Irish Banks not immune from crisis

Is there an Irish Lehman Brothers?

Padraig Mannion
Padraig Mannion, WP Research Officer

The Workers’ Party have said that it is not credible that Irish banking institutions are somehow safe from the international crisis that has seen Lehman Brothers collapse in the United States and a number of other huge US banking and investment houses requiring massive bailouts.


“The collapse of Lehman Brothers in the USA is one of the most serious blows yet to the international banking system. Despite the long history of the company and the perception that it was “blue-chip” and therefore safe it now teeters on the brink of extinction. The immediate consequence of this collapse is visible today in stockmarkets worldwide. The fall-out from the intangible loss of confidence plus the very tangible and very substantial losses being suffered by other banking and investment institutions may take some time to work through”, said Workers’ Party research officer Padraig Mannion.


Mr. Mannion said that in the event of one of the major Irish banks going to the wall the Irish government’s focus should be on protecting ordinary people with small savings and mortgages on their family homes rather than worrying about the investors who had been rolling in clover during the Celtic Tiger years. “The Workers Party is not concerned if the pillars of the capitalist system begin to shake. However we do care about workers’ job security and the hard-earned savings of people who worked all their lives to put away a few Euro for a rainy day.  Of even greater concern are the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who are in mortgage contracts.  Rather than a repeat of the infamous and expensive rescue of AIB, after the collapse of their mismanaged subsidiary Insurance Corporation of Ireland in 1984, the government must concentrate its resources on aiding the poor, not featherbedding the already wealthy". 


 “The question for the Irish economy is now crystallized as: “Who is the Irish Lehman Brothers”?  The repeated reassurances from the Irish banking sector that, uniquely in the world, all is rosy in our little garden beggar belief. For the last twenty years Irish banks have been involved in innumerable scams and dodgy money making manoeuvres. With that history and tradition it is simply not credible that all our banks are securely ring-fenced from the world wide property and financial recession”.


Issued September 16th, 2008.

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics