Vitor Gaspar resigns

FT report here.

28 replies on “Vitor Gaspar resigns”

Even when blatantly warranted, you won’t see any Irish politician similarly resign. Nothing more to say.

“In a letter of resignation, he acknowledged that he had lost the public support to continue following the government’s failure to meet fiscal targets and a much deeper recession and higher unemployment than it had forecast when he took office two years ago.”

Who was responsible for the projections in the various bailout countries ?
Would the local Finance Ministry normally be claonta towards optimism or were the Troika pushing the contractionary expansion meme?

Meanwhile no sign of ez unemployment falling. Up to 12.1% general and 24% youth. Austerity is not working.

It is the corrupt Irish politicians and their corrupt media friends who are solely responsible for the commercial property bubble. All Haughey’s bagmen and all the corrupt politicians bagmen are sovereign landlords. No other government in the world would sign these ruinous commercial leases.

John corcoran Says:
April 21st, 2011 at 9:02 pm
The eurozone consists of 17 countries with a combined population of 330 million. Ireland was alone in the eurozone in having a massive commercial property crash. This was entirely a function of our toxic commercial lease law i.e. long leases say 25 years ,tied to upward only rent reviews. All other eurozone countries have short leases say 3-10 years with break clauses and rents reviewed annually by increases/decreases in the CPI.

It would have been impossible to have had a commercial property bubble and crash with normal eurozone lease law. The Society of Chartered Surveyors lobbied for these toxic leases and were the mouthpiece for the landlords/speculators and their valuations were the greatest work of fiction in world property history. Please remember the banks lent tens of billions against these valuations and these toxic commercial leases.

The written media followed the money i.e. economic determinism. There was massive revenues to be gained from auctioneers advertising commercial and residential property. At its peak the Irish Times had 60 page property supplements and became a player by buying The paper and other papers were full of property puff articles and property interests press releases with no critique.

To summarise –the banks were not alone —-toxic commercial lease law/the Society of Chartered Surveyors /the Irish Times et al –played a central role in destroying our childrens futures.

Brian O’ Hanlon Says:
April 21st, 2011 at 9:49 pm
John Corcoran says,

It would have been impossible to have had a commercial property bubble and crash with normal eurozone lease law. The Society of Chartered Surveyors lobbied for these toxic leases and were the mouthpiece for the landlords/speculators and their valuations were the greatest work of fiction in world property history. Please remember the banks lent tens of billions against these valuations and these toxic commercial leases.

Good paragraph. It more more less sums up the truth about Ireland. I agree with the logic as presented. What was very, very interesting to me, when my NAMA developer boss’s business crashed in late 2008, how the Chartered Surveyors all seemed to hold their jobs, as every other professional was fired abruptly. It was kind of like, we must send the kids to bed now. This is adult’s stuff. It really became clear to myself, of where the power lies in the Irish property scene. It is a lesson that I encountered the hard way, a lesson I will not forget tomorrow or the day after. BOH.

@ Philip Lane

Hope you don’t mind if I use this thread to post up the last couple of nights of Fishamble’s ‘Guaranteed!’ by Colin Murphy.

The show was in Garter Lane in Waterford on Saturday but I was not there. Many thanks to Seamus Coffey for attending and speaking. Anyone who was there feel free to post.

Last night in the mighty Civic, Tallaght. A pleasure to meet the evening staff who include graduates of the Tenderfoot programme for transition year students with whom I work annually in writing, performing and producing their own original work. Packed audience: the box office staff tell me they could have sold out three more nights.

Last night’s panel included Colin Murphy, Eamonn Maloney (Lab TD, author “Tallaght a Place with History”), Noel Whelan (Barrister, author, Irish Times Political Columnist), Glenna Lynch (businesswoman, active citizen) and Peter Daly (actor)

After Colin and Peter set the scene. I pressed Colin on people’s memories of Brian Cowen’s behaviour on the night and he said he did repeatedly ask the obvious question about drinking and he said the answer was absolutely not. Whatever about the decision making all people in the room were sober and focused.

