what have i missed?


When in Rome.


Not at all. Vast majority of people aren’t moochers.


I disagree.
Most organs of the state are filled with moochers/strokers/ASB.
Politicans, we can surely agree on this?
Gardai, see the points fiasco. That was an institutionalised stroke pulling. Do you agree?
Bankers, need I say more.
Media, agree or not?
RCC = ASB to the nth degree, plus strokes being pulled in the cover ups.

Like it or not, you must agree that this place is full to the brim of … well … people like me.


I grudgingly agree, even as FF was abandoned at the last election I could still hear plenty ask candidates “what are you going to do for me?”. That in my opinion is permission for self aggrandisement and those who ask that question have no reason to be outraged at corruption.

Too many view government as their means to live at everyone else’s expense.


No actually. Well maybe if you would classify yourself into the appropriate component of society, where everyone does the same thing. Like the transit man working for cash, the shoplifting junkie, the pram kids leeching welfare, such is the strategic defaulter.

Full to the brim? Hardly. Just Morgan Kelly ignored facts recently, and as much as some here like to ignore facts when it comes to discussing what a terrible State this is, you are in a minority.

Over 80% of PDH mortgages are not in default. Over 70% of BTL mortgages are not in default.


One of the problems of the various scandals is the risk of breakdown of public order and morality.

We are facing high-profile examples of bad behaviour. I know the term “bad apples” is a cliche. It is sad when there are multiple stories of Bad Apples who have an extreme impact on society. Whether it is clerical abuse, bent politicians, avaricious bankers, irresponsible developers or strategic defaulters you will get assertions like “this place is full to the brim”.

Even if it is not full to the brim. Then that becomes the justification for other people to do similar things. It becomes a case of “every man for himself” rather than “we all need to pull together”.

Well I am still in the “we all need to pull together” camp. I will continue to pay my taxes. I will continue to take responsibility for my finances. Of course I will feel twinges of jealousy for people who will get more comfort for less effort but at least I can face myself in the mirror each morning. I have a belief that Irish society has not yet broken down. And if enough of us continue to pull together we will come out of this with a decent society of people who can all look at themselves in the mirror.

I understand how we will continue to spawn 2Gaffs. It is simply part of the moral hazard. I just hope that we don’t spawn too many of them.


makes no sense. How do you see the third group being disproportionately loaded with consequences of situation? They’re starting with the base-line (where they are liable according to contract law etc., as understood at the point where they signed up for loans) and are no being given get-out-of-jail cards to dodge that.

The government line as representing all voters, so all people are liable, I don’t buy. There’s a system of laws in the country, put in place via democratic institutions. Those laws would normally make it such that a borrower is liable for their debts. That is now being rewritten in an undemocratic and opaque manner with public money backing it.

The banks, and in particular bank officials and employees have to a large extent managed to dodge full consequences. However, both macro and micro there’s a greater degree of overlap between the first and third categories in your schema than you seem to perceive.


How is 4 gaffs getting along ?


I would see the banks as having a certain responsibility not to lend recklessly. And would see the government as having a role to ensure people and banks don’t utterly loose the run of the themselves and to employ policies to prevent housing price booms. To focus on but one component - contract law - doesn’t make sense.

The get-out-of-jail card you refer to, to my mind, is merely the other two players beginning to take their share of the load. And if faced with a bank who wouldn’t play ball I’d strategically default too. Strategic default, in this case could be merely a lever to get the banks to do what they have a moral obligation to do.

If you don’t see the government/bank culpability - and with culpability comes consequence - then there isn’t much more to be said to you on the matter. Suffice to say: the issue is whether or not I could sleep easy with my own strategic default (in the case I needed/decided to do just that). I wouldn’t be troubled by the case you offer - one which sees irresponsible banking and governance walk away scot free*

  • in the case no get-out-of-jail card is forthcoming.

