October 29, 2015

Great expectations - the driving force behind latest property crisis

Posted in Irish Independent · 119 comments ·

Is it possible that we have got ourselves into the position where we have a housing crisis again, where those at the bottom and middle can’t find a place to live and those moving from the middle upwards are locked into, yet again, bidding wars for homes where the speculator and the owner are pitted against each other? Could we be in the situation where investors and large foreign funds are sitting on land waiting for the prices to go up in order to make a killing, thus exacerbating the supply shortage? It’s hard to believe – after everything we have been through – but it’s true.


Above all, the Irish property market needs stability. It needs to be liberated from constantly changing expectations about where prices are going to go. Expectations about future prices are what destroy a property market and lead to the unhealthy intrusion of speculators in the market for accommodation.

Accommodation should be a fixed cost in an economy, a cost faced by all of us, like the cost of electricity. Can you imagine what would happen to the use of electricity in Ireland if people thought the price was going to change on a daily basis and everyone had their own generator trying to sell at the best price to a national grid? Imagine the surges and scarcities in both use and supply as users and suppliers tried to get the best price.

Now think about the housing market.

When there is an expectation that prices are going to go up, it is understandable in a capitalist system that the people who own the land will wait for prices to go ever higher, thus squeezing potential buyers. It is also understandable that potential buyers will panic when they see prices rising and bring forward their demand so they won’t be left behind. This is precisely the opposite of what is suggested by classical economics. In classical economics, we are told that when the price of something rises then the demand will fall, but this is not the case in property. When the price rises, the demand rises too.

What do you think happens to supply?

Traditional economics suggests that when the price rises the supply will rise, but is this what actually happens in real life? If owners of land and houses believe that prices are going to rise, wouldn’t they be mad to sell now when they can make more money by delaying? So supply doesn’t rise when price expectations rise, it actually falls – exacerbating the panic.

So you can see that the issue for the property market is not so much supply and demand at today’s prices as the traditional economics model suggests, but rather the reaction of supply and demand to the expectations about future prices.

As a result of this real-life observation, we need to isolate what drives expectations because if we can isolate what drives price expectations, we can work backwards to solve these erratic shifts in supply and demand, which are destroying the market and heaping such pain on the renting class.

The root cause of price expectations is the availability of credit. In countries where credit is not extended by the banking system to the property market, we don’t see property price expectations that move out of whack with the real underlying value of property or real estate. Take most European countries: we don’t see wild property price movements because we don’t see wild lending by banks that drives up prices.

But it is not just the banks that are at fault: the valuation method for property is a massive problem.

At the moment in Ireland, we value land on the basis of the last market price. This means that the value of land or a house today is based on the latest price that a buyer and seller is prepared to do a deal at. This is what investment banks call “mark to market” valuation – and this is a huge problem because, when you think about it, you can see how basing the value on the last transaction will drive expectations and credit up and down wildly.

The banks take their lead as to how much they can lend based on some percentage of the valuation.

This is what is termed collateral. As long as the valuation says that all is okay, the bank lenders feel comfortable lending against the property. This means if the price of land moves out of whack – away from the real value of land based on long-term trends in land prices – there is an in-built bias for the banks to make legitimate the last price increase by lending more against the new valuation.

Let’s look at a small example.

Consider a house that was valued at €1000 last year, and let us say the bank feels it can lend prudently 80pc of the valuation to the buyer.

The bank could lend €800 against it. Now what happens if this year the house sells for €1200 because expectations have changed?

The bank looks at the new valuation and figures that it is now prudent to lend 80pc against this new valuation. So what it lent €800 against last year, then goes up to €960.

So it is not hard to see how the new market-based valuation can amplify price increases and push them away from fair, long-term value, thus leading to panic and upward moves in expectations. This is at the core of the property dilemma – the way we value land.

Imagine if we in Ireland valued land not based on the latest market price but on long-term valuations that took into account long-term prices, yields, planning, demographics and the likely growth in the economy and incomes?

We would smooth out these fluctuations in prices and expectations because valuations would gyrate from year to year.

Next week, on Wednesday November 4, I am speaking at the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers, debating a novel system of valuing property that doesn’t currently exist in Ireland but is popular in Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

The event will explore using such longer-term valuation methods. The interesting thing is that these methods may ultimately be imposed on Irish banks as part of the ECB’s move to regulate banks and bank lending more closely.

It would seem that now, with another housing/rental crisis on our hands, we should look to long-term solutions, isolating the root of the problem which is systemic, rather than looking for the next quick fix to get us past the next election.

  1. Zevar

    You cannot compare anything to the electricity market. It is a crazy model with subsidies, supports, capacity mechanisms popping out of it left, right and centre. Electricity utilities are now like the banks of old – i.e. too big to fail.
    If the EU gets its way the electricity sector will be forced to stand on its own two feet and contrary to what you’ve said above it will indeed have variable pricing reflective of ‘time of use’ which will have price spikes both benefiting and disadvantaging consumers and producers.
    It could be well worth your while casting your eye over the current model – you’d be surprised at just how propped up the whole thing is.

    • Deco

      The electricity market in Ireland is also rigged. At the height of the crisis, when the state was insolvent a public owned utility managed to find the capital to buy a prominent supplier in NI -> Veridian.

      Absurd stuff really. Madness.

      Not a whiff of dissent from the Irish media. It was like as if a factory bought a new forklift.

    • I Don't Believe It!

      Is there not open competition in the fuel supply market?

      • Zevar

        Put a solar panel on your roof and sell the power back into the grid. Then tell me how much you get for each kWh you export – that’ll show you if competition is allowed.
        I can tell you you’ll get nada.

      • Wills

        …as in Electricity is a utility is the point as is property, credit and water and air, and in a world populated by savages the idea we do not regulate it is insane.

    • Wills

      Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.

      • Zevar

        Ah yes, now I understand what you’re trying to say. You’re saying that nowadays rubbish can be used to generate electricity. You’re spot on, well done.

    • McCawber

      I can confirm to you that the electricity market is even worse than you’ve described.
      It’s a square peg being forced into a round hole, where once again financial interests or instruments or both have been introduced into a market that hurts guess who.
      To put a bit of explanation to that.
      The European electricity market is a round hole, huge and highly interconnected.
      The Ireland market is a square peg, small and loosely connected.
      Fits all size approach screws us.
      Add in the political agenda and we’re being doubly screwed.

  2. Deco

    The priority of the institutional state (in both Dublin 2, and in Brussels) and the part of the private sector that has the power to influence decision making in that institutional state, takes precedence over other concerns.

    Welcome to Fascism 2.0. This time there is no racism. It is internationalism not nationalism. It is about the synchronization of state and corporate power.

    Markets are being manipulated all over the place in order to drive up the valuations of the asset base of the society. And this is especially evident in real estate. But it also exists in the stock market. And the government bond market.

    Obey the policies that serve the rich. Worship as instructed by corporatism, and it’s media agenda.

    The entire economic program is driven to achieve [monetary] balance sheet improvements. That is the measure that is evaluated first and foremost.

    To deal with discontent, there is a phoney left (FF and the ILP) that promises bread and circuses.

    We have a new economic philosophy – Ponzi-madness. The markets are manipulated. This is no longer about LIBOR. In London there was outrage over LIBOR.

    But in Dublin, there is no outrage over the punishment being administered to working families. Just loads of patronizing drivel rolled out about how their predicament is good news.

    Time to tell it for what it really is, as far as most people are finding out.

    A load of BS.

    • The flavour of racism involved is the enslavement and/or extermination of the poor and their replacement by an ever more indebted and impoverished so-called ‘middle-class’. Subscribe.

      • michaelcoughlan

        “extermination of the poor”

        Yes most certainly. Watch for a huge drive to unleash abortion by choice in Ireland now with the lower socio economic classes making best use of it. Of course unlike a gas chamber you will never hear the visceral screaming of mutilated children in the womb.

        Slowly withdrawing state supports from “less than desirable” areas will also cause human deflation covert economic policy I feel. Bring on the coffin ships 21st century style!


        • jaysus

          Children are young human beings who have been born. A foetus, or zygote (0-12 weeks old), are not capable of screaming, and it would be impossible in the amniotic fluid of the womb even if they could. Your idiotic anti choice rantings are showing you up for a fool.

          • michaelcoughlan

            The person appearing foolish is you because what you have missed is that my post is sarcastic.

            If you don’t understand what that means get someone else to explain it to you.

      • Deco

        To neutralize the danger presented by the poor, to the rich a powerful mechanism exists. Drugs.

        It also has the added benefit of scaring the middle class, into their suburban safe areas.

        • coldblow

          I may have got the wrong end of the stick here, but don’t the middle and upper classes like their drugs too? Admittedly they don’t suffer the consequences of the liberal agenda to the same extent as the poor but that’s only because money eases the problems.

          • Deco

            You are correct. There is rampant Cocaine consumption in certain income brackets in Dublin. The legal and banking profession seem to be rife with addicts.

            But they are getting bailed out continually with income support programs.

            Income support programs in Finglas and Tallaght do not seem to be as generous.

    • I Don't Believe It!

      “Markets are being manipulated all over the place in order to drive up the valuations of the asset base of the society. And this is especially evident in real estate. But it also exists in the stock market. And the government bond market”

      When was it ever any different?

      Do you honestly believe that any government are there for the enrichment of the everybody even the poorest in society?

