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Archive for May, 2011

All US Gold Gone? Russia says IMF Chief Jailed for Discovery.

By: Sorcha Faal

According to a FSB secret report, Strauss-Kahn had become “increasingly concerned” earlier this month after the United States began “stalling” its pledged delivery to the IMF of 191.3 tons of gold agreed to under the Second Amendment of the Articles of Agreement signed by the Executive Board in April 1978 that were to be sold to fund what are called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as an alternative to what are called reserve currencies.

This FSB report further states that upon Strauss-Kahn raising his concerns with American government officials close to President Obama he was ‘contacted’ by ‘rogue elements’ within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who provided him ‘firm evidence’ that all of the gold reported to be held by the US ‘was gone’.

Upon Strauss-Kahn receiving the CIA evidence, this report continues, he made immediate arrangements to leave the US for Paris, but when contacted by agents working for France’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) that American authorities were seeking his capture he fled to New York City’s JFK airport following these agents directive not to take his cell-phone because US police could track his exact location.

Once Strauss-Kahn was safely boarded on an Air France flight to Paris, however, this FSB report says he made a ‘fatal mistake’ by calling the hotel from a phone on the plane and asking them to forwarded the cell-phone he had been told to leave behind to his French residence, after which US agents were able to track and apprehend him.  

Within the past fortnight, this report continues, Strauss-Kahn reached out to his close friend and top Egyptian banker Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar to retrieve from the US the evidence given to him by the CIA. Omar, however, and exactly like Strauss-Kahn before him, was charged yesterday by the US with a sex crime against a luxury hotel maid, a charge the FSB labels as ‘beyond belief’ due to Omar being 74-years-old and a devout Muslim.

In an astounding move puzzling many in Moscow, Putin after reading this secret FSB report today ordered posted to the Kremlin’s official website a defense of Strauss-Khan becoming the first world leader to state that the former IMF chief was a victim of a US conspiracy. Putin further stated, “It’s hard for me to evaluate the hidden political motives but I cannot believe that it looks the way it was initially introduced. It doesn’t sit right in my head.”

Interesting to note about all of these events is that one of the United States top Congressman, and 2012 Presidential candidate, Ron Paul [photo bottom left] has long stated his belief that the US government has lied about its gold reserves held at Fort Knox.  So concerned had Congressman Paul become about the US government and the Federal Reserve hiding the truth about American gold reserves he put forward a bill in late 2010 to force an audit of them, but which was subsequently defeated by Obama regime forces.  

When directly asked by reporters if he believed there was no gold in Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve, Congressman Paul gave the incredible reply, “I think it is a possibility.”

Also interesting to note is that barely 3 days after the arrest of Strauss-Kahn, Congressman Paul made a new call for the US to sell its gold reserves by stating, “Given the high price it is now, and the tremendous debt problem we now have, by all means, sell at the peak.”

Bizarre reports emanating from the US for years, however, suggest there is no gold to sell, and as we can read as posted in 2009 on the ViewZone.Com news site:

“In October of 2009 the Chinese received a shipment of gold bars. Gold is regularly exchanges between countries to pay debts and to settle the so-called balance of trade. Most gold is exchanged and stored in vaults under the supervision of a special organization based in London, the London Bullion Market Association (or LBMA). When the shipment was received, the Chinese government asked that special tests be performed to guarantee the purity and weight of the gold bars. In this test, four small holed are drilled into the gold bars and the metal is then analyzed.

Officials were shocked to learn that the bars were fake. They contained cores of tungsten with only a outer coating of real gold. What’s more, these gold bars, containing serial numbers for tracking, originated in the US and had been stored in Fort Knox for years. There were reportedly between 5,600 to 5,700 bars, weighing 400 oz. each, in the shipment!”

To the final fate of Strauss-Kahn it is not in our knowing, but new reports coming from the United States show his determination not to go down without a fight as he has hired what is described as a ‘crack team’ of former CIA spies, private investigators and media advisers to defend him.

