Honohan needs to go further to clear up mortgage confusion

By Business Editor David Murphy Slowly the mist is lifting. The strategy of Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan for cajoling banks to deal with mortgage arrears is becoming clearer.

Up to our neck in it

By Seán Whelan, Economics Correspondent OK, we know it’s bad, but how bad. The Fiscal Council has done us another favour by trawling through all the various state accounts to try and figure out the impact of the financial crisis on the state. Their basic approach has been to look at the state’s balance sheet, and see to what extent assets offset liabilities. We all know the state has a lot of debt – more than €200 billion or more …

Why INFANT research centre is far from premature

By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody In theory journalists and correspondents aren’t supposed to be emotionally attached to or involved in the stories they cover. But in reality, that of course isn’t always possible. For all of our faults, we are of course human, and have lives beyond the screen and radiowaves through which we do our work. And last Friday, for me, was one of those days when the story resonated for personal reasons. Immediately when I …

Ireland and Innovation – a tale of two studies

By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody It’s strange how sometimes two studies, on the same topic, can be published within hours of one another; but with markedly differing conclusions. That was the case last week and the topic was innovation. When it comes to getting the most out of innovation, Ireland is almost top of the class in Europe. That’s according to the European Commission’s proposed new “Indicator of Innovation Output”, which was published late last week. With …

Banks’ behaviour breaks spirit of arrears pact

By Business Editor David Murphy Stuffed with taxpayers’ money, comforted by a stabilising economy and buoyed by signs of life in the property market, the bankers are regaining their swagger. That change in attitude manifests itself in their behaviour towards people in arrears. It is now clear the bankers have broken the spirit of an agreement with the Central Bank. That pact was aimed at securing lasting solutions for people suffering with mortgages they cannot pay and homes they cannot …

Machine to Machine and the Internet of Things

By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody Buried deep in the middle of Comreg’s report for the 2nd quarter of 2013, issued today, there’s a nugget of fascinating information which opens a window to the future. For the first time, the regulator has begun to publish information on SIM cards used for so-called Machine to Machine (M2M) communications. Comreg’s definition of M2M is “data communication between devices or systems in which human intervention is not a part”. Effectively, this …

The Great Recession’s impact on taxation

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan The OECD has published a working paper looking at the effect of the Great Recession on tax policy in member states over the past five years. The short version is: tax revenues fell initially, but have largely recovered in OECD countries.  But the composition of taxes has shifted away from income tax and corporation tax, and towards higher VAT and social security contributions.

A week can be a disruptive time in tech

Microsoft and Nokia are betting on Lumia success By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody It’s been an eventful and arguably a disruptive week in consumer technology. First came the news on Tuesday of Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s phone division for €5.4bn. A tie-up that could lead to a more credible third force in the global smartphone market share war. Whether you like Windows or not, few could argue with the proposition that Microsoft knows how to develop market …