March 7, 2016

Ghost revenues

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 130 comments ·

On Wednesday morning, I made a speech in London to the Irish business community on Brexit, Europe and the world economy. After the speech I logged on and answered a few questions on my Facebook page.

Obviously as I was using Facebook, various ads came up on the screen. Looking out from the hotel room at Tower Bridge, it struck me as odd that the revenue from these ads was not going to the British tax authorities, but was being diverted to Ireland and being taxed in Ireland, despite the fact that I was clearly in England.

You don’t have to work for the British taxman to realise that this is highly questionable.

In 2014, Facebook caused uproar across the water when it was revealed that one of the richest companies in the world paid just £4,327 in corporation tax (20 per cent). This ridiculous sum is less than a single British worker on an average salary of £26,500 would pay (£3,180 in income tax and £2,213 in national insurance contributions).

When you dig a bit deeper into the figures, Facebook suggested that it had British revenues of £105 million. This is a company with global profits of $2.9 billion and revenue of $12.5 billion.

Could it be plausible that operations in the fifth largest economy in the world, with a rich population of 65 million people and internet usage among the highest on the planet, could account for less than 1 per cent of Facebook’s global revenues?

Obviously, this revelation caused a massive political storm in Britain. Politicians on both right and left demanded that the US mega-company pay its fair share of tax.

The problem for Ireland is that the revenues were being diverted from England to Ireland. We were party to it by accepting what might be called ‘ghost revenues’. These are revenues booked in Ireland, which were not generated in Ireland.

Many years ago, this column coined the phrase ‘ghost estates’, referring to estates that were being built that would never be occupied. Now we have ghost revenues. These are revenues that are being booked here, but which could never have been generated here.

It’s a grubby little game of beggar my neighbour. We have been playing it for a while and it is little more than a trick that risks the reputation of this country to enrich Facebook’s shareholders. It also exposes us as being quite happy to go along with financial tricks simply to make corporations love us more.

Now, don’t get me wrong: it was the very British Lord Palmerston – he of Palmerston Road – who came up with the notion that countries don’t have friends, but interests. It has been in our interest to play this beggar thy neighbour game, but it is coming to an end. The British have just switched to poker and have raised the stakes hugely.

Last week, following relentless pressure from the British authorities, Facebook called time on ghost revenues. The Facebook top brass realise that their long-term interest is in ongoing British business and revenue, rather than worrying about the stability of the temporarily swollen Irish tax base.

In a terse but definitive statement, Facebook declared: “On Monday, we will start notifying large UK customers that from the start of April they will receive invoices from Facebook UK and not Facebook Ireland.

“What this means in practice is that UK sales made directly by our UK team will be booked in the UK, not Ireland . . . In light of changes to tax law in the UK, we felt this change would provide transparency to Facebook’s operations in the UK.”

Ireland Inc could have done without the direct reference to us, but that’s the truth. The British are calling us out. The question is whether the British will be the last.

What about other countries losing revenues to Ireland? Now that the British have fingered us directly, will the rest follow suit, examining the billions of ghost revenues that are funnelled into Ireland and claimed as domestic revenue?

The term ‘ghost estate’ stuck because after it was pointed out one Sunday morning in this paper, lots of people read it and thought: we’ve one of those estates, too, in our town. Will the British move spark the same realisation in other countries, leading to ‘me too’ tax claims being lodged everywhere?

The British treasury wouldn’t be specific on how much cash it is in line to get – and by extension, how much we are in line to lose – but added: “We do not comment on individual taxpayers. But HMRC ensures that all multinationals pay the tax due under UK law and we do not settle for a penny less.”

The “we do not settle for a penny less” is a veiled reference to the ongoing EU commission investigations into whether Ireland was doing individual deals, offering differing tax rates to different companies – specifically Apple.

At the moment, the EU and Apple are in a massive dispute. The position of the Irish government in this test case underscores the bizarre territory the Irish state has staked out. We have sided unambiguously with the management of the multinationals.

In fact, from an Irish taxpayer perspective, you couldn’t make this story up. In short, the nub of the case is that the EU wants Apple to pay the Irish exchequer more money – and Ireland is actively arguing against this.

We – a country with a budget deficit – want Apple to pay us less, not more, money. Is this a first?

The stakes are huge. If the EU ruling goes against Apple, our government could be forced to collect between about $8 billion and $19 billion. Yes, you read right: forced to collect.

The EU is saying that preferential tax deals are illegal state aids, which give the company an unfair advantage over their rivals.

The EU wants multinationals to undertake ‘country-by-country’ reporting, where they’d have to make public their revenues, profits and taxes paid in each country where they operate.

This is exactly what Facebook has done this week, under pressure from Britain. It has succumbed to country-by-country reporting. It is a game-changer for us because obviously our domestic market is tiny in comparison to the declared profits of multinationals operating here.

Isn’t it amazing that – in a week when a massive, landmark decision has been taken that could have enormous ramifications for Irish industry, the economy and the tax base – our politicians are arguing over Irish water?

  1. Deco

    There are times when I look to the heavens in absolute bafflement at the blindness of the “leadership” of the Irish institutional state.

    I heard a phrase once “sure they can’t all be Nearys” [ a reference to the disgraced former board mmember of the Financial Regulator, who did SFA for the public interest].

    Forget all the spin that we are presented – Ireland’s economy is one part like Denmark(Munster/South Leinster), one part like Lithuania(the BMW region), one part like Bermuda (East region), and all governed like in Greece (the state complex, where money does in and excuses come out).

    The leadership in this country seem oblivious to the national and public interest. They are really exhibibiting all the tendencies mentioned in “the Good Room”. Their grovelling at the new Imperial construct is mind blowing.

    For Ireland’s glorified county councillors, the discussions are now about to reach a new level of absurdity.

    FG/LP have loads of rejected TDs. They have been rejected for good reason. The people want the change that they were promised in 2011 – but concerning which the politicians short-changed the people. The result was that the people moved on and picked politicians that might listen. And now these politicians who were caught out are busy lobbying to get themselves into the Seanad. , and there is intense pressure to get as many into the Seanad as recycled politicians.

    David – it is now even worse than having them trading barbs over the water super-quango (which is of epic Greek style unaccountability in design).

    A whole bunch of chancers are climbing over each other to get their snouts back into the trough, via the Seanad. Many of those same chancers were recently declaring the Seanad to be fit for the bin.

    You really could not make this stuff up.

    Leadership ? I don’t see leadership, in either of the two blocks being built to form a minority government. And that is what will be the basis of the next government.

    The independents/smaller parties are demanding the reforms that the people were promised in 2011. At this point in time, that is our best hope of improvement. But FF/FG/LP/SF only want to continue the same contempt ridden approach to ignoring the public interest and serving as a garrison for Brussels. [ I am including SF, because they live in an aspiration of becomming the next FF].

  2. Colm MacDonncha

    Irish Water again…yawn! Just bury it and move on. The shenanigans over the past week or so have been cringeworthy to say the least,and have no appearance of improving any time soon. Apple,Facebook,Google et al are here only because of the no-tax regime. End of. Anyone who believes that there is any other reason such as sentimentality, Oirish Americanism,language or access to Europe should email me,as I have a nice patch of coastal land I could let you have cheap….
    Our government (Ha Ha!) needs to front up and take pre-emptive action before our European Overlords force a much tougher regime upon us.

  3. sravrannies

    I have always wondered; has there ever been a debate/research into what level of tax a corporate entity should pay compared to an individual taxpayer. If, say, the average tax take from a working individual was 50% as their contribution to healthcare, roads, education etc. what SHOULD be the tax take for a business entity as their contribution to …what??? For the sake of argument – discount for now all types of tax avoidance/investment incentive schemes for bot.


    • There is a worldwide plot to destroy the post-war welfarist consensus which was only granted to stop ‘Bolsheviks’ in Small Heath aka: Peaky Blinders. Now the elite ruling class think they can say “fine, you want a civilisation based on fairness, taxation and notions of mutual obligation and respect: pay for it all out of personal income tax, don’t expect us robber baron Corporations to chip in as we have your politicians hostage. Our lobbyists know all their foibles, tax scams and all we have to do is hold out a carrot of a seat on the board after their parliamentary scam career ends and they do our bidding. UK. US. Ireland Inc. They’re all the same, they are our tax whores. And when we tell them to do our bidding, they do exactly what we demand. That’s why we pay those whores. Your votes? How amusing that you still imagine such contrivances matter. Labour/Tory FF/FG GOP/Democrat. It’s irrelevant to the One Party Corporatocracy that runs the world.

      • EugeneN

        All the wealth of copororations ends up with households, in the forms of stock, bonds, etc. As does other wealth like Property. Which we can’t tax in this country, lest it upsets the working classes.

    • McCawber

      An interesting question.
      Related to that.
      Define rich, very rich, too rich in terms of income only (keeping it simple )
      When the left say we should be taxing the rich more, who are they talking about.
      The source of corporate wealth is becoming more and more dependent on their Intellectual wealth.
      Robotics, AI will be the intellectual wealth whose ownership will define our society over the next 30 years. Letf etc out after AI btw.

