The political environment changes but regulatory underperformance persists

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By Cormac Lucey An International Monetary Fund research paper written by Jihad Dagher last month examines the political economy of financial policy during 10 of the most infamous financial booms and busts since the 18th century. The paper presents consistent evidence of pro-cyclical regulatory policies by governments: in other words, official policy tightens when it should loosen and loosens when … Read More

Our new alcohol policy: pointless, punishes the poor but makes politicians look ‘good’

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By Bill Wirtz In a renewed effort to crack down on alcohol abuse, the Irish Senate has approved new policies regarding alcoholic beverages. Apart from mandatory health labelling on the products themselves, the law would also require a legal minimum unit pricing. A similar regulation had recently passed objections by the UK’s Supreme Court, as Scotland was attempting lower access … Read More

Precarious employment: when those who earn least take the greatest risk

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By Cormac Lucey The foundation stone of modern financial theory is the capital asset pricing model. This argues that the greater the volatility of an investment, the higher the return that investors should seek to compensate for risk. Modern employment practices are turning this principle on its head. Today it is often those who are paid least who face the … 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

Capitalism is a rigged game — but one we’re far better off playing

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By Cormac Lucey A columnist with The Irish Times recently wrote that the global financial crisis had revealed that capitalism was rigged as “no accountability was ever apportioned: few were arrested or jailed”. He also referred to global income and wealth inequality as evidence to support his case. The column was written by Chris Johns, a blue-chip capitalist and formerly … Read More

Short-term professional politicians are unwise to drop unpopular austerity

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By Cormac Lucey Having been at the top of politicians’ priorities for the past decade, austerity is fast falling out of fashion. Our new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, wants to boost infrastructure with his predecessor’s rainy day fund. Donald Trump wants to stimulate American economic activity by cutting taxes. It has even been reported that a split has emerged in the … Read More

Costly Upheavals in the Land of the Free

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By Cormac Lucey, in the Sunday Times The American presidential campaign is about to enter its final stage, when one Democrat faces off against one Republican. While it has already been effectively decided that Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate, the Democratic contest continues apace. Most analysts expect Hillary Clinton to be the eventual nominee, yet Senator Bernie Sanders … Read More

Freemarket groups oppose plain packaging and assert property rights

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International Coalition Letter against #PlainPackaging to the World Health Organization Washington, DC– Today, May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates NO Tobacco Day and the theme this year is Plain Packaging, which means the complete removal of any type of brand and trademark on cigarette packets. Hibernia Forum is proud to join 46 free market organizations from 30 countries … Read More