To the practical effects on the global economy should it be proved that the US, indeed, has been lying about its gold reserves, Russia’s Central Bank yesterday ordered the interest rate raised from 0.25 to 3.5 percent and Putin ordered the export ban on wheat and grain crops lifted by July 1st in a move designed to fill the Motherlands coffers with money that normally would have flowed to the US.

The American peoples ability to know the truth of these things, and as always, has been shouted out by their propaganda media organs leaving them in danger of not being prepared for the horrific economic collapse of their nation now believed will much sooner than later.    

source:http://beforeitsnews.com

drugs, banks and the Crisis, Greek subs

Greek watch day 7

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde (L) ...

Image via Wikipedia

By Namawinelake

The IMF and EU teams on the ground in Athensare expected to conclude their work by tomorrow, according to the Greek finance minister. “We are concluding the negotiations and I hope they will be finished … by Wednesday,” Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told Antenna TV. It is still expected that it will be next Monday 6th June, 2011 that the troika give their verdict.
Nationally, protests continued inAthensand some cities on Monday, though on a smaller scale than Sunday’s. The protests take the form of gatherings often co-ordinated over social networking websites and there seems to be a jumble of issues publicized by protesters. Once the precise austerity measures and privatization proposals are placed before parliament in early June, you can expect protests to intensify.
On the EU national political front, central European minnow Slovakiaput its oar in when its prime minister Iveta Radicova yesterday called for Greek’s €327bn of debt to be restructured, and Belgium’s finance minister promptly shot the proposal down. An axis of hard-love is developing involving Germany-Finland-Holland, with national ministers all calling on Greece to get on with implementing the plan or risk not getting the next tranche – “if it does not, Holland, Germany and Finland will follow the IMF should it decide not to give more money to Greece” said the Dutch finance minister on Saturday last.
The ECB continues to ensure that no board or governing council member, past or present, remains silent on Greece– the current post-holders are all listed here and it is difficult to pick one out that has kept his or her own counsel in recent weeks. Outgoing ECB executive board member, the Austrian economist Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell re-iterated what is emerging as the strong ECB view that there can be no deviation from the EU/IMF bailout and there can certainly be no restructuring or reprofiling. When asked whether or not the ECB might soften its approach towardsAthens, the firm reply from Ms Tumpel-Gugerell was “that is not the case”
You might be interested in Harvard professor of economics, Martin Feldstein’s contribution on the Greece crisis and suggests a “temporary leave of absence” for Greece from the euro, and interestingly he suggests the Maastricht Treaty allows such a move. He points out that Greece has the largest trade deficit in the EuroZone and that Greece suffers from chronic competitiveness problems. For those contemplating a permanent exit byGreece from the euro, it’s a novel proposal.
Some details today of the new austerity measures being considered by Greece. Schoolbooks will have to be returned by schoolchildren at the end of each year so that they can be used by the following year’s intake and this will save a portion of the €80m per annum that the Greek government spends in providing schoolbooks. Greece like Ireland has different VAT rates and there are proposals to move certain products from the low (13%) rate to the higher (23%) rate. This includes heating oil and natural gas. There’s to be a 1% solidarity levy applied to all public sector salaries and a similar levy in the private sector to be borne by employer and employee. There is now a proposal that any budget overspend by any government department would require that department to come back to parliament which would permit an over-spend only if the money could be found through savings in another government department; the proposal is aimed at the notoriously uncontrolled government departments to impose better financial control on overall government spending. The Opposition led by conservative, Antonis Samaras is not only opposed to tax rises, he wants corporation tax reduced from 24% to 15%. And he citedIreland as evidence of the benefits of low taxation. I wonder what our French friends might make of that proposal

source:http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/greekwatch-day-7-of-13-%e2%80%93-will-you-soften-your-approach-to-greece-%e2%80%9cthat-is-not-the-case%e2%80%9d-says-ecb/

comment:

“You might be interested in Harvard professor of economics, Martin Feldstein’s contribution on the Greece crisis and suggests a “temporary leave of absence” for Greece from the euro, and interestingly he suggests the Maastricht Treaty allows such a move. He points out that Greece has the largest trade deficit in the EuroZone and that Greece suffers from chronic competitiveness problems. For those contemplating a permanent exit byGreece from the euro, it’s a novel proposal”.

