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What in the world is happening on Wall Street? Economic indicators knows where this is going to end up.
You understand the economy. You have to understand human nature. This podcast is powered by a cost. How are you doing? There it is, David. It's all just kind of hard to believe we're at the start of August. By the way, August is a very tricky month in financial markets. Just watch. That's two of the last really massive crises in financial markets began in August. The emerging market crisis of 1998, which ended up engulfing the entire Asian economy and the Russian economy, the massive default, the thing called LTM, which was allegedly a fool proof fund run not by one but two Nobel Prize winners for economics, blew up as a result of things that happened in August 1998 and then August 2007, far away in the subprime underbelly in Arizona, a couple of funds run by an outfit called Bear Stearns, one of America's significant, what they called bulge bracket banks.
One of their funds started to show signs of distress in August 2007. And we know by March 2008 that bank, Bear Stearns was gone, Lehman was gone. Six months later and the world was in a massive financial crisis by August, September, 2008. So August is estrangements don't want to be down. Don't start freaking you out, but just be aware that financial crises and the dog days of summer at the end of August tend to come together.
Of course, who is chuckling over here as I give my big speeches, my friend. Mr. Davis, how are you doing? Good. It's also your birthday. And it was a massive correlation between crisis turbulence and the fact that all CEOs come into the world full of nonsense. Is your midlife crisis. This is my midlife emerging market crisis. This is like a massive midlife crisis. What's the connection? Yeah, it's all good.
Although I woke up this morning to the sad news of passing a John Hume, a colossal in Irish. Yeah, I think by far and away the most impressive political leader we've had in this country in in 100 years. Yeah, I think there's no doubt this. And how many people would disagree with that? You know what, John Hume, chief, in their darkest, darkest days of this island's history. Yeah. And the fact that he kept nationalised Northern Ireland and therefore nationalised Ireland on some sort of straight and narrow.
And the fact that he dealt with such courage and bravery with what was a really nasty, nasty sectarian state, he was incredibly tenacious and determined and that his whole vision of, you know, getting away from that orange or green nationalist or unionist kind of thing and trying to find a real workable alternative. Yeah, it is amazing. And he did two things that I think were really significant. He he Europeanised. The Irish problem is a big believer in the European Union that the European Union gave people from Northern Ireland an identity which it didn't really have to be European and European time at the sort of harshness of Irish and Britishness.
And it gave this European angle. And then I think, of course, in the United States, he operated behind the scenes. Extraordinarily, absolutely.
There is an amazing I don't know if you've seen it. There's an absolutely incredible documentary called In the Name of Peace, John Hume in America, written and directed by a guy called Maurice Fitzpatrick. I haven't seen it, haven't you?
If you want to know anything about John Hume, you got to see this. I'm sure they'll be showing it again in John Hume in America. It's called In the Name of Peace, John Hume in America. And it's terrific. And the big thing about that was it tells the story of how he had the vision and the foresight to see if we're going to change things politically in Northern Ireland. We need to get outside help, essentially. And he went to America.
He told a story of Ireland and got the political weight of American politicians, both Democrat and Republican, told him the four horsemen of the apocalypse, which was the Democrats and Republican, four big beasts together with Clinton, drove the Good Friday Agreement. Yeah, there's no doubt of that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm kind of bullied the Brits also into realizing that they had to do a deal. Yeah. And when I say bullied, just encouraged Britain to say, hold on a second, this is an international conflict and this is can only be solved by an international treaty.
Yeah. You know, so. Yes, but what I want to talk to you about is another part of John King's legacy that I think people don't really give him. Enough credit for and that is the establishment, the credit unions in Ireland. Oh, yeah, John Hume established the first credit union in Ireland for the dairy credit union in 1960, that credit unions, subsequently north and south, have been the main financier, the main source of credit of poor people who couldn't get bank accounts because they weren't respectable.
And in the old days, the banking system was very much part of the power struggle and power system of the country, and only the DNC could get a loan. Hume understood the credit unions had access to credit, and finance was part of the whole civil rights movement. It was as important as access to education. Right. And there's a beautiful story about the undertones here. Long story about the undertones. The role of John Hume in The Undertones is a great book by Mickey Bradley, who was the bass player of the.
