March 1, 2013

Viva Las Vegas?

Posted in Irish Independent · 120 comments ·

This week the column comes to you from Las Vegas. It may not seem the ideal place to gauge the pulse of the American recovery but Nevada had one of the most violent boom/bust housing cycles in American history, so it constitutes a ground zero of sorts. The last time I was here in 2009, there were foreclosure tours of cut-price housing. There were buyers at discounted prices.

Prices kept falling until 2012 but since then, they have begun to stabilise and rise modestly. The market has cleared, or at least much of the process of clearing is already behind them.

When you compare Nevada and Ireland, one of the key differences between both housing busts is the non-recourse mortgage. In America, banks can’t come after the person and chase them for the rest of their lives for a mistake made in a property boom. The American hands the keys back to the bank, the bank sells the property and the new owner moves in. The bank takes the loss on its balance sheet and everyone moves on, older and hopefully a little wiser.

It is called co-responsibility. The creditors and debtors both pay a price and we start again. Both parties are adults and both make sacrifices to clean up the mess. That’s how it works in the US. It is called capitalism. And the process whereby debts are worked through is called deleveraging – both by the banks and by the people.

The situation in Ireland is different because, despite new legislation, the debtors are harassed by the banks and the creditors still hold most of the aces. Things are improving a little bit, but not half quick enough. I have been told that the banks are now gearing up to come after debtors in a way that they haven’t done so far. This will be the next phase of the bursting of the Irish debt bubble.

As long as this is going on, the prices of houses are likely to continue to grind downwards and with such a large overhang of debtors who can’t pay, there is likely to be downward pressure for some time still.

For the banks, which want to lend because that is how banks make money, the situation is disastrous too. Their problem is having been recapitalised last year, amid claims that Irish banks were the “best capitalised in Europe”, and having claimed that they had more than enough capital to cover the losses they will make on their mortgage book, there is a real fear deep within the banks at board level that they mightn’t have enough capital after all.

The economy can’t recover in such an environment and it patently isn’t.

When the problem is deflation, as it is in Ireland with asset prices and wages falling, the solution is inflation, not yet more deflation.

This simple lesson appears to be totally lost on our rulers. But it is not just our rulers. All across Europe, the political elite is embracing deflation, and this is driving up unemployment. Then these guys are surprised when the Italians vote them and their proconsuls such as Mario Monti out. There is shock in polite circles when people like Berlusconi re-emerge. Yet what the elite fail to remember is that they deposed Berlusconi and whether you like him or not, he was the democratically elected prime minister. That has got to count for something, no?

Anyway he is back and the austerity policies followed by the eurozone are again under the spotlight. When there is mass deleveraging going on, unless demand is created from somewhere, the economies will continue to shrink.

This is why this part of the US is so interesting because just up the road from Vegas is a fine example of what a government can do in a recession that will add real long-term value to the economy, while at the same time provide a boost to demand in the short term.

For someone with vertigo, looking down at the Hoover Dam on the Nevada/Arizona border was not the most relaxing experience for me. However, in terms of understanding what has to be done by governments in recessions, there can be few better examples.

The Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering and political will power. The dam was largely built by Irish-American workers, under the supervision of Frank Crowe, another Irish- American. It was constructed in the middle of the Great Depression.

President Roosevelt combatted rising unemployment and deflation with a huge rollout of public infrastructure projects from highways to dams to housing and schools. In the 1930s, America built and built.

Not only did the Americans build and build but during the Depression they also tore down old ideas that were inhibiting the growth of the country. The most significant of these was abolishing the gold standard.

The gold standard was a creditors’ charter, a policy that limited the ability of the central bank to print money by linking the dollar to gold and ensured that the real cost of debt was gold so the debtors hadn’t a hope of paying back old legacy debts. So, for example, when prices, wages and asset prices were falling, the debtor had to come up with more and more of his resources to pay old debt he took out in the pre-1929 boom.

As long as America was on gold, the amount of dollars in circulation was limited and deflation in prices, commodities prices and food prices, continued. As food prices fell, farmers had no incentive to increase production and deflation gripped the economy, begetting more and yet more deflation.

Before Roosevelt abandoned the gold standard, most serious people said that if America came off gold its credibility would be smashed and chaos would ensue because creditors wouldn’t be repaid in gold but in paper dollars and this would constitute a default. Surprise, surprise, these people were usually rich and were owed money!

In the event, the Americans orchestrated the biggest default in history and guess what happened? The economy took off rather than faltered because, unshackled from gold, the dollar could fall in value, be printed, allowing cash-starved companies get credit.

This loosening of monetary policy combined with massive public works programmes like the Hoover Dam jolted the American economy back to life.

The euro is Europe’s gold standard. It is rising now in value just as debts in a country like Ireland strangle the average homeowner. The Italians have given their response. If we keep going down this road, political gridlock, chaos and radicalism beckon across the continent.

  1. redriversix

    Morning All

    Happy new website David

    Seeing as Ireland now in fully fledged recovery and growing every day, don’t have much to say.

    Hope you Guys & Girls are all well,taking care of each other & pulling on the green jersey..?

    Anyone got any recipes or any flower arranging lessons they could share.?

    Hi Molly will call you back soon,sorry ! been a busy week..

    • Adam Byrne

      Morning Barry. Hope all is well. The new website looks really nice I think. Very clean.

      • redriversix

        format of commenting is showing up my computer weakness,is this all the comments Adam our am I missing something ?

        Everything is superduper Adam,hope for you too.!

        • Adam Byrne

          This is it so far Barry. People will be back soon. Spring is in the air. Can you smell it? It’s been a long winter.

          • redriversix

            yeah I can smell it Adam..has been a long Winter..

            looking out a window here,smiling to myself ,observing some kind of tree that is beginning to blossom………..

            These are strange times Adam. F.u.b.a.r even

            you been keeping well ?

            still smiling at the laptop..! I am either going crazy or have just come out of a very bad mood……?

          • I can smell many things these days lads but sadly spring is not one of them!

    • The site is class RR6.

      Have some recipes somewhere. I am doing my hair and my nails tonight so it might be a while. Hope you are not hungry. Anyway you had dinner yesterday. Restraint is a virtue.

    • molly

      It is called capitalism.
      Now there’s one for the books it’s capitalism when it suits,but its not really capitalism and how could it be.
      In someways it feels like communism remember these so called leaders of superpowers ect who keep the worker poor and pretentious themselves trying to fool the people while they live the good life on the backs of the worker and the poor.
      But we have turned a corner and fell of the cliff,who do they think they are kidding ,with no increse in your income and the cost of living going up,it’s worse thing are going to get.
      Unless this changes god help us because kenny and co might as well be stuck in that lift permanently,they are about as much use as a bird with one wing,don’t piss down my back and tell me its raining( looking forward to hearing from you).

