Author Archives: brianmlucey

Irish Universities Rankings – a reality check

So the THES rankings are out and as has become the norm the fall in rankings of Irish universities has caused an outpouring of angst, breast beating, and general melancholia. It is described as a “Crisis” , a “disaster” and such other apocalyptic monikers. 


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Thinking about hard borders post brexit

As we move closer and closer to the purported Brexit end game, although never quite getting there like the paradox of Zeno, the pressure mounts on Ireland to save the brexiteers blushes.  Not just the UK media but elements within the Irish media have begun to mutter and muse on whether we should not perhaps, just perhaps, consider dropping the backstop, limiting it somehow, do SOMETHING to get Brexit over the line.

This would be foolish in the extreme. The backstop, let us recall, is an insurance policy. It kicks in if and only if other arrangements cannot otherwise be found that would keep a seamless border. Initially conceived by the UK as an arrangement for Northern Ireland alone, that was shot down by the DUP/ERG, fatally undermining the already tattered control of T May . We should have some sympathy for that position,  as it did and will partition a country along internal customs lines. But then, it was the desire of the country to be so partitioned, and despite the occasional outburst, NI is already distinct in law custom and practice from the rest of the UK.

 With the scuppering of the NI only backstop it then, at the request of the UK,  moved to the notion of a backstop for the UK as a whole. While this preserved the integrity of the UK from a internal trade perspective it enraged more than the hard right DUP/ERG as it, if implemented, would result in BRINO – Brexit In Name Only. So it too is no longer acceptable, it seems.

But, the argument goes, if we Irish keep this insistence on the backstop as an insurance policy we run the risk of a crashout no deal. Despite the fantasies of the wilder shores of Tory right wingers, the UK cannot even under WTO rules simply ignore its border. Nor can we ignore our obligations as EU members to police and protect what will be a border with a third country. So the backstop, it is said, will bring about the very thing it is designed to prevent. Why not then drop it in whole or part?

Doing so would require one of two things. Either we give a timelimit – that it will last X years and no longer, or that we would in effect ourselves depart from the EU single market. Lets look at these.

The most charitable interpretation of the UK approach to the negotiations is that they are at sea. But the other interpretation, one that has been given additional weight by recent revelations, is that they were not recently, or perhaps ever, negotiating in good faith. One does not have to be a brit-basher to have deep and profound misgivings as to the faith in which the UK negotiates. With a time limited backstop we would be negotiating alone against a larger party. There would be every incentive and it would be quite sensible for them to simply run down the clock, to stall, and then when the backstop expired look us in the eye and say “and?”. We would have no EU backing and we would have in effect “bottled it” in giving in on the backstop. So that would result in enormous pressure for the second, for us to depart in whole or part, but in fact, from the EU single market. We would be flouting EU rules and leaving open the EU external border and that would not be tolerated.   

This would be folly on the most enormous, unforgivable, egregious scale. Every indicator of economic progress in Ireland shows two major recent breakpoints. The first is the accession the EEC as it then was, and the second, and arguably more profound, the advent of the Single Market. Any weakening of our membership such as would be required were we to allow a semi-permanent open border with a non-EU member would be massivly dislocative. FDI would in all likelihood slow – while we can query our reliance on same and its composition the reality is we benefit greatly from companies using us as a fiscal or product bridgehead into the EU. Irish exports to the EU would at best face additional checks, at worse be seen as potentially contaminated by non EU components and thus decline. A reversal of the last 27 years of economic growth would be put in place because of our desire to keep an open border.

The government know this. They know that in a no deal we will have to protect the economic best interests of the state which is served by EU and SM membership. Any Brexit makes our economy somewhat weaker than otherwise. To compound this to spare what are in aggregate terms relatively small, relatively  unproductive regions or sectors would be economic insanity. Yes, additional checks and rolling customs will be of huge impact on border communities. Yes, it will harden further attitudes in the North. Yes, it will fuel further a narrative In the gutter press of the UK and the less than a fringe movement that is Irexit that we are poodles of the EU. But cold hard economic reality dictates that even if we lose 50k jobs from a hard Brexit that is the price of defending 100’s of thousands more that would be at risk from any weakening of our SM membership. That’s the harsh political dilemma.

“Green and Climate Finance: Responses and Challenges in Finance” Special Issues of International Review of Financial Analysis and Finance Research Letters

“Green and Climate Finance: Responses and Challenges in Finance” 

Special Issues of International Review of Financial Analysis and Finance Research Letters

Guest Editors:

Professor Shunsuke Managi (Kyushu University, Japan)

Professor David Broadstock (Hong Kong Polytechnic)

Professor Jeffrey Wurgler (NYU Stern School)

Overview of the Special Issues

Green finance can be defined as comprising “all forms of investment or lending that consider environmental effect[s] and enhance environmental sustainability” It combines the world of ‘traditional’ finance and business with socially responsible and environmentally friendly behaviors. It plays an increasingly important role in mobilizing capital towards investments that help to fulfill commitments under the Paris agreement for climate change, or underpin efforts in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is an emerging arena for many participants, including individual investors, financial institutions and institutional investors, credit market participants, as well as other economic agents such as major energy producers and consumers – each of which harbor questions on how best to adopt it. Yet rapid growth in sub-fields of green finance, such as green bonds, stands testament to the appetite among both investors and users of capital, to embrace a new class of financial instruments that offers a different combination of financial and social returns.

