Clinton proposes bond scheme

Presidential hopeful and US Senator Hilary Clinton has suggested a bond scheme to rasie billions to invest in the Northern Ireland economy.

  • curious

    Good for our Hilary. I would vote for her to become President any day of the week.

  • JG

    Throwing good money after bad?

  • carlosblancos

    The last Assembly issued its own bonds through the London Treasury no?

  • She said that the money could be used to fund Northern Ireland companies hoping to move into the international market.

    Very wooly thinking here. A Northern Ireland company wants to expand into the international market, so the government (presumably the NI Executive?) incurs some debt and gives it to the company to expand, and the taxpayer finances the debt? Is the company expected to pay the cost of the bonds back? And on what terms?

    And why wouldn’t Northern Ireland companies interested in expanding abroad and with credible plans for doing so not be able to get the money from some venture capitalists, which costs the taxpayer nothing?

    Sounds like a cheap stunt aimed at the Irish-American vote; lack of money is not our problem, spending it wisely is our problem, and I don’t think taking money out on the never-never and dumping the debt on our kids is any solution.

    If Hilary really wanted to help our economy, she could introduce some of her Sunnyvale/Mountain View venutre capitalist partners to some of the right people over here, and maybe spend a bit of money employing some extremely expensive fat capitalist pig to work in Invest NI on this stuff, as long they were actually any good.

  • Dewi

    Why’s the extremely expensive capitalist pig got to be fat Sammy ?

  • John East Belfast

    Yes it looks like what she is proposing here is Risk Free investing in the US Economy by US Investors underwritten by the UK Treasury !

    ie the US investor lends the money to the NI Govt (which will effectively have it guaranteed by the UK Treasury)who then lends it to the NI Company who would not be able to raise the money in normal commercial markets because their venture is deemed too risky. The NI Company then takes the money and invests in the USA.

    If it all goes well then everyone is happy.

    if it goes bad the NI company goes bust and defaults on the NI Treasury Bond and then the NI Govt who already have a £5bn per annum shortfall go cap in hand to the UK Treasury so as not to default on the US lender. The latter then walks away with his money.

    Brilliant scheme for the US !!

  • Why’s the extremely expensive capitalist pig got to be fat Sammy ?

    I’m just indulging in a bit of nakedly prejudiced stereotyping, Dewi – these days, I suppose a Californian capitalist pig these days is more likely to be fruitarian and spends his days sending e-mails from his Crackberry while jogging on a Stairmaster.

  • lib2016


    All sides agree that our infrastructure is dire and that London is unlikely to fund us ahead of the Southeast of England where the infrastructure is also in need of huge investment.

    This is how the various American states fund their development plans and the Clinton’s have a hell of a record in managing the American economy.

    Let’s not write her ideas off too quickly.

  • Yokel

    And just exactly how and where is all this money to be spent?

  • lib2016


    We have an Assembly to decide that. Decent roads would be one place to start.

  • We have an Assembly to decide that. Decent roads would be one place to start.

    Now, if it was something nice and concrete like roads we were talking about, I’d be interested (after government economists and a few capitalist pig economists had cost-benefited any proposal to smithereens). But if you follow the link, that’s not what Clinton was talking about… if you want Business Angels, have Business Angels, if you want to issue bonds to pay for infrastructure, that’s OK but issuing government bonds to fund high risk business ventures sounds mad to me. Sorry.

    Also, what the Roads Service has in the pipeline might do us very well for roads over the next decade or so… not to mention what might come up from the South via the NDP. The fact that people are talking seriously about buck stupid things like building a bridge across Carlingford Lough doesn’t indicate we’re desperately short of roads cash. I’d like to accelerate dualling Toome to Derry and building a free-flow M2/Westlink interchange, probably our two most necessary road improvements, but there are lots of other good things either being built or about to be built.

