Cultures of Impunity

by Henry on November 9, 2010

Matt Yglesias on the horrors of the Irish economy.1

Today of course Ireland is a total disaster. I wouldn’t try to blame their property crash on low tax rates. But by the same token a frightening number of pundits went “all-in” on the idea that Ireland’s conserva-friendly tax policies were behind a boom that was in fact driven by a real estate bubble.

I personally would try to blame a fair chunk of Ireland’s property market crash on low corporate tax rates.

The simplified political economy story goes as follows. Ireland had low nominal and even lower effective corporate tax rates. It also had low personal taxes, both because of the belief that this would foster entrepreneurship etc, and because the government used to periodically sweeten bargains between business and labor by promising tax cuts (which of course favored the rich more than the poor), inter alia buying off unions who might otherwise have started getting feisty about organizing the unorganized bits of the new Irish economy.

The result was that even with booming economic growth, the government faced a fiscal hole. This hole was filled by taxes on property transactions which, as the property market got ever more bubbly, became an ever more important source of government revenue. This provided the government with an extremely strong incentive not to deflate the bubble, reinforcing the already considerable incentives towards inaction resulting from cronyism between politicians and property tycoons, ideological notions about not interfering with ‘free’ markets etc.

When the bubble burst and the bezzle came into full view, the results were quite unpleasant, as this ESRI graph shows.


As the ESRI diplomatically puts it.

The strength of the Irish economy in recent years contributed to healthy public finances. In 2006, a General Government Surplus of 3 per cent of GDP was recorded. However, the current downturn has seen the public finances move into deficit at an alarming pace. Taxation policy in Ireland over the last ten years has led to a structural rise in the importance of capital taxes as a source of revenue. As a result, the downturn in the property market has led to a sharp reduction in tax revenues.

The Irish government now has to deal with the effective evaporation of a major source of revenue at the worst possible time – raising taxes on either individual taxpayers or businesses will further deepen the economic hole that the country is in. But even with drastic cutbacks in government spending, it’s unavoidable. This particular bit of the Irish crisis is a direct result of the country’s grossly skewed taxation model. And it’s left the country in a pretty horrible bind.

This is one of the reasons why Irish government bond yields are so high – there is no obvious way out of this hole that is both politically sustainable and economically feasible. And this isn’t even to get into the complications of Ireland’s relationship with the EU, which plausibly is the cause for Ireland’s otherwise inexplicably generous treatment of the creditors of the banks that it has effectively taken over. There are strong and persistent suggestions that the interests of those creditors (many of which are French or German banks) are significantly influencing the politics of European Central Bank support.

There is no visible upside to Ireland’s current economic situation. And as Matt notes, there has been a quite remarkable disinclination among American pundits, who were touting Ireland as a model for Europe a few years back, to publicly revisit their arguments. He mentions several Cato scholars in this regard; I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Thomas Friedman also deserves calumny to be heaped upon his head for this remarkable piece of globollocks about how ‘the only question is when Germany and France will face reality: either they become Ireland or they become museums.’ Sadly for Ireland, it isn’t Germany or France who has had to face reality. Sadly for the state of American public discourse, Thomas Friedman is probably never going to have to face it. At a book launch this morning for David Lynch’s new book on the Irish economy, the author talked a little bit about how the “culture of impunity” was still thriving among Ireland’s business elite. There’s a similar culture among America’s pundit class, and it’s still going strong too.

1 This may be about to get worse – if Morgan Kelly is right, the Irish economy has only been swirling around in the toilet bowl the last couple of years, and is just now about to take the deep plunge.

{ 41 comments }

1

P O'Neill 11.10.10 at 12:02 am

A few things.

The conservative commentators were already losing interest in their shiny Ireland toy at the tail end of the boom. The Baltics — where the economics could be mixed with a little geopolitics — were becoming more favoured. Then when the crash hit both economies hard, the praise was redirected to austerity, but interest again waned in Ireland when it became more difficult to sell the austerity as working. At least the Baltics could claim preservation of a currency peg, which is hard when credibility is weak. Most idiotic boarder of the Irish austerity bandwagon — Newsweek just this summer, when the bolts were clearly falling out the Irish engine.

For the corporate tax, I think on its own, it’s not the problem. The headline rate is just one element of a package that also includes definition of income, rules about transfers, and tax treaties. Note that the now famous Double Irish involves multiple jurisdictions, including others in the EU.

