Wednesday 17 January 2018

Meave Dineen: With his plans unravelling daily, Noonan must pull trigger now

Meave Dineen

WHEN Michael Noonan stands up in the Dail this evening, he will be doing what no finance minister anywhere else in Europe has done: attempt to give a detailed picture about the state of the nation's banks as presented by a reputable and independent agency which comes from outside the country and has a reputation to protect.

Betrayed, robbed and impoverished by our banks, we can be excused for losing all faith in the system, but there is something noble amid all the chaos that has characterised the bank bailouts until now. Of course, we can quibble about the worst-case scenario contained within the tests' assumptions. We can even question the beliefs which underpin the stress tests, but we cannot argue that this is not a good day for Ireland. Any attempt to get ahead of the curve by doing something that many other countries still need to do and to finally get to the bottom of our banking mess has to be seen as a positive.

It is, after all, an open secret that many of the regional banks in Germany are in trouble, although Berlin is using its clout to ensure that future stress tests will gloss over these problems. It is an open secret that many of Spain's banks are also in trouble along with banks in Denmark and Austria.

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