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|Monday, November 22nd, 2010|
|The Nile gets it's name taken in vain.
When I was a child the old joke about denial being a river in Egypt was funny.. We laughed. Today we look at that joke in totally different circumstances. In Ireland there has been two river Niles runing through the countryside.
We have had the denial of responsibility from a morally bankrupt government, as we have seen in the last week in particular culminating in our glorious leaders press conference announcing the application for an IMF led bailout fund...
Secondly we have had denial from the banks on the size of their loses...This has been going on for two years and while the government have been misleading the people the banks have been misleading the government. Bluff, smoke and mirrors stuff with the national economy and the lives of the people is a disgrace. We have now as a result landed ourselves in an unholy financial mess, because eventually the foreign lenders saw through all this guff, and not before time. I think it was Battman O'Keeffe who referred to negotions with the IMF etc. as a game of poker. It would appear to be a poker game playing with peoples lives and finances.
Honesty and integrity don't seem to be words that figure in the minds of those in the banking and government world in Ireland in the year of our lord 2010. Maybe this is part of the Irish psyche built into our need to survive. It seems to me,that maybe honesty doesn't figure too highly in our way of doing things and survival matters more than doing the decent thing. We have a governmenmt hell bent on staying in power and rigging by elections to keep it there.
If Mugabe in Zimbabwe did this kind of thing we would be up in arms getting Amnesty internaltional and governments all over the world enraged. Yet we do it here and no one says a word.We send observers to foreign countries to make sure their elevtions are fair. We complained and rightly so about the unionist government jerrymandering elections in the north and yet we are doing the same thing.
Which brings me to the state of the media. Why does it take the foreign media to report on internal matters hours or days before the Irish media put the same stories out? Why would you bother tuning in to RTE or reading the Irish papers because the information you get is old , out of date and manipulative to say the least. The media are the lapdogs of the state, where cosy relationships and hyped spin are passed off as facts. It leads to well known commentators swallowing this guff and innocently imparting it onwards. I said this before, many in the media are like sheep, driven by a collie dog into a pen and not one of them see it.
Which brings me to the good point. We don't have to swallow the media guff. We have an informing internet and with correct and sensible use, it can be much more use than reading the Indo or any of the rest for ten years or more. Twitter in particualr if used correctly is a brilliant resource and in many cases will give you the information some hours before it breaks anywhere else.
Now some funnies after a heavy duty blog.
Irelands Four Year Plan
|Saturday, November 20th, 2010|
|From the mouths of children this week
From the Irish Times today.
What the leaders of this country and subsequently the IMF saidhttp://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/1120/1224283769692.html
A government clinging to power for what? To save face? To fix the mess of their own making? They should go immediately once the terms of this bailout is settled.
Fianna Fail have told us nothing but lies that was Pat Rabbitte’s term for the succession of Government denials during the week regarding bailout talks.
This Week They Said
It is fiction, because what we want to do is get on with the business of bringing forward the four-year plan . . . I spoke to the Taoiseach this morning, I spoke with the Minister for Finance, and absolutely nothing is taking place in respect of this. – Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern on November 14th dismissing speculative reports of an imminent bailout for Ireland.
At the request of the Irish authorities, an IMF team will participate in a short and focused consultation, together with the European Commission and the ECB, in order to determine the best way to provide any necessary support to address market risks. – The truth, via an IMF statement, November 16th.
What we’re involved in here is working with colleagues in respect of currency problems and euro issue problems that are affecting Ireland, they’re affecting other countries. They’re particularly affecting Ireland at the moment . . . there has been no question, as has been stated all over the weekend, of a negotiation for a bailout. – Taoiseach Brian Cowen to the Dáil, November 17th.
We’ve got to play poker over the next couple of days to see what cards these people have to play, what exactly they have in mind. We would like to see the colour of their money. – Minister for Enterprise Batt O’Keeffe
The 12½ per cent corporation tax rate is non-negotiable. – Tánaiste Mary Coughlan
|Friday, November 19th, 2010|
|IMF/EU looking under the mattress
This is what I've been saying for ages...When one of the worlds leading financial advisers Financial consultants Merrill Lynch told the government not to guarantee all of Anglo, that there were risks, the government went ahead and did it. Why?
Now at long last we may know at least some of the story.. There is a lot to come out of this, mark my words.
Why two years after the bank guarantee are we finding out about encrypted files? Why were they encrypted in the first place and why are the Gards being perhaps unduly hindered in getting at these files?
