Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

December 2010

Global economic growth changes drivers, not gears

This post reviews the latest IMF data on global economic growth to 2015 and puts it in the context of what has happened since 1980. In real terms, the global economy will reach $100 trillion by 2015, more than three times its 1980 level. What might surprise Westerners, however, is that the pace of economic growth will actually be faster in the period 2008-2015 than the 1980s, 1990s or pre-Recession 2000s. This is because while growth is slowing in the West, which now contributes to the list of world’s slowest growing economies like never before, it’s accelerating across Asia and Africa. Read more

Mortgage arrears and the banks: a €100bn problem or a €1bn problem?

This post attempts to put some shape on an answer to the question: Just what exactly is the scale of Ireland’s mortgage arrears “time bomb”? In particular, it takes issue with Morgan Kelly’s article suggesting that for bank balance sheets, mortgage arrears will dwarf NAMA write-downs. It does this by looking at some basic arithmetic. Whatever about the costs of repossessions for society, for the banks, the scale of the problem is much more likely to be closer to €1bn than the €100bn required to dwarf NAMA-related bank losses. Read more

Dude, where’s my six billion? Perspective on Budget 2011

This post examines Budget 2011. It goes behind the predictable public anger about “poor paying for the mistakes of the rich” to see what the Budget actually brought in. About one third of the €6bn in savings comes from important income tax reform, but another third comes from one-off windfalls that cannot be replicated. The final third comes from savings in public expenditure, but this is below expectations, more than likely due to the restrictions of the Croke Park Deal. While I am more optimistic now than before about reaching 2015 targets, it is in the area of current expenditure that the toughest work lies ahead. Read more