February 8, 2016

Election economics is all smoke and mirrors

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 94 comments ·
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The other day there was a vox-pop on RTE radio that asked people how they were going to vote. One voice said that he was from a family of 15, nine of whom had a vote and all of whom were registered in one house. He went on to say that his mother was waiting for the government to buy her an extractor fan in her kitchen. He concluded that whatever politician paid for the mother’s extractor fan would get all the votes in the house!

Is this the role of government? Is it the role of the state to install extractor fans? As I listened, I thought why didn’t this man and the nine able bodied voters in the house look after their own mother, chip in and buy her an extractor rather than wait for the “government” to pay for it? It is an example of dependency culture to the power of ten thousand; the journalist didn’t challenge the voter or even raise an eyebrow. A society like this can’t come to any good.

On reflection, this attitude is down to ‘auction politics’. If politicians didn’t go around claiming to be able to do things like install extractor fans with other people’s money, this guy wouldn’t have felt he had the right to make his vote conditional on getting the fan installed.

And this is one of the key problems with our Irish-style democracy where each party promises the earth to anyone who will listen in the hope of securing a vote. This leads to the situation we have this week where each party is abandoning any notion of prudence and is trying to buy the election in a Peronist-style “free for all”.

The economic debate is therefore reduced to who can give most, and sometimes to the least deserving. Every now and then, there is a semblance of indignation when one party spokesperson points out that there isn’t enough money to go round, and then the next day, having scored the point, they all carry on regardless.

So the economic agenda is reduced to one shower saying there’s loads of money in the kitty and they are going to spend it and the other shower saying there’s no money in the kitty but they are going to spend it too. But what they are actually talking about isn’t economics, it’s accountancy.

This is what I would term election economics as opposed to real economics.

Election economics in this country is reduced to static accountancy, where the number that falls out at the end of the national accounts, the budget deficit or surplus, becomes both the facilitator of political ambitions and the stick with which to bash the same ambition on the head.

The lamentable state of debate is largely the fault of the politicians and the political commentators who fixate on this deficit/surplus figure. However, this figure is only a residual: it’s the thing that falls out at the end when all the economic activity is counted and divvied up. It is an end point not a starting point.

Fixation on the final number of surplus or deficit misses the whole point of government spending in the economy. In reality, the government is a major player in the economy and without it, we would have very little. Unfortunately, the rhetoric of the frugal saver has dominated our discourse on government spending with commentators screaming that we have to balance our books. But does the state have to balance its books? As long as it’s not spending money on extractor fans at election time, why does the state need to balance the budget?

The easy answer is that we should live within our means. That’s what you hear all the time, isn’t it? I would like to make a clear distinction between election economics and real economics.

During election time, when the politicians are giving out sweeties, it is proper to admonish them for spending because most of the spending is to buy votes. But, hang on, what about government investment?

The idea that we should always live within our means, which sounds logical, pre-supposes that our means are given and are fixed in perpetuity and we cannot spend beyond them.

However, when you think about, for example, building a new school, you can see that our means in the future are determined by what we do today. The school will educate children and make them more productive in the future.

Therefore, in real economics, our means are not fixed and, as a result, the very idea of living within them loses its meaning.

For example, lots of students all over the world borrow for their college education and this enhances their future means and therefore, living beyond your means now is the right thing to do.

Consider governments at this juncture.

Like individuals, of course, a government can increase its means in the long run by borrowing to invest in things that will make the economy more productive, and thus increase the tax revenue. If a government invests in improving the transport system, it will make the country more efficient. Or if it invests in healthcare and education, that will make the workers more productive.

This is where today’s government spending can be of huge future significance. It raises the productivity and the wealth of the nation and it increases the “means” in the future. And so we see that notions like “living within our means” become more complex than the rhetoric suggests.

Unfortunately, because politicians engage in auction politics that leads voters to expect extractor fans for their mother (which they could put in themselves) in exchange for votes, we arrive at a place where all government spending is seen as wasteful.

This influences the debate because this is what people remember from the election and in the long-run real government spending, which is good for all of us, becomes contaminated with election spending, which is actually bad for everyone.

In the next few weeks, election economics will dominate the airwaves. Enjoy it if you can, but don’t forget that real economics will re-emerge by St Patrick’s Day.


  1. Colm MacDonncha

    There have been a few sleeveens at my door already…one sitting TD admonishing me to ‘look after him’,another sitting TD avoiding me as he passed by the garden where I was outside talking to a neighbour. A Renua candidate crept up the steps yesterday evening and snuck a leaflet into the letterbox before slinking furtively back onto the street…it’s like being on the set of Killinaskully. You have reminded me that I need a new extractor fan though, and I’m sure that there’s a grant available for that sort of thing…
    As long as we live in a society where a huge proportion of our population expect the working taxpayer to finance their housing, their medical care and their social lives we are going to keep on electing the corrupt gombeens we have saddled ourselves with for the past hundred years…

  2. Peter Atkinson

    A once infamous politician used that very expression “as a nation we must live within our means”. Unfortunately the “we” in this case didn’t include himself or his close associates. Those throwaway vox pops do not represent the true electorate. Please give us a little more credit than that David.

  3. Mike Lucey

    ….. and wouldn’t the installation of an extractor fan improve the health of the ‘Mother’ and her clutch of nine thus reducing a possible further burden on the currently overloaded health system?

    Half joking aside, the quicker we abolish party politics and career politicians the quicker we will have some form of workable democracy. We need to work towards a system whereby every citizen continuously takes responsibility on an ongoing basis for government not once every 5 years.

    We now have the technology to do this, well with the portion of citizens that have sufficient interest in shaping their own future directly and not placing it in the hands of what might only be described as incompetents that for the most-part that know little or nothing about running a country or anything else.

    I truly hope that this election delivers a large group of independents that hopefully will sound the death knell for party politics.

  4. patricia03

    That sort of reasoning – the man and the extractor fan – applies to the other end of the spectrum too. A friend, here in New Zealand, said she wasn’t going to vote for anybody who would raise her taxes! To my mind there is no difference between the two. Neither is thinking about their country and what should be provided for the people – in my case breakfast at schools for the children in those poor areas who go to school hungry. It’s all just about them. Perhaps this is the result of the last 30 years of encouraging the attitude of “it’s all just about me”

    • McCawber

      Perhaps your friend understands the human condition better than you give her credit.
      If she pays more taxes, the extractor fanless brigade will do a number of things.
      1. Look for a remote controlled super delux fan.
      2. Tell all their “friends” about it.

