The myth of nationalisation as the solution for banks.

‘Value for the taxpayer’ is the most common line I hear in defence of nationalisation, and inside I laugh every time I hear this line, because it implies that up to this point we gave been actually getting value for our taxes. If our tax take was managed so carefully in the past (as the argument for ‘value’ seems to suggest because they certainly are not saying ‘we were ripped off left and right in the past’) we would have a surplus with which to counter the current cycle, much like Chile or Norway are doing.

It struck me that value for the taxpayer might be in keeping the banks non nationalised and here are a few points that I have not seen answered adequately in the public domain.

1. If an Irish pension fund takes a serious fall in value due to the bank shares it holds being nationalised (on top of what are already serious losses, wiping the share holders may push a fund over the edge) …

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I wish I was a banker

The nationalisation of banks has taken up many of the editorial pages of late, everybody has their own opinion and in particular there is some serious divide in the academic realm. However, the reality is that if banks are nationalised then the people working in them should by right, become public servants, and if I was a union organiser in any of the large banks I would be ensuring that everybody is organised so that the necessary steps are taken, when the state becomes the new boss, that state worker benefits are part of the deal.

Why not? Why should the state be able to offer teachers a certain contractual benefit but not other people who will be in essence, in the state employ? It’s not semi-state we are talking about, rather a nationalised bank is fully state owned. There is only one shareholder and that is the government.

There are plenty of precedents for bank employees not getting state job style benefits but there is something that nobody has mentioned yet, …

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