    I’d like them to think about dualling the A3 from the M12 at Portadown via Armagh to the border, connecting with a road intersecting with the N6 at Athlone, the N7 at Roscrea and merging with N8 near Cashel, which would mean traffic from the North to Munster and the West could avoid Dublin. Which would do our ports up here no end of good, and enable one to go to nice bits of the Free State while avoiding the Red Cow roundabout. And we might have been well on our way to this if we hadn’t squandered our Euromillions on make-work schemes for retired paramilitaries…

  • confused

    Why O why do you not mention the A26 from Ballymena to Coleraine.
    This is Big Ian’s backyard and must be high on the agenda.

  • Turgon


    I agree but would suggest the South West is pretty poorly supplied with roads as well. Can we have a better road from Dungannon to Enniskillen. Also something from Enniskillen to Londonderry and Omagh to all three of these places. I know I have an old and slow car and drive fairly slowly but sometimes it seems like seasons change between the end of the M1 and Enniskillen. By the way no I do not wear a hat whilst driving.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Hilary’s ideas aren’t really anything new. I remember Blair/Brown promoting the idea of a loan from the treasury back in the earlier Assembly, which they proposed in an effort to stop us pestering them for more money via reform of the Barnett formula. We may even have signed up to that, I can’t remember. Either way, NI can’t issue bonds by itself, and I have a suspicion that enabling it to do so would entail a constitutional change that the Brits are unlikely to want to contemplate.

    Additionally, InvestNI already uses government money to fund business ventures. There’s plenty of controversy over how they decide to spend the money that’s allocated to them as it is.

    Regarding roads spending, I think we’re doing alright, and the Roads Service has a pretty full book going forward for the next 10-15 years (see this excellent site). In fact, the Roads Service at times seems to have too much money as other posters have indicated. For example, right now they’re re-surfacing the A2 at Jordanstown between Whiteabbey village and Greenisland. The road surface there is in perfectly good condition, free from potholes and generally has good tarmac, so why are they doing this ? Meanwhile, the A2 between Greencastle and the Doagh Road junction has a manky old concrete surface, full of potholes and patches, which has been that way since the 1970s and hasn’t been resurfaced once. Go figure.

  • narrow water

    “The fact that people are talking seriously about buck stupid things like building a bridge across Carlingford Lough doesn’t indicate we’re desperately short of roads cash”

    Sammy Morse

    Sammy it has to be said that most of your commentary on here is level headed and well informed and your election coverage was second to none.

    The above comment though shows that even the most level headed people occasionally take leave of their senses.

    Firstly the bridge is an absolute neccessity rather than being as you so nicely put it “Buck Stupid”.

    It has been mooted for decades and it looks like it is finally going to come to fruition not because of the norths road service prioritisation but because of the souths NDP.

    The bridge is ESSENTIAL ! Geddit !

    As a way of promoting tourism and as far as linking two areas of outstanding natural beauty is concerned it is an absolute win-win project.

    For a smallish outlay Warrenpoint and Omeath would effectively be two miles apart rather than 14 miles. The area could be marketed as one for tourism purposes and visitors could move freely between the mountains of Mourne and the Cooleys opposite.

    Your trite comment shows your ignorance of this important and neccessary development which will provide untold benefits to both Warrenpoint/Rostrevor and Omeath/Carlingford in the years to come should it go ahead in the face of petty detractors such as yourself.

  • Gerry Kelly

    She should concentrate on giving Bill a Monica. She is not needed in Ireland.

  • lib2016

    Dublin Port is becoming too small and Greenore is ripe for further development. Modern small container vessels are in and out so fast that the harbour itself can be developed but road and rail acess is crucial.

    It will take tolls, bonds or whatever other means are required to finance the roads but we are really going to have to shake our ideas up if we are to take our place in an all-Ireland economy.

  • narrow water

    Greenore is ripe for further development.


    I agree with the above point and it would make great sense for the development of the harbours at Warrenpoint and Greenore to happen in partnership, in a planned fashion and certainly not in competition. The development of both ports in tandem is economically viable and altogether a good thing so long as the roads infrastructure is put in place alongside.

    Instant priorities therefore are decent roads from Greenore to Newry and Dundalk and the bridge across the lough at Narrow Water. Furthermore a southern relief road from the Warrenpoint dual carraigeway to skirt Newry and link into the new road south at Cloghogue.