David McWilliams: Ireland doesn’t need vulture funds

Bad loans should be sold to credit unions, not to pawnbrokers in Prada

No need for vulture funds: Ireland’s credit unions, with €14 billion on deposit, could easily take nonperforming mortgages from the likes of Permanent TSB. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

No need for vulture funds: Ireland’s credit unions, with €14 billion on deposit, could easily take nonperforming mortgages from the likes of Permanent TSB. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

If you have seen the classic 1980s movie Repo Man, or have a passing understanding of the workings of the 1960s pawnbroker, you will know what a vulture fund does.

The vulture is a repo man with more expensive taste in shoes: a pawnbroker in Prada. His business is to make money out of other people’s distress. Repossession is his threat. He buys defaulted-mortgage houses and tries to squeeze the last drop out of them. The more money he makes, the bigger the return to his investors, who are happy to back this sort of commercial bottom fishing.

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