October 23, 2017

What the hell is wrong with bankers?

Posted in Irish Independent · 144 comments ·

The current tracker mortgage scandal has its roots deep in the Celtic Tiger boom when the banks went hell-for-leather to lend to anyone in order to make more and more profits.


We are talking about huge amounts of money here.


Consider the fact that it took Bank of Ireland 125 years to lend out a total of €60 billion and in only three years, from 2004 to 2007, the bank doubled that figure!


One of the products that all the banks pushed was of course the tracker mortgage, an ultra-low interest mortgage linked to the ECB rate. The banks calculated that, although they might lose money on these products, they could then “hook-in” the people who owned trackers and up-sell them more loans for cars, home improvements, and holidays, all of which would carry higher rates. The higher rates for other loans would off-set the losses on trackers and the banks would be in clover.


In short, this was all part of a plan to create a nation of “debt junkies”, tethered to the banks, in hock, and, ultimately, in the banks’ pockets.


Then came the crash, people defaulted, others ran a mile from new loans, most tried to pay back their old debts, and the great Irish banking “up-sell” floundered overnight.


Then of course, once the entire logic of the “tracker-as-gateway-drug” strategy unravelled, the banks got sneaky and reacted in the way they always do which is to screw the customer for the bankers’ own mistakes and miscalculations.  As such, they tried to move as many people as possible off their trackers to mortgages on higher interest rates so that the bank could recoup more money each month.


So, they advertised one thing and sold another!


However, they got rumbled by a few tenacious customers who took them to court for “miss-selling” and now we have a deluge of complaints from thousands of customers who have been shafted.


Now the banks are facing a massive bill and, as usual, the Irish authorities – the central bank and the financial ombudsman – are squirming as evidence of their inactivity mounts.  Yet again, people are asking whether anybody is regulating, protecting the customer, and overseeing the system.


However, the angle I would like to take is not regarding the inactivity of the authorities. This is a bit like blaming the cops from the mind of the criminal. Sure, we’d like them to be better at the job and be more “on the beat”, but the problem is deep in the pathology of bankers.  The angle I want to take is why the people who run banks are unethical and in many cases amoral, much more amoral than people who run other businesses. This is a serious problem. What is wrong with them?


The first thing we have to accept is that the mortgage scandal is theft. When you overcharge knowingly, you are stealing. This is the crime. It is not incompetence or oversight; it’s robbery.


The best expression I’ve heard about banks is from the Californian bank regulator of the late 1980s who, when investigating yet another banking scandal, observed that “the easiest way to rob a bank is to run one”.  This is definitely the case in the tracker scandal.    


The second thing we need to appreciate is that banks go bad from the inside out. The rot always starts deep within the bank. Typically, banks start to take large risks, because it is in the chief’s interest as his bonus is based on lending profitably. In a reasonably competitive market, you can do this by either lending lots at low margins or lending small amounts at high margins. The tracker scandal is the latter, which is about recouping as much money as possible at high interest rates.


The issue is therefore ethics.


Now I realize this is an old-fashioned concept. When we think about ethics and morality, we move into the principles territory.  Ultimately, however, people do have principles.


Organizations should equally have principles, these being the core values of the business.


Core values are, of course, a choice. You can choose to behave well or not.


The problem is that if bad ethics, such as over-charging and stealing from customers, are rewarded they will become infectious. Soon the moral boss sees the immoral ones becoming enriched and he says to himself, “Why not, if everyone else is doing it and getting rich?”.


Over time, bad ethics drive out good ethics.


This is what happened in Irish banking during the boom and it looks like it is happening again but this time in a sneakier, sleeveen way.


How do you fix it?


It seems that the entire problem is wrapped up in the endemic short-term, quarterly-results driven world with which our global financial system has become obsessed.


This would be a great explanation if it weren’t for the fact that the Irish banks are largely nationalised!


The problem is ethics which is cultural. Is it too much to demand a certain morality in the boardroom? Is it too much to ask for a few good men and women who apply morality to their business life? If not, we are in a disturbing place.

  1. michaelcoughlan

    Very uplifting and super heavyweight commentary.

    If you could apply this same analysis to the out of control hyperinflation taking place in the equities markets where wealth is acquired by stealth it would put whats going on in Ireland in the hal’penny place.

    This is what I think;

    Whittaker called out De Valera.

    You or Kelly or O’Brien or Conor McCarthy will have to call out the politicans and bankers.


    • michaelcoughlan

      For example;

      I was thinking of another question in this case a true or false type one for your next economics paper in trinity;


      The price of the S&P 500 doubled between June 2010 and June 2016 give or take a few point. US economic output hasn’t double in that period of time not even close. It was twice as expensive price wise to by a share in an ETF based on the S&P 500 in June 2016 than it was June 2010 for the same level of assets in this case your 1 share in an S&P 500 based ETF.

      Does the hyperinflation taking place in the stock markets from all the carry trades and money printing going on around the world mean that the value of the 100 dollar bill in your pocket is now only half i.e. 50% of its value in June 2010 even though the price of that bill i.e. 100 dollars remains the same at 100 dollars as measured by the S&P 500?

      Answer true or false.

      (Answer true for marking purposes)


      When is the dialogue on hyperinflation going to start Dathi?

  2. Very succinct summary David. Im curious, is anyone in the usual Labour/SF/FF/FG parties proposing legislation akin to the Consumer Rights Act/Unfair contractual terms legislation in the UK so consumers have statutory contractual redress?

    Culturally is there an appetite (reflected in voting patterns) to reward politicians less focused on supporting vested interests to the benefit of the electorate?

    Surely there’s a Realisation that the consumer economy is just as structural as that of Business?

    • Deco

      Mick, we know that the usual parties [ SF/FF/FG/GP/LP/PBP are more interested in superficial posturing than in is fixing anything.

      Even the bills that they write up, have to contain punch lines, and button pressing gimicks.

      They are far too comfortable. It is like as if they all assume that we will not kick them out, permanently.

      That they can fail abysmally, and then return like Mary O’Rourke, or Averil Power or Amadan O’Riordan – to get a bailout mechanism of their own. The Seanad.

      We need a law prohibiting failed politicians from getting a bailout in the Seanad. It is abuse of the Seanad.

      And it amounts to sticking the two fingers up, at the electorate.

  3. I am disappointed with this article . Madoff would return to Ireland with his derivatives and suck us more . The national moral compass is a void with too many excuses to make and still seem respectable to carry on robbing all in the name of ‘providence’ as used by the Central BONK.

  4. There are no operative criminal laws for Banks and their officers in Ireland. So Ethics and Morality have no basis to secure normal living in Ireland. Because are guaranteed to Fcuk the Electorate especially the young.

      • redriversix

        Good article.

        But we know what’s wrong with Banks.

        They are unregulated villianous scum sucking the very essence out of life.
        Since the bailout, they realized they are untouchable.

        Take that with a consumer driven population who wouldn’t know a budget from a budgie , with a sense of entitlement , you have the perfect breeding ground for parasitic bankers encouraging our debt based society.

        Nothing will happen to them that they can’t afford.

        Nobody will lift a finger.

        Regulations ??

        It’s a voluntary code

        Fuck em

        Stay away from banks


        Have a nice day

        • Exactly, they are never going to change.

          Voluntarily BANKSTERS will carry on as they are until the end of time.

          And no politician mate of their’s is going to bring in any useful regulation either – they are all cut from the same cloth.

          Stay away from them as much as possible.

          They are pure evil.

          As Deco says – ‘rugger’.

  5. ASark

    There is no such thing as morals and ethics in Capitalist business society. Money is God. Rich must get richer and poor must get poorer.
    To expect the bankers to conduct their business ethically is childish. That is why we have an elected Government and Regulators to slap them on the wrist (not always effective) or put them behind the bars (best option).

  6. jh

    The run a bank comment is actually from Bertold Brecht. I took out a small French mortgage in 2006. Without asking, I automatically got something which is effectively a capped tracker i.e. margin over ECB but cannot go above 4%. I presume the bank buys some kind of derivative to insure the book against this notwithstanding the fact that nobody thought interest rates would stay so low for so long.

    So interested to know (a) was the concept loss making everywhere ? (b) has there been a tracker scandal in France ?

    Also interesting that all of these banks are run by graduates of religious, often Jesuit schools – so much for teaching them ethics.

    • Deco

      They go to expensive schools not to learn morality, but to ensure that they do not mix with the peasantry.

      In effect, to ensure that they live in their own bubble.

