The Irish Economy. What happened? What next?

Talks and presentations from the from ‘The Irish Economy. What happened? What next?’ series in the Central Library are now available here. Speakers were Conor McCabe, Michael Taft, Ronan Lyons, Gregory Connor and Simon Carswell.

26 replies on “The Irish Economy. What happened? What next?”

Jim Power on All Jazzara now…..Sweet Jesus.
Jim or John……John is easier on the ear.

Conor McCabe is closest to the mark me thinks.
The Post war credit inflation is over me thinks…(.theres really nothing there.)
Which changes everything ,everything.

JLC :”The Bigger the sum the easier the crime”

Critics : “Oh come on – the legitimate economy does not rest on the legitimate one.”

The City of London has laid waste to the globe , inflating it to the point of popping.
Maybe our national interest is to cuddle up to this demon although it has not done its Host(Britain) many favours(the first experiment)…. the stuff coming down the tracks looks even more horrible then they did 2 years ago.

Sorry to be so far off piste but seems important. A very reliable source tells me the IMF and Spain are meeting this evening (our time) in the US.

Just wondering….
Anybody out there have a view on the value of that eyesore that the Central Bank are reported to have bought for 7m.

It doesn’t look like 7 millions worth of raw concrete and the site is not worth much.

Is the Central Bank in the business of rescuing NAMA?

@PR Guy

Who’ll be the Castillian Ahern and Dempsey rushing to the nearest microphone to proclaim Fiction!

BTW, WSJ now leading with the IMF angle.

In 1999,2000,2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007 and 2008 Independent economist David McWilliams told the Irish people on TV and in the newspapers that there was a property bubble.

Examiner poll on votes cast show 52% No to 31% yes
Paddy power suspends betting …odds dropping all day.
Will we see a surge.

George Soros, Paul Krugman and John Corcoran cannot be wrong on the same issue simultaneously.

Spain probably owes Ireland a “muchas gracias”

Ireland showed that the notion that sovereign balance sheets can sort out banking insolvency in a monetary union is deluded. Presumably the IMF have figured it out as well.

@ Philip,

Thanks for the link. Conor McCabe’s interview link posted on the Dublin City Council web page, is worth a listen to and is only 15 mins.

McCabe’s depth of analysis is very like that of authors of an earlier generation, such as Frank McDonald I think. An ability to take on material, and turn it around, and reveal aspects to it, that are very important. I would very much like though, some day if Frank McDonald, Conor McCabe and Elaine Byrne could manage in some way to combine their collective understanding of the 20th century history of Ireland, in some kind of publication that we could all use. It would be of enormous value.

I don’t know exactly, how it would work, that one could get such different kinds of historians to work together on anything. But perhaps, if Diarmaid Ferriter or Tom Galvin, were to act as sort of independent arbiters in the centre of some kind of history, it could work well indeed.

What would interest me a great deal, is to see how Conor McCabe’s analysis of how the Irish currency system (and its relationship with Sterling), was set up in the twentieth century – and to see how that insightful Irish economic analysis – could work somehow in parallel with Ms. Bryne’s analysis of the political vein. That is, we could obtain a combined view of the political and the economic, and how they blend together in Ireland in the 20th century. I think that with Frank McDonald’s contribution, also coming into it somehow, it would add a very deep analysis of the social perspective in Ireland, and how that combines with the economic and political.

That is to say, Frank McDonald’s writing is deep in the way he documents so effectively some of the real social consequences of things that occur in the economic and political spheres in Ireland.

Obviously, we have seen in the near past, David McWilliams as an author trying to take on the task of combining together the analysis of the social, political and economic – in regards to Ireland – and a lot of McWilliam’s efforts have produced very interesting results. But I believe, the difficulty in how David McWilliams approaches is his work, is that he needs to spread himself far too thinly, and even though he drags it all together in the end – an approach, whereby one had three authors working to a far greater depth – might produce something even more comprehensive and valuable. BOH.

@Frank Galton/Grumpy

Deliberately low key Spanish delegation to the IMF of ‘techies’ and deputy minister I’m told, so as not to attract attention i.e. finance minister or similar makes it a bit too bloody obvious. This way they can deny…

…, so what are they doing there then? Talking about walking holidays to Santiago de Compostela? Timing is clearly just a coincidence.

Good to read that Simon Carswell included the bank guarantee.

Judging from much of the current commentary the Germans, IMF, ECB etc are lumped together as the culprits.

