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Posts tagged ‘Deficit’

Exchequer Returns : Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev Take

06/01/2011: Exchequer Returns – part 3

Posted by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev

In parts 1 and 2 (here and here) I’ve dealt with some longer term issues relating to the general Exchequer performance figures. In the following two posts I will update specific expenditure (current post) and tax receipts (next post) data.

First, total expenditure:
Two things worth noting here:

  • Up until November, total spending side of Exchequer returns was performing relatively strongly, with year on year savings of 4.22%. These savings were significantly reduced in December, with full year savings performance of just 1.55% on 2009.
  • The reductions in 2010 have been achieved solely on the back of capital expenditure cuts. Year on year, current spending rose by €261mln or 0.6% in 2010, while capital spending was cut by 14.3% or €990mln

You can see the dynamics of reductions over the year in the following two charts:
Combined savings by each department head per quarter end:
Feel free to interpret the above, but what interested me much more is just how stable are the Government’s spending priorities over time. To see this, I plotted annual shares of each department head as a percentage of total spend (note – this exercise is not a perfect comparison as departments’ responsibilities have changed over time).
The chart above suggests strongly to me that the Government, despite all the criticism it deserves in managing the crisis, has so far elected to cut largely discretionary spending. This is a rational response to the early stages of the crisis, but it is clearly insufficient to deliver stabilization of public finances, let alone their restoration to health.

06/01/2011: Exchequer Returns – Part 2

Posted by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev

In Part 1 (here) I raised couple of specific points concerning the latest official claims over Irish Exchequer returns for December. Here, I follow up on the first point raised earlier and then post on longer term trends in Government spending, including my forecasts for fiscal performance in 2011-2014.

First, relating to the point raised in yesterday’s post: Minister Lenihan stated that
“On the spending side, overall net voted expenditure at €46.4 billion was over €700 million below the level recorded in 2009, reflecting the ongoing tight control of public spending. While day-to-day spending was marginally ahead of target in the year, this is due to a shortfall in Departmental receipts rather than overruns in spending.”

As I outlined earlier, I beg to disagree with the Minister on the claim of ‘tight control’. Let me add to the reasons for my disagreement:

  • The Exchequer Returns show that the Government had an overall budget deficit of €18,745m in 2010,
  • On the surface, this appears to be ,896m lower than the deficit in 2009, which stood at €24,641m.
  • However, deficit 2009 included a €3bn payment to the National Pensions Reserve Fund as part of the banks recapitalization plus a €4bn re-capitalization injection into Anglo Irish Bank
  • Deficit 2010 does not include bank recapitalization measures.

This implies that the Exchequer deficit was:

  • 2010 = €18,745m
  • 2009 = €17,641m

And thus Minister Lenihan’s tightly controlled public spending measures in 2010 have managed to increase Government deficit by €1,104m on 2009 levels.

Next, let’s take a look at the annual data for Irish Exchequer over the recent years, incorporating latest release.

First, receipts v expenditure over time – for 1983-2011 and on with my forecasts. All data is annual:
Notice that with exception of 3 points – all observations fall to the right and below the 45 degree blue line. Also notice that the trend over time has been toward greater excess expenditure. Overall, however, ‘when I have it, I spend it’ relationship really does hold – the RSq is high 0.9413.

Latest figures show that in 2010 the Government has savaged capital investment side of its balancesheet and failed to curb current spending. This too is consistent with long term trends:
The age of Brian Cowen ‘stimulus’ (remember – he did say that we are going to have recession stimulus in the form of large capital investment) is now over and, despite Minister Lenihan’s claims that we are not in the 1980s… guess what – 2010 we landed right into pre-1989 era.

Lastly, on to forecasts for the future:
Above chart clearly shows why I am with the IMF on the deficit outlook for 2014, and not with the Government. Apart from slightly higher total expenditure outlook than that of DofF, I expect slightly lower tax take and non-tax returns, but then I also expect the remaining costs of banks and subsequent increased interest repayment burdens to come due in 2011-2014 as well.

Comment :

As always an excellent analyzes of the real figures without the cheap spin

Can you imagine if the department of Finance had men and woman of Constantin Gurdgiev’s calibre working there?

