Kilkenny economics festival

The Kilkenny economics festival is running from November 11-14. Details are here.

51 replies on “Kilkenny economics festival”

Actually sounds rather fun. I wonder f Dan McLaughlin will do his ‘These banks are fine!’ routine?

Here is my entry in the funniest one-liner category.

Exchequer returns just out – tax revenue 13% above target in October.

Its the way I tell em.

How about the Economists do the jokes and the Comedians do the analysis. A better outcome

When you consider the repertoire this should be side splitting fare. Think of such classics as “selling deposits”, “insuring deposits”, “sequestering 75bn from US MNCs”, “leaving the euro” and lots lots more, but I think it will need some fresh material to really make it hum.

Oh, I forgot McWilliams latest gem, “freeze all mortgages”. It would be worth going to kear that one alone.

How about we liquidate the NPRF and offer to buy any residential property in the State for the equivalent of the mortgage outstanding on it. (Is this a joke or not? )


I think that was sell the ESB and BGE and give everyone in negative equity a cheque.

Might as well do as you propose though. The state owns everything else. Socialism has won.

@tull mcadoo

Rather send in the IMF?

Just remembered, the head of the IMF is a socialist too 🙂

Oh how funny it is. Imagine, trying to give people some information. Hardehar. Come and sneer…your moneys good.

@ JtO

Exchequer returns just out – tax revenue 13% above target in October.

Dept of Finance says

Tax receipts in the first ten months of the year amount to €24.7 billion. This is €243 million or 1% above profile.

Am I missing something?

If some of the commentors on this blog would pre-commit to go, it might be possible to organise one of those economics tag cage fighting events.

They count towards CPD for accountants.


Only fair to give advance notice. I’ll be the guy in the front seat wearing one of those caps with ginger hair hanging down the back. I will ask a simple question “does the panel think it a good idea to sell Anglo’s deposit book?”

@ 100 Euro a ticket this ‘festival’ will be full of middle class people who have had it so good for so long, hearing arguments that further enable them to believe they hard done by and that a decline in their real wealth is avoidable.


To clarify:

The ‘1% above profile’ that you refer to is for the cumulative tax revenue figure for January to October. My ‘13% above profile’ is for the tax revenue figure for October on its own, as is hopefully clear from the wording ‘tax revenue 13% above target in October’. I was clearly referring to the latest figures for October which were just published minutes before. They were 0.2% behind profile for January to September, now the latest figures just out at 4.30pm Tuesday show them 13% above profile in October (on its own), bringing them to 1.0% above profile for January to October.

@ Sam

100 Euro a ticket this ‘festival’ will be full of middle class people who have had it so good for so long..

In fairness Sam, the unemployed can be admitted for €80.

Per event is cheaper and apart from the comedy and the booze, wealthy males ladling each other with rich rhetoric, will provide the rest of the entertainment.

Just to show that little changes in Ireland, there is no transparency on the website as to whether this is a for profit gig or otherwise.

Neither is there information on who is promoting it and even the domain ownership is cloaked in the name of a hosting provider.

As a Frenchman might say: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!

@ Finfacts

“the unemployed can be admitted for €80”.

Well that’s all right then. They can give up eating for a week to attend a media fest. You really do live in another world.

@ Finfacts

OK fair enough, my mistake – I assume you think a ‘concessionary’ rate of €80 is an insult as well – my irony sensors are misted over this damp, dark morning.

@ JtO

Many thanks for clarification. I suspected you might be referring to the figure for the month of October, rather than the 10 month figure, but I was unable to find the monthly figure on Dept Finance website myself. I would be very grateful if you could direct me to a link.


“The Kilkenomics Festival is a registered trading name of the Cat Laughs Limited. ” (terms and conditions)

Surely one would assume that it was for profit, unless otherwise stated.
Although I dont think such festivals in general can be rightly defined as “for profit” or “not for profit”.

Also – surely the unemployed have more pressing worries that whether or no they can go to an economics festival in kilkenny. It wouldnt be top of my list of things to do, if I was unemployed, even if it was free.

Neil Delamere is voluntarily and deliberately funny.

I’m not overly keen on Des Bishop.

DMac – *it’s quite simple*

BL – Bunterish bluster and selling deposits

On a 3:1 vote, I won’t be there.

Hi Folks:

Given the amount of comment on Kilkenomics, I thought that I should clear up a few things:

I should probably start by saying that this is NOT a commercial venture; it is a private one, I suppose in that I have put my own money into this festival and I won’t see it back; so from that perspective, it makes no sense from an economic point of view. In truth, it may not make any sense from a ‘show’ point of view either, but to my mind, it is worth a shot. I have put my money into this festival because I think that the idea of using comedians who are interested in economics together with economists is an interesting one. One that I’d like to see anyway – I’ve always thought that getting comedians who are interested in economics to host a series of topics could be revealing and the results could be a little different. I say this because good comedians have an ability to take big ideas and translate them in a way which are widely accessible – they have to do this otherwise they just don’t have a career. And so, I don’t see their role as cracking jokes or ‘doing material’ per se, although I’m sure that there will be some good comedy along the way.

I approached Penguin for support and David McWilliams agreed to host the event.

For the record, I’m not taking a fee, David isn’t taking a fee and the contributors aren’t taking fees either.

