Irish Economy Conference February 1st at the Institute of Bankers

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Save the date. On February 1st 2013, the DEW in conjunction with ESRI, UL and the UCD Geary Institute is hosting a conference on Irish economy policy in the Institute of Bankers Headquarters in Dublin. Frances Ruane, Liam Delaney and I are organising a conference for the general public on the Irish economy, much in the same vein as last year’s. Admission will be free but limited by the capacity of the rooms. To register for the conference, please email: emma.barron@ucd.ie

The main theme of the conference will be to explore how economic policy could be developed to enable substantial development even in the context of a tightened fiscal and monetary environment.

The conference will have parallel sessions addressing Unemployment, Political Economy, Economics and Evaluation, Education and Children, Industrial Policy, Healthcare, and Ireland’s macroeconomic outlook. We’ll announce a full lineup early in the new year.

The conference aims to provide a forum for discussion of new ideas on the conduct of Irish economic policy, including the extent to which academic economics and related disciplines can make a bigger contribution to the conduct of economic policy in Ireland, and the extent to which policy can be designed more effectively. The speakers will come from a range of sectors and disciplines and we will also ensure that individuals have access to talks online to enable debate through blogs and twitter.

163 Responses to “Irish Economy Conference February 1st at the Institute of Bankers”

  1. Gavin Kostick Says:

    I very much look forward to attending.

    Liveblog and comments from last year’s event here:

    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2012/01/27/irish-economy-conference-liveblog/

  2. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    Perhaps they should ponder these latest words from the IEA as it seeks to maintain its credits in the global petro ether.

    Its advice has been a disaster to former nations

    But this is not a surprise given its Kissinger pedigree…..

    “A MARKET IN TRANSITION
    On the surface, the oil market appears calm. With so much in the world seemingly on the brink, crude
    price trends look as close to a flat EKG as they have in months. Prices have been easing, but gently,
    within a relatively narrow band, in stark contrast with the wild roller coaster ride of earlier this year.
    While there clearly are similarities between Europe’s situation now and then, the differences are even
    more striking. The last time European oil demand nosedived as it did this summer, international oil prices
    had been in freefall. Not only are crude prices holding up, but European consumer prices hovered near
    record highs this summer, buoyed in part by a weakening currency. This was likely part of the reason for
    the dip in demand.
    Three years ago, Europe was broadly in sync with Asia and the rest of the world. Today, there is a clear
    contrast not only in oil demand trends, but also in economic growth between Europe and Asia. North
    America falls somewhere in the middle. Everywhere, uncertainty prevails. China is sending out mixed
    economic signals. Meanwhile, whether the recent plunge in European oil demand is part of a trend or
    just a one‐off is unclear. Early data show demand bouncing back in October, but may be revised.
    closer examination, market fundamentals tell another story.
    Recent data have helped to show two key areas of almost violent structural change in sharp relief. The
    first has to do with an apparent acceleration in the eastward shift of global oil demand growth. Latest
    data show European oil demand underwent the steepest contraction y‐o‐y in 3Q12 since the 2008‐2009
    financial crisis, even as Asian oil demand remained remarkably robust.”

    http://omrpublic.iea.org/omrarchive/12dec12full.pdf

    I don’t want to blow my own trumpet – but I told yee so.

    The Dork of Cork Says:
    January 28th, 2012 at 4:29 pm
    @Joseph
    I am sure both Seamas & Colm know we are in a non optimum currency ,we always were , the european project only “worked” for us when we had massive fiscal flows from the core while the continental banking sector extracted the corresponding interest surplus.

    Now thats ending – they are in the pure extraction phase now

    &

    ‘I think the central problem with modern Ireland is that it is trying to reinstate nation state tax policy over a now entrenched market state foundation built since 1987.
    The two don’t go together……… they just don’t’

  3. OMF Says:

    The Institute of Bankers? I take it Fiona Muldoon isn’t invited.

    In fact, will they be vetting speeches and invitees altogether? If so, is it professionally legitimate for academics to attend such a conference?

  4. Gavin Kostick Says:

    Suffering withdrawal problems over the Christmas period?

    Spending time with family and friends who don’t know their Brixit from their Grexit?

    Why not see if you can entice your nearest, dearest and passing strays to a festive game of Irisheconomy.ie Top Trumps!?

    Based on the classic game, linked below, all you need do is print out the following stats., paste onto card, decorate to taste (suggestions provided) and away you go!

    For added fun, why not take a bite/sup of the associated Christmas snack/drink whenever your favourite blogger wins a round?

    Bond… Eoin Bond
    (Decoration: gold cufflinks
    Christmas drink: a fine 10-year-old Bushmills)

    Knowledge of economics 8
    Political Savvy 7
    Market Insight 10
    Cultural Hinterland 6
    Quotability 7

    Brian Woods Snr
    (Decoration: Hobbit Hole
    Christmas drink: Homebrew)

    Knowledge of economics 8
    Political Savvy 5
    Market Insight 5
    Cultural Hinterland 8
    Quotability 7

    David O’Donnell
    (Decoration: Blind Biddy plus bazooka
    Christmas snack: A mess of pottage)

    Knowledge of economics 9
    Political Savvy 8
    Market Insight 6
    Cultural Hinterland 8
    Quotability 8

    DOCM
    (Decoration: Euro on a blue flag
    Christmas snack: The Soup)

    Knowledge of economics 5
    Political Savvy 9
    Market Insight 8
    Cultural Hinterland 6
    Quotability 7

    The Dork
    A special card (some may choose to throw away)
    When played any player may shout either ‘Drunk!’ or ‘Sober!’ If the Dork is drunk then the former applies, otherwise the latter.

    (Decoration: Map of People’s Republic
    Christmas drink: Beamish)

    Knowledge of economics 9.5/6
    Political Savvy 5/8
    Market Insight 5/8
    Cultural Hinterland 5/8
    Quotability 8/3

    Grumpy
    (Decoration: X-ray specs
    Christmas snack: Croke Park Agreement. On toast.)

    Knowledge of economics 8
    Political Savvy 8
    Market Insight 9.5
    Cultural Hinterland 7
    Quotability 9

    Joseph Ryan
    (Decoration: Tricolour
    Christmas snack: Ham in Guinness)

    Knowledge of economics 7
    Political Savvy 7
    Market Insight 8
    Cultural Hinterland 7
    Quotability 8

    Kevin Donoghue
    (Decoration: Punchbowl
    Christmas snack: Hayek)

    Knowledge of economics 10
    Political Savvy 7
    Market Insight 7
    Cultural Hinterland 7
    Quotability 9

    Mr P. Hunt
    (Decoration: Blank
    Christmas drink: Blank)

    A mysterious blank card

    paul quigley
    (Decoration: Beret plus Gitanes
    Christmas drink: absinthe)

    Knowledge of economics 7
    Political Savvy 9
    Market Insight 8
    Cultural Hinterland 9.5
    Quotability 8

    Michael Hennigan
    (Decoration: Eeyore
    Christmas snack: Gruel (thin). An added bonus if you ask a player did they enjoy the bread they ate earlier and they look blank. If that happens say, ‘thought so’.

    Knowledge of economics 8
    Political Savvy 7
    Market Insight 9.5
    Cultural Hinterland 8
    Quotability 8

    PR Guy
    (Decoration: Mrs PR Guy
    Christmas drink: whatever is left over from the office party)

    Knowledge of economics 5
    Political Savvy 8
    Market Insight 8
    Cultural Hinterland 8
    Quotability 10

    Seafoid
    (Decoration: Fine Celtic goldwork
    Christmas drink: a decent French will do – nothing under e60)

    Knowledge of economics 8
    Political Savvy 7
    Market Insight 9
    Cultural Hinterland 10
    Quotability 8

    Shay Begorragh
    (Decoration: Hammer and Sickle
    Christmas snack: bread and roses)

    Knowledge of economics 8
    Political Savvy 9.5
    Market Insight 7
    Cultural Hinterland 7
    Quotability 10

    Tullmacadoo
    (Decoration: Cigar
    Christmas snack: cake – let them eat it)

    Knowledge of economics 7
    Political Savvy 8
    Market Insight 8
    Cultural Hinterland 7
    Quotability 8

    Disagree with your marks? – change them!

    Did I leave you out? Don’t be offended! Write yourself in and give yourself 10s all round!

    A very Merry Christmas to all our players.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Trumps

  5. Gavin Kostick Says:

    OMF! (OMFG?!)

    OMF
    (Decoration: Formulae
    Christmas drink: Jamesons)

    Knowledge of economics: 7
    Political Savvy: 8
    Market Insight: 9
    Cultural Hinterland: 7
    Quotability: 9

  6. John Corcoran Says:

    Extract from the FT’s obituary of Peter Kenen who died recently aged 80;

    “He also demonstrated that fiscal transfers play an important role in most monetary unions in offsetting region-specific shocks. This established, by implication, that monetary union without fiscal union was problematic.

    These were issues Kenen returned to when Europe moved towards a single currency. He wrote the definitive analysis of the consequences, Emu after Maastricht, while on a fellowship at the Bank of England in 1992. This proved the most important single guide for economists and policy makers seeking to understand the transition to the euro – all the more notable given that Kenen was an American, albeit an exceptionally cosmopolitan one.

    He anticipated many of the euro area’s subsequent problems, from the dilemmas of a European Central Bank seeking to make monetary policy for a diverse set of national economies to the tensions created by the absence of fiscal and banking union and the controversy over imbalances in the so-called Target2 system of cross-border transfers. If European leaders did not always listen, that was not Kenen’s fault.

    Among other interests were capital flows, reform of the international monetary system and the role of the dollar. His work on the developing-country debt crisis anticipated the Brady Plan in 1989.

    He was a tireless advocate of a strengthened role for the International Monetary Fund, of special drawing rights and of a substitution account to remove the “dollar overhang” that remains a weak point in the international financial architecture”

  7. PR Guy Says:

    Perhaps while at the Institute of Bankers, it might be a good time to ask certain banks what part they may have played in the death of public figures in 2012.

    I’m glad I work in financial services PR and not politics. Their cynical use of spin knows no bounds. They’re not even subtle about it. But hey, they obviously think if they can find a way to manipulate the story around a guy’s death to cut some criticism of government and politicians then it’s worth doing. And they obviously think the Irish public are morons who will just roll over…. oh, er, they might be right.

    After all these years, I’ve still never come to terms with how people so readily believe what they read in the papers. Journalism holding politicians to account my ar5e. Not in Ireland.

  8. Bond. Eoin Bond Says:

    @ Gavin

    bravo sir, a fine contribution indeed!

  9. Eureka Says:

    @ PR Guy
    I think that most people only value newspapers because they think other people will take them seriously.

    You probably know better than me that journalists and politicians are the least trusted professions – people are shrewder than you think.

    @Gavin
    19th/early 20th Century Ireland was a wealth exporting s*****le with starving people and great prose. We need to be careful not to go down that route again. Great writing though…

  10. Brian Woods Says:

    @ Gavin.

    Loverley! Like that well-known car-rental brand – I shall try harder!

    Only one little correction. Its Grey Goose!

    Best wishes for the holiday.

  11. John Maynard Keynes Says:

    Is there some way we could set up a economist chat website. That way ‘dork’ ‘gavin kostick’ et al can rant away randomly, and leave the rest of us to actually discuss the issue at hand

  12. seafoid Says:

    It would be good to see healthcare, unemployment, industrial.policy and education/children get some more attention on this site. Nollaig shona everyone. Another hard year almost over.

  13. PR Guy Says:

    @Gavin

    That just about sums my year up …. drinking whatever is left after the party!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.

  14. paul quigley Says:

    @ Gavin

    You do us all an honour mate. I hope you get the returns you deserve from your cultural investments.
    Nollaig Shona to all from Coolea to Kuala Lumpur and everwhere in between. The Skibereen Eagle still has his eye on Russia, and life just wouldn’t be the same without theirisheconomy.ie :)

  15. Eureka Says:

    It’s nice to be nice ..and all that.
    I hope that in the New Year we realise that some things are more important than being seen to be nice and getting on with people.
    Our country has failed the current generation if young people, it has saddled the next generation with unplayable debt and it has a shower of pathetic narcissistic ball-less wimps in government. The only prosperity is based on 18bn Euros borrowed on the backs of our children.

    Sometimes it’s ok to be angry. I don’t subscribe to the backslapping mutual admiration going on. We have a fight on our hands. We have to win it.

