March 14, 2016

Nama’s actions have enslaved us

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 107 comments ·
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The elderly, weather-beaten women are dressed in black and glorious purple, the traditional Caribbean colours of mourning. They file up to pay their respects at the beautiful St John’s Church on the savage Atlantic coast of Barbados. The low murmur of the shuffling throng is punctured by the squawk of the rooster who stands, sentry-like, at the door of this magnificent church. No one seems to notice him as he clucks, pecks and flaps around.

The scene is pure rural Caribbean, except for one thing: dotted among the black mourners – descendants of slaves – are some white people. Well, not so much white, as whitish!

These whites are not the affluent, chino-wearing, golf-playing whites of upscale Barbados. These are poor, very poor whites. As I watch them line up solemnly at St John’s, where a church has stood since 1630, they all display the universal tell-tale sign of poverty: rotten and missing teeth.

These people are the last of the ‘red legs’, the distant demographic echo of Irish slaves sent to Barbados by Cromwell. It is thought that between 1645 and 1660, 40,000 Irish captives were sold into Caribbean slavery from Ireland, via Liverpool and Bristol to Barbados and beyond. As with all slave trades, the people were sold via middlemen. They didn’t walk willingly to Waterford port. They were traded. They were driven off their land in Ireland, huge tracts of which were given to Cromwell’s victorious NCOs, and then sold by the gombeen men to slave traders.

Four thousand miles away, as their fair skin blistered and burned, they became known as ‘red legs’. In barren eastern Barbados, the red legs toiled in the sugar plantations on the margins of society, rejected by the local white English aristocracy and the black slaves.

It’s amazing to think that slavery was legal, isn’t it?

Over the years their numbers have shrunk to just a handful of small communities, desperately poor pockets of poor white Irish red legs.

In the past two generations they have begun to intermarry with the local black population. The most famous product of such a marriage is Barbados’ biggest star, Rihanna, who tells of being slagged by local black kids, her mates, for being too pale and, worse still, being part red leg. Rihanna’s father was a mix of black and red leg.

I am sitting in Martin’s Bay in western Barbados where the Atlantic, driven by the African trade winds, smashes into the first piece of land since Sierra Leone. This side of Barbados is a world away from the sandy beaches, jet-skis and offshore banking of the sheltered Caribbean side. This is the windswept and exposed last stronghold of the red legs.

Sandy Lane it is not.

As I considered the future of this tiny Irish tribe, the ‘assets’ Cromwell’s middlemen traded for pennies, the words Colm O’Rourke declared last year came to mind: “The reality is that Nama is, with official blessing, overseeing the greatest plundering of Irish assets since the Cromwellian plantations.”

I realise he was being a bit over the top, but the notion that Nama is the modern-day equivalent of a 17th-century middleman who is trading assets isn’t too far removed from reality.

In the past eight years, huge tracts of Ireland have been sold by Nama at deep discounts to vulture funds. This went on under the radar, in effect transferring enormous wealth out of Ireland to foreigners. Maybe it wasn’t the Cromwellian plantations, but it is hard to think of another country whose own government sanctioned such a fire sale of national assets.

For the past few years, having bought up the assets, the vultures have been hovering over their prey, but now they are ready to swoop. As this paper reports today, the vulture funds are now moving against the former owners, squeezing the last few quid out of their Irish assets.

Here’s what’s happening. European interest rates are below zero because Europe’s economy is a mess. The euro is plummeting against the dollar.

So if you are an American vulture fund, what do you do?

You borrow in euro, even though you are American, and you watch your borrowing costs fall as the euro exchange rate falls. Then you take this ‘free’ money and you go to Ireland, where the locals have no credit, and you buy up bundles of loans from their government – the very people who are supposed to be protecting the financial interest of the Irish people.

Remember Nama – an agent of the state – was supposed to get credit going? Well, it is getting credit going all right – but it is foreign credit. We are middlemen in the global credit cycle. The vulture capitalists know this, but are too clever to admit it and the Irish political class are too stupid to realise it.

Most vulture funds have a rule called the three-thirty rule.

This means they buy and hold for a maximum of three years and once they make 30 per cent, they are out. This is their twist. Now they are moving to get the most out of the assets before they sell.

Initially, the vultures bought up the glittering swanky office prizes in Dublin – and with various geniuses heralding their brilliance even though it was nothing more than having the access to capital at a time when our country was on the canvas. In the past year or so, the vultures delved deeper into the economic carcass.

Deep inside the financial entrails are the loans of small and medium-sized businesses, the property loans of petrol station owners, publicans and undertakers. The vultures love this type of soft tissue.

Thousands of small businesses are now under the control of vulture funds.

The strategy of the funds is to buy as cheaply as possible and sweat the asset until the yield on the property rises. Once the yield or the income of the property rises, they can re-rate the price of the property upwards. In finance, this is almost formulaic. But in reality it is far from a formula.

Re-rating the property value upwards at a time of low inflation will involve putting up rents, squeezing the owners – who are pretty much bust and may have one business (a pub, say) which is throwing off just enough cash to pay the interest on the property. Now the vultures are using the Irish courts to come after the other assets of the unfortunate owners. So if the ‘loan’ for a house was secured against a pub, for example, both the pub and the house are now being claimed by the vultures.

In the next few months, the courts will decide how many of Ireland’s small businesses will be handed over to these funds. This transfer of assets is taking place right under our nose. It is a disaster for the country, for the society and for the capital base of the economy, and yet it is legal.

But then again, so too was slavery – once.


  1. Joxer89

    “it is hard to think of another country whose own government sanctioned such a fire sale of national assets.”

    Well, not that hard really: Greece.

    • Sideshow Bob

      A lot of them were liabilities not assets. This is a big difference.

      This way of calling black white is an intrinsic part of any ponzi scheme. This element involves the use of language that deliberately obscures risk and encourages a buy in or investment by peopel who want to create or sustain the inflated ponzi bubble. It is funny to see how easily David slips over to their side and adopts this language it given he is often a detractor.

      Back to your quote from above, Naomi Klein and Joseph Stiglitz among others have pointed out many examples of this disaster capitalism ( as Klein puts it) from all around the world, and many from before the PIIGS came to be known as such.

    • bremlin

      The government of East Germany set up the Treuhand (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treuhandanstalt) to dispose of its not inconsiderable assets. The reason was the failure of East German communism. NAMA was set up because of the failure of a particular brand of Irish capitalism of course.

  2. Truthist

    “Hodie Mihi,
    Cras Tibi.”

    “Me Today,
    You / Ewe* Tomorrow.”

    * 8-)

    Personally,- I was made homeless & roofless by syndicate in cahoots with The Irish State ;
    And,- that act upon me illegal, unfair, & unjust.
    But, as we know,- there is justice in Ireland ONLY for the non-very poor Irish aborigine.

    I used to utter this phrase “Hodie Mihi, Cras Tibi” as caution to others who were non-nonchalant or indifferent to what had happened to me.
    Good older friend of mine — a FAS gifted & benign instructor — was much impressed with that pithy phrase.

    But, of course, if Ewe’s all start getting a bit flighty by saying “Burn the Bond-Holders”,- reflect that an aul codger of a top E.U. / Trilateraly Commissionary / Grand Orientaly etc Civil Servant — Mr. Jean-Claude Trichet — threatened the Irish State, in his phone call to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, that the E.U. / E.C.B. / International Bank of Settlements / The Roths would b…mb Dublin.
    And, Ewe’s all did nuttin about it upon learning of that dreadful “warning” to Irish State that it dare not “burn the Bondholders”.
    And, Ewe’s all — Introverts & Extroverts alike — did nuttin when the aul geezer showed up in Dublin after Irish States acquiescence.

    Wonder what Ewe’s would have done if Ewe’s witness to “The City” of the City of London through its Proxy Lord Lieutenant Oliver Cromwell capturing & banishing as slaves those most unfortunate Irish aborigines not so very long ago ? ;
    Perhaps 12 grandmothers ago only.

    It was also a time of genuine Holocaust of the bulk of the Irish aborigine nation what with burnings on stakes of multitudes at-a-time by “The City’s” Proxy.
    They did not like Ewe’s on account of ur Ethnicity & ur Religion.

    • Truthist

      … time of genuine Holocaust of the bulk of the Irish aborigine nation … by “The City’s” Proxy ;

      Typo ;
      I should bave stated ;

      Perhaps only 5 grandmothers ago.

