149 thoughts on “Krugman: Morning Ireland Interview”

  1. Krugs didnt sound too downbeat in fairness, just reckons the recovery could be accelerated if govt’s pulled their fingers out.

    Doom porn merchants were really hoping for more from him i would suggest.

  2. ‘What passes for recovery here would pass for a recession anywhere else’ P. Krugman, One o clock newz a minute ago.

    No mention of “doom porn” (Mcadoo, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

  3. @Eoin

    So what, much like Vincent Browne, if Kruggy had been writing articles for Irish newspapers, about the Irish economy, they would probably have included some:

    “Articles of a ‘progressive’ nature calling, for example, for sharp tax increases on the wealthy and no spending cuts on welfare programmes but accepting the need to reduce the government’s deficit”

    which makes them both part of the ‘pro-austerity’ brigade according to the definition deemed appropriate in recent UCD research.

    “(1) ‘In favour of fiscal consolidation’: articles asserting that the government’s fiscal deficit must be reduced to address the crisis. There is a range of views possible in this category. For example, articles may call for achieving fiscal consolidation goals within a shorter or longer time span; they may present a mix of taxation and spending measures; or they may call for a steep or moderate fiscal adjustment. Articles of a ‘progressive’ nature calling, for example, for sharp tax increases on the wealthy and no spending cuts on welfare programmes but accepting the need to reduce the government’s deficit, were classified in this category.”

    http://dublinopinion.com/downloads/cje-mercille-published2013_irishmediaandfiscalconsolidation2.pdf

  4. @BEB
    “Krugs didnt sound too downbeat in fairness”
    He is too arrogant to be in cya mode, so maybe he actually believes it. Worrying given his track record of getting everything wrong.
    Will be worrying to his sycophants, a bit like the Pope pulling the rug out from under the feet of the nutjobs in his flock.

  5. @ Kevin

    eh, Kevin, he’s not enraging me. He’s actually been talking a lot of sense lately. Finally he has seen the light on Europe.

  6. @ Grumpy

    its only austerity if you’re cutting expenditure. If you’re taxing rich people, its called social justice.

  7. Not many would disagree with anything he said in that interview. Key message is that Draghi did enough – just – to save the euro.

  8. @Eoin

    Did you just ‘fess up to being an enemy of K-dude?!!

    Watch out, he has a “clack” or something according to one of his Scottish enemies.

    I will have to feed your admission into my cockiness/sheepishness spreadsheet. The nomencliture is a bit clunky – I might re-brand it ‘The Cockometer’ or some such.

    BTW, that request for suggestions of currently vocal or not totally ignored investment bears was genuine. Are there any left?

  9. @ All

    Two more interesting if rather contradictory links, the first from Ifo (headed by Professor Sinn) on Germany’s ever-growing surplus and the second from Barry Eichengreen saying that the problem of imbalances at a global level has vanished and that the German surplus is a problem solely for Europe.(H/T Eurointelligence).

    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/konjunktur/ifo-institut-deutschland-hat-groessten-exportueberschuss-der-welt-12751667.html

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/barry-eichengreen-notes-that-a-decade-after-external-imbalances-emerged-as-a-supposed-threat-to-the-global-economy–the-problem-has-disappeared

  10. @Kevin Donoghue

    It is amusing how much the Krugmanator enrages the right, usually merely by graphing the figures.

    Success, European Style

    @Johhny F.

    Its hard to think of a mainstream economist with as damaged a reputation as Cochrane (Alesina? Fama?). He aint eviscerating anybody – the man is a right wing nutcase. No really, he has a beef with reality.

    http://crookedtimber.org/2012/06/13/prebuttals-part-2/

    @DOCM

    Krugman may be beginning to grasp the fact that history risks leaving him behind.

    History will, on the other hand, not forget the current EU policy elites for a while.

    In the US, where they followed a slightly more conventional (reality based) economic policy than the EU they reached their pre-recession industrial production level last year in September. Even including last years “stunning” growth levels the Eurozone is still 10% down on its pre-recession levels. Perhaps you can fill us all in on the ways Eurozone performance has measured up well against any other developed nations or group?

    European economic and monetary policies, and the selfish idiots, fools and ignoramuses responsible for making them, are embarrassing failures in every way except that they have preserved the political status quo.

  11. Grumpy,
    Most of the time, the top down sell side strategy/macro types are bullish. Most of the time the bears are habitual bears. IF you look at the Strategists forecasts for the S&P at year end 2014 as compiled by Bloomberg the mean of 20 observations is 1950. Only Barry Bannister at Stiffel is below the market at 1750.

  12. Quote fom an article in Der Spiegal…
    “Iceland’s rapid return to health hinged on a series of measures that Nobel laureate Paul Krugman later referred to as “doing an Iceland.” Krugman, an admirer of Iceland’s dramatic comeback, has recommended a similar policy cocktail for other nations in crisis. The rules are as follows: Allow your ailing banks to collapse; devalue your currency if you have one of your own; introduce capital controls; and try to avoid paying back foreign debts.

    That may sound like an extremely self-serving recipe — and it was. Whereas billions of public money was pumped into the banking system in Ireland so that financial institutions could pay back their creditors, Icelanders voted against this route in two separate referenda. They couldn’t see why they should pay for the greed of foreign investors who followed the Siren song of high interest rates to the island nation.”

    And I see today that Greece is looking for an average debt maturity of 50 years and lower interest rates…..is this the route our guys are contemplating rather than the Icelandic one?

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/financial-recovery-of-iceland-a-case-worth-studying-a-942387.html

  13. Yes, austerity is a marvelous success in getting 400,000 people out a total population of 5 million to leave the country in five years. And still having an unemployment rate of 12.8%. Ireland is just marvelous.

    By marriage into the German working class, I can tell you it has not been a lot of fun for them the last 15 years. All that German prosperity and growth seems to be going to a very small group of people, much like it does in the U.S. with John (let’s get some more $350 wine) Cochrane. http://www.tinyrevolution.com/mt/archives/003537.html

  14. @Sherpatrick

    “getting 400,000 people out a total population of 5 million to leave the country in five years. And still having an unemployment rate of 12.8.”

    Ireland’s population was 4,485,000 in 2008. It is estimated to be 4,593,100 in 2013. Net emigration in the last 5 years was around 120,000 people (leaving). The unemployment rate is 12.4%.

    Apart from that you got everything right.

  15. @Tull

    Yes, but the annual forecast nonsense it a publicity/marketing thing people usually have to do & it doesn’t change from year to year – the average is year end plus a sensible sounding increase.

    There is quite a bit of objective data, which I follow, but al though it is (in my view) useful it is not reliablle.

    What would usually be suggestive of dangerous hubris emerged literally at the end of Dec but for various reasons, the data is at its most unreliable then, so it could easily unwind and the march North continue.

    There is something about peoples’ attitude and tone that is too difficult to capture in data – a good example was the CNBC David Tepper victory parade just before the Taper dip.

    I might be missing something, but it seems the bears have either gone into hibernation or are of zero interest to anyone.