    My only wish for Christmas is that our elected representatives grow a pair and tell the Bosch where to get off. Mark my words – 2013 will be a watershed year for us and for Europe.

    BTW Christ railed against moneylenders – it’s only correct that a Christmas message should too.

    Happy xmas

  16. Liam Delaney Says:

    @OMF
    The Institute of Bankers is just the venue. The Institute itself is not involved in organising the conference. As Stephen outlines, it is an open conference like last year so come along if you wish.

  17. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    Thanks to Gavin and Paul. Now back to the grindstone!

    new ideas on the conduct of Irish economic policy, including the extent to which academic economics and related disciplines can make a bigger contribution to the conduct of economic policy in Ireland,

    A noble aspiration and there have been many in recent years. However, almost six years after HSBC announced multi-billion dollar losses on subprime mortgages in the US, it’s time for a change of tack.

    The challenges ahead require a lot more than additional economists in the Department of Finance.

    How about some radical thinking that would not be welcome by policymakers but would shake up the conservative system?

    There were two issues this year that were six months apart that are relevant to the future and the issue of addressing a neglected subject: significant job creation.

    A related issue is the experience of agriculture and fishing 40 years after joining the European Economic Community.

    CAP cash welfare from countries such as Germany has ranged from 70 to over 90% of average family farm income in recent years. Price supports have also benefitted farmers and some of them made bonanzas from roadbuilding and land rezoning during the bubble.

    Michael Noonan, finance minister, said last March that the Irish economy could grow by more than 6% in nominal terms next year and “take off like a rocket” if the world economy picks up.

    Noonan said the Government expected GDP would expand in 2013 by 2%, or 4% including inflation, “but if the world economy takes off, you can put another two-point-something on it.”

    If the rise or fall in pharmaceuticals output/exports, the biggest component of goods exports, remains insignificant for the economy; new FDI results in a small number of jobs and unless the commercialisation of university research uniquely in the world, triggers big job gains, where will the source of the rocket growth be?

    Six months after the Noonan sunny scenario, there was a striking illustration of how difficult it is to implement change in Ireland.

    The UCD-Trinity College merger proposal in a leaked draft report triggered a rapid reaction from various interests to kill the chicken in the egg. It was as if a fatwa had been issued by the elite. There would not even be a discussion on it.

    Seán Flynn in The Irish Times reported:

    MINISTER FOR Education Ruairí Quinn and three university presidents last night moved to distance themselves from a controversial report recommending a merger of University College Dublin with Trinity College Dublin, and other radical changes. Mr Quinn said such a merger was “neither feasible nor desirable’’, while key elements of the report “would not be acceptable to Government”.

    The report, prepared by some of the most distinguished figures in international higher education, has been effectively buried, according to education sources. Questions are being asked in education circles about the decision by the Higher Education Authority to commission the report in the first instance.

    Last night one senior university figure said the episode could damage Ireland’s reputation internationally. The authority, he said, deserved credit for commissioning a report that has “helped to focus minds across the sector’’. The report from an international panel chaired by Prof Frans Van Vught of the European Commission proposes that the State’s more than 20 higher education colleges be consolidated into six. Publication of the report has been delayed pending “further clarification and consultation.,’

    So back to the challenge of putting wheels back on the Irish economic wagon.

    In March 2009 the Government announced an innovation alliance between UCD and Trinity. One academic spoke of creating 75,000 jobs in 10 years and spawning a Nokia in Ireland. Less delusional folk opted for 30,000 and 300 high value companies.

    An alliance website was launched and the last news update is from November 2010.

    So such for armchair experts and collateral damage!

  18. Brian Woods Says:

    I would have thought that given our history of non-change and nit-picky reforms (apart from free secondary education) that all guff of ‘change/reform’ would be mis-treated with the contempt it deserves. Appears not. But never expect the media to ‘print’ the inconvenient truths about the inability of Irish politicians to ‘create’ waged-employments when the economic and financial fundamentals (which boyh groups wholeheartedly support and maintain) are directed toward credit creation and asset price increases.

    You create additional waged-employments by investing your surplus capital (not credit money) in indigenous productive enterprises. And anyone with surplus capital will sure as hell not invest in a low (or no) yielding productive enterprise if the alternative is to invest in a risk-free (taxpayer carries the hazard) financial activity. Its a no-brainer.

    “The challenges ahead require a lot more than additional economists in the Department of Finance.”

    It requires persons of vision and exceptional political courage who will crush the vocal shills of vested interests – provided they first garner the required political support for such a venture. It is this latter that is lacking – despite calls for a ‘new party’. When the actual outcomes of genuine re-structurings are known and understood, political support would evaporate amongst the electorate. Poor and un-educated folk seldom bother to vote. Like the poor urchins on the benches in the workhouse refectory – they ‘know’ the score and get just sufficient money transfers to keep them quiescent.

    In some countries the folk riot over increases in the cost of fuel and flour. What would tempt us here in Ireland to get out on our streets? Maybe an increase in the cost of credit might do it. Who knows?

  19. grumpy Says:

    @omf, gavin, punters generally

    a) http://www.centralbank.ie/press-area/press-releases/Pages/NewSingleFinancialServicesQualification.aspx

    b) http://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/processes/minimum-competency/Pages/qualifications.aspx

    c) “The Institute of Bankers in Ireland

    A recognised college of University College Dublin”

  20. seafóid Says:

    I got this book for Christmas

    Abandoned Irish mansions 2

    http://www.abandonedireland.com/

    It covers indirectly the collapse of economic models and how difficult it is to maintain rentier cashflows indefinitely on the island of Ireland

    Maybe Mr Blake could be invited to speak at this or a future shindig.

  21. Gavin Kostick Says:

    Colm McCarthy in the Irish Farmer’s Journal.

    “‘Celtic Tiger’ did Ireland no favours”

    “The banks would have found it far more difficult to swell their balance sheets through foreign borrowing outside the deceptive comfort blanket of the Euro. Just as importantly, the government would have had broader policy options in dealing with the fallout when the banking crisis emerged.

    “Unfortunately there is no possibility of simply winding the clock back. It makes no sense to talk of exiting the Eurozone at this stage, even though it should now be acknowledged that those small EU countries which stayed out, such as Denmark and Sweden, dodged a falling knife.

    “In the last few months European leaders have been seeking to construct a new Eurozone architecture, designed to be less vulnerable to banking crises. They have achieved little agreement to date, despite the characteristic avalanche of spin which follows each Brussels summit.

    “Over the next couple of years, some form of Eurozone mark II will emerge, engineered largely by France and Germany, the unrepentant architects of the flawed Eurozone mark I. Ireland will have no influence on the form that Eurozone mark II will take, the inevitable fate of small countries in these situations.

    “It would be advisable though to consider whether the option of an independent currency can somehow be re-created should France and Germany do no better second time round.”

    http://www.farmersjournal.ie/site/farming–Celtic-Tigerdid-Ireland-no-favours–16182.html

  22. Gavin Kostick Says:

    Colm McCarthy in the Irish Farmer’s Journal.

    “‘Celtic Tiger’ did Ireland no favours”

    “The banks would have found it far more difficult to swell their balance sheets through foreign borrowing outside the deceptive comfort blanket of the Euro. Just as importantly, the government would have had broader policy options in dealing with the fallout when the banking crisis emerged.

    “Unfortunately there is no possibility of simply winding the clock back. It makes no sense to talk of exiting the Eurozone at this stage, even though it should now be acknowledged that those small EU countries which stayed out, such as Denmark and Sweden, dodged a falling knife.

    “In the last few months European leaders have been seeking to construct a new Eurozone architecture, designed to be less vulnerable to banking crises. They have achieved little agreement to date, despite the characteristic avalanche of spin which follows each Brussels summit.

    “Over the next couple of years, some form of Eurozone mark II will emerge, engineered largely by France and Germany, the unrepentant architects of the flawed Eurozone mark I. Ireland will have no influence on the form that Eurozone mark II will take, the inevitable fate of small countries in these situations.

    “It would be advisable though to consider whether the option of an independent currency can somehow be re-created should France and Germany do no better second time round.”

    http://www.farmersjournal.ie/site/farming–Celtic-Tigerdid-Ireland-no-favours–16182.html

  23. seafóid Says:

    “It makes no sense to talk of exiting the Eurozone at this stage, even though it should now be acknowledged that those small EU countries which stayed out, such as Denmark and Sweden, dodged a falling knife.”

    The damage is done. There are no easy answers to a banking crisis combined with a vacuum of leadership and exposed institutional ineptitude against a backdrop of global plutocracy.

    Another good read for the long nights of winter

    http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745330563&

  24. Joseph Ryan Says:

    The falling euro knife was better directed that it might appear.

    Trichet may not have been as skilled in knife throwing as James Coburn (Magnificant Seven), but for all that he made sure that the above falling knife landed exactly where he wanted it to land. In Ireland’s gissard.

    @Seafoid
    Plutocrats don’t always come out on top.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20849295
    Enjoy your seasonal cuppa!

  25. seafóid Says:

    I wonder how the sales are going

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2012/dec/23/uk-economy-stuck-groove-prospects

    real incomes continue to be squeezed. Capital’s victory over labour since the late 1970s has come at a price: workers lack the purchasing power to buy the goods and services they are producing, and they are no longer willing or able to borrow the money to do so.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/02/more-jobs-bad-news-british-workers

    In the past explanations for the falling share of wages in national income has been attributed to a combination of technological change, globalisation and the reduced bargaining power of trade unions. Reed and Himmelweit say there is a fourth factor: the increased financialisation of the economy.
    Their analysis shows that over the past three decades the whole of the increase in the profit share can been attributed to the increased profitability of the financial sector.
    “Firms are increasingly able to invest in financial assets as an alternative to direct investment in productive capital (ie, plant and machinery) and they are also able to invest abroad instead of at home,” the paper says. It adds that financialisation has also empowered shareholders to put constraints on companies designed to make life tougher for labour. This has been especially marked in the case of private equity deals where companies are loaded with debt and under pressure to cut costs aggressively.
    The rationale for a rising profit share is that it leads to higher investment, which in turn leads to stronger growth and rising employment. Workers gain in the end because companies expand and become more productive. The supply-side reforms of the 1980s were in part based on the theory that the wage share in the 1970s was too high, leading to low levels of investment.
    There is, however, no evidence that the squeeze on labour’s share of national income has led to higher investment.

    And the FT has started calling the rich “wealth creators”

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6479477a-4852-11e2-a1c0-00144feab49a.html

    His government’s message to wealth creators is that they will be punished with crushing increases in capital gains and income taxes if they do well.

  26. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    @ Gavin Kostick

    On Colm’s piece, what is extraordinary to observe again is that just a decade after the lost decade of the 1980s, the recent memory had not induced caution (Ireland had a 17.5% of GDP budget deficit in 1978 – - the highest for a developed country in the period 1970-2008; in the single year 1979, the public service pay bill rose by 34%).

    In contrast, the Asian economies that were hit by the 97/98 crisis responded by building up fx reserves and Vietnam has been the only economy that has had a serious currency crisis during the current crisis.

    According to the IMF, over the past few decades, despite greater exchange rate flexibility, emerging market economies have been accumulating large stocks of international reserves. Reserve holdings, which averaged about 5% of GDP in the 1980s, have been doubling every decade since, reaching some 25% of GDP by 2010.

    This policy does of course have negative impacts on other countries/regions.

    In 2008, Alan Greenspan acknowledged a ‘flaw’ in his free-market model.

    “That is precisely the reason I was shocked because I’d been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

    There is a flaw also in the Irish model or culture and with the euro, it was like leaving children without supervision in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

    Have things fundamentally changed this time?

    I would say no.

    What is different though is the experience of crashing to earth from bubble prosperity levels. The sobering experience will have an impact for a long time.

    As for embracing change, there is no evidence that without external pressure, that the vested interests can be overcome.

    Land rezoning reform after a disastrous crash??

    Just wonder why three governments through boom and bust have kept a failed strategy at the heart of enterprise policy?

    Amidst the pealing of church bells and fireworks on Tuesday morning, it was to be the dawn of Ireland as a ‘world class knowledge economy,’ poised to vault over Silicon Valley!