I highlighted this very idea of a temporary exit from the euro last week as a possible scenario the cash strapped Irish government might avail of. While at the same time they would reintroduce the Irish Punt and then promptly devalue it by say 35% to 45%.This would be done as a way to kick start an economic surge that would bring into Ireland companies that would be attracted by the cheap costs such devaluation would bring. The down side would perhaps be the government would slap on draconian policies that would restrict the flow of domestic deposits from leaving the country.    

“You will be assimilated resistance is futile”

Has anybody noticed that every time bad news comes out regarding new charges or taxes, we get the same old spin from the reverent Minster that it is in the program for government and it was agreed with the EU/IMF agreement? So it was this afternoon when Phil Hogan decided to come on the radio and tell the people of Ireland we are going to have to pay for our water. So to recap the EU and the IMF are now dictating domestic policy. What Taxes we pay, what laws we must abide by. So what use are the likes of Phil Hogan and the rest of his sell out band of stooges in the so called new Irish Government to the Irish people? None! .There are no more than “Implementers of Policy” for our new masters in Europe .Last night I watched a documentary on Roman History and their use of hostages. The similarities are striking. Established Roman policy of drawing subjugated people’s into the administration of their own territories by Roman influenced natives was highly successful, the populations were thus Romanized and made compliant to the Roman imposed taxes and laws in this way.

Aren’t we now in the same situation?

We get Government ministers quoting IMF and EU agreements, (that were forced on us in the first place) as justification to impose new taxes and austerity measures on our people and our voice in Europe at the same time diminishing by the day. Listen to Minster Hogan here http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1099645

Our country and its resources are been carved up and we are just sitting back and looking on while collaborators in the Irish government enrich themselves .

Mary O’Dea and the IMF

By

The Story.ie

I couldn’t let this one pass without comment either. Mary ‘shop around’ O’Dea has landed a new job at the IMF, as the Irish Independent reported earlier this month.
O’Dea, currently director general of financial operations at the Regulator, will become the IMF’s alternative executive director this July.
“I’m really looking forward to what I know will be a challenging role, especially at a time when Ireland is itself in an IMF/EU programme,” O’Dea told the Sunday Independent. This paper asked the Regulator two months ago if O’Dea would be taking up a new job in the IMF.
I suppose you could with some jest say that she is getting out of dodge when the going is good. Rumour has it there were no promotion prospects internally at the now expanding Central Bank, so she was bumped off to Washington. Apparently the job is a rather nice 3 years in Washington DC tax-free with expatriate benefits (including private schools).
Oddly though she goes from sitting in our Central Bank/Financial Regulator up to and during IMF intervention, to now sitting on the other side of the table to perhaps help scrutinise our adherence to an IMF deal.
(H/T P O Neill)

source:http://thestory.ie/2011/05/30/mary-odea-and-the-imf/

Ireland’s property market (Ronan lyons latest posting)

By Ronan Lyons

The spectacular and painful bursting of Ireland’s property market bubble since 2007 has brought to an end what one could term Property Market 2.0 in Ireland. The country’s “Property Market 1.0” was built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when successive London administrations made huge amounts of credit available at preferential interest rates so that tenant farmers could buy their plots. Throughout the 20thcentury, the urban poor remained as tenants while only the tiny but growing urban middle class took part in any sort of mortgage market.

“Property Market 2.0” emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, as competition among banks and building societies brought mortgages to the masses. Barely had this transformation time to take hold, though, then Ireland was a member of the Eurozone, with inappropriately low interest rates and a practically infinite supply of credit from global credit markets. Along with lax regulation of the banking and building sectors, the result was perhaps the biggest national property market boom and bust of the modern era.