Yes, but the history of undertows. So I'm taking you back to June the 15th, 1978. Oh, well, imagine that. Imagine that we were both right now the scene is the battle of the Bands in Belfast, organised by Terri Hooley, the legendary head of Good Vibrations, recording the undertones of a Derry band, not only their two brothers, Mobility and Feargal Sharkey are cousins. But this is how close the drugs are, right? They're all from the same neck of the woods, right.
Micky Bradley is the bass guitarist. Selfs difficult fingers were the band to beat. They were the band of the North, right? Yeah, they'd set the bar. They just really suspect device. They had their own record label. How radical was that? They were proper punks and they had an option for a deal with rough trade records, rough trade records being rough trade records and of course, the undertones from Derry. As Bradley said, they didn't really look to Belfast.
They always look to Dublin for inspiration. Yeah, yeah. It was a bit too different for them, etc. Dublin was their neck of the woods, but they knew they had to make it in Belfast and they knew that difficult things with the band that they had to emulate. So they grudgingly went to see stiff little fingers in Kelly's and Portrush, which is a legendary nightclub in the north. It is a largely nightclub in the northwest. You might not heard of it.
I haven't done. But it's a it's a it's a kick ass common place. Starcom place. Calley's. Right. And so Bradley tells a story, but they managed to blag their way onto the bill. Right. The bill headlining the bill are the outcasts. The Outcasts were a skinhead band from Belfast that I remember seeing as the backup band to The Clash and the SFX. Right. I think this is when I was in my Blakroc college place, of course.
And exactly who punker? Anyway, Reggie's on the way. I had a hard know getting 40 shades kicked out the other way out. But the story is beautiful because it links John. Hugh Bradley said the black the way onto the bill there is Terry. The problem is Billy Tarty, the drummer, had no drums, right. No drums over a bit of a problem. So how are they going to get the drums? And and, of course, the band were poor.
Yeah. And Bradley. Had become a member of the credit union when he was a kid because his parents were members of the credit union, right? Yeah, let's save a little bit. Save a little bit. Bradley goes down to the credit union because his whole family were members of the credit union. The credit union guy in the dairy credit union, the manager gives Mickey Bradley and he says in the book, 400 quid rolled up in tenor's, which is stuffed down the front of his Wrangler jeans as equals in case there would be highwaymen and the boxes that might be on the way home.
Right. So what you see is the undertones end up going to Belfast as a result of the loan they get from the dairy credit union, which they would not have got. John, you not set it up. And the rest is history. They record teenage kicks. John Peel picks it up and away they go. Well, let me come back to the fantastic story. This is the stuff you get in this podcast. But let's come back to the credit.
That is exactly why Hume set up the credit union, because Hume understood that one of the great sectarian. Instruments to be used against the Catholic population was not only had no access to housing or education, but to credit because credit was an amazing thing, jump credit allows you to live in the future. And I know sometimes this is weird because we always talk about too much credit and spending credit badly. But when credit does is it allows you to dream about a possible future.
It allows you to postpone. You know, this is critical because if you can say, well, maybe next year I might go to college and I can plan for going to college and I can save money, and these people are going to give me credit. I mean, Bradley refers to the credit unions as a community bank in Derry. For Catholics, it's exactly the same down here. You talk to lots and lots of people from backgrounds where there wasn't much money and the credit union paid for education.
The credit union paid for those kind of micro financing systems that I've seen at work. And in India, you're absolutely right. And they work fantastically well. Really fascinating thing about micro financing is that there was a guy called Muhammad Yunus who won a Nobel Prize not long after John Hume won the Nobel Prize. OK, for him, setting up a bank called the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which was a microfinance bank that lent very small amounts of money to very poor women.
You yeah. What he understood was one thing that's quite interesting, that poor people do not default, which people default, people like Donald Trump default. That's the truth. If you look at all the great defaulters, there were always rich course, poor people pay their debts. And the crazy thing about it is because of the class system, people like Donald Trump get very low interest rates when they borrow lots of money. And very poor women in Bangladesh were suffering under a very high interest rates from moneylenders.
Right. Even though the risk of default is much higher. And the rich guy, look at all the guys who defaulted in Ireland in the in the. Absolutely. The rich guys. Poor guys don't default. Poor people. But what John Hume understood and it's critical and they understand is a lovely story of that, is that if you give poor people access to small amounts of credit, 100 quid, 200 with 300 quit, it changes the way in which they look at the future.
