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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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Repossessions (Karl Deeter)

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Karl Deeter

Repossessions

While the history of Irish mortgage arrears (which at time of writing is a decade old and still going strong) will warrant a book of its own one day, the story of repossessions is interesting to the extent that there were constant warnings of a ‘tsunami’ of them that never actually arose. This was, and is, the best equivalent of an economic version of the story of Chicken Little who ran around screaming that the sky was falling. When it came to repossessing homes, Irish banks have shown a reluctance to do so, and this came from their own decisions in part because they knew that holding on for as long as possible is a solution of sorts (asset prices do tend to recover rather than go down and stay down).

The Central Bank initiated what is in this analyst’s view, one of the most critically ill-thought pieces of regulation in 2009 when, under the guidance of Governor Patrick Honohan and Deputy Governor Matthew Elderfield, a one-year ban on repossessions was introduced. From that moment, there was an acceleration in an already deteriorating arrears vista because all possibility of recourse was temporarily removed. The idea had been tried and failed miserably in Hungary in the past, and it soon proved the same in Ireland as the relationship between arrears and unemployment decoupled. This was followed by restrictions in collections which came about as the ‘MARP’ or ‘mortgage arrears resolution process’ which...

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