Learning from the (recent) past

What will “Property Market 3.0” look like? As yet, nobody knows. It is safe to guess that, at least in its early days, it will be haunted by what has just happened. The worry is that initial prudence will eventually decay away, as institutional memory fades. The nightmare scenario is that at some point in the future, the 2020s or the 2060s, the lessons we’ve learnt are thrown away with a simple “Well, that could never happen now/This time it’s different/Insert self-deception here”.

So what can we do? An idea I’ve explored at length elsewhere is the importance of information. Having an official real-time database of transactions prices doesn’t just help people like me churn out research papers. It gives normal people the information with which to make informed decisions about whether to buy or rent and for how much. And in doing that, it actually reduces the chances of a bubble as bad as the one we’re recovering from now happening again. The national house price register looks like it is now government policy, so today, I’d like to focus on a couple of other ideas.

full article at source: http://www.ronanlyons.com/2011/05/31/ideas-for-building-property-market-3-0/

Comment:

Ronan Lyons has posted a new on the Irish property market

However I do not agree that home ownership in Ireland should have a significant impact of a future Irish economy as I am advocating a totally different approach to home ownership in Ireland.

Firstly I do agree, that there should be no variable interest rates on home mortgages .But I also believe that the Banks should not be involved in giving out such mortgages in the first place .I do not accept that home ownership should be subject to the commercial turbulent system  we currently are enslaved to. No we need to have a system administered by the post office and credit unions where by a citizen can take out a fixed term loan at a fixed low interest rate of not more that 2.5%.This then can be passes on to siblings of paid off with a adequate insurance police in place, this insurance should also set up by the government. The point is that home ownership should not be subject to commercial dictates whatsoever .However it will be necessary to have some rules for example the mortgage amount to be taken out will only cover that of an average price home within the state and so if the price of a property is higher then the buyer must have the difference amount themselves Banks will not be able to top up the amount and take in as security the deeds of the property as they will be excluded from doing so.  To be clear I am talking about home ownership and not commercial buildings or business .The citizens will only be allowed to get one and only one of these mortgages, Moving up the property ladder will be deemed as a commercial move and thus subject to a commercial bank mortgage. This government backed move will only be for ones first home.

This idea may have some more thought to be invested in it but I think it is well worth a shot.

The bottom line is, home ownership should not be subject to any commercial interests but cater for a social necessity.

Free €5 experiment in Dublin

My thanks to Oliver for bringing this video to our attention

Thank you Sir.

Does this show us up, to be quite a cynical lot?

‘Memo to ECB: print money” : by David Mc Williams

David McWilliams has posted a new article, ‘Memo to ECB: print money ‘

Is the European Central Bank (ECB) Europe’s AIG?

In other words, will the ECB be left holding the can, having lent all this money to the peripheral countries in order to save rich banks in Germany and France, in the same way as insurance giant AIG was destroyed by the sub-prime market?

If you remember back to the Lehman crisis, it was the collapse of AIG that really spooked the world’s financial markets. It had recklessly insured most of the toxic waste of Lehman’s and other banks’ balance sheets – all the sub-prime mortgages and worse.

When they all defaulted, the damage went straight on to AIG’s balance sheet as the insurer of last resort.

The ECB in 2011 is beginning to look Like AIG in 2008. It is certainly also beginning to sound not like an institution that is in control, but an institution that is beginning to panic.

For example, speaking on Thursday, executive board member of the ECB, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi (who, despite sounding like a character from Lord of the Rings is actually an Italian economist) opined that high-debt countries must stick to the terms of their bailouts. If they don’t, they risk having their banks cut off from ECB capital measures. Surely this is not how central banks work?

You may view the full article and add your own comments at
http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2011/05/30/memo-to-ecb-print-money-2

comment:

A good article well worth the  read .