But there was definitely an ideology to cut income taxes and move people out of the income tax net entirely, even though other elements of the low income poverty trap remained in place (payroll taxes, VAT, childcare, travel, housing costs etc). Anyway, even when the tax cuts were less important, the public sector pay increases were still coming (both in regular pay rounds and benchmarking), and these were massively weighted towards the higher grades. The unions for lower paid workers have belatedly realized that a cosy consensus around 3 percent or whatever increases for everybody looks a lot different depending on where in the pay grades you were, noting in particular the influence of these pay levels on final salary pension schemes.

I agree completely about the culture of impunity, but it begins with the Irish government itself. In power in some form since 1997 and still the Bart Simpson answer to the diagnosis of what went wrong. Cowen takes “his share” of responsibility without mentioning that in his mind, the share is zero.

2

Shay Begorrah 11.10.10 at 12:32 am

It is a surreal and unpleasant experience to live through.

The prevailing wisdom in the Irish establishment (and most of the media, particularly political journalists) is that the staggeringly large bank bailout and significant budget deficit is not the result of fundamentally flawed economic policies and priorities but force majeure.

The upside for the right is that the budget deficit allows them to pursue their more philosophical interests – things like reducing public services, selling state assets into private hands (to help pay for valueless private assets) and showing the undeserving poor some much needed discipline.

Acts of God never shut one door but they open another.

Here, as elsewhere in the West, the solution to a failure of right wing economic dogma is more right wing economic dogma, only this time shamelessly transferring public monies from the common purse of society into the invisible hand of the needy market.

3

Henry 11.10.10 at 1:11 am

P’ O’Neill – agreed on all of this – when I said ‘and even lower effective corporate tax rates’ the complexities of transfer rules etc was what I was trying to get at. I should have talked more about the specific pay elements of the partnership agreements – there is an interesting dissertation by Rebecca Oliver which looks at the ways in which unions often simply don’t understand the distributional impact of bargains on various forms of salary scales.

4

David 11.10.10 at 2:30 am

That’s pretty remarkable. Shouldn’t they have their own experts working for them?

5

Ivan 11.10.10 at 2:37 am

How could this be the product of low taxes? This is not the problem, even Henry’s proposal to rise corporate tax rates would have put Ireland’s economy in a much better position. The real issue is that the Irish state’s income was mainly powered by a bubble-driven boom. Just can’t see how this disproves “conserva-friendly tax policies”.

6

SamChevre 11.10.10 at 3:05 am

Isn’t “tax revenues over-respond to capital values” a feature of any progressive tax system? (That’s the explanation I’ve seen for the dramatic falls in US federal, and California state in particular, tax revenues.) Or is the fall in Irish revenues more dramatic or more avoidable than California’s?

I feel like I’m missing something, but can’t figure out what.

7

James Conran 11.10.10 at 4:47 am

Too lazy to find figures but I think if you look at Ireland’s revenue from corporate tax as a share of GDP it’s hard to maintain the claim that the low corporate tax rate is part of the structural deficit story. Income taxes, yes, also lack of property taxes, water charges and higher ed tuition fees.

More broadly the neo-liberal right’s adoption of Ireland as a model always depended on ignoring significant features of the Irish political economy – notably centralized wage bargaining and substantial increases in public spending. Accordingly they can now perfectly reasonably disown Ireland as a model of neo-liberal economics (though not without some hypocrisy perhaps).

In any case I think your chart illustrates that the causes of the current fiscal mess were overdetermined. Up until 2008 it looked like Ireland was running a pretty responsible fiscal ship. Certainly this was the basic opinion of the IMF and EU Commission. It would have required both a) recognition that we were in the midst of a massive-and-about-to-burst housing bubble (i.e. that the balanced appearance of the public finances only masked massive private leveraging) and b) an unusually (perhaps implausibly) responsible policy response (including the total elimination of the national debt as well as unpopular bubble-popping fiscal and financial regulation measures).

The only plausible counterfactual I can see where we avoid a terrible denouement involves some kind of very stringent financial regulations being introduced around the time of entry into EMU. The scenario where only fiscal policy changes would surely have to have involved huge actual (i.e. “cyclical”) surpluses in order to produce (what would now be seen as) structurally balanced budgets.

8

James Conran 11.10.10 at 4:53 am

Oh, glad to see David Lynch taking on the challenge of portraying the Irish situation, though I fear accurate representation may be beyond even his twisted imagination. Can’t think who Laurna Dern will play, Mary Coughlin maybe?

