Assessing business schools and scholars (4)

The working paper is now available. Conclusions are by and large as before (2, 3), but details are different. This is the abstract:

The research performance of business scholars on the island of Ireland is evaluated based on their number of publication, number of citations, h-index and the same divided by the numbers of years since the first publication. Data were taken from Scopus. There is a large variation in both life-time achievement and annual production. Almost half of the 748 scholars have not published in an academic journal. Men perform better than women. More senior people perform better. There are distinct differences between disciplines, with accountancy performing poorly. On average, scholars in Northern Ireland perform better than scholars in the Republic. However, Trinity College Dublin has the top rank among the eleven business schools; Queen’s University Belfast and University College Dublin share the second place; and NUI Galway and the University of Ulster share the fourth spot. Irish business schools specialize in particular research areas so that mergers would lead to schools that can support a broader range of cutting-edge education.

This is the last opportunity to correct the data. (UPDATE: One name removed because of a legal threat.)

70 thoughts on “Assessing business schools and scholars (4)”

  1. @ Richard Tol

    Two comments:

    It is interesting to see that DIT business school is nearly 6 times as big as TCD (based on staff numbers). I wonder if they get 6 times as much resources! So do I believe the data?

    Talk about data mining. I see that Economics is not included in UCC but it is included in places like NUIG and UL. Economics in UCC is in the Faculty of Commerce (as it is in NUIG) so why include it in NUIG and not in UCC. Come on Richard Tol lets be consistent, aren’t you meant to be a scientist!

  2. Winston
    Did you read the paper? Its about the business schools. So, in TCD the BSchool has some (about 4-5) economists/ex/recovering economists, n UCC there are a horde of em (im the external so I know..) in a seperate school. Its not about disciplines – as RT says , asessing Bschools is hard. Frinstance what to do about Charles Normand…? or Frank Banister? or Kurshid Ahmad ? to name three colleagues in medicine/stats/cmp sci who do 90% of their work in bschool areas but are not in the bschool…? and so for other areas and other schools/universities. The nice thing about being in a Bschool is that its chaotic, fluid, not bounded by archaic disciplinary areas.
    B

  3. Oh and on resources – from the state, probably, yes is the answer. Funding of universities is complex. Bloc grants, grants in liue of fees,self funded courses etc etc. Feel free to ring me for a chat.

  4. Nice job.

    The choice of N. Ireland b-schools as a benchmark is, perhaps, flattering. Just a suggestion: pick b-schools in a few decent public universities around the world as benchmark. Compare with, say, University of Waterloo in Canada, University of Texas at Dallas (not even the top school in the Texas public system), or U. of Hong Kong (again, not even the top public school in HK). This might be informative.

    Plus, in terms of international impact, there are only 3-4 journals that really count in most b-areas areas. In finance its: J. of Finance, J. of Fin. Econ, Review of Fin Studies, J. of Fin and Qualitative Analysis. Would like to see results just for top journals like these.

  5. the AP/Prof split is interesting Looking at the top published AP (yr humbl scribe) that person has more publications than all bar two of the professors, more citations than all bar 8 of the 82 and a h-index in joint 7th. Similar strange overlaps come to the fore when we look at others. Frankly, when one considers that of 82 professors here 44 or more than half have less than ten publications in total, we must ask if this rank is really being/has in the past been populated with the scholars we would need.

  6. Out of interest I entered ‘business school Institute of technology ireland’ into Google and discovered that Ireland seems to have quite a large complement of business schools in addition to the university based ones (MBAs, MBSs etc. are offered everywhere as well). How can the costs of this multiplication be justified? Isn’t anyone looking over the shoulders of those planning these courses saying: there are enough of those already?

  7. Alchemist
    many of these are private colleges, so good luck to them. Comepition is good. TCD/UCD compete at a much much higher level than say Griffith. What is this fetish people have for dirigism in higher education?

  8. @Brian, Alchemist
    Those are valid questions. Interestingly, the same issues were raised in the earlier evaluations of economists and political scientists.

    I do not know who should answer these questions. The HEA reports do not really penetrate the subject matter, and the recent special report by the Comptroller and Auditor General essentially concludes that the data are too poor to do a proper value-for-money assessment.

  9. @Brian
    I have no fetish for dirigism, and I have nothing against private education. A lot of public money goes to higher education, though, and we should ask whether that money is spent wisely.

