Minister Noonan at Bloomberg

Yesterday’s Irish Times covered an appearance by the Minster for Finance at Bloomberg with ‘Noonan vows to end cycle of boom-and-bust economics’.

A recording of the short address given and the subsequent Q&A session is available here.

55 replies on “Minister Noonan at Bloomberg”

the level of complacency is worrying. At 150% debt/GNP we should be worried. Not sitting back spining.
Also, he seems to have little to worry himself when can take pops at (unnamed) academics in business schools urging him to “do a argentina or iceland”. AFAIK the only academic who mused on the benefits of default was Constantin. I urged we walk from the pro notes. AFAIK the then opposition was agin them at the time.
Mind you, he did do an Argentina, in seizing private pensions. So, maybe he was listening to someone else.

This bit mushes a lot of things, even allowing for off-the-cuff speech.

‘“There was lots of very serious input telling us the bailout was the wrong idea. ‘Default, don’t pay the bondholders, do what Iceland is doing, what Argentina did and you’ll be fine, write off your debts’. Quick fix, easy solutions.’

As far as I remember:

(1) The bailout happened in the term of the previous government. It is hard to tell from this what time frame he is referring to.

(2) It was the IMF, as part of the Troika, who were looking to default on bank debt.

(3) Iceland did not go for a sovereign default, after toing and froing, it didn’t put the sovereign behind private bank debt. Greece, on the other hand, a eurozone country, did undertake a sovereign default. Yoking Iceland and Argentina fits with an ongoing pattern of disparagement by Irish officials.

(4) The generalised “the bondholders” doesn’t help clarity.

(5) The phrase “quick fix, easy solutions” seems to be an implied paraphrase: the Irish Times could be more clear. I don’t think advocates of the various possibilities of default had that glib a tone.

I wonder how this piece of rubbish was ‘paid’ for. Are we worse to be even bothering to acknowledge it? Its so silly its unworthy of critique.

Noonan, who used to be a very savvy politician, has morphed into an asentient marshmallow. If he actually believes that ‘boom-and-bust’ is curable – he’s clueless about the nature Capitalism. And this is the guy in charge! Making the decisions! Help!

In a democracy power comes from the ballot box. The greatest bank and property crash in the history of mankind started with one house,Leinster House.

He is glad to have such “an extraordinary audience” to whom he can relate his extraordinary work of fiction. The bank guarantee is gone! “We took that out of the system”. Did he take the implicit bank guarantee out of the system also? Now they have a guarantee they just don’t have to pay for it any longer. Anglo is also gone! Well at least the name has been removed from above the offices on Stephen’s Green. “We changed the name of that one” renamed it IBRC and then “liquidated that” so that’s gone too! So far so good! And you remember those PN’s? Well there gone too. By golly gosh then, things are really looking up.

Unfortunately, unlike the advertisement that offers the various deals on radio that say’s “When they are gone, they are gone!”. Noonan’s deals are endless and never gone. They are like the rabbit that the magician puts his black handkerchief over, still very much there, still very much alive, but we are all to believe they are gone. But we play the game of pretending they are gone and as long as we play the game and pretend then the “magician” is very happy and we can all clap and enjoy ourselves.

I find it strange that Hans Werner Sinn one of Angela Merkel’s confidantes advised us to default on the PN’s but that Michael had a better way of making them “disappear”. Personally I look forward to the last of them disappearing in 2053 when Michael Noonan will be a good old Rip Van Winkle age of one hundred and ten. The neck of him to stand in front of such a “distinguished audience” and come out with such pure unadulterated gibberish.

A bit soon for a lap of honour.

I hope this isn’t his Bertie ‘I don’t know how people who engage in that don’t commit suicide’ moment.

Noonan side steps the basic question. Would Ireland have been better off it it let the banks go, haircut Bondholders (and Some depositors), left the Euozone (and EU) and balanced the budget in 2009? Certainly , the punt nua would probably be down 50%, inflation would probably be double digit and social transfers and the good professors wages would have been reduced to Greek levels. But would we be better off?

For the many international analysts who have a superficial knowledge of the Irish economy, Noonan’s presentation was impressive.

It has been fortunate that the bailout exit has coincided with some international improvements and search for yield giving BoI the opportunity to refund its bailout support.

