IF YOUR POLITICIANS ARE NOT SHOUTING AND EDUCATING YOU AS TO WHAT TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT (TPP) AND NEO-LIBERALISM HAVE AS A GOAL---THEY ARE NEO-LIBERALS.
Regarding corporate BBC/NPR/APM report on the state of Ireland:
From Wall Street's view Ireland was a success in the scheme of sucking all public wealth from a nation and then having the public pay to replace all the money off-shored by the looters. I liked as well the emphasis on the fact that Ireland's young people are now EMIGRANTS......as a result. Ireland's elected pols subjected its citizens to the worst of austerity and indeed took most public wealth in the country as is happening in the US today. Remember, Iceland nationalized its banks and made the looters pay and is far better off than any nation that did not do that. DO YOU EVER HEAR OF ICELAND'S SUCCESS?
I would like to look at this one case that mirrors all nation's efforts to address the massive looting by corporations of national Treasuries and public wealth. Are Irish really playing to TROIKA or have their voices been silenced?
Another important piece from this report was the push of youth towards emigration. That is indeed the plan for neo-liberals------empire-building means citizens are exported to overseas jobs to live as ex-pats after all. So, when Maryland and the Federal education reformers say we need lots of foreign language in elementary schools-----they are not being progressive-----they are preparing our children for becoming ex-pats-----emigrants.
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILD'S FUTURE TO HOLD ONLY AN OPTION OF WORKING OVERSEAS? NO ONE. EVEN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL GRADS DO NOT WANT THIS. Raise you hand if you want a strong public education system that prepares people to work in a domestic economy fueled with US families as consumers? EVERYONE. See the disconnect?
NEO-LIBERALS ARE PREPARING TO MAKE OUR CHILDREN TOOLS OF EMPIRE BUILDING BY SENDING THEM OVERSEAS AND LIVING AS EX-PATS JUST AS BBC DESCRIBED IS HAPPENING IN IRELAND.
Who will be staying in the US? With Trans Pacific Trade Pact (TPP) citizens who will live as Chinese citizens did while US corporations used China for offshore factory work.
The Bank Guarantee That Bankrupted Ireland
Posted on Nov 2, 2013 kevin dooley (CC BY 2.0)
By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt
This piece first appeared at Web of Debt.
The Irish have a long history of being tyrannized, exploited, and oppressed—from the forced conversion to Christianity in the Dark Ages, to slave trading of the natives in the 15th and 16th centuries, to the mid-nineteenth century “potato famine” that was really a holocaust. The British got Ireland’s food exports, while at least one million Irish died from starvation and related diseases, and another million or more emigrated.
Today, Ireland is under a different sort of tyranny, one imposed by the banks and the troika—the EU, ECB and IMF. The oppressors have demanded austerity and more austerity, forcing the public to pick up the tab for bills incurred by profligate private bankers.
The official unemployment rate is 13.5%—up from 5% in 2006—and this figure does not take into account the mass emigration of Ireland’s young people in search of better opportunities abroad. Job loss and a flood of foreclosures are leading to suicides. A raft of new taxes and charges has been sold as necessary to reduce the deficit, but they are simply a backdoor bailout of the banks.
At first, the Irish accepted the media explanation: these draconian measures were necessary to “balance the budget” and were in their best interests. But after five years of belt-tightening in which unemployment and living conditions have not improved, the people are slowly waking up. They are realizing that their assets are being grabbed simply to pay for the mistakes of the financial sector.
Five years of austerity has not restored confidence in Ireland’s banks. In fact the banks themselves are packing up and leaving. On October 31st, RTE.ie reported that Danske Bank Ireland was closing its personal and business banking, only days after ACCBank announced it was handing back its banking license; and Ulster Bank’s future in Ireland remains unclear. The field is ripe for some publicly-owned banks. Banks that have a mandate to serve the people, return the profits to the people, and refrain from speculating. Banks guaranteed by the state because they are the state, without resort to bailouts or bail-ins. Banks that aren’t going anywhere, because they are locally owned by the people themselves.
