Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger

  • Title: Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger
  • Author: Fintan O'Toole
  • ISBN: 9780571252688
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Paperback
  • Ship of Fools How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger Between and the Republic of Ireland was the worldwide model of successful adaptation to economic globalisation The success story was phenomenal a doubling of the workforce a massive growth
    Between 1995 and 2007, the Republic of Ireland was the worldwide model of successful adaptation to economic globalisation The success story was phenomenal a doubling of the workforce a massive growth in exports a GDP that was substantially above the EU average Ireland became the world s largest exporter of software and manufactured the world s supply of Viagra The faBetween 1995 and 2007, the Republic of Ireland was the worldwide model of successful adaptation to economic globalisation The success story was phenomenal a doubling of the workforce a massive growth in exports a GDP that was substantially above the EU average Ireland became the world s largest exporter of software and manufactured the world s supply of Viagra The factors that made it possible for Ireland to become prosperous progressive social change, solidarity, major State investment in education, and the critical role of the EU were largely ignored as too sharply at odds with the dominant free market ideology The Irish boom was shaped instead into a simplistic moral tale of the little country that discovered low taxes and small government and prospered as a result There were two big problems Ireland acquired a hyper capitalist economy on the back of a corrupt, dysfunctional political system And the business class saw the influx of wealth as an opportunity to make money out of property Aided by corrupt planning and funded by poorly regulated banks, an unsustainable property led boom gradually consumed the Celtic Tiger This is, as Fintan O Toole writes, a good old fashioned jeremiad about the bastards who got us into this mess It is an entertaining, passionate story of one of the most ignominious economic reversals in recent history.

    • Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger by Fintan O'Toole
      254 Fintan O'Toole
    • thumbnail Title: Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger by Fintan O'Toole
      Posted by:Fintan O'Toole
      Published :2019-06-11T03:25:37+00:00

    About Fintan O'Toole


    1. Fintan O Toole is a columnist, assistant editor and drama critic for The Irish Times O Toole was born in Dublin and was partly educated at University College Dublin He has written for the Irish Times since 1988 and was drama critic for the New York Daily News from 1997 to 2001 He is a literary critic, historical writer and political commentator, with generally left wing views He was and continues to be a strong critic of corruption in Irish politics, in both the Haughey era and continuing to the present.O Toole has criticised what he sees as negative attitudes towards immigration in Ireland, the state of Ireland s public services, growing inequality during Ireland s economic boom, the Iraq War and the American military s use of Shannon Airport, among many other issues In 2006, he spent six months in China reporting for The Irish Times In his weekly columns in the Irish Times, O Toole opposed the IRA s campaign during the Troubles in Northern Irelandformation from enpedia wiki Fintan_O


    734 Comments


    1. Of limited interest obviously, but if you happen to be living in Ireland, this is an essential study of how seriously corrupt and inept our ruling class is. O'Toole really does an amazing job of nailing exactly what is wrong with the political culture in this country. The book is only 230 pages long yet O'Toole manages a complete overview of where and how this country went wrong. He traces it back to the deeply ingrained political culture of clientelism where national politicans are more concern [...]

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    2. The role of sheer idiocy should not be understated. As finance minister, Charlie McCreevy's credo was a textbook statement of macroeconomic illiteracy: 'When I have the money, I spend it, when I don't have it, I don't spend it'. This childish mantra, obliterating at a stroke everything that governments worldwide had learned about the need to restrain a runaway economy by spending less and boost a flagging economy by spending more, was the economic equivalent of bulimia: binge and purge, binge a [...]

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    3. Interesting jeremiad against Fianna Fail's rule in Ireland during the heyday of the Celtic Tiger. If you know nothing about Irish institutions and government, you will probably not enjoy the book. Pretty outrageous stuff -- widescale tax fraud, ineffective government regulation, no limits on risky real estate loans. Unlike the US, Ireland did not need complicated devices like Collateralized Debt Obligations to screw things up. O'Toole is a clear writer who is not afraid to expose the idiocy of p [...]

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    4. Interesting info, and clearly written with passion, but it's a terrible mess. Appears to have been cobbled together from newspaper/magazine columns, which is not exactly my preferred book format. Editing is non-existent, and there's absolutely no chronology, historical perspective or weaving together of themes. Irish readers, who presumably have more background knowledge, might like the book somewhat more.

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    5. Written in a clear, engaging prose that is often angry and sometimes witty, O'Toole makes a compelling case that Ireland has experienced an acute case of crony capitalism – that is, the Irish government rather than steering the ship for the benefit of all its crew, became the vehicle for capital accumulation for the small group of friends milling about on the bridge. Indeed, it is telling that the book starts with two shipping anecdotes – one about the Sean Dunne’s (a developer) wedding to [...]

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    6. Great book. I was genuinely surprised by the amount of fraud present in Ireland during Celtic Tiger years. I thought that stuff presented in movies like “The Big Short” was quite scary and also quite astounding but the things going on in Ireland surpassed any of my expectations. I wouldn’t have thought about it earlier but now I think that Ireland is a worse country than Poland (my mother country) in terms of ethics in public life. I mean that every now and then there are some big scandals [...]

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    7. A tough and depressing read if you are an Irish citizen. It is at times educational, but merely reinforces the paradigm that it can and will happen again bolstered by the same brazenness, greed and apathy that created the apparently all powerful yet intangible Celtic 'Tiger'. A latent and terrible monster for the peasants of Ireland, created through artificial and baseless means by a group of people entrusted with the ultimate power by the populous, which is inevitably consumed by the murky jung [...]

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    8. Interesting take on how the almighty buck means so much to so many.

