December 5, 2013

Football can teach small firms a lot about how to fight – and win – on your own terms

Posted in Irish Economy · 183 comments ·
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Somehow, and I am still not particularly delighted about it, my 11-year-old son is a Chelsea supporter. This is a difficult thing for any parent to accept, but when he came out – provocatively and flamboyantly – I had to bury my prejudice and embrace diversity.

In the modern world, although it doesn’t feel right, if you were born in 2002 who else would you support? Success breeds success and the first highly successful Mourinho sojourn at Stamford Bridge has spawned a new generation of Blues.

As a result, the family has an outsized interest in how Chelsea does each weekend. This weekend they beat Southampton. This is interesting to any football fan because Southampton have been beating many, so-called superior, teams this year playing a form of football which is changing the terms of engagement.

Southampton have changed the game and its players are pressing and defending from the opposition’s penalty area, harassing full-backs and centre-halves. Typically defenders have a bit of time on the ball if the opposition stands off. Southampton are not giving the opposition defenders that luxury and are instead pressing them far up the pitch. This is not unlike what Jack Charlton did years ago.

Southampton and Charlton’s Ireland are great examples of fighting the battle on your terms, not on the terms the opposition set for you. If you allow the opposing team to dictate the terrain, the timing and the style of the battle, you are going to be on a hiding to nothing, particularly if the opposition are aristocrats and you are journeymen.

Southampton’s Argentinean coach Mauricio Pochettino (incidentally from a town called “Murphy” in the middle of the Pampas after John Murphy who emigrated in 1844 from Kilrane, Co Wexford) figured out that he couldn’t beat the big lads at their own game. Instead, he is playing football which suits his team rather than others. Southampton, despite their loss to Chelsea, are above Man Utd and Tottenham in the table.

We see this again and again in sport where a team changes the rules of the game, entirely legally, and influences the result simply by not doing what was expected of them.

Do you remember Pat Spillane’s outburst against what he termed “puke football” – referring to the Tyrone tactic of swarm defence? What upset the Kerry aristocrats was the fact that Tyrone identified that Kerry’s very strength, their effortless skill, was actually their major weakness and if Tyrone disrupted them and didn’t let them play, Kerry wouldn’t have any Plan B – or at least wouldn’t be able to put the plan together in the cauldron of the match. It might not have been for the purists and it wasn’t pretty but it was effective, very effective.

The tactic deployed by both Tyrone and Southampton is designed to disrupt the opposition, and capitalising on this very disruption is what generates results.

This is the essence of small business too. When we are faced with a large incumbent that appears unbeatable given our limited resources, the way to turn the tables is to disrupt, to upset and to fight on terrain that you identify rather than terrain that is identified for you.

Small businesses need to figure out how to change the rules, bend them, examining and targeting their opposition’s weakness.

Sometimes the small guy is positively affected by what is termed disruptive technology. This is a technology which comes on-stream and changes the game. The internet and social media are one such technology. This is because they change the way in which we engage, the way we behave. These types of technologies also lower the cost of entering business, allowing small companies to move faster and more determinedly into territory that was originally the preserve of giants.

Every generation has their disruptive technologies. In our grandparents’ day, things like the radio and the car destroyed pre-existing industries. The arrival of electricity did for other forms of energy and now of course social media is threatening the status quo from the media to retailing.

All businesses have three major ingredients. The first is vision. Without the vision, there is no objective to achieve. Without vision, you might as well take a wage and let someone else have the vision. The vision is normally benchmarked against the competition and is often pushed by the simple urge that you could do that better than the other guy.

The second set of ingredients are the constraints – normally money, people and technology or some combination or derivative of all three. Do I have enough money to start up? Can I employ the right people? And is the technology a barrier to getting to the market or starting up the business in the first place?

The third ingredient is energy. Do I have the energy to take the hits, to get back up and to continue driving forward when everyone has given up?

Every business faces the same three major dilemmas. And given that we are in a competitive world, even if you are doing well the worst thing to do is misdiagnose your success as something permanent.

Some businesses, when they are ahead, begin to believe that they have some sort of competitive advantage. This is dangerous. The most we have, no matter what we do, is a temporary monopoly, which will be figured out by the opposition. This is why constant innovation, movement and flexibility are essential to stay in the game.

There is nothing you do that can’t be copied and improved on by your competitors. But this is the essence of the system we live in. The recovery in Ireland will be driven by small companies that follow the Southampton model, taking on the big guys on the little guy’s own terms. The recovery won’t come from the large companies. It will come from small businesses feeling confident enough after a few big wins to employ an extra person or two.

But be warned, the big guys are not asleep. They too are watching, figuring out where your weakness is and reacting to you without you even knowing, until your advantage is gone.

Watching Chelsea playing Southampton the other day, the harsh realities of competition came back in spades. The wily Mourinho saw that if he played four across the front and the Southampton players stuck to the script of defending from the front, he’d drag them all around the park, leaving his front men unmarked. This is what happened. Back to the drawing board Southampton.

The sporting cycle, like the business cycle, starts all over again.

David McWilliams hosts the Winter Tales’ book festival at Dalkey on December 7. Tickets www.dalkeybookfestival.org

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  1. Dorothy Jones

    Adam, subscribe, we on for New Model Army tomorrow?

  2. bonbon

    What is going on with DMcW?

    Friedrich von Hayek, Jan. 27, 1981. His feudalist vision: “We shall not rebuild civilization on a large scale. . . . On the whole there was more beauty and decency to be found in the life of the small peoples, and among the large ones there was more happiness in proportion to their avoidance of the deadly blight of centralization.”

    Now some may joke that the small people are leprechauns, but Hayek actually meant small numbers, much less than 7 billion today. Sound familiar?

    As for the “big guys”, cyclopes, well we know Odysseus handled that problem. The Too Big Guys are totally bankrupt and flailing blindly about in their caves at the mere mention of Glass-Steagall.
    “Wall St. is Doing our Work for us”
    That is the essence of the doomed system !

    • bonbon

      Hayek again : You see, over the next 20 years, the world population is expected to double again. For a world that is founded on egalitarian ideas, the problem of overpopulation is unsolvable. If we guarantee that everyone who is born will be supported, we will soon no longer be able to fulfill that promise. There is only one brake for overpopulation, namely that the only ones who may survive and procreate are those who can support themselves.

  3. We’re well versed in this hypothesis in West Cork. When we read about the 300 men at Thermopylae, 200 set to work here a while ago and got shot of an Empire that had set up camp for 800 years.
    The big issue for me, though there are many, many others, is that the Euro-crew don’t like our corporate tax rate. They should look at the waste and indulgence that is the EU circus first, is docha.

    Good man David. Keep it up.
    And at least your young lad doesn’t support West Ham, which is my particular affliction.

    BTW, going back to your article about the amount of lorries plying their trade on German motorways, have you noticed the increase of haulier traffic here? I went up and down to Belfast yesterday and the roads seemed busier than they have been for a long time.

  4. bonbon

    A sporting chap, DMcW, giving the banksters a new start. How liberal and generous he is with Ireland.

  5. 5Fingers

    Great article…10/10.

    Also, established players and big ones are also less willing to change and will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo – guaranteeing their inevitable blowup…now if only the referee (Government) would only start recognising foul where it really happens.

  6. bonbon

    The nation’s children will go on paying the cost of the bailout for some time

    Fintan O’Toole’s piece on children in poverty includes the truly shocking fact that “…22 per cent of all Irish households were jobless”.
    By 2011 61% of children were from families having difficulty making ends meet.

  7. Classic opening paragraph. I spent nearly a decade on the waiting list for Arsenal tickets after my son came out of the closet, turned from blue to red, whilst I turned the living room air blue as he announced St Andrew’s was not his spiritual HQ. Highbury HQ rang me a while ago to say we are still on the Season Ticket waiting list: he left for Uni 2 months ago..sigh. BCFC are the real ‘blues’, so fcuk Chelski and their Moscow-on-Thames crap. Though Mourinho is the lulz-meister.

    Moving the goalposts in The Beautiful Game? Where do we start? Beckenabauer’s actuarial bean-counter Germany. Rule 1, the only rule: ‘don’t lose at any cost’. Which reigned in Brazil and led to the decade long tactical snore fest. Angela Merkel has the same tactics in economics. ‘puke economics’ indeed. Germany? Yellow card!

    This writing does indeed link deftly to the Social Media David & Goliath article which I composed a lovely rant for but your site was down so I just posted it to myself on Facebook. David & Goliath on the ‘soccer’ pitch, Social Media and the Spreadsheet for business plan/profitability model. Radical re-pricing of ‘lower league’ footy could pull the rug from the Gladiator Mult-Millionaire wage packet carry-on, etc. Actually “The Beautiful Game” as metaphor for genuine Capitalist innovation is good, given the glories of the game emerged from the Industrial Working Class ranks of the Small Heath Rifles singing “Danny Boy” in the build up to WW1, etc. But there’s also as much co-operation and reciprocal altruism in the game, hence outrage at fixing and slide tackles. Banksters are good at fixing and slide tackles, etc. Entrepreneurial recovery can only happen with not just cheap, but available credit. Where is it? Ditto energy costs. If there’s such a ‘game-changer’ as Shale, why does it cost so much to heat the frickin house and fill the car still? Just as the Big Guy Corporate Prawn Cocktail Class almost devoured The Beautiful Game, they also almost devoured the Economy. No wonder Roy Keane had a hissy fit. Keane and O’Neil, now that’s innovative disruptive technology!

