June 30, 2014

Till debt do us part

Posted in Banks · 65 comments ·
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This may seem like a distasteful question to pose on a Sunday morning, particularly if you are sitting across the kitchen table from someone you love, but I’ll ask it anyway: do you think divorces are good for the housing market?

Or, to put it another way, did you think that rising house process might allow people who have wanted to split ages ago to finally divorce? If you are happy together, maybe this question doesn’t apply to you, but think of others.

What if, far from being happy, you are reading the paper or your tablet, sipping a coffee and sitting across the kitchen table on this Sunday morning from someone you can’t stand, yet have not been able to leave because of the negative equity in the bloody house you both bought a month before your stupid, expensive, over-the-top Celtic tiger wedding with its personalised bloody menus?

That now seems years ago, doesn’t it? And indeed, the wedding was years ago, a bloody lifetime ago, and if it wasn’t for the fact that your stupid starter home collapsed in value, you’d have been out of there years ago.

But the house did collapse in value, and you had to continue servicing the mortgage, and obviously you couldn’t sell because this would have crystallised your losses! This would have meant that you would have been in debt as well as divorced.

Bad enough having made a fatal error marrying in the first place, but the idea that it would cost you to leave him/her was too much for you to bear. So you both stayed together, seething, hating the sight of each other.

This description of familial dysfunction may seem a bit far-fetched, but it isn’t.

Economic fortunes have a massive impact on stability and marriage. In Ireland, 2006 was ”peak wedding year. More people got married at the top of the boom than in any year since the foundation of the state.

Yet these marriages smashed straight into the wall of economic collapse, putting massive strain on relationships.

Still, the Irish divorce rate remained the lowest in Europe. There are only 0.7 divorces per thousand people in Ireland. Catholic Belgians are four times more likely to be divorced than we. French people three times more likely, the British a bit less so. Even in the reasonably observant Catholic Spaniards and Portuguese, divorce is three times more common than in Ireland.

This is at a time when all other indicators of social behaviour, such as the average age of marriage in Ireland (34 for men and 32 for women), is more or less consistent with the rest of the EU. So too is the average age of women having their first child, and anecdotal survey evidence about infidelity suggests we are no more and no less likely to ”play away as other Europeans.

So what explains the divorce anomaly?

Could it be that the fall in house prices (and therefore, wealth) locked people into bad marriages? If so, will the rise in house prices lead to a tsunami of divorces over the coming years?

And if this in turn is true, will divorce rather than new house-building ease the supply bottlenecks in the housing market? (After all, there has to be a silver lining for someone!)

Estate agents in Britain talk about the three Ds as being crucial to housing supply. They are debts, death and divorces. People’s houses are sold when they die; when they have to get cash in order to pay debt; and when they divorce.

If we are living longer (which we are), if the banks in Ireland are exercising forbearance (which they are), implying that people with huge debts have not been forced to sell, and if we aren’t divorcing (which is the case), the housing stock gets stuck and expected supply doesn’t come on stream. It seems fair to say that this is precisely what is happening in Ireland.

We are getting older and living longer. In fact, Irish men in particular are living longer today than at any stage in the history of males on our island. Also, because the banks put many people on interest only and didn’t want a deluge of debt-related sales, there are more people in houses now in default than would be the case in another country. And, finally, because negative equity has been so severe, people are having to stay together.

So what is going to happen now that house prices are rising rapidly, at least in Dublin?

All over the world, the emotional and mental strain placed upon marriages that have lost their spark takes a back seat when a household’s finances are in trouble. As asset prices, particularly property, plummet during recessions, the value of the family home of the once optimistic and bright-eyed couple gets hit hard.

This, coupled with falling wages, higher taxation, and in some cases redundancy, means that a divorce may not be financially viable for the struggling unhappy couple.

What about when things are looking up? As we can see from the chart below, residential property in Dublin has soared in price while the rest of the country lags behind.

Chart SBP

But let’s go back to the three Ds. It is not likely that our lifespans will change greatly in the years ahead. But it is highly likely that people who were postponing selling the family home and staying together through gritted teeth will flog soon.

Some may hang on now for another year to get a better price. This might mean that they could actually get out of the marriage with a bit of cash, which would be a bonus. Others might think to themselves that, having stuck it out, they could do another year in emotional limbo if it meant getting a few quid. Others will have had enough.

In the months and years ahead, we should expect to see the Irish divorce rate move up to the European average as property prices rise. This is one of the unintended consequences of economic boom and bust – and now another house price rally.