You know, I've always thought of poverty. Is really about time horizon. Yes, yeah, that's the problem with poor people, is they can't see beyond tomorrow because they have to generate cash today. But if you give that poor person credit for tomorrow, like you say, you don't have to pay your university fees today or whatever you have to, but you can pay it over a 10 year period and we'll give you credit. Suddenly the world opens up.
So and I think this is how economies change. Economies don't change with some great big bang. They change by step by step, little by little people buying a drumkit. Yeah. Really? Yeah. Yeah. Because they created one of the greatest bands ever come out here. It wouldn't have happened had they not bought the drumkit. Nice people buying a little bit of education maybe, you know, putting down change in their house, maybe doing this, doing that.
And it's all small because if economy starts from the bottom up, not from the top down. And when you get that right and what John Hume understood in the 1950s was that Catholics didn't have access to credit, largely because it's an unfortunate thing. Protestants ran the banks in Northern Ireland so they wouldn't give Catholics credit. So the Catholics were depositing the money in the banks. The money was disappearing out of the Catholic community. Yeah. Yeah, right.
Yeah. So John Hume said, look, what we'll do is we set up our own bank like a cooperative, that this goes back a long way. You know, the co-operative movement is part of the Irish national movement. And you mean. Well, Horace Plonkers give her another name. He set up the co-operative movement in Ireland at the start of the 20th century. OK, and again, the same sort of idea that if you don't have much resources, if you pool your resources together, you'll get a better outcome.
Yeah, that's the idea. So this is part of the. So Hume is before he even becomes the man we know, he's in a long line of people. Of human rights activists who understood. A banking and credit is a human right? Yes, part of human rights, and that's. I would say one of the longest lasting legacy. I mean, this the Good Friday Agreement and the other, but these little small things are fascinating. And can you imagine, Jerry, without the undertones so terrible that every city it's like Derry with.
That's a great bar. Actually, we should I should take it. I've never been to a bar called the Sundara Bar in Waterstreet in Derry. Right? Yeah. And it comes from Sandinista. This is where Daniel Ortega's revolutionary Nicaraguan communists. Yeah. It was all the Central American. And you walk into that bar, right? I think it's Sundays. Sandy star. Sendero, people from Derry will pick us up. That's right. You walk in and you've got Nicaragua, Libra and Fidel Castro and.
Yes. And the Bolivian revolutionaries and hasta la revolution sempre all these great slogans like it is like going into a Palestinian flags and it's like going into a revolutionary cell. It's a Bouzar. And every time I'm there, which is not as often as we should do, we should do a show from there. I've gone in there for quick scoop or two and it's a different because there is a political city. Yeah. You know, it's a city defined by civil rights.
There are highly, highly attuned political people. And you know, who didn't come from nowhere. He's part of the firmament. Absolutely. And the credit union movement all over Ireland is due to John Huey. Set it all up. And when I hear about John Hume's passing, I think it's not just the big things he did with the small things he did that changed people's lives completely. People like Mickey broadening the base, guitarist of The Undertones.
Well, let's have a quick listen. So much on another big event that happened this week, of course, was Mr. MacWilliams being ranked fifth in the most influential economists in the world, like ever, ever.
And yeah, he came out of the blue. It's it's a ranking of the most influential economists in the world. I mean, Paul Krugman was number one. So, you know, that's always good to know. And Stiglitz was number six. Yeah, well, I told you that, Joe, you know, but what it is, is is a ranking about where people go to get their economic bases, publications, its articles, maybe podcasts. Yeah.
All this sort of who influences most people. And I think it's really flattering to comment. Yeah, it's great. It is good. It is good. And it's I suppose it's what we're trying to do here. You're trying to use all the mediums, you know, whether it's the blogs or podcasts or articles or kill economics. Are all these things that that I've ended up falling into because I couldn't get a proper job.
I couldn't hold onto anything except there's no plan. And again, it's it's really gratifying. So it's great. Yes. Yeah, I think it's great. I know it is good. It is good. It is good. But I was I was down in Brownstown when I got that message right. And of course, you like Runestone. It's my favorite place in the whole world. I love medicine. Of course I was married there. Yes, you do.
You happen to give a speech at the wedding, far as I remember. Yeah. Yeah, it was one of those weddings. But yes, that's for you. You know, it's nice. So we we went back to the little church as a little church, St Mary's that actually leaked to you, remember, because it lost rain. It was old roof that leaked and the whole altar was on raves and the whole thing was coming out the back.
