March 11, 2013

In a New York state of mind

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 128 comments ·
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This week, the column comes from New York, where I have been working at the Irish Arts Centre in Hell’s Kitchen. While not anywhere near the billboard-size presence of The Gathering, this small theatre has been hosting Irish performers of all sorts – actors, playwrights, stand-ups and musicians – for years. It has been central to keeping the Irish cultural torch burning in a rapidly-changing city.

Next year, the theatre will undertake a major expansion, giving Irish culture a new, suitably impressive home to reflect the cultural impact the Irish have had on the city. From this base, Irish culture can be nourished all year around, rather than just on the annual St Patrick’s Day shenanigans.

When the theatre was formed in the early 1970s, Hell’s Kitchen was still run by the notorious ‘Westies’, the last of the Irish Mob gangs, under the leadership of Mickey Spillane. Of course, today Hell’s Kitchen has moved with the city. It is trendy, expensive and displays that great indicator of social gentrification – flamboyant gay men walking makey-uppey looking dogs in waistcoats.

It is this constant reinvention – and more accurately, the belief in the right to reinvent – that gives New York its special energy. Failure is a good thing; indeed, it is expected. One of my favourite New York expressions is “if you haven’t failed, you aren’t trying hard enough.” This sums up the attitude here. My friends here – all late 1980s emigrants from Ireland – have had more careers than Alex Ferguson has had rows with referees. Some initiatives work, some don’t, but they are still here, having a go.

We don’t need to be reminded about how far this mindset is from the prevailing one in Ireland, where failure is seen as toxic and contagious. The person who fails is shunned and avoided, just in case you might catch the failure germ off him. Success is celebrated, and rightly; but for every success, there will be a failure and the failure should be the learning curve for the next success and so on.

This belief in the recurring cycle of what Keynes described as the ‘animal spirits’ drives US economic policy. Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and co are trying as hard as they can to make it possible for animal spirits to take hold. The policy is working – but only slowly. Like so much in this country, views on the economy line up with the ongoing culture war between left and right, Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, which is now playing itself out in the economic field.

On the Fox News-championed right, we have the view that Bernanke is destroying the US and hyper-inflation is just around the corner. On the left, championed by the New York Times, there is no inflation threat and the government has to keep spending and printing money.

Each side clutches the latest piece of evidence from the economy to prove that its position is right.
Last week, Times Square lit up with the news that the Dow Jones had hit an all-time high. Squashed between ads for the latest Broadway sensations or Hollywood blockbusters, the ticker tape of the Dow aims to reassure Americans that the future is bright.

Yet the sceptics worry that this is yet another credit-fuelled bubble which will burst.

The nearly 2,000-point rise in the Dow since last June at least partly reflects asset inflation stemming from all the money the Fed is printing looking for a home. There have been very real developments to justify it. The economy is fragile – and, while unemployment numbers perked up a bit last month, this downturn is grinding on longer than anyone had anticipated.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, firmly in the Fox News camp, observed that farm prices in the Mid West were rising at a 13 per cent annual rate. How, it asked, could drought-stricken farms be gaining value so rapidly, other than through inflation generated by cheap credit? House prices also are climbing again in many areas.

As we know to our cost, asset prices, driven by cheap credit, tend to make you feel richer than you are. This wealth illusion affects everyone from the individual to the state. People borrow against their perceived new wealth and we get into trouble again.

To help this process along, the Fed has been buying up assets and paying for them with money – the so-called quantitative easing.

Many feel that the US is now at a tipping point, where the easy money of the past few years comes back to haunt the economy.

On the bearish side, people argue that even the Fed’s own economists warned that the Fed itself could lose as much as $100 billion on this vast portfolio when bond prices finally fall from their artificially elevated levels. Meanwhile, higher interest rates will cause the cost of financing government debt to skyrocket.
On the bullish side, the left argues that there is a liquidity trap and, until the private sector is properly healed and has fixed its balance sheet – which can only come about through higher house and share prices – the economy will continue to be fragile. So their answer is – keep printing and spending now – let the economy turn and then worry about the future.

All the while, the animal spirits are stoked by the prospect that everyone has a chance – and a second and a third chance too. They look to the wisdom of the likes of Warren Buffett who, last week, delivered his annual missive on how to invest successfully. The Sage of Omaha, known for his deft and successful investing over the years, advised people to buy newspaper stocks and old media, which in his mind are assets that are badly undervalued.

As I headed up 10th Avenue last Friday, having just heard about the examinership of this paper, I expect Buffett’s wisdom regarding newspapers is not misplaced this time too. After all, if we don’t fail at least once, it’s because we aren’t trying hard enough – right?

Thank you for all your support of this newspaper. Let us hope that we emerge from examinership in good shape, still tackling the issues, offering opinion – and doing it to the best of our ability.


  1. pauloriain

    Interesting

    • DECO

      GOLDMAN S IS RUNNING THE SHOW IN THE STATES AND IN EUROPE LOOK AT WHO IS WHO EX GOLDMAN ALL THE WAY. SUCKERS AS THEY SAID. INTERESTING POINT OF VIEW THE WHEELS ARE COMMING OFF THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM DEBTS ARE TO BIG. BUBBLES STARTING TO APPEAR IN THE EQUITY MARKETS I EXPECT THEM TO RISE AGAIN AND CRASH. IRELAND IS A BASKET CASE DEBT TO GDP 500% TO BIG WERE KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD AGAIN INTERESTING WHAT THE IMF SAID ABOUT ICELAND IN ITS RESERCH OF 100YRS DEFAULT AND 4% UNEMPLOYMENT. WERE NOT ICELAND SAID WHO? ITS A PITTY WERE NOT. 50% TRUE UNEMPLOYMENT AND LOADS OF UNSUSTAINABLE DEBTS. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE BOND MARKETS TURN AGAINST US WATCH WHAT BILL GROSS SAYS FROM PIMCO. THE FOURTH REICH ARE RUNNING IRELAND. WAKE UP PEOPLE AND DEFAULT ITS THE ONLY ANSWER AS I CANT SEE ANY OTHER WAY OF RESETING THE DEBT I STAND TO BE CORRECTED. BUT I THINK IM RIGHT ON THIS 1. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK DAVID

      • molly

        What you say is true ,the more one thinks about it,it’s like people need to make some sort of a protective bubble.
        A suvival bubble,there’s so many telling lies out there and in a way the rich and powerful are doing just that,telling lies and protecting themselves .
        How can people in power fall down in shite and come up smelling of roses.
        If joe public falls in shite he tends to wallow in it.

      • Hey,Deco- what’s with the CAPS? You don’t have to shout because everyone of note reads and respects your contributions, me included.

        I agree with you. ‘The Irish Implosion’ seems inevitable alongside that of others, including the UK. The problem for Ireland is the hard-arsed Euro. Can’t see a solution other than a further decade of depression/internal devaluation, especially now it’s tits-up for triple A Britain:

        http://www.debtonation.org/2010/06/the-economic-consequences-of-mr-osborne/

        Iceland escaped because they’re the size of Coventry and they have a cultural mindset that isn’t going to accept ‘state owned banks leading to bank owned state’ situation. Ireland is in an altogether more invidious trap. regards.

      • Adam Byrne

        DECO MARK II

      • Dorothy Jones

        Thought it was Goldbug with the caps at first.
        ‘Doubts cast on Icelandic crisis model’ FT 130303, 27 comments or so over on irisheconomy.ie

        http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/bfdff83a-7a60-11e2-9cc2-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2NGOWLSGy

        • “Under the measure, up to 4% of Iceland’s GDP growth (in sterling terms, from a 2008 base) would be paid to Britain from 2017–2023 while the Netherlands would receive up to 2% of Iceland’s GDP growth for the same period.”

          http://bit.ly/15IsDUf

          The original proposal to pay debt from growth seemed sensible to me. It gave the neoliberal ‘Viking’ clique a kicking, kept the whole ‘rule of law’ thing going and provided a fig leaf for Britain, but Gordon Brown wasn’t having it.

          Like Ireland, like Iceland: “you can’t get blood out of a stone”. “Expansionary fiscal contraction” is taking a long time to arrive.

          irisheconomy.ie is a scary wonk blog. there are probably real economists with beards there! I had a look and the comment by ‘Brian G’ resonates:

          “A key metric is what proportion of privately incurred losses were assumed by the state. In Ireland this was about 50%. (Total losses about 100bn, 64bn injected by state, with ELG fees, coco sales and value of current stakes in AIB/BOI bringing net to about 50bn). In Iceland this amount was less than 5%.

          Thus the principle that private losses should not be socialized was implemented far more strongly in Iceland than in Ireland (over 10 times more strongly to be exact).”

          http://bit.ly/13Sh1zV

          Now Iceland and Britain are arguing about mackerel. Why can’t everyone just play nicely? “There’s plenty of fish left in the sea”…no, WAIT!

          http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/Mackerel-wars-harbinger-of-things-to-come-190756161.html

          “Economics is war by other methods” or whatever the quote is.

      • Deco

        That is another Deco.

        He is using all caps.

        There is some saying that comes to mind.

