Irish journalist humiliates EuroBank technocrat who won't stop ducking hard questions

In this video from a European Central Bank press-conference in Ireland, journalist Vincent Browne demands that the ECB representative explain why the ECB required the Irish people to bail out a bank's uninsured creditors. The bureaucrat mouths bland reassurances, then asserts (despite all appearances to the contrary) that the question has been resolved. Browne doesn't let up. It's quite a stirring spectacle.

Vincent Browne v The ECB (Thanks, Lord Humongous!)


  1. All credit to the journalist. The failure to answer the question shows that there is a huge gap between those in making the decisions and those who pay the price. It’s not unlike European wars which are typically started by venial self-serving governments, prosecuted by corrupt and stupid generals, and fought by ignorant peasants who get slaughtered for no very good reason. We can see the whole history of Europe in this little vignette.  

    1. Europeans wars… how about ALL wars.
      We can see the whole history of the world in this little vignette.

  2. The smug little smile on the bankers face a the end displeases me. I’ts a shame that more hard questions like this aren’t being asked- perhaps if the media weren’t part of large conglomerates then maybe they would be.

    1. This is at the rotten core of corporatism: The handful of corporations that control the system own most of the media, except for the parts of internet. There, people can actually talk back. SOPA–or a bill like it–should take that away nicely.

      1. This is why I always refer to “the media” as “the corporate media.”

        There is a bit out there, though, that’s off the Internet and not corporate owned and also good, Democracy Now! being a prime example.

  3. @Zoll, so right.  There are no consequences for this man, he has avoided the question and now he can go about his life as he did before.

  4. My god–a journalist who hasn’t forgotten that when mealy-mouthed non-answers are provided to serious questions, it is a journalistic imperative to ask direct follow-up questions in an attempt to get a straight answer to the question, and if again not provided, to point that fact out.

    Heavens! You’d think this one journalist would know that when central banksters or the reps of multinat corps and their political servant class offer up their Orwellian verbal mumbo-jumbo to obscure and feebly try to mitigate the issues and obvious questions their words and actions raise, that he should simply take them at their word, and be a nice, polite stenographer!

    We all know one should never question authority, no matter how lame, corrupt, and destructive, just to get an answer to a legitimate question! It just isn’t done in mainstream journalistic circles…enough, that is.

    Vincent Browne is to be congratulated in showing clearly just how deceptive central bankster reps can be when orchestrating the theft of billions from Irish taxpayers under cover of the EU central bank. Such ripoffs are just sanctioned fraud–somebody ought to question that, or maybe fight it, and I’m glad Browne had the guts and journalistic integrity to do so. Why aren’t more MSM journalists investigating and asking the tough questions?

    Maybe it has to do with how media in the U.S. is essentially owned and manipulated by multinational corporations, Wall Street , and their subservient, bribed,  politician class-mates.

  5. And now for the European democratic deficit crisis! The ECB has a price-stability anti-inflationary remit to which everything else is subservient. Bland technocrats are paid to be exactly that. Their political paymasters can claim no responsibility. The ECB is an independent body established by treaty. Nice one!

  6. Its good he s asking “controversial” questions, but the answer to this one is just too easy to even explain… Why does ireland have to pay? Well despite the fact that the country is also broke as hell and that it has received major financial help itself, that doesnt save it from its responsibilities to the other EU countries. The german and french also paid billions to aide the greek economy. We didnt like it either but a community thrives and suffers together.

    1. Ireland is only broke and in need of  “financial help” because it has guaranteed to cover the insanely irresponsible behaviour of its private banks, largely to the benefit of a small elite inside Ireland and around Europe.

      The blame for this idiocy can be spread around but since we are discussing Irish journalists we can start with David McWilliams putting the crazy idea into the drug addled brain of the Minister for Finance.

      I told him he simply had to guarantee everything for a limited period to make sure that an illiquid dilemma didn’t lead to an insolvency catastrophe.

    2. I think there is some truth to your answer, but even so why does the spokesperson keep dodging the question when it is asked. I would have accepted that answer, or any other answer, if it was offered. 