From todays Examinerhttp://www.examiner.ie/ireland/eu-imf-will-unveil-significant-corruption-136936.html
EU-IMF ‘will unveil significant corruption’
By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent
Friday, November 19, 2010
THE EU-IMF investigators will uncover significant fraud and corruption in their examination of the Irish banking sector according to a leading European economist who worked with the IMF.
Dr Daniel Gros believes that when the crisis is over the country will need a ‘truth commission’ similar to that established in Iceland to investigate and analyse the collapse of the banks and the lead-up to the catastrophic event.
Iceland found that senior politicians, regulators and bankers were all at fault for bringing down the country’s economy.
He believes that the troika – European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF – will expose the skeletons in the cupboards of the country’s banking system and adds that he believes the losses of €50 billion uncovered so far will be the tip of the iceberg.
Dr Gros says it beggars belief that just months after stress tests gave the all-clear, losses of more than 25% of the country’s GDP appeared to come out of nowhere.
“It’s not like the USA with a highly complicated system. Its simply three to five banks with loan books. It’s typical of what can happen in a small country where everyone knows everyone and as long as everything is going well, nobody notices,” he said.
President of Italian San Paolo Asset Management – one of the biggest in the eurozone – Dr Gros said the troika will look at the banks’ books and make an estimate of the losses, which will not be easy.
Ireland is not unique as property booms worldwide are always linked to local politics – roads have to be built and water provided and planning given.
“There has not been a single property boom where you do not see this kind of corruption – it seems to be unavoidable,” he said.
However, in 2001, when the European Commission warned the Government over rising inflation, Dr Gros published a paper warning that the real problem was a nascent property boom that would lead to a bust.
The bust usually lasts as long as the boom, he says, and expects this to last a decade in Ireland, and, in the meantime, property prices will fall further, he predicts.
The Government will have a choice of how they deal with the situation after that. Either they take the money from the EU, pay everyone off and spend the next 20 years repaying.
“The only question then is how much you cut state spending, and you do that every year for 20 years,” he said.
Or alternatively, they can do a deal with all creditors, offer them par bonds at 100% – so they can expect the full amount of their investment back but pay them just 2.5% a year for the next 20 years before paying off the capital. “Then at least you know what the bill will be and what your liquidity needs are,” he said, adding: “It at least lets you see light at the end of the tunnel because now you are in a very dark place.”
But Dr Gros warns that the Government needs to get a return on assets Irish citizens hold abroad. “Lots of Irish have money abroad – that was the problem in Argentina. Net, like Ireland, Argentina did not have a large debt but the private sector had accounts in Miami and the government could not get them. The state owed to foreign creditors – and went bankrupt. Unless the Irish Government can get some returns from the Irish assets abroad, then you get into an Argentine situation.”
Director of the think tank, Centre for European Studies, he said the rescue first of Greece and now Ireland will continue to have a bad effect on the euro.
Portugal, he says will shortly ask and be given a bailout from the EU-IMF fund also and hopefully that will be the last country needing help. But if Spain and/or Italy were to get into trouble the currency would be in serious trouble, he added.
The solution is for the ECB to buy not just Irish or Greek debt, but to buy bonds from all the eurozone states – similar to what the Federal Reserve System in the US does – it does not just buy California bonds.
“And that is probably what will happen,” he said
|Wednesday, November 17th, 2010|
|Systemic Institutional Failure = Irish Governance
Systemic Institutional Failure = Irish Governancehttp://dublinopinion.com/2010/11/17/systemic-institutional-failure-irish-governance/
Nov 17th, 2010 by Donagh
The Guardian’s Comment Is Free commenter WhistleblowerIRL put this up on the site yesterday.
Worth reading if you missed it.
Ireland is having relinquish its hard-fought sovereignty as a result of a complete breakdown of banking law enforcement and repeated attempts to cover-up the ineptitude of the government and the regulator.
I am the person referred to in Senator Norris’ statement below. Norris is an independent senator with no party affiliation.
I resigned from my position as the risk manager of a foreign bank operating in Dublin in 2007. We breached minimum liquidity requirement by BILLIONS of Euro on a regular basis. I made sure the Regulator was notified at least on one such occasion.
In his statement to the Irish Seanad (Senate) in February this year, Senator Norris concluded:
“…I would like her [Deputy Brady] to take the message back to the Minister for Finance, Deputy Brian Lenihan, that there is ministerial responsibility in this matter.
This is a grossly serious matter which has been reported to the Financial Regulator. A man has lost his job as a result. He honourably resigned. The degree of breach was 40 times the accepted margin. This is a disaster. If we are not prepared to face the issue and investigate it when it has been laid before the House, there is absolutely no hope for the financial system or its reputation worldwide.
