Sunday 17 December 2017

Let's be clear-eyed about our 'allies' in the United States

Then US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in 2009. Photo: Reuters
Then US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in 2009. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Billy Keane writes, "All through the recession, the Americans were our only allies" (Irish Independent, September 19). However, it was the US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner who, at a conference call with the G7 finance ministers in November 2010, torpedoed the haircut offered by the IMF, which would have helped Ireland to reduce its massive bank debts.

This is not to say that Ireland can find better allies than the US - for example, in 2010, the German banks had a €21.3bn exposure to the Irish banking system, so Germany opposed Ireland's efforts to enforce losses on certain categories of bank bondholders.

And in 2013, Britain accused Ireland of losing billions of tax revenue due to the US companies routing their earnings from the UK to Ireland. However, at the same time, we should look at all superpowers with the examining eyes of Sherlock Holmes, rather than the roving eyes of Maureen O'Hara in 'The Quiet Man'.

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