      • Got to remember that it is generations to be counted. Even if the Irish married late and had no children until 30, that is still 3 generations per 100 year and perhaps 4. In that case it is 4 times 3.5 or 10 to 14 grandmothers back to Cromwell!!!! :)
        12 was a good first calculation.

  3. Mike Lucey

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    • Mike Lucey

      Well written David and most interesting. At least something good came of the Cromwellian genocide, Rihanna!

      I wonder what will the resulting government do about the vultures? Irish Water is a small issue compared to what is happening and about to happen unless frustrated or better stopped. If things go to a second election it will also be interesting to see if the Irish electorate double down on their bet on a fairer society, for the people and by the people.

      @ Truthist, you were closer in your first figure on how many grannies ago 1650 was. We are looking at around 12.

      http://familyforest.com/resources/51/ancestors-at-a-glance

      • yadayada

        So could you explain why the red legs are Protestant? Are they the children of Irish Protestants or are they Scottish indentured servants or English people who were on the wrong side at the battle of marston moor? Something does not compute.

        • Truthist

          They were forced to change their religion in the Caribbean ;
          And, David has given the evidence of this in a previous article.
          Many of descendants were indoctrinated later to think of themselves as distinct from Irish ;
          If not Scottish,- well then Scots-Irish.
          But, most of Scots-Irish are from Ireland originally.
          And, let’s not forget, the Scots are really Irish who settled in Alba which was already inhabited by Picts, & Scandanavians up along east coast of Scotland.

          By the way,- the vast majority of Slaves in North America were Irish.
          And, for a long while they were the only slaves there.

          They were the only slaves in the Caribbean also until the slave merchants brought the black Africans from some parts of Africa.

          Six [ 6 ] % approx. of black African slaves went to North America.
          The rest went chiefly to the Caribbean, & parts of South America.

          • yadayada

            Still can’t buy it. The general understanding is they’re of Scots origin. One district of Barbados is called Scotland.

          • Truthist

            Ireland within even less grandmother units ago from time of Cromwwell backwards was known as Scotia Major.
            And, u guessed it ; the western & lowland part of Alba was known as Scotia Minor.

            Presbyterian Overseers from Scotland & England of the Irish Slaves would have insisted that Irish culture — language, religion, place-names etc. — would not gain foothold.

            By the way ; In more recent times there has been genocide committed upon the Highlanders of Alba [ Now called Scotland ] ;
            But, the general understanding is that they were just eased off the land.
            Highlanders starved to death or succumbed to death through illness as they were being starved.

            Back in those times if u were upwardly mobile as indeed the Scottish Presbyterians & other Protestant denominations were u had much more agreeable options than be in Caribbean ;
            Spend even a short enough time in the tropics even with the ease of modern electric fan, & shying from the bright hard sun, would soon cause u to yearn to be in a temperate zone.
            Caribbean was just for “Paddys” then.
            Sorry for not offering to treat the hackneyed distillations of fact from establishment approved historians.

            Suffering is not a competition.

            If it pleases u to have some bragging rights over the Irish ;
            Most Irish today are considered by most people who experience them as not so nice.
            People change ; Cultures change ; Countries change.
            Just supplying the facts, Mam. 8-)

          • The Irish went by the name Scotti according to the Romans. The name Scot was carried to Hibernia by the Monks and eventually adopted there but lost in Ireland. There is little difference today between scots and Irish.
            Glasgow along with Liverpool and Boston are the capitals of Ireland>

      • Truthist

        Yes Mike,- I see where u are coming from.
        Interesting Link ; Thanks. Bookmarked already.

        12 was a rapid calculation in my head as I put fingers to keyboard.

        Then, I thought better to use the typical age for grandmothers to live into in a healthy society ;
        I took 80 as a fair number.
        Just to make it simple,- I used the year 2000 A.D. as referance time-point.
        5 x 80 = 400
        2000 A.D. – 400 = 1600 A.D.

        And, knowing that this particular Proxy for ‘”The Banksters of The City” located in the City of London’ launched his offensive against the Irish Catholics for being … well, for being just that “Irish” & “Catholic” AND because the protagonists wanted to do evil, & profit materially too — was around 1650 A.D., I contend 5 is more than enough of a number to refer to that gruesome time in grandmother units.

        In some cases, it could be 4 grandmothers ago.
        Certainly the case that it was so for many contributers & readers of this blog in the teenage years of their life in The “Pseudo” Republic of Ireland.

  4. cooldude

    Excellent article. What happened here is textbook financial capitalism as described by insider John Perkins in his book Confessions of an Economic Hitman. He worked for the IMF and was frontline in the easy money scam they use so successfully.

    Solutions one would be stop the power of the banks to create money as debt. This or other solutions would make for a good follow on article.

  5. Mike Lucey

    The more I thing about the term ‘vulture funds’ the more I feel its an inappropriate term for these blood suckers. Vultures in nature do an excellent job of keeping the environment clean and disease free.

    I think the term ‘mozzie funds’ would be far more appropriate as the mosquito stealthily sucks the victims blood and somethings destroys the victim is certain parts of the world. I read recently that we could safely annihilate the species except for parts of the Artic where they are in balance with nature. Maybe the same could be said about the blood suckers that are invading Ireland at present.

    • Mozzie funds, haha, love it. I also read that article Mike. Many biologists and scientists said that the would be happy for the mosquito to be completely eradicated. Never has a species caused so much misery, disease and death – well apart from humans of course.

  6. hamsterinthewheel

    Well what can be done now to stem the tied of what’s coming, how can we protect vulnerable residents and business owners. What can be done to stop Nama’s further sell off of assets? Why are Nama allowed be a faceless, unaccountable body. Why is more not being made of ministers Noonan’s involvement, (e.g. project eagle… what else do we not know about)
    A new government is coming on board (apparently, )What would be the list of actions you would give them, David, to turnaround the current situation.

  7. Mike Marketing

    it is obnoxious behavior.

    And look at the corrupt backhanders in N Ireland to insider Frank Cushnahan, a former member of Nama’s Northern Ireland Committee,
    milking NAMA and the Irish taxpayer under their very noses via sharp practice. BBC Spotlight programme caught him on
    video & sound recently admitting to his sharp practice.

    And nothing happens.

    You can thank ignorant self-serving Party Political Gobshites like Noonan and Kenny for betraying the nation via their sins of omission.

    I feel it is a great pity that they didn’t lose their seats recently.

    Now just wait for the unseemly mad scramble for Senate nominations where those on the ‘inside’ will idle their time until
    the elections come up again.

    The worst part of all is that you and I as Taxpayers and the betrayed pay for this pantomime.

    I say we contact Brussels with a signed petition to bring the Troika back.

    It just couldn’t be worse than FG/Labour.

    And now, on our time, and with the blessing of our payments they dance the Hokey Cokey while squawking like a deranged hen, wondering what group have come a courting today.

    Politics here is at an impasse, with no sign of leadership anywhere.

    The courageous men and women from a century ago must be spinning in their graves!

    Lord save us from this torture,

  8. Deco

    100 years on from the 1916 Rising, and we are still debt slaves.

    Thanks FF/FG/GP/LP. Gombeenism is the dominant political ideology in Ireland.

  9. pat greene

    The comparisons made between the enslavement and profiteering of Irish people by the English with the possible/probable help of Irishmen in the 1600′s and what is happening to day is in my view a legitimate argument. The main difference being the level of cruelty and horror brought to bare on we Irish.The results are more or less the same, a reduction in population leaving a weakened nation, mass emigration today physical imprisonment abroad back then, both enriching other nations at our expense. “Our” government is more interested in being allowed to have a seat in the “good room” than keeping the interests of our economy and our family’s firmly in focus. We have a political system that promotes selfish individual interests above every thing else…EVERYTHING ELSE..including their own grand children! A political system that dictates to family’s a raft of taxes that were never agreed to by the electorate in our republic and as such have no place being enforced, but ENFORCEMENT they do just like Cromwell and they use the fear of the TAX collectors to ram the new taxes through. these taxes do not contribute to the betterment of OUR society they are to pay the very vulture funds that use “our” money to by our “assets” at knock down prices. The scale of the deception is immense from the “eviction bill”, AKA the LAND AND CONVEYANCING LAW REFORM ACT 2013. Allowing for fast track evictions, to the pretence of having democracy in our “republic” maybe we need a new one, I for one think we do need a new Republic!! The manipulation of rents to squeeze/sweat the assets turning the “owners” into slaves, the huge increase in bank charges and an equally huge reduction in banking services, these banks are supposedly owned by us but we the people have no say, just like slaves. When a government is ” elected” the extremely powerfully executive or “cabinet”, the OECD agrees with this view, is internally chosen and we have no say for the next 5yrs. We are as slaves in between elections. Then we are offered a “choice” of parties and figure heads known a candidates but only the chosen few are allowed on the airwaves, making sure the system of enslavement stays intact for if new blood gets in the people might see what has happened, retribution my ensue. The people accept this second rate system can we blame politicians and vulture funds for taking advantage…

    • Sideshow Bob

      Good post. If I can pick out a quote.

