May 25, 2015

Don’t be fooled – all the banks win yet again

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 98 comments ·

Many years ago, I spent a summer working in Canada, where the national hero at the time was Wayne Gretzky, the brilliant ice hockey player. Gretzky was so good that when he retired, his number – 99 – was retired from all North American professional hockey teams.

His most famous quote followed a simple question from a commentator about why he was so successful. Gretzky didn’t even think, he just responded as if it were the most simple thing in the world: “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s been.”

The same applies to economics. When looking at the economy, we have to be ready for where it is going next, not so much where it has been. Therefore, we should look at leading, not lagging, indicators.

I believe that one of the non-scientific but accurate leading indicators in this country is the attitude of senior bankers. Bankers’ attitudes are significant because credit made the economy buzz. I think we are at the beginning of a renewed lending cycle which will drive up asset prices as well as lubricate the economy in a way we haven’t seen since the early 2000s.

So, rather than focus on what the new regime, spun by the government as a “victory” against the banks, means for variable mortgage holders, we should interpret this move by the banks as the beginning of a new phase in the economy’s trajectory which will involve lots of new credit.

That fact that the banks are going to reduce the spread on their mortgage lending from July is a sign that their balance sheets are repaired. Had there still been worries about the balance between performing and bad loans, the banks would have dug their heels in.

They are ready to lend again. The banks are now in a race with each other for market share. Bank of Ireland will try to steal a march on its nationalised competitors in the months ahead, and the bosses of the nationalised banks will do anything they can to accelerate the process of privatisation, because they will make money from the sale. At the moment, their stock options are worth nothing, but they will be turned into cash when the banks are resold.

Self-interest is what drives these guys, so they will be nice as pie to Michael Noonan in the next few months. Expect them to reduce variable rates a little more, because it means the last political obstacle to a sale is removed. The government is playing yesterday’s game, while the banks are on to tomorrow. It is interesting that the government’s rather pathetic aim in all this is to get all mortgage rates under 4 per cent by the end of the year. But why only 4 per cent? After all, deposit rates are zero, so why should the banks make a whopping 4 per cent margin on every loan?

The banks played the government like a violin on this one, pretending to show resistance to changes in the variable rate and then walking away with a massive prize. The prize is the government’s acceptance that making a 4 per cent margin is “normal”, when it is rapacious. Worse still, it is being played as a victory for the common man, when it is nothing of the sort. It is a carte blanche to the bankers, again.

The game the banks are playing is clever, because they want to be free of government interference in order to lend as much as possible, again. Right now, I think the economy is growing much faster than people understand. The key is that the consumer is back in the game. The banks sense this.

A recent publication about credit card spending is very interesting in this regard. Last week, I spoke to the board of Visa, who were in Dublin for their annual board shindig. Visa and other credit cards are fascinating leading indicators of the economy, because activity in credit tells you what people are doing right now and expecting to do in the future.

Visa has devised a consumer index which tells you, four months ahead of official figures, what people are doing, how much they are spending on plastic and in what areas.

Ask yourself: do you use your credit cards on smaller and smaller purchases these days? If the answer is yes, then you are typical of the Irish punter because they are spending more and more on smaller and smaller things with their debit or credit cards.

The Visa indicator picks up this activity. There was an increase in year-on-year spending of 4.3 per cent in April on cards. This is interesting because up to now the idea has been that domestic demand is slow but it’s not.

According to Visa, its index showed strong performance by retail-facing categories with spending on food and drink up 9.2 per cent and e-commerce spending up by 7.8 per cent, while traditional retail spending is growing by close to 3 per cent.

One of the best leading indicators of people being confident again is spending on household goods in DIY shops. This is the territory on which DIY Declan and Deckland thrived in my Pope’s Children yarn a decade ago. They are back in business, a decade later. Last month it was up 8.6 per cent, while clothing and footwear saw an expansion of 6.4 per cent.

Parts of the economy are moving strongly now. The bankers know this, which is why they are playing ball with the state. In ice hockey parlance, the state is worried about where the puck is when it should be really concerned about where it is going to be. There is no better indicator of this than the attitude of the country’s senior bankers.

It wasn’t them who blinked first last week but the government.

Plus ça change.

  1. David, Are these consumer indices publicly available? They sound fascinating…

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Dear Adam,
      You are only on the first row today with your ‘subscribe’ call of wide. That’s below your usual level of performance (pole position). What happened? ;-)

  2. StephenKenny

    “Rebuilt their balance sheet”.
    It’s always slightly suspicious when these sorts of terms are used. Like “extraordinary rendition’.
    ‘Rebuilt their balance sheet’ means having made outsize profits for something like 8 years.
    Every economic media person, politician, and of course the bankers themselves go to considerable lengths to have you believe that this is because they are good business men, and somehow smart.
    Of course, with one minute’s thought you would realise that these profits are made because there is no competition. This means that the banks are colluding to hold up prices. This is illegal. A fraud.
    This means that the regulators are colluding with the banks in cheating the public. In turn this means that the law enforcement community, and all its staff, are directly involved in a massive scam to cheat the public.
    In turn this means that the judges and members of the legal system, are ‘turning a blind eye’, or colluding, in this massive fraud.
    Of course, the bankers and politicians are symbiotically entwined in this.

    • dwalsh

      Our monetary system is a fraud.

    • Grey Fox

      If one wanted any more evidence of collusion simply take a look at the full judgment in the case referred to here :
      Banks, the Legal Profession, the Courts, the Judiciary acting with the tacit approval of government to illegally dispossess Irish families of their homes. Whether the home should be repossessed or not is not the issue here, it is the application of a practice which is so clearly wrong by all parties, absolutely astounding.
      As to the reference to Visa, are we talking about Visa Credit or Debit Cards? With the disappearance of cash and the overwhelming market share Visa enjoys in the debit card sector, increases such as quoted are not surprising at all. If it credit cards, it simply shows how well the Bank/Government spin machine has worked and how little the Irish public has learned from the past eight years, turkeys and christmas and all that….

      • Credit cards are convenient. I use each day, and pay off each month. My use of the card has increased but my consumption has fallen. Using me as a metric for an improved economy is a statistical error.

        Increased use of a credit system over all could also indicated a population going further into debt as all other resources have been used. Credit increase is the dying flames of a burnt out fire.

    • Corruption starts in banking and the money system. It is now endemic, that is it permeates society. Nothing built on a lie can be sustained.

      we must have a return to an honest money system as the base. The rock of the economy is a proper money system as a medium of exchange. We are built on the sands of credit creation.

      • Deco

        Corruption starts with the institutional state, when it becomes an agent for wealth redistribution.

        We see this with respect to the Irish state taxing people, to bail out reckless, idiot filled banks, insurers, and hedge funds holding unsecured debts of dodgy banks.

        • The institutional state allows the creation of a central banker and fractional reserve banking. Who corrupts who is a moot point.

          In the end the banker controls the politicians. Money speaks. Then the “common man” demanding what is not paid for as a benefit is corrupted.