Noel Whelan picked up there. He though that the opening scenes with Cowen were too satirical and an easy target when all Irish politicians have to attend local ‘opening’ type events. But as the play moved on to the night he thought it more fair and more interesting as a result. The only criticism he had was that there was a female actor involved when it was men only on the night and that there are too many testosterone driven men in politics and banking. He brought up his own links to FF and Brian Lenihan in particular. He thought that Bertie Ahern made a solo run in a speech in 2007 leading up to the election, spooked by the offers by Pat Rabbitte and the tax-cutting offers made at that time were a surprise to his own party. He himself, in a book, thought taxes were so low they could not be cut further. He cited Garret FitzGerald as one of the few public voices at the time saying that this tax auction stuff was unsustainable.

Glenna Lynch spoke very interestingly on the responsibility of the Irish people. She had some sympathy with politicians who are at least accountable to the public in elections whereas there are very powerful actors: bankers, appointed officials, civil servants who remain ‘behind the scenes’. She thought the crisis home grown – no need to blame foreigners – but that the country is a young democracy in a time of change and she remains optimistic. When politics fails people need to lean into it rather than away from it. He preferred form of inquiry is not one politicised in the Oireachtas but one in a a more public, people’s inquiry format that can get to all the people involved.

Eamonn Maloney spoke about the bubble years in Tallaght and pointed out that planning applications did not show the ultimate source of the finance for each project, which could have been a warning flag. I pressed him on the whip system and that although he was in the party of government he did not actually have much power, due to the cabinet, inner cabinet and troika. He said he say no alternative to the whip system (not really), and that as he had gone doorstep to doorstep on a party platform system, a manifesto, he owed it to the electorate to stick to that. He said that, of course, as the government was borrowing 41million a day to get by the people lending that money had a big say in how it was spent.

In further discussion he said of course backbenchers were aware of being called whip fodder, but TDs could have influence but it was true much of his work as TD was still that which he had done as Councillor. He thought that the multi-seat constituency was the problem. He thought one person one seat, though it might not be popular was the way to go. Until that changed the country would still get the kind of politics it has now. On Tallaght he thought that whilst visible emptiness looks bad, that actually locally occupancy rates are picking up and high compared to other areas.

I brought Peter Daly in on Fintan O’Toole’s critique of theatre, that it too had failed largely in the bubble and the crisis. He said that Fintan doesn’t see enough theatre and the places to look were in younger, low budget companies who are producing remarkable work. He cited theatreclub. He thought the main stages, not so much, but he could see the need for them to retain box office in tough times which might make them shy away a bit. He thought the urge to create such theatre is there in actors and in the responses fro audiences.

A speaker in the room questioned the expertise, or rather lack of it, in elected politicians to do the job.

I put it to Glenna that the end of civil war politics was required and she thought it had largely already ended. She thought there was a much bigger transformation in FF than commonly thought. But even so, it was up to the public to demand the levels of quality required from elected representatives. She thought that there were some subjects o which the whip should be withdrawn and TDs should vote on conscience.

Noel thought that what was required was a looser whip system. In response to the question, he said that he did not think Brian Lenihan was out of his depth.

Digital readers of a future age can see earlier summary notes on the thread below:


What does “claonta” mean?

“Would the local Finance Ministry normally be claonta towards optimism or were the Troika pushing the contractionary expansion meme?”

Corrupt Irish Politicians are solely resonsible for the commercial property Bubble;

The eurozone is a group of seventeen countries with a combined
population of three hundred and thirty million citizens. All member
countries have the same currency,the same central bank,the same
interest rates and the same commercial property lease law except one,
Ireland has very different commercial property lease law to all other eurozone
countries. The three components of all countries commercial lease law
is the length of the lease,the rent determintion process and lease exit
strategies/break clauses. In all other eurozone countries lease lengths
are short,say three to ten years,with break clauses and rents are
indexed annually to changes in the consumer price index. In Ireland
lease lengths are long,say thirty five years,with no break clauses and
rents are reviewed every five years using the ratchet upward-only rent
review process. This review process used the highest rent as evidence
against all tenants and was open to malpractice and corruption.