      “Then we are offered a “choice” of parties and figure heads known a candidates but only the chosen few are allowed on the airwaves, making sure the system of enslavement stays intact for if new blood gets in the people might see what has happened, retribution my ensue.”

      In Spain, Podemos have called this grouping “la casta”
      or “the caste”. They mean by this the teddle dum and tweedle dee politicians who alternate in power, left or right wing, and they have talked openly and objectively from the outset of breaking the grip that this “caste” have on power. This has been central to them moving from 0-20% in Spain in two years and become a real political force capable of challenging that political elite. They don’t just talk though. Their own candidates,those elected or not, are democratically selected and represent a genuine slice through Spanish society. Noticeably as a result of this they don’t look anything like the predictable (usually suited) line-ups of connected insiders that constitute most Irish political parties which increasing only have an appeal with certain demographics, where as the PP and PSOE ( traditional parties of power ) do.

      • pat greene

        Thanks for your input, I did run in the elections but the people at the door were not interested in articles 47 and 48, when I say not interested they understood the advantages but gave me their no. 2 or 4 on the ballot paper these only count if you stay in the first round. The old style politician who promised them the earth moon and stars got elected. In the end the electorate were concerned that they can get a medical card or a good reference for a job offer etc. the mentality of our parashpump politics needs to be broken if we as a nation are too grow….education is needed but the existing system is protecting it’s self and will not take steps that will impinge on their power base. It is a long road with no bends…change will happen one way or another. There is no left wing or right wing there is people, families that came together to form a society of equals in a republic ever since article 48 was removed the government has driven devision deeper and deeper allowing for distraction from the real issues ….realy it’s a mess and the middle classes need to collapse I order for change …a financial shock from out side the country might do it…if it happens expect the suicide rate to double…as if it is not high enough!

      • pat greene

        Thanks Sideshow, the party that is doing just that is Direct democracy Ireland, we may not have used a simple description like the “cast” but we are a cross section of society, no left or right. I like the idea and will try to use it or a similar description I wonder if there is a word in Irish that sums them up. Podemos is also contemplating direct democracy but are bogged down in its functionality and method of introduction….not easy..regards Pat

        • Sideshow Bob

          Hi Pat, it is “caste´´ as opposed to “cast´´.

          Don´t know about a translation to Irish, here are the Spanish definitions of “casta´´, translated as follows;

          (Real Academia Espanola)

          casta

          Der. del gót. kastan; cf. ingl. caste.

          1. f. Ascendencia o linaje. U. también referido a los irracionales.

          2. f. En la India, grupo social al que se pertenece por nacimiento, y que, dentro de una etnia, se diferencia por su rango e impone la endogamia.

          3. f. En algunas sociedades, grupo que forma una clase especial y tiende a permanecer separado de los demás por su raza, religión, etc.

          4. f. Especie o calidad de algo.

          breed

          Der. of TOG. Kastan; cf. Eng. caste.

          1. f. Descent or lineage. U. also referred to the irrational.

          2. f. In India, social group to which one belongs by birth, and, within an ethnic group, is distinguished by its range and imposes inbreeding.

          3. f. In some societies, group forming a special class and tends to remain separate from others because of their race, religion, etc.

          4. f. Type or quality of something.

          5. f. Zool. In an animal society, group of individuals characterized by the same structure or function such as worker bees in a hive.

          5. f. Zool. En una sociedad animal, conjunto de individuos caracterizados por una misma estructura o función, como las abejas obreras en una colmena.

          (Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy)

          (casta) breed / caste

          Der. of TOG. Kastan; cf. Eng. cast.

          1. f. Descent or lineage. U. also referred to the irrational.

          2. f. In India, social group to which one belongs by birth, and, within an ethnic group, is distinguished by its range and imposes inbreeding.

          3. f. In some societies, group forming a special class and tends to remain separate from others because of their race, religion, etc.

          4. f. Type or quality of something.

          5. f. Zool. In an animal society, group of individuals characterized by the same structure or function such as worker bees in a hive.

    • Mike Lucey

      Pat, the only way I can see the electorate holding on to some sort of recourse during the 5 year leasing off of our freedom is for the reintroduction of Articles 47, 28 and 50 of the Irish Free State Constitution which would give us the option to call into play some form of democracy.

      Constitution of the Irish Free State
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_Irish_Free_State

      “As originally adopted the constitution contained (in Articles 47, 48 and 50) innovative provisions for direct democracy but, owing to constitutional amendments, these provisions were never permitted to come into effect.

      The Constitution established a parliamentary system of government under a form of constitutional monarchy, and contained guarantees of certain fundamental rights. It was originally intended that the Constitution would be a rigid document that, after an initial period, could be amended only by referendum. However, ultimately amendments were made to the Constitution’s amendment procedure so that all amendments were in fact made by a simple Act of the Oireachtas (parliament).”

      So in other words, the idea of a citizen’s initiative was to be part of the new and free Ireland but when the politicians got their snouts in the trough these matters where quickly smothered and pushed under the carpet. However sweeping under the carpet remain there, they don’t go away. Its a matter of lifting the carpet somehow.

    • Truthist

      Excellant Post, Pat ;

      Many original points that must be added to the literature :

      vis.

      [ Please accept my redactions ;
      Needed for me per my own documentation of very important points for to try to save Ireland.

      The main difference [ between Cromwellian ( Proxy for "The City" ; And, "The City" located in a small part of London City ) Ireland & I.M.F. Ireland ] being the level of cruelty and horror brought to bare on we Irish.

      The results are more or less the same :

      a reduction in population leaving a weakened nation,

      mass emigration today / physical imprisonment abroad back then ;
      both enriching other nations at our expense.

      “Our” government is more interested in being allowed to have a seat in the “good room”

      And they use the fear of the TAX collectors to ram the new taxes through.

      These taxes do not contribute to the betterment of OUR society

      [ These taxes ] are to pay the very vulture funds that use “our” money to by our “assets” at knock down prices.

      The scale of the deception is immense from the “Eviction Bill”,
      a.k.a.
      THE LAND AND CONVEYANCING LAW REFORM ACT 2013.

      Allowing for fast track evictions, to the pretence of having democracy in our “republic”

      The manipulation of rents to squeeze/sweat the assets turning the “owners” into slaves,

      the huge increase in bank charges

      an equally huge reduction in banking services,

      [ Context ; ]

      these banks are supposedly owned by us

      but we the people have no say, just like slaves.

      When a government is ” elected” the extremely powerfully executive or “cabinet”, the OECD agrees with this view, is internally chosen

      and we have no say for the next 5yrs ;
      We are as slaves in between elections.

      Then we are offered a “choice” of parties and figure heads known as candidates
      But only the chosen few are allowed on the airwaves.
      [ Thus, ] making sure the system of enslavement stays intact
      [Because, ]if new blood gets in, then the people might see what has happened, & then retribution my ensue.

      When the people accept this 2nd-rate system can we blame politicians and vulture funds for taking advantage.

    • Deco

      Good contribution, Pat Greene.

      We are now in another imperial racket. One based on debt, and capital controls – in the favour of the large players. The ideology is Ponzi-nomics. Asset managers to make money/never lose money. The plebs to be controlled so as to prop it all up. It is anti-societal. Anybody who announces disatisfaction is declared a “populist”. The system is inherently “corporatist”.

      The main threat to this racket will only ever come from people. Therefore the people must be kept under control. Ever guilt trip / lie / manipulation / scheme possible is deemed worthwhile if it undermines the potential of people to oppose corporatism.

      The West did NOT “win” the Cold War. The West merely allowed itself to be taken over by the exact entity that the Communists had been warning about. Of course the Communists were found out to be wasters. And the Marxists in the West found new masters, when their masters in Moscow disappeared. They did something very political. They offered themselves to those in power, as an empty option for disaffected proles – turning working class votes into crony policies.

      Ponzi-economics, with it’s emphasis on manipulating markets in favour or owner participants is the dominant economic and political ideology of the age. We discovered that when Trichet bullied the (spineless) Irish politicians into bailing out second rate capitalist gamblers.