The narrative of a highly competitive economy back to the level of the late 1990s, creating 1,000 jobs a week, with agriculture set to take off and tourism already motoring, is more aspirational than real.

Record FDI, housing supply problems in Dublin because of the recovery (mortgages issued are at the 1974 level) and so on.

Minister Noonan – Capital’s Hibernian man of the year …..

Match of the year …

Toulouse 14: Connaught 16

@The Labour Party



Anyone know where William O’Dea parked that tank he rode around in while he was Minister for Defence? {Blind Biddy would like to know} Of course, the Hibernian Citizenry has no apparent DEFENCE against odious Capital appropriations to the tune of Billions – Billions …..

@’academic economists’

“They find it hard now to get economists to go on radio in case they are asked why their prophecies were so incorrect,” said Mr Noonan, with a chuckle and a smile, even if both the laugh and the smile were as cold as ice.”

I see Noonan has caught the trolling bug.

Q: is a transcript of this available?. I presume that all Minister Noonan’s statements are factually correct – what else would they be of course but that. Still, even Homer nods at times so it might be good to ensure that hes taken a Joe Friday approach…

It sounds much like the speech he gave recently at a lunch I attended.

Of course, the problem with the opposite to “quick fix, easy solution” is that it is a “long slow difficult solution”. And that is what this government and the previous government have imposed on Irish residents.

Instead of taking brave steps and doing anything (ANYTHING) to get the Irish people out from under the bank debt or doing anything meaningful to reduce the ongoing cost of running the Irish state, MN and co have done nothing brave or quick. I’m not sure that’s something he should be boasting about.

The problem with getting out from under the bank debt involves default and welshing on our creditors. Reducing the cost of running the state involves welshing on state employees and rent seekers. If you presented a manifesto to the Irish people consisting of default , exit from the EU, 50%fall in the new currency and 50% cut in wages and welfare you would get 2% if the vote .

@ Brian Lucey

‘we should also recall that MH himself felt that the ProNotes were illegal. But hey, i guess that its easier to knuckle under and take the sage, staid, sensible advice of the mandarins than to take a stand. He was always a great man for taking departmental advice was MH. Ask Bridget McCole…’

Should that not be ‘MN’? Who’s obsessed with Mr Hennigan now?

@ DO’D

Doubt if Blind Biddy would recognise any such place as ‘Connaught’. Unless she’s an old Etonian or currently drinking a stiff Pimms in some Knightsbridge gentleman’s club.


Woe is me! These foreign languages u know – ta for a most gracious review …

Connacht stun Toulouse to claim famous win

In rugby terms this was a million to one shot ….

p.s. Blind Biddy drinks Jameson … and rumour has it that she has dated a few Old Etonians in her time during the years of the peace process … a leaf out of Mick Collins’ hand book! She popped into Raffels once in KL hoping to chat with Michael Hennigan … nuff said!


I hear that Sinn Fein has turned u down for the 13th time … not to worry … why not try Páirtí Marxach uile-Éireann – u might even learn something ….

Who knows – u might even garner 2% in Kingstown – course [following Hugh Sheehy who has liathroidi if a little roight at times] u would need to place your name with your rabid ideological mouth on the ballet paper …

“Vows to end cycle of boom and bust” is hopeless unless he reengineered the human brain during a half time at Thomond Park recently.

Well – Mick PD McDowell is rabid roight – Tull is delusional roight – Margaret T was seriously roight – the T Party is lunatic roight ……

Spose Hugh – you are ‘probably’ somewhere to the reasonable roight of centre, as are many in DSEast ….

History rhymes. Funny that. His young majesty, J. Maynard Keynes, writing in 1919-1922*, allowed as how the French and British ministers to the Paris Peace Conference were, to put it simply, ‘lying sacks of shit’. They had promised their respective electorates that Germany could (and would be forced to) make full reparation for the war damages. Problem was, young Keynes did a few economic sums and said – “non possible!”. And guess who was right (er, correct)?

* J. Maynard Keynes: ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace’.

Change the names, time and the circumstances: and? Well, looks like we have a rhythm there.

@ DoD

Is it not pronounced “roysh” in DSE?

I suppose with a bit of momentum going Baldy can come out with any ould ráiméis. Investment is a momentum game and most punters don’t look much under the bonnet.

