Monday 27 March 2017

Let's avoid fear -- and delusion

In the wake of the revelation that we are now to foot the bill for the numbskulls who bought a Bulgarian bank for €216m and sold it back to the fortuitous girlfriend of the Bulgarian prime minister for €100,000, the Irish taxpayer is entitled to ask is there any limit to the indignities we must suffer?

Circumstances such as this mean it is difficult to respond positively to the equally surreal spectacle of Michael Noonan urging us to reacquaint ourselves with the old Celtic Tiger ethos of 'shop until you drop'.

Yet there is merit in Mr Noonan's position, for Ireland, having embraced every other economic fallacy, is in danger of falling victim to 'the paradox of thrift' where the desire of a frightened people to save more than they spend does more harm than good. Today we need only look at our deserted villages to see just how much damage can be done to the living economy of the main street by the dead economy of the safety deposit box.

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