Don’t despair over the Irish economy, says The Economist

Worth noting the latest pronouncements on the condition of Ireland by those organs of high international prestige the Economist and the Financial Times. Contrary to what that curious mish-mash of a new website Irelandcentral

states, the Economist doesn’t claim that the “Irish economy is dead” Indeed it’s good to note that both journals are quite optimistic, in contrast to so much cynicism and rage at home. From the Economist. ( Economist and FT quotes below the fold).

It is easy now to dismiss the rise in living standards in the “Celtic Tiger” years as illusory, particularly as Ireland enjoyed house-price and credit booms that were big even by British standards. But to focus on the bursting of the housing bubble would be to miss the lasting gains that were made..
One big concern is the cost of the state’s guarantee of bank debts, hurriedly given last September. ….Even on gloomier assessments, the cost ought to be manageable, as Ireland’s public debt was low to start with.

The Economist sees an emergency budget early next week as a landmark that will help to clear the air of some of the worst prophecies of doom.
Ireland seeks salvation in lower wages, even though its households are also heavily indebted. Whereas many countries want to lift their economies by fiscal expansion, Ireland is tightening its budget. Few other countries face such big deficits. The Irish hope for a payoff in improved confidence among foreign investors and at home. Consumers are aware of the gap in the budget and know tax rises are coming, says Alan Barrett at ESRI, a research institute. Spending may even pick up if the uncertainty over taxes is ended.

For St Patrick’s week, ( if I may call it that), FT columnist Matthew Engel has been out and about on the south Armagh border and has actually managed to avoid the hackneyed phrase “bandit country”. He notes the dramatically different character of the new economic and political border, despite the formal end of the Troubles and the impact of the EU Single Market. Engels rightly deplores the latest lamentable plans for a Fortress Britain against more far-flung forms of terrorism.

Fortress Britain will depend entirely on the goodwill of the Irish government, whose policies are constrained by those of its powerful and increasingly eccentric neighbour. the Irish checks seem, if anything, even more zealous than the British ones.

Both new types of frontier may prove transitory.

Exchange rates go up as well as down; in a year or two the traffic might be the other way. As long as Ireland is divided, life on the edge will involve looking for an edge, legal or illegal. And Britain’s attempts to block itself off from an increasingly interdependent world will be fraught, if not doomed.

As I stood by the memorial to the hunger strikers, I reflected that, had he lived, Bobby Sands would now be in his mid-fifties. He might now have been applauding Ireland’s latest murderers. He might easily have been driving up from the “Irish Socialist Republic” with his children or grandchildren, seeking bargains at Debenhams.

  • DC

    Yes don’t despair…live in hope!

  • Scaramoosh

    The short term prospects for the Irish economy will be dictated to by extraneous events; not least developements in the broader Eurozone.

    Measures, such as this campaign by the Daily Mail
    to get people to boycott the Irish Banks, are unlikely to help sentiment in the near term;

    http://www.tribune.ie/business/article/2009/mar/22/uk-mail-warns-readers-off-irish-banks/

  • Rory (South Derry)

    In Ireland the Past always comes back to haunt us!

    For 10 long years the mighty Emperor Mr Bertie Ahern floated around in the Housing Bubble!

    Now the roof has caved in

    The Walls have collapsed

    And The Emperor is Bollock naked to the world

    Remember the 10 long years of NEVER ending properity

    The Emperor was cloaked in Bullshit and protected by well healed eejits WHO LOVED THEMSELVES ALONE!

    What a mess!

    The Piglike Biffo that now precides in Aherns place looks like a bystander at an American Space Rocke launch – Bewildered and stuck for thoughts and words to explain his way out of this one!

    THE BANANA REPUBLIC IS BACK IN ACTION – HAUGHEY MUST ROLLING AROUND IN THE BOX!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “THE BANANA REPUBLIC IS BACK IN ACTION – HAUGHEY MUST ROLLING AROUND IN THE BOX! ”

    ha ha …..as if you, the armchair crank, have the solution!

    ah sure go on outta that, sleeven advocate of division, murder and mayhem!

  • Greenflag

    scaramoosh ,

    ‘Measures, such as this campaign by the Daily Mail ‘

    The Daily Mail ? Toilet tissue with print for the most part .

    rory (south derry)

    ‘In Ireland the Past always comes back to haunt us!

    You go that right -go an haunt somewhere else ye gobshite !

    The Irish economy will recover just as will the world economy . No country can isolate itself from globalisation – not the UK not the USA and certainly not Ireland .

  • John East Belfast

    Greenflag

    “The Irish economy will recover just as will the world economy . No country can isolate itself from globalisation – not the UK not the USA and certainly not Ireland “.

