It’s baffling, truly baffling.
Today our media discusses the outrage over the possible (and this is still not locked in) payment of €280m to junior bondholders in the two wound-up banks – Anglo and Irish Nationwide – that were combined to form IBRC.
Meanwhile, there is absolute silence from the same media on the scheduled definite destruction over the coming years of €28bn, legacy debt from the same two banks.
That destruction begins in 2014, continues until 2032; under the schedule, €28bn in sovereign bonds that replaced the old Promissory Notes (remember Noonan’s widely hailed ‘deal’ of February 2013?) will be sold by the Central Bank, then those borrowed billions destroyed, every cent – that’s 100 times the amount causing so much outrage at the moment.
The destruction of those billions is only half the story, however; immediately each of those bonds is sold and the money thus raised destroyed, for the full lifetime of each of those bonds we pay interest to the new bondholder (rubbing salt in the wound, perhaps it will even be one of those same bondholders bailed out by us in the first place).
In 2038 the bonds start ‘maturing’, meaning the new bondholders – thanking us I'm sure for the interest we’ve paid – now come looking for the principal back.
In 2053 we have the scheduled final payment, €5bn – if we can afford it even then. The possibility exists that we won’t, that the debt will be rolled over, meaning we’re not just debt-slaves for the next 40 years, but that this could go on into perpetuity. And for what? To bail out back in 2010 the failed European big-bank bondholders and creditors of two bust Irish banks.
How much will it all eventually cost? The €28bn in sovereign bonds now about to be sold and destroyed is in the ha’penny place – between interest and principal over the next 40 years, that €28bn, along with the €3bn paid in 2011, is going to cost us at least €80bn, an average of over €2bn/yr. And that in itself is less than half the full story of the Irish bank bailout (the full figure is €69.7bn)!
I suppose when you read it like that, written down in black-and-white, the fact our media is absolutely silent on it is understandable. If the people are reacting as they are now to the water-charge attempted robbery, how would they react if they were fully aware of this?