Simon Carswell of the Irish Times has reported on your letter to the Oireachtas finance committee in his article today on your warning over debt forgiveness. You suggested it would be “grossly unfair” to adapt a more lax attitude to debt forgiveness. I would suggest that it is grossly unfair to EVERYONE not to have a more lax attitude to debt forgiveness as this would fix a problem that the banks; yours included, are grossly understating and are losing control over.
The current attitude of the banks is mainly to either ignore the problem or in some cases attempt a restructure which, as has been seen in the US, 90% of which fail. This is because your attempt at restructure does not address the real problem which is too much debt!
You say it would be unfair to all the people who have worked hard in keeping their loans up to date if there was debt forgiveness. Are you suggesting that the people who have fallen into arrears have not been working hard? Are you suggesting they are in arrears out of choice or laziness? I can assure you nothing can be further from the truth. People in arrears have struggled with large repayments on homes which are worth in some cases 20% of the loan for which your bank and others like yours gave them to buy. They are struggling with the stress of falling income, knowing they are in arrears, what is going to happen to their home and family and wondering if there is any light at the end of the tunnel.
And now because of the property boom which your bank and others supported EVERYBODY is suffering even those “hard working” people who have not been unlucky enough to fall into arrears. They too are suffering as they see their most valuable investment, their home, sink in value even further. They see an economy fall deeper into depression mainly due to excesses of household debts which you promoted.
The “cheapest bank bailout in history” was effected to ensure that the banking system was kept working and €63b later you say you cannot do what was intended. This is a joke and totally unacceptable! It would seem that you too are in arrears … arrears of thinking and providing a solution. What you should be saying to the Oireachtas committee is that to fix the country we need debt forgiveness; here is what it is going to cost and let’s figure a way to do it.
Debt forgiveness is coming Mr. Masding whether you like it or not because it is the only way we can fix our country’s economy and get it going again. I just hope it will not take people on the streets and social unrest to get it. You and people in positions of power like you are going to have to come down from your ivory tower and get working on real solutions for all hard working people not just those who are lucky enough to not have fallen into arrears.
Paul C Carroll Accountant
NEO Financial Solutions