Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Profile for Mack

No bio, some books worth reading - The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves - Matt Ridley . Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance -Nouriel Roubini, Stephen Mihm

Latest posts from Mack (see all)

Mack has posted 207 times (0 in the last month).

Modern life is fragile

Wed 23 March 2011, 4:36pm

Tweet Fintan O’Toole - The chance of six specific Irish horses winning at Cheltenham on the same day last week was 1.5 million to one. But it happened. Or.. The probability of the results of the Euro 2012 qualifiers being exactly as they will turn out to be is extremely low. But it will happen. […] more »

Ireland and default again

Thu 17 March 2011, 12:53am

Tweet Yves Smith has a thought provoking article on her Naked Capitalism blog that I’ve only just got around to reading. It includes a useful, if cyncial, analysis of the raison d’être of the current stress tests / banking investigation being undertaken by BlackRock. Earth to base, this is a garbage in, garbage out exercise […] more »

Not sure how to vote next Friday? They’ve got an app for that…

Wed 16 February 2011, 5:47pm

Tweet Votomatic quizes you on a range of policy choices and then scores the parties for compatibility with your views. Give it a try My scores - FG 19, Lab 10, Greens 2, SF 1, FF -3 more »

“We are in some pickle now”

Mon 14 February 2011, 5:14pm

Tweet Vincent Browne tracks the history of Ireland’s banking crisis in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post, ending with what must be the biggest understatement of the new millennium (see title). He argues that the EU will not countenance a restructuring / default of debts run up Ireland’s banks. But getting rid of some or all Of […] more »

Breaking news: Belfast plane crashes at Cork airport

Thu 10 February 2011, 11:09am

Tweet An RTE news story indicates that they have unconfirmed reports of 8 fatalities after a plane from Belfast crashed at Cork airport. Update - six confirmed fatalities, six people injured. From the report The Manx2 commuter flight, with 10 passengers and two crew, was en route from Belfast when it crashed in heavy fog […] more »

Eastern promises

Wed 12 January 2011, 11:10am
EU flag

Tweet It would appear that our Asian friends have confidence (and an interest) in the survival of the European project. Japan and China will help fund the European Financial Stability Fund that will be used to bailout European banks,  sorry,  I mean Ireland. With Japan pledging to buy 20% or more of the bonds that […] more »

The European view on insolvency

Fri 17 December 2010, 11:48am

Tweet The new proposed European Stability Mechanism looks like it will come into force via a change to The Lisbon Treaty, and will avoid facing public vote by referendum. It provides a process for sharing losses with sovereign creditors in the case of national insolvency. (More details on that below). In yesterday’s FT, Lorenzo Bini […] more »

Ireland can’t afford to bail out European banks

Tue 30 November 2010, 2:41pm

Tweet I think this point is worth highlighting more clearly. Below – Simon Johnson ex-CEO of the IMF – on who is owed money by the Irish banks German banks are owed $139 billion, which is 4.2 percent of German G.D.P. British banks are owed $131 billion, or about 5 percent of Britain’s G.D.P. French […] more »

Euro Crisis : History repeats

Fri 26 November 2010, 1:50pm
EU flag

Tweet The Guardian report that - the Portuguese prime minister José Sócrates insists Portugal is under no pressue from EU states to accept a euro bailout. Meanwhile After Financial Times Deutschland reported eurozone nations and the European Central Bank were urging Portugal to follow Ireland and capitulate to financial aid, the office of the Portuguese […] more »

Europe gets serious. May double the EFSF, may burn bank senior bond holders

Thu 25 November 2010, 5:15pm

Tweet The Wall Street Journal are speculating that the size of the EFSF may double to almost €1trn, if German opposition can be overcome. This is an effort to assure markets that Europe can bail out Spain if neccessary. Doubling the EFSF’s capacity to €880 billion would remove any doubt about whether the facility has […] more »

Latest comments from Mack (see all)

Mack has commented 1,146 times (0 in the last month).

