Articles: Sunday Business Post %


December 5, 2016

Today, Italy votes on a referendum that will change the course of not just Italy but the entire EU. While we gripe about water charges, bogged down by our own incompetence, the world around us is changing dramatically. These changes will have enormous ramifications for us. More

November 28, 2016

Let’s be clear, when housing supply is stuck, any increase to housing demand will produce higher prices. The Central Bank understands this logic and this is why it relaxed deposit rules last week. The deposit rules were relaxed in order for prices to rise, in order to coax builders who are sitting around waiting for prices to rise, to begin to dig foundations. This is state-sanctioned house price inflation. Nothing less. It’s like a hostage situation. More

November 21, 2016

Make no mistake about it: the series of public sector strikes that we have experienced — and are about to see more of — are entirely linked to housing. The fact that middle-ranking public sector workers can’t, or at least don’t feel that they can, afford to live in this country is at the root of the latest industrial unrest. For the state, the message should be clear: fix housing and you more or less fix most of the grievance. In contrast, allow the continuation of the dysfunctional market for housing and accommodation in general, and you have a recipe for industrial relations war. More

November 14, 2016

Could Donald Trump be the saviour of Europe? He might be. The papers are full of people telling us how much they hate Trump and lamenting that the US is now a racist swamp where the vilest of sentiments have suddenly been given currency. This is the predictable line, but maybe it’s not accurate. More

November 7, 2016

Make no mistake about it, the series of public sector strikes that we have experienced — and are about to see more of — are entirely linked to housing. The fact that middle ranking public sector workers can’t, or at least don’t feel that they can, afford to live in this country is at the root of the latest industrial unrest. For the State, the message should be clear: fix housing and you more or less fix most of the grievance. In contrast, allow the continuation of the dysfunctional market for housing and accommodation in general, and you have a recipe for industrial relations war. More

October 31, 2016

It has become an article of faith in Official Ireland post Brexit that the dramatic fall in sterling has caused a serious problem for Irish competitiveness. The narrative spun is that the British vote has been disproportionately negative for Ireland because our currency has suddenly risen against the falling sterling, punishing Irish exporters and retailers. This sounds plausible but it is not true. More

October 24, 2016

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of yet another sorry saga in Irish economics and finance? Will the finance bill published Thursday, which slapped a right and proper 20% withholding tax on the profit of property funds operating in Ireland, signal a shock selling of Irish commercial property? More

October 17, 2016

If I were setting the ordinary level Leaving Cert economics paper my first question, an easy one, to get the students started would be a simple one about supply and demand. It would go something like this: More

October 10, 2016

I’m sitting opposite the “Spitfire” Meeting Room in Southampton airport. The echoes of “their finest hour” are everywhere on the south coast of England, not surprisingly. Southampton, one of the main ports for British trade with Europe, voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, proving that there’s no end to the self-harm that certain parts of England will endure in the name of sovereignty. More

October 3, 2016

Today, I am writing about trends in the property market against the background of moving house, and so this article will be a little bit of testimony as well as proper analysis. 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?

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