#UCCEconoCon Live Blog

Refresh for updates, thanks to @AudreyEWalsh for some of the quotes

Hello and welcome to my live blog of the UCC Economics Society Economic Conference. There is a great line up of speakers organised and I will be updating this post as the day goes on. Feel free to ask questions in the comments on Twitter (@spiller2 or @corkeconomics) or on Facebook. Todays Timetable:

11:30 – 11:35    Welcome by Stephen Barry, Auditor of UCC Economics Society
11:35 – 11:50    Opening Address by Robbie Butler, UCC Department of Economics

11:50 – 12:50    Panel Discussion 1: Is politics the greatest stumbling block to economic stability? Ciaran Lynch TD, Sinead Ryan and Declan Jordan, Peter Mathews TD and John Considine (Chair)

12:50 – 13:20    Q&A

13:20 – 14:20    Lunch

14:20 – 14:40 “Gaming It: Incentives, Cheating and the Grey Area in Sports” – Declan Jordan

14:40 – 15:40    Panel Discussion 2: The Eurozone – wobbling on a tightrope between growth and debt? Megan Greene, Seamus Coffey, Brendan Keenan, Lorcan Roche-Kelly and Tim Harford (Chair)

15:40 – 16.10   Q&A

16:10 – 16:20    Coffee Break

16.20 –     Keynote Speech by Tim Harford

Robbie Butler:

  • We can go from Primary to University without studying Economics.
  • We don’t teach basic Economics, how to save, how to spend, how not to spend more then you earn
  • Interest in Economics has declined since the recession.
  • Need to capture imagination of young people. Less than 10% leave formal education with education in economics

Panel 1: Is politics the greatest stumbling block to economic stability?

Declan Jordan

  • Politics isnt the greatest stumbling block to economic stability
  • Do Governments hinder or help the Economy
  • 13 Countries with good growth had committed, credible and capable Government
  • Bad decisions and Bad Governments can damage Economies
  • Electorate needs to incentives “good politicians” with “Good policies”
  • we tend to see politics as a problem, we get the government we deserve, we elected them
  • we elected the same government 3 times who had short term views, but we contributed to it

Peter Matthews TD

  • We’ve had a volatile economic situation here, as opposed to stagnation (Japan) or depressed (Soviet Union)
  • Unregulated markets has wrecked the real economy.
  • Read the “Price of Inequality” – Joseph Stiglitz
  • Also read “Thinking Fast & Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
  • This country is overburdened by debt which is unsustainable! A debt right down for Ireland would be the right thing to do!
  • The 11 MEPs need to agree on working together to reduce the €53bn debt

Sinead Ryan

  • 1st lesson of economics is of scarcity, 1st lesson of politics is to ignore the 1st lesson of economics.
  • Where there is conflict between Economist and Politicians, the tax payer ends up the loser.
  • Examples are Irish Water, HSE, Bank Crisis and unprofitable routes on public transport
  • No politician wants to be called brave

Ciaran Lynch TD

  • If Government is a stumbling block for economic stability if bad policies are followed, its not if good policies are followed.
  • Everyone now has opinion about economics just as in politics
  • The financial crisis has both internal and external causes!
  • Economics does not come with an ideology, just like Politics
  • Coming out of the current crisis/bailout is an example of how politics can work
  • Life cycle carbon taxes – there is not enough materials in the world to meet future supply.
  • Politics does not cause instability but pursuing economic dogma does

Q&A: Question: How do we get the Politician’s we deserve

  • Economist should provide Electorate with information
  • Economist should fact check on political policies

“ECB Monetary Policy” – Lorcan Roche Kelly

  • German Economy is the most important tool to the the ECB
  • To get where the ECB wants to be, the must do something new. They can’t cut interest rates. Money supply must be managed better!
  • The crisis that Europe is facing, is not a debt crisis…. it is a growth crisis!
  • The best thing that happened to the ECB was Trichet leaving the bank and Draghi coming in
  • The Euro suffers from a publicity problem

“Gaming It: Incentives, Cheating and the Grey Area in Sports” – Declan Jordan

  • Lots of cheating in sport, Luis Suraz, World Cup 1982, Theire Henry, A-Rod, Lance Armstrong, Maradonna.
  • Cheating is not new, its easier, they do work hard
  • Its’ expected
  • Is bending the rules allowed?
  • Cheating needs a new definition
  • Should be defined as Breaking the rules for Advantage

Panel 2: The Eurozone – wobbling on a tightrope between growth and debt?

Brendan Keenan

  • Eurozone is still a collection of National Economies, cant be compared to USA. Huge disparities between Governments
  • The eurozone crisis could easily erupt again!
  • Ireland facing more contraction until 2016, Public spending can grow beyond that if we reach that if international recovery
  • Is Ireland political willing to continue walking the tightrope? It will still be tough
  • A Tightrope… doesn’t matter which side you fall off! You fall off! A second bailout would lead to unknown territory.

