Scare tactics have worked a treat
Credit where credit is due. In this game of international psychological poker, in my opinion both Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan have in fact turned out to be a pair of world-class aces.
In effect, they have both managed to pull off one of the biggest financial coups/stings in recent times: by repeatedly stating to the world's media that "we are not looking for" a bail-out, they have actually managed to scare the IMF, the EU, and the ECB into considering the nightmarish scenario that if Ireland defaulted on its loans and contagion spread to other countries then the European and other economies would undoubtedly be very seriously destabilised, and perhaps placed in peril.
This psychology resulted in all of them actually insisting that we take an astronomically huge loan with a relatively low interest rate attached.