Articles: Irish Independent %


February 4, 2017

It’s good to get things put in proportion on occasion. Two weeks ago in the Indian city of Jaipur, a taxi driver asked me how many people lived in Ireland. He and 800 million other Indians had watched the Irish cricket team run India close in the Cricket World Cup. In that one 2015 performance, the Irish cricket team was watched by more people than will watch the national football and rugby team, plus every golfer, all our GAA teams and every Conor McGregor fight put together in 2017. That’s how big India and Indian sport is. More

January 22, 2017

If you want to know what is going on in the property market don’t talk to an estate agent. The best leading indicator of the market is Mover Mark — the king of furniture movers. A conversation with a lad in a big white van stuffed to the gills with other people’s possessions is by far the most instructive steer you will get on the property market. More

January 15, 2017

This week various obituaries to TK Whitaker were constant in their praise of Mr Whitaker’s ability to break with conventional wisdom. It is ironic that many of these obituaries came from people deep inside the Irish establishment who have never questioned Ireland’s conventional wisdom in their lives. More

January 11, 2017

Most forecasters are arguing that the Irish economy will slow down in 2017 —but there are valid reasons for believing that the economy will accelerate from here. More

December 29, 2016

More than 30 years on, I still break out in a cold sweat at the opening bars of ‘Careless Whisper’. I am back in the teenage disco. Once the saxophone ushered in the full, rounded tones of George Michael, red-haired lads like me knew the night was over. More

December 22, 2016

The latest Apple tax revelations mean that Ireland is now on a collision course with the EU Commission and by extension with the EU itself. In a narrow sense — and this might be the only sense that matters — this is a win/win situation for Ireland. More

December 15, 2016

Imagine Simon Coveney in a translucent, skin-tight leotard, high above the political swamp, walking the tight-rope between the social reforming objective of rent control and the hard commercial reality of dormant housing supply. Get the picture? This is the minister’s position. More

December 8, 2016

It is almost certain that there will be another euro crisis in 2017. The last time we had a euro crisis, the focus of attention was Greece; today the vortex is Italy. More

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

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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