        I posted last week, and my comments did not appear. Is there something going on that I don’t know about ?

  2. Beaver

    Wouldnt bet on printed newspapers. I stopped byuing them years ago and read them for free on the net. Dont read SBP because they charge for internet content. There are too many journalists/writers and too many newspapers. Even the sage gets it wrong.

    • cooldude

      I agree. The so called sage is just another out of touch investor who has failed to see the big change that is happening. Print media advertising is back to the same levels as the 1950′s. There will be lots more casualties. This is creative destruction in action with the new industry , the internet, obliterating the old industry print media. This is good for anyone seriously interested in getting real news because the MSM news is totally controlled by the keynesian economics crowd and the pharmaceutical industry who are all controlled by the banking elite. The internet is a game changer and is shaking up lots of ideas and industries. There are some great sites which cover the news properly such as The Daily Bell and Max Keiser. This change is a good thing although the big money power will probably try to control the internet next.

      • Reality Check

        Agreed Cooldude, you’d think Buffet would have realised by now that the internet has totally changed the print media industry because it has made a scarce good (physical newspapers, paid for opinion) into a non-scarce good – a good that can be replicated infinitely.The internet is basically an infinite photocopier. A 21st century Guttenberg press with practically zero costs.
        New rules means there are no rules.
        Didn’t Buffet buy truckloads of AIB shares just before the crash?.
        He’s not infallible people.
        http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2009/03/buffets-lesson-from-ireland.html

        • Reality Check

          Buffet; he certainly ain’t no “21st Century Boy”
          Yesterday’s Crony.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylww2dOW7fg

          • JPL

            When everyone else was making a fortune by jumping into the “New Economy” stocks in 1999 – 2000 Buffett steered clear because, he said, business fundamentals don’t change even if technology does. History shows he was correct.

            Also, his surname contains two ‘t’s’ i.e. Buffett, not Buffet.

    • JPL

      David, and others, should be more careful to report the context behind the story here. To clarify, Buffett didn’t recommend buying any and every newspaper out there. He has acknowledged the competitive erosion which technology has brought to large newspapers / media organisations.

      Rather, he promotes the idea of looking for investments in newspapers in smaller towns / cities which have few (ideally zero) competitors. He even mentioned that it would be nice if such newspapers had a “sensible internet strategy”.

      The thesis behind this recommendation is that people of smaller, tightly knit, communities will continue to buy the local newspaper in order to access content which is important to the readers and which cannot be obtained anywhere else e.g. local news, local adverts etc.

      Of course, people are free to question Buffett’s thesis but true bravery would be to put your money down, bet against his views and then compare results after a suitable period of time has elapsed. If you had assumed a position of betting against Buffett over the past 50+ years you would have lost more times than you would have won.

      Happy investing!

      • Reality Check

        His investing thesis is that one should invest in “Capital efficient” businesses. Businesses that don’t need large amounts of Capital to stay as prominent near monopolies in the market place. You can see this with the brand loyalty to Coca Cola for example, large investment in product innovation is not as customers like it just the way it is. He has disliked technology companies because of the high Capital costs involved – though you could argue that he missed the way many consumers have a devotion to Apple products because of their perceived “coolness”.
        I’m guessing he believes that local newspapers have a brand loyalty that competitors cannot match.
        I wouldn’t bet against a social media competitor creatively destructing Buffett out of the water.

        • Reality Check

          Should have said there; “Coca Cola does not need to use large amount of capital on product innovation as customer brand loyalty is so devout – thus it is a capital efficient business”.

          • JPL

            Regarding Buffett’s overall investment style no doubt he has shown a preference for companies which have lower capital requirements. However, he has also shown a willingness to invest in companies with higher capital requirements if he feels that these companies have a competitive advantage and can provide a better return than other investment opportunities e.g. Walmart, Tesco, US Airways etc.

            Regarding small town newspapers his investment thesis is as described in my referenced post.

            Regarding your willingness to bet against Buffett, whilst he is by no means infallible, history and the odds are not in your favour.

            All the best!

      • Makes sense. People will join a ‘social network’ in their home town linked to a local newspaper to escape the bedlam of FB/Tw. “local and social trumps virtual and global” or something snappy like that.

        It’s like ‘friends reunited’ trying to turn themselves into an intensive collaborative heritage / memory chest. It ‘might’ work:

        http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/Discussion/910396

        More importantly, the tablet platform with walled-garden ‘apps’ will create an ecosystem that can make paywall work. The Freetards of Web 2.0 don’t seem to understand that the digital exploitation economy was built on a platform of web-sites that will be history soon. Once there’s critical mass on ‘app’ readership, who’s going to fund/maintain legacy website platforms with no revenue stream? The attempts to charge for ‘clicks2links’ is misguided. Just move to app only in a year or two.

        Here’s a lengthy but important piece by David Byrne on Aaron Swartz’s suicide over ‘liberating JSTOR’:

        http://bit.ly/ZE72Z6

        Along with David Lowery’s The Trichordist this sets out the tableaux of web ‘freedom’ vs intellectual property rights in a tragic tale of youthful morality vs investment logic. I think Bowie now owns his songs again, having sold them on a fixed term to some pension fund to ride out the Napster era. Smart bloke.

        If musicians are meant to sell t-shirts to pay bills, what are journalists supposed to do?

        Buffett is probably right.

        The actual Stewart Brand quote was “On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other”

        The Freetards have had a good run, but the whole p2p content bazaar isn’t ‘piracy as rebellion’, it’s a sure way to reduce cultural evolution to a crawl. Who’d now set up an innovative online artistic adventure if they only get 0.0000212 per play on Spotify or YouTube.

        Oh, and of course there’s the whole Huff Post blog content ‘digital sharecropping’ row, but let’s leave it there for now.

        Nice to be back. Might take me a while to get my chops/riffs back to concert level, but hey! it’s David’s club, lots of experimental atonal jazz economics on offer, so I’m sure I’ll fit in. again. regards.

  3. Reality Check

    MSM won’t accept that the Austrian school is valid and correct;
    Whenever you have credit lending in excess of what people voluntarily save – an artificial boom followed by a bust results – paraphrasing Von Mises.

    • Adam Byrne

      What is MSM?

      David, you should try to get an interview with Warren Buffet – that would be fascinating at this juncture. He might have some advice for the newspaper. Besides, Omaha is a fabulous city – I absolutely love it and I’m sure you would too.

  4. Reality Check

    Adam, MSM = Main Stream Media.
    I should have added main steam economics too!

  5. crazy cat

    While you are in the States, a view of Europe by Pepe Escobar

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-01-110313.html

  6. SLICKMICK

    Ireland is one of the few places on the planet which imports large amounts of newspapers. Economies of scale mean UK titles sell @ half the price. Along with the web, this explains why INM has lost 99 % of it’s value post 2007. Never heard Mr Ross complain about shoddy management on Talbot St ! Irish manufacturing is going the same way. Can’t compete when the punt is 111% the value of sterling.

    • JPL

      One of the main reasons for the decline in INM’s market valuation is the crazy amount of debt it took on over the past decade. This debt was taken on for questionable purchases of other newspapers abroad.

      To compound matters, the former CEO (SIR Anthony O’Reilly) recommended that shares in INM be repurchased using debt issued. This was in response to Denis O’Brien’s attempt to increase his stakeholding in the company at the time.

      In effect, the management diluted the value of the business by making poor decisions with a view to questionable gains. Otherwise, it is a relatively successful newspaper in, albeit, a small market.

      Interesting to note too is the recommendations which Irish stockbrokers made on INM all through this obviously devaluing process. The recommendations of at least two of the main Irish brokers was to buy INM. Each of these brokers also acted for INM in other matters.

      This highlights the danger of seeking investment advice from institutions which rely on business from the companies they are supposedly analysing. Remind anyone of Standard and Poors and Moodys ratings of the toxic securities which US financial institutions peddled during the bubble? S&P and Moodys also relied on securing contracts with the same financial institutions in order to turn a profit for themselves.

  7. molly

    Hello David .
    I can’t get my head around this printing money,it seams like a 3card trick,if one gets deeper and deeper in debt when will it come back to reap its revenge.
    Will the wrong people have to pay for this ?

    • Adam Byrne

      To some extent it depends what the money is spent on molly:

      http://jeffsachs.org/2013/03/professor-krugman-and-crude-keynesianism/

    • paddythepig

      You are right to be sceptical. A lot of economists believe that the control of money is the core ingredient to progress, rather than just a facilitator to economic activity. They assign far too great an importance to money, rather than focusing on the other more core sources of growth and progress – like science, engineering, innovation, demographics, competition, and so on.

      If the past 20 years have thought us anything, it should be the above.

      • 5Fingers

        A good point. But heas anyone really figured out how to manage science, engineering, innovation, demographics, competition, and so on without using money as the ultimate incentive.

        Take one example: How do you take control of marshalling a large Windfarm project? Ireland has precious few resources so it needs outsiders (and that is a fact – same for a Thorium Reactor etc). All this needs money. If there was another way of doing this without raising significant debt – great.

