Politicians are missing their chance for garda reform

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By Cormac Lucey Cultural change is a big topic in management right now. This is particularly so in the public sector, where it is badly needed if repeats of the type of scandals involving the gardaí and the HSE are to be avoided.While this necessity is recognised, it’s unlikely to be realised despite plenty of consultants wandering around with clipboards … Read More

Public service insiders are at least half politician — too tainted to enact reform

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By Cormac Lucey Across the public sector there is a very mixed performance. Some areas are characterised by achievement. By and large, our education system performs admirably and equips its graduates well for life at home or in the wider world beyond. But there are many areas where underperformance is more the norm, despite public servants being paid exceptionally well … Read More

Debt, currency and equities – and the EU and US approach

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By Cormac Lucey One of the greatest economic challenges of the age is that of deleveraging. Having built up huge levels of deb mountainous debt levels over recent decades, how is the world to gradually reduce them? Ray Dalio, the founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, wrote an article a few years ago titled “An In-Depth Look at Deleveragings” that … Read More

Why are we diverting our diplomatic resources to a UN Security Council campaign when Brexit looms ?

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Eamon Delaney We keep being told that all resources are being marshalled to deal with Brexit, described as the greatest political and economic change to face Ireland since its independence. Whatever about the distractions of our Ministers in their ‘new politics’ arrangement, we are told that being the scenes our officials, diplomats and overseas agencies are busy working to get … Read More

Wheel-spinning EU leaves Juncker stuck in the mud

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  By Cormac Lucey It was once said that the Irish peace process was like a shark: it had to keep moving forward or it would die. EU treaty law assumes the same for the European Union when it commits its members to “ever closer union”. But it is doubtful where such a basic metaphor conveys any lesson for the … Read More

Irish Rail’s Disappearing Trains

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By Cormac Lucey Starbucks recently decided to create an app to allow customers order and pay on a smartphone before entering a store to collect their coffee. The innovation caused bottlenecks during busy hours at some of Starbucks’ most popular locations. According to Business Insider: “The crowds of customers waiting for their lattes and frappucinos has even started to discourage … Read More

Our US ties are more important than we realise

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By Cormac Lucey With all of the discussion about Brexit and its implications for our continuing membership of the European Union, it is easy to overlook the importance of Ireland’s relationship with the USA. It’s all the easier to underestimate the importance of our links to America at this time of the year when they can be reduced to a … Read More

How to abandon the common currency

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By Cormac Lucey Economic tensions are growing once more in the eurozone. That is evidenced by rising Target 2 balances which measure how much central banks in the eurozone’s northern countries are having to lend to their counterparts in southern countries to allow them keep their commercial banking systems functioning. It is also evidenced by the interest rate you can … Read More

Independent Iceland can teach us a great deal

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By Cormac Lucey At the height of the financial crisis, Michael Noonan stated that “Ireland is not Iceland”. At a literal level, he was merely stating the obvious. But at a symbolic level, Noonan was making clear that he didn’t intend Ireland to follow the same route as Iceland in terms of burning bank bondholders. So what happened in Iceland … Read More