Asset Management Agency – Ireland’s Bad Bank

So the government is going to buy all the banks’ toxic assets, is it? €90 billion to be precise.

Let me think my way through this now, slowly.

What’s a toxic asset?

Well, it seems to be something for which the banks lent somebody money to buy, but which isn’t worth what was paid for it. And it seems the banks didn’t examine the deal carefully enough before handing over the money.

So. The banks paid out too much money to buy these assets, which are mostly buildings and land, and in the process, destabilised our economy.

The problem, as the government sees it, is that the banks have too much bad debt on their books and therefore they can’t do their normal business of lending to ordinary customers.

Therefore, the government is going to purchase the bad loans from the banks for less than they’re worth, and then they’ll try to get the money back from the developers who borrowed it in the first place. It isn’t clear how much they’ll be able to recover from these developers who have salted away their profits in the Cayman Islands and Zurich. (Incidentally, these developers are not all remote figures living in some luxurious, unreachable quarter of South Dublin. Many are ordinary enough guys that you might bump into at a match, or in your local pub. Ordinary guys who just happen to have defaulted on a €30 million loan).

This, according to the theory, will free up the banks to get back to lending money to you and me.

Now, we have also contributed €7 billion to the two main banks and we have nationalised the First Bank of Crookery, Anglo-Irish. In addition, we have guaranteed up to €450 billion in bank liabilities. This was all so that the banks wouldn’t fail. Not bad for a tiny little country like Ireland with only four million of us to contribute.

But let me just ask you a different question, and I apologise in advance if my ignorance is showing, but I’m not a trained economist or anything like that. Still, let me ask you anyway.

If the only problem was liquidity — the ability of the banks to lend money — why couldn’t the government have set up one or two new banks and just let the old ones fail under the weight of their stupid decisions about lending too much money for things that weren’t worth it?

Who would suffer if those banks failed? As far as I can see, it would only have been the shareholders, but they were gambling anyway in the world’s biggest bookie shop, and when you place a bet, you have to assume that you might lose your shirt. Who else would have suffered? The new banks would have needed experienced middle-level officials to run the day-to-day business, and could probably have employed most of the workers from the defunct banks.

I don’t understand it. Instead of doing this, the government is going to use your money to buy billions of euros of bad debt.

Why not just let these banks fail under the weight of their own greed and start again from scratch?

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Also on Bock:

Economic Treason – Simple Recipe

Property Speculators and Treason

Paying For The Celtic Tiger
Asset Management Agency – Ireland’s Bad Bank
Bludget 2009
Budget 2009 – My suggestions
Fingers Fingleton Sole Beneficiary of €27 Million Irish Nationwide Pension Fund
Bailing Out The Property Developers
Business Ideas for the New Great Depression
Sorry? What?
Irish Government Ministers
Denying the Economic Crisis
Anglo-Irish Bank’s Croke Park Corporate Box
The Anglo-Irish Ten, Hiding Behind Client Confidentiality
Irish Bank Guarantees
Sean Fitzpatrick Tells Parliamentary Committee To Fuck Off
Letter To Brian Goggin, Bank of Ireland CEO
Anglo-Irish Bank, Brian Lenihan and the 7-Billion-Euro Fraud
Irish Government Nationalises Anglo-Irish Bank

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Elsewhere:

Irish Economy

78 thoughts on “Asset Management Agency – Ireland’s Bad Bank

  1. Look Bock,

    have no fears about this. This fucking cunting piece of shit of a budget was of, by and for the banks and thier shareholders nothing else.

    Fuck em, keep on like this and we’ll end up like Madagascar or somehwere “leasing” their land (and resources) to China or South Korea for a handful of magic beans in a year or two.

  2. I don’t know Bock. I’m not an economist either. You don’t think that there are vested interests here, do you? Are significant amounts of bank shares held by members of FF?

  3. Another thing Bock,

    Why the fuck don’t we boycott the Bertie Aherns, Seanie Quinns and Michael Fingletons of this world. They’re still enjoying all the advantages of living in this society. They’re able to travel freely and live it up in the Shelbourne Bar, Shanahans on the Green etc. People should shun them, treat them as if they were paedophiles. I’m not advocating anything illegal here, but we shouldn’t let them have a moments peace if you see them out on the street. Hound them, harry them make them so uncomfortable that the fuckers won’t show their face out on the streets again. Ditto for Cowen, Lenihan, Harney, Coughlan, O’Dea and any of the other fuckers that voted for this travesty. At the very least they would know exactly what we think of them. Cunts.