The Bank Guarantee That Bankrupted Ireland
Ireland was the first European country to watch its entire banking system fail. Unlike the Icelanders, who refused to bail out their bankrupt banks, in September 2008 the Irish government gave a blanket guarantee to all Irish banks, covering all their loans, deposits, bonds and other liabilities.
At the time, no one was aware of the huge scale of the banks’ liabilities, or just how far the Irish property market would fall.
Within two years, the state bank guarantee had bankrupted Ireland. The international money markets would no longer lend to the Irish government.
Before the bailout, the Irish budget was in surplus. By 2011, its deficit was 32% of the country’s GDP, the highest by far in the Eurozone. At that rate, bank losses would take every penny of Irish taxes for at least the next three years.
“This debt would probably be manageable,” wrote Morgan Kelly, Professor of Economics at University College Dublin, “had the Irish government not casually committed itself to absorb all the gambling losses of its banking system.”
To avoid collapse, the government had to sign up for an €85 billion bailout from the EU-IMF and enter a four year program of economic austerity, monitored every three months by an EU/IMF team sent to Dublin.
Public assets have also been put on the auction block. Assets currently under consideration include parts of Ireland’s power and gas companies and its 25% stake in the airline Aer Lingus.
At one time, Ireland could have followed the lead of Iceland and refused to bail out its bondholders or to bow to the demands for austerity. But that was before the Irish government used ECB money to pay off the foreign bondholders of Irish banks. Now its debt is to the troika, and the troika are tightening the screws. In September 2013, they demanded another 3.1 billion euro reduction in spending.
Some ministers, however, are resisting such cuts, which they say are politically undeliverable.
In The Irish Times on October 31, 2013, a former IMF official warned that the austerity imposed on Ireland is self-defeating. Ashoka Mody, former IMF chief of mission to Ireland, said it had become “orthodoxy that the only way to establish market credibility” was to pursue austerity policies. But five years of crisis and two recent years of no growth needed “deep thinking” on whether this was the right course of action. He said there was “not one single historical instance” where austerity policies have led to an exit from a heavy debt burden.
Austerity has not fixed Ireland’s debt problems. Belying the rosy picture painted by the media, in September 2013 Antonio Garcia Pascual, chief euro-zone economist at Barclays Investment Bank, warned that Ireland may soon need a second bailout.
Ireland was suckered into this neo-liberal policy of making a state or country home to business by giving them everything they want. In the US Texas leads in this policy and neo-liberal states like Maryland are following. What happens when you allow this race to the bottom in attracting jobs is what happened in Ireland. Citizens are taken on whatever ride neo-liberals want always to the detriment of labor and justice.
This is why we need to take back the democratic party-----the people's party from the neo-liberals and move back towards economic policy that allows our country stability and first world quality of life. It is not too late as neo-liberals try to tell us. WE SIMPLY NEED TO SHAKE THE NEO-LIBERAL BUGS FROM THE RUG!
In this article I like the DUMP THE EURO because right now the monetary capture of the TROIKA makes European unity a lose-lose situation for individual nations and their citizens.
John T. Harvey John T. Harvey Contributor
Leadership 7/08/2013 Forbes
Ireland: No More Austerity (and Dump the Euro)
Today, my wife and I are traveling to Ireland to visit the town where my grandfather grew up (and maybe have a beer or two–if we survive my driving!). The economy there presents a sad case study for the austerity programs being forced on economies around the world. Just days ago, it was reported that Ireland appears to be in recession once again (Ireland falls back into recession). How can this be given the rapid growth of the Celtic Tiger just a few years ago? Actually, this comes as no surprise to many economists because the so-called solutions being implemented are a function of the very same principles that caused the collapse in the first place. Unless a significant about-turn is executed, stagnation, emigration, and unemployment will continue for years to come.
That culprit is the philosophy of neoliberalism. It argues, among other things, that unregulated financial markets efficiently price assets, higher profits are good for everyone as they lead to increased employment and wages (the so-called trickle down effect), and governments represent a net drag on economic activity. Neoliberalism has been a powerful force driving world economic policy since the 1980s and as such laid the groundwork for many of the problems we are experiencing today. Ireland was not immune to these influences and, as a consequence, policy makers lowered corporate tax rates, made transfer pricing rules business-friendly, and adopted a largely hands-off approach to financial regulation (even when improprieties emerged). Dropping the punt in favor of the euro was also seen as a sign of economic responsibility because it linked Irish policy to that of the fiscally-prudent Germans.
