Dumb And Dumber



THE TAOISEACH has said the problem with Ireland’s economy was that “people went mad borrowing” in a system that spawned greed, went out of control and crashed.

Speaking during a discussion on rebuilding Europe at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Enda Kenny said: “The extent of personal credit, personal wealth created on credit, was done between people and banks – a system that spawned greed to a point where it just went out of control completely with a spectacular crash.”

Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins said there was a “stark contrast” between the Taoiseach’s comments yesterday and those in his address to the nation last month, “when he told the public that ‘it’s not your fault’ for the crisis”.

…and tish!

When asked about Mr Kenny’s comments last night, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said: “I didn’t hear his comment. I’m not going to comment on something I didn’t hear.” After a recording of some of Mr Kenny’s comments was played for him, he said: “I’m not going to comment. Ministers don’t go around the place commenting on the Taoiseach’s remarks.”

Taoiseach Blames Crisis On ‘Mad Borrowing’ And Greed (Irish Times)

Enda: “You Are Not Responsible.” (Broadsheet, December 4, 2011)

Opposition slam Kenny over Davos comments (RTE)

Yesterday: Enda At Davos: The Digital Hub Taoiseach


72 thoughts on “Dumb And Dumber

    1. cluster

      I am not a huge fan of Kenny’s public line here but it has a lot of truth to it.

      Our personal indebtness is absolutely massive (although not mine and probably not most of the posters here).

      As a population, we (again not me or probably not most of the posters here) consistently voted for an incompetent government which kept fuelling a property bubble.

      1. Stevie G

        This line about governments being democratically elected is wearing very thin. FG and Labour were elected based on their pre-election promises. I think its fair to assume that “burning the bondholders” was a real seller.
        Both parties have performed a complete 180 on this.

        Maybe we should have seen through them during the elections last year and been more cynical, but I think the bigger issue is the almost complete lack of accountability in this country. They should all be on trial for treason!

        1. Tommy

          People voted for FF in 2002 and again in 2007 so they knew what they were voting for. Enda is dead right on this. You just have to look at the figures for our personal indebtedness and compare them to the rest of the world. We didn’t all party but the majority of us did.

          1. Rob

            I partied. But I was in my twenties. That’s what you do when you’re in your twenties.. but I didn’t run up any debts.. none I couldn’t manage anyway

          2. Tom Red

            People did vote for FF. But they had to go into government with the Greens, a party who during the election were all about bringing change and reform and were someone in the electorate’s mind who would not go into government with FF, as alluded to by the party and disgracefully U-turned on when they got a sniff at power.

            So the whole country was not behind FF. in fact, less than the majority of the country were voting for them. In 2007 at least.

          3. CuppaSoop

            The figures for household indebtedness in this country are terrifying, especially compared to the rest of the developed world. Enda is dead right on this one. People just don’t like hearing the truth.

          4. lands

            Just because the figures are high doesn’t mean everyone had a whale of celtic tiger. Some did, yeah, so why don’t we tax the hell out of them alone, and leave people without debt alone… if that’s what caused all the economic problems. But they were sold a line that house prices weren’t artificially increased and that they were investing wisely, so we could tax the media for not telling everyone, or developers for lying or…

            No, just doesn’t fly, sorry. And what about the people who couldn’t borrow, the recent graduates, current students and schoolchildren who’ll be paying through the nose for the indebtedness for the better part of their lives if they don’t emigrate?

            I wish I’d bloody partied.

  1. Pat

    What is also upsetting is the use of the phrase ” went mad” as it can mean something else entirely in other English speaking countries compared to in Ireland….so Mr Kenny get your spin doctors a dictionary/thesaurus and ask them to refrain from using colloquialisms..

  2. Father Filth

    Mad with the drink, mad with the internet, mad with the running of the taps, mad with the expectation of a health service..

    Mad with the whole being mad thing..