9

Alex 11.10.10 at 9:47 am

Up until 2008 it looked like Ireland was running a pretty responsible fiscal ship. Certainly this was the basic opinion of the IMF and EU Commission. It would have required both a) recognition that we were in the midst of a massive-and-about-to-burst housing bubble

In 2008. By that time the bubble had burst – it started in late 2006 in the US superboom markets. It wasn’t that hard – if you read the right blogs you could follow it in near real time.

Also, a big hand for Alistair Darling, for intervening when that insanity of people moving their savings into Anglo Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland because of the supposed “unlimited” guarantee broke out. (aka scrabbling out of the lifeboat back aboard the Titanic)

10

Tim Worstall 11.10.10 at 9:59 am

Well, there is a way out, it’s called default.

It’ll be another decade before we find out but I have my suspicions that Iceland is going to come out of this rather better than either Greece or Ireland.

11

otto 11.10.10 at 10:30 am

Henry starts off by saying he would “blame a fair chunk of Ireland’s property market crash on low corporate tax rates” but then rather drifts from that clear statement into an overall discussion of policy over the past 10 years where the vital role of the low corporate tax rates is much less clear.

For my part, the collapse of the Irish public finances has much more to do with the removal of the average worker from paying income tax, a result that needs to be reversed if the public finances are to go back on track. That would be true whether or not Ireland’s corporate tax rate is changed.

Ronan Lyons is good on this:
http://www.ronanlyons.com/2009/04/27/are-irish-workers-undertaxed/
and
http://www.ronanlyons.com/2009/07/28/a-little-quiz-on-irelands-income-tax/

As far as the culture of impunity, that’s a general problem in Ireland and one where a bit more actual punishment would probably be a good thing, for banking execs yes but across the board. I can’t believe that this guy would be getting off so easily in the UK or US for example.
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/courts/no-point-in-sending-taxoffence-dad-to-jail-says-judge-2404986.html

12

stostosto 11.10.10 at 10:44 am

The result was that even with booming economic growth, the government faced a fiscal hole. This hole was filled by taxes on property transactions which, as the property market got ever more bubbly, became an ever more important source of government revenue.

It’s probably a very good thing that they actually do have taxes on property transactions. We don’t in this country. It would seem to pull in the right direction when you want your policies to work countercyclically. Should surely have been even higher in order to dampen the crazy bubble. How are these taxes designed? As a fixed amount per transaction or as a percentage of the transaction amount?

You would ideally also want to have a tax levied on the current return on property, i.e. the value of imputed rent (or whatever it is properly termed in this odd foreign language called English).

13

Daragh McDowell 11.10.10 at 12:48 pm

@Tim Worstall – I’m not sure how we can manage a default while remaining within the Eurozone, and I’m pretty sure the Euro might be one of the things preventing our situation getting worse. Surely the Punt would be subjected to absolutely savage atttacks in currency markets and the asking price for bonds would skyrocket.

14

jaybee 11.10.10 at 1:44 pm

@stostosto
We used to have such a tax based on the imputed return on property (albeit with an imputed return based on some Victorian scheme of valuation).

It was called rates but FF did away with it for non-commercial properties in 1977 back when the bubble before the last one was getting bubblier

15

ajay 11.10.10 at 2:21 pm

Isn’t “tax revenues over-respond to capital values” a feature of any progressive tax system? (That’s the explanation I’ve seen for the dramatic falls in US federal, and California state in particular, tax revenues.)

I don’t think so. California, in fact, relies to a fairly small extent on property taxes, because they were capped by Prop 13. Its problems are a combination of 1) a recession, which has of course reduced tax take generally, as people are earning less and spending less, 2) a drop in property values, which has had some limited effect (though property taxes are capped, they’re still proportional to property values), and 3) totally insane politics surrounding budgeting.

16

ajay 11.10.10 at 2:22 pm

A progressive tax system needn’t over-respond to capital values. You could have a state that subsisted entirely off a highly progressive income tax. It would still see tax revenues fall in a recession, but that’s a common problem with pretty much any sort of tax system, except possibly a flat poll tax or something along those lines whose level is independent of economic activity.

17

Tim Worstall 11.10.10 at 2:32 pm

“I’m not sure how we can manage a default while remaining within the Eurozone, “

That’s easy enough: simply default. Sure, lots of people won’t like it and all but companies and individuals default all the time without having to leave a currency zone.

