McWilliams, Browne, Ross And Krugman: Can They ALL Be Wrong?


“Austerity without debt forgiveness can’t work. School kids could figure this out. It also explains why what is good for the individual is not necessarily good for the collective and explains why everyone saving at the same time is good for no one. This is why the fiscal treaty is Kamikaze economics for most of Europe, it is designed to suit the Germans’ short-term political interests and has nothing to do with macroeconomics as we know it.”

David McWilliams. Economist.

“I will vote No in solidarity with peoples throughout Europe who are and have been denied any say in this treaty or any say on the other European treaties, treaties that, in the main, favour rich and powerful elites throughout the union at the expense of the mass of people.”

Vincent Browne. Journalist.

“The Government has rushed us into voting ‘Yes’ in a vacuum. I cannot, and will not, do that. If we defeat it, little will be lost. During the summer the clouds will clear over Europe. We will be able to vote again, this time on the full package in the Autumn. Richard Bruton told us so.”

Shane Ross. Independent TD.

“I’ve thought about it, it’s hard. I would say vote No. At this point the Germans need to face the reality that this cannot work and that the Irish, who’ve been such good soldiers in this crisis, if even the Irish say no then that would actually send a helpful message.”

Paul Krugman. Nobel Prize-winning economist.

YOU literally decide.

Alternatively: How bad Could It Get? Implications Of An Irish No Vote In the EU Fiscal Compact Treaty (Greg Bowler, TheBowlerfiles)

149 thoughts on “McWilliams, Browne, Ross And Krugman: Can They ALL Be Wrong?

  1. serf

    Of course they could all be wrong, just like Mc Williams was wrong on the Bank Guarantee, Browne is frequently wrong in his contrarian rants and Ross in his political grandstanding. As for Krugman, he’s in the minority when it comes to this stuff. We should be especially careful about overseas commentators keen to see us join in a game of chicken with Europe when we are the ones taking all the risks.

        1. woesinger

          I’ll give that a go.

          McWilliams seems to be making the point that (1) the current crisis was not caused by excessive public debt, but private debt, so a fiscal treaty that aims to control public debt don’t address the true underlying cause of the crisis – the one-size fits all nature of the Euro and the imbalances that produces between the core and peripheral economies of the eurozone and (2) that imposing restrictions on how governments deal with recessions (i.e. by reducing their discretion to deficit spend to stimulate growth) will only make this and future recessions worse. In short the fiscal stability treaty won’t stop future instability and may in fact hamstring governments’ ability to deal with future instability.

          Browne is making the point that issues of importance to the people of Europe should be voted for directly by the people of Europe and not through the clouded glass of representative parliaments. Vested interests, groupthink and poor political leadership mean that parliaments don’t always act in the best interests of the people they claim to represent. Referendums can be messy, divisive affairs, but that’s democracy for you. The views of the people should not be an inconvenience for elected officials to circumvent.

          Ross is saying that the treaty as currently constituted is being overtaken by events in Europe. Greece is facing another election that might see it leave the Eurozone. Spain is facing the spectre of bank runs. France has a new president that wants to renegotiate the treaty to include plans for growth. Meanwhile, the Dutch government has fallen over their budget plans to meet their fiscal obligations. Even Germany has postponed ratification. A yes from Ireland means that chances of getting the treaty renegotiated are reduced. A no on the other hand, will give momentum to the calls for a revised treaty. And since the current treaty really does nothing for Ireland, bar a vague promise/threat of ESM access, we have nothing to lose from a renegotiation.

          Krugman’s point, I think, is similar to both McWilliams’s and Ross’s. Ireland has done everything asked of it and we’re still in the shitter. Austerity is killing growth and hamstringing recovery. To really recover, the Eurozone needs a massive investment program on the scale of the New Deal and the Germans are going to have to either accept that (because they’ll be paying) or say auf wiedersehen to the Euro. Because we’ve taken our medicine so meekly so far, a no from Ireland will have more weight than all the histrionics from Greece.

          1. Hank Scorpio

            I was undecided on where my vote was going to go (I was leaning more towards a yes because anything a far left or right wing organisation says I usually do the opposite esp Sinn Fein) but that’s the first time I’ve read an argument, for or against, that is not complete bs.

