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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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International Monetary Fund (Charles Larkin)

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Charles Larkin

International Monetary Fund

This is an international financial institution created in July 1944. It is a multilateral treaty organisation that is made up of 189 members around the globe. The initial design of the IMF was to act as a credit union for countries with balance of payments difficulties, and to administer a global currency system that would prevent competitive devaluations and limit the possibilities of economically disruptive balance of payments crises.

The ‘Bretton Woods System’ was a structure that linked the US Dollar to gold at the convertible value of $35 per ounce, which then created a latticework of fixed exchange rates to the US Dollar that required IMF approval to modify, and that set up a structure of strict capital controls. This system remained in place until August 1971, when President Nixon ended this link to gold and created the current currency system based on floating exchange rates and free capital flows.

The IMF subsequently became heavily involved in providing ‘bailouts’ to developing and emerging market economies that had entered into balance of payments difficulties. Although bailouts are generally designed to be for 36 months, many have required extensions and some countries have had repeated IMF interventions. These policies have been criticised in the past for encouraging risky behaviour on the part of advanced-economy banks and underwriters in supporting lended and bond issues by developing and emerging market economies, as well as imposing external conditionality on bailout counties...

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