66 thoughts on “Pithy”

  1. We need this guy on Prime Time NOW mind you he kinda seemed shocked Flately isnt actually Irish….love it!

  2. This man just does not get it.

    As the pari passu pussies will be along to explain very soon, there is no alternative and everything is for the best.

    “Pangloss enseignait la métaphysico-théologo-cosmolo-nigologie. Il prouvait admirablement qu’il n’y a point d’effet sans cause, et que, dans ce meilleur des mondes possibles, le château de monseigneur le baron était le plus beau des châteaux et madame la meilleure des baronnes possibles.”

  3. He missed 1 major player in his role of shame. He got the government, the regulator, the developers and the banks – but forgot the Media.

    Property porn filled the airwaves and consumed the ink throughout the bubble – yet the main protagonists are suspiciously coy about their role in the whole affair.

    They will fill columns and columns with the bile of blame without blushing about the supplements and website they filed with their “advertising-as-content”. They will have “the man of the people” shamelessly go on the TV and rail against the madness that got us here – after losing a court case over a lump of rock!

    But it’s the “sin that dare not speak its name” – gotta keep getting those media gigs!

    The fundamental truth behind the desire to name and shame all the protagonists though is the need to recognise the fraud that is at the root of the system.

    Residential and commercial banks made fraudulent loans. Investment banks used unregulated financial instruments to make fraudulent financial products from these loans. Ratings agencies used fraudulent methods to rate these instruments as solid as sovereign investment. Banks, pension funds and other, supposedly professional, investors bought these instruments with the full knowledge that it was the investment banks who paid the ratings agencies for the rating. The “game” was on and everybody had enough chairs to keep playing.

    And then the music stopped!

    People aren’t angry and wishing for the State to default because they don’t wish to pay the bill. They are simply saying the system was built on a mountain of fraud and it is this which needs to be dismantled.

    Creating debts from Ponzi schemes and turning them into sovereign obligations is an outrage.

    It is for this future generations will shake their heads and laugh at us.

  4. @ what goes up

    I agree the media played a role. On the RTE website yesterday they had a headline on the increase in prices last month. The decreased. I think the Irish Times has improved a bit, but RTÉ haven’t recovered from the loss of George Lee. The Independent is on par with Weekly World News.

  5. We’ll be hearing a whole lot more of the a word and the f word, not to mention the w word as the debt deflation grinds on.

    Mr Draghi of the ECB is interviewed at length in the FT today. Not a problem as he sees it. It’s just a matter of fiscal adjustment. The Italians did it in the 90s, so the periphery needs to get with the program.

    Of course central bankers are not like the ordinary *ankers who are roasted in this clip. They are the guys who create the environment in which the *ankers can loot, and who help them to hold on to their loot when the house of cards falls. Unimpeachable.

  6. @ CMcC,

    I remember around 2008, a debate erupted in the offices of Zoe developments over the ownership of ‘the boom’. Someone proclaimed, The government haven’t a clue where the boom came from! We started the boom! The thing that we have to bear in mind here, is that politcians in Ireland don’t come up with anything by themselves. They simply ‘latch onto’ movements that are first created by the private sector. You can see a similar thing happening today, in how the politicians would not know a social networking concept if he jumped up and bit them. But that doesn’t prevent them from riding on that wave all the same. I once read a comment on ‘cool stuff’ that teenagers devise for themselves. The corporations monitor this very careful and then try to reverse-engineer it, re-brand it as their own and sell it back to the very same youth market at high street price levels. Of course, the flooding of the market ensures that it isn’t cool anymore, so some clever upcoming generation have to make up something new to distinguish themselves and the whole cycle begins all over again. What we witness in Ireland with our politicians is precisely the same. They never set the ball rolling by themselves, but rather try to high jack something that ‘looks cool’ out there in the marketplace. I predict that in another 15 to 20 years, we will be sitting here at the Irish Economy blog site, debating the fall out from the collapse of the social networking industry in Ireland. Shock horror! By that stage though, the political classes will have forgotten about this property crash, and will be busy cranking up another. The trouble with this endless joy-riding on the latest wave of cool-ness in the private sector, by the political classes – is that they end up shoving far more resources in that direction – than it was ever intended to bear in the first place. The Construction industry would have been okay, had it not been for political intervention by idle people in Leinster house. If a party was to run on a mandate for the next election, it should be, please politicians keep you paws away from the social networking industry. BOH.