  3. hoopla

    Sure we’re all a bunch of lovable ejiets determined to bankrupt the little man on the street to pay back debts that he did not take part in running up.
    Diddley-aye. Diddley-aye.

  4. Figlen

    Could not frickin believe this comment when I read it. I want to grab his fluffy little head and scream into his earhole, “I DID NOT GO ‘MAD’ BORROWING ANYTHING. THE POXY BANKS LOANED MONEY UNSCRUPULOUSLY AND LED US IN A MERRY DANCE INTO A BLACK MONEYLESS PIT OF DOOM!” And then, while lifting up his earlobe, id lean in and I’d go on to tell him how even though I was not one of the ones fooled into borrowing heavily I am being asked to pay to sort out the poxy problem and I would explain how utterly unreasonable and unfair that is. I might give out more stick to him if i wasn’t dragged away by security people by then.

  5. wentMadBoughtAsmallHome

    In 2011 Michael Noonan said in the Dail/parliament that many borrowed billions were spent in places like Bulgaria and Singapore (“not in the Irish Economy”-M.N.)


    the money travelled from German and UK banks via Dublin around the world. The bill for is being unjustly presented to every Irish man, Irish woman and Irish child. It would be like your neighbour coming back from Disneyland and giving you their bill.


  6. Sido

    The big fact here is that the building bubble would not have happened if we had not been in the Euro.
    Which had it’s interests rates set low to facilitate the German recovery and to assist French industry.

    1. hoopla

      so you know america, like, they were not in the euro, like, but they crashed and burned too which kind of tells me that maybe the reasons for d’mess are more complex than “we went mad with the spending lads” or “the euro”

      1. Sido

        We had no control over the interest rate of De Euro.
        Still don’t – By and large that’s Merkosy’s call.

        The PIIGS were fed on cheap credit. And now we are where we are.
        Trying to pretend that one currency – designed for Northern Europe suits all. Oh and that De Euro somehow was the magical ability to prevent WW III. (seemingly)

  7. Miles O'Tool

    The man is a Moron.

    That interview will be broadcast worldwide. It t will reinforce the views of the European public and will do us untold harm.

    It is as close to treason as is possible.


    1. IrelandGuy


      This is the message he gives to the “elites” and yet every single member of the government will say that Noonan and Kenny are constantly advancing the Irish peoples interests (unjust burdens) in Europe?

  8. pleasenobabyjane

    FF said the same and now FG & LBR are saying the same. Why? They have no choice obviously. They have been warned to tow the line or else etc. Bigger forces at work than us or our puny government. They have zero power.

  9. Nidge The Dealer

    I’m in shock. Is there anything we can do as a nation or are we just completely powerless and at the mercy of this complete f**kwit and his duplicitous, hypocritical nonsense?

  10. RF

    You all went wild borrowing because you joined the Euro: interest rates dropped from 11% to 3% overnight. The process of proving that IE’s economic needs don’t match DE’s will doubtless continue until your dumb political class finally figure out that all that EU money wasn’t worth it :-(

  11. pleasenobabyjane

    There was a “bubble”, it burst. Those who wield business and political influence are being protected – as they mostly always are. Ireland’s FF government didn’t think the guarantee through and well, here we are etc, zzzzzz

    1. The Pirate Queen Frilly Keane

      But ja’know what?
      Fine Gael and Labour had they done better on 07, would have down exactly the same

  12. Louis Lefronde

    Hold on a moment! Kenny has a point here. Unless there are an incredible number of people with short term memory disorder. The degree of avarice in Ireland between 2003-2006 (in particular) was sickening at just about every level of society. Borrowing money hand over fist for ‘lifestyle’ choices whether it was on credit cards, loans etc. If this were not the case (property market aside) why is it that Irish people have the highest incidence of private debt in the world?