  4. Deco

    By the way, a recent revelation concerning the FG election campaign, gets to the essence of the incompetence in the Irish political layer.

    The Tories in London gave advice to FG. The Tories themselves achieved the impossible, in their re-election. So in this case, the advice could have been a gift to FG. Anyway, as is often the case with FG, they made a dogs dinner of it. A complete and absolute disaster followed. FG outsourced their thinking to the UK Tories, and they UK Tories showed why FG are amateuers.

    FG got lost in Fiscal space, and ended up a collection of whingers. The LP should have been boosted by the Slab Murphy business, but instead that ended up boosting FF.

    FG – the Fawlty Towers party.

    The last 5 years consisted of Ireland sitting on a wave of QE and a tech boom. If financial markets turn, we will be back asking the same questions about private sector solvency, and public sector waste.

  5. Deco

    The article has me pondering….”they can’t all be Nearys, can they ?”.

    We – a country with a budget deficit – want Apple to pay us less, not more, money. Is this a first?

  6. Antaine

    Subscribe :-)

  7. Ghost estates? Ghost revenues? How about #GHOSTNATION ? How about actually looking at the legacy of 1916 & calling out 100 years of almost total nonsense? The real plastic paddies are the tax whores sitting on their arses in the Dail. Gene Kerrigan nailed it yesterday. I quoted him for last article and it’s apposite to re-quote here. Enough of these fake soldiers of destiny. Enough of Ireland Inc fluffing every multinational phallus in sight. For goodness, sake, is it a Nation or a tax whore brothel?

    The Tories are in total panic mode. The #Brexit referendum they thought the Lib Dems would save them from is now going to tear them apart. Excellent! The Brits can choose habeus corpus, Anglo-Saxon law or live under a covert Napoleonic Code. The Irish had it all to play for 100 years ago and totally, repeatedly blew it. Now, as Ireland Inc in the IFSC they just get on their knees and blow Banksters. I’ll be there over the next few weeks watching the total nonsense of the centenary as elected tax whores in suits pretend to be heirs to blood sacrifice psychotics who ran a Catholic Taliban economy into the ground many, many times. And don’t give me any Culchie back chat in Kilkenny, Limerick or Dublin next week. You lot voted these clowns in non-stop and when you got the chance to stop the rot you bent and spread for the Lisbon Treaty re-vote just as you’d bent and spread for Rome. At least The English know the City of London runs the show but they can’t undo the foundational texts of the Anglo Saxons, unless they do it via Europa. Ain’t gonna happen. If it does then The English will have to stop singing Rule Britannai as they will always, always be slaves to unelected European Banksters. #FcUKEU Up yours Delors! Anger Is An Energy. LOL!

    best wishes
    Mad Plastic Paddy from Brum
    [channeling the ghost of Padraig Pearse's Atheist Brummie Dad]

    “Hey, Big Boy, you fancy a Double Irish?

    Today, Ireland’s reputation is that of a tax whore.

    We know that right across the world, from here to the US Senate, it is understood that we have been pimped out by a political and financial class who offer the use of the country for any dodgy practice if the price is right.

    Hey, Big Boy, fancy a Double Irish?

    Throughout the EU and further afield, we are known for kissing the ass of anyone who might do us favours. In return, we forego our rights. We are known for our cowardice when the likes of Trichet and Geithner come to bully us. Not strategic deference – cowardice.

    a right-wing Taoiseach who has to be given notes, such as the one urging him to put more “empathy, empathy, empathy” into his public appearances. A man who has to be told what to say – and now what to feel.”

    • Deco

      Our “leadership” went grovelling to Trichet ( who should have been jailed before he became ECB President for scandals in France) and Geithner ( who should have been banned from public office, as a result of his failure to regulate when he was in the NY Fed during the sub prime debacle build up).

      And our “leadership” got a pat on the head and kick in the stomach.

      The have no concept of the public interest.

      • McCawber

        Lest people forget “Our leadership” to whom you refer were FF.
        Our leadership met a force greater than they.
        The Troika did a far better job of running this country than “Our leadership”
        That’s the same leadership that were the leadship that ran us aground.
        But to be fair they told us we could miss the chaos if we committed suicide instead.

    • “I’ll be there over the next few weeks watching the total nonsense of the centenary”

      Andrew, how can you even contemplate putting yourself through that?

      Thank Jayzuz I am 4,000 miles away.

      #Paddywhackery is hard to swallow at the best of times but it’s going to be utterly unbearable as Easter approaches.

      100 years of a failed state and that’s something to celebrate?!

      The flag waving, lumpen proletariat will swallow it hook, line and sinker though.

        • EugeneN

          Kerrigan is sometimes ok, but that article is generally just tosh. We have a health minister who points out that the HSE is generously funded and he’s treated like Hitler. Kerrigan does go after public sector waste, but only in the specific, he might have an issue with a high level HSE manager here, or a financial regulator there, but never joins the dots.

          As for the low tax regime, the government and the IDA were pretty successful in getting employment into this country, if the locals tend not to become entrepreneurial on the backs of that well, its not the governments fault.

      • Adam, I’m putting myself through it as I see the humour in it all. The mass delusion has to play itself out and then collapse before anything new can happen. The added hilarity of FF/FG’s shotgun wedding after the last election just adds to the comedy value.

        On a serious note: nobody owns the meta-narrative of Ireland. Not FF/FG/SF/you/me/Ireland Inc. It belongs to the people who live there and those who left either by choice or by being told their faces didn’t fit. It’s a Ghost Nation living on the failed dreams of the past, singing nonsensical ‘rebel’ songs whilst kneeling before foreign banksters. The UK is an annoying tourist theme park but the Irish ‘rebel’ one is absolutely ridiculous and far more pathetic. 1916 was a daft counter-revolution against progress and the 100 years since has been more of the same. I will be watching and smirking at the maudlin sing-songs in pubs, the proud parading of chips on shoulders by the well-fed, badly read and sanctimonious purveyors of the 800 MOPE Victim Script.

        What else have the lumpen got? Other than British sports and television shows to watch? The cognitive dissonance of the Paddies in Liverpool the other night was, as always, awesome. Roaring at the game, claiming Man U as theirs, singing silly chanting troll slogans about Hillsborough then warming up for the centenary singing ludicrous ‘rebel’ songs in pubs on corporate expenses.

        The days when Liverpool is the poor cousin to Dublin are hopefully soon to end once the Brits leave the EU and leave the fake soldiers of destiny in D4 and the IFSC to whore themselves to oblivion in Brussels and Berlin. But it’s going to be very, very tough for the average poor culchie when the music stops and pulling on a green jersey over the Man Utd shirt won’t keep them warm once the Euro implodes. As usual, it’s the Brits who’ll save Europe from tyranny. Or lose the right to call themselves ‘Brits’ alongside the right to ancient Anglo Saxon laws which protect them from Napoleon Bonaparte’s plans. #FcUKEU Up yours Delors! #EndaTheTaxWhoreTaoiseach

  8. cooldude

    David interesting post. There is a serious problem on the blog with off thread comments in defence of acknowledged paedophiles. Could you have a look into this please and put a stop to this. I have no problem commenting on economic matters on this blog but the other stuff is way off line. Have a look a the comments on the previous post and see if you think they are appropriate for this forum.

  9. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “We were party to it by accepting what might be called ‘ghost revenues’. These are revenues booked in Ireland, which were not generated in Ireland.”

    An unintended consequence of a small country losing the tax haven status is that its diplomatic position (and thus the power of its diaspora) would worsen.

    What do I mean by that?

    Well, look at Switzerland and Luxembourg, two small countries that are nevertheless punching above their weight because they serve as money laundering bases for the mighty (true, Switzerland’s has additional advantage of geographic location – mountains – and one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, which makes it difficult to invade and thus being a safe location, but Luxembourg is definitely a country favourably treated due to it being a tax paradise).

    Whatever we think of multinationals, and I am neither their fan nor their enemy, they are handy inasmuch they can always put in their pennyworth when a small country like Ireland is in the firing line (big countries like Germany do not tend to find themselves in the firing line, at least among the weaker, as far as their money laundering practices are concerned).

    What things make Ireland an ideal location (in the EU that is), when it comes to sucking out profits generated in other countries?

    1. FINANCIAL VEHICLE CORPORATIONS (Ireland has 742 of them).

    (Stewart, (2013), Low tax Financial Centres and the Financial Crisis: The Case of the Irish Financial Services Centre).

    2. SECTION 110 of Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.
    According to said Mr Stewart, in 2011 the IFSC investement was over 17 times the size of Ireland’s GNP. Arthur Cox describes Section 110 as a tool to for SPEs “to engage in an extensive range of financial and leasing transactions in a “tax neutral” manner”. In other words, to shift profits earned in other countries. In 2011, the Minister of Finance headed by the mumbling Minister Noonan stated that

    - there was no specific statistical code for companies that use Section 110
    - nor it was possible to provide any information on any audits carried out on such companies
    - nor their tax yields.

    The explanation provided by Mr Noonan was as disarming as it was daft – he cannot provide a definitive response in respect to those questions about SPEs because the Irish law does not have a specific definition for SPEs.

