The prospects for lower CT – clarification urgently needed

On reflection, I agree with the comments that David Cameron did not necessarily go so far as the Bel Tel claim that he had “dropped a heavy hint that calls for a cut in Northern Ireland’s corporation tax would be kicked into the long grass as a result of the collapse of the Irish economy.” On this important point, his reported remarks are far from clear – nor does he appear to have been pressed for clarity – and he may … Read more

Fintan O’Toole sounds great but he’s got it wrong

The Republic supports two latter day raging Jonathan Swifts, Vincent Browne who  had the plug pulled on him by RTE and Fintan O’Toole. To be sure, there’s a horrible banality as well as tragedy about being in hock to bankers just as it was to 19th landlords or ironclad industrial capitalists. Fintan  comes close to recommending revolt, surely a risky approach at this time of high anxiety and volatility. And where is the real strategy in this howl of protest? The primary goal of the IMF-EU … Read more

Bank of Ireland – Government takes a majority stake

… according to Reuters anyway and coming after a long plunge in today’s trading and a decision to hold a firesale of the family silver. They’re stopping short of full nationalisation though. It’s casting fresh doubt on the credibility of the stress-testing that both the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank went through in July. Not much more detail than that available at the moment, but we’ll keep you posted. adminA slightly inhuman presence that bans bad comments and works … Read more

“It is the long term nature of this crisis that is just beginning to gain recognition.”

If there was any uncertainty about the markets’ reaction yesterday to Ireland’s bail-out, and to subsequent events, today’s plummeting Irish bank shares and more evidence of the fear of contagion in the markets should remove all doubt. The euro has hit a seven-week low against the dollar and global stock markets retreated today on fears that the Republic’s debt crisis may spread to other European countries with large budget deficits. Investors fear that Portugal and Spain may also have to seek financial help. The Spanish … Read more

FF: Just too cute this time?

Today FF and the Greens looked interested in leaving behind bobby traps for any incoming government as they face a humiliating removal from office. Both have declared their actions as in the national interest. But how much of recent events have been about FF, in particular trying to minimise their forthcoming time in the electoral wilderness and how much is really about the national interest? Following the Doherty court challenge and his likely victory in DSW, with further by-elections in … Read more

Stephanomics: “broad lessons for the eurozone are already clear, and not encouraging”

Market Moves notes the reaction to today’s events in their London Market’s closing comments Worries over stability in the Emerald Isle are being compounded as the bailout becomes more and more political by the day, with the opposition party Fine Gael calling for a snap general election, citing public distrust over the handling of the crisis. The risk of contagion still lingers over European markets, with traders now eyeing up the next sacrificial lamb. Spanish and Italian markets are down … Read more

Olli Rehn: ‘it is likely unfortunately to imply tax increases’

I’d wait for the detail, Brian, before declaring anything ‘safe’.  RTÉ reports the latest comments from European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, on Ireland’s bail-out application.  From the RTÉ report European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn has reiterated that Ireland would no longer be a low tax economy. When asked in an interview with RTÉ News if the corporate tax rate was now off the table for good, Mr Rehn said that by Ireland ceasing … Read more

CT seems safe – and don’t forget the North and GB

Nerves will be stretched until the exact terms of the deal are known. Meanwhile government spin continues to minimise the extent of the damage. The bond markets at least seem satisfied for the moment but what about the Irish people, still much in the dark?. A huge sigh of relief will go up at the one bit of good news for Ireland. At least for the first year, the EU terms will be no worse than the Croke Park agreement. … Read more

On Ireland and the case for Scottish independence

One wonders whether in the future small and medium-sized countries will begin to worry when commentators start using their economies as case-studies: whom the gods of economic history wish to destroy, first they make them examples from which wider lessons should be drawn? Everyone remembers that this was the case with Ireland and its apparent economic miracle. For free-marketeers, Ireland showed the virtues of providing a business-friendly environment with its competitive cuts in corporation tax. Young George Osborne, for example, … Read more

Everyone is dancing on that grave

When Vincent Keaney first published his monologue and dance on Charlie Haughey’s grave it was widely condemned. Watch it again from 5:19 to see how right he got it: Crooks we are now paying for…filth in limousines….even the man’s grave flowers are withered. Though the remix suits the new Ireland better and perhaps indicates where many in Fianna Fail will find their eventual place in Irish history: Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com

Banish the sovereignty blues. You’ve got old friends

Hey, Irish, cheer up. There’s no necessary correlation between wellbeing and financial crisis. Yous’ns is not the only ones to have been visited upon by the IMF. Remember UK 1976?  How can I ever forget it?  And that was over “only” a $4 billion loan ( at 1976 prices ) and was never actually drawn upon. Years later they made a remarkable discovery. An index of economic, social and environmental progress yesterday declared 1976 to be the best on record for quality … Read more

Economic Crisis Blogburst 5: Outsourcing the nation’s debt?