We have presently the best educated generation in Irish history and it is time the government took this fact into consideration when releasing figures.

Most of us know when we are being lied too!

Ireland Debt Crisis Solutions ?

Ireland Debt Crisis Solutions ?

 According to Market oracle

The same trend continues as I wrote of in April 2010, which requires the same solution of the Eurozone splitting into two or more currency blocks so as to enable competitive currency devaluations to take place, the alternative is for all of the Eurozone trade surplus countries to hand over a large chunk of their annual surpluses to the PIIGS in order to reduce their annual budget deficits to a manageable % level inline with the E.U. average. Neither of these solutions is perfect as ejecting the PIIGS from the Euro would send their currencies sharply lower and inflation soaring as they try to inflate their way out of their debt crisis (as the UK is doing). However the problem here is, as I have identified several times before that most of the debt of the Eurozone PIIGS is denominated in Euro’s, which means that a devaluation would increase the value of the debt in the new currencies.

The only solution is for a costly European Union / ECB / IMF bailout of Ireland as they cannot allow the current crisis in ireland to trigger a complete bailout of ALL of the PIIGS which could cost as much as Euros 2 trillion. Therefore the Irish debt crisis has the potential to turn into the mother of all bailouts where today’s talk of billions turns into trillions if decisive action is not taken to finance the Irish budget deficit before they triggered a PIIGS debt collapse Euro-zone wide bailout

Debt Default is the Final Destination

Ultimately all governments are heading towards the same final destination of debt default bankruptcy, the only question mark is will it be outright debt default or stealth default by inflation. Where countries such as Ireland and Greece are concerned then they are currently more probably heading for outright default. Countries such as the UK and USA are DEFINETLTLLY heading along the path of stealth default by means of inflation as engineered by governments which is usually the more probable route as outright debt defaults tend to culminate in extreme crisis events associated with economic collapse

Bottom Line: Where Ireland is concerned, the E.U. will do its best to delay the inevitable debt default, which means a Eurozone bailout (one of a series) is imminent, because if one of the PIIGS defaults then so will they all which would require the mentioned Euro 2 trillion QE bailout virtually immediately (a Euro 750 billion bailout fund was announced in May), rather than perhaps Euros 80 billion for Ireland on its own at this stage of the crisis, and after Ireland will soon follow Portugal, then Spain, then Italy before the bailout cycle returns once more for another Greece bailout (probably sooner rather than later). All of which feed the Inflation mega-trend across the Euro-zone.

source http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/

If you thought the bank bailout was bad, wait until the mortgage defaults hit home

The Irish Times – Monday, November 8, 2010

If you thought the bank bailout was bad, wait until the mortgage defaults hit home

THE BIG PICTURE: Ireland is effectively insolvent – the next crisis will be mass home mortgage default, writes MORGAN KELLY 

SAD NEWS just in from Our Lady of the Eurozone Hospital: After a sudden worsening in her condition, the Irish Patient, formerly known as the Irish Republic, has been moved into intensive care and put on artificial ventilation. While a hospital spokesman, Jean-Claude Trichet, tried to sound upbeat, there is no prospect that the Patient will recover. 

It will be remembered that, after a lengthy period of poverty following her acrimonious divorce from her English partner, in the 1990s Ireland succeeded in turning her life around, educating herself, and holding down a steady job. Although her increasingly riotous lifestyle over the last decade had raised some concerns, the Irish Patient’s fate was sealed by a botched emergency intervention on September 29th, 2008 followed by repeated misdiagnoses of the ensuing complications. 

With the Irish Patient now clinically dead, her grieving European relatives face the melancholy task of deciding when to remove her from life support, and how to deal with the extraordinary debts she ran up in the last months of her life . . . 

WHEN I wrote in The Irish Times last May showing how the bank guarantee would lead to national insolvency, I did not expect the financial collapse to be anywhere near as swift or as deep as has now occurred. During September, the Irish Republic quietly ceased to exist as an autonomous fiscal entity, and became a ward of the European Central Bank.

