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The current dilemma facing Ireland spotlights how the financial sector’s earlier ‘misdeeds’ are not being easily forgotten by politicians, or the public. Joblessness, property market collapse and the lack of fluidity of bank lending are real problems affecting the everyday lives of people all over Europe. The privations are real, not abstractions. So, in a way, everyone has become something of an economist. We have to be.
That said, it’s not without a wry smile that I’ve read in the recent press, and seen YouTube clips of former Manchester United player and umm, novice economist, Eric Cantona espousing ‘revolution.’ It seems the hirsute Frenchman has an idea of how we can all get one back on the banks. It’ simple, he says, ‘It’s not complicated. Instead of going on the streets and driving kilometres by car you simply go to the bank in your country and withdraw your money, and if there are a lot of people withdrawing their money the system collapses.’ Well, not really.
Perhaps, back in the era of Bonnie and Clyde, banks had all of their cash present, and after you hitched up your horse you could collect your money in brown sacks before the inevitable gunfight ensued. Times have changed, Mr. Cantona. Banks only keep about 10% of the public’s money at the actual branch, while the rest of your life savings is being invested (re: gambled) someplace else. That’s right, in the ether. It’s kind of unsettling, admittedly, but as Richard Wellings from the Institute of Economic Affairs pointed out, ‘The only effect it would have is to inconvenience a lot of people when they go to the cash machine and try to withdraw their money but find there’s no cash there.’ So, the revolution will have to wait, but there are going to be some major Irish banks for sale soon – I’d suggest starting there.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]