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%.