Did the media fail to sound alarm bells...Irish Times 6.3.10

irishtimes.com/newspaper/opi … 03246.html


Many people in key positions were aware of problems before our financial tsunami struck, yet these did not make it into the mainstream media in a coherent and authoritative way.

Olympia, from the Conor Brady piece:

Is this the warning about house prices you were looking for?

NYTimes ‘wild west’ article.

Selective memory much?

From the IT article:

The thread that proves him wrong:

And the fallout from it:
mulley.net/2007/11/05/tribun … a-blogger/

Pour encourager les autres.

Three of the four estates have utterly failed us,the people.

The fourth of these estates,the on you would imagine whose raison d`etre would be the exposure of such shabby shitty shenanagins were too busy ingratiating themselves with our “ruling classes” to actually get off their fucking well paid arses and do some spade work instead we were treated to HELLO type “journalism”,sychophantic life style article of the rich and shameless as breathlessly reported in the sindo by some past his sell by date lick arse hack or hackette.

The sacking of the Tribunes Business Editor,Richard Develan over some gentle ribbing in an article about E/A supremo Ken Mc Donalds inability to sell his house,was to me a low point in Irish Journalism and highlighted how toadying the papers owners had become in order to keep property ad related revenue`rolling in.

There were at most five Journalists over the tiger years who actually are worthy of calling themselves Journos…the rest are barely worthy of our contempt.

I rarely if ever buy Irish papers anymore,I get news off the internet,unfiltered uncensored and leaves me without feeling that I either need to wash or vomit after reading.

Who’s to blame ? developers , bankers , and the media are all ’ the dog ate my homework ’ excuses .

At the end of the day when a couple of grand buys you the Prime Minister of a small European country , basically anything can happen .


sure FF’s own commissioned bacon reports in 1998 said it was a problem then! They made some minor moves to address the findings around 2000/2001 and the house prices began to correct - but with prices down 5% and an election coming in 2002 this was the moment when FF decided to drive the country to where we are today. They reversed the previous changes curb the explosion in house prices and sent McCreevy to Europe to keep him out of the way of awkward questions. This was the signal to the construction industry; fear not FF would do anything and everything to ensure the boom continued. tribune.ie/archive/article/2 … -interest/

From that moment in 2001 we where never going to be anywhere else than we are now, it was just a matter of time and those who said so (like McWilliams) were ridiculed.

Government policy has us where we are now … no more no less. They set the rules everyone else played by and they did everything and anything to make the boom “boomier”.

McWilliams has been banging on about the problems for years.
Although very much in the minority at the time, his opinions were extensively reported and commented on.

Whilst papers were undoubedly biased towards the boom, as they were coining it with advertising etc, the public also chose to ignore McWilliams’ warnings and now they are looking for various scapegoats to which blame their problems.

Many were to blame, but I suggest the general public start with the face in the mirror.

What is this bullshit. Is this the closest we will see to any admission of involvement? To claim that they did not see the bigger picture is a complete failure.

The paper of record got sidetracked and became an estate agent.


At the height of the boom they forgot their past and moved up in the world


The problem in the banks and their exposure to property lending was recognised as far back as 1998

archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/19 … /bhead.htm

The expansion of credit - the problem was in plain sight back in 1998, but rather than ask the reasons so much cheap credit was available and the consequences of that policy, the politicians, the economists and media spent their time cheer leading “cheap credit” and looking for excuses such as “demographics” to rationalise the continuation of this policy, they continue to do so today. Since September 2008 how many times have you heard them crying “we must get credit flowing again”? These ignorant f@cks have learned nothing from the crash, absolutely nothing!

Ask yourself who is sounding the alarm bells today? Who is asking the hard questions about the consequences of bailing out the banks and running massive deficits? Who is looking at the consequences of current policies and where it will inevitably lead? Most of the commentators in mainstream media don’t have the intelligence or inclination to analyse the situation, they never have and never will, they will always follow the consensus narrative (usually set by government media spin doctors and the vested interests they serve). Will they ever realise at the opposite side of the balance sheet to all that credit is debt + interest? Will they ever admit the long term consequences of increasing debt and compound interest? I don’t expect they will.

