Articles: Irish Independent %


December 1, 2016

I love the word ‘bedlam’, meaning insane or totally out of control. It comes from the Royal St Mary Bethlehem Hospital in Bishopsgate, London. The Royal Bethlehem was an asylum dating back to the 15th century where poor creatures suffering from seizures and other afflictions were remanded to end their days roaring and screaming, packed away out of sight. Bethlehem was abbreviated to Bedlam and the word bedlam fell into common usage. More

November 24, 2016

‘Stunning façades are finished in a unique glass cladding by Lithodecor, the reflective finish breaks down visual barriers to deliver a magical interplay between landscape and architecture.’ More

November 17, 2016

The Bangladeshi selfie-stick hawkers are doing a brisk trade outside the Colosseum. Local chain-smoking lads dressed as gladiators prey on vulnerable tourists, while portly priests on their annual visit to Catholicism’s corporate HQ take time out from soul-searching. More

November 10, 2016

We all now know what has happened in America, but the big question is not what has happened, but why it is happening? In order to answer this question, we have to look much deeper into the campaign, the insults and the upsets. We have to explore the economic, demographic and political forces that have come together in a perfect electoral storm in the land of the free. More

November 3, 2016

The main reason the public-sector unions are on strike is the price of housing. Sort out housing and we begin to sort out lots of things that are problematic in the economy. Unless the State gets to grips with the fact that middle-ranking workers can’t find a place to live in this country, there will be higher and higher wage demands. More

October 27, 2016

What should we do with the iconic Central Bank building on Dame Street? Imagine if we did something creative. Rather than sell it off to be turned into a hotel (which is the plan), why not turn this fantastic site into a start-up hub, offering extremely low rents to start-up companies, right in the centre of the city? More

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

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?

×