Saturday 24 March 2018

ECB must write down this €75bn odious bank debt

The shocking truth is that combined debt levels in the Irish economy are almost twice those in Greece, writes Peter Matthews

The Keane distressed mortgages report was a missed opportunity to face up to reality. Households are drowning in debt and this is crushing our economy. This harsh reality will not disappear by ignoring it or by putting it on the long finger. It can only be resolved by writing down mortgage debt across the board.

We need to have an honest discussion about the levels of debt in Ireland. The central question that needs to be answered is this: How much debt is too much for the country to handle?

Central bankers from across the world discussed the international debt crisis at a meeting in Wyoming in August. A keynote paper presented to the conference analysed the impact of the combined debt levels of governments, households and businesses on economic growth across a number of countries.

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