  10. How many of them are still teaching the Efficient Markets Hypothesis ?
    And asset diversification theory ?

  11. @Brian, Richard

    You miss my point about Economics. The decision to include the Economics Department in the NUIG numbers is not consistent with not including them in UCC numbers, as they both departments are members of the Faculty/School of Commerce/Business. So what is the reason?

    For UCC see: http://www.ucc.ie/en/commerce/structure/#PrimaryDepts
    For NUIG see: http://www.nuigalway.ie/commerce/disciplines.html

    At the very least I expect from scientific work is that studies of relativity one adopts standard measures of comparison, whether it is a department being a member of the Business School or it is what defines a member of a Business School. In the case of the latter it appears that DIT definition is considerable different from that of TCD.

  12. @Seafroid
    Probably all. They are after all theories. Not words of stone from mt siani Give me a better theory and im all for it. Whats wrong with asset diversification btw?

  13. Leave it to economists and those in business schools to think that the number of papers is what matters, not what they say. Sausages, academic work: what’s the difference? Oh, I know: some sausages are better than others.

  14. Ernie
    I dont think anyone is saying that; but do you agree that in general people publishing SFA is not a good thing?

  15. @Brian

    This is not a post about those who publish SFA so I don’t see how your question is relevant. But since you ask: it depends on what they have published and what they will publish. In some disciplines, the dominant form of research is the book, not the journal article (despite efforts to make these little bite-sized pieces the norm everywhere). Books take years for most scholars. Quality books may take many years. Groundbreaking works can take decades. Ireland is fast becoming a place where nobody doing that kind of work will be allowed to continue. They will be replaced with busy worker bees, churning out the pointless makework that nobody will ever read. If you read that link, you’ll see that overpublication is becoming a real issue in the US. As with so much else, Ireland is hopelessly retrograde in its frenetic quest for ever more more MORE publications.

    But let me ask you a couple of questions in turn: do you think that someone who publishes 15 papers is a better academic than someone who publishes only one? Or do you think that the comparative evaluation of these two hypothetical academics cannot be carried out unless and until an expert in the field has actually read what they produced? If the latter, then why do you credit such idiotic studies?

  16. Lastly, I should add: you’d think economists might have some interesting things to say about a market where there is little or no demand for the “product” but where producers are nevertheless constantly badgered into producing ever more of the stuff.

  17. Ernie
    Well, the dominant mode of scholarly discourse is journal publication, not monographs nor books, in Bschools. So, we can compare like wth like
    And it is in part about those that publish SFA. Look at the data. Some half the staff do not engage, and a good portion of those are in situ for a loooong time, with the above mode of discourse. So, what are they doing? You and I know well that in general its nothing much – the leading publishers also do lots of admin and at least the average amount of teaching
    So, how long, and bearing in mind the mode of discourse, do we wait for someone to engage? Should they in fact be promoted to SL AT ALL never mind AP/P with no such engagement? No.
    as to impact – thats a far more complex, nuanced and difficutl issue.
    to your questions
    o you think that someone who publishes 15 papers is a better academic than someone who publishes only one?
    yes I do, at least as a working hypothesis. Even if someone publishes one Journal of Finance paper and nothing else I would say the person, ceteris paribus, who publishes 15 Applied Financial Economics/J Multinational financial Management is a better academic. Ceteris paribus remember

    Or do you think that the comparative evaluation of these two hypothetical academics cannot be carried out unless and until an expert in the field has actually read what they produced?
    No. I dont need to read them all nor does Richard. Again, we have pretty good ordinal rankings of impact/import/importance/perception/quality for journals so I think that people at least in the broad field can look an most will say “yep, that one on the top end is someone that I kinda suspect is a better academic than the one on the end”.
    If the latter, then why do you credit such idiotic studies?
    Because i come out well…..:)

  18. @Ernie
    There are indeed management gurus whose output is best measured in book sales and speaker’s fees. These people are not in Ireland.

    @dr
    I prefer to judge a paper by the number of citations rather than by the cover. You are welcome to add to the analysis by collecting the data you think relevant. The spreadsheet is publicly available, and I have done the hardest job (defining the list of scholars) for you.

    @winston
    The logical implication is to exclude the economists in Galway. I’ll look into that.

  19. @Brian

    Ceteris paribus? Do you always change the terms of the questions you’re asked before you answer them? I didn’t say ceteris paribus because the study in question and the views expressed by you don’t purport to address the “other things” that are “equal,” like, say, whether the articles in question were published by a genius or a moron (and please don’t tell me that moronic articles aren’t published every day). I asked whether, knowing nothing else about the two scholars, one who publishes 15 articles a year is a better academic than one who publishes 1.

