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BORROWING FROM BERLIN

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) may as well “pack its bags for next year” because it hasn’t the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of raising a red cent from international bond markets, according to lead story in The Sunday Tribune.

The gloomy prognosis from “one of the most senior market players, speaking on the basis of anonymity for fear of facing instant dismissal”, said the Government’s hope that €6 billion in cuts would help Ireland’s cause when it returned to the bond markets next year was “snookered” and it would be impossible to sell a single Irish bond next year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement last week that she may move to protect German taxpayers from Greek, Irish and Portuguese national debts has sharply increased our chances of being forced into a “disastrous” and “hugely costly” EU/IMF bailout, the source said.

“As things stand, why would anyone lend Ireland a single euro when there is a risk that you only get 70c back in the German-inspired default,” he said.

It could be time to subsume the country into Ryanair. The budget airline is not only profitable but is borrowing money to buy new aircraft for 40% less than Ireland Inc is managing to right now from international investors, according to a report in The Sunday Tribune.

“We are borrowing seven and 12-year money at less than 3%, whereas the Irish government is borrowing at 7.5%,” chief executive Michael O’Leary told the newspaper. “But then again, we have €3 billion in cash on our balance sheet and are running a profitable company.”

O’Leary is taking advantage of the US Government’s Export/Import Bank, which is providing cheap money to support sales of aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

Perhaps Boston is a better bet than Berlin after all.

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