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Irish Brexit

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,278 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    Balf wrote: »
    And the proof of the pudding is the eating. Regulatory controls were unable to contain the impact of a single currency.
    Due to their failure to follow the laws and rules of Ireland; if you want to blame someone then you need to blame the Irish regulators who did not do their work appling the Irish legislation on the Irish banks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Balf wrote: »
    And the proof of the pudding is the eating. Regulatory controls were unable to contain the impact of a single currency.
    But we didn't introduce regulatory controls of any significance until years after we'd crashed and burned on a cheap credit fueled property bubble.

    I think if the CBofI had implemented the current rules on mortgage lending in 2000, we'd never have had the crash or it would have been far milder.

    If we'd had the punt, we would have increased interest rates to punitive levels (again) so that even sensible borrowers who could easily meet the current rules would have been paying 18% interest on their mortgages.

    All it needed was a little regulation by our own side and we could have enjoyed the low interest rates and used them to invest in our infrastructure and industrial development.

    It has always been the case that you needed a significant deposit in Germany when looking for a mortgage. It wasn't Bundesbank imposed, because the banks were more conservative anyway, but in Ireland they weren't and the CB should have stepped in to regulate. It did not.

    The Euro forced our lazy governments to actually look at spending and regulation (finally). The easy option which would have been used pre-Euro was to devalue the Punt, leaving us all poorer without really realising it, increasing inflation and interest rates. The Euro has forced us to exercise some fiscal discipline and long may it continue!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    Balf wrote: »
    It seems naive to me that you'd think the exercise of power would require Germany to have a majority of votes. Germany certainly is a dominant force, and will be even stronger without the presence of the UK.

    Can I suggest you reflect on that's little.
    I am not naive so yes, Germany can perhaps influence other countries, but it's a long way from 17% to a qualified majority. That's some serious browbeating, from a country that actually shies away from this. Germany still knows where the EU came from and is generally very hesitant to try to dominate anything for fear of being accused of trying to take over Europe again (happens anyway of course).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    murphaph wrote: »
    All it needed was a little regulation by our own side and we could have enjoyed the low interest rates and used them to invest in our infrastructure and industrial development
    Surely that assessment is too pat. The euro meant that essentially limitless cheap credit was available. Another way of describing that situation is to recognise that national economies had not converged enough to adopt a single currency.

    And if the actions to harmonise financial regulation were ineffective, that's also a failure by EU to chart an effective course.

    I think you need to reflect on the extent to which low interest rates sent the wrong economic signal to people.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,527 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Balf wrote: »
    At least, unlike the other guy, you're not trying to pretend that the euro is a neutral institution. I think what you need to reflect on is the narrow gap between seeing the 'conditions' as something we could contain, and them meaning that the idea that national economies had converged enough to have a common currency was a politically determined fiction.

    I don't think it is realistic to think we could adopt the same currency as Germany, and then rely on our Central Bank to effectively negate the effects of a single currency through banking regulation. Particularly as, at the very same time, the EU was promoting convergence in banking regulation, with all regulators operating under a common legal framework.

    And the proof of the pudding is the eating. Regulatory controls were unable to contain the impact of a single currency.

    I think the problem with the Euro began after the ECB allowed the interest rate on 10 year bonds be different for each country. If it was a genuine single currency, then this rate should have been equal for all Euro countries.

    If this was the case, the ECB would have begun screaming at the Irish CB to curb lending by, for example, requiring minimum deposits. If this had been done as soon as the rate diverged, the matter could have been contained.

    I was horrified when First Active began offering zero deposit mortgages, and some mortgage companies began allowing people to consolidate all their loans, like credit card and car loans into a mortgage, and include a good bit for a holiday. It was madness. Securitising mortgages was another wheeze.

    Why could the ICB not spot this and do something about it at the time?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    Why could the ICB not spot this and do something about it at the time?
    I don't particulaly disagree with the point that the ICB should have been more active. Equally, State tax reliefs encouraging property development in regional areas are similarly things which can be criticized.

