European Debt Crisis

I see Greece is getting a €100 billion debt write-down and isn’t that great for them?  Of course,  but it still leaves Greece in the shit, yet at the same time it just goes to show that financial gamblers can be told to go and get stuffed. Meanwhile, this very week, we here in Ireland are paying a billion euros to unsecured creditors in Anglo-Irish Bank.  A billion euros of public money to people who took a private gamble and lost, paid for by Irish taxpayers, thanks very much.

So much for the open market.  So much for the bullshit they told us about market forces and how governments must never interfere in it.  So much for capitalism.  Of course, what they meant was that governments must never interfere except when the gamblers stand to lose money.  Then they must step in immediately to make sure that gamblers are looked after, using your taxes,, even if it means that our old people can’t afford to pay for heating.

Now, look.  I know we have a massive budget deficit that has to be brought under control, and this post has nothing to do with that.  We can talk about the budget deficit another time.  This post is about governments paying for the losses of speculative gamblers using money that they take from you and from me.

Why are we paying for the losses of private companies like Anglo-Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide?

To use a phrase so beloved of our politicians and their media coaches, the reality is that these losses were created by private companies trying to make a profit and of course when you hope to make a profit, you must also plan to make a loss.

The investors in these banks planned to make a loss and they calculated accordingly, but when they see the Irish government covering their losses, they can’t believe their luck.  Quick!  Send down more coke!

Meanwhile, you pay bigger taxes so that we can get another pat on the head from Angela Merkel.

You will pay for these private losses by private gamblers, and you will never riot on the streets because you are not French and you are not Greek.  You are not Italian and you are not German.

You are Irish and therefore you will take it up the arse as usual.

28 thoughts on “European Debt Crisis

  1. It’s like some grotesque magic roundabout. We are in debt to institutions who are themselves financially insolvent and propped up by governments printing cheap money. There is no way out of this crisis.

  2. Thing is, we all know we are taking it up the bum, but there doesn’t seem to be a collective will to go out and riot or protest or cause havoc. It seems we will give out as individuals. I know I would like to go and protest or do something, but I feel like “well, what do I do, and where do I go, and who do I go with?”, and I’m not exactly doing well financially at the moment. In fact, I’m pretty much f**ked……..
    I wonder what is in our makeup that for so long we were the thorn in the sides of the “invader”, then we get independence, and it’s like the tap was turned off. We have taken it in the arse, literally, by the church for so long, and now we are as corrupt as any stereotypical med country!

  3. Wake up Barry, we’ve always been a bunch of forlock tugging wankers. It’s a very small minority that are willing to stand up and fight for what is right, and this minority gets vilified by the majority for doing so. Remember 1916? Remember the 70/80s?

  4. Why won’t ‘we’ riot. Well, ‘we’ are suckers for easy money – its the elevated levels of weekly hand-outs in the form of social welfare compared to elsewhere you could say. Ppl are so sated with this that there’s no fire in the belly so to speak! And as there’s so little mutual trust, openness and solidarity among Irish, ppl will therefore not mobilise either. IMHO of course.

  5. Where are your freedom fighters now ? They could bomb and shoot a few bankers and politicians and do us all a favour. Never mind the Brits, they didn’t bring this down on us, in fact they donated money to help.

  6. “Are you saying everyone in Ireland is on social welfare?”

    I should have qualified that better, apologies.

  7. Leaving aside your assumption that rates are too high, how do you account for the passivity of those who are not on social welfare?

  8. It does not have to be passivity. For instance, a sizable proportion of the popl. is, if you like, ‘muzzled’ with mortgages.

  9. Someone who buys a bond, which you can do from either a bank or a county council -if you’re in the UK,I’m not sure about Ireland – isn’t neccessarily gambling.Lots of people I worked with used to do it in 5000 quid lots for their pensions. And I worked with geezers, not suits.

  10. UFB..you lend money when you buy a bond. The gambling portion of this transaction should be restricted to the interest paid. If your insurance/pension plan company invests your money you expect a return of some kind…albeit with the knowlege that investments can go down as well as up, as the ads say !
    I’m far more curious why, in a period of unequalled prosperity, the Irish govt didn’t use the opportunity to build up it’s gold reserves. If they had, there’d be a kitty to raid for capital projects and/or bank debts.

