Tuesday, 30 May 2017

BURNING BORROWED BILLIONS - THE ANGLO/FITZ/NOONAN LEGACY




1)      In 2009/10, using Promissory Notes (government guarantees issued by then Finance Minister Brian Linehan), the Central Bank 'created' €31billion for Anglo Irish Bank (€25.5billion) and INBS (€5.5billion);
2)      Those two banks were insolvent and were thus prevented by ECB rule from access to the Emergency Liquidity Assistance programme (ELA);
3)      The P Notes were accepted by the ECB/Irish Central Bank as collateral - clear breach;
4)      Everyone involved – the Irish Central Bank, the Government and most critical of all, the ECB – knew all this, knew those P Notes were literally papering over not just cracks but a fatal hole below the waterline of the two banks involved; however, in the absence of any formal structures to deal with troubled banks within the new euro currency area (fatal flaw in its design), needs must – it was a crisis situation;
5)      The banks went under, as was inevitable;
6)      The ECB insists that the €31bn 'created' as a result of the P Notes must be taken back out of circulation – Ireland forced to pay for the euro design flaw;
7)      Rather than challenge the ECB on the legitimacy of all this, in 2013 new Finance Minister Michael Noonan transposed those bonds to sovereign debt, created a schedule of destruction;
8)      Chunk by chunk, €500million by €500million, that schedule is now being followed (accelerated even) by the Central Bank;
9)      The process is this:
                                          i.      Using previously borrowed money, our National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) buys one of the P Note bonds issued under the Noonan 2013 ‘deal’ from the Central Bank (usually a tranche of €500million);
                                        ii.      The Central Bank destroys that €500million (probably just the push of a computer button), declares that element of the €31bn P Note debt 'cancelled';
                                      iii.      The €31bn is reduced by that amount – we still have over €20bn remaining to be thus destroyed;
                                      iv.      The money that was used by the NTMA to buy that P Note bond will eventually have to be repaid and in the meantime we pay interest on it;
                                        v.      The critical thing to know, however, is that the Irish people get absolutely no benefit from that €500m. 

Burning billions but it's no joke...

Saturday, 27 May 2017

SEANIE FITZ - THE AWARE AND THE DELUDED


RTE – THE BUSINESS
The Business programme on RTE Radio One today (May 27th 2017) had a segment devoted to what Michael Noonan and this government might do with the estimated €3billion from the prospective sale of 25% of AIB shares. Several possibilities were discussed as to how this massive sum – three thousand million euro – could be spent, from paying off part of the €200bn national debt to investing in badly needed infrastructure to building social housing.

NOT mentioned was the fact that last year, our Central Bank destroyed exactly that amount, €3billion, the same Michael Noonan’s new €31billion Promissory Note schedule of destruction now well in train.
SEANIE FITZPATRICK WALKS FREE
This week also we had the collapse of the Seanie Fitzpatrick trial, widely reported on RTE and in all our major media outlets, replete with outrage real and false as the man who played a major part in the collapse of the Irish banking system walked away scot-free by direction of the trial judge, following Three-Stooges-like farce in the preparation of the case.

NOT mentioned in any of that coverage is the fact that this ongoing destruction of billions of euro every year is part of the Seanie Fitz legacy to this country.
Why not? It is truly baffling.
A BROKE COUNTRY WITH BILLIONS TO BURN
Day after day, week after week, month after month, we have programmes dedicated to discussion on all the ills currently afflicting this country – the homeless crisis, the HSE crisis, the Garda crisis, the almost total absence of national capital investment, etc etc, and in every one of those discussions, inevitably, someone (usually the presenter) will ask the killer question – ‘Ah yes, but where will we get the money to pay for all this, eh???’.

And never yet, NEVER, have I heard anyone say – ‘But maybe if we stopped destroying borrowed billions every year, we could use it for all those services and investments’. Why not?
ARE WE REALLY DESTROYING BILLIONS EVERY YEAR?
This destruction of money is real, and it IS happening, so regularly now in fact that even the Irish Times has taken to simply cutting and pasting its own reportage on it – see the two screen-grabs below. Mind you, the Times would prefer ye didn’t know the full truth, so rather than publicise the fact that the latest €500million tranche has been destroyed, they just speak about a bond ‘cancelled’. 
But believe me, the billions borrowed by the National Treasury Management Agency and used to purchase those old Promissory Note bonds is being destroyed, and will continue to be borrowed and destroyed until the entire €31bn is gone. This is real money being borrowed, real debt being created, real interest being paid on that debt, and real money being destroyed – still around €20billion to go.

