, and blocking NAWAPA 21. Obama has foisted the greatest bailout in history on American taxpayers – no sign of FDR there.

      FDR’s swift action settled the banking issue over a long weekend – 1800 defunct banks were bought for $1 each, but they stayed open for business. Wall Street then organized the “Business Plot”, an attempted coup, whistle-blown by General Smedley Butler. Look it up. The very same Wall Street crowd that, with London, financed Hitler.

      • Tony Brogan

        While FDR bled Britain dry of resources under the lend lease program. all the latest high tech sold to the US for 50 rust buckets of which only three were marginally servicable.
        FDR was certainly noangle.

  27. Tony Brogan

    http://www.financedublin.com/debtclock.php

    30,000 Euros a minute is the rate of the increase in national debt.
    18 million and hour
    432 million a day
    157.68 billion a year

    ‘Pretty soon we will be talking real money”

    • molly

      The plastic band will snap soon.

    • Tony Brogan

      That is about 100E a day each person in Ireland.
      Assuming that it is mostly interest it means the debt has to be wiped out or there is no survival.

      There are two ways to be rid of the debt. Default or pay.The odious debt can be revoked. The balance paid with new Treasury money as previously suggested.

      Silver needs to be monetised as it will keep the treasury notes honest. A government without debt can reduce taxes enough to likely remove income tax all together.

      This is effectively a pay rise for most people. also Ireland’s labour will be the most sort after by international corporations looking for a home.

      Prosperity beckons after the debt is removed.

  28. Gold continues to fall down in value today while the Russians raise the value of meteorite rock .

    • bonbon

      God choose not to email or blog, and gets the point across. SDE, Strategic Defense of the Earth – message loud and clearly received.

      • simple natural techniques make a lot of sense when looked at properly – and avoiding the cantor ism of good English is a default in our natural human resources – seek more in the experience of our ancient native tongue and feel the difference .

  29. 5Fingers

    Supposing we had a gold standard? Supposing we had financial stability and removed all the middlemen and traders and central banks etc. And supposing GS separation was in place?

    Are we seriously saying the horse-meat scandal would never have emerged? Of course it would.

    Are we saying that jobs would not be lost to lower cost regions? Of course they would.

    Are we saying that poverty and strife would diminish worldwide? Of course it would not.

    The problem is that people’s ability to change and adapt is far far lower than the rate at which business changes to seek profit. Some say people want something for nothing. Maybe they are want something and just do not know how. Most are lost and utterly left behind with a set of traditional laws and institutions which are now usurped by laws of other countries which are not so bound by our taken for granted expectations.

    • bonbon

      Glass-Steagall has nothing to do with a “British Gold Standard”. HAve a look at the Triple Curve icon. That plunging physical-economic action means horsemeat, dog food for people. The reason that is happening is the stratospheric monetarissm, that has gripped the entire transatlantic region for decades.

      There is a “systemic” collapse going on, as DMcW very accurately points out. Without dealing with that Triple Curve direcly head-on, expect genocide on a massive scale to make Hitler blush. Delaying Glass-Steagall means guaranteeing systemic genocide.

      The idiotic “argument” of Wall Street banksters that Glass-Steagall “would not have prevented Lehmann” is an incredible sophistry, a big lie to make Goebbels blush.

      The horse is the tip of the iceberg. Imagine what comes next – it’s enough to turn yer stomach!

      • 5Fingers

        Am making no judgement on GS or Gold standards or any of these approaches. Explain to me how GS will prevent Pizzas with problematic ingredients made in China where authorities have more or less admitted that they will never come to grips with the scams.

  30. Boss of Iceland makes an ass of himself on television with slur on the Irish Bros

    Mr Walker had been asked to explain why Iceland burgers passed British tests for equine DNA but failed the Irish tests.

    He replied: “Well, that’s the Irish, isn’t it?”

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/uk-boss-of-frozen-food-chain-iceland-apologises-for-dismissive-slur-on-the-irish-29081312.html

    This proves one thing. Successful and ‘educated’ people can be complete losers.

  31. Nono

    This horsemeat scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. I was reading recently a post about baby food and boy is this scary! Baby food is even less regulated than adult food. The health claims on the jars are just marketing ploys to lure gullible parents into buying them as the content of those jars are empty calories with very little actual food in it (a baby carrot purée contains less than 40% carrots in it, the rest being made up of water and thickening agents, much cheaper to produce) and even these actual food bear no more nutritional values once they’ve been cooked to their death to lengthen their shelf life. Then, they add synthetic vitamins to make up the loss in the cooking process but these are not well assimilated by the body so it’s like putting an ashtray on a motorbike. The salt and sugar content of baby jars are also appalling so not only they bring no nutrients to babies but are actually harmful. I could go on and on, if you are interested, the full article is here: http://www.thealphaparent.com/2013/02/the-truth-about-baby-food-jars.html

    • bonbon

      That was the baby food before the collapse started. Do you understand what that collapsing physical-economic curve means for infants?

