The most spectacular bust of the global financial crisis was not the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers or the near-collapse of AIG but the demise of the entire economy of Ireland. Ship of Fools, a gripping financial morality tale, is both an illuminating analysis of the habits of the last decade and a warning for all time.
When the global financial crash of 2008 arrived it struck Ireland harder than anywhere. Among the avalanche of statistics, none was more revealing than that Ireland's bad bank, the National Assets Management Agency, held more (worthless) assets than any publicly quoted property company in the world, dwarfing giants such as GE Capital Real Estate and Morgan Stanley Real Estate.
How Ireland managed to achieve auch spectacular implosion is a stunning story of corruption, carelessness, and venality, told with passion and fury by one of Ireland's most respected journalists and commentators.
Fintan O'Toole is a columnist and critic for the Irish Times. He was elected Irish Journalist of the Year in 1993 and was a drama critic for the New York Daily News from 1997-2001. The author of several previous books, he is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, Granta, and other publications. He currently lives Dublin.