The David McWilliams thread


Not really sure he proved that even once, though. He showed us our ideal distribution of wealth, what we thought the distribution probably is in reality and then the real amounts. What he unfortunately left out was some real numbers, i.e. wealth per person in each category - for all we know the ‘squeezed middle’ are wealthy and especially so compared to other EU countries.

It should come as little surprise that the bottom 20% of society have less than 1% of wealth considering we have something like 1.5 million people in receipt of (overly generous) weekly social welfare payments. I know we already have an extensive thread on this, but how many of those million-plus people do we have living week-to-week with their accommodating paid for by the state (rent allowance/social housing) and receiving nearly €200? I’m not criticising that life - to each their own - but perpetually supporting a large cohort of the population with extremely generous social welfare payments is more likely the reason for hope of upward mobility worsening as there is little incentive to be independent.

He actually didn’t prove that the gap between rich and poor was worsening save for some anecdotal ‘evidence’ - there was no comparison between, say, 10 years ago to show that the distribution of wealth has become more concentrated in the upper echelons.

Then we have his strange insights into the life of the super wealthy- including revealing that people who use private jets need to eat food and, oh look, people can spend £100,000 on a Bulgari watch (yet he never actually asked the guy how much Irish people spend, making it totally irrelevant as it should come as no surprise that oligarch-types spend obscene amounts in London). He is right, however, that Irish people have been very hesitant to flash cash in Ireland and are more overtly wealthy abroad with their money. When Cartier was still in Brown Thomas, a member of their staff informed me that there was a huge appetite for their products and that they were still doing very well (lack of sales wasn’t the reason they closed), but that people often came in to try things and waited for their next trip to London to buy them - that they didn’t want to be seen buying anything in Dublin at the height of the recession. Not likely to have been much to do with exchange rates as brands of this level tend to change prices swiftly to reflect large swings in currency values - hence why prices have shot up in Europe as of late.


This risks being a circular argument. There’s no incentive to try to be independent of the state if all the rewards are going to the upper echelons.
Empirical data does indicate a strong relationship between greater social equality and greater social mobility:


I didn’t watch the show as I didn’t expect to be enlightened by it. The points made I’m sure do need to be repeated ad nauseam to the general population though, no matter how simplisticly they are presented.

I wonder if he took inspiration from “The Crash of 2016.” A good book with a completely American slant but I’d recommend it nonetheless.


Inconsistencies aside I like McWilliams. I would credit him with giving me a valuable insight in 2006 into the pending property crash, although I had long suspected as much myself beforehand.

I didn’t learn a great deal from last night, but my less interested other half did. So there was little an any earth shattering importance, but he communicated it rather well to the less well informed.


We can safely say that the average pinster was definitely not the audience the program was aimed at last night. Some more hard numbers to support the various statements would have been nice but I guess that would have detracted from the populist appeal of it all.


Mass unemployment and emigration saw FF lose to FG. However the homeless crisis could have both lose the central ground if the left amalgamates with a coherent vision on this one issue.
Emigration has always being the escape valve in the past but it not going to work with people who are both vocal and too broke to leave.
I’ve have a feeling Santa’s grotto will be pitched early this year.


fcking hell - just watched the Kevin Nowlan of Hibernian REIT clip there - he’s an absolute calamity…

David: “Who pays the difference between the €1 face value and the .35c that you bought the loan (from NAMA) for?”
Kevin: (Big grin, jazz hands) “NOBODY!”
David: “Well the taxpayer does?”
Kevin: “Well yes. Oh shit.”


Kevin Nowlan section was transcripted … ms-go-bad/


But NAMA didn’t pay face value, and that gap was presumably met by some combination of bank shareholders and NAMA debtors.


tremendous, what a disaster

no doubt the neolibs will come steaming into this thread now telling us all how great the market is …

followed by the weirdos who say “you can’t give out about NAMA because I gave out about it first”…


yeah, I didn’t quote it exactly, just trying to communicate the entertainment value 8DD
but yeah, it ultimately comes back to the bank bailout really


In the program and on the Byrne program afterwards …people saying they not “feeling” the recovery? …but on the other hand:

House price growth last few years as people buying (ok maybe not a lot of transactions) but you get the point.
Car sales up - esp this year
Hotels/Restaurants/Pubs very busy …not just in Dublin

…this is a lot of people spending money and doing things they like.

ok …I’d like my USC bill reduced too …but what exactly are people talking about when they say they not feeling it? …it’s never going to be like 2003-2007 again.


Yea, that’s us though :neutral_face:


It’s possible for all of that to be true and still only affect a minority of the population.


Do we know what the split between commercial and non-commecial is?


constantin I think had a report about the quality of sales. volumes up but not the expensive stuff.


Don’t have the exact numbers to hand …
100K private cars Jan-Sept 2015 … -1.2343138

Either way regardless of whether its low end or high end cars or commercials still its a lot of people …feeling recovery, Plus …I’ve been lucky enough to do a bit of travelling around Ireland this year …pubs, restaurants even mid week busy …hotels I’ve stayed in this year …busy… it possible its the minority moaning about NOT feeling the effects?


Just wondering, is it companies replacing fleets or consumers. Hard to get a sense of what the car figures mean. Also, talking about the number of car sales would be like talking about the number of house sales rather than value. Maybe everyone is buying cheaper cars. Who knows.


Dan O’Brien did up a response to mcwilliams show. … 53998.html

I always find Dan’s writing too soft. He always throws a sop [sp] to whomever he is discussing. Just call mcwilliams a chancer and stand by it.


Problem with Dan’s analysis is that he talks about wealth “destroyed” by the bust when it was illusory and actually destroyed in the bubble phase.