FORMER PROPERTY TYCOON SEAN DUNNE EARNING '€200 A MONTH' - Sean Dunne, once one of Ireland's richest men, told an American court last week that he earns just €200 a month and is therefore unable to pay a sanction of $9,330 (€8,500) imposed on him earlier this year. 

"As I am now bankrupt, I have great difficulty in obtaining work," said the one-time Irish property tycoon in a sworn affidavit dated October 3rd. "Currently, I have no significant current or future income available to me, except for my current income from Amrakbo, the company I am currently employed with." Mr Dunne, who says in the affidavit that he lives in London, blamed his dire financial straits on his long-running bankruptcy cases in Ireland and the United States, writes the Irish Times. All of his income goes toward living expenses and legal fees, leaving him unable to contribute towards the support of his family, according to his affidavit. "At the moment, I am unable to comply and pay for the order," said Mr Dunne in the document. He agreed in April to pay opposing lawyers $9,330 for failing to preserve and turn over certain emails related to his then-pending civil trial in US District Court in New Haven, Connecticut. Shortly after the trial, in which a jury found he had fraudulently turned over millions of euros in assets to his wife Gayle Killilea to shield them from creditors and ordered her to surrender €18.1 million, Mr Dunne asked for a payment extension.

ECB NEEDS THINKERS, NOT POLITICIANS, SAYS FORMER CENTRAL BANK DEPUTY GERLACH - Former Central Bank deputy governor Stefan Gerlach has called for change in how countries nominate candidates to the European Central Bank (ECB) after a tide of criticism against its policies. 

Earlier this year, Mr Gerlach also publicly questioned what he called the "very odd" decision by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to appoint Gabriel Makhlouf over Sharon Donnery to replace Philip Lane as Ireland's Central Bank Governor. Mr Gerlach left the Central Bank in 2015 and he is now chief economist at EFG Bank in Zurich, says the Irish Independent. His latest comments come after ECB board member Sabine Lautenschlager, a German nominee on the executive board of the bank, resigned over its easy-money policies, following criticism from the German, French, Dutch and Austrian central banks of a rate cut and new bond purchases announced at the last rate-setting meeting. There are now two places open on the ECB's six-strong executive board that will likely be filled by Italian and German appointees. Mr Gerlach said the two countries would have greater heft at the bank if they did not promote candidates who forcefully pushed what he termed "the national view". Citing Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann's failed bid for the ECB presidency, Mr Gerlach said he had pursued policies that were too far from the central consensus at the bank, so he was effectively ignored. "Although (Mr) Weidmann's inflexible stance may have strengthened his profile in Germany as a firm supporter of monetary rectitude, it rubbed too many other council members and eurozone governments the wrong way," Mr Gerlach wrote on Project Syndicate.

DEBIT CARD SPENDING RISES OVER SUMMER AS CREDIT CAR USE FALLS - Irish consumers continue to favour debit cards over credit cards, according to a new analysis of spending patterns. 

There has been an increase in the use of cards for low-value transactions, with the ease of contactless payments driving a change in habits for many consumers. When it comes to big-ticket items, though, people still turn to their credit cards. Over the summer, there was a decline in credit card spending. For the same period, debit card spending rose, indicating that consumers prefer to use their own money rather than adding to their debts. Data released by payment services company New Payment Innovation based on transaction data indicates that credit card spending in Ireland has seen a decline of 2% compared to the same period last year. Credit cards account for 35% of all card spending, writes the Irish Examiner. Debit card spending for the same time period increased by 2%, signalling that Irish consumers are being cautious about their spending habits and avoiding getting into debt. The majority (64%) of card transactions were made using debit cards - showing that more Irish consumers are now using debit cards to make purchases. Among the patterns to emerge in New Payment Innovation's research is the increased use of cards to buy small-ticket items as customers abandon cash for plastic. 

DEMAND FOR STAFF IN THE UK RISES AT WEAKEST RATE IN EIGHT YEARS - UK job vacancies rose last month at their slowest pace in almost eight years as uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union continues to freeze the labour market. 

Employers continued to scale back their hiring plans in September, according to new research, pushing the number appointed to permanent roles lower for a seventh consecutive month. Temporary billings increased marginally, writes The Times. The latest report on jobs from KPMG, the accountancy firm, and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation found vacancies rising at their weakest rate since January 2012. As demand slipped, the supply of permanent and temporary candidates for roles also continued to fall. Such trends are often linked to workers’ hesitation to seek new jobs, the report noted.