03 December 2010

Bank of Ireland Art Sale

What happens when a state run bank needs money?  Simple, it sells off its physical assets?  Except, that's not why the art collection is being sold.

Instead of using the proceeds of such a sale to cover operating expenses in the Irish budget or the bank's budget, or as a reduction to the nation's debt, the money will be used to fund art initiatives throughout Ireland.  "So, screw austerity!  We'll just use the proceeds of an art sale as a transfer of wealth." 

Not even the people of Ireland are fooled by this egregious act according to the Telegraph's article.
"The banks have mismanaged everything for the last 12 years. Why should we now entrust them with this collection?" asked Gemma Mastroianni Carroll, one of a group of protesters outside the hotel. "These are valuable assets for our future. The banks will default, and they will leave this country with absolutely nothing."
While she is right in that the banks will default, what is it to say that her government won't do the same?  Considering all signs point towards a sovereign debt default in Ireland coming to a precipitous in 2011, the sale of a few pieces of art into the hands of private collectors is probably the least of the worries by any government officials. 

It certainly makes me wonder just how much fine art and antiques exist inside the halls of the US Federal Reserve, and just how much it is worth and how much us taxpayers have paid for it's procurement.

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