But anyway, I was down around St. and interesting. And we were talking about John Hume just there. Yeah. And the role of credit unions in the liberating of the nationalist mind about the possibilities that you could actually avail of if you could get these small finances. I was also thinking about that in the context of what happened in and around the Brownstown area. Right about a hundred years ago, maybe 20 years ago, where huge tracts of land were made available to the Irish tenants from the landlords, again, a bit like John Hume through financial innovation.
Right. You know, as I like to say, it was really bonds, not bombs that generated Ireland's Ireland's freedom. Right. And again, I was like, I like this. But it's it's true because, I mean, in history, we never look at the economics. You always think about the big patriot, given the speech at the dock or the big mass movement and the big event, the war, the destruction, the other rise in the revolution, they're all really important things.
But underlying these things are movements and economics and finance and money, the day to day stuff, day to day stuff, and maybe just the day to day stuff. The little incremental stuff makes a much bigger impact on the overall. And game. Then the big events, because it's the little things that change people's lives and people's lives change that the world changes. Brilliant. Well, let's get into that. It was I mean, the Irish summer is hard to love.
I mean, I was walking there yesterday and there's a lovely walked and the bog road. And you're kind of thinking it's kind of comical because you're walking in a biblical deluge. It's coming down sideways. You and you think I'm paying for the pleasure of this spiteful deluge down on top of me. But what intrigued me, John, was walking through we mentioned last week in terms of walking through areas of Panama. Yeah. And that sense of the emptiness and the stillness and the lack of humanity.
And you think back to history and you think there was a time when this part of the country was hugely populated for sure. You, in fact, in the early part of the 19th century, so from, let's say, the Napoleonic wars, up until the famine, the west of Ireland was the fastest growing population of anywhere in Europe and European population was growing rapidly. That really. Yeah. And you also think there was an extraordinary displacement of people.
So Irish place names are very revealing because they tell you things about the landscape and the people that you're not really sure. As I was walking on this walk and I was walking through a sort of townland called Kukla, and then I asked one of the locals. The other day, and I've been reading that I called Tim Robinson, who's written all these things, you know, is a cartographer, OK, passed away beautiful maps of Calama. Very interesting.
And Kukla means who? Wiggler from the Irish Couhig miniature all the people of Ulster. And these were people who were displaced. Think about this in the Cromwellian the preconvention, the plantations of Oldster, 16, 15, 16 around them, and those who were people from Ulster who were displaced, who were dispossessed from their lands and then ended up in the most barren, you know, their way because the hell I cannot remember, Cuomo said to hell.
And Kukla is evidence of this because the local people, they arrived and imagine there would be no speaking Irish, but they would speak sort of Ulster Irish, more like Benegal Irish. Yeah, which is quite different too. But no, I know I tell you all about that. It was quite different to Economia Irish and of course their accents would have been different, their views, different words, and so their area, unlike anything you would have arrived in with maybe 10 families when you hang out together.
And this was Cooloola right now known as Kukla. This is where the people from Ulster who were dispossessed ended up around rootstock. And I was thinking of this. How did it all change, because I was going back to history, 1903, the Wyndham Land Act.
Well, actually, hang on before you get there, did the police not empty out as a result of the famine first? Absolutely. So it fills up before the famine? Yeah, it empties out after the famine. Yeah. But still, you have a very, very intensely populated areas. Zankel, the congested districts port, which was a I think that the Brits brought in, we were told home rule kinase and Runestone is one of those. So Roulston was built by Scottish engineers right now.
Why? Because the idea was the Brits went into the congested districts, the districts that were congested. It was still huge, huge peasant Irish farmers there. Yeah. And massive landlords. And they said we're going to build infrastructure for these people. And this, in a way, is going to wean them off Irish nationalism because, you know, we can see that the British government did a study there. Right. So you see this incredibly congested district still all over Connemara, all over the west coast of the country.
And what struck me then was given that the concentration of land ownership was so extraordinary, there were 900 landlords and they controlled one point five million acres. Wow. Right. Which was one third of the total acreage of of Galway is controlled by 900 people. Some of them had extraordinary, extraordinary landholdings. So, you know Blanche Castle. Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah, right. Sarpanch Castle was home to fellow called Richard Berridge. Yeah. But as late as nineteen or three, that's not that long ago.
