Ransom Deal: Ireland's shame, Europe's disgrace - O'Toole

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Quite a good article this morning from Fintan O'Toole. Things must be REALLY bad when even the Irish Times is allowing commentators to question the 'We need our European partners' mantra...

Yesterday’s abysmal deal turns Ireland’s shame into Europe’s disgrace.

We know what a genuine rescue plan for Ireland (the nation, not the governing elite) would have looked like. It would have provided enough money, lent at a sufficiently low interest rate (2 or 3 per cent), to allow for a fair and balanced austerity programme that did not involve a crippling of the Irish economy and a tearing apart of Irish society. And it would have involved a 50/50 sharing of the burden of bank debt.

This kind of deal would have recognised two things. One is that the European Union cannot be sustained without a basic sense of mutual interest. Put simply, it is not in the interests of the EU as a whole for one of its members to be shoved into a vicious downward spiral of depression and debt.

The other is that, while the primary responsibility for what has happened in Ireland lies with our own political, administrative and banking elites, Europe was barely less stupid. European banks (especially those of Germany and the UK) shared in the delusion that Ireland was an endless gold-rush – why else did they shovel so many hundreds of billions, via the Irish banks, to our property developers? The ECB and the IMF continually testified to the essential soundness of the Irish banking system.

And, crucially, the ECB (and its political masters) fully endorsed the insane strategy of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide. The ECB, no less than the Government, threw good money after bad. Morally, as well as pragmatically, the EU ought to share the pain.
Abysmal deal ransoms us and disgraces Europe - The Irish Times - Mon, Nov 29, 2010

Hate to say 'I told you so'.. Actually, that's untrue, I love to say it...

Vote Yes for recovery, everyone...
 


Sham96

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Weak article. And not convincing from Fo"T. Which is surprising. He is not doing well in this crisis.
 

Green eyed monster

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Interesting to see him saying these things, as you say the IT is Euro-luvvie land normally (and in fairness as a caveat he DOES seem to be suggesting in the article that both the EU and us are victims of bankers, i don't see Germany as a victim myself).

O'Toole doesn't pull his punches anyway with the following...

There are two international options for dealing with broken and delinquent states: the Versailles option and the Marshall Plan option. After the first World War, the Versailles Treaty imposed harsh reparations on Germany, helping to destroy both Germany and Europe. After the second World War, constructive help was given.

Yesterday’s bailout of broken and delinquent Ireland is much more Versailles than Marshall. There is no sharing of the burden. There is no evidence of a single thought for the consequences of mass unemployment, mass emigration and war on the most vulnerable. There is no European solidarity. And there is not even a genuine sense of self-interest. The sadistic pleasures of punishment have trumped the sensible calculation that an Ireland enslaved by debt is not much use to anyone.
Metaphors for punishment of nations don't get any stronger than invoking the image of Versailles. Words like sadistic and an acknowledgement from one of the most pro-EU elites that there is no solidarity in the EU is actually pretty shocking to hear in itself.

If we can get rid of our kneeling politicians and get people who will represent our interests in charge and if we ever get another situation in which our interests are weighed against theirs we can shaft them in good conscience.

It is in one sense a welcome breath of air that the delusion about European partnership has been lifted, there was always something serflike and demeaning about those pro-EU posters and those pro-EU slogans, the kind that went on about us somehow 'owing' them implied that we existed for their purpose as a small province exists for a powerful central authority. The FF emperor has no clothes either and there is a very cold wind coming in the next election, we can at least count all these small blessings.

We should also lobby their businesses and consider dropping the corpo tax further if it might attract more of their stuff here if it suits us to do so...:lol: (hell i am so angry with those Euros i might consider dropping it even if it costs us a little overall - so long as we could take something important from them)...

If China wanted a base here i would rent one out to them in a heartbeat.

All is fair in love and usury.
 

MDaniel

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Weak article. And not convincing from Fo"T. Which is surprising. He is not doing well in this crisis.
Where is your FF logo avatar? Please explain why, arguments, demonstration not random statements that have landed us into this mess.:mad:
 

Buddies

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It's like we walked into the talks with a loaded gun and said "here ya go" and then "Aghh Don't shoot"

Bizarre.
 

