Strange as it may seem now, the next few years offer the greatest opportunity to change Ireland. It is difficult to see beyond this crisis when many of us are mired in a deep, deep depression, but we can fix this economy and heal this society.
To get out of a crisis, you must first define reality, face up to it and then do something about it.
The reality for Ireland is that one part of the economy — the domestic economy — is broken; meanwhile, the multinational sector is thriving.
The domestic economy is broken because over the past 10 years, people mistook a large overdraft for an economic miracle. The banks fuelled this fantasy by stuffing the economy with foreign money that they borrowed recklessly. We bought land with this money. As long as land rose in value, this masked the deep debt mire we were in. Then the foreigners asked for their money back but the banks didn’t have it because they had lent it all for houses and land.
As the price of houses and land has plummeted, the balance sheet of the nation has imploded with huge debt on one side — the cost of which continues to rise — and collapsing “assets” on the other side, the value of which continues to fall.
We are in a balance-sheet recession. That is reality defined. Many people seem to think that we can re-run the 1980s, reduce the Government’s deficit through austerity and this will solve the problem. It won’t. This is not the 1980s; this is a completely new challenge.
In a balance-sheet recession, the people who have money save and the people in debt try to pay off as much as possible. The saving ratio in Ireland is now 16pc of GDP. The more people save, the less they spend and the more the economy shrinks. Because the banks are broken, the saved money isn’t re-lent to the economy because the banks are afraid to lend and want to build up reserves of cash to fix their broken balance sheet, and so credit in the economy dries up.
The next phase of the balance sheet recession will be mass mortgage default, unless we change policy quickly.
The solution to our problem — a problem of too much debt — is obviously less debt, not more debt. We need to face up to that and do something about it.
This reinvention of Ireland begins and ends with economics. The Government’s message that there is no economic alternative to austerity, governed by the IMF and EU without any proper debt renegotiation is not true. We are pursuing the worst economic policy possible and the rest of the world knows it.
What we need now are policy changes that are rooted in sound economic theory and practice.
The core element of a recovery in Ireland is cutting the link between the banks and the people. The EU/IMF deal is trying to solder the people to the banks with more debt. This is causing panic. The financial markets signalled this week that the likelihood of sovereign default in Ireland is now greater than ever. Here at home, we are experiencing a slow run on the Irish banks as people and companies take their deposits out.
Current policy is failing as evidenced by the sharp rise in unemployment again last month. The Government’s plan, with the IMF and the EU, is making the country yet more fragile.
Before we discuss economics, let’s introduce the word morality because a policy has to be morally right for it to work. Current policy is amoral. The bank debts are not ours; they are the debts of the banks, which were incurred when the banks were private. They are not our debts to pay.
The EU/IMF bailout is not a bailout of Ireland, it is a bailout for British, German and French banks that gambled on the likes of Anglo, AIB and Bank of Ireland — and you pay.
But these debts have nothing to do with the Irish people. The last time I checked there was a harp on my passport not the logo of Anglo.
From an economic perspective, everyone knows that the solution to too much debt is never more debt, it is always less debt. So the first change must be to reduce the debt levels of the State so that it does not default. How do you do this? You cut the banks loose.
The big lie you have been told is that if we preside over a default on Irish bank debt the financial markets will punish us by taking money out of the country.
This is wrong. The opposite will happen. Money will flow into the country as the markets will conclude that the Irish bank crisis is over and it’s time to invest in a country with huge growth potential.
At all costs we must avoid a sovereign default, which would undermine credibility with corporate America. The way we do this is by defaulting on the banks to save the country.
The markets will support this move. Markets want an economy with less debt and some growth potential, not one that is intent on strangling itself with other people’s debts.
Think about this: without the extra debt burden of the banks, the crucial Irish debt/GDP ratio would be 74pc. This is lower than the similar figure for Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Belgium. From such a position, it will be less difficult to address the budget deficit.
The aim of the overall deficit adjustment should be to get back to 2005 levels of spending over time. This will only be credible without the bank debt dragging us down.
