Jan 222012
 

Klaus Masuch shifts uncomfortably in his seat as Vincent Browne commits the ultimate sin by asking him a direct question and refusing to accept bland, meaningless jargon for an answer.

You can see the panic on Barbara Nolan’s face as Vincent insists on a sensible reply to a sensible question instead of being fobbed of with standard-issue econowaffle.  Can we move on?, pleads the  European Commission’s head in Ireland.

Well, no Barbara.  We can’t move on.  That’s the problem with the whole country.  We’re carrying such a burden of debt that we can do nothing because we’re expected to prop up the entire European banking structure on our own.

While I’m delighted that an Irish person such as  Barbara did well and got a highly-paid job in Europe, Vincent was quite right in telling her to shove it when she tried to steamroll him.  That’s the problem with admin boodies.  They parrot whatever line they’ve been programmed to follow, and Barbara was no exception.

Listen to the exchange here, which I paraphrase.  Vincent Browne asks a perfectly reasonable question: Since we had nothing to do with losing the money, why are we bailing out unsecured investors in banks that will never do business again?

I already answered that, replies Masuch.

No you didn’t.  Why are we paying money into a defunct bank?

After a bit of fiddling about, with Klaus looking in equal parts baffled and infuriated at being challenged, Barbara takes over.  He has nothing more to  add.

In our language that translates into Fuck off.  You will pay.  You will save the hedge funds who gambled on the Irish pyramid schemes, and you will take the pain whether you like it or not.  You are the small people and you must suffer because if you do not, the big people will feel pain, and this is not acceptable.

If you wanted a plain statement of the ECB’s attitude to us, you couldn’t have found a clearer one than revealed in the attitude of Klaus Masuch.  He’s obviously horrified that the local bogtrotters have the temerity to question him, but equally bereft of a logical answer to a straight question.

Why?  Because ultimately, Masuch is just a messenger like Barbara Nolan.  None of this comes from those officials who tour the world staying in top-class hotels and laying down the law to governments on behalf of their masters back in Head Office.  These decisions are made at prime ministerial level, US presidential level and above.

Above?  You ask who’s above the US president?  Well, for a start, I’d suggest the toilet cleaners in Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.  After that, you can make a random  list of a thousand 22-year-old uneducated barrow-boys in London’s Square Mile, all on at least a million a year.

Let me put it a different way, and maybe this point of view has not been emphasised enough.  We hear a great amount of talk about The Markets, as if the markets were some sort of deity, when in fact, these cocaine-fuelled idiots  are The Markets.  These barrow boys who have never read a book in their lives, have no insight into anything except work and drugs, dictate the ebb and flow of commerce across the globe, and yet, ironically, this fact might well be our salvation.

It has been said many times that the markets have no memory.  I heard somebody on the radio this morning using the example of airlines in the United States who go bust, burn all their investors and come back to the market a couple of years later looking for new money to buy aircraft.  They get their money, because the traders don’t care what happened yesterday.  All they want to know is whether today’s deal has a good chance of paying off, but our politicians can’t grasp this concept.

Here’s a thought that might annoy you, but maybe it has a little bit of truth in it as well.   Am I being fanciful in speculating that the reason is our guilt-ridden Catholic history?  I don’t think so.  As a society, we believe in retribution, in guilt, in sin and in penance, or at least, we used to and it will take us a while before we shake off the behaviours associated with those beliefs.  Generation after Irish generation was hammered into submission by the Church, and although the late Brian Lenihan was a member of the pampered elite, it’s my belief that he was infected with this pietistic nonsense as much as the poorest labourer.

He might not have realised that these forces were at work, any more than Cowen was, if he happened to be sober in September 2008, but the truth is that both of those guys were members of the last generation to internalise the Catholic doctrine of guilt.

Why is Iceland back in the market after defaulting?  Why is Iceland negotiating reasonable rates of interest for money?

Simple.  These people never handed over their analytical powers to  a man in a frock, unlike us.  They know bullshit when they see it.

Why don’t we learn the lesson of Iceland and tell people like Klaus Masuch to get stuffed?  If he was so rattled by a simple question from a journalist, you’d have to suspect that he has no more belief in what he’s saying than the rest of us do, and there’s the nub of the issue.  Nobody believes any of this nonsense.

And yet Ireland, the unthinking, uncritical best boy in the class, still plans to pay over €70 billion in order to ensure that hedge funds don’t suffer for consorting with criminals.

Poor old Barbara doesn’t seem to understand that a question is simply a question, and makes a complete eejit of herself by saying to  Vincent That’s your view.

Is this the calibre of person who gets a job in Brussels?  It’s probably the moment when the European Commission case falls to pieces.  Barbara might as well have said, Come on Ireland. Unless you want to spend the rest of your lives listening to idiots like me, it’s time to start lighting the Molotov cocktails

Any con-man I ever met stung me, but I never asked the government to pick up the bill, and why should the banks’ bondholders be any different?  One of the Troika members agrees with us.  The IMF thinks that people who take a gamble should be prepared to lose, on the very sound logic that this is the very basis of capitalism, and therefore, ironically, it’s the people we thought were our friends who argue against us: the European Union and the United States in the form of Timothy Geithner, US treasury secretary.

Meanwhile, the Old Enemy, in the form of UK chancellor George Osbourne, argued in our favour but was shouted down.  Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the precise nature of our allies and our enemies, and adjust our policies accordingly on the basis of Realpolitik as opposed to emotion.  For once in our lives, maybe we should plan for what will benefit us.

Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.  That’s the essence of capitalism and they all understand it.

It’s about time the Irish government understood it too.

 

 

 

  15 Responses to “Ireland’s Catholic Guilt Forces Us To Pay The Bondholders”

Comments (15)
  1.  

