External Surveillance of Irish Fiscal Policy During the Boom.
The current international financial crisis, greatly amplified by the collapse of a domestic property bubble and construction boom, has caused enormous damage to Ireland’s public finances. Between 2007 and 2009, the general government balance moved from small surplus to a deficit amounting to 14.3% of GDP, while the ratio of gross government debt to GDP rose from 25% to 64%.
Did the IMF foresee the crisis? Did it warn about it and, if so, how explicit were those warnings? Did it advise the government on how a crisis might be averted and, if so, did the government ignore that advice? Of course, the IMF is not the only external agency that is charged with the responsibility for carrying out surveillance of Irish fiscal policy. The EC and the OECD are also active in this field. Similar questions can be asked of them.
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