  16. In the Financial Times Martin Wolf continues his journey towards a Marxist analysis of the Eurozone.

    Failing elites threaten our future

    Yet it is the constitutional disorder of the eurozone that is least emphasised. Within the eurozone, power is now concentrated in the hands of the governments of the creditor countries, principally Germany, and a trio of unelected bureaucracies – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The peoples of adversely affected countries have no influence upon them. The politicians who are accountable to them are powerless. This divorce between accountability and power strikes at the heart of any notion of democratic governance. The eurozone crisis is not just economic. It is also constitutional.

    I think Martin Wolf should have used “anti-democratic and authoritarian” instead of “constitutional disorder”.

    Remember that the next time you hear someone praise the “necessary” work of the Troika or the European Commission in pushing through pro market/anti worker policies – these people have a contempt for democracy and a willingness to subvert it both through the media and the threat of economic warfare. They are not as dangerous as the fascists of the twentieth century but they are in total control of Eurozone economic policy.

  17. Johnny F
    CSO Data on emigration :
    2008 49.2
    2009 72
    2010 69.2
    2011 80.6
    2012 87.1
    2013 89
    Total 447.1

    your point on net is of course correct but….

  18. @BL

    You can’t add them up that way because we have no way of knowing how many left and then returned during that period. The number 447,100 is meaningless as it does not refer to individual “people”as referred to by Sherparick, it is a count of events.

    Also, there is always going to be a certain level of people leaving the country at any one time (30,000 per annum throughout the boom).

  19. @Johny Foreigner

    You can’t add them up that way because we have no way of knowing how many left and then returned during that period.

    The numbers here might help:

    http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/pme/populationandmigrationestimatesapril2013/#.UtWN9LQ-slQ

    The table “Estimated Migration classified by Sex and Nationality, 2008 – 2013” lays it out, I think we are about 94K paddies down between 2010 and 2013.

    For 2012 to 2013:

    This has resulted in total net outward migration remaining broadly constant with the previous twelve month period (33,100 compared with 34,400 respectively). However, among Irish nationals, net outward migration is estimated to have increased significantly, rising from 25,900 to 35,200.

    The number of births in the period was 70,500 while the number of deaths was 29,700, resulting in a natural increase of the population of 40,800, a fall of 4,100 on the previous

    So Irish people are leaving to seek better pay (~40% increase YoY, possibly because of debts) and the population has only increased because births exceeded deaths.

    Lets break out the champagne.

  20. @ Johnny F: Re your 3:06 and the link to the Cochrane piece.

    Bit longish. Tightly crafted. He did dig a few potholes for himself – especially his ideas on ‘free markets’ and ‘government controls’. Bothered me.

    I had no idea who he is, nor what is economic ‘ism’ is – until I got to to the first sentence of the final para on page 9: “The problem is we do not have enough (italics in the original) mathematics.” That’s when I thought: Oh dear!

    We have more than enough math. Its just that some economic folk choose to ignore some significant bits. I’ve no idea why. Does Cochrane actually believe that economics IS a science?

  21. @Shay

    The number you quote is a lot less than 500k.

    What has nationality got to do with anything by the way – does it matter more if a ‘paddy’ leaves?

  22. @BWS Snr

    “Does Cochrane actually believe that economics IS a science?”

    I think he does (unfortunately). But if you are a paid academic economist you at least have to pretend it’s a science. Otherwise put yourself up for election.

  23. Grumpy,
    You might be right. The best US equity strategist IMHO is Bannister as he makes ballsy out of consensus calls such as his long miners in 2003. He is the only bear. That said he can be massively wrong but can turn on a sixpence.

    However, bearish on the market is not bearish on the economy.

  24. @ Johnny

    ‘Worrying given his track record of getting everything wrong”.

    Name 5 macro hedgies that made money every quarter since 2008

  25. @ DoD

    Man Utd may be the vehicle that focuses the common man’s attention on how financialisation works. It’s so interesting that it was the club’s owners who knocked Man U off their f#cking perch, as Fergie would say .

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f33253f0-79f5-11e3-a3e6-00144feabdc0.html

    “The business plan is predicated on finishing third in the Premier League and reaching the Champions League quarter-finals. The Glazers know that with the third-highest wage bill in England, and without Sir Alex, third place is a realistic expectation. Even missing the Champions League for a year or two would not be disastrous.”

    United is now worth at least double what they paid for it. They kept a lid on costs and have since extracted more than £500m in interest, management fees, bank charges and debt repayments to service loans of £525m borrowed to fund the takeover.

    Come on you financial targets.You’ll never beat the CFO.

    You never know, either . DOCM may even be a fan!

  26. @ JF et al

    Migration is a two way flow. Discussing only one side would be a bit like only discussing the numbers of people losing their job, but not also the number of people hired, in the context of the labour market. Context is also needed as to the long term social and economic impact of such migratory flows (ie there is a difference between migratory workers continuing to migrate on to the next location of activity and long term residents being forced to move away. Likewise younger single workers vs older families, skilled vs unskilled etc). But perma-bears will see what they want I suppose…

  27. @seafóid

    “United is now worth at least double what they paid for it.”

    I suppose this kind of thing just happens by accident does it?

    I knew you were a Liverpool supporter!

  28. Again he claims we’ve had austerity. No we haven’t, we’ve preserved near bubble era spending with unprecedented borrowing. Closer to a Keynsian stimulus than austerity.

  29. As a ManU fan I’m well aware of all the whinging about the Glazers. I can always choose to support FC United of Manchester if I want – that’s the beauty of the free market.

    It will be a tough few years for United but hopefully the people of Russia and the Middle East will eventually rise up against their kleptocrats and normal order will be resumed.

  30. One of the things I look at from time to time is the international shares page in the FT Weekend edition .

    Ireland is down to 7 indigenous companies that get a mention

    3 of them are very poorly – BRK at .30 , Indo at 0.14 and PTSB at 0.6
    Aer Lingus has been in a holding pattern around 1.40 for the last while
    CRH is solid at 19euros
    Ryanair may have reached its cruising altitude of 6.60
    The only outperformer seems to be Kerry

    Elan went by the wayside. AIB RIP

    Even if growth comes back it’s going to take a while to build a company that’s going to get back into the list.

    The crisis really hammered the local business elite.

  31. I attended his talk today in TCD. He was very engaging and said he was happy he’d called most of the crisis correctly (even if no one listened to him).

    However he admitted (when asked by moi) that the predictions he (and others) made about the political consequences of economic hardship hadn’t materialised (yet). He suggested it may be due to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

    and that the people accepted the narrow range of opinions as to what was deemed acceptable. “Austerity” was acceptable. Saying ‘No” was not/is not.

    On the instructions of my Ed at the Herald, I asked him privately what his thoughts were on prospect of recovery for Ireland. ‘Slow and painful’. Sigh. Even when you know the truth, it still always hurts to hear it from someone who appears to know what they’re talking about.

    Read the rest on Thursday!

  32. @ JF

    It’s not about football any more. I think that’s got to be quite disappointing for everyone who uses the “we’ form when discussing MUFC, early doors.
    If Jim whatshisname is right nobody will buy the club either because of price. It could end up like Bank of Ireland !

