EU is flawed but Irexit would be a mistake

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By Cormac Lucey A new party campaigning for Ireland to leave the European Union has been recently launch. Those involved include Ray Bassett, a former Irish ambassador, and Ray Kinsella, a professor at University College Dublin. The spokesman is Hermann Kelly, who heads up communications at the European parliament in Brussels for the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group, … Read More

Italian populism could soon cloud our sunny outlook

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By Cormac Lucey Humans adapt quickly to changed reality and soon take it for granted. Spring replaces winter, and we feel that life should always be like this. We almost forget the experience of winterish conditions, or that in a few months they will return. Similarly, when strong economic recovery replaces a brush with economic depression, we take the positive … Read More

EU plans to harmonise corporation tax will bring little in the way of harmony

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By Colm McCarthy Ireland’s agenda with the European Union is getting complicated. After five years of strong recovery, the country’s economic prospects are exposed to developments in EU policy under three headings. There will be profound effects from Brexit about efforts to harmonise corporation tax and about future governance of the eurozone. And the next slowdown, whenever it comes, will … 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

Global forecasts are clear on one thing — an inflationary storm will drench us all

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By Cormac Lucey The Standard and Poor’s 500 index of American stocks continues to hit all-time highs. The index of Irish shares — the ISEQ — is at post-crash highs, hitting the level first reached in 2006 towards the very end of the boom era. Unemployment in Ireland has fallen to 6%, not far off the multi-decade low of 4% … Read More

Never mind China, its in Europe, via Germany, that the real currency distortion occurs

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By Cormac Lucey A country’s trade position with the rest of the world can reveal a lot about its essential economic nature and its immediate economic condition. This is because there is a certain financial consequence of a country’s trade position. If it is running a deficit, its debts abroad must necessarily grow as a result. Conversely, if a country … 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

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

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