    My first ever 45rpm is called “Give Us Back The Beautiful Game” and there’s about 20 remixes so far. One includes a rap by M.C Adam ‘Abyss’ Byrne of this parish, if he remembers his audition at Kilkenomics. You passed Adam, and will be on the Brazil 2014 edition of a single that will just go on for ever and ever and ever. Might do Brazil with the English hordes, 4tehlulz, as Ireland bombed out. Again. David McWilliams might get to do the voiceover for the Croke Park Six Nations “Isles of Wonder” Rugby Remix, so long as he’s not too expensive and Enda doesn’t Bertie will protest at his involvement. Pope Francis will represent Italy, as the Holy See run it and everywhere else, etc. Cover star for the 12 inch vinly: Cornelius Joseph Martin 20 March 1923 – 24 February 2013. RIP.

    Team sport is a microcosm of life, and football *soccer* is the pinnacle of human existence. My Catholic grammar school won the All-England for 3 years in a row, whilst the true genius Netzer, Lorimer, Bowles types like me were in the 2nd 11: we got fed up with the circuit training military shit. Not ONE of the superstar jocks ever made it to professional status as they were burnt out by fatigue by 16. As I was, but from sex, not soccer. Many Dinosaur corporations are heading for the dustbin of history over this topic, and I think Seth Godin’s latest blog post has got it right about trying too hard. But then again, some, like me, need to stop arseing aroud and, y’know, actually finish the track and get Adam Byrne on the mic. Too much effort, too little, work-life balance, rule of Benedict, ‘the moderation glitch’. And the ‘sweet spot’ is not just the G-spot:

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/12/the-moderation-glitch.html

    Testosterone poisoning in business, women playing soccer. Modern management yin/yang, social media as persuasion and the quiet slow build ‘long game of two halves’ vs the Twitter Tourette’s face-time attention whore stuff. “The sporting cycle, like the business cycle, starts all over again.” This topic thread could go on forever, and like the Beautiful Game, probably will. No mention of “Is Big Business Killing Sport” at Kilkenomics. Missed it, sadly, but gathered it was, ahem, “lively”. LOL!

    http://www.kilkenomics.com/contributors/denis_hickie

    My hurling days are over. Moments In Love. “Give Us Back The Beautiful Game” This Saturday, I drive to Aberystwyth to record the trumpet blast riff echoing across the Irish Sea. Agoraphobia, Photopobia, Fame-phobia, all over. It’s time to score some goals on a bigger pitch than this delightful blog where I’ve recuperated on a stretcher for many seasons. Moments in Football: A Fantasia Animation:

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

    ps & NB: The Irish Centre, Birmingham. Every Saturday there’s Villa and Blues fans having fun, rarely a ruck. Ditto Liverpool, Everton. Celtic, Rangers, sort yourselves out, FFS! “remember, remember 21st November 1974. Birmingham: so much to be applauded for” In the capital of Mercia we witnessed Sectarian football’s epicFAIL!

  8. Yellow card for Bonbon, off-topic and off-side. Meanwhile, Enda claims hatrick after scoring against Holy See, Troika and negative ‘cribbers on sidelines who declined to suicide as Bertie instructed. FG 1 FF 0. LOL!

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Ireland-wins-top-spot-on-Forbes-Best-Countries-for-Business-list-234575611.html

  9. Original-Ed

    This piece is “on the ball” – a quick start guide for all aspiring entrepreneurs. After two false starts and twenty five years of success, I can really appreciate its relevance to a start-up. While the vision thing is very important at the beginning, paranoia is more important by far, when up and going.

  10. Harper66

    “But it would be wrong to say Ireland’s problems are over. The IMF predicts that its economy will grow by only about 2% a year until 2018—a feeble pace compared to rates of over 10% during the boom. According to Deutsche Bank, Ireland’s banks will need more public money if they are to comply with new international rules on capital. Returning them to health will weigh heavily on the rest of Ireland’s economy—and on its politics—for years to come.”

    http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21591231-most-irish-still-bank-their-governmentand-it-costing-them-concentrating

    “Small businesses need to figure out how to change the rules, bend them, examining and targeting their opposition’s weakness.”

    I admire your positivity and indeed you are correct in saying in business as in life if you are to survive you must fight. The problem is small business is being frustrated at every turn by government policy.

    Wages have been driven down but not over heads. These have increased. Rates and taxes have been heaped upon business.

    Peoples spending power has evaporated and yet their debts have remained the same while their cost of living have increased. More rates and taxes.

    Like a tumour will devour its host so too this government is sucking the life out of the economy.

    Ireland is no longer competitive. In my own line of work I cannot get competitive prices from Irish suppliers. Suppliers from UK and Europe are cheaper often up to 30%. Are Irish business trying to rip me off? No they are being destroyed by costs heaped upon them by the state.

    I have family in the UK. I have lost track of the number of people asking if I’m going over before Christmas and if so could I bring some stuff back. I have a close friend who live near the border he done all of his major purchases in the north. You are right David, people will find a way to bend the rules to make money stretch and they are doing it to the detriment of this economy and it is because of disastrous government policy.

    Ireland the best place to do business? Don’t make me fucking laugh. This Government and our European counterparts have been spoofing for so long they have forgotten how to separate out fact from fiction.

    Everything we see or seem is but a dream within a dream…..

    • EMMETTOR

      “All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream”. All grand, apart from that.

      • Original-Ed

        Ireland the best place to do business? That’s only for the multinationals as they look out over the irish sea from their top floor offices down in the canal basin. Ireland is only cheap anchorage as they plan and plot to relieve some 500 million Europeans of their disposable cash.
        Business is all about numbers and Ireland doesn’t have much to offer in that regard.

        • whatamess

          “Ireland’s the best place to do business?”

          For sure!wrt :The Roman Catholic Church and all other religious denominations still have a tax EXEMPT status in Ireland,right? not even a household charge

          hmmm….

  11. Many lessons are learned from sport. It seems my playing style as a nine year old full back is now adopted by successful premier teams. I am usually 10-20 years ahead of my peers but 50 plus years is a record even for me.
    \
    To learn the lesson of how to stop the depression one needs to read and study this assay. It is a question and answer series posited in February 2009 nearly 5 years ago. Antal Fekete appears to be years ahead of his peers. His credentials are easily researched.

    I have had this essay printed as hard copy the last 5 years and recently it floated to the top of the box of goodies and so I read it for the 4th or 5th time. Each time I read it I understand a little more of the causes of our world based economic dilemma and the solutions to ridding ourselves of the economic booms and busts and in particular of this mother of all depressions slowly enveloping mankind but with accumulating volume and gathering speed.

    If you have any interest in the understanding of our problems then this will be read 4-5 times over a week by many here.

    The example of Portugal used as an example of recovery applies just as well to Ireland or any other independent sovereign state (or one that aspires to sovereignty at least).

    This relates to some degree to the previous essay of the discussion of the small business being nimble and adaptable compared to the corporate giants.

    Read on. http://www.24hgold.com/english/contributor.aspx?article=1819036178G10020&contributor=Antal+E.+Fekete.

    Unfortunately it throws into a cocked hat the causes and solutions espoused by our good host David. Perhaps he too will read and ponder and then comment and affirm or rebut.

    • cooldude

      Good article Tony. What we badly need is some “creative destruction” in the good we all use that is money. The recent reduction of price in all unbacked paper currencies against Bitcoin shows how more and more people are looking for a form of money that cannot be constantly debased. By removing a portion of our money from the completely corrupt banking system and changing it into forms of money that cannot be debased such as gold, bitcoin, silver, litecoin etc we are not only giving two fingers to the corrupt bankers we are also protecting that portion from the now legal bail in scenario which is heading to a bank near all of us soon.

      • cooldude

        By the way the defense system in the article is known as a high pressure defense. Barcelona have been using it for years and like all successful systems it is now spreading around Europe. I think it was originally invented in Holland and brought to Spain by Cryuff but I’m not certain about this.

      • I am running one of my businesses completely through bitcoin now.

        The clients pay me in bitcoin and I settle my bills using it.

        Result? The bank account I use for this business (overseas) is almost empty – I paid as many bills as I could with what was left in it and left just enough to keep it open (for now).

        I’ve saved a fortune in fees (wire transfers, statements, currency conversions, etc. etc.) as well as gained in time saved and convenience.

        Plus I get to keep my profits in bitcoin and watch them appreciate (for now) and I’m using my personal bank acount less and less too here in Ireland.