  33. Joe Stiglitz: “In Europe the fundamental problem is that the euro was a mistake. And the leaders of Europe have not figured out what to do with this big mistake. What is needed is to restructure the euro-zone and that is very difficult.”

  34. On that: Krugman also said today that Iceland’s options could never be considered by us because leaving the euro was not a realistic choice. There were two key decisions

    1. not, not leaving the euro, but choosing to go in in the first place.
    And I think most reasonable people would agree not going in was not reasonable. (?) [at the risk of kicking off a “we should stuck with sterling” debate!]

    2. socialising the debt.
    Which increasingly I’m inclined to see as a Shakespearian/human act of fear, rather than a grand conspiracy. (at least on the political front)

  35. @Paul Krugman

    Always welcome around here.

    Rumour from T_party sources that you are considering running for the CPI in South Dublin in the next election! If confirmed, Blind Biddy will mobilize the ICA (Irish Citizen Army) to canvass on your behalf. Keep up the good work.

  36. @Sarah

    “1. not, not leaving the euro, but choosing to go in in the first place.
    And I think most reasonable people would agree not going in was not reasonable. (?) [at the risk of kicking off a “we should stuck with sterling” debate!]”

    Don’t understand that.

  37. Oh Dear. All the lamp-posts in Dublin South East and every tree in North Dublin are to be cut down before the next election! Shocking! Austerity you know. (proxy-Gov disinformation service)

  38. @Tull, Eoin, seafoid etc

    Spotted one:

    http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2014/01/14/1740702/the-albert-edwards-show-with-friends/

    “It gives you the opportunity to be wrong 95 per cent of the time. But the other 5 per cent is tremendous!

    What can he do? Equities are even more expensive than the last show. So what can he do? He can bang the table or simply tell more jokes. But SocGen high ears (and the bloody clients) have told him to do less jokes.

    Albert has promised to be less extravagant.”

  39. Typical Trichet version of clarity:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/europe/ireland-s-bank-guarantee-was-justifiable-claims-trichet-1.1655216

    “Addressing the economic and monetary affairs committee of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday, ahead of the committee’s visit to Dublin tomorrow, the Frenchman who was at the ECB helm during Ireland’s bailout, said the decision was made by the Irish government and was “justifiable given the situation it found itself [in]”.

    “The decision was taken by the government and probably rightly so,” he said.

    Asked by MEP Gay Mitchell about the ECB’s role in the decision, Mr Trichet said the bank’s message to Dublin was “the same as the message of the central bank to Belgium, to Germany, to France, ” that “we were at the heart of the crisis, saying clearly to beware as we know what could happen”. “

  40. @Sarah
    @all

    Good morning,

    while I agree, there is more to this austerity phenomenon than the Overton Window.

    For a historical context and a deeper understanding, allow me to suggest Mark Blyth to you/all. Stephen Kinsella will know this as he was mentioned in the foreword.

    1.
    Austerity, The History Of A Dangerous Idea

    Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (April 25, 2013)
    ISBN-10: 019982830X
    ISBN-13: 978-0199828302

    2.
    @ Columbia University: You might want to skip the first six minutes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHO3QlXvKTQ

    3.
    For those on a tight schedule and no time to read a book or listen to a lecture, here is the 8 minutes version:

    Best
    Georg

  41. P.S. Slow and painful is a bit optimistic, if I were forced to put a number down, I’d say not below 15-20 years.

  42. @ Grumpy

    “Session title: No-one can hear me scream above the roar of the printing press”

    Nicely understated

  43. @ Georg B: I do not know whether you are being ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ – recommending Blyth to folk.

    It’s NOT a ‘nice’ story Georg! But then neither were those Grimm ones! Chris Hedges is not ‘nice’ either.

  44. @ Brian Woods

    I think this book is long overdue, and it helps debunking our inept austerity hooligan politicos.

  45. Keep in mind that most people who talk about austerity in the media, have not experienced it in recent years.

    The expiration of unemployment benefits in the US while public subsidies for ranchers are being renewed, is an example of the different impacts in the US.

    In Ireland gross current public expenditure in 2013 was 44% above the 2005 level: €63bn and €43bn while total government expenditure rose 31%.

    The main cut was in capital while debt interest rose €6bn.

    Seamus Coffey estimated last year that ex-bank support and debt interest, borrowings to fund day-to-day operation in 2008-2013 amounted to about €60bn.

    For some, there was a clawback of bubble gains; for a minority the swift change from feast to famine was brutal.

    Pension coverage among self-employed workers fell considerably from 47% in Quarter 1 2008 to 36% in Quarter 4 2009.

    The period was hardly comparable with the 1950s including for emigrants.

  46. Chuck Prince was the one who said when the music’s playing you have to keep dancing

    And DJ Jan has a new remix of Get Busy by Sean Paul out for Q1 on Taper records.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2EjmlGnrno

    Shake that scepticism course you Kana Kana
    Shake that money Miss Danske Banka
    Shadake that thing ya Jamie Dimona
    McAdoo and the IAPF

    Investor Get busy, Just shake that booty non-stop
    When the beat drops
    Just keep swinging it
    Get jiggy
    Get levered up
    End of crisis anything you want to call it
    Oscillate you KPIs and don’t take pity
    Me want to see you get live ‘pon the riddim when me taper
    And me forward guidance a provide electricity
    Dude no bear can tell you nuttin’
    Can you don’ know your destiny

    Yo sexy speculators want growth with us
    In a the model with us, no volatility with us
    Them not at war with us
    In a the market them want flex with us
    To get next to us
    Them can’t vex with us
    From the day me born jah ignite me assumptions call me name and its me fame
    Its all good for Q1 turn me on
    ‘Til a escape velocity
    Let’s get it on
    Let’s get it on ‘til a escape velocity
    It’s all good just turn me on

    Johnny F don’t sweat it, don’t get agitate just gwaan great rotation
    Can anything you want you know you must get it
    From you name a mention
    Don’t ease the tension just run the program Squid’ll pet it
    Just have a good time
    Dude free up unu mind caw nobody can dis you man won‘t let it can
    You a the number one forecaster l
    Wave you hand
    Make them see you growth projections

  47. @ George B: Now, now Georg! – the ‘kids’ might be reading these comments! No need to ‘frighten’ them – yet!

    I forgot to mention two other another ‘nice’ books – both by James (le fils) Galbraith.

    ‘Unbearable Coast: Bush, Greenspan and the Economics of Empire’. (2006)

    ‘Inequality and Instability: A study of the World Economy before the Great Crisis’. (2012)

    Now for some reality. Those folks you mentioned above. They do not read contrarian stuff. Because if they did, and they possessed a smidgen of empathy for their fellow human beings – they would be letting us know, Big Time!. They are not!

    There are several ‘amusing’ TV documentaries going out at present: ‘Animal Rescue’; ‘Orang-utan Survival’. You know the plot line: animals who are starving, maltreated or facing extinction. Heroines to the rescue, and all that!

    Is there a TV show about starving and maltreated humans – you know the ones at the pointy-end of this so-called austerity lark? Yeah! I thought so.

    Sarah?

  48. @grumpy

    sorry for lack of clarity.