    However, the point isn't especially about things like 100% mortgage - which were a dumb idea in principal but weren't that significant in terms of loans advanced.

    The more typical scenario was someone getting (say) a 90% mortgage to pay EUR 300k for a house that fell in value to EUR 150k a couple of years later. Which means they now had a 180% mortgage.

    That was systemically a feature of credit at the time, because the euro was the wrong currency for Ireland at that time. It meant credit was too available and too cheap; we probably all agree on that.

    All there might be.differing views on is the extent to which we expect regulation could have protected us from hugely wrong monetary conditions, which arose because of our adoption of the euro.

    But, equally I expect we all agree on the simple fact that regulation didn't protect us. Some seem to think that some alternative course was genuinely, and not just theoretically, possible.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,527 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Balf wrote: »
    I don't particulaly disagree with the point that the ICB should have been more active. Equally, State tax reliefs encouraging property development in regional areas are similarly things which can be criticized.

    However, the point isn't especially about things like 100% mortgage - which were a dumb idea in principal but weren't that significant in terms of loans advanced.

    The more typical scenario was someone getting (say) a 90% mortgage to pay EUR 300k for a house that fell in value to EUR 150k a couple of years later. Which means they now had a 180% mortgage.

    That was systemically a feature of credit at the time, because the euro was the wrong currency for Ireland at that time. It meant credit was too available and too cheap; we probably all agree on that.

    All there might be.differing views on is the extent to which we expect regulation could have protected us from hugely wrong monetary conditions, which arose because of our adoption of the euro.

    But, equally I expect we all agree on the simple fact that regulation didn't protect us. Some seem to think that some alternative course was genuinely, and not just theoretically, possible.

    I think you are missing my point.

    If the bond yields were Euroland wide, the ECB would have been forced to impose requirements on ALL central banks to regulate lending (and borrowing) to maintain the currency. Allowing rogue countries to 'soft touch' regulation meant that the ship would sink - which it did.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    I think you are missing my point.

    If the bond yields were Euroland wide, the ECB would have been forced to impose requirements on ALL central banks to regulate lending (and borrowing) to maintain the currency. Allowing rogue countries to 'soft touch' regulation meant that the ship would sink - which it did.
    As I see it, it's just two ways of spinning the same fact.

    Whether we expect interest rates or regulation to be the tools, the underlying fact that national conditions diverged too much for a single currency.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    I think the problem with the Euro began after the ECB allowed the interest rate on 10 year bonds be different for each country. If it was a genuine single currency, then this rate should have been equal for all Euro countries.

    The finances markets determine interest rates based on their perception of risk. It is not up to the ECB to either allow or disallow interest rates for each country in the Eurozone.

    It is also incorrect to assume they should be the same rate within a single currency. The individual Cantons of Switzerland issue (Cantonal) bonds. These do NOT have the same interest rate nor do they have the same rates as the Confederation itself. No one would dream of suggesting this means the Cantons should not be using the Swiss Franc :-)

    Equally it is unrealistic to believe that the individual member states within the Eurozone should have the same rates on their bonds.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    Balf wrote: »
    Whether we expect interest rates or regulation to be the tools, the underlying fact that national conditions diverged too much for a single currency.

    No, that's not a fact. That's merely an opinion. Clearly conditions didn't "diverge too much" for a single currency since it continues to be the second most widely traded currency in the world as it rapidly approaches its twentieth birthday.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    View wrote: »
    No, that's not a fact. That's merely an opinion. Clearly conditions didn't "diverge too much" for a single currency since it continues to be the second most widely traded currency in the world as it rapidly approaches its twentieth birthday.
    Ultimately, it's all opinion.

    However, you do have to ignore quite a lot of fact to sustain your opinion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,872 ✭✭✭View


    Balf wrote: »
    Ultimately, it's all opinion.

    However, you do have to ignore quite a lot of fact to sustain your opinion.

    If you want to ignore the clear fact of the global financial markets trading the Euro in vast quantities every day by all means do so. By doing so you are essentially claiming that your opinion trumps theirs'.

