Non-essential items are sealed off in a Tesco store in Cardiff, Wales, as the country entered a national ‘firebreak lockdown’ on October 23rd to curb the surge of Covid-19 cases. Photograph: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

It’s going to be a nervy winter. Restrictions are tightening all across Europe as talk of living with the virus is replaced by emergency action. Meanw(...)

There are a group of firms which will only be viable in a return to something like the “old” normal – many pubs, for example. We don’t know whether the “new” normal is  temporary or  semi-permanent. Photograph: David Sleator

There will be a lot of challenging roles in the next cabinet. Perhaps the toughest will be minister for jobs, or whatever grand title is given to that(...)

Popular resistance to a repetition of the public spending cuts that came after the financial crisis will be intense. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The pandemic has been likened to a war, though one against a disease, not other humans. Like a war, it is reshaping economies and demanding huge incre(...)

 Italian deputy premier and interior minister Matteo Salvini  at a campaign rally in Putignano, near Bari, southern Italy. Salvini is attempting to expand Italy’s budget. Photograph: Annamaria Loconsole/EPA

Matteo Salvini has reignited Rome’s battle with Brussels over his public spending plans, and while financial markets are unimpressed, many internation(...)

France’s president Emmanuel Macron. Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The recent Great Recession had very serious implications for the public finances of the euro area. The combined government deficits of the euro area s(...)

Pluses and minuses of inflation: in 1975 and 1981, the inflation rate in Ireland was over 20 per cent.    Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty

Inflation has gone out of fashion in Ireland as the price level today is the same as it was in 2008. Looking at the last nine years, we saw a fall in (...)

Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist at the IMF, is among the economists who disagree with a lot of recent commentary, and say that “we share a conviction that public discussion of the global economic outlook has run off the rails”. Photograph: Ibrahim Usta/AP Photo

Just about everyone has bought into the idea that we live in a low-growth world. The European Central Bank’s economic worries have prompted more cuts (...)

We are likely to hear this week who will replace Patrick Honohan as governor of the Central Bank.

We are likely to hear this week who will replace Patrick Honohan as governor of the Central Bank. But what type of governor are we looking for? (...)

 Olivier Blanchard, the recently retired chief economist of the IMF, believed it was an erroneous to assume that, under EMU, it would be easy to finance a current account deficit through foreign borrowing, given the absence of exchange rate risk

In Ireland since the second World War, major deficits on the current account of the balance of payments have generally been associated with periods of(...)

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi: the ECB fire brigade was late arriving to do “whatever it takes” in 2012 and, again, to take action to move the rate of inflation back towards its target of 2 per cent. Nonetheless, the ECB did take action. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

When the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) was set up, a lot of work went into specifying the governance and objectives of the European Central Bank ((...)

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