      It’s called the nanny state.
      It’s her money and she resents it being wasted on useless (as opposed to helpless) people who have every intention of remaining useless.
      As one of those useless people told me one day, “You’re a fool to be working and paying all that tax, look what I get for doing nothing”
      And that is a fact, it happened.

  5. Antaine

    I think a lot of people have the ‘they’re all the same, Its always been that way and you’ll never change it’ attitude to politics in Ireland. Because of this they are resigned to the fact that Irelands Governments will be wasteful with the taxes and continue to look after their buddies so they promise a vote to a gombeen politician in the hope that they might get a crumb from the table and have that extractor fan fitted. What kind of a child wouldn’t get their finger out and help their mammy in times of need? Dependency culture is right.

  6. Pat Flannery

    Hidden within David’s purely academic thinking is something almost entirely missing from Irish commentary – the role of management. The Irish tolerate low standards in management in just about everything. It seems to be a national characteristic.

    Ireland’s third-rate health service is a reflection of Irish attitudes to management. Throwing money at hospitals will not fix them. Whether that money comes from taxes or from borrowing is a purely academic and futile exercise. Right now Ireland needs skilled hospital managers more than it needs doctors or nurses. How many school leavers do you know with a degree in hospital management? ‘Nuff said.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      But but but… The question comes to the fore as to why there is tolerance of low standards in management (Dublin Bus and DAA are flagship examples) – is it really mainly down to national characteristics? It would be interesting to research whether the same low standards are observed among the managers within the Irish diaspora in countries like the UK, Australia or the US; if not, then perhaps it is primarily down to a glitch in our socio-economic system (I would also point out to lame journalism, like the scandal of Gardai having a liberal approach in tapping phones only emerging in newspapers just before the election, while I had wrote about it on this blog a few months before media “discovered” it); and then again, why is that.

      Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev wrote a highly interesting article in 2009 about health services in Ireland and other OECD countries. His conclusion was:

      “All leading healthcare systems (top 4 in the table) have separated provider of services (mixed models of private, publicly-owned but independent, locally-owned & non-profit) from payee (state) for services.
      Of top 10 performers, 5 have fully separate functions of service providers and payees for service, 3 others have a mixed system. In contrast, Ireland has not even a mixed system, with all primary, emergency and non-elective medical service providers being captured by the state”.

      Why Ireland does not even have a mixed system? Why, one of the reason is a record number of social partnership (this idea comes from fascist Italy) and various lobbies aiming at limiting access to the market on the one hand (btw, how come a nurse in a GP practice is not qualified or allowed or both to take the stitches off a patient – this happened to a friend of mine who had worked for a take-away) like they do in Poland, after all that spending on health sector?) and increasing prices of services and medicines on the other (this includes sweet deals of medical internationals).

      Bear in mind that the vast majority of journalists represent the same lobbies, like they do when it comes to fuelling property bubbles (the Irish Times being the most notorious in this regard).

      We have a strange situation – lots of Irish medical graduates go abroad to practice (I know that not only the entry to the market is limited, but the cost of starting your own practice in Ireland is astronomical, this being multiplied by upward-only rent reviews), yet Ireland clearly overspends on her health services (2nd highest in OECD, after President Obama’s America, where the Obamacare program was concocted to fleece the taxpayers – President Obama doubled the debt he inherited from President G.W.Bush, who needed money for his botched invasion on Iraq) – as it overspends on education (funny enough, the more money Ireland spends on education, the more it goes down in PISA ratings).

      I wonder if there is any political party in Ireland whose program would be to cut off spending by 1/3 to bring it down from 12.4pc of GNP to the OECD average, while at the same time ringfacing the money spend and making sure it goes to patients and infrastructure and not salaries (in education the average spent on salaries is twice as high as in other OECD countries).

      And by the way, if they could pay the unsecured loans of foreign vulture hedge funds, they can also erase the upward only clauses in rents by, I do not know, maybe finding out some constitutional reasons? – like the Germans would do.

      “a government can increase its means in the long run by borrowing to invest in things that will make the economy more productive, and thus increase the tax revenue.”

      Macroeconomic subtleties aside, all 4 parties would rather borrow to increase salaries or incomes from rent of their voters than spend it on infrastructure – in case you did not notice, we live in a country that had gone through an incredible period of growth and yet we are the only European capital over 1,000,000 people with no underground (and none in sight – the other thing is that knowing the pace of public road works in Ireland it would stop the traffic in Dublin more than snow).

      If the system wobbles too much, they will come up with a new program as to how to exploit the young Irish (and non-Irish) graduates via internship programs by making them do things their older collegues cannot (the story of my first job in Ireland, not as an intern), while the news announcers will salivate reading the good news that the price of student accomodation in Dublin has risen even more – because they all have properties to rent, them TV and radio stars.

      If an intern leaves or does not get a job after all, a new one will come, while the DAA (Dubai Australia Anywhere) authorities manager on 600,000 per annum will facilitate their swift transition to a more efficient health system.

      Like I said, Labour has paid a Christmas bonus to all apart from those who had recently lost their jobs or had been actively looking for one via internship programs (not their electore – Labour Does Not Work). How interesting!

      Think about that.

      P.S. Mr. Varadkar – where is the privatisation of Dublin Bus and ending of its monopoly you promised 4 years ago?

      • Pat Flannery

        Greg: As a long-time member of the Irish diaspora I can from personal experience answer your question as to whether anti-management is a national characteristic or not.

        I was managing director of a major Irish company for eight years before emigrating to America because of frustration trying to manage Irish people who did not want to be managed. I could hardly believe the difference in culture in America where good management is treasured and rewarded.

        Why do so few Irish emigrants return, especially those who like me had tried to manage in Ireland? Because like me they know that the Irish people are incorrigible in their lackadaisical unaccountable ways.

        The problem is that in Ireland nobody is accountable for anything. The Irish achieve national unaccountability by resisting all efforts at managing them. Holding people accountable is an indispensable tool of management. Forget it in Ireland.

        I see that national trait among Irish tourists and students in America. They cannot wait to get back to the comfort of lackadaisical unaccountable Ireland.

        All the money in the world will not change that deeply ingrained national trait. It could only come from society itself, not from government, or any other form of management. But why should they change, when they can always blame everybody other than themselves.

        • “Irish people are incorrigible in their lackadaisical unaccountable ways.”

          Game ball Pat, been saying this for years.

          ‘Can’t-be-arsed-itis’ takes over as soon as the going gets tough and the job gets hard.

