Category Archives: Blogpost

Nurses and strikes

So, in protest at the overcrowding and calamitously badly organized nature of the health system, the nurses are to go on strike. Sorta.  Continue reading


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The Economics of Terror

d9ed0090-7db0-4750-a6eb-ef3cba201aef-2060x1236The dreadful events in Paris, and the ongoing as dreadful but happening far away in places we don’t go to for long weekends events in the middle east have brought the issue of terrorism to the forefront again. Politics dominates, political theatre moreso.

trump-saluteIn the USA we see the chilling reaching into the dustbin of history by the Republicans,  with the leader of the republican challenge, Donald Trump, musing on the need for special Muslim ID – a cheerful yellow cloth crescent sewn on their clothes mayhap? . In the UK the Daily Mail revisits its roots with a cartoon subliminally equating refugees with rats.  Slovakia only wants Christians. And so on.  What is missing in the dialog is the role of economics.

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Emergency services brand Eircode ‘worse than useless’ | Irish Examiner

emergency services have dismissed the government-approved postcode system Eircode as “worse than useless”.


Source: Emergency services brand Eircode ‘worse than useless’ | Irish Examiner

The Department of the Environment confirmed there is currently no system in place to allow fire service vehicles respond to emergencies using the new postcode system.


The €38m system is not being used by An Garda Síochána, the National Ambulance Service, and the country’s fire services. The navigation system for the emergency services does not support Eircode and is not likely to in the near future.

The Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) which handles emergency calls through the 999/112 numbers also does not support the new postcode system.


one senior fire officer said: “As it is, Eircode is worse than useless. We were expecting that the postcodes would be incorporated into satnav systems to make our jobs easier but it appears to be a right waste altogether.”

told you. Here and here and here and here and here

What. A. Mess.

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Banks, SMEs and relationship banking

BoI Survey talk UpdatedThe last few weeks have seen the launch of two reports on SME Finance. One was the now regular Department of Finance report on credit conditions, the other a Bank of Ireland report on the financial situation of tech orientated SME’s, this drawing in large part on work conducted by a PhD student under my supervision. I launched the latter – my speaking notes are here BoI Survey talk Updated :   and the report here Bank_of _Ireland_ Technology_Research_Embargo. Overall the picture is, as always, mixed.
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Technology SMEs in Ireland.

Here is a link to a Bank of ireland report on the technology SME sector, featuring some survey work undertaken by myself and a doctoral student. More details tomorrow in the Irish Examiner column.

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British universities and Brexit

Very stark warnings from UK academics on the catastrophic effect Brexit would have on UK higher education.
In the spirit of 1916 we should recall, tongue perhaps (or not) in cheek that England’s difficulty may be Ireland’s opportunity.
Let’s say Brexit happens. Let’s allow every UK university academic team that wishes  come to Ireland, and let the Eu guarantee the funds to ensure the community doesn’t lose the excellence in science….
Brexit will bring changes. Let’s think now how to make them good ones.


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Was Gold a hedge against inflation? When? For how long?

Recent research has begun to cast some doubt upon the inflation Hedge capacity of gold. When you think of it, the inflation experience over the last 40 years, since gold began to float freely, has been very mixed. In the 1970s we were concerned in relation to inflation, perhaps even fears of hyperinflation; not the talk is of deflation or disinflation.  So was gold a hedge against inflation? Is it now? Continue reading

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