What a fateful day for the Republic, as Brian Lenihan bids to draw a line under the financial crisis once and for all. In advance of the Dail statement, the Irish Times confirms that hes stopping sort of full bank nationalisation. A kind of triumph has been won with an agreed package of no more public sector pay cuts to 2014 with pensions increases pegged to pre-cuts levels for the time being, and a annual review to explore the chances of making up leeways. What are the prospects for the private sector? Continued social cohesion now depends on whether shock and fear give way to anger. If the line is held at the passport office strike, they’ll be very lucky. In the end, there appears to be no way of letting the bankers go hang without liquidating the assets of the entire State, mainly people’s homes. Elaine Byrne tells what it feels like to go through this vale of tears and fears and what the NAMA process – not necessarily the end of it all will cost every man, woman and child in the Republic. (I believe Northern Ireland exposure to Irish bad bank debt is 6% of the total).
Six thousand and fifty four euro and forty three cent is what appears on the calculator screen when 27 thousand million is divided by the total population.
And she names names of the bailed out donors to Fianna Fail, raising the basic questions of political reform when someone gets around to considering it.
Already some 17 billion in loans linked to the top 10 developers out of a total of 81 billion in loans have been transferred in this first wave. These top 10 property developers very likely includes Seán Dunne, Ray Grehan, Seán Mulryan, Paddy Kelly, Gerry Gannon, Johnny Ronan and Séamus Ross, all prominent political donors to Fianna Fáil. But will any banking inquiry look at political decision-making which created tax reliefs and incentives which stoked up the price of land, inflated the boom and overheated the market?
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London