Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross is more concerned about Europe than he is about the U.S. but said Ireland’s aggressive austerity cuts will make it the first European country to emerge from the Euro debt crisis (via Bloomberg):
“We’re actually a good deal more worried about Europe’s economy than the U.S. because it’s unclear how the relationship between the European Union, Greece and the other Club Med countries will eventually work out… There’s a lot of turmoil there, and any one of those pieces could produce a severe problem.”
Ross said Ireland’s fundamentals were intact, and has previously argued that it didn’t need structural reform. Moreover, it had the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe, strong infrastructure and a young, skilled workforce. Ross along with four other investors has agreed to buy a 34.9% stake in Bank of Ireland Plc.
In an interview with CNBC earlier this month Ross had said:
“They cut the entire cost of civil service 13% in one shot. No country has ever done that. Second, they pretty well cut out all government-funded capital expenditures and they cut him out of the social — the transfer of payments. Low and behold, the sky didn’t fall. The economy actually was up a little bit…
…People in ireland feel, well, there were excesses, we have to get them out of the system and be back and be the Celtic tiger again. They’re willing to go through it. That’s a real attitudinal difference between the Irish mentality and most people in europe.”
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