Article in The Irish Times by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is here.
It is being reported on elsewhere:
- RTE: Noonan confident of recouping €29bn from banks
- Irish Independent: Michael Noonan: ‘We’ll recoup €30bn in bailout money from main banks’
- Irish Examiner: Noonan ‘confident’ State will recoup money injected into banks.
- Newstalk: Irish people could get more than €29bn back in their pockets
- TheJournal.ie: Michael Noonan is pretty confident we’ll get the bank bailout cash back
All of these seem an exaggeration of what was actually in the article and the use of single quotation marks by the Irish Independent suggests their headline is something Michael Noonan actually said.
The piece from the Minister concludes:
I am confident that, over time, we will at a minimum fully recover the funds this Government invested in AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB. If economic and trading conditions continue to improve over the next decade or so, the cash returned to the State combined with the value of any remaining shareholding may exceed the funds invested.
The confidence is about the recovery of the money put in by “this Government”. That was the €19 billion put in after the 2011 PCAR exercise of which around €2.3 billion has been returned from the sale of Irish Life and the BOI contingent capital notes. There is €17 billion to go. The article does not say that all the money pumped into the remaining banks will be returned though is something that “may” happen.
Part of this reported is likely the result of the byline used by The Irish Times which states that:
At the very least, the State should recover all of the money it has invested so far
It appears the sub-editor didn’t take in the actual text either.
And, of course, there is no discussion in either the original piece or the reports of it that money received in the future after “the next decade” will have a different real value to the money used from 2009-2011 to recapitalise the banks, not to mention interest and opportunity costs.
It is a positive that we are now considering some of the bank legacy issues as assets rather than liabilities. But the possibility of recouping money from selling stakes in the banks is not new and just as there was lots of exaggeration on the way down it now looks like we’ll get plenty of it on the way up.