Sunday 22 April 2018

EU worked in its own interest but no one was looking out for us

Bruce Arnold

In the days leading up to the bank guarantee, on September 30, 2008, economist David McWilliams was close to Brian Lenihan, gave him what help he could and watched -- not without misgivings and growing alarm -- the uncertain and faltering search by the Finance Minister for a way forward.

McWilliams gives a good account of this in 'Follow the Money'. Lenihan, new to Finance, new to economics generally, came to McWilliams. McWilliams became increasingly involved and increasingly sceptical. "I never thought the . . . guarantee would be so loose and so all-encompassing".

What he never knew, because Lenihan did not tell him, was that the eventual force behind the blanket guarantee that has cost us so much money was the European Central Bank.

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