Pro-European Union demonstrators protesting  outside the Houses of Parliament in central London. Photograph:  Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Mood music suggests a deal is more likely but business still coping with uncertainty and disruption

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe arriving at the Department of the Taoiseach prior to announcing Budget 2019. A slightly simplistic view of the budget is that it is the result of a shouting match between vested interests. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chris Johns: Nakedly political process pays no heed to long-term needs of the economy

The New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan. US equities are flirting with all-time highs but this is far from the case elsewhere in the world. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Many financial commentators believe conditions for another crisis are taking shape

What should the Government do, particularly in the context of the budget? Photograph: Alan Betson

Chris Johns: The banking crisis reminds us how ‘events’ disrupt even the best-laid plans

Lehman Brothers collapsed weeks before the Irish government issued its blanket bank guarantee.

Chris Johns: Banks have successfully resisted global regulatory efforts to make them safe

UK prime minister Theresa May has been negotiating a Brexit deal while a sizeable minority in her party do not want any kind of deal at all.

Chris Johns: Britain’s ever-changing stance erodes faith in its reliability as a partner

“A Brexit that pleases nobody in Westminster now seems likely – just about – to be passed.” Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Attention to detail of life after split from EU is noticeable only by its absence

Most of us can’t handle the data. Much of what we think we know is, in fact, wrong. Many of the things we take for granted have little basis in fact, or history

Chris Johns: Data scientists are going to put most of us out of work

Official data and, particularly, anecdotal evidence suggests that Dublin prices, at least, have stopped rising. Photograph: Alan Betson

Overvalued house prices are pernicious but try getting vested interests to admit that

Versailles, 1919: the failure of the first World War’s winners to foresee the consequences of the treaty they forced Germany to sign led to Hitler’s rise. Photograph of William Orpen’s painting courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Chris Johns: Nobody will win if the UK is allowed to crash out of the European Union

Three new courses should be compulsory for all students. They should be taught philosophy, curiosity and how much is enough. Photograph: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Johns: Some of the most miserable people I know have lots of money

A bureau de change near Victoria Station in London. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Sterling volatility seems inevitable even if the City is betting that some deal will be agreed

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has much less room for manoeuvre in the budget than predecessors had. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Spend more on education and infrastructure, leave tax rates alone and sort out healthcare

British prime minister Theresa May presents the prize for best sheep during a visit to the Royal Welsh Show last week.   Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Chris Johns: It seems contemporary Tories act like ‘Brideshead Revisited’ characters

Anti-Brexit campaigners protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London last Wednesday. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Businesses are activating no-deal contingency plans and fruit is rotting for want of foreign pickers

US president Donald Trump. “Trump’s trade war – and his other antics – run many more risks than a mere dent to global economic growth.” Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Chris Johns: US president’s mistaken analysis of China’s trade surplus risks carnage

Reduced access to EU markets for service businesses is the quid pro quo to be offered to the EU for an ending of free movement of people.

Chris Johns: Will the fragile truce in the Conservative party last?

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Last-minute deal the only option likely to survive UK faction fighting

Far-sighted craft brewer: Logan Plant

Businesses are like governments: cutting investment for instant cashflow savings

Anti-Brexit demonstrators gather outside the Houses of Parliament in London last week. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Shift in Brexit deadline or further fudge awaits as hard Brexiteers run clock down

Prominent Brexiteers are giving up the claim that leaving the EU will produce immediate economic benefits for the UK.

Choice facing UK is whether to shoot themselves in foot or in head

“Progress in robotic engineering and artificial intelligence is moving up the value chain and is, we think, a threat to just about any job”

We should encourage more students to be different to robots, not to be like them

Alan Greenspan, the one-time US Federal Reserve chairman. He once said that bubbles are near impossible to see in real time, and are best dealt with once they have burst. Photograph: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

OECD’s warning about the Irish economy should not be seen as a big deal

Conservative MP and leading supporter of Brexit Jacob Rees-Mogg. “Rees-Mogg’s nonsense can travel halfway around the world before the fact-checkers have got their boots on”. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters

Ideology rather than practical politics still dominates UK Brexit discourse

Long before suggested Brexit Border solutions, the UK Brexit secretary David Davis once stated “Most ministers are very illiterate about any serious technology . . . so what we get is a form of magic . . .”

Who in Europe can trust UK when half its cabinet clearly doesn’t trust other half?

Afghan farmers harvest opium sap in Helmand province. The UN estimates that up to 85 per cent of Afghanistan’s poppy cultivation is under Taliban control. Photograph: Noor Mohammad/AFP/Getty Images

Drug revenue would be put to better use in hands of government rather than gangs

The equations of Brexit could be solved with the addition of some dark matter. One possibility involves Brussels reneging on its Irish Border commitments. That’s something the Brexiteers are hoping will soon pop into existence

Chris Johns: Maybe the Brexit equations could be solved with the addition of some dark matter?