    Apologies for the long post but I’m thinking of the human cost of this shit. The people that are going to die from lack of resources – they’ve closed Nenagh and Ennis hospitals without putting any proper replacement facilities in place. So people who can’t get to Limerick within 1 hour are now at risk. No Christmas bonus for long term unemployed. Still it’s an ill wind that blows no good, the moneylenders will get more business.

  4. Bock,

    Pretty much on the nail.

    If you change the mantra from “Good Bank / Bad Bank” to “New Bank / Insolvent Banks” you have a solution.

    One quibble. It is not the “liquidity crisis” that Fianna Fail & The Greens would have you believe. It’s a Solvency issue. These banks are bankrupt and have been since 2006.

    We are being lied to by the Government, the Opposition, professional economists, accountants, auditors and any other creature that has “skin in the game”.

    Fianna Fail don’t give shit about the shareholders. It’s the Bondholders they fear. We are being offered a Global solution to this solvency crisis. No conspiracy theories necessary. The bankers have a gun to the head of Sovereign Nations and will shot the first one to resist.

  5. The bankers have a gun to the head of Sovereign Nations and will shot the first one to resist.
    -Abbott of Iona

    Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes her laws.
    -Mayer Amschel Rothschild

    Estimated wealth of the Rothschild family – $400 trillion (or twice that of the Rockafellers).

    Adds up I suppose…

  6. Yeah, that was a thing that bothered me too?

    I assumed someone somewhere would have a decent answer.

    These banks were created to make profits for their shareholders and employees, not to help the country.

    Let them fall, i’m sure some canadian or dutch bank which didn’t bet all it’s cash on property bubbles will be willing to make money on giving loans out to the irish population.

  7. As well as the property developers the banks also lent to hundreds of ordinary customers, mortgage holders, people with personal loans, credit cards, small and not so small businesses. Letting a bank go bust in current circumstances isn’t an option. The amount of chaos it would cause would be massive. An administrator would have to call in everyone’s loans and lines of credit, all the ordinary people – their mortgages (in practice taking back their houses), all the businesses who have been properly run but rely on the bank’s credit.

    Forcing a bank to sell or merge is more realistic and was done in the UK/US/Germany/France/Holland/Spain etc with several banks but in the case of the Irish situation would mean that the government would still have to ring-fence and guarantee most of the liabilities even if they gave the bank away. No-one would take such a bank over with the liabilities and spurious valuation of assets these banks have as security for their lending.

    A third option, and almost certainly the best option, is to cover liabilities up to a point but with a coupon coming back to the government. The government would have to first tell the banks what they actually believe the security is worth and give the bank an incentive to recover as much as possible by managing the debt through. Any excess over the discounted valuation could be split in some way between the banks and the taxpayer.The banks then have an incentive to manage liabilities instead of just being able to wash their hands of them. I’ve seen this suggested a couple of places.
    The banks still get a bit of a free pass on this one but the taxpayer is less exposed than any other option.

    What they did, instead, in the budget suits the banks and shareholders more than anyone else.
    The taxpayer got stuffed again.

    I’m surprised there aren’t people out on the streets over the whole economic situation in Ireland demanding an election at least. Perhaps you need to get the French involved. They’re good at organising that sort of thing.

  8. C’est,

    Yup.

    “Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is the master of all its legislation and commerce.”

    President James A. Garfield

    morgor

    “Let them fall, i’m sure some canadian or dutch bank which didn’t bet all it’s cash on property bubbles will be willing to make money on giving loans out to the irish population.”

    And even better. After about a year of operation the New Bank could be sold for about €40Bn (my guesstimate of the franchise value of banking services for the nation)

  9. Letting a bank go bust in current circumstances isn’t an option. The amount of chaos it would cause would be massive. An administrator would have to call in everyone’s loans and lines of credit, all the ordinary people – their mortgages (in practice taking back their houses), all the businesses who have been properly run but rely on the bank’s credit.

    But surely a properly run bank would buy up all of the banks good debts ie the ordinary peoples mortgages etc.

    Then the failed bank can sell off all of its assets to pay for it’s bad debts.