As you say, BoyRacer, the media is failing again.

Let’s look at it this way. The current debt on which the government is paying interest is about (or about to be ) 82 bn. The current blended interest rate (the amount being paid in interest) is about 3.3 bn - that’s the amount the state has budgeted this year to pay in interest.

Let’s assume a ten year average maturity (it’s a good bit shorter than that, but never mind). The state should also be setting aside a tenth of the outstanding debt each year as repayment… that’s 8.2 bn.

The state is like some of its citizens. The have bought a massive house on an interest only mortgage. They can afford the interest. They can’t, however, afford the repayments. Only by winning a massive lottery prize will that become possible. Generally speaking, there isn’t a sovereign lottery. There was one in joining europe, but we spent all that… shiny, shiny, look at my Dail chandelier…

I thought that Brendan Keenan had explained this point.

Governments only have to pay interest. Nobody expcts them to give back the principal.

Please pay attention in future when Brendan is explaining economics.

Although it’s 20 years old, chomsky’s manufacturing consent describes the way mass media works.

We are in a borrowing phase not a repayment phase. If we were to start repayment we would need to - shock horror - spend less than we earn. This would necessitate public spending cuts of 50% in welfare and ps salaries.

Media behaviour in the 2003-2008 period is a major elephant in the room.

Just imagine the Irish Times was forced to disclose how much revenue it generated from property advertising in this period, and compared that with earlier periods and also disclosed what happened to newspaper profit margins and journalistic salaries in that period.

It would become painfully obvious that the personal lifestyles of the key opinion formers in the so called “paper of record” were being financed by the Ponzi schemes run by Hooke and MacDonald etc. I am sure that Fintan and co. would swear on their grandparents’ graves that fat bonuses and pay rises had no influence on their writing (or more importantly, their NOT writing about an obvious bubble).

But can you imagine what the same journalists would say if they were told that Fianna Fail parliamentary candidates received the same kind of cash contributions from the construction industry and estate agents ? How much credence would they give their favourite whipping boys ? If any party had received as much in contributions as the media did, they would be assumed to have been bought lock stock and barrel.

Scanning the PIN and the media over the past 2 years, it is interesting to me that although the Sindo is clearly a worse paper in most respects and the SBP is really written by about 5-6 people in total, the IT missed the crash story completely until it published one article by Morgan Kelly in 2008 (“like a plane descending through cloud which hits the mountain”).

Its a big miss. I think the IT reputation will suffer long term.

So where is Pat O’Neill now?
Is he still bullshitting away for AIB CM?
How much does he earn?
Is it more than was on when he said the above?
Has any paper or conference invited him to explain how com his analysis was fundamentelly so flawed?
When will he be resigning in disgrace and burying not just his head but his whole body and crap opinions in the sand?

In all fairness the sentence immediately preceeding that is

The article is from 1998.

Maccers reasoning was correct all along but his timing was way off. Miles off. I think after about 2003 he stuck to his guns but gave up trying to put a time on it. Just that it was all completely bonkers and unsustainable and would end in tears.

He was even laughing at himself by 2006 because he’s been saying it for so long and there was still no sign of the crash at that stage.

Maccers was probably looking at the dot com credit bubble at the time, which was poised to pop, had it been allowed to correct he would have been on the money as regards timing, he never anticipated the infamous ‘Greenspan put’ option that kept the plates spinning for the FIRE economy for another 6 years after the dot com bubble bust.

Far from sounding a warning bell, the Irish Times was still cheerfully printing this kind of drooling VI rubbish over a year after the bubble burst

And their €50m property website had mysteriously changed the prices of all their properties from text format to images so they couldn’t be screen scraped to prove asking prices were falling.

This while they were routinely printing incorrect inflated transaction prices supplied to them by their EA buddies without any verification. Paper of record me hole.

The Irish Times - The property-website-owning innocents abroad!