Friday 18 January 2019

Dan White: The five more things Noonan must now do

Burning the Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide senior bondholders, assuming the ECB will let him, is the easy part. Here are the five other things that Michael Noonan must now do:

1) Burn the other senior bondholders: Why stop with the Anglo and Irish Nationwide senior bondholders? There are at least another €15bn of senior bonds which haven't been guaranteed by the Irish State.

2) Make the ECB pay: The ECB lent the Irish banks €70bn to repay its senior bondholders in full. However, it is the Irish taxpayer rather than the ECB which has been saddled with the cost of repaying.

3) Threaten to veto the new ECB boss: Mario Draghi, current head of the Italian Central Bank and the man likely to become ECB boss, stated that the ECB was opposed to forcing Greek bondholders to accept writedowns on their investments.

4) Refuse to approve any Greek restructuring: With French president Sarkozy blocking any reduction in the penal 5.8pc interest rate Ireland is paying on the EU portion of its bailout, it is time to play hardball.

5) Get real on Irish public spending: Even after the cuts of the past two budgets, Irish public sector pay and social welfare rates are still among the highest in Europe.

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