      • But that’s the nub of it Molly. The difference between capitalism and socialism consists chiefly in this: whereas capitalism entails the exploitation of man by man, what socialism proposes is to do the exact opposite. It’s the same thing except for that it’s different. That’s why many people find it confusing.

        • molly

          So the men in charge of socialism are really capitalists.

          • Not really. They’re mostly a cocky and conceited bunch who bring nothing to the table, least of all capital which is after all necessary to set the wheels of industry in motion. Capitalists without any capital are the worst of all since they personify all the vulgar prejudices and lazy attitudes but none of the qualities of the pioneers. They’re happy to profit from socialism without giving any credit, at the same time maligning it behind people’s backs, doing private deals and so forth.

        • dwalsh

          This is quite absurd logically and factually.
          The old myth of equating socialism with communist Russia is a hollow argument.

          • Who ever said anything about Russia, communist or otherwise? You have introduced that topic but I’m not sure where you are going with it or what relevance it has to the discussion so far.

          • dwalsh

            Well Oscar you mention Marx & socialism repeatedly in your posts. So I am merely responding to what you yourself express.
            The article you linked to is saturated with references to Marx & socialism.

          • Marx was German and socialism is an international ideology. Russians have made a contribution but by no means the sole contribution. Are you really that bigoted?

  2. redriversix

    Where is everyone ?

    Where are all the comments ?

  3. David, for an economist you are woefully ignorant of the most basic tenets of political economy. It almost brings tears to the eyes to read you throwing out your glib and hackneyed explanations for everything.

    Capitalism is not, as you suggest, some wonderfully benign system where everyone ‘acts like adults’, accepts ‘co-responsibility’ and agrees to ‘clean up the mess’. It might appear that way to people who are only interested in the superficiality and not the essence of the matter. Feudalism and Slavery also had its proponents – people who thought in the same vein.

    If you want an informed view of political economy read this article by Robert Hessen –

    I think you’ll be surprised. There are other articles and books I could recommend to you but I think you need to start at a more remedial level.

    • DB4545

      Oscar..That really is a great article by Robert Hessen and neatly summarizes Capitalism(which I’m strongly in favour of having travelled extensively in Eastern Europe prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall). The misery of people was truly shocking. Eurocrats should read it prior to imposing crazy bonus limitations on banks. Would you imposed a five goal limit per season on premiership footballers? Watch the talent move offshore. However if pure capitalism was allowed free rein Starbucks would be selling crack cocaine to maximize profits. As far as I’m aware they’re not and the reason is morality or the common good. The market is an engine for efficient use in allocation and distribution of resources. It’s far from perfect but it’s the best engine we’ve found to date. There was nothing transparent about the wealth of the politburos and their apparitchiks in the Eastern Bloc while people ate food I wouldn’t give to my dog. The sad really of our little State is a political elite or politburo engaged in kleptocracy or crony capitalism and the apparitchiks of corporate communism working hand in glove to steal from our citizens. I’m certain it will fall just like the Berlin Wall did and I hope it’s peaceful for the decent Citizens of of State.

      • bonbon

        If as you say you traveled, you must know the Wall fell with not a single shot fired. A peaceful march from Leipzig overturned a regime that 1 month before Honnecker claimed “nither ox nor donkey will halt the march of socialism”. 1 month. Today we have Angela “neither ox nor donkey can stop the euro bailout”. Frau Honnecker indeed. Add to that President Gauck (who must have traveled then too) calling for British to be the EU lingua-franca!

        The difference is Obama – he is ready to unleash a confrontation with Russia, a thermonuclear one, rather than dump the monetary imperialism of his owners. He resolutely refuses to allow any talk of Glass-Steagall, FDR’s brilliant intervention and instead is going for permanent war.

        • DB4545

          Bonbon I want our wall to fall peacefully too. Germans like law and order and thankfully things ran peacefully in Berlin. The Romanians took a different view blood and was shed. Our history 1690,1798,1916 and the Northern difficulties tell us that when pushed too far we break rather than bend to change. I want this State to be as wealthy as Switzerland. We have the creativity, flexibility and natural resources to do it. I hope our politburo and apparatchiks have the good sense to realize the game is up and quietly “f..k off”. However good sense has been severely lacking in our leadership for a long time hence the mess we’re in. In addition any reasonable analysis would point to the naked greed and absolute treachery by some of former leaders in the sale of our natural resources. People rarely cede power. It has to pointed out to them that they no longer hold the moral and therefore legitimate authority to Govern.

          • bonbon

            The Soviet and Honnecker, and the rest, did not cede, their economies imploded. Like now. When the Soviet refused the 1983 SDI offer from the US President, their collapse was forecast to within months. When then instead of Reconstruction, we got the Euro, the forecast was even more devastating. See the Triple Curve typical collapse function, my icon, that is from 1995. The inflection near the top is the latest crash. That is a composition of 3 rates of change acting combined.
            This shows the way forward, a 3-point plan, what should have been done in 1991, but critically urgent and upgraded now. The lower curve means massive reconstruction, the upper means split the banks at-the-same-time.
            DMcW, I hope, is looking into FDR’s method.

      • The key to understanding Hessen’s article is right there in the first sentence. Hessen recognises that capitalism is in fact a socialist conception and acknowledges the role of socialists in the development of political and economic theory thus far. That’s more than can be said for those who want to prattle on in an empty-headed way about the ‘great benefits of capitalism’. In much the same way, a lot of people prattle meaningless verbiage about socialism.

        If someone wants to argue the merits of capitalism over socialism they are quite welcome to do so. It will at least have to be acknowledged though that Marx was correct in terms of his materialist conception of history and his dialectical understanding of change, development and motion. David refers to the idea of co-responsibility. That would imply giving credit where credit is due. Without Marx’s contribution, people like David would not even have such notions like ‘capitalism’ swimming around in their brains, which they then hold up as a universal panacea. Irony is lost on such folks. They’re a bit like members of the British Conservative Party who adopt the term ‘tory’ among their nomenclature, apparently oblivious to the origin of that term and what it implies.

        Hessen understands things a bit better, even though he comes down on the side of capitalism, or what he likes to call ‘economic individualism’. The point is that he brings to the debate an understanding and an appreciation for the fundamental tenets of political economy, as well as a certain respect for how the debate has developed over time. And he makes some pointed criticisms of socialism and certain socialist theorists that merit consideration.

        • DB4545

          Oscar I think I’d fall in line with your economic individualism concept. In 1982 no currency could buy a decent meal in Sofia Bulgaria and most of the Eastern Bloc but 200 Malboro or a bottle of whiskey could buy most things that ordinary human nature desired. We act in our self interest and can be persuaded to act for the common good when shown it also aligns with our perceived self interest. Most people are more than capable to act like sheep to conform but watch the wolf come out when their self interests are under threat. That is a fundamental aspect of human nature and no economic or political ideology can defeat it. Thankfully.

