Interview with Patrick Honohan, Governor, Central Bank of Ireland

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    Timings and topics are given below the film.

    0.11 'Do you look back on the Celtic Tiger years – the period in the late 90s where there was phenomenal growth – with pride or did you see the crisis coming even then?'
    0.25 'What caused the global economy downturn – that dramatic turnaround in 2008 which then saw unemployment rocketing?
    3.35 'Behind all of this was there a certain amount of pernicious lobbying by the housing lobby?'
    4.19 'The banks could have been constrained by the regulators and weren’t. Why were the regulators so ineffective?'
    5.33 'The trust the regulators (and consumers) had in the banks has gone?'
    6.32 'Ireland is fully locked in to the global financial system? It has an export finance sector insurance, funds etc?'
    7.00 'On the crisis, do you agree with someone like David McWilliams who suggests that the whole Irish episode will be studied in years to come as what not to do?'
    8.40 'What has been the effect of dramatically falling house prices on ordinary families?'
    9.49 'Ireland has been very compliant with the measures that have been imposed by the Troika, and actually the economy is doing very well. I’m wondering, when we compare with other recipients, what are the lessons for those economies?'
    12.04 'You were appointed into your current position in September 2009, a year after the guarantee. What are the key measures that have come into force since you’ve been in position?'
    12.47 Income tax rates in Ireland
    13.19 'The tax level is quite regressive - affecting lower-income families?'
    17.58 'Are there other measures that are hitting the people that we would say are responsible for the crisis in the first place?'
    21.01 'Ireland came under pressure from the ECB to bail out banks and the beneficiaries – which have been French and German institutions (Allied Irish Bank having to pay €1bn despite making huge losses). How that can possibly be the right thing to do?'
    22.22 'But the beneficiaries here are French and German institutions?'
    23.29 'The ordinary families, the ordinary taxpayers [in Ireland], are suffering now as a result of that?'
    24.54 'Let me ask you about what’s been called ‘the bad bank’ – the National Asset Management Agency – which was there really to mop up some seriously underperforming loans. Is it still hoped that that will make a profit?'
    26.26 'Will those loans be realised and will they make a profit – what’s your assessment now?'
    27.51 'Do you view with some envy the position of an economy like Spain which, because it’s bigger and therefore more powerful, is able to negotiate different terms with the Troika, maybe better terms?'
    28.11 'But they are negotiating – rather than being utterly compliant?'
    29.42 'Are you concerned at the extent to which Ireland’s fate is in Germany’s hands, one way or another?'
    30.36 'Let me ask you about Mario Draghi, because he’s very important obviously as head of the ECB. He’s got his European Stability Mechanism which he is saying could solve a lot of problems and yet that’s in danger of being stymied again by Germany. Are you in a position to influence use of the ESM?'
    32.53 'What needs to happen to make the euro viable going forward? Does there need to be central oversight of all financial institutions by the ECB in Frankfurt?'
    34.35 'Another thing that is much discussed is the "Greek Exit". And you’ve said that it’s not necessarily fatal but not attractive. What would happen if Greece left the euro?'
    35.43 'What’s your prognosis for Ireland? How long will it take to get back to normal?'