But very little structural change has happened, it’s the same mindset in the permanent Gov, the legal system is well past its sell by date, very few policy decisions are based on evidence etc. It’s not good enough to say boom and bust is over because we are going to concentrate really hard from now on. The system is very sloppy and very poor at managing risk. I’ll go long on boom and bust.

What’ll happen the next time Ireland are 5 up with 2 mins left against the all Blacks or the next time the markets turn on Ireland ?

We need Woskhabomy

“Sydney rugby legend Jeff Sayle, has a great word to describe a team playing with confidence and panache. “Woshkabomy.” It is pronounced wosh-ka-bom-e. Woshkabomy is not like “mojo” or “being in the zone”. Woshkabomy combines the confident attitude of wanting to run the ball with a larrikin, cheeky disposition of playing with fun and joy.”

Dear Sir/ Madam.
No more booms and busts according to Noonan. The next big bust is on its way.
It will be called the unrenewable and unsustainable energy bust. This time it will take down more than a couple of banks/

Mise Le Meas

Sean O’Dubhlaoigh

End the bust and boom cycle? Now what was his name who led a rebellion in England in the middle ages? Watt Tyler or something. His motto and motive was “To abolish poverty forever.”
Go for it Michael. Storm the GPO and Dail Eireann too.

‘The bomb will go off in Dublin..’ Jean Claude Trichet.
‘The lights will out in Dublin’ Brendan Ogle

Irish Govt response:
The same in both cases. Have the rest of Paddy’s pay up.

Kieran Mulvey wants a ‘summit’ on pensions. All parties to pension schemes, particularly DB pension, will be invited.

The people with no pensions can stay out in cold, where they belong.


The Ozzie cricketers certainly have “Woshkabomy” as they go 2 up in the Ashes at the mo – something in the Ozzie attitude prob developed from its ‘convict’ heritage …

I agree that a crisis has been wasted – the Political System is simply not up to the task as I noted in early 2009 on this blog. The overall system has not been subjected to any real ‘fundamental’ change. The Insider nature of the upper_echelon ‘possesives’ has proven to be incredibly resilient – and this has been the case prob since the early 19thC. The capitulation of FF/PD/gp and FG/Lab to the forces of Capital is probably the most depressing aspect of Hibernia’s so called democracy as the needs of the lumpen Citizenry, and the lower_echelons in particular, play second fiddle to the imperative of the Upper_Echelon to protect itself as it satisfies, in quislingesque fashion, the demands of Capital and the ordoliberal dictatorship of the EZ Elite which itself has been captured by Capital. The recent abjectly ‘fawning’ comments of Kenny,Noonan and Bruton would drive any tuned in critical realist to the edge of despair [which isn’t an option].

Have the last two administrations stood up for the Irish Citizenry? NO.

Any new centre ‘roysh’ party to emerge will be indistinguisable from these two.

What are we left with? Sinn Fein, The Workers Party, and the Communist Party of Ireland …. and a supine Citizenry.

What will happen the next time? The citizen_serfs will be sacrificed again.

Rise up ye eejits – yez have nothing to lose except serfhood to odious Capital.


SDRN Paper No. 1: From Defensive To Assertive Social Democracy – Colin Crouch

Abstract: The neoliberal push for increasing the role of markets has put social democracy into a defensive position, but this should be easy to resist. Marketization is often a useful development, and as such can be embraced by social democrats. But it often also has negative implications that are widely recognized, and which need to be confronted and dealt with. Meanwhile, in practice so-called neoliberal policies are often about strengthening cor- porate power rather than markets. Dealing with these issues has been social democracy’s specific historic role, so a period of intensified markets should leave it better placed than any other political movement to welcome the role of markets while being alert to their negative externalities; to seek the creative possibilities of diversity in the face of neoliberal hegemony; and to distinguish between true markets and corporation-dom- inated ones.

This is how elites understand their place in the world.

“The illegal we can do right now; the unconstitutional will take a little longer.” [Henry Kissinger]

“…the sole owners of Chile [Ireland] are ourselves, the owners of capital and of the soil; the rest are the masses who can be influenced and sold…they do not matter either as opinion or prestige.” [Eduardo Matte]

“The issues are much too important for the Chilean [Irish] voters to be left to decide for themselves….I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist [Social Democratic] due to the irresponsibility of its people.” [Henry Kissinger]

Well, when periods of political evolution do occur and common citizens successfully unite to advance their interests through democratic and lawful means, national elites aligned with multinational corporate and financial interests get nervous. They inevitably turn to the muscle of the EU Commission, the IMF, and ‘Boston’, and will employ strong-arm, even extra-legal means, to maintain their status quo.

