A reader writes…
I was doing a Google search last week when I came across a speech that Bertie Ahern made to the Irish Management Institute back in 2003.
He explained he had succeeded in persuading the Heavens to invest in Ireland plc by releasing manna on an unlimited basis.
With every point and every sentence I found myself uttering ‘wrong’ or the non-abbreviated version of BS.
He also majored on low taxes and especially low corporate taxes.
We seem to be clinging onto the notion of low corporate taxes like a bit of driftwood after the mother ship has sunk.
In the new reality we face, is the low corporate tax rate still the solution that will magic us out of the crisis? I am no longer convinced that retaining the low rate will make a whit of differrence.
One of our regular commentators, David, submitted a long comment a few days ago that deserves a wider audience. He has aggregated a lot of reports (yes indeed, most from our own esteemed publication) from 2007 and earlier, most of them reflecting the unbridled optimism that existed at that time about property.
There are some very eye-opening articles and some headlines and some interesting views expressed from unexpected people.
Here is the comment in full:
(The first reference is to the economist, Marc Coleman)
If only Marc had been quite so in touch with reality every other day he turned up for work eh?
Its not much of a coincidence, I guess, that this emphatic response came only months after Cowen and chums invested 12.5m in The Carr Mills apartments.
He apparently noted this in the Dail, but we are only hearing about it now. From an English paper.
“All will be well – if politicians don’t meddle in the property market.” [Marc Coleman, January 25, 2007]
“Nothing exciting – or dangerous – is in prospect for the market over the next two or three years.” [Marc Coleman, March 1 2007]
“Iceland for us is an inspiration in terms of business and also an indicator of business potential if it’s worked well.” [John Conroy, December 1 2006]
“Dr Brian Lucey, a lecturer in finance at Trinity College, says that mortgage lenders will be able to grow their business activity through high-interest loans to people with poor credit records – known as “sub-prime” mortgages.” [Laura Slattery, February 14, 2006]
“Sub-prime mortgage market reigns supreme.” [Laura Slattery, January 19, 2007]
“Bricks and mortar beat equities hands down.” [Orna Mulcahy, December 31, 2005]
“Construction industry likely to avoid crash landing.” [Barry O'Halloran, January 3, 2007]
“The Irish property market is nothing like a real speculative bubble.” [Oliver O'Connor, October 29, 1999]
“Where in the world should foreign property buyers go next?” [Frances O'Rourke, December 7 2006]
“On balance, the data indicate a favourable outlook for the housing market.” [John McCartney, April 5 2007]