Denis O’Brien: Are the sharks closing in?

 

By Anthony Sheridan

 

In December 2015 I wrote about how Stock Market sharks were moving in for the kill as a result of Denis O’Brien’s failure to float his Digicel company on the market.

Billionaires like O’Brien can incur instant poverty if they make a mistake in the shark infested market arena and it’s becoming increasingly clear that O’Brien’s massive debts are attracting the killer instincts of his fellow sharks.

Next Friday stock holders will decide whether or not to agree to a plan by O’Brien that would give the company two more years to deal with its massive $6 billion debt.

Now if only Denis had got his hands on Irish Water his problems would be over but a rebellion by Irish citizens put a stop to that possibility.

But wait, what about the billions to be made from rolling out broadband? Well feck it, somebody seems to have made a mess of that possibility too.

There’s just no justice for the super rich anymore.

Note to Fine Gael – must do better.

 

 

 

 

Denis O’Brien: Are the sharks moving in for the kill?

shark-blood

Cliff Taylor of the Irish Times writes an article with the headline:

The question is, why has Denis O’Brien sold Topaz now?

Taylor doesn’t actually give an answer so here’s my take on O’Brien’s decision to sell.

I’m no expert on the markets but I suspect Denis O’Brien is in trouble after his failure to successfully float his company Digicel.

While Denis is fabulously rich to ordinary folk like you and me, on the Stock Market he’s just another billionaire shark swimming around looking for a kill. But great danger lurks here; when a shark attempts but fails to make a kill the other sharks immediately sense weakness and move in to attack. Financial market sharks are a species that have a particular taste for cannibalism.

And really, ‘poor’ Denis has only himself to blame for his predicament. He must have thought he was dealing with bog standard extremely obedient Irish politicians when he presented his fellow market sharks with the following terms and conditions.

Despite the company running at a loss with massive debts of $6.5 billion Denis was intending to:

Retain 61% equity stake in the company and 94% control. Ordinary investors were being offered A shares but he held on to B shares with 10 times the voting rights of every A share.

He’d have the right to decide which directors were appointed to the board, and have control over decisions such as mergers and acquisitions, sale of assets, salaries, dividend payments, and the entire direction of the company.

I imagine, after recovering from fits of laughter, the market sharks quickly got down to the serious business of sharpening their best butcher knives.

So, I think ‘poor’ Denis’ decision to sell Topaz is a desperate attempt to get in some cash, to reduce his massive loans and liabilities before he’s torn to shreds by his fellow market sharks.

Nothing personal you understand, but I hope they get him first.

Denis O’Brien and his lovely loyal lass, Martina Devlin

Ahhhh….Denis O’Brien journalist Martina Devlin has a lovely piece about Denis O’Brien in Denis O’Brien’s newspaper today.

‘Intriguing’ is how lovely Martina describes her boss’s decision to call off the floatation of his mobile operator Digicel. But that’s the amoral market for ye says the loyal Martina, that’s the Capitalist system for ya, it only cares for the bottom line – money.

Denis, of course, is not interested in the market or profit, not at all. Here’s how lovely Martina describes her boss’s pitch on the market:

He wasn’t just trading in the common currency of facts and figures; there was plain speaking, the occasional flash of self-deprecation, and several Irishisms including “we have spent a savage amount of money on our networks”.

You could see how Mr O’Brien charms people, and why he’d be in demand as an after-dinner speaker if his business empire failed.

Ahhh….isn’t he lovely all the same?

Now in fairness to the lovely Martina, she did make some criticism of her boss regarding his offer to potential shareholders.

Despite the company running at a loss with massive debts of $6.5 billion Denis was intending to:

Retain 61% equity stake in the company and 94% control. Ordinary investors were being offered A shares but he held on to B shares with 10 times the voting rights of every A share. He’d have the right to decide which directors were appointed to the board, and have control over decisions such as mergers and acquisitions, sale of assets, salaries, dividend payments, and the entire direction of the company.

Sounds like an Irish Water type deal to me.

Anyway, the lovely Martina very bravely, or perhaps foolishly, suggested that such power in the hands of one man might not rest easy with best practice.

Careful there now Martina…as Fr. Ted might say. You could lose your job or even end up in court. No….really, he will sue you, even if you are a lovely loyal lass.

Copy to:
The lovely Martina

Eoghan Harris: A ‘journalist’ with little integrity

In response to the ongoing Siteserv scandal Sunday Independent columnist Eoghan Harris has effectively admitted that he’s a coward and a man/journalist of little integrity.

On prudent reflection, I decided to take the advice of the Kerry sage, Tommy the “Kaiser” Fitzgerald: Don’t say anything, and don’t write anything, because when you put the black on the white, you are fucked boy.

What a sad end for a man who, wielding a razor sharp brain, used to tear strips from the hypocritical, arrogant and corrupt gangsters who misrule our country.

Now he’s a fully signed up toady of the rotten culture he once so brilliantly challenged. Whatever dulled his rapier like pen over the years has also dulled his mind to a state of stupidity where he effectively admits that he’s an intellectual slave to Denis O’Brien.

At least his many colleagues at ‘Independent’ Newspapers, also toadies to the master, make some effort, no matter how pathetic, at journalistic integrity.

The rest of Harris’ article accurately reflects the only ‘talent’ he still possesses – chief cheerleader for the establishment’s anti-Sinn Fein propaganda campaign. He begins this section of his article with the words:

Let me turn to a safer topic.

Propaganda is, of course, always a safe topic for a journalist because there’s no need for truth or honesty but how sad to witness any journalist actually write, in black and white, the words ‘let me turn to a safer topic’.

Copy to:
Eoghan Harris
Independent Newspapers

Government introduces fake legislation on media mergers

I wrote recently about how our state is populated by fake regulatory authorities created to give the impression that Ireland is a functional democracy while at the same time allowing white-collar criminals free rein to plunder and rob at will.

