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Analysis/Comment Last Updated: Sep 5, 2015 - 1:27 PM


Overwhelming evidence of failure is seldom a barrier to puritans and moral do-gooders in their advocacies and in 1971 President Richard Nixon, a heavy drinker and possibly an alcoholic, declared war on drugs. and proclaimed in an address to congress, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”

Apr 23, 2015 - 8:44 AM


HSBC & Tax Evasion: HSBC now Europe's biggest bank, was founded as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited in 1865 and to the local Chinese in Hong Kong it got the nickname Wayfoong or hui-feng in Cantonese meaning ‘abundance of remittances’ or ‘focus of wealth.’ However in recent years it has been associated with an abundance of criminality involving money laundering for Mexican drug gangsters, sanctions busting and tax evasion — the latter has been in the news since 2008 and in 2010 Christine Lagarde, then French finance minister and now IMF chief, distributed the names on a stolen list of 130,000 tax evader clients of HSBC's private Swiss bank to relevant countries of origin of the evaders but in Europe only France and Belgium have charged HSBC with criminal activity while the authorities in the UK and Ireland did nothing.

Feb 10, 2015 - 7:30 AM


Among the world's big economies in 2014 Germany again was the top surplus economy not only as a ratio of economic output (gross domestic product) but in value terms while the UK topped the deficit countries.

Feb 9, 2015 - 9:16 AM


“When the facts change, I change my mind” is a putative quotation of John Maynard Keynes, the renowned Depression era British economist. However, it appears that many people, in particular political partisans, are unmoved by evidence that they are wrong and the Internet or their existing beliefs will always deliver an affirmation that they are right. I've had that experience on Irish jobs data.

Jan 7, 2015 - 7:25 AM


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.

Dec 30, 2014 - 3:52 PM


Facts of 2014: With the end of the year nigh, we have selectively looked at a number of interesting facts and the above chart in particular has fascinated Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder. Nearer home, the Economist revealed that Guinness, Ireland's unofficial national drink, was a porter taht was first brewed in London, while Russia and its "near abroad" including the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with the loss of 298 lives, dominated news through the year.

Dec 15, 2014 - 6:28 AM


Confidence and expectations are important influencers of economic trends and it should be perverse to recognise the role of Ireland's nattering nabobs of negativism but after the second home-made monumental economic bust in a generation, dissent should be welcome while acknowledging that no one is infallible nor has any group custody of the legendary philosophers' stone.

Dec 2, 2014 - 7:02 AM


Dreams of European Growth: The European Commission is seeking adjustments in the 2015 budgets of France and Italy and while the governments of both countries have embarked on economic reforms, they are dealing with challenges that pre-date the launch of the euro.

Oct 27, 2014 - 5:11 PM


Globalization has been the key driver of countries as diverse as Ireland and China escaping from extreme poverty but in recent times the hopes that a rising tide would raise all boats have been dashed. What is increasingly evident is that a permanent underclass is required to underpin the system-in both the rich and emerging economies.

Oct 17, 2014 - 7:28 AM

Responsibility is central to moral philosophy and law. But beyond moral philosophers and lawyers, we often debate in the simplest conversations about who was responsible for a given act or situation.
Aug 11, 2014 - 6:59 AM

Israel vs Palestine: Palestinian territory is officially known as Occupied Palestine by the United Nations and last May Ynetnews, the English-language edition of Ynet, an Israeli news and content website, reported that Israel's construction and housing minister forecast that the settler population would grow 50% in the colonized area west of the River Jordan, in the next five years - - in Irish history the major English colonization movements of settlers were known as the plantations of Munster and Ulster, and the strategy of Israel is the same.
Jul 29, 2014 - 6:37 AM

John Banville, the Irish writer, wrote in The New York Times in November 2010 following the international bailout (via loans rather than gifts) of Ireland: "There used to be a nice acronym that neatly expressed how the Irish people conceive of themselves: MOPE, that is, Most Oppressed People Ever." I don't wish to don the mantle of victimhood but here I illustrate my experience with Aviva Ireland, a unit of one of the world's biggest life assurance groups, as another example of a rigged system that was highlighted by Kathy Sheridan of The Irish Times on Wednesday.
Jul 3, 2014 - 6:34 AM


Martin Shanahan, the head of the Forfás policy advisory unit within the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, has been appointed the next chief executive of IDA Ireland, the Irish foreign direct investment promotion agency. We wish him well but with reservations as both he and the chairman of what is a key public agency, are both insiders in a system in recent decades where ministers hone the enterprise policy making message for political impact while dissent, at least in public, is as rare as a black swan.

