Articles %


February 26, 2017

We have three upcoming elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany where immigration — and Muslim immigration in particular — will be the main issue. In America, Donald Trump has declared his hand. Anti-Islam was one of his central campaign messages. And in Britain, immigration was probably the issue that swung the Brexit vote. More

February 19, 2017

Another week, another bit of American conventional wisdom is shredded by Donald Trump. This time it is the CIA. Mr Trump is the president of the USA and the CIA is employed to protect him, but he doesn’t see it this way. He has turned his ire towards his own security forces and he intends to investigate them, not the other way around. More

February 12, 2017

This time last year, only a few of us were suggesting that Brexit was likely. The mainstream view was that it couldn’t possibly happen. But it did. And so too did Trump. When this column argued in June that “we should prepare for President Trump”, one or two local talk shows chuckled and sneered at the mere suggestion that such a creature could inhabit the White House. But he is there. More

February 4, 2017

It’s good to get things put in proportion on occasion. Two weeks ago in the Indian city of Jaipur, a taxi driver asked me how many people lived in Ireland. He and 800 million other Indians had watched the Irish cricket team run India close in the Cricket World Cup. In that one 2015 performance, the Irish cricket team was watched by more people than will watch the national football and rugby team, plus every golfer, all our GAA teams and every Conor McGregor fight put together in 2017. That’s how big India and Indian sport is. More

January 28, 2017

There have been so many Trumps on display in the past few days that it’s anyone’s guess who will actually turn up for the first 100 days. The first few days have been extraordinary and kind of scary in terms of the president’s grasp on economic reality. More

January 22, 2017

If you want to know what is going on in the property market don’t talk to an estate agent. The best leading indicator of the market is Mover Mark — the king of furniture movers. A conversation with a lad in a big white van stuffed to the gills with other people’s possessions is by far the most instructive steer you will get on the property market. More

January 15, 2017

This week various obituaries to TK Whitaker were constant in their praise of Mr Whitaker’s ability to break with conventional wisdom. It is ironic that many of these obituaries came from people deep inside the Irish establishment who have never questioned Ireland’s conventional wisdom in their lives. More

January 11, 2017

Most forecasters are arguing that the Irish economy will slow down in 2017 —but there are valid reasons for believing that the economy will accelerate from here. More

January 10, 2017

Since the Brits voted to leave the EU back in June, the assumption that this will induce multinationals to relocate their headquarters across the Irish Sea has provided an air of comfort to talking heads in the Dáil — acting as a silver lining to darkening clouds of uncertainty and anti-globalism. More

January 2, 2017

Ray Bassett, the former Irish ambassador to Canada and senior diplomat for more than 30 years, has written an extremely important article in today’s Sunday Business Post (see here). He is worried about the stance that our government, particularly the Department of Foreign Affairs, is taking regarding Brexit. You should be worried too. More

Articles

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?

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