"Icelanders’ defiance has ensured that a nation of 320,000 people will not be impoverished for a generation. The difference in the two cases is that the losers in the Icesave collapse were ordinary (foreign) depositors, not bank bondholders. Ireland’s senior unguaranteed bank creditors are owed €35bn – half the headline cost of its own banking disaster. The case for repaying these investors (not depositors) may be legally stronger than in Iceland and, in any case, the European Central Bank insists that haircuts are not an option. Financially and politically, it is equally unjustifiable."