(Yes, I know countries aren’t exactly like the other two.)

“and I’m pretty sure the Euro might be one of the things preventing our situation getting worse.”

I’m equally certain that it’s membership of the euro which is making it all horribly worse than it needs to be.

The solution to having too much debt is simply to not have so much debt: if that means default, a negotiated haircut, whatever, that’s simply what should happen. Do an Argentina.

18

MQ 11.10.10 at 3:08 pm

California, in fact, relies to a fairly small extent on property taxes, because they were capped by Prop 13.

But California’s tax system does still over-respond to capital/asset values because the state income tax is so progressive. When you get a giant chunk of your tax revenues from the part of income over $1 million, you become very dependent on capital gains received by a few earners at the top of the income distribution, and revenues become highly pro cyclical. This has been one significant driver of CAs budget problems.

It’s also true, of course, a lot of CA middle class employment and income depended directly on the real estate boom.

19

James Conran 11.10.10 at 3:17 pm

Yeah I don’t get the whole “can’t default and stay in the EZ” thing either. Lots of arguments against default but I don’t really think this one adds up.

@ Alex,

To be sure a mountain of sh1t was already heading fanwards by 2008 – house prices peaked some time around late 2006, early 2007 in Ireland and the long run-up to the May 2007 election was dominated by a hysterical campaign for property tax cuts from the Sunday Independent in order to prop prices up.

But if one were looking only at the fiscal figures as provided by Henry it obviously looks OK in 2007. And to be sure plenty of people did correctly diagnose that we were in a huge bubble, but this was not that widely held a view – the concept of a “soft landing” was an attractive one for most people in Ireland.

20

James Conran 11.10.10 at 3:31 pm

Phillip Lane’s has a relevant post on Irish corporation tax: http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/11/10/corporate-tax-revenue/

He gives a link confirming that (at least in 2008) Irish revenue from corporation tax as as share of GDP is higher than many other developed countries (including the US). Now of course some portion of this revenue is the result of a degree of fakery – brass plate operations, transfer pricing etc.. And I am in principle opposed to basing our economic strategy around such “fiscal dumping”.

But I don’t think it’s part of the fiscal crisis story (except in so far as changing our tax regime may be a condition of a Euro-IMF bail-out – which Phillip Lane casts doubt on.)

21

mpowell 11.10.10 at 3:45 pm

When I talk about this with people occasionally I get the opinion that, oh, Ireland and Greece can’t default. These are serious people we are talking about here, some of them in finance. My response is, what? Why are they paying higher bond rates then? It seems that the market thinks they can default. But really, what is the claim here? That it is literally impossible for them to default? As in, Germany will invade and force them to pay reparations? They will be kicked out of the Euro region? Or is it just such a bad idea that they can’t do it? I have never gotten a straight answer on this and I think it’s because there is no answer. Default is just unthinkable to some people (even though historically it is not all that uncommon). Isn’t default kind of like unilaterally inflating the Euro- a way of reconciling the ECB’s refusal to accommodate the actual needs of their member economies (besides Germany that is)?

22

Zamfir 11.10.10 at 4:10 pm

mpowell, there is no doubt that countries can default without breaking the treaty and without somehow automatically leaving the Eurozone. I suspect that a lot hangs on the amount of a countries’ bonds is held by the ECB. It’s hard to see how other members could accept a default without reprecussions, when the cost is in significant part born by the ECB.

I think the ECB is free to decide how much paper they get from each country, so perhaps the ECB is already anticipating default by buying less from risky countries. But I was under the impression that the opposite is true, with the ECB buying risky countries’ bonds as supporting measure.

23

Steve LaBonne 11.10.10 at 4:43 pm

And to be sure plenty of people did correctly diagnose that we were in a huge bubble, but this was not that widely held a view – the concept of a “soft landing” was an attractive one for most people in Ireland.

Same here in the US. But there’s nothing excusable about a widespread (and self-interested) delusion when there were plenty of people pointing out the reality. Even less excusable is the fact that those who were delusional still have more credibility in the corridors of power (in both countries) than those who saw the truth.

24

FE 11.10.10 at 5:50 pm

This hole was filled by taxes on property transactions which, as the property market got ever more bubbly, became an ever more important source of government revenue. This provided the government with an extremely strong incentive not to deflate the bubble, reinforcing the already considerable incentives towards inaction resulting from cronyism between politicians and property tycoons, ideological notions about not interfering with ‘free’ markets etc.

