"Most of the Irish establishment is sadly mistaken in thinking that our problems are rooted in rogue banking behaviour or lax political oversight. The real problem was systematically mispriced credit resulting from our EMU membership." So says Cormac Lucey at Liberal Ireland, who argues that the factors in Ireland's ruin all seem to have one point of origin — the euro. Here's a graph of Dublin property prices, before and after entry to the euro:
The problem is that nobody can know what the natural rate of interest should be to prevent excess savings or borrowing. I am probably in a minority of people who think that euro rates were both too low during the boom, and are now too high — the worst of both worlds and a major factor in the Eurozone's continued recession. Contrast that with a country like Sweden, which has managed to keep nominal GDP fairly steady over the last few years and has avoided the worst of the global recession. As a less-bad option, the case for lots of different central banks with their own currencies trying lots of different monetary policies grows.