If only for this exchange between FT writers Martin Sandbu and John Authers.
Martin Sandbu: “The Irish yields were so high because the Irish Government took on all this private bank debt – foolishly, under pressure from Frankfurt and Berlin and Brussels. But maybe there’s a way to undo some of that damage.”
John Authers: “Ok. Now that would be good because, let’s take a look at what the economic damage has been to Ireland (image below) and, you know, if you don’t mind my channelling my inner Paul Krugman this is not exactly an advertisement for austerity is it? It’s been a horrible economy for the last few…”
Sandbu: “It’s, it’s just terrifying. We should remember that there was very solid, artificial growth maybe before 2007/2008. And some of that had to go away. But this, this is just painful. Unemployment rates up to 15% and of course what you don’t have in that chart is emigration…”
Sandbu: “..has picked up again. This traditional safety valve in the Irish economy. But of course devastating for the..basically, social well being. No it’s true. It hasn’t done anything good for the Irish. Except maybe they’ve shown that they can do this. They’ve done what the Eurozone has told them to do. They’ve done what investors want them to do. And maybe, just maybe there is some reward in sight. That would be the only thing that could redeem this horrible picture.
Authers: “Or there may be a reward in sight now that they’ve fixed the mechanism for bank bailouts.”
Sadnbu: “If they do, that’s true.”