‘Hardball’ v ‘Equity Sale’

The Irish Times today features two contrasting strategies for dealing with the debt legacy created by the Irish bank bailout.

An interview RTE’s Sean Whelan did with Willem Buiter is available here.

Beyond the Programme: European Economic Governance and Ireland

The IIEA are hosting a half-day seminar tomorrow entitled ‘Beyond the Programme: European Economic Governance and Ireland’.

Speakers will include:

Michael McGrath, Assistant Secretary, EU and International Division of the Department of Finance

Alan Dukes, Former Minister for Finance

Donal de Buitléir, Director of Publicpolicy.ie

Pat McArdle, Chairman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee at the European Banking Federation

Dr John Bradley, Economic Modelling and Development Strategies and Former Research Professor at the ESRI

Michael Tutty, Former Vice President at the European Investment Bank

Further information and the seminar’s research papers can be found here.

Attendance is open to all. To register contact daniel.ocallaghan at iiea.com with your name and affiliation.

L’offre crée même la demande.

I can’t quite believe that he said it, but he apparently did. Go tell it to the small businesses in my favourite French village who have had to close since 2008.

Arguing against Say at a time like this is like shooting fish in a barrel, so let’s not even bother. The more alarming point is what this tells us about the European left: to all intents and purposes, in many countries there is none. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard puts it well, I think:

Trade unions in the West are strangely silent, pushed to the margins by the atomised structure of modern work. Europe’s political Left is so compromised by ideological defence of monetary union – a Right-wing project, or “bankers’ ramp” as the Old Left used to say – that it cannot muster any articulate policy.

Hollande’s extraordinary statement that supply creates its own demand, at a time when the Eurozone economy is up against the zero lower bound, and unemployment is terrifyingly high in several EMU member states, is just an extreme, self-satirizing, example of the phenomenon. If what Europe needs is for France to make Germany an offer it can’t refuse — allow the ECB to seriously loosen monetary policy, or we may not be able to stick with EMU — then we’re not getting it any time soon.

Now, if you’re on the right I suppose you might welcome the fact that the left is committing hara kiri on the altar of European orthodoxy, but you shouldn’t. For the reality is that orthodoxy is letting the people badly down, as Martin Wolf pointed out today, and the people aren’t stupid. If the left is not going to offer them an alternative, then Eurosceptic parties will. And unfortunately most of those are on the extreme right.

(H/T Mark Thoma.)

Irish Economic Policy Conference 2014: Economic Policy after the Bailout

Organised jointly by the ESRI, Dublin Economic Workshop, UL, and UCD’s Geary Institute, this year’s policy conference (see previous years here and here) will be on the theme of economic policy after the bailout. This conference brings policy makers, politicians, civil servants and academics together to address this question of national importance. The venue will be the Institute of Bankers in the IFSC. (Click here for a map).

Date: 31st January 2013

Venue: Institute of Bankers, IFSC


9:15 – 10:45: Plenary: The Impact of the Crisis on Industrial Relations

Chair: Aedín Doris (NUI Maynooth)

  • Kieran Mulvey (Labour Relations Commission) Prospects for Pay and Industrial Relations in the Irish Economy
  • Shay Cody (IMPACT Trade Union) “The impact of the crisis on industrial relations – a public service focus”
  • Michelle O’Sullivan/Tom Turner (University of Limerick) “The Crisis and Implications for Precarious Employment’”

10.45-11.15: Coffee Break

11:15 – 12:45: 2A. Migration and the Labour Market

Chair: Philip O’Connell (UCD Geary Institute)

  • Piaras MacÉinrí (UCC) ‘Beyond the choice v constraint debate: some key findings from a recent representative survey on emigration’
  • Peter Muhlau (TCD) “Social ties and the labour market integration of Polish migrants in Ireland and Germany”
  • Alan Barrett (ESRI & TCD) and Irene Mosca (TCD) “The impact of an adult child’s emigration on the mental health of an older parent”

2B. Economics: Teaching and Practice

Chair: Ronan Gallagher (Dept of Public Expenditure and Reform)

  • Brian Lucey (TCD): “Finance Education Before and After the Crash”
  • Liam Delaney (Stirling): “Graduate Economics Education”
  • Jeffrey Egan (McGraw-Hill Education) “The commercial interest in Third Level Education”

12:45 – 1:45: Lunch Break

1:45 – 3:15: 3A. Health and Recovery

Chair: Alex White, TD, Minister of State

  • David Madden (UCD) “Health and Wealth on the Roller-Coaster: Ireland 2003-2011”
  • Charles Normand TCD) and Anne Nolan (TCD & ESRI) “The impact of the economic crisis on health and the health system in Ireland”
  • Paul Gorecki (ESRI) ‘Pricing Pharmaceuticals: Has Public Policy Delivered?”

3B. Fiscal Policy

Chair: Stephen Donnelly TD

  • Seamus Coffey (UCC) “The continuing constraints on Irish fiscal policy”
  • Diarmuid Smyth (IFAC) ‘IFAC: Formative years and the future’
  • Rory O’Farrell, (NERI) “Supplying solutions in demanding times: the effects of various fiscal measures”

3:15 – 3:30: Coffee Break

3:30 – 5:00: Plenary: Debt, Default and Banking System Design

Chair: Fiona Muldoon (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • Gregory Connor (NUI Maynooth) “An Economist’s Perspective on the Quality of Irish Bank Assets”
  • Kieran McQuinn and Yvonne McCarthy (Central Bank of Ireland) “Credit conditions in a boom and bust property market”
  • Colm McCarthy “Designing a Banking System for Economic Recovery”
  • Ronan Lyons (TCD) “Household expectations and the housing market: from bust to boom???”

