Articles: Sunday Business Post %

July 27, 2015

I am on Shaftesbury Avenue in London, quite shocked. I have just put my card into an ATM to get £200 and realise that it has cost me nearly €300. I was aware that the British currency was rocketing, but this exchange rate difference is extraordinary and is brilliant news for Irish exporters. More

July 20, 2015

It could have been 2002 all over again. There was Bertie in the dock running rings around his inquisitors and just up the road, the social partners were at the new-fangled National Economic Dialogue discussing how to divvy up the spoils of the economy. All we needed was Robbie Keane to snatch a last-minute goal against the Germans and we’d be sorted once more! More

July 13, 2015

Did you know that the Marshall Plan for Germany after the Second World War was only introduced after the first plan (the Morgenthau plan) was abandoned because it was deemed unworkable? The first plan called The Post-Surrender Program for Germany was the one that the US and Britain wanted to implement and it centered on the complete “pastoralisation” of defeated Germany. More

July 6, 2015

It is difficult to overestimate the seriousness of the Greek crisis, not just for Greece, but for Ireland too. Let us be very clear, the choice being presented is between amputation or recuperation. More

June 29, 2015

In her groundbreaking book Eichmann In Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt, the Jewish German intellectual who fled the Nazis, coined the expression “the banality of evil”. She reported on the Eichmann trial and, after closely studying the butcher of Auschwitz, she made the central point that, rather than being fanatics or psychopaths, many profoundly evil people are deeply normal. More

June 26, 2015

The first days on the J1 were like the Gaeltacht with dollars. On the first night, loads of young Irish students from all over the country were thrown together in the New York YMCA with no real idea of what to do next, desperately trying to figure out where to live, who to hang out with, where to find work and how to make the few hundred dollars in your back pocket last until you got sorted. More

June 22, 2015

Whatever happens on Monday, Greece the country will survive this crisis – and the Greeks know it. The same can’t be said of the euro project – and we know it. More

June 8, 2015

It is regularly pointed out that Greece is only 2 per cent of eurozone GDP, but maybe we should consider that the plughole is also only 2 per cent of the bath. Greece matters not just politically and financially, but morally too and this is why the behaviour of Brussels – and by extension our own finance ministry – in this sorry tale has been appalling. More

June 2, 2015

Listening to the debate on Aer Lingus last week was like being propelled backwards to the 1970s when every country had to own an airline. The airline business, like almost every industry, has changed profoundly since then, yet the political language has hardly budged. Why do people think national when they are discussing the most international, by definition, of all industries? It seems like a national airline is an industrial fetish, a bit like the economic equivalent of Fifty Shades of Grey. More

May 25, 2015

Many years ago, I spent a summer working in Canada, where the national hero at the time was Wayne Gretzky, the brilliant ice hockey player. Gretzky was so good that when he retired, his number – 99 – was retired from all North American professional hockey teams. 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?