      Pull the the other one “it’s got bells on”

      You only have to read about the new publication of the PETTY (and I purposefully put that in upper case ” “The untold story of Ireland’s crisis government”

      This ground breaking publication (available at all good booksellers soon, oh and by the way I will be one the Late Late Show later in the week and signing copies in Easons on Saturday remember you read it here first) the warts and all, the true story according to me, after all I have me retirement to think of (and I thought Bertie was a bad un).

      Just shows the crying ya boo sucks arguments that abound in our government when Eamon Gilmores attempts to squeeze a few more Euro towards his retirement pot by publishing an “AMAZINGLY SCANDALOUS ACCOUNT” of the terrible way he was treated by Joan that deprived him of a few more quid as an outgoing cabinet minister rather than a back bencher.

      Ah the poor fella doesn’t your heart bleed for him.

      Come on, when are we really going to wake up to what it is all about?

      When are we going to elect people who have a “can do, and have done attitude”

      I mean what’s next for Eamon (and please, I am not picking on him alone, but he is the man of the moment) a nice little sinecure in Seanad Éireann or maybe a better paid EU post.

      After all we have to look after the boys (and soon to be 30% lovely girls especially Ms Gerety-Quinn, ah she sure knows how to play the game… promise everything but change the mind when it doesn’t quite suit… and with Eamon all those of his years of brown nosing with the rest of us.

      Sure isn’t that the way to make sure our that our successors look after us, ah we won’t be here for ever and sure we won’t have enough on just de pension now will we?

    • Wills

      Nice, quick explanation of pOnze economics 101.

  3. Grey Fox

    “Mark-to-Market”! the joke of the century…. another notional, voluntary measurement to be used or ignored by Banks as they see fit, if mark to market was used consistently none of the Irish Banks would have survived the 2008 crisis and that may have been no bad thing….

  4. The government appears to have done nothing to address these issues such as preventing estate agents from having phantom buyers to bid against the actual buyers who end up paying more. It’s not rocket science to see how other countries prevent this by having a register of bidders for each property on market. Also it’s not hard to tax homes that have been empty for over 2 years at a higher rate to encourage owners to sell. It’s seems that banks are willing to lend at 80% of the price you are willing to pay instead of the original asking price and the valuer working for the bank goes along with this- so you have a valuer for the seller and the valuer for the buyer’s bank usually producing a higher value. Thankfully there are now twice as many houses for sale in Dublin on my home.ie as there were 2 years ago which indicates that many sellers don’t think prices will rise much further and now is the best time to sell, so there is a bit less speculation in our housing market.

  5. mike flannelly

    Future possible(not guaranteed) values of property is a “Lovely” excercise.
    I dont see how guess/possible future values of property can add an extra “SAFETY FACTOR ” for mortgage debt lending for the ECB.
    The buzz word now is mindfullness.
    Surely the old fashioned “bar stool method” of percentage of your salary should determine “Real Value Debt”.
    The housing market is determined by the wage packets of customers.Basic Logic. Well healed customers will pay more for a better location.
    The building labour costs are proportionally more expensive in good locations. While the material costs are the same in the better location, the land costs are a significant percentage higher than a similar product in another location.
    Wealth generally determines the market.

    The ECB should be more concerned with Real Value Debt which is a measure of earned and rental income. Between 2003 to 2009 Irish partying bankers sold investment mortgages that had ZERO investment value or income “from day one”for customers. Alarmingly the state has forced firesales and homelessness(because banks were broke) rather than insist on Industry Best Practice Restructures for customers with Investment products that has Zero Investment Value. What happened to enforcing consumer laws?

    Auctioneers have done a brilliant job in fetching the highest possible price for the seller.
    While there is no problem giving their honest oponion on values and perceived future values of property, this should not abdicate the responsibility of overpaid lending professionals for valuing debt.

    Overpaid lending professionals have always been responsible for valuing debt. THAT IS THEIR JOB.

    David might explain how future possible values will help the ECB with todays Real Value Debt repayments.


    There should be a warning on every property valuation that “Debt Valuation Is The Responsibility Of The Lending Institution.”

    • locoloco

      Mike, there is a way to change this behaviour and cause banks to think about long term valuation:
      Non-recourse mortgages – this means that if the bank takes the house back, then the loan is cleared and they can’t come after you for any shortfall. They’ll not be too anxious to bid up property prices then!

  6. michaelcoughlan

    Great stuff David re valuations and the IPAV. Could I respectfully suggest that rental yields also be part of the consideration i.e. if 7% is the yield and the rent is €1000 per month or 12k annually and 12k equals 7% then the value of the property is €171429 and not the bidded up ponzi figure created by access to cheap capital.

    Also issue the fuckers with a guide for rental yields acceptable to different property types such as housing, warehouses, commercial, industrial etc.

    If you need someone to march with you on this issue I am available.



  7. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Let me draw some historical analogy between the property bubble in Dublin (and the role of both foreign hedge funds and the unfortunate young property ladder climbers) and history. I hope you do not mind if I use the history of my homeland rather than my adopted homeland, as I am far more familiar with Polish than with the Irish history (you have been warned), but I hope that after reading my comment the analogy with David’s article should become clear at the end (btw, I still did not have a chance to read Irish writers recommended to me like Crotty and I am still digesting Coldblow’s comment that Crotty, having engaged in labour-intensive, high-output farming “realized that he wasn’t getting a penny more in profits out of the farm” and thus he argued that the balance of factor pricing means that the most rational way to use Irish land is for grazing which employs little labour and requires a large amount of land for the same output of tillage” – I am trying to digest it in terms whether this way of thinking did by any chance lead, in minds of the developers, to Dublin’s LA-style urban structure whereby properties spread rather than go up and many of them lie fallow).

    After many centuries of continuous development (such as adoption of Latin culture; German and Dutch settlements, triggered by low taxes, which resulted in new farming techniques and adopting Magdeburg and Luebeck laws; extended and lasting until this day influence of the Italian culture initiated by the Queen Bona Sforza – who shocked the Poles as she had arrived to Wawel Castle without having any – unknown in Italy – knickers; defeating Teutonic Knights which resulted in making Albert of Prussia a Polish vassal; the 1505 Nihil Novi democracy – second of that kind after Magna Carta: “henceforth for all time to come nothing new shall be resolved by us or our successors, without the common consent of the senators and the land deputies, that shall be prejudicial or onerous to the Commonwealth [or "Republic"] or harmful and injurious to anyone, or that would tend to alter the general law and public liberty”; the world’s second-oldest codified national constitution after the 1789 U.S. Constitution and the world first Ministry of Education – 1773); so after all of that, in 19th century Poland has declined and declined badly; actually it plunged into a total chaos out of which it has not quite re-emerged as of yet; it also has shrunk by more or less two thirds of its territory.

    But why?

    There were many reasons, but I would like to focus only on that one which is relevant to David’s article.

    A well known chronicler, priest Jedrzej Kitowicz, wrote that the Prussian king did not need canons or bayonets to conquer Greater Poland in 1793. So how did he achieve it? After all, Prussia had hitherto been a poor and backward country (the whole budget of Prussia was less than the income of one Polish customs warehouse).

    At the end of the 18th century, big Prussian banks opened their branches in Poland. They offered huge investment loans to Polish nobility, with nobles estates as a collateral. However, the Polish nobility, in lion’s share due to their own stupidity, but partly encouraged by their creditors, started spending money on foreign travels, building new splendid properties, and importing all foreign. At some stage it came to the point that a respectable nobleman could not own other hunting rifle than English-made, had to spend some time in Paris once a year – otherwise his social status would decline, employ Italian architects or painters, and… would only employ French babysitters (the custom was so strong that some families would actually converse in French at family dinners!).

    Interestingly, with their banks the Prussians had brought to Poland their military-style bureaucracy. Gradually Poland had been transformed from a country of low taxes and personal freedom to a country of high taxes and regulations (this was only worse under the Russian occupation – I am talking about 19th century).

    But even worse than bureaucracy was the culture of clientelism, so bad that it would make Bertie look like Mr. Transparent in comparison. Because foreign banks owned the estates, the social status of the nobility was now dependent on the approval of the colonisers – and once they had done away with the elites, the same happened with free townsmen and peasants (by the way, in 1520 peasants had to work ONE day a year for their lords within the feudal service system, at the beginning of the 16th century peasants had to work 104 days a year while Poles nowadays have to work 164 days for the state – certainly some progress has been made).

    We can see some traces of it up to this day in Polish langueage – there is an expression in Polish “bajonskie sumy” – Bayonnese amounts of money.

    Now, Napoleaon has conquered some lands occupied by Prussia. He inherited Prussian loans and became a new creditor. He then magnanimously came to agreement with the Poles in Bayonne whereby he had written down half of Polish debt and demanded that the newly created small Duchy of Warsaw would only pay him half of that debt.

    So Poles had paid him half of the Prussian debt. Then Napoleon was defeated and the Duchy of Warsaw was no more. At the Congress in Vienna in 1815 the empires have decided that… Poles owe the Prussian all that money after all, with draconian interest rates.

    That way Prussians became the owners of nearly all estates in their occupation zone.

    I wonder, what will foreign investors do when property prices collapse in Dublin?

    By the way, Bloomberg informed us that “Homes in some Australian mining towns have lost almost three quarters of their value”.