    However, the new date is 2020 and as during the years of delusion, the so-called ecosystem comprises: political leaders relying on faith rather than evidence; vested interests in the public and private sectors; an Oireachtas incapable of holding to account the beneficiaries of science spending of €23bn (at constant prices) in the past decade and strikingly, a media where most Irish journalists that cover the area, show symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome.

    I’m off to dinner!

  27. Eureka Says:

    This is a*se ways. It’s not about if we have the balls to leave – its about if they have the balls to push us out. They don’t … they can’t.
    That’s the power play here. Germany needs a weak Euro more than we think. It also needs to be in Europe so that it can forget the fact that it has a tendency to act callously to its neighbours. Germany needs Europe to stay in tact economically and politically.
    So lets play out what would happen if the sissies in government were to play slight hard ball here and introduce austerity on our terms (this means cuts but in a fairer and possibly slower paced way and forgetting German targets)
    Scenario 1: The Germans get annoyed but are afraid to kick us out …good outcome and
    Scenario 2: The Germans get annoyed and withhold bailout money forcing our default (but we can still remain in the Euro)
    Scenario 3: The Germans get annoyed and it gets so messy the Euro falls apart (risky for all but we would come out freed of some debt burden with our own currency)

    It’s time to kick namby pamby labour out of government and replace them with Sinn Fein. Time to face the Germans down with something other than third rate Pazis (paddies crossed with national socialists – what a Vichy Ireland would have looked like).

    Colm isn’t doing the lateral thinking here. The pressure point is: let’s stop doing it their way – and see what they’ll do about it

  28. Eureka Says:

    But our government won’t do this – they’d much rather target carers and primary school teachers.
    Shame!!!

  29. Brian Woods Says:

    @ Eureka: “It’s time to kick namby pamby labour out of government and replace them with Sinn Fein.”

    Really? SF is a Nationalist Socialist (conservative and ‘right wing’) party a la the late unlamented Prog Dems. If this is what Irish voters opt for, then so be it. But somethings would have to ‘give’. Run the options through your head. They are not funny!

    Now if you allowed that we might have a tri-party gov of FG, FF and SF which would be a reprise of 1922. But the ILP would have to shift from being centre-right to slightly centre-left. The Irish median elector is judged to be centre-right with two short fat tails to either side. Better the ILP disbanded completely and re-formed as a populist-centerist Social Democratic (Irish version) party – which FF was before it went doo-lally. This might force the residuals to decide where they were going to settle in order to attract electoral strength. Its no longer the simplistic red-left v blue-right, or waged-labour v capitalist political cleavage. It might be an emerging neo-rural v neo-urban cleavage – with options! Interesting.

    Crucially the procedural rules of the Dáil would have to be significantly reformed to provide the opposition with a genuine role in legislation. In effect our government gives up its privilege of being a despotic, elected dictatorship. Can anyone see this happening?

  30. seafóid Says:

    Great-West Lifeco’s Canada Life unit
    is close to an agreement to buy Irish Life, Reuters reported,
    citing an unidentified person familiar with the talks.
    * Talks at “advanced stage,” source says; spokesman for
    Irish Life declined comment
    * NOTE: Gov’t bought insurer for EU 1.3b in June from debt-
    laden lender Irish Life & Permanent

  31. John Corcoran Says:

    @seafoid
    The mountie always gets his man.

  32. John Foody Says:

    @ Seafoid

    It’s nice to see Colm articulating the problem, I.e. the euro. He makes a good point regarding the difficulty leaving it now but more importantly asking the question what happens if ‘Euro mark 2′ is worse still for us?

    The problem is citizens can’t make the link directly, they think I have euro and I have wealth, good for travel, buying cars etc etc. Despite the fact that on a national level the Euro, at the moment at least, through mass deleveraging is essentially destroying their ‘wealth’, though of course a lot was fictional in the first place, but I digress.

    My question is why not work towards having a 2nd currency? Punt mark 2? Obviously there’d be opposition from the ECB etc but there must be ways to address their concerns and get the thin end of a wedge in place.

    We could start with a time base credit kind of thing based on the Japanese ‘Hureai kippu’. An improved version tailored specifically to address our needs. I’m stinking a time based currency to address all our unemployed tradesmen.
    See http://www.jlgc.org.uk/en/pdfs/Hureai%20Kippu%20-%20Lessons%20from%20Japan%20for%20the%20Big%20SocietyCESedit17March2011.pdf

  33. Eureka Says:

    @ Brian Woods
    Thanks for giving it thought.
    It was written out of pure anger.
    Nobody gets that Germany is much weaker than it knows. It needs Europe to succeed more than anybody. It doesn’t know that yet – but it will.
    Essentially the European branch of the Troika can be told to go jump. It has nothing

  34. seafóid Says:

    @ JC

    All the domestic financial institutions will end up in foreign ownership.
    The banks are still too sick to sell but they will be flogged.

  35. paul quigley Says:

    @ BW
    I garee that some of then old cleavages a

    ‘The Progressive Democrats (Irish: An Páirtí Daonlathach, lit.: The Democratic Party), commonly known as the PDs, was a pro-free market liberal[1][2] political party in the Republic of Ireland.

    Launched on 21 December 1985 by Desmond O’Malley and other politicians who had split from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the Progressive Democrats took liberal positions on divorce, contraception, and other social issues. The party also supported economic liberalisation, advocating measures such as lower taxation, fiscal conservatism, privatisation, and welfare reform. It enjoyed an impressive début at the 1987 general election, winning 14 seats in Dáil Éireann and capturing almost 12 percent of the popular vote to temporarily surpass the Labour Party as Ireland’s third largest political party’

    ‘Sinn Féin (/ˌʃɪnˈfɛɪn/ shin-FAYN; Irish: [ʃɪnʲ fʲeːnʲ]) is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for “ourselves” or “we ourselves”,[4][5] although it is frequently mistranslated as “ourselves alone”.[6] Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party. Sinn Féin is led by Gerry Adams, and has elected representatives in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.[7] The party in its present form has historically been associated with the Provisional IRA

    …Sinn Féin is considered a democratic socialist or left-wing party and aligns itself with the European United Left–Nordic Green Left. The party pledges support for minority rights, migrants’ rights, and eradicating poverty. Although it is not in favour of the extension of legalized abortion (British 1967 Act) to Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin state they are opposed to the attitudes in society which “pressurise women” to have abortions and “criminalise” women who make this decision. The party does state that in cases of incest, rape, sexual abuse, or when a woman’s life and health are at risk or in danger that the final decision must rest with the woman.[82]’8]’’

  36. paul quigley Says:

    @ BW
    I garee that some of the old conflicts and political cleavages are outdated, but your analysis is odd, to say the least. Here’s Wikipedia.

    ‘The Progressive Democrats (Irish: An Páirtí Daonlathach, lit.: The Democratic Party), commonly known as the PDs, was a pro-free market liberal[1][2] political party in the Republic of Ireland.

    Launched on 21 December 1985 by Desmond O’Malley and other politicians who had split from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the Progressive Democrats took liberal positions on divorce, contraception, and other social issues. The party also supported economic liberalisation, advocating measures such as lower taxation, fiscal conservatism, privatisation, and welfare reform. It enjoyed an impressive début at the 1987 general election, winning 14 seats in Dáil Éireann and capturing almost 12 percent of the popular vote to temporarily surpass the Labour Party as Ireland’s third largest political party’

    ‘Sinn Féin (/ˌʃɪnˈfɛɪn/ shin-FAYN; Irish: [ʃɪnʲ fʲeːnʲ]) is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for “ourselves” or “we ourselves”,[4][5] although it is frequently mistranslated as “ourselves alone”.[6] Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party. Sinn Féin is led by Gerry Adams, and has elected representatives in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.[7] The party in its present form has historically been associated with the Provisional IRA

    …Sinn Féin is considered a democratic socialist or left-wing party and aligns itself with the European United Left–Nordic Green Left. The party pledges support for minority rights, migrants’ rights, and eradicating poverty. Although it is not in favour of the extension of legalized abortion (British 1967 Act) to Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin state they are opposed to the attitudes in society which “pressurise women” to have abortions and “criminalise” women who make this decision. The party does state that in cases of incest, rape, sexual abuse, or when a woman’s life and health are at risk or in danger that the final decision must rest with the woman.[82]’8]’’

  37. PR Guy Says:

    Bankia. What a hoot.

  38. Fiatluxjnr Says:

    @PR Guy
    Re: Bankia
    Not a hoot for the many pensioners wiped out. They only discovered the 4.5b “black hole” now?….that’s a hoot.
    What’s the betting there will be further black holes. The 40b or so for the Spanish banking syst em looks far too small.

  39. DOCM Says:

    @ All

    Peter Spiegel, the FT’s outstanding Brussels bureau chief, had this blog contribution before Christmas which may be of interest.

    http://blogs.ft.com/brusselsblog/2012/12/ireland-cyprus-subjects-of-revisionist-euro-history/

  40. DOCM Says:

    @ All

    Of course, because the US is a real federal entity and in control of its own currency, they do things so much better!

    http://www.nytimes.com/

    One must assume, at least for the moment, that Merkel’s Yuletide holiday will not be disturbed.

  41. Fiatluxjnr Says:

    @DOCM
    You link to FT
    Clear analysis. But we are where we are and as Colm McCarthy says, we don’t have much influence.

    This bit is odd!
    “Neither Spanish nor, more controversially, Irish senior bank bondholders were forced to accept losses, meaning taxpayers in both countries were essentially paying off investors in failed banks. There was significant debate during the Spanish bank rescue about whether to breach this principle, but amidst Irish objections, senior bondholders were left alone. But in Cyprus the issue could re-emerge.”

  42. DOCM Says:

    @ FLJ

    This is more relevant!

    “The Spanish government has stopped insisting on direct recaps, believing that it can now handle its €39.5bn bank bailout without them. But there are two places where leaders are being called to account for the original spirit of the June deal: Dublin and the International Monetary Fund.”

    Berlin must be in a blue funk at this situation.

    There are also developments on the “British front”. (When the Telegraph is quoting the Guardian something must really be happening!).

    http://tinyurl.com/cpknmbz

    I would agree entirely with Van Rompuy. Either you accept the entire menu or you stay out of the restaurant! Ireland, more by accident than design, has accepted the full menu.

    P.S. If CMc thinks that Irish farmers are daft enough to swap solid euros for punts (Mark II), he has another think coming.

  43. John Gallaher Says:

    @DOCM NY link takes me to front page?
    I do read the links …witty article yesterday in NYT about Germany’s plan to dominate Euro soccer feet first!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/sports/soccer/as-europe-struggles-germany-invests-heavily-in-soccer.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&ref=sports

  44. DOCM Says:

    @ John Gallagher

    The link is not really about Germany but about the erroneous assumption that there is some form of political organisation that will avoid economic difficulties or that a particular form of such organisation is required to run a shared currency.

    As to the relevance of football, or any other sport for that matter, I have very very serious doubts!

  45. DOCM Says:

    @ John Gallagher

    This link to the Telegraph may convey the sentiment somewhat better!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

  46. John Gallaher Says:

    @DOCm way too subtle for me..some commentators appear a little pessimistic about next year !
    For balance here’s a very bullish Barron’s front page story.
    DOCM will read link thanks,
    http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424052748704379604578187620284022816.html?mod=BOL_hpp_cover#articleTabs_article%3D1

  47. DOCM Says:

    @ John Gallagher

    Thanks for the link! Whatever sentiment was intended, subtlety was not one of them! The reality is that no one can predict what will happen in 2013. Schaeuble is putting the best gloss on it.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9767767/Schaeuble-Worst-of-euro-crisis-behind-us.html

    I doubt if he is right about France

  48. John Gallaher Says:

    @DOCM ah the fiscal cliff…big news over here and quite a shock is the strong housing numbers offset by a fall in consumer sentiment which is odd..holiday retail sales numbers are not expected up be good either.
    Agreed,no idea about next year but strong sentiment and interest in investing in EuroZone for the ‘bounce’!
    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-26/home-price-gains-accelerate-as-u-s-real-estate-market-rebounds.html

  49. DOCM Says:

    @ John Gallaher

    FYI

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/clinton-tells-tycoons-youd-be-nuts-not-to-invest-in-ireland-3015846.html

  50. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @DOCM
    The Euro is not solid – it is hard but brittle because it is hollow inside.

    Many farmers are land heavy but cash poor (although not all of course)

    How else are they going to reduce diesel inputs if they or the ancillary farming services cannot afford to pay labour in Euros because it is far too hard ?

