Articles: International Economy %

February 24, 2014

One of the interesting things about emerging market crises, is that when you are in one, it doesn’t feel like a crisis at all. Turkey has been buffeted by a political crisis and mass demonstrations, which could easily have spilled over into the nightmare playing out in Ukraine. Yet the situation has been calmed by both the protestors and the government. It doesn’t mean the problems have gone away, but it means that both sides have pulled back from the brink. More

February 20, 2014

It’s not every day I can open the column from such an exotic location as Sarajevo. I am sitting in a small cafe opposite the very bridge where Gavrilo Princip, the young Serb radical, assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, triggering a sequence of events leading to World War I. More

February 17, 2014

My earliest memories of Castle Street, Dalkey, were Saturday mornings in Dom McClure’s barbershop with my father. Dom cut my Grandad’s hair, my Dad’s hair and now he was shearing mine. More

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

February 3, 2014

Even though the Pantheon in Paris is covered up for refurbishment, it is impossible not to be amazed by the majesty of it. It is where France goes to bury its great men. The roll-call of the dead is impressive, from Napoleon to Victor Hugo. Interestingly, it was right in the middle of the French Revolution when the French were killing quite a few of their great men and wouldn’t have been that keen on such traditionalist, religious ceremonies such as burials. More

January 30, 2014

It was a morning only a taxi driver could love. Yesterday, walking down the Western Road, past the Pres’ Cork lads shuffling towards school, the River Lee was swollen and moving rapidly. It only took seconds for a large fallen branch to be swept along from one bridge to the next, which is hardly surprising after the biblical deluges we’ve been experiencing. More

January 27, 2014

Do you remember the Undertones My perfect cousin’ about a perfect, mollycoddled cousin who was the apple of his mother’s eye and got on the nerves of all the other less-than-perfect cousins? More

January 23, 2014

Recently there has been lots of talk about who is buying Ireland. Foreign investors are buying Irish government debt and foreign funds are buying Irish prime property assets. Both of these developments are taken as barometers of how foreigners perceive this country. More

December 31, 2013

Today, as there will be lots of commentary on Ireland, let’s go large, gain altitude and look at the broad global economic canvas, to see what is likely to happen in 2014. Making forecasts is risky business, but so too is life – and as return is the opposite of risk, you will hardly get one without the other. So let’s take a plunge and outline my top ten global financial/economic forecasts for the year. 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

Articles: International 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?