Remember this?

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Brian Lenihan said the bank guarantee scheme was “a necessary first step” and “the cheapest bailout in the world so far” compared with bank rescues where “billions and billions of taxpayers’ money are being poured into financial institutions”. “It allows us to move on and examine other questions which may have to be addressed to… Continue reading Remember this?

Confidence in action

Ireland's debt/GDP

How much will we owe in 2012? Ireland’s Debt/GDP reached a record low of 25% in 2006. At the end of 2009, it stood at 66%, as the government went on a borrowing spree to bail out banks while tax revenues plummeted. Our gross debt ratio is projected to rise to 84% by end 2010.… Continue reading Confidence in action

Failure Is Good

Way back in September 2008, I wondered what had become of free market philosophy, as the US government scrambled to rescue crumbling banks. Two weeks later, Ireland guaranteed bank deposits and bondholders. A lot has happened since then. Back in 2008, I asked what happened to the belief in creative destruction. I’m still wondering. Capitalism… Continue reading Failure Is Good

Rock Bottom

Anyone seeking for a metaphor for all that is wrong with Ireland at the moment need look no farther than the Dublin docklands. There, you will find the proposed new headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank, a building planned in happier days, before the bank imploded and was nationalised. A government strapped for cash as tax… Continue reading Rock Bottom


Today is Brian Cowan’s 300th day as Taoiseach. It’s symptomatic of his reign that today, the door fell off a minister’s helicopter as it left a tourism conference. Brian Cowen’s reign just can’t seem to achieve takeoff. He was elected, as far as I can tell, because he was great crack altogether. He became the… Continue reading 300

Five Stages

I’m getting better at dealing with the Dáil meltdowns. I was already prepared for the latest Anglo Irish debacle this morning, since the news of the ‘exceptional support‘ loans emerged yesterday. Even so, it took some time for me to absorb the news that Brian Lenihan never bothered to read the auditor’s report. The man’s… Continue reading Five Stages


Junior labour minister Billy Kelleher thinks the minimum wage needs a review. Apparently, €8.65 an hour could be a ‘barrier to employment’. Billy’s boss, enterprise and employment minister Mary Coughlan, sets the minimum wage in orders and regulations laid before the Oireachtas. Maybe the government hopes the latest kite will distract from the fact that… Continue reading Equity

Breaking News

I was all set to write an article today on the government’s belated decision to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank. Before writing, I decided to check what RTÉ had to say about the story. Nationalisation has been inevitable since the bailout consensus broke down yesterday, when Fine Gael said it would vote against the government recapitalisation… Continue reading Breaking News

Out With The Old

Patrick Neary had announced he will step down as chief executive of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. The decision comes on the same day the Authority received a report on the failure to act for almost a year following the discovery of controversial loans transfers by Anglo Irish chairman Sean Fitzpatrick. In a statement,… Continue reading Out With The Old