Happy Data Protection Day. Or is it?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody Happy Data Protection Day! Yes, today is the 8th Council of Europe Data Protection Day. The anniversary of the opening for signature of the Council of Europe’s 1981 Data Protection Convention, which Ireland signed in 1986. A day for celebration, for sure. Or is it? Well on some levels, perhaps yes. We are fortunate to have a data protection framework at national and European level to enshrine our privacy rights in law. …

IMF says structural reforms are key for growth

by Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent The IMF has just published a new book by a number of its staffers called “Jobs and Growth : supporting the European Recovery”. Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, identifies three priorities – a better way of running the Euro Area economy, product and labour market reforms (as usual), and debt reduction – starting in the household and corporate sectors and, later on, reducing the states debt level as well. That sequencing is important.  And …

Replicating the success of Stripe, here

By Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody Last year was a pretty strong one for investment in Irish technology start-ups. Currency Fair ($2.5m), Trustev($3m), RAPT Touch (€4m), FeedHenry (€7m), Logentries (€7.3m) were among a whole host of growing Irish tech firms to secure seed and venture capital to help fuel them to the next stage. It was all indicative of a growing belief from abroad in small Irish firms with big disruptive ideas.  A recognition that this country’s is …

They haven’t gone away you know – the OECD’s tax plans

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan Pay attention tax-dodgers!  The OECD people have been working hard on the issue of double non-taxation, and will be producing a slew of reports over the next couple of months. They, in turn, will feed into the G20 summit in September, when the OECD expects decisions will be taken on changes to the international tax regime that will – among other things – target ‘Double Irish’-type tax plans.

Fallout from high risk mortgage lending continues

By David Murphy, Business Editor It is remarkable how much damage sub-prime lenders did in their short burst of lending during the boom. These lenders typically offered loans to people who had difficulty getting mortgages with traditional banks or building societies. The consumers were turned down elsewhere because they had poor credit histories or didn’t have three years of accounts showing their incomes. Sometimes they were borrowers who wanted to consolidated a number of loans into one mortgages.

Games take bronze in battle for sport industry’s value

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan According to a new study on the economic impact of sport, it seems that the least economically important part of the sports industry is, er….sport. The European Commission is now trying to promote sport as “a real industry” that can be a significant driver of growth. So can we really run, kick and jump our way out of recession?

Compilation method changes to boost Irish GDP

By Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent @seanwhelanRTE Planned changes to the way EU countries compile their national accounts statistics could add between 1% and 2% to the level of Ireland’s GDP. The European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA2010) will come into effect later in the year, and will make a number of changes to the way countries measure economic output.

Google’s new $3.2bn Nest egg

  By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent @willgoodbody How can a company with just 300 employees, a handful of products and a very short history be worth $3.2 billion? That’s the question many tech analysts and entrepreneurs around the world will be asking themselves, on foot of the news that Google is to buy smart thermostat start-up Nest Labs. The second largest disclosed purchase in its history. The answer, if there is one, is probably the “Internet of Things”. …

The Good, the Bad and the PTSB

By Business Editor David Murphy Imagine meeting your bank manager to discuss your financial situation. You have a performing owner-occupier mortgage and a buy-to-let loan which is in arrears. Despite your financial problems you are upbeat about your situation. You tell the manager that you have never missed a repayment on the loan on your home. The bank manager stops your confident patter, interjecting to ask about your buy-to-let mortgage which is in irreversible trouble. You sit back, look him …

Peripheral bonds back in vogue after Irish sale

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan The NTMA sells €3.75 billion worth of ten year bonds, and suddenly they are all at it! Spain is to offer €242 billion worth of bonds to the market this year – Italy will seek to borrow €470 billion.  Both countries’ ten year bonds carry higher yields than Irish debt. Of the bailout states, Portugal announced this week that it would “tap” an existing bond to raise €5 billion. It’s the kind of ‘first step …