What resulted was the emergence of Ireland-as-tax-haven. Yes, foreign firms were attracted and the impact was not entirely negative, but they tended to repatriate a substantial portion of their profits so that this money was available neither as a component of domestic income nor as part of the tax base. This, along with low euro interest rates that were more appropriate to the German than Irish economy, created an environment in which borrowing was easy and it appeared that no investment could fail. An asset bubble–something that neoliberalism says cannot happen in a free market since assets are priced efficiently–naturally followed. As is well known, that bubble burst in 2008.
But then, rather than decide that the earlier policies had failed, bets were doubled. In keeping with the neoliberal assumption that businesses were the key to prosperity, it was they, not the citizens, that the Irish government protected. In addition, Ireland continued to cede control of monetary policy by remaining on the euro. But most egregious of all was following the neoliberal advice of reining in “wasteful” government spending via austerity.
There is little more difficult to understand than the widespread fetish for balanced government budgets. Anyone who believes that lowering public spending will help an economy expand is woefully ignorant of both elementary accounting principles and basic economic theory. With respect to the former, by definition, a public sector deficit must equate to a private sector surplus. If you reduce one, you reduce the other. That cutting government spending means cutting private sector income is an inescapable fact (see for example Why you should love government deficits).
Furthermore, the key problem in modern economies is the inability of the private sector to consistently generate sufficient demand to hire all those willing to work. Consider this. Why did the Great Depression strike America? Was there a mass wave of laziness in the United States? Did Americans forget how to produce all the goods and services people had been consuming during the Roaring 20s? Of course not. The problem was insufficiency of demand, which is why once US government deficits grew, standards of living were able to not only recover, but reach new heights. Nor was the period thereafter one of economic collapse as the weight of government debt suffocated American firms and consumers. The fact is, the private sector needs government spending to supplement demand. The latter creates jobs and income when the former cannot.
And so it comes as little surprise that Ireland’s austerity policies have generated nothing more than…austerity. Unemployment stands at nearly 14%, an obscene level given that it was closer to 4% a mere six years ago. It’s not as if the goods and services that Irish men and women purchased back in 2007 are no longer producible. There is zero reason that the same standard of living could not be enjoyed today. The austerity policies are a monumental injustice and a crime against every Irish man, woman, and child affected by the contraction that has followed.
Recovery will only come when the Irish government rejects the neoliberal worldview and takes steps to directly employ the unemployed. This will require, at least at the outset, larger government deficits. This also means that Ireland MUST leave the euro so that fiscal policy is no longer tied to the wishes of the European Central Bank and hedge fund managers. Nations with their own currencies are never forced to borrow abroad to finance their own government’s spending (for more on how deficits actually work see The big danger in cutting the deficit). But so long as Ireland uses the euro, it will be dependent on the acquiescence of foreigners for both monetary and fiscal policy. And for far too long Ireland has been run for someone other than the Irish.
Now is the time to abandon austerity, increase spending, and leave the euro. The other path has already been tried.
Please go to this site and view the slide show that accompanies the article. All of Europe's nation's are seeing their public sector dismantled as this was the goal of the massive corporate frauds sucking all wealth from nation's Treasuries.....and it is why neo-liberals here in America deliberately ignore the massive fraud and work to dismantle the public sector.
Public health and public education are the next global market say neo-liberals so give it up! THIS IS WHY WE ARE SEEING PUBLIC HEALTH DISMANTLED BY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.
THE PIIGS NATIONS IN EUROPE ARE SEEING THE LEVEL OF AUSTERITY THAT WILL COME TO THE US WITH THE NEXT ECONOMIC COLLAPSE ---LATER THIS YEAR. Stability until after these primary/general elections. This is why these 2014/2016 elections are so important for labor and justice.
Ireland austerity: Hospitals to send some patients home on weekends
Friday Aug 31, 2012 6:17 AM
By NBC News staff
Hospitals in Ireland will send some patients home at weekends after the country’s public health services announced a new round of deep cuts, according to a media report Friday.