Right. When our grandparents were probably born around then. Yeah. Your man owned hundred and sixty thousand acres.
Wow. At that time. Wow. Average income of the average Irish tenant on his land was five pound a year. So imagine that concentration of wealth. Now what struck me not only that, it is possibly the most beautiful place in the country, the effort to own all of that, if you're on a horse, one for Dickens. But yeah, I know for sure. Yeah, but I absolutely.
So what interests me was how did the British government achieve the social revolution that was a transfer of land during the land acts from British or Irish, the Irish aristocracy, to these peasants that had no money? Because if at the time the British landlords, all of whom were supported by the House of Lords, all of whom were related to our Mates of the Lords amendment, actually. Yeah, positions in the Lords, they wanted compensation. They were going to clean up the land.
The Irish peasants had no money. So how did the Brits achieve this? This was always intrigued me. Yeah, people want to in history, in school. I thought something wrong here, right? Yeah. There seem to be a kind of a job, you know, how can you get a transfer of assets from the very rich to the very poor in a deal since everyone. Yeah. So how did that happen? This is what I want to talk about.
It's the magic of the bond market, the old bonds. Right. And again, it's something that we don't understand we don't appreciate is that when you use finance and economics constructively, you can achieve amazing things. So let me before we talk about our let me go back to the slide, because it's quite the opposite at the moment. Yeah. How did the Brits end the slave trade, given that they started it, right? Yeah. Yeah.
But how do they end and how they ended? It was the following. They compensated all slave owners, which is extraordinary. So the British government raised a bond. Yeah. They went out and said we are going to abolish slavery, but we are going to compensate slave owners for the confiscation of their property, which were the humans I think of. And they raise a perpetual part and they just raise money. And they gave the money to the slave owners and they freed slaves.
Have you any idea have you any idea how much they paid? I have not, but we can check it. We can double check it and we can come back to that. That's what's amazing, isn't it? It's incredible. Yeah. So then once they did this, the Brits figured out we can do the same with the Irish. We can raise a bond in order to do the following. The bond is what we will give the landlords.
The landlords then have a government backed bond, which they can either cash in or they can hold on to. And what we will do is we will ask the peasants who have no money. To pay between two and four percent interest every year, and they pay that interest. So no money changes hands. This is the fascinating thing. Right. And the the Irish peasants paid two to four percent interest on these bonds. The was 70 is the record for 68 years.
And that was collected because they meant that we would skip a generation. So what happens then? What are we paying the interest? Yes. Yeah. So the payments then went into a fund and then that fund was dipped into to pay the annuities, biannual annuities to the landlord. OK, right. So the question then is this is quite amazing. What the Brits managed to do was they managed with, of course, the land league and the the Irish parliamentary party.
Yeah. All those guys, you know, basically Parnell's party, Parnell and Gladstone, began this process and the land back then. But we don't learn how they were all financed and they were financed by the bond market. Right. So the Brits therefore figured out a way of giving the Irish peasants what they wanted, which was ownership of the land. Yeah. Therefore, giving people a stake in the country. Right. While at the same time giving the landlords an exit strategy, which means they could actually leave Ireland, which they wanted to do.
Yeah. Yeah. And the whole idea was to promote home rule, not to promote an independent Irish Republic. But the figures are fascinating, the extent to which the land transfer. So if you look at maps of Ireland in the late 80s, you see a tiny, tiny percentage of peasant farmers of tenants owning land. Yeah. By 1913, that has changed dramatically and the vast majority of Irish land is owned by Irish people. Wow. And this was facilitated by the Brits issuing these long term bonds.
And this is a lesson for us now is that you can achieve enormous social reforms. Yeah. By using the bond markets with the bond market. Does is it reduces the cost today of a massive objective tomorrow. And when you're walking through runestone, you think that's what happened? It was real and actually happened. And it's financial engineering in its most beautiful and constructive form. Yeah. The way it should be. Yeah, but hang on a second.
That two and a half to four percent that the peasants are paying back in interest. Yeah. What was that in real value for them. That was easily afford. It was easily affordable because it's it's a very low rate of interest. Yeah. Now what's going on at the time is the gold standard. The gold standard, the late 19th century, early 20th century was a period of very low international inflation rise. So interest rates were very low and very stable.
