Monday 26 November 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN w/e Dec 2nd 2012

There was a book published recently, The Big Lie by Gene Kerrigan, that I would recommend with all my heart to anyone who would like to learn, in layman's terms, what has befallen us all in the past few decades. If you can't afford to buy it, order it at your local library; if you want to know the truth, it's in there.

I would recommend it particularly to anyone in a decision-making position in this country, to any and all of our politicians, to our union leadership, to our media kings and queens.

All those politicians in the Fianna Fáil and Green Parties who voted to accept the Troika terms in the Memorandum Of Enslavement of Nov 2010 betrayed their own people; all those in the Fine Gael and Labour Parties who now implement those terms as though they were their own have done likewise.

Be under no illusion; though it's titled a Memorandum Of Understanding, read The Big Lie and you'll understand that a Memorandum Of Enslavement is what it is. 

Debt slaves, that's what we've become under those terms, paying off billions in loans we as a people never took out, loans from which we as a people never benefited.

Debt slavery, that's what we will endure for decades, generation after generation paying reparations for a war we never fought. In less than a century we have swapped subservience to one Empire for subservience to another. The ECB are our new Masters, our own government our new well-cushioned Overseers; what was once done from Dublin Castle is now done from Leinster House.

There is still time for our governing party politicians to turn this around, time for them to realise and repair their mistakes. Start by burning the Promissory Notes, all of them, reprint the money extorted from us by the ECB/EU, then give us governance for the people, not just for the priviliged.

For our union leaders, Saturday in Dublin was a start, that was all - late as it was. Now stay with it. A day of unified, general action, bring the country together and let the ECB know - we've had enough.

For our media, were it not for people like Gene Kerrigan I would have long lost almost all hope.

Sunday 18 November 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN w/e Nov 25th 2012

Next bond due, €2.6m senior unsecured from Anglo on Thursday, mere pocket change for any of their many highly-paid executives, though I have no doubt someplace like St Joseph's Foundation in Charleville would just love to have those few million, would do wonders with it.

Next day, Friday Nov 23rd, next bond, this one a bit more substantial. A cool €1bn, though again it will be paid by a financial institution we now own, EBS. Not that we ever wanted to own those banks and building societies, nor were we ever asked, not even consulted but so what - it's not as though we're living in a democracy.

Drop down through the list of this dozen (baker's dozen again this week, 13 bonds), check the two at the bottom, the truly terrible twins, $1.75bn each!

Have a look at the tables of totals; €3.7bn the next dozen, €20bn in total for this year, €17bn next year, than ask yourself how much we're borrowing to close the budget deficit in both of those years - it's less than what our banks are paying out in bonds.

Total the budget 'adjustments' for the four years 2012/13/14/15, it comes to €12.4bn; total the Promissory Note payments for those same four years and VOILA! - it too comes to €12.4bn. Then ask yourself, for whose benefit are we suffering those four years of austerity?

Check out what the oh-so-generous Troika is lending us under the Memo of Enslavement from Nov 2010, €67.5bn between the three of them, then look at what we've already been forced to plough into our banks, €69.6bn (including the rarely-mentioned NAMA €5.5bn contribution) and again, ask yourself - a bailout by who for who? A bailout for Ireland? God that ECB, such a sense of humour!

We've just completed our 90th week of protest in Ballyhea and Charleville against this ongoing lunacy, marching every week, sun or rain.  We'll be in Ballyhea again next Sunday, week 91; we'll also be in Dublin on Saturday for a 'gathering' of our own, those of us who are still on the island, meeting at the Garden of Remembrance at 1pm (we've been there so often in the last 90 weeks we feel we now have squatters' rights to the place). Sure we might see a few of ye there.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN w/e Nov 18th 2012

A bit of an anomaly this week, an extra bond included making it a baker's dozen, 13 bonds instead of the usual place. The reason? Well, look to the bottom of the list and see for yourselves, the terrible twins. Two bonds, the first two of the New Year, 2013 - our very own January bond-babies though in fact they're not newborn, they simply 'mature' on that date.

I've been asked many times to explain these bonds, all the types and terminology, the issue date, issue currency etc. I don't bother anymore. The world of bonds is an otherworld, confusing even to its own denizens; I'll not get sucked in there.

All we need to know is this, and let there be absolutely no confusion on it. After the launch of the euro and the subsequent access to easy and cheap money, private financial institutions across Europe and the wider world loaned hundreds of billions to private Irish financial institutions. In the early years, from 2000 to 2007, all those institutions made their own tens and hundreds of millions of euro in profit, billions even in some cases, every cent of which they kept for themselves.

All this time those tens of billions were fuelling a property bubble in Ireland but blinded by their greed the financial institutions - in Ireland and abroad - continued their reckless lending and borrowing. That bubble burst, the situation changed, profit became loss and as happens in the capitalist system under which all those deals were done, the lender banks would have to take their haircuts.

That is what SHOULD have happened but as we know now here, to our cost, that's not what actually happened. Those losses have been forced on us, the people. On any level you care to name, that's wrong - pure, simple.

To those who now tell us we MUST pay those bonds, that they are 'Covered', 'Government Liquid Guaranteed', that we are now legally obliged to pay them, I say - where were you when those debts were being imposed on us? Those private financial institutions all took their profits, every cent; they should likewise take their losses. If that debt could be imposed on us, it can be 'unimposed'.

Last Sunday was week 89 of our protest in Ballyhea and Charleville. 

There isn't an economist among us, nor does there need to be. We understand right from wrong and on an issue as fundamental as this, we don't need to understand anything more. We won't be intimidated, we won't be frightened by talk of financial Armageddon (we have Iceland to give the lie to that, at any rate). We have had enough of being blackmailed/strong-armed/bullied/threatened. That bank debt is not ours, was never ours, WILL never rightfully be ours.

Last Sunday we were joined by a group of women from Fenit, in Kerry; all of you will eventually come to understand this same simple unvarnished truth.

Monday 5 November 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN w/e Nov 11th 2012

Over and over again, ad nauseum even for myself, I've made the point in this blog that what this government is continuing to do in bailing out our banks isn't just morally wrong, it's lunacy, national financial suicide.

We know we're already in trouble, far bigger trouble than is officially admitted. Forget the 108% Gross Government Debt/Gross National Product number; the true ratio of Gross Government Debt (fast approaching €200bn when the exposure to NAMA and Anglo/INBS is factored in) to the far more relevant Gross National Product  (€129bn in 2011) is already off the scale.

Now, I beg you, have a look at TABLE 1 below, the amount of debt coming down the track over the next three years, and tell me this economy is going anywhere but to hell, without even the luxury of a basket.

We don't need Germany or France to tell us we're a 'special case' - patronising, shallow, hollow bullshit. We don't need 'improved' terms and conditions, this odious debt passed on to several future generations, annual reparations for a private war between private banks. We need debt write-off and we need it now, starting with the Promissory Notes but covering all so-called 'legacy' debt. Then, and only then, can we even begin to consider recovery.

88 weeks we've been marching in Ballyhea and in Charleville in protest at this organised madness; we'll continue marching til everyone else catches up with us.

3 YEAR DEBT SUMMARY (including bank bonds)
Examine the figures, apply to the existing national debt, tell me it's sustainable.