Thursday 14 December 2017

We need to plan how we react to another bubble, says Bruton

John Bruton
John Bruton
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

IRELAND must not only be able to predict the development of another bubble, but develop the ability to say stop if it does happen, former Taoiseach John Bruton has said.

And he claimed we still were not addressing that problem.

The ex-Fine Gael Finance Minister said we needed to build a "social consensus" to back up measures that would have to be taken in the event of another unsustainable boom.

"We need not just to evolve techniques for predicting and mitigating the development of bubbles, we need to develop a social consensus that understands and accepts when those techniques are put into effect and the punch bowl is removed when the party is still on," Mr Bruton told business leaders.

"I don't think myself that we are addressing that problem at the present time, and I think it's the problem that we really do need to address."

The former European Union ambassador to Washington also told the Dublin Chamber of Commerce event earlier this week that the shadow banking industry was an instrument of social justice.

And he claimed that the wealth accumulated in the pension and insurance sectors should be converted into a form that could be earmarked for small businesses.

The financial services industry is a contributor to helping people to manage the risks of life, is socially useful and should be supported by both public opinion and policy makers.

He said the international financial services community in Ireland had contributed tax worth €2.1bn.

Meanwhile, separately, the Government was urged to set up the planned Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland as quickly as possible.

Dr Stephanie Griffith-Jones of Columbia University was speaking yesterday about the future of banking in Ireland at a lecture hosted by the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI).

"As the Americans say, just do it, and do it soon. Do it quickly and disburse quickly, and scale up," she said.

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