The risk now is reputational risk. Credible institutions will simply not want to be associated with an outfit like Anglo Irish Bank.
Brian Lenihan is the Marie Antoinette of Irish politics. He has just done a deal with the management of the Irish banks which even the bewigged last queen of France (bred into the regime, like Lenihan) would not have tried to get away with.
The government is finally getting it. The â‚¬500 million innovation fund announced last Thursday is an enormously influential and intelligent move. In years to come, it may even be seen as Whitakeresque in its prescience. For the first time in a long while, we have a vision of this country that complements what is good in the economy and, more importantly, sees beyond the current malaise. In the weekend where the depth of the problems in our banking system were laid bare, it is encouraging to see that Taoiseach Brian Cowen has the capacity to think about the future.
The bank bailout just announced is simply not enough to right the wrongs in our financial system. And yet it is all we have.
Has anyone broken the news to finance minister Brian Lenihan that he owns the banks? So far, this fact appears to be unclear to the minister and his civil servants.
It was a mirage fabricated by other people’s money. There was no miracle; it was an overdraft