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Exit from comment view mode. Click to hide this space Comments View/Create comment on this paragraph WASHINGTON, DC – Today’s conventional view of the eurozone is that the crisis is over – the intense, often existential concern earlier this year about the common currency’s future has been assuaged, and everything now is back under control.
Let's do a quick exercise. Suppose we take our current account - defined as the sum of the balance of trade (exports minus imports of goods and services), net factor income (such as interest and dividends) and net transfer payments (such as foreign aid and remitted profits). Suppose every year we use the current account balance solely for the purpose of repaying our Government debt. How long will it take us to do so.
Welcome to my website – I hope you find it useful. I am an Irish economist based at Oxford University. My research there is on what makes cities and regions survive and thrive, and on this site, I examine related themes by looking at the Irish economy, the world economy and the property market. My experience is as an economic researcher and analyst across academic, private and public sectors, and I’ve worked on issues relating to public policy, national competitiveness, ICT and economic development, economic growth, foreign direct investment and the history of globalization. I seem to have always been interested in economic affairs. My earliest idea was when I was six or seven: I wanted to become an architect so that I could design six buildings employing 50,000 each, thus solving Ireland’s then unemployment crisis!
It is hugely ironic that President Sarkozy called last week for Ireland’s corporate tax rate to be increased , as some sort of quid pro quo of the EU-IMF loan to Ireland. It is ironic, because it completely misses the point of who’s doing who a favour. Let’s leave aside, for the moment, the fact that the rate is a huge revenue raiser , that such things are a sovereign right and that Ireland is not being picked on for its low rate but for the fact that its rate is clear. (Other countries in the EU have effective rates than go lower than Ireland’s, depending on the FDI deal being dangled.)
Often, poverty, dependency and underdevelopment are the main prisms through which sub-Saharan Africa is seen by the world’s richest citizens, who variously call themselves “the West” (despite the location of Japan, Australia and New Zealand) and “the North” (despite the fact that there are more citizens in developing countries north of the equator than south). Hence, the announcement yesterday that Southern Sudan would secede from Sudan after a referendum on the issue is refreshing, not only because it brings to an end one of the world’s longest running civil wars because also it makes people think – however briefly – of new starts and optimism, when they think of Africa. The switch away from a narrative of dependence also allows us to look at sub-Saharan Africa’s economic prospects.
“I could be a millionaire if I had the money I could own a mansion, no I don’t think I’d like that…” So sang Clifford T Ward in his famous song, “Home Thoughts from Abroad”.