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Recalling the Celtic Tiger


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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Saint Patrick’s Day Massacre of Shares (Shaen Corbet)


Shaen Corbet

Saint Patrick’s Day Massacre of Shares

The St Patrick’s Day Massacre of 2008 has traditionally been observed as the tipping point of the subprime market in the United States. Perhaps somewhat ironically, it had taken place as the then Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, was handing over the traditional bowl of shamrocks to then US president George Bush, who had taken the opportunity to attempt to reassure market participants. The collapse followed the firesale of the investment bank Bear Stearns at a price of $2 per share to a consortium of JP Morgan Chase. Incredibly, the bank had traded at over $70 one week earlier, presenting evidence of the speed at which financial conditions had decayed.

Although there existed much evidence that Bear Stearns had been dangerously exposed to the rapidly deteriorating US subprime market, markets had been struggling to deal with grasping the ‘hard truths’ central to the impending collapse of such a core financial institution. In June 2007, Bear Stearns had actually proceeded to bail out its own High-Grade Structured Credit Fund, presenting a collateralised loan in excess of $3 billion. On March 14, 2008, the situation had further deteriorated to the point where the Federal Reserve Bank of New York agreed to provide $25 billion to support Bear Stearns, while creating a separate holding company to accept assets. This cash was designed to provide liquidity to the bank that financial markets had refused to provide. On March 16, 2008, Bear Stearns...

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