Threat of a global debt landslide could still bury us all

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By Cormac Lucey Irish house prices rose by more than 12% last year. According to the stockbrokers Davy, this rate of increase isn’t sustainable — as sharp property price increases aren’t being matched by comparable jumps in incomes. In Dublin, prices have regained about two-thirds of the drop they suffered between 2008 and 2013. Rents, meanwhile, have surpassed boom-time levels. … Read More

And now, a message to our sponsors — please take the politics out of our policies

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By Cormac Lucey The row about the role of the government strategic communications unit (SCU) in promoting the national development plan rumbles on. Public money was used to insert advertisements in various newspapers that looked like regular editorial copy. The opinions of several public commentators were sought and used without them knowing where they would appear and, mysteriously, some local … Read More

Send for Michael O’Leary — our economy still measured on a wing and a prayer

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By Cormac Lucey What is Ryanair’s annual output or revenue? You can find the answers very quickly by looking at the company’s annual report. For most companies, total annual output is a simple matter to determine. Measuring Ireland’s annual output is a more complicated question. This is because the presence of so much multinationals generates activities that occur here but … 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

Central Banks are the disease not the cure

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By Karl Deeter There is a ‘Central Bank bubble’ forming in the world. There is also a strong chance you haven’t read about it in any Irish media, but there is a strong chance you heard about Central Bank lending rules. The recent Central Bank review of mortgage lending rules was a sideshow. Most of the commentary about their rules … Read More

An Under-rated Aspect of the Banking Crisis: John Hurley Replacing Maurice O’Connell

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By Cormac Lucey, in the Irish Sunday Times I was quite sceptical of the Oireachtas banking inquiry when its work commenced. And I was very critical of the fact it did not publicly hear testimony from former key central bankers Liam Barron and Frank Browne. I must congratulate it, however, on its central conclusion that the financial regulator and Central … Read More

Ireland’s Central Bank Needs a Stiffer Broom

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  By Cormac Lucey, in the Irish Sunday Times, 17 January 2016 The new Central Bank of Ireland governor Philip Lane gave a lengthy and insightful interview to The Irish Times last week. He made several interesting comments but the one that attracted the most public interest was his statement that the controversial mortgage rules will be reviewed this summer. … Read More

Same old, same old – appointment of David Begg shows nothing has changed

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The Government’s appointment of former ICTU leader David Begg to be the new chair of the Pensions Board shows just how little has changed in terms of such public appointments. This is , despite the economic crash which was famously supposed to have transformed the way we do things. Apparently, Begg is such an ‘exceptional candidate’ that his appointment could … Read More

Same old, same old : appointment of David Begg shows nothing has changed

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The Government’s appointment of former ICTU leader David Begg to be the new chair of the Pensions Board shows just how little has changed in terms of such public appointments. This is , despite the economic crash which was famously supposed to have transformed the way we do things. Apparently, Begg is such an ‘exceptional candidate’ that his appointment could … Read More