General Humbert and the Irish E(e)conomy!

August 30, 2010

Myself and good wife had the good fortune to be invited to a cousin’s wedding held in Bourges, France over the weekend.

What wonderful people the French are. Friendly, hospitable, on one notable occasion in Bourges while lost in a maze of streets looking for a restaurant address, gps beginning to flake, I asked directions of two ladies walking their dog. They smiled and insisted they would accompany us to our address as directions were ‘ trop compliqué’. They did and refused to take payment. Great wedding, all will blend into memory including our rental car that our GPS unwittingly took us by tourist route to Bourges, centre of France,  through small towns and villages surrounded by rich agricultural land, amazing scenery. Its ironic such peaceful scenery is apparently the location of strategic elements of the French armaments industry, missiles, or so one wedding-goer told me.

‘Humbert, Jean Joseph Amable, was a French general was born at Rouvray, Lorraine, 25th November 1755, and was in 1798 appointed to command an expedition for the invasion of Ireland. With his flotilla of three frigates and a brig, he arrived off Killala, on the coast of Mayo, on the 22nd August 1798, and next day landed his troops and occupied the town. His force consisted of 1,060 men, with three pieces of cannon and large supplies of arms.

He was accompanied by Matthew Tone and Bartholomew Teeling, two United Irishmen.

Proclamations, were issued, and large numbers of the peasantry flocked to his standard to be drilled and armed. About 1,000 Irish were completely equipped; and in all 5,500 muskets were distributed. The people themselves manufactured large numbers of pikes. “The uncombed, ragged peasant, who had never before known the luxury of shoes and stockings, now washed, powdered, and full dressed, was metamorphosed into another being, the rather because the far greater part of these mountaineers were by no means deficient either in size or person.

‘Look at these poor fellows,’ said Humbert with an air of triumph,’they are made, you find, of the same stuff as ourselves.'”[203]’

Our incompetent government has only succeeded in making the losses at Anglo worse. Our economy and banking system will continue to get worse if we don’t immediately change direction. We need to educate people to this reality that propaganda is obscuring for them.

For Christmas, some enterprising individual could create ‘The Nama Washing Machine Game’,  economists could assist in R&D of this toy. Broad outlines: It would be a set of plastic washing machines that would operate as containers holding water. There would be a large water container representing money inside our economy. Pipes would issue from it to each taxpayer washing machine. There would be another large, black container holding water representing losses at Anglo. From it would issue pipes to each taxpayer washing machine.

However, this black container also has a ball cock connected to a pipe that receives water from the economy tank. When it sheds its water  representing losses to each taxpayer washing machine, the ball cock opens and it takes water from the economy. The system works successfully as long as the economy is growing and there’s plenty of water going into the economy. But it stalls and bleeds the economy dry in a recession.

With NAMA and Anglo policies in shreds and visible for the economic mess they are in, see Financial Times here Clearly, the longer it takes to deal with bank losses, the greater those losses become and the increasing damage done to the economy. See for our flawed response to S&P ratings. However flawed S&P ratings methodology, the reality is this methodology is used and accepted as a benchmark for investors, in particular in the calculation of bond spreads for NTMA Irish bond issues.

Back to our toy:  kids get to operate all the parameters of the working of the amounts of water including time factors, with a small control panel operating the various controls involved.

The major point of the game is understanding that there’s a pressure valve between the economy tank and the Anglo losses tank. The more losses are siphoned off to taxpayer washing machines, the more the ball cock opens topping up the losses at Anglo.

Of course, you can bring this game to a close at any time by closing down Anglo and dealing with its losses statically instead of awaiting a disastrous and catastrophic outcome when with more time  spent dealing with Anglo, the greater  losses become thus bleeding and disabling the economy more!

In memory of France’s great and brave General Humbert, the ECB should close Anglo and save the Irish economy from impending catastrophe.


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