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Left with €40,000 bill for every Irish worker

TODAY we will know how much more we are going to have to pump into our bankrupt banks.

Having already committed €46bn of taxpayers' money, the indications are that Michael Noonan would be coughing up at least another €23bn. This will bring the total up to at least €70bn, the equivalent of almost €40,000 for every person still working here.

The latest black hole in the banks' balance sheets has been caused by the rapidly worsening state of their mortgage loan books.

The banks have been clobbered by a double whammy of soaring arrears and the fact that most of their mortgages are loss-making trackers.

This is going to force all of the major banks, particularly AIB and Permanent TSB, the mortgage banking subsidiary of Irish Life & Permanent, to make major writedowns on home loans.

It means BoI and IL&P, the two banks which had avoided State ownership, are now set to follow AIB, Anglo, EBS and Irish Nationwide into State control.

Two-and-a-half years after Brian Lenihan's disastrous decision to unconditionally guarantee their deposits and bonds, all of the Irish-owned banks have now been effectively nationalised.

-- DAN WHITE