    What he said was, leaving the euro was not a politically realistic decision at the time of the crisis (so that we could devalue and impose CC like Iceland and therefore have a chance of partaking of the “recovery” which they now have. (I’m putting “recovery” in inverted commas, cos I still think the numbers don’t tell us how poor the people are).

    Therefore the key decision was not as to whether or not we should’ve left the euro in ’08, but our decision to enter it in the first place.

    Is that any better?

    I was pleased to hear him say that, because it closes off one route of this counterfactual debate we have from time to time.

  49. @Sarah

    Leaving the Euro was not a politically realistic option partly because it was only raised as a ‘protest’ reaction, Nnobody who raised the idea was willing to acknowledge, nor attempt to garner political support for, the consequences. It was classic ‘opposition politics’ & a bit of a joke.

    I thought you might have been suggesting that all reasonable people agree that Ireland not joining the Euro was never an actual option?

  50. @ Grumpy

    Leaving the Euro was what the Germans call a “Schnappsidee”- something that comes to you down in the pub at 10.30 after a rake of pints.
    But so was the bank guarantee.

    No strategic depth, no resilience. BOHICA.
    Same again next time

  51. @all

    The BAU (behavioural analysis unit) of the BBHS (blind biddy hedge school) has conducted an extensive critical analysis of the form and origin of the Hibernian crisis. This research has been funded by a philantrophic grant from the BBHF (blind biddy hedge fund).

    Findings: The so-called “crisis” is essentially a ‘Crisis of Governance’ – a ‘Failure of Governance’ to act on behalf of the Citizenry, a collective, which is the foundation of a Republic. The Hibernian system is best described as a form of ‘Crony_Governance’ which acts first on the dictates of the Dictatorial Financial System (which has appropriated/stolen ~100 Billion in recent years from the Citizenry present/future) and secondly on its own behalf (a respectable number of Billions) and its affiliated upper-echelon elite from the propertied and professional classes (a more respectable number of Billions). In no shape or form can Hibernia be classified as a respectable Republic – more a captured vassal region of the global financial system.

    The local origins of this crisis, based on extensive network analysis, may be traced to two notorious establishments in Dublin during the 1960s and 1970s; namely, The Buttery in TCD and the Belfield Bar in UCD. Access to this section of the BAU report (wherin one will find not a single word or .. er .. “name” redacted) is open to all Hibernian citizen-serfs of genuine republican ‘standing’.

    n.b. The BAU, a not for profit entity, is incorporated on a small island somewhere in The Bahamas due to the power of the Legal Eagles and Captured Medja in Hibernia.

    For the neopositivists out there:

    Crony_Governance pre_crash = Crony_Governance post/present/crash

    Statsig*********

  52. @ seafoid,

    I believe it is called “Schnaps-idee” because you have to down quickly stuff with > 30% alcohol to get to the required alcohol level for such ideas : – )

    Up to 30% we call it “Likör”.

    BTW, does anybody here know, whether anybody who has something to decide as ever taken any advice from Krugman? Any evidence?

    Did he field one single PhD, somebody here finds worth to mention?

    If anybody would take the sociopath seriously, why did Latvia join the Euro, and

    “Lithuania’s Algirdas Butkevicius promises to join euro or resign”

    victory or death in one year

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/70d14dca-7d16-11e3-a579-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2qGRAl0HX

  53. @ John Corcoran: Re your 09:38. ” “At it’s source,the global financial crisis was an American housing crisis …”

    Nope John. It was/is a great more complicated. Think: two successive oil shocks (circa mid to late ’70s). The end of WWII. The Marshall Plan. Or Nixon. Or Greenspam (stet). The FIRE. The (really dopey) Efficient Market Hypothesis. Jefferson Clinton (and rightly so!). But, no big deal. Each to his own, as they say. Stuff happens!

    The US sub-prime crisis (which is still in progress!) was simply the surface eruption of a deep-seated, seriously pathological, festering financial pustule. Puss is still flowing out. Infection appears to be resistant to all known prophylactics – maybe they should immerse the damn thing in Domestos! Kills all known germs, it does. Or so they claim.

  54. @Brian Woods
    The above analysis may be simplistic but unfortunately it is not flawed. Banks ask valuers to tell them what the market value/exchange price is at a point in time and then lend vast amounts over time based on that simple number. The surveyor gives them that simple number and do not think it is their job to tell the banks that the question they have been asked is stupid on its own and what they should have asked for is the underlying value. It was obvious from the late ninties onwards that prices in the property market were higher than could be sustained by any rational cash flow analysis. But in a culture that rewards individuals for short term performance rather than longer term perspective, it was in neither the bankers’ nor the valuers’ interests to stop it. I cannot see anything in what the regulatory authorities have proposed that makes me think they understand the role of property valuation in driving asset bubbles and will prevent it all happening again sometime in the 2020s.

  55. @grumpy

    oops, sorry. Well on that point.

    hmm.

    I know there is an arguable case that we could’ve stayed out but I’ve always had my doubts about it. Staying out meant an informal link to Sterling with no chance at all to influence policy. I know that in the upshot, we ended up with hardly any bloody say at all, but I still worry about life outside. At least we had the liquidity coming from the ECB. As i’ve been saying I’m not convinced that the residents of small islands in the North Atlantic with their own currencies are any better off post-devaluation/CC than us. I acknowledge my instincts in these cases are governed by my risk-averse nature and morbid fear of disaster, but I still favour safety in numbers.

    We could’ve played our hand better, but as Kruggie himself said yesterday at TCD – looking at the facts isn’t always enough. There’s always more going on. 97% debt/GDP in Iceland looks good, but there’s more going on there. I suppose we have to wait 20 years before we can really assess what might have been…

  56. @Sarah
    Re Krugman’s “slow and painful” opinion on recovery. Reinhardt and Rogoff are quoted somewhere recently as stating that a recovery from a financial crisis takes about 23 years. Seems to be getting longer and longer!

  57. Sarah,

    where do you get your 97% number for Iceland from? The CIA says 132% plus the 40% they owe England, plus interest, triple damages, lawyer fees, possibly

  58. @BW. Snr
    Greenspan love affair with Ayn Rand’s dogma,held that bubbles cannot be prevented,and the government’s task is merely to clean up after them. Greenspan’s practice was to foster one bubble after another,until finally came along one so vast it destroyed the entire system on the way.

    The global crisis was, at it’s source,an American housing crisis,not one of too little housing but of too much. Below is the link to the elementary property valuation error that created the crisis;
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/yourview/a-question-of-valuation-220487.html

  59. @JC valuers are the fluffers of the RE industry,no one even reads the reports.
    It’s a check box item,no different than a phase 1 environmental report,we would get a draft in or a verbal,in the unlikely event it was “off” the unfortunate firm/chap was stepped down and never used again,by the lender and the borrower,never mind the rather upset seller….
    It just never ever happened no “valurer” was/is going to derail a multi million deal,for what a few thousand dollar report,plenty safe pairs of hands,your wasting your time again….