    PS a very interesting walk down walk & talk through the wet streets of Bergen from a almost resident American public transport (tram) consultant.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bqYarg4bIU

    Much lessons can be learned if one cares to listen…………

  51. John Gallaher Says:

    @DOCM thanks for that,he’s widely rumored to be considering Ambassador,Rooney is heading back home.
    His beloved Steelers crashed out of the NFL playoffs,but from the safety of NY the sentiment towards Ireland has changed.There is a comment above about Canadians investing again,a deal on the PN’s is expected,extend and pretend and perhaps down the line some entity will take on the shares in what’s left of the Irish financial institutions,after naturally their carcass have been well and truly picked over by the vulture funds.
    Capitalism gotta love it….

  52. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    In the office.

    “No no its Complicated”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=m70O2ktckE0&NR=1

  53. John Gallaher Says:

    Happy holidays Dork..
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/12/27/worlds-longest-high-speed-train_n_2369382.html

  54. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @John
    Happy Christmas boy.

    But I don’t really like that flash high speed stuff.

    Much more into Victorian rail cuttings.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZjiij_jUNo

  55. John Gallaher Says:

    @The Dork,you and the Republican Party plus those loonies in the Tea Party don’t like high speed trains.
    What would your beloved Greenback party have done ..
    All best in new year cold beer awaiting !

    http://transportationnation.org/2012/10/01/floridas-flirtation-with-high-speed-rail-recounted-in-new-book/

  56. Fiatluxjnr Says:

    @DOCM
    From your old Indo link…
    “- Henry Kravis and Richard Roberts, co-chief executives of the investment firm Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts.

    - Rich Ross, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

    - A senior executive from the world’s most successful investment fund, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

    - Wilbur Ross, whose $1.5bn (€1.12bn) investment in Bank of Ireland is already showing a huge profit.”

    Haven’t seen KKR invest in anything or Disney for that matter and I think Warren is fond of railways, but not Irish ones. as for Wilbur…
    Just had a look. The shares are at 11cent. ” Huge profit?
    I can’t see Bill being happy up in the Phoenix Park

  57. DOCM Says:

    @ FLJ

    Neither can I! However, were it to come to pass, it would have more impact than all the conferences organised by all the economists in Ireland for at least a generation.

  58. John Gallaher Says:

    @fiat try google it’s great :)
    They bid on a lot of recent deals including Eircom,Hillary is planning on some much needed RR write a book and contemplate a final run for President.

    “UK property group Delancey and private equity giant KKR are frontrunners to buy the eight-storey head office of US bank State Street in the south Dublin docklands.”
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2012/1110/1224326409603.html

  59. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @John
    Greenbackers , MMTers or indeed free golders in the euro system don’t S£$t oil / capital…………..

    We merely say the money supply should flow so as to utilize labour.
    High speed train lines are much like motorway build – they require huge amounts of diesel /capital to build.
    We don’t have that much spare capital handy at the moment.

    In this interview you can appreciate the labour intensity of light rail for Maintenance etc ( see 14.00)

    Difference of labour rates between countries in Germany etc

    At 18.00m
    They attack the “flexibility” concept for buses.

    “They are flexible for everybody for the passengers”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFIBNiQVGVk

  60. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    “for everybody but the buses”

    Also the Boston public transport debacle near the end is quite funny.

  61. John Gallaher Says:

    @ Dork MBL. Difficult to appreciate your links will catch up later,high speed rail was a “plank” in the original Obama stimulus plan..never went anywhere.
    I take the Acella btw. NY and DC and also to Boston,great way to travel now has high speed WiFi too.
    @Fiat was just having some fun,they and their cohorts a lot more active than you read about.

  62. Eureka Says:

    I think it’s nice how America tries to avoid the fiscal cliff while Europe just decides what peripheral nation to throw over it.
    Meanwhile the pazis are pitching bogger against blogger in the latest twist in Ireland’s descent into the past.

    This wimp government is a disgrace. Contrast Cameron to our twats. Aren’t we the ones who should be having a referendum on European membership in 2015.

    Grow a pair!!

  63. FiatluxjnrFinancial Says:

    @John Gallagher
    The purchase of a little office block in Dublin is unlikely to excite the boys at KKR. They could buy it with the petty cash. So much for hype.
    @Eureka
    +1

  64. John Gallaher Says:

    @Fiat it’s 100 million deal with 3 acres to do a build yo suit…they excited !

  65. Brian Woods Says:

    @ PQ: I know what it says on the tin. But I refuse to believe. Untrusting? Yes! Why did SF thrive across the frontier? It metamorphosed into a dangerous and violent political mafia. You do not slough off that skin so easily or so speedily. Democracy is a useful cloak – but still a cloak.

    The Irish Labour Party is a sort of ‘mirror image’ of SF. The former (a strong socialist party) was politically marooned in the Free State following partition. It ‘sulked’ politically for 26 years and took another 26 (or so) to embed itself in what poses for democratic governance in this state. The latter likewise was marooned but in a festering sectarian political time-capsule. They have barely experienced a wet weekend of democratic behaviour. The 26 County version of SF is a chimera. We’ll see.

  66. PR Guy Says:

    @fiatluxjnr

    “The 40b or so for the Spanish banking syst em looks far too small.”

    Been saying that for ages. Once they start to admit arrears problems as they actually are instead of what they want the world to see, it will really hit the fan out there.

    I was being sarcastic when saying it was a hoot btw. It immediately put me in mind of all the Irish people with modest savings who were advised by their bank managers to put their money into Irish banks. I’m sure that the small shareholders in Spain will bear most of the brunt. I wonder how the bondholders will get on? This time it’s different?

    @all
    Had a beer with a ‘senior banking figure’ last Sunday. God he was very, very negative about economic prospects in the new year. At least I think it was him, my glasses broke the day before and I was seeing things a little fuzzily ….. though that may have been the wine.

    You have been warned.

  67. Gtfaway Says:

    Michael H
    Allowing for the correct puncturing of the “beelllions” of jobs auld guff that comes from most govt innovations, the innovation alliance website I looked st, not disbelieving but incredulous about your claim, seems more up to date.
    http://www.innovationalliance.ie/newsevents/index.html
    There’s also some creature called an innovation academy…http://www.innovationacademy.ie/events/

    As to what use they are, well… But they do seem to be more up to date than 2010, to be fair.

  68. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    @ Gtfaway

    On the main alliance site, ‘INNOVATION ALLIANCE NEWS’ is up to Nov 2010 as stated.

    The rest of the page has links to UCD and TCD stories on the respective college websites.

    The Innovation Academy offers a joint course on entrepreneurship issues to PhD students and this appears to be the main activity of the alliance after almost 4 years.

  69. seafóid Says:

    @ Eureka

    Bionn adharca fada etc. I think politics in the States are broken. Boehner can’t get his party to agree to tax rises on those earning over 1 million . If they don’t do deal the economic consequences will be grim. They lost their AAA over this kind of Republican shitehawking and nothing has changed in the meantime.

    And I hope Ireland never gets to the point where the unemployed get food stamps instead of money as is the case in many US states.

  70. seafóid Says:

    2013 will be the year of the repossessions
    I wonder how it will go down on Main St. and in the Farmers Journal

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/mortgage-row-farmer-barricades-family-in-home-for-christmas-3335403.html

    A FARMER and his five children whose home is under the threat of repossession will be barricaded into their farm for the Christmas holidays.
    On August 16, Seamus Sherlock, pictured, blocked the main driveway at his farm in Feohanagh, Co Limerick, after he was served with a repossession notice by Bank of Scotland because of outstanding mortgage repayments.

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/mum-in-search-of-bankruptcy-forced-to-leave-children-3334349.html

  71. Eureka Says:

    @ Seafoid
    Ok I am not saying America is perfect – far from it – but at least there is a feedback loop between the welfare of the people and the behaviour of their politicians

  72. Gavin Kostick Says:

    Lots of interesting posts above.

    John Corcoran posted this link to a Paul De Grauwe lecture, ‘The Eurozone’s Design Failures: can they be corrected?’, LSE, 28th November, 2012. Highly recommended.

    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=1675

    This made me look up this 2011 De Grauwe paper, ‘The Governance of a Fragile Eurozone’.

    The following popped out:

    “From the preceding analysis, it follows that financial markets acquire great
    power in a monetary union. Will this power be beneficial for the union?

    “Believers in market efficiency have been telling us that this power is salutary, as it will act as a disciplining force on bad governments. I have lost much of my faith in the idea that financial markets are a disciplining force. The financial crisis has made abundantly clear that financial markets are often driven by extreme sentiments of either euphoria or panic. During periods of euphoria investors, cheered by rating agencies, collectively fail to see the risks and take on too much of it. After the crash, fear dominates, leading investors, prodded by rating agencies, to detect risks everywhere triggering panic sales much of the time.”

    Well worth reading in full.

    http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/ew/academic/intecon/Degrauwe/PDG-papers/Discussion_papers/Governance-fragile-eurozone_s.pdf

  73. DOCM Says:

    Under the heading ‘Children and Education’, it is to be hoped that the debate on universal benefits can be widened to the extent sought – on the front page of the IT – by the Minister for Children.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/1227/1224328191763.html

    This is one of the very few examples where instead of fiddling with the existing inadequate systems, a fundamental question is being asked as to whether the money is being spent in the right fashion in the first place.

    Another is the question posed by Minister for Social Protection with regard to the extent of the payments being made by way of disability benefit.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/1224/1224328152829.html

    A session on ‘social welfare’ appears to be missing from the proposed agenda?

  74. David O'Donnell Says:

    Text from Blind Biddy for Gavin Kostick:

    Hiya Gavin! Got a little present for you – the Neu 10cm Aesthetic version of the bazooka – ideal for the upcoing Jihad agains the rogues in the financial system. The postman will ring thrice (-;

  75. PR Guy Says:

    @seafóid

    “2013 will be the year of the repossessions”

    Absolutely right

  76. seafóid Says:

    In case you missed it earlier

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2012/0908/1224323726336.html

    Tom Inglis does the psychoanalysis. “A culture of self-denial and self-mortification where ambition and success and self-aggrandisement of any kind were frowned upon gradually gave way to a new culture of self-indulgence. Hedonism was the greatest sin in the 50s and 60s, and in the 80s recession didn’t allow for it – we didn’t have the money — but by Jesus when the Celtic Tiger came did the Irish become hedonistic.”

    Followed by …..

    Peig Sayers is back, but she wears the pinstriped suits of Vincent Browne and leads us in ritual self-flagellation from a blood-red set. Look at us, in the ruins of the decking on our overpriced ghost estates. What pathetic people we are.

  77. seafóid Says:

    @ PR Guy

    I have a feeling the people won’t like the idea of being poster children for repossessions. Especially for foreign banks like the FUBR Bank of Scotland.

  78. paul quigley Says:

    @ Brian Woods

    Irish nationalism, like other nationalism, has always had constitutional and militant elements. The relationship between armed force and constitutional order is a deep and enduring one, and many exemplary democracies are founded on vicious genocide and expropriation. It’s a funny old world.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Shield-Achilles-Course-History/dp/B0006BD89S

    HM laid a wreath at the Garden of Remembrance on her visit. She also said that some things were done in Northern Ireland which, in retrospect, were better not to have been done. Amen to that, maam, but we must all must all rub along together somehow.

    Today’s SF is largely a product of northern history. Willy nilly, it has a fairly central place in the current instititutional order of the north. That is to say, it is now perceived by NI voters and parties as ‘mainstream’. In that sense, your label of ‘conservative’ may have some elements of truth.

    For obvious historical reasons, SF’s southern incarnation is much more marginal. Nonetheless, the party has few vested interests in Dublin institutions, and good reasons to air the dirty laundry of the southern state. SF also tries to organise, in poor, chaotic communities where other parties have given up.

    How the two sets of politics will interact is anybody’s guess, I suppose.

  79. Fiatluxjnr Says:

    Is the Irish Times trying to confuse us?

    “http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1228/breaking9.html

    Up or Down?

  80. PR Guy Says:

    @seafóid

    I’m just saying it’s a given. The first to be taken back will be buy to lets, followed by homes. It’s going to be bloody awful.

    It will be interesting to see what pops out of the woodwork in the buy to let repos. A lot of lawyers, accountants and even TD’s have been struggling with both their businesses and their buy to let mortgages over the past year or two…..