Without the bank debt we could go back into the markets and get ourselves financed without too much difficulty. Irish bond yields would fall rapidly. Think about Belgium, a country with a debt/GDP ratio of 123pc. It recently borrowed at a rate of 1.9pc, while we languish at 9pc. If we got rid of the banking legacy, with a debt/GDP ratio of 74pc, who says interest rates wouldn’t fall?
So any change has to start with the banks, the EU and the ECB.
How do we do it?
We must have a referendum. We start negotiating for the Irish people, not for the banks. We go to the ECB and say we don’t have the money and morally we can’t ask the people to pay for debts that are not their own. To make sure this is not another bluff, the very first thing we should do is follow the democratic example of Iceland and hold a referendum early this year and ask the Irish people whether they want their children to pay for the gambling debts of those people who lent money to the Irish banks in the boom.
The answer will be a resounding ‘No’. We therefore start our new beginning with a government’s position underpinned by the will of the people. No European democrat — whether in the EU Commission in Brussels, the European Parliament or the European Council — could argue with that.
The process of bank debt renegotiation starts. However, in advance, we make it clear our problem is a European problem. We follow John Hume’s example in the North. One of Hume’s many brilliant moves was to “internationalise” the Northern Ireland question by involving the Americans and the Europeans as well as the Irish and British governments, so that the local becomes international.
We should diplomatically argue that we are seeking a solution for the euro area as a whole, by making common cause with those countries that are likely to experience the same problems as ourselves — Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
Therefore, Ireland would be taking the lead in offering the ECB an exit strategy, which would also be a solution for Ireland. The Department of Foreign Affairs has the talent to create these alliances.
Obviously an alliance of debtor nations in Europe would focus the minds of the ECB, who realise that at the core of the Irish problem is a greater problem for the euro that needs to be solved.
It is important to remember, the ECB has clearly shown that it has no idea how to get out of the European banking mess but it is actively now working on a new approach to banking problems. We should offer it help.
We begin by changing the conversation. We reintroduce into the diplomatic discourse the capitalist premise of “co-responsibility” where both the creditors and the debtors are responsible in a crisis.
At the moment, the Government is rewarding delinquent creditors with open-ended bailouts, while at the same time penalising debtors. That has to change, not least because capitalism is based on mutual risks.
This initiative will appeal to the ECB as it ultimately strengthens Europe’s banking defences for the future.
Rescind the guarantee. It was due to expire last September and was always supposed to be temporary. It also should have been limited; it should not have covered subordinated debt, which always gets wiped out in a banking crisis. (Subordinated debt is buffer capital that never gets protected which is precisely why it offers higher interest rates in the first place.) The guarantee was required, 28 months ago, to prevent a total bank collapse. This guarantee should not have been open-ended and all-encompassing. It should have copied the Swiss and Swedish model, where those countries lent the credibility of the state to the banks.
Unfortunately, our Government didn’t so much lend the State’s credibility to the banks as give it to them unconditionally.
It was introduced to ensure that Irish banks could get access to financing. Now that they can’t and have been largely nationalised, there is no point in the guarantee. So get rid of it.
People argue that without the guarantee, Irish banks would never again be able to borrow on international markets. Well great. That’s what we want to see. We want a return to deposit-based banking, where banks lend out what they have in deposits. They will then look and behave like utilities, like a water company or ESB. They supply credit to the economy and get paid a fee for it. Getting rid of the guarantee starts that process.
Close down NAMA immediately. It serves no purpose other than to give the debts of the developers and the banks to the people and we don’t want this. Furthermore, the whole purpose of NAMA was to ensure that the banks remained in private hands; now that they have been largely nationalised, there is no point to NAMA other than to generate fees for professionals. So close it down.
The property market would clear more quickly as a result, which is an added bonus.
Force all the remaining bondholders of the banks to become shareholders. This is called a debt-for-equity swap, a totally normal practice in capitalism. The bondholders are told that if they were prepared to lend money to the banks, they now should be happy to own them. This is how the US authorities cleared up the Savings and Loans mess — their biggest banking disaster since the Depression. It was also what this newspaper’s owners did last year, when the bondholders of Independent News and Media were forced to become shareholders. This is standard practice.
By forcing the bondholders to take shares, they have a stake in the future of the banks and they can work towards the share price recovering as the banks recover. This way they can get paid at least something eventually.