  60. “In several recent cases, the validity of the security has been called into question by borrowers resisting repossession orders on the ground that the lender had engaged in ‘reckless lending’. The courts have not, however, recognised this as a valid defence. In ICS Building Society–v–Grant, 6 Charleton J stated: “Contract law assumes that those entering into an agreement intend that it should be legally enforceable and, unless the contrary is shown, have acted in relation to each other by their mutual choice and not out of compulsion. People can enter into bad bargains.” In McConnon -v- President of Ireland & Ors,7 Kelly J stated his belief that a tort of reckless lending does not exist as a civil wrong in Irish law.”
    Link above.

  61. @ John Corcoran: John, closing stable door after the horse has bolted, come to mind. Its mostly academic now. However, what is NOT academic is that the crisis continues unchecked! Its a colossal political scandal. And millions of (little) folk have/will endure hardship and penury as a result. Its mind boggling!

    The list of ‘responsible’ characters is virtually legion. The list of those made accountable is what – a handful? That almost blank canvas is worth a thousand words.

    You are throwing your darts at the wrong board. Get a new board!

    Just listen to the utter shite being broadcast by Phil Hogan (News at One) – in respect of the Great Irish Water Taxpayer Looting and Turkey-shoot. GUBU is a totally inadequate description of it. It just goes on, and on, and on. Is there no way to stop these blackguards? I’m serious thinking that I should f*%k my principles and support Sinn Fein – providing they put in writing that the will shut down IW if they get elected to gov!

    And, who was that Ayn Rand one by the way? The Gorgon? Seems appropriate.

  62. @Sarah

    “Staying out meant an informal link to Sterling with no chance at all to influence policy.”

    hmmmm back at ya.

    At the time a significant ppart of the un-spoken, rationale was:

    1. Shiney new Mercedes effect.
    2. Giving the finger to the Brits.
    3. Listening to business tycoons who only understood the really obvious implications like not bothering to do FX.
    4. Warnings of a inappropriately low interest rates and a probable housing bubble being met with wide eyed enthusiasm.
    5. Warnings that under Germanic low inflation regime, borrwed money does not get inflated away – it has to be actually repaid drowned out by reaction at point 4. above
    6. Classic Irish method of dealing with critics – 1. Don’t engage; or, 2. Portray as unreasonable, dangerous, malcontents etc.

    @francis

    The correct term is ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ or UK.

    Unless Scotland votes to semi-detach itself – they don’t seem to want to join the Euro.

    Even after Scottish independence they still remain UK as ‘United Kingdom of quite a lot of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’

    @John C

    You haven’t been keeping up. Kruggy, Greenspan, Summers, almost certainly Yellen, obviously Bernanke all seem to think bubbles are the way to go. That they are bubbles that inflate assets owned by the rich, shut out the young and the poor, making a new artisocracy of the already wealthy doesn’t seem to concern them too much.

  63. @JG
    In his ground braking book ” Breakfast with Anglo” the distinguished Irish author,columnist and developer Simon Kelly states “Banks believe valuers, which always amazes me because valuers don’t buy buildings. Some time ago, a system evolved whereby a valuer’s word was absolute, and a valuation was almost as good as money.”

  64. @ jg: “In McConnon -v- President of Ireland & Ors,7 Kelly J stated his belief that a tort of reckless lending does not exist as a civil wrong in Irish law.”

    How about the doctrine of ‘Willful Blindness’? US Supreme Court: Global Tech. Appliances v SEB. (2011). Justices held it was valid – even in criminal cases.

    Lets see if someone raises it.

  65. @JC nobody believes anyone it’s business,do you really think buyers sit huddled around their boardroom table baited breath,eagerly awaiting the “word” from the “valurer”,would ya ever go away out that:)
    John it’s not called an opinion for nothing….

  66. @BWSnr,you’ve been harping on bout reckless lenders for long enough take a read…
    Report of the “Expert” Group on repos.

  67. @ Grumpy: I have a new one for yeh! Courtesy Minister P Hogan – at his local parish pump best – p*ssing on all and sundry! Phil can be quite ‘colourful’ -apparently.

    6(a) they are so fu*&ing (muttered silently!) useless that they do not know that you can only make a (fu*&ing) omelette if you break the (fu*&ing) eggs”

  68. @ John Corcoran

    In 2007, the US had a housing unit completion rate per 1,000 population of 5 compared with an average 5.3 for 19 European countries (Euroconstruct).

    Ireland and Spain had rates of 18 with Spanish completions at 794,000 almost equal to the combined total for Germany, France and the UK.

    Since 1968, the peaks for US housing were in the 1970s with a record 2.1m completions in 1973. It took until 2006 for completions to come close to that level at almost 2m while the population had increased from 212m to 301m.

    US housing credit was just one symptom of the disease while housing busts were in particular regions such as Florida, Californian and Nevada (Las Vegas).

  69. More good news chaps!

    “A majority of Irish consumers expect economic conditions to improve over the coming 12 months as the consumer sentiment index has hit its highest level in over six years. The index, compiled by KBC Bank Ireland and the ESRI and which is based on monthly surveys with consumers, rose sharply in December from 71 to 79.8. That was its highest reading since June 2007.”

  70. @Jf morning Johnny..
    “ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprise Association, has called for the establishment of a Retail Strategy Group to assist Irish retailers continuing to struggle with high overheads and low consumer demand. Otherwise further jobs will be lost in the sector, “despite the general but gradual improvement in the overall economy” the association said.
    In contrast, data for retail sales across the euro zone showed the biggest monthly jump for 12 years. Retail sales in the 17 countries using the euro rebounded 1.4 per cent in November after a 0.4 per cent decline in October, the fastest monthly increase since November 2001. Compared with the same period last year, the volume of sales rose 1.6 per cent after a 0.3 per cent fall in October.”
    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/ireland/no-lift-for-retail-sales-in-november-despite-euro-zone-surge-1.1648245

  71. @ grumpy

    Since the “Bank of England” guarantees all UK debt, even after Scottish independence, I figured it would be them to order the debt collection on Iceland : – )

    I still smile about the irony of Kruggels getting a James Joyce price for his fiction, and the IRA sympathizer giving him the warm welcome here.

  72. ah look they used emerald green…….well done i bet it turns blue,was red not an option guess not.
    “In addition to the portrait of Europa in the hologram and the watermark, the notes include an emerald number, which changes colour from emerald green to deep blue when tilted…”
    http://www.centralbank.ie/press-area/press-releases/Pages/New%E2%82%AC10banknoteunveiledinFrankfurt.aspx

    @JF the mortgage mess will stifle demand,lenders will continue to exit.Credit Union sector a complete disaster.Too much debt to service,public and private,there is some ‘hot’ money chasing yield,thats about it.Significant challenges ahead,anyone got a link to DofF report “Principal Risks to Ireland’s Corporation Tax Strategy,”..MH?

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/are-the-days-of-the-double-irish-numbered-1.1651630?page=3

  73. @ jg: Source? – thanks. Though if I read any more I fear my brain will capsize! Harping? OK. I’ll re-string my harp with:’willfully blind lenders’. And (hopefully) will need to pluck it less frequently. 😎

  74. @JF

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

    Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
    Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
    Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
    Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

    Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under?
    Screams but no one seems to hear a thing
    Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
    ‘Cause there’s a spark in you?