      The teachings of Jesus of Nazareth go in one ear, and out the other.

      In fact, the bit where he tossed out the bankers, and moneymen is probably not on the curriculum there.

      But rugger is.

  7. zeedonk

    At least we knew where we stood when we had the Punt.

    The word ‘Banker’ rhymed with it.

  8. Zenmonk

    Come now David, Banks practicing unscrupulous usury, whatever next – Regulators actually doing some regulating. The problem lies at the heart of Irish society, a wholly immoral middle class who just can’t keep their fingers out of the cookie jar. Degenerate scumbags dominate all of the professions, the civil service and every level of so called government.

    • Truthist

      YES … YES … YES



      Lodge for the Pupils in Blackrock College no less.

      ALSO, the Common Purpose so-called charity from UK — with their Chatham Rules — are schooling the Civil Service, & Govt. Agencies, & Govt. Quangos how to be even more sinister.

  9. The only way to enforce morals or ethics in the case of robbery is to enforce a punishment. I hear the argument that in criminal cases there is a high bar for proof, but the government is the major shareholder in the larger banks and so can enforce corporate punishments. They could sack the heads of the banks under whose watch these fraudulent activities took place, recoup the bonuses paid to these people while they were practicing this fraud, cancel their pensions and take away there homes and allow them to rent them back if they have any money to do so, otherwise evict them. This would be a appropriate lesson for future bankers as to what their morals and ethics should be. It is time to get real with these guys. Their immunity has to end. How many times have they been bailed out over the past 40 years? After the taxpayer has bailed them out, how do they show their gratitude?

  10. michaelcoughlan

    “What the hell is wrong with bankers?”

    The answer to this question is very straight forward.

    The reason the CB can’t put manners on the banks is because the whole European banking system is more bankrupt than it was in 2007 when Lehmans failed. Consequently the CB must look the other way when the customers are getting shafted because the trackers are such loss making products.

    The customers must be shafted to save the knock on effect that would happen to the european banks if these loss making products were to be maintained or the customers compensated.

    Not very hard was it.

    One more thing David the french pm wants a european army. Guess whose young fellas will become the soldiers that will be stopping the bullets if Europe (like spain centuries ago) has to shoot its way out of its post credit expansion deflationary problems?

    The good news is NOT MINE.

  11. Original-Ed

    A more appropriate heading would be :” What the hell is wrong with the State”
    Isn’t possible that the state turned a blind eye to this gouging in order to allow the Banks to become stable again. After all, the state owned most of them, so surprise, surprise the three wise monkey approach was called upon to help see this through – screw some vulnerable citizens for the greater good. Now that the Banks are back in profit it’s time to pull back and point the finger at the bankers.
    Come on, this is very small country, the politicians must have been aware of what was going on.
    Put it this way, if they didn’t a coup would be justified.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Coup yes except if someone farted loudly enough in an officer mess Hall they all resign and becr defense “consultants” expecting the howareyas from ballifermat to do the bullet stopping.

  12. McGoo

    When I lived in the UK (late 1980s-early 2000s) bankers were considered dodgy characters, not to be trusted, similar to used car salemen.
    Then I returned to Ireland, to find that banking was considered a respectable, pillar-of-the-community profession.
    I thought how nice it was that Irish banking had stayed conservative and decent.
    I was proved very,very wrong a few short years later.

    Now I realise that banking is inherently a dodgy business for dodgy chancers, because it is inherently a con job:
    They pretend to be stable and risk-averse, but borrowing sort and lending long is inherently a very risky gamble that leads to instability.
    They pretend to have vaults full of reserve capital, but most of it is actually borrowed, and they lend out many times what they have, using a simple sleight-of-hand to create money of thin air.
    They pretend that they are “helping people to buy houses”, when it is their excess lending that drives the prices up, thus requiring even more lending, and hence more profit for them.
    It’s all a big con. Not a place for decent people to work at all.

  13. Mike Lucey

    ‘The first thing we have to accept is that the mortgage scandal is theft. When you overcharge knowingly, you are stealing. This is the crime. It is not incompetence or oversight; it’s robbery.’

    The above sentences are all that you needed to write David. The padding about ethics and morals are totally irrelevant. Humans first instinct is self-preservation and always will be as its inbuilt within our genes. Humans agree on laws for the game of life on this planet. When a party breaks one of these laws he/she must pay the price otherwise its game over.

    As regards waiting for our politicians to step up and do what the majority of the citizens require to be done is a waste of time. The only thing that will work is Direct Democracy and since the introduction of the Internet, this is becoming a possibility.

    • As a resident of a country that includes DD, I’m less convinced DD works in and of itself.

      However folks voting in their own interests in a PR-STV State should permit change, which has not yet fully transpired.

      There’s likely another agenda at play here given recent developments in what is a 10 years old story, perhaps European oversight/market failure avoidance.

      I must look up the statute of limitations in Ireland for simple theft given the quote above.

      RTE reports suggest the CB only has 26 staff looking at this for all financial institutions involved. That’s approx 500-1000 payments to approve each by Christmas if I’ve interpreted the CB Governor’s comments correctly.

  14. galwayhooker

    Central Bank have to sign off the “Fitness & Probity” of Banks’ Senior Management and Directors and “The core function of the Fitness and Probity Regime is to ensure that persons in senior positions within RFSPs (regulated financial service providers) are competent and capable, honest, ethical and of integrity and also financially sound”. If, as it appears, Bank Senior Management and their Directors have failed this annual F&P then the Central Bank are left with no option but to withdraw their right to operate in Bank Senior Management or Director roles – this law must be enforced and seen to be enforced. Failure by the Central Bank will mean continuous re occurrence of current disgracefulness practices.


    Actually Dan O’Brien wrote a much better article in yesterdays Indo and highlighted the lack of competition and the blatant government support and protectionism going on here. He goes as far as to call it an ‘anti-competitive oligopoly’.

    While I personally believe the tracker scandal is a problem the real theft is going on by the main banks charging its customers over twice the EU Average. The current EU average for a mortgage is 1.9% and it’s 3.2% here that has actually come down in the last year from 3.9%. The average SME is charged 5.1% when their EU counterparts are only paying an average of 2.3% well over 100% higher for business loans. Most of these problems can be atrributed to a dysfunctional market and government policy. The cost of building due to levies, tax, poor regulation and planning on top of the most expensive non competitive banking system in Europe with only Greece being in any way similar. It’s not difficult to see who is to blame here.

    So, discussing the pathology of bankers and asking them to be nice guys is naive. The competitive banking market in Europe is working just fine but not here, because it’s government policy to protect them and so they act like this, with obscene over charging and making money for old rope. There is another article about the potential for introducing a public banking sytem with the expertise of the German Sparkassen group and the support of the credit unions and local authorities. There are easy available solutions to the housing crisis and the anti-competition and poor banking service, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. It seems to me it’s policy that’s the problem same old story as it’s the only game in town here ( Get house prices up and the banks share prices up and screw everyone) Short term gain for long term pain!!!!!

    • Deco

      Concerning, Oligopoly, I think that Guiness, and it’s dominance is a prime example of how long this can occur, without anybody ever saying a word.

      The competition authority is only interests in showpieces – whilst the large scale market rigging/domination/control is rampant.

      Article 45, of the Constitution is a good read. A lot of businesses are clearly in breach of it. And they are never challenged to account for themselves, on this matter.

    • Thanks, you’ve inspired a business idea, execution and feasibility is mother matter ;)

    • Mike Lucey

      Excellent post,THRASHTHENEWS12.

      While I’m against increasing control by Brussels, I often wonder if the total running of this country would be better in total control of Brussels. I’m sure that many young people starting out in life here would welcome 2.3% mortgages.

      I will be looking further into ‘public banking’ and the German Sparkassen group as mentioned by you.

  16. MK1

    Hi David,

    This topic relates right back to the crisis of 2007/2008, as in Banks misbehaving and the system ‘failing’. But banks misbehaving was not new then leading up to 2008, and for sure it is not new now.

    The article title is wrong – it should read:
    “what the hell is wrong with our banking system?”.
    And that includes the regulation and controls, as well as the bankers, the banks, and the culture that is allowed to breed and manifest within.

    Culture is important in many businesses. It is that ‘je ne sais quois’ that can mean the difference between a good company or a bad company, or in government circles, a good dept or a bad dept or quango. But we have at hand far larger controls at the State level that can control and influence banks, and thats regulation, or direct state provision by a state owned bank (or two). Good behaviour in privately owned banks will emanate from that pressure. They will have to, or they will go out of business.