Tell the ECB that we don’t have the money to pay back the cash they have stuffed into the Irish banks to keep them alive. The ECB has deposited over â‚¬97bn into the Irish banks. In return, the Irish banks have given the ECB all sorts of rubbish collateral, from rolled up land deals to repackaged bundles of home and car loans. So the ECB gave us real money and we gave them IOUs! Whose problem is that?
When you owe the bank â‚¬1,000 it is your problem, when you owe it â‚¬97,000,000,000 — well you guessed it.
As a central bank, the innovative way to avoid a meltdown in Ireland would be to simply leave the â‚¬97bn in the Irish banks and not expect to get it back. This might sound unusual, but this is what the entire banking system is based on — rolling over financing.
When the time is right, the â‚¬97bn of deposits or some of that sum, should be converted into share capital. This has never been done before, but necessity is the mother of all invention and — at a stroke — the funding and capital position of the Irish banks would be solved, and the ECB would have taken a hit. But that’s what central banks are there for. What part of risk of ‘lender of last resort’, do they not understand? The Irish taxpayer, who is already paying for his and her sins in the recession, should not have to pay twice.
Ultimately, the Irish banking crisis will be paid either by Irish taxpayers, German taxpayers, existing creditors, the ECB or a combination of all four. The Government wants the Irish taxpayer to pay; this is neither financially viable as it will just lead to a default further down the road nor is it morally justifiable as the debts were not the Irish people’s to pay in the first place.
For those who worry that the ECB will react to these initiatives by cutting off euro to Ireland, they should be reminded that the ECB is as unlikely to cut off euro to Ireland as the Federal Reserve would cut off dollars to Texas.
We are involved in creating new financial architecture for Europe and this project will test Europe’s much-reiterated rhetoric about solidarity. It is a test that Europe will pass.
We need to prevent mass chaotic mortgage default and offer hope to the 400,000 people in negative equity. For these people — who are largely that generation aged between 25 and 40 — Ireland has become a large debtors’ prison with no payroll. People make mistakes; we all do. We should not be punished indefinitely.
However, others should not have to dig deep to bail them out either as the prudent would then be paying for the profligate.
In order to liberate those trapped in negative equity, I would make all their mortgages “non-recourse” as is the case in the US. This means that they can hand the keys back to the bank and that will be the end of it. The mortgage debt will not follow them about indefinitely.
A related initiative would involve changing our bankruptcy laws to make it much easier for people who have been declared bankrupt to recover in business. We should aim to dramatically reduce the stigma of failure and bankruptcy. After all, we have all had failures and failure is nothing to be ashamed of because it means you tried.
Extend the vote to everyone who is an Irish citizen no matter where they live. The Irish diaspora is one of our greatest assets and those of the tribe who are now living abroad should never be cut off from the nation. By allowing them to vote, we bring our policy into line with the rest of Europe and tie these people to home, making it more likely that they come back with their skills and experiences and contribute to the country.
Once we have sorted out the banks and the debts of the country in a way that allows the people to believe in the future, we need to put into place industrial policies that will create a New Ireland.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, when Ken Whitaker came up with the policy of attracting in foreign investment, no one believed that it could be done. Ireland had no business thinking it could build a pharmaceutical industry, let alone a hi-tech industry. But it happened because the investors saw the logic of the deals that could be done and they have subsequently made handsome profits here.
It is time to reinvent the story again and recapitalise the country. We need to create real jobs, real trading companies and a real economy, not just a new version of the old economy where land and banks create another bubble and the “insiders” in our country siphon off profits.
We are told that we can’t dream of the future because we are bust. We are not bust, our rotten banks are bust. But the world is full of new money and new opportunity.
For example, in the IFSC there is over $800bn of US multinational money on deposit. This cash is there as a result of the amazing success of the multinationals repatriating their profits to Ireland to avail of the 12pc corporate tax rate. But if they want to redistribute these profits to their shareholders they have to pay American corporation tax of 39pc. To avoid this, they just keep all this cash on deposit at the IFSC.