  81. John Gallaher Says:

    Oh they always have five children and a three legged dog……salt of the earth types,hard knock life and all that bleeding heart nonsense.
    A functioning lending environment involves repossession.

    Link above the poor beleaguered farmer with five “children”

    “Mr Sherlock and his five children – Dermot (22), Bernadette (19), Briget (18), JJ (15) and Mary Kate (13) – continue to live at their home.”

    I count two dependants and assuming there’s a Mrs. that makes 5 adults of working age not paying their way.

  82. John Gallaher Says:

    Regarding the other link on divorced mother of two….save the sympathy for people who don’t buy mansions in County Wicklow ..total nonsense p**s poor reporting.The article is more about BK than repo’s she’s already moved out as they got ahead of their ski’s and can no longer afford their lavish lifestyle.
    If these two are the poster boys and girls for NOT having repos …bring it on.

    “Raheengraney House, a sprawling Georgian manor house was the Godsil family’s dream home when they purchased it in 1996. Jillian Godsil and her husband Mike were very proud of their palatial 5,200 square-foot house in Shillelagh in Co Wicklow, 65 miles from Dublin.”

  83. seafoid Says:

    @ John Gallagher
    Repos are likely to be tricky given the history. Landlords from the 1800s were either decent or not. There will probably be most resistance over land. Plus nobody from the banks went to jail. No auditors paid either, no directors. Risk committees also failed. Many still at the trough. Dots may be joined. It is very emotive. Political economy. Throw in a few more high profile suicides to go with p. Flynn’s brother, Minister McEntee and the rest.

  84. John Gallaher Says:

    @Seafoid familiar with that part of “Eyerish” history it was rammed down my throat in primary school along with the 1916 Proclamianation…but come on the two examples above really !
    Neither of the above will end up on a cart being pulled by an ass along a dark country road with starving dogs in tow….Irekand needs grow up financially.

    Who or what in their right mind does asset backed lending if the ahem asset is ring fenced ?

  85. John Gallaher Says:

    The failure of the criminal justice system to prosecute miscreants is a red herring and completely irrelevant to the necessity for functioning repo’s which clear “shadow” inventory,present opportunities for new entrants and can be a nice little earner for the more astute.
    Evoking historical anoligies is the refuge for financially illiterate people or those with a vested interest in the status quo.

  86. Brian Woods Says:

    @ PQ: Yep! Best we buy the popcorn and sit this one out. Thanks.

  87. Eureka Says:

    @ John
    I agree with you but there needs to be more detail in this.
    I think we should go for a US model where foreclosures are widespread but the borrower walks away free of debt.
    But here’s the thing – the “value” of the Irish banks is that the borrowers can’t walk free of their obligations.

    I would like to be corrected on this and hope that I am wrong but to my mind the insolvency legislation is the problem. Maybe it’s further along than I think though

  88. John Gallaher Says:

    @Eureka slightly different topic but agreed its tied into foreclosure or repossessions.
    Why the UK system familiar to all market participants was not simply cut and pasted beyond me.
    Instead you have some weird version with lenders having a say negatitating the negotiating position of indebted borrowers.
    A ‘short sale’ avoids BK and allows the lender to realize something on its collateral and the borrower to walk away.
    But the borrower often presents the lender with two choices accept the short sale or I’m filling BK!
    The final version awaits the Presidents signature.
    Here is the link.
    http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2012/5812/b58112d.pdf

  89. seafoid Says:

    @jg
    Most voters are financially illiterate. The markets are v happy that the adjustment medicine has gone down relatively quietly to date. I don’t know if “Independent woman” is ready for several thousand repos and if she thinks it is fair. Maybe she is. On verra.

  90. John Gallaher Says:

    @Seafoid what’s ‘fair’ got to do with it?
    Lenders will get foreclosure rights/repos its a done deal,borrowers deserve modern BK legislation to level the playing field.
    Right now you have the worst of all worlds,this Bull McCabe nonsense is antiquated and allows individuals to shirk their responsibilities by blaming others..

  91. David O'Donnell Says:

    @DOCM

    “A session on ’social welfare’ appears to be missing from the proposed agenda?

    You missed the big one …

    A session on ‘FINANCIAL SYSTEM WELFARE’ appears to be missing from the proposed agenda?

    But then again what’s €181 versus €90 BILLION or so …..

  92. Eureka Says:

    @ JG
    Thanks for the link
    It is a bit off thread alright but the kind of thing that should be looked at:
    I need to look at this in more detail but am just not clear:
    Take the case of Mr X who owes 350,000 on a mortgage. His repayments are 1,400 per month. He has lost his job and is now on 500 per month. He is insolvent.
    What does he do under this legislation?

    The bank can foreclose. The house will sell for peak/2 so 175,000. Doesn’t this leave him with an outstanding debt of 175,000. Where does he go with this? Would have been nice to see this teased out in a proper way

  93. John Gallaher Says:

    @Eureka he’s properly fu***d and should emigrate immediately….sorry mobile supervising a few evictions!
    I’m actually mbl. will tease out the above a little later and get back to you.

  94. Eureka Says:

    @ JG
    Don’t worry about it…I’d say you’re right anyway. Probably the best course of action no matter what state he’s in.
    Take it easy on those evictions – those cattle prods can pack one hell of a punch…!

  95. Fiatluxjnr Says:

    Germany heading for austerity?
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/berlin-plan-hints-future-austerity-measures-for-germany-a-874377.html
    A flavour..
    “And, in keeping with his style, he is carefully preparing the Germans for hard times with his signature inscrutable Schäuble-speak: “We cannot allow ourselves to believe that the current positive situation is automatically secured for the future,” he says. He goes on to say that sound public finances are “not a notion created by stubborn finance ministers, but rather the prerequisite for prosperity and social security.” In plain language: Germany is going to start subjecting itself to some iron fiscal discipline.”

  96. Fiatluxjnr Says:

    Worth reading..
    “What happens behind closed doors at an EU summit, when European leaders are among themselves? SPIEGEL has reconstructed the negotiations at the most recent meeting in Brussels in December based on documents and accounts given by numerous sources. It was a summit of hopelessness.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/eu-summit-reveals-a-paralyzed-continent-a-874359.html

  97. Joseph Ryan Says:

    @Fiatluxjrn
    re Spiegel on EU summits
    Good article. It is hard to see much good coming from so much antipathy.
    Even Spiegel conveys an impression of Merkel almost mockingly dismissing any solutions. Clearly Germany is still having a very good crisis; a crisis worth holding nurturing.

  98. Joseph Ryan Says:

    @John Gallagher / Seafoid / Pr Guy

    Foreclosure needs to be defined a little more clearly. It could mean different things.

    If foreclosure means taking legal ownership of BTL properties, with no disruption to tenants etc, than it is not a problem. It should have been done a long time ago.

    If foreclosure means throwing families that genuinely cannot pay full mortgages onto the road, particularly by State owned or State supported banks, then the response will be particularly ugly. I think both banks and State know this.
    The idea that such foreclosure should be used, so that potential capital gains will accrue to adventurers, while the residual human fallout and capital losses will be left to the State to bear, should be ‘unthinkable’, even in Ireland.
    However, the more I see the word foreclosure being used, it is usually couched in a moral argument, with a strong dose of ‘pour encourager les autres’ attached to it.

    If a widespread policy of foreclosure, meaning family eviction is contemplated, then one should factor in the security cost of same, a security cost which should include continuing 24 hour security of the vacant property.

  99. seafoid Says:

    Will bankruptcy conditions be revised before the repos start in earnest? I.think the imf 8th review mentioned something. 10 years is a joke. Good old Norn Irn has much more decent terms for the hopelessly insolvent. It’s notable that the UK has often been used as a crutch for the first republic’s most intractable problems such as contraception, abortion and bankruptcy, none of which happen to people of the rosary, obviously.

    I do think fairness is relevant btw. Mass repos need popular support , otherwise the frictional costs are too high. I await the PR drive.

  100. Gavin Kostick Says:

    @ Brian Woods and paul quigley

    Your political discussion being addressed in today’s ‘Irish Times’, plus first comment from finfacts.

    ‘Whisper it, but Fine Gael is the new Fianna Fáil’

    DEAGLáN DE BRéADúN

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/1229/1224328252310.html

  101. Eureka Says:

    Great thread. If only we had politicians capable of participating in debate in this country.
    The insolvency legislation is not enough to allow foreclosures to go ahead. The costs of running it will be extremely high and the appeals process means that the time spend on it could be ridiculous. It’s open to a lot of abuse. If you’re insolvent you’re bankrupt and we should use the UK model pure and simple. And mortgage default should be treated the same way.
    Also the logistics and difficulties for the core of kicking a country out of the Euro are being underestimated – we can go easy on the austerity.

    Our government is a shower of useless narcissistic wimps, however. They are completely out of their depth here. Even a deal on Anglo won’t save them now

  102. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    William Kristol, the American conservative commentator, recently wrote:

    Reading about some conservative organizations and Republican campaigns these days, one is reminded of Eric Hoffer’s remark, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” It may be that major parts of American conservatism have become such a racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary.

    My interest here is the Eric Hoffer comment which could apply across the spectrum. There is no side without the careerists and supporting cast.

    Now that Independent TDs will have the tax-free €41,000 annual ‘leaders allowance’ gift audited for the first time, wonder how it will be spent? Maybe hire their children as researchers?

    On repossessions, the BLT sector should be the main focus. There are possibly many vacant such units.

    The Irish Times reported on Friday that one landlord received €620,000 from the State in the form of rent supplement payments last year.

    Newspaper reports on individual mortgage problems should be treated with caution as it’s likely that the cases that are not reported in the media are the ones that deserve attention.

    In terms of incomes in recent years (up almost 60% in 2010/11), the farmers have been doing well; land prices remain among the highest in the world (second in Europe after the Netherlands) even though down from bubble levels and there are regular CAP cash payments. Besides, farmers have options of selling some of their land.

    Savills said in 2011 that the amount of farmland sold in Ireland each year is very small (0.2% in 2010) when compared to the total agricultural area.

    In Ireland, traditionally it is just one heir who inherits land and because the tax benefits are higher for retaining land heirs are therefore less likely to be sellers. Market activity in England is around 0.5% of the total agricultural area.

    Knight Frank said farmland prices rose 14.7% in 2011.

    In the 1980s, Austin Deasy, minister of agriculture, named the then powerful Troika: Fianna Fáil, the Catholic Church and the IFA, as the most powerful groups in the country.

    The Irish Farmers Association remains on its plinth as the most powerful lobbying group in the land and stoking up the history of British landlords is a potent weapon.

    @ Fiatluxjnr 

    Otto von Bismarck is reputed to have said: “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.”

    That is apt in respect of both Europe and the US.

    Oppositions have the luxury of proposing rescues and then telling the electors that their taxes and pensions are in peril.

    It’s good that the German finance ministry has a Plan B!! Wonder if its Irish counterpart has one?

  103. DOCM Says:

    @ FLJ

    Thanks for the Spiegel link. Nothing really surprising there given the number of participants and their disparate interests. The fact is that heads of state and government should not be negotiating detail in this manner. They should meet less often with their technical ministers doing what they are supposed to do i.e. achieve prior agreement as the ministers for finance (i.e. Schaeuble) succeeded in doing in this instance.

    The only really worthwhile – direct and indirect – quotations IMHO are the following;

    “The biggest contribution to the success of the summit,” says Juncker, “wasn’t made by the heads of state and government, but by the finance ministers ahead of the meeting.” If they hadn’t reached an agreement on the banking union and resolved the Greek problem, he says, “this summit would have gone down in history as a very unsuccessful meeting.”

    What happened to the enthusiasm for reform? Why is Merkel suddenly stepping on the brakes? Juncker lights a cigarette and takes a long drag. Largely, he says, it has to do with the growing influence of the national parliaments. “Since the Greek crisis, the members of parliament are no longer kowtowing to the heads of government. They want to know what taxpayers are being asked to pay for.” He has nothing against the parliaments getting involved, says Juncker, but points out that it will become difficult when they start making preliminary determinations. “If all the parliaments do this, we’ll hardly have any room to negotiate at the summits.”

    and

    “Monday, Dec. 17. Berlin, the headquarters of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, a meeting of the CDU steering committee, 10 a.m.