          The whole mess has to die as it will never be reformed. The thing is that the answer needs to be known before the crash so that the new phoenix economy is set on an honest monetary base and avoids a similar fate.

          History is not on our side.

  3. StephenKenny

    “Rebuilt their balance sheet”.
    It’s always slightly suspicious when these sorts of terms are used. Like “extraordinary rendition’.
    ‘Rebuilt their balance sheet’ means having made outsize profits for something like 8 years.
    Every economic media person, politician, and of course the bankers themselves go to considerable lengths to have you believe that this is because they are good business men, and somehow smart.
    Of course, with one minute’s thought you would realise that these profits are made because there is no competition. This means that the banks are colluding to hold up prices. This is illegal. A fraud.
    This means that the regulators are colluding with the banks in cheating the public. In turn this means that the law enforcement community, and all its staff, are directly involved in a massive scam to cheat the public.
    In turn this means that the judges and members of the legal system, are ‘turning a blind eye’, or colluding, in this massive fraud.
    Of course, the bankers and politicians are symbiotically entwined in this.
    ‘Rebuild their balance sheets’ and ‘extraordinary rendition’ are where we’ve got to, in our current path.

    • DB4545


      It’s called regulatory capture Stephen and it’s been going on forever and a day. If you’ve captured the regulator/regulatory process you control that market. That’s what happened with the electricity and telecom “markets”. That’s what’s about to happen with the water “market”.The politicians appoint the regulators and banks and vested interests appoint/influence the government.

      If you control the toll road over the M50 it doesn’t matter if you collect cash upfront with toll operators or if a scanner reads your number plate and bills your credit card. Anything that moves over that bridge is getting tolled and you’re getting a slice of the action. Then you can pass on the brown envelopes to your cronies discreetly. The same applies to the domestic banking sector. The question is with a 4% margin why aren’t new players being attracted to the game? Has the regulatory process frozen everyone else out of the game?

      Maybe it’s time for the EU to investigate the abuse of a dominant market position under EU law? It’s unclear if the EU even has that power as it usually applies to trade between Member States and not a single domestic market. However in a Eurosceptic environment and a UK referendum it would strengthen the position of Brussels if they were seen to be looking out for the little guy for a change. Conversely it would strengthen the Eurosceptic position if they could point it out as another example of Brussels f**king the little guy in the a**. Thankfully we legalised all that kind of thing last friday Ted. Over to you Nigel.




      • StephenKenny

        You’re right DB.
        The thing that spooks me about our current path is exemplified by the election of an essentially communist local government in Barcelona, and possibly in Madrid. Many have been talking, and warning, about this sort of thing, for 8 and more years now.

        The problem increasingly is that there are no real rational arguments against such elections, however much we don’t want them.

        Looking at what the incumbents have, and are, doing, voting for an extreme party is the only rational move for a lot of people. This is a very bad sign. Especially as the response of the incumbents is to use force – propaganda, physical, and ‘legal’ – rather than even to attempt to fix the problems that the system has.

        • DB4545


          I’ve said it before if you rob Peter to pay Paul you rarely get any complaints from Paul. Peter will eventually get seriously p*ssed off and react. We have a 21st century version of Marie Antoinette”let them eat cake” operating before our eyes. Just like the French revolution a lot of smart people who we need and a lot of innocent people will be hurt when it goes tits up. If people are so desperate that they would vote for the lunacy of communism what does that tell us? As someone else said on this site you can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring that reality. The French revolution and October revolutions came about in part from elites constantly squeezing Citizens and driving them to the edge. The UK government are in the process of taking 12-14 billion from welfare. In fairness some of this is needed to target limited resources effectively. But where’s the targeting of tax evasion and avoidance? By all means ensure that dole is being spent on food and nappies and schooling. But why allow so much evasion and avoidance that oligarchs have so little use for their money that they can afford 3 & 4 story underground bunkers under their central London homes? When will they ever learn?


        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “The thing that spooks me about our current path is exemplified by the election of an essentially communist local government in Barcelona, and possibly in Madrid. Many have been talking, and warning, about this sort of thing, for 8 and more years now.”

          And that actually brought me to change my mind about the collapse of the EU. Until those movements came to prominence I thought that EU collapse would be good if it led to slimming down the union to what it initially was, that is a free economic zone.
          But the rise of the radical left (and if you look at Marie Le Pen in France, she is quite left economically too) brought me to believe that things may get worse, not better after the EU collapse (I am talking about total collapse, not the euro collapse or throwing out Greece).

          See, I was fooled by the rise of anti-establishment parties in Poland which are usually very pro-free market, but then I forgot that when radicals in countries like Greece, Spain or Ireland red Marx while we were reading Hayek for we learned and digested the lessons from Marx 50 years ago and noone really believed in Marxism in Poland since at least 70s for we knew Marxists theory and practice too well (except for a few Trotskyite dissidents, notably Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuron supported by French Trotskyites who wrote an open letter to the communist party in the 60s complaining that they are not communist enough and Michnik is obviously a very rich person now for usually those Trotskyite know as little about real work as they know about the economy.

          In that respect Western Europe is a few decades behind Eastern Europe in intellectual development for it espouses theories we learned and rejected in early 50s and sadly the farther West, the more stupid the anti-establishment parties are, with the Irish radical left being more stupid than the 80s communist party in Poland and that says a lot for I could write volumes about gen. Jaruzelski’s stupidity; also Ireland’s political landscape is exceptional for it does not have any free-market party).

          The establishment parties would most likely be replaced by the likes of Trotskyite, not free market anti-establishment, anti-central banking movements.

          So eurosceptics’, including me, might have been quite naive.

          Maintaining the status quo is bad, EU collapse is bad because it might lead to an even worse system: what should be done then?

          • DB4545


            What should be done? Educate ourselves as best we can and try to educate others until we reach a critical mass. There never was a free market Grzegorz. An open market is an engine and signal between buyers and sellers. The thieves like the poor will always be with us. The best we can hope for is to punish the thieves and help the poor. At the moment we punish the poor and help the thieves.


      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “Maybe it’s time for the EU to investigate the abuse of a dominant market position under EU law?”
        I am very pessimistic about the EU investigating any abuse of anything since they
        1. Sacked Martha Andreasen after she had revealed the scale of corruption in the EU commission and
        2. Passed a law preventing future auditors from auditing members of the Commission
        3. Had Greens leader in the EU Parliament, the Trotskyite Daniel Bendit Cohn who admitted to child abuse and was still the leader

        • coldblow


          Your remark about Bendit Cohn are misleading if Wiki can be believed. He is accused of defending paedophilia rather than commiting it from what I can gather. (If anyone thinks it is the latter then I’d like to know where the evidence is.) People should be careful of making loose accusations these days as it can have serious consequences.

