Tuesday 21 January 2020

Bond villany

• It's getting no coverage as our media are still obsessed with the carcasses of the Moriarty and Mahon Tribunals, but today AIB will pay a senior unsecured bond of €1.25bn; that's €1,250,000,000 in rounder numbers, or €250,000,000 more than the €1.25bn Anglo bond that so exercised the nation back on

January 25.

Just as we own Anglo, lock, stock and stinking barrel, so we own AIB, and so it is that every cent of that €1.5bn is our money.

Do we thus also owe that money, is that also our debt? Is it hell -- were we ever asked if we wanted to sink our money into that rotting bank? Is that an investment you would have chosen to make? I certainly wouldn't -- those bondholders should be made to pay for their own folly.

Bear in mind also that that bond 'matures' this Wednesday, which means that over the five years of its term the 'coupon' or interest has all already been paid.

Know also that in the past six weeks AIB has already paid more than €2bn in three other separate big bonds -- again, all our money. We recapitalised AIB to the tune of billions, we'll have to go again within a couple of years.

Does anyone wonder why our banks have no money to lend? Anyone wonder why AIB has had to change the terms of its free banking lately?

Look at the €55bn in bond payments by our remaining five banks for the four years 2012 to 2015 -- an average of nearly €14bn a year -- add in the looming mortgage crisis and the shortfall the banks are facing there, and tell me what it all comes to.

This is the banking system we saved?

And that's not to even mention the promissory notes of €3.1bn a year.

Diarmuid O'Flynn
Charleville, Co Cork

Irish Independent

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