    Merkel reports on the summit in Brussels. She is under the impression, she says, that Hollande is trying to obstruct everything she proposes between now and the German parliamentary election. Hollande currently has more allies than she does, she says, which is why cooperation isn’t quite working yet. But she’s doing her best to gather more allies for Germany, she adds.

    It sounds a little like the days when there were still wars in Europe.”

    As Churchill said, “to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war”.

    What neither Juncker nor Merkel said – or, at least, Der Spiegel did not advert to – is that all are also waiting for Hollande to trip over his economic policy shoelaces, a process that happens to coincide with the run-up to the German elections. Merkel is understandably aware of the dangers to her electorally in this situation and is unlikely to give Hollande any presents. Schaeuble, ever the statesman, has stated publicly that he expects France to straighten up and avoid the worst.

    The article is also somewhat unfair to both Barroso and Van Rompuy. They could not avoid running the flag of future developments in relation to political and economic integration up the pole as this is what both were asked and supposed to do (especially the Commission which has its own treaty based right of initiative). That all member states, in effect, failed to salute is a political fact of life. As the existing treaties allow for all the necessary steps, this is hardly either paralysis or tragedy. The fact that some of the summit participants could return to the hum-drum and argue about irrelevancies such as to dates for meetings – as opposed to being in constant crisis mode – is in itself, it sems to me, an achievement.

  104. Brian Woods Says:

    @ GK: Thanks for that mention. My paranoia level has been raised to DEFCON 3! 8-)

    This quote is ‘somewhat’ misleading. Par for course. Ireland never did L/R politics – too many Rs and too few Ls (apart from the helium head theoretic types).

    “Such an eventuality would mean that, after many decades where academics and commentators lamented the absence of “normal” left-right politics in this State, we would finally have achieved that dispensation.”

    What ‘they’ lamented (if I am interpreting the Pol Sci literature properly) was the absence of ‘social bases’. The primal political cleavage in Ireland during 1918 – 1924 was (I believe) Periphery v Metropolitan followed by an internal cleavage of Pastoral v Industrial, followed by a vertical cleavage in the Pastoral along the two irreconcilable interpretations of one of the clauses in the Anglo-Irish Treaty. This was again followed by a further schism-like cleavage in the anti-treaty side into pragmatic populists (FF) and a two-pack terrorist rump; the 26 C version sulked on the political margins for 5 decades its 6 C counterpart spending the next 8 decades perfecting their murderous terrorist tactics – and some are still active! SF are about as far removed from modern European democratic politics as it is possible to be.

    Irish voters have some very hard thinking to do. Something that they may find difficult. And the media are not too helpful. Then its time to mark their ballots. My paranoia stems from the fact that as currently set-up, the government in this state is an elected dictatorship. The opposition is merely (despite all assurances to the contrary) a bunch of Niet Men. Its all they can do!

  105. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    A French constitutional panel on Saturday threw out a plan to tax the ultrawealthy at a 75% rate, saying it was excessive.

  106. David O'Donnell Says:

    @FaceBook (could you pay a little more here please?)

    If you are as cynical as I am, I know you are not surprised that Facebook paid Irish taxes (via Tax Justice Network) of about $4.64 million on its entire non-US profits of $1.344 billion for 2011.* This 0.3% tax rate is a bit below the normal, already low, Irish corporate income tax of 12.5%.

    As with Apple, Facebook funnels its foreign profits into its Irish subsidiary. As the Guardian article explains:

    http://www.angrybearblog.com/2012/12/surprise-facebook-avoids-its-european.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FHzoh+%28Angry+Bear%29

  107. PR Guy Says:

    @MH

    I think they said it was unfair in the way it treated different households differently! All very odd. Clearly, the President has no real power in France and the ultra wealthy do. A good message to send out to the French masses as the new year dawns. Get down on your knees and work to save the elite dogs…. er, I mean liberté, égalité, fraternité.

    The battle between labour and capital trundles on, one-sided as it is.

  108. paul quigley Says:

    @ BW

    ‘This was again followed by a further schism-like cleavage in the anti-treaty side into pragmatic populists (FF) and a two-pack terrorist rump; the 26 C version sulked on the political margins for 5 decades its 6 C counterpart spending the next 8 decades perfecting their murderous terrorist tactics – and some are still active! SF are about as far removed from modern European democratic politics as it is possible to be.’

    I akm sorry but the historical record simply does not support your view. The modern version of SF emerged in Ulster after the 1981 Hunger Strike death of Bobby Sands. Republican paramilitary activity was pretty much quiescent for decades, until it was sparked off in the early 70s by civil troubles, sectarian murder, rioting etc. It was subsequently turbo-charged by the disastrous and profoundly anti-democratic policy of internment without trial. Making a stick to beat oneself is not the best approach, as was eventually (re)discovered by the PTB.

    Contrary to your repeated assertion, the SF party is part of the Northern and Southern democratic political landscape. Thousands of members (not including me) and hundreds of thousands of votes. Perhaps these folk are all stupid and deluded, as you seem to suggest. Or perhaps they are just a bit fair minded and want to move forward.

    There is nothing wrong with a bit of paranoia of course, as the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, but it is naive to buy into the myth of the ‘dangerous, perfidious, Other’. As the US General apochryphally said in Vietnam, ‘I have seeen the enemy, and it is us’.

  109. Eureka Says:

    @ PQ
    Excellent post.
    Has been a very interesting thread all told

  110. DOCM Says:

    @ MH/PR Guy

    That was a shoelace that I had not expected Hollande to trip over! According to the French press, the subject of the judgement lies in the discriminatory treatment of taxpayers depending on how incomes are distributed between couples. It is a disaster for Hollande, in the initial general assessment; and for his prime minister.

  111. DOCM Says:

    @ MH/PR Guy

    For ‘subject’ read ‘substance’.

    FYI

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d5846b16-51b2-11e2-abb6-00144feab49a.html#axzz2GHG1vAaE

    It is interesting to note that the Socialists reversed the balance – between tax increases and expenditure cuts – to that adopted here. Unless there is a change, Hollande and his colleagues appear to be on the road to nowhere (or, rather, a sudden change of direction such as that forced on Mitterand; after two years!).

  112. Brian Woods Says:

    @ PQ: Thanks for the update and correctives. I’ll accept you’re versions and I may re-visit my beliefs (I do purchase myths – SF is one of us!) if I observe the kind of democratic behaviour I believe to be ‘normal’. The emerging political cleavage may be between the More Equal and the Less Equal sectors of our population. Lets just sit this one out.

    “Perhaps these folk are all stupid and deluded, as you seem to suggest.”

    Nope. Quite the contrary. Though maybe they need to engage in some lateral political analysis. Folk rarely do this. Much easier to ‘believe’ the electoral guff. SF have picked (and are picking) the ‘low-hanging electors. If they remain Left – they are to one side of the median (conservative and right of centre) Irish voters. All a FG-FF alliance has to do is shift a little to their Left (be more populist) and they will straddle the median voters. Game over!

    Thanks again for your responses.

  113. paul quigley Says:

    @BW

    Thank you also. All to play for. If we can pull away enough of the political/cultural undergrowth, we might all get a better view of the economic trees.

  114. DOCM Says:

    @ All

    A tremendous commentary in La Tribune which goes behind the scenes in relation to the 75% tax in France.

    http://www.latribune.fr/opinions/editos/20121229trib000739798/taxe-a-75-errare-humanum-est-perseverare-diabolicum-.html

    The essential elements are (i) the tax was introduced as a stunt to unite the Left in the heat of the presidential election (ii) the decision of the Constitutional Court may not be that unwelcome to Hollande (iii) his government has already, in any case, indicated that the tax is time-limited (for a period of two years; shades of a pension levy!) and (iv) the Court has given its approval to the measures proposed in relation to regaining competitiveness i.e. essentially pursuing a policy which Sarkozy attempted but failed to implement. (Maybe the change in direction is already taking place and Schaeuble’s confidence is not misplaced!).

  115. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @Paul
    I am not so sure we have seen the enemy – in that way our conflict is not unlike Vietnam where the Cong remain in the Jungle.

    What we do know is that something or someone – lets call it the force , stopped the flow within Europe some 3+ years ago now.

    This has caused a catastrophic bleeding within the Euro construct.

    In the words of the December oil market report :

    “closer examination, market fundamentals tell another story.

    Recent data have helped to show two key areas of almost violent structural change in sharp relief. The

    first has to do with an apparent acceleration in the eastward shift of global oil demand growth. Latest

    data show European oil demand underwent the steepest contraction y?o?y in 3Q12 since the 2008?2009

    financial crisis, even as Asian oil demand remained remarkably robust.

    While there clearly are similarities between Europe’s situation now and then, the differences are even

    more striking. The last time European oil demand nosedived as it did this summer, international oil prices

    had been in freefall. Not only are crude prices holding up, but European consumer prices hovered near

    record highs this summer, buoyed in part by a weakening currency. This was likely part of the reason for

    the dip in demand.

    Three years ago, Europe was broadly in sync with Asia and the rest of the world. Today, there is a clear

    contrast not only in oil demand trends, but also in economic growth between Europe and Asia. North

    America falls somewhere in the middle. Everywhere, uncertainty prevails. China is sending out mixed

    economic signals. Meanwhile, whether the recent plunge in European oil demand is part of a trend or

    just a one?off is unclear. Early data show demand bouncing back in October, but may be revised………………”

    For me the symbol of 2012 is the tramway of Jaen. (Southern Spain)
    Carrying unpaid passengers in the Spring of 2011 but even now in a testing limbo for lack of euro tokens.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_k2H-d7AT0

    We live within a malfunctioning political construct – not unlike the previous Soviet.

    All that Heroic Irish sacrifice (100billion euros now I think) to “bail out the core” – and still it implodes.

    Something is wrong with the machine me thinks.

  116. Eureka Says:

    @ Paul
    The enemy is not us…the enemy is the banks……
    The clue is – look at their profits….
    Not only are they not getting shot – they’re running away with the booty…

  117. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    The writing on the wall
    Spring 2010.

    http://www.economic-undertow.com/2010/03/18/the-end-of-the-euro/

    “The idea that I posed earlier, an IMF funding coupled with IMF austerity is a no- win outcome for both Greece – which will then be unable to escape a deflationary collapse – and for the rest of Europe. The idea of the euro was to minimize the effects of these kinds of money panics. If the Eurozone cannot find the means or will to act in the face of a crisis it was intended to prevent, what is the point of the euro?”

    &

    . Germany is exporting its bitterness and willfulness as well. Deflation stands at the shoulder of the entire Eurozone. Some might think this would allow for a stronger euro: What is the point? What products will Europe exchange for what it wishes to own? There must be some commerce taking place from Europe to the rest of the world or the trap is sprung, not a liquidity trap but an export trap. This would keep them away from the crude oil that they require to function. This more than the debt compound spiral is what awaits the European Union. The alternative to commerce is for the ECB to create more euros for the purpose of foreign currency exchange – to sell money rather than goods – but doing so now or later is pointless.

    Why not do so in 2008 when it would have mattered most and cost the least to bail out Greece and clear the speculators and bank interests from the debt market at the same time?

    The euro becomes ironic: too hard within Europe itself but always second fiddle to the dollar for the Middle Eastern energy producers will always prefer the dollar as it represents ‘security’.

    “Portugal is selling dollar- denominated bonds. This is really the beginning of the end of the euro. The dollarization of Europe starts now. The euro ultimately will not be exchanged for fuel or at a crushing discount to dollars.

    If it cannot be used to hedge fuel costs nor can it provide monetary security for all of its users, what good is it?

    What euro?

    What is taking place is exposing the underlying folly of the common currency, that changing the color of the money can somehow substitute for national discipline and the need to set better priorities”

    Dork – in a post from a while back I stated to Stephan it was either North America , Europe or China which will head south.

    It looks like us.
    Europe has lost nearly 2MBD since 2006 – yet its currency remains hard – again a catastrophic situation.
    Thats 10 Celtic Tiger Irelands gone down the sinkhole within Europe.

    From the IEA
    The sharpest 3Q12 declines were seen in Portugal
    (‐12.8%), closely followed by Poland (‐10.6%), Italy
    (‐8.9%), Ireland (down 8.8%), Greece (‐8.6%), Spain
    (‐7.8%) and Germany (‐7.2%). Only the Czech Republic,
    Denmark and Norway bucked the trend, rising by 2.7%,
    1.0% and 0.9%, respectively.

