Thursday 14 December 2017

Emmet Oliver: Defaulting on Anglo debts now on agenda

Emmet Oliver

These are desperate economic times. So desperate that the subject of Ireland defaulting on its bank and sovereign debts is now routine conversation among academics, bankers and economists.

However, up until now, such an idea was rarely entertained by senior politicians, but in a surprising move yesterday the leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, came very close to suggesting such a course of action when he talked about the Government "negotiating'' with bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank.

While Mr Gilmore trenchantly denied such an approach meant defaulting, he certainly came very close to that position. According to the last balance sheet published for Anglo Irish Bank, bondholders have €16.5bn invested in the bank, while other investors have €2.4bn invested in more risky subordinated bonds at Anglo.

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