        Now, I know the rebuttal to above is how we came to be so indebted to a level several times the investments required – suggesting we had the means all along. But, again, this may have meant burying money in many large projects that yielded nothing – remember property was so valued above all else.

        I have no answers. Just more questions. Not too sure what to think anymore

        • paddythepig

          Hi 5fingers, just to clarify I am not saying that access to money and capital isn’t important, but firstly it has to be stable and sound money, and secondly money should be subservient to all the activities I mention above, rather than their master.

          The elevation of money to the top of the pecking order, whereby it becomes the core topic of interest, rather than a side topic, has meant the world is not concentrating enough on what is truly progressive and productive.

          This is why i think Bernankes experiment is so interesting. If his policies were to fail, as I think they will, I wonder is the western world capable of reevaluating in a sensible way where it should focus its energies.

  8. greatwhitespirit

    Dissappointing. I logged on expecting some public sector bashing and just got this instead. Maybe the whole affair with the SB post has distracted David?! The Irish Independent won’t allow that sort of slacking off.

  9. Reality Check

    @Greatwhitespirit; That’s part of the reason we are different to the states – Endemic Public sector whingeing and entitlement!
    The opposite of the US pioneer mindset.

    • Reality Check

      Getting back to the article; I guess the next question is what happens when banks start lending again and the liquidity trap disappears?
      Will it be the “crack up boom”?

    • bonbon

      Actually FDR instated protection for labor, and commercial bank deposits. Obama is trying to remove these.

      FDR gave the world the example with Glass-Steagall and then wnt on to defeat universal fascism, a European, more precisely British imperial lurch.

      The Austrian School is British, never was American.

      • Reality Check

        Lemon Bonbons talking about seagulls again and telling porkies about the Austrian school.
        Only Cantona would get you.

  10. 5Fingers

    I think the US pioneering mindset is over rated. Likewise on the matter of attitude to failure. This is confusing scale with attitude and not realising that failure in a larger economy is counteracted by more opportunity in same. All the big cities around the world have this more forgiving nature to those who are willing to start again and again.

    With regard to higher tolerance for race, creed and gender orientation and indeed with respect to taste of all sorts, it again follows scale. We need to be careful about culture bashing. Ireland is a tiny place with islander thinking and it could be a damn sight worse.

    So let’s get back to Republic vs Democrats debate on whether the place will explode to worthless confetti or not. Is the Keynesian approach right or not? I think it is the wrong question. It assumes we have identified problem and worse, it assumes an answer. And yet, we have the “Sage” thinking newspapers are undervalued when it is as plain as can be that news is for free – be it right or wrong or plain nonsense. If a man like that can be so wrong, just imagine how screwed up the thinking is of the other wheelers and dealers. That, is why the world is unpredictable and will remain so.

    Large sections of the economy are under change. Conventionally, it is seen as mere optimising through competition and innovation. More radically, I think we need to admit something else is happening. I think we are witnessing a realignment that very few (certainly not me) understand.

    Banks failing are a natural fallout of this realignment and we can drone on and on about outsourcing, too much credit and so on. Blah! The failure is due to legacy / old fashioned thinking – the very thinking of insiders. They are applying the same stupid rules over again and expecting a new result, That’s your argument over and over again David.

    Now, let not forget the mantra that markets “forget”. Forgive debt and we move on. This is not the reason newspapers are failing. Or indeed why a lot of other things are failing. We can forget as much as we like, but when you become irrelevant (and it is not just newspapers), we are dealing with something different.

    Here’s 2 things
    1) China is on the way to building an internet like we have never seen anywhere if we are to believe the pundits. What does this mean? Most in the non-tech fields say…it is another innovation. Me (a little more techy just) would see this as something that will radically magnify the power of every tool we use today – you say mobile phone…I say enhanced factory control, logistics control and a level of central planning we have never witnessed before.

    2) The day of the “chancers” try yer hand at anything is over. You need to be qualified, certified, cross referenced, inoculated etc before you can squeak. Try yer best opportunism will be wiped off the face of the map by calculated preparation at a level never befroe witnessed. This is your real economy. Get used to it or it might find no use for you.

    • JPL

      Before you write off Warren Buffett’s investment thesis regarding newspapers you should be aware of the context in which he set this recommendation:
      http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2013/03/11/in-a-new-york-state-of-mind/comment-page-1#comment-133156

      • 5Fingers

        Fair enough. Still, it’s a lot of little stuff rather than any one big hitter. If this can be scaled up, then maybe he’s onto something. I cannot see it though. New thinking needed or maybe some forgotten old thinking perhaps.

        • JPL

          5Fingers, I think you are right when you refer to “some forgotten old thinking”. :-)

          I remember reading Peter Lynch’s books (he of Magellan Fund fame) and he talked about investing in the boring, mundane business which everyone has forgotten because it is no longer cool.

          In the case of small town newspapers, Buffett believes that communities will still want to read about local news / adverts. He tries to think laterally and logically. Of course, he is not infallible but then again nobody is.

          All the best.

          • bonbon

            Yeah, the “people” should concern themselves with cosy “local issues” while Buffett and Wall Street loot you. Charming, such lateral love of the people.

            That kind of logical embrace can kill you!

  11. Pat Flannery

    Don’t forget that David gets paid by the MSM, in this case the SBP. He grabbed onto the Sage’s “advice” like a lifeline thrown to a drowning man. This column is what a good company man would write about his drowning employer. And we all know that David can write.

    Other than that there is not much in this piece, except a few good comments. One of the great strengths of the Internet is that often the comments make better reading than the main article.

    Off topic, I found Kenny’s remarks to the LSE today as reported by RTE very interesting. He is calling for a “Single Banking Supervisor” which can only mean ending national central banks and concentrating all regulatory power in the ECB.

    But the interesting part is that Enda does not speak on such matters without the approval of the international financiers who use Ireland as their platform. Kenny is just their mouthpiece so therefore that is what they want, centralized control of the Euro system.

    Even more interesting is Kenny’s meeting with Cameron today. Cameron knows that he is not just talking with a powerless Irish PM like Sean Lemmas in the ’60s. Cameron knows he is being interviewed by the willing puppet of a powerful international financial gambling cartel, that has colonized the mouth of the Liffey as the Norse traders did from the 9th Century to 1014, who will report back on what Cameron is thinking i.e. is he in or out of this Euro thing.

    I would like to be a fly on the wall in Downing Street today.

    • bonbon

      Very well put!

      And all the talk of Keynes’ “Animal Spirits”, makes a real zoo of the economy. Right now Helicopter Ben is leading a stampede, but are the hooved ones running from a forest fire? Depends on which direction one looks!

      After all what was the Tiger economy, but sheer jungle.

      By the way the Viking are not to be confused with the ancient Norse – they were Jutland-based, Charlemagne’s Taliban enemy. The Normans are their settled decendants. As with the Taliban the Viking were run by financiers, Venice, now become the City, which Cameron and Kenny are out to defend. And the mouth of the Liffey is indeed an offshore-onshore Euro cat’s paw.

  12. 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.

    The context of this is a grab for anything other than toxic assets. Only problem when dirty big money gets it paw, or hoof, into your diner, well we know what to expect.

    • Reality Check

      For once Lemon Bonbon I actually agree with you.
      To stay healthy and keep the corporate food behomeths out of your life;
      Strive to eat one ingredient foods – don’t eat packaged/ processed foods.
      We’re lucky in Ireland that we have grassfed beef and excellent Diary produce.
      Slow cook your food, your food will taste amazing and you’ll save loads over convenience foods.(Crockpots/slow cookers make the job easy)
      Invest in a reverse osmosis water purifier – The taste and difference is like the difference between day and night.

  13. bonbon

    “Whoa, Boy, Ben” Warnings on Fed QE Policy Proliferate

    Warren Buffett warns that the markets are on a “hair trigger;” Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher charges that the market is “hooked on the drug” of easy money, USA Today notes.

  14. Tom Crowley

    Quote from David
    ” Each side clutches the latest piece of evidence from the economy to prove that its position is right.”

    Is anyone paying attention to Italy?

    I will attempt to connect the dots….
    Ireland unsustainable debt …a non party political movement of protest… 2yrs Ballyhea 1st …now Ireland Says No To Bank Debt… in several towns every Sunday…outrage at imposition of property tax….flatline growth figures despite the billions …..betrayal of election promises…awakening that our politicians are only mouthpieces of ECB masters….

    Italy….Monti the puppet of Austerity 9%…..5 Star MOVEMENT elected 163 deputies by nearly 9 million votes…. direct democracy,,,,, no to political parties left or right.. ..anti austerity… debate the euro…..new proposal for Basic Income…understanding of limit to economic growth… politicians limited to 2 terms on industrial wages ..

    Join the Ireland says no movement March next Saturday 16th at 4pm on Leinster House
    http://www.facebook.com/events/348952171890381?refid=17

    Start your protests in your town , elect yourselves the people of Ireland into local elections. There is no point waiting for existing politicians for change.

    Debt that can’t be paid won’t be paid.
    People who don’t stand up for themselves will be trodden on!

