A storm over the Adriatic Sea. We should take a leaf out of Emperor Augustus’s book and use the natural rhythm of the economic cycle and the one-off event of Brexit to signal a change in the way we work and orientate ourselves. Photograph: Chris Winsor/Getty Images

To make Brexit work for us, we must build up our cities, invest in transport and tax land

When it comes to financing disruptive technology, lower interest rates are deflationary rather than inflationary.

Disruptive technology has rewritten the economic rulebook, but the old manual is still in use

British prime minister Boris Johnson is making great play of the bunker mentality. But, ultimately, the UK will have to cut a trade deal with the EU. Photograph: Simon Dawson/EPA

The Brexit long game is glaringly obvious and is the one on which we must concentrate

UK prime minister Boris Johnson holds a plastic wrapped kipper fish during a hustings event in London on July 17th, 2019. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters.

David McWilliams: Ireland needs to pay more attention to global trends than regional ones

Muhammad Ali  knocking out George Foreman during the so-called Rumble in the Jungle in Kinshasa, Zaire on  October 30th, 1974. China is now throwing its investment hat in the African ring. Photograph: The Ring Magazine/Getty Images

By 2100, a quarter of all humans will be African, so China’s gamble could pay off

NTMA head Conor O’Kelly stated with “100 per cent” certainty that Ireland will enter a recession. When the man charged with borrowing money for the State announces such calamitous news, people sit up and worry.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Burned by the 2008 bust, today’s Irish officials preach caution and warn of crashes

FT columnist Simon Kuper argues that loquacious posturing, so essential at the university debating society, is still the fuel that propels Brexit and Johnson. File photograph: Getty

The next stage of Brexit will pit the Oxford Union posh boys against the Bruges eurocrats

There are few more beautiful views than the Twelve Pins. Photograph: Getty Images

Moving public servants out of the capital is a solution to several Irish problems

 Boris Johnson leaving his London home. To become the unifying Churchillian figure he so craves to be he will have to adopt the policies of Clement Attlee on the left and Enoch Powell on the right. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

The Conservative Party has abandoned metropolitan England. This is a huge change

When things are going well and prices are rising, we become giddy and optimistic. Such optimism is contagious. This is what economists call consumer confidence. Photograph: Alan Betson

When things are going well and demand is strong, like now, the State should dampen it

US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2017. Photograph:  EPA/Roman Pilipey

The United States is not getting any stronger. China is the growing economic power

 Members of the German Greens react to the publication of the first exit polls in the European elections, in Berlin. Photograph: Omer Messinger/EPA

Europe is now split between the politics of behaviour and the politics of identity

Building pressure: Dublin experienced the strongest growth in property prices among 32 countries and cities between 2013 and 2018, according to the OECD. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Worldwide, the 10-year debt binge is coming to an end. These things rarely end pleasantly

Tech insiders are said to be “disappointed” at Uber’s  valuation of  $65bn for a taxi firm with  few assets, that has no immediate prospect of making a profit, and burns through $2bn   of shareholders’ money a year.  Photograph: Getty Images

Stockmarket speculators may have Uber–extended themselves – and not for the first time

Minister for Finance: Paschal Donohoe announces the national broadband plan. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The State will pay most upfront costs, then give away our investment. Take that in

In the US for example, most recent studies indicate that in the market for weed, 93% of the price is due to prohibition. File photograph: Getty

All sorts of Irish people take drugs, often a lot of drugs. Prohibition just makes things worse

High prices: Young couples excluded from the property market push life’s milestones out further. Photograph: Getty

Sign of the Times: A country that equates property with wealth is excluding its young

Whether it is cool or not to admit, the middle class provides political ballast to a country, preventing lurches to the extremes. Photograph: iStock

Class is more fluid here than elsewhere, implying greater equality of opportunity

The crane index published last week is reminiscent of 2007. It reveals that there are 127 cranes in the Dublin skyline – a record figure. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A giddy herd mentality has taken hold of the the capital’s commercial property market

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with German chancellor Angela Merkel at Farmleigh House, Dublin, where they met for talks on Brexit, on Thursday. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

If we let landowners not skilled workers take the coming dividend, we will miss a huge opportunity

The facade of McCarthy’s Irish Bar, in Lexington, Kentucky. The Irish pub is a brilliant and easy to understand indicator of globalisation. Photograph: Richard Cummins/Lonely Planet/Getty

The growth in demand for Irish bars abroad is our greatest expression of soft power

Russian president Vladimir Putin  greets BP chief executive Robert Dudley  (right) and AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot (centre) during a meeting with businessmen at the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday. Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/Reuters

As Putin marks 20 years in power, he knows how much the world needs his country

Sheridans: its counter at Dunnes' Cornelscourt supermarket was named best cheese shop in the UK and Ireland