    The real question is what kind of economy does it have to be for the future ?

    In the UK there is a growing sentiment back towards Manufacturing and encouraging our education system to churn out more engineers and scientists – and a good thing too. The mantra that we dont need manufacturing and can rely on Financial Services has been a disaster.

    Therefore when the world economy does recover what kind of Irish economy is required to return the Celtic Tiger to the “myth” it once enjoyed ?

    The old way of cheap credit on inflated asset prices and now likely unsustainable low Corporate taxes for FDI clearly wont work again.

    Therefore how does a 4m population on the Western edge of Europe with no natural resources make a go of it ?

  • Ulster McNulty

    John East Belfast

    “Therefore how does a 4m population on the Western edge of Europe with no natural resources make a go of it”

    Fuck, you’re expecting hard times! That’s a drop of over 1m? It’ll have to be through starvation and disease as there is apparently nowhere to emigrate to.

  • Greenflag

    John East Belfast ,

    ‘The real question is what kind of economy does it have to be for the future ?’

    Intelligent question JEB and I’d guess that right now there are economic policymakers all over the western world trying to look forward to a ‘new’ kind of global economy other than one in which we have presently landed .

    Despite any growing ‘sentiment’ in Britain back to manufacturing, the facts of global economic life in 2009 , make a return to the world of even 1950’s /60’s ‘manufacturing Britain or anywhere else in the West a non runner . There will and can be niche areas where British ‘know how’ may still eke out an edge over competition but it’s hard to see how without ‘protectionism ‘ there could be any hope of say manufacturing absorbing say 25% of the workforce as it did back in the 1970’s . IIRC ‘manufacturing employment fell from 25% to 11% in the USA over the past 15 years and from 25% to 14% in the UK . In Germany it dropped from some 30% to 23% . The main reason for the above difference was the Germans’s missed out on ‘Thatcherism’ and their medium sized ‘engineering ‘ industries survived because of developing ‘niche ‘ markets for their products since the post war period.

    Of all the major western economies the Germans are the most dependent (40%) on exports to keep their economy going . The USA is the least dependent (10%) with the UK about 30% iirc . Ireland is in theory 80% , but remember most of that is within th EU (i.e our ‘greater home market ‘ ) so in reality our dependence is only slightly more than the USA’s and not that different from the UK.

    ‘The mantra that we dont need manufacturing and can rely on Financial Services has been a disaster.’

    In hindsight this seems now obvious . However when the powers that were i.e the school of Thatcherism /Milton Friedman were laying out their scenario for the economic future on neo conservative principles (trickle down economics ), the financial services ‘future’ looked as rosy as the Celtic Tiger did back in 2002 i.e before the property bubble came in sight . It seems that all ‘developed countries’ reach a point where the build up of capital becomes so advanced that the ‘rulers’ assume they can just ‘buy’ the world . The Spanish and the Dutch in the past , the British (post 1918) and now the Americans have all acheived much diminished influence in the world by ‘trusting ‘ their financial services sector to do for them with pieces of paper as a replacement for military and industrial power .

    I’m actually more worried about the UK and USA and Germany than Ireland for if these larger countries fail to get their act together then there is not a lot ROI can do until they do.

    As much of the Irish Growth rate post 2003/4 was based on artificially inflated property values the challenge will be to regain the growth rates of the period prior to the property bubble . Ireland was able to use low corporate tax rates into a strategy to attract FDI in a way that was impossible for larger countries e.g UK who have huge ‘defence ‘ expenditures ‘ and the trappings of former imperial glory (the monarchy ) to maintain as well as extensive world wide obligations NATO et al .

    As for the Republic we’re still in the Eurozone so our currency should be more stable than the pound over the next couple of years and thus will continue to attract FDI although not to the same extent as before . We’ll have to place more emphasis on developing home grown industry . But we can’t isolate ourselves from the worl economy no more than can the UK or the USA or Germany or indeed any of the emerging major countries of the east .

    But first things first -banking stabilisation – reopening of ‘credit ‘ and new agreed regulations worldwide on the financial instruments (hedge funds -derivatives -CDO’s etc ) which precipitated this mess . We’d have had a ‘property ‘ bubble anyway but it would have been of the order of the several property bubbles London has had over the past 40 years or so i.e serious but not destabilising for the entire economy .

    If the worst comes to the worse well we all know how to grow ‘potatoes ‘ don’t we ?

  • Ulster McNulty

    “If the worst comes to the worse well we all know how to grow ‘potatoes ’ don’t we ?”