      Any attempt now to repudiated the existing monetary madness for a new small limited system for the 1% is mass murder, and make no mistake this is exactly what is fully intended.

      Glass-Steagall is the alternative to this. The 3 point Plan is precisely to counter this move against humanity itself.

      Your life depends on it, the infants very lives too.

    • Deco

      We are only slowly finding about what is in our food.

      The amazing thing is that there are volumes of paper regulations in the EU about what defines a carrot.

      But carrot puree can contain just about anything.

  32. A wee heads up here and I hope this helps. Glad to see so many warriors came and answered your call as the overwhelming compassion from people on this forum sometimes overwhelmes and humbles me to tears. Not. Fuck them. It is they who are selfish and superior. Not honest men like yourselves

    Keep your heads up. I’ve been there and know what it feels like to be unhappy every morning and my worst bout of unhappiness was during the boom. Today life is way better than it was back then personally speaking.

    Never be ashamed of who you are and what you are. Eventually your philosophy will adapt and you will feel happy again one day. It has to

    Before I came to Ireland (1998) I was working in a very good job and had a nice house but hated the job and hated having a mortgage. I hated knowing my life was a lie and decided I would mould life to suit myself. That is what life is for after all

    I had it all but had nothing. Lived in a beautiful part of southern England and had promotion prospects but it meant nowt. Playing the game was too hard because I knew it was a sham. I was surrounded by strangers I thought were friends. You know the feeling I guess

    Packed the job in, toured Wales with my woman and then thought the west of Ireland was the answer and it was. The woman followed and came along for the adventure and we are still together after 20 years. Me, her and ten cats!

    Life in Ireland has always been a struggle financially but it has been great. Here I learnt that it is true that simple pleasure are the best just like my faither said

    I love Irish people and if I was to sit and chew the fat with you guys I know it would be great evening.

  33. Hatchet job from the Irish Independent rag

    Q. Who is Mr Norb?
    Aka Mr Norbert

    More to the point who is Gerard O’Regan

    I presume he is a junior hack who is taking it in the ass and giving some some head as a backroom boy

    Little Joe never once gave it away
    Everybody had to pay and pay

    Read more: LOU REED – WALK ON THE WILD SIDE LYRICS

    http://www.metrolyrics.com/walk-on-the-wild-side-lyrics-lou-reed.html

    A daft wee boy trying to get a break in a mans world

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/gerard-oregan-mr-know-all-peddles-his-quickfix-economic-solutions-unburdened-by-any-selfdoubt-29075021.html

    Maybe his daddy is ‘well connected’

    Q. Who do these people think they are?

  34. molly

    David whats your next story going to be .
    The rise and fall of Fianna Fáil and the rise again ,for five years they where in a coma and like a bad smell and the help of the Irish people they will rise like Lazarus go help us ..

  35. Insight and gravitas possibly. Bitterness certainly. Someone who can see reality for sure. No mystery in itself but his foresight could be attributed to his ginger locks, freckeles and Scottish grandparents. Hail hail David. I know you secretly admire Celtic much more than Revie’s Leeds. You can’t deny something that was so awesome and such a statement of Celtic and Irish superiority on the fields of the greatest football stadiums in the world

    You were simply blown away by the Jinky fella, Auld and Yogi Bear (Hughes). Blown away and humiliated and left for dead. I know it still hurts forty one years later.

    For a time we we were the grandest of them all. The finest and the grandest who proved beyond doubt in the summer of 1966 Celts beat Spurs three time in an American tour and shortly afterwards we trounced Man Utd Utd 4-0 at parklhead

    It must feel like shyte to have chosen Leeds above something inside so strong. Forty one years ago I saw the last of the Lisbon Lions. Jim Craig’s last game and there were five of the lions of the park. I was there. Compare that to being at Wembley in May 1972. It’s Priceless

    I was in the right place and you wish you had been. How many Irish people would like to sit and hear the story of the day Celts beat the great Hibernian 6 – 1

    As for his foreskin (as oposed to foresight), well I would’nt have a scooby doo but I am sure he has many female followers who would be happy to take a keen hinterst in such a famous and salubrious object as DMW’s spare parts

    Enough said.

    DMW is Scottish. Pure and simple. He may a south dub and a dirty Leeds supporter but that is not his fault. It’s a quare feeling being Irish and wishing you were Scottish haw haw. (joke)

    Anyway. Let’s hear it for Deans, Macari and McNeill

    Those were the days my friend and they were very fine days

    • I feel sorry sometimes. Sorry that you missed all this David.I wish you were there

      Here is the link. My first ever Celtic game.
      Not that anyone will be interested. Fine

      Remember all the goals and make my communion the next day. 6 May 1972. It was an awesome weekend and my da was like Johnny Cash only much cooler

      When McNeill scored after 2 mins we were rained with bottled from the Hibs fans. Then the Celts scored a third

      The whole of Hampdem was chanting amazing grace (even the hibees supporters). At least 110,000

      Then the sun came out and Lou Macari was swinging from the crossbar when Celtic scored the fourth and Dixie Deans was doing summersaults

      All Hampden was covered in Banners of Green

      Too ra loo

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uVuVEcuvR4

  36. Tony Brogan

    Will Obama follow FDR and revalue gold 68%
    Or in other words devalue against gold to rebalance the books.to do so will require $10,000 gold not $3000. Add the off the books contingent liabilities and we will see $100,000 gold. Still considerably less than Zimbabwe!!

