Ireland's external debt

#1 … ernal_debt

I still can’t get my head around this.

According to the above table our gross external debt per capita is EASILY the highest in the world, being more than double the level of the next highest country, Switzerland.

How the hell are we so high?

Is there something I am missing here?

Anything to do with the large number of multinationals in Ireland, or am I clutching at straws.


Ah now c’mon will ya, April fools day isn’t for another couple of weeks !


Don’t forget this is the nation as a whole, not just the government.

Most of it is mortgages and commercial loans.

Welcome to the land of the awake.


The red one was strawberry.


Welcome to the land of the confused citizens. I wrote the following back in July last, and to date I am none the wiser

The government, the EU put their full trust in the international bankers, never ever considered the ramifications beyond the loads of money piling into government coffers as a result of securitisation etc.

They were so much out of touch, even in February 2007 that it is quite beyond belief that no one in Leinster House either, raised any kind of concern as to the precarious state of the economy.

If we were after losing a war; the debt for reparation damages, would not be as high. As I said before, for eight hundred years we repelled the invader when he came waving axes; but were completely conned when he came wearing Armani suits :unamused:

It is quite on the cards that a big chunk of private debt will shortly be transferred to Government Debt. Some people are off the false impression that the country will be okay if the debt is owed by private concerns rather than government. This is and always was a load of rubbish. If a bank fails than the people will loose out.


Hi The Edge.

You will be no doubt suitably confused to know that Ireland’s External Debt is c. $1Trillion larger than the 2006 figure of $1.392Trillion referred to in your Wikipedia link above and no doubt still rising. Like the chaps on Wall Street, our politicians deserve a whopper bonus this Easter on top of the recent wage increases for the gargantuan figures that are being reached under their jurisdiction! The Bonuses given out in the rescued Wall Street banks last year were equal to the investments made from Sovereign Funds. If you are not on this gravy train, God help you!

**Who the hell is this debt owed to, and by what enterprises in our country? Does anybody on the Pin have the faintest notion :question: ** … aldebt.pdf



So essentially the gangsters at the top pocketed all the Arab and Chinese cash for themselves, and not a cent of it actually got into the system?

Has anyone told the sheiks where exactly their money went?


No idea either - Private sector credit is ‘only’ 360bn or so, and even if that all comes from foreign countries, there’s still 1 Tn or so to account for.

I guess some of it could be related to multinational activity, but most of it must come from the financial sector.

It would be very interesting to see a breakdown of that figure.


Here’s a guess:

Irish Bank borrows from German bank. Irish bank owes 100mn.
Irish Bank lends for mortgages. Irish bank owes 100mn to German bank. Irish resident owes 100mn to Irish bank.
Irish Bank packages mortgages and sell them abroad. Irish bank owes 100mn to German bank. Irish resident owes 100mn to purchaser of debt.
Irish Bank uses 90mn proceeds of sale of securitised mortgages to lend to Irish resident and packages result. Irish bank still owes 100mn to German bank. Irish resident owes 190mn to purchaser of debt.

Do the same thing with commercial loans.
Do the same with corporate debt.


ragingbear wrote

On top of that, there is another $1Trillion to be accounted for. See by submission of 3.15pm above. Is it any wonder that our national stock exchange is rapidly disappearing within the haze of the trillion dollar smoke? We are all blinded by it. Where is our Minister for Finance? Do “ISEQ St Patrick’s Day carnage, things overdone” Davys, the government etc know anything about the External Debt figures :question:


But would that not increase PSC by 190mn, and external debt by 190mn? (i think so, from my admittedly unclear understanding of each).

What activities add to external debt, but not PSC? Government debt clearly, but that’s way too small.


The CSO figures that WTTR points to show:
Sep 2007
Gov: 36.9bn
ICB: -8.2bn
Banks: 767.7bn
Other: 526.8
Investment: 170bn

Banks = credit institutions and money market funds. I presume this to be commercial banks.
Other = ? IFSC instuments? In the breakdown, most of it is in the form of bonds. These are gross figures, so money that has been ‘generated’ in the IFSC is not balanced by the money that has been loaned out and secured on high-quality AAA rated rock solid safe as houses shite.


Much of that increase surely is accounted for by FX movement in favour of the euro over that period - as with any country whose national accounting is in euro.

Money market funds - I am wondering about this.

Are the assets of IFSC funds included here - given that the assets are ultimately also liabilities to the parent? Do IFSC funds lead to an artificial inflation of our gross external debt figure?

It is intriguing that Switzerland, a country which also has a lot of fund activity, is so high on the gross external debt list. They are a frugal people, and, significantly, they have not had a property boom in recent years.

I am just speculating here and thinking out loud…I really don’t know the answer.


Both the USA and the UK have very sophisticated banking activities. The following are the figures as at 30 June 2007 for External Debt:

USA-------------------------12.25 Trillion

UK---------------------------10.45 Trillion

Ireland---------------------c.2.0 Trillion

Our proportion per head of population is far greater than the USA or the UK. I doubt it can be put down to changes in foreign exchange rates.

Yoganmahew wrote

These figures are in Euro as at 30th September 2007. Using convesion rate of 1.57.
The banks now account for ------------------------US$1.20 Trillion
Others------------------------------------------------US$0.82 Trillion

I think that the readers of the Property Pin need a further breakdown of these figures e.g. does any of it relate to Irish based Financial Institutions etc? Who the hell are the others that own the guts of a Trillion $.

These accounts are like all Financial Institutions accounts, only readable by those who draw them up; and I sometimes doubt that they even know the true story. Maybe somebody in the Dail could put our Minister for Finance under pressure and ask him to explain. His government (without any objections from the other side of the house) have been a great fan of securitisation bending backways to introduce laws so that the Financial Buccaneers could easier fleece the less financial sophisticated and hard working young population of Ireland. As pointed out above, we as a people now owe more Debt per head of population than any other nation.

What more is there for our politicians to hand over and please the foreigners? I guess there will be more oil and gas bearing fields off our coastline that Multi Nationals will have a greater need to exploit than we do. Everything is hunky-dory in the Emerald Isle. By the way, don’t forget to vote YES for the Lisbon Treaty as a thankful reminder to the EU of our graciousness of the state of Nirvana we now find ourselves in. Thank you Angela, Mr Brown, Mr Sarkozy; as a sign of our appreciation you each can have the rights to our oil and gas minerals in a 55,000 sq kilometer field of Donegal, Mayo and Kerry! Have you got the sub-text yet, boys and girls? Bertie for Europe. Boy! won’t we all be sooooooo happy and soooooooooo proud :slight_smile:


WTTR - and anyone else interested - I actually rang the CSO about this.

The guy said the IFSC banks cause our debt figure to be so large. It is not funds per se but liabilities of IFSC banks ultimately owed to their parents and/or customers abroad. Also mentioned securitisations as a factor.


Hardy man - that would be the 526.8 billion ‘other’ category then?

Still leaves the 767.7 billion that genuine banks owe!


I suppose. Didn’t even go into it in that much detail. My head already hurts from all these figures.