Articles: Global Economy %

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 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


June 9, 2014

If you only have to look at one chart this week, let it be the one on this page (chart one). More

May 26, 2014

Every now and then you get a chance to work in a place that you’d happily pay to visit. There can be few more stunning places on earth than Interlaken in Switzerland. Therefore, waking up here this morning I could appreciate one of those rare joys in life – someone paying me to come to paradise. More

May 22, 2014

What better city for a football lover to be in this week than Madrid? I have always loved Spanish football commentary. Even though I haven’t a word of Spanish, I love the rapid-fire speech, the dramatic rolling Rs, the intensity and pace of the commentators and of course, the demented celebrations when a goal is scored. More

May 12, 2014

Do you have teenage children? I have one such darling creature and another one soon to screech into his teens, so I know all you need to know about Beats. More

May 8, 2014

If you are a Liverpool fan, don’t read this! When I was young and playing football, I remember the routine at the kick-off from under-eights upwards. If it was our kick-off, the two wingers (usually small lads) tapped the ball to each other and rolled it back to the centre-half, usually the biggest lad on the field, who then hoofed it up as far as possible towards the opponent’s penalty box. More

May 5, 2014

Years ago, in 2006, this column coined the expression ‘ghost estates’ after a drive from Castlebar to Dublin, where I saw row after row of these estates being built outside provincial villages. That year, over 90,000 houses were built in Ireland. I had no idea that this expression ‘ghost estate’ would find its way into the sorry lexicon of the era, but it did. More

April 28, 2014

This week’s column comes to you from a very warm and sunny Istanbul, where I am working, for my sins. This is one of the world’s great cities and everywhere there is the evidence that this place has been at the centre of the world for close to 2,000 years, stretching down the ages from the Roman Eastern Empire to the centre of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were eventually deposed and replaced by Ataturk and his extraordinary secular vision in the early 20th century, who fashioned the new Republic out of the twin ingredients of science and nationalism. Now this secular republic is under threat by the renewed religious fever of Islamists in the government of Tayyip Erdogan. More

Articles: Global Economy

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?