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    9. With the default of Greece I thought it might be appropriate to read about some of the other troubled economies of the E.U. I saw this book by O’Toole and thought it might be interesting and I must say it sure was.O’Toole is a commentator and columnist for the Irish Times and is an excellent writer. The book is written in a clear concise manner and is comprehensively researched. This is a serious book, it argues that financial power should be regulated, that crooks should be punished, that c [...]

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    10. As a just off the boat immigrant I've lots to learn to understand the workings of Irish politics so this was read almost as a work of fiction, a sometimes jaw-dropping crime novel. This is well written investigation into how the bubble was inflated and burst, now I want to learn more about what's happened since. O'Toole's given me a useful introduction and names to look out for but I'm conscious that his perspective can be taken to look down on some so I need to join this up with further reading [...]

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    11. An Irish model of development touted as Celtic Tiger formula was based not on export of IT and pharma but on an unsustainable housing bubble, cronyism, nexus between politicians, property developers and banker and bankrupcy of ethics in the public space. This book, though arguably one sided and heavily biased (politically against the party of power for the last decade in Ireland and philosophically, against 'free markets/ unabashed capitalism), is still a credible read as it quotes anecdotes, de [...]

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    12. I took the better part of a year to complete this - because reading this book made me so incredibly angry.For anyone who cares to understand the collapse of the Irish economic 'miracle', this lays out the main protagonists and events; the scandals, the wheeler-dealers, carpet-baggers and all-round gombeen politicians who sunk the boat.Unbelievable stuff, made only more surreal by the fact that people kept re-electing the people in charge in spite of years of never-ending tribunals and revelation [...]

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    13. Judging from the tone, this is clearly a very partisan book. However, even putting that aside the information within is a stunning indictment on a generation of Irish politicians, bankers and regulators. Those who chose not to see, those who exploited the system and those who actively enabled others to exploit the system, or created gaps for them.I ihad thought this would be about the more recent crash (07 onwards) but this traces the Irish boom back to the start. A fascinating read, though it p [...]

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    14. corruption cronyism incompetence scary stuff on how Irish economy was mismanaged and essentially unregulated for much of the last 15 years. how government and developers apparently colluded to advance their own personal interests. heavy on stats at times, paragraphs of numbers and percentages that would have been easier to digest in a nice table or chart - halfway between academic paper and laymans guidedepressing stuff and it's gotten worse since - election around the corner though

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    15. Excellent if totally depressing read. On the face of it, would mostly be of interest to Irish readers, but much of what O'Toole says about politicians aping the wealthy and celebrities could be applied to 'New Labour'.O'Toole himself is a wonderful writer and this is an amazingly fast and easy read considering the topic. He is insightful and pulls so many threads together brilliantly. Should be required reading for everyone in Ireland, anyone with romantic notions about the place and people inte [...]

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    16. This book makes depressing reading. It collects all the folly, dishonesty, willful blindness and idiocy of the 'Celtic Tiger' years in one place. Each event was more appalling than the previous one when they were revealed. Reading through them all in a few days made me terribly sad.It was published four years ago and suggest some much-needed reforms to the Irish political system. Surprise, surprise, they didn't happen, and in fact it often seems we're going backwards.No doubt Fintan O'Toole's ne [...]

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    17. Mmmm, I'm learning more and more that all of these sorts of practices are very common, at all levels of scale. But nonetheless, each particular instance is upsetting and demoralizing. I'm a quarter Irish, always pulling for my favorite Island to come out ahead. Was happy when things were going well, very sad to hear when it turned. This sounds fascinating, in that bleakest way possible.

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    18. A savage, jaw dropping indictment of the way so many in Ireland were complicit in the mass property scam and how its roots run deep in Irish political traditions. Less sound economically however, it is amazing that an account of this period and these events gets half way through before the euro is mentioned.

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    19. After listening to this book, it is clear that my understanding of the Celtic Tiger years was not reality based. The extent of the betrayal of the average Irish citizen by the financial and political leaders is stunning. Free market Friedmanism in full disaster mode. The large quantity of economic figures may not appeal to some people

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    20. An interesting behind the scenes look at the boom and bust of the Irish Economy over the past 15 years. As someone who has lived through it and will be dealing with the economic and political consequences for the foreseeable future this was a book I needed to read. Well written with good background knowledge and a way of making the economic jargon easy to understand .

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    21. We are where we are because of the corruption and narrow self-interest of certain Irish politicians, business people, bankers, administrators and other insiders. This book explains why and how. I sometimes got angry while reading it!

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    22. why am i living in this country again? the cronyism and corruption is 'exposed' only its not exposed, its all public record anyway. it just concentrates it and maybe if it was done more often there might be more anger which, as he points out, is sadly lacking in ireland.

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    23. With arguments as fierce as his metaphors are mixed, Fintan O'Toole gets to show off his back-knowledge of the mess we are in, and how we got there thorough blind luck, and informed ignorance. It makes me long for a general election.

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    24. The title says it all. A short easy to read description of why the Irish economy failed so disastrously. Wished for more detail and more explanation. Always fun to read about the disasters afflicting those who are arrogantly sure of their own superiority.

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    25. A very interesting, if extremely opinionated (but okay because my opinions coincide with Mr. O'Toole's) take on how worship of the unregulated free market conspired with historical quirks of Irish history to destroy their economy.

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    26. An essential, hard-hitting, and well-written and researched overview of why Ireland's economy is in such a mess. And (unfortunately) how most of the culprits managed to escape justice. Reading it will make your blood boil, but do it anyway.

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    27. The first time i have abandoned a book after reading twenty pages! Horribly disappointing, nothing more than a collection of what newspapers said in their comments section!

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    28. Every Irish person should read this book

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