    Links
    http://www.basicincomeireland.com/
    http://www.theautomaticearth.com/Finance/whats-more-important-to-you-italy-or-the-dow.html

    • molly

      This puppet government have reach its sell by date,I will be going to the march.

    • bonbon

      Check the Beppo Grillo M5S mainfesto now being prepared by Stiglitz of well known Big Finance. No, Grillo said, they will never leave the Euro, will continue to pay, and stop every large infrastructure project in Italy. The only thing they take seriously is the “carbon footprint”, the British concoction pushed by all its puppets.

      M5S Faction Leader, Roberta Lombardi, Praised Mussolini

      March 6, 2013 (EIRNS)–Roberta Lombardi, the newly elected M5S faction leader in the Chamber of Deputies, has recently praised Mussolini’s 1919 program in her blog. After being attacked by some mainstream media, Lombardi declared that she is against Fascism and posted the following explanation:
      “In the context of an analysis, I referred to the original 1919 program, based on voting rights for women, elections and other social reforms which looked like basic socialist revolutionary reforms, and not like the prelude to a future dictatorship. These are proposals that Mussolini rejected starting the following year, in what became a frenzy of contradictions. The characteristic of Fascism was in fact always changing cards on the table, the only constant being that Mussolini and his single party remained always at the center of power.”
      Indeed, Mussolini’s 1919 program looks like Grillo’s program: base democracy. And Mrs. Lombardi, in describing the “characteristics of Fascism,” describes the characteristics of M5S. With one aggravation: M5S is rabidly anti-progress. Both Mrs. Lombardi and the newly elected faction head in the Senate, Vito Crimi, have issued statements or posted articles calling for the cancellation of all infrastructure projects — not only the Messina Bridge (which Monti had already cancelled) but also the Turin-Lyon high-speed rail line, which is being built as part of Trans-European Corridor 5 (Lisbon-Kiev) — and pushing radical deindustrialization schemes under the category of “de-growth.

      • bonbon

        This is not the way to go. The only way that can possibly work is the Marshall Plan for the Med, and the Arctic Development for Ireland. After of course splitting the banks. Take this approach – say yes to progress, the future, firmly, and No to the “universal banking”. Yes to credit for the future and progress, and no to the safety-net for the casino.

        • Tom Crowley

          bonbon
          “Check the Beppo Grillo M5S mainfesto now being prepared by Stiglitz of well known Big Finance. No, Grillo said, they will never leave the Euro, will continue to pay, and stop every large infrastructure project in Italy. The only thing they take seriously is the “carbon footprint”, the British concoction pushed by all its puppets.”

          Please read this the platform 9 million Italians voted for 5 Star ttp://bit.ly/12tm4Ht
          This is corporate and state working together? Ireland now qualifies but not this. Why do you try to mislead?

          Where are your thoughts on Basic Income?
          What do you find so wrong with Ireland Says NO to Bank Debt?
          5 Star is under attacks like yours from the left, from the right,from the powers that be, the politicians, the media.
          Have you only the one set of La Rouche grand ideas?
          Your thoughts on the greatest problem facing mankind Climate Change is a carbon taxation agenda? Holy FUCK how I wish it was? Do you have any idea how bad an ice free Arctic is going to be?

          • bonbon

            Of course say noo to bank debt. Grillo said they will respect the Euro. More voted for Obama and look what they got.

            The British Co2 hoax is well documented.

            And the Artic is now open for business. China docked its first ice-breaker in Iceland recently.

            Anyway London will impose a Monti-2 on Italy to continue the austerity agenda.

  15. Hey, what does everyone think of ‘Summly’?

    Britain’s got talent. Nick D’Aloisio decided against joining One Direction even though he has the looks:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20181537

    17 years old! This really does look like ‘the future’, can’t wait to use it when I get me an iPad mini tomorrow. Can’t use it on ye olde Ipod 2.0 as it’s not up to it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/summly-nick-daloisio_n_2065796.html

    I like the idea of an alternative X-Factor for teen entrepreneurs. Dragon’s Den is just so full of bitter, twisted mid-20s-40s also-rans, and that whole ‘impress the great and the good’ is so over.

    I endorse Nick D’Aloisio as a positive role model for young people, alongside Olympic sports heroes and Prodijig. Is there an Irish version of Nick? Can such ‘genius’ be cultivated through education and such like?

    A nice article from young David that explores the whole finance/culture/technology clusterfcuk of modern life very well. New York is the vortex of creative destruction. I hope I get to go there one day, it sounds amazing. Still, Dublin in a few weeks.

  16. Evening All

    Thanks for all the comments over the last days, sorry I haven’t been able to reply but am wrecked from travelling like an eejit. Thankfully home now for a while. Lots to think about though when you get out of this place for a stretch.

    Best

    David

    • molly

      David you made some good calls in the past ,going forward I wonder where you think we might be in 3 years from now around the time this governments term is up if they last that long.ps I hope they don’t.

    • Adam Byrne

      Welcome back David, get some rest (if you can!). Travelling is great apart from the moving from one place to another part.

  17. “”The nearly 2,000-point rise in the Dow since last June at least partly reflects asset inflation stemming from all the money the Fed is printing looking for a home.”"

    The Working Group on financial markets is the entity responsible for the ascendency og the DOW index. Formed in the 1980′s to avoid (ammeliorate) a Dow Collapse it now operates on a daily basis to plump the stock market whenit fails. The accounts for the 3 pm -4 pm rise in the index on a daily basis. The rising market is accuplished with decreasing volume as the general investing participants shun this phoney index. The US is in the midst of a major depression with unenemployment at 23%, 43 million on food stamps and decereasing levels of employment as a percent of the population.

    http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12631.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_Group_on_Financial_Markets

    There are no free markets as manipulation is a constant.

    “all technical analysis of markets now is faulty if it fails to account for government intervention”

    http://www.gata.org/node/6241

    Rudyard Kipling

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled,
    And their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled
    And began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters,
    And Two and Two make Four,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings
    Limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future,
    It was at the birth of Man.
    There are only four things certain
    Since Social Progress began:
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit
    And the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger
    Goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished,
    And the brave new world begins,
    When all men are paid for existing
    And no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us,
    As surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings
    With terror and slaughter return.

    • bonbon

      There never was , cannot be, and never will be a “free market”. It is all a figment of Adam Smith’s vivid imagination and “moral sentiments”. Pure fantasy. Instead of this strange feudal concoction of the British Imperial stable, Glass-Steagall is of the actual real universe. Chasing off after shadows, as monetarists do, leads to disaster as we all see now since Glass-Steagall was repealed in 2000. As FDR said ethics are good, but we need action and action now.

      Time for principles cohering, in harmony, with the physical economy. As Matthew and Henry Carey, Hamilton and Lincoln and our Arthur Griffith all explained. And as we now explain firmly.

      • Typical gobly gook from Bon bon. Can you explain what he actually said. Designed to confuse.The ‘we’ is presumably LaRouche et al.

        Of course there are free markets. Dismissing free markets is your forte as it is evident you do not believe in them, only in state control and 5 year plans. Statism is your belief.

        • bonbon

          Where are there or ever were “free markets”. Never existed. Maybe in the Garden of Eden? Then one would have to claim divine intervention?

    • bonbon

      The “divide and conquer” mentality was perhaps best expressed by the racist Rudyard Kipling, the apologist for the British Empire’s rape and looting of “lesser races,”, “The White Man’s Burden”, who said, “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” (Emphasis added to Kipling quotes).

      Such statements were not philosophical ruminations, but statements of policy: the fruits of Western science and technology were to be denied to the East, while the moral, ethical, and cultural heritage of the East would be distorted and hidden in a cloak of “inscrutability” from Western minds.

      So instead of imperial racist divides, let’s divide the banking system by function, now. That’s what Glass-Steagall is all about.

    • bonbon

      This is what Kipling was all about :

      Take Up the White Man’s burden– Send forth the best ye breed– Go bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait in heavy harness On fluttered folk and wild– Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half devil and half child. (-Rudyard Kipling)

  18. “Failure is a good thing; indeed, it is expected”

    And it is further expected that when you are too big to fail you will be bailed out by the tax payer.

    The US is now a fascist/socialist state and not the bastion of free enterprise it was even 40 years ago.

  19. In addition to the falling share transactions on the Dow is a report that the insider trading ration is now 50 selling volume for every 1 buying volume

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/15839243/Insider_Activity_and_Concentration_by_Industry

  20. Euro Banks loaned dollar swaps by the Fed

    By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com

    Jim Willie, who holds a PhD in statistics, says, “There are staggering bullish market indications for gold. The primary cylinder is negative real interest rates for the past 10 years.” Dr. Willie says other bullish factors include “phony accounting at insolvent global banks” being propped up by massive money printing. Dr. Willie contends, “In January alone, the European banks were the beneficiaries of $1.2 trillion from dollar swap facilities as directed by the U.S. Fed. That’s what’s keeping these bonds floating and the banks alive. They’re zombies.” Dr. Willie says, “Europe is on the verge of collapse.” When it does, Dr. Willie says a new “Gold Trade Finance System” is already in place to take over for the dollar. Dr. Willie’s sources say, “The trade finance system has already agreed on a gold price of $7,000 to $8,000. Silver would be $150 to $200 per ounce.” Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Dr. Jim Willie from GoldenJackass.com.