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  1. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    Very courageous article David. Great balls and backbone needed to produce it. The only economist I have come across who translates how the decisions taken by politicians etc affect real bread and butter issues for ordinary people.

    The MORE you ask questions like this the MORE you will be regarded as a real heavy weight commentator. Remember you will draw the ire of the politicians for vital commentary of this nature but that is something you should take enormous personal satisfaction from and indeed is a real badge of honour.

    Just under I’d say half the fellas in my immediate group I went to school with now in our early 40′s are divorced. For a variety of different reasons.

    best regards,

    Michael.

  2. patboland

    This is an interesting effect of the economic recovery which is gaining pace for sure.
    Very interesting to see it all around us.
    I was on the way back from an 6AM drop at the Airport in Dublin this morning when I came off the off ramp from the M50 there was a couple of construction lads waiting for a lift at the traffic light at the top………..haven’t seen that since 2007.
    Breakfast roll man is back in business…..!!!
    Currently I understand construction is about 5% of economy and a healthy level is 9%.
    I wonder how many jobs that level of construction will generate.

  3. Cheers Pat. That’s the type of anecdotal stuff that tells the story. best D

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi,

      At the week end I had a chat with a guy who works in a BMW garage. He said that they are having their best year since 2007! Cheapest car is 30k average price 50k. 80% corporate buyers. Cars are bought on finance for the executives HOWEVER it’s the BMW bank doing the lending. He said money can’t be got from Irish Banks. I still think though that a bull trap is what we are in based on your super graph from about 6 or 8 weeks ago.

      Michael.

      • Fat Tony

        Any of them property developers?

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi,

          Don’t think so. He said it was companies in an industrial estate with multinationals. Property developers are still getting slaughtered.

          • Fat Tony

            Will the rally not help the poor bastards?

          • michaelcoughlan

            Not with the legacy debts they have and all the new taxes. Banks are not lending for development and indeed prices still are not above production costs so there will be no new supply for a long time. This means rents will sky rocket and mostly asset prices will continue going down with the exception of cash purchases driven prices through the roof in a very thin market.

            A mate of mine emailed me this morning 1 bed apt in London over 1m sterling. Average wage for labourer is 70/day. I was getting 71/day TWENTY FOUR years ago in London.

            Beggars belief.

    • ex_pat_northerner

      My one anecdotal evidence is rubbish. Particularly that which accumulates outside my house of a weekend. During the boom, lots of fast food wrappers and many uneaten burgers and kebabs chucked. As funds dried up, just wrappers, then no wrappers. Over the last year wrappers started re appearing again. Few weekends ago saw the first bit of uneaten food (a kebab if its statistically significant :-) .
      The consumer society is on the march again. [or non consuming fast food in my case) Just wish the feckers would take their rubbish home with them. Yes I know Environmental cleanup counts towards GDP but so does heroin and human trafficking these days. (actually there was interesting report in Sunday Times on UK about that where Osborne announced that GDP in UK risen by about 2% because of new EU wide accounting rules and indeed David you had an article about the ‘wages of sin’ because Times claiming that UK Debt has increased by approx 10% because of same rules.

  4. Fat Tony

    My house is just on the Meath side of the dublin-meath border. Remember I’m not actually in dublin, although I am closer to the city than many towns in dublin county (maybe that explains this). Anyway, just 6 months after I bought it, a similar house around the corner with a smaller garden sold for 20.3% more than I paid. So the irrational exuberance is back – and its not just for dubliners.

    David and others – would you care to give your predictions as to when this boom will pop please?

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Fat Tony.

      I think there is going to be another enormous shock to the world’s financial system fat Tony and I think it will happen within the next 18 months. That will put a stop to the mini boom bull trap. I would say part of this frenzy is that the punters know that fiat currencies are increasingly worthless plus no interest on deposit.

      Despite all the money printing this happened in the US recently;

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2014/06/25/u-s-gdp-dropped-2-9-in-the-first-quarter-2014-sharply-lower-from-second-estimate/

      In Europe they want to put porn and coke on the list of things to include in GDP figures to make this type of stuff.

      Will be happy to eat humble pie if I’m wrong.

      Michael.

      • michaelcoughlan

        make should be mask.

      • Fat Tony

        I sort of agree – that’s why I didn’t want to hold cash.
        But I also expect asset price reflation.
        Also, porn/hookers do cost real money. As does cocaine. If that is where people spend money now, why not include it?