… I have made very clear requests that this matter should be examined. How can the Financial Regulator investigate himself? He was in breach of his responsibility. That is the first point…. It is not too much to ask in this Parliament that this should happen. I want the process to start tonight…. .”
I have brought the matter to the attention of several senior TDs (MPs) and Senators at all the major political parties; alas, silence prevails.
Whilst the catastrophic over-night breach that I had reported to the Regulator could have been theoretically remedied immediately, it is virtually impossible for it to have been a ‘once-off’ event, had we been abiding by the terms of our banking license. Chaos prevailed and by the time the Regulator’s team arrived for a scheduled audit, they made sure that communication with the London consultancy whom I had brought-in to sort out the mess, was promptly cut-off. By then, I was no longer attending the office, but was on ‘garden leave’.
Although my position had been confirmed by the bank’s board of directors only shortly before my resignation, and my resignation clearly stated that it was due to integrity issues at the bank, the Regulator’s team made no attempt to contact me then, or at any time since then.
The official protocol of Senator Norris’ statement is available under ‘Financial Regulation’ (3rd from the end of the list) here.
The workings of Ireland’s Financial Regulator are best displayed in the following example from the actual regulation in relation to liquidity management. This is the link to the 2006 legislation that came into force in 2007, as seen in paragraph 9.4 Implementation (page 27 of pdf):
Having failed completely at enforcing his own regulations, the Regulator then re-issued the above regulation in June 2009. Although the preamble refers to Banking Acts dating as far back as 1942, there is no reference to the fact that these liquidity requirements came into force in 2007. Here is the link to the ‘new’ regulation. The person who can find paragraph 9.4 in this document might also be able to find Ireland’s missing billions (observe pages 28-29 of the pdf file):
Parag. 10 which stipulates possible imprisonment penalties for breach of liquidity regulations remains unchanged. Ireland is now on the verge of financial meltdown due the most severe liquidity crisis it has ever faced, yet not a single executive is in prison.
The only specific response by official Dublin to Norris’ allegations appeared in Ireland’s Business Post
The Regulator told the Post that his records differ; quelle surprise?
1. In his reply to Senator Norris, Minister Lenihan referred to Ireland’s reliance on ECB funding through-out the liquidity crisis, in return for which Ireland was offering full cooperation with Eurozone countries. However, although Minister Lenihan was provided by Senator Norris with the name of the offending bank, Minister Lenihan did not give any indication that the authorities in the central-European country in which the parent bank is domiciled were informed of this calamitous breach. Surely, had Minister Lenihan, or the Irish Regulator, informed their continental counterpart of this incident, they would have been eager to state that on record?
Sachsen Landesbank and Hypo Real-Estate (Depfa) Bank both neared collapse on account of their mismanaged and poorly regulated Irish operations. LBBW Bank and the German taxpayer, respectively, will be paying for these fiascos for years to come. Would it not have been proper order for Minister Lenihan to ensure that the failings of this yet-to-be-named Dublin-domiciled bank, which is part of one of the largest banking groups in central Europe, to have been brought to the attention of its regulating authorities? Perhaps that would just have been too embarrassing; it was bad enough that an ex-governor of the Central Bank of Ireland sat on Depfa’s board of directors when it was allegedly about to go under.
Derek Scally, The Irish Times correspondent to Berlin, wrote last August:
“…as long as things weren’t broken, no one saw a need for a fix. An unholy trinity of events changed that, beginning in September 2007.
After years of record returns, Saxony’s Sachsen LB state bank realised its Dublin-based subsidiaries had been gambling off the balance sheet and needed €17 billion overnight to save the entire group from collapse. A second pile of debts worth €600 million were subsequently uncovered
A whip-around from Germany’s banks saved the day, and a fellow state bank eventually bought the Saxon operation. But the near-disaster meant years of gossip about the IFSC [Irish Financial Services Centre, WhistleblowerIRL] in Germany turned into open speculation about the veracity of Dublin’s reputation as a serious financial marketplace.
Then in June 2008 the Irish rejected the Lisbon Treaty, a document the average German had never read or heard of. No matter: the No was perceived here as a slap in the face from Irish ingrates to generous Germans, a view which, when fixed, was impossible to shift.
Four months after Lisbon, Ireland was back in the German headlines after the IFSC-based Depfa bank, a subsidiary of Munich’s Hypo Real Estate (HRE) property lender, ran out of funding and required a package of emergency loans and guarantees that would eventually top €100 billion. Amid a huge political scandal in Germany, HRE was finally nationalised.”
2. The Irish government has made sure that all of the so-called bank investigations, Regling & Honohan in the past, Nyberg in the present, will not go near the foreign banks operating in Dublin. These have been kept outside the remit of their mandates.
