Article Category: Economics


Irish Banking: Rediscovering Values for Rebuilding and Renewal

This article explores the deconstruction of the Irish banking system. It discusses the ‘pressure points’ which are reshaping this system, and how these are likely to impact on the wider banking and financial community. This is an important issue in its own right because the constitutive purpose of banking is to support the wider economy, and especially job creation. But it is particularly timely to critique recent events and policies which in combination have served to subvert the development of modern Ireland.


A New Economic Paradigm? In the Concrete

Towards a New Model A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not even worth glancing at … (Oscar Wilde) It is good to remember that utopia is nothing but the reality of tomorrow and that today’s reality is yesterday’s utopia. (Le Corbusier) Politics left to managers and economics left to brokers… Read more »


Social Enterprise – An Untapped Resource

Across Europe, social enterprises are making a significant impact on communities, particularly those blighted by high levels of unemployment, poverty and disadvantage. According to the European Commission, there are 2 million social enterprises in the EU (representing 10 per cent of all European businesses) and they employ over 11 million people (the equivalent of 6 per cent of the working population of the EU).  In EU Member States, social enterprises are present in almost every sector of the economy, including banking, insurance, agriculture, crafts, various commercial services, and health and social services.



Enough: Foundation for a Moral and Ecological Economics

Introduction How can we live in harmony with nature? How do we stop global warming, the associated climate change and the destruction of ecosystems? How can we eliminate poverty, provide security and create sufficiency for all the people of the earth? How do we restore an ethic of care for people and for the earth?… Read more »


tree in hand

A New Economic Paradigm?

Introduction The virus of global recession, with its virulent manifestation in Ireland, has raised the question of what antidotes are possible. What lessons can we learn from the past, in order to plot a more secure way into the future? In particular, the question arises as to whether we need to consider a new, more… Read more »


Bad Business

Crisis Much of the world is going through the biggest financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.  While the crisis is not as severe as that of the Great Depression, its effects are more widespread, owing to globalisation and the interconnectedness of national economies.  It is causing much suffering,… Read more »


Co-operatives and the Economic and Environmental Crisis

Introduction The current economic and financial crisis has had an enormous impact across the world. Here in Ireland, we have experienced the harsh consequences of a sharp reversal of economic growth. During 2009, there was estimated fall of over 7 per cent in GDP, and of more than 10 per cent in GNP. Both measures… Read more »


Pro Bono: Still Relevant for Access to Justice

A call to justice for the poor and marginalised is to be found in the three major monotheistic faith traditions. The Hebrew tradition specifically mentions the need for justice for the poor in their lawsuits.1 In Christian scriptures, scribes or lawyers were encouraged to foster justice, especially among the poor and widows. A similar call to justice can be found in the Quran,2 alongside calls to charity.3 Each tradition is intimately linked to law, and emphasises the need for its careful application with justice and mercy.


Justice in Recession: Statement on the Current Economic Situation

It is no exaggeration to say that people in Ireland are in a state of shock at the suddenness and severity of the downturn in the country’s economic situation. In so far as we thought about ‘Ireland after the Celtic Tiger’, most people assumed it would be a time where growth would be slower, but more sustainable, where there would be ‘a soft landing’ for house prices, and where the gains of the boom years would be consolidated. We did not envisage an economic recession, a deep and widespread crisis in the financial system, a sharp rise in unemployment, and considerable anxiety about the future.


Doing Business and Doing Good: The Role of Business Ethics

Down the ages, some currents of thought have seen business as incapable of being honourable, and barely able to be honest, since honest business will always be at a disadvantage in competition with dishonest business. On this view, neither business, banking, investment, profit-making, nor entrepreneurial initiative promote the good of individuals or society. Business ethics… Read more »