Tuesday, 28 August 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN w/e Sep 2nd 2012

'We affirm that it is imperative to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns.'

That was the opening line in the now-famous EuroZone leaders' statement after their meeting at the end of June. Two months later and back in dear old Ireland that circle is as vicious as ever.

On September 3rd - this coming Monday - Anglo Irish Bank (you can have your IBRC, a name-change won't disguise who and what they are) will pay a bond of €600,000,000.

On Monday October 1st, just four weeks later, AIB will pay a bond of €1,000,000,000.

Between times Bank of Ireland and AIB will pay a few smaller bonds, amounting to a 'mere' €14,500,000; afterwards, and per the table below, before the next 12 bonds have been paid our banks will have paid out almost an additional €2bn.

The argument will be made in the media - if they bother to cover this at all, which they probably won't - that many of these bonds are now guaranteed (the Oct 1st billion-euro bond is not). So what? 

In the first place this is still money being sucked from the Irish economy, which partially explains why our two so-called 'pillar' banks are in such dire straits.

In the second place, why were those now guaranteed bonds taken out in the first place (pardon the convoluted question)? Look at the Anglo €600,000,000 bond - it was taken out two years ago, Sep 3rd 2010, at a time when Anglo was already well and truly a zombie bank. For what? To pay bonds, that's for what, just another version of the odious Promissory Notes.

We must stop this madness. We're being warned of possible street-light turn-off, of possible ambulance shortages, because of a shortfall of €60m in the Household Charge collection; James Reilly has issued a circular in the Dept of Health alerting them to possible cuts in the HSE for next year of over €900,000,000, assuring them that 'services won't be affected'. How the hell can the already hugely disrupted services not be affected  even further by a cut as deep as this.

And meanwhile, our banks - all of which we own, bar one, Bank of Ireland, in which we have a one-sixth share - continue to pay out billions in failed bonds. The vicious circle, the vortex into which we've been thrown by the ECB - when do we start to fight our way back?

Monday, 20 August 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN - w/e Aug 26th 2012

Late last week our media went to war again on behalf of the government, scaremongering about possible cuts in local services because of the continuing non-registration by a huge number of home-owners for the Household Charge tax, a reported shortfall of €60,000,000. Street-lights would be turned off, they warned, ambulance services cut - a blatant effort to turn neighbour against neighbour.

 Such a pity the same media won't go to war on behalf of the people. Have a look at the bonds below, the next 12 bonds due. Have a look at the bond at the top of the list - €600,000,000, Anglo, Sep 3rd, ten times the Household Charge shortfall. A zombie bank owned in its rotten entireity by us, the people. Have a look at the bond due on Oct 1st, one billion euro - €1,000,000,000; that's with AIB, which we own 99.8%. Just two bonds, a total of €1,600,000,000 over the next six weeks - that would turn on a lot of street lights, don't you think?

Where are you reading about this? Where are you reading that in just the list below, the next 12 bonds (I'd hate to publish here the full list), the total of unguaranteed bonds is €1,034,726,369. Nowhere, that's where.

You'll read that the most of the remaining bonds are guaranteed, as though that somehow should end all discussion - why? The next 12 bonds also have a total of €2,478,640,395 of various Covered bonds, including another billion euro from another bank we own, EBS - what does that mean, covered? Right from the first day Brian Lenihan offered the blanket bank guarantee, has ANY of that been legal? Brian was acting on false/incomplete/inaccurate information, €5bn he was assured the total exposure - how then can that guarantee have any basis in law?

Since then we've been blackmailed by the ECB into assuming the bank debt, even noted economist Colm McCarthy now joining us in proclaiming the injustice of this act. So why shouldn't we question the legitimacy of ALL these bonds? In Ballyhea we do, in Charleville we do, 77 weeks of protesting now; we'll continue to do so for as long as is necessary.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN w/e Aug 19th 2012

Apologies, last week was a hectic week on the day-job front, two All-Ireland senior hurling semi-finals on the horizon, writing about one, doing interviews etc. for the other.  A few minutes to draw breath this week so herewith the latest 'dirty dozen', the next 12 bonds as they fall due from our various banks.

You'll note that the next bond due is for €10,000,000, an unsecured unguaranteed bond from Anglo; you'll note also that a few weeks later, on Monday fortnight (Sep 3rd) Anglo is paying out again, this time a bond of €600,000,000, those billions drained from the Irish economy.

You'll note all of this but only if you happen on to this site. Those who don't will note nothing because none of this detail will appear on any mainstream Irish national media outlet. If there is any mention of the €600,000,000 bond it will probably be to point out that this is a 'Covered' bond, as though this means we have a moral obligation to pay. But that bond was issued two years ago, for what? To pay other bonds, that's for what, because at that stage - as at the moment - Anglo was being kept alive for that purpose and for that purpose only.

Look down a few lines, to October 1st - a billion-euro bond, this one from another bank we own outright, AIB, this one also unsecured and unguaranteed. Will you read about this in our mainstream national media, will you hear about it?

We are sold out by successive weak governments but we are betrayed by our media. The fourth estate? Protecting the interests of the people? Objective, investigating, exposing, challenging? As ever there are honourable exceptions but where is the coverage of this issue?

You will have read Enda's trumpeted 'triumph' after the Eurozone Leaders' Summit a few months ago, splashed across every front page, the €40bn won back for Ireland; you won't have read on those same front pages with the same prominence the subsequent realisation that this was all just hype and hot air, that not a single cent has yet been won back by anyone.

We'll keep banging on here, nonetheless, even if we're only sharing this among ourselves!