Saturday 3 December 2016

David McWilliams: We're all fools if we think recovery plan is patriotic

Published 03/02/2010 | 05:00

It's been nearly 18 months since the Government announced its bank guarantee. Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised over a year ago and it is coming up to a year since the Government first mooted the NAMA plan. Yet nothing has actually been done since then. Not a single loan has been transferred to NAMA. There has been lots of talk, lots of bluster and point scoring, but still credit in the economy contracts, house prices continue their slow strangling decline and, most significantly, the rest of the world has moved on.

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Why the delay? One interpretation is that our government doesn't understand that speed is crucial. If we compare our stagnation with other countries that have been faced with national bankruptcy, we compare dreadfully.

Look at what the Swedes achieved in their crisis of 1993 when their property market collapsed along with their banks. In the four months between November 1993 and February 1994 Sweden issued a bank guarantee, set up and transferred all the bad loans to a bad bank, committed state money only after all the private money had been wiped out, let some weak banks go bust, nationalised some big ones and devalued their currency by 40pc!

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