The Irish Financial Crisis and the IMF

Posted: November 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

“The IMF, it is not an independent institution. It’s pretty much a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department, accurately described as “The Credit Community’s Enforcer”, the IMF makes sure that the lenders will not suffer….the IMF says the people of the country have to pay back the debt which they had nothing to do with”

-Noam Chomsky

I don’t object to paying for public services.
In fact, no sane person has any objection to paying a progressive tax so that the money is invested back into the country to build schools, roads, hospitals & supply essential public services, which in turn creates employment.
Keynesianism 101 – it is how economies grow, jobs are created and how the US became a global superpower after WW2 and living standards increased across Europe.

Indeed, the billions in EU structural funding that poured into our economy in the 1990s certainly pump-primed it and ignited the economy

Even though personally I am not in any debt myself thankfully, I would not object to paying progessive taxes if the revenue is used to pay for things like free Third Level Fees or to help people struggling to pay their mortgages if it helps the citizens of this country and improves the quality of life of people and grows the economy.
However, when billions and billions of our taxpayers money is poured not into public services but criminally diverted to foreign bond holders,into the black hole that is Ango Irish Bank in order to to bail out a minority – the less than 1% of the population who own 34% of the wealth in Ireland – the wreckless speculators & gamblers who played rapacious, casino style capitalism and lost, who enriched themselves during the boom and certainly didn’t share the wealth and they now want to share the pain, this is sheer insanity.
David McWilliams has called the conduct of Fianna Fail with their bailouts and with NAMA “criminal” and a “scam”.

Tho quote the famous essayist Gore Vidal this amounts to “socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor”. Or to put it another way, you are privatising profits and socialising losses.

As Nobel Prized winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz has said:
“[In Ireland], this bank bailout is a simple transfer from taxpayers to bondholders, and it will saddle generations to come.
The only thing that might give you solace is that, as chief economist of the World Bank, we see this type of thing happening in banana republics all over the world.
Whenever a banking crisis happens, the financial sector uses the turmoil as a mechanism to transfer wealth from the general population to themselves. I’ve been very disappointed to see that it has happened, not only in banana republics, but in advanced industrialised countries.”

You should be under no illusions how this is a betrayal of democracy and crucially the devastating impact this will have on your life, your children’s life and your grandchildren’s life.

Everyone needs to be aware of this.

Ireland has been consigned to neo-fedualism, a debt servicing machine where your taxes will be used for decades to bail out foreign bondholders and a rogues gallery of cute hoors and cronies in the banks and the property developers who greased Fianna Fail palms at the Galway Races Hospitality tent, whilst your children’s schools will be underfunded, roads will crumble , hospitals will collapse, thousands will become homeless and possibly starve.

I have read repeatedly over the years about what happens when the IMF goes into countries and I cannot stress enough that it has been nothing short of calamitous for those involved as mayhem and economic destruction has been unleashed on the population.
There are plenty of books that you can read on the subject but two that spring to mind are:
Globalization and it’s Discontents by Joe Stiglitz and The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.
Just as I don’t think most Irish people were economically and historically literate enough to understand the temporary charade the Celtic Tiger was and didn’t understand what bubbles were during the boom and how capitalism is prone towards bubbles that inevitably burst whilst they happily drunk the Kool Aid from the mainstream media, who cheerled the boom as they behaved like Pravda in repeating the government mantra of the day, similarly I don’t think most Irish people fully understand the raison d’etre of the IMF and the horrific consequences years of brutal austerity budgets will have on our country. It will be death by a thousand cuts.

Seeing Irish people welcome in the IMF now reminds me of the Catholics and Nationalist in Northern Ireland in 1969 who initially welcomed the British Army with open arms.

People need to be clear about what has happened to this country and what the consequences are.

A veritable coup d’état has been committed by cute-hoors, gombeens and cronies in Fianna Fail who are in collusion with a megalomaniacal EU, who want to protect the Euro and the European banks that lent wrecklessly to Irish banks no matter what and a rapacious IMF, waiting in the wings like vultures, ready to devour a carcass. This is tantamount to treason.

The IMF has brought destruction & economic mayhem wherever they went with their “shock therapy”- look what happened to Argentina. The country was virtually destroyed.

If Ireland collapses, which it almost certainly will, then it is hard to know how far the contagion will spread throughout the EU – certainly it will spread to Portugal and Spain and if our banks are unable to repay the €400 billion or so that they owe to mostly European Banks who lent to them, we may possibly take down the entire Eurozone with us.

This is arguably the biggest crisis of capitalism the world has known.
Since 2007 the global financial system has been coughing and spluttering and has been on artificial life support.
The illusion of all of this electronic money that is not worth the money it isnt printed on has been exposed. The precarious house of cards built on a mountain of unserviceable debt will fall from this global Ponzi scheme.

I am reminded of what Edward Grey said on the eve of the First World War:
“The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.

The question is for how much longer will people continue to comply without protest to this rapacious, destructive greed and be led by incompetent gorvernments who, far from representing the people, shamelessly represent the interests of a narrow finacial elite in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.
History tells us that this simmering tension will ultimately explode but by that stage it will be too late.

The conduct of Fianna Fail in the last week – Crisis? What Crisis? ,was like Comical Ali during the Iraq War. They went from denial, to denial about denial, to anger and then to acceptance like a psychologically traumatised person. And then a FF Minister said yesterday – sure, it will be grand, it’s just like a game of high stakes poker lads. My god. We are the laughing stock of the world. Although I think with the IMF , to quote an Economist, it is like jumping out of the Titanic, being steered by Fianna Fail and then taken a seat aboard the Lusitania. It remains to be seen if the sheeple will arise from their slumber.
I hope what emerges from the embers of this mess is a more humane, equitable and sustainable world where human need supplants greed as the driving force.
Actually the letters in the Irish Times over the past few days have been both moving and hilarious in equal measure. The rage out there is palpable.

Whether this rage manifests as direct action which will be a harbinger of meaningful change is doubtful.


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