March 6, 2014

Want to check an economy's health? Forget the IMF and count Irish pubs

Posted in Behavioural Economics · 61 comments ·
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Look at the chart for the latest from January 2014 and notice which cities scream crisis.They are Kiev and Istanbul.

Irish Pub Index Jan 2014

Now that President Putin has made a fool of the West and proved a point, which is that Russia is the top dog in the region, let me share with you a story about Kiev and how it spawned the Irish Pub Index of financial crises.

Years ago, I found myself in Kiev’s Irish pub, Kitty O’Shea’s, facing a bit of a dilemma. I was working for a French bank and was charged with explaining what was going on in Russia and Ukraine.

Having met the IMF, World Bank andEU delegations, along with consultants and other bottom-feeders, it struck me that these rarefied bureaucrats hadn’t a rashers what was going on in the place. They were typical economists: removed, distant and naive. You wouldn’t give them a post office account to open back home.

One of the barmen in Kitty’s was a different kettle of fish – a typical Irishman with a roguish sense of humour. We got talking about Irish pubs in Eastern and Central Europe. He knew the market, the demographics, who had money in Kiev and the ratio of expats to locals. He explained how to get import licences and how to weed out crooked ‘drifter’ Irish barmen.

He knew how to defer tax payments, how to spot a good site and a decent landlord. He knew where to source furniture locally, how to deal with local tradesmen, who to pay first, and how to ‘incentivise’ officials.

He outlined his marketing strategy and which local movers and shakers to target as regulars. He advised about avoiding the mafia. He emphasised the importance of the brand and the significance of local aspirations. This barman was a mine of information.

He offered advice on pricing strategies. He had figured out how to borrow in pounds, hedge his local currency risk and stay on good terms with the bank – quite an achievement. That evening, he outlined the basics of running a cash business in a foreign country.

After a few pints, it struck me that the opening of an Irish pub in a developing city could tell you more about what was going on in the economy than a glossy economic report. The opening of an Irish pub tells you who is investing where, why and at what price more accurately than statistics about inflation, budget deficits or trade deficits. With that in mind, the Irish Pub Index was born.

The theory is that wherever you see an Irish pub it reveals economic vibrancy, particularly in developing economies where official statistics tell you nothing. So the more Irish pubs per head of population, the easier it must be to do business. The easier it is to do business, the richer the city is likely to be. Therefore, if you want to get a snapshot of how a place is doing economically, forget the IMF, the World Bank, the large consultancies, and check out the bars.

Ultimately, the more Irish bars a place has, the richer it should be and the smaller the risk of a financial or political crisis. That at least was the tipsy ‘theory’ I formed in Kitty O’Shea’s.

Next morning, Guinness in Dublin provided me with the information on Irish bars around Europe, and the Irish Pub Index of Economic Development began to emerge. Amazingly, in practice, it was even more accurate than in theory. The foreign cities with the most Irish bars per head were indeed the richest in Europe.

Luxembourg had the most Irish bars per head, and it was also the richest city in Europe. The cities with the most Irish bars in descending order matched almost exactly the richest cities and financially safest in the European income league. Even more valuable, the Irish Pub Index is predictive.

The Pub Index reveals fascinating on-the-ground insights into who is spending, what brands are rocking, where investment is being made and what parts of the town are up-and-coming. In short, it tells us in advance what economic statistics will only pick up in hindsight. Over the past few years, the Irish Pub Index has proved to be a much more accurate indicator of GDP five quarters ahead of time, than any complicated IMF, World Bank or Central Bank econometric model.

I update it every quarter. Look at the chart for the latest from January 2014 and notice which cities are screaming crisis according to the Irish Pub Index. They are Kiev followed by Istanbul, the two emerging market cities that have seen financial, civil and economic upheaval in the past few weeks!

As Flann O’Brien might say, in economics as well as life, “the pint of plain is your only man”.

David McWilliams writes daily on international economics and finance at www.globalmacro360.com

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  1. On the subject of Irish pubs you can now pay for your pint with Bitcoin in the Baggot Inn, Dublin.

    First Irish pub to accept the cryptocurrency, but by no means the last.

    And no Tony, they don’t take gold.

    • atchman

      Have you tried offering gold for a pint?

    • michaelcoughlan

      How do they protect themselves against the fluctuation in price and which exchange do they use to convert to national currencies. I can’t get my fraction of a bitcoin from bitcoin24 in Europe.

