Thomas Molloy: Vikings dish out a lesson in capitalism to lenders
Published 28/06/2011 | 05:00
LIKE a child returning to school after the summer holidays, capitalism appears to be making a hesitant return to Europe after a three-year hiatus, which has seen ordinary citizens forced to pay heavily for the mistakes of their bankers. Not before time.
In mainland Europe, Germany and France are close to some sort of agreement that will effectively force their banks to take losses on the loans extended to Greece. There will be much talk about gentleman's agreements but only those who believe in the tooth fairy will be fooled by this nonsense; it is all just a form of words to stop the rating agencies from officially labelling what is happening in Greece a default.
It seems that Europe's politicians are giving up the unequal battle against the laws of economics and accepting that those who lent money recklessly for Europe's decade-long party must shoulder the cost of cleaning up the mess. That suggests that the foreign banks who also lent so foolishly to Sean FitzPatrick, Eugene Sheehy, Brian Goggin and the rest may yet have to share the burden along with Irish pensioners, savers and businesses who bear no fault for what happened.