    3. Ireland too paid towards the Greek bailout. As of 2007, before the international crisis broke, Ireland had a debt to gdp ratio of 27%. Now it has surpassed 100% because the Irish government was strong-armed into propping up rouge banks. The debt in Greece was sovereign debt accumulated by government overspending. Much of the debt in Ireland is due to paying out on private unsecurred bonds from the tax payers pocket.

    4. Ireland didn’t have a responsibility to pay the private debts. Ireland’s government elected to do so because senior elected members from Fianna Fail were in bed with the real estate developers whom owed the debts. 

      In the larger sense, German banks dug their own grave by financing shaky foreign deals they wouldn’t have been allowed to close at home. Now that their risky loans have gone bad, these same banks are using the ECB to twist arms to make them good… no matter the cost to the other EU states. 

      Privatize the profits, socialize the loses: it’s not just for the United States, any longer.

  7. @peterblue11:disqus , these are *uninsured* creditors. They are basically the French and German banks that took a gamble and lost. We, the people of Ireland, now have to pay for that gamble? I don’t freaking think so. If that’s the case, I want all the money that I lost in the stock market over the past 10 years back please. 

    1. You didn’t have nearly enough money for that (to risk and “lose” in a single year of trades, I mean) to qualify for that. 

      The old adage that “money attracts money” is realized in a perverted manner.

      Any questions as to why the rich (and corrupt, and connected) get richer (and more irresponsible, and amoral) while the poor, the unconnected and the honest don’t?

  8. The tone of the voices of the ECB representatives shows what every average person should know…

    The corporatists despise you, have zero respect for you and you are nothing more than cattle to them.  They will send you to wars to die for their monetary gain.  They will strip you of human dignity for a nickel.  They will lie to you to get you to believe lies that kill your neighbor’s family members.  They consider you nothing more than produce to suck dry for their gain.

    They just hope we continue to be too fucking stupid to resist their BULLSHIT authority.

    Meanwhile, let’s keep our angst focused on welfare for the poor, immigrants, horrible people who pirate Bill Maher’s movies and “the gays”… right, Americans?

    Nevermind the demons behind the curtain.  Sleeeep…. sleeeeeeep……. sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

    For those that can still see…

    For your country and for the world.

  9. “The german and french also paid billions to aide the greek economy. We didnt like it either but a community thrives and suffers together.”

    Let us not get confused about who is thriving.  This has nothing to do with the French Irish German or Greek people.  This is about a bunch of high rolling gamblers making bad bets.  When they lost their bets, they went to the state and asked the states to guarantee that the tax payer would cover their loses.   Everybody loses except the gamblers.  The gamblers are now quite unable to lose so making risky bets is 100% upside.

    In a sane world we’d let them lose everything, and start over with a lower debt profile.  If we needed banks to ensure liquidity, we could easily have used the billions of tax-payer dollars we are currently paying, backing useful institutions, instead of bailing out gamblers.  Then we would have had liquidity, a return to solvency for the financial instituions we need and the people who were gambling would actually see the downsides of their risky betting.

    Let’s not pretend that any of the actual policies have to do with national interests.  They are the interests of the ultra rich.

    1. Say what you will about the ideological makeup of some Occupy demonstrators. But if you want to summarize on Why is there a protest movement?, your comment does it. Incompetent or immoral people in the financial sector who should have faced ruin, not just financial but including some jail time and contemplating suicide, did not, and were rewarded. 

      Even the dumbest machine operator or bureaucrat can tell you what happens if they break machinery or lose/leak data: they might get fired and their careers ended, they can become liable for more money than they can pay. Add negligence or malice of any kind, and it really hits the fan for them. Not so with the people who did in the economy and many banks through incompetence and dishonesty. What’s missing?

      Yeah, institutions could be bailed out; but those responsible for the crash should have been tossed overboard and to the sharks as a previous condition for bailout.

