Obviously something needed to be done about the ongoing financial crisis but only time will tell whether the Government has made the right decision.
In America everybody knew what was going on, the Opposition was actively and centrally involved and ordinary Americans were listened to as they expressed their anger at the prospect of greedy bankers being allowed off the hook.
The deal was rejected and now everybody is back at the table trying to work out a deal. It is virtually certain that ordinary American taxpayers will get a better deal; that strict new regulations will be introduced and enforced and already some bankers are under investigation by the FBI.
In Ireland the Government met in the dead of night with the Financial Regulator and bankers to work out a deal. Nobody else was consulted; the Opposition was kept in the dark, the views of ordinary people don’t count. It’s now nearly 24 hours since the deal was announced and we still don’t know what conditions are being imposed on the bankers.
Here’s my guess – Absolute minimum conditions will be enacted in the legislation but even these will never be enforced. Neither will any bank or bank official be investigated; no Irish government or financial regulator have ever acted against the banks. There’s no reason to believe that things will be any different on this occasion.
The Irish Government can act like this because we effectively live in a one party state where democracy has been diluted to the point of irrelevance.
America, the richest and most powerful economy in history is spending $700 billion in an attempt to save their economy and by extension save the world from global recession.
The Irish government is spending €400 billion, more than half what the Americans are committing, in an attempt to bail out six banks that recklessly and greedily lost the run of themselves during the building bubble.
According to an expert on Prime Time last night; Irish banks have loans out totaling €110 billion and can expect losses of at least 10 to 20 billion.
The $700 billion represents $5,000 for every American citizen. The €400 billion represents €100,000 for every Irish citizen – Mention that to your banker the next time you apply for a loan.
Minister for Defence, Willie (Groucho) O’Dea confidently told the nation on Prime Time that the assets of Irish banks exceeded their liabilities and that Irish citizens were not at risk.
Now I’m really scared.