          David has mentioned him in articles and I remember him as a wally from French tv who can’t stop talking. The interesting thing is that this kind of behaviour, or at least theorizing about it, was fairly respectable in some radical circles. It just goes to show how opinions shift and what was once praiseworthy is now sometimes disgusting and vice versa. Unfortunately most people (and organizations) don’t remember past last week.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I shall let the readers of the blog decide whether encouraging 3 year old children in a creche to touch his penus is a paedophilia or not:


            I assume you are aware of the attempts of the German and French left to legalize paedophilia. Those attempts has started in the 60s and it has not quite finished yet, but the Irish left-obsessed media would only talk about Catholic Church.

            Yes, I hope Bendit Cohn will sue someone in the future and lose. Why do you think he did not?

          • Deco

            Cohn-Bendit is a silly prat, in the EP. The town idiot and attention seeker who managed to get into the mayors office as chief muppet.

            He has been given a free pass for all sorts of incidents, for reasons that defy common decency.

            But ultimately, it comes down to moral bankruptcy of a generation that is now in power in the EU.

            How do we know this ? Because the topic is never raised.

          • coldblow

            As for what might be forbidden in the short to medium future see this link from a fairly recent episode of QI:


            It is extrovert behaviour.

            Stephe Fry, described by Julie Burchill as ‘a stupid person’s idea of what an intelligent person is like, is a perfect (he might say ‘deliciously perfect’) weather vane of approved progressive opinion. And he’s not the only one who has it in for our psychic friends. Our own Dara Ó Briain is another fearless campaigner against superstition. This is my choice for the next thing to go onto the banned list, but it could be more or less anything.

          • DB4545


            I’m at a loss to understand how you view Grxegorz’s comments as misleading when the words from the mouth of that vile creature on the youtube video damn him. How the f**k did that sick animal get elected to public office with that information regarding his inclinations available in the public domain? Possibly for the same reasons as Jimmy Saville, Gary Glitter, Max Clifford, Cyril Smith et al. Powerful connections. Again I fail to understand your rush to defend these people because usually they’re well able to marshall the financial and social resources to defend themselves.


        • coldblow


          I watched your linked video and it was what I was led to expect by the Wiki article I mentioned earlier. You can be sure that he now wishes he never said that. Even so this is a far way from paedophilia, in my own (ignorant opinion) though there will be a few who would love to hear about it and launch another crusade.

          As Del Boy might put it, he is a twenty-four carat plonker but nothing more. And as Deco says (and he has been consistent about this) he is a good example of the moral standing of the 68-ers. The worrying thing is that many of their opinions, if not most, and certainly the underlying broader attitudes, have been unwittingly absorbed into mainstream opinion. (I’m not preaching at you of course as I’m sure you know this too well yourself.) A good example would be the general agreement nowadays that cannabis should be legalized. If you don’t take that attitude you are out of step and possibly next year, or the year after, you may find yourself be marginalized, and we know how it goes from there on. There may be some relatively harmless activity that you indulge in now that will be verboten this time next year. That is one of the problems with the new civilization in the making (as Desmond Fennell describes it) – there is no consistency. Moreover the law is not objective but the penalties will depend on just who commits what has been deemed to be a crime, so if you fall outside certain approved groupings you are in trouble.

          I have a paperback psychology book on my shelf here at home by a well-known English psychologist. It’s interesting but on the whole I find myself in disagreement (as usual, one might say). He makes the same point as Bendit Cohn in the video, that young children have raging sexual lives. This is one of the things I disagreed with when I read it at the time but I am (or perhaps rather *was*) at odds with received opinion. I won’t name the book or the author (who is surely at the heart of the liberal causes) because he said it in good faith, it might even be (or have been) received scientific opinion, and in the current climate it doesn’t take much to launch a moral crusade. Indeed, it doesn’t take *anything at all* to do so. Ask Cliff Richard.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            It’s different to claim that young children have raging sexual drives (Freud) and to try to legalize paedophilia.

            Another silenced aspect is paedophilia in Hollywood. I wonder what has bigger chances: winning Euromillions or a Hollywood biopic about raping Hollywood stars by their establishment…

            Sorry for rushed answer today

          • coldblow


            I sometimes wonder why Freud caught on so widely.

            I had a quick look at your links. The world has gone mad, and has been mad for quite some time.

            I now remember PIE and controversy about it years ago. Did you see the picture in the linked article showing someone who had infiltrated the organization. In the centre is Mary Whitehouse. She was the target of indiluted hatred and scorn by liberals and by the young when I was a teenager. She was told to keep her nose out of the private lives of others. This reaction is as strong today but more widely shared. Also shown is Geoffrey Dickens. He was absolutely right then but I think he is wrong in the present ring scare, for reasons already stated.

            From the third link: “The impetus for liberalisation and decriminalisation overshot its target.”

            That’s one way of putting it. And Cohn Bendit set out to shock bourgeois society. They are all at it now. All our radicals here can’t get enough of shocking bourgeois society and don’t seem to notice that such a society died out some time ago. I never fell for any of this nonsense. I was the only one I knew as a student who refused to go to the rally and support the sit ins for disinvestment in South Africa, because it was obvious they were just copying the fools of 1968. A fashion statement in other words. Yet in the Sindo the other day there is a stupid article arguing that finally, with the referendum, the radicalization of 1968 is finally percolating down to Irish youth and that this idealism can be harnessed in future elections. Have you heard yet of Paddy Last?

  4. DB4545

    Or not DB that is the question! Apologies.

  5. michaelcoughlan


    The article is fascinating and upbeat. It doesn’t consider the wider macro view though. Deposit rates are zero because the world economy is fucked because of too much debt. You hero is skating beautifully on an ice floor which is on the top deck of the titanic.

    What is becoming more obvious though is that if debts are too big they will be written down to a sustainable level and life will go on.

    This article has given me great hope.


    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      ‘Deposit rates are zero because the world economy is fucked because of too much debt.’

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      I really liked a comment to that article you posted a link to, Tony, made by some chap.
      Admittedly the said comment does not reveal anything we would not know, but it is revealing in its clarity of thought:

      “In 1988, with Basel I, and made much worse in 2004, with Basel II, bank regulators adopted the use of credit-risk-weighted capital (equity) requirements for banks.

      And the risk weights set in 1988 (when in 1989 most battling was about the neo-liberal “horrors” of the Washington Consensus) were:

      Lending to the government = 0 percent risk
      Lending to citizens and their SMEs and entrepreneurs = 100 percent risk.”

  6. Shane F

    In the past year both Lidl and ALDI have begun accepting credit cards. As a result I personally now use the credit card instead of cash every week at those shops for convienence.

    Given their size and the fact every family uses supernarkets,
    I just wonder what percentage of the increase in credit card usage they may be responsible for.

    Interesting though that its a leading economic indicator.

    • DB4545

      Shane F

      What I find more interesting is why people would choose to pay with credit cards and expose themselves to APR’s of 15% to 23% for repayments on cash advances. It’s not quite loan shark territory but it’s not that far away. If people can pay by debit card why don’t they? What’s driving the need to use a credit card excluding the six week credit window? The banks are hardly in the business of rolling out credit cards to the prudent because the prudent pay in full each month. There’s no profit in that.

