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Paying hard cash to Anglo bondholders is politically toxic

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Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has introduced new rules for first-time buyers

Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has introduced new rules for first-time buyers

Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has introduced new rules for first-time buyers

The economy is on the up, money is flowing back into the Exchequer and we are now finally starting to cut the national debt.

But, as ever Anglo Irish Bank remains the ghost at the feast. Confirmation is expected today that the liquidation of IBRC, the renamed bank, has gone better than anticipated.

So much so that subordinated bondholders are in line for a payout, potentially of hundreds of millions of euro.

Paying hard cash to junior bondholders of the failed Anglo Irish Bank is galling.

Only this week the head of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, reiterated his view of the futility of guaranteeing so-called subordinated bondholders of Anglo Irish Bank, back in 2008.

This time around, the money is only there because the Anglo Irish Bank liquidation has gone better than initially expected, including recouping €1.1bn for taxpayers.

But paying Anglo Irish Bank bondholders, whose investment would have failed without massive Government support, is still politically toxic for the Coalition.

That is one reason not to expect to see cheques being rushed out.

Today's figures will indicate that the so-called "surplus" from the liquidation of IBRC is enough to pay something to almost all classes of the bank's creditors.

But in the case of the former Anglo things are never simple.

IBRC is embroiled in a range of legal actions, including the epic multi-strand cases involving the Quinn family.

The sums at stake run into billions of euro and the costs are potentially almost as epic. Money to cover those cases must be set aside, under the special liquidation process.

The litigation could run for years, and the outcomes are uncertain.

Junior bondholders might be waking up today to good news, but they can think again if they believe they will get their hands on the Anglo millions anytime soon.

Irish Independent