I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

John Bradley

Homo Economicus

Modern economics often seems wilfully ignorant of the moral context its founder, Adam Smith, brought to the discipline. Smith fully understood the difference between a scientific theory and an investigation into human and societal behaviour. A science of man would always be different from a science of nature.

Knock, knock

Politicians sometimes consider that facing up to the consequences of their mistakes entitles them to be regarded as brave. But in the case of the Irish crash the warnings were there long before 2008. Hell was at the gates and the banging getting louder, but no one was listening.

Follow the Money

We would like to think that finance is the handmaiden of politics and can be bent to the will of benign policy-makers. But forces inherent in the financial system, national and international, have often historically pre-determined political and economic outcomes.

Speaking for Ireland

For a state embroiled in conflict, the crucial time for reflection on future possibilities is not when peace has arrived but during the final stages of the conflict, when a clear identification of the possibilities about to be opened up is essential in order to drive the practical bargaining.

Capitalism’s Futures

Despite a long period of what has seemed to be constant crisis, predictions of the death of capitalism may still be off the mark. This is not by any means to say that it is in good health. We must address its pathologies, and this is a task that should not be left to economists alone.

A Voice Seldom Heard

There are two ways of responding to perceived injustice: you can complain, or you can get out. If you are loyal to the organisation you will not get out; your choice then is between speaking out and remaining silent. Micheál Mac Gréil chose to stay in and speak out.

Budget Ritual and Reality

The question we will face in the coming years is whether we can trust governments in Ireland to take wise budgetary decisions that are in the wider, long-term interests of citizens rather than in the narrow, short-term interests of politicians, lobby groups and powerful banks

Thinking Deep

An academic discipline based on idealised economic systems which permit the application of a great deal of theoretical sophistication has produced cohorts of graduates with little knowledge of history or the real world. These idiot savants can manipulate mathematical models but have little to contribute to actual business practice or economic management.


A fixation on short term gain led to our economic collapse. Now it's time to focus on the real economy, where the fundamentals are still sound.

Small State, Big World

Late last year, as I was returning from a business trip to Warsaw, the LOT flight was full of young and not so young...