Megan Greene

  • Adding an item to the agenda, INFLATION…… it should be growth, solvency and inflation.
  • It is important to look at 2 different solvency levels: 1) Public Solvency levels 2) External Solvency levels
  • 2014 will be a chronic year for the Eurozone, however next year things should get get better!
  • Germany has some room to provide some stimulus, but unlikely as its facing a rapid ageing population
  • German’s population is ageing and while their fiscal policy is good, their future generations will be paying the price.
  • Banking Union will not be about burden sharing, which was the point
  • Debt conference in Europe with all the weaker countries (and perhaps France), to restructure debt, is necessary.
  • The most political likely deal is debt restructuring. It will be politically tough. But rescheduling at least is nessecary

Seamus Coffey

  • If deflation appears in prices, it might not be too bad. However, if it appears in wages, it would not good!
  • Deflation also affects Government income, VAT and Duty.
  • Those most hurt by deflation are those in debt. Most in debt? Governments- where anti deflation comments come
  • We still havent solved the Banking Crisis
  • EU needs to become more federal, whether in policy or fiscally, for social project of 1950s to avoid getting stuck
  • The Burden of the Debt has to go Somewhere

Lorcan Roche Kelly

  • Eurozone is almost a Co-Op
  • The Eurozone is a good tempate for a Federalised Europe
  • We need a really bad crisis for politicians to hand over fiscal power. Seeds are there for that crisis. Sovereign Debt
  • The answer is more Europe
  • Integration or Disintegration
  • We are half way across canyon, if we turn around we will fall off.

Keynote Speech: Tim Harford

  • Focusing on the story of Alban William Phillips (Also known as Bill Phillips)
  • He is the Indiana Jones of Economics
  • Invented the Moniac the first computer model of an economy
  • Developed the Philips Curve, the correlation between inflation and unemployment
  • The 1970’s Oil Crisis discredited the Philips Curve
  • When he developed the curve he never believed in it.

And thats it folks! Thanks for joining me!

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Election Round-ups

Over the course of the General Election myself and Conor of the European Citizen shall be writing a Blog Election Round up on MSN Ireland.

Conor has the first round up done and I will be doing tomorrow. So if you have links, videos, tweets anything at all let us know!

You can email stephen@stephenspillane.com or just leave a comment here on the post on MSN or Conor’s blog!

Sea of Words Literary Contest

I received this today which may be of interest to some readers.

The European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) have the pleasure to announce the launch of the Third Edition of the Sea of Words Literary Competition.

We encourage the production of short stories that portray the different realities of the Euro-Mediterranean region from the point of view of the young people who live there, through the organisation of a Euro-Med short story competition.

This year, the theme is justice, equality and inclusion in the Mediterranean and in Europe in line with the objectives of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Applicants must be under 30 years of age and residents in one of the forty three countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, and write in one of the languages of the countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

The short-stories should be submitted by e-mail before midnight (Spain Local Time) 15 September 2010.

For more information, please visit the competition website. For further queries, please write to: concurso@iemed.org

Join Now and Become the Next Winner of the Sea of Words Competition.

Thank you for your involvement.

Kind regards,

European Institute of the Mediterranean

Anna Lindh Foundation

Enhanced by Zemanta

Should Bloggers get Accreditation to EU Institutions?

My Press Badge and Blogger Name Badge from Th!nk1

M van den Broeke on Twitter asked this question,

Should serious EU bloggers get some sort of accreditation to EU institutions? But on what criteria?

Firstly I say fair play to her for bringing up the question. Its one that should be asked more, and not just by the EU. I must say Irish political parties have been good at facilitating bloggers, so maybe other institutions should start soon?

But back to the question at hand. As pointed out by Charlemange of the Economist and Jean Quatremer of Liberation (French) the press corp in Brussels is shrinking. There are now only 752 journalists with accreditation compared with 1,300 back in 2005.

Newspapers depend more now on wire-content for EU stories and they consistently make mistakes ( eg, Saying the ECHR is part of the EU!!!) Can bloggers bridge the gap?

Much of the original content about the EU is now written by bloggers. Simply because there is not enough journalists to cover everything the EU does. But of course bloggers have a number of hold backs, day jobs, time, and money. But some bloggers are excellent specialists at subjects and having accreditation may allow them to build on their expertise and get more informed stories out there.

But how do you define a serious EU Blogger?

  • Is it someone who only follows EU Politics?
  • Is it someone who the majority of their content is about the EU?
  • Is it someone who knows a lot about the EU?
  • Is it someone who lives in Brussels?
  • Should be limited to someone with a high number of visits?

That is the hard part of deciding whether of not bloggers should be accredited.

Personally I think they should be. But who should be left into the Brussels bubble is the question?

Should a separate list be maintained for those bloggers outside of Brussels?

Its time we had this conversation.

What do you think?

Hattip to Julien Frisch for the topic

Enhanced by Zemanta

Facebook Change

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25:  In this photo ill...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Today I implemented a change to how I use facebook as a bit of an experiment. Normally my blog posts are automatically imported as notes on my own page. From today that is no longer the case. I have set up a fan page for this blog and in future all notes shall be imported there.