    I am glad that David has decided to do something about the property bubble here in this country and debate the issue at the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers.

    I am worried that we on this blog are sort of preaching to the convinced. Someone may rightly ask “why do not you do something about it?”. But what can I or any of us do – start a new party? The first move would have to come from Mr. McWilliams… I considered very briefly joining Renua, but then I thought: Capa Verde, investing in repossessed property in Detroit, no full accounting of all investments and debts Eddie holds, including how much money has he personally taken from Brendan Investment (in fairness to Eddie, no top politician has done any accounting of anything in this, let alone other countries – it’s not like the US where some bankers had been jailed and others committed suicide, let alone Iceland – a country which I had written after the bank guarantee which we should model ourselves in terms of dealing with banksters).

    So I was briefly considering joining Renua (I agree on most points with Eddie), but then I remembered what a friend of mine told me when I had a chance to win a 3-months scholarship in Oxford provided I would write an essay on Polish-Jewish history, favourable to the Jews and unfavourable to the Poles: he said “Grzegorz, you cannot debase yourself”.

    But if not Renua, then what? Real IRA and convert them to capitalism (only jesting)? Waiting for David to establish his party? Not voting and not hoping?

    “But now remains faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

    Saint Paul I Corinthians 13

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        This is a wonderful translation.

        “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

        I love the language of King James Bibile translation – there was a similar translation done in around that time into Polish by a so called Priest Wujek and I loved it in secondary school then even when I was an (quite confrontational I am sorry to say) atheist!

        The ancient Greeks had 6 words for love. There was:
        1. Eros (sexual passion)
        2. Philia (friendship) – which the Greek valued more than eros.
        3. Ludus (being playful)
        4. Agape (love for our neighbours, which was translated as charity; I think that the closest word would probably be compassion).
        5. Pragma (mature love which developes or not between long-term couples)
        6. Philautia (love of the self)

        When I look at our Western culture, all I see is philautia and eros (I am talking about mass media, commercials and music); even agape changed its sense from something natural into abstract concept based on tolerance (which has changed its meaning radically since Locke and J.S.Mill) and human race.

        I am looking at one of the links you have attached and there was a link within that link and within that second link my attention was captured by this graph:


        There are puzzlingly few sources for the Irish market (and Polish for that matter) – there are, but they are so much harder to find compared to the US market (and usually we have to rely on Indo or The Irish 100-pages-property-add Times).

        • coldblow

          Peter Hitchens is big admirer of the King James Bible.

          Here he compares its poetry with modern translations whose English is “as flat as Kansas”.




          I know what he means. The modern Catholic liturgy is as dull as dishwater as well as politically correct. For example, in the Creed they usually miss out the word ‘men’ from ‘for us men and our salvation’.

          It is interesting that you thought about what I wrote about Crotty. This is a new experience for me.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej


            The name Crotty has first attracted my attention when I was writing about Ziemkiewicz, a conservative columnist, and I drew parallels between Ziemkiewicz’s:

            1. Mocking Polish elites as “comprador” ones (the name comprador comes of course from a Marxist theory, which itself is considered an insult in Poland)
            2. And his description of how Polish thorny history with Russia made it easier for the Western powers to impose their conditions (harsher than anywhere production limits and total opening of the Polish markets in the 90s with tax exemptions while keeping Western markers closed).

            I said than that someone should write a book like that about Ireland and her comprador elites and how Irish love-hate relation with England made it easy for other powers (Prussia and then Germany in particular) to manipulate public opinion in Ireland using their hang-ups about England, thus preventing foreign politics based on raison d’être rather than resentment (I see that particularly with Sinn Fein and their stance on England, on the lines “We will cut our noses to spite our faces”).

            You then wrote that such a book had been written by Crotty and this was how his name stuck in my mind, but now with the post-funeral issues and stuff I will probably have to postpone reading Crotty till next year.

            To better clarify Ziemkiewicz’s views I hereby quote a book “Ideologies of Eastness in Central and Eastern Europe” by Tomasz Zarycki, page 100:

            “One of the leading right-wing journalists and commentators, Rafal Ziemkiewiczm also often refers to post-colonial notions. In particular, he often calls the liberal elite a comprador one. [...] As he suggests, most of these former Communist apparatchiks and people who made their carriers under the previous system, obtained their priviliged positions not by merit but as a reward for services performed for the occupant. As Ziemkiewicz argues, “the old colonizers are gone, but the local collabolators stayed in place, and even when it’s now already obvious that there in way to live without them ( … ) the anger remains” In his view, Poland’s trouble with the elites is identical to those of post-colonial states like Peru, Kenya, or Pakistan. [...] In any case, considering the Russian/Soviet domination as a source of most problems that the country, society and economy experience, results in a marginalization of issues, related to the relations between Poland and the West.”

            The second time you mentioned Crotty was while commenting David article “Food sector sows seeds of growth”, to which I did not respond because first of all, I was busy like hell and secondly, I do not have sufficient knowledge about farming to comment on that (one of my best friends in Ireland does though – he is a co-founder of a new organic farming project in Dublin called Cityfarm, but I did not have a chance to ask him what he thinks of Crotty’s views on farm yields).

            But I keep thinking of your reference to Crotty and farming and I wonder how the concept of fields laying fallow can be compared to properties staying empty and waiting for the prices to rise (in 2011 there was 40,000 empty apartments in Dublin, according to Irish House Industry – I wonder how many there are now).

            I know many people in Krakow who would agree with you on the modern Catholic liturgy being dull and politically correct. There is a counter-intuitive paradox in Krakow that of those who are theists and religious, the more educated they are the more are the in favour of Tridentine masses, which in certain places in Krakow are said totally in Latin. These are usually young people and relatively well-off people, again denying common stereotypes that traditional Catholicism is something that you grow out of once you travel around the world and get in touch with other cultures (in fact the reason this generation of Poles who are below 30 years old is far more conservative than their predecessors 20 years ago is precisely because they either lived in England and came in touch with other cultures – for instance Muslims or Africans – or they have friends living there whom they visit).

            Equally beautiful language as in King James Bible is this (I love the guttural sounds which have something primordial in them and actually sound more like Celtic languages or old German than high-pitched sounds of modern English):


          • coldblow


            Post-funeral arrangements? It sounds like you are in the same boat as me then and I am sorry for your trouble.

            Essentially Crotty’s idea is that post-capitalist-colonized countries (that is, where they were colonized by the European powers from Tudor times onwards) have been irreversibly messed up by the imposition of inappropriate institutions (in particular property in land, ie its private ownership) on non-capitalist societies. Capitalism is seen as primarily an *agricultural* thing rather than trade and exchange and was adopted out of necessity by early pastoralist peoples who had entered West-Central Europe. They had to find a way of keeping their livestock alive over the cold winters and were forced to divert much of their already meagre consumption towards building up capital (seed, implements, farm buildings) to enable them to grow crops in an unforgiving climate (with a very poor return on seed) in turn providing winter fodder. There was always a choice to be made between consumption and saving, and this choice was unique in Europe as elsewhere it never arose. This put a lot of importance on the actions of each individual, which was also a marked difference from the collective nature of riverine and pastoral societies elsewhere. The progress made under this regime was painfully slow, but the system contained within it the possibility of unlimited growth and this became increasingly obvious in the second millennium after Christ.

            Ireland because of its mild wet climate escaped this which is why the colonization of this country, unlike elsewhere in Europe, was completely different in its nature.

            This is one reason alone why Crotty would likely have been worried by mass immigration given the country’s proven ability before and since independence to provide a livelihood for more than half of its children. In this Ireland is again like Paddy Last:

            “‘And the medal goes to Paddy Last!’ I could hear the village cry.
            ‘Now I’m first at last!’ I cried. ‘I was always behind before!’ (Gabriel Fitzmaurice)

          • coldblow

            ‘village roar’ not ‘cry’ so it rhymes

        • coldblow

          This is the article I was thinking of:


          I went to Hull University and the train journey out of the city was exactly as in Larkin’s famous poem. (Larkin was the librarian there.0

          ‘… a Bible without poetry is like a river without water for how can God possibly speak in or through lifeless, toneless modern bureaucratic prose?’

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej


            “Post-funeral arrangements? It sounds like you are in the same boat as me”

            I am sorry to hear that something similar has happen in your family. I know these events can unbalance you to say the least. In my case it was a passing of my mother – even though it had been expected (lung cancer), it took only one week to turn a person with whom you could talk on the phone into an almost a vegetable in terrible pain, unable to swallow and gasping for breath, with sad eyes.

            Very interesting observation of yours – never thought of that:

            “extravert’s difficulty in adjusting to a world view”

            As to your excellent account of Crotty (“Capitalism is seen as primarily an *agricultural* thing rather than trade and exchange”), it looks like in Poland it was the other way round – Poland was a very rich kingdom (i.e., king Jagiello was the only one in Europe who had an armour made out of platinum and during renaissance only the best architects from Florence and Nurnberg would have been employed) until the industrial revolution. When the industrial revolution started, Polish nobility did not really participate in it because they had yields from vast agricultural lands with half-slave peasant labour (which reminds of imperial Spain after gold discovery). Then they forced laws which had limited freedoms of cities in Poland. Eventually, the clever Prussians bankrupted nobility through their banks. By the way, the story of Bayonesse loans I had mentioned above belies the old adage that debts are never repaid – they are if country’s elites are not clever geopolitically, as Polish elites were not clever.