The bank guarantee offered by Cowen and Lenihan, for reasons that would are cloaked in opacity in a democracy of all things, was a mortal blow – nothwithstanding the deficit – and one not directed by external forces.

Look no further than Ireland’s equivalent of ‘our own gentry’ for culpability.

@ PR Guy

they are probably exploring ways to avoid a “freeing up lending” solution of the type that was pioneered in Ireland.

I’m sure they don’t want to tank the sov. either.

@ Dork


Conor McCabe describes a form of comprador capitalism.

Patrick Honohan and others have provided a more sanitised and technically proficient account of our monetary and economic history. Conor conveys the smell of the abbatoir. It’s part of what we are after all.

The western core elite, as Le Carre says, have missed a huge opportunity. They have forgotten that Europe was the greatest abbatoir of all.

From 1999 onwards David Mcwilliams was screaming to every person in Ireland that there was a property bubble. Below is the link to the elementary property valuation error that created the bubble and bankrupted both Ireland and Spain;

Professor Neil Crosby’s online response to this Irish Independent letter “Bubble values” 29th February 2012

“The analysis may be simplistic but unfortunately it is not flawed. Banks ask valuers to tell them what the market value/exchange price is at a point in time and then lend vast amounts over time based on that simple number. The surveyor gives them that simple number and do not think it is their job to tell the banks that the question they have been asked is stupid on its own and what they should have asked for is the underlying value. It was obvious in 2005 and 2006 that prices in the property market were higher than could be sustained by any rational cash flow analysis. But in a culture that rewards individuals for short term performance rather than longer term perspective, it was in neither the bankers’ nor the valuers’ interests to stop it. I cannot see anything in what the UK regulatory authorities have proposed that makes me think they understand the role of property valuation in driving asset bubbles and will prevent it all happening again sometime in the 2020s.”

Neil Crosby
Professor of Real Estate and Planning
University of Reading

There was no online response from any Irish economist, academic, or property professional.

Neil has been Professor of Real Estate at the University of Reading since 1994 having been previously Professor at Oxford Brookes and lecturer at Reading and Nottingham Trent Universities. Before that he was a practising valuation surveyor in a combined residential and commercial property private practice firm based in Nottingham. He specialises in commercial property appraisal and the commercial Landlord and Tenant relationship and has undertaken a series of major research studies funded by the UK Government and the UK property industry in these areas. In 2002 he was awarded the International Real Estate Society’s annual achievement award for his work in real estate research, education and practice. He has published well over 100 papers on the various topics listed above and the third edition of his textbook on Property Investment Appraisal with Andrew Baum was published in 2007.


My source tells me that Tim Geithner has been involved in the Spain/IMF talks. The Americans must be worried then…… how badly exposed are American banks to Spain/Europe? I suppose it’s possible that they would be given the number of Spanish-speaking people in the USA.

Is it just me (I’m unable to put my finger on it) or is there something disturbing about IMF/ESM/etc. being able to recap banks directly? Is it open to abuse by the banks? If it can be abused, it will be. Gimme the money!

@ PRguy

Latin America could be in trouble if Spain gets the doom loop. Santander would have to offload loads of LA assets and there must be lots of Mexican , Colombian etc assets in Spain. It could get very messy for America’s back yard if the teenagers are put in charge again.

I see a sub-head just appeared on “Spain says US backs bank aid plan” – So Tiny Tim was in on those IMF/Spain talks last night then?

NFP and previous revision out. Awful. What recovery? Stockmarkets in for a good old fall today.

I remember reading the Book Absolute friends (perhaps his most bluntly political book ) – I got angry along side Le Carrie during those strange days.

(That guy who called Tony Blair a war criminal the other day was invited inside the court – as I imagine the man has as many enemies as employers.)

However now I realise there is a element of propoganda withen his books – but on the most subtle of levels.
He is a brilliant writer none the less.

Everybody has skin in this game.

On the piss_te with Blind Biddy. Axel Weber has just joined us .. again.

Angela agrees to write_off 60% of the odious €90 Billion for her loyal Hibernian citizen_serfs … happy days! Free korsets, made in China, now available at all local post offices and dole offices – fabric, colour and style are optional.


Ceterisparibus:’Is the Central Bank in the business of rescuing NAMA?’

A late reply to this one.
Everything is in the business of rescuing NAMA – the local authorities bought all the unfinished apartments, migration is still being predicated on filling properties rather than jobs.
The NAMA board will go a long way to prove to prove their detractors wrong.
Every € it makes comes with a corresponding cost, in multiples.

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