Regling & Honohan did as they were told by Minister Lenihan and did not mention names of specific executives who drove the Irish banks into the ground. So you see, its no one’s fault really.
3. Minister Lenihan announced on RTE (the national tv station) that bankers were not being sent to prison because the Irish law does not provide for it. He rightfully counted on the fact that no one would remind him of paragraph 10 of the Liquidity Regulations (see my comment above). Where is the esteemed Law Society of Ireland? Why have the Law departments of Ireland’s universities kept silent about this? could it be because they are all paid by the state?
4. The only people who are paying the price for the crimes committed by bankers and the Regulator, with the blessing of the government, are my fellow Irish citizens - the young who are forced to leave the country by the thousands, the families who can not afford the next mortgage payment, and the elderly and infirm who await their misfortune with horror.
5. A prominent member of one of the opposition parties recently said to me - “we can’t afford the consequences of revealing this story, we already have enough to deal with if we come to power”.
Prime Minister Cowen was Minister of Finance when I resigned in 2007.
Generations to come will judge our politicians harshly for allowing our country to be destroyed.
|Tuesday, November 16th, 2010|
|Humour on gloomy Tuesday
Some satirical comments from Twitter etc.
EamonnMallie Louth would be SF candidate Gerry Adams has
said in a narrative on ROI economic crisis "I'd burn the bonds."
orlaithf Last time we sent someone to negotiate our sovereignty, we had a civil war and shot him.
Anon hmm lady on #liveline
just stumbled on a great idea -
property tax in Ireland should be linked to number of toilets in the house
EamonnMallie Sammy Wilson on Gerry Adams and his thinking
on the economy "He's a failed economic guru. He's not the John Maynard Keynes of NI."
Anon Dermot Ahern on This week in Politics says there'll be noses out of joint (in sf) .Re Adams standing in Louth....and knees out of whack too I presume:)
|Monday, November 15th, 2010|
|Hunt the thimble time
This week begins with a hunt the thimble game over the weekend .... as journalists far and wide seek out the leak that says Ireland is negotiating with the ECB and the EU Commission on a sovereign bail out. Someone is trying to set an agenda and at the top in Germany and France you can bet they know who it is although apparently they haven't told anyone in the Irish government by the way. Our banks have been supported by the ECB for some weeks and it's only a matter of time till they use this Achilles heel and threaten to slow the funding which will rein in the two Brians very quickly. I suspect that there will be an announcement after the DSW election accepting bail out funding.
In the meantime ( I always like that phrase) Gerry Adams has decided to run in Louth in the next election so that he can save us from starvation and ruin... Our Saviour has arrived and the faithful will be kissing his ring soon, no doubt about that, as he sets about fixing the noses in the Shinners that have been put out of joint by his sudden arrival. But then you don't argue with Adams.http://www.independent.ie/national-news/adams-to-stand-for-seat-in-dail-2420262.html
The Donegal SW "bye" election is proceeding a pace and for light relief I think we will see more "reality" television from the four candidates. Vincent Browne was devastating last week and tonight it's the turn of PK. I suspect, in fact I know it won't be anything like as entertaining, given the state broadcaster's stuffed shirt attitude.http://irishelectionliterature.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/leaflet-for-frank-mcbrearty-labour-donegal-south-west-by-election-2010/http://irishelectionliterature.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/flyer-for-brian-o-domhnaill-fianna-fail-2010-donegal-south-west-by-election/
And finally the elephant in the economic room is the mounting mortgage debt that no one seems to be able to decide what to do with. We have young couples stuck with mortgage debt that they have no hope of paying and lenders who have no hope of getting their money back. Why talk of haircuts for banks and not for ordinary citizens, who were working in a bubble inflated by reckless lenders? The inequity is obscene as is the attempt by Fianna Fail to stall the by elections and keep them in power..Democracy is being abused again by cute whore financial incompetents who should never be let near the levers of power ever again
|Tuesday, November 9th, 2010|
|Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you're on your own
Christopher Wren is in town (sorry Olie) I just cannot take your name seriously and he is telling us we must have consensus on the forthcoming bludget. We had that from John Gormley last week and it got us nowhere. What Mr Wren should be telling us is how we deal with the panic in government buildings when the coffers run out at NTMA. Bloomberg says we have 60 days cash left, the government says we have sufficient cash till next June.http://www.bloomberg.com/video/64352822/
Somebody is wrong and on past forecasts I know where my money is. Meanwhile Morgan Kelly has sent us all scurrying for the Prozac and the pharmacist must be doing a roaring trade. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/1108/1224282865400.html
However there is a bright outlook according to a survey today Irish consumers are spending more than nearly anyone else in Europe this Christmashttp://www.newstalk.ie/news/2irish-to-be-big-spenders-this-christmas-says-survey97/
I'm thinking here this is the last bash (thrash) before we end up on our uppers proper or perhaps we are so fed up with doom and gloom and the Frontline that " ah sure it will all be grand so" That phrase is stamped on my forehead forever and will probably be the recurring phrase of this period in our history.
