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Links 1 through 10 of 48 by Dave O'Brien tagged ireland

The only thing left to say is this. The bond holders of Anglo Irish are a very good guide to the identity of the bond holders of ALL OUR BANKS. The bond holders being protected, in every nation, on the advice of the banks and financial class, are THE BANKS AND THE WEALTHIEST OF THE FINANCIAL CLASS.

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The IMF deal which has just being announced should be filed under fairy stories. It is economically unrealistic and would be an impossible burden on the country.

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What’s going on here? In a nutshell, Ireland has been orthodox and responsible — guaranteeing all debts, engaging in savage austerity to try to pay for the cost of those guarantees, and, of course, staying on the euro. Iceland has been heterodox: capital controls, large devaluation, and a lot of debt restructuring — notice that wonderful line from the IMF, above, about how “private sector bankruptcies have led to a marked decline in external debt”. Bankrupting yourself to recovery! Seriously.

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Global neo-liberalism did, in fact, generate a global crisis that did Ireland no favours. Nevertheless, the Irish crisis is rooted in the Irish version of global neo-liberalism. The Celtic Tiger was founded on multinational investment, which was partially Global neo-liberalism may have been initially imported from abroad, but successive governments created an indigenous variety that deserved a guaranteed Irish label. Where the Irish crisis differed from the international crisis was in its particular low-tax regime and in the triumvirate of developers, bankers, and politicians that created our home-grown financial and fiscal crisis. Ireland’s golden circle cannot opt out of responsibility for this crisis: where they changed the global model, they, in the end, only intensified the local crisis.

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Chinese plans to create a city in Co Westmeath that will act as a trading hub for Europe have met with delight and disbelief in almost equal measure. But the project seems to be advancing stealthily,

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In the 1970s, the surviving Fianna Fáil ex-ministers were horrified at the prospect of the emergence of a very different kind of Fianna Fáil. It was only with great difficulty that Frank Aiken, because of his concerns for the party and the country, was persuaded to stand again for election in 1973. Later, President de Valera confided his deep fears for the country to a minister in whose integrity he had confidence. And when he was dying, Seán MacEntee asked to see me to confide his deep concern for the future of the State because of what had happened to his party, Fianna Fáil. The truth is that because of the widespread lack of a tradition of civic responsibility or a sense of civic morality, for which I fear the Catholic Church must bear some of the blame, the disappearance of the revolutionary generation from government in the 1960s removed the only barrier to the spread to politics of the socially inadequate value system that we, as a people, had inherited from our colonial past.

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We cannot endure however, the sheer sense of injustice and the total loss of moral law at the filthy hands of these so-called rogues and sleeveens (it is equally disheartening to see we have had cause over the years to establish a colloquialism to best describe such recurrent characters in Irish society).

An example has been set by the leaders of this country that their selfish and cynical behaviour is an acceptable discourse in modern Ireland. Our potential to act meaningfully and righteously in this society has been shrouded in this cynicism by the greedy, ignorant brutes that head our banks and by the lacklustre unimaginative politicians that sit in our Government offices.

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“The M3 and Limerick Tunnel contracts are proof . . . that penalty clauses based on never-ending growth hang taxpayers out to dry,” PlanBetter said. “The contracts are naive in that there is no amendment or reset clause. The PPP [public private partnership] contracts highlight another failure by Government to regulate. This time, a public organisation got wrapped up in the myth of high, endless levels of growth.”

It said the road authority’s reputation “has been holed below the waterline with these revelations” as it continued to ignore a 7 per cent fall in traffic over the last two years and still used a 2003 multiplier that assumes traffic growth of over 2 per cent every year.

A roads authority spokesman said a “revenue guarantee arrangement” was a common feature of PPP contracts throughout Europe. Its purpose was to “enhance the fundability of these projects and attract more competitive funding terms”. He added that there had been no payments made to date to either consortium.

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Iceland’s main interest rate was lowered on Friday to 6.25 per cent, while its ten-year debt is also trading around this level. Ireland’s cost of long-term, borrowing rose on Friday to 6.5 per cent.

So Irish interest rates are now higher than Icelandic interest rates.

Icelandic interest rates are now lower than Irish rates: just take that in for a second.

The country that defaulted on debts, shut down its delinquent banks, burned the bondholders, allowed its currency to fall and did everything ‘wrong’, according to the Irish establishment now, is regarded by the financial markets as a safer bet than Ireland.

Think about it. Iceland is a country where the residents refused to allow international bankers bleed the country dry and put the policy of making the people stump up for the banks to a referendum.

Obviously, the people rejected the idea of paying foreign banks what the banks demanded.

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Raj Patel, in his recent book, The Value of Nothing , puts it very well. “The great unwinding of the financial sector showed that the smartest mathematical minds on the planet, backed by some of the deepest pockets, had not built a sleek engine of permanent prosperity but a clown car of trades, swaps and double dares that, inevitably, fell to bits.”

..

We know, in the famous Wilde phrase that inspired the title of Patel’s book, the price of everything and the value of nothing. We place little or no value on essentials like water, clean air, diverse species and the ability to feed everyone on the planet. Instead, we place enormous value on profit, and allow it to subsume virtually every other consideration.

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