It is a testament to the cool and resolute handling of the crisis over the last six months by the Government and Central Bank that markets now put Irish sovereign debt in the same risk group as Ukraine and Pakistan, two notches above the junk level of Argentina, Greece and Venezuela.

September marked Ireland’s point of no return in the banking crisis. During that month, €55 billion of bank bonds (held mainly by UK, German, and French banks) matured and were repaid, mostly by borrowing from the European Central Bank.

Until September, Ireland had the legal option of terminating the bank guarantee on the grounds that three of the guaranteed banks had withheld material information about their solvency, in direct breach of the 1971 Central Bank Act. The way would then have been open to pass legislation along the lines of the UK’s Bank Resolution Regime, to turn the roughly €75 billion of outstanding bank debt into shares in those banks, and so end the banking crisis at a stroke.

With the €55 billion repaid, the possibility of resolving the bank crisis by sharing costs with the bondholders is now water under the bridge. Instead of the unpleasant showdown with the European Central Bank that a bank resolution would have entailed, everyone is a winner. Or everyone who matters, at least.

The German and French banks whose solvency is the overriding concern of the ECB get their money back. Senior Irish policymakers get to roll over and have their tummies tickled by their European overlords and be told what good sports they have been. And best of all, apart from some token departures of executives too old and rich to care less, the senior management of the banks that caused this crisis continue to enjoy their richly earned rewards. The only difficulty is that the Government’s open-ended commitment to cover the bank losses far exceeds the fiscal capacity of the Irish State.

The Government has admitted that Anglo is going to cost the taxpayer €29 to €34 billion. It has also invested €16 billion in the other banks, but expects to get some or all of that investment back eventually.

So, the taxpayer cost of the bailout is about €30 billion for Anglo and some fraction of €16 billion for the rest. Unfortunately, these numbers are not consistent with each other, and it only takes a second to see why.

Between them, AIB and Bank of Ireland had the same exposure to developers as Anglo and, to the extent that they were scrambling to catch up with Anglo, probably lent to even worse turkeys than it did. AIB and Bank of Ireland did start with more capital to absorb losses than Anglo, but also face substantial mortgage losses, which it does not. It follows that AIB and Bank of Ireland together will cost the taxpayer at least as much as Anglo.

Once we accept, as the Government does, that Anglo will cost the taxpayer about €30 billion, we must accept that AIB and Bank of Ireland will cost at least €30 billion extra.

In my article of last May, when I published my optimistic estimate of a €50 billion bailout bill, I posted a spreadsheet on the irisheconomy.ie website, giving my realistic estimates of taxpayer losses. My realistic estimate for Anglo was €34 billion, the same as the Government’s current estimate.

When you apply the same assumptions about lending losses to the other banks, you end up with a likely taxpayer bill of €16 billion for Bank of Ireland (deducting the €3 billion they have since received from investors) and €26 billion for AIB: nearly as bad as Anglo.

Indeed, the true scandal in Irish banking is not what happened at Anglo and Nationwide (which, as specialised development lenders, would have suffered horrific losses even had they not been run by crooks or morons) but the breakdown of governance at AIB that allowed it to pursue the same suicidal path.

Once again we are having to sit through the same dreary and mendacious charade with AIB that we endured with Anglo: “AIB only needs €3.5 billion, sorry we meant to say €6.5 billion, sorry . . .” and so on until it is fully nationalised next year, and the true extent of its folly revealed.

This €70 billion bill for the banks dwarfs the €15 billion in spending cuts now agonised over, and reduces the necessary cuts in Government spending to an exercise in futility. What is the point of rearranging the spending deckchairs, when the iceberg of bank losses is going to sink us anyway?

What is driving our bond yields to record levels is not the Government deficit, but the bank bailout. Without the banks, our national debt could be stabilised in four years at a level not much worse than where France, with its triple A rating in the bond markets, is now.

As a taxpayer, what does a bailout bill of €70 billion mean? It means that every cent of income tax that you pay for the next two to three years will go to repay Anglo’s losses, every cent for the following two years will go on AIB, and every cent for the next year and a half on the others. In other words, the Irish State is insolvent: its liabilities far exceed any realistic means of repaying them.

