The Irish economy was sunk by real estate developers and the bankers who financed the real estate boom and bust. The Irish government assumed the debt that was incurred by the banks. The taxpayers rescued the bankers. The rest is history. Taxes have been raised to finance the government debt, and essential government services have been cut. The Celtic Tiger era is over.
For the last month the Irish public has been treated with tapes of the bankers discussing their problems and the government rescue they required. The laughed about the issues and had no concern about how their actions were harmful to their fellow citizens. Their amorality was palpable in the tapes. This article, by and Irish novelist, attempts to explain the psychology of the bankers and those who were duped by the real estate developers into the Ponzi scheme.