INBS’s €6bn developer loans, why Silicon Docks is killing Dublin, and how AI could be fatal

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Karlin Lillington: “We need to talk about the kind of city we want before more tech firms arrive”

Karlin Lillington: “We need to talk about the kind of city we want before more tech firms arrive”


Former Irish Nationwide Building Society managing director, Michael Fingleton, approved over €6 billion worth of property loans on which the lender suspended repayments because it agreed to share developers’ profits, it emerged on Wednesday. Barry O’Halloran reports on the latest revelations from the Central Bank inquiry into the bank’s collapse.

A similar €6 billion sum is estimated to be the cost to the exchequer of a disorderly Brexit, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has warned. He did not rule out additional “temporary” Brexit measures to support the sectors and regions most affected albeit without specifying what form these would take.

Irish long-term interest rates have hit a record low as the global bond market enjoyed a powerful rally on Wednesday. Investors are betting that Christine Lagarde’s nomination to be the next president of the European Central Bank will extend an era of ultra-loose monetary policy in the euro zone.

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment said on Wednesday that it knew of “no material reason” for a surge in its shares prompted by speculation of a bid for the Irish bookmaking giant.

Bank of Ireland has created a new unit aimed at helping vulnerable customers in difficult circumstances. The move comes as the incidence of financial abuse of the elderly continues to rise across Ireland. Fiona Reddan has the details.

Silicon Docks is killing Dublin, argues Karlin Lillington in her column this week. “We need a conversation about retaining sustainable city communities

We need to talk about the kind of city we want before more tech firms arrive.”

In our tech and innovation coverage, Ciara O’Brien finds out about Ebay’s grand plans for Irish small businesses, author Tom Chivers explains why artificial intelligence poses a real threat to life by going rogue, and serial entrepreneur Brad Keywell argues that taking a start-up to IPO doesn’t always lead to the best result.

On this week’s Inside Business podcast, Eoin Burke-Kennedy and Davy chief economist Conall Mac Coille discuss what’s behind the latest housing market moves. Also on the show, guests discuss Christine Lagarde’s proposed move to head up the ECB, further expansion plans at Irish hospitality group Press Up, and a glimpse inside the Larry Goodman empire.

Finally, the clock is ticking for entries to this year’s Irish Times Innovation Awards. The deadline is this Friday at 5pm so it’s time to let the world know about those bright ideas.