Lynn’s Brazilian jail time; inflation hits 7%; and the post-Covid workplace

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

How can we make the post-pandemic workplace meet everybody’s needs? Photograph: iStock

How can we make the post-pandemic workplace meet everybody’s needs? Photograph: iStock

 

Former solicitor Michael Lynn has told his multimillion euro theft trial that while in jail awaiting extradition from Brazil he saw a gay prisoner beheaded by other inmates. Peter Murtagh reports on the trial, which also heard Mr Lynn describe how he entertained bankers when he was trying to build the non-Irish side of his business.

Irish households have been warned to brace themselves for the sharpest cost of living squeeze since the early 1980s after another significant jump in the official inflation rate. The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the annual rate of price growth in the Irish economy rose to 7 per cent in April thanks – in the main – to higher energy, fuel and grocery prices. Eoin Burke-Kennedy has the details.

Joe Brennan takes an in-depth look at what has been happening of late in the markets, where rising interest rates and inflation have hit sentiment hard. Amid a wall of negativity, some $22 trillion (€21 trillion) has been wiped off the value of listed companies globally since equity markets peaked last November, and the pace is quickening, he writes.

In his weekly economics column, John FitzGerald considers the growing threats to Europe’s gas supply resulting from Russia’s manoeuvres in Ukraine. There are no easy answers to the problem, but it may be in the State’s interests to rent and fill gas storage capacity in Germany, he suggests. This would have the effect of hedging against gas prices moving even higher next winter.

Audience analysis technology start-up Glimpse has raised ¤1.5 million in funding and has rebranded as VisionR as it targets further growth outside Ireland. The company has also secured a partnership with Spar International that will see its technology rolled out across the company’s 13,500 stores in 48 countries. Ciara O’Brien has the story.

With the post-pandemic workplace still finding its form, Olive Keogh discusses how staff can find it difficult to reconnect with colleagues whose priorities have changed. Some employees struggle with the idea of the office because they see it as losing autonomy, while others want to get their energy from proximity to colleagues, she writes – how can the two combine?

The Government’s €250 million decision to extend the tourism sector’s special 9 per cent VAT rate to next spring was skilfully handled this week by Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Finance, writes Mark Paul in his Caveat column. Mark argues that it is in nobody’s interests to drag out the issue of the long-term restoration of the 13.5 per cent rate because the tourism sector needs investment and investors need certainty,

This week’s Wild Goose is New York resident and Waterford native Rebecca Skedd, who tells Barbara McCarthy about helping to establish Solace House, an organisation that provides a non-clinical approach to suicidal distress. The initiative came about after Skedd recognised a gap in vital mental healthcare for members of the Irish diaspora and beyond.

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