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Worse than Oliver Cromwell

After 3000+ pages of the Mahon Tribunal Report, one finding is clear: it’s all the fault of Denis O’Brien. Soon it will come out that he was in the room on the night of the bank guarantee. Anyway, following quickly on the Sunday Independent’s line, the Irish Times has another anti-Denis scoop: A FRENCH company [...]

How I stopped worrying and learned to love Nuclear

Before I begin I should point out my expertise is not in nuclear physics so this is not an “expert” opinion but neither is it a vested interest opinion. Whether or not Ireland adapts Nuclear power will have the same effect on my life as it will on yours. At 14:46 Japanese standard time on [...]

Mario on the referendum

Draghi, not Rosenstock. Here’s the President of the European Central Bank in an interview with the Wall Street Journal discussing the fiscal compact: Many things have happened in Europe in the last year and a half. You have different countries that have different initial conditions–high debt, low growth countries and countries with low debt and [...]

The Irish Times, the eurozone and the plebs

Big things are happening in a big week for Irish and European politics and, let’s be honest, most of us don’t really understand what’s happening, or why. The budget to be unveiled today and tomorrow will need to cut spending and increase taxes because of the banks, or something. The European summit being held on Friday will save [...]

NAMA: Not just Ireland’s problem anymore

From Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report.  Illustrated here is that when it comes to deleveraging — banks dumping loans to shrink their balance sheets — NAMA is up there with the biggest of the European banks.  Indeed, for this purpose, NAMA is best seen as being like a massively overextended large European bank, banks [...]

‘McGuinness suspect in double police killing’ – Herald

The Evening Herald has claimed that SF Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness is the main suspect in the murder of two policemen gunned down in an IRA ambush in Derry: SINN Fein Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness is the main suspect in the brutal murder of two policemen, the Herald can reveal. Sergeant Peter Gilgunn (26) and [...]

Irish delegation to Bahrain creates further complications

For the past few days (ending on Friday), an Irish delegation of doctors and politicians was in Bahrain to seek the freedom from detention of doctors imprisoned during the protest crackdown in that country. The link arose because the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland has a long-standing partnership to train Bahraini doctors and some [...]

No to (Adult) Prostitution Ban

Recent months have seen the issue of prostitution come to prominence as the Presidential election approaches. A disturbing parallel with the Lisbon debate is evident in the near unanimity of the political and intellectual ‘Establishment’ for a blind support of traditional policy approaches. How can someone simultaneously claims the mantle of liberalism while also attempting [...]

The revolution will not be hurried

IMF statement on the US$3 billion loan for Egypt – A number of fundamental structural reforms, including the transition to a VAT-like consumption tax and reform of the highly inequitable and costly system of subsidies, are needed to improve the efficiency of public spending and help reduce the fiscal deficit in the medium term. We [...]

Cross-border banking not what it used to be

Wall Street Journal article with an interesting bit of news – Last fall, the [UK] FSA [Financial Services Authority] successfully pushed the Bank of Ireland to convert its U.K. operations from a branch into a subsidiary that required more capital, according to people familiar with the matter. The agency also required the U.K. subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks [...]

When is an airline not an airline?

BBC Radio 4 with another scoop that should probably have been dug up by an Irish media outlet first.  The Manx2 crash at Cork Airport with the plane coming from Belfast.  The “airline’s” response to all queries — nothing to do us, sorry, we only sold the tickets.  A question for regulators both sides of the [...]

What do we know from Nyberg that we didn’t know before?

With the trilogy of Lenihan-era reports into Ireland’s financial collapse now completed (Regling-Watson, Honohan, and now Nyberg), there is now a lot of good information from which to draw.  But if you were hoping that completion of the trilogy meant something on the order of Return of the Jedi in terms of closure, you’d be [...]

Dept of Finance admits bamboozlement by Bank of Ireland on bonuses

At this pace of news dumps, we’re going to need a bigger Dumpster.  Today it’s the report into why Brian Lenihan misled Chris Andrews in response to his parliamentary question about the payment of bonuses at Bank of Ireland (the same question triggered the AIB bonus row).  First, a digression.   Let’s suppose you were considering [...]

They never said No Minister

Brian Lenihan has finally released his favourite selective leak document of the last couple of months, the independent review into the capacity of the Dept of Finance and its performance over the last 10 years.  As the Minister — fresh from his Alamo stand for Fianna Fail in Dublin — says The Minister appointed the [...]

GE11: The first night leftovers

A couple of semi-formed thoughts of issues that perhaps deserved a little more attention in all the relentless punditry.

Latest Anglo surgery completed

Rediscovering his “mandate” mojo on Election Eve, Brian Lenihan has moved virtually all of Anglo’s deposits and NAMA bonds to AIB.  An impolite question: where exactly is AIB getting the €3.5 billion in cash that it’s paying for the NAMA bonds?  Yes, it just sold the Polish operation to Banco Santander but that cash was [...]

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