These profits will of course be reinvested in the companies — in various projects, research and ongoing business development around the world. Therefore a certain amount will be risk capital. So why not do a deal with them? Why not offer them a tax incentive to invest even a portion of this money in Irish projects? Just 10pc of this would be $80bn. We could set up companies using the US money combined with Irish labour and our tax system, as well as all the networks the multinationals already have here.
Together, we could build these companies, for let’s say 10 years, and then when the companies (in effect subsidiaries) are strong enough, we would float them on the Irish stock exchange and the US companies could repatriate the money tax-free in dividends to their shareholders. This might prove to be a very interesting initiative for them and for us and one where years of doing business together pays off.
In this way we could build a new Ireland, a Silicon Valley of Europe which might well be financed internally, generating hundreds of thousands of highly paid jobs, with huge upside for the coming generation.
To bolster our position as an attractive international place to do business, we would cut corporation tax not raise it.
There is a way out of this mess. We start with these ten policy changes and keep going to create a world beating, competitive trading economy. The crisis provides us with the chance to overhaul our economy and reinvent our society. We should seize this opportunity now, without fear, and look confidently towards a new future and a New Ireland.
That’s a great summary of a way forward.
Simple & rational.
The politicos must be woken up & be forced to put the options above in the centre of the General Election agenda. Then leave it up to the electorate to decide what happens next.
IMHO David’s ideas + Constantin Gurgdiev’s manifesto (http://goo.gl/O0lhj) provide the basis for a way out of the mess.
Please spread the word.
This reinvention of Ireland begins and ends with economics but also a large dose of SPATIAL PLANNING. By only looking at the economic value of these “NAMA lands” we will fail to see their social and environmental value. That is a false economy and a product of the liberal economics that got us into this mess. What we need, in fact, is A MAP OF NAMA LANDS. This should be public information and should be used by local and regional authorities to help plan and foster the regeneration of our towns and cities. This will attract the young, talented creative… Read more »
Disappointed in DmcW article, give it 7 out of ten only. Lots of what he says about the banks I agree with, but some aspects of the article 6 — 10 are poorly thought out. The question of allowing immigrants to vote is poorly considered. Consider the gerrymandering problems that might arise. I’d agree with Irish emigrants who havn’t taken out citizenship in another country should be allowed to vote, but only if they bothered to turn up here in person, and a 3-5 yr restriction after leaving our shores, beyond which not allowed. But this could be a very… Read more »
David you have a sound plan to get Ireland out of this mess. How do we persuade our politians to follow the plan???? I feel so helpless, here is a way to solve the problems but what I do to work towards this solution???
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Cahill, Fiona Buckley, Alice Charles, jaunaloca, Top Business Tweets and others. Top Business Tweets said: RT @davidmcw: New on the site: If I was Taoiseach… what I would do to save Ireland http://dlvr.it/CwvLR […]
Well done David. Now how do we get our politicians to listen to you. We live in a Fianna Fail Dictatorship so nothing anyone says seems to matter. They are supported by the Green Party who put their policies before everything, the people, the country, the future of our children so they will not bring this government to an end until it suits them. Lets hope a way can be found to put what you describe into action.
David please run for election as an independent candidate.The country cannot afford to have financial illiterates in power any longer.This also applies to the main opposition parties and the crazy end of the political spectrum. The key FF players are bailing out on almost a daily basis clearly an indication of their fear and cowardice and their instinct to flee rather than face the electorate. These people awarded themselves obscene salaries and pensions and justified their inflated awards on the basis of the “responsible” positions they held. Now when the going gets tough they avoid the electorate and trouser unearned… Read more »
Yes. There is a vast proportion of the population who want these ideas implemented.
The issue is how to realise and action the plan.
Persons who hold office do not grasp these issues.
Despite your comments about drains, would you consider a position in office in order to bring rationale to the current circus?
I am speaking out of turn perhaps, but I know that you would have a huge amount of support.