          • coldblow


            I remember you saying your mother was very sick. My father hadn’t been able to walk for two years and it was a surprise he lasted this long (he died three weeks ago today). But he was a good age, 89.

            I came to that conclusion about depression nearly two years ago. Extraverts (the vast majority of bloggers are extraverts) are strongly influenced by their surroundings, such as the weather. I couldn’t care less about the weather as long as it doesn’t get too hot.

            Crotty had a very low opinion of the Irish elite and campaigned against the EU. He put everything on his successful challenge to the state which ensures that we have to have referendums on such matters. He regretted later that he hadn’t put more emphasis on the economic reasons agaisnt Europe. At the time it seemed to be all about Irish neutrality, and you don’t even hear anyone talking about that any more.

        • Deco

          Excellent observation Greg.

          That is perfectly spot on. It describes the essence of the rampant absurdity from TV culture.

          Thank you !!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Thank you Deco. I deliberately did not mention ludus as a feature of our culture because to have a proper fun you need to be in harmony with yourself first.

            Rather than joy, I see despair (in Kierkegaardian sense) in most of that drunken pub activity based on escapism rather than engaging with people. Even our way of dancing has changed over the years that you dance on your own rather than engage in other person.

            The concept of despair as the prevailing mood of current culture (Kierkegaard foresaw one and half a century ago what the most common feature of our society – natural for people aged 24, but I see that also in people aged 60 and this is incongruous if there is no substance behind it and usually there is not (this most visible when people burst in laughter laughing from their own jokes, without paying any attention to other people’s reactions, thus assaulting our sense with people yapping on the phone believing that they are funny and smart while in most cases the opposite is true).

            For Kierkegaard, despair is a kind of sickness of spirit, stemming from a misunderstanding of who we actually are as human beings (or rather as he says, as selves).

            The self for Kierkegaard is a composit of:
            1. finitude and infinitude,
            2. possibility and

            When any of these elements that constitute the self are out of balance, despair is the result. But, because we are not the source of our own creation, despair also results when the self fails to relate itself properly to “the power that posited” the self in the first place (God). Despair, Kierkegaard tells us, is a “sickness unto death,” but, unlike a physical sickness, does not have to lead to death:

            “despair is precisely self-consuming, but it is an impotent self-consumption, in which again, however, the despairer is not able to do what he wills, namely to consume himself”

            “A despairing man despairs over something. So it seems for an instant, but only for an instant; that same instant the true despair manifests itself, or despair manifests itself in
            its true character. For in the fact that he despaired of something, he literally despaired of himself, and now would be rid of himself….”

            “[W]hen a man is supposed to be happy, he imagines that he is happy (whereas viewed in
            the light of the truth he is unhappy), and in this case he is generally very far from wishing
            to be torn away from that delusion. On the contrary, he becomes furious, he regards
            the man who does this as his most spiteful enemy, he considers it an insult, something
            near to murder, in the sense that one speaks of killing joy. What is the reason of this?
            The reason is that the sensuous nature and the psycho-sensuous completely dominate him; the reason is that he lives in the sensuous categories agreeable/disagreeable, and says goodbye to truth etc.: the reason is that he is too sensuous to have the courage to venture to be spirit or endure it. However vain and conceited men may be, they have nevertheless for the most part a very lowly conception of themselves, that is to say, they have no conception of being spirit, the absolute of all that a man can be.”

            “The despairing man who is unconscious of being in despair is, in comparison with him who is conscious of it, merely a negative step further from the truth and from salvation….[U]nawareness is so far from removing despair, that, on the contrary, it may be the most dangerous form of despair. By unconsciousness the despairing man is in a way secured (but to his own destruction) against becoming aware—that is, he is securely in the power of despair.”

          • coldblow


            I have more than an suspicion that much of the so-called depression is down to the extravert’s difficulty in adjusting to a world view (atheist, materialist and amoral) which is profoundly pessimistic by its nature. Remember, the extravert identifies with his environment so this makes very good sense to me.

  8. mishco

    “extended and lasting until this day influence of the Italian culture initiated by the Queen Bona Sforza – who shocked the Poles as she had arrived to Wawel Castle without having any – unknown in Italy – knickers;”

    No Knickers? lasting until this day? in Poland? right through winter? OUCH!

  9. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Of course Polish women do wear knickers or their derivatives; in fact many of them they are fastidious in terms of picking the right one (I would also like to point out that my Irish ex-girlfriend having shopped for sexi stockings in Poland stated that Polish-made stcckings are more durable than… well, not the Irish ones as we do not produce them any more, only scarves and jumpers – but the ones she had bought before).

    Queen Bona Sforza knew little about Polish winters though. She was very horny – the Poles expected a Queen who would be obedient and devoted to husband and children; meanwhile, she was a bit of spare from the very beginning. She would have been even more powerful a figure if it was not for frequent pregnancies (7 in 9 years). For a long time she did not have a son, although she tried hard (she had one after she fell from a horse, but the baby died).

    Paradoxically, she ushered in an era of a great tolerance in Poland after she had burned an 80 year old women for heresy and Poles decided that enough is as good as a feast; then her fate was sealed when the King Philip II of Spain had borrowed some money from her and did not want to pay it back, so he poisoned her.

    Italian influence in Poland is felt up to this day in, i.e., cuisine (I would also add corruption in politics and the fact that men behave like macho but the real power in Polish households is held by a wife who has power Mussolini could only dream of) in what we call “wloszczyzna”, which literally means Italianese, but which could perhaps be better translated as Mirepoix, which in Polish cuisine is more sacred than the Pope (it is raw, roasted or sautéed with butter or olive oil and it is the flavor base for a wide variety of dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces).

    Mind you, most Polish names of vegetables are derived from the Italian language (i.e. kalafior – cauliflower, or cukinia – zucchini).

    One of the very old Italian delicacies now considered Polish are so called faworki. I hereby give the recipe:

    500g flour
    5 egg yolks
    100 ml fresh crème
    2 tbsp rum
    ½ tsp salt
    fat for deep frying
    icing sugar

    Flour, yolks, fresh crème, rum and salt mix together. Mix with your hands well, slowly and obviously with pleasure. Knead until the dough reaches a flexible consistency. When dough doesn’t stick to your hands it is ready.
    Divide dough into four parts, and roll each one out very thin. Cut on strips 5 cm long and 2 cm wide. Make an incision 2 cm long in the middle part of each strip. Each strap take in his hand and horn of strap to scroll through an incision in the middle until you get a cookie. heat up a fat in wide pot. When it is hot put few Faworki and fry for gold colour one side and turn on and fry second side. Ready Faworki put on plate and sprinkle they with icing sugar and fry next part of cookies.
    Serve cold down.

    Italy is even mentioned in our national anthem:

    “March! March, Dabrowski!
    March from Italy to Poland!
    Under your command
    We shall reach our land.”

    The diaries of Ciano inform us that Mussolini cried after Hitler bombed the bejaysus out of Poland, but then after a few weeks he said, in a typically Italian fashion, “I am no longer interested in these Poles” (he did intervene with Hitler though to release from concentration camps from those Jagiellonian University professors who had not yet been killed, which was the most courageous thing he has ever done).

    Italy was, until 1970s, pretty much the only Western country from which Poland was buying technology after the 1956 thaw, and this has angered Kruschev so much that he had foam on his mouth when he learned about this and few other things.

    We also inherited from the corruption in football.

      Sounds delicious. Most of the things I like in a diet. Lots of butter, cream, fats, eggs.
      Of course we were told by dieticians that all that is bad for you and good for the cholesterol. Let me assure you that these central planners have that all wrong too. Make sure the food is organic or you will be poisoned with herbicides, insecticides and GMO products, which are all allowed or recommended by the central planners and bureaucrats.

    • coldblow

      Churchill refers often to Ciano in his war memoirs and I have sometimes wondered what he was like.

      Did you ever read Primo Levi’s follow-up to Is This A Man? about his experiences following liberation from the concentration camp? There is an amusing scene in a Russian transit camp where they all squeeze in to see a Russian propaganda war film. The Italians get quite annoyed about the stereotyped way they are portrayed.

      I had a fry up a couple of days in a hospital canteen. You pay €4.40 for a fry rather than pay by the item which is costly. I managed five rashers, five sausages, two fried eggs and three hash browns, plus two slices of toast. They didn’t have any black pudding. The woman at the checkout looked at my plate dubiously but let it through.

      • Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins coldblow and haven’t you seen the bad news about processed meat, I wouldn’t touch it myself:


        • And the final sentence reads…..

          “”The industry body the Meat Advisory Panel said “avoiding red meat in the diet is not a protective strategy against cancer” and said the focus should be alcohol, smoking and body weight.”"

          • coldblow

            Of course I heard it and I ignore it. They came out with this about four years ago so why all the fuss again? I like to eat proper dinners (or in this case breakfast) and avoid sugar and fads of all kinds. What annoys me is not the sight of people eating big dinners but of those (the vast majority it seems) who can never finish off what is on their plate. Yet they can still find room for pudding. I was as if the Famine never happened and everyone in the world had enough to eat. It is no wonder that some places don’t give you a decent sized meal any more if people won’t eat it all up.

