Paul Sweeney: Regular Progressive Economy blogger on Finance, Dr Jim Stewart, has a letter in today’s Financial Times - co-authored by his TCD colleague Prof Louis Brennan - on the Anglo Irish bailout.
Commenting on that newspaper's Editorial last Friday on the debacle that is the foolish and costly Government bailout of Anglo Irish Bank, they suggest “negotiating the purchase (at a fraction of face value) of the bonds from the reckless lenders that funded the banks’ foolishness.”
Another alternative, they suggest, is that “as proposed in a recent BIS document, is that debt instruments could be written off entirely.”
Stewart and Brennan rightly warn of the “inevitable self-serving noise from the usual suspects, continuing to indulge at any cost the lenders that engaged in wholesale recklessness is a luxury that Ireland’s taxpayers and economy can ill afford.”
Is it not time to call a halt to this disastrous Government decision and for it to negotiate, hard, with the “reckless” bondholders? Or are our leaders so incompetent that they multiple every error they make. At our immense and growing cost.
Paul Sweeney is former Chief Economist of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. He was a President of the Statistical and Social Enquiry Society of Ireland, former member of the Economic Committee of the ETUC, a member of the National Competitiveness Council of Ireland, the National Statistics Board, the ESB, TUAC, (advisor to OECD) and several other bodies. He has written three books on the Irish economy and two on public enterprise, including The Celtic Tiger; Ireland’s Economic Miracle Explained and Selling Out: Privatisation in Ireland, chapters in other books and many articles on economics.