Analysis/Comment
Finfacts changes from 2015
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Dec 30, 2014 - 3:52 PM

Printer-friendly page from Finfacts Ireland Business News - Click for the News Main Page - A service of the Finfacts Ireland Business and Finance Portal

We have been online 18 years since March 10, 1997—and from 2015 we plan to focus on analyses of business and economics news, which is our strength, rather than online breaking news that is available from multiple sources. We will also provide access to research/ studies on topics of interest.

As we detail in the article linked to below on the web and news, the post crisis digital advertising market for news sites is challenging (or using a more direct vernacular: a pisser) and operating two websites in this environment is difficult. So we have decided to close the Finfacts Premium service and focus on the Finfacts.ie service.

Just like the development of near Internet monopolies such as Google and Facebook—which dominate in most of the world with the exception of China—old world big brand newspapers and magazines such as the Financial Times and the Economist, which have a global reach, will survive the digital transition.

We say in the article that quality content can seldom match outrage for attention while facts contend with settled beliefs, official distortions and recycled myths.

On a personal level I am happy to continue challenging conventional wisdom with facts and to have had the opportunity of moving to Malaysia in 2007 that only an online business could have provided.

We have been proven right on:

  • The property bubble;
  • The inevitability that the Irish facilitation of massive corporate tax avoidance was not a long-term viable enterprise policy;
  • The delusional aspiration that Ireland with a high dependence on foreign-owned firms that do not spend anything on R&D (less than 30% of IDA Ireland client companies spend from a minimal level), could become a) a recognised "world-class knowledge economy" by 2013 b) that "Ireland in 2020 is the best country in the world for scientific research excellence and impact."

Web & News: Big brand newspapers, magazines finding digital model that works

Last week, Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, wrote on his blog on facts and fact-checking that echoes my own view that myths are often treated as facts because of repetition while distortions in the Irish national accounts is a fertile area for misrepresentation:

...using the principle of 1066 And All That: 'history is what you remember,' often what you sort of think you remember. They hear everyone around them saying stuff, repeat it, and that becomes what everyone knows; the idea of checking the facts themselves never seems to arise, indeed is almost anathema. I’ve had conversations in which people belligerently assert 'I’m not impressed by your charts—you’ll never convince me that government spending has fallen under Obama.' Don’t bother me with facts! [ ] I will say, by the way, that writing for the Times—and especially doing so in the face of so much right-wing animosity—has been a useful discipline. In general, the Times maintains standards for fact-checking—and for explicit corrections when you get it wrong—that nobody else seems to. And I am especially careful, because so many people are gunning for me. So every assertion of fact in my columns does come with a source, usually visible in the links embedded in the online version."

George Orwell, bullshit and 2015 New Year resolution for Irish Government

The idiot/ eejit's guide to distorted Irish national economic data

Economic recovery, stagnation, miserablism and miserableness

Michael Hennigan


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