Following the unprecedented hyperbole surrounding the global sideshow that was the 9-week preamble and eventual release of Quantitative Easing Two – The Sequel, investors’ attentions returned to the progress being made on the next development in the ongoing drama being played out on the peripheries of the European Union. They duly found it. Ireland, the plucky little powerhouse export economy that got way out of its depth during a long housing boom and then made things worse when it made a commitment to stand behind its banks following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, is on the brink.
Despite eye-watering austerity measures imposed on its citizens, the nation looks certain to join Greece in suffering the ignominy of tapping the EU/IMF for access to the EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) with its near $1 trillion war chest which, as one “Continental-
As if that were not enough, both Germany and France are calling for bondholders to take “a haircut”, the euphemism for debt restructuring where creditors (bondholders)
“Germany and France may not be as belligerent with Ireland as they were with Greece seeing as the Irish government has shown an incredibly strong commitment to debt reduction with its austerity measures whereas the Greeks spent most of the time complaining but with Spain, Italy and Portugal, it could be an entirely different story; those bondholders could be hung out to dry. And rightly so”, said the “Continental-