Squire Allworthy

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Those that are pro Europe are perhaps more angry than those that are anti Europe, because this bailout is a not only short sighted and stupid, it risks destabilising the EU.

This is a EuroZone problem and should be addressed as such.
 

Old Mr Grouser

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If China wanted a base here i would rent one out to them in a heartbeat.
That article is whinging tripe. But I do agree with that little bit.

Sell the Chinese, or whoever will buy it, Shannon Airport and dock facilities at Limerick.

Even let them have it as an old-style Treaty Port with its own International Police, if that's what they want.

It would be well-run and bring in jobs and prosperity.

Similar schemes should be considered for all the airports.

Brazil, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia ... They'd all be ready to invest just as long as they had the security of firm treaties with extra-territorial rights that could not be cancelled or revoked.

But the terms would need to be very firm. People will be very careful about trusting Ireland again.
 

kerdasi amaq

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Why sell them anything? Why not lease it instead?
 

Insole

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The continental banks are loaning us money to cover the bad bets of the continental banks.... Systemic importance me ar$e.

May they die screaming.
 

john_galt

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This is a terrrible deal. The 5.8% average includes NPRF money (which has no interest rate) and IMF money (at 4%). So what rate are our friends in europe lending to us?
 
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Weak article. And not convincing from Fo"T. Which is surprising. He is not doing well in this crisis.
His suspension of the constatution and replacing it with a mish mash of pro's from relevent areas, as outlined on the frontline last monday, is a case in point in my view.
 

the_rebubblican

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O'Toole recognises that for this generation at least that the Europe as envisioned by Delors and led by Mitterrand and Kohl is now dead and buried. What is left is being sculpted by German national interest in a time of systemic weakness.

The European dream for Ireland is over. Germany always used the velveted fist approach, Merkel for her own political interest has blown that wide open. They had better not want to amend a treaty within the next 20 years. Raymond Crotty's successful supreme court challenge will now take on added significance.

We are being led by a bunch of chumps, as O'Toole notes, "A government that was spooked and stampeded by the small-time bullies of the Irish banks was never going to be able to stand up to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB)."

FF can spin all they wish as I listen now to Hanafin whip out the mantras that all is better than before. They are toast, I hope the voters of Dun Laoighaire recognise the language of spoof when they hear it and they send Hanafin back to the classroom where the damage she can do is limited.
 

Libero

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Quite a good article this morning from Fintan O'Toole. Things must be REALLY bad when even the Irish Times is allowing commentators to question the 'We need our European partners' mantra...


Abysmal deal ransoms us and disgraces Europe - The Irish Times - Mon, Nov 29, 2010

Hate to say 'I told you so'.. Actually, that's untrue, I love to say it...

Vote Yes for recovery, everyone...
We could have voted No to Lisbon (again) and all that has happened would have happened anyhow.

Frankly, this story is too massive and too tragic to serve falsely as a platform for the anti-Lisbonites to claim "we told you so".
 

nonpc

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Slightly off topic but following Guido's list of bondholders, this blogger did some digging and throws some light on the phantom bondholders. Of course the notorious vampire squid, Goldman Sachs(which has Peter Sunderland batting for it in Ireland) is included. Enough said. To not default is condoning the immoral behaviour of the banks.

