Tuesday, December 23, 2014

23/12/2014: RTE Finance: Money Grows on NTMA Trees

Oh dear, dear... Irish State Broadcaster is clearly in the need of some cash for training... or else, they are geniuses of the unimaginable proportions. Either way, RTE has discovered nothing more, nor less than a genuine money creation principle of the Irish Government Promo Notes.

Don't believe it? Read here: http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2014/1223/668729-central-bank/

Let me summarise the logic:

  • Anglo & INBS went bust (we know).
  • Government created IBRC to 'close off' Anglo & INBS, funded by the Promissory Notes (government debt issued to government-owned agency)
  • Government created a swap to 'close off' IBRC: NTMA issued a bunch of 'IBRC' bonds (government debt) that were swapped for IBRC Promissory Notes (government debt).
  • The 'IBRC bonds' were given by NTMA to the Central Bank of Ireland which is obliged to sell them.
  • NTMA, at the same time, on the sideline as a part of its normal business borrowed cash from the private markets. It stuffed this cash into Irish banks as deposits, getting paid nada on the euro and paid interest on this cash to the private markets, which amounted to a lot more than nada.
  • NTMA then 'bought' back some of the IBRC bonds from the CBI, paying with cash it borrowed from the markets on which it paid interest and will continue paying interest.
  • RTE described the above as a 'costless' transaction, cancelling the debt.
  • In reality, debt is still there right were it was, except if before interest on IBRC bonds was payable to the Central Bank it is now payable to... drum roll... the private lenders who lent money to NTMA.
That last bit is something RTE just couldn't spot with the Hubble Telescope of Financial Wisdom they deployed in the above link.

Which brings us to the Nobel Prize-worthy breakthrough at the RTE: money grows on trees or locates itself at the end of a rainbow or something of the sorts... but in the end, money is free for the State Broadcaster that truly does get 'free' money (aka taxes)...

Oh dear...

Two twitter reactions:

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