      This in a era of virtually zero interest rates for banks borrowing or as Tony Brogan calls it creating product from thin air. So what is it an indicator of? Inability to service credit card debt in full each month? With a 20% interest rate on average that allows a fair degree of provision for bad debt.

      Perhaps when people have been sodomised by the banks for so long and someone offers financial KY jelly to the victim it might seem like a good solution to some. But the real focus should be on castrating the rapist.


      • sk19

        my credit card is 9.5%. since they introduced transaction fees on debit cards, i now use the credit card to pay for everything to avoid these fees. if you pay your balance in full each month, you don’t pay interest and also avoid a large quarterly bill for using you debit card

        • DB4545


          I get that. I do likewise and pay in full each month. We’re not the target market as there’s little money to be made from us. The question is where’s the growth and profit coming from for the card issuers? It gives Aldi & Lidl access to the customer base of the credit card companies but what’s in it for the credit card companies if those customers pay their bills in full each month? As Hannibal Lecter said when the rabbit squeals the fox comes running, but not to help.


  7. “so why should the banks make a whopping 4 per cent margin on every loan?”

    Why do you perpetuate the myth that banks use regular business practice.

    You refuse to address fractional reserve banking. Banks are the only business in town that can create inventory from thin air and sell the “product ” to a “customer” and then charge interest to do so.

    Margin is a myth. Banks lend 10 times (or 20 and 30 times ) more than is held on deposit. your 4% margin is at minimum a 40% margin. Then add in the sales of these loans to investors (pension funds??)(Bond holders) and other insurance policies like credit default swaps and a myriad of other derivatives and the banks are skimming all the people all the time.

    The danger in the banking business is that one of these counter parties will default and cause a cascading problem of non payment. In this scenario the original debtor (borrower) is still left holding the bag while the banks go looking for bail ins, bale outs or any other scam for the to big to fail fraternity.

    National debt, corporate debt, individual debt is all at record levels. Economic recovery is largely a mirage of fiddled statistics. The cost of living is up at 8% per annum Government says it is less than 2% and pays increased wages and pensions based on that lie. The result is wages and incomes are fallinf in buying power by 6%% per year. Perhaps that explains why you feels you cannot afford now what you could easily buy 10 years ago.

    The standard of living is less than half what it was 40 Years ago and dropping quickly.

    One of the major lies to address is the myth of the bankers so called margin. Lies pontificated by notable economists are unethical, unprincipled, and destructive. I have seen the enemy and is is not us, it is the so called expert masquerading as our supporter. We are being duped.

    • DB4545

      Tony Brogan

      If you haven’t done so already Tony read Flashboys by Michael Lewis. The level of corruption is astonishing. How can you possibly trade any commodity including gold if high frequency traders can see your trade and jump the queue in front of you then buy your order and sell it back to you at a higher price. The regulators are constantly poached by the big players.Imagine if the secret service personnel guarding the US President were constantly being recruited to work for the people who might threaten him. The people who know the vulnerabilities and loopholes are being recruited to beat the system and it’s all perfectly legal. It’s absolutely beyond insane.


      • I have not read Flashboys but I am aware of supercomputer high frequency trading HFT. All electronic trades are front run as we are skimmed for milli cents on billions of dollars on millions of shares traded each day.

        • cooldude

          The basic problem with the banking system is fractional reserve banking. This ability to “create” money through debt, that does not previously exist, is at the very heart of all our problems. All banks involved in fractional reserve banking (all banks) are basically bankrupt if there is a run on deposits. The fact that some banks behave slightly better than others is like saying that some murders are better than others. The only thing that keeps this corrupt system from immediate collapse is the central banks who prop up these corrupt institutions by buying all their shit off them at full value. Other than that they would all be gone long ago.

          I agree fully with Colin. We need to discuss why this parasite sector of our economy is consuming the rest of us and will soon take the people’s deposits when the now legal “bail in” is brought in. This will occur in the next crisis which is fairly close. After the next crisis they will also try to ban all cash and bring in totalitarian banking to control all of us completely.

          Any chance of an article covering any of these issues. Doubt it somehow.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          This actually brings to my mind how post-communists in Poland made millions on HFT of Polish debt, but that’s a long story and for another occasion. A chap who was appointed by the state to investigate that died in car accident (speciality of Polish communist secret services) and so did all witnesses – it’s a scary world outside

          • That is a problem for people who know the truth and in a position to influence the masses or change the direction from the dominance of the central bankers controllers.

            Nobody likes to be assassinated!!

    • Colin


      Thanks for the above comment. I don’t bother commenting here anymore for two reasons;
      1. McWilliams’ refusal to engage with you regarding sound money and corrupt banking practices.
      2. The same opinions two times a week are offered by the same contributors (I include myself in this) which regardless of their merits, remind me of the film Groundhog Day.

      However, I do remember you saying before that there are circumstances when deciding to buy a house is a good decision. So, can you please let me know how this can be achieved without lining the pockets of the banking industry?

      • Hi Colin

        There are many reasons to buy a home. The principal one is to own your own residence and not be subject to the whims of a landlord not withstanding a lot of legislation protecting tenants.

        Security and pride of ownership are high on the list. Secondarily IS THE FACT THAT IT IS A FORCED SAVINGS PLAN. Well , goes the argument, what if the price drops. Too bad it still pays to buy.

        The problems arise when financial difficulties arise. Loss of job being the major one. At that point all investment and savings are in jeopardy.

        If one requires a mortgage then make sure it is within your means. imagine your scenario for 5 years and if it is stable you can make the decision. Only agree to terms you are comfortable with.

        The major problem with ownership is the lack of liquidity. You do not want to be moving in a hurry.

        Give me a hay ho on and I’ll chat with you, Colin

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “Margin is a myth. Banks lend 10 times (or 20 and 30 times ) more than is held on deposit. your 4% margin is at minimum a 40% margin.”

      But you see, Tony, even with the fractional reserve system, which lest we forget is at least as old as capitalism itself, the show might have went on for a good while with moderate to good results if it was not for:

      1. Richard Nixon – arguably the worst US President until Barrack Hussain Obama – getting off Bretton Woods which
      2. Allowed derivatives disaster (derivatives are the result, not the cause of debasing money) and
      3. Other countries starting to accumulate gold which means that even if property market in China collapses as it surely will, they will be in much better position than we

      Btw, is it true that Michael Noonan swapped some currency reserves for gold? I red that somewhere and could not find any credible details. If that’s true, there would be SOMETHING good that FG did, since minister Varadkar reneged on his promise to privatise Dublin Bus (which I expected would be the only good thing that would come out of this coalition, this and hotels tax).

      • cooldude

        Grzegorz in many ways you are right in that it was Nixon’s decision in 1971 to break the link to gold of $35 an ounce which has allowed the monetary madness of floating currencies which has led to a series of economic crises. At the time De Gaulle was cashing in huge amounts of US dollars for gold because he knew that the huge expansion of the currency system had made the price of gold way undervalued. What Nixon should have done was to allow an increase in the price of gold to reflect this increase and maintain the link to gold which would have prevented most of the monetary madness that came since.