      You may as well have Bernie Madoff running the ECB, as Trichet. At least Madoff has the honesty to make profound statements of remorse after the disaster. Trichet has made no such commentary.

      • Truthist

        Who is “the exact entity that the Communists had been warning about” that subsequently have “taken over” the West / “Capitalism^” ?

        The Banksters are not corporations.

        But, for sure, a great many corporations do many very corrupt deeds for various reasons.
        Were it not for the Banksters,- those corporations would not feel pressurised to deviate ; I hope 0-(

        Still, most of the products & services we need & want & enjoy come from productive activity of corporations.

        Banksters just have license to loan out invented “currency” as debt to be paid with interest.

        At least Maddoff was trying to pay Paul ;
        Even if he was taking from Peter.

        ^So called Capitalism ;
        In reality NOT Capitalism because most business investment is Finance ;
        Finance comes to business borrower from the Fractional Reserve Ponzi Scheme.
        Investment should come from Capital [ Assets or Equity Cash ] ; Not from Finance.

  10. contact23

    to think that any change will come with the addition of the FFers in to government,, its the wolf in sheeps clothing

  11. I’m sure you know what Vulture Paul Singer, the arch-fiend of his genre, just got away with in Argentina. This shocking Irish story deserves to be equally well-known.

    Clearly, these guys have to be stopped. If the courts won’t in their “wisdom” rule against them, well then laws have to be changed.

    When there has been a default, as known to parties involved in the original loan, various legal benefits accrue to the loan holders — tax writeoffs, if nothing else. Once these have been allowed, that should be the end of it. The loan’s worth has been been fully consumed.

    So don’t you find it an outrage to logic, as well as morality, for any debt declared dead to be revived as somebody else’s “asset” and opportunity to torment a creditor who already went bust?

    • Truthist

      Jean Claude Trichet [ Arbuably, the top civil servant of the E.U. because he in charge of the E.C.B. ] told Minister of Finance Michael Noonan that the E.U. / E.C.B. / International Bank of Settlements / Rothschilds will b..mb Dublin if Ireland “burns the Bond-Holders” as u propose.

      What would u do if u were in Noonan’s position ?

      • Truthist

        Sorry, The Other Katherine Harris.

        Typo ;

        Should read ;

        [ Arguably, the top …

      • Mike Lucey

        @Truthist

        “What would u do if u were in Noonan’s position ?”

        If I were in Noonan’s position at the time I would have passed over the chalice to someone that knew how the play poker. I think he was bluffed and folded.

        Do you think that we have not been bombed? Maybe not, possibly more a slow strangulation that is continuing and will continue until there is nothing much left but a carcass.

        We bailed out the bondholders and now how many of these folks are coming back to pick our bones using the money that we forked over to them?

        Iceland seems to be doing okay and getting on with the job of rebuilding the country on solid foundations. Should we have looked more closely at what they had the balls to to?

        ‘The miraculous story of Iceland’

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/17/the-miraculous-story-of-iceland/

        ‘Top Economists: Iceland Did It Right … And Everyone Else Is Doing It Wrong’

        http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/08/top-economists-iceland-did-it-right-everyone-else-is-doing-it-wrong.html

        • Truthist

          I like ur answer Pat.
          And, I like much of what u write in ur other posts too.

          Presently, it is facile for any politician in senior position of Irish State to put forth strong front against the E.U. / E.C.B. / World Bank / Bank of International Settlements / Trilateral Commission [ or whatever other tentacle of the Rothschild Octopussy u can think of ;
          Actually this Creature has a lot more tentacles than 8 ]
          The reason that I inform of this unfortunate position for whomsoever is the incumbent is because of what is clearly known now to our foreign interlocutors ;

          The bulk of the Irish people of all social & economic classes are presently of quite rotten character.
          Former Ambassador of Germany to Ireland also attested to this fact when he was addressing top German Industrialists gathered at official event in Ireland just a few years ago.
          And, the Irish are getting even more “morally” bankrupt by the day.

          “A Nation divided amongst itself cannot stand.”

          Even the best leader must have his nation united firstly in order for that nation to have any chance of prevailing.

          The populace would need to be of noble, & wise, & smart, & brave character if they were to avoid being divided as a nation.

          I posit that the Irish Civil Service must be immediately taken to task, for scheming locally to corrupt the nation.
          The Irish Civil Service have too much say in peoples lives anyway.
          To tackle the main local rotten corrupter is necessary before tackling Octopussy’s tentacles galore.

        • Thanks for bringing that up, Mike. Only Iceland did the right thing, in the face of these obvious attacks on nations. Elsewhere, banksters and bondholders keep getting away with more than invading armies!

      • The words “Just say no” spring to mind. As Mike reminds us, Iceland did it. I cheered them then and I cheer them now.

        It was their lovely president demanding a referendum that began setting things right — and the people did say no.

  12. Most of the Irish going to the West Indies in the 16th century went voluntarily or as indentured slaves (5-20 years) where they laboured in the sugar plantations.
    When the black slave trade arrived the Irish were “too expensive” relatively and were freed. Many prospered and many more moved to the South Carolina etc.

    http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl?md=read;id=487

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromwellian_conquest_of_Ireland
    ( The Parliamentarians also deported about 50,000 people as indentured labourers.)

    • Truthist

      I dispute your attribution of “voluntary” ;

      If “somehow” as u say, most likely “Hobson’s Choice”

      And, enormous numbers for a continuum up until mid 1800 would have been “press-ganged” into Brit Navy & Brit Army.
      And, also press-ganged & kidnapped into private Pirate fleets.

      The State-Crafters are very concerned about how the events & circumstances are reported of there times are being recorded or more likely being “creatively” recorded to their acceptable interests.

      Trust more ur own good sense & value the honest & fair-minded & knowledgeable folk on the ground 4 or 5 grandmothers hence who blessedly are not officially endorsed historians.

  13. NAMA is a sideshow in the process of enslavement. It is a local evidence of the bankers inciting debt, foreclosure and austerity resulting in the firesale of local assets to corporate interest who asset strip the local economy to the detriment of the local population.
    The real slave masters are the shadow banker elites who do everything to disrupt progress and success that is not in accord with the aims of the New World Order.
    They are asset stripping the world and we acquiesce as we agree to the bombing campaigns of one country after another. This results in the chaos and degradation of peoples that then spawn rebellion manifesting itself as terrorism and and mass migration.

    The banking system must be protected at all costs as it is the principle tool of enslavement and the advent of the one world government by the elitist banksters.

    Ellen Brown author of Web of Debt catalogues here what the exposure of Hillary Clinton’s emails provide. Here is the information and conformation of this NWO plan. Any sovereigntist nation trying to establish its own currency and financial independence is cut down one way or another. That includes Ireland. It includes all the Western Industrial democracies. It includes the people of the US. It includes all peoples everywhere. Time is short. It is time you were aware. It is time to elect the candidates standing for the people and to abandon all mainstream political parties as all are corrupted by the power and influence of the central bankers and their controllers.

    This is a good explanation here.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/exposing-the-libyan-agenda-a-closer-look-at-hillarys-emails/5514010

    • Sideshow Bob

      Best post ever by you Tony, in my opinion.

      I think the connection between the two epochs featured in the article is the role of Empire.

      The older simple invade, colonize and exploit model with it´s abject and obvious imposition of misery upon millions, has given way to a new era of non-violent takeover and voluntary submission by populations in weaker countries to the traditional exploiting interests from stronger more organized countries( bankers, financiers, people of wealth seeking more wealth, people of no wealth spotting an opportunity etc ). This an era of colonization without armies, flags or obvious enemy force for a population to rally against and fight back. It is almost counter intuitive. It is now far, far easier to persuade people to hand over their wealth than bother to take it by force.

      Of course, all this needs the help of acquiescent politicians in the countries being taken over, and these are inducted and bought off years in advance and some even go on to take their places at the table afterwards, so to speak, with those same exploiting foreign interests.

      The EU, since the fall of the Berlin Wall at least, has been in expansion mode as a new era Neo-Liberal Empire run by faceless non-elected bureaucrats on behalf of banking and business interests. This is the New Colonialism.

      With no blood being split, this is not so difficult a sell and is more palatable to the population at large so easier to maintain!