            From someone who’s always voted yes on Europe, I can’t see a reason to vote yes now…

          2. Oscar Suarez

            Thanks Woesinger, that’s like a breath of fresh after listening to the ‘muppet on the left, muppet on the right’ debate on radio 1 earlier.

    1. paul

      yup. although, unlike Lucinda Creighton these lads have read both treaties and unlike Coveney, they know what Enda has said, unlike Joan Burton they know the projected govt figures and the deficit limits set under the treaty from 2015. Bizarre implosion of the yes side over the last couple of days and all that with a ‘leader’ who has been running scared of debating the treaty(ies) with anyone.

      can you imagine Merkel refusing to debate something so important with German opposition?

      Vote No. If you don’t know how to vote read the treaties – they are short and while a little ambiguous and open to legal challenge, as conceded by Justice Hogan this morning at the High Court, they are not as described by the Yes side.

      1. serf

        Is it such a bad idea to have a commitment that ensures the fiscal incontinence of Aherne & co wont happen again? If we want financial solidarity (Eurobonds, centralised bank rescue funds) with the wealthier countries, is it unreasonable to co-ordinate fiscal policies across member states? If we vote No, we still need to comply with the Troika MoU, if Yes much greater likelihood of access to ESM. I would agree with Ross on the timing, but I don’t believe its legal to defer a referendum once its announced – right?

        1. paul

          you do know that had this treaty been in place it would not have made a tot of difference to the bank lending from europe to irish-based banks nor on their lending policies to the property developers? this is about structural deficits, nothing to do with private banks.

          “McCarthy argued that, had the fiscal treaty been law since the euro’s launch in 1999, its supposedly tough spending rules would have made no difference in preventing the current banking and debt-financing problems, with the single possible exception of Greece because of its track record of fraudulent government accounting. Nor would the treaty forestall further debt crises, he said.” –

          seriously people need to read the treaty and stop listening to fluffycloud nonsense from the uninformed yes side (or no side if you prefer) just read the bloody thing.

          1. Jess

            No they wouldn’t, i think everyone recognizes that this treaty was written for the likes of Greece and Italy who ran massive structural debts for years.

            I don’t think asking members of the ESM to have rules to make sure they don’t run structural deficits is unreasonable. And the one thing I cannot get past is that if we cant access the ESM how are we going to fund ourselves if we need another bailout?

          2. woesinger

            It’s it’s written for Greece and Italy, why should we sign up to it? Ratification of the treaty doesn’t depend on us. If it doesn’t suit us, why sign up?

            ESM access strikes me as a bluff to stampede a yes vote. If we really need a second bailout with the alternative being default, it is not in the interest of the eurozone to shut Ireland out. It’s carrot and stick politics and it has no place in a European project that’s supposed to be about community and solidarity.

          3. Niall

            The problem is not so much what is in the treaty, as what isn’t.

            There’s nothing there for us, nothing whatsoever. Worse, it would seem to reduce the options available to us in fighting this and future crises.

            There’s no way in hell that the core EU will allow us to miss our repayments on the banks, it’ll capsize the whole European financial system. The doomsday scenario in the event of a no vote just isn’t credible, I’m afraid.

            This treaty, and the entire Merkozy approach needs to be sent back to the drawing board, and only a No vote will achieve this.

    2. rory

      “Browne is frequently wrong in his contrarian rants.”

      Out of curiosity what has Vincent Browne been wrong about in the past?

    3. Yourewrong

      “Browne is frequently wrong in his contrarian rants”

      Everyone is frequently wrong. But I see what you’re doing here, ridiculing those who threaten your interests.

      1. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

        I don’t think that’s what serf is doing, though I would love to hear more about his “interests”. I think he’s pointing out that an argument from authority isn’t much strengthened by appealing to four authorities rather than one. Can four people be wrong about the same thing? Yes.

      2. serf

        I was merely challenging the presumptive banner “Can they all be wrong?”. Its just 4 vocal commentators, of course they can all be wrong.

