Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ireland's economy: some bright spots?

Actually, Ireland is really in trouble as we all know, but only if we believe we are?

Money and the love of it, is the root of our evil. No, not a morality lesson, but a practical one: cashflow!

Given the gravy train for politicos, it was natural that they would fall under the sway of the EU paymasters, mainly the Germans. So money is a disaster. But Ireland has gained massively from the boom, in housing stock at least. Those who own it are only lamenting this because they have to repay.

The obvious thing then is to follow Iceland. Forgive those who trespass against us and repudiate the debts we continue to take on. We have, with the apparently poor strategy adopted by the GFF, taken on more debt. Good. This should continue making the default even bigger when it comes?

OK, it is less moral than going the Iceland route now, but we know that no one has in terms equity lawyers love "clean hands".

What we must do then, as the wise who lead the masses, is prepare for this day? Will we leave the EU? Will other countries also go this route? Free trade has been helpful to Ireland allowing the economy to grow but on borrowed money. If the EU is taking away our CT rate we will not grow as fast as we did and in fact as we shed the malinvestments made during the boom we will shrink, particularly as we knuckle under to our masters in Europe.

If we leave the EU, we still have that CT rate but we lose all those lovely banks or do we? In the meantime we enjoy all those capital transfers from those in the EU fearful that we default now. We defer default and help them drive down the euro. They must expect to pay for this co-operation! We are only 1% of the EU economy or even less. The realities will eventually make default more acceptable even to those who still hog the gravy train as their electorates realize what needs to be done and as Iceland prospers.

This is after all the likely outcome as the masses awaken they will send some message via voting, but as in the USA, they can vote only for those on the ballot! (In the USA they will accept write ins not in Ireland!) The massage goes both ways and dep[ends on earlier messages but tax increases will eventually cause a rethink as will service curtailments, suicides and emigration.

This takes time. We enjoy the funds from the ECB and the extra housing. We rectify the economy by taxing land and reducing the price. Eventually, we become more competitive. But as the tax base dwindles, so the budget deficit will eventually balance but only if we default on interest and repayments are out of the question!

The international turmoil will smother this little hiccup as other countries also default. The idea that Ireland must contribute to their reconstruction is merely a rentier's fantasy, not a moral position!

In the meantime we languish and some suffer disproportionately.
Out of this we emerge wiser and blessed with more housing stock ....

No comments: