Q2 2012 Quarterly National Accounts

The CSO have published their first estimate of the Q2 2012 National Accounts.  In line with the inherent volatility in the quarterly national accounts the overall directions from Q1 have been changed.  Seasonally adjusted real GDP was flat in the quarter after a fall of 0.7% in Q1.  The equivalent numbers for GNP are a quarterly rise 4.3% after a fall of 0.1% in Q1.

The Q1 2012 figures were also revised.  The 1.1% quarterly drop in real GDP has been revised to a drop of 0.7%, and the 1.3% drop in GNP initially reported for Q1 has been revised to a fall of just 0.1%.

The quarterly rise in GNP is largely the result of a drop in the net outflow of Net Factor Income rather than any improvement in the domestic economy.  The Balance of Payments release covers this in more detail which shows a €3.2 billion current account surplus for the quarter.

All of Consumption (-0.4%), Investment (-29.4%) and Government (-3.9%) fell in real terms in the quarter.  The large drop in Investment comes after a equally large increase in Q1.  All three are also below their 2011 levels.

Quarterly GDP rose because of an improvement in the balance of trade.  In real term quarterly seasonally adjusted exports fell 0.5%  but imports fell 5.2%.

In annual terms GDP in Q2 2012 was 1.1% lower than in the same period last year.  Constant price GDP for the first half of 2012 is just 0.3% higher than for the first half of 2011.

In nominal terms both GDP (0.5%) and GNP (4.3%) rose in the quarter.  Nominal GDP for the first half of 2012 is estimated to be €81.3 billion; for the equivalent period in 2011 it was €79.1 billion.

74 replies on “Q2 2012 Quarterly National Accounts”

The GNP increase may be temporary and/or subject to a later downward revision, but still nice to see. That is the fastest rate of GNP growth in over 5 years. Quarterly GNP at its highest level since Q1 2009.

Interesting point Jagdip.
In itself it’s hard to see how these figures mean anything.
How much did our debt increase in the same period I wonder?


More Jack-in-a-box than rocket I think. I usually associate rockets with monotonically increasing upward velocity!

“The quarterly rise in GNP is largely the result of a drop in the net outflow of Net Factor Income rather than any improvement in the domestic economy. The Balance of Payments release covers this in more detail which shows a €3.2 billion current account surplus for the quarter.”

Forget my question. I was skip reading too quickly. For one minute there I thought I saw a ray of sunshine.

I’ll just get my animal skin coat and go back to my cave.


You dont “drive” Irish GDP, surely you pilot it. It’s probably as sustainable as one of those early V2 prototypes.


“I usually associate rockets with monotonically increasing upward velocity!

… or explosions 🙂


My question was about GNP. Surely we can drive that – or not, as Ford has recently found out in its 29% drop in European sales.


I think that is about one half of it. It’s profits one one side and repatriations on the other. Suggest just ignore it as very very random and likely to reverse.

“It’s all to do with the MNCs.”

How true! If only the powers-that-be would come clean about the reality viz. that Ireland is an aircraft carrier for transient FDI, mainly American, maybe there could then be some hope of figuring out reliably in which direction the vessel is headed.

I posed the question on another thread suggesting that it may be going in the right direction for reasons that have nothing to do with any action by the government but because of decisions taken in corporate boardrooms. This is not to deny that the improvement in competitiveness, which again has had nothing to do with government action (which is more likely to have hindered it) but everything to do with the crash.

These results are bad and should bring some down from the clouds.

Services exports at €22.82bn were up €2.35bn mainly due to increased business services and computer services exports. Service imports increased by €884m to €21,473m due to an increase in royalties/licences payments.

The fall in aircraft deliveries boosted the net trade total but depressed capital investment in the quarter.

Given the yoy rise in services exports of 9%, in the two sectors where fake exports are booked, the timing of royalty and business charges could have made the difference between 0% growth and reporting a contraction.


@ PR Guy

This guy Saunders has seen through the soufflé.

