Articles: Sunday Business Post %

February 1, 2016

The way Donald Trump wants to see the world matches the model of driving in India. Somehow there are codes of individual self-discipline in a system with no obvious collective rules. This is what Trump and ideological right wingers all over the world yearn for. They want an economic system where there is no state control but where individual humans acting in their own interest will thrive. This is the cornerstone of Adam Smith’s 18th-century writings. Driving in India is a prime example of Adam’s Smith’s “invisible hand” at work. More

January 25, 2016

I now know what the expression “dirt poor” looks like. It is dawn in Jaipur, India. I am watching crowds of filthy, impoverished men on the side of a dusty road pour buffalo milk from large vats into smaller cups. They are hungry. The masala chai is brewing as emaciated cows graze in rubbish skips, unfazed by the armada of tuck tucks, motorbikes and buses that transports the masses in this extraordinary and extraordinarily beautiful city. More

January 18, 2016

My abiding memory of the Leaving Cert is of being in a Dublin boarding school the night before an exam, cramming the last morsels of useless knowledge into my jaded head, listening to a battered tape recorder blasting out a tinny version of Moonage Daydream by Bowie. In my final stretch in school, Bowie was my companion. His music was the soundtrack of that Leaving Cert year. More

January 11, 2016

Has the world run out of credit boom and credit busts?  More

January 4, 2016

Over the past few weeks, some readers of this column have been a bit perplexed by my confidence about the economy and why I believe that the basis for this recovery is stronger than at any stage since the mid-1990s, when Ireland truly was experiencing something of a miracle. More

December 28, 2015

The Pharaoh awoke petrified by a dream. None of his holy men could interpret it. The Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile and that seven cows “attractive and plump” came and fed in the rich grass by the waters. But soon these beasts morphed into seven skinny, ugly cows and they proceeded to eat the fat cows. But having eaten the healthy ones, the cows remained skinny and ugly. The Pharaoh woke up in a sweat. In time he fell back asleep.  More

December 21, 2015

This Christmas, many of us are heading to family in different parts of the country, lots are returning home and yet more are coming back to Ireland from abroad. Conversations in houses will vary, but lots of families, particularly those from the country, will look around their hometown or village and speculate as to what has changed. More

December 14, 2015

“If the Dutch lived in Ireland, they’d feed the world; if the Irish lived in Holland, they’d drown.” More

December 7, 2015

The Other Voices festival in Dingle is a simple but brilliant microcosm of our unique selling points as a nation More

November 30, 2015

There is something giant stirring in the corporate world. 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?