Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy Holidays!

Wishing a merry Christmas and prosperous 2013 to all my readers !!

35 Things the IMF is Saying About Ireland

The IMF yesterday published its 8th of 12 quarterly reviews of Ireland’s bailout program. This is what they had to say:

  1. We continue to meet our headline targets.
  2. Regaining sustained access to sovereign bond markets, and successful graduation from the bailout, requires an EU deal on Ireland’s bank debt burden.
  3. Net exports are the key growth driver, but their rate of increase has slowed. Overall, growth appears to be slowing in Q4 2012.
  4. Domestic demand will contract in 2013 before returning to growth in 2014 as private consumption becomes a net positive. Government austerity means ‘fiscal drag’ will continue until at least 2015.
  5. Real GDP growth would reach almost 4% by 2015 if it were not for government tax hikes and spending cuts. Continue reading

A Clarion Call to Reject the ‘Axis of Austerity’

This is my review of Gene Kerrigan’s latest book, “The Big Lie: Who Profits From Ireland’s Austerity?”, published in today’s Irish Times.

’13: Another Year of Living Dangerously?

We saw the first ripples of the US sub-prime crisis in the summer of 2007. A year later, the global economy was on the precipice of disaster. Only resolute action by world leaders, Gordon Brown not least among them, and coordinated fiscal and monetary stimulus prevented a re-run of the Great Depression.

Cracks in the Eurozone edifice which had been papered over during the good times were soon brutally exposed. As the crisis enters its seventh calendar year, we are more than half way through a lost decade. The question, particularly on Europe’s periphery is whether one lost decade will turn into two.

2013 promises to be yet another momentous year in Irish economic history; the year Ireland hopes to cease being a ward of the troika; a year plagued with potential banana skins. Without doubt, the fallout from yet another hair-shirt budget will dominate the early months of the year. It follows that we will face into a similarly challenging budget cycle as 2013 draws to a close. Like peeling an apple, the closer you get to the core, the more the pips squeak. Budgets will only get harder. Continue reading