Honohan on the Economy, Banks and the Job Market

Governor Honohan delivered a speech to the Trinity College Alumni Career Network this morning: you can read it here.

52 replies on “Honohan on the Economy, Banks and the Job Market”

“Whether we like it or not, governments need to keep convincing the markets that their budgetary and borrowing plans are viable and will be delivered.”

Interesting opening. Let’s make sure we all know who is actually in charge ….. and it ain’t governments.

As far as I can see, all he’s saying is that the proles are going to have to bear the brunt of this economic mismanagement through ‘wage restraint’ – as it is laughingly called – and continued high levels of unemployment. He also appears to be advocating that students should take any job they can get, even being a binman, rather than hang around hoping something they actually want to do/are qualified to do turns up. He’s probably right because we are scuppered and ‘career planning’ as a concept for young people in Ireland might as well be forgotten for the next ten years.

He seems a nice enough chap but it looks to me like Governor Honohan has gone over to the dark side! No doubt his many supporters here will disagree.

“If you do go abroad for better immediate prospects, I hope you will not turn your back on Ireland.” – we all know that most young people (and others) are looking to find a way out and that’s exactly what the government want them to do. It makes the figures look better.

“Some authoritative analysts are forecasting quite strong growth in output and employment already in 2012. Should this materialise….” – is there a suggestion there that it might not. ‘Should’ is a very interesting word (as is ‘some’). 2012 is still two years away btw.

He is spot on. Power to NTMA has sidelined him? Read my blog.

Sadly so is Joseph.

Deposit rates in some banks in Australia for 3 years deposit, are now above lending rates. 1st time in 30 years. The government in Oz has just withdrawn the guarantee for loans to banks. MacQuarrie dropped 6% so far!

I can see what Professor Honohan was trying to do in this speech and there is a lot that is admirable in it. One does not have to read too much between the lines to see an experienced hand telling upcoming graduates that they need to forget the government as a likely source of any assistance and to toughen up and get ready to be flexible and exploit the upsurge when it comes, as many generations had to before. And in essence, there is not much more that you could advise to any upcoming graduate as they are simply not a priority in any way, shape or form in current discussions. However, I would say that the option that many of the previous recession cohort took is just not available at present. There is not a labour market in the UK that this group can go to and Patrick should know this more than anyone haven written extremely lucidly in the past on the role of the UK in stabilising the Irish labour market. This is a qualitatively different situation for Irish graduates than the 1980s and one that is eating into our long term viability as a country with each passing month.

Hmmmmmm On Naa-Maa and de banks and recapitalisation … ‘ a sizable sum’ and ‘manageable’ … ‘limited availability of credit for start-up firms and SMEs’ …. poor bank techniques in ‘sound business lending’ ……. at least The Governor did mention ‘prices’ in parallel with ‘wage restraint’ ………. and no jobs for the Trinity Lads and Ladies …….(they could always emigrate to Limerick and reconstruct the 1919 Soviet – I hear that Minister O’Dea has been spotted reading Lenin)………

I’m no macroeconomist – but present policy is slowly strangling indigenous wealth creation …………. and if there are ‘sizable but manageable’ sums available for recapitalising the banks ……….. surely the much smaller ‘sizable but manageable’ sum may be found to complete the ‘regeneration of Limerick’ ……. this type of project, or other real economic activity – a better use of NPRF assets ……… not the zombies, and the criminal/treasonable conduct of their upper-echelon elites and their ‘sizable’ and eminently ‘manageable’ pay-offs for screwing the populace ………

@Liam Delaney
Honohan is right to be honest about emigration. We should have an official government agency that assists people to emigrate. In the eighties official Ireland pretended it was sorry to see them go. When the UK recession of the early nineties began and they started to return it was a different story. There was a heavy undertone of, “why aren’t you doing your patriotic duty and remaining unemployed in Britain. You’re not wearing the green jersey!”