      • EMMETTOR

        So the choice is “crazy limitations on bank bonuses” (adjective in the wrong place?)or a totalitarian dystopia. The problem is not “the market” it is the fact that most of the world’s “Capital” is being used for nothing more than making bets on which way the market is going. “Corporate Communism” , that’s just Newspeak, this is Corporate Capitalism. I actually thought that, being in Las Vegas, David was going to comment on how gambling is by far the world’s most destructive vice.

    • It’s a case of perspective Oscar

  4. redriversix

    “but I think you need to start at a more remedial level”…….

    Good Man Oscar

    you wouldn’t happen to own a corduroy jacket with patches on the elbows ..would you ?

  5. gizzy

    Two points Oscar no system in itself is bad or good. It i the abuse of that system that causes the inequities and that has happened in all systems. Capitalism would work it there was a genuine will to spread capital and allow those who want to work that capital gain from their endeavours. We do not have capitalism, it has morphed into elitism bankism and cronyism where those at the top want to pull all the capital into themselves not allowing others get a chance to use it to advance.

    Then how come a country like ours which has such a history of oppression ends up with our own governments inflicting the most oppressive debt system on their people. No non recourse mortgages and still one of the least forgiving insolvency and bankruptcies regimes.

    The people the banks and the legal system is going to be bogged down with this for ages.

    When will the powers that be learn a simple lesson no matter what your political leanings you need a healthy economy to have healthy banks. They seem to think it can be done the other way around. Rebuild the banks capital and in a bad economy people still cannot afford to borrow
    and Banks with new risk controls cannot lend to them so reserves are not replenished so they don’t increase their own capital so debtors don’t get a break and on and on.

    • breltub

      Agreed, just one thing. Any system that favours one group over another when both are acting identically within that system is always bad. The only system should be equal treatment for everyone and maximum personal freedom to do as you choose without harming others.

    • I accept most of your points. I think the issue though is to analyse concrete conditions and circumstances and not let it get bogged down in a theological debate over this or that ‘ism’.

      The morphing of capitalism into elite banking and associated cronyism actually first appeared around the latter half of the 19th century. Lenin identified this as the emergence of Monopoly Capitalism, in contrast to ‘free trade capitalism’ and laissez-faire economics which prevailed prior this this development. As we know from Irish history, the disastrous consequences of this policy was experienced during the Great Famine, and the government of the day’s response to it which was mostly a lack of response.

      Interestingly though, and this might surprise a lot of people, Lenin viewed the emergence of capitalist monopolies as an event that presaged socialism. He held that this vast concentration of production is what would make the building of a socialist economy possible.

  6. redriversix

    Morning Gizzy

    Some really good battles been fought in the High Court these days , under media radar or they don’t want to know…?

    Smart people finally coming together & working as a team..really positive..

    you might call me ? 0871749372

    Hope you & yours well today..?

  7. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    Hello All (welcome to new site)

    I have (many times) on this site given the figure for the value of a 3 bed semi-detached home in the Dublin Area. This price must not be above 160,000, better price is 120,000 to 140,000 the 160,000 being the upper bracket. I will not show the 5 ways to arrive at this value, I have done so before. Until prices reach this price and stabilize there can be no change. Why?

    It’s simple, this price (in the 150,000 region) indicates affordability, when a person buys what they cannot afford then only financial ruin can follow. The prices being quoted are still 40% to 50% too high.
    All money leaving the “real” economy and going into property is lost and may as well be burned. This money could travel the country and oil the tills of restaurants, craft shops, hotels, shops, livery yards, spots clubs and a host of business being starved of cash, cash that is being foolishly pumped into property (yet again).

    We must allow property prices to fall to affordable values, based on a 20 year mortgage at 8%. No mortgage term should exceed 20 years (except on rare 2% exceptions).

    No mortgage repayment should ever rise above 33% of the net income of the main earner, to do so is just stupid.

    I ask, have we learned nothing at all, please tell me are we crazy, after all I’m just a cat.

    • breltub

      I agree with your sentiments!
      Too much corruption is in the bricks and mortar, and planning, and rezoning, and mortgage industry and it just sucks the life out of the country!

    • AlanPower

      Sound like a cool cat to me!

    • itsnotrue

      Dear Puschin the black and white cat,
      Would you please be so kind as to illustrate how you arrive at your figure for the true value of property in Ireland at present, I have my eye on the market, but it seems the property boom is still very much alive for many with vested interests. A lot of what I’m looking at is above the affordable range!
      Many thanks,

  8. breltub

    Hi David,
    You are confusing the falling price in housing with deflation in Ireland. You are wrong, and it would be a lot better to be on point when writing.

    Health insurance up – Car Insurance Up – Petrol/Diesel Up – Food prices up – Electricity up – cost of government up –
    You don’t include taxation in inflation do you?
    It certainly costs me!

    You also once again fall into the lazy gold standard analysis, and as you know the dollar was backed by gold until 1971 and FDR didn’t take the dollar off gold but revalued it against gold. Forcibly buying at 20.67, and then when he had all of it revaluing it at a higher price, €35 per ounce.

    What Max Keiser claims turned America around was the Pecora commission, cleaning up the fraud and banking corruption, and glass-stegall. Have you ever looked into that commission?

    And also, the bust of the 1930s followed the roaring 20s, when credit expanded and flowed into unsustainable bubbles.
    Have you ever questioned the effect the role that expanding balance sheets in the 20s might have caused in the 30s?
    Have you examined the role the FED played since it’s creation in 1913 to the bust of 29?

    You also often say that bad money drives out good. The Euro isn’t Europe’s gold standard despite it’s problems, the problem is too much failure and a lack of capitalism not weeding it out. Big failures don’t get the same treatment as little failures. We arenot all playing by the same rules.

    The problem is too much credit and too much expansion right now and it is flowing into all the wrong places because that centrally planned, look after your cronies, print lots of money to prop up a losing bets is just reinforcing failure, and it is the exact thing you are proposing except you think it would be good, if only they would do it your way!

    You also proposed the bank guarantee idea and that has turned out to be a failure. You say it was not done how you think it should have been, and I take you at your word on that.

    So let me say this, you have some very good ideas, but you have one hugely massive flaw in your ability to think of how to properly enact a solution.
    You always think of top-down controlled implementation of a plan that can only work if you control all the parameters and force others to go along with it.
    This is completely impossible as you cannot foretell your unintended consequences and your proposed ideas will keep failing, as they will keep being implemented with flaws until you rethink the manner in which ideas can grow organically and succeed.

