The Threat of a 'Brexit'
This week the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce held a conference in Dublin entitled “Shoulder to Shoulder: Winning Strategies for the Global Pitch', which was attended by a large number of figures from the international business and political community. One of the main points of discussion was the possibility of a British exit from the European Union.
John McGraine, President of the Chamber, and Stephen Booth, Research Director of the Open Europe Think Tank in London, analysed the potential impact on Ireland.
Niall Fitzgerald, born in Sligo and raised in Limerick, has had a varied and colourful career in global business. During his 37 years with one of the world’s biggest companies, Unilever, he became their youngest ever Chairman and Chief Executive. He has also chaired and been on the board of too many organisations to mention, including the World Economic Forum, the British Museum, and Nelson Mandela's Legacy Trust.
Croke Park's Peter McKenna
Last year was quite a rollercoaster for Croke Park's stadium director, Peter McKenna, with the ‘Garth-Gate’ saga raging on for what seemed like an eternity...
Despite this blip, the venue turned over an operating profit of 11.2 million euro last year.
In fact, the fortunes of Croke Park have been on the up for some time. 2012 was a watershed year, as it was the first time it was debt free in
its entire existence, and McKenna was instrumental in that turnaround...
Superbowl Super Ads
The Superbowl commercial breaks are considered the holy Grail of advertising, with many firms spending millions on just one 30 second slot.
With an average viewership of 111 million, some might say they are worth the spend... Nowadays many ads are going viral before the show, and advertisers have had to think more creatively about the spots, working alongside such giants as Facebook and Twitter to show specific ads to a particular audience. Peter O’Dwyer, Creative Director at Havas Worldwide and Kathleen Healy, Digital Strategist with Rothco, sift through the glorious touchdowns and disastrous fumbles...
Michael Lynch was born to Irish parents living in Britain, studied and attained a PhD in the field of mathematics and engineering in Cambridge, and set up the tech company Autonomy which he sold to Hewlett Packard for 11.1 billion euro in 2011. He was susbsequently in the news when just a year later HP wrote down the value of the business by over $8bn, accusing Autonomy of accounting improprieties and misrepresentation prior to the takeover.
Two weeks ago, however, the Serious Fraud Office in the UK announced that their investigation hadn’t found anything. An investigation in the US is still ongoing. He has recently raised a billion dollars and founded his own investment venture, Invoke Capital.
Inequality and the 'Squeezed Middle'
This week the rich and powerful were all at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, the official theme being the 'new global context'. Earlier in the week Oxfam had warned that by 2016 1% of the world's population will own more than the other 99%, and Barack Obama and David Cameron have both pledged an easing of pressure on the squeezed middle classes. Steve Keen, Head of the School of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University in London, and Eamon Delaney, commentator and former diplomat, joined Richard to discuss the big picture issues of wealth and income inequality.
Repossessions on the Rise
Given what the country has been through, there have been relatively few repossessions to date. Is that about to change?
This week FLAC, the free legal advice people, said that recommendations by an expert group will make it easier for house repossessions to take place, but will the banks go down this route?
Joining Richard to discuss were Conall Mac Coille, Chief Economist at Davy Stockbrokers, and Ross Maguire of New Beginnings.
The Business Entertainment Special Part 2
For Part 2 of our Entertainment Special, Andy and Donal played us in with the autobiographical classic 'O'Donoghue's'. The panel was then joined by internationally successful Irish songwriters Ruth-Anne Cunningham and Craig Walker to talk about their business models. Liam Geraghty reported on the blood, sweat and tear of professional ballet dancers, all capped off with a genuinely impromptu version of 'The Christmas Song', beautifully sung by Ruth-Anne, with backing from Donal Lunny, Johnny Taylor and Barry Donohoe. Merry Christmas!
Rugby World Cup 2023
It’s official, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are making a joint bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and the Taoiseach tells us he is bullish about our chances. “We’re not just applying,” he says, “We’re applying to win”.
Before we scrum down, is it worth asking if all the money that goes into such a venture is well spent, or are we just getting caught up in the excitement of the game?
John Considine from UCC's Department of Economics, an All-Star Hurler himself, has mixed feelings.