        I’m sending any new clients I get to blockchain.info to get a bitcoin account and business partners to https://bitpay.com/start or https://coinbase.com/ so they can get set up with a business account.

        bitcoin is a no brainer for anyone on this site and any progressive looking business.

        It’s not just for speculation.

        • 5Fingers

          What about Quarks?

          • Quarks are a pump and dump.

          • 5Fingers

            They are all pump and dump for now…still too volatile for savings.

          • Bill Still pumped Quarks

          • whatamess

            To disagree is your prerogative.
            Trying to fix the out of wack doors and windows without ascertaining the cause of the distortion is the same as trying to fix the economy without isolating the root cause.

            The money system foisted on us is all issued as debt. the interest accumulates and is skimmed off the productive economy.

            Until we have an honest money system that is not debt based and without the interest nothing will be fixed.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25255957

            This article details why gold is by far the best money but fails to understand that it is not the volume of gold that stabilizes an economy but the stability of the amount of gold in the economy that allows it to act as a perfect medium of exchange and store of value.

          • whatamess

            i’m all for gold Tony ….i would hazard a guess that Bonbon too prefers gold to paper money as a sound store of wealth.

            Where’s your PLAN for the FUTURE Tony? Let’s just say you are granted your wishes,then what Tony??!!! What’s the propulsion MECHANISM ( more “dig in our heels”-get real brother!) to release us from the abyss in which we find ourselves?…What’s the plan to just to get us back to the ‘rubble’ surface again,not to mind the growth needed from there ? free markets ONLY? that’s just more romantic notions and the same system of empire prevails.The history books will be full of what humanity did at THIS very precipice!!!!

            Gold or ‘sound money’ as our saviours ,,,,sounds to me like the magic beanstalk story.irrational…talk of jars of plasters ‘at the ready’ for a gun shot wound…pullleeese

            We’ve been here before yunno…lessons CAN be learned …that ‘consolidation’ train is heading our way…who’s gonna stop it?

            http://sophia.smith.edu/~maldrich/topics/farmers/1873graphicsept16.htm

            to have better insights to where i am coming from please check out:

            Specie Payment Resumption Act

            then

            The LTCM (blow out)…did well for a few years yes,but essentially flawed, it inevitably fell of a cliff

            then

            Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act which ‘intrinsically’ changed ALL rules of financial engagement! Banksters were given superpowers! [and golden capes and parachutes!]

            then

            Lehman

            QED

        • whatamess

          Adam,

          “bitcoin is a no brainer for anyone on this site and any progressive looking business.”

          that’s a bold statement my man!

          as Yoda would say “unease in your thinking, i sense” when you say those two loaded words
          “( for now )”….hmmm

          a mixed bag ( inc gold,silver)is better strategy,as Tony Brogan has suggested to best protect yourself your savings

          That being said,peoples’ focus on gold, silver,fiat currencies, bitcoin and all other new hybrids of monetary tokens actually AVOIDS the physical economic REALITIES that need our focus.We can’t emerge from the deeeeep hole in which we find ourselves unless there is substantial GROWTH in the physical economy,that hasn’t been the case for decades…all we have had is the world casinos ,all the time, inventing new synthetic games.Forget “Call of duty” when we have the REAL “Hitman-Absolution” in the form of the casinos’ offerings of “clo’s slcds’s, cbo’s, cmcds’s etc etc

          if Bitcoin is serving you well Adam,good luck but be very wary of over enthusiasm is my two cents worth….Bitcoin is part of the Matrix,as much as it may profess otherwise and it can be
          manipulated and manipulated power, manipulates absolutely ;)

          • Yes, I am not putting all my eggs in one basked.

          • whatamess

            Enjoy crypto mining at the Expo Adam ;)

            …btw,is there special mining gear needed?

            only having a laugh

          • That was last Saturday.

          • whatamess

            oh last Saturday? sorry…you see i was busy staring into the abyss and reading on the intro to Bitcoin as i know v.little myself ;)

            http://adamabyss.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/an-introduction-to-bitcoin/

          • The physical economy can not be properly fixed until the money system is fixed. Read the article from Antal Fekete posted above.
            Keep your eye on the ball.

            Wayne Gretzky, Canada’s greatest ever hockey player, when asked how he scored so many goals? said, “I shoot at the net”
            He also said he never chased the puck but skated to where the puck was going to be.
            He could read the game.

          • whatamess

            How’s Tony

            I did read the article from Antal Fekete.

            “The physical economy can not be properly fixed until the money system is fixed.” I simply don’t agree Tony.This issue of fiat vs commodity money is an absolute irrelevance to the macro( much to your dismay i say that, i do understand)

            There has been no physical economic growth in the transatlantic region for decades.Only entropy.That simply needs to change.Considering how deep the craters are post bubbles,we NOW need a quantum leap,not baby steps,in unknowable ways that are lacking in creativity and designed intent.

            Yunno Tony,when dealing with horses and dogs,to make a crude anology,one has to correct unwanted behaviour with force and that force needs to AT LEAST meet the intensity of the animals mind,for the correction to work.We are in a deep hole Tony,carefully tunnelled by oliagarchy for decades and to escape from said hole,we need meaningful propulsion.LA Rouches suggestions of mission based mega projects puts everybody back to work.Then money tokens,while crucially important

            You can’t take your product(s) to market
            Tony…you’re at too embryonic a stage of product development,so to speak.While there may optimism of great product offerings,but it’s not marketable,so de facto,won’t work.

            Yunno Tony ,if you even agreed and said that “Glass Steagall makes perfect sense whatamess,but i think it’s a pipe dream because Goliath is just overwhelmingly powerful”,i could accept that!

          • whatamess

            sorry

            “Lyndon LaRouche suggestions of mission based mega projects puts everybody back to work.Then money tokens of whatever ilk,while crucially important too,become a MUCH smaller issue as we,humanity, are making REAL progress

          • whatamess

            Let’s both forget gold and GS for tonight

            you enjoy those whales Tony…that extraordinary experience is what life is all about ;)

            The discovery channel is the closest i have been

            off for a few much deserved pints

          • cooldude

            Hi Whatamess.

            Bitcoin is not a commodity currency. The main issue here is personal choice in what we use as money, Be carefull with all the La Rouche shite. He is an ex communist who believes in total centralist stae control. A bed combination if you ask me.

            The control the bankers have over us is through their franchise over what we use as money and the FACT that all of our so called money has to pay interest to these wankers. We need a form of money which cute out these gobshites alltogether.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            @Tony

            MacGyver was a big Wayne Gretzky fan.

            He was forever referencing him! Hero worship.. :D

          • michaelcoughlan

            “We can’t emerge from the deeeeep hole in which we find ourselves unless there is substantial GROWTH in the physical economy”

            When I read this the first thought that came to mind was what a fucking coward. However since no single person has a monopoly on knowledge I’m not going to accuse you of such.

            One thing I can tell you whatamess with 100% accuracy is that the massive public works intervention you propose is only evidence of how successfully you have been brainwashed by the crowd you hang around with. You have been captured by a cult and you are too blind ignorant to see it.

            The real nature of a human being is freedom. The type of intervention you fantasise about is not possible in a democracy because no one in their right mine would ever allow a government to have the type of power necessary to bring about such a possibility.

            Hitler, Polpot, Stalin all tried such polices which All failed abjectly millions of dead people later.

            Poor you.

          • whatamess

            “We can’t emerge from the deeeeep hole in which we find ourselves unless there is substantial GROWTH in the physical economy”

            Is English your first language Michael?

            What word of the above did you not understand pettle?

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi whatamess,

            Let me illustrate for you how blind ignorant you are;

            Next spring go into your garden and plant a row of potatoes. Harvest them next autumn. Boil and ear with butter and salt to flavour.

            Contemplate the following the answer is no.

            Did I need mr larouche or bonbon to tell me what to do, an enormous expansion in the physical economy like a thorium power station built nearby, gold, petrol, or the banks to be split in order to provide myself
            With a nutritious and health meal?

            And no.

            A few things you do need, skill, private ownership of you garden, will to do it.

            You can read English but the brainwashing you’ve got prevents you from undersea ing the words you read. Therefore, like bonbon, the more you post the more you draw attention to how idiotic and ignorant you are.

            Poor you.

          • whatamess

            Ugghhh! more windowsill spuds and cabbage

            Pullllleeeeese

            Michael,youu’re in desperate need of a session with Cesar Milan :)

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx_lTgUSyB4

            “Tsch” ;)lol

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi whatamess,

            Let me once again demonstrate how blind ignorant you are.

            Cesar Milan is a fictional character in an animated movie so it’s impossible to have anything got to do with him. The creators of the series have made the dialogue dumb Enough to appeal to misfortunate blind ignorant simpletons like you.

            Try mindfulness or meditation instead of reading meanings from highly entertaining cartoon characters.

            Best regards,

            Michael.

