November 7, 2013

Lessons from sporting legends can keep businesses on the ball

Posted in Global Economy · 163 comments ·
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The hotel ballroom is jammed. And this isn’t any old ballroom but the ballroom of the Al Faisalya Hotel in Riyadh – the most posh hotel in a city of posh hotels. I am writing this from the foyer of the hotel, having just finished a speech to Arab investors on the global economy in 2014.

These people manage billions of dollars, deploying the country’s oil fortune in the financial markets to generate a return for future generations. The discussion jumped between the fate of the dollar, the likely move in US interest rates and whether the new Fed boss Janet Yellen will “taper” next year? There was much talk about what Germany would do now that it has inflation and the rest of the eurozone has deflation; would the Germans tolerate a possible ECB rate cut?

The conversation was the typical diet of financial market players – that was until the end. Just as I was finished, one guy comes up to the podium and asked the question that had been on his mind all morning.

“How will Roy Keane get on with Martin O’Neill?”

You’ve got to love it.

We got chatting about the biggest story in Saudi sport yesterday morning and, as we talked, a few Sri Lankans, Indians, Omanis and a few more Saudis started talking about Roy Keane. It was all a bit surreal. This is what Roy does: he animates people.

Anyone who has visited the Gulf will know how much the locals love football. However, not surprisingly given these are business people, as we were chatting quite incongruously about Roy Keane, the conversation turned to transformational managers, in business as well as sport.

More specifically, the talk was about the similarities between management and performance, whether in sport, business or economics.

The job for O’Neill and Keane of rebuilding the Irish football team is not unlike the job that a manager in any business faces each day. What will we do differently? How will we get the best out of our resources? How will we keep the customers (fans) interested? How will we get results against better sides and not lose against lesser sides? What tactics and strategy will we employ and how will we execute it in the competitive marketplace?

In this regard, business and sport are very similar and the qualities inherent in good business managers and good sports managers are not that different.

It made me think about some of the great manager-player teams of the past. The ones that come to mind are those who caused the greatest upsets in sporting history. And we all know that in order for the Irish soccer to recover, our team will have to cause a few great upsets by beating a few great teams. These victories themselves could be the catalyst to greater things.

All this talking about sporting heroics, the Irish football team and the World Cup in Qatar, got me thinking of the Rumble in the Jungle. In the same way as Qatar has paid for the World Cup (in winter) with its enormous oil wealth, Zaire’s ruler, Mobuto in 1974, paid for the Rumble in the Jungle with Zaire’s huge mineral wealth.

However, in the context of O’Neill and Keane, the interesting thing about the Rumble – one of the greatest sports upsets in history – is that it was conjured up by one of the greatest management teams the world has ever seen – Muhammad Ali and Angelo Dundee.

On paper Ali hadn’t a chance.

He was older, slower and out of shape. Joe Frazier had hammered Ali. But Frazier was pulverised by Foreman. Foreman floored Frazier five times in one bout and yet Ali was saying he was going to win. He said he had a plan.

Foreman was a beast. He had the hardest punch in boxing. He was the champion. He was younger, heavier and in terrific form. At 24, he was eight years younger than Ali. He knocked opponents down for fun.

But like all great managers, Dundee spotted that Foreman’s greatest strength was his weakness. Dundee knew that there was only one outside chance of victory for Ali. If Ali could just withstand the barrage, Foreman might just punch himself out and, when he was knackered, Ali could pounce.

But how could Ali take the punishment?

Ali and Dundee figured out that if he lay on the ropes, the ropes would dissipate the force of Foreman’s blows, allowing Ali, in effect, to roll with the punches. Before the fight, Dundee insisted because of the heat that the ropes should be loosened. Nobody batted an eyelid. Rather than go toe to toe with Foreman, Ali lay back on the ropes, looking supremely confident. What he was actually doing was carrying out his plan to perfection. Ali would later call the strategy “rope-a-dope”.

And that’s what happened.

Foreman, the beast, punched and punched and punched. Ali kept on the ropes while taunting him with the famous, “Is that all you got George?”

By the 8th round, Foreman had punched himself out, Ali waited and waited and then famously decked him, conjuring up one of the biggest upsets in sporting history.

He won by making his opponent’s strength his weakness.

This is what transformational business leaders do. The best example of this in Irish business is Ryanair. O’Leary and his team took an ailing business, devised a strategy, identified the competitors’ weakness and ruthlessly exploited it.

Today Ryanair flies 80 million passengers, dwarfing BA’s 28 million and O’Leary did this by deploying tactics and strategies that his opponents didn’t anticipate. By the time they did, they were well behind the game. It doesn’t mean they won’t catch up, but for now, despite the recent travails and profit warnings, Ryanair is well ahead.

Given the similarities between business and sport, can you imagine if the first call O’Neill and Keane make isn’t to Stephen Ireland but to Michael O’Leary? Who wouldn’t pay to be a fly on the wall at that particular hangout?

I’m sure people would pay as much as Don King charged for ringside seats at the Rumble in the Jungle.

David McWilliams hosts Kilkenomics this weekend in Kilkenny. Tickets at www.kilkenomics.com

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  1. Paul Divers

    Dia dhaoibh ar maidin

    Great Article. I know this story and just read about it on Wikipedia to recap

    There was an excellent documentary about the rumble where one of the contributors tells how Ali had to pass through Foreman’s training area to get to where Ali trained. Every time Ali walked through he would see Foreman punching the huge heavy bag and it must have been frightening

    All Foreman had was a hammer punch. Ali was faster and hit Foreman several times with his right in round one but Ali was taking two more steps than Foreman and in order to prevent tiring he switched tactics in round two and let Foreman come into close. Foreman had taken the bait and for the next few rounds all his punched were deflected and he never hurt Ali.

    Ali would lean into Foreman and talk to him. Wind him up and get him mad so that Fireman eventually became exhausted and had no chance of winning. It was tactics that did it

    It was tactics that beat the ‘unbeatable’ Sonny Liston aka The Big Ugly Bear twice in the mid 60s.