  2. fullpaddy

    Maybe the Gang of Four motor mouths should take a trip to Albania as thats were living standards in this country are headed with a NO to future tranches of the very generous & very cheap funding currently on offer to Ireland (to keep her solvent) from the EU, IMF, UK, Sweden & Denmark i.e. at rates we could only dream of borrowing at to a country (Ireland) whose probelms are almost entirely self inflicted

    1. Dave, Dublin

      Considering our access to our current EU/IMF funding is not dependant on a ‘Yes’ vote, and a ‘Yes’ vote doesn’t guarantee access to future ESM funding, I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

      1. paulo

        Funding from the EFSF isn’t dependent on the outcome of the referendum.

        However, ESM funding is dependent on a yes vote. It says so very clearly in the treaty.

        1. Dave, Dublin

          That’s not what I said. I said that Ireland accessing funds from the ESM isn’t guaranteed by a ‘Yes’ vote. There’s nothing in the Treaty that says once a country applies for ESM funding, it has to be accepted. They can tell us to feck off if we need a second bailout, regardless of how we vote.

          I’m very open to correction on this, and I hope I’m wrong.

          1. Daniel

            Unfortunately Dave your on the ball. If the esm gets up and running (by getting 90% of the pledged 700billion funds) its sole goal is to protect the euro. So if we do sign up and for example spain need cash (which it most likely will and soon) that will take a huge whack of it. Then greece also needs more money soon (eu just said last week they would protect greece) not to mention italy and portugal are shaky to say the least and we dont even need to apply for another 18 months…… I’d put my money on it being empty by the time we even consider applying for cash from it (that is of course after the extra 10billion liability we have to the pot has been called in!)

        1. Niall

          “The reality is that Europe’s weakest economies are dependent on money from the stronger ones, and the notion that people can simply vote away the laws of economics is nonsensical.”

          The reality is that Europe’s strongest economies are reliant upon the likes of us keeping up our repayments on bonds and other lending, because a default of any kind would lead to a collapse in the European financial system. Missed out on that part, conveniently.

          Not convinced in the slightest by that piece, it’s still a no from me.

    2. Kolmo

      Self inflicted? I didn’t convince the German/French banks to bet on a property bubble on a small island in the North Atlantic with fk all actual indigenous industry except for butter and carrolls gift shops..self inflicted my arse.

      1. paul

        or they could take a trip to germany where the IG Metall Solidarity union has called for a No vote from Irish voters - that’s a few million Germans right there.

      2. fullpaddy

        The Irish bubble was caused by a Eunuch like central bank, non existant dmestic regulation of the financial system, totally inappropriate goverment tax breaks on golf courses , 5 star hotels & apt blocks in the middle of nowhere (ribbon development), lack of building regulations, endemic corrupt planning and wild loose and uncontolled lending by mainly IRISH banks aided a abeted by the subsids of UK (BoS, UB) & Danish banks (NIB). It had nothing whatsoever to do with French & Gerrnan banks whose operations here are IFSC related & whom (Depfa, Hypo) got into trouble betting on other products wholly unrelated to Irish property

        1. woesinger

          If it had nothing to do with European banks, why is the ECB so concerned we pay back unsecured bondholders?

          European banks lent money foolishly to Irish banks who lent it foolishly to property developers and property buyers, thereby inflating the bubble.

          Responsibility for causing the crisis is shared here – Irish and European banks, Irish and European governments, the Irish and European Central Bank. The solution needs also to be shared.

          1. fullpaddy

            So why was there no property bubble in other European countries bar Spain then (which was partly caused by gullible Irish & British punters). All countries in the Eurozone had the same 1% rates for the same period. What was different was the conditions created locally by the inactions of the Irish central bank / regulator, the crazy incentive schemes (scams) dreamt up by various FF led govts, fraudulent planning, no building regulations combied of course with the incredible loose macho lending practises of the banks from the worst offenders Nationwide & Anglo to the sheer incompetence of AIB double its mortgage book at the height of the boom because it was loosing market share to BoS introducing trackers . Re paying the bond holders. The ECB wanted bond holders repaid so that no precedent was set for other Eurozone countries. Such a precedent in their view would have meant that funding from the issue of bond debt which banks rely upon for funding would disappear creating a crisis as these bonds matured. That was their BIG picture Eurozone thinking. Re Irish banks. Other Eurozone banks did NOT embark on a wild and reckless lending frenzy based on one upmanship to property developers or double / treble their mortgage books. European banks got into trouble firstly from ill advised investments in highly structured leveregaed products based on the US mortgage market the risks in which they mispriced & misjudged. later they lost money on the vast bond holdings of Greece, Portugal, Ireland & more lately Spain & Italy

