Wednesday, June 12, 2019

From economic heyday of British Empire to EU and Brexit

Boris Johnson, a possible prime minister of the United Kingdom, wrote in a column in the Daily Telegraph in May 2016:

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Germany's 2018 global goods trade with 237 countries/ territories

Germany had merchandise goods trade with 237 countries and territories in 2018 encompassing every region of the world — with partners that were large, small and tiny. There were trade surpluses with 167 and deficits with 70 partners.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Minimum corporate tax rate to imperil Ireland's FDI model

For decades Ireland felt assured that it would maintain the tax advantage that was first provided in 1956 to lure mainly American foreign direct investment (FDI) to Ireland. On Friday (May 31) in Paris 129 member countries of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) adopted a Programme of Work laying out a process for reaching a new global agreement for taxing multinational enterprises.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Ireland in top 10 for competitiveness in world in 2019 - Fact or Fiction?

IMD, the Swiss business school, released its World Competitiveness Rankings for 2019 this week with Singapore at the top of ratings of 63 countries. Ireland returned to a 7th ranking it had achieved in 2016 based on data for 2015 — the year of Leprechaun Economics when moves by Apple and other multinationals to reallocate via accounting entries (not relocate) assets such as intellectual property (IP) to Ireland, had resulted in GDP (gross domestic product) rocketing over 26%.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Ireland wants ‘modest’ global corporate tax reform

OECD data published earlier this year showed show that corporate income tax remains a significant source of tax revenues for governments across the globe. In 2016, corporate tax revenues accounted for 13.3% of total tax revenues on average across the 88 jurisdictions for which data are available. This figure has increased from 12% in 2000. Corporate taxation is even more important in developing countries, comprising on average 15.3% of all tax revenues in Africa and 15.4% in Latin America & the Caribbean, compared to 9% in the OECD.

The Irish Government had hoped that global corporate tax reform was on a “slow boat to China” but the winds of change are accelerating and on Thursday this week, Pascal Donohoe, finance minister, told a conference in Dublin that he wished for “modest” reform.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

New Cold War: Containing China is a dumb policy

At current prices combined US-China GDPs of $21.3trn & $14.2trn is 41% of global GDP of $87trn in 2018. Using Purchasing Power Parities the International Monetary Fund estimates China's value at 19trn & US at 15trn. China had been the world’s biggest economy for about 2 millennia & in the 1890s was overtaken by the United States.

Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, this week quoted lines from a poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963), an American poet, “Some say the world will end in fire/ Some say in ice.” Wolf said these lines "capture the world’s possible economic prospects. Some warn that the world of high debt and low-interest rates will end in the fire of inflation. Others prophesy that it will end in the ice of deflation." The more present economic danger this week is addressed in a special report in The Economist and David Rennie, the Beijing bureau chief and author of the Chaguan column on China, writes, "If a vengeful America wants to hurt China, there are few incentives for Chinese officials to propose imaginative concessions or urge reforms that might repair ties with America. In geopolitics as in marriage, contempt is an emotion that leads to bad outcomes."

Trade dispute

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Idiots reject compelling science of climate change

I was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on a day in July 1995 when the noontime temperature rose to almost 50 degrees Celsius. Saudi Arabia had its record hottest temperature on June 22, 2010 at 52.0°C (125.6°F) in Jeddah. The record heat was accompanied by a sandstorm, which resulted in 8 electric power plants to fail.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Irish Government as alchemists in innovation game

In the Middle Ages, alchemists searched for the philosopher’s stone to transmute or transform common metals to gold. However, despite failures, their work was the genesis of modern chemistry. Ireland will have failed twice — 2013 and 2020 — to meet innovation goals and with some help from our old friends the leprechauns, 3 significant global innovation rankings have given the country ranks of 10, 14 and 21 in the past year. However, the Irish Government is still at the level of the alchemists as any young knowledge economy startup that has international appeal and is funded by venture capital is inevitably acquired by a foreign company.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ireland's underperforming indigenous exporting sector

Ireland has two economies: the foreign-owned exporting sector that has driven economic transformation and its underperforming indigenous counterpart which is vulnerable to Brexit. Ryanair — Europe’s biggest individual airline brand in 2018 carried 139m passengers — for example, has been a rare significant international success in recent decades. Ireland’s annual indigenous exports to the other 18 countries of the eurozone are less than €5bn or 20% despite currency stability, while 40% of food exports go to the UK.

SEE: Irish Government as alchemists in innovation game

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Irish median income at 13th in Europe, UK at 14th rank

Irish median income in 2017, adjusted for price differences called PPS, was at 13th in Europe (EU28 + Switzerland [2016], Norway and Iceland [2016]) closely followed by the UK and Malta, according to data this year from Eurostat

The median is the mid-point where half or 50% of a sample is above and 50% below.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Blame Game and its Irish connections

Searches for "blame game" in Irish Google searches in 2007 as the property bubble was about to burst. A second spike was in November 2010 — when the Irish economy had to be supported by an international bailout.