        • Fat Tony

          What I mean is it is possible to have an inflationary depression. Inflation in financialized assets and a depression in the real economy, driven by a widening inequality gap. Although some people are doing well, you know.

          • michaelcoughlan

            “is it is possible to have an inflationary depression”

            You bettcha. It’s called stagflation or the new term is Biflation which is what we got right now. It will lead into hyperinflation on assets and commodities (1m apt in London above).

            My land beans and shotgun Tony.

  5. Fat Tony

    If only it were possible to buy stock in David McWilliams himself :-(

    Imagine the bubble that would grow there!

  6. ex_pat_northerner

    Frankie Boyle – interview on Scottish Independence generally, but expresses same view about ‘the property dream’ .. being trapped in a loveless marriage by negative equity. from 16.30 onwards Kaiser report last year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WAoMXHILts

  7. Adelaide

    “Irish men in particular are living longer today than at any stage in the history of males on our island.”

    Sadly I’ve experience of many couples trapped in the tragic situation David describes and I’d be surprised if any of the affected men see past their 60th birthday. Prolonged mortgage-recession-related stress levels will likely see a future spike in early deaths among the Irish male. The banks’ forbearance is doing most of these desperately unhappy families no favours. The extended Dublin commuter belt is particularly depressing when one factors in dislocation and isolation from their original family-community locales. A lot of them can no longer afford the commute into Dublin. Whatever happens now to house prices is irrelevant regarding the prolonged damage that has already been done to a significant swathe of people’s sense of well-being. Ireland has created a generation that is embittered, cynical, disheartened and demotivated. And broke. The very generation who are today’s parents. What message will today’s children pick up in such an environment? I am very despondent about the outlook for this country as things stand. I sense and fear Ireland will become a brutish society where life is considered cheap. I’ve experienced similar environs in 30 years travelling and trust me, when life is considered cheap the price of everything else is rendered meaningless. Even house prices.

  8. michaelcoughlan

    “What message will today’s children pick up in such an environment?”

    We need to tell them the truth as Sun Tzu said “if you know yourself and you know your enemy your victory is not in doubt”

    When the famine holocaust occurred in Ireland it happened at a time when we were still exporting food and the whole Island was owned by 750 people. They had a plan to reduce the population to 500k from 8m which suited their needs to convert Ireland from a landlord tenant system to one producing food for the UK mainland market. A million were allowed starve of course and life was cheap that time.

    Our generation is faced with psychopaths for bankers;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmW9PgxNLOkd

    “? I believe the children are our future teach them well and let them lead the way ?”

  9. DB4545

    I think we’re just catching up with other European Countries for divorce rates. A knock on effect if kids are involved will be social housing. We don’t live in Hollywood, few come out of divorce wealthy and the banks won’t be in lending mode to either party. That falls on the taxpayer in several ways and housing is one aspect. I think some have done a traditional Irish style divorce and bailed out of the Country. I wonder if that information can be gleaned from the emigration statistics?

  10. mcsean2163

    I just don’t think divorce is very popular in Ireland full stop. It’s a small island country with strong family values. People tough it out.

    I don’t think it is anything to do with house price.

  11. gcy_1980

    Hi David,

    A very interesting article. Your articles really get me thinking about real life issues.
    I’m thinking about the question you raised when asking what causes the anomaly between divorce rates here and other countries of the EU. A look at divorce rates in Ireland show that the rate of increase in divorce is huge between 2002-2012. It still rose during the recession. I would hazard a guess that growth rates in Ireland are going through a type of Solow Growth convergence with the rest of the EU:)
    I agree that divorce rates will converge with the European average but think that attributing that to property price rises is flawed…

    • GCY

      The articles are really intended to be talking points rather than definitive piece. Look at them as conversation starters. All the best

      David

      • DB4545

        There was an article from Australian media some months ago commenting on “peak beard”. The popularity of beards had apparently reached crisis levels in Australia and needed to be brought under control. The lack of divorces may also reflect that Irish society reached “peak marriage” some years ago. The traditional route of marriage/mortgage/kids/education etc. holds few attractions for upcoming generations without the long term career paths to fund such an enterprise. How can the zero hours contract/intern generation buy into traditional family life when they’re barely scraping by on subsistence wage/welfare rates and living at home in their thirties?

  12. ‘Till debt do us Part’

    The above is the cover of the wrapper

    If I was kicking the ball this article is about : ‘ If I can divorce my spouse why cannot I also divorce the Bank Debt ‘.

