Mercille Live



This morning.

French-Canadian beefcake boffin Dr Julien Mercille is currently addressing the banking Inquiry over the media’s role in the financial crisis.


Watch LIVE here (committee room 1)

More as we get.

The accumulation of sovereign debt in Ireland and Europe gave rise to the possibility of default and restructuring. However, the media described a potential default as a ‘cataclysm’, an ‘evil day’, ‘an unmitigated disaster’, ‘hugely damaging’, a ‘doomsday scenario’ and likely leading to ‘intolerable contagion effects’ throughout the eurozone. However, scholarship on sovereign debt restructuring reveals that countries that decide to cancel the repayment of their debts typically suffer only short-term economic costs and that long-term negative consequences are not significant, so that overall, defaulting often yields positive outcomes, as in Argentina and Greece.
The media have also strongly endorsed austerity since 2008. At the outset of the crisis, the media called explicitly for a campaign to ‘educate’ the public about the need for austerity. The Irish Times editors complained that ‘Members of the general public still do not appreciate the possible extent of the economic downturn’ and editors thus asserted that ‘the Government will have a major job to do in educating public opinion about unpalatable economic realities and the need for civic discipline’.

From Dr Mercille’s opening address.

Full transcript



Desert-booted, knapsack-carrrying chiselled egghead Mercille outside Leinster House this morning.

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

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31 thoughts on “Mercille Live

  1. Bluebeard

    Most commentators and journalists did not have the intellectual capacity to figure out what was going on, and the same is true for most of the world. The media just wanted a plot- Villians- fat cowen and sly seanie wrecked the country- and Victims- they cut me social Joe, and dey put me ma on a trolley.
    Commentators were happy to tut tut along vying with each other for media space. It was an ignominious performance by all involved, but not surprising. Mercille is just the latest in a line of fame seekers, with the novel approach of criticising everyone else. Still a media putain…

    1. Kolmo

      Whatever his perceived motives (if any) – his analysis of the media in Ireland is evidently correct, whether you agree with his analysis is a different matter.

      1. Mayor Quimby

        His analysis is correct – he’s again’ austerity – what part of there’s not enough money coming in does “Dr” Mercille not understand.

        The worst part of Irish Austerity is that we keep wasting money on soft social science – like the tripe produced by fucwit Mercille

        1. Mark Dennehy

          “what part of there’s not enough money coming in does he not understand?”

          The bit where we agree to pay bills we can’t afford to pay when other nation states did not.
          This is about how entire economies of sovereign nation states interact; it is not a case of an individual person deciding they won’t pay for their cup of coffee in the local coffee shop. The same ethical rules and social mores do not apply. Most of economic theory accepts that fact as an axiom. That the government went with the narrative that denied this fact in order to undertake crippling levels of sovereign debt is the bit the rest of us can’t understand.

    2. Sham Bob

      So were the Gardai investigating Anglo ‘looking for someone else to blame’, or the banking inquiry (bad example maybe), or any academics who study the crash? Sure didn’t they all party?

    3. SOMK

      Yeah there’s no point trying to understand anything because you’ll never understand it because you’re all too stupid to understand what really happened (which was capitalism being awesome BTW). Frankly this whole free exchange of information and ideas and trying to learn from mistakes is only trying to find people to blame, and giving people who didn’t understand an excuse to call themselves victims of people who are paid to understand stuff you could never understand anyway, sure you don’t even understand what a great job they’re doing, now shut up and take out a 100% mortgage, like the person who understands more is telling you to.

  2. Soundings

    Fascinating stuff, he’s discussing and providing detail on the content of his €120 book on the role of media in the property (interchangeable with banking) boom and bust.

    “Prime Time also sustained the housing bubble”


  3. Mayor Quimby

    This guy is an idiot and a liar – he claimed on Monday that the current Government crashed the economy by implementing austerity.

    My taxes pay his wages and the guy thinks his job is to be a political mouthpiece. Go back to Canada.

    1. Dubloony

      Um, wasn’t the whole “can’t spend what you don’t have” budgetary requirements of recent years necessitated by the economy falling off a cliff under the previous government?

      1. Mayor Quimby

        it’s not that complicated – unless you’re a pseud and a fraud who thinks that Argentina and Greece should be help up as examples.

    2. Walter-Ego

      Yeah, Stop coming over here and taking our rhetoric. We want to be told austerity works, ya moose catching wanna be American.

      1. Mayor Quimby

        His ramblings about austerity would hold more water if the Government had cut the spending deficit to zero instead of running up even more debt by spending money on public services.

        Austerity: Does you realise that Ireland ran **double digit** deficits for years?!

        1. Mark Dennehy

          Yeah, what the hell did that Keynes fellow know anyway, eh? Stupid economic academics who found entire systems of economic thought that the world runs on for years…

          1. My Daddy is bigger than Yours

            eh, in a very small, very open economy within a currency union Keynesian effects pretty much go out the window…

            e.g. All that dole money spent on Sky Sports doesn’t do a whole lot to stimulate the local economy does it?

  4. serf

    “…defaulting often yields positive outcomes, as in Argentina and Greece”
    I think this sums up this guy’s knowledge of economics, and relationship with the real world.

    1. Mark Dennehy

      Whatever about Argentina, who have their own problems, didn’t someone point out recently that if you removed the debt servicing, Greece currently had a net surplus in its budget of about 1.5%?
      So if they defaulted or restructured, they definitely would have a positive outcome.
      Hence the whole thing with their finance minister of late…

  5. jeanclaudetrichet

    Goddam mainstream media paying for their content and giving people permanent jobs. Whay can’t everyone be a hipster internet leech? Its the way of the future.

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