tisdag 27 mars 2012

Cowen om den irländska bankräddningen

Från 2007 till 2010 ökade Irlands bruttostatsskuld uttryckt som procent av BNP från 25 procent till 95 procent (källa: IMF). Huvudanledningen är det enorma bankräddningspaket som regeringen lade in i krisen år 2010. Irlands dåvarande taoiseach/premiärminister Brian Cowen vill nu att en nedskrivning av statens skulder/gåvor till bankerna ska göras:

"'Ireland’s adjustment path and return to markets can be helped by continued restructuring of the banking system. The next reform must involve a deal on the Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes,' Mr Cowen told an audience at a ticket-only event in Georgetown University, Washington.

The Fine Gael and Labour coalition government is currently battling the European Central Bank to be allowed to defer a €3.1bn payment to Anglo – the lender at the centre of Ireland’s banking crisis – due on March 31. This is one of 20 annual repayments due to be made every year until 2031 on €31bn in promissory notes – effectively government IOUs – issued by Dublin in 2010 to rescue Anglo and prevent its banking system collapsing.

In the speech, delivered last week but published on Monday, Mr Cowen said the decision by his government to issue promissory notes to fund Anglo rather than regular government debt had left the door open for a future restructuring. Changes to the European Financial Stability Fund in July 2011 that allow states to borrow to recapitalise their banks should now open up possibilities to refinance Ireland’s banking debts, he said.

Mr Cowen said his own government’s options for dealing with Ireland’s banking debts had been limited by the European authorities’ constant opposition to burning senior bank bondholders or allowing any banks to fail.
Mr Cowen robustly defended his government’s blanket guarantee to the country’s banks issued in September 2008 – a controversial decision that many economists say pushed Ireland to the brink of bankruptcy. He said this guarantee, which covered junior and senior debt, bought Ireland and Europe 'critically needed time' and prevented a real risk of a run on the banks at a time when there was no EU-wide system to stabilise lenders.

'Whether a narrower guarantee would have staved off an implosion of the banking system at a lower cost to the state is a matter for economic historians to ruminate on. We had to deal with this crisis in real time. Our view at the time was that we would get one shot at calming the markets,' he said."

Det här är så intressant! På flera plan - krispolitiken i realtid, relationen stat och kapital, EU-institutionernas hållning i krisen...

Jamie Smyth, "Cowen urges EU to ease Irish debt burden", FT 26 mars

"Q&A: Irish promises and promissory notes", FT 14 mars
Jamie Smyth och Ralph Atkins, "Dublin 'hopeful' ECB will approve bond deal", FT 22 mars
Joseph Cotterill, "O tempora! O mores! O Irish promissory notes fix", FT Alphaville 22 mars

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