  10. The talking heads that pass for journalists here in North America should be strapped into their chairs and forced to watch this, to see what a real journalist does. Namely, ask cogent, pointed questions and don’t let the bastards off the hook when they try to weasel out of it with bland, circuitous non-answers that completely ignore the question as asked. Our depressingly infantile “news” makes you wonder what came first: the shaved-to-a-soundbite, “whatever fits in a buck and a half” news cycle, or the mealy-mouthed, say-nothing politician who fully exploits such an attention-deficit format.

    1. I agree, but then, they know that if they did that, they’d never be allowed by the interviewees to do another high-profile interview. They’d lose their seat in the WH Briefing Room, and people would refuse to call on them when they raise their hands at pressers. 

      Their employers would also muzzle them, or even fire them, e.g., Cenk Uygur– 

      It’s the corporatized, profit-driven “news” industry that’s at fault, more than the individuals working in it (though the latter could certainly find better things to do with their lives and talents, if they weren’t so money hungry).

      1. Your point is valid, and well-taken. To me, nothing demonstrates the power that money (ie. advertisers) wields over the news media better than what happened to the CBC’s flagship news program ‘The National’ when they decided they needed to start including advertising in the broadcast. Since the program’s inception, there was no advertising. Their stories were longer and more in-depth than any other network’s. Then, sometime back in the 90’s, they introduced ads during the ‘cast and – what do you know? – overnight their stories dropped in length from 3-4 minutes apiece to the (now) standard 1:30-1:45.

    2. Hell, to even get within sight of that goal they would have to learn something about the subjects that wasn’t whatever soundbites they could scrape out of their hungover recollections of the sunday-morning pez dispensers droning from the servants quarters.

  11. The answer to the question is that the directors of the ECB are far more loyal to those who crashed the economic system as individuals than it is to the masses of people it is milking. The bankers have become parasites, converting what is essentially a utility into a gambling parlor in which the gamblers get to keep their wins, and has the ECB to guarantee their losses by demanding that the citizenry of Europe in general and Ireland in particular pony up huge amounts of money under threat of letting the economy collapse completely.

  12. Never make a decision whose drawbacks you are unwilling to publicly own up to. It’s the hallmark of a bad decision.

    1. ‘Go where the rich and the powerful are,’ I’d tell him, ‘and learn their ways. They can be flattered and they can be scared. Please them enormously or scare them enormously, and one moonless night they will put their fingers to their lips, warning you not to make a sound. And they will lead you through the dark ot the widest, deepest river of wealth ever known to man. You’ll be shown your place on the riverbank, and handed a bucket all your own. Slurp as much as you want, but try to keep the racket of your slurping down. A poor man might hear.'”

      – Vonnegut

  13. I like how the panel tried to isolate his question and move on before answering it, clearly knowing that there was either no answer, or garbled spin that would require a rebuttal.  They knew in advance they wouldn’t answer it – and didn’t.

    I respect the journalist for actually pushing the issue, but unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have gotten anything out of it.

    1. Oh, I wouldn’t say he got nothing out of it.

      We get to see, in living colour, how democratic accountability is a fable and a bedtime story for children to make them sleep easier. And nothing more.

  14. hi, i know many think the answer inadequate. i think if the ecb official has been more quick witted he might be able to answer it by saying do u remember ireland’s banking crisis not long ago? u were happy to receive loans from the other eu countries. some one like you in greece might have asked why they are have to pay to prop up irish banks when they have nothing to do with it. if u can answer them u will have answered your question.

    then he might have added… we must all hang together, or as surely as the day is long, we shall all hang separately.

    1. we must all hang together, or as surely as the day is long, we shall all hang separately.

      Yeah, right! 

      Such shite. 

      As if the One Percent are currently “hanging” with the rest of us.

    2. For the last time, these were *uninsured* loans that French, German and British banks made of their own free will. If you choose to engage in such trade, you ought to be liable to reap the losses as well as the benefits. The Irish people are being forced to underwrite the bad loans of foreign banks. There is no Troika bailout of Ireland; the only ones being bailed out are the banks. If you are so ignorant of the situation in Ireland, I suggest you refrain from posting such idiotic comments.

