Tuesday 6 December 2016

Noonan's going rogue -- and it's about time too

Finance Minister is the only one in Europe making any sense, believes Brendan O'Connor

Published 19/06/2011 | 05:00

So Noonan's gone rogue. And isn't it great? The Europeans are clearly taken aback. They think he's gone bonkers. Most irregular. As people keep telling us, this whole bailout thing is a carefully choreographed piece of theatre that needs to be played out.

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And then, Noonan just goes off and changes the script. And significantly, he did it safely from the arms of America, just to remind the Europeans that we have other friends, and other options.

Noonan obviously enjoyed the smell of burning kindling when he made a little campfire from some subordinated bondholders recently. And now he's the firestarter. Now he's decided to have a senior moment. And he's even come up with a brilliant loophole that makes it not a default when we burn the Anglo and Irish Nationwide senior bondholders. Because, as Noonan points out, with the impeccable logic of the only sane man left in the madhouse that is Europe -- Anglo and Nationwide aren't banks anymore. So to hell with them.

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