    How about Wittgenstein? Was he a better scholar than you are?

  20. @ BL

    Everything is correlated at times of stress like this. Diversification on the way up means contagion on the way down. It’s why Ireland can’t put AIB out of its misery. Liquid markets spread disease faster. It is the same with centralising abbatoirs.

  21. @Richard:
    “Privatizing higher education is a few steps too far for Ireland. We do not even dare charge proper fees.”

    Actually, third-level business education is probably the area with the highest proportion of private-sector provision in Ireland.

    I suspect that most of the private-sector colleges and at least some of the undergraduate courses in the ITs (former RTCs) and in the two newer universities (from when they were NIHEs) had their origins in professional courses for one institute or another. I presume too that some courses still require accreditation from such institutes. Longer-serving staff may not have been required to publish in the past.

    bjg

  22. Seafroid
    yes, we know that. Doesnt invalidate diversification…means take account of same.
    Ernie
    no arguing with you as you are prejudging that the exercise is itself meaningless. You go do something you think is useful, as per RT. Your seeking some perfect world….newsflash, it aint. gotta go edit a journal now…

  23. BJ
    “Longer-serving staff may not have been required to publish in the past.”
    yes, probably so. But then one has to wonder what they were required to do

  24. If there is one thing that emerges clearly from Richard Tol’s paper, it is that there are far too many business scholars in Ireland. Or rather, the term ‘scholar’ — being normally reserved to designate individuals who have made a genuine contribution to knowledge — is a misnomer. Let us say that most of that whopping total of 748 ‘scholars’ are teaching staff who have benefited from job-title inflation. I also suspect that many of the business schools at which they teach are parking lots for underperforming secondary school leavers on their way to unemployment or semi-skilled occupations via the taxpayer-funded student experience.

    The frequency-of-publication figures are a fascinating instantiation of Lotka’s law:

    More plainly, the number of authors publishing a certain number of articles is a fixed ratio to the number of authors publishing a single article. As the number of articles published increases, authors producing that many publications become less frequent. There are 1/4 as many authors publishing two articles within a specified time period as there are single-publication authors, 1/9 as many publishing three articles, 1/16 as many publishing four articles, etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotka's_law

    The lesson:
    Schon eure zahl ist frevel
    [your very number is a sacrilege]
    Stefan George, Die tote Stadt

    http://www.semiose.de/index.php?id=284,53

  25. @BL:
    “one has to wonder what they were required to do”

    Teach, teach, teach (16 hours a week, IIRC, in the VEC sector, from which the ITs have not yet entirely escaped). And, on promotion, administer (not manage, as it’s practically impossible to do that within VEC organisations).

    There is a certain simplicity in having a set of bodies to teach business courses, with syllabi laid down elsewhere and no requirement for new things. But that might not meet the needs of younger academic staff.

    Someone has to run departments, though, and it’s difficult to see how anyone could get time to do that and teach and research and publish.

    bjg

  26. “Someone has to run departments, though, and it’s difficult to see how anyone could get time to do that and teach and research and publish”
    hmmm… I suspect that if one looked at the portfolio of (at least TCD) Heads of School one would find they are pretty busy all round.

  27. BJ
    also, for the most part for the last 5-7 years most universities have provided excellent school level administrators (not secretaries). Pamela runs the BSchool as well as anything involving academics can be run

  28. @ Ernie Ball

    If you read that link, you’ll see that overpublication is becoming a real issue in the US. As with so much else, Ireland is hopelessly retrograde in its frenetic quest for ever more more MORE publications.

    You are not the first to complain about the deluge of textual matter. Ecclesiastes 12.12 (“of making books there is no end“) got there before the rest of us.

    Two millenia later, Erasmus (““Is there anywhere on earth exempt from these swarms of new books?” “) was also up to his humanist ears in the stuff.

    See:

    Information overload, the early years

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/11/28/information_overload_the_early_years/?page=full

  29. @ Ernie
    At this stage, you’d probably have a book from all the posts here!
    Why not channel your efforts to something more productive and publish on what you believe and articulate here!
    @ BL
    Congratulations, but let other people polish your medals for you!!!
    You also may reveal your youthishness when you ask what the oldies got up to in the days before student supports and other offices, IT support and infrastructure, emails and other rapid communications, etc, etc.
    Further, it may have been the done thing years ago to be seen to running a department well rather than juggling…
    Times they are a changing!!

  30. The Top Journals column is just a typo from an earlier spreadsheet which will be deleted Richard tells me in the next upload.