You can hear the undertone again now in a lot of coverage. “Wouldn’t you be better off going elsewhere? If you stay here you’re just adding to the social welfare bill er…you’re just wasting your talents. For your own sake. It’s you we’re thinking of really.”

The return of mass emigration makes it all the more important that Governor Honohan tells the full, blunt truth in his report. If he doesn’t, I wouldn’t forgive him. I hope history wouldn’t forgive him either.

God, what a bleak offering.

Paraphrasing the “employment aspect” …I have worked abroad as you surely must too, jobs being as scarce as hens teeth. If you do get a job in Ireland, don’t be afraid to work for next to nothing. Unemployment would be much higher accept that there has been “a reversal of net migration flows”. Meaning the youth of the country and people like yourself are leaving, again. Not to worry I have seen this 4 times already in my life.

“Meanwhile, it is for us in the older generations to re-establish the
conditions for this stable growth.”

@ Robert: “Meanwhile, it is for us in the older generations to re-establish the conditions for this stable growth.”

I am somewhat reluctant about this comment – but I have chosen carefully: ‘… stable growth.’ ??

Growth is over Robert. The exponential part of the economic ‘growth’ plot-line has inflected over toward its maximum, where it shall inflect again – downwards; for a very long time. Possibly 2 x generations to asymptote out! Its the energy and commodities that have done for us: they’re finite. Credit on the other hand, which is used to create debt (a surrogate for the faux growth of the last two or three decades) is infinite – just some electrons sashaying across the screen. Now you see ’em – now you don’t! Its known as The Knowledge Economy.

Emigration is not a panacea anymore. There are hundreds of millions of well educated (many at PhD level) Chinese and Indians. Worse, we have free-gifted them our advanced technologies (aka. Globalization). Better teach our young Irish to grow their own food and to fish. Mind you, we would need to stop dumping toxic rubbish into our fresh-water rivers, lakes and aquifers.

B Peter

Without wishing to be nit-picky about Governor Honohan’s speech, most of which is sensible enough, I do think he has mis-calculated the number of recessions he has lived through. In the middle of the speech, he says:

“This is the fourth major recession I have lived through.”

Actually, no, its the third.

According to Wikipedia, Governor Honohan was born in 1949, the same year as me. I can assure him there have only been three major recessions in our lifetimes. I should clarify that I’m referring to major recessions in Ireland (as I assume he is).

The first lasted from 1955 to 1958.

This was followed by 23 years of uninterrupted growth from 1958 to 1981. During that period the cumulative growth of the economy amounted to 164 per cent. That is, 164 per cent real growth, after allowing for inflation.

The second lasted from 1981 to 1984.

This was followed by 23 years of uninterrupted growth from 1984 to 2007. During that period the cumulative growth of the economy amounted to 223 per cent. That is, 223 per cent real growth, after allowing for inflation.

The third will probably last from 2007 to 2010.

Those who are good at those puzzle games you get in Christmas books may be able to spot the pattern. The typical sequence in Ireland appears to be:

23 years uninterrupted growth (1958-1981 , 1984-2007)

alternating with

3 years of recession (1955-1958 , 1981-1984 , 2007-2010)

By that I don’t necessarily mean that all 3 years in the recessionary period show negative growth, but that cumulative growth over the 3-year period is negative.

If the past is any guide, what we will see is 2010 being the final year of this recession, growth resuming in 2011, and then uninterrupted growth every year until 2033, when both Governor Honahan and myself will be 84.

There are some who will say that this is too optimistic, that ‘growth is over’. All one can say in reply is that anyone forecasting in 1958 or 1984 that we were entering a period of 23 years uninterrupted growth, with the economy more or less trebing in size (in real terms) in those 23 years, would have been equally ridiculed. There were plenty saying ‘growth is over’ in 1958 and 1984.

I’m still trying to work out where he gets his fourth major recession in Ireland from. Possibly, he is including the 1970s. Its a popular myth that there was a major recession in Ireland in the mid 1970s. There was a global recession at that time, but not in Ireland. The economy (both GDP and GNP) in Ireland grew every year in the 1970s. Ireland similarily avoided the global recessions in the early 1990s and early 2000s. so, beyond doubt, three, and not four, is the number of major recessions he has lived through.

