It was like the bad old days of the crash.

Camera crews, journalists and economists piled into the Department of Finance this week to hear Minister Paschal Donohoe and chief economist John McCarthy talk about what a hard Brexit would mean for the economy.

The news wasn't good.

The Irish economy is like a passenger on a train; ahead the track splits in two; one of the destinations is a chaotic hard Brexit.

Nobody knows where the train will stop.

A 'no deal' would have dramatic consequences for Ireland, according to the Department of Finance.

Instead of running a small surplus this year the economy may record a deficit (in other words it would spend more money than it collects in tax revenue).

Economic growth would slow from a projected 4.2% to 2.7% this year and fall below 1% next year.

Over the coming four years employment growth would be 55,000 less than had been expected.

But Dermot O’Leary, chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers, says the Department of Finance "might be being optimistic - I fear it is going to be worse," he said.

Forecasting is an unreliable science as pointed out in previous blogs. But it is particularly fickle for a small open economy such as Ireland and that is before the unpredictable effect of Brexit is included.

Despite the gloom the markets have remained calm.

Currencies, stock markets and bonds show little sign of an impending economic calamity.

In Ireland the cost of borrowing has remained below 1% and the stock market is recovering nicely from a global sell off at the end of last year.

In the UK, sterling fell steeply after the Brexit vote in 2016. But since then it has appeared to remain relatively resilient to the political chaos in Westminster.

But appearances can deceive. In reality the dollar and the euro, which sterling is frequently measured against, have been under selling pressure too.

The cost of borrowing for the British government has remained below 1% and the FTSE has performed well this month.

So it appears the markets are pencilling in a soft Brexit.

But there are those who believe that the UK financial system is about to take a hit.

Investor Steve Eisman, whose successful bet against the US banks before the 2008 mortgage crisis featured in the book the Big Short by Michael Lewis, has also taken a short position against British banks in the run up to Brexit.

American businessman Steve Eisman

So, if shares in UK financials fall, he will make money.

He told the BBC that, "the path of least resistance" is a hard Brexit.

"I don’t think anybody has any idea what the economic impact of Brexit will be. I don’t, you don’t and all the people who have prognosticated about it, they certainly don’t," he said.

Dermot O’Leary of Goodbody agrees that as we get closer to 29 March there is a possibility of a negative reaction in the markets.

Mr Eisman is often viewed as a contrarian. But that does not mean his is wrong.

Comment via twitter: @davidmurphyRTE