Articles: Germany %

February 10, 2014

On Friday morning the Germans threw the constitutional cat among the europhile pigeons by announcing that the ECB’s plan to save the bond markets of peripheral Europe, including Ireland, was unconstitutional. Yes, you read it right: any move by the ECB to save the euro by buying the bonds of over-leveraged peripheral countries was, according to the German constitutional court, against the German constitution. More

January 9, 2014

THE “red eye” flight, 7am Dublin to Dusseldorf, is half-empty. You can sense from the resigned, matter-of-fact way most of the passengers behave, that the people — mainly men — are veterans of this route. However, Irish business people in Germany are still a rare enough breed. More

December 30, 2013

Now that we are at the end of the year, here are a few things that 2013 taught us about economics, how our economy is doing and what determines where it goes from here. More

December 23, 2013

What’s worse? Having to listen to a Portuguese communist telling us that the Euro was a victim of Ireland? Or having to listen to our own guy, when the EU has just nailed his ass to a post, telling us there is “no row” between Ireland and the EU President? More

November 18, 2013

If you want to understand the economic power of Germany, just drive here. You can feel the vibrations of this great superpower on the inside lane of the A1 autobahn from Dusseldorf to Cologne. Unlike motorways in other countries, which can be empty or when full are full of cars, the German motorways are unambiguously part of the industrial infrastructure. They are the manufacturing arteries of the economy and the inside lanes shudder with juggernauts moving goods in and out of this extraordinary trading phenomonen. More

August 19, 2013

The local lad, more meat on a seagull, walks precariously on the narrow ledge of the enormous bridge. One false move and he is gone. Far below, the green Neretva river moves slowly. The blazing summer sun forces the locals into the shade and it is from here underneath a large home-made canopy on the Muslim side of Mostar in Bosnia that we watch the spectacle. More

August 1, 2013

The property pornographers have been giddy this week over news that property prices have been rising. Reported sightings of a new breed of foreign property speculator in fancy Dublin restaurants, clinking flutes of champers over mega deals, have sent property hype merchants into a dizzy tizzy. More

July 25, 2013

According to the great American economist, JK Galbraith, “the conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking”. The painful job of thinking is what makes the difference between doing the right thing and simply doing the thing that everyone else is doing just because the conventional view concludes that it is right despite mounting evidence to the contrary. More

July 18, 2013

Okay, hands up: whose family doesn’t have rows over loo seats, the state of the jacks and the men and boys in the family not being able to aim properly? Girls, tell me you haven’t been driven demented by your man and his inability to hit the target? And mothers of young sons: don’t tell me the ponds of pee around the base of the loo are not an almost daily chore! We have all been there. More

July 11, 2013

In these soaring Mediterranean temperatures, spare a thought for the peoples of southern Europe and consider the similarities between what is happening there – and here in Ireland. More

Articles: Germany

I write a column every week. This keeps me sane and hopefully, on my toes – but you can be the judge of that! The article appears in the Irish Times every Saturday. I just started writing this column (having recently left my column at the Irish Independent which I wrote for over 10 years). I cover 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?