          2. McGrath's Domestos

            @fullpaddy. There have been property bubbles all over Europe, albeit smaller ones. It was the construction bubble that effed us in the a. Stamp down, VAT down, employment/IT down, related industries hit, welfare up, etc, etc.

        2. Tommygun

          Wow Fullpaddy, you have totally, and in a really impressive way, missed what actually happened in Ireland. Please do a little research before spouting off ill informed nonsense. The European banks did bet on the property madness – BY LENDING TO THE IRISH BANKS!

          If FF had not given the bank guarantee, but instead had guaranteed all deposits up to, say, 500,000 euro, Anglo Irish Bank, and maybe others, would have failed and their creditors would have lost billions – meaning the lossed the Irish taxpayer is covering would actually have been bourne by the banks that lent the money to Anglo, AIB, BOI etc, meaning pain suffered in Berlin, Paris and London much more than in Dublin. Which is why the ECB and the EU supported the bank guarantee.

          I am simply amazed that someone living in Ireland in 2012 did not know that the European banks were as to blame, if not more so, for the Irish property disaster. Take a property investor in Ireland. He may want to build a stupid 5 star hotel in mullingar, but if no Irish bank will lend him the money he is just a fool with a bad idea. Similarly, the Irish banks may have wanted to lend like there was no tomorrow, but unless the European banks, specifically the German banks, lend them the money to do so, they would not have been able to lend as much.

    1. iPaddy

      I love moratorium day around elections. It’s the day when you realise that numpties who don’t still don’t know that the moratorium only applies to broadcast media actually have a vote on something far more important.

        1. iPaddy

          Fewer grammatical errors. Not less.

          An inserted word does not count as a grammatical error by the way. It’s an error of a different kind.


          1. LongLiveKildareRule

            It’s perfectly ok for people to not know stuff or to be wrong, iPaddy. It’s also ok for people to ask questions about stuff, considering that’s how most of us learn.

            I’m sure you are a genius on all subjects, but the rest of us mere plebs need help every now and then.

          2. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

            You’re being pointlessly nasty. And it’s spelt “numpty”.

          1. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

            No doubt you exhausted all the polite alternatives before deciding to make your jejune point by insulting a stranger, but I think you could have done better.

          2. woesinger

            So your point is you don’t like universal suffrage because it gives stupid people a vote? Or perhaps that suffrage should be dependent on an IQ test or a current affairs quiz?

            If so, that’s a very enlightened point that I’m sure no one has ever made before

          3. Zuma

            @ iPaddy

            So i’m stupid because i wasn’t aware of the conditions of the moratorium?

            Personally I’m more concerned that there are narcissistic snobs like yourself out there who believe they have an inherent right to look down on first time voters

      1. Paul

        Zuma’s question is valid- there is a moratorium. The fact that it is a broadcast moratorium is secondary information. I am sure the first time that you learnt about the moratorium, that secondary detail had to be explained/discoverd to/by you. Unless you were born knowing this information which makes you some kind of Demi- God or just a plain saddo.

  3. Yourewrong

    I’m a No. I’m a ‘middle class’ business owner and I employ people. I am supposed to be one of those who Fine Gael supporters thinks they have in the bag. Well no. I’m also third level educated, from a ‘comfortable’ upbringing.

    But I can see how the really wealthy, the genuinely wealthy, are tricking the less wealthy into working for less and for longer and paying more tax to their governments while they profit from cheaper goods and services and divert revenue from small local business into the international companies who are taking over on street level.

    I’m a No because money means nothing to me. People mean everything.

      1. cluster

        It might be if it addressed the treaty at all. It doesn’t.

        The treaty doesn’t address whether rich people can trick poor people or not, nor does it give a preference to money over people.

