Central Bank sells €0.5 billion of IBRC bonds – to the NTMA

The Central Bank has sold half a billion euro worth of IBRC bonds – the debt instrument that replaced the promissory notes used to fund the losses of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide building Society. The bonds were bought by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) – the very organisation that issued them to the Central Bank in the first place. Effectively the taxpayer has paid off half a billion of the €25 billion in debt that was left …

Questions & Answers on the Banking Inquiry

By Business Editor David Murphy Why is the Bank Inquiry important? The banking crisis cost a gross €64bn, wrecked Ireland’s reputation and set back the lives of thousands of people who suffered the loss of employment and higher taxes. Four major reports were carried out as to why the collapse happened. Those studies were to be followed up by a statutory inquiry. Now, six years after the bank guarantee, it is finally beginning. What did the reports say? Central Bank …

2014’s highs and lows in Science & Tech

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It’s awards season. That time of the year, when organisations everywhere reflect on the 12 months past, and acknowledge the achievements of their members and others. So not to be out done, the RTÉ News Science & Tech department (numbering one) has decided to hold an awards ceremony all of its own. We think it is only fitting to recognise the contributions, the highs and the lows of the tech and scientific community …

Realities of regulation causing unease

David Murphy, Business Editor During the crash critics rightly complained that poor financial regulation had allowed the banks run wild, pitching the financial system into the abyss. The new regime at the Central Bank, led by Governor Patrick Honohan, has endeavoured to re-establish independent regulation. But for some the prospect of rules made by an autonomous regulator are proving difficult to stomach.

Tax trends in the OECD

By Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent The OECD has been looking at the impact of the economic and financial crisis on taxation. It’s part of their regular “Revenue Trends” series, with tax data going back to 1965. So what does it tell us?

Draghi drags feet on QE

By Economics Editor Sean Whelan So, no quantitative easing this month – no surprise there. But the European Central Bank news conference by Mario Draghi was peppered with references to QE, and a statement from the ECB president that a decision may be taken on using QE early in 2015. Which, in the long march of the ECB towards QE, counts as another nudge forward.

Broadband plan must deliver for rural Ireland

    By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Rural dwellers and business people could be forgiven for greeting today’s news of yet another plan to roll out state subsidised high-speed but affordable broadband to the non-commercially covered areas with a snort of disillusionment. After all, this by some counts is the fifth such version of a plan which has time and time again failed to deliver a satisfactory result or indeed in some cases any service for thousands of …

Noonan pricks the bubble in AIB shares

By David Murphy, Business Editor  You may have heard of somebody talking up shares, but talking them down is less frequent. That is what Finance Minister Michael Noonan has been doing by describing AIB’s stock as “overvalued” and attempting to prick the bubble in the share price.

Communications breakdown hobbles Irish Water

Here is a question – how much of the Irish Water controversy can be explained by poor communications and the failure to convincingly convey its strategy? As the Government prepares to unveil its new package of sweeten the bitter pill of water charges next week, it should also consider the company’s public relations. Contrast the water demonstrations to the reaction to the property tax. There are no protests about the levy on homes, people get nothing in return for paying …

Fear and loathing on mortgage arrears

The fear and loathing over the Central Banks plan to impose an 80% Loan-to-Value limit on mortgage lending is somewhat overdone.