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Ireland: Some Form of Default Likely By 2013, But No Panacea

Determining the sustainability of Irish debt is a judgement call based on projections. Our opinion is that the balance of risks suggests the costs of bailing out Irish banks will make Irish government debt unsustainable in the medium term, although the risks are more finely balanced than is the case for Greece. Despite Ireland’s success in bringing down high government debt in the 1990s, the economic environment is much tougher now (Figure 1). Ireland already has a competitive and dynamic economy and, with extreme fiscal austerity ahead, the risks to growth forecasts are on the[...]

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