Articles: Irish Independent %

October 20, 2016

Do you get the feeling that Ireland has possibly the weakest Government in years, when it may well need the strongest? This fragile Government faces an internal insurrection led by public servants who feel that the recent recovery in the economy should be theirs. It’s hard to fault the logic of the teachers and the gardaí. After all, they have been led to believe there is a direct link between tax revenues and their salaries. More

October 13, 2016

We are faced with similar concerns on the horizon now. Unlike 2008, when this country went bust, or in 2012, when the euro as a currency was in real danger of falling apart, there is no serious internal threat. In 2012, the world’s central bankers cutting interest rates to zero prevented the disintegration of the euro. This may have saved the currency then, but it means that today central bankers have no ammunition left if there is another downturn. Interest rates are as low as they can go. More

October 6, 2016

The only constant in life is change. Once we appreciate this, we should embrace change and profit from it. The aim for all of us is to be resilient in the face of change, and sufficiently resourceful not only to withstand change, but to thrive on it. More

September 29, 2016

Last week in Boston I passed by a place I used to work cleaning dishes in the 1980s. The restaurant/bar, on Boston’s fancy Newbury Street, is still there — which is quite an achievement in a fast-changing industry. As is now the norm in many American bars, the TV is always on. I stuck my head in nostalgically, only to be met by Donald Trump’s angry face on a big screen. More

September 22, 2016

I have never experienced America so divided. Even in liberal New York, there’s a palpable sense that Hillary is losing it and the horror of a Trump presidency is being entertained by almost everyone. More

September 15, 2016

On Monday, following Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis, the bookies dramatically cut the odds that Donald Trump will be the next president of the US. Years ago, Bill Clinton said it was all about “the economy stupid”. But is it this time? If so, let’s have a look at Trump’s economics. More

September 7, 2016

Sometimes you could be forgiven for feeling the best qualification to participate profitably in this Irish recovery is not being Irish. More

September 1, 2016

The EU Commission’s ruling on Apple is huge. It will redefine our relationship with the EU and it puts us on to a totally different economic orbit to the rest of Europe. More

August 25, 2016

It’s very rare that an Irish writer will celebrate any achievements of our nearest rival on the sports field, but we must acknowledge the amazing achievements of the Brits in the Olympics. To take such a hoard of medals is impressive; to do so when you were so far behind 20 years ago suggests a management and business lesson for all of us. More

August 18, 2016

Could Ireland possibly be regarded as a land of milk and honey? Nah, I didn’t think so either; that is, until I came to Croatia this summer and heard that one of the most popular local pop songs is about escaping the scarcity of Croatia for the abundance of Dublin, via Ryanair. The song resonates here as, over the past three years, 10,000 young Croats have emigrated to Ireland, according to local newspapers.  More

Articles: Irish Independent

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?