For a country or company, insolvency is the equivalent of death for a person, and is usually swiftly followed by the legal process of bankruptcy, the equivalent of a funeral.

Two things have delayed Ireland’s funeral. First, in anticipation of being booted out of bond markets, the Government built up a large pile of cash a few months ago, so that it can keep going until the New Year before it runs out of money. Although insolvent, Ireland is still liquid, for now.

Secondly, not wanting another Greek-style mess, the ECB has intervened to fund the Irish banks. Not only have Irish banks had to repay their maturing bonds, but they have been haemorrhaging funds in the inter-bank market, and the ECB has quietly stepped in with emergency funding to keep them going until it can make up its mind what to do.

Since September, a permanent team of ECB “observers” has taken up residence in the Department of Finance. Although of many nationalities, they are known there, dismayingly but inevitably, as “The Germans”.

So, thanks to the discreet intervention of the ECB, the first stage of the crisis has closed with a whimper rather than a bang. Developer loans sank the banks which, thanks to the bank guarantee, sank the Irish State, leaving it as a ward of the ECB.

The next act of the crisis will rehearse the same themes of bad loans and foreign debt, only this time as tragedy rather than farce. This time the bad loans will be mortgages, and the foreign creditor who cannot be repaid is the ECB. In consequence, the second act promises to be a good deal more traumatic than the first.

Where the first round of the banking crisis centred on a few dozen large developers, the next round will involve hundreds of thousands of families with mortgages. Between negotiated repayment reductions and defaults, at least 100,000 mortgages (one in eight) are already under water, and things have barely started.

Banks have been relying on two dams to block the torrent of defaults – house prices and social stigma – but both have started to crumble alarmingly.

People are going to extraordinary lengths – not paying other bills and borrowing heavily from their parents – to meet mortgage repayments, both out of fear of losing their homes and to avoid the stigma of admitting that they are broke. In a society like ours, where a person’s moral worth is judged – by themselves as much as by others – by the car they drive and the house they own, the idea of admitting that you cannot afford your mortgage is unspeakably shameful.

That will change. The perception growing among borrowers is that while they played by the rules, the banks certainly did not, cynically persuading them into mortgages that they had no hope of affording. Facing a choice between obligations to the banks and to their families – mortgage or food – growing numbers are choosing the latter.

In the last year, America has seen a rising number of “strategic defaults”. People choose to stop repaying their mortgages, realising they can live rent-free in their house for several years before eviction, and then rent a better house for less than the interest on their current mortgage. The prospect of being sued by banks is not credible – the State of Florida allows banks full recourse to the assets of delinquent borrowers just like here, but it has the highest default rate in the US – because there is no point pursuing someone who has no assets.

If one family defaults on its mortgage, they are pariahs: if 200,000 default they are a powerful political constituency. There is no shame in admitting that you too were mauled by the Celtic Tiger after being conned into taking out an unaffordable mortgage, when everyone around you is admitting the same.

The gathering mortgage crisis puts Ireland on the cusp of a social conflict on the scale of the Land War, but with one crucial difference. Whereas the Land War faced tenant farmers against a relative handful of mostly foreign landlords, the looming Mortgage War will pit recent house buyers against the majority of families who feel they worked hard and made sacrifices to pay off their mortgages, or else decided not to buy during the bubble, and who think those with mortgages should be made to pay them off. Any relief to struggling mortgage-holders will come not out of bank profits – there is no longer any such thing – but from the pockets of other taxpayers.

The other crumbling dam against mass mortgage default is house prices. House prices are driven by the size of mortgages that banks give out. That is why, even though Irish banks face long-run funding costs of at least 8 per cent (if they could find anyone to lend to them), they are still giving out mortgages at 5 per cent, to maintain an artificial floor on house prices. Without this trickle of new mortgages, prices would collapse and mass defaults ensue.

However, once Irish banks pass under direct ECB control next year, they will be forced to stop lending in order to shrink their balance sheets back to a level that can be funded from customer deposits. With no new mortgage lending, the housing market will be driven by cash transactions, and prices will collapse accordingly.

