Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Burn ALL the bank bondholders

Paul Sweeney: The Irish government’s cap-doffing attitude to the speculators who lent money to the reckless bosses of Anglo Irish Bank and the other banks is incredible. It is costly. It is you and I who will pay.

The cost is staggering. It could sink this country. It will burden all of us and our children too. The Irish media is remarkably subservient to Government and banker spokespersons’ opinion that we, the taxpayers must pay all of the lending to all the creditors who lend money to private Irish banks - Anglo, Nationwide and also AIB and BOI. Who is calling the shots?

It is therefore refreshing that at least the Financial Times, a paper which knows a bit about the city and bondholders, in its main editorial on 1st November, sets the record straight for us, the Irish taxpayers. It pits us against the Government and, it seems, the opposition parties too, which are also cap-doffing to their perceived “betters”, the markets.

The FT on 1 November said: "Ireland’s leaders remain convinced they cannot force a haircut on senior bank creditors any more than on depositors or holders of Irish sovereign debt. They are mistaken. Senior debt ranks equal to deposits under insolvency rules. But a government can selectively bail out depositors of an insolvent bank in exchange for their pari passu claims on its estate, as the UK did with Icesave depositors."

“The equivalence of private and sovereign debt is a creature of Dublin’s imagination – though increasingly one of its making: the government has far too promiscuously expanded its legal guarantees of bank liabilities”, said the Financial Times.

Read on here.


Brendan Quinn said...

I don't agree with burning all the bondholders. The DoF should burn any bondholders that had lent to Anglo and to BOI/AIB/NW. Original govn. debt pre-crisis should be repaid, as well as current structural debt but not bank debt. Of course those idiots, have already reissued bonds so now its all the one. You couldn't make a finer mess if you had planned it.

paul sweeney said...

Brendan, you have a point. "All the bondholders" means the bank bondholders, not the bondholders of Government debt, as the article says. The heading is misleading.