No credit? Try some dodgy tax incentives (they work)

The recent Central Bank report on a property market that has ‘overshot’ is front page news on the broadsheets. This phenomena has been well observed in other jurisdictions and the question now is whether we will be more ‘European’ in our property market or if we’ll turn Japanese.

A key issue pointed out consistently is the role of credit. Cheap credit is often cited as one of the drivers of the property bubble, an NBER paper suggests it is only a component of about 20% of prices. The absence of credit is equally being seen as a downward driver of prices.

One of my minor hobbies is the history of Irish banking from an operational perspective, and on rare occasions it offers a nugget of insight.

In the late 1970’s Irish banks were not involved in mortgages, and only a few years before that they were not involved in hire purchase, they didn’t …

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Recapitalised banks ‘cherry picking’ applications.

The only banks that are truly ‘open for business’ are those that have received state funding, and this is on both sides of the book.

On the deposit side Anglo are paying market leading rates, they are now fully nationalised, and because their new owners have the deepest pockets the ‘better banks’ who didn’t need a state sponsored bailout cannot compete.

On the lending front only two banks are actively engaged in lending at somewhat regular levels, and they too were saved by the taxpayer (because that is where the state get their money from). However, rather than being the ‘saviours’ of the banking sector they are merely taking the best of applications and opting for the cream of the crop, any ‘increase’ in lending is as much down to artificially low margins on rates (state sponsored), and gaining customers that would have gone elsewhere in an operational market (because if every other bank is unable to obtain state funding to lend with then they have to lose customers to those that did …

Read More

Recapitalised banks 'cherry picking' applications.

The only banks that are truly ‘open for business’ are those that have received state funding, and this is on both sides of the book.

On the deposit side Anglo are paying market leading rates, they are now fully nationalised, and because their new owners have the deepest pockets the ‘better banks’ who didn’t need a state sponsored bailout cannot compete.

On the lending front only two banks are actively engaged in lending at somewhat regular levels, and they too were saved by the taxpayer (because that is where the state get their money from). However, rather than being the ‘saviours’ of the banking sector they are merely taking the best of applications and opting for the cream of the crop, any ‘increase’ in lending is as much down to artificially low margins on rates (state sponsored), and gaining customers that would have gone elsewhere in an operational market (because if every other bank is unable to obtain state funding to lend with then they have to lose customers to those that did …

Read More