        All of that is history now and is not very well understood at the moment but it will be after the next crisis occurs because that will be in part a bond and then a currency crisis.

        I don’t agree with you that fractional reserve banking has to be a part of a properly functioning capitalist society. In fact I totally disagree and consider it simple fraud. During the classical gold standard an ordinary Joe could walk into any bank and demand a certain weight of gold for his currency note. This kept the banks very much on their toes in making sure they kept sufficient reserves of gold to prevent having to refuse someone because this would cause a run on the bank and as it should be actual bankruptcy. The banks hated this discipline to their lending even though it prevented reserves falling too much.
        Despite of this there were still periods when they lent too much and these always caused the boom bust cycle with which we are all far too familiar.

        The logical thing to prevent this cycle, which is always a monetary event, was to ban fractional reserve banking altogether and to go a full reserve system. Many economists called for this but the banks pushed for the central bank system which would simply bail out any bank who was in trouble. They called this system the lender of last resort but it really was a way to keep the fraudulent system of fractional reserve lending going. The shareholders of the central banks were the very commercial banks who benefit from the system and they used bribery and even murder to put this system in place.
        Have a look at the deaths of JFK and Lincoln and you will soon see the connection.

        Sorry if that is a bit long winded but it is important to realize that is very possible to have a system of full reserve banking, where depositors actually have full legal claim over their deposits, and a thriving economy in place at the same time. The nearest any country has ever come to this was the US between 1860-1913. Although the banks were supposedly fractional reserve they knew very well that if their reserves were too low they would be out of business very quickly. During this period there was annual GDP growth of roughly 4% with a mild consumer price deflation of around 1% to reflect the improvements in technology. Despite what we are constantly told a mild deflation in consumer prices is a REAL sign of a healthy economy. Inflation is a sure sign you are being screwed by the banksters. Banking should simply be a service industry which benefits the people and protects their hard earned cash. What we have instead is a parasite industry feeding constantly off the real economy and destroying the value of people’s savings. Soon they will not just debase your money they will confiscate it under their now legal ‘bail in’ legislation. At the base of all this system of fraud is fractional reserve lending.

        • cooldude

          I think Noonan simply bought some gold ETFs in a personal capacity. I wouldn’t think his masters at the ECB will allow him to trade some of our currency reserves.

        • Basically agree , of course, but central bankers also practice Aladin money. They too produce reserves from thin air.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          I will get back to you some other day as I am snowed under with work today and it would be unfair on you to give you a short answer…

  8. Another quote from Gretsky is his answer when asked why He scored so often. His answer was along the lines of “I aim at the net and some shots go in”.

    The author of this blog in my opinion spends a lot of time as a defender and continually sends random shots into the other end. Very seldom does he aim at the net.

    No examination of the money system is to be undertaken while we are smothered and distracted with anecdotal stories from around the world. Most are of minor consequence compared with the real problem.

    • Now, blaming the bankers for our problems is a defensive shot into the other end but is not a shot at the net. It is time to analyze and disclose the fraud that is the banking system.

      You will never score if you do not aim at the net.


    The money system on film.

    Thanks to Awaken longford and others.

    This is a shot on goal!!

    • michaelcoughlan

      Here we go again tony. A link which highlights my emails. I don’t know how it keeps happening?

      I am getting exasperated with it.


      • I suspect it is google making the choice on a perceived preference of interest that you may. I have no idea how it happens or why you.

        The link you have above is a copy of a reply to an email I returned to the original. So now you make it public!!!

        Why don’t you communicate with me personally instead of via this blog and we will see if we can do something about will do the trick as a starter.

        As a side issue. I no longer get any email notices of blog entries. I tick all the boxes!! That includes notice of the original article.

  10. Mike Lucey

    Ditto here Tony

  11. Howya ‘lads’? Had a really bizarre dream that I caught the boat from Holyhead to Dublin on Sat evening to find myself in the midst of ArmaGaydonn with politicians dancing with drag queens till dawn. #MarRef was like some hideous mantra in my brain. It’s a relief to vist this site and realise it was all a dream/nightmare [delete as applicable depending on your point of view]

    Now that Bono’s doing the Glory Supporter stuff, I’m like, *rollseyesI but was genuwinely disturbed/surprised DMcW didn’t pre-vote boast about his prescience on this topic. Most recent articles on Fish & Ye Olde Bankers? WTF! Onwards! Upwards! Amor Fati. Etc. As for the suited/booted closet cases & nutjobs on this thread. Get a life, haterz gonna hate, just gonna shake it off, get a few hand-jobs in The Boilerhouse. Etc The #IronicPrisonRapeJapes have kind of passed their sell-by date. Genet in Mountjoy/Portlaise? Did that stuff a decade ago, better than ye lot, but whatevs.

    ” f**king the little guy in the a**. Thankfully we legalised all that kind of thing last friday Ted.”

    “sodomised by the banks for so long and someone offers financial KY jelly to the victim it might seem like a good solution to some. But the real focus should be on castrating the rapist.”

    This really is the last comment from The Ghost Of AndrewGMooney. Alfie Moone manifested in this space-time reality continuum at Dublin Castle on Saturday night so the mic’s being passed over to him henceforth. It was mega-lulz, tanks for playin! And remember to always, always Pray Da Gay Away if you find yourself in a dodgy situation with some online sex-chat or suddenly ‘lost’ in Phoenix Park at 2:00am. Etc. LOOOOOOL!


    The Artist FKA[Formerly Known As] ‘AndrewGMooney’
    #MadPaddyFrom Brum #2ndRainbowRepublicOfIreland #1916UnfinishedBusiness #FromStonewalltoPantiBarTransGlamChangedTheWorld Word up! Bye folks.That’s it.

    “Why ‘Pink’ may soon make city’s financial boys wink” David McWilliams Feb 1 2006

    • StephenKenny

      It’s a shame really. If we put even 0.1% of the effort into ‘castrating the rapists’, that we put into these social goals, something might be achieved.
      With the same meme, we shall undoubtedly march on, as Glenn Greenwald put it, talking about the next US President, describing Hillary as being as bad a Obama, who is as bad a Bush: “They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing.”

      But we’ll all be far too busy celebrating the fist woman president, and then the first gay president, to care.

      • In America
        The land of the Free, they said
        And of Opportunity
        In a just and a truthful way
        But where the President
        Is never black, female or gay
        And until that day
        You’ve got nothing to say to me
        To help me believe
        In America

        “It brought you the hamburger”
        Well. America, you know where
        You can shove your hamburger
        And don’t you wonder
        Why in Estonia they say
        “Hey you, Big fat pig
        You fat pig, You fat pig”

        Morrissey “America Is NOT The World”

        [lulzfest ends]

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “celebrating the fist woman president, and then the first gay president” – the first gay president? You mean Gay Mitchell? ;-)
        P.S. Did you know that there was a book written by a Russian who was once close to Putin which suggested that he is gay (with photographic evidence)? I do not know why it has not been translated into English, or maybe I do know…

        • StephenKenny

          “….as Glenn Greenwald put it, talking about the next US President, describing Hillary as being as bad a Obama,…..”.

