What is truth?

Posts tagged ‘Celtic Tiger’’

No desks. No staff. No tax. Ireland’s shadow banks

By  Carl O’Brien, Caelainn Barr

So many companies are listed in the marble-tiled, plant-filled foyer that there are no brass plates or printed guides. Instead, it takes a computer to search through them all. This is 5 Harbourmaster Place, a Celtic Tiger-era chrome-and-glass building at the edge of the International Financial Services Centre, in Dublin.

It might not look big enough to house them all, but this modest-sized building is home to about 250 companies. One is Orpington Structured Finance I. It has gross assets of €1.7 billion, which would make it one of the most valuable firms in Ireland. Except it has no employees. It has no buildings or machinery. Nor does it pay any tax.

 

It is one of hundreds of so-called financial-vehicle corporations, which are companies set up to house or trade in securitised investments, in other words to package and resell loans.

It’s part of a much wider area of financial activity known as shadow banking, a term coined five years ago when the US economist Paul McCulley defined the area as the “whole alphabet soup of levered-up non-bank investment conduits, vehicles and structures”.

The term spread almost as fast as the financial crisis, and regulators and governments have been mobilising ever since to try to map this largely uncharted world.

It’s big business: the total value of assets in the Republic’s shadow-banking sector, at €1.7 trillion, is almost 11 times the State’s gross national product, which is the total value of all products and services produced in a single year.

8015088934_ac7e38cf62_b1.jpg

Supporters of low taxes and multinational-friendly policies say these companies help create much-needed jobs in a country with 14 per cent unemployment and stagnant growth. The wider IFSC employs an estimated 32,000 people, for example, and contributes about €1 billion in corporation tax. Of those employees, about 1,000 work in companies linked to the securitisation industry. If Ireland weren’t courting this kind of business, the argument goes, it would end up in rival jurisdictions, such as the UK or the Netherlands…………………………………..

Full article at source: http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/financial-services/no-desks-no-staff-no-tax-ireland-s-shadow-banks-1.1388923

Fine Gael called “LIARS”

English: Alan Shatter TD at a Fine Gael press ...

Image via Wikipedia

In terms of top prize for political incompetence in 2011, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example than the farce that has surrounded the issue of Upward Only Rent Reviews (UORR) in commercial leases; remember both Labour and Fine Gael had promised to abolish UORR terms in existing commercial leases so that tenants would no longer have to pay rents which were set in better economic times, and particularly at the peak of the Celtic Tiger when commercial rents were twice today’s levels.

The commitment stymied the commercial property market where transactions dried up as neither buyer nor seller knew what rental terms would apply after the Government’s intervention. And Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter issued frequent updates where he re-affirmed the commitment, and for many months the stock response to requests for updates from the justice ministry was that a bill would be brought before the Oireachtas before Christmas 2011. And a framework including detailed legislative provisions went to the Attorney General in October 2011.

full article at source: http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/fine-gael-called-liars-in-metre-high-lettering-on-grafton-street-premises/

Comment:

I am not surprised this shower are only looking after the many landlords sitting in the Dail .

Rent supplements are keeping the property prices artificially high and I am surprised that the IMF hasn’t demanded that the government cut this subsidy to private landlords. Property prices are set to fall a lot further as this new penal tax on people’s homes will deter new owners and may even prompt others to sell out of the rental property business for good .I stated in a posting two years ago that we would see Dublin apartment prices come down to the mid thirties (thirty five thousand Euros) Well a friend of mine told me he sold a one bedroom apartment for 47,500 including a park space  two months ago and he is convinced that we will see apartments in the mid twenties in two years time .I would agree with him. I am currently living in Germany and I am renting a one bedroom apartment for 300 Euros a month and 100 extra for heating. I could buy this apartment for 42,500 and this would be in a similar area to D4 in Dublin! Around the corner there is a house with 3 bedrooms and I could buy this for 123,000 and I might get it for 115,000 if I had cash!

I cannot see any improvement in Ireland as long as we have incompetent political gangsters running the country we need a new revolution and cleaned all these public leaches out of the system a new political setup must be brought about centred on the needs of the ordinary citizen and not on the servants of the people as they call themselves. Cronyism must be stamped out.

I do believe that eventually the people will rise up but then even I will be surprised at the extent of the violent reaction against the political leaches that are now sucking the country dry and the collaborators, eager to serve the corrupt moneymen in Europe. The people will have their day they always do eventually  so Fine Gael you are been warned the day of reckoning is coming !