    3. Yeah, I don’t think the correct course of action is to turn around and give Ireland a mega burn at a press conference either. That’s the presumption against representatives of a central bank saying anything that would be followed with “… suck it, bitch” in playground trash talk.

    4. creatingmylife – I can answer that, by taking a closer look at what actually happened in the Irish banking crisis and showing that it’s for the purpose of saving european banks that we get those loans.  The crude basics are that our economy overheated due to a housing bubble and was then hit by the global/American-led financial crisis, which had a very negative impact on most Irish banks, most of whose loan books were shot, hence a massive liquidity crisis.  A logical response would be to analyse the banks, shore up the ones feasible to save, let the market run its course and see the worst performing institutions collapse,  excercising a degree of control by guaranteeing a limited amount of debt/deposits/bonds under certain circumstances. 

      But lots of French and German banks had speculated on the markets and invested money in these institutions, so letting them collapse would in turn cause a chain reaction of liquidity crisis in some European banks. Therefore, to save the continental banks, Europe made our government take on this private corporate bank debt as public/national taxpayer debt.   We had to give an unlimited guarantee on all the unsecured bonds belonging to the banks.  We were forced by Europe to take on billions of euro in private, corporate debt as part of our national debt. The loans we are getting are because taking on the private bank debt has increased our national government debt to the point that nobody wanted to lend to us as a country. We’re bailing out European banks, yet it’s sold as Europe bailing out Ireland.  The ECB is lending to us so we can pay the formerly private, non-state-affiliated debt to the would-have-collapsed-private Irish banks to pay back to their European investors, the investment banks who bought bonds on the open market knowing full well the risks of their exposure. Ridiculous is not the word.   

      1. hi t.spills
        thanks for the explanation. when i read it i thought so that is what it is all about. then i read a link of one of the comments asking who is that woman with the microphone and gave a link. she is barbara nolan, but in that link there was this article
        and this quote
        the idea the EU-IMF programme was put in place to “save” German banks, while convenient, is far too simplistic. Most of the money being loaned to Ireland is to cover the day-to-day costs of running the State. Without this financing, the country would have no option but to immediately close the gap between spending and revenue. This would imply austerity on a draconian level.
        The financing gives the Government the time and space to gradually reduce its budget deficit to a sustainable level.
        If the programme were truly to rescue the German banks, why not keep the funds in Germany and directly inject them into that country’s financial institutions? Why risk lending money to Ireland? Why also lend money to Portugal and Greece?
        While lending by foreign banks certainly played a role in the Irish boom, let’s remember that the rise in personal indebtedness here from 2001 to 2007 vastly outstripped what was happening in neighbouring countries.
        Worse, ballooning Irish government expenditure fuelled the boom and taxes became heavily dependent on property.
        Prudent fiscal management in these years would not have left the country so vulnerable to the crash. This, combined with a failure to properly supervise the Irish banks, is the root cause of Ireland’s problems today.

        stephen rice, what u said made me realise that maybe the ecb official was being very tactful and not said what i suggested he might say. haha. it wont do for him to rub irish nose in it, when he was there to butter them up. better to let them all go home thinking they have scored points over him.

        1. The Bailout was derrived from three sources, the National Pension Reserve Fund, the EFSF, and the IMF. 50 billion was earmarked for public expenditure to cover the fact that tax revenues had collapses due to a contracting economy and the nature of the narrow tax base. 35 billion was ear marked for the banking crisis. 

          Now let’s be clear, Ireland before hand had already assumed the liabilities of the banks and this propelled Ireland out of the bond markets. Who insisted that Ireland insure no bank should fail? Brian Lenihan, the former minister for finance intimated in the documentary Freefall, that the call came for the ECB, as to have let a bank such as Anglo go would have tipped mainland finical institutions into turmoil.

          So Ireland took the hit for the lousy investment decisions of these institutions and now we are being bled. If we hadn’t have assumed the liabilities of the banks we could have stayed in the markets and there would have been no need for a ‘bailout’.