    Unfortunately our Constitution by default will not allow that happen ….and the Electorate …will do nothing to change that .

    Thus the Vatican …correction …the DÁIL impose on all of us to remain as a union in financial misery …for worse and for worse until your death allows you to depart from ‘Your Debt’.

    Economics has nothing to do with your choice that is for those in heaven ie those without debt and commitment .

    Society has always had a caste system and these are in evident in various parts of the world .Ireland under current laws is producing a new deep rooted caste society that will live for many many more generations devoid of full rights and freedom and nobody seems to want to stop this .In this conundrum the spectrum of political allegiance changes and invites the unknown known and the unknown unknown .

  13. Colin

    Apparently Limerick Citay has the highest divorce rate in the country and some of the cheapest property prices in the country.

    And up the road in Ennis, we had lyin eyes herself hiring an Egyptian to shoot dead the rich man with a large property portfolio who wouldn’t marry her….isn’t that right Michael Coughlan?

    ….heading for the cheatin’ side of town!

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

    • michaelcoughlan

      As far as I know you are right but the most bizzare thing was the business man came out and supported the would be assasin during the trial.

      Should have been a banker.

  14. Societal Changes can prevent the norm that this article professes . As in the Arab world when a woman divorces her husband she is allowed to live in the extended family and share the spoils …..but then this was part of desert life at that time. And it was only Tents people slept in.

    Lets buy sand and sleep on it.

  15. Fat Tony

    I’ve been thinking about starting my own little multi-national tax cheating arrangement to launch a product I have nearly finished developing. So looking for a base outside the G20. Looking for ideas on where would be a good country to escape to when the shit hits the fan? Belize maybe?

    • Fat Tony

      i.e. where would be the best of the cheapest countries for a ordinary joe soap with a small international business to live in about 20 years time?

      • michaelcoughlan

        Strange as it may sound this one so long as you can get to the UK if needed. There is plenty of value in Ireland right now and if you get your own bit of land you can implement self sufficency principles and sound money principles you will prosper very nicely.

        • Fat Tony

          but i don’t want to just survive/be self-sufficient.

          I want to profit from the fruits of my own production and be somewhat rich.

          Imagine wanting that!

          • start a bee Hive business all your products will have a guaranteed market and each hive will make a profit of just less than €300 ,,,,,,now start with a 100 hives

  16. Eagle

    very clever title David …i was sure it was an article on Argentina..

    The “silver lining” of Messi’s genius to one side,the vulnerable Argentinean Republic face an enemy vulture fund whose evil brutality surpasses even that of ISIS.Empire’s genocidal bail-in strategy is now in full swing!

    Who is launching this morally bankrupt offensive on our Argentinean comrades? Why none other than evil-personified,billionaire Gollum-like-creature and war-monger Paul Singer of NML Securities(and others).This extortionist leads his vulture fund ‘hit-squad’ into war and the chosen enemy/prey [up until now] has been primarily the vulnerable sovereign nations of Africa.

    Argentina debt is 160% of GDP,it’s experiencing slowing growth,high inflation (ergo high cost of living),capital flight,depleted/no f/x reserves to defend it’s currency,in a double dip recession and is now hostage to hyperinflationary speculation by misanthropic financial oligarchy.

    Remember 97% of Argentina’s creditors agreed to a debt restructure of defaulted bonds (amicable haircuts)and Argentina has honoured it’s commitments re restructuring sovereign,but Singer the Snake,unwilling to compromise,is holding out and demands his pound of flesh!- full face value to be paid (even tho’ he gambled/paid mere cents on the $ for bonds that could have defaulted,resulting in him getting ‘bo-diddly’.

    US Supreme judiciary(in the pockets of empire,it appears)have alllowed these NML vermin,licence to raid and loot the granary – financial extortion ! US Judge Griesa is side-stepping (subverting i say) the pari-passu clause (where investors are voluntarily paid pro-rata)and in fact, is protecting investors beyond what was agreed,it can be argued and is being argued,vehemently.While 130+ nations of G77 lend their “unanimous support”,Argentina simply can’t afford to pay and facing a”suicide or starvation” scenario which of course is not a CHOICE ! It’s war!

    Usury vs the principle of national sovereignty and nationhood!

    Thus it is a “test case for the international community,as many other governments and international agencies have indicated,making clear the legal vacuum which should give way to a reform in international laws to protect the common good from the greed of minorities seeking extraordinary profits.”