  10. Many have visions of property developers, shiny suits, bottom button of shirt
    open, gut hanging out, Foster & Allen on a “tape recorder” (?) in the 4 b 4,
    as the real reason FF won’t let the banks fall. Sure, there are a handful of them.
    But the vast majority of people involved in these banks are small share holders
    and businesses who are employing tens of thousands of people in this country. If the gov let these banks fall and the above with them, thousands will be thrown on the dole. Meantime, unless the gov get the banks back on track (and lending), closing one bank and opening another under a different name for a bit of PR is the equivalent of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  11. morgor,
    “But surely a properly run bank would buy up all of the banks good debts ie the ordinary peoples mortgages etc.

    Then the failed bank can sell off all of its assets to pay for it’s bad debts.”

    …which, in practice, is the second option I mentioned.

  12. Abdul,

    “..closing one bank and opening another under a different name for a bit of PR is the equivalent of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

    That’s precisely what’s happening. It’s just that the name of the New Bank is NAMA and the taxpayer/citizen gets shafted.

  13. The government would not let the banks go bust because the government guarantee would be activated and the last thing they want is more current expenditure.

  14. Of course this bailout only covers developers loans etc. What they still haven’t mentioned are the looming credit card defaults, student loans, car loans, residential mortgages which will dwarf these proceedings. Where’s the bailout for these gonna come from as unemployment heads toward 20%?

    Pitchforks indeed…

  15. bendersbetterbrother,

    “..but in the case of the Irish situation would mean that the government would still have to ring-fence and guarantee most of the liabilities even if they gave the bank away..”

    I don’t think morgor suggested using €30Bn of taxpayer/citezen money. I think he said “let them fail” then find a buyer for what’s left.

    Maybe I misinterpreted what he said.

  16. Eamon Ryan has confirmed that 1/3 of the toxic assets are outside the state.

    Why should we take on any of this shit.

  17. “These banks were created to make profits for their shareholders and employees, not to help the country.”

    Don’t forget that a sizeable lump of our banking/financial services sector was originally established with mutualiy rather than profit as a core value. The process whereby the status of many of these institutions changed in the late 80s and 90s is looking increasingly suspect now that the protection they offer was willfully done away with. Aided and abetted by political policymakers.

  18. Abbott_Of_Iona,
    “I don’t think morgor suggested using €30Bn of taxpayer/citezen money. I think he said “let them fail” then find a buyer for what’s left.”

    Yes, I understood that’s what he meant but on real market valuations the net worth of the good assets and bad assets would be negative. The liabilities being bigger than the value of the good assets. This was the case with Bradford and Bingley for example. The government ring-fenced the most toxic stuff and found a bank willing to take on the rest.

  19. Fox,

    The guarantee was introduced by legislation and can be removed by legislation.

    Any litigation against the state can be defended on the basis that the Dail was misled.

  20. The liabilities being bigger than the value of the good assets.

    I’m sure if AIB sold some of their company owned property abroad and at home they could help balance their debts.

    They generally own one of the largest buildings in every town in Ireland.

  21. Swe Ge,

    That’s right. It is going to be never ending.

    Finish them off in one go and start afresh.

    Difficult but not impossible.

  22. “They generally own one of the largest buildings in every town in Ireland.”

    Morgor, that’s back to the property value problem, it ain’t worth what it used to be worth.

  23. Morgor, that’s back to the property value problem, it ain’t worth what it used to be worth.

    True, but then it would be coming out of their pocket rather than ours.

  24. morgor,
    “I’m sure if AIB sold some of their company owned property abroad and at home they could help balance their debts.”

    They generally own one of the largest buildings in every town in Ireland.”

    Say they could raise a billion doing this. It would still be small beer against potential liabilities.

    I just checked their share price and market capitalisation. You could buy them for just over a billion so beyond the value of their own buildings they’re effectively worth nothing and that’s with the market factoring in positively for the massive support given to them by the guarantees the govt have put in place.
    Anglo Irish you could pick up for 160M.

  25. bendersbetterbrother

    “.. but on real market valuations the net worth of the good assets and bad assets would be negative. The liabilities being bigger than the value of the good assets…”

    The easy way to put that is that the banks have a negative net asset value.

    That is. They are bankrupt.

    Gordon Brown’s management of Bungle & Busted was an utter shambles. The British taxpayer is left nursing £50Bn of mortgages. Mush of it buy to let rubbish.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/4673773/Banks-bail-out-Bradford-and-Bingley-after-TPG-walks-away.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7641193.stm

  26. “Say they could raise a billion doing this. It would still be small beer against potential liabilities.”

    Agreed. But even here there is a presumption of achieving a sale, ie that there IS a market. I can think of two bank branches that, if they were closed, would simply lie empty and unsold on streets with lots of empty buildings lying idle.

