September 4, 2014

Two things can be true at the same time

Posted in Irish Independent · 53 comments ·

Two things can be true at the same time. An economy can grow strongly and also be badly managed. The key is what Keynes called “animal spirits” which can’t be suppressed indefinitely. In fact, history suggests that economies can grow despite bad management, which begs the question how much could be achieved if economies were managed properly?

I think the Irish economy might be about to hit a spurt of activity not seen for many years. This view is, in some quarters, about as popular as bringing an electric guitar to a 1960s folk festival, but let us keep an open mind and remember the thing about two things being true at the same time.

In fact, possibly the reason the growth may surprise on the upside could be precisely because there are government bottlenecks everywhere. Government asphyxiation makes the economy fight more to grab a breath. These airwaves need to be cleared – something that could be done quite easily.

However, for now just consider the possibility that the economy is fighting and showing imprudent signs of life.

Could this be a turn?

Well, the queues are back. Dublin airport is jammed. House prices are going up, as are rents. The price of hotel rooms  - a very reliable leading indicator of the economy – has also turned upward sharply. On the roads, the traffic is back. The Newland’s Cross overpass couldn’t have come at a worse or better time  – worse because the tailbacks in the morning are awful, better because the commuter traffic into the city is building. Tickets for gigs are selling much quicker than last year, restaurants are reporting much better trade and tourism had a better than expected summer.

Something is stirring in the Irish economy. The place looks set to take off. Don’t be surprised if the growth rate hits 4% at some stage in the years ahead. All economies recover at some stage, downturns don’t go on forever and the human spirit’s belief in the future is a redoubtable force. The role of economic policy is to make downturns as short as possible and growth periods as prolonged as prudent. Policy in Ireland has undoubtedly prolonged the slump. If you examine how quickly the UK, with its own exchange rate, or the US, with a massive fiscal expansion, came out of recession, there’s little argument on this point.

Admittedly, I have been in denial this year about what I was seeing around me but now the time has come to say with a certain degree of confidence that the economy is likely to rebound much stronger than most are expecting. Yesterday’s exchequer returns are part of this rapidly improving story. Income tax receipts were up strongly as were VAT receipts. These are crucial areas because unlike corporation tax, they are much more linked into the real economy.

Despite the increases in income tax, the major area that is lagging now is employment and wages, but all indicators point to these turning up too in time. The reason for this is that unemployment is what is called a lagging indicator in economics.  It lags the cycle. People who employ others usually wait until the new orders are firm, some old debts are paid down and feel truly confident that there is demand out there.

Companies don’t create jobs. That is the great misunderstanding in the Irish political lexicon. I have never seen a company where the objective is to create jobs. Jobs are a cost to a company and that cost has got to be covered by revenue. What creates revenue? Demand creates revenue and solid revenue, over time, allows the employer to consider taking on more workers.  So demand leads to revenue and revenue prompts both new hires and higher wages, in time.

Unemployment will fall and wages will rise if the indicators of the real economy keep going as they are and there is no reason to be pessimistic right now.

What is happening out there and why is it happening now?

The first thing to remember is that Ireland suffered a catastrophic “balance sheet” recession. This means that the balance sheet of the broad middle class in our country was destroyed by the property slump.

On one side of the balance sheet is the asset side, and it is the middle classes who have “assets” – houses, land, apartments. Asset values were eviscerated by the property collapse. In contrast, on the liability side of the balance sheet, these people had the debts they incurred to buy the assets. Not only did the debts not fall in tandem with the assets, the debts actually rose, because interest rates although very low were still positive.

When the balance sheet implodes like this, people panic. Those with a bit of money panic about the future and they save like hell. Those with too much debt try to pay back money as soon as possible.

What is the net effect of both of these moves? People stop spending and savings rise. Demand falls. The evaporation of demand causes revenue to dry up and people are let go because there is no money in the companies and no demand for the goods.  In 2009, savings amounted to over 16% of disposable income (against a ratio of only 6% a few years earlier) but gradually, people and companies have stared to spend again. The ratio declined steadily from there and fell back into single figures last year at 9.4%. This decline in savings will continue and this means that when people are faced with the decision to spend or save, they will vouch to spend. Confidence is viral and when you become a bit more confident and spend a bit more too, so too do I.

