As this news seeps out, the government is reduced to throwing the last of our cash into the furnace. Next to go will be our Pension Fund. Robert Maxwell was in the ha'penny places.
Markets are right to be worried -- 'final' 50bn to fix banks looks like tip of iceberg - Irish, Business - Independent.ieUnfortunately, things aren't as bad as Mr Lenihan told us last week. They are almost certainly much worse.
First things first. Even the 34bn cost of bailing out Anglo, which the government insists is a "worst-case scenario", will almost certainly be exceeded. That is the view of ratings agency Standard & Poor's, whose bearish stance on the likely cost of the Irish bank bailout has consistently been vindicated by events.
For what it is worth, some analysts now reckon that bailing out Anglo will cost up to 40bn.
Between them the six Irish-owned banks had 99bn of residential mortgages on their books at the end of June. With house prices now down by at least 50pc from the peak and still falling, a significant writedown in the bank's mortgage loans books is inevitable.
Even a 20pc writedown would cost the banks a further 20bn in fresh loan losses.
The combined 50bn that AIB, Bank of Ireland and the Permo have lent to SMEs and other companies must also be vulnerable to further, substantial writedowns as is their 11.5bn of personal lending. And as for the banks' non-Nama property and construction lending, I'd be very surprised if it wasn't cause for a few sleepless nights among the surviving bank bosses.
Add it all up and it is clear that even the 55bn estimate for the cost of bailing out the banking system will be comfortably exceeded, with Standard & Poor's now putting the likely figure at 90bn.
The way things are going, I suspect that the S&P estimate could well turn out to be a floor, below which the cost won't fall, rather than a ceiling, above which it won't rise.