10 November 1962 |
|Occupation||Celebrity financial advisor|
Eddie Hobbs (born 10 November 1962) is an Irish celebrity financial advisor, television presenter and author. He is known for his presenting on RTÉ shows such as Give or Take, Rip-Off Republic, Show Me the Money and 30 Things to do with your SSIA.
Hobbs worked for Zurich Life 1979 to 1991 and left his position as Marketing Manager to set up a fee-based financial planning company TIPS. In March 1993 Hobbs published a landmark report "Endowment Mortgages The Hometruth" which collapsed sales of endowment homeloans in Ireland by June 1993 after the banking and life insurance industry failed to deal with his critique. In 1995 Hobbs was made a non-executive director in the financial services firm Taylor Asset Management but resigned from it and TIPS in Jan 1996. In May 1996 after a two-month investigation, Hobbs lodged a complaint with the Irish regulator about the handling of two client files by Tony Taylor CEO of the Taylor Group. Tony Taylor fled Ireland and was located living under an alias in Eastbourne UK in 1999 by an investigator reporting to Hobbs. Taylor was extradited and pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud, forgery and destruction of documents for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. Hobbs himself was never implicated in any issues relating to company affairs and in 2007 he was exonerated by the Irish High Court and praised by the presiding judge for showing "efficiency and determination and for not standing idly" when he pursued Taylor's activities from 1995 to 1996.
In 1996 he submitted a complaint to The Competition Authority alleging that the Government supported Irish Insurance Federation Remuneration Agreement was offensive to competition law since 1991, had engendered a culture of consensus decision making, restricted competition and prevented costs and commission disclosure to consumers. The complaint was upheld in 1998 forcing the Government to introduce statutory commission and charges disclosure. The Life industry was forced to reissue its product range to comply with the Insurance Act 2000. Hobbs acted in a voluntary capacity as a director and Finance spokesperson for The Consumers association of Ireland from 1993 to 2006
He presented the RTÉ show Rip-Off Republic in 2005, a show preoccupied with artificially high development land prices, the perceived high personal taxes, corporate margins and cartels/monopolies in Ireland. In it Hobbs prophetically claimed, in a reference to land prices and inflated costs that "Ireland was eating its young". Prior to this, Hobbs presented the television show Show Me the Money, where he helped various people, from farmers to hairdressers, to improve their finances and which won two IFTA TV awards. He has also presented a three-part programme, 30 Things to do with your SSIA, in which he gives a humorous list of ideas for spending the money held in a Special Savings Incentive Account (SSIA). Notably he advised people against investing their SSIAs, along with borrowed bank money, in Irish Investment Property (RIPS and explained investment in property PLCs as a better choice. He outlined Minsky's bubble theory and suggested the Irish market was at the latter steps of it. In Show Me the Money he repeatedly advised since 2004 that property prices in Ireland are only going one way — down — and strongly advised against residential investment property purchase in Ireland. In 2007 property prices started to reverse. An outspoken populist critic of the vested interests in Ireland, especially the producer groups who "control the country", Hobbs has often repeated that "There's one game in town: development." He spoke out against Jumbo mortgages.
During the run up to the 2007 Irish general election, Hobbs and his colleague Matt Cooper presented a political programme called Polls Apart on Irish TV station TV3, in which they interview the main Irish political party leaders about what they intend to do after the election, if they were to be deemed elected into government.
He co-presented RTÉ's The Consumer Show from 2012 to 2012. He quit the show in 2012 after concerns of being 'stifled'. He regularly appears in media debates on the nature of the Irish economic austerity policy heavily critical of the cross subsidising of the public sector and inaction in dealing with Irish consumer insolvency. He presented My Civil War, a social history TV programme on the Irish Civil War with RTÉ's documentary unit. In November 2013 he presented an hour long pilot of The Give or Take Club a joint venture between Endemol, RTÉ, Independent Pictures and the Presenter
In 2004 he released Short Hands Long Pockets his first book as a fund raiser for The Jack & Jill Children's Foundation for whom he acts as patron since 2005. His second book LOOT! was published in 2006. Each book was a best seller. In March 2009, Hobbs released his third book, Debt Busters by Currach Press.
From 2007 to 2010 he acted an editorial director of monthly magazine You & Your Money owned and published by Ashville Publications.He writes two weekly columns for The Daily Star Ireland's largest selling red top. In October 2009 he launched Energise — How to Survive and Prosper in the Coming Age of Scarcity, High Inflation and Peak Oil as an eBook from his website, all profits from which go to the Irish children's charity, The Jack & Jill Foundation. He is a frequent commentator and writer on social, economic and financial affairs on Irish TV, radio and newspapers. He described the Irish Government as a captive in a widely read opinion for The Wall Street Journal in Oct 2012 "So while Time magazine and others eulogize the plucky leader of the Irish people, the truth is that Enda Kenny leads a Vichy government—captive externally to creditors that still insist on loading bank debt onto the sovereign, and internally to a tribe of insiders led by union godfathers in a deal that protects the government's own excessive pay and pensions while bankers lean over its shoulders to rewrite insolvency laws. This isn't just crony capitalism. It's crony democracy". Notably, in 2011 Eddie advised mortgage holders to fix their mortgages for a period of five years as he believed that interest rate would increase sharply, thus protecting them from increased payments for this period. Of course interest rates have now fallen dramatically to almost zero percent. Noticeably, Eddie has never come out and said that this advice was totally incorrect.
Awards and posts held
In 2005 Hobbs was awarded Honorary Patronage of the Trinity College, Dublin University Philosophical Society. He was appointed by the Irish Government as a Director of the National Consumer Agency in 2007 having served on its interim board since 2005. He resigned in 2009. In 2011 Hobbs was made an honorary life member of the University College Dublin Law Society for his contributions as a consumer advocate.
In 2013 Hobbs helped set up Own Our Oil a citizens advocacy group focused on overhauling Ireland's oil and gas licensing regime, and made a pre-Budget submission in July 2013 calling for the sale of licences to be treated like development land rezoning and subject to Capital Gains Tax of 66% to recover economic rents to the Irish people. In March 2014 Hobbs launched Own Our Oil - the Fight for Ireland's Economic Freedom a compilation of essays from a multi-disciplined team of writers covering, planning, environment, taxation, strategy, industry, geology, history, commencing a national public briefing campaign.
- B'duff or Kells for new Hobbs, RTÉ programme 21 August 2013, The Anglo-Celt.
- Liam Collins; Frank Khan (2005-09-11). "Consumer hero Hobbs 'nailed to cross' by critics". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- "Eddie Hobbs show attracts record viewers". BreakingNews.ie. 2005-08-17. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- "Thirty Things To Do With Your SSAI With Eddie Hobbs". Presspack. RTÉ. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- "Time's up for our Bertie, says Hobbs". Irish Independent. 2007-05-06. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- Breda Heffernan (2012-11-20). "Eddie Hobbs quits RTÉ 'Consumer Show' show after concerns of being 'stifled'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- "Local Toymaster stores support Jack and Jill". Bray People. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- "Eddie Hobbs launches oil and gas tax reform campaign". BreakingNews.ie. 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
- Mark Paul (2013-07-26). "A slick move by Hobbs". Irish Times. Retrieved 2013-08-26.