Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The lessons of Ireland

This riches-to-rags story is an example for Obama - and the world - of how not to run an economy

Paul Krugman
The Guardian, Tuesday 21 April 2009

"'What," asked my interlocutor, "is the worst-case outlook for the world economy?" It wasn't until the next day that I came up with the right answer: America could turn Irish.

What's so bad about that? Well, the Irish government now predicts that this year GDP will fall more than 10% from its peak, crossing the line that is sometimes used to distinguish between a recession and a depression......

That's one reason I'm so concerned about the Obama administration's bank plan. If, as some of us fear, taxpayer funds end up providing windfalls to financial operators instead of fixing what needs to be fixed, we might not have the money to go back and do it right.

And the lesson of Ireland is that you really, really don't want to put yourself in a position where you have to punish your economy in order to save your banks."

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