Articles: Irish Independent %


July 23, 2017

Dublin property investors had better hope that Brexit happens soon. More

July 17, 2017

This week’s Time magazine has an interesting interview with Leo Varadkar. Whether or not you are a fan of the new Taoiseach, being profiled in Time is good for the country. The value of this type of international publicity is difficult to overstate. Contrast the image of Mr. Varadkar talking to the world about tolerance, centrism and the future with the Orangemen up the road talking to themselves about intolerance, tribalism and the past. More

July 10, 2017

Ireland had better start building more retirement homes than primary schools. Ireland is getting old. While not quite at Japanese levels, where last year more incontinence adult nappies were sold than new-born babies’ nappies, Ireland is growing old quickly and we’d better prepare for it. More

July 2, 2017

What could be more damaging to the Irish economy — Brexit or the European Central Bank (ECB)? More

June 27, 2017

County Down is one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland. It’s a pity so few of us head up the M1 to witness the hauntingly empty beauty just a few miles to the north. Sitting in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle as the sun is going down behind the vertiginous Mournes, it’s difficult to imagine a more peaceful place on the island. However, this being the North, I can hear in the distance the local Orange pipe band practicing ahead of the “Glorious 12th”More

June 19, 2017

Allegedly, the next election and the one after that and the one after that will be fought for the hearts and minds of the “people who get up early in the morning”. Therefore, the battleground is a massive geographical arc of new estates and houses stretching from on the coast at Drogheda out west to Mullingar, down to Portlaoise, sweeping down to Carlow and then finishing up at the sea again in Arklow. This is where alarms go off well before six-thirty in the morning. For these commuters, RTÉ’s ‘Morning Ireland’ is in reality ‘mid-Morning Ireland’ because they are up and out well before 7am. More

June 12, 2017

Politics is very odd. Last January, following the “cash for ash” scandal in the North, it seemed that Arlene Foster’s career was over. Today, she struts the UK political stage as the ultimate kingmaker. More

June 6, 2017

Years ago, a mate of mine, the son of a hard-working Jewish butcher from Brooklyn, managed to get into Harvard. This was a huge undertaking for this average family without the financial resources to pay Ivy League fees. But they managed, as families tend to do. They saved, scrimped and borrowed so eventually the son emerged from one of America’s finest universities with brilliant results. He hasn’t looked back since. More

May 29, 2017

Brexit, Trump and the victory of the profoundly Eurocentric and tax-harmonizing Macron have focused our attention on exactly what type of economy we have here. What are our alliances? Where does our interest lie and how best should we navigate the next few years? In short, the question now is who, in economic terms, are we? More

May 20, 2017

On Thursday evening, after a day finalising a new documentary on Brexit and Ireland, which airs on RTÉ One on Monday night, I slumped down, like so many hundreds of thousands of Irish workers, knackered in front of the TV. It was well gone “wine o’clock”, so with a deserved glass in hand, I flicked through the options. 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?

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