August 8, 2016

The Premier League: built on foreign foundations

Posted in Sunday Business Post · 79 comments ·

The footballing jamboree that is the Premier League kicks off next week. This is its 25th year. For those of you who remember, 1992 was a significant year in football as not only did it mark the beginning of the Premier League, but it was also the year that Leeds United won the last English First Division league.


The subsequent plight of Leeds United is a sorry tale of footballing boom and bust that is eerily reminiscent of the Irish boom and bust. It is a similar story of great hopes, expectations and debts, coupled with lamentably poor management and poor performance behind all the hype, leading ultimately to bankruptcy.


Sport is such a significant part of our lives, and it is interesting to look for parallels between how sport (especially football as it is the most global) is run and the way economies are run. Are there deep cultural forces that determine the way clubs are run in certain countries and the way the general economy operates?


Before we talk football, let’s look at Wimbledon. This is still one of the four top tennis tournaments in the world based in England where no English players ever seem to do well.


Every two or three generations, Britain produces someone like Andy Murray. But if you were to go down the list of winners in either men’s or women’s tennis, very few British names are on either trophy. Wimbledon puts on a great tournament, hosts the best in the world, gets the money and the glory, but it has almost no impact on local tennis.


For years, the City of London was regarded as the “Wimbledon of finance”. The City, like Wimbledon, hosted the world’s best financial players, preserved its prestige and surpassed even New York as a financial centre. The vast majority of the players were and still are non-British; London prospered without the participation of local players. The Wimbledon model of development understands that, in a globalised world, being a good host matters.


Now the Premier League is replicating this Wimbledon model, and unfortunately for English football fans, this fact is evidenced by the awful performance of England at the Euros. A team full of remote, headphone-wearing Premier League superstars epitomised more than anything the disconnect between the Premier League and the local game. England may have the most commercially successful league in the world but, like Wimbledon, it will soon be a hosting service for foreign talent rather than a conveyor belt for local players.


The way things are going, there will be very few English players in the starting XI of Premier League teams. But this probably won’t diminish its allure.


The Premier League is the most watched football league in the world, with a global audience of close to five billion in more than 220 countries. It is a global brand that happens to be located in England.


This global dominance has allowed clubs to increase their commercial revenue dramatically. New TV revenue and commercial income allows the clubs to pay enormous sums in transfer fees and players’ salaries.


One thing is startling and it is that despite Premier League clubs not competing at the top end of the Champions League over the last three seasons, they continue to dominate the list of wealthiest clubs in the world with eight in the top 20. This allows them to continue to compete at the top end of the transfer market.


Another significant factor in the English game is the dominance of the single big shareholder, who finances the club. Think Abramovich and the rest.


Now contrast this British hosting model of football – which reflects its approach to other big industries that flourish there like finance, advertising and publishing – with the German football model.


Germans are very proud of their Bundesliga. Nowhere is that pride more justified than in Munich, where Bayern, the most successful German football club, reigns supreme.


Bayern is a proper club, with a wonderful history. It won the German league at a canter. It has great players and an open, attacking and exciting approach to the game. Bayern recruits local talent, as well as a smattering of foreigners. Its recent greats, such as Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, are all local lads from the famous Bayern youth academy.


Like the German economy, the club is well run and its new stadium, the Allianz Arena, is an architectural gem owned by the local municipality, which rents it to Bayern and its rival, Munich 1860. The 70,000 capacity stadium cost €340 million to build and is used every week. Contrast this with the Aviva that cost €410 million to build, holds fewer people and is hardly ever used.


Financially, Bayern operates well within its means, much like the German economy. Its accounts are perfect and the players are paid well – but not extravagantly. Bayern is all about tradition and continuity; the planning is meticulous, all the way from youth development right up to the professional first XI.


The club is owned by the fans and operates like a tight cooperative. If it were a country, it would be running a massive current account surplus with the rest of the world, have a huge savings ratio and low inflation – not unlike Germany.


In contrast to the English clubs where operating shortfall is usually plugged by the largesse of an oligarch, German teams are not allowed to go into debt. Clubs must be financially accountable. A full set of documents must be submitted each year before a playing licence is given. It is exhaustive, covering assets, receivables, cash and bank balances, liabilities and provisions, current overdraft facilities, loan commitments, projected and current profit/loss statements and cash inflows and outflows.


These documents are judged by the German football league. All clubs must inject money into a fund to make sure that if a club does get into difficulty, even after all this scrutiny, it won’t go bust. No Bundesliga club has experienced an insolvency event since the league’s creation in 1963. By way of comparison, there have been 92 in the top five divisions of English football since 1992.


Ticket prices are kept low: around €10 a game. The fans feel real ownership. The Bundesliga is the best attended of the big football leagues in Europe, with an average attendance of 45,726 in 2010/11 – 10,000 more than the Premier League.


And of course, the German national team is typically a finalist or semi-finalist at major tournaments, unlike the faltering Three Lions.


When you look at the difference between the “hosting” high-finance model of the Premier League and the “local” frugal model of the Bundesliga, it’s not hard to see that football reflects deeper cultural real and economic norms.


Now I realise you can read too much into these little exercises, but as you settle in next weekend to watch the Premier League, just consider what the English football league says about post-Brexit England.

  1. Deco

    There is a massive irony, in “don-the-green-jersey” nonsense, with respect to stadium that FF finally built, with 400 Million Euros of the taxpayers money.

    Just think. They did not decide to built a new hospital. Or try to rectify appreteiceships interrupted by the Bertie Bust. They threw the money at a SECOND spectacle centre to distract the masses, located four miles from another existing one.

    As a parting gift from the political gang who do not want you thinking too much about what happens to state incompetence, and the mismanagement of public money.

    And that irony is with respect to the naming.

    Because after it was built, it did not get called the PAYE taxpayer stadium. No way, Jose.

    Part of the bailout of Anglo Irish Bank, involved full compesnation for private “unsecured” bond holders. And the list included some who were very active in the Irish market.

    Here is the list. Have a look. A fimiliar name is on the list.

    The irony of the naming sale for the PAYE taxpayer funded stadium on Landsdowne road. It is kind of like being kicked down twice, and then getting humiliated afterwards.

    Now if this incident happened anywhere else, the media would take out some high profile politicians. Perhaps John O’Donoghue (a highly obnoxious ignoramus) would have been lambasted. But no, not here.

    We simply don’t do “self-respect” in this country.

    And we suffer as a consequence.

  2. Deco

    The Premiership will adapt. They might even learn a lesson or two from the Bundesliga. Because for the first time in years the British are being forced to rethink lots of lazy assumptions that needed review over the past few decades.

    The English Premiership is a success because the British are very successful at media management. And that brings in the money. It is a competitive area, and Spain is also highly successful.

    In fact it is Spain that England’s competitor, not Germany. And with Italy in a distant third place.

    German media and event management is far more concerned about a different product – actual product.

    German event & media management must now focus on salvaging something that Germany does very well – beer festivals. And coincidentally, the big event is the Oktoberfest. Which like the Premiership has fans all over the world who show up to take part.

    Except…they will not be coming this year in numbers like previous years. It is no longer safe. And that is a result of a knee jerk reaction by Germany’s political leadership, who needed to save their own necks, when the fuel emissions story broke last year.

    Advise to the British – whatever you do with the Premiership, don’t engage in any spectacular, knee-jerk-reaction, badly-thought-out, PR “own-goals”.