    You remember the phrase, “LANCE THE BOIL”?
    When the disaster of 2008 came to fruition, the banks came a-begging to the state for help to stay afloat. The state saved the banks (mistakenly in my opinion), and this was to the state (and everyone’s) cost, but we DID NOT carry out ROOT AND BRANCH REFORM. We did not “Lance The Boil”, when we had the chance to do so at that time of saving their skins.

    Instead, we allowed the banks to continue more or less as they were. Sure, with some extra oversight and responsibility, but more at arm’s length. We in essence saved them and they have just carried on. The tracker ‘scandal’ is but a symptom of the banking system and banks not being reformed radically. And that was what was needed. Radical reform. Bankers were laughing in 2008, and have remained laughing since. Laughing ‘all the way to the bank!’, as it were.

    Blaming the bankers is like blaming a child for eating too many sweets. Its the provider/supplier of the sweets, not the child, that is rotting their teeth. It is ALL about regulation. State participation with a GOOD bank, could provide a safe alternative to all. It may not be the most efficient, but it could be the safeguard for all, and the provider to many. A safe place to avail of good services. And one that doesnt produce crazy profits, which only extracts money from the economy. The lower a banking system’s profits are, the better for any country and thus for Ireland Teo.

    David> The banks calculated that, although they might lose money on these products, they could then …

    These products came out during the boom and at levels which were always going to be loss-making for the bank. I dont think the bankers thought much about upsell/cross-sell to cover the losses. If Bank A was providing very low trackers, and gaining customers, so Bank B did so was well, and at 100% mortgages, and so on. Bank C, D, E, building societies F, G, H, etc. Sure how could the ‘free bar party’ go wrong ?!?!? ;-)

    Irish-provider Banks are now churning out huge profits again in the last few years. The “property frenzy” that was leading up to 2008 has had major problems since in the lack of proper solutions. Mistakes were made on the way ‘up’, and now also on the way back out of it. For example, we now have a supply squeeze, which was exacerbated by the scandal that was the VultureFunds picking up the NAMA ‘portfolios’ and the lack of proper land supply controls.
    Scandal after scandal, mistake after mistake.

    We have learned nothing and are failing with ineptitude at solving the problems that exist and as they arise or become visible, whether politically or from the ‘establishment’.

    Not much or indeed nothing has been learned since 2008.



    (ps: Its been some years since I’ve made a comment on one of your articles, which of course are thought provoking and informative as always. I just didnt have the time to read them all, or comment at all, alas.)

  17. Deco

    Is it too much to demand a certain morality in the boardroom?

    With a former BoI supremo being caught looking on porn on the BoI network…and…
    then there was the 8 Billion loan from PErmo to Anglo to make the Anglo accounts look good…and….
    then there was Fingers, a man of charity and all of that spending much of the time in Leinser House….and…
    then there was AIB….and all the scandals of AIB….and former AIB supremo Suds having a track record of leaving a wreck behind him…….



    Seanie Fitz, and the boys in Anglo.

    Morality ?

    No. Greed, lifestyle, irresponsibility, and superficiality are more relevant attributes.

  18. What the hell is wrong with bankers?

    A very good question with all the wrong answers.
    In the essay and the responses there is One reference to central bankers as if the banking system operates without such a backstop and controlling influence.

    The central banking system was set up with a singular goal. That is to benefit the those who designed it and encouraged, fostered, cajoled and threatened for the establishment of the central banking system.

    The benefit is to lend to the rulers, government elites and to hand the repayment schedule to the TAXPAYER OF THE RESPECTIVE COUNTRY. Thus encouraging indebtedness is the name of the game. Binding people to the debt follows. Thus most of the energy and effort of all the people of the respective nations eventually is pent firstly on paying the interest and secondarily in reducing the debt. Eventually all the productive output and benefits fulfill the bankers dream of having all the assets and production funnelled to them while the people themselves languish in poverty.
    Listen to eustace Mullins
    and to G Edward Griffin
    And read ‘The Creature from Jekyll Island’

  19. pat greene

    Nothing will change when there is no political will to change the status quo. The political will won’t change either whilst we the people have no power in the time between elections…..this is where a system of direct democracy could help. A more modern constitutional article similar to article 48 of our 1922 constitution could allow the people to force the government to change it’s views, this article allowed for ctiizen initiated referenda it was omitted from the 1937 constitution.,,,,,we can debate about this idea or that idea to put controls on the banks for years, but it takes politicans to enact legislation forcing bankers to change, I have yet to see a turkey vote for Christmas, without system change in the political arena …you can kiss good by any hope of reform with in the banking fraternity

    • Mike Lucey

      @ Pat Green

      Are you aware of http://www.reinstate48.ie

      I have mentioned it here a couple of times. I also ‘pledged’ some time ago but notice that the increase rate is dismally slow. I am no harbouring some doubts that the site is genuine !!!!


  20. mike flannelly

    ” Then came the crash, people defaulted, others ran a mile from new loans, most tried to pay back their old debts, and the great Irish banking “up-sell” floundered overnight.”

    The failed Irish banKERS crash was a crash of high debt ratio mortgages.

    The people with trackers had high debt ratio mortgages.
    Taking trackers of cUstomers was the failed Irish bankers version of restructuring a mortgage completely bias in the favour of the stronger party to the mortgage contracts.



  21. mike flannelly

    What the hell was wrong with our APPEALS COURT.

    Irelands banks supernormal level of profitability and excessively high interest rates are no mystery.

    From the MILLAR case -

    The relevant general terms and conditions provided at clause 3 that: “Rates of interest are altered in response to market conditions and may change at any time without prior notice and with immediate effect.”

    In December 2013, the FSO determined on the evidence before him that the Millars’ complaint was not substantiated. In making this determination, the FSO found that clause 3 is clear in its wording and permits the bank to increase the interest rate “in response to market conditions” and this term did not restrict the bank by reference to the ECB rate.

    The Court of Appeal in the case of Kenneth Millar and Donna Millar v The Financial Services Ombudsman and Danske Bank A/S has upheld the contractual right of the bank to increase its variable interest rate in accordance with “market conditions” without being constrained by general market interest rates.

    With banks on agressive profit growth again it begs the question as to what the hell are “MARKET CONDITIONS”?

    My conclusions are,

    This case was not about the wording in a contract but the COSTS of a financial product by the stronger party to the contract to a consumer.

    Rates of interest are altered in response to market conditions means that the COSTS of the financial product are altered with market conditions.



    While Philip Lane and Ger Deering who came in 2015 are getting it in neck at the moment, it is the pre 2015 reign of Patrick Hoonahan and Bill Prasifka that will throw more light on to our present Irish bankERS agressive profit growth strategy.

    If would be nice if Davids buddy Bill Black could give us his analysis.

    Or perhaps Peter Nybergs analysis of Irelands bankers 2017 agressive profit growth strategy.

  22. Clare Leonard

    Perhaps the Banks assigned the assets on their books in 2008 to the ECB in exchange for liquidity.
    Perhaps the banks split the legal and economic interest of our loans.
    Perhaps the legal assets they gave to the ECB took the form of the Legal Mortgage Charge relating to our loans.
    Perhaps the banks sold the economic interest ie. the facility we signed, onto the stock market, in the form of securitisation.
    Perhaps the vulture funds were only assigned/traded the economic interest ie securitised instruments, ie. they should be nothing more than rent collector or collectors of interest payments due on the facilities.
    Perhaps the only country this is also allowed is Cyprus.
    Shadow banks make up 1,200% of Irelands GDP.
    Perhaps the ECB are dictating the pace of deleveraging which results in repossessions and foreclosures, as they want their liquidity back.
    Perhaps the ECB are shafting us a second time around.
    Perhaps the banks are empty financial shells, just acting on instructions from the ECB.
    Perhaps we are all asleep.
    Perhaps the bankers are running rings around the High Court Judges as they
    have little or no economic training.
    Perhaps we are now a captured state.
    Perhaps the government will not stand up to the ECB because the ECB act as their paymasters.
    Perhaps the Central Bank of Ireland is now run by the ECB.
    Perhaps David you are living in wonderland.
    Perhaps this is just the tip of the iceberg.
    Perhaps we are living in a lawless state.


    • Deco

      Perhaps, we the people, are far to gullible for our own good. And consequently, we get robbed by well spoken, eloquent gangsters in suits, on a regular basis…..

      • Truthist

        What leverage do we have ?

        Marches … ;
        What a farce 8-)

        IRA … ?