Against the backdrop of a pressing global vulnerability to increasingly severe climatic change and the immediate need to reduce carbon emissions, huge investments are needed in green and climate-resilient infrastructure across the globe. According to the Global Environment Facility, an estimated $400-600 billion per annum is needed to finance the conservation of land, forests and water, and more than $350 billion of incremental capital to fund projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency. However, there’s a large gap between the required capital and the actual capital flows: the latest accounting of climate finance suggests the financing gap to be in the region of $70 billion*, while anecdotal evidence and views among practitioners suggest this may be a conservative estimate.

Green finance can be connected to the majority of the SDGs, and successes in achieving the SDGs may hinge on well implemented green finance solutions by firms, while simultaneously delivering co-benefits that enhance general business sustainability and reflect positively on firms environmental, social and governance performance metrics. Research regarding green finance is of critical importance to underpin sustainable development capable of benefiting the full spectrum of stakeholders and participants in domestic and global economies and international financial systems. The financial system has a unique ability to rapidly and continuously adjust and develop innovative mechanisms that direct finance to meet the development needs of an economy, allocating financial resources fairly and effectively while maintaining vigil over the need for financial efficiency. In order to mobilize required resources further research is needed to bridge an apparent knowledge gap, and make progress to answering the question: how to close the green-finance gap?

In a recent report the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change identified the mobilization of climate finance as critical to limiting global warming to 1.5C, and preventing catastrophic climate change. Climate finance is a rapidly emerging area of finance (at least into the mainstream) that takes as its aim the promulgation of investments targeted towards reducing vulnerability, and generally increasing the level of preparedness and/or resilience of human and ecological systems, to the negative impacts of climate change. Examples of projects that constitute climate finance include those that reduce emissions, enhance efforts to capture and store (sink) greenhouse gases, investment in renewable energy systems, smart cities etc. 

Mobilizing investments to the level necessary to reach the ‘1.5C pathway’ requires a major shift in investment patterns of both public and private financing, from regional, national, and international entities. Such a shift should be accompanied by enhanced rules, regulations, fiscal incentives and the creation of effective markets at the international, national, and sub-national levels to shift current and projected “business-as-usual” investments on to a different trajectory. Thus, advancing our understanding of the required enabling environment, and investigating the efficiency and effectiveness of various mechanisms and channels of climate finance are of critical importance for mobilizing and allocating financial resources reasonably and effectively to achieve global, national, and local climate change mitigation and adaptation goals.

The Special Issues of International Review of Financial Analysis and Finance Research Letters will directly address issues in this dynamic area of research and welcome a wide range of empirical methodologies and theoretical orientations addressing issues of material importance to future adoption of climate finance.

Toward these goals, the editors seek manuscripts that address research questions including, but not limited to:

·       Advantages and disadvantages of climate finance under different institutional and environmental contexts

·       Enabling environment for mobilizing climate finance – including dimensions of liquidity and secondary markets

·       Explorations of the role of governments in promoting green finance

·       Green investments and products and their interaction with traditional asset classes

·       Identification of the advantages and disadvantages of green finance under different institutional and environmental contexts

·       Investor demand for climate finance opportunities

·       The efficiency and effectiveness of climate finance

·       The interactions/associations between international fragmentation and domestic politics of green finance

·       The overlap/conflicts between international fragmentation (on investment opportunities) and domestic politics behind climate finance

·       The role of governments in promoting climate finance and/or attracting investors

·       Theoretical and applied contributions on sustainability-growth nexus in the sector

·       Uncovering of the effectiveness of green investments and financial products

·       Understandings of the nature and norms of green finance as a financial phenomenon

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 2014. 2014 Biennial assessment and overview of climate finance flows report. UNFCCC, Bonn.

Volz, U., Bohnke, L., Kneierim, Richert, K., Rober, G-M., and Eidt, V. (2015) Financing the Green Transformation: How to Make Green Finance Work in Indonesia, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Krushelnytska, O. (2017) Introduction to green finance. Global Environment Facility (GEF). Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/405891487108066678/Introduction-to-green-finance

Submission deadlines

The project will progress on an expedited timeline, adhering to the fixed deadlines set out below. Please format and reference your paper according to the requirements of the journal to whom you are submitting. Note that Elsevier journals work on a “online first” publication model, so as and when papers are accepted they are available online, with full citeable articles available when the SI’s are published.  

