Monday 18 December 2017

Time to put responsibility for Anglo's black hole in the hands of its creators

Transfer to bondholders of €4,888 for every man, woman and child in the country is beyond belief, writes Marc Coleman

Last week was a great week for Anglo Irish Bank. The huge significance of Mike Aynsley's admission -- that €22bn of our money will disappear without trace into Anglo's black hole -- was drowned by a political pantomime of no real importance to anyone but FG TDs and senators.

And all of this a mere week after a banking report that raised serious questions about Anglo Irish Bank. About whether it was right to include its subordinated debt in the government guarantee scheme brought in in September 2008. About whether even more ordinary senior debt -- debt of the type not guaranteed by the UK government in the case of Northern Rock -- should have been guaranteed by the taxpayer. And last but not least, about whether the controversial deposit of Irish Life & Permanent of €7.45bn on to Anglo's books occurred with the approval -- and possibly under the initiation -- of State authorities.

If those avoiding the truth wanted to divert attention, then the timing of the failed heave against Enda Kenny was absolutely perfect. From the point of view of those trying to remove him it was ludicrously incompetent (a challenge after the Dublin mayoral election expected in autumn -- which Labour is expected to win hands down -- would have been much more effective and, who knows, this may still happen). Although he didn't intend doing so, Richard Bruton's move last week has -- at a stroke -- undone all of his excellent work during the last two years in highlighting what is wrong with the Government's handling of the banks.

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