Articles %

November 20, 2014

There’s a better chance of Roy Keane being named ‘Evertonian of the Year’ than of you paying water charges next year. Pardon the pun, but this Government will bottle it. It will simply back down and hope the whole thing goes away. More

November 17, 2014

You can feel the wealth everywhere in central London. The place has changed dramatically from the city I lived in during the 1990s. Back then it was almost sleepy: huge, yes; manageable, hardly; but excessively wealthy, no. More

November 13, 2014

What will Ireland produce in the future? This is a serious question. The world is moving on and no one is waiting for Ireland. More

November 10, 2014

Who would have thought that an economics and comedy festival would sell out in Kilkenny? More

November 6, 2014

At Kilkenomics last year, one eminent economist from India was asked about what type of industries and activities he thought Ireland might foster to get ahead in the future. More

November 3, 2014

You know the sporting expression “he reads the game well”? It is usually applied to great players who know where the ball is going. It was often applied to the two men whose books are just out, Keano and Drico. It is the ultimate compliment for any player because it suggests he has almost a sixth sense that is invaluable. Wayne Gretzky, the brilliant Canadian ice hockey star, summed it up when he said: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” More

October 30, 2014

In a world of increasing inequality – not only within countries but also between countries – the age-old question remains to be solved: why are some countries poor and others rich? More

October 23, 2014

My father passed away five years ago at the decent age of 79. With the passing of time, it becomes easier for me to consider the last years of his life. More

October 20, 2014

The traffic on Paseo de la Castellana in the centre of Madrid is backed up. This is another sign, according to Spanish commentators, that things are looking up. Just as parts of Dublin are doing well while the rest of the economy is still shuddering from the after-effects of the deepest recession in living memory, both Barcelona and the capital city of Spain are growing rapidly. More

October 16, 2014

The tourist boat ploughs through the fast-flowing Rhine. On either side of us, barges weighed down by tonnes of scrap metal sparkle in the bright autumn sunshine as they cleave upstream towards Cologne. This river has been Germany’s mercantile artery for centuries and the prosperity of cities like Dusseldorf is based on being a massive inland port of this giant European waterway. 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?