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Ireland Nationalizes A Fourth Bank

With legal approval, the Irish government is pouring nearly $5 billion dollars into Allied Irish Banks. The AP says Irish taxpayers now own nearly 93% of the institution. Bloomberg reports AIB, once the country's largest company, floundered in the Irish real estate crisis and took a huge cash injection last year from the Irish government, which now also controls Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide Building Society and EBS Building Society. The debt is so massive the Irish government accepted its own bailout last month of $113 billion dollars from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to stave off financial ruin.

Jacob Goldstein of Planet Money describes the extraordinarily bad risk Ireland took in bailing out its banks.

Extra: AP reports credit rating agency Fitch followed other agencies and downgraded Hungary's debt to one level above junk status. Bloomberg reports Fitch is warning Hungary's new fiscal policy is incoherent and will swell the country's budget deficit.

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