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 …

IMF staff like the Central Bank’s mortgage plans

By Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent Staff at the International Monetary Fund have voiced support for the Central Bank’s plans to cap loan-to-value and loan-to-income levels for new mortgages. It has also commended its flexible approach to the limits. But it says such “macroprudential” tightening will act as a constraint on growth, and so should be introduced gradually and adjusted to the pace of economic recovery.

Central Bank sells €0.5 billion of IBRC bonds – to the NTMA

The Central Bank has sold half a billion euro worth of IBRC bonds – the debt instrument that replaced the promissory notes used to fund the losses of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide building Society. The bonds were bought by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) – the very organisation that issued them to the Central Bank in the first place. Effectively the taxpayer has paid off half a billion of the €25 billion in debt that was left …

Questions & Answers on the Banking Inquiry

By Business Editor David Murphy Why is the Bank Inquiry important? The banking crisis cost a gross €64bn, wrecked Ireland’s reputation and set back the lives of thousands of people who suffered the loss of employment and higher taxes. Four major reports were carried out as to why the collapse happened. Those studies were to be followed up by a statutory inquiry. Now, six years after the bank guarantee, it is finally beginning. What did the reports say? Central Bank …

2014’s highs and lows in Science & Tech

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It’s awards season. That time of the year, when organisations everywhere reflect on the 12 months past, and acknowledge the achievements of their members and others. So not to be out done, the RTÉ News Science & Tech department (numbering one) has decided to hold an awards ceremony all of its own. We think it is only fitting to recognise the contributions, the highs and the lows of the tech and scientific community …