    Branch networks (post offices etc) are being shut down all over the country, nobody is interested in big old buildings on small town main streets any more.

  27. God, ’tis all very complicated.

    How did we manage to end up completely at the merci of an undemocratic power structure.
    Did we swap the Catholic church for the free market?

  28. Conan,

    “…would simply lie empty and unsold on streets with lots of empty buildings lying idle….”

    Which means that New Bank could have an efficient network of branches (they would need some) for cents on the euro.

    New bank also has the advantage of not having legacy systems. It can be up to speed with the latest in jig time. The State could be partnered by the likes of Santandar.

  29. I’m surprised there aren’t people out on the streets over the whole economic situation in Ireland demanding an election at least. Perhaps you need to get the French involved. They’re good at organising that sort of thing.—bendersbetterbrother

    That’s what’s killing me. I see no move towards public revolt. I have this horrible vision of the Irish people accepting this shit as if they were helpless babies — and then the old FF tribal supporters voting them in AGAIN, when we have an election.

    And meanwhile the country will bend over and vote for Lisbon, as they’re told to. I’m not advocating yes or no, but the idea that we’re being told to keep having another vote until we produce the right answer drives me mad. (Anyone who reads Craig Murray’s blog will see that there are moves afoot to make Tony Blair first permanent President of the EU. That’s the lying warmongering shithead we’ll quite possibly get if we vote yes.)

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/04/the_prospect_of_1.html

    These FF apes are not our “leaders”. We vote them into office as our “representatives” to get on with the mechanics of running the country FOR US, while we do our own jobs. They should not have the power to screw 90%+ of the population in this way. It’s an absolute disgrace.

    We should be doing what the French do. It’s time these political gobshites felt the power of public anger, and were reminded of who exactly gave them their bloody jobs. And it’s time the people realised exactly how much power they have — if they decide to use it.

    The people of Thailand are not slow to come out on the streets when they believe they have a crooked PM. Maybe we need advice from them too. They took over the entire main airport and brought air traffic to a halt for days. And what are we doing? Talking.

    I’m so furious I can hardly type. If I’m scattered, it’s for the same reason.

  30. of course our government will recoup the money from the developers.

    they went to great lengths to recoup the hundred euro they overpaid me in march 2002….

    :-)

  31. C’est,

    With Fianna Fail as the Christian Brothers of the Church of the Free Market.

    Agree with them or take a beating.

  32. I’m surprised there aren’t people out on the streets over the whole economic situation in Ireland demanding an election at least. Perhaps you need to get the French involved. They’re good at organising that sort of thing BBB and Nora

    Well you could, but you run the risk of gettin beat up and down the street by the police like the students AND teachers protesting university reforms right now, à la Corrib gas field.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/france

  33. C’est La Craic

    If that’s the (overall public) attitude, we might as well lie down and roll over. Now. Do what we’re told and shut up.

    I’m very aware of police brutality and heavy-handedness, in many places.

    What people don’t seem to realise is the power of numbers. If ONLY the people commenting here now went out demonstrating on the streets together tomorrow, yes, they’d possibly be rounded up by the Gardaí. Unless they were very peaceful.

    But if 2-300,000 turned out on the streets of Dublin what are they going to do? Many thousands more in cities and towns all over the country? They don’t have the capacity to deal with those kinds of numbers.

    What’s lacking is organisation — one or two organisations with ‘non-extremist’ reputations to mount and publicise vast rallies which can’t be corralled and beaten up by any “arm of the state”.

    The anger is there, like it was in February 2003. 30 million demonstrated all over Europe – about Iraq. Wouldn’t you think that the current situation – which affects the same people directly and personally – would bring out twice the numbers? Three times? Four times?

  34. C’est la Craic
    you do not understand . Money, money , money makes the World go round. If you happen to be rich etc,
    What is Money? A piece of paper in which we believe . Think of the Confederate Dollar etc. If we or they do not believe , even if they are Twenty something’s on Wall Street or the “”City of London” then we are shagged

  35. Nora
    The comment was in reference to France. Just to point out that even if the police are people too, they will follow orders. People can demonstrate and show their anger but if they start looking like they might actually be changing the status quo then they should be ready for a crack down.

