Just another day in the Irish economy as €1.5bn is paid over by State-owned bank to unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders

April 10, 2012 by namawinelake

Back in antebellum America, it was common for negro slaves to avoid
marrying a spouse from the same plantation for a very poignant reason
– no man or woman wants to see their beloved raped, humiliated, beaten
or whipped before their very eyes, it’s more than can be borne, and
for that reason slaves often married slaves from neighbouring or
distant plantations to avoid the reality of their powerlessness in
protecting their beloved. And on Sundays, a day of rest in slave-era
America, when husband and wife might meet up, the scars or tears would
be acknowledged but ignored. Such was the life of a slave as described
by a former slave Frederick Douglas – there’s a free online book of
his life here.

In Ireland our mass media seems to be adopting a similar attitude
towards the repayment of unguaranteed bonds at State-owned banks –
“shure, if we can’t do anything about it, why meidhir people with the
unavoidable”. That’s why last May 2011, when €200m was paid at Anglo
to unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders, there was scarcely a peep from
the media – Laura Noonan at the Independent was the honourable
exception. It was different in November last year and January this
year when the whole country was aware that billions were being paid
over to unsecured unguaranteed senior bondholders at Anglo, or IBRC as
it is now known following its merger with Irish Nationwide. But
tomorrow, we will pay out €1.5bn and there has nary been a peep. Here
are the details:

Who: AIB, which is 99.8% owned by the State and which has so far cost
€20.7bn to bailout

How much: €1,500,000,000 (€1,500m or €1.5bn)

When: tomorrow, 11th April 2012

What: “Unsecured”, that is, not secured against specific assets,
“unguaranteed”, that is not covered by the September 2008 guarantee or
its extensions, senior bonds at AIB which were originally issued on
11th April, 2007. The ISIN number is XS0294958318

Maybe the mass media is consciously trying to spare our feelings,
believing there is nothing that can be done. After all, AIB is one of
the two pillar banks and despite costing us €20.7bn to date, along
with the EBS which is now merged into it, it’s dead money, we’ll never
see that again, so why bring up the subject which will only cause
pain. Frederick Douglas ran away several times from his “owner”, was
caught, was dreadfully punished, eventually escaped to the North where
he learned his alphabet by pretending to mock white children, boasting
he knew more letters than they did, and when the white children sang
out their ABCs, Frederick wrote them down and practised them and
eventually the man became a writer of some note. His story is
inspiring even if the passage of 200 years has not dulled the graphic
savagery meted out to enslaved people.

So whilst the Irish Times, IN&M, Communicorp, Alan Crosbie and RTE
spare your feelings, tomorrow at 5.15pm, the communities of Ballyhea
and Charleville – who have held weekly bank bailout protests for 59
weeks – will again come together, on the library
plaza opposite the Charleville AIB branch to protest at the payment.