@Oliver Vandt – “We should have an official government agency that assists people to emigrate”

I agree with you it is right for the Governor to be straight but that’s the next generation of entrepreneurs and job/wealth creation you’re talking about actively encouraging to leave the country Oliver. Can’t agree with you there sport.


I see you’ve finally bought into Dan O’Brien’s “slump-boom-slump-boom-slump” thesis. Your reliance on a single metric, GDP growth, conceals much. Prof. Honohan himself, some time back, presented a more nuanced tale by looking at measures of internal and external balance:

Taking account of the fiscal balance over the long period adds another layer. There is no doubt that various combinations of extreme imbalances – internally, externally and fiscally – were primarily self-inflicted and caused much social and economic damage. The challenge is to avoid this self-inflicted harm as much as possible; unfortunately our political and governance arrangements are totally dysfunctional. And there is no effective mechanism to change these.

@BP Woods “Better teach our young Irish to grow their own food and to fish. Mind you, we would need to stop dumping toxic rubbish into our fresh-water rivers, lakes and aquifers.”

It isn’t just the fresh waters that are a problem – I fish in the sea off a kayak most summers (near Dublin) and caught zilch this past summer. My runner beans didn’t do too well either.

I’ve always said we should just outsource Ireland to the Indians or Chinese as a vegetable garden and source of fresh water and they could feed/clothe/house us for free in return and we could all go back to being poets etc.

“@Oliver Vandt – “We should have an official government agency that assists people to emigrate”

I agree with you it is right for the Governor to be straight but that’s the next generation of entrepreneurs and job/wealth creation you’re talking about actively encouraging to leave the country Oliver. Can’t agree with you there sport.”

60,000 young people have already left. Many more older poeple. They’re already going and will continue to go. I am talking about the establishment being honest. They have wrecked the economy yet again. They should apologise and admit that it is emigration or unemployment. They should be honest and admit that they’d prefer people left. This isn’t actively encouraging – it’s being honest about what is actually happening and doing your best to facilitate it. It’s about FACING REALITY. After 88 years of independence and yet another self-inflicted disaster isn’t it time they started being honest?

Our establishment’s lamentations about emigration are as convincing as Will Ferrell’s character’s in The Wedding Crashers. He used to turn up at young stranger’s funeral’s badly pretending to sob so he could hook up with their friends – or the widow. The parallels to our establishment’s mock weeping about emigration are uncanny. They sob, “Why are you going?”,
to emigrants when really they are glad to see the back of them.

@George Lee
The one thing that makes the Irish establishment even slightly change is having their behaviour revealed to the public. If you really want to force the Irish establishment to change then forcing the FG wing of it to change is imperative, as they will be in power after the next election.

Reveal all – every detail. Name names – every one. Shame them. Shame them publicly – as publicly as you can. The church is dead because people failed to do this. FF may soon be dead too. If you want to save FG – and the country – reveal the complete, blunt truth.

It’s the ONLY thing that will ever make them change.

@ E65bn

“60,000 young people have already left”

Sorry, whats the referencing of this?

@ John the Optomist
It is really uplifting to read your reality stuff instead of the puffed up throwaway outrageous statements from some here. Like you I love the real stats not the ones where they give percentages based on mickeymouse populations. I have also been around for the 3 recessions you mention but not in the labour market for all of them. My parents were exposed to the 1955 – 58 recession and they told me it was really bad when compared to this recession. The problem with the present generation is that they are soft and do not know what it really like to be poor because of our social welfare system etc etc . I lost my 2 siblings to emigration and my mother when she became widowed was not entitled to the Widows Pension because we were a self employed family. So when I hear the perpetual Whingeing Irish on here it really gives me the pip. Anyway JTO keep it up as your contributions help me to go to work in the morning but then I am self employed.