On the price issue, I’ve tried to make it as reasonable as possible; the festival has been some 7 months in the planning and has been expensive to stage on this scale. Nevertheless, the lowest price is E5 and the highest one is E20. Most sit at the E15 range with E5 deduction for unwaged / students. The ‘Festival Ticket’ costs E100 and for this the purchaser gets: 5 x shows; 20 Marbles (our weekend currency, value of E20) and a signed book (value E20) and entry to the Festival Club (value: who knows). For unwaged / students this cost is E80 for the same offer.

I haven’t come out with a huge push on my personality as I’d always prefer to let the event talk for itself event itself. For better or worse. But a brief history of me is: 1989: The Lisa Richards Agency (with my sister, Lisa);1992: Bickerstaffe Theatre Company, Kilkenny (jointly with Lynn Cahill); 1995: The Cat Laughs, Kilkenny (jointly with Lynn Cahill). I am married to the actress and writer, Pauline McLynn. I have no kids.

Hope to see some of you in Kilkenny and to any contributors reading this, I look forward to seeing you soon..

Richard Cook


All the figures are in this link. When you enter the link, just click on the month you want, as you probably allready know.

They don’t give figures for individual months on their own. You have to calculate them from the figures they give, but very easy to do by simple subtraction. All figures given in the link are cumulative totals since January. So, April figures are the cumulative totals from January to April, May figures are the cumulative totals from January to May, June figures are the cumulative totals from January to June, and so on.

To get the figures for any individual month on its own, you have to get the figures (ie cumulative totals) for that month and the figures (ie cumulative totals) for the previous month and subtract them. So, the figures for October on its own are calculated by subtracting the figures (ie cumulative totals) given for September from the figures (ie cumulative totals) given for October.

The Irish must be the most suspicious people on the Universe except when it comes to dealing with Banks. Petty comments on motivations for the Festival which Mr Cook has dealt with head on. Something different in terms of Festivals. The only part of the lineup that I disagree with is that it is not broadly based enough.

Richard Cook, if you’re reading this I’m sure we all appreciate the feedback.
You really should plaster the home page of the site with the fact that none of the contributers are being paid for this as that fact alone makes the enterprise quite laudable. I hope it’s a success.

I can just hear it now.

‘Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson go into a bar….’

Hmmm now there’s a challenge.

Its very interesting to note the caustic, trollish, sneering reactions here from some of the usual suspects. Shocking : that someone would get a roster of international and national speakers of note (whether you believe their views or not) to come, at no cost, and to discuss matters of the common economic issues in open fora. Amazing… The reaction of the sneerocracy here does suggest to me that they really do not want a broader debate.
There are a lot of bridges and culverts in Kilkenny – our resident trolls-on-the-ditch can lurk there.


Ahhh, is that me? I have noted that on the big issues, economists fall into three categories:

1) Reasoned supporters of the Official Line
2) Reasoned critics of the OL
3) Headline grabbing sensationalists for ever producing silver bullets

Those who have been assembled for the fest and whose form I am aware of seem to be exclusively drawn from the third group.

Are you seriously suggesting that there will be some balanced debate at the fest?

@Brian Lucey:
“There are a lot of bridges and culverts in Kilkenny – our resident trolls-on-the-ditch can lurk there.”

And Tynans provides an excellent place from which to observe them.


You missed an obvious one!
category 4
shills for the official line
– keep tripping over them on this site

@ AMcG

Had to Wiki that one:

“The shill pretends to have no association with the seller/group and gives onlookers the impression that he or she is an enthusiastic independent customer. The person or group that hires the shill is using crowd psychology, to encourage other onlookers or audience members (who are unaware of the set-up) to purchase the said goods or services. Shills are often employed by confidence artists. The term is also used to describe a person who is paid to help a political party or other advocacy organization to gain adherents; as with the situation of selling goods or services, the shill gives the impression of being unrelated to the group in question, and gives the impression that he or she finds merit in the ideological claims of the political party.”

Shills seem to me to be a disgusting lower life form. It is disturbing that you are tripping over them on this very site. Please name and shame so that we may cleanse Irisheconomy of this pestilence.

“1) Reasoned supporters of the Official Line
2) Reasoned critics of the OL”

Yes, good luck getting ten independent persons of any note on these headings ; then good luck selling tickets for it. Hows that culvert?

@ Michael Hennigan
Poor form not coming back with a “Thank’s for the update.”

Rate your posts but blotting your copybook here.


David McWilliams talking with Max Keiser about it 🙂

Maybe Max will be there yet! – but Des Bishop interviewing Peter Schiff should be entertaining – Will there be a box set for the Christmas market?

I’m going. I booked long ago.

Whether the contributors were being paid or not was not something that even occurred to me when making a decision. I’m still not sure why it should be a relevant consideration. The line-up of speakers was, for me, irresistible, and I need a break.

Now that I’ve learned that my money is simply reducing young Richard’s loss, however, it makes me feel better: when he tells me that it is good to meet me again after nearly 40 years, I’ll know that he really means it ! 🙂 (We both grew up in Cobh – though he was barely out of nappies when I left for De Smoak).

This sounds like so much fun. I wish I were going but I am in the states, my house is in foreclosure and money is tight. Please someone put some of this on youtube.

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