Monday 20 November 2017

Economic tsunamis are coming

Don't be surprised if there is an emergency Budget within the coming weeks, writes Marc Coleman

For the inhabitants of small islands in the Pacific, this weekend was a time to hide. And wait. From Saipan to Santiago, the worst tsunami in over a century washed over the Pacific.

For areas on high ground -- Indonesia, the Phillipines, the south American land mass, it was taken in its stride. But for little atolls a few feet above sea level, it was a potential disaster. In the coming few weeks, two tsunamis of the economic variety are heading Ireland's way. One is totally beyond our control and has its epicentre in Frankfurt. The other has its epicentre in Government Buildings. And in both cases, Ireland is a low lying atoll, rather than a sturdy land mass.

Like any geologist, economists have a set of seismographs they use to try and predict quakes. Seven years working for the European Central Bank -- three of them in its monetary-policy division -- have told me that when the ECB President uses the words "strong vigilance", a rate rise is coming soon.

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