If you want to watch Freefall on the RTÉ Player, here’s part one and two.)
“You shouldn’t be worrying yourself Taoiseach,” is the point where Bertie Aherne pleads ignorance and effectively washes his hands of responsiblity. The rotting core of the Irish financial industry was truly revealed when Lehman Brothers collapsed but one wonders how long would the Irish finiancial institutions stayed afloat if Lehman Brother had survived.
When new kid on the block Bank of Scotland came to Ireland for business, it gave cut-throat mortgages, under-cutting its Irish competitors. To compete, the Irish banking institutions brought their interest rates down and loaned more capital. This is where 40 year mortgages and dangerous 100% finance and 120% mortgages was offered to furnish homes along with purchasing the property. People who could who never usually be afford to purchase property became property moguls through pressure and easy money from banks. It seems to be an inherent part of the Irish psyche to purchase property, rather than renting as “it’s money down the drain”; a throwback time to John B. Keane’s The Field.
The banks propagated this notion of property sustaining the Irish economy and through Ireland’s ties to the European Union, easy money was available. The governement allowed themselves to be dictated to by property moguls by assisting in them in developments. The property industry became a crutch to the economy, responsible for it’s boom but also it’s destruction. “I don’t want to see any intereference in the propery markets, I don’t want to hear anything about them,” according to Brian Cowen as Minister for Finance.
As far back as 2003, the impending Irish property bubble was foreseen, flashing alarm bells across the board. 42% of Irish homes were overvalued. There was such a descrepancy between the average salary and house prices which could be almost 11 times more.
Irish money was borrowed and recklessless on the part of the banks and property developers. The government twisted themselves to cultivate the most profitable aspect of the growing economy, instead of trying to spread the wealth to other sectors and industries.
Banks rolled over loans, which became bank losses. The developers avoided paying a great deal of tax buying having their loans rolled over to buy something else. Ballsbridge became the most expensive land in the world with prices increasing over 150% by developers seeking to buy up the area.
The loans now transferred into NAMA are responsible for the loans of 20 developers. Only 20 people. To think that such a small number combined with bad decisions by bankers and an unregulated system led to Ireland’s eventual decline and near-collapse. People who didn’t know their ass from their elbow with the foresight of basic physics, “What goes up, must come back down.” Whether it’s a gentle decline or jump from the edge, prudence was not exercised.
Directed and written: Paul W.S. Anderson.
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller.
How did news of Resident Evil 4: Afterlife pass me by?
The end of Apocalpse was left open-ended but it great to see Alice (Milla Jovovich) and Claire Redfield (Ali Larter) are back. with the addition of Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller). Afterlife is set five years after the first film, including of the usual stumble and groan type, there’s mutated zombies which are a bit cooler.
A bonus is that it seems kinda like Kill Bill, as swords hugely feature in the trailer. This film is also earmarked with the filmed exclusively for 3D tagline, let’s see how that works out for them.
Zombies + Swords = A very good combination.
My question is why keep shooting after you’ve jumped out the window?
Hitting cinemas in tomorrow.
(If you missed Freefall, you can catch it on RTÉ Player.)
Freefall aired on RTE One at 9.35 this evening and led to the build up of the bank crisis in Ireland. The crisis was an impending and dooming collapse almost as far back as 25 years ago when financial deregulation was introduced. When economic activity is deregulated, greed perpetuated the cycle of lending to an unsustainable level. Unregulated banking methods led to implosion of Lehman Brothers, America’s fourth largest bank. A mere 14 days later the Irish government introduced a bank guarantee for Irish financial institutions.
Anglo Irish Bank is the cheap pin-up girl of the Irish financial industry. According to Freefall, Anglo had to lend 60 million euro a day when it realised sources of finance were quickly drying up. It grew faster than the Irish economy, up to 30% growth year on year in the mid-noughties but 80% of it’s loans was focused on property.
Prior to the bank guarantee, it’s revealed that Anglo Irish Bank was insolvent and Séan Fitzpatrick and his CEO approached Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank pleading them to take Anglo off of his hands. Anglo would have collapsed the following day if the bank guarantee wasn’t promised by the Irish State.
Many commentators from around the world were wondering how the Irish, lucky as they may be, would pull themselves of a crisis. When the bank guarantee was announced, these commentators around the world were concerned as citizens would invest guaranteed Irish banks overseas. Interesting to see the reaction from Alistar Darling, British Fiance Minister, about the guarantee and how it would influence British citizens to invest in Irish banks.
There was a distinct sense of ‘passing the buck’ mentality. It’s true Lehman Brothers collapsing speeded up Ireland’s impending crisis but of course politicians couldn’t have foresight or at least partly admit responsibility. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern popped up like a jack-in-the-box as a teaser for next week’s episode.
The real question is for banks and politicians is were they liars or were they fools?
Memorable moments from Freefall was Brian Lenihane chuckling at reminiscing a phone call from ECB when he was at the races. Also the night before the bank guarantee, Brian Cowen allegedly slammed the table, ‘We’re not fucking nationalising Anglo.’