@ Joseph: Sorry about the fish and beans: I did OK with the tomatoes. Will try legumes this summer.

Funny how many commentators (appear) to have a Business-as-Usual model of economic activity (Permagrowth). Hard to shake off I guess.

@OV: Careful. You are poking at very raw nerve. You must understand that the three most important things about politics are: seek power, use power, and never do anything to compromise your hold on power – all else is secondary. Contemporary politics is about keeping the Special Interest Groups on side. The welfare of the citizen is of little consideration – except of course when you on Pat Kenny or Joe Duffy and want to pretend you care. They’re (all of the party affiliated legislators in the Dail) un-recyclable.

B Peter.

The banking crisis is described as “manageable”, in what context? In the context of a massive debt, high taxation and the destruction of what little public services exist? Manageable may turn out to be accurate but will be extremely painful. The quiet acceptance of our country’s depression as nearly being inevitable is bizarre.

The speech is more noteable for what it didn’t say.

I believe I heard George Lee using it.

@George Lee
If you want to save FG – and the country – reveal the complete, blunt truth about them. It’s the ONLY thing that will ever make them CHANGE.

There is no source for the “60,000 young people have already left” claim.

It is an entirely made-up figure.

We had this debate back in September when wild estimates were bandied about on this site about the alleged emigration level. Someone quoted an ‘estimate’ made by the left-wing Progressive Economy group. They made a claim of 200,000 net emigration in the past year, based on their analysis of mobile phone records. Then, Joan Burton of the Labour Party was quoted in the Sunday Independent as forecasting net emigration of 500,000 this year.

I rubbished both forecasts at the time. And, when the official CSO figures were published some time later, I was proved correct. The CSO figures showed net emigration of 7,800 in the year to April 2009. It will probably be higher in the year to April 2010, but we won’t know the exact figure until the CSO publishes it next September.

More importantly, however, is the composition of that net emigration.

It actually consists ENTIRELY of some eastern Europeans going home. Since the middle of 2007, the number of foreign nationals in Ireland has fallen by about 10 per cent.

One of the most surprising (to some people, not to me) features of this recession so far is the total non-resumption of net emigration among Irish nationals. The CSO put it at precisely ZERO in the year to April 2009. There is no sign that that has changed since then. By that is not meant that no Irish nationals emigrated, but that the number of Irish nationals emigrating was exactly matched by the number of Irish nationals coming back to Ireland from abroad.

The very latest information on the level of net emigration can be obtained from the Quarterly National Household Surveys published by the CSO. These give figures quarterly for the number of Irish nationals in Ireland. The latest figures are:

2007 Q1: 3,012.9 thousand
2007 Q2: 3,016.2 thousand
2007 Q3: 3,026.3 thousand
2007 Q4: 3,039.0 thousand
2008 Q1: 3,036.6 thousand – y-o-y increase: +23.7 thousand
2008 Q2: 3,035.7 thousand – y-o-y increase: +19.5 thousand
2008 Q3: 3,052.2 thousand – y-o-y increase: +25.9 thousand
2008 Q4: 3,062.2 thousand – y-o-y increase: +23.2 thousand
2009 Q1: 3,069.2 thousand – y-o-y increase: +32.6 thousand
2009 Q2: 3,079.0 thousand – y-o-y increase: +43.3 thousand
2009 Q3: 3,093.4 thousand – y-o-y increase: +41.2 thousand

As the figures show, the number of Irish nationals living Ireland is going steadily up, and even accelerating. The annual increase is now over 40 thousand, which is well above the level of natural increase (around 25,000 to 30,000), implying still no resumption of net emigration among Irish nationals.

