Tuesday, 13 November 2012

THE DIRTY DOZEN w/e Nov 18th 2012

A bit of an anomaly this week, an extra bond included making it a baker's dozen, 13 bonds instead of the usual place. The reason? Well, look to the bottom of the list and see for yourselves, the terrible twins. Two bonds, the first two of the New Year, 2013 - our very own January bond-babies though in fact they're not newborn, they simply 'mature' on that date.

I've been asked many times to explain these bonds, all the types and terminology, the issue date, issue currency etc. I don't bother anymore. The world of bonds is an otherworld, confusing even to its own denizens; I'll not get sucked in there.

All we need to know is this, and let there be absolutely no confusion on it. After the launch of the euro and the subsequent access to easy and cheap money, private financial institutions across Europe and the wider world loaned hundreds of billions to private Irish financial institutions. In the early years, from 2000 to 2007, all those institutions made their own tens and hundreds of millions of euro in profit, billions even in some cases, every cent of which they kept for themselves.

All this time those tens of billions were fuelling a property bubble in Ireland but blinded by their greed the financial institutions - in Ireland and abroad - continued their reckless lending and borrowing. That bubble burst, the situation changed, profit became loss and as happens in the capitalist system under which all those deals were done, the lender banks would have to take their haircuts.

That is what SHOULD have happened but as we know now here, to our cost, that's not what actually happened. Those losses have been forced on us, the people. On any level you care to name, that's wrong - pure, simple.

To those who now tell us we MUST pay those bonds, that they are 'Covered', 'Government Liquid Guaranteed', that we are now legally obliged to pay them, I say - where were you when those debts were being imposed on us? Those private financial institutions all took their profits, every cent; they should likewise take their losses. If that debt could be imposed on us, it can be 'unimposed'.

Last Sunday was week 89 of our protest in Ballyhea and Charleville. 

There isn't an economist among us, nor does there need to be. We understand right from wrong and on an issue as fundamental as this, we don't need to understand anything more. We won't be intimidated, we won't be frightened by talk of financial Armageddon (we have Iceland to give the lie to that, at any rate). We have had enough of being blackmailed/strong-armed/bullied/threatened. That bank debt is not ours, was never ours, WILL never rightfully be ours.

Last Sunday we were joined by a group of women from Fenit, in Kerry; all of you will eventually come to understand this same simple unvarnished truth.



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