Closing down NAMA is all very well but we can’t let any of these toxic assets onto the market as a price collapse would ensue. David, you say ‘the whole purpose of NAMA was to ensure that the banks remained in private hands’and then you say ‘remaining bondholders of the banks to become shareholders’. Is it a good idea to have our banks owned by foreign investment banks? Why do people who emigrate deserve the vote? 50% who live here don’t bother to vote anyway! I read today in the Irish Times about all those who emigrated in the boom… Read more »
Reposting the comment below as it is related to article. Forgive my cyncism, but we will have more of the same style politicians (political dynasties) and people being appointed across all sectors on the basis of the old boys network and who you know, I expect minimum change (just enough to point to and keep the populace in-check). There is a reason why Google, Facebook and other ventures have not started here, even with all our IT graduates and everything else, it is a risk adverse culture mixed with an element of begrudgery, we are our own worse enemy. I… Read more »
Excellent article David.
What you should work on now is getting the ear of Kenny and Noonan and convince them of your arguments. I’ll certainly be asking any candidates who turn up on the doorstep about your 10 step plan.
I’d suggest this point here: XI Establish a fact finding committee Here members of the public shall be included to establish economical and political links that enabled this heist and the people involved. This is not a witch hunt, however, this shall not be an insider job either, accountability needs to be applied. This entire scenario was described many times by David, and he identified it correctly as an Insider vs. Outsider problem that has been cultivated here since decades. This here was delivered in April 2010: http://sic.althingi.is/ to the people of Iceland, and they started to act upon these… Read more »
Great article once again, David. If common sense had reigned in this country during the past decade things would not have turned out as bad as they have done. It’s true about all of the FF’ers ‘bailing out’. They knew that they were more than likely to lose their seats in the forthcoming General Election and they’re getting out now while ‘the going is good’ with fat pensions, as well!! I’ll believe it when I see FF end up with around 20 or so seats in the next Dail!! I hope they get massacred!!! Because they deserve to be totally… Read more »
[…] So without further ado, let me guide you towards David McWilliams latest publication, entitled “If I was Taoiseach… what I would do to save Ireland“. […]
The amount of political courage it would take to follow the steps above are beyond the average TD funeral goer.
So the civil service doesn’t have a Whitaker and we are potentially unstable.
If the universities could get together a platform on which to base a coherent plan, like above, that would give a certain momentum. Invite people who can do stuff. One David McWilliams or Constantin Gurdiev carries voltage, but the lot of them together generates some waves. Not political but practical. Economical. No hot air. But we would all love it if a plan would come together.
Very comprehensive in solutions and detail. And it can work.
There is also though a resistance in place in the system which may prevent any of this from becoming a reality.
A mindset which has it s roots in holding onto power not matter the cost.
David , nice article My approach here would be similar 1. Cancel all current credit card debt that is owed to the banks and all outstanding credit card in arrears which is at the moment being paid back to the banks by Joe and Mary Soap. This would have the advantage of putting more money in to the ordinary blokes pocket and relieving him of the unnecessary strain which goes with it and giving him a bit more spending power.The banks take the hit with all the credit card debt ; including MBNA 2. Do the same for private bank… Read more »
The article provides a blueprint for recovery. A blueprint that can work, if it is tried, giving a chance to work it can work.
There are those though who do not want it to work cause they will loose more than anyone else in its success. They will loose power. Loose standing. And most importantly loose their guaranteed future income streams.
They will do what has to be done to ensure their future income streams are preserved.
If you walk far enough east will you end up walking west, we need a leader to the new Jerusalem, no plastic paddies, Maybach driving gougers, closet lurking spoofers, just the real deal honest Irish pragmatist who can call a spade a spade and not BS its a pick/shovel. As JohnQPubilc poses the ultimate question; “Even during the boom a lot of people, particularly well-qualified graduates, left the country. Not because they had to but because they wanted to,” says Dr James Wickham, director of the employment research centre at Trinity College Dublin. So fuck them, if they have good… Read more »
Starting point, whatever the solution: The so-called bailout is a doomsday plan condemning Ireland to a perpetually shrinking economy. This is the general consensus of informed analysts in the USA. No one can figure out why an Irish government would do such a thing to its own people.
After watching ‘Song for a Raggy Boy’ earlier my mood has now morphed from melancholy to joy and I am thinking more in terms of ‘The Commements’ rather than ‘Paddy Reilly’ This sounds like an excellent plan and I will putting these points to the politicians when they come canvasing because it is the most sane and sober solution I’ve heard. No morally and intelectually sound person would find many problems with it. We know there are people in positions of power who are very unreasonable owing to the selfishness of their ways or by having a lower intelligence quotient… Read more »
These steps are all actually execellent and socially just and would be to the benefit of the majority of Irish people.
