Do you remember when you got your first pair of Doc Martens?
For me, it was 1984, just in time for The Clash at the SFX. With The Clash you knew who was going to turn up but to spice it up, London’s finest were supported by an anarchic Belfast skinhead outfit, The Outcasts, who brought their own crew.
The Jamiroquai frontman look-alike, all buffalo horns and fox pelt, who stormed Washington’s Capitol on Wednesday was the standout character of Trump’s raiding party.
Channelling his inner Daniel Boone, the space cowboy returned to the epicentre of the American republic, vowing to take back control, seize the stolen election and, in true backwoodsman fashion, embody the pioneering spirit that powered the great frontier expansion to the American West.
Could Ireland be in a for a manufacturing renaissance in the coming decade? It might sound optimistic to think of moving manufacturing plants over here, given our high wages and lack of deep manufacturing networks, but only 30 years ago Ireland had no pharmaceutical or tech industry.
Today, due to ongoing multinational investment, we have a generation of local managers schooled in the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. Such management talent is a critical advantage.
When interest rates are low and capital easy to come by, the valuation of assets can be out of kilter. Take Airbnb. Last week it was floated on the US stock market. The company was hoping that the shares might trade at about $60 (€49) a share. This week it was traded at just shy of $140 a share. Twice what the company valued itself at.
Earlier this year, as travel stopped, people in the know suggested that the company should trade below $30 a share. Today this company, which has yet to make a profit, is valued at $85 billion. Remember that behind all the hype, Airbnb can’t make a profit, so how can it have such a huge valuation?
The break-up of the United Kingdom has just accelerated. The DUP, a party that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, has done more to undermine the Union than Sinn Féin.
As leaders of unionism in the north-east of this island, the DUP’s manoeuvring over the past few years has culminated in customs checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain for the first time since 1801. The English nationalists, otherwise known as Brexiteers, who lectured the world about the merits of buccaneering global free trade unencumbered by meddling Brussels, have ensured that the UK itself is actually a smaller free trade zone than it was before they started. Not only does the UK now have barriers with the EU, but it has barriers with itself. In short, the UK has declared, and successfully prosecuted, a trade war with itself.
One of most significant macroeconomic developments, particularly in Ireland, has been the fall in interest rates over for the past four decades. When it comes to long-term investments, falling interest rates profoundly alter what is possible.
Lower rates will continue as we find ourselves in a monetary union with a continent that doesn’t want to have many children. Yet we are still having babies. Demography is destiny.