While the current priority of Irish banks is to conceal their mortgage losses, which requires them to go easy on borrowers, their new priority will be to get the ECB’s money back by whatever means necessary. The resulting wave of foreclosures will cause prices to collapse further.

Along with mass mortgage defaults, sorting out our bill with the ECB will define the second stage of the banking crisis. For now it is easier for the ECB to drip feed funding to the Irish State and banks rather than admit publicly that we are bankrupt, and trigger a crisis that could engulf other euro-zone states. Our economy is tiny, and it is easiest, for now, to kick the can up the road and see how things work out.

By next year Ireland will have run out of cash, and the terms of a formal bailout will have to be agreed. Our bill will be totted up and presented to us, along with terms for repayment. On these terms hangs our future as a nation. We can only hope that, in return for being such good sports about the whole bondholder business and repaying European banks whose idea of a sound investment was lending billions to Gleeson, Fitzpatrick and Fingleton, the Government can negotiate a low rate of interest.

With a sufficiently low interest rate on what we owe to Europe, a combination of economic growth and inflation will eventually erode away the debt, just as it did in the 1980s: we get to survive.

How low is sufficiently low? Economists have a simple rule to calculate this. If the interest rate on a country’s debt is lower than the sum of its growth rate and inflation rate, the ratio of debt to national income will shrink through time. After a massive credit bubble and with a shaky international economy, our growth prospects for the next decade are poor, and prices are likely to be static or falling. An interest rate beyond 2 per cent is likely to sink us.

This means that if we are forced to repay the ECB at the 5 per cent interest rate imposed on Greece, our debt will rise faster than our means of servicing it, and we will inevitably face a State bankruptcy that will destroy what few shreds of our international reputation still remain.

Why would the ECB impose such a punitive interest rate on us? The answer is that we are too small to matter: the ECB’s real concerns lie with Spain and Italy. Making an example of Ireland is an easy way to show that bailouts are not a soft option, and so frighten them into keeping their deficits under control.

Given the risk of national bankruptcy it entailed, what led the Government into this abject and unconditional surrender to the bank bondholders? I have been told that the Government’s reasoning runs as follows: “Europe will bail us out, just like they bailed out the Greeks. And does anyone expect the Greeks to repay?”

The fallacy of this reasoning is obvious. Despite a decade of Anglo-Fáil rule, with its mantra that there are no such things as duties, only entitlements, few Irish institutions have collapsed to the third-world levels of their Greek counterparts, least of all our tax system.

And unlike the Greeks, we lacked the tact and common sense to keep our grubby dealing to ourselves. Europeans had to endure a decade of Irish politicians strutting around and telling them how they needed to emulate our crony capitalism if they wanted to be as rich as we are. As far as other Europeans are concerned, the Irish Government is aiming to add injury to insult by getting their taxpayers to help the “Richest Nation in Europe” continue to enjoy its lavish lifestyle.

My stating the simple fact that the Government has driven Ireland over the brink of insolvency should not be taken as a tacit endorsement of the Opposition. The stark lesson of the last 30 years is that, while Fianna Fáil’s record of economic management has been decidedly mixed, that of the various Fine Gael coalitions has been uniformly dismal.

As ordinary people start to realise that this thing is not only happening, it is happening to them, we can see anxiety giving way to the first upwellings of an inchoate rage and despair that will transform Irish politics along the lines of the Tea Party in America. Within five years, both Civil War parties are likely to have been brushed aside by a hard right, anti-Europe, anti-Traveller party that, inconceivable as it now seems, will leave us nostalgic for the, usually, harmless buffoonery of Biffo, Inda, and their chums.

You have read enough articles by economists by now to know that it is customary at this stage for me to propose, in 30 words or fewer, a simple policy that will solve all our problems. Unfortunately, this is where I have to hold up my hands and confess that I have no solutions, simple or otherwise.

Ireland faced a painful choice between imposing a resolution on banks that were too big to save or becoming insolvent, and, for whatever reason, chose the latter. Sovereign nations get to make policy choices, and we are no longer a sovereign nation in any meaningful sense of that term.

