I'm a student of economic history and was recently re-reading Richard Koo, chief economist at Nomura Research Institute's The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics, a study of Japan's lost decade, I was struck by the similarities of Japan to Ireland. Of course the economies are different. Of course Japan had its own currency. Of course Ireland's fiscal and political problems would be there regardless of Ireland's banking disaster.
But still, we have the banking crisis, the asset price collapse, the vast increases in numbers of non-performing loans, the deflation, the deleveraging, the balance sheet problems in banks, businesses, and households, the rush by the private sector to pay down debt, the cosy institutional arrangements between bankers and centres of power, the repeated failed attempts at recapitalisation, and finally, the deep restructuring of the Japanese and Irish banking systems.
There are more similarities than differences in this story.