    Let’s not forget the people who were traveling to New York to do ‘their shopping’ – the proliferation of new cars in 2006 – the massive spike in the consumption of drugs (cocaine in particular) People buying property ‘off the plans’ in Bulgaria! It was like the last days of the Roman Empire…

    Of course not everyone was doing this, some couldn’t and smart people wouldn’t – but stop pretending that Irish people were not greedy bastards during the bubble and ‘not living the life’ – they fucking were and it wasn’t just the high rolling scumbag developers.

        1. Continuity Jay-Z

          Where was Kenny in 2007 telling us we were all greedy? The fact remains he sang from the same hymnsheet as everyone else, he took his benchmarks and his perks. Now he is telling us we’re greedy!

          If he had been saying this all along fair enough but not six weeks ago he told the nation ‘it was not your fault’.

          The political class in this country, every one of them were only too happy to have the greedy mad men give them donations and patronage, did they refuse these gifts, the results of our ‘greed’, they did in their holes.

  13. dangermse

    He is some bucket of piss.

    I might have spent a bit more than I should but you know what, I’m paying it back all by myself. The problem is that I have to pay the debt of other people too. Maybe I’m wrong but ‘we’ all didn’t up in NAMA, ‘we’ all didn’t have Anglo shares and ‘we’ all were not leader of the opposition whose job it was to oppose Government policy when it was wrong.

  14. Conor O Neill

    I think he was wrong to place the blame on normal people who borrowed, for homes or whatever. There was a sense of inebriation of wealth in Ireland up to 2008, but not all participated in it. It is true to say a lot of average people borrowed a lot in the last decade but it is not the mortgage of my neighbor or yours who can’t pay it now that is crippling this country, forcing bailouts, it is the developers and the banks who are. However we can’t blame them fully either. These developers would not have got the loans nor the banks have given them if there wasn’t some sense of demand for their product, i.e. housing. A lot of people, not all, either bought second homes as investment or people snapped up houses in some horrible fear that if they didn’t, they would not be able to in the very near future, thus increasing the price. But who facilitated it? The banks with their 100% mortgages and so forth. However, just like if some of us stumble upon an open bar, we have our ourselves to blame for the consequences. SOmetimes when someone offers us something for free, we can go a bit overboard. My point is, to say we went “mad on borrowing” and that crippled our nation is a very naive and facile way of explaining things. It tarnishes the many people of this country who did not live beyond their means and who lived a responsible and for some, a frugal life. Yet these people and other innocent people in Ireland, who in fact make the majority of the population are paying for the excess of a select few, are paying for the bailouts of the reckless, who are seeing their lives, financially and otherwise being debased with higher taxes and austerity. So Enda, your statement is not just wrong, but offensive.

  15. Kolmo

    what a stupid set of clowns the government truely are, why do we need a government, they allowed this sh1t to happen with their mind blowing negligence/complicity and now are making it worse by by insulting our intelligence. they can all go to hell.

  16. pepe

    There is a lot of “those evil banks forced me to take out a massive loan” going on.

    Just sayin’

  17. The Pirate Queen Frilly Keane

    MAD I’LL GIVE YA F**KING MAD YA … rhymes with púnt

    Giving 55 year olds 100 grand pensions and half a mill lump sums
    Teachers with 20 year plus career breaks keeping their posts and collecting pensions
    And rehiring the above
    And telling me I have to work till I’m *68 when I might collect a miserable 200yoyos a wk
    Paying salary increments while cutting services (which = output)
    Hiring from existing payroll only (unless you’re a special friend)
    Alan Shat’her Minister for Justice

    *and I know that’ll move to 70 or older

    …. I’m not well. Need to lie down ….

    1. hoopla

      most people who post here are complete ….rhymes with anchors.
      i post here cos it is no better or worse than anywhere else and sometimes i can wind the worst of the toerags up.
      you sir, are above the average pre-evolutionary slime here.
      that’s twice this week i’ve nearly been nice. i need to lie down.

