"A political system from the era of the donkey and cart where the buck stops nowhere and produces second-rate politicians from the teachers, small town solicitors and auctioneers, who have the time to develop a local profile or use a family connection, has blown the best opportunity ever, for sustained Irish economic development."
The government's decision to unconditionally guarantee Irish bank deposits and inter-bank loans exposes the taxpayer to potentially huge risks. With property prices still falling, it is likely that the government's deposit guarantee will be called upon sooner rather than later.
Between them, the Irish banks owe their depositors, other banks and bondholders almost €400bn. That's more than twice the value of our total annual economic output and 10 times the total national debt.
Presenting the guarantee scheme to the Dail yesterday, Taoiseach Brian Cowen portrayed it as a commercial arrangement, with the banks paying a market-determined fee to guarantee deposits and wholesale funding.
It is, of course, nothing of the sort. Before the government's dramatic move yesterday, Irish banks were paying between 2.5pc and 5.5pc over Euroibor for wholesale funding. If the guarantee scheme were to reflect market reality, then the banks should be paying somewhere between 2.5pc and 5.5pc of the amount guaranteed, from €10bn to €22bn a year, to the government.
Will the government charge the banks anywhere near this amount for the guarantee? Will it what?
Even a €10bn premium would more than wipe out the profits of the Irish banking system. This isn't an arms-length commercial transaction, but the first stage in what is likely to be a protracted bailout of the banks, whose balance sheets have been stretched to breaking point and beyond by the collapse in Irish property prices.
Total property-related lending by the Irish banks now stands at a towering €240bn. Even a 10pc writedown in the value of this lending would wipe out more than half the reserves of the Irish banks.
The biggest risk posed by Lenehan´s bail-out guarantee is what bankers call "moral hazard". With the government's unconditional guarantee of all deposits and inter-bank funding having eliminated the danger of a "run" on a bank by nervous depositors, what is there to stop financial institutions lending irresponsibly in the knowledge that the state will pick up the tab?
To take a hypothetical example, Bank A has been approached by Developer B ("The Dunner" for example?) to lend him money to fund a property development scheme. Up to yesterday, Bank A, experiencing difficulty attracting money from depositors and other banks, and sceptical about the merits of the scheme, was reluctant to lend Developer B the money.
Now, with the government having unconditionally guaranteed all deposits and inter-bank funding with Irish-owned banks, Bank A is awash with funds once again.
So will Bank A now lend Developer B, with whom it has a long relationship, the money he is seeking, rather than stick with its earlier reservations?
While this is no doubt an extreme example, it will be almost impossible for the government to avoid being dragged further and further into the day-to-day running of the banks as it seeks to prevent them from abusing the guarantee.
The guarantee scheme will almost certainly turn into the financial equivalent of a tar baby: the more desperately the government seeks to escape from its clutches, the more enmeshed it will become.
With more than one of the banks covered by the guarantee likely to experience problems in the near future as the true state of property loan books emerges, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the government to maintain the fiction that this guarantee is no more than a temporary little arrangement. Far more likely is that it will be the start of a long drawn-out process that will last for many years and cost the taxpayer tens of billions of euro.
- Taken from an article by Bernard Waters(Irish Independent)
“The Government had given €250m last year to renovate Glasnevin Cemetery” adding: "They think more of the dead than they do of the living."
( Pensioner at medical card removal protest meeting in Dublin)
"This is rapidly turning out to be a Boomerang Budget -- every time the Government try to throw a bit of it away, it instantly rebounds. "
Noel Dempsey wasting more money:
Farmers are beginning their own "boomerang" campaign against agriculture cuts announced in last week's Budget.
"In 2001, ex-Fianna Fáil finance minister Charlie McCreevy doled out universal medical cards, a ploy designed to capture the grey vote — and it worked.
At the time, not one ministerial voice, including Brian Cowen’s, was raised against the decision to give so-called “gold cards” to retired ministers, judges, consultants, not to mention rich property developers. "
"It seems that the Department of the Environment is now interested in new tax reliefs -- much more targeted of course -- for key developments, especially those in areas designated under the National Spatial Strategy.
