Concerns last year about whether people's funds were safe in Irish banks have largely passed, thanks to the imposition of the guarantee. The government is now guaranteeing "all retail and corporate deposits" until September 2010. Such a guarantee has helped funds flow back into the banks, although the lack of capital in the banks continues to sap at confidence among some depositors.
* The Government
The role of government has never been more entrenched in the banking system than it is now. Finance minister Brian Lenihan has huge powers to reshape the entire industry, including triggering mergers among various institutions. He also has directors in all the guaranteed institutions and even retains a right to get involved, from a distance, in the selection of chief executives and the pay they receive.
The blanket guarantee provided huge comfort to bond-holders in the banks. Not only have senior bondholders been guaranteed, but even those holding dated subordinated bonds have received the state's protection. These lower Tier 2 bonds are one of the riskiest parts of a bank's capital, but the government opted to guarantee them.
* Bank chief executives
A year on, only Fergus Murphy of EBS remains at the helm of any of the guaranteed institutions. While Eugene Sheehy is still finishing up as AIB chief executive, it is hard to underplay the scale
of carnage in the top echelons of the banks. However, the next tier of management is still more or less intact. As the Department of Finance memorably said a few months ago, nobody wants to see a full "decapitation" strategy being employed at this time.
Last year they were making hay shorting the likes of Anglo Irish, AIB and Bank of Ireland, but for companies such as Kynikos Associates, Blue Ridge Capital, Tiger Global Fund and Lansdowne Partners it's no longer permitted actively to short Irish bank stocks. These companies also have to register their shorting positions after changes introduced by ex-Financial Regulator Patrick Neary. Asked last week if the shorting ban will be lifted, the regulator was most reticent: "The Financial Regulator will take into account the work of the CESR Short Selling Task Force, in making any decision about future short selling and disclosure rules". It refused to say whether it has even reviewed the short-selling prohibitions internally.
* Bank shareholders
Shareholders knew when they bought shares that they would rank behind bond-holders if an institution got into trouble, but the huge loss of value still must hurt. In the case of Anglo Irish Bank, the loss of value may be 100%, although an assessor has yet to pronounce on the value of these shares. The guarantee offered protections to a whole range of bank creditors – depositors, bond-holders, corporate customers and even other banks. But those actual equity-holders in the banks have had to take their chances in the open market.