    • Deco

      Of course, whilst the Premiership and the Spanish Liga are good at selling merchandise, obsenely priced jerseys, TV rights, etc.. the finances are in the realm of zero gravity. Billionaires are needed to keep the entire thing afloat. There is a massive “sell” effort required to keep it going. The wheels could come off the wagon at any moment.

      And the allocation of capital is of concern, especially in Spain, where less capital is available for investment than in Northern Europe. Spain has a massive advantage in that it’s Liga is broadcast across Latin America, continually. And performers like Messi and others are essential to that viewership.

      Soccer is showbusiness. The Brits can do it. And the Spanish can do it. They would not want to rely too heavily on it though. The Germans can be forgiven for being useless at showbusiness. There is only so much that the world needs. However, they should be honest about the fact that they are no good at it, and not try to rely heavily on an area where they are poor. This is a subject that Adam Smith covered in The Wealth of Nations in the 1770s. And it still holds true.

      • Sideshow Bob

        That is rubbish about La Liga in South America, Deco. You are totally spoofing here.

        Spanish football (and Italian) mainly broadcast on a Sunday clashes with the local leagues in any country which are the main focus for TV viewing, so it isn´t worth it. The Premiership has on the other hand wall to wall football for 6 hours on a Saturday, ideally timed to suit most major soccer audiences, with little of no competition. The Americas can therefore roll out of bed to footie on Saturday mornings, Africa and Europe can have it during the middle of the day and the Middle East and India can go out in the evening to restaurants or bars or stay at home watching The Premiership live. Get it? This is a global leisure market. Sunday is a family day in most cultures ( e.g Latin cultures, like in South America ) so wall to wall football is harder to market in these places on a Sunday.

        The only La Liga match that is paid attention to with regularity is Real- Barça, the same as in most of the rest of the world. Plus revenues aren´t shared across La Liga like the Premiership, the clubs negotiate their own deals. The Premiership has had a big 4-6 now effectively where as La Liga has a big 2 with Atletico ( and maybe Sevilla this year ) trying to keep up. And unlike La Liga huge one-sided tonkings are not a regular feature of the Premiership. Basically it is more competitive, and therefore unpredictable in the main sports fans without strong interests in one team or another want uncertainty in game outcomes, as it keeps things interesting.

  3. Deco

    Soccer is now a spectacle. One might say that it is an over-rated spectacle. A safer spectacle than rugby, for certain. And, in the Irish context, we can say that soccer is safer than GAA.

    I had this mentioned to me a few months ago by a secondary school teacher, who was of the academic inclination.

    In rugby and GAA, the risk potential is that a young man might become a player. The consequences are serious forms of injury. The sport is cheaper, but the cost is in physical damage.

    In soccer, the danger comes as a consequence of becomming a fan. Think of the middle aged fatties in the pub watching it on the big screen. Beer bellies as a form of malinvestment. No physical injuries, but a different set of cost consequence, nevertheless.

    Soccer has been taken over to the point that it is central to keeping the beer companies in profit. A sponsored spectacle for mass production beermakers. Best exemplified by the two silly Glasgow gangs with the same beer sponsor on their shirts.

  4. Deco

    Perhaps I might add that England’s national squad’s ongoing debacles are a consequences of being controlled an organization more organized for showbusiness than objective effectiveness.

    However, that did not stop Spain from winning in recent years – even when Spain had the problem of ongoing unease between regional rivals.

    • Sideshow Bob

      One day during the last Euro Championships in the summer there was TV program son some English Channel showing Jimmy Connolly´s induction into a The Comedy Hall of Fame for services to comedy. So I was there thinking next year it could be the English Football squad…

  5. michaelcoughlan

    “England may have the most commercially successful league in the world but, like Wimbledon, it will soon be a hosting service for foreign talent rather than a conveyor belt for local players”

    Surely Brexit if adopted will stop the flow of in bound soccer player immigrants and give the locals a chance since the fucking scum who run the place won’t run the place properly like the Germans?

    Just tongue and cheek David.

    • michaelcoughlan

      @ David,

      In a nutshell the Brits think that financialising everything including soccer is a virtue whereas the Germans abhor it. Oh and Guess what? German Bundesbank bankers are hard money advocates unlike the Anglo Saxons in the UK or the US. British Soccer is a different industry same shit methinks.


    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “Surely Brexit if adopted will stop the flow of in bound soccer player immigrants and give the locals a chance since the fucking scum who run the place won’t run the place properly like the Germans?”

      I do not think Brexit will do that.

      First of all, most star-immigrant players in Premier League are from outside Europe, usually from South America or former English colonies – Brexemians (like Mr Farage) advocated limits on immigration from the EU precisely to level up chances for immigrants from other continents.

      Secondly, what might limit the exorbitant salaries of Premier League footballers (I am not aware of any of them doing anything useful with that money, like funding a local school or scholarships for talented natives) would be doing away with the racketeering English model of Sky Sports coverage (same goes for Formula 1, a sport I follow: how come it could be broadcast live for free in Germany, Sweden, Poland and many other countries, but in England you have to buy mega-expensive package to watch it?)

      Germans and Spaniards get better (and more indigenous – as David writes: “Bayern recruits local talent, as well as a smattering of foreigners. Its recent greats, such as Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller, are all local lads from the famous Bayern youth academy.”) football (just look at Champions League results of English and German/Spanish clubs) for the fraction of money they have to pay for match tickets and TV coverage (in fairness, Spanish club model is based on debt – therefore they have the same spoiled stars).

      Anyway, I do not watch Premier League matches anyway (in fact, I hardly watch anything since I chose to get rid of television and replace it with painting), so Sky/English clubs tickets/subscription racketeering leaves me cold (I like football – I watch national competitions – but I do not know what it actually means that “Man Utd” or “Liverpool” won, if there are hardly any players born in those cities – even less I understand why someone, from say Cork, would say “we won” when those club win – I would never say “we won” if say, Ferrari or McLaren won the race – it is just too silly.

      A propos silly, the negative correlation between star footballers salaries and their IQ/moral/emotional development is, for me, a rather depressing evidence that Europeans are degenerating in their approach to selection of elites.

      Does anyone remember when England-born footballer playing for Real Zaragoza left his Porsche (with his name as license plate) at the railway station for a few months because he forgot he bought it (btw, his father was jailed for selling charlie and crack to the journalist from the News of the World)?

      Or Mr Alan Shearer’s inability to understand his native language when he said

      “One accusation you can’t throw at me is that I’ve always done my best.” (and those people have right to vote!).

      Mr McAteer somehow managing to lock himself up in his own Porsche (he also answered the question “What is your position at the company?” on his credit card application “Right full-back.”).

      Mr David Beckham’s reflective moment “I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don’t know into what religion yet.”?

      And, to balance it out, Poland’s Mr Piotr Swierczewski who, in a match with Slovakia in 1995, had received a yellow whereupon embarked on such grotesque series of bows and congratulations to the referee that the referee lost it and showed him a red card.

      P.S. Btw, since Real Madrid have an investor from United Arab Emirates investor, they had to take off the cross from their crest. I am just saying.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Grzegorz,

        Thanks for this. I wrote my response tongue in cheek which means I don’t really believe what I wrote I just did it to stir things up a bit.

        The UK is a financialised economy whereas the German one isn’t it is still focused on adding value. This is why sound money is so important to them it facilitates the exchange of real value.

