Ireland has the dubious distinction of being the only country of 19 in a report commissioned by Credit Suisse where investors would have been better off leaving money on deposit over the past decade rather than investing in bonds or equities.

The study, carried out by academics at London Business School and reported in The Sunday Times, found that Irish equities and government bonds were the worst performers between 2000 and 2010 across markets in Europe, America, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand.

The ISEQ lost an average of 5% a year after inflation. Government bonds, which averaged 8.1% a year after inflation during the 1990s, collapsed during the past decade as investors worried about a possible default on sovereign debt.

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