    An Irish solution for an Irish problem, but now the Anglo-Saxon world – supposedly friends of the Irish Atlantic race – has said they have enough.



    5. And there is the DOUBLE IRISH of course, a scheme used to channel payments through Ireland.

    So what should the Irish government do?

    They should point out that a country like Germany uses loopholes like

    1. GOLDFINGER (bringing the tax of German companies to down to zero by establishing partnerships and buying precious metals. Some of those loopholes were closed in 2012, but not all.

    2. Transferring loses of subsidiaries in Germany to the parent company and allowances to carry losses forwards and backwards to reduce their tax liabilities by imputing loses of previous years to current profits, as described in Henn, M., Mewes, S., Markus, M. [2013], Schattenfinazzentrum Deutschland – Deutschlands Rolle bei globaler Geldwaesche, Kapitalflucht und Steuervermeiduing, p. 29.

    3. Although, unlike in Irish law, SPEs are defined (the Handelsgesetzbuch speaks of SPEs as “companies or certain other legal persons or legally dependent funds that underlie a directly or indirectly controlling influence by a parent company”, while the Kreditwesengesetz defines SPEs as “entities whose principal purpose is to raise money by issuing financial instruments or shifting economic risks without entailing a transfer of ownership rights”.

    4. Germany (unlike, i.e., Poland) allows bearer shares and Treuhand funds (FATF, [2014], Mutual evaluation of Germany – 3rd follow-up report, p. 36.

    5. Germany has not ratified the Amending Protocol to Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (OECD. [2014] Status of the convention on mutual administrative tax matters and amending protocol and had been postponing (until recently) the ratification of the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    6. DEUTSCHE BANK, COMMERZBANK AND HYPOVEREINSBANK have all been charged with money laundering in other countries (Henn, p. 15).




    10. As a result of that legislation, German companies have been stealing over 10 billion euro a year in unpaid taxes in Poland alone.

    Here is then what the Irish government should do:

    1. Ally with Germany on keeping Ireland as a money laundering haven.

    2. If the EU attacks Ireland on that, but does not attack Germany, use
    those arguments against Germany.

    3. Pay me a small fee for financial advice.

    • Truthist

      Very interesting info. accumulated & analysed & explained & interpreted Grzegorz.
      Rather valuable actually.
      I reckon that most of Ireland’s professional economists would be capable of producing this insight.
      I will be copying & pasting into a word-processing document now.

      U mention Luxembourg early on ;
      Now, that is a country that surely is worthy of scrutiny by smart Irish.

      Germans can be very crafty even with their hands tied behind their back.

      Switzerland is said to be very vulnerable from EU empire, & USA also.
      Of course these 2 monoliths are controlled by the 1 & only puppet-masters.

      • Truthist

        Typo ;

        No ; I reckon that most of Ireland’s professional economists would be capable of producing this insight.

        Yes ; I reckon that most of Ireland’s professional economists would NOT be capable of producing this insight.

        • coldblow


          ‘No ‘ I reckon that most of Ireland’s professional economists would be capable of producing this insight.

          Yes ; I reckon that most of Ireland’s professional economists would NOT be capable of producing this insight.’

          Yes ; I reckon your accumulation & analyis is interesting and accurate in BOTH statements.

          No ; I reckon your accumulation & analyis is interesting and accurate in BOTH statements.

          • coldblow

            Typo ;

            Truthist -> Tony

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            What a great sense of humour in that exchange from all of you :-)

            It rather reminds (in its spirit) of the following statement from my favourite sitcom:

            “Bernard Woolley: [Discussing possible reasons for the Prime Minister's early retirement] Minister, I’ve heard something quite different.
            James Hacker: What?
            Bernard Woolley: That there is £1 million worth of diamonds from South Africa in a Downing Street safe, but of course it’s only a rumour.
            James Hacker: Is that true?
            Bernard Woolley: Oh, yes.
            James Hacker: So, there ARE all those diamonds in Downing Street!
            Bernard Woolley: Are there?
            James Hacker: You just said there were.
            Bernard Woolley: No, I didn’t.
            James Hacker: Yes, you did! You said you’d heard this rumour, I said is it true, you said yes!
            Bernard Woolley: I said yes, it was true that it was a rumour.
            James Hacker: You said you heard it was true!
            Bernard Woolley: No, I said it was true that I heard it!
            Annie Hacker: I’m sorry to cut into this important discussion, but do you believe it?
            James Hacker: I believe I heard it. Oh, about the diamonds. No.
            Annie Hacker: Is it impossible?
            James Hacker: No, but it’s never been officially denied. First rule in politics: never believe anything until it’s officially denied.”

            The latter – not believing informations which are not denied – was actually a practice used by one of the Tsar foreign ministers (I forgot which one) which yielded very good results for him.

    • Gene Kerrigan got it right Grzegorz with this paragraph in the article that Andrew gave the link for:

      “Throughout the EU and further afield, we are known for kissing the ass of anyone who might do us favours. In return, we forego our rights. We are known for our cowardice when the likes of Trichet and Geithner come to bully us. Not strategic deference – cowardice.”

      Are you starting to get it now Grzegorz? To see what the Irish version of being ‘grown up’ and ‘governing’ really is?

      • Pat Flannery

        Adam, in all fairness Gene Kerrigan should have checked his own newspaper’s archives before writing his hyperbolic piece yesterday entitled “Hey, Big Boy, you fancy a Double Irish?”. If he had done so he would have known that Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan had abolished the “Double Irish” in 2014. Or perhaps he did know but wrote his sensation-seeking piece anyway.

        • Technically you might be correct Pat but Kerrigan may have been referring to the time when the multinationals were first enticed here and of course there are all sorts of other and equally as dubious fiddles and arse-lickery going on to try to keep them here now, so I think his general sentiment is valid.

          • EugeneN

            The double Irish wasn’t a design we got into with the Dutch. It was an abuse of the law.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “The double Irish wasn’t a design we got into with the Dutch. It was an abuse of the law.”

            As to the Double Irish being an abuse of the law, hmm, maybe, but things like Section 110 and SPEs – known in some countries as SPVs – are absent in some EU countries.

            I have to say though, compared to the Netherlands (I did not have time to mention) and Germany Irish law is still relatively transparent.

            I am not even saying Ireland should not be a tax haven.

            I am just saying:

            1. Ireland has had a great chance to develop its own high-tech industries and did not fully use it, having focused on servicing other countries goods rather than producing her own goods (among small countries, Hong-Kong would be a good counter-example, and so would, to an extent, Switzerland, which has found an expensive, but profitable market niche; also Israek, but they avail of technology transfers from US Army).

            2. Relying on (and planning) tax intake from multinationals is dangerous.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        The problem with relying (in manufacturing and high-tech exports) on multinationals is that

        a) One stroke of the US President’s pen may topple the whole elaborate edifice, and with it 100,000 jobs and whatever tax intakes, fair or unfair.
        b) The way the Irish economy seems to be structured is that both property market and multinationals seem to be riding on a big assets bubble – these 2 bubbles (stock market bubble of multinationals in Ireland and domestic property bubble) seem to be interlinked much more than in, say, murky Germany, which is more leveraged in its banking sector.

        It’s all dependent on the idea of laundering profits earned in other countries.

        Compare that with Ireland of the 90s, when wages were 30pc below the EU average – yet you did not hear that:

        because house prices were not growing 15 times faster than in the rest of the EU (like they are doing now), which, combined with low taxes, was the reason the high-tech manufacturing had moved to Ireland. I remember I bought Sennheiser headphones in 1996, made in Ireland, made here surely not because of the roving eyes of the girls making it.

    • Pat Flannery

      Grzegorz, you seem to have a good understanding of how Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) are used internationally to avoid risk and taxes. I am particularly interested in knowing how the Irish banks were able to use SPEs to effect the bundling of loans into securitized instruments for sale on the international bond markets but yet seem to have retained all the risks associated with those SPEs, resulting in Irish Government bailouts.

      My understanding is that for any SPE to be effective it must separate the beneficial owner from the legal owner. How then can Irish banks be liable for SPEs they do not own?

      At the risk of “incurring a small fee for [your] financial advice” I would really like to understand how that happened.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej


        I would have to get back to you some day when I have more time. As to SPEs being used internationally, that is not always the case, Poland does not allow SPEs (this does not prevent it from being fleeced by multinationals using other instruments); it does not allow anonymous bearer shares either (companies must register their numbers etc, though I am not up to date with legislation on that one – given the new Polish government wants to close all the loopholes).

        “How then can Irish banks be liable for SPEs they do not own?”

        Warmer, warmer, very warm.

        A similar thing:

        How can German companies in Poland show near zero profits or even losses and yet dominate the market? And that even with SPEs not allowed by law. As you can see, it’s a complicated matter.

        “it must separate the beneficial owner from the legal owner” – yes, beneficial ownerships separates r i g h t s in e q u i t y from a l e g a l t i t l e.

        • Pat Flannery

          Grzegorz: I look forward to what you may come up with. I have a sneaky feeling we are not being told the full story because Irish journalists dig no further than what their editors need to meet a deadline. The use of SPEs need to be examined in depth, country by country starting with Ireland.