          • whatamess

            Cesar Milan is considered an expert behaviourist of domestic dogs and backed by National Geographic

            like what Monty Roberts is to horses and both are actually VERY real you’ll find …remember Barbera Woodhouse per chance ?…she was real too Michael,not just on tv

            “Bosco” was fake tho ok

        • 5Fingers

          Bitcoin is for business. Once in…stay in. Keep costs down. Its paypal without paypal. Needs experience to build it out and master it.

          • whatamess

            It’s paypal without paypal …superb

            paypal doesn’t market itself as a currency contender tho ?

          • 5Fingers

            I think the mindset around currencies is all wrong. Paypal is not a currency. It is a transactor. Bitcoin is really just that for now. Hence a PayPal without PayPal.

          • cooldude

            What you guys need to get your head around is that what we use as money today is a totally corrupt system of interest paying IOU’s to privately controlled central banks and to fractional reserved commercial banks. Any other system which cannot be debased would be better . Personal choice is what is needed and cut out the the banker mafia.

          • Bitcoin has all the attributes of good money except intrinsic value. All currency to date has always returned to its intrinsic value.

            Fiat currency used to represent real money. I promise to pay the bearer on demand but since 1971 all fiat central bank notes have no intrinsic value, and are backed by nothing and pay the bearer on demand a large ZERO.

            I will miss out on some spectacular speculative gains with these no intrinsic value currencies. But they will zero out.

            I will stick with the rest of the world accumulating real money which owns nobody anything, has no counterparty risk and never depreciates to Zero. Yunno, the Chinese, Russians, Arabians, Iranians, Turks, and many others, seem to think the same way.

            Large investment banks are now net long, massively, on gold and silver. anybody else notice this?

            Frosty, Cold, Windy and Sunny here on the wet, I mean , dry coast. Snow on the hills. Anyone want to debate global warming??

          • whatamess

            How’s Cooldude,

            Lyndon LaRouche proposing Mega Projects, which aside from the obvious benefits to the Biosphere[ which if anyone here hasn't read about ,is missing out,i feel ],puts everybody back to work.What other strategy can project our economies ballistically from this deeeep hole? Entrepreneurialism and free markets?…look where that got us!

            “The control the bankers have over us is through their franchise over what we use as money and the FACT that all of our so called money has to pay interest to these wankers”

            That’s NOT their control now dude.The trillions that have been leveraged,in an engineered fashion, to quadrillions of odious DEBT is their REAL control.A stranglehold on humanity!This ‘money’ issue is them squuezing your nuts at the same time as strangling you!Your ba**s in a vice like grip is very unpleasant sure,we are agreed on that,but it’s the stranglehold that’ll suffocate you and me and everyone else!

            “We need a form of money which cut out these gobshites altogether.”

            I couldn’t agree more,but an ECONOMY will not grow from ANY money,so again,it’s an absurd axiom to deal with the current disaster zone of imperial economics.It’s irrational to think that an economy will somehow emerge from any money tokens,so let that not be our focus.

            I don’t wanna be that guy in the Marc Cohn song “with his cross and his camera and his bottle of beer” waiting for a miracle…”but what else is he gonna do?”

            i’ll tell you what he’s gonna do …he’ll use his creativity with purposeful intent and split the banks and then a tiny % of the $zillllions backing non proprietary mega projects over 30 years,gives everybody the choice and opportunity to work and earn a just living and have a decent life for themselves and their children and not be slaves to the current system of empire.

          • michaelcoughlan

            “gives everybody the choice and opportunity to work and earn a just living and have a decent life for themselves and their children and not be slaves to the current system of empire”

            No you won’t. You will do what your told by the dictator in control and if you don’t the army will kick the shit out of you. If you don’t believe me fuck off the North Korea and let us know how you get on. I won’t be holding my breadth.

          • whatamess

            that’s well worth the read Cooldude

    • whatamess

      im have digested your recent reply Tony…now it’s assimilating in my mind…:)

      for the moment i will just say this: ( and hope you get this?)

      You look at the join the dot ‘causality’, but not the correlation ..that’s not very scientific,can i say

      anyway,i’ll keep thinking

      hope this finds you well sir

      bed for me …..ive a sick dog on my hands!!

  12. SMOKEY

    Yawn, these sporting analogies bore the crap out of me. Cant even get past the first sentence so I don’t really know what the article is about.
    Seth Godin has a blog that is dedicated to how small business can get the competitive advantage without inane boring stories about moronic behaviour by both children and adults. Two thumbs down for this crap article.
    link
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

    • Original-Ed

      If he’s so good, why isn’t he up there with bill gates and all the other mega-rich go getters – his stuff is straight out of textbooks.

      • SMOKEY

        You are wrong and don’t know what you are talking about. But hey, the world needs people like you to strike a balance between those at the end of the line, you, and those who are willing to start something, create something, put their necks on the line and deliver the goods, and go to the head of the class, like me. And of course Seth.
        Im a big D-Mac fan, I just hate these sports crap articles. Soccer sucks.

        • Original-Ed

          I think that you’re on the wrong wicket here – I started in tech way back and am still going strong with a global reach – all around the world from Hawaii to New Zealand – poor old Seth is only into talking about it. There’s a massive difference between talking and doing.

          • SMOKEY

            Yeah, you know all about him. Im sorry I didn’t know you were writing on blogs in Hawaii and New Zeland. You are my new god. Ive seen the light, his sale of Yoyodyne for €30 million to Yahoo puts him below you in stature. Im so lame to think that Seth Godin is as smart as Aboriginal-Ed. You are the man Ed. Da man. Jesus you are to me, Jesus Christ.

  13. 5Fingers

    Trying to stand back from the financial roller coaster story and just looking at a business’s evolution in competitive marketplace, it often happens that fast development drives a lot of inefficiencies and waste as you try to meet demand. Systems and processes are not as clean as they should be because of intervening urgency. Costs mount all over the place and as long as revenue grows and the top line is good enough, no one cares about the hygiene aspects.

    One thing I am observing of late is that a lot of operations that have survived are now working vastly more efficiently. Was chatting to friend of mine who specializes in supplying addons to contact centre systems and the recent lull allowed them improve system efficiencies by 400%. And I think there are a lot of stories out there just like that.

    So, yes – we need to make our rules for sure, but we are also a little wiser and a hell of a lot fitter. Maybe Forbes has been seeing this better than the rest of us here. We will see.

    • Social Media is about driving efficiencies too Philip – not just in business but in wider society too.

      Touché!

      • 5Fingers

        I take pot shots at social media simply to try and wreck ideas to see what survives. But you are right,a business value chain from raw material extraction to consumable and ongoing maintenance needs a two way tagging system to ensure quality control and loyalty. Social networks cause us to look at end products as active ecosystems of contribution. Football and horse racing fans understand this all too well. I buy or bet on something, I can now see its form and who can support me and as it gets older and reused, I can readily see how that ecosystem of ongoing upkeep is maintained. Be it beer or wine, the food you eat or the places you frequent or where you buy your toaster it all boils down to how you can be made relate to it either on the spur of the moment or long term. The companies that tag their products with an ecosystem are the ones that will be playing by the new rules.

        German engineering – there’s an ecosystem! Social nets will come with the new products rolling out. I think many miss that point.

    • Could you say HSE are working more efficient Or the public service back In 2002 Lost a leg To circulation Was told I’d loose other 1 In time I was told last week To see another Doc Who was performing Stint Insertions Since 2006 First I’d heard of It,? My point Is Lack of media communication Or HSE whichever ? Irish vision and Print Media are Lightyears Behind ? There main Interest Is Maintaining The status Quo . It may go back to the 1913 Lockouts . I can remember In 50s Following a trashing mill 1 season old guys would say don’t Let that Little f*+^%r see anything . In the 1970s I thought all that was behind us until a direct reading theodolite appeared I overheard an engineer saying every gobshite will be able to Read It? Ireland Needs a Lot Of Help But Get Very Little from Status Quo Merchants,

    • whatamess

      400% improvement ??

      hope there was a deserved forest fire in management

  14. joe hack

    “He made us realise, we are our brother’s keeper and that our brothers come in all colours,” Ali said in a statement.

    “He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. He is now forever free.”

  15. joe hack

    Never mix business with pleasure
    Never mix football with business, it has resulted money-ball
    Never mix business media with social media, it results in a log off

  16. whatamess

    Nelson Mandela,we salute you

    “thank you for choosing to care”

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

  17. Harper66

    http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Mercille-J-The-Media-the-Question-of-Sovereign-debt-default-in-the-European-Economic-Crisis-the-case-of-Ireland.pdf

    “The role of the media in the current economic crisis has received little scholarly attention.
    This paper examines news organisations’ coverage of the question of sovereign debt default, using the case of Ireland as an illustration.”

    This is well worth the read.

  18. Ryu Hayabusa

    Hey you gotta let the kid go his own way! I’m a scouser but I wouldn’t ram it down my nephew’s neck… (who is 4) Let him forge his own allegiance.