    Around that time Celtic became the world’s best club team all thanks to the vision and tactics of one man who got the best out of the players available to him. Psychology, motivation, tactics and steel were all employed in turning a rabble into world beaters.

    If you are going to dream them make sure it is a big dream.

    Mise le meas

    • whatamess

      Ta an Gaelainn ar fheabhas agat Pol

      Comhghairdeas leat

      “handcuffed lightening ,threw thunder in jail”
      (1 min)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k99vwx450dw

    • Ryu Hayabusa

      Dia Dhuit a Phól.

      I still have a soft spot for George though, he had the best uppercut in the business!

    • It has long been my contention that Ali was badly damaged in this fight and the tactics were an error. It is unprovable now but Ali could have danced around Foreman all night.

      It is a lot less tiring to move lightly than to be pounded as he was.
      It is a lot more tiring to constantly miss a target than it is to hit it.
      Foreman would have tired earlier and Ali fresher to more easily dispose of his opponent.

      I do not believe that there was a prefight plan to have Ali take that pounding.

      Ali was never the same again after this contest.

      • Paul Divers

        He had no marks on his face after the fight but he was 32 years old and I think yes his body took a hard beating that affected him deeply. Very good observation Tony.

  2. 5Fingers

    Tactics is one thing. Execution is another. The one thing that comes across is failure through arrogance and underestimation. Ryanair has underestimated and overplayed and painted themselves into a corner. Ireland Inc of early 2000s did exactly the same. Personally I think it is an unfortunate Irish trait…all fluff and bluster in the first 20 mins and blowout…mind you, no so for our boxers, so maybe we need to looking at them before our over hyped soccer and rugby teams.

    • Adelaide

      Amateur boxing in Ireland took a cold hard look at itself in the late 80′s/early 90′s and decided to be the best in the world, not also-rans, and it took a complete overhaul, radical changes which are too numerous to mention here. The proof is in the pudding. Today GAA and Amateur Boxing are by far the two most professionally run amateur sports in the country. There is no quick fix to excellence, it’s a vision matched with a long grind that crucially departs from the status quo of the past.

      • 90% perspiration /10% inspiration is recipe for success

        • whatamess

          “perspiration”

          are we talking gold again

          Cause it makes me sweat like a horrrse when gold is perceived as a shining light

          wise/prudent to invest in precious metals?yes

          But how does gold help those who hold zero gold ?

          It doesn’t !

          • your the one talking gold
            I was talking the pursuit of excellence.

            But to return to your topic
            gold is the standard,
            We have gold medals and gold stars for a reason

            A monetary gold standard forces discipline on to the system. Prevents abuse. It benefits all people by stabilizing the monetary system to one of trust and predictability. This allows business to function and proper planning to proceed.

            The derivative gambling is no longer tenable.
            All people prosper under a gold standard. We are deprived of one for too long. The current mess has become the new norm.

            It is imperative that we return to an establish standard. All dictators remove such stability for their own benefit.

            Gold is the money of democracy which has also gone missing

            Corruption reigns and is endemic. It is a cancer of the people. Gold shines the light on to the corrupt which they can not withstand and it will free the people.

            You do not need to own it. Just make sure it is not abused.

          • michaelcoughlan

            @Tony brogan

            The Romans managed to debase the gold currency by shaving off the rough edges of the coins and minting more when whatever emperor had overspent and bankrupted the place. Corruption is part of the human condition.

            @whatamess

            Your question is prudent and valid. Gold itself is an inanimate object. It only functions as a tool in the TRADING of wealth. It can’t be reproduced that easily which makes it’s use as a tool difficult to undermine. ANY object can be used as money. If no gold is available then people can barter or write an IOU.

          • whatamess

            “Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to ‘believe’( oligarch marketing ) that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact!! And we’re very, very pissed off.”

            Unquestionably,i say,a cinematic classic and it’s message(s) are clear

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

            Get REAL

            Get it ?

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            @whatamess

            Again I re-iterate.. You do not talk about Fight Club!

            Did you get that memo or what? :)

          • Here is Warren Buffet’s father with a similar position. IN 1948!! his prophesies unfold before us.
            ———————————-

            Human Freedom Rests on Gold Redeemable Money

            By HON. HOWARD BUFFETT U. S. Congressman from Nebraska (1948)

            IS TIME PROPITIOUS

            Most opponents of free coinage of gold admit that that restoration is essential, but claim the time is not propitious. Some argue that there would be a scramble for gold and our enormous gold reserves would soon be exhausted. Actually this argument simply points up the case. If there is so little confidence in our currency that restoration of gold coin would cause our gold stocks to disappear, then we must act promptly.

            The danger was recently highlighted by Mr. Allan Sproul, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who said:

            “Without our support (the Federal Reserve System), under present conditions, almost any sale of government bonds, undertaken for whatever purpose, laudable or otherwise, would be likely to find an almost bottomless market on the first day support was withdrawn.”

            Our finances will never be brought into order until Congress is compelled to do so. Making our money redeemable in gold will create this compulsion.

            The paper money disease has been a pleasant habit thus far and will not be dropped voluntarily any more than a dope user will without a struggle give up narcotics. But in each case the end of the road is not a desirable prospect. I can find no evidence to support a hope that our fiat paper money venture will fare better ultimately than such experiments in other lands. Because of our economic strength the paper money disease here may take many years to run its course.

            But we can be approaching the critical stage. When that day arrives, our political rulers will probably find that foreign war and ruthless regimentation is the cunning alternative to domestic strife. That was the way out for the paper-money economy of Hitler and others.

            In these remarks I have only touched the high points of this problem. I hope that I have given you enough information to challenge you to make a serious study of it.

            I warn you that politicians of both parties will oppose the restoration of gold, although they may outwardly seemingly favor it. Also those elements here and abroad who are getting rich from the continued American inflation will oppose a return to sound money. You must be prepared to meet their opposition intelligently and vigorously. They have had 15 years of unbroken victory.

