"A lie told often enough becomes the truth." - Vladimir Lenin
Morgan Kelly and Jim Power, 2007
Morgan Kelly and Brendan Keenan, 2008
Morgan Kelly was the man who rescued Irish economics, who pulled it out of the group-think abyss it had got itself into. If we can sum up in one phrase what made him different, it would probably be focused analysis on the right data.
The other two commentators / economists he went up against in the above videos were guilty of two crimes - firstly, analysis of the wrong data (in the case of Jim Power he spoke about Ireland being underdeveloped and the risk of multi-nationals pulling out and in the case of Brendan Keenan, not looking at any data at all or just falsified data) and secondly, an inability to see past the conventional view supported and spun by the invested interests of the time. The road to the truth is often a lonely road as I'm sure it was for Mr.Kelly back in 2007 and 2008.
The data that people should have focused on in 2007 was the loan books of the banks, what their exposure was to the construction sector, the prices of houses relative to other EU countries and crucially the true capitalization status of the banks. Mr.Kelly appeared to have done his own analysis on this data, independent of anyone else in the State.
I can remember back then that people were told that "we should not talk down the economy" as if an economy built on a confidence trick was something sustainable and worthwhile. Looking back now, it was clear this was the same kind of talk that a ponzi scheme conman would have used.
Surely there is a lesson here - if you haven't looked at the data behind an economic sector, then what have you based your opinion on ? It is also startling to look back now at how lies told by institutions in Ireland were simply lifted ad verbatim, and without question, by other institutions and commentators in the media until these lies eventually became the apparent truth, and accepted by society. Nobody went back to check the original source, except Mr.Kelly of course.
Today, we can see similar untruths being spun in relation to energy, a quite complicated subject that takes quite a bit of research and analysis of data to grasp a good understanding of.
But not just energy, it also happens on quite simpler subjects such as the EU and export figures, to name but two. Sadly, politics still takes precedence over education.