          • StephenKenny

            SPEs, or SPVs, have been used for many years – ENRON were a famous utiliser of them. You may recall there were some gas barges that were suddenly owned by Merril Lynch, for a while? SPVs.

            They make it sound so complicated, whereas in fact it really isn’t. By putting something in an SPE you immediately make it ‘arms length’ from everyone. So the relationship between it (and whatever it owns) and outside parties is defined purely by a contract.

            As long as the various jurisdictions are considered in the construction of the contract, it is ultimately flexible in terms of beneficiary and liability. They can be sliced and diced any old how – it’s just a bunch of contracts.
            The key thing is to select the right kind of vehicle to fit the jurisdictions and the sort of contracts that are going to be involved.

            An SPE could be a limited liability company, a public limited company, a limited liability partnership, or a number of other things. Whatever they are, they must be recognisable in courts, and rock solid in terms of commercial & contract law. Once that’s in place, write any old (valid for the parties) contract you like.

  10. EugeneN

    “Obviously as I was using Facebook, various ads came up on the screen. Looking out from the hotel room at Tower Bridge, it struck me as odd that the revenue from these ads was not going to the British tax authorities, but was being diverted to Ireland and being taxed in Ireland, despite the fact that I was clearly in England.”

    When I launch the ITV player I get adds, They are Irish themed ads in many cases ( not all). But the ITV player is being broadcast from the UK. It is taxed in the UK, where the IP and probably the data is broadcast from.

    Thats fairly standard, and in fact given that it is a service economy the UK is playing with fire here.

    • I never see any ads. I use Ad Blocker.

      • EugeneN

        You can’t block ads on the ITV player, not on its internal app anyway. They are part of the playback UI, you can’t forward wind past the ads either, unlike television. Try that and the cursor goes back to play an ad. Also don’t block ads, people need to eat

        Another example aside from ITV. The Economist. The magazine. It books advertising revenue from across the globe. Lots of copies are now sold digitally. They might have a sales team outside the UK to sell advertising space ( thats largely irrelevant).

        Lets concentrate on the website and mobile applications. The Economist online, or its app makes money from attracting eyeballs. The economist also sells its magazine, but that also has advertising “booked” in the Uk and also may have a US sales team. Both online and apps have advertising. The economist print edition also sells ads.

        In the Economist case people are attracted by the content, which is increasingly badly understood arguments about global tax, and for Facebook people are attracted by pictures of cats. It doesn’t matter. Its the same thing. Advertisers pay to get noticed by these people. That revenue is booked in the Uk.

        Taxes are not paid where the content is sold, but where it is produced. Where the IP is.

        In the Irish case, of course, the content is really produced in the US. However, that argument – about whether transfers of IP should happen or not – is orthogonal to the UK case about claiming revenue from sales. Nobody has seemed to notice that they have unilaterally attacked the tax bases of other countries, while not accepting the same applies to themselves.

  11. cooldude

    Here is the latest predictions from cycles analyst Bo Polny who has been spot on with his market calls throughout the present crisis. Very interesting stuff and as I said he has been spot on so far

  12. Pat Flannery

    In this article once again David has excelled himself as a shameless Anglophile and unionist propagandist. He has here repeated all the lies of the British press regarding Facebook and Ireland.

    He failed to mention the fact that Facebook paid a mere €3.4m in corporate taxes to the Irish Treasury on revenues of €4.83bn last year. He did not explain that Irish corporate tax is based on profit, not revenue, and Facebook Ireland manages to show very little profit, which is the real problem. But like his British media counterparts he highlights the fact that Facebook paid only £4,327 British tax on British revenues of £105 million.

    To confirm his anti-Irish pro-British bias he uses phrases like “the temporarily swollen Irish tax base” and “what about other countries losing revenues to Ireland?” as if the British and other countries were actually “losing revenues to Ireland”. In other words that Ireland was actually collecting 12.5% from multi-nationals like Facebook, Google and Apple.

    Read this rather fairer (British) explanation of “Double Irish”:

    The truth is that it is the British themselves who oversee this vast international tax avoidance scheme using its overseas territory, the Cayman Island. David, you don’t have to give up your unionist views but as an economics journalist you should at least give the full facts.

    • EugeneN

      Its not just that, but corporation tax is never paid on earnings in every country the corporation trades in, that is just nonsense.

  13. Deco

    The views of Kunstler.

    The effects of all this fundamental dishonesty have thundered through our national life to the degree that American society is now divided into the swindlers and the swindled, loosing the monster of collective Id known as Trump on the public. This is what comes of attempting to divorce truth from reality, which has been the principal business of American life for several decades now. When truth and reality become de-linked, a society literally doesn’t know what it is doing. With that goes the collective sense of purpose, replaced with bromides and platitudes such as Trump’s “make America great again,” and Hillary’s “In America, every family should feel like they belong.”

    Unbeknownst to the cable news hustlers, events are in the driver’s seat, not the personalities of the puppets and muppets in the spotlight. Come July, there may not be anything that could be called the Republican Party. And Hillary is the first leading contender for the highest office with a possible indictment looming over her. Yes, it’s really there percolating on the FBI’s front burner. Even if the machinery of justice trips over itself again on that, imagine how the questions behind it will color the final battle for the general election. We also fail to appreciate how, if there is just a little more trouble in banking and financial markets before November 8, we can’t even be certain of holding the general election.

    I know how the followers of Trump and Sanders feel. They have been sold a pup. In 2008 the young people followed Ron Paul and Obama. They knew that the system was loaded with debt, and gave those with energy nothiing but instructions. That went nowhere. Ron Paul was marginalized for making statements like social security is out of money, and Obama folded.

    And now they have made a wise choice – gone for politicians who are honestly angry with the system. Because matters are worse now.

    The swindling has reached epic proportions here. Yet there is no debate about it. Instead, in a stroke of genius FF, managed to make the election about stuff other than corruption, waste, nepotism, swindling fiddling, etc…

    Well, it just proves FF really are the evil genius of the Irish political spectrum. and fasscinatingly enough, for SF the same issues were repeated discussed, and the other same issues were to be avoided.

    WE have ongoing scandals with NAMA. There is a lot of dirty money behind prominent Irish political parties. Then there is the tracketeering of the professional elites. The legal profession avoided any examination, thanks to dithering by Shatter. The institutional state avoided any reform, thanks to a superficial program by Howlin that examined the system and found no potential to make it more efficient. The whole edifice is rotten with lying.

    The Hillary Clinton of Ireland is Frances Fitzgerald, making bland empty statements that are not worth a spoon of baked beans, and talking of higher office, whilst having left a trail of destruction in her midst.

    It will be Trump versus Sanders. Trump wants the jobs to go back to America. Sanders wants the jobs and the money to return stateside. If I were an American I would choose either ahead of another family dynasty soap opera series.

    In the meantime, well done FF & SF for making sure that criminality and crookedness never entered the debates in the General Election. And FF were supported all the way by the media. The one thing that FF and SF do well, is change the subject away from their serious contained defects in their entities.

  14. Guaranteed annual incomes are in the works. A form of helicopter money distribution. An addition to corporate subsidies and banking bailouts (bailins).All will be forced to have electronic delivery rather than cash or cheques. All cash will be banned.

    Remember that a government big enough to give you everything is big enough to also take it all away.

    “Conclusion: Retain your courage and your ability to exercise “human action” when confronting these anti-freedom strategies. Your wealth and your ability to create it should belong to you, not to politicians or central bankers, private or public.”

      • Deco

        It will now be compulsory to sweat and toil for an orwellian digital entity that others can get for free thanks to their access to the political system.

        This is sheer madness. It will wreck what is left of society, and turn it into a hellhole of competing poltical factions.

        • Yes it is the aim of one world government.
          That is why the establishment are anti Trump. The American people I met on the docks in the US San Juan Island on the odd occasion I have cruised down there over the last ten years were angry.

          However they had no focus. They knew something was wrong but could not put a finger on it. They were anti government and mostly pro constitution. They voted for hope over reason based on knowledge.

          When I got into a chat and explained the money system to them they were astonished, incredible, then had a Eurika moment of realization.

          There is a large body of people angry without the education of how the money system works. Ron Paul had his followers, and understands the system, but at the GOP convention was tricked from being on the nomination list at the convention. He had enough delegates from the primaries but at the convention the rules were changed and most of his delegates were disqualified.

          Now there is a larger swath of people looking for a saviour and Sanders and Trump have the appeal and the voters from all sectors.

          If both are denied the ticket there will be major unrest. Malitia have multiplied, demand for gold and silver coins are off the charts. FEMA camps are all over the country ready to incarcerate 100′s of 1000′s.

          If there is a major financial collapse event or breakdown between now and November then the election may be suspended and the country under Martial law. Especially if Trump is the front runner.

          Canada has an agreement signed with the US to support each other with troops in the event of a civil problem.

          It is speculated that it is an extension of the Roman policy of having foreign born troops fight the locals.

          This is not conspiracy or speculation but in fact a law passed by both governments.