When leaving home is the only way out

Celtic tiger cartoon

Image via Wikipedia

EVERY culture has its own spectre of hardship, says economist Alan Barrett.  For Germans, it is the hyper-inflation of the Weimar Republic and its  destruction of families’ hard-earned savings. For the English, it is the  rationing during and after World War II, which left some in that generation  still prone to hoarding every time headlines cause alarm. For the Irish, it is  landlessness.

Their folk memory turns on the stories of the potato famine of the 1840s,   when starving people were evicted from their homes by English landlords and died  by the roadsides with grass stains around their mouths.

Even today, says Professor Barrett, of Trinity College, Dublin, “in the  social collective consciousness, losing your property and eviction are the worst  things that can possibly happen.”

A jewellery shop closes down in Dublin, a common sight in the formerly thriving city.
A jewellery shop closes down in Dublin, a common sight in the once  economically robust city.

This has led to a national preoccupation with property ownership, agrees  Professor Piaras Mac Einri of Cork University, “We have an obsession with land.  Owning your own land is the biggest thing you can do.”

Which partly explains what has happened with traditionally frugal,  hard-working Ireland. In the 15 years to 2008 the country boomed, proclaimed as  “the Celtic Tiger“. On a surge of prosperity and optimism, and turbo-charged by  low interest rates,  Ireland spent billions building roads, luxury hotels, golf  courses, and a gleaming, futuristic, €600 million (A$783 million) international  airport, T2.  The Irish also borrowed heavily to buy into a feverish local  property market.

Barrett, who is on secondment from Ireland’s Economic and Social Research  Institute,    says: “If you asked anybody what was the big benefit of the Celtic  Tiger, I think a lot of people would have answered that for the first time ever,  if you were born in Ireland you could assume that you could live and work in  Ireland for the rest of your life.”

Karen McHugh.Karen McHugh.

But the Celtic Tiger is now a mewing kitten. Last month marked the first  anniversary of Ireland’s humiliating bailout by the troika of the European  Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund,  without which it would be bankrupt. Ireland has also just suffered its fourth  consecutive austerity budget, this time one that provides an “adjustment” of

€3.8 billion through increased taxes and slashed spending. It follows cuts of €4 billion last year.

The Irish are talking about unemployment tripling to 14.5 per cent with  450,000 now jobless, about the way houses have lost half their value and about  the big cuts to salaries and social services that make life harder. But there is  another painful Irish spectre that is not getting as much airplay – forced  emigration.

Emma and Eoin Monaghan are typical of those hardest hit by the crash. They  have regretfully decided that they must leave the country if they and their  children are to have a future. He is 35 and works as a thermal insulator; she is  29 and works part-time as a make-up artist. They have two children,  five-year-old Jamie and baby Maleah, nine months, and live in a Celtic Tiger-era  housing estate at Donabate, on the edge of Dublin.

They did what they thought was the responsible thing and bought a house  before they had children, at a time when prices were rising fast, because they  feared they might not get into the market at all if they dithered.

“The day we actually bought, there was a big queue,” Emma says. “They said if  you didn’t bring your deposit within 24 hours you would lose your place. We were  so frightened that we wouldn’t even get on the property ladder.”

Read full article at source : http://www.theage.com.au/world/when-leaving-home-is-the-only-way-out-20111214-1ouqs.html#ixzz1ghlkMMDA

Comment:

This is a report that shows the real stories on the ground .I myself am  a member of the 100,000 citizens that have had to leave my home in order to support my family .I am currently living in Germany in a small one roomed flat ,but I do have at least the chance of setting up a new business .

The attitude from the local council  in Germany is what can we do to help you set up your business.

I am discussed in the gombeen politicians and their stupid games of twiddle dumb and twiddle Dee politics while ordinary citizens are facing the austerity measures these same gob-shites are imposing.

We the people must stand up and tell these gangsters to get lost or face open revolution .The latest tax on homes is the last straw This poll tax must be faced down .Let this be the beginning of the fight back to take back our country from the collaborators who have sold themselves out to the new absentee landlords in Germany and France. People of Ireland stand up and refuse to become financial slaves to the larger powers in Europe. It’s time to call a halt to this financial doctorial occupation. “We the people are the source of Irish sovereignty” the politicians are not there, to tell us what to do, we tell them. We are the masters of our own destiny not the out of touch, overpaid peacocks in the Dail. Stand up and say Hell no ,we won’t pay!