        Foolishly destroyed their arsenal

        Long-time infiltrated by :

        Frankfurt Schoolology ;
        Although, it only human to be so vulnerable
        They thought that they so smart doing Brit. Open University Courses & Irish State University Courses in the only permissible categories from the 2 Apparatuses.

        Brit Spies

        Other Spies 8-) ; Dangerous Liasons [ But, not French ]


        Fianna Fail Moles

        Strikes ?
        Counter-productive ; Irony aside

        Study “Economics” ?

        That would be a total JOKE

        Unless, study Austrian Economics [ aka Jewish Economics ]

        Refuse to look at TV stations
        That would be a good start
        But, must replace it with good alternatives


        Develop hobbies

    • mike flannelly

      A FG/Lab stroke merged the consumer authority with the competition authority
      All consumer abuse is now blamed on competition.

      In my own opinion the appeals court ruling in the Millar case states that Irish bankers can name their own profits, pension pots and unfair gain up front bonuses.

      The notion that banKERS can extract from existing consumers any size profits they like is lawless.

      It would be nice to ask Peter Nyberg or Bill Black if bankERS can have vague and unclear costs on financial contracts.

      Perhaps, only in a lawless country.

      David might like to answer.

      Pascal needs to write down the names of pillar bank directors that lied to Brian Lenihan for his meetings. False financial reporting is a crime.

      Who are todays public interest directors in Irelands pillar banks?

      You cant abuse consumers just because the taxpayer is a shareholder in a bank.

  23. ‘One of the products that all the banks pushed was of course the tracker mortgage, an ultra-low interest mortgage linked to the ECB rate. The banks calculated that, although they might lose money on these products, they could then “hook-in” the people who owned trackers and up-sell them more loans for cars, home improvements, and holidays, all of which would carry higher rates. ‘

    I am not sure how a bank loses money on any mortgage or loan.
    Generally most deposits and other money is held as a “reserve” by a bank and not loaned to anyone. The amounts loaned to clients is many times the amount of reserves. This is called “Fractional Reserve” lending. The reserves are in fact a fraction of the amounts loaned. The question to be answered is where does all this extra money come from?

    The answer is, that until it is loaned, the money does not exist. Where does it then come from. Answer. It is created at the point the amount is entered as an entry on the ledger as a liability for the borrower and as an asset for the bank. That is the bank creates the money from nothing and charges interest on the money loaned.

    How could anyone not make a profit with such system? Who else operates such a legal fraud?

    The money system is a fraud , a lie, a deception. Perhaps that is why the bankers as a whole are (a)immoral. Perhaps the lies and deceit cause dishonesty in the rest of us. The place to start is to clean up the banking system and return to “honest money”.

    In this case “money is the root of all evil”.

  24. mcsean2163

    In banking bad behaviour is rewarded not punished. How to fix?

  25. “Now the banks are facing a massive bill and, as usual, the Irish authorities – the central bank and the financial ombudsman – are squirming as evidence of their inactivity mounts. Yet again, people are asking whether anybody is regulating, protecting the customer, and overseeing the system.”

    Yes of course, the regulators are doing their job, they are looking after the bankers.
    The system is nicely overseen and in the next crash looks after the banks to ensure their survival.

    We are all familiar with banks being bailed out by the taxpayer. That can still happen but is not as possible today because of negative political reaction.

    Few are familiar with the new version called “Bail in”. How does this work?
    Basically it can be described as we have your money and we will keep it and not give it back. http://debatepost.com/2016/08/23/warning-trudeau-has-allowed-banks-to-seize-your-money-if-economy-fails/

    Do not think this is restricted to Canada or the fault of Trudeau. Harper conservatives approved legislation over 2 years ago as did all G-20 countries.

    So that includes all the EU countries. Any money in the bank at the time of a bailin will be collateralized as bank shares. As the share value will plummet it is likely that when you get access to sell you shares you get pennies on the dollar.
    It is unclear if the guarantee by the government for the first 100,000 amount will be protected as the amounts covered only account for less than 2% of the potential liabilities.

    Bank rip off time part two is rapidly approaching.

  26. “”Sure, we’d like them to be better at the job and be more “on the beat”, but the problem is deep in the pathology of bankers. The angle I want to take is why the people who run banks are unethical and in many cases amoral, much more amoral than people who run other businesses. This is a serious problem. What is wrong with them?”"

    Well how about a little deeper down the rabbit hole.
    You never ever mention the Central Bankers.
    The way the central banks are set up is to run a legal Ponzi Scheme. It is a legal fraud. All educated bankers know this . Therefore they are crooked, corrupted and pathological.
    The rot starts there.
    The old saying is it takes only one bad apple to rot the barrel.
    Banker crookedness has spread to the greater population. Now few realize they are corrupted as the corruption is become endemic and epidemic.
    The only cure is to burn the whole edifice and start again.

    Bring back honest money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. “the easiest way to rob a bank is to run one”.

    Not quite as you will be hunted down and fired.
    ownership is the quote.


    “Entry from February 04, 2009
    “The best way to rob a bank is to own one”
    On June 13, 1987, William Crawford, the California savings and loan commissioner, testified before Congress on the growing Savings & Loan crisis of the 1980s:

    “We build thick walls, we have cameras, we have time clocks on the vaults; we have dual control—all these controls were to protect against somebody stealing the cash. Well, you can steal far more money, and take it out the back door. The best way to rob a bank is to own one.”

    “The best way to rob a bank is to own one” was the title of William K. Black’s 1998 college thesis at the University of California, Irvine, and also the title of Black’s 2005 book.

    William Crawford appears to have popularized a phrase that had been circulating for some time. In a 1989 newspaper this phrase was called “the oldest joke in finance” and, a year later in another newspaper, it was called “one of the financial world’s oldest stock phrases.” A similar phrase appears in print in 1966 (see below), but pre-1987 phrases using similar wording are difficult to locate. “

  28. Truthist

    A touch Iconoclasm against Iconoclasm ?
    Excerpt ;


    Anonymous comments:

    The BIS is the coordination centre of global private and public central banking. It is owned by central banks around the world, which in turn are in certain important instances privately owned. This ownership is obscured with extreme care. (Private shareholders like George Soros were bought out under the management of Andrew Crockett. At a considerable premium, I might add.)

    For example, ownership of the Bank of England is hidden under the provisions of the Companies Act 1976, Section 27(9).


    Are the Rothschilds among the beneficial shareholders? Almost certainly. But I doubt they’re the only ones, possibly not even the main ones.

    Freedom of Information requests in the US to determine the ownership of the Federal Reserve Banks have been quietly obstructed. However, it doesn’t take a genius to guess that Goldman, Morgan and Lazard are among the biggest influences.

    No idea about Banque de France, Deutsche Bundesbank, Banca d’Italia, Banco de España and other ECB-linked central banks. Certainly Mario Draghi of Banca d’Italia has clear credentials as a lackey of Anglo investment banking.

    The Rothschilds are very clearly involved in more than tending vineyards, eating chocolate, collecting objets d’arts, and clipping the topiaries in Ascott House.

    Lynn Forest de Rothschild is active on the board of the Economist Group, and a trustee of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and of course on the CFR. Pete Peterson, though influential in his own right, is a Rockefeller man.

    Edmond de Rothschild was involved in the Propaganda Due lodge along with Henry Kissinger and Michael Ledeen as part of the NATO Strategy of Tension, mostly likely coordinating the Italian operation (Gladio) with the insiders of Italian finance, business, military and government. Small fry like Gelli, Berlusconi and others.
    The Rothschilds are longterm Insiders but in the last century they’ve been eclipsed by the Rockefellers.

    The Rockefellers, and David in particular, had clear influence over the OSS/CIA, NATO, the formation of the EU, NAFTA, GATT, the United Nations and associated organizations (IMF, World Bank), the Trilateral Commission.

    More covertly, the Pilgrims Society has a strong Rockefeller presence. This is essentially the continuation of Rhodes’s anglosupremacist conspiracy as reported by Quigley.

    In short, the Rothschilds are still important. But they are not the ultimate puppeteers.

  29. Truthist

    Total Iconoclasm against Iconoclasm ;
    Hmm…m !

  30. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    The latest report by the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland says that the Construction costs make up 43% of the total price of an apartment in Dublin (which is between €470K to €578K), while VAT, levies and fees make up 41% (site cost are 16% of the total but in some places as little as €33K). This reminds me when President Ronald Reagan said that the government won’t solve any problems because the government is the problem. Mr Paul Mitchell of the Society said a couple would need a combined income of €87K to €129K in order to afford an apartment in the suburbs.
    ” In Ireland, apartments comprise just 12% of our housing stock; the EU average is 50%. The clear message from this report is that we must drive down the costs of building apartments if they are to provide part of the solution to our housing crisis.”