Do become a fan! I wonder how it will go?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Eurovision Blogging has a new home

MOSCOW - MAY 16: Alexander Rybak of Norway is ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Some people have noticed a lack of blogging about Eurovision lately, and there are many reasons for that, college, work, etc. Well never fear, as I am back on the Eurovision blogging trail.

I have joined ESCIreland.com as a blogger and I will be doing the majority of my blogging on Eurovision over there, but I will continue to post my previews and (dire) predictions here.

So head over to ESCIreland.com and check it out.

Make sure you check out the Norway v Sweden video! Its amazing!

PS The Eurovision CD is out on May 7th!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Join the Debate in Barcelona

Well tomorrow I am off to Barcelona for the Anna Lindh Foundation Forum 2010. I will be live-blogging and tweeting about the forum, with the help of a few others. I know I am not a big user of twitter at the moment, but college is taking up a lot of the time I would have spent on it, so I will be back to it tomorrow.

You too, though, will be able to see whats happening and pass on your comments as the plenary sessions will be webcast. I received an email about it today.

JOIN THE DEBATE

‘Bridging the Gap in Mutual Perceptions between people across the Mediterranean’
09.30 to 11.00 AM CET Friday 5th March 2010

Join the debate with live web-cast and blog at:
www.annalindhforum.org

The debate will be broadcast live from the Anna Lindh Forum in Barcelona, involving an audience of over 900 civil society representatives from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

You can also follow us at www.twitter.com/AnnaLindh to get the latest quotes and updates, and join the online discussion using the hashtag #forum2010

Do join in! It will be interesting to hear what you think!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

StephenSpillane.com nominated for best Political Blog

FIRST awards
Image by kingdesmond1337 via Flickr

Well what a way to start the day, I found out that this blog has been nominated for the Best Political Blog at the 2010 Irish Blog Awards. I am chuffed.

There are 36 other great blogs in nominated in the category, so I am not expecting great things, but it is nice to be nominated! It has set me up nicely for today. Thank you who ever nominated me. I am very grateful!

See the full nominations list on awards.ie

of course, big thanks to Damien who organises this every year and best of luck to all 1074 blogs nominated!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Register for TH!NK3!

From upper left: Manhattan south of Rockefelle...
Image via Wikipedia

I got this via Email from the European Journalism Centre. I took part in Th!nk1 and Th!nk2 (though didn’t finish it). Do check it out.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) invites you to apply for the third round of our acclaimed blogging competition, TH!NK3: Developing World.

TH!NK3 will bring together some 100 bloggers, journalists, issue experts and students from the 27 EU member states, as well as neighbourhood countries and beyond, to exchange ideas and debate sustainable development and global cooperation topics. The blogging competition will run from 24 March to 31 August and begins with a launch event in Brussels, 22-23 March. The awards include opportunities to travel and report from Asia and Africa. The big prize is a trip to the UN headquarters in New York in September 2010, at the time of the Millenium Development Goals summit. All trips are sponsored by the EJC or our partners.

The previous two editions of our competition, TH!NK2: Climate Change and  TH!NK1: European Elections 2009, received hundreds of thousands of visitors and got the attention of major mainstream media. TH!NK2: Climate Change won the European Public Affairs Award for the “Best Web 2.0 Campaign of the Year” in 2009.

To participate in the competition, please go to www.thinkaboutit.eu, where you can read more about TH!NK3 and fill out the application form.

The EJC is an independent, international, non-profit institute dedicated to the highest standards in journalism. For the TH!NK3 launch event, we have received additional support from the European Commission.

Best of luck if you enter! I can guarentee it is worth it! I won’t be entering due to the fact I am too busy with college and Anna Lindh Foundation stuff.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

European Young Journalist Award 2010

Again this year DG Enlargement are running the European Young Journalist Award 2010. (post on last years competition is here). Its simple, if your aged between 17-35 you can enter the competition. All you need to do is send them a copy of your published work and your in the competition. The work must be published between the 1 October 2007 to 28 February 2010. This means you can still get stuff done for it. The 28 February is also the dealine for submissions. The competition is open to citizens of the 27 EU Member States, Candidate Countries (Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), or Potential Candidate Countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia andKosovo under UNSCR 1244/99) and Iceland and the must be written / presented in an official language of one of the EU Member States, Candidate Countries or Potential Candidates or in Icelandic.

See more of the rules here

Winners of the Competition will travel to Istanbul in May 2010 for a cultural and historical trip. Istanbul, Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2010, provides an ideal location for the winners to enlarge their vision through cultural exchange. The trip will end with a conference where views will be exchanged with leading international analysts about European culture, identity and EU Enlargement.

In addition to national winners being selected in all 36 participating countries, three special prizes will be awarded in the following categories: “Most original”, “Best research” and “Best journalistic style”. The special prize winners, who will be selected by a European jury from the national winners, will be announced during the winner’s trip in Istanbul. Each of the special prize winners will win a cultural trip to a European capital of their choice.

See the competition website for more details and to upload your entry

PS My post, Where does Europe End? – The future challenges of EU Enlargement is my entry to the competition.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]