Microsoft’s new Surface Pro – tablet or ultrabook?

By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody Watch the review at: Is it a tablet? Or is it a laptop? It’s a perplexing question that users of Microsoft’s new Surface Pro are likely to ask themselves. And one which Microsoft itself is likely to welcome, given that it could potentially allow it place a foot in both markets. However, there is a danger that a device which looks much like a tablet, but feels and is priced more …

The threat to Ireland’s corporation tax

By Business Editor David Murphy On my desk is a computer with a Google search engine (European HQ, Dublin) and Microsoft software (European HQ, Dublin). Beside my PC is an Apple iPhone (European HQ, Cork). My desk happens to be in Dublin. But it could be anywhere in the world. About 700 US multinationals employ 115,000 people in the Republic. They are part of the tapestry of the Irish economy. But now somebody is pulling at the thread and there …

Chopra’s big idea for Ireland’s banks

By Business Editor David Murphy Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan are getting ready for their lap of honour when Ireland exits the EU/IMF bailout. But there is still one unresolved issue – it is becoming clearer that banks will need more capital.

The business and politics of Climate Change

By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody Amid the hullabaloo surrounding penalty-point-gate this week, another event in Leinster House, with arguably far greater long term consequences for our future, and the future of our children, got overshadowed. On the day the people of Moore, Oklahoma began counting the human and economic cost of a terrifying weather event, the Oireachtas Joint Environment Committee began discussing the heads of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill. This long awaited piece …

Tory-bashing and crisis economics

By Seán Whelan, Economics Correspondent Michael Martin has just made an important speech staking out radically new policy territory for Fianna Fáil on Europe, Britain and Ireland.  In it he says: – The economic crisis is so deep the EU can no longer keep watering down agreements to find the lowest common denominator. – If that means a two speed Europe, the so be it. – Britain’s in/out debate cannot be allowed to paralyse decision making for the next four …

Life in the (broadband) fast lane

By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent   @willgoodbody When you see the long running campaign for better broadband, Ireland Offline, offering a hearty welcome to an announcement from Eircom, it’s a pretty clear indication that something positive has happened. And that was the vocal lobby group’s reaction yesterday to news that the Irish telco was ready to begin offering high speed broadband to up to 300,000 homes and businesses in the first phase of its fibre optic network rollout. For …

What is real?

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan Few in Ireland have really taken GDP to be a serious measure of the Irish economy, because of the very large impact that the activities of foreign owned multinationals have on the numbers.  GNP has always been regarded as a more relevant measure. But now it seems we can’t rely on that either.

Bank crisis rule book entirely rewritten

  by Business Editor David Murphy Critics have argued Europe has been making up the answers to the banking crisis as it went along in an amateurish fashion. The evidence to back up that criticism is getting stronger by the day. The rule book regarding what a country is permitted to do to fix its banks has been entirely rewritten. That raises deep questions about the €62 billion pumped into Irish banks and about future recapitalisations which are on the …

Boucher faces showdown with Central Bank

By Business Editor David Murphy Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher is on collision course with the Central Bank over mortgage arrears. The issue revolves around his bank’s treatment of customers who are being offered split mortgages.

More bank capital?

By Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent Will the Irish banks need more capital? Yes they will, says the governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan. He is sure because the new Basel 3 international banking rules change the classification of what counts as bank capital, and this will need more money – about €6 billion I hear. That may not be a serious issue, for reasons outlined below.