More austerity misery and suffering – for what?
• On the eve of yet another austerity Budget, it's timely to ask – what if we hadn't bailed out the banks? Would we be better off, would we be worse off?
I could dazzle you with numbers at this stage; the €115bn in bonds that our failed banks have paid out since the ill-advised blanket bank guarantee of September 2008 (and let's not bother here with the equally ill-advised circumstances in which that guarantee was given), the €69.7bn we have pumped into our banks (including the oft-overlooked €5.5bn NAMA donation), which translates to over €15,200 of debt for every resident of this State – man, woman and child.
I could point to the ironic symmetry that is developing and ask two very pertinent questions.