An announcement today by Minister for Public Expenditure

 

By Namawinelake

Just to boost your rage-levels which might be flagging mid-week, there has been an announcement today by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin that what RTE refers to as the

(1) “general” pay level for

(2) “future” appointments to

(3) “higher positions” in the public service

The pay will apparently be capped at €200,000 but for chief executives the cap will be €250,000. For existing employees and office holders, the government is to seek voluntary reductions to these two cap levels. There is surprisingly no commitment to publish the names of those who volunteer reductions – presumably those good people would be quite happy to have their names published. Given that there are moves afoot to hold a referendum to reduce the salaries of judges including sitting judges, it is not clear why the scope of the referendum is amended with a couple of sentences to encompass all public servants.

full article at source:http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/uninspiring-government-announcement-to-reduce-some-senior-public-sector-pay-levels/

Comment:

It is just amazing that this government have been in power
now for over 100 days and nothing has been done about the lottery salaries
various top civil servants get not to mention what the government ministers get
themselves .Far from cutting salaries this new government have hired some of
their pals and dished out jobs for the boys. Between the high-powered jobs
available to the insiders at NAMA and the rest of the government advisers  one would be forgiving in thinking Fianna Fail were pulling the levers of power. What will it take for the public to wake up and smell the rotten leaches feeding on the carcass of what was once the Celtic tiger.

The Irish voters are indeed Deaf Dumb and  Blind if we are to belive the poll results out this past weekend.This latest announcement is just an attempt to fool the public into thinking that something is been done when in fact nothing is been done from the do nothing brigade that now needs to get a good cattel  prod up the jaxicy to get them moving  

Average house prices could still be overvalued by up to 30%

Average house prices could still be overvalued by up to 30%

 ( I say 47%see below comment)

By: MARTIN WALSH

ANALYSIS: Price to income ratios suggest there is a way to go yet before property prices stabilise

WHEN BUBBLES burst it takes time for society to recover its financial nerve. Before this can start, there must be some degree of certainty that all losses have been accounted for.

There are persuasive arguments for believing that this point has not yet been reached in Ireland. A key priority for the State must be to get house prices back in line with their long-term value, and consequently with incomes, and keep them there in order to underpin competitiveness.

There are other issues to be dealt with such as the parallels in the commercial and retail property sectors.

As last week’s report by Finnish banker Peter Nyberg showed, Ireland got carried away with the availability of easy money. The result was we blew much of the gains made earlier in the Celtic Tiger period. Irish house prices increased between 1996 to 2007 by around 330 per cent – a bubble extreme in scale and duration but a classic nonetheless, matching the criteria in the extensive literature on bubbles.

Yet we continue to hear cries of: “nobody saw it coming”. Plenty of people saw it coming – it was obvious to those who took the trouble to read what was being written here and abroad about house prices. There were reports and comments from international observers including the European Central Bank (ECB), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Financial Times and the Economist, and in particular, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The third Bacon report in June 2000, when discussing changes in the model used for indentifying drivers of house prices, noted: “. . . the very dramatic change in the effect that the previous period’s price is having on the current period price level”. This is the essence of a bubble – a cycle of buying driven by expectations of further price increases unrelated to any increase in fundamental value.

The fear of a property crash permeated the Bacon reports and the limited policy recommendations emerging from the reports reflected this. In any event, the actions taken as a result of the three Bacon reports were reversed under concerted pressure from vested interests. In retrospect, how lucky we would have been if we had experienced a property crash in 1998, when the first Bacon report was issued, rather than 10 years later.

The reality is that most did not want to recognise the bubble – as implied by Nyberg. These ranged from those who were wilfully blind to regulators who saw it and were constrained from acting decisively for reasons that ranged from perceptions of the limited scope of their authority, political pressure and organisational culture.

They also included conflicted media that benefited from spending on advertising and citizens who felt they were wealthier because the price of their home had increased. The price had increased but the intrinsic value remained the same – it was still the same house no matter how you measured the price.

Many fallacious arguments were put forward during the boom to justify high house prices such as suggestions that increased demographic demand underpinned prices. This did not make any sense. Look at the slums of major Third-World cities where real demographic demand is of an order unimaginable here. There are no bubbles.

On the other hand some countries and cities, with political restrictions on development, maintain high prices whereas others, such as Hong Kong and Singapore with a small land area, manage to house large populations. Similar illogicality was behind most of the thinking and talking.