        McWilliams Article reflects this in his analysis of soccer in the two countries. In my view the Germans achieved much of their economic aim during both wars Grzegorz. If your economy is based on adding value and your enemies is financialised like the UK or the US then it matters not in the long term what the military outcome is. What matters is you fight and fight well and do the maximum damage you can to your enemies during the fight so that when peace comes you wind up ahead like Germany.

        The UK began to collapse after ww1 and almost completely disintegrated after ww2 with the last bit of the UK about to shatter. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 and the USA is hopelessly bankrupt and is in terminal decline.

        Germany on the other hand is the exact opposite. Reunited, prosperous, fully employed, picking up the assets of Europe for cents on the Euro, the Engine of Europe AFTER being flattened twice in 30 years.

        And still unmitigated scum like Bernanke et al think THEY know better when loyal German Bankers go down on their swords rather than go down the same road as Bernanke.


        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          I agree with your analysis, Michael.

          Regarding Germany, there is a whole interesting history – I will not go into too much details (anyway, I wrote about it in the past, i.e. about Gehlen and Dienstelle 114, or about the London Debt Agreement) – of how German manufacturing revival was facilitated by availing not only on debt forgiveness or beneficial geopolitical situation West Germany enjoyed, but also on long-term strategies of German elites, who, incidentally, made sure that there was a continuity between Third Reich and post-war Germany.

          Those who write about West Germany being a US puppet disregard that continuity and the fact that sovereignty of the state cannot always be formulated in binary language, that there areas of sovereignty that can be slowly carved out even within dominating structures (Dr Adam Tooze of Cambridge University writes in his “Wages of Destruction: The Making And Breaking Of The Nazi Economy”) the following:

          “By 1944 any discussion of post-war planning was banned. It was extremely dangerous to do that in public. But the SS was thinking in the long-term.”), referring to a WWII meeting of Otto Ohlendorf from Ministry of Economy and, earlier, Einsatzgruppe D (90,000 civilian murders) with… Ludwig Erhard himself, who had written a lengthy manuscript on the transition to a post-war economy after Germany’s defeat.

          This meeting brings me to solid monetary basis of German post-WWII economy: both powerful men feared hyper-inflation (Erhard was suspected of being connected with resistance groups, which somehow did not prevent him from being protected by Heinrich Himmler).

          What was the conclusion of their meeting? That the post-war priority was no longer “dejudaisation” of Germany, but her rapid monetary stabilisation through a stable currency unit. For that purpose they needed Wall Street, as no post-war German state would have enough legitimacy to introduce a currency that would have any value (transcripts from their meeting mention explicite the future currency being “enforced by a friendly occupying power”).

          Fast forward to early 80s, and we see slow convergence between STASI and BND, both preparing for German re-unification and implementation of Himmler’s plan, called… the European Economic Area – I kid you not (i.e. in martial law Poland STASI managed to receive bigger powers than KGB, as a result of Interior Minister and militia head Czeslaw Kiszczak – probably German himself planted in 1945 Soviet Zone – issuing a decree allowing STASI to recruit Politburo members).

          Fast forward again to euro currency EU, and we see (Eurostat’s latest data: Jan-May 2016) the following countries having substantial trade surpluses in the intra-EU trade:

          - Belgium (20.4 bn euro)
          - Netherlands (70.0 bn euro)
          - Germany (36.1 bn euro – their total trade surplus is 107.7 bn).

          Czech Republic also runs a substantial intra-EU trade surplus (10.1 bn), but first of all, this comes in lion’s share from German investment as they always have been their sphere of influence, and secondly, from their centuries long technical expertise (Czech lands were the richest parts of the Habsburg empire – Switzerland for example has only overtaken them in GDP per capita in 1948 and when Germany attacked France and broke their alliance with USRR, 50pc of the German tanks were the old Czech tanks rebranded as German Panzer 38(t); overall the annexation of Czechoslovakia increased the German power by 2/3 (i.e., 750,000 machine guns).

          Viewed in that light, your statement “If your economy is based on adding value and your enemies is financialised like the UK or the US then it matters not in the long term what the military outcome is.” suddenly rings true in a way which – if we disregard the above mentioned historical background – we are not quite able to track the reasons for.

          What we saw in the 90s was the abandon of Prof. Haushofer’s Lebensraum concept in favour of the Mitteleuropa concept, first formally introduced by Karl Ludwig von Bruck and Lorenz von Stein in 1848 (Germany remains a decision and technology centre, abandoning plans of military conquer of her neighbours in favour of building a network of satellite states with industries compatible, but not competing with the German economy – so mainly things like furniture or cheap labour – these satelites finance German manufacturing via trade imbalances and debt (i.e., eastern Europe is the biggest importer of German goods in the world – bigger than the US or Russia and China combined).

          This was 90s – the first stage of the plan was implemented, crowned with the EU enlargement.

          Now we witness the second stage – the rebuilding of the old Carolingian Empire, exemplified in the leaked (I wonder if it was not controlled leak) super-state document, prepared before Brexit (which makes me think whether Brexit was not facilitated by Germany via series of provocations, otherwise why would have bothered in hatching so detailed plans – even though provocation was traditionally a method used by Russians – BND prefers infiltration).


          Where does it leave Ireland?

          Ireland is in that plan what eastern Europe has been since the 90s – a peripheral country, a market for German/Dutch manufacturing with purchases financed by debt – a better way of controlling nations than Wehrmacht, a cunning way of educating graduates for Irish taxpayers money (it can be lent by Germans – it does not matter – it will come back to Germany/Benelux via Lidl or bank bailouts anyway).

          It therefore should not come as a surprise that 24 pc of people in the Netherlands, 26pc of people in Germany and 34 in France – France does not admittedly run trade surpluses, but it is by far the biggest recipient of agriculture of EU agriculture subsidies which Germans have been patiently putting up with for decades because they hope to take over their nuclear weapons (but only 8 pc in Greece, 9 pc in Poland and 6 pc in the UK) think that national governments should transfer more powers to the EU.

          If we look at Irish GDP per head, this seems to deny my claims – Ireland is often quoted as one of 10 richest countries on earth.

          However, the image changes dramatically when we substract multinationals and focus our attention on aspects like manufacturing and food/accommodation services.

          Whereas 22% of German workers in the indigenous sector are employed in manufacturing, it less than 10% in Ireland (interestingly, in China this has dropped from 40% in 1980 to 32% now).

          This is the same ratio as in the US, the difference being that Ireland does not get a free dinner the US consumer gets via dollar as inflation-exporting mechanism, and it does not have a fleet to make sure that this exchange is uninterrupted.

          As a result our GDP per head is meaningless as we are being squeezed like sponges (i.e., my German friend returned to Germany after 10 years pf building organs in Ireland, and he is paying the same price for 80 sq m flat in Berlin city centre as he was paying for a room in Dublin, with everything else also being cheaper – so what that his income was bigger in Ireland and work competition is bigger in Berlin).

          The famous Professor Ha-Joon Chang (David, here is an idea for your Kilkenny invite list) explains it this way:

          ‘the manufacturing sector is still – and will always be – the main source of productivity growth and economic prosperity. It is a sector that is most open to the use of machines and chemical processes, which raises productivity. It is also where most research and development, which generates new technologies, is done.

          Moreover, it raises productivity in other sectors, mainly because the services sector is using more advanced inputs produced in manufacturing– computers, fibre-optic cables, routers, GPS machines, more fuel-efficient cars, mechanised warehouses and so on. Knowledge-intensive services sell mostly to manufacturing firms, so their success depends on manufacturing success. ‘

          In Ireland, direct expenditure in the manufacturing sector (total wages plus Irish materials and services purchased) is big – it comes to 170,000 euro per employee, while expenditure in the traded services sector was 93,000 euro per employee – but it is the size of it that is small compared to other countries.