    • bonbon

      Splitting by size is a red herring. Split by function as Dallas FED’s Richard Fisher makes clear is the real issue.

    • bonbon

      All over the place with the size red herring, Glass-Steagall is Too Big To Escape from. It is in every discussion, reports are forced to cover it no matter how they would like to avoid it. Function is the issue, and all the sophistry in the world :

      Too Big To Fail, Too Big To Jail, Too Early To Say, It Will Never Happen, Don’t Go That Far, Too Outdated To Work, Could Not Have Stopped Lehmann…

      will not stop this.

  21. bonbon

    Hey bankers out there : there is honest banking when
    Glass-Steagall splits banks!

    Dallas Fed’s Fisher Again Calls for Banking Separation {By
    Function}

    March 11 (LPAC)–In an op-ed in the March 10 {Wall Street
    Journal}, Richard Fisher, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of
    Dallas, and the executive VP of that bank, Harvey Rosenblum,
    reiterate the central point of Fisher’s Jan. 15 speech at the
    National Press Club in Washington, D.C., which coincided both in
    timing and in policy content with Thomas Hoenig’s explicit call
    for Glass-Steagall in an article published the very next day.
    Although again not mentioning Glass-Steagall by name, in
    yesterday’s piece Fisher and Rosenblum write: “Roll back the
    federal safety net–deposit insurance and the Federal Reserve’s
    discount window–to apply only to traditional commercial banks,
    and not to the nonbank affiliates of bank holding companies or
    the parent companies themselves, where the safety net was never
    intended to be.” Fisher also repeated his earlier call for a
    mandatory “cigarettes produce cancer”-type disclosure on all
    non-insured financial instruments.
    The {Wall Street Journal} article adds to Fisher’s earlier
    formulations a strong protest against Attorney General Eric
    Holder’s March 6 pronouncement that big banks will not be
    prosecuted for their crimes, because “if we do bring a criminal
    charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy.”
    That “emboldens a sense of immunity from the law,” Fisher and
    Rosenblum stated, worsening the fact that the response to the
    financial crisis “undermined Americans’ belief in the fairness
    and justice of the economic system.”

  22. bonbon

    On ths side of the Pond :

    Britain’s Commission on Banking Standards Critical of George
    Osborne’s Bank Reform

    March 11 (EIRNS) — British Conservative Party MP Andrew Tyrie,
    chairman of the Commission on Banking Standards, was highly
    critical of the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s
    banking reform proposal. He said the so-called “electrified” ring
    fence is not strong enough, and is “wholly inadequate.”
    In particular, the proposal for the regulator, the Financial
    Policy Committee (FPC), to review the strength of the ring fence
    between retail and investment banks, was, in Tyrie’s view, little
    more than the regulator “marking its own examination paper,”
    according to today’s {Guardian}. The commission calls for a
    specific provision to consider a full separation of the banks, if
    the ringfence was judged to be failing.
    “The government’s proposal for the periodic review to be
    conducted by the regulator is wholly inadequate,” the commission
    said in its second report today. “Such a review conducted by the
    regulator would be little different in character from the
    regulator’s annual report and could amount to no more than a case
    of the regulator marking its own examination paper.”
    Tyrie, who is a strong supporter of a Glass-Steagall type of
    bank separation, said the government had “failed adequately to
    address our recommendation for a periodic, independent review of
    whether the ringfence is doing its job. Most witnesses, including
    the governor of the Bank of England, strongly supported this,” he
    said. Tyrie added that it was “crucial” that the review was
    independent of the banks. He also said that Osborne’s
    electrifying the fence did not go far enough.
    He said Osborne needed a “second reserve power for full,
    industry-wide separation” if the ringfence is breached. “This
    should be exercisable only after independent review and with
    Treasury approval.” Although Tyrie said the bill was “certainly
    much improved,” nonetheless “the government rejected a number of
    important recommendations. The commission has examined these
    again, alongside the government’s explanations for rejecting
    them. We have concluded that the government’s arguments are
    insubstantial. There remains much more work to be done to improve
    the bill.”
    Ed Balls, the Labour Party’s shadow chancellor, said the
    report from the commission made for “disappointing reading…. It
    confirms George Osborne is continuing to duck the radical banking
    reform we need and which the cross-party commission has
    demanded.”

  23. bonbon

    New Anti-Euro Party in the Making in Germany

    March 9 (EIRNS)–Named “Alternative für Deutschland” (Alternative for Germany), a new euro-skeptic initiative that may transform at a planned congress in Berlin mid-April into a party for the September national elections, is calling for the “dissolution of the euro in favor of national currencies or smaller currency unions.” The group also calls for an end to German payments for bailouts in other Eurozone states, and for dismantling of the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund.
    “Democracy is eroding… The will of the people regarding (decisions relating to the euro) is never asked and is not represented in Parliament. The government is depriving voters of a voice through disinformation, is pressuring constitutional organs, such as Parliament and the Constitutional Court, and is making far-reaching decisions in committees that have no democratic legitimacy.”
    The initiative has no party program going beyond these demands, and it is mainly counting on the rise of anti-euro populism among the electorate and on the public recognition factor of its prominent supporters, such as Hans-Olaf Henkel, the former president of the Federation of German Industries, or the two widely known euro-skeptic economists Joachim Starbatty and Wilhelm Hankel, who were plaintiffs against the bailouts at the German Constitutional Court.
    Bernd Lucke, a professor of macro-economics from Hamburg, who quit the CDU party in 2011, has already been interviewed by a handful of leading media including {Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung}, and appeared on Maybrit Illner’s prime-time TV show — which indicates some interest in elite circles to push this group, rather than the real programmatic anti-euro party, the BüSo. The sudden rise of the “Alternative” has also been noted prominently in media of other EU countries, such as Italy.

    • molly

      How long do you think the euro has left.
      There seams to be a hell of a lot of different things simmering away in the back ground and this recession is far from over.
      Low to middle class society is being attacked on a lot of fronts,why I ask myself for who’s betterment .

      • bonbon

        The real question is how long we have left if they pursue the mad Euro. Never forget, with all the monetarist mumbo-jumbo, that it is ruining the very basis of the economy.

        It is us against the mad coin.

  24. bonbon

    Walter Jones Challenges Obama on $65 Billion to IMF

    10 Mar. (LPAC) In a letter issued March 8, Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) sharply remonstrated President Obama for including $65 billion for the IMF in his latest budget request, and urged him to do the same. The inclusion of the $65 billion had been reported in the March 5 edition of the Washington Post.

  25. Harper66

    “If it were just the banks who we had to fight for truth and justice life would be easy. But we are fighting our own political class and our media as well.”

    http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2013/03/unpleasantness-in-belgium-silence-in-ireland/

  26. Harper66

    http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/now-that-weve-bailed-out-and-nationalised-the-banking-sector-next-on-the-list-is-the-media-sector/

    I would suggest people are turning their backs on main stream Irish media because main stream Irish media has turned its back on reporting facts in favour of pushing specific agendas.

    • bonbon

      What worries me is that simply more money will be pumped into defunct media to push failed agenda’s – see the list of bidders for that Post newspaper. It’s getting expensive for the losers.

  27. bonbon

    President McKinley (assassinated), like all those of the American Intellectual Tradition, saw that there were only two directions for the United States:
    He said that one party–the Democratic–“stood in opposition to internal improvements and to a protective tariff, that [it] believed in class and caste and obstruction; and there has always been, on the other hand, a party that stood for the largest liberty, for the full development of the country, for the improvement of the great National water ways of the United States, and for the maintenance of a protective tariff and the widest opportunities for American aspiration; and to-day, I repeat, that the two political parties now contending for public confidence, now contesting for political control, are divided substantially on the same issues that separated the parties of the fathers all through the first century of the Republic.” (From McKinley’s speech, “Protection and Revenue,” Cleveland, 1889.)

    More than one hundred years after McKinley’s death, there are still “two parties,” or two ideas, not only in America, but throughout the world. One party still supports caste and class, while the other promotes development, now under the idea of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, Marshall Plan for the Med, Arctic Development, Glass-Steagall and Hamilton’s Credit Systems, and NAWAPA 21 for North America. We have, in McKinley’s tradition, now a great list of programs waiting for the Go signal.

    • Instead of proposing transnational projects that override sovereign states and rely on global warming , why not support a national plan to do almost the same thing and more effectively.

      The Canadian ports of Prince Rupert and Halifax are closer to Asia and Europe respectively than any other ice free ports of North America.

      Both are in areas allowing for major expansion and both are connected to the intercontinental railroad system.

      Ship from Asia to Prince Rupert and save 2-3 days on the ocean instead of using Vancouver or LA. Ship containers by rail to anywhere in North America including Halifax. Ship from Halifax to europe and save 1-2 days on the ocean.

      Europe and Asia can be interconnected via North America using existing infrastructure plus up grades.

