To be published in the Sunday Independent 12 Sept 2010
On numerous occasions in the last week we have heard our Minister for finance Mr. Lenihan remind us of the necessity to continue to guarantee the banks. Not to have done so initially would almost certainly have meant the instant financial collapse for our state. Of the two options open to him (letting the banks go, being the first), guaranteeing the Irish banks was the only practical option. Well, according to those who were advising himself and Mr. Cowen on that fateful night, when the crises meeting took place in Government Buildings.
Let’s face it, this is what he was told by the CEO’s and the Chairmen of Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland. And these people should know shouldn’t they? These were the same people who, we had been led to believe, understood international finance, economics and the creation of wealth. After all, the bankers were finance professionals and Mr. Lenihan and Mr. Cowen, were legal professionals. You wouldn’t go to a solicitor for financial advice nor vice versa, would you? Our representatives at the meeting (Zig & Zag) were either lied to or they were incompetent, or both. Fortunately for everyone in the room that night, we’ll never know as there were no minutes taken at the meeting. Yeah, right.
We can only surmise that the bankers put up an extremely strong case for the guaranteeing of the banks and strangely Anglo Irish bank, which they knew was in serious trouble. The problem is, Mr. Lenihan has ever told us what, specifically, the alternatives were. Sure, we have heard the warnings of “economic meltdown” and “imminent collapse of the financial system” etc etc. But so far, nobody has actually told us what these mean. What advice specifically did Mr. Lenihan and Mr. Cowen receive from the bankers? What “appalling vista” lay before them that left them with no choice but to guarantee the Irish banks and therefore a generation to economic hardship? I, for one, would really like to know the answer. I mean, how bad would the alternative have been? ./………… […]