Jun 13, 2014 - 8:22 AM


Every country is an Organised Hypocrisy to some degree. Countries have aspirations and stated principles, which more often than not, contrast with a grim reality - - at least in democracies today, there is an opportunity for some rebalancing.

Jun 6, 2014 - 4:49 PM

Dr Peter Morici:  Friday, the Labor Department is expected to report the US economy added 213,000 jobs in May. This is line with the pace so far this year and stronger than in 2013, and the Federal Reserve is likely to follow through with plans to raise interest rates. The labor market remains slack; however, recent consumer price reports indicate inflation is picking up. The Fed will phase out purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities by the end of this year, and feel considerable pressure to raise short-term interest rates in 2015.
Jun 6, 2014 - 1:26 AM

While protests in Brazil overshadow the on-pitch spectacle to come, football’s Zurich-based ruling body FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has been facing harsh criticism for its choice of host countries for the 2018 and 2022 editions: Russia and Qatar.
Jun 4, 2014 - 5:55 AM

Ireland: The bewildered leaders of Ireland's governing Coalition will wake up Monday and maybe many more mornings wondering why an ungrateful people turned on them in the local and European Parliament elections and didn't reward them for their valiant efforts on returning the Irish economy to growth after a brutal recession.
May 26, 2014 - 6:57 AM

An Irish general election has to be held by the spring of 2016 and following Friday's local and European Parliament elections, the governing parties, Fine Gael and Labour, will begin what will be a 2-year vote buying public spending spree.
May 20, 2014 - 7:06 AM

The European Parliament election will be held in Ireland on Friday, 23 May 2014 and we at Finfacts urge voters in the Ireland South constituency to vote No. 1 for Diarmuid O'Flynn who is standing as a non-party candidate.
May 8, 2014 - 6:04 AM

Dr Peter Morici: Friday, the US Labor Department is expected to report the economy added 215,000 jobs in April. A moderate improvement over February and March when the pace averaged 195,000, indicating growth will improve this spring over its tepid winter performance.
May 2, 2014 - 10:02 AM

Dr Peter Morici: With 8m Americans enrolled in health insurance through federal and state exchanges, President Obama has declared the Affordable Care Act a success. That’s disingenuous and big changes are needed to make the law work well.
Apr 22, 2014 - 2:33 AM


Celtic Tiger RIP: We wrote in 2009 that if you Google "Irish Reform," top of the results list is appropriately a nineteenth century British Act of Parliament: The Irish Reform Act of 1832. In 2014 it remains so and six years after the economic crash, change in conservative Ireland comes ever so slowly if at all.

Apr 18, 2014 - 10:04 AM

Dr Peter Morici:  Americans struggle with stagnant wages and rising prices. Yet the Federal Reserve is obsessed with boosting inflation with easy money policies that may actually discourage reforms that would help jobs creation and lessen income inequality.
Apr 16, 2014 - 9:00 AM

In the age of the acronym and Google, Trinity College, Ireland's oldest university that was established by a Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1592, is to rebrand as 'Trinity College, the University of Dublin’ to improve its global recognition.
Mar 27, 2014 - 6:04 AM

Former Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeness may be the man sentenced to a term in jail, but court room revelations of how bankers helped him to cheat the German tax authorities have also put the Swiss financial centre on trial.
Mar 19, 2014 - 6:59 AM

Dr Peter Morici: The Crimea is lost. The challenge now is to avoid a wider conflict with a Russia bent on absorbing more territory and further extending its influence further into Eastern Europe.
Mar 18, 2014 - 10:42 AM

Dr Peter Morici: The latest polls indicate a weak economy continues to drag down President Obama’s job approval rating, but those hardly guarantee any big changes in Washington. Americans may want more jobs and better wages but they also support many of the president’s specific policies.
Mar 13, 2014 - 2:24 AM