    And that comes from restructuring, from dialogue, from becoming more “open source” in find a way forward, from not seeking the easy print money top-down solution but from turning away from easy debt and making people have some skin in the game.

    There needs to be a huge shift towards equity in backing any of these ideas you propose. Get people to buy in on the merit of a good idea.
    Let there be openness, accountability and when failure happens people just lose the share they bought in at and debts cannot be just rolled onto the tax payer when things go wrong.

    If we keep going down the path you are supporting, then I agree. All those unwelcome things will happen. The banks balance sheets have expanded enormously in the last few years. You need to face up to the reality that the plans you envisage are being enacted, the theory you subscribe to is being followed, and in the usual bollixed up fashion that has a tonne of unintended consequences.


    • cooldude

      Excellent comments Brian. David can’t seem to understand that the US and Europe was not on the classical gold standard during the 1930′s but the gold exchange standard which was an inherently flawed standard and maintained gold at way too low a price which did not reflect the massive currency creation during the WW1 and the roaring twenties. The classical gold standard was the most successful monetary system that we have used to date and kept the parasitic banking industry under some control and discipline. The big problem we now have is that this parasitic industry has gained complete control over our monetary system and they have brainwashed us into accepting this as normal. It is in it’s bollocks. Money is just another good which is used for the exchange of goods and services. Banking is just another service industry to mind peoples money and to loan it out if the people consent or thats what it was and should still be. This parasitic industry is sucking all western economies dry with their reckless gambling and constant interference in how markets should operate. Unless this franchise over what we use as money is taken off these reckless parasites these problems of excess liquidity and the boom bust cycle will just keep reoccurring. The idea that even more currency creation can somehow solve the problems caused by excess currency creation is a joke. If that was correct how come Zimbabwe and Argentina are not the two wealthiest countries in the world. Because it doesn’t work and never will work. Garbage in garbage out.

      • dwalsh

        Well said Cooldude!

      • bonbon

        The “classic gold standard”, the British Gold Standard to those who know, caused the Long Depression after the Specie Resumption Act. This is well documented. That causded the FED and we all know now it is bankrupt. Even a whiff of a gold standard is nauseating to real economists.

        The Lincoln Greenback, based on Hamiltonian Credit Systems is the antidote to this overpowering gold-vertigo.

      • EMMETTOR

        “credit expands and flows into unsustainable bubbles” Yes. As long as this can happen it will and what we are going through now will be repeated, over and over. Massive, massive reform of the banks and financial institutions and how they operated is the FIRST THING that needs to be done and until that happens…

    • Jill Kerby

      Hi Brian,
      This is the most insightful response to this column so far. A little further reading seems merited on both Roosevelt’s devastating response to the depression: everyone – David included – should start with Murray Rothbard’s superb America’s Great Depression, available to download in PDF at Robert P Murphy’s The Great Depression and the New Deal, which illustrates with tables and charts just how differently and badly the 1929 crash was handled by Hoover, then Roosevelt , compared to ‘the panic’ of 1921-22. Finally, may i suggest, from Garet Garrett, his A Bubble That Broke the World, his eloquent 1932 (the year before Roosevelt confiscated all the private gold in America!) explanation and defense of the gold standard.

      Let me just quote one paragraph – written, as i said, in 1932: “Organised credit is relatively a strange thing in the economic life. New and experimental forms of it are continually being invented and we love to deceive ourselves with them. We forget that credit in any form represents debt in some other form. We know about ourselves that we have seizures of ecstasy and mass delusion; that again a time may come when the temptation to throw the monetary machine into wild motion so that everybody may become infinitely richer by means of infinite debt will rise to the pitch of mania, as it did, for example, in 1928 and 1929. With this intelligent knowledge of ourselves we make bargains beforehand with reason; we agree that money, credit and debt shall not be inflated beyond a certain ratio to gold, under certain penalties such as we shall be very loath to pay and yet such as we cannot refuse to pay under worse penalties still.”

      Roosevelt (and the Fed that helped cause the post war credit/stock bubbles) unleashed the dogs of economic war in 1933 and throughout the New Deal years, however well-intended but misguided his deficit spending and price and wage controls. Nixon finished the job in 1971 by taking the US (and the world) off the last vestiges of the gold standard, unleashing mass inflation, not just of the money supply but of prices, creating numerous asset bubbles/collapse cycles that have now culminated in a banking and sovereign debt crisis that cannot be reversed (let alone contained) by yet more govt/central bank intervention. continues to this day.

      What we are finally seeing is the end game of this long, long period of deficit spending, “creative” new methods of money creation (financial derivatives and other financial weapons of mass destruction, anyone?) and “seizures” of credit manias and delusions, the like of which Garret, Rothbard and old Mises himself could probably never have imagined.

      For David to – again – suggest that governments add yet more debt and credit to the existing stratospheric amounts in order to undertake great infrastructure projects, in turn to temporarily “stimulate” moribund economies and put some phony money in people’s pockets, seems like just more of the delusion game to me.

      I’m just guessing that the game will end badly, and in my lifetime and so am not depending on some latter day, big spending ‘Roosevelt’ and his central bank to keep printing paper and ink currency to save the day.



  9. I am panting …out of breath….where am I ….wow …I think I have arrived …..this is a nice place to be ….must look around to get my bearings….might look for a compass in case I get lost .

  10. Hi David,

    It seems that in old Europe the faceless political and institutional elites (including bankers) are so fixated on saving face that they would rather send the eurozone economies down the tubes than to admit they were wrong because of their obsession with saving face. It is the reason why banks are allowed to harrass mortgage defaulters all their lives for their mistakes. It is the reason why the euro-shambles is still causing economies to deteriorate.

    In the “new world”, and here I include the US but also emerging economies in Latin America and Asia, they tend to see things differently. Making mistakes is part of life, you learn from it and move on. If something isn’t working you fix it, admit your errors and re-build more intelligently. Perhaps we now need a “New Europe”, where we can make a fresh start based on democratic values and put the unelected elites in their rightful place – as servants of the public, not self-styled de-facto masters.

    The problems is that it doesn’t look like that the average Europe has experienced enough pain to do anything about it yet. If things continue the way they are the turning point will come quickly and then there will be dangerous reactions. Hopefully things won’t get this far, but one cannot rule it out.

  11. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Couldn’t agree more with what you had to say, Michael! Manuel Barroso,Ollie Rehn and Herman von Rumpuy are nothing but a complete and utter shower of wasters!! Did we have any part in electing them to the positions they now occupy??? We certainly didn’t!!! It’s these and the other ‘clowns’ in Europe that have caused the rest of the EU and the Euro Zone into the position that it happens to find itself in and as far as I can make out nothing will ever change until the ordinary people of Europe start ‘stirring the sh1t’ in a big way!!!

