The stages of Ireland's grief
They say governments in financial crises go through a process much like the stages of grief. This week Ireland's ministers have been going through them at record speed.
On Tuesday morning on the Today programme, the European Affairs minister was still denying that the country had a problem. Then came anger. Now, we have widespread acceptance that a deal will have to be struck.
There are some question marks over the timing of a programme for Ireland's banks - and many more about the details. But the fact that there will be one is no longer in doubt.
For what it's worth, I'd expect us to have the broad outlines by Monday morning - if not before. (Talking to anyone in Dublin, they tell you these things "always happen on Sundays".)
But as any amateur psychologist can tell you, acceptance is not the same as forgiveness. There are two aspects of this crisis, in particular, that will be sticking in Brian Lenihan's throat.
The first is that they wouldn't be in this mess - or at least they wouldn't be in this mess right now - if the German chancellor hadn't insisted on leading the rest of Europe into a formal discussion of how sovereign debt in the eurozone might be restructured, in the event of crises after 2013 (see my post From 'competitive depreciation' to 'competitive miscommunication'). 2013 is not far away. Investors understandably wondered whether the debt they were holding right now could be in for a haircut as well.
In the market maelstrom that has followed, ministers have scrabbled to "clarify their position", insisting that only debt issued after 2013 would be affected.
But it doesn't much matter - at least to Ireland. The damage has been done. And of course, the concerns have the ring of truth. Germany and others really would like to punish bondholders before 2013 - if only the global financial system looked more able to take a sovereign debt restructuring in its stride.
Partly thanks to the German chancellor's efforts, the system may be even further from that point now than it was a few weeks ago.
The other thing that must seem so unfair to Ireland's ministers is that, of all the countries in the eurozone in trouble, Ireland has probably done the most to get past the economic disadvantages of being in the euro and move forward.
Unlike Portugal, Spain or Greece, it did not come into this with a massive current account deficit. And unlike them, it has made enormous progress in the past few years in restoring the countries' competitiveness.
Unit labour costs are a good rough guide to the competitiveness of a country's workforce in global markets. Like the other PIGS, Ireland's unit labour costs rose sharply relative to Germany's in the boom years. But unlike the others, Ireland has brought labour costs down sharply since the crisis began. Wages have fallen sharply, and so have prices.
In that sense, Ireland has played by the rules of the single currency system. As a result, you can see a growth path out of this for the Irish economy within the euro, that you can't see for Spain, Greece or Portugal. If only they could just get past that mountain of private bank debt.
But of course, that's no small detail. Indeed, it's that mountain of debt that has ultimately made Ireland's banks vulnerable to this kind of loss of confidence, and all that follows from it.
Ireland can't blame that on the German chancellor, or any other government. True, the rest of the system was complicit in allowing the liabilities of the Ireland's banking system get so far out of line with the size of its economy. But ultimately, the responsibility for this crisis lies with the Irish themselves. That's a hard pill for ministers to swallow as well.