They would be to the detriment of a minority of rich, powerful and influential people inside Ireland and many foreign banks, goverments and investors.
On the eve before the gaurantee was extended last September Mr. Cowen had meetings with Bill Clinton no less and the German Chamber of commerce.
Organising a referendum on continuing to fund our banks/NAMA would be a good way to show that Ireland is actually a democracy.
These ten steps, which are inspirational, logical, and moral, will not happen without David McWilliams, or others with similar thinking, in position to put them in motion. No one in Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labor, Greens, etc. has the capacity, common sense, or neck to implement such bold and original ideas to serve the interests of the people of Ireland. These ten steps could be combined with the principles, goals, and values being formulated across the country by ‘Claiming Our Future.’ Is it too much to dream of an election that could produce a government that included David McWilliams and… Read more »
Seems to me that we do have more power than we first realise, if we harness it. We have people-power. If enough citizens/voters contacted the main opposition parties (who are likely to form the next government) telling them that we won’t vote for them unless they take these ideas on board, then they’d have to listen. And we could rally people power via social media and other avenues such as radio.
These suggestions all make good logical sense. I think our European Banklords and by proxy French,German and British governments have insisted on our current disastrous policy. These governments do not want their banks taking another major hit through a default on Irish bank debt. So pile it high on to the Irish taxpayer. They are trying to postpone the inevitable default through the the bailout package. It is time for a more radical and possibly risky proposal as outlined in this article while we are still in a position to do something. Continuing as is will essentially weaken our negotiating… Read more »
[…] has been dreaming of leprechauns in his quest for painless panaceas for his fans. In an article, If I was Taoiseach… what I would do to save Ireland, published in The Irish Independent on Jan 08,2011 and his own website, he outlines 10 steps to […]
Sunday Times – I am sorry to sidetrack the main issues on this blog but I could not stop .I am just after reading Fitzy’s sleezy mindset and spin-doctoring in an attempt to distance himself from his own center of gravity of a cess pit that he created where he held an official appointed committment to lead a bank that was solvent when he was apointed and take over the top remunerations from it. He says ‘I dont feel ashamed…’ Had he been in the British Army he would be and the army would have prosecuted him.His over the top… Read more »
The problem is “the empire”. By this I mean the EU. Once you join an imperial project, you get to the point that you must become a net contributor in order for the imperial expansion to continue. Every imperial concern grows in phases. And before every phase of expansion, the “leadership” and the “beneficiaries” tell the plebs that the empire must “expand or decline”. Moral causes are used as an excuse for expansion, with imaginary consequences (adverse) of not expanding – and with imaginary consequences (pleasant) from expanding the imperial venture. However, at some point every imperial concern gets overscaled.… Read more »
You have to ask yourself… What society are we developing if we have only a handful of highly paid people, and masses of underpaid or unemployed? – Andy Grove, Intel Senior advisor and Co-Founder – I would like to trigger some additional thoughts here. The reality of our economy needs to be put into the perspective of a global context. To no surprise we saw the markets reaction last week to the week US job data. Our reality is that we live in an outsourced world, where jobs are going to Asia for known reasons. This is happening at a… Read more »
RTE and the official media are telling us that a government Minister is “on holidays” at the moment. We are getting media coverage that is akin to the media coverage of in the Communist Bloc era, with regard to certain ‘personalities’ in the public realm who take a certain perspective. Repeatedly, the media in Ireland is being found out behind a consensus to keep the people in the dark as to what is really going on. This is not the first time, that we seen a coverup, involving the Irish media restraining itself from telling us what is really going… Read more »
I’ve also e-mailed the above message to John Gormley.
His e-mail address is freely available on his site.