    Excellent! Yes, I think it’s false guilt that somehow pacifies the Paddy. To the Markets, it’s just a gamble, for a day or half and hour. They are not gambling with their own money. They gamble with Chinese and Indian child labourers, oil workers in African countries, and are trying to beat us back into blind obedience (or even oblivion, if that increases their bonus) using guilt as it doesn’t cost them anything.

  2.  

    Hi Bock, I believe the Irish government do understand, however they do not share in the financial pain inflicted. Governments don’t generate any money, produce goods for export, or cover their own costs, they are an overhead. But in a strange twist, the overhead decrees it must pay itself first, (handsomely too). Any minister who performs poorly is not dismissed,(usually), but moved sideways into another job.
    So, we have a situation where it doesn’t matter if you perform well in your job, you don’t have to make any profit, you are cushioned against hardship and your personal income is guaranteed. When you retire there is a generous index-linked pension. How different from the entrepreneurs and business people who do generate jobs, profit, GDP and so on.
    The Catholic ethos of responsibility is not in evidence here, these wasters simply don’t care, because they don’t have to.

  3.  

    Vincent Browne exposed Klaus for the gombeen he is,a patsy for the big boys. And of course Barbara wont rock the boat or bite the hand that feeds her. Bought and paid for.

  4.  

    Catholic guilt may be why we put up with it, but surely the root of most of this is an agency problem.

    Power is centralised in the Dail, rather than at local level, where the costs and consequences will be. We are subject to the arbitrary decisions of fools like Cowen and Lenihan. Whenever we force them to hold a referendum, they ignore the answers they don’t like. They didn’t grub their way to the center of power just to be subject to the will of the peasants.

    Likewise the “market” is no longer investors making informed decisions with their own money, but agents paid to gamble with the money of others. They don’t own a piece of the upside, but not the downside. Why would you not gamble? Why would you ever question an asset bubble, or not make a 100% loan-to-value loan on a holiday home trading for twice what it was worth? Someone else will hold the bag if it goes wrong.

    Power and responsibility have become uncoupled, as you have pointed out here several times before. Until we re-align them, we’ll be watching some version of this video under different circumstances, for years to come. Put your vote and your money where it is answerable to you.

  5.  

    I took to Vincent when I watched a vid of him asking uncomfortable questions of Brian Clowen, just before he resigned. A pack of journos & only one asking real questions, much to the annoyance of the fat fuck. From what I can tell the vid is being watched worldwide, a couple of big US sites have picked up on it. So fair play Vincent, one man can make a difference, perhaps I am imagining it but their seems to be a building groundswell of opinion against this pillage.

    On the other hand if you read this written by a member of the brown nose brigade, it’s all the Irish peoples fault for electing FF & FG, the banks hardly figure, nothing to with major fraud from people like Fitzy & the Troika are just friendly neighbours trying to help

    No comments allowed for this article, probably wise.

  6.  

    Vincent is the man!
    Is he the only one asking these sort of questions?!
    And your one Barbara made a gowl out of herself.
    Broadsheet dealt with her appropriately there recently too in my opinion.
    Would you listen to the gobshite..”whens I comes from ze airport wit ze taxi driver, zay are ofzen very vell informed I muz say. I think that is a gud sign that here we have an open discussion” Open discussion my arse.

  7.  

    Fine article. Watch Max Keiser tell it as it is if you haven’t seen it already.

  8.  

    …Like watching the Beverly Hillbillies. Ya all come back now. Ya hear?

    History will repeat itself. We’ll be doomed to commit these same mistakes again, and next time they will convince the populace that it is even more acceptable because “This is what is done. Didn’t it happen the last time. Meanwhile we’re down on the floor bleeding and they are still demanding more. I applaud Vincent Browne. They stonewalled him and he still came back asking the question. They just didn’t dare answer in case we would all truly understand what is expected of us. Meanwhile the gobbledy gook they were handing us sufficed, at least as far as Barbara Nolan was concerned.

  9.  

    According to this Noonan doesn’t even agree with Greek bondholders taking a haircut, let alone Irish. Even the Troika now believe that the Greek bondholders should share some of the burden. If this is what the fat slug actually believes, then he will have no intention of trying to get a similar deal as the Greeks got, for Ireland.

    Anybody would think Noonan was a bondholder.

    http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2012/01/2212012-markets-are-crazy-says-market.html

  10.  

    Can we stick with the issue, please? Noonan isn’t particularly fat and even if he was, I can’t see what it would have to do with the discussion.

  11.  

    I get angry, possibly because people like him are screwing up my Grandchildren’s future. I spend a lot of time passing on links etc trying to raise awareness. It’s probably futile, but I have to do something. Here’s another probable pointless last link.

    http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/varadkar-criticises-the-misinformed-and-the-mischievous-whose-oppose-the-e1250m-anglo-bond-payment/

    I will leave you Free Staters to your pointless whingeing. You a bit fat Bock ?, seem a bit touchy on the subject.

  12.  

    I’m just asking you to comment on Noonan’s actions. Remarks about his appearance add nothing to the conversation. If he was skinny, I’d make the same request. Does that seem fair?

  13.  

    Thanks Bock , a great read , better than any anti depressants any quack can prescribe . Iceland told them to feck off , they are back on track . Iceland has regained a degree of assertivness not just with banksters but within the populace . This is reflected in an unprecedented rise in the cultural viberance of daily life . The damage to the Icelandic society is real but has been limited in time and severity . The ECB can hardly beleive its luck to find a milking parlour so creamy as Ireland . Am I wrong to sense a growing nervousness in the ranks of the gamblers ?.

  14.  

    Barbara olan looks well over 50 – ancient for a civil servant these days – how come she’s not gold plated, indexed, pensioned and lump summed off?

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