An upside of the crisis: the sheer entertainment value and joy of watching truly excellent commentators.
My Top 5
Keenan is on top form today arguing against government investment in the recapitalisation of banks:
“The mess is one of too much debt. To fix that, credit will have to be curtailed. People will have to save more and consume less. That is bad for economic growth and unpleasant for individuals. It is, however, unavoidable. Governments or voters who think re-capitalising banks is a way of avoiding these harsh truths are seriously deluded. It is merely a way of averting something worse.
For at least these two reasons, I would like to think that the Irish guarantees can keep the system functioning until panic subsides, banks which need fresh capital can raise it themselves, and any that can’t sell themselves off or close themselves down.
It seems unlikely, though. In a way, one is surprised the guarantee trick has worked even this long. But, if we do eventually have to dig out all those billions, just don’t be fooled by the banks’ bleatings that it is all for the best, or Government blandishments that it will somehow take away the pain.“