      • “This an era of colonization without armies, flags or obvious enemy force for a population to rally against and fight back. It is almost counter intuitive. It is now far, far easier to persuade people to hand over their wealth than bother to take it by force.”
        Well that may be true for us but not for millions of others where standing armies, invasion, death,hunger, famine, devastation, war pestilence and plague are the norm. Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and countless other invaded states bare witness to the bankers delights of takeover by what ever means are expedient.
        Wait till Trump is denied by the PTB and see the US erupt into civil war. The people v the state. Look at the vitriolic press leading the government charge in the first counter assault. Never mind there is support of Trump by 35% of the people and growing in volume.

      • Thanks for the compliment SS Bob. Not ignored!! :)

    • conformation = confirmation

    • Bamboo

      Thanks for the link Tony.

      Around this time last year is a similar article by the same publisher:
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-irish-slave-trade-the-forgotten-white-slaves/31076

  14. McCawber

    NAMA was and is simply an instrument of the state.
    It is very convenient for the politicians, Bertur and his cabal, in particula , were the enablers in the run up to the 2008 crash, to blame NAMA, The Banks and The Deveopers for all the country’s woes.
    The politicians and to a lesser extent the electorate (Their options were limited afterall) were the main culprits, they didn’t just sit and do nothing, they poured oil on the fire.
    And, despite their denials, they were warned in plenty of time and chose to ignore those warnings.
    They should never be let of the hook despite their very convenient it is what it is.

  15. Mike Lucey

    Tonight Claire Byrne’s program poll (45%) heavily weighed in on a FG/FF grand coalition. I think this could well be a nationwide attitude.

    I thought one audience member put his finger on it when he suggested a grand coalition would make them the ‘poster boys’ of Europe …….. again say I.

    A grand coalition would either get the job done or be a dismal failure. If a success it would strengthen the centre right, if a failure it would set the scene for the rise of a strong and organised left.

    • McCawber

      Be careful what you wish for.
      They’d break the bank even quicker than FF/FG.
      They’ve plenty of great ideas that the rich will pay.
      Which is fine until you run out of rich people.

      • Mike Lucey

        @McCawber

        I would like to see a balanced political system. Currently we have been having a tweedle dumb and tweedle dee situation with a small sprinkling of socialism / greenism.

        I think the ‘left’ are capable of helping to bring in a more sustainable system instead of what we have at the moment.

        Don’t get me wrong! I have no political affiliations and am totally against party politics as it is far to easily controlled by entities that have no interest in the general good only further accumulation of personal wealth.

        The more folks that are doing well in a community the better off the whole community is.

    • McCawber

      The comment in Claire Byrne’s programme, that I liked most, came at the end and referred to People Before Profit.
      There will be no People without Profit.
      Try explaining that to Boyd Barret et al and you’ll realise why we are incapable of ruling ourselves.

    • Deco

      55% were against the idea. I reckon the pecentage is actually higher.

      Do you know anybody who is in favour of having FF+FG(+LP) running the country ?

      The worst excesses of all three combined.

      Presumably, they will turn IW into an even bigger money pit. So many vested interests to accomodate.

  16. US non recourse student loans

    In an article peened by Doug Short last week we can see how far this anomaly has gone http://wolfstreet.com/2016/03/11/uncle-sams-largest- asset-student-loans-haunt-us-for-years/ . Looking at the asset side of federal government “total financial assets” we can see how crazy this concept has become. THE LARGEST financial asset held by the federal government is “student loans” making up 45% of the pie. I am sure you see the problem with this but I think it needs to be spelled out because it is the core of how far down the rabbit hole we have gone!

    http://www.lemetropolecafe.com/Img2016/Midas/3/14/A.gif

    I would ask, how is this an asset? We are talking about a $1 trillion yoke around the necks of our youth. Can this generation pay it off? College kids are getting out of school (with or without a degree) and entering a labor market where jobs are simply not available. I would contend this student loan bubble is no “asset” at all, it is a liability to those who owe it and a liability to the government at the same time. It will be seen as a liability to the government when they are forced to “foreclose”. Written into law now is the fact that this debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The only way this can be seen as an asset is the “control” it will afford over the future lives of an entire generation!

  17. Where your asset is about to kick your ass. Is that a liability?

    http://www.jsmineset.com/2016/03/14/assets-and-liabilities/

  18. posted at lemetropolecafe.com
    ECB: ((Addicted to Credit just like all central bankers, the fix does not work like it used to))

    Bundesbank opposed ECB stimulus package due to expectations dynamic: The WSJ on Friday cited sources who said that the Bundesbank opposed the latest ECB stimulus package due to its structure and fears a “doom loop” of high market expectations followed by disappointment. The sources claimed that Bundesbank chief Weidmann was willing to debate more standard central bank tools, such as interest rates and long-term loans, but may have preferred to do nothing at all. It added that some members on the Governing Council were concerned that after years of easy-money policies, fresh stimulus is growing less effective. The article also said that 19 members of the 25-member council backed the plan, with Dutch member Knot and German ECB Executive Board member Lautenschlaeger against, and four members were ineligible to vote, including Weidmann.
    Liikanen says ECB will act until inflation target is reached: Reuters cited comments on Friday by ECB’s Liikanen who on MTV3 said that the central bank has not run out of tools to boost the economy and will continue to support it until it reaches its inflation target of almost 2%. Liikanen, who is also the Finnish central bank governor, said the action taken last week by the ECB was essential in the current situation and “we have the capability and the tools if needed.” Echoing President Draghi, he added: “We will continue to act until inflation is close but below 2% in the medium-term. This is a strong commitment and we will keep the interest rates at current or lower level for a long time.”

  19. survivalist

    In recent posts many contributors to the comments section here have questioned the possibility or feasibility of a financial or corporate ‘conspiracy’ as a viable causal agent in our economic or societal events.

    In effect the conspiracy is nothing more than the current modern (neo-liberal?) business model exampled by NAMA and so it doesn’t usually get recognised as ‘a conspiracy’.

    The conspiracy, aka business/corporate actions, are very much a conspiracy in the sense that it is a plot directly run against the interest of the majority and hidden from them via the use of propaganda run by and benefiting a minority at the expense of the majority.

    Articles like this by Mr McWilliams could be nailed to the front of every door in the country and people would likely reflect on the brutality of Cromwell in Ireland and miss the second part of the piece- which is a simple example of the power and presence of propaganda.

    I can’t ‘prove it’ but as NAMA was established, not as a fledgling organisation, but as a fully formed and functioning ‘middle manager’ for corporate interests less than 3 months after the 400 billion ‘banking guarantee’ of Sept 2009; I believe NAMA had been prepared and was a ready to go wealth grab which kicked into operation on the cue of that ‘guarantee’. It is, as the article describes, almost formulaic after all.

    The NAMA conspiracy uses ‘state’ resources, which are resources taken from the people, resources then used by NAMA to provide a subsidised service of professional accountants, legal admin etc. to those business and enables them to acquire assets at a fraction of the cost.

    [I don’t know how but I expect that the ‘cost’ of any asset depreciation or ‘hair-cut’ would be managed through insurance devices possible to lessen liabilities which itself would have been financialized into a revenue making asset-(but that is speculation).]

    All of this is done free of oversight, competition, regulation or the legal obligations private citizens are subjected to. As Mr McWilliams then describes with no small amount of irony they “sweat the asset until the yield on the property rises”.

    Sweat the assets is a polite and remote sounding term for what is in effect a brutal assault on people.

    It involves undermining workers human rights, work intensification, individualization of cost and risks, it undermines society and participation in communities, it outsources education and parenting of children, commoditises values, it attacks and weakens unions, subordinates public safety, drives out competition, races to the bottom in terms of intellectual output and ability and later it transfers more costs via social security/welfare payments to the state again when jobs are lost – then re-hires those workers on much deteriorated pay and conditions and compounds the above events.

    It is a real and existing model of normal corporate functioning yet it is called a conspiracy by virtue of the degree of effort and independent research required to discover it.

    • Truthist

      Nay, it is NOT a “Corpocracy”.

      The corporations do not pull the strings.

      There is a “scatological” scheme being rolled out ultimately ;
      Sorry to say that to those innocent like me.

      But,- now I am wise ; Well, … “wiser” than when I trusted the bullshit from the Dialectic.

      • Truthist

        Typo ;

        Word-processor Spell-Checker prompted “scatological” ;

        Really, post should state “ESCHATOLOGICAL”

  20. Other countries citizens are resisting the centralization of government and exercising individual and national sovereignty.Both Iceland and Switzerland have withdrawn application to join the EU

    “Furthermore, the Republican and political establishment in the U.S. are resisting the
    movement that Donald Trump represents, which is a call to arms against increased state interference.
    All the while, the state reaches out to the media and resorts to promoting a false image to the masses
    aimed at destroying the image and reputation of those brave resisting individuals, we need to spread
    the word and reveal the reality of what is at stake – freedom or slavery! This is the key message from
    Switzerland as one of the world’s last bastions of liberty.

    http://media.wix.com/ugd/192199_9f3786b7d3244f4282e4f467a6d0e499.pdf

    • Truthist

      International “Discovery Orders” enforced against Swiss banks already.