      • There’s no exposure to price volatility if you use the likes of Coinbase or BitPay (google them) to manage your payments.

        I don’t know that exchange Michael, how much do they have belonging to you?

        There are some shady operators around but they are slowly being weeded out as more serious and well-funded players enter the market.

  2. Bamboo

    Interesting article David.
    Does it apply for all other businesses like certain boutiques, high flyers, coffee places, etc? Or is this a unique Irish Pub measuring system?

  3. Bamboo

    Istanbul is a predominantly Muslim community and so they shy away from alcohol let alone Irish bars. Correct me if I am wrong.

    • CitizenWhy

      Istanbul is the most secular or liberal Muslim area of Turkey, with many people resentful of the current Islamic party in power. Perhaps they lil to toast the President sarcastically in an Irish pub while shouting “Up the rebels.”

    • CitizenWhy

      Istanbul is the most secular or liberal Muslim area of Turkey. Many people there, especially the young, are resentful of the current Islamic party in power. Perhaps they lil to toast the President sarcastically in an Irish pub while shouting “Up the rebels.”

    • Colin

      They also shy away from adultery, and get around that by temporarily ‘marrying’ the prostitute / lover, then ‘divorcing’ her after it is consummated.

      As long as they don’t go on hajj, in reality (not theory) they can drink what they like, but must give up drink after they have completed a hajj visit to mecca.

  4. Dorothy Jones

    My favourite article. Ever.

  5. douglaskastle

    Ireland is full of Irish pubs, ergo it should be the richest country in the world, rocket proof from silly little things like recessions.

    • Bamboo

      well spotted douglaskastle. LOL

    • tomahawk

      Would be interesting to see a graph Doh!

    • CitizenWhy

      Ah, but in Ireland the index would need adjustment, not focusing on the number of Irish pubs, but the number closed in the last year and the last five years or so.

    • michaelcoughlan

      hi,

      400 pubs in Munster alone shut down in the last 18 months. Family member in the beer trade.

      Michael.

      • There were too many pubs in the country in the first place. No disrespect to your family member.

      • Colin

        Michael,

        And if I want to open up a pub in Munster (maybe I see a gap in the market), does that mean I’ll have 400 people having a Dutch auction at my doorstep, looking to ‘sell’ me a drinks licence, or will I be asked to ‘buy’ a licence for a small fee of, say €150,000?

  6. DarraghD

    Loving the Irish pub theory, sadly it doesn’t stand up in the city that is the home of the Irish pub, Dublin!

  7. Where does Minsk fit into this equation ? Why is it not mentioned when it is so near Kiev ?

  8. LKSteve

    Well, Brisbane must be bollixed then as I have yet to find a decent Irish Pub.

  9. kplcards

    David is superb at connecting economics to peoples day to day lives but is unfortunately clueless on the “geopolitical” context.

    To give some context can I draw your attention to two quotes from NSNBC

    “The evidence for Western-sponsored subversion in Ukraine is so glaring – from the parade of American and European politicians over the past four months whipping up protesters in Kiev, to documented infiltration of civic organizations by the CIA, USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, the Adenauer Foundation, among others, to their own words of admission from the likes of State Department official Victoria Nuland on the desired formation of a new governing administration in Kiev – that in order to distract from this mountain of damning evidence, the Western governments and their servile media are trying to shift the terrain of discourse away from the panoramic obvious. The latest revelation of snipers used as provocateurs adds a new sinister twist.

    More than this, the Western leaders and media have gone into hysterical mode, accusing Russia of «brazen aggression» and «bringing the region to the brink of war». Ironically, given the astounding denial of reality by the West, it is now turning around and accusing Russia of peddling propaganda. ”

    “With pro-Western, pro-capitalist Yatsenyuk now at the helm in Kiev (as Nuland prescribed), Ukraine is being steered inexorably into debt bondage by the West. This bondage, facilitated by an unelected junta, will entail an austerity assault on Ukrainian workers, beginning with swingeing cuts in public spending, wages and subsidies on fuel. It will also lead to privatization of Ukrainian oil and gas industries and the full take over of other prodigious Ukrainian natural resources, such as its wheat agriculture, by Western capital. Yatsenyuk, who talks with pride about being willing to commit political suicide for the sake of pro-Western reforms, that is Western subjugation, is exactly the kind of ideologue the West want and need in Kiev, as Nuland duly recognized.

