Letter in today’s Irish Independent.
Bertie delusional about downturn
IT seems Bertie Ahern missed his true calling — he seems to live in the same sugar-sweet fictional world of his author daughter, Cecelia.
I suppose that with a huge pension and Dail salary for a seat he hardly seems to occupy these days, he can afford to live in a dream world, unlike the poor suckers who, until recently, bought his line that we could keep the country afloat with hot air.
Let’s be honest. The hard work of the IDA created and imported jobs, a boom that was real. The Fianna Fail government then sold off the gains of this boom, brick by brick, to the developers. The very real housing boom went from a boom to a bubble.
With no restraint or call for caution from the Government, housing prices and rents soared, meaning Irish wages needed to increase likewise.
We lost our competitive edge and companies started to look elsewhere.
The developers, flush with the profits stolen from hard- earned Irish wages, then continued to borrow from their mates, the bankers, to build even more ambitious projects, houses and hotels that were not needed.
When the time came to sell, even the most naive of Irish knew the prices were too high.
As companies left, the overstretched budgets of the average Irish family imploded. The irresponsible gambling of the developers exploded like a depth charge at the base of our banking system.
Not the global financial crisis, Mr Ahern — it was developer debts and overvalued housing market that brought down the Irish banks. If the banks had loaned only what the houses were actually worth, and the market wasn’t oversupplied, there would be no problem.
New SOUTH WALES