The A to Z of austerity

The economic twitterati, led by @irishexaminer columnist and professor of finance at Trinity College Dublin Brian Lucey (@brianmlucey) and assisted by Margaret Harrington (@curtainqueen) and @auntiedote, crowd-sourced an Irish-centric Austerity Dictionary, a tongue-in-cheekish look at the words used by us all on a daily basis as we try to make sense of our world.

4: Amount by which BBC salaries are multiplied to get equivalent levels at RTÉ.

52: Typical age at which senior civil servants are entitled to retire on fat pensions.

AAA: Austerity anonymous ahoy.

Acting the Cowen: To deny that a bailout happens when it’s inevitable, and more than likely, it happens the next day.

Adjustment: Government process of deciding who gets to live and die, while feathering its own nest.

AIB: Another Irish bailout.

An Anglo: An obscene but unquantifiable amount, typical usage; that will cost you an Anglo to repair.

Arseterity (noun) a pain in the arse brought on by austerity.

ATM: A three-letter word, preceded by the phrase “no money in the” used to frighten the bejaysus out of Joe Soaps.

Austerity (n): The taking of money from passive citizens and giving it to wealthy gamblers.

Austerity dictionary: A lexicon describing the semantic disparity between a government’s and society’s understanding of the same economic lexis.

Australia: Destination of the unemployed since 1788 to the present.

Bailout: Monies given to allegedly help a nation, which really only end back in the donor countries’ banking system.

Balanced budget multiplier: Random negative numbers.

Balanced budget: When there’s no economy left, income = expenditure (= 0).

Bank: A failed device that continues to extract money after failure.

Bank guarantee: A guarantee that every bank in the state is fubard.

Begrudgery (n): The most popular sport in Ireland. A bored game. Played everywhere. Team sport. All ages.

Belt tightening: (1): Citizen coping with; (2): Politician eating a large subsidised meal.

Bertied: To have people come up and give you bags of money and houses, for no favours asked. Believed to be a mythical state.

Big Phil: ie, “doing a Big Phil”, where aristocratic elites make sure no poor people live within 50km of their palaces.

Bond yield: Key indicator of economic health irrespective of ECB picking up tab for investors in event if default.

Bondholder: Synonym for fireproof.

Brown envelope: A no-questions asked method of “payment” to politician created by Charlie Haughey.

Brownian motion: The movement of the eyebrows of a powerful TV presenter when presented with a TD talking shite.

Budget: The financing of an economy with the agreement of the German government.

Budgetary correction: Where you get to correct your budget so the government can maintain theirs.

Capital flight: What young people are doing, mostly to Australia.

Career counsellor: An optional role in schools, rarely needed more.

Celebrity economist: Anybody who has the audacity to suggest anything other than “consensus”. (see consensus)

Central Bank of Ireland: Subsidiary of Deutsche Bundesbank.

Colemanificate: To berate academics regardless of the issue at hand.

Consensus: “We’re doing it, so you’d just better get fecking used to it.”

Consequences: Repercussion of law breaking or over indebtedness. Not applicable to politicians or CEOs.

Cowenisation: To create a rolling omnishambles and then to retire and go to California to share your experiences.

Credit crunch: The saw-like motion, of the canine teeth of a banker, on a sandwich filled with imported prawns.

Crocodile tears. The faux outrage of union leaders at private sector non-unionised job losses.

Croke Park agreement: A win-win result for government and public sector, or a fictional story about productivity.

Croke Park: Source of energy for ongoing recession.

Dáil Éireann: Lowest house of Bundestag with no power to do anything but listen passively.

Debt ceiling: See blackmail.

Debt forgiveness: A confession box for bankers and politicians with a one-way lock on outside. Not available in Ireland

December budget (n): A very high, impenetrable wall that separates Irish people from a Christmas to look forward to.

Default: What it is of the people who partied but not of the people who gave them the money.

Democracy: [Error: File not found]

Dempsey: To know nothing, or something that definitely won’t happen.

Diaspora: A term for a vast pool of potential suckers who can be tapped for money in return for SFA.

Disposable income (n): The imagined contents of an empty wallet. Aspirational.

Domestic consumption: Ireland as the auld sow eating her farrow.

Dropbox: The inside left pocket of a suit jacket, worn by an elected member.

Duberliner: Official EU title for (former Irish) citizens now living in the extended state of Germany known as Berlin.

ECB (v): To repeat the mistakes of the 1930s in a belief that the 2010s are really the 1920s.

Economic sovereignty: Having the ability to chose whose turn it is to rip off your country.

Economist: Artists masquerading as scientists and earning income from public performance, or, examiner of (backward looking) data, prescribing for future based on hunch. Or need to sell book, or hurler on ditch.

Economists: Individuals who can explain what happened, argue about what is happening but haven’t a notion what will happen.

EFSF: European fraudsters steal freedom.

Election promise (v): A pledge of action given before a plebiscite which has no validity afterwards.

Emigrant: A one-unit reduction in the live register.