    Interestingly, this week the new Ukrainian ambassador to Belarus, Mykhailo Yeshel, admitted in a media interview that loans (lures) from Washington were being offered on condition of the Ukraine permitting the deployment of American missile systems on its territory – right on the border with Russia.”

    Kevin

    • CitizenWhy

      Very important points to make. But for many Ukrainians the main objection to the ousted, democratically elected, pro-Russian President was that he was a gangster and that he and his fellow gangsters in the government behaved contemptuously of the common people and looted the country. Yet the new president seems to be appointing gangsters to top posts.

      Also emerging is evidence that the same “pro-Western” right wing groups that orchestrated the riots in Kiev were set to orchestrate the same kinds of riots in Crimea. But the presence of Russian troops stopped their plans.

    • Kevin

      At least I am good at something! :) However, I think Russia is doing exactly as it should in Crimea. As a Russian speaker, (which I am sure you are too given your brilliant grasp of the region) who lived and worked in Russia, learnt the language and tried to get an understanding of the place, I have always been amazed at the way in which people in the West swallow anti-Russian propaganda. Pushkin was right!

      Best

      D

    • Kevin

      At least I am good at something! :) However, I think Russia is doing exactly as it should in Crimea. As a Russian speaker, (which I am sure you are too given your brilliant grasp of the region) who lived and worked in Russia, learnt the language and tried to get an understanding of the place, I have always been amazed at the way in which people in the West swallow anti-Russian propaganda. Pushkin was right!

      Best
      D

      D

  10. Reality Check

    +1 kplcards. Putin may be power hungry, but he sure loves his country and tries to do his best for it. The Western media propaganda would put Her Goebbels to shame.

  11. Let The Crimea go it’s own way – if most of the people want to become part of Russia then that’s their own business.

    Self-determination for everyone is what I say.

    • Colin

      Kosovo was ‘allowed’ to go its own way, as Russia can point out, so the West is being hypocritical, following the West’s support and recognition of Kosovo no more than 10 years ago.

      And Britain and France both meddled in Russia’s affairs before by waging war in the Crimea against Russia, for no other reason than to keep the Muslim Ottoman Empire from being wiped out. Again, more hypocrisy from the so called beacons of Western Christianity and yet they wished to see fellow Christians suffer further under the yoke of Islam in this region.

  12. michaelcoughlan

    Good article David.

    Couldn’t contrast more with last weeks nonsense. Bluffit uses the number of railroad cars in operation as his guage. Others use the Purchasing manager’s index which is predictive.

    The pub index has real merit and is produced from on the ground data like the feedback from the guy you met on the bus a few weeks ago and unlike the rtepravda/spindo nonsense.

    More like this please.

    Michael.

    • Michael

      I get the impression that article that agree with your worldview are regarded as “good” and those that don’t are “bad”. Which article offended you last week, the one about the relative success of US monetary policy or the one about the point where benefits and after tax wages meet?

      I am someone who is curious and really quiet open to chnaging my mind, so don’t expect consistency here:)

      Best

      David

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi,

        Thanks for your response highlighting my own error of being too black and white in my observations. Of course you are right in that regard it isn’t that simple. I wasn’t offended.

        Bernanke is considered a caricature figure by the people I referenced in my response to last weeks article on intellectuals in charge of the fed. That’s the point I was making it wasn’t my own although I can tell you that right now as I right this the dollar is going down and also I am more in the Jim Rogers/Ron Paul camp than Mr. Bernanke.

        47 million people on food stamps in the US with the debt pile beyond a recoverable position says it all about the failure of the Fed’s policy nor indeed is it any accident that True American patriots of yester year were so opposed to the idea of a central bank

        Your other article regarding wage shrink meeting welfare is extremely important and very courageous. It never gets a fair hearing or reasoned debate because it gets turned into a political football. The point in that regard id love to make is that in a true capitalist society wages for workers rise going forward with prices slightly deflationary as efficiencies increase. Henry Ford for example once he had increased efficiencies in his factories in the early 1900s offered the best wages twice in fact to the production line workers as any other factory. As you pointed out recently however and as Mr. Obama pointed out only a few weeks ago wages in real terms for workers in the US haven’t risen since at least 1980! In Ireland the confluence of events is that wages for workers are dropping. The recent stats show and extra 16000 people I think at work but no increase in income tax? Good jobs and workers lost to emigration replaced with low wage min wage jobs in return.