          So what the other sector, the services sector? This is when the GDP per head numbers become meaningless, for if we compare it with the fallen Italy (in reality only the south and centre of Italy are bankrupt, the North is one of the richest regions in Europe), Italy (also Greece and Spain) have all higher levels of tourism as measured by nightly accommodation occupancy per capita than Ireland – yet they have between 9 and 12 % of their total market employment in working in the hospitality sector compare to Ireland’s 17 %.

          Why? Because in Ireland it is mainly drink. In essence, people borrow money from the Germans that they then spend on drink (by 2014 total profits in that sector had risen to 36 % above their pre-crash (2007) level) and profits per hour in that sector increased by over 43 %, while in that same period average weekly earnings have fallen from €334 to €321: this was even when Ireland suffered from net emigration, so the drop in wages was mainly caused by UNBELIEVABLE LEVELS OF GREED OF THE CORPORATIONS in cases of big hotels and, in cases of small restaurants, RENTIERS CONTROLLING OWNERS OF THOSE BUSINESSES), Lidl, Beemers and Brown Thomas 800 euro suits and coats that are not even near as durable as made by my late parents for the fraction of that price, only to be served by other people whose wages are not bad compared to other EU-15 countries, but really crap if we account for the cost of living in Ireland – and hospitality and retail account for 46.4 % of all Irish employment.

          In fact, if we look at employee compensation in accommodation and food services (data for 2015) per hour, Ireland is the third lowest in the EU-15 – just about the same as Spain (so that’d be half of hospitality wages in Spain if we account for the cost of living), less than the UK (which is 4th lowest) and 2/3 of wages in that sector in France or Belgium (where again the cost of accommodation is much, much lower – ever wondered why so many young Irish emigrated to do hotel and pub jobs in Brussels?).

          Yes, some readers probably do not realise it – I wonder if David does? – but some of those nicely dressed receptionist checking people in – so that they can drink and eat to do bitter end – can hardly afford food – unless they receive it for free (in corporations they never do).

          But there is a gleam of hope. The Germans became too smart for themselves and they had invited brought a million (it might be two million now) “refugees” with a plan to cherrypick the best and make to work (in a dramatic attempt to heal their demographic problem) and dump the rest on their neighbours (France has done the same with people from their pocket Meditteranean Empire).

          This however was the straw that broke the camels back, and, with Germany-supported Turkey ready to renage on their promise not to send terrorist to Europe, those two countries are about to collapse in our lifetime.

          Meanwhile, Ireland has only admitted 38 “refugees”, despite some old Marxist fart bending over backwards to change that:


          (Spain starting shooting at the people smugglers boats – but where would you read about it in Ireland?).

          So suddenly, PERIPHERAL countries (Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Poland, etc) gained an advantage – they are relatively safer tourist destinations than Germany and France. If it applies to those countries tourist base, it might apply in the future – to the manufacturing base of those countries.

          This should have a positive impact on real wages.

          In order not miss this opportunity, all we have to do is to replace Germany/Benelux with Ireland as safe destination for manufacturing, and Greece/France/Italy as safe destination for high quality tourism (for that we also need to cough up for metro, I am sorry to say).

          And not to reelect the old fart since his beloved Marx has nothing to say about the refugee crisis/Islam threat.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Yep – many people forget that the Western Crusades started around 1095 mainly to try to stop the Islamic aggressive invasions (in someone says Europe should apologise) and demolishing/desacralising other religions houses of prayer . Of course, not everyone taking part in them had that as a motive (some wanted just to open new markets – therefore some crusades were financed by rich north Italian cities).

          There has been a few major waves of invasion on Europe. First was mentioned by you conquest by Hispania and then Aquitaine. This was stopped by Franks. Then the Golden Era of Islam followed (750–1258), when Islam civilisation was – up till 11 century – on much higher level of cultural/technological development than Europe – there was also a short period of peacuful coexistence in Spain in Toledo (Muslim scholars often boast about it, but little they mention that they had taken most of their inventions from conquered nations).
          Then they started to spread more and more, totally changing genetic pool of nations like Greeks, Serbs (Albania and Bosnia for example) or Bulgarians (just look at what ancient Greeks looked like on their vases and what they look like now).

          The apogee of that came in 17th century, when there was a serious threat that the whole Europe will become Muslim. This was stopped by the Poles in 1683 when they rushed to help the Austrians in the battle of Vienna, nomen omen on September 11 – France refused to help and used that weakness to take over Alsace, while the British had enough sense to send money to help finance the castle in Kamieniec Podolski (the border castle of Europe).

          There was a movie made about it:

          Carolingian times were the finest times for Ireland, who was culturally and technologically more developed than most European countries – not to mention the barbarian Picts. For example, Charlemagne brought to his court Scotus Eriugena (who was Irish – Ireland was called Scotia Major and Scotland Scotia Minor) because he was the man he could find that could read and write in Greek…

      • coldblow

        Grzeg, I know what you are saying about the overpaid players but I don’t fully agree. As I wrote here years ago, the place where professional players are fully alive is on the field of play, where everything that matters most to them is, rather than rattling around their Cheshire mansions. They are also, along with care workers (see the Shieldfield case on Richard Webster’s website), Tory MPs (especially if like Leon Britton they had grotesque Spitting Image puppets) and bishops (dead or alive), retired DJs and ageing pop-singers who embrace suspicious celibate life-styles, fair game for the liar-claimants, ‘victim’ support groups, and ill-informed public moralizers. The treatment of Ched Evans is a good example and it’s worth looking at his website.

        Actually I can’t find the website now. It suggested (persuasively but I suppose I can’t comment) that the alleged rape victim was in it for the money and removed evidence to this effect from her Facebook. It turns out though that his conviction has been quashed on appeal and I am delighted for him.

        What happened is that on release on probation he was unable to play for any club because the online mob got a petition going against him. So he got offers from aborad but wasn’t allowed by the probation service to take them up, even though they were supposed to be helping him to integrate back into life by encouraging him to get a job. As David might say, you couldn’t make it up.

        And of course he was a perfect target for those who love to moralize. (You hear the phrase ‘haters gotta hate’, well ‘moralizers gotta moralize’ as well.) The link below from the Guardian, taken at random, gives a flavour.

  6. sravrannies

    Has David missed the obvious parallels with Ireland here?

    Ireland is one of the most successful countries in attracting/HOSTING foreign companies and their FDI who then employ 1,000s of low paid foreign workers who only exacerbate the housing shortage…..but sure aren’t we a great little country.

    Perhaps we should adopt a more Germanic model of developing and employing our own resources through apprenticeships, innovation, talent and son on. The longer we rely on MNCs the more difficult it will be to develop our own indigenous industries. Again, successful German firms tend to be more successful because of longer term thinking but also because many of them are family owned.


    • EugeneN

      It would be better to not rely on MNCs but for now they do pay the bills. I dispute that they are low paying too. Indigenous industries are not harmed by the extra capital that the MNCs bring in, or rather they shouldnt be, its not a zero sum game. However we are not very entrepreneurial, not outside the trad insudtries of property, tourism and to a certain extent agrictulrue. We didnt create a local suppy chain for companies like Dell, or Apple when it manufactured.