"So where do these wealthy bond holders live and work?
Germany has the most with 15 of the bond holders. Who between them hold 5.3 trillion euros.
France is next with 10 bond holders. Who have about 4 trillion to keep them warm.
Britain is third with 9 who have around 3 trillion.
The Swiss have 6 but who have about 8.5 trillion.
America has only three and hold only a trillion.
Other nations include, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Holland Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, South Africa and Italy.
All these figures are very rough. The figure for Switzerland is certainly under because Private Swiss banks just don't publish figures. What we can say for sure, figures or no figures, is these are not banks investing widow's pensions or orphan's pennies.
So who are they? Well many of the bond holders are privately held banks, which list their activities as asset management for off-shore, non-resident and high value individuals. To give you an example, one of the private banks is EFG Bank of Luxembourg. EFG stands for European Financial Group which is the third largest private bank group in Switzerland. It manages over €7.5 trillion in assets. It is 'mostly', 40%, owned by Mr Spiro Latsis, son of a Greek shipping magnate. He also owns 30% of Hellenic Petroleum. His personal fortune is estimated to be about $9 Billion.
Now there is absolutely no suggestion that Mr Latsis has ever done anything wrong or illegal. And his holdings are, I am quite sure, perfectly legal and above board. But when we talk of Anglo Irish's bond holders it is Mr Latsis and those with his sort of wealth who we are talking about NOT widows and orphans or you and me. It is therefore worth remembering, the next time an Irish politician, or any of our politicians for that matter, say that some welfare payment can no longer be afforded, it is because the money that could have paid for it has been given to the bond holders, people not unlike Mr Latsis, instead. The Irish people are paying and protecting the interests of people like Mr Latsis over the interests of their own children. And it is their own politicians who are doing this.
Other bond holders call themselves 'asset management' firms. The fifth largest asset management firm in the world is one of the bond holders. Others are insurance companies. The 6th and 9th largest in the world, to be specific. Others are the largest banks, Deutsche, Soc Gen, Barclay's, PNB Paribas, Unicredit (who don't appear on the list but own Pioneer Investments),and Wells Fargo (also not on the list but who own European Credit Management). Then there is Goldman. No show without the squid.
Kleinwort Benson Investors is a bond holder. But Kleinwort is owned by a Belgian holding company, RHJ which is part owned by Mr Timothy Collins. Mr Collins also sits on the board of Citigroup. So he too is one of the bond holders the Irish people are 'helping'.
Finally, a very large number of the banks who are Anglo Irish's bond holders, are members of something called the Euro Banking Association. All the large European, most of the large US banks, Swiss, Japanese, Nordic and some Chinese are members. The chairperson is Mr Hansjorg Nymphius of Deutsche Bank. Other board members are from JP Morgan Chase, RBS, Bank of Ireland, West LB(bankrupt), BNP Paribas, ABN Ambro, Dexia and Banco Santander.
Its a list which could double as the list of Anglo Irish's bond holders. The EBA was set up in Paris in 1985, since when it has been and is, central to promoting European Union financial integration and the area's banking interests. The EBA has close ties to the ECB.
I will leave you to digest this disgusting bolus of self serving wealth protection. "

Golem XIV - Thoughts: Who are the bond holders we are bailing out?
 
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We could have voted No to Lisbon (again) and all that has happened would have happened anyhow.

Frankly, this story is too massive and too tragic to serve falsely as a platform for the anti-Lisbonites to claim "we told you so".
My very point is that it would have happened anyway! It is not that a 'no' to Lisbon would have stopped any of this, of course it wouldn't! It is that, contrary to the Government's lies at the time, voting 'yes' has made precisely zero difference - after all the 'yes for recovery' and 'yes for jobs' scaremongering about us falling into the abyss unless our 'partners' in Europe are shown what good obedient Europeans we are, instead we have seen our 'partners' doing exactly what they would have done anyway - look out for themselves...
 

Clanrickard

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Weak article. And not convincing from Fo"T. Which is surprising. He is not doing well in this crisis.
Brian is that you?
 

dent

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How about 5% CT for companies that create/sustain 5000 direct jobs ?
 

dent

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My very point is that it would have happened anyway! It is not that a 'no' to Lisbon would have stopped any of this, of course it wouldn't! It is that, contrary to the Government's lies at the time, voting 'yes' has made precisely zero difference - after all the 'yes for recovery' and 'yes for jobs' scaremongering about us falling into the abyss unless our 'partners' in Europe are shown what good obedient Europeans we are, instead we have seen our 'partners' doing exactly what they would have done anyway - look out for themselves...
True and into the future, the eu has done itself massive reputational damage here by being vindictive. This is the equivalent of a drowning man holding out his hand, only for a boot to come from the riverbank, pushing the head under the water.
 

Nordie Northsider

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Weak article. And not convincing from Fo"T. Which is surprising. He is not doing well in this crisis.
I thought he was doing well until recently. His government by a panel of my appointees idea was well silly and his speech at the ICTU demo was a bit off. He began by saying 'Fianna Fáil tell us we are where we are. Well, we are here and we are here because of who we are' (or words to that effect). I thought he was quoting from 'Being and Nothingness'.

But then, all the speeches on Saturday were a bit off. They just gave weight to the FF line that there is no alternative. I think that there is, but we didn't hear it on Saturday.
 


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