Global low interest rates and access to large quantities of easy money were the proximate cause of the bubble here and of the global financial crisis. The tsunami of cheap and easy money hit Ireland just as the tiger economy was moving into high gear. We were preparing to adopt the euro and with it access to a large pool of low-cost European finance, while at the same time new funding techniques such as securitisation provided the technical means to access these funds.

Together these developments removed the funding constraints that a small peripheral currency had previously imposed. In addition, a short-term laissez faire, caveat emptor, philosophy took over the sale of financial products and services. If the bank boards and regulators did not know or understand what was happening, what was the non-expert expected to do?

Cheap and easy money would not have been enough on its own to facilitate the inflation of the bubble. For example, neither Germany nor Canada suffered from bubbles. In Ireland, despite many timely and well-founded warnings, an array of defects in our beliefs and governance left us vulnerable.

In the end the inevitable happened and the bubble burst. Essentially our domestic financial institutions are wiped out and European institutions and the IMF direct our financial affairs.

But this is not the end of the affair. We have arrived here slowly, bit by bit, as the extent of the losses has become clearer. The question remains have we reached the end? The recent stress tests have helped but, hard as it might be to accept further bad news, it is better to get it all out in the open now.

We need functioning lenders that are properly capitalised and in a position to lend to businesses and individuals. If, after recapitalisation, there remains doubt about any unrecognised losses, banks will be constrained from lending due to lack of resources. In addition, we await the revised memorandum of understanding following the recent EU-IMF examination of the Government’s adherence to last autumn’s bailout deal.

Aside from the need to get the bad news out and sort out the banks, it seems that there is a real dilemma at the heart of national policy. Do we prioritise competitiveness by bringing house prices back into line with incomes or keep them inflated in the hope of reducing further losses to the banks and Nama (National Asset Management Agency), as well as containing the extent of negative equity?

While higher incomes are a driver of house prices, prices themselves are a driver of demand for higher incomes. If house prices remain high relative to incomes this limits our ability to regain lost competitiveness. This pressure is not going to decrease as the vast populations of China, India and other large emerging countries play an increasing role in the global economy.

In addition, well-managed economies such as Germany have, over the last two decades, brought down their unit labour costs, and compete with us in selling on global markets. This implies that average house prices must return to levels that are in line with long-term ratios to incomes, and possibly even lower as costs realign to meet increased competition.

As is shown in the incomes, construction costs and house prices chart, despite the bubble in house prices, construction costs did not increase any faster than incomes over the last 30 years. This implies that all the overvaluation has been in site prices, as well as builders’ profits in the case of new houses.

It also implies that there is a greater speculative element in site prices and unfinished estates. When house prices fall back to their true value, there may be a higher proportional reduction in the value of some of the collateral supporting loans held by Nama and the banks.

This possibility may not, as yet, be fully reflected in considerations of the level of new capital required by the banks or the likely final recoveries that will be achieved by Nama.

Hopefully the recently completed stress tests and increased capital adequacy requirements will adequately deal with a realignment of both residential and development property values. In fact it seems the State may be hoping for some stabilisation of prices at close to current levels, and that time will take care of the problem.

A significant factor behind the Irish bubble was the implicit belief that low short-term interest rates would continue indefinitely. This belief influenced buyers’ understanding of affordability and value and was one of the fallacious arguments used as a selling point for houses and mortgages.

Despite the fact that we in Ireland (as in the UK) have a tradition of variable rate mortgages, it is long-term interest rates that matter over time for determining the true value of assets. While market traders in stocks and bonds in liquid markets can react to short-term rate movements, home buyers and banks that provided long-term mortgages cannot do so.

From 1953 to 1996, (ie before the bubble), the average ratio of the price of new houses in Dublin to average industrial earnings was 5.3. That is also where it was in 1996. In 2006, it reached 13.7 and by 2010 it had fallen back to 7.4.

Based on a return to the pre-bubble level of the ratio, average house prices in 2010 should have been approximately €180,000 instead of approximately €250,000. Here we are talking about average house prices and average incomes. Of course there are exceptional houses and special buyers but for the country and economy overall it is the averages that matter.

Why does the price to income ratio revert to a stable average in all economies over long periods and roughly what value might we expect the ratio to have?

Excluding capital gains or losses, the economic value of a property is the capitalised value of the rent, less expenses (day to day and repairs and renewals), that could be earned if the property were let. This is the same as saying the rent must at least recover the cost of interest paid. The economic value is: value = net rent ÷ real interest rate.