  12. 5Fingers

    Look David, irrespective of what you say, economies Europe and USA have effectively stopped. They are broken. The BRICs are the only show in town for now. The arguments about Gold and printing money do not follow and remain unproven. Taking a shot at the Euro is missing the point as well and neglects the structural issues that are driving high value Euros. The proposed solutions are for symptoms rather than real causes.

    I am genuinely concerned we are now reaching a number of tipping points which are cascading into one another.

    1) Large scale denuding of industrial employment and building of national income to places of low income and poor labour law – aided and abetted by low cost telecoms and IT and logistics and energy. This has now happened for last 10 years with devastating consequences to established supply chains.

    2) Large scale rush in places where real primary./secondary industry jobs dissappear to lock in savings to something of value and derive income from rent and upwards value. Result= property crash and a laying bare if the real value of money.

    3) BRIC economies now in a tail spin as main buyers dry up. Only hope is they form their own markets. But export collapse is happening too fast and government chnage of policy to cater for a richer population without class strife are simply not happening fast enoigh.

    4) I think we will be here in 12-18 months.

    So, where can Ireland take advantage? I tell you where…we need to stay in there influencing and trying to make Europe work. Saying our politicians and bureaucrats are rubbish presupposes someone here or out there will run it better…Love to know what that Messiah might be and who their henchmen will be. This is profoundly scary stuff. It is global and it is coming fast and we are all bitching about local issues that will be overridden very soon indeed.

  13. Grey Fox

    Hi David,
    “I have been told that the banks are now gearing up to come after debtors in a way that they haven’t done so far.”

    580 Ordinary Irish People are now individually suing their respective Banks in Ireland, there are, as RR6 mentioned, monumental battles ensuing in the Four Courts as we speak, a mini revolution, the difference this time is, the people are not coming with pitchforks! they are educating themselves, I witnessed a lay litigant who is battling the might of one of the pillar banks, send barristers & solicitors scurrying for instructions on wednesday last in the High Court, resultng in an immediate adjournment, so,coming after debtor’s in a way they haven’t done before will quite possibly produce the whirlwind which may well be the undoing of some of our eminent financial institutions.

    • Grey Fox

      Oh… and of course all this activity in the High Court is “under the radar of all media”, nothing to see here…move along now!

    • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

      Am I dreaming?, tell me I’m not. Where can I read about this ?. Why do the papers not publish it ?. Is it true ?. This pure catnip.

      Horrayyy, lets jump up and down, can I give some help ???

      A beautiful Friday morning has being turned into a glorious afternoon.
      A court is something that I am designed to keep well away from, none more so than the four gold mines. Could it be true that the facists are getting some of their own treatment at last !!!!
      Puuuuurrrrrrr !!! ( the purrrr of incredulity ! ).

      • redriversix

        Yes they are Pushkin…….

        .cannot really update on this site for obvious reasons……but Grey Fox ,I and several others are making things a “little” uncomfortable for illegal money lenders & launderers…….

    • Care to update us properly Grey Fox?

    • DB4545

      Is this anything to do with the good old case of donoghue v stephenson (the snail and the ginger beer)? Are the good Citizens of this Republic grasping the concept of the tort of negligence for themselves? We have a duty of care to our neighbour and if we breach that duty we can be held liable for any loss or damage that results. For example one major Bank with the initials AIB sold off several of its main St. offices in 2007 immediately before the crash(Irish Independent 28/11/2007).

      Is there a case to be made by its mortgage holders that if?:
      a)The bank was aware that a crash was coming.
      b)The Bank failed to undertake due diligence and inform customers taking out mortgages of the potential risk.
      c)It may have breached the duty of care that it owed to these customers

      Given that many in legal circles have major financial liabilities as a result of the crash is it reasonable to speculate that mortgage holders may be given a sympathetic hearing? I defer to better informed and wiser opinions of the legal community.

  14. dwalsh

    @ Oscar

    The Library of Economics and Liberty is certainly a good resource for right-wing Libertarian economics. Excellent for those who profess the creed of economic anarchism.

    • Because the current system of economic governance is working so fine.

      • dwalsh

        The failure of the current system of economic governance is undoubtedly true. However that does not imply that economic anarchism is the remedy. Indeed the crisis is rooted in anarchistic policies promoted by neoliberal ideologues and manifested in the deregulation of the banking & financial sectors that unleashed the plague of debt and derivatives.

        • bonbon

          All correct. The term “governance” is in fact the neo-con version of political economy. Its effects are seen far and wide. A term popularized by Blair.

          National credit systems, dumping the monetarism so dearly clung to, is an imperative now. FDR’s political economics, “let me tell you about banking” is a fine example. The concept is strikingly put by one of Lincoln’s economists William Elder, who wrote in 1871:

          “A society without a credit system is simply savage. A business economy, whose capital should be limited to material property, would be a despotism of property… as dead as the insensate earth, where all that is precious is in the fixity of crystals, and all that is common, is as incapable as the rocks in which the gold and silver are coffined.”

  15. ex_pat_northerner

    Your piece on Las Vegas and the Hoover dam coincided with me reading this.. The Colorado river and las Vegas features. The energy created by hydro was down almost 50percent in US this year because of the drought..backfilled by shale gas which has an impact on water usage.

  16. Berlusconi is back.

    FF look like being relected.

    Surely that must count for something?

  17. CorkPlasticPaddy

    Are you being serious or what???? Anyone with with a bit of ‘cop-on’ wouldn’t vote those clowns back into power again? Or would they?? Stranger things have happened? But I’ll tell you this for a fact and that’s that I won’t be voting for them next time around and anyone with a grain of sense won’t be voting for them either!!! Do you really think that the ‘Choir/Altar Boy’ would make a good Taoiseach? Sorry, I DON’T THINK SO!!!! And those other clowns in the Fianna Fail party would do a good job in government? I DON’T THINK SO EITHER!!! The only safe thing to do is to either vote for indepedants or else Sinn Fein at this stage. The rest of them haven’t got a clue!!!

    • I am no fan of any political party friend. I am just making a point of logic because I am as mystified as you are

      Berlusconi is as iffy as they come and so are FF. Half of Italy adores Berlusconi and half despise him. David asks the question if people vote for Berlusconi in democratic elections does it count for something?

      Using the same logic it follows that if the Irish people decide in future to return a FF government then it must count for something? It is a fair question

      My question is this. Why does it count?

      It only counts if you have a vested interest in the outcome. Why else would anyone vote a vain botoxed 76 year old who leches after teenage girls or the party that turned Ireland into a laughing stock on the world economic stage. Sleaze is the common denominator. FF protected crinimals in the Church and Berlusconi is one.

      It’s only a matter of time before FF are back in power. A certainty I would say.

