refused credit by Irish banks in the past three months. Then there was the news from Deloitte Ireland that the biggest barrier in the way of Irish companies expanding overseas is access to finance. Finally there was the news from Intertrade Ireland that half of all businesses in Ireland has seen their sales fall in the first quarter of 2011.
That's when it struck me: just as the Americans had to infamously destroy Bến Tre during the Vietnam War 'in order to save it', we appear to be destroying Ireland's economy in order to save our banks.
And so by the time the recession is over we will have the most solvent banks in the world, with the highest Tier 1 liquidity ratios and the cleanest balance sheets on the planet. Thanks to a policy of only being prepared to lend to those who neither want to nor need to borrow. Or about as useful as tits on a bull, as my old economics lecturer used to say.
Of course, it didn't end well for the Americans, despite their best efforts to 'save' Bến Tre. I wonder is there a lesson there for us?