Daniel McConnell points out Lenny Wrong’s (our great dictator) banking bill, “In a very sinister development, hefty sanctions are provided for in the Bill for anyone who publishes the fact that the minister has used the main powers in the Bill or is proposing to do so. Fines of up to â‚¬100,000 and prison terms of up to three years are provided for. So, attempts by the media or anyone else to inform people as to what is happening are now punishable by jail or a hefty fine”. Ye are all going to jail and have to pay fines of… Read more »
Mary Wallace is number 12 to jump ship! Quick, we need emergency legislation to turn Dail pensions into real pensions, e.g they represent a fraction of salary and you only get them when you turn 65. McUseless and Biffo and Lenny Wrong ministerial salaries and across the public service plus Pravda RTE to be capped at â‚¬100,000. Expenses to be capped at 60% fraction max current salaries, none of this McUseless â‚¬300K expenses rubbish. All bank bonuses to be scrapped. All management previous to 2008 to be replaced, fired or demoted. Numbers of Td’s reduced, a list system introduced, banning… Read more »
Folks, there is only one word used in this article by David that I don’t agree with: “amoral”. “Before we discuss economics, let’s introduce the word morality because a policy has to be morally right for it to work. Current policy is AMORAL. The bank debts are not ours; they are the debts of the banks, which were incurred when the banks were private. They are not our debts to pay.” In my understanding, “Moral” acknowledges the difference between right and wrong and chooses right; “Amoral” acknowledges neither right nor wrong but does as it pleases; “Immoral” acknowledges the difference… Read more »
Horses in Dublin
You might want to watch that, while the five minutes report is in german, the pictures speak a language everyone will understand.
Warning! Graphic pictures!
During the boom, horses became a trend and status symbol, today, according o Liam Kinsella in this report, it is not unreasonable to speak of approx. 20,000 horse around Dublin alone to be in such conditions.
Personally, I am speechless. :(
Our Taoiseach is a traitor, he has done everything a traitor should do, why should we expect anything differnet from him and the other political puppets (FG, Greens, Labour etc )in the future?
Hi everyone, i’ve been following David’s Article’s for a long time now & reading as many of your enlightening comments as possible. I’m no real economics expert, I have as much as possible tried to make a stable living despite what the government has thrown at us here for last 10…..I’m currently operating as a sole trader for last 1.5 yrs, & as a result I’m just keeping things ticking over at the moment without resorting to dole queue. Have had to after in 2008 the company I worked for 4 years went over the cliff left by the governments’… Read more »
DMcW is advancing a solution which is most likely to work with least hurt to the people (but not none). What has happened may have been done in our name but it was never in our interests as a people. DMcW solution keeps faith with the (probable) general population’s view of sticking with the capitalist model but using world precedents to inform us how to tackle economic collapse without ending up in an economic desert like Japan or Argentina. It takes the options of separating sovereign and banking debt; allows the bond-holders less favourable options but not none at all;… Read more »
I’ve been reading the above comments and David’s article if he was Taoiseach, and I have to say he has some very good points and ideas worth looking at particularly point 3,4 and 5. However i can see him and the other comment posters here talking about the exact same stuff next year and possibly the year after again. Do you really think any of the current parties are going to take these ideas and run with them? Not a hope, primarily because they don’t understand and secondly because they’re too afraid of the EU buddies and what could happen… Read more »
Check out “Mathematically Perfected Economy”
David, This is a good list of the triage required immediately. In order to avoid a lost generation more substantial action is required. Many have commented about Lenihan’s lack of economic knowledge. I think is a lesser matter. We should acknowledge that politicians are generalists, facilitators, and expecting them to be experts is far too ambitious as well as impractical. Whats more of a concern is that there isn’t a single trained and experienced economist in Lenihan’s bit of the ‘permanent government’, the Department of Finance, and this will remain the case if Noonan, Bruton or Burton occupy the position… Read more »
So the good news is that Mary Geoghegan nee Harney nee Mary Antoinette has returned from her three weeks down in Torremolinos, Herself and the Bull bought a “time share” between them. Nice studio with balcony. Its all this bloody austerity that is forcing them to cut their cloths so to speak. Have a read of this if ye don’t believe me, and just remember brown paper bags are good for…….. http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2011/jan/09/harney-lives-it-up-in-far-east-luxury-as-ireland-a/ Oh yea and while the brown paper bags are out here’s a piece from Neil Callnan over at the Trib. Just remind me again all ye people who… Read more »
Buiter report is online! Here