Monday 25 September 2017

Donal Lynch: Striking a blow for 'the debt set'

Patrick Honohan urges a tough line on investment property debt while brother Ed urges leniency on home owners, writes

Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank
Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank
Ed Honohan, Master of the High Court

Donal Lynch

IT'S been two years now since Senator Shane Ross described the powerful Honohan brothers as "heroes". This week Patrick, the governor of the Central Bank, spoke with a historian's calm remove of the anger and dismay in this country at the Anglo Tapes. He assured the German broadsheet, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, that "the hubris of the past has definitely gone" in Ireland's banking sector.

In one way you knew what he meant. Six years and untold billions down the line it's hard to imagine that even privately our bankers are using tones as "buccaneering" (to use his word) as those audible on the Anglo Tapes.

Why did we presume him to be a hero? (Shane Ross wasn't the only one who sang his praises – Philip Lane, an economics professor at Trinity College Dublin, said that Honohan had 'cleans hands' since he hadn't been in charge during the boom).

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