It is impossible to say for how long, or by how much, property prices will fall -- certainly in real terms -- from their peak in the spring of 2007. Just about the only thing everyone agrees upon is that, when the dust settles (or, as Warren Buffet would have it, when the tide goes out) the attitude to lending and risk will be quite different from that of the past six years or more.
But it is hard to escape the conclusion that those tax- breaks, like that cheap credit, will make the fall in prices worse. Lots of people profited mightily from them, but their effects are a threat to the market."
He would probably pass for Santa Claus if you gave him a red cape and hood and a false beard.Tell that to the multitude of bank shareholders and private pension fund retirees who have lost almost everything.
I actually passed this old guy in the street two weeks ago.I was in Ireland for a week and cycling down the Luas line near Capel street . I spotted him shuffling by on the pavement.I did not have the presence of mind to ask him for his autograph. he doesnt have a "presence" either. He looked like he could have been on his way to the Morning Star hostel for the night.
He probably would have been highly embarrassed if I had approached him.Reclusive. Typical civil servant.
He´s a harmless old divil by the look of him in real life-as well as in his picture here.Not that the harm he has allowed to happen is not groundbreaking in it´s enormity.
He is what the Scottish call a "Gillie" or a "Dupe". He was selected for his role. Selected carefully by his masters. This guy rocks no boats. He would not even rock the cradle of a crying infant.
A fall guy for Fianna Fail whose numerous and costly quango-masters have multiplied to the point that no new administration dares to begin the process of unraveling them.
" lie entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa "
As numerous as the Quangos are, that the Soldiers have created to distance themselves from the mayhem; the waste; the incompetence; which is the hallmark of their reign- the characters/ party followers/gillies that they have charged with overseeing them, are an equally fascinating lot.
Create a new Quango; Give it fanciful name; Look for some harmless old guy who is a staunch supporter of the party, and give him a nice well paid, pensionable job.!
Give him little power-or lots of power depending on the need (Of Fianna Fail). If it means unlimited monies flowing to their supporters, its the powerful NRA (National Roads Authority). ´They are charged with negotiating the purchase of land , with taxpayers money,for the road building programme.
They wouldn´t have the ability negotiate a deal to sell water to a bunch of half crazed travellers emerging from a trek through the Sahara desert. So they throw fortunes at every farmer lucky enough to be in the way of the new road building programme. Half the money allocated to build the roads goes into the pockets of the farmers.
However, If it means not disturbing bankers or the rapacious developers as they grow obscenely rich at the expense of the nation´s citizens:-Mr O´Leary as the "Financial Regulator"
is a "shoe-in"
Reguator of what.?To do what.? To do Jack Shit.! That´s what. Regulator of sitting back to watch the economy fall into fuc*ing ruin -thats what.! To sit back , and smile and smile-and still to be a villain!.
Meanwhile the entire country goes down the tubes.
Our home in Gran Canaria.
Our place of happy exile
"Gran Canaria" my home, is about 100 kilometres offshore from the African Continent.
Our cat pretending to be a dead Celtic Tiger.
"Is that a mouse I see before me?"
A photograph of my favourite irish politicians. Lto R. Mary Coughlan; Brian Cowan: Lower left to right: Dermot Ahern, Martin Cullen & Brian Lenehan.
An Irish voter mulling over past mistakes.
My favourite Quangoista.
My favourite Exposista
My favourite Taxdodgeista.
My favourite Capitalista.
The inadequate and reckless treatment of sewage in Ireland is slowly but surely destroying our waterways and coast.
Ireland is renowned for its stunning seascapes but, even by our standards, Lough Swilly in north Donegal is exceptionally beautiful. From its gentle beginnings at Letterkenny to its dramatic mouth flanked by Fanad and Dunaff Heads, the Swilly unwinds over 30 miles into the open Atlantic.
However, as occupants contemplate Lough Swilly's moods from their picture windows - its name means the Lake of Shadows - few will ponder whether the water is as wholesome as it looks. Practically none will conjure the revolting image of their own bodily waste swilling around among all that natural beauty.
