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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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National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) (Constantin Gurdgiev)

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Constantin Gurdgiev

National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) was created to provide ‘a range of asset and liability management services to government’. These services include borrowing on behalf of the government and management of the National Debt, the State Claims Agency, NewERA, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and the National Development Finance Agency. It also assigns staff and provides business and support services and systems to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and Home Building Finance Ireland.

During the Celtic Tiger era, the NTMA rode the wave of high economic growth, placing government bonds into the booming markets, underpinned by the Irish economic ‘fundamentals’. Green Jerseying was easy: the Dublin story practically sold itself to willing investors, and the NTMA marketing desks at international bond shows were a particular hit, with free Guinness on tap and shrinking debt-to-GDP ratio as macroeconomic appetisers. Growth-obsessed, like the rest of the Celtic Tiger, the NTMA secured a lucrative gig managing the National Pensions Reserve Fund – Bertie Ahearn’s savings pot for public sector pensions. From the NTMA’s point of view, the job involved outsourcing virtually all front-desk functions to a host of Irish asset management companies, and sitting back to enjoy high returns courtesy of the booming Irish and global economies.

2008 ended the party at the NTMA’s offices. However, the crisis also allowed the NTMA to prove its worth in the post-Celtic Tiger era....

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