IMF: Names keep on rolling in

Monday, May 30, 2011 –
 by Staff Report from the Daily Bell
 

Christine Lagarde

Why Christine Lagarde should never be head of the IMF … Christine Lagarde is in poll position. Having put her name forward last week, the silver-haired French finance minister may well become the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Lagarde has, with a depressing inevitability, secured the backing of most European countries. The UK was among the first to endorse her. There are rumours the mighty US could soon throw its weight behind Lagarde – making her bid a fait accompli. Europe seems determined to retain its prerogative of appointing the boss of the world’s most important financial watchdog. Throughout the IMF’s 65-year history, all 11 bosses have been from Western Europe. In return for allowing this stitch-up, America has traditionally provided the IMF deputy, while securing the top spot at the World Bank. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: At this most critical time, this Western powers are about to make a critical mistake regarding this critical facility!

Free-Market Analysis: There seems to be emerging consensus in the constitutionally suspicious alternative Internet press that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was “stung” for any one of a variety of reasons. It was not rape, therefore, that brought him down but his effectiveness in dealing with the EU’s economic crisis.

Alternatively, we have read, his arrest provided a distraction from the real and serious failures surrounding the great powers ability to deal with the unfolding crisis.

Finally, there is the idea that DSK wanted to continue to rejigger the voting mechanisms of the IMF. The US currently holds 17 percent of the votes in the IMF and IMF bylaws demand a majority of 85 percent for any substantial moves or changes in policy. Thus, the IMF is the US’s creation and is beholden to it.

Anyway, we’ve stayed away from speculating. We don’t seen any specific promotional value in what happened to DSK, other than to reinforce the meme that American justice is absolutely pure and non-discriminatory. But that’s a pretty small, sub dominant meme, not one that would seem especially worth reinforcing at this point in time.

While we are not tempted to join the fray regarding DSK conspiracy theories, we have presented on several occasions the one powerful dominant social theme that has predictably emerged from the affair, which is that the IMF is an incredibly important institution and that its leaders are really, really, really important people.

In fact, if there were no IMF and no leadership it is likely – so we are informed – that the world’s economies would probably collapse sooner rather than later. You can see our previous articles on the topic here:

www.thedailybell.com/2368/Perfecting-the-IMF.html

www.thedailybell.com/2307/Arrest-of-IMFs-Most-Magnificent-Man-Seen-as-Ending-the-World.html

We recently analyzed the memes in an article by Joseph Stiglitz on this topic, entitled, “The IMF cannot afford to make a mistake with Strauss-Kahn’s successor.” Now the UK Telegraph has issued yet another jeremiad on the importance of the IMF from columnist Liam Halligan. This focuses on the meme of IMF-as-most-important-institution-ever.

The institution he writes, “needs to reflect the extent to which the world has changed since it was launched from the ashes of the Second World War.” Why? Because the markets could soon face another “Lehman moment.” Lehman Brothers is widely held to have destabilized global markets in 2008.

From this (fallacious in our view) perspective, Halligan goes on to argue that it would be a “historic” mistake to appoint a European to head the IMF, especially given that non-Western countries compose most of the world’s population now, some 80 percent. He cites other statistics too: The world’s markets produce half the GDP and out-trade the West. They hold most of the world’s currency reserves and are not mired in debt.

The IMF, he concludes, needs a leader from the developing world, a world that has arranged its finances better than the Western world. The West does not have a moral argument to make regarding IMF leadership. The mess it has made collectively of its finances has removed its credibility and “moral authority.”

Halligan is also upset over the idea that the new leader of the IMF might be what he calls a “politician.” Halligan claims the IMF “works properly” when it is taking an adversarial role and “banging political heads.” The IMF must be seen as “tough – even unreasonably tough … an IMF that colludes with the political classes isn’t enacting reform. It is simply helping the politicians bury their mistakes and kick any problems into the long grass where they will fester.” Here’s some more from the article:

The IMF should be respected – even feared. It is for the politicians to stand up and face the political music – explaining to their electorates why harsh actions are needed and why nations can’t go on living beyond their means. Perhaps the most dangerous type of politician to run the Fund is a politician still hankering after high office. Strauss-Kahn, of course, was using the post and the influence it bestowed over trillions of dollars of bail-out cash, as a platform for a French presidential bid. As such, he turned the IMF into a soft-credit society for the eurozone’s periphery nations, holding the single-currency together for the benefit of his Franco-German friends.

