The questions surrounding how the Irish economy was brought to the brink - who was to blame, and who should pay for these mistakes - have been rightly debated at length. But beyond this very legitimate exercise, there are deeper questions that need to be answered. These questions relate to why we made the decisions we did, not just in the last ten years, but over the last eighty. How did certain industries become more prominent at the expense of others, banking as opposed to fisheries, international markets as opposed to indigenous industry and job creation? Are our problems structural in nature, and most importantly, what do we need to know to make sure that this crisis does not happen again? These are the questions set by this book. It will look at the development of the Irish economy over the past eight decades, and will argue that the 2008 financial crisis, up to and including the IMF bailout of 2010 and the subsequent change of government, cannot be explained simply by the moral failings of those in banking or property development alone. The problems are deeper, more intricate, and more dangerous if we remain unaware of them, but also potentially avoidable in the future if we break the cycle.
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