    • coldblow


      ‘haterz gotta hate etc’ – perusing Sunday’s Sindo (I’m keeping the entire paper for my scrap book and the radio review from Saturday’s Independent) and listening to Marion and Friends on Radio 1 it appears that those who don’t agree with them might not always be wrong and might even sometimes have a valid point to make. So they shouldn’t *always* be shouted down. I for one wish to register my deep appreciation of this magnanimous concession. They really are tolerant and broad minded. If only I could match them – once again I confront my massive personal inadequacies. And when will there be a re-run?

      Try this for learning Danish:

    • DB4545


      Welcome back Andrew my day is made infinitely more entertaining by your contributions. I’m as guilty as the next person for going off on a tangent so let’s keep this on track. The comments I made and the acts of violence I described were made for a very specific reason. They were made to highlight the fact that crimes are being committed and we as consumers are the victims. The language I used was graphic because it captures the imagination. I had no agenda other than to make my point clearly coherently and briefly. Stand up speak up and shut up. The end.

      Just to clarify I voted yes in the recent referendum. The reason was straightforward. Consenting informed adults have the absolute right to order their private lives and family relationships as they see without interference from me or the State. What you do in your private life is none of my business. All I ask is that people don’t expect me to pay for their lifestyle from general taxation without first debating the matter and putting it to a vote. The end.

      David states that the banks are back to business as usual and consumers are getting screwed. What’s your solution/insight/comment on that specific issue Andrew? Kind Regards.


  12. Deco

    Where is the puck going ?

    Time for the media to assure everybody that funny taxation policies will run forever.

  13. Deco

    We are once again back in the realms of financial illusion with respect to the Irish economy.

    In other words – it is all bullsh!t.

    I reckon that Ireland is very close STILL the most indebted country (private plus public) in the world. A nation of Charlie Haugheys looking for a lifestyle, and entertaining some massive illusions about self worth, and expenditure.

    The whole illusion is propped up by low US FRB interest rates, low ECB interest rates, a deliberate policy of non-reform of the Irish institutional state, and a media that continues to brainwash people concerning the true financial predicament at hand.

    I am looking at the puck too. And I see it sliding back too far away from debt reduction to be truly effective.

    By the way the biggest joke of all is the Debt to GDP figure.

    The Debts (both public and private) are very real. [ well, unless you have the FG party in your pocket].

    The GDP figure is complete fabrication, and amounts to lies that mncs will tell to shove profits into Ireland, so as to minimize taxes.

    We are not getting richer. We are merely bullsh!tting to ourselves that we somehow or other turned matters around.


  14. Posted at lemetropolecafe

    “As of this week, Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are felons, having pleaded guilty on Wednesday to criminal charges of conspiring to rig the value of the world’s currencies. According to the Justice Department, the lengthy and lucrative conspiracy enabled the banks to pad their profits without regard to fairness, the law or the public good.

    “Besides the criminal label, however, nothing much has changed for the banks. And that means nothing much has changed for the public. There is no meaningful accountability in the plea deals and, by extension, no meaningful deterrence from future wrongdoing.” … Editorial Board, New York Times, May 22, 2015

  15. China sets up largest gold fund

    XI’AN, May 23 (Xinhua) — A gold sector fund involving countries along the ancient Silk Road has been set up in northwest China’s Xi’an City during an ongoing forum on investment and trade this weekend.

    The fund, led by Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), is expected to raise an estimated 100 billion yuan (16.1 billion U.S. Dollars) in three phases.

    China is the world’s largest gold producer, and also a major importer and consumer of gold. Among the 65 countries along the routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, there are numerous Asian countries identified as important reserve bases and consumers of gold.

    About 60 countries have invested in the fund, which will in turn facilitate gold purchase for the central banks of member states to increase their holdings of the precious metal, according to the SGE.

    “China does not have a big say in gold pricing because it accounts for a small share of international gold trade,” said Tang Xisheng of the Industrial Fund Management Co. “Therefore, the Chinese government seeks to increase the influence of RMB in gold pricing by opening the domestic gold market to international investors.”

    According to Tang, the fund will invest in gold mining in countries along the Silk Road, which will increase exploration in countries such as Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.



    Democracy is Dead in this country. The Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court ruling sealed that fate. If you think your vote ever matters, it doesn’t. Anyone who thinks voting makes a difference is either hopelessly in denial or tragically ignorant.

  17. “It’s A Coup D’Etat,” David Stockman Warns “Central Banks Are Out Of Control”

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/24/2015 13:30 -0400

    We’re all about to be taken to the woodshed, warns David Stockman in this excellent interview. The huge wealth disparity is “not because of some flaw in capitalism, or Reagan tax cuts, or even the greed of Wall Street; the problem is central banks that are out of control.” Simply put, they have “syphoned financial resources into pure gambling” and the people that own the stocks and bonds get the huge financial windfall. “The 10% at the top own 85% of the financial assets,” and thus, thanks to the unleashing of almost limitless money-printing, which has created a massive worldwide financial inflation, “the central banks have created and exaggerated the wealth gap.” Stockman concludes, rather ominously, “it’s a coup d’etat, the central banks have taken over – unconstitutional domination of the entire economy.”

    “Everywhere, misleading distorted signals are being given to both public and private sector players about financial values… the prices have been falsified by The Fed.
    We can’t print our way to prosperity… The Fed is now petrified that Wall Street will have a hissy-fit when they tighten.”

  18. ” If you were sitting on a jury . . . and looked at all the evidence, you would say guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. People don’t want to go there because we (GATA) are taking on all the money and power in the world.”

  19. coldblow

    DB, in reply to your most recent comment above (the column width is larger here).

    Let me try to explain again.

    Grzegorz says that Bendit Cohn is a paedophile and links to a short video as evidence. I just watched it again (it is short) and it does not, in my opinion prove his case. Look at it again yourself, carefully. What he said was in public and he was not trying to hide anything. I certainly see it as at least dodgy, irresponsible and in poor taste (just as, to a lesser degree, I find casual swearing or graphic sexual imagery in blogs in poor taste) but there is a big leap from that to accusations of paedophilia, which is of course a serious crime which nobody in a sane mind would try to defend.

    Notice that the other people in the video were surprised, amused, perhaps a little shocked but by no means outraged. Why is this? Were they all paedophiles or advocates of it? Or is it because when that earlier film was made it was not such a highly charged issue and that they did not think that a line had been crossed which should have led to his immediate arrest? Or is it simply because they is French?

    Peter Hitchens had this to say

    “Apart from rape, which I never discuss because reasoned argument about it is nowadays impossible, only one form of sexual activity is still universally approved of. This is the sexual abuse of the young by those older than them. If people want to understand what our pre-revolutionary society was like, then let them imagine that a similar level of disapproval was once directed at many sexual acts and attitudes which are now common and accepted, if not actually praised.

    “Having seen this transformation, I am forced to wonder if something similar might happen to the current (in my view perfectly correct) horror of paedophilia. People who wished to license such things were part of the original sexual revolution. At least one leading sexual revolutionary has made statements about the ‘positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships’ and argued that ‘not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful’.