            But, unless you are willing to surrender your children and your country to galloping inflation, war and slavery, then this cause demands your support. For if human liberty is to survive in America, we must win the battle to restore honest money.

            There is no more important challenge facing us than this issue — the restoration of your freedom to secure gold in exchange for the fruits of your labors.

            END http://www.fame.org/PDF/buffet3.pdf

          • michaelcoughlan

            Super link tonybrogan. Should be included verbatim in the us constitution.

            Michael.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi whatamess,

            I just looked at the link to fight club. Normally I ignore your links because we all know where they and bonbons lead.
            It’s clear to me from the way you end your post that you believe the “central message” of the scene.

            You couldn’t possibly have demonstrated more clearly how completely insane you and your mates are with this link. Know why?

          • michaelcoughlan

            ……continued,

            Know why? It’s clear you and your buddies are reading messages and deeper meanings from fictional characters in the movies. In this particular case it’s most apt as Ed nortens character if I remember correctly is revealed in the end to be a madman living in a nuthouse! No wonder you and your buddies identify with the scene.

            In the scene itself Brad Pitts
            character Opines that “god dosent care and has abandoned people like nortens character endevauring to brainwash norton. More for you to identify with. I told you before and
            I’ll tell you again god is in fact beneveolent and loving. People like nortons character wound up in the nuthouse precisely because they took the advise of Pitts character and turned their backs on god.

            That’s where you are whatamess. Your looking at all of us through the window of McWilliams website portal OUT OF the nuthouse you live in with bonbon and your colleagues.

            If if only read one more book read outwitting the devil by napoleon hill. At this stage it’s the only book that will save your soul and a fate similar to the fictional character played by Ed norton in a very entertaining make believe fantasy world movie.

            Yours sincerely,

            Michael.

          • As I said Michael, just make sure it is not abused.
            The Romans did as we have reverted to base metal coins
            Base metal is not money.
            PS did you get my silver coin monetization for your coop? Posted here and emailed to you.

          • michaelcoughlan

            @tonybrogan.

            Yes thanks Tony. I Emailed a reply query. If the spot falls but the monetized value remains at the higher level then is the coop exposed because people cam buy cheap coins and buy expensive goods?

  3. Original-Ed

    When ever I see Roy Keane on TV the first thing that springs to mind is the 80’s management book by Peters and Waterman “ In Serch of Excellence” – the title alone is enough to move the immovable. Then there’s the Japanese motivational mantra “ We have nothing but our hard work” – like Ireland it has no real mineral wealth – possibly even less. The interesting thing about the Japanese is that they realised early on that in the overall scheme of things, it is actually easier to produce excellent products than it is, to make shit ones .

    As for Keane he’s a troubled soul – that is, troubled by mediocrity. Like all greats he knows that excellence comes primarily from hard work and I expect that O’Neill and him will not shirk their responsibility when it comes to making those tough decisions.

  4. michaelcoughlan

    David,

    There are a number of points here that need examination.

    When the arabs asked you would Yellen taper what did you tell them? I bet you dithered. Not only will yellen not taper the rate of printing will increase or they will default. Surely the Arabs didn’t pay you to prevaricate?

    Next. Deflation. Hmmmm. Anyone on the board receive a letter recently from ANYONE saying they were cutting their prices?

    Ryanair David? When you meet Keiser in Kilkenny get him to explain to you why
    Ryanair is on his karma bank list as one of the top companies just like JP Morgan he wants to see destroyed. Max KNOWS even if you don’t that RYANAIR JUST LIKE JP Morgan is an enormous WEALTH DESTRUCTION Machine. Let me explain;

    Let’s just say oleary can round up every middle aged floppy haired economist with loads of disposable income for all their travelling and a penchant for flaunting that. Then plonk a fake pair of tits onto them and
    reduce the amount of income they earn to the min wage. This will allow RYANAIR to Expand through transferring the income formerly available to the identified group
    From their pockets to RYANAIR WITHOUT the economy having benefited AT ALL since RYANAIR manufactures nothing nor adds value bring merely a merchant type operation you could say shops with wings!

    RYANAIR David is an enormously destructive vile perverse operation systematically destroying everything healthy in it’s way and growing as a result just like cancer or a virus and when the host (Ireland) eventually dies it will simply replicate it’s modud operandi in another healthy host (jurisdiction).

    • michaelcoughlan

      Bring should be being

    • Original-Ed

      Jealousy, small mindedness or insularity – the characteristic traits of Ryanair knockers. How dare “ little Paddy from potato-land” take on the mighty colonisers of Western Europe. Ryanair is the great enabler of our time, bringing affordable access to every part of Europe for tourists and business. A Shop with Wings my arse !

    • michaelcoughlan

      If the RYANAIR model was applied to every business there would be no tourists or businesses because no one would have any disposable income which is exactly why so manny people in the us are on food stamps etc etc etc. One big walmart is what these people seem to want in oleary’s case an airborne one. If you make it to Kilkenny ask Keiser to explain it to you.

      • Original-Ed

        Insularity is obviously your problem – close the borders and go back selling houses to each other and all will be “Grand”.
        The Irish want pay way above the ability the country to generate the necessary wealth. So off they go to Australia or Canada – not many to the US – where there’s huge mineral wealth propping up the underbelly of the economy – having surfed the bubble here, they’re now desperately looking for another one to ride.

        Look at waiting times in our A and Es – too few staff is said to be the cause but in reality it’s the excessive pay for a large section of the medical staff – simple arithmetic, half the pay to European levels and double the staff . Oh no ! and all we hear from the powers that be is the usual cop out “contractual obligations “and “legitimate expectations” – management speak for can’t manage.

        Only for Ryanair we’d all be grounded and have to put up with similar isolationist shit from every quarter.

        Michael, keep those engines roaring !

