Banks must not get their own way
Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan were intimidated by the Irish banks, backed up by threats from the European Central Bank.
Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan did not do much better, at first worrying about Europe, then fretting that the future sale of AIB could be adversely affected, then that foreign banks might be discouraged from returning to Ireland to make our market competitive if the government was seen to be tough on the banks.
Now Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe have a new excuse for going easy on the top bankers: the senior executives and board members responsible for the latest banking scandal. They have only to suggest that they might seek legal recourse against their individual client victims, against the Central Bank, or even against the Government itself, and suddenly everyone thinks appeasement is the best policy, and if the banks are treated gently they might just do the right thing.