Wednesday 18 September 2019

Key economists criticising NAMA ...

Dr Brian Lucey

Associate professor of Finance at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Lucey is a graduate of TCD. He began his career as a statistician in the Department of Health before joining the Central Bank as an economist, and then moving to TCD.

His professional interests are in business and finance, rather than pure economics, which may help explain the huge interest he has taken in Nama, organising a vigorous campaign against the project. Aged 41, he is associate editor of the 'Journal of Multinational Financial Management', 'The Financial Review' and the 'Journal of Applied Finance'.

Prof Lucey's critics point out that he does not have an unblemished record in forecasting property trends. An article he wrote in 2006 said fears of a housing 'bubble' would prove unfounded and that there was little risk of a catastrophic fall in house prices.

He has admitted this was wrong, but said it was reasonable based on the data available at the time. It would be 10-15 years before we would know if he is right to oppose Nama, Prof Lucey said.

Dr Karl Whelan

Dr Whelan is professor of economics at University College Dublin and has teamed up with Dr Lucey in organising the economists' public opposition to Nama plans.

They are also involved, with others who do not share their views, in the launch of the economics blog, which has proved an influential forum for discussing these issues.

Dr Whelan worked for the Central Bank as an economist, before moving to the Division of Research and Statistics at the US Federal Reserve in Washington DC.

Dr Alan Ahearne

Dr Ahearne also worked for the Fed but was a lecturer in economics at NUI Galway before taking a leave of absence to act as special advisor to Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

In Washington, he was a senior economist in the International Finance Division of the Federal Reserve and has taught economics in the US, Dublin and Limerick.

He was one of the most prominent commentators in warning that the banking crisis was worse than the Government or Central Bank were admitting.

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