Saturday 21 April 2018

Brendan Keenan: Reduced deficits a no-brainer but little hope of it happening

The politics of tackling the promissory notes, though tricky, may not be impossible

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

THERE, the number is out, but good luck to you if spotted it, and even more if you are able to find it.

The number is a big one -- €3bn a year. It came out during the kerfuffle about the repayment of more than a billion in debts of the former Anglo Irish Bank to those who hold the bank's bonds -- its promise to pay.

I always thought it a bit unfair to call senior bondholders in the banks "speculators", or even "reckless speculators". Those who bought Anglo bonds were perhaps a bit more speculative -- certainly more gullible -- than others, but senior debt in regulated banks is where the safe money is supposed to go -- where one would hope the trustees and managers were putting one's pension contributions or investments in "carefully managed" funds.

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