At the moment there are 450,000 people without paid employment out of a workforce of 1.9 million. Also consider that 460,000 of the total workforce do not compete for jobs or are in any danger of losing their jobs because they are our public servants. So, in the real world, the actual number of people available to work (or be made redundant) is 1,450,000 people. I’m sure even one of our overpaid bankers could work out that 32 per cent of the people in the “free labour market” are without jobs. That’s right folks, the real rate of unemployment in this country among the wealth-creating sectors is 32 per cent or one in three. […]
No doubt you are sick of listening to the radio, watching the television or reading newspapers and getting nothing but bad economic news.
Unfortunately, this is happening because our Government — and many of us — closed our eyes and ears to the reality of what was unfolding before the meltdown. The priority now is to resolve it the best we can and as quickly and as equitably as possible. To do so is going to require some major decisions, all of which will have substantial and far-reaching consequences for every one of us.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan should immediately tell us what options he considered prior to the bank guarantee scheme and the implications of each. Not once, since this crisis began, have we been treated like adults and told exactly what options were considered. Instead, we were told the bank guarantee scheme is the only show in town, with no explanation whatsoever. Suspiciously, none of the other options (if any) have been discussed publicly by the Government. […]
To be published in the Sunday Independent 12 Sept 2010
On numerous occasions in the last week we have heard our Minister for finance Mr. Lenihan remind us of the necessity to continue to guarantee the banks. Not to have done so initially would almost certainly have meant the instant financial collapse for our state. Of the two options open to him (letting the banks go, being the first), guaranteeing the Irish banks was the only practical option. Well, according to those who were advising himself and Mr. Cowen on that fateful night, when the crises meeting took place in Government Buildings.
Let’s face it, this is what he was told by the CEO’s and the Chairmen of Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland. And these people should know shouldn’t they? These were the same people who, we had been led to believe, understood international finance, economics and the creation of wealth. After all, the bankers were finance professionals and Mr. Lenihan and Mr. Cowen, were legal professionals. You wouldn’t go to a solicitor for financial advice nor vice versa, would you? Our representatives at the meeting (Zig & Zag) were either lied to or they were incompetent, or both. Fortunately for everyone in the room that night, we’ll never know as there were no minutes taken at the meeting. Yeah, right.
We can only surmise that the bankers put up an extremely strong case for the guaranteeing of the banks and strangely Anglo Irish bank, which they knew was in serious trouble. The problem is, Mr. Lenihan has ever told us what, specifically, the alternatives were. Sure, we have heard the warnings of “economic meltdown” and “imminent collapse of the financial system” etc etc. But so far, nobody has actually told us what these mean. What advice specifically did Mr. Lenihan and Mr. Cowen receive from the bankers? What “appalling vista” lay before them that left them with no choice but to guarantee the Irish banks and therefore a generation to economic hardship? I, for one, would really like to know the answer. I mean, how bad would the alternative have been? ./………… […]
The banks effectively want it every way, full security against all monies that have been borrowed from them in the form of a personal guarantee from each mortgage holder and failing that, a state guarantee, notwithstanding the fact that they already hold the deeds of your property. But hold on, it gets worse. As a direct result of their utter incompetence, the banks lost all their capital reserves, then the equity (share value) thereby threatening all the depositors money which should then place all the bond holders at risk of loses as well. Yet they expect that these losses should be paid back in full by you the mortgage holder, tax payer or citizen or else we “risk damage to our international reputation”. The bondholders knew the risks (that’s their job) and individual investors and depositors should have too. […]
The Sunday Independent article I wrote, which was published on 22 August 2010
We have now reached the stage where for every one person on the Live Register there is another person, who is a public servant. So for the purpose of simplicity, we can say that there are 450,000 people unemployed and 450,000 public and civil servants. This accounts for 900,000 people out of the total workforce of 2.1 million. Or put another way, nearly a quarter of the entire workforce is in the public service and a quarter unemployed. […]
Have you noticed the endless stream of economic experts telling us about things we don’t understand, in a language we have never heard? For example, you may have heard the term ‘quantitative easing’ mentioned, which actually means ‘printing more paper money’. What it does not tell you is that this is effectively money borrowed today from our taxes tomorrow. There are 100’s of similar examples. These so-called economic experts are the very people who could not forecast the largest economic collapse in the history of the State. These are the same people who told you that house prices would continue to rise. These are the people who talk about “green shoots of recovery”. These are the people who have consistently lied to you, whether this was maliciously or through incompetence, you can decide yourself. […]