        • 9 charts showing Americans never recovered from the Great Recession: If you are wondering why people are so angry look no further.
          reat-recession-incomes-jobs- student- debt/


          • Truthist

            The majority of the plebs are beholden to their addictions : alcohol, narcotics, T.V. soaps, T.V. talk shows, T.V. news, T.V. false documentaries, porn, armchair sports following, social media participation, sexual liaisons, frivolous socialising, corrupted religion interpretations, trying to climb the social ladder, etc..
            There is no meaningful dissent from a critical mass number against the ponzi private Central Banking scam with its attendant enforced use of Non-Precious Metal Currency [ Paper Notes ], digit entries, or deletions, ONLY in customers’ bank accounts, & Fractional Reserve Banking, etc.

            Most of the plebs who finally cop-on to the scam are smart enough to avoid having the courage of their convictions.

            Johnny Rebel-against-the whole private Central Banking scam constructively opposing that scam would quickly find himself like a lone fool out there in No-Man’s Land, & quickly shot to pieces by the apparatus of the local proxy masters.

            Why be a martyr for the ass…le plebs ?

            More likely that the smarter plebs think along the lines of ;
            “Well, if u cannot beat them, join them.”

          • Well there is a question of personal integrity.

            Also the realization that the system is tottering and will not survive but replace with something more heinous and controling .

            The fiat ponzi scheme will end in full slavery if not stopped. So the choice is to do something to protect oneself while one still can before it is too late.

            Then we could support politically those we agree with rather than throwing in the towel.

            We are currently in about the 1932 equivalent year. In a short while we will have voted in the black shirts, brown shirts etc and your freedom is gone . There is precious little time left.

            Of course it is 1916 for Ireland. I wonder what the ghosts of 1916 would think of “Well, if u cannot beat them, join them.”
            Perhaps most were like that then too.

  15. Ghostly activities of the central bankers.


    That is, all major central banks are party to gold market manipulation. They’re just not telling the whole story to the rest of us, lest the world financial system start enjoying free markets and risk becoming more democratic.

    CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer

    • High Noon!

      “This is the first time in human history that all of the world’s governments are armed with basically an unlimited fiat currency printing press. And so, it’s allowed them to take on more debt than seemed feasible based on history. And to manipulate interest rates down to levels that I don’t think anybody really expected. We’re in a negative interest rate world now, or we’re entering it. And if you’d gone back 20 years, and asked 100 economists if today’s world was possible, they would have said, “Nah, no way. You’ll never have $7 trillion of bonds trading at negative interest rates, and you’ll never have global debt at 300% of global GDP; that’s just not possible.” And yet here we are. My sense and my take on this is that we didn’t actually fix anything.

      “We basically just bought ourselves time in which to build up even more debt to leverage ourselves even more catastrophically, and then make the eventual reckoning that much more serious. I think what’s coming is going to be unlike anything that has happened in living memory, certainly, something comparable to the Depression, but probably much worse. And so we’ve got very interesting decade ahead of us. And I wish that the details were easily predictable, but they’re not, except to say volatility and chaos are the rule for our immediate future here.” … John Rubino last week.

      Posted today on


      JP Morgan. Only gold is money. All else is credit

  16. mike flannelly

    Gene Kerrigan can be very good sometimes.
    The government will do anything for jobs. ANYTHING for more imported wage packets.

    In fairness we will not have to import wage packets when the clever Irish can create their own wage packets.

    Irish Plastic Lefties never created any jobs. They call for lots more spending on the wage packets in our failed health service.

    Is it true that the Irish health service spend more than 80% of the health budget on wages compared to 55% in most other countries?

    • Truthist

      U are becoming a true expert on the real circumstances of the Irish State’s national Health system.

      For sure a national health system — including hospitals & medical card for all citizens — should exist.
      But, it must never be corrupt in any way.

      I hope that u will write thente long-needed book exposing the ongoing-momentousness of it all, & with reliable corroboration from inside persons, & then supply worthy solutions.

      Keep investigating, analysing, exposing, analysing again, & offering solutions Mike ;
      U are already having a positive impact for sure.

  17. mike flannelly

    Gene Kerrigan is correct when he says that if a problem exists for more than a year, then it is no longer a problem,

    HOMELESSNESS is now FG / LAB POLICY. Forced firesales and repossessions are all that is on offer for houses with very high debt ratio mortgages.

    After 5 years it was always FG/ LAB POLICY not to insist on the restructure of grossly overvalued debt( false value debt)for Irish families.

    It is FG / LAB economic management council of school teachers POLICY to stonewall pension reform in Ireland. 150000euro lump sums & Golden pensions for school teachers are a redline POLICY. Sick children must beg for charity for some of their medical needs. That is POLICY.

    2016 Lovely Irish Patriots.

  18. survivalist

    So the city of London financiers are accusing others of gaming the system. Perhaps their outrage stems from the fact that it was done in a slightly different version of the same game they play themselves?

    Ireland is a ‘tax haven’, certainly, and where isn’t? The bigger question to my mind is what now is the relationship between the citizenry and taxation?

    The relationship between multi-national corporations and tax is largely I suspect of the PR variety.

    However the clincher in this article arrives at the final paragraph like a punch to the guts as punctuation.

    “Isn’t it amazing that – in a week when a massive, landmark decision has been taken that could have enormous ramifications for Irish industry, the economy and the tax base – our politicians are arguing over Irish water?”

    YES! It is amazing, but that is not to say that the privatization of water is trivial by comparison. Perhaps crunching the numbers might generate such a perspective but water privatisation is not an economic question primarily.

    It is beyond unacceptable that water privatisation was ever suggested. However if it is defeated that will have been a hugely significant event. It is no trivial matter that the will of the elite would be (even temporarily) denied. And that their assessment of and control of the psychology and behaviour of the population was averted is surprising.

    But more significantly the Irish people’s defeat of water privatization would be a shining ‘bad example’ for other nations. After all apart from electoral decisions what other such popular victories were achieved by European peoples? I cannot think of any, but I could be simply unaware of such events.

  19. Productivity is the key to wealth. A service economy just does not cut it. The sooner we all go back to productive work and fire the central bankers ponzi scheme money the sooner prosperity returns and with it peace and contentment. That is the only true revenue stream required.

    “All it would take is to declare that gold is the only money accepted by the whole world. All it would take is to step down from that high pillar, standing upon which the US continues to insist that the world’s money has to be the dollar – an undefined currency which represents nothing at all.

    That’s a very bitter pill to swallow. The alternative is for the US to become a huge “Third World” nation, with attendant political instability and constant economic decline, marked by periodic revolutions and perhaps an eventual “balcanization” of the US as it breaks-up into several independent political entities.”

    Hugo Salinas Price

    • Get behind the party that believes in honest money rather than the crooked scheme we presently use and who are also proponents of the welfare state. The ultimate welfare state is the stupidity of the distribution of helicopter money as proposed by Benanke.

      Alan Greenspan’s Pickled Economy

      “Greenspan, if you didn’t know, once stood firmly behind the gold standard. He even wrote one of its better defenses. In his essay Gold and Economic Freedom, published in 1966, Greenspan came to the following conclusion.

      “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. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.
      “This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”

    • McCawber

      As we approach “Utopia ” the only employment sector left will be a shrinking services sector as the robots gradually take over the supply side of the global economy.
      This means mass unemployment in the sense that we understand it today.
      Sooooo how would you phase yourself out of what you are doing now and phase yourself into your new occupation.
      For occupation maybe hobbies including growing your own etc


    Financial expert Catherine Austin Fitts has correctly predicted no financial collapse year after year. Now, she is not so sure one can be avoided. Fitts explains, “In theory, it is easily possible to manage through the election. It doesn’t have to blow up, but if you look at what is going on in the campaign and in Washington, the leadership is blowing up. If the leadership doesn’t manage it properly, anything is possible. I think what the global economy and the U.S. economy needs is the rule of law. So, if we have to have this conversation to bring an end to this secrecy and privilege and get back to the rule of law so we can support productivity, then I say let’s have a mess. I’d rather deal with our civilization and our governance system now than later. The sooner we get back to productivity the better.”

  21. Posted at


    Talks on forming a government continue: RTE reported that Fianna Fail is set to meet the Independent Alliance as preliminary meetings on the possible formation of a new government ahead of the convening of parliament on Thursday. The paper cited Independence Alliance TD Finian McGrath, who said that it is interested in implementing a charter for change and it will talk to people whoever can deliver on its ten core issues.

    • McCawber

      I liked it better when you posted about how I should/could save my/others financial ass.

      • Buy 1 unit worth of gold coins
        2 units worth of silver coins
        3 units worth of PM shares (Junior and senior producers)
        Save three months of food supplies and three months of cash under the mattress
        have a place in the country to escape to where food can be grown and it is a far from the madding crowd as you can get.
        Get to know your neighbours.
        enjoy the moment.

  22. McCawber

    The human race has spent a fortune in the search for a cure for cancer.
    Given the amount of damage that Paedophiles cause, surely there is an urgent need to spend some research money on this problem.
    Gene therapy seems like a likely starting point.

    • coldblow

      The way to deal with the evil paedophiles is to start a witch hunt. First define your paedo problem (the media will assist), then advertize for victims of historic abuse (say, from 1906 onwards; niche law firms will advise in how to treat them sensitively); allocate compensation from the public purse, or confiscated estates, assign committed social workers and eager police to hunt them down (age and gender profiles to be issued for guidance). This will remove the Menace (for the time being) and cleanse those remaining.