  31. McCawber

    BANK as far as I’m concerned is a four letter word.
    My brother died in the summer and I’m one of his executors.
    Our solicitor wrote to one bank looking for statements and certificates of interests for a couple of years prior to my brother’s death.
    Received a letter back saying that they would only give information out since the date of his death.
    In order to access info before that we would need a letter from deot social welfore, revenue or a court order ffs.
    We’ve had trouble with other bank – tardiness mainly.
    One insurance company lied and gave us the one around before providing info.
    Data Protection legislation does nothing to protect you or me, it’s abused by the financial services sector for their own interest.
    And there’s more but I’m sure you get the picture.
    Everyone knew about the tracker mortgage issue.
    It’s old news but to hear official Ireland they either didn’t know about it or realise it was such a huge issue.

    • Truthist

      Theories & Facts Re; why all of above culprits are lying by acts of :

      omission ?

      commission ?


      Ur solicitor may be steering u away from using Data Protection Act so that he can hog the estate
      maximise his employment from u & thus reap max revenue


      Get someone else in ur family to fax DPA request
      Send duplicate as copy to DPA inter alia

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej


      “Data Protection legislation does nothing to protect you or me, it’s abused by the financial services sector for their own interest.”

      Not only by the financial services sector!

      The main weakness of the Data Protection Act is, in my opinion, the fact that although the Act safeguards my right to privacy in relation to private companies and individuals (albeit one can argue that the Act is reactive rather than preventing), it fails to do so in relation to the State.

      One aspect of this (probably deliberate) weakness of the Act has been covered extensively by me here on this blog that the call details of hundreds of calls were being accessed by the Gardai? every month and that as the Irish law stands Gardai?do not require even to be investigating a specific crime to gain access to call data – access to the call records of everyone in the state is granted on the basis that it may be needed to prevent crime – which, at the time I was writing about it – a year before this became a headline story in the Irish media for weeks, months even – was met with a comment about me by Mr/Mrs Realpolitik that my comments about phone tapping carried out on dubious grounds or even illegally:

      “border on the incredulous and have taints of paranoia running through them. Perhaps, I suspect, you have lived under totalitarian regimes in , perhaps a Central European country. Ireland in contrast, has always enjoyed freedom of speech, we have a fair judicial system, with some very progressive features, for example, the constructive use of technology in the pursuit of justice.”

      Regarding crime prevention (that is not preventing any crime – sufficient to say that it didn’t prevent any terror attacks carried out by the “refugees”), the scope of the EU States intervention in the privacy of the EU citizens (still very different in different EU states, one has to be said) has been made immensely bigger since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, because the Explanations to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights relating to the article 2 passage 2 ECHR 1950 the Lisbon Treaty (deliberately written in German and not translated into English before the Lisbon Treaty referenda – and maybe even still) provide a judicial background for introduction of death penalty for a riot or insurrection – see Explanations to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights relating to the article 2 passage 2 ECHR 1950 the Lisbon Treaty, in:

      (Amtsblatt der Europäischen Union).

      I have to say that at the time of the referendum I spoke about it with a few prominent law lecturers, solicitors and one Judge and I have never come across anyone in Ireland who would have been aware of that particular piece of legislation.

      Another aspect is that the Irish law holds the publication owner responsible for the comments in a public forum or the comment section of a blog – so the Data Protection Act grants Orwellian powers to the State , but it is a great disincentive to do business online (in the USA ISPs must contact the content owner about the decision to pull content that receives a complaint and if the owner is willing to stand by their content or comments, then it can be put online again).

      When push comes to shove (that is if censorship in Ireland gets as totalitarian as it is in Germany), I am covered on the legal front because I have tons of written evidence that I have never been here on this blog promoting anything that can even loosely get me in legal trouble regarding, i.e., the hate-speech towards the refugees, always emphasising that I am only talking about the “refugees” – that is people engaged in deception and criminal behaviour.

      Furthermore, and still addressing your comment McCawber, and pointing out that this deliberate inadequacy of the Data Protection Act does not only pertain to the financial services sector, I would like to call your attention to the fact that The Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data obliges member states to store citizen’s communication data for 6 to 24 months, and it allows the police and security agencies to request access to details such as IP address and time of every e-mail, phone call and text messages; however, in some countries (Ireland, Donald Tusk’s Poland) data is retained beyond directive’s requirements (i.e. fixed telephony).

    • jaysus

      My condolences, sorry for your loss, made worse by the gombeen bankers.

  32. Deco

    It is getting insane, when there is pressure to do something stupid, and all that you have stopping you is regulation.


    Is this a rare bout of sense, from the banking sector ?

    I know that there are crypto-currency junkies on this site, but cryptocurrency is a ponzi racket. Pure and simple. It is nothing else.

    It is an even bigger joke than AIB shares – which are ongoing lottery tickets, like the Prize bonds.

    • Truthist

      But, Adam is lucky seemingly ;
      Because he is 1 of the early members of Bitcoin inter alia.

      He should get out of it as soon as possible & buy as much Gold as he can ;
      Grzegorz has a number of times outlined how Governments can stop u accessing ur Crypto-Currency.

      And, I understand that Brokers are not allowing many late-comers from selling their Bitcoin for :
      Money ; i.e. Gold & just-about … Silver

      Governments may not accept ur claim to have bought the Bitcoin when it very very cheap, & instead accuse u of having wealth got from crime.

    • You can buy Bitcoin through virtually any bank in the US now, instantaneously, the UK is just dragging its feet:


      Coinbase has something like 11 million accounts although they have the WORST customer service on the planet.

      Bitcoin is priced at approx. $6,000 USD per unit now but even if that dropped to $600 per unit overnight it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to me or anyone else seriously involved in the industry.

      You haven’t done your research properly Deco, naughty boy. Forget about the price, it’s not the most important thing, it’s not even ONE of the most important things – take my word on it as an ‘insider’ (in this case) – I know what’s going on behind the scenes, but there’s plenty to see up front and central, in public too for those who are interested.

    • From the article you quoted Deco:

      “Iqbal Gandham, UK head of eToro, a social trading firm that has handled more than $1bn of cryptocurrency trades for clients since adding the asset class to its platform this year, said: ‘The moment you mention crypto to a bank, it’s like you are a drug dealer.’

      Considering the fact that banks like HSBC are the biggest launderers of drug money on the planet, it’s hardly a wonder that they don’t want cryptocurrencies ‘stealing’ such business away from them!

  33. Deco

    What is wrong with bankers ?

    They have too much easy access to power, that is what is wrong.

    And they are using it to enrich themselves.

    The problem is the political power of bankers.

    If the corner shop gets into financial trouble, the manager is releived of his duties, and it is sold to a new firm. No questions asked.

    That did not happen with AIB, BoI, etc. the PAYE taxpayer was roped in by Lenny, Eamon Bailout Ryan and chums.

    In fact the bank directors got their pensions provided to them, by the people that they had previously scelped. And that they continue to scelp.

    It is a tale of immorality, not a tale of morality.

    • Truthist

      If u take the time to actually learn that the Commercial Banks invent so-called money from thin-air when they give a loan, & then charge interest also ;
      ==> They have less power over u
      Presently, they do not even practise Fractional Reserve Banking
      FRB is when Banks loaned out more in total than the Bank’s Reserves in its Vault / Safe.
      Even that was wrong.
      Now, the Banks have a License from The Central Bank of 8-) Ireland 8-) or rather European Central Bank & thus Bank of International Settlements & thus The Rothschilds to invent Euros from thin air AND it not backed by any Reserves whatsoever ;
      Yes, Zero Reserves.
      Fractional Reserve Banking — despite I bemoaning it for so long — is actually “old hat” now.
      Zero Reserve Banking is “new hat” now.
      Think !
      When a critical mass of the populace get to really know this ;
      ==> The banks have lost their power.

      • McCawber

        The real problem is Cashless Banking.
        When cash is gone where can you put your money?
        Assuming you think of an answer to that, how do you get your money out of the banks.
        The end of nixers is nigh.
        This process is pushing most of us towards financial enslavement and thus poverty.

