The famous Irish backbone has been ripped out and replaced with a spineless bunch of suckers in thrall to the Bank$ters that THEY bailed out with th€2.7 billion it gave Permanent TSB!

When a Tory Manifesto pushes a policy such as Right To Buy housing association rental homes, I always ask myself what’s in it for their City Financier overlords.
The signpost is currently happening in Republic of Ireland where Permanent TSB Bank has hiked up it’s variable rate mortgage interest to 4.5% despite the European average being 2.9% and the cost of the Bank Borrowing Rate being between 0% – 0.5%
This bank was bailed out by the Irish Government – even though it should not have been as loans were made in bad faith, thus, the Bank’s own fault – to the tune of €2.7 billion.

The Tory push for right to buy is intended to get more people indebted to the Bank$ters. It’s fuck all to with Aspirational economics. It’s an attempt to start another Ponzy scheme!

In this racket, fairness is not an option

The Permanent TSB mortgage scandal is just part of the same dodge as Irish Water, writes Gene Kerrigan

Last week, the airwaves were full of reports of Permanent TSB mortgage holders pleading with bankers to be fair.

Get real, folks. The penny should surely have dropped by now. This, after all, is 2015. Since 2008, we’ve been watching billions of euro being transferred from us to a small minority of empty-eyed money-men.
Let’s stop pretending that fairness is an option.
There are two sides to this: the takers and those who get taken. Variable mortgage holders are being taken.

They’ve found their role in life – which is to be suckers.
In fact, it’s official government policy that they be treated as suckers.

Accept it gracefully, folks, and stop whining. Allow yourself to be fleeced by the bankers. Or, do something about it.
The variable-rate mortgage scandal is right up there with the Irish Water scandal, as one of those stories that will make the jaws of future generations hit the floor.
Like all the best stings, it’s simple. It affects 300,000 variable-mortgage holders, plus their families. And they’re being fleeced by a number of banks, including Permanent TSB.

These days, money is cheap. With the right connections, you can borrow for as little as 0.05pc.
Across Europe, the average mortgage rate is 2.09pc. Good times, you might think.
But the bankers here are charging approximately 4.5pc on a variable mortgage.
Why? Because they can.
Permanent TSB is losing money, and the bankers want it to be profitable, so it can be sold. At that stage, all sorts of empty-eyed money-men will reap bonuses and the Government might get back some of the €2.7 billion it gave Permanent TSB.
So, they forcibly extract whatever rate of interest they think they can get away with. And in their back pockets, there’s the implied threat of repossessing people’s homes.
It’s a breathtakingly simple sting – one that we might christen the Bonnie and Clyde technique. You have money, we want it, we take it.
This is using a position of strength to unfairly reap unwarranted profits from a helpless element of the market. The mortgage price being charged doesn’t relate to costs or hazards – it relates only to the capital needs of the bankers.
Isn’t there a law against this kind of thing? Probably not – given the beliefs of the people who make the laws.
Like most of us, I grew up believing that the government is a kind of independent referee, answerable to the electorate, arbitrating fairly between the competing interests of various sections of society.
Anyone still believing such fairy tales got a jolt in late 2008, when the politicians immediately agreed to whatever the bankers requested – to the potential limit of about €400bn.
Since then, whether within the EU or at home, the demands of the bankers have overridden the interests of the rest of us. Blindly, €64bn was given to bankers.
And if the bankers decide they need another 10 or 20 billion, can anyone doubt it will be provided to them (after the general election)?
And the hole in the public finances will be patched up, using more charges and spending cuts.
Some think that the Government should ensure fair play to mortgage holders – after all, it “owns” Permanent TSB. And it “owns” AIB and it “owns” 14pc of Bank of Ireland.
Surely it could, if it wanted, stop this deeply unfair practice?
It could, but it doesn’t. Because (a) it agrees with what’s being done; and (b) its “ownership” of the banks is not really ownership.
The Government provides whatever amount of public money a bank demands. And, as in any commercial transaction, it must receive what’s called “consideration” in return. So, it is given token “ownership” of the bank, in order to make the transaction legal.
But such is the deference of politicians to bankers that they make a virtue of ignoring how the banks are run. Oh, they proudly announce, we wouldn’t dream of interfering in commercial matters.
Even when – as in the variable mortgage racket – the unfairness is blatantly obvious.
This shameless protection of the bankers has nothing to do with old-fashioned corruption, where the bankers are cronies or relatives of the politicians. It has nothing to do with an exchange of brown envelopes.
This is ideology – an element in the version of right-wing politics that has dominated us since the 1980s.
This says: the financial sector is central to society and must be protected as though it was a precious child. Do this and the markets will prosper and things will get better for all.
This, by now, is so ingrained in the minds of our leaders that it’s taken to be not so much an element of right-wing principles as a natural law.
Like gravity.
There has been clear evidence from 2008 that the financial sector was a glorified casino, run by people who don’t understand banking and who despise common businesses. They understand only profit and bonuses.
Not to worry, the ideology is deeply entrenched and the banks will continue to receive the protection of the politicians.
What’s happening to the variable-mortgage customers is merely an extra element in the array of charges, levies, cuts and other money-extracting techniques employed to transfer wealth to the empty-eyed among us.
One of the most ambitious projects was Irish Water.
Some may consider Irish Water to be the worst company ever set up anywhere, at any time, by anyone, for any purpose.
It’s as though Irish Water managed to corner the market on ham-fisted eejits programmed to make a balls of whatever task they are given.
This is not true. There’s no evidence of innate stupidity among Irish Water’s staff, many of whom manage to dress themselves on a daily basis.
The problem with Irish Water is that Enda Kenny and Phil Hogan tried to do too much at once.
They wanted a cash cow that would provide a healthy revenue stream, to replenish the depleted state coffers.
Second, the company was to amass a substantial database, based around PPS numbers, which would be a lucrative asset when it comes time to privatise the water supply.
Third, it had to be an off-the-books operation, so the Government could pretend it was keeping inside the deficit rules.
And – as an afterthought – it had to fix the leaks that are losing 49pc of the treated water. No private company would buy Irish Water until the leaks are fixed at public expense.
And, needless to say, this project has inevitably provided a healthy revenue stream to the usual consultants, advisors and managers.
And it worked, up to a point. In the process a lot of the usual geniuses made large dollops of money, There’s a nice logo and all the trappings of a utility.
Try as it might, however, this multifaceted operation couldn’t pass itself off as a water utility with a mission to fix the leaks.
It became an assault on our credulity, as well as a raid on our pockets.
So, large numbers of people refused to play the game. The Government cut the charges, to seek to entice some dissenters into signing up – after which the charges will soar.
As the bills arrive, the jury is out on what happens next.
The variable-mortgage suckers plead for fairness. It won’t work. They could try a mortgage boycott, but if there are too few they’ll be hammered mercilessly. If there are many, the bankers might well flinch at an uppity customer base – it sends a chill through investors.
Meanwhile, maintaining its reputation for screwing up every single thing they try to do, Irish Water have sent out a bill to a man they knew was dead.
We know they knew he was dead because when they addressed the bill they carefully typed (RIP) after his name.
Truly, future generations will marvel at what we have wrought??

Max Keiser:


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