        I fail to see how putting into national legislation deficit limits which have largely been agreed in the past (though often breached) and setting up a crisis fund does any of those things.

        It wouldn’t have prevented the current crisis but it is step in that direction. It does arguably strip a bit more power from nation states and give them to the EU.

        1. Tommygun

          Actually, it may have prevented the current crisis. If the treaty had been in place, would the Irish government been able to guarantee all the Irish bank’s loans? Real question.

    1. paul

      fair play to you. This is more than an economy, it’s a society. Fine Gael have tried to slide themselves in as the voice of the ’employer’ but conveniently ignore the voices of all the thousands of employers (including my own family) who have had to shut down their shops and factories because the customers don’t have a bob left to spend.

    2. McGuire

      I can derive a grand total of no meaning from Yourewrong’s comment: it would appear that it is simply a collection of words.

      1. Niall

        Even people who the blueshirts would regard as their natural constituency are voting no on this.

        No need to thank me.

    1. Niall

      Not so. The treaty hasn’t been ratified by sufficient countries to bring it into effect, in fact I’m noting a distinct lack of enthusiasm with regard to that.

      More importantly, the Merkozy consensus has been broken … thank you France … and Hollande has explicitly stated that he will not sign the treaty in its current form.

      Simple choice, do we endorse Merkozy’s approach, or do we hold out for a Hollandaise rewriting in more people-friendly terms.

      There’s not a chance that the EU core will allow us to go unfunded if ESM funds aren’t available, they have more to lose than we do if Ireland defaults or can’t make payments, so I don’t see how a no vote will derail us.

      It’s a pretty straightforward no when you think about it…

      1. cluster

        Probably the best reason to vote yes is that it helps separate us a little bit further from Greece in the eyes of the world particularly bond markets.

        Realsitically an element of stimulus is necessary and that seems to be becomign more accepted across Europe but us voting no is not the best way to achieve that.

        Possible optimistic scenario, we vote no, the world peers up for a second and say the Irish are being good little worker drones before diverting their attention elsewhere. In the meantime, the European leaders anxious to prevent a complete implosion, set up a stimulus fund for Europe, Europe gradually recovers, we emerge with a reputation for being reliable despite set-backs and we get the best of both worlds.

        1. Niall

          We, the Greeks, the Italians, Portuguese, Spanish have a common interest here, I’d like to see us becoming more cohesive in our response, not less – Hollande certainly seems to be making the right noises for a potential figurehead of that movement.

          This is the way out of this mess, I think. The Treaty suits the creditors – Germany, essentially – but it’s does nothing for the periphery, nothing whatsoever. By rejecting it, we provide a symbolic impetus to change the way that things are being done at the moment.

          If we accept it, we send a message that the people of Europe, especially at the distressed fringe, are quite ok with picking up the tab to save Frankfurt’s financial institutions, and that we’re that desperate for small change that we’ll sign pretty much anything. Can’t see us getting any dividend from that scenario.

  4. Tom Joad

    Not sure whether to take this article seriously. Pretty krap argument for a No vote.

    Why not throw Gerry Adams in there too.

    The No campaign has been a continuous loop of misinformation and obfuscation of the truth, culminating in the stunt at the High Court which was a shameful abuse of our judicial system.

    1. paul

      no it wasn’t. Read the jusdgement not the fine gael tweets.
      “Doherty had claimed it was still within the power of the government to decide not to approve a treaty, by not tabling the appropriate legislation in the Oireachtas – a claim the Referendum Commission said was invalid, given Ireland’s inherent requirements to implement decisions reached at the European Council.

      Justice Hogan said the area was not clear enough to firmly decide which argument was correct, but said there was “room for legitimate legal and political debate” on that point.” –

  5. Patty

    Wow! How biased are you guys?

    As i see it, we have the option of accepting access to relatively cheap credit subject to conditions set by the lender where we agree to get our house in order and keep it that way. Uncertainty is fun when you are a teenager but this is a country we are dealing with here.

    I have a business and borrow from the banks for working capital needs, they set conditions. I have a mortgage, which before I took it out had income/deposit conditions attached and I also would need to let them know if I couldn’t or was in fear or not being able to pay. Nothing in this Treaty is in any way unusual, it is common sense.