  118. John Gallaher Says:

    @Eureka there was a decision know as the “dunne” judgement that has halted or stalled the repo’s.Thier is a commitment to fix or close this loophole in the new year.
    Contrary to some expectations the banks/institutions will act in their own best interests and pursue a path of least resistance with maximum reward…or in other words they will target first the buy to let segment.
    You will not be looking at a scene from 28 Days Later with malnourished or impoverished families wandering the byways and highways.
    Instead you get a flushing of the deadbeats and a orderly transfer of property to new entrants or cash rich existing players.Its part and parcel of a normally functioning market…winners and losers.
    http://www.anthonyjoyce.ie/landmark-legal-ruling-find-loophole-mortgage-halt-hundreds-repossessions/

  119. seafoid Says:

    @docm
    2 things I noticed reading the FT recently

    They are sticking the knife intensively into Hollande- isn’t it a bit early?
    They have very little insight into Chinese politics.

  120. seafoid Says:

    @Eureka
    The covered banks are losing money and eating into their honohan stuffer buffers. Those tracker mortgages are losing money hand over fist. That imf 8th review has a chart explaining what makes up the 2% of assets in extra losses they are making. If they were horses they would be destroyed.

  121. Eureka Says:

    @ John Gallagher
    Thanks for that.
    That’s reasonably encouraging and all in all a step in the right direction. It will bring some sanity to the rental market.
    It will lead to a drop in property prices (especially in the apartment sector) however. This will in turn lead to a write down on some property values. You might see bank bond auction sales becoming more difficult as the outside world realises what the real value of property in a decaying nation is. This is all part of the absolutely necessary correction of things – but it will bring more pressure on banks

  122. Eureka Says:

    @ Seafoid
    You now have some idea how long it takes me to write 10 lines – our posts crossed and I missed yours.
    Repossessions means realisation of true value – things are going to be bad for our banks in 2013.
    As you said – it’s almost time to put them down.

  123. PR Guy Says:

    @The Dork of Cork

    This summer the French (SCNF? SNCF?) were running trains between Carcassonne and Limoux for a fare of just 1 Euro.

  124. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @PR
    Yes they did this on the line between Nimes and Le Grau-du-Roi during the summer creating some friction between local shop keepers as some of the street urchins of Nimes hot summer streets hit the Beech…….

    But the trains (mainly diesel x 73500s) were never so full.

    http://www.midilibre.fr/2012/07/17/train-a-1eur-la-situation-actuelle-inquiete-les-cheminots-cgt,535075.php

    They plan to extend the scheme even wider next year with even the little yellow train only one euro (the best train ride in France)

    Also The stations of the yellow train line were given a work over via a local employment scheme which seems to have worked out OK.

  125. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    http://www.midilibre.fr/2012/12/19/le-train-a-1eur-dans-toute-la-region-d-ici-fin-2014,614634.php

  126. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @PR
    End of the line……………

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3Lw-y9Zf0w&list=UUna2MGL9iOtgtjB1lDAYStg&index=60

  127. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    @ DOCM / PR Guy

    Until the 1990s, France was among Europe’s leading economies in per capita GDP. By 2011, however, the country had dropped to 11th out of the EU-15. Low labour force participation of older and young people, as well as high unemployment rates are the main drivers of this per capita GDP gap.

    As in Spain, most of the job losses in recent years have been among temporary workers.

    In 2006, President Chirac’s government was forced by street protests to withdraw its proposed first jobs contract (CPE) that was aimed at tackling France’s high youth unemployment by allowing employers to fire workers under-26 year of age, within a two-year trial period without giving any reason.

    A French poll among young people at the time showed that 75% wished to become civil servants, with jobs for life.

    What happens at firm level is that generally young people are given temporary contracts – - as I have said before, this trend will have serious social consequences in ageing societies and Japan already provides plenty evidence of its toxic impact.

    Until the last decade, the public sector (ex health care) created 400,0000 to 600,000 additional jobs each decade but the numbers fell by 40,000 in the past decade while health care (public and private) rose by almost 500,000 in that period.

    Chirac had proposed pension reforms after his election in 1995 but withdrew them after a general strike.

    Hollande likely hopes to avoid any controversial plans before the election in 2017.

    France remains one of the world’s leading countries and is the top global destination for tourism, receiving 78m visitors in 2010.

    I recently came across an interesting 1962 ‘New Yorker’ article on Irish American Gerald Murphy and his wife Sara who lived in France in the 1920s where they met artists such as Picasso, Cole Porter and famously F. Scott Fitzgerald who to their chagrin, based the two principal characters of ‘Tender Is the Night’ on them.

    Mid-way through the 1934 novel which initially was a flop, the characters are transformed to reflect Fitzgerald himself who famously had a love of the gargle and his wife Zelda, who sadly struggled for years with mental illness.

    “Living Well Is the Best Revenge”

    http://nyr.kr/mYkXTg

    “Gerald always felt a tacit competitiveness on Hemingway’s part, which weighed on their relationship. More than once, when Murphy expressed an opinion with which Hemingway agreed, Hemingway turned on him and said, somewhat resentfully, ‘You Irish know things you’ve never earned the right to know.’ As a result of these undercurrents, Gerald was never as close to Hemingway as he was to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.”

  128. PR Guy Says:

    @MH

    I spend a lot of time in France and one thing I noticed this year was the number of people in ‘makey uppey jobs.’ i.e. people with badges on in markets and swimming pools or on the beach coming round and telling you whatever you were doing was forbidden – “il est interdit”

    This observation was made before Hollande was voted in I should add.

    Person with badge: Excuse me sir, why are you and your children laughing and playing?

    Moi: We are just enjoying ourselves.

    Person with badge: Enjoying yourselves? Il est interdit.

    What you say about temporary jobs is already happening in the UK and Ireland. The number of people I know in the financial services industry who have lost their jobs over the past few years and are now ‘freelance’ consultants is staggering. This is across a broad range of skills from finance to project management.

    It used to be that the out of work gathered on specific street corners early in the morning in the hope that an employer would come past in their cart/van and offer them some work for a limited time. Those street corners these days have been replaced by websites such as Monster, Linkedin, Jobserve, etc. A lot of the so-called contracts (e.g. six month interim assignments) on there are makey uppey too. A recruitment consultant I know in the UK tells me they often make up an assignment to fish for specific CV’s and they often receive between 400-800 applications in the first hour alone on some of the roles they post on job websites. I fear the real unemployment situation is a lot worse than some of the figures show. I wonder how many there really are out there ‘actively searching for new role’

  129. DOCM Says:

    @ MH/PR Guy

    Comments which bring us full circle back to the conclusion that only the “Scandinavian” solution will work i.e. minimum common contract and pension arrangements for all, active employment and training measures, little or no distinction between employment in the public and the private sector, state-supported child-care arrangements, universal health care etc. etc. And, of course, a high level of personal taxation. France has the latter but nothing like the Scandinavian equivalent of the former.

    @ Stephen Kinsella

    It occurs to me on reading the many comments above that a session on the “international, EU and UK/Ireland context” may also recommend itself.

  130. David O'Donnell Says:

    further to my comment above on Facebook and tax collection …

    Colm McCarthy tends to agree ….

    ‘If the 12.5 per cent rate is to be defended, it needs to be collected. Compulsory study of a modern language in primary school needs to be introduced, as well as measures to involve business and industry directly in the design of the curriculum and the allocation of places in third-level colleges.

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/economic-growth-is-being-held-back-by-headwind-of-eurozone-constraints-3338697.html

  131. David O'Donnell Says:

    Varadkar wants to give diaspora the vote

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/varadkar-wants-to-give-diaspora-the-vote-3338793.html

    +1

    We’ve had a few threads on this one before. AFAIK also SF policy … which should impress Brian Woods

  132. paul quigley Says:

    @ Dork

    ‘I am not so sure we have seen the enemy – in that way our conflict is not unlike Vietnam where the Cong remain in the Jungle.’

    Of course. I was speaking of history, culture and politics, and speciifcally about the sorts of misunderstandings, paraqdoxes, and complexities which bedevil Anglo Irish relations. One of the reasons why your excellent historical economic arguments are marginalised is that we tend to get sucked into emotive, zero-sum political conflicts.

    With apologies for the gender bias, here is Marcus Aurelius fro two millenia ago:

    ‘Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill… I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together..’

    More power to your elbow Dork, and Happy New Year to all. I’m off to Clare for a few tunes :)

  133. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @ Yee Guys

    You seem to think Europe needs more competition………….I beg to differ.

    Competition destroys your capital base.
    The capital base of Europe both human and material has been destroyed.

    So why do we need more competition ?

    SNCF can operate a 1 Euro line because there is still a run of credit deposits from the periphery to the core.

    But there is no reason why a nation cannot produce national money to sudsidize a Industry to achieve a national goal.
    Money must come from somewhere i.e. the flow must continue.

    It would be much less wasteful then some bank producing credit for a asset such as a house or car.

    PS PR
    As France becomes more and more like Germany its people will need more policing.
    http://www.midilibre.fr/2012/12/03/sncf-une-centaine-d-emplois-creees-contre-les-incivilites,605058.php

    I imagine this is for the new Ryanair style TGV service post April 1.

    http://www.midilibre.fr/2012/11/13/le-tgv-low-cost-sera-lance-le-1er-avril-sous-le-nom-d-ouigo,593545.php

    They will fit in another 200 passengers ……….each with less space……

  134. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @Paul
    Enjoy yourself out there……………..
    Happy New Year.

  135. Brian Woods Says:

    @ DO’D: Votes for non-resident citizens??? This is radical??? Jesus wept! We are really inhabiting a political Hobbit Hole.

    Back on track, as they say. If its military analogies: the ‘enemy’ are our legislators. They DO have powers. Its just easier to refrain from recognizing reality (maybe they cannot!) and taking resolute action to protect ALL citizens from the predations of the financial interests. It appears that some folk are just more equal than others.

    If we were being subjected to a military yoke some folk would take up arms (and justifiably so). But since our yoke is legally protected debt any genuine protest (which will have to have some element of ‘unrest’ if it is to be effective) – our Gardai can be relied upon to protect the _______. Fill in the gap yourselves!

    Violence works! But how is the devastation to be corrected. It never is! The non-reformers have only to hunker down in their Hobbit Holes. Only the application of sustained, third-party Force Majeur will force them to the surface – very reluctantly! And that third-party will have hang around for a long time to ensure reform compliance. And that third-party has be be the citizens of this state. Not some external agency who demand an extractive ‘commission’ for their efforts.

    Is this what we (politically and economically) are facing in this state?

  136. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    Meanwhile to keep the French in Business – just across the border the Spanish must stop all activity that does not keep the cars going.

    http://www.sudouest.fr/2012/12/28/canfranc-privee-de-trains-920187-710.php

    The French had plans to relink this old rail route (closed in 1970) – now Spain must become another Greece to feed the bank credit monster as that seems the only mechanism to create money tokens in Europe.

    What people don’t get is that peak oil was created by the euro construct itself………..peak oil in terms of $ price happened back in 1998 as the monster credit flows out of Europes banking system was reaching a final decade long crescendo

    You can clearly see this in this IEA paper.

    see peak $ oil in 1998 on page 6

    http://www.iea.org/stats/surveys/mps.pdf

    Only national credit can save us now.

    Otherwise all of Europe will enter a monetary event horizon.

    They call this black hole the core for some strange reason.

    There is really nothing there……..

  137. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    Meanwhile to keep the French in Business – just across the border the Spanish must stop all activity that does not keep the cars going.

    http://www.sudouest.fr/2012/12/28/canfranc-privee-de-trains-920187-710.php

    The French had plans to relink this old rail route (closed in 1970) – now Spain must become another Greece to feed the bank credit monster as that seems the only mechanism to create money tokens in Europe.

    What people don’t get is that peak oil was created by the euro construct itself………..peak oil in terms of $ price happened back in 1998 as the monster credit flows out of Europes banking system was reaching a final decade long crescendo

    You can clearly see this in this IEA paper.

    see peak $ oil in 1998 on page 6

    http://www.iea.org/stats/surveys/mps.pdf

    Only national credit can save us now.

    Otherwise all of Europe will enter a monetary event horizon.

    They call this black hole the core for some strange reason.

    There is really nothing there……..