    • Deco

      Concerning the housing problem in Dublin, there is now a massive inter-generational conflict brewing in suburban Dublin.

      The land that NAMA had after the crash, on the outskirts of the city, is no longer owned by NAMA. Of all the scandals involving NAMA this is clearly the worst in terms of societal consequence.

      The Dublin local authorities are still bottlenecking the supply.

      Employment, both private and public sector is still concentrated in Dublin.

      Workers from the provinces are moving to Cork and Galway because rent is cheaper.

      The annual student rental search is in progress. And it is now serious in Dublin. Even Galway is getting tight.

      We cannot continue to have people living in locations 40km plus distance from their workplace. Either the residences get built close to work, or else the workplaces move to the people, or else there is massive public transport investment. The transport unions are using their power to get their retaliation in first. They want moeny for themselves before there are any capital investment projects. And CIE have a pension deficits.

      There is a massive planning / investment conundrum being expanded every day.

      Problem up ahead – at the junction of residential planning, transport, and business location.

      Ireland has cornered itself via some really idiotic decision making/policy making in the state sector.

      You will get articles out of this. There will be massive demand.

      All sorts of questions will arise.

      Will certain state investments end up being moved to Athlone, or Portlaoise, not merely out of politics, but from cost effectiveness ?

      Should the National Childrens hospital have been built in Mullingar, or Naas ?

      What about the declining corner-of-the-map towns of Dundalk, Letterkenny, Sligo, Ballina, Tralee, Waterford ? Where rent is cheap but investment is lacking.

      Does it make sense that Dublin continues to be the dominant university town, when students cannot live anywhere near the universities ?

      Does Galway need a public transport overhaul ?

      Does Kildare have a long term plan apart from being a system of ever increasing in size villages ?

      What about the DART underground which is the big one in terms of public transport investment ?

      Is the rim and spoke model for Dublin Bus up for negotiation ?

      And then there is the NAMA issue, and the residential space that it sold and now cannot buy back ?

      The economics of more ribbon development ? The economics of village development in the east of the country.

      The elder-ification of much of East-Dublin suburbia, as the younger people move Westwards. And the fact that elderly in Ireland do not aspire towards living on the Sout East coast, due to the state of the health care system in provincial Ireland.

      This is a big subject. And it is now on the horizon. In fact it is about to stare Ireland in the face. It is best that we address the subject.

      • Deco

        David, this subject deserves many articles. There are many angles.

        Apart from anything else, suburban Dublin is going to have to overcome being vertically challenged.

        The state might well need more decentralization.

        Article 45 in respect of the current holdings of land on the outskirts of Dublin, is a topic to be considered. There is an entire generation currentl enduring a debacle in silence, and they will soon reach the point of frustration.

        • Deco

          And electorally, they are higher in proportion, in the category “don’t know”, than anything previously encountered.

          The current debacle will push them to voting, even if the options are useless. I doubt that they will remain silent much longer.

      • McCawber

        I’ve said this before but we need a new properly planned and developed city in the west of the country with a well defined time line.
        Fifty years ago the population of Dublin was half a million.
        It’s time to plan for the future.

  7. AlfieMoone

    I’ve just surrendered my Arsenal season ticket after 2 years of trying to re-boot my childhood enthusiasm for The Beautiful Game after putting a hex on the whole thing after Hillsborough.

    My son was the ultimate Gooner & we’d been on the waiting list for 10 years. There’s currently about 40k on the waiting list. It was 2 years of Dad & son bonding sessions but my son has moved on to DJ’ing in Bristol and ‘girls’. And I’ve moved on from Corporate Football (Soccer) too. I’ve written a book, an upcycling of ‘Fever Pitch’ about my 2 year odyssey into the North London vortex that is Arsenal FC. People are cursing me for letting the ticket go but one of the reasons I jumped ship is the Corporate Hospitality racket. I was offered absurd money for my ticket by a friend who’s a well-paid City slave who wanted it to entertain clients and all that crap. I told him to fuck off so I guess we’re not friends anymore. Whatever.

    The guy sitting next to me flew in from Oslo for each game & Harald would text me as I sat in the M25 gridlock to tease me about how he was on the tube from Heathrow having left after I set off from The Shire. It was taking me 13 hours to watch a game: 90 mins of the match, the rest dealing with the traffic clusterfcuk of South-East England. It was a great couple of years because I didn’t just go to the games but used the fixture list as a chance to re-connect with old friends in the metropolis, having lived there for 13 years. But it’s all over now. London is dead. Arsenal is dead. I had Jeremy Corbyn sitting to the Left of me, Piers Morgan sitting to the Right and one night I just looked around and thought: “This is an anodyne nightmare” so I back to BCFC. In fact, I’m going to be totally promiscuous with regards to footie just as I am towards sex: I will pick up teams at random, have fun with them, then ditch them when they start to bore me. It will be as cheap to fly to Milan to watch Inter as it was to go to London to watch Arsenal. £5 for a small bottle of weak-piss Arsenal branded beer? Fuck off with that nonsense. I will still have great love for the Gunners and will be in North London to watch games in some of the dodgy pubs nearby where there’s still some authentic atmosphere. But the ground itself is now a Corporate Middle-Class prawn cocktail wasteland…..I could write for ever about The Football but what’s the point? Football died at Hillsborough, it’s been on life-support ever since. Like the British Labour Party, it’s been hijacked by Corporate wankers and it’s too late to save either the Labour Party or Premier League. Just as there is more to England than London, there is so much more to Association Football than the Big Money teams, as wonderful as they all are.

    One of the songs in my stage production is called ‘Give Us Back The Beautiful Game’. That’s the title of the book, too. Both are part of the sprawling Gesamtkunstwerk that is ‘An Irish Childhood In Birmingham’. The chapter about the Irish BCFC supporters in Small Heath being spat at on the dark streets of Sparkhill and Small Heath after the Birmigham pub bombings of 1974 is one of the most harrowing chapters I had to write but it had to be done.

    To get in character for my North London odyssey, I changed my name by Deed Poll to Alfie Moone and had a passport to match. My brother is a copper in the Met, we’re estranged, but I’ve been having a periodic FWB thing with one of his mates for decades. When he saw the passport he just stared in wonder at me. Unfortunately, Arsenal refused to issue a season ticket in that name because of the whole Eastenders thing, they thought I was taking the piss. Which I was, which I am doing, cuz that’s what Alfie Moone boy does, innit. I’m a totally different person when in character. It was great fun to resurrect the Stanislavsky stuff and revert to my London doppleganger for a couple of years, but I have to move on…The Grand Union canal links Small Heath to Camden and, like the Peaky Blinders before us, we sail our canal barges serenely to the heart of the Metropolis, linking the Birmingham and London Irish spiral tribes via The Football. I’ll stop there in case I let any of the plot slip…

    Brexit means all those rich foreign footballers can just fcUK off. We’ll build from the ground up with local and Commonwealth talent. Everyone else can take a hike. As for Iceland: I danced for joy as they humiliated the Corporate shills of £ football. I was in Reykjavik the night the Icelanders qualified, at the Bjarni Fel Sports Bar. I’m back in Reykjavik in a while to discuss Pirate Party stuff. I’m in Edinburgh next week to see Sigur Ros, Iceland’s finest. They know how to party in Reykjavik, probably because beneath the Norse their 50% Paddy from olden days. Remarkable place. They told the bankers to fcUK off, told the EU to fcUK off and then told the dross mediocrities of the England team to fcUK off. The same radical ‘start from scratch’ principles that led to the music of Sigur Ros were used to build the Iceland team. It’s their culture. They do it their way. They don’t need to be part of some huge behemoth and neither does England. The future for English football is incandescently amazing once we reclaim The Beautiful Game, once we raise our voices in song and sing:

    “Give Us Back The Beautiful Game”..on 45rpm/12″….soon….!