Noonan and Corrigan would serve the country and themselves better by restraining the spin.


Surely one rides the Irish GDP tiger
Or else falls off it.

@ MH

If Corrigan tends to spin then where would that leave the bond wallahs of this parish ?

Could we have a comment on where capital formation now stands in relation to the past few years? The falls in ‘investment’ (-29.4%) seems very high on top of falls in the past few years.

@ Joseph,

The large fall this quarter was preceded by an equally large rise in the previous quarter. The jump was explained by aircraft ‘imports’ by some of the large aircraft leasing companies based in Ireland. Even accounting for that the underlying trend is down. Investment in new capital is less than depreciation of existing capital.

re GNP: something about some UK firms moving HQs to IRL and then repatriating overseas and UK profits to Ireland. Hence the lending hand from our neighbour.


I posed the question on another thread suggesting that it may be going in the right direction for reasons that have nothing to do with any action by the government but because of decisions taken in corporate boardrooms. This is not to deny that the improvement in competitiveness, which again has had nothing to do with government action (which is more likely to have hindered it) but everything to do with the crash.

So to recapitulate: Government bad, financial crises good (as long as the public pays for them).

Indeed with the ECB enforced bank bailout and German inspired austerity doctrine Ireland may soon be as competitive as Somalia.

I wonder will it be long before the FAC will join battle with advice that the country needs more blood letting, its condition being so weakened that the blood letting up to now has not been enough?

I am not surprised at weak numbrs from Ireland and indeed Europe generally. From talking to US MNCs last week in th US it seems EZ had a Lehmans episode in the summer due to the procrastination about the future of Europe. Even healthcare companise would not risk selling something to the periphery unless they got paid COD. This massive heart attack in the system probably prompted ECBs volte face.

These numbers illustrate that the Govt strategy of patient negotiation & incremental fiscal tightening is falling apart. There is no partner on the willing to cut a deal on the the other side of the table. There is clearly no percentage now in being the Good Boy. It was worth a try but has manifestly failed. Time to go alone now.
Exit the euro, monetise the PNs, cut public sector wages and transfers by 50%. Do it next week though after I get my money out of the banks and into dollars.

@ Tull
Knew you cared at heart!
Agree – that’s the only way forward but I’d default 100% too. And I’d rename the country….and set it up as a distinct corporate entity with limited liability….

@ tullmcadoo

It’s far too early for what you suggest (exiting the Euro, etc.). In my experience there is absolutely no comprehension by anyone I meet that there is a crisis. I work in the PS and my wider family circle and friends either work in MNCs or are self-employed and have not experienced any austerity yet. That may be difficult for some to believe but I can only state what I know and experience. Mrs B’s work involves disadvantaged children and the only poverty or difficulty she has seen is as a result of ignorance (e.g. families on SW buying a 5 EURO lunch for each of their children in the local SPAR or CENTRA every morning instead of buying a loaf of bread and making sandwiches). I have yet to meet a non-SW family who have had to give up the second car or the family holiday abroad each year. Apologies but that is true. Lest you think I am one of those ‘elite, higher public servants’ I can state (having just looked at UCD academic payscales) that my combined family income is approximately 50% of a mid-salary-scale UCD professor. I know that severe cuts in pay and public services are coming and I am planning accordingly but I’ve given up talking about this – particularly in my PS job – as people just look at me blankly and say “We can’t take any more and expect the pay cuts and pension levy to be reversed soon” or words to that effect.

Sometimes I think I should join these optimists and start believing Michael Noonan et al.