These part-quotes are a reference to the illegal overthrow of a democratic government. But who need tanks, aircraft and murder squads when your own government is doing such a good job on behalf of Berlin and Boston.

Will the Irish sheeple stampede? Hardly likely! Still some fodder in the field. Graze on!

Noonan’s arrogance and statement mirrors that of Gordon Brown’s while he was Chancellor – ‘…boom and bust is in the past….’
Noonan is obviously now in the full thrall of mandarins here, EU, US, Troika etc- just as he was while Minister for Health and duly pursued that very ill lady in Donegal almost to her deathbed – protecting ‘ the state’.
And yes he is well and truly in the defensive, aggressive, ignorant spake of Ahern….

Noonan pontificating without having reformed any of the institutions that brought the country to its knees reminds me of his predecessor.

When he unveiled the guarantee he was asked how the State could afford a 400bn guarantee. “We have to have faith in ourselves as a nation and a people that we are capable of having a viable banking system” was what he said.

So the next time the financial system goes tits up everyone get down on the knees and start the rosary because the institutions are still not up to it.

@brian lucey

The rest of the article is a rejig of various European officials saying, re our bleats for retrospective recapitalization “what part of no dont you understand pixie heads”

I hope that every Irish official is obliged by law to spend fifteen minutes of every EU meeting they attend reading the same prepared statement of contempt for the EU until EMU collapses or the Dutch are literally as well as figuratively under water. Some dancing on the table in front of the German representative should be mandatory.

Perhaps some day a chance will come to repay the creditor nations for their generosity but if not I want no one in the EU to forget that solidarity is not part of the miserable and alienating experience of being in the Eurozone, toilet for neoliberal ideas and Deutsche-bloc self interest that it is.


Nietzsche’s ‘eternal recurring’ … from the Guardian link:

“… the challenge reformers face: the banks wield enormous clout and the politicians are weak. John Kay, writing in the April edition of the magazine World Economy, sums it up neatly: “The financial services industry is now the most powerful force in Britain and the US. If anyone doubted that, the last two years demonstrated it. The industry has extracted subsidies and guarantees of extraordinary magnitude from the taxpayer without substantial conditions or significant reform. But the central problems that gave rise to the crisis have not been addressed, far less resolved. It is therefore inevitable that crisis will recur.”

Actually, another crisis is not inevitable. But, as things stand, we are sleepwalking towards one.”

Minor point:

Which interest (sic) group has had more visits to An Taoiseach’s office than any other?


X-Taoiseach Little John [to his credit has commented here some time back] a key punter for same. Ireland did not support the idea of an EZ financial system transaction tax. Nuff said!

@Brian Woods Snr.

“Graze on.” Precise, and concise, description of the soma_tized state of the Hibernian Citizenry. No Woskhabomy around here!

It looks like as long as the markets are back on tranquillisers the crisis is deemed to have passed. The system is a joke, really. And the next blow up may not be CB-able.

Noonan will drift off into well deserved obscurity after the next election. He will be remembered for a short period of time as the man that saved us from the dreaded boom. The next boom will be some time after 2030. Until then we will replay the period 1932 to 1972. ’tis enough to drive an otherwise sober man to drink. Looking on the bright side there is gov’t revenue in drink.

‘Irish Times’ letter on the “at least we’re not Iceland” issue:

Also last night, ‘Who’s Buying Ireland’ on RTE with journalist Ian Kehoe scoring some impressive interviews:

I’d be interested in any takes on this, plus it was briefly discussed on Newsnight following.

Today’s header – ‘no retrospective recapitalisation’ – what a surprise!
Where’s ye’re ‘yahoo’ now Noonan and DOF mandarins?

@Gavin Kostick
re: ‘Who’s Buying Ireland’ on RTE’

The big question was not who is buying, but who is selling, what price are they selling at, and who is forcing them to sell at those prices. As I did not see all the programme, I do not know if these questions were addressed.

The reality is that ‘Ireland’, in the sense of commercial property on bank books, is subject to a firesale order handed down by the ECB, under the heading ‘deleveraging’.