Rather than bandying ludicrous figures about, I suggest a worthwhile project in one of our academic economics departments would be an investigation as to why this recession has not so far led to resumed net emigration of Irish people, as distinct from some eastern European (mainly Polish) people living in Ireland going home. I’d suggest the following reasons:

(a) What matters is not the level of unemployment in Ireland, but the gap between the level of unemployment in Ireland and that in the other English-speaking countries, Currently, this is very small. If US unemployment was measured the same way as in Ireland, it would be over 15%. In the 50s and late 80s, there was a massive gap between the level of unemployment in Ireland and that in US/UK.

(b) In the 50s, GNI per capita in Ireland was 50% of that in the UK. In the 80s, it was 75%. Now, its over 100%.

(c) In the 50s and 80s, unemployment benefit in Ireland was barely half that in the UK. Now, its twice that in the UK. If you were going to be unemployed in the 50s or 80s, and could choose to live in Ireland or the UK while unemployed, it would have paid to move to the UK, as unemployment benefit there was so much higher. Today, the reverse is true. If you are an irish building worker in London, and you get laid off, it pays to return to Ireland, even if there is no chance of getting a job on a building site here, exactly the opposite of the situation in the 50s and 80s.

@ E65bn

“I believe I heard George Lee using it.”

…and i believe it originally surfaced in an ESRI forecast made in April 2009, to cover a two year period going forward, and to cover the net migration figure for all people within the state, both Irish and non-Irish.

So, to state that “60,000 young people have already emigrated” is, in fact, a completely inaccurate statement, and one which you have either massively misquoted or just plain made up. You spout enough nonsense on here (a plea to George Flee, sorry, Lee? Jesus things are getting bizarre round here…) without simply making up economic data.

@John The Optimist
“It actually consists ENTIRELY of some eastern Europeans going home. Since the middle of 2007, the number of foreign nationals in Ireland has fallen by about 10 per cent.”
Weren’t they the new Irish? If they had been officially described as guest workers fair enough but the establishment would have condemned anyone who described them in those terms. More hypocrisy.

“…and i believe it originally surfaced in an ESRI forecast made in April 2009, to cover a two year period going forward, and to cover the net migration figure for all people within the state, both Irish and non-Irish.”

What are you talking about?
“The State is experiencing net outward migration for the first time since 1995, according to figures published today by the CSO.

The agency says 65,000 people left the country in the 12 months up to April this year…”

Non-Irish: Surely you mean the guest workers (who should now leave) formerly known as the new Irish (whom we are all to cherish)?

@Eoin/John The Optimist
How many of the Irish – new and old – have already left? When an international recovery occurs, how many more will leave?

@George Lee
I can see why you gave up but you can still do an immense service for the country. If you want to save FG – and the country – reveal the complete, blunt truth about them. It’s the ONLY thing that will ever make them CHANGE.

Reveal the truth about the banking cover up and the opposition collusion on NAMA. REVEAL IT ALL.


Joe Duffy is on the line – can you fit him in for an hour or so tomorrow? Sob… sniff, sniff, ….. and you have to go to work in the mawrnIN as well … ochon, ochon, ochon …………. an the 50s —- ah de 50s – them were real men alrite ……….. Take the ‘chuckler of the day’ award …….. (-;

@ E65bn

“The agency says 65,000 people left the country in the 12 months up to April this year…”


from the same report…”…while the number of immigrants declined to 57,000 in the same period.” So net migration of -8,000. And nothing about “young people”.

From the ESRI in April….

“April 29, 2009

The Economic and Social Reseaerch Institute is predicting unemployment reaching 15% by the end of this year before peaking at 17% next year. The organisation is estimating emigration figures will be 60,000 over the next two years. The Irish Independent notes that the organisations cautions, “It would be wrong to call that a forecast. It is more of an assumption, because migration is so hard to predict”.

So, (a) this is their net 2yr migration assumption (they’re unwilling to even call it a forecast, its just a number they are going to use for other data forecasting), (b) they predicted this based on a 15% end of year unemployment figure, and a 17% unemployment figure at end 2010, both of which are already huge overshoots from the real picture.