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1361289581.php

  37. joe hack

    Global money crises – Global energy crises – Global food crises – Global population crises – Global Growth is on its way to make a Global disaster – Global stocks are rising – Global inflation crisis Global war – Global warming- Global trotting carbon footprint – Global pollution – Global Globalism – Global oil Global Gobbling – Gobbling the Globe—I have a pain in me Globles , A Global pain.

    Sweet Breads taste nice

  38. kanda

    Commentators now say bond rates will collapse and lead to interest rate rises, especially if China creates a gold backed currency. Could someone explain this and suggest a timeline?

    • bonbon

      “commentators” can explain themselves.

      If the transatlantic region is forced to collapse by delaying Glass-Steagall, China knws full well that that means – all the gold in the world will not save anyone. I hope “commentators” are as smart.

      Problem is the financial crowd are about to dump the current system for a much smaller one, and the genocidal depopulation fully planned means China is target number 1, followed by te rest of us.

      This suggests a timeline, very short, and means a call to action now – Glass-Steagall before they do this!

  39. joe hack

    Low wages was responsible for the wall street crash – people on low wages can’t afford to buy services from businesses so businesses close – people on low wages can’t afford medical expenses to keep themselves fit to go to work for low wages – we have gone from low to no wages (interns) how can an intern help an economy move – low wages stifles the money cycle – my income comes from your spending and my income spending is your wages – money has no value if it’s static – Henry Ford knew the value of paying his workers well if his workers could afford to buy a model-T the wages went back to Ford partly self sustaining the worker and Ford – low wages closes businesses and crashes economies – money needs to move to work – austerity can’t work and never has – low wages to save money is a oxymoron ask Ford and others – profits for wealth gain alone stops others from spending so money becomes static – low wages begets low wages- the recession has lasted due to the lack of movement of money – low wages is illogical the worst of capitalists know this that is why they want to print money and help devalue savings so money will move again–the more people that have money the better it circulates —— …

  40. joe hack

    From what they write here I am going to see if I can guess the age and looks of people.

  41. The article is about food but predicatably the conversation comes round to gold and glass seagull. Concepts which mean nothing to me

    It is not gold you should be investing in but food. Gold is useless. Far better to learn how to sow potatoes, barley and wheat and find a source of firewood for the winter

    Muppets

    • bonbon

      So do you like that Warren Buffett has moved into food?

      Actually DMcW writes “financial speculation in food commodities has doubled from $65 billion in 2006 to $126 billion in 2011? Or did you consider the implications of the involvement of pure financial traders in the food business?”

      • 5Fingers

        That’s just the stuff you see. When corporates and large combines trade with one another, people tend to confuse the revenue (goods and services exchanged) with the netting off at the end of a yearly quarter (who owes what to whom). It is a timed affair with netting off done in the jurisdictions of their choice with the currency of their choice. It runs to multi- trillions. Direct food trade amounts to 6 trn or more. Industries feed into that (all the tech and infrastructure to make it happen) probably same again. And then there’s logistics.

        All of the above a very very old businesses. That and the War trade.

        Stop worrying about little things like finance. These guys operate and have operated by rules of their own for centuries – and yes…banking is a sideline.

        You are so off target, it’s not even funny.

    • 5Fingers

      +1 Food is the real gold. The next war will be about food or water. Not Gold or GS or other non-essentials.

  42. bonbon

    Whether one knows it or not, a bailout was never possible. They are going to dump the existing monetary madness and instate a much smaller one for the few. The effect of this should be clear to everyone.

    A Bailout was Never Possible: The Intent is Genocide
    Lyndon LaRouche forecast the only possible future policy direction that can result from the current ‘bail-out’ and ‘quantitative easing’ policiies under, presently, Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    The only possible way to deal with this is to now split the banks along the lines of Glass-Steagall and reinstate immediately Hamiltonian credit systems. The warning of the horse and meteor should be be clear enough.

    • bonbon

      Flying blind through a globalized crashing economy and a rock infested near-space without any kind of forecasting or detection guarantees horses and meteors.

  43. Gold Prices continue to FALL …sentiments hold nothing for it .

  44. Irish Farmers need to be Carnivorous and create :

    the ‘Carno Dollar ‘…..with this we can BUILD and New Economy

  45. Hands up!

    Who says Ireland is at the edge of Europe?

    Who says Ireland is at the centre of the Western World?

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