    We can’t even do that properly anymore. What happened to the big, dry, white, “floury” spuds, all I can get these days are the greeny, waxy, soapy, yellowy ones.

  • Neil

    Ye can still get good spuds, but they’re nat as chape these days…

  • Mack

    John East Belfast

    Therefore how does a 4m population on the Western edge of Europe with no natural resources make a go of it ?

    I take it from this, you subscribe to the commodities super-cycle theory? Or at least believe that Asian demand will continue to boost demand for natural resources.

    Ireland has a great environment for agriculture, we also have some natural gas (e.g. Corrib) & lots of potential for alternative energy supplies – wind & wave power in particular.

    And hey, there’s even a Dublin company that have invented a free energy machine (that doesn’t work [under hot lights]). So we’re on the pigs back..

    Seriously – Education, encourage the wealth creators to invest their wealth here with low taxes, encourage innovation and risk taking, focus on regaining lost competitiveness..

  • Greenflag

    ulster son of ulster ,

    ‘all I can get these days are the greeny, waxy, soapy, yellowy ones’

    Blame the Dutch . They’re imported . My ‘potato’ garden delivers the ‘right ‘ product ;). I grow about 50% of my annual consumption of not only spuds but of many legumes . And nothing tastes better than yer own home grown tomatoes .

    Youse ‘ulsterers’ are such a miserable lot of negative poor mouthers 😉 Where do yiz get it from ? Is it the weather or wha?

    As I write this the Dow Jones is on the way up to near 8,000 . (10,000 target by end of 2010 ) – spring is on the way -we’ve won the Grand Slam and Bernard Dunne is world champion and Bernard Madoff is in jail .

    Shure ye have to look on the bright side y’oul misery guts.

    Nothing lasts forever except the ‘dreary steeples ‘etc etc etc etc 😉

  • Ulster McNulty

    Greenflag

    “Youse ‘ulsterers’ are such a miserable lot of negative poor mouthers 😉 Where do yiz get it from ? Is it the weather or wha?”

    I don’t know where it all went wrong. We used to build ships, spin flax…

    We conquered the “new world” with the armalite in one hand and heap big bushmills firewater in the other.

    We conquered China with the armalite in one hand and opium in the other. We were able to impose the “unequal treaties” on the Chinese:

    http://www.ulsterhistory.co.uk/henrypottinger.htm

    Look at us now, we all work in the civil service, what happened to the world beating swashbucklers we used to be?

  • Greenflag

    ulster son of ulster ,

    Here this little ditty should cheer you up 😉 Meanwhile I’m back to studying the ups and downs of the DJ index . This could be the day that I ‘reap’ but if you feel like ‘dying ‘ at least keep smiling on your way down 🙂

    ‘The glories of our blood and state
    Are shadows, not substantial things;
    There is no armour against fate;
    Death lays his icy hand on kings.
    Sceptre and crown
    Must tumble down,
    And in the dust be equal made
    With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

    Some men with swords may reap the field,
    And plant fresh laurels where they kill;
    But their strong nerves at last must yield,
    They tame but one another still.
    Early or late,
    They stoop to fate,
    And must give up their murmuring breath,
    When they, pale captives, creep to death.

    The garlands wither on your brow,
    Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
    Upon death’s purple altar now,
    See where the victor-victim bleeds.
    Your heads must come
    To the cold tomb;
    Only the actions of the just
    Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.

    PS – I think Shirley’s getting carried away with that last verse . Dust is dust no matter the actions ;).

  • Greenflag

    Yeats was of course more to the point .

    ‘Cast a cold eye on life and death
    Horseman pass by ‘

    And on that subject where is ‘horseman’ ? Not gone for an apocalyse I trust ?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Greenflag

    So I am a Gobshite:-

    The Irish economy will recover just as will the world economy . No country can isolate itself from globalisation – not the UK not the USA and certainly not Ireland.

    Is that why the Westy Brits Fianna FAIL are on the EUCBs door with a begging bowl and the the Bannana Republic (The 26 County Version) is along with its partner Greece on the Edge of Bankruptcy!

    You are a clown!

    The Free State Government will now only be getting the crumbs from the table of their masters in Brussels while they pile billions into Poland to build their infrastructure!

    Haughey the life long Republican built the Celtic Tigers foundations and the hung the man!

    Lackies to the Brits & Europe!

    GOOD NEWS:- RUC have to start releasing suspects for wackin the 2 Brits & the Peeler!

  • Ulster McNulty

    Greenflag

    Thanks! That’s the first time since 1641 that anyone has recited a poem in my honour.

    May your potatoes, legumes and hemp prosper and bring you joy!

