I know I have a reputation on P.ie for constantly poking fun at economists, some of it is richly deserved, particularly when they take themselves too seriously and pronounce weird and wonderful economic theories which have no practical use or which require the complete reorganisation of our monetary and financial system in order for their implementation to be even contemplated.
But sometimes they talk some sense, even Richard Tol (when he's not talking about climate change and wind turbines)
Before the bail-out, some hoped that the technocrats of the IMF would sort the country out. Instead, we got the Troika, led by the ECB with its narrow focus on the banks of Europe. Irish politicians are distracted from genuine reform by hitherto unsuccessful attempts in renegotiating the terms of the bail-out. There is less pressure to structurally reform economic policy now that Ireland is tentatively returning to the capital market, Europe is focussed on its south while praising Ireland, and there is a possible oil bonanza. But Ireland did not go (almost) bankrupt by accident. Unless it changes itself, Ireland will run into similar problems again, maybe before the decade is over.
There are many theories about the causes of the crisis. To me, the root cause is the electoral system, which favours generalists and populists. No TD has a national mandate, and few TDs have the experience and skills to design and implement a successful economic and fiscal policy. The Cabinet has an economist and an accountant, but the Cabinetís Economic Council has three teachers and a lawyer. Political change is not on the agenda.
Richard Tol: A crisis wasted
Are we fixing the systems rather than the problems ?