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One of the factors behind the Irish boom and bust which I don't often see referenced outside Ireland, is that the ECB insisted on maintaining low interest rates at the height of the Irish boom, when higher interest rates would have been much more appropriate and would have helped deflate the property bubble. This was done at the behest of the Germans, whose own economy was struggling to grow.

When you combine this with the complete failure of the EC ad ECB to regulate the Single Market in banking and financial services they were so actively foisting on the Irish authorities - so much so that the Irish regulator thought that his "light touch" approach was what the EU actually wanted - you have to assign at least some European (=German) co-responsibility for the Irish boom and crash which followed.

One doesn't have to deny the stupidity of the Irish Government's bank guarantee to also acknowledge that the Irish authorities thought they were doing European banks a favour by guaranteeing their heavy exposure to Irish banks and thus helping to prevent the Irish banking collapse from infecting European (mostly) banks more generally.

France is not the only country that views German hegemony with dread, particularly if the UK were to withdraw even further from the EU. But that is not to say that a Germany and allies versus the rest would be a balanced or productive re-alignment either.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 07:33:45 AM EST

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