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Saturday 10 December 2016

The top ten moments that shook business in 2010

Published 27/12/2010 | 05:00

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Ajai Chopra (left) head of the visiting IMF delegation, making his way past a beggar on St Stephen's Green. Photo: Frank McGrath
SIGN OF THE TIMES: Ajai Chopra (left) head of the visiting IMF delegation, making his way past a beggar on St Stephen's Green. Photo: Frank McGrath

FEW people will forget 2010 -- the year that began with Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan promising the worst was over and then ended with the IMF firmly ensconced in Merrion Street and serious doubts about the future of the euro.

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The year began slowly, with some signs of a very mild recovery and a pick-up in consumer spending which led economists to upgrade their forecasts; optimism that turned out to be wildly premature.

Consumer confidence and business confidence fluctuated until the summer when a series of domestic and international shocks saw it crumble in the autumn.

In retrospect, the Government's September 28 announcement that it could cost €35bn to prop up Anglo Irish Bank was the turning point of 2010.

The figure disproved Mr Lenihan's 2009 boast that he was introducing the cheapest banking bailout in history and was the moment that the man on the Luas realised that he had been misled by people who no longer knew what was going on. It was also the moment that it became clear that the cost of bailing out the banks was going to be impossibly large and drastic action was needed.

The feeling that those in charge had lost any connection with reality was confirmed for many when Taoiseach Brian Cowen denied in mid-November that his Government was in talks with the IMF; a denial that cost him the last few shreds of credibility and led to the collapse of his Government.

Irish Independent

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