It says a lot about the Irish nation that in all of this we can still laugh. We will need to because next year is not going to be fun.
Holly Cheeses mammy
|Saturday, November 6th, 2010|
|Let them eat cheese while we eat caviar
The "let them eat cheese" PR fiasco of Brendan Smith TD yesterday morning on Morning Ireland was just another example of how much this government is out of touch with the electorate. They need to either sack their Press Officer or take him aside and slap him over the wrist..Alternatively sack the minister for coming out with such guff, however that's not likely to happen..Why was this announced with such bravado? It has happened before but this time it made the government look stupid by the way it was presented. Given the congestion controversy of the FF leader again on Morning Ireland, we are being regularly entertained by the stupidity of this present shower of ministers so one would have thought that once was an accident but twice was carelessness of the highest degree.
It reminds me so much of the last Conservative government of the Thatcher era lead by John Major. It was accident prone and very out of touch with the electorate. Today we have a carbon copy in Ireland. However Enda Kenny seems to have much the same approach to life and I don't honestly think he would make much of a difference. I see him being just as much accident prone but a little less of a buffoon.
The bottom line is we are staggering towards an election which may come very soon after this bludget and I really don't see an incoming government having much of a chance of improving things very quickly. We are tied into EU austerity measures to right the economy which will kill us off unless it is changed drastically and I'm not sure that currently any opposition party is prepared to think so radically outside the parameters of the current strategy. In time they will have to if we are to borrow to survive and the markets will dictate that not the ECB. That will be the crunch point and the sooner it comes the better, because the life blood of the Irish economy is being quickly sucked dry.
Martyn Turner in todays Irish Times
Some interesting non named ministers (possibly Micheál Martin ) comments in the Echo from the Peoples Republic of Corkhttp://www.eveningecho.ie/newspaper/contactus.asp
EDIT 13.04 Sat 6th.... this page has been removed but unnamed ministers saying the budget would not go through and there would be an election after Christmas
|Thursday, October 28th, 2010|
|Heads should roll and not in five years either!
This week has become perverse in the extreme. We have had the sorry tale of abuse and neglect in Roscommon. Where were the school teachers in all of this? Surely they should have seen what was going on? Were the social services blind or have they lost their sense of smell?
There is to be an audit of similar risk cases... That is the standard answer.. “Lets have an inquiry or a commission to look into it” and the results will lie on the shelf gathering dust. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/1028/1224282144404.html?digest=1
I've lost count of how many we have had in the past. We have had the Tallaght incident where doctors letters requiring appointments were ignored. Cancer patients breast scans were misread. Elderly patients were neglected, not to mention the financial sector. We all know about that given the current financial mess. The management system of our society is rotten, whether its health, finance, planning, administration.
Does anyone ever be held to account? No or in very rare cases those in control are pensioned off .. “Thank you very much that will do nicely,” off they go with their half a million euro.
To cap it all Bertie is giving advice to the Polish people on how to run a financial system? http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2010/1028/1224282144477.html?digest=1
I despair. The man, one of many who politically ran this country into the ground as Minister of Finance and Leader of the Celtic Tiger and oversaw the banking/building bubble is giving advice to others?. Then he climbs into a closet and gives us two fingers metaphorically on television every night.
It's not much wonder the younger generation are emigrating.
Joan Burton details the pay off of Anglo Bond holders via Political world message board.http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?p=84539#post84539
|Thursday, October 21st, 2010|
|Between a Rock and the IMF
This week sees the ESRI telling us that if the budget cuts are too severe they will kill the economy. The economy is already being killed by the straight jacket of cutting the budget deficit to 3% of GDP by 2014... and state borrowing for Anglo etc. The economy will not recover as in previous recessions because if we are depending on world economic recovery it will be painfully slow as we can see from cuts in the UK which are the most severe since WW11 and the UK is one of our biggest export markets.
