Enforcing moral hazard the Icelandic way (though Ireland may have better longer term prospects)…

There’s a good piece in the San Fran Chronicle which compares Iceland’s handling of the debt crisis favourably with the US’s. It doesn’t say it, but you might also compare it unfavourably with the Eurozone’s mishandling of its crisis too. Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges. Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once …

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Republic’s councils: Power without responsibilities?

Here’s one we missed from yesterday. It made the front page in Indo, and concerns the lowest tier of government in the Republic, which are now …relying on overdrafts and bank loans to meet day-to-day expenses, the Irish Independent has learned. This is despite the councils being ordered to reduce their costs and borrowings three years ago — a directive that has been widely ignored. And while the councils themselves are owed more than €500m in unpaid levies, rates and …

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RBS bonus: Obscene or a nice piece of business?

One thing, I think, that is better, or at least more widely, understood in the Republic than in the UK is that the credit crunch is still screwing up almost every other well intentioned effort to get our economies moving again. This is because the banks still haven’t owned up to the extent of their bad debt, and they are barely lending anything to anyone. So far, the pattern seems to be that they keep the good (ie, unimpaired) investment …

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Ireland and the Anglo debt: “Would the ECB like to have even one success?”

Extract from Vincent Browne putting the ECB under some pressure. He asks a simple question to a European central banker who has just finished praising the Irish public’s understanding of the economic crisis. Browne pays him the compliment of asking him one of the more awkward questions in the current playbook: ie, why are Irish taxpayers paying off the debt of a bank (Anglo Irish) that is effectively bust? Klaus Masuch answers it by saying (but not saying) that it …

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Statutory debt limits a quid pro quo for easing Irish debt?

Arthur Beesley on Enda Kenny’s European adventure (which given the times that are in it are more important than next week’s much reduced St Patrick’s day jaunt to the States): …one of Kenny’s prime tasks today is to convince his counterparts that his Government intends to make good on its pledge to doggedly pursue the fiscal path of rectitude and reform. In the first instance at least, this overrides debate on the interest rate and the banking debacle. Indeed, the …

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