Eric Doyle-Higgins (Independent)
candidate Dáil election

year born
professional qualification
Senior Manager
residence (town, city, district)
Kildare North ,
1st preference votes: 423, 0,8%
(...) Absent very compelling expert advice otherwise, I am minded to vote against stag hunting on the basis that it can be replaced with drag hunting. Drag hunting, as doubtless you will understand better than me, is respectful of the interests of non-hunters while, at the same time it preserves the essence of the sport. (...)
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Issue financial crisis


apart from Anglo and Irish nationwide banks ( dead banks ) what are your views on the other banks being bailed out ?
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Eric Doyle-Higgins
Good Morning Damien,

We now own Bank of Ireland and AIB Bank more or less and we have the small consolation that whatever we do now will rebound to the benefit of the People. We will sell these banks sooner or later and when that is done we will secure some repayment on our very considerable investment. As to these banks, we also have the consolation that our investment has come from the National Pensions Reserve Fund, still our money of course but at least these funds were laid down in better times. These investments do not bear upon our capacity whether to spend or tax, at least for the moment.

Our very real problem is that these two banks are not lending, essentially for two reasons.


Currently they are being financed, very largely by both the European and our own Central Bank. There is a vast sum, I estimate about €125b, which has been placed on deposit with these two banks in this way. As you can imagine, this is a temporary arrangement and it is all but impossible to for the banks to expand lending based upon such deposits.

These two banks came to this position over the last fourteen months or so precisely because our entire financial system was viewed as unstable by the international markets. Many foreign depositors decided to withdraw their deposits because of the Anglo situation. Ultimately our losses through Anglo may arise in the range of €29b to €35b.

In a very real sense therefore, Anglo´s position has proved contagious to that of our two main banks aforementioned. Before we can do anything with the two main players, we must dispose of Anglo. It must be liquidated and we must deal so harshly as is possible with the creditors thereof. It is no longer a bank in any true sense. This is recognised by the international markets. Its liquidation will not therefore offer a downside. On the contrary, such liquidation will be viewed as the necessary and inevitable resolution of this most difficult problem. This liquidation will offer us, as Mr. Gump might say, one less thing to worry about. It will also comprise one less thing for the international markets to worry about.

With Anglo out of the way, our Government´s guarantee will become more credible. Provided we can get the balance of our affairs in order, essentially provided we can implement some version of the ECB/IMF impositions, we will be seen as capable of ordering our own affairs. With every month that passes and provided we implement the prescribed measures, we will become more and more credible. It will be perhaps the middle of next year before we can observe progress on this front. The first sign will be the replacement of Central Bank deposits with normal customer deposits. This will aid lending.


We are to have a capital review towards the end of March. This is intended to settle once and for all - there have been two attempts previously - the amount of capital which is necessary to put these two banks on a firm footing. We have access to up to €25b for this purpose though if we draw it down we will be paying dearly for the privilege. This is one element of the very high interest charge which is to be imposed upon us by the ECB / IMF arrangements.

Once that capital is inserted - and I think it must be - then these two banks will be able to recommence lending. This is the absolutely vital first step. Once we begin to drive these funds out into the economy then trade will begin to revive. Remember, potentially at least, every loan is a deposit. Some at least of these funds will find their way immediately back into our two main banks. Every time that happens, we can expect further lending.

Consider a stalled car. If we must push it to get it going again, it is very hard to get it to move to begin with. But as it begins to roll, it becomes easier and easier until finally the driver can slap it into gear and it will fire up and proceed on its own steam. In many ways, such a car is an appropriate metaphor for our current economic condition. We are stalled and we must do some considerable pushing to get going.

In conclusion;

Our two main banks, whether we like it or not, are key to that process. Despite their foolishness, let us call it, over the last decade, they are just the most effective mechanism we can use to disperse capital. They will judge, as they always should do, that this business or that farm is credit worthy but that the other concern is not viable. In this way, capital will find its way to the businesses capable of making the most effective use of it.

In summary therefore and to answer your question, at this point, we really have little alternative but to bring these two banks back to good health. If we do it properly then there will be no loss. Unlike Anglo, we will not have to pay out on foot of bondholder entitlements. They will not default because we are, collectively, worthy of the credit they can extend. We will use that credit and we will repay and borrow once more, moving forward once more as we have always done.

It will take time. Whereas we will begin to see movement even during 2012, it will take a further two to four years thereafter for us to return to a measure of normality. When we reach that point, when OUR two banks are making profits once more and when their balance sheets are more prudently arranged than currently, that will be the moment for us to sell. Then we shall have our payback.


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Issue environment

What are your views on so called blood ´sports´? Would you be supportive of over-turning the ban on stag hunting that FG are using to try and get country votes or do you support the majority vote that it is just a form of cruelty and so will work to keep the ban in place?
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Eric Doyle-Higgins
Dear ,

Thank you for your question. I have never been on a stag hunt. I am a city boy, born, bred and buttered.

Absent very compelling expert advice otherwise, I am minded to vote against stag hunting on the basis that it can be replaced with drag hunting. Drag hunting, as doubtless you will understand better than me, is respectful of the interests of non-hunters while, at the same time it preserves the essence of the sport. I simply do not understand why the "kill" is seen by some as an essential of the proceedings.


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