Friday, October 01, 2010

The Irish Banking Crisis

Some of my wife's relations were over visiting recently, and in discussion of Ireland's finances my brother-in-law made a very telling remark. The depth of the crisis can be judged by the extent to which the Irish public have had to educate themselves about subordinate debt instruments and the other tools of international finance, to the extent that they discuss them in the street.
This struck me as being very similar to Rebecca West's observation on isolated coastal communities - to paraphrase, the women might be semi-literate and have little idea of the facts of life, but they know everything there is to know about radar systems. What immediately concerns your own life becomes the topic of your conversation.
Ireland has been led into the mess it's in by an historically corrupt oligarchy. Ireland has not been corrupted recently, but has been corrupt for decades. The multiple tribunals which have been held into the conduct of Irish public life, particularly at its summit, appear to have had absolutely no impact upon its manner. The Irish State did not come into being for a claque of gobshite developers to be bailed out by their fellow citizens at the behest of some of Catholic Europe's seediest and dirtiest politicians.
At this rate, they'll be marching on Dublin with pitchforks - or wondering where Granda buried his guns in 1922.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

Martin, I could not agree more. People will be digging up the graves in Donegal and getting their old thompsons and so on out at this rate. I read this morning that 'Hedge funds are holding the Irish state to ransom', and since that state is one of which I have citizenship (amongst others) it raised my hackles. 94 years after the GPO and this is what things have come to?

My own view, I suspect, is different from yours. The oil began to run out at cheap prices in the 70s; we invented and overused derivative instruments and new exploitation technologies that bought time; we worse than wasted that time; and now a postponed reckoning is beginning.

I do note, though, that Labour--not Sinn Fein or Fine Gael--are profiting from all of this. Perhaps Eamonn Gilmore can read his Connolly, and see the blood upon the rose as it were. It would be awful to see Ireland become Iceland, except in that latter country, the former leader is on trial for negligence. Whom would Ireland indict?

The rot there is extensive. On my last trip, I found stories of the Judges sitting in cases where they shared property development deals and horse ownership with litigants. Caesar's wife wouldn't have a chance in that mire....

01 October, 2010 10:24  
Blogger PJMULVEY said...

Martin: Hope is is well with the wee lad and yourself. We must be on the same wavelength........I wrote a similar post myself today. God bless you and the family...Patrick

01 October, 2010 17:58  
Blogger Martin said...

Thanks for that, gents.

Martin, FWMOW I think a better Ireland will emerge from this. It will take a lot of time and pain, but they'll get there.

Patrick,

Said wee chap's coming on like a peach, thank you.

God bless you both.

02 October, 2010 08:03  

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