    You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
    Just own the night like the 4th of July

    ‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
    Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
    Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”
    As you shoot across the sky-y-y

  75. @BWSnr,hi Brian ya cant have reckless lenders w/o reckless borrowers:)
    They were all over 18,could read and willing entered into these agreements,educate them ya cant legislate for greed.
    Sub prime only exits cause people don’t/can’t/wont pay their bills in a timely manner,its called consequences…..
    cheat sheet link to full report as above!
    http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PR14000006

  76. Adding to Michael Hennigan,

    the specialties in the US were, it was a price bubble, with completion rates maybe just 10% above what was needed from population growth (and that should be pretty much worked down), that a) a lot of house securitized debt did not actually go into construction of real new houses, but into consumption (HELOC) and b) subprime debtors in subprime areas like Las Vegas, with house prices still at 54% of peak, whereas Denver and Dallas are at 105% of the old peak. As the Fed, whatcha goanna do with your interest rates?

    You can ask me any question about price levels down to the month / metro area, comparison to realtor data, unemployment …. : – )

    Spain was a ton of overbuilt, which hangs for years around their neck without any need for new construction, besides that a lot is in the wrong places or the wrong size / cost level.

    But macro field marshals from the east coast don’t care about such petty details and have a universal cure for all: print money : – )

    Krugman is just the poster boy for a universal American economist’s disease: hyperbole

    Know very little, understand less, but dish out stupid, criminal, and wrong advice a lot.

    The Krugtrons, Rogoff, Sumner, and on the right side Henderson, Hamilton, etc.

    All the same character problem

    Related discussion:
    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/01/the-correct-framing-of-the-irish-economic-dilemma-guarantees-vs-austerity.html

  77. @francis,oh just don’t lend poor or financially immature/illiterate borrowers, too much money,they have a nasty habit of not repaying it,then try hold onto the collateral and whine that they were robed,hoodwinked,tricked into taking out the loan/mtg…they like obese people but addicted to credit,not their fault at all:)

    Decent update from the people who really run Ireland on behalf of its creditors.

    http://www.ntma.ie/news/ntma-presentation-for-institutional-investors-january-2014/

  78. @ jg: Thanks for the link. Read it later.

    I have to call ‘Time Out’ on this lender/borrower issue. But the US and IRL situations were both quantitatively and qualitatively quite different. And as the man (Prof Bill Mitchell) said; “Common sense is a dangerous guide to reality”.

    A guy got convicted (pleaded guilty) to-day: “fraud by deception” (unauthorized access of CC details). Hmmmm.

    In ‘my day’ John, you had to provide a “blood sample” to get a house loan. Three years continuous saving + evidence of full-time employment + 20% CASH down + evidence you also had CASH to pay all transaction costs and fees. Default rate was less than 1% – DEFAULTS (repossessions) WERE LESS THAN ONE PERCENT!!! Ding, ding!, ding!.

    See yeh!

  79. @BWSnr,Brian we are always going to agree to disagree on this,was this back in the day when maidens danced at the crossroads,kids walked to school with a hot potato to warm their little hands then had it for lunch………..

    What another strategy to allow people not paying keep BTL’s and PPR’s they cant afford,just clip new entrants and the young for the errors,mistakes,greed off the tiger years,by withholding supply!

    “Another area in which it will be important to make significant progress this year is the problem of mortgage arrears. A comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem is now in place and the implementation of this strategy is now of prime importance. In that regard, the new personal insolvency system and the full implementation of the Central Bank mortgage arrears resolution targets – or MART – process are fundamental. As statutory regulator, the Central Bank has the power, from both a prudential and consumer protection perspective, to require banks to meaningfully address mortgage arrears cases on their books. It will no longer be acceptable for banks to apply short term solutions to cases where there has been a fundamental and long term change in the position of the borrower. Durable long term restructures will have to be applied having regard to the circumstances of individual cases. The end November 2013 mortgage arrears data in respect of the six MART banks – which was published by my Department on the 9th of January – shows that there is an increasing number of permanent restructures now being put in place by banks. However, it will be necessary for banks to significantly build on this in 2014. The fact that the new insolvency frameworks – in particular the Personal Insolvency Arrangement framework to address unsustainable mortgage or other secured debt – are now operational should provide a further incentive to banks to now move to address the mortgage problem in a definitive way this year.”

    http://www.finance.gov.ie/news-centre/speeches/current-minister/introductory-statement-mr-michael-noonan-td-minister-finance

  80. @ jg: “Brian we are always going to agree to disagree on this, was this back in the day when maidens danced at the crossroads, kids walked to school with a hot potato to warm their little hands then had it for lunch………..”

    Nope, 1966. But I do recall something from my days deep in the Donegal hinterlands! The Poteen was mighty! Or so I was told, being under age, and all.

    What did Senator Stoppard (Jimmy Stewart) say to Tom Doniphan (John Wayne) in the final scene from ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence’. – “Print the legend, not the truth!”. Good career advice that.

    But that was then, and this is now. I still enjoy single malts!!! 🙂 Night!

  81. @BWSnr,on a much lighter note as you did express some interest in ‘bridgegate’ here is a Jimmy Fallon skit,who is finally returning the tonight show to its rightful home in NY.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKHV0LLvhXM

    Still trying track down that DofF report,it was released under FOI to the IT, the latest from US.

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/tax-reform/report/2014/01/09/81681/offshore-corporate-profits-the-only-thing-trapped-is-tax-revenue/

  82. @grumpy on informally linking with sterling…

    hmmm indeed! Damn hindsight 😉

    @francis? or whoever asked about Iceland debt/GDP (thread is too long..)

    long link – apologies but this has it even lower! I guess there are other sources. (I picked up the 97% on this blog somewhere…)

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703789104576272891515344726?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052748703789104576272891515344726.html

    But I think the query as to what constitutes debt is really important because this is what I’ve been trying to get at. Did Iceland actually default? Some people seem to think that they did, but it’s still in the courts so that’s why I ‘m just holding back on buying into the Iceland success story (not saying it’s not happening, but not convinced the mainstream narrative is the whole story).

  83. @SC not sure if paywalls over there.
    “Iceland’s unusual path has been held up as a successful model of what can happen when a country opts to let its financial firms go under. The result in Iceland is that new banks are missing the big bonuses and risky trading desks that have fed populist anger elsewhere.

    “We are a new bank with new business ethics and a new way of doing things,” said Steinthor Palsson, the chief executive who was brought on to run Landsbankinn, the largest of Iceland’s new banks. Revenue from trading operations at Landsbankinn is down to 10 percent of what it was in 2006.

    But a transformation of the financial system can accomplish only so much in a country that faces such a long road to recovery.

    Many companies and households in Iceland are still deeply indebted. Birgir Gudjonsson, a 37-year-old policeman in Reykjavik, said that the banks had been too interested in rebuilding their businesses and their balance sheets, and not helpful enough to homeowners like him who bought their first homes just before the crisis. Because many Icelandic loans are linked to inflation, Mr. Gudjonsson owes more than he initially borrowed.