Planners who want Ireland’s smaller cities and towns to develop further would be well advised to stop putting the cart before the horse and think of ways to allow Dublin to grow at a faster rate. Photograph: iStock

EU economic growth has suddenly halted and Ireland needs to prepare for recession

The Brexit clock is ticking and negotiation deadlines are looming. Delay and obfuscation are the clear objectives of the British negotiators

The UK continues to believe EU will back down and accept a magical solution offered by yet-to-be invented tech

Trump and Xi: for all of the president’s Twitter criticisms of foreign competition, American GDP per head is still more than seven times China’s.  Photograph: Thomas Peter/Pool/Getty

Chris Johns: Trump may rail, but intellectual property theft litters history

Stock market success: investors have benefited from returns that nobody could have predicted. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Chris Johns: As a first step to cutting income inequality, let’s make pensions mandatory

British prime minister Theresa May. “Theresa May has caved on all of her red lines with more humiliating concessions to come.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Strategy of Brexiteers is to hold their nerve for another year to get Britain out of EU

 Markets had begun to hope that Trump’s bellicosity was just hot air. The fear now is that he is going to deliver on his promises

Chris Johns: Angst at globalisation is at the heart of Trump’s appeal, Brexit and general populism

A Soviet military parade: Vladimir Putin and the Brexiteers are both pining for empire

Chris Johns: looks like we’re back in the cold war of 1970s

US president Donald Trump believes that tariffs on steel and aluminium could be the start of a “good” trade war that is eminently winnable. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Tariffs on steel and aluminium are top of a list of dumbest things to do

Brexit Britain: for the first time Theresa May has told her country that leaving the EU will have costs. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Chris Johns: UK politicians embrace Border fudge at every turn

Brexit in name only?: the  pro-EU Brexit Facts Bus at Westminster this week. Photograph:  Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Chris Johns: Detail-hating Brexiteers still don’t see the Border’s Bino potential

Leo Varadkar and Justin Trudeau. “If there are lessons from other countries I would take a glance at Canada. Another country where inequality is relatively low and where immigrants are welcomed with open arms.”

As we watch our neighbours sink ever deeper into nativism we need to be on guard for anything that sucks us into similar madness

President Donald Trump and British prime minister Theresa May.  There is no first family of kleptocrats in Britain so what is  driving policy there?   Photograph: Getty Images

Chris Johns: The forces that drove Trump’s election also prompted a vote for Brexit

Robot trading: when the dust settles the casualties will be revealed – with luck, just a few professional speculators, and owners of robots, who should have known better. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Chris Johns: Algorithmic trading has played a role in recent market volatility

Tory leader-in-waiting Jacob Rees-Mogg’s attacks on the civil service reveal what Brexit is all about. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Time has come for both sides in Brexit debate to admit they have no idea what is going on

US president Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “The Trump administration’s successful devaluation of the dollar is playing with fire.” Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Recent boom in stock prices worldwide has taken markets into nosebleed territory

Brexit   basics: Emmanuel Macron not only repeatedly tells Theresa May what the British can’t have but is also equally clear about what is on the table. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Chris Johns: The UK still doesn’t realise it can’t divide and rule the other EU members

Politically and financially it might be a good time for central banks to allow economies to grow, even if that means flirting with inflation. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

The focus on inflation is flawed – we would all be better-served by prioritising growth

Chris Johns: the NHS is now the only institution that unites the cultural tribes of Britain. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Chris Johns: Instead of rescuing the NHS, Downing Street is consumed by a tribal battle

 Confound Michael Gove, arch enemy of experts, and the rest of the Brexit hardliners, by embracing complexity and acknowledging the uncertainties. Photograph:  Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Recognising complexity of housing and Brexit problems is the only way to solve them

The global economic renaissance 'was one reason why forecasts of a Brexit-induced recession in the UK proved wide of the mark'.

