Saturday, May 24, 2008
The Greater Fool
Developers can’t be allowed to renege on partnership deals
25 May 2008 By David McWilliams
This column has argued for years that much of the boom in Ireland was little more than a scam. Ireland was the victim of a financial coup d’etat whereby a cabal of the banks and developers, with the blessing of the government and cheer-led by various vested interests who were getting their grubby cut, took over our economy.
They colluded in the farce that saw one of the least populated countries in Europe having the highest land prices and, in the process, terrified thousands of young workers into years of indentured commuterism.
In the process, the psychology of the nation was altered, leaving us,140 years after the Land League, back where we started, owned by landlords. In the past ten years, land ownership - rather than enterprise, creativity and most importantly hard work - became the single biggest arbiter of wealth.
This led to a culture of the fast buck, where the ‘flipped’ deal and the easy profit were lauded and difficult things like innovation, service and production were frowned on.
So hotels and other businesses were closed down to make way for the property juggernaut, which was always based on the ‘greater fool’ theory, that there was always a bigger eejit that would buy the assets from you - until we eventually ran out of eejits.
Now that we have run out of eejits, the main players in the coup d’etat are running for cover. The banks won’t lend to their erstwhile stars, the developers, and in turn the developers are reneging on deals they had signed with the state.
The Sunday Business Post
Posted by Southofdub at 8:52 PM