Strauss-Kahn’s continued insistence on “just one more bail-out”, rather than forcing Greece, Portugal and the rest to face up to genuine debt-restructuring, also made sure that the losses stayed with plebian taxpayers, rather than being shifted on to Europe’s banks. He could have called in the favour, no doubt, when the need came to finance his campaign for the ultimate prize. It was not to be for Strauss-Kahn, of course. But what is to stop Lagarde following the same route? …

Running the IMF, now more than ever, requires economic expertise, massive intellectual authority and a willingness to be deeply unpopular – particularly, if you are a European, on your home turf. The emerging economies need to stop moaning, put their differences aside, and set their combined authority behind a world-class economic policy-maker to run the IMF. Such nations should be doing everything in their power to wrestle control of this pivotal institution from a Western political elite that is not only intellectually inadequate, but which seems determined to compound the world’s economic problems …

Halligan is convinced that Lagarde has her own unfortunate political ambitions. As we can see from the above excerpt, he seeks a person of “massive intellectual authority” – and believes that person can only be found in the developing world.

We wonder exactly why somebody of massive intellectual authority would want to run the IMF in the first place. Anyone with massive intellectual authority would realize that the IMF is a dysfunctional organization that was constructed to increase Western dominance over the developing world, not to “help” countries recover from excessive debt.

The IMF is part of a fiscal and monetary tag team with the World Bank. The World Bank encourages dysfunctional, developing-world leaders to borrow more than their countries can withstand. Once the money has been wasted or spirited away, the country is effectively broke and the big western banks call for the IMF to step in.

The IMF’s solutions are always the same. They tend to crush the middle class by reducing public subsidies and hiking taxes. Then they put tremendous pressure on remaining government officials to sell off a country’s prime assets under the pretext that these are assets that need to be privatized. In truth these are mostly monopoly assets, like water and electrical facilities – and thus even privatization does not remove the monopoly status. One has just transferred a public monopoly into private hands. The profits are tremendous.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion (we won’t) that the EU acted as the World Bank when it came to Europe’s PIGS. These southern countries were given tremendous amounts of cash to supposedly make them financially healthy – or healthy enough to join the EU. But in addition to outright grants were numerous huge loans that were presented to all these countries during the faux-boom of the 2002-2007, many no doubt with EU cooperation. Now that the bill has come due, the EU is cynically calling on the IMF to ensure these countries make their payments.

Why isn’t it working this time? Why have the protests only become stronger and deeper, threatening to tear apart the entire EU? We’ve presented the idea that the Internet itself has helped mobilize people in a way that Western elites were not expecting. Instead of crushing European middle classes and strengthening the EU, Eurocrats are discovering they may fundamentally weakened it and the euro besides.

The IMF, of course was supposed to play an integral role in this slaughter of the PIGS. The IMF is always involved in such pillaging. Of course, Anglosphere elites would much rather have the developing countries clamoring to “get in” than ignoring such institutions or seeking to remove themselves. This may yet happen however if the US continues to insist on its 17 percent control of the IMF.

Conclusion: Times are changing substantially, as are the attitudes of developing countries. The control that Western elites expected to exercise over these institutions is coming increasingly into question. Ironically, if the West does give up control and allow these institutions to play their putative role, they will become fairly useless to their creators. They will also be seen, increasingly, as they ineffective entities they actually are. For this reason, the US is not likely to cede any part of its 17 percent. Lagarde may get her dream post, but she may soon come to regret it.

Source: http://www.thedailybell.com/2416/IMF-Memes-Roll-On.html

Comment:

 According to Shane Ross all year the lady has been tormenting us. And all week we have been love bombing her.

Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minister and no friend of Ireland, has become the darling of our Cabinet.