  31. @Richard

    I don’t think that the logical conclusion is to drop economics from Galway, especially when they are one of the departments that make up the business school. Surely, the logical implication is that you should include the department of economics in the UCC figures?

  32. @ Ernie Ball

    Well, to continue the flattery – and despite the fact that, according to your website, “Ernie Ball is the nom de guerre of a UCD lecturer in a humanities subject” — you do have a point when you challenge the primacy of quantity over quality in the graves of academe.

    And yes, a few lines of Wittgenstein are worth more than an ocean of garbage from the Burger King Academy of Business Studies.

  33. @ Ernie
    We all deserve it!

    @ Ernie and Carolus
    I would have to disagree with the Wittgenstein comparison example.
    There is a thing called academic discipline and I dont think that he fitted the bill.

  34. @Carolus G
    “If there is one thing that emerges clearly from Richard Tol’s paper, it is that there are far too many business scholars in Ireland. Or rather, the term ’scholar’ — being normally reserved to designate individuals who have made a genuine contribution to knowledge — is a misnomer. Let us say that most of that whopping total of 748 ’scholars’ are teaching staff who have benefited from job-title inflation.”

    I didn’t pick up on the number. Is it high? If the (public sector) IOTs are added, how many business scholars are there? Do these number compare favourably/generously/meanly with EU countries, especially small populations countries?

  35. Brian Lucey,
    How do recovering economists get treatment? Is it a 12 steep process? And how do they personally apologize to everyone they have harmed?

    I’m sorry you don’t have eggs because the opportunity cost theory meant you would have to do without cake?

  36. I would be rather worried if Wittgenstein were teaching in a business school.

    Ernie: When will you wake up to the fact that the olden days are gone? Universities consume a substantial amount of public money, educate a large share of our kids, and provide the research foundation for economic growth. Universities should be held accountable. Sitting in an office thinking deep thoughts is not the job of the average scholar. It was once, when universities were small and the playgrounds of the elite. Those times are over.

  37. @Richard:
    “Majikthise is a philosopher. He makes his appearance along with Vroomfondel as a representative of the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and other Professional Thinking Persons in order to protest a demarcation dispute against Deep Thought, the computer which is being asked to determine the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, and to demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty. He, along with Vroomfondel, maintains that the search for ultimate truth is the inalienable prerogative of your working thinkers.”

    From http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Majikthise

    bjg

  38. @Richard
    I do not see Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev in your database. Is it not the case that he is a lecturer in TCD Business School?

  39. @ BL
    Ernies too busy, too busy working on the novel, the book, where the Hero’s proclamations are ignored, her views castigated, her journey towards vindication and redemption, you know…..

  40. @Richard
    In reading your paper and looking at the data. I think that excluding economics from UCC business school is resulting in UCC business school ranked lower than it could/should be. EcFin as a group does relatively well as a discipline and for this reason increases the relative performance of NUIG and other business schools

  41. @Lucey
    Because Departments of Economics in TCD/UCD are not in the Business School. Surely if you are looking at the performance of Business Schools you consider the Departments/Groups that make up the Business School. What other definition do you use?

  42. @Winston
    Well, UL has an econ dept in the school of business while NUIG has an econ dept in the school of business & economics and UCC has an econ dept in the faculty of commerce.

    Whatever box I draw, it will always be arbitrary.

    Same is true for tourism research, by the way. There is some excellent tourism business research being done outside business schools.

  43. @RT
    indeed. Best to stick, no matter how imprecise and fuzzy with the organizational boundary.
    Great work, again.

  44. @Richard
    I know it is not easy to define a Business School but I do think that it is important that a consistent approach is adopted, especially as this type of paper is likely to grab the attention of the media. For example, although it looks like MIS dominates UCC business school, economics is larger and would, i expect, improve UCC’s rating and put MIS in more of a context. In the reverse, taking economics out of UL and NUIG will result is these respective Business School moving down the pecking order.

    As a suggestion, I would seek a definition from the Dean of each “Business School” as to what discipline defines their School. However, I would imagine that UL/NUIG/UCC all say that economics is a primary discipline in their school. I believe that in the case of QUB (and the same is for a lot of other UK universities) they have included in their RAE “Business and Management Studies” area their academic staff in economics, econometrics, finance and accounting, rather than separating them out into the RAE for “Economics and Econometrics” or “Accounting and Finance” categories. It is the choice of the Dean in their universities.

