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Old 02-13-2009, 09:20 PM   #46
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'Our economy is facing a post-nuclear winter'

Independent.ie WebSearch By Kevin Myers

Friday February 13 2009

I read history. That's what I do. It's what I've done my entire adult life. And look: I think I know what it felt like before the great revolutions of the world.

People sensed tectonic plates moving beneath their feet, while their rulers fretted and fussed. In other words, like now. We are on the brink of something perfectly hideous, unless elected politicians act, and do so decisively.

For there are always unseen Robespierres, Stalins, Bonapartes, Hitlers, waiting to unleash their psychoses upon a hapless people, once the structures of their societies collapse. And that will happen very soon if TDs continue to guard their diseased expenses, as bankers and their regulators swan off into the sunset with millions of other people's money, and the public service unions insist that their members alone be made permanently weatherproof against the coming storm.

No-one is weather-proof in the real world. Ask New Orleans. And see that thing on the horizon? That's the mother of all hurricanes, which could blow away every single institution, good or bad, in Irish life, and so reduce our economy into a permanent post-nuclear winter. Do you understand this? Or is it only we, who once lived under the threat of the Bomb, and who remember the Cuban missile crisis, and who really believed that total calamity could befall us all, who have grasped what's going on?

I wake each morning with sickness in my stomach at the thought of what lies ahead for this country. Yet our political and public sectors appear to have absorbed a massive dose of that extraordinary drug which neutralised all thought or intellectual enquiry in Ireland during the Second World War. In that dreary, numbing Eden, the greater part of the Irish population immunised themselves from the atrocious reality of world events. Distant cities vanished beneath lakes of flame, and entire tribes vanished from some distant ice-field. Doesn't matter. Won't happen here. We're neutral.

And so today, our public sector unions, led by a bunch of genetically-modified Arthur Scargills, with their weapons-grade stupidity, appear to think it won't happen here. And they even believe they can successfully resist government cuts. Listen, you half-wits, the only criticism one can make of the cutbacks is that they aren't severe enough. There is no money to pay your government wages and government pensions. Oh, you can talk your voodoo economics of the dangers of intensifying the recession if public servants don't have money to spend. This is like putting the wooden walls of your house in the stove to stay warm. Soon, you'll be roofless, wall-less, and lifeless, leaving just a rusty stove for archaeologists to ponder over in a thousand years.

Yes, there is a world depression: but we have created an especially toxic version of it. Our banking classes are clones of Charles Haughey: his DNA is all over the swindles at the heart of our financial system. The Boys from Brazil were fiction. The Kids from Kinsealy are real.

Meanwhile, our legal class loftily assured us that the thousand million spent on tribunals, and which put hundreds of barristers in clover for life, would forever ensure non-GUBU business standards. Wonderful: absolutely bloody wonderful: and while we were watching this disgusting, self-rewarding charade, somebody pocketed the title-deeds of our grandchildren's future.

And we can do nothing about the villains who have robbed us, who turned our birthright to ashes, and who sowed our green pastures with salt. Remember, we didn't put cuffs on their instigator and inspiration, Charles Haughey, but allowed him to live on to enjoy a State funeral.

So blame the mandarins of banking, by all means, but remember the true culprits. They were sinn fein, ourselves alone, with our stupidity, our greed, and our inattention to whatever governments were doing. So back here in Paddyland, we in the private sector, who pay for all the public service luxuries that vastly exceed our own, are once again cowering nakedly on our dismal mud-bank, as the hurricane sweeps in.

Bertie Ahern apparently didn't like being roughed up the other day. I'll bet. But we're not far from government ministers being attacked in the street: or even, from that evil hour when some happy lunatic takes up a gun -- and we've no shortage of either.

That means politicians must act now. They must call in trade unions and read them the Riot Act, and if necessary invoke special powers to prevent street disorders. They must outlaw strikes in the public service, and introduce special finance laws that mean that not merely shall super-levies be paid by public servants to underwrite their lavish pensions, but existing pension rights shall be forfeit for anyone who sabotages the future of the state through industrial action.

Draconian? Oh believe me, not half as draconian as the Stalingrad that awaits the Irish nation, unless we get our act together now. Either we choose where to have savage cuts, or the cuts themselves will choose where to strike us. There is no alternative. None. Only a Government of National Unity can embark upon such a task, and dear Christ above, we have so little time left; so little time.
'Our economy is facing a post-nuclear winter' - Kevin Myers - Independent.ie

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My point today is simple: A key warning sign just moved from orange to red.

The G7 ministers of finance and central bank governors need to focus on this problem during their discussions today and tomorrow. What is the strategy for Ireland? Does the European Union come in to help? Is this a job for the IMF?

Just don’t, please, tell me more about the “basic principles” of financial reform (and similar nostrums in the draft communique) unless and until you have addressed the Irish Problem. And don’t tell me, “the Irish have to sort this out for themselves.” Eventually, the world always comes to help; check your notes on Iceland. It’s much better and much cheaper to come in early and decisively - of course, the Irish will have to do some painful things, but we really can help (or, if we can’t, this will be a long dark winter for the eurozone).