    Gary
    I’m well aware of what money is. I’m aware of the status of ‘the City of London’ as well as the Vatican City and Washington DC.
    As for belief, well remember when we belived in God and his divine representative on earth. We ended up with a smothering system of control that tried to bleed us dry.
    Funny old thing belief…

    As you mention the confederate dollar, I assume you are aware of Lincoln’s green backs and what happened to him. Or Kennedy’s proposed government bonds backed by silver, and what happened to him.

    Perhaps the grand scheme of things can be changed, but it would come with a very heavy price

  36. Nora,

    I don’t think the people will “rise up” until the pips squeak. The Public Service Unions will represent their sectional interest as will the farmers. Much of the private sector workforce is not unionised and has no rallying flag.

    Fianna Fail will pick off the weaker sections of society one by one.

    The big problem they have this time is that there is no safety valve of emmigration and maybe something will come of that.

    A rebalancing of society?

  37. Sean Lemass set up the ICC bank (Industrial Credit Corporation) in 1933. It was used to finance Irish companies who were having difficulty getting loans from the banking cartel of the time. ICC was extremely successful and profitable and was sold on as a going concern in the 1960s before being taken over by the Bank of Scotland. This model should be looked at again by the current Fianna Fail government whose predecessors were wiser, more frugal, and infinitely more patriotic

  38. Seamus,

    Well said. The idea that we are “stuck” with the current crop of banks is a nonsense.

    I don’t have a great deal of knowledge of Fianna Fail history but it seems to me that Lemass was probably the best leader they had.

    The current shower are either corrupt or just a bunch of clueless bozos.

    Given their progeny I lean towards corrupt, although it’s a close call.

    Once they set this NAMA up there will be no public oversight, just like Anglo Irish Bank.

  39. Bock can you start a thread to encourage positivity and ways in which we can make some effort to turn things around?????

    There is lots of negativity around. I myself am guilty of it too. It is easy to be negative in this economic and political environment but being negative and being constructively critical are two different things. We can talk until the Cowens come home about how unfair this measure is or how impractical or ill thought out that measure is but ultimately this type of comment will not achieve anything other than filling up numerous blogs.

    What I would like to see is a thread or threads where we can suggest ways in which we can try to turn things around. Here’s just some of my own thoughts, perhaps simplistic and utopian but there are plenty of good minds out there, not to mention a few that contribute here, that could surely devise workable strategies that we can adopt.

    1. Where possible buy Irish. Yes it’s very 1970’s but there are still a wide variety of good value Irish products out there

    2. Think twice about shooping in the North. Chances are the extra petrol and time you spend up there negates many of the savings you might make.

    3. There are local and European elections looming. You know what to do………..

    4. Lobby, petition, hound, annoy anyone and everyone possible to bring about some sort of criminal investigation into the practices in our financial institutions. Surely there must be some grounds upon which someone could be prosecuted. I know there is a cosy club system in operation here but if some sort of illegality can be uncovered the weight of public outcry will force a prosecution. Personally I’d feel better if I saw Seanie Fitzpatrick lead away in cuffs Bernie Madoff style.

    5. For the first time in a long time await your politicians canvassing front door visit with glee. Ask questions, demand answers. If a minion rings the doorbell while the main man floats around in the distance demand to see him. Let these guys know in no uncertain terms how you feel.

    I know this may be simplistic and will probably generate some caustic and critical replies. So to those of you that normally come on here to take up a contrary position and stimulate an argument I would ask this. Don’t try to patronise my post and try to prove how eloquent and intelligent you are. Let’s hear some intelligent positive suggestions as to how we can maybe bring about some change from the ground up.

    It took us bloody long enough to create this country that to have it fall asunder before even a century of independence has passed would be an insult to our ancestors memories.

    So let’s hear it…………………

  40. Fireman,

    Point 5.

    Some questions for Fianna Fail & The Greens in the upcoming elections.

    Or If not Why Not?

    Will the Financial Regulator and the Governor of The Central Bank approve the valuation arrived at by NAMA?

    Will the Bacon report be placed in the public domain?

    Will Fianna Fail provide their inflation expectations for the next fifteen years or do they intend allowing inflation do the job that they were elected to do?

    Will NAMA have the “Full Faith & Credit” of Ireland as a Sovereign State?

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/full-faith-credit.asp

    Will NAMA be a Prescribed Public Body under the Freedom of Information Act?

    If I think of more I will provide them.

  41. By the way,
    I should have clarified (I told you I was scattered):

    When I said earlier, “I’m so furious I can hardly type”, I wasn’t referring to this thread, or even to the lack of public protest. I was referring to the *budget* at that point.

