Ireland’s International Investment Position

The new release from the CSO shows some quite striking movements during 2008: you can read it here.

See also the survey of foreign portfolio assets here, even if these data are dominated by the positions of IFSC enterprises.

Reminder: Economics Conference on Monday

There remain a few spaces for this workshop if you can email
The third in the series of Dublin Economics Workshop meetings on the Irish economy will take place on November 2nd at the Radission SAS Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 2.   The programme details are as follows:
1300 Registration
Session 1
Chair and Discussant – John Fitzgerald (ESRI)
1330-1415 David Blanchflower (Dartmouth) – What Should Be Done About Rising Unemployment?
1415-1445 Colm Harmon (UCD) – Education and Innovation Strategies
1445-1515 Discussion and Q&A
1515-1530 Coffee Break
Session 2
Chair and Discussant – Colm McCarthy (UCD)
1530-1600 John McHale (NUIG) – The Other Crisis:  Whither Irish Pensions?
1600-1630 Philip Lane (TCD) – Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Adjustment in Ireland
1630-1700 DIscussion and Q&A
Please RSVP to (many thanks to those who have already done so!).  We are looking forward to a full house and a lively meeting.

Risk Sharing and Accounting Issues

Not too long ago, the Green Party announced with great fanfare that they were getting the NAMA plan amended to feature “equal risk sharing” between the government and the banks (though not between the government and bank shareholders as proposed by Patrick Honohan). Even as it was announced, there were strong rumours that this risk sharing element would represent a tiny change to the original plan. This has now been confirmed.

Sean Barrett on the transport bill

In today’s Irish Times, Sean is underwhelmed by the transport bill.

In my understanding, the new National Transport Authority merges a number of state bodies and has at least the potential to cut costs and create synergies. I probably disagree with Sean on that point.

I agree with most of the rest. I would have argued, though, that privatising the state-owned transport companies and cutting their subsidies would be welcome news for the budget. Dismantling the transport monopolies would bring welcome cuts in costs for households and businesses.

Interaction Effects of the Bank Liability Guarantee and Asset Purchase Schemes

Both the Irish bank liability guarantee (instituted in September 2008 and likely to be renewed) and the asset purchase scheme (likely in place soon via NAMA) have been controversial, and their strengths and weaknesses have been widely debated.  Less attention has been paid to the powerful interactions between these two schemes.   If both schemes go ahead, perhaps these powerful interactions could serve to improve overall cost-efficiency and policy effectiveness.