Articles %

April 28, 2016

One of the less-celebrated joys of working for yourself is not having to do the daily commute. This daily grind can be a true purgatory. Not having to do it is a much under-estimated luxury, which is only truly understood when you are stuck in a traffic jam, infuriated and anxious. More

April 25, 2016

As a musician, he was dazzling, subversive and sexy – but Prince was also savvy about the internet age and fought for the rights of the content makers More

April 22, 2016

Enda Kenny would cut a dash in a pair of bottle-green, high-waist parallels and a snugly fitted Bay City Rollers bomber jacket. Or maybe a Robin Gibb, Bee Gees one-piece with the bell-bottom flares, up which you could hide a six-pack? More

April 18, 2016

Is it time to legalise drugs? Why do we go along with a “war on drugs” policy that isn’t working? Why do we slavishly allow criminals to control this business? If making drugs illegal was supposed to stop drug use, it has failed miserably. What is the point of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? More

April 14, 2016

The reality is that the Vikings were extraordinarily successful because they were an amazingly well-organised and highly centralised commercial entity. More

April 11, 2016

Economic cycles are as old as the Bible. And we are about to go through another one. But this one will involve industrial unrest. More

April 7, 2016

Click to view full size graphic More

All over the world, the rich have been getting ever richer and the gap between the rich and the middle, not just the very poor, is amplifying. This growing gap is one of the factors that are leading many people to feel fed up with mainstream politics. More

April 4, 2016

Irish investors will suffer again as Ireland’s largest private landlord bides its time to cash in More

March 31, 2016

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly beautifully captures the essence of a certain type of south Dubliner. His type can be seen at the annual ritual that is the schools rugby match between the likes of Blackrock and Clongowes, bellowing from the side lines in Donnybrook, all sheepskin, hip flask and privilege. I know this type well because not only did I go to Blackrock but I even played in that very fixture many moons ago and found these sideline bores to be about the most obnoxious ‘know-alls’ inflicted on a poor schoolboy – who is terrified playing in front of thousands of his peers let alone their insufferable uncles. But in defence of the South Dubliners, we are a broad and eclectic spectrum of types; Ross is only one extreme version. More

March 28, 2016

Cemeteries are wonderful places to assess the demographic and ethnic ebb and flow of a place. More


I write two economics columns every week. They keep me sane and hopefully, on my toes – but you can be the judge of that! One appears in the Irish Independent on Wednesdays and the other in the Sunday Business Post every Sunday. I’ve been writing the columns for over ten years now, covering economic, financial, demographic, social and geo-political issues – and all sorts of other things that come into my head, sparked by things I’ve read, people I have spoken to or ideas I have heard, over the course of any particular week.

The world - and Ireland - is changing so rapidly that it’s impossible to run out of things to write about. Since I rarely stop writing, the articles are composed and written in the oddest of places, in bars, on trains, in my office, on buses. You name it, I’ve written in, on or under it.

One of the great joys in the week is reading the responses to my articles in the comments on this site. Thanks so much to everyone who responds, challenges, argues and even blatantly insults! This is what freedom of expression and opinion is all about: two contrasting opinions – a buyer and a seller - make a market and makes for good discussion. Imagine a world where we all agreed?