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EU is also in the dock over Anglo

HOW many bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank had their bondholding converted to a “deposit” between March 17, 2007, the day the Anglo Irish Bank bubble burst, and September 30, 2008, the day the two Brians underwrote all deposits and bondholdings in Anglo?

The issue of who are the senior bondholders, junior bondholders and major institutional depositors in Anglo has, so far, remained a ‘market sensitive’ secret.

Depositors, so we can be clear, receive a very modest return on their investment as a result of their non-risky, conservative disposition.

A bondholder takes a slice of the huge profits generated by a bank – and the profits at Anglo were huge during the bubble years – in return for the risk of having to live with the downside, the possible loss of the money invested in the bank if the good times came to an end.

How much profit did each bondholder make during the profit-generating years? Confidentiality, we are told, prevents the Irish public knowing who we are going into debt for a 100 years to rescue.

As the owners and underwriters of this utter disaster, we are entitled to all of this information. The fact that the European Central Bank (ECB) has a €30 billion deposit in Anglo – if it ever was a true deposit – is worthy of very close examination by financial journalists. Can we see the deposit receipt, please? The enormous conflict of interest, represented by the fact that the EU is a benefactor of Irish state aid, a provider of EU aid to Ireland, through buying our government bonds, and the not insignificant matter of the ECB’s huge ‘deposit’ in the bank that has suffered the biggest collapse of any bank in history is the greatest story never told about our economic quagmire.

The received wisdom underwriting policy at the moment is the idea that we are not fit for purpose as a nation, but the EU is somehow whiter than white. Ordinarily, I belong to the ‘Belgian bus conductors are better than our corrupt politicians’ school of thinking. But in this case, the EU is in the dock. There are so many questions about Anglo and so few answers.

Declan Doyle

Lisdowney

Kilkenny


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