Incidentally, if I had money to invest I would invest it in privately-funded Renal Dialysis and Oncology facilities. It is interesting to see how shockingly overweight Irish people are when you return from abroad. This will inevitably lead to kidney failure and higher incidence of cancers which the State will not be able to manage. Mrs B sees the huge ignorance about food among families. Many families literally do not know how to boil an egg. I am certain there is a PhD there for any good sociology or other student to research the lack of a culinary tradition in Ireland. Perhaps it is the climate? Those peoples with harsh and long winters had to learn how to preserve foods over the long winter months. I just finished Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago recently (a truly terrible book and vastly overrated) but it was interesting to see Larissa describing in detail how food was preserved over the harsh Russian winter (smoking, pickling, putting in jars, etc.). This all added hugely to the flavours.

I would pay everything we owe to Miley in Franklin T and to HMG. Anybody with a Non Romance European language or. Public service income would be haircut. Time to look after our friends.
Not a strategy to win friends round here.

@ Tull

You are probably aware that there is a German proverb which covers your state of mind.

“Lieber ein Ende mit Schmerzen als Schmerzen ohne Ende.”

Better an end with pain than pain without end.

On the other hand, one can quote Dirty Harry. “Do you feel lucky punk; do you?”

The last estimates that I saw of wealth held by Irish households was of the order of 100 billion; in euros!

I think you could be lowballing there. Long term savings are probably in excess of that. Half of that is probably in $ and GBP.
I can think of another proverb. If you keep doing stupid things, continue to expect stupid outcomes or so my granny told me. Our relationship with the EZ is now the same as that of an alcoholic and a publican. Better for us if we moved.

@ Tull

I am not saying that you are wrong, simply pointing out that the stakes are rather high.

There is, as it happens, also a French proverb which suits the current situation, to the effect that “money has no smell”; or nationality! The trick is to have it in a currency that holds its value.


You gotta ask yourself; do I feel lucky?
Well, do you, punk?

Lots of accountants turned FX strategists last year. Lots of it is in $.

Now that the ECB is starting on a road of ” print baby print ” in an attempt to hold things together better to get into assets backed by rule of law and relatively sensible politics. Some inflation protection as well.
We would be wise to prepare for the end of the European Project.


De La Rue then.


Things could get very interesting in France. Tax rates will be going up, and there will actually be a debate.

If the future of the euro is conditional on a French socialist imposing austerity then buy dollars. The HVAC system is about to get clogged.

@ Bunbury

Well spoken from the heart.

‘I am certain there is a PhD there for any good sociology or other student to research the lack of a culinary tradition in Ireland. Perhaps it is the climate?’

My grandmother Molly was born in 1895. For her own mother, the Famine was something which was enormous and within living memory. Many parishes lost half their population to disease and emigration. It reminds me of the story about the Russian woman who was asked about the secret of a healthy diet. She repiled ‘Eat whatever there is to be had’. Ain’t that the truth.

The dominance of the potato, and the economic arrangements which underpinned it, such as tenant farming and the Act of Union 1800, is one part of the culinary story. Another part is the impact of mass-produced factory food, following the displacement of the British rural populations after the 1832 abolition of the old parish welfare system. Local food crafts and food markets survived far better on the continent.

That is all politics, history and opportunity, or the lack of same. Anyone who doubts Irish people’s capacity for intricate manual skills can go to a traditional music session or to the hurling final replay 🙂

@ Tull et al

These links are pertinent.



Is the De Grauwe article an invitation to the “make my day” moment so ardently sought by some? Or a warning to those demonstrating their patriotism by shifting their assets from the periphery to the core?

HT Eurointelligence!

P.S. I posted these on another thread, equally off topic, I must confess.

So if you own a bund, you have a contractual commitment to be repaid principal in euros on redemption or DM on redenomination. Anything else would be a default. Now, I would be sceptical of the full faith and credit of a country that has defaulted twice in a century.

I don’t know if Mrs Bunbury’s experience amongst her clients is indicative of the state of cooking and baking ability in the general population.


Children with special needs are experiencing “extreme discomfort” because of a new brand of nappy provided under a Health Service Executive scheme, according to the Special Needs Parents Association (SPNA).

