WE like to think we are special in Ireland, that, somehow, the post-boom transition we are going through is as unprecedented as it is unpleasant.
This is not the case.
The insularity of our collective perspective blinds us to the lessons learned in other places and at other times, and it is costly. In fact, we are part of a longer term problem all developed economies like ours share. We can't have a high level of public spending and low taxes in an era of globalisation, where markets and countries are connected as never before.
Ireland's property boom and bust was an old-fashioned one, where over-excited locals pushed the price of land up using cheap credit from willing banks. Much of this credit came to Ireland's banks from their French and German counterparts, who got it from the ECB at low, low rates.