  19. bonbon

    Something for “bitcoin”ers to be aware of
    http://larouchepac.com/node/29054“>Faber: ‘We are in a massive speculative bubble’

    …On Nov. 29, Black Friday, Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC he believes a “massive speculative bubble” has encroached on everything from stocks and bonds to bitcoin and farmland. He attributed the vast bubble to “symptoms of excess liquidity.”…

  20. bonbon

    The murderous austerity imposed by a financial oligarchy no longer capable of guaranteeing its own future, intent on disintegrating mankind itself, is far worse than apartheid. So do not be deceived by words!

  21. joe hack

    I sense the salivating over money the eyes opening widder the scent is over powering logic and reson as it did before. It is being demonstrated on here.. bits of money how much for this how many bits to be made with bits of nothing from nowhere. Look at yourself you are the elite the greedy….

  22. joe hack

    I sense the salivating over money the eyes opening widder the scent is over powering logic and reson as it did before. It is being demonstrated on here.. bits of money how much for this how many bits to be made with bits of nothing from nowhere. Look at yourself you are the elite the greedy….

  23. bonbon

    A contrast to the paranoid, law of the jungle world of football economics is well put in a retort on the IT.

    How is life, liberty and pursuit of happiness possible in a paranoid, hyper competitive austerity-wracked world? Is DMcW selling Brutish “rights”?

  24. bonbon

    A contrast to “small is beautiful” football economics :

    The way was cleared by British energy secretary Ed Davey last month for the station at Hinkley Point in Somerset – a £14 billion project to be built by French energy company EDF, backed by Chinese money and capable of powering five million homes . An Taisce did not have gov’t support, but that is likely pure cowardice, not principle.

    Looks like the wind is blowing the other way for greenie hot air.

  25. Paul Divers

    Meanwhile back in the real world

    FAMILIES are facing a crippling double blow of an ESB strike next week and the shutdown of about 500 schools weeks after Christmas.

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/schools-shut-lights-to-go-out-as-unions-dig-in-29817800.html

    The nation’s children will go on paying the cost of the bailout for some time.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/the-nation-s-children-will-go-on-paying-the-cost-of-the-bailout-for-some-time-1.1614517

  26. Paul Divers

    Meanwhile back in the real world

    FAMILIES are facing a crippling double blow of an ESB strike next week and the shutdown of about 500 schools weeks after Christmas:

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/schools-shut-lights-to-go-out-as-unions-dig-in-29817800.html

    The nation’s children will go on paying the cost of the bailout for some time:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/the-nation-s-children-will-go-on-paying-the-cost-of-the-bailout-for-some-time-1.1614517

    ——————————-

    David. This site is throwing database connection errors and the same thing happened last Saturday.

    If you fix this problem then it might help people take you more seriously when you talk about technology. Or maybe it’s time to admit you might have made an implemntation error and rebuilt it all from scratch starting with pencil and paper thinking:

    Vision
    Objective
    Strategy
    Implementation
    Continous refinement through Agile Design

  27. Paul Divers

    I didn’t know the first post had been accepted because all
    I got was a ‘database connection error’ message. Naturally
    I assumed my post was not accepted and I went back and
    edited my post further while waiting for your site to get
    it’s act together

    I went back to my post and added my critique of your database
    connection issue and tried again. It posted.

    Only problem is a duplicate post makes me feel kinda stupid
    and yet it’s not my problem. It is annoying. More annoying than Chelski

    You have had countless free advice over the years about usability problems and have done nothing about them. That is not very agile is it?

    In fact it goes against you when you write about the wonders of technology. I see a contradiction. Don’t you?

  28. 5Fingers

    Back to the article. Is there something wrong with the idea of companies needing to find new ways of dealing in the market place? My ans is – not really – assuming the base infrastructure remains unaltered. But that is not to be assumed lightly.

    The ESB strike, should it happen, should not be looked at solely from the point of view of industrial relations. If it happens we will be getting a taste of what happens when a real crisis hits – not some namby pamby financial pooh we keep on hearing for last few years.

    We are still pretty poorly developed as far as energy availability is concerned. Even globally nothing much has happened that differs that much from the 1940s. And I think work on fusion will never bear fruit while the world clambers about all trying to be middleclass wannabes. That said I think any mission or grand idea will never deliver either unless there is a crisis.

  29. Adelaide

    Will people PLEASE stop using the words ‘MONEY’ and ‘INTRINSIC VALUE’ in the same sentence. Better still, just read a book on the History of Money. I mean honestly you can do better. Viable moneys down through the ages are backed by nothing more than sound mathematics, that’s it, period, look beyond the gold standard, the whale tooth standard, the shell bead standard, the leather hide standard, the Tally stick standard, they are all merely physical manifestations of the underlying structure of sound mathematics in play. Moneys fail when the their underlying mathematics no longer equate.

    Secondly, I would expect Insider Mainstream Media lazily and dishonestly discrediting BITCOIN with throwaway words like ‘PONZI SCHEME’ and ‘BUBBLE’ but it’s disappointing to see such biased ignorance on this thread. Up your game, chaps.

    • whatamess

      Lady Adelaide,

      discrediting bitcoin ? Ahhhh…pooor little bitcoin :( Ahhhhh

      it’s a posterchild for “bubble”…down 50% in 2 days ?? you’re avin a giraffe ??

      • whatamess

        what would my US$20,000 punt on bitcoin be worth today?

        that’s REAL!

        if only poor bitcoin was only ‘allowed’ to be all it could be… what a sham! up your own game and grow up

        • michaelcoughlan

          Only a moron conversates with himself.

          • whatamess

            A person’s punt last weeks of 2o k is worth now worth half! now some of these people are already ‘chasing’ to make it up.Do you get that at all???!!!You busy chasing your tail…predictable Tiger behaviour!

            “conversates?”

            i had to look that one up i admit

            then it became clear…thankyou Google

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi,

            I keep trying to help you by being robust with you in my observations. I’m not involved in bitcoin. It’s a death trap for novices. I’m not chasing my tail that’s a reflection of your own delusion. Bitcoin will recover and make new highs in a couple of weeks.

            Instead of going off on a self deluded rant try meditation or mindfulness techniques. They really work even for someone as brainwashed as you.

            Best regards,

            Michael.

    • 5Fingers

      Plz explain>>>>Moneys fail when the their underlying mathematics no longer equate

      • michaelcoughlan

        I’d say when the money supply increases at a rate which as a percentage is greater than the value of the extra goods or services produced in a given period.

        • 5Fingers

          In other words if real income falls for a given level of productivity. E.g. cost of living doubles while your income remains static but not due to supply and demand.

        • All money fails the people when it is debased.
          This is done in coin by filing , clipping ,and base metal substitution.
          In paper it is achieved by increasing the supply, known as inflation.
          In paper money issued as debt and charging interest which is yet to be issued to existence the expansion of the money supply is mandatory to prevent a collapse and as the money supply increases it increases the overall debt and the interest payable and so has to be increased at faster and faster rates until a blow off phase is reached when the currency collapses in ruin. We are in the rocket acceleration phase and when the fuel burns out the rocket crashes. With it come all associated bubbles.
          Massive debt bubble,
          Massive bond bubble
          Massive Inverse bubble in low interest rates which will sky rocket
          Tapering is not an option as it immediately leads to a crash.
          This is a pass the parcel game in extreme.

          • whatamess

            im have digested your recent reply Tony..now it’s assimilating in my mind:)
            for the moment i will just say this:
            ( and hope you get this?)
            You look at the join the dot ‘causality’ alot, but not the correlation ..that’s not very scientific,can i say

            anyway,i’ll keep thinking

            hope this finds you well sir

            bed for me..ive a sick dog on my hands!!

  30. On e subject of money , whatamess, I’ll pull this comment from the last thread to this one.

    whatamess

    December 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Tony,

    Why the knee jerk reaction to the mention of debt or credit money?Debt is a sine qua non of expansion?without credit,growth would be snail speed?

    As this is more your forte,can i ask Tony,is there enough gold to support an expanding economy and population or will it naturally result in deflation??If the answer is there is insufficient gold, we will then be SUPER reliant on gold production,to keep pace with expansion,especially if there was rapid expansion????or the limited amount that does currently exist,will if rapid growth emerges,skyrocket,BUT at the cost of deflation for everyone which just hold us all back and a strategy that will ,’intrisically’ serve only to suppress humanity’s progress?

    Tony,this is a not so famous,but a well known Cork saying:

    “god bless us and save us says michael john davis ,they’re trying to persuade us that herring are fish”

    Herring are fish all right and dried/smoked famously known as kippers. On the West coast here, herring are favoured by the pacific salmon and do well devouring them. (mother nature being so kind as to provide) and salmon here are 20, 40 even 60 pound fish. Small salmon are 3-5 pound.