We need a plan of action for Ireland, and we need it now. What we don’t need is another Iceland-type situation.

The Irish Troubles: G7 Needs to Act Now -- Seeking Alpha
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:25 PM   #47
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FT.com / World - Anglo failure would ‘bring down’ Ireland
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:14 PM   #48
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Ouch: Ireland´s deficit triples..

how come? well, of course for saving the Anglo Irish Bank

Congratulations to EUR 30 billion of debts, this means that each and every Irish citizen will contribute about 6.500 EUR (nearly 10k US$) for bailing out the Anglo Irish Bank. EUR 30 billion is about one fifth of Ireland´s total annual economic output.

Ireland reveals full horror of banking crisis - Yahoo! News

Ireland awaits total cost of Anglo Irish Bank bailout | www.bullfax.com

Ireland Says Bank Bailout May Hit 50 Billion Euros - Bloomberg

Timeline: Troubles at Anglo Irish Bank | Reuters

Hey financeguy, didn´t you recently think we need a bit more capitalism? Here we go, mate! Always ahead of the curve
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:17 PM   #49
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yo mods, you may melt the two threads, or rather not, the other one is old.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:13 PM   #50
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how come? well, of course for saving the Anglo Irish Bank

Congratulations to EUR 30 billion of debts, this means that each and every Irish citizen will contribute about 6.500 EUR (nearly 10k US$) for bailing out the Anglo Irish Bank. EUR 30 billion is about one fifth of Ireland´s total annual economic output.

Ireland reveals full horror of banking crisis - Yahoo! News

Ireland awaits total cost of Anglo Irish Bank bailout | www.bullfax.com

Ireland Says Bank Bailout May Hit 50 Billion Euros - Bloomberg

Timeline: Troubles at Anglo Irish Bank | Reuters

Hey financeguy, didn´t you recently think we need a bit more capitalism? Here we go, mate! Always ahead of the curve
I've charted the unfolding financial crisis on this forum since mid 2007, and predicted this, and numerous other events. In fact, what happened today is merely another signpost along the way and not even an event as such. That it is news to you shows that you simply have not being paying attention.

I've made specific predictions regarding the future direction of prices of commodites and other assets and in most cases my predictions have been accurate. Some examples: I advised to buy gold long before it hit its current all time high, I advised that oil was going to collapse shortly after it hit its peak in mid 2008, I cautioned posters about buying banking (and other) stocks during mid 2008 when some talking heads were saying that the recession was already over. I said that the dollar would strengthen at the height of the financial crisis when a lot of hysterical talking heads were saying it would collapse. I said that the Euro would weaken against sterling as the full cost of the banking bailouts in Europe became known. Finally, in regards to sovereigns, I very specifically predicted that Ireland, Iceland, Spain would encounter particularly significant difficulties - as has happened.

Incidentally, I would openly admit that even though my predictions have been largely accurate over the medium term, I have not made money, owing to poor timing. I still know next to nothing about timing my punts correctly, and investor psychology (including my own). The difference between you and me is, I know I know nothing.


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Hey financeguy, didn´t you recently think we need a bit more capitalism? Here we go, mate! Always ahead of the curve
In answer to your question. Yes. I absolutely do.

In fact, stresses arising in the eurozone due to smaller economies being subjected to inappropriate interest rates was eminently predictable and, indeed, predicted by wiser heads than yours or mine - to wit, Thatcherite economists that you'd probably hate.

The principal reason for the bubble and subsequent collapse of the Irish economy is the excessively low interest rates that we were subject to owing to our eurozone membership. (Interest rates are ultimately set by governments and not private corporations, last time I checked. You may come across this factoid if you open an economics textbook.)

The way that you've used this thread purely to take a pop at me, and not to impart information or to educate, or to provoke a debate, is troubling.

Yesterday, I was privileged to attend a management development programme led by a well-known UK Professor of management studies, Gareth Jones. I don't agree with him on everything but he did make a number of very astute observations, one of which was that the ordinary folk and underprivileged don't want more socialism. They want to be able to provide for themselves and their families, they want to improve their lot in life and they want to be able to, well, start buying stuff again. They want more capitalism, to be crude.

Finally, good luck with your readings on economics - you've an awful lot to learn, kid.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:58 PM   #51
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The emoter-in-chief comes to the rescue.

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"I think you've saved your financial system; you have to deal with the budget crisis, but I believe that if good choices are made, what made you the fastest growing country in Europe is still there," Mr Clinton said.

"All the talents, all the abilities, all the incentives, they're still there. I have utterly no doubt that the country will come back and that you'll come back with a more diversified economy, less vulnerable than what just happened to you."

Mr Clinton said the situation would improve as long as we "hang together".