In addition, since 2012, our major trading partners, the UK and US, have been doing well. America is now growing at 4% and the UK isn’t far behind.

As house prices have risen in Dublin, the balance sheet of people in the capital has started to improve. Rising house prices makes people who have houses “feel’ wealthier, they become less pessimistic and they spend a bit more.

We see that in retail sales buoyancy and also in big-ticket items like new car sales. In June, new car sales were up 24% on the same time last year. 64,031 cars were sold versus 51,556 for the first six months in 2013.

With interest rates to remain low and possibly go lower, consumer credit will become more available and “legacy” debts slightly more manageable. This will underpin local demand. Falling unemployment falls from here, and is likely to reinforce this relative optimism. Also the US and UK should keep motoring along for a few years yet.

Ironically, we need the Eurozone to stay on its knees, mired by deflation and the reverberations of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because we are more positively affected by lower Euro interest rates than by negative trade demand on the continent.

The economy has turned materially. You mightn’t feel it yet, but I suspect, it has.

    • Mike Lucey

      Optimism is a great thing but it should always to tempered with a little realism.

      Are the US and UK really out of recession? 47 million Americans on food stamps!
      Is it more the case of money printing going into top gear in order to make the ‘books’ look good?

      As regards the Irish exchequer returns announced yesterday. I imagine folks with cash could only put off spending on essential upkeep items / services for so long otherwise their houses / properties would start to dilapidate.

      Yes, I agree, companies don’t create jobs for the most part they create wealth and jobs are a side effect. Robotics is one of the growth industries at the moment with the likes of Google investing heavily in the area.

      It could be argued that the US and UK are doing well but I think its an illusion. They now look to be pushing towards some kind of major war to consolidate their so called recovering. BTW, house prices in London are dropping again!

      As regards car sales in Ireland. Yes, there has been an increase in sales. I wonder if the 0% interest rates being offered by the likes of Fiat have anything to do with that.

      Having the Eurozone on its knees is good for Ireland! Are we not part of this body? Is what you say not like having a broken finger in plaster and arguing that it is good because the other fingers on the hand are also having a rest?

      David, I was not aware that Russia invaded Ukraine as you say. I would argue that if any country invaded Ukraine it was the US. At the moment Putin is trying to broker peace talks and Obama is acting the hawk.

      I am optimist by nature but I am far from this state at the moment when looking into what is being pushed for by the US and UK on one hand and the BRICKS on the other. The mighty petrodollar is in the balance and also the de facto World economy of which Ireland is a very small part and will remain so until she reclaims her territorial waters and builds and indigenous sustainable fishing industry for starters.

      • Deco

        The Scots wold be better off with their own currency.

        Sterling and the Euro have both been deliberately mismanaged for the goal of Ponzi stimulating the economy.

        However, the SNP are a bunch of idiots. A Scottish version of Family Firm.

        Scotland needs new political parties, because the SNP will lead Scotland into an economic abyss.

  1. Bamboo

    That was a quick edit, David. Great times ahead.

  2. StephenKenny

    It is very possible to be ill and feel well – it’s what drugs do so well.

    The economies you mention, US, UK, are on very strong drugs at the moment – the UK is on £100bn a year in extra government borrowing, and it has also used government spending to create another property bubble.

    This is certainly economist’s growth – and we may even see breakfast roll man back – but is it not actually making the patient worse?

    If you are seriously ill, doctors wouldn’t recommend a game of soccer followed by a weekend on the lash, subsequent to starting a course of strong pain management drugs.

    • Deco

      “Extend and pretend”.

      What is going on the in the Sterling and Dollar regions in crazy.

      Debt is the problem, default is the answer.

      Instead, policy assumes that default is the problem, and debt is the answer.

      I suspect that the ultra rich have excessive control over both societies, to the detriment of the interests of the wage income sector.

