The US Israeli Lobby

Richard Whelan shows that specific Christian groups are the real power in the US Israeli lobby, in an article in the April 2014 edition of Doctrine And Life, published by Dominican Publications.

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The euro: not the end yet, but the beginning of the end perhaps …

(This article was updated on 22/04/2014)

As currencies go, the European single currency is not in great shape. The problems of the two-speed Eurozone are well known but the consequences of the failure of repeated waves of measures to fix it are not yet fully understood. We struggle on in hope of some new measure, probably from Frankfurt, to get it through the current storm and into less turbulent waters.

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Time to fundamentally challenge the myths about the Cuban Missile Crisis

Just after the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the subsequent visit of President Kennedy (JFK) to Ireland, it is time to re-evaluate the mythology around the Cuban Missile Crisis. Continue reading

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Misunderstanding the banking industry

–  a working paper by Richard Whelan

The continuing difficulties with the Banking Industry, particularly in Europe, are due to a very simple error-assuming that the Banking Industry is part of the private sector, and regulating and dealing with it on that basis. In fact it is a unique hybrid of the public and private sectors, combining the worst features of both. Until that realisation is fully integrated, the Banking Industry will continue to create huge difficulties for us. Continue reading

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Why We Must Restore Accountability to the Public Service

Vulnerable children were murdered, drowned, and allowed to die of drug abuse, and an elite that did not really care – the report of the Independent Child Death Review Group.

The examination of this shameful scandal, led by Geoffrey Shannon and Norah Gibbon, “lays bare an appalling catalogue of incompetence, dereliction, lack of professionalism and failure in duty” observed former editor of the Irish Times Conor Brady in that paper on July 5, 2012. There is no arguing with the conclusions, but what if the underlying problem is not to be found in the detail of this latest failure in the Irish system of public administration?

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Slow Finance

Slow Finance, by Gervais Williams, Bloomsbury, London, Sterling £20, 183 pages

There’s food for thought in adopting the principles of the Slow Cooking movement and applying them to making investment decisions. Typically the Slow Cooking aficionado chooses ingredients carefully, preparing them the night before, cutting meat into small chunks, trimming the vegetables. In the morning they go into a vessel which cooks them slowly at a lower heat, allowing all the juices and flavours to blend. In the evening the smell of a delicious casserole wafts out from the kitchen. This makes a much more appetising prospect than zapping an “unidentified frying object” in a microwave, as celebrity chef Keith Floyd used to say.

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Democracy – Under Threat in Europe – Must be Struggled and Fought For

A threat to democracy frequently follows major shocks in international relations. The period between the two World Wars saw Germany, the USSR, Spain and Italy sacrifice democracy at the altar of populist dictators. Unfortunately some of the slouching beasts from history that led to that collapse of democracy have now awakened from their slumber in Europe.

Greece, long  associated with the very concept  of democracy, is but an extreme example of this  growing threat. Many of the issues that threaten the future of democracy in Greece are present in a number of other countries in Europe, including in Ireland, though obviously with different emphasis and to a different degree. The future of democracy in Europe is being ever more closely  linked – through a ghastly financial domino theory  which says that if Greece falls, Spain, Italy, Ireland and  Portugal cannot be far behind.

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A Strategic Analysis Suggests that Ireland Should Vote Yes in the Referendum on the Fiscal Stability Treaty

A risk management perspective also suggests that a yes vote is the current best choice for Ireland.

With so much uncertainty and conflicting information, perhaps the only rational way to evaluate which way to vote in the referendum on the Fiscal Treaty is to look at it from a strategic/risk management perspective based on likely developments in the euro zone over the next few years. Considering the impact on Ireland of those possible and foreseeable alternatives should clarify what a rational voter should do. This is necessary as it is most likely that Ireland will be voting in advance of any of the development set out below.

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We Spent Our Children’s Birthright Through Foolish Borrowing

Endgame the End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything, John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey, $27.95, 2011, 318 pages.

American Gridlock Why the Right and Left Are Both Wrong, H. Woody Brock, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey, $27.95, 2012, 273 pages.

In Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield, Mr. Micawber identifies an essential difference between happiness and misery.

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Two recent books consider the muddle politicians, bankers and economists have made of the world’s finances, during which the Micawber doctrine sadly got forgotten. They focus on the debt burden we have strapped on to the backs of coming generations and tackle the inability of current political systems to confront the ensuing mess.

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My Better Story Trumps Your Stronger Army

The Future of Power, by Joseph S. Nye, Jr., 
Public Affairs Books, New York, 310 pp, €21.40

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