  18. Tull McAdoo

    Good news or Bad news depending on your perspective……but my overlords and masters have decided that Tull is to be withdrawn from Hong Kong and embedded in Frankfurt for the duration of what our analysts have termed “the mother and father of all currency wars” that is about to play out on the western front…

    anyways I’m sure ye all know that I would walk a thousand miles just to be with ye… so it’s Goodnight Ireland, sleep well and take it away Vanessa Carlton

  19. bonbon

    Very nice work there in Nevada. I was caught totally by surprise, I must say. You are right about FDR, but as I’ll bet you already guess, I have to add the key move made by FDR was Glass-Steagall, the law splitting the banks that caused the Crash and Depression. Everything after, massive Reconstruction, the Reconstruction Finance Corp RFC, New Deal, Tennessee Valley Authority TVA (based on the Shannon Scheme here!), and defeating international fascism, springs from this. The Gold Standard you mention, also caused the previous Long Depression after the Specie Resumption Act wrecked the Lincoln Greenback policy. Over in the UK, a Greenback has been recently proposed with an excellent analysis. Any attempt now to enforce a Gold Standard would cause such a catastrophic depression, only massive depopulation could result. There is strong indication that the bailout hyperinflation is known to be a failure and a move to a much reduced monetary system is in the wings. This must be prevented and the best way is FDR’s fine example.

  20. Grey Fox

    Yesterday evening, a Criminal Complaint was lodged and a statement taken by An Garda Siochana at the Bridewell Station in Dublin. The criminal acts complained and alleged in the statement pertain to Allied Irish Bank plc and include reckless lending, operating a Bank without a valid Bank License and breach of Liquidity Laws among others, this only the second such complaint made in the history of the State, the first having been made on February 14th 2013 at Malahide Garda Station, to date no “Pulse” incident number has been provided by An Garda Siochana for the first complaint, that in itself is the basis of a subsequent complaint to the Garda Ombudsman, the Dept of Justice and the Minister himself. The complaint lodged last night has been assigned a Pulse incident number, we will await the outcome of the Garda investigation of this Criminal Complaint.

    • Puschkin the Black and White Cat

      I wish to thank these heroes.


      All action in the obstruction of fascism is very welcome in an oppressed society.

    • Pat Flannery

      Grey Fox, please keep us updated on these legal proceeding as I believe enforcing the rule of law is the only way to bring the bank perps and their government co-conspirators to justice. There has been so many illegalities committed and covered up by both politicians and civil servants hiding behind their official masks.

  21. bonbon

    Obama Claims He’s Not a Dictator

    March 1 (EIRNS)–Richard Nixon: “I am not a crook.” (1973)
    Barack Obama: “I am not a dictator.” (2013)
    In response to a question from CNN’s White House
    corespondent Jessica Yellin at today’s news conference at the
    White House, Barack Obama said the following:
    “Jessica, I am not a dictator, I’m the President.”
    “Ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say we need
    to go to catch a plane, I can’t have Secret Service block the

  22. bonbon

    Now let’s calm the Dam vertigo by looking to the future. Those who are worried about drought and lack of water for the Dam, need not fret. The North American Water and Power alliance planned in 1964, is now updated. Think on a grand scale as FDR did. Water, there is plenty of it. Power? Have a look at this especially the flyover with maps. I’ll admit the flyover is not for those of delicate nerves or balance problems!


    This includes Canada, and Mexico has PLHINO:
    PLHINO Century XXI Author Manuel Frías Alcaraz Discusses the Extended NAWAPA

  23. redriversix

    If the Hoover Dam was proposed today would not be allowed due to environmental impact studies and health & safety would have a “fit”

    • bonbon

      Yes, the Queen’s Canada is trying to stop NAWAPA, never mind Obama’s EPA. That shows the green side of the monetarist coin, hand in hand in the same wallet, poodles in a basket, a royal basket. Or should I say corgi’s?

      With the financial fall so does the green swamp too, hand in hand. Look a the latest Bogtec green energy bubble – ghost turbines can be the only result, with ghost estates in their crumbling shadows.

      • The Canadian citizen from coast to coast will appose the plan. Water was deliberately excluded from the NAFTA because of public opposition to its inclusion.
        your American LaRouche seems to think he owns Canada and Mexico too.
        The US already owes Canadian wood forest product companies 2.5 billion that it refuses to pay. This despite 4-5 tribunals ruling in favour of the Canadians. you can’t trust to US to do honest business. so let them fry in the heat. They wasted the water they did have.

    • molly

      When the government past and present want to bend the rules to look after there chosen circle it’s not a problem ,its the same when they want to rush /fast track a bill through the house its not a problem .
      When people are sold down the river and there children’s children will be made to pay for something that was rushed through it happened so fast it was like a dose of the runs,now where did i put my bicycle clips .

  24. redriversix

    Congratulation to P.C ,Grey fox & others who know who they are , on a great weeks work.

    Nothing has been won or lost yet but the ground work is excellent and all done on a voluntary basis.

    But we now realize that the Banks would much prefer if we never did anything and went quietly in to the night…and that is a great achievement for “lay litigants”

    “Roll on Tuesday”

    Have a great weekend

  25. Deco

    The Brussels Circus seems to have decided that the solution to the problem is another asset boom.

    The Great Depression existed because of the lockdown that occured under FDR, with the rich circling their wagons, and trying to profiteer their way ack into fixing their alance sheets, by price fixing – in an environment of excess capacity.

    • bonbon

      A very odd, twisted view there. It is amazing in fact. No mention of 1929, and the refusal of Wall Street to issue productive credit, which in fact caused the depression. FDR turned the entire US economy around and Wall Street organized the “Business Plot” an attempted junta. Look it up, is is well known now. The very same Wall Street crowd that funded Hitler’s campaign. It is interesting that Keynes, Friedman and numerous others admired Hitler’s Schacht, the economics of austerity.
      FDR put Wall Street on notice with Glass-Steagall. They got out of the cage in 2000 again and look what happened.

  26. molly

    Why do rats desert a sinking ship?
    Why do people lie ?
    Why do greedy people want more? Change this and we might find a proper country to call
    Untill we see real change we don’t need clowns running the banana republic.

  27. Spike


    A couple of points – most US states are recourse, only about 12 are non-recourse, though that does include Florida, California and Arizone, which were ground zero for the subprime boom. Nevada is a recourse state as far as I know:
    I can also tell you from having advised borrowers, that lenders go a long way to make default scary and difficult.

    Secondly, its debatable that getting off the gold standard led to a boom in America in the 30s. The US economy really boomed after WW2 when the rest of the world had destroyed its productive capacity.

    What getting off the gold standard definitely does is punish savers to bail out borrowers and asset owners. Those savers include pensioners and the middle class. Its a zero sum game.