      Speculation as the basis of growth.

      This will have severe societal consequences. In fact it already is having extreme societal consequences. And we see the leadership level of these societies being completely oblivious, under a avalanche of positive up-beat statements that are not grounded in reality.

      The underlying reality of societal cohesion is being smashed by bad policy and superficiality. This will end in a disaster if it is not corrected. The entire assumption of more Ponzi economic pricing driving growth, and growth being the ultimate societal objective is absolute nonsense. “the growth delusion”.

      It is about the only economic policy framework dafter than Angela’s Austerity Agenda, and Japanese “let’s keep pretending”.

      • That was a poetic post Deco.

        I love this bit:

        “Debt is the problem, default is the answer.

        Instead, policy assumes that default is the problem, and debt is the answer.”

        They should tattoo that on the head of every Fine Gael chancer in the Dail.

        Surely though, it should be “The Grote Delusion”?

        • Deco

          Adam, thanks for the comment about “grote”.

          Most of the decade between 1997 and 2007 was a “grote delusion”.

          I am reminded of the old Power City Ad – “this madness must end”.

          It did. And it was replaced by a new madness called “the sky will fall down if we don’t throw money at the rich”.

  3. 16then

    This boom will get boomier until they manage to pump enough cash into the European majors that it will start to tick up inflation and interest.

    When that happens, the buy to let and tracker loan books here will snap. I am a buy to let landlord, had positive equity of about 400k in 2007, am now 600k underwater and am about to declare myself bankrupt in the UK. Up until May all my loans were “performing” on interest only.

    I hope the recovery sticks, but I fear we are in for another boom/ mega-bust cycle. I noticed that the guys and girls queuing in swords for houses are about 7 years younger than me.

  4. Bamboo

    I had the luxury to spend the summer months at home in Ireland. There was an upbeat feeling in Ireland while property prices went up and up. I guess the great summer weather in Ireland has brought all this. I also saw plenty of young people going for their Friday night’s piss up and of course with massive hangovers the next day and very often these hangovers lasted till Sunday afternoon. Come Sunday afternoon and recovering from Friday night, they often wake up in the afternoon just to find out the sun is still blasting and yes, it is time again for the Sunday “bite to eat and few scoops” yet again. Come Monday morning they can’t remember what happened during the weekend.

    As I was waiting for my flight at Dublin airport I decided to buy some Irish souvenirs for my friends. I found a typical green T-Shirt with some writing on it:
    “AH, FECK IT ….. IT’S GRAND”

  5. michaelcoughlan

    “or the US, with a massive fiscal expansion”

    Are you sure it wasn’t a monetary one?

    4% growth rate in the US? Really? Prices rise because of inflation in stock markets and commodities due to aggressive monetary policy and since GDP is measured using an increase in the market value or prices of goods and services this is portrayed as GROWTH?

    What a joke!

    When interest rates skyrocket what do you think will happen then? We need the euro zone to remain on its knees do we? What a really perverse and negative statement. Surely we need the euro zone growing and prospering so we can trade positively in a bouyant and productive environment?

    This probably is my last post on the board David not that I will be missed.

    I wasted way too much time here.

    • Adelaide

      “When interest rates skyrocket what do you think will happen then?”
      As Max Keiser says,
      “You can’t untaper a Ponzi Scheme.”
      “If the governments and central banks believed their own economic figures on the ‘recovery’ then why have they still not raised interests rates after five years? Hmm, do I smell BS?”

      • Mike Lucey

        ‘BS’ would be an improvement on what we are being given.

        ‘BS’ is quite useful as a fertilizer! I think a more appropriate term might be Toxic Crap, like the stuff that is being pumped into the Pacific from Fukishima that will more than likely reach all coastal counties …… and eventually all countries that have rainfall. Now that is stuff the be frightened of.

        When it boils down to it, there is really only a single ocean like there is only a single human race! If only honest and sensible leaders would emerge that would do the right thing e.g. Mr Putin! Then again potential leaders are in the West but being kept down by the global puppeteers.