  138. Brian Woods Says:

    For those with the time and stomach:

    http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.ie/2012/12/strangers-among-us-fatal-allure-of.html

  139. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    @ PR Guy

    You make an interesting point about the employment situation.

    France 24 reports that an investigation by French daily Le Parisien published on Thursday suggested the jobless problem is even more alarming than the figures show because there are thousands of unemployed in France who have disappeared off the radar.

    Although the official figure for the number of unemployed in France stands at over 3m, Le Parisien estimates the true figure could be as high as 9m, when part-time workers and those who are not on the books of the country’s job centres (Pôle emploi) are taken into account.

    According to the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE: Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques), 75,000 jobs will be lost in the first six months of 2013, half of which will be in industry.

    @ David O’Donnell

    On emigrants and getting the vote, maybe within a period of up to 5 years after departure?

    Otherwise, the US system seems to be the fairest; you have the vote but you also have an obligation to pay taxes on world income.

    As for Vardaker’s reference to the ‘Gathering initiative,’ maybe it will be more than a flash in the pan?

    The embassy in Kuala Lumpur seems to operate like some Irish PR and other companies who store their circulation lists on an individual PC – - the departure of an employee can mean that nobody can find the list (PwC, NCB Stockbrokers and Ernst & Young come to mind)!!

    I registered at the KL embassy about 5 years ago but invariably end up phoning before each Paddy’s Day to check the location of the party (Guinness, the local brewer, provides the free booze). Business cards are also collected on entry but may well be binned.

  140. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @Micheal

    Higher efficiency (the machines) displaces jobs……..

    People in Europe are not paid money tokens

    They are paid capital tokens…………

    Therefore people cannot afford to pay labour to do work , labour is too expensive relative to the machines.

    However the machine inputs just keep on rising……..to keep the current system on the road domestic demand must be sacrificed.

    Soon they will start killing people to feed the machines.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOZ46cWYO8U

    Europe is a classic Nazi system.

  141. seafoid Says:

    The swiss magazine l’hebdo has a feature on youth unemployment by Kevin Gertsch. EU average is 22.8% or around 3x the general unemployment rate.Greece has 57%, Finland 19%, Belgium 18%, Netherlands 10% , UK 30%, Sweden 23%. A time bomb but the banks are being looked after. 1 trillion in electronic money for them .

  142. Eureka Says:

    @ Seafoid
    Do you have a figure for Germany?

  143. Joseph Ryan Says:

    @Eureka

    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics

    “In October 2012, 5.678 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU-27, of whom 3.609 million were in the euro area. Compared with October 2011, youth unemployment increased by 279 000 in the EU-27 and by 350 000 in the euro area. In October 2012, the youth unemployment rate was 23.4 % in the EU-27 and 23.9 % in the euro area. In October 2011 it was 21.9 % and 21.2 % respectively. In October the lowest rates were observed in Germany (8.1 %),Austria (8.5 %) and the Netherlands (9.8 %), and the highest in Greece (57.0 % in August 2012) and Spain (55.9 %).

    In October 2012, the unemployment rate was 7.9 % in the USA. In Japan it was 4.2 % in September. ”

    The oxymoron that is European solidarity is displayed in the chart below.
    This chart the pain is being shared in Europe.

    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php?title=File:Unemployment_rates_by_duration_2011_%28%25%29.png&filetimestamp=20120502101101

  144. Eureka Says:

    @ Joseph
    And I quote from Angela:

    “That means that many hundreds of thousands of families have a secure future,” she said.
    “And that means that a lot of young people have the security of training and jobs and thus will get off to a good start in their careers.”

    Says it all doesn’t it.

  145. DOCM Says:

    @ Stephen Kinsella

    Pensions also appear to have finally made it to the front of the stage with the Coalition parties taking ideological potshots at one another.

    As Canada is being referred to as a possible model, FYI

    http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/article/4034-canada-s-hidden-unfunded-public-sector-pension-liabilities.html

    Nothing new under the sun!

    If there is to be a successful pension reform it must be fully funded and apply to ALL workers.

  146. Eureka Says:

    @ DOCM
    Now hold on a minute. Europe is where the real problems are

  147. DOCM Says:

    @ Eureka

    There are problems both at the national and the European level. The main distinction between them is that politicians can do something independently – with political difficulty – to resolve the first at a national level when they have to find a difficult consensus with other countries to resolve the second. Implying that only the second are real suggest that they must be resolved first. This is an easy cop out for national politicians but does not stand up to serious examination.

    It should be clear from the crossfire of end-of-year staking out of positions that there is belated recognition that the four indigestible and major elements involved in sticking the Irish Humpty Dumpty back together again (i) excessive social welfare entitlements (i.e. relative to the capacity to pay) (ii) ditto public service pay, conditions and pensions (iii) health expenditure and (iv) rent-seeking generally (notably gouging by the professions) simply have to be addressed.

    How it is to be done, is the question for 2013.

    A deal on the PNs and banking debt will be helpful but it will not remove the requirement to resolve the problems above.

  148. Eureka Says:

    @ DOCM
    False dichotomy
    Europe needs political rescuing

  149. PR Guy Says:

    Please don’t drink and drive an economy this evening.

    Happy New Year to you all.

    I’m now going to FO to the pub (one that isn’t charging to get in).

    See you on the other side of the Cliscal Fiff. Hic!

  150. DOCM Says:

    @ All

    FYI

    http://blogs.ft.com/gavyndavies/2012/12/30/another-year-in-thrall-to-the-central-bankers/?

  151. Eureka Says:

    @ DOCM
    Merkels speech was way off the mark.
    It really spoke volumes for how she thinks.
    The crisis will continue do long as Germsny profits from it.
    Their banks lend to their smes at lower rates than ours because our taxpayers made their banks avoid facing up to losses.
    Lets close our banks and open up branches of Deutschebank here instead

  152. DOCM Says:

    @ Eureka

    I suggest that you look a little closer to home for the problems ahead of us in 2013.

    http://www.herald.ie/news/patients-face-brutal-insurance-hike-with-reilly-beds-charge-3339657.html

    Handing out medical cards like confetti, as happened during the year just departing, and failing to correct the problem in the budget, does not augur well for the coming year.

  153. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    Surprised no one commented on a mawkish , sterile puke inducing performance of our Great leaders today.

    These guys are mere managers , not leaders.

    Why has our real Taoiseach not spoken on this Great day for the Irish jurisdiction or does Patrick only speak to RTE at strategic moments when the Great God mammon is under threat.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cTpLD5dgSI

  154. seafoid Says:

    2013 is of course the year Ireland weans itself off official funding. Mar dhea. Banking crisis year what now? Is it 7 already? It is the spitting image of its father. And so the long emergency continues.

  155. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    Forty years ago today Ireland joined the European Economic Community.

    At that time, the Iron Curtain hemmed in millions in the vast prison that was the Soviet Union and its satellite states, while military juntas ruled Spain, Portugal and Greece. It was just over 4 years since Russian tanks had rolled into Prague to reinstall a hardline puppet government.

    By any measure, the enlargement to 27 countries and the development of the European Union from the wasteland in the aftermath of World War II, has been a remarkable success of gigantic proportions.

    Ireland has made no net contribution to the EU budget in any year to-date.

    In the late 1970s and in the 4 years 1990-93, net receipts exceeded 5% of annual GDP.

    Besides the direct foreign aid of about €43bn (in real terms, it would be much bigger), agricultural price supports and market access for US companies in Ireland, the contribution of the EU in the area of social policy legislation has also been significant. To put that in context, in 1973, a brave woman from Cork took a case to the Irish Supreme Court, which ruled it unconstitutional for the law to prohibit the importation of contraceptives for personal use. It took the politicians another 20 years to properly reform the law – - starting with the requirement of a doctor’s prescription to buy condoms in a pharmacy to a taoiseach voting against his own government’s bill on the issue.

    Frank Barry wrote in 2003:

    “Ireland, however, did not deviate much from around 60 percent of the level of national income per head in the UK (the country’s single most important trading partner) between 1913 and 1985.

    Trade liberalisation in the late 1950s, and EU accession in 1973, nevertheless changed the economic environment dramatically and sowed the seeds of the rapid real convergence experienced over the last decade or so. The fact that convergence did not take place until almost two decades of EU membership had passed is thought provoking however, and the lessons of the earlier unsuccessful period – about processes and policies to be avoided – are therefore arguably as important as the lessons to be learned from an analysis of the country’s dramatic growth in the 1990s.”

    http://www.tcd.ie/business/staff/fbarry/papers/papers/Finance%20a%20Uver.pdf

    In 2008, Stipe Mesic, then president of aspiring member Croatia, said after the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty referendum at a time when the penny had still to drop that the bubble had burst: “Now that they have used the accession and structural funds, when they have developed enormously, I’m a little surprised that the solidarity is at an end.”

    While there is a legitimate case for alleviation of the bank debt, it should not be forgotten that we did get significant help in the past without any strategic interest on the part of Europeans and twice in a generation, we blew it.

  156. Michael Hennigan - Finfacts Says:

    Irish shares rose by 17% average in 2012; ISEQ index back to mid-1997 levels

    http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1025372.shtml

  157. John Gallaher Says:

    Pay freeze…..now there’s an interesting idea!

    “The pay freeze on members of Congress, which Obama had lifted this week, will be re-imposed..”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/01/wonkbook-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/?hpid=z1

  158. seafoid Says:

    @MH
    Of course there was strategic interest. That is how capitalism works. Infrastructure is sponsored usually by the ps and private companies follow. As recently as 1985 we were told that les francais adorent le piat d’or. They don’t. Tweed by Lentheric was classy enough to advertise on TV. Do you remember that ‘chilli con what?’ ad. Think of all the consumer education that turned into GDP growth. And What self respecting Irish woman would be happy today with a perfume called Tramp?

  159. John Gallaher Says:

    Some color on govt. employees and pay freezes..attached pay scales below are in US dollars.
    “As most readers know, President Obama proposed a pay freeze on civilian employee pay that was applicable all federal civilian employees. This was way back in 2010″
    http://www.fedsmith.com/2012/12/27/end-of-the-federal-pay-freeze-announced/

    Zerohedge and others have been having some discussions/fun on the merits or otherwise of pay freezes for Govt. employees during times of austerity..quite the disparity btw. US govt. pay and Irish equivalent….not exactly earth shattering news but Gilmore’s salary still exceeds Bidens after the above raise.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-orders-raise-biden-members-congress-federal-workers_692223.html

  160. The Dork of Cork. Says:

    @Micheal

    Can we go back to 1973 please…………..pretty please.

    At least we had some internal redundancy back then…..although the oil opiate had been building since the post suez era.

    You are just looking at fiscal stuff.

    You should know by now the shadow stuff is treated as if it were fiscal.

    100 billion euros of private credit already has been drained from the system since 2008 and has not been replaced by national credit.
    It has been replaced by fiscal stuff which we must pay interest on for the rest of eternity.

    Its the oldest trick in the book.
    The Ceausescu era comes to mind.
    Give them all the fancy toys they want and when they have lost all internal redundancy pull the rug from under the bastards.

    Europe has always been a scam.

  161. Eureka Says:

    @ Dork
    You’re ahead of your time. No point in forcing time to catch up. Accept it and wait smugly for time to catch up.

  162. DOCM Says:

    @ All

    Two interesting items in today’s IT which neatly identify a number of unavoidable shoals during 2013.

    The first by Derek Scally deals with the possible outcome of the federal elections in Germany which, being far from certain, will limit the role that Merkel can play.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2013/0102/1224328327950.html

    The second, by business consultant Eddie Molly, deals with the complete inadequacy of the government’s approach to reform of the public service and the impossibility of meeting the target of one billion in savings.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2013/0102/1224328327122.html

  163. DOCM Says:

    @ All

    On the subject of pensions, it is generally recognised that Sweden is the country that has carried out the most radical – and successful, in terms of viability – reform. The Google search page throws up a number of interesting references.

    http://www.google.ie/search?sourceid=navclient&hl=en-GB&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGNI_enIE485IE485&q=pensions+in+sweden

    The paper by J. Selén underlines just how difficult the process was and why it took over fifteen years to achieve. A key factor is that productive labour outside the public service is exceptionally well organised – for historical reasons – when the opposite is the case in Ireland.

    The OECD report on reform of the system in Ireland as sought by the government and to become available shortly should make for an interesting read. It is hard to see how it could avoid the question of the disparity of treatment between private and public sector employment.

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