Sunday 4 December 2016

If we default it's not down to EU

Published 03/04/2011 | 05:00

The starkest image of where this State is going came from the economist Jim Power who noted that one of the unexpected consequences of the Argentine default was that the middle classes ended up sifting through dustbins looking for food.

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It would be tempting, but lazy, to suggest that the new Government's latest plan to rescue the banking crisis was a classic case of 'plus ca change plus ca le meme chose'. We are, however, emphatically not in the same place that we were before yet another Black Thursday.

The best way to describe what has been happening to our economy is that we have been trying to find out what is the best way to fall off a cliff. Sadly, after last week the speed of our fall towards some form of sovereign default has visibly accelerated. Our relationship with the banks is somewhat like that of a driver who, when his car stops, fills the tank with petrol in the hope that this will get the car running again. But if we put the petrol in and nothing happens there is no point in continuing to fill the tank. And if we continue in this futile course of action to the point where the petrol starts to flow on to the road, all it takes is one idiot to light a match and you get a very big explosion.

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