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€1.5bn is paid over today by State-owned bank to unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders

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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, details/photos here – will again come together, on the library plaza opposite the Charleville AIB branch to protest at the payment.



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