    Why the knee jerk reaction to the mention of debt or credit money?Debt is a sine qua non of expansion?without credit,growth would be snail speed?
    Not a knee jerk reaction but an evaluated position. We are educated (mislead) into believing that we must borrow in order to invest and then grow a business or enterprise and yet thousand, millions do otherwise and take an equity position in a business to fund it and thus grow. Most of the stocks of the world receive investment from the profits of individuals used to purchase stocks. These stock bear no interest but may pay dividends and so the investor receives a share of the profits of the enterprise.

    Otherwise the business/enterprise must borrow via issuing bonds or getting bank loans (credit).Those by them selves are business decisions but credt is the least preferable “growth mechanism” as the interest payable can eat the enterprise before it becomes profitable if it ever does. The energy and assets of the enterprise flow to the banks rather than the individual investors or the entrepreneur starting the enterprise.

    When it comes to money we find that over the last one hundred years and exponentially so in the last dozen years we are being drowned in “credit” (debt). This is because the money issued by the central banks (central banks invasion of the world economy having taken place only over the last 100 years) is all loaned into existence. Every single dollar bill, pound note or euro note is a debt payable bak to the issuer. That is the central bank reserves for the commercial banks and the money issued under the fractional reserve system by those same commercial banks. That is 97% , approximately < of our circulating money is a debt with interest payable.

    As that interest in not issued into circulation at the same time as the loan it must be paid out of someone else's funds leaving them short. Thus more and more money must be issued(loaned) into existence to provide the funds to pay the interest. Thus, the money supply must continually increase in order to pay the increasing amounts of interest. This interest accrues to the banks and so the money available to the economy shrinks if not continually added to.

    That is the system we are signed on to. One of ever increasing debt loads and the attached interest. Eventually the economy suffocates from this debt and interest and is where we are today.

    One might say the biggest bubble is in the production of money, and it is in its final blow off stage before inevitable collapse.
    This is demonstrated by the attached bubble in debt known as the bond market where any graph shows the blow off bubble stage in bonds and accumulated debt.
    The final gasping survival of the system is to lower interest rates to as low as possible which now are going below zero in nominal terms and have been below zero adjusted for inflation, for several years.

    A credit system of money is not good for anyone except the issuer of the credit who creams off the productive efforts and the profits of the borrower.

    Bitcoin is an example of a non credit based currency.it is issued into existence by being mined. The mining of new coins is harder and harder so keeping the production of new coins to a lesser and lesser amount as time progresses. There is a limit set to the maximum number of coins to be issued. However at the end there is no intrinsic value to the coin. It is a figment of imagination at an electronic blip even though the purchase of the coin or the mining of the coin took energy end resources to produce.
    Bitcoin has all the attributes of silver or gold as money except that one thing, intrinsic value.

    When this is realizes by the general people they will sell off their bitcoin while they can and convert to tangible assets such as food, housing, clothing, land, and real money.

    The other trouble with bitcoin are the numerous imitators. There will be hundreds of electronic coins to choose from and many will quickly die and others will survive a while longer.

    Ultimately there is only one real money. Gold and silver. Bit coin et al may pay you a speculative gain so use it to obtain real money while it is still cheep. Bitcoin has done in 10 months what took gold and silver 10 years. Bitcoin has demonstrated what will happen to gold and silver as time passes. An ounce of silver could easily see the demise of paper currencies and be the equivalent of $10,000 per ounce or more. An ounce of gold could be $100,000 or $200,000.
    It will still buy the equivalent of a nights lodging, a suit of clothes and food for the day. but paper money will be worthless and perhaps bitcoin too.

    "is there enough gold to support an expanding economy and population or will it naturally result in deflation"

    We have been likewise educated to think that inflation is good and that deflation is bad.
    The current manipulations of the economy and the overall distortions and misallocations in the economy as a result have us in the current dilemma. nothing we do can avoid an eventual reset. This will be traumatic. The longer the reset is delayed the greater the reset rumbles.

    There is always enough gold in existence to be enough for a vibrant economy if gold is used as the final settlement of debt. that is the expunging of debt. For example 10 people get together and all have worked for another to a value of one ounce of gold (silver). Only one of the persons has a gold coin in pocket. The total amount of goods and trade represented by the 10 people equals the value of 10 coins.
    However if the one with the coin pays his debt to another by giving of the coin then that second person can pay the third and so on. The first who had the original coin is now the tenth to be paid by the ninth. The result is that all have be paid and the coin is back where it started.

    There is no need to increase the money supply to have an increased economy as an 11th or 12th person could be added to the group and the money would perform the exact same function. The amount of money is static yet the local economy as represented by the group , has expanded 10 or 20%. There is no limit to the expansion of the economy with a static money supply and the medium of exchange (the money) acts as a catalyst without itself being consumed or altered in the process.
    Thus there is no inflation or deflation and the fruits of endeavor are not devoured by debt (credit) or the associated interest.

    Lengthy, but I hope I have explained to your satisfaction, whatamess.
    Now back to the boat. Sailing race tomorrow is appropriately called the Frostbite race. Minus 2 is the current temperature here at 13.31 hrs.

    • 5Fingers

      Very simplistic and trivial view of debt. What about productions that require front end investment of billions lasting years that have a risk of being shorted out of existance. Take a satellite launch. 2bn. 40% chance of fail. 10% of being made irrelevant by launch date. Payback is 10bn over 5 years after launch…again risk of being innovated out of existence. Apply same to pharma, food etc. Thus we have insurance and all the underlying instruments to make stuff happen.

      Debt is a bet. You win some and you loose some and since we all benefit from gambling of others via innovation and invention…then all you are seeing is a share of the pain when thing fails or are disrupted. So you may say…the casino owners are creaming it both ways…Well maybe you be wiser next time. Somehow the message never sinks in for many if us.

      Will you stop this bulls#%& about gold. It ain’t going to happen. The world finances will trundle as before because it is needed. Gold is just another asset. Weapons…armies…massive capability…that’s a more valuable asset. That capability ultimately decides what money you use. Remember that.

      • “Will you stop this bulls#%& about gold.”

        I was simply responding to a question asked. No harm there now , is it?

        You are now become authoritarian or should I say you are , period. I am not allowed to express opinion and reason because it annoys you. Too bad. My libertarian bent allows me to observe your comments without remonstration. Your free speech is fine until you disallow mine.

        I try to decipher your ramblings which, because of your superior intellect , I find difficult to do. You could do me the favour of using a little less convoluted language and then I may have a clearer understanding of the position you take.

        Getting angry at my opinion and observation will get you nowhere.

        “Gold is just another asset. Weapons…armies…massive capability…that’s a more valuable asset. That capability ultimately decides what money you use. Remember that.”

        War is waged when a currency/money is debased. Both Germany and Britain went off the gold standard in 1912 in order to print more money to pay for armament and war.
        Strict adherence to a gold standard for money will reduce war to minor skirmishes of kids with bows and arrows. It should be a mandate, if one has to mandate at all, of the UN that all nations be forced to use the gold standard or equivalent. It would eliminate war.
        In my opinion you have the above backwards. It is the money you use that determines the amount of weapons and armament.

        One of the reasons that war is inflationary is because the currencies are wildly debased or inflated to fund the war. Another is the senseless destruction of capital.

        Whether you like it or not
        Whether you approve or would stop
        Many a nation buys gold
        And are going to come out on top

        • Water Is More valuable than gold or It will be when bord gais takes over it will Increase every January 1st currency’s are the main cause of poverty worldwide badly needed rice Is exported from China Vietnam to Europe by people who need It themselves all because of currency not to mention pollution caused by huge airplanes the real cause of unrest Is not because Vietnamese don’t work as hard as Europeans It’s because There are millions upon millions of Europeans who draw huge amounts Of currency That they don’t earn These are the parasites that deal in a useless metal called gold You can’t eat it It’s no use as fuel ,

      • “Debt is a bet.”
        The investment is a bet. The debt is guaranteed to put you in hock.

    • joe hack

      I am not reading that it’s just to long. Tony, can you do a summary version of it. Maybe something like this might suffice ‘money doesn’t have an inherent or intrinsic value’ gold does’ I can then respond and say that gold has a value that has man-made therefore it has no intrinsic value just like money and I can say that money is a tool based on trust. Ps stop bothering the whale your doing damage to the environment for pleasure. The whale has an intrinsic value unlike gold.

      • Stop summarizing what you admit you have not read.

        The summary will have little merit and be a waste of time. Just as is your response to your own summary.

        I also note that others post far longer pieces and are applauded for their eloquence.

        Remember the more that you exhale the more CO2 you produce. You could do away with yourself for the good of the environment. That also might provide some with pleasure!!

        • joe hack

          I did not sumerise and you even contradict yourself on that. The logic of your CO2 remarks apply to you…and all

          I do my best to consume and use only what keeps me body and mind well.

          I care little for money or things but I care about how it effects the world and those that are suffering and dying in all nation’s.

          I am optimistic that the wealth of the world is being balanced and that the Wests wealth is now being spread across the world that means Ireland become poorer but others get fed as a result.

          Gold is a tool of war

        • whatamess

          You could do away with yourself for the good of the environment. That also might provide some with pleasure!!

          i a little taken back Tony i don’t mind saying!