        • SMOKEY

          Hey Adam,
          Wait until you see the currently uncontrolled epidemic of Age Related Macular Degeneration on this isle, an area of particular interest to me because of its direct links to nutrition. That said, I personally need/crave the occasional BLT, I can make one for you that will curl your toes, but the obesity, cancer, and heart disease that will bankrupt this nation further is most definitely direcly connected to the consumption of salted and cured meats and the fat bags of shit who eat them daily and turn their snouts up at some of the best seafood available in the world, in favour of a snack box. Let them die a slow and painful death.

          • coldblow

            Macular generation? Salted and cured meats? Where does all this come from? What about the skinny wasted looking people who eat, well I don’t know what the heck they eat, only it doesn’t look like proper food to me!

            I’m off to the supermarket in a minute and as usual I’ll be looking at the others’ trolleys trying to make out where they find all this strange stuff.

            In Conamara, and probably elsewhere too, people would rather starve during the Famine than stoop to mussels and limpets.

            And I keep hearing about this so-called wave of obesity but I see hardly any fat people around.

  10. When is the next 5 year plan due?
    Seems your only solution is a planned economy.
    Communism is the only way. All are equal.
    Does it beat the current fascism model we have had foisted upon us?
    This has to be fixed and that too.
    Above all we must be fair to each other.
    It is not fair others have what I do not.
    The rich must pay their fair share.
    Tax this and tax that. Now I feel better.
    Elections are not about good governance but about what the government can do for you.
    Bankers manipulate money and interest rates for the good of the economy (people?)
    All is planned and manipulated.
    Well the last plan did not work or did it?
    Lets have another plan, it’s bound to be better than the last.
    More regulation.
    More rules.
    We are bound to get it right this time.

    With leaders and commentators like this no wonder we are in a mess. There is no hope until the whole thing blows up in our faces and we start again, unless we are already enslaved and have no further choices but to do as our masters insist or die.

    There is no such thing as a free market. Pity.
    Free thinkers are in short supply too. We are doomed.

    • I Don't Believe It!

      Have you been watching too much of the “dad’s army repeats”?

      • I have given up on getting a discussion to solve anything serious. It is a waste of time.
        Many competent people have given up here over the last 5 years, and seldom comment any longer.

        There is no real desire for anything other than trivial comment.

  11. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “There is no hope until the whole thing blows up in our faces and we start again” – this was my hope for many, many years; but some time ago I have realised that when the whole thing blows up, rather than starting again, the anti-system parties may indeed introduce communism and next 5 year plans you have mentioned as Poland since to be the only country in the continental Europe where the anti-system parties and movements are in favour of less regulation and anti-central banking. Anywhere else, Greece, Spain, Germany, etc., the anti-system movements do not want to change the system but merely want to be a part of the system (and are frustrated that they are not).
    Neo-marxist mass movements like Podemos would be impossible in Poland (in fact, Poland is now the only country in Europe with no social-democrats in the parliament); this is perhaps due to the fact that Poles had to read Marx in 1940s and in 1980s the revolting students red Hayek and the likes of him – while the revolting students in the West only discovered Marx in 1960s and have yet to read Hayek…

    Having said that, Poland is also doomed as long as the EU is in the current shape (only having its own currency was the only factor which did not turn in into Greece – yet).

    But I would not expect much good from the system collapse.

    Gold standard and revaluations of all values? In China or Singapore, indeed. Europe’s future the way things are going? Here my analogy how the Prussians had driven Poles into debt and took over their estate may come true. And I am not sure if it’s not too late to stop this happening (and who is going to do it anyway). So the only thing that can be done is to limit the damage.

  12. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    By the way, have any of you guys watched the 3rd Republican debate last night and how the candidates performed?
    I had to give it a miss (family issues).
    Has Rubio now emerged as the main candidate (I like his record better than Trump’s or any other candidate bar Rand Paul who is now an embittered and frustrated loser who spits gall) or is still between Trump and Carson?
    Is Jeb Bush finished (not that it would worry me in the slightest, though personality-wise he seems to be the nicest of them all bar Carson, which is surprising considering his Big Brother was acting like maggots)?

    • This arrived in my in box seconds ago Grzegorz. Ben Carson is on the move. TV last night said he was ahead of Trump in the polls. How I got it lord knows!!??


      I’m not running for President to build my resume, and the last thing I want to be is a politician.

      I’m doing this for our children and grandchildren. Our Constitution was written for them — to empower them and to ensure that they’d have the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.

      My jump to first place in the critical early-voting state of Iowa is humbling, and I’m encouraged that so many of my fellow Americans are open to embracing a true outsider.

      October has been a month of real momentum, but before it ends I ask you to join me by making a donation to my campaign of any amount.

      Better yet, if you donate before midnight on October 30th you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to join me on the campaign trail for a private, one-on-one lunch.

      This will be a great opportunity to get to know one another and talk about our shared desire to heal and revive America — and my campaign will be handling all accommodations.

      Many in the political class don’t seem to understand it, but something historic is happening across America. We’ve been told that only politicians can fix our problems, but I believe that traditional “political experience” is much less important than faith, honesty, courage, and an unshakable belief in the principles that made America the greatest nation in the world.

      Thank you, and I hope I can count on your support before the end of October.


      Ben Carson


      Maybe Faith, Hope and Charity is making a come back?

      • StephenKenny

        So we’re suddenly starting to believe a politician’s election time email shots? What were Obama’s pre-election promises again?

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Of course not…
          When I think of the US elections I try to consider 3 things (and balance between them):

          1. Electability (that’s why I am bit iffy on Donald Trump – he is a strong performer and a great communicator, but he has a huge negative electorate and I think he has been approaching his cliff; besides, he is so much full of himself that President Reagan would have come across as almost shy beside him; Dr. Carson for a change would I think attract many more median supporters, his evangelical background notwithstanding – but that did not stop Tony Blair, did it?; the problem with Mr. Carson is that he had not been yet properly grilled and he might be gaffe prone – but he has a warm, trust-inspiring personality – even I am a bit conquered by it – and also, he would be great against Hillary woman because he is, how should I say it… you know – while Carly Fiorina would be good against her as a woman).

          What’s important is that both Trump and Carson are still a bit of the outsiders in the Republican Party (I cannot really imagine Fox News – not my favourite station anyway, but they had a great debate – promoting Trump against, say, Jeb Bush, after all his insults directed at their reporters – and him and Paul are the only candidates where I would not be inclined to believe that this was a part of the theatre).

          2. Their views.

          Here Marco Rubio and Rand Paul seem to be most educated; Marco Rubio (I do not consider Rand Paul even though he might be favourite if only he had a chance) is the only one of them who has any clue about foreign politics (Trump has none and Carson has none, but Carson is at least admitting it).

          3. Their voting records.

          Here again Marco Rubio has the best record of them all (again, if we dismiss Rand Paul), hence I wrote on 3 August (when Rubio was way down in the polls), comparing Mr. Rubio’s record with Mr. Adams’s record:

          “even though Mr. Adams has always been deadly on the hot air front – not because he was in the IRA (because he wasn’t), but because being anti-British he was at the same time getting his money from the Queen (why don’t you follow Marco Rubio’s example, Gerry; a US libertarian governor who refused the Federal subsidy?)”.

          Fiorina has the worst record (she bankrupted her company for God’s sake) and Jeb’s record is maybe not that bad as Jeb, but if we consider him being part of the Bush plan, then surely I would need to check up my Oxford dictionary for a stronger word than abysmal.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej


        At least Joe Biden has dropped of the race. To say he was not the brightest light-bulb on the switchboard would be the understatement of the century:



        Coming back to serious candidates, I think the problem for both Carson and Trump is that they won’t get funds if the Republican establishment does not support them (and despite his alleged wealth Trump has not put that much into his campaign so far and I am not sure he is willing to do so).

        I that case scenario Rubio might replace both of them in the absence of the now disgraced Jeb Bush who had to cut his spending.

        Rubio is all there, but he is also a kind of a gangster (this is probably good in politics): his campaign strategist Terry Sullivan had once dispatched interns dressed in prison stripes to crash a 2007 Mike Huckabee rally and protest the former governor’s controversial parole record and he orchestrated a whisper campaign during the 2000 Republican presidential primaries to convince voters that John McCain was hiding a black love child, which in my opinion goes way too far – but such is politics in the US

    • McCawber

      Perspective is everything in elections.
      I live in Ireland and if I had a vote in the USA elections, I’d vote Democratic.
      Yet I know with absolute certainty that if I lived in the USA I would vote Republican.
      Am I alone in this kind of thinking?
      What does this tell me about the voting decisions I make in Ireland?

  13. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “Acting maggots” – I am in a hurry. I just did not want to write “he was an arshole” about the President of the United States

  14. With interest rates from central banks going to zero or less and the world economy on a downtrend to eclipse it may be that those who finance a tracker mortgage will be paid for taking a loan.

    Here you go Mr. Brogan. Take a couple of hundred thousand or more if you wish. No principal payments required and your first monthly check will be in your bank account at the end of the month.

    Everyone can borrow whatever they like and be paid for doing so. With a negative 1% interest that is 2000 a year to be received. It might even pay the rates.

    Housing problem solved. Everyone can move in to the house of their choice and be paid for doing so.

    Personally I would borrow a round million and receive 10,000 a year in cash. It sure beats buying bonds where I get back less than I invest. Beats having money in the bank subject to bail-in. I would not even have to work as a little pension and the 10,000 will be all I need to exist.