    It is about time we realised that we have not had deep austerity in this country at all, we are still running a huge deficit. Real austerity would see huge tax hikes and/or massive cuts to social welfare and public/civil service pay and pensions. The vast majority of people have been able to cope with the cumulative budget measures with not insignificant but manageable life style changes. This is not the populist/media view which focuses on the negative, but it is the reality (the simple facts on wage rates, cost of living, performing mortgages etc etc point to this).

    Undoubtedly those who have lost their jobs have been hit badly and should be supported vis a vis social benefits and probably most importantly mortgage assitance.

      1. serf

        Do you understand the difference between “necessary” and “sufficient”? Being the debtor we need to do the necessary before were told its sufficient. Not vary “fur” in Sinn Fein speak, but thats how the real world works.

        1. Dave, Dublin

          You misunderstood my post. Sorry to bang on about it, but all the Treaty does is allow us apply to the ESM. There’s no guarantee that our request for help has to be accepted.

          1. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

            There’s no guarantee of acceptance if we ratify, but there is a guarantee of rejection if we don’t. (I think.)

          2. Dave, Dublin

            Given that the Treaty is teetering, wouldn’t that scenario encourage us to vote ‘No’ and push for such a guarantee? There’s an idea that the ESM will push on without us, but encouraging a Eurozone default in the name of political brinksmanship isn’t the ECB’s game.

            On the other hand, if we turn around at some point in 2013 and request more funding from the ESM and they reject us, we’re stuck with market funding and a pile of new budgetary restrictions to deal with as well.

          3. Patty

            Like any legal document it is drafted in legalese, it cannot just say “ratify and we’ll give you the cash”. You’re splitting hairs here me thinks. If the reason we cannot access the Fund is that it has run dry (e.g. Spain/Italy issues) then that will be one hell of a problem. Prehaps they are trying to shore things up by showing access to funding for peripherals like ourselves to ease overall pressure. Let’s just hope it is not too little too late. I just don’t know how things are going to play out over the next few months/years as regards the Euro but I really do feel that sticking with the bigger economies and not isolating ourselves is the best course.

            Hindsight will tell us whether an alternative route could have been taken but the risks of chancing our arm or playing poker at this point are just too high I believe. It is very easy to come out with macho rhetoric a la Sinn Fein and Ganely when you are not in government, when your decisions and comments won’t be judged by history. I have no gra for FG but do recognise the heavy burden that must be on anyone involved in national level decisions in a ‘crisis’.

          4. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

            I think the main hope of a No vote is that the treaty, and perhaps the whole one-sided austerity approach of the EU, will be rethought.

            But the treaty does at least start to address the inconsistency of having a common currency without a common fiscal policy.

          5. Dave, Dublin

            Fair enough that it might be legalese, but I doubt that will come into it.

            Scenario 1: Vote ‘Yes’. We go through another (maybe two) budgets of “successful” austerity. We close the gap on market funding, but not by enough to be able to actually get that funding. We go for ESM funding, they tell us to do one. Market funding is negotiated through the promise of further austerity budgets. The fan gets destroyed by sh1t.

            Scenario 2: We vote ‘No’, Europe doesn’t care However, support across Europe for the Treaty falters. It’s re-written with some provisions for growth. We keep the austerity going, which combined with improving conditions in Europe as a result of said growth provisions push us over the line into market funding territory. Hurrah, we’re back to wrecking the economy on our terms.

            Scenario 3: None of the above happens, Europe descends into a montage of spinning newspapers and boots marching in unison.

        2. woesinger

          Pedanto – it’s a start, but not a good one. And my fear is that a if the treaty is ratified, there’ll be no pressure on governments to continue until the next crisis crops up. For me a “no” on the fiscal treaty is a way to tell EU policy makers to “try again, and try harder”.

          1. Niall

            For me a “no” on the fiscal treaty is a way to tell EU policy makers to “try again, and try harder”.


          2. cluster

            There will be pressure because this slightly improved fiscal union won’t have solved the problem and everyone knows it.

