It was in the news during the week that the Irish Exchequer had bailed out one of the country’s major banks to the tune of €38 billion.
image courtesy The Met
I think that I have become blasé about all these big figures being bandied around, a billion here, ten billion there but this figure just seemed to strike a realisation with me.
I live in the North of Ireland, part of the UK and so I’m subject to UK economic conditions and here we are already enduring & bracing ourselves for more ’austerity measures’. These ‘measures’ mean cuts in many state services such as education, health and even then, they are accounting for what something like £10bn. When I see the scale of savings & cuts required to effect £10bn (approx €12bn) of change I cannot conceive of how it would even start to be possible to endure a bailout of €38bn, especially with a country the size of Ireland, stuck on the fringes of Western Europe where it’s already very expensive to manufacture and/or trade physical products anywhere beyond the shoreline.
I know that in my own business I have seen a decline in the numbers of queries that we receive and the value of those sales. We’re having to be really flexible, roll with the punches and find ever-more creative ways to find customers. We’re doing well but really noticing the extra work required to continue to grow the company.
So where does all of this massive debt come from. In the British Isles the debt must be far in excess of £100bn, did the money just disappear from the system? is it in someone’s bank account? Is it still there but locked in? As best as I can gather, the money was never there. The promise on each note to ‘pay the bearer on demand’ has not just been broken, it has been shattered and from what it seems, those who broke it are completely unrepentant. How many houses and investments have been hurriedly transferred into a wife or partner’s name? Greedy Greedy Greedy
I’m talking primarily about banks and in the case of Ireland, the unholy matrimony of banks and property developers / speculators. Isn’t it amazing how the rest of us get on with our lives, working hard, paying taxes and struggling to balance the books whereas the ‘big game hunters’ keep puffing air into the balloon and selling it based purely on its size knowing that it’s really just an empty facade. Greedy Greedy Greedy
Now I have no problem whatsoever with people and corporations making money, we all rely on the financial success of big business to keep an economy stimulated, but what the hell happened to the concept of national fiduciary stewardship? It appears that whilst you and I have been spending our time looking after the pennies, the fat cats have beein involved in incestuous relations, inflating the exonomy to the point of bursting. The recession is the bastard child of greed.
Part of what brasses off me and many others, is that we still hear of Ivory Tower bankers paying themselves huge bonuses out of OUR bailout money yet there are so many small businesses going to the wall because they cannot access credit or simply because the downturn caused by the bust has removed the need for their business.
Whilst I can accept a certain amount of it is business-evolutionary pressures leading to survival of the fittest, and yes it probably was inevitable that many foo-foo and me-too businesses will naturally stop trading, it is heartbreaking to see long-established and very viable businesses who have served customers for many years, simply having to close the shutters. I have seen a number of my own suppliers in this scenario, and I tell you it’s heartbreaking to watch them gasp for air and then expire. We are losing skills and industries that will never return, thank you Fat Cats, I hope you’re proud of yourselves. Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely!
So where do we go from here. I don’t know of course. For my part I’m just happy that bingbangbong is small enough to be flexible and adaptive to an ever-changing dynamic, I’m glad that I’m not like my competitors who seem to simply copy my designs whilst I continue to innovate. We have plans and desires like everybody else but it’s made more difficult when wading through treacle.
What I would like to see is the banks having to pay back every penny of the bailout money they received, and then to pay back form form of social /community form of interest to compensate for the hardship that they have forced upon the rest of us. I’d like to see them partner with small businesses and provide services that are not priced based on maximising the shareholders’ feel-good factor. Drop the bank charges, accept your responsibility and start making reparations.
To save a lot of money in one fell swoop, I would like to see the UK welfare / DHSS system reformed so that it provides properly for those who actually need it. The system is under so much pressure because it also has to pay for the spongers and scroungers who think that it’s ok to tell blatent lies about their situation, take the money that I pay in tax and then continue to work without contributing to the pot – a double blow. You know who you all are – Greed Greed Greed, I hate it!
How would you feel if we all paid into the drinks kitty for a night out and then someone else just comes along and starts helping themself because they can lie well enough to fool someone into thinking they did contribute . How would you react if you saw someone taking and you knew they hadn’t contributed?
Of course you’d say HEY! what are you doing, stop that! What is the difference here, really? Ask yourself that and rationalise how you think it’s cool for a person to help themselves to other people’s stuff. It can’t be rationalised, it’s theft.
What use are you if you simply take and don’t contribute? Why on earth would the state pay you to sit on your arse and watch TV?. Do you think you deserve it… that you are entitled to it… why? What is your twisted logic that you use to rationalise that to yourselves? You are thieves and liars, you contribute nothing, you are selfish, you are a waste of time and space. Get a job, develop integrity, have some self respect and stop stealing from those who actually need the welfare system.
To the Bankers, Developers and the Dole Scroungers, I’m sick of being surrounded by greed and selfishness. By all means work hard and work smart but don’t expect others to support the lifestyle that you cannot afford or finance the loans that you cannot pay. You’re screwing it up for the rest of us who actually do want to live in and contribute to a community.