      No need to have Russian Ice breakers and the risk of a FREEZE UP.

      This is a plan that makes sense.

      • bonbon

        Russia will be connected to Alasks with the Berring straights tunnell-rail. Yakunin has repeatedly put this on the table. In fact this goes back to Peter the Great. The Eurasian Landbridge can then continue tight down to Chile. Sovereign nation-states with productive goods transport needs are then much better served. Ral brings internal developments.

        As for the Arctic – global warming as per the fraudulent IPCC is not the reason, more to with the Jetstream. Anyway the key here is domed cities, Umqa, and this was proposed by Canadian premier Diefenbacker actually. The Royal decree of “nature reserves” for the Canadian Arctic has nothing to do with sovereignty, rather empire. So recind the decree and develop the Arctic.

        Ireland plays a key role – the Rotterdam channel is choked. Shannon as the terminus with rail to Europe is a matter of necessity. See : http://laroucheirishbrigade.wordpress.com/ireland-an-economic-revival/ for maps, shipping lanes, and the world from the Arctic.

        The Eurasian Landbridge with modern magnetic technology, means shortening from 48 days to maybe 9. But that is not the point. Rail goods transport differs essentially from Marine. Production occurs along the link – cities with factories. Ship cargo adds no value (oil tanker content is traded 50 times raising prices). A totally diferent economics comes into play. The old empire of marine transport and globalization to seperate production from consumption by the largest distance, is then over.

  28. Thoughts from New York by QB asset management

    Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

    In their new commentary, Lee Quaintance and Paul Brodsky of QB Asset Management in New York argue that the Federal Reserve’s only plausible exit from “quantitative easing” is not selling bonds and junky assets but currency and debt devaluation based on a great upward repricing of gold and a general tendering for gold by the central bank at that new price, even if this would only start a new era of debt creation in advance of still another currency and debt devaluation in a few decades. Oh, well, as Quaintance and Brodsky note, this would be only what has been done before. With their kind permission their commentary, “The Fed’s Exit,” has been posted in PDF format at GATA’s Internet site here:

    http://www.gata.org/files/QBAMCOTheFedsExit-03-13-2013.pdf

    CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

  29. joe hack

    Triple Dip On The Cusp Of Triple Curve.

    • joe hack

      A Triple Downward Curve The Confidence Tricks Did Not Work The Inter-Web Is To Powerful Now. Main Stream Media Cant Fool The Plebs Into Spending Anymore.

  30. Great stuff Davido 7. That is your shirt number in the Irish all time eleven economists of note soccer team. Not that it would be demanding as there are few others capable of claiming the number 7 shirt. Constantan is more like Billy McNeill who wore number five and the stout fella looks like he’d be a good goalie in the mould of Tommy Lawrence aka the flying pig as his sense of humour suggests that he has the perfect attitude for a goalie and a career on Merseyside’s historic hallowed fields of long forgotten glories

    I’d never trust such a witty fucker who is so smart with a quip and even more dangerous with a pen as Constantan would be in another place and time with a pussy cat on his arms working in kebab joint with a cocked AK47 under the counter. He is one mean looking dude and his eyes are very close together. I mean that is how you know isn’t it?

    One of the signs right?

    No. We cant have that sort around here upsetting things. End of. He will never wear a hooped shirt. Anyway Everton are a good club although not a patch on ours. Small timers who always want to buy our reserves. Constantan could be shipped off to Chelsea where he will not be a thorn – out of sight and out of mind huh. Problem solved as soon as you can utter ‘Crime and Punishment’. His economic skills would be useless because Roman is far smarter than he

    Not Glasgow for the stout fella or that damn Ruskie. Liverpool is where they should go because down there they have more tolerance for eccentrics (Grobbelar). In Glasga we only employ the best who are reliable day in and day out and follow orders. Good risk management :-)

    Imagine the lump in the biscuit tin, We’d have to summon two lackeys to carry it into the fucking board room table. All that filthy lucre. We could make an even bigger profit by selling bought in cooked pies from a tiny oven at the far corners of the ground providing the heathens are too pissed to notice that the oven is not using our precious electricity. God. I despise them!

    Personally I never trust evil looking men with Russian accents who stroke pooty cats because high profile individuals who stroke pussy in public are well dodgy. I bet Charles Haughery liked pussy. But not in public. Anyway even if they don’t like cats I still say they are to be given a wide berth. It’s easy to hide behind a cat. The cats are innocent I tell you!

    A lang wee rant awaits you today my fine boy. Oh fuck no! Of fuck Yes. Sorry buddy. I hope
    you are excited at the prospect. I want to see your articles reaching 300 hundred posts again.
    You will. Just give it time. 300 replies to an article is phenomenal by any standards and you
    have done it before and will do it again. Just pull your bloody finger out and get cruising. You
    need a wee boot up the arse just like the rest of us and I know you’d rather it came from the
    lads here

    If you are ever in NY and lost let me introduce you to my friend O’Daniel. He will sort you right out. He has a revolving cupboard with the plastic Jesus of all plastic Jesuses. “Get out of here! I am walking, I am walking you asshole”

    Just what you want when on a long haul flight when there’s fuck all else to do and you don’t want to read another impersonal bland piece from someone you never heard of

    I’d like to jet set again, for a few months maybe but i’d miss this safe reliabale life of Reilly
    doing nowt and dreaming the old life away. Sure we are all different. Some fight for silver
    and some men fight for gold

    Stuff and nonsense so please show a little tolernace Irish brother. You expect it so apologies in advance because you as host have to read the bloody thing. Tomorrow I will have forgotten about it and will be back working on my current projects unless I die in the night which will be no great loss and a fucking blessing really

    Anyone else can skip it if they wish. You are a blogger who motivates people to write and that is your talent. You have a lot to fall back on. Like a tradesman who stands out because he is a gem at many crafts but a master of one or two

    Sometimes the posters motivate when they are not babbling about gold and such selfish nonsense. I listen to Max Keiser and watch any other news sources other than RTE or ‘Iindependent News’ and know there is an intellectual gulf here wider than the pacific

    How many journalists will be on the streets?
    None. Thats how many because they don’t give a toss.
    I’d sack the lot of them in the morning and get new blood in and tell them to get out there and
    find proper stories and not shite about who Colin Farrel is knobbing.

    To me economics is not real because real economics should be inclusive. Too many of
    your followers are full of self interest and I think that some of them are in a very unhealthy
    state of existence. In a mind prison ( of their own making perhaps when it comes to the cold
    light of morning ) but it really doesn’t matter any more

    A fabulous strutting shimmy from that swanking dynamo McWillaims in midfield shies
    high over the heads of the Italian defence and curves straight to the waiting boot of wee
    Jimmy Johnstone on the wing. ‘Jimmy, oh Jimmy Johnstone on the wing’ chants hail in
    irrational yet exuberant expectation down from the slopes through the heat waves and
    the sweat, defiying our rational senses and beliefs. This herculean effort mostly feels
    like a dream too far for a bunch of working men on a busmans holiday

    Imagine the moment and the team talk. Long before the management phrase ‘team player’
    polluted our thinking and killed our balls ….

    “Lads you are playing in the Eurpean Cup Final. Getting here is some achievement so go out
    there and enjoy this day win, lose or draw and cherish every minute. You are going to win. I
    have no doubt. Good luck boys”

    Then half time time team talk ….

    “Everything is going to plan. Keep playing the way you are playing. They are knackered and
    ready to pack it in. Now get out there and do these fuckers. Come on boys. Lets go and show
    the world who we are. Hail Hail”

    Soon it’s 2 – 1 and history is being made, but then ….

    Then tiny Johnstone destroys three towering Italian defenders and cuts back a swift pass into
    middle centre outside of the box within range of the oncoming McWilliams who lashes a
    thirty five yard screamer into the top corner and out of sight of the heroic and despairing
    Sarti. It’s Celtic 3 – Inter 1

    Men are standing outside tv shops in Irish towns watching the famous tv show for free
    and bottles are passed around and bloddy rightly so. Boys stand across the road watching the
    men hoping to dook their pockets when they staggering home singing about the time Celtic
    beat Inter Milan

    It’s the stuff we dreamed about when we were boys

    Radio Commentary (Eloquent and enpensively acquired BBC English of course) ….

    ‘Now you see why Celtic decided to play these two red haired wizards today. Nothing can
    stop these Celtic boys now. Magnificent, unstoppable and splendid looking in their
    majestic green hooped shirts with green numbers on their white shorts.

    Then ….

    ‘It’s over. Celtic have won! ‘We’ve done it !’

    Yes ‘we’.