This year's international economic renaissance shows how forecasts are more art than science

Paschal Donohoe: Time for dark hints about tax rises and suggestions that next year’s budget will have to be as miserly as the last Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

All this talk of the economy overheating might be just that - talk

Bond yields play a significant role in where stock markets go and in the determination of house prices. Photograph: Getty Images

It is bond markets which determine what central banks can do

Whether or not the English are getting anything worth having from their annual £10bn   sub to the North is a question now being asked

Chris Johns: Ireland needs an insurance policy, and the Apple cash would do for starters

Given the typical age profile of the average Brexiteer, it is ironic that one of the more arcane details of Friday’s agreement is that most of them will be dead by the time the European Court of Justice is no longer involved in British affairs.  Photograph: Getty Images

Chris Johns: Boris Johnson must now be thinking about Dunkirk rather than D-Day

Tara Mines pensioners protesting outside Leinster House about cuts in their pensions in 2011.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / THE IRISH TIMES

Young Irish people are not being offered the same deal that was granted to their parents

Michael Collins in London during treaty negotiations in  October 1921. Collins, the first and last Irish politician to sign up to a hard border. Photograph: Hulton Archive

British politicians should know Varadkar has no option other than the line he is taking

The quintessentially superficial Brexiteer Boris Johnson told us that Brexit will bring Britain and Ireland closer. By definition this cannot be true

No minister is saying that in return for something in talks, the UK must give something

“The flow of corporate taxes that we so enjoy spending will one day dry up. We treat them as permanent revenues when they are so obviously anything but.”

No need to worry about economy overheating but we need to look past corporate taxes

Trumpism: Given US hostility to any kind of welfare state it is unsurprising that nativism, populism and all the other isms are so evident. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

Chris Johns on whether the global economic-political order is at an inflection point

Theresa May:  One of the more astonishing aspects of the Brexit process is the persistence with which the UK government keeps negotiating with itself rather than Brussels. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Chris Johns: The chances of no deal on Brexit keep rising with the passage of time

There is something to the dystopian vision of a world of software doing all the things that we think are immune to automation. Image: iStock

And this is why Ireland is going to need a new business model

'Hard Brexit has many implications – construction companies are going to do quite well concreting over the English countryside around Dover.' Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Should the hard Brexiteers get their wish, the first casualty will be sterling

Fiscal focus: Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe presents Budget 2018. Photograph: Alan Betson

Budget 2018: The temptation to spend now and worry later nearly always wins

Delegates carrying pro-Brexit bags at the annual Conservative Party conference. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Driven by the ideology of Brexit, the British government cannot deliver economic growth

Pundits assume that the only threat to the Tory party  is the loss of more seats at the next general election. Something more existential is seldom contemplated.

Conservative Party faces possibility of annihilation as a result of epic Brexit challenge

Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May:  Florence speech “was essentially a conversation between herself and those cabinet members who want her job”. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/PA Wire

European Union can offer only options that Britain has already ruled out

Mostly because of the value of housing, the old are richer than the young.

Intergenerational shift as young people face future where they are less well off than their parents

Long road ahead: we should realise that the economy will be receiving bundles of monetary stimulus for a long while yet and doesn’t need another kicker from fiscal policy. File photograph: The Irish Times

Build more houses and infrastructure, introduce congestion charging and raise motor taxes

British prime minister Theresa May: “does not possess coping skills necessary in a crisis”. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Chris Johns: British prime minister lacks qualities required to lead UK safely out of EU

The strength of the euro is not just a problem for anyone trying to sell into the UK. It’s a massive complication for the ECB

If current sterling weakness isn’t a full-blown crisis it is certainly a major headache for many companies

The British position is that nothing will change on the day of Brexit: the Border, from their perspective, will remain exactly as it is today. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Offer of tariff-free access to British economy looks clever but strategy is flawed

Bertie Ahern probably still thinks the financial crisis was all down to Lehman Brothers

The flicker of economic growth has stemmed the populist tide for now but for how long?

Elon Musk,  chief executive of Tesla Motors. Whether or not all cars are electric by 2040, we can be sure of one thing: demand for electricity, particularly of the green variety, will soar. Photographer: Tim Rue/Bloomberg

Chris Johns: electricity storage is a major issue for alternative energy supply

UK home secretary Amber Rudd, who last week said immigration reform would heed the requests of employers. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Talk has been of ‘transition’ and of ‘implementation’, with nobody sure of the difference

No attempt has been made to pretend that the US as a whole will benefit from these suggested “reforms”

Chris Johns: We have one of the most progressive tax and benefit systems in the world

 Theresa May:  she  and other Brexiteers keep insisting that things are proceeding smoothly when clearly they are not.  Photograph: PA Wire

British government is negotiating with itself, its supporters and the tabloid press on Brexit

Brexit now resembles ‘Father Ted’ and the UK is Craggy Island.