    “Here’s the problem. Once the old Christian boundary has been abolished – under which all sex acts outside lifelong heterosexual marriage were morally wrong – we struggle to find a clear basis on which to decide what we will and will not approve. To say ‘But that’s just disgusting’ isn’t enough . That’s what people used to say about lots of things we now applaud.”

    Please read the full article here as there are some alarming details:

    Note that he does not name the leading sexual revolutionary any more than I name the leading English psychologist. In the current atmosphere it is irressonsible to throw around dangerous accusations without exercising care. I refer you to Nora Wall, States of Fear, Bryn Estyn, Casa Pia and a whole range of witch hunts as documented by Richard Webster. You might also like to have a look at the website of Ched Evans, professional footballer, who cannot find work after release from gaol (his conviction by the way does not seem at all safe). Then there is the lawyer in the Casa Pia case in Portugal who questioned police methods, which involved showing ‘albums’ consisting of ‘suspects’ and famous people chosen at random (but who then often had the bad luck to end up in prison), and found himself added to the next edition of the album.

    And what are the boundaries these days? A few years ago I watched part of programme on Sky 1 where young people talked about various programmes which I think they missed because they were before their time. Benny Hill did not meet with approval and they were shocked at the idea that it might appear on our screens ever again. The pornographic film Debbie Does Dallas however was greeted with indulgent smiles. Can you make sense of this? I can’t.

  20. coldblow


    Finally, I didn’t follow the Max Clifford case but would not be surprised if he was locked up for nothing. I’ll have to have a look some time. Cyril Smith appears to have been unjustly dealt with.

    Cyril Smith feeds in, apparently, to the current Westminster Paedophile Scandal. This is the one about which Newsnight recently said (remember), and with a straight face, that witnesses could not come forward because they were afraid of the Official Secrets Act. The possibility that witnesses (*named* witnesses) have so far not stepped forward is because they don’t exist and the the dreadful scenes they witnessed never took place outside the fevered imaginations of those who got this one rolling.

    Do you check anything before you write? This is an extravert trait and explains much that has happened in recent days, and indeed years. I am going to have to write a book about it.

    • coldblow

      ‘The possibility that…’ should of course end with ‘has not been considered’.

      • cooldude

        The westminster paedophile scandal is very real and has gone on for decades. Here is an article from a proper investigative journalist who is not afraid to take on these perverts. Here is proof a “dirty book” that is used to keep MP’s under control. There are numerous more articles on this site with lots of evidence showing this evil ring is very real and still exists

        • Reminds me of Burgess and Mclean

        • DB4545


          There’s little need to go to Westminster. You may remember a number of convictions following a tip off from the FBI to Gardai regarding the credit card records and transactions of individuals resident in this State. The Gardai were apparently unaware of this activity until they were contacted by the FBI. Some very high profile individuals were convicted of charges related to accessing child pornography including one who avoided prison by paying a 40,000 Euro contribution to the court. The FBI said many of the victims in the images had been sold into prostitution and some may have been killed. There were a number of arrests including a Judge, two barristers and a leading businessman.Some very high profile individuals were acquitted. I still wonder if any of it would have come to light without FBI investigation.


        • coldblow


          ‘proper investigative journalist’

          You’re having a larf! This is beyond parody. If you think this is proper reporting then your judgement is abysmal.

          Tell me, did you get a vote in the last election? As Sgt Wislon puts it, Do you think that’s wise sir?

          Tony Brogan

          You approve of this rubbish. Did you read it first?


            Take your pick of the list in the attachment, Coldblow, and then say none of this takes place.

            Seems to me it is rampant. Attending 2 years in an English public school taught me where this likely starts. Those, born to rule, are introduced to behavior norms in the educational establishments. It is the last place on earth I would send my own child.

          • coldblow

            Tony Brogan

            You didn’t say whether you read Chris Spivey’s article (clue: in every sentence you have to pick your way through the swear words and all well known politicians are paedophiles). Did you look at the article in the Daily Mail I linked to? Spivey, a ‘proper investigative journalist’, claimed that the murder of Lee Rigby was a hoax because eight seconds were, apparently, missing from the CCTV footage.

            What did you hope to achieve with these links? Some merely report the thoughts of gullible journalists, politicians and conspiracy theorists. It is all hearsay and there are no named witnesses. Anyone can say anything, more or less, in this world, as we are reminded on this thread. *Named* witnesses are conspicuously absent. Why would that be? Don’t tell me, as Newsnight recently did (hilariously), that they are afraid of the Official Secrets Act.

            By the way, Wikipedia is possibly (and I stress ‘possibly’) reliable in informing us about the weight of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in kilograms or how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall. In matters like this it is worse than useless. It turns up like a bad penny at the head of every web search.

    • DB4545


      I check everything before I write and reference it from two or more sources if possible. This is a very disturbing subject and possibly a matter for discussion for another time.

      The fact remains Max Clifford and Paul Francis Gadd (Gary Glitter) are convicted and remain convicted unless appeals succeed. You may not be surprised if Max Clifford was locked up for nothing but a Jury decided otherwise and that’s where the matter currently rests. Paul Francis Gadd is in a similar position and the facts are that he has a number of previous convictions. They are the facts responsibly referenced and they can be cross referenced from multiple sources. “Do you check anything before you write?” has been answered and the answer is yes. The comment “the possibility that witnesses..have so far not stepped forward is because they don’t exist” is your opinion based on incomplete information and is therefore conjecture.

      “Sexual revolutionaries” can make whatever statements they want however if they engage in the acts suggested they rightly face the full rigour of the law. References to paedophilia outlining a “cultural context” with historical references (usually to Greek or Roman literature) in my view are an attempt to muddy the water. If you reference history slavery was legal just two centuries ago.This a subject matter that has destroyed the lives of countless children.

      There are no circumstances in my view where such activities which harm and have harmed so many innocent lives should be permitted. Again I’m at a loss to understand the haste to defend those convicted of such vile crimes or those who would argue to support legalisation of this repellent criminal activity.


      • coldblow


        “I check everything I write…”

        Fair enough. I was being unnecessarily sharp there. I usually delete anything like that before posting, unless it really calls for it, but I was doing this in real time, so in a rush because I alwasys lose connecetion after about two or three minutes when logged in.

        “This is a very disturbing subject and possibly a matter for discussion for another time.”

        Agreed. Unfortunately Grzegorsz raised it and I felt obliged to address it. I was not expecting it to grow into a new topic. It is not everyone’s favourite subject and makes me queasy. The problem here is that nobody wants to look into the cases so the field is clear for… well, let’s just say ‘others’.

