Bad debt banks 'should go bankrupt'


RULES OF CAPITALISM:IF BANKS obey the rules of capitalism and make a bad debt they should go bankrupt, the outspoken US financial analyst and former stockbroker Max Keiser said at an event in Dublin yesterday.

“If they are capitalists they should obey the rules of capitalism; if you make a bad debt and screw up then you’ve got to pay the consequences. You can’t go to the government and get a bailout . . . that’s not capitalism, that’s not even socialism, that’s crapitalism,” Mr Keiser said in a talk marked by black economic comedy.

Mr Keiser also referred to the case of Anglo Irish Bank, saying there was no such thing as a “bond fairy” which should have allowed the bank’s unsecured bondholders to get paid. “There is no argument that can be substantiated for paying off that bond.”

Anthony Coughlan, economist and professor emeritus in Trinity College Dublin and director of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, spoke against the treaty.

He said he was hopeful that an action by Donegal TD Thomas Pringle, which is to be heard before the High Court next month, would result in the holding of a referendum on the separate European Stability Mechanism treaty, which the Government plans to ratify in June.

The ESM treaty is different from the fiscal treaty that will be voted on on Thursday.

“I’m reasonably confident that we will probably have a referendum down the road on the ESM treaty because it’s monumentally illegal under EU law and Irish law.”

Mr Coughlan said it would be “absurd” for Irish voters to vote in favour of the fiscal referendum on Thursday given that the ESM would not be set up until July.

“It would be absurd for Irish voters next Thursday . . . to agree to a permanent . . . balanced budget in perpetuity in order to have access to a fund that doesn’t yet exist, which Ireland and other EU states has not yet ratified, and that in turn depends upon an amendment of EU treaties on which this State has a veto.”

He added that there was “no legal obstacle whatever” to Ireland re-running a referendum.

“We are at this moment in time at a moment in European history, a very important moment. It would be foolish for the Irish voters to just be good, compliant servants of the euro zone by voting Yes next Thursday.”