Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger

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ReadHowYouWant.com, May 21, 2010 - Business & Economics - 340 pages
The most spectacular bust of the global financial crisis was not the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers or the near-collapse of AIG but the demise of the entire economy of Ireland. Ship of Fools, a gripping financial morality tale, is both a coruscating analysis of the habits of the last decade and a warning for all time. The death of the Celtic tiger is not an extinction event to trouble naturalists. There was, in fact, nothing natural about this tiger. The ''Irish Economic miracle'' was built on good old-fashioned subsidies (from the European Union) and the simple fact that until the 1980s Ireland was by the standards of the developed world so economically backward that the only way was up. And as it began to catch up to European and American averages, the boom lured in investors, the Irish government deregulated and all but abandoned financial oversight, and a great Irish financial ceilidh began. It would last for a decade. When the global financial crash of 2008 arrived it struck Ireland harder than anywhere. Among the avalanche of statistics - as toxic as the property-based assets that lay beneath many of them - none was more revealing than that Ireland's bad bank, the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) held more (worthless) assets than any publicly quoted property company in the world, dwarfing giants such as GE Capital Real Estate and Morgan Stanley Real Estate. Under all the debris lay the corpse of the Celtic Tiger. How Ireland managed to achieve such a spectacular implosion is a stunning story of corruption, carelessness, and venality, told with passion and fury by one of Ireland's most respected journalists and commentators.
 

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User Review  - JohnPhelan - LibraryThing

A savage, jaw dropping indictment of the way so many in Ireland were complicit in the mass property scam and how its roots run deep in Irish political traditions. Less sound economically however, it ... Read full review

Contents

A Patriot for Me
26
Ethitical Banking
50
Our Own Gentry
84
The New Feudalism
114
Kings of the Wild Frontier
148
Offline Ireland
179
Unknown Knowns
199
Fair Play to You Willie
229
The Second Republic
255
About the Author
270
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Fintan O'Toole, columnist and drama critic for the" Irish Times," is the author of seven books, including "A Traitor's Kiss "(FSG, 1998). His work frequently appears in a number of American magazines. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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