    You would appear to follow the old line about "Never mind about reality, this is how it should work in theory".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    View wrote: »
    If you want to ignore the clear fact of the global financial markets trading the Euro in vast quantities every day by all means do so. By doing so you are essentially claiming that your opinion trumps theirs'.

    You would appear to follow the old line about "Never mind about reality, this is how it should work in theory".
    I find it strange that, given the facts of last decade, someone would be arguing that markets are a definitive proof of merit. You really need to ignore a lot.

    I think I'll start a thread on the history forum, arguing that the existence of feudalism for centuries is an infaillable proof of the Divine Right of Kings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    To be honest the dollar doesn't suit all 50 US states equally either. Fed policy can't possibly do that. Should individual states relinquish use of the Dollar?

    Sure there are compromises involved in a shared currency and there is room for convergence but the Euro is still here. I love it. I have income from Ireland and Germany all flowing into the same bank. I pay bills across borders. It all works. I get bank transfers in less than 24 hours and SEPA instant payments are on the way soon. None of this would have happened without the Euro providing a common framework.

    It has problems but long live our Euro!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    I don't think anyone is denying the convenience for individuals. But that's been achieved at great cost, which I'd expect anyone who browses a forum like this to be aware of.

    Comparing it to the gradual evolution of the dollar would take a very, very lengthy thread.

    Like cream buns, the euro can be tasty. Makes you fat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 369 ✭✭Jaggo


    Balf wrote: »
    That was systemically a feature of credit at the time, because the euro was the wrong currency for Ireland at that time. It meant credit was too available and too cheap; we probably all agree on that.

    All there might be.differing views on is the extent to which we expect regulation could have protected us from hugely wrong monetary conditions, which arose because of our adoption of the euro.

    But, equally I expect we all agree on the simple fact that regulation didn't protect us. Some seem to think that some alternative course was genuinely, and not just theoretically, possible.

    I have heard these arguments before but I really think there is a huge amount of intellectual cop out in this.

    Having a common currency and its associated interest rates means that most people in that area will have inappropriate monetary conditions. But it is the same for any currency area, big or small. The UK for example; the north of England has been in economic decline since 1930 (?), yet neither its currency nor its interest rates were set appropriately for that region. Monetary conditions in the UK were driven by the 30% of the population in the SE of England. What about the other regions of the UK, midlands, Scotland, wales, NE, NW, Cornwall/Devon & Northern Ireland -you have to say it was inappropriate monetary policy for each of them too.

    If you follow your reasoning to its ultimate, the UK should have had multiple currencies, but that defeats the fundamental purpose of a currency, a means of exchange.

    When Ireland had our own currency, most sectors of the economy would have inappropriate monetary policy. It is the job of the Government to ameliorate the problems and damping the bubbles with regulation.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 667 ✭✭✭Balf


    Jaggo wrote: »
    I have heard these arguments before but I really think there is a huge amount of intellectual cop out
    Ah here. The intellectual cop out is from the folk wanting a completely uncritical veneration of the euro.

    This puts folk like yourself in the contradictory position of saying convergence doesn't matter at all, when the ECB would most certainly agree that it does.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,933 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams


    Is it possible that the winners will be the UK and the European mainland and we will be hit hard?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭4068ac1elhodqr


    Is it possible that the winners will be the UK and the European mainland and we will be hit hard?

    Possibly, depending on fx rates, generally their wages are already lower and their currency may see some (20%c) devaluation (Plan B?) over the next number of years making it's exports more attractive.

    Another very important factor is that their CT rate is dropping year on year. Proposed to be 17% by 2020. It may go lower than this before then, and continue to drop until it's (Plan A?) status is a true tax haven island is achieved and inward investment steams in.

    Scottish independence is an un-quantifiable but negative factor that they're unlikely to plan for well. If when this happens 32% of the land mass, and 8.3% of the population of the UK will be extracted.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,493 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Balf wrote: »
    Ah here. The intellectual cop out is from the folk wanting a completely uncritical veneration of the euro.

    This puts folk like yourself in the contradictory position of saying convergence doesn't matter at all, when the ECB would most certainly agree that it does.