    The housing boom will put everyone back to work who needs to or wishes to. A good deal all around.

    As the banks do not need the cash they are trying to unload there is no reason for the central bank to fund them. Instead “helicopter” the money directly to the people. Finally, QE for the masses. !0,000 a person, no age restriction, no means tests required.

    Ah! It’s halloween madness taken over, and combined with the recent full moon it leads to insanity.


  15. StephenKenny

    You just have to wonder how much the speech at the “Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers” will resemble David’s “debate” with that bank chief economist (who’s name I can never remember) in 2006?
    I’m reading a book called ‘Flat Earth News’ by a British ex journalist called ‘Nick Davies’. It’s long, and explores the state of the media in, mainly the UK, and how the concept of ‘truth’ has simply vanished without trace, and why. Very interesting, and revealing.

    • coldblow

      Just by coincidence I linked to a Richard Webster article about this book in the last thread.

    • coldblow

      On p20 of Part 1 of his article about the Flat Earth News


      Webster says, ‘When reading a critique about journalism written by a journalist for the general reader, one does not expect – and thankfully one is not offered by Davies – a lecture on post-modernism or epistemology. That having been said, it is still somewhat astonishing that any intelligent journalist can commit himself, three times in the course of as many paragraphs, to the view that the primary purpose of journalism is ‘telling the truth’.’

      On p21 Webster says, ‘One of the most striking features of this [another] paragraph is the extraordinary notion that the manner in which a journalist views reality can be usefully compared to he angle from which we view a room. Once again it will be noted that this analogy immediately drains the perspective of journalists of all history and all culture – and indeed of all psychology as well. The other striking (and related) feature is Davies’s assumption that, provided we act ‘honestly’, it is possible for journalists to slip free of the straightjacket not only of ‘ideology’ but also of ‘any other overarching influence’.

      Note also Webster’s reference to psychology. He traces much of it back to a mutated Manichean, antisemitic element of 17th C English puritanism of which contemporary do-gooders are unconscious. I remember mentioning the writer John Gray here several years ago and his own, rather similar, idea that contemporary thought is animated (again unconsciously) by a kind of sublimated version of medieval apocalyptic Christianity.

      While not excluding the possibility that these may have some significant influence, my own explanation for the inability of journalists to achieve any relative objectivity is that most of them are extraverts.

      Finally, I also like this quote by Webster on p19, with which I agree. ‘Having long ago come to the conclusion that we live within a collective fantasy, or set of collective delusions, and that the news media are one of the principal means by which we maintain this fantasy-version of reality…’

  16. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “how the concept of ‘truth’ has simply vanished without trace”

    This reminds me of a debate I had with two guys 5 years ago. One was a Sinner, the other one was a Trotskyite. I asked them what they thought of Nial Ferguson’s book “The Ascent of Money”.

    None of them would answer me until they checked where was Ferguson from and what party, if any, did he belong to (actually the Sinner – an-ex counciller – when I did not want to tell him any of it asked me what school did he go to).

    Stephen. Everything is better than the RTE drivel masked as economic news, where all our debates about central banking, Keynesism and QE are simplified to one simple issue: what is good for me (for the news announcer) – is my house worth a million or only a half? An extra hundred of homeless in Dublin? That’s great news for me (imagine they were so honest).

    Can’t even think how irritating that has to be for people who do not live in the Greater Dublin area in first place…

  17. Ted E: BEST QUOTE OF ANY ERA! “The Budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome will become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero, 55 BC
    So, evidently we’ve learned bugger all over the past 2,069 years.”

    Posted at http://www.lemetropolecafe.com

  18. DB4545

    I think locoloco called it exactly right on this issue. Non recourse mortgages ensure that the lender has skin in the game. The buyer takes the hit with the deposit if it goes south and the lender does likewise with the loan.The lender will be certain to then accurately assess the realistic market value and lend based on realistic values.

    Speculators,banks and vulture funds might lose out but the government aren’t really interested in protecting those groups are they? They say actions speak louder than words and to paraphrase grezgorz vested interests have the fur coats and the government have no knickers.

    Of course we can believe everything enda says after all we’d need the army to guard atms when the whole Country can get cashback at any supermarket and the supermarkets would be happy to offload cash holdings for security reasons. That’s what haappens when enda goes off script and the brain isn’t in sync with the mouth. I’d love to see Vincent Browne question him on that one.

  19. mike flannelly

    DB4545 & locoloco
    When there is a crisis, the first rule is to shout STOP.
    Then you look at the crisis backround, investigate and identify the problem plus causes. Once you identify the causes you proceed to set out CORRECTIVE ACTIONS. After following the corrective actions you proceed to set up a CIP (continuous improvement programme) to ensure that there is no chance of a recurrence of the problem/ crisis.
    Politicians(all parties but mainly FG & Lab for last four fucking years),the central bank and the bankers( 2015 are very same 2007 bankers)are responsible for Stonewalling an Irish banking continuous improvement programme.

    Fuck the FG/Lab Lame Duck Bogus Enquiry

    Davids contribution is required for ALL OUR contiouous improvement programme.

    We will write the continuous improvement programme ourselves as the stonewallers sit around picking rubbish out of their arses yet ringfencing Pension Moolah for each other.

    1. Non recourse mortgages.
    2. Restructure rights to supersede repossessions. (No bank customer with financial anxiety should be rejected or have to beg for an interest only restructure)
    3.FAILED 2007 MANAGERIAL BANKERS must “Jog On” and not be making critical decisions that effect the greater public good for their own good.
    4. Loan to Income metrics (Core Metric)
    David has yet to give his contribution.
    5. Realistic Deposit – Loan to Value metric.

    Media must hold government and bankers to account in 2016.
    Writedowns for media seem to have blurred their duty of care for the greater public good.

    Never Asked Core Questions or Demanded Core Answers. No wonder we never got to step two after more than SEVEN bloody years.

  20. Bamboo

    I think we should also look at what is actually available on the property. Well, it is shit – pure shite and crap.
    I just had a look at daft.ie for 2 of my children and their partners who are trying to get a home. Yes, they just want a home to live in comfortably and in a relatively good location. I am purposely not metioning, “get on the property ladder”. After all they are putting in a lot of their lives to pay it off. They are young married couples with children. What is available for them to own is not worth the money.
    Even at a price of around 300K you’re looking at pure shite property with lots to be worked on to get it into modern standards.
    New and existing houses that are on the market now-days are the worst possible you can get. They are the drags of the property market. The internal planning is all wrong and generally the architecture of the estates is Irish architecture, so in other words pure shite architecture and construction.

    What you seem to overlook is that (young ) people now-days are seeing how beautiful and practical houses and housing estates can be and should be. You wrote an article recently 23/04/2015 “The internet is grooming migrants for a brave new world”. You wrote: “Poor Africans know what is in our kitchens and living rooms”

    Well, that is exactly what young people/families are seeing at the moment. Irish people go abroad to the continent and beyond and are seeing with their own eyes how comfortable and normal things can be for a certain price tag.

    This is a crisis that can’t be solved by getting together to debate a “novel system”. Irish people have been looking at shite property all the time and are now waking up. The stakeholders (developers, bankers, govs, local authorities and other property milkers, are not seeing it. Even better they refuse to see it. If you’re in the property game you should know by now that people don’t want to be dictated by what is offered by the developer – the “take or lump it approach”.

    • Hoggie

      There also needs to be an overhaul of the system for issuing fire safety certificates so that people do not end up buying overpriced apartments with f*ck all fireproofing and then end up with a bill for millions (Longboat Quay). While the developer, the architects and the council wash their hands and say it is not their responsibility that no inspections are carried out to ensure that the work is done to code.

    • Deco

      Her children might be in difficulty, but putting the in difficulty, has taken the corrupt banks and the corrupt professional classes in Dublin out of difficult.

      That is how things operate in the Gombeen Republic.

      I have a suggestion. They should get fired, go on the dole, have kids and move to the North West. Soon they will get free everything. Of course Sligo Council is skint, too, but that is the system as it operates nowadays.

      • Unfortunately corruption and Political Correctness is a universal problem not just Irish.(There is a housing crisis, as defined, everywhere too.)


        “”U.S. politics is nothing more than a circus for the entertainment of the population. We are two years past an election where the people threw the bums out and replaced them with Republicans who promised to roll back many bad programs and even defund Obamacare. NOTHING has been done even though both houses are Republican majority. They flat out lied.”"

        • Sorry Deco, wrong thread for the above.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej


          Not only corruption is not just the Irish problem, but with all that is revolting in Irish crony system, on a low level it is still relatively one of the least corrupt in Europe (until we are talking about deals on the David Drumm level) and Irish bureaucracy is still one of the most pleasant to deal with.

          As to PC, sadly I have to say this is far more advanced than in Poland, and often the more “educated” people I am talking to, the less manipulated their minds seem to be (the most notorious to me seems to be UCD sociology department, with one professor I was talking to knowing only Marx – as if his economic theory was still possible after Eugen Boehm von Bawerk’s critique – and not even knowing him really).

          As to Republicans…

          Tony, I am not naïve and, btw, I am not a supporter of the Republican establishment as such, but only those elements in it which are aimed at reducing debt levels (almost an impossible task). If this was proposed by Democrats, I would support Democrats (incidentally, Bill Clinton, whom I thought as a disaster for America, was more libertarian – this is relatively speaking, I hope you understand – than G. W. Bush and one of the most radical reforms had been introduced in the past – I am afraid we see some withdrawal now – by the Labour Party in New Zealand).

