Saturday 24 March 2018

When the vulture funds move on, our broken banks will be right back where they started

Michael O'Flynn
Michael O'Flynn

The Irish crisis happened because our banks were massively leveraged to over-expensive Irish property. That's it. We all know the story. Everything that happened afterwards was the consequence of this banking idiocy, not the cause of the country's economic plight. How unforgiveable would it be if this crisis ended with the Irish banks once again leveraged to expensive Irish property?

We are in the process of heading this way and this lamentable upshot could be the unintended consequences of NAMA's "success" in selling off its property portfolio to foreigners. The dynamic of foreign funds buying up Irish property at deep, deep discounts, only to sell the same assets on in a few years at a significant profit, is the Hibernian piece in a global jigsaw which is seeing the very rich get even richer.

To misquote Doctor Spock, "it's capitalism Jim, but not as we know it". This development is not vibrant capitalism, based on fair competition. It is plutocracy, based on almost monopoly access to capital and it threatens all of us.

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