Ireland Destined For A Greece-Like Debt Nightmare By The Year 2012


Ireland’s debt situation is set to get much worse, even though they’ve been aggressive in restructuring their banking sector.

Irish economist Morgan Kelly doesn’t think Ireland’s new fiscal policies are going to get them anywhere, except to a 2012 debt to GDP ratio of 115%. That’s just as bad as Greece.

The problem lies not in Ireland’s fiscal restraint, but in absorbing the banking system’s losses on mortgages and other debt instruments.

Ireland has chosen to set up an agency to acquire the bad debt of the country’s banks. Due to the declining strength of the Irish economy, those loans are never likely to return to full or even half-value.

Exacerbating that is a banking system that relies too much on international lending, which is likely to dry up as belief in the Irish economy decreases.

The country is therefore taking on losses from the banking sector, without gaining any benefits. Adding that to the loss in tax-receipts from an economy in recession and Ireland is likely to need EU assistance in the short term, rather than long, according to Kelly.

So much for the Celtic Tiger.

The Celtic Tiger Stops Roaring

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.

Property Market Collapse

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.

Dublin: Boom To Bust

Dublin saw itself fall from Dubai on the Liffey levels back to Earth as massive projects like the 'U2 Tower' were canceled.

Photo: Overseas Property Mall

Recapitalization of Many Irish Banks

Ireland had to recapitalize its banking sector as a result of bad loans and property deals on their books. The consequences are still being felt, and more details of the bailout's expansion are set to surface next week.

Anglo-Irish Bank Nationalization

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.

The Creation Of The National Asset Managing Agency

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.

Waterford Crystal No Longer Irish

Waterford Crystal, an Irish cultural mainstay, reduced its presence in the country during the crisis cutting 480 of the 670 employees at its Irish plant, then later completely ended its existence there after being acquired by a private equity firm.

Picture: Socialist Party

Irish Depression

Ireland fell officially into a depression in 2009, with at least a 10% drop in GDP from its previous heights.

Bulldozing Vacant Homes

The proposed Irish National Asset Management Agency intends to buy up large quantities of finished and unfinished sites and bulldoze them to stabilise demand in the property marketplace.

Photo: Ireland After NAMA

The Irish Austerity Budget

The Irish austerity budget made severe cuts to public services across Ireland in an effort to reduce the deficit as a percentage of GDP and increase confidence in Irish sovereign debt. Welfare payments were slashed 4.1% and the total budget was cut 8.8%.

Picture: The Gulf Scream

Now Check Out How The U.S. Government Would Look Under An Austerity Budget

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