      • McCawber

        Yeah I’d be on for trying your solution first and then when that doesn’t work we try myaapproach.

        • coldblow

          What do you mean, ‘and then when that doesn’t work’?

          It’s working in England at this very moment.

          We can do it better by learning from their mistakes. Instead of sitting around and waiting for the paedo rings to materialize we should be proactive in preventing them. That means targeting risk groups, including The Powerful, priests and nuns, *all* care workers (including children’s homes and those for the disabled), former entertainers (especially celibate ones), men who are obviously evil, and basically people whose skin makes you creep, who have had particularly ugly Spitting Images made of them or whose sense of humour is inappropriate (eg cracking jokes about disability). And of course all rumours must be acted upon (this is where the BBC slipped up).

          This is guaranteed to work.

          But if it doesn’t then it’s your approach and the gene therapy.

          • coldblow

            Or we could adapt the Soviet approach and get children to inform on parents and neighbours on each other using dedicated confidential phone lines. Witness anonymity is is crucial. Anyone who won’t co-operate is an evil paedo or involved in the Cover Up. Anyone left will be paedo-free.

        • coldblow

          Sorry, McCawber, the penny has just dropped.

          Your method is for *eradicating* paedophile rings.

          Mine is for finding *more* of them; if my recommendations are implemented the number of evil paedo rings uncovered will rise exponentially.

          • McCawber

            TBH I mentioned my solution for two reasons.
            1. Your solution is extremely expensive and ongoing.
            2. My solution is likely to be possible within the next ten years and as you say would eradicate the problem.
            For now you are correct but hopefully my solution will happen but before it does the necessary r&d is required and I don’t hear anyone talking about it.
            Identify the right genes should be relatively easy given the number of paedos already identified.

          • coldblow


            You have too much confidence in technology, at least at current levels.

            I will concede that gene science is the future and one day should be able to supply the answers (and the questions in some cases). *However* in the short term there are major problems. Are you aware, to take just one example of a simpler life form, that sea urchins have as many genes as humans? (In fact, it is slightly more.) Another insurmountable problem for now is that the genes activate the process whereby amino acids are synthesized but it is still far from clear what processes are involved in arriving at changes at the level of the phenotype. So your ten year deadline is optimistic to say the least. Former biologist Rupert Sheldrake argues that trying to understand the workings of life using DNA and the prevailing mechanistic analogy is like trying to work out what a television programme is by grinding up random pieces from television sets and examining the results under a microscope. Doubts about Sheldrake’s credibility, however, have been raised by Wikipedia:


            I also have concerns that by eradicating paedophilia as a human trait it might reappear via genetic mutation in more aggressive forms in sea urchins and other life forms thus entering the food chain.

            The costs of my method would not be excessive in view of the urgency of the problem. Initial capital outlays would be considerable as additional prison space will be required but this might be alleviated by EU assistance as part of a co-ordinated European approach (although there is a remote risk that Ireland would be used as a dumping ground). Legal costs can be streamlined again by following the UK model (and learning from their mistakes). Paedophiles with good legal advice who up to now have been able to evade justice through evidential loopholes are now being successfully prosecuted through improvements in court procedures. This will lead to less pressure on our already overloaded courts system as there will be no need for police, therapists and social services to gather further evidence to launch expensive follow-up proceedings. Under recognized international human rights protocols, witnesses are guaranteed anonymity (although some brave women waive this protection in order to encourage other victims to step forward and tell the truth, albeit at further emotional cost) and convictions are being achieved without the requirement for third party testimony as the volume of witnesses stepping forward as a result of Operation Yewtree is now, sensibly, accepted as full and sufficient corroboration. First used in the trial following the discovery of a high-level paeophile ring operating out of a children’s home in Portugal(Casa Pia), which involved numerous powerful and influential men, some of them household names, such evidence is known as ‘emotional resonance’ and ‘resonance of truth’ (‘resonancia de verdade’). This way legal costs can be held down. These developments have received widespread popular and media approval.

            Also, by introducing a raft of legislation, including the requirement for all cinemas, theatres, sports facilities and work places to draw up child safety policies, it should be possible to severely curtail the access of predatory paedophiles to children and the most vulnerable groups in society. Advocacy groups, however, are concerned that additional measures may need to be introduced in high-risk locations, such as children’s homes, Catholic schools and churches, and for high-risk groups including the reactionary Iona Institute and Opus Dei.

          • coldblow

            I’m pulling your leg of course, McCawber. (Like you’re pulling mine.)

    • Gamma ray therapy is what I recommend. Apologist for them can apply for therapy too.

  23. coldblow

    Good article, David, right up to the last sentence, but there I part company with you. Olivia O’Leary was emoting on the radio the other day about the lack of houses and how we are fixated on Irish Water. Colm McCarthy has wondered why there is a fixation on water rather than property tax, seeing as the latter is much bigger. So there seems to be an emerging conventional wisdom about the insignificance of the issue. I don’t agree with O’Leary on anything. McCarthy is right about the relative size of the taxes but misses the blindingly obvious significance which is that, while property tax comes and (very occasionally) goes, it is an old enemy, unfair but familiar.

    The water charges are something new and a stark affront to people’s idea of what government can do. It is also a very visible symptom of our governance from Europe (the European dimension in the shape of the Water Directive is never mentioned). As Declan observes above, it is an unaccountable and wasteful bureaucratic leviathan, something Ireland does not need more of. And it is an issue which has brought home to large numbers of ordinary, mature (some very mature), reasonable and law-abiding people the nature of authority these days and brought them out onto the streets in blatant confrontation with it. We are not talking about immature and ignorant youth protesting about fascism or abortion, Cork people marching for the right to British television, well-heeled pensioners screaming for their rights, nurses looking for pay rises and even more resources for a bloated health service, censorious anti-blood sports activists, gloating gay campaigners celebrating the right to get married (when nobody else can be bothered or rejects the institution as ‘bourgeois’), smug and self-righteous not-in-my-namers or the deluded ideologues of AGW. This is different.

    • Deco

      I don’t agree with Olivia O’Leary on anything either. Yet, she likes to produce snooty lectures on the state propaganda organ, as if she was leading us somewhere.

      Instead she is merely leading herself in a merry dance with her own sense of importance.

      Olivia O’Leary will seek to avoid a discussion about state incompetence on a massive scale, meriting a complete rationalization for the sake of efficiency – because she does not see this as a serious problem.

      Well, maybe she needs to sit the other side of the state complex for a while. Maybe she needs to find out that FAS is wasting the time and money of young people. Maybe she needs to sit in a Luas for 40 minutes, covering a small enough distance.

      Because it is very easy to advocate state services (that are abysmal) when your income is being provided by a state service, to such a degree that you have no need to rely on the state for any service for your existence.

      In other words, behind all the superficiality, Olivia O’Leary and many more in rte, are the essence of the problem of state sector underperformance.

      • coldblow

        Yes, there is this illusion that the state can and should do everything, prescribe everything and pass rules about everything. And of course it messes everything up.

      • DJR

        Olivia O’Leary was one of the few to call Brian Cowen out on the spiralling cost of housing during the last bubble (when he was ‘minister’ for finance). His reply to her was something along the lines of, “It’s not my job to make houses cheap for young people.”
        No wonder he was so eager to hide his mess under the bank guarantee carpet once he became taoiseach.

        • Truthist

          Olivia O’Leary’s “call-out” of Brian Cowen [ Taoiseach ] was just opportunism for to achieve a score for Fine Gael.
          Lady Olivia O’Leary — a clear Snob in the view of the ordinary working person [ jobless or self-employed or employee ] — is an aul Blueshirt.

  24. Deco

    Concerning the housing issue.

    One person who made a very impassioned plea on the matter over the Christmas period was Eamon Dunphy. Yep, Grumpy Dumpy sat on a long wail.

    The Dunph was claiming that it was symptomatic of what a greedy society we have become.

    Well….now…..digest this please, a cairde.

    Eamon Dunphy is leading the fight to save a local corner shop due to be demolished in favour of a four-storey apartment block.

    The convenience store is ugly. And given the location, it is probably not cheap. Not that the Dunph has to worry about the cost of milk, or the amount of feeding in the sliced pan.

    A 4 storey apartment block in a location central to where people are working in Dublin, would solve the housing crisis for the people who get to move into those apartments.

    It would also contribute to tackling the ongoing traffic crisis as it is within walking distance of many offices, and work locations.

    But the Dunph, and loads more residents in the area, are objecting. They are claiming that an eyesore is an amenity.

    Sorry, but what exactly do they think will solve the housing crisis ?

    More weepy speeches of outrage on TV ?

    Build the apartments, and get on with it, Dunphy, you stinking hypocrite. We need apartments near to work locations. It is better for workplace productivity. And we have a massive productivity bottleneck in this country.

    We are not addressing the productivity problem. And that needs to be addressed, otherwise we will go into serious decline, under that enormous debt.