This conference receives no funding, so we have to charge to cover expenses like room hire, tea and coffee. The registration fee is €20, but free for students. Please click here or on the link below to pay the fee, then register by attaching your payment confirmation to an e-mail with your name and affiliation to emma.barron@ucd.ie. [Block bookings can be made by purchasing the required number of registrations and then sending the list of names to emma.barron@ucd.ie]

Please click here to pay the registration fee.

Forthcoming Conference on Obesity at NUIG

From Brendan Kennelly at NUIG

The Obesity Problem:

Insights and analysis from economics, medicine and public health

The Health Economics and Policy Analysis research group at NUI Galway is delighted to announce that it will host a one day conference on obesity on January 17, 2014. Obesity is a complex, interdisciplinary problem that involves genetics, physiology, the environment, psychology, and economics. Economic factors have played a significant role in the development of the obesity crisis and economics offers many insights into various solutions to ameliorate the crisis and to prevent more people from becoming obese. The conference will be of interest to researchers, clinicians and policymakers working in this area.

The keynote speaker at the conference will be Professor John Cawley from Cornell University. Professor Cawley is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading economists on this issue and we are delighted that he has agreed to attend our event. Professor Cawley’s research has covered three major issues: the economic causes of obesity; the economic consequences of obesity; and the economic analysis of interventions to reduce obesity. Professor Cawley will give an overview of his research in this area and will also participate in a roundtable discussion that will focus on policy options to reduce obesity.

The other speakers and the topics they will address will include the following:

· An overview of the extent of the obesity problem in Ireland (Professor Tim O’Brien, NUI Galway)

· Cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery (Dr. Francis Finucane, University Hospital Galway)

· Socioeconomic inequalities in childhood obesity in Ireland (Brendan Walsh, NUI Galway)

· Exploring individual preferences for obesity treatment and willingness to pay for treatments (Michelle Queally, NUI Galway)

· Economic cost of obesity in Ireland (Dr. Anne Dee, Mid-West HSE)

· The distributional effects of a ‘fat tax’ in Ireland (Professor David Madden, University College Dublin)

Format of the conference:

9.00: Welcome

9.15 – 9.45: Overview of the obesity problem in Ireland (Tim O’Brien)

9.45 – 10.45: Economic Analysis of Obesity (John Cawley)

11.15 – 12.45: Series of presentations on ongoing work on obesity in Ireland (Michelle Queally; Brendan Walsh; Francis Finucane; John Cullinan)

2.00 – 2.20: Economic cost of obesity in Ireland (Anne Dee)

2.20 – 2.50: Distributional effects of a fat tax in Ireland (David Madden)

3.00 – 4.00: Roundtable discussion on interventions to reduce obesity

The conference will be held in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. For more details please contact Brendan Kennelly at brendan.kennelly@nuigalway.ie or 091 493094

Registration is free but is required for catering and logistical purposes. To register, please go to http://www.conference.ie/.



Speaker: Dr. Michael Brennan, Emeritus Professor at UCLA & FMC2 Scientific Advisory Board Member.

Title: Malfeasance in Financial Markets

Date: Monday, January 13th 2014 at 6:00 PM (All are welcome to attend)

Location: Institute of Bankers

Directions to IOB may be found here: http://www.iob.ie/?q=Contact


In this presentation Professor Brennan will survey recent cases of malfeasance in financial markets, suggest reasons for the apparent increase in instances of malfeasance in recent years and discuss the role of economic theory in creating a climate in which unethical behavior is expected.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Brennan is the former Irwin and Goldyne Hearsh Professor of Banking and Finance at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Professor of Finance at the London Business School. He is currently Emeritus Professor at UCLA and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester. He was educated at Oxford, Pittsburgh and MIT.  Dr. Brennan’s research interests include asset pricing, corporate finance and market microstructure.

A former President of the American Finance Association, the Society for Financial Studies, and the Western Finance Association, Dr. Brennan has also served as Editor of the Journal of Finance and was the Founding Editor of the Review of Financial Studies. He has also served as a director of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

About FMC2:

The Financial Mathematics Computation Cluster (FMC2) is a collaboration between Industry, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, and NUI Maynooth. FMC2 is a Science Foundation Ireland funded Strategic Research Cluster (SRC). The cluster brings together complementary expertise in financial mathematics, financial economics and computer science to create a multi-disciplinary research programme in asset and risk management, areas that are of critical importance to the present and future development of the international financial services sector in Ireland. For further details see http://www.fmc-cluster.org/

Three Year Postdoctoral Position Economics of Higher Education

Below from Brian Lucey:

Along with colleagues in the TCD library and the Long Room Hub, I have been awarded a Irish Research Council grant. Part of the funding is for a postdoc for three years. The project is  called TIONCHAR : The Impact On National Capacity of Higher Education And Research

Salary will be in the region of €40k per annum. This post is available for an immediate start. The postdoc will work with an interdisciplinary team on a series of projects around an economic impact analysis of the efficiency and impact of the higher education system in Ireland.  Candidates should hold a PhD, ideally in economics or policy analysis. They must have some experience of I-O modelling and of multiplier estimation. An understanding of modern higher education systems, bibliometrics and economic growth models is also highly desirable. Applications will be accepted until 31 Jan 2014. Applications should include a covering letter explaining why you feel you fit the post particulars, a CV and details of two referees. Please email applications or queries on the project to either Brianmlucey@gmail.com or Charles.Larkin@gmail.com

Some further particulars are available for download here : TIONCHAR Briefing