Tuesday 27 September 2016

The Punt: Huge interest in Janet's moves

Published 01/09/2015 | 02:30

Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen and her colleagues at the US Federal Reserve are getting the nudge to do what many analysts believed as recently as last week would be postponed - hiking interest rates in the world's largest economy.

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But the signal being sent to Yellen from counterparts is to press ahead.

In private and in public at last week's global central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the message from visiting policymakers was financial markets globally are as ready as they can be, despite recent jitters.

The powerful group gathered at the end of a rollercoaster week in markets in which the Dow tanked by 1,000 points on Monday on concerns of a slowdown in China but recovered to trade higher by the end of the week.

Remarks by Fed officials that the so-called lift-off could come in September were blamed by some for that volatility, leading analysts to slash odds on a rate hike.

But perhaps that was premature.

The move by the Federal Reserve this month could be the most important economic decision in some years.

No pressure, then, Yellen.

If you are not in etc, etc

Ambitious business owners have just over two weeks to get their entries in for the Bank of Ireland Startup Awards 2015. The closing date for entries has been extended to Thursday, September 17. The awards are open to startups - that's new businesses in old money - from across Ireland.

Entry into the awards is free and the competition is open to sole traders, partnerships and Irish companies that have traded for three years or less and have no more than 30 employees.

Winners will be selected at regional finals and from across 11 sector categories including food and drink and retail, as well as technology and the digital economy.

The Grand Prix award is for the startup of the year, and there is also a Startup Hero award.

Last year attracted more than 750 entries and the overall Grand Prix award was won by Agile Network. The Irish Biz Party won the Startup Hero Award.

This year there is an additional category for international founders who have moved to Ireland to set up their business - the Overseas Startup Setting Up in Ireland Award.

For the winners, it's not just the glory of the parish at stake. Prizes include valuable mentoring and support from sponsors including the likes of IBM as well as the morale and publicity boost of winning at the national gala final in Dublin on Thursday, November 12.

Crafty bunch launch tours

IN the David versus Goliath battle for Ireland's beer drinkers, craft brewers have opened a second front.

Cunningly, they are taking a leaf-out of industry heavy-weight Guinness's book - by offering factory tours, and of course, tastings. The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin attracted almost 1.3 million visitors in 2014. Hardly small beer. In Cork, the Franciscan Well brewery, which produces the likes of Rebel ale, below, is opening its 800-year-old premises to the public, offering tours that create a new opportunity to preach the craft beer gospel.

"With the tours, we're hoping to become a top destination for beer buffs and tourists alike and we'd love to think that we're playing our part in bringing Cork back to its brewing heritage," founder Shane Long said.

His brewery is on the site of a 13th Century Franciscan monastery.

In the 18 months the brewery tours have proved a winner for both locals and overseas visitors alike.

Other craft brewers nationwide are now following suit, and if trends continue there will be a brewer and tour in every county in the country in the near future.

Irish Independent

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