Chris Johns: The clock is ticking and nothing of substance has happened

British prime minister Theresa May: few think she can get the necessary Brexit legislation through parliament. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

UK stance in discussions with EU reveals damaging ignorance of negotiating skills

Uber  is a good example of a great idea enriching a small number of people, including shareholders, but not employees

Self-interest might lead the elite to toss the odd bone the way of the ordinary worker

Nobody has ever fully explained Europe to the British people, which is one reason why so many do not like it.  Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

A year ago Britain seemed like a stable, tolerant, reasonably well-run place. Not anymore

Having run an astonishingly inept campaign Theresa May immediately demonstrated her utter lack of negotiating skills by declaring a deal with the DUP before one had been agreed. Photograph: Getty Images

Chris Johns: Just wait until austerity-fatigued voters have to live through a Brexit-driven economic slowdown

Rock-hard Brexit: Theresa May’s legacy will be the lessons learned when you adopt the ideology of Nigel Farage. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

Chris Johns: The UK needs a cross-party coalition to negotiate a softer, slower Brexit

Theresa May: “Her decision to treat with contempt the 48 per cent of the electorate who voted against Brexit spectacularly backfired.” Photograph: AFP

Brexit and the economy are the dogs that failed to bark in the UK election

Theresa May: “She only really gets animated these days in order to deny that there is actually anything called Mayism.” Photograph: PA Wire

Chris Johns: Need to ensure growth and tackle monopolies absent from Conservative plan

The significance of the election of French president  Emmanuel Macron should not be underestimated. Photograph: Reuters/Eric Feferberg/Pool

For the UK Brexit is an existential issue, for the European Union it is a matter of a few details

Most of the jobs that Le Pen wants to bring back to France have been lost to machines rather than cheap labour elsewhere in the world. Photograph: Getty Images

Conservative election campaign is on a war footing with the message the EU is the enemy

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: perhaps if we had any idea at all about where she was willing to compromise,  we could begin to sketch the outlines of a deal. Photograph:  Jeff Overs/BBC Handout via Reuters

Chris Johns: In face of cohesive EU stance, UK may seek to exploit national differences

All of a sudden, in the US at least, a large cohort of people – the relatively uneducated, white working class – have started to die younger.

Lack of hope and the opioid addiction epidemic combine to reverse lifespan amongst the white working class

“Britain faces another general election for all sorts of reasons. The ‘Daily Mail’ captured it with a remarkably Leninist headline: ‘Crush the saboteurs’.”

Brexit narrative in UK shows how resistant beliefs can be to factual reality

Theresa May: untainted by exposure to economics or tough financial decisions, the British prime minister can pursue reduced immigration as her prime goal. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty

With a general election looming, the British PM’s hard-Brexit obsession has blinded her to reality

 ‘If Brexit-type forces take hold on the Continent then we really are taking risks with peace’ Image: iStock

Europe’s default destination is war, unless sensible people take a a detour

“The Brexiteers are so dim, so wedded to platitudes and simple slogans that they didn’t notice.” Above, UK Brexit secretary David Davis. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Chris Johns: Brexit leaders are so dim, they haven’t noticed their stated negotiating principles have already changed since articl(...)

Tory party ideologues want the hardest Brexit imaginable. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The UK is facing into the most challenging set of decisions since the second World War

If there is a single global problem that almost everyone agrees needs to be tackled, it is income inequality. The simple fact is that a lot of people don’t earn very much.

We accord the ‘dismal profession’ too much respect and listen to too much of its baloney

Donald Trump’s first budget and Paul Ryan’s tax cuts for the rich (masquerading as healthcare reform) are unlikely to get past even a Republican congress. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg

Chris Johns: What hope for Brexit if Tories can’t even put a coherent budget together?

Theresa May: It is bizarre that her pursuit of a hard Brexit is not seen as the biggest mistake of her premiership to date. Photograph: EPA

Time to explain to Northern Unionists that their economic future looks far rosier in the EU

Stock prices over the next few years will forever remain one of life’s known unknowns

Simple but brutal truth is that nobody has any idea what stock markets will do

Nigel Farage: after he  retired as leader of Ukip, the Conservative Party effectively took up his Brexit policies.

As Ukip fades from the political arena, its policy of immigration reduction prospers

Theresa May and Angela Merkel: whatever happens in public, the real action will be between Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble on one side and May, Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox on the other. Photograph: Leon Neal-Pool/Getty

As the phoney war ends, the odds of an early collapse of Brexit negotiations shorten daily

British army engineers dismantle Kilturk checkpoint on the Border in February 1995. Will the return of a hard Border be a price worth paying?

Chris Johns: Is the social, political and economic costs of a hard Border worth paying?

Donald Trump has been consistent about his promise to start a trade war. Photograph: Reuters

Trump’s policies mean more Irish growth must come from Irish businesses

US president Donald Trump,  stands with Theresa May, UK prime minister, while arriving at the West Wing of the White House in Washington, DC. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

As the US and UK pursue unrealistic trade goals, Ireland needs to take a different path

The more “conventional” threat to the euro comes from a number of sources: forthcoming elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany. In particular, a Marine Le Pen victory in France is widely thought likely to be a euro-ending event

Some wonder how German banker misdeeds sit with government insistence on fiscal rules

More articles