          That’s because all the best people left (or were forced out) generations ago.

          What’s left behind are the runts.

          Present company excluded of course!

          • michaelcoughlan

            “That’s because all the best people left (or were forced out) generations ago.”

            Close Adam. It is in fact worse. The largest ever emigration out of the place has been the last three years. Everything gets dragged down to the lowest common denominator.

            We are a race of scum that eats our young.

          • Yeah well what I actually meant was ‘starting generations ago’.

            Now, I don’t blame the Irish for being victims of colonialism by a more powerful neighbouring state starting hundreds of years ago – there wasn’t much they could do about that.

            BUT BUT BUT – NOW IT’S TIME TO GROW UP!

        • michaelcoughlan

          “But why should they change, when they can always blame everybody other than themselves”

          Never were truer words spoken.

      • corkie

        “yet Ireland clearly overspends on her health services (2nd highest in OECD, after President Obama’s America, where the Obamacare program was concocted to fleece the taxpayers”

        Ireland’s health spend is high but nowhere near the US where the healthcare payer fleecing has been going on long before Obama came on the scene.

        According to this OECD
        https://data.oecd.org/healthres/health-spending.htm#indicator-chart

        Ireland’s per capita health spend peaked at 9th place in 2008/2009 after a gradual move from 20th in 1995. So your point about poor value for money may have some merit but is a little exaggerated. The ratio of public to private spending is relatively low compared to similarly ranked countries. But we are very close to Australia in that regard. You may wonder why our doctors and nurses are emigrating to that country if we are so similar. Maybe someone else is getting the money that would otherwise go to those occupations

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Interesting discussion, interesting comments – all of them.

          Ireland is the second highest spender on health in OECD, with the US on top, according to:

          http://www.businesspost.ie/ireland-top-spender-on-health-service-but-with-poorer-results/

          So it looks like we have not peaked in 2009 (btw, I always use the GNI per capita ratio when it is available as opposed to GDP, and I said that in my comment).

          Comparing 80pc of all spending on education going to salaries with even as low as half of that in Western countries which scored better results, like Finland (sure not a bastion of free market) would be an interesting topic for David – the culture of ill-conceived flaithiúlacht towards vested interest of those on the right side of assets bubble and the religion of benchmarking, epitomised by the Irish Times, probably the last newspaper in the world which admitted that there is a property bubble (even thought “The Economist” serves various groups of interest, they made that a leading story as early as 2006, sadly not quoting Messrs. McWilliams and Gurdgiev, who had said that even earlier).

          All that stuff that led to one of Ireland’s most powerful developers being outbid by the consortium of dentists…

          As to the US, of course corkie is right when he or she writes that “Ireland’s health spend is high but nowhere near the US where the healthcare payer fleecing has been going on long before Obama came on the scene.”

          It all started with Richard Nixon – some estimate that his “free” medical care plan has increased the cost of medical care in the US by as much as tenfold in real terms; having said that, I think that the Obamacare may do the job of bankrupting the US, and that’s even with China not increasing their military spending to exceed the US levels (they can easily increase it by a factor of three, even with their downfall – which reminds of the D4 boom and bust so much). Remember, almost 99pc of sole traders in China, like those selling food on streets, do not pay taxes, so God knows what the real figures for them are (maybe their businesses are booming since people can afford less?).

          Here is a fascinating article on medical care in the US:

          https://mises.org/blog/how-government-regulations-made-healthcare-so-expensive

          By the way, have been having some food poisoning having written my comment, which is the reason I am staying so late blogging (being woken up) – I know from my life experience that the best thing for that is puking like those passers-by by on D’Olier St at 4am, and if you are still in the toilet after 3 days, then you are f…d; still I cannot make myself puke so easily since Bertie has been replaced by amiable Micheál Martin (my and Bertie share one common thing though – English is our second language) – please do not take that as my support of FF.

          So maybe these lobbies are so powerful in Ireland that if one is against the Holy Ghost of benchmarking, there cometh the wrath of God upon the sons of disobedience.

          Mark 3:29King James Version (KJV)

          “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost of benchmarking hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.”

  7. SMOKEY

    You coined the term expectocracy I believe. The following is what is happening in politics around the world.
    The Liberal Mind and The radical left’s efforts to regulate the people from cradle to grave. To rescue us from our troubled lives, the liberal agenda recommends denial of personal responsibility, encourages self-pity and other-pity, fosters government dependency, promotes sexual indulgence, rationalizes violence, excuses financial obligation, justifies theft, ignores rudeness, prescribes complaining and blaming, denigrates marriage and the family, legalizes all abortion, defies religious and social tradition, declares inequality unjust, and rebels against the duties of citizenship. Through multiple entitlements to unearned goods, services and social status, the liberal politician promises to ensure everyone’s material welfare, provide for everyone’s healthcare, protect everyone’s self-esteem, correct everyone’s social and political disadvantage, educate every citizen, and eliminate all class distinctions. Radical liberalism thus assaults the foundations of civilized freedom. Given its irrational goals, coercive methods and historical failures, and given its perverse effects on character development, there can be no question of the radical agenda’s madness. Only an irrational agenda would advocate a systematic destruction of the foundations on which ordered liberty depends. Only an irrational man would want the state to run his life for him rather than create secure conditions in which he can run his own life. Only an irrational agenda would deliberately undermine the citizen’s growth to competence by having the state adopt him. Only irrational thinking would trade individual liberty for government coercion, sacrificing the pride of self-reliance for welfare dependency. Only a madman would look at a community of free people cooperating by choice and see a society of victims exploited by villains.
    Richard Boyd Barret or Joe Higgins couldnt have said it better…….

  8. michaelcoughlan

    “As I listened, I thought why didn’t this man and the nine able bodied voters in the house look after their own mother, chip in and buy her an extractor rather than wait for the “government” to pay for it? It is an example of dependency culture to the power of ten thousand; the journalist didn’t challenge the voter or even raise an eyebrow”

    You made a classical mistake of the middle class patronising the poor. The country has been flooded with dirt cheap eastern European labour leading to exploitative practices and maybe these guys are rightly fearful they will wind up like this;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt_bondage

    and not be able to provide for themselves no matter how hard they work.

    “The school will educate children and make them more productive in the future”

    Maybe the accountants who run the 3rd level institutions will keep the thicker or more insecure students in study longer so they can milk them of fees for all they are worth filing their heads with useless knowledge and no tangible skills. Subsequently low income employment opportunities may lead to the student loans never being paid back;

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-for-profit-college-loans-are-similar-to-subprime-mortgages-2015-09-11

    “The school will educate children and make them more productive in the future. Therefore, in real economics, our means are not fixed and, as a result, the very idea of living within them loses its meaning”

    Nonsense. Some kids vary in capacity so educating them will not secure the same result in all circumstances..