    • DB4545

      Michael do you have any idea how much Ryanair contributes to the Irish economy? I was driving down Dublin’s north city quays this morning and what did I spot? Tourists in november in this grey sky rain sodden rock in the north atlantic. That’s a Ryanair phenomenon. Those tourists need rooms, food,taxis, maybe a drink and entertainment. That’s hard cash for this economy. They weren’t flocking here 30 years ago when Aer Lingus/British Airways were charging 200 punts a pop London/Dublin return with their nice little cartel and the insane “Shannon stopover”.
      Ryanair is a flying bus service and Mick isn’t pretending to provide anything else. He’s a self admitted “little bollix” and he will clip you for extras if you don’t pay attention. That’s why I always use skyscanner before booking any flight. If the total price (home to hotel) is cheaper elsewhere then I use another airline. He “sweats the assets” by keeping planes in the air and turns them around fast. If he could use unmanned drones he probably would.
      I don’t know about you but I prefer to pocket the saving(with any airline) and use it for food/drink/hotel/entertainment. In the good old days your hard earned cash paid for State Airline employees to live like kings and taxpayers had to pay for it. Aer Lingus certainly didn’t add value and WE were the tits paying for it. I’ll stand corrected but as far as I know Michael O’Leary pays his taxes in Ireland unlike many prominent business/entertainment people who like to moralize to the rest of us. I don’t work for Ryanair and I don’t have any shares in Ryanair.

      • michaelcoughlan

        I understand completely your points. They are excellent and well made. As far as I know Ryanairs profits were north of 500m for the 12 months. I think they employ 6000 staff. If oleary took 40m from that he could distribute an extra 10k pa to the wages of the bottom 4000 workers and still have 460m left over. His pilots have to register their own ltd company and invoice RYANAIR and god forbid there was an accident they and not RYANAIR are on the hook. The working conditions are so onerous that there is an enormous turnover of staf which suits him fine cause they never build up their rights etc. He makes the staff buy their own uniforms and the pilots pay for their own training
        etc. He lands people manny kilometres from their true destinations and tells them to fuck off and get the bus the rest of the way.

        But his trump card is that he knows we Irish are such a collection of scum we will sell our sense of decency as cheaply as cheap flights to europe. He knows this because being a chartered accountant just like all the others in one failed banks, auditors, and regulatory offices that all he has to do is keep the whole shit fest going for as long as possible to allow him to milk the largest amount of money possible out of it until the whole thing collapses and brings everything down with it even if that is society itself!

        • DB4545

          I disagree that we’re a collection of scum Michael. I think we’re an easygoing people and we tend to find a way around conflict rather than engage in confrontation. Drive out from a slip road and nine times out of ten someone will let you out. People will let you overtake but will be deeply offended if you don’t flash the hazards to say thanks. We’re usually polite. I haven’t found that elsewhere to the same degree and I’ve travelled a lot. We have a percentage of nasty people at the top and bottom. My sister in law (French) reckons we lack a sense of outrage and that’s probably true. Like I said with Mick you have to pay attention or he will clip you but people are changing and he knows Easyjet,AirBerlin etc. want a slice of his action so he has to adapt. I don’t know why he didn’t copy the Southwest Airlines model more closely because Herb Kelleher had staff loyalty.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Thanks. I would hate to see the airline fail prior to being given an opportunity to take on board observations such as more closely adopt the southwest ethos. mr oleary won’t give a rats ass about what I think anyway but if he dosent adapt things for him will get difficult.

          • Original-Ed

            Wouldn’t worry about competition from Aer Berlin – they’re serious opportunist. For one flight they wanted 600 euros compared to 120 euros total to the same destination over a two leg flight by Ryanair.

            I’ve never been threatened with arrest by Ryanair – with Aerlingus I was, even though they had issued the wrong ticket. Those were the day’ when they were getting “Letters of Comfort” taxpayers money on top of screwing its passengers – they had that Irish attitude problem of believing they were above all comers when in fact they nothing more the a kept mistress of government.

            With a margin of only 7 euros per passenger, Ryanair is some operation !

  5. Adelaide

    ‘Million Mask March’ becomes ‘Million Cop Charge’

    Check out this hilarious brief footage. How many cops do you count? Bloody trouble makers!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csQoGEqQBR4

    PS If you’re wondering about the cavalry charge, the reason the trouble makers snatched the young guy was he earlier goofed about like any excited kid at a demo and sat down for a nano-second at a traffic light. And, he was wearing a mask.

    It’s shocking.

    Thankfully the police helicopter-riot van-cars- horse mounted unit-bicycle mounted unit-riot unit and others too numerous to mention all collectively brought this ‘traffic violation terrorist’ to justice, discretely and professionally.

  6. Adelaide

    And Finally…
    Job Creators should instead install Lie Detectors

    http://www.donegaldaily.com/2013/11/05/company-boss-defends-use-of-jobbridge-applicants-to-install-water-meters/

    Summary Extracts OF Article: Gombeen Boss says::
    To ‘create employment’ you need a ‘viable business’ which ‘the way things are’ means hiring free labour.

    Q: So if he’s paid by the government to do the contract and the government pay his staff, does that by his own account make him a ‘job creator’?

    • Paul Divers

      It will be interesting if someone tries to defend him. Phil Hogan promised 1600 jobs would be created for the installation of water meters and now we hear people are being charged €600 for training in how to install water meters.

      • Ryu Hayabusa

        This is a disgusting example of how far this country has slid.

        Fluter Hogan possibly personally rubber stamped his application.

        A Donegal Gombeen makes it even worse, haven’t they a culture of rebellion and resistance?

        Pah there’s no hope.

  7. redriversix

    Any of you life takers & heart breakers going too Kilkenny ?

    Hope to go sat back sunday

    Gimme a call

    Barry
    0871749372

  8. whatamess

    “would the Germans tolerate a possible ECB rate cut?” ,our host asks

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/11/07/uk-ecb-rates-idUKBRE9A60OE20131107

    “…lower interest costs make it more attractive for banks to hold on to the loans for longer and invest them in higher-yielding assets.”

