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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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Kelly, Morgan (Brian Lucey)

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Brian Lucey

Kelly, Morgan

When somebody whose main area of expertise is the economic effects of disruptions to economic growth, begins to speak about your banking system as being in crisis, that should really set some alarm bells ringing.

For many commentators and policy makers, that realisation came about with the publication of a short but powerful piece by UCD economist Morgan Kelly, in summer 2007. Published in the Quarterly Economic Commentary of the Economic and Social Research Institute, it argued from a historical perspective that, yes, indeed, Irish house prices were significantly overvalued. More than that, it suggested, based on historical precedent, the extent of probable falls, and the depth and time of the crash that would endure in house prices. It was remarkably accurate, especially given that the quality of the data for the Irish property market was, bizarrely in retrospect, at that stage of lower quality than for other OECD countries. Kelly’s paper had been circulating in draft format for some months prior to the formal publication, and his results had been replicated. Kelly had memorably appeared on Prime Time, the main evening news-analysis programme, on RTÉ in April in 2007, where he presented in a forceful manner the main points of his argument.

Although not a formal government publication, the ESR Quarterly Bulletin was generally seen as authoritative and at least semi-official. There had been warnings about overvaluation and the dangers both of a house price crash and...

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