At the time he was referring to the £7bn loan to the Irish Republic which was part of their bailout from the IMF and the Eurozone. He was asked why he was helping Ireland to stay in the Euro when he, in fact, did not even believe in the Euro. That was his reply.
But 'I told you so' in increasingly the line that this government and particularly its Tory MPs give out. As David Cameron recently pointed out,
"And there's something else we've got to stick to. Because we're not in the Euro, we can lay these foundations ourselves: on our own terms; in our own way. So let me say this: as long as I'm Prime Minister, we will never join the Euro."
It is easy to be wise after the fact and plenty of Tories are doing just that, having been branded as petty xenophobes and little englanders in the last decade they now bask in the warm glow of vindication. I am reminded of an episode of Question Time in which a ill informed member of the public stupidly repeated the contents of the Daily Mail as if it were his own well thought out informed position.
"The real crime was that a European Political Elite tired to force countries as divergent as Greece and Portugal in with Germany and France, I mean who thought that was a good idea" while John Redwood nodded approvingly.
Leaving aside the fact that many PhD qualified economists thought this was a good idea David Mitchell simply replied "I probably thought that was a good idea, to be honest" adding that he thought that due to sods law the fact that we were staying out of the Euro would mean it would turn out to be a good thing. He then called for all these decisions to be made with hindsight.
In life we often have to learn from our mistakes. Some people can work out you shouldn't sleep with your colleagues after a drunken office Christmas party, but some people have to live with the consequences of their actions before they make better decisions. I am one of those people. Likewise sometimes we have to do these sorts of things collectively.
When the Euro was formed all sorts of questions were left unanswered. They are now being asked. To state the blindingly obvious the answers and remedies will either work or not. If the Euro collapses we will learn not to do something like that again. However as it stands the Euro is being stress tested almost into oblivion and if it survives it is unlikely ever to face this much of a disaster ever again. If that happens, in 20 years, it will look like a very good idea indeed.
Only time will tell.
'I told you so' is not much of an economic policy. It is also not much of a answer to any big question. It's not much use when deciding what sort of community, society, country and continent we want when all this has gone away, which ultimately it will, as that is the way time works.
'I told you so' shakes a fist at a future that does not care and will not listen, for the future absolutely will know.