  18. penguinbloke

    Does anybody have Enda’s response to the original “We all Partied” line? I’ve had a cursory glance but I can’t find anything…

  19. nick

    I’m convinced we are all now entitled to through shit (or atleast eggs) at government buildings for one day

  20. Joxer

    Funny how everyone is now saying “i didnt go mad with the brorrowing and the spending”. it seems that no one actually did…..well as someone who was a f**king idiot during the boom years i.e. did not subscribe to a SSIA (immoral), didnt borrow to buy property either here or in bacwaters of europe or spend lavish amounts on fripperies…..and you know what i should have because at least then the punitive measures applied to me and my family would be easier to bear.

  21. Kramer

    People can’t handle the truth. Private debt is massive in this country. Kenny was referring to the collective country & not individuals. How else to explain people taking out 5 year loans to buy big new cars & the desire of people on modest income to buy prooerty in bulgaria & other places…

      1. hoopla

        Yeah, you’re right and he is right.
        The Irish people caused the world wide economic problems all by our little old selves.

        Sure there was no re-selling of sub-prime mortgages in the US (and sure if there was, let’s not pish off the good ole USA by talking about them)

        Sure there was no mention of world markets crashing so that must not have happened

        Sure there was no mention of the problems with the euro (and sure if there was, let’s not pish off the sour faced krauts by talking about them)

        There no mention of the banks giving it away like Sunday supplements and telling us, sure there was PLENTY more where that came from. The same banks who laughed at economists who said “thread carefully”

        But no, none of that is the complicated cause of the problem, it is we all went out and bought the 2nd car and the big fridge and tried ski-ing.


        and a stopped clock is not right twice a day – it just forking happens to be there

        1. IrelandGuy


          Don’t forget all those banks telling us during TV adverts 4-5 times an hour all day every day to come down and get yourselves a whopping 100-110% mortgage.

          1. hoopla

            jaysus – what’s this with ppl agreeing with me – it will all go to my head?

            the other issues was when the banks re-invented themselves as investment houses as well as banks.

            so you have this straight:
            banks loaded the money
            banks invested the returns on the loans
            the investments kept the loan interest down when things were good
            they re-invested the returns on the loans

            so they were literally empty when IT happened
            the markets crashed

            the bank investments were worthless
            they put loan interest up
            people could not pay
            Banks doubly screwed

            and as a kicker
            Irish people expected to bail them out

            The End
            Sleep well children

          2. hoopla

            @pinky i started reading up on it When Norn Roc crashed. i wanted to understand if it could happen in Ireland too. i nearly got sick when i realised what was going on. just because the top earners in Leeman Brothers fancied trying to get rich by passing a boiling bucket of blood and guts between them. they re-sold the same deteriorating sub-prime mortgages as bonds for years until properties that were not worth the price of demolishing them on the high street were worth $1million on paper.

            Sure tis mad times we live in.

  22. Father Filth

    He always looks a bit glassy eyed, as if he’s on medication. In the room, but not in the room..

    Stricly come dancing.. (in your mind, with the fairies)

  23. W

    yes the people did borrow lots of money, only because they were forced into it for fear of not ever getting onto the housing ladder… idiot.

  24. pinky

    as far as I knew it was only the “anglo boys club!” that went mad on the borrowing and stuff….no mention of them in his statement?

  25. MAD @Frilly Keane

    Here I’m ready now to occupy something.
    I refuse to accept this “the bubble burst” and “interest rates too low” C**tology
    Banks approved loans. Banks insisted on the “WE” stumping up 200 plus yoyos for THEIR Independent Surveyor (hello Prior Hall lenders…. ) to confirm value and viability of said loan book asset.


    And yet a hospital employed cleaner does not clean sinks or stick a mop because it is NOT/ no longer in their job detail. And a staff nurse gets paid 3 times the NHS staff nurse. And don’t get me started on Bedmakers … oh yes

    My Madness was a Lexus. My only regret is that it contributes more income for the obnoxious pensioner teacher in Finance than Denis O’Brien.