Chairperson of the SPNA Lorraine Dempsey, whose 9-year-old daughter Rianna has cerebral palsy, said the association has been “inundated” with calls from parents expressing concerns over the quality of the new brands which are tearing, leaking and causing skin rashes.

The free nappy scheme is available to children over the age of three years who have not been toilet trained because of a disability.

Each child is allocated an average of three nappies per day depending on their needs, which are distributed to parents by local health nurses.

Parents of children availing of the scheme received a letter from the HSE last month to notify them that the brand of nappies would be changing.


@david od

The disabled and their carers are being shoved time and again to the front to the queue for a spot of ‘devaluation’.

They are not covered by the CPA. The people writing the letters to them are.


The proposed wheeze of a Bundesbank that has been defaulted on, passing that default along to the private German bank (that has an asset with Buba resulting from its liability to a periphery depositor) and getting the private bank to default on the depositor, is not new.

It would not be at all straight forward – quite appart from the question of who or what ‘person’ is German resident, domiciled or whatever at what point.

I imagine the City would be laughing all the way to, er, the bank.

Presumably, the BUBA as a truly independent monetary institution would make a midnight call to the German MinFin to look after your banks.

From today’s ESRI QEC report:

“Irish rates on loans over 1 year, up to €1m in value are more closely aligned with those in Italy and Spain, with data from the ECB showing that Irish non-financial corporations were paying an average annual rate of 6.3% on new lending as of July this year. This compares to an annual average rate of 4.6% for both 2009 and 2010 and contrasts with German rates, which have fallen further more recently to just 3.6%, the lowest since ECB figures commenced in January 2003.”

“Current transfer payments account for almost 42%, while current expenditure on goods and services accounts for almost 40%, of total underlying (i.e. excluding recapitalisation cost) expenditure. Given that government has no leeway in relation to national debt interest payments, the bulk of the adjustment to current expenditure must come from these two categories of expenditure. Education and health expenditure account for just less than two thirds of current expenditure on goods and services, so that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that further cuts in these areas are inevitable. Over two thirds of transfer payments arise in the provision of social security and other welfare payments, so it is difficult to see how further reductions in these headings of expenditure can be avoided also.”


A US Senate panel at a hearing in Washington DC on Thursday slammed Microsoft’s ‘tax gimmickry’ at its regional centres in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico, where the software giant revealed aggressive tax measures to avoid or evade billions of dollars in taxes over the past three years. Hewlett-Packard (HP) was also in the hot seat because it used cash held overseas that was subject to deferred tax. HP may have more than skirted the law but broken it.

Microsoft’s 1,914 employees in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico from Microsoft’s total head count of 90,000, were responsible for 55% of 2011 profit before tax.

US Senate panel slams Microsoft’s ‘tax gimmickry’ in Ireland, Singapore and Puerto Rico


@ Tull

Insofar as I can understand it, the wheeze is as described by Grumpy. What exactly De Grauwe thinks of the likelihood of it happening is not clear. In the chaos, it would be every country for itself. The country most likely to emerge with the least damage is clearly Germany because of the inherent strength of the real economy. How payment for German exports would be organised is another matter.

If Germany contributes to the destruction of the European economy again & takes down China and the US in its wake, who precisely does it export to?

Have you spotted there is an election on? At least you are making progress in admitting that other countries are allowing aggressive tax management bar Ireland, Holland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Puerto RICO etc etc etc.

“The large drop in investment comes after an equally large increase in Q1”. Not quite correct.

Investment in Q4 2011 was €3.836bn, in Q2 2012 it was €3.427bn, so the trend excluding erratic items is clearly down, at an annualised rate of 20%. As Seamus Coffey says in this thread, this is below the rate of depreciation. Literally, things will start to fall apart.

@ Bunbury: A great number of folk cannot ‘cook’ using fresh ingredients. Many because they have limited kitchen facilities, but the majority simply do not know how to prepare meals. Its bizzare but true. Why do you think they invented Cathal Brugha Street and published ‘All in the Cooking’ (still available, but owners might be very loath to part with it.