As i and JtO have both shown, the “60,000 young people have alreaday left” is a completely false statement. It is not backed up by any actual data or linked reference source, and you’re not even sure who said it (“i believe”) or in what context. You are, in short, making this sh1t up as you go along.

I think you might find that the prof is taking a slightly more global perspective on the recessions he has lived through, rather than the one afforded by someone living in the world’s most successful, most productive, fastest growing economy. Of all time. Anywhere.

@ E65bn

prejudiced against immigrants? What on earth are you talking about? Where have i said anything of the sort? You have slandered plenty of people on here before, but im growing tired of this juvenile act. Moderators, this guy is quite clearly a whack job, and he’s gone way past the Pale on too many occasions now.

Added to this is your whacky economic claims – 65k people left these shores in the period cited above, but 57k also decided to come in. To only quote one side of that equation is beyond misleading, its deliberately misrepresenting the situation.

Even if there is net migration outward, the composition of it provides the all important context. Can you not see a qualitative difference between, for example, 25k Polish people returning home after years of hard work here, complete with some hard earned savings to start a home or a business back in Poland, vs hoardes of young Irish people being forced to leave their friends and families behind here in Ireland? The former is happening to some extent, while the latter is still only a suggested possibility over the coming years. Despite many Polish people no doubt being happy and excited at the opportunities now available to them back home due to their time in Ireland, you’re painting it out to be a modern day Book of Exodus. Its nothing of the sort and i again assert that you are completely making up opinions and claims and posting them here. Previously i thought they were just coming out of random thoughts in your head, but now its quite clear they are in fact just coming out of your a*se.

“You are, in short, making this sh1t up as you go along.”

I am afraid I have to call you and John the Optimist out on your prejudice against immigrants. It is shared by the Irish establishment but that is no excuse. 65,000 emigrated up until April 2009 – new and old Irish. When the recovery comes in Britain and America the floodgates will open – as they did in the late eighties. Worse again – and unlike the eighties – many will continue to arrive from elsewhere. The result will be a huge further rise in official prejudice. This will inevitably poison the attitudes of Irish born residents too.

You live in this country. You surely noticed how the new Irish, whom we all agreed to cherish as fully fledged Irishmen and women during the boom, have now become guest workers, who should all now leave because of the downturn. I would expect that the government are doing all they can regarding the social welfare system to “encourage” them to go.

I know several Polish people and they have been asked to their faces – and with no intention to offend – by Irish people when they were going to leave now the boom had ended. And they were working!

The prejudice of the Irish establishment is contagious.

Our establishment are also showing their prejudices against returned IRISH BORN emigrants by denying them social welfare. This is more evidence of what they really think.

IT – “Mr Cowen said that while it was expected unemployment would peak this year, jobs would also be created.”

Where? Are they opening a new McDonalds in Co. Mayo?

You will need a Masters soon just to get a job flipping burgers.

Well, I suppose you could say the establishment are kind of even handed. They dislike the new Irish immigrants for staying and Irish born emigrants for coming back. They also resent the unemployed for not leaving and Eoin and John will – in a few years time – be celebrating emigration. They both completely changed their views on Lenihan’s Iceland comments within twelve days so it won’t be a stretch. When the time is right the insiders will turn on the native born. In fact, the cuts to social welfare were part motivated by it I would say. They let us take advantage of the down turn – by ensuring the unemployed leave for Britain and America. It will be the second half of the eighties all over again.

Land of a thousand welcomes my foot.

That should have read: “When the time is right the insiders will turn on the native born, non-emigrating Irish too. In fact, the cuts to social welfare were part motivated by it, I would say. They will let us take advantage of the upturn in the international economy – by ensuring the unemployed leave for Britain and America. It will be the second half of the eighties all over again.”

You may find this shocking. It is a statement by the FG mayor of Limerick. He is still in the party and on the council. I would ask you therefore not to take it down, even though it is completely offensive:

“THE Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Kiely, has called for the deportation of EU-nationals who have failed to secure employment since their arrival here.
“I’m calling for anybody who is living in the State and who can’t afford to pay for themselves to be deported after three months. We are borrowing €400 million per week to maintain our own residents and we can’t afford it,” the outspoken politician said this Wednesday.