Irish commercial property lease law was a twinheaded monster which incentivised
the over-renting of tenants and more damaging,it was the rocket fuel
for the commercial property valuation model which created the monster
commercial property bubble. When this bubble burst it destroyed the
entire Irish banking sector. Reckless Irish banks lent tens of billions
against these ruinous leases,not against the properties themselves. If Ireland
had had regular eurozone commercial property lease law it would have been almost
impossible to have had a commercial property bubble.

The only reason Ireland had this feudal lease law was because the corrupt
Irish politicians organised sovereign leases for their bagmen pals. All
Haughey’s bagmen are sovereign landlords

Portugal looks to be falling apart this evening with the Prime Minister to address the nation this evening after his foreign minister resigned …which could result in the government losing its majority in parliament.

Bond yield “surged” today at 6.72%.

And over in Greece the farce continues. Merkel told one of her newspapers that she believes the Troika will give them the next tranche of bailout money. I’m sure she will insist on it as she doesn’t want a crisis right now…but come September or October the greeks may run out of rope.


Five years and poor Angela still has not figured out the ‘real’ problem in the EZ. Bit like the Oirish Question – Margaret never really figured it out either [just now on RTE 1] … spose they are both somewhat ‘claonta’ which may alos be translated as p1gheaded.

On Egypt – note the Army as I predicted over a year ago!


Unlike Mr Snowden ,at lease Angela can never accuse the Irish government of telling the truth;

Last night of Fishamble’s ‘Guranteed!’ by Colin Murphy took place, er, last night at the Civic, Tallaght. Packed audience, the vast majority of who stayed back for the post show discussion.

Once more from memory and I’m trying to avoid editorialising.

Guests included: Colin Murphy (playwright), Jim Power (economist), Dan O’Brien (Economics editor, Irish Times), Johnny Fallon (author, ‘Brian Cowen in his own words’, and ‘Dynasties’) and Peter Daly (actor).

Colin and Peter once again set out the process and experience of the play and Peter talked about his thoughts about acting and the theatre. He identified areas, usually in the younger lower, or completely un-, subsidised companies where good engaged work is being done and problems in the funding systems and difficulties in the larger venues.

I asked Johnny Fallon about the portrait of Cowen in the play. He said it was recognisable as the man he knew. He said that in the build up both Cowen and Lenihan acted according to the advice they were given which was to project confidence at all times. That was the best advice. Cowen had made his name as a chair, an honest and efficient broker in various major disputes at a young age. He took this ‘chairing’ tone into finance so that when the banks came in his tendency was to help support them. I put it that this sounded like classic capture and that surely a Minister for Finance, including Lenihan later, in the middle of an international banking collapse, should have been probing more deeply. He said, yes, and that initially Cowen and Lenihan had a good relationship by a couple of months into office as Finance, Lenihan was aware that things had been let go on Cowen’s watch that should not have been let go. Their relationship became strained.

I asked Jim what his advice would have been on the night. He said he would not have been asked as he had spoken out previously that Ireland should not have been in the EMU and the elites would not be able to handle it. He traced the mistakes on the way, but said that ultimately when it got to the night of the guarantee something like that had to happen. I asked him whether, as a dissident voice, he had experienced bullying from official Ireland during the bubble and he said, well yes, and gave an example of some work on leading indicators he had done for the banks which was for the Irish Banking Fed which had got to a presentation at the central council where amidst cursing and raised voices the project had been buried. He talked about his failure to call the bubble and said – to an extent and he had apologized for this – he relied too much on official figures.