I’ll take an upwardly mobile Gubeen over a stinky Brexit cheddar

Germans celebrate as the Berlin Wall is opened in November 1989. Had you asked which countries would benefit most from the collapse of communism, Ireland wouldn’t have featured. Photograph: Patrick Piel/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

After 1990, Ireland recorded the fastest economic growth of any European country

Cranes in the Dublin skyline in the docklands area: Organised local opposition to major infrastructural initiatives  retard economic growth and threaten Ireland’s future. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Local opposition to MetroLink and other infrastructure projects stymies growth

Who knows, Sanders could even be as influential and economically radical as the most radical of them all, Ronald Reagan. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/ Reuters

The pendulum could swing from Trump’s radical right to Sanders’s radical left

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds in Westminster, London. As a result of the party’s  current policies, the present DUP leadership is undermining rather than enhancing unionism. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Unionism has one last chance to make Northern Ireland work for everyone

 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for a 70 per cent tax on the wealthy – this would have been unheard of a few years ago.  Photograph: Elizabeth D Herman/The New York Times

Millennials won’t forget being abandoned in 2009. Their votes will change our world

Countries like Ireland have a lot to lose if the world gets smaller. Photograph: Getty Images

Few societies have benefited as much as ours from globalisation. But its heyday is over

The cost overruns on the national children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital have to come from somewhere other than wages. Photograph: Eric Luke

The people who spend our money have an outrageously cavalier approach

Brexit is an act of aggression against globalisation; this will not be forgotten quickly by international investors. Photograph: EPA/Neil Hall

When your neighbour shows signs of deep political instability – do nothing and you look remarkably sane and thus attractive

A 1970s Mercedes Benz: the Merc is a traded good, sold in the competitive international market, where its price is determined by competitive international forces. Photograph: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty

In 1973, when Ireland joined EEC, a Mercedes cost more than an average new house

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: If the UK crashes out, it will be a failure of politics not economics. Photograph: Adrian Dennis / AFP

Events that are well flagged sometimes have a much smaller impact than we fear

The average property nationwide was worth almost €257,000 in the third quarter of 2018, up from a low of €165,000 in early 2013. There is now almost €450 billion of housing wealth in Ireland. Photograph: Frank Miller

It wasn't perfect, but the past 12 months saw incomes exceed their pre-crash peak

Today almost one-third of Australians are born elsewhere, and one in 10 are Asian. Photograph: Getty

‘Lucky Country’ can thank new arrivals, common-sense policy and luck for its expansion

France’s president Macron is deeply unpopular, and his efforts to placate the national protests through the narrow gauge lens of economics have thus far made things worse. Why? Photograph:  Getty Images

It is hard to see, from a purely economic perspective, where French anger comes from

Why not use the Apple money, the €14bn which is lying idle in an account, to build houses?

We could give windfalls from international firms to young entrepreneurs

Bernie Sanders: what underlies his movement and gives him energy, is the objective to give more and more people access to some of the enormous wealth of the country.  Photograph: Kathryn Gamble/The New York Times

Building a broad coalition against Donald Trump means convincing working, blue-collar Americans

Falling share prices: The capitalist world is in a constant state of innovative flux.   Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Faangs – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google – have lost $1 trillion in value

Oberholz co-working space and cafe    in Berlin provides a vision of what much of work life in the future may be like

Brexit is an act of aggression against globalisation and investors won’t forget that

'We live in a ‘Banana’ Republic – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.' Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Individuals opposing planning applications drive up house prices and make land scarce

Dublin is by far the biggest source of revenue for the State. In total, €22bn in tax was raised in Dublin in 2017. This represents 56% of the State’s total tax take, despite having only an estimated 38% of the country’s population. Photograph: iStock

Capital Ideas: We should issue ‘Dublin municipal bonds’ – it works for other cities

Pier review: Crowds walking on Dún Laoghaire pier last summer.  How did Dún Laoghaire’s liberal attitude, once regarded as an outlier, become mainstream?  Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Goodbye ‘moving-statue Catholics’. Hello ‘bouncy-castle Catholics’ and economic growth

Renaissance Nation: Dad Bod, from David McWilliams’s new book. Illustration: Mark Flood

Our columnist has a new cast of characters, the inhabitants of post-recession Ireland

US president Donald Trump: The Trump economy is outperforming the Obama administration’s forecasts of growth of 2.4 per cent and 2.3 per cent in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

The US economy seems to be ticking over nicely, but it’s fuelled by a near-$1tn deficit

Dejected: Conor McGregor after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas. Photograph: Stephen R Sylvanie/USA Today/Inpho

His postfight expression said it all. Being second best is next to worthless in the modern world

The top 5% in the country own over 40% of the wealth and what’s more, 85% of this wealth is in the form of property and land.

