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.

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.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Brexit lessons for Britain from 30 months and 30 years

The UK’s former Permanent Representative to the EU (ambassador), Sir Ivan Rogers, gave a speech on Brexit on 12 December, 2018, at the invitation of the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place.

In the picture above Sir Ivan (r) leaves an EU Summit with David Cameron, British prime minister, on 28 of June 2016 — 5 days after the Brexit referendum vote.

Rogers resigned in January 2017 and in an email to staff at the British mission in Brussels reported in the media, he expressed frustration with the Brexit process.

He noted that negotiating experience is in “short supply” in the UK government and said civil servants didn’t know the government’s goals. He expressed hope that his colleagues would “continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power”, according to the reports.

Monday, December 10, 2018

US vs China Tech War raising risk of Thucydides Trap? Part 2

The agreement at the December 1 presidential dinner meeting of the US and China following the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, to freeze further moves on tariffs during a 90-day period when the two countries would seek agreement on trade and other issues, was followed with typical Trumpian exaggeration and confusion. Then mid-week American prosecutorial overreach highlighted the tech war between the two giant economies as the US seeks to contain the emergence of China as a global technology power.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

EU GDP per capita outpaced UK and US in 2000-2018

Andrew Sentance, who was a member of the Bank of England’s (BoE) interest-rate setting committee in 2006-2011, this week posted on Twitter the first chart here, showing that in the period 1972-2017, average GDP per capita of the G7 (Group of Seven industrialised nations) was highest in Japan, followed by the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, Canada, France and Italy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Brexit, Keynes and facts that don't change

Facts don’t change and there is no evidence that John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) ever wrote or said "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” Neither is the quote "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts," attributed to Albert Einstein (1879-1955), authentic.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The United States has a trade surplus with China - Part 1

Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, meets with Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Nov. 8, 2018. The 95-year old Kissinger, who first visited China in 1971 to pave the way for the rapprochement between the US and China, is likely the most admired American in the former Middle Kingdom. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

Reality Check: The United States has a trade surplus with China, which maybe surprising as a trade war exists between the two countries — official data distorts the real trading situation, which ignore sales by majority-owned US multinational affiliates in China.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Rupert Murdoch and the poisoning of American politics

Rupert Murdoch, the Australian immigrant, who founded the US cable industry’s conservative firebrand network in 1996, on Tuesday this week was given the award of ‘legend’ in New York by the American Australian Association, which had been founded by his father Sir Keith Murdoch in 1948.

"I believe in the good purpose of life, in the beauty of the universe, and the high destiny of man,” the 87-year old who had big successes in extending the family media empire to both Britain and the United States, said in quoting the words of his father. “I believe in the power and the spirit and triumph of the good in heart, " he added.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Ireland among low-voting nations in Europe

Michael D. Higgins was re-elected on Saturday as President of Ireland to a second 7-year term. In the election, 40% of the voting age population voted while the turnout of registered voters was 44%. President Higgins’ vote was 22.5% of the voting age population (VAP) based on the CSO’s (Central Statistics Office) estimate in 2018 of the 18+ population.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Similar economic structures fuel Ireland’s high Brexit risk

Despite the gulf in the sizes of the economies of the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, they have similar economic structures — in particular, a high reliance on foreign direct investment (FDI) — which raises the Brexit risk for the Irish economy.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Trump's rallies evoke spectacle of public lynchings in America

This week The New York Times in a major investigation revealed that the Trump family led by Fred Trump (1905-1999) was a criminal enterprise which had engaged in “instances of outright fraud” in evading taxes on the transfer of assets to his children. Also this week, Donald Trump with a history of sexual abuse of women and the most overtly racist president since Woodrow Wilson, was in Mississippi, in the Deep South, for a rally where the white family crowd, some with children, cheered the vile mockery of Prof Christine Blasey Ford, who has alleged that a drunken Bret Kavanaugh, the new Supreme Court Justice, had tried to rape her when they were both teenagers. 

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Dublin to run out of rezoned residential land in 4 years — Part 3

Dublin will run out of rezoned residential land in 4 years according to an official of the Dublin City Council.

The city of Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements municipaux — administrative districts. The area is 105 km2 (kilometres) and with a population of 2.2m, it has a density of about 21,000 people per km2 — one of the highest in Europe. The area of the city of Dublin is 115 km² and the 2018 population is about 565,000The density is 4,910 inhabitants per km².

France's capital city is the core of the Paris Region called Île-de-France with an area of 12,011 km2 where about 12m people live. Its population density in 2018 was 1,019 per km2. The area of County Dublin is 921 km² and its population in 2016 was 1,345,402, giving a density of 1,461 per km².