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The Irish politicians were responsible for the regulation of the Irish banks. There was  no european banking regulation. Irish banking regulation failed.

The Irish people supported not only FF, but also the their coalition partner and the main opposition party FG. All of them - and the Labour party at least 90% of it - supported the failed Irish economic model. All the other major players of Irish society: banks, business, the real estate sector, local government, the unions, the press played happily along.

Perhaps the roman catholic church was innocent, being otherwise occupied. And perhaps the national association of the travelers opposed the housing boom.

But as far as a society can be made responsible, the Irish society was collectively responsible.

The last big madness was the famous universal guarantee, without consultation of any european partners.

The ECB on the other hand is not helpful now, but has supported the Irish banks two years now. Is it really so absurd to say, this can't go on we need a permanent solution?

Now this could have happened in other countries and in similar ways it did. Everybody likes a real estate boom and low taxes, and everybody likes to blame shadowy foreigners.

But we shouldn't encourage them. Not in Ireland and not in Iceland or Greece.  

by IM on Fri Feb 4th, 2011 at 04:43:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
_ Is it really so absurd to say, this can't go on we need a permanent solution?_

Yeah, the permanent solution is for the new Dail to renege on the blanket guarantee of all bank liabilities adopted by the previous government in October 2008. This will burn some creditors of the Irish banks. It will be a sovereign default since presumably the guarantee by now has legal standing.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 4th, 2011 at 04:54:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean exactly by this? Repeal the guarantee and return to just the general EU wide 20.000 deposit insurance? And then bankruptcy of the troubled banks?

That would actually make sense.

But that is not the proposal of the post and not the proposal of most of the commentators here who want to default on all Irish government debt.

by IM on Fri Feb 4th, 2011 at 05:04:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone seems to think the Irish government guaranteed all deposits. That's not what they did.

They guaranteed the entire balance sheet of the banks, from deposits to senior to junior debt to derivatives to whatever.

So bondholders had a government guarantee they didn't have before.

I'm not saying repeal the deposit guarantee. After all, depositors have always been and will always remain the most senior creditors of any regulated bank. No, I'm saying repeal the blanket guarantee of the entire unsecured debt of the Irish banks.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 4th, 2011 at 05:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A unlimited deposit insurance is still a bridge to far. But how helps the fact that the irish government was even madder us now?

The plan outlined in the post above discriminates between foreign and domestic creditors. Do you support that?

by IM on Fri Feb 4th, 2011 at 05:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, actually, I don't think that's sensible. It's also contrary to core EU principles and would be challenged it the European Court of Law.

However, as an initial threat in order to bargain down to a sensible position it might make sense.

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 4th, 2011 at 06:01:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Distinguishing between foreign and domestic creditors does make sense: Foreign creditors have a second safety net in their own government; Irish creditors have no such thing. And as a practical matter, Frankfurt and Bruxelles are going to be a lot more sensitive to British, German and French creditors than to domestic Irish creditors.

If the powers that be do not want German taxpayers to bail out Greek sovereign bonds, then there is no reason for Irish taxpayers to bail out German pension funds.

- 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 02:09:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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