    Mod note:

    Balf, Ive read your posts over the last few days and a lot of what you are doing is ignoring substantive points and making vague assertions that other people are wrong.

    If you wish to put forward a coherent argument thats fine, but simply asserting that other peoples views ignores the facts or that you could explain why they are wrong but it would take too long are not sufficient contributions to meet the standards set in the charter.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 234 ✭✭KyussBeeshop


    Jaggo wrote: »
    I have heard these arguments before but I really think there is a huge amount of intellectual cop out in this.

    Having a common currency and its associated interest rates means that most people in that area will have inappropriate monetary conditions. But it is the same for any currency area, big or small. The UK for example; the north of England has been in economic decline since 1930 (?), yet neither its currency nor its interest rates were set appropriately for that region. Monetary conditions in the UK were driven by the 30% of the population in the SE of England. What about the other regions of the UK, midlands, Scotland, wales, NE, NW, Cornwall/Devon & Northern Ireland -you have to say it was inappropriate monetary policy for each of them too.

    If you follow your reasoning to its ultimate, the UK should have had multiple currencies, but that defeats the fundamental purpose of a currency, a means of exchange.

    When Ireland had our own currency, most sectors of the economy would have inappropriate monetary policy. It is the job of the Government to ameliorate the problems and damping the bubbles with regulation.
    That is a false comparison.

    The UK is an individual country which can use government spending to redistribute money into areas which are negatively affected by a common monetary policy - that's usually how it's done.

    Europe doesn't have this mechanism at the moment, as there is no common centralized fiscal policy.

    I won't delve far into discussing this though, as the line where it may bring me into conflict with mods, is too fuzzy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭djpbarry


    The UK is an individual country which can use government spending to redistribute money into areas which are negatively affected by a common monetary policy - that's usually how it's done.

    Europe doesn't have this mechanism at the moment...
    Except for the EU’s Regional Policy, which has a stated aim of removing regional disparities. Over one third of the EU’s total budget is spent in this manner.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 234 ✭✭KyussBeeshop


    That's a laugh - the regional policy makes up about 1/3 of the EU budget as you say, which would be around €60 billion - or about 0.4% of the EU's GDP.

    1/3 of the UK budget, would be around £252 billion - which is about 11% of the UK's GDP.

    You tried to compare the Regional Policy, to the redistributive powers of national Fiscal Policy - and that comparison fails even on its own terms, even when I'm being generous by lopping the UK budget down to 1/3.

    If you want to concede, that the EU's regional redistributive powers, are at least 1/27th that of the UK governments, then fine I'll accept that and say it pretty much proves my point.

    If you want to say that there's no point in me comparing the fiscal powers of the EU, to the fiscal powers of a nation like the UK - then I'll point out that the premise of your own argument depends on doing exactly that...


    Also...
    djpbarry wrote: »
    The UK is an individual country which can use government spending to redistribute money into areas which are negatively affected by a common monetary policy - that's usually how it's done.

    Europe doesn't have this mechanism at the moment...
    Except for the EU’s Regional Policy, which has a stated aim of removing regional disparities. Over one third of the EU’s total budget is spent in this manner.
    Do not quote mine my sentences, thanks - that's as good as lying about what I said...that quote should say:
    Europe doesn't have this mechanism at the moment, as there is no common centralized fiscal policy.
    Which is exactly the point you knew I was making, and which makes your entire post redundant


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,104 ✭✭✭✭djpbarry


    That's a laugh - the regional policy makes up about 1/3 of the EU budget as you say, which would be around €60 billion - or about 0.4% of the EU's GDP.

