Why We’re Best In Class


And that’s not all

Justin Moran writes:

Saw these stats’s in [Unite trade union economist) Michael Taft’s latest blog, and thought it might be worth sharing. Not to be read unless you’re prepared to spend the rest of the day deeply depressed.

Ireland makes up 0.9 percent of the EU population

The Irish economy makes up 1.2 percent of EU GDP

Ok, we’re small. So how much of the entire European banking debt have we paid?

The Irish people have paid 42 percent of the total cost of the European banking crisis.


A Really Really Special Case Requires a Really Really Special Solution (Michael Taft, Notes on the Front)

65 thoughts on “Why We’re Best In Class

  1. Jockstrap

    Some Irish people have yes. But many Irish people have not paid anything towards it because they dodge tax and claim bankruptcy in the UK during their ‘London Year’.

      1. Big Man

        It’s graphed, so it must be true.

        And it has two colours, blue and green. Explain that skeptics!


        1. domquixote

          Follow the link in his article directly back to the EU website, where the numbers are available for you to check. If your suspicions are correct, come back and let us know. Given what SOMK says below, however…

      2. SOMK

        Ha! Ha! Ha!

        Michael Taft is an economist, these ARE the figures, in fact they are an underestimation, as they don’t count the money taken from the national pension reserve fund. This estimate (based on how eurostat are calculating the bank debt as debt) states we paid just over 41 billion, when the total we’ve put into the banks (and unlike TARP in the US, there’s little or no chance of us getting any of this back!) is €67.9 billion (which makes it around 15,000 per head of population if you must know, over thirty times what the next highest country (Germany) are paying per capita).

        This isn’t news, this is reality, and it has been the reality for the past two years, and anyone who has been paying any attention to this sh/would be able to rattle these figures off the top of their head, yet alone a practicing economist.

        You might have known too if you’d bothered to pay attention.

        1. Rumpleforeskin

          I meant another economist’s take on it, as it sometimes all seems to be too big to comprehend but maybe that’s the point. No need to be an a*se about it though…

        2. Jockstrap

          Problem is SOMK, too many people watch X-Factor and read FHM and Hello magazine so they haven’t a clue how their lives are entirely beyond their own control.

        3. cluster

          ‘in fact they are an underestimation, as they don’t count the money taken from the national pension reserve fund.’

          Have other countries not paid out state money to help their banks, including the UK, Sweden etc? Has this been included?

      3. Richard

        Michael Taft is an economist, and a very good one. If you think he’s wrong you could try addressing the substance of his analysis.

        1. Domestos

          He’s a self-serving economist, trade unions are as vested as anyone else.
          The 2007-2011 period recorded above will misrepresent the final outcome of the Euro debt cirsis. The Spanish contribution to this will top €2bn for starters.

        2. paddy de plastered

          Yeah, but who’s economist is he?
          There’s a whiff of crusty trade union coming from this.

    1. Chucky R. Law

      Indeed. Up to 2011. So it’s effectively the cost to governments of the Irish banking bailout. What a shocker!

      1. droid

        And of course, the Irish bailout prevented many other European banks and financial institutions from going under, hence we were also paying for the wider European crisis, as has been explicitly stated on multiple occasions.

          1. droid

            I dont think you understand. European banks lent to irish banks, Irish banks lent to irish people. If Irish banks default then European banks default. This is what was meant by ‘contagion’.

            What we did was throw money in front the first piece in a huge domino alley setup. Had we not done this, banks would have toppled all over Europe and the entire continent would be fu*ked.

          2. cluster

            True Kilcockian, did you really think that Irish financial problems were front page news merely because the world was worried about how a population several times smaller than metropolitan Paris was going to balance its budget?

    2. droid

      You’ve all got eyes, and (in theory) brains, why not go to Eurostat and look at the figures yourself?

    1. Richard

      Ad hominem arguments that triumphantly refuse to deal with the substance of what a person is saying and the evidence they provide have zero credibility.

    2. ElZilcho

      The source is actually Eurostat.

      Sorry if that interferes with the narrative that tells us that the filthy unemployed and the evul unions destroyed the country’s economy.

      Still, you’ll always have Marc Coleman’s radio show to keep a steady supply of bullshit coming your way.

      1. cluster

        Not taking issue with the graph but I do believe that ‘the evul unions’ are one of the big culprits in all this mess; over-inflated wage demands, a cosy relationship with Fianna Fail, a refusal to allow public services be reformed in any positive way and a fight for stupid work practices that killed the likes of the Irish Glass Bottle Plant and Team Aer Lingus.

        1. smokeybear

          +1 in my opinion the unions (both public & private sector) are as much to blame as the developers for the same reasons outlined above.

        2. AmeliaBedelia

          Ha. Tis’ the ‘evul (sic) unions’ fault. Did they do a lot of business with Ango?!