From here on, for better or worse, we can only rely on the kindness of strangers.

Comment :

What can I say that I haven’t already said!

How Cowen and lenihan are still in place boggles the mind and I must conclude that the people around them are as guilty as they are!

 Retribution can’t come soon enough for them!

Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev on projections for Budget 2011

Posted by Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev

DofF has published some preliminary projections for Budget 2011 tonight, titled “Information Note
on the Economic and Budgetary Outlook 2011 – 2014 (in advance of the publication of the Government’s Four-Year Budgetary Plan)”. Catchy, isn’t it?

Here’s my high-level read through:

1) pages 2-3 (note DofF couldn’t even number actual pages in the document) present some rosy scenarios concerning growth. Most notably, DofF doesn’t seem to think that Dollar is going to devalue against the Euro significantly in 2011. As if QE2 will have no effect or will be offset, under DofF expectations by a QETrichet. This is non-trivial, of course. Price of oil is expected to rise by 10.4% over 2011, but dollar will devalue by just 3.7% and sterling by 2.3%. Absent robust demand growth (per DofF-mentioned global slowdown) what would drive oil up at a rate more than 4 times dollar devaluation? This is non-trivial – any devaluation of sterling and dollar will impact adversely our exports and will increase our imports bills, chipping at GDP and GNP from both ends.

2) “in overall terms, real GDP is projected to increase by 1¾% next year (GNP by 1%). This takes account of budgetary adjustments amounting to €6 billion, which are estimated to reduce the rate of growth by somewhere in the region of 1½ – 2 percentage points. Nominal GDP is set to grow by 2.5% in 2011, implying a GDP price deflator of ¾%.” Errr… ok, I can buy into low inflation, but… folks – DofF is talking tough budget. which will mean inflation on state-controlled sectors is going to be rampant. To keep total inflation at just 0.75%, you have to get either a strong revaluation of the euro (ain’t there, as we’ve seen in (1)) or a strong deflation in the private sectors (possible, but if so, what would that do to Exchequer returns and to domestic activity? Interestingly, DofF refer to HICP, not CPI when they talk about moderate inflation of 3/4%. Of course, they wouldn’t dare touch upon the prospects of our banks skinning their customers (err… also shareholders, rescuers etc) with mortgage costs hikes.

3) Now, consider that 1.75% growth in real GDP and 1% growth in GNP. Where, exactly will this come from? IMF projection for WEO October 2010 (before Government latest adjustment in deficit announcement) factored in 2.277% growth in constant prices GDP for 2011. DoF says that the reduction in Government consumption will amount to 1.2-2% point in the rate of growth. This is, I assume, before factoring in second order effects of higher taxation measures – just a brutal cut. So IMF, less DofF estimate leads to growth rate of 0.227-1.077%, which is less than what DofF assumes. Of course, that range – with a mid-point of 0.652% still does not capture the adverse effects of increased taxes and other charges, which – if we are to take €6bn headline figure for deficit reductions, applying 1.2-2% of GDP net adjustment on expected Government consumption side and factoring in stabilizers of 20% implies that DofF is aiming to get well in excess of €1.9-3bn in new revenues in 2011. Of these, maximum of €1.1-1.2 billion can be expected to arise from DofF forecast growth, leaving €0.8-1.9bn to be raised from tax increases and other charges. Apart from being optimistic, it does look to me like DofF didn’t factor the effects of this into their growth projections.

4) About the only realistic assumption that DofF makes is that investment will contract by far less next year than in 2010. The reason is simple – stuff is going to start falling apart in private sector, so companies will have to replace some of the capital stock sooner or later. I can tell from here whether investment will fall 6% (as DofF assume) or 10%, but I doubt there is much upside from DofF assumption. The problem is that if you expect investment goods decline to be reversed on plant and machinery side (continuing to allow for investment to fall further on housing and construction sides) you are going to get an increase in imports, as we import much of equipment we use. So I suspect imports are going to rise more than 2.75% that DofF factored into their estimates.

5) I also think DofF are too optimistic on the employment contraction side. The Department assumes -0.25% change in overall employment levels in the Republic. I would say that several longer term trends are going to push this deeper into the red: pharma sector restructuring, continued shutting down of MNCs-led manufacturing, declines in public contracts etc.