The banks are being forced to seel, the losses are being crystallised and the reserves pumped into the banks by Irish citizens are, in reality, being given away through firesale prices.

An oops moment will of course emerge, when the banks will have to come out with their hands up and admit that the money pumped in by the taxpayer, has been used up in ‘commercial loan’ losses; and that there are no reserves left to cover mortgage losses.
The people who are forcing the firesales, the ECB with a compliant Irish government know this full well; in reality they designed the ‘system’, and it is working like it was designed to work.

Ireland is being fire-sold, ransacked, or deleveraged in order that the ECB can take back its ‘liquidity’ and burn it.
Generations will suffer for it.

As for the Minister’s valedictory speech, with its Bertie inspired swipe at economists, I would have thought that it was more than a little premature.

‘We’ may have exited the ‘bail-out’, whatever that means, but we have taken on to the State balance sheet every single private sector turd-like loss and loan that could imaginably be conceived.
Were it not for the vague, somewhat undefined and disputed, OMT programme, then not only Ireland’s bond rates but those of virtually all EZ countries would be sky-high.

In ancient times we had the concept of a Pyrrhic victory, where the general had the common sense and humility to remark that,
‘Another victory like this, and we are doomed’.

The buyers are all sharp people, not given to looking a gift horse in the mouth, and undoubtedly will do some good. But the reality is that they have been gifted billions, courtesy of ECB/EZ policy, billions paid for by Irish taxpayers, of this generation and generations to come.

@JR: ” … billions paid for by Irish taxpayers, of this generation and generations to come.”

The assumption here is that the Irish taxpayer (and their dependents) WILL have the surplus income available to pay both the principle + interest. I would have a significant question about this.

The country, as a whole, is highly dependent upon imports. Without a minimum level of imports both our internal domestic and export sectors cannot function effectively. In fact they might even decline. And how much are we borrowing each week, to pay wages, salaries, pensions, etc.? This borrowing has to fall to zero before any positive effect will be apparent.

Sometime, I wish someone would do the math on this. The State owes a large sum. The State, in turn, is owed an equal sum by its taxpayers. So, who owes the sums to our taxpayers, then?

“The whole position is in the highest degree artificial, misleading and vexatious. We shall never be able to move again, unless we can free our limbs from these paper shackles. A general bonfire is so great a necessity that unless we can make it an orderly and good-tempered affair in which no serious injustice is done to any one, it will, when it comes at last, grow into a conflagration that may destroy much else as well.”

[JM Keynes: ‘The Economic Consequences of the Peace’: 280].

….and Kenny will speak to us on Sunday thanking us for not taking the place apart, for rolling over, for paying everybody and placing the debt incurred on our grandchildrens children, for allowing his administration reef the daylights out of frontline services while’topping-up the pay/pensions of senior public and semi-state employees, and continuing to do so, for ensuring that the status quo of the elite gravytrainers has largely remained intact, for not pressurising his administration for real reforms which are so badly needed, for being apathetic, for remaining ill-informed about real issues which affect daily lives and he will be particularly grateful to a supine media,unsiaid, and most of all-
‘For making this the best little country to do business in’- for the elite gravytrainers….

@ BrianLucey
In the absence of a good book on the Irish state of play. Here is a Harvard Business Review article that does not inspire confidence in what up to now were the winning economies.

Try: ‘Interrogating Irish Policies’: William Kingston. 2007. Dublin University Press.

Bit dated, but it does ‘illustrate’ the Grimm nature of the mindsets and consequential outcomes.

‘Celtic Tiger in Collapse’ 2nd ed. Peadar Kirby. 2010. Palgrave Macmillan.


not about Ireland, directly, but you should read Paul Blusteins bookS if you havent already.
Any Ive read so far have been awesome

Baldy is very optimistic on the state of the banks and Bank of Ireland is the star in the class.

I have never ever had a BoI account but I got spam today as follows :

“An attempt to access 365 Online Banking was denied on:
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 at 15:28:59 EDT
Access was denied for one of two reasons:
•Incorrect attempts to access and Login failures.
•Signing on from a different location or device different from your location and your IP address.
If you remember trying to access 365 Online Banking on the above date and time, please select “That was me.”
If you do not remember trying to access 365 Online Banking on the above date and time, please select “That was NOT me.”
You will then be prompted to safeguards your account.”

I wonder if Dieselboom did something similar with the Bank of Cyprus.

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