      The international community are already closing in on Switzerland.

      Expect sanctions on basis of alleged crimes of dubious significance committed by Swiss entities.

      Switzerland will be physically blockaded by E.U. ;
      Only outlet to the seas is up the Rhine.

      Switzerland is dangerous example to would-be-free Slave countries in that Switzerland has direct democracy / plebiscite system for introducing new laws into the legislature ;
      It is the most democratic mechanism possible.
      Overall, & on specific basis, the Electorate can stipulate the type of political direction the country takes.
      Direct Democracy / Public Plebiscite is Mechanism ONLY ; Not the flavour of politics.
      The people’s votes in each Plebiscite decide the flavour of politics.

      Swiss perceived as not original enough thinkers ;
      Thus,- vulnerable in the game of State-Craft for firstly the E.U. Federation Government, & finally World Federation Government.

      But, of course, Democracy can be a nightmare ;
      Majority are often wrong / corrupt ;
      Think of “Mob-Rule”.

      But, not necessarily corrupt ;
      It is up to u. 8-)

  21. Deco

    The EU is increasingly a political arrangement to keep the rich rich, and everybody else too busy to even have time to figure out what is going on.

    We would be better off getting out of it. Of course the FF-FG-GP-LP cronies in the state system want the racket to continue. Their easy life depends on it. But the rest of us are better off with an end to having bondholder bailouts shoved down our throats.

  22. Deco

    Pat Greene – EK’s short election campaign was designed to benefit large political parties, and to prevent a proliferation of choice.

    For the same reason, FG and FF will do a deal. Neither want to provide the reforms being demanded by independents. They both want to continue business as usual. The entire drama since the election result is designed to make it appear as if they care what people think, when really they simply want to do a deal on controlling state power, and looking after cronies.

    There is a hope that there might eb a rebellion in one or other party, that might lead to an end to this pretence. But that will decrease once they both get into power.

    Pat, do not give up.

    Even with complete control of the election timetable, FG still managed to shoot themselves in the foot. They are an incompetent lot. Even with massive vote buying the LP managed to shrink themselves to a collection of TDs who function in a Healy Rae like manner (whilst spoofing eloquently about doing it for the good of the country) (think Burton lobbying for Primary Care Centres, or AK47 and the Nenagh empty train service).

    Anything that proposes less centralization of power will get ignored, demonized and pulverizing by the powers that be. Including the media. The way to address this is to go direct to the people. There is no requirement that you have to canvass in the three weeks before an election. You can canvass your ideas any time.

    And that is what direct democracy is – an idea.

    Therefore, I suggest that you sit down and analyze the entire control mechanism that exists today. Including the “free stuff” promises of the left, and the “impressiveness” promises of the centre and right, and then provide an honest truthful message, that goes above the nonsense from the other political parties.

    And demand reform of the state system. It is unaccountable. And people are not happy with this. People are also sick of the “free stuff” politicians.

    And then continue on selling your ideas. You are up against a media that wants people to vote for pro-Empire parties like FG or FF. You are against pro-free-stuff-4-votes rackets like SF and the Auntie Austeritie Daliance. But you have an important message.

  23. Sideshow Bob

    Deco,

    The strongest template for modern political party formation is one Podemos have invented recently. It is about building a wide democratic movement involving mass participation. A big part of it involves identification from the outset the tools and communication techniques of the Establishment, sets up its own communication paths and works against those tools of the Establishment in a conscious manner as it has grown stronger.

    Pat Greene,

    Since your earlier comments I took a look at your DDI website and at Podemos´s too, and I can´t see where they explicitly go for Direct Democracy (at least I can´t find it). However the basic ideas inherent in DD are fundamental to how Podemos functions; mass participation, democratic debate of issues and solutions and policies, democratic selection of candidates , and conscious attempt to create democratic platforms at different levels which they employ internally in their party using the circle as it´s base expression at all levels. The circle is the base unit, in the circle everybody sits equally and talks as equals. The circle can be any size. The circle has no head, no expression of hierarchy.

    Their platform of policies is much broader than DDI´s for example and this is also very significant in creating a real mass movement.

    Another element ( I am not refering to DDI Ireland here ) which is very obvious is that they harness their base´s energy to create policies and communicate with the greater populace as opposed to Irish Parties who just use the base to distribute leaflets at election time.

  24. Wills

    David,

    Wow! Just wow!

    I for the life of me cannot add anything to this scintillating article’s brilliance.

  25. Have you bought 24 carrot cake rather than the real thing

    http://i.imgur.com/bX7cYv3.jpg

  26. Mike Lucey

    Somewhat off topic but nevertheless remotely connected to the current topic.

    Listening to Mick Wallace today on the radio talking about his aim to enshrine Irish Neutrality in the Constitution I got to thinking about the matter.

    I have on numerous occasions noticed very large numbers of US soldiers in the Shannon Airport pre-boarding area while waiting for my flights. I have even got to chatting to some of them in the downstairs open smoking area. I found these young men and women to be respectful and polite but at the same time I felt uncomfortable about why they were there and what they would be doing when they flew onwards. I understand that over 3,000,000 have passed through Shannon Airport since 2001 and thats only what we know of or are allowed to know about.

    We have the name of being a neutral county but again I don’t agree with sitting on the sideline when a clearly evil force is harming innocent civilians in various parts of the world. I also think that Ireland should not have remained neutral in WWII but again it was a half baked neutrally when one considers that, was it, 50,000 plus Irishmen joined the British Army to flight Hitler.

    Is allowing the US using Shannon Airport as a questionable military base leaving the place open to attacks from whatever group these soldiers are invading? I think it might well be!

  27. “the Irish political class are too stupid to realise it”.

    Don’t hold back whatever you do David! Spot on. Imbeciles the lot of them.

    • Mike Lucey

      Thanks Adam. Will check out Ethereum. As regards Carboncoin, it truck me as a possible CC with a conscience i.e. no consumption of power (leckie) involved in mining. On the contrary, it combats carbon build up by planting trees.

      Maybe worth a small punt for the feel good factor alone!

  28. Deco

    The big economic news of the day – the UK Budget.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/03/15/budget-2016-checklist-what-to-look-out-for/

    Key element worth discussing. Osborne is investing billions in an attempt to boost British productivity. Including a North-South Crossrail project for London (the first Crossrail project was East-West under London). And a faster rail service between Manchester and Leeds (City # 3 & city # 4 in Engalnd). The objective in each case is to increase business and human productivity through infrastructure.

    Osborne also wants the education system to produce more. Compare that with the nonsense going on here, where Education is heading towards becomming the next HSE.

    There is a definite lesson for whomever is the next MoF, here.

    Our current politicians are too stupid to look at productivity. They are overly obsessed with pandering to vested interests that deliberately constrain productivity, to maximize their slice of the cake.

    In other words, gombeenism over-rules productivity under FF-FG-GP-LP.

  29. Deco

    The greatest untold secret is the instances where NAMA takes ownership of real estate from a developer, and sells it to oone of his relatives ata fraction of the cost of the original loan. It is like as if NAMA is a quango for bailing out developers. Enda Kenny has denied that it has occurred, in response to Creighton claiming that it occurred.

    Well, it has occurred.

  30. Deco

    Perhaps nothing quite encapsulates the utter uselessness of the political gombeens/glorified county cuncillors in Kildare Street, as their ongoing tendency to favour gombeenist margin setting, and turn against any productivity improvement in the economy. For productivity, they are relyin on Apple and pals to invest billions in plants that pay minimal taxation into the system. It boosts GDP, and that make it “grote” look great. A bit like the old USSR, when “growth” always looked great, but productivity was sh!te.

    Ireland is in a productivity trap, with massive debts. Productivity growth in much of the Irish economy is practically non-existent. We are one Nasdaq decline away from another solvency crisis.

  31. Deco

    Osborne – using state policy to raise productivity.

    Noonan/Howlin – using state policy to bottleneck productivity, so as to look after vested interests.