  7. @Andrew S

    “We need more Howard Beale moments….”

    Perhaps, the collective courage to commandeer the armies of teleporters, concrete trucks, dump trucks, cranes and the rest of the demobbed remnants of Celtic Tiger tool technology and permanently blockade the Dail, might help.

    I was very struck by the reactions of Italian students to the Gelmini education reforms last week. Roads blocked, bus and train stations occupied, and a mini-siege on the Italian parliament.

    Effective protest can’t happen in Ireland. It is something the Irish don’t do very well if at all. A suspicion of change, fear of authority, a middle class composed almost entirely of state employees, a clan based political system, etc. Don’t know why, but whatever the reasons they might go some way to towards explaining all kinds of economic and political failings.

  8. @Brian o’ Hanlon

    Great depressions only come when all or most of the people who remember the last depression are dead.
    If we have continued debt deflation and or subsequent hyperinflation over the next decade this sod will be unrecognizable in 15 to 20 years.

    On a completly different and more positive track did anybody catch yesterdays farming supplement in the Examiner.
    The centre piece describes Dr Steve Collins efforts to transform a 57 hectare hill farm into something at least half productive.
    Our uplands are sheep infested wastelands that are huge opportunity lost.

    Using hardy cattle such as his little Dexter’s along with intelligent land management could transform our uplands and enable them to revert to their more productive ancient historical function.
    Using subsidised sheep where a large part of their energy goes into making wool no one wants is such a waste of resources.

  9. @ Keith,

    I was listening to a lecture by David Harvey by podcast only the other day. He observed that land prices in Japan are still going down today. That is, almost twenty years after their peak. But if I may take this debate out of the context of politics & macro-economics for a moment. It is a phenomenon observed within many industries also – where something is being toyed around with in the laboratories by the engineers – and the marketing department of company takes ownership of that cool new thing, proceeding to build the entire corporate strategy around it. This was a phenomenon which people such as Clayton Christensen have studied in much detail. Namely, where an idea that would be fine if left on its own, at its own scale to generate more modest profits would have developed medium to longer term into something very interesting. But unfortunately, management often pumps resources into something – akin, to the Olympic athlete going on a force feed diet – and you end up with nothing, except the scandal and the fallout. And of course, the management who run out the door with bonus payments, for destroying the company. We could analyse property in Ireland, as that kind of laboratory experiment, which the engineers in the banks had under development in the early 1990s. BOH.

  10. @Brian
    They (The Banks) are not innocent Boffins that went too far with experimental test tubes – the bullion banks at least knew exactly what they were doing – they decided by the 90s that they could not crawl out of the excrement hole that they have created and decided to keep digging.

    They hope to get to the other side perhaps emerging into Australian mine with the sun on their faces but they will be sorely disappointed.
    They only thing they will attract will be blowflies who will fly to the nearest smell of shit.

  11. @Brian

    The next bubble will be in this “green” economy scam being fostered on us, and being paid by all of us.

    We are going to wake up one day and find the countryside carpeted in windmills and pylons and realise that its still not enough to replace oil,coal,gas

    While our neighbours will embrace nuclear and find more ways of getting more natural gas

  12. @ Keith,

    This is my thesis. That at the moment, we are applying exactly the kinds of pressures on the political classes in Ireland, that will lay down the conditions that will lead to the next crisis in this country. We are asking of our politicians that they will produce hundreds of thousands of employment positions in the next decade. You only have to look at the policies of Fine Gael and Labour to see this. The political establishment has no means with which to create employment opportunities. But they will scan across the entire private sector for possible ‘opportunities’. In doing so, they will ear mark many industries for enhanced stimulus and conditions – which in turn will enable those same growth areas to become fat, over-dependent and bloated. Those industries will rely far less on fundamentals and aim towards generating hyper growth. I have been on that thread mill, and I know how the mechanics of it work. People at Dail Eireann (whoever they are) will provide the conditions in which management is directed to achieve hyper growth. That is what we are asking of our political classes in Ireland today. Nothing less. They will only respond to the pressures that we put upon them. BOH.

