Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Bến Tre Moment

Three pieces of news got me thinking about the Vietnam War today. The first, from ISME, was that 54% of SMEs have been 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?

2 comments:

  1. In the case of a nuclear disaster, there will be chaos and in-fighting amongst the survivors. We must arm ourselves with gerber knives and ammunition.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I shudder at the prospect of civil war. The economy will falter and it will be anarchy. I will use a kershaw knives to atleast protect myself from thievery.

    ReplyDelete

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