Such concepts do not compute in the Ireland of chilled chardonnay, luxury health spas and New York shopping trips. For, surely, the second-richest OECD nation doesn't pump raw excrement into the sea?
tax cuts (of Fianna Fail) didn't cause the boom, they were the result of it. Far from
generating revenue, they squandered it. Nevertheless, deluded by its
own crude ideology, at one with free market extremism, the Ahern
government threw caution to the wind.
The banks and the builders were like two dogs locked in a carnal act, threshing and inseparable. They needed water thrown over them. Instead, the government joined in, making this a unique and bizarre menage a trois.
Revenue from the property bubble allowed much-needed increases in public spending, but still we underfunded hospitals and schools. The proverbial "Top People" lapped it up. Thirty-three thousand millionaires (not counting the value of their homes) muscled their way to the top. Ministers and TDs entered the big money leagues. Bankers and HSE executives were on big bonuses. The banks are now in hock to the builders to the tune of €110bn. And the builders are awash with unsold properties. They don't want to lower prices, so they can't sell, so they can't pay their debts. Tax revenue collapses.
The politicians are busy passing on the blame. To us. (Gene Kerrigan)
Irish minstrel and anti-poverty campaigner Bono joined the band of celebrity tax dodgers (which includes the Rolling Stones) in 2006, when it was revealed that U2 had moved its royalty income from Ireland to the Netherlands. For many years Ireland had famously – and much to the benefit of U2 – not taxed the income of ‘artists’. Then the Government decided to set a cap of $200,000 a year – a fortune for most artists, but not for U2. Ireland is itself a corporate tax haven and Bono would have done well enough had he decided to stay put. But the Netherlands offered a more competitive deal, partly through its link with the Antilles. Another band member, The Edge, pleaded: ‘Who doesn’t want to be tax efficient?’
Sunday October 05 2008
Ireland's ill-planned decentralisation debacle may have come to the same shuddering halt as the economy.
But the bills for Charlie Mc Creevy's last folly are set to continue rolling in for another 20 years -- with millions being paid for empty offices.
The rental costs on offices hired to house phantom civil servants in over 30 rural locations -- from Tubbercurry, Co Sligo to Furbo, Co Galway and further afield -- will cost the taxpayer over €67.3m.
"The decision to spend €67m renting office buildings that the State will never own in places no-one has ever heard of and which will house nothing more than imaginary civil servants is the perfect monument to the economic incompetence of this administration," said a Labour party source.
In Kilrush, which is described in tourist guides as being one of Clare's "best kept secrets", the taxpayer will be paying rent to private business interests for property "the State will never own for more than 25 years".
The costliest schemes are Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, where the Department of Social and Family Affairs has leased offices at a total cost of €16m, and in Navan, Co Meath, where the Revenue, the property regulator and the Department of Justice have leased offices for €8.8m and €11.5m.
In Carlow, the Department of Enterprise's 20-year lease will cost the taxpayer more than €7.3m whilst in Roscrea, Co Tipperary the Equality Authority Offices will cost the taxpayers over €2m.
Though some office space has been occupied, the current status of the decentralisation project -- where less than 20 per cent of the public sector has moved -- means there are huge swathes of offices across the country that are populated by nothing more tangible than desks and the odd chair.
The figures were given to Labour finance spokesperson Joan Burton in reply to a Dail question.
- JOHN DRENNAN
Fianna Fail's "Get out of jail free” guarantee card for the bankers and developers was a compellingly attractive response by the government to a potential Chernobyl event.
Politicians have pledged the deeds of “Ireland Inc” ,so that the profligate directors of ruined Irish banks get fresh chips to stay on playing at the roulette table.
The first downside of this decision is that the bad loans can now be left on the books for years to come.No doubt the developers will be loaned more of the government guaranteed deposits to help them continue their interest payments indefinitely.
The half built ;the empty housing estates; in Dublin and elsewhere, can now be locked up, by the developers, and left to the weeds and the wild flowers that will grow in the cracks and crannies of the pathways of their unfinished sites-rather than sell their apartments at recession prices.
