Them’s Fighting Words


The banks, predictably, have said that they will continue to argue the case against these proposed changes. Already, they are talking about the impact on their balance sheets. They will try to convince people that it is taxpayers’ money that would be used. Though I don’t recall hearing this when on Wednesday last we paid €1.25bn of taxpayers’ money to anonymous holders of unguaranteed bonds in a bank that doesn’t exist.

The next time you hear this line of argument from the banks, think of this: last year we gave four of our banks more than €7.5bn to address residential mortgages. AIB got €2.5bn of the €7.5bn. But its senior team admitted to us at a Finance Committee hearing that the total amount of mortgage debt it had written off was a mere €600,000. One 50th of one per cent of what we gave AIB. Bank of Ireland got €1.8bn of the €7.5bn. It told us it had forgone nothing, not one cent.

We have already given the banks the money to deal with this crisis. But they have decided to keep it. The result is a mortgage crisis which is growing so fast that it threatens our social and economic recovery. Every one of us in Dail Eireann was elected in part to take a stand against the banks that have destroyed our economy. It is time for more forceful action.


Why forceful Action Is Needed Against The Banks (Stephen Donnelly, Sunday Independent)

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)


24 thoughts on “Them’s Fighting Words

  1. David

    Really glad I voted for Stephen. It’s amazing how far genuine conviction stands out in the Dail.

    Take notes Mr Gilmore. Or just get some fawning little intern to do it for you.

    1. Paul

      can you imagine Gilmore or Kenny et al having anything resembling conviction, ethics or a care for the country? Nope, me either.

    2. cluster

      Donnelly seems very impressive and Gilmore definitely does not.

      It is worth pointing out though, that Gilmore is in government. He actually has to make decisions and make compromises and trade-offs….

    1. Dave

      For the average worker, who had nothing to do with the current situation, earning 25k – 30k… And suffering just as much as most other people in the country with debt, mortgage, family, etc… Please don’t tar all with the one brush.

      1. cluster

        There is no bank in the state for which the average pay is 25 – 30k.

        There is no bank in the state for which the median pay is 25 – 30k.

  2. baz

    Bailing out the banks is one thing, but the country will finally rise up if you try to write off the debt of the greedy too!

    1. atswim

      The bankers were greedy. The developers were greedy. Ordinary people who wanted a home were not greedy.

      1. cluster

        Lots of them were. Let’s not do this thing where we romanticise the owning of property.

        A lot of people wit hdecent intentions have been badly caught out but an awful lot of greedy and reckless people have bee ncaught out as well. Let’s not pretend the second group don’t exist.

  3. Zuppy International

    David Graeber and the
    Anthropology of Debt

    Sample quote:
    “People say that morality is paying your debt, but on the other hand there is almost no human society that didn’t say: Moneylenders are basically evil”

        1. Zuppy International

          None. Usuary, the fractional reserve, and fiat currencies are equivalent to sorcery and always lead to financial catastrophe.

          We should adapt the principles of Islamic Banking , a much more human system.

          1. McGrath's Domestos

            ZIRP? This crisis was caused by interest rates being set too low.

            The gold standard in the C20, and gold and silver backed monetary policy in the late C19 all caused crises as big as this current one.

          2. Zuppy International

            @ McGrath’s Domestos

            That’s because Governments have ceded control of the money supply to Banksters.

            The only real solution is to purge the system of all personal debt via a Debt Jubilee (the Banks have already had their own Jubilee, thanks to the ordinary citizens who are now paying off their so-called debts).

            Check the Graeber link above. He talks a lot of sense.

  4. Minderbinder

    I don’t agree with all of his views but Donnelly has to be one of the most intelligent, hard working and honest TDs in the Dail. Shame we don’t have more like him.

  5. Steve

    People were saying the exact same about Gilmore about two years ago when he was on his high horse about burning bondholders. Donnelly is clearly a very intelligent, articulate person and he knows his stuff about our current predicament.

    In light of the last budget it is clear that a number of the pre-election promises made by the current Government were stupid, heavily misleading and in some cases blatant lies (especially Labour’s Gilmore/Frankfurt way etc). However, the responsiblities (and difficulties) of Government are a lot different to sitting on the Opposition benches. Put Donnelly in the hot seat for a few weeks and I can guarantee he would not be practising what he preaches.

    Doesn’t take away from the validity of most of his arguments.

  6. Jockstrap

    Politicians in opposition serve the public. Politicians in Government, serve their future employers (after dinner circuit, appointments to international boards of directors, consultancies, etc). They take bribes in reverse by doing the dirty thing first and then getting rewarded after they leave office.

Comments are closed.