Most observers have blamed the virtual collapse of Irish banking on straight­forward incompetence by the regulator, but in a new paper on Ireland's banking crisis, Dr Patrick Honohan of Trinity College offers a slightly different diagnosis.

"The failure was one of insufficient scepticism on the part of the regulator," he asserts.

If a lack of scepticism was the real problem the revamped regulatory architecture announced last week by finance minister Brian Lenihan is not going to be a panacea. The new, fully integrated institution, known as the Central Bank of Ireland Commission, is now to going to have a huge remit – supervising the entire banking sector and also looking after general financial stability.

Two top-level posts are promised as part of the reforms – a head of financial supervision and a head of central banking – but neither job has been filled despite the reforms being announced in April. The easy part is to change the structures; the harder part is to find people with credibility to take up these posts.

Meanwhile the minister says new staff will be recruited for the Central Bank of Ireland Commission (an atrocious mouthful of a phrase) but one suspects the majority of staff will come from existing regulatory bodies. Some of these people did a terrible job at critical junctures in 2008 and it will make some of us very nervous if large numbers of them simply transfer to senior positions in the new organisation.