Home / General / “In Exchange For Wrecking Your Economy, You Can Have the Privelege of Giving Us More Money.”

“In Exchange For Wrecking Your Economy, You Can Have the Privelege of Giving Us More Money.”


So in exchange for a pushing austerity plan, this is what Ireland is getting? By comparison, the Mets got a great deal in trading Tom Seaver for Steve Henderson and three guys who weren’t as good as Steve Henderson.

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  • Again – this really has little to do with austerity. Its more about the mind-bogglingly stupid decision taken by the FF government to agree to guarantee the entirety of our banking system’s debt. It doesn’t hurt that the bankers and FF were very close mates, and that the former -ahem- substantially misrepresented shall we say, their liabilities. As a result we can’t borrow money for stimulus even if we wanted to because bond markets aren’t that dumb.

    Prior to that incomprehensibly bad call (which to be fair was heavily encouraged by the ECB) we were actually registering economic growth and the cuts weren’t actually that bad. But the thrust of the title is still scarily accurate – we took the ECB advice on the banks, and then money at a punitive interest rate that I’m reasonably certain we’ll never succeed in paying back.

    Oh well, time to look for jobs in London…

    • Scott Lemieux

      Again – this really has little to do with austerity

      RIght, but the new austerity measures will inflict more pain on the citizenry, in exchange for a flimsy band-aid.

      • Don’t I know it. But frankly our government has screwed things up so much we honestly don’t have the money, or access to the money. But the interest rates the ECB is supplying are indeed frigging punitive…

      • Brad Potts

        Ireland isn’t America or Japan. It cannot finance high debt levels from within like Japan, and it cannot finance high debt levels from outside like the US.

        Its hands are tied as far as money management goes, and it has the highest level of external indebtedness in the world. Now that the ECB has responded to this crisis with a big slap in the face, austerity isn’t a policy choice as it would be in the US, its a matter of economic necessity.

        • Brad Potts

          And as a side note: this Irish situation (and the Greek situation) should be instructive on the massive difference between implementing gradual austerity while it is still a choice and enacting major austerity when it is no longer a choice.

          As money begins to get tight, we will start looking at the books much closer. We will realize that we are in a much worse situation than we thought, and our creditors will tighten the screws down on us.

          • Indeed. A lot of the blame is being heaped on a former Finance Minister by the name of Charlie McCreevy. Problem is waaaayy back in 2002 McCreevy (who was more of a PD cuckoo in the Fianna Fail nest) was arguing for throttling back the economy and making a few budget cuts. Result was a bad round of local elections for Fianna Fail, and McCreevy got booted upstairs to Europe and Biffo Cowen took his job, and promptly went on making the boom ‘boomier’ as was the phrase.

            Having said that – we voted for the wankers…

            • Brad Potts

              Over here we have been reinforcing the choice between:

              A)irresponsible state management with unsustainable spending or B)irresponsible state management with regulatory and tax carve-outs for major financial and industrial players.

              It is pretty plain to me that we will continue voting in a government that gives us a combination of those two until we find ourselves in a situation somewhat similar to the Irish (although a major debt crisis in the US would be a singular event).

              So sure you voted for the folks largely responsible, but that is par for the course, it seems.

  • wengler

    If the Mets act quickly maybe the Irish taxpayers will pick up the rest of Bobby Bonilla’s salary.

  • Murc

    Out of curiosity (this is semi-addressed to Daragh) what is the feasibility/are the consequences of a post-election Irish government simply saying ‘fuck you’ to the bankers and the ECB, repudiating most if not all former deals and guarantees, and locking up a bunch of the more egregiously corrupt banksters?

    Genuinely curious.

    • dave

      Dunno about the feasibility, but amongst the consequences would be wholesale capital flight and international ostracism, resulting in either a) introduction of a communist utopia, or b) a re-run of the late 1840s. You guess the probabilities.

      • Largely what Dave said – though as for actually PUNISHING the banksters, well you do not understand, these are very powerful people and normal standards of law/common decency apparently do not apply to them. Check out the Guardian for a good round up of who they are and what they’re doing now – http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/16/irish-banking-profiles

        • Murc

          Uh. Wow.

          Okay, so, basically, you guys are fucked, aren’t you? Wow.

          Your banksters seem like they’re getting more of a comeuppance than ours did. Low bar to clear, I know. I mean, there were people who are actually POOR now and have issued apologies and shit in that profile.

          On Wall Street, that’s PUSSY behavior. Brian Goggin understands!

          • Yep, double possum fucked as the USMC might say. As to some of these bakers ACTUALLY being poor – I dunno. There’s a lot of creative accounting still going on. As for the apologies, you have to remember that we still have the remnants of a leftish paramilitary army running around the country. In actual fact my main worry is not so much riots (disorganised and inefficient application of violence for political purposes) as it is renewed terrorism (organised and efficient version of same.)

      • Walt

        The consequences of default are often exaggerated. Argentina is better off for having defaulted in 2002.

        • dave

          Well, they didn’t have much choice, since they couldn’t pay. As for the results, Wikipedia makes it sound like fun:

          “On December 23, 2001, interim president Adolfo Rodríguez Saá declared a short-lived debt moratorium. After a few days, Argentina officially defaulted on $132 billion of its debt, mostly the securitized bonds.

          In January 2002, the convertibility plan that pegged the Argentine peso to the U.S. dollar on a one-to-one basis was scrapped, after nearly 11 years. The peso was floated and suffered a swift and sharp devaluation (losing about 70% of its value in four months), which in turn triggered a 40% surge in consumer prices.

          In 2002, Argentina’s GDP sunk by 11%; GDP fell to its 1993 level and on a per capita basis, to that of 1968. Income poverty in Argentina grew from an already high 35.4% in October 2001 to a peak of 54.3% in October 2002;[45] the poverty rate in 2007 returned to levels prevailing in the 1990s and has declined (albeit more slowly) to around 18%, since then. Unemployment, having exceeded 20% in 2002, has also lessened; it has averaged around 8% since 2007.[46]”

          • Brad Potts

            I expect unemployment in the US, despite only being half of Argentinian unemployment at their respective peaks, will be higher six years after the crisis than it was six years after the Argentinian default.

            • dave

              Maybe it will be, but then the US doesn’t have the luxury of being a relatively small economy riding the wave of a booming global marketplace, unlike Argentina and almost everywhere else in the mid-2000s.

              • Brad Potts

                Maybe, but it also enjoys a lot of privileges that Argentina certainly didn’t.

  • Hey, come on, Scott! Doug Flynn was better than Henderson! You take that back!

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