  • Greenflag

    Rory (south derry)

    ‘so I am a gobshite’

    By your own admittance yes you is a gobshite .

    Your ‘understanding ‘ of matters economic is alas at a less than rudimentary level . There are amoeba proliferating around the edges of the pond in Stephen’s Green who have a clearer grasp of the world economy than rory of south derry.

    Better news -The PSNI have charged one person for the murder of the policeman .

    If killing policemen and soldiers could have brought about a UI you’d have had a UI a generation ago . Some people never learn 🙁

  • greenflag,

    ‘Cast a cold eye on life and death
    Horseman pass by‘

    That’s lovely! I should adopt it as my motto. I’m still here (haven’t passed by yet), and still casting a cold eye on the life (and hopefully death) of ‘Ulster’.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Greenflag

    Sticks & Stones!

    The simple fact from someone with an ongoing business link with the South is that they lived well beyond there means!

    The Housing Market got majorally out of control probably worse than it did in England.

    They milked the EU cow dry with all the grants and now they could be faced with “Greenflag & one meal a day.

    Fianna Fail are a spent force with deminishing credibility.

    Insults will get you nowhere & solve nothing!

  • Greenflag

    rory south derry,

    ‘Insults will get you nowhere & solve nothing! ‘

    And neither will killing PSNI policeman or British soldiers ordering a pizza ye little bollix !

    Full marks for the bleeding obvious but you might want to take your own advice .

    In your post above — West Brity FF, banana Republic are not ‘insults ‘ ? . However references to the murder of a policeman and two soldiers as being a ‘wackin ‘shows the real shite that you are and what you represent . The people of Ireland both North and South voted for the GFA. The bastards who carried out these murders are defying the national will of the vast majority of people on this island .

    If push ever ccomes to shove this island is capable of producig another Michael Collins to put you and fuckers like you -where you belong !

    Your ignorance is further highlighted by your inability to spell banana and your failure to note that the RUC no longer exists but is now the PSNI .

    I suspect you are no continually stupid real republican but an illeducated ‘Unionist ‘ provocateur who is just stirring for ‘old time’s sake ‘

    The sooner you and your ilk go the way of the dinosaurs the better for everybody on this island ! Now fuck off ! BTW in case you haven’t noticed that is an insult !

  • Greenflag

    horseman ,

    ‘I should adopt it as my motto.’

    On this thread it sounds like a good idea especially the passing by 😉

    ‘I’m still here (haven’t passed by yet), and still casting a cold eye on the life (and hopefully death) of ‘Ulster’.

    No idea what you mean by death of ‘Ulster’ . I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you are not wishing for the instant demise of some 2 million people (the 9 county Ulster ) or 1.7 million (the 6 county version ) .

    I can understand you perhaps wishing ill on this Rory south derry -gobshite but that’s taking things too far . Anyway ‘provinces ‘ be they Ulster , Munster etc don’t die . They may suffer a name change etc or change their geograhpic location over a period of tens of millions of years so . but that’s not something that you or I or Rory O’Gobshite are ever going to notice 😉

  • Greenflag,

    I put ‘Ulster’ in inverted commas to signify that it is the unionist construct of ‘Ulster’ (aka Northern Ireland in the UK’s own ‘constitution’ … I wonder why unionists don’t respect that?) that I wish to see wither and die.

  • Greenflag

    Ulster son of Ulcer ,

    ‘That’s the first time since 1641 that anyone has recited a poem in my honour.’

    So you are almost 400 years old ? Good man – What’s the secret ?. Not an illusion fostered by too much hemp I trust ? Growing hemp is illegal unless it’s for ‘industrial’ purposes . If it’s for the purpose of ‘relaxation /pain relief /having a good time by reducing brain cell numbers by a third and reducing the grower/user’s intellect to a ‘turd’ then it’s one which is probably best avoided 😉

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Greenflag

    You are an arrogant man!

    I am 100% Real Republican and make no apologies for the death of to Brits and a Cop (a catholic who should have known better) who were military targets! JUST MORE STATISTICS ON THE WAY TO FREEDOM

    The men who carried out these operations are PATRIOTS! (Real Republicans who have sold out no one)

    As for a Michael Collins – sure you have him – doesn’t Martin McGuiness fit the Bill!

    And Martin realises that the words “Traitor” could quite possibly end up scribed on his headstone – heres hoping!

    Horses Arse & Greenflag

    The Republican movement is rebuilding just like it has had to do in every generation and will continue to fight until EVERY last brit is removed from this island and apologists like yourselves join them!

    So Insult me all you both want you are too little fireside politicians somewhere who just go with the flow!