Another device employed by our corrupt political/administrative system is the creation of fake legislation to give the impression that fake regulators have the power to bring white-collar criminals to account.

The latest, and most blatant example of this legislative fakery; is the recent announcement of plans to regulate the area of media ownership.

A report in the Irish Times tells us all we need to know about the fakery of this legislation.

The report reveals:

One: The legislation is based on guidelines. In other words, powerful media moguls will be presented with the guidelines and politely asked to abide by the non-enforceable principles contained in them.

Two: The guidelines will not be retrospective. This means that the enormously powerful and dangerous media mogul Denis O’Brien can retain the massive power and influence he already wields in the media sector.

Three: The 20% limit on ownership of media outlets is a joke. The Minister tells us that the like of O’Brien would find it more difficult to carry out mergers. ‘More difficult’ is a meaningless measure that will be laughed at by the likes of O’Brien.

Four: The guidelines are expected to say it is ‘undesirable’ for one person to hold excessive influence. Again, this is an utterly meaningless measure. Again, it will be laughed at by the likes of O’Brien.

Five: In an RTE interview (Drivetime, 49′) the Minister, Alex White, peddled the lie that it was not possible to make legislation retrospective, that to do so would raise very, very significant constitutional obstacles.

Six: In the same interview, as the Minister insulted and patronized the intelligence of listeners, he announced that it will be the minister who will make the final decision on whether a merger may go ahead or not.

It is this last aspect of the legislation that really makes it fake. Alex White operates within a corrupt political system that places the interests of powerful people far above the interests of the country or its citizens.

Copy to:
Minister White

Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state

What we are witnessing as a result of the current constitutional crisis and the reactions/responses of those involved is nothing less than the final unmasking of a fact long asserted on this website – Ireland is an intrinsically corrupt state.

I believe we are now entering end game in this process. There can only be one of two outcomes.

One: The corrupt political/business powers will win out and defeat the people and democracy. If that happens Ireland will become a visible banana republic, there will be the rulers and the ruled.

The institutions of the state, which have been covertly supporting the corrupt for decades, will be openly employed to protect and promote the interests of the corrupt. The people will only be required to do what they have abeen effectively doing for decades – vote in sham elections, pay taxes and keep their mouths shut.

Or:

Two: The people will rebel against the corrupt system and take back their democracy. This has already begun with the radicalisation of a significant percentage of the people over the water tax. It is vital that this rebellion continues to grow so that it attains a degree of power sufficient to dispose of the current corrupt political sysem in its entirity.

Independent Newspapers: Not so independent anymore

Last Saturday, almost every newspaper in the land covered the constitutional crisis triggered by Denis O’Brien’s ruthless arrogance. The story was so big, so important that global media outlets such as the New York Times and the Guardian gave it top billing.

The only media outlet that practically ignored the issue was the Denis O’Brien controlled Irish Independent.

Buried deep in the issue on page 22 ‘Journallist’ John Downing outlined in an article of only 402 words a series of sentences and quotes surrounding what is one of the most imortant political stories of recent decades. There was no analysis whatsoever.

When asked about this on RTEs Saturday View Downing, with great indignance, repsonded:

There is coverage and there is a photograph of Catherine Murphy and I personally wrote this and was very careful to give fair ball to everybody.

He then adopted the same strategy as Denis O’Brien’s lacky James Morrissey of throwing a bucket of red herrings to avoid criticising his master.

Libel laws, legal compensation industry, conflict between judges and polilticians and ended his rant with this bizarre question:

Which brings us back to the question, why is there only one Monopolies Commission?

The increasingly desperate struggle by ‘journalists’ in Independent Newspapers to portray themselves as objective and professional is really becoming a bit sad.

Labour TD Joe Costello: “It is up to the media to stand by the Constitution in the first instance”

The political cowardice of Labour TD Joe Costello represents the effective abandonment by the political system of our democracy to the mercy of people like Denin O’Brien.

Here’s what the coward Costello had to say on RTE regarding the current constitutional crisis.

The constitution is absolutely clear on the rights of the members of both Houses in terms of privilege. And it states that ‘utterances made in either house wherever published shall be privileged’. I have thought that the media for too long have been subservient to big business with deep pocktes in this respect. I think in this particulaer case the media has to stand up, have to ensure that, and that includes RTE indeed, that the case that is put now in the courts is dealt with in a very comprehensive fashion.

In the first instance it is up to the media to stand by the Constitution.

Let the Irish people savour the bitter taste of the ultimate betrayal by our corrupt political system, as represented by this coward, to the interests of powerful oligarchs like O’Brien.

Copy to:
The coward Costello

Irish Water not talking to Denis O’Brien’s radio station

Newstalk broadcasters Ivan Yates and Chris O’Donoghue were lamenting the fact this morning (Part two; 7.06) that Irish Water are operating a complete ban on speaking to them because, apparently, Ivan gave the CEO of Irish Water a hard time about a year and a half ago.

Now, there are some bad people, I mean really bad people out there who might say – isn’t that mighty convenient.

One of the most listened to/influential programmes on Denis O’Brien’s radio station doesn’t have have to ask any more hard questions of Irish Water.

Some people might say the whole thing was arranged but not me.

No, I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that Denis O’Brien’s radio station would stoop to such underhand tactics, I mean, the very thought.

No, the lads are genuinely aghast at the ban, they would genuinely love to have the Irish Water CEO in, to tear him to shreds but, alas, it’s not possible.

So, the lads wonder…what to do…..I know says Ivan, let’s do a another piece on evil Sinn Fein or perhaps the violent Trotskyite water protesters.

Yes, agrees Chris, they really need to be asked some very hard questions.