Key dates:

(1) August 15th 2019 – Submission system open for submission of article
(2) May 30th 2020 – Deadline for submission of articles
(3) September 2020 – Special issue publication

About the Editors

Shunsuke Managi is the Distinguished Professor of Technology and Policy & Director of the Urban Institute at the Kyushu University, Japan. He has been awarded several national research grants on topics such as urbanization, transportation, energy, climate change, sustainability, and population change. He was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and director for the Inclusive Wealth Report 2018 (IWR 2018). He is chief-editor of “Economics of Disasters and Climate Change” and “Environmental Economics and Policy Studies”, and co-editor of “Resource and Energy Economics”. He is co-chair of the Scientific Committee for the 2018 World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists.

David Broadstock is Deputy Director for the Center for Economic Sustainability and Entrepreneurial Finance in the School of Accounting and Finance at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. David’s research interests cover various aspects of the empirical economics of energy and the environment, with special interests in consumer behaviour and energy finance. David is currently Editor for The Energy Journal, and an Editorial Board Member of the British Journal of Management.

Jeffrey Wurgler is the Nomura Professor of Finance at New York University Stern School of Business. His research and teaching interests include corporate finance and behavioral finance. Before joining Stern in 2001, Professor Wurgler was the Robert B. and Candice J. Haas Assistant Professor of Corporate Finance at Yale School of Management. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford Said Business School.Professor Wurgler received a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from Stanford University and a PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University.

a-Fisking we shall go : Ray “Bertie” Basset in the S*n

Every now and again, to remind us that there are worse comentators than Andrew Lillico, Ray “Bertie” Basset opines in some English newspaper. Today’s screed is from the S*n . No, I wont link to it. Google it.

Herewith a fisk,

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Symposium on MetaAnalysis, Scientometrics and Systematic Reviews in International Finance

ork University Business School

2nd Symposium on MetaAnalysis, Scientometrics and Systematic Reviews in International Finance

Cork University Business School, University College Cork, 2 September 2019

“The role and impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and/or Corporate Governance (CG) in International Finance”

Following on the inaugural symposium held in Poznan in 2018, proposals are now sought for the above symposium, to be held in collaboration with Cork University School of Business, on 2 September 2019.

Focus

Proposals are sought which apply the tools of meta-analysis, scientometrics, or systematic reviews to the financial aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and/or Corporate Governance (CG).  Papers presented must have an explicit inter, trans, or cross-national approach and focus on the financial, economic or capital market aspects of same. Ideas that examine within-firm organizational, third-sector or other determinants would not readily fit the scope intended. We also welcome proposals suggesting new approaches and techniques in Meta-Analysis, scientometrics or systemic reviews.  Proposals should be submitted by 15 March 2019, and successful proposals will be notified by 1 April. Proposals must indicate the track at which the proposal is aimed.  

Proposals 

Proposals should be sent to Professor Jonathan Batten jabatten@gmail.com and also Professor Brian Lucey blucey@tcd.ie, with the subject line META SYMPOSIUM PROPOSAL, as a PDF attachment which follows the template here: https://pitchmyresearch.com/  The topic should be “UCC Meta Analysis Proposal Track #” and the proposal title should be “Track # short title”.  Questions and queries are welcomed of course.

Proposals should be sent by 15 March 2019, and a decision will be communicated by 1 April 2019.

An indicative fee of €75 for authors of accepted papers and €100 for regular attendance will be charged to include refreshments and a meal.

Publication Opportunities

Papers presented at the symposium may subsequently be invited to submit for expedited review at one of the associated journals.

Track 1CSR/CG actions by firms and the institutional settings around same 

Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions, and Money

(ABS 3/ABDC A/ IF 2017 1.719)

Track 2 Market reactions to and market disciplines around CSR/CG initiatives & new approaches to meta-analysis.

International Review of Financial Analysis

(ABS 3/ABDC A/ IF 2017 1.566)

Track 3 CSR/CG initiatives in emerging and especially frontier financial market corporate settings

Emerging Markets Review

(ABS 2/ABDC A/ IF 2017 1.871)

Track 4 Economic impacts of CG/CSR

International Review of Economics and Finance

(ABS 2/ABDC A/ IF 2017 1.318)

Track 5 CG/CSR in multinational corporations.

Journal of Multinational Financial Management

(ABS 2/ABDC B)

Track 6 CG/CSR in the interface of International Business and International Finance

Research in International Business and Finance

((ABS 2/ABDC B/ IF 1.0 TBC )

Track 7 Short (<2500 words), impactful papers in any of the above topics which will be presented in interactive settings. 

Finance Research Letters

(ABS 2/ABDC B/ IF 2017 1.085)

About Cork and CUBS

Cork University Business School is one of the largest business schools in Ireland. Its history dates back to the foundation of the then Queen’s College Cork in the 1840s. It has grown substantially in the last decade and is in the midst of a major physical and faculty expansion.

Cork is the second largest city in Ireland, set on the banks and islands of the River Lee. Its history dates back to the 9th century and it has always been a very significant maritime city. It is an important transport hub, with hourly train services to Dublin and Cork Airport serving many international destinations, as well as many bus services around Ireland.

About Cork: https://purecork.ie/

About CUBS: https://www.cubsucc.com/

About Travel: https://www.corkairport.com/ ; http://www.irishrail.ie/travel-information/cork-kent