Articles %


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

December 29, 2016

More than 30 years on, I still break out in a cold sweat at the opening bars of ‘Careless Whisper’. I am back in the teenage disco. Once the saxophone ushered in the full, rounded tones of George Michael, red-haired lads like me knew the night was over. More

December 25, 2016

In 2010, I staged a one-man show with the Abbey Theatre called Outsiders. We had a wonderful month-long run in Dublin and then toured the show all around the country. It was a fantastic experience, working with some of Ireland’s most brilliant theatre professionals, learning the ropes in the Abbey and then experiencing the thrill of opening night. More

December 22, 2016

The latest Apple tax revelations mean that Ireland is now on a collision course with the EU Commission and by extension with the EU itself. In a narrow sense — and this might be the only sense that matters — this is a win/win situation for Ireland. More

December 19, 2016

Let’s talk about housing. More

December 15, 2016

Imagine Simon Coveney in a translucent, skin-tight leotard, high above the political swamp, walking the tight-rope between the social reforming objective of rent control and the hard commercial reality of dormant housing supply. Get the picture? This is the minister’s position. 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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