And so, the trick is complete, Minister Noonan's 'where's the pea' con-job on the Promissory Note for 2012 sold to the Irish public as a 'deal' that has postponed payment. The mainstream media has been mesmerised by all the sleight of hand of the past few months - where exactly did Michael slip that €3.1bn?
Our man 'Marcel-so-what' at the BofI EGM on Monday morning
Now we know. On Monday Bank of Ireland finally held their EGM and decided by an overwhelming majority (I think the final vote was over 99% 'for') to buy from NAMA the sovereign bond it (NAMA) had been ordered by Minister Noonan to purchase from Minister Noonan, a bond which will 'mature' in 2025. Well they would, wouldn't they? Bank of Ireland will simply take the cheap money on offer from the ECB (ah, generous selfless people, those ECB bankers), then charge the government (that's us, people) a nice little markup to assume this bond. Their annual take? Oh, around €38m - money for jam.
While all this has been happening though, all this moving around of the 'cups' to distract people, what has happened to the pea, or in this case, what has happened to the P Note of €3.1bn? Why, it's gone! Anglo took from NAMA the €3.1bn given to them of OUR money (thanks...), in turn gave it to our Central Bank (thanks again...) who in turn, and by order of the ECB (did I mention them earlier?), destroyed that money. Every cent of it. Thus was the Promissory Note of 2012 paid, in full.
The deal? A sordid, shameful episode of 'financial engineering' (get used to that term) whereby a problem debt of this generation's creation that was eminently arguable has been transformed into a sovereign bond, but a bond that will be paid by the NEXT generation, when Minister Noonan and his friends are long gone from office.
We've been conned, people, and even as we speak the same Minister Noonan and HIS people are looking to pull a similar con-job on us on the remaining P Notes, taking today's problem and very arguable debt and transforming it into sovereign bonds to be paid by our children, and possibly even by our children's children. Is that how you would conduct your own affairs?
Anyway, to the latest dirty dozen and watch for the bonds coming due next week. Four bonds, two each from the rotting corpses of Anglo and INBS, all four totally unsecured, coming to a total of over €1bn. My friends, we are locked in a dance of death with those zombies. Time to break free.