Bailing out the Banks

2 euro coins
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So last night it finally happened. We formalised the bailout. We are taking an €85 billion loan. We will be paying an interest rate of about 5.8%. We will be loaning money to ourselves.

Yes, you read that last line right.

€17.5 billion will be coming for the National Pension Reserve Fund and the other cash on hand funds.

Who’s fault is this? The Banks.

€35 billion of this is for them. €50 billion is to cover state deficits. They are there because we gave the banks money!

It is a disgrace.

Links of Interest:

A difficult but essential deal –

€85bn rescue package – Unwelcome return to penal times –

At least we know the grim reality –

Announcement of joint EU – IMF Programme for Ireland –

It’s All about Money –

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Time to jog the memory

Brian Cowen, the Taoiseach of Ireland.
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The Taoiseach and other Government Ministers can say what they want, but Stephen Kinsella posted this video up which may jog some memories. They certainly saw this coming and the ERSI was not alone in warning us about the fact that we were in for a hard landing.

Ye are fooling no one lads. Its time to change the record on that one.

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Why does all this ‘Bond Market Malarkey’ Matter?

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As I have recently begun writing about the Bond Markets and posting about it on Facebook, an interesting discussion has taken place on why are we bothering reporting on it if we currently aren’t borrowing from the bond market and what exactly are bonds. So myself and another friend tried to explain why it is important.

Comment 1:

Good job we are not actually borrowing at the moment!! (Which is why I am surprised that we are still fixated on the number, who cares what rates bondholders are selling to each other, we need to concentrate on getting the rate down for Jan when we need to borrow.)

My Response:

The reason its going up though is that investors think we will default before we can borrow again. We were supposed to borrow €1.5bn in October and €1.5bn in November, therefore we have to borrow more then initially hoped next year. Also if… investors are dumping the bonds at the moment, why will they want to buy new ones next year? That is why we care what the number is. Also LCH putting up the margin by 15% to trade in Irish Bonds means it will be very expensive to trade in Irish Bonds, making it harder still to sell new ones.

Comment 2:

What are the bonds exactly Spillane?

My Response:

Its basically what funds the country.The Government raises money by selling Bonds on the market.

Comment 3:

so what is this 8% malarkey all about? its more expensive to buy Irish bonds is it?


Stephen has got it more or less spot on there. We currently have a huge gap between spending and income for the state. We fill this gap through borrowing. We borrow by issuing bonds. Current bond prices are on the secondary market. Bonds of… over 8% are generally regarding as Junk bonds. This essentially means they are high risk and the chance of default is huge. The prices are rising because no one wants Irish sovereign bonds. The Government will return to the bond market early next year, unless the rates go down we will be unable to afford to borrow and will crash. We would then need the EU & IMF to bail us out.

ScandalCentral also linked to this video of Bloomberg on Monday which shows how serious this is for Ireland.

I hope this may help explain to you why all this stuff is important!

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The Rebel Awards 2010

The Nominations opened yesterday for the Rebel Awards 2010.

The Cork Rebel Awards were set up as a collobartion between the Cork Gay Project, Cork Pride & in order to acknolwlege LGBT people and organisations for their contributions, work and support to the Cork LGBT community.

This year they are inviting everyone to nominate people and organisations whom you feel should win an award.

The Categories are as follows:

The ‘Straight-Up’ REBEL Award

This award recognises a non-LGBT individual who has made an outstanding contribution working with and by having a positive influence on the lives and rights of the LGBT community.
The REBEL Award for Men’s Initiative of the Year

This award recognises deserving individuals who have contributed new ideas or projects that have benefited the life of Cork Gay Men.

The REBEL Award for Women’s Initiative of the Year
This award recognises an individual or group who, either through professional or voluntary work, has contributed positively to the lives of lesbian and bisexual women in Cork.

The REBEL Award for an Honorary Corkonian (for people outside Cork)

This award recognises an individual who is either a non-native or non-resident of Cork who, through working with the Cork LGBT Community through various medium, has made such a positive contribution to the community that they are awarded honorary rebel status, a title aspired to by every non-Corkonian.
The REBEL Award for Outstanding Social Group of the Year

Cork is very lucky that we have a diverse network of social groups from activity groups to hobby groups. This award recognises a deserving social group that has shown outstanding organisation that has helped in bringing the community together.
The REBEL Award for LGBT (friendly) Business Award.

This award highlights a business person or company who through their commercial ventures has contributed significantly to the LGBT community in Cork. The contribution may be, but is not confined to, financial contribution. The award may also recognise an employer who supports diversity in their workplace.

The People’s Choice REBEL Award

This award is decided by the members of the online community of It is for a venue or individual, that the members of feel are deserving of recognition for their contributions to the gay scene and wider gay community in Cork. It is by its nature a diverse award but due to the wide membership of, from Cork city, county, and beyond, the recipient should be in no doubt as to their importance to the entire community of Cork.
The REBEL Award for Outstanding Contribution
The REBEL Award for Lifetime Service to the LGBT Community

Fair play to the committee for organising this. You can nominate your candidates here

Last years winners are listed here.