        ‘The fact remains Max Clifford and Paul Francis Gadd… are convicted…. You may not be surprised if Max Clifford was locked up for nothing but a Jury decided otherwise …”

        I don’t know about the Clifford case. I have doubts even now and will have to look it up. I don’t think there is any dispute about GG. But this is the problem. There have clearly been a lot of miscarriages of justice in this area. I read Carlos Cruz’s book about his conviction in Portugal. He couldn’t have been where he was supposed to be, they refused to look at his diaries or his phone calls, they dropped over forty charges a couple of years into the trial (because they could not stand up) and substituted fresh ones, etc etc. There is a disturbing pattern and I can’t accept this argument. Of course, as we all know but many woould not admit, if this were in several other areas then there would be public outrage and the cases re-opened and the law changed. Prima facie there is justifiable doubt in my mind about Clifford.

        “The comment ‘the possibility that witnesses have so far not stepped forward’ is your opinion based on incomplete information…”


        “… and therefore conjecture.”

        Yes, but the Westminster Paedophile Ring is conjecture of a much higher order. I would bet everything I have that there is nothing there. It is a fevered fantasy.

        “‘Scxual revolutionaries’ can make whatever statements they want however if they engage in the acts suggested they rightly face the full rigours of the law.’

        I agree. My argument was that there doubts as to whether Cohn Bendit did do these things.

        ‘References to paedophilia outlining a ‘cultural context’ … in my view are an attempt to muddy the water.’

        I am not sure who you are referring to here. I assume it is me. Of course I am not trying to muddy the waters. My point was clearly made that on the evidence given he is not a paedophile. That view is on the evidence shown and the ‘cultural context’ does not really affect it. When he was speaking as a young man (on the video link) the audience were not outraged. I am not saying that because they were not outraged because the French took a light view of paedophilia at that time. Instead, it appears that while his behaviour was seen as improper it was not seen as criminal.

        “There are no circumstances… where such activities… should be permitted.”

        I agree. Why wouldn’t I? And why do you feel you need to tell me? Do you think I really do approve of it? The fact that there was a push some decades ago to get legal acceptance is more a problem for the left as this was an (admittedly unwelcome for most) element of the general revolutionary programme. I always opposed this throughout my life because I thought it was stupid. At least, at a young age I could see the reasons people supported it were stupid. That this revolutionary programme is now mainstream means that it is a problem for everyone.

        “Again I’m at a loss to understand the haste to defend those convicted of such vile crimes or those who would argue to support legislation of this repellent criminal activity.”

        My ‘haste’ was to challenge a remark which sought to portray Cohn Bendit as a paedophile where the evidence was far from conclusive. This is being prudent. Look at the video again. Is he really guilty of the crime? I challenged it because I know how easily these witch hunts start. Cyril Smith was not convicted of any such crime, yet that did not stop you from condemning him. As I pointed out there is a very big question mark about his guilt.

        “Those convicted of such vile crimes” As explained above, miscarriages of justice are so common in this area that particular protection must be given to those accused or merely suspected. This is to ensure that justice is done and we don’t cave in to mob rule.

        “To defend those who would argue to support legislation of this repellent criminal activity.”

        I was defending him against premature conviction by online mob of paedophilia. I was not condoning his arguments in support of the activity. Where on earth have I said anything like this anywhere? It is because I disapprove of this, and similar behaviour, that I have such a sceptical view of the new liberal agenda.

        DB, I am afraid your style of arguing (which is extravert) is deeply flawed. In fact it is dishonest. It relies on emotion, even outrage, and ignores or disregards reason. I can argue with this easily online as there is a distance there and my case is sound, but this would be quite impossible in real life in any situation where I was outnumbered. Yet this is how debate is carried out in Ireland and why the tolerance celebrated last week is no such thing but quite the opposite.

  21. My missing emails of the last 4 daYS ARE ARRIVING NOW!!

    This one which is worth reporting and posting again as it asks whether Island is willing to try to skate where the puck is going to be.

  22. Going unobtrusively to where the puck will be. It is called reading the game!!

    Met up with David Tice (of Prudent Bear note), Grant Williams and my friend Jim Smith here in Dallas last evening. Was most enjoyable amidst all the thunder, lightning, and tornado sirens going off. Grant has been going around the world listening to what some very important people have to say, interviewing a number of them. A common theme is that many expect market convulsions in the not too distant future … the same theme shared by many of the presenters in this space. Not to put words in Grant’s mouth, but it seems many of the higher ups he has chatted with know just how rigged/manipulated our financial markets are and they see the orchestration falling apart. They are not shouting about it from the mountain tops, but are getting prepared. Bill Murphy, Lemetropolecafe

  23. Here is a message to take to heart

    “That economists would concoct such an absurd explanation for negative interest rates, an explanation obviously contradicted by empirical evidence, shows that economists are now prostitutes just like the media. The economists are lying in support of a Federal Reserve policy that benefits a handful of mega-banks at the expense of the rest of the world.”

    Now you know why the banks make bulging profits.

    And haw many times have I said this equivalent!!!!!!!!!!

    “The absence of integrity in Western institutions and politicized professions is proof that Western civilization has declined into total decadence just as Jacques Barzun said.”

    “It is just as amazing that Americans and Europeans are so trapped in The Matrix that they have no inkling that their future has been destroyed.”

  24. survivalist

    The belief that there has ever been a standoff or so much as a momentary friction between our fevering representatives in Government and the ever tricking bankers is a false one.
    That this government operates with the best interests of the people at heart is simply false. Perception and reality may be occasionally and insolently discriminated through application of facts. But let us avoid those for now and talk of generalities.

    Again the outcome slaps us squarely as a conundrum of probability. That the ‘Banks’ make out like bandits; again and again and again, what luck the have!
    And always this curiously coincides with the incurring expenses transferred to the people.

    These unfortunate, accidental and’ unforseen consequences’ are running pretty much at a 100% rate of positive outcomes for the bankers and 100% against the people’s interests. Pure chance!

    When, I sometimes wonder, will there be an economic ‘disaster’, a shock ‘recession’ or a financial ‘crisis’ with the equally unpredictable and unforseen outcome of a massive transfer of wealth and a colossal (though inexplicable) investment in the social services of the country with an enormous upwards adjustment in income to the unusually positive benefit of none other than the people? Can such a thing even be imagined?

    What reason is there to believe that the elected representatives in the Dail would act in any way in the interests of the people?

    Our nations are governed by ‘Banks’ IMF/ECB etc. We and many other European nations are now firmly established under and operating from the ‘Third World model’. This is what the IMF has always done.

    We are accustomed to this ‘austerity’ being the lot of African nations, yet here it is now foisted on ‘Industrialised’ European nations. Well we may console ourselves that it is being done in our best interests, spared as we are from having the burden of a democracy.

    Sir? have the Third world nations recovered as yet? What? Not yet? Not despite decades of ‘investment’ and ‘aid’ and ‘education’ and ‘support’ and ‘fair trade’ from the IMF and the rest? Well I suppose we must blame the African people right? Look at the track record of the IMF everywhere they go profits are turned.
    Heck! Even profit from the water! Previously uncaringly untapped by the lacklustre locals.
    More austerity? Sir please we are only getting started! Why no I do not believe any child benefits from a free education…but if it we paid for it, Yes Sir that would ensure it’s application rightly, Sir! Yes Sir!

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