  15. In the near future, the relevant question will not be why does Ireland have to pay, but why does Ireland have to pay their full debt while Greece, then Portugal, then Italy are given 50% debt relief or more by ECB/Eurozone agreement. The Irish will certainly renegotiate when that happens, and rightly so.

  16. Thanks for the patronsing tone Klaus. Just as war is god’s way of teaching Americans geography, the financial crisis of 2008 was the god’s way of teaching the Irish fundamental economics. It was a crash course, literally. The Irish are now very savvy about the shenanigans of the financial elite. From believing they had the mythical Midas touch to the deep resentment and suspicion of their banking paymasters they have today has been quiet a journey. The Irish – you can’t kid a kidder. That’s why this Irish journalist is the only one in europe asking those “difficult” questions.

  17. I’d say that to be “humiliated” the banker would need to be capable of feeling shame. His smug grin and his giving blatant non-answers, which are accepted as answers by the moderator to his right, show that he really doesn’t give a damn about these questions.

    Kudos to the journalist for asking the right questions, but it would take truth serum and a team of horses to get a straight answer from this guy. Giving money to UNSECURED/UNINSURED creditors is an unheard of practice. It just isn’t done.  It isn’t that this is an uncommon business practice, it is an UNHEARD of business practice.

    If you or I were an unsecured/uninsured creditor in the same situation? We’d not get a dime. That isn’t cruelty or someone taking advantage of us, that is the way the system works. That the Irish are paying BILLIONS? Looks like someone has found a way to use the Irish to eliminate financial risk in bad investments…

  18. The poor guy, he’s embarrassed to answer. Let me help him out.

    You’ll pay because if our wealthy share-holders loose money on this issue, they will certainly make you suffer elsewhere. You’ll pay in the end because we have you by the balls.

  19. It was the 99% who benefitted from the HUGE EU payments to fund infrastructure development, roads, hospitals and all the other things Ireland had previously dreamed of.
    It was the 99% who voted for Irish governments that gave huge tax incentives to large corporations like Microsoft and Apple to base their Euro opoerations there – depriving the Irish Government of tax revenues – and supported corporation tax avoidance.
    It was the 99% who took out massive small-business loans to expand their businesses to cash in on the ‘Celtic Tiger’ – in spite of being unable to pay them back.
    It was the 99% who took out mortgages on properties they knew were overpriced – and knowing their incomes couldn’t allow the mortgages to be paid off in the event of price adjustment in a recession.
    The leftist majority on BB may like to paint the 1% as the sole evil villain…but the 99% have to grow up and accept some responsibility too.

    1. …and it was the banks that made the loans. It takes two to tango. People should repay there debts but sometimes they don’t and as a lender you have to practice prudent risk management to take into account this scenario. If you don’t then when your borrowers don’t pay you, you go bust and the magic of  Schumpeter’s creative destruction takes place and a competitor you can manage risk takes your place. If you’re vaguely conservative or right leaning you should be more outraged than the pinko commies of BB due to the ridiculous subversion of the functioning of a market by the state. Propping up badly run banks and not punishing them for bad decisions. When I say punishment I don’t even mean jail, I mean letting them go bankrupt. The borrower has already been punished by the fact that they can’t repay their loan and whatever scheme they intended to fund has collapsed.

      And that’s even before we get to the fact that these are *unsecured* bonds which by there very nature are unsecured. The fact that anyone is even considering paying these off is mind boggling. Although I think the bank guarantee is dodgy if you’re going to do it you should at least obey the industry standards of seniority which is of course that unsecured bond holders can GTFO.

      And that’s before we get the fact that these a private debts incurred by a private, profit making institution which now doesn’t exist. Repeat after me THIS IS NOT SOVEREIGN DEBT. These are not debts incurred by the Irish state spent on airports or pork barrel or inflated salaries. 

      1. …”vaguely conservative or right leaning” versus the “pinko commies of BB”.  We may have lost irony, but rhetoric will live forever!