        I was hoping that with your excellent capacity for identifying bubbles that I could cajole you into having faith in your own first line data from your excellent pub index, PMI, public transport costs, healthcare costs, fuel prices, food prices, rather than depend on hopelessly out of touch intellectual type economists as you rightly point out are politically naive and beholden to the establishment so that you can tell it like it is for people who have to make their way in basically David, a world going ballubas.

        Respectfully,

        Michael.

  13. CitizenWhy

    The chart is at first glance confusing. It seems to indicate that Kiev has the most Irish pubs.

    Agree that economists have become the silly priests and theologians of the capitalist religion and the neo-liberal worship of the Omniscient and Omnipotent Invisible Hand. In future centuries they could well be viewed as purveyors of superstitious nonsense, and very very harmful nonsense indeed. If we survive global warming, of course.

    • PadraigBelton

      So population:Irish bars is the ratio you’ve done here? (And otherwise: genius.)

    • Reality Check

      Global Warming is just a hoax – designed to milk taxpayers for more money.

      • CitizenWhy

        You merely assert. You have no evidence. Here are the facts:

        You only need to know three numbers to understand the need to challenge the fossil fuel industry in order to save our climate:

        +2°C (3.6 Fahrenheit) … The maximum amount of global warming without causing runaway climate change. Almost every country in the world, including the most oil-soaked, have agreed to meeting this target.

        565 gigatons … The amount of carbon scientists say we can burn and keep warming below 2°C. At current rates, we’ll burn this amount of carbon in just 15 years.

        2795 gigatons … The amount of carbon fossil fuel companies have in their reserves. That’s enough carbon to cook the plant nearly 5 times over—and everyday the industry is searching for more carbon to burn.

        Global Warming Record and Trends
        from National Climatic Data Center at
        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/global-warming.php

        Global surface temperatures have increased about 0.74°C (plus or minus 0.18°C) since the late–19th century, and the linear trend for the past 50 years of 0.13°C (plus or minus 0.03°C) per decade is nearly twice that for the past 100 years. The warming has not been globally uniform. Some areas (including parts of the southeastern U.S. and parts of the North Atlantic) have, in fact, cooled slightly over the last century. The recent warmth has been greatest over North America and Eurasia between 40 and 70°N. Lastly, seven of the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1995.
        Target – already on the low side – endangered without action
        From MSNNews 2013-06-12

        PARIS – Global temperatures are on track to rise by more than double the two-degree Celsius (3.6-degree Fahrenheit) warming goal set by the UN unless urgent measures are taken, the International Energy Agency warned on Monday.

        “The path we are currently on is more likely to result in a temperature increase of between 3.6 and 5.3 C (6.5-9.5F),” IEA chief Maria van der Hoeven said in presenting a new report on greenhouse gases.

        • cooldude

          Here are some more facts. CO2 only accounts for 3.62% of greenhouse gases. Of that only 3.4% is accounted by human activity. The charts clearly show that the increase in CO2 that accompanies periods of earth warming actually takes place after the event.

          This is all a cock and bull story to justify the global introduction of carbon taxes. Even the scientists involved in the climategate emails admitted that the earth had not been warming for the last 16 years and were trying to figure out ways of hiding this fact. That is why they have changed the story to “climate change” because even they know the earth is entering a period of cooling.

          The earth has always warmed and cooled. The Romans grew grapes in the south of England and in the 18th century the Thames froze over every winter. Probably something to do with sun spots but the IPCC is not permitted to look into any other reasons for this change only the much maligned CO2.

          All just a scam and the proof is the money trail. Who invented this carbon credit nonsense? None other than Goldman Sachs. Anything they touch is a scam. The Club of Rome designed the scam and got lackeys like Al Gore to implement it. Always follow the money.

          http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/11/06/global-warming-cargo-cult/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=glo

          • I also think 90% of it is bullshit.

            However, we DO treat the earth deplorably.

            The whole debate should be be REFRAMED as a fight against pollution and environmental damage and abuse.

            In my humble opinion.

            Then start spending money on getting us off the planet to become a multi-planet species, to secure the future of humanity.

            It’s not like the money would get sent into space and burned.

            It gets spent on jobs – science, construction, engineering, management, etc. etc. etc.

            Better than spending it on bullets and bombs. We’d have a colony on Mars already with all the money that has been spent by the military to kill people.

            Can you imagine how exciting that kind of goal would be for kids all over the world, they are the future.