    C’est La Craic — crack-downs, sure. But if we’re going to live in permanent fear of crack downs we might as well decide we live in a police state and be done with it. The US and UK are moving fast in that direction. (I did look at your Amnesty French link, btw. And I’m a member myself.)

    I’m on antibiotics and going to bed. Back later. (Wouldn’t you know?)

  42. Fireman,

    Here’s one question that will absolutely stump any Fianna Fail / Green politician looking for your vote.

    “That thing, eh, the National Asset Management Agency…..Why are Fianna Fail / The Greens doing it this way?”

    Then put your shoulder to your door well and watch the look of bewilderment then horror on their face when they realise they DON’T KNOW.

  43. Now is not the time for measured, analytical thinking Bock. Now is the time to mobilise a hot-headed mob of malleable thugs, hot-wire a fleet of heavy-duty demolition and earth-moving equipment, and go and knock down Anglo Irish Bank. I mean, literally knock it down, with bulldozers and wrecking balls.

    We’ll do it at night, so nobody gets hurt (night watchmen will be collateral damage, and we’ll send each widow a voucher for Arnotts). When the bank is pancake flat, we’ll erect a giant, crudely sculpted, forty foot statue of a vulture, to symbolise the watchful eye of death that forever more will keep vigil over the surviving banks.

    Each bank executive will also be required to keep and care for a live vulture in their home. If they or their bank misbehave, somebody will come and take their vulture away, as a recognised warning that the executive and their family have 20 minutes to vacate the hemisphere. Failure to vacate will result in a tide of violence not seen since the crusades.

  44. Duly noted Abbot, for once I won’t be pretending to not be in when a politician knocks. Now if I could only think of something to stump a Jehovah’s Witness with I’d never be dreading the doorbell again!

  45. I have read all the posts here with great care, and I am as concerned as everyone else.
    Mark; “boycotting” of people with the hides of elephants will have no effect
    Abbot; totally right on target, especially in reference to the bondholders
    Nora; “30 million demonstrated all over europe in 2003 to halt war in Iraq” look how that turned out? I think I come from the same era as you Nora, but too much has changed, and people are too pressured now in regard to their personal exposure, all solutions need to be productive and rational.
    C’est; “the grand scheme of things can be changed but it would come at a very heavy price” too right, but no doubt it WILL come at a very heavy price.
    Fireman Dan; You have made me think that of course there has to be a solution, and it has to come from the people, Bock has posted many a great and profound thread here, but of all of them this one looks like the ingredients of a potential “think tank” a positive forum for change.
    I switched on matt cooper on my way home this evening, did’nt get who he was interviewing, some Gov spokesperson (hardly matters) who when asked “would the government be chasing the assets of these property developers” ie houses on Shrewsbury Rd , he replied “of course we will” Thats when I finally knew we were in the hands of complete lunatics, Family law act be damned then, There is no way they can execute these notions, Its complete madness.
    One way I see it, controversial though it is, hold back taxes collectivly then the people really have a say, they can’t jail a population.

  46. Fireman,

    Sorry to be blunt. Personally I don’t bother. I just tell them to fuck off.

    But if you feel the need to waste your soul on the cretins ask them this. Who is Yahweh? Why are you his witness? Is Christ the Son of Yahweh?

    I never have to go that far. I just tell them to fuck off with their idiot Religion.

  47. Fireman,

    To be clear, I tell every religious body to fuck off with their shyte.

    But that’s just me.

  48. Rather than the continuous bitching on here from the economists, could they please exercise their brain cell and give us all a constructive achieveable alternative to the FF model? Please explain if your economic theory is driven by Keynes, Freeman or Smith. If not, shut the fuck up!

  49. Irish,

    “…and we’ll send each widow a voucher for Arnotts…”

    Seen as you’re issuing vouchers for Arrnott’s, is that the new currency, confetti at the wake of the Irish Banking System, can you find it in your heart to provide €30Bn of Arrnott’s vouchers to children not yet born.

    Then if Mr Arrnott can do some sort of school cloths and books at least there’s the possibility that after thirty years of paying off this criminal debt your grandchildren will be clothed and have an education.

  50. No.16

    “Rather than the continuous bitching on here from the economists”

    Who are the economists here that are “bitching”?

  51. Bock,

    This is the relevance, and it is shocking (to me anyway, but then I’m just an idiot)

    “…and give us all a constructive achievable alternative to the FF model…”

    In my book Bock that is the clearest statement of Fianna Fail Fascism that I have heard.

