Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Irish bailout - it's not our fault!

There is something comforting about being back on familiar territory as the laughing stock of Europe. The world, even. Nearly like pulling on a pair of tatty old slippers.

After years of listening to the nonsense about the Irish economic miracle – obviously unsustainable – we are back in the ha’penny place, blaming everyone else for our ills as usual.

The current public sentiment in Ireland, possibly fostered by sections of the media and the blogosphere, would appear to be that it is all the fault of the Germans and the French. The Germans especially, as their banks “recklessly loaned” (David McWilliams on Today FM, 29th Nov) money to Irish banks.

This kind of logic is much the same as that emanating from the whinging Irish investors who were like flies around ordure at every apartment launch not that long ago, snapping units up off the plans – aided by Irish Government tax incentives. It is not Johnny and Mary’s fault: it is the banks' for loaning them all that money.

Now Johnny and Mary, along with Irish institutions, companies, builders and developers, cannot pay back those loans because they borrowed too much for their properties, which were overvalued by their own speculation, and are now in negative equity. They borrowed money they could never realistically pay back, for properties that were worth less than they are. So now they and the banks are bust... or would be but for the bailout and the money the ECB has already pumped into them.

Granted, the Irish banks – who were better appraised of the domestic economy than those in Berlin or Paris – were only too happy to loan recklessly.  But were John and Mary complaining as they got the go-ahead for their latest interest-only loan? No, they thought they were on the pig’s back. Now that they have fallen off, everyone else is at fault.

The games of denial and blame, of course, all add to the comedic element, and no doubt provide added mirth to those watching events from abroad.

But that’s what we’re good at.

Speaking of which, here’s an amusing-enough joke from last Sunday’s Tribune:
An angry man walks into a bar, orders a drink and says to the barman “All Fianna Failers are arseholes”.
A man sitting at the other end of the bar pipes up “Hey, I resent that!”.
“Why, are you a Fianna Failer?” replies the first man.
“No”, comes the answer, “I’m an arsehole”.

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Anonymous said...

hi GM just imagine the sqealing jigging and reeling at the semi state bodies when the imf/eu orders privitisation, and then regulation of that money laundering operation IFC, WHERE IS BA BA BERTY last seen outside fagans with a tin cup wearing a hoodie

James said...

No bail-out, No bail-out, No bail-out....OK, bail them out!

Anonymous said...

So you think its ok for ordinary working people to be forced to pay the gambling debts of European investment houses?

The Gombeen Man said...

Hang on. I'm sick of this blame Europe nonsense. They are debts racked up by the Irish Banks and their 100% interest only mortgages, created by Irish Government policy, created by poor investment decisions of Irish individuals and corporations.

Whether I - who did not get involved in the nonsense - should have to pay for it is another matter. But it is the Irish Government who have chosen to make me do so - and worse, poorly paid workers.

Ponyboy said...

Ah c'mon lads, Fair Play and all to yez for the crisis but do you have any idea what us ex pats have had to endure down here in Oz today. Fuckin' Bono's in town and banging on about being a ringer for that stuffed shirt dude who controlled Charlie's Angels cos he's on the stage with the Prime Minister (Julia) and the Premier of NSW (Christine) in a Save the World from some friggin calamity or other campaign. Why they didn't bitch slap the overgrown dwarf is a mystery I'll take to the grave with me. GM - can you please pick up the red phone and reel the fucker in. lots of love from PB

Bernd said...

If I hear one more person telling me that he should not pay his debts because the banks should not have given him the money ... I'll start believing in those mysterious bankers that went around forcing people to accept credits. Or I'll go postal. The floppy-haired one you quoted above being high on the list of potential collateral damage.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ BH. Disappointingly, BH, the IMF seem to have left decisions up to our wonderful Government. As a result, top civil servants (who enjoy the same pay arrangements as TDs), judges, and other cossetted professions remain unmolested. . The financial black hole remains and the hard-working poor take the rap. So Biffo and co, depite their proven incompetence, continue to be among the best paid politicians in the world! You couldn't make it up.

@James. Yeah. Pure comedy.

@ Ponyboy. I don't envy you being subjected to the pompous, sanctimonious, totally-without-irony, posturings of that little twat.

Yeah Bono. Pay your tax, eh? Or start a campaingn to reverse the minimum wage and get tax-shy multinationals to pay up. Taking their operations elsewhere to minimuse their tax obligations. I'm sure you would find that reprehensible. Oh, hang on....

@ Bernd. It's unbelievable. Scrub that: completely believable. The Germans and the French are up there with the Brits as the enemies of Old Erin, while our domestic culprits are out of the limelight.

And Johnny and Mary, blame everyone else for their stupid investment decisions. F**kin' eejits.