    • Truthist

      The corner shop is probably delighted with all the help it is getting from such advocates as Dunphy who unwittingly serve to raise the price that the developer will have to pay the owner[s] & / or tenant[s] of the small shop eventually for to proceed with the apartment complex.
      And, maybe the corner shop owner[s] will also be able to secure re-birth of their business in that apartment complex, & have gained captive audience / market also.
      More likely that this shop as it is will soon be crushed by the likes of competition from the main supermarkets, & drug-crime what with the way society is going.
      An ‘integrated’ corner shop + sweet compensation package most likely would be the best happening for the owners.
      Then again, there are other considerations.
      I confess to being too lazy to delve into the particulars of this issue ;
      However,- if there are people living within the building, this aspect should be generously addressed by prospective developers.

      Wonder is this issue a pet subject for Dunphy vis-a-vis soccer clubs seeking to enlarge their stadiums with loss of small shops through compulsory purchase orders ?

      Still, Dunphy can be a very positive constructive force for the good of society.

    • Mike Lucey

      I wonder why ‘the Dunph’ has not suggested that the development be a a 5 storey building with a ‘local convenience store’ on the ground floor that he would run!

  25. Some of you might be interested in attending this.

    Anyone can go along, they don’t take names on the door.

  26. Just reporting inflation is a crime in some countries.

    Central bankers and politicians are the real criminals.

  27. Truthist

    It has not gone away, u know ;
    The Treason Act

    Here is the Wikipedia excerpt for Irish State [ Part of Ireland 8-) ]

    Main article: Treason in the Republic of Ireland
    Article 39 of the Constitution of Ireland (adopted in 1937) states:
    treason shall consist only in levying war against the State, or assisting any State or person or inciting or conspiring with any person to levy war against the State, or attempting by force of arms or other violent means to overthrow the organs of government established by the Constitution, or taking part or being concerned in or inciting or conspiring with any person to make or to take part or be concerned in any such attempt.[17]
    The Treason Act 1939 gave legislative effect to Article 39, and provided for the imposition of the death penalty for treason.[18] The Criminal Justice Act 1990 abolished the death penalty, setting the punishment for treason at life imprisonment, with parole in not less than forty years.[19] No person has been charged under the Treason Act.[citation needed] Irish republican legitimatists who refuse to recognise the legitimacy of the Republic of Ireland have been charged with lesser crimes under the Offences against the State Acts 1939–1998.

    Shouldn’t we be compiling names to insert on a list of accused Traitors
    And, no just from the native shore ; But, foreign rats to Irish State, & indeed Ireland, too ; a la Jean Claude Trichet with his threat to …. Dublin. And to think that we were made to feel guilty all those years if we did not vote as our EU masters requested e.g. “Lisbon Treaty” Referendum. “Oh, but the E.U. is ever so necessary ; And, the founding fathers of the E.U. project are such enlightened folk …” ; More like a conspiracy against all the decent peoples of each European nation to enslave them into an Orwellian “European Federal Union” & later into a “World Federal Union”. And rush it on through Economic War upon each what remains of each sovereign State.

    I would list for starters :
    Sir Garret Fitzgerald
    Peter Sutherland
    Dick Roche, TD

    • Deco

      We never knew the names of the “inners” who enthusiastically voted to dissolve the old Parlaiment in 1799, and enter the Act of Union that put us into the previous imperial racket. We know that man of them were bribed with cash, or promises of bigger jobs in the new power structure, or inclusion in more important and wealthier circles in London.

      Thanks for listing those three amigos, lest they be forgotten to history.

      • Pat Flannery

        Deco, actually they voted in 1800 and the Act of Union came into effect 1st January 1801.

      • Truthist

        Yeah, let’s go digging for those names ;
        Methinks that those names will point to many of the subsequent Traitors.

        Also, why no revelation of the names of the overseers in the Concentration Camps holding the starving Irish of the 1800′s ?
        We are entitled to know those names.

    • Truthist

      More names for the list :

      Lady Joan Fitzgerald [ Wife of Sir Garret Fitzgerald ] ; Said to have been having the final say on major issues being decided by Fine Gael in government.

      Jame Dooge ; Minister of Foreign Affairs under Sir Garret Fitzgerald
      “The Dooge Report is credited as helping form the basis of the Single European Act and the Treaty of Maastricht with much of the language used the same.”

      Also, conspired to get Irish State into N.A.T.O.

      Brian Lenihan Jnr. ; Minister of Finance


      Re ; Lisbon Referendum #2 [ "Play it again Sam" until we fool em enough & coerce em enough & rig it enough with our apparatus supervising the voting stations ]

      The government is hoping to use the sorry state of the Irish economy to further the ‘yes’ case, arguing that Ireland needs to be at the heart of Europe at a time of economic crisis.

      After a fired-up opposition succeeded with emotive arguments about abortion, neutrality and taxation last time, concessions Dublin secured from Brussels, including the retention of an Irish EU commissioner, have changed the debate, said Lenihan.

      “We saw a set of posters last year: those posters aren’t there this year. We now have a different set of posters so the core of the debate comes down to the economic and social benefits of full and qualified European participation,” he said.

      Lenihan added that without the support of the European Central Bank, the Irish financial system would have collapsed in the aftermath of the Lehman brothers’ bankruptcy.

      “If anyone has any doubt about that all they have to do is look at Iceland, which is now very keen to become a member of the European Union,” he said.

  28. McCawber

    TDs perks, let’s be honest here and call them what they are are.
    They are superperks.
    Let’s start with their basic pension.
    Non contributory and gilt edged and you qualify after seven years service.
    Oh and this little superperk applies to senators.
    Aren’t you just glad you voted to keep the Senate.
    That’s just for starters.

  29. mike flannelly


    I ask the basic junior cert CORE questions that are as obvious as an elephant in the room regarding the Irish Bankers Abuse with attached homelessness, the Irish Health Care Abuse and the ABUSERS “lets us snakes stick together fuel” that is the Golden lump sum payments plus Pensions.

    It is the duty of care of our newspaper editors and commentators to ask CORE questions.

    But just like the recent Catholic Church child abuse scandal , the spineless media and commentators will look the other way.


    The CORE questions NEVER GO AWAY.


    Irish Intelligent Professional Bankers of 2003 to 2009 grossly overvalued the Debt on Land Banks by up to 900% , Apartments by 200% and houses by 100% while paying themselves up front bonus payments.

    Irish bank customers never whinged or looked for a witch hunt. All they asked for is to restructure their loans with Industry Best practice restructures. Common sense.

    The Failed Bankers stonewalled restructures and sent customers to the ombudsman.

    The financial services ombudsman told customers with the financial anxiety of grossly overvalued debt that ALL MORTGAGES ARE COMMERCIAL ARRANGEMENTS and he would NOT look at the NORMAL BEST PRACTICE restructuring of debt products that did not meet the needs and objectives of customers.

    Perhaps if we were talking about a standard 15% or 20 % overvaluation of debt you could expect bias in favour of the state backed stronger party to the mortgage contracts.


    ” 900% for Land Banks, 200% for Apartments and 100% for Houses ? ”


    Were the 17,000 bank customers on front of the Irish courts at present offered industry best practice restructures if the debt ratios were multiples of best practice ?


    Are they being stitched up by FG / Lab and the Irish Failed Bankers ?

    What did FG / Lab do for Irish bank customers with financial anxiety during their five years in government?

    They gave us the homelessness policy. The A&E abuse has now escalated to clogging up the ambulance services as a tactic and the solution is two extra days holidays for nurses and probably another 6 nurses per 1000 population to service the 2.8 beds per 1000 pop.

    Step ONE in any quality assurance programme is to shout STOP when there is a problem.

    Step TWO is to identify the problem.

    Step THREE is to investigate the causes.

    Step FOUR is to instigate corrective actions and suggested improvements.

    Step FIVE is to commence a continious improvement programme.

    For political reasons and cowardice our newspaper editors and commentators are looking the other way.

    We have to keep highlighting step two to get to steps four and five.

    I hope that there is KARMA with Irish bank share prices until the policy of customer abuse ends. When fairness for the bank customer returns then we might see the share prices improve at a realistic pace. Not aggressively like before.

    KARMA for Irish Bankers and Irish Health Care Unions.

    • Truthist

      The Big Game Plan is about “Control” & “Destruction” ;
      The Puppet Masters despise us for who we are [ our ethnicity, our religions, our naiveness, our way of doing whatever, our perceived inferiority of IQ, ... ].
      They wish to reduce our numbers ; After all, we are just useless eaters as far as they are concerned.
      And, those plebs that remain, the Puppet Masters wish to fully control.

      This applies to every nation ; Well, except for … 8-)

      The Small Game Plans are about satisfying local issues of :
      Material Greed
      Local Control
      & fulfilling delegated plans of the Puppet Masters.

      It is clear now that the basis for commercial Banks to really profit is that a guaranteed minimum of borrowers will fail in being able to pay back on the loans, & that the bank then takes possession of the properties.
      This is their aim all along.
      And, this was uncovered from very useful discussion & reflection by the more perceptive of the blog.

      Unfortunately for the truthists, there is a heavy “politically incorrect” price to pay for telling the truth about the present era of nurses.