    Home spun heroes from backstreet tenements on this sweltering afternoon destroyed
    the oiled bronzed film stars of MIlan, the great all conquering world champions who
    realised long before the end then that time had been called on their dark cynical grip on
    the beautiful game which expresses the very essence of life itself with all it’s hopes, fears and
    moments of individual brilliance and pathetic failure. The aristocrats arses were kicked.
    Properly

    It is the end of an empire and the closing of an era that will not be missed nor forgotten
    for it’s brutality even if the players were paid a £1500 bonus for winning the game

    Today a beacon of light lit up Europe and it’s glare echoed and sent shimmering hope
    across a waiting cynical world. The light has never been forgotten by old timers all these
    years later but we live under dark shadows again. We have seen dreams come true and this is
    why should never stop believing. It’s a naive and innocent dream but a worthy dream worth
    fighting for. Unlikely yes but impossible no

    ‘Working’ is a powerful active (I can do) adjective David as any fine confident composer
    of CVs will tell you. Tell me about this ‘work’ the interviewer from hell asks and you
    need to make sure that the chronological detail backs up the promises in your
    excruciatingly hand crafted five line summary. It’s all in the summary

    Oh yeah? Tell me all about it they will say

    Always tell the truth and play it straight. I am am a nighhawk and do my best work after
    9 PM when I can guarantee hours of black coffee and quiet doing what I like doing. Not
    many bosses want someone who is not a nine to fiver. We simply are not suited and live on
    different planets

    You might need to spruce up your salemanship now that you have slipped a rung. I know
    you will and that will go onto better stuff. Nothing like a Short, Sharp Shock to keep you
    unemployed fellas on your plates on meat. Country is relying on you and we need a
    herculean effort at wearing the green jersey here. We wait with held breath and staring eyes.

    A wee doze of austerity might just be the ticket. Sure Enda is on a fraction of what Bertie was
    getting and those fine union chaps have had to accept blood curdling sacrifices that have
    caused their beards to become covered in French Onion Soup when they slabbered on hearing
    the news

    We are brothers and we will bleed togther like Bruce and his men at Bannockburn under a hot sun against a formidable enemy.

    Outnumbererd, cold and starving we will fight like Irishmen under the banner of King Inda and
    make sure the world never forgets. Yeah I know. It’s a dream and an impossible one

    Don’t come in here and bloody bs me he barks. That is when the chancer runs and the
    interviewer has made more time for speaking to serious people only. It’s called
    confidence and using the power of your personality. No need to offend. Say hello
    nicely and say goodbye nicely. End of.

    Then someone with a brain walks in the door and quickly tells him to fuck off and work
    for a living and do his own dirty work.

    Say Hello and Say Goodbye?
    Marc Almond I think that was

    Was it hot and hard and sweaty work like like fitting an engine in the bowels of a carrier ship
    in sweltering july heat or like the roasting kitchen on a split shift cleaning pots in a southern
    England hotel in an 80s? summer Work is time and time is just too precious and work is the
    biggest waste of time man ever invented. Work is like gambling = pointless.

    Was it like trying to get that bugger of a truck up the sahara sand dune like in Ice Cold in
    Alex? when John Mills says after the herculean effort ‘phew that was bloody hot work
    chaps’

    Your brain does all your work and it is a fine and capable brain but physical work?

    Guys our age don’t really work. We just like to be tested sometimes like walking up
    Knocknarea when we are not in the mood. That is work!

    Then again brain work is often the most tiring type of work

    In the video I posted earlier Bob Crampsey talks eloquently about the fine line between
    failure and immortality in the case of Billy McNeill. He could have disappeared
    un-noticed but kept the faith and became a legend though a combination of timing, luck
    and natural ability. Someone else came in and rekindled his faith. A natural leader

    There is no-one in Ireland today with the force of personality that can turn journeymen
    into world beaters because we have no cause. Rudderless in the desert. It’s not a rudder
    we need but vehicles that make us mobile across desert sands when our arses are being
    hounded by Herr Rommel.

    ‘We’ve done it before and we we’ll do it again’

    Yet they offer us ‘The Apprentice’. Narcissistic fuckers and poor thick lambs to the slaughter
    and this is supposed to be ‘cutting edge’ and ‘motivational’. It is pathetic, embarassing and
    all so fucking hilarious. A lie of magnificent proprtions

    If these people were so busy and smart they would be out making money instead of fucking about in front of a tv camera!

    Wankers

    It amuses me when people give me odd looks. Boo. I dress smart, have a fresh Donegal
    skin and dark hair to match. Pleasant in my everyday dealings and like to go home at
    the end of the day and ponder on my interactions and new aquaintances I’ve
    met. I think of the potential and possibilities but just can’t seem to motivate people
    enough in this climate. It’s like they have no passion and don’t care and if they do care
    they are too scared and beaten to muster up passion never mind radicalism

    They don’t get it and that is a bad sign. They don’t see the good and the potential the
    outsider sees. As an outsider I see potential in the Irish people but think they have been
    misguided for too long. They have been sold a lie about their identity and the fact is they
    have no identity or culture whatsoever. It’s been driven out of them

    I still prefer Irish people to any other any day of the week. I just wish they would make their
    minds up about what they are

    If you come to live in Ireland and dare to live and think according to your own beliefs
    many people think you are quare. You are on your Colin Todd. It’s scary how backward
    some people are even though they have all the latest junk, french polished nails and
    expensive teeth

    If you want to break the ice and win hearts then a Glasga accent helps anywhere in the world.
    Especially in Donegal but less so in Sligo where they are more introverted. Sometimes rude in
    fact but a wee bit o humour often does the job unless they are miserable fuckers by nature
    and therefore incurable. South of Roscommon might as well be Algeria for all I know

    They are all foreigners down there and I have even heard tales that they burn babies and hang
    kittens. Like the Welsh they are quare lot but not as quare as the inhabitants of greater
    Lanarkshire and it’s ‘delighful’ quaint towns and villages

    Better to be yourself. Like Des Bishop who doesn’t drink and who has set an example with
    his recent work on how to be a man and be honest. That is brave but it took an outsider
    to spell it the fuck out

    As for America I think the term ‘animals’ is apt. Lets cut to the chase here – they are a bunch
    of fucking retarded savages. I am sure Vinnie would agree. Good man for setting the record
    straight and if they came after me for supportng him I’d crack open a bottle of chocolate
    stout, have a smoke, think about it and then ring them and tell them to fuck off

    I’d live in Ireland any day than under drone infested skies and perverts in uniform who touch
    up women and kids. We still have our humanity here but it will vanish unless we insist on our
    hard won freedoms

    The Americam recovery. Don’t make me laugh David. It is the most lawless shithole on the
    planet and full of dangerous extremists and terrorists. Only over there the extremists and
    terrorists are democratically elected and dress in expensive suits.

    So that can’t be a bad thing right?

    PS. Check out Billy Joel singing Goodnight Saigon live.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6gZefW4yEA

  31. The stock markets are at an all time high.
    The world is permanently at war.

    Either
    a) everything is great or
    b) this is a dichotomy that needs some explaining

    • paddythepig

      The Dow jones index is only at an all time high in nominal terms, priced in dollars. Priced in real terms against gold and essential commodities, the Dow topped out in 2000 when the dot com bubble burst, and is today 60% down from that all time high.

      Nominal highs should be taken with a bucket of salt.

    • Lots of graphs here to show the dow jones related to anything you wish
      In the last 100 years the DDOW/Gold ratio has been less than 2:1 twice.currently it is just under 10:1 so it implies a 5 fold adjustment between the two will transpire. With the Dow currnetly at 14000 plus indicates a gold price of 8-10,000. or if the gold price stays up then the dow drops to 2500-3000 or so.
      If inflation kicks in and the dow doubles the next 5 years to 30,000 then gold could go to 20,000.This implies silver would be between 1000-2000 per ounce.

      http://www.macrotrends.org/1378/dow-to-gold-ratio-100-year-historical-chart

    • bonbon

      In the “good old days” before thermonuclear weapons the Brititsh Empire would have organized a “jolly little war”. It is stymied now, their man Obama is being filibustered on drone killings, the weak point of the imperial thrust. And everyone knows these weapons mean the end of civilization in about 60 minutes. As you can see from the Triple Curve, the real dichotomy can be explained, but more importantly the action to be taken against this imperial monetarism.

      • bonbon

        From the stratospheric financial aggregate curve comes the weird DJI. But notice the plunging physical economy. Every bubble that bursts ratchets the real economy further into the abyss, and us with it.

  32. bonbon

    EU Scorched Earth Policies Spark Demonstrations Across the Balkans

    1 Mar. (EIRNS) The scorched earth policies of the European Union continue to trigger demonstrations throughout the Balkans, as one pro-EU government after another appears to be toppling.

  33. bonbon

    New York City Radio WBAI Host Mobilizes for Glass-Steagall

    March 12, 2013 (LPAC)–From the get-go, the half-hour interview on Monday night, March 11, with the LaRouche movement’s Dennis Small on the “In Other News” program of New York City’s WBAI, the major left-liberal, Pacifica-owned radio station in the city, was a call-to-arms for New Yorkers to take responsibility for getting their Congressmen to restore FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act as the law of the land.
    Play
    http://archive.wbai.org/parchive/m3u.php?mp3fil=97662759
    or Download
    http://archive.wbai.org/files/mp3/wbai_130311_220001inothernews.mp3

    Good point – wallowing in the bad news instead of doing the least meas do we get what we desrve?

