Wednesday 19 September 2018

Ireland Inc should sell AIB while the going is still good

Volatile financial markets remind us that we should be bailing out, writes Liam Collins

'Allied Irish Banks is, by a long shot, Ireland’s biggest bank. It has had a chequered career that continues to this day.' Stock image
'Allied Irish Banks is, by a long shot, Ireland’s biggest bank. It has had a chequered career that continues to this day.' Stock image
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

The sudden volatility in the financial markets tumbling all last week on Wall Street should be a warning to Paschal Donohoe and the Government that the time has probably arrived for the State to get serious about cashing in its chips and bailing out of Allied Irish Banks.

In mid-January at the plutocrat-fest in Davos, Switzerland, the billionaire investor George Soros predicted that the stock market rally would soon end. Now Soros, like all financial gurus, often gets things wrong - but his contention wasn't if it would happen, it was just a question of when? It didn't take long for this prediction to become a harsh reality for investors.

While Europe bounced back, jitters in America's financial capital Wall Street continued throughout the week. In the White House, Donald Trump was left scratching his well-coiffured head. He lamented the fact that in the normal course of events stocks rise on good news. "Today, when good news is reported, the stock market goes down. Big mistake," he tweeted in his inimitable style.

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