  1. Comment on Ireland: Europe’s poster child for austerity or fall guy?
    on 5 March 2013 at 10:29 am

    Another debt deal looking likely ->

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0305/372760-bailout/

    Ireland has the highest construction sector wages in the world, according to a European official

    Must be true then so. Would be useful to get a more reliable source. Payscale suggests wages are higher in Germany.

    http://www.payscale.com/research/IE/Industry=Construction/Hourly_Rate

    http://www.payscale.com/research/de/Industry=Construction/Hourly_Rate

    Even as public sector wages have fallen about 15 per cent, Ireland has the second-highest minimum wage in the eurozone (after Luxembourg), according to the European Commission

    Not sure how these are linked? You really would have to look at the complete benefits package / cost to the state / employers. Employers PRSI is low in Ireland, and so are employee taxes for low earners, and we don’t provide the same level of public health care as other states.

    19,541 owner-occupiers have not paid their mortgage for more than two years. Yet in the third quarter of last year, banks repossessed only 47 homes through the courts. For comparison, UK repossessions fell to 10,141 in the last quarter of 2012.

    Repossessions of Buy-to-lets are likely to rise significantly this year. There is a cultural aversion to repossessing a family home in Ireland.

    Demand for houses in Dublin is very strong at the moment, certainly outstrips supply (just go to one of the open viewings listed on myhome.ie this weekend, if you don’t believe me). Planning applications for new developments starting to appear online on county council websites. Construction employment should rise in a year or two..

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  2. Comment on A referendum on Irish unity is more likely than you think
    on 16 December 2012 at 10:48 am

    (Repost without links as lost in moderation zone. All links from Wikipedia)

    Actually I see you are including all A8 migrants and more now as Catholic. This is also unlikely.

    The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that only 16% of Estonians profess a belief in a god, the lowest belief of all countries studied (EU study).[170]

    According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[76] 49% of Lithuanian citizens responded that “they believe there is a God”, 36% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force”, and 12% said that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force”.
    [edit]

    In the Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[128] 37% of Latvian citizens responded that “they believe there is a god”, while 49% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 10% stated that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force”.

    Just 24% of Latvians are Catholic.

    In 2011, 62.0% of Slovaks identified themselves as Roman Catholics, 5.9% as Protestants, 3.8% as Greek Catholics, 0.9% as Orthodox, 13.4% identified themselves as atheists and 10.6% did not answer the question about their belief.[90

    In the Eurostat – Eurobarometer poll of 2005, 44% of Hungarians answered that they believed there is a God, 31% answered they believed there is some sort of spirit or life force, and 19% that they do not believe there is a God, spirit, nor life force.[102]

    Hungary is 54% Catholic

    According to the 2002 census, 57.8% of the population is Roman Catholic

    According to the 2011 census, 34.2% of the population stated they had no religion, 10.3% was Roman Catholic, 0.8% was Protestant (0.5% Czech Brethren and 0.4% Hussite), and 9.4% followed other forms of religion both denominational or not (of which 863 people answered they are Pagan) 45.2% of the population did not answer the question about religion

    May explain some of the rise in the nones though. Even Poland is less than 90% Catholic.

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  3. Comment on A referendum on Irish unity is more likely than you think
    on 16 December 2012 at 10:30 am

    Actually I see you are including all A8 migrants and more now as Catholic. This is also unlikely.

    .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonia#Religion

    The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that only 16% of Estonians profess a belief in a god, the lowest belief of all countries studied (EU study).[170]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuania#Religion

    According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[76] 49% of Lithuanian citizens responded that “they believe there is a God”, 36% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force”, and 12% said that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force”.
    [edit]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvia#Religion

    In the Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[128] 37% of Latvian citizens responded that “they believe there is a god”, while 49% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 10% stated that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force”.

    Just 24% of Latvians are Catholic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovakia#Religion

    In 2011, 62.0% of Slovaks identified themselves as Roman Catholics, 5.9% as Protestants, 3.8% as Greek Catholics, 0.9% as Orthodox, 13.4% identified themselves as atheists and 10.6% did not answer the question about their belief.[90

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungary#Religion

    In the Eurostat – Eurobarometer poll of 2005, 44% of Hungarians answered that they believed there is a God, 31% answered they believed there is some sort of spirit or life force, and 19% that they do not believe there is a God, spirit, nor life force.[102]

    Hungary is 54% Catholic

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenia#Religion

    According to the 2002 census, 57.8% of the population is Roman Catholic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic#Religion

    According to the 2011 census, 34.2% of the population stated they had no religion, 10.3% was Roman Catholic, 0.8% was Protestant (0.5% Czech Brethren and 0.4% Hussite), and 9.4% followed other forms of religion both denominational or not (of which 863 people answered they are Pagan) 45.2% of the population did not answer the question about religion

    May explain some of the rise in the nones though. Even Poland is less than 90% Catholic.

