The cost of a Greek default

If Greece defaults, we – Ireland – stand to lose €1.7 billion, according to Standard and Poor’s. And most of that loss falls on the Central Bank, the most profitable bank in the country, not the Government, which is only liable for €347m in bilateral loans. Of course the Government’s own sums rely on the Central Bank paying back up the usual billion in dividend, rather than writing it off on a Greek default. That, and the bilateral loan loss, …

Oh my – the problems with public wifi

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent I don’t like to rant – well actually I do. But there are few things that get me more exercised than free public wifi. You know the story. You arrive in a cafe, airport, hotel, conference centre. The sign on the wall says there is free wifi available and because you are looking to increase your speed online and decrease your mobile data usage, you decide to use it. You are given, or …

Honohan on the ‘what if’ of the bank guarantee

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has published a letter to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry, following up a couple of points arising from his appearance there on 15 January. After that event, he was asked if his views on what should have been done with Anglo Irish Bank in September 2008 have changed since he completed his report on the banking crisis in 2010. The Governor says in his letter there hasn’t been much “evolution in …

IXV proves sky’s the limit for space research here

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It’s not everyday that a new spacecraft is born. But this Wednesday is one of them. Around 1pm Irish time (weather and technicalities permitting) the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle or IXV, will blast off on a Vega rocket from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. Its near two hour mission is straightforward. In basic terms, IXV is the prototype for the first spacecraft to be built in Europe that can not only travel into space, …

An assessment of Willie Walsh’s Aer Lingus bid

By Business Editor David Murphy For somebody who is so well versed in public relations and politics – Willie Walsh has been surprisingly inept in his handling of his bid for Aer Lingus. Mr Walsh’s appeasement statement this week attempted to stem the rising tide of defiance to a takeover. In fairness, he made three significant concessions: the Heathrow slots can’t be sold, the slots will be used for flights to Ireland for five years, and the Aer Lingus name …

Selling Aer Lingus to Willie Walsh is not just about money

By Business Editor David Murphy Comment via Twitter Slowly the tide is coming in – Aer Lingus seems destined to be taken over by British Airways’ parent group International Airlines Group (IAG). It has made two offers for the Irish airline and a third seems imminent. But what would a takeover mean for travellers to and from Ireland? And will it be a beneficial development?

Will the Windows 10 effect be enough to revitalise Microsoft?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Such was its excitement about unveiling Windows 10, it took Microsoft more than two whole hours to tell us all about it on Wednesday night. That’s a very long time to show off what essentially is one, unfinished product. But then, Microsoft has a lot riding on its new operating system. When most people think Microsoft, they think Windows. It’s been a fundamental part of the company’s family of products and services for …

Is an increase in science funding on the way?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent In the media game, the end of one year and the start of another is often characterised by organisations holding briefings where they look back at their achievements during the twelve months past or look ahead to their targets for the coming year. Often they are not very interesting gatherings – characterised by the organisation slapping its own back and listing a series of woolly aspirations for the year ahead which nobody is …

Brian Cowen has even more banking questions to answer

By David Murphy, Business Editor Comment via twitter to @davidmurphyRTE Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan’s lively and candid testimony to the Banking Inquiry has increased the pressure on Brian Cowen to give a full account of the night of the bank guarantee. Mr Honohan said former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan had told him that he (Lenihan) argued for Anglo and Irish Nationwide to be nationalised on September 29, 2008. The then minister also said he expressed the opinion that junior …

Astute consumers benefit from lower oil prices

By David Murphy, Business Editor This week the price of oil dipped below $50 a barrel. Many observers don’t believe the commodity will remain at this level for a long period. It has been a dramatic collapse – prices peaked at $115 a barrel last June. It is worth considering how much of these lower prices are being passed on to consumers. Taxes paid at the pumps by Irish motorists increased five times since the economic collapse. But the cost …