Category Archives: Blogpost

Irish Water’s hierarchy of Greeds, sorry needs..


Irish Water’s hierarchy of needs (via @curtainqueen

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October 24, 2014 · 12:16 pm

A field guide to Irish TD’s attitudes to Irish Water

A field guide to Irish TD’s and Irish Water

Fianna Fail “we support the idea of water charges but we don’t support these water charges. Anyhow, it wasn’t our fault. No, really..”

Fine Gael “Doesn’t Big Phil look good on the European Stage… someday that will be me”

Labour “It was Fine Gael made us do it because Fianna Fail made them do it and we wouldn’t normally do it but we did because we had to because …what was the question again?”

Sinn Fein “we don’t support water charges …unless your in the north.”

People Before Austerity Before Logic Alliance “BONDHOLDERS!!!! . All the money goes to pay BILLIONS OF BONDHOLDERS“

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Irish Water : “we haven’t a clue” (at last, honesty)

I dont mind, really, paying for water. But, I cant. I dont have my “application pack”.

When the neighbours got theirs, I rang, and they said “oh, wait a few days”. I did. They didnt come. Around the start of October, I rang again “right, thats odd, I will reorder, should be there in a few days”. They werent. This week, rang again. I got an honest woman. She explained there were “thousands” looking for packs and they “hadnt a clue when they would get sent out”. She warned it could well be after the end of the month, but they “hadnt a clue”. IW then tweeted to me that I could DM them to give the information I have already given them three times. They asked me to contact them. Lads, im easy contacted. Im sick of ringing you. You ring me now.

This is small beer really, but its indicative of a huge problem. IW seems catastrophically badly organized. Rather than having to apply online with a pin sent by a pack a simple solution would be to have the following. If you havent a pack, ring this freephone number, or email this address, and we will send you one. With a pin. That would be simple. But this is not how IW do things. There is a culture of “sod the customer” already inbuilt. This is what will lose general elections.

Take the childrens PPS number. I am hugely opposed to giving this to them. I do understand that they need proof of a child. I am happy to give them that. A copy of the passport, a copy of the childrens allowance, a letter from his doctor. FFS a look to my facebook page will show the ongoing existance of Prof Jr. Why they need HIS PPS is beyond me. Perhaps they can tell me when they ring me.

Meanwhile, this on Social media. If its true, and I have no reason to doubt it isnt, given how sloppy some of the installation work is alleged to be, then lots of people will be stunned when they get the bill.



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House Prices in Ireland – A cool infographic

Thanks to Mark Rose for this

House-Prices-in-Ireland-Infographic (2)

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The Economic Impact of Irish Higher Education Institutions – Preliminary results

360px-Quesnay_TableauSo, what do higher education institutions add to the economy? A lot? a little? How would we know anyhow? A recent working paper suggests some answers.

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Only the tax system can save the Irish housing market…

In a country that is only 4% urbanized to have a scarcity of land for building takes quite some doing. It takes generations, generations in which the political class, and those who elect them, ignored best interests of long-term planning; The budget next week as an opportunity to begin to undo some of this, but is vanishingly unlikely that will do so. Continue reading


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Corporate Jets, management entrenchment, and the lessons from Tesco

Tesco has been in the wars lately, with a major restatement of its earnings having caused carnage to its share price and reputation.

Screenshot 2014-10-04 08.49.40

Now we see the Tesco has taken delivery of a brand-new shiny executive toy, a Gulfstream jet.

To be fair  the new management have decided that they will immediately dispose of this jest, ordered under previous management.

Some 2012 research suggests that private jets, perhaps the ultimate perk for many chief executives, are a really good way to differentiate between firms that do and do not suffer from what are called “agency problems”.  In a nutshell agency problems are where managers run the company for their own benefit, rather than for the benefit of shareholders.    The paper looks at the firms which are owned by private equity companies, a pretty ruthless bunch of operators whose main role  is to squeeze much greater efficiencies out of companies, comparing them against a matched sample of publicly quoted companies.   They find that companies owned by private equity tend to have jet fleets which are 40% smaller than those which are publicly owned.   This is pretty non-linear as well, in that these results really only begin to kick in a new get into larger jet fleets, size measured by seats.   The results are in fact driven by the top 30% (of jet ownership) of companies.As a robustness check the researchers also look at companies involved in merger snack positions, and that companies going into leveraged buyouts.   Target company’s jet fleets fall, as do those of companies that are the target of leveraged buyouts.

We’ve known this for a while,  A 2006 paper looked at managers use of corporate jets.  this is a nice perk, better even than having a corporate jet for business purposes.  Companies that allow senior management to use corporate jets for personal business on average show a 4% per annum underperformance relative to a matched sample.

So,  managers might want to consider ditching the jet

Edgerton, J. (2012). Agency problems in public firms: Evidence from corporate jets in leveraged buyouts. Journal of Finance, 67(6), 2187-2213.
Yermack, D. (2006). Flights of fancy: Corporate jets, CEO perquisites, and inferior shareholder returns. Journal of Financial Economics, 80(1), 211-242.

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