        Hopefully the alternative media on the Net will help people ‘see the light’ and in turn put honest and sensible leaders in their rightful place.

  6. Cabaret

    A class in Dublin with over 30 pupils were asked a question this week : What is it that makes the World go round from the musical ‘Cabaret ‘ ?

    Is it :




    Bob Geldof stood up and said: Bananas

    DMcW stood up and said : Money

    The rest of the class stood up and said : Elephants

    The elephants still remain no matter how the music plays and big bank/ school loans remain outstanding and larger classes continue to grow.

  7. Adelaide

    Banana Education! Who is teaching your children??????

    A relative of mine, an office worker with FAS for the majority of said career, was this week redeployed to a Dublin secondary school to teach French on the basis of holding a French degree from 30 years ago. My relative received the ‘redeployment’ letter last week and was understandably gobsmacked, having no teaching experience and not having spoken a word of French in 30 years, and so this week started this new career in the twilight of one’s working life. As a sensitive soul this is traumatic, but a thick neck colleague received the same letter and intends to read newspapers in class till an appropriate redeployment is found.

    • Bamboo

      Adelaide, did you post something like this before – only that it is happening in Australia with thousands of teachers.

      • Adelaide

        I did, it happened to a friend last year at the commencement of the school year. She was redeployed to in-her-own-words a Gangsta’s Paradise school. She stuck to the farce for two months while she organised her emigration to Canada and she left vowing never to return.

        • Bamboo

          Interestingly worrying that it is happening in Ireland as well – or is this just anecdotal.

          • Adelaide

            It must be official policy here because my friend and 16 of her 20 colleagues who worked for a now-defunct government refugee programme were all redeployed last year to secondary schools teaching subjects on the basis that they held relevant degrees. My relative and her five colleagues in a recently closed FAS/Solas department received redeployment letters last week to secondary schools on the same criteria.

            The four colleagues lucky enough not to hold degrees are still ‘awaiting’ redeployment one year on, on full pay, sitting at home or travelling, 12 months of bliss.

  8. dorn

    I find this confidence in the economy theory rather confusing every time you bring it up. I’m not spending money right now because I have practically no disposable income. It’s not that I’m not spending because everybody around me isn’t spending – I’m not a sheep that feels I must spend because everybody else is doing so. And my “balance sheet” didn’t change because of any property values. Am I just an outlier?

    I used to have more disposable income before the government decided it needed to tax me a whole lot more. And while I have asked for pay rises many times, i have never got one – in good times or bad. So there are two ways I can get back to spending money on stuff that I feel that I need: one is reverting the extra taxes, the other is getting a new job. I’ve been looking for a new job for over a year. I’ve been hoping for tax cuts for even longer. And changes in either rely on government policy as far as I can see.

  9. StephenKenny

    What I find slightly irritating about this is that arguing against it makes one sound like a grim, scrooge, for whom glasses aren’t so much half empty, as they are completely missing.

    There’re a number of things bearing in mind, before diving headlong into this thing:

    Firstly, it was just a couple of weeks ago the McWilliams was reminding us to watch out for the Vulture funds. Well, many of them have been in for a few years ad have made their huge profits curtesy of NAMA, and are now looking for buyers. If anyone fancies a really good deal, I’ve got a bridge you’ll just love.

    Secondly, neither the US nor the UK are in anything like as good shape as the non stop spin seems to indicate. The UK has interest rates at a 350 year low, and net debt is rising at over £100bn per year (excluding company debt, which is more difficult to judge). Savers, including pensioners, are being destroyed, and investors are piling back into property.

    Thirdly, just stop and consider where you personally think all these high paying jobs are going to come from, to enable people to pay the sorts of mortgages that support these stratospheric property prices. Prior to 2008 is was real estate, financial services, and the public sector. Where now?

    Finally, of course get out and get busy, doing your stuff. Have a good time. From my seat, the one thing to watch out for are the ‘don’t get left behind’ media. This thing is going to end really badly for all of us, and it’s worth just giving that the occasional thought.

