Brian cowen still facing hostility over large pension, unfair

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by joe sod, May 3, 2018.

  1. joe sod

    joe sod Frequent Poster

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    I saw a post on facebook basically jeering at brian cowen over his large monthly pension. Interesting that former presidents Mary Mcaleese and Mary Robinson earn even larger pensions yet do not face any criticism. Whatever you think about Brian Cowen and his handling of economy he had the very difficult job of steering the country through the financial crisis and faced horrendous abuse. In other words he had alot of responsibiity therefore his pension at least reflects this. However the role of president has no real responsibility its basically travelling the world representing ireland, being polite to people who come to tea at the aras and thats basically it. Why is there no publicity and hostility to the former presidents over this very large pension after a job with no responsibility or difficulty. These people assumed the presidency at a relatively young age so we are going to be paying these large pensions for a long time.
     
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  2. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    Cowen destroyed the economy. He cost us billions. He destroyed lives with his incompetence and cowardice.
    McAleese and Robinson just cost us their salaries and pensions.
    The hostility towards Cowen is that he caused everyone else financial pain, yet he is cushioned from the consequences of his actions by the generous pension. So society responds in the only way it can, shaming him with its hostility and contempt.
     
  3. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    The best solution to incompetence and mismanagement is a pay increase.
    That seems to be the solution in the Health Sector and elsewhere in the Public Sector and in Banking. If that doesn't work then let them retire on a full pension. Did the Financial Regulator get his pension? Did all the people in the Central Bank? Did all the people in the Private Banks? Why should politicians be held to any higher standards than anyone else in this country?
     
  4. joe sod

    joe sod Frequent Poster

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    thats why I think its unfair that Brian Cowen gets all the abuse for this policy , as you pointed out there were many incompetent people in the central bank, department of finance , financial regulator all retired on large pensions. I actually think taoiseachs deserve the large pensions because of the responsibilty and media scrutiny they face throughout their career . But there are many other people that dont and former presidents definitely do not deserve large pensions when their job was merely a ceremonial role with no responsibilty or difficult unpopular decisions to be made
     
  5. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    This is simply not true. In case it has past your attention, the period in question relates to a global economic recession.
    It was going to happen anyway as a consequence of adopting economic policies that put market price discovery to the fore of social policy.
    I was watching BBC Question Time on Thursday, the issue was housing, unaffordability, homelessness etc.
    It is not coincidence that our social ills mirror that of the UK, it is policy.

    https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2018/0504/960183-irish-net-worth-at-record-level-central-bank/

    The 'good' news is our net wealth is at record highs. Spurred on by increases of 69% in property since 2012. :eek:
     
  6. odyssey06

    odyssey06 Frequent Poster

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    Lots of things passed Cowen's attention. Such as balancing the books. Standing up to the EU. Having a spine. Not taking the easy course. Showing a bit of moral courage. I have nothing but contempt for the man.
    Instead of taking steps to prepare us against the next recession he set a course which assumed fair weather sailing.

    And it may be true that all of the above are equally true about many other politicians and others in area of responsibility in the run up to the crash... but he was the man at the top and it is human nature that his role is focused on.

    But really it's irrelevent in some ways whether is is true or not. I think it is why Cowen is viewed the way he is. I think rightly so - you think wrongly so, but I stand by it as the reason why he is viewed the way he is.
     
  7. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    He only got there from the votes of his peers. The policies that enabled an economic collapse were adopted long before he took the helm, albeit he was a significant player in garnering support for those policies.
    My point is, it is futile to identifying one person as primarily responsible, albeit understandable to do so.
    Instead it is the policies that engineered an over reliance on construction and taxes from stamp duty that should be abhorred.
    Policies that continue today that tell us our net wealth is at record highs, boosted by property prices once again.
     
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  8. joe sod

    joe sod Frequent Poster

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    great point, I think it is too easy to focus on a personality like Brian Cowen especially given that he was not particularly media friendly and truculent and would show it. In other words he is an easy hate figure, i actually think the campaign to focus on Cowen so much meant that fundamental changes to the irish political system and estabishment did not happen. The collapse of the irish economy was brian cowen's fault therefore everything is ok because he is not in power any longer and we dont need to change anything, especially if those changes removed power from the real movers and shakers in ireland.
    We are making the exact same mistakes again , populist policies, government borrowing continuing even in booming economy. The government is going to cave in to the public sector unions again on pay and increasing social welfare spending (albeit per person, what happens when unemployment goes back up, 2008 crisis again?)
     