Granted, the banks may lose patience with the smaller buy-to-let, speculators, who bought a half a dozen properties in recent years, and now find that tenants are a threatened species.
Foreclosing on these lesser victims, may give us an indication of realistic prices as the banks become property owners and proceed to offload their illiquid assets.
The banks may of course choose to leave them empty, and try and ride out the recession,hoping for an eventual upturn- rather than set a chain reaction in motion, whereby there is public clamor for a similar treatment for their bigger customers.!
Unfortunately the government’s bail-out, has opened up too many comfortable options for banks like Anglo Irish, which -of all of the 6 happy survivors-was more deserving of a leaden weight than a lifebuoy.
At least some of our more prominent billionaires are happy men this week.
CONFRONTATION comes easily to Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair. He does not care whom he offends and does not bother with normal business conventions: if he has something to say, he will say it. It is not because he likes the sound of his own voice, or because he craves attention. He attacks because he has a company to defend and a point to make.
The European Commission, which has blocked his proposed takeover of Aer Lingus has investigated a number of regional airports because of the deals they have struck with Ryanair.
Behind closed doors they perished in a converted warehouse/so called nightclub.A drinking licence was issued.The licence to print money for Fianna Fail politicians and their cronies.The operation prospered in a working class suburb of Dublin bereft of sports & recreation facilities. Emergency exits locked and barred .Nobody was made accountable for the untimely deaths of these young people .Nobody was brought to justice.The family responsible prosper today, and grow wealthier by the year. Friends of Fianna Fail...The way of the world.!
"It is the blight man was born for-it is your children you mourn for"
The White House today admitted that funds had been channeled through the C.I.A to support Mr Declan Ganley and his beleaguered “Libertas” organization, which campaigned for a “No” vote in the irish “Lisbon referendum”. Politicians of all hues and parties throughout Europe, are currently engaging in a smear campaign against Mr Ganley.
President Bush held a special press conference to express his deep concern at the lack of democracy in the new “Super-European parliamentary institutions”.
“Many decisions are taken behind closed doors,” he commented, “and the people have been denied a free vote on the enlargement of unelected officials in an undemocratic parliament. The smear campaign is worse than anything we would tolerate here in the United States-even in a Presidential election!" He added.
“We have established that there is massive fraud, waste and duplication of resources such as two headquarters for the sitting members; much of the huge budget is allocated to powerful lobby groups; agricultural support and farm subsidies throughout the region threaten to destabilize world markets, and the bulk of the huge annual budget allocation goes to an oligarchy of wealthy businessmen and landowners. Many of the citizens of Europe can no longer afford the cost of basic foodstuffs and we are concerned that the steady impoverishment of its peoples will create social unrest and eventually bring anarchy to the region. We want a strong European partner, but also a functioning democracy."
"Civil servants and parliamentarians alike, defraud the system by claiming expenses for first class airline tickets and hotel expenses while travelling on budget airlines and lodging with friends in Brussels and Strasbourg.” Added Mr Bush
“The War of the Words”, (with apologies to Orson Welles,)
The run on the banks fiasco.
The ability to confuse audiences en masse may have first become obvious as a result of one of the most infamous mistakes in history. It happened in September 2008, when millions of irish citizens tuned in to a popular radio program that featured real life drama.
The mischief maker/famous broadcasting celebrity, Joe Duffy took calls from panicky customers of the irish banks who had seen their shares plummet almost below the horizon ,due to their rapacious exploitation of the property bubble phenomenon by greedy bankers. As the stock market collapse, instigated a run on the banks,which threatens to destroy the economic fabric of the nation-Joe was stoking the fires and listening to Grannies worried about all the cash they had hidden under wardrobes mattresses etc.
As the show unfolded, politicians and bankers panicked and the Minister for Hardship ,Brian Lenehan,danced on the table in government buildings (as his padre was known to do before him) only this time, it was not entertainment-it was anger.!
