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We had good company

The Irish Times has a nice set of articles on the papers released under the 30 year rule, which cover 1982 — quite a year in Irish politics. Among the points of interest is the strain in UK-Ireland relations caused by the Falklands War. Deaglán de Bréadún gets perhaps a tad ambitious though in seeking [...]

Frankfurt has noticed

Germany’s man at the ECB, Jörg Asmussen, during a tough speech in Athens today: It is difficult to ask voters in a country where average public sector wages are around €1000 per month, like in Estonia or Slovakia, to lend to a country where those wages are on average around €3000. The same holds true [...]

Referendum open thread

Obviously there are quite a few places where the result is being discussed but for the sake of completeness we’ll open a thread here. I was struck just now to see on RTE Norah Casey (being interviewed by Miriam along with Mary Lou) to say that we need a convene a new style of think [...]

French still want renegotiation: German press

The Government’s claims that EU leaders agreed not to renegotiate the Fiscal Compact – due to be voted on on May 31st – have been met with silence from French and EU officials. German newspaper Suebdeutsche Zeitung claims that the French want to keep renegotiation on the table as a bargaining chip to gain German [...]

The IMF option sailed with the Lisbon treaty

It’s an interesting day on the Irish Times opinion page as Vincent Browne and Terence McDonough set out the anti-Yes position on the fiscal treaty, specifically regarding whether Ireland will still have recourse to the IMF outside the European Stability Mechanism. It’s clear that technically, as an IMF member country, it will. But leave aside [...]

Mario on the referendum

Draghi, not Rosenstock. Here’s the President of the European Central Bank in an interview with the Wall Street Journal discussing the fiscal compact: Many things have happened in Europe in the last year and a half. You have different countries that have different initial conditions–high debt, low growth countries and countries with low debt and [...]

The Irish Times, the eurozone and the plebs

Big things are happening in a big week for Irish and European politics and, let’s be honest, most of us don’t really understand what’s happening, or why. The budget to be unveiled today and tomorrow will need to cut spending and increase taxes because of the banks, or something. The European summit being held on Friday will save [...]

The revolution will not be hurried

IMF statement on the US$3 billion loan for Egypt – A number of fundamental structural reforms, including the transition to a VAT-like consumption tax and reform of the highly inequitable and costly system of subsidies, are needed to improve the efficiency of public spending and help reduce the fiscal deficit in the medium term. We [...]

Cross-border banking not what it used to be

Wall Street Journal article with an interesting bit of news – Last fall, the [UK] FSA [Financial Services Authority] successfully pushed the Bank of Ireland to convert its U.K. operations from a branch into a subsidiary that required more capital, according to people familiar with the matter. The agency also required the U.K. subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks [...]

The long summer of 2010

Brian Lenihan, 8 December 2010 – People should not be surprised that there’s a huge erosion of trust in the Irish banking system when we’ve an endless debate on whether we should be defaulting on the payment of our obligations,” he said.  “A small country like Ireland cannot default without the support of a central [...]

The central bank and the mortgage drug

What is an Irish Mortgage-Backed Promissory Note?  Below the fold, some thoughts — on what may be old news — about this question.

Widening the exits

Even if today’s Moody’s ratings downgrade could be brushed off with Ireland out of the bond market, there are two other notable developments — both dropped into the Friday afternoon news cycle.  First, the ECB and Bank of England have set up a 10 billion euro swap agreement in which the ECB can access up [...]

Ireland crisis loan program choreography

We’ll update this post as the day evolves, newer material first. The IMF is lending under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), and not the more common Standby Arrangement.  The EFF is meant for countries with serious medium-term balance of payments imbalances.  That’s the one thing that Ireland — courtesy of its strong export performance — [...]

Lawyering by Googling

It’s not recommended.  But it’s prompted by Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan’s repeated claims that bank senior creditors are pari passu with depositors, therefore you can’t burden-share with one without burden sharing on the other (i.e. the ECB, the  Central Bank, and us).  So you start using your favourite search engine to get some information on the actual [...]

Dail Eireann: Use only in emergencies

It didn’t seem possible that the Irish political system could look more busted today than it did yesterday but that’s where the version of Lanigan’s Ball from the Greens leaves it.   Michael Lowry — having had the leverage of his side-deal with the Coalition for nearly 3 years in return for his vote, runs to [...]

Wiggle Room

Brian Cowen as quoted by Irish Times – “So the sovereign, if you like, has that funding arrangement in place. We don’t have to borrow any money in respect of the sovereign issues that affect the Government . . .’’ From the FAQs for the European Financial Stability Facility – A16 – Will the EFSF [...]

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