Whereas in the U.S., the federal government was not dependent on property taxes, and therefore took swift action to deflate the bubble so that prices would fall without regard to cronyism between politicians and property tycoons, Wall Street, Fannie Mae, etc.

25

Henry 11.10.10 at 6:44 pm

about to jump on a plane, but from a quick look at the figures I was clearly wrong to suggest that corporate tax was a major part of the story – should have checked this properly rather than relying on imperfect memory – however, I think the other bits of my argument still stand.

26

Lemuel Pitkin 11.10.10 at 7:06 pm

Mpowell-

I think the argument would be that the Euro area as a whole has far more than sufficient resources to prevent a default. (The ECB increase its assets by close to 1 trillion euros between late 2006 and late 2008. The *total* public debt of Greece and Ireland together is only about 350 billion euros.) And the political leadership of the Euro area also has a very strong interest in avoiding default. Therefore, it is certain that a bailout will occur if necessary. The only question is how the costs will be distributed. It may be that bondholders will end up shouldering some of the costs, via a restructuring of some kind; that’s what the interest premium is there for. But that’s very different from a default, at least in the usual sense.

27

Lemuel Pitkin 11.10.10 at 7:30 pm

I was under the impression that the opposite is true, with the ECB buying risky countries’ bonds as supporting measure.

I’ve been wondering about this too. But poking around on the ECB website has not turned up anything with more detail than the weekly financial statements and annual reports, which only give the aggregate holdings of Euro-area government debt. Does anyone know if there is a publicly available document that breaks down the ECB’s assets by originating country?

28

Zamfir 11.10.10 at 8:05 pm

From some surfing around, I get the impression this is undisclosed on purpose, and perhaps even a closely guarded secret.

The amount of securities is in total 450 billion, just a few percent of total debt. If that is divided equally, it won’t be a major issue in a default. But if the ECB has been buying Irish (or Greek) securities on purpose, it could hold significant parts of their entire debt.

29

Lemuel Pitkin 11.10.10 at 8:19 pm

The amount of securities is in total 450 billion, just a few percent of total debt.

But a very substantial percentage of the debt of the debt of the relevant countries. Total PIIGS debt is around 3 trillion euros, and their total 2010 borrowing is under 250 billion euros. So there’s no question of the ECB’s capacity to but a floor under the market.

OT, but while looking at this I was interested to learn how different the ECB’s balance sheet looks from the Fed’s. Pre-crisis, the large majority of Fed assets were Treasurys; by comparison the ECB has more lending to banks, much more foreign exchange reserves, much more gold (about 10 percent of its pre-crisis assets!) and relatively little in the way of securities. I believe there were strict legal limits on the ECB’s ability to buy public debt, at least until recently — does anyone know the details?

30

EWI 11.10.10 at 9:14 pm

@ Henry Farrell

there is an interesting dissertation by Rebecca Oliver which looks at the ways in which unions often simply don’t understand the distributional impact of bargains on various forms of salary scales.

Oh, I think they understand them all right, don’t worry. Union bosses in Ireland are renumerated very well (tied to those same higher grades), and then they get their perks like Central Bank appointments and various junkets and slush funds (as has been coming to light over the past two years, as the screws turn in the rightwing press campaign).

For those who don’t know the story, the highest (MBA’d) grades in the Irish public sector were getting an under-reported 20% “bonus” every year. After they lost same in the first cutbacks and received a 10% paycut, they successfully blackmailed government to redefine the bonus as having been regular pay (helping their pensions enormously!) and got out of the paycut (the letter they sent to government helpfully pointed out their vital role in screwing the lower ranks).

31

Omega Centauri 11.10.10 at 9:17 pm

aj, MQ:
California’s cyclical sensitivity was amplified by its capital gains tax policy. Unlike federal cap gains, which got preferential federal rates from the Bush tax cuts, Califonian’s pay the full marginal tax rate on Cap Gains. So when markets tank, the hit on tax revenues can be large. I don’t consider myself wealthy, but with some investments Cap gains fluctuate between $20-30K at the end of a boom cycle, to zero (or negative) during bust years. The resulting instability and unpredicatbility of annual taxes is a hastle both for the taxpayer, and especially for the state.

32

EWI 11.10.10 at 9:19 pm

@ James Conran

To be sure a mountain of sh1t was already heading fanwards by 2008 – house prices peaked some time around late 2006, early 2007 in Ireland and the long run-up to the May 2007 election was dominated by a hysterical campaign for property tax cuts from the Sunday Independent in order to prop prices up.