As for the tragedy of Russia under the New Tzars: Fall of a Titan (Igor Gouzenko (a Soviet defector) is harrowing. Not sure of its availability.

@ Grumpy

Spot on with your devaluation observations. The Health budget is X% salaries. (100-X)% gets the cuts.


I would like to see some numbers on the catering capabilities of the population. Jamie Oliver and Neven Maguire sell an awful lot of books, you know. Maybe you will say that is middle class. Loads of cookery programmes on the telly. The celeb magazines do recipes as well. VIP magazine and Take a break and whatever you are having yourself.

In the poorer parts of Dublin there is a very strong food culture . Liver and onions, stuffed lambs hearts, roast chicken, Shepherd’s Pie, steak and kidney pie, homemade burgers, beef stew, smoked cod poached in milk, coddle and so on.

I think the capacity to prepare decent food food is like the capacity for music. It is not income dependent .

Sure there are people who are hopeless but are they representative of the collective ?

@michael burke
“Literally, things will start to fall apart.”
Surely not if the cost of maintenance has declined to below the rate of depreciation?

@ Bunbury

Sometimes I think I should join these optimists and start believing Michael Noonan et al.

It’s likely that the others will be the ones in for a surprise. But like the hordes of Bertie groupies, the gullible will heap all the blame on the spoofers.

@ Tullmcadoo

You possibly haven’t heard of Sen Carl Levin — he’s far from an election time flash in the pan.

Let me know if you want links to Finfacts tax articles on Delaware, Netherlands, CIs and Switzerland.

“We Report, You Decide.”

You can always of course manufacture your own facts!

The Neu Regime for the Serfs

Would you go out and buy a hare for 4s. 6d. and bring it home and cook it for your family? You could feed 12 people on a good hare, or you could get two dinners for your family of six at 2s. 3d. a time. Is that expensive?

Did you ever think of buying pigeons? Three wood-pigeons at 1s. 6d. each will feed a family of six-and feed them well.

Not everything in a butcher’s shop is expensive. Buy two sheep’s heads. They will cost you 1s. each. Steep them until all the blood has drained out of them. Remove the brains, which you cook separately. Boil the heads in flavoured water until the meat is tender: pick it off the bones, and (together with the tongues and the cooked brains, served with a delicious sauce) it provides a light meal for your family – and you have a fine pot of stock.

What’s wrong with a young kid? You nearly all have relatives in the country, where kids can be bought for 7s. 6d. (sometimes much less), and are often used only for the skins. Young kid is delicious, rather like lamb. And yet there is a stupid prejudice about it in this island. It is not good enough for the men and women of Ireland. You’ll go to Italy and you’ll eat donkey salami, and you’ll turn up your nose at kid.



Thanks for bringing the work of the US senate on Microsoft to our attention.

I decided to do some simple calculations in order to make a point.
I think this is the first time that the Irish people have been made aware of the actual size of one of the US MNC’s corporation taxes tax’s paid in any one year and also the effective rate it paid to the Irish government.
According to your report MIR paid 309 million to the gov at an effective rate of 7.2% and MIOL paid 160 million at an effective rate of 7.2%.
This means in Total Microsoft Paid $469 million in corporation taxes to the Irish government on declared profits of $6.5 billion.

Here is the interesting bit. Because of these figures we now know that had Microsoft paid an effective rate of 12.5% the Irish exchequer would have been better off to the tune of (812.5 – 469) $343.5 million for 2011.

We also know that other American Multinationals including Google are paying at rates far below Microsofts 7.2% rate.

So my question is, havent the Irish Revenue commissioners got a moral duty to at the very least negotiate with these companies to increase taxes or failing that seek legislation to impose a 12.5% effective tax rate.

A measure like this could raise billions for the exchequer that could be then targeted directly towards various jobs initiatives.

Also the fact that the only way the Irish people can see just how much corporation taxes these companies are allowed to avoid is from US Senate investigations is a disgrace.