Emigration: The Government’s policy for tackling unemployment figures.

Endapendence: (n): A state of economic sovereignty under the “rule” of Enda Kenny.

Entertainment service: A measure by which a broadcaster fleeces the vulnerable of what little money they have.

ESM: Giving stability to the poor wee bankers, at the cost of the citizens, or a welfare fund for banks funded by citizens of Europe.

EU: Strategy to dis-unite the people of Europe. NB: More successful than the previous two world wars.

Euro area convergence: Euro area divergence.

Euro Crisis: A chronic condition lasting a whole generation.

Euro: The destruction of several countries’ prosperity.

Expansionary fiscal contraction: A myth.

Expert group: Government fudge to avoid decision-making.

Export-led recovery: Export most of our people, thereby cutting unemployment and social welfare payments.

Exports: Irish people who have emigrated to find jobs.

Feta: A type of cheese which, according to Finance Minister Noonan, is as difficult to buy as an Irish politician.

Famnesia: An attempted rebranding of political party who oversaw events leading to loss of independence and sovereignty.

Fianna Fáil: Not Fine Gael.

Fine Gael: Not Fianna Fáil.

Fiscal adjustment (n): Emptying the pockets of the taxpayer by rotating through 180 degrees.

Fiscal compact: Making austerity look good, see also “lipstick on a pig”.

Fiscal compact: See: Race to the bottom.

Fiscal prudence: Road to ruin.

Fiscal responsibility: Where you get to be responsible for the irresponsibility of government and banking.

Fiscal stability (n): A dream sequence in the land of clouds and cuckoos.

Frankfurter: A powerful woman attempting to rid the universe of an Ireland, a great little country to do business in.

Fraud: A word not applicable to politicians or bankers.

Full recourse: A family’s long-term fear of extortion and ruin, used by Irish banks as a form of capital.

Fundamentals: As in the fundamentals are strong, a form of delusion that ignores the facts as they really are.

Ghost estate: Beyond the pale void we have been staring at so long it begins to look back.

Gilmorise: To hold strong views on social justice and equality and fail utterly to deliver.

Going forward and turning a corner: The actions of a mule, or beast of burden, working at a grindstone

Going forward: (1): Going backward, as fast as possible, towards the Famine; (2): Old Hiberno-Irish. Extinct phrase replacing future for a short period late 20th century. b.1994 d.2008; (3): Term used to lull Irish people into the belief that strategic financial and economic planning was in place.

Goldmansachs: A form of alchemy where everything can in fact be monetised.

Government: (1): This entry was deleted as it seemed to serve no function whatsoever; (2): See: Troika.Government liquidity: The Dáil bar.

Granularity: Definition not found. NB: The lexicographers do not believe this to be a word.

Greece: Not a poster boy.

Green shoots; Mythical growth signs seen only by government ministers.

Green shoots: Early warning of a double/triple-dip recession when sighting mentioned by government press officers.

Green jersey: To urge a wholly unjustified belief on someone when all evidence points to the opposite

Hard choices: Deciding which vulnerable people in society become impoverished to maintain your own salary and pension.

Hope. An extinct feeling.

Hospital bed: Antiquated version of a trolley.

Household charge (family home tax): A contribution from hard-pressed families to pay county manager’s huge salaries

HSE (n, v, obscene): A curse or invectice “you’ve made a right HSE of it”, “you have HSE’d that up rightly”. Iceland: Magical place where we all wish we lived.

IMF: A multinational organisation that validates as infallible EU solutions which EU is working on replacing due to their failure.

Incentive economics: Policy to cut taxes for the rich.

Ireland: (1): Poster boy for Europe; (2): Deeply indebted island on European periphery; (3): State of purgatory.

Job bridge: (1): Fabled bridge to Jobland where the beneficent creators give jobs to jobseekers; (2): Exploiting the unemployed to profit wealthy corporations. Joined up thinking: See Luas….

Job Creighton (n): Lucinda Creighton’s “theory” how to create “millions of jobs”.

Kamikaze politics: Becoming a junior coalition party.

Labour market reform: Reduce worker’s wages.

Labouring: A process whereby a political party becomes more and more like the Greens.

Lenihan (n): A snap decision, made under extreme duress and without rationale; ultimately catastrophic.

Liquidity trap: Realising you’re out of wine and have no cash left.

Lisbonising: Voting until you get it right.

Luxuries: Examples include water, clothing and toilet roll.

Marian: Radio programme where those immune from cuts discuss impact on others.

Means: That which the poor have lived beyond, now marked for transfer to the rich.

Ming: To be neither pro-life nor pro-choice but pro-turf.

Monetary adjustment: Where you adjust your monies so that government employees wont have to adjust theirs.

Moral hazard: The risk you run when electing amoral feckless clientilst politicians.

Morgankellificate: To be lambasted by politicians with suggestions of suicide for correctly predicting the bursting of the property bubble.

Mortgage: See millstone.

Mortgage: Ways and means of enslaving generations of potential employees.

Muppets: Collective noun for a group of Ireland’s bailoutnegotiators.

