The banking system of the western world might well be teetering on the brink of collapse, shares may be plunging worldwide and we may all be facing a global recession of unknown proportions, but back in Northern Ireland the political situation appears to be regressing.
In July, Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness confirmed that they had agreed a format for the new justice ministry and asked the Assembly Review Committee to compile a report on the proposals.
The pair decided that neither the DUP nor Sinn Féin would hold the post and signalled that it would be filled through a cross-community vote of the Assembly, with speculation that the Alliance Party would emerge as an agreed candidate.
The wording of the letter said that the position would be filled in a cross community fashion ‘at all times’. The DUP claim this means in perpetuity. Sinn Féin claim it means it should be filled at all times by an Assembly member for the duration of this Assembly.