  13. @ Pongo,

    Thanks for that input. You are correct. You can look across any of the shades of politics in Ireland and you find the same rubbish going on. ‘X’ no. of green collar jobs to be created in Ireland, etc, etc. One of my favourite sayings from Clayton Christensen was, To be impatient for profits, and patient for growth. BOH.

  14. @ Brian

    Well I do not believe that the executive should really get into the business of private sector subsidises beyond obvious monetory distortions that need a fiscal counter.
    The Goverment should however engage in the provision of utilities that are a natural monopoly.
    I believe a large reason for the western malaise has been the abandonment of large scale applied science investments.
    This vacuum of investment money follows consumption as all money needs to be spent in this monetory system – this runs down capital in a regressive manner as money has no capital vector and is depleted over time – ( this creates the illusion of wealth as consumption rises during this period) we are now in a point of history where capital cannot be extracted at a higher and higher rate and therefore it needs to be created.

    We can engage in a renaissance or pillage further which will soon drag us down to a new dark age.
    Decisions decisions.

  15. @ Keith,

    Very well said. Thankyou. It is simply unjustified the Green party is so inter-twined and mixed up with the Green economy. I have nightmares some evenings, when I see minister Gormley talking about, The Green getting Green-i-er. Deja-vu. BOH.

  16. The day the oil runs out is going to be far more painful than a €19bn budget “adjustment”. If the elites of the West had NO IDEA about the banking bubble how ready are any of them likely to be when the oil runs out and the models break down ?

  17. @ Seafoid,

    I don’t argue that the environment is a serious issue. I am only fearful of a situation in 15 to 20 years time, before the climate really does decide to do something akin to what the financial system did in 2008 – where the industrial leaders of the green economy are busy arguing amongst one another, over who should deserve ownership of the idea to build a green economy in the first place. Experience has demonstrated, at least in Ireland, that when private entreprise finds a new direction to explore – very soon the political class will re-brand that initial throw-together attempt as their own, and re-sell it back to the market, at over inflated prices. It gets back to my point – what should we need to pay for a green economy? It is all to do with political mega-projects? Or should it have something to do with the choices that society makes in how it behaves? Certainly, if you read some authors such as Frank McDonald or James Nix, you would get the impression that society needs to alter its patterns somewhat, before any other political projects can have serious effect. BOH.

  18. What a rude, ignorant man.

    A poor ambassador for the Irish and just the type of person who goes from zero political and social engagement to vulgar rage, without stopping anywhere near the socially useful middle ground of citizen engagement.

    Did he vote in the 2007 elections?

  19. @Seafoid:

    If the elites of the West had NO IDEA about the banking bubble how ready are any of them likely to be when the oil runs out and the models break down ?

    They will not be ready at all. They will inter alia be too busy trying to convince us that the market will magically resolve any shortage problems or that ‘human ingenuity’ will pull a rabbit out of the hat in good time before this store of ‘ancient sunshine’ is finally exhausted.

    The site to bookmark is:

    http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/

  20. If it’s Hitler parodies you want, then here’s one I did earlier (September last year, to be exact):

  21. @Colm

    Priceless!

    And just think without the “effin and blindin” he could have explained all ” the essentials” in less than 90 seconds if he had remembered to include a “swipe” at the media.