    And the ECB will continue to limbo dance to .25% and lower …no wiggle room you see ( rock and a hard pace ,what? )

    • Ryu Hayabusa

      Yes ,it’s down to 0.25% and they bullishly proclaim they’ll take it to zero. And let them, veer into negative territory even.

      It will merely crank up the extortion being perpetrated upon Savers while Basketcase ‘Banks’ are given free reign to plunder some more

      “And the ECB will continue to limbo dance to .25% and lower …no wiggle room you see”

      Their asses are scraping the ground, I don’t think it’s possible to Limbo much lower whatamess, unless some flesh is shaved from the ECB’s ample buttock.

      Their room for manoeuvre is shrinking by the week.

      Apart from giving some much needed respite to tracker mortgage holders it will have no noticeable effect on the general economy. We are not in a normal situation, much of

    • Ryu Hayabusa

      Yes ,it’s down to 0.25% and they bullishly proclaim they’ll take it to zero. And let them, veer into negative territory even.

      It will merely crank up the extortion being perpetrated upon Savers while Basketcase ‘Banks’ are given free reign to plunder some more

      “And the ECB will continue to limbo dance to .25% and lower …no wiggle room you see”

      Their asses are scraping the ground, I don’t think it’s possible to Limbo much lower whatamess, unless some flesh is shaved from the ECB’s ample buttock.

      Their room for manoeuvre is shrinking by the week.

      Apart from giving some much needed respite to tracker mortgage holders it will have no noticeable effect on the general economy. We are not in a normal situation, much of Europe is caught in a debt deflationary spiral and these bozo’s are oblivious to this fact.

      It won’t blow off course the sh*tstorm that’s building.

  9. whatamess

    @PaulDivers

    “If you are going to dream make sure it is a big dream.”

    +1

  10. bonbon

    Did DMcW fly to Riyadh with Ryanair?

    And do the Royals there read the blog? Just in case they do, we are waiting for the release of the 28 pages that Obama promised. Therein will be found further evidence of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

    Prince Bandar Threatens US; Another 9/11 Coming?

    As Saudia was cheated of a Syria “jolly little war” on behalf of the British Empire, direct threats against the USA and Putin’s Russia followed.

    The horribly dangerous irony is that London-Riyadh has likely quite different plans for 2014. They just neglected to tell the visiting Tiger, and George Bush then.

  11. 5Fingers

    The reason rugby and soccer are faring so poorly is a result of gombeens at the top trying to milk it from day 1. No long term thinking as you see in GAA and Boxing.

    Was at the Craft Beer session led by the Franciscan Well brewery based in Cork. AMazing! They have been building their product base from the mid 90s. These people love their business. There are loads of operations like this…slow build big vision long term and multi generational commitment.

    I vomit when I look at these prizes given to best entrepreneur of the year best whatever front of the year and they just flip it and fcek off. We should be celebrating products and service over singular individuals. Encouraging teams and looking for the good failures to try again and again.

  12. DB4545

    Bonbon why don’t you tell people that the link above goes to a “Larouche” website? I’ve asked you before so how about explaining YOUR OWN views briefly in plain english without reference to these ridiculous links?

    • michaelcoughlan

      Your making a mistake asking him anything. He dosent give a shit you me or anybody else. Ignore him.

      Michael.

      • DB4545

        I should know better. I know there’s a sharp mind behind his comments, but hopelessly misguided. I want to hear all contributions (including his) but brief and to the point without the crazy links!

    • bonbon

      I thought Tigers had grown up from silly skittishness, afraid of shadows (The Tuatha de Dannan?). People, when they throw off that pussy-cat Tiger hangover, are well able to handle anything I post. Although it takes the life out of the booze!

      So what would you like explained, pray tell?

  13. whatamess

    “ridiculous” is allowing these “shape-shifting” banks

    What’s ridiculous is that we tolerate the ENORMOUS growth of top-tier financial institutions and the corresponding increase in their economic and political power which is at the HEART of our life threatening problems

    don’t “get busy on the proof”, rather , keep it simple

    Split these MEGA banks and give us all a life saving firewall

  14. Paul Divers

    A HERO WHO DIED OF SHAME

    Of all the footballers who have played for Scotland against England, none was so idolised as the great `Wembley Wizard’, Hughie Gallacher. And, discovers James Dalrymple, none met a more tragic end …

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/a-hero-who-died-of-shame-1124187.html

  15. Ryu Hayabusa

    D McW,

    I don’t find it so surprising that the chap asked you about Roy Keane.

    Bill Shankly:

    “I hear people say football isn’t a matter of life&death. When I hear this it really disappoints me. It’s obviously much more important than that!”

  16. joe hack

    Tyson is no Ali

    “ruthlessly exploited” some people admire greatness others admire ruthlessness!

    O’Leary is no Ali, the MAN Ali used his fame well he exploited the so called sport of boxing to achieve greatness outside of his strange gift, he did this in the hope that life for others may be better.

    Mike Tyson O’Leary has built noting- he has destroyed – a tug- a biter of ears- he has produced nothing of benefit to society. To equate the greatness of a ‘sporting hero’ Ali with O’Leary speaks volumes – is shameful and insults…

    There are some great Irish people that I am proud to hear mentioned on the world stage but others I hope would relinquish their Irish passport.

    Heroic is not a word I word associate with O’Leary I can think of many other words that would go well next to that name…

    Heroes – what’s this – more adverts:

    They used to call Quinn a hero in Cavan because he supposedly created jobs – since when did a bag dust bought from a different peddler create a hero or even a job.

    The Jevons Paradox is a realty which needs to be faced!

    The foundation you’re attempting to advertise has gone beyond remedially underpinning!