    “If a government invests in improving the transport system, it will make the country more efficient. Or if it invests in healthcare and education, that will make the workers more productive”

    “but don’t forget that real economics will re-emerge by St Patrick’s Day”

    Are you joking? If only; There isn’t a country in the world not running a deficit and real economics haven’t applied to the stock or bond markets fro decades.

    Michael.

  9. Any genuwine Nation State that believes it has a historic mission knows that balancing the books is a crock and War Economics proves it everywhere you look from the Brits in WW2 to the Israelis now.

    Compare and contrast these two islands in 1945. Britain, with cities like Birmingham blasted by the blitz of the Lufftwaffe rising like a glorious Phoenix breathing fire and passion and self-belief. Bankrupt by America as part of their plot to use the Second World War to become the global hegemon, only joining battle when expedient and convenient, trying to appropriate the glory of the Brits for their tawdry Hollywood historic make-over filums on the Normandy landings.

    The Brits didn’t give a fcuk about balancing the books in the war and afterwards, guided by the master economic wizard-gaylord Keynes, they just told The Market to drop dead and went on the mother and father of all splurges to build the NHS and fund public education and house-rebuilding. The Americans, meanwhile, were busy giving the losers the Marshall Plan whilst screwing every last £ from their ‘allies’ the Brits.

    On the troubled island of Ireland things had gone from bad to to worse to absolutely shite. The Emergency euphemism piggy-backed on the Blood Sacrifice nonsense of 1916 and beyond, De Valera off his head with his bizarre Potatoe Taliban nostrums, smooching to every Archbishop in sight and throwing anyone who disagreed in an Industrial School, Magdalene Laundry or onto the night boat to Hollyhead alongside my parents.

    How astonished the Birmingham Irish were to arrive in The Saxon Babylon only to find that the ‘heathens’ were God-fearing, upstanding Christians who’d fought the demonic Nazis with a stiff-upper lip and a mordant quip for every occasion. Poor Paddy on the railway in Dublin, my Dad, had enough of being mocked as a Culchie upstart and found in Birmingham both wariness and warmth. He and his peers saw the ‘No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” but soon found out about the true symbiotic history of the Peaky Blinders of Small Heath. And Paddy wanted in. Paddy Blinder was born, on the lash, off the leash, sticking two fingers to the scowling priest who either expressed genuwine horror or smirked inside knowing that the ‘ride’ that Paddy The Navvy planned that night was as nothing compared to what he had up his sleeve.

    Back in Ireland the resentment grew as the Shire Irish returned home for the summer, kids in tow, to help on the farms picking scallions and dancing provocatively at the local hop with the same hybrid priest response. More and more Irish people left for England but the myth remained of ‘yonder lies the Saxo foe’ propagated by the real plastic paddies, the fake soldiers of destiny in their Michael Collins drag singing rebel songs they had absolutely no right or reason to sing. The parsimonious politiicians continued to preach austerity, modesty, ‘Celtic Values’ whilst buying private islands off the coast of Cork and flying to London to shag and ale with the Brit bankers who laughed at their credulity. And on and on it went, and so it goes. This election will change nothing because the national narrative that the island-born, island-dwelling Irish is dysfunctional and shows no sign of change other than tinkering at the edges. Now, like a terrified child cowering before some psychotic Christian Brothers, the inheritors of 1916 obediently await instructions from Foreign Powers, from Angela and the ECB whilst planning a Centenary Circus to bring in American tourists who are so thick and delusional that they still think Boston is closer to Dublin than Belfast or Birmingham.

    Ireland will spend what America, the UK, and the EU-Euro incubus-succubus decrees. It is a satrapy, a financial concubine and when the long overdue Part 2 of the e GFC hits we’ll see a lot of stark-bollock naked Paddies when the tide sweeps out before the tsunami hits.

    Ireland Inc is still in charge but there’s fun and games on the horizon as David Drumm packs his backs on the East Coast and thinks of the mayhem he can cause. It’s almost as if the Ghost Of Michael Collins has risen and is planning it all. Not that I’ve ever met Mr Drumm, just admired him from a discreet distance, isn’t that right, David?

    “he will name names when he returns of others involved”

    “I picked it out of my arse!”

    Oh! Dublin! Let’s get this party started!

    I just cannot wait to see Enda ‘Poker Face’ Kenny’s reaction when he realises that others have a full monty and always were playing with a full deck, playing him for the patsy stripped naked by a final hatrick 3 card trick……

    but…this is a marathon….not a sprint…..yet…I am so excited I can hardly breathe..

    will Drumm do a deal for family sanity?

    Or blow the place to smithereens….

    cometh the hour, cometh the man?….

    redemption is on the table, Mr Drumm…. Amor Fati. Carpe Diem. Etc.

    with every good wish
    ‘Mad Paddy from Brum’

    “David Drumm do you know my name….?” 
    “Dear hero imprisoned 
    With all the new crimes that you are perfecting 
    Oh, I can’t help quoting you 
    Because everything that you said rings true 
    And now in my cell 
    (Well, I followed you) 
    And here’s a list of who I slew 
    David Drumm – do you know my name ? 
    Oh, don’t say you don’t 
    Please say you do, (oh) I am:
    The last of the Bankster International playboys 
    The last of the Bankster International playboys 
    And in my cell 
    (Well, I loved you) 
    And every man with a job to do 
    David Drumm – do you know my face ? 
    Oh, don’t say you don’t 
    Please say you do, (oh) I am: 
    The last of the Bankster International playboys 
    The last of the Bankster International playboys 
    In our lifetime those who steal
    The newsworld hands them stardom 
    And these are the ways 
    On which I was raised 
    These are the ways 
    On which I was raised 
    I never wanted to steal
    I AM NOT NATURALLY EVIL 
    Such things I do 
    Just to make myself More attractive to you 
    HAVE I FAILED ? 
    Oh, the last of the Bankster International playboys 
    The last of the Bankster…..”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ms55x0jnxw

  10. goldbug

    @DAVID

    ALL BORROWING CREATES INTEREST

    -> TO PAY INTEREST = MEANS MORE BORROWING

    -> ITS A PONZI SCHEME

    LIVING WITHIN “MEANS”

    => NEVER APPLIED TO URSURY

    “by borrowing to invest in things that will make the economy more productive, and thus increase the tax revenue”

    -> WHERE DOES THE EXTRA MONEY COME FROM?

