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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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Regling-Watson Report (Constantin Gurdgiev)

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Constantin Gurdgiev

Regling-Watson Report

During the heydays of the pre-2008 boom, the Irish establishment’s modus operandi with respect to hiring senior foreign officials into key positions at the top of the public sector’s executive and regulatory pyramid, was to seek specialists who were happy to lavish praise on the Celtic Tiger’s achievements. With the onset of the crisis, however, this approach has given way to the one where foreign experts are being brought in to state unspeakable (by the Irish officialdom’s standards) truths.

Commissioned in February 2010, and published in May that year, the Regling-Watson Report, officially titled as ‘A Preliminary Report on The Sources of Ireland’s Banking Crisis’, was commissioned with exactly this purpose in mind.

The main findings from the report include a summary of things known well in advance of its publication, such as the fact that the Irish financial crisis was a combination of mutually reinforcing domestic and global shocks, and that the pro-cyclical nature of Irish fiscal policies prior to the crisis increased vulnerability of the Irish economy. The report also highlighted the weak (to put it mildly) governance and risk management practices in the domestic banking sector, and how these weaknesses spilled over into the government’s misguided response to the shocks relating to the collapse of the Anglo Irish Bank. The report also, predictably, blames the Irish crisis on the ‘plain vanilla property bubble’ that was exacerbated by the banking sector’s role in fuelling same, and...

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