The love-in began in Brussels on Monday when minister of state Lucinda Creighton launched the whirlwind courtship. “I would anticipate,” enthused the lively Lucinda, “that we would be very well disposed to her candidature.” Christine had been testing the waters for her campaign to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as IMF boss.

Eyebrows were raised at Lucinda’s enthusiasm; but it was probably just Lucinda showing a little sisterly solidarity. Lining up behind Christine after all the grief she has given Ireland in recent months was hardly government policy.

Not until Tuesday, anyway. When Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore headed for the Elysee Palace. Eamon was greeted by no less a person than French foreign minister, Alain Juppe.

Eamon emerged from the meeting cooing like a love bird. Suddenly (according to the Tanaiste) France was “showing greater understanding of Ireland’s position on corporation tax and the interest on our EU/IMF bailout”. He even promised to support the lovely Christine if she just happened to put her name forward for the vacancy at the IMF. Lo and behold, within 24 hours her hat was in the ring.

A pity Eamon did not tell the Taoiseach that he had committed the Cabinet to Christine. A few hours later Enda Kenny told the Dail that the matter had not yet been decided at the top level.

But an agenda was emerging: Ireland was shaping up to back Christine, the nation’s tax tormentor.

On Wednesday, the courtship was consummated. Our own Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, was granted an audience in Paris with the French phenomenon. He was given a full 30 minutes. The meeting was flagged as yet another turning point in our bid for a lower interest rate on the bailout terms. It was widely assumed that the pair were cooking up a deal, that we were cannily trading support for Christine’s IMF ambitions in exchange for a less penal interest rate on our loans.

The cameras were called in to record the meeting. Michael was filmed by RTE greeting the elegant Christine with what Irish Times journalist Mary Minihan described as “an awkward continental kiss”.

Body language suggested Michael was not enjoying one of the few remaining perks of the Irish Finance Minister: you get to kiss the cheek of your French tax tormentor, deferentially of course.

The consummation proved a damp squib for Ireland. Michael’s spinners issued a po-faced press release, lacking in credibility. The statement explained that it was a “coincidence that she was a candidate for the IMF”. No progress was reported on the interest rate.

Michael enthused about Christine’s suitability for the IMF gig. His spinners insisted that the vacancy should not be decided on geographic region, but on quality. Christine was the quality candidate. Our Finance Minister, fresh from his date with Christine, was peddling the lady’s line that her European pedigree was irrelevant. Quite a contrast with the Taoiseach and Lucinda’s assertions that they preferred a European.

The routes might have been different, but all roads led to Christine. All the ministers were on message, even if the reasons given for their decision were contradictory.

The Government quartet probably got their wires crossed in their stampede to endorse Christine. Enda wanted her because she is a European. Michael wants her because she is a wonderwoman. His account of the meeting gushed on about her, dubbing Christine as an “excellent candidate, very capable, who not only fulfils the qualities that we would require in the job, but would be in a position that would assist us to meet the requirements of our programme”.

Michael even told the media that Lagarde has a “strong appreciation” of the Irish position on corporate tax.

She can stuff her appreciation. We needed a concession. None came.

Indeed she has never shown any sign of “appreciation” before she became interested in the IMF job. Until last week, she was the mouthpiece of Nicolas Sarkozy — the most implacable enemy of our corporate tax rate living on the planet.

Irish Government sources are spinning that the hawkish Christine is a secret sympathiser with our corporate tax regime. She is apparently a covert dove, wishing to aid our efforts to reduce our crippling interest rate on the EU/IMF loan. Once she is in New York in Dominique’s old job, she will be free of the shackles of Sarkozy and will emerge as a champion of our cause. So say the spinners.

There is not a shred of evidence on the public record to suggest that she will change her spots. The French president is hardly aware of it. Noble Nicolas was lobbying frantically for Christine at the G8 summit in Deauville on Thursday.

If Christine is really a friendly sleeper batting for Ireland, surely we should try to keep her locked in the Elysee Palace, constantly at Sarkozy’s side moderating his militant exploitation of our difficulties? Remember the words of Hilaire Belloc: “Always keep a hold of nurse for fear of finding something worse.”