    -> HOW CAN THERE SUDDENLY BE MORE REVENUE?

    .
    .
    .

    ANS: MORE LOANS + MORE BORROWERS = MORE INTEREST + MORE DEBT

    THE ONLY QUESTION TO ASK

    -> WHERE ARE TOMORROWS BORROWERS

    • Good question and you know the answer. The wealth accrued in the 19th century has been mortgaged and squandered in the 20th century and the day of reckoning has arrived.

      The greatest depression is already on the move the consume the vestiges of all that wealth. Not all will lose as those with foresight and energy will position themselves accordingly. The phoenix of a new economy will arise out of the old.

      The great reset is soon upon us.

      • “Before finishing I do want to point out the activity in gold and the mining shares. Gold is up close to 10% this year and the shares are up a crazy 45% in just two weeks! Something very big has changed. Many are saying it is because negative interest rates are coming, I am not so sure this is why. I believe big money and those running the clown markets understand where we are. I believe they understand no effort at reflation can work this time as we’ve passed that point now. It is my belief we are seeing gold move higher because it cannot “default” when the entire system defaults. What I am saying is this, the deflationary event of derivatives blowing up and taking the financial system with it will also destroy the currencies.”
        Bill holter

      • “”The recent announcement http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oil-iran-exclusive-idUSKCN0VE21S by Iran regarding their non-acceptance of dollars for current and past oil is also in the running as a “cause” for a “currency event”. The question must be asked, where does this leave Saudi Arabia? Can they afford to be the last oil producer who accepts dollars and only dollars for oil? Add to this, the military failure by the U.S. in Syria An Exasperated John Kerry Throws In Towel On Syria: “What Do You Want Me To Do, Go To War With The Russians?!” , how does this bode for the support of a global petro dollar? Call this deflation or hyperinflation, it really doesn’t matter what you call it as long as you understand that all currencies including the dollar are credit based. They will collectively collapse along with credit and derivatives. Gold will be the last man standing as “money will trump credit currency” and will be seen as the only lifeboat available. “”
        Bill Holter

      • “”You are watching the collapse firsthand on a daily basis and in real time. It doesn’t make sense to ask “when?” if you understand you are living through it each day. Your only job, if you understand what is happening is to be prepared. Be prepared to the best of your ability, being just one second too late might as well mean forever!

        Standing watch,

        Bill Holter
        Holter-Sinclair collaboration
        Comments welcome! bholter@hotmail.com

    • coldblow

      You accidentally left the cap lock off there for a couple of lines (just saying). Do you mind me asking if you are a creation of Tony’s and use the caps thing for market differentiation? I don’t mind (that much), it’s just I’d like to know if I’m right (again).

      • No, totally wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • coldblow

          Thanks Tony. What does Goldbug think? Let’s hear it from Goldbug! Doesn’t Death in Terry Pratchett’s Diskworld novels SPEAK IN CAPITALS. AND SO DOES TINY LITTLE OWEN MEANEY IN JOHN IRVING’S BOOK. I once clashed online with a character who insisted on using & (ampersand) instead of ‘and’ as a way of distinguishing this character from hundreds of others he had created. Another of his creations, a retired ex-mercenary ‘with hands like hams’ and supporter of the English Defence League affected semi-literacy and to prove it always used to leave a space before a full stop .

  11. michaelcoughlan

    “WHERE ARE TOMORROWS BORROWERS”

    I think McWilliams is a Keynesian and can’t be told if this is correct.

  12. I see that Enda Kenny is trying to turn the Regency Hotel gangland attack into an anti-Sinn Fein election stunt – what a wanker that guy really is:

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/paul-williams-more-bloodshed-expected-as-allout-war-is-declared-34432153.html

  13. McCawber

    True story:-
    Date: Early 1975.
    Yours Truly: Fresh out of college (ie Educated. For those that think it’s not worth it, you’re so wrong it’s unreal), unemployed and prospects not looking too rosy.
    Source of income: State unemployment assistance (not full dole) as it was called then.
    So I invested in a set of chimney sweeping rods and associated paraphernalia.
    I went from house to house etc, business was slow.
    Anyway I called to this house where a man about 30 answered the door and had the business discussion and what it cost.
    Was told they were waiting for the corpo to come to do it for his mother.
    Then he asked me if I would do it. To which I replied I would for a price.
    Oh no he meant would I do it for nothing.
    To which I said no and was roundly abused with a few choice words thrown in.
    I departed the scene much the wiser about the begrudging attitude and brass neck of a certain type of social welfare recipient.
    Mind you they probably couldn’t afford a chimney sweeping set so that could go out and do what I was trying to do.
    So to finish there’s them that does and them that doesn’t.
    I prefer to think I’m one of the doesers.

  14. All the debate and not a mention of the new political party that suggests politics of a revised version of sanity and a move from the current corruption.

    How about a review of Direct Democracy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Democracy_Ireland

    • After reading this account one sees the usual discrediting of any challenge to the establishment. The usual character assassination and charges. No wonder there is political morass. It is impossible to escape the bogs of Ireland.

  15. sravrannies

    A successful businessman who has legitimately avoided paying tax for many years will vote for the party with policies most favourable to his business, regardless of Health, Education, Environmental, Foreign or other pledges.

    The Public Sector workers who often tell me they can’t do it any quicker “because the Government” won’t give them enough resources!”
    The Bank worker who complains about having to now make a contribution to his previously non-contributory pension even though every taxpayer in the country has contributed to saving his job.

    Hearing that phrase: “it’s the governments fault” oh so often from people who seem to think that there is some remote, unreachable and iniquitous entity that we can blame for all our ills [ok, I know that’s too close to the truth!] when it fact, it is a body elected by the same people.

    “The Government should pay for it” is another we hear, based on some deluded notion that there is this magical pot of money lying around that just waiting to be grabbed – “ sure they won’t miss a few bob for an extractor fan for me mother!”

    The badge of honour bestowed upon those who brag of cheating the system for their own benefit without an inkling that they are robbing themselves, their family, neighbours and those really in need.

    This dependant and lackadaisical culture is prevalent not only in Ireland but other countries too – I’m thinking Mediterranean – but in Ireland, for me at least, it presents itself as particularly selfish, insular and adolescent – it makes me sick!

