Friday, February 25, 2011

Ireland, unilateral debt default and worst case scenarios

A thread on the Irish Economy blog (see below) in response to an article this wee, in the Financial Times by its economics commentator Martin Wolf, has prompted a number of Irish academics and others to recommend unilateral debt default if the European Union institutions will not agree to Irish debt restructuring.

It's striking that despite a thread of many words, no advocate of unilateral default has detailed a worst case scenario - - which should be an essential aspect of consequential decision making - - be it for the aspiring entrepreneur or political leader.

It’s easy to be on the sidelines making proposals without having any responsibility.

The Irish banks are dependent on funding from the European Central Bank.

The ATMs would be shut down if the ECB also pulled the plug on its lifeline.

“Ah shur, that would never happen” would be the typical excuse to avoid having to address what should be done if the “what if” materialised.

On Sept 29, 2008, the night when a blanket State guarantee was provided to Ireland's banks, it’s very likely that Taoiseach Brian Cowen did not consider the consequences of the builders' bank Anglo Irish Bank collapsing because in his mind, such an eventuality would have been so GUBU that it would have been crazy to even worry about it - - now the price to pay for negligence and incompetence is very steeep.

Irish Economy Blog: Martin Wolf: Ireland Needs Help With Its Debt

Finfacts article: The Irish debt burden and the market for simple solutions