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Posts Tagged ‘irish banking crisis’

Ireland Banking Crisis Cost Grows: Another $ 34 Billion from Irish Taxpayers Required

April 4th, 2011 Comments off

According to the Central Bank of Ireland, the cost of bailing out the Irish banks from the cost of their reckless business  decisions has increased by another $34 billion, on top of approximately $65 billion already spent. This news coincided with Fitch announcing another downgrade on Irish government debt. The current bill Irish taxpayers are being forced to swallow for covering the cost of the follies of the bankers is now a staggering seventy billion euros, or more than $100 billion dollars.

Hank Calenti, responsible for bank credit research at Societe Generale, said it will take another twenty years for the Irish people to pay off the money borrowed by Dublin to cover the cost of the decision by the Irish government to guarantee all the financial obligations of the private banks in the country. This means that every man, woman and child currently living in the Irish Republic is responsible for more than $20,000 in loan repayments to save their banking elite from the cost of their mistakes. Instead, it is the Irish people who will cover the losses, without any vote or input on the matter. Thus, in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, this is what passes for Western democracy.

 

 

2011 Economic Crisis: Disturbing Signs On The Horizon

December 29th, 2010 Comments off

As a new year is about to dawn,  despite (and perhaps because of) massive government and central bank intervention in advanced and major economies, worrying signs are proliferating along with the contrived optimism about a supposed rebound  in global economic growth. Among the many clouds on the horizon regarding the global economic outlook for 2011, here are three:

1. Greek sovereign debt crisis not cured by the massive Eurozone and IMF bailout. Knowledgeable observers have pointed out that mathematically, it is not possible for the Greek state to deflate its economy in line with deficit reduction commitments required under terms of the bailout package, while simultaneously engineering a miraculous return to robust economic growth at a level sufficient to service the exploding public debt. There is already word being leaked to the Greek press by government officials that after the current bailout package expires in 2013, Athens will seek to restructure its sovereign debt.

2.  Irish banking crisis far from over. After receiving a staggering level of bailout assistance from the EU and IMF to cover the country’s insolvency due to guaranteeing the obligations of Anglo Irish Bank ( along with all other banking institutions in Ireland), the Dublin authorities were forced to inject nearly $5 billion into Allied Irish Banks, another bankrupt institution. As with Greece, it seems almost a certainty that Ireland will eventually seek to restructure its public debt.

3.  China, the one ray of hope in the global economy due to massive government injections of liquidity that have led to high levels of supposed growth during the global economic crisis, is now beginning to raise interest rates in a frantic effort aimed at reining in  burgeoning levels of price inflation. This could lead to a tightening in the Chinese economy, combined with a catastrophic deflation in the Chinese real estate market. Any downturn in China will reverberate with dire impact on the overall global economy.

Other than these three items, no need to worry, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and a horde of policymakers assure us that their bouts of quantitative easing  and unprecedented levels of sovereign debt will somehow usher in a nirvana of good economic times. Unless, of course, you like I have no confidence in those who currently are the masters of our economic destiny.

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Irish Debt and Banking Crisis Creates Political Time Bomb in Ireland

November 20th, 2010 Comments off

At first the Irish government, headed by Brian Cowen, the Taoiseach, denied the reports that Dublin was talking to the European Central Bank about a bailout. But with the ECB, EU and IMF shuttling into Dublin by the planeload for meetings with key Irish economic and financial policymakers, Cowen and his ruling party have been forced to admit what the whole world already knew; Ireland is in advanced negotiations with the ECB and IMF for a vast financial bailout, measured in the tens of billions of euros.

In a fierce editorial, the Irish Times asked rhetorically; is this what Irish patriots sacrificed their lives for in the Easter Rebellion of 1916? As the editorial points out, Ireland struggled for its national sovereignty, not for a corrupt and incompetent clique of politicians to bankrupt the nation, forcing it to beg for a handout, in the process eroding what is left of its national sovereignty.

As  in Iceland and Greece, the financial and economic crisis in Ireland, in her case driven by the reckless speculation of the Anglo-Irish Bank that necessitated a massive taxpayer bailout (according to the same politicians who allowed the speculation in the first place) is about to morph into a political crisis. Until recently, some commentators have expressed amazement at the restraint of the Irish people, as their taxes exploded along with the unemployment rate, while social spending plummeted in order to finance the massive bailout costs involved in rescuing Anglo-Irish Bank. However, with the combination of a looming bailout with strings attached, coming after the outright deception of the Irish government, public anger may be about to explode. The revised Anglo-Irish bailout costs will push Ireland’s deficit to an incredulous 35 percent of GDP. This is not only unsustainable; it will break the back of what is left of social restraint in Ireland. The bailout package being put together by the ECB and IMF is unlikely to prevent the public outrage that will gather momentum, as hinted at in the Irish Times editorial.

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Ireland’s Banking and Economic Crisis: Toxic Loans Surpass Estimate of Irish Government

March 31st, 2010 Comments off

Prior to Greece becoming the economic and financial basket case of Europe, it was Ireland that held that  dubious distinction. For when the global economic and financial crisis detonated with full fury in the fall of 2008, Ireland’s own version of the real estate asset bubble imploded, transforming the balance sheets of the nation’s major banks into a toxic waste dump.

As with  America and the UK, Irish politicians informed their nation’s citizens that the big banks must not be allowed to fail, and therefore the taxpayers would pay for the egregious financial miscalculations of the high-priced “talent” that led these Irish  financial institutions into the abyss. While the United States came up with its TARP taxpayers bailout, Ireland formulated its own unique response, the so-called NAMA, the acronym for National Asset Management Agency. NAMA was, in effect, a “bad bank,” which would take the toxic assets off the balance sheets of Ireland’s large banks, in particular the Anglo Irish bank, in return for sovereign bonds. The expectation was that Irish taxpayers would have to accept large losses, but in return the nation’s banks would return to fiscal health, and be able to resume normal patterns of credit and loan creation.

The “bad bank” approach had many critics, appalled that taxpayers money was being used to backstop  private sector losses, in exchange for vague promises by politicians that the end result would be therapeutic for the national economy’s ills. No less an authority than Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize winning economist, expressed great scepticism over the efficacy of Dublin’s taxpayer funded bank bailout. Onward with the “bad bank” concept the government proceeded, anyways, oblivious to its critics.

Now the Irish political leadership has informed its sombre citizenry that the banking crisis was far worse than first believed. When NAMA was first established, the authorities believed that the toxic loans being acquired for the “bad bank” would need to be discounted by 30%. Now, an embarrassed government concedes, the actual discount of these toxic loans are coming in at a far worse level, a miserable 47%. Ireland’s beleaguered Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, has stated that the Anglo Irish bank alone would be receiving from the taxpayers €8.3 billion in just the coming week, with a strong possibility that an additional €10 billion would almost certainly be required to cover anticipated losses at Anglo Irish Bank. All told, it is now being declared by Dublin that toxic loans by Ireland’s banks may cost taxpayers  a staggering €32 billion, equal to more than $43 billion at the current exchange rate. Considering that Ireland has a population of 6.2 million, this reflects a charge of nearly $7000 for every Irish man, woman and child towards the cost of bailing out financial institutions that, in the words of Finance Minister Lenihan, “played fast and loose” with Ireland’s national economy.