    The highlight of the last 2 years at ‘Emirates Stadium’ was the night Bayern arrived and staged a 5 min protest at ticket prices. Then they raised the roof off the stadium and put the anodyne prawn cocktail expense account home fans to the sword in terms of enthusiasm and authenticity even thought they lost 2-0. It’s not all about having the £ to win everything as Leicester proved. It’s about so much more than money but….blood pressure rising….and I’m sorting out 20 years of family life clutter in the garage and garden shed so not in the mood for this intellectual bollocks…

    “£64 a ticket, but without fans football is not worth a penny.”

    Bayern Munich fans boycott opening five minutes of Arsenal clash in protest at ticket prices for Champions League encounter
    Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday
    Bayern Munich supporters had to pay a minimum of £64 for a ticket
    A large group of Bayern fans missed the opening match stages in protest
    Bayern’s stance was met by a round of applause from Arsenal supporters
    Champions League 2015-16: Latest news, scores, fixtures and highlights

  8. Deco

    It is now six weeks after Brexit. Still no strategy from D2. Call them when holiday season is over. They should be trying to have a grown up conversation about our predicament. Instead it is PR stunts, and gimicks, indicating the antithesis of a grwon up conversation about how we organize ourselves (badly).

    The Irish state is run a bit like the English national soccer team.

    The hype beforehand always exceeds the performance on the day.

  9. Tony

    Is this a thinly disguised “The Germans rent their houses – why don’t the rest of us?” piece?

    • Deco

      Or perhaps even….the Germans own their soccer clubs….why do others turn them into expensive toysets for billionaires ?

  10. Deco

    The economics of space in central Dublin.

    The decision to locate the NCH in central Dublin was a big political football. Especially considering the fact that Blanchardstown has adequate space and it’s own entry/exit to the motorway network. But – Varadkar did not want to be labelled a parish pumper, even if he could have produced a better decision.

    And the fact that Naas is probably more central to both the baby belt, and the national distribution of the population – being on the motorway that joins urban areas number 1, 2, 4, & 5 in the RoI.

    In Ireland all roads lead to O’Connell Bridge. This means that if you are going in the other direction, you have a spatial coparative advantade. And this is now reaching a tipping point.

    And of course, there is no public transport, and no parking.

    Another disaster at the junction of planning, infrastructure, investment and economics.

    In fact, maybe it would make more sense to move St. James in it’s entire entity, to Blanchardstown, or a Naas, along with a university school of medecine. Because at least in Naas there will be houses and car spaces, and perhaps even school spaces.

    The current location is also one of the most dangerous areas in Ireland for being assaulted by substance abusers.

    The reason I am mentioning this is that it is apparent that we are back again to planning in a costly, absurd manner. There is NO joined up thinking.

    Ireland has a very expensive model of state infrasturture planning. It deserves a complete overhaul.

    • Deco

      Maybe we should have all roads leading to some theoretically validated point in Laois (North East of Portlaoise) or Westmeath (East of Athlone), and then plan accordingly.

      The closer one gets to O’Connell Bridge the messier it gets.

      Or perhaps go German, and have it multipolar.

      Or if it going to be unioplar, have space used efficiently. Build upwards.

      We have reached the point of conflicting objectives. And some objectives will have to be compromised.

      Because as things are aligned currently, we are heading for a disorganizational chaos-ridden calamity.

    • Deco

      At current PAYE levels, a return to previous mental models in respect to public infrasturture planning, is simply nonsense.

      We simply cannot return to the level of incompetence that produced expensive Luas trams, that is undersized for peak volume traffic, that did not join each other, that were not initially supported by integrated ticketting, and that went far beyond the original budget.

      We need development, and have not yet admitted that the economics of that development are an important consideration, in assuring the public good.

      Irish planning is in the realm of adolescent behaviour.

      The economics are ignored.

      We now have to get results within budget. The problem is that the mindset has not improved to the point of recognising it. We are still have public planning based on assumptions that are in direct contradiction to making public services work effectively.

      Public planning, infrastructure planning, etc.. needs to be completely overhauled and raised to the level that it can compete with what exists in locations like Singaore, Switserland, Germany, etc…

      Amateurism is no longer an option. In fact it is getting to the point that it will no longer be acceptable to large sections of the populace.

      • Deco

        It is the return on investment of the infrastructure plan that counts.

        The frequency with which th infrasturture is used, the reduction in resource usage it facilitates, the efficiency in time it provides, the productivity that it increases.

        These are real tangible benefits.

        Politicians who boast about the scale of an investment are wasters of public finance. Often they are economic ignoramuses. They are clueless as to systems theory. They are merely injecting spending into the economy to make that GDP number look better, and make us all busier.

        But busier to what end. Busy fools ? What could be a worse example than busy fool behaviour than people commuting four hours a day, because of Irish planning nonsense ? Busy fools paying PAYE for public infrastructure investment that is very badly thought out.

        • McCawber

          You could apply readily available network theory to the existing infrastructure.
          The only additional info needed would be realtime traffic flows which with current technology would be relatively cheap to install.
          I’ll leave it to your imaginations as to how that sort of info could be exploited.

  11. Deco

    Yes, the Premiership is built on foreign foundations. Most of the customers are outside England. Likewise the Spanish competition.

  12. Central banks are not only buying government bonds , now it is corporate bonds and shares in the major stock markets.
    The next thing , of course, will be to support your favourate soccer team by buying company bonds. If that does not bail out the club then they will buy up most of the season tickets too. The stands will be empty with a hollow sound just like the rest of the economy but the government and the clubs will show their bottom line to show all is well in the economic world.
    Meanwhile the regular Joe will not be able to afford a ticket.
    It will be somewhat similar to the Olympic venues which are often half empty, half full, depending on your perspective.

  13. McCawber

    What this country needs most is a national conference which addresses the future needs of Ireland.
    “Strategic Ireland”

    • Deco

      Great idea. The problem is what would then transpire.

      You know that if there was such a conference, it would be packed with quango bosses, wealthy tax exiles, and idiot politicians, to the point that it would be turned into a PR stunt filled circus.

      All the useless chancers, who get nothing right, but continue to talk like as if they are playing a vital role directing the rest of us, and who show up at summer schools making grand pronouncements, will flock to such a conference like flies to ……

      • coldblow

        It is impossible to discuss ‘as a people’ the big questions, such as what we really want. It is simplyo impossible without being ‘mediated’ and if the media and the RTE crowd aren’t there to do it (and we know what they would make of it) then there are many others in the rank and file who’d quickly fill the gap. It is simply impossible. That’s why when David and others say (as they regularly do) that ‘we need as a nation to have a conversation’ about this or that I roll my eyes. Where exactly would this ‘conversation’ take place? Who would be doing all the talking and who would have to listen? Tony’s sock-puppet’s suggestion is in other words just hot air.