Add to this mix the Croke Park agreement which like the partnership deal was negotiated using outdated financial information and we are way behind the 8 ball. The parameters of the economy are moving so fast as to make decisions taken last year obsolete in six months. Current thinking needs to change. The Croke Park deal will have to be renegotiated but no one is saying so currently, ( Correction Mark Fielding of ISME on 6.1 is saying it as I'm writing ) When you look at job cutting measures in the public sector in the UK and compare it to what we are doing it's total madness... There is no guarantee of any jobs in the public sector in the UK and it should be the same here. Massive efficiencies have to be made in the HSE and other government departments quickly otherwise social spending will be slashed and the weakest will again be badly hit.
In my view there is only one way to stop this train hitting the rails. Stop putting borrowed money into Anglo or anywhere else that is a black hole. Allow Anglo to go into receivership. Stimulate demand by massively reducing costs by leaving the Euro devaluing and making our products cheaper, thereby fueling an export lead recovery.
This is heresy in the current climate but the alternative is the IMF/EU bail out and even harder conditions..plus and or ten years of stagnation. Nothing this government is doing will drive our economy forward in the years to come although they may just be starting to look at what I'm saying. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/anglo-irish-offers-exchange-of-2014-2016-2017-notes-for-new-2011-bonds.html
In writing this I'm reminded of conditions after the Wall St crash of 1929 and the stagnation that occurred because of head in the sand policies. We have learned nothing from history... Find a good book and read it because you will find so many similarities to the present situation that it will be quite uncanny.
|Tuesday, October 12th, 2010|
|Sunday, October 10th, 2010|
|94 years after 1916.. what did these men die for?
I see the government through Eamon O'Cuiv and now finance minister Lenihan and uncle Tom Cobly and all are now preparing us for a much larger cut in this bludget than previously stated. €4.3 Billion seems to be the twittered, media norm. Whatever happened to the last statement from Lenihan after the last bludget that this one would be easier? This man has not made one statement that has been correct since this financial crisis started over two years ago. This is financial control by little green men, because Lenihan is not on the same planet as everyone else.
The government are now blaming a slowing world economy again for our financial woes...Poppycock and nonsense.... Our economic woes come squarely from this governments woeful mismanagement of our affairs, and the lunacy of the bail out of Anglo Irish Bank to save bond holders who I see are mostly EU banks. Now the same banks are screwing us as we try to borrow more to keep our holed ship of state afloat. Everyone loses but the banks, and the ones who will suffer the most, the poorest in our society will be forced to pay.
We have a thriving export sector, driven by multinational companies, a dead local economy driven by lack of bank funding and people's fear of spending and yet we are throwing what money we have left in the fire. As the ECB takes more and more of a say in how we run our affairs, what room has any new government if there was an election tomorrow to maneuver.?. Answer very little and that is down to the idiocy of this present government. It has to be one of the most incompetent governments in the history of this state. It will be ironic that nearly 100 years from 1916 and the fight for freedom from Britain that we are now to be subjugated to economic dictatorship from Germany and France. Connolly must be turning in his grave.
Then to cap it all we have John Gormley calling for a government of unity to save the stinking lot of them. Of course as we would know the background chatter from Europe and the media here is actually giving credence to this nonsense. Adding insult to injury was the voice of Fitch telling us glibly to force repossessions of homes and to get in line with the rest of Europe. On that one words actually fail me. I cannot find words to express my anger and utter revulsion at that weasel. Then of course I nearly forgot about the muppet in the fridge...Jesus wept.
When will government ministers start putting the Irish people first and not the bankers of Europe? We need an election or a revolution, because at some point the people of this nation will not take any more and the sooner we have a government that represents more than 20% of the people the better.
|Wednesday, October 6th, 2010|
|The nonsense of IBEC and taxing the minimum wage.
Do some of these idiots in various organisations live in cloud cockatoo land? I misspelled that correctly by the way. IBEC are in the process of saying that those on the minimum wage should be taxed. Below are some figures showing that taxing the minimum wage is a total nonsense. It would be better to live on Welfare however difficult that would be because you could stay in bed all day and save both energy, food, heat and light... Some of these idiots need to try it sometime. It is not easy.
On a minimum wage of € 302.75 per week for 35 hours that leaves €1211 income per month.
Social welfare plus rent allowance for a single person works out at approximately €1064 per month.
Tax on €1211 for working @ 20% = €242. That gives a take home of €969
Paying rent on that and everything else shows how far out of touch IBEC are.
If you are earning €80,000 per year, €242 tax is nothing... for someone on minimum wage it's perhaps half of their rent.. An absolutely ridiculous suggestion by people who have no idea of trying to make ends meet on welfare.