        • Truthist

          Crypto-Currency pushed as “anarchist” or “game-changer” is already conditioning the populace to accept seemingly the safer bet ;
          Fiat Legal Tender which is cashless only
          Specifically ;

          Fiat Legal Tender which is electronic only

          More Specifically ;

          Fiat Legal Tender which is NOT Cyber-Currency electronic only

          Sure, various Cyber-Currencies can co-exist & even be born ever so often ;

          But, the Govt. will accept only that which they have stipulated, or “fiated” [ so to speak ] as acceptable for paying for :
          Govt. Taxes
          Govt. Products
          Govt. Services

          And, the populace will trust that currency more than the Cyber-Currencies.
          With ur knack for penetrative thought I have long taken heed of u original rendering of the argument in ur above post McCawber ;
          And, I immediately concurred.
          Long live the nixer.
          If cannot do nixers during the forthcoming epoch ;
          One should daily practise for oneself the discipline of doing nixers … for oneself as the client.
          Nixers perfect the worker.

          Nixers are NOT in essence immoral ;
          Although, in certain contexts they are so.

          • Truthist

            Clarification ;
            More Specifically ;

            Fiat Legal Tender which is electronic currency — but NOT cyber — only

  34. So what is next?

    Sean Quinn might likely be successful suing the The State for €3bn and the electorate must pay up.

    Why? Has Anglo Bank and their elected officers have reason to cause this ?

    Where are the bankers held to account ?

  35. Bankers are WANKERS, plain and simple.

    I would shoot every last one of them if I was guaranteed to get away with it, and sleep like a baby that good night. I would volunteer to be the national executioner if the job came up and bankers were on the menu.

    Going back to cryptos for a minute, not that I bother boring people with it all the time (someone else brought it up in this thread), but if you want to see how a true SCUMBAG BANKER behaves then look no further than the odious Jamie Dimon:

    “JPMorgan involved in bitcoin-related trading while boss calls it good for drug dealers & murderers”


    Now I wonder if he’s trying to influence the market to his own benefit with his public lies and mis-directions? Surely not!

  36. Tull McAdoo

    I see that from 1 January 2019, the largest UK banks must separate core retail banking from investment banking. This is known as ring-fencing. Ring-fencing was the central recommendation of the Independent Commission on Banking chaired by Sir John Vickers and was introduced through the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013.

    Details of the regime are set in further legislation passed in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and through rules set by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority.

    I suppose now that the Irish banks have been given another horse for their stables, maybe measures like these could help keep the stable door closed this time……… always the optimist Tull …….always the optimist.

  37. Truthist

    Will DMW at last venture to talk about Cyber-Currencies now that one of the main symbolic subjects — The Wolf of Wall Street — of many of his articles has said this over the weekend ? ;
    According to the FT, he said that ;

    ICOs were going to “blow up in many people’s faces.”
    “It’s far worse than anything I was ever doing,” he added.
    ICO = Initial Coin Offering

    • I’ll agree with you on one thing Mr bonbon – most ICOs are a scam.

      They will blow up and drag down the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum for a while but it won’t be terminal.

      I’d advise most people to stay away from most ICOs.

      They are the South Sea Bubble aspect to Crypto Currencies.

      I figured that out when the first one – known as ‘The Dao’ came out in early 2016 – it was born on it’s last legs and so are most of the other ICOs (with a couple of exceptions, but hard to pick so best not to pick any – unless you like gambling) but head mentality in the cryptossphere is the same as in any other aspect of society – there are a lot of idiots around.

  38. There’s a new witch hunt on in full flow now coldblow. I’m sure you’re loving it.

    It seems like you can’t even ask a bird out on a date now – if she says NO then that’s sexual harassment.

    The game’s gone mad!

    • coldblow

      Which one is that, Adam? It’s original anyway. I can’t keep up.

      I never thought I’d become a kind of an expert in this area. (‘Kind of an expert’ meaning I know a little bit about many but nothing in-depth about any single one.)

      I had a quick look at the Harvey Weinstein case just to test if one of the general rules applies: all high profile cases attract people who, er, have issues with telling the truth.

      It didn’t take long to dig this up:



      The people believe that the New York authorities dropped the case because Harvey leaned on them, being the all-powerful kind of guy he is. You see, the Powerful (drum roll) do whatever they like, anything, no matter how depraved, and then Conspire In The Cover Up. (This will rattle Truthist’s cage.)

      The article says that she rolled up at Harvey’s where she claims he attacked her and she went to the police. While in the station Harvey rings her and asks to see her again. Cops tell her to say yes and then fit her out with a ‘wire’. She then goes to the Café whatever it’s called where the place is swarming with police officers (they obviously have little else to do with their time there) and met him. “Why did you touch my breast?” “Sorry, these sorts of things happen…”

      The wire didn’t work but she caught it all on her mobile phone. Smart work.

      The legal people question her later as the case is prepared. He could do gaol for this.

      Turns out they were discussing a lingerie assignment and the question arose as to whether her assets were surgically enhanced or not. Prosecutors didn’t think this would go down well in court.

      Also turns out that she had earlier, in Italy, made a similar accusation against a 70 year old man but then would not cooperate with the prosecution.

      Also turns out (and I love this bit) that she just happened to be at one of Berlusconi’s bunga bunga parties, where she didn’t join in in any of the illegal shenanigans, but was just, well, there. She gave evidence against Silvio in his trial.

      Also turns out that under questioning her accounts of what had happened in these two Italian cases did not hang together and were not believed.

      Still, she reached a private settlement with Weinstein, substantial by the sound of it, on condition she kept her mouth shut.

      But she couldn’t do that, she had to tell the world what kind of a man he is.

      Some girls just have no luck. First the old man, then Silvio and then she, of all places in the wide earthly world (to quote Jackie Healy-Rae) just had to roll into Harvey’s gaff! How much pain must a woman go through?

      “‘What happened to me really put my view of the world to the test,’ she said.”

      #I Believe Her

      I also looked up the IMF gent and the chambermaid. Remember that? Her story got into trouble when they dug into her story that she had been gang-raped in West Africa, the one she used to get asylum. And a few other things. She got a few bob out of him and opened an ethnic restaurant.

      As I say, dig into practically ANY of these stories and you will find yourself thinking, “They never reported THAT!”

  39. mike flannelly

    Mary O Rourke is on TV3 at the moment. She has declared how Failed banking directors told lies to her brother Brian.

    It was on TV3 that Cormac Butler explained to Vincent Browne on the TONIGHT show how Irelands failed bankers told lies to Brian Lenihan.
    Cormac explained how Bankers concealed their lossed plus failure to operate TRUE AND FAIR OVERRIDE.

    Perhaps only in lawless Ireland does the law look the other way.

    Directors were promoted for their EXPERTISE and controlled the next wave of agressive profit growth .

    • Deco

      The maFFia – “it is somebody else’s fault” (again).

      When somebody tells lies to a FF politican, Mary O’Rourke is outraged.

      But when FF politicians lie to the people, it is nothing of any importance.

      MOR is a lifelong parasite off the system, and is symptomatic of what causes failure in Ireland.

      And the media are equally to blame, for repeatedly giving her “publicity bailouts” every time that the people reject her for being useless, rte (PRAVDA) and TV3 (‘and here is more hype, that we haven’t pumped already’) bring her back into circulation.

      There is the relentless assumption that when the people reject a Lenihan, the media decides that the opinion of the Lenihan matters more than the opinions of the people who rejected them.

  40. mike flannelly

    The Statue of Limitations for ALL Irish Banking complaints must now go back to 2003 when the Bankers abuses started.

    Failed Bankers redress costs should be the the return of ALL money, lost property, health care costs plus one years salary.

    When TWICE BITTEN we should finally learn that failed banKERS should jog on. They are SERIAL FAILURES.

    We now need a low normal profit sustainable banking system for the next generation.

  41. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/category/housing-market/

    Denver housing market looking dicy. Just as I had a chat with a Bay Area Realtor who says there the sale prices are 110% of the list price with multiple offers. I guess being a Mile High City is not high enough while in the Bay Area the house prices are pumped by High Tech.

  42. “”Beijing is ready to step up the game. Soon China will launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan. This means that Russia – as well as Iran, the other key node of Eurasia integration – may bypass US sanctions by trading energy in their own currencies, or in yuan. Inbuilt in the move is a true Chinese win-win; the yuan – according to some – will be fully convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.

    The new triad of oil, yuan and gold is actually a win-win-win. No problem at all if energy providers prefer to be paid in physical gold instead of yuan. The key message is the US dollar being bypassed.”"