    • Eagle

      a defining moment,a flashpoint, will be 30 day [grace period[ from today,i understand.Will Argentina define the moment, or will the moment define them? ...'borrowing' from your last article,who will speak for Argentina?

      Might Putin,due to pay a personal visit in Buenos Aires next month with Russia's "key Partner" and before the BRIC summit,throw them a lifeline? Putin did say that in his meeting with President Fernandez,he would "discuss the full range of current bilateral and international issues and outline mutually advantageous joint projects in the energy sector,including nuclear energy,heavy machinery& technical-military cooperation"

      Might [MasterBlsater]Putin who is perfectly aware of the enormous deposits of shale gas and oil in Vaca Muerta ,come to their rescue – maybe an energy related deal (natural gas) [or a loan of $ 8-10billion to settle the current holdouts and free them from their snare?] What a coup it would be against the financial imperialists !![remembering the pari passu clause entitles Singer to an upside if Argentina "voluntarily" makes a better offer [purchase or exchange] to the creditors who stayed out (ie NML and Co) before 31 December 2014.

      If not Putin,then maybe President Xi Jinpingg [scheduled thereafter to visit Buenos Aires]may extend some aid apropos the recently announced Asia Infrastructural Investment bank (AIIB) – for developing nations in Asia-Pacific region, which could be the start of a paradigm shift in international financial architecture?

      • Eagle

        the count-down has begun and while Argentina face another default and subsequent denied access to global markets for perhaps another decade,the contagion effect of another default,the global consequences for an interconnected financial system may be devastating ! (even the IMF would get stung!!!)

        and not a mumblin’ word from Obama…i know,i know, ,hardly a shocker!I don’t know enough of American politics but if Clinton was impeacheded [snared]over his denial of a b.j. then surely Obama can be removed.

        I read very little on MSM about this as their motto is much the same as that of a mushroom farmer – “feed ‘em shit and keep ‘em in the dark”

        linked here once before,but as trapped in relationships is the theme…

        7mins short
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoTHsNhetPw

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Poor Argentineans will have to pay into the coffers of Billionaires. Its a joke.

      D

      • michaelcoughlan

        sure that’s whats happening here.

      • The basis of the debts world wide, and not confined to Argentina, is the central banking system.

        As oft explained, to little comprehension, is the fact that all central banking currency is issued into existence as a debt. All commercial banking reserves are a debt also. All currency issued by commercial banks, based on those reserves, is as a loan.

        The only currency issued that is not a loan is the coin in your pocket. As such 98% of all currency in existence is a loan which bears interest (the definition of usury).

        The currency needed to pay the interest does not exist and so must be extracted from the productive capacity of the economy.

        We are all being suffocated by the accumulating interest and strangled by the exponential growth of the rising debt levels (personal, corporate and national )

        Who benefits? The owners of the money system who skim the profits of the economy off the top for there own benefit. Research who formulated the structure of the central banking system?

        Who loses? All the other 99.99% of mankind. We are debt based servitudinal slaves.

        To gain freedom we must regain control of the money system.

        • Those leaders who have attempted to change the system for the benefit of the people have been assassinated. So it requires the people themselves will understand and seek the change.
          A general rebellion is required so the leaders are not exposed.
          Education is the key. Talk to your family and your neighbour.

        • Eagle

          I’m worried that some of your post was maybe truncated and fallen between the cracks in cyberspace (as has happened to me on this blog) so allow me to líon na bearnaí

          no no,it’s the least i can do…

          “To gain freedom we must regain control of the money system” and this will be achieved by cancelling Wall St debt -by reinstating Glass Steagall – and then returning to the Principles of a Hamiltonian Credit System and Physical Economic Development

          Now that’s a Future !

          “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger Darling”

          1minute
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yycyKndEWcA

          • Eagle

            usury – best expressed by a True Cultural Master

            (from 1hr.23mins for 10 mins ish )

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bZWZEwY21Q

          • Eagle

            These vulture fund pirates seek to crush Argentina for goodness sake and are demanding,as we read this blog,a complete inventory of National gems that they have full intention to loot and pillage – as is their nature!

            A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link and looking at the financial/economic systems’ current vulnerabilities,Argentina is out in front and this proud Nation being bankrupted by rabid banksters could trigger a chain reaction and COLLAPSE in this systemic financial system and Argentina may indeed be a precursor to a further escalation of financial warfare and indeed the critical mass stage of thermonuclear warfare.

