Ireland mulls 'patriot bond' to kick-start the economy

Ireland mulls ‘patriot bond’ to kick-start economy
Published: Tuesday 31 March 2009

Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen has endorsed an online campaign to generate innovative ways of rebooting the ailing Irish economy, Aileen O’Toole, director of the Ideas Campaign, told EurActiv in an interview.

Cowen said an action plan to be drawn up by the campaignexternal , which is funded by its founder O’Toole’s online consulting firm AMAS, has collected 34,000 ideas in one month, will be “fast-tracked to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Economic Renewal for assessment and implementation where appropriate”.

One idea highlighted by O’Toole is a proposal for a patriot bond, which would allow Irish ex-pats to invest “on the basis of patriotism”.

O’Toole, who describes the campaign as a grassroots movement, said 20% of the ideas generated to date have come from overseas, with particular interest from the UK and US.

The suggestion for a patriot bond came from an Irish citizen living overseas, who believes the global Irish community would be willing to invest in the Irish state in return for a guaranteed profit.

Ireland’s current credit rating means it has found it more difficult to raise funds on the global markets. The bond would make money available at a cheaper rate than is currently offered on the market, with a return for investors when the economy returns to growth.

Over 3,000 ideas have been published on the campaign website, which ran for the month of March and received widespread media coverage in Ireland.

These include turning thousands of empty properties in Ireland’s “ghost estates” into retirement communities, the establishment of a new Irish ‘People’s bank’ based on a New Zealand model, an expansion in the number of technology transfer professionals to turn R&D spending into commercial opportunities, and cutting the tax on alcohol to encourage people into pubs.

The website lists a number of banks, chambers of commerce, consultancies and universities amongst its supporters, and has also received the backing of Irish government ministers. An ‘action plan’ will be presented to the government once the ideas have been vetted by a panel of experts. … cle-180791

Even better idea if the politicians would take a “patriot pay cut”.

“Ireland mulls” :unamused: … into the myre FFS

“Mull of Kintyre”? :smiling_imp:

If these “patriots” are demanding a guarenteed return then it’s not patriotism.
It’s investment.

I’d buy bonds from France if the return was high enough and guarenteed,
and I have no particular love for France at all.

You have to wonder what people who have actually died for their country
would think about how the word patriotism has changed over the years.

Last year it meant paying more tax, this year it means buying bonds with
a guarenteed return.


I find it very interesting that there seems to be little mention of Irish citizens buying these bonds. It does address an issue that I’ve previously highlighted regarding a bond issue which is that I though people either wouldn’t have the money or interest in buying them and therefore a bond issue was pointless. If the gubberment is mostly interesting in selling to ex-pats they clearly think the same thing.

I think that Irish ex-pats would be extraordinarily poorly informed if they invest in these government bonds. I feel it is disingenuous of us to play upon their sympathies to extract cash from them. Still if the gubberment actually manage to get money out of Irish ex-pats I’d be lying if I didn’t say “yippee - cheap credit - now can we please do something constructive with it instead of shoveling it into one or more of our plentiful money pits?” Please? Pretty please with a cherry on top?"

I suspect the answer will be “no - its business-as-usual - now start shoveling - digging us into huge debt doesn’t just happen on its own y’know”

I think there is money in the country.

The figures out today show that credit card debt is on the way down. The halt in spending
accounts for much of that, but it appears people are also paying down their debts.

I can’t find it now but I read recently that we have more money on deposit now than during the
SSIA scheme.

Perhaps the big problem for the government is that if we take savings out of Irish Banks
to buy Bonds it’s just moving the problem, you’re left now with a hole in the Banks balance sheet,
which ultimately comes back around to being the governments problem.

Any “Patriot Bond” has to involve foreign “Patriots” because the money raised has to come
from outside the country to actually make a difference.


Correct - we need external money not a reallocation of money already in the economy.

Of course ideally we’d get that money by selling a product or service of some kind…

Oh I didn’t say there wasn’t money. I think the people who might buy don’t have money. And the people who have money have no interest (because why would you buy an Irish bond when you could buy a nice safe German bond instead). The money is there alright - it hasn’t all be destroyed (not yet anyway). Just that I’d expect the number of people who have both money and interest is very small.

I don’t think its as simple as that but that is certainly a good point.

I thought this was a bit of a gem. Good to see the vintners embracing online media…

What about the proposal to turn thousands of empty properties in “ghost estates” into retirement communities?
Would the government be buying up all these empty units from developers who had already received tax breaks to build them in the first place?

On the ‘patriot bond’, it seemed a bit much to blatantly ask people to invest “on the basis of patriotism” - it’s an admission that you wouldn’t be interested in investing on the basis of, say, logic!


Haven’t we only just recently sold a few billion worth of Bonds on the open market.
So will the Patriot Bond pay a lower coupon (paying a premium to non-patriots - You’ gotta love that)

Why wouldn’t the Patriots just buy Irish Bonds on the open market?

Or will the Patriot Bond pay a higher coupon?
In which case why would the government issue them when less patriotic people
with no connection to the country are willing to accept a lower return.
What kind of patriots do ye call yerselves?

Maybe the Patriot Bond could come with a free passport.


Now theres an idea.
FF let me introduce Davy… Davy meet FF… Next Irish bond syndicate, get Davy to cut their commission and let punters get some of the pie with a reduced but attractive coupon. Or would that put off the foreign institutional investors and what with it already being money in the country…ah well worth a snot.

good article in The Economist recently about Irish bonds and why they got a big chunk away whereas the Germans were stuck with some, seemingly the Irish do a bit of background bartering
before launching the bond, basically have the buyers lined up already having already adhered to a coupon that the buyers said would attract them (called a syndicate ?) . The Germans basiacally have an auction, no dicussion before hand, here you go heres our coupon any takers, after whihc they sell on the secondary market .

I’ll remind people that this was ICTU’s idea. If this saves our collective arse, will Dave Begg even get a half-hearted, grudging, “thanks, mate” from the pin? I won’t be holding my breath…

hahah…expats investing in bonds…and yet they wont let us vote, the only Euro country that doesn’t give its citizens outside ireland the opportunity to vote…

bend over and stick it somewhere dark and…

yeah right… David Begg invented the concept of bonds… thats their whole friggin point of bonds history is littered with examples of patriot bonds in one form or another …
I even touched on this idea of patriotic duty back in january albeit going the extra mile by citizens accepting no return on investment only capital protection of bond purchase called ‘Prize bonds’

loads of people have touched on this
Could a consumer bond/ssia re-capatilise the banks?
and unless David Begg is actually daltonr, vboldr or maybe im David Begg he did in his eye come up with this idea…

another reason why I like the pin its guaranteed to give you one hearty chcukle everyday . ICTU and David Beg invented the concept of a Patriot Bond … someone catch me Im falling off the chair :laughing:

Yeah, guaranteed to have some clown proposing patriot bonds or something! A bit like that tosser Begg!!! :laughing:




I too will lay claim to the idea, as I floated and dismissed it some time ago. As will, no doubt, Mr. McWilliams who also floated it to recapitalise the banks. That’s a lot of floaters.