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The Irish central bank and Ireland in general did not really regulate its own banks.

Nobody here is disputing that. Ireland was a massive case of control fraud. People should be going to prison for that. But the fact that several highly placed property developers, bankers and Fianna Fail machine politicians should be dining on prison fare for a few years does not mean that the general public has to be flagellated in order to honour obviously bogus debts.

You could make the argument that those who voted for Fianna Fail bear some measure of responsibility, since Ireland is, after all, a democracy. While I agree that on some moral level they do, as a practical matter the buck has to stop somewhere. You cannot flagellate the entire Irish economy in penance over their corrupt politicians, for the same reason that you couldn't hang every German who voted for the Nazi party, or worked in the German armaments industry during the war.

Personal responsibility is all well and good, but you have to draw a line somewhere, or your quest for personal responsibility will turn into collective punishment.

The exposure to genuine Irish banks, who ruined themselves in real estate, was always low and is after two years almost nonexistent.

Well, that would simplify matters greatly. Then the Irish government just needs to shaft some domestic Irish bondholders. Which is always less complicated than shafting foreign bondholders.

There's just the teensy-tiny problem that it isn't true.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 5th, 2011 at 01:09:55 AM EST
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