ON THE ONE HAND:
The bold and brave who acted to bail out our banks to the tune of €69.7bn, imposing an average bank-bailout debt of over €60,000 on every Irish family, stating that this was the best possible course of action for Ireland, that in fact it was the only option:
- Every member of Fianna Fáil in the last government, including current leader Micheál Martin and other front-benchers;
- Every member of the Greens in the last government.
Also, the bolder and braver who continue to take the tough decisions, who act to maintain this course of action as though we still have no choice but to continue to suffer under this bank-debt burden but who ease the political pressure on themselves by extending that burden to their kids and grandkids:
- Every member of the Fine Gael parliamentary party in the current government, including 'dissenter' Peter Mathews;
- Every member of the Labour parliamentary in the current government, including 'dissenter' Joan Burton;
- President Michael D Higgins, who signed the recent emergency P Notes-to-Sovereign Bonds enabling legislation.
ON THE OTHER HAND:
A selection of some of the fools who believe that Ireland could have acted differently, that Ireland could have done an Iceland and at the very least burden-shared with the institutional financial gamblers whose billions had caused the boom/burst in Ireland:
Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize recipient for Economics;
Professor Paul Krugman, another Nobel Prize-winner, in Economics again;
Ashoka Mody, former IMF chief-of-mission to Ireland;
Dr Constantin Gurdgiev, future Nobel Economics Prize-winner, now one of our own and operating from UCD and Trinity;
Barry Ritholtz, named as one of the 15 ‘Most Important Economic Journalists’; in the US in 2010, a trader and financial strategist, one of the few who saw the coming housing implosion and derivative mess in America far in advance.
Namawinelake (if you don’t know, you need to educate yourself, and fast!);
David McWilliams, one of the few who warned about the rapidly inflating property bubble here and predicted the burst, and this from his blog of over two years ago;
Colm McCarthy, economist and author of the McCarthy Report, has written a series of scathing articles (hardly seen as a champion of popular causes!);
Even the IMF itself has been highlighting the success of the Iceland model, as has Bloomberg, that well known leftist disseminator of news.
And there are more, many more.
Alright, I didn’t go very deep into the list of those in the first group because indeed there are also supporters of the actions of the government. They are:
A host of banks – this is a link to a partial list, produced a few years ago and showing the bondholders in the then Anglo Irish Bank.
And of course we can’t forget the cheerleaders, those on the sidelines who have been spreading the government message over and over again – ‘There was no alternative… we have no choice… we’re all to blame… the ATMs will shut down… the Guards and Nurses and Teachers won’t be paid…’; on and on it goes, ad nauseum, from our national broadcaster, from most of its main presenters, from the political spin-doctors masquerading as independent commentators in some of our major newspapers.
So who do you choose to believe? Because you have a choice.
I have a few to add to the second list also:
Ballyhea says NO! to BANK DEBT
Charleville says NO! to BANK DEBT
Fermoy says NO! to BANK DEBT.
Those are three of the originals but now we are joined by so many more. Add the name of your home place to this list. The ECB is presented as being invincible, omnipotent. It is not, they are not. The ECB was formed and made by us, the people, through the EU; any power it has was granted by us, the people. To paraphrase the great French thinker Blaise Pascal, Justice without Power is impotent - that's the EU at the moment; Power without Justice is tyranny - that's the ECB. Ultimately, however, it is still our power; it's time we took it back.
On the bonds front, bad day for Bank Of Ireland, isn’t it? Have a look below, a half-billion pounds sterling, a bond taken out seven years ago and maturing today. Makes the other Bank Of Ireland bond look pretty measly, doesn’t it?
Then you go to Irish Life & Permanent, which we now own lock, stock and bonds. €1.25bn bond due today but would someone please explain – if you issue a bond to yourself to cover a temporary lack of funds, as was the case here when this bond was issued three years ago, how do you make good on that bond? Where does that money come from? Just a thought.