It is a bit of a joke at this stage – Osborne’s austerity is not working


George Osborne’s debt reduction plans took another blow last month as government borrowing hit its highest on record for any August.
Public sector net borrowing excluding financial sector interventions – the government’s preferred measure – widened to £14.41bn from £14.37bn in August 2011 – and is now the largest it has been since records began in 1993.
That takes the deficit for the tax year to date to £31bn. But, stripping out the transfer of Royal Mail pension assets, the deficit has actually widened 22% to £59bn so far this year.

I am aware of Levin. He is a Democrat from Michigan and sceptical of Free trade and offshoring. Looked through that prism he will try to close down tax loopholes. He is one of 100 senators whose views may differ.
I have no doubt you report the facts although like everybody else you analyse to support your POV. Relax, everybody does it. Most of the time you are correct.!

What alternative has George. Were it not for the Old Lady he would be in the dame boat as here and going to primary surplus quick time. The left wing on the blog here like DOD and his Shinner pals are away with the fairies if they think there is any alternative to fiscal tightening. Without CB support, you could not sell long term paper at current rates. It is also arguable that more extortionate taxes will raise any money. Look at the household charge for starters. So it’s cut baby cut.

@ Tull

The Tories have to have growth by 2015 for the election in that year. George promised to reduce the deficit as well.
They can’t inherit Labour’s mantle of being no use on the economy. It must be excruciating for all of those Conservative backbenchers in marginal seats.

Bunbury, You say: I have yet to meet a non-SW family who have had to give up the second car or the family holiday abroad each year.
Well, my family of five has given up holidays abroad or in Ireland. Several of my neighbours have stopped running their cars. I can get heating oil this winter for one reason: my father-in-law gave us the money.
We aren’t on social welfare. My husband works in the private sector and is well paid. But my freelance work has disappeared, he’s had two pay cuts, the price of electricity / petrol / food is through the roof. Every month there are bills we can’t pay.
We’re struggling, and we’re the lucky ones. We’re renters. I can’t imagine how unemployed people or over-mortgaged people are managing.
By the way, I’m a great cook: I even make all our own bread.

@ eamonn moran

Microsoft Ireland Operations Ltd (MIOL) in 2011 paid €76m tax in Ireland, down from €150m in 2010.

Revenues rose €2bn but administrative expenses (i.e. intercompany charges) increased by €2.6bn in 2010/2011.

On Page 7 of the document linked below, Microsoft reported $8.9bn Earnings before Tax (EBT) in respect of MIOL, MIR (Microsoft Ireland Research), Round Island One and Flat Island. The latter two companies have been unlimited since 2006 following a Wall Street Journal article in 2005. The financials are therefore not available and they operate from the Dublin offices of corporate lawyers Matheson Ormsby Prentice.


The Journal said in 2005 that the “four-year-old subsidiary, Round Island One Ltd., has a thin roster of employees but controls more than $16bn in Microsoft assets. Virtually unknown in Ireland, on paper it has quickly become one of the country’s biggest companies, with gross profits of nearly $9bn in 2004.”

The newspaper said: “Through a key holding, dubbed Flat Island Co., Round Island licenses rights to Microsoft software throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Thus, Microsoft routes the license sales through Ireland and Round Island pays a total of just under $17m in taxes to about 20 other governments that represent more than 300m people.”

Microsoft reported a tax liability in Ireland of $507m (not all necessarily paid in Ireland) as per the Senate document above.

This total includes MIOL, MIR but also tax paid in other EMEA jurisdictions. Microsoft has to pay some tax in other countries for appearances at least.

The big revelation is the profit of $8.9bn, which it doesn’t report in filed accounts in Ireland.

My view is that companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple would likely have similar head counts in Ireland without facilitating massive tax evasion.

At the US side, gridlock and legal bribery has facilitated the growth of loopholes and inaction on reform. Romney’s vice-chairman is the first big rat to abandon ship to head a financial lobby group in Washington DC.

