January 16, 2011

Ireland agony has not ended but is just starting

Ireland is no longer under the spotlight of the international media which has now moved together with the bond vigilantes to cover Portugal and Spain, but if you think the EU bailout has solved all the problems and put a stop to the hemorrhage of Irish banks well think it twice.
There are some interesting news today which are worth considering but before that let us check the following table:


Ireland international liabilities in 2009 were amounting to a staggering 1594% of GDP, completely out of scale when compared to the closest competitor UK which is a mere 667% even considering the net figure Ireland is facing an external debt of over 1000%
Now the majority of this debt has been created by Irish banks which have been gambling the country's future in financial stunts, gambling more than the entire GDP of the country, how much, well it is an estimate that has been rising constantly in the last 2 years when more and more toxic debt was surfacing and needed to be covered.
The situation turned sour in September when foreign deposits in the Irish banks were withdrawn massively, since then the situation has not changed and despite the ECB loans and the Irish Governments bailouts, the real depth of the Irish banks black hole seems to increase every month. A silent run on Irish banks is currently in progress and banks are so desperate for coverage that this week even the Irish central bank had to  intervene to stop the bleeding and increase liquidity, there is no doubt that with an exposure to foreign liabilities as the one described above there is no telling how much and for how long the ECB and the Irish government will have to support those zombie banks.

Donato Scarano
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