Lies, damned lies, and property prices

Here’s a graph showing the year on year change in Irish property prices, based on the latest Central Statistics Office statistics. You can examine the raw data on the CSO website, in an article headlined Residential Property Prices rise by 3.6% in the year to September. It’s a heartwarming image. Glance at it without too… Continue reading Lies, damned lies, and property prices

Job application

Dear Madam, I wish to apply for the position of Thursday Columnist, which I understand had recently become vacant. I believe I possess many of the requisite characteristics for the job, chiefly the fact that although I hung round a tribunal for five years, I have never lied to a sworn public inquiry. I’ve also… Continue reading Job application

Knowledge based economy

Ireland is dotted with small groups (sports clubs, community groups, fund raising committees, parish councils) all working on a small scale. These groups are voluntary, with limited budgets. There’s a a chairman, a treasurer, a secretary, a PRO, perhaps two or three others. Trouble is, the PROs are often at a loss what to do.… Continue reading Knowledge based economy

Remember this?

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Brian Lenihan said the bank guarantee scheme was “a necessary first step” and “the cheapest bailout in the world so far” compared with bank rescues where “billions and billions of taxpayers’ money are being poured into financial institutions”. “It allows us to move on and examine other questions which may have to be addressed to… Continue reading Remember this?

Confidence in action

Ireland's debt/GDP

How much will we owe in 2012? Ireland’s Debt/GDP reached a record low of 25% in 2006. At the end of 2009, it stood at 66%, as the government went on a borrowing spree to bail out banks while tax revenues plummeted. Our gross debt ratio is projected to rise to 84% by end 2010.… Continue reading Confidence in action

News Cycling

At midday, the government will publish the report of the Commission on Taxation Reform. I’m busy working today, so I won’t have a chance to follow the reaction, but I can make some predictions. RTÉ have announced that their flagship News at One programme will become News at Noon to cover the launch of the… Continue reading News Cycling

Rock Bottom

Anyone seeking for a metaphor for all that is wrong with Ireland at the moment need look no farther than the Dublin docklands. There, you will find the proposed new headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank, a building planned in happier days, before the bank imploded and was nationalised. A government strapped for cash as tax… Continue reading Rock Bottom

Depressing Thoughts

Over a year ago, I wrote about reluctance the use of the dreaded R word when discussing the Irish economy: Recession. That was then, this is now. Recession is yesterday’s news. Today’s news is NAMA, bank bailouts, Liam Carroll, and John O’Donoghue’s expenses. But at least we’re not in a recession any more. It’s not… Continue reading Depressing Thoughts


Thanks to a confidential source, 200 words is in a position to reveal several exclusive fund raising ideas from that An Bord Snip Nua report: Demand a few billion from the EU Commissioners to do an Ahmadinejad on the second Lisbon referendum. After the success of the Ganley Wheelie Bin Gambit during the Ireland Northwest… Continue reading Snip