.As the show progressed, people hurriedly donned their coats and rushed to their local bank branch ,withdrew their life savings and hid it wherever they could find a spot which robbers might not easily locate. News of the panic (which was conveyed via genuine news reports) quickly generated a national scandal. There were calls, which never went anywhere, for government regulations to ensure that the banks would never be permitted to lend 350 million euros to Joe Ballsbridge and his Fianna Fail cronies countrywide-nor give 100% loans to the mugs who were hooked on property cocaine-nor cause such chaos again
In a prescient column, only one commentator David McWilliams foresaw that the dreadful fiasco revealed the way politicians, auctioneers, and property developers could use the power of mass communications to create illusions, & manipulate the public into borrowing sums of moneyfar in excess of what they could afford to repay.!.
"All unwittingly, Joe Duffy and RTE have made one of the most fascinating and important demonstrations of all time," one commentator wrote. "They have highlighted how a property speculator, financed administration, can mishandle an economic boom, can convince masses of people of a totally unreasonable, completely fantastic proposition(they must buy at any cost as prices are rising and rising..) as to create a nation-wide panic.
Joe has demonstrated more potently than any argument, demonstrated beyond a question of a doubt, the appalling dangers and enormous effectiveness of popular-almost theatrical- demagoguery....
Mr. Duffy was able to scare thousands into demoralization with nothing at all except interviews with real people and potential victims of-not just negative equity-but judging by the collapse in confidence in our banking system-the real possibility of losing their life savings as well.
One might say that War of the Words between the government and RTE ( the Joe Duffy show) was the aftermath of the age of simulation and dissimulation Allowing for a little poetic overstatement, it can be said that we now live in an age of simulation and political “spin” intended to create confusion, and bury the truth. Our tendency to mistake fakes for what they imitate –particularly in the world of politics-has become one of the characteristic problems of the age.
More to the point, we live in a time in which the ability to create deceptive simulations, especially for television, has become essential to the exercise of power. And the inability to see through these deceptions has become a form of powerlessness. Those who let themselves be taken in by the multiple deceptions of politics, news, advertising and public relations, are doomed, like the more gullible members of the radio audience of “The War of The Worlds” in 1938, to play a role in other people's dramas, while mistakenly believing that they are reacting to something genuine.
Hard times: FF can shoulder the blame, not low-paid workers and Lisbon opponents
"The only surprise is that it took Fianna Fáil and their IBEC friends three months to blame the majority of the Irish people who opposed the Lisbon Treaty, civil servants and those on the minimum wage for the crash. Perhaps they were trying to pretend the recession wasn’t happening? Anyway, it wasn’t no voters and the low-paid who:
1. Failed to broaden our tax base to include fair taxation of the huge windfall profits.
2. Fuelled the damaging property bubble by stupid, shortsighted tax breaks for property speculators.
3. Failed to invest in broadband, education and retraining, thus leaving us in a weak position to recover from the Government-induced downturn.
4. Privatised Telecom Éireann, resulting in a ruthless sweating of the public assets of one of the leading telecoms systems in Europe, reducing it to one of the slowest and most expensive;
5. Handed over up to €13 billion gas reserves to Shell with no royalties for the Irish people.
6. Handed over the building of a €25m bridge to a well-connected company, resulting is a cost of €1,200m to motorists and taxpayers, not to mention hours and hours of delays on the M50. No, Brian Cowen might find the causes of the recession much closer to home, specifically in Fianna Fáil’s adoption of the ‘greed is good’ culture which has allowed the PDs to pass on the baton and retire."
(Letter to the “Examiner)
You voted in the best liars-no harm in that-happens all the time in politics , but here is a link to
stuff you ought to know before swallowing the smear campaign by all the major political parties, against Declan Ganley, in the run up to the local elections 2009 and the second Lisbon referendum.
Protesters "lock in" to prevent police manhandling in Mayo
Garda overtime allocation to control a few dozen protesters in Mayo equals entire overtime budget for tackling criminal drug gangs countrywide.!! The cops are laughing all the way to the bank. "Thanks Fianna Fail.!"
Garda gets Interpol aid on Corrib protesters
Naval Service ship at Corrib gas project (British nuclear submarine rumoured to be standing by off the coast to render assistance.!)
GARDAÍ POLICING the protest about Shell's Corrib gas project have enlisted the help of Interpol following an influx of eco-protesters into Mayo from the UK and continental Europe.