    However, I truly, truly believe that it can change – as JFK said “think not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. How many citizens understand the workings of the Government, how it raises and spends its money, who are elected representatives and so on… probably very few. If we could educate the public how such selfish behaviour has a ripple and affects the wider community perhaps they would think twice in the future – remember the successful Insurance industry campaign to get people to squeal on their neighbours to reduce insurance costs, the huge increase in calls to the Revenue hotline to stitch up wealthy neighbours during the recession. And if a country like Ireland can be the first to introduce a successful smoking ban [best idea any Irish Government has ever had] and then be the first to vote for Gay Marriage then there is no logical reason why it can’t change Ireland’s immature, irresponsible and self-serving culture. A carrot, a big stick and an honest politician – oh shit!

    I live in hope. Perhaps we can get the Dalai Lama to teach us all some Compassionate meditation!

    Peter

    • Peter, the Dalai Lama is a patronising scammer who insults people with his meaningless platitudes and who is only interested in one person – himself.

      • sravrannies

        …you could be right Adam, I’ve never studied the man or the myth. I was trying to think of who our saviour might be but perhaps, he/she doesn’t exist or, and it may take many of us in small incremental steps over time. Who/what would be your choice?

        keep posting

        p

        • I’d go for Nelson Mandela off the top of my head.

          He actually DID something positive for millions of people and bravely sacrificed half his own life (or all of it really).

          As for someone living, I’d have to give that more thought.

          • Although it is probably foolish to believe in saviours.

            In academia they refer to it as ‘dependecy’ which is the projection of leadership onto unsuitable people, or ‘pairing’ where there is an unfulfilled expectancy of Messiah-like figures.

          • @Adam Byrne:

            “Although it is probably foolish to believe in saviours.
            In academia they refer to it as ‘dependency’ which is the projection of leadership onto unsuitable people, or ‘pairing’ where there is an unfulfilled expectancy of Messiah-like figures.”

            “Dear Hero imprisoned, with all the new crimes that you are perfecting….

            1916…What did it mean?

            Michael Collins, do you know my name?

            Padraig Pearse do you know no shame?

            I am the last of the famous Revolutionary Playboys…”

            “remember, remember 21st November, 1974. Boston. Berlin. Belfast. Birmingham: so much to answer for…”

            “I was walking home, sad all alone, when I met “Paddy The Navvy”….tbc

            “the real Plastic Paddies are sitting in the Dail”

            National Anthem of Ireland (English Version) – “A Soldier’s Song”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVoWUnKA18k

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “who our saviour might be”

          How about God?

          “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

          Psalms 27:1

          But since we do not know whether He exists,

          “For a woman, all resurrection, all salvation, from whatever perdition, lies in love; in fact, it is her only way to it.”
          ? Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

          Have you tried this?

          http://www.amazon.com/Nietzsche-Wittgenstein-Search-Secular-Salvation/dp/8388938037

          That would have been a perfect book for – at that time a non-believer – me 15 years ago.

          Now, as far as the question of dependency is concerned,

          “A religious question is either a question of life or it is (empty) chatter. This language game–one could say–gets played only with questions of life. Much like the word “ouch” does not have any meaning–except as a scream of pain.
          I want to say: If eternal bliss means nothing for my life, my way of life, then I don’t have to rack my brain about it; if I am to rightfully think about it, then what I think must stand in a precise relation to my life, otherwise what I think is rubbish or my life is in danger. — An authority which is not effective, which I don’t have to heed, is no authority. If I rightfully speak of an authority I must also be dependent upon it.”

          Ludwig Wittgenstein,
          “Public and Private Occasions”,
          edited by James C. Klagge and Alfred Nordmann,
          Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, pp. 211-213

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “who our saviour might be”

          How about God?

          “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

          Psalms 27:1

          But since we do not know whether He exists,

          “For a woman, all resurrection, all salvation, from whatever perdition, lies in love; in fact, it is her only way to it.”
          ? Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

          Have you tried this?

          http://www.amazon.com/Nietzsche-Wittgenstein-Search-Secular-Salvation/dp/8388938037

          That would have been a perfect book for – at that time a non-believer – me 15 years ago.

          Now, as far as the question of dependency is concerned,

          “A religious question is either a question of life or it is (empty) chatter. This language game–one could say–gets played only with questions of life. Much like the word “ouch” does not have any meaning–except as a scream of pain.
          I want to say: If eternal bliss means nothing for my life, my way of life, then I don’t have to rack my brain about it; if I am to rightfully think about it, then what I think must stand in a precise relation to my life, otherwise what I think is rubbish or my life is in danger. — An authority which is not effective, which I don’t have to heed, is no authority. If I rightfully speak of an authority I must also be dependent upon it.”

          Ludwig Wittgenstein,
          “Public and Private Occasions”,
          edited by James C. Klagge and Alfred Nordmann,
          Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, pp. 211-213

    • coldblow

      ‘If we could educate the public…’

      Doesn’t that tie in with David’s call to ‘invest’ in education? All children are obliged to undergo this consciousness-raising process and an appropriate curriculum (in ‘modules’) is devised (all on a continual assessment basis as exams are unfair) including computer programming, world religion, gender and equality studies, Stay Safe and social media awareness, global warming and recycling. Who wouldn’t want to pay taxes for that?

  16. “By no means can we count on our politicians to solve the problem. As we’ve seen so many times, politicians with the guts to try for painful but necessary structural reform have a funny way of not being re-elected.”"

    –Money Morning

    http://moneymorning.com/2016/02/08/whats-really-wrong-with-the-economy-and-how-to-fix-it/

    • “Keynes’ great treatise “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money” was written in 1936 – an entirely different era – yet it still exercises enormous influence over economic policymakers seeking to stimulate economic growth. As a result, Keynesian prescriptions for printing money continue to rule despite their waning efficacy and the enormous damage they cause.” Money Morning

  17. mike flannelly

    JUSTIFICATION and ACCOUNTABILITY

    Politicians or Health care managers in Ireland are NOT required to be accountable or offer ANY justification for their actions by our “write down irish journalism” who are also PLAYERS in the dont rock the boat baby 2016 irish culture.

    Grzeg/Pat
    OECD health report 2014 tells us that

    Poland have 5.5 nurses per 1000 population servicing 6.5 hospital beds.

    UK have 8.2 nurses per 1000 pop servicing 2.8 beds.

    Ireland have 12.6 nurses per 1000 pop servicing 2.8 beds. They leave 90 year old men on trolleys for more than 24 hours. The answer to not leaving old people on trolleys we are told is two extra days holidays for nurses and lots more nurses.
    The measure of success for irish health care unions is not what is best for the greater public good but how much more can be got for THEIR MEMBERS.