And yet not a word of complaint, not a single question the morality or the legitimacy of all this.
Later in that same The Business programme on RTE there was an interview with Dr Tasha Eurich on her book ‘The Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World’. It made me smile, a little, and it made me wonder – is no-one in RTE aware that in tranches of €500million, legacy of the Anglo Promissory Notes and courtesy of the new Michael Noonan schedule, we’re destroying borrowed billions every year? Do they even WANT to know?
THE IRISH TIMES REPORTS
See if you can spot the part where they speak of what happens to the €500million...
Spot the difference...

Friday, 16 December 2016

SUPREME INJUSTICE - Prom Note challenge is lost



SUPREME INJUSTICE

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the total tax-take for Ireland in 2010 from the following sources was as follows:

Income Tax (incl. USC and Health & Income Levies):                       € 14.33bn
Corporation Tax:                                                                                3.94bn
Capital Gains Tax:                                                                              0.35bn
SUB-TOTAL:                                                                                    € 18.62bn
  
Add to that the following:
Motor tax, PRSI, Training & Employment Levy, Death duties etc:       8.21bn
TOTAL TAX on income, wealth and capital:                                 € 26.83bn

GIVING AWAY THE HOUSE
By the end of that same year the then Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, had issued Promissory Notes to the eventual total value of €31bn to two already insolvent banks, Anglo Irish Bank (€25.5bn) and INBS (€5.5bn). 

In other words, in 2010 the Finance Minister took the entire tax take from every worker and every company in every industry in the country, plus death duties and other such sundry taxes, topped it up with over €4bn from our National Pension Reserve Fund, and gifted it to the failed creditors of two failed banks.

All the above was done without any reference to us, the people who are now landed with paying this debt; all the above was done without any real reference even to those we elected to represent us, across all parties and none; it wasn’t fast-tracked, it was railroaded through the Dáil.

HISTORIC JUDGEMENT BUT CURRENT PAIN
It’s important to note also that this isn’t just stale news. The €31bn that was created for those two insolvent banks by our Central Bank was of course never going to be paid back, a fact that was well known at the time. 

The reason it was done was twofold: 1) The ECB had no structures in place to deal with insolvent banks (it does now, far too late for us), and 2) In the absence of such structures, it feared a domino effect if those two banks were allowed collapse, thus colluded with the Irish government and the Central Bank of Ireland to circumvent its own rule on bailing out insolvent banks and accepted the Promissory Notes as collateral.

That €31bn must now be taken back out of circulation by the Central Bank of Ireland. It’s being done in chunks. 

Originally, starting in 2011, it was scheduled to occur before March 31st of every calendar year, and the new government did in fact destroy €3.1bn that year. Then came Michael Noonan’s infamous Promissory Note deal, in February 2012, when both Anglo and INBS (now the IBRC) were eventually and inevitably wound up, and with it a new schedule. 

In 2014 our Central Bank destroyed €1bn, in 2015 it was €2bn, and so far this year, another €1bn. That means a total of at least €6bn has now been destroyed (I know, you’d expect that information of this magnitude and import would be broadcast loud and wide – it’s not), which leaves €25bn still to be taken out of circulation.

All that €31bn will be borrowed, all will be destroyed, all will have to be repaid – plus interest. Nothing Michael Noonan did in his ‘deal’ changed a syllable of that.

A LEGACY THAT HAD TO BE CHALLENGED
That is the legacy that Michael Noonan and his government partners are leaving our children, and their children. That is why Joan Collins took up David Hall’s court challenge to the legitimacy of those Promissory Notes, that is why yesterday was so important.

That the Supreme Court would decide, unanimously, that all this isn’t just legal, it’s constitutional, is alarming to put it very mildly.

Under this ruling, a sitting Minister of Finance can basically decide to place an unlimited amount of debt (€31bn just happens to be the total in this instance) on the people, not even a pretence at debate, no checks and balances, and that’s ok? This is democracy?

BALLYHEA SAYS NO
The Ballyhea Says No campaign has always been about trying to alert people to what’s happening, trying also to right the wrong done to us not just with the Promissory Notes but through the entire bank bailout debacle, the threats, bullying and blackmailing from Europe. Our focus has been on the political side, working hard to get politicians together from all parties and none who will then take this fight to Europe. We will continue that battle, but we will also continue those like Joan and David who take the legal route. Perhaps their next option is the European Court of Justice, but that will be for them to decide and I know already of one MEP at least who will join them in that exercise!

Whatever they decide, they will have our support. Meanwhile we continue our efforts to bring another Private Member’s Bill to the Dáil, while simultaneously preparing a Written Declaration in the European Parliament.

This battle is lost, but then again the 1916 Rising wasn’t exactly a victory either; look how that turned out. We persevere, spirits still high.