Per excellent comment (see here and scroll to comment) to an earlier post on this matter, here are comparatives for Irish Banks index vis-a-vis European Banks. The first chart plots, as before, time series of indices.
In many ways, the series do indeed co-move much closer together until about October 2008, when things are starting to go per-shape for Ireland. This trend of significant deviations in Irish Banks from their peers in Europe accelerated through today, although to see this more clearly, consider the second chart below.
If you look at the correlations between Irish bank shares and both indices, it should be pretty clear that a relatively close link between Irish and European financials broke down around September 29th and was never repaired since. (Note that these are weekly moving correlations, so that a date of 13/10/2008 corresponds to data from 7/10/2008 through 13/10/2008.)
In fact things have spun completely out of sync starting in mid November - precisely when Irish Government got busy 'repairing' our Banking sector. In fact, things got much more dramatic in terms of Irish v EU Banks than in terms of Irish Banks v EU markets since the end of December.
Overall, my strategy still stands, but it is even more pronounced in terms of Irish Banks v European Financials: "Lenihan/Cowen are about to speak? Short Ireland, long Europe"... The only thing worth examining at this junction is whether 'long Europe' might be inferior to, say, 'long US' or UK. But that has nothing to do with our Government's ability or with the topic of this post.
Update: Irish bank shares correlations with both EU Financials and EU total price index are now moving down - ca 96% last night's close (in weekly moving correlations terms) to 86% today... Watch these!