"It's a horrible time now, but you will get out of it, it will get better," he said.
Irish economy can bounce back, assures Clinton - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:22 AM   #52
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Wow, you couldn't make some of this stuff up. It's like I've been snorting ketamine for a week and then switched on Bloomberg:

* City traders are making chimp noises down the phone at Brian Lenihan
* Roman Abramovich is threatening to send the boys round
* The country's leader is getting slaughtered on international television for being a drunk


I know it's bad... but it's pretty funny as well. I think we need to start embracing this crazy madness, cos it might never get this weird again.
Ireland's finance minister Brian Lenihan ridiculed by City investors - Telegrap - Page 12
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:35 PM   #53
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not really

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Finally, good luck with your readings on economics - you've an awful lot to learn, kid.
Very convincing argument. Shall we call you professor dr. financeguy
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:33 PM   #54
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First you open a thread to take a personal jab at him, then you respond like this. Not very convincing either.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:46 PM   #55
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In fact, stresses arising in the eurozone due to smaller economies being subjected to inappropriate interest rates was eminently predictable and, indeed, predicted by wiser heads than yours or mine - to wit, Thatcherite economists that you'd probably hate.
if economy was this simple everyone would be a millionaire
obviously you know you're simplifying to the extreme here

there's at least as strong a point to be made that when you're financially prudent it doesn't matter at all whether interest rates are low or high
and prudent we were not
Ireland less so than some other countries in Europe (more so than some others)

the problem with interest rates kept artificially low would be more apparent to me if they had risen since
we're yet to reach that point
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:00 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
First you open a thread to take a personal jab at him, then you respond like this. Not very convincing either.
Dear Vincent, I don´t see any sense in personal discussions. It´s a complete waste of time. But you asked for it, so here´s a quick overview. Exclusively for you.

Let´s be clear about one thing: I didn´t open a thread to take a jab at anyone. I have posted news about Ireland with four seperate links. it´s called facts/information level. Then I saw the other old thread. The comment at the end was merely food for thought for professor dr. financeguy, whose overall solution for all economic problems is more capitalism.

Of course I may tell someone that the cry for more capitalism for the average Irish seems a bit cynical when it is the banks that rip them off. Um, or maybe bank managers from Anglo Irish aren´t capitalists; they are brave taxpayers, they didn´t rip anyone off with $30 billion; they must be socialists; banks never ever direct interest rates; I didn´t get it, Vincent, right?

Unfortunately, because there are no good arguments for rampant capitalism ruining the Irish middle class, financeguy had to reply with how great he predicted everything, how accurate he was, how priviledged he is listening to this super expert and that kids have a lot to learn.

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The way that you've used this thread purely to take a pop at me, and not to impart information or to educate, or to provoke a debate, is troubling.
nice try Take a quick look at your own posts, professor dr. financeguy: of course, you are always "provoking a debate", while I "take a pop at you", right? Let´s call a spade a spade: I don´t believe you are that troubled. You´re merely using basic discussion techniques to jump from facts/information level to feelings/emotion level.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:40 PM   #57
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I see. Look, we are pretty much on the same page as regards capitalism, but your tone really defies any remote willingness to even enter into discussion. Or maybe it's just the way you talk to anyone, I don't know, and honestly don't care.
The personal jab was already in the thread-opening post, so of course you get a reply which is not exactly honey.

But well, if that's your style, have fun with it.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:18 PM   #58
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And unlike the Greeks, we lacked the tact and common sense to keep our grubby dealing to ourselves. Europeans had to endure a decade of Irish politicians strutting around and telling them how they needed to emulate our crony capitalism if they wanted to be as rich as we are. As far as other Europeans are concerned, the Irish Government is aiming to add injury to insult by getting their taxpayers to help the “Richest Nation in Europe” continue to enjoy its lavish lifestyle.

My stating the simple fact that the Government has driven Ireland over the brink of insolvency should not be taken as a tacit endorsement of the Opposition. The stark lesson of the last 30 years is that, while Fianna Fáil’s record of economic management has been decidedly mixed, that of the various Fine Gael coalitions has been uniformly dismal.

As ordinary people start to realise that this thing is not only happening, it is happening to them, we can see anxiety giving way to the first upwellings of an inchoate rage and despair that will transform Irish politics along the lines of the Tea Party in America. Within five years, both Civil War parties are likely to have been brushed aside by a hard right, anti-Europe, anti-Traveller party that, inconceivable as it now seems, will leave us nostalgic for the, usually, harmless buffoonery of Biffo, Inda, and their chums.

You have read enough articles by economists by now to know that it is customary at this stage for me to propose, in 30 words or fewer, a simple policy that will solve all our problems. Unfortunately, this is where I have to hold up my hands and confess that I have no solutions, simple or otherwise.

Ireland faced a painful choice between imposing a resolution on banks that were too big to save or becoming insolvent, and, for whatever reason, chose the latter. Sovereign nations get to make policy choices, and we are no longer a sovereign nation in any meaningful sense of that term.

From here on, for better or worse, we can only rely on the kindness of strangers.
If you thought the bank bailout was bad, wait until the mortgage defaults hit home - The Irish Times - Mon, Nov 08, 2010
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:39 PM   #59
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World history would suggest that your countrymen will start to make any working and lower class immigrants feel most unwelcome. The mob is already muttering over their pints in the pubs.
QFT. From almost two years ago, and very astute. As were my own predictions, of course.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:53 AM   #60
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if you close your eyes for long enough, it'll all just... figure itself out on its own.
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