ECONTALKS–UCC School of Economics Public Talks series 2015-16

Second event: International and regional competitiveness of the Irish economy

  • Date and Venue: Wed 11th Nov 2015 7.00-8.30pm
  • Venue: West Wing 5 (Main quad)
  • Speakers: Eleanor Doyle and Justin Doran

The School of Economics, UCC is launching a series of public talks in 2015-16. The talks are aimed at the general public. They are non-technical (and non-political), informative, at times provocative and even entertaining. The talks showcase the range of research and expertise in the School of Economics, UCC, and engage the public on issues that are both topical and of widespread interest. In our first year, we highlight issues around the economics of sustainability; from the sustainability of Irish public finances and the economic recovery, to public policy issues in the areas of health insurance, sport, science and innovation, education and climate change.

The talks are free and open to all.  More details here.

Suggested hashtag for these events: #ECONTALKSUCC

A recording of the first event held just before Budget 2016 with contributions from Seamus Coffey and Eoin O’Leary is available here.

18 replies on “ECONTALKS–UCC School of Economics Public Talks series 2015-16”

There are a lot of topics worth discussing but have not had a proper airing on this site. They include
The 2016 Budget and the role of IFAC
The pressure on NAMA to wind up early and the attempt to turn it into a house builder
The Banking Inquiry, including the previously unheard views of the Central Bank, notably from those below the top level.
The decision to convert part of AIB’s Preference shares into equity and the strange price of AIB shares
The surge in Irish GDP
The extraordinary overshoot in Irish tax receipts, particularly from Corporation tax.
The IBRC Inquiry
The EU response to a widespread ignoring of SGP ‘rules’
The probable end of zero rates in the US
The ECB’s options on further QE and/or a further reduction in interest rates
The possibility of rent controls and their impact.
The ESRI’s research on Brexit.


You should also add in the banks Mortgage Debt crisis.

I listened to Alan Dukes last might indicate that in his view Mortgage Debts is the one area of the banking disaster which still remains entirely unresolved – hence Noonan’s severe dislike to any sort of rental control as it simply has to dampen the growth rate in both rents and house prices.

A slowing or no growth house price market is the polar opposite of what the banks and their owners aka The Govt want to hear as this will eventually lead to real decisions to be taken regarding write offs to Mortgage debt.


Agreed. A question for you …

Which is more powerful, in your opinion: the financial system or the political system?


I hear that Apple is now a Cork Company; great day for the self-sustaining independent Republic of Cork: the Irish Barcelona!

@Irish Citizenry

Your supine generosity is ABCD. The Vulture Funds send their warmest regards!


“A slowing or no growth house price market is the polar opposite of what the banks and their owners aka The Govt want to hear as this will eventually lead to real decisions to be taken regarding write offs to Mortgage debt.”

…and the price of both residentially zoned farmland and ‘ordinary’ agricultural land adjacent it…

With super-low interest rates, and CAP payments, there is little urgency to do other than hold out for would-be builders to pay-up to buy it. The ‘land price’ element of squeezed ‘starter home’ prices might be regarded as an extravagance whereas the ‘plasterboard price’ element is more of a necessity.

Nama has now offloaded a lot of stuff and the Irish Banking is no longer regarded as a joke amongst investors.


Krugman may be wrong but that does not necessarily mean that Irish government policy is correct, especially when it attempts to shed the “shackles” of the policy insisted upon by its main creditors.

We may well be on the way to simply repeating the errors of FF. From your link!

“From 1997 to 2008, investment in Ireland’s health service soared by five times. Public-sector employment jumped, even as pay doubled. The eventual collapse of this deadly mix of the property boom and unrestrained government spending sent Ireland’s boom into a bust almost overnight.”

James Mackintosh of the FT; always worth a look!

More ammunition from Ajai Chopra!

It is nice to know that a former expert from the IMF can state so categorically that so much is beyond the remit of the ECB or that it has failed to act as it should have. As with other former IMF staffers, he continues to mistakenly compare the actions of the ECB to those of a central bank of a sovereign state when, as the treaties clearly state, it is the central bank of the European System of Central Banks of an entity, the EU, which is not a sovereign state.

It may not work very well. If it is acting outside its remit, the aggrieved parties can refer the matter to the ECJ (as the UK has successfully done).

The unhappy marriage between the Euro Area and the IMF is set to continue. The IMF, could, of course, set the example so lacking from the ECB by cutting the rates it charges for its loans!

The other papers submitted to the EP committee (from Daniel Gros and Karl Whelan).

Ajai Chopra is not alone!

The papers might make some sense if there was an indication of a change of direction by the countries of the Euro Area in the matter of treaty change relating to the ECB (a matter for which they alone would not even have total responsibility as treaty changes involve all countries of the EU, the UK included). There is none that can be discerned at this point in time.

This link provides (i) an expert analysis of the legal situation from a German point of view (opposed to that held by those who took a case before the German constitutional court maintaining that the ECB had exceeded its remit in the matter of OMT) and (ii) embedded links to the two seminal judgments by the ECJ, Pringle and OMT.

The FCC, which has been disputing the powers of the ECJ since a first judgment in the matter in relation to the Maastricht Treaty, now has had the legal ball batted expertly back to it. It can adjudicate in matters relating to the German constitution but not in relation to the EU’s “constitution” as signed up to by all countries of the EU, Germany included.

The moral would appear to be that all the parties involved should stick to their lasts.

Arguments about the technicalities of the ECB are pretty small beer in comparison with the events in Paris tonight. These are likely to have far more dramatic political repercussions than anything to do with how the Eurozone works. Almost certainly there will be a shift to the right in much of Europe. The cultural marxists who have ruled much of Western Europe for decades are completely discredited. Cultural marxism as a mass movement in Europe began in Paris in 1968 and it looks like its meeting its demise in Paris in 2015. Although they are not without fault, in the eyes of many continental Europeans the more conservative political leadership in Eastern European countries like Hungary and Poland are being vindicated. Merkel’s plan to import a million immigrants annually from Syria now looks utterly crazy, as do those Dublin 4 liberals who whined that Ireland wasn’t taking in the same number pro rata as Germany. I can’t see Ms Merkel being around for much longer. Ireland is lucky to have one of the smallest populations from North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent in Western Europe. It should be Irish government policy to keep it like that, even if the need to grovel to the liberal and media elites prevents them from saying so publicly.

Colm McCarthy takes up the charge.

Incidentally, Karl Whelan mentions in his paper the negative view of the Advocate General in the matter of the participation of the ECB in the Troika. The court did not follow his view.

There is a real problem of democratic control of central banks, as a recent extensive article in the FT confirms. There was also quite a barney about it in the EP committee when meeting with Dijsselbloem and Regling. However, as the German lawyer quoted in the link I provided above, this is a matter that has to be decided in a political, not in a legal, and especially not a barrack room, context, a point which CMcC seems to concede in his closing sentence.

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