Cash-strapped hospitals will have to shut some wards on weekends as part of an effort to cut $44 million in spending on staff and overtime by the end of 2012, according to the Irish Independent.
Slideshow: Austerity in Ireland
Adam Patterson / Panos for nbcnews.com
Irish voters share their views on austerity and the economy as they prepare to vote in a referendum on the European Union's new fiscal treaty.
'The country is on its knees': Ireland grapples with economic collapse
The cuts were announced Thursday by senior staff at the Health Service Executive.
The health service is facing cuts of $163 million across the service, reports said. Overall, the country's health system is running a $315 million deficit, according to the Irish Times.
Officials said the staff shortages that the cuts would cause meant that more hospitals would have to operate "five-day" wards, according to the Independent.
That meant that patients assessed as "clinically suitable" would be sent home for weekends but would return to hospitals on Mondays.
Ghost towns tell the story of Ireland's faded dream
"Every effort has been made to target areas that do not impact on direct patient or client services," the newspaper quoted Laverne McGuinness of the Health Service Executive as saying.
The disability organization Inclusion Ireland condemned the cuts.
Guess who is profiting from the dismantling of the Spanish public sector and wealth. The same people creating the massive frauds. Guess who else? US public and private pension funds. Yes, labor and justice is having their pensions used to squeeze all the public wealth from these social democracies. Know what is next? These same US pensions will be left to prop this sovereign debt as the next crash comes and the looters are covered by these credit default swaps (CDS). Same thing as happened with the subprime mortgage fraud and economic crash.
NEO-LIBERALS ARE SETTING THE STAGE TO DO THE SAME THING TO CITIZENS IN EUROPE AND US AS WAS DONE IN 2008. IS YOUR POLITICIAN SHOUTING THIS LOUDLY AND STRONGLY?
Of course you do not hear that the Spanish people as with the Irish, Italian, Portuguese, and Greek citizens are protesting en masse and vow to obtain justice from these fleecings.
Portugal Default Swaps Signaling Gain From Pain: Euro Credit
By Abigail Moses and Maria Tadeo Aug 16, 2012 4:25 AM ET
Portugal’s fiscal reforms are giving investors the greatest confidence in its debt in more than a year, even as its economy struggles under the weight of austerity.
Credit-default swaps on Portugal dropped as low as 725 basis points today, from 1,515 in January and 1,237 in May. The contracts have fallen by the most of any government this year and by more than every nation except Ireland in the past month.
The implied probability of Portugal defaulting on its debt has declined to 46 percent from 73 percent as optimism that spending cuts and tax increases will get finances back on track outweighs a shrinking economy and rising unemployment. The government is trying to fulfill the terms of a 78 billion-euro ($122 million) bailout and return to bond markets next year.
“It’s the poster child of success for the European programs,” said Arif Husain, the London-based director of European fixed-income at AllianceBernstein Ltd., which oversees $407 billion and holds Portuguese bonds. “The reforms, unless something goes crazily, strangely wrong, will always lead to a short term contraction but put it on a better foot going forward.”
Investors are both buying bonds and paring bearish bets, with credit-default swaps protecting the smallest amount of Portuguese debt since at least 2009, when Bloomberg started collecting data from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. A total of 4,153 swaps contracts covering a net $4.5 billion of bonds were outstanding as of Aug. 10, down from $9.6 billion in January 2010.
The Portuguese 10-year yield was at 9.88 percent at 9:07 a.m. in London, down from a euro-era record of 18.29 percent on Jan. 31, while the rate on similar-maturity Spanish debt was 6.68 percent. German 10-year bunds yield 1.55 percent and Irish nine-year bonds pay 6.06 percent.
Portugal’s gross domestic product shrank for a seventh quarter in the three months through June, falling 1.2 percent from the previous period, while unemployment rose to a euro-era record of 15 percent.
The nation, which has 173 billion euros of debt outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, is seeking to narrow its budget deficit to 4.5 percent of GDP this year and 3 percent in 2013. It sold stakes in state-owned companies including utility EDP-Energias de Portugal SA and power-grid operator REN-Redes Energeticas Nacionais SA to bolster public finances.
