today downgraded Ireland's debt to one notch above junk status. Given Ireland's debt is being almost entirely purchased by the ECB this means a lot of European taxpayers money is being flushed away.
I really don't understand what Ireland is doing (nor Greece, Portugal). They can't pay their debts and need to declare bankruptcy - or at least a 'restructuring' which is the national equivalent of a CVA.
I think Ireland is in a great position to do this now. All they have to do is call the Germans and say the game is up. The Germans will properly panic as it is THEIR banks (UK banks too, but they have written off big chunks this past year) which are most exposed by a long way. The Germans have been using EU funds to protect their own defunct banking system.
The whole pretence at the moment is incredible really. The debts are too great to pay back and the austerity only works in Countries like the UK where the levels of debt are sustainable. In Countries where the debts are too high then an outright default is necessary.
The sooner they get on with it the better. I have no idea why they continue to do otherwise. Then again, the Irish Government underwrote its entire banking system which has to be the worst decision made during the entire financial crisis across the whole world - and that is saying something.