Budget 2019 is a political pageant that avoids true economic action

The main force driving nativism on the continent, as during the Brexit referendum, is immigration. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP/Getty Images

Despite the global political mood, we are becoming a more welcoming nation

Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher and former leader Edward Heath at a campaign meeting in 1975 to keep Britain in the Common Market. Photograph: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Britain’s political centre – home of Blair and Thatcher – has been abandoned for the extremes

Banking did more than any other industry to undermine the economic prospects of Ireland’s ‘Crash Kids’. Photograph: Bettmann

If there’s one industry Irish 'Crash Kids' are itching to disrupt, it’s the banking business

In the past seven years, Dublin prices have increased 72.9 per cent. Photograph: iStock

We are only at stage two of the seven-step boom-to-bust property market cycle

Shockin’ holy:  St Patrick’s Day parade-goers in Dublin in 1981. Photograph: INM/Getty Images

A social survey of Ireland in 1981 exposes an extraordinarily conservative citizenship

US president Donald Trump and China’s president Xi Jinping in Beijing last November. Since Trump announced his trade war with China, the Chinese currency has lost 7% of its value. Photograph: Artyom Ivanov/Getty Images

A rising dollar threatens emerging markets with huge debts incurred in the US currency

A major economic issue for Ireland:   the “Pope’s Children” – those born around the time of the first pope’s visit – are the most single Irish generation ever. Photograph: Getty Images

The reason for one of the biggest societal changes since the last pope’s visit has gone largely undocumented

Skyline of Johannesburg with Ellis park stadium, Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Four of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world in 2017 were in Africa

“To misquote Oscar Wilde, to lose money once in a crisis can be viewed as a misfortune, to do so twice is careless.” Photograph: istock

Ten years on from the global banking crisis, have we learned anything?

Boris Johnson reportedly said “f**k business” when asked  about business leaders’ Brexit fears. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty

Tory civil war is set to offer Ireland an incalculable commercial opportunity

‘The diminutive Luka Modric from Zadar shows that combination of talent and grit that defines great players.’ Photograph: Alexander Nemenov/AFP.

What Ireland has achieved economically and socially since Euro ’88 is phenomenal

'When the Dart fills up at Grand Canal Dock, it is with real people, real employees, real managers.'

The school greets all good news with a shrug of ‘ah yeah, but that’s only the multinationals’

Today, what matters is the essential feel of a place, its culture, the experience, the mix of people, the nightlife and the lifestyle.

It is important t be aware of the link between economic wealth and tolerance

Craig Moore, originally from Romania, Tshi Tshi Mbaya, originally from Brazil, and Michael Richards, from Dublin, at a  multicultural sports day in Pearse Park, Crumlin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Settlement patterns reflect house prices, planning and suburban development

An activist of Reporters without Borders wears a mask depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin during a protest in front of the Russian embassy to Germany in Berlin, ahead of the start of the 2018 Football World Cup. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty

Quite why westerners are perplexed by Vladimir Putin’s popularity is itself perplexing

Rental squeeze: Dublin’s property market is profoundly different from 10 or 15 years ago. Funds are buying up large developments, leading to the professionalisation of landlordism. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Dublin’s residential property market is now part of a global business

La Dolce Vita: Italians are naturally nostalgic for the booming, confident Italy that Federico Fellini caught on film. Photograph: Fine Art/Heritage/Getty

Italian industry has gone backwards since the country joined the euro

Grand Canal Dock in Dublin. An 85sq m apartment in Dublin costs €1,726 a month to rent, on average, making it the fifth most expensive city in the world. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Belfast’s skyline shows what Dublin needs to do: build upwards to keep rents down

Cycling has attracted the reasonably comfortable middle aged, whose children are almost reared, with the time and money to commit to a top-of-the-range rothair. Photograph: iStock

Cycling, once a blue collar sport, is now the pursuit of choice for the professional classes

In 2001, the chief executive of CRH, Ireland’s largest listed company, earned 50 times more than the average worker in the country. In 2016, he earned 267 times more  than the average worker

The head of Ireland’s largest listed company earns 267 times the average worker’s pay

“The points show that there is also an entrenched university hierarchy in the minds of parents, despite the proliferation of places available.”

