Monthly Archives: May 2023

Housing won’t look better before general election

Brexit and Covid have dominated headlines – and politicians’ preoccupations – at different times over the past decade. Health is a perennial concern. Referenda on same-sex marriage and abortion passed overwhelmingly. But, it doesn’t seem controversial to say that housing is the defining political issue of our times. This perma-crisis is unlikely to improve before the next general election.

*** This article was first published at on 22 May 2023 ***

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Book Review: ‘Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy’, by Quinn Slobodian

Recently reviewed here, Martin Wolf’s The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism charts the symbiotic rise of capitalism and democracy, despite their being in tension with each other. Of course, capitalism can and does exist in the absence of universal suffrage. It always has.

*** A version of this book review was first published in The Irish Times on 17 May 2023 ***

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The Coming Global Debt Crisis

The Irish, European and global economies have proved more resilient this year than many economists had feared. Yes, stubbornly high inflation has sapped consumers’ spending power. Yes, economic activity has slowed in the face of higher interest rates and lingering effects of the war in Ukraine. Yes, there was a wobble in the banking sector on both sides of the Atlantic, and we still don’t know how that will affect credit availability. But, there is little sign of the feared recession. Yet.

*** This article was first published at on 1 May 2023 ***

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