Dr Peter Morici:  Bitcoin believers were shaken to their digital souls when Mt. Gox, the world’s largest exchange, defaulted on $470 million worth of deposits and closed (Bloomberg).
Mar 4, 2014 - 8:08 AM

Dr Peter Morici: Americans desperately want a fairer tax system and relief from arbitrary treatment by the IRS. True reform requires simply junking the personal and corporate incomes in favor of a consumption tax.
Feb 28, 2014 - 1:54 AM

Whether celebrity or ordinary guest, lord of the manor, property tycoon or ski instructor, farmer or priest, all agree that Gstaad is paradise. But special interests threaten the "Alpine Garden of Eden". The simple life, which guests love so much, is under threat.
Feb 7, 2014 - 1:40 AM


The Sunday Independent and the Irish edition of The Sunday Times reported yesterday that prominent Irish opinion journalists working for the top two Irish daily newspapers are due to receive compensation from RTÉ, Ireland's cash-strapped State broadcaster, in respect of a threatened defamation trial, arising from comments made on a television chat show, that they were homophobic.

Feb 3, 2014 - 4:42 AM

In a graphic illustration of the gulf between the cosy arrangements made for insiders in the Irish system in contrast with the lot of many Irish private sector workers, it has been revealed that during the recent years of crisis, 2012-2013, ministers who themselves avail of one of the world's best pension schemes linked to current earnings, secretly approved pension top-ups for more than 500 third level academics and senior managers.
Jan 31, 2014 - 9:43 AM

Dr Peter Morici: Inequality is President Obama’s highest priority, but his solutions are wholly naive. Disparities between rich and poor are as ancient as civilization, but in modern democracies, this condition is exacerbated by globalization and technologies that drive it.
Jan 22, 2014 - 2:46 AM


The Finfacts Troika: The year ends on a high note with 2014 prospects for the Irish economy and the main developed economies looking much brighter than some months ago. The length and severity of the bust after mythical living in the second wealthiest nation on earth, suggests that memories of the hangover should endure for some time.

Dec 20, 2013 - 11:11 AM

Dr Peter Morici: US regulators are finally implementing the Volcker Rule, and it may prove the hidden jewel in the Dodd-Frank financial reforms.
Dec 13, 2013 - 2:56 AM

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council was established in 2011 at the request of the bailout troika and as an independent fiscal watchdog it was designed to be toothless by the Department of Finance. This week following two years of being treated as an intellectual ornament, it has threatened to bark in future and create political costs if its views continue to be ignored.
Nov 22, 2013 - 7:22 AM

We said in Part 1 that the European Commission (EC) on Wednesday announced that it would open an in-depth review of the German current account surplus - - a measure that includes the goods exports surplus, the services deficit and financial movements -- saying it will examine whether the Eurozone's biggest member should be doing more to boost domestic consumption and investment to help the Eurozone economy.
Nov 15, 2013 - 8:14 AM

Today the world is much more equal in income terms than in earlier decades while inequality grows within nations. Meanwhile, the question of the survival of the standard of western affluence is being increasingly raised at a time when in the United States, the biggest economy of advanced nations, the inflation-adjusted (real) income for the typical American household in 2012 was below the level in 1989.
Oct 8, 2013 - 6:28 AM


Bono's hypocrisy on Africa and corporate tax avoidance in Ireland has been starkly exposed, at a time when the Dutch government has proposed to reform the tax haven company letter-box system used by not only rock groups such as U2 and the Rolling Stones but 23,000 other entities that for example  surreptitiously hide trillions of dollars worth of  transactions annually, related to regions such as Africa. The Netherlands has also proposed to renegotiate tax treaties with 23 low-income countries in order that anti-abuse provisions be included in new treaties.

Sep 25, 2013 - 4:24 AM

On Tuesday in an op-ed piece in The Financial Times, Gaspard Koenig, a novelist and the director of Generation Libre, a Paris-based think-tank, wrote that France is run for the benefit of the old. It's a story that's familiar also in Ireland.
Sep 4, 2013 - 6:42 AM

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