Thursday, November 04, 2010

"Ireland has been desperately unlucky"

So writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. He draws attention to yields on 10-year Irish bonds, which surged this morning to a post-EMU high of 7.41percent. For technical reasons, which I think I understand – which probably means I don't – this is baaaaaad. Ambrose says the bond crisis is snowballing out of control. But what ,makes the country unlucky, he asserts, is that it has not has had enough time to let its medical, pharma, IT, and financial services industries (don’t laugh, some of it is doing well) come to the rescue.

Far be it for me to dispute AEP's findings – he knows what he's talking about whereas I don't – I would nevertheless suggest he's wrong – after a fashion. He's right about Ireland being unlucky ... well, some Irish people, the good guys who voted against the Lisbon treaty.

As for the rest, they come from the same well-spring that supported the country's membership of the euro, and voted for their current batch of idiot leaders. In that sense, they are not unlucky. They get what they deserve – and deserve what they get. Electing stupid or venal leaders is not a risk-free option, as we are about to find out.

When Ireland finally goes down the plug-hole – and if it isn't this, it'll be something else – the chances of a domino effect are high. Ambrose says that Ireland going down, on top of Greece and Portugal, would make it a triple bail-out – which is not credible. There are limits to intra-EMU solidarity, he adds, as Angela Merkel showed by dragging her feet for months over Greece, and has shown all too clearly again this week. The EU bail-out fund is a bluff that cannot safely be called.

I just wish they would get the Armageddon stuff over and done with. It is an article of faith that the euro is going to go belly-up and this constantly repeated "one bound and we're free" stuff is getting a tad tedious.

I really do want to wake up one morning soon and hear that the euro has crashed and burnt, and that the "colleagues" are throwing themselves (or being thrown – I don't mind which) from the top of the Berlaymont. Then, at least we can get down to the task of reconstruction. This time round, perhaps we can make a better job of it.