School-leavers must not just go to university, they must go to the ‘best’ university

'It seems clear the economy is overheating on most metrics but the question is what is the Central Bank going to do about it.' Photograph: Alan Betson

Watchdog is evangelical in its born-again vigilance but powerless over interest rates

'If we want to be a proper player in the globalised world, we need to offer globally recognised education not just for the kids of potential foreign executives but for Irish children too.' Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

When multinationals consider moving here, the first thing they will research is schools

'If implemented properly a location tax would address dereliction and liberate millions of income tax payers from the heavy burden of excessive income tax.' Photograph: Getty Images

Phibsboro accords to the iron rule of upwardly mobile Ireland: the law of 'ancient signalling'

At the end of the month, the squeezed middle has no money left. Photograph: iStock

How can their income tax bills be cut if the costs of education and health are going up?

Children learn through trial and error. The child who is allowed to make mistakes might be the one better equipped for life. Photograph: Getty Images

Overprotected children have their capacity to meet failure and unpredictability stunted

 Dublin Docklands: Canadian economist Jane Jacobs argues  against having specifically targeted “business districts” because these  areas empty out at 5pm and become wastelands. Photograph:  Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto/Getty

Capital generates over half of Ireland’s tax income but high rents are killing diversity

Getting  a leg up: What is good for the individual is not always good for the collective. Photograph: Getty

Inheriting wealth is not meritocratic, but in Ireland it’s still the quickest way to get rich

 Students checking the CAO first round offers. The great Irish CAO hysteria may be misplaced given the ongoing democratisation of knowledge. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Education is no longer about credentials. It’s about attitude and willingness to keep learning

Portend of growth?: In middle-income countries, when people who have control over their fertility feel the economy is not able to offer children a good future, large numbers choose not to have babies. Photograph: Getty

A high birth rate may indicate that the economy is going to boom in the years ahead

No need for vulture funds: Ireland’s credit unions, with €14 billion on deposit, could easily take nonperforming mortgages from the likes of Permanent TSB. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Bad loans should be sold to credit unions, not to pawnbrokers in Prada

Disney World is the place blue-collar America comes to on holiday. An “all-in” week here is part of the American dream. The people who make the pilgrimage are the people who voted for Donald Trump.

Enemy of working man is not Donald Trump, it is the professional aristocracy

Dublin Port: imagine a shiny new city facing out to the sea instead of a few oildrums and containers.   Photograph: David Toase/Getty Images

One solution to the housing crisis? Move the port and build a new kind of capital city

Big switch: Comedian Dom Joly launches the new Nokia 3310 in London. Daily life without constant emails, Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and Instagram photos is a blessed relief. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Without the distractions of the ‘attention economy’, I can focus and be more creative

When houses prices rise, the first rule of traditional economics says demand will fall. But once you introduce group dynamics into the equation, demand doesn’t fall – quite the opposite

The latest help-to-buy scheme will do the opposite of what it’s supposed to achieve

Looking for a friend: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Brussels. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty

France and Germany, or Austria and Poland? It’s a major national decision

The Return to Amsterdam of the Second Expedition to the East Indies, by Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom (1566-1640). Over the years, the Dutch built the most commercially successful economy in the world. Photograph: Phas/UIG via Getty Images

We need the tech companies, but we must not let their interests supersede all others

  Grand Canal Dock, Dublin: The global economic cycle in general and the Irish economic system in particular are being profoundly affected by structural changes brought about by technological innovations. Photograph:  NurPhoto/Getty

The Crash – 10 years on: This was part of a classic cycle. The recovery came as a bit of a shock

In almost all cases, the price of a pint of Guinness gets cheaper when it leaves Ireland. In some cases the differences are enormous. Photograph: Getty Images

Shopping in the North could make you 30% richer. It is economic self-harm not to do so

First, Joseph learns the baby isn’t his but God’s, then he gets hit with a pile of new taxes by the Romans. Illustration: Wynnter/Getty Images

Today, wise men know that the world’s economic future isn’t in the west. It’s in China

Wrapping its arms around the world: China uses money it earns from selling cheap consumer goods to Cubans to invest in factories and other infrastructure back in Cuba, thus buying political influence as well as market share. Photograph: Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty

We’ve grown far more productive, but global competition is keeping wages low

Bitcoin boom: the cryptocurrency’s price has risen by 1,525 per cent this year. Photograph: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Bitcoin and financial markets are rising disturbingly fast. Let’s not forget our history

True North: although restaurants may have lost some of their social cachet, they still reveal, sociologically, something about a place. Photograph: Macduff Everton/Corbis Documentary/Getty

David McWilliams: Economically and socially, North and South are different countries

The Japanese concluded in 1868 that to get the economy working properly for as many people as possible they had to dramatically reduce the wealth tied up in land.

Ireland needs to follow radical example of Japan’s 19th-century ‘Meiji Restoration’

International role:  Commercially Ireland is more akin to a trading state than a nation state.  However, playing this trading state game takes skill and vision. Photograph: Christopher Murray/Getty

If we redefine our relationship with multinationals, Ireland can be a global leader

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