One thing is certain - we always get screwed
The Central Bank Governor says we can't interfere with the banks. At least not in any way to help the little guy, says Brendan O'Connor
If we learnt anything last week, it's that there is one certainty in life. And that is that you and me and everyone we know will always get screwed.
The Governor of the Central Bank was out during the week to tell us that there is nothing he could do to change the very high variable mortgage rates charged by Irish banks, against an international background of cheap, zero and even negative wholesale interest rates. Philip Lane explained that it wouldn't be within the Central Bank's power to interfere in the arrangements between banks and their customers.
It was a sensitive week to bring up the powers of the Central Bank, when the Banking Inquiry found that the bank had adequate powers to intervene in the reckless lending that led to ruination of the country but did not. It was a sensitive week to claim the State had to keep a hands-off relationship with the banks when we were all reminded so forcibly that while we can't interfere to stop mortgage holders being scalped we could intervene to the tune of €64bn when the banks needed it; €64bn of our money, which the current head of the Central Bank says we should be paying back instead of using our money to cut taxes and/or to increase spending on things like health.