source URL: http://wp.me/pNlCf-103
When Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001 after two terms in office and with successor, Republican George W. Bush’s administration about to walk through the doors, it seems Clinton’s staff decided to play some practical jokes and prised the letter “W” off many keyboards in the White House, removed door knobs and my own favourite, interspersed random sheets of paper with pictures of naked people in the photocopier paper trays – yep, that was the standard of sophistication back then. You’d have to wonder how Fianna Fail might mark their departure from office after nearly 15 years in power should they find themselves outside government after the forthcoming election (but remembering that Paddy Power put FG/FF as the second favourite for a coalition at 14/1, that’s after the odds-on favourite of FG/Lab at 1/16). With an election now seemingly due between 22nd Feb – 2nd March (and Minister O’Cuiv who will have Constitutional responsibility for announcing the date suggesting on radio this morning that Friday, 25th February seems the most likely date at this stage), Fianna Fail have some weeks yet to plan any practical jokes though some might say they couldn’t outdo themselves following the collapse of the economy, banking and construction sectors, soaring unemployment, emigration, negative equity, huge personal debt, an IMF/EU bailout with crippling interest rates and the loss of reputation worldwide. But between now and whenever the new government is formed, there will be a lot going on in the Irish economy. It might be worthwhile reminding ourselves of what was agreed with the IMF and EU with respect to Q1, 2011 actions (prominent actions highlighted in red on here). For the IMF/ECB Memorandum of Understanding In addition there are still some outstanding actions from Q4, 2010 like agreeing a loan:deposit target for Irish banks (presently around 170% though it seems the IMF/EU want us to reduce that to 100-120% within three years – the target though was supposed to have been agreed in December 2010 and it wasn’t). Despite attempts by the Department of Finance, the Central Bank of Ireland and government to get an extension to 28th February, 2011 date set for the next recapitalisation of the banks, the IMF and EU have stood firm, so it looks as if the State will need inject “in equity shares” (from the Financial Regulator’s PCAR/PLAR announcement on 28th November, 2010) (1) €1.5bn into Bank of Ireland (the €2.2bn identified in the Financial Regulator’s PCAR announcement on 28th November, 2010 less the €0.7bn raised in the December debt-swap) (2) €4.7bn into AIB (the €6.1bn identified in the Financial Regulator’s PCAR announcement on 28th November, 2010 less the €1.4bn raised in the January 2011 debt-swap) (3) €0.4 for EBS. In the case of BoI the injections will probably not be new money as the State already has some €1.8bn of preference shares which might be converted to Core Tier 1 (note the IMF/EU Memorandum of Understanding calls for the injections in “equity shares”) And on 19th February, 2011 BoI might need some assistance from the State as €214m in preference share dividends fall due for payment to the NPRF on that date. Lastly, yesterday it was reported that the latest restructuring plan for Anglo/INBS (is that version 5.0 for Anglo?) went to the Senor Almunia at the European Commission. It seems that there is a lot going on at present which the present Minister for Finance is unlikely to see through. And his putative successors don’t seem to be kept in the loop on present developments. Of course if we continue to get performances like Enda Kenny’s Princess Di-type interview on “The Week in Politics” with Sean O’Rourke playing the role of Martin Bashir, the composition of the government in March 2011 might not be as expected and who knows, it could be that Minister Lenihan remains in his office – a long shot for sure but these are uncertain times.
The ship is on the rocks and the entire officer crew have abandoned ship leaving the passengers to their faith ,now we have another would be crew in waiting and I wouldnt bet on them getting the ship of the rocks as they weren’t shining examples in their last job and they have the same principals as the last lot namely suck the passengers dry !
- Timeline: Irish PM Cowen announces new election date (reuters.com)
- Ireland to vote on February 25 (reuters.com)