For the purposes of assigning responsibility, the Government and banks are taken as black boxes. They messed up, they pay. There’s a bit of overlap in that the borrower getting a get-out-of-jail card funded at taxpayers expense is, as a taxpayer also helping fund his own get-out-of-jail card. But I don’t see that as particularly significant.


“moral obligation”? Where does that come from, where is it written down?
But I agree, if the occasion presented itself I would advise anyone in my friends/family to strategically default and stick it to the bank if they could. I believe it’s morally wrong (personal morality) and it’s a violation of contract, but the situation has degraded to the point that this is the new moral norm it would seem, and the only way not to end up on the shitty end of the stick.

If you read the paragraph you quoted, and then write the sentence you followed it with in good faith, then while there is plenty to be said to you on the matter, it seems to be very difficult to get past your prejudices.

and do you really mean to say that you are not troubled by the case where “irresponsible banking and governance walk away scot free”. It seems at odds with what you have said earlier.

Why “black boxes”? I don’t see that as a useful model. Why not just take planet earth as a black box and say it’s all fine in aggregate? The overlap I alluded to was between your first and third categories: banks and borrowers. Many bank-employees are also borrowers, and are well acquainted with/related to borrowers. It introduces additional hazard.

I take it you have no issue with the informality (opaqueness and lack of systems) around this, it being the key point I made and the main one you didn’t address.


Bad 4gaffs is still swimming against the tide but not paying full whack obviously.
Haven’t met him , but will soon.

‘Good’ 4gaffs is behind on 2 and currently in discussions with the bank.


Why go global? Why not take the UK bankruptcy route and come back 12 months later with a clean slate, fully discharged?


Well, if you operate cash-only, it’s not clear how you’d have to pay.

Are you this moralistic when it comes to tax avoidance by the millionaire class?

If they can do it, why can’t 2gaffs’s friends?


The transit man working for cash is part of another spectrum that goes all the way up to the oligarch who lies about where he lives.


Isn’t it a little depressing that people automatically assume that “working for cash” equates to “evading taxation”? :frowning:


I do feel that the last fifteen years of scandal is not a universally bad thing. Practically every significant pillar of society in this country: politics (Charlie, Bertie, etc); the Church; the planning departments of our councils; the Banks; the appoint of friends to the boards of Charity/Semi-state Hospitals; and now the Gardai have been exposed for the cosy cartels that they were. And while we may rail against the tsunami of reports and inquiries that have washed over us, as with Noah, this was a necessary flood.

The cosy cartels, the backhanders, the old boys clubs - without the scandals, these corrupt practices would still be going on. We needed the facts to be revealed before we could move on. Things were always going to get worse before they could get better. Do you think it will be harder in the future to get a speeding summons “squared”? Or will brown envelopes still be common practice when looking for planning permission? Or abuse in the Church? Or the fact that there is now European oversight on our banks and a financial regulator with teeth? It’s not to say that incidents won’t happen, but I do think they will happen less often.

Yes, yes I agree that NAMA is in place to solve the property problem in whatever way it sees fit. But giving out about scandal after scandal appearing in the media is like giving out because your Doctor tells you that you have cancer. It’s not the report that will kill you; it’s the cancer. You need the information to give you a chance to beat it.


I know my post was rife with generalities and prejudices. I’m sure there are perfectly valid non tax related reasons that the plumber fixing my central heating last week wanted cash and noted he would have to charge VAT if we wanted an invoice. Just as I am sure there are perfectly valid reasons for deliberately withholding rent from your mortgage company on a buy to let. :wink:


+1. There’s so much in the above that I want to believe will be the case. I fear it probably won’t make enough of a difference, but fingers x’d anyway…


Oh, I’m not picking on you, just noting how deeply the “cash = underhand” mentality has percolated, to the extent that people don’t give it a second thought.


I would agree with everything you said, if there was actually a flood. If there was actually a stop to the cosy cartel behaviour that goes on in Ireland.

We have wasted a good crisis. God knows how many years of it