Tuesday 27 June 2017

Analysis: Banks will be the winners

The end of the cheap debt era, even for those of us who didn't really feel the benefits, is actually a good thing (Stock picture)
The end of the cheap debt era, even for those of us who didn't really feel the benefits, is actually a good thing (Stock picture)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

If we know nothing else, its that interest rates are going to rise. Mario Draghi has slashed official rates to zero in a bid to kick start the economy, and the signs increasingly are that it is working.

It is a reality that we need to prepare for - the last credit shock might have come as a surprise, but the next one should not.

When borrowing costs are at an all-time low there is only one way for them to go.

For many borrowers with a cheap tracker loan, the reality of financial normalisation could come as a huge shock. Interest rates for many people could easily double.

That's good news for banks, ironically given all their efforts to strip customers of those same loans. Change will happen faster than expected.

Germany is starting to power ahead. Policymakers and households there won't tolerate low interest rates once things kick into gear. Germany is a nation of savers.

While many people here might see the low interest rates as a benefit, they see it as a tax on prudence.

The end of the cheap debt era, even for those of us who didn't really feel the benefits, is actually a good thing.

The only reason anyone is talking about raising interest rates is because the eurozone's lost decade finally looks like it's drawing to an end. Growth in markets like Germany has never been more important for Ireland. Brexit will hurt our trade with the UK. In the US the economy seems doomed to follow where politics has led.

Irish Independent

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