Reforms are being demanded by the so-called troika of international creditors -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
“Portugal has been successful in meeting the targets required by the troika, the privatization program has been quickly implemented and the country is responding to austerity,” said Joaquim Gomes, a fund manager of Dunas Capital Gestao de Activos in Lisbon. “I’m confident that Portugal will make a successful return to the bond market in 2013.”
Gomes said he’s now buying Portugal’s 30-year bonds, after buying five-year notes starting last year. The nation’s five- year notes yield 8.38 percent, while the rate on the longer- dated securities is 8.89 percent.
In the first seven months of 2012, Portuguese debt returned 28 percent, the most of 26 markets tracked by indexes compiled by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. German bunds rose 4.1 percent and Spanish debt fell 5.1 percent.
As austerity in Portugal wins plaudits from credit investors, Irish debt risk is also falling as the government reforms its economy. The nation sold bonds last month for the first time since it sought a 67.5 billion-euro international rescue in November 2010.
Swaps on Ireland dropped as low as 449.5 basis points today, the lowest in almost two years, from a peak of 1,181 last July.
“A lot of people are extrapolating Portuguese yields toward where Ireland has gone,” Husain said.
The troika will arrive in Lisbon on Aug. 28 for its fifth review mission ensuring that the conditions attached to the bailout program remain on track.
Risks remain and a return to the bond market next year may be “premature,” according to Gilles Moec, co-chief European economist at Deutsche Bank AG in London. But the government is doing “more than enough to justify continued support from the EU,” he wrote in an Aug. 10 note to investors.
Contagion from the crisis in neighboring Spain is one of the biggest threats to Portugal’s recovery, according to Christian Schulz, an economist at Berenberg Bank in London. The Spanish government is considering requesting aid, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn signaled in a Bloomberg Television interview this week.
“As long as Spain is in trouble, returning to the markets for Portugal will be difficult,” Schulz said. “One big advantage for Portugal is politically stability, the country has a stable government and the success of the adjustment program acts as glue.”
Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva last week called on the ECB to buy its debt to help the government return to markets. The central bank said this month it may intervene in tandem with Europe’s bailout funds if troubled nations commit to improving their economies and fiscal positions.
“The Portuguese government has exceeded expectations,” said Schulz. “The real test for the Portuguese economy will be whether or not it can return to the market in 2013 at a sustainable level.”
We need to see the youth in America get ahead of this next economic crash that will leave America worse than Europe in the assault of the banks on Western nations. If you do not see that EMIGRATION is the employment future US global corporations have for US citizens.....YOU NEED TO SEE IT COMING!
Young Europeans Against Austerity Launch "Troika Party" to Run in 2014
Wed, 12/4/2013 - by Steve Rushton Occupy.com
Neoliberalism erodes democracy and people’s sovereignty: this is the defiant message from the pan-European Troika Party, an irony-steeped political party that has announced its run for the European Union parliamentary elections in May 2014. The party's slogans include, “Vote for us and you will never have to vote again!” and “Democracy is not competitive!”
Set to formally launch in January 2014, the Troika Party aims to become a rallying point across the continent against the current economic direction forced by austerity policies. “The campaign is a tool to raise awareness and dismantle the current neoliberal narrative, unpacking Troika’s role in European decision making,” one of the Troika Party’s organizers, Emma Avilés, told Occupy.com.
From Madrid, Avilés works on collective projects within the 15M movement, formerly dubbed by the media as the Indignados. “There is not a focus on who to vote [for] or not voting," she added. "We aim at people rethinking the concept of democracy.”
The party takes its name from the trio alliance – the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – which has determined the bailout and austerity packages imposed on southern European countries in recent years, widely seen as devastating those nations' social programs in favor of rescuing the banks that gambled away and indebted their economies.
Due to the bailouts, Greece is regarded to be suffering the worst humanitarian disaster in peacetime Europe. Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland are all suffering severely, too. The bailouts encapsulate northern Europe’s reaction to the financial crisis – a demand for belt-tightening austerity measures that include public service cuts, workers' rights reductions and slashed wages – all of which are deepening already entrenched economic inequality. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reports that austerity has caused Europe’s worst humanitarian crisis in 60 years.