  22. It’s certainly not Brian J. Goggin’s accent. To be found reading an extract from ‘Arthur the Rat’ (scroll down to ‘Southern Irish speaker’ if you think I’m having you on.):

    http://alt-usage-english.org/audio_archive.shtml

    Once there was a young rat named Arthur, who could never make up his mind. Whenever his friends asked him if he would like to go out with them, he would only answer, “I don’t know.” He wouldn’t say “yes” or “no” either. He would always shirk making a choice. …

    Bankers play with rat stories while Ireland burns 🙂

  23. @Carolus:
    Good Lord, is that still up on t’interweb? A German chap organised it, IIRC, but it was a long time ago.

    I should perhaps point out that I am the person on that recording, but I am not in any way related to persons engaged in trade (although I accept that there was a time when banking was a relatively respectable occupation). However, I share with my namesake the sad fate of having to get by on less than two million a year, although the shortfall is rather greater in my case than in his.

    Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, anyone?

    bjg

  24. @ seafoid et al

    ‘Where was the accent in that video from? Somewhere in the West?’

    You guys need to get out a little more – if you do not recognise a clear as bell Cork accent when you hear one.
    What remote part of the world are you guys from anyhow – boy??

  25. I’m telling you the accent is North Tipp – around the Tipp Galway border. Most likely somewhere between Borrisokane and Portumna.

  26. @Brian J Goggin,

    Sorry about the confusion — though I’ve absolutely nothing against bankers in general anyhow, only some specific cases.

    Nice accent BTW.

    Carolus

  27. @Carolus:
    “I’ve absolutely nothing against bankers in general anyhow ….”

    I’m sure some of them are very decent chaps, but would you want your daughter to marry one?

    bjg

  28. @ John
    North Tipp – lovely part of the country – But that first f****n is a complete giveaway [and all the rest of them].
    If that guy isn’t from within 3 miles [and recently] of Shandon’s Bells then I’m a Dub!

  29. This is an authentic [expletive deleted] Irishman!

    An English businessman told me once that he was shocked during his early visits to Ireland by the common use of soldiers’ language among ‘educated’ people – – maybe he should have said people with education!

    A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Brian Cowen told Mary Coughlan to get on to the ‘fuckers’ in the National Consumer Agency.

    When I was young I belived the yarn that the origin of that most versatile of words was from the First World War when the Germans flew Fokker planes!

  30. Much of the jargon in the interview went over my head. Though I was surprised that he failed to allude to Ricardian Equivalence.

  31. Colm’s ‘friend’ laid the blame at the door of governments, the regulator, developers and the banks. We still have the same government, but we have a new bank supervisor and financial regulator. The developers seem to have flown and the banks, despite losing some of the top layer, are fundamentally unreformed.

    The problem may be economic and financial, but the solution remains in reform of political and economic governance at the national and at the EU level. While the core EZ governments flaunt their hypocrisy and pursue their naked self interest, and while the government here clings grimly to power, public support grows for a ‘kamikaze’ mission against the Troika – and even more ‘useful idiots’ emerge from the woodwork to give it their imprimatur.

  32. The FT today

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/21920684-046d-11e0-8a3c-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz17npcMwsG

    “IMF board had been due to meet on Friday in Washington to approve the IMF’s €22.5bn loan to Ireland, however the meeting was postponed “in deference” to the decision by the Irish government to stage a debate in parliament next week aimed at strengthening public support for the bail out”

    Strengthening public support for the bank bailout while the country is still digesting AIB’s 40m ?

    Are FF totally off the wall on their IMF smarties this weather ?

    Also note

    “The Central Bank of Ireland confirmed it provided an additional €10bn of emergency liquidity assistance to Irish banks in the four weeks leading up to November 26, taking the total for the period to €44.67bn, up from €34.6bn in the previous month”

    “The continued rise in Ireland’s usage of the scheme contrasts with a decline, reported earlier this week, in Portuguese banks’ reliance on the facility, down more than 5 per cent, from €40bn to €37.9bn.”

  33. @ Michael Hennigan

    This is an authentic [expletive deleted] Irishman!