  34. bonbon

    What is very interesting about Glass-Steagall is the original law enacted by FDR in 1933 has a Preamble, very like the US Constitution. In each case every item must respect the Preamble.
    Full title :
    “An Act to provide for the safer and more effective use of the assets of banks, to regulate interbank control, to prevent the undue diversion of funds into speculative operations, and for other purposes.”

    The Banking Act of 1933, is THE Glass–Steagall Act (especially when referring to the separation of commercial and investment banking in Sections 16, 20, 21, and 32). Also introduced the federal system of bank deposit insurance FDIC.

  35. 5Fingers

    Back to Warren Buffett and maybe how we may have forgotten how to do business. More I think about it the more I think he’s onto something if focused on regional/community stuff.

    I speak from personal experience looking at the liberalization of the Telecoms market since 1980s. Back then, the fashion was on smashing up the national giants and monopolies to make smaller fleet of foot operators (remember the baby Bells etc.). Same happened over the 90s for most of the world. Long story short, we went from country monopolies (which were controlled nationally) to global monopolies – Verizon, AT&T you name it. Ditto for their suppliers and so on.

    I think the same has happened (slightly different reasons) in Retail (e.g. Walmart), Software (e.g. Microsoft) and so on. And you could say Banks can be added to this mix. The free market did the opposite of allowing variety and a rich ecosystem of companies, left to itself it rapidly evolves to only allow a few players at a global level that can control terms and pricing for everything outside national control.

    Looking at newsprint, you can see straight away that as internet freebie(ism) prevails, it causes a mounting pressure on content provision to address a global market in the hope of centralising revenue collection based on leveraging you “the consumer” as the product which supplies “needs” info to insurance companies, rating agencies etc. Data mining of trivial activity will subvert any national data protection to dig out the dirt on anyone. Google anyone?

    (I’ll be back to Warren in a minute)…Then there is that great old freebie (ism) – the pirate revoluton on Music, etc etc. Yeah, I just took my 2 yr old Android phone and found free software to upgrade it so it performs and looks better than the latest rubbish from Apple the the princely sum of ZERO (I did by the way – no kidding). What a wonderful world you say…me doing the digital equivalent of bin diving, junkyard sniffing and beachcombing while at the same time I find it hard to get real variety from Tesco or Walmart becuase they have homogenised their supplier mix so much and impoverished so many that now there is less demand anyway. The business models are making less and less money by hogging more and more of the market with unfettered monopolism.

    Warren Buffett has recognised that the above is unsustainable. I would have paid a fee to have that software upgrade done with support were it available. I will always buy locally if is not part of a franchise or large retailer. I will pay more but maybe buy less volume and be healthier for it. I will have my time back and my privacy. I want my speciality book / newspaper/ food…speciality being local – not esoteric. I look at companies that have taken parts of the internet junkyard and decided to give support them and give real time saving value like Red Hat and Linux and I think similar will follow – raking the raw material of the junkyard and chaos and providing the local service/ content I need. I want those to be companies I know locally…not certified by a faceless entity in the EU or UN or whatever. Newspapers at a community level may never go away.

    At the same time, you need infrastructure – this cannot be ignored. And I can see the benefit in trying to help companies to wash away debt. The problem is not so much in printing money but that it goes to the Halliburtons and Walmarts to wash their debt out and murder all the small ones. I think we are too bank/gold focused not to realise there are other systemic issues that need addressing. Not only has the central bank regulation been a disaster, but monopoly’s commissions have also failed.

    As a friend of mine said, time to break out the tin foil hat and start looking after our communities. Do not let certification and reguklation be used as an excuse to say you are not entitled to answers from your local representative. If you cannot see the whites of their eyeballs and know where they live and they are messing with your life…your in trouble.

  36. Deco

    David.

    Hopefully the Sunday Business Post will survive. It is Ireland’s most professional newspaper by a country mile. It is so far out in front, it is shocking.

    Thanks,
    Deco.

  37. Deco

    The big news here is the Bond auction. Newstalk (pro-FG, pro-corporate Ireland ) are wetting themselves with excitement. And of course the state propaganda organ is conveying the greatest joy over the whole thing.

    The bond auction does not add up. There is something fishy about it. Think of it this way, the official coupon rate is barely above the inflation rate, in a currency system that is is not being honest about the amount of electronic money creation that it is trying to do.

    Meanwhile, in advance of the auction – in the nick of time, the Irish authorities had released a property tax, version 2.0, so as to prove to the markets that they will tax the people to satisfy the bond market.

    The stock market is in bubble mode. The Dow is now at a Triple Top. And this is an almost certain sign that it will tumble. It might happen tomorrow. It might happen in April. It is very hard to tell. Some of the technology stocks that are the basis of inward investment in Dublin in the past two years are extremely overvalued. This is what is currently propping up the Dublin real estate market. And if it is propping up the Dublin real estate market, then it is propping up the “pillar banks”.

    The bond market is in bubble mode. The bond valuations of debt from the UK, France, Finland, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain bear absolutely no correlation to the underlying economic condition of those countries. The banks themslves are all sitting around playing a game of consensus pretend. They all pretend that the assets that they hold are valuable, and then they all agree to help each other out in over-valueing them.

    The Central bankers have released loads of liquidity, and it has funded asset price speculation. And it has made the credit market feel as if it is solvent. Really, it is just another bubble.

    Paul Krugman, the darling of the American Left (or liberals as they call themselves) produced some absolute clangers in the past decade. The worst quote by him concerned when he implored Greenspan to start a housing bubble to replace the dot com bubble (after it went wrong). But Krugman is correct in his diagnosis of the Greek tragedy. Default is unavoidable. The numbers in Greece are terrible. And the austerity program is driving money out of Greece. Good money is being driven out of Greece by bad ECB monetary policy. Greeks are bidding for real estate in Berlin (of all things), and locations in England like Brighton and Surrey. They are moving their money out.

    Alright, in the context of asset prices being stretched beyond their income producing value, it is impossible to predict when things will go wallop.

    But when it happens, the real estate market in Ireland will panic, the banks will have another liquidity crisis, the Irish government will quickly run out of money again, and the bond market will start running out of control.

    If I were the Irish government, I would sell as many long dated bonds as possible, as soon as possible. They will probably never get as helpful a rate in a long long time.

    And if any of you are thinking about a mortgage, wait until the stock market digest it’s triple top moment, and trips downward. It will wreck havoc in this country, and real estate in Dublin will go downward again.

    If you want a good investment, then Tony Brogan might find useful recommendations on the Canadian stock market (companies that are not in anyway tied to the Canadian real estate market hopefully, and which are not based in BC – because BC will tax it’s local businesses to prop up the faltering real estate market, just like Ireland is doing now).

    • Deco, I am not disposed to recommenrd anything on the canadian stock market. The RE market is faltering as are most government budgets. The federal and 7 of 10 provincial budgets are in the red.
      The only thing I would suggest is canadian maple leaf coins both silver and gold. Premiums are up this month. 13% on silver over spot and 3% premium on gold. silver premiums are up from 7% as there is a shortage of physical silver.

      http://www.vbce.ca/rates/precious-metals

      As Canadian Maple Leafs are designated currency there should not be vat charged. check it out.

  38. Deco

    Big question Who is buying all the government bonds that are for sale ?

    It is not the Chinese. It is not the Russians. It is unlikely to be the Japanese. It is not Pimco, under Bill Gross – because he is now getting concerned about his bonds.

    Because that is what the whole ponzi scheme is resting on now, the buyer of the bonds. And as Scottish historian Ferguson has indicated, it all rests on the bond market. Everything.

    • StephenKenny

      The central banks are buying each other’s bonds.

      Government’s are implementing very simple policy:
      Rising property and stock market prices are indicators that the economy is doing well. Therefore, push up the stock markets, and the property markets, and people will start to borrow and spend again, and thus the economy will recover. This policy has been stated, very openly, several times by central bankers in a number of countries (US, ECB, BOJ, UK etc).

      It might seem unwise to state this policy publicly, but doing so will remind everyone of the maxim “Never bet against the Fed”. Getting rid of downward pressures will make the continual upward movement easier to maintain.

      At the moment, all financial markets are completely rigged, and are not reliable indicators of the economic weather. It’s like being told, in a warm house, that there’s no central heating, so therefore it must be nice and warm outside.

    • bonbon

      In other words the ECB is buying toxic bonds at face value. It is a “Bad Bank”. At least all the trash will end up in one place…

      • Bamboo

        BTW, David,
        You right again in your prediction about an South American pope.

      • It is the FEd buying the bonds.
        The sovereign bonds used to fund the budget deficits.
        This drives interest rates to the lowest ever. This allows the currencies to be devalued to the competitive race to the bottom.
        final result will be abandonment of the currerncies and hyperinflation.
        At that point a “new financial system ” will be introduced.
        The general population will be shortchanged as all monetary assets will be worth a fraction of formerly.

  39. all paper money systems fail. All have failed prior to this last effort.
    It too will fail.

    http://goldsilverworlds.com/gold-silver-insights/research-shows-all-paper-money-systems-failed/

  40. Reintroducing the proper gold standard as medium of exchange among nations.

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/how-go-gold-8198

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