Six years jail for mislabeling garlic imports seems a bit disproportionate compared with what is facilitated.

Maybe Seán FitzPatrick, ex-Anglo Irish chief, should have Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, to enlighten jurors on what Ireland doesn’t call accounting manipulation.

Simply, an increased charge in the MIOL FY 2011 accounts of €2.6bn while Microsoft Inc maintained the same net profit ratio in both 2010 and 2011, should be a red flag to the Revenue.

Increased expenses of €30k in a year or less for Joe the Plumber would have alarm bells ringing.

I’m adding MIOL’s accounts and Dell’s below to avoid the spam filter.

@ eamonn moran

Dell paid $2m in corporation tax on revenues of $12.3bn.


This is an interesting case where an Irish factory is shut down and production transferred to Lodz, Poland. Dell’s Polish factory is then sold to Foxconn, the Taiwanese masters of battery hen production.

The output from Foxconn is then tranmuted into Irish exports.

The second quarter national accounts were interesting, though!

Minor correction to the usual and tiresome rabid far right on the blog:

Sinn Féin will publish a fully costed €3.5 billion budget.

The key question on deficit reduction is HOW?

@David O’Donnell

I recall as a child living in Malaya and Singapore we used to eat spiced kid on skewers with satay sauce, cooked over an open fire by the Amah. I have never tasted anything so delicious.


Will the Northern Bank be asble to finance deficit reduction. Mybe shooting a few public servants will help

I see our old loony left pal, Deputy Shorthaul is objecting to the opening of primary care centres in underprivilaged areas of north Dublin. Brilliant strategy.

@ tull

I wonder for how much longer austerity will be accepted by the plebs. It isn’t working in the UK. Maybe Ireland needs to cut some flab but the UK is getting a battering.


“But thanks to a pilot poll recently commissioned by a team of political scientists, we now know that the very rich are indeed different from the rest of Americans: They place much higher priority on deficit reduction and cutting spending, and much, much lower priority on reducing unemployment.*:

We are due a switch back to labour as well . Capital arsed it up.

You are welcome to try to find a mechanism of raising money to fund the current system of pork barrel politics. The bond markets won’t do it and I suspect citizens won’t do it through taxation. I guess you are going to have to try the Mugabe route. Steal it or print it.

“Sinn Féin will publish a fully costed €3.5 billion budget.”

Is this possible? I mean, can contemporary Irish govs actually comprehend simple math, like 2 + 2 = 5, sorry, 2 + 2 = 3. S**t! Its my crummy calculator again!

Politicians (of the Irish taxpayer-looting variety) are geneticall incapable of ‘budgeting” (as in ye olde model of income = expenditure). This is why we are in the economic mess we are. I thought this was obvious. Appears not. So where are our pseudo-econs hiding out?

I have made several requests for ANY econ to engage with me on the unsustainable economic Model-in-Use (Permagrowth) and apart from a few polite requests from interested parties the aggregate silence has been so deafening it makes a WWI artillery barrage positively serene. I can understand that many folk do not understand what I am referring to (it took me about 5 years to get my head around the ideas) so I have now (reluctantly) formed the opinion that our pseudo-econs of public note are very ignorant experts indeed. Ignorant of how a real economy works in a world which uses an amazing source of energy in such a amazing technological manner – but with iron-clad physical limits on the resources needed to be deployed.

In the theoretical world of math exponential functions can be modelled to infinite infinity. But its not something I would try with nature. We are about to learn the very nasty consequences of attempting this impossible mathmatical feat. We ain’t going anywhere but forward into our economic past. Permagrowth is not dead: just stalling. It has a massive mass and momentum. But … … A shark (which lacks a swin-bladder) sinks when it ceases forward motion.

As I said above, the ability to do simple math appears to be completely beyond some folk. Veblen was correct about the effect of finance upon people’s psyche and behaviours. Uniformly bad!

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