“a carefully selected group of the world’s best minds..”

The recently appointed US economic envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly, appears to be responsible for the invitation to the NI First and deputy First Ministers to attend a session of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York next week to deal with investment in NI. As the BBC report notes

Formed in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative aims to “bring together a carefully selected group of the world’s best minds and most distinguished problem-solvers to focus on practical, effective measures”.

The report declines to comment on whether they will be attending as “world’s best minds”, or as a problem to be solved.. Adds As susan notes in the comments zone, there’s another economic forum already underway.

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  • Baker the control freak bully


    What were you thinking?

    *rolls eyes*

    *shakes head*

    *walks away*

    [i][Eh? -Ed][/i] Indeed.

  • Will Bono be there?

    No sign of NI on the Agenda. Might the Brothers Grim be up for an Extraordinary People award?

  • susan

    Looking past the inevitable public relations oversell, these things can be useful, perhaps more for the professional and personal connections made that might lead to a few much needed jobs than for the actual substance of official discussions. I’ve been known to insinuate that someone is one of the world’s best minds just to lure them into practicing their basic addition and subtraction facts, so I’m not going to judge.

    I was startled, genuinely, to see how few Northern participants seem to have anything to do with the Global Irish Economic Forum, going on in Dublin this moment. If anyone is interested, the official website of the forum will be “livestreaming” — although same day streaming might be more accurate — here:


  • IRIA

    Sarah Palin’s invitation was lost in the mail.

  • Thereyouarenow

    Would any of these cafefully selected group of the worlds best brains be interested in aquiring a few reasonably priced namas (honest)

  • Greenflag

    ‘or as a problem to be solved.’

    Northern Ireland is solved . As solved as it can ever be . Not solvent mind you but solved .It could be a lot worse .

    As for the application of the best minds ?

    In a 2007 interview (quoted by Paul Krugman ) in a recent New York Times magazine article Eugene Fama the father of the efficient -market hypothesis declared that the word ‘bubble’ drives me ‘nuts ‘ and then went on to explain why the housing market can be trusted :
    ‘Housing markets are less liquid but people are very careful when they buy houses . It’s typically the biggest investment they are going to make so they look around and compare prices . The bidding process is very detailed .’

    Such an outpouring from one of the best minds of the Milton Friedman school?. Similar ‘findings ‘ were repeated often by Paulson and many other followers of the ‘efficient market hypothesis ‘ until the fit hit the shan this time last year with Lehman’s .

    So if Robinson & McGuinness are to join the world’s best minds to focus on practical , effective measures to restore our economies we can be sure they are unlikely to wreak as much havoc on the world’s economies than the genii of Wall St & Washington DC and the City of London etc etc have already accomplished .

    susan ,

    ‘I was startled, genuinely, to see how few Northern participants seem to have anything to do with the Global Irish Economic Forum, going on in Dublin this moment.’

    It’s over their heads Susan.N/A not applicable in this case . Flag colours , kerbstones and parade marches are more important 🙁 Those brilliant minds can’t be bothered . Anyway they have their solution . It’s 6 billion annually from London and as long as my side or better still I get my fair or unfair share that’s all that matters . Ostriches are known for a preference for keeping their heads in the sand 😉

    The political class and the economic elite in both the public and private sector in NI is with few exceptions largely populated by ‘ostriches ‘ Not their fault though . They have adapted well to their ‘dependency ‘ environment – some might say too well 🙁

  • Driftwood

    Nail on head Greenflag.

    The £6/7 Billion subvention is all that matters.
    everything else is window dressing.

    All these forums are just self important social junkets generating waffle and delusions of grandeur. Just like stormont.

  • Dave

    “Ostriches are known for a preference for keeping their heads in the sand”

    Actually, ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand (or any other form of ground). Politicians on the other hand…

  • susan

    ‘ullo, Greenie!

    Invitations to the Forum went out by personal letters from the Taoiseach. FF has registered as a political party in the North, are holding public mtgs., and resolving to set up party machinery for members.

    If I were at such a mtg, I would want to ask the party what invitations were extended to business people and/or pols in the North to help attract jobs and investment.

    I understand a squeeze is on, and their first responsibility is to the people they are elected to represent. But there’s a case to be made that more cross-border investment and involvement in the business sector could strengthen both economies. If FF don’t believe that, why bother organising north of the border?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    It would project a more positive image if Marty and Robbo could go along and show some sort of unity.

    But if they do go I wouldnt be suprised if somehow Robbo ‘has to’ travel on a seprarate plane from Marty in case Marty arranges for the happy couple to be snapped on arrival.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    “If FF don’t believe that, why bother organising north of the border? ”

    Without being unduly cynical I think it is simply to counteract SF saying they are the only 32 county party and perhaps to put a small bit of substance on their often ridiculed slogan – FF the Republican Party. Electorally they will go the same way as the Tories – ie nowhere.

  • Susan, that’s a DFA event for Ireland the state, not the island.

    Just had a look at the links. The DFA folks seem to think Tourism Ireland is a 26-county entity 🙂

  • susan

    I know Nevin, just trying to make someone squirm.


    hiyez, Sammy!

  • susan

    NB to Nevin: I think my personal tipping point for me was when I counted two invitees from the Phillipines, and was still squinting to find any Northerners.

  • Greenflag


    There is a case to be made no doubt . It’s that just now methinks politicians on both sides of the border are in ‘frozen rabbit’ in the headlights mode, simultaneously with the tightening noose syndrome of the gallows bound ;)with elections hovering on the near horizon.

    I’ve never really understood FF ambivalence with regard to organising in NI. They might get more votes there than in the Republic as things stand 😉 . Perhaps they might even apply to join SF ( joke just about )

    FF are in deep doo doo much as it pains me to admit it .

  • Eleanor Bull

    Clinton Global Initiative


    So the little white stains on the little black dress were photoshopped in?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    All the big guns are in Farmleigh House, Dublin at the mo discussing new ideas for Ireland’s economy.

    (To think that the head of Quantas airlines is a man from Tallaght, the head of BA is another Irishman Willie Walsh and of course Michael O’ Leary of Ryanair, one of Europes biggest airlines.)

  • Greenflag

    Greagoir O Frainclin,

    Dubs rule . As your man Andrew Maxwll the comedian said ‘Dubs are bastards ‘ . Maxwell needs to be shot for making a remark like that ;). Letting out a state secret deserves nothing less 😉

    You forgot to mention the head of Aer Lingus ?
    It’s now run by a German. He’ll probably need to bring in the 17th Panzer Division to deal with the unions 😉

  • borderline

    World’s best brains eh?

    And Bob Geldof gets an invite.

  • frustrated democrat


    Can you send me directions to your happy little world where everything is the way you want it to be?

    I unfortunately have to live in the real world where 2+2=4 and there are other people intruding on my wishes to get their way.

    I think your world would be so much easier, that is until an election comes around and they actually vote for something different.

    In this case your happy little world will be shattered by the Conservatives and Unionists in the upcoming election, what will you do then, find another happy little place until the next election? Sadly you will run out of happy places eventually.

  • Eleanor Bull

    “World’s best brains eh?

    And Bob Geldof gets an invite.”

    Joking aside (you WERE joking, borderline?) there’s something nauseating about “a carefully selected group of the world’s best brains”. Looks like a mutual appreciation society.

    “You’re great!”

    “Aw, gee,thanks, you’re a carefully selected great brain too”

    “Yeah, we’re both great brains. Anyway, got any inside info on the Monica story?”