  17. SMOKEY

    I saw the fight live on closed circuit TV in an auditorium in the midwestern U.S. my Dad took me when I was a boy.
    That said, SOCCER SUCKS!
    This obsession with the most boring of all games blows my mind.
    Id rather watch paint dry than this thing yall call “footie” or football!
    Its laughable. Everyone seems to love it here. I cant f’kn stand it.
    If given the choice of having a tooth pulled or sitting through a “match”? well,… guess.
    In America foot balls score is “A touchdown!” here,,,… its “a goal”
    In America foot ball has “Uniforms” here you,,,,,.. “tog out”
    In Amercia foot ball is played on “The grid Iron!” here,… its a “pitch”
    In America before commencing the season you have a “Pre season game”
    here,… you have a “friendly”
    In America foot ball has a “Quarterback and Wide reciever”
    here,….you have a “keeper and winger”
    In America foot ball has “The Hail Mary or The Bomb!”
    here,,,…you have the “dummy run”
    Now, where are my Nachos and Frosty cold Bud?

    • Paul Divers

      Football is an art and is the ultimate in leadership, management, teamwork, self expression, organization and individual brilliance. Like Hurling.

      Football and Hurling are different from cricket and ‘rugger’. Those games are for ‘the chaps’ or ‘the chops’ if you imagine it spoken in a leafy Oxford accent

      Each to his own sport. Let the Men of Munster and Melbourne follow the oval ball if that is what they prefer. I have no time for such men as we have nowt in common but I respect their sporting culture and illustrious history

      Give me someone who can talk about Bobby Murdoch and Christy Ring and I will have found a lifelong friend. It’s all about personal dreams, camaraderie, friendship and moments.

      In the end this life boils down to a few defining moments and we will remember our greatest highs when last drawing breath. For me I will seek my last solace in the football heroes and wonder what the end was like for them

      In my final state of mind I might play back old footage of Jinky, Murdoch and McGrain or Maybe Baxter and Cooper. It is the only thing that keeps me going. It’s called pride and identity.

      And that is why I am a football man.

  18. Paul Divers

    Good luck to all you brothy sons of the sod at Kilkenomics.
    Mind and behave yourselves now.

  19. Paul Divers

    I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.

    Muhammad Ali.

    LOL!

  20. bonbon

    What the Saudi’s neglected to tell the visiting Tiger economist, was let out of the bag today on bbc, telegraph, etc.

    The full report is on the way, but basically Saudia has or can promptly have, both warheads and a launch capability. There is every reason to believe this is presently an extremely dangerous development, considering Bandhar’s recent open threats to the USA and Russia. The continuing 9/11 coverup by Obama and the Administration implicates them in a possible holocaust if Saudia attempts this route. It would mean the extinction of humanity.

    • bonbon

      Pakistan nuclear weapons are apparently set aside for quick delivery. Saudia has the Chinese CSS-2 missile already.

      • michaelcoughlan

        “Pakistan nuclear weapons are apparently set aside for quick delivery. Saudia has the Chinese CSS-2 missile already”

        I’m losing sleep in the nightime knowing this.

        LOL.

  21. bonbon

    Vive La France!
    Prof François Heisbourg, a former French diplomat and chairman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Geneva Centre for Security, who was in Dublin this week to talk to the Institute for International and European Affairs.

    “The dream has given way to nightmare,” he says in his latest book, Le Fin du Rêve Européen (The End of the European Dream). “We must face the reality that the EU itself is now threatened by the euro. The current efforts to save it are endangering the union yet further.”

    A case of, as the French would put it, “reculer pour mieux sauter” – stepping back to get a better run . . .

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/dumping-the-euro-to-save-europe-seems-harsh-and-the-outcome-uncertain-1.1588798

  22. bonbon

    I wonder how much the Saudi’s have “invested” in the Euro?

    • bonbon

      “It’s like a view that you have sinned, Greece has sinned – redemption through pain. It’s almost a religious notion that if you sinned so badly, you have to feel the pain to get redemption,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland in an interview.

      The only problem with that is the weakest will be literally eliminated – a sin against humanity.

    • joe hack

      But we have economic comedy festivals, it’s like the Kerryman jokes from the seventies the English made fun thee Irish the Dubliners made fun the Kerrymen but this time there no one lower down the picking order so we make jokes about ourselves and some think this will bring change.

      Did ya here the south-siders joke about the north-sider on minimum wage! well he donating money to a rich bondholder because he is idiot…

      Did ya here the north-siders joke about the south-sider on minimum wage! well he donating money to a rich bondholder because he is idiot…

      When the world laughing at the foolish Irish and the Irish have noone more foolish to piont the figure of distration at the Irish have comedy festival about how dumb they are – laughing at them self and paying fee for the prevalage

    • joe hack

      But we have economic comedy festivals, it’s like the Kerry-man jokes from the seventies, the English made fun thee Irish, the Dubliners made fun the Kerry-men but this time there no one lower down the picking order so we make jokes about ourselves and some think this will bring change.

      Did ya here the south-siders joke about the north-sider on minimum wage! Well he donates money to a rich bondholder s because he is idiot…

      Did ya here the north-siders joke about the south-sider on minimum wage! Well he donates money to a rich bondholder because he is idiot…

      When the world laughing at the foolish Irish and the Irish have no one more foolish to point the figure of distraction at the Irish have comedy festival about how dumb they are – laughing at them self s and paying fee for the privilege.

      • Ryu Hayabusa

        Wooo-aaahh.. more Déja vu!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_KmNZNT5xw

        eerie…

      • Paul Divers

        Try to Keep the faith because times are changing.

        We have had five years of austerity and came through without acting like spoiled children. The people of Ireland have paid a terrible price for the failure of weak leaders who are out of touch and are clearly there to realise personal career goals.

        They are careerists – the worst sort of all. They have no talent or imagination and play the political game in order to control and deceive the masses. They do no real useful work or hard thinking and they are pretty lazy even though in their busyness they think they are doing good. They need to be persuaded that the days of The Gombeen Man are over and that real thinking is needed if we are to keep the home fires burning

        They despise education and mistrust people who have read classics such as The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. They want to lock lock down the net and it is coming soon if you all don’t cop on and get active fast!

        You know it and so do I. We know that there is no point in voting unless our votes carry a hammer punch to the body and exercises real power.