6) All of the above is crucial, as per Table 3 we can see that even with the €6bn taken out, 2011 Exchequer balance will be exactly the same as in 2010: €19.25bn deficit in cash terms. In other words, folks – of the total €6bn in cuts almost €3.1bn will go to cover… errr… you’ve guessed it – BANKS! another €1.25bn to cover interest on the BANKS rescue notes (net under Non-voted expenditure). More bizarre, unless you understand our Government’s logic, which escapes me – our Current Expenditure will not fall next year at all. Instead it will rise from €47.25bn in 2010 to €49.75bn in 2011, while Current Revenue will fall by €500mln, leaving our Current Budget Balance at -€16.25bn – deeper than -€13.5bn achieved this year. Under this arithmetic, the only way this Government can claim that it will be on any track in the general direction of 3% deficit by 2014 is by building in some mighty optimistic assumptions on growth side, plus projecting no further demands for funding from the banks.

7) Now, let me touch upon the last part of the concluding sentence in (6) above. Oh, boy. The Government, therefore is reliant on €31bn in promisory notes to cover the entire rescue of the banking sector. Yet, not reflected in any of DofF estimates, AIB’s latest failure to raise requisite capital is likely to cost this Government additional €2bn on top of already promised funds. Toss into the mix expected losses for 2011-2012 on all banks balancesheets, and you get pretty quickly into high figures. Let’s suppose that the whole banking sector will cost the state ca €60bn (this is well below my estimate of 67-70bn, Peter Mathews’ estimate of 66.5bn, etc). The state will be on the hook for some €29bn more in ‘promisory’ notes. Suppose none are redeemed and no new borrowing against them takes place. The gross cost per annum of these notes will be roughly at least what DofF estimated for €31bn or €150mln in 2011, while the borrowing requirement for the state will have to go up by €2.9billion annually (if structured as previous promisory notes).

Overall, I have significant doubts that the numbers presented in these early estimates will survive the test of reality. However, the Department of Finance seemed to have gotten slightly more realistic in these estimates, when compared to the stuff produced a year ago. It remains to be seen if the learning curve is steep enough to get them to reach full realism by the Budget 2011 day.

source http://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2010/11/economics-41110-early-doff-estimates.html
As usual an excellent article by Dr Gurdgiev on the current malaise of spin on the upcoming budget that the government is seeping out through their cronies in the media

What a breathe of fresh air  Keep them coming Constantin!

relates items Listen  to  This  danobrien041110

Returning the economy to growth

Ireland Must Focus on Economic Recovery After Deficit Cut, Economists Say

By Fergal O’Brien – Oct 27, 2010 9:45 AM GMT+0100

Ireland’s government must now focus on reviving economic growth after announcing a 15 billion-euro ($21 billion) plan to cut its deficit by 2014, economists said.

The planned spending cuts and tax increases are twice as much as the government previously said it would put in place to narrow the budget gap to the European Union limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product in four years.

“It will be a tall order for Ireland to meet the 2014 deadline given the fragility of both the domestic and global economy,” Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers in Dublin, said in a note to investors. “Ireland will have to generate economic growth if the target is to be met.”

Investor concern that Ireland won’t be able to lower the deficit due to the mounting burden of bank bailouts has pushed up the nation’s borrowing costs. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan will next month announce details of the budget plan, which he said will include a “significant frontloading” for 2011.

“With the scale of consolidation now known, the department’s strategy for returning the economy to growth” could “now be described as more important than the consolidation measures,” said Dermot O’Leary, chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers in Dublin.

Ireland’s budget shortfall will reach about 32 percent of GDP this year, due to a one-time spike from bank-bailout costs, the government said last month. Excluding that, the deficit will be about 12 percent.

Yield Spread

full aricle  at source http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-27/ireland-must-focus-on-economic-recovery-after-deficit-cut-economists-say.html

Public Service Executive Union




Public Service Executive Union

It is only a few months since the ESRI was predicting the imminent end of our recession. This was posited by it as a justification for the policy of cutting incomes, particularly targeting those employed in the provision of public services, as an aid to increased competitiveness and, as a consequence, we were advised by it that our economy would begin growing again.