If expenses are 10 per cent of the annual rent and the real interest rate is 5 per cent, then the value is 18 times the rent. If rents are limited to a proportion of average incomes, say one-third, the value would be about six times the average income. If interest rates are 6 per cent the ratio would be 5. For simplicity, excluding expenses: value = income ÷ 3 ÷ real interest rate.

Over long periods, long-term real (inflation adjusted) interest rates are quite stable. Although interest rates fluctuate and have been low in recent years, real rates revert to a narrow range.

UK long-term real risk-free real interest rates, (ie the rate adjusted for inflation with the State as borrower), have averaged about 3 per cent over the last three centuries and the same applies in other major economies. If we add 2 per cent for wholesale and retail banking margins, we arrive at a real cost of funds of 5 per cent. Incidentally this is the minimum rate permitted under German mortgage bond law for the valuation of properties.

It is instructive to see what the value of an average Irish house would be if the German capitalisation of net income method is used. Taking the property website Daft’s 2010 average monthly rent of €830, less expenses of 10 per cent (voids, running costs and repairs), and a rate of 5 per cent, this would also give an average value of about €180,000.

Though the statistical methods take some account of changing conditions and mix of property types etc, these are approximations based on averages and are not precise measurements.

However they show a consistent pattern and point to a persisting overvaluation of houses of the order of 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0425/1224295408815.html?via=mr

Comment:

So if I am to get this right 5.3 times average wage is the approximate price for the average home?

Well the average industrial wage is falling .Even if we say that the average industrial wage is no 25,000:00 euro times 5.5 would bring the average house price to Euro 132,500:00.According to the latest daft.ie report average 3 bed homes in Dublin would be approximately 250,000:00 Euro. So even by these numbers we have a long way to drop yet ,another 47% to be exact .Message loud and clear if you are buying now the real price you should be paying is 47% below the asking price of today

Why has ECB raised its main interest rate from 1% to 1.25% today?

April 7, 2011

As expected it has just been confirmed that the ECB is raising its main refinancing operations rate from an historic low of 1%, where it has rested for the past 23 months since May 2009, to 1.25%. The general betting is that further rate rises will be implemented in the coming months. Why? Although it mightn’t feel like it in Ireland, or indeed Greece or Portugal, Europe on an aggregate basis is recovering from the 2007-8 financial crisis. This is what the February 2011 European Commission forecast was for the main EU economies.

Whilst our GDP in Ireland fell by 1% last year – making it three successive years of drops totalling 12% off peak GDP in 2007 – Germany’s economy roared ahead with GDP growth of 3.6% in 2010. Our government might officially say the outlook is for 1.75% GDP growth in 2011, but the EU thinks it will be 0.9% and even the upbeat Morgan Stanley-produced “Ireland – a Time to Buy” analyst note on Monday this week anticipates GDP growth in 2011 of just 0.8%. Mind you, our inflation has been picking up in recent months but is still just 0.9% in February 2011, the lowest in Europe (that is, using the inflation measure which excludes mortgage interest – factor that in and even we were at 2.2%).

So the reason the ECB is raising rates now is to cater to the bigger economies in Europe, and that’s how the euro works. Arguably we are in the present state of distress because of the application of the same principle in the early 2000s when Germany was experiencing sluggish growth and Ireland was continuing to experience Celtic Tiger growth in GDP and inflation. If we had our own currency, there might have been a better chance of increasing interest rates to cool demand but because we were out of sync with Germany, that didn’t happen. Of course we have benefited from membership of a common currency in the sense that our old currency, the punt, was hardly seen as a significant currency and we have cut down exchange rate risks and cost. And political controls might have been exerted in the 2000s to curb the growth in credit. Still, on days like this, you would wonder if the bargain to join the euro was worth it.

Ireland has 785,000-odd mortgages of which an estimated 400,000 are tracker mortgages so today’s announcement will have an almost immediate and widespread effect. If your tracker is ECB + 1.5%, then on a €250,000 mortgage, your repayments, simply calculated, are likely to increase by €50 per month (€250,000/12 * [2.75%-2.5%]). Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan will no longer be able to comfort us with the mantra about the ECB providing €100bn liquidity to our banks at 1%. The prospect of even higher interest rates in the EuroZone will also tend to strengthen the euro with sterling (at 0.874 this morning), and the UK is our main trading partner.

full article at :http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/why-has-ecb-raised-its-main-interest-rate-from-1-to-1-25-today/

Comment:

Well if we needed another example of whom really the ECB is working for .

