Thursday, August 4, 2011

The (easily predicted) after effects on Europe of the US debt ceiling increase

It's been a long time since I posted here, due to family and work commitments I haven't really had time for a good internet-based whinge. Good to be back!

The country now is in a total state of depression. No leadership whatsoever. Either stupid or treasonous or both.

The market is down 512 points today so from the moment the ceiling was raised over a trillion dollars has evaporated from the American Wallet.

If this races east then Europe will be decimated tomorrow. Another black friday to come perhaps?

This was easily predicted.

Despite and because of the measures recently taken at a July 21 summit of the European Heads of State to try to stop so-called contagion (as if the collapse were not systemic) from Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, the contagion continues, with Spain and Italy on the edge.

On Wednesday, Spanish and Italian 10-year yields stood respectively at 6.24 and 6.10 percent.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said this surge in Italian and Spanish bond yields to 14-year highs was cause for deep concern. "In fact, the tensions in bond markets reflect a growing concern among investors about the systemic capacity of the euro area to respond to the evolving crisis," Barroso said.

Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti held two hours of emergency talks with the chairman of Eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Luxembourg, but neither disclosed anything of substance after the meeting.

"Italian and Spanish bond yields rose to their new record highs. This is a very alarming and scary thing," Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told public broadcaster YLE. "The whole of Europe is in a very dangerous situation."

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi addressed the Italian parliament on Wednesday after Italian markets closed.

France's Societe Generale warned investors that it may miss its 2012 profit target after taking a 395-million-euro pretax charge in the second quarter on its exposure to Greek debt. Its shares fell 7 percent.

The Swiss National Bank cut its interest rate target and said it would very significantly increase its supply of liquidity to try to bring down the value of the Swiss franc.

In response to the contagious panic, there are desperate calls for hyperinflationary QE3.

A Financial Times op ed by the chief economist of Citigroup argues: "If the markets continue to distrust in Italy and Spain, nothing other than the reopening by the ECB of the bond purchases to acquire unlimited amounts of Italian and Spanish bonds stands between the public debt market and a disaster that could destroy the Euro zone." And Spain's El Pais says the only way to stop the free-fall in Spanish bonds is for the ECB to start buying in the secondary market, as they did with Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.

A Dow-Jones wire quotes an unnamed "senior official of a Group of 7 nation," [which it says is not the U.S.] that the U.S. through Geithner and Obama is "supporting the European nations' creation of a larger [three times larger, $1.5 trillion] EFSF." The same wire quotes Madame LaFarge saying that the IMF will have to get new resources to deal with the situation. Otherwise, the wire says the U.S. is "worried" that Europeans haven't bailed out enough and that Italy's crisis shows that the EFSF is too small.

On Thursday, Spain is planning to sell 3.5 billion euros in 3- and 5-year notes, and is expected to have to pay about 1% more than its last auction. El Economista reported today that Spain's borrowing cost for the first half of 2011, compared to the same period a year earlier, rose by 54 (fifty-four) percent, or 1.2 billion euros.

El Pais runs a panicked article on the crisis which begins: "The nightmare is getting worse." It then goes on to say the spread of Spanish bonds over German bonds hit a record 403 points yesterday, and has dropped slightly today, with rumors of Chinese and/or ECB purchases in the secondary market. Opposition leaders met with Spanish PM Zapatero today; CiU head Duran emerged from the meeting to tell the press: "After the conversation, I recognize that the situation is extremely serious." Better late than never...

Meanwhile, a number of large British-centered banks have joined Deutsche Bank in an assault on Spain and Italy. Barclays said on Tuesday that its first half profits fell 38% from last year and that it is reducing its portfolio of Spanish construction and property loans. On Monday, HSBC said it is limiting credit lines to customers in Spain and Italy. In addition, RBS has been selling Italian sovereign debt, and HSBC has been selling both Spanish and Italian sovereign debt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ok its very seldom I go into the subject of religion (it never ends well) but there is something that really has been pissing me off as of late. 

Militant Atheists! 

You know the type of guys-gals who will immediately protest about religion at the slightest chance. Now don't get me wrong, I'm far from a right wing religious nut. Its just that recently with all these retarded threads, and with a lot of my friends its the exact same **** over and over. Even if we would so much as mention the church here or every time I would in real life pass a church with my friends the following would ensues:

"You believe in something, oh you're retarded, you're wrong, science is the only constant in this world, there is no proof for anything you believe in, rabble rabble"

"But I don't really believe..."

"Rabble rabble rabble, church is wrong, everyone is an idiot except atheists rabble rabble"

The thing is they're not talking about preachers or whatever here, these are just average everyday Joe Soaps like you and me. They don't work for any church, they don't go to prayer meetings or whatever else the religious nut-jobs seem to do.

90% of the time with these people I feel like I'm dealing with born again Christians trying to convert me rather than "scientific minds". And the thing is these are the same people who usually freak out if they see some religious guy so much as handing out flyers on the street. I mean at least he's doing it as part of his church (and sometimes even for a good cause). However these people just seem to love to argue about how religion is only a pack of ****. 

Tl;dr : Militant Atheist types, we get it, you believe in nothing, you find it illogical that people do. However there is no need to shout it from the rooftops every 5 minutes, I don't see any religious people taking such an aggressive stance (except the right wing nuts).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Proposals for the Irish Government

Ok, I’m no ecconomist and I would make a terrible politician but this is a short post to outline some changes I’d like to see in Ireland. The point is that, if you read this, please point out to me why any of these suggestions wouldn’t work. Or, in fact, point out anything I’ve missed. Ok, here we go.