  10. pauloriain

    Of course everyone wants to see Ireland recover and maybe no is that time. However it is hard to be positive when this crisis was wasted. The insiders, the have’s still have most of everything. Ireland needs to change, it needs to be looking 50 years out and putting in place the foundations of future prosperity, one which does not rely on a property induced wealth effect, when you live in the lowest density country in the EU.

    The worry, is this is a false dawn, but on the upside if there is another major financial crisis, which many are predicting, we may still have an opportunity to change the country for the better and finally wrestle power away from the insiders, the vested interests who’s only concern is for their share of the pie.

  11. Well, this shows what power sub-editors have. The additional introductory three paragraphs change the flavour from the Indo article, which could easily have been thrown in with the rest of the pom-pom ra-ra! cheerleader Boosterism in the Irish press lately. Unless you’ve read Mr McWilliams in detail, of course!
    It’s not rocket science. Since the Bubble deflated in 2007, there’s been an effort on a par with building Mayan pyramids to re-inflate it so the 1% can pass on their bad gambling debts to the 99%. As Eric Janzen nailed it when he welcomed his followers to “The Post-Market Economy – Part I: Chaos on Planet ZIRP”

    “Two trends will be with us for the next 20 years:
    Inexorable Trend #1: Peak Cheap Credit
    Inexorable Trend #2: Peak Cheap Oil
    Within these two long term trends, the latest diversions
    • Late gold investors on board since 2008 exit market as the USD again becomes GAGFO as Europe, Japan, and China falter
    • Credit Bubble temporarily reflated
    • Stock market temporarily levitated
    • U.S. oil import trade deficit and dollar crisis temporarily averted
    • Housing market temporarily… you get the idea….”

    He hasn’t published an update since Jan 3 2014 as there’s no point in analysing the temporary sugar-rush, Dopamine high of all this nonsense.

    Of course it’s great news for anyone temporarily re-employed in the various Bread’n'Circus Industries of Distraction during this final pre-blow-out of The Society Of The Spectacle, but that paradox shouldn’t prevent anyone from critically analysing the dsyfunctionality and the bizarre re-enactment of exactly the same tropes which caused the crisis: property porn, nail-bar lifestyle projects, Gladiatorial Race-Horse Sports Stars transfer fee inflation: it’s all back for the crescendo before the curtain comes down. Ireland Inc continues it’s ludicrous L.A In The Rain vanity project, enabled in mal-investment delinquencies by the supplicant political establishment.

  12. I got in a wee tiff with some young lad on Tw on this stuff yesterday, asking “Where’s next iteration Strategic Plan for Ireland Inc? Tech/B2B innovation or temporary credit Tsunami to gift NAMA?” With Draghis latest interest rate cut today, I have the answer: #NoCurrencyNoCountry Ireland is going to get banjaxed again once the Bundesbank regain control of the ECB and put a stop to The Draghi Heresies. ” Or something like that.

    Others on this thread are asking the same questions about the next iteration of Ireland Inc & the wider Irish Civilisational Project. And even some eejit Irish politicians realise that this puff of guff that’s inflating South Dublin isn’t sustainable or scaleable across Culchie heartlands.

    “Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who yesterday signalled Sweden, Denmark and Germany were the models we’re seeking to emulate”
    “”If you look across Europe, the Baltic states, Germany, Denmark, Sweden all followed these kind of policies and they’re growing well now at this stage.

    • Of course Noonan’s using Nordic Fiscalism as a fig-leaf for Austerity Apologia, but it won’t work as the route away from the toxic twins of Craic & Begrudgery, Irelands warped version of the Jantelaw-Hygge dynamic cultural engine. It took both Financial Probity (including burning bondholders!) AND cultural re-invention for the ‘Nordics’ to get to Nokia, NOMA, MAD, Nordic Food Lab, Klown, Noir, & everything else that represents the sunlit hygge uplands of 50% cycle journeys in Copenhagen. It wasn’t just about finance & economics, it was and is a wider civilisational project. There’s noting to stop Ireland re-inventing itself as an entre-pot trading nation triangulating USukEu as well as BRIC/Africa,etc. But it won’t happen whilst the cringing sleveen cute hoor D4 crew are in power.

