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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Contracts for Difference (CFD) (Shaen Corbet)

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Shaen Corbet

Contracts for Difference (CFD)

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are structured towards those investors seeking additional levels of higher risk investments in their portfolios. Due to the leveraged nature of CFDs, market movements amplify the investors’ gains and losses in multiples of the provided level of margin. In Ireland, CFDs are usually structured to allow an investor to obtain a 10% margin, while borrowing the remaining 90% of the investment from their CFD broker. This enables the investor to enhance their buying power tenfold.

When CFDs are used to invest, a price increase of 10% results in 100% profits, whereas a 10% fall in price leaves the investor at a total loss. When the investor is in this position, they must meet margin calls to maintain the position. Failure to do so results in the position being immediately closed. CFDs therefore act as an extremely cheap, non-selective source of investment finance due to the relative ease of account establishment. CFDs by their very nature thrive in periods of short term extreme volatility, such as that experienced during the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, as investors increase their use of leverage to maximise the amount of a particular equity that they can afford. Financial crises therefore generate a thriving environment in which CFDs can trade.

Longer horizon investors would refrain from using CFDs due to the commissions and overnight interest charges that must be paid for the use of margin to create...

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