          Perhaps the Irish Glass Bottle company failed because the land on which it operated was worth more as a development site (in over-inflated terms) than what glass bottles could ever bring in. Bought for 412 million in 2006 (a consortium involving Bernard McNamara and Derek Quinlan: http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/01/14/where-the-big-colourful-players-are/) and now mothballed in NAMA. Never mind the fact that manufacturing of this type could not survive in Ireland for many, many reasons, but don’t let that get in the way of a good story.

    3. OnATroll

      I’d say the union leadership isn’t radical enough for Michael Taft. We need the threat of a General Strike to force the government to carry out their mandate, i.e. repudiate the debt. The chances of anyone in the union leadership proposing any such thing is nil.

  2. Captain Obvious

    Don’t know where to begin with this one. I’m at work so haven’t got all day to run the numbers but firstly;

    “The Irish people have paid 42 percent of the total cost of the European banking crisis.”

    This is such a loose statement.

    42% of what? How was ‘total cost of European banking crisis’ quantified? ..is it possible future losses? Current outstanding debts..public or private debt? Total amount of recapitalisation funds put into banks by governments? If an exact figure of the cost of European banking crisis was calculated then this piece of analysis is more valuable than we realise – however I suspect it is not.
    How was the 42% calculated?..it isn’t clear enough however the method alluded to isn’t correct. If we are to think that the amount the Irish Government has paid to banks in recapitalistion is 42% of the total cost of the European banking crisis then we are living on a different planet.

    1. droid

      You could just read the article and get the answers y’know. The figures are from Eurostat and the notes and data is available on their site.

      1. Captain Obvious

        It still isn’t accurate and far too much is ambiguous. The statement;

        ““The Irish people have paid 42 percent of the total cost of the European banking crisis.”

        doesn’t have substantive data backing it up. It is far too loose from an economic point of view.

        1. droid

          Still nothing substantive in your response. Have you gone through the data, added up the totals and come to your own figure?

          1. Captain Obvious

            Funnily enough I have not been paid a fee by UNITE so I cannot give up a week or so of work to prepare my counter argument by interrogating the same data set.
            His statements are still loose and make a poor argument from an economic point of view.

          2. droid

            If it takes you a week to add and subtract a few figures I guess it’s probably best to stick to vague accusations of incompetence anyway.

    1. cluster

      Donnelly has a bigger headline figure but Donnelly’s amounts relative to other countries are smaller, for example Donnelly suggests that we have paid 10 times more per capita than Spain wheras the graph above would suggest a factor of 200.

      One of them is wrong.

      1. C Sharp

        Spain’s banks were not bailed out before 2011. I’d imagine the figures are different now, and that situation is still unfolding.

      2. Zynks

        Wasn’t Spain accounting for the bank debt separately from the sovereign? Maybe Donnelly’s counts it in?

  3. David Higgins

    First Broadsheet posts Constantin’s skewed graphs and now this.

    Of course we’ve paid most towards the banking crisis. Ours was the largest in Europe!!

    A fairer analysis would compare taxpayers money spent VS the severity of our own banking crisis.

    But don’t expect a trade union “economist” to paint a fair picture of the government they disagree with.

    1. ElZilcho

      Yeah, lay off the Government, you beasts!

      David, for the most impact, you should have capitalised the ‘con’ in ‘economist ‘. That’d learn him.

    2. Richard

      ‘A fairer analysis would compare taxpayers money spent VS the severity of our own banking crisis.’

      ‘Our own banking crisis’? Maybe you owned a bank that went into crisis; I sure as hell didn’t.

      1. cluster

        The point that the EU would make is that we collected tax revenues from banks but that our regulators fell down more spectacularly on the job than the other (also incompetent) regulators. So that while you and I may not own banks we are responsible for banking activities in our country. (This ignores the ECB’s role in the crisis and that interest rates were being set for Germany’s slowly growing economy rather than Ireland’s booming one).

        We also guaranteed the banks without any major conditions thus staking our international reputation on not letting any of them fail. It was a failed gamble by guy with an addictive personality (Cowen).

        1. Richard

          I am responsible for banking activities in our country? On what planet is this country of which you speak? And are they paying me? You’ll be saying I’m responsible for the state of potholes on the roads in Donegal next.

          Apart from that, the last time I looked Brian Cowen and I were not the same person.

      2. AmeliaBedelia

        Were you around in late 2008? I think that’s exactly what we did. The guarantee made it ‘our banking crisis’.

  4. Kolmo

    Ireland IS the toxic bank. Our Government are traitors to the interests of it’s citizens, no backbone Quislings, either through not knowing that they were getting rings ran around them or something more sinister (future jobs for the boys promises)

  5. Henry

    Before letting your jaws drop to the floor and spending the day feeling sorry for yourselves: these facts seem exaggerated. How did Taft estimate the total cost of the European banking crises per capita? It could be defined in many ways. For example here is a pretty BBC graph which says that Ireland is more deeply indebted than Greece


    Why? Because massive amounts of debt owed by multinationals is registered in Ireland. Much more so than in Greece. However, this money should not affect the average joe on the street!

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