          The author of that quote seem to have forgotten that there has been a Democratic President in the office which has indebted the US more than 43 previous presidents combined – so what who has a majority in Congress, US is a presidential system (which I think is a good system, though maybe not for Ireland).

          Only part of the Republicans are anti-debt; certainly people like Jeb Bush represent big corporations which thrive in debt-incurring, central banking environment to the detriment of everyone else.

          The only acid test is the voting record, and here we only see 3 candidates with anti-debt record: Marco Rubio (a hypocrite as he availed of subsidies himself), Ted Cruiz and Rand Paul. Ben Carson seem to be very radical on that, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Trump can talk the talk but whether he can walk the walk, I do not know and I have my doubts. Actually if you analyse Trump’s economic program (he hardly has any), it is more Bush than Rand Paul.

          HOWEVER – even pro-debt Bush has deficits of 3pc; Obama has 15pc.

          So, dear Tony, do not you tell please that there is no difference between the records of these two parties…

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “the less manipulated their minds seem to be”
            I meant the more manipulated – swine flue is a good example.

            In general I find people who run their own small business in Ireland the most open-minded to talk to, and sometimes the most humble…

          • “so what who has a majority in Congress, US is a presidential system ”

            I thought that Congress must approve monetary bills and authorizations. Thus they could curtail the presidents wishes to spend more money.

            In the case of the debt spiral of Obama’s presidency then Republicans allowed a Democrat to spend more and more so both are equally complicit.

            On a day to day basis there is no difference between the two main parties. The Debt level has gone up a trillion a year since 2000 regardless of the colour and strip of the governing party. The unfunded liabilities are 200 Trillion and not just the 18 T now at the newest debt ceiling.

            It is the same in Canada. First a party decries overspending then adopts it. Vice Versa. Both Conservatves and Liberals have reduced debt level and both have rapidly expanded it.

            In the US the president is and has usurped powers not accorded in the constitution.

        • coldblow

          Kunstler had a brush with pc only the other day in Boston College where had been speaking.


  21. [...] • Great Expectations: The Driving Force Behind Latest Property Crisis (McWilliams)  [...]

  22. DB4545

    We’re still skirting around the issue folks. There’s nobody of note behind bars. Until there is we’re going nowhere as a society.

  23. I Don't Believe It!


    Dear David,

    I have to write to take issue with your article in the Independent last
    Wednesday with the above title.

    While I accept that you are recognized as a renowned economist, but
    that article has to regarded as a little naive to say the least, and would
    or should certainly have been given a poor mark had it been written by
    a candidate for their leaving cert economics paper.

    To start with the premise that property prices can be compared to
    the price of electricity is plain daft. There are many things you could
    make the comparison with, but electricity is exactly the same as spuds.

    Both of those are governed by the so called “classical economics” where
    supply and demand are a governing factor in price rises and falls.

    They are what I would suggest could be called items of almost infinite availability that can be, and often are,seasonally adjustable, the same principles apply in the case of apples, oranges or any other commodity that is outside anybody’s real control.

    When it comes to housing and rental costs we are in a completely
    different sphere.

    I am sure that I do not have to spell it out, but the fact of the matter is
    that land is a finite resource. It cannot be enlarged, grown, manufactured
    or increased in any way shape or form. It is not affected by weather (unless
    we want to bring the contentious matter of global warming, where the jury
    is still out), disease, governments (at least in stable regions) or any other
    man made interference (I will have to be allowed to exclude nuclear fallout

    That being the case there is only one way cost/prices of this resource can
    go and that is upwards.

    Supply and demand fluctuations in this area are what they are, temporary fluctuations and will always vary, however they are only temporary, and
    inevitably in the case of this resource cost/prices will always be trending

    Land and property will always out perform any other investment in the long
    term by a country mile and to suggest that there is some method that can
    be found to control this area, aside from punitive and unfair legislation, is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    As I said earlier you are regarded as a sound economist and usually I would
    agree with many of the economic articles that you have written, but on this occasion to suggest to your readers that by taking real life price expectations
    and working backwards to find a solution is complete and utter rubbish.

    What concerns me most is that what you have written will be seized on by both your followers and detractors to suggest that there is a solution when in fact you must agree that this is a problem that cannot be solved in the long or even the short term.

    Just one last thing before I go, David, why is it that economists and governments seem to think that they have this God given wisdom to solve every problem that may or may not arise.

    My apologies for such a forthright opinion and trust that you will receive this in the good nature that is it is given.

    Yours sincerely,

    • StephenKenny

      “Land and property will always out perform any other investment in the long
      term by a country mile”.
      What an astonishing comment. Even a quick glance at the most basic arithmetic shows this to be, quite literally, impossible.
      The stockmarkets of the world have, over the short, medium, and long term, out performed property. And so they should, as they are the wealth generating engine of the economy, whereas property, like the public sector and the price of art, merely reflects the wealth generating sector.

      • I Don't Believe It!

        An astonishing comment?

        Stocks and their markets come and go, created on the “herd mentality” to the latest fad.

        A little more understanding of the principles of economics
        and their application in the real world would advise you that the things that you seem to hold so much in awe are nothing more than figures on paper or a computer screen and they are just the product of human avarice.

        All stocks and shares have no tangible value in the real world,
        look at the collapse of the numerous markets that have been created by such foolishness…. the tulip bubble, black Wednesday, the dotcom bubble etc etc.

        Stocks dealing is nothing more than a casino, there are winners and losers, and as is always the case it’s the little man who always loses the most.

        As for the wealth generation engine of the economy try telling that to the Irish people when this great generator left us going begging to the Troika.

        The only wealth generation of an economy is what it’s people produce and can add value to not the avaricious gambling by investors of the backs of real initiative.

        When you can create something out of thin air and hold it in your hands or build on it then I will be forced to change my view, until then I stand by my comment.

        • StephenKenny

          Quite agree, and buying and selling second hand property doesn’t generate any wealth at all.
          The Stock markets may well have been badly corrupted over the last 25, 30 years, but that does not detract from the essential utility. If you are a medium size business looking to expand, raising money on the stock market is a perfectly useful and often the only real method available.
          Property prices reflect both the strength of the underlying economy, and the availability of credit. Of course, the availability of credit ‘should’ reflect the underlying economy, but for the past 25-30 years it’s reflected government debt & intervention.
          Since it’s been going on for so long now, not only does credit no longer reflects the economy, but the entire economy no longer reflects the underlying economy. It’s a rather lovely circular argument.

          What differentiates this Downton to all previous downtowns is just the length and depth of it. It has reached a point, yes ago now, where investment decisions have become completely contorted. Even the most rational farsighted businessman now take very poor decisions, since they are predicated on property investment being the best, and the most high returning, investments available. So all the brains, rather than going into areas that produce goods and services that people want to buy and sell, go into squeezing a few extra basis points out of some massively leveraged commercial property backed security .
          In short, it’s systemically broken. But there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with stock markets, just with the way that these stock markets are currently regulated.

          • StephenKenny

            Downton and downtown should of course read ‘downturn’.

          • I Don't Believe It!

            A company’s original issue and subsequent issues of new shares is of course the way to raise the necessary funds for investment and expansion, that is perfectly true, and to be applauded.
            However that is not the basis of my argument at all when I make reference to the stock market I am not for one moment thinking of the above, but more as to what happens to those shares once they have been issued and paid for) and when they are then actively traded (gambled in the casino which is the stock market)
            Shares and share capital are set at a nominal value and are then sold on the market for whatever the brokers can achieve.
            Whether the value of those shares purchased rise or fall afterwards has absolutely no effect on the Company that issued them in the first place.
            But that doesn’t stop the casino mentality.
            In the case of land and property there exists a tangible asset, not to be confused with all the jiggery pokery of the stock market (there’s probably more ways to gamble there than there is on Paddy Powers website).
            At the end of the day it all comes down to confidence, whichever God we want to pray to is up to the individual, but for me I prefer something that I can see and use.

          • StephenKenny

            “Whether the value of those shares purchased rise or fall afterwards has absolutely no effect on the Company that issued them in the first place.”

            is, in my view, quite wrong. The share value relates to two things: Firstly, the price at which further money can be borrowed, and secondly, the capital growth received by those who put the investment up in first place.

            I absolutely agree with your sentiment, but the fundamental role of the stock market, both primary and secondary markets, are quite sound.

            You’re referring to the gambling that has been allowed by the exchanges since the 1980s, really, the late 1990s. If you’re really interested, dig up a copy of the members rules for any exchange pre about1990. Many of today’s practices were illegal, and would result in removal of membership and a fine. By the exchange itself.

            What’s important about this is that rather than just saying the whole system is wrong, it is that it has been badly corrupted over the past 30 years.

            It is pretty true to say that virtually everything that the massive financial services sector does today is simply parasitic, and does considerable, and consistent, harm to the vast majority of the population.

        • I Don't Believe It!

          As I have tried to say before opinions are like arseholes…. everybody has one, even me.(the doctor has prescribed some cream, but it doesn’t seem to working).

          However some points of views are worthy of a little consideration while others deserve to be asking for a visit from the men in white coats.

          While I respect that you have a view in relation to share prices the value of them is derived, as I have already said, from the market nothing else.