Hysterical, maybe, but not without foundation in self-interest as the paper of the middle classes (in addition, as the Phoenix reported, Mr. and Mrs. Harris had a pile to sell at the time. From such weighty factors the Sindo usually chooses its direction).

33

jon livesey 11.10.10 at 9:20 pm

“I’m not sure how we can manage a default while remaining within the Eurozone, and I’m pretty sure the Euro might be one of the things preventing our situation getting worse.”

Well, managing a sovereign default while remaining inside the Euro is exactly what the latest proposal from Merkel and the organ grinder’s little monkey is all about. It is intended to transfer default risk to private investors instead of to the ECB. Whether private investors will actually fall for such an obvious trap, or will simply refuse to buy PIIGS debt – and they already are refusing, aren’t they – is an open question.

And the Euro *is* preventing the situation from getting worse? I don’t know exactly what you have in mind, but if you look at unemployment, social spending, Government deficit, debt levels, debt/GDP, debt yields, DCS rates, empty houses and mortgage default rates, and even the estimate of what the Bank bailout will eventually cost, they are *all* getting worse. What’s not getting worse; pretty banknotes?

34

James Conran 11.10.10 at 11:56 pm

@EWI,

I think it’s fair to say the whole newspaper industry had a stake in the property market given how important a revenue stream property advertisements was for them. Though The Irish Times at least can’t be accused of distorting its coverage for this reason since it blew so much of said revenue on MyHome.ie – strong evidence that they were true believers….

35

Map Maker 11.11.10 at 3:00 am

Ah, Ireland … I got to see Brian Lenihan when he came to the states last month. Always good to remind myself that Ireland has the same population as Phoneix Arizona. Probably about as much of a hassle to the EU as the Arizona property bubble has been to the US.

Anyway, for those who doubt it could get worse, let me say that should Ireland attempt to default, the Irish state will have to bankroll a new banking system. They already are, you say? Well, now take what they are doing and add the fact that the new Irish banks won’t be able to raise funds – all the deposits will have to be generated through the government. Ireland is structurally short deposits – their consumer is levered, their private sector is levered, and now their gov’t is levered. A default at the sovereign will cascade throughout the economy and end up hurting a lot of the export/re-export manufacturing business that Ireland has been growing this past 20 years…

36

Peter Q 11.11.10 at 12:52 pm

The Corporation Tax element of Henry’s thesis may flounder on the figures provided by Philip Lane via James Conran above the details of Capital Tax receipts are still pretty astounding.

Some pretty volatile graphs on Stamp Duty can be seen here

http://economic-incentives.blogspot.com/2010/08/stamped-out.html

37

Panglott 11.11.10 at 3:49 pm

My guess is that, if they had to revisit earlier claims, conservative commentators would blame the collapse of the Irish property bubble on the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act.

38

Dan B. 11.11.10 at 5:57 pm

I’ve thought the same thing about Texas, which has no state income tax and relies on a sales tax and property taxes to fund the state government. The state faces an estimated $25 Billion deficit in 2011. That’s a quarter of their budget, and a larger crisis than California faced in 2008.

It’s hard for Texas to neglect social funding any further, but I’m sure they’ll find a way. Even when they do there’s no way they can afford to fund their basic responsibilities without raising taxes.

39

john s 11.12.10 at 9:50 am

1) The elite who organised and implemented stuff called credit cards, credit, debt etc. They knew it would implode, and now it has.

2) Bush, greenspan, bernanke are all part of the same boys club. They do not care about anyone but themselves. When we are screaming about high cost of things, then those in charge of the NWO will have us right where they want us. Time to prepare was yesterday.

Go have a look at http://www.forecastfortomorrow.com those guys have been spot on about the elections and what is coming very soon.

40

Alex 11.12.10 at 10:14 am

Well, now take what they are doing and add the fact that the new Irish banks won’t be able to raise funds – all the deposits will have to be generated through the government.

Why? I can certainly imagine a new Irish bank being more creditworthy in the absence of government support than any of the existing ones would be without it!

41

El Cid 11.14.10 at 6:58 pm

When I used to read him regularly, Yglesias blurted out economic nonsense without apparently much consideration or research, unless he was mainly reprinting and discussing some liberal or progressive etc. recent study.

Comments on this entry are closed.