        Mise le meas

    • Ryu Hayabusa

      He’s got a truncated version in the IT foreseeing a ‘lost decade’

      http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/nobel-winner-stiglitz-warns-of-ireland-s-lost-decade-1.1588511

      “A good share of the blame has to go to the ECB and commission for not restructuring the debts,” Mr Stiglitz said.

      You can sing it Joe…

      Every time Ollie Rehn open his mouth as the French would quip “creuser le tombe avec ses dents” digging your own grave with your teeth.

      The guy is a regal spooffer.

      • Ryu Hayabusa

        It’s ‘Capitalism’ Joe.. but not as we know, not as we know it, not as we know it… Not as we know it now!

        • joe hack

          Does he say when the lost decade starts and ends or ends… is it from 2008 to 2018 or is from now until 22.59PM 08/11/2023 is the decade his taking about consecutive – does he mean it’s a week now and then that we should count and if so are the weeks between boom weeks.

          I kinda like this man but it would much more useful if was more specific.

          He got beard he must be a union man at least that how DMW discerns them ‘The Breadys’

      • Paul Divers

        When we meet in the local hall
        I’ll be voting with them all
        With a hell of a shout, it’s “Out brothers, out!”
        And the rise of the factory’s fall

        The Strawbs, 1973
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdOCWUgwiWs

        Power cuts and candles and no Coronation Street.

  23. whatamess

    A safety net / firewall ,to PROTECT us all , in the form of GS needs to be FIRMLY in place before any experimenting with an introduction of silver/gold coins as possible tandem currencies. Remember this notional tandem currency will certainly create even more waves in our already choppy waters. We are already balancing on a knife edge evereybody! So firstly, calm the waters with Glass Steagall.

    3mins and it sums up a gold obsession beautifully

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCaSyid4m0

    Well i’m taking “my sober ,pink Irish ass” on a few weeks holidays
    ( maybe to Adam’s island in the Carribean?? Lol or The Marble city maybe?)

    In the interim, please send all Glass Steagall petition signatures to Michael Coughlan – secretary.Lcg@gmail.com. Thankyou all ;)

    The empire ( aka”The Matrix” ) is under threat everybody

    “Rage,rage against the dying of the light”

    yeeee haw!!!

  24. bonbon

    What’s that I just saw on RT – Ausi bitcoin bank robbed ?

  25. Ryu Hayabusa

    Looks like It’s not just Edward Snowden… Huey from the FLC when they mentioned Dick Cheney.

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

    And could You put it in a lyric…

    “Sometimes I speak my mind rather plainly.. .. ..but i’m not a Dick like Cheney!”

    And Huey taking it to the Banksters. Take it away Hu-eeeeeeeeey…

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

  26. Ryu Hayabusa

    V for Vendetta… Remember Remember the 5th of November!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_13fFIrhPk

    • Paul Divers

      How could I forget. It was only 3 days ago and I had a steak dinner at The Hilton with Bono.

    • joe hack

      V for Vendetta! – that was quick – what have you been up to…

      “Ex-Irish PM Bertie Ahern assaulted by man with a crutch in Dublin pub”

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/09/bertie-ahern-assaulted-man-crutch-dublin

      • Delighted to hear this bit of good news. If I caught him on the beach in the Caribbean I’d kick his head in.

        • DB4545

          You’d be wasting your time Adam. The skin is too thick and the neck is too hard. The best way to hurt him and his ilk is to remove his pension and leave him with a non contributory old age pension at 65. After all what has he and his kind contributed to this State? They’ve done more damage than the paramilitaries during the “troubles” and are probably responsible for as many deaths through suicide. I’d love someone to tell me this was possible with a referendum. I keep hearing this would interfere with “private property rights” but what about the wealth that he has destroyed in this State?I saw a clip on RTE today where a little girl with Downs syndrome had her medical card withdrawn. Could you even imagine such a situation happening a few short years ago?

          • bonbon

            Sounds exactly like Obamacare!

            Remember Barry O’Bama’s “Is feidir lin”?

          • “They’ve done more damage than the paramilitaries during the “troubles” and are probably responsible for as many deaths through suicide”

            I said the same thing to my mother a couple of years ago, almost identically, word for word as you have expressed it.

            This was when I told her I was going to vote for Sinn Fein – she said she could never vote for those murderers – I pointed out that Bertie had killed more people – I’m serious about that. Anyway, I didn’t push it with my dear Mum.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            They should ask him to finish that line “Is feidir linn….. Céard?”

            Empty aspirational guff… with no end product.

            Barracked Le Spoofferrrrrr….

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            @DB4545
            To say they are without conscience wouldn’t even scratch the surface.

            You’re talking about a breed of species on a sub human level.

            They’ll never change.

  27. bonbon

    The explosive rhetoric of the would-be Guy Fawkes’ is astonishing. Obama was cheated of his nuclear gunpowder-plot in Syria, but the Saudi’s are fuming and have nuclear weapons. Russia has told the UN to secure Libya’s “yellow-cake”, 6,400 barrels of it, which apparently is under the control of a local arms dealer.

    On top of that, Libyan MANPADS (20,000 stock), mobile shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, are flowing to Al Quaeda in Syria end elsewhere.

    Anglo-Dutch Empire Threatens Human Extinction
    The BBC Worldwatch report that Saudia owns a large part of Pakistans nuclear arsenal, and are now threatening to use it.

    Is the Empire going for a nuclear 9/11 ?

    • bonbon

      Look at the growing number of “Snowden file exiles” who are unable to return to their homes in the US or Britain as long as Obama is in power. British journalist Sarah Harrison, who negotiated for Snowden in Hong Kong and then in Russia for the past three months, sought to return to London now that his situation is stabilized, but her lawyers told her it was “not safe to return home.” Now she expects to live as an exile in Berlin, along with Laura Poitras, the American film-maker who is Glenn Greenwald’s partner on the Snowden files, who cannot set foot in the US or Britain. Greenwald himself is living in Brazil unable to return to the US.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “Is the Empire going for a nuclear 9/11?”

