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Thread: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    Robert Pye has a piece in the IT this morning:
    ROBERT PYE
    OPINION: We must face down the jackals who control the international banking system to save our nation and protect our children’s future
    THERE IS considerable truth in the view that Ireland is no longer a sovereign state but an impoverished suburb of Brussels. Four million people are mired deep in a collective debt that is not of their own making, while persons unknown decide just how much more we “owe” and the terms and conditions under which this ever-expanding debt must be repaid.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...7.html?via=rel

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe McGillycuddy View Post
    ....

    "Four million people are mired deep in a collective debt that is not of their own making, while persons unknown decide just how much more we “owe” and the terms and conditions under which this ever-expanding debt must be repaid."
    This line that it is not of our own making is hogwash. Who elected Fianna Fáil in the first place and kept their lips buttoned while that shower wrecked our economy and banking system through ignorance, lack of regulation, and condescending attitude to critics, all the while feathering their own nests?

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe McGillycuddy View Post
    Robert Pye has a piece in the IT this morning:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...7.html?via=rel
    An important article and worded very strongly

    We have lost control of our finances, have only a marginal role in determining the key parameters of public policy, and are being compelled by international institutions to hand over our national assets at fire-sale prices.

    At least the Vikings focused mainly on coastal areas, but their latter-day counterparts are ransacking the nation from end to end. And unless we stand our ground – a modern equivalent of the Battle of Clontarf – they will take everything that’s worth taking.

    The state of denial that prevails nationally at present was an intrinsic part of the mindset in the Department of Finance during the period 2000-2008. The idea that anything might happen that could throw our booming economy into a tailspin was simply anathema – as was anyone who dared to entertain such views.
    He talks about the sea change in the Department of Finance in the 1990s from defensive of the State's finances from the political caste (when, frankly they were a stutifying blockage on investment and change) to aggressive spenders, giving the politicians what they want, is not explained.

    Why doesn't he mention that, starting with Noel Dempsey, a series of FF Ministers bought off the civil service, particularly its higher echelons, with quite extraordinary salary increases, expenses, pensions, and bonuses that the men at the top sat down and wrote for themselves ?

    His analysis of the US and international economy was very good (he also forecast the inflation that has yet to arrive) as were his recommendations, which would have left us sitting pretty.

    But while he points at other peoples failures, he doesn't include his own failure to get this information to the public (which I find understandable). However, resignation was an option.

    There is not so much in this about the property crash. I haven't yet read his papers and will do so over the weekend.

    I wonder what his politics are, left or right, and if he is making a move into public life ?

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    If only everyone had gone to Gonzaga the crisis would never have happened, apparently.

    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2011/04/29/...onzaga-debate/

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    Another illuminating article on how middle-ranking Department of Finance officials were knocked back by their seniors, when they provided speech material for ministers (including Cowen, in 2006) warning against property market over-heating.

    (by Harry McGee)

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...zhwqZM.twitter

    Dermot Aherne, in the Department of the Environment, was very concerned about 100% mortgages, and the Department tried without success in 2005 to get the Regulator and Department of Finance to Act.

    This article is based on F o I released documents. I hope that the full documents are made available asap.

    Documents show that early drafts of replies to dozens of parliamentary questions, as well as ministerial speeches, on over-heating in the housing sector as well as 100 per cent mortgages included material that forecast an outcome other than a soft landing.

    But the material was later amended to reflect the official view of a soft landing. In early 2006, one draft for a ministerial speech included an extensive passage from the ESRI’s medium-term outlook. It also predicted house price inflation during 2006.

    However, more senior officials edited out those references on the basis that it sent out the wrong message, although the concerns were subsequently borne out.

    “This type of material is not appropriate or suitable for a ministerial speech,” wrote a senior official. “It is positively alarmist in tone in some areas . . . Similarly, I don’t see why we want the minister [Mr Cowen] to make a statement to the effect that house price inflation may continue to accelerate in 2006. This is not even accurate in terms of the department’s budget-day forecasts.

