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September 11, 2017

The extraordinary pulling power of Conor McGregor can be measured in a few ways: by ticket sales, by pay-per-view revenue, and by endorsements. However, a much more instructive modern metric is the use of pornography. And it looks like McGregor porn beats regular porn hands down! More

September 3, 2017

When the gruesome Francisco Pizarro encountered the extraordinary empire of the Incas in 1532 one of the many things that fascinated him was the Inca’s postal service. The Incas had an elaborate system of runners who ran for up to eights hours from zone to zone bringing messages from the rulers to their subjects. The speed and endurance of these runners amazed the Spaniards. Of course, the runners were chewing cocoa leaves, rudimentary cocaine. More

August 28, 2017

What happens in America tends to be repeated in other countries a few years later. The big socio-economic trends play out first in the United States, then drift across the Ocean and repeat themselves in a local form here. That’s the received wisdom. More

August 20, 2017

There is an obvious solution to Dublin’s capacity problem: move Dublin Port and develop the greatest natural asset the city has into a new gleaming city. We are one of the last major cities to have a port on the most valuable prime land. Capacity constraints are now the biggest threat to Ireland’s prosperity — much more than Brexit. More

August 13, 2017

Did you know that Limerick has seen the biggest jump in income in the past decade? Not Dublin. Limerick. More

August 6, 2017

Looking out to sea at the huge winter waves crashing upon the Cape Town shore, it’s hard to imagine what the first local tribesman thought when he saw, in the distance, Vasco De Gama’s tiny Portuguese ship sail round the Cape of Good Hope, heading out towards the Indian Ocean in search of profit. More

July 31, 2017

All over the world, central bankers have hinted that the great 10-year period of very low interest rates is coming to an end and all over the world, millennials are complaining that they can’t make a decent crust. Are these developments linked? If so, what does it mean? More

July 23, 2017

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

July 18, 2017

There’s something unsettling about finding yourself at home in bed, under the duvet, Pringles in one hand, remote in the other, binge-watching ‘House of Cards’. 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

Articles

I write a column every week. This keeps me sane and hopefully, on my toes – but you can be the judge of that! The article appears in the Irish Times every Saturday. I just started writing this column (having recently left my column at the Irish Independent which I wrote for over 10 years). I cover 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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