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

Is the bookies’ favourite the best choice? Don’t bet on it

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  By Cormac Lucey, in the Irish Sunday Times On Sunday February 19, Paddy Power, the bookmakers, issued a press release stating that they had suspended betting on the next Fine Gael leader following a series of large amounts that were wagered on Leo Varadkar. At the start of that day the social protection minister had odds of 6-5, suggesting … Read More

Exciting Hibernia Forum Event on Brexit, Trump and Ireland

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The Hibernia Forum held an important and exciting conference on Thursday, 23 February on ‘What Now For Ireland in the Era of Trump and Brexit?’ The conference, with an impressive line up of Irish and international speakers, was held in the offices of Connect Ireland, on 14 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Among the speakers were former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, … Read More

Leaders ignore real problems as they work on looking good

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By Cormac Lucey The garda whistleblower saga convulsed Irish politics for most of the week. At one stage, Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil, told the Dáil that his party’s confidence and supply deal with Fine Gael was now “under serious strain” and it was reported yesterday that Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney warned fellow Fine Gael TDs that they … Read More

One man saw it coming….

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   By Cormac Lucey At a recent meeting of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Frank Barry looked back at the 1990s debate on joining the euro. Barry, who was one of the UCD economists who queried the merits of joining the single currency, had unearthed a great quote from the Belgian economist Paul de Grauwe from February … Read More

Dole payments should be cut, not increased

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By Brendan Burgess Last week the dole was increased by €5. Cue the usual howls of protests from the poverty lobby deploring the paltriness of this increase. But let’s look at a few facts. The dole in the Republic of Ireland is €193 per week for a single person. The dole in Northern Ireland is the equivalent of €90. That … Read More

Eamon Delaney discusses welfare increases on #CBlive

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Eamon Delaney from the Hibernia Forum speaks about the increase in some of the welfare payments recently approved by the government. Welfare payments in Ireland act as a disincentive to working and much of this is never really covered in the media.