    “We’ve been hearing, almost weekly, ‘Oh look at this, everything is great,’ ” he said in the two-bedroom apartment where he lives with his wife and two daughters. “We just have to look in our wallet to see the reality.”

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/after-crisis-iceland-holds-a-tight-grip-on-its-banks/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

  84. @ Sarah

    your WSJ link has comments exactly “1000 days ago” ! : – )

    And looking at the numbers, I actually believe, that the numbers in the table are from that time

    1/15/2014 minus 1000 days = 1Q2011, the IMF numbers they took, at this time, probably 2Q2010 (are you familiar with this kind of notation?)

    This is like kind of ancient history, the time of the IMF applications.

    Looking at Ireland, maybe not, looking at Spain, which did come clean on hidden debt in state owned utilities begin of 2013, maybe yes.

    The CIA switching between 2 main interpretations of US government debt repeatedly during the wild years (with or without “social security lockbox”)

    And these are only the few points, I know specifics about.

  85. @ John G

    I meant Scott Sumner, the “market monetarist”, not larry

    @ Seafoid

    To your shatner youtube:

    I once lived in a house with cockroaches, for a very short time.

    When I look at German chancellors:

    1. Helmut Schmidt did and does live in a “Reihenhaus”, built for normal people from a former union trust “Neue Heimat”, Neuberger Weg 80, 22419 Hamburg, Germay, do your google earth, and tell me where you see luxury, please take a look at the inside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_JRmXUhg0E

    Classical brown brick

    When Soviet leader Breschnew was invited to a rare house invitation, they simply couldn’t believe, that this was not a trick, when they went for talks in his “gigantic” working room, foreign minister Genscher had to sit on the book ladder : – )

  86. http://www.welt.de/wams_print/article1963171/Spargel-und-Rumtopf-fuer-Leonid-Breschnew.html

    2. Gerhard Schröder

    The social democrat chancellor, who pushed through “Agenda 2010” Basta politics
    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/gerhard-schroeder-wir-waren-die-asozialen-1193698.html

    ‘Der Kanzler sagt es unverblümt: „Wir waren die Asozialen.“ ‘

    The lower 5%

    Mother, grandmother, sick father, 3 kids, living in 30 square meters, on welfare

    Now, do you think, that german chancellors represent the “common people” ?

  87. @Francis

    You’ll have to help me out on then on a credible source!

    I’m afraid I’m overloaded with the domestics these days and don’t have time to read the small print on whatever dross The Google throws up when one goes looking for numbers.

    Krugman also admitted that one serious problem with the crisis is data – even if you think you’ve got the facts- they’re not always helpful.

    Let’s appeal to the community: Iceland debt:gdp – agreed/credible number that we can accept before discussing further…..?

  88. So hands up all those who think its a good idea to call a nobel laureate criminal?
    “Krugman is just the poster boy for a universal American economist’s disease: hyperbole

    Know very little, understand less, but dish out stupid, criminal, and wrong advice a lot.”

    Wow. Site fully politics.ie now….

  89. @BL,ah Brian outing BEB was a tad “politics.ie” perhaps his rather shaky employer has a prohibition on prodigious blogging,not sure about ireland but as an active participant in the markets,are there no quite periods ?

    Anyway,my two pence worth i found it rather unbecoming and childish of you:)

    Easy enough,tenured in your ivory tower to expose people,but Owen may have had his own reasons,don’t know him but,I do respect his decision of anonymity,shame you didn’t,it will discourage others,oh well maybe it be like your blog one day a morgue….

  90. I for one enjoyed Bond’s posts,hope he/she continues,it’s a goldfish bowl over there Brian.
    Get what you saying especially if people are “having a go” but not everyone has the choice or option,we won’t agree as always:)
    Anyway,you find anyone suitable for that gig,looked interesting ?

  91. @SC,it’s on other thread,a little donnybrook,yep “expose” Alan hello mag:)
    And jay…sus on the source it’s accepted!!!!

    “Trading Economics provides its users with accurate information for 196 countries including historical data for more than 300.000 economic indicators, exchange rates, stock market indexes, government bond yields and commodity prices. Our data is based on official sources, not third party data providers, and our facts are regularly checked for inconsistencies. TradingEconomics.com has received more than 100 million page views from more than 200 countries.

    Trading Economics was founded in 2008 by Anna Fedec and Antonio Sousa in New York City. Anna Fedec is editor-in-chief for Trading Economics. Anna holds a Master Degree in Economics from the City University of New York and a Master Degree in International Relations from the Cracow University of Economics. Antonio holds a Masters in Business Administration from the City University of New York. Antonio has 10 years of experience performing global economics research and advanced computer programming skills applied to the development of global macro and event driven trading strategies. Until recently, Antonio Sousa was Chief Strategist for one of the world’s largest foreign exchange trading firms. ”
    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/about-te.aspx

  92. ok, thank you 🙂 Now I can say 97% and not panic.

    (well except for the disputed debt, but we’ll have to wait for that in the courts…)

    now to go see what’s happening with poor Bond.

  93. Mr Bond hasn’t been as flúirseach‎ with his posts on here since the ref bond yield (does Ireland actually have a 10 year ?) broke 4% . There was a slight contretemps with the revenant Prof Lucey over the Krugmeister/I believe I can fly/doom porn during the week but it didn’t appear to be critical. Feicimid.

  94. john g,

    thanks a lot for stepping in !

    (whether that “unfunded pensions” would count in comparison to other countries, I question. That is a favourite for talking up numbers to hilarious scares)

    Because I was just about having to write:

    Sorry Sarah, I did ask for your source, because I dont trust the CIA, I quoted, either

    It reminds me of an occasion, most likely early 2005, when Schröder went home to Berlin for more urgent business, and gave the German voting rights on some Europe meeting to Chirac, in good trustworthy hands.

    Some old book, Fukuyama “Trust” comes that way also to my mind, of what has been destroyed in the last few years.

  95. @francis,some commentators here have compared Hollandes right turn to,Schroeder’s:)
    I did look at the CIA book too,but in fairness to Sarah the numbers on this are all over the place,but more importantly they have an awful long tough road ahead.

  96. @Sarah

    They have a long-standing Ken Barlow/Mike Baldwin-esque thing going on &
    Brian is unconvinced of the merits of anonymity.

  97. Professor Krugman …. “nobel laureate … ”

    Nope, not even close. He’s the recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank prize – in honor of you-know-who. Anyone like to enlighten us as to HOW that prize is awarded? And do those recipients who got their stuff ‘wrong’, eg. Solow – have to give the prize back? Perish the thought!

    If you want meet a genuine Nobel Laureat, try Prof Frederick Soddy – for his elucidation of nuclear decay. Now that would not be our Frederick that wrote those nasty things about economics? Naw!

    Funny how we get all righteous and indignant (and quite rightly so) when we hear about medical or pharmaceutical screenings being conducted on persons who are intellectually and/or physically disabled – and we come over all coy like when we are confronted with the (horrific) real human consequences (on millions of folk) of economic programmes proposed and encouraged by the wonderful lads (were there any lassies?) who got that bank prize. Chile, anyone? That’s not a problem? Naw! Not possible!