As strategy goes, the Troika Party looks to build on the "Can’t pay, won’t pay" slogan which calls into legitimacy the dominant narrative of the international debt crisis: that countries are expected to pay back to the financial industry the debts that banks and corrupt, irresponsible governments were responsible for incurring. The Troika Party points out that the countries cannot afford to pay off these debts, even if they were legitimate.
“There is a big difference between understanding the crisis as something inevitable and our fault, then accepting austerity measures, the loss of rights and the undermining of democracy,” continued Avilés. “On the other hand, we want people to read it in a different light: the crisis as a 'scam' with specific actors that move the strings and benefit from it.”
The current, neoliberal economic structure is widely blamed as the key factor behind the Eurozone debt crisis –a contention forwarded inan academic paper by economists at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, which addresses how the Eurozone’s financial architecture is “protecting the interests of financial capital” and “facilitating the dominance of Germany at the expense of the Eurozone.”
In the fallout of the sub-prime mortgage crisis that spread to Europe, the scholars say investors saw Greece as an easy target and suggest the European Central Bank should have stopped “speculators playing destabilizing games.” Furthermore, the paper catalogues the ways austerity is causing poverty and recession in Europe's peripheral countries – meaning the debts are even less likely to be repaid.
"Short-selling," they contend, is one mechanism that deepened Greece’s troubles greatly. In times of crisis, speculators can short-sell financial assets and deepen a crisis by fueling panic and financial hysteria. This is done simply by borrowing assets, immediately selling them for a high price, then buying back those assets at a lower price. Looking at Greece’s crisis, now in its fifth year, the Financial Timesreports it was not only hedge funds that were responsible, but banks, insurance and pension companies which profited greatly as Greece’s debts escalated.
The Greek Credit Default Market is a key example. It was in the interests of the holders of these financial assets for Greece to default, as a default meant they got paid out. This credit default market’s value rose sharply in the run-up to Greece’s default. Worse still, from the perspective of the ensuing humanitarian catastrophe in Greece, the impacts of the credit default market created more panic sharpening the crisis.
A dominant power creates consent by shaping what people think of as “common sense,” according to the political philosopher Antonio Gramsci. In turn, Gramsci suggested that hierarchies can be challenged by undermining their myths. The notion of redefining common sense is core to the Troika Party’s platform. Alongside providing a hub for analysis, the party aims to challenge the messages that underpin neoliberalism itself.
“All around Europe we are hammered with tailored messages that are becoming mantras we unconsciously repeat, hiding the real truth about the direction Europe is taking and its consequences,” suggested Avilés. “Instead, we want to point at how Europe is walking towards a non-democratic model where finance and economic power have more say that citizens.”
The campaign aims to push serious economic and political messages in a fun and engaging way. “It will use satire, sarcasm and humor to dismantle the neoliberal narrative, backed up with visual tools and 'everyday language' to explain to Europeans what is really happening behind the curtains,” she said.
“This type of campaigning will play a key role in bringing political messages to sectors of the population that are not yet politicized, contributing to the multi-level European struggle against the 'E.U. crisis regime'.”
The Troika Party says it wants to challenge the stereotype that southern Europeans caused the crisis because they are lazy and that the southern countries spent too much on public services. The inspiration for the pan-European party came from Spain, where a version of it has already been active. It was later put forward at a convergence of members from different social and political movements who met in Amsterdam in October.
“Everyone is invited” is another slogan for the campaign, which seeks to create events, actions, reports and media that can be shared online. Party organizers purposefully left lots of space for campaigns and platforms to be tailored to each country.
The potential breadth of targets reach beyond the bailouts and austerity; the group highlights examples like the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, and the Competitiveness Pact which could be included as points of opposition in the platform.
“On a global level there are movements fighting against austerity measures, illegitimate debt, questionable bailouts, privatizations, loss of labor, civil and human rights or attacks on natural resources, which this campaign might reach out to,” Avilés added. "We need to recover the true spirit of citizens as political actors."
- See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/young-europeans-against-austerity-launch-troika-party-run-2014#sthash.pA6rnaae.dpuf