Articles: People %

July 10, 2014

Today I am going to tell you about something that happened to me in a not very rich European country, which got me thinking about our health system. More

June 30, 2014

This may seem like a distasteful question to pose on a Sunday morning, particularly if you are sitting across the kitchen table from someone you love, but I’ll ask it anyway: do you think divorces are good for the housing market? More

June 26, 2014

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist. More

June 19, 2014

COMMENT-Cocaine-use More


June 9, 2014

If you only have to look at one chart this week, let it be the one on this page (chart one). More

June 5, 2014

It is hard to believe that we are at it again, but we are and it’s kind of surreal. I was walking past a small end-of-estate, three-bedroomed semi the other day. It is for sale, and it is going for auction – a sure sign that the mania is upon us again. The “for auction” sign is enough to torpedo the spirits of even the most optimistic first-time buyer. More

June 3, 2014

Last week, there was lots of talk about individual politicians but, in truth, these people – although mostly well-intentioned – don’t actually matter in terms of the economy. All the main Irish parties believe in the same economic orthodoxy, so in a sense they are irrelevant. Remember, it was economic orthodoxy that got us into this mess, so it’s hardly the most likely route out of the crisis. More

May 29, 2014

This week 100 years ago, a young Serb was practising his shot in a Bosnian forest. A month later, he would be successful in his murderous mission. John Redmond, the undisputed leader of Nationalist Ireland, had, after an epic parliamentary struggle, just forced through the Government of Ireland Act. Home Rule was here. It had massive public support. More

May 26, 2014

Every now and then you get a chance to work in a place that you’d happily pay to visit. There can be few more stunning places on earth than Interlaken in Switzerland. Therefore, waking up here this morning I could appreciate one of those rare joys in life – someone paying me to come to paradise. More

May 15, 2014

On Monday evening I was in Tesco in Ballybrack. Like every other supermarket in Ireland on a Monday evening it is full of women and the odd few men sent out to get things that the family have run out of like milk, bread and “stuff for the packed lunches”. The shoppers, overwhelmingly women, stopped in the aisles, priced stuff, weighed up their options and chose. This is how the economy works. Millions of everyday decisions taken by millions of people every day make up what is the economy. More

Articles: People

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?