Interpol, the international police intelligence co-operation agency, is helping to identify some of the foreign national eco-protesters, whose number has significantly increased in recent weeks, according to Garda sources.
The increase in the number of protesters has also prompted senior Garda management in the area to request reinforcements of personnel from surrounding Garda districts.
The move to add personnel to the policing operation comes at a time when the overall cost to the Garda of policing the protest is well over €10 million. The security operation around the controversial project is now the single biggest ongoing policing operation in the country.
The cost of the Garda's operation looks set to exceed €15 million by the end of the year. This compares with the €20 million available for Garda overtime under Operation Anvil, which targets organised crime gangs across the country.
Gardaí in Mayo have also requested the presence of a naval vessel to assist in the security operation. The LE Orla moved into Broadhaven Bay on Friday lunchtime and remained there over the weekend.
Dont you wish these very determined and energetic guys would put their energy into forming a new political party?
More at: www.indymedia.ie
David Begg is General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.He is a Director of state (or former) institutions such as Aer lingus and the Central bank. We have Trade Unionists managing capitalist companies, and publicans (for the main part) governing the country.The main qualification to be elected to the Dail, and govern Ireland is pedigree-your father was there before you.! Your only qualification in life may that you played hurling for kilkenny, or were a successful auctioneer, or did a brief accountancy course in Rathmines College.
(When Aer Lingus goes bankrupt -as it surely will in time- a "workers buyout" of the equity they dont already own, will probably turn the airline into a very successful enterprise.Read my lips.Remember Eircom.
The new Ballsbridge- "Infernal Towers"or a potential "Towering Inferno" target for the "Dunner´s" foes (like "Kaiser" Dermot Desmond.?)
Left: to right: Brian Lenehan,(Godfather-in Waiting) & Minister for Hardship;Mary Coughlan Vice-Taoiseach, Brian "Biffo" Cowan ( fresh from "weight watchers"?),and Martin "Lewinsky"Cullen, former Minister for Computers and Cronyism, with special responsability for Exotic Jollies(Bangkock,Bejing etc.etc.), and guarding the Waterford Pork Barrel factory.
What will the budget bring for the Fianna Fail speculators and their banking buddies.?
The latter is a sure bet!!
All the dirt on the Soldiers of destiny is here:
Wednesday June 25 2008
DOH! Justice Minister Dermot Ahern was compared to Homer Simpson in the Dail last night.
In a vicious political attack, a contrary politician labelled Mr Ahern "a politician with no honour or decency". He said Mr Ahern was "unfit for office".
He claimed the minister had "a preference for gombeen politics", following Department of Justice claims last week that a Fine Gael victims' rights bill had been copied "word for word" from New Zealand legislation.
Mr Ahern's good faith was brought into question, he was described as "arrogance", and it was claimed his political sight was "afflicted by cataracts of selfish political back-alley pettiness".
This had an effect on the minister's ability to see what the public good required, his critic continued, claiming Mr Ahern had announced new victim rights legislation last week to spike a Fine Gael private members' motion this week.
He had contaminated the political landscape with his accusation of plagiarism against Fine Gael, it was said.
"He has exhibited the intellectual capacity for which Homer Simpson has become famous."
The critic concluded: "The minister in recent days has exposed himself as a politician with no genuine sense of honour or decency, a person lacking insight and integrity. The truth is he has shown himself unfit for the important office that he holds."
Tell us what´s new.?
Why would anyone travel as far as 300 kilometres on a bus to do their weekly shop, unless there was a huge difference in prices?
This year, 40pc of the shoppers in the Asda store in Strabane are from the Republic, as opposed to 27pc last year.
This is a national disgrace.
Mary Coughlan has commissioned yet another report as to why prices are so much higher here than up North. She had better get the report on her desk without delay or she could find herself out of a job faster than she thinks.
People are fed up being ripped off in this republic and morale is sinking fast.
If the Government can't sort out the problems we're all facing then it's time to get a new one, or else Dick Roche will be having another referendum -- not on the Lisbon Treaty -- but on whether or not we go back into the United Kingdom.