  32. Deco

    This is what Briatin is aiming for

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

    [
    The Northern Hub is a rail project across Northern England to increase train services and reduce journey times between the major cities and towns by electrifying lines and removing a major rail bottleneck in Manchester. It is predicted to stimulate economic growth in the region.[1] The rail network in Manchester was a bottleneck preventing seamless and fast services between cities and towns in the north of England. There are many points to the project, however the prime point centred on eradicating the Manchester bottleneck allowing trains to travel through Manchester at speed without stopping. The project was announced in 2009 as the Manchester Hub.[2][3] The project has a steering partnership involving Network Rail, Deutsche Bahn, First TransPennine Express, Northern Rail, East Midlands Trains, CrossCountry, Freightliner, the Department for Transport, Transport for Greater Manchester and Merseytravel
    ]

    [
    The scheme has a benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) of £4 for every £1 invested - double that of London's Crossrail and the proposed national HS2 network which have a BCR of £2.10 and £2.30 respectively.[10][11]
    ]

    And meanwhile, Dublin has Luas strikes, and endless inefficiency. Broadband is expensive, and the politicians are proposing taxing the internet (to make it even more expensive). As far as I know, there is not even a public bus service that uses the M50 (in case profits would be reduced for the tolls). Madness.

    What an utter shambles.

  33. Deco

    David – please take the Irish state system (and the politicians) to task for the manner in which they are deliberately trying to snarl up any possible productity improvement in the Irish economy.

    Everything from ridiculous residential housing density rules, to public transport failure, to banking, to competition policy, to taxes, to education. Plus the endless useless quangos. The whole this is pure gombeenism.

    FF and FG are about to engage in horse trading to see who gets on what quangos. Madness.

  34. Deco

    I expect FG plus FF to make a government. It might deliver an insult to the people, but more importantly, it will deliver more subservience to Brussels. And that is what matters now.

    An empire once again. Thanks to FF/FG/GP/LP.

  35. Mike Lucey

    Just noticed this article with some good visuals,

    ‘Investment funds to swoop as Nama sells off residential loans’

    http://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/investment-funds-to-swoop-as-nama-sells-off-residential-loans-34544099.html

    “The loans tied to the properties in Tyrellstown have been bought by a company controlled by the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.”

    Ah, I see! And who do we have deeply embedded in the FG party with GS connections! The dots eventually join up to show a clear picture. BTW, I imagine Simon Covney is the anointed follow on to EK after his handholding while out walking with Suds in Bilderberg 2014 Copenhagen Denmark.

    https://youtu.be/TO5K_bxxNQc

    “Nama is mandated by law to attain the best price available for its assets. Up to now, big US investment funds have been the buyers with the deepest pockets and will again be expected to buy these new loans.”

    If this is the case, surely one would expect that NAMA would be looking at what the mortgagees / residents can come up with possibly via their local Credit Unions. Ah, but shure that would defeat the original purpose of NAMA.

    • Truthist

      Simon Coveney is a good family man 8

      • Mike Lucey

        I have no doubt Simon Coveney is the perfect family man as have all FG leaders.

        Paddy Power has Simon in second place along with Frances Fitzgerald at 3/1 for the top job. Leo Varadkar is the front runner at 5/6. I’d be inclined to put my few bob on Simon though ;-)

  36. [...] the economist David McWilliams recently wrote in The Sunday Business Post, US vulture funds are lurking in the background. They [...]

  37. Mike Lucey

    I am sure many of you feeling the same helplessness that I feel when it comes to voicing opinions on how democracy should work ‘for the people, by the people’.

    One way I find to actually do something is via the various Sum of Us All campaigns. They have been achieving good results on the ‘The TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’ which from what I can see is being foisted on us without any consultation, discussion or deliberation, all behind closed doors.

    At least they put ‘the fear of God’ in our elected EU representatives and hopefully these same representatives will have second thoughts and hassle the unelected EU power brokers for more transparency …. we can but hope!

    I donate the price of a cup of coffee each month to help keep the show on the road. If more concerned citizens helped out we, I feel, could start to make some inroads. At the very least we will make it know that there are a few that are NOT ‘sheeple’!

    https://action.sumofus.org/a/ttip-monthly-donate/?akid=17880.1810268.O4XzOc&rd=1&sub=fwd&t=1

  38. mike flannelly

    The Other Katherine Harris

    The words “Just say no” spring to mind.

    We really have to look at the REAL VALUE DEBT on the buy to lets of SME’s and families that were cold called for having savings by our PILLAR BANKS.

    2003 TO 2010 LEVERAGE FOR SME’s AND FAMILIES AND UP FRONT BONUS PAYMENTS FOR INTELLIGENT PROFESSIONAL LENDERS FROM STATE BACKED PILLAR BANKS.

    We are told the STANDARD RATIO DEBT for buy to let mortgages is that the rent must be 130% of the mortgage payments to balance the books.
    This is STANDARD BANK METRICS.

    The 2008 PILLAR BANK mortgage debt on a 2 bed apt was about 300000 euro in DUBLIN.

    This mortgage debt would require a RENT of 2226 euros.
    300000euro @ 4.7% for 25 yrs = 1702e

    1702e x 130% = 2,226 euro

    The rent on a Dublin 3 bed semi is 1350/mth .

    ” Hear me now and hear me clear ”

    IS DAVID TELLING US THAT WE HAD A MORTGAGE MISSELLING CRISIS

    or just a rental crisis ?

    Or both.

    Can David really turn his arse to the professional negligence of pillar bankers still whispering in the ears of our schoolteacher politicians.

    Its time to shout STOP.

    Cut the shit. Call a spade a spade.

    Restructure FALSE VALUE DEBT.

  39. NAMA has not enslaved anyone.
    It was getting in debt that could not be paid caused the problem. NAMA is a symptom.
    It is the same all over the world. Too much debt called easy credit.

    It starts with the money system. Money created as debt will never to anything but compound the problem.
    —————————————————————————–
    (‘Yesterday’s retail sales report from the Government reflects an economy in which the consumer is quickly losing its ability to spend money:

    Constraining retail sales activity, the consumer remains in an extreme liquidity bind…Without sustained growth in real income, and without the ability and/or willingness to take on meaningful new debt in order to make up for the income shortfall, the U.S. consumer has been unable to sustain positive growth in domestic personal consumption dependent on personal spending. – John Williams, Shadowstats.com

    ————————————————————————

    It is time David grasped the nettle and exposed the money creation for what it is. A con game, A Ponzi scheme and a criminal fraud. Silence on this subject means he cares not a whit in reality.

  40. Truthist

    Nasty & sinister agenda in the writing of this article ;

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/carol-hunt/carol-hunt-kohl-was-right-our-neutral-stance-is-totally-irrational-34370781.html

    Carol Hunt is Politico to beware of I reckon.

    I do not know if she is involved with Autie Austeritee Daliance.
    I too busy to search.

    Civil Servant [ ex Irish Army ] [ no doubt getting very lucrative Pension paid for by u & me ] quoted by Hunt is spouting Untruths about “Paris” staged false-flag [ as proven by alternative media aanirfan.blogspot.com & chrisspivey.org ].

    Presently,- they got u by ur Liathróidí for spurious Debt.
    Next,- they want ur kids to die for them in their wars on humanity.
    And after that,- they want Ireland to be theatre of war, great hunger genocide …
    Ah yes ; The wheel is turning.
    The wheel is always turning.

    Wise up ; Spend a week trying to learn about “Austrian” Economics / “Sound Money” Economics / “…ish” Economics ;
    It will be like learning basic basic algebra or the basics of a new language or how to use email ;
    Short learning curve ;
    Just bring the positive attitude & necessary humility.
    Good IQ is a plus.
    Lazy minds need not apply.

    U need to get a handle on this “real” economics firstly so as to deal with the sinister agenda earmarked for u.

  41. http://www.lemetropolecafe.com/Img2016/Midas/3/16/E.png

    US real median income is at 1988 levels, but debt is significantly higher.

  42. OK. Let’s take this step by step. National Debt peonage is not morally equivalent to hereditary slavery. Mortgage repossession is a setback, not a catastrophe. End of. Full stop.

    By changing their vote in the Lisbon Treaty-The Sequel, the current population of Ireland signed up for everything that has followed and will follow. When will they stop trying to find a bogey man to blame? NAMA is the Frankenstein that voters created and continues to allow to exist. Seriously, it’s time to get serious about all this.

    The change of guard from TweedleDum FF to TweedleDee FG in 2011 was ceremonial and irrelevant. The USP for the FG pitch in the 2011 election was “we’re a nationalist party with a history of talking tough, so ‘No More Auterity’ yet that’s what they delivered.