    1. Joss

      But surely we’ll have to have ‘real austerity’ as the debt to GDP needs to be below 60% (it’s currently circa 108%), otherwise the “Contracting Party [ie Ireland] shall reduce it at an average rate of one twentieth per year as a benchmark”. And if we don’t reduce it by that much we get penalised an amount that “shall not exceed 0,1 % of its gross domestic product”.
      And that’s before we get to the structural deficit bit.

  6. rapmachine no diggidy no doubt

    i think i’ll vote no. i trust those guys. i dont know much about economic in the main but i do know that it was austerity that brought the nazis to power and i am reluctant to blindly follow the germans.

    1. D

      It was hyperinflation that brought the Nazi’s to power hence the German’s reluctance to countenance anything that could drive inflation higher.

      1. cluster

        It wasn’t actually hyperinflation, they had moved onto ausetrity when the Nazis came to power.

        But this vote is not a pro/against on austerity.

  7. Insolvent

    I’ve often found in the past that whatever Shane Ross thinks, think the opposite and you’re probably closer to the truth.

    The man is the ultimate populist shill.

    Riding around on that high horse of his doesn’t mean there isn’t dirt underneath …

    1. Jimmy

      I’ve often found in the past that whatever Enda Kenny thinks, think the opposite and you’re probably closer to the truth.


  8. Conski

    I’ll vote the way pop-economics are voting – i dont want to get it wrong! think of the shame – scarlett!

  9. Kevin

    Its interesting how there is always a predominant hard left view point expressed online but no doubt the treaty will be passed on Thurs.

    1. Yourewrong

      Hard left? Hardly.

      Anyway, the reason you see more leftish views online is because the internet isn’t controlled by vested interests like the print and broadcast media is.

      1. Insolvent

        … or maybe you see more because the internet allows any loon (like me) with a computer to have their say.

        Well, that and the ants. All hail our new Ant Overlords!

      2. Kolmo

        hard-left? anyone who objects to anyhing is hard-left apparently, horseshit, this is a tool of bill o reilly to dismiss any objection to his shilled view as ‘hard-left’ and therefore communist/family killers. anyone who uses this left-right/liberal-conservative to polerize people is a twat.

        1. Kevin

          Yes but the people opposing the treaty are from the left and the hard left. Is this not the case?

    2. paul

      no he’s right – look at these hard lefties
      Krugman – trot
      McWilliams – leninist
      Ross – marxist
      Browne – stalinist.

      carry on

    1. PeteS

      As opposed to the rest of the honest, for-the-people politicians that populate the Dail?

    2. Donal

      Not a big fan of the man, but you clearly don’t understand the term “parish pump” when related to politics.

  10. Jack

    So essentially we are voting yes to borrow money from the ESM, to then give back to our private debtors (mostly German), and in the meantime impose taxes on the poorest members of our society to pay the loans back. Yay!

  11. VOTE NO Frilly Keane

    Fúck the dilly dallying from those professional talking heads.
    Listen to me. I’m right.

  12. Leaning to the centre

    1 and 4 are proponents of Keynesian economics so what else would you expect of them

    1. McGrath's Domestos

      Post-party Keynesian economics no less. As in we-all-partied kind of party, not political party.

    2. Niall

      Well, given the absolute disaster that’s resulted from neoliberal approaches, maybe it’s about time that we started listening the Keynesians.

      1. cluster

        The reason the whole of Europe is in such a mess is debate is because they are advocating one half of a Keynesian measure. The idea is tha the government cuts back to a minimum in boom time and expands in recession.

        We expanded our public spending in the boom time, then shelled out stupid money to protect everyone from the banks (including the banks themselves).

        In future, if this treaty passes and if the Euro survives, governments could still follow Keynsian economics by putting excess tax receipts aside or paying down national debt rather than trying to buy votes.

  13. Barra

    Ah lads. Can’t wait for the referendum to be over, if only so I can read broadsheet without feeling annoyed.

  14. Rugbyfan

    I am voting Yes. Main reason SF are saying No.
    If they have their way we will all be in dire straits!

  15. john collins

    we should take cognisance of the recommendations of an eminent professor of economics and Nobel Laureate (Paul Krugman) and ignore the advice of the “Elementary School “teacher (the German Press) Kenny on this important referendum.

