Friday 23 February 2018

Brendan Keenan: Cheers to drinking in Last Chance saloon

With the loss of output from the crash estimated at $50 trillion and counting, who could plausibly have prevented the Irish bubble from inflating?

IT is nice to come across somebody who literally knows the meaning of "literally". Andrew Haldane, who is in charge of financial stability at the Bank of England, is one who does.

He stressed the point in an address to the Institute for International and European Affairs in Dublin last week. It means "according to the strict meaning of the words". And, said Mr Haldane, the world literally cannot afford another crisis like the one we are going through.

I hope I know what "literally" means, but I did not know some of the figures Mr Haldane produced to support the claim. The most shocking, perhaps, was that the permanent loss of output from the crash will be at least $50 trillion ($50,000bn) and might be as much as $200 trillion. That is between one and four years' world production of goods and services.

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