– Okay, let’s start off with Gavin Sheridan on The Cycle of Market Emotions… Some of which you can pick up in the letters page of the Irish Times this morning… – And the Independent reports the bail out could come to as much as €100 Billion… – Phillip Lane at IrishEconomy.ie worries that (with a mild economic recovery in the offing) the price of back pay may be a further crippling of growth in the Irish economy: Given the … Read more

Backfilling a black-hole

Our very own tragicomedy appears in the form of elites whose strategic choices are made contradictory by the fact that, in their haste to wage their own class war against the peoples of Europe, they surreptitiously undermine the very currency union which was their own idea for facilitating capital accumulation on the continent

Now the question arises of the fate of lower corporation tax – north as well as south

Now that the Irish government has come clean albeit through gritted teeth , anxiety mounts over the terms of the bailout, in particular the fate of 12.5% corporation tax. Given the total stand- off between the parties, this seems like a issue of confidence for the survival of  the Fianna Fail-led coalition. Internally  in the short term at least, they should come through. This is no time for a general election or a handover to a different coalition, particularly one without an … Read more

Economic Crisis Blogburst 4: The collision of dreams and reality

– Michael Hennigan of Finfacts explains just why the big boys are in old Dublin town today… – And, the word from the FT… Ireland’s basic problem is that it now has to choose between its own sovereign solvency and the solvency of its banks. Other European countries – in and out of the eurozone – may soon face the same choice. In such a world, keeping banks afloat with public capital risks sinking the sovereign – and with it, the … Read more

Lenihan: “if the banking problems in the country are too big for this small country to manage…”

The EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels have denied holding detailed discussions on a potential bail-out for Ireland.  From the BBC report [Belgian finance minister] Didier Reynders, who chaired the talks, said the situation was not addressed because the Irish government had not requested financial help. “There’s no reason to ask all the participants for an answer because we did not receive a question,” he said. And why would they discuss it?  The detailed discussions will be held tomorrow in Dublin. … Read more

Economic Crisis Blogburst 3: Take the money or open the box?

Apart from John’s piece, one thing anyone should get a hold of after ten this morning when it goes up, is the economic crisis panel from this morning’s Morning Ireland broadcast. IN particular, Aine Lawlor’s lacerating interview with Brian Lenihan, who seems to be slowly capitulating to the international pressure, and which concluded with the rhetorical question: “Does that mean the government, the soldiers of destiny have failed us.” Okay, here’s the best of the rest this morning… – The … Read more

Republic of Ireland (1949-2010)

Nice quote from the Irish Times to begin the morning: “When you borrow, you lose a little bit of your sovereignty, no matter who you borrow from.” So said Brian Lenihan, last Finance minister of the sovereign Republic (sic) of Ireland. From a government that had promoted reckless borrowing, a property boom and general fiscal anarchy, you can either take it as a belated admission of guilt or a unique moment of clarity. I would like to believe there has been a note of … Read more

Economic crisis blogburst 2: Not an overnight crisis…

Okay, the news is coming thick and fast so here’s a slice of today’s comment, bloggish and otherwise: – Ronan has a piece pointing out that whilst other periphery countries have their budgets in the public domain, Brian Lenihan is having to work with the most unbearable public scrutiny and an EU Commissioner taking in everything he does over his shoulder: Is this the crux of that economic sovereignty issue we keep hearing about: …no-one in Europe wins if, for … Read more

Van Rompuy: “We’re in a survival crisis”

The Irish Minister for European Affairs, Dick Roche, tells European finance ministers not to “panic“… as the EU President, Herman Van Rompuy, panics? A Guardian report indicates the extent of the concern “The Irish problem is spreading, but it could get more volatile,” said Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at London Capital, a fund management firm. “They have to get this bailout, they have a period of time before it gets impossible, before nasty things happen. The longer they leave it, … Read more