    I’m not so sure about authenticity. I suspect the interview was at least partly scripted — check how the interviewee casts his eyes down occasionally, presumably to read jottings in his left hand. I played the video to The Lucky Girl and she immediately expressed her suspicions that the effing and blinding Irishman was both genuine and staged. The Lucky Girl has a quite good track record in this area.

  34. What is quite striking to foreigners is that although Colm’s drinking partner said nothing that isn’t widely accepted as indisputably true, and similar things are heard all over the place – there is still ZERO expectation or determination than anything fundamental MUST change. Not among “the masses” anyway (too loose I know, but YKWIM people that don’t do blogs etc).

    It kind of begs the question – what would it take?

  35. @ Grumpy

    “It kind of begs the question – what would it take?”

    Cuts and “adjustments” and fronloads and frontlines are all a bit vague but
    I think people might possible be beginning to realise- see today’s Irish Times letters about support for carers

    http://www.irishtimes.com/letters/index.html#1224285297546

    there is an anger there that hasn’t been visible in the IT before and then imagine how people are going to feel when the ESB etc are sold off

    The IT was a bit wobbly with that 1916 editorial but then came back to its elite senses and will probably write in support of the Troika reparations before the vote in the Dáil but the next 6 months are going to be difficult to predict for the paper. The AIB 40m news didn’t go down very well either.

  36. @MH
    “When I was young I belived the yarn that the origin of that most versatile of words was from the First World War when the Germans flew Fokker planes!”

    I once read one of those books on trivia that appear every now and then – it was by Charles Berlitz (same fanily as the languge schools). In that I learned that all or most 4 letter words which are so frowned upon by polite society are really just od Anglo Saxon “real” words. But later when the Normans took over, French became the language of the aristocracy and it was made almost an offence to use the Aglo Saxon shorter and more expressive form. Instead in polite company we must defecate, and urinate and copulate and fornicate and when eating it is now longer cow or sheep but beeff and mutton.
    Anyaway true or not I have always had a more favourable attitude to the use of the Anglo Saxon form ever since. It still deosn’t go down that well even after I have explained my logic but there you are.

    @Carolus
    I agree with your missus? It is definitle not spontaneous – but quite well done. BTW I amd a bit peeved sice I actually posted it on another thread the day before Colm

    Since this seems to be a good thread to post rambling off topic items – this is a must watch – the Keiser Report nr 101 where in the second half of the show he interviews Thor Saari an Icelandic MP and aks his views on Ireland vs Iceland. There is a lot of water has passed under the bridge and volcanic ash over the flight paths sice Brian Lenihan described Iceland as a “glorified hedge fund”. One always had the feeling this particular insult would come back to haunt him:

    http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/keiser-report-episode-101/

    In the first half conversation with Stacy he tells where he quotes Christine Lagarde as telling Eric Cantona to stick to football he says she should try playing it because she knows as much about football as she does about economics.

  37. Any progress in the investigation about what went wrong at Anglo?

    Parmalat had the European record in biggest bankruptcy but Anglo seems bigger.

    Were there criminal activities or was it something else?

    Would be reassuring to know what went wrong as then it might be possible to believe it is less likely it will happen again….

  38. @seafóid:
    “imagine how people are going to feel when the ESB etc are sold off”

    Delighted, I expect, especially if there’s some prospect fo reducing the wages bill and, eventually, the cost of electricity.

    But the ESB workers may be Ireland’s miners and I don’t know who Ireland’s Maggie is.

    bjg

  39. @A M McGrath:
    “Instead in polite company we must defecate, and urinate and copulate and fornicate ….”

    Interesting company you keep.

    bjg

  40. .
    This expands the theme a little further and gives a whole new meaning to ‘Economic Treason.’

    Pretty convincing stuff you’ll have to admit.

  41. Canada is one of the better governed countries with a sound banking system. The Irish immigrants notice how honest the system is. They also notice how the voters decimate parties for the slightest improprieties. Looking at Ireland from a Canadian perspective, particularly if there are emotional ties, makes ones blood boil. If the overseas irish had a vote the not so cute hoors would get their come uppance.

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