  26. Hm?

    I used to consider people who borrowed stupid amounts of money to pay for fancy houses idiots and solely responsible for their own problems – but I saw a couple being interviewed on the frontline who spelled out how they, before they took out a loan for a house, had done their homework, asked for advice from a number of banks and real estate individuals, etc all of whom told them to build big & who threw money at them to do so (said couple are now completely f**ked by the way).

    I think people probably made foolish decisions and ultimately their situation is down to their choices, but we forget how we, as a society, were told by all manner of professionals “in the know” that it was a sure-fire, no risk thing to do. And as well as these “professionals”, every f**ker down the road was advocating it as were media tools like Brendan O Connor & his “smart & ballsy guys” club.

    To say that “people went mad borrowing” is fair enough, but that hasn’t landed us in this shit. It was and still is the decision to pay for the mistakes of the banks. Kenny & co, ironically, are now in a situation similar to someone in the Tiger times who has been told by economic professionals what the best course of action is & have been given ridiculous amounts of money to follow this course of action, even when it rails against all common sense and basic economic theory.

  27. Peter Farrahy

    Let me see if I have this.

    You base your economic growth on the building and housing market.

    You stoke it up with tax breaks to developers and builders.

    You protect the cement industry by refusing to introduce E.U regulation on minimum standards of house insulation.

    You encourage a people who have a built in desire to buy their homes to “get in” before prices go beyond their reach.

    You deregulate the banks and appoint regulators that don’t regulate.

    You allow 100% mortgages and in some cases 120% mortgages and turn a blind eye to the fact that NO property bubble EVER had a soft landing.

    You pay yourself some of the highest salaries in the World and add almost unlimited expenses. You bask in the glow of the Celtic Tiger and sneer at all and any who question you.

    You do nothing to control inflation, resulting in Tesco making higher profits in Ireland the the U.K!

    We pay five times the European average cost for Pharmaceutical products.

    Everything we paid for from insurance to schoolbooks cost whatever the seller decided to charge with no interference from any of the 850 quangos created for jobs for the pals and costing some 3 billion a year to run.

    We sold off Eircom and set back broadband for a decade while the company was asset stripped and sold time and time again.

    Instead of building a good rail network, Ireland is an ideal size for rail connections, they built roads and then gave them to private companies to charge us to us them.

    If you should wish to go, by rail, from Cork to Wexford you must go via Dublin!.


    Ah, it is little wonder that I rant.

  28. Tygraachus

    It’s wonderful that we’ve all been visited with the miraculous gift of Hindsight, but here’s the essential truth. Yes, the country’s personal indebtedness is what’s going to bury us. But it has been magnified by this Governments’ s insistence on agreeing to re-write the rules of Capitalism and pay back the losses incurred by speculators. So now, we’re being hit by more taxes (direct and indirect) and various charges to try and replenish the coffers. People might have had some hope of servicing their personal loans if it wasn’t for their income and savings being eaten into on a daily basis. And I agree, it was practically policy by the previous incumbents. But I don’t recall many FG TDs or Councillors being very vocal in their criticism at the time. Why? Well, I can think of quite a few who got fat from their property interests, estate agents businesses etc. I resisted pressure from banks, building societies, politicians and even family “to get on the property ladder”, because i didn’t believe it. And i am far from being the sharpest tool in the shed. But many chose to keep shtum. The bottom line is that the Government has chosen to let the people founder in a sea of personal debt in order to pay back the losses of the bondholders. They gambled and lost and should take the hit. The greater the risk, the greater the reward, and vice versa.That’s one of the basic laws of capitalism, isn’t it? Or at least it used to be…..

  29. sadlynot

    Whether some went mad (not me btw) and some didn’t, its totally unacceptable for our countries leader to say that about us on any scale. I am one who moved abroad for better job security and quality of life, and at this stage I wont return until that man is gone…somewhere…anywhere…hell isn’t good enough. Damn Ireland, what has happened, it makes me sad from far away. You’d better believe I’m not letting my kids pay for some asshats salaries anymore.

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