    I would agree that forgiving/wiping out excessive debt is a good thing, and that mortgages should be non-recourse, to encourage responsible lending.

    Like the blog, keep up the good work

    • bonbon

      The Specie Resumption Act caused the Long Depression of the 1870′s before, leading directly to the FED by 1914. What FDR did was a bit different – he split up the banks, freeing at least partly the Hamiltonian Credit System with the RFC. The economy recovered to the point of defeating international fascism. The same idea was applied with the Marshall Plan rebuilding from total rubble, the economies of Europe after WWII. Of course Wall Street never forgave FDR for breaking their depression rules – they organized the Business Plot, an attempted military dictatorship, whistle blown by General Butler.
      What dumping the British Gold Standard actually does is to free up credit for reconstruction. Of course Nixon breaking the Bretton Woods in 1972 opened the door to private money printing, nothing to do with productive credit, only bubbles and collapse.

      • Expanding the economy using credit rather than capital is a recipe to disaster that we currently see and experience.
        This depression is not going away until it has run its course.
        your so called private money creation is a function of the cenral banking system in effect now.
        so you are calling for the closure of the central banking system? OR you just want to replace it with a different credit based central bank. out of the frying pan into the fire as I see it.

  28. contrary to others, I do not find this new layout to be and improvement.
    Although the comments box is larger and thus easier to read what is written and about to be posted I find allmthe resr retrograde.

    The general appearance is grey and uninspriring. The colour and vitality of the previous site layout has gone. I found the previous layout chearful, happy and inspirational.

    The posters box still has no edit function or ability to use colour or a different font or print size.

    it is more difficult to follow a thread.

    Grey and uninspiring. disappointing.

  29. ” The American hands the keys back to the bank, the bank sells the property and the new owner moves in. The bank takes the loss on its balance sheet and everyone moves on, older and hopefully a little wiser.”

    You are being ingenuous here. you make it sound as if people can up and walk away any time they feel like it.

    There are credit problems immediately as this action will be on the credit report right away.

    A secondary charge on the house, like a tax bill or utility bill cannot be walked from or another loan like a promissory note. you can be hunted down in the debt courts.

    A bank does not have to foreclose but could go for a court ordered sale. This will enabler the house to be sold at current market while any shortfall can be sued for in the debt courts.

    Not as easy to escape your responsibilities as you suggest David.

  30. “”Prices kept falling until 2012 but since then, they have begun to stabilise and rise modestly. The market has cleared, or at least much of the process of clearing is already behind them.

    Hundreds of thousands of mortgages are still in arrears and no action yet taken to start foreclosure.

    Two reasons.

    1. The banks get to keep the mortgage on the books at book value and do not have to account at real market or discounted value, so the can pretend that their reserves are better than they are.

    2. These houses will be delayed coming on the market and so it is a help in not driving the prices lower.

    in other words the housing market is still manipulated and the people lied to.

  31. “It is called co-responsibility. The creditors and debtors both pay a price and we start again. Both parties are adults and both make sacrifices to clean up the mess. That’s how it works in the US. It is called capitalism. And the process whereby debts are worked through is called deleveraging – both by the banks and by the people.”

    Nothing to do with capitalism. Capitalism is the act of saving money which in turn is used to aquire capital (Plant, equipment and people with expertise) with which to expand of start a business enterprise. It does not involve going in to business with a huge debt around your neck that will drown you immediately.

  32. “When the problem is deflation, as it is in Ireland with asset prices and wages falling, the solution is inflation, not yet more deflation.”

    There is in fact the emerging stagflation. rising prices in most things with a debt suffocated economy.

    You advocate exactly the same policy that caused the problem. You have yourself become a part of the problem broadcasting such opinion of influence.

    • bonbon

      A lot of people are part of the problem, most of the time. But not all of the time. Breaking the banks, separating off the “investment” arms with their synthetic debts, opens the door to recovery along lines that DMcW makes a good effort at explaining.

      The main problem, understandably after decades of monetarism, is the concept of credit systems gets confused with various British school’s recipe’s. It is a central issue, that needs serious consideration.

      • your suggestion does not get rid of debt based money creation through fractional reserve banking as practiced today.

        The central issue that needs no further consideration is to close the banking mafia called the central banking system

        • bonbon

          The urgent issue is, as DMcW fully explains, is to restart the economy. FDR’s methods are the only ones that work. As far as banking is concerned, we must go further than FDR, for the full Hamiltonian system, the FDR could only partially use. This time around the FED is bankrupt, a great help.

  33. “Not only did the Americans build and build but during the Depression they also tore down old ideas that were inhibiting the growth of the country. The most significant of these was abolishing the gold standard”

    Absolute bull shit. FDR did not go off any gold standard nationally he just criminalized the ownership of gold by the US citizen. He forced it to be given to the state in exchange for $20.80 FRN currency and once it was in hand he then devalued those same FRN to a value of $35.00 or a devaluation against gold of over 68%. That was how he was able to increase the money supply by 68%

    The FRN dollar was still exchangeable at $35 to the ounce for any country with a boat load of rapidly depreciated fiat FRN money. When De Gaulle came calling in 1971 20,000 tonnes of US gold had been reduced to 8,200 tonnes and France was about to prove how bankrupt the US had become. It was then Nixon went off the remnants of the gold standard.

  34. “The gold standard was a creditors’ charter, a policy that limited the ability of the central bank to print money by linking the dollar to gold and ensured that the real cost of debt was gold so the debtors hadn’t a hope of paying back old legacy debts. So, for example, when prices, wages and asset prices were falling, the debtor had to come up with more and more of his resources to pay old debt he took out in the pre-1929 boom.

    As long as America was on gold, the amount of dollars in circulation was limited and deflation in prices, commodities prices and food prices, continued. As food prices fell, farmers had no incentive to increase production and deflation gripped the economy, begetting more and yet more deflation.”

    So now you want to blame the gold standard for the excesses of the 1920’s . you are wrong again. Germany was off the gold standard and printed money in the 1920’s with the same abandon as QE to infinity today. Every bit of this fiat printed toilet paper was a debt, a loan.

    As von Mises said, there is no alternative to a bust after a debt based credit boom. That was the 30’s bust.

    The bust we are in today is the result of the just passed credit fueled boom.

    • bonbon

      Monetary systems do go boom-bust, it is built in to the British monetarist schools of various stripes.

      This is why a national credit system, not a mere private aggregate, is so important. This is Hamilton’s Credit Clause of the US Constitution.

      Various attempts to undermine this continue to this day. It is time for the Third US National Bank – the FED is bankrupt!”

      • Only a credit based, (debt based) fiat money system has the ebbs and flows that gut the economy. boom followed by bust
        just like the one you propose.
        You are morally bankrupt. you lie.

        that is why a proper asset based monetary system is called sound money. It leads to a sound economy.

