Articles: Sunday Business Post %

March 30, 2015

It hasn’t gone away, you know. The Greek crisis is back and this time it’s serious. The Greeks are about to run out of money again. Athens faces a €1.7 billion bill for wages and pensions at the end of the month and a further €450 million loan payment to the IMF on April 9 – and it doesn’t have the cash. More

March 16, 2015

Over the past year, the euro is 25 per cent down against the dollar – our main trading partner. This is the currency that was supposed to bring stability to Ireland. Losing a quarter of your value in 12 months is hardly stability, now, is it? More

March 9, 2015

AIB emerged from the “Munster & Leinster Bank” and for years it was dominated by men from Cork. There can hardly be a better place to write about AIB than from a small café in the pretty area of Cork known as Sunday’s Well. The unique Victorian and Georgian architecture echoes the mercantile past of the city, dominated as it was by the famous “Merchant Prince” families. Below me, the fast flowing river Lee is swollen by a few days of rain. Let’s hope the city’s river defences have improved since a few years ago, when the Lee broke its banks and flooded the Mardyke. More

March 2, 2015

Could it happen again? This is the thought that went through my head, as I waited for the first question from the panel at the banking inquiry last Thursday morning. During the previous few weeks, I spent lots of late nights going through articles, books and documentary evidence written since 2000 on how an economic catastrophe builds. It’s funny how things seem so obvious in hindsight, but back then it was not clear to that many people. More

February 23, 2015

This weekend, we are faced with the possibility of either a European Germany or a German Europe. It sounds stark, but there it is. More

February 16, 2015

Irish politicians were almost unanimously delighted to abandon our national currency and join a currency of countries with which we do modest trade and with whom we have almost no traditional demographic links. These same politicians appear to be unwilling to sell their bit of our national airline to the one carrier that makes commercial sense. More

February 9, 2015

I am queuing in the cavernous aisle of Right Priced, a wholesaler in George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands. Around me, poor black Caymanians are stocking up too, served by Filipino immigrants. These are not the people you see in the glittering strip of bars and hotels that service the massive ex-pat population here. These people are different. They are close to the bottom of a society, which has become extremely wealthy over the years by being a tax shelter for rich people’s money. More

February 2, 2015

This week, people are asking whether the Central Bank’s new restricted credit regime will stop house prices from rising. To answer that question, we have to know what drives house prices in Ireland. More

January 26, 2015

Two major and interrelated events occurred on Thursday. The first was an Italian coup d’état at the heart of the German monetary establishment in Frankfurt. More

January 19, 2015

In the early 1990s, I used to take the Dart from Dalkey to Pearse Station every day. Back then, Lansdowne Road station was the frontline. It marked the border where the leafy back gardens of upmarket south Dublin gave way to the gritty urban reality of the canals, old railway carriages and the abandoned commercial landscape of warehouses, docks and run down scrap metal yards. It was an urban wasteland. More

Articles: Sunday Business Post

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?