Prospering from Anglo 'treason'
Published 02/04/2010 | 05:00
The Taoiseach takes umbrage at being accused of "economic treason", arising from his part in the decision to rescue Anglo Irish Bank from collapse by guaranteeing not only deposits but also the amounts owing to bondholders. At that time we were told repeatedly that the bank had to be saved because it was of "systemic" importance. How things change. There is no more mention of its systemic importance. We are now told it must be supported because it would cost too much to close. Of course, the reason it would cost too much to close is that depositors and bondholders have been guaranteed, and the full weight of the costs of closure would fall on the taxpayer. Where is the systemic importance of the bank now, when so many bemoan the fact that the institution cannot be closed quickly enough?
It was never of systemic importance. Many commentators will insist that its rescue was, at best, a knee-jerk reaction to save an institution that was near and dear to the hearts of Fianna Fail. Its rescue cannot be regarded as an act of undiluted patriotism, whatever about treason.