If Christine escapes across the Atlantic, far away from the grip of Nicolas, perhaps he will install an even more hardline finance minister?

The charade of Ireland cheering for Christine hardly adds up. So why are we leading the charge?

Part of the reason could be that both Michael and his predecessor, Brian Lenihan, have both succumbed to the legendary charms of the French femme fatale: but even in the overwhelmingly male world of European finance ministers, human frailties cannot provide a full explanation.

The root cause is more alarming. We have pawned the nation’s future in the hands of Europe’s bully boys. At the beginning of the week, as Christine’s campaign gained momentum, we were terrified of being seen as reluctant supporters. We are now too deep in the European manure to pull out.

So we began to bandwagon. There was no point in alienating Christine if she was a certain winner.

What a craven piece of diplomacy. Yet it is part of a pattern. Both recent Irish governments have refused to stand up to ECB boss Jean-Claude Trichet, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Sarkozy and their banker friends. We have bowed the knee to their diktats on sparing the bondholders; we have refused to default; we have begged them in vain to reduce their penal interest rates; we have become their puppets.

In return for our acquiescence we are the victims of German and French ingratitude, fending off demands that we face final ruin by giving up our last lifeline — our 12.5 per cent corporate tax. Charming Christine has been in the vanguard of our European “friends” determined to kick us with her stiletto when we were on the canvass.

Instead of accepting our humiliation we should have kept our own counsel. Michael should have indulged himself in his well-practised brooding mood. We could have seized the high ground, pointing out that there are several other good candidates; that Europe hardly speaks with one voice as the big powers decide the fate of the smaller ones; that the policies of Christine are not those of Ireland.

Even more credibly, we could have offered a highly convincing reason for a delay. On June 10 a French court will rule on whether to investigate fragrant Christine over a very serious €240m arbitration settlement with Bernard Tapie, a convicted ex-minister who backed Nicolas Sarkozy.

Our haste to endorse Madame Lagarde, despite this cloud hanging over her candidacy, underlines our desperation.

It never pays to love bomb your tormentor.

source :http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/shane-ross/shane-ross-sarkys-lady-wows-noonan-2660646.html

The Queen of England is gone back to England so you can get up off your knees Lads and we don’t need a new Queen imposed on us by the IMF or the EU .

Varadkar: We may need second bailout

 

Sunday, May 29, 2011 – 11:58 AM

 

According to the Examiner.ie .Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has warned that Ireland may need another bailout. He is the first minister to make that admission.

Minister Varadkar said it was unlikely that Ireland would be able to raise money from the international bond markets next year as originally planned.

In an article published in the Sunday Times today, Minister Varadkar said we might be able to return to the markets “some time” in 2013.

That “would mean a second programme (would be required),” he said, “either an extension of the existing programme, or a second programme. I think that would generally be most people’s view.”

Former head of Libertas Declan Ganley said it had been obvious since before the General Election that a second bailout would be necessary.

“This is the cost of not purging the insolvency from our economy,” he said. “Ireland can pull out of this…but we have to get rid of the insolvency of the bank debt that has been left hanging over us because otherwise, of course we can’t revisit the markets.

“Government policy today says we should carry this millstone of bank debt around us…Who’s going to lend money to us in that case

Read more: http://www.examiner.ie/breakingnews/ireland/varadkar-we-may-need-second-bailout-506852.html#ixzz1NlVEVRSi

Comment:

Just last week MR. Edna Kenny Stated in the Dail that there will be no need for Ireland to renegotiate its EU /IMF Bailout loans .There is no need for new loans and there is no need to extend the time we received to pay these loans back .I said then and I say again this is cloud chookoo land this man is living on .We then hear today not even a week gone by when the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar comes out with this .You couldn’t write this stuff lads. Let this be yet again another warning the sh** is about to hit the fan and it’s all coming our way! The boys are getting ready to sell off anything that isn’t tied down, and I mean everything and anything!  

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