    In fact they enthusiastically embraced FF’s plans and did the Troika’s bidding thinking that being the best swot kid in the Remedial National Budgeting Class would mean the gold stars on the homework would stand in good stead during the next leg of the GFC. They won’t. Ireland will get hammered once Brexit happens which of course will allow the crazies to start ranting about ‘the Brits’ egged on by clown eejit Peter Mandelson with his poofy wail of “the sky over Ulster will fall if you English rebels don’t bend and spread for the EU like wot Paddy did!”

    And yet, despite the call and response panto of’FG will burn the bondholders-oh yes they will!’ met by the Troika response of ‘oh no you won’t!’ we get this hilarious Diva Drama bitch fest between Kenny and Martin that it supposedly matters whether or not FF/FG form a coalition or not. It matters not a jot. It’s all just pantomime. Lookout! NAMA is behind you! Don’t drop the soap.

    Why does Paddy always wheel out a Victim Script instead of taking responsibility? Why are NAMA presented as some panto baddies when they are an explicit creation of the Irish State’s elected governments?

    Why is David Drumm seen as the ultimate panto baddy when all he was doing is what any clever Paddy does: game the system. If he’s done it within the law then it will be totally hilarious when the charges against him result in no more than a smacked wrist. I still hope he brings the whole thing crashing down in revenge for being incarcerated in a rapist’s dream home SuperMax prison by Gardai trying to soften him up for the court case. Who could possibly be surprised that the guards resort to thug rule to protect the ruling classes? And the media follow like lap dogs.

    NAMA is an explicit creation of the Irish State and voters have had every opportunity to take to the streets and demand a different regime. But they haven’t. Yes, they’ve got a big bothered about water meters but that’s all ok, that’s what Herbert Marcuse calls ‘repressive tolerance’ whereby you can stamp your feet and scream like a toddler so long as you go and sit on the naughty step afterwards.

    Isn’t it rather odd that Ireland’s collective psyche is gearing up to celebrate the centenary of a counter-revolution by blood-sacrifice religious psychotics whilst placidly allowing psychotic bankers and the current regime to hold the Nation to ransom?

    You can go and get totally wasted at Cheltenham & I might later tonight so let he who is without sin, etc. And you can sing rebel ‘soldier songs’ in pubs to celebrate Michael Collins, to drown your sorrows whilst you sulk about England winning the 6 Nations, as a modern Irish person you can do so many things. Go and play poker at the K-Club whilst ruminating on how sad your life is because: CROMWELL! *rollseyes*

    In fact you can do anything so long as you do NOT threaten the inherited wealth, power and privilege of the same clique of Norman Irish families and their D4 enablers that have trashed the island of Ireland for the last 1000 years. You can have an imaginary enemy called ‘the Saxons’ which helpfully allows you to not notice that it is the Anglo-Saxon Codes of Habeus Corpus and Magna Carta which your ‘rebel’ FF/FG leaders wanted to stealthily and gradually replace with the alien Napoleonic Code when they told you foolish kids to vote again in Lisbon Treat v2. O’bama is sticking his nose in the affairs of Brits and trying to get Paddy to do the charm offensive today here in Mercia at the Cheltenham Races so us UKIP Shire Irish are lured back into compliance. Good luck with that one, lads! We’ll take your money, enjoy the ‘craic’ (copyright/trademark of Ireland Inca & Diageo Stout etc). Then we’ll vote to leave because: #FcUKEU Paddy if you want a strap-on session with Angela Merkel after Enda’s been rogered into submission.

    The other day I wandered around Kilkenny then drove up to Glendalough and thought about things. Though about how no Irish kids ever learn the truth about the Norman stronghold that was Kilkenny and the feudal serf encampment that was Irishtown. How the Irish Theme Park circus sells the Book of Kells to tourists with the same insouciant disregard for context as the ‘Brits’ do with their royal pageant stuff. The Rubberbandits Guide To 1916 is almost too painful to watch.

    This is a serious article and is making a serious point, but then in come the 800 year MOPE crew bewailing Paddy’s fate as ‘victim’ of nefarious plots and foreign powers when the truth is rather more prosaic and needs no conspiratorial or delusional explanatory framework.

    It’s really incredibly easy to abandon the long hard slog of sorting out the mess by just throwing up your arms in despair and saying “Paddy is the Victim of The Fates. And THE BRITS!”. Sheer nonsense. And there was no Famine, just laissez fair Class War.

    For anyone out there who thinks Debt Peonage is in any way morally equivalent to perpetual skin colour chattel slavery then I think it’s time you woke up from your self-pitying Victim Script and smelt the coffee. Grow up! But ye won’t because as my Irish friend and companion on my driving tour repeatedly said to me “Andy, remember…The Mob is very fickle!” And the mob voters have voted for another sugar rush and secretly are delighted that the house price mania is returning. We will see them gnash their teeth and wail and play the blame game again when the Interest Rate Cycle finally turns on an unexpected whim/white-gray-black swan event. “Events, dear boy! Events!” Now, back to the racing on C4. I should be there but I drove back from London this morning and….the……traffic…..by the time I got to Cheltenham I just thought “enough of being the ultimate Plastic Paddy for a while, i need a bath, some sleep and [Don Cossack.4 length lead.....] I’ll maybe go party in Montpelier later. Don Cossack wins Gold Cup…

    ‘Irish slaves’: the convenient myth

    LIAM HOGAN 14 January 2015

    “The conflation of indentured servitude with chattel slavery in the ‘Irish slaves’ narrative whitewashes history in the service of Irish nationalist and white supremacist causes. Its resurgence in the wake of Ferguson reflects many Americans’ denial of the entrenched racism still prevalent in their society.”

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/liam-hogan/%E2%80%98irish-slaves%E2%80%99-convenient-myth

  43. Here’s some more Intesectional Intertextuality to throw on the bonfire of vanities that is the ‘Irish Slave Victim Script: Guilt-Trip Da Brits’

    The Irish Psyche claims Victim Script strategically and without intellectual or ethical rigour. The Irish chose White Privilege when the chance came go be Crackers in the Deep South and also in the Caribbean. And they lorded it over Eastern Europe when they had the credit now…tables are going to be turned…

    “Irish merchants built fine homes on the Île Feydeau, which still stand today, but the profits were spread far beyond Nantes: they made fortunes for the ports of Bristol, Liverpool and Amsterdam. To their great credit, the merchants of Belfast, under the future United Irishman William Putnam McCabe, refused to take part in the inhuman slave trade. However, the merchant princes of Cork, Limerick and Waterford profited by victualling the ships, feeding the slavers and slaves alike to great reward and family fortune. Huge family fortunes were built in Cork, the city centre was rebuilt and some of those dynasties that were built on the backs and bellies of millions of slaves are still with us today. And so it went on for decades, with the wealth of nations and Empires built up on unimaginable human misery.”

    http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/irish-slave-traders-joe-oshea-murder-mutiny-mayhem-646357-Oct2012/

    • “In his book If The Irish Ran The World, author Donald Harman Akenson reveals how the Irish on Montserrat became fierce slave owners, as ruthless businessmen raped west Africa for free labour.”

      http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/montserrat-the-island-in-the-caribbean-where-st-patricks-day-is-a-holiday-26833297.html

      • And finally….let’s not leave the Braveheart Scots and their total revisionist nonsense out of the debate. Debt peonage of individuals and nations is NOT the same as ‘slavery’. White Privilege is a thing. Deal with it…etc

        “the labour force of the embryonic tobacco and sugar plantations was created by forced and voluntary emigration from Scotland, England and Ireland. White indentured servitude was eventually superseded by African slavery from the 1630s which became entrenched in the colonial legal system after 1661. Chattel slavery subsequently developed into a hierarchical system of exploitation initially based on class and subsequently race which evolved into the most lethal form of slavery known to mankind….

        a prime example of historical whataboutery. The underlying theme seems to be It Wisnae Us- It was the English. Even the ages of the child prisoners transported on The Veteran were underlined for effect in the letter as if to reinforce the depravity of the English retribution. Thus, according to the author, whilst Scots were involved with Caribbean slavery, we were also victims of English imperial tyranny and this should be a qualifier in any book on Scots and slavery.”

        https://glasgowwestindies.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/scots-caribbean-slavery-victims-and-profiteers/

  44. [...] even David McWilliams is being all ‘NAMA is normal, well so was slavery once.’ ‘NAMAs actions have enslaved us.‘ When conventional wisdom falls it falls [...]

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