The following is from an article in the Sunday Business Post last week by Cliff Taylor.

Double standards on debt?

Is this the year when the different treatment of people with debts finally comes into focus? The first group are the big developers with massive debts who are mainly dealing with Nama. Some have moved offshore; some have transferred cash to their spouses; and, while some will doubtless be closed down by Nama, the agency will also work with others.

The second group might be called the non-Nama debtors – the banks seem to have shown some forebearance, but is AIB’s move on Ivan Yates a sign of things to come? And is it the case that the middle-ranking business person is going to end up getting a rougher deal than the developer who owes a couple of billion?

Finally, there are the punters with big mortgages.

The banks have been pushed into giving this group extra time to repay their debts but, so far, any question of write-down or forgiveness is off the agenda.

Yet, in the case of the big developers, nobody believes they will ever repay their debts – even if the charade that they are being pursued for those debts continues.