Articles %

July 21, 2014

When an airliner is blown out of the sky by people who want part of their country to break away, it’s time to actually take things seriously. This isn’t just some country. We are talking about Russia here and its southern border with Ukraine. The West (and that includes us) will now demand that the Russians disown their out-of-control compatriots in Ukraine. We will be treated to experts suggesting that this is evidence of the war mongering of the Russians, the instability of Putin and the need for Ukraine to move towards the EU with haste. More

July 17, 2014

I have just done something I haven’t done since I was a boy. I took two ancient children’s bikes apart, bolt by bolt; screw by screw, stripped the two frames down, fixed up the chains, mended the punctures, sanded down the tubes, fixed the broken saddles, tightened the spokes, found new nuts and bolts, different screw heads and spanners and I loved it. More

July 14, 2014

My first major gig was the Police in the summer of 1980. I was 13, and told my mother I was going to an all-day football blitz in Cabinteely. More

July 10, 2014

Today I am going to tell you about something that happened to me in a not very rich European country, which got me thinking about our health system. More

July 7, 2014

There are good things happening in the Irish economy. Now is the time to protect them. We have heard a lot about the GDP figures and the tax data in the past few days, but these things tell you what has already happened, rather than what is going on right now. My hunch is that the economy is getting stronger faster than many people think. More

July 3, 2014

Ireland is involved in a competitive fight with the rest of the world, for every piece of business, all day, 24/7 in every market. Unless we appreciate this, we will not create the right environment to foster companies that can design products that are good enough to sell for a profit. More

June 30, 2014

This may seem like a distasteful question to pose on a Sunday morning, particularly if you are sitting across the kitchen table from someone you love, but I’ll ask it anyway: do you think divorces are good for the housing market? More

June 26, 2014

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist. More

June 24, 2014

Years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to work for Jack Welch of GE fame at close quarters. It is the sort of invaluable experience that is hard to replicate, even if, at times, his pace of work was shocking for someone 30-odd years his junior. During the period we had time to chat about all sorts of things. More

June 19, 2014

COMMENT-Cocaine-use 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?