    All election candidates that come to your door will tell you more public services and more nurses. We must bless ourselves when they mention nurses.

    Irish health care customers and Irish Bank customers MUST COME LAST. Its NOT about the needs and objectives of customers.

    During the 31st Dail we had a CB bogus mortgage arrears resolution process that provided no long term restructures for families with grossly overvalued debt. Bankers pensions and media outlets recieved restructures and writedowns.
    FG/Lab merged the CONSUMER and competition authorities. Isolde Goggin is the chairperson of the new commission. When asked about bank blank cheque variable rate products that dont meet the needs and objectives of consumers, she talks about competition.
    WHAT ABOUT CONSUMER LAWS? Has Isolde got the constitutional authority to ignore Consumer Laws for the banking sector.
    New CB governer Philip Lane tells us that he cannot interfere in the contracts between a lender and a borrower.
    The bank blank cheque variable contracts did not meet the needs and objectives of customers. HOW COULD THEY? NAME YOUR OWN BANKING PROFIT ? PLUCK IT OUT OF YOUR ARSE WHY DONT YOU.100% of variable customers believed that their interest rates would go up or down with market interest rates. These contracts were “FINANCIALLY” VAGUE and UNCLEAR.
    Has Philip Lane got the constitutional authority to ignore consumer laws for bank financial products that do not meet the needs and objectives of consumers?

    During the 31st Dail we saw how golden pensions for gerontocrats are a Red Line Issue. There is no financial justification in the year of 2016,that the Sickest children in Ireland must rely on charitable donations while select citizens recieve pensions above the contributory level that are not based on contributions.
    Teddy bears are sold for sick children but the proceeds must firstly go to golden pension payments for fund raisers.
    As Larry David says
    We Need To Flip It.
    The needs of sick children must come first from the tax system, while public sector pensions above the contributory level must be based on contributions.

    THERE MUST BE FAIRNESS AND FINANCIAL JUSTIFICATION IN THE SYSTEM.

    Irish Journalism must get a lot better at standing up to the system and man up to shout stop. They do not shout STOP.

    SOFTLY SOFTLY AND DONT HOLD ANYONE TO ACCOUNT.

    The Culture needs to change.

    The Irish Lap dog Media’s greatest achievement during the 31st Dail was penalty points. Wow.

    Shame on them.

  18. http://www.jsmineset.com/2016/02/08/youll-know-it-when-you-see-it/

    There will be market gaps both up and down. There will be market closures to settle the markets. On re-opening the prices will gap again, up or down. This process will continue until the government and banking distortions are wrung out of the market.

    This will be the great reset. Which side do you want to be on. The ups or downs.

    Faites vos jeaux.

  19. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/22-signs-that-the-global-economic-turmoil-we-have-seen-so-far-in-2016-is-just-the-beginning

    An extraordinary list of negative events indicating anything but green shoots.
    More like root rot and attacks by fungi and pests. The economic garden looks like late fall after a drought heading in to the devastation of winter. There is not much produce in the garden. Have you bought your winter woollies?

    • Don’t need them out here Tony!

      Almost 11pm – 26 degrees C – very comfortable!

      • michaelcoughlan

        Is Antigua expensive for a family adam? Is the government broke like every one else etc?

        • The cost of living is probably slightly cheaper (apart from some imported items) than in Ireland, although you’d need a lot of money to up sticks and move a family here.

          Employment is a problem, not a lot of well paying jobs around and loads of of competition for the good ones. You need your own income.

          As for the government, I don’t pay much attention to them – they got a bail out from the IMF some years ago but I believe it was cancelled due to some dispute over the terms.

      • Ha HA, yes, sounds very comfortable Adam. Do a little fishing, collect a few mussels, sip a little wine, stretch and relax, roll over and toast the other side. C’est la Vie, aussie.

  20. http://usawatchdog.com/dow-6000-extreme-sell-off-coming-gregory-mannarino/

    Mannarino now says the Dow is going to “6,000–or lower.” Mannarino warns, “People need to be ready for a major, extreme sell-off in equities which are inflated in a bubble.”

    In closing, Mannarino warns, “Bond yields are screaming, and the bond market is warning every single one of us that something is very ugly, and it’s right around the corner.

  21. sravrannies

    Some more interesting comparison on Health. Surprisingly the UK scores top with one of the lowest spends/capita.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/09/which-country-has-worlds-best-healthcare-system-this-is-the-nhs

    p

  22. michaelcoughlan

    @tonybrogan;

    The premium on my coin supplier for 1oz silver coins is now 20%.

    The spot at this time is 13.70 euro and the individual coins are 16.20 euro.

    Any thoughts?

    http://silber.celticgold.eu/nl_en/buy-silver/1-oz-silver-coins.html

    • Silver coin premium is higher while silver bars less so. Indicates a market in stress with the uplift held in check but the tectonic shift will not be denied as and when it lets go the earthquake and volcano will violently reset the prices to market.

  23. michaelcoughlan

    How scambridge destroys real job opportunities;

    https://youtu.be/hEwFmRm7ExU

  24. McCawber

    So the $20T and €20T question.
    Who will be the winners and losers of the forthcoming crash near you?
    Answers not so much with explanation but one liners because I think if you try to explain yourselves two things will happen.
    1. Your posts will be extremely long.
    2. You’ll lose me and probably a few other less adroit individuals than your good selves.

    PS I still have my chimney sweeping kit but only use it for personal use.
    However keep me mind in my if(when, apologies) the sh!t hits the fan and you need your chimney cleaned AND can still AFFORD to PAY for it.

  25. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “Who will be the winners and losers of the forthcoming crash near you?”

    I wish I knew lol

    One liners and no explanation then

    Losers:

    1. People who bought properties for renting
    2. Graduates with debt
    3. Some multinationals (like Apple, Amazon)
    4. Stock market investors
    5. D4 heads
    6. People keeping all their money in banks should we go Cyprus-style.

    Winners:

    1. People who can cook and grow vegetables
    2. Gun producers and owners due to increased levels of criminality. The current government has blood on their hands when it comes to the elderly, self-defence and rural burglaries:
    “I am determined to prevent any proliferation of handgun availability in Ireland,”
    Minister Frances Fitzgerald
    3. Jacks of all trades
    4. Course providers of practical skills courses
    5. Lucky investors in undervalued currencies

    In a hyperinflationary scenario:

    Losers:

    1. Owners of all properties (you could buy a block of real estate in Berlin in Weimar Republic for 25 ounces of gold and a tenament house in Katowice for $5,000 in hyperinflationary Poland) and almost all stocks and fiat currencies. Owners of the US government bonds.