      No the empire strike back!

      LOL.

  28. bonbon

    As if the Tapes were not bad enough, now comes this :

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/disgraceful-irish-report-on-kristallnacht-goes-on-display-1.1589059

    Ireland’s reputation in Berlin is catastrophic!

    • michaelcoughlan

      Was the time machine which took you back the 75 years thorium powered?

      LOL.

    • bonbon

      A Berlin synagogue destroyed 75 years ago in the so-called “Night of Broken Glass” (Kristallnacht) is exhibiting Charles Bewley’s “disgraceful and unfathomable” report.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Really?

      So the germans are disgusted because we were so blasé at THEIR treatment of the Jews?

      Keep posting bonbon. The more you post the more you damage yourself.

  29. bonbon

    Stiglitz notes Ireland faces a lost decade :
    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/nobel-economist-stiglitz-im-astonished-at-irish-ability-to-suck-up-austerity-pain-29737373.html

    and AEP of DT :
    “A new paper by Takeo Hoshi and Anil Kashyap for the International Monetary Fund said Europe has repeated many of the mistakes made in Japan in the 1990s and “is indeed heading towards a lost decade”.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10434431/ECBs-Draghi-stuns-markets-with-rate-cut-but-deflation-still-looms.html

    Next we will be told the emigrants, youth, chronically ill and aged were “lost”. Our food supply lost. Just wait for Noonan with a lost lifestyle choice.

    There is a screw loose in the Empire’s frankenstein monster.

  30. Paul Divers

    In my inbox there was an email from someone called ‘Des’.
    My inbox is pretty quiet and well filtered for spam but I clicked the link as I was intrigued.

    The link is to a book called Irish Life and Me and they are giving away a free chapter.

    Do any of you lot know who this is?

  31. bonbon

    Could it be that the KSA (Kingdom of Saudia Arabia) fear nothing more than the return to Glass-Steagall by the US without Obama? Are they so terrified of their international (and local) oligarchy crumbling to resort to the use of nuclear weapons?

    On Sunday, Saudi Prince Turki, who is the former head of Saudi Intelligence, brother-in-law of the current head of Saudi Intelligence, Prince Bandar, and brother of the current foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, gave an interview to Lally Weymouth published in the Washington Post,
    WEYMOUTH: Would Saudi Arabia consider becoming a nuclear power?
    TURKI: I suggested two years ago that the [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries should consider seriously all options, including acquiring nuclear weapons if Iran acquires nuclear weapons.
    WEYMOUTH: You left out Turkey.
    TURKI: Turkey would develop nuclear capabilities if Iran goes nuclear.
    WEYMOUTH: That would really change the region.
    TURKI: It will make it even more radioactive and dangerous. It is a doomsday option.

    Very odd football indeed.

  32. bonbon

    Is this another hint at something like a national bank? -

    The Government will have to set up a State-sponsored financial institution to lend money to small and medium-sized businesses, a senior Bank of Ireland executive has said.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/financial-services/executive-calls-for-state-lending-to-smes-1.1589105

    A real separation of investment, insurance and commercial banking is a pre-requisite for this to work. But Hamiltonian Credit Systems are the way to go, after the field is cleared of the post-Glass-Steagall tsunami.

  33. bonbon

    It is becoming painfully clear what to do even in Brussels :

    Finance Watch Brussels Conference: Break Up the Banks Now and Avoid Banking Union

    A conference held Thursday and sponsored by Finance Watch, a Brussels-based Non-Governmental Organization that focusses on financial regulation in the European Union, included among its topics the need for separating Europe’s commercial banks from investment banks, and making this, not banking union, the first priority.

    Among the participants was former Federal Deposit Insurance Corportation chair Sheila Bair, a known supporter of Glass-Steagall. In a short video interview, Finance Watch’s Secretary General Thierry Philipponat said that the main problem in Europe is that “we have banks that are too large, too complex, and too interconnected to make any system—and I insist, any system—of protecting tax payers against bank failures, from succeeding.

    • michaelcoughlan

      “Among the participants was former Federal Deposit Insurance Corportation chair Sheila Bair, a known supporter of Glass-Steagall. In a short video interview, Finance Watch’s Secretary General Thierry Philipponat said that the main problem in Europe is that “we have banks that are too large, too complex, and too interconnected to make any system—and I insist, any system—of protecting tax payers against bank failures, from succeeding”

      The above from your own post. And you
      still can’t see why your dogma and rhetoric is Sooooooo………. redundant?

  34. bonbon

    It is good that someone brought up medical care above. Obamacare kills.

    A Tale of “Two Midnights”: It Was the worst of times, it Was the worst of times

    It’s a “Cinderella rule…If you cross two midnights, you’re an inpatient. If not, you’re a pumpkin,” is how it was described by senior administrator Amy Deutschendorf, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, to the New York Times.

    Tigers will say that could never happen here. “Is feidir linn”.

  35. DB4545

    Bonbon life is short. Can you please give your OWN views in your OWN words and edit whatever crazy ideology that you keep referring to into some sort of coherent argument in plain english without the crazy Larouche links.

    • joe hack

      Tolerance is verdure I struggle with. one could ignore bonbon and one could also ignore people telling bonbon what to do – it seems I am still struggling.

      Most of the links on here relate to strange sites one which I clicked on led me to a site called the Irish Independent, there must be some ironic joke in the naming of it?

      “crazy Larouche links” a subjective opinion that I may agree with at times but if a man was left leaning he may read Hitler? I would guess Hitler read the likes of communist manifesto too?

      • DB4545

        I take your point Joe. My issue is not the political leaning of the links. I’m here to learn or read something fresh or informative from any point on the political spectrum.
        My issue is someone vomiting out “information” using links without taking the take the time to distil this “information” into a brief coherent argument of their OWN making and wasting my time.
        I can only agree with your reference to the “Indo”. Life and time is short and all I ask is that comments are brief and to the point. If you can’t get your key points on one page of A4 I’m not interested.

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