            Climate change is a scam. Pollution and environmental damage is not.

          • CitizenWhy

            Where did you get the figures you cite?

          • cooldude

            Here is a Club of Rome policy statement from 1991 which clearly shows the origins of this hoax. This club is a globalist think tank funded by the elites.

            “In searching for a new enemy to unite us we came up with the idea that pollution , the THREAT OF GLOBAL WARMING, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill……It does if this common enemy is a real one or one invented for the purpose.”

            Fairly clear and straightforward. Here are some more details on the hoax

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-change-global-warming-and-the-big-freeze/5364094

          • There’s plenty of horrible pollution around cooldude, I don’t think we can deny that.

            If that variable was taken out of the equation the climate change freaks would have a harder time proving their claims.

          • cooldude

            I agree with much of what you say Adam. The military industrial complex is owned by the same people as the privately owned central banks. War is a very important part of their modus operandi. I am TOTALLY anti war and try to oppose their agenda in any way I can.

            Everything is polluted especially our food supply. Compulsory toxic chemicals in our water supply, yoga mat fillers in our bread, soon to be compulsory toxic heavy metals in vaccines, poisonous GMO in all of our food etc. All we can do is our best to stay healthy and help each other.

            All the best with your efforts. Bitcoin seems to be recovering after the Mt Gox debacle. At least there were no bail outs or tax payers money used to shore up this badly run business. If only the banksters could be dealt with the same way.

          • Exactly cooldude,

            Mt. Gox wasn’t ‘too big to fail’ and it didn’t drag down the rest of the system upon it’s collaspe.

            It failed beacause of it’s own shortcomings – that’s real capitalism.

  14. StephenKenny

    It seems to me that this article reflects one of the problems that many people have, that of the lack of belief in much of the official statistics. The stock markets are surging through all-time highs, now in the longest bull run in history (or one of the top 3, can never find out).

    If we are to believe the rules and laws of the economists, we are living in the economic best of times, very tight employment, surging wages, and wealth all around us. The stock markets are “forward looking”, six months of a year. A year ago they were surging, two years ago, and three, and four. Perhaps it’s next year, although a stock market that’s “forward looking” by five years is of marginal utility. Very marginal.

    So perhaps we can’t use the stock markets as indicators. How about the unemployment rate? That’s been falling consistently for years. That’s nice, until you notice all those people who have simply stopped officially looking for work, but haven’t got work; or emigrated; and then all those on zero hours contracts; and all those working 16 hours a week for minimum wages; are on some sort of ‘internship’ for middle aged people, stacking shelves in supermarkts; in fact, any number of your own friends, family, and acquaintances who aren’t quite sharing in this “employment renaissance”.

    Inflation? Is the cost of living only rising by 2% a year? But we are then told that inflation is nothing to do with cost of living, it’s all to do with some clever economic model, which is supposed to answer what is otherwise a weird conundrum. So there is no effort to measure the increase in the ‘cost of living’, at least not in the sense that most of us think of it – our daily costs. But we all believe that’s what the “inflation” rate means.

    So on the one hand we’re the media, political, and financial services sector presenting a chorus of success, and on the other we have what we see and witness. The UK has a severe IT ‘skills shortage’ – the media trumpet. Recruitment companies tell me that they have over 200 applicants for every job advertised, 250 in London – that’s off the record. Officially, the skills shortage just gets worse.

    I still have the recording, from 2006, of David McWilliams suggesting, in a debate with a bank’s chief economist, that the debt based economy can’t boom forever, in spite of the demand it created. I guess that it’s different this time.

  15. Dorothy Jones

    Here’s Morgan Kelly’s latest offering on Irish *recovery* : We haven’t had a real crisis yet…… [last sentence]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LCofepdUzE&feature=youtu.be

    • Just watched it.

      From the Bernanke Put to the Draghi Put. From Neverland- mortgage extend & pretend to loan forgiveness….collapse of academia…a very *interesting* analysis.

      “the current government boasts about it’s lack of policy: it has raised purposelessness to a high art….Ireland is a quasi-Sovereign entity..we haven’t had the real crisis yet”

      Should be interesting to see how this impacts the debate.