  11. Government bonds represent sovereign debt and must be honoured. However, those who bought Anglo and Irish Nationwide bonds are private individuals or bodies corporate and that is where those obligations should remain: in the private sector.

  12. Nevertheless,paddy the sheep will be financially sodomised yet again in Decembers budget. Noonan and Kenny have as much spione as a bull huss.

  13. When the financial world is doing well (like it was), then it’s capitalism for the rich and paying taxes is out of the question but when things are going badly (the possibility of loosing money) then it’s socialism for the capitalists and we give public money to ‘bail them out’.

    Am I missing soemthing or has this been happening for over a century and didn’t this fella Karl marx write something about it.

    …..but yes, we Paddies are good at taking it in the posterior…………….(being nice today and not adding to the swear jar)

    Plus ca change.

  14. does anyone else wonder why they bother with the verbal blurb at the end of radio ads for financial investment schemes? you know the bit that says something like, “investments may fall as well as rise”, or that returns qouted in the ad “are not a gaurantee of actual returns”? is it a case that there is still 5 secs of paid ad time left and they need to fill it with some piece of nonesense?

  15. Investments may fall as well as rise if you happen to be an average Joe with a couple of thousand.

    If you’re a hedge fund, your investment will be guaranteed by the Irish government taxing more average Joes.

  16. In terms of investment risks, interesting programme on pensions there recently, if ye can put up with George Lee for a while.
    http://www.rte.ie/player/#!v=1117481

    We’re being robbed blind in fees.
    Can be up to 70% of a pension fund taken in fees.

    0.6% too – i.e 1.8 billion as far as I recall, taken with the new pension levy.
    You’d be better off with your money under the mattress it seems.

    I can’t understand the money they continue to pump into Anglo, considering the state of our finances. We’re all going to be fucked down the line.
    I’d say cans of beans will be a luxury.

    Banks are not lending at all it seems.
    Friend of mine can’t get a 5K loan to do up her kitchen.
    My da was telling me he went to pay off some bills at the post office recently, and they were delighted to see him as he had some cash – they ran out of cash!
    The spin from Dublin apparently was that it’d be safer if less cash was available, that there’d be less robberies.

    I can’t understand why we’re being made to suffer for generations to pay for private gambles.
    Fine Gael are no different than the last shower of fuckers.

  17. We need leaders – calibre of James Connolly, Jim Larkin, Jimmy Gralton (kicked out of the country for setting up schools in Leitrim. The Catholic Church also found him guilty of being a communist devil with horns).

    Leaders who will travel the country to every town and village to drum up support for a general strike, and mass protests.

    Protest isn’t likely to occur spontaneously, it needs to be initiated by activists.

    A political activist came to my town to give a speech on the crisis, and guage support for action.

    But what did he do ? – He used a nice comfy hotel room for his talk –

    That’s no good –

    He, and others like him, have got to get the message across with a loud hailer in the main squares countrywide – and keep at it until they get a result.

  18. I ask the same questions. What will happen if one of the bigger countries like Italy or Portugal defaulted? The economic situation in those countries is not positive at all and the possible default would surely destroy all hopes placed in the EFSF and other rescue packages recently approved by the EU. This only shows that the countries which were in favor of looking for other solutions and refused to make their contributions were right. Now it’s too late and there clearly are no more good options that would put a halt to this crisis.

  19. Just on the news at 9 o clock, Greece is putting its bailout to the people by way of referendum. Good to see democracy is respected there.

  20. Tony C, regarding: ‘Too late to realise that now.’
    I remember the potential ministers for finance on Prime Time prior to the election and I recall Michael Noonan saying on it that they’d be no burning of bondholders. That we’re part of the EU and need to work with our EU partners on the matter. And him blabbering on that any fixes for the problem need to be in the context of a Euro Bond. Although I got the feeling he wasn’t too sure what he was going on about there.
    So actually didn’t realise anything just now and didn’t vote for them either. Thanks very much.

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