CENTRAL Bank Governor Patrick Honohan couldn't have put it any more bluntly than he did on Wednesday.
Facing a Joint Oireachtas Committee, he disclosed the question he's confronted with most frequently -- 'what else is there to come from the Irish banks?'
"I'm saying there isn't anything else that's not already out," he told the assembled politicians. "As soon as we get stuff, even if it's bad stuff, we'll put it out."
Prof Honohan's frankness did little to appease market fears yesterday, as rumours of a surge in the cost of AIB's bailout ran rampant.
"There's been rumours for a few weeks now that the scale of losses at AIB could match Anglo's," says one source, explaining the unease.
What started as a whisper became a roar on Monday, when economist Morgan Kelly speculated on a €26bn taxpayer contribution to AIB in an Irish Times article.
The figure is massively higher than the €7.2bn in state support already ear-marked for AIB, explaining the shockwaves the article sent through the market.
The odd thing though, is that most experts who've considered the outcomes in detail say such a massive step-up in AIB's bailout costs is extremely unlikely.
NCB analyst Ciaran Callaghan points out that the much-hyped mortgage shock has the potential to hurt AIB, but not massively.
Both AIB and Bank of Ireland have about €30bn in Irish residential mortgages, and have already taken a hit of 2.5pc to 3pc on those under the 'base' case in the Financial Regulator's stress test.
Under the 'stress test', that hit rises to 5pc, or another €600m for each institution, a charge that Mr Callaghan describes as "not massively material" in the context of the multi-billion euro stakes.
The similarities of AIB and Anglo Irish Bank's development loan books have also been played up, as evidenced by the severe haircuts both banks took when their big ticket development loans transferred to Nama.
That may well be true, Mr Callaghan points out, but development loans make up a much smaller piece of AIB's overall book than that of Anglo's, and anyway, development losses have already been worked in.
Davy's analyst Stephen Lyons also points to another piece of the picture that will insulate AIB from needing masses of further state capital. The bank has about €5bn of subordinated debt on its books.
Yesterday, some of that debt was trading at less than half its face value, as investors pondered the prospects of a nationalised AIB inflicting mandatory cuts on subordinate debt-holders.
"There's an emergent liability management exercise there," said Mr Lyons, pointing to the ability of AIB to buy back its debt at a discount and book a hefty gain.
The markets, however, remain unconvinced and the sell-off of the Irish banks continued in earnest yesterday.