While you might be thinking today of that lovely pint of Guiness you are going to put back after work, the Irish are actually drowning their sorrows in the midst of one of the darkest economic periods in their history.
So before you head to the bar, read up on St. Patrick’s homeland’s woe, so when you are putting that pint back, its with a shared sense of sadness.
The Celtic Tiger was the phrase most associated with Ireland since the 1990s, describing its dramatic growth from one of Europe's poorest states to one of its richest.
The boom was based upon some solid fundamentals, but also a property and credit boom similar to the U.S.
Ireland's property boom was at the heart of the Celtic Tiger phenomenon, and when it bust it brought much of the previous decade's economic growth with it, including several of the country's biggest banks.
The Irish government was forced to acquire Anglo Irish Bank rather than provide a $1.97 billion cash injection as it was believed it would not have been enough to save the troubled bank. The government continues to hold onto ownership of the nationalized firm.
Ireland is to set up NAMA, the National Asset Managing Agency, with the goal of buying up much of the distressed assets on Irish bank books. Full details have yet to emerge, but the government, under Taoiseach Brian Cowen, is set to do so March 26.
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