The Challenges of Public Private Partnerships in Turbulent Times

A Half-Day Seminar with Networking Reception

Wednesday, May 29th 2013, 14h00 – 17h00.

Department of Economics, University of Limerick

The ‘Stimulus Plan’ announced by the Irish Government in July 2012 places Public Private Partnerships at the heart of plans for national economic recovery. The majority of projects earmarked for investment under the €2.25bn plan will be procured under PPP. However, mobilising a renewed wave of PPP procurement in Ireland will be challenging for reasons such as constraints on the availability of private finance and the complexities of procurement under PPP.

The Challenges of PPP in Turbulent Times seminar will bring together academics, public sector procurers and private sector participants to explore the challenges involved in a new wave of PPP procurement in Ireland. The seminar will be jointly hosted by the Privatisation and PPP Research Group at the Department of Economics, University of Limerick and the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy at Cornell University, USA.

Speakers on the day include:

Professor Rick Geddes, Cornell University, USA;

Professor Edgar Morgenroth, Economic and Social Research Institute;

Mr. Brian Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, National Development Finance Agency;

Dr. Eoin Reeves, University of Limerick.

For more information contact, pdf of the programme is here.

By Stephen Kinsella

Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Limerick.

4 replies on “The Challenges of Public Private Partnerships in Turbulent Times”

I hope Stephen won’t mind me promoting our own conference here.

Sensible Money, in conjunction with Feasta, are hosting:

The Money Mess; Consequences and Alternatives

this Friday 31st May in The Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin.

We’ll be explaining how electronic money is created, and deleted, and how this simple process has such huge side effects on the economy and society.

Full details are below;

09:30 Registration

10:00 – 10:40 Understanding the System
Paul Ferguson has an engineering background and runs Sensible Money, an organisation which educates about the modern banking system as a means of resolving the debt crisis.

How money is created, issued into first use and eventually destroyed is not well understood. Even by economists.

10:40 – 11:10 The Personal Debt Burden
Arthur Doohan is an engineer by training, a banker by experience and a ‘techie’ by choice who knows that the answer to ‘too much debt’ cannot be ‘more debt’.

Lending into asset purchases fuels price bubbles and speculation. How can banking regulation address this and provide a failsafe system?

11:10 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 12:00 Tax Reform Inertia
Emer O’Siochru researches and promotes environmental tax reform, in particular ‘Land Value Tax’, ‘Carbon Cap/Tax and Share’ generally charging for use of natural ‘Commons’. She also researches and promotes monetary and financing systems that enable sustainability such as modern monetary theory, secondary currencies and p2p finance and LLPs.

Tax reform has the potential for huge economic and social benefits. What are those benefits and how can obstacles to reform be overcome?

12:00 – 12:30 The Social Upshot
Michelle Murphy is a policy analyst with Social Justice Ireland. She has postgraduate degrees in Social Policy and European Studies. Her areas of interest are poverty and income distribution, education, sustainability, basic income and social justice. Recent publications include “What Would Real Recovery Look Like: Socio-Economic Review 2013” (Social Justice Ireland, 2013), “Does the European Social Model have a Future?” (Social Justice Ireland, 2012) and “Poverty and Income Distribution” Policy Briefing (Social Justice Ireland, 2012).

Orthodox economics relegates much of value in our lives to the status of ‘market externalities’. What are the social, psychological and health effects of unemployment and increased inequality?

12:30 – 13:00 Money and the Environment
Brian Davey is an economist with an interest in how and why systems break down. He believes that a fluid situation exists now that the financial and political parts of the present system have discredited themselves.

Are there direct causal links between the money system and our current environmental crisis? The concepts of uneconomic growth, de-growth and the financialisation of nature.

13:00 – 13:45 Lunch : good nearby alternatives including the Library Bar at the hotel, Fallon & Byrne and The Rustic Stone.

13:45 – 14:25 Reforming the Monopoly, Monetary Diversity & Designer Currencies
Graham Barnes is co-organiser of the Feasta Currency Group with a special interest in Designer Currencies; Bernard Lietaer is co-author of Rethinking Money and The Future of Money and an international expert in the design and implementation of currency systems.

Reforming the monetary monopoly or multiple diverse currencies? Are these approaches complementary or competitive? Money provides a means of exchange, a store of value and a unit of account. But does it have to provide all three? Q&A via skype with Bernard Lietaer.

14:25 – 14:45 The Fair Money System
Cathal Spelman has over 15 years experience in the field of nutrition, health and personal development and is now heavily involved in raising awareness of our debt-based monetary system paying particular attention to the interest drain.

The Fair Money Plan involves a public institution gradually created money without a matching debt to return the economy to business as usual.

14:45 – 15:15 The Plain Money System
Paul Ferguson has an engineering background and runs Sensible Money which educates about the banking system.

Sensible Money’s proposal for switching the euro zone to a modern variation of full reserve banking will be explained in detail. This will include an explanation of the transition towards this new system and will address some common concerns with the proposal.

15:15 – 15:45 Where Next? Open discussion of the issues raised during the day. Don’t go home with questions still on your mind!

16:00 (Latest) Close

For registration please visit

It would be an idea to host the conference in Moyross for some practical insights. Limerick is great for that sort of on the ground stuff.

For those with an interest in this area – worth studying the parameters in the following projects in more detail:örður_Tunnel
Rule number one is to get the future demand projections at least approximately right.
Rule number two is to be aware of what things cost in other countries

Rule number one is to get the future demand projections at least approximately right.


Rule number one is to make up absurdly optimistic demand figures, then get the government to guarantee you that level of revenue when the numbers fail to add up.

Rule number two is “You do not talk about maintainance costs.”

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