            Genocidal Threats to humanity

            This is our Reality

            an fear gorm seo – has gotta go!!

            http://global3.memecdn.com/barack-obama_o_821627.jpg

          • Of course Whatamess it is.Mr Bonbon two.
            Apologies to Michael whose comment was after all apropos.
            Go ahead with your Rochschild disciple, Mr Hamilton, who was the first to attempt to enslave the American people with a central Bank.
            Go ahead with GS and anything else, but nothing is resolved until the central banking system is removed and the money returned to the people from the bankers.

            I have just realized what has been obvious all along. It is that Bonbon and whatamess and any other alias such as Eagle is a supporter of the central banking system and as such members of the bad guys. That is the only explanation for the continued vocalization of Hamilton and his credit system (as yet unexplained)and the formation of Hamilton’s central bank,The first bank of America.

            Why? one must ask, the likes of Eagle are so adamant to draw attention from the one thing that needs fixing before all else?

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi Tony,

            “Bonbon and whatamess and any other alias such as Eagle is a supporter of the central banking system ”

            Not necessarily the case. What they are in support of is central control like all totalatarian systems such as communism etc Bill Bernanke type policy decisions, world banks controlling capital markets etc.

            Michael.

          • Micheal

            They consistently express their support of a central banker and bank which is what Hamilton sponsored and exercised.

            They support the exercise of the autocratic state run enterprises. They seek control over the people by an elite. How can you say, “not necessarily”.

            Anyway I do not give a rats arse as I begin to be with Adam and favour the dissolution of the nation state with boundaries to autonomous self govening regions. Seems the world is going that way in Iraq and Libya and other such places.

            Last night was a fantastic sail and this weekend is the Vendee Salt Spring.

            Great fun!! Fabulous weather here on the “Left Coast” and all are as tanned as ox hides!!!!

          • Michael
            What i forgot to add is that the central banking system is the ultimate in control.

            Once a nation gives control of its money supply and monetary system to a central bank that self same central bank exercises the sovereignty of the nation and the politicians are left whistling in the wind.

            BEFORE ALL ELSE the central banking system must be destroyed. OR ALL IS LOST. How loud must this be shouted!!!

            Jefferson warned that central bankers were more dangerous than standing armies. How thick are we to not see he was and is correct.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi eagle,

      Very well informed post. Small bit of bonbon dogma creeping in though. Still super post.

      respectfully,

      Michael.

      • little bit patronizing there, michael
        No dogma, just factual observation!!

      • Eagle

        Many Thanks Michael

        • michaelcoughlan

          Hi Eagle,

          When I read your post referencing glass seagulls I felt a pinch of sadness for you I really did. Another magnificent talent and intellect destined to atrophy in a cul-de-sac of your own madness and insanity.

          What a real crying shame and waste of such talent.

          Respectfully,

          Michael.

          • Eagle

            yourself and Tony – a meeting of minds :)

            .

            .

            but the minds, are a no show

          • michaelcoughlan

            “but the minds, are a no show”

            A remark from someone like you such as the above is a great compliment.

            Many Thanks,

            Michael.

  17. StephenKenny

    It’s what my old dad used to say about the late 1910s – for the last 15 years, wherever you turn, it feels like warmongers on the rampage.

    What’s very weird though, is that, however bonkers they got, all the crazy haired conspiracy theorists have all turned out to be right. I guess it’s why there’s no effective satire – reality is more disfunctional than the Simpsons – much.

    I completely gave up the other month when it became apparent that the English State church having been lying like actors about their congregation numbers for 20 years, and their police even more so about their crime solving rates.

    If I met ET in a cafe tomorrow, I don’t suppose I’d be too surprised.

  18. Fat Tony

    Why are central banks buying up gold now?

    • Because it is the only money–all else is credit as JP Morgan once said in a similar statement.

      Western central banks are sold out, nothing left in the vaults; ask Germany. China buys all it can get, russia what it can afford, India what it allows. Ask Iran what money is. Ask Turkey??
      The great reset is pending. Your standard of living is half what it was in 1970 and will halve again in the next 5 years or less.

      Gold and silver is the insurance policy you will not be destitute!!!

      In the meantime I aim to enjoy myself. They can’t tax my memory of past events. Enjoy yur life , it is the only one you have, or at least you can remember!!

      All you need is 3 squares a day, a dry warm place to be and pleasant company.

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