“During the good times it was grand but we can’t afford the current situation unless the EU is willing to step in and pay for non-nationals,” he said.


When you think about it though, all he did was say what the establishment really believe.

@John the Optimist
Uninterrupted growth from 1984-2007. Maybe according to some statistical data.

I left college in 1985 – the majority of my peers emigrated. I qualified as an accountant in 1988. Still the majority of my fellow professionals left.
Were you here in 1992/93 when Ireland was forced out of the ERM and interest rates went up to 18%. I was and I was working in retail (just started actually). It was no fun.

House prices fell between 1981 and 1987. The people who sold us their house saw its value drop over 10% in that period. My brother who also emigrated and bought a house in 1982 also made a loss when he sold 5 years later.

If that wasn’t a recession it didn’t feel like a booming economy.

@Stuart Blythman
Ireland only had the growth it had in the late eighties because large numbers of people left. If they had stayed taxes would have been higher to pay for welfare. Growth in per capita income would have been pitiful.

We had emigration before WW2.
During WW2.
In the 50s.
In the eighties.
Now in 2008 -.

When was the last time a former Irish government minister or civil servant
emigrated when he caused emigration? When was the last time he resigned for doing so? Why, when we live in a globalised world, are we stuck with the shallow, talentless pool that is official Ireland? Why are we stuck with these leeching insiders?

Lenihan does not trust Honohan. He regards him as an academic, someone who knows more about banking than he does but also someone who cannot be relied on to play the political game.

The power grab is on to strip him of as much power as possible. He appointed him when he needed credibility with the public. Lenihans’ ‘trust me on NAMA sure haven’t I appointed an outsider to the CB.’ For Lenihan it was a price worth paying, at the time, but now NAMA is law and it is a different situation altogether.

From now on, it is all about about hiding the SPV/NAMA from public scrutiny. We will be told that information being sought under FOI’s is “commercially sensitive” or that it could effect treasuries, coupon rates, spreads etc or that it is not in the national interest whatever that is supposed to mean.

I like Honohan but he needs to become politically astute, otherwise he will become a figure head, he is where he is because of political expediency not qualifications. Hopefully, the ECB will come to his assistance but I have no faith in the ECB as they bottled it on NAMA/SPV.

@Paul Hunt

“The challenge is to avoid … self-inflicted harm as much as possible; unfortunately our political and governance arrangements are totally dysfunctional. And there is no effective mechanism to change these.”

Yes – the Irish banking quagmire is an Irish one and a self-inflicted one – fact that is parallels a broader one simply adds to difficulty but not a cause of the Irish one. €20 billion from the bond-holders and €20 billion from the taxpayers could sort this, and have it sorted yesterday – instead we are on slow road to oblivion from a thousand cuts and no credit …….. So we need ‘effective mechanisms’ to up-skill and re-constuct ‘dysfunctional political and governance’ arrangements.

Mechanisms, mechanisms, mechanisms ……….. my despair index is rockin ……… fe*k it . it’s really rockin ……seriously rockin….. I’m only capable of a few interim mechanistic measures at the mo:

[1] an all out bank strike by every Joe and Joan bank worker in the country – and bring the NAMA debacle and the rape of future generations to a halt. Christy Moore will supply the relevant lyrics.
[2] the Green_Party to discover a conscience and GO
[3] Willie O’Dea to declare that his time in FF was an error of judg€ment, as he grabs €1.7 billion from the Government coffers destined for the Zombies, and drives his tank triomphantly through the streets of Limerick as he makes his bid to become leader of the re-constituted Limerick Soviet. Not to be outdone, Cork will declare an independent Republic, The Rebel County Sovereignty Parade, and delink from the Euro.
[4] Tourism will rocket as international brigades from all over fly in to support the troops and to learn from the Irish experience of crisis management and evolving bartering expertise in the head-shops.
[5] The market goes black. Black Market – No Black Holes : Black Market – No Black Holes …….. becomes the new mantra.
[6] Amidst the confusion, slip a few billion to the bondholders, take over the bleed*n banks, dump the toxic residue of Shawnee, Fingers and Co, and fire every upper-echelon cowboy board in the vicinity.

