Anglo Irish Bank and the FT

18th January, 2009

The Seanad is been recalled for next Tuesday night to debate the legislation to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank. Fine Gael have advocated the nationalisation and then orderly wind up of the bank. I am looking forward to making a constructive contribution to this important and historic debate.

However the scale of the challenge facing our country is chillingly illustrated in the influential Lex column in the weekend Financial Times. A representative quote is below. It indicates the scale of ‘reputational damage’ (to quote our Minister for Finance) to the Irish national interest.

” Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank may be marginally safer bets now that the government has removed the sector’s main systemic risk. Time, then, for Ireland’s coterie of bankers and politicians to resume their discussions of their golf handicaps in the club bars. But not far too long, neither bank has a price/earnings ration of more than one……which speaks volumes about investor confidence in the sector’s prospects”.