The awards will take place on Friday the 12th November in the Imperial Hotel on South Mall.

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Head Shops – Should they be banned?

Happy Hippy Dublin
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I recently got a mailshot from the local Sinn Fein Councillor, Fiona Kerins, and as part of it, it should her and her comrades picketing outside a shop as it carried out its LEGAL trade.

Some people may not like head shops, what they stand for, or what they sell. But, they are breaking no law.

Why should people picket a shop that is not breaking the law?

Yes I do think mephedrone and its synthetics should be banned, but picketing and threatening shops, as some “dissidents” are doing, is not the answer.

Maybe we should follow the lead of the UK and ban the substances as soon as possible? Thereby leaving the Head Shops alone to carry out their legal business?

A recent letter in the Irish Independent makes me think that a total ban on Head Shops is not the way to

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Vote for the EU’s Organic Logo

I found this on Paul Montariol’s blog on the think about it website. Its about the open consultation by DG Agriculture and Rural Development. Do vote for your favourite!

The new EU organic logo will be displayed from July 2010 onwards on pre-packaged organic products that meet the community requirements outlined under “Organic Farming and Production”. The EU logo can be used on a voluntary basis on non-pre-packaged organic products that originate from the EU or that are imported from third countries. This means, that the winning logo will appear on millions and millions of organic food products all over the EU! For more information, please visit the Organic Farming website .

Proposed Logos

The voting is open until the 30 January 2010 so get voting!

(I went for the second one myself! 😉 )

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The Picket Dilemma: I’ve decided

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I know the blog seems to be obsessed with Strikes at the moment, but they are a big part of whats going on with me at the moment! Between asking you what you think of crossing pickets to my teachers going on strike its time that I decided what I am going to do about the strike at Boots.

I have talked to a few friends about this and teachers about my predicament and everyone acknowledges the predicament I am in. I have some suggestions, such as calling in sick during the strike to just plain cross the picket.

So I have decided.

As I am a part time worker on a temporary contract, on this occassion I will be crossing the pickets. I need the hours, basically I need the money. I think the full time union members will appreciate these facts and there will not be hassle with me ducking the picket line, if there is one when I am working.

Oh if only life was easy!

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On Today’s Union “Protest”

So right now “protests” are taking place around the country at the expense of many people trying to go about their daily business. Is that really all the unions can do? Grand stand?

All the unions seem to be doing, to me anyway, is wasting money. They are putting up ads, sending out letters and all that, which really isnt going to help anyone. Especially those that actually need the help.

This is the issue that Ireland faces, protect jobs and wages, or cut costs and create jobs.

Im know I am for creating jobs, which means cutting minimum wage and other costs. Then we can create jobs, get people off welfare (thereby lowering spending) and then we will have a chance. Of course the unions wouldnt back this to save their lives.

I have no love for unions, they are all mé féiners as far as I am concerned and are certainly not helping me with their “protest” today. In fact due to the protest today I could be late for work. Thanks a bunch guys.

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Blogger Training?

Until this week I didn’t know there was such a thing as blogger training (that wasn’t aimed at companies and such) but a friend send me information about the Hyperlink Project from The Euromed Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures. Part of this project is “the ALF Euromed Bloggers Training on Intercultural Dialogue”. This will take place on the sidelines of the campaign Restore Trust – Rebuild Bridges which was launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Alliance of Civilizations to encourage a culture of peace and coexistence in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.

Only 20 bloggers from the Euromed region (which is 43 countries) and today I received my invitation to Phase one of the project today! It takes place in July , in Luxembourg.

What is involved in the training?

The training will be delivered by two highly professional trainers, one from the north and one from the south of the region. The methodology of the training will try to combine  between plenary informative presentations, tools and games used in non-formal education on intercultural dialogue, and working groups to design the online campaign. The training will also include a Cultural Night where the participants will have the opportunity to discover each others cultures more closely. There will be also a Blog Souk where the participants can present there blogs and there blogging experiences and how intercultural dialogue is treated in their local blogs.

It looks like its going to be really fun and interesting.

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Recession Diary: 27th May 2009

So it happened. Something I didn’t think would happen. Or maybe something I wouldnt let myself think would happen. All the warnings were there, but I didn’t think it would happen.

I got handed my notice.

Thats right. I am now unemployed.

I never thought I would be upset about loosing my job. But everytime I think about it, my eyes well up.

Yes, I know I am not alone in loosing my job, but its a gutting esperience when it happens.

Whats to blame for me loosing my job?  The Government.

Why? Cause they have raised VAT (Something my employer absorbed and didn’t raise prices) and they have raised income tax. This means people are spending less.

The retail sector in this country is in a downward spiral. Shops, especially independents are tight for cash, with bills not being paid etc.

The Government need to see what its doing wrong as at the moment all it is doing is shutting down small business. We need to get Ireland back to work!

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