    “In addition, the minister is not going to devote two paragraphs of his speech [to an extract] from an ESRI report. If the Minister were to make this speech, one can only imagine what the market reaction might be,” added the official.

    The note added: “For future use, you might work on a one-pager which refers to the strong performance of the sector and lists the underlying fundamental economic factors underpinning housing demand.

    “What can also be included is a carefully worded and nuanced message on the need for all actors in the sector to avoid taking unnecessary risks or something along those lines.” In another memo, a query was raised about a sentence in a proposed speech from Mr Cowen reacting to the ESRI report: “A soft landing is now in prospect [for the housing sector]”.

    A Finance official noted that the ESRI had not used that phrase or the word prospect but had said a soft landing was only a possibility.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    Hardly surprising since Charlie McCreevy had arranged a bribe between 2001-2007 for the Secretary Generals and deputies across all ministries by a body known as the Performance Review Committee.

    Those senior civil servants were all bribed by annual bonuses of between 10 and 20% of their salaries not to rock any auctioneering boats, to shelve the quarterly and increasingly urgent warnings from international bodies to the Dept of Finance in particular about the expanding bubble and basically look the other way.

    Kevin Cardiff and the Secretaries General plus their deputies across every Ministry including Justice and the Defence Forces were essentially bribed and they should never be considered for promotion or appointments to public or international bodies because they have demonstrated they were and are abundantly open to political influence which is a breach of the independence of the civil service and their public duty.

    I'd be happy to see all of those bribed by the Performance Review body on which sat an Indo boardmember and former chairman of Anglo Irish bank among others sacked for dereliction of duty.

    They and their deputies should be purged out of the civil service.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    Bump.
    I thought of this today when I saw a post on irisheconomy.ie by Frank Barry which discusses a 2004 report for the National Competitiveness Council warning of an property crash.
    Curiously enough the NCC decided not to publish it.
    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php...nings-in-2004/

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Ex-Department of Finance Official Claims His Warnings on Budget and Banks Crash Were Ignored - Sunday Mail

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Another illuminating article on how middle-ranking Department of Finance officials were knocked back by their seniors, when they provided speech material for ministers (including Cowen, in 2006) warning against property market over-heating.

    (by Harry McGee)

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...zhwqZM.twitter

    Dermot Aherne, in the Department of the Environment, was very concerned about 100% mortgages, and the Department tried without success in 2005 to get the Regulator and Department of Finance to Act.

    This article is based on F o I released documents. I hope that the full documents are made available asap.
    So it's back to business as usual in the DOF:

    Derek Moran, the senior civil servant selected as the preferred candidate to be new secretary general of the Department of Finance, expressed confidence during the boom that the Irish housing market was in for a “soft landing.”He told a more junior official in his Department to disregard her fears of a property crash in 2006 and to instead toe the consensus line that a crash could never happen.
    Mr Moran was among a number of senior civil servants in the Department of Finance who were repeatedly emailed between January 2005 and early 2007 by assistant principal officer Marie Mackle, where she expressed her concerns about the prospect of a property crash.
    In June 2006, when dealing with a parliamentary question from Labour’s Joan Burton, Ms Mackle was instructed by Mr Moran to ignore her fears and instead issue a positive statement.“Go back to them and say this . . . the large increase in new housing supply will restore equilibrium to the market . . . There is a broad consensus amongst commentators that the most likely outcome for the housing market is a ‘soft landing’. The government continues to run a prudent, stability-orientated budgetary policy,” Mr Moran told Ms Mackle.
    Mr Moran also told her in 2006 to stop sending multiple emails as she tried to answer parliamentary questions, in ways that would reflect her concerns.
    “For future reference I want only one reply to each question . . . (the official) answer is okay with me,” Mr Moran said.
    Ms Mackle in November 2010 prepared a 22-page report for a departmental review group into what went wrong inside Merrion Street. It was titled This material is not appropriate: what happens to dissenting Department of Finance employees.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/e...ears-1.1854609

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