From Mathew Lynn at Bloomberg:
It’s not too late. The request for aid may have been made. The negotiations may have started. But Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen can still refuse a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
It might sound like madness for a drowning man to refuse a lifebelt. But the decision the Irish make in the next few days will shape the future of their nation for a generation.
Ireland would be better off going bust than taking a loan. The conditions attached to a rescue aren’t worth it: Once it takes EU money, it will never get off the hook. And the Irish banks aren’t worth saving anyway. Defaulting on your debts is a far less scary prospect than usually portrayed.
The real question is whether Ireland’s politicians have the courage to take that step.