It seems fair to argue that unless a state uses its power to stand between its citizens and extremists — political, religious, environmental, philosophical, or commercial — then it has surrendered some of its legitimacy.
It seems fair to argue that unless a state is prepared, on behalf of its David citizens, to face down the Goliaths of this world then a fundamental part of that relationship has been broken.
It also seems fair to describe the vulture funds that might buy 20,000 mortgages from Permanent TSB as Goliaths.
That bank’s non-performing loans stand at 28% of its loan book, five times higher than the eurozone average.
Obviously, the bank made very poor lending decisions and, obviously again, some of its customers are unreliable.
That, however, is no reason to condemn so many Davids to the uncertain mercies of vulture funds, especially as they are not controlled by the Central Bank.
It is wrong that the State, the majority owner of the bank, should enter a deal rendering its primary supervisory agency — the Central Bank — irrelevant.
A better, more humane solution must be found.