NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ireland was transformed from a Celtic Tiger to one of the PIIGS.
The European country used to post fast economic growth and boasted of high personal income, helped by tax cuts and favorable business conditions. That eventually led to over-indebtedness (200% of gross domestic product in 2008), a housing bubble and a collapse of large banks. As one of the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain), the nation faces a long and uncertain path to recovery.
I used to be favorably disposed to the country. I owned Allied Irish Bank (AIB) for most clients until I sold the stock in March 2008. In an article for TheStreet in 2005, I noted the following about Ireland: It "offers a healthy and growing economy with a pro-business government, and is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe per capita. Yet there is no ETF that U.S. investors can easily access."
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