      • baffled

        Thats 40mins of my life i wil never get back *rolleyes*
        i ought to hav know better.As usual ,Dr.Doom Morgan Kelly has no answers…zero…zip… not a “rashers” …

        Mr.’Balance the Budget’ no matter what [ and f*ck the consequences for the 'peasants' who are certainly not on E110k+ salary ] Professor Kelly is just another Keynesian soothsayer claim to famer ( and DMW leaves him for dead) Prof.Kelly did have the b*lls to voice his, albeit, deductive ‘prediction’ re: the housing bubble back in Sept 07 but that was hardly a new discovery in economic principle, to be fair! But Govt ought to have listened to DMW and MK,unquestionably!

        Like Aeneas with the Sibyl at Cumae he begged her to just stop talking in riddles.Ive read Kelly’s ‘contributions’ quite a bit ( *yawn*)and wish that he had something/anything robust to offer the public who [very misguidedly]look to the likes of him( and all other ‘expert’ economists) for answers and solutions
        ..just like in that video he ends up just making one main point but no plan, not even ‘an avoidance of pain plan’ or maybe an outline of his proposed growth plan or maybe what environment would be necessary to promote real physical economic growth ( if macroeconomics features more in his ‘repertoire’ nowadays and IF he truly understands physical economics and increasing labour power?i seriously wonder!! surely Yale university mentioned about this ‘stuff’??)

        SOLUTIONS from his fog ,are conspicuously absent !)…So what use is that to us in our current emergency?? Faic ….Dada ! and he’s now “warning” rapid entropy in SME sector as a result of possible future (“trial run”) re-recapitalising of the irish/Eu banks, resulting in a further hammer blow for our economy( for which he has NO figures??!!) as those SMEs that are presently hangin on by finger nails may be swept away?? What prowess of vision !!!! P-u-l-l-e-e-e-s-e ..ah but shur “hes a great guy” as his Professor OGrada said once of him…

        “So you wish to learn all about economics” is a vital read and he too ought to read and study it, closely. Maybe he will also read and hopefully learn about Vernadsky’s biogenic migration of atoms in living processes/systems and how our current economies’ structure, accordingly ,ought to mirror that of an open system- the very same as our Universe’s evolution itself and then maybe learn of “a Hypothesis of a Higher Hypothesis” and then that’ll end his “anecdotal evidence” and he’ll have something of merit to contribute thatll be worth reading and maybe “Irish eyes can[then] stop crying” before the next” little ice age”…

        feicfimid cad a tharla

    • Colin

      Dorothy,

      To quote Adelaide in the previous article;

      ‘To imagine that there are now 33,589 mortgages in arrears of 2-years-plus and how many properties were repossessed in the previous quarter? 168. A whopping One hundred and sixty eight.
      Socialism for mortgage holders, capitalism for renters.’

      You see, there is no problem, everything is fine, nothing to see here in CCCP of I, (Communist Crony-Capitalistic Perversion) of Ireland.

  16. redriversix

    Ladies & Gentlemen

    Good Afternoon

    A statement

    “Bono is a complete Knucklehead , twat & quite possibly …a gobshite”

    Thank you

    Good day

  17. redriversix

    Hi Michael

    his ridiculous statement at the eep conference

    unfortunately a music hero of mine gas become a shadow of what he once stood for.

    he is now less in touch with reality , the people and more in touch with E.U Policy.

    ego can be a friend in times of uncertainty & a desperate enemy in times of plenty

    balance is the holy grail…

    hope you had a pleasant Sunday

    Barry

    • michaelcoughlan

      “His ridiculous statement”

      He spoke more than a statement Barry. I presume you mean one point? Bono doesn’t irk me as much as he seems to other people although the bit about the labour party showing leadership costing votes i.e. doing what he felt was the “right” irrespective of how the voters felt about it and then complaining about ultra nationalism i.e. fascism in the same speech plus patronising people are his hall marks. The thing to do is not to take him too seriously.

      Michael.

  18. redriversix

    Quite Right Michael.

  19. [...] Did you ever think, that the number of inhabitants per Irish bar correlates with security and peace? It is interestuing, that those countries in actual or potential crisis have a higher per inhabitant ratio to Irish bars than those countries deemed to be zones of stability. Read the whole article here. [...]

  20. [...] recently attended a talk given by David MacWiliams where he explained his economic theory based on Irish pubs and I was reading about the Irish connection to the birth of the internet and this naturally got me [...]

  21. [...] Pub Index and how you can use it as an emerging market leading indicator (see original article here). I finished the day back in Dublin on Prime Time on RTE, analysing whether Irish property will [...]

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