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GETTING the country’s finances in order is obviously the Government’s first priority to kick-start the economy and reduce the dole queues.
I believe they could do worse than study the tried and tested plan used by the Swedes in the 1990s. Leave NAMA up and running, but nationalise at least two of the top banks as well. Hedging their resources in this way would offer them the best of both worlds.
If the banks successfully complete the course, they can be privatised again and taxpayers would reap the benefit. Alternatively, if they fail to achieve their targets, NAMA should do well, giving more happy faces. Whatever action they take, the Government is fireproofed thanks to the generous support of the European Central Bank.
My one great fear, however, is that the cronyism among various professional bodies could surface again. Even if this risk means moving away from the Dublin “golden circle” and recruiting some personnel down the country, it might help to promote more confidence in the whole NAMA idea. Equivalent brainpower would be readily available, remuneration would be more realistic and, I dare say, “performance bonuses” would be only accepted on satisfactory results. Finally, to quote Thomas Jefferson, “banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies”. We shouldn’t forget we are in the process of launching a serious one in NAMA.
James A Gleeson
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