JP Morgan says Irish position strong

Business World and RTE are reporting on a new research note from JP Morgan that gives Ireland a vote of confidence by telling clients not to bet on the state defaulting on its debt. The note describes Ireland’s financial position as “remarkably strong” despite the banking crisis and economic downturn. On the issue of banks’ bad loans, the analysts at JP Morgan are pencilling in a worst-case scenario of €27bn in write-offs over the coming years. Not trivial, but certainly manageable.

The State of the Nation conference

The Labour Party is hosting a conference on Saturday, 21 February in Dublin to discuss solutions to Ireland’s economic and banking problems. A link to the programme can be found here. I post this notice because I think some visitors to this site might be interested in the event, not because of any political allegiances.

And Now for Some Good News

My thanks to my Bruegel colleague Zsolt Darvas for an interesting set of charts showing GDP per capita in Purchasing Power Standards. If the European Commission’s projections pan out, living standards here will take a hit for sure, but it could be worse: We could live in Austria, Finland or Spain. Of course, GNP per capita is lower.

Accounting for banks

I wrote a short piece in yesterday’s Sunday Independent that illustrates why bank regulators must think beyond International Financial Reporting Standards in judging the health of the banking system. The link is here.

What Has Happened to Milton Friedman’s Chicago School?

Hat tip to my colleague Brendan Kennelly for this provocative paper by Brad DeLong on the “Chicago School” response to the current crisis. You can find a link to the paper here .