    If you don’t agree with what we are doing you can fuck off.

    You might think that you have an alternative. But hey, we’re Fianna Fail we don’t care.

    You’re alternative, no matter how constructive or achievable is irrelevant.

    No 16 understands this well. She has told No8 to shut the fuck up.

    There are no alternatives. Fianna Fail is the answer.

    Bock, what is the “Fianna Fail Model”. Have they given up on policy that they would defend in open debate with the citizens? They now have a “model”?

    Hitler had model, Stalin had a model, Pol Pot had a model.

    What the fuck happened democracy in this Republic?

  52. I’m saying the squabbling is irrelevant. Why are people picking each other up on little details? My advice is stop reacting to stupid comments.

  53. Bock,

    I don’t squabble. Not one thing I have said is trivial.

    I stick to the point. Even if it appears trivial.

    They say the devil is in the detail. If you believe in the devil that is correct.

    But let’s leave out the detail of the devil and stick to the detail of the Fianna Fail looting of the Treasury.

  54. I’m not Bock,

    I don’t now how you could possibly divine that from what I have said.

    I am not rising to the bait of defending a discredited trade.

    I am pointing out this and this only.

    “Rather than the continuous bitching on here from the economists”

    Change the word to bricklayer and what have you got?

    Rather than the continuous bitching on here from the bricklayers

    However, while I accept your “rising to the baitâ proposition, I am fearful that any group, Trades Unions, Small Business Advocates, Unemployed Associations, Poverty Agencies.

    will be subject to, as No 8 eloquently points out is the FF model.

    When does that become the SS model?

  55. st.leger.norma,

    Beautiful and soulful exposition of what you have read and the state we are in.

  56. OK,my last post was a bit vocal. I am no fan of FF so to refer to me as a FF facist is a tad incorrect. I am fully aware of how this budget is hurting the ordinary people, I count myself amoung them. And while I disagree with a lot of Lenihans policies something had to be done. He went for the rather easy option of raising taxes across the vast swathe of middle earners. It’s not as simple, unfortunately, of letting the banks implode and starting again. We claim to be an open economy, if so we need to have international credibility. Lenihan had to prop up the banks after the recent scandals to show cause and leadership to the international community. You and I may seeth at the perpetrators, but that is for another day. It not just the bankers, the current crisis has the grubby handprints of the property developers and their lapdogs the estate agents all over it. But they were only supplying a demand for property. The country generally were up its own arse. Workers were mortgaged upto their hilt to become mini landlords with their investment properties. If you didn’t have an investment potfolio you were nobody. So before we rightly condemn the banks and their friends, can you honestly say that you didn’y buy in to the Celtic Tiger bullshit? Exercise your democratic franchise in the elections and get FF out of power, or if you wish, vote them back in until they fix their mess. In the mean time suggest an alternative method of getting the country back on its feet.

  57. Abbot; I can’t deny I am an idealist, always have been, The harsh realities and cruelties of the world visited me at my most naive point, it was a choice for me to become a different person or embrace such realities but deal with them accordingly and not become someone else, that I believe is a choice everyone is faced with, so whatever the situation I will always be a bit “soulful”
    no 8; I for one never ever bought into the “celtic tiger” I own 1 home, even resisted getting a mortgage in spite of the fact my home was falling down, gave in refurbished so now i’m in the system, to a small degree but in there nonetheless.
    I believe the “celtic tiger” killed the soul and spirit of us as a nation, the people we now denigrate were the very people many of us were trying to emulate, its typical, but it no longer matters, what we need now is to turn it, at least toward around, with positive evidence of the facts, peppered with the ingredients of spirit which made us a nation in the first place.
    We are wasting valueable energy by bickering or nit picking because our most valueable resource is our merry band of positive thinkers.
    May I reassure anyone interested, I never buy into anything, I’m a lone runner, but I do possess a social conscience.

  58. “If you didn’t have an investment potfolio you were nobody….can you honestly say that you didn’y buy in to the Celtic Tiger bullshit?”–No.8

    Yes I can. Not a single member of my (extended) family or a single friend I can think of has an investment property, much less a “portfolio”. The Celtic Tiger to me meant that Irish prices were ludicrous. 12.50 for a plain tuna sandwich in an Irish hotel is what I call ludicrous. Amazon were charging exorbitant prices to ship to Ireland compared to elsewhere. An employee told someone privately that the reason was “because we can”. That was the Celtic Tiger for me.

