Wednesday 17 October 2018

Stephen Kinsella: Five years after crash, what have we learned?

The empty shell of the proposed HQ for the failed Anglo Irish Bank became a symbol of the crash
The empty shell of the proposed HQ for the failed Anglo Irish Bank became a symbol of the crash

Five years. It has been five years of continuous economic crisis this month. August 2007 was the month that the growth of world economy began falter and fail, exposing the weakness of Ireland's banks, bursting the construction bubble, hammering the State's finances, escalating unemployment and bad debt levels, and undoing a generation's worth of economic growth and development in a country just starting to believe that the bad days of the 1980s were well behind it.

Five years. It is a good moment to look back on the past five years and ask: just what happened; and what, if anything, can we learn?

What happened? The years following the 9/11 attacks saw a wave of financial expansion as low interest rates allowed many households and firms to cheaply increase their debt levels relative to their incomes and assets.

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