Honahan: “I am sorry to bang on about this but Central Banks aim at overall price stability to help ensure that wage and price planning can be carried out in a manner that ensures stable growth.”

We don’t need a Central Bank. We do not operate a currency. Keynesian economic ideology does not work; it is Socialism.

Instead of all this rot, we need a free market, sound money, less regulation and less Government. None of which is possible from within the Euro.

@David O’Donnell
It appears the only contribution you can make to the debate on the recession and emigration is pidgeon English and bad language.

@ Dave O’Donnell,

Maybe you should ask Christy Moore if he is willing to supply the lyrics before you rip up the constitiution. Otherwise if might not work out.

From Sept 2008: Paul Melia Irish Independent:

“Earlier this month, Leo Varadkar [FG] was accused of racism by suggesting economic migrants could be paid to leave Ireland.
He said dole payments to jobless foreign nationals cost €400m each year, and that offering a lump sum to people to return home could be a “win win for everyone”.
Social and Family Affairs Minister Mary Hanafin dismissed the idea, saying: “He can only mean Africans, so the comments are racist.”

But yesterday the department confirmed officials they were examining the fund to see what money could be drawn down.

“Officials are looking at the fund to see how applications may be made,” a spokesperson said….

….Last night Mr Varadkar said he didn’t want to get embroiled in the issue again, but that Ireland needed a debate on immigation. Figures provided last week showed that hundreds of people were assisted in returning home.


“My understanding is that the Return Fund would not be open to non-EU nationals, but the Government has paid for voluntary repatriation of 1,400 people in the past four or five years,” he said.

“Despite the over-reaction from Conor Lenihan and Mary Hanafin, it is already being done on a small scale basis so I don’t see why it can’t be extended.

“The Government doesn’t want to talk about immigration. Anyone who says anything is accused of playing the race card. If official Ireland ignores it, it will come back to bite us.”

New figures released yesterday show that the Government has spent almost €2m in the last three years repatriating non-EU nationals.


1. At least a member of the establishment (duller & posher wing) was being honest.
2. He was attacked as racist by FF/PDs but then within weeks agreed with.
3. He said this in Sept 2008. I presume FG aren’t so right-wing that they would be so vocal, public and enthusiastic about non-Irish born leaving unless they felt that unemployment was going up and staying up for a long time. So at that stage it was accepted by FG that there had been a bubble and it had burst.
4. In that case, why did they vote for the blanket bank guarantee?
They clearly knew there was a property/lending bubble and that it had burst. Then they voted in favour of putting Anglo/Nationwide’s development loans on the backs of the public? Anglo, the developers bank, and Nationwide, the insiders bank?

5. Minister Lenihan told them it was the cheapest bailout in the world and that our banks were an island of stability. These deceptions made George Lee angry. FG? Not a bother. Why? They KNEW the banks were bust.
They assisted in covering it up and they have done so ever since.

FG were covering up even then.
FG are as establishment and as insider as FF.
FG are as right wing or more right wing – and even more open about it – as FF/PDs.
Our establishment & our insiders will happily force out tens of thousands of people, Irish-born, New Irish, Returned Irish-born, to protect their own position.

They’ve done it many times before and if they are not drastically reformed they’ll do it many more times in the future.

@ Al

seriously man, you’re only realising this now? He has numerous aliases, but sadly all his posts have that signature rantish quality…

Australian unemployment shock!

Down for the second month, from 5.5% to 5.3%. 70Bn coal export deal in Qld?

Ireland has to dig a few deep holes and B%gg#r the Nimby crowd!

Oh and Washington DC suffering from Global warming!!!!!

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