  9. Delboy

    Delboy Frequent Poster

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    I always had TBS down as a PBP voter, a champagne socialist Labourite at a push. But an FF supporter....I'm stunned so I am :D
     
  10. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Thats ok, you can rest assure im no FF supporter. I think I voted once for them back in early nineties.
    I dont actually have any political party preferences anymore. Precisely for the reasons I have mentioned above. The global economic system is too big for a tiny country like ourselves to be able to influence or direct.
     
  11. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    I take it you are referring to pseudo-socialist populism?
     
  12. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Im referring to policies that ceded monetary policy to banking cartels and then the zero policies to deflate an obvious property bubble, instead allowing it free reign to get out of control.
     
  13. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Monetary and budgetary policy was set by the Social Partners without any input from the Department of Finance with massive long term spending commitments made without any notion of how they would be paid for or what impact they would have on the broader economy and society. If you are blaming our woes on bankers and quantitative easing them you are ignoring most of the picture and confusing the treatment of the illness with its cause.
     
  14. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    Which policies exactly?
     
  15. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    This is pure fantasy. Here is the link to the first benchmarking report back in 2002. You can search for yourself, a lot of the analysis was based on detail from the Department of Finance, one of the board members of the benchmarking body was from the Department of Finance, and on page 153 you can see clearly that the Department of Finance made its own submission to the benchmarking body.

    http://benchmarking.gov.ie/Documents/Benchmarking 02.pdf


    As for QE, of course im not blaming QE for our woes as QE came after the economic crash. As for bankers, they did what they were allowed to get away with – namely build an economy that designs itself on a credit expansion and perpetual debt.

    The economic crash was not a consequence of social partnership. It was a consequence of a global money market credit freeze starting in the US when the house of cards that is the ever-expanding debt based system requires that debt to be paid back at some point. The ‘trickle-down’ effect was to saddle people with unsustainable debt.
    Credit froze, economic activity froze - this is well documented.

    In the end, I think its unfair to lay blame on any single individual.

    The policies that ceded our monetary sovereignty to Europe, namely the ECB and the Euro. I cant remember which treaty it was, Maastricht?
     
  16. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    Why were we so badly affected then? How come ourselves and the other PIIGS countries were affected with the other, more prudent countries not so badly affected?

    Well the other option was to remain outside of the Euro with our own currency, the Punt. Do you think that have been better?
     
  17. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    Was it because we were more exposed to the credit expansion/perpetual debt based system by any chance?
    Im sure you recall the housing boom? This was based on ever expanding credit was it not? 110% mortgages? Mortgages 5, 6 times income?
    You can find these traits in the economies of the PIIGS too. Or was our social partnership model, was our public sector bench-marking responsible for their economic woes too?


    Hindsight is wonderful thing, but yes is the answer to that. Don’t get me wrong, I voted for all EU Treaties up until Nice II when I voted against.

    I support the concept of single currency, but clearly there are fundamental flaws with the Euro that make it unsustainable in the long-term. It is a one-glove-fits-all currency applied to 18 economies, some of which are pulling in different directions. As a consequence, we have had 7/8 years of boom followed by the biggest economic crash in our recorded history, followed by projections of rapidly increasing economic growth once more – the Euro does not provide for stable economic conditions.
     
  18. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    How come other prudent countries did not experience the problems we in the PIIGS countries did? We all had the same opportunities to borrow at extremely low rates? Blaming the system doesn't cut it I'm afraid. Too many people borrowed too much to pay for things they could not afford, at the individual level right up to the government level. Nobody made them.

    If you can cast your mind back to Ireland pre joining the Euro and tell me we would have been better off staying with the Punt then you really are just trolling!
     
  19. TheBigShort

    TheBigShort Frequent Poster

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    I really don't know what you are talking about. I'll ask again,


    I don't really don't know what you are talking about here either other than you appear to believe that we are better off in the euro? I don't believe we are for the reasons of economic instability that we have experienced.
     
  20. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    There were many factors which fed into the crash and how badly it impacted on us.
    The ones which we controlled were credit availability (the Central Bank, the Financial Regulator and the Government all failed to do their job there) and pro-cyclical economic policies such as massive increases in spending and cuts in taxation.
    The Social Partnership model locked in many of those massive spending increases.