Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

March 2010

EU scuppers “long-term economic value” as NAMA’s first tranche goes through

This post looks at the figures behind the first tranche of NAMA’s loans and whether they suggest that NAMA is driving a hard bargain for the taxpayer. It finds that the EU’s guidelines on discounting mean long-term economic value is ultimately lower than current value not higher. It also outlines how the first tranche of loans may be entirely unrepresentative of future tranches. Read more

It’s not raining men – Ireland at risk of becoming the opposite of China

This post reviews the latest report from the CSO on unemployment. On the up side, most sectors in Ireland have not shed a lot of jobs – losses have been concentrated in four sectors in particular. On the down side, the extreme gender disparity in unemployment – with women significantly less likely to be unemployed at all ages than men – can only be bad for Ireland in the medium term, with household formation, and the long term, with our pensions crisis. Read more

With commodity prices rising, inflationary pressures start to mount in the eurozone

Inflation in the eurozone has jumped up in recent months from -0.5% to +1.0%. This post examines the likely pressures on eurozone inflation in 2010, by looking at the prices of commodities. Using World Bank data on commodity prices, it finds rapid inflation in commodities since late 2009. With the current over-reliance of macroeconomic policy on interest rates, this poses a threat to eurozone growth. Read more

A nation (of renters) once again? Revisiting rent or buy

This post takes five sample properties in Dublin and explores the rent-or-buy question. It first explains why potential first-time buyers should care about rents and shows how current yields in residential property compare with mortgage costs and yields at the height of the boom. It then examines the 25-year costs of renting or buying, before discussing some of the wider economic benefits of a nation of renters. Read more

War as an economic leveller – evidence from 1910-1950

Last week, this blog won its second award, “Best in Blogging” at the 2010 Digital Media Awards. It’s an apposite time, therefore, to do a little bit of stock-taking. This post thanks those who’ve made the blog what is – especially the readership! – before launching version 2.0, which features research. The first research item presented is the Impact of World War On Labour Market Inequality: Insights from the Building Industry. Read more