The Punt: Honohan joins Peterson
Patrick Honohan. Do you remember him? The former Central Bank governor has slipped quietly out of the spotlight since he left Dame Street late last year.
On the last day in office in November, Honohan told reporters that he was a "very private" guy when asked if he was looking forward to a slower, less public, pace of life. He also said that he would "find an office in a university" and have a "quasi-academic, semi-retirement".
He's stayed true to his word. As of this month, the former governor is now a non-resident senior research fellow with the US-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.
His listed areas of expertise include bank restructuring, central banking (obviously), currency boards, debt, dollarisation, the euro and European Union, financial crises, monetary policy and sovereign debt restructuring.
He will be in good company at Peterson.
Fellow experts include Olivier Blanchard, the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund during the crisis years and Ajai Chopra, the former IMF Ireland mission chief.
Black tie battle for awards
The shortlist for this year's Franchise Awards have been announced, with Eddie Rockets, Supermacs, TaxAssist Accountants and Sherry FitzGerald among the contenders.
The award categories represent both retail and service industries across 12 categories.
The awards celebrate 21 years this year and it is one of the longest running business award ceremonies in Ireland.
They recognise excellence in franchising and reward outstanding achievements of businesses and individuals in the franchise industry.
The judging panel includes Newstalk Business presenter and former Irish Dragon Bobby Kerr; Orla Nugent, director executive MBA, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; Greg Swift, head of enterprise at Dublin Local Enterprise Office; Michael Bradley, former CEO of the Irish Franchise Association; and Elaine O'Regan of the 'Sunday Business Post'.
The awards will be presented at a formal black-tie ceremony at The Radisson St Helen's Hotel in Stillorgan, south Dublin, on April 22, hosted by Newstalk's Jonathan Healy.
David Killeen, chairman of the Irish Franchise Association, said the awards are an opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work being done by all franchisors and franchisees in growing the sector.
At the point of no return
Have you ever returned items to Amazon? Then Greg Nelson's story just might be of interest.
The computer programmer and self confessed Amazon addict had his account blocked after he returned 37 of the 343 items that he purchased.
According to 'The Guardian', he insists that there was a good reason for returning all the items. Either they were faulty, damaged or not as described.
Not only has his account been blocked, but it seems that the status of gift vouchers for him is also in doubt. An Amazon spokesperson told 'The Guardian' that it would not talk directly about the case, but confirmed the account would not be reopened.
"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for the millions of customers who shop with us," the spokesperson said.
"In a tiny fraction of cases we are forced to close accounts where we identify extreme account abuse. This decision is only taken after we have reviewed the account carefully."