    2. And it was the bankers who ignored their fiduciary obligation to ensure that the debts incurred were reasonable, and the 99% had no part in the incredibly risky derivative market that tanked the economy when the bad loans given by those who ignored their responsibility to try and make a fast buck failed. To say that those who took out shaky loans hold equal responsibility with those whose primary task is to ensure loans issued are sound, who knew the loans were iffy and issued them anyway,  is ludicrous. And there is the small point that all of us who did not take out bad loans or purchase mortgage derivatives are being forced to pay back the bankers gambling debt.

    3. There is no such thing as steady state capitalism. It was the responsibility of the professionals to limit the highs in order to limit the lows. That’s not quite what they did, is it? If my doctor misleads me I suppose that is my responsibility, too.
      In the UK at least there is a bewildering array of financial products deliberately designed to bamboozle.

    4. Bullshit.

      The bailout wasn’t for bad loans – the total defaults could have been wiped clean for a tiny fraction of the TARP, much less the Fed loans.

      The bailout was of the magic beans they recursively leveraged out of lies and smirks and ignorance, and called “derivatives” so that gullible douchebags would pretend that they had created wealth from fairy glamour.

      Don’t fret though. There’s $707 Trillion in more bullshit out there for you to ladle from if you’re feeling peckish. 

    5. True*,  it is definitely true that the common man lost the run of himself while the going was good. Crass materialism was prevalent and tiresome during the boom years, quite a few made a quick buck and far too many tried to follow suit.  I would lay a little of the responsibility for some people’s situations on bad financial advice that didn’t clearly outline the risks involved and loan applications that should never have made it past the waste paper basket, due to poor regulation of the financial services industry – but you’re still right. It’s absolutely right that people have to reap what they sow and accept responsibility for their own actions.

      However it’s a bit beside the point, which is that they shouldn’t have to accept responsibility for the actions of merchant banks which had absolutely nothing to do with them, which is where the bulk of the problem lies.

      *(except for the bit about supporting corporation tax avoidance and depriving the government of revenue – it was actually a sensible government strategy to attract foreign investment and boost employment, from which both the companies and the country have reaped great benefit. Everyone’s happy – oh yeah, except the other european countries who followed a different  tax strategy and are disgruntled at our perceived unfair advantage, even though there was nothing to stop them implementing similar strategies themselves.)

  20. It would have been nice if the same sorts of hard questions had been asked on the way “up” (when Ireland was living high on the hog on borrowed cash) as this piece shows they are on the way “down”.  I’m sure someone was asking those questions.  Reasonably sure.

  21. I think what the ECB weasel was admitting, albeit in coded language, is that the global economy is a giant confidence game, and anything that threatens the con needs to be dealt with.

    1. Because socialism per se isn’t “bad”. Free market capitalism doesn’t work. “Really existing socialism” doesn’t work either. If you are making toothpaste or automobiles capitalism works as long as you regulate it so that, you know, the company’s products don’t kill people. On the other hand truly socialist nations just could not make a functional car, or enough toothpaste.

      Margarete Thatcher is famous for saying “there is no such thing as society”. Which is of course wrong. Which is why you can’t let the banks fail. Because there really is a society and if they fell it really would bring down everything else.

      The reason the 1% want you to pay for their casino market is because you let them. Not only do you let them, you BEG them to “please please please take all my money because some day I could be rich like you”. I mean, you don’t really think *they* believe in the nonsense on stilts that passes for conservative economics do you? 

      And as long as people will come out in the thousands to protest “Keep yer gubbment hands offa mah Medicare!” the 1% will keep doing what they’ve always done. Why wouldn’t they?

  22. gave we ladee a proper spankin’

    its a shame this isn’t more common amoung journalists – they used to atleast try and ensure the world’s honesty…

  23. Oh, BS. He did answer the question. Namely, it was decided to throw money at the banking system to keep it operating, and this is just an instance. The fact that the particular instance doesn’t directly benefit Ireland isn’t some kind of eye-opening revelation and isn’t what’s wrong with what was done.

    What’s *actually* wrong, is that the system was allowed to come to this pass, and that it hasn’t been meaningfully reformed so that it won’t happen again. That’s what the journalist should be hammering on, not the mundane details of patching things back to the way they were.