  43. Truthist

    This is “the hell wrong with” … :
    NOW !
    Bankers [ Males ]
    Senior Civil Servants
    Professional Class
    Government Cabinet
    Dail TDs
    Local Councilors
    Corporate Management
    Media Journalists / Opinionators
    Clergy of :
    Catholic Church
    Protestant Religions
    inter alia
    North East of Ireland
    Rest of Ireland
    NOTE ;

  44. Change of pace commentary for those interested…Had to paste the whole thing as I could not get a link.

    There are a few important rules you have to follow if you want to join the consortium of mainstream economic con-men/analysts. Take special note if you plan on becoming one of these very “special” people:

    Never discuss the reality that government fiscal statistics are not the true picture of the health of the economy. Just present the stats at face value to the public and quickly move on.
    Almost always focus on false positives. Give the masses a delusional sense of recovery by pointing desperately at the few indicators that paint a rosier picture. Always mention a higher stock market as a symbol of an improving economy even though the stock market is irrelevant to the fundamentals of the economy. In fact, pretend the stock market is the only thing that matters. Period.
    Never talk about falling demand. Avoid mention of this at all costs. Instead, bring up “rising supply” and pretend as if demand is not a factor even worth considering.
    Call any article that discusses the numerous and substantial negatives in the economy “doom porn.” Ask “where is the collapse?” a lot, when the collapse in fundamentals is right in front of your face.
    Avoid debate on the health of the economy when you can, but if cornered, misrepresent the data whenever possible. Muddle the discussion with minutia and circular logic.
    When a crash occurs, act like you had been the one warning about the danger all along.
    For good measure, make sure alternative economic analysts do not get credit for correct examinations of the fiscal system. Argue that there was nothing special about their warnings and predictions and that “everyone else saw it coming too;” otherwise you might be out of a job.
    Now, if you follow these rules most of the time, or religiously, then you have a good shot at becoming the next Paul Krugman or one of the many hucksters at Forbes, Bloomberg or Reuters. A cushy job and comfortable salary await you. Good luck and Godspeed!

    However, say you are one of those weird people cursed with a conscience; becoming a vapid mouthpiece for the establishment may not sound very appealing. Or, maybe you just have OCD and you can’t stand the idea of “creative math” when it comes to economic data. Whatever the case may be, you want to outline the deeper facts of the economy because the economy is life — it is the structure which holds together our civilization, and if we lie about it the short term, then we only set ourselves up for catastrophe in the long run. Welcome to another dimension. Welcome to the world of alternative economics.

    Every aspect of the U.S. economy or the global economy can be presented two very different ways depending on whether you “interpret” the data to fit a preconceived conclusion, or simply relay it to the public as it really is. Let’s use oil and the petrodollar as an example…

    To illustrate the mainstream establishment reaction to legitimate economic concerns on oil, I highly suggest going back and reading an article by Foreign Policy, the official magazine of the Council On Foreign Relations, title “Debunking The Dumping-The-Dollar Conspiracy,” published in 2009. The idiocy of this article was truly bewildering at the time it was released, but even more so now in retrospect.

    First, it is important to note that Foreign Policy refused to even acknowledge the issue of the dollar losing petro-currency status until Robert Fisk of The Independent, someone closer to mainstream exposure, dared to broach the topic, warning that a trend was in play to dump the dollar as the petro-currency by 2018. The alternative economic community had been warning about the world moving away from U.S. oil dominance for some time beforehand.

    Second, the CFR uses a typical circular fallacy when confronting the potential end of the dollar’s world reserve status; the fallacy that the dollar is the world reserve currency because “the U.S. is the preeminent world economic power.” Actually, the reverse is true — the U.S. is the world’s preeminent economic power only because the dollar has world reserve status. It was also once an industrial powerhouse after WWII, but this was only because the U.S. was one of the few manufacturing hubs in the world that wasn’t demolished by years of kinetic destruction. When you are the only game in town, of course you reap huge economic benefits, but not forever.

    Today, obviously, the U.S. is far surpassed by other nations in the area of manufacturing and production, and has also been surpassed as the largest global importer and exporter. The “preeminence” argument is unmitigated garbage.

    Third, almost every danger Foreign Policy dismissed as “conspiracy” back in 2009 is now coming true. Just as Robert Fisk warned, and just as the alternative economic community warned long before him, numerous shifts in the world of oil as well as geopolitical relationships have created a spiraling nexus of anti-dollar sentiment. Is it possible that the dollar will lose petro-status by 2018? Absolutely, and here is why…

    While the U.S. remains the world’s largest oil consumer according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), American consumption of petroleum products has greatly diminished over the past few years; falling demand by increasingly destitute U.S. consumers has left oil producers searching for buyers elsewhere. The World Economic Forum noted in 2015 the drastic fall in U.S. demand since the 2008 debt crisis, but this admission went largely unnoticed in the mainstream media. Interestingly, while demand was crashing, the price per barrel continued to skyrocket because of the Federal Reserve’s inflationary QE policies. Almost immediately after the Fed began tapering QE, oil prices drastically declined in line with the lack of existing demand.

    In 2017, the EIA claims there has been a rise in global demand since the second quarter and has “projected” increasing demand including higher U.S. demand going into 2018.

    Yet, at the same time the EIA notes a frustrating stagnation in global oil demand, with the U.S. being the primary drag on consumption since 2010.

    So, which trend are we supposed to believe? The one that is right in front of us, or the one that is optimistically projected? It is clear, even according to “official” statistics on crude oil imports, that the U.S. market began sinking in 2009 and has not recovered since. Everyone knows that each new year is supposed to bring exponential demand, like clockwork. But this has not been the case at all in the U.S.

    Meanwhile, China has recently surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest oil importer, even though the EIA lists the U.S. as the world’s largest oil “consumer.”

    The argument mainstream analysts would probably make here is that imports of oil are diminishing because U.S. shale oil is filling demand domestically. This does not really jive with the reality of falling petroleum consumption numbers. Americans are buying less petroleum products, regardless of where they come from. And, it should also be pointed out that China is also now the largest consumer of U.S. oil.

    In the meantime, the geopolitical situation grows more unstable. I believe the Iranian sanctions issue has gone ignored far too long, and this has direct repercussions on the dollar’s petro-status. How? Well, consider this — Europe continues its appetite for Iranian oil, with 40 percent of Iran’s oil exports going to the EU. With the very oddly timed U.S.-led effort by the Trump administration to renew sanctions, Europe has been caught in a catch-22; either defy sanctions and upset relations with the U.S. or lose a significant source of petroleum imports. For now it appears that the EU will support sanctions, but this time solidarity on the issue is nowhere near as strong as it was back in 2012.

    With Iran as a major supplier for Europe as well as China, and overtaking Saudi Arabia as the top oil supplier for India, Trump’s latest call to put economic pressure on the nation may add more fuel to the accelerating rationale against the dollar as the primary trade mechanism for oil. The question becomes, who benefits from American influence in oil, and who suffers? The more countries that suffer because of a world reserve dollar, the more likely they will be to look for an alternative.

    China has deepened ties to Russia for this exact reason. With Russia supplanting Saudi Arabia as China’s largest petroleum source, and bilateral trade between Russia and China cutting out the dollar as world reserve, this is just the beginning of the shift.

    Saudi Arabia, America’s longtime partner in the oil dominance chain, is now moving away from the old relationship. Tensions between the Saudis and the U.S. State Department over the rather surreal Qatar embargo are just part of a series of pisions. With China’s influence in the region increasing, the mainstream has finally begun to acknowledge that Saudi Arabia may be “compelled” to trade oil in currencies other than the dollar.

    Why is oil so important? Because energy, along with currency, is the key to understanding the state of the economy. When demand for energy goes stagnant, this means the economy is stagnant. When a nation has maintained a monopoly on global energy trade by coupling its currency to oil, an addiction can be formed and its financial structure becomes dependent in that addiction being continuously satiated.

    Foreign Policy argued in 2009 that oil trade in dollars is “nothing more than a convention.” I would actually agree with that in part; it is indeed a convention that can change dramatically at any given moment. But, Foreign Policy asserts that there would be no consequences for the U.S. if and when the change takes place and the dollar loses petrostatus. This is absurd. Trillions in dollars are held overseas and the singular function of those dollars is to fulfill international trade based on the “convention” of the dollar’s world reserve status. What purpose do those dollar’s serve if world reserve status is abandoned? The answer is none.

    All of those dollars would come flooding back into the U.S. through various channels. Market psychology would immediately result in a massive loss in the dollar’s international value, not to mention incredible inflation would be spiking here at home. This process has already begun, and it is looking more and more like the next couple of years will bring a vast “reset” (as the IMF likes to call it) in the hegemony of certain currencies.