    I’m wondering (just wondering) if when you say “getting the country back on its feet” if you mean back to the status quo of American style capitalism, which according to most economists I’ve read has now been discredited.

    Nora“30 million demonstrated all over europe in 2003 to halt war in Iraq” look how that turned out? –Norma

    I didn’t write ‘to halt war in Iraq’, Norma. Ultimately, nobody could stop the USA invading wherever they wanted — not even the UN. Protesting against our own Government is a very different kettle of fish from protesting the Bush/Blair juggernaut.

    I cited the Iraq protest as an example of organisation. It’s now probably the most gigantic “I told you so” in history.

    “but too much has changed, and people are too pressured now in regard to their personal exposure”

    I don’t know what that means.

    As for taxes, they’re not easy to withhold when taken at source, like income tax is for many people. Or DIRT or credit card levy taken by the banks, or VAT taken in shops.

  59. No 8 —

    I have one house. My car is 20 years old. I have no holiday home. I have never bought a property for resale at a profit. I have never owned a rental property. I had no SSIA. I have never played the stock market. I have no designer clothes. I owe nothing on my credit card.

    Was I seduced by the Celtic Tiger myth as well?

  60. Every one of Bock’s statements above applies equally to me, except my car. It’s a 1995.

  61. Nora; I do belive that the massive demonstrative reaction to the Vietnam war and Nixon changed decisions and made history.
    My apologies if i misquoted you in any way, but my point was that we are gone beyond a point where “demonstrations” as we may have known them have the desired effect, because they were successful when politicians and Governments were actually concerned about votes, we have since entered the arena of “doctoring” “manipulation” of voting, eg Bush 2’s election and other means.
    “too much has changed, people are too pressured about their own personal exposure” what i mean by this is partly the above coupled with the risk of rising our heads above the parapet due to our personal exposure to debt and the totally time consuming methods of dealing with it.
    When i refer to witholding taxes, i am speaking to the people who have the power to do that, and that might filter through to employers etc, the VAT issue is huge because we are the highest in Europe regardless of the turnover of a business, if a business is turning over 150,000 a year they pay 32,250 in VAT its relative but the same percentage applies to someone turning over 10 mil, it makes no sense, there is a 6.5% difference between us and the UK its just not sustainable, for every business owner to dispute the VAT rate will generate more business and transactions, if it remains as it is then business will fail at ground level and there will be no need for banks, we are all dependent on the sustainability of business large or small.
    Many a small busines has been forced to close by the invasion of the UK’s retail giants, undercutting only because they can, the Irish Government are forcing closure on Irish businesses largly due to the massive differential in VAT.
    The French have very strict laws on business conduct and competion, eg. A grocery shop cannot sell tobacco products, that is the area of specialised shops or the “cafe tabac” the government dictate “sales times” assuring that retail shops go to sale witin specific times and competionion is measured, in that one big store cannot decide to hold a “sale” while smaller independents are awaiting “end of season” maybe not the primest of examples, not an area i am too au fait with but i hope i’ve explained a bit.

  62. Nora, when I say getting back on its feet I mean having a country where ordinary working people can earn a decent salary and have a good quality of life. If somebody wishes to borrow to their hilt to have material trappings thats fine by me also, but the supply of credit should be stringent and inetrest on repayments high enough to make the borrower think twice. We seem to have forgotten the importance of personal happiness.

  63. No. 8
    You are aware that when you borrow money from a bank, no tranfer of wealth occurs. The money is pretty much created out of thin air.
    Charging high interest rates is rewarding banks for creating fictional money by giving them real money (real as in you have accepted it in return for your work.)
    I agree about personal happiness. Perhaps the only good thing that may come of this is that people might once again cop the fuck on.

  64. The above board proposes that 30 Billion
    euro be raised through Government Bonds
    to buy the bad loans of 3 major Banks at
    what is thought to be 33 and a third cent
    on the euro.
    Whats to stop the Developers et al defaulting on their loans, having their land
    banks and half finished developements
    reposessed by NAMA, and then bought back for a song through third parties.
    Do you think that it won,t happen.
    Watch them do it.

  65. we must think of the unborn, the hungry, the jobless, the honest to god people who are being ruled over.action must be taken before its to late, we are going down fast, the 1916 centenary is but 7 years away and all that was fought for is being forgotten.this is a great country i for one want to stay at home,get these greedy bastards out. we the people

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