          • joe hack

            What a mess, I suspect it was Defensive retort! What was generally follows is a change of mind?

            I think the good Tony’s wit has left him of late

          • whatamess

            yes it’s just a ‘slip’ Joe,i’m sure

            we all have reeeeally shit days!!!

          • Interesting.

            Humour is relative.
            Most are so politically correct that they are supersensitive.
            You might have guessed that I do not believe CO2 to be a problem. It is one of the building blocks of life.
            So many people are so concerned with the degradation of the planet but they, as in the financial area of economics, are going after the wrong villains.

            Many, as bonbon says, would like to see a population reduction and so if Joe stopped producing co2 they may indeed be happy.

            Have a nice day.

          • whatamess

            OH,i see says the blind man!!!!

            sorry Tony for even thinking for a moment that you’d say such a thing!! :(

    • Adelaide

      Tony, your analysis is always correct bar your blind spot for gold and your misinterpretation of ‘intrinsic value’.
      Intrinsic Value is that which retains its inherent quality outside the Realm of Man. Gold does not qualify because Scarce Metals are solely coveted within the Realm of Man by man. Your version of Intrinsic Value is a philosophical concept in the eye of the beholder based on a subjective emotional deduction of value-via-scarcity and value-via-custom. Bitcoin, like Gold, possesses no Intrinsic Value according to its proper meaning.
      So when I read your “Bitcoin has all the attributes of silver or gold as money” I ignore your disclaimer regarding your mistaken version of ‘intrinsic value’ and interpret the statement at face value. To which I would agree.

    • whatamess

      Hi Tony,

      thanks for such a detailed reply.I will go thro it carefully in the next couple of days and revert.

      asks the right questions ,you’ll get the right answers,so they say ;)

      you must be f-f-f-r-o-o-zen Brrrr;)

      • wonderful day today. minus 2 to zero and glorious sunshine.
        Gained a third place out of 6 boats and had convivial chats at the clubhouse after.
        Next race is 2 weeks and there will be coffee and muffins before the race. all people are welcome to crew at any time. Pop on over here for a break and I’ll put you aboard!!

          • Tony, I am now following you on FB,I won’t try to ‘friend’ you as your neighbours would report you to the authorities for associating with me. There’s some interesting links on your page. I agree with a lot of your analyses, but differ in that all “money”, commerce & society is based on trust, faith, credit-”credere”. All of which has been utterly debauched by the neoliberal climax to centuries of banking pillage. In fact, it all goes back to Mesopotamia, but let’s leave that to Dr Michael Hudson for now.

            When the current sugar-fix, helium balloon of QE crashes and burns like a led zeppelin, there’s no more tricks to play: other than the mother and father of all bail-ins, which of course, will include gold. And Bitcoin, Adam Byrne! Anyone who thinks Bitcoin is secure needs to think through just who Sakatoshi Nakamoto is, and where the greatest cryptographers in world history have emerged from: The Vatican and GCHQ. If folk don’t think there’s an Enigma Machine factor to all this, then I’m surprised. Max Keiser is being a bit credulous.

            Crypto-currency P2P banking was an obvious precedent to Napster, if I was brainstorming it years ago: I’m sure the Pentagon and Holy See were too. Enjoy the roller-coaster yo-yo windfall profits/loss of it all, but Edward Snowden has only revealed 1%, there’s 99% to come: Occupy Critical Thinking Skills!

            I’m watching Eric Janszen’s enigmatic silence over at iTulip with interest as he finalises a position statement on whether or not Gold crashed to Bitcoin. My personal view is that Bitcoin is probably unsafe, with an NSA back-door trap-door which can be tripped in a future emergency. Meanwhile, I’ve no doubt that the sensible folk are positioning to hoover up gold and silver.

            I’m both a Collapsnik and a Techno-Singularity guy: both will unfold in various ways, over various timescales across the globe. Unless the cost constraint of Energy is cracked, there’s no way out of a stair-case descent, once the Shale Ponzi unfolds, which it as the Catch 22 of drilling costs/well depletion overwhelms the herd investment stampede. When that happens and the financial crisis begins in earnest, only the gated community rich will have access to the secure computing and storage/trading platforms needed for Bitcoin: everyone else will need a stash of real money, but even that won’t help much if they have no family, community, wider spiral tribe to cover their backs. The Internet can be taken down at a moment’s notice, or selectively re-progammed to malfunction for STATFOR-type geo-political purposes ‘going forward’ in a trade-war scenario.

            The Chinese concept of Guanxi is the perfect guide to what’s going to happen as the Western paternalist welfare model of state provision is deliberately collapsed by traitor Nation State governments to feed the profit engine of corrupt Corporatism. In fact, it explains what’s goes on behind the veneer of ‘parliamentary democracy’ and ‘republican citzenship’. It explains how the K-Club D4 possee ran Ireland and still does, like an upmarket version of Love/Hate.

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

            The online Social Media stuff is a variant of Guanxi, a digital version, though most don’t understand what’s going on, which allows mischief makers like me with an artistic blank canvas. They haven’t a clue , don’t/can’t/won’t understand how the combo of Digital Guanxi and the end of Net Neutrality Democracy will happen as online data-mined hierarchy is established. This means the conclusion of quaint notions of ‘democracy’ and the return to overt Privilege. We see it here with the blatant PR spin on MP’s getting 11% payrise by right as the Austerity vampire sucks the marrow from lesser ‘citizens’/thralls/slaves in waiting. At some stage the attempt to reign in rape and pillage Privilege will be abandoned and the paedophile/child-bride agenda of Abrahamic Desert Cults will once again be ‘normal’. Unless Pope Francis is the real deal, which sadly: he isn’t. Just as O’bama was another stooge, Bergoglio is just Vatican Bankster P.R whilst they work with the 5Eye Nation spy machine to stitch up uppity BRICs. He might have once been ‘Argentinian’ but he’s not now.

            This Papal Monarchial Meme Machine stuff all ties in with the Viking Norman British Royal Family Aristocratic Bloodline Privilege Agenda which has trashed the planet as much as Roman Caesar-Popes. However, when I was in Vedrarfjiordr (Waterford) and Dyflin (Dublin) this year I realised that most Irish history is bosh, just as most ‘British’ history is victor hegemonic justification: if the Irish Royals of antiquity had won the race for Dominion against the Vikings who ransacked Mercia after landing at Hastings in 1066, then the island of Ireland would have ruled the island of Britain and conquered the world due to the sea currents, etc. Hence, any Celtic Victimology agenda collapses once the real reason for the IFSC as The City-on-The Liffey is understood in relation to the Holy Roman Euro.

            I realise most of this is ‘out-there’and dismissed as psychotic conspiracy theory but it’s based in a radical Intersectional reimagining of conventional history, archeology, anthropology, linguistics, literature and philosophy. By the centenary of 1916, I will have spent 2 years in the Library of Birmingham bringing all these ideas into a climactic conclusion. After ‘Peaky Blinders’ raised the veil, more evidence of Birmingham as the motherlode epicentre of the story has been passed to me and my investigations into “The Forgotten Irish” are now at a particularly fruitful stage:

            “The Forgotten Irish’ explores the livelihoods of these emigrants in post war Britain – their reasons for leaving and their lives now in a very different contemporary Britain or Ireland.
            First broadcast on TV3 in 2009″

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNfDvkkb5OE

            I’ve recuperated form PTSD/mTBI here on this blog for years, and David has been very indulgent and supportive. When I drop the ‘mad paddy from Brum’ stuff next year and step forward as a politician, philosopher and world statesman, it might get LOUD! Or it could be just another iteration of lulzness for a beserk stage-show. There was always going to be someone who’d emerge to tell the tale, and as the 40th anniversary of 21/11/74 looms, it looks like it’s me. Birmingham, Eng-Eire-Land: we were/are/will be “even better than the real thing” and both Dublin and London, both the Norman Royals and the traitorous Viking-fraud Soldiers of Destiny in FF/FG/SF who trashed the First Irish Republic tried to destroy our culture, are in disarray. Time will show that was just the ultimate epicFAIL! Or, of course, some nutter with a sawn-off might finally blow me away as I’ve been under threat of since I walked onstage in Dublin in 1970.

            “he means it, maaaan!”

            LOLOLOL! Osraige + Murcia = Perfection. “hybridity is the new Authenticity” The real plastic paddies are in the Dail and Sinead, etc. Jayzus! And folk thought Sinead was a handful..it ain’t over till the BrummieBoy sings, and scores a hat-trick in extra-time: Give Us Back The Beautiful Game: in football (“soccer” [sic]), in economics, in Life.

          • Andrew
            Thanks for the contact. Being followed is OK as long as I am not being chaste.

            The forgotten Irish is a powerful film.
            It left me in tears. The tug of the crossed cultures can render the soul.

            Stay in touch now and then.

          • whatamess

            @Andrew

            there’s ” aten’ and drinkin” in that post!

