Sunday 18 March 2018

Tell us alternative solutions, Brian

We need to know what other responses to the banking crisis were considered, writes Eamonn Blaney

On numerous occasions in the last week we have heard our Finance Minister Brian Lenihan remind us of the necessity to continue to guarantee the banks. Not to have done so initially would almost certainly have meant the instant financial collapse for our State.

Of the two options open to him (letting the banks go, being the first), guaranteeing the Irish banks was the only practical option. Well, according to those who were advising himself and Taoiseach Brian Cowen on that fateful night, when the crisis meeting took place in Government Buildings.

Let's face it, this is what he was told by the CEOs and the chairmen of Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland. And these people should know, shouldn't they? These were the same people who, we had been led to believe, understood international finance, economics and the creation of wealth. After all, the bankers were finance professionals and Mr Lenihan and Mr Cowen were legal professionals. You wouldn't go to a solicitor for financial advice nor vice versa, would you? Fortunately for everyone in the room that night, we'll never know what precisely happened as there were no minutes taken at the meeting. Yeah, right.

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