It’s good to see that Brian Lenihan’s plan seems to have worked.
Whilst he has been operating in the shadows behind-the-scenes since he came to power, is it premature to say that he has stepped up to the plate, and offered a realistic blueprint to solve a national banking crisis?
In effect, he has taken the focus off the one or two “problematic” banks and re-distributed this risk across the whole banking system and the government itself. The risk distribution amongst the various banks has been flattened out very nicely and there is the real possibility that they can come out of this global turmoil, with each bank and the government playing ball together to share the tremendous load pressing on the country’s economy.
The alternative would be to nationalise banks one by one as they get into difficulty, with huge costs to the taxpayer and I don’t think we can realistically afford a bailout of even one bank.
Other countries are now looking at Ireland and seeing how Lenihan’s great economic fix pans out. If it holds up, Ireland will be held in very high esteem internationally and our reputation for inventiveness and fortitude in the face of grave difficulty would be boosted tremendously.
Lenihan has gone “all-in” and his poker face seems to be holding up. I know we’ve only got something like a 4/7 off-suit hand, but I think it may just stave off the card sharks. It looks good sofar. Who knows; we might even flop a 5, 6, 8! (luck of the Irish style…)
If this works, Lenihan will go down in the annals of Irish history alongside the greats. The Oxbridge graduate is shrewder and braver than most people give him credit for.
I just hope that come budget time, we can follow-through on Lenihan’s great economic fix by addressing our competitiveness, both external (i.e. our cost-base, productivity of export-orientated companies, our energy dependency, etc.) and internal (i.e. public/private sector wage disparities, high cost of housing, incentivising participation in the “knowledge economy”, etc.) which would make Ireland a much better place to do business in and to live in.
Oh and please annihilate (diplomatically of course) Tom Parlon and his CIF cronies off the face of this country once and for all.
edit: big opportunity for Ireland: agriculture, high-tech food production and gourmet food brands.