My Photo

Blog powered by Typepad


« Frontline and Hunting For Mice. The Recession Diaries - May 19th | Main | Progressives Welcome Dan O’Brien’s Support for Stimulus Programme (even if it’s only conditional). The Recession Diaries - June 1st »

May 25, 2010


Conor McCabe

Ireland's exports 2000 to 2008 ties in with what you're saying here Michael. The 'real' exports - pharmaceuticals, cement, cattle, etc, stuff you can touch - tapered off in 2000 at around 86 billion. Varies by a few billion each year, but ball-park 86 billion. Services, however, including financial services, went from around 26 to 46 billion during the same period. All that unlaundered money, washed by the IFSC, and all for a nice commission as well. some tiger alright.


Conor, Michael -

Ireland's exports are primarily driven by the multi-national sector. Probably worth bearing in mind that early in the decade you had the dot com bust, which I can attest had a huge negative effect on the software industry here - and also probably damaged exports from the likes of Dell & Intel. Apart from that, would the stagnation in exports be indicative of a loss of relative competitiveness, as the multinationals didn't see Ireland as an attractive location as it once was?

Also probably worth stating the obvious - there was a monstrous bubble in residential and commercial property - fueled by the expansionist monetary policy of the ECB, the expansionist fiscal policy of the Irish government, and incredibly lax regulation. It was perfectly rational for the indigenous Irish private sector to bet heavily on property investment - where easy profits could be made, at least until the bubble burst, rather than take the hard route of building up exporting companies (at which we appear to have a poor track record). I don't recall ever seeing a fund overed by an Irish bank that would invest in indigenous Irish industries / startups & SMEs. Plenty of property funds though. The semi-states and state industries mentioned above, aren't great exporters either.

The comments to this entry are closed.