        • coldblow

          Thinking about it, a compulsory ‘national conversation’ in Ireland would probably resemble something out of Maoist China. Just think of a Late Late audience, multiplied several thousand times, with Brian Tubridy. ‘And nyaow we are going to pass on the issue of immigration because that’s been settled and we’ll move on to the need for a national Olympic-size swimming pool…’

    • McCawber

      I should have stated the obvious.
      ie “With the minimum of Official Ireland involvement”
      The department of An Taoiseach should be driving national strategic planning.
      It must start at the top.
      It’s a fair bet that said department has little understanding of the concept of forward planning.
      At a very basic level.
      What is the stated (official) national Vision for our country.

  14. Deco

    With reference to the article a few weeks back concerning GDP statistical increases and bumper harvests in East Bloc countries in the 1970s…..

    They did not even bother with the reverse merger thing. They just went straight in, before any laws were changed preventing them.

    It is getting comical at this point in time.

    Regardless of the state of the real economy, GDP is up again.

    The idiots in charge will presumably respond by telling us they are “growing the economy” and “bringing the Debt to GDP ratio to maangeable levels”.

  15. StephenKenny

    On a tangential subject. It’s just been announced that the US fed funds rate may well rise later this year. A lot of leading economists are suggesting …

    So I thought I’d have a look, and since you can’t put in a lot of links, here’s one of the older links (from Nov 2009 – almost 7 years ago) regarding US interest rates:

    The language simply doesn’t have the color to enable fitting descriptions of the nonsense that passes for news and current affairs, and as for ‘professional economists’…….

  16. coldblow

    I visited London in April and watched my club for the first time in nearly 30 years. They are not in the Prem and I don’t think I’d like them there because then they’d attract interest from people who just aren’t part of the club and as far as I’m concerned they can stay away. I found it unpleasant having to sit down because I was always used to standing. Sitting down is all wrong. It’s half way to being a baseball game. But it was good to go there again. London was a strange place, as in a place full of strangers and meaning little to me. The centre of the city was always like that. I remember asking Japanese tourists where the Tower of London was, this was many years ago. I have only been there on a handful of occasions since the late 80s. The people were nice and polite and very varied in an identical kind of way, if you know what I mean. My own neck of the woods South-East London hasn’t really changed much, at least to look at, I’m pleased to say, but as for the rest of the place I don’t know why I should care what happens to it, more than, say, Johannesburg. The same goes for United, Liverpool and the rest. Globalism has been a disaster. Some like cosmopolitanism and some don’t. I don’t.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Furthermore, I think very few tourists from, say, China, Poland, US or Estonia would visit London or Dublin IN ORDER to taste the Indian cuisine (which I like – I am just saying) or being immersed in Muslim culture (though nowadays one cannot be sure).

      It’s one thing to have a choice (I l o v e London for the choice it offers, from theatre, opera, heavy metal concerts to restaurants and fruit) – of course if you visit as a tourist or have an enormous wage).

      I hate though when everything looks the same.

      I have noticed to my dismay that Europeans older than 30 differ a lot, but those under 20 look, sound and think the same everywhere I go (apart from some niche groups, and the revival of sound nationalism or traditionalism – as opposed to ‘revolt of the peasants’ like chauvinism – in some countries).

  17. coldblow

    Last season in the Prem was amazing. We have Sky Sport because my son is football mad and we had been following Leicester from early on. What people forget is that the focus on them early to see if Vardy could break the record for scoring in consecutive games. And then I started watching them properly and noticed Kante and realized they had a chance. The Chelsea-Spurs game at the end was the match of the season. This was the one that won it for Leicester and was bitterly fought in an atmosphere of spitefulness and loathing between the two sets of players and supporters. Chelsea had nothing to play for but to ruin it for Spurs. The Spurs end made their own feelings plain from the very start: ‘Fxxx them all, Utd, West Ham, Liverpool.’ Exactly. I hadn’t heard that chant in years. It was a miracle that anyone was left on the field at the end when both benches were caught up in the aggravation. That was a real game of football. And the press tut-tutted the next day about shame and disgrace. They really are clueless. The playoffs in the lower divisions were superb too.

  18. Grzegorz Kolodziej


    I almost forgot – walking around the quays in Dublin when they pedestrianised it for the BH weekend was lovely (getting in and out of town was not), but n o w Dublin City Council were so kind as to consult the public about their new 30km/h limit insane proposal:

    “Dublin City Council is undertaking a review of speed limits within our administrative area and wish to engage through consultation with members of the public, with particular regard to the extension of the 30km/hr speed limit into further residential areas of our city.”

    If you happen to be of an opinion that they have lost it (I thought they lost it when they the Muslim community in Dublin charity status), please use their official link to make your feelings known to them:

    Submissions can be made online until 17:00 on Wednesday 24 August 2016.
    Stop the insanity.

    P.S. Do not mention fractional reserve banking on this occasion – I do not think that would make your submission to be taken more seriously

  19. McCawber

    MC and GK
    An interesting discussion re Germany.
    Perhaps Ireland should consider a reverse takeover.
    Germany is short of the one thing Ireland is very good at providing and that shortage is increasing.
    Emigrants in our case and Immigrants in Germany’s case.
    Ireland should put a really strong emphasis on German language and culture and encourage much stronger student exchange links betweenthe two countries.
    The Germans love us, they just don’t know it yet.

  20. The founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer was one of several speakers at the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA)’ Annual Benjamin Graham Conference to remark on the ramifications of unprecedented loose monetary policy.

    Historic Lows

    Central banks are treading in uncharted waters. Sidney Homer and Richard Sylla, the authors of A History of Interest Rates , found no instance of negative rates in 5,000 years. Now there are $11.7 trillion invested in negative-yield sovereign debt, including $7.9 trillion in Japanese government bonds and over $1 trillion in both French and German sovereign debt.

    Grant posed a tongue-in-cheek question: “If these are the first sub-zero interest rates in 5,000 years, is this not the worst economy since 3,000 BC?”

  21. The EROI stands for Energy Returned On Invested.


    Explanation of why the standard of living has been collapsing since the late 1960′s. Why debt has been the only way to afford the costs and why there are 2.5 jobs needed today to pay the bills that one job per family managed before.

    The central banks have obliged with cheaper and cheaper money costs. No further debt can be afforded even at zero percent rates.

    • McCawber

      A very interesting article.
      When/If the crash comes the demand for everything will plummet.
      Would everything include gold and silver and so perhaps the expected increases in their price might not materialise or least not as large as predicted.

      The Aussies are expressing a view that is interesting.
      Are they just being used as messenger?

      • It matters not in the long run how the central bankers try to “set” (Manipulate) the interest rates.
        They will be overpowered by the market for a quick reset. All manipulations come to an eventual bad end. That includes currencies, bonds, stocks, inflation rates, and of course the precious metal prices. All will blow up or down in the direction of their natural inclinations.

        Go with the trend, my friend. And I think it was Bert Seligman said, “Be right and sit tight”. No matter, it is a good instruction.

        “Real” interest rates are rising which is bad news for tracker mortgages among others.

      • As currencies crash, it will take more currencies to buy things of real value. (The visible sight of monetary inflation). Among those things holding value will be real money. Real money acts also as a store of wealth which fiat paper does not. The apparent rise in the price of Gold and Silver is merely a reflection of the fact that the value of the currency is falling.

        It is like sitting in the harbour in a boat(currencies) as the tide goes out. The mooring posts(gold and silver) appear, from the boat, to be rising when they, in fact, are static. It is the major reasons that central banks attack the value of gold and silver, as G/S show that the currency value is declining. gold and silver is the measuring post of the currency. As the value of the currency declines, even at 2% per annum (so called beneficial inflation), it soon approaches zero. Correspondingly the price of G/S is infinity (or a very high price).

