According to Revenue, there will be 129,919 people earning over €100,000 this year.  Photograph: Joe St Leger

Populist politicians get away with murder when talking about their spending and tax promises; as soon as we get into details most people have tuned ou(...)

The smart money is clearly on a negotiated settlement, but only after a good bit of sabre-rattling. Photograph: Getty Images

It is said that the reason universities are such snake pits of political intrigue is that the stakes involved in most academic arguments are trivial. (...)

US president Barack Obama thinks Americans should start to pay death duties. Republicans in control of Congress are apoplectic. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Barack Obama will publish his latest budget proposals this week and will follow up his combative state of the union address with more proposals design(...)

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. ‘Draghi may be like Napoleon’s favourite general: lucky.’ Photograph: Michael Probst/AP Photo

Quantitative easing has quickly become one of those strange phenomena about which everyone professes expertise but, in reality, nobody understands.(...)

Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper: few of his incremental reforms can be described as radical but taken together, over several years, they have amounted to an astonishingly successful centre-right revolution. Photograph: Ben Nelms/Reuters

According to the website of our new, as yet unnamed, political party, its first founding principle is “the building of an economy that supports entrep(...)

Someone has to pay for pensions. For the public sector and the State pension that someone is the taxpayer

A recent report in this newspaper about possible cuts to the State pension raised the hackles of the usual suspects. The drearily familiar response is(...)

 Tokyo, Japan: the country’s recent success can be partly ascribed to the dramatic policy shifts implemented over the past few years

Comparisons are regularly drawn between Japan and Europe, with the accompanying warning that, like Japan, the euro area risks a lost decade. The fact (...)

There was a mere 10 months between the gamble of the exit and the first post-austerity budget. Photogarph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

One year to the day since the bailout exit it is, perhaps, difficult to understand why the decision to make a clean break was so controversial. As wit(...)

The fall in oil prices could represent the equivalent of a trillion-dollar tax cut for the global economy. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

As recently as August, barely four months ago, it was possible to describe Ireland’s economic recovery as “tentative”. Two pieces by this columnist – (...)

An oilfield in Iraq. The oil market is analysed more than any other, and for good reason – it really is that important.  Photograph: Reuters

An oil price fall of 40 per cent constitutes an economic shock of major proportions. It will, if sustained, have profound implications for just about (...)