Thursday, 18 November 2010

Three Cheers For George Osborne

So awfully kind of George to offer we Irish a few billion quid to get us out of a hole. Although it's perhaps a small way of making recompense for the hundreds of years of imperial exploitation.

After all, 'George Osborne' is really Gideon George Osborne, and when Daddy dies, he'll be the 18th Baronet of Ballentaylor (Tipperary) and of Ballylemon in Waterford (despite Ireland being independent for 90 years and a Republic for 61 years, the aristocracy hangs on to the glory days).

One city financier (via Paul Mason's very good blog) reckons that Osborne's offer is actually a bit of a cheat: it's a way of handing more British taxpayers' cash directly to the banks to get the economy going without using the magic words 'helicopter money' (i.e. quantitative easing, or throwing cash at the country to keep it circulating) and to prevent more British banks going bust:

City economist Graham Turner issued the following note to clients:
"In truth, the rumoured £6-7bn of support for Ireland is effectively QE2 by the backdoor. Despite the UK chancellor's denials, the bi-lateral aid for Ireland is absolutely an attempt to pre-empt further difficulties for UK banks. The huge increase in wholesale liabilities of UK banks due to roll over in 2011 shows that perhaps the UK had more than any other country to lose from an outright default of Irish bank and sovereign debt." 

Still, beggars can't be choosers. As this photograph demonstrates: the well-dressed gentlemen are from the International Monetary Fund, come to take Cowen and Lenihan's calculator off them. The seated gentleman - well, he's Ireland. Much respect to photographer Peter Morrison.

He's got an even better one:

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