We in Ireland need this interest rate rise like a hole in the head, what utter nonsense. This rate rise is stupid it is pushing up the euro in value and soon we should see the euro /Dollar at 1.50 and even beyond. Have these guys a death wish? Maybe the Germans want the euro to collapse. It is hard to see what the big picture here is with the events in Portugal now showing the truth about the banking problem all around Europe I wonder if the Germans are creating the justification they will need to walk away from the Euro Experiment. This has dealt a death blow to the recovering property market here in Ireland  and it only confirms that we are about to see the next leg down ,hold on to your hats a storm is about to hit us real hard!

With unemployment soaring and an economy on its knees

DUBLIN (MarketWatch) — With unemployment soaring and an economy on its knees, thousands of Irish people are taking the drastic step of emigrating in search of better opportunities.

source:http://www.marketwatch.com/story/emigration-soars-as-irish-look-for-way-out-2010-11-12

Data from the Central Statistics Office showed that, following 13 years of net immigration during the Celtic Tiger economic boom, more people left the country in the year ended April 2009 than entered it.

Preliminary figures for the following fiscal year showed the net number of departures rose fourfold and the total number of emigrants hit 65,300 — the highest level in more than two decades.

Ireland has a long history of emigration, most notably during the Great Famine in the mid-19th century. There have been several other periods of high emigration, including following World War II and during the 1980s, but that trend reversed sharply in the 1990s as the economy took off.


Reuters

Dublin, Ireland

 

“People really, genuinely believed emigration was over,” said Noreen Bowden, a consultant and former director of the Emigrant Advice Network.

Even with the rising numbers of departures, there’s still a notion that the effect is temporary and that emigrants will eventually return, but Bowden doesn’t think there’s any evidence to back up that idea.

“If you look historically, there was a big period of return in the 1970s and also for the Celtic Tiger. But the Celtic Tiger’s return was driven by huge staff shortages,” she said.

That scenario doesn’t seem likely to be repeated.

The current downturn, which follows a slump in the property market and huge bailouts for the banks that funded the construction boom, has left Ireland facing 15 billion euros ($20.55 billion) of spending cuts and tax increases in a bid to persuade markets that it can repay its debts. See full story on Ireland’s budget woes.

Initially the emigrants were mostly Europeans who had moved to Ireland for work during the boom years, but more recently it’s younger Irish people who are starting to leave as they finish college and are unable to find a job, said Dermot O’Leary, chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers.

While the “brain drain” may be a cause for concern, the government is likely to be conflicted over its response as emigration also helps keep unemployment figures in check.

The Department of Finance made that link unusually explicit in its recent economic forecast for the next four years, effectively saying it’s needed to get unemployment back into single digits.

“Net outward migration will restrain the pace of growth in labor supply, which combined with the increase in net employment will reduce unemployment to under 10% by the end of the forecast horizon,” the Department of Finance said.

Outflow to accelerate

The Economic and Social Research Institute, an independent Irish research group, believes the official estimate of a 34,500 net outward migration in the year to April 2010 appears too conservative when compared with data from a separate quarterly household survey.

The institute has also increased its forecast for the net outflow in the current year, which ends in April 2011 — to 60,000 from 50,000.

Bowden said the figures would likely be even higher if it weren’t for the fact that some people simply can’t leave because they’ve found themselves in a debt trap, owing more on their mortgage than they could get by selling their house and moving abroad.

That’s resulted in an increase in families being separated as one person moves abroad to find work, while others remain in Ireland trying to pay the mortgage, she said.

The destination of emigrants is also changing as the traditional destinations of the U.S. and U.K. are also not doing well.

Instead there appears to have been an increase in the number of people heading to Canada, Australia and Asia, which brings further problems over providing support for emigrants, Bowden said.

“It’s one thing to be in trouble in New York, where you have two or three Irish centers to help you out. It’s another to fall between the cracks in South America or Asia,” she said.

Still, there could also be a longer-term upside to the fresh emigration as it feeds the Irish diaspora — the communities of Irish emigrants and their descendents across the globe.

The government has begun a review of how to forge closer ties with the diaspora, which recognizes how valuable it could be to the Irish economy in the years to come, Bowden said.

Simon Kennedy is the City correspondent for MarketWatch in London.

Tag Cloud