  13. Ireland could & should have become the richest country on earth, not just in temporary income but long-term sustainable wealth given it’s extraordinary material land/sea resources, culture & history, including being founded on Danish cultural wealth/propserity memes as much as ‘Celtic’. Or Anglosphere. Ireland’s, like Britain & unique in that it’s borders look to neighbours both to America and to the UK and Europe.

    But that multi-cultural legacy of Anglo-Danish memetic Cultural Wealth Creation codes was all blown in a bonfire of vanities based on a toxic mix of envy, begrudgery, sleveen paddywhackery & cute hoorism from the very top of society to the bottom. Having just spent 2 weeks traipsing the streets of Dublin I remain hopeful for the indestructible culture even as I despair of the political catastrophe: #NoCurrencyNoCountry. It’s happening again. Trying to mimic Normans in Britain, trying to sell Ballsbridge as Knightsbridge 2, trying to build trust in Irish Houses As Store Of Wealth. Just like the Normans in Britain have done and as the Dutch in Amsterdam did with…tulips. Culchie Cleansing via Emmigration. Enough.

    If Alex Salmond thinks he can leave the UK but still bow before the queen and purloin the English Exchequer, he’s facing the mother and father of all wake-up calls. I’m sure Draghi will find a place in the Euro brothel for the Scots, mind. I hope the Scots leave as a trigger for a federation of cultural entities across the island of Britain, including Caledonia & Cymru, but especially the Shire-Irish Heartlands of Mercia finally throwing off the yoke of Norman oppression, having centuries ago put a stop to Irish slave-traders. But not before St Patrick was taken….

    You just have to hope & pray that somewhere in the power nexus there’s a person of vision & integrity who’ll play this temporary upturn for all it’s worth to navigate Ireland to a future of real independence & autonomy. If that means poker with the ECB/EU till the next crisis erupts, fine. There’s going to be every opportunity for epochal change ‘going forward’. #NoCurrencyNoCountry #NoMoreCulchieCleansingByEmmigration

    Given this QE rain-dance voodoo by high-priest Economists & fortuitous boom-bust fracking ponzi shale, nobody should be surprised by the fact that the balloon is now fully expanded again. But this time it’s must burst as per ABCT. Von Mises & Hayek were right. So was Keynes. That’s the paradox of Economics until you realise: Keynesian Economic Shamanism/Faith-Healing is only possible when there’s abundant cheap energy. There isn’t. If anyone wishes to claim there is: why has petrol not declined in price? As soon as the Liquid Fuel Crisis returns, it will be clear which countries, city-states have prepared and which are fc-uk’d. That’s why i’m learning Danish & maybe moving to Copenhagen, at least for a friendly recci-. reconnaissance mission. Even if it’s even more hellishly expensive than Dublin! LOL!

    Having hit a brick wall of language trying to Decode Denmark, it’s clear at the outset that #NoLanguageNoCulture ? is a serious question to ask. So I’m learning Danish. I dismissed Gaelige fundamentalists as anachronistic but there’s no English language equivalent of the ‘jantelaw-hygge’ dynamic. To the west of Ireland is one extreme, the US with no restraning Jantelaw-Lite to balance ruthless individualism with Tribal affiliations. Some say the Danes are too far the other way with high taxes and group identity through language, but interestingly, it’s mostly foreigners who say that….I’ll see how I get on over there…

    ” Jantelov is the opposite of the American Dream”

    ” hygge allows for conviviality to balance out consumerism”

    I just cannot see how the islands of Britain & Ireland can get out of this mess. Unlike the islands of Vendsyssel-Thy, Sjælland, Funen & Zealand, whose ancestors provided many of the cultural memes which turbo-charged both Ireland and Britain, these other Isles of Wonder, Plunder, War-Torn asunder. Etc. Ok, so Jutland’s a peninsular, but so is Britain now there’s that Chunnel thingy. Maybe one to Ireland Inc one day…? Not if Draghi has his way:Pound. Dollar. Yen. Franco-GermanEuro. Krone….Punt.

