Friday, October 22, 2010

Posh English voice demands Irish evictions

The credit rating agency Fitch attained notoriety in Ireland recently by calling for people to be evicted from their homes to help balance the banks’ books.  “Fitch wants banks to evict more Irish families” is the headline in one blog I've visited, where someone evoked the Famine with this post : “Just what the situation was lacking: a posh English voice demanding that Irish agents evict Irish people from their homes.”

Apparently Fitch Ratings MD Andrew Currie was interviewed on RTÉ TV News and said that Ireland's banks should foreclose on more residential mortgages.  It’s a terrific story and I wish I could source it in print. So far I haven't come across any evidence that Fitch has explicitly called for evictions. The Irish Times and Irish Examiner both have the following on 9th October: ' “While arrears levels continue to increase, very few loans have yet had their security enforced,” Fitch said, in reference to the relatively low number of repossessions in the Irish market. '

Credit rating agencies are an offshoot of financial journalism.  I recommend an episode of the Australian radio programme Background Briefing, broadcast on 26/7/09.  These agencies have become both critic and chef in the big financial kitchens, the blurb says, but they claim to be really journalists and take no responsibility for their advice; they are probably beyond the law, yet governments have said their advice is mandatory.

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