Of course, the first thing the second thing is prior to that, there was no banking system in Ireland for Irish tenant farmers. Right. This is the interesting thing, how they managed to create a financial architecture without having financial architecture, because prior to that, on the main moneylenders in Ireland, to the Irish people were grocers, grocers, publicans and undertakers. That's why, you know, they had done the country. Yeah, you can see sometimes the same family as the grocer, the undertaker and the public.
And and also quite recently, it was a place he'd go in the your check as well. Precisely why it was they were originally moneylenders. So there's great literature on Irish shadow banking before we had banks. Right. Right. And and again, you know the expression the gumbinger. Yes. So the common man was hated because he was seen to be on the side of the landlords. Why is that? Which was that basically if somebody was evicted, they were likely to have been evicted at the end of a process of bankruptcy.
The beginning of that process would have they would have defaulted on the local grocer. Right. OK, who was the moneylender in the village? And because the grocers interests and the landlords interest aligned, which was to keep the peasant farmers paying them a few quid, but they became the dumping men. And in rural Ireland, you know, that still is a very loaded, loaded insult. Yeah. And they were largely grocers. And in fairness, the poorer grocers, they went bankrupt and a much higher rate than any other class in Ireland because they were defaulted on because you got a bad harvest, you defaulted on.
So all this stuff is going on whereby bonds eventually paid back.
Well, now, that's an interesting. So the bonds allowed massive social reform. Yeah. Then we get independence. Then we get the common single government in the 1920s that the Commonwealth government, the 1920s were basically keep everything on the straight and narrow. Let's try and be independent, but pretend we're not independent. So we kept sterling exchange rate. We kept very, very conservative economic policies, et cetera, then. Hillary gets in in 1932, and the first thing he does is he defaults on all these bonds.
Really? Yeah. So Ireland defaulted in the 30s, very early doors very early on because Devil Arrow was doing two things. One, he was trying to outflank the old IRA by being more Republican and closer to the tenant farmers than anybody else because he eventually end up shooting his former comrades in the IRA. Yes. And in order to position himself like that, he had to be more green than anybody else. And of course, the open sewer for Irish people was that we were still paying English landlords after having got our independence.
So he said this was a strategic move on his part to position himself as the green Republican. The problem of the two fingers, the problem was, of course, the Brits responded with a trade war. Gunya, so think about what happened in Ireland, exported people and cattle. Yeah, in the 1930s. Right. The Brits then responded to, well, if you're not going to pay this, we're going to close our borders to your produce, which is what they would do.
Yeah, what do we export? Cattle and people. So they allowed the people to leave, but they banned Irish exports to the United Kingdom. Now, of course, they have spun this as plucky little Ireland, you know, against the Brits.
But what it caused was the precipitation of a massive, massive recession in this country, which would have happened anyway because 1930's was recessionary all around the world at that stage.
Was the UK not reliant on Ireland for a lot of the kind of dairy, produce and farm, but they could source things in the Empire, which is why New Zealand became a massive producer of butter or Australian massive producer of wool.
And they decided the world that the cost of the Brexit question. Yeah, it's we're back to the Brexit question. You know, will we do great trade with Argentina? Yeah. Why not to trade with us further down the road. So the story, these bonds is the story of two things. One is how you can achieve great things by financial engineering and to how it has to feel right. In order for people to keep paying. So there has to be a moral background noise to economics.
And if the people feel that this is right and just, they will keep doing it. But what intrigues me and what's relevant for now is how we can use the bond market to do extraordinary things, because the bond market does allows you to buy now, pay later in effect. Right. So you get the social reform now and you pay later and. Intriguingly, when you're looking at the history of Golway and you're looking at what actually happened to the sons and daughters of Irish tenants who acquired land in the early part of the century, there's an amazing study done by two sociologists, economists and comments.
Which in a granular fashion, yeah, ask the question, what tribe, what subsect of Irish society has done best from free education? Because at the time the expectation was we born free education in the mid 60s. Yeah. And we would follow the British model would create an urban working class who became a middle class. That was the British model. So that's the Brian Eno. Those sort of people are the all the the early 70s musicians came from the first class with our Jonan.
They go to art college to do things that their parents never did. Right. And we thought we would create that in the urban class. But actually, what happened in Ireland is the most successful people in Ireland are the sons and daughters, small farmers from Galway and in particular East coli. That's the data. And that's amazing. Why is that? How does what happened was once the small farmers got a stake in the land, but then they had a stake, they had a toehold in the society.