    1/3 of the UK budget, would be around £252 billion - which is about 11% of the UK's GDP.
    And one third of £1,000,000 billion is an even bigger number – what’s your point?
    You tried to compare the Regional Policy, to the redistributive powers of national Fiscal Policy…
    No I didn’t. I compared it to the ability of an individual country to “use government spending to redistribute money into areas which are negatively affected by a common monetary policy”.
    If you want to concede, that the EU's regional redistributive powers, are at least 1/27th that of the UK governments, then fine I'll accept that and say it pretty much proves my point.
    Not really – you’re comparing what the EU spends on regional development with an arbitrary fraction of the UK budget. It’s meaningless.
    If you want to say that there's no point in me comparing the fiscal powers of the EU, to the fiscal powers of a nation like the UK - then I'll point out that the premise of your own argument depends on doing exactly that.
    No, it doesn’t. You said the EU essentially has no means of redistributing wealth. I said they did. You then proceeded to point out how wrong I was because the UK has a bigger budget than the EU.

    So ignoring for a moment that your argument makes no sense, if the UK has such tremendous means of redistributing wealth at its disposal, why is it so incredibly bad at it?


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    That's a laugh - the regional policy makes up about 1/3 of the EU budget as you say, which would be around €60 billion - or about 0.4% of the EU's GDP.

    1/3 of the UK budget, would be around £252 billion - which is about 11% of the UK's GDP.

    Is one third of the UK's budget spent on addressing regional imbalances?


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,018 ✭✭✭✭murphaph


    The UK's commitment to its regions will be truly tested quite soon. They may actually have no choice but to support manufacturing in the Midlands and North if the succeed in destroying their financial services industry. So far however the EU appears much more interested in regional development than many national governments.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭Chuchote


    Whatever the Telegraph says about Ireland can be greeted by Mandy Rice-Davies' classic riposte when a top-hatted aristo denied an affair with her: "Well, 'e would say that, wouldn't 'e?"


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 234 ✭✭KyussBeeshop


    Basically what posters are doing with my argument there, is trying to limit it to its strictest form, as if the point of my argument was to say solely that "there is no mechanism for redistributing regional wealth in the EU" - so that they can say "no, look - here is a program which does this (except it only redistributes 0.4% of GDP - i.e. is just a fart in the wind - but just ignore that...)".

    Except the point of my argument, is that the EU has no equivalent redistributive powers based on fiscal policy - and by equivalent, that means both in quantity, and in the specific policies through which fiscal policy is enacted - and we are also talking specifically about imbalances caused by monetary policy.

    Another tack posters are trying to take is "we should only talk about policies specifically for addressing regional imbalances - and ignore how all other budget spending has an effect here, depending on where it's spent".


    An EU program with the power to redistribute a tiny 0.4% of GDP, obviously does not have the power to offset economic imbalances caused by common monetary policy.

    A national government commanding roughly ~40% of the countries GDP, as is the case of the UK, has a couple of orders of magnitude greater ability to redistribute wealth and offset regional imbalances caused by monetary policy, based on how that money is spent around the country.


    It's silly to even be arguing over this really, given how obvious it is. Yet it's like that when trying to discuss any EU topic here, as there is a vast stonewalling defence of the EU at every angle - no matter what the policy or issue under discussion is.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,527 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    The EU is governed by competencies. It has no competency with respect to taxation, but it does with regional redistributions, agriculture policy, and fisheries. It uses these policies to adjust the wealth of the EU around its regions. However, members try to effect such policies to benefit there own interests.

    It affects redistribution of wealth within the EU by setting contributions from member countries - poorer countries pay less. We were a net beneficiary when we joined so our contribution was much lower than the UK who were a net contributor.

    The Common Agriculture Policy distributed wealth which benefited us greatly.

    The regional policy also benefited Ireland as a whole until we got too wealthy, and we then altered our regions so we could continue to benefit.

    If these redistributions were so small, then how come we went from 60% of the average wealth to above average. [It is difficult to compare GDP figures for Ireland because of transfer prices used by multinationals].

    We have done well from the EU, as have all members in general, some better than others.

    Governments can do a lot more within their borders than the EU can because they can control much larger amounts of taxation. However, such effects are politically driven and the poor do not do well because their influence is small. [Politicians do not listen to them!]


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,795 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Basically what posters are doing with my argument there, is trying to limit it to its strictest form...
    Says the chap who only wants to talk about wealth distribution that's enabled by fiscal policy, and gets all upset when it's pointed out that there are other mechanisms for wealth distribution.


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