    Go to comment

  4. Comment on A referendum on Irish unity is more likely than you think
    on 16 December 2012 at 10:11 am

    Simtrib – posted this on another thread for you, obv haven’t read it yet. You’re analysis re the indigenous Catholic population is incorrect.

    1.97% of 1.81 million is 35,000. 70% of that is 24,500. The Catholic population, making the unlikely assumption of no secularisation increased by 80,000. The native Catholic population would have increased by around 55,000. This would, had no Catholic immigration occurred still increased the Catholic proportion of the total by 1% (the actual increase was 1.35%).
    (At the same time, by way of comparison the native Protestant population would have fallen by at least 2%, the actual decrease was at least 2.35%).

    Go to comment

  5. Comment on #DigitalLunch: Have the last ten days left Northern Ireland shaken or stirred?
    on 15 December 2012 at 5:14 pm

    @simtrib

    Your statistical inferences are wrong.

    1.97% of 1.81 million is 35,000. 70% of that is 24,500. The Catholic population, making the unlikely assumption of no secularisation increased by 80,000. The native population would have increased by around 55,000. This would, had no Catholic immigration occurred still increased the Catholic population by 1% (the actual increase was 1.35%).
    (At the same time, by way of comparison the native Protestant population would have fallen by at least 2%, the actual decrease was at least 2.35%).

    Go to comment

  6. Comment on Census: Catholics rise by 1%; Protestants down by 5%; Others are the unofficial winners
    on 12 December 2012 at 11:53 pm

    @OneNI

    “It does appear possible that the Irish Catholic (identifying) population is in fact falling”

    The proportion / percentage of Irish Catholics of the total in NI is almost certainly falling. Absolute numbers are still increasing (i.e. an absolute increase of 80k, possibly just over half of which were immigrants). ( A corrallory of this is that the proportion of NI population which is Ulster Protestant is also falling & and is also a minority within a plurality – increase in secularisation or not).

    Immigration at the rate experienced by NI will signifcantly reduce the proportion the native population constitutes of the total. (e.g. If you have 10 bottles of Heinekin and someone gives you a Carlsberg and an additional Heinekin – the proportion of Heinekin’s of the total beers will fall by around 10% despite an increase in the actual numbers of Heinkins).

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  7. Comment on Census: Catholics rise by 1%; Protestants down by 5%; Others are the unofficial winners
    on 12 December 2012 at 11:35 pm

    @BlackBush

    It’s a fair point on those who stated ‘no religion’, very few people in NI do leave it at that though. In fact one commentator said this “but mostly I believe due to many younger Protestants choosing no religion on their returns”. Wonder who that was? :)

    The rise of the none’s does seem to correlate with the recent resurgence of Alliance.

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  8. Comment on Census: Catholics rise by 1%; Protestants down by 5%; Others are the unofficial winners
    on 12 December 2012 at 11:00 pm

    @Blackbush

    “Since there seems to be an obsession by many on here with the hope that one day Cathoics will outnumber Protestants how do they view the impending entry of Romania into full EU membership, as far as I’m aware they are of an Orthodox persuasion, so definitely not Catholic, how would a couple of hundred thousand Romanians affect the next count?”

    Won’t make any difference to the ratio of Catholics to Protestants. But would make an overall Catholic community background majority less likely (than if they don’t come).

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  9. Comment on Census: Catholics rise by 1%; Protestants down by 5%; Others are the unofficial winners
    on 12 December 2012 at 9:25 pm

    First past the post style elections wouldn’t be the best for identifying shirt term demographic shifts, demographic change tends to happen reasonably slowly & the potential for change / incentive to vote non-tactically is lowest in FTP elections. Turn out differentials between constituencies with a genuine contest (inter or intra tribe) will seriously skew things as contests get settled and new ones emerge over time elsewhere.

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  10. Comment on The ‘Ambivalenters’: Who exactly are the Northern Irish people now?
    on 12 December 2012 at 9:42 am

    @Gopher also 2,200 ‘nones’ in Derry. Probably most of these are Catholic. The Catholic proportion of the population fell in Newry, probably for a similar reason.

    Go to comment

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