Yeah. When free education gets comes in, something bizarre happens. Nobody predicted that the kids who would avail of free education and use it dramatically would be the sons and daughters, small farmers, not the sons and daughters of the urban working class, the to basically the working class. Despite what you see, the working class didn't avail of free education the same way. So what you see is they both start around the same income levels in the 1960s.
By the 1980s, sons and daughters of small farmers all around the country, but particularly in Galway, are miles ahead of everybody else. They become the sort of schoolteachers, civil servants, raises their kids are the doctors and lawyers. And they're the people who introduced Gayo to sell the rights. When you came to the south to open clubs. I mean, COOLA is sponsored by Davy stockbrokers. Yeah, right. Yeah. So what you see is massive upward social progression.
Yeah. A big proxima myself. Noid Krigsman. I know you're a craftsman, but the grounding of all this was in the innovation and bond market at the beginning of the 20th century that allowed people to dream of owning their own plots, which they never had the money to do so. But the bond market allowed them to get that stick. And when you look at right now, John, the bond market is telling us, do it. Yeah, we can do so many things with it.
So this is really interesting, this kind of financial engineering, but the one thing that I always hear when we're talking about ideas and what we should be doing, where we should be investing and how we should be spending the money is who's going to pay for this. Somebody has to pay for it. Who's it going to be? That's because you hang out with the accountants, know the accountants, live in the real time balance sheet, profit and loss on an annual basis, assets and liabilities on that basis.
The beauty of economics is that a lot of macroeconomics is about the time value of money, which is the idea that money has a value through time. This is why. In the ancient world, the Catholic Church or the Christian church was very against lending and paying interest, right? And the reason was because only God made time and you couldn't put a price on time. That's Thomas Aquinas and St a great night. So was this really very philosophical about the notion of time?
Who creates time? Yeah. So if you think there's a one creator, OK, that creates the future. But the idea that some grubby little lender will be putting a price on that, then I'll give you a hundred quid. But you've got to pay me 10 percent for the time value of money. Right? So that's what the church was against usury. That's why Islam is against usury. That's why it's not allowed in Islam to charge interest.
It's called Islamic banking. You cannot charge interest. Right. So what they do is they put other charges in. Right. So. What the bond market allows you to do is it allows you to project forward. The actual cost of doing something enormous today that total you to two things one, it allows you create money out of nothing. Yeah, accountants can't figure out, A, they don't like that, OK, because it doesn't feel right.
OK, but the second thing, nothing becomes of nothing. I speak again. Cordelia listens to you. Listen to you. Right. King Lear there, King. So but once you understand that with the bond market allows you to do is so for example, in the case we're talking about. A 68 year bond which tells the peasant farmer, you don't have to pay the principal back in total until 68 years. Hmm, you solve the problem.
Yeah, because as Cain said, in the long run, he has to pay a it. Right. Nobody has to pay back. That's the really interest that's supposed to be. That's the thing. That's what accountants don't get. And that's when you're sitting in the back of the boozer with your mates or anyone. And it feels how can we. So, for example, let's say we wanted to build 100000 houses today. Yeah. Which we do.
We do. And the and we should build houses that should be not maybe free to people who could only be charged interest rates of. Two percent right at the moment for this. Terribly sorry that you've got a proper deposit on the there's got to go to the bank, you got to pay bank charges to do any of that stuff, the government just raises a bond, right? Yeah. Of 100 million, 200 million, three million, whatever the figure is.
Hmm. And you create a mortgage that excludes the banks and the relationship between you and the government like your tax bill. Right. So you borrow for 100 years at zero percent, which we can do now, which we did last year. And you build there is no financial constraint in the same way as when the Wyndham Land Act was going through the parliament in England in 1903. The discussion wasn't about who's going to pay for this. The discussion was about are we going to achieve our objective, which is social land reform in Ireland, to address Irish concerns about their own position.
Right. Once you begin to dream about the big things you realize that have all the obstacles that you can put up to social reform. In a world of zero interest rates, money is not one of them, and that's the key. Over the last couple of months, you've asked, could we get our academic courses, the online course? The vast majority of SCPD, i.e., could you get points for continuous professional development as part of your own career development?
I'm delighted to say yes, indeed. Coming up from the 1st of September, our courses will be CTD applicable. We'll be able to get points on all the courses. We're going to give the details. Watch this space.
But I think it's a really exciting development, Torgeson.