Bill Clinton

Former president Bill Clinton worries that Ireland will take too long to recover from its economic difficulties and that it needs to institute emergency measures such as mortgage relief far quicker.

I met the former president at a small midtown charity event last night in New York and Ireland was very much on his mind.

As always he stopped to chat when he meets a small Irish group and his affection and indeed love for the country is very evident.

He had to be dragged away as always when speaking to Irish issues which clearly energize him.

He remarked that Prime Minister Enda Kenny may not have been completely pleased with his advice during his recent visit to Ireland where he was the keynote speaker at the Irish Diaspora conference.

He pointed out that historically, the best way to move on from a recession was to start over and forgive debt as quickly as possible.

That was not the formula being followed in Europe at the present time and he believes that Ireland as well needed to learn that lesson.

Studying the history of previous recessions is the great teacher in these circumstances he suggested.

And that history was clear, that where debt relief was allowed, the recovery comes far quicker he pointed out.

It was sage advice from a former president who most Americans would pick in heartbeat to re-occupy the Oval Office if they got the chance.

Clinton is continuing to help Ireland.

In 2012 he will host an economic summit to bring together multinational business leaders to talk about investment there.

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Bill Clinton says Ireland ‘doing an unbelievable job’

His message will be clear. If companies are locating subsidiaries overseas, Ireland should be on top of the list

The Clinton era is looking better and better in the rear view mirror as we survey the economic morass today.

Little wonder his new book 'Back to Work' is getting rave reviews.

Here is what The New York Times said.

"It’s a lucid one-man rebuttal of the Tea Party’s anti-government agenda. A series of shrewd talking points for Democrats trying to hold on to the White House and battling for control of Congress in the midst of a sour economy and growing voter discontent. A self-serving reminder of the prosperity the country enjoyed during Mr. Clinton’s tenure in the White House, meant to burnish his legacy. And a practical set of proposals — some borrowed and some new, some innovative and some highly sketchy — for restoring economic growth and creating jobs."

As usual in a crisis it seems Bill Clinton is talking the most sense.