Monday, 8 March 2010

Brian Lenihan and Nama don't impress the dragon, then.

Did you ever see that programme, “The Dragons’ Den”? The Irish one?  It’s awful.

Four follically challenged males, all with faces displaying varying degrees of po, and one very stern looking looking female – all considered successful entrepreneurs – sit in chairs and judge the business ideas of masochistic hopefuls who stand quivering before them.

The programme starts with the five strutting purposefully – or pompously – along the docks, I think. All look very satisfied with themselves, in a grim, po-faced way. I think people who look at RTE think of them as celebrities.

One – I can’t remember his name – just sits there with a permanent scowl on his face and once had a pop at a guy who was trying to flog locks of ginger “leprechaun hair” in sachets, on the basis that he was making a laughing stock out of Ireland, or some such. Obviously, this dragon has never been inside a Carroll’s souvenir shop. Or the Dail.

Another one, Bobby Kerr, is co-owner of a coffee shop chain and is probably the least po-faced.  He even seems capable of smiling and saying something nice now and again.  Mind you, I did only look at the show twice (the second time to confirm it was as bad as I thought it was the first time), but that’s the impression I got with that brief exposure.

Anyway, it seems that Bobby would send Brian Lenihan packing if the finance minister were to appear in front of the dragons trying to flout his Nama project.    “It’s too complicated”, he is on record as saying in a Newstalk 106-108 FM interview with presenter Claire Byrne, “it’s costing the taxpayer millions. It was forced on us as a kind of ‘the only alternative’… I personally don’t think there as enough debate around the alternatives”.

Quite.  I certainly do not remember that we, the taxpayers, were ever given the opportunity to collectively say “I’m out!” to Nama.

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Anonymous said...

GUDAY GM you must not be too hard on these first generation jump up chancers its tough being masters of the universe for the first time ever and you know running a sanwich shop requires a global perpective, and as mary coughlan said on bbc most of the world is far worse than oirland thats why they look so grim. itsa grand softday here in the hills cheers

Anna said...

Lest we forget…it wasn’t just Anglo Irish
”Forget Nationwide”- from Irish Examiner 8th March 2010)

”RECENT media comment suggests Irish Nationwide may now require up to €2bn extra capital. Injecting money we don’t have into an institution we don’t need makes no sense.
THE IDEA THAT A MUTUAL (RUN FOR THE BENEFIT OF MEMBERS) could actually be run by a select few for a select few, RESULTING IN MORE THAN 80% OF ITS LOANS BEING PLACED INTO NAMA,( my caps.) raises a lot of questions which I hope will be pursued with vigour by the authorities. In the interim, why not put the €2bn into a new development bank. It should be possible to match this with at least €4bn of borrowings in the markets, making it a €6bn fund with 33% capital ratio.
Standard & Poor’s estimates lending to non-property companies in Ireland totals €50bn. This money would increase lending by an extra 12% into the SME and general corporate sector. It would make a huge difference. Even if it only lent the €2bn, it would be a start.Let’s be frank, the state is unlikely to get back any of the €2bn injected into Irish Nationwide. Even if the state used the €2bn to lend to companies and never got a penny back (most unlikely), it would still be no worse off than ploughing it into a dead bank. It’s not too late for this debate to take place. But it needs to happen now.”
John Finn

Only last week either BOI or AIB or both? were asking for a few BILLION more – but not for ordinary lenders as it seems o household mortgage rates may go UP.
Also it was announced the Peasants bank* (*Postbank- a great bank for those on benefits, elderly, low income etc will close in Dec 2010- despite having around 400 million in deposits. Postbank- by virtue of the Post office network had a huge no of branches close to the Poorest Irish people with no transport- who saw the mainstream Irish banks close in many towns in the 90’s and 00’s.( see a searing article by FOT in last weeks IT- who said Postbank was a very necessary bank)
Didn’t Brian Lenihan say many noble things about no letting our- much needed - Developers Casino banks close….it was never really was explained to us Simple peasants – WHY EVER NOT? Somehow Postbank – which didn’t throw away billions of € to greedy developers Will be allowed to close. I had opened a small a/c with PB in August- not my main a/c,( I am with Nat Irish, which since it’s acquisition by Danske bank , has been reasonably well behaved) but I was going to make it that, to support ethical banking.
No probs, NI still has little peoples banks( Co Operative Society Bank & UK Postbank). I will now deposit my savings there, thereby starving this country of more cash, many 100’s of my dosh, but what can you do?
Where Would You Get It? Ireland- the only 21st century European country to return its people to serfdom.

Anna said...

Here’s a quote from the IT on Monday 1st March: “Postbank has deposits of €450 million and 170,000 customers. It has 70,000 savings and 35,000 current accounts, 90,000 insurance policy holders and 10,000 credit-card customers. It does what banks used to do – provide financial services for ordinary people in their own communities. Because it operates through a thousand post offices, it is particularly important in towns, villages and working-class urban areas that have long since been abandoned by the main banks. More importantly, in any sane approach to the banking collapse, Postbank would have been an important part of a new strategy of creating sensible, community-based banks for individuals and small businesses.”
Don’t forget..our aging population means we have a pensions time bomb- in 20-30 yrs, there will be a big state pension bill, & a lot less young working people- And many retired will be poor-as many working class people don’t have private pensions. Granted at some stage maybe compulsory pensions ( like Australia has) may come in. But in the mean time any sane government would want to encourage it’s poorest people to save- with a handy community bank. Such as Postbank. A little people’s bank that’s been around for about 40 yrs( well in the UK anyway , not sure about here) . You are right- we are going backwards.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Mr BH. You are right. It takes a brilliant business brain to come up with an innovative idea like a coffee shop chain. It's the stuff that made Ireland the envy of the world!

@ Anna. Yes, that F.O'T article laid bare where our leaders' priorities lie... the Golden Circle, as ever.

You are right, there does not seem to be anything like a community bank here. I suppose the Credit Unions are the nearest thing, in a community sense - but they are geared towards borrowing rather than saving.

Anonymous said...

That dragons den effort is awful. Irish TV cant even seem to do a good interpretation of popular UK television. Even Irish comedians come across as purile and personify the nastier elements in UK comedy.

Anyway, about dragons, yeah pompous seems appropriate. Why is it they come across as been completely up themselves on the Irish dragons den? Its a sad fact of the celtic tiger years that mediocrity is seen as something else. Once it has the Irish label then it must be something worthwile. Its not. It maybe crap on BBC but it translates very badly here! Dont like to mention the war but the entrepreneurel spirt which inspired the original programme in the UK, is non existant in Ireland, (suppose it always was) the magical stimulus which was in abundance of late, namely cash, is gone. Not to mention the overall lack of a banking system, and the vilification of anyone with even the slightest hint of an inquiring scientific mind (its an invention and pioneering black hole). Its also unfortunate that the best sales men or women (though of course not all, there are some good sales types in Ireland) are not always the most savoury characters in Ireland.

Unfortunately its a cheap imitation of UK TV. As always.