If Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe can keep the economy in as reasonable shape as possible, we stand a good chance being pleasantly surprised by the post-pandemic landscape. Photograph: Julien Behal

Ireland and Britain are both looking forward to the fiscal event of the year, the autumn budget. Perhaps “looking forward” is putting it a bit strongl(...)

The State and the ECB are behaving as if the pass-through from interest rates to the economy, via the banking system, still works. It doesn’t. Photograph: Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg

Another lockdown will destroy the economy unless we change direction. It’s really that simple, and it is because the banking system no longer works as(...)

Kamala Harris: “Looking back, it is odd that such a fancied candidate did not do better in her own presidential campaign.”  Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Joe Biden is not 77 in the way that Mick Jagger is 77. The Democratic candidate for the White House wears the years with a heaviness that is not lost (...)

Dr Anthony Fauci: new polls show that the smear from Trumpworld may be starting to stick; fewer Republicans trust the doctor now than in the spring. Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times)

Never mind Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. You want to see a real can’t-look-away train wreck of a relationship? Look to the nation’s capital, where a me(...)

The emerging German tax proposal is very different from the 2011 one, responding to many problems identified with the original version. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall

Taxation remains a national – not a European Union – competency and, since joining the EU (EEC) in 1973, Ireland has consistently opposed harmonisatio(...)

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: assertive macro-economic policy in 2020 is the most responsible thing we can do.  Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

This is not the time for conventional thinking. We are in a pandession. As I wrote recently, a pandession is neither a recession, nor a depression – w(...)

In 1926 John Maynard Keynes wrote: “The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual li(...)

US president Donald Trump at a coronvirus news briefing at the White House on Wednesday with (from left) expert advisers  Anthony Fauci,  Deborah Birx and  Robert Redfield. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Count the ways in which the US Democrats stand vindicated before voters. John Maynard Keynes could not make a more fluent case for government than the(...)

 The LÉ Samuel Beckett moored   on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to help in the fight against Covid-19.  The State, mostly so sluggish during the lifetime of the outgoing Government, has reacted like the crew of a becalmed vessel, snoozing down below, to the order: all hands on deck! It has switched itself on with remarkable alacrity. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Many times, in writing about the failures of the State, I’ve used some version of this line: “we don’t have governments, just a perpetual crisis-manag(...)

US senator Bernie Sanders: ‘If it is his fate to watch the US embrace bigger government, but under the leadership of others, there are worse niches in history.’ Photograph: Jacob Hannah/New York Times

Eight years have passed since Mitt Romney expressed his disappointment with almost half of all Americans. Forty seven per cent are “dependent upon gov(...)

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