Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Irish Housing Crisis: It’s time for radical solutions — Part 1

Ireland needs to take several radical measures to tackle the current housing crisis but a minority government would struggle to enact them.

Irish real house prices up 175% in 50 years, UK +405%, Germany -1%

Average Irish housing size lowest of EU's rich countries — Part 2

Land value capture

Land value capture (LVC) is a means of funding infrastructure improvements and providing finance for social housing by recovering all or some of the increase in property value generated by public infrastructure investment.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Trump’s America: A banana republic with nukes

This week it was reported that the US government paid more than $77,000 to President Trump’s Scottish golf resort ahead of his stay there last weekend. The Turnberry course has been losing “an astonishing amount of money,” including $23m in 2016, according to Adam Davidson in The New Yorker.

Davidson asks: “Did he purchase and rehabilitate Turnberry, as he did so much else, with other people’s money?” — i.e. was it funded via money laundering for Russian nationals?  

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Irish real house prices up 175% in 50 years, UK +405%, Germany -1%

Irish real [consumer price index (CPI) inflation-adjusted) house prices rose by 175% in 1971-2016 (45 years); British prices rose by 405% in 1967-2016 (49 years) and German prices fell by -1% in 1968-2016 (48 years), according to the Bank for International Settlements — the BIS was founded in 1930 and is located in Basel, Switzerland. It is often called the "central bank for central banks."     

The BIS has been tracking house prices since 1989, initially 18 advanced countries including Ireland. Data are supplied by national central banks, that may come from the national statistics offices or other credible sources.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Brexit, the lost empire, and dodgy modern UK economy

The Week That Broke Brexit: A Telegraph documentary on how Britain got a Remain prime minister after a Boris Johnson cricket match and a boozy barbecue with an insipid Michael Gove, egged on by his wife to seize the big prize.

On December 5, 1962, Dean Acheson, former United States secretary of state (1949-1953), asserted that Britain's role as an independent power was "about played out."

Acheson said at a conference on American affairs at the West Point Military Academy that “Great Britain had lost an empire and had not yet found a role.” He added:

Britain's attempt to play a separate power role — that is, a role apart from Europe, a role based on a 'special relationship' with the United States, a role based on being the head of a Commonwealth which has no political structure or unity or strength and enjoys a fragile and precarious economic relationship — this role is about played out…Great Britain, attempting to work alone and to be a broker between the United States and Russia, has seemed to conduct a policy as weak as its military power."

The blunt comments from a key architect of the postwar Western Alliance triggered consternation in London.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Best countries in world to start or run a business in 2018

Ireland has had a positive environment for business for many decades as successive governments sought to make the country an attractive location for foreign direct investment (FDI), besides the offer of low tax rates. During the general election campaign in early 2011, Enda Kenny, taoiseach/ prime minister, stressed the aspiration that by 2016 the country would be "the best small country in the world in which to do business."

“I will seek the trust of the Irish people to implement Fine Gael’s plan to get Ireland working again,” Kenny said on Jan 27, 2011. “I firmly believe that by 2016, Ireland can become the best small country in the world in which to do business, the best country in which to raise a family and the best country in which to grow old with dignity and respect.”

"Since coming into office 7 months ago I have told nearly all audiences that by 2016 I intend to make Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business," Kenny said on October 28, 2011. "An integral part of this vision is to transform Ireland into the Digital Capital of Europe."