Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Irish will not accept this:
The Irish “program” solves exactly nothing – it simply kicks the can down the road. A public debt that will now top out at around 130 per cent of GDP has not been reduced by a single cent. The interest payments that the Irish sovereign will have to make have not been reduced by a single cent, given the rate of 5.8% on the international loan. After a couple of years, not just interest but also principal is supposed to begin to be repaid. Ireland will be transferring nearly 10 per cent of its national income as reparations to the bondholders, year after painful year.
A likely prediction:
It is not technocratic economists who will win the day and pull us out of our cul-de-sac, but angry Irishmen and Spaniards who challenge, on moral terms, the right of German bankers to impose vast deadweight costs on current activity because they lent greedily into what might easily have been recognized as a property and credit bubble.
Tangentially, I've often wondered what would have happened if McCain or Obama had opposed TARP in fall 2008. (I'm not saying TARP was the worse US bail-out, just an example. TARP hasn't lost nearly as much money as people expected. The GSE bailouts will surely cost US taxpayers far more.)

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