  45. Winston
    What makes you think that the resulting input will be different from the organizational boundaries? As someone very familiar with UCC (as external thre) and TCD theres no chance that the Dean will say “sure, yeah, hell, those economists and MIS chancers should be in the BSchool but will they go?”. The schools are as they are. In some areas they include Economics (as they should, its an applied discipline….), MIS, OR, and so forth. In TCD none of the above are in the BSchool. But, so what? this is a first, solid, empirical cut at what is going on.

  46. Ireland’s greatest mathematician (probably) was Hamilton who was Andrews’ Professor of Astronomy in TCD. He did very little work (if any) in astronomy and is not remembered in that discipline at all. If you carried out a similar study for his period you would miss out on Hamilton, which is hardly what somebody looking for information wants? In fact there is a whole section of Webb & McDowell’s history of TCD that deals with academics whose lasting contributions are not in the area/discipline they were employed in (and most often remained in). I’m told by some historians that today 2 of the best historians in UCD are not in the history department (e.g. Cormac O’Grada). Would he be excluded by your methodology?

    Surely the survey should count the people in the university/institute contributing to a discipline, aswell as the number of people in the named department?

  47. @Brian
    But that is my point. UCC has Department of Economics in the Business School but in TCD/UCD it is not. Similar to UCC, in NUIG and UL, the Department of Economics is in the Business School.
    For UCC see: http://www.ucc.ie/en/commerce/structure/#PrimaryDepts
    For NUIG see: http://www.nuigalway.ie/commerce/disciplines.html

    If you ask the Dean of TCD/UCD Business School they would not include Economics as a primary department in the school, whereas if you ask the Deans of NUIG/UL/UCC they would say that Economics is a primary department.

    The paper reports that EcFin does relatively well for ranking of Business Schools, so in excluding the Department of Economics from UCC rating they are at a disadvantage relative to NUIG and UL. The data that Richard Tol has collated shows that boundaries do matter.

    Apart from completed research what Richard Tol is attempting to measure is quality of research. It is important that this type of research has scientific merit/quality. I just think that it should have a higher standard of scientific quality/merit than you do.

  48. Does the assessment of Brian Lucey include his publication in the Independent which has the quote below?

    It was cited a lot too…

    http://www.independent.ie/business/keeping-it-alive-will-cost-an-arm-and-a-leg-with-any-upside-hard-to-ascertain-2120306.html

    “Anglo can be wound up cheaply — here’s how. Sell the €28bn deposit
    book.

    This is a regular event in banking, and even if it has to take a discount
    of 25pc that would yield €21bn. Sell the bonds and withdraw deposits in
    other banks. This gives a further €14bn, a total of €35bn, that is
    sufficient to cover the senior bondholders (€13bn) and the interbank
    deposits with NAMA (€16bn), with €6bn left over. ”

    http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=135559

  49. @Brian
    But that is my point. UCC has Department of Economics in the Business School but in TCD/UCD it is not. Similar to UCC, in NUIG and UL, the Department of Economics is in the Business School.

    If you ask the Dean of TCD/UCD Business School they would not include Economics as a primary department in the school, whereas if you ask the Deans of NUIG/UL/UCC they would say that Economics is a primary department.

    The paper reports that EcFin does relatively well for ranking of Business Schools, so in excluding the Department of Economics from UCC rating they are at a disadvantage relative to NUIG and UL. The data that Richard Tol has collated shows that boundaries do matter.

    Apart from completed research what Richard Tol is attempting to measure is quality of research. It is important that this type of research has scientific merit/quality. I just think that it should have a higher standard of scientific quality/merit than you do.

  50. @Peadar Coleman

    Thing about someone like Hamilton is that they manage to think something up that is genuinely extraordinary. You (if you are into the subject) can look at it and honestly say that it is amazing that anyone could actually have worked that out, as an original piece of thought. There are hardly any Hamiltons, it is all very incremental.

    However, on the publishing point…..

    …….”Besides all this, Hamilton was a voluminous correspondent. Often a single letter of Hamilton’s occupied from fifty to a hundred or more closely written pages, all devoted to the minute consideration of every feature of some particular problem; for it was one of the peculiar characteristics of Hamilton’s mind never to be satisfied with a general understanding of a question…..”