        CClose the central banks, not change one for another

  35. Before Roosevelt abandoned the gold standard, most serious people said that if America came off gold its credibility would be smashed and chaos would ensue because creditors wouldn’t be repaid in gold but in paper dollars and this would constitute a default. Surprise, surprise, these people were usually rich and were owed money!

    Unwise statement inciting a class warfare. solves nothing.
    you are avocating profligate behaviour and abandonment of resposibility.
    you have lost your moral compus. Remind me to never lend you anything. It will never be returned and there will be one excuse after another as to why not.

  36. This loosening of monetary policy combined with massive public works programmes like the Hoover Dam jolted the American economy back to life.

    It was the WW11 that brought the US back to life but the recession was finally over in the 50’s . When Nixon released the US and every other currency in the world from the constraints of the remnants of the gold standard, in 1971, the world has printed money like never seen before resulting in the world wide expansion of a debt based credit boom and we are in the following depression like nothing seen before

    • bonbon

      The only possible was FDR could defeat international fascism was that the US economy was fully in recovery mode after the key intervention against Wall Street in 1933, the Glass-Steagall Act. This enabled the RFC credit for productive programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, which DMcW did not mention.

      Today, after again intervening directly against Wall Street, we have the NAWAPA XXI program read for productive credit. This is in honor of FDR. Applying this on a global scale is the answer to international fascism now lurking in the open. A Marshall Plan for the MED, and the Artic Development are programs near in our neighborhood.

      • It is fine bon bon, you can’t even rid yourself of the fascism in your own back yard and you propose a fascist arrangement for a solution. Government sponsored corporate cronyism funded by a debt based central bank involved in a “grand” scheme that woulf enploy a select few. .
        You are worse than the current rot.

        • bonbon

          Defeating fascism, as FDR knew well means controlling Wall Street. Of course they will try their utmost to proves they are the good guys. The Business Plot is only an example of what they are capable of.
          Glass-Steagall , Wall Street and London know very well, is about taking control away from them for productive credit, something they are instinctively oppose. Hamilton knew exactly what he was up against. Lincon and FDR too. Today the issue is becoming much clearer. Battle lines are being drawn right now.

          • Taking away the bankers power means closing and disbanding the credit based central banking system.
            Real reform not half asses G/S or more of the same such as Hamiltonian central banking.

  37. “The euro is Europe’s gold standard. It is rising now in value just as debts in a country like Ireland strangle the average homeowner. The Italians have given their response. If we keep going down this road, political gridlock, chaos and radicalism beckon across the continent.”

    That last sentence may be true BUT

    Calling the euro a gold standard is a mockery, a deceit, and a gold standard did not cause today’s problem.
    A proper gold standard may well have prevented the credit excess and thus the following recession/depression

  38. Dorothy Jones

    Disappointing…sounds familiar LOL…glad it’s not just me. Good to have the articles twice weekly still esp. when away. Go raiibh maith agat to David&Co.

  39. bonbon

    Germany’s Handelsblatt : Italy Should Quit the Euro, Return to Lira
    In an interview with Handelsblatt, Klaus-Peter Willsch, Christian Democratic Union Bundestag rebel against the bailouts and against the European Stability Mechanism, says today: “If there is no success in convincing the majority of the [Italian] population of the need to keep the agreed obligations in respect to the common currency, one cannot call for early elections from outside, but has to let the country return to its own currency instead.”

    Willsch said the Eurozone must be kept open for changes: “If we want to return to a peaceful and respectful coexistence in Europe, and if we take the self-determination right of the peoples seriously, we have to give up the Euro-Europe ideology. A currency union will only survive if it benefits all its members.”

    The fact that Germany’s leading business daily Handelsblatt provided Willsch a platform to voice his views, is also a sign of the changes that are under way in Europe, after the elections in Italy.

  40. molly

    Leo Varadkar was talking on the radio today and to be honest he sounded like a gobshite,the man has an answer for everything ,I would say even if he was completely wrong he would try to twist around in such away it becomes farcical .
    Where do they get these people from,what kind of breeding process do they go through to end up making people suffer by there actions.
    Simple maths if a family are finding it hard to survive on what they have to live on you don’t cut there income and increase the cost of living as well because its pure madness ,what space ship are the current government on.

    • bonbon

      Good question, and Tim Pat Coogan has gone a long way to answer. See below.

      A Pecora Commission is in the air!

  41. bonbon

    What gave FDR the public support for bank reform and swift action in 1933 was Ferdinand Pecora’s Commission investigating the perpetrators of the 1929 crash. The tough investigator made very public what the banksters had been up to. Now with the South Dakota victory on Glass-Steagall, Pecora Commission is again in the air.

    It sure looks like Tim Pat Coogan is calling for this kind of action in Ireland :

    Tim Pat Coogan: Arrest and Prosecute Corrupt Bankers

    We must all show full support!

  42. Colin


    Thanks for the new re-jigged website.

    Great article. But you seem to have forgotten that Official Ireland (OI) wants house prices to rise. OI meeja were so excited recently thinking the market had bottomed out. We all know this is pure propaganda, I’m sure anyone who wants to know the truth knows it is propaganda. Hopefully, with foreclosures expected to happen, we can get closer to the bottom, and then finally when the NAMA Long Term Economic Horizon Time period has elapsed, we will eventually get to the bottom of the market, which by the way boys and girls, will be 80% fall from peak. But if you believe the meeja, then all I can advise you is to ask the nice people in the meeja how many bargain properties they have bought recently. Actions speak louder than words.

    In the meantime, rent or live at home with Mum and Dad, there is no shame in either option regardless of what the meeja says.

    I see Colm McCarthy was having a go at Engineers Ireland today in the Sindo, attacking them for suggesting a stimulus. Well Colm, when was the last time you drove from Limerick to Cork? The road is an embarrassment. But because you live in Dublin and the infrastructure built so far was Dublincentric, you wouldn’t know what state the road was in, would you Colm?

    Finally, John Allen, yes, you are correct, I must wear a hard hat while I go out on site, if I don’t I could lose my job. Don’t know what point you were trying to make there mate, but you just remember that I was forced to leave my homeland to find work. Thankfully, I think I have adapted to my new surroundings. Not sure if Old Blighty could feel so accommodating towards you Old Chap, no offence.

  43. Taxes, taxes and more taxes. Death by a thousand cuts.
    They will be back for even more in the coming years.

    I fail to see how advocating more inflation will help people who are struggling. It doesn’t make sense.

  44. Re the site

    The comment module is not functioning properly.

    It is producing unexpected results and causing me to make extra clicks.

    Usability 101. Don’t Make Me Think.

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