Banking Crisis:
Ok, in all probability, the government can’t change their policy on Anglo because it may reveal their own dodgy dealings. Yes, we all now know that all that successive governments have done is feather their own nests. Dickheads! This notwithstanding, we still need a solution to the problem so here’s mine.
1. Close Anglo Irish Bank with immediate effect. Call all bond holders into a meeting and tell them that the gamble they made didn’t pay off and they’ve just lost a fucking bundle. Tell them that we are not in a position to pay back anything until such time as we have the country back on a paying basis.
2. Seize the assets of all of those - (Sean Fitzpatrick et al) - who engineered this ecconomic calamity and sentence them to 25 years in jail for ecconomic treason.
3. Clear everyone’s credit rating and set up a system whereby they cannot default without fleeing the country. If they are employed, a form from their employer is presented at the branch and the loanee has no control over the payments on that loan, meaning they cannot default. If they lose their job, a form is presented to the Social Welfare office and a reduced repayment is taken out of their dole. This gets the banks back lending and people spending, sending money back into the ecconomy. To this end, you are not guaranteed a loan because a lot of the problem was created by people living beyond their means.

Unemployment and Justice:
Ok, I’ve clubbed these together because I believe that one will depend on the other.
1. Firstly, we are told we have over crowded prisons. This is bullshit. Our prisons are not over crowded. There is a very easy way to ensure that we can increase capacity by 100%. What is it? Two prisoners per cell. “But Cap’n, you can’t be suggesting that these poor unfortunate victims should have to share their cell with another, are you?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. We need a minister for Shut The Fuck Up. Every time we hear a liberal gobshite, who’s only experience of crime is watching CSI Nenagh, pipe up about prisoners’ rights, they can be summarily told to shut the fuck up.
The point is that, if you are prepared to do the crime, you should be prepared to be punished for that crime. Not one scumbag has any worries about going to jail because they are now like fucking hotels. Ok, so that increases capacity by 100% but, if we go with my loan proposal, we also get rid of the 200 or so prisoners who are imprisoned for loan default. Anyone caught for unpaid fines or failure to pay tv licences or any other such nonsense should get community service. Prison should never become an option in this regard.
If you rape somebody, you give that person a life sentence and your sentence should not be any different. Let’s start handing out proper prison sentences in proper prisons.
We will, of course, need more prison staff for the extra prisoners so that will create employment right there. In addition to this, we will need to refit prisons and take out the tvs from the individual cells and stuff like that. Well, we have a huge amount of experienced construction staff and tradesmen on the dole at the moment. Let’s pay them a decent wage - nothing like they were used to, but decent - and get them back to work on these projects. More employment, more spending etc etc. In my opinion, we probably need another two to three maximum security prisons - because no prison should be anything else - so we could use places like Parkway Valley in Limerick. Construction has stopped there so let’s get people back to work transforming these skeletal monuments to our gambling addiction into prisons.
Member of a criminal gang? Well by definition, you’re a criminal so off you pop to jail there. When will you be left out? Hey, Minister, could you answer this little scumbag’s question? “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”.
2. For further employment, we should have more community schemes that will get people back into the swing of working and give them a sense of purpose.

Freeing up funds:
Ok, so if you look around, you’ll see so many wastes of government funding in one instance and other areas that are completely neglected.
1. We have way too many ministers. Yes, I’m introducing another one with the minister for Shut the Fuck Up but I propose that we reduce the number of ministers to 10. We don’t really need the others. There should be no junior ministers, no Senate and no Presidency. What we will have is an online log, where every decision made by the government is logged and available for public viewing. Any decision made that isn’t included will be considered fraudulent and those responsible will be prosecuted. Those ministers who are ousted, will not be entitled to a golden handshake unless they can show actual evidence of the good they’ve done whilst in office. The new minister for Shut The Fuck Up will oversee this, for obvious reasons. They will also not be entitled to a pension. They’re gone gone gone. The gravy train has derailed, boys and girls, now fuck off.
2 Necessary funding should be introduced. The GAA are wealthy enough to fund themselves. We should not be funding them or giving them any tax exemption. As there will be a brutal severing of the umbillicus between church and state, there will be no tax exemption for any church run enterprises. Some responsiblility will fall firmly at the door of business.
If you own a bar and are hiring cover bands during the week, you will then be obliged to provide space in your premises to the local art community. This is a win win for pubs and venues because they will take revenue from bar sales but will also allow people to exhibit their work or plays or original music or comedy.

Ok, there’s a few suggestions to get you started. Please leave comments with any ideas you have.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cool is attitude

I'm sitting here watching Steve McQueen in Papillion.

There's a fella who I reckon isn't particularly good looking, and not buffed up by todays gym whore standards but sweet jesus that man is cool. Just by sitting there squinting his eyes in the sun, that man is effortlessly cool.

Like Sinatra and the boys in the pack back in the day, none who were all that fantastic looking but they were gents in suits that you wouldn't f*ck with. Which is cool.

These are men, not Orlando Bloom or Russel Brand types, men who were men and were cool for a bit of attitude and who could carry it. 

I'm struggling to think of many who are around now, maybe it's 'cause of teenies who are dominating whats at the front of pop culture, and footie players are mostly pussies now, remember Cantona anyone??

Sebastien Chabal comes to mind.
Clint Eastwood, he could probably say more with one look that most actors would in an entire film. Humphrey Bogart, not afraid to give a lad a smack in the chops if they mistreated a lady. Christopher Walken, by virtue of having his voice and his ice cold demeanor is absolutely cool.

The real cool individuals are the ones who don't have to do much in order to be cool. Look at Dean Martin, the man was cool incarnate even though he spent a lot of time in close proximity to Jerry Lewis. Lewis spent his time mugging for the camera and falling around the stage, where as Dean would just stand there with a drink in hand being effortlessly cool.

Being cool is all about attitude.