    Winners:

    1. All of the above plus owners of physical gold, silver and palladium.
    2. Adam “Subscribe” Byrne (plethora of cheap food and no cost of heating in Antigua)
    3. David McWilliams (elected President)
    4. Martin McGuinness (he will start selling guns)

  26. vincent

    Apparently it is mathemathically impossible to have a balanced economic system while there is such a thing called interest attached. Apparently we need Usuary…

  27. Deco

    Excellent article.

    People badly need to pass it around.

    Local Democracy is an even bigger sham, because the “free stuff” demands are even less compromised by debates on national issues.

    The whole system, from top to bottom is loaded with this nonsense, of vote for the candidate that gets you free stuff at other people’s expense.

    From bankers to the chancer expecting a free fan extractor.

  28. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/will-deutsche-bank-be-saved-from-collapse/

    Assets only 3.4% of liabilities. (Fractional reserve banking)

    Plus dirivitives in trillions

    • michaelcoughlan

      From the link;

      “Under Anshu Jain’s “leadership,” DB became a financial nuclear weapon bloated on derivatives, exceedingly risky assets and highly corrupt upper management. It’s a literal cesspool of financial fraud and Ponzi scheme banking activity”

      No end to it.

  29. Election economics are all over the place and so are the coming results. Posted at lemetropolecafe.com

    Ireland:

    PM Kenny likely to fall short of majority: Bloomberg cited analysis by Cantor Fitzgerald which showed that Irish PM Kenny’s coalition government will fall well short of a majority in this month’s general election on 26-Feb. It noted that Cantor’s tally, based on five opinion polls since the end of January, shows the Kenny’s Fine Gael-Labour Party administration will secure 62 seats in the ballot, 17 short of a majority. Cantor added that the coalition’s combined 37% support compares with 55% in the 2011 election – setting up the stage for an uncertain outcome

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Interesting – I did not know the Irish election was discussed on Bloomberg.

      Paddy Power predicts the coalition Fine Gay/Fianne Failed as the most likely:

      http://www.paddypower.com/bet/politics/other-politics/irish-politics?ev_oc_grp_ids=591647

      Having said that, politics and weather are the weakest links in Paddy Power’s impressive machine, so who knows (pity they do not do political betting on Polish politics, as all my predictions I had made for the October elections turned right, including even details of the foreign policy).

      Renua and independents stories show that it is very difficult to break the 4 parties oligopoly in Irish political landscape (three I should say, as Labour will probably share the Greens fate).

      Political discussions in Ireland make me feel tired and jaded as the vast majority of people seem to revert the American debates principle “stay on the issue” and tend to stay on a person. Polish politics used to be like that for the first 20 years of the new quasi-independent Polish state, but then the grass-roots internet and press activity exposing shady deals plus realisation that it is not enough to change people for without systematic change they will become as corrupt as the previous once led to a shift in political debate.

      Now I am waiting to see whether there will be a change in a system.

      Sadly, with political system so fossilised in Ireland and the debate focused on personalities, I feel that Ireland is at the moment where Poland was around 1989 – everyone is frustrated and has high expectations, but with no alternative media and parties (Poland had over 260 parties in the 90s), from which few diverse parties would emerge, there is no channel to voice ones opinions (apart from this blog), let alone form a new political movement.

      Can you imagine Mr. Rand Paul gaining even as little support in Ireland as he got in the US? I thought this would happen in the recession, but nope. Now I feel like it is 2003 again – everyone is pushing towards the same bubbles, but with fewer people inside them. I wonder who will make “if I have it, I’ll spend” his election poster slogan.

      In Poland the likes of him already oscillate around 5pc.

      Wonder if “normal” Canadians have more substantive debates.

      “Where then is my hope— who can see any hope for me?”
      Job 17:15

  30. McCawber

    Getting Right Down to BASICS and assuming you have some free cash which might possibly be confiscated by your back or the state or both.
    Food, Water, Heat, Shelter and Security (I think).

    Water – Rain water will suffice although there are health risks but the human gut is adaptable. Shouldn’t be an issue in Ireland and in fact might be a useful bartering chip for the state.

    Heat – For those that use oil or solid fuel, the answer is obvious, TOP UP and keep it TOPPED UP. Mains Gas and Electricity – Get your insulation up to scratch, minimise draughts and buy warm clothing. (BTW – This applies to everyone).
    Might even be time to consider that Solar Panel.
    Question for the experts among us – Is there any advantage to paying a lump sum to your gas or electricity account.

    Shelter – If you own your own you should be sorted yes?
    If you are renting – What would anyone suggest? Moving back in with folks.
    If you have a mortgage – Should you continue as you are or use your savings to pay down your mortgage.
    What am I missing.

    Security/Safety – Should one be thinking about owning some kind of weapon or get a dog or something. Add in – Trips away. How does one protect one’s shelter?

    Food – Canned, Rice, Pasta, Porridge – Basically foods with long shelf lifes.
    Vegetables patch, Fruit trees and bushes.

    Sources of Income???????

    Basically should one be trying to convert ones cash into “things” as much as possible.

    What to do regarding Precious metals, stocks, bonds, prsa and savings is for an another a separate post.

    However what should ones approach be to ones PRSA? Aside from Gold assuming that is possible even.

  31. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-10/how-low-can-central-banks-go-jpmorgan-reckons-way-way-lower

    How negative can one get without busting the bank?? People will withdraw their money creating the very run they try to avoid.
    This is the prime reason for banning cash as then you cannot put your cash under the mattress to avoid the charges on your savings.

  32. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/

    The only thing demonstrated to me by DB’s bond buyback bravado is that investors learned nothing from 2008/2009 and bank upper management and directors are even more corrupt now than they were 8 years ago.

  33. A Trump beats all other cards

  34. The Spook In the Casino—–Recession Just Ahead, Part 1
    by David Stockman • February 8, 2016

    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-spook-in-the-casino-recession-just-ahead-part-1/

    In the next installment we will review the reasons why Keynesians and Wall Street bulls cannot see the recession coming, starting with the phony notion of the oil tax cut. But here is a hint.–David Stockman

  35. michaelcoughlan

    Hi all,

    I know I have been going off the rails a bit recently with nuclear weapon detonations etc but JESUS H CHRIST the board is going very fatalistic and morbid.

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