That’s how Buttonwood describes the relationship between the banks and government in Britain and America in his/her latest column in The Economist.
The piece goes on to predict:
. . . this leads to an odd symbiotic relationship in which governments have stepped in to rescue the banks, only for the banks in turn to finance the government. In the long run the danger is that this cosy relationship means lending is diverted away from productive private-sector projects and into government spending. Economic growth will be slower as a result.
It seems very relevant to the debate on the Irish banking crisis.