    END BRITISH RULE IN IRELAND! AND SMASH THE PUPPET PARLIMENT IN STORMONT!

  • Greenflag

    Horseman ,

    Fair enough . A reasonable wish and one that I share . I’m a bit like the Frenchman who liked Germany so much ,that he thought that there should always be two of them 😉 ditto Ulster . I won’t use the R word again as oul Picky Picador will have another hyena -sorry -hernia 😉

  • Greenflag

    rory south derry ,

    ”I am 100% Real Republican ‘

    You are an unreal if not surreal ‘eejit ‘ and a fascist thug who has no respect for the voice of the vast majority of people on this island North and South -Protestant and Catholic .

    ‘and make no apologies for the death of to Brits and a Cop (a catholic who should have known better) who were military targets!’

    I’m sure there are trigger happy loyalists out there who won’t shed any tears either if you or anybody belonging to you becomes ‘another ‘ statistic .

    Once again go fuck yourself with that banana you can’t spell . Make sure it’s a ‘real ‘ banana that way you might even enjoy yourself .

    Normally in cases like yours i.e those who are anxious to have a United Ireland I would recommend you to go ‘breed’ rabbit like for a few years which is the only way a UI can be achieved in your lifetime . But in your particular case I’ll make an exception . Ireland can do with fewer eejits of your ilk . Now go and respect the democratic mandate of the people of Ireland and stick your guns up your arse at the same time as pulling the trigger! If you can can hold your gun steady and shoot straight you should hit your brain as it’s just at the back of your arsehole !

    Now fuck off .

  • Mack

    Ulster McNulty

    Therefore how does a 4m population on the Western edge of Europe with no natural resources make a go of it”

    Fuck, you’re expecting hard times! That’s a drop of over 1m?

    If your talking about the island, it’s a drop of over 2m! Population of the Republic is 4.45 million, NI (I think) is 1.77m

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Green Flag

    Hope I am getting to ya – I think I am with all your foul language (you tramp).

    Guess MI5 Fealty wont stop you as you are trying to bash a republican

    You dont worry me – your just another statistic on the road to UI.

    Keep on telling yourself that stormont will work and live your wee PEACE fantasy

    As for the Loyalists – sure werent they just Brits dressed up posing as prods!

    THE WAR IS NOT OVER – ITs ENTERED A NEW PHASE! (get used to it – we wont be going a way you know)

  • Greenflag

    Rory O Gobshite (south derry )

    ‘Hope I am getting to ya ‘

    Keep hoping

    ‘as you are trying to bash a republican’

    Not at all . I respect the republican objective of striving to attain their political objective by political and democratic means

    ‘You dont worry me ‘

    Why should I ?

    ‘Your just another statistic on the road to UI.’

    So are you . And if you keep ranting shite as you do you might be a statistic that never sees a UI.

    ‘Keep on telling yourself that stormont will work ‘

    I never do . I expect it to fail eventually although for all the right reasons and not by violence .

    ‘and live your wee PEACE fantasy’

    Its preferable to you bloody fantasy .

    ‘THE WAR IS NOT OVER’

    It is . The people of all Ireland have said so decisively .

    ‘ITs ENTERED A NEW PHASE!’

    So what’s new about murdering a policeman and soldiers ?

    ‘we wont be going a way you know’

    I know -You won’t be going anywhere as long as you believe that a UI can be brought about by the gun and bomb.

    Stick to politics .

    Life is not a dress rehearsal so don’t squander it or anybody else’s . Building is better than destruction

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Greenflag

    We are never going to agree!

    But I am glad that you also think the Stormont will fail.

    Lets cheer on its downfall and expose the PSF mob for thinking they could make a difference.

    Intensify the Struggle and lets see more legitimate targets (militarily of course) taken out!

  • Greenflag

    Rory south derry ,

    ‘We are never going to agree!’

    I agree. But that should’nt bother you . What should is the fact that you are out of step with 99% plus of the people of this island.

    ‘Lets cheer on its downfall ‘

    I said I expect it to fail not that I would cheer when and if it does .

    SF did the right thing IMO as did the DUP . They both have to work within the world of the possible . Not easy for either I’m sure . But far better than a ‘bloodbath ‘ alternative in which everybody loses . And SF have made a difference as have the DUP .

    ‘and lets see more legitimate targets (militarily of course) taken out!’

    There are no legitimate ‘targets ‘ as the Irish people are not at war with anybody . If a small band of dissenters are fantasising that they somehow represent the ‘democratic ‘ wishes of all the people of Ireland I can only say that their grasp of reality is the same as that of an ant stuck to a bowling ball which is about to be flushed down a channel .