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Irish crash worst since Depression

IRELAND'S bank crash is the most expensive and deepest of any economy since the Great Depression, says a new IMF report.

The fund said that Ireland is the only country to suffer from fiscal costs, increases in public debt and output losses due to a banking crisis. And it said there is no sign of conclusion in the debt crisis.

"Ireland holds the undesirable position of being the only country currently undergoing a banking crisis that features among the top 10 of costliest banking crises along all three dimensions, making it the costliest banking crisis in advanced economies since at least the Great Depression," according to the IMF paper, entitled Systemic Banking Crises Database: An Update.

"And the crisis in Ireland is still ongoing."

The authors believe that advanced economies have more options available to exit the downturn.

They also have more credibility with the markets, which allows them time to manoeuvre and use options such as bank guarantees.

"Deposit freezes, while rare, are most frequently used by emerging economies, whereas guarantees on bank liabilities are more common among advanced economies," the authors said.

"Guarantees are more common among advanced economies, perhaps because of generally better institutions and access to international capital markets, rendering the announcement of guarantees more credible."

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