Monday, November 29, 2010

The Great Irish Robbery

Details are just out on the Irish "bailout", and they're pretty painful if you happen to work for a living in the Emerald Isle. From where I'm sitting, it looks like the "troika" (EU, ECB & IMF) have literally robbed the Irish National Pension Reserve Fund, which acts as a backstop to all Irish pension funds. It has a value of €24 billion. Of this, eight billion is already "invested" in Irish banks. Of the €16 billion left, the troika has determined that €12.5 billion is to go directly into Irish banks, with the troika providing another €22.5 billion for the banks. Another €50 billion will be lent to the Irish Gov't, which is to provide the banks with sufficient funds to avoid going belly up. All told, the troika has agreed to loan Ireland and her banks €67.5 billion (only after emptying the pension fund) at an interest rate of 5.8%, a rate that is higher than was given to the Greeks six months ago. Given that Ireland is about to enter into a Depression and that the Irish Gov't is being held responsible for the solvency of these banks, this actually isn't nearly enough, especially as Ireland's economy (and thus tax revenues) begin declining.

In the last year or so, the ECB has provided Irish banks €130 billion in loans to keep them afloat. The troika has informed Ireland that this support will be ending as well.

Oh yes.. and the troika demanded Ireland's government enact a new "austerity" budget. Amongst the things included in this budget were slashing the minimum wage, 24,000 job cuts, raises in taxes amongst all income groups and slashes in services provided to the poorest amongst the Irish.

What of the (mainly German and English) bondholders of these banks.. do they get to feel the pain ? Of course not.. 100% guarantees across the board. Restructuring is still not negotiable.

All of this.. why ? To support Irish banks which foolishly lent out waaayy too much to waaayy too many, especially in the area of real estate. But more accurately, it's to protect the German, English and other banks which are very heavily invested in Irish banks. Were the Irish government to simply walk away (ala Iceland) it might cause a catastrophe for some very large banks on the Olde Continent.

If I were in Dublin, I myself would down a few pints of stout and join the protesters. One day soon enough, the people of a nation will have enough of this robbery on behalf of the banksters and put an end to this. They in fact maybe already awakening. On last Thursday, there was an election in Donegal, an Irish county where the Fiana Fail Party of PM Cowen has always won. The result ? Fiana Fail was flailed by a two to one margin by the Sinn Fein Party.. yes the very same party that is arm in arm with the IRA. The day after the election a couple of Sinn Fein MP's met with the IMF delegation.. and told the delegation they were neither needed or wanted in Ireland. The AK47 round across the bow I dare say. Then on saturday, an estimated 75,000 Irish marched against the bailout.. whilst small for America, this in fact amounts to roughly 2% of the population. Here in the States, that would be the equivalent of having six million people march to the White House. Another Irish Rebellion at hand ? If so, it's d@mn sure for the right reasons. This article in the Irish Times says it all:

Update: Having just read an article from Paul Krugman, who gets absolutely everything dead wrong, I find myself in agreement with his post re: Ireland. The End is Nigh !!


  1. Treason, plain and simple looking at you right in the face.

    Treason for passing the failures of politicians, bankers and property developers onto the (innocent) people.

    They make the mistakes, then they pass onto the people of Ireland to pick up the bill. This is a Gov't sham, it's obvious the politicians are rotten to the core, the stench will last decades.

    Why the hell aren't the people protesting, revolting even???

    Why is it only the bloated greedy public sector and unions out on the streets after years of rolling in other peoples money! It's the private sector (biz and citizen) whose wealth is being thieved/stolen here.

    Whatever happened to the Irish, they all compliant sheep now!! It's pathetic even pitiful to watch this bare faced political corruption and the country being robbed by bankers and not see an organised revolt

  2. Anonymous, I think you are too harsh on the Irish people. If you have ever tried to talk macro-economics with an "average citizen", you know their eyes glaze over in seconds. Expecting them to understand all the implications right away is a bit much. When the much higher tax bills come due, they'll figure it out.

    I think 2% of the population marching now, and probably 3% next week, is a good turnout. Just give it a bit more time, the "organised revolt" will be along soon enough. It takes a while to get the public masses roused to anger, but it does happen.

    See what happens on Dec 7 anyway, when they vote on the Budget.

    I would not be so quick to dump on the Irish people, I would bet they will "get it" long before American masses will, for example. Unless you think Sarah Palin has a good grasp on how to fix the economy. 'Dancing With the Stars', NFL and NASCAR etc would have to be canceled first. Pot calling kettle, come in kettle.

    Mr K sorry I don't comment more often, too many Blogs, not enough time. Keep up the good work.

  3. "If you have ever tried to talk macro-economics with an "average citizen", you know their eyes glaze over in seconds."

    I have to agree with GAW on this point and what a fine article Mr. K.

    Anon you are obviously ahead of the curve and "mad as hell and you don't want to take it anymore" but as GAW said Americans also don't have a clue. We will be the last to get it. I hope that one day we do as Sarah Palin as POTUS is my worst nightmare.

    As Mr K said previously the elephant in the room is not Ireland it is Spain. I have my popcorn popping a cold drink at my side and ready to see how this drama unfolds.

  4. As for investing (and this is not an investors site per se) I am all in the market on the gold and silver mining sector and also hold the shiny metals. To me cash is just a bad investment. I bet I have increased my net worth 50% over the past two years. Not bad for an older woman who just woke up in 2008. I also sit debt free and own my home outright and that is my greatest asset. I used a signature that I have removed from my email that said "The only free man is a debt free man." That goes for women too.

  5. Good content but a bit difficult to read, due to a simple usability problem.

    May I suggest that you split your big paragraphs into several small ones with each one no more than three or four lines and and empty line between them.

  6. @ Got a Watch

    I'm referring to the fact the WRONG people are out on the streets, namely the spoilt rotten cushy jobbed over-pensioned public sector and unions, not the private citizen and business that will have to create the real wealth and pick up this €25,000 bill for every man, woman and child.

    A for 'dumping' on the Irish people they along with the majority of citizens in Europe and America need dumping on. they're lemmings being taken to the cliff by the crooks of Gov't and banking. they'll drag everyone down with them, steal every last scrap of wealth from good people in the process, that's how authority always behaves as they begin to drown.

    Wakey wakey before you're dragged into the sewer with these rats.

    And even worse, the politicians are raiding the pension scheme! Namely raiding long term savings to balance short term budgets. The complete incompetence of the politicians to see this coming is appalling.

  7. "The complete incompetence of the politicians to see this coming is appalling"

    Indeed it is. I myself give people I know a ten minute lecture on bank leverage, CDS's and overall debt-GDP and I'd wager that these people know much more than the people making up banking laws.

  8. Has Ireland looked into whether or not English banks were bailed out by the US. From where I sit I believe they were. Another question is who in England was offering the Irish money when the English students are demonstrating on the streets? Did the English students notice this offer? I believe this was a bankers coupe to take over Ireland. Many Americans are suing their banks and I believe Nigeria is also suing. People were easily fooled in the past but our young generations are very internet savy and are carefully watching all of this. However I can tell you Ireland will surive and come out on top. If you read David McCallum's book on President John Adams you will see that the Irish were the first people to say "All men are created equal." No bowing and cowtowing to royal indigents for them. Good luck Ireland and you will recover. Too many people around the world love and admire you.