Nama: Second word in a song sung by muppets. As in ‘Me Nama, nah… do do dee do do’. Acronym, from Irish “Níl aon moola agam”, trans “I have no more money”.

National interest: Common term to advance the interests of banks and the markets

Noonanificate: Speak soothingly in a calm grandfatherly fashion about how this hurts you more than it hurts them.

Not a silver bullet: Doesn’t kill werewolves. Absolves politicians of any responsibility when stupid ideas don’t work.

O’Dea-ious: To sport a moustache after the end of Movember.

Panacea: The blindingly obvious solution that can’t be enacted due to the wants of special interest groups.

Partied: Activity engaged in by everybody in Ireland.

Partnership: The process whereby the defenceless are extorted to reward the few.

Party (v): Something all Irish citizens did ca mid-90s-2008. Believed to cause economic catastrophes.

Pillar banks: Created to give the illusion Ireland is back in business and lending to business.

Politician (n): A very highly paid public servant who blames all the ills of the country on lowly paid public servants.

Poverty: The future.

Promissory note: An ongoing nightmare from which there seems no escape.

Property: Root of all evil. See: Money.

Public interest director: Oxymoron.

Public sector worker: Person deemed culpable for all that is wrong in Ireland circa 2007-to date. See also, whipping boy.

Public sector: See scapegoat.

Quango (n) (1): A body set up by Government to do its work which can be blamed when said work causes problems; (2): Place where councillors go to die.

Quantitative easing: See Homeopathy.

Recapitalisation: (1): Putting monies into black holes of unknown size; (2): an unknowable unknown.

Recession: Opportunity for protected economists to whinge about everything while defending their own exorbitant salaries.

Red cent: A mystical unit of currency created by Fine Gael usage “not another red cent”.

Referendum: A question posed to the Irish people as many times as required until the correct answer is achieved.

Reform: See: Cuts.

Renewal: The party that caused austerity rebrands.

Renters: Those who didn’t join in the property madness and who now have to help pay to clean up the mess.

Repayment: Only made by the little people on your behalf after your gambling goes wrong. Also known as a win-win.

Reshamble: ‘Reform’ under-performing organisation simply by renaming it, eg, Fás/Solas

RTÉ: Reassure the electorate.

Seismic (adj): Describing outcomes of little or no consequence (eg, “seismic shift” in EU bank policy ca Jun 2012).

Senate: Political home for the vote- impoverished. See also: Cronies and Highly paid.

Smart economy: A meaningless phrase thrown out by political sorts when they really don’t know what they are talking about.

Social perknership: Where union leaders on €130k and employers on more urge poorer paid to sacrifice.

Social porknership: Where union leaders in exchange for a lack of criticism land jobs on state boards.

Social welfare: Monies which could be used for promissory notes but somehow gets diverted.

Socialist: See Bertie.

Soft landing (adk): Hard-as-hell landing; (n): Sagging wooden floor between bedrooms (because of rising damp and lack of funds to heat house).

Solidarity: Where the people must support each other, because those in authority surely won’t.

Special advisor (v): The hiring of a friend at huge expense to taxpayers to tell you what you were hired to do; (n): Those who must be paid more than politicians, to justify the cuts to the poor by politicians.

Special case: (1): A country which deserves a debt writeoff (cf Greece); (2): A country which deserves a debt (cf Ireland).

Stability and growth pact: An accord to destabilise a group of advanced economies onto downward real GDP trajectory.

Stammerspeak: Language employed by Labour and Fine Gael when reminded of their “not one cent more” pledges.

Standard and poor: Simplified social welfare recipient categories for 2013.

Standing up to the banks: A governmental maxim, meaning “not standing up to the banks”.

Structural unemployment: Common term thrown to defend austerity.

Subsistence level: The quantity of insoluble material within a Fianna Fáil think tank.

Summit: A place European leaders meet to plan a race to the bottom.

Systemic: Too complicated for all you simpletons to understand so just leave us to it.

Tax break: the point at which the poor are broke too pay for the banks.

Tax: Something the poor have to pay.

The dithering (n): A daily event held by Irish politicians.

The gathering (n): An assembly or meeting of people with the express purpose of proving Gabriel Byrne wrong.

The markets: A semi-mythical set of beings that must be placated by sacrificing our futures to build confidence.

The unemployed: The people you try to blame to take the focus away from the true causes.

Trade deficit: The realisation you can’t get a bloody plumber because they are all in a mine in western Australia.

Troika (v): To attempt to turn a group of people into Germans.

Turning a corner (v): Continuing at precisely the same angle around a perfectly circular circuit.

Turning a corner: Process of endless downward spiralling.

UK: A place of absolution from one’s debts for bankers and developers.

Unemployment rate: Irrelevant measure in the context of economic performance. See: Bond yield.

Wallaced: A state of perpetual dishevelment and tonsorial catastrophe.

Washington consensus: Recipe for lost decade(s).

Zombie bank: Ghoulish unkillable horror creature.

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