AIB chief executive Colin Hunt is putting the bank back into higher growth businesses where it can maximise the limited opportunities the Irish market brings. AIB had to scale back massively after the financial crash by selling off several businesses, including its Polish operations, its life and pensions joint venture Ark Life, and Goodbody Stockbrokers.
Before Christmas it emerged AIB was in the running to buy back Goodbody, and this week reports said it was in talks to start up a new joint venture with Irish Life.
It all makes sense for the bank as it can't really expand outside of Ireland. It has also seen rival Bank of Ireland make a determined push into wealth management as a growth area, something in which Goodbody has been stronger since it was bought by Fexco and management back in 2013.
On the face of it, the moves look like putting parts of Humpty Dumpty together again - but at a higher price. Goodbody Stockbrokers was sold in the aftermath of the financial crash by AIB for around €20m.
The purchase price in the new deal is around €130m.
It is hardly current management's fault that Goodbody was sold for a song. And selling a business for €20m when you have a hole of €20bn in the balance sheet, doesn't look too clever either.
Equally, Goodbody is a different business to the one AIB sold eight years ago. It is now more about wealth management than stockbroking.
Nevertheless, there is about €110m of added value going to its owners - Fexco and the management team.
The Department of Finance has yet to sign off on allowing AIB to continue to pay bonuses to Goodbody after the deal goes through. Bonuses for bankers have been all but wiped out given the enormous 89pc tax charge they carry.
It would be very strange for the government to prevent the Goodbody deal from going ahead because of an effective ban on bonuses to bankers when Goodbody staff aren't bankers.
The bonus ban was there to prevent banks incentivising the kind of reckless lending that had happened during the boom. Goodbody isn't lending money.
The biggest pitfall of exuberance in wealth management is over-zealous sales of products akin to mis-selling. The Central Bank has safeguards to protect against that. Bonuses are part of the culture of the sector and have been for a very long time.
There is also the thorny question of the state's 72pc shareholding in AIB. The State should not prevent a deal from going ahead which could very well enhance the value of its holding and increase the chances of getting back some of the billions that have gone into the bank.
It also makes sense for AIB to go after the investment market more aggressively through a joint venture with the likes of Irish Life.
After selling Ark Life, which it previously owned as a joint venture with Aviva, AIB paired up with Irish Life in an agency type relationship.
Turning this into a fully-fledged standalone business makes more sense. The 50:50 joint venture would match Irish Life investment products with AIB's customer base.
AIB's return to the life and pensions business comes at a time when banks in the Republic and across Europe continue to widen the net of customers being charged what are known as negative interest rates on deposits.
Irish households have put away €13.4bn in savings in the year to the end of November.
Both deals mark an about turn for AIB, but make sense in the current market.
Is there a stocks bubble? Is it all about to come crashing down? With US share prices at record highs, it is as if the coronavirus hadn't happened at all or has gone away.
The question of a bubble and an imminent crash, depends on how you value a share in a company. If the value of shares is based on their multiple of earnings, then they look incredibly over-priced in the US.
There have been major spikes in the historic price earnings (P/E) ratios of S&P 500 shares since 1960. The long-term average has been a P/E of 16.8. At the end of the dotcom bubble in 2000 it reached 46.5. During the financial crisis it reached 26.1. It is now at about 31.4. On that metric, some kind of correction is likely.
If you value a share on the basis of what somebody might be willing to pay for it tomorrow or next week, then history tells us something else. Take three major stock market bubbles of the past 40 years - Japan in the late 1980s, the Nasdaq/S&P in the late 1990s and emerging markets in 2007.
On average, the equity indices almost tripled in the three years up to the peak and then at least halved in the two years afterwards, according to Robert Buckland, chief global equity strategist at Citigroup.
This time, the Nasdaq, which is seen as the most bubbly, is up 83pc over three years.
So if punters were prepared to keep buying to much higher levels in the past, they may not be done yet. So perhaps it is too early to call the crash.
Based on the metric of share prices to fixed income returns, there may be some way to go. When stock markets crashed before, fixed income delivered a reasonably good alternative return. US government bonds yielded 5pc to 6pc, according to Buckland. Right now they are on a yield of about 0.1pc.
The idea here is that money will keep going into the stock market for as long as it doesn't have anywhere else to go with a reasonable yield. The question is whether that driving force alone can push up stocks to levels well beyond their underlying value.
There is a strong feeling of a growing disconnect between share price values and underlying performance. But Wall St has always been a confidence game.
If the fixed income relationship is the best indicator, then stock markets should keep rising as central banks are keeping bond yields low through quantitative easing.
Retail investors getting together on social media to combat the targeting of individual stocks by hedge funds is fun to watch.
But if the fundamentals of those stocks are truly wrong, hedge funds with their deeper pockets can short stock and wait for it to fall.
Small online traders may be the Davids to Wall Street's hedge fund Goliaths, and they have landed a few slingshots in recent weeks. Yet you can't help but feel it will all end in tears for the small guys.
What should you do, if you are trading shares? Buckland, who clearly doesn't believe there is an imminent crash put it well in the Financial Times this week.
"We've stopped dancing, we are standing closer to the door, but we haven't left the party yet," he said.