  30. We are still talking about solving problems that are unsolvable until the fiscal and monetary systems are restructured.

    Europe holds enough gold to do so and see the economy on on an equity base rather than the debt, credit, base that is is currently.

  31. Truthist

    Hey Mr. “Real” Money / Mr. None of that fly-by-night “Fake” Money [ Currency ONLY ; Even "Gold Backed" is not good enough ; But, gimme the actual Money ( Gold ) into my physical possession ]

    What was “Irish Free State’s” officially stated amount of Gold Reserves on very commencement of so-called independence ?

    Where was it kept ?

    What was “Republic of Ireland’s” officially stated amount of Gold Reserves on very commencement of so-called independence ?

    Where was it kept ?

    What was “Republic of Ireland’s” officially stated amount of Gold Reserves the time-point just before joining the Euro ?

    Where was it kept until that time-point ?

    What is “Republic of Ireland’s” officially state “present” amount of Gold Reserves ?

    Where is it kept ?

    • 1.
      What was “Irish Free State’s” officially stated amount of Gold Reserves on very commencement of so-called independence ?
      Where was it kept ?
      What was “Republic of Ireland’s” officially stated amount of Gold Reserves on very commencement of so-called independence ?
      Where was it kept ?
      What was “Republic of Ireland’s” officially stated amount of Gold Reserves the time-point just before joining the Euro ?

      The Currency Commission, the body which carried out the functions of the Central Bank until 1943, had bought up to 60 tonnes of gold in the lead-up to the Second World War, Whoriskey said, but the bank has since sold much of this holding and relies instead on foreign currency for the bulk of its reserves.
      Where was it kept until that time-point ?
      What is “Republic of Ireland’s” officially state “present” amount of Gold Reserves ?

      Most of the Irish gold reserves were sold between 1969 and 1970. Around 48 tonnes were sold over the course of that year and a further three to four tonnes in 1977. Since then, the reserves have been largely
      untouched. One further tonne was sold in 1990. Half the 11 tonnes remaining were transferred to the European Central Bank at the end of 1998 as part of the requirements for joining the euro.

      Where is it kept ?

      • Truthist

        Thank u Mr. “Real” Money / Gold & Silver ; Mr. None of that ever-so-vulnerable un-backed by “Real Money” Fiat e.g. Euro or USA Dollar [ vis USA Dollar of today ].

        Anyways,- have a look a what I unearthed from Wikipedia on foot of 1 of ur very valuable answers, vis.
        “Most of the Irish gold reserves were sold between 1969 and 1970.” above ;

        Here it is ;

        Noteworthy ;

        Fianna Fail government ; By deduction

        19 March – Ireland received its first loan from the World Bank.
        The Minister for Finance — at least on 07 May — was Charles Haughey
        1 August
        A huge protest rally over events in Northern Ireland was held outside the General Post Office, Dublin. The crowd demanded that the Irish Army cross the border.
        The farthing and halfpenny coins were withdrawn from circulation as Ireland moved towards decimalisation.
        3 August – Taoiseach Jack Lynch made a state visit to the Lebanon.
        5 August – Belfast experienced the worst sectarian rioting since 1935.
        12 August – Rioting broke out in Derry in the Battle of the Bogside, the first major confrontation of The Troubles.
        13–17 August – Sectarian rioting took place in Northern Ireland.
        13 August – As the Battle of the Bogside continued, Taoiseach Jack Lynch made a speech on television, saying that the Irish government “can no longer stand by” and demanded a United Nations peace-keeping force for Northern Ireland.[3]
        14 August – British troops were deployed for the first time in Northern Ireland to restore law and order. Their presence was welcomed at first by many in the Catholic population of Derry.[4]
        15 August – A night of shooting and burning took place in Belfast. In Dublin, a Sinn Féin protest meeting called for the boycott of British goods, Irish government protection of the people of Northern Ireland, and United Nations intervention.
        16 August – British soldiers were deployed in particularly violent areas of Belfast.
        17 August – Members of the Garda Síochána clashed with protesters on O’Connell Street, Dublin, as a march against the Northern Ireland situation headed for the British embassy.
        27 August – The B-Specials began to hand in their guns following a call by Lieutenant-General Ian Freeland to disband them.[5] British Home Secretary, James Callaghan, visited Belfast.
        30 August – Jack Lynch ordered the Irish Army Chief of Staff, General Seán Mac Eoin, to prepare a plan, called Exercise Armageddon, for possible incursions into Northern Ireland in defence of Catholic communities there.[6]
        December – The Irish Republican Army split into Official and Provisional wings.[7]

        My Interpretation ;
        Country on brink of full-scale civil war ;
        Unionists with their mob Loyalists determined not to give Civil Rights to Catholics.
        And, British government & its Privy Council determined to manipulate / force / strategically trick the Provisional I.R.A. into confrontation rather than the Catholic Civil Rights Movement succeed against the Brits as they were doing in being a worthy pacifist movement.

        “Choice” foreign currencies no doubt acquired for pay for defence of the Catholics from likely impending genocide push against them.

  32. sravrannies

    Hey Tony, perhaps you could enlighten me; why has Canada sold off all its gold reserves?



    • Pure stupidity in my opinion. It was never announced or debated in the country.
      Canada was probably ordered to by the US. The gold price suppression scheme needs some bullion. They are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

      Canada will be hovered up by the US when the time is right.

  33. cooldude

    And of course the last refuge of our masters is never ending war and they seem to be getting ready for another assault on a sovereign nation whose government has more support than Edna, Cameron and Obama put together.

  34. cooldude

    Latest fro cycles analyst Bo Polny. Not looking too good for the stock markets. Don’t say you weren’t told

    • From David’s Desk
      (Miles Franklin Ltd. via )

      David Schectman
      Mr. Williams shares the following with us.

      - February Payroll and Unemployment Details Were Nonsense, Well Removed from Underlying Economic Reality

      - Annual Payroll Growth Held at Twenty-Month Low

      - Headline Payrolls Gained 242,000; Full-Time Employment Gained 65,000

      - February 2016 Unemployment Rates: U.3 at 4.9%, U.6 at 9.7%, and ShadowStats at 22.8%

      - First-Quarter 2016 Real Trade Deficit on Track for Continuing Deterioration, with Negative Implications for First-Quarter GDP

      - Real Construction Spending Remained in Non-Recovery, Ongoing Low-Level Stagnation

      - February 2016 Annual Growth Declined Sharply for M1 and M3, Dropping to Levels Last Seen Surrounding the Economic Collapse

      No. 790: Labor Conditions, Money Supply M3, Trade Deficit and Construction Spending –

  35. In the US it is the ghostly debt and unemployment levels in an ongoing depression that is calling the shots.

    What’s perhaps the biggest factor contributing to what I believe is a rapid deterioration in economic activity? “Americans are buried under a mountain of debt:” LINK Per findings in the article from Gallup: “The amount of debt Americans carry is staggering and grows every day.”

  36. “Mannarino also says, “The world powers are trying to get together to stop this. It can’t be stopped. They have inflated this bubble in debt, and that is the greatest threat to humankind. . . . People can’t say when is the crash coming? It’s already here. It’s already begun.”

    Quoting Cooldude. “Don’t say you haven’t been warned”


    “In Europe entire countries are being foreclosed. Greece and Portugal have been forced into liquidation of national assets and the social security systems. So many women have been forced into poverty and prostitution that the hourly price of a prostitute has been driven down to $4.12.”

    What revenue can you earn even if you put out 24\7. This is the worst effect of financial serfdom and it is happening in a European western democratic state near you.

    This is the direct result of the money system forced upon us all by the central banking system. all money is issued as a debt and debt is killing us. Can it be any clearer than that.

    Take control.
    Destroy the central banking system.
    Be rid of, ban, debt based money.
    Ban fractional reserve bank practices.
    Produce equity based money issued from Treasury.
    Base its value on precious metals.

    The benefits are freedom and individual sovereignty.
    If not it is servitude and slavery.

    • Truthist

      What do u mean by “Equity-based” Money ?
      Pardon my redacting.

      Also,- how to decide its value per Precious Metals ?

      And,- what happens when the international market [ prospective trading countries, & prospective private trading entities ] & George Soros, & Goldman Sucks, & Rothschild & their ambassadors Yellen, Jean Claude Trichet, Junkers, Timothy Geithner, & let’s not forget Aul Suds himself [ Sir Peter Sutherland ; Former "Attorney General of Ireland" ] decide on a certain “low” value as to ur “Equity-based” Money ?

      I believe that any such brave & in theory smart moves cannot be successful if the general populace are rotten & unwise & not sufficiently fit in matters of self-sufficiency [ a la "I am a Nation" ].
      But, of course, u urself have been imploring people to attend to this duty to themselves to rectify themselves ahead of the big nasty reset against them.

  38. I was in the grocery store today and bought a handful of items. Being surprised by the overall price total I asked if the prices were rising 10% p.a. or so. His answer shocked me.
    He said, ” The produce is up 19-20% over the last 12 months”. That is the official store statement.
    My pension went up by 1%= or – as that is the official inflation rate.

    Can you spell lies, corruption, deceit. = government.

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