← Older posts Newer posts →

Whither the future for PayPal

Posted on by Will Goodbody

 

In three years time, eBay will account for 15% of PayPal business

In three years time, eBay will account for 15% of PayPal business

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent

What do you do when the child you’ve nurtured from nappies, develops into an adult and becomes increasingly independent? That’s the tough question that has faced eBay in recent years as PayPal grew up and started forging a life of its own.

 Founded in the late 1990s, PayPal was bought by eBay in 2002 for $1.5bn, not long after PayPal went public. Initially, there was a strong and obvious mutual dependence. eBay needed a secure, simple and trusted online payments service for its customers to use. PayPal needed a consistent source of reliable business from which to grow.

Continue reading

The Central Bank and the Anglo bond

Posted on by Sean Whelan

The ECB is uncomfortable with Ireland's promissory note arrangement

The ECB is uncomfortable with Ireland’s promissory note arrangement

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan

Is the Central Bank selling down its stock of Anglo Bonds faster than required? If it is, what bonds is it selling? And most importantly of all, will it cost us or save us money? Continue reading

BASH bug – Q&A

Posted on by Will Goodbody

Up to 50% of web servers could be vulnerable to the bug

Up to 50% of web servers could be vulnerable to the bug

A potentially huge security flaw has been unearthed in a commonly used computer operating system, that could impact hundreds of millions of devices around the world. Will Goodbody looks at what the fuss is all about. Continue reading

IMF’s ‘interesting’ data on financial access

Posted on by Sean Whelan

atm

Ireland has 85.33 ATMs per 100,000 adults, new IMF figures show

By Economics Correspondent Sean Whelan

The IMF has just released its latest Financial Access Survey, which looks at people’s access to banking services.  This year it includes data from some countries on mobile banking services such as telephone or internet banking.

Sadly there is no data from Ireland on this development, nor from Germany, but there is information on mobile banking use from places including Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. Continue reading

Coillte needs to clean up unhealthy situation over CEO’s pay

Posted on by David Murphy

wood

The salary of the boss of Coillte was reduced from a maximum of €312,000 to €191,000 for a new appointee in 2011

It is no secret that some of the chief executives of semi-state companies and their board were less than happy with the salary caps which were introduced by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin three years ago.

One of those was state forestry body Coillte whose former chairman said the restriction would inhibit it from attracting a sufficiently qualified CEO.

In 2011 Brendan Howlin reduced the salary of the boss of Coillte from a maximum of €312,000 to €191,000 for a new appointee.

Continue reading

Why the Watch wasn’t most important news from Apple event

Posted on by Will Goodbody

Apple's CEO Tim Cook announcing details of Apple Pay

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announcing Apple Pay

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent

So, the hype has evaporated – for a while at least. The rumour mill can slow down, for a few months anyway. Apple has unveiled its new and updated products at a special launch event in California.

We now know the details of the two new iPhones – the 6 and 6 Plus. We know they are bigger than their predecessors, have an updated curvy look, an A8 chip, improved camera technology and a few other bits and bobs. Inevitably, they will sell in their millions, making the company even more money to add to its $160bn stash.

Continue reading

The direct and indirect tax debate

Posted on by Sean Whelan

The European Commission has tax policy in its sights

The Nevin Institute’s report has sparked another debate about the country’s taxation system for individuals

By Sean Whelan, Economics Correspondent

ADDENDUM

Since we posted this blog Micheal Collins of NERI has posted a response to some of the issued raised here and elsewhere (see the IrishEconomy.ie thread especially).  It’s worth including all of it here, especially as it is in the form of a Q&A, so it is user friendly.  As we said, it has certainly kicked off a good debate.  The new NERI Q& A is further down the page, after the original blog post.

The Nevin Economic Research Institute seems to have kicked over a hornets nest with its latest version of a working paper claiming that top and bottom income deciles pay about the same proportion of their income in tax.

The premise is that while income tax is very progressive in Ireland, indirect taxes such as VAT tend are regressive.  Continue reading

Why Amazon paid $970m for Twitch

Posted on by Will Goodbody

 

Amazon already offers gaming services through its Fire TV set-top box

Amazon already offers gaming services through its Fire TV set-top box

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent

@willgoodbody

The owners of Twitch must be feeling pretty smug this morning. Last night they sealed a deal which will see them sell their mere three year old streaming service for just shy of $1bn. But while the price tag may be surprising to many, the buyer is even more unexpected. Because until a few months ago Twitch was reportedly in talks with Google with a view to a prospective tie-up.

So why Amazon, and why $970m? Few outside the world of gaming will know much about Twitch. But if you are a gamer, you’ve probably spent countless hours of your life using it. Twitch is a  video service for games, allowing them to stream and upload their gaming activities as they play to potentially millions of viewers who can follow every explosion and carjacking in real-time. A non-gamer might ask why? The 55 million unique visitors to the site, who together viewed over 15 billion minutes of content, would clearly respond why not?

Continue reading

Interest rates will rise – it is just a question of when

Posted on by David Murphy

ecb

Many households have managed to pay their mortgages due to the substantial cut in ECB rates.

Central bankers in the euro zone, UK and US frequently adjust interest rates in unison.

That is not due to a herd instinct, but when conditions in one region merit higher or lower rates similar circumstances are often occurring elsewhere. Continue reading

Lessons from the banking crisis quickly forgotten

Posted on by David Murphy

 

portugal

Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo went bust with losses of €3.6 billion

They say history repeats itself for those who were not watching the first time.

One lesson from the Irish banking collapse was putting the burden on the tax payer while senior bondholders got all their money back was an unfair, dangerous and destabilising error.

Ireland fully repaid senior bondholders who had lent money to the banks. That cost so much it was one of the reasons why the country had to be bailed out by the EU and IMF.

The experience in Ireland prompted Europe reconsider how banks should be rescued and who should pay.

Continue reading

← Older posts Newer posts →