I put the Trichet ‘save your banks’ issue to Dan O’Brien. Dan stressed the fear and panic in the markets and governments and how people were trying to save their systems and the real fear of empty ATMs, riots, etc. He thought that whilst the idea of saving the banks from Frankfurt was in the air, it was really only a thought that fitted into the background of what was happening already. The fear of another Lehman’s. I put it to him that the Icelanders had let their banks go, the system hadn’t imploded, and they seemed to be doing alright. If they have capital controls so do Cyprus. He said that the detail did not give a rosy picture and the Icelanders were now voting back in the party that had overseen the collapse. I said that wasn’t this a crisis of democracy that whichever way people voted their governments were limited to very similar policies. He said yes, there is now a bias against incumbent parties. He talked about the failure of economics, he also apologised but said so one had called him. For the honour of the blog I pointed to Marx and Minsky, but Dan said he hadn’t seen the papers that worked through properly the ‘stability leads to instability’ thesis. I put it to him that this was a classic VSP problem. Dan also said that once you got to the night a guarantee of the kind actually seen was inevitable.

On questions the European dimension was put forward repeatedly. Jim felt that, yes, the issue (anglo) might have been dealt with at a European level but no preparation had been put in that might have made it happen. Jim felt that the financial controls are better now in Ireland (he had cautiously more confidence), but that the politics is politics as usual and has not improved. He thought that anyone who thought that banks acted in the national interest was insane.

Dan felt that the international financial system had not been reformed and that there are still vary grave unresolved problems there.

Johnny pointed out that the basic aim of politicians was to preserve the well-being of the people and they are very proud of being elected to do that. He felt that there is a sense of shame and failure in members of the previous government at not fulfilling that basic aim. In particular when Ministers were asked to rubber stamp by phone, and power was stripped away it was like being slapped. He said that a problem is that in Ireland political success is measured by longevity. To last, you generally went with the advice you were given as to go against advice and/or on principle meant you were exposed to being chucked out if it went wrong.

The above again are just some sketchy notes that don’t do justice to the 45 min., Q& A.

And that’s it from the ‘Guaranteed!’ post shows.

@ Gavin Kostick,

Congratulations to you and all involved.

When will this show be on in the centre (or near it) of Dublin? There would be a large audience, including myself and many of my friends.

@Gavin Kostick

You need to be recording these post show discussions and putting them up on youtube or making a podcast. They will never see the light of day in the state or bank friendly media, so you need to promote them yourselves.


I think it is actually the role of a third person like me, to point out, that recording would kill these kinds of discussions

And for those of you,

who do not only wallow in your own despair, watch what is happening in Portugal (and much less relevant, as I hope, Egypt)

The only Portugues economics blog I found so far:

How would you describe that, in your own words?

One of the consequences of OMT has been the creation of a sense of stability with money flowing back from the core to the periphery. Now would not be a great time for a crisis, ahead of the German election. I hope contagion does not spread.

@Gavin Kostick

There would never have been a property bubble without Dan O’Brien’s Irish Times. Sad

Cheers Jim,

Fintan O’Toole thinks so too.

‘Cleverly crafted farce makes us laugh till it hurts’

“The only mystery about Guaranteed! is why it’s not playing for long runs in Ireland’s major theatres. It is, in the proper sense, a national event, a piece of theatre that performs a real public service by making the banking collapse immediate, visible and comprehensible. It is a cheap, no-frills production with nothing cheap in its writing or staging. There is obviously a huge appetite both for the play and the post-show discussions that follow it. Yet, it has played just eight performances, the last of them in Tallaght on Tuesday.

“There’s something a little weird about this. Guaranteed! has tremendous potential as a civic experience, an occasion and provocation for national reflection. It could, to think ambitiously, be staged simultaneously in every town and city in the State on a given night – followed by real, open debates about the crash and its consequences. It could be adapted easily for prime-time TV or radio.

“It might remind people that the arts community has the guts to do what the political system has failed to do, and open up the narrative of how we got to where we are.”

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