You don’t have to be a top-level economist to recognize that Ireland’s economy is in a shitload of trouble. The country’s supposedly respectable and responsible financial institutions placed some wild bets during Ireland’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom years, but ever since the bottom fell out of the property market, the Tiger has been declawed, defanged and reduced to a giant pussy. Humbled, the government had to go cap in hand to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout, but even with promises to both slash spending and raise taxes, many observers feel Ireland’s financial woes are far from over.
There is, however, one finance-related company that is doing just fine, thank you very much. Fresh off the news that it was creating 500 jobs in Ireland over the next three years, Paddy Power has seen its market capitalization rise to €1.4b, making it the nation’s eighth largest company. By way of comparison, the Bank of Ireland’s total valuation has fallen to €1.2b. Proof that it’s quite often a better bet to leave the gambling to the people who do it for a living.