Anglo Irish Bank is presumably working on a programme at the moment to buy back some of its subordinated debt before the government guarantee runs out, meaning that the bank could technically default on it if it wanted to. But with both the government and the bank unlikely to countenance such a move, now is the time to buy those bondholders out for a tuppence on the euro.

Anglo's previous debt buyback programme came too quickly and in hindsight the bank paid for too much to do it, particularly given the horrific scale of the losses we've seen since.

As Karl Whelan of UCD pointed out in May: "Given that none of Anglo's subordinated debt after nationalisation matured until 2014, and given that a plan for restructuring the bank was still being formulated and discussed with the EU Commission, last year's decision to repurchase €2.5bn of its subordinated debt last year for a price of €750m represented a terrible and pointless waste of taxpayer money. What was particularly unfortunate about it is that most of what was bought back was undated subordinated debt that didn't even manage to make it into the September 2008 liability guarantee."

Expect Anglo's management to launch the subordinated debt buyback in the coming weeks.

Consumer panel deserves apology

A few weeks ago the Financial Services consumer panel published its annual report. It was largely anodyne stuff, but tucked away in it was a reference to the new offices it was taking at Spencer Dock and a report in this newspaper in May 2009 showing it was spending a hefty €8m on a fit-out of the building and that the annual rent would be in the region of €2.5m.

"While the Financial Regulator refuted the accuracy of these figures the panel continues to be concerned at the costs involved in moving to the Spencer Dock facility and will continue to monitor this item in relation to the 2010 budget," the report said.

The Financial Regulator may have questioned the accuracy of the figures used by this newspaper but the Central Bank's annual report for 2009, published last week, shows that the annual rental payment is €2.3m and that the 25-year lease is non-cancellable.

So the consumer panel is due an apology and, perhaps more importantly, an explanation as to why it was misled.

Moodys takes Tribune's advice

Irish banks tried to hide the scale of mortgage arrears in this country by shifting people to interest only mortgages or by giving longer repayment terms, a practice exposed by Eamon Quinn of this parish. Ratings agency Moodys was obviously listening and its report last week said that although 3.8% of collateralised Irish mortgages are now in arrears for more than 90 days and the outlook is negative in part "because Irish lenders are encouraged to assist cash-strapped borrowers in order to avoid repossession".

The government's expert group on debt has also advised that the Financial Regulator should amend its quarterly report on mortgage arrears to record, amongst other things, the number of mortgages that have been rescheduled.