Friday 28 October 2016

The Punt: Regulators take the biscuit

Published 05/06/2015 | 02:30

Central Bank
Central Bank

BLAME it on the Hobnobs. An email that went out from the Central Bank's press office yesterday was quickly recalled.

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It seems someone had a rush of sugar. Maybe they were eating too many of the biscuits that the bank was shown to be spending more than €1,000 a week on recently.

The email contained a list of stories in that morning's newspapers relevant to the regulators, covering everything from banks offering cash incentives to mortgage customers, to the musings of the Fiscal Council.

The 'Morning Media Report' contains links to the online stories with the topics covered including the Irish economy, Greece, the ECB, property and a section headed "other topics of interest" that included a link to a story about the activities of the Ballymore property group in Birmingham.

The Punt could not help noticing that the summary of stories was not without its inaccuracies.

A comment piece by this publication's group business editor, Thomas Molloy, was attributed to 'The Irish Times'.

Maybe it is time the regulators laid off the Custard Creams.

Job up for grabs: must like whiskey

A new golden age of whiskey production appears to have arrived in Ireland, with the bandwagon now so jam-packed it's a wonder if there's any more room on it.

Over the past few years, a large number of fledgling whiskey firms have sprung up, emboldened by the likes of the Teeling family and their long and successful links to the trade, as well as investment being poured into the industry by firms such as Pearse Lyons' Alltech, and Scotland's family-owned William Grant.

In fact, it's reckoned that close to 30 new Irish distilleries are due to open over the next decade.

William Grant & Sons has spent €35m on the Tullamore Distillery in Co Offaly, having acquired the Tullamore DEW brand in 2010. The company also owns famous brands such as Glenfiddich.

Among a number of roles it's filling at its Irish operation, it's hunting for a so-called distillery ambassador.

The person will be tasked with leading brand and product training, to being an all-round cheerleader for the whiskey.

Tullamore DEW sells about 140,000 cases a year in the US, where Pernod Ricard's Jameson is by far the dominant Irish whiskey brand, accounting for 75pc of the three million cases of Irish whiskey sold there every year.

Wall Street close to The Edge

HE'S no stranger to the corridors of power, but Bono, below, is also a hit in the temple of mammon that is Wall Street.

It seems that when movers and shakers want to label current trends, they reach for the U2 discography.

Latest up is chief investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab Corp. When asked by Bloomberg to nail the current tone on the markets, she said it was like the song Running to Stand Still.

This got The Punt thinking about U2 in the wider world of business and politics.

We're certain that North Korea's Kim Jong-un is rather partial to War, while Brexit-facing David Cameron must be thinking that Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own.

Meanwhile, the Fifa-hunting FBI are listening to Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

And Sepp Blatter, after years of the Sweetest Thing, has turned to Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

And Monday .. and etc.

Meanwhile, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is sure to tell Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis that the Eurozone project will go on, With or Without You.

But The Punt is certain that pin-up Yanis is more of a Gloria Gaynor man.

I Will Survive, presumably.

Irish Independent

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