More job losses but no further slump for now? NTMA sells 1.5 billion in bonds


In what was described ahead of time as the most "important bond auction of the year" the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) sold 1.5 billion in bonds, a result which may steady the international markets at whose whims workers in Ireland have discovered their employment and living standards are subject to.  There was nervousness ahead of the sale due to the rise in the cost of servicing Irish debt in bond sales last week.  Meanwhile thousands of bank workers are losing their jobs.

The actual rate paid (last week Ireland had to pay twice what Germany did for borrowing) has not yet been announced but was a 60% increase over the rate in May's auction and NTMA has reported that speculators bid 5.4 times the 2014 securities offered an increase from the 3.1 times in May.  However yesterday the cost of insuring Irish government debt rose to a 17 month high and passed that of Portugal due to international markets concerns about the huge cost to the Irish state of bailing out the property speculators and bankers through the NAMA bail out of Anglo Irish Bank.

It is ironic that although the government sold this bail out of their golden circle mates as being essential for the economy the reality is that the escalating cost of doing so is what is driving up the cost of borrowing and threatening to push the economy into a second recession.  The markets doesn't doubt the willingness of the government to force cuts on workers in Ireland in order to recover the costs, its simply that the total cost of NAMA is such that as one London banker quoted by the Irish Independent put it "some people are starting to wonder if it will be able to deliver positive results."

Meanwhile as part of the ongoing program of cuts Larry Broderick the union leader of the Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) warned on RTE's Morning Ireland radio show that bank workers are being expected to pay the cost of the mismanagement in the banking sector that has cost Ireland tens of billions.  6,000 jobs have been lost in banking in the last 18 months and he said there were "huge rumors" about the layoffs planned by Allied Irish Bank.  He warned 4,000 more jobs were at risk and as if to confirm this MBNA announced it was cutting 66 jobs at its operations centre in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim.  Significant job losses are also expected in Bank of Ireland.

WORDS: Andrew

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