  24. I’m annoyed by the women moving proceedings on and trying to protect the guy. She is a total arse and her face after the first question says it all.(whisper, whisper,)
    I’ve seen this before in many areas of life where somebody uses protocol or procedures to say questions can’t be asked or asked in a way that is difficult or awkward.
    We know they are bastards, they know that we know they are bastards but it’s a right old game to get them to look like bastards by catching them doing it.

  25. Apparently the word “Union” is difficult to understand. Ireland is a part of the EU so it is in their interest that the entire EU not fail. The real problem is that Germany has engaged in predatory behavior with the rest of the EU just like in the US Texas has been predatory with other states. That is why in the US Texas has gained jobs. Not because they created new jobs, but because they simply shifted from blues states to red states. The same type of behavior is going on in the EU.

    So what is needed is mo better financial union, not less.

    1. The question is what would be required for more better union?  Is bending to predatory banking behaviour of the German and UK banks the right way around.
      There can only be a better financial union if the people making the decisions have the same outcomes as the populations.  These ECB characters have no accountability and win by screwing the populations.

      Ireland should use it’s position to threaten a collapse of the entire EU unless the bond holders are completely wiped out.  This need not be a threat of the financial system as everyone is owing everyone else in the EU.  The entire thing can be carefully reflated if they so desire.  The problem is that this means eliminating the enormous wealth of gamblers.  Something they are quite unwilling to do.  Therefore they must be forced to do it properly, or it will not happen.

      1. “Is bending to predatory banking behaviour of the German and UK banks the right way around.” — If someone puts a gun to your head the right response is not to force him to pull the trigger. Even if it makes you feel (briefly) better.

        “The entire thing can be carefully reflated if they so desire.” I’d be in favor of that but one problem is that people are woefully misinformed about basic economics and you can’t make the right choices if you have the wrong economic model.

        1. “If someone puts a gun to your head the right response is not to force him to pull the trigger. Even if it makes you feel (briefly) better.”

          It’s not like that at all.  It’s much closer to wearing a dynamite vest.  If Ireland explodes the entire EU will go down, so there is a credible threat.  In any case, they’re going to gut the Irish tax-payer regardless, so it’s more like threatening to blow the whole EU if they don’t take the gun away from our heads.

          As for “wrong economic model” I don’t see where that enters into it at all.  They have an economic model where the rich win and everyone else loses.  It’s a model fit for purpose, it’s just not fit for the purpose of the majority of us.

    2. How is Texas engaging in predatory behavior? Is it because we didn’t hyper inflate our real estate marked and didn’t participate in the collapse? Is it because we attract more business in to our state every year? Is it because we do not have a state income tax? What you see a predatory, I see as  good reason for living here.

      1. “How is Texas engaging in predatory behavior?” — I just picked Texas as an example. In general the red states are predatory towards the blue states. They are on “state welfare”, they receive more back from the fed gov than they put it. We in blues states are carrying your ass because the people in red states are kept ignorant (education is abysmal), and poor (income inequalities are highest there) by rampant racism and religious fervor.

        “Is it because we attract more business in to our state every year?” — Moving jobs from one part of the US to another is not creating jobs. Not caring for your poor means the rest of us have to pick up the tab. Red states are run in an authoritarian manner which is why in some there is no longer even any democratic opposition. In some red states entire towns have had their elected officials dismissed and the GOP has installed unelected corporate czars to rule over them as a dictator. I call that predatory.

  26. He did answer the question – he said that the cost of not throwing money at a failed, defunct bank would have been even higher – is that true and/or accurate?

  27. The sad truth is that the Irish people have been horribly let down by their political class, who have sold Irish independence for a mess of potage. They will now be bummed to the extent that the ECB wishes to bum them. 

    That whirring sound? Michael Collins.

  28. The Irish people are being bailed out of nothing.
    They are being dropped in the shit.
    My question is; why do they not react to the EU as they did against what they saw as British oppression? Were they simply Irish bigots driven by hate of the English or have they lost their bottle.
    Perhaps it is because they do not have the backing of the Irish government on this one.

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