        • whatamess

          maybe some day Tony ….you’d never know ;)

  31. joe hack

    China knows how to play money football. China knows where the dollar is at. China doesn’t want anymore dollars it doesn’t want all its eggs in basket case.
    They may well along with other want to see the demise of it but they would want on there terms otherwise they might lose too . The problem with money is that its like a football, a ball is round and is hard to work out where it will bounce next. China buying and selling oil and other commodities in yuen and doing bartering business with others including Russia.hence the pivot to China by US this started a while back China is setting up its defence in the South China sea, a two, three, five defensive style of football.

    The bargaining and game play might go to extra time and a penalty shoot out but watch out for planed own goals handballs and dodgy referees at the UN.
    Politics is better than football it’s got more testosterone its like chess on steroids and there’s no adds or sponsorship and it’s REAL and intrinsic, it is life…

    • China does not want bitcoins anymore either.

      • joe hack

        I don’t blame them it is unregulated and courts would have trouble defining it.
        I suspect governments are watching its development – let it run its course and then analyse its possibilities.

        If it was become a world currency to the nominations as they are would make that difficult i.e. McDonald’s worker might only get one millionth of a bitcoin.

        Money should not be treated as a as commodity at the moment bitcion is being treated as a commodity by many that of course is due to the fact of its limited numbers, if it was to be used money that would clearly have to change.

        Those who complain about gold and then buy a bitcion make no sense they are doing one in the same thing like gold bitcion has no inherent value.

        But with all its faults money is supposed to be a valuable given to work done, goods and services provided.

        Bitcoin is not money!

        • “But with all its faults money is supposed to be a valuable given to work done, goods and services provided.”

          Money provides no value to anything.
          It is simply a medium of exchange. A catalyst untouched in the transaction and moves onto perform the same function over and over again.

          It is a measure of the value of the goods and services and not the value itself. It is the means of the efficient exchange of goods and services between the parties and is a quantum leap forward from direct barter.

          It also acts as a medium of account of the storage of wealth and as such is called savings and represent the accumulation of past endeavors yet to be traded for good or services. This is known as a storage of wealth but is really an account of that accumulation.

          That is why mankind in its search for money that is reliable has settled on gold as it is the only substance that contains all the intrinsic values that make good money.

          All other currency representing to be money will fail unless representing gold. Simple fact. Not imagined.

  32. bonbon

    We see that a favorite pastime of goldbugs is tending the spuds and carrots in the balcony farm – small is beautiful, you see.

    Tending that Utopian farm, pondering on the fertility of the soil, remember, goldbugs, that von Hayek’s Mont Pelerin Society is a cornerstone founder of Pan Europe, today called the Eurozone.

    The Legacy of Friedrich von Hayek: Fascism Didn’t Die With Hitler.

    • whatamess

      All the balcony stuff is reductionism at it’s core.The “piss on the fire MY toast is done” folk herabouts have these self serving ideologies indoctrinated by monetarism! that’s super powerful conditioning Bonbon.I too was under it’s spell! still am ,to a point

      For these conditioned mindsets,it’s true when said,”if you have em by the balls ,their hearts and minds will follow!”

      choose the red pill,i say

  33. bonbon

    To counter the disruptive metalization of minds :

    List vs. von Hayek: Free-Trade Monetarism Is the Road to Serfdom

    von Hayek, the icon of goldbugs, is decisively dealt with.

    A Matter of Principle : Alexander Hamilton’s Economics :

    Hamilton’s Concept of Economic Value : Hamilton rejects the worldview that wealth is measurable in land, or precious metals (including specie), or even power over other nations. Rather, the wealth of the nation is dependent upon the physical economic development of the nation, including, most emphatically, the intellectual capabilities of its population for carrying out that development, more and more efficiently.
    … Hamilton insists that the government provide the conditions to encourage, and create, capital, for the higher purposes of the happiness and security of the population.

    • whatamess

      President Lincoln sang from that same hymn sheet writing of “labour is prior to and independent of capital” and Henry Carey too had a similar” Harmony of Interests”

      • joe hack

        Bonbon what a mess, You need to go for a beer together, if that works out you might consider getting a room. You never know one of you might be of the opposite sex, or should that be both of you might be of the opposite sex?

    • The government is right says Hamilton and we will have a central bank to make sure we have a national debt. It lasted 20 years and its charter was not renewed.

      • http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/monie.htm

        The banks — commercial banks and the Federal Reserve — create all the money of this nation and its people pay interest on every dollar of that newly created money. Which means that private banks exercise unconstitutionally, immorally, and ridiculously the power to tax the people. For every newly created dollar dilutes to some extent the value of every other dollar already in circulation.” (Congressman Jerry Voorhis)

        JANUARY 14, 1790: Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton says the United States should pay its debts at par value, even though many speculators would profit by this. [Alexander Hamilton married into the Rothschild family December 14, 1780, Alexander Hamilton was born Alexander Levine, of Jewish lineage, in St. Croix, the West Indies. After changing his name and his geographical situs, he married Elizabeth Schuyler, the second daughter of Phillip Schuyler, at the bride's home in Albany, New York. The bride's mother was Catherine Van Rensselaer, daughter of Colonel John R. Van Rensselaer, who was the son of Hendrik, the grandson of Killiaen, the first partroon. [THE INTIMATE LIFE OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, by Allan Hamilton 1910] [It has been reported that there are documents in the British museum that prove Alexander Hamilton received payment from the Rothschild's for his dastardly deeds. Could this payment have been for his involvement in the establishment of a foreign bank in this country, and for convincing Congress to assume the States debts, which would have created a debt obligation binding the United States government and the States to the international bankers?]

        JUNE 20, 1790: Alexander Hamilton convinces Congress to pass the Assumption Act, under which the federal government is to assume the States debts.

        March 10, 1933: By the continued use of paper money the United States had to be declared bankrupt, which was proven by the bankruptcy procedures that were followed in President Roosevelt’s Executive Orders. President Roosevelt declared the United States bankrupt by Presidential Executive Order, 6073 and the subsequent Executive Orders, 6102, 6111 and 6260. [these documents are still publicly attainable in any federal depository library]

        JANUARY 30, 1934: The Gold Reserve Act gives the President the right to change the value of the dollar. The President immediately devalues the dollar to fifty nine cents.

  34. joe hack

    Intrinsic: belonging to or part of the real nature of something/somebody. My Kidney has an intrinsic value to me but I suspect those with kidney failure may see my Kidney as a intrinsic value to them.

    money currency; something that is used or accepted by a lot of people, current money in Ireland is noted an the euro only because the people agree or accept it is.

    Can there be a definition for connoted!!!!!!!? some people just don’t get this…

    • bonbon

      I’d watch that kidney if I were you – some “economists” say you could settle financial difficulties by selling valuable body parts on the open free market. By their reckoning you are wealthy!

      As the liberals would say, cannibalism is a matter of taste!

    • bonbon

      Say it ain’t so, Joe !

      • joe hack

        I went through the pain of having a kidney boulder and the pain of its removal. A result of active life with too much alcohol and no water-I was/am in a permanent state of dehydration.

        Apparently once you get one kidney stone, others follow.. If only I had drank Goldschläge the imbibed metal may have resulted in a golden nugget but I expect the consultant would have seen it as they see Mars bars.

        At the moment I feel twinges of pain again and I’d happily sell my urine flavoured kidney to avoid that pain-I even drink water now!

        They say it is the most painful affliction a person can have? I don’t doubt this! But I didn’t cry, at least not when anyone was looking.

        Taste:

        “Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.”

        With my big digits as his pen I think Joyce would have managed this excellent punctuation on a smart phone?

        • bonbon

          Why did Joyce set out to destroy Homer’s Odyssey, I wonder? And what is Joyce doing in the photo here with the British Fabian Society?

          British Fabian Ford Madox Ford (center) coordinated between emigre American literati and pro-Fascist Distributists. Here he meets with Ezra Pound (left), New York financier John Quinn (standing), and novelist James Joyce (right).

          • whatamess

            @Joe

            you know what they say about “big digits” Joe ?

            BIG GLOVES!lol

            kidney stones are NO kinda fun Joe…

            “They” are right !!

            SUPER painful!!!!!!!

            morphine /lidocaine for most people actually..the pain threshold is breached effortlessly yunno

          • whatamess

            more than an innocent snap shot Bonbon?

            share with us,O Muse

  35. I thought this were an Intelligent Site What a mistake a 5 year old child would not write the Tripe that Is written Here . The Immaturity Shown Is Typical Of The Voters Here !,

    • bonbon

      Is it football, or the truth about Hayek that is so shocking?

      • whatamess

        it’s the punctum saliens of The Specie Payment Resumption Act the LTCM blowup that sock him so and i don’t blame him for reverting to a 5yr old’s fight or flight response…hey,it’s frightening stuff!gotta have courage to face it head on

        And from Michael’s[ 'ol shtock'] Private brand of Vice, magically appears his brand of Public Virtue ..

        another candidate for a red pill?

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