    • Brilliant Andy! Loved it. Am listening to the best of Shire-Irish Mr Morrissey now (a welcome lunch break from the switzerdeutscher drones in Switzerland) and can hear your voice! D

      • Mr McWilliams: Thanks for being a gracious web-host, putting up with me over the years. Looking forward to Kilkenomics 2014. Tak!

        Adam: AndersGMooney. Love it. LOL!

        I’m a better singer than Morrissey. Srsly. Easter 2016, on the centenary of The Rising, you’ll hear me channeling John McCormack..but for now: I have 18 months with my daughter before she goes to Uni so time to switch off The Interwebz Nonsense Machine & savour the last of the indian summer wine ‘being Dad’. (sob..)

        Enjoy yerselves, folks, it’s later than you think. Gratitude to all who helped me heal my brain…

        10th September 2014. Kate Bush. Hammersmith
        11th September 2014. Michael Flatley. London Palladium
        12th September 2014. Kate Bush. Hammersmith.

        Kate Bush is the real Muse of the Shire-Irish….it’s all for you, Kate…all for you….

        Salaam. Shalom. Pax Vobiscum.

        [over & out, portal closes]

      • A shame David we didn’t know you were in CH. Would be happy to prove “Carlovian drones” on a future visit.

  14. Tak 4 da online hygge-craic!
    Slut. [The End]

    5th September 2014

    [sent from The Bardo...
    "in a coracle sailing from the Celtic to the Norse Sea" ]

    • DB4545


      Jantelaw = Begrudgery
      Hygge = Craic
      Rape = Ruthless unrestrained individualism
      Or am I missing something?
      I certainly favour the Scandinavian model over the model we have in these Islands.
      Kind Regards.

  15. Deco

    The first bailout of the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) economy consisted of people’s taxes being used to bailout of large financial entities who caused the people to be loaded with debt.

    The second bailout of the FIRE economy, is a series of state policies designed increase debt again, and make the banks solvent, through manipulation of the housing market.

    The housing market in Dublin has been rigged since the mid 1990s. And it is still rigged.

    The housing supply has been controlled. Bringing on additional supply is extremely difficult.

    The housing demand has been increased, as an explicit aim of state policy. The IDA and the state that continually borrows to keep the economy juiced up, are doing everything they can to drive up demand for housing in the east region. Even to the point of underwriting corporates that pay less than 2% effective corporate tax to the Irish Revenue commissioners.

    So as to make up for this, the people who are working in the economy are taxed through the nose.

    This is Mary Harney’s 51st state. (she probably should have said 53rd). And it is madness. Complete and utter madness.

    The only one talking any sense is the Governor of California. The Irish media are portraying him as the enemy. Instead he is talking more sense than the entire contents of IBEC.

  16. Mike Lucey

    Some, what looks to be, concrete stats and graphs on what is happening in the US labour market. It doesn’t look as rosy a picture as DMcW suggests.

    Obama Caught Lying About Jobs and Bricking Layups

  17. Daniel Waxonov

    what’s ‘masterful’ anyway?

    is this is masterful?

  18. Daniel Waxonov

    And again, compliments of tarpleydotnet

    say it ain’t so Joe??

    it’s Joe,dontchaknow [The very astute and insightful Thierry Meyssan]

    [a web of deceit!!]

  19. CorkRob

    While the Banks are given a free hand to do what they like on interest rates, Lower interest rates from the ECB will mean higher interest rates for all Variable Rate mortgage holders in Ireland, as the likes of AIB try to mitigate their exposure to the vast amount of Tracker Mortgages they hold, by increasing Variable Rates to maintain their balance sheet performance.
    And if you think for a minute that as a Variable Rate Mortgage holder you would be better off with higher ECB rates – think again, as the banks will raise Variable interest rates then too, claiming the need to recoup previous losses.
    I do NOT see the rosy picture David is painting, materialise, until such time as the Dept of Finance gets to grips with the monster that is the Irish Banking sector – and there’s no immediate sign of that happening anytime soon.

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