Iceland: The future is in the EU

Iceland is undergoing a traumatic financial crisis. This column argues that the main anchor for its recovery strategy should be EU membership and entry into the euro area.

The Sustainability of Ireland’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

The dramatic decline in Irish public finances is apparently causing the Irish government to reconsider its commitment to pay 1 percent of GNP into the National Pension Reserve Fund (Ireland’s own Sovereign Wealth Fund, established in 2000). In the article below (published in the August 3rd edition of the Sunday Independent), I discuss the proposed […]

Ireland in Recession: Designing a Fiscal Response

Last week, the Economic and Social Research Institute (the most respected economics institute in Ireland) forecast that GDP growth in Ireland will be negative in 2008 at -0.4 percent. This represents a sharp decline from 5.3 percent growth in 2007 and a long sequence of high growth rates since the mid 1990s.  Moreover, the movement […]

Why Did Ireland Vote No to the Lisbon Treaty?

It is clear that the Lisbon Treaty has been decisively rejected by the Irish electorate.  The no vote appears especially strong in working-class and rural districts, but it is also significant in middle-class areas. While non-economic dimensions are certainly important in explaining the outcome, several economics issues have also been quite central. The most visible […]

EMU@10 – the Irish Experience

EMU at 10: The Irish Experience May 2008 marks the tenth anniversary of the decision to move to the third and final stage of EMU, with the list of member countries finalised and a commitment to launch the euro on January 1st 1999. This has been marked by the European Commission with the publication of […]

Is Ireland At Risk of a Financial Crisis?

Is Ireland At Risk of a Financial Crisis? An AEA conference paper “Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison” by Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff has received considerable media attention in recent days (Martin Wolf in the FT; The Economist). In it, Reinhart and Rogoff compare the current US […]

Fiscal Policy for a Slowing Economy: the Irish Case

The Irish economy is clearly slowing down: the ESRI (the main local forecaster) now projects GNP growth of 2.9 percent for 2008. While this is quite respectable compared to most European countries, it represents a much more modest rate of expansion compared to the last decade. The primary source of the slowdown is the turnaround […]

Malta and the Euro

I recently participated in a conference to mark the upcoming entry of Malta to the euro area on January 1 2008.  (Cyprus will also join on January 1 and the Malta event featured an excellent presentation on the Cypriot economy by Athanasios Orphanides, the new Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus and former senior […]