More Kenmare-related fare (sorry I couldn’t resist). This time it’s from Don Walshe and Dermot O’Leary of UCC and Goodbody Stockbrokers, respectively. I attended this talk and the paper they produced is just now online at Finfacts as a Goodbody note. The pdf is here. The data they provide is really useful to guide our discussions on debt and deleveraging in the Irish banks, especially (for me anyway) sections 3 and 4 on balance sheet dynamics. O’Leary and Walshe argue for a slower deleveraging process to help aid growth in the economy. From the piece:
The goal of an export-led growth strategy is the correct one, and appears to be yielding some benefits already, but the external strategies of fiscal consolidation in developed economies puts this under threat. Indeed, the external trilemma of policy autonomy, fixed exchange rates and capital mobility, close off some of the traditional routes to achieving an acceleration of export growth and/or real debt reduction.
Ireland wants to reach a destination whereby it will have a smaller private debt level, a smaller banking system and stable public finances. That is the story of stocks. How it gets there, outside of default, is determined by flows. This paper shows that the current policy course is inconsistent with the achievement of all three goals in a reasonable timeframe and sustainable way. With private sector deleveraging largely outside of domestic policy control and political imperatives pushing for fiscal consolidation, we view the slowing of banking sector deleveraging as a way to ease the damaging circular dynamic that is currently taking place in the Irish economy. Further European assistance will be needed to achieve this, but the policy recommendations laid out here are unlikely to be exclusively beneficial to Ireland if they were implemented.
A quick note on comments. I’ve gotten a few complaints discussions aren’t being kept (roughly) on topic, so I’ll be a bit more aggressive in deleting comments that don’t add to a discussion on debt and deleveraging in the Irish economy.