  51. @Winston
    Let me assure you that the Dean of the Faculty of UCC would not include economics in the BSchool. Im not sure to be honest , no offense, that you understand (not sure I do tbh either) how universities work. Heres the deal : in some universities (ucc ucd tcd) there are long established (entrenched?) shcools of economics while the BSchools came in the 60’s. In teh last ten years there were a round of restructurings in TCD. Let us say that the economics dept, despite the largest bulk of undergrads being business and econ grads, were less than enthusiastic at joining the BSchool in the new structures. The outcome was that the BSchool is now independent and self governing and econ is a dept in a school of Politics, Philosophy, Sociology and Economics. Now, our door is always open lads but..
    The point of this is that history matters : in TCD again the statisticians run a fantastic degee MSISS, which is to all intents and purposes a quant business degree. There are historical, personality based, and other reasons why that lives there not “ere”. So too for the Kennedy Professor of Health, who lives in Medicine. And so on and so forth. Every university has these porus boundaries. Richard T has made a start. Its to others to run with it an improve/expand it. This was the case in 03 when Barret and myself did the analysis of economists: what to do with health economists etc? We took a discipline/output approach, Richard has taken another and both have merits and demerits. I think, hope, that you are critiquing not criticising his work, and thats great. But lets start somewhere
    @John
    Hi BW2, love the new name. No, it doesnt you plank. Read richards work, with a dictionary for the polysyllabic words. God, you sockpuppets make me ill.
    @Winston post 2
    repeat post?

  52. Oh John, meant to mention. Is Brendan B still advocating garnisheeing deposits on AAM and still banning discussion on house prices? As bad as things get lets not go there…..back you go now.

  53. @ Brian
    Sorry about the repeat post. It arose out of the web links.

    The issue of TCD is clear. But take NUIG, the Economics Department was a stand alone for years (but a full member of the Faculty of Commerce) and then along came (as you say) the decision to “define” schools (to a certain extent arbitrarily) and the department was put in the Business School. As it happened the same was the case in UCC. But, as you say, in the case of TCD and UCD they decided not to. It still means that Economics in UCC (as in the NUIG case) should also be added into the data and that the Departments of Economics should not be added in the case of TCD and UCD. That’s all I am saying.

  54. @Brian Lucey,

    I am not BW2, and I know nothing of Brendan B except what I read in his posts on that link, which I first came across last April/May when looking for your article after my retired father told me about listening, with disbelief, to you on the radio saying to sell the deposit book – he did this by way of both complaining about the country being “full of experts” and to have a jibe at my alma mater because you are a tcd academic. I never heard the interview on the radio but I did read your article, and read reports of people who heard you on the radio.

    You have never explained/acknowledged if this was a mistake/slip (“could happen a bishop”) or not. If not, could you please explain it? Or else just say it was a slip, which would be ok too, we’re all human(except ‘sockpuppets’, maybe)

  55. Simply counting journal publications in business just rewards people for publishing lots of stuff in B journals. One Journal of Finance article is worth 20 articles in something like applied Financial Economics/J Multinational financial Management. In terms of international impact there is no substitute for the top 3-4 US journals. They are the only pubs that count for tenure at any top international schools (LBS, INSEAD, HK-UST, top 100 US & Canadian Unis).

  56. Unlike the Dollar the euro was never backed by gold .When Roosevelt came off the gold sndatard and seized gold assets he still had another crucial backstop ,and that was the US taxpayer (Federal tax system).The euro is not based on any tax system sucking the life out of europes peoples.Its soley backed by the good faith of its constituent governments and upon whom it depends for transfers.Ireland ,this year becomes a significant contributor to EU central funds to the tune of 1.9 Billion(as far as I remember,this figure could be different).I think this transfer will come under the spotlight and demands made to forego payment until we can afford it.I presume Greece are in a similar position as will the UK soon enough.If countires refuse to transfer money there is no mechanism,like a european federal army to force compliance.This is not that far fetched as the US civil war was a battle between States rights versus Federal rights (the slavery issue was just one of many that would have lead to civil war, not the issue itself..this was a battle that was economic and political).But Lincoln had an army ,jean claude trichet or whoever else is nominally in charge does nt.In order for the euro to be sure of survival there would have to enough people throughout europe who feel strongly enough about a federal europe to go out and bat for it.As far as I can see there is no appetite for this approach.When Irish people finally realise the ECB is protecting european banks and investment funds who lent money to Irish banks post EMU and that the Irish government is colluding in this deception there will be no more excuses left to prevent default on NAMA and its bonds.It cannot be categorised as a sovereign default as the contract for these loans was between the Irish banks and their european counterparts.The critical quotation from the FT article is,in my opinion..” Treaty’s Article 73 (d) on free capital flows. That commitment . . . shall be without prejudice to the right of Member States . . . to take measures which are justified on the grounds of public policy or public security. Regards,Sean.

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