          In respect of trying to equate the idea that their value is conditional on the company’s ability to borrow has absolutely nothing to do with their share price it is everything to do with a company’s performance, PE ratios, balance sheet and the like.

          To take a ridiculous scenario, if your view was correct, why wouldn’t everybody form a company and declare that their share price is €100 and the nominal issued capital is going to be 10,000 shares suddenly they would have a company that is valued at €1,000,000.

          Great now they go to the bank or an investor and say look we have this million pound company and we want you to lend us say for example €300,000 for investment and expansion.

          Are they going to say oh of course you can have that because your company is valued at €1m.

          Yeah right!

          To give you another point of view, not mine, have you ever been fortunate to have watched any episodes of the popular television series “Dragons Den”

          With regards to the point about capital growth is again dependent on the previously mentioned criteria and is answered with that explanation.

          As far as the markets go, as I have said repeatedly, it is a casino nothing else and there are rules like there are for any other pursuit in life.

          You may not like it but that’s the way life goes.

          • StephenKenny

            Listing a company on any recognised stock exchange is, generally, quite difficult. A lot of people have to agree to buy your shares, and they have to be convinced that they’re going to get a return, and also be able to sell them if they want to.

            Your example of an unlisted private company has terrible trouble raising money, unless it’s got a good trading history. As you say, there is no chance of raising funds, although I hear that the UK government is going to start guaranteeing business loans. Were they to do anything so insane, they can expect an explosion of similar such companies.

            Dragon’s Den represents the problem that early stage companies in the UK have in raising money. The US don’t have the problem – they have a functional VC sector. Strangely, most European countries don’t have the same problem either – they have various informal investment groups.

  24. My expectation is for the continuation of the ruination of the economies by expansion of the money supply that is inflation that robs everyone by stealth and creates such distortions in the economy that it collapses.

    One of the primary signs are asset bubbles including real estate. The salvation of the housing market is the secession of the aforementioned activities. Get rid of the current central banking money system and return to an honest money system that eliminates inflation.

    [The following is an excerpt from the October issue of TDV released to subscribers today]

    One of the biggest crimes against humanity is central banking and their constant devaluing of their currencies.

    Some of the biggest names in history have identified central bank inflation correctly:

    -“By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes

    -“Inflation is taxation without legislation.” – Milton Friedman

    -“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.” – Alan Greenspan

    -“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” – Ernest Hemingway

    Note how eloquently Ernest Hemingway described our world today.

    • I Don't Believe It!

      Devaluation has been a long timed honoured way of getting a country out of a downward spiral.
      Unfortunately the application of a Central Bank criteria to a very diverse group of economies is never going to solve the problems of all them at the same time.
      Yes I totally agree with you about the Central Bank and the only way out of that is ditching the Euro and a return to local currencies and local control over same.
      By the way that is not the same thing as advocating “chucking the baby out with the bathwater” by unravelling of the whole European Economic Community.
      And maybe, just maybe, if we could elect a government that was a little better than a group of over opinionated and failed teachers and know alls without any real life experience outside politics, we might begin to take real advantage of the opportunities that are put there for Ireland and ALL it’s people

      • I Don't Believe It!

        sorry for a small error in the last sentence of my last comment above, it should read ” opportunities that are out there for Ireland and ALL it’s people.

      • “”Yes I totally agree with you about the Central Bank and the only way out of that is ditching the Euro and a return to local currencies and local control over same.
        By the way that is not the same thing as advocating “chucking the baby out with the bathwater” by unravelling of the whole European Economic Community.”"

        Exactly correct.

        Revert to a national currency issued by treasury . Close the Central Bank and stop the issuance of any currency that comes into existence as a debt and that is charged interest. Remain in the community of nations as a free trade area. That is without duties, fees or tariffs. Remove Brussels as the centre of power and disband the E parliament. Keep government local. It is where it is more accountable. Retain control of national boundaries including the continental shelf 200 mile economic zone.

      • McCawber

        Assuming the Euro was ditched.
        I don’t want to go back to the old way of doing things where once again the banks ripped the punter off.
        Firstly currency spread betting would have to be made illegal.
        Secondly the spread that banks charge for currency exchange would have to be restricted to no more than +/- A half of one %. There is no justification for the current spreads on £/$ v € for example.
        In fact the current spread charged on £/$ v € should be immediately restricted to +/- 1 % and ultimately reduced to +/- half of one %.
        I used a an exchange transfer which eliminates most of the cost associated with exchanging currencies including fix charges.
        Once again the banks are being allowed to gouge and that is the real problem.
        Start eliminating the gouging and that kind of discipline will bring it’s own reward.
        Thirdly and I know I keep repeating this but all those mumbo jumbo financial instruments need to eliminated before we dump the Euro, then we might not have to dump the Euro ie Can we get horse in front of the cart.

    • McCawber

      Is the current “Rent” trend a bubble or a trend toward a bubble.

  25. DB4545

    We just need to ask ourselves if our actions and decisions will create a society where our next generation will have a chance to fulfil their great expectations. At present that means(as grzegorz pointed out) we spend half our working life and income in the service of the State like a medieval serf. Our take home income is then plundered by private vested interests.

    300k for a fairly shabby house doesn’t seem like the fulfillment of anyone’s expectations. Jobsbridge is a subversion of any Citizen’s expectations.

    I’ve spent the last couple of days in Iceland. The people seem confident and the cranes are crowding the skyline of Reykjavik.There’s plenty of tourists about. That’s how societies can move forward when the State is harnessed by the people rather than the other way round. That and not making Citizens pay debts that they’re not responsible for.And of course jailing the people responsible.

    • “At present that means(as grzegorz pointed out) we spend half our working life and income in the service of the State like a medieval serf. Our take home income is then plundered by private vested interests.”

      My point entirly DB4545.

      Don’t do it. DO NOT DO IT. Don’t give them a cent of your hard earned cash.

      Don’t just talk about not doing it. DON’T DO IT.

      I wouldn’t give them half a second, never mind half my life.

      • DB4545

        I’m a tradesman originally Adam so tax avoidance is hardwired into my DNA. I don’t have a problem paying my fair share of tax where I see it being used efficiently on my behalf in essential services etc. But seeing my tax money (miniscule in the scheme of things) being used for the 3000k a WEEK pensions of the thieves who bankrupted this State just makes my blood boil.

    • 65% for a spell in my case as a single wage earner and a family of five.
      Income tax, Vat, duties, dues and fees. In exchange I received some medical care, schooling, police and infrastructure. I also received a lot of government help that was unasked and fostered upon us all. Over regulation from bureaucrats from Federal government, Provincial government, Capital Regional district and Islands Trust zoning. Now some want to incorporate and be burdened by Municipal government. There is also the Police (RCMP), Hospital district and the firefighting district.

      Despite taking that 65% percentage tax to run us, they over spend with deficit finance and run us into the ground.

  26. Wills


    Great to read a mainstream article in a mainstream newspaper explaining to the greedy guts the consequence of their ponzu property addiction.

    ‘Next week, on Wednesday November 4, I am speaking at the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers, debating a novel system of valuing property that doesn’t currently exist in Ireland but is popular in Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic.’

    On the point of going into the ponzi Lion’s den and channeling into their freeze brain it makes sense to overhaul their poisonous way of doing business in property – banking – development I fear they will be laughing their arses off at you when they show you the door and head home for the night.

  27. Wills


    The solution to the ponzi property insanity Ireland post 2001 is now being destroyed by culturally seems to me to be very much some kind of a paradigm shift required. I just can’t see any other way through the scale of the problem as it is right now. Those who have the power to fix it are the very bastards who are coining it the most in the first place. The system is completely rigged top down side ways.

    • Welcome back Wills, you have been sorely missed. “Credit as a utility” – one of the greatest lines in blogging history – oh and I do remember somebody saying you have beautiful eyes – and you calling me a ‘messer’ at the same time – what a multi-tasker. That was the inaugural Kilkenomics weekend – I am going to miss it badly this year. Don’t go away Wills.

      • Wills

        Adam try periscope D will be using it over the few days at the festival this year.
        Crikey that is some memory you’ve got there lol
        Goodman well remembered. 5 years now. Unbelievable. My best to you on your new Adventure and Google periscope and get the app and keep an eye for David’s twtter links.

  28. I Don't Believe It!

    “As a result of this real-life observation, we need to isolate what drives expectations because if we can isolate what drives price expectations, we can work backwards to solve these erratic shifts in supply and demand, which are destroying the market and heaping such pain on the renting class”

    David have you ever tried knitting soot?

    “Imagine if we in Ireland valued land not based on the latest market price but on long-term valuations that took into account long-term prices, yields, planning, demographics and the likely growth in the economy and incomes?”

    Isn’t that what is we already do?

    “It’s difficult to remember when we are up to our arses in crocodiles that our first intention was to drain the swamp”

    • I Don't Believe It!

      Just one last thought about this.

      Where would we, the proles, be without some hope of deliverance from the carefree spending of our hard earned money by our lords and masters.

      EXPECTATION, and the happy realisation that we have woken to struggle for yet another day, is the only thing that makes many of us get up in the morning, take that away and what have we left?

      To use some of those immortal words stolen and belittled by Eamon Gilmore for his own avaricious gain

      “We have just realised we have been conned all along, Please shoot us at dawn”

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