  16. Stephen Cummins

    My main question was: will this new legislation prevent another banking crisis? There’s nothing in it about that at all. This treaty only says if a national government takes on private debt again, the people will foot more of the bill, Germany and the EU won’t help. I wonder if we vote yes, will the government wake up and make sure the banks don’t do this to us again? I doubt it, because they don’t want to take on the banks or the EU, they’ve demonstrated that clearly.

    I think another banking crisis is inevitable because nothing has been done to prevent it happening again. Next time, it will hit the tax payer even harder because if we vote yes, the EU (by which I mean Germany) will not only not help, but penalize us for increasing our deficit. Even if we vote no, it’ll not actually change the fact that this will happen again and we’ll still pay for it, Germany will just have less of a legal standing to deny us funding.

    Even if the majority vote No, which I doubt at this point, we’ll likely vote yes the second time content we’ve “sent a message”. But it’ll not change anything. We’ll still be on the hook for the next banking binge.

    I think the majority will vote yes, preferring to stay beholden to EU funds rather than risk cleaning up our own mess like Iceland did.

    I will vote no, it takes back some of the power and gives us a stronger negotiating position, we the tax payers didn’t create this mess and we shouldn’t be paying for it. Even if we can’t get out of paying for it, we don’t have to act like we f**king like it!

  17. Joe

    Paul “Buzz Killinton” Krugman may be a professor of economics and Nobel Laureate but that doesn’t mean he’s always correct. However from reading his posts I’m of the belief that this man predicting doom in a calculated manner to upset the apple cart and make money on said doom, he wouldn’t be the first person to make money this way. I bet he’d benefit financially from an Irish No Vote.

    1. DAN

      Krugman’s been on the mark about the crisis for several years now, and you wouldn’t take his advice because he might profit from it…
      That’s pretty dumb, choose the people who have and will profit from it over someone who might, even tho’ those you’re choosing have been wrong every step of the way.

  18. rory

    ‘Can they all be wrong?’
    Yes they can all be wrong.

    Are they all wrong?
    I have no idea.

    I like to think I can trust Vincent though.

  19. A.Tomás

    Krugman – just may have a thing with Europe, and the way it handles its finances. Like others, sees Ireland as proxy?

    Browne – champagne socialist who thinks violent criminals are “victims” of, well, us. Multi-millionaire hypocrite who doesn’t live in the real world.

    McWilliams/Dreamy – Used to write speeches for Bertie Ahern, FF pen man.

    Shane Ross – Works for Sir Anthony and Anne Harris, never mentions in his columns how Indo-rag-newspapers-ltd are failing

      1. cluster

        Ti be fair, since the original post is an appeal to authority, than some ad hominem is justified.

    1. Niall

      It’s pretty much bang on, imho. Disgusted at Zappone for toeing the party line on this.

      1. cluster

        The article makes a couple of valid points but ignores the central fact that as long as governments consistently spend more than they take in they will be at the mercy of the markets.

        The treaty aims to limit this.

        1. rory

          Hello Cluster, I’m wondering if you could give me your opinion on something.

          What do you make of the idea (as outlined in a comment above) that imposing restrictions on how governments deal with recessions (i.e. by reducing their discretion to deficit spend to stimulate growth) will only make this and future recessions worse.

  20. Cranky

    Yeah, look, I’m voting NO. I have more respect for David McWilliams and the others than Enda “we’ll say anything to get into Government” Kenny. I’m on a tracker mortgage with a house I bought comfortably within my means, so I’m standing higher above the water level than half the average. If they turn the austerity screw too tight, there’s the airport.

  21. covert

    Shane Ross, the Anglo Irish cheerleader? Who castigated BoI and AIB relentlessly for not being as “dynamic” as Anglo (until they sadly took his advice)? The guy who praised Bertie Ahern’s stewardship of the economy in the latter days of his time in power? Fairly pathetic Broadsheet if you rank him alongside Krugman.

  22. cyview

    Vote yes….we get bailed out if required/vote no…we get bailed out if required. Either way we will not be allowed to default…or will we?

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