Ireland: the £20bn price of fixing its banks
A year and half after what many see as the world's worst ever banking crisis, banks are still being mended.
In Ireland, the government - which has already gone a long way to fixing its finances with massive spending cuts - has announced what it hopes will be the last phase of the reconstruction of its banks.
Some £72bn of property loans that have gone bad are being transferred from the banks to a new state institution, the National Asset Management Agency.
In that sense, these lamentable loans are being nationalised.
The loan transfers agreed so far will be at a painful discount of 47 per cent to face value so the banks will incur big losses on the deals - which will deplete banks' capital, the buffer against future losses.
The banks are also being forced to hold more capital in general. They'll have to raise £20bn in total.
Well with investor confidence still weak, much of it may be contributed by the Irish taxpayer.
The state will end up with control of two building societies - the Irish Nationwide and the EBS - one bank, Anglo Irish, and possibly also Allied Irish.
Only Bank of Ireland should be able to raise the new capital it needs from the private sector.
It's a steep price for the Irish state, but the government's conviction is that recovery can only follow a frank admission of the banks' past sins.