        The price of G/S must be suppressed at all costs, to pretend the currency has strength. But then all of a sudden they can not be any more.

      • “In reality, there is no such thing as an inflation of prices, relative to gold. There is such a thing as a depreciated paper currency.” … Lysander Spooner, 19th Century American Theorist and Political Philosopher

      • Folks,..

        If there was any doubt that there is a massive ‘Bogey Man’ in the basement of this Global Economic Ponzi, then today’s turn turtle by our Gang At Threadneedle St should quash it!..

        Carney and his cronies have now come in with another 25% Rate Cut and a re-instigation of The QE Program!.. All in all even more dovish than The Markets were expecting!..

        Some Turn Around given that 6 Months ago and they were all about Tightening and how quickly,..

        Now I can continue to bark like a student on all this,.. I could remonstrate still louder on all that’s finally being recognised across much of the Media, Markets and even ‘Tow The Line’ Economists; The cold hard truth that Zero/Negative Interest Rates and Giant Dollups of QE in the last 7-8 years has done little to improve The Real Global Economy and have only accentuated the growing disparity between ‘the Haves’ and ‘Have Nots’,..

        But that misses the point entirely,.. Carney clearly also knows that Zero Rates and additional QE is horribly inefficient and horribly imbalancing in a World already totally out of kilter following almost a decade of Emergency Central Bank Policy,.. So let’s just assume he’s neither mad nor stupid and therefore, instead of barking at him, ask more importantly why he and his Global Central Bank Alliance continue blindly on this path of such obvious destruction,..

        I don’t have the full answer to this, with the exception that I have to reason that they have little other option or choice!..

        When those in the know, continue to pursue a path of hopeless and increasingly destructive policy, they have to be doing it for a very good reason,.. In the same way as handing a fiver to a beggar on the street is clearly not going to change his hopeless situation in any material way but at least it will keep him fed or high for another night,..

        Central Bankers have been playing this game for a long time now and their subject is really starting to smell,.. At first they could get away with this because very few understood it’s anaemic and damaging consequences,.. That sympathy and support is dwindling fast,.. The Revolution’s growing,..

        We are perhaps on the cusp of what will go down as a Pivotal Point In Time in Modern History when we all finally got it!.. When we all finally understood that there is to be no return to normal policy,.. When we all finally understood that there can be no return to normal policy,.. When we all finally understood that the system’s completely and irrepairably broken,.. When we all finally understood that the only game left in town is to keep stoking in the ‘Funny Money’ because there’s really nothing else, without the entire House Of Cards being allowed to collapse!..

        When we all finally understood that Protection lay in Gold/Silver!..


        Rich (Live from ‘The Bridge of the Silver Rocket Ship’)

        Richard Guthrie
        Broadland Properties Ltd
        Telephone +44 (0)1723 373461
        Fax +44 (0)1723 500021


    Russia: More Meddlesome Than Your Overbearing Mother-in-Law
    Steve McDonald By Steve McDonald, Bond Strategist, The Oxford Club
    Friday, August 12, 2016


    The emperor wears no clothes but who else dares to say so?
    Submitted by cpowell on Sat, 2016-08-13 02:59. Section: Daily Dispatches
    11:15p ET Friday, August 12, 2016

  24. athletes that declined to attend the Rio Olympics are hardly likely to be pregnant. This is the alleged problem caused by the Zika virus.

    Local doctors say the problem is caused by the larvicide used to control mosquitos.

    We are being lied to as it is another case where the solution is way worse than the disease.


    Money is private property. The fact it is issued and controlled by government is simply using it as a means of control of the population. That is the major cause of our problems. Money needs to be released as private property. The money that is used will be that chosen by the people by their preference of use.

    Historically that is gold and silver because of the unique properties of the Precious metals.

    Within such frame work, Aristotle defined the characteristics of a good form of money:

    1.) It must be durable. Money must stand the test of time and the elements. It must not fade, corrode, or change through time.

    2.) It must be portable. Money hold a high amount of ‘worth’ relative to its weight and size.

    3.) It must be divisible. Money should be relatively easy to separate and re-combine without affecting its fundamental characteristics. An extension of this idea is that the item should be ‘fungible’. describes fungible as:

    “(esp. of goods) being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind.”

    4.) It must have intrinsic value. This value of money should be independent of any other object and contained in the money itself.

  26. Here is something to read. The stocks performance year to date.

    bottom of the list airlines.
    Top of the list. If you wanted to double your money since December, coal would have been good but PM’s better.

  27. I’m happy to see the Olympic committee got rid of the head-guards, helmets, for all the same reasons I disliked them.

  28. michaelcoughlan

    @ Tony Brogan.

    It seems it’s not just us who are listening to you re gold;

    They are still paying the gunmen in dollars though!

    • Hi Michael
      The last guy to show off a gold dinar was Qaddafi. Then Killary came and saw and murdered.
      It seems that the The Mail scoffing is that the ISIS forces are still being paid in US dollars. Why would ISIS throw away good money when the dupes will accept bad. It is smart that they are keeping the gold coin rather than spending it when it is not necessary.

  29. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Actually, does anyone know what happened to David? No columns last week…

    • on vacation? no announcement!!.
      fired? no announcement required
      Sick, out of commission? Announcement a good idea.
      Experiment? Wants to see what happens without the fearless leader?
      Captured by ISIS? Should be a video soon.
      just cannot handle the blog comments any longer and will never be heard of again.

      Take your pick, Grzegorz

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        My pick is somewhat trivial – that it was quite hot recently and David is tired (I know he often waxes lyrical about sunshine, but it is one thing to sip chilled Paul Cluver Elgin 2014 Sauvignon Blanc but to look at the screen with bright sunshine and 28 degree is another cup of tea). I myself do lots of work on a computer and I know how demotivating is to have hot weather around, but then again I, like Mr Woody Allen, have always prefered rainy day to sunny day (is it an accident that best works were written in fresh weather? – Descartes for examples wrote his Meditations lounging near chimney on cold winter days), and snow to summer (the latter is a preponderance not shared with him), so maybe tis only me after all.

  30. Home Counties Girl

    Evening folks, hope you’re all making the most of the sunshine :-)

    Not sure if any of you guys will be attending Kilkenomics in November? My plans have changed and I’ll be going away for work during Oct/Nov, and sadly will not be able to attend :-(

    I have a reservation for 3 nights at the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel for a nonsmoking double room for 1 person – check-in 10/11 check-out 13/11, total + vat @ €385

    Let me know if you need this res – I’ll have the res amended and forward it to you via email.

    G, give David a break man. He pumps out articles week after week. Well-deserved break I’d say wherever he is – ENJOY!

    More in line with the article – I put £100 on #Liverpool winning the prem league ;-)

  31. McCawber

    In lieu of David’s absence ponder this.
    The first casualty of peace/democracy (take your pick) is the truth.
    eg The phrase containing the words “did nothing wrong” pretty much covers it.


    could Ireland be the first? , next, country to have their bank accounts bailed in to save the banks. Mark O’Byrne is warning you.

    Get your stuff out of the banking system!!.

  33. Chinese info graphic.

    Posted on 15 Aug 2016 by BullionStar
    Infographic: The Chinese Gold Market

  34. I guess one can read too much into anything but this kind of talk scares the hell out of me.
    US Martial Law in the next three months is not out of the question.

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