A man leaves the Bank of Ireland in Dublin, on November 15, 2010.
European Union finance ministers are urging Ireland to accept a rescue plan to stabilize the country's worsening financial problems. The Irish government bailed out the country's banks which lost money on bad loans, and now the country is struggling to pay its own bills. Sound familiar? Check today's column from MarketWatch's Peter Atwater:
Several months ago, I was asked why, with the exception of Northern Rock, there have been no bank runs. In response, I offered: ‘If governments learned anything from the Great Depression it was how to manage troubled banks. But I also suggested that governments around the globe, by stepping in so aggressively [with guarantees], may inspire not bank runs, but country runs. In our one-click world, money can move not just out of banking institutions but out of entire nations. We have already seen at least one example of this.
Atwater's column ('Why Ireland's Troubles Matter To You') opens with observations in a column he published in Feb. 2009 about Iceland's scary debt woes. Today, Reuters reports investors are worried about Ireland, and Iceland, and Greece and other EU countries such as Portugal and Spain - and maybe more than that. The South African BusinessReport frets about the effect on the rand:
The cost of debt rose in Spain and Portugal yesterday because of problems that surfaced in Ireland at the weekend. ... If the situation in Ireland is not soon resolved, the contagion will spread as it did in the southeast Asian crisis of 1997/98. South Africa and other emerging markets will feel the fallout.
The AP reports the International Monetary Fund says it's ready to help, too.
RANGEL LEARNS PUNISHMENT TOMORROW
US Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY).
The House Ethics Committee will determine how to sanction N.Y. Rep. Charles Rangel for breaking House rules. The Washington Post reports the panel will send the New York Democrat's case to the full Ethics Committee for 'sentencing'. Our Political Junkie, NPR's Ken Rudin, reviews Rangel's 'puzzling' performance before the panel but suspects his punishment will be a reprimand or rebuke.
CHOLERA TURNS UP IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
A Public Health civil servant disinfects the vehicles coming into the Dominican Republic from Haiti.
The BBC cites DR officials who say a Haitian citizen who vacationed in Haiti, returned to the Dominican Republic with the illness. He's a construction worker, according to DominicanToday, a legal Dominican Republic resident and is now being treated in Higuey. Cholera has killed more than 1,000 people in Haiti and some blame U.N. peacekeepers for bringing the disease; there've been riots. Aid groups, including the U.N, suspended relief supplies (like tons of badly needed soap) to protect workers. Haitian President Rene Preval sternly ordered Haitians to remain calm.