Last month the Financial Times headlined a report ‘The British begin the Brexit blame game: PM and her ministers are already pointing the finger at EU for impending failure' and this week the Irish Times published an opinion piece ‘Internal British bloodletting is the biggest worry of the Brexit blame game’ from a former Irish ambassador to the UK — just a decade ago the politicians, civil servants and media cheerleaders, who brought the Irish economy to the brink of ruin for the second time in a generation, not surprisingly had played the same finger-pointing game.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Few Irish firms in FT 1000 & Inc. 5000 Europe lists of fastest-growing companies

The FT’s 2019 annual list of the top 1,000 of Europe’s fastest-growing companies, was published by the Financial Times in March and this week INC. — the American entrepreneurship magazine — published its Inc. 5000 Europe list of the top 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the region.

Ireland has one legitimate entry in the FT 1000.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Time for Internet change 30 years after first website

The revenues of the top 5 US tech firms in 2018 exceeded the IMF's 2018 forecast for the gross domestic product (GDP) of Switzerland — a country of 8.5m people with an income per capita that is among the highest in the world. Amazon's high growth strategy focuses on high profitability in the long term; tax provisions in accounts may not correspond with what is paid while Microsoft's tax amount in 2017/2018 is not at a normal level. Alphabet is the parent company of Google.
Facebook's net profit margin of 45.5% reflects its near-monopoly position while not having to make capital investments on a scale with large non-digital companies.   

Friday, March 22, 2019

European Globalization 500 years ago: Savonarola & Machiavelli

This year is the 500th anniversary of the death in France of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), the multi-talented artist of the Italian Renaissance. He lived in a period of tumultuous change that has parallels with modern times — an information revolution; technological change; the advance of science; challenges to traditional verities; European globalization in what was called the Age of Discovery; populism and rejection of change.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Ireland’s Faustian Bargain with hyper- globalization

Hyper- globalization, boosted by the digital revolution and mobility of capital in recent decades, has enabled a small number of global firms to make “free trade” a “delusion” according to a United Nations agency. Ironically in a decade when corporate tax avoidance has become a topic of global public interest and the malcontents of globalization have had an impact on elections in several countries, Ireland has become even a bigger facilitator of international corporate tax avoidance while gaining unexpected tax windfalls.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Paddy Agnew in Irish Times’ gig economy for 31 years

Sunday Times - Ireland 

The Irish Times newspaper is involved in an international labour dispute with Paddy Agnew, an Irishman, who worked as Rome Correspondent for the Irish Times for 28 years on a monthly salary plus expenses, without interruption.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Top Swiss bank says tax evasion not crime in Switzerland after huge French fine

Who Owns the Wealth in Tax Havens? Macro Evidence and Implications for Global Inequality Annette Alstadsæter (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) Niels Johannesen (CEBI, University of Copenhagen) Gabriel Zucman (UC Berkeley and NBER) December 27, 2017

After a French court had heard that UBS, the biggest Swiss bank, had engaged in “James Bond”-like tactics to illegally solicit French clients and help launder more than €10bn, a judge on Wednesday imposed a €3.7bn fine and ordered the bank to pay €800m in damages following a guilty verdict of aiding tax evasion. Five of six ex-bankers were convicted and given suspended jail sentences together with combined fines of €950,000.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tale of Two Cities: Dublin ranked worst for traffic jams, best for expats

Dublin, the Irish capital, has this week been ranked among the worst cities in the world (ex-Asia) for traffic jams while being one of the most “liveable” European cities for expatriates.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Irish workers most productive in world or same as Italians?

This week the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued data which showed that Ireland had the highest GDP (gross domestic product) per hour worked in 2017 of 38 mainly rich country economies.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Brexit: David Cameron's flawed referendum of 2016

Updated: The 1975 British referendum on membership of the then European Economic Community (EEC) was a concession by Harold Wilson, the Labour prime minister, to the Left of his party and the trade unions. Despite a 67/33% loss in the referendum, the Labour Left had withdrawal from the EEC in the Labour general election manifesto of 1983.

In 2013 David Cameron, Conservative prime minister, promised another referendum on membership of the European Union that had grown from 9 members in 1975 to 28 members by then (Croatia joined on July 1, 2013). Cameron wanted to placate the Right of his party and to stem the growing support for the anti-EU/immigration UK Independence Party (Ukip).

David Cameron said in his 2013 speech promising a referendum:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Poor wage growth in rich world despite jobs recovery

Despite jobs recovering to pre-Great Recession levels or higher, wage growth has been near-stagnation levels in several countries with workers down the economic pyramid taking much of the pain.

Real wages in the period 1999-2017 have almost tripled in the emerging and developing countries of the G20 (Group of Twenty comprising 19 countries + the European Union), while in advanced G20 countries they have increased by a much lower total of 9%. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ireland's global social, economic, business rankings 2019

According to the World Bank, only 13 countries out of 101 middle-income countries in 1960 grew to high-income status over the period 1960-2010.

The World Bank currently defines high-income economies are those with a GNI (Gross National Income) per capita of $12,056 or more.

The 13 high-income countries were — Equatorial Guinea; Greece; Hong Kong, China; Ireland; Israel; Japan; Mauritius; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Republic of Korea (South Korea); Singapore; Spain; and Taiwan.