It's this sort of out of touch nonsense that both the government and IBEC are coming out with which shows how badly we are being lead, by those who have no idea what surviving is like. IBEC and Fianna Fail/Greens are so far from reality it beggars belief.
|Saturday, October 2nd, 2010|
|Ireland: Busted ..The Guardian comment
The erstwhile Celtic Tiger has seen its national income shrink 17% over the past three years
The Guardian, Friday 1 October 2010
From Greece to Japan to the US, countries across the world have been devastated by the banking crisis. But no economy has been wrecked quite so brutally as Ireland's. The erstwhile Celtic Tiger has seen its national income shrink 17% over the past three years – the deepest and swiftest contraction of any western country since the Great Depression. At the height of the long boom from 1990 to 2007, property in Dublin was worth more than in London. Since then, prices have dropped by around 40% – and are still sinking. At this rate, the country will soon hold the dubious honour of hosting the biggest property bubble and bust in modern history. When financiers joked in 2008 that the only difference between bankrupt Iceland and hard-up Ireland was one letter and a few days, they got it wrong – the mess the Emerald Isle is now in is so much worse.
And all the way down, Dublin ministers have promised voters that things are about to get better. Those emergency loans to the banks – that would sort it. These savage spending cuts – that would do the job. That decision to pretty much guarantee the entire banking system (with practically no questions asked) – this time for sure. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Like a body flung off the roof of a skyscraper, the Irish economy has just kept on falling.
They were at it again yesterday. The Irish finance minister, Brian Lenihan, promised voters that the national "nightmare" they have had to live with for the past couple of years would soon be over: "We are now bringing closure to that." He did not convince financiers, who have heard a similar form of words from Mr Lenihan every time he has brought forth another ill-advised plan. Even measured against the minister's previous gambles, though, this one is huge. Yesterday's bailout will include Anglo Irish, the property developer's favourite bank, as well as Allied Irish and Irish Nationwide – and it is set to raise the budget deficit from around 12% of national income to an astounding 32%.
When a country has gone bust in such spectacular fashion, the causes for its crisis are bound to range far and wide. Primary among them we might count an overreliance on property prices both for the feelgood factor and for public revenues. During the boom, Dublin cut income and corporation tax and relied increasingly on property taxes. As soon as the bubble burst, revenues collapsed. In other aspects, policymakers can claim that they simply stuck to the international orthodoxy for economic success – lure in foreign capital wherever you can, pursue your comparative advantages (which in Dublin, as in Reykjavik, came to be seen as finance) and remain open. But one of the lessons of what Gordon Brown once termed the first crisis of globalisation is that being open for business at all costs does not work well for small countries with homogeneous economies. And it really does not work with dozy policymakers.
As Pete Lunn of Dublin's Economic and Social Research Institute notes, the elite directing the Irish economy is more tightly closed than an oyster shell – so that the top civil servant in the department of finance would normally expect his tenure to be followed by a stint as chief central banker. Policymakers shrank from calling the property bubble a bubble until it had popped. And when it had burst, they accepted too easily the bankers' claims that they were merely short of liquidity rather than utterly bust. They did as the IMF advised and put into force some of the most savage spending cuts ever – with the result that nearly one in six workers is now unemployed, and that another economic downturn has begun.
Similarities exist here with other countries: just ask Gordon Brown. The big difference with the UK is that, as part of the euro club, Ireland cannot unilaterally devalue its currency. Its only road back to competitiveness is to cut workers' living standards. Which means that, whatever Mr Lenihan claims, the Irish economy has further to fall.http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/01/ireland-economy-editorial?CMP=twt_gu
|Thursday, September 30th, 2010|
|If this lot had brains they would be dangerous
Two years down the line from the bank guarantee and we are getting close to what we think it will cost. This is a sobering day for Mr Cowan if he needs some cold water in his face this morning. These figures on the bank bailout will clear his congestion very quickly I would imagine. This country is financially floating in a life raft and waiting to be picked up by the IMf/EU backup fund. It is only a matter of time. Every dog in the street knows that.
We are now suspending any more bond auctions till next year when a new government will have to pick up this putrid mess. No one envies their task.http://www.tv3.ie/shows.php?request=tonightwithvincentbrowne&tv3_preview=&video=27577
Watch Paul Sommervile and David McWilliams bring some clarity to the issue.
€65 Billion ... That is €65 thousand million between INBS Anglo, AIB BOI EBS unbelievable ineptitude.
|Thursday, September 23rd, 2010|
|Is there more behind the Anglo guarantee?
Listening to Vincent Browne on TV3 last night discussing Anglo, Sean Fitzpatick his role and that of the auditors Ernst and Young, was somewhat enlightening,,, Not completely enlightening mind you either. It seems to be clear that the main question on Anglo is why was it not let go bankrupt two years ago? Sandeep Gopalan on Browne's programme who worked for Lehmans and would have been aware of the culture in high powered financial institutions including Anglo clearly stated that it could have been let go.