    Some people believe this will be a wellspring, a change for the better. They think the death of the dollar will lead to “decentralization” of the global economy and a “multipolar world,” but the situation is far more complex than it seems. I will go into greater detail in my next article as to why the dollar and the U.S. economy in general has actually been slated for deliberate demolition and how this will likely come about. As far as oil and petro-status are concerned, the mainstream media is perfectly willing to report on the developments I have mentioned here, but at the same time they are completely unwilling to account for the effects that will result or the deeper meaning behind these events. It is quite a contradiction, but a contradiction with a purpose.

    To truth and knowledge,

    Brandon Smith


  45. mike flannelly

    Failed banKERS were up early this morning listening to John Mc Guinness on morning Ireland. They were ringing in trying to dictate the data.

    The DATA is the data. You cannot whitewash yesterdays data.

    The banKERS abuse is a consumer issue.

    The consumer rights of Irish citizens need to be refered to the European Court Of Justice.

    The contract rights of Irish citizens need to be refered to the European Court Of Justice.

    Irish courts have failed the consumer.

    This is based on data.

    • Depends on if it is Irish law or EU law being the subject. National law is not adjudicated by the EU courts.
      Irish people, as are all EU nations, are trapped as there is no provision to leave the EU in the EU constitution or law. Once in one cannot leave without a breakaway, a form of civil war.
      What kind of a deal is that? I cannot imagine any organization so structured as having the welfare of the citizens at heart.
      it certainly is not democracy. It is a form of empire building as sure and certain as any other empire built by force. The EU empire is based on stealth and entrapment.
      People are now realizing this and do not want in any longer. More and more want out.
      The EU is a fools’ paradise.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        “here is no provision to leave the EU in the EU constitution or law” – what about Article 50?

        • You are correct Grze. I was correct until the Lisbon Treaty amendment 10 years ago. Thanks for the correction. however leaving is made as onerous and difficult as possible. Britain had to pay cash to join and now they want more cash to leave. They get you coming and going as the old expression says.

          “No country has ever left the EU before, and there was no way to legally leave the EU before the Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007.”


        • “”For the next two years, Britain will thrash out a deal for leaving the EU, a process that’s likely to be lengthy and complicated.

          Any deal must be approved by a “qualified majority” of EU member states and can be vetoed by the European Parliament.”"

          So if the Brexit is vetoed by the EU parliament what the? It could be construed that a state has to have permission to leave from the other states and also the parliament. That is not a unilateral decision . So in a way it is correct to say that there is no unilateral way to leave the union. Like the kid in school who has to ask permission to go to the toilet.

          Then the question may be asked if Britain is in any different position than Catalonia is re Spain.

          What happens if a state unilaterally decides to leave the EU. Is there a military invasion. Are the national governments suspended by the EU and administration of the state taken over by the EU until the people see the error of their ways.

          This is empire building by stealth. What fools we are to fall for the deceit.

        • Another interesting point of view on article 50 is that it need not be triggered at all. That the triggering of article 50 is a trap that allows the EU to dictate the terms of the separation. UK should unilaterally declare its intentions to leave and do so. Period.

          “”This line has been swallowed whole by the government, the media and commentators. It is, however, absolute nonsense. Under international law and under Article 50 (1) itself, only notice to leave is necessary.

          The horror that I feel about this misdirection is compounded by that the fact that if Article 50(2) is ‘triggered’ it implies that the UK government accepts that the EU will decide the conditions of UK’s withdrawal.”"


          • “”This has serious consequences. An arbitrary two-year negotiation window; a supreme agency problem between negotiating parties (the European Commission and various powerful governments) and a ratification process that is far from certain. All the while we will be contributing approximately £40bn gross, or £20bn net, to the European project.”"

          • “”Now turn this situation on its head. The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union (as directed by the people of the country in the referendum of June 2016) in March 2017 with immediate effect. The European Union loses almost 14% of its revenues overnight.

            I suppose our mission / delegation will be received with a great deal more alacrity then they would otherwise. This would turn the screw on the Commission and force them to conclude negotiations rapidly. It would give them less of a chance to strike back, ask for an “exit” premium and force a rapid conclusion on all parties.

            While it is true that this could descend into a tariff war – it is likely that we would end up with this situation at the end of two years anyway. There is the Commission, 27 other governments with diverse objectives ranging from using Britain’s exit to foster greater unity or to underline the need for retaining sovereignty within the Union.”"

  46. Deco

    By the way, if you want a definition of economic absurdity, despite all the currencies backed by (absolutely) nothing (as against the promise to thieve off their own citizenry), it really is hard to surpass the latest ‘projections’ of the world’s most extravagant (and clueless) petromonarchy.


    Even those who are not on the Torygraph, will get the message.

    Central planning is about to be given another try. Again.

    Even though it failed in so many countries, it seems that in Arabia, they are guided by a wisdom that never existed in Soviet Communism, Mitterand interventionism, or even the LBJ’s war-economy.

    It is all pie-in-the-sky. A solar power city (alright, solar power IS a good idea in the sands of Arabia – in fact it makes more sense that flying Airbuses around the world, at a loss, like some countries are doing).

    The main driver has already directed an invasion of Yemen which was spectacularly ill-planned. And then there is that mess in Syria which also seemed to have been funded in part by the pertromonarchies in the Gulf – about which they all seem to state – somebody else is the source of the problem.

    The biggest problem of all will be when this fails.

    This will not be defeated by Tesla – though when Tesla fails, the entire Dot Com 2.0 market boom, will crash to smithereens. No. It will be beaten by waste, malinvestment.

    Solar power by itself makes sense. But the rest of the plan is very shaky.

  47. Truthist

    Oh vey,

    U understand the Principal that must be paid back.
    But, u get all confused, & rat-f..ked, with the Interest that must be paid back … ultimately to The Dreadful Few.

    But, what if there was a Lender that does not charge Interest ?
    Well, the good news is that there is such,
    What does “free” mean?

    If you receive a loan from JFLA, you pay back exactly the amount you received.
    There are no fees or extra charges.
    Please see link below.
    Sounds like a humdinger of a scheme for the borrower.
    Guess that we are all set to go.
    But, I wonder how they have the bucks to loan ;
    And, how do they cover their costs ?
    Do they have access to the printing plates for “private” The Federal Reserve Bank of USA ?

    • Truthist

      Bit of a hurdle for most of ewes to fulfill as pre-condition for getting such a loan though
      Frequently Asked Questions [ F.A.0 ] ;
      Extract ;
      “specific donor-directed loan programs that are restricted to … clients only.”

    • Interest free loans appear to be just that . They appear to be restricted to the local community. The money will have been donated by people with cash rather than “spend “it on charity. Thus people are helped to help themselves. As the money is repaid it is recirculated to other borrowers.
      This will be a non profit, volunteer organization.

      This is similar to Chinese Associations helping others in the community or family groups helping each other.

      This is a practice to be encouraged as it enriches the community and not a practice to be despised or have aspersions cast upon it unless there is evidence to the contrary.

      • Truthist

        I had contemplated what u said ;
        But, the questions remain :

        How are the costs paid for ?
        There would be many costs.


        Such a scheme is sweet in principal

        However, it could be vehicle for “Money Laundering”

        If only u knew that the reverse is the case for the Chinese in business

        At least when overseas.

        God help the Chinese business person or well-helled official who does not honor that understanding.

        • How are the costs paid for ?
          There would be many costs.

          Not much involved when it is run like a club. All volunteers doing their bit in the community. Many such organization exist around the world. Even local family get togethers where the inlaw is helped by Dad e.g.

          • Truthist

            Even Credit Unions must charge Interest to stay afloat.
            Actually, Christ did not forbid the charging of Interest.
            He forbade / reproached exploitative usury.
            I am open to correction on that reference.
            If we had a fairer medium of exchange system, incl., of course, the use of actual money [ i.e. Gold or just about ... Silver ], we would be getting much more close to the goal,


            the fairest possible economic model.

      • Truthist

        Actually, we have such a scheme in Ireland too :

        For those who are well-connected :

        Certain of Rugger-Lot ;

        Certain GAA Heroes ; Current

        Freemasons ; And, they could be any of above

        inter alia

        Deco could ring off names who scored that way

        I think Sir Garret Fitzgerald being such ;
        At least by artful retrospective device mutually acceptable to both parties.

You must log in to post a comment.
× Hide comments