Boone and Johnson on Ireland, again

Click these here words to pass through the intertubes and find your way to the latest analysis of the Irish economic situation by the above named individuals. The pair had other posts on the same topic here, (May) and here (September). They seem to have a more rounded understanding of the Irish situation than many other international commentators.

But markets today think there is a 50% chance that Greece will default within the next five years – and a 25% chance that Ireland will do so. The reason is simple: both Greece and Ireland are likely insolvent.

While the Greek fiscal fiasco is now common knowledge, Ireland’s problems are deeper and less widely understood. In a nutshell: Ireland’s policymakers failed to supervise their banks, and watched (or cheered) from the sidelines as a debt-fueled spending binge generated the “Celtic miracle,” whereby Ireland grew faster than all other EU members and Dublin real estate became some of the most expensive in the world.

[…] To halt this downward spiral, Ireland’s risk of insolvency needs to be put to rest. Either banks need to default on their senior obligations, or the government will need to default alongside the banks.

For those who don’t know, Johnson is ex-Chief Economist at the IMF, Boone is Chairman of Effective Intervention at the London School of Economics’ Center for Economic Performance. The recently published a book on the crash called ‘13 Bankers‘ and they run the widely-read blog Baseline Scenario.