    @ Sarah: Forget about those numbers. Half are incorrect, the remainder fictions. The metrics used by econs are quite unreliable – unfit for purpose as they say. But whose counting?

  98. Seafoid,

    Very strong Retail Sales numbers in the UK this morning. The Doom Porn merchants will be crying into their hot choccies this morning. The worrying things for all Grauniad readers & DOCM is that i)the UK might actually be a well governed polity and ii)the Tories might actually win re-election over Michael Foot “lite. ”

    Grumpy,
    We all know who EB is now thanks to BL. Thankfully nobody knows or cares who you, Seafoid and I are. I am still mystefied as to whether Prof L is real or not.

    Well done Eoin Morgan, fine century by Irishman in what looks like a rare win for England

  99. @tullmcadoo

    ‘Well done Eoin Morgan, fine century by Irishman in what looks like a rare win for England

    +1 First of the new year and second of the new decade!

    I hear that the Dublin Unionists turned down your membership application; prob nothing to do with the 13 refusals from Sinn Fein. Pity, reckon you could garner 0.2% of the true blue vote in Kingstown in the local elections.

    @ALL

    GURRIER OF THE MONTH AWARD

    Two outstanding candidates and the award committee [anonymous due to commercial sensitivities] has decided on a tie as it is too difficult to distinguish between their levels of puerile zenophobic ranting.

    And the award goes to:

    Chippie_John Gallaher & Prudent Hans (aka francis)

    BTW would you two guys like a room? Great value now in NAMA hotels in Dublin, Anglo_Irish/IBRC hotels in New York & The Derivatives Death Star hotel in Frankfurt?

  100. DOD,

    Blues don’t want me…too extreme. The other RA turned me down as not a daily communicant. May go back to my Soldier roots.

    I hear Benedict XVI is turning up in the RDS next week.

  101. @tull

    Benedict? There be monsters! I had that lady sussed very early on; spose you didn’t get the inivite either? Still, he is well versed on Lenin and the roight’s ‘useful idiots’.

    Don’t be surprised if he comes of the bench against the Ospreys! Suppposed to be very good under the .. er .. HIGH ball.

  102. @ Sarah

    the Prof tried to out my true identity (which you and many others are already aware of – the Prof was well behind the curve in figuring it out) because i made a very bland critisism of some of his previous positions vs current ones. Trust me, i didn’t pick the really fun positions to talk about, and there’s lots of those, but he just generally plays poorly with other people. The Mods thought better of his childishness and deleted his comment in a reasonably efficient manner, but in reality, no one actually cares that much on here other than the Prof, though my employer probably does (as JG alludes to), so i’d rather keep some element of anonymity if its ok with you all.

    As is probably obvious to 99% of people, its slightly more difficult to talk about controversial subjects in the relatively unstructured environment of a blog comments section if you work in the private sector, especially ones where the issue is subjective in nature, than it is if u work in the tenured public sector (again, the Prof is an obvious example of this – i assume i’d be sacked by now if i’d written some of the things he has). Again, obvious to most, not obvious to all, and always one who can’t handle this issue very well.

    @ Grumpy

    i stopped commenting on here when it became reasonably obvious that some people were becoming entrenched perma-bears who were unwilling to discuss things rationally or in light of changing facts on the ground (thats not directed at you btw), and were more interested in personal rants based on intractable political-economic outlooks. Karl Whelan formally left not too long before me if you recall, for just such reasons.

  103. @ Tull

    Good man. Let’s keep a watching brief on it. I see the Canadian at the BoE doesn’t think there’s a housing bubble and if there is it’s just catch up from 2008 on. Apparently Canada has a bit of a housing bubble as well. So he knows his stuff. Fingers crossed.

    I think Nigel Farage could be a dark horse for the election. He could eat into a lot of Tory marginals without getting many seats. The Tories would be preferable to the clowns, of course.

  104. @Bond. Eoin Bond

    I do not know who you are – but sure I could figure it out. What matters to me – a humble citizen-serf – is that you bring valuable expertise to this blog – and I have learned from many of your comments.

    I was on the ‘thread’ when Professor Brian Lucey lost the rag …. and seriously breached netiquette – and I commended the moderator(s) when those comments by the said Prof were deleted.

  105. 100 million China-Ireland fund established.

    Welcome! Any chance of a long-term loan of 50 Billion?

    “The Tao is generous and graceful in what it does
    Without ever claiming any merit

    And the sage’s greatness lies
    in taking no credit.”

    Tao Te Ching #2

  106. @DOD you really don’t have a clue do you?
    “Since 2003, Peter has been a member of the Board of the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), an appointment made by the Irish Government and is also a member of the Audit Committee at the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).”
    http://www.abven.com/who_we_are/peter_mcmanamon/

  107. One wonders what BEB has to hide, beside his identity. And why he is so precious about that.

  108. @DOD,ah David i will ignore your homophobic comments about Francis myself needing a room.Did you get a lot of prizes at prize day,you appear awfully fond of them,but eh thanks for the award…..
    But i’m intrigued,which part of the outsourcing of their job, by the NPRF to a little shop with a NTMA audit committee member has you so excited,the fees they making….

  109. @Brian/BEB

    Now Brian. Naughty step for you 😉 BEB is in good standing here, and he’s cute too. 😉

    Shake hands, before someone loses an eye…

  110. @Brian Lucey

    Come on Brian! Bond. Eoin Bond is perfectly entitled to remain anonymous – and particularly so if commenting here could place his job in jeopardy. He also takes the time at times to ‘explain’ some of the nuances of the financial sector that many of us were unaware of until it hit us in the pockets of our future grandchildren.

    I’m aware of some of your academic work (on smes in particular) – but methinks your ‘form’ of argumentation at times could do with some work. Have you read Habermas? or played rugby? the intricies of the ‘choke tackle’ or got your hand in the wrong place in a ruck?

    … and I was on a thread where some of your comments on Bond. Eoin Bond were deleted by the moderator – and I was on the side of the moderator.

    That said, keep up the good work ….

  111. @DOD here ya go….who do you think sets and agrees the remuneration packages for the overworked boys and girls at the NPRF.
    A) mickey mouse
    B) santa clause
    C) the NTMA…
    Take all long as you need…..

  112. If BOB , sorry BEB cant say what he can say as a bankster, he perhaps shouldnt say it. His job (flogging irish debt to whomever) and mine (drawing out … check the greek) are different. He can say things here under cover of a pseudenom that he cannot say in real life. So why say them? That split personality must hurt…
    But anyhow.

  113. Some my best friends are…
    “I had been asked to comment on Keynes’s famous observation “In the long run we are all dead.” The point I had made in my presentation was that in the long run our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are alive, and will have to deal with the consequences of our economic actions.

    But I should not have suggested – in an off-the-cuff response that was not part of my presentation – that Keynes was indifferent to the long run because he had no children, nor that he had no children because he was gay. This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’s wife Lydia miscarried.

    My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life. As those who know me and my work are well aware, I detest all prejudice, sexual or otherwise.”
    http://www.niallferguson.com/blog/an-unqualified-apology

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