Given the fact that the Department of Finance was aware of the cash funding problems of Irish banks in early 2008 at least a good six months or more before the fateful night in September and the government was advised to close Anglo by the advisors who were paid enormous sums of money. Why was that not done? The reasons we were told, seemed vague??
The reason given by Minister Lenihan and Cowan was that the bank guarantee was put in place to prevent a financial meltdown, but was there another reason or reasons even?
The suspicion remains that perhaps government ministers had funds earning interest in Anglo and were looking after their own nest eggs... That explaination would square with some people. The problem is it may be years before anyone outside the elite know what has been going on. I wrote some months ago that in the average household if you spend more than you earn and rush out to borrow more then eventually you will run out of money because no one will lend to you as you will not be able to pay the interest, and that is exactly what this government has done. How long it takes for the euro to drop so to speak as opposed to the penny is anyone's guess... I suspect it may not be too long before a change of direction is forced by the markets... The markets always win, ask George Soros.
Here is some sobering reading on Arthur's day by David McWilliamshttp://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2010/09/22/high-bond-rates-will-leave-us-an-economic-wasteland-2
We are six months or so from St Patrick's day and our President has quite rightly decided not to attend the parade in New York run by the AOH. I have no doubt that Mary McAleese who is a savvy media woman and who supports inclusion and diversity in all walks of life including our minority lgbt population, would find it difficult to tacity support an organisation like the AOH which prohibits LGBT groups from marching on the 17th of March.
She has taken a stand and has let it be known through Nial O'Dowd on Irish Central that she cannot go for logistical reasons, but Nial also says that it's for the reasons of non inclusion of lgbt groups, which is the way to do things and I applaud her stand.
Dublin LGBTQ Pride have issued a statement of support for Mrs McAleese. The organisation is very happy with what she has done given the organisation raised this very issue last year.http://www.irishcentral.com/news/McAleese-Declines-NYC-Grand-Marshal-Invite-103514544.html
For the day that's in it... here's not to Arthur although I wish their marketing ploy well but to the the light coming on in the Department of Finance, and in all those offices where they keep saying that we have no option but to be lead by the nose into penury.
Finally did anyone notice that apart from the red tops, very little attention was paid to the latest news of Cowan's 12 hour drinking binge earlier in the week. RTE studiously avoided any mention... more deference. Is it any wonder we the ordinary citizens are not getting the facts with self censorship like this? What else are we missing regarding Anglo?
|Sunday, September 19th, 2010|
|A €3 billion bludget plus in December..It's time to ..cut the dead wood.
I think the Irish public are frustrated by the same stories coming out in the media. One of which is that we need more efficiency in all government departments and local council services if more severe cuts are to be avoided in the forthcoming bludget. How many times have we got the Fas, HSE, Department of Finance etc. over spends and how many times have we as citizens been promised that efficiencies will be made and it won't happen again?
It goes on and on and quite honestly no one ever takes responsibility. The culture of sleaze and brown envelopes emanates from the top down and until we get politicians of integrity who behave honestly and who also behave openly and do everything in a transparent fashion, then we will still be having all this nonsense for years to come, as of course we have had in the past. We are worn weary of promises, and now the Greens want to impose an elected Dublin Lord Mayor on us with no real powers.. What a waste of time and money!
All this bureaucracy demands a total change in our attitudes to our politicians and zero tolerance of any form of graft... It requires politicians who are not standing for office because they are replacing their father or mother who was there for decades, but those who have business and commercial experience and who can count. That's a total absolute unequivocal requirement... no deviation of one jot on that one.
With the greatest respect to Brian Lenihan, he is a lawyer not an accountant. We need people in place who know how business works, but at the same time show compassion for those who are in the margins of our society.
The latest figures show that €75,000 was spent per day on advisers running up to the bank guarantee two years ago... without ever going to tender. Time constraints cannot be used as an excuse. The government through the Dept of Finance were aware of the tightening of credit markets in the run up to this for some months.
Conor Lenihan Minister for Science on Marion Finucane saying he gets €140,000 per year and yet was about to launch a book rubbishing the origins of the species, until someone joined up the dots and told him this was a contradiction and embarrassing. A leader who gets paid more than Obama, and cannot give a coherent interview at 9am in the morning after a late night boozing session.
We need a complete re think by our main parties on how we are governed. Get rid of civil war politics, and the gombeens that we have and replace them with people who can actually do the job properly. This country has the same population as greater Manchester so why is it, it seems such a struggle to manage?