It was never a credible proposition, but there is little satisfaction to be obtained from the fact that events have proven it wrong. Even now, the main prescription offered by it is “more of the same” in the form of a further attack on the income of public servants, (listening to advocates of this position, one might be tempted to forget the cuts in public servants’ incomes of 14 to 20 per cent, to date).

The ESRI’s belated entry into the ranks of those who always had a more realistic view of the consequences of excessive austerity measures is welcome, not least as a partial counterpoint to the continued (though fragmenting), mistaken consensus of our economic commentariat elsewhere. Some acknowledgment, however humbling, that they got their assessment wrong, coupled with ditching the anti public servant prejudices that characterise the utterances of most Irish economists, is now surely overdue from the institute. After all, two years and soon to be four austerity budgets later, our economy is still going backwards.

The ICTU has been in a lonely place in the debate on our economy in this time. In questioning the increasingly discredited ideology of excessive austerity, the economic value system of the majority of our commentators has been challenged: hence the continuous bile directed at the unions. However, no serious observer believes, by now, that we will reduce our deficit to 3 per cent of GDP by 2014 and more of them, including the ESRI, are coming around, albeit reluctantly, to the ICTU position that to attempt to do so will stifle any chance of recovery. If this countervailing consensus could develop, we might yet have a chance of dragging this country out of the mire before it is wrecked completely by politicians acting on poor economic advice.

Above all else, our next budget needs to concentrate on investment. There is no denying our fiscal deficit and the need to address it. To do so over a longer period than the next four years, combined with a realistic use of the National Pension Reserve Fund to fund capital projects and, thereby regenerate domestic demand, will appease our lenders, improve our infrastructure and facilitate inward investment. It is an approach that is fairer and has a much greater chance of success than the “slash and burn” race to the bottom in which we are now engaged. It is not yet too late for us to come to our senses. A a healthy scepticism about our economic “experts” is a useful place to start. – Yours, etc,


General Secretary,

Public Service Executive Union,

Merrion Square,

Dublin 2.

Welcome to the crises of Credit

Welcome to the crises of Credit

Ireland is going through a crises of credit .The attached video clip explains how this crises happened

And hopefully also gives you an insight to the problem we are facing. So the next time Brian Lenihan says we have turned a corner or property has bottomed out you will know better.

We haven’t even begun to deal with the real problem and that is the derivatives time bomb.

Credit default swaps are mentioned in the video clip pay close attention to them!

With the government having embarked on the slash and burn budgets and now their attempt to get the opposition to sign up to even tougher budgets and all because they want to hand over the savings to international “investors” you don’t have to be a genius to see that this is bringing us down the road to destruction Why? Because they are taking away the means for the still paying home owners to pay their mortgages, people start losing their jobs and then they will start to default, already 90,000 people are behind in their mortgages payments and that is before we even get started on the even tougher budgets

Of 2011,2012,2013,2014 each budget will have to slice off approximately 5,000,000,000:00 each year of the budget deficit and that is not counting the billions that we have to pay in interest on the remanding national sovereign deficit plus the cost of bailing out Anglo Irish Bank, the bonds sold into the market by the rest of the banks .

The government has to come clean on the Credit default swaps and the leveraging exposures of the banks only then will we know the exact nature of the problems facing us.

We are nowhere near the bottom and lenihan knows it only too well and now the opposition parties have some idea as well! With the government’s insistence on bailing out the private bank Anglo Irish and their establishment of NAMA they have created the perfect storm. They have done exactly the wrong thing; they have rewarded the gambling investors and are cowering down to their demands to be bailed out and have